On our second full day in Calgary, we went on a family trip out to Kananskis.  The day started off overcast and foggy, but cleared up somewhat by the time we made it into the mountains.  We each took a bunch of pictures.  This is the story of one of the pictures that I posted on Instagram.

One of the pictures that I took was of the Upper Kananaskis Lake, with Lori and some of the kids on the shoreline at the bottom of the picture.  Here is the picture in question.

Upper Kananskis Lake, original picture

Trying to do something slightly different, I cropped it into a short but wide picture.

Cropped picture


Unfortunately, when displaying it on Instagram it was readjusted to a standard picture format, cutting out the people on the edges of the picture.   Instagram has an associated app called LayOut which allows you to combine multiple pictures into one image.  My first attempt was to combine the footer (cropped image as above) with part of the original picture.  Here is the result.

I wasn’t quite happy with that picture, so I took a look at some of the other ones taken on the trip.  Here is the one that I ended up using.

I then cropped the mountain fog photo and dropped it into the top photo frame, resulting in the following picture.  It struck me that the resulting picture actually looked like one picture rather than a conglomerate of two different pictures.  Since most people likely use Instagram on a smartphone, they likely wouldn’t notice the really flat far lake shore, nor notice that the trees at the waters edge appear rather suddenly.  I decided to go ahead and post it.  I’m not sure that anyone noticed, not surprising given the large numbers of pictures on Instagram that people flip through on a regular basis.  Well, it makes an interesting hubcrate post, anyway.

picture of mountain and lakeshore
the final combined picture

Preamble 1: It’s been over a year since I posted anything on the hubcrate.com site. In the meantime, I’ve posted on Instagram, but find that although it’s easy to post, it’s a bit constricting (particularly in telling the story around the pictures). So, I (Ben Huber) am likely going to post here and on Instragram (with a link to the corresponding hubcrate post).

Preamble 2: We recently returned from our big event of the year; the Sept 22nd wedding of Rett and Elselijn. (Sidenote, Rett now spells his name as Rhett, but I know him as Rett so will likely continue referring to him as such. Besides, there’s still a lot of people, including some of my nieces and nephews, who refer to me as Benje, a name I haven’t gone by for a long time). I’m going to do a series of posts about our experiences in Calgary in September 2018, preparing for and participating in Rett & Elselijn’s wedding.

In talking with R&E about wedding preparation, they indicated that one of the things they wanted to do at the wedding reception was a game of Musical Hats. This is similar to the game Musical Chairs, but done with hats. A number of people sit in a circle, each with a hat. One person loses their hat and the music starts. The person without a hat takes the hat from the person sitting in front of them. Then the next person without a hat needs to acquire one. On things go in a sedate (or not) fashion until the music stops, and the person without a hat leaves the game, taking their chair with them. Another hat is removed and the next round begins.

On one of our first days in Calgary, Davison and I volunteered to go on a hat buying trip. We were attempting to purchase 15 hats, each hopefully unique and unusual. Rett already had one hat that we were going to use (a red one that said “Make America Great Again”, you may have seen people wearing them), but there were a lot to buy. I was concerned that we’d be spending quite a bit of money and having troubles finding unique ones. We went to two thrift stores and in short order had purchased 18 hats (yes, we lost count). Here are pictures of three of the hat that we found. You’ll be seeing some additional ones in a future post.

Picture of Davison wearing a Fez
Davison wearing a Fez
picture of Heidi and Davison wearing hats
Heidi and Davison wearing hats
picture of Ben with a squid hat
Dad wearing the squid hat (which had LED lights in the eyes and around the rim).

Yesterday, Davison was convinced that a young neighborhood lad (and good friend of Brock) had pocketed and walked off with one of the really cool minifigs from his latest Lego set. He was contemplating a plan of going over to said miscreant’s house to play, and while there he would case the joint for the missing minifigure.

By way of background, the bedtime book that I’ve been reading to the boys has been “Anne of Green Gables”. During this particular counselling session with Davison on the appropriate way of handling the situation, we reminded Davison of the amethyst brooch and shawl incident in the Anne of Green Gables story, where Marilla could not find her amethyst brooch and accused Anne of stealing it. Our point being that it is easy to jump to conclusions when dealing with other people’s motives and actions, and possibly being wrong in our over-reactions. Upon being reminded of such, Davison’s response was “Dad, I’m not going to find the Lego minifigure stuck in my shawl.” The decision was made to let the incident go without trying to confront the neighborhood lego pocketer.

