Ian Slacklining and a Fixed Chair

Ian said he wanted to put a post up about this, but it’s now three days later and I’d better get it done…

Ian’s slackline arrived. He went together with us 50% on buying it and thank goodness it arrived early. It was Calvin and the beanie around here for a while.

The next step was finding a place to enjoy his new toy. Between the time we ordered it and when it arrived, I did a bit of research and found out that while a slackline isn’t as taut as a tightrope, it still needs strong anchors: mature trees and/or supports that are driven 18 inches into the ground. I sent Ian out on a hunting expedition. In Calgary, mature trees are not easy to come by and we certainly didn’t have any in our yard. It turned out that there is a large public area (it’s a flood control zone, but it’s a park by any other name) that has birch trees all around it that are at least 15 years old. He found numerous options. We can ride there pretty easily. It’s only 300 meters as the crow flies, but you have to go around.

The ride there and back again. 2 km return.

We set it up and Ian got balancing. He was better at it than me right away. Still not able to “walk” the line, but is balancing for short periods. He’s been practicing at home and tonight is his third expedition to the park to practice.

Not a long way to fall…

We’ll keep posting on his progress.

In other news, I fixed my chair today. Which chair? The office chair that I bought back in 1996 when I was starting my Masters degree at UNBC.

I paid $600 for that chair. In 2020 dollars, that’s $928. Not to mention that I was just ending a co-op job and becoming a starving student. It’s no surprise that I’ve kept it. It was a damn good chair. But I was beginning to think it’s days were over. At some point, the mechanism that elevated the chair back broke, and it would not stay up. It really was a stool with a cosmetic back for all intents and purposes. When Tammy got her new chair from Ikea for her new teaching desk, I was sorely tempted to get one. Tammy was very much against the idea: the cats have always loved this chair. Especially Squeak, but now Murph jumps up on it in the night, too.

But throwing stuff out’s not my style. While I was listening to a recording of a workshop this afternoon, I started probing it to see if I could bodge it back into working order or some semblance of it. I knew something had given way, but I wasn’t sure what. I worked at it for a while and figured out how to get the cloth cover off and that exposed the bolts that held the back on.

Once that was apart I could see that the plastic bracket that slid up and down the metal chair back mount had cracked. And that meant that it had slipped past the stops. The bit that was toothed to allow adjustments had nothing to hold onto, so it could slide all the way down. I disassembled it, lifted the bracket up above the stops again, used some 3M super glue to repair the bracket and then clamped it. A little reassembly, and it’s good to go. It’s so comfortable.

I told Tammy that Murphy can look forward to having his chair for the rest of his life. It’s already almost 24 years old. What’s another 15 or so?


It’s not the oldest thing in this picture, though. Things I can spot:

  • Perl 5 for Dummies book: 1995.
  • Blue lamp: 1980’s.

1 thought on “Ian Slacklining and a Fixed Chair

  1. Ian looks pretty good, is he getting ready to run off to the Circus??? Chair looks OK.

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