Puppy Love

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Gift-Giving Anxieties
I get a ridiculous surge of anxiety whenever someone is about to unwrap a present I foolishly crafted my own two hands. Is it gonna be cool enough? Is it big enough? Will they like it? Will they like me?!

I don’t suppose the hint of sleep deprivation after finishing them at 5am this morning does much for my anxieties.

Fortunately, I can start by telling you that this latest creation seemed to go over well today. While it started as an innocent game of “make the dog chase me”, it wasn’t long before it morphed into a game of “oh no, the dog is chasing ME”…but then brilliantly ended with a self-propelled game of “seriously, guys, this dog won’t stop following me!” when I tied the pull string to the back of Sam’s jeans.

Clackity Canine?
I knew I wanted to make pull-toys for the fast-approaching January birthdays, but the puppy wasn’t actually in the original plan. But despite my best efforts of prototyping with wood and lego and physics engines, I just didn’t have time to nail down the mechanism I wanted, especially in the wake of Christmas…and the unrelenting Story Dice of Christmas Eve. :(

I decided to take another stab at the Clackity Crocodile — one of my favourites — but with some key improvements:

  • Larger Wheels. By making the wheels larger, the “crunch-and-release” action of the accordion-esque body.
  • Lower Pivot. By making the pivot point lower, it should improve the “clack effect” by making it easier for the ribs to hit at both the bottoms and tops.
  • Weatherstripping! AHA! I found a reasonable alternative to using old rubber bands for traction on the tires…weatherstripping! Ahh, bless you Canadian Tire. You are the wind beneath my wings.
  • Swinging Ears. Pinning ears to the head does not improve the “physics” of the toy. It does, however, drastically improve the cute-factor of said toy as they freely swing back and forth as the dog moves.

So what did I take away from this project? Attach swinging ears to ALL toys moving forward.

Sorry, I still haven’t had much opportunity to play with iMovie — with the exception of my obsessive star-trailing timelapses, of course :) — so no movie for this one yet, either. First the Nyan Cat-omaton, then the pup! :)

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