Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Trick or Treating

the spooky decorationWe were out early for a little trick or treating tonight. We headed out at the same time as last year but due to the new daylight savings time we a little early. But that just meant that we got the best candy.

So off we went to get the candy. The kids had some original lines instead of trick or treat including "We're the Candy guys".
BigE and Monkey trick or treating

If you weren't fast enough to go to the door we were quick to check what you were up to
The kids going where are you?

By the time we got through a dozen houses the other kids had started to come out
Passing a princess on the way out

As we reached the 45 minute mark BigE was done. He started riding with BigC in the wagon.
BigEs done

Trick or Treating Halloween Costume

Here is BigE ready to go out trick or treating. Somebody really likes that baseball cap that came with the costume.

BigE with his halloween costume

Here he is unable to keep the yogurt tube down any longer. You can just see the last of the silly dad comment.

BigE with his halloween costume and a yogurt tube

The Final Halloween Costume

Well shortly before Halloween trick or treating time we finally got to put the whole costume together. We never did put the plastic shield over the opening. It was pretty clear that our little BigE wanted no part of it. So the helmet finished with a nice acrylic paint finish but no trim.

So without further ado here it is:

BigE with his full Astronaut costume

BigE was a little tired this morning so it wasn't looking very promising. He was sitting on his bed this morning when I came in. He didn't want to go trick or treating. I think he was worried about getting scared. So it took a bit to convince him that it wouldn't be scary out.

Even getting him into his costume for school was a bit tough. But once he got into it things improved. He even got a little Lunar Jim communicator watch that we picked up at Zellers one time.

BigE with his Lunar Jim wrist communicator

Somebody, who i forget, asked where we got it. Well the answer is

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Thanks to the Nannies

This week BigE received to pieces of mail which made him very happy. Nanny Barb sent some Halloween stickers, which as I learned in Super Spy's are for bad guys. While Nanny Dot sent to coupons for McDonald's. As I've said before those play lands are like kiddy crack.

Well be putting our new goodies to good use this week.

A Little Cleaning Time

Well here's another case of the boy who didn't like the loud noises taking to the vacuum. Yesterday he decided that when he'd looked at the couch that it was dirty and need to be cleaned. So after lunch today we brought out the vacuum, Dada was allowed to plug it in but not turn it on, and BigE set out to clean the couch.

Every couple of minutes the vacuum cuts in and BigE's digging through another corner of the couch.

BigE cleaning the couch

The only thing we need to work on is tiddying up. The enthusiasm seems to wane before everything makes it back on to the couch. But not bad for a three year old!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Pumpkin Carving

We were carving our pumpkins today. BigE's original pumpkin ended up rotting too much on the front step so he had to take a share of Mommas. It's a work in progress.

All we have to show is Dadda's pumpkin sticking out its tongue:

Pumpkin carving

Super Spy

There's nothing like a game of super spy on a Sunday afternoon. What's super spy you ask? Well it's a game where you run back and forth through the kitchen or family room and shout "Super Spy" at the other person.

That was until I was informed that I was the good guy and couldn't say "Super Spy". Not only that but good guys didn't get any stickers. I tried to explain him that the good guy is usually outfitted with the best gear but he wouldn't go for it. So I got to yell good guy.

Someone had the big grin during the whole game

BigE having fun playing super spy

A blurry pic from under the table
BigE under the table
He was giggling so much from under the table I tried to grab a pic. But as it turns out it was a little too close.

But the fun slowed when I dared to say "Hey Super Spy", of which he heard just "Super Spy", BigE then proceeds to tell me that he's the "Super Spy"

After settling down we continued on for another hour.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Quote of the Day 35

Our amazing discovery:

BigE and Dada were downstairs writing on some paper. We were working on our letters.

BigE "Is this your name"

Dada "Yup. Theres my first name [pointing] and there's my last name [pointing again]"

"Hey your name starts with a B too!"

Dada "Yeah, Bussey."

BigE "Hey my last name is Bussey too! We have the same last name!!"

