Trolls

In case you missed yesterday’s post about the war between the Bees and the Grass Goblins, check it out here. It’s a fun little story I made up for Bang while we were out playing in the backyard. It’s so fun playing with their imagination. And if any of you are artists and would like create the Grass Goblin from the story, that would be totally awesome and I would be totally grateful!

While yesterday’s story was purely fiction, today’s is true. As most of you know by now, Crash has a YouTube channel. He uses it share his Lego creations. I use it to show short clips of fun things we do. Anyway, he got his first troll last week. Whether it was an actual internet troll (not an under-the-bridge troll) or just a rude viewer, he got his first negative comment for this video – Building Lego Minifigures.

troll comments

Crash doesn’t know about these comments. While he does have an email address his comments get shipped to, he rarely checks it. I saw the email and deleted it. I will show him the comments. It’s definitely a learning experience. He hasn’t been swayed. He still wants to make more LEGO creations to make videos about. He currently has two waiting for me upload, as a matter of fact.

Part of me wants to delete the comments.

Part of me wants to respond them. I’m sorry their life has led them to be so low as to have to respond negatively to an eight year’s YouTube video about LEGO. They must be proud of themselves (note sarcasm).

Part of me want show them to Crash and allow him to decide what would be the right thing to do. Leave them as is, delete them, or allow him to respond as he sees fit. I don’t want him to get discouraged, but at the same time he needs to learn how to accept things like this.

It wasn’t until just now, during the writing of this post last night, while capturing the screen shot of the comments that I noticed how many views that video has. He’ll be stoked when I show him that stat!

If you were his parent, how would you handle these comments? Would you respond to them yourself? Would you delete them? Would you show them? Would you allow them to respond? Let me know in the comments below.

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photo credit: allposters.com

 

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Bumble Bees and the Grass Goblins

Our yard is full of dandelions. It looks like a dandelion farm. I kid you not. The mower mows most of them. Some are still too short. No matter. They grow fast enough that by tomorrow they’ll have predominantly all returned. But did you know there is a war being raged ona miniature scale to keep those dandelions yellow?

5491756636_17818b05a1_zBattles ensue between the bumble bees and the Grass Goblins. We have all seen buzzlebees. They’re big, round, fuzzy, yellow and black striped and love yellow dandelions. It’s wings appear too small to be effective, but provide the bee with flight nonetheless. They don’t mind us humans and generally leave us alone. Their cousins, the hornets and wasps, are the cranky ones who hate us with a vengeance. But the bumble bee is much calmer. Unless it’s up against a Grass Goblin.

Now, if you’ve never seen a Grass Goblin consider yourself lucky. They’re ugly. They make scorpions look cute and cuddly. They are slightly smaller than their bumble bee enemies. They are unnaturally thin with blades of grass sprouting from their head and back. They are covered in warts that would make a toad jealous. Naturally, they’re greenish brown. The Grass Goblins turn all those bright yellowy flowers into white puff balls to use as parachutes and gliders in a blitzkrieg against the bees.

The bees, of course, hate that. They feast upon dandelion nectar and, consequently, pollinate the vibrant flowers. Those white puff balls are completely useless to the bees objective. So the bees wage war against the Grass Goblins  to save their food supply.

Or so a certain, lovable, wildly imaginative 4 (soon to be 5) year old, Bang, believes. Perhaps because that’s the story his father told him while they were playing the backyard. Not long after being hearing this story, said four year old found a white puffball dandelion and took it to a bumble bee asking it to turn it back to yellow. Apparently it was too late to save the flower. So Bang blew off all the seeds so the Grass Goblins couldn’t use it against the cute, fuzzy buzzle bee.

everything you imagine

 

 

Sunday Share 29

Well hello there! Glad you could stop by for a few minutes on your way to wherever you were headed to next. Kick off your shoes. Hang your coat in the closet. Stay a while. Have some tea. Or coffee. Or a Coke.

We’ve had a wheelbarrow of rain and dump trucks of sunshine. With this combination you can pretty much hear the grass growing. I’m mowing twice a week to keep up with it!

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This is how fast my backyard grows…

I leave you these great reads to read while I’m out mowing. Happy reading!

