Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Penultimate Play Structure Post

I can't quite get to the last posting for the play structure. I have only a handful of small things left to do. Sunday afternoon I added the last of the roofing and the rope ladder. All that remains is a board to make a bench, a plastic wheel, a plastic spyglass, and the safety spikes. That's a longer list to write then to do.

Since all the key play points are on the structure I haven't bothered to do the final bit. Plus my activities have been directed towards getting the vegetable garden ready. I need to fence it in because we have ravenous rabbits in the neighbourhood.

I think we've managed to sell another structure to our neighbours friends. Once the kids see it they want it. Regardless if they'll use it or a park next door. Now their dada keeps asking how long its taken me. A running joke on the "some assembly required" phrase. I think total time will be between 10 to 12 hours.

Joke of the Day

BigE is starting to get the concept of a knock knock joke. I think it's more of a case of remembering it rather then delivering the joke. Yesterday I got this one.

BigE "Knock Knock"

Dada "Who's there?"

BigE "Orange"

Dada "Orange Who?"

BigE "Knock Knock"

Dada "Who's there?"

BigE "Orange"

Dada "Orange Who?"

BigE "Knock Knock"

Dada "Who's there?"

BigE "Orange"

Dada "Orange Who?"

BigE "Aren't you glad I didn't say banana!"

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Look Ma No Training Wheels

A monumentous moment happened on Sunday. BigE decided he was willing to try his bike without his training wheels. He friend two doors down had started riding without training wheels. BigE seemed to be concerned that the training wheels were slowing him down. We promised him that if he tried it we could put the training wheels back on.

So far we've done several short trips with Dada attached to the back. Each bike ride is probably longer then 100 meters. He's got the basic hang of it. It's that having to balance the whole time thing that is giving him trouble. In fact his ride back tends to be his best.

He was very happy when we decided to get a kick stand yesterday afternoon. We were our own little Canadian Tire commercial walking in to pick out a kick stand. Which turned out to be huge on his little bike.

Play Structure V & VI

Parts 5 & 6? Yeah I was too tired the other day to post. After adding the walls, safety handles and the slide that was pretty much it. Plus did I mention as I finished up the batteries on both drills and even the camera all died within 5 minutes of each other. That's when I said "I give up!"

So here is part 5:
Play structure part 5

So last night I went out try and get the swings up. A funny thing about the assembly instructions is that they have you do all of the infrastructure before doing anything kids would find fun. Poor BigE, everytime we finished a step he couldn't see anything new for him to play with. So I've abandoned three steps that finish up the roof and fascia. Because I don't think anyone cares.

On to the point. In a hour and a half push in the twilight hours I was able to get the swings up. They were Dada tested last night in the dark.

So here is the progress to step 6.

Play structure part 6

Oh and one more thing. Noticed the board that the swing set attaches to the main structure? I had that on upside down. So I had to start the whole exercise by removing all of the screws and bolts to flip it over. Thankfully that didn't take long.

Part IV

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Play Structure Part IV

An quick Sunday morning update. After we left off last night on Part III I was just about to attach the ladder.

So I just completed about another two hours this morning. I got the ladder properly attached. There are fascia boards (those that look like railings for the play structure) attached. And most noticeable of all is the roof.

The Play structure with the roof on

Take a close look and you can just make out the chimney on the back side of the roof.

Also some people may recognize the back half of our wagon. It's been used by BigE to haul wood from the garage to the backyard.

Part V & VI

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Play Structure III

Update: Part IV

Well we had some fantastic weather today so we have progress to report since Play Structure II. Of course like all good schedules we're not one the original one. Turns out there was a few distractions during the day.

Dave from the WB Family was over for a couple of hours so we were able to get a bunch boards installed. After setting up the structure in the backyard in the early morning next came the picnic table.
Dave working on the play structure

After the picnic table came the decking for the main play house floor.

play structure with floor

And here is the final progress by the late afternoon when I had to stop. Now we have the ladder ready to go plus the boards on the store front/ sandbox.
play structure with ladder

Part IV

Friday, April 18, 2008

A Comment!

[At least one not from the WBFamily]. I would like that thank, celebrate, and cheer on that we had a comment. We're so desperate for comments I almost even allow the spam through!

I'm not sure why we don't get more. They're so easy I even have a short video on how to leave a comment. Then again a significant portion of our readership responded to the invention of the CD by saying "Is that like the cassette tape I keep hearing about?" and "Five years ago I paid 800 dollars at sears to by that 8-track player and I'm not about to buy another one?"

I am expecting a flood of comments by 2020.

Play Structure Part II

Part III of the play structure saga.