Dada "Yes sweetie. That's how you get your last name"

BigE "Oh"

Friday, October 26, 2007

Swimming Pics

To add a note to I Don't Want to Swim Alone that we don't have any swimming pictures because your no longer allowed to take any pictures at a public pool. Sad what things have come to!

So we will use our summer retro pic from our New York trip
BigE jumping into the pool

"I Don't Want to Swim Alone"

BigE got to swimming class this week and decided that he didn't want to swim alone. There was no way Momma was going to get into the pool. He had two instructors all to himself and could do whatever he wanted. Absolutely no interest in getting in the pool!

See BigE is in, what they call, a low ratio swimming class. It's three kids to an instructor. High ratio is 5 or 6 to an instructor. Given that BigE was just starting to become brave in the pool we thought it would be wise to pay the extra to get him in the low ratio class. The work and cost to repair a bad start in the pool was too risky for the sake of a couple of low ratio classes.

Well the two other little girls didn't show this week. That's how BigE had a class all to himself. Not that he wanted any part of that. At least we didn't pay for ultra-low ratio.

But when the class is a little fuller somebody is becoming really confident in the water. Which in the end is the real objective.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Quote of the Day 34

BigE "Dada how old are you"

Dada "32"

BigE "I'm three. When I'm 32 I'll be as big as a house"

Dada "No sweety. You'll be big but not that big. You stop growing when you get older"


Dada "Actually I mean ... you stop growing up"

Why do People like those Asian cars?

Consumer Reports Pick a car for the long run

Oh yeah.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Astronaut Costume - The Helmet Edition

Well Momma's Astronaut Costume is coming along nicely. The helmet is getting close to done. Check out this paper mache miracle.

BigE trying on the paper mache helmet

Another Trip to Millers

Well we did another run to Millers Farm this time with BigE's friend N from the old daycare. This time around it was fun for the kids and a chance for us to pick up some carving pumpkins.

No visit is complete without the wagon ride out into the pumpkin patch

BigE with N on the wagon ride

We hooped off the ride early to go for a run through the corn maze. It was quite big. It probably wasn't the best idea to let the youngest kids pick the directions. But we got out. It did take a while.

After that we walked out into the pumpkin patch to find some pumpkins. We picked up one each to carve. I think that brings our total pumpkins to 6 or so. And I'm not counting the little ones either.

Then we hooped back on the tractor to ride to the main area. While we paid the kids ran through the piles of pumpkins and leaves.

BigE with N going BOO!

N sharing his apple with BigE

Of course after some leaf throwing BigE realized that he hadn't gone after the photographer:

BigE throwing leaves

Finally they're home and all tuckered out. Here they are on the couch watching a little Lunar Jim to wind down:

N, littleO, and BigE on the couch

Monday, October 22, 2007

OG's Birthday Party

Yesterday BigE had a birthday party for his neighbourhood friend OriginalG. OG had his party at one of those kiddie game palaces. Bumper cars, mini golf, arcade games, climbing wall and more. BigE was a little shy at first but started playing along.

He was having a pretty good time and thought the bumper cars were fantastic. He, however, didn't drive the first two times he was in them. He was having a blast just being the passenger and pointing to cars to hit. So Momma took a turn with him, with BigE driving. Things went pretty well. BigE had been clearly paying attention to technique of driving. However next time when it came time to drive on his own he was none too happy. He sat around too long waiting for the cars to start. By the time I look up he's in tears. No more bumper cars for him.

Off we went for another round of golf. With a putting style best described as Happy Gilmore. We even had one incident where a slap shot, I mean tee off, went up a hill, gained flight a flew through a gaggle of kids. Eventually the ball ricocheted into a chair. Fortunately nobody was hurt.

Jakie's Birthday

Friday night was big cousin Jakie's birthday. BigE was over having fun playing with Eric waiting for the birthday boy. Then when Jakie finally got home he had to take a shower after a muddy soccer game.

Somewhere at this point BigE realized "Hey this is Jakie's birthday" and proceeded upstairs to pound on the bathroom door demanding to give him the birthday card. After some pizza and party cake there was little confetti poppers from the dollar store. Turn the base and little bit of confetti pops out. They were a huge hit.

