Last week, Roan asked if we could build a tree fort. I reminded him we don’t have any trees in our yard, and he said, “I know, I just didn’t know what else to call it.”. I figured that’s what he meant, but I wanted to make sure. It would suck to build him a fort and then have him ask, “Where’s the tree part?”. So I said if his mother allowed it, and if he waited until I finished Gage’s room, I would try and build something.
He wasted no time after hearing that and started drafting up plans for what it should look like. The design is pretty awesome, but as per usual the best part is the spelling. If you can’t make it out, the sign above the door says “Nuclear Fisility Fortris of Sience”, and I love it. He presented his conceptual sketch to me and I asked a few questions about dimensions and things, and asked if I could make a spot for Dempsey under it. He agreed, so I started messing around with Sketchup.
I started with a concrete pad, some 6″ x 6″ posts, and some 2″ x 8″ deck boards on 2″ x 10″ ledgers. There is some additional 2″ x 4″ framing, but very little. It’s basically just fastener strips for the exterior cladding. I decided to enclose the bottom for Dempsey, and added his own little monogram and logo (which I’ think would be cool to wood burn into the finished product).
I haven’t shown Roan my revised edition of his concept yet, so the plans could change. He could also grow out of this idea in the next six months. He’s sort of teetering right on the edge of being a teenager, and I’m fully expecting that any day now he’ll be done with toys and forts, and into girls and games exclusively – like his brother. My only hope is that doesn’t come during the construction of, or too soon after the construction of this thing. Its not a huge project, but it’s also not a small one. Holly thinks he’ll be upset that Dempsey’s space seems to be so big, but in reality, there is no reason he can’t go in there too. There is no way to know if Dempsey will ever even go in there, so I can always wait to add the monogram and logo once we know what it gets used for.
Holly regularly reminds me of my initial discontent with her decision to bring home not only another cat, but a black one nonetheless. Why? Because I fucking love this cat, and we spend a large part of the day ‘bumpin’ beards’ like gay lovers, to the point where it probably starts to annoy her. I don’t even care. This cat shows me more love than most of my past partners have ever been capable of. He constantly licks my beard, then rubs his face against my chin as hard as he can. Sometimes he gets carried away and bites me hard enough that it actually hurts, but I believe that’s a sign of affection with cats. Or perhaps it’s a sign that I have food in my beard.
Today is my brother’s birthday, so this morning I spent some time making him a Dr. Who themed card featuring his favourite doctor (Matt Smith) partying with a Dalek and a plate of fish fingers and custard in his honour. I figured since I already made him a Dr. Who gift, a Dr. Who card would be suitable.
The gift took me about 40 hours so far, and I probably have about another 20 to go now that I’ve decided to make a second gift (more about that further into this post), so I decided to spend significantly less time on the card. It still turned out okay I think.
I got the idea to make his gift back in January, shortly after watching the entire series on Netflix. I decided to get an early start on it because it’s quite large, and I didn’t want to be stuck scrambling to finish it at the last minute. Originally I had planned to frame it so he could hang this somewhere in his house, but then I reverted to my usual gift giving mentality – ”What if the recipient doesn’t like or want this and now feels obligated to keep / display it because I imposed it upon them?” – so last week I showed it to my brother and asked him what he wanted me to do. I offered the option of the frame as well as a key rack or a cigar box or anything else he could think of. He asked if I could add his street name and number and make it an address sign for the front of his house.
I downloaded some free Dr. Who fonts and played around with how I would lay it out, but nothing looked right to me. As a result I’ve decided to just say, fuck it. I’m going to frame the piece I’ve already made, and I’m going to start another for his address sign. He’ll just have to deal with the fact that he gets two gifts and will likely be the cause of my future carpal tunnel syndrome.
Here’s what I plan to do for the address sign. I can’t decide which of the two I like more but I’m hoping once Holly brings home the printed templates I’ll have an easier time choosing. Both are going to be difficult as a result of all the straight lines in the T.A.R.D.I.S., but I’ll just have to go super slow and try my best to keep a steady hand. Which might be even harder than usual given the fact that I’d like to have this done and stained before I go see my brother tomorrow evening.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY X
Hope it’s a good one!
Back in January, we all went to the gun range for an introduction to firearms. Holly got a deal through Groupon which allowed each of us to fire a bunch of rounds with a couple different guns. It was a cold day, but the sun came out periodically and made waiting for our turn more tolerable. We had to wait for our instructor / guide dude to come get us, so Gage and I watched three guys with big shotguns shoot clay pigeons for a little while, then the whole family went and looked at the fun stuff in the gun shop. Gage and Roan pointed out all the guns that were from Call of Duty games, and I think we all wanted to try them. Unfortunately we would need to go through a bunch of certification before we would be allowed to touch one of those, but maybe one day we will.
I was allowed to take photos and videos, so here’s a bunch of clips of our day at the range:
Roan went first (surprise!), firing a .22 with a red dot sight at a paper target about twenty feet away.
Gage was next up, with the same gun. He chose to unload his clip a little faster than the rest of us.
Then it was Holly’s turn with the .22. She shot nice and slow and was very accurate.
Finally I had my turn, then we switched over to a different gun. This one was also a .22 Smith & Wesson, but it had no sight attachment. After we each took turns back and forth with the .22′s, it was time for us to move up to the Glock 9mm. This is the gun our police officers carry, and it’s a lot more powerful than the .22′s.
Gage went first, as Roan wasn’t sure he’d want to fire the 9mm after seeing youtube videos of people knocking themselves out with guns that have too much kick for them to handle.
He took some convincing even after watching Gage rock the Glock like a boss, but he did it and he still has all his teeth (minus the one he dug out the other night with vigorous brushing!).
Holly was next with the Glock, and I would have to say she had the most fun with it. It was the only gun she fired all day that made her impulsively yell ‘Woooooo” after pulling the trigger.
Once again I was last to have a turn (I don’t mind, I wanted to get photos and videos of all the others before running out of batteries / space more than I wanted a turn with the guns), and for some reason I got an extended lesson in the Glock’s internal safety system. I just wanted to shoot it, and I wasn’t sure why it was so important for me to keep the safety disengaged between shots, since it contradicted things our guide previously stated about ensuring we don’t fire too quickly with the 9mm. Either way, I got to shoot it and it was pretty cool. Definitely my favourite one of the day.
By the end of the day each of us had got to fire a bunch of rounds with the hand guns, and a few with a scoped rifle. We had a blast, and I’m pretty sure we’re looking into doing it again. I highly recommend Silverdale Gun Club for anyone in the Niagara area looking to learn about gun use and safety.
I feel better knowing we’re all one step closer to surviving a zombie apocalypse.
There’s a bunch of photos and a lot more details in Holly’s post, so go read it if you haven’t already.
Last night, Holly had a meeting and the boys went with their ‘step mother’ (the quotes imply that I don’t know what other term to use…. she is now divorced from the boys father, but maintains a parental role, and ex-stepmother doesn’t sound right; she’s not divorced from them…) for dinner, so I was on my own. I ate pizza and cruised the internet for a while, until Mr. Squirrel started rubbing against my face and being super cute. I got my camera out to try and get a video of how she rubs on me and the dog, but instead she chose to freeze in this incredibly regal pose once the focus light came on.
I decided to make good use of my alone time, and started goofing around with Gimp.
Now I need a t-shirt with this printed HUGE on it.