Baby Sideburns
Playground discipline…

Hershey’s World
The countless constellations…

Humor Columnist Blog
This one is for the few blogger friends who are moving…

Square Head Teachers
Teaching in a classroom with ADHD kids

Finding Rachel’s Way
Get’er done

Crash’s Corner
See if you can find his first Troll comment. Haters gonna hate, but more on that later this week…

Questions My Kids Ask: Popcorn, Parks, Clouds, and Supper

I feel like I’m borrowed time. The only time I’ve had a chance to write today is during my lunch break. I’m subbing today and they were kind enough to take away the prep I would have had had I been covering for just one teacher. But I’m not even covering for just two teachers today. I’m covering three.

When you’re good, you’re good.

Either they really need somebody or they really trust me. I’m guessing it’s the former. There are a lot of subs in today.

Before I get to those questions, though, I need to give a big shout out to Momsranting. She is my 400th WordPress follower! Check out her latest post about when she was mistaken as her sister’s mother.

1. Why is it called popcorn?

It’s corn. When you heat it up it goes “POP”. That pretty much explains it all. But, you’re like me,  and God help you if you are, you’ll want more. Popcorn is the only variety of corn that will pop. It’s the only one with a droplet of water inside of its hard exterior shell. Those of you who have bitten down on a kernel from the bottom of the bowl understand how hard it is. Break your teeth hard. Water has a specific quality to it that makes it expand when it heats up and turns to steam. Once the internal pressure of the kernel reaches roughly 135 psi (car tires are about 35 psi) the shell breaks open and the gelatinous, starchy insides come busting out all gangsta and solidify as they quickly cool. It is now 40-50 times larger. If I were 50 times larger I’d be 7,250 pounds and 275 feet tall.

2. Can you take us to the park?

With spring finally making its appearance the kids are looking to be outside more and more and more. No sweat (actually, lots of sweat, but that’s because I sweat easily). Lets go! I mean, have you seen our park? It’s freakin’ awesome! I can walk some laps around the jungle gyms to get my Fitbit steps up while they play. Of course, I have to stop on occasion to give a push or two or hundred on the swings, but that’s just All In A Dad’s Work. Lately, Crash has been arranging his own playdates at school. We get to the park to find two or three of his friends there or on their way. And at what age do we stop calling them playdates? Can parents have playdates?

3. Why are those clouds following us?

Because it’s really far away. The closer something is the faster it appears to go by. The moon is even farther away than the clouds. Hence, it’s always following you like lost little puppy. Scientifically, it’s because the angular distance changes are smaller the farther away something is.

following

That’s not two people. That’s the same person who has moved. See area A? Compare it to area B and you’ll see it’s much larger. The same amount of time has passed to create both angle changes. It’s that angle change that made the closer cloud appear to move faster than the one farther away. So you can imagine the moon is another 240,000 miles or so away so it’s angle would be even smaller. That’s why you have to travel REALLY far to make the moon to appear to have moved. There’s math to go with this, but I have spared you. It’s called parallax if you’re interested. I’m interested in seeing how many clicks that link gets.

4. What’s for supper?

Hmmm. Right now it depends on what your mother took out of the freezer. If she took burger out we could have hamburger slop or meatloaf. Or we might have chicken something or other. I love to cook. DW loves to let me cook. We were made for each other. We don’t plan our meals in advance. We decide that day what we’re going to eat that night. But it’s Friday. I’ve cooked all week. It just might be a McDonald’s or a pizza night.

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This is funny because Crash is working on fractions in school!

Can you guess what was for supper?

Questions I asked My Family

That Anxious Mom nominated me to answer a few questions. So in lieu of Questions I ask my kids, I’m answering the questions of fours with a little twist. I’ll provide the answers from DW, Crash, and Bang as well as my own.

Four names people call me other than my real name?

Me: Hubband, Dad, Woody, Stick-man (what an uncle used to call me)
DW: Wifey, Mom, Beep, TT
Crash: Crash, Bub, Riggidy, SlimeGamer56 (his gamer name… insert parental eyeroll)
Bang: Buddy, Dude, Bang, bub

Four jobs that I have had?

Me: Babysitter, Agricultural Scout, Teacher, Substitute Teacher
DW: 1 hour photo lab, fitness center, recreation dept, teacher
Crash: Vacuum the stairs up/down, make my bed, put laundry away, clean the bathroom sink and mirror
Bang: Clean up messes, vacuum Piper’s mat, put clothes away, and clean up LEGOs

Four movies that I have watched more than once?

Me: Last of the Mohicans, Gladiator, Usual Suspects, Matrix
DW: Armageddon, Cars, Dirty Dancing, Good Will Hunting
Crash: Cars, Cars 2, LEGO Movie, Wall*E
Bang: The LEGO Movie, Wall*E, Inside out, Big Hero Six

Four books or authors I’d recommend?

