Category Archives: Cool Things

  1. After the Top 6, It’s the Final 4!

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    March 25, 2014 by Amie M

    My Dad is amazing; he is Ron-Stoppable! His skill, cunning and capabilities always astound me. He has such creativity and a mind to see anything is possible out of any supplies. Last week’s episode of Canada’s Handyman Challenge was a study in creativity and building code.

    (Photo credit: Canada’s Handyman Challenge)

    Dad can make good things happen, particularly when supplies are a mammoth pile of pizza boxes. In case you couldn’t tell, the first challenge of last week’s episode was sponsored by Pizza Pizza. The contestants were tasked with making furniture out of pizza boxes. Something must have been in the set water as all six contestants went with living room furniture.

    (Photo credit: Canada’s Handyman Challenge)

    Packing tape came a-flying out and boxes were assembled and disassembled. Dad made a sturdy couch with shaping and comfort in mind. It was well proportioned to a tall person and Dad was one of two to take apart a box and get into a little sculpting.

    At the end of the challenge Dan from Ontario was sent home. He was a great contestant throughout and a very smart and skilled handyman.

    The second challenge of the episode was a task in precision and knowledge. The contestants were given two walls, wire and wallpaper to wire a three-way switch to a sconce and wallpaper the walls.

    Dad has done a million three-way switches and installed lights, but never hung wallpaper. It was going to be good.

    (Photo credit: Canada’s Handyman Challenge)

    The Pop-sicle was cool and collected, wiring the switch and the light was cinch. But Dad had an “aw sh!t” moment and accidentally installed the light box to the wrong side of a stud, and the light was too tight into the corner. And according to the judges his light was upside down. Any rural kid knows it keeps the bugs out that way. Dad wallpapered very well, his paper was well-aligned and cut cleanly. But Dad is a bit of a stickler for precision, and in his application may have squished out a lot of the glue.

    Dad’s excellent wiring job and three-way switch saw him through to the Final Four.

    Chris, the last other member from Team Toba, was the one who went home after this challenge. His light wouldn’t turn on, and unfortunately that was a fail in the eyes of the judges. Chris is another great contestant and has a lot of wonderful things ahead of him as he finishes his carpentry apprenticeship in Winnipeg.

    Tonight’s episode of Canada’s Handyman Challenge is the finale. And the show is bringing in the big guns, Mike Holmes himself. Before you watch it at 10 pm eastern, go vote for my dad as fan favourite.

  2. 8 Down, 8 Still to Go!

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    March 18, 2014 by Amie M

    And here is the next edition of the Ron-some parade!

    (Photo credit: Dad)

    Last week’s episode of Canada’s Handyman Challenge was the most stressful yet! Watch the episode here.

    The first challenge was actually three mini challenges, where the contestants were to first hang a door in half an hour, then brick and mortar a Roman arch in the next stage, and cut a negative relief of an positive image into a sheet of plywood exactly as they see it. The judges warned the contestants that a fail in one challenge could be alright, but a fail in two challenges could send them home.

    Dad appeared to rock the socks off the first challenge. He aced hanging a door. He measured twice and cut once. But in the judging of Dad’s door, Brian Baeumler noted that his main door hole was chipped. Dad was rushed in his drilling and his bit ground out the hole on the way out. He also didn’t have time to install the security plate in the deadbolt, but these misses barely counted as a fail in this challenge.

    (Photo credit: Canada’s Handyman Challenge)

    Growing up and working in a province where brick is not a common medium to work in within the construction industry, brick and mortaring a Roman arch was expected to be a tougher challenge for Dad. Think again! This was Dad’s best mini-challenge, and he was even one of the best contestants at it. His arch did not fail after the supports were pulled out, and did not collapse into rubble when Paul LaFrance karate chopped the keystone.

    (Photo credit: Canada’s Handyman Challenge)

    The third challenge had a lot of intricate draftsman work that Dad is very familiar with. As a designer of a lot of his own projects, Dad is never scared of transferring an idea from one surface to another. Dad did a great job of superimposing the positive image of the H and C from the model board onto his board. But in the end, his negative relief board did not fit well onto the positive model Scott McGillivray designed.

