Misc blog postings

Misc Postings

Earliest: July 28, 2003Latest: March 4, 2018Total: 107

January 24, 2016

Planet Gymnastics


This past weekend we hosted a kids 5th birthday party at Planet Gymnastics in Natick, Massachusetts.

The party organizers told us not to arrive until 15 minutes before the event to setup. This doesn't leave much time to get the room organized and greet people as they arrived.

Gym Time

First half hour was open Gym in the area by the entrance. This gave the kids a chance to run around and try various stations. It was also an opportunity for those that came late to join in the fun.

Then they split the birthday group into two groups and played "Messy Backyard." This group game is where you had to throw soft bricks over a short wall on the other teams. You have 2 minutes to clean your area. Whichever team had the fewest blocks won. It was fun seeing different kids playing together.

After the group game the kids sat around the foam block pit to watch Juliana zip line into a foam block pit. The kids had fun yelling her name as she rode down to the foam pit.

After the zip line game, they open up the second half of the gym for more fun exercises. This part of the gym had a tumble track area, uneven bars, balance beams at various heights and a wall climb area.

After about 15 minutes of play, it was time to leave the gym and go into the party room for snacks and cupcakes. They left the gym singing a Happy Birthday song and clapping.

The Party Room

This is where Planet Gymnastics didn't meet expectations. We told them that we were having at least 33 kids. The table setup was very cramped. We ended up having 38 kids show up, many more people show up than expected.

The staff at Planet Gymnastics had to bring in some extra chairs, however, some of the kids had to sit on the floor.

The Planet Gymnastics in Natick has two party rooms, and despite knowing that we had a large party, they stuck us in the smaller party room.

We actually brought hoodsie-cups ice cream, but it was never served. In fact, we didn't even think about it until we got home. Next time we should put together a "At the Party" checklist, so that we won't forget this.

We were happy that the staff at Planet Gymnastics helped out with the setup and tear down of the party. They were able to get everything done before the first guest arrived.

We were supposed to get a call a week before the event to confirm everything, that call never happened. We called a couple of days before to let them know how many people we expected to show up.

Overall Assessment

Planet Gymnastics was a fun place to have a party, all the kids enjoyed running around and trying the new equipment. We wished we had a better party room experience but it didn't ruin the day for anyone as there was plenty of snacks and cupcakes to go around.

Tip for Parents Attending Parties

Parents should always RSVP to a party invite. You should ask if siblings can attend. You can use the opportunity to ask for gift ideas.

When you do bring your gift to the party, make sure to secure the card to the gift. This way people will know who brought what. You don't need to be fancy with a card, you can simply cut a piece of wrapping paper and attach it to the gift. Many gift bags have little labels on the handles where you can write your name. We ended up with several gifts that we have no idea who they were from.

If you have a gift receipt, make sure to tape it on the back of the card, so it doesn't get lost when the children open up the present.

January 23, 2016

Bath Games

Bath Games

"What's your game tonight?" that's what my then 4-year-old daughter ask me every night when she does tubby.

She asks me this because we usually play some sort of water game before it's time to do her hair and get out of the tubby. It's a fun time for her to play and for me to get splash at.

We usually play with the 'Disney Princess' and the 'Sophia the First' bath collection. They are the perfect bath toys since they allow her to line them up along the side of the tub and interact with each one.

We also have a large Arial bath toy that she commonly used as the swimming teacher or any time that a grownup is needed.

Here are some of the common games that we end up playing:

Swimming Class

Arial will be the swimming teacher and someone will be new to swimming. The other toys will try to help the new student swim. We usually do this so that she can show me what she learned in swimming class this week.


Someone will pretend to be the hospital lady, usually Cinderella, and will rush to help anyone that gets hurt. Usually, it involves a hospital stay and the friends will come and visit her. The hospital lady will tell them to be quiet since the patient is sleeping, however, they usually make a lot of noise that makes the hospital lady angry.


This game we see who can jump the highest. I throw each bath toy super high and she has to guess the highest one. Then we see who can make the biggest splash, she usually does a good job of getting the floor wet.

Birthday Party

I'll pick out a character and it's their birthday. We'll start with hiding all the toys, usually in the bubbles and yell surprise to the lucky birthday guest. After that, it's a pool birthday party and we have a brief swimming session and then we make a cake with bath bubbles.

Music Class

We'll get some of the water toys and try to make some music with them. We have some water whistles where we fill with some water and then blow in them to make some notes, the more water you put in the higher the note.


We have used a lot of other bath toys over the years, but I find that she had more fun playing with her Disney bath collections. Other toys may last a couple of weeks, but the princesses seem to be a winner for the long haul. So, if you are looking for bath gift for a three-year-old that will last a while, get the Princess Bath collection.