All in all great fun except for two things
(A) No Party hats! Can you believe it. BigE was upset
(B) Eric was a big meany for throwing BigE. One time BigE bumped his head on the couch and I think that spoiled Eric for the night. He was telling me at bedtime how Eric as a meany.

I mentioned Fickle at some point didn't I?

Friday, October 19, 2007

The Astronaut Costume

Updated with a new post (Oct 2008) Astronaut Helmet to add some answers to questions that people had emailed.

The space helmetThe Astronaut costume is coming along. Momma has made the run to pick up the Astronaut suit from Amazon. Now she's put together a space helmet from paper mache. It's been papered, sanded, and painted a little.

Looking pretty good eh?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

A Trip to Miller's Farm

BigE's school took a field trip to a local pumpkin patch this week. Momma was all to eager to volunteer for the trip. Here's BigE with his classmate who was his bus buddy
BigE at Millers farm

BigE with his regular pal Monkey
BigE with Monkey at Millers farm

BigE out in the pumpkin patch with his teacher. Here they get to ride out on a trailer and pick their own pumpkin. Plus I think there is a lollipop at the end of the ride.

BigE out in the pumpkin patch with his teacher

All the kids back on the mat listening to a store and eating their apple. Can you find BigE?
Wheres BigE?
Hint he has the brightest jacket on.

Chip off the Old Block

You turn your back for 10 seconds to go the the fridge. When you look back somebody is devouring the cookie dough. He's like a little mini-me.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Finally one course done

Dada has finally finished one course in the MBA program. A paper went in Tuesday afternoon to finish the requirement. Now here's hoping that I finished the course rather then the course finishing me.

Quote of the Day 33

Momma sits on the floor next to BigE to play a game and says she's cold. BigE turns to me and says

"Daddy can you please pass me the blanket for Momma ... she's cold"

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Mommas Helmet

In one of BigE's pre bed energy spurts he took off running around the upstairs wearing Momma's new hockey helmet. Yes that does say something about somebody's head size.

BigE wearing Mommas hockey helmet

Saturday Morning

After Jakie babysat during my friday night exam I came downstairs on Saturday to find them on the couch watching cartoons.

BigE and Jakie on the couch

It's amazing how self-service breakfast can become with a box of yogurt covered granola bars.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Online Backups - Please Backup your Data!

Mozy is a an Online Backup service. Its quite easy to use. It has free, home, and pro versions. The free version is capped at 2Gig (i.e. 2G Nano, or about 3 CDs, or half a DVD). You don't need a credit card to sign up. Just an email address.

It is really easy to use, pretty much self configures, and except for a few minutes for that first backup is pretty quick.

2 Gig should be enough to back up any documents, QuickTax files or such. But you can forget that music or video collection. For that you'd have to upgrade to the home or pro version. But for free and easy it's hard to beat.

Any kind of high speed should be fine to backup. The lite versions might need to run overnight that first time. After that limit how much you back up to make it faster. Dial up ... forget it. Floppies are faster.

When you sign up click here on my Mozy Referral link before signing up and I'll get a little extra storage for free.

I've been using for a couple of weeks now it's working pretty good. I've done some test restores and it looks good. There are some pretty good tutorials on their website but I'll post a few screen captures in a few days to highlight a few parts.

Been Busy

It's basically mid-term season for Dads so I've been busy. Things have been coming up around the house but I haven't had time to update the blog. Don't worry they're being collected. They're coming to the blog soon. My last item for a couple of weeks is due Tuesday evening.

Related, Friday night I'm in an open book exam. Wasn't too bad for one of those.

Couple of funny things:

  • Even after asking the lab guy where to sit on the marker less seating plan I was still in the wrong spot and had to change just as the exam started.

  • In the end I don't think were you sat made any difference even though it seemed to be a big deal.

