Having Fun Right Now

Another Family Planning to Travel the World!

Month: March 2016

Scratch – How to Make Your Own Video Games

JBot and I have played the long game on this one, and this week – success!

G-Man has had a burning passion for video games for almost five years now. We have done our best to help educate him while making it fun. JBot has gone above and beyond to teach him about the history of video games, by introducing him to older styles, playing with him, and even adapting modern games to his younger sensibilities.

I was visiting the bigger downtown library last week, looking for ideas and extra reading material to have around the house for March Break and found two new books about Scratch. Added them to the pile, didn’t think too much of it. I have brought other books home before, but they were sort of dense and, well, boring. Like a “For Dummies” kind of reading experience.

Coding for Beginners

Coding for Beginners Using Scratch” by Rosie Dickens, Jonathan Melmoth & Lousie Stowell

How to Code

Super Skills: How to Code in 10 Easy Lessons” by Sean McManus

These two new books really grabbed G-Man’s attention. He read them voraciously in one night. He woke up absolutely vibrating with excitement to try programming out for himself two days in a row. I mean, hey, if you would rather wake up at 6 a.m. on your holidays to make cool stuff, go for it!

You can use this site run by MIT to try out the Scratch software.

G-Man had a lot of fun. Great stuff!

PJ Harvey – Community of Hope

Life From Above and Beyond

Travel photographer Trey Ratcliffe created a beautiful short film titled “Life From Above and Beyond.”  In it, he uses three years worth of beautiful drone footage he’d taken from his amazing trip around the world.  The video is set it to Alan Watts quotes from the book Tao of Philosophy and to music by the always-wonderful Hans Zimmer.  An absolutely amazing inspiration for the sort of film I’d love to make after our family world trip!

https://youtu.be/0pokPdMxfWg

Travel Idea – Vans & RVs

When I was a kid, my grandparents had a camper van. Man, I loved that camper van. I was hoping to find something similar to take the kids on a road trip this summer but then I looked at the cost of rentals.

And then I had a small heart attack.

Soooo, that’s not happening. But I think I will file it away with plans for a later date. Sometime when I can maybe buy a van second-hand and do a diy transformation into a camper van of my own.

Something like what Christine On did here on her blog Defying Normal.

And what Lloyd Khan has been documenting in his Shelter books.

 

Niagara in the Springtime

We got hit by the last blast of winter last night, I hope! There was enough ice that the school board declared it a “snow day.” Only the second one of the season, not bad!

We did enjoy enough Spring-like days so far this winter that a lot of our family talk has drifted to our plans for the Spring and Summer.

I found a great CSA via Tiffany Mayer and her blog Eating Niagara. Tiffany has a great book about the Niagara region and, my personal favourite topic, food! Check it out!

We also followed a suggestion from one of her St. Catharines Standard articles and tried a local restaurant – Don Wong Mexican Asian Food Mart. They make really fantastic dim sum and burritos. Really fantastic stuff. And you can stock up on Pocky!

We debated a lot about summer camps and threw around some ideas for family vacations… Man, things sure have changed since we were kids. Summer camps seem a lot like resorts now, right? G-Man isn’t really all that interested in water sports or mountain biking so we decided to go with the Brock University Summer Camps. They have great day camps that are more like an “enrichment” idea. Find one that jives with your child’s interests, be it the arts, engineering, robotics, gaming, etc.

We are also planning on building an epic fort in our backyard this summer as well. This fantastic book by David Stiles has a lot of inspiring ideas. We think we may be able to build something like this.

We are a wee bit past the 6 month mark of living in the Niagara region. I think I can safely say that everyone really likes it. The school has been a great match for the kids which, really, was the only thing that really mattered. We have found a few restaurants that we love so far, like Diner House 29 and Rise Above. The new Preforming Arts Centre just started a Film House, which is very exciting, and Mindbomb Records is well stocked, save what I bring home for my own collection!

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