Me: The Book Thief, anything by Markus Zusak. Jerry Spinelli, Terry Brooks (and Tracey Tobin)
DW: Sylvia Day, 50 Shades of Grey, Harry Potter
Crash: Mastering Minecraft, Geronimo Stilton, Robert Munsch, Harry Potter
Bang: Corduroy, Corduroy Lost and Found, Ain’t Gonna Paint No More, Good Night Good Night Construction Site

Four places I have lived?

Me: Pennsylvania, Michigan, Maryland, Virginia
DW: Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Virginia
Crash: Virginia, Nova Scotia
Bang: I have only lived in Nova Scotia. I’m only 4!

Four places I have visited?

Me: Calgary AB, Richmond VA, Costa Rica, Florida
DW: Austin TX, Calgary AB, Raleigh NC, Maryland
Crash: Maryland, Halifax, Virginia, I would say LEGOland but we haven’t gone there yet
Bang: Halifax, Maryland, Pennsylvania, the hotel in Truro

Four things I’d rather be doing right now?

Me: Running, Hiking, Kayaking, Going on vacation
DW: Laying on a beach somewhere hot, getting a massage, Figuring out how to spend a million bucks
Crash: Playing Minecraft, stay up late, starting my garden, playing at LEGOland on vacation
Bang: Not going to bed, play toys and stay up late, play with my train downstairs and have lots of fun, stay up late and tickle Timbit’s belly

Four foods I do not like?

Me: Cucumber, Salmon, Lobster, Berries
DW: Seafood, runny eggs, cilantro, sushi
Crash: Celery, brussel sprouts, chineese food, spicey food
Bang: Potato peelings, broccoli not mashed in mashed potatoes, ketchup, soft apples

Four of my favorite foods?

Me: Peperoni pizza, Lasagne, Cajun Chicken Penne, Peanut M&M’s
DW: lasagne, roast, beef stew, anything chocolate
Crash: Pizza, broccoli, ice cream, ham
Bang: Broccoli in mashed potatoes, mashed potatoes, corn, grilled cheese sandwiches

Four shows I watch?

Me: Blindspot, Game of Thrones, Grey’s Anatomy, Gold Rush
DW: Blindspot, Grey’s Anatomy, The Voice, Wife Swap
Crash: American Pickers, Canadian Pickers, That Gaming Show, Rainbow Ruby
Bang: Team Umizoomi, Blaze, Bubble Guppies, NASCAR races with pop

Four things I am looking forward to this year?

Me: the beach, camping, wedding anniversary, my birthday
DW: splash pad, road trips, getting the house in order,
Crash: Summer break, going to friend’s houses, my birthday,
Bang: My birthday, too!

Four things I am always saying?

Me: Clean up your mess, night night love you, What did you do in math today?, hey buddy
DW: f***, you drive me crazy, be a good listener, I love you
Crash: Oh my god mom has the F word!, lots of questions, C’mere Timbit, I’m hungry
Bang: I wanna watch TV, cute Timbit

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Naming Our Next Creative Endeavors, in 6 Words

Eli, the Coach Daddy, heard Yoda tell Hemmingway “Use 6 words you must.” So with just six words, Eli challenges us fellow bloggers to pen our own story. You might even find a new blog to follow! Happy reading!

creative photo credit: First order stromtroop via photopin(license)

I have an unfinished book. Or two.

6 words graphicRaise your hand if you can say the same. I’m not talking that Danielle Steele paperback collecting dust on your nightstand. I’m talking, fingers to the keyboard, creative endeavor, this’ll be so cool writing that gets left behind like the Dallas Cowboys in the playoffs.

One of mine is a book about the NFL in the 1970s.

Every month, I compile a post called 6 Words. Ernest Hemingway inspired it when he said any story can be told in six words. I ask bloggers, friends, strangers, and a few strange blogger friends to respond to a prompt.

May is Creative Beginnings Month. What’s one creative endeavor you have in you that you need to start? Even better: Start it. Maybe use this post as square one to finally get it underway.

What would yours…

View original post 393 more words

I’m Bored

God help my kids if I ever hear those two words uttered this summer. Inevitably, they’re said on the 2nd day of summer vacation.

We have a good crew of kids in our little development now. Some are a bit older than Crash and some are bit younger than Bang. We’ve got the ages covered. This means there are plenty of others their age to play with.