  • Here I thought open book just meant the book and notes. One guy had showed up with the jumbo bag of twizzlers

  • The guy sitting behind me had the teaching assistant nervous. 90 minutes in to the exam this guy hadn't sent any charts to the printer. They were the first two questions. "Did you print any charts yet?", "Nope", "Do you have your printer configured?", "Yup", "You know to use the Exam printer?", "Yup". Guy didn't seem too concerned

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The New Toy

The new toolSomebody has found Dada's little mini bit set. It was some little kit I picked up at Canadian Tire. One of those 70% off for $1 or something. I needed a few bits and it was pre bulk buying of bits. Well once it was found we were off to fix everything in the house.

The best part seems to be the little belt clip. BigE's been all over the house wearing his tool. We even walked to school today with it. Although I managed to convince him to put it in his backpack for school.

BigE showing off his new toolBigE with his new tool

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Quote of the Day 31

Woops forgot to post this one last week. A two for one QotD:


BigE comes over to me and says:

I have a little sore throat.

These smarties help my throat feel better

I wonder what child development stage justification occurs in?

Quote of the Day 32

BigE heads to the bathroom to get rid of his pull-up when comes out to tell me

"Momma always leaves her jammies on the bathroom floor"

He then heads back into the bathroom, takes the jammies, and dumps them in the laundry basket.

Be careful of what you have created Momma!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

A Happy Thanksgiving goes to all of our readers.

I'd like to take a moment to say thanks for something beyond my health, family and happiness. All of which I'm undoubtedly blessed with.

I'm thankful that we have soldiers that are willing to go do this

To make lives better for others even in a remote country. [via]

Playing Fire Truck

BigE with his firefighter gear onThis weekend was marked by excessive Fire Truck games rather then turkey and alcohol. BigE was big into the fire truck and firefighting all weekend. First we turned a couple of chairs in a row to make the fire trucks. Then we'd drive around a little bit before getting out and looking for fire. BigE would use his back pack water gun to put out the fire. Or suck up the smoke.

We were running around the house finding fires to put out. They were everywhere. Hopefully the insurance company doesn't find out about them. If they do they're going to really raise my rates.

I think I was eventually able to convince him that the smoke was due to the fire and that if we put out the firer then the smoke would stop.

BigE's firefighter gear from the back

Now If He'd Only do his Own Laundry

BigE was rooting around on the couch when he noticed a mess under the couch cushions. "Did I make that?", "No, not without help". Then he popped up "I'd like to clean it up"

Off we went to find the vacuum. I thought there was no way that he was going to hang around while we vacuumed. BigE, as it's well known, does not like the loud sounds. Well here we are:

I was amazed as it didn't bother him for the 20 minutes he was cleaning the couch. It did give Dada enough time to finish some assignments for school. I'd call that a double bonus.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

A Lesson in Gardening

Rule 6: Remember to remove the string that you tied onto the tree to keep it stable when it was a sappling. Don't leave it there for an extra 4 years!

The string on the apple tree

You can see in the middle how the trunk has been stunted by the string. The trunk by the ground it over twice as big. I had wondered why the apple tree had developed so many branches so low.

You can just make out BigE's hand as he helped me cut the string out. Don't worry those are his safety play dough scissors.

The Runaway Pumpkin

I previously showed a picture of our accidental Pumpkin Patch. Well in hauling up the plants that had no pumpkins I found one vine that had gone through the fence.
Our runaway pumpkinAs I tried to pull it through I realized we had another pumpkin. This one had been growing just on the neighbours side of the fence. Here I had thought that we had all those plants an only one pumpkin.

Of course by now I had chopped the vine out of the ground so the pumpkin was done growing. I brought it in to show off. It sat around for a day until it fell off the table and broke into a dozen pieces.

Now I know why it was trying to sneak out of our yard! It had feared for its safety.

Ahoy Matey's

Momma apparently thought this was a funny picture.

BigE and Dada in the pirate ship

BigE and I were playing pirates in the back yard last night. Boy those kiddy door openings leave something to be desired.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Lunchtime Antics

I witnessed an interesting sight today getting gas during the lunch hour. A guy driving a scooter and going straight was cut off by a car turning left. While most of the cars were waiting to turn left the scooter wasn't.

