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The Oop Catches a Rainbow

July 11th, 2008  · stk

Alex caught her first fish (a rainbow trout), at Nora Lake, while visiting her grandparents in California, during our mid-June holiday. She had great fun fishing and catching her first slippery trout!

Alex Catches Her First Fish at Nora Lake, in Northern California

There's something very special about a kid catching their first fish! Funny though, because the Oop probably won't remember the event, as she's only four and a half. Nope, it's more a memory for the parents and - if your lucky - a great photo opportunity! (Wonder how many family albums contain grinning kids and their prize catch?)

The Oop didn't disappoint, in the photo department. Sporting rather cool-looking purple shades and gripping a decent-sized rainbow trout, Alex proudly showed off her first fish. Grinning gamely, she's gripping it tightly with a washcloth, in order to gain some traction against her slippery catch!

Alex's first fish came during a recent trip to California, with her Dad, to visit her paternal grandparents. The fishing expedition was suggested by Bill and Kitty, friends of the family and it was a huge relief to drive out of the (hot) northern valley and into the hills that surround Mount Lassen.

The weather was cool and the smell of pine trees permeated the air, as we drove past Grace Lake, driving over to nearby Nora Lake. Alex was excited to go fishing and eager to get her mitts on some ' Power Bait What is Power Bait? powerbait Powerbait (Berkley Trout Bait) is a moldable fish bait that comes in a small jar. It's effective for catching fish, but boy does it stink! Powerbait comes in a variety of bright colors and also comes as pre-formed nuggets. ', which she wanted to buy when we got home, as she was pretty certain that Tuxedo, our cat, would find it a delicious snack!

To read more about Alex's first fish ... continue on ...

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Updated: 12-Jul-2008
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Rough First Time

July 7th, 2008  · stk

A trip to California with the Oop, a new hot-tub project and the normal run of web work ... things have been pretty thin at Randsco for a while. We recently took a family boat trip to the floating cabin . Read about the adventurous ordeal in this floating cabin log entry.

First Solo Trip to the Floating Cabin

Our first solo trip to the floating cabin was very memorable. Some of the memories will actually be GOOD ONES!

A flat tire, a bloody nose, getting hung up on the dock while launching, a rough-as-cobb trip (during which, we almost turned the boat around and headed for home), a four-hour boat ride, locked out of the cabin and running out of gas ... are some of the not-so-good ones.

We're new to the floating cabin and also to our boat. As a bunch of newbies, we're learned a BUNCH of valuable lessons during our ill-fated trip! HA!

There were some positive events. Despite pouring rain all Friday night and Saturday morning, it did - eventually - clear up and we had a rain-free (and sometimes sunny) Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning. We spotted a couple of sea otters (a baby one on the back deck, which we watched from about five feet away). We also saw loads of bald eagles and a few bear (one of which we watched all morning, as it meandered along the beach, flipping rocks and eating various sea creatures). We met a few of our cabin neighbors. We also learned where we can get gas, along the way to the cabin.

To read the cabin log entry from our first solo trip to the floating cabin ...

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Updated: 1-Mar-2009
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Filed in:Alexandra

State of the Art

January 19th, 2008  · stk

Alex's art has changed dramatically, over the past year. The growth in her artwork from 3 years to 4 years is amazing. Have a look back at her accomplishments, in this retrospective: "Alex: A Year of Art" (which also includes a pure-CSS 'popInfo' slide show).

Alex: A Year of Art

A simple typo would change the title to "A Year o fArt"! LOL! You've got to love English, eh?

Hey, teasing aside, I love my little girl! It's more challenging some times than others, however. I'm thinking of this morning, when, at 6:15 AM, I woke up with her face 2 millimeters from mine.

"Daddy, Daddy," she said. The sound was muffled through my ear plugs, but I heard her say, "You need to wake up."

"Why?" I asked, still very groggy, "What's the matter?"

"I have to watch T.V.," she said, matter-of-factly.

"Ah, no you don't," I replied, "For one, it's too early and for two, you're going to day-care today."

"Whaaaa!" she cried, running out of the room and leaving me with an unexpected, loud and way-too-early wake-up call.

Even with the temper tantrums and the repetitive questions, Alex (also known as "the Oop", a family nickname) is generally a pretty good kid. If she's not pestering the cat, watching television, playing computer games, turning her room into a disaster zone or "helping" us with tasks, Alex can be found doing artwork. She LOVES art! (What kid doesn't?)