Well after Holy Play Structures Batman I wanted to get a little work done tonight to offset the work on Saturday. The instructional video did promise between 12 and 16 hours of work. Plus my crappy drill will probably need two charges to get through the day.

I thought I've seen that there is a lot of drilling of pilot holes to get the structure upright. That would be a good task for tonight and give the battery lots of time to recharge for the morning.

So here is my progress ... up to step 3.
Play structure at step 3
Now did I mention that there are 23 steps?

There is another tall section still in the background on the grass. I think it's about time this big boy moved to the backyard. I think that will be a disappointment to the neighbours. I was starting to become the local freak show. "Hey let's go see how PB's doing"

Ok tangent time. I said that I was a little disappointed that I wouldn't have the largest wood structure in my drive way. Mama staired at me in confusion. I mentioned that 20 to 25 foot Trebuchet that was built down the street a couple of years ago. [They looked high school ish age, or at least we kept telling our selves that it was a school project to feel better]. Mama still looked confused. I said "How could you miss it? It was outside for months? It had to be over 20 feet tall?!?!" Then I realized that must have been about time I was the only one walking the dogs. End tangent.

Part III

Holy Play Structures Batman

Well between the influx of cash due to our bottle drive, tax return, and consumption savings due to that 2% reduction on the GST we were facing a tough choice. Deck or Play Structure. Somebody must have let the BigE on the choice because out of the blue he started talking all the time about a play structure.

After some deliberation we picked up this Monster from Costco

It's the Sunray Premium Playground. (Children not included). It did, fortunately, include an instruction manual and DVD! So I started last night. Here's phase 1.

There were 6 pieces. 5 boxes and one slide. Most of those boxes are 8 feet long. In effect I bought 4 boxes of wood. What a suburban noob.
Boxes from play structure

As a nice bonus there was another parts list and life sized bolt and nut layout inside the first box (of wood).
Plans for play structure

Funny tangent. I was doing the assembly with a bunch of lag bolts. I needed 12 of them. The 12 washers, nuts and everything else I needed were in bag A of the parts. BUT only 10 of the actual lag bolt. Mother @#$%#%! 15 minutes later I realized that the last two bolts were in the other bag, 'M', required for this step. Even more confusing was that there were three bolts in that bag. I only needed two? Go figure. End tangent.

So an hour later here are the two outer 4x4's that will be the frame for the fort portion of the play structure. I'm hoping to get the frame outside and upright tonight. This is the part that requires extra hands. After that I should be good to go.
Play structure outer frame assembled

PS I'm trying to console Mama on the lack of a deck. I think two or three pallets would make a good substitute! I wonder what she will think?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

It Was 23'c Here

What was the temperature where you are? I'm guessing for half of my readership it sucked!

Poor BigE was still trying to wear his coat for a while. After 15 minutes of running around I finally convinced him he could take it off. Poor kid was pink.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Happy Birthday Mama

It's something something rd/st/th birthday for Mama. We had some Chinese for supper. Last night BigE and I made some cake. BigE decided that it should be pink. (Maybe because Mama is a girl.)

Despite being full 30 minutes earlier at supper someone was hungry for two pieces of cake later.

I sadly missed the first bite where BigE picked up the entire piece of cake in one go. Despite this he figured he might as well take a bite seeings how he'd gone to the trouble of using his fork.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Sunday Night Miscellaneous

Couple of things ...

Now that the snow is melting I know where all of my missing Purolator Courier delivery notices ended up. Three ended up my snow banks. What is really odd is how 2 got from the front door all the way to the other side of the driveway.

The Ice Rink that never was (did I mention the near record snow fall? Anyone want to shovel two driveways?) had a work light for evening hockey time. It was buried in one of the thirty or forty centimeter dumps we had. At some point as the snow melted Arnie or I walked on it and turned it ON! The other night I looked out the back door to see what Arnie was doing and there was a glowing circle of snow. I don't think it ended up being on very long. But it did melt the tarp that was over the top of it.

On top of all that the Bruins just scored to end the game beating Montreal 2-1.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

First One On The ... Is A Rotten Egg!

BigE has a new favorite expression. I don't think he's really thought it through. But he's quite happy to use it. Tonight it was "First one in the bathroom is a rotten egg", or "First one on the bed is a rotten egg".

I kept trying to tell him that it was last one. Last one on the bed is a rotten egg. No luck. Oh well. Now at least if I let him win he's a rotten egg.

Friday, April 11, 2008

What does Arnie Do All Day?

Here are a couple of pics that I had forgotten about.

