Spinner

Spinner!All the kids in Alex’ school have a spinner, except for Alex, and that situation needed to be corrected. Buying a spinner would have been the easiest, but making our own spinning toy was much more fun.

The result was something that made us both very happy. The steps to make a spinner are easy. First you need four bearings, some glue and a piece of shoelace.

First you need to take one bearing and take of the metal coverings and clean it with some soap to remove all the grease. This make the bearing spin faster. Step two is gluing the other three bearings and glue the shoelace around the entire spinner to make it a bit stronger.

In the middle we put a piece of wood, so you can also spin the spinner on the table. The easiest way is spinning it in your hands, but Alex’ hands are still a bit to small. The only issue is that after some use the glue does not always hold and the spinner needs some repairs.

Movie or picture

Sometimes I find myself with a dilemma. Do I grab a movie, or is it better to shoot some pictures. A difficult choice at times and in Leeds I made the wrong choice. I made lots of pictures, and only a short movie of a wonderful micro-concert by our own Alex.

First performance

Alex has been going to the Yamaha music school for almost two months now. He has a one hour class every Monday and he has to practice a couple of time through the week. Enough to get the basics. Here is a part of Alex’ first performance, together with his best friend Dario.

We buy Gold

Gold!Some time ago we found a treasure on the beach. An old earring, which looked to be made of gold. Ana told me to throw away the worthless piece of plastic, but I had my doubts and took it home with me.

Because I was curious I took the cleaned up earring to a shop where they buy gold. I thought that they would for sure be able to tell me if it was really gold. The first test was with a magnet. The gold didn’t stick, so this was a good sign. The second test was with a filing stone and some liquid. This test also passed. Then the guy took the weight. 1.1 Grams. His offer for this was 20 euros. When I asked about the stone in the earring he laughed and told me that was for the trash.

I could have accepted the 20 euros but something didn’t feel right. Why would someone make a gold piece of jewellery and use a fake, worthless stone. What was even stranger, why would the guy measure the weight of the gold, including the worthless stone and offer a gold price based on the entire weight. This would mean he is paying a gold price for a worthless stone. I have to look a bit further. To be continued…

Yamaha

Yamaha e323!Alex has a hard time enjoying extra activities outside of his school hours. He did not like kung fu, and swimming was also a no go. Now we finally found something he likes. The Yamaha music school. Making music on a keyboard.

Alex already followed two classes, and he enjoyed them. He now knows Do, Re and Mi! We got a keyboard at home, so he can practice all he wants. The neighbors are not (yet) complaining, so Alex must be doing a good job.

Wuppie

With Alex I made a nice wuppie. The process was relatively simple and the result is a nice soft ball for playing. Finally something different than all the ‘vechten’ (fighting) Alex wants to do all the time with his toys.

wuppie1Step 1:
Cut two cardboard circles and put them on top of eachother. Make sure both of them have a cut across from the outside to the center. You will need this cut later to easily remove the cardboard from the wuppie.
wuppie2Step 2:
This it the bulk of the work. Use a cord to cover all the cardboard, en keep adding the cord until the entire center is filled with the cord and you cannot add any more.

wuppie3Step 3:
Once you are done spinning the cord you need to cut open the wuppie from the sites. Put a sharp knife of scissors in between the twee pieces of cardboard and cut all the cords.

Step 4:
After cutting all the cords do not remove the cardboard. First add a few ropes to bind the center of the wuppie. Wrap the rope thightly though the center (in between the twee cardboards) and make a thight knot. Then remove the cardboard pieces. Your wuppie is now done. Some prefab eyes make it even better. Have fun!

Vivir mi vida

Vivir Mi Vida

Voy a reír, voy a bailar
vivir mi vida, la, la, la, la
Voy a reír, voy a gozar
vivir mi vida, la, la, la, la

A veces llega la lluvia
para limpiar las heridas
A veces sólo una gota
puede vencer la sequía

Y para qué llorar, ¿Pa’ qué?
Si duele una pena, se olvida
Y para qué sufrir, ¿Pa’ qué?
Si así es la vida, hay que vivirla

Voy a reír, voy a bailar
vivir mi vida, la, la, la, la
Voy a reír, voy a gozar
vivir mi vida, la, la, la, la

Voy a vivir el momento
para entender el destino
Voy a escuchar en silencio
para encontrar el camino

Y para qué llorar, ¿Pa’ qué?
Si duele una pena, se olvida
Y para qué sufrir, ¿Pa’ qué?
Si duele una pena, se olvida

Voy a reír, voy a bailar
vivir mi vida, la, la, la, la
Voy a reír, voy a gozar
vivir mi vida, la, la, la, la

¡Mi gente!

Voy a reír, voy a bailar
¿Pa’ qué llorar? ¿Pa’ qué sufrir?
Empieza a soñar, a reír
Voy a reír, voy a bailar
Siente y baila y goza,
que la vida es una sola
Voy a reír, voy a bailar
Vive, sigue, siempre pa’lante,
no mires pa’ atrás

Mi gente, la vida es una

Voy a reír, voy a bailar
vivir mi vida, la, la, la, la
Voy a reír, voy a gozar
vivir mi vida, la, la, la, la

Robot Alex I and Alex II

In addition to his normal toys Alex also has two robots. These robots are called Alex I and Alex II and can only be played with together with his dad.

Robot Alex!Robot Alex

The first robot is a balancing robot (which I found on Kickstarter). It drives around on two wheels trying hard to not fall down. Even a little poke from Alex does not bother the robot and it will keep its balance.

The robot can be programmed by using a simple programming language (blocks), and then sending the program to the robot using its USB cable, but this is something we’ll maybe try in the future.

Robot Alex 2!Robot Alex II

The second robot is a bit simpler and just drives around. It does have an entire computer on it’s back, which can be controlled via wifi and my phone.

This robot as got some software set up to move about, and much more features can be added as phyton programs.

Alex has these robots because I think is it very benificial for him to get in touch as early as possible with something that will be everywhere in his future. Alex his current robots remind me of the computers I had when I was young. Slow, huge and with a black and white screen. After taking a long time to boot all you would get was a prompt, and that was it. Internet didn’t exist and was still a thing of the future.

Alex’ robots are far more advanced that my old computers and cost a fraction. They will advance extremly fast for sure and in a few decades Alex will look back at these things as I look back at my old PC’s.

Art

Alex three years painting (20150221)!
Alex’s mother was in Barcelona for a congress a couple of days. He missed her a lot, and wanted to make something for when she returned. The result was a beautiful painting of the sun, with grass, the sky, the ocean, a boat, a snail, daddy and a couple of A’s (A for Alex).