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Cameron's House of Fun

Fatherhood, politics, education, random thoughts (heavy on the random thoughts) and stuff (always stuff).

Friday, June 30, 2006

Lucas' Room

When we moved in the place was painted a nice and servicable white. Nothing wrong with it. So we moved our furniture in and got on with life. Lucas' room was cute, and had some nice touches, but it was pretty plain, and it was obviously a baby/toddler room.

Well he isn't any more, a baby/toddler that is. He's a little boy. And his room was dumb in comparision to his age. Plus he was still in his crib, which was fine (well he was getting a touch tight in there) until he decided one day recently to go and get his pacifier (he still falls asleep with it, one thing at a time k?). He lacks a nice dismount technique. This meant that he face planted.

Anyway, we decided we would redo it totally, with a sort of nautical theme and with an eye to making something that would last a few years and sound proof his wall that ajoins our neighbors.

In an effort to recycle some furniture and to save some money we decided to repurpose two pieces we already have and use another family piece (more on this in a minute). The first piece is a teak stereo unit dealie. It's cool, you can expand it and contract it to fit your area. We expanded it as far as it can go, sanded it a bit to accept paint, used some angle brackets to fasten it together and painted it cream (well Chris painted it). It hasn't got them yet, but it will soon have doors where the TV used to go to lock the lad out from the G3 we snagged for him from surplus at work. It's also got some curtains covering baskets and a hanging rod for his clothing. The whole point of this is to make it so he can start dressing himself and get more indendant.

The other piece we recycled was an Ikea coffeetable, shelf wall unit thing we had in the kitchen (It's this piece here). It got the same cream paint and is now a storage unit, bench and changing table (the theory being that we won't need it soon since toliet training continues apace). So far he uses it to look out the window at cars.

The third piece is a bed. This bed was bought for my father (it's twin lives in Toronto, my Uncle Malcolm also slept on one) by my grandfather. After my Dad, I slept in it. So 3 generations of Campbell boys (well Campbell and Campbell-Daviault boys) have slept in it now. It was way darker and more masculine than I remembered it (also way nicer) so it got cream paint as well (Chris did most of the furniture painting as well as putting painted stripes on one side of the bed rails).

Three of the walls in the room got a really nice blue paint on them, sort of a dark sky blue. The forth wall is sort of our crowning glory.

Since we moved in the neighboring boarding house has produced a fair amount of noise in our place. Though there have been some serious issues (the guy who's room is next to Lucas' had a girlfriend, he's not blameless, but she is umm.. batshit crazy) most of the problem is just thin walls between our places. Anyway, Christine came up with a really cool way to deal with this. We attached a vertical grid of 1 3/4" by 3/4" pine slats to the drywall. In between these slats, we put Sonopan, a fibreboard soundproofing product. Then to the surface we attached 24" by 24" plywood that has a Maple finish (I coated these with a clear coat). OMG IT'S SO COOL.

Lucas, when he finally got to see the room, was estatic. He jumped up and down yelling "C'est Bleu! C'est Bleu! BRAVO MAMAN ET PAPA!" it was adorable.

Since he's in the big boy bed, he basically doesn't got to sleep very well. Or rather, the same shenanigans that happened in the crib still happen, but over a longer period, with the ability to get out of bed. That said, last night he fell asleep by himself (the wrong way on the bed, but still).

Here are some pictures: Before and After.

What's going on... or grab bag 900

Ok, so posting has been spotty lately. Appart from the World Cup, work has been insane.

We published 2 sites a week ago, another will be ready to go to the client by Tuesday close of business. And then we have meetings, I've got training sessions to lead and another site or two are near completion, design wise. Which means that I start developing them when they are approved.

As well, we just redid Lucas' room. Which will be a post of it's own.

All of this to say, we're alive and well. Though exhausted.

World Cup Quarters Day 1 or THANK GOD THE GERMANS WON!

