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.
The other day I spent a few minutes turning a photo of Dempsey into a wood burning template. Originally I thought of making a sign for the new kitty litter box with a big red ‘X’ over this logo. Unfortunately the shape of his big dumb head, and his even bigger dumber ears, made that a lot harder than I expected. So I changed my mind and decided to just make him a nameplate for his sleepy-crate.
I don’t think he cares, but I like it. I might even have to get this on one of my knuckles.
As I mentioned in a previous post, we no longer go to the dog park on a daily basis. Instead we take Dempsey to my friend’s house where there is a huge yard and a couple playmates for him to go nuts with. The other day we were visiting and I decided to try and get a picture of all three chumming around. It proved more difficult than I expected, everything turned out blurred. I figured the only way it was going to work was to get them all to sit. This was the best I could do. Dempsey and Mario got it right, but Quint was a little distracted by Egyptian sausage.
As I’m sure most people are already aware, dogs like to eat shit. Figuratively and literally. Recently we’ve had an issue with Dempsey treating the litter boxes in the basement like an all you can eat buffet, since starting construction on Gage’s room. Normally a cat-door is how the kitties access their poo-palace, but I had to tear out a wall in order to frame and run wires, which left plenty of access for the Dump Truck to dine on dumps (gross). Something had to be done.
Last week, Holly brought home two lids from cremation containers she had, hoping I could use the wood to make her a window seat in the living room. I looked at them and immediately had a different idea. I had already modelled a concept for a solution to our litter box problem (below), and this seemed like someone just did half the work and handed it to me for free. All I had to do was cut two edges off each lid that would have prevented me from adding hinges and having it close flush, and it would be essentially what I conceived minus all the framing.
I cut an arched opening at one end with my jigsaw, and decided while I had it out to add some handles which would make moving and opening it much easier. I used hinges I salvaged off things that were getting burned or thrown out at work. I still need to add a divider insert when I get some appropriate material so the cats don’t tear open the reserve supply of litter and start using it as another poo-box (as they have been known to do), but so far this project cost us $0.00 and I’d like to keep it that way.
Holly was sceptical about whether or not the cats would be willing to go in there at all, let alone want to go to the bathroom in there, but soon after it was finished Shakespeare was in there checking it out (as you can see above). For the first day I left the lid open so the cats would be able to find their newly relocated facilities. The second day I shut the box and so far there hasn’t been any complaints. It also seems to help keep the smell down pretty good, but that may change if I add vents / skylights to it (which I’m not sure about yet).
I decided to clear the photos off my phone again after noticing I somehow took 341 photos featuring the inside of my pockets. See all those black squares up there? those are all the thumbnail previews shrunk down to the smallest possible size Ubuntu allows (without losing file names) so I could fit them all on the screen and capture it. Even at that size I had to capture two images and stitch them together.
Here’s some more random photos of things I find while working.
Cat poster on a door in some house where I hung drywall. Clearly amazing.
An old telephone in a super nice elderly woman’s house where I tore out stairs. Unfortunately I got laid off before we got to install the new stairs, but I did get to help build and stain them at the shop. I took this photo for Holly. She likes old phones.
This was from a job I did last weekend with a friend. We had to replace a bunch of toilets in a church, and there was a bunch of weird things. First thing I noticed was the poor placement of the toilet paper dispensers in each bathroom. This was by far the worst one.
The second thing I noticed was this creepy statue in the Rector’s office. It appears to be some sort of reaper luring a mouse or rat with cheese. This may have biblical references, but they are completely lost on me.
Then I found something I can’t explain. I can only assume it is a red alert indicator for when the church goes into a full lock-down, but I have no idea. It was hiding in a back stairway we had to use.
And finally there was this. A creepy vault door with a combination lock and everything. I assume this is also used in the event of a lock-down.
