Robots, cookies and bluegrass — what a weekend

Tek Konnect

Dear Diary,

So much good stuff happened over the weekend that it’s difficult to know in which order to list everything, but let’s give it a try:

We are the champions

Tek-Konnect, the first-year First Lego League team affiliated with Grant Elementary School in Muscatine, won the state championship Saturday at Iowa State University in Ames. It’s a safe bet that no one back in August — when my friend, Chris Hoffman, organized this team — expected this group of 10 students in the fourth- through seventh-grades to go so far so fast.

Of the 10 students, eight had no experience in FLL. And neither did any of the four coaches. It didn’t matter. They practiced twice a week for months, worked hard and really became a team.

What a great bunch of kids. What an accomplishment

It’s a shame if you missed Billy Strings and Don Julin

Saturday’s awesomeness didn’t end in Ames.

I was in Ames Saturday because Janet’s son, Jacob, is the seventh-grader on Tek-Konnect.

Billy StringsBut Janet and I left in the middle of the afternoon because we had purchased tickets months ago to see Billy Strings and Don Julin perform Saturday night at River’s Edge Gallery in Muscatine.

I have never seen a bad show at Joel and Linda’s gallery. In fact their house concert series has made River’s  Edge the best place to hear live music in Muscatine. And I say that with some trepidation because the place only seats about 60 people and I don’t want to get crowded out for future shows.

But if you missed seeing these guys perform, you missed one heck of a show.

Wait, there’s more

It’s about a three-hour drive from Ames to Muscatine, so Janet and I had some time together alone on the drive home. For most of it, we turned off the car radio and answered/discussed these questions.

Our discussion was so awesome that the miles flew by. This part of the weekend definitely deserves a place on this list of awesomeness.

I don’t care who you are, if you are in a relationship, sit your partner down and discuss these questions.

Ending on a sweet note

Before we left Ames, we stopped downtown and ate lunch at an Indian restaurant. On the way back to the car, we walked by Insomnia Cookies, so we stopped.

According to its website, the company was founded in 2003 by a University of Pennsylvania student. It has more than 50 stores today, including the one in Ames, which is one of only five west of the Mississippi River.

The company does all kinds of charitable work and other good stuff. It’s the kind of place that makes me wonder why I couldn’t have been smart enough to figure out how to make a living by baking cookies and delivering them to hungry college students in the middle of the night.

All I can say is, if you are ever in Ames, go and buy the Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup cookie and a bottle of milk. You won’t regret it.