Eddie Won 1st Place for Show in the Cub Scout Pinewood Derby

“Eddie with Pack Leader, Car and Trophy”

Eddie designed a new Pinewood Derby car for his Webelo’s II competition. It used 3 different colors and a  Lego driver with an X-wing canopy.  Eddie and I cut it to his chosen shape and we sanded it down to 600 Grit.  Laura and Eddie Laid down 3 layers of a base coat using Lawn Care Green.   Sanded the green to 600 grit.  Laura taped the parts of the car that were supposed to stay green, got the can of Red Gloss paint and shot it at the car.  The first squirts out of the can must have included a lot of solvent because there was a bunch of big bubbly red streaks on the car that would not dry properly.  Laura was sad.   I had to scrape and sand the gooey red stuff down to the wood since it had dissolved some of our pretty green paint.  I shook up the paint can real good and went at the car again.  It did a little better.  We bought a new can of red paint.   When we had sanded the red paint to 600 grit, Laura taped off the car sections that were to remain Red when the next color was added.   The Blue paint went on much better.    When Laura pulled off all the tape, we had a Red, Green and Blue car.  Then a layer of Clear Gloss.  Then all the decals.  Then More Gloss. Meanwhile, Laura had also polished the axles and the wheel hubs.    It was then my turn.  I had to install the wheels and the weights to bring the car up to 5 oz.    This time I decided to use my drill press to pre-drill the axle holes, therefore guaranteeing that the tire axles will go in straight.  Wrong.  Two of them still went in cockeyed and I had to whap on the axle nails with a screwdriver so that all 4 wheels touched when it was rolled. I weighed all the parts together before I assembled it and trimmed off the Lead until all the separate parts were exactly 5 oz.  I then put all the parts on the car and then weighed it.  The car somehow was up to 5.2 oz. thus proving that things weigh more than the sum of their parts once assembled.  So I started trimming the lead again to get it back down to 5 oz.

I had volunteered to run the Pinewood derby software for the Pack using my Laptop which was connected to the electronic speed equipment on the  Pinewood derby racing track.   From my previous years experience, I had learned all the tricks to make everything work together because it would mess up after about 15 races.  I would reset power to the timer, unplug and re-plug cables and restart the software.  Last year, it always worked.  Not this year.  This year the special software updated itself over the internet.  After the update, it still seemed to work fine.  But, after about 40 races, nothing would work and the software would not get the race times from the timing equipment.  This would also really really mess up my computer.  On a reboot, it once gave me the BLUE SCREEN OF DEATH (BSOD).  I would have to shutdown and reboot 2 or 3 times before it came up cleanly enough to run the Racing Software again.   All this would be occurring while a room full of about 60 parents and kids are ALL looking at me attempting to get everything in sync and they were not smiling at me.    For the little stuff, I would stop the race and signal to the helpers to push things while I did stuff to the computer to verify everything was working again before starting the next race.   Luckily the big crashes would wait until the end of the races which would end the competitions.  Then I would reboot and give the results to the leaders.  BUT, for the last set of races for the Bears, a hard crash happened after the 4th heat with 2 more to go.  I stopped the race, fidgeted with things.  Nothing worked.  Everybody is watching me.  I go to the Pack leader and tell him that I need to reboot the computer and it will probably take about 15 minutes before we can restart the races.    He makes the announcement and takes the Bears out to play outside.  Meanwhile, I am waiting for my Laptop to reboot.  Various techies stop by to offer me unhelpful advice on what I should be doing.   Eventually, I get rebooted and verify that the hardware seems to be working.  I give the signal and all the Bears trudge back in.  We finish the last 2 heats with no problems.  Afterwards, a couple of parents stop by and tell me that I had the worst job and they felt sorry for me.  I thanked them. Meanwhile for the Webelo’s II races.  Eddie won 1st place for show and came in 4th place for speed.  Yay!  We go to the District finals on Feb 20.’, ‘