But more than than just having others to play with is the amount there is to do now.

  • Trampoline
  • Soccer
  • Road hockey
  • Basketball
  • Frisbee/disk golf
  • Swing set
  • Sandbox
  • Bikes
  • Scooters
  • Rollerblades
  • Baseball

And that’s just the stuff they can play in the driveway and backyard. We have a beautiful (read huge) park to play on. It has just received an upgrade. Flex court was just laid on Sunday. The basketball court looks amazing! There’s talk of making it a multi-purpose  court by painting lines for ball hockey as well as basketball. Plus there’s a huge splash pad at the park, too.

This is by no means my summer bucket list. That post will be coming later when summer is closer than a month and half.

So help me if I hear either one of my kids says “I’m bored” at any give time, do you know what they’ll be doing? I’ve already told them this. I’ve given them their warning.

They’ll be doing chores.

  • Mowing
  • Vacuuming
  • Dusting
  • Loading/unloading the dishwasher
  • Cleaning the bathroom
  • Cleaning their room
  • Picking up their toys
  • Cleaning Timbit’s cage (the hamster)
  • Putting laundry away
  • Whatever other busy work I can come up with

I’m just putting this out there now. For us, the first day of summer vacation isn’t until June 30th. But nice weather is upon us so I’m just preparing myself and the kids.

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Sunday Share 28

Happy Memorial Day! Or happy opening day for camper season!

Yes, you read that right. This is my Sunday Share. Yes, it’s Monday. There goes Life again, getting all up in my business and not letting me get my posts written. My stats page resembles a wild roller coaster. Stats go up, stats go down. Stats go up, stats go down.

So here’s this week’s share. I thought I would do it a little differently today. I’m going to share my inbox with you. These are the most recent posts of the blogs that appear in my inbox. I’m not saying these are the only ones I read, of course. But these are the ones waiting at the breakfast table. Happy reading!

In no particular order…

Coach Daddy
Substitute his root beer with a Coke and his indulgences are a 2 run homer in the bottom of the 9th.

A Momma’s View
Trying to read the moral compass while living life in the fast lane…

That’s What Anxious Mom Said
Her LM is much like my Crash. However, today she interviews the writer of another blog.

A Song Diary
He posts whatever song catches his fancy and we seem to fancy the same kinds of songs.

Ah Dad
Another funny dad, this time he writes of a running injury he couldn’t suck up and run off.

Bumbi’s Mom
Her very active toddler skipped her nap… we parents can empathize

Elen Grey
The Fourth is strong with this one…

Faraday’s Candle
An excellent science blog and today they wrote about the flightless cormorant of Galapagos.

Grubbs n Critters
They’re about to make a major move from Thailand to Denmark the Netherlands, but this post is one of her recipes – Thai Kanoms.

J. A. Allen
She hosts an incredible “Sunday Scribbles Challenge” – a fun fiction writing contest of sorts.

Revisions of Grandeur
Her three boys remind me of my two and the darnedest things they say are, as always, hilarious.

Modern Mommy Madness
A bit of humor, a bit of real life, a bit of a “who’s getting up with the kid” game.

I Read Encyclopedias for Fun
He writes on a smorgasboard of things from his daughter, writing, moving to Edmonton from Japan, and his various takes on life.

No Page Left Blank
She’s an author who also has a little one a smidgen older than Bang. Though she has taken a small step back from blogging to focus more on her books…. She still posts, though!

Sounds Like Life to Me
With a son who just graduated high school, she writes about life in general.

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Go Ask Your Father: Spoilers, Gasoline, Vanilla, and Hats

Lo and behold! Spring has sprung. Hence, I managed to post just 3 times this week because we’re getting awesome weather. So I’ll toss out a few questions Crash and Bang asked. Then I gotta get going to a birthday party!  My Fitbit had fun counting to 17,000!

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1. What’s a spoiler?

A spoiler is when I tell you about the baby on Grey’s Anatomy last Thursday. Or if you told me about Game of Thrones. But that’s not the kind of spoiler he meant when he asked. This spoiler in question is on the back of a car. On an every day family car they’re just for decoration; to make the car “look” fast. But when you put them on racecars the air passing over them presses down it. Like when you put your hand out of the car window. This applies more pressure to the tires like when an 8 year old sits on your chest. This extra pressure creates more friction between the tires and track allowing for faster speeds. But I hate to spoil it for you, it sounds like the faster the racecar goes the more friction it will have and therefore be able to go even faster. Not true. There will eventually be a threshold where no more friction will be created. When the forces acting on the x-axis of the car overtake the friction acting on the y-axis the car slides.

