New Balance KJ 745 and KJ766NG

!New Balance? KJ 745 NB Grade School. Alex is pretty picky about the shoes that he wears. The New Balance’s fit well, so here they are. _As an aside, this is the first time that “froogle”:http://froogle.com has found something really valuable. So they are getting better.

They are also up on “pricegrabber”:http://www.pricegrabber.com/p__New_Balance_New_Balance_Kids_KJ_745_Youth,__9060688/search=745 although the stock is thin and it goes for $65 list.

“Zappos”:http://www.zappos.com/n/p/dp/6030885/c/3098/g/kids/s/Y_4096.html does seem to have them for $65

The 745 is a performance running shoe that offers the young athlete cushioning and stability.

* ABZORB? in Heel and Forefoot provides exceptional shock absorption.
* Medial Post offers higher-density compression molded EVA for pronation control.
* Solid Rubber Outsole makes for long-wear and durability.
* Synthetic/Mesh Upper is lightweight and breathable.

Also note that you should get this one size larger than your typical street shoe size. New Balance runs a bit small.

“Zappos”:http://www.zappos.com/n/p?dp=6030881 also has these. The offical model number by the way is KJ 745 Youth.

! These aren’t made anymore at least according to the office “New Balance”:http://newbalance.com site. The nearest equivalent looks like the “KJ766NG”:http://www.newbalance.com/productbrowser/product_details.html?g11n.enc=ISO-8859-1&feature=Running%2FTrail&gender=Kids&segment=&product=KJ766NG&product_type=shoe&sport=Kids which has the same look and features:

* Solid Rubber Outsole: Provides long-wearing durability
* Medial Post: Provides pronation control
* Abzorb in Heel and Forefoot: Provides maximum shock absorption * C-CAP Midsole: Provides lightweight cushioning and flexibility * Synthetic/Mesh Upper: Provides lightweight comfort and support

Nothing Fails

Jem Biography on Yahoo! Music. OK, who would have thought Jem is from Wales and when she ended up in London, one of her first collaborations led to one of our other favorites songs, Nothing Fails by Madonna. Who would have thought? Alex has great taste in Music.

bq. Two days into her first writing session with acclaimed electronic producer Guy Sigsworth (Bjork, Frou Frou), the song “Nothing Fails” was born. This collaboration between Guy, Jem and subsequently Madonna, appears as track 6 on Madonna’s 2003 album, American Life.

April 7 Deadline for Washington State Elementary Chess

2005 Washington State Elementary Chess Championships. Yikes, this web site is really hard to find, but you need to register by April 7 for the state chess tournament so go, go, go! !>http://www.chessenrichment.org/Images/image002.gif!

They only had a open registration window of a month (March 3 to April 7, so no surprise that you might miss it). Registration is thanks to Mitchell London at “kidmail”:https://www.kidmail.net/wa/prequal.asp

Just a Ride

_As the kids use the iPod, its interesting to see musical tastes evolve, here mine and Alex’s intersect perfectly with JEM’s Just a ride_

Jem Reviews on Yahoo! Music Finally Woken, Jem’s full-length debut, fleshes out the It All Starts Here EP with six additional tracks. It features the addicting title track, the one that blew away KCRW and Nic Harcourt and got her signed to ATO, and it really is quite brilliant. With a dizzy main loop and loping percussion that undulates slyly beneath Jem’s dusky vocal detachment, it sounds like what would happen if Beth Orton started bouncing ideas off of Super Furry Animals’ hard drive.

Great Books

Alex has just been reading up a storm. Here are some of his quick reviews of good books to read. He’s been tending towards fantasy and dragons and I have to say these are terrific if not already widely read, here are his most recently read with reviews:

* “Artemis Fowl”:http://www.artemisfowl.com/. Actually this should be called most listened to. We have two as CDs and the kids listen to it all the time. Like sour candy, the cool thing is that he’s a criminal master mind.
* Eragon, Book One of the Inheritance Trilogy, by Christopher Paolini. I actually loved this book even more than Alex. Amazing that it was written by a 17-year old. Kind of an updated lord of the rings.

 

Kid Games

Connie asked, where are all the educational games. Seems like there aren’t anymore to buy. So, off to look at PC Gamer to find some. Here are some others have ben playing based on their ESRB rating at “gamespot”:http://www.gamespot.com/reviews.html?type=byesrb&platform=pc&order=asc&time=oneyear as well as their top 100 “kids games”:http://www.gamespot.com/misc/top100_kids.html?tag=gs_lnav_topkids:

* “Simcity 4”:http://www.gamingexcellence.com/pc/games/132/review.shtml. This is the simulation that started it all in its latest form. It is all about building and maintaining a city. The kids love Zoo Tycoon, so here is the next step up.
* “The Sims 2”:http://www.gamingexcellence.com/pc/games/176/review.shtml. Just releases sequel, this is a smaller version of Sim City. You build your own little community and home. “Gamespot”:http://www.gamespot.com/pc/strategy/thesims2/ also liked it.

