11 Sep 2006 slap.fish   » (Journeyer)

It was my daughters sixth birthday party yesterday - and foolishly, we 'threw' it at home.. haha. Anyone who's ever had a kids party at their own house, grimace.... now; Solidarity, brother.

In the second half - after all the kids were fuelled up with sugar - and I was the object of some collective vengence I couldn't quite understand or manage to escape from (just being in the garden was enough, I suspect), I inadvisedly played the 'Team Monster' part too well - and our neighbours son (same age) played his Action Man character perfectly - and felled me with a left hook to the unmentionables, bless him. Whilst in the recovery position - our other neighbours daughter, one year younger - yelled 'kick him in the goolies!!' - and although I thought this was commendable, and in the party spirit, thought it was rather out of character for a fairy. She did make me a cup of 'monster tea' whilst I recuperated in the 'dungeon' though, nice one Hollie. Anyway.. you get the general idea - feigning immobility (actually that bit was for real), sleep, or death, did no good - and after 45 minutes of that I felt like a Pinata... I'm sure this tradition was invented after parents realised if the kids had something else to beat up on, they could avoid all that awkward writhing around in agony - damn fine idea if you ask me. In England we're not so clever, see - plus the mere suggestion of a hitting a paper mache donkey with sticks would bring down the wrath of a small army of little people upon us, kids here seem to prefer a live target that they can get groans of pain out. Next year I'll hire a clown for them to beat up, and somewhere that isn't our house for them to beat it up in - mostly for reasons of forensic evidence.

Talking of the the house - it is finally finished.

Wow.. Still can't quite believe it myself - 4 months it's taken, and if I live to never see another plasterboard screw, or half a bag of cement et cetera (it's a looong list) - I'll be happy.

This week, I will mostly be working on getting a pretty good pathalogical hatred of painting going - I conservatively started at 'dislike' - and after approx 16 cummulative hours so far, I've already got my teeth grinders merit badge - yay me.

I estimate another 100 hours or so to go - after which Defcon 1 will be long gone and I'll be continuously mashing the big red button, oooh yes. My only relief will be screaming 'Paaaint... Bruuush!!' at Jehovas Witnesses when they come round at Xmas for their annual attempt at explaining how, in fact - I've actually got it all wrong. This year I've cancelled Richard Dawkins, and decided to argue in the style of an enraged decorator you see - and although right now it seems a fair way off, when the time comes I'm gonna do this particular idiom with feeling, and possibly with bells on (no really - they hate that drunken seasonal stuff).

Enough of that, anyway - you probably want to know something more Robot-related ? Well, 48k is still in the garage - although now looking more like it (rightfully) owns it - rather than merely happening to be also in it - as was the case up until recently, what with all the other stuff being stored in there. Some of the kids (see above) were suitably impressed, even though it didn't look like a 'real' robot (False Maria has a lot to answer for). I have a lot of getting up to speed to do - the lathe and mill in the shed need a freshen up after their time off - not that there's much more metalwork to be done, hopefully. What's nice though, is that after a long break, looking closely again at it - I get a rush of enthusiasm to think of how I've designed & built this thing - and can't wait to crack on once again, checking up on Robots.net once in awhile during the summer has helped keep the creative engine idling, and now it's raring to go again.

Actually, talking of robots - I think there is a niche for kids birthdays.. like these security droids that roam banks at night or something. Tactical support for childrens entertainers would be welcome, don't you think ? I see there is some consideration for lightly arming security robots, though I think that would be inappropriate for a kids party - as they'd need to be *definitely* armed.

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