Thursday, February 21, 2019

Carboard Cartography, Part Two

The next step was to place the captions for the locations under the main map, against the backdrop, and glue them into place so they were visible through the cut-outs. After that, we glued down the mountains and the forest, which completed our lesson in cardboard geology.


As you can see, it's still not really done yet - the locations (spraypainted white) will need to be fitted into place, and the path of the journey will need to be marked, and we'll need to Label All The Things. But you're getting to experience the process of building this in much the same way we did: slowly and painfully, with a lot of waiting between steps.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Cardboard Cartography, Part One

So, our first step was to sketch out the map on the sheet of cardboard. The next step was to take a second piece of cardboard, sketch out the forest (again) and cut that shape out of the smaller sheet of cardboard. Then we did the same for the mountain.

The forest and the mountain came out of the same sheet, so they fit together perfectly. They're going to go on top of the main map, giving the whole thing a 3D element. We spray-painted them (green and gray, respectively) and set them aside. All of that was on Sunday. On Monday, cut out all the Important Locations from the main map, being careful to label them as we went. Then we painted the main map tan, and the cut-out Locations white. The next step will be to glue the main map to the backboard, so the locations will have a floor under them when we press them back into place. We have to wait for the paint to dry, first.


It may not look like much now, but when it finally comes together I think it's going to be pretty awesome. The assignment calls for a "three-dimensional, interactive map showing the journey and at least seven important locations" and I'm pretty sure we've got that done.

Monday, February 18, 2019

School Project: The Map Of Doom

So the boys are out of school today, and Firstborn has a project due Thursday. I am determined to have this project finished, y'know, today.

The assignment is to read a book involving a journey -- they're reading The Hobbit in his class -- and then create some sort of interactive 3D map, which he can use to give a presentation. Now, I had ideas for how we might approach this. I favored using Martha Wells' excellent The Cloud Roads, in no small part because the book doesn't include a map of its own. So on the one hand, we'd have to build the map based on the text, and on the other hand there wouldn't really be any wrong way to do it. Plus, it would have been fun to build some of the locations in that book.

But Firstborn had decided to work from one of his Minecraft books, specifically the one that's... I don't know... number fifteen or sixteen in a series. So I committed myself to reading it. And it's... To be fair, I can see why he enjoyed it. But the books are intensely first-person stream of consciousness, so there's probably two pages of explanation/digression for every page of plot advancement. Plus, the author is clearly writing a serial: the individual books aren't very long, but they're part of a single, unbroken storyline. The result of these two factors is that the book I read simply didn't have enough locations (or events, for that matter) to fill in the required Seven Important Locations that we needed for the map.

Y'all, I have now read four of these books, digressions and all.

But we have now gotten enough information together to start building the map. We're building it in layers, out of cardboard, so that each location will be a little cut-out square that you can lift up to see information about why it's important and what happens there. This will involve spray paint, and white glue, and printing relevant text in blocks that will fit underneath the removable squares. It will absolutely not strain my concentration to the breaking point or leave me frustrated, drained, and questioning my worth as a parent and as a human being in general.

But just in case, send more whiskey.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Music: Valentine's Day

A bit of Trout Fishing In America, to help you celebrate Valentine's Day:


Alternatively, if you're taking the other approach to Valentine's Day, here's some nice, crunchy Godsmack for you:

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Back on Schedule-ish

I kept Secondborn home from school yesterday and took him off to see the pediatrician. (He's been grumpy and out of sorts for about a week now, and at one point told that he thought he maybe had Strep again. So, y'know, doctor visit.)

The Strep test came back negative, but the doctor put him on antibiotics anyway because his lymph nodes were swollen enough to warrant it. Apparently the stuff tastes pretty horrible even with the flavoring in it (or maybe because of the flavoring in it, who know?) but that's where we are.

A day at home with his father seems to have done him a world of good, even if it resulted in taking Yucky Medicine twice a day, so now I'm back at work and trying to get everything back on schedule. Also, I'm exhausted and out of sorts myself, so I think tonight it's going to be early bedtimes for everybody.

Hope the rest of you are doing well.