Category Archives: Only Here

First Snow and Luge 2.0

First Snow!

Sam and I took the kids out to play in the snow while we cleaned up.

We found some scrap lumber that had been lining the floor of our old “plastic garage” that collapsed last winter. That got us to thinking more about our winter project this year, Luge 2.0

Last year was rather epic, with snowblowers to move the snow, many men shovelling and lots of on the fly engineering to build the greatest backyard sledding hill of all time.

This year we think we have it beat. Luge 2.0 has the following features.

  • 14′ dished ramp
  • 7′ vertical drop (from the deck railing height)
  • 3 1/2′ high table platform for loading (possibly built out of pallets with 2×4 cross supports and a chipboard “floor”
  • safety railing on one side of ramp
  • safety railing on one side of table
  • Possible tarp wrapping on ramp to protect and enhance sledding speed
  • 110% pure awesomeness
  • so far, constructed entirely of imagination

Anyone want to help?  We will need to somewhat build this in place as neither of us have the math to properly engineer it.  We’re going to use recycled wood as much as possible, both to be environmentally friendly (ok, I’m not really that green) and to save money. (Yep, this is the real reason.)

I’ve attached our plans as currently drawn.  They aren’t all that much to scale, and they’re certainly not measured.  Angles on plans mean nothing, use your imagination to envision the true awesomeness that these plans represent.

Then call us, so you can help.  With your muscles and time and brains and overall coolness.  You need to prove your coolness.  Come help with Luge 2.0!

 Rough Luge Draft 2.0 Luge 2.0

Rough engineering draft for Luge 2.0

Yes, I am a geek.

Today I managed to get PGP encryption working with my gmail account. I had to install WinPT and PGP on my computer and generate a key pair. I have a private key, and a public key. I encrypt things with my private key, and anyone who has my public key can decrypt it. Decrypting it also proves that it was my private key that encrypted it – so if you got encrypted email from me you would know that it was me that sent it.

To get it to work with my gmail I had to install firegpg, which you can get at the link.

This is what a block of PGP encrypted text looks like.

Version: GnuPG v1.4.7 (MingW32)


So you can see, it’s not readable. The following text is a decryption from that email.
This is a test of PGP.–
– The Family Blog
– My Fitness Blog

“One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries.”
– AA Milne

“The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don’t.” – Douglas Adams

In case anyone is geeky enough to want to exchange encrypted email with me, this is my public key:
pub 1024D/E6707F9E 06/05/2008 Jeff Closs <>
Primary key fingerprint: C60F 0789 3667 C363 193B EFA7 5CCF 483F E670 7F9E—–BEGIN PGP PUBLIC KEY BLOCK—–
Version: GnuPG v1.4.7 (MingW32) – WinPT 1.2.0


So, there we go. My geekery for the day. If you have any questions, feel free to comment away.

Breastfeeding is Bestfeeding.

Today Ivy was again entranced with Sam’s method of feeding the baby.  She crawled up and asked lots of questions.

“Dylan eating a apple?”

“No honey, Dylan is drinking milk.”

Dylan drinking a milk?”

“Yes honey….”

And on and on over and over.

Sam says “Big mouth Dylan” while she encourages her to latch well, instead of having a lazy mouth.  Ivy of course, starts repeating it.

“Dylan got big mouth?” “Big mouth Dylan?”  “Dylan drinking milk?”

“Yes honey.”

She looks up at Sam suddenly serious and aks “Mom, got juice in there too?”

We both started laughing uncontrollably while we explained that there was not, in fact, any juice in there.  And I just thought I might share that awesome moment of parenthood with the rest of you.

Various and Sundry

Sitting at home, chillin.

Sam is tired, she’s been up since before 3am. She just had a contraction at 10:37 – so we are measuring to find the next one before we call our Mom’s back and give them the update. Also, more to the point for Sam, she can try and get some sleep after the next one.

We went shopping this morning, washed the truck. Put the infant seat in. Bought some necessities.

Now we’re sitting at home, so I did a geeky test, this is the result I got.

You are a dog
Or maybe you are a mosquito, you certainly can’t be human.The highest pitched ultrasonic mosquito ringtone that I can hear is 21.1kHz
Find out which ultrasonic ringtones you can hear!

I figured I’d take the test online, and find out what is the highest of the “silent” ringtones I can here.  Turns out I have pretty good ears still, surprisingly.

More later.

Major Catch Up 1

Here are my major catch up posts, coming in reverse chronological order.


I got stuck in a snowbank in our truck. I’d gone on a service call to Barkerville and on my way back stopped to pee at a snowmobiling access point. It’s a couple km’s in on a dirt road that was sanded and plowed, so I figured things would be good. I went and their outhouses were full of snow, so I ended up going in their parking lot. Well, it was a little more private than the highway at least, and with the snow on the sides of the highway there wasn’t much room to pull over and let nature take it’s course.

On the way back out I went to take a drink of water (fill that bladder up, it had been emptied) and only had one hand on the wheel. That’s all it took when I hit a patch of ice and started to lose control. Not much I could do, dropped the water, grabbed the wheel better and found myself stopped on the shoulder, in about 3 ft of snow. I hadn’t been going fast so I hadn’t pushed through the snowbank to the ditch, but after an hour of shoveling and rocking the truck I was still stuck.

I called Sam, with poor cell reception, and her and Tom came out to rescue me. While I waited I built a snow sculpture that I wished I had a camera to take a picture with, as well as the truck in the snowbank. It looked pretty epic with all my shoveling. Pulling the truck out was a simple matter, though explaining why I’d called my pregnant girlfriend to pull me out of the ditch at work when I got back, wasn’t.

A thought….

I start lots of projects, but I never seem to finish anyth

his uterus?

From our weekly pregnancy newsletter, courtesy of

If you’re having a girl, his uterus and Fallopian tubes are formed and in place. If your baby is a boy, his genitals are noticeable, though he may hide them from you during an ultrasound.”

Wow.  I’m glad that his uterus andFallopian tubes are formed.  That’s exciting news – about the best I’ve heard all week.

There is good stuff in this newsletter, I promise.  Sam made me read behind the cut (I almost never do) and there is interesting stuff there today.  Like about his Fallopian tubes.  Neato and scientifical even.