All posts by Steve

Installing the Monkey Bars

My big push is on to erect the next stage of the playset, this stage should go reasonably fast as all the preparation has already been done. I’ve already installed the additional upright that the Monkey Bars will bolt on to, the only additional item is to drill the main corner upright for bolting the left upper rail of the Monkey Bars to the Jungle Fort.

Opening in the Jungle Fort for installing the Monkey Bars.

The length of the Monkey Bars from the Jungle Fort is eight feet with a height of just over seven feet. This gives a good workout for my son who just loves the Monkey Bars, even though as a three year old he had an accident that resulted in eight staple stitches being used to close up a gash in his head. This accident was the result of him trying to do the Monkey Bars at his pre-school group, he would persist in trying to get across to the other side and slipped, hitting his head on the step. Fortunately my wife was at hand to take him to the closest emergency medical center. This mishap had not phased him at all, in fact he’s more determined than ever, the very next week he was back on the bars.

Metal staples to close a gash to my sons head.
Continue reading Installing the Monkey Bars

The Traditional Welsh Lovespoon has Sold

After some eighteen months I decided to try my luck again and sell the Welsh Lovespoon that I had made on eBay. The previous two or three attempts had resulted in a no sale but then again I had placed a reserve or too high a price to start with but I was hoping to get a little return for the amount of effort that I had placed into the carving. This particular spoon had taken me about four weeks of my lunch hour to complete, some 28 to 30 hours in total time, I would guess. It was a theme that I had designed around the Welsh dragon, the Welsh language and a Celtic cross, a theme that I had seen in seperate carvings on other sites. My goal was to incorporate all three items into one carving and see how it would turn out.

Looking back, it’s still probably the most intricate of all my carvings to date because of the lettering and the detailing of the dragon. This carving was also the biggest to date, some fourteen inches in length. I felt after completing the carving it gave a good representation of a Lovespoon that you would expect to purchase from Wales if you were to go there for a visit. Continue reading The Traditional Welsh Lovespoon has Sold

Detailed Play Systems come up Big

In my previous post on my series of constructing the Jungle Fort I spoke about the discrepancy with the slide that was ordered with the main hardware back in April of this year. It was only when I started to assemble the slide that it dawned on me that the slide was in fact different to the one that we ordered. With that knowledge I emailed the company Detailed Play Systems together with images of the slide together with the original order email from April 21st 2007, the email I sent was dated September 18th 2007, nearly five months after the fact. Continue reading Detailed Play Systems come up Big

Our Puppy Gets a Name

What an eventful week, little did we know that we would have a new puppy this time last week but now he has settled in, it’s as though we have had him forever. That first day, Monday after my wife collected him, resulted in an instant phone call enroute to our home. In the background I could hear the telltale sign of a puppy who is unclear as to what has just happened, that crying from a small puppy who is in the traveling crate at the back of the truck, on its way to our home. That small puppy weighs 12.5 pounds, not bad for a 7 week and 3 day old pup.

These dogs are known to grow to 160 pounds and over so it’s important that the growth is controlled to prevent any growth related problems. We had already decided to take him to a vet that had been recommended by Karrie Cook, one of the members of the Newfoundland Club of Southern California who we are members of and have been for the last twelve years. We have always had that unsatisfactory feeling with our previous vets who we felt had very little experience with big dogs so it was quite refreshing to get some kind of recommendation. I guess it’s just the generalization of all animals and no specific expertise on one that we were looking for. We wanted someone who was passionate about the dogs that we like and according to Karrie he deals with a lot of Newfs, especially rescued Newfs. The appointment has been set up for our visit to the Arbor Animal Hospital in Irvine so it will be interesting to see the difference in service. Continue reading Our Puppy Gets a Name

Ramp Up to the Jungle Fort, Slide Down

With the safety on top of the decking pretty much assured now, my main focus was to enable the children to be able to get up there. I had earlier on decided to eliminate the ladder configuration and replace it with a ramp, I felt that this would be more in line with the theme that they would use the structure for, a pirate enclave as such. We had saved the pirate flag that Jackson had made for the previous swingset, it was from one of my old black T-shirts. He had painted with my help a yellow skull and crossbones on it and this would be reattached to the new fort after everything was done. The marketing from the Pirates of the Carribean together with all the paraphernalia that goes with it had sparked his desire to make his own flag. Once finished it had been flying from the old swingset for over a year before we had to dismantled it. Although looking a bit tired I’m still surprised that it’s in reasonably good condition but a repaint will certainly spruce it up again.

The ramp material had already been precut, sanded, coated with green preserve and then coated with redwood stain. The first test for me was to collect all the labeled parts for the ramp from the remaining pile of lumber. There had been a vast change in the size of the pile because a good deal of the material had already been assembled but there was still enough left to make it awkward. The two main rails were laid out on the lawn as this was the only place that was free enough to maneuver the length, together with the slats that would line the inside of rails and act as a support for the boards that would be the gangplank. Continue reading Ramp Up to the Jungle Fort, Slide Down

Our New Addition, a Newfoundland Pup!

It seems such a short time ago that we had to euthanize our pet Newfoundland after nearly 12 years of loyalty. He had been suffering with limited mobility for some time until he slipped on the tiled floor making him virtually paralyzed. Even though he regained a little mobility the majority of the time was spent aiding him with the help of a harness.

