You’re NEVER too old for Legos!

So I’m in Sacramento for a business meeting and I drop by the local mall to take an air-conditioned walk and what do I see but the Lego Store. A few days before I’d gotten an email about their Speed Champions set. Marked for ages 8 to 14, I figure at 72 I’d have it made. So back to the Hilton and I begin to build the Porsche 917 K.

A few days and 732 pieces later, it all comes together. I dare you to find the photos of the real cars? Love the detail right down to the wrenches on the wall and in the drawers, the video monitors, the hydraulic lift that goes up and down, fuel line, and air guns for tire changes, and all the itsy-bitsy decals (a little difficult for arthritic fingers!). And I watched this Sunday’s Indy race at Long Beach while I was putting it together. So I’m a happy camper, except that Helio Castroneves didn’t win and Simon Pagenaud got away with murder. Someone asked my if I’m going to share my new creation with my grandchildren…no way! However, my six-year-old granddaughter has already managed to break Mimi’s rule. Okay…I’ll share.

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Grandson 15 wins coveted WWDC scholarship

WWDCYes…Grandma Karen screeched with delight when she heard the news. Grandson Ryan, age 15 and a freshman at Jesuit High School in Portland, Oregon, had been chosen along with 349 other students of all ages (thirteen and older) around the world to receive a scholarship to Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference to be held in San Francisco June 8 – 12.

His winning entry involved making an app about his three currently available apps:

step it StepIt, an innovative way to say anything in 3 simple steps and share it with your friends.

“…A really beautiful way to share messages with friends and family…” -AppPicker
“Great for quick notes…beautiful design.” -Appgevity

Space Bandit, a delightful game for children of any age. Follow Ripley the raccoon on an amazingly-fun journey across time and space! Choose your rocket-ship and get ready to blast off into space. With 20 levels and counting, this pizza-filled adventure is a blast.

BuzzIt to build crazy-fast reminders on your Apple Watch. BuzzIt taps your wrist, allowing for fast reminders, even on the go.

P1000092But Ryan’s entry into the world of computers, programming, and app development started much earlier. For Christmas of 2008, when he was eight years old, I gave him Lego’s programmable robot Mindstorms.

P1000099Within a few hours, on his own up in his room, he had assembled and programmed his new creation and then made a video of it.


But that wasn’t the end of it. What better to do with a robot than to get it to do your chores. In the ensuing years he taught it to fold laundry…

…and even type his homework. 

149Lest you think he is only one of those young genius computer nerds, his stellar grades in all subjects, his knack for writing (coming from an early love of reading), his participation in cross country and track, and even his love for his Faith class belie that. I’d like to think I started him on his way, but it is his entire family (younger brother, Sam, excelling on his own and about to achieve his Red Belt in martial arts, Dad at Intel and a volunteer firefighter, Mom a science teacher, his other grandparents, and the rest of his extended family) that have been the village to nurture this young man from his precarious entry into this world in a NICU for a week until today and into what will be a bright future.