July 1, 2015

Daycare Drop Offs

Earlier this week I had the experience of watching 2 different parents drop off their children at a local preschool daycare. Both of these parents did the same thing, they said good bye to their child gave them a kiss and left. The whole drop off time was less than a minute. What surprised me was the teacher was watching and both families didn't even say hello to the teacher.

Come on!

Remember, this is the person that you are going to trust your child for the next eight hours and you can't even take a few seconds to say hello or good morning? That really surprised me.

I guess some people are caught up with their morning routines and in the work zone that they basically ignore what's going on around them. Perhaps this is just part of their morning task and they see no value to engaging with the teacher.

I try to engage with some conversation with the teachers when they are available to talk, and I have a very limited window during drop off. I actually get into daycare early just for that purpose, so that I don't feel the need to rush through. I need to rush because I literally have a train to catch.

My advice to the other parents is to engage in a quick conversation with the teacher and let them know that their work is very much appreciated. You could even mention that you really like the creative art work they been working on.

June 4, 2015

Jingle the Dog

A couple of years ago we got the "Jingle the Dog" book with the husky puppy toy. The husky would make noise based on some of the saying as you read the book. This is a list of all the known phrases the husky pup is awaiting for you to say:

  • And Jingle was a good dog.
  • That made Jingle very, very happy.
  • Jingle, you're a good dog!
  • Jingle even loved to sing.
  • Sorry, Jingle! I've gotta go home!
  • Silly dog! Jingle, you've gotta go home!
  • The very thought of finding his friends made Jingle want to sing
  • but suddenly Jingle felt very, very happy.
  • Jingle, you're such a good dog!
  • Jingle, Stay! And Jingle did.

I haven't found any other list of additional phrases that the Hallmark Jingle dog says. If you know of any hacks let me know!

September 9, 2014

Fish Trophy

Fish Trophy

If your using the Review Board for code reviews, you may notice that every once in a while someone will get a Fish Trophy, here's the explanation from the Review Board Blog:

It?s always nice to have a little reward for milestones. Developers sometimes compete over cool bug numbers, revisions, etc. Initially, we were going to use quips to add some fun to the site, but we ended up settling on our current trophy system.
One of our first Review Board instances started to approach review request #1000, which was a huge milestone for us. I decided to commemorate the event by staying up and quickly hacking in a hidden feature for showing a trophy for review request #1000. The way we implemented it, you?d see the first ever trophy at 1,000, and from there you?d see it at every milestone number (1,000, 2,000, 3,000, 10,000, etc.). I didn?t want to stop there, though, so I added support for a second type of trophy, one that has confused people with its appearance to this day. Mission complete.

October 31, 2013

On Halloween

Doc McStuffin 'On Halloween' song:

What'cha gonna be, 'on Halloween?
To go trick or treat, on Halloween...
Stuffy: You could be a fireman, a doctor, or a Ballerina.
Lambie: A robot or a bumblebee. Or a monster named Edwinna!
Doc: There's nothing really scary, its all just make-believe..
The ghost that just said Boo is still your best friend underneath-
So what'cha gonna be, on Halloween?
To go trick or treat, on Halloween.
What'cha gonna be, on Halloween?
To go trick or treat, on Halloween.

November 16, 2012

Stars Stars

From Doc McStuffins' Arcade Escapade (Season One, Episode 6), this is the first part of the catchy song...

Hey that a rocket
Hey there goes a comet
Ooo.. Looks like a party on the moon

Stars Stars Planet and Stars
I can see Jupiter, I can see Mars
Up there every where you see
Planet Stars and Galaxies

All those dots light in space are there places far away
Let go searching past the sun...

July 5, 2012

Send in the Cavalry

Send in the Cavalry

Couldn't believe that I wasn't able to find a graphic for 'Send in the Cavalry.' I quickly put this one together.

April 18, 2012

Doomsday Prepper TV Show

Last night I saw some of the Doomsday Prepper show on the National Geographic channel. I couldn't believe that people were seriously getting ready for the end of the world. They were spending thousands of dollars to build fallout shelters. They also were spending lots of money for food and supplies.

My question is what do they really think will happen on December 12, 2012? How will the world come to an end? Why do they think what they are doing is going to make that much of a difference? The TV show didn?t really provide answer to those questions, just showing what people are doing to prep for that day.

Are people really going to rely on a particular date of when the world is going to end from a civilization that doesn?t exist anymore?

If you?re really paranoid on what is going to happen on December 12, 2012, make sure to update your countdown clock.

November 14, 2011

Long Words

The words "uncopyrightable", "dermatoglyphics", "misconjugatedly", and "hydropneumatics", are the longest words in the English language that do not repeat a letter.

Only uncopyrightable and dermatoglyphics are acceptable words in "Words with Friends" or Scrabble? games. Good luck trying to ever generate that word during a game!