The fifth-last day of summer

We went to the old-school geodesic dome climbing structure, and old dinosaur that’s silently hiding at an underused park and that’s somehow escaped being replaced with more safety-minded playground equipment… The remainder of today’s lengthy adventures continue after the break.



At the same park are a couple of beaten up concrete sculptures that are only a small step removed from the weird Russian playgrounds from the Soviet era. I was casually concerned because we were watched the whole time by a cop who was minding the construction project across the street, but we had undisturbed fun decorating the dull cement with coloured chalks. The beak has been broken off the dolphin and I’ve been considering going back to the park some time to repair it. I have no idea if that’s legal or not, but I think it falls in the “no one cares” category, legal or not.



The motorcycle is not “powerful” enough for me, nor is it strong enough to support two little girls. The positive side of that fact is that it’s actually more fun for them this way in its hilarity.


As you probably guessed from the entry two before this one, we walked down a graffiti coated path, the West Toronto Railpath (wiki). In addition to the unofficial street art, there’s a bunch of strange modernist wire mesh sculptures as well that will look much nicer once they’ve rusted and been defaced by a generation of vandals. I’ll post pictures of them another time.


Lots of people bike and jog on this path, and when one guy ran past us the girls challenged him to a race, and they all ran at a furious pace to the end of the path at Dundas.


I don’t know if this is conceptual street art, or if it’s just anarchy.


At the park, instead of playing in the big wooden castle, the girls sat down at the chessboard and played a game of checkers as they sipped their cherry slushes. Of course there were no checker pieces there, and we didn’t bring any either, so one of them played with wood chips and the other played with pieces of gravel. The game went on for a long time, and eventually each of them had six kings on the board (which is quite unusual I think), the kings being made using bottlecaps as “crowns” on one side, and coins on the other side. The game eventually ground to a standstill and was declared a draw.



And now Nefarious is listening to Enormous Crocodile by Roald Dahl, read by Stephen Fry, as she dozes off, which reminds me of my childhood — my brother and I had many wonderful books on tape that we always listened to at bedtime. It’s nice to see Nefarious enjoying many of the same stories, both read to her and read by her, as my brother and I did as kids. Reliving the best parts of my own childhood through her is one of the many joys of parenthood.


  1. Shannon…

    You are a HUGE influence in not only massive aspects of my life revolving around programmings and body mods, but I would have to saw more importantly Fatherhood.

    I was blessed with a son on August 15th and life has been better ever since. Keep the creations and Ideas flowing forth my friend…one day we shall cross paths again. Til then my friend….

    Thursday, September 3, 2009 at 7:58 pm | Permalink
  2. Shannon wrote:

    Thanks, and congratulations — welcome to the greatest adventure!

    Thursday, September 3, 2009 at 8:47 pm | Permalink
  3. Rosie wrote:

    I know this might not be PC or acceptable in a comment, so you are welcome to moderate it… but this is why you are the primary caregiver and Rachel isn’t. It’s been long enough that nobody really cares who did what, and I don’t really need to know what went down, but I think it’s obvious to all and sundry just how much you love your kid and what great care you (and Caitlin) take of her. I may not always agree with your opinions or attitudes, but I think you really are a great dad — way better than mine, anyway! And that is why I will never believe a word of what Rachel says.

    Thursday, September 3, 2009 at 11:15 pm | Permalink
  4. Zandelion wrote:

    I Just want to chime in and concur that Shannon really does appear to be quite the genuine father. In retrospect it was good timing that much of the unique passion for the mod community is now a unique passion for one’s daughter. At least as things go in blog form (meaning that I’m not suggesting things were any less devoted prior to the transition in BME.)

    Friday, September 4, 2009 at 1:13 am | Permalink
  5. Elizabeth wrote:

    Before the transition I thoroughly enjoyed reading about fun with Nefarious. On the issue of better parent, I think it takes a great deal of courage and love to admit to one’s self and other that an ex would be the better parent. In my opinion a great many Mothers choose to be the primary caregiver soley because they are too cowardly to admit that this may not be best. That was my only real concern during the debacle. That Nefarious might be used as a pawn. That is something that has lifelong ramifications. Rachel is a good parent for the understanding that Shannon is far better for the day to day parenting. If I am not mistaken, Shannon too has done a wonderful job of never causing Nefarious to feel that her Mother doesnt love her. Beautiful. Commendable. Excellent people guiding skills.
    How wonderful the world would be were that we all had this kind of involved and loving parenting.

    Friday, September 4, 2009 at 8:03 am | Permalink
  6. Linda wrote:

    “Reliving the best parts of my own childhood through her is one of the many joys of parenthood.”

    That was it for me too. Seeing your own physical, emotional and mental growth through the evolution of your child is humbling. Sometimes painful, always joyous.

    Friday, September 4, 2009 at 10:45 am | Permalink
  7. suzanne wrote:

    I love those old climbing domes. We had one near my house growing up. Sometimes we would play games that involved staying off the ground for what seemed like hours. Days. Years. Lifetimes…

    My son has, at 9 years old, declared playgrounds for babies. He’s moved on to rock climbing this summer. I miss the playground days. Hopefully its just a phase.

    Friday, September 4, 2009 at 7:36 pm | Permalink
  8. Pademelon wrote:

    Continuing on the theme I guess, I love that you create such a wonderful and fun image of Nefarious’ childhood. It’s logical that some day she’ll google her family and, while you can’t control what’s said about you or Rachel by others, the first thing that comes up when she googles herself will be this account of how much she means to you and how proud of her you are. That gives me a really wonderful warm feeling, even though I don’t actually know either of you.

    Saturday, September 5, 2009 at 9:40 pm | Permalink
Wow Shannon, that's really annoying! What is it, 1997 on Geocities? Retroweb is NOT cool!

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