So the scooter guy got pissed. Blew his horn and was shouting at the car. While it was dangerous for the scooter driver I have to admit it was funny looking.

And my morale of the story it's hard looking tough on a scooter.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Why Dada is against Mixed Member Proportional Representation

From Wikipedia a definition of Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) representation and the official YourBigDecision website.

Giving myself 15 minutes to come up with an argument here it is:

Fundamentally I don't approve of members of Provincial Parliament not being directly accountable to local constituents. We elect a representative for our region. Regardless of the political party they are still our Representative.

The 39 list MPPs will only be beholden to their political parties rather then citizens. After all they only became MPPs because the party leader put their name on a list he/she controls. There is no indication that the list will consist of people that would be used to form cabinet. E.g. experts from fields (health, industry, or education) to run those portfolios.

To touch on the that last point more. I think there two items that bother people. One is that they same party (parties) keep getting voted in with majorities that consisted of less than 50% of the popular vote. Especially given recent credibility issues with certain leaders. This gets back to a point I often make "people have to hold their elected officials accountable". Not only in words but in actions.

This system does not address this issue. It will guarantee virtually endless coalition governments relying on a every changing group of smaller parties to bring that majority of seats.

If a party/candidate best represents your view, values, morales or whatever then people need, really should, vote for that party/candidate. Based on their actions you have to ask yourself do they still represent your views, values or morales?

To put it in a concrete example for people. If the environment is really that important to you (as 61% of you say) then why don't you vote Green? or NDP. Or whomever.

Two, if a party keeps running sub par candidates (I.e. useless party hack) then you have to be willing to stand up and say no. Again you have to judge what that party is doing and the candidate they put forth. Is that the best person to represent you? I guarantee you that any riding that stands up and collectively says no to a bad candidate will send a very loud and clear message to the party headquarters. "We are not your dumping ground" or "This district isn't that safe!".

Finally, an issue about MMP that I don't like is the lack of responsibility that MMP implies. Elections are about making decisions. I believe democracy works best when people are voting on their beliefs. Not to block another party/candidate from winning. Not to make sure your riding has a member of the governing party. Not to be on the winning side. MMP allows voters to side step making that tough decision. If it was easy it would be obvious. If it was obvious then everyone would agree. And then there'd be little need for the election.

In this system voters get to give a vote to a local candidate/party while having another party vote, that can be used with little personal cost or risk. That party vote can be given to any party "might do some good", their "good at heart", or the local candidate "really match my views, values, or morales but I don't want to throw my vote away on the local race". If you can't commit yourself to voting for that party in your riding then why the heck should you get to vote to have them represent everyone else.

If your party/candidate can only get 4%, 10%, or 30% of the vote, or whatever, then you need to get out and convince people why they should consider your party/candidate.

I'm not saying our First Past the Post system couldn't be better. But I don't think this proposal is an improvement. And that is why I'm against MMP.

For your own reference:
YourBigDecision the official MMP website
Other Proportional Representative policies

Quote of the Day 30

BigE "Do I have to go to daycare today?"

Dada "Yup"

BigE "Am I going to school?"

Dada "Yup"

BigE "First school THEN daycare right? I want to go to school first"

Can't complain when he's having fun!

IPOD Death Clock

An interesting little site IPOD Death Clock that will tell you based on your serial number, usage, and damage how long your IPOD has to last.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Buying Bits in Bulk

Now I'm not saying that we lose a lot of drill / screw driver bits around this house. But here is the replacement pack I picked up yesterday. Tired of the one of each size kits for $2 I decided to pick up this:

My new box of drill bits

I think it's for a job site. Which means it might last till Christmas in our house.

In My Day We Walked Uphill Both Ways

Well OK maybe it was only one way. And I remmeber one glorious year when Dada's little sister started and I got rides all the time.

Well BigE has a preferred method of transportation to school

BigE's ride to school

Thankfully school is only 400 metres away.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Quote of the Day 29

BigE "We have a word in the bathroom" (later I figure out in the bathroom at school)

Dada "Yeah? What is it"

BigE "Soap"




"Keep the germs away"