Ground control to major Tom

Ground control to major Tom

My dad could beat your dad!  Before you respond with the obligatory, "Nuh-uh", let me explain why my dad is clearly superior to yours:  I readily admit that I know very little about your dad, and if it came down to a fist fight, your dad might have the upper hand.  But my dad built my kids a rocket ship.

First there was the castle he built for my brother Brian's kids.  It is a spectacular 2-story castle for Nicholas and Arthur that doubles as a playhouse for Evelyn.  It has a door with intricate oak sliding-bolt latches, and a rope mechanism to open the latches from the top floor.  I've had a lot of fun playing monster and attacking this castle while my kids and their cousins violently defended it.

As a father of 2 I know how hard it is to put a lot of effort into something nice for one of your children, cringing at the thought of having to repeat it when the inevitable cries of "No Fair!" come from your other child.  That didn't stop this 34-year-old man-child from crying "No Fair!" after seeing the castle, to get what was rightfully owed to me.

February 2013:

My dad and I sat down and threw out some ideas for what to build for my kids, and a spaceship was the clear winner.  It almost required a cylindrical shape, which would be too difficult to do with wood, so we decided on an octagon.  The design had some challenges, but when we came up with an idea for metal straps to join the 8 sections, the concept came together.  We would have a space walk on the outside to free up all inside space for play (no holes to fall through).  To do this we added thrusters and a bar to grab hold of, and a ledge for standing on the back 3 panels.  This had the added benefit of making it something of a jungle gym.

I drew up a design for how I would paint it, and my dad started woodworking.

After about 6 months my dad had cut, glued, and sanded all the pieces we would need, and handed them to me to paint + polyurethane.

After another 6 months of me finishing with white, black, grey, and silver paint, and a few coats of polyurethane, we were ready to assemble.

It took only 2 evenings to assemble, I added an electrical box, some LED strip lights in aluminum frames with diffusers, and a couple years later we made desks.

My kids love it, and have had many alien-hunting adventures in it.  The addition of the desks has given it new life and they're playing in it now more than ever.  Of course there are downsides to that extra use.  Here's how it looked a week after the desks were installed:

My dad, Stephen Morris, is a civil engineer, and his craftsmanship is apparent when I (and other calorically-inclined adults like myself) climb the spacewalk without hearing a single creak from the lumber.  If you still have a desire to dispute my dad's superiority to yours, please leave a comment below stating your case and he will be judged by an independent arbiter of my choice.

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