Now there is a saying about not feeding wild animals. Turns out my neighbour had been throwing doggie treats to Arnie. Dawn is a very nice woman, who likes dogs and Arnie. So during one weekend when some of her family was over they went to the back door to look at Arnie. Of course due to the snow Arnie could pretty much see them. So they decided to throw him some dog treats. Which Arnie was very grateful for. But then you now what happens:

Arnie begging from the neighbour
Anrie can' go outside without checking to see if Dawn is home. This picture was taken weeks after the original treat throwing event. WEEKS! It's not likely to stop.

Now onto the second picture.

Want to know what a dog will do stuck in a yard covered in snow? Why steal from the composter of course. Those are hot dog buns in his mouth.
Arnie stealing from the composter
An easy supply of food that you have no trouble reaching into since the lid never stays on right and the snow is up to the lid. Interestingly he backed up around the corner as I came out the back door. Just like I was playing a film in reverse. "Nothing to see here"

Thursday, April 10, 2008 is One

On April 13, 2008 we'll mark the one year anniversary of What can we say. We've added some real quality to the internet. Well maybe more quantity than anything.

Useless factoids:

We've had

  • 1158 visitors
  • about 3,500 page views
  • average time on site 49 seconds
  • about 9 comments all made by

Besided the main page the most popular pages were
  • Canadian Tire $10 off $40 pages
  • July 2007 archive
  • What will make my poop soft

These were all found by google searches. So they must have hit something people were looking for.

We're third on the Google search for bussey family

In my prep, I found there is a city called Bussey in Iowa.

Dada's Done Semester Two

I finished off the second semester tonight. We handed in a copy of the final paper due for one course. Truth be told we handed in two by accident. Maybe we can add the marks up to improve that dog. I wonder if anyone will notice.

Afterwards I wrote an exam to finish an economics course. That went ok. Had to shovel through some junk to fix a question about a Finnish recession. At first I could come up with was to dump Nokia stock. I didn't think that fit into the principles of macro economics.

Quote of the Day 47

A two for one:

BigE "Is it okay if I clean up before we go inside?"

Dada "Yeah ... sure"


BigE "Do you know what the largest number is?"

Dada "What?"

BigE "One Zero Zero. 100."

Dada "What about one thousand?" (A concept BigE seemed to pick up last week)

BigE "No one hundred is bigger."

[I think there is something to note in the general case here. To the average person a real large number is the largest number that you can understand. It doesn't matter how many zeros you add or talk of infinity the largest number is the largest number that you can mentally picture.]

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Mama has a Good Day at Work

After all of last weeks shennanigans Mama was back to work today. Everything went well. It was all paper pushing so there is was no physical labour required. But a full day of being up, at a desk, and no naps or rest were changes from the last few days.

Tomorrow will be another test. How do things feel the day after? After having BigE all day? As I'm out all day tomorrow since my final exam is after work.

Another UltraSound Pic

Last week we had managed to get about 8 pictures from our two ultra sounds. Sadly upon further review they suck. There are two that are passable and they are pretty much the same shot. So here it is with Paul's "I don't actually look at many ultra sound pictures so what the hell is that?" decoder ring.

What is a little obscured in that picture is how the baby keeps its arm up against its forehead most of the time. I think the three ultrasounds I have seen all have at least one arm up against its head.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

BigE's Walkathon

To Donate go to

Here's the sample email they offer up

Dear Grandma, Grandpa, Aunt, Uncle, Cousin, Coach, Friend,

On Thursday April 17th, my classmates and I will be participating in a walkathon to raise money for my school!

All money raised will go towards making my school even better. We will be using the money to buy new books for our library, buy supplies for our classrooms, bring in performers for our cultural assemblies, support our sports teams and help fund class field trips. Can you please help by sponsoring me?

To make a donation, you can do one of the following:

* Send a cheque to me by April 10th, payable to "STEVE MACLEAN PUBLIC SCHOOL";
* Visit our school council website at to donate online with your credit card. If you select this option, please let me know so that I can keep track of my pledges.

Tax receipts will be issued for donations of $10 or more. Please indicate if you require a tax receipt and be sure to include your full mailing address with postal code.

Thank you!

Monday, April 7, 2008

More UltraSound Pics to Come

Well the title pretty much says it all. The upside of the hospital visit was an extra round of ultra sound pics.

Update: Finally added here

Mama is Doing Well

Momma has been doing ok for the last two days. Yesterday she managed to go to church and over to a friends for super. There's not much moving but our bar for activity is so low right now that counts.

This morning she headed into BigE's school to read some books to the kids. That was "moderate" activity and everything seems to be fine. So far so good.

A big test will be Wednesday when she heads back to work.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Send Letters or Postcards

Some little boy would really like to get some letters in the mail. So if your reading this please send BigE a letter or postcard. He would really enjoy getting one.