Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Birthday Party Report

We had a wonderful weekend of celebrating Troy's 50th birthday. There was dinner with cake:

There was catching up with family. This is my mom with all her male grandchildren that were present:

Here we are with some of Troy's family: his mom, stepdad, uncle, aunt and great-aunt.

Back at the house, I had set up the "Museum of Troy" for display during the open house:
Items on the table were:
Penny Bike:
            Made from straight pins, razor blades, gears from a dead Timex, wire from a spiral notebook spine and some scrap wire for the “chain” (c 1974)

House in Castleton, Ontario:
            Built entire house with some help on concrete foundation and brick work. The house was so well insulated it did not need a furnace. (built 1986 – 1990)

Kaleidoscope / teleoscope:
            Made from PVC pipe, scrap window glass and a scrap mirror (c 1993)
            (Can be used as a traditional kaleidoscope or as a teleoscope if you take off the cap. With the cap off, try looking at your fingers or the bar of sparkly bits.)

Plumb bob:
            Made from a piece of scrap steel from a junkyard, shaped with a metal lathe, for an art project while attending Calvin (c 1993)

Sterling engine:
            Runs on any fuel that can make heat, even hot water or solar power.  Made from scrap aluminum, Delrin plastic, acrylic sheet, Styrofoam; the bearings were recycled from a computer hard drive. (c 2004)

Troy picks up used fryer oil from restaurants, usually soybean oil.  This is treated with methanol and lye, which changes the vegetable oil into biodiesel.  Biodiesel is chemically very similar to petroleum diesel and can be burned directly in most vehicles with diesel engines.   It produces less pollution and is renewable.  He burns it in the Volkswagon Jetta, the Dodge pickup, the oil stove in the kitchen and the diesel generator. (since 2004)

Birthday card:
            Made from 1/8” cold rolled steel plate cut with a plasma cutter (2005)

Functional cannon:
Made from scrap wood and a leftover piece of EMT, Electrical Metal Tubing, aka conduit.  Isaac was the co-creator on this one.  It is fired using a firecracker for propellant and shoots short sections of wooden dowels. (c 2005)

The best hand-made facial soap in the world:
Troy enjoys making traditional soap using lard, coconut oil, olive oil and other premium ingredients.  Since he is bored and not busy enough, he is in the process of launching a website to turn this into a small business. (since 2005)

Skinning knife:
Surgically sharp, please handle with EXTREME CARE.  This is not like most knives and will easily shave the hair from one’s arm.  This type of knife is for skinning/dressing game like deer.  Made from a worn out circular saw blade.  The handle is made from a piece of maple firewood rescued from the woodstove.  The rivets are 12 gauge copper house wire. (2009)

My favourite is the bicycle:
I love that little thing!

Throughout the afternoon there was more catching up with family and general sitting around:
My mom with my aunt

Me with friends from church

Sisters, aunts, uncles...

Troy took the kiddies and their attending parents on a wagon ride

And Joel showed the girls around our garden because he was determined they would know what vegetables look like in their natural state:

Apparently they found a mutant potato:

It was a lovely weekend. Thanks to all those who showed up and celebrated with us. A big thanks to those who helped me get ready, serve food, clean up, etc etc.

Let's do it again in another 50 years!

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