Here is our mascot in the thick of the action. Matthew spent the better part of a day in this costume.
So, we went up to Seattle for the Revenge of the Nerds Robotics competition. OK, that's not the real name- it's a competition for high school math and science kids, sponsored by all sorts of high-tech companies, and the kids are assisted in building their team's robot by mentors. So it's essentially a chance for the science guy mentors and sponsors to turn their interests into the competition they wished they could have had when they were in school, and it was totally wonderful for Matthew. He had a ball, and even caught up with a girl from Spokane that he had met at a previous competition.
Matthew's team is "Team Mean Machine", and they made it to the semi-finals, and lost to the alliance that ultimately won the competition.
Something fun for Matthew's team- most teams bring their school mascot to the competition, and most of them are an animal of some type. Which usually works for a mascot. Well, our high school is "the Papermakers". Yes, really. Not the cougars, or the bears, or the lions, but the papermakers, and our mascot is a foam paper-making machine, black, red, and white, with large foam rollers. I know, lamest school mascot EVER. Except at the robotics competition, where we are the only school with a mascot that is essentially a robot. So our mascot goes down to the "mosh pit"-type area and leads the congo line, and becomes the adopted mascot of the whole group.
Donna and Mark were very kind to host us at their home overnight while we were in Seattle, so Mia and Nicki were able to stay up until 11 enjoying each other's company, and Donna and I were able to talk politics till the cows came home. Thanks Donna and Mark!