 

2. How does gas power cars?

My simple explanation was that the gas explodes inside the engine. The little explosions turn gears which turn the wheels. When you press the gas pedal more gas is pushed into the engine making more explosions and turning the gears and wheels faster.

A slightly bigger explanation would be as follows…

First, the piston starts at the top, the intake valve opens, and the piston moves down to let the engine take in a cylinder-full of air and gasoline. This is the intake stroke. Only the tiniest drop of gasoline needs to be mixed into the air for this to work. Then the piston moves back up to compress this fuel/air mixture. Compression makes the explosion more powerful. When the piston reaches the top of its stroke, the spark plug emits a spark to ignite the gasoline. The gasoline charge in the cylinder explodes, driving the piston down. Once the piston hits the bottom of its stroke, the exhaust valve opens and the exhaust leaves the cylinder to go out the tailpipe. This starts the whole process over.

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3. What’s the difference between vanilla and French vanilla?

Vanilla parle Anglais, Vanille française parle français. [Translation: Vanilla speaks English, French Vanilla speaks French] Duh. To the ice cream connoisseur, though, there is a significant difference in taste. Like the difference between Coke and Vanilla Coke. The difference isn’t in where the vanilla beans are grown. It’s not a difference in type of vanilla bean. The difference is found in the egg. Egg yolk is added to French vanilla.  So it’s all about that base, ’bout that base. No yolk! Vanilla is just plain vanilla bean extract using cream as a base. French vanilla is more sophisticated, with it’s custard base instead of cream.

vanilla

4. Do you like my hat?

Bang asked this one. He asked it several times. He’s been saying he loves the Blue Jays. His favorite color is now blue for… you guessed it, the Blue Jays. Crash and I are Orioles fans. Anyway, when DW and Bang landed at school last Friday to pick up Crash and I, Bang was wearing a brand new Blue Jays hat and a face splitting smile.

Bang- Daddy doesn’t like my new hat because it has the Blue Jays on it and only mommy and I like the Blue Jays. Mommy laughed because daddy didn’t like it.

That was his Monday morning news at school. He is proud of his new hat. All though I’m an O’s fan, we do live in Blue Jay territory. So I can’t really tell him no. Plus, he is pretty darn cute in his blue hat. So we’re a house divided for some friendly rivalry.

Os vs Jays

Eco Kids

It all starts with you.

Or me.

Or our kids.

Or someone else starts it.

At some point someone will get tired of seeing litter and will decide to do something about it. Someone mentioned that a group should get together to clean up an area. Some else asked, “Why does it have to be a group? Why not just take a garbage bag with you when you take your dog for walk? Why not take a bag with you when you go to the park? Why not?”

It’s the little things that matter the most.

Every spring our town calls for a band of volunteers to help clean up our town. Volunteers register and either pick or get assigned a small area to clean up. Naturally, some areas are worse than others. It just depends on where the winds blow and what’s around to catch the garbage; fences, tall grasses, bushes, buildings, etc… We picked the area in front of the bar/Chinese restaurant.

DW likes Chinese food. The bar is for a significantly younger crowd.

It’s a pretty set up they have. Volunteers spend a couple hours on a Saturday morning picking up garbage and beautifying the town we live in. The town provides gloves, garbage bags and garbage bag pick up. Actually, it was a local car dealership who offered to pick up the full garbage bags. The town also provided t-shirts, BBQ hotdogs, apples, bananas and Timbits afterward.

This event had been planned for weeks so, of course, it rained. It poured. Cats and dogs kind of rain. The kind of rain Fort Mac so desperately needs but isn’t getting. We survived an hour of the rains and made significant headway in our clean up when the kids were done and approaching melt down. It was a bit chilly being so wet. We tried not to get too mad at them, even though there was still more garbage. We cut our loses, decided we had cleaned enough in the rain and the rest would wait for better weather.

before clean up

Before

after clean up

After

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So perhaps the next time you go for a walk, perhaps with your dog or perhaps your cat or even your lobster if you live in Atlantic Canada, you could take a bag, big or small, with you to pick any litter you might find along the way. Imagine if we all…

If only there was a way to stop it at its source…

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This is exactly what we were finding. Sad.