There are some games that aren’t educational, but at least they are _fun_:

* “Crusader Kings”:http://www.gamespot.com/pc/strategy/crusaderkings/review.html. Probably not politically correct, but it is basically Risk in medieval Europe. Got a decent 8.2 which is not bad for simulation/strategy games.
* “Firepower for Combat Flight Simulator 3”:http://www.gamespot.com/pc/sim/firepower/review.html. Ok, so this one is a little violent. Fun to play with the boys though 🙂 This is an expansion pack that makes the flight models much more real. Just what a Dad needs 🙂
* “Pirates!”:http://www.gamespot.com/pc/strategy/sidpirates/review.html. Live the life of a Pirate, a revival of a 1987 classic. Sounds like fun, even if not educational.
* “Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2005”:http://www.gamespot.com/pc/sports/tigerwoodspgatour2005/index.html. Great for our little guy who loves golf.

Minh Thai Solution

Solving the Rubik’s Cube

These instructions can be used to solve a 3x3x3 Rubik’s Cube and also a 2x2x2 Rubik’s mini cube starting from any combination of colors on a mixed up cube. They are from Minh Thai who held the record in late 1981 of 26 second.

The method is

# 1. Solve the top
# 2. and 3. Correctly position and orient the bottom four (remaining four) corners
# 4. and 5. Complete the bottom
# 6. and 7. Correctly position and orient the four remaining middle edge pieces.

Alex’s latest obsession is the Rubik’s Cube. Here are some hints for you, Alex:

Rubik’s Cube – how to solve the Cube or cheat. There are many sites around the Web that can give you detailed steps for solving Rubik’s cube, and many are very good. However, if you want a quick run down of the approach so you can still solve it yourself, our tips are included below. For more detailed solutions, use the meta search engine at the end of this page. By using the entered keywords, most of the sites in the top results offer excellent and diverse ways of solving the puzzle.

# Step 1: pick any of the sides and then get all the coloured squares on that face. Most beginners should have little problem with this step. Tip – in many combinations, one of the faces will have better positioned squares than the others. This is generally a good one to start with.
# Step 2: After the first face is complete, manipulate the top squares so that the first layer of colours matches the centre colour of the four adjacent sides. After completing the top layer for all 4 adjacent sides, you will have a cube that is starting to take shape. Counting the center square, each adjacent side will have at least 4 correctly positioned squares.
# Step 3: Solving the next layer is very quick and easy. Once you have learnt a few quick moves, you can flip all the edges into the right place.
# Step 4: Now you are down to the last layer. You will need the formulas for moving around the squares without disturbing the rest of the solved cube. In most Rubik’s Cube challenges, this layer takes longer than the rest of the cube. Many sites offer formulas for edge flips, corner twirls and other complex manoeuvres, so we are not going to repeat them here. BUT there is always one other option..

Here is a more advance tutorial from someone who won a championship named “Lars”:http://lar5.com/cube/:

The basic problem with the layer method is a big one, and it’s obvious once you realize it. When you have completed the first layer, you can do nothing without breaking it up. So you break it, do something useful, then restore it. Break it, do something, restore it. Again and again. In a good solution you do something useful all the time. The first layer is in the way of the solution, not a part of it!

* Step 1 – Build a 2x2x2 corner
* Step 2 – Expand to 2x2x3
* Step 3 – Twist the edges — 2, 4 or 6 bad edges
* Step 4 – Finish 2 layers — Step 4b tricks
* Step 5 – Position the corners — Complete Step 5+6 index
* Step 6 – Twist the corners — Complete Step 6+7 index
* Step 7 – Position the edges
* Practice – 13 example solutions

Alex’s latest obsession is the Rubik’s Cube. Here are some hints for you, Alex:

Rubik’s Cube – how to solve the Cube or cheat. There are many sites around the Web that can give you detailed steps for solving Rubik’s cube, and many are very good. However, if you want a quick run down of the approach so you can still solve it yourself, our tips are included below. For more detailed solutions, use the meta search engine at the end of this page. By using the entered keywords, most of the sites in the top results offer excellent and diverse ways of solving the puzzle.

# Step 1: pick any of the sides and then get all the coloured squares on that face. Most beginners should have little problem with this step. Tip – in many combinations, one of the faces will have better positioned squares than the others. This is generally a good one to start with.
# Step 2: After the first face is complete, manipulate the top squares so that the first layer of colours matches the centre colour of the four adjacent sides. After completing the top layer for all 4 adjacent sides, you will have a cube that is starting to take shape. Counting the center square, each adjacent side will have at least 4 correctly positioned squares.
# Step 3: Solving the next layer is very quick and easy. Once you have learnt a few quick moves, you can flip all the edges into the right place.
# Step 4: Now you are down to the last layer. You will need the formulas for moving around the squares without disturbing the rest of the solved cube. In most Rubik’s Cube challenges, this layer takes longer than the rest of the cube. Many sites offer formulas for edge flips, corner twirls and other complex manoeuvres, so we are not going to repeat them here. BUT there is always one other option..

Here is a more advance tutorial from someone who won a championship named “Lars”:http://lar5.com/cube/:

The basic problem with the layer method is a big one, and it’s obvious once you realize it. When you have completed the first layer, you can do nothing without breaking it up. So you break it, do something useful, then restore it. Break it, do something, restore it. Again and again. In a good solution you do something useful all the time. The first layer is in the way of the solution, not a part of it!

* Step 1 – Build a 2x2x2 corner
* Step 2 – Expand to 2x2x3
* Step 3 – Twist the edges — 2, 4 or 6 bad edges
* Step 4 – Finish 2 layers — Step 4b tricks
* Step 5 – Position the corners — Complete Step 5+6 index
* Step 6 – Twist the corners — Complete Step 6+7 index
* Step 7 – Position the edges
* Practice – 13 example solutions