If you grow up in Canada you should love tobogganing. If you don’t, it’s likely the result of shitty parenting. Perhaps that is why I felt it was my duty as the man of the house to bear the frigid -20°C weather and take the boys out “bombing hills” (as Roan would say) at 8am. I remember how much fun I had ripping down hills on my GT Snow Racer as a kid, and that coupled with my love for skating is likely why I still love winters. That being said, winters need snow or everything just looks dreary. This year has been good so far, and so was last year, but the years prior were quite mild and completely absent of snow. Any time we get a large amount of snow, I’m reminded of the fun I had in it as a kid. Now I realize I can still have that fun, it just hurts a little more.
I made plans the night before. I would wake the boys around 7:30, get ready and hit the hills at Fireman’s Park around 8:00, return home to change and pick up Holly around 9:45, then walk to Triple D’s for breakfast at 10:00. I wanted to go early so there wasn’t too many other people there, and I’m glad we did. We had the entire park to ourselves. Upon our arrival we found a small sled similar to the two we brought with us, and although it was broken it wasn’t broken enough that Roan couldn’t use it. I let the boys try each hill but they decided the first one was best. Roan wanted the three of us to race, so he took the little broken sled and was in charge of the countdowns. Gage and I both struggled to stay on our sled every run, making Roan the champion of the hill that day.
All of us were having so much fun the cold wasn’t as big an issue as the clock. Around when we were supposed to be leaving another family arrived. We decided to take three final runs to see who could go the farthest then head home and let this family have the entire park to themselves. Unfortunately all the snow melted two days later, and we haven’t had enough to go back. However, it is snowing right now! Perhaps we’ll get enough that I can take the boys out again this Saturday. It’s great starting the day with endless smiles and laughter.
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.
This is from a while ago. Although the photo is great, the best part was that even though he knew it was there he didn’t think it was that bad that he had to wash it before hanging out with his friends all day.
I wonder if he would be mad if I showed his brother and friends where my Magnum Sharpies are kept…
Roan is fairly obsessed with guns and weapons (as most young boys are I think), and I’m fairly obsessed with making things. Sometimes this results in some pretty neat creations. The image above is a perfect example of one. I dubbed it the Elast-O-BlastÂ©. I got the urge to make him one a while ago, but until just the other day I hadn’t seen a wooden clothespin in years. I can’t remember where I found it, but the minute I did, I put it in my pocket and then set it aside in the shed for the next time Roan asked if we could build something.
That ended up being the next morning.Â I got to work and ten minutes later he was blasting everything in sight. He must have liked it because not only did he show it off to everyone who came by over the next few days, he also left it behind when he went to his dad’s just to make sure it didn’t get ruined. That’s pretty amazing. I also overheard him bragging to his friends “Yea, it’s awesome, and it took us like less than ten minutes to make. We’re going to make a huge one next, and then a bunch more little ones.”. For the record, I’m game for both.
Before any girls start flooding my inbox with naked pictures of themselves because they think I’m amazing, I feel it’s only fair I point out that I didn’t design the Elast-O-BlastÂ©. I borrowed the idea from a very similar design my grandfather came up with when I was a little pain in the ass kid.
Want your very own Elast-O-BlastÂ©?
Before ANYONE says anything like: “I thought you love animals… ” or, “I can’t believe you actually…”, please just fuck off. I didn’t eat the fish. I didn’t bait the hooks. I didn’t drive the boat. All I did was reel the big ones in that no one else wanted to fight with. That being said, I sure did have a blast punching the shit out of those stupid fish.
We all got to catch a bunch, taking turns based on the size of the fish. Roan took all the wee ones.
I got all the monsters.
And Holly and Gage shared the in-between-ers.
After about 4 hours on the water we hauled in almost a hundred pounds of fish. All of it salmon and trout. The charter guide filleted them all on the side of his boat once we were back at the dock, and we took home around sixty pounds of fillets. I had a ton of fun and would definitely do it again. None of these fish are going to waste so I don’t feel too bad.
And this has got to be my favourite fishing photo ever.
I’ve been hanging out in the shed quite a bit these days. I do all kinds of little things while I’m out there. Recently the Dude gave me a large set of Dremel bits, which I decided to attempt some carvings with. When Roan saw some of the things I was making he asked if he could try. I showed him the basics of how to hold the Dremel, and what not to do with it, then he picked out a piece of scrap wood and got to work.
He made a memorial plaque for his grandpa.
I love this kid.
When the boys finished school their desks and lockers were cleaned out, and a ton of things brought home. Among those things was the first (and apparently also the second, although I never saw it and now no one can find it) of a five part series titled: Attack of the Dinosaurs and Aliens. Created by Roan and his friends Emmit and Devon, it features highly graphic images of humanity’s struggle to ward off invading intergalactic intruders, while simultaneously defending against deadly dinosaurs. It is unclear whether or not the dinosaurs and aliens came together, or if it’s just some coincidence they are attacking at the same time. If you’re interested, the entire comic is posted after the break.