Thursday, April 08, 2010

Three Days In Vegas

It would be impossible, for me anyway, to spend three days in Las Vegas and not take seven hundred photographs. Don't worry only seventy are in focus, and for now, I am sharing less than thirty. My last post, from the pit, emphasized my most favoritist part of FRC Las Vegas, but there were some other good moments throughout...

Day Uno
Thank goodness for the sweet team members that not only smile at Maria, but happily include her in the team spirit and revelry. Of course it helps that she packs awesome toys. The first day in Vegas is the slowest, and very long, and it helps to have a good friend to pass the time with. Right, Suki and Maria?

Then there is always tic-tac-toe. Already been here eight hours... only four hours left!

So, in the pit they have a job to do, but in the stands, it's about team building, alliances, and Spirit! And how many buttons you can hang from your T-shirt before it stretches into a tunic. Tom, how much does your shirt weigh?

Maria loves having her picture taken with team mascots, like 585's Cyber Penguin.

Everybody, meet John. John is an FRC safety dude, keeping limbs and lives sound. Here he is helping adjust Maria's safety goggles. Thank you John. After a twelve hour day, we needed all the help we could get.

Day Segundo

Hey, Soul Sisters.
Isn't it great when the right song starts playing and you gotta stand up and sing along? Love it.

Isn't it great when the Midnight Mechanics are in the house?
Okay. I love this team. They are a sentimental favorite, and not just because they live Spirit and Gracious Professionalism. It goes way back to Geoff's first job, and Mr Preuss.

Don't you panic Maria, you're with the Midnight Mechanics.

Now. this. is. super cool. CJ, dude. You have sweet mascot skills.
Fortunately, no Aliens, showed up, but if trouble arose 2102 was prepared. Gotta love the ingenuity of a member, when he builds something for his team.

This was one of the nicest and most reassuring sights, all three days of FRC. Looking up in the stands and seeing the fans that came all the way from Oregon to support robotics and their grandchildren. They are always supportive.

It's the Paradox and the Mini-Paradox sidekick.

I thought they would scare her, but no. No, she tracked them down. She gave them chocolate Paradox eggs, then she asked for her picture to be taken. No Redstorm is going to frighten this Paradox.

Moving along... here is a fine feathered fellow from Team 4.
Team numbers are the FIRST identity of each team, and it shows the order in which the teams were founded. This makes Team 4 an original, early team.

Now, the Devil Duckies, of Team San Diego, are 1266, a relatively newer team.
It's nice when you are watching matches and getting to know the teams to understand these things, and get some perspective on all of it.

Our good friends and allies, The Midnight Mechanics, are the oldest team in our area, and they are the founders of Team San Diego. "This coalition works together in an effort to bring FIRST ideals to Southern California (and, eventually, across the border) as well."
Very nice. They have inspiring outreach skills.

2102 Team Paradox and 812 Midnight Mechanics attract a lot of positive attention with their spirited and gracious attitudes.

And positive attention from Mark Leon is something an aspiring engineer never forgets.

With these two leaders in the stands, it's no wonder the team brought home an award for Team Spirit.

Hey, lil homegirl...
Sorry. Esa, thinks she hails from East Los Homes.
Orale, Chica, ponte en paz. You gotta save some attitude for mañana.

Then there's these two... gotta keep an eye on these silly guys.

Day Tercero

By the third day things start to slow really pick up. Hey, they don't get the Spirit Award for napping and moping.

Building alliances and showing our team spirit matters throughout the three day event. Maria continued to support her favorite team, by passing out eggs, greeting mascots and players, and regularly singing the praises of Paradox. A robot can do well on the field, but a Team's overall success also depends on the attitudes and actions of all of its players, throughout the event.

Another awesome fan from Oregon. Ron knows, and supports, a good game when he sees one. I think he enjoyed following the matches, analyzing the teams, and getting visits and hugs from his granddaughter.

It's great that so many team families get involved.

It's great that team spirit spreads throughout the arena.
Who would want to be left out of the fun?
Outreach is a major component of 2102, so is dancing!
So, a Paradox would never turn their back on a Phoenix.

Outreach is about building community relations, promoting FIRST and FLL, inspiring new members, and including all members. Good outreach does a team good.

Good outreach does a team good, 'cause who would want to be left out of the fun?

And when a team looks out for one another, everyone does better.
Success! Kyle and Maria know.

Andrea, you gave me such an honor, when you handed this to me... a chance to hold a symbol of the weekend's success. I think you can guess, it made Maria pretty happy too. Thank you for being a constant and true inspiration. As a leader, and as a member, of the club you personify the ideals of your team.


judy in ky said...

So many smiles! I especially love the pic of you, Maria and Ron. It's just a great experience all around, and I love having a chance to see it. Thank you for sharing.

mtnchild said...

Just marvelous team, spirit, interacting, making friends, seeing old friends. I love this whole thing and I think Alex has a wonderful career in front of him.

Your pictures tells all.


Tarie said...

I love your energy, Natalie! And Maria looks like she had lots of fun!

Did I ever tell you that I was brought up in Las Vegas? :o)