Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Truth About Crayons

Mandy recently wrote a pretty popular post about crayons.

I think it deserves a little clarification and commentary. So much so that it pulled me out of an accidental semi-retirement.

The first thing to note is that it was a well-timed post. We were running short on coloring utensils. We were down to one shoe box full of markers. This is not including the emergency supply of crayons that our ever-prepared children have artfully hidden under couch cushions, beneath beds, behind curtains, and down HVAC vents. When it all goes down, we'll have our owns stash of hidden crayons.

Another thing to point out is her blatant disregard for the non-photogenic colors. Apparently, if you're black, brown, tan, or white, you're not can-worthy. Most of the peach crayons got the boot too, though a few managed to sneak into the nice orange can.

Speaking of nice cans...

Did you know that the wooden tray was custom built by Mandy specifically for this project? Unfortunately, after carefully measuring the width of the cans and cutting the center board, she then mistakenly glued the side runners on the top of the center board instead of on the sides, creating a jean-like dilemma of trying to fit too wide a can into too narrow a space.

Which leads me to my next point.

Every one should have a bench vise.

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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

How To Sell Your Mini-Van

Many of you might know that I dabble in used cars on the side. I go through a different car every couple of months, usually fun ones like Minis, BMWs, Porsches and Mustangs. It's my manly hobby to offset all of the crafting that I get to do with Mandy. After hanging three pictures, two of them twice, it takes about 100 miles behind the wheel to get my man card back.

So with all of my buying and selling, I feel like I've come up with some pretty good templates for listing cars on Craigslist. I write up a straight forward, honest description of the car along the lines of "...17-inch factory alloys with near-new Z-rated tires..."  I even use Mandy's good camera to take pictures (timing the light just right, of course). All told, I write a good Craigslist ad.

At least, I thought I did. Then one of you (thanks, Jessica!) had to send me the holy grail of Craigslist ads. Straight from Bellingham, WA, this ad will get your van sold in no time.

note: I'd link to the source, but it's such a good ad that the van has sold and the author has deleted his post.

So it's come to this for you. Looking at used Odysseys on Craigslist. I was like you once. Thought I had given up on myself as we only had one child at the time. And there I was, certain that I was selling a piece of my soul. For what? So that I could take a child, a jumperoo and two bikes with me wherever I went? And to what end? Would it make me feel more like a man to know that my 4x8 sheets of plywood were staying dry in the back of my minivan? As it turns out. . ..yes. Yes it would. 

Questions you may have about our sweet ride. 

1. How many miles of pure adrenaline have you put on this baby? A: 100,000. Total is has 152,000. All heart pounding. 

2. Am I giving up on myself if I drive a minivan? A: Yeah. But its not forever and you have a lot of crap to drive around and you're tired of playing Tetris to fit everything in the car. I gave up on myself for years. 8 glorious years of transporting every last piece of baby gear, soccer gear, bikes, plywood and random stuff my wife made me bring. 

3. When you say "smooth tranny" - we're still talking about the van, yes? A: Yes. No tranny problems here. Never had a worry about it. 

4. Will I need to get more friends to fill this thing like a party bus? A: No. You're days of looking for friends are over. Friends come to you now. Why? Because you're new nickname is Seven Passengers McGee. And everyone wants to take a ride with S.P. McGee. 

5. Is there anything festive about your ride? A: You mean like a Christmas tree? You're in luck friend. The dashboard on this car is filled with expensive and well thought out warning lights. While we've loved seeing the gas light come on from time to time, it carries a mere fraction of the thrill of the check engine light! Did you know what an O2 sensor was before you became an adult? After you learned, did you care? Well, as far as we can tell, its what makes the check engine light come on. And does not affect performance. So, it comes and goes and we leave it there like a little message that says - hey! The festive dash lights still work. But we can talk about that. 

6. When you priced this van so low, were you thinking that you might have underpriced the cost of a dream come true? A: Yes. Yes I did. 

7. Do you love new tire smell as much as I do? A: (single tear). That's why this baby has new tires. 

8. I get tired of whistling. Does this vehicle come equipped with some sort of music generating device? A: Yes. It plays one CD at a time. And is able to tune in to MULTIPLE radio stations. Eureka! Who comes up with this stuff?!!! 

9. Is stopping important? A: Depends on how fast you want to get where you're going. And this baby has never had a problem stopping. At the moment, however, it does like to do what I call a "celebrated stop". It makes a bit of a squeal to say "We're stopping! Hooray!" But let's be honest here. I'm clearly a big deal. I don't have time to be driving to Les Schwab and getting new brakes at this point in my life. Not when I have to mow the lawn. Refer to item #6.

10. The small dent in the passenger power sliding door. . ..is that included for free? A: You're welcome. 

11. I have a utility trailer in which I like to keep my mother in law during long drives. Does this come with a trailer hitch? A: Yes. What you tow behind it is up to you. 

