Tag Archives: Star Wars

Waterparks, Ikea and the Battle of Yavin

So I’m sitting here in the parking lot at the Albertville Outlets, typing away while my wife shops. It’s a bit too wet outside for the boys to play on the equipment, so they’re watching a movie on their DVD’s. It is Monday, so it’s blog day, so I thought I’d get a head start on this week’s post. Unfortunately I just lost part of because it wouldn’t save, so I’m now resuming this post at 7:00 CST.

Lego Store, Mall of America

Now for the title; what else would you expect from me? We’re obviously on vacation, but it is somewhat abbreviated, since we head back home tomorrow…no Duluth on this trip 😦 Besides the usual spat of shopping, we did make time for a visit to the Waterpark of America which the boys loved as usual (Dad’s legs certainly didn’t love the trips up and down the stairs to the water slides). There was also some time spent at Nickelodeon Universe…the Splat-o-Sphere was particularly wonderful. Ethan kept saying to me, “isn’t this awesome!” as I struggled to keep my lunch down. We also squished Ikea into the agenda, as we were looking for some office furniture for the newly floored basement. We also made Mom happy by eating at her favourite, the Cheesecake Factory, but we had to roll ourselves out after dinner!

Well, that leaves the Battle of Yavin right? I mentioned in my last post that Ethan and Noah were excited to visit the Lego store (Dad always is too) and they were hoping to get some of the newly released Lego sets. Their wish came true, and the boys spent Saturday night assembling the X-Wing and Y-Wing while Mommy went to Kohl’s. Since then, the Battle of Yavin (the end scene from Episode IV: A New Hope, where Luke blows up the Death Star for all you non-Star Wars people) has been raging unabated. Today we celebrated Ethan’s 7th birthday with a traditional trip to the Rainforest Café and they’ve been at it since we got back. I’m sure Luke-Red Five and Dutch Vander-Gold Leader (and poor Jek Porkins-Red Six) will relish tomorrow’s travel day and a break from the war against the Galactic Empire!

In other news, the countdown is still on to Europe. Three weeks tomorrow I will be on a plane to Paris! Ironically, this is my first trip overseas since I went on my own EF Tour to Greece and Rome back in 1992…the 20 year anniversary trip! Last week I was sent all the flight and hotel information so it’s that much closer to reality. Last week I also taught my two Grade 10 classes about the Battle of Vimy Ridge, so I promised them pictures direct from the battlefield. When I return, we will be starting WWII so it will perfect timing to show them pictures of Dieppe and Juno Beach in Normandy. Talk about living what you teach!

As for railway related matters, last week was a fairly productive week. I managed to get another chunk of writing done on the article, bringing my word count to almost 2300. I will definitely have to do some cutting, but maybe by re-jigging the incomplete first part of my section I can minimize what is removed. I’m hoping to finish in the next week or two, for sure before I leave on the trip. I’ll need to get Lee’s input on what he thinks, as there will certainly be some tweaking that will be necessary. A summer or fall publication date? Let’s hope!

I did get a bit of research squeezed in last week too; I need to remember to download a few things that I bookmarked while surfing over lunch at work. With a bunch of new material to print out, I guess I’ll be doing some filing over the last few days of the break. I’ve probably killed more than a few trees in the past 18 years of research. One could argue that in this electronic age I could somehow keep everything on some sort of digital file, but I would have no idea how to organize that in a way that I could keep adding material. Anyone know?

Last week I also made a little foray into the realm of Wikis, for the first time creating a new page on Wikipedia. I have edited pages in the past, but this was the first time that I made something from scratch. It was completely off the cuff too; I just thought about it while my kids were writing a test on Friday and began plucking away on it over lunch. It is by no means complete, but I hoping to finish it off at some point during the break. The topic was on the ghost town of Leeblain in case you’re wondering, one of my favourite places. I always wondered what it might look like today had it worked out. Hmmmm…

Anyway, gotta go; long day tomorrow. Until next week…

Leave a comment

Posted by on March 12, 2012 in Miscellaneous, Research, Writing


Tags: , , , , , , , ,

I don’t think tapping my head will work…

So believe it or not, I had no idea how to start this week’s blog. Wow, I must really be tired or my brain is seriously not working. It seems ironic since quite a bit has gone on in the past week, but I just can’t seem to organize my thoughts. Well, since I told myself that I would do this once a week when I starting blogging, I should try to come up with something. That’s why I feel like Winnie the Pooh…you know when he’s trying to remember something and he’s tapping his head and saying “think, think.”

Last week I wrote about the start of the new semester and a week later things are going well. I like my new classes; the kids seem pretty good and I hope they are enjoying history (even if they are not particularly history people). This is my 12th year teaching the Gr.10 Canadian history and you would think that it would get boring or dull after all those years, but I’m surprisingly not there yet (I teach at least three sections of this class each year).  Maybe that’s a good sign; I guess I still love what I do and I’m enthusiastic about teaching kids about history. Only 16 more years to go…

Speaking of work, this week is another in a series of short weeks that seem to be popping up lately. Last week it was preparing for our school’s annual open house for Gr.8 students; on Friday I will be in Minneapolis for our fourth visit to the Glazier football clinic. Other than the 6 hour road trip, for which I always get stuck in the driver’s seat, it is a pretty awesome weekend. College and pro speakers, coaches from all over the mid-west, Ontario and Manitoba…what’s not to like? Maybe I’ll try and do a quick mini-blog while I’m there. For certain I will have some comments to make for next week’s ramblings.

Me, photographed by my son Ethan.

Since I’m away this week, I tried to spend as much time as I could with my boys Ethan and Noah on the weekend. On Saturday we took in the 3D version of Star Wars Episode I; yes, I know, not the best of the series but my kids liked it (meesa liked it too!). It was pretty cool in 3D; makes me look forward to seeing all the other episodes! On Sunday we were up the mountain for the first time in a few weeks. It was bright and sunny and the weather was great. We pushed a little further and made it to the Loch Lomond overlook. I think the boys enjoyed it too, though they like to complain on the way up. The way down on the other hand was a completely a different story, with dad struggling to keep up!

Well, I guess I should say something about the railway since it is the theme of this blog. Last night I finally managed to get some work done on the article. I’m still finding it a tough go though; hammering out 200, 300 words was a bit of a chore. I only have 2500 words to work with, so it’s hard to figure out what to include and still try to make sense. I figure I’ll write it how I think it should read and then if I need to later, do some cutting. The only thing that worries me is that if I’m having this much trouble now, what am I going to do when I’m writing a whole book? Maybe it will get better with age…I hope.

The usual routine of research continued last week unabated. I’m still probing the nooks and crannys of Google Books, meeting with some success and disappointment. I’ve actually accumulated quite the list of books and articles that I need to find in hard copy. Again its weird how one wanders from topic to topic. On Friday I found myself researching the story of Æmilius Jarvis; I can’t even remember how I got on to that subject. Maybe it was because I was thinking about the sale of the railway. Jarvis was the successful sealed bidder for the railway when it was sold in 1899. A seemingly inauspicious purchaser, though his family connections make it quite the interesting story. Perhaps I will enjoy writing this book 🙂

Until next week, may the force be with you!


Posted by on February 13, 2012 in Miscellaneous, Research, Writing


Tags: , , , , , , , , ,