More bento boxes this week:

Preston and I went to see “As You Like It” by the Shakespeare Theater Company in D.C. on Saturday. This was my first time at this venue, the Lansburgh Theatre. Great theater; small and intimate (I think it only holds 500?). Ok, 500 may not be intimate, but it is small by some standards. The Shakespeare Company makes a few free tickets available for some (all?) of the shows on a first-come basis. I got lucky and snagged some – when we arrived and got the tickets at will call they were great: ~5th row, center!

Preston had a perfect view. The only issue I had was parking – this is in downtown DC after all. But we managed to find a parking garage a couple of blocks away, and made it to our seats just as the curtain rose! Perfect timing.

After the play we went next door to Jaleo for dinner.

This was Preston’s first exposure to Spanish tapas, and he was a trooper and tried a bunch of different tapas. He liked the presentation of the Croquetas de Pollo (traditional chicken fritters), but was not a fan of the taste. They surprised me too, as the interior (while tasty) had the consistency of thick clam chowder. Why are they served in a sneaker?

He loved the Gambas al ajillo (shrimp sauteed with garlic), though he did comment that they were a bit spicy. He chowed down on the bread they came with.

He tried the Chorizo casero con pure de patatas al aceite de oliva (house made traditional chorizo with olive oil mashed potatoes and cider sauce), but really liked the mashed potatoes (we ordered more on the side).

Finally, he tried the Pollo al ajillo con salsa verde (grilled marinated chicken with parsley puree and garlic sauce). This was a nice grilled chicken; I really liked the salsa verde (almost like a parsley pesto).

I liked them all, my favorite being either the chorizo/mashed or the shrimp (great spicy sauce). I probably won’t get Croquetas de Pollo again, though. :)

Inspiration hit; I saw some cute bentobox lunches online and decided I’d try my hand. This past week the kids had these for lunch:

I have a lot more pictures from our day on Block Island, RI in August. However this one was just used for his birthday invites and I kinda like it:

Preston finding Treasures on Block Island

Preston finding Treasures on Block Island

We didn’t have any live critters to put in the payload, so Preston picked a flower.

We managed to launch the rocket 9 times tonight. For the last launch (not shown, unfortunately), I put the little micro flashlight from my keychain into the payload. It was past dusk, so hard to see – but with the flashlight in the payload area, the nosecone of the rocket was totally lit up! So nice to see this light dropping from the sky. That last one was the easiest to track!

I would have caught this last one on video, but Preston kinda launched a wee bit prematurely: “Ten, Nine, Ignition! ” What happened to 8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1??? Again, very happy for that launcher key while I was attaching the igniter. Oh well, it looked really cool.

Engines were C6-5’s, the largest that fit in this rocket. This particular rocket has a plastic tail area with a twist-on engine stop, so it is really easy to reload with a new engine. Nice design, and quite sturdy.

I like the new igniters these engines come with: they have little plastic plugs that you push in to hold the igniter securely into contact with the engine. Back in the day when I was launching rockets as a kid, it was just a bare wire, and we had to use tape to hold it in. Many false ignitions/failures. But these new igniters with the plug to maintain contact work like a charm!

The launcher we used has a neat little “key” that you have to insert, and then you also have to hold down an “arm” button (which lights up an indicator light). While holding the “arm” button down, you then press the “launch” button to fire the rocket. This is a very safe mechanism. I just had to tell Preston to “remove the key” while I was attaching the launcher leads to the engine igniter – that way there was no way he was going to press the launch button by mistake and fire it off in my hands!

I remember using a small metal toolbox as my launcher. I drilled some holes in the top and put in a toggle switch, a light, and a button switch. Worked the same way as today’s pre-made ones – though I didn’t use a key; you used the toggle switch to “arm” the launcher (lit the light) and then the button switch to launch. Wish I could find that little launcher – would be cool to let Preston use it. But it is long gone. :(

Favorite quote from the launches: “I got it! Hey!! That’s hot!”

Second favorite quote: “Whaddya mean the kids have to chase after the rocket? Next time we are bringing Dylan!”

« Previous PageNext Page »