12. I feel like this Craigslist ad is unnecessarily long. Do you feel like you've taken up too much of my time? A: If you read the entire thing, that's on you. You could be emailing right now to get a piece of this action and you are wasting time reading a pleonastic car ad such as this? (small sense of pride).

13. Did you have to look up the word pleonastic? A: Yes. 

14. Did you have to sound it out? A: Just buy my damn van. It's awesome. And it's below blue book. 

Email for details. Thanks - Chris

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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

It's been a while...

Apparently, I've slacked a little lately. I sat down to write a post and saw that I'd only posted once in all of July. Either it's been a busy summer, or Mandy has me so brainwashed that I no longer think that hanging five mini-succulents on tin cans, nailing them to a board, and calling them a "hanging garden" deserves to be mocked.

It does.

So I'll have a post up tomorrow. After that, no guarantees. I'll likely wait until August to post again

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Friday, July 19, 2013

Sewing in the Buff, and Other Projects I'm Not Asked to Help With

I'm a pretty big sport when it comes to helping with Mandy's projects. I've been trained to take before, during and after pictures. I know what tulle is. I know where all the JoAnn's and Michaels are within a 50 mile radius. I could probably even pick out Kimbo from a lineup.

So after years of supporting Mandy's projects and blogging, why is it that I'm not asked to help with the one project I might actually be excited about?

And of course, she forgot to take before, during and after pictures.

Unless you count this one.

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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Behind the Scenes

The other  day we threw a party. We were celebrating the fact that Mandy needed to write a blog post about throwing a party. We invited the neighbors under the pretense that we couldn't eat all the cake.

Since it was a blog-inspired party, we had to document the event for later posting. Below is the glorious scene. Doesn't it look inviting?

Of course, that's the view the blog world sees. I had a much better view of how it really went down. The ten year old on the right had not view at all.

On a side note, yes, that's a Minnie Mouse pinata. No, we do not have a plethora of them (Mandy does not get this reference). And no, we didn't need to hit it with a stick to get the candy. Instead, each kid took a turn pulling one ribbon from the bottom of the pinata until it gently released its cache. Sound safe? Yes. Sound fun? Not so much. Half of the excitement of a pinata is watching the other kids duck the blindfolded kid's random swings.

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Friday, June 28, 2013

Ode to Wallpaper

I have a few craft pet peeves...straight pins left in the carpet...holiday decor left up year round...unfinished projects taking up garage space...bloggers who only post once a week...excessive use of the dot-dot-dot so-called-punctuation...

I also have a few home project pet peeves, and one of them is peeling wallpaper. Last weekend we decided to finally start our master bathroom remodel. To keep our bathroomlessness to a minimum, I planned on the following schedule:

  • Friday - pull up carpet, pull out toilet and lay tile
  • Saturday - grout
  • Monday - seal grout and replace toilet

Unfortunately, here's how it worked out:

  • Friday - pulled up carpet, pulled out toilet, broke tile saw, bought new (awesome) tile saw, laid tile at midnight
  • Saturday - went to drive-in movie because mortar wasn't try enough to grout
  • Monday - came home ready to grout but found wallpaper everywhere. Cleaned up wallpaper. Grouted.
  • Tuesday - came home ready to seal grout but found wallpaper everywhere. Became lazy.
  • Wednesday - came home ready to seal grout but found more wallpaper everywhere. Stayed lazy.
  • Thursday - came home ready to seal grout but found even more wallpaper even more everywhere.

As for Friday, I'll definitely seal the grout one way or another. I have no evening plans and I think I've dropped enough hints that perhaps the wallpaper strips will be picked up. Or maybe I'll get the hint and pick up the wallpaper strips myself, because it's easier to pick up wallpaper strips than it is to peel them off the wall.

Maybe the title of this post should have been "Ode to the Wallpaper-Peeling Mandy".

P.S. the floor steam mop doesn't really help steam off wallpaper, but it was a worth attempt.

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Pony Beads

Once upon a time I read a post written by a blogger's husband who stated that he dreamed he went to hell and had to walk barefoot in the dark across a room full of LEGOS. Or something like that. For the life of me, I can't find that post. Not even Google could help me (though I did find out there is a "barefoot" blog genre. Not quite as big as the craft blog genre, but getting there). Send me the link if you have it. Or if it's your husband.

To compensate for my bad memory, Mandy decided to buy thousands of small beads and let four kids ten and under make bracelets and lizards from them. The assumption, perhaps flawed, was that all of the beads would remain accounted for either in their original storage containers or as part of a hand-crafted item, and that none of the beads would escape. My barefooted self walking across a hardwood floor the day after the beads showed up quickly disproved this assumption. I'm guessing it will take about six days for every one of these beads to be randomly scattered throughout our house.

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