Annually I spend approximately $100 on clothes. Most of which get bought at second-hand shops and concerts. I have a lot of clothes that are older than Gage, including the majority of my footwear. I am reluctant to get rid of a lot of shirts because I love the artwork, or the band featured on it. Holly has made several attempts at making me donate some of my favourites on the ridiculous grounds that I never wear them, but I always refuse. Recently she found an idea from that god damn pinterest site (you know, the one that’s been increasing ‘honey-do-lists’ at an exponential rate around the world ever since it’s inception…) which I was okay with.
She used some canvases or something (I don’t think the round things are canvases, but I don’t know what they’re proper name is) and stretched some of my old shirts over them. She stapled them on the backside, and now I just have to find a place to hang them and I can keep them forever!
The top two are made from one shirt. Probably my favourite shirt of all times, which I unfortunately bought when I was at my fattest (220 lbs), so it hasn’t fit in about ten years. I had a hard time watching Holly cut this shirt up, but after I saw the finished product my panic subsided. She did a fine job, and I look forward to having these hung somewhere I can see them all the time. It’ll be like wearing my favourite shirt every day!
The bottom two are both examples of awesome artwork. The first is a design I made based on my cat’s face because she was the coolest and I love her. I have this tattooed on my left index finger so I already see it every day, but I couldn’t bare to part with this shirt I had custom made. It shrunk too much for my massively elongated body after many wash cycles, but that doesn’t matter any more!
The second is a shirt I bought at a show probably eleven or twelve years ago for a Canadian metal band called Three Inches of Blood. I love their first two albums, but the rest is really hit and miss. I just really like the design on this shirt. It’s a wizard. Or a warlock. Or a sorcerer. I don’t know the difference. They all have beards, that’s all that matters.
His breath is horrible, his slimy cold nose gets in everything, he farts every time he stretches, and he’s a major pain in the ass, but look how fucking cute he is.
Jon took the above photo one afternoon a couple weeks ago while we were hanging out in the den. It’s probably the last photo of Dempsey’s collar we’ll see until spring, as it’s currently lost somewhere in the snow in my friend Dave’s backyard.
A few months ago I decided to substitute the daily
douche-park dog-park visits for regular trips to Dave’s. He’s got a huge backyard, and two high-energy dogs that love to play with Dempsey. So rather than listen to people bitch at Dempsey, and more importantly – us, when he pesters their little dogs which they refuse to let run in the designated “little dog” area, I go relax and have a smoke with Dave and watch our dogs run and act like morons. It tires them out, and proves to always be quite entertaining. On one such occasion, shortly after the above image was taken and we had a major snowfall, Dempsey came home collarless. It’s gone now until the snow thaws and either Dave or his lawnmower find it.
Not a huge loss considering it was far too large for his slender neck, and his name tag was spelled wrong. Oops.
During the aforementioned major snowfall, I spent the better part of two days shovelling. Since I haven’t been working much, I didn’t really mind. I really like the snow. Apparently so does Dempsey. He came out every time I shovelled (I think it was seven or eight times over the two days) and acted like a maniac. He ran as fast as he could in two feet of snow, doing laps around the front yard, barking each time the shovel threw more snow on the huge banks on either side of the driveway. When he tired of running, he tried to dig down to the grass, then figured out how to slide down the snow banks, destroying all my hard work. He was having so much fun it was impossible to get him to sit still for a photo. I ended up with a sequence of dumb dog expressions, but the above is by far the best. He’s certainly a handsome dullard.
All week long Holly has been sending me Bluth themed Valentines, so this morning I decided to make her something equally appropriate to us and our favourite things to do. A couple of stolen images courtesy of a few Google image searches, and a little colloquial Cobra composition equals the above heart-melting panty dropper.
As you may have already read over on Holly’s blog, there’s been a lot of late homework being done around here the past few weeks. Gage has decided to follow the same path I took in high school; do nothing all year, hand in just enough stuff (late) with the hope that with a decent enough exam mark you might scrape by with a 50%, so long as the teacher doesn’t hold all your absences against you. For the most part all this homework just meant I got to play a lot of Call of Duty. I really only get called on for help with anything Mathematics or Computers. I did however help brainstorm Gage’s English assignment where he had to create a myth, write about it, and then create a trailer for a film about his myth.
