Sunday, March 27, 2011

Fun with Paint and Wood

Ladies, start your engines! Our local Girl Scout organization hosted their 3rd annual pinewood derby race last week. Which means that once again, I had to clean the sawdust from my tools from last year's car and help Sweet Pea create another wheeled work of art. Each year I let SP choose how she wants her car to look. I try to cut, sand and chisel her wood block into a reasonably similar shape to her idea. Then I let her work her magic with paint and accessories.

To view previous pinewood derby cars just click here and here.

This year SP decided she wanted her car to look like one of the minions from the animated movie, 'Despicable Me'. A minion is a cute yellow Tylenol-shaped worker who wears goggles and denim overalls. This design was actually much simpler for me because I only had to round off the corners of her block and glue a round, washer holding cup to look like a one eyed goggle. Did I mention that some minions have one eye and some have two eyes?

So, using the DVD case as a guide, SP created a very believable likeness with bendaroos used as arms.

SP decided that her minion would have a smug, contented look about him so she drew an eye with a half closed lid. You can't see from the picture but her minion has one black curlicue hair on top of his head.

Our cars usually are not made for speed, but this year SP won her first heat and got second in her other two heats. Not good enough for a trophy but still OK.

So when SP wasn't racing, I had plenty of time to view the competition. About 160+ cars of competition.
There was evidence of much creativity among the wheeled wood blocks. Some cars had better paint jobs than the van we drive.Each girl scout got to vote for their favorite cars. This walrus car won for 'Most Creative.'

Here is some more of the girl scout's artistic ability. Someone actually carved that panda bear riding a toboggan. We also saw a car with working headlights.

With all of the talent and creativity on display, SP got some good ideas for next year. I will have to look into how to install headlights and probably add a working radio too. Hmmm...a derby car in the design of an Ipod perhaps?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Lenny the Leprechaun Strikes Again!

Did anyone catch the leprechaun last week? Sweet Pea gave it another try this year. Last year she set up an elaborate trap involving string, bait, weights and triggers to ensnare the elusive leprechaun. This year she modified her efforts by rigging an alarm to wake her when the leprechaun went for her bait.

SP's bait was a trail of homemade paper coins leading to an upside down wastebasket suspended with yarn by her bed. The trail of coins started at the other end of her room next to a note placed on top of her alarm clock. The plan was for Lenny the Leprechaun to read the note (stating press here for gold), press the alarm button, waking SP just in time to spring her trap.

SP's enthusiasm even got her brother in on the action too. He left a trail of paper coins too, not leading to a trap but to a list of leprechaun questions. His letter started out by wishing the leprechaun a lucky day and that he left a cup of Granny Smith Sweet Green Apple applesauce for him. He later wrote that his mom took the applesauce and he would have to find it in the refrigerator. N1S also wrote that he will not be setting any traps. By morning all of N1S's coins were gone and his questions were all answered in green marker. The leprechaun also signed his name in Gaelic which he must have looked up on the Internet. I'm pretty sure Number One Son knew what was going on but he still played along for his little sister.

I guess the leprechaun was too wily to fall for SP's note. In the morning SP's paper money was gone, but the kindly Lenny left her a box of orange flavored Tic-Tac's in trade.

I'm not sure if SP really expects to catch a leprechaun each year or if she just intends to trick her parents into giving her a treat every March. Either way, I'd say we all are pretty lucky to have Lenny to entertain us.

Stuff About Me

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I'm a 40 year old dad of two. My wonderful wife, Lady Di, and I try to keep the kids from blowing things up here in central Minnesota.