Pinewood derby madness

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Andrew with his Pinewood Derby car and his third-place ribbon.
Andrew's (7) Pinewood Derby race was last night. His gloss red wedge-shaped "Dragon Fire" took third-place out of approximately 30 cars, delighting Andrew to no end (and surprising the heck out of me.) The event was long, but the kids did surprisingly well (contrary to my previous Cub Scout experiences). It was very fun, and I'm pleased to report the kids (and parents) were uniformly good sports.

For those who don't know, the Pinewood Derby is an even where kids build little cars and race them down a track. It's a Boy/Cub Scout tradition (I did it as a Cub Scout too.) I understand Girl Scouts and others do it too. The kids get a basic kit with a pine block, four wheels, and four nails. After that, you can do whatever you want, modulo a few rules around weight, moving parts, etc.

The kids are supposed to do most of the work on the car. Andrew did a little of each step (cutting the block, rasping it into shape, sanding, painting, etc.) but the Derby-elf (me -- thanks, Bruce, for this turn-of-phrase), moved the process along too. It was fun to make the car with Andrew. I don't do a lot of woodworking usually and am not the handiest guy around, but it's fun. I'm already looking forward to next year.

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