Holly told him to get at it after we ate dinner one night, and fifteen minutes later he was upstairs asking us for help. He said he didn’t get what he was supposed to do, and was having a hard time deciding on a myth. He was leaning towards the Loch Ness Monster until I asked if he had to use an existing myth, or if he was allowed to create one. I figured the latter would be the easiest option since we wouldn’t need to do any research, and had full liberty to go anywhere we wanted with it. I suggested to Gage that he take advantage of this chance to show his teacher how creative he can be. I told him to figure out a way to tell the story of how he got to where he was in real life with his homework. I figured it would show the teacher that he’s not dumb, he knows why he’s in this mess, and also to create a possible scapegoat. He knows the Xbox is what got him here, so why not make the mythological creature his homework-eating game console?
He started to get into the idea more and told us he had some thoughts and was going to go write, warning us as he made his way down the stairs that he would likely be returning shortly for more help. He came up a couple more times, but after about half an hour he had a pretty decent story about his Xbox (or the Procrastasauras) eating his homework and making him seem like a slacker. Fearing that no one will believe his story he’s doomed to fail the tenth grade. With the story outlined it was now time for us to shoot and edit a trailer. The students who did their assignments when they were supposed to had access to ipads to help them accomplish this. Gage had access to me.
Having never done any video editing before (well, maybe some really minor stuff) I was expected to pull this off in one night. I decided to stay true to my youth and wait until the last minute to find, download, and learn a video editing platform. I did this immediately after dinner while rolling and enjoying my post-meal smoke. I used some footage I shot of Dempsey playing in the snow, added some words, and put it all to a Skrillex track. I figured that was everything I would need to create Gage’s trailer, minus the props and any plan whatsoever. Before dinner, Gage pulled an old, broken Xbox out of the basement and made a robotic looking arm for it out of Bionicle parts. Now all we needed was a few paper props and Gage’s iphone. I had Gage make some fake homework while I shot some footage of the Xbox, then we shot a few scenes with Gage at the table doing his assignment and then entering
Roan’s bedroom his English classroom.
We spent about an hour editing and re-shooting a few things and in the end it turned out pretty decent. I had fun doing it, and I think Gage did too especially when we started shooting. It’s neat to see his school curriculum include stuff like this. I’d like to think that this type of stuff would have appealed to me more when I was his age and aided me in being interested enough to do work and hand it in, but I doubt it. School work is what it is, and that can’t compete with video games and partying with your friends.
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After almost six months of cohabitation the cats and dog still rarely interact in the peaceful manor depicted above. The dog is too young still, and full of puppy playfulness. He lacks grace and subtle mobility, which often results in unintentional trampling and frightened cats. Oliver flat out hates the dog. Any time Dempsey comes within a few feet of him it triggers a full range of growling, hissing, and screaming. Shakespeare seems to be open to the idea of being buds with the pooch, but tends to get freaked out as soon as the dog takes notice of him. I also think there is some jealousy issues impeding their relationship. Before the mud coloured mutt showed up it was Shakespeare who got to go out and patrol the yard, now he’s lucky if he gets out more than once a day. I base this on the fact that whenever Dempsey walks by, Shakespeare drops a thousand rapid paws to his face in a split second.
Mr Squirrel however, is the opposite of Oliver. She loves the dog. She plays with him, lays with him, and even tries to keep his big dumb ears clean. At times she gets pretty vocal when he’s being too rough, but she just runs and hides under something he can’t fit his big head under and smacks him until he backs off or barks to the point that we give him shit. Even as I write this they are laying on the bed bathing each other like best buds. I’m hoping that once he gets a little older he either chills out a little more, or develops some dexterity.