    According to the judges, Dad found himself in the bottom two for the challenge, and the fans of the #mbsilverfox found themselves in a state of utter disbelief. In the end, Kirk from Nova Scotia found himself going home.

    The second half of the episode was a flashback to the Winnipeg Auditions for the remaining three from Team Toba. The contestants were given open rein to all of their previous projects in order to make a Judge-Mobile.

    Pops jumped on the idea right away and put together a rickshaw. He used a section from his stairs for tiered seating for the judges, colourful backing to the seats from the billboard, and the negative relief of the puzzle challenge product placement on the back of the cart. But the limiting factor in all of the carts were the flimsy bicycle wheels that had to be used to move the carts along. Dad planned well, and boxed his wheels into his frame for extra support.

    (Photo credit: Dad)

    In the final part of the challenge, the contestants had to pull all three judges through an obstacle course on their chariots. Dad’s was flying until they hit the first curve. Then the wheels simply folded. This was not the worst showing of a cart, though, as other carts didn’t even make it out of the gate or fell apart before hitting the track.

    Dad’s strategy of middle packing it went well in this episode, and kept him safe to make it through to the Top 6 episode tonight! But unfortunately it meant that Mark from Brandon went home, and the Team Toba contenders went down to two.

    Watch tonight’s episode, and Vote for my Dad in the fan favourite poll.

  3. Two Weeks Ago on Canada’s Handyman Challenge

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    March 18, 2014 by Amie M

    Sorry, Pops! I tried to write this post and publish it last week, but a certain husband of mine had our computer at a meeting. So today we are getting double the dose of Ron-some.

    Dad made it into the Top 10 of the TV contest that pits very well-skilled handy people from across Canada against each other in time- and material-defying feats of handyman prowess. This episode started out very well, in what fans of the #mbsilverfox are dubbing a dream team setup. Watch the episode online.

    Dad was paired with Brent from British Columbia in a duo that the judges repeatedly referred to as the Elder Statesmen. They were tasked with completing a set of stairs that had toinclude a landing and were given the usual 2 hours to do it in.

    (Photo credit: Canada’s Handyman Challenge)

    Dad took to the task right away, and had Brent on board with designing a set of stairs that are intuitive to walk. Dad’s theory is that you should never have to think about climbing stairs, you should just do it. And these two gents did it very well.

    (Photo credit: Canada’s Handyman Challenge

    Even though a part of the expectations was to include a railing, they were more focussed on creating a sturdy, well designed and to-code structure than the finishing touches. The judges had us on the edge of our seats when they were making their eliminations, saying that because the two did not finish the project they could be eliminated. But, there were other teams that built unsafe stairs and even stairs that fell apart that kept Dad and Brent from elimination.

    In the end, a show down happened between another Team Toba member, Chris from Winnipeg, and Maurice from Nova Scotia when the judges couldn’t decide on a team member to send home as their stairs performed the worst. The two handymen were challenged with replacing a single pane window and were given the supplies, and some extra, to do it. In the end Maurice went home over Chris because he neglected to use the glazing points that hold the glass in place.

    The top 9 challenge had Dad facing something he has never done before: crown moulding. In preparation for the contest, Dad researched the heck out of a few things he figured could come up as a challenge, and he very intuitively watched a few videos on installing crown moulding.

    (Photo credit: Canada’s Handyman Challenge)

    Dad worked his way through it, meticulously measuring his angles and making his cuts, getting a very clean finished project. Unfortunately in that dreaded countdown to put their tools down, Dad’s nail gun jammed and his neighbouring contest tossed him his air nailer just barely in the nick of time to fire a couple nails into the last piece of his moulding.

    (Photo credit: Dad, #mbsilverfox)

    The judges, in their judging of things, noticed right away that some of Dad’s boards were not firmly affixed and did their requisite tisking.

    Again the editing of the show had us waiting with bated breath to see if Pops made it through to the Top 8. And of course he did! More on that episode later today.

