Print Story An uncommonly social weekend
By georgeha (Mon Feb 05, 2007 at 07:21:05 AM EST) sledding, swimming, Polar clipper (all tags)
Plus, hostest with the mostest, hardcore shooling, Lackawanna Blues, and less.

Poll: Favorite kind of sled?

It was quite the social weekend for me, I was much more social than usual. Friday night preschool mom and her kids were over, though I didn't get home until 7 ish, as I go tmy hair cut, and it took a long time to fill our prescriptions.

Saturday morning the girls decided to skip swimming, but Porsche-dad stopped by later and said they might go sledding at the park behind my house. So, the girls and I met them over there later, the whole Porsche clan, as well as a few neighbor kids. I remembered to wear my cool weather riding gear this time, and waterproof lined pants with armor are just the thing for bombing down the slopes in thin pieces of plastic. I did have trouble getting back up the slopes, they were nearly ice, and my boots just did not have enough grip. I think I'll bring some ski poles next time.

But that's not all. Our neighbors from down the street who moved last fall were having a shindig, and I decided to make an appearance, mostly to keep in touch, but also to check out their house. It was only a few miles away, but the flurries were bad, and it was dicey driving to get there. But I did, and made small talk for a while (one of their guests is in the direct mail business, and when I mentioned $corp, he mentioned $product, though his company doesn't have one, as they just do black and white for their direct mail). After a short while, my knees were acting up (yeah, the arthritis is not improving with Minocin, and seems to be getting worse), so I went back home just in time for a bedtime tantrum from ten year old. She was hungry (probably because she didn't want to eat dinner, go figure).

Sunday ended up being the least social, the girls and I went to the YMCA for family swim, but we didn't run into anyone we knew. The water was nice, but with my pathetic body fat percentage, even at 84 degrees I could only tolerate about 20 minutes of it. It was good to get some low resistance exercise on my joints.

I ended up spending a lot of time with the girls, as Mrs. Ha worked Saturday and Sunday hostessing at her new job. So far, so good, and the end plan is to have her work M-F 9-3, which dovetails very nicely with the kids's school schedule. If that works out, it should be enough to keep up solvent until something better turns up, or until I can borrow another chunk of my 401k to pay off high rate credit cards.

Mrs. Ha's weekend really started yesterday then, so we watched a movie last night, rather than watch the SuperDuper bowl. This time it was Lackawanna Blues, a movie about a boy being raised in a rooming house in the 50's and 60's in the black part of Lackawanna (a suburb of Buffalo) before integration changed the community for the worse. I'm not sure if it was integration, urban renewal, or the loss of blue collar jobs in the autoplants and steel mills, but it's desolate nowadays. I picked this up because it's a Buffalo story which I thought Mrs. Ha would appreciate, and she did. A nice capper to a good weekend.

The girls school is hardcore, so hardcore they sent home flyers last week saying that even if the city schools were closed for the cold, they would be open. But, we'd have to provide transportation, since we use the City school buses. Wouldn't you know it, with single degrees today, the City Schools were closed, but ours was open.

We talked sleds a bit on Saturday. I recall having a flexible flyer, and if I recall right, it rarely worked well, I think you needed solid ice for those narrow runners to work. Those long wooden tobaggans were another idea that was better in practice than in reality, I think I've had two rides on them in my life. When I was younger, the saucers and roll up ones worked best, nowadays kids get tubes, and plastic tobaggans and all manner of stuff. The plastic toboggan things do work well, that's what we have. What's your favorite sled?

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An uncommonly social weekend | 17 comments (17 topical, 0 hidden)
Flexible Flyer by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #1 Mon Feb 05, 2007 at 07:28:44 AM EST
I had one of those from when I was 6 or so until I was around 16. If you rode on packed snow it went fast, while being far more steerable than any other sledding option.

Later I had a 73 Cutlass, very similar to the 72 Nova.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

I keep trying to explain to ten year old how to by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #2 Mon Feb 05, 2007 at 07:33:48 AM EST
steer the plastic toboggan by dragging a hand, she's still not getting it.

I did use my Flyer as a kid, but that might have been because it was my only sled.

