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FIRST Among Fools

April 5, 2011

As promised I took the name of everyone who wanted Lobster Tacos and placed it in a hat. I then drew out the name of  the lucky winner in front Kira. We even took a picture so that no impropriety could be claimed. The lucky winner is Kira’s Aunt Patty (and guest). Congratulations and I hope Saturday at 6:00 works for you.

While you are here we can regale you with stories of the FIRST Robotics Competition, which I was able to attend this past weekend. I watched Melanie’s team compete in a very cool demonstration of ingenuity, skill, smarts, and some plain old luck. The robots had to perform a certain task in different manners – some of them programmed and some of them radio controlled. Upon first look it is just a bunch of droids moving around in a random fashion, but after Mel explained the rules to me and I watched a few matches it was really fun. I found myself routing for certain teams whenever they were up unless they were against Melanie’s alliance. Then there was the dreaded team 1730 who was essentially unbeatable. Sometimes I think they programmed their robot to do things just because they could not because they needed the points. I wanted to hate them because it is always more fun to root for the underdog, but I just couldn’t. I knew how much hard work the teams put into these robots and instead of hating them I just had to appreciate what they had accomplished. The event lasted all day, but it didn’t feel that long. Melanie’s team did not place this year, but they did make it to the quarter finals and they helped score some points in the final matches to make it interesting. Also I got to see Al Franken without paying a cover charge. I would go again.

Of course I can hear you readers out there wondering, “Mike, what have robots got to do with Damn Good Food?” I’m glad you asked. There is a connection between Hell’s Kitchen and the FIRST Robotics competition. Until he graduated last year Cynthia’s son was a part of the robotics team at his school and I believe that the the restaurant even catered a couple meals for the team.

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. Nate permalink
    May 14, 2011 5:08 pm

    As Cyn and Mitch’s son (well, Mitch’s step-son, to be precise), I’ve finally been reading through this blog! I wanted to let you know that yes I was involved in the GRS FIRST team, not only helping its inception but being a team member for the first 3 years (until I graduated) and was actually team Captain the last two years! My parents graciously donated time to the team, occasionally chaperoning during the long nights in the last week or so of the build, and always had HK either host or at least donate to the final celebratory party after the competition!

    • May 14, 2011 5:36 pm

      Thanks for reading. Your folks have been great supporters of Great River and I think they even donated some items for the Extravaganza this year and you’re not even there any more. I think they just have big hearts.

      there is a great book out about the First robotics program by Neal Boscomb called The New Cool. Seems like it might be right up your ally.

  2. Patti permalink
    April 7, 2011 9:32 pm

    Uh, that marrying into the family thing…right back atcha Chef!

  3. April 7, 2011 8:30 am

    Well done!

  4. April 6, 2011 5:14 am

    What a cool way to spend the day. Kudos to Melanie and her team mates for making it to the quarter finals!

  5. Patti permalink
    April 5, 2011 9:42 pm

    Did you hear me squeal from across the river? Lobster tacos and the Donnelly Family both at the same time…I am one lucky Aunt! Now to ponder my guest….
    And sure, 6 is great!

    • Patti permalink
      April 5, 2011 9:43 pm

      By the way, is that the Sorting Hat? And I made it into the Donnelly House?

      • Patti permalink
        April 5, 2011 9:44 pm

        And I’m not so sure I like the connecting of my name with FOOLS!

      • April 6, 2011 2:22 pm

        I think that shipp sailed when you married into the family.

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