It's been interesting to watch her artwork change, over the course of the past year. She's now almost four and a half years old. She's becoming a "big girl" and it's starting to show in her art.

For one thing, Crayola crayons are less often broken into bits and used as "soup" or "kids" or "whatever" in her play. They're less often found lying about the house, as they're now utilized for their intended purpose - art - and kept in her plastic crayola tub.

This has been a nice change, but it's not as remarkable as what she's doing with the crayons. A year ago, she was learning to color BETWEEN the lines. After she mastered that, it was time to learn color-appropriate drawing. (You know ... elephants are grey, not purple ... plant leaves are green, not multi-colored, etc.) During the year, she began to experiment with free-form drawings. Then, this fall, she drew her first "object" (a "portrait" of Tuxedo, our cat). Soon after, other things began to follow. She went through a "flower" stage. Now she's starting to draw PEOPLE!

In fact, I'm now the proud owner of a self portrait she did, where she drew herself and then me! An "Dad 'n Oop" picture! (Be still my beating heart)!

These developments are amazing to behold and I know that sooner than we can blink, she'll be all grown up and out of the house. I'm already ruing that day, but I try to make each of these moments last, because they are so precious.

As much as I love my little girl and her art, we don't save any of it. I don't want to end up with drawers full of old art. Instead, I scan them into digital files and save them (along with our monthly photos). We think it's a great way to keep her art without taking up physical storage and then we've got a chronologically stored history of her artistic development!

It was after looking back at her art, over the course of the year, that her development became apparent. In an effort to demonstrate her accomplishments and to showcase her work, I've put together a "popInfo" "popInfo" CSS Technique. popInfo is a pure XHTML/CSS method that makes this pop-up information box. It's cross-browser and standards-compliant code (no javascript). It saves page real estate, adds information, interactivity and is search engine optimized. princess oop art Learn more about "popInfo" by clicking the link (or anywhere inside the popInfo box). <-- More "Alex Art"! This drawing is from the "princess series" (she was - still is - enamored by princesses of all kinds). I've probably scanned 20 or so "princess" drawings! show. It includes 13-months of her artwork, from January 2007 to today. There's a representative picture from each month, plus a brief description of each piece.

In fact, the background on this page is one of her recent works. It's titled, "Sidney" (she's the 13-year-old girl that lives next door, who often babysits Alex). You can see that she's now combining her "flowers" with "people"! I wonder what will be next?

To see the "Year of Art" slideshow (or another way of using the "popInfo" pure-CSS technique) .... carry on ....


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Updated: 19-Jan-2008
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Christmas Magic

December 28th, 2007  · stk

Alex gets a visit from Santa. Video of Alex's excitement & joy from a personal visit from Santa (courtesy of the North Cedar Fire Hall). Engine 1 arrives with lights & sirens, then Santa climbs down, with a gift for one very excited little girl! (A bit of Christmas magic)

Alex 'n Santa - Christmas Magic

The Oop turned four years old in October and she is fully into the swing and spirit of Christmas. It was a special holiday for us and the guys at the North Cedar Fire Hall made it even more so with a bit of Christmas magic.

First, Oop and Dad joined the other volunteer firefighters and their families for an old-fashioned hay ride, through town, on Sunday night. Candy canes, hot chocolate, music and lights made for a festive, although chilly, trip.

Then came Christmas eve.

And Santa Claus!


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Updated: 30-Dec-2007
Web View Count: 16705 viewsLast Web Update: 30-Dec-2007

Trick or Treat

October 31st, 2007  · stk

My hurried post about our Halloween festivities. Dad and the Oop carve pumpkins

Alex is four years old and this will be her second year trick-or-treating on Vancouver Island. This year, Alex will be going door-to-door dressed as a unicorn. It's interesting to note that in Canada, the full-length costumes are a big hit (as they keep the young ones warm) on typically frigid Halloween nights. When Scott was a kid, in California, you just tossed a sheet over your head and BOOM! ... you were a ghost!

To finish the ghoulish tale ... you'll need to punch "read full story".

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Updated: 7-Nov-2007
Web View Count: 19331 viewsLast Web Update: 7-Nov-2007