12 December 2011

Grendel Goes to Wal-Mart

(By Emperor.  Based on his modern interpretation of the Beowulf character. Reprinted with permission.)

One day, in a bog, Grendel ate his breakfast. Later he said to his dad, "I'm tired of cooked mortal meat EVERY day! We should get some raw!"

Then his dad said, "Fine, then we go shopping!" So they left Grendel's mom home and went on foot to Wal-Mart. Grendel asked his dad if he could eat a customer while his dad shopped. Dad thought and said, "If the manager is not watching and only one." He also warned Grendel to wash his hands after he ate because Mom doesn't like blood on her carpet.

Well, something came on the news at Grendel's home while they were out. The news reporters were speaking of a missing customer. They talked about some bones on the floor and they say it may be some evidence for us wise reporters and detectives.

Grendel's mom panicked. "My poor innocent Grendel is at that store!"

She drove like a speeder to the Wal-Mart parking lot. In her hurry, she forgot to dress up and she only had her underwear on. When she got out of the car, some customers just ignored her thinking that she was a crazy person.

She ran into the store and took a look at the evidence. She saw no claws, so she reasoned that Grendel just ate another customer. She went looking for Grendel and his dad. She eventually found Grendel's dad alone with a worried look on his face. She yelled, "What's going on?!"

"Grendel is on an Easter hunt," he said. "He is hoping to get a big chocolate bunny for dessert."

"Ok, let's get out of here, then," she said. They found Grendel eating the bunny without checking it out. They put the bunny back on the shelf half-eaten. Then they got a new one and checked out.

29 September 2011


Chess is a very popular game.  Chess was made in India and based off the ancient Indian army.  In the game, two players battle to take the other king.  When you capture the king, you win the game.  It is called checkmate.

The pieces in the ancient days are a lot different than they are in the modern days.  The ancient chess king is similar to the king piece today.  The visior now is the queen.  The cavalry is the knight (Horsey).  The Elephant became the bishop, and the chariot is the rook.  Chess is my favorite board game.  You should play it if you don't already.

Me and Elf in February
(This paper was written under duress.)

03 September 2011

Assorted Chess Photos

Our new Monroi.

Little sister is learning to play chess, too!  She knows the names of all the pieces.

We have to have a quick way to clean up the pieces at the end of our chess day.  Polish pottery to the rescue!

Emperor using his new MonRoi to analyze a previously played game on the board.

14 August 2011

The Kansas Open

Emperor recently competed in the Kansas Open in Overland Park, KS, for three days.  There were over 100 players, mostly adults.  Emperor is now working through "500 English Miniatures" by Bill Wall.  The "English" means that the white player always begins by moving his pawn to c4.  Yes, an entire book about one pawn move.  At some point, we will also work through an entire book about the Caro-Kann (white moves to e4, then black to c6), the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit (BDG) which begins 1. d4 d5 2. e4 dxe4 3. f3 and Ruy Lopez (e4 e5).  I'm hoping to get through the English Miniatures book this year and get midway through another; however, Emperor plays two games in the books on most weekdays and gets to decide which book and which games.  Emperor had a hard time in this last tournament and wants to sharpen his game.

21 July 2011

Our Nature Walk

Feel free to guess the flower name!  This is a little over six feet tall.

Tiny parking lot flowers

I don't know what this is but I'm not sure it is touchable.

Looks like a wild raspberry of some sort. 

Allegedly, Queen Anne's Lace only grows to about four feet in height.  This is almost five feet tall.

A black walnut tree.  Apparently Missouri is one of the world's biggest exporters of black walnut wood. 

These are called asters.  They look like daisies, but they're smaller and there are several flowers on one stalk.

I'm tempted to say that this is not a wild grape, but a "deadly nightshade" vine.

The Mighty Nile

Obviously the Pyramids weren't that close to the Nile, but we fit everything into the old/rusty cake pan as best as possible.  The "Nile" is made of aluminum foil and is flooded weekly (instead of annually).  Potting soil on the banks contain grass seed and Lego farmers.  The grass gets pretty bent up because the local giants enjoy petting it.