Earlier in the tournament, I wrote about how little I liked the team from Serbia. To give them their due, they really aren't very good, and they need to screw around to even draw close to competing.

Argentina is another matter. They are one of the best sides in the world. They are fast, they are skilled, they are very very organized. They are also one of the dirtiest, least honorable pack of loser jerks on the planet.

Beyond fouling and diving their way through a match, beyond the constant bad mouthing. Beyond the slaps, and pushes and (this one was a stunner for me) throat grabs (all of which were after the whistle, not in the run of play), beyond all that, they ahve to go and start a small brawl after they lose by penalty kicks.

For years people talked about banning the English team for what their fans did in the stands, perhaps FIFA should look at their fair play banners and then look at how Argentina plays and notice the contrast.


In the 75th minute Italy is doing what Italy is supposed to be doing, beating the Ukranian side 3 -0.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The Grab Bag is Coming

But first, a political thought:

Charest being ahead in the polls is mb good for Canadian Unity. 

But it totally sucks as a citizen of Quebec who cares a whit about progressive ideals and crazy things like daycare and the environment. 

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

A grab bag post is eminent...

...probably on Thursday. 

Are you all tingly? 

Monday, June 12, 2006

Post Graduation Thoughts



In a couple of hours, like 3.5, something utterly nuts will happen.

Concordia University is going to give me a MA.

The mind fucking boggles.


So at this point, I'd like to send a big FUCK YOU out to the fine people who created the standardized apptitude test (and those that administered it) that suggested that I lacked the general learning ability to finish an undergraduate degree. I hope that I'm wrong, that there is a god and heaven and hell and that you roast in the latter, on a spit, for all time.

I would also like to send a huge thank you to those of you who helped along the way. Some are gone (god, it's days like this that I miss the hell out of my Mom), some are still around, some I've lost touch with. Each and every one of you taught me something and pushed me forward.

Thank you.

Now I must decide how the hell the stupid gown goes on.


Sunday, June 11, 2006

Tee Hee!

Any day that starts with Serbia's football side losing is a day that is ok by me.

Let me explain. I'm a Montreal Canadians fan. I hate the Bruins and the Leafs with a deep unabiding passion.

If you were to multiply my hatred for those hockey teams by roughly, say, a million, you would begin to approximate the hatred I have in my heart for the Serbian football team.

Look, you watch the German side and you see a lovely combination of Italian finese and English physical play.

You watch the Serbian side and you get a horrible combination of the flip side of that. Fake diving, constant complaining, cheap shots, violent reckless play... all with disrespect for the ref and a generally shitty attitude.

Oh, and by the way, in case you haven't figured it out, my last 3 days have been spent glued to the TV or the internet sites that are covering the World Cup (the best site I've found so far is the CBC - though I haven't looked really hard yet).

I've got Lucas working on his "olé olé" chant (he likes that one a lot) and, to keep the peace with my Brother-in-law (though they will choke before the second round) I've got him going "England!! clap clap clap".


Well until the first time Brazil wins a game and the parade starts up outside my house.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Fun and Games

Look, 95% of the time I love living in an urban setting. 95% of the time I love that my son is growing up living where we live. 95% of the time I embrace and accept what is going on around us.

That extra 5% is looming large in my mind today. 

We live next door to a rooming house. The guys in it (and they are all guys) range from working poor to full on borderline junkie fucktards. 

One of our neighbors is someone we call Mr. Squirlie, because of how shifty and skittish he looks. Before last night I don't think I've heard him speak, let alone yell. 

That was before last night.

Last night we were watching a movie, Lucas was asleep and we hear yelling. Mr. Squirlie is yelling at some guy with a knee brace and crutches (which we realized shortly were more prop than anything else).  We aren't sure what the arguement was about, but Mr. Crutch (I'm lazy, sue me) was heard to say "Go on, call the police, I'll wait right here. But you won't call, because you're scared of me." 