    Vote for your favourite contestant here.

  4. Twelve Good Men

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    March 4, 2014 by Amie M

    Dad rocked last week’s episode. Watch it here! Twelve contestants were taken down to ten in two contests. The first was a team event, the second was an individual task.

    Group Challenge

    (Photo credit: Canada’s Handyman Challenge)

    The group was split into two, and given a challenge to create a billboard for Canada’s Handyman Challenge. The catch: they could only work on their own panel.

    Group Challenge

    Group Challenge Winners

    (Photo credit: Canada’s Handyman Challenge)

    The teams designed their group board and broke off onto their own panels to create the letters in the show’s title using trim and a variety of angle cuts. Dad had the center panel, and followed the group’s plan. Unfortunately this left his “Y” in the center of the panel, as agreed upon by the group. Pops took some flack for his “Y,” but held his own on his mitre work in the “G.” Dad’s group won the challenge, and the other billboard’s team saw a member, Doug, go home.

    Individual Challenge

    (Photo credit: Dad)

    The second challenge was soldering copper pipe through a maze of pre-drilled 2×4 studs, in the pouring rain.

    Dad's Maze

    (Photo credit: Dad)

    Dad aced this challenge. There were a couple scorch marks on his boards, but nothing extreme. When the judges did the pressure test on Dad’s pipe maze, it passed.

    But two other mazes did not. One maze had plenty of holes and misses in the soldering. Another had a geyser. Dan, Dad’s partner in the bridge challenge last episode, was on the chopping block for a big miss. Unfortunately for Laurier, he is the one that failed to complete the challenge altogether and went home.

    Dad is in the top ten episode tonight! But don’t forget to vote for my Daddy as your fan favourite before, and after, the episode airs.

  5. Last Week on Canada’s Handyman Challenge…

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    February 25, 2014 by Amie M

    The Pops is awesome, y’all. Not many people could hack the challenges the judges threw at the Handyman Challenge contestants last week. And four people went home. 16 contestants were quickly weeded down to 12. Watch it.

    Contest number one was region based; the 16 were divided into four teams and told to create a backyard oasis that had to include an entrance, patio, fence and hammock with a catch. They only had two hours.

    Team 'Peg Oasis

    (Photo Credit: Dad)

    Team ‘Peg did a great job. Their patio was well laid and was pretty even, but the screening and gravel were layered wrong. The gate was well hung but boring, the fence was alright but shakey, but man was that hammock sturdy! A little tight-strung, but it was not going anywhere.

    Dad

    (Photo credit: Canada’s Handyman Challenge)

    Right away when they said backyard oasis, I thought Dad was going for a pagoda, having just made a behemoth in his backyard. In my live texts with the old man, he said he wanted to do the hammock because he had never made one before, and he wanted a challenge. Dad is awesome.

    Team ‘Peg ended up in the bottom two teams so one of the gents ended up going home. But as I was watching that elimination I knew it was not Dad going home. Team East Coast also was in the bottom two, and saw a member go home.

    Bridge

    (Photo Credit: Dad)

    Challenge two had the remaining 14 contestants test their brains in geometry and physics. They had to building a long bridge out of 1″x2″s and screws and were told to go long, and do it in two hours. What a horrible challenge! These building materials were prone to splitting, and somehow the judges were to walk out on the bridges. It was all so nerve-wracking to watch.

    Dad was teamed up with Dan, and were dubbed the nerds, as they used loads of math and building principles to keep their bridge up. The relied on triangles and some upper supports with double bracing.

    Dad Bridge

    (Photo credit: Canada’s Handyman Challenge)

    Of the seven teams of two, Team Geek did not fare the best, nor did they fare the worst. One bridge fell apart before the judges even walked on it. And there was one bridge where the judges were able to walk over half of its length!

    Tonight’s episode is going to be another thriller, where the contestants’ skills and minds will be put through the wringer.

    Don’t forget to tune in to watch the MBSilverFox compete against other highly skilled handyman from the Great White North. And then vote for Dad in the Fan Favourite Poll.

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