My Son is A Ghostbuster In The Making

I finished making my Halloween costume last week: Building My 2019 Costume. I’m really happy with how that one turned out. I guess it inspired my son to do his own build (With my help). After numerous costume ideas thrown around, he decided he wanted to be a Ghostbuster. Retro at it’s finest. Time to get going on it!

Of course we hit up Spirit Halloween to see what was out there. I love my son and I love Halloween… but forking over the kind of money this store is asking just for one night is kind of crazy. I did buy one piece to add to his costume. But the rest we decided to make together.

The Wand

This isn’t screen accurate at all. But it looks pretty awesome. It’s also the design my son wanted. A few years ago I had picked up two garden lights that had blue lightning effects. But because they used 8 “AA” batteries, I never used them in the yard. One of them I made into a “Steampunk Lightning Catcher that my daughter has used as part of her steampunk outfit for conventions. The other is now for my son to use as his Proton Pack Wand. I modified this one with a new rocker switch to turn it on, a metal grate and some “exposed” wires.

Proton Pack

The Proton Pack has been the most fun to assemble. Much like my Skesis head, I used pink foam insulation as the base. I cut the bottom of an ice cream tub for the “Cyclotron”. The top is from an old pressure washer handle and the rest is odds and ends from an old VCR and arcade parts I had laying around. A coat of black paint and some fairy lights hide most of the obviousness of what the items once were.

Ghost Trap

This is the piece we bought. As awesome as the Ghost Trap from Spirit Halloween is- I ended up using paints in order to weathering it. The result makes it seem more believable. So I used some techniques I’ve learned over the years. I think it looks good. But now I have to “age” the Proton Pack and the Wand in order to keep the aesthetics similar.

All that remains is the flightsuit and adding straps to the Proton Pack so our son can walk around. Not too bad for using stuff we already owned that was just gathering dust. Plus I enjoyed working with my son to build his props. I hope to do more like this with him in the future.

How are your costumes coming along? Do you love Halloween as much as I do?

Let me know in the comments!

Another New Stovetop

Yesterday I replaced our island cooktop, again. This time we spent a bit more money on it than the previous cooking surface. And I’m okay with that.

When we first bought our home, we had a really old, but reliable cast iron stovetop. We lived with it for seven years before replacing it. Honestly, if it worked and cooked- why replace it? We only replaced it because my wife found a great deal on a “new to us” stovetop.

On November 25th, 2014- my wife found a $1000 stovetop on Facebook for the price of $50. SCORE! So out with the old and in with the new. Once I installed the new cooktop, the first thing I made was grilled cheese sandwiches. What better way to test how well it works than with a traditional melted sandwich?

The stove worked well for a few years until the large burner stopped working. Parts for the stovetop were not readily available for this model. However, I was able to do a quick fix that worked for quite some time. I had to do this fix twice more over the past year until the burner finally gave up. It was time to bite the bullet and get a new stovetop.

After some online research, I found one that had good reviews and was of average price… average price being just under $1000! The Home Depot had one on display, so I went to talk to an associate about it.

Did you know that Home Depot will beat any advertised price on the same item by 10%? I saved nearly $100 because I found it advertised for 1¢ cheaper elsewhere. One cent saved my one hundred dollars. (Do your research people- it pays off!)

I installed the new stove quickly and you know the first thing I cooked?

A grilled cheese sandwich. Which my son promptly wanted. So I made a second sandwich. Which my daughter then wanted. Finally I got to enjoy the third grilled cheese sandwich I made.

It’s a pretty good stovetop and I look forward to using it. That must be a grown up thing. Looking forward to using new appliances. Oh yeah, it also plays a little tune when it gets turned on and off. Cute but unnecessary. Just like our washing machine.

The songs do bring me joy…

…for now.

Mug Shots

Like most folks, we have an assortment of coffee mugs in our cupboard. They often appear as gifts based on whatever the recipients fancy. From Owls to Lego, to mugs that come free with a bottle of booze- these become personalized favorites of us all. But my wife and I are cheesy. We have a collection of matching mugs.

It started years ago with a couple of horoscope ones from the dollar store. But it soon branched off into ones that defined who we really were.

My wife dominated over me by absconding the “Player 1” mug leaving me to be the Luigi to her Mario. Always second to none, but she’s my number one.

I am particularly fond of our first set of Disneyland mugs. Simple art of the classic characters that defined cartoons My wife is the Minnie to my Mickey.

Soon after we picked up another set of mugs. She is the elegant Eve to my clunky love struck Wall-E. But wait, there’s more…

A couple of years later she became my Belle. That’s right, we really are that cheesy. Even our kids began to get in on the fun.

Of course Disneyland plays on the memories and heartstrings of everyone who enters their gates. The store shelves are lined with trinkets and mugs that need to be brought home. Every one of our morning coffees is in matching mugs. And no one else is permitted to use them.

Do you have a favorite coffee cup?

Are you as cheesy as we are?

Let me know in the comments.

The Empty Halls Share A Voice

Tonight there is another meeting in regards to our oldest daughter’s future Dry Grad event. I arrived early at the school (I’m always early for everything) and wandered the halls. At 6:30pm on a Wednesday the halls aren’t as empty as you might expect.

The Langley Fine Arts School has numerous before and after school activities and classes. Our son in grade eight was at one of these classes called “The Mix” which has students from grades eight through twelve in it. They create in a variety of journalism styles. Our son is really excited to be a part of it.

Being a Fine Arts School, the walls are filled with inspirational quotes and imagery. The school also showcases the talents of the many students who have been through these halls. Stories and insight into the hearts and minds of these youngsters- encouraged by a school that sees their potential.