[ Parent ]
Toboggan's were faster by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #4 Mon Feb 05, 2007 at 07:43:20 AM EST
But the Flyer was less likely to hit a tree.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
WIPO: by ammoniacal (4.00 / 1) #3 Mon Feb 05, 2007 at 07:42:35 AM EST
Giant piece of cardboard

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

Was your school too poor to afford trays? by georgeha (4.00 / 1) #6 Mon Feb 05, 2007 at 07:45:17 AM EST

[ Parent ]
We had the fastest sled on the hill by spacejack (2.00 / 0) #5 Mon Feb 05, 2007 at 07:43:32 AM EST
I think it was a Canadian Tire sled - a blue plastic hollow shell. It went faster and further than any other sled we ever raced against. It was always great seeing everyone looking at us going "Whoa! Look how far they went!"

It was a little difficult to control though; once we ended up crashing sideways into a big ramp the tough kids had been building, and the whole thing exploded. I ended up having my face mashed in the snow by them for that. Sigh, the story of my childhood.

I've got this awesome plastic toboggan by debacle (2.00 / 0) #7 Mon Feb 05, 2007 at 07:48:29 AM EST
It's faster than anything I've ever ridden, light, simple, and more durable than anything else I've encountered - it has no cracks or warps after more than 15 years of use. Needless to say, I haven't been able to find a similar sled anywhere.

But for the most part, I'd have to say that innertubes are the most fun. They're incredibly fast and easy to control. That said, they're pretty heavy compared to most sleds, so hiking them back up the sledding hill isn't exactly fun after the 15th or 16th run.

Also, wooden toboggans need to be waxed before use (kind of like a surf board, I think?), though even then they're not the best for sledding.


I really like our cheap black toboggan by georgeha (4.00 / 1) #8 Mon Feb 05, 2007 at 07:52:30 AM EST
I think I got it a Chase-Pitkin a few years back, and still in good shape, and fits three.

Maybe I'll wax the bottom of that one, if I can find my cross country wax.

The only tubes I have around the house are for my bike, not quite big enough to slide on.

[ Parent ]
Wax by notafurry (4.00 / 1) #11 Mon Feb 05, 2007 at 08:22:43 AM EST
Just use a candle. Works great, and it's a hell of a lot cheaper.

Beeswax or paraffin work better, naturally, but not so much that it's worth the added price if you can't find them cheap.

[ Parent ]
Waxing surfboards vs snow sports equipment. by wiredog (4.00 / 1) #9 Mon Feb 05, 2007 at 08:00:18 AM EST
Snow sports equipment is waxed on the bottom, to reduce friction, while surfboards are waxed on top, to increase it.


Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
Surfboard wax is sticky by ad hoc (3.00 / 1) #10 Mon Feb 05, 2007 at 08:09:13 AM EST
I chose saucer by R343L (4.00 / 2) #12 Mon Feb 05, 2007 at 08:23:47 AM EST
But not those pansy plastic saucers. The shiny metal kind. They just cut down the hill, thru the trees, cutting everything in its path down. Also, shiny.


"There will be time, there will be time / To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet." -- Eliot

careful with those by LilFlightTest (2.00 / 0) #13 Mon Feb 05, 2007 at 11:28:45 AM EST
if you wipe out, and your head comes anywhere near the sled, congratulations, you have a sled stuck to your face.
Dance On, Gir!
[ Parent ]
... by dev trash (2.00 / 0) #14 Mon Feb 05, 2007 at 02:30:43 PM EST
don't forget:

[ Parent ]
WIPO: SR-71 by FlightTest (2.00 / 0) #15 Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 11:11:36 AM EST
Wish I was a Sled Driver.

I knew a back-seater for one of those. by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 0) #16 Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 05:04:01 PM EST
You wouldn't want one.

He said the fuel economy sucked and the turning radius was about the size of western europe.

It was an American tradition, like fathers chasing kids around with power tools.

[ Parent ]
Fuel Economy? Turning Radius? by FlightTest (2.00 / 0) #17 Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 10:00:16 AM EST
Hardly considerations if you're the fastest (and highest) thing in the atmosphere.

[ Parent ]
An uncommonly social weekend | 17 comments (17 topical, 0 hidden)