That was nearly twenty months ago, he was a Landseer, a black and white version of the traditionally black colored Newfoundland. We at that time still had his older half brother and his health was just as poor but already stricken with grief we toughed it out knowing the inevitable for him was only months away. That time came when he had continual bleeding from the mouth with it being diagnosed as cancer of the jaw, at 13 years and 1 month his ability to withstand any treatment was out of the question. His mobility was already restricted, appetite was none existent and he had to be helped with any normal functions by using a harness. Our once majestic animals had succumbed to old age and both had died within six weeks of each other leaving our household unusually dog free. That was a hard first three months of 2006 and only now can I start to talk about it and still not in much detail because of the feelings that I have. Call it soft but that’s how it is when you have animals that are part of your family. Continue reading Our New Addition, a Newfoundland Pup!

Free Money with AuctionAds

Monetization through AuctionAds may be a way of paying your hosting costs and right now they have an offer where if you sign up as a new member you will automatically receive $25.00 paid into your Paypal account. These relative ads show what is being offered on eBay as a live feed and it’s a perfect compliment to your site if your dealing in products. Even so previously signed up members can also earn the $25.00 if they have never received a payout. The unfortunate thing is, you have to have a PayPal account and the balance has to reach $50.00 before a payout.

If your site is not product driven then the return may not be as lucrative but everyone has an angle where they can add the necessary keywords into the code to drive relevant ads to the blog or website. Even talking on a personal blog allows you to insert keywords for that post. Unlike Adsense, there is no restriction on the amount of ads you use. Once you have an account you can use the code on as many of your blogs or websites that you like, just like Adsense. The beauty of this system is that most people like to browse eBay for deals so why not serve up relevant material to your post and Try AuctionAds. The worse case scenario is, if it’s slow to earn commission your still $25.00 closer to the first payout. Continue reading Free Money with AuctionAds

Wall-In the Decking and Roof Frame Construction

The success of erecting the swing beam with swings and hardware paid dividends during the week while I was at work. My children had plenty of playtime testing out the new swings with my young daughter pleading to her brother to push her on her swing, gone was the baby swing as she was a “big girl now.” No mention had been made of putting up the previous baby swing as her new “blue” colored swing gave her the additional thrill of being able to go higher, meanwhile you could hear the cries from her mother, “not too high” ringing from the house.

The task for the weekend was to progress the safety of the decking by erecting the walls. Even though there would be numerous openings for the Monkey Bars, Rock Wall, Slide and Ramp, the remaining openings would have to be filled. The most difficult aspect was to reconfigure the upright supports that would provide support for the cross members. The back wall would be split between a high and a low Rock Wall, I would have to start there with a cross member first. The cross member would span across the back face with a gap of 14 inches between the decking and the bottom of the rail allowing enough room to crawl in from the lower Rock Wall with a hand grip providing additional safety. This part had already been cut, predrilled and coated with redwood stain making it an easy installation. I had also cut enough upright rails that would span the whole back face but as I had decided to do a split level Rock Wall I would also need to install a fixed upright at the center point of the decking to support the boards that would make up the higher Rock Wall. Continue reading Wall-In the Decking and Roof Frame Construction

First Day at Huntington Seacliff Elementary School

Today marked a milestone in the life of our son, Jackson, today was his first day at kindergarten. We had already been to the orientation with him yesterday to meet his teacher Mrs. Chalabian and to see what to expect. To be quite honest I think I was more nervous than him, how would he react, how would he take to the new surroundings and the other boys and girls who he had no association with. I’m sure I was not alone with those feelings as I looked around at the other parents. They all had that proud yet apprehensive look about them as the reality started to sink in, “My child is going to school,” that was yesterday, today is the real day.

Huntington Seacliff Elementary School

I had decided that I would take a couple of days vacation after the long Labor Day weekend as those two days would be the beginning of the school year, with Tuesday marked as an orientation day and today, Wednesday, the first day at school. This morning started off sharp with the alarm set for 6 AM, not that I manage much sleep last night so getting up proved easy enough even though my normal routine requires an early 5 AM rise.

First thing is to get showered then get the pot boiling for a wake me up cup of tea. We’re tea drinkers rather than coffee, my wife cannot stand coffee which is fine with me although I do occasionally need one for my early commute.

With the mornings being that much darker the children are sleeping in longer which allows us to get ready before the mad rush. Children have a whole new speed when it comes to getting ready and that is SLOOOOW and knowing that, we made sure that everything was preset to remove as many obstacles as possible. The backpack already had his scissors, crayons and large glue sticks packed. His name had been inked on the scissors to reduce any melt down at school should there be two of the same, which no doubt will be the case. His small cooler that fits in the backpack has his nutritious mid-morning snack and bottled water so with that all set we can wake him up and let the fun begin. Continue reading First Day at Huntington Seacliff Elementary School

Coke Zero, Refresh your Artistic Mind

With many avid drinkers of the already Classic Coke, the company will roll out a new zero calorie drink called “Coke Zero” this version will have zero calories, nothing, zilch, which means us people who put on weight easily will be able to drink it without fear of the extra poundage that can result with drinking too much pop. With “zero sugar” and the guaranteed “real taste” of Coke how can you go wrong. What better to quench your thirst when your carving your masterpiece and want to keep concentration at a high.

The real taste, coupled with zero sugar, while your working out the next move on your carving, aah! life as it should be, relaxed and enjoyed to the full.