My wife and I have five more years of walking these halls. In the end we will have been going through these hallways for almost a decade. My years in high school were very different. I avoided the halls. Those halls held secrets- no sharing. I’m glad that our children are experiencing a better form of education than I had.

Vacuums

I take for granted that we have a built-in vacuum. With a dog that sheds excessively we need to clean up about two to three times every week. That being said, in the dozen or so years we’ve been living here- we give that centralized vacuum a workout. But it only does suction- there is no motorized head spinning to dig up the deep down dirt. Which is fine for the hardwood floors and tile.

The other biggest problem we have is the location of the canister and motor. It’s in the room where our hot water tank and furnace are. So it’s very warm. Which causes the vacuum to overheat. We can usually vacuum most of the downstairs before it shuts off. In the end, the upstairs gets neglected. And that’s where we have the most carpet.

I have an old vacuum that was left behind by my mother years ago. It’s been through a lot, including a duct taped hose in order for it to work. Recently the band on the motorized head snapped, so it was pretty useless for getting the ground in dirt and threads from my wife’s studio. Of course it was when I wanted to do the carpets in the rest of our house that it crapped out.

So today I went to a store that’s been in Langley since, forever (or 1965 according to their website). The ladies in Big Gary’s Vacuums were extremely helpful and fun to talk with. They helped me get a new band and we talked about how people have no idea that Sears closed down ages ago. (That’s where the Kenmore brand vacuums were from). Anyways, $12 later and some shared memories about the Sears Wish Book, I have a working motorized head on an old vacuum.

All I need to do now is find a hose for my old shop vac. This was another Sears purchase two decades ago. I’m pretty sure I’ll find what I need on Amazon! They sell everything. They’re the ones who helped kill the brick and mortar big box stores, the least they could do is sell some parts for me.

September 30th

I can’t believe that this month is over. There was so much going on that I hardly had time to notice that we entered Autumn.

There was back to school, I spent a week in Winnipeg for work, speed skating started up, a lightning storm, a couple coworkers quitting, our daughter did her first of many graduation celebrations- a packed month of plenty of memories.

I’m going to just sleep the last day of the month away. Wake me up when September ends.

Get Those Costumes Ready!

In a little over a month it will be Halloween! I love this time of year! Dressing up in costumes is always fun. Since we haven’t been doing the comic convention circuit over the past while, it means that this is the only time I’ll really be able to express my artistic sense.

Over the years I have made some great and not so great costumes. I’m trying to push my artistic ability this year and hope it pays off. Usually I just fashion up some clothes and take my attributes (read as being a tall lanky white guy) to create the illusion of my character. I oftentimes have a simple prop that showcases who I am supposed to be. Be it a weapon, bow tie, or dog- it’s the accessories that finish of a costume. But a big part is also embodying the characters. Acting like the person goes a long way into making it more believable.

Have you started on your costume yet? Or do you prefer to buy a ready made one? Either way is wonderful. So long as you’re letting loose and having fun being something you’re not!

Only four weekends remaining to get ready! The pressure is on! Cosplay making skills don’t fail me now!

Laser Swords

I’ve always loved movies. Mostly sci-fi films. Especially Star Wars. I’m always on the look out for replica movie props as well. The obvious ones are light sabers. Of which we own three screen accurate ones.

I’ve had them on display in our theater room for ages. Recently a friend made some lightsaber hilts for me out of scrap materials.

Definitely not screen accurate, but fun nonetheless. It reminded me that I too had mad a “lightsaber” almost twenty years ago. It was also not at all screen accurate.

In fact it was just four pieces of plumbing thrown together and quickly painted. But I still have it. Just because… imaginationing is great. Give a kid a stick and it turns into a sword.

Growing up I still make whir and woosh sounds if I finds something that could be a “sword”. I think it just comes naturally. These small glimpses of pretend- it can make a person smile inside and out.

You never know when you might become a Jedi.

Dark Clouds

Two lovers in a cage,

Trapped and ever so afraid

To step outside;

From the world we hide.

The street life

And the bright lights

Blind their eyes;

And send us running to obscurity-

We need to break free.

Trapped you see.

Trapped here in mediocrity.

Don’t ever trust a soul on planet earth.

Dark

Clouds

Drift away

To reveal…

Sunshine.


These are song lyrics from a mid-nineties British group called “SPACE“. The CD was titled “Spiders“. I loved the style of this band back in the day. I even had the opportunity to see them perform at a club in Vancouver way back when.

This particular song has been stuck in my head since I took the above picture yesterday morning on my drive home. It’s not just the lyrics, but the instrumental parts as well that ring on in my mind. I like the final line in the song.

Dark clouds drift away to reveal sunshine.

That’s what I work towards every day. A bit more sunshine and lot less gloom. Go give Space a listen to. I’m going to dust off my cd and listen to it later on.

Elite Achievement Unlocked

Yesterday I hit another milestone on WordPress. I’m really proud of myself and also can’t believe it. I hit 1337 days in a row of writing!

Amazing! When I first started, I didn’t imagine that I’d have three and a half years of daily writing in me. But here we are. A bunch of thoughts and stories out there in the interwebs as I try and navigate this universe. Hence the title of my blog, Making It Up As I Go.

Maybe I’m inspirational at times. Sometimes I’m sharing how I parent with the accomplishments and challenges the three kids of ours bring forth. I try and be positive as often as possible. Sometimes my baggage gets shared, but I find it a great way to work through emotional turmoil. It makes me a better person to get it out rather than having a pit inside me fester and rot.

1337

I hope everyone who reads and follows along has enjoyed my musings over the past 1337 posts. I feel ELITE having made is this far. Thank you for joining me on my journey.