Popsicle Stick Head Frame

About 2 months ago a competition email was sent around Golder, this is it:

Drew (A work colleague) came to me and asked if i’d be interested in taking part, well bearing in mind that the final outcome was going to consist of destruction, I was in!

Drew went and bought a couple of packets of Popsicle sticks, for a dollar each from a dollar store, we started staying late after work and making a mess in one of the free cubicles here in the office.

I traveled to Mississauga for a week during our build, nothing stopped, I just made a mess in the Golder house there instead!


We worked for about 20 hours each we thing on this project. during this time we made a hell of a mess, which even is still at work..

Pictures – To Be Added

At work we have what is called a UCS (Unconfined Compressive Strength) test machine, it is a machine for testing the strength of concrete cylinder (have a read here if you’re that interested), it is capable of applying 45KN, which is a enough, 4.5 tons similar a few cars bearing down on the subject. Our popsicle stick test pieces didn’t stand a chance. Though I did guess at a figure of 3KN breaking force, and check out the results.

We finally got it built and went for the competition, we were envisaging the frame breaking at about 600lbs. The dowel broke at only 275lbs, very very disappointing. Drew got a better dowel, now an inch in diameter and of better wood, we also spent another few hours repairing damage caused by the dowel breaking the legs a little in two places. We returned to the university where the competition is held last week on the 19th April and had a re-try:

Video on youtube

This time we reached 737lbs, far better! But still we want to see the frame smashed. One of the guys there had what is called an ironwood dowel, this ironwood is not as I hoped, a tree is made from iron, it is just wood which is strong. In actual fact it even a particular wood, it’s just a name for a number of very hard woods.. Link here to wikipeeeedia

We are going to repair the damage once again caused by the dowel breaking, when we get the dowel we’ll fit and return once again to see if we can smash the headframe good and proper!

In other news:

We are off to a maple syrup festival tomorrow! It is just south of North Bay, about a two and half hour drive away.

Video’s from Mackinac

I had to take some videos to prove that I didn’t ‘photoshop’ the pictures.

So, the first video (in chronological order of cause) is taken on the boat travelling to the Island on the Friday at about 4.20pm.

Then I took a video of the street outside the place that we stayed, Park Place Suites.

On the Saturday morning we went for a walk past the harbour, this is the calm mirror like water.

We then picked up the bike, this is about our second stop. So only about a half mile into our journey. So still, and then a mile on we took this one.

And lastly Hannah took a video of us going over the bridge to Michigan

And that is all folks!

There are some panoramic pictures to make up, so they’ll go up here soon.

Continued.. Mackinac Island

The ferry ride back to the mainland was calm and relaxed, I don’t think that they do anything in a rush. We now headed South (away from home) towards the third longest bridge in total suspension in the world. We paid our $4 toll and drive at 45mph (which honestly is the speed limit on the bridge) for about 11 minutes before we reached the far side. Thus 45 divided by 11 is 5.6, 5.6 into 60 goes about 8 times, so the bridge is about 8 miles long. Pretty far eh? We then turned off and tried to find a spot to turn around to head back the other way for home. We found a main street which looked very touristy, but it had a few shops that were open and one particular place was selling fudge, which I had been told was something that we should try. We got some vanilla, death by chocolate, moose attach and some chocolate mint fudge. We then spotted that a diner across the road was open, so we got some very good sandwiches and fries there. Then we headed home, the customs people for the Canadian side don’t have as nice a building, in fact it looks like a bit of a dump in comparison, but the people were much nicer!! the lady checked out our passports, asked a few questions, such as had we bought anything, I mentioned the fudge and the ornamental horse. She laughed. We saw some more Amish on the way home and also a few signs showing horses and carts. We got back home for a little after 7pm. Jessica arrived at 9.

In other news, Drew and I have been building a popsicle stick mine head frame, which came together tonight! We have it looking like what it’s meant to be. This Sat is ‘D’ day for it. Tested to destruction.

Mackinac Island

We went on our second honey moon to Mackinac Island over the long weekend, not as long as a UK Easter weekend, only 3 days, they only get the Friday off here. We drove the 392km to St. Ignace in Michigan USA, yup that’s right, we have now been to the United States of America. Tick. Getting through customs was interesting, we got pulled over, as most were simply let through, we had to go into the building and fill in a form so that we could get a visa waver, which is similar to a visa in the fact that you have to pay for it! Only $6 though. This all took in the region of an hour. Then we were on our way again, another hour or so south, now travelling at 70mph though rather than the 110kph that we’d been doing for the past 3 hours or so. We reached St. Ingnace and found the ferry terminal. We then went to a diner for some lunch, they sold pasties! I foolishly thought I’d try one, it was food and tasted good, but it wasn’t really a pasty.. The diner has been there for sixty four years, all the d├ęcor was the same, it was pretty cool. The boat took us to island in a little over 30mins. We found Park Place Suites without any issue, the room was lovely. We immediately went out for a walk and to find some food. We had some great food at the ‘Village Inn’ which is where I had the beer in the photos. The next day the there was not a breath of wind in the air and equally as much noise. Quite simply it was tranquil. We couldn’t believe our luck. I tried to capture the still tranquil scene with pictures, but felt they didn’t do justice to the noise, so took a video clip, but that has ‘noise’ from the poor quality camera microphone I think, so you’ll just have to take me word for it. When we were quiet there was silence, which was only broken by the odd bird song and the distance clip clop of the taxi.

We came across an open bike rental place, where we enquired about the cost of hiring a bike or two. We decided on a tandem. it was a mere $12 an hour, so we took it. Maybe ‘took’ is too strong a word, we gingerly rode away, wobbling and struggling to get the hang of it! the first photos that you see of that we’d ridden about 1/2 a mile (Just out of sight of the shop!) We then rode a bit then would stop again to admire the view and take pictures to try to prove to you how stunning it was. We began to get the hang of the bike, we both tried front and back, and eventually settled with Hannah at the front, this allowed for me to sit back and enjoy the ride: te he. Not really. We made a complete trip around the island’s 8 and a bit mile perimeter in exactly 2 hours. We then went back for a little lunch to our room/apartment and then went back out for a walk, we walked up into the middle part of the island which we had been warned was more hilly and we’d struggle with the bike there. We walked for about 4 hours around the island. We had dinner at the Mustang Pud that night, not as nice as the Village Inn, but it was the only place open that night. We awoke the next morning to find that the wind had got up in the night, still the island was very pretty but the sky was not so. We went for a short walk and caught the ferry back to the main land.

…….to be continued!! Its 10.15pm now.

Here are the pictures, also more to come and some videos.

Categorised as Canada

Living life

Well Hannah and I have been just getting on with life I guess, so we’ve not been up to too much. I was ill, then the weather got hot, a high of +24, then a week later a low of -17 I think. The local lake is melting rapidly, even though the ice was approximately 3′ think I would imagine.

We went to see Onaping falls the other weekend, also there is a picture of me on Bruce’s ‘four wheeler’ with plow, this was back in Febauray I think.