Soon after this Mr. Squirlie and Mr Crutch engaged in a not very amusing version of keystone copsian chace around some construction equipment parked on the street. 

This terminated in Mr. Squirlie getting hold of the crutches and smashing them off the construction equipement. Which led to the suddenly spry Mr. Crutch(less) jumping him. Which led to Mr. Crutch getting beaten over the head and back with his own crutches. Which led to the two of them rolling around on the sidewalk beating on each other. Which led to me calling the police. 

Which led to. 

Well, nothing. Technically I'm still waiting for them to show up. 

So this happens. And then this morning I wake to my morning paper telling me that the police are no longer content to herd dealers and junkies into my neighborhood from only one side (St-Denis) and that they now want to put surveillance cameras up on St-Laurent as well.

Right after I read this the construction guys showed up to move their gear back to their job site and Lucas got excited. So we went to the door, in time to see the equipment and one of the local dealers close a deal.


Who Are You? And What Have You Done With My Genetic Material?

Let us set the scene shall we?

A normal table, in a normal dining room/living room, in a normal house in the Plateau.

At the table sits Maman, Papa and a child (let's call him Lucas, shall we?).

In front of each person, served according to their needs and eatting abilities, is an omlette, some boiled potatos and some peas.

Now, let's set the scene a bit more, ok?

I don't like peas. I don't have the borderline hatred that my sister has (she seems to believe they were invented as an insult to her). Chris likes peas quite a lot. So I always figured Lucas would be somewhere in the middle.

But apparently the "likes peas" gene is more powerful that the "OMFG ARE YOU TRYING TO POISON ME?!!?" gene.

Because Lucas would only eat his omlette and potatos if we hid them under a bunch of peas.

Toronto Trip Wrap up

So the trip to Toronto was great. Lucas was in a great mood the whole way,
played with stuff, was generally a good little man.

Changing his diaper in the VIA bathrooms remains a HUGE challenge. First
off, they are designed for smaller babies/toddlers and second off they are

Luckily Lucas didn't take a crap on the train, because after the first
changing I resorted to using the table as a standing platform and did
standing changes. At one point the train hit some bumps, Lucas kind of fell
into my arms and siad "Train fait kaboom".

The trip back was another story, we were all tired, he was wound up from a
week of having his sleep all buggered and he was generally a mess. He kinda
melted down once or twice, but never to a horrid extent.

Visiting Andrew and Isako was great. Both of them are busy at work but let
us have the master bedroom so we could have Lucas in the room with us (a
mixed blessing in retrospect).

We wandered all over the place, looking at things and shops and relaxing.

I find that the last two city vacations we've taken we've gotten a bit too
caught up in looking at stores and buying things. This bothers me a bit, we
need to take some vacations where we park and watch the world go by.

That said we managed to find shoes that both:
A) fit Lucas' feet
B) are cool.

He got Adidas Samba's and the Nike shock shoes (now known as "les soulier
qui fait boing boing).

I scored some sweet Adidas Crooked Tounges. They are silly but so very very cool. I got them at Goodfoot on Richmond. Goodfoot has a store here but, with the exception of one visit where I think a manager/owner was in from Toronto, the service at the Montreal store (which is 5 minutes from my house) is utter crap. Either they ignore me or they are surly. The service in the Toronto store was amazing. The guy who sold me the shoes was enthusiastic, knew his stuff and was insanely helpful.

We all scored coolio shirts at Hardboiled Inc.... Lucas got to sit in a fire truck, he road on the Subway (Le Subway is over dere!), the Streetcar...

All it all a great trip.

That said, as always, I'm glad I'm back to my routine.

Also, the vacation I'm craving now is the one in July where we are going
camping for 4 nights with my sister, her husband and (maybe) my Dad. We will sit. We will hike. We will eat silly food.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Vacation update 

Coming soon. 

Check back often.

Operators are standing by.