Troy's Blog

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I'm just a typical Dad. I have a good wife of 20+ years and 2 good kids. All 3, at times, contribute to my hair graying or falling out.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Finally last weekend I decided to put it all together. I had to move all of the furniture in the family room into the hallway or along the east wall. Then I pulled the train table out into the open so I could turn it for easy access to all sides. Off and on over the next 2 days I rallied any help I could find and we added the 2nd level. It is not straight, it is not in alignment, it is not level, it is just tacked together so I could put the family room back in order and work on the project during the winter. It was nice to see some progress.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Grandma Shirley / Uncle Sean

I just couldn't bring myself to say "Kaitlyn had a baby" in the title. One of Kaitlyn's projects for her child development class is "Baby Think It Over". Kaitlyn received this VERY realistic baby Friday around 11 a.m. and will have it until Monday around 11 a.m. See her blog for all the details. Let's just say I refer to it as "Baby Cries a Lot". Did any of us get a good night's sleep?! Even the dog is having issues with the noise. I was "feeding" the electronic crying, eating, farting machine and accidentally let her head flop back while I was reaching for my food - hey, the sitter needs to eat too. Apparently, in addition to all the noise that followed, Kaitlyn will get a deduction of a few points for that mishap. Lesson #2 screen your sitters before hiring them. Just in case you are wondering, lesson #1 is no boys until you are 30.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

My Bridges

I finally have my bridges mostly completed. These are the 4 I made. They are mainly made out of pieces cut, trimmed, and sanded from much larger pieces. 1x3 and 1x4 pine boards trimmed to 1/4x1/4 or 1/8 by 1/8. Of course there were some purchased; the round ones for example or if I needed some that had to be absolutely straight.

The first one was the most time consuming with the most pieces. It isn't perfectly straight yet. That's the nice thing about using hot glue instead of wood glue. If you need to straighten something out, just pop it into the microwave for 10-15 seconds and it is easy to reshape. Obviously you have to wait until the wife is out of the house to do might not go over so well.

The 2nd is the most creative that I tried. This is the one where I wet the wood and clamped it to the pizza pan to bake for 15-20 minutes at 200 to get the curved shape. By the way, mother was gone when I tried that, too.

#3 was the easiest and quickest. All straight pieces - very simple. This one I am going to name the Barack Obama Memorial Bridge - details to follow.
#4 is the most frustrating. I worked and worked to get all the pieces exactly the same size, level, square, etc., etc., etc. As I tightened each of the cables, it pulled the upward supports closer and closer together.....not noticing that until it was too late. Even the oven trick won't work on this one. So if you look quickly, you'll never notice that it is not even. I ran the cables through eye hooks and twisted the eye hooks to tighten the cables. Under the bridge is a huge mess of cables and eye hooks - not very neatly done. But as they say in Japan - its a bridge. The only thing left for all 4 is painting - suggestions for colors are welcome. I'm thinking #1 will be weathered brown or left as is, #2 will be silver to look like a dull aluminum, #3 will be a flat black to look like painted steel, and #4, I'm not sure. The silver cables will be left as it. Weathered red, gray/white, blue gray....suggestions?????

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

My Babies

One of my favorite times of the day is when we tucked the kids in bed. They're winding down, have just had a bath, are warm and cuddly, and all is at peace with the world.

Then.......they turn to teenagers and they begin tucking you in.