Sunday, August 23, 2009


Nate, take your toys and books up to your room.

But I'm too tired. Those things are too heavy. My hands are all sweaty. It's almost lunchtime. I got to make supper. I need a rest.

Reminds me of Joliet Jake explaining why he didn't make it to his wedding.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The boy and the nice monster - as told by Nate

Alternatively known as The nice boy and monster or The nice boy and the nice monster.

Once there was a boy. One day he found a monster.
It was a nice monster, and they became friends.
The boy helped the monster look for the squiggly arrow sign.
They had to look a long long time before they found it.
Then the boy said 'This looks like the right place!'
And then he pushed the button where the squiggly arrow sign was.
Then this big giant door opened, and there were all kinds of monsters inside.
Then the boy and the monster shook hands, and then they said 'Goodbye'
The End!

Nate told me this story and two other variations of it this morning, as we lay on a blanket in our backyard. For reasons I do not yet know, and perhaps may never know, he is in love with the idea of picnics. And so we were having a picnic in our backyard.

This story is Nate's rendition of
The Lost Thing by Shaun Tan.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Stay frosty

I have been watching Generation Kill, a seven part mini-series by HBO. It follows the Marines of the First Recon Battalion as they battle their way through the first 40 days of the Iraq war.

Generation Kill is based on the book by Rolling Stone writer Evan Wright, who spent two months embedded with the First Recon Marines. A lot is covered, so much so that maybe some of it might seem trivialized, but it makes for some pretty interesting television. If nothing else it'll give you some idea why, almost six and a half years later, the U.S. is still mired in Iraq.

I should caution that it's not for the faint of heart. There are some pretty graphic images, lots of colourful language, racism, homophobia, sexism..., and that's just amongst the Marines themselves!

The boiler is back

Peter dropped off the boiler on Thursday afternoon. Beautiful welding job, looks better than new. You wouldn't even know that there had been big gaping holes in it.

Today I spent a few hours putting it all back together. It took some doing, working in such a tight space, but I eventually got it all hooked up and plugged the Lyra in and powered her up. The pump came on, and I watched the welds carefully as the boiler filled. Everything was looking good.

And then I noticed the water pooling beneath the machine. There was another leak, and I eventually traced it to a busted pipe leading from the boiler to the group head.

So, still no espresso. I will have to take the Lyra apart again. And this time I will have to take the group out as well. From what I could see, it looks like this isn't the only rupture in the pipe. I guess I should have checked the rest of the machine while I was getting the boiler repaired. Lesson learnt.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Just when we thought it was safe to go out to dinner

I worked the closing shift at the goat today, and mum and dad came to get Nate for the afternoon. He was very excited to see them and wanted to stay over at their place tonight. Patty and I decided we'd meet for dinner after I finished my shift.

We'd just finished a fabulous meal at Mezza, when my cell phone rang. It was mum, calling to tell me that Nate had been crying for the last 10 minutes and he wanted to come home. I guess it could have been worse, we could have just sat down to eat. So we caught a cab home and he arrived shortly afterwards, all smiles to see us.

I'm not sure what happened this time, he's slept over and mum's a few times now without any trouble. But he told me he wanted to come home because he missed us. How can you argue with that?

Patty told him it was OK and he could stay over at nana's another night. His reply?

'And then I can come home at night?'

I hope this is not the start of a new pattern.

Monday, August 3, 2009

I was only gone for a day...

Natal day in Halifax, a celebration of the birth of the Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. I worked a full shift at the Goat today, the first time in awhile since I've been on my feet for nine hours straight. My feet are killing me!

I left home while everyone was still asleep, and when I got back I was greeted by Nate running down the hallway yelling 'Dada!'. He was talking up a storm, about what he was doing, and what he'd been up to during the day.

'We went to Sobey's because we didn't have any baking soda. Then we came home and we made chocolate cookies.'

'Did you go to work dad? Were you on the bus? How did you come home?'

We had supper out on the deck, it's Nate's favourite thing now, having supper outside. I realize I was only gone for a day, but he seemed so much older to me when I got home.

For the past week or so, I've been leaving his bedside light on after reading him his bedtime story. He wanted to "read" his book one night after I read it to him, so I told him he had to turn off his light after he was done and go to bed. I said I would check in on him later. He's been good to his word so far, and every time I've gone up to check, his light has been off and he's been asleep.

Now, after I read him his bedtime story, he tells me:

'I'm going to read my book, and I'll turn off the light when I'm done. You can check on me at 4.30 (he still doesn't know how to tell time and makes a new one up every time).'

It's a good job I'm back to my half days shift tomorrow, who know how much more growing he'll be doing while I'm gone!