Thursday, November 27, 2008

Building a Shop: Week 6

Raising the roof! For most pole buildings, the roof either has metal with insulation underneath or metal on top of wood sheeting. I chose the sheeting for several reasons, the most important being durability and the chance to walk on the roof easily when it's all done. I have a feeling with Caleb's throwing arm that I'll get to walk on the roof a lot to retrieve Frisbees and sticks.
Placing the 5 X 8 feet sheeting took a little work as you can see on the video below, but we got her done. Just repeat the video 32 times to understand what it took to place all the sheets.

I borrowed a new toy from my friend, Frank-the-tool-man, a man-sized nail gun. Frank has every tool known to man. I'll never have to buy a tool again as long as he's around. Thanks Frank. The nail gun was a lifesaver (unless I accidentally shoot myself, then it will become a life-taker) that helped the sheeting go up quick.
Next up: Metal.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Toys For Sale

While working on the shop, Caleb and Abby have been playing with my tools and the scrap wood. Both have made "houses" out of scraps and nails. And yesterday Caleb hammered together what looks like a small table but insisted on calling it a "stand". Monica and I know exactly what Caleb is referring to when he calls something a "stand"; a place to sell/buy stuff. I'm not sure of the origin of this word in Caleb's vocabulary, though it is consistent with other kids selling lemonade or cookies from a "stand" during the summer. Yesterday, after building his "stand", Caleb told me he had planned selling some of his toys on said stand in our driveway. Though this idea was totally ridiculous since we live out of town and the end of our 1/4 mile driveway is a 45 mph road, it was however an improvement from the last time Caleb built a "stand". Two summers ago, Caleb and Abby found a bunch of shells left over from the previous owners of our home and decided to set up a table and sell them. Not a bad idea except they set up their table in our garage...1/4 mile away from the road...far away from any traffic. We thought it was very cute and begged Monica's parents, Grandpa and Grandma Foster, to come over and buy some shells. They did buy some, but I'm pretty sure in good Foster-Fashion, they got Caleb to lower the price. I digress.

Caleb's new stand was to sell toys. I played along for awhile as he gathered up some broken toys and put them in zip lock bags with hand-written price tags. He wrote $10 for 3 Hot Wheels. He wrote $11 for a couple toys he got with his Happy Meals. And I think he wanted $12 for a remote control car, remote not included. I tried to explain to him that the prices were a little high and that the toys would only be worth what someone was willing to pay. He didn't quite get the concept though, he just smiled and told me what Lego set he could buy with his $33. I did convince him that setting up his stand at the end of the driveway wasn't going to work and discussed some other ways of selling stuff. I told him about using the computer or that I could take his toys to work and ask other parents to buy them for there kids... In other words, the only thing I could think of from keeping my son from selling his Hot Wheels on a highway shoulder was to buy them for twenty times their worth.

Think of Caleb as Citigroup wanting to sell a bunch of crap and me as the U.S. Government willing to buy all of it at an inflated price. Smart kid.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Giving Treats to the Poor

Every couple weeks or so, both Caleb and Abby are asked to provide treats for their classes. Yesterday, Monica sent two boxes of granola bars with Caleb for his class to share. Last night, we were all gathered on the couch talking about our days and Monica asked if the kids liked their granola bars. Caleb answered, "I decided to change that."
Monica asked what it meant to "change that"?
Caleb said, "I decided to give the granola bars to the poor people instead".
We're pretty sure that this means that Caleb took his class's treat and put them in boxes for the school's food drive.
What's a parent to do for that? Monica and I tried for few seconds to explain that that food was intended for his class, but it was quickly stopped by our beaming smiles full of pride. What a good kid.
He's well on his way to being jail-free.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Creation of a Shop: Week 5

Raise the roof! In five days the shop has gone from posts to framed up.

Most of the framing was done this week. It's actually looking like a building now. We had a roof raising party with a few friends (Thanks Stu, Scott and Brian) when we raised and placed the trusses.

For the most part it's gone smothly since I placed the posts. Surprisingly, the buiding is actually level and square (plus or minus an inch), which I'm sure makes my Dad happy. After another few days of work, I'll be working on the roof and then the metal shell.

We raised the trusses with a couple cable jacks that sat on the posts.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Good Morning Daughter

8:00 AM
Me yelling upstairs to Abby's room: "Abby, breakfast is ready. Please put your clothes on (from your pajamas) and come downstairs".

8:05 AM
Abby come down stairs in her pajamas and eats breakfast.

8:25 AM
Me after Abby's done with breakfast: "Abby, please go upstairs, to your room, and put on your clothes, Mommy has set them out for you".
8:30 AM
Me: "Abby, PLEASE go upstairs and change your clothes." Abby runs upstairs.

8:40 AM
Abby comes downstairs talking to a doll in her hands, still wearing her pajamas. Me: "Abby!, upstairs now!" Abby runs upstairs again.

8:45 AM
Abby walks into the living room still wearing her pajamas. She sees me and yells, "Stop looking at me!". She turns around and runs upstairs again.

8:46 AM
I yell upstairs, "Abby do not come down her until you've put your clothes on, do you understand?"

8:50 AM
I hear Abby on the stairs talking to herself in her typical cutesy voice. And then I realize who I'm dealing with: a girl who no longer is young enough to listen to her Dad. She's sitting on the stairs, (note she has not come down the stairs yet) reading a book IN HER PAJAMAS!!! (see actual photo)
8:52 AM
I go outside to work on the shop contemplating living with a teenage girl for the next 14 years.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Creation of a Shop: Week 4

Let there be height!!
With manly help of some good friends and family (the best home teachers and father-in-law in the world), we were able to set the gigantic posts. The posts were either 6"X6" or 6"X8" and 20 feet long, thus not easily moved. But with much effort and some rebar to set the braces in the rocky soil, we placed all 13 posts where they needed to be and made them sit straight.
To avoid having to fill the huge holes entirely with concrete, I created a few poor-man forms around the posts. They worked out great for when Mr. Concrete man brought his truck to fill up the holes. The crappy forms are all now covered with concrete so Mr. Inspector can't see the against-code forms.
With all the posts set in place, I was able to remove the braces and bring in some gravel around the site to flatten out the ground inside and around the shop.
It looks great! If I'm not mistaken, it even looks like a shop...kind of?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day '08

Is it going to be a Maverick Nation or Obama Mania? One thing is for sure, we won't have to watch or listen to all the crappy political adds for a long time.
A few weeks ago Abby learned the Pledge of Allegiance and it melted my heart. A beautiful young American promising to unite our great nation under God's guidance. How different would this election be if that's what all the crooked and creepy politicians focused on?