View Parent Compass D.C. in a larger map for more recommendations - like Fossil Hunting at Calvert Cliffs State Park!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Frederick Keys Minor League Baseball

We had an amazing Father's Day in Frederick enjoying some Single A baseball.  A few pointers if you wan't to catch a game:
  • we were in section 108, row D which was amazingly close to the action but was the first section that did not have a screen to block foul balls which can be stressful.  I'd recommend either moving closer towards the center/homeplate line, or moving back if only side seats are left.  But all the seats in the house are great.
  • This side of the stadium (even sections) is closest to the visitor dugout, while much of the entertainment was centered around the home dugout, which is along the first base line (odd sections).  
  • The ballpark has great food including a flying dog brewery tent, and it's all much more affordable than the big leagues.  There is a kids play area with a $1 carousel, gigantic blow up slide, bouncy house and some games.  We got the $10, 12 ticket packet and both 3 and 6 yo had a blast.  
  • Next to the kid play area is the kid food stand that has a happy meal-like deal including a toy.  
  • We also signed up for the kids club online and got a free bag, which was nice considering it was for free.

We also had the good fortune of catching the absolutely amazing "cowboy monkey rodeo" by "wild thang and the ghostriders" who traveled all the way from Mississippi.  This is worth watching:

On the way home we stopped at the new Voltaggio restaurant "Family Meal" which we sold to the kids as fried chicken and milkshakes.

Also notable, though we got there at closing time is the Roads and Rails Model Train Museum:

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Treehouse living

I set out to build a treehouse today.  I have this great tree that has a notch where two limbs branch in a "V".  The notch is about 8 feet off the ground and the tree is in the corner of my yard.  Because of the height, I constrained my design to a double decker treehouse and really liked this site:

This post has good info on digging postholes:

In addition to the lumber and bolts, all I really needed was the digging bar (borrowed), clamshell digger ($40 at HD), and I got a short $10 utility shovel really for the kids but it turned out to be really handy to dig out some rocks and the like.

I got one of the 4x4s set in a posthole I dug - it wasn't too much work at all.  With the recommended 36" postholes, it looks like I will need a bag of rapidset cement per post.   This first post is inline with the tree notch, so the next step is to set the crossbeam joist from the tree notch, level it and attach it to the 4x4 post.  Then I will add the other 2 posts and put a deck on this platform.  I'm going to start there and add on modularly to spread out the work, and let the kids weigh in on what they want to go into the design.

The one open question is if I should just rest the crossbeam in the tree notch or tie it with rope by lacing around a figure eight around the beam and tree branches.  I've read some that rope can strangle a growing tree.  These sites seems to indicate resting in the tree crotch is fine:

This site recommends adding some rope but I think that may be relevant if no ground posts are used:

For finishing touches, this site seemed thorough:

Do you know of any other good information sources for treehouses?