A couple of hours later, Davison came downstairs and was chuckling. Upon being asked, he told us that he had found the missing stormtrooper, The really funny part was that the stormtrooper had somehow got tangled up in the corner of a dress-up shawl that was hanging out of a not-quite-closed drawer in the playroom.

We’re not sure how the story resolution could have been any more perfect, but were quite happy that a big scene was not part of it.

Back in mid-September, we had a family mini-vacation (3 days, 2 nights) down the coast in Corpus Christi. I am working on a post about that trip which might make it up before this post, but maybe not. In the rental home we were in, there were a I couple of games, one of which was “Telestrations”, labelled as “the visual equivalent of the party game telephone”. Based on my past experiences with Telephone, my immediate response was to decline, but I overcame that emotion and we went ahead with it. It turned out to be a lot of fun and we’ll probably be picking up a copy – although likely the 8 or 12 person edition.

By way of explanation, each person gets a flip page pad (with pages which alternate between drawing a picture based on a description and writing a description of a picture) and a random word. The starting player on each pad writes down the original word, flips the page and then draws a picture. The pad is then handed to the next person who looks at the picture and writes a description of what they think it is. Then the page gets flipped and passed to the next player who can only read the description and has to draw a picture. Once three iterations have been completed, we were done – and then shared the iterations that each word had gone through.

While the odd word (like the word “book”) made it through intact, most got quickly garbled. The garble effect was likely enhanced by Brock (and Davison somewhat) who don’t have quite the drawing skills and breadth of experience of others. Probably my favourite Telestrations (which I didn’t get pictures of) started off as “president” which then morphed to “Abraham Lincoln”, then to “hobo”, and then Brock had no
idea of what exactly a hobo was and thought it was a crazy man. Hmm, come to think of it in light of the upcoming US elections, perhaps a more appropriate starting place for such a conclusion should have been “Republican presidential candidate”.

Anyhow, here are some compilations of some of the end results. The original word is in the caption at the top. Then read through the picture-description-picture-des… iterations left to right, wrapping down the page. Bottom right is the final description arrived at.
image image image image image

In our front yard flower bed, we had planted two watermelon plants – one from seed, the other from a bedding plant. We’ve only had a few watermelons show up, most (that would be qty of 3) of which went rotten when they were pretty small. However, one of the watermelons has grown to a reasonable size. On Saturday morning, Heidi and Mikaela picked it and stashed it in the fridge. We cut it up as part of our Sunday evening meal yesterday. Here are some pictures of The Watermelon.
The Unpicked Watermelon

Watermelon Still Life
Watermelon Still Life
Dad, Watermelon, Davison and Brock
Dad and Watermelon
Davison, Dad, Watermelon
Davison, Dad, Watermelon
Watermelon, Dad, and Brock
Watermelon, Dad, and Brock
The cut watermelon, not quite ripe apparently
The cut watermelon, not quite ripe apparently (who can tell with watermelons)  but still really good

I’ve previously shown some pictures of our yard and growing efforts. In this post, I’d like to show some pictures of the garden that my Dad and Mom put in at their campsite, on Marlin’s land near a private lake. If memory serves me correct, this particular patch of ground used to be a feedlot of sorts at one point, so there is lots of nutrients in the ground. That being said, it takes skill and hard work to make it into a garden – Mom and Dad Huber are master gardeners (and can correct my captions as I’m not sure they are entirely correct).

picture of garden
Nicely tilled soil

picture of potato plants
Potato plants
picture of rows of carrots
Rows of carrots
picture of squash plants
Some sort of squash
picture of graden
More squash plants (possibly, I may be mistaken).

In the interest of getting back to regular posting here on hubcrate.com, here are some of the photo highlights of the past few weeks.

picture of boy blowing up kitchen
Baking soda and vinegar fun with Davison
Picture of blackberries in garden
Some edible blackberries that the birds didn’t get
picture of Davison with chocolate pudding pie
Davison, the chocoloate pudding pie chef
pikcture of red climbing rose blossom
Climbing rose blossom
picture of small watermelon
Little watermelon growing in our front yard (but it had split so had to be discarded)
picture of girl sitting on kitchen counter
Danaya using her phone
picture of toad hiding in plain site
Find the toad
picture of lame word search
Easiest Sunday School word search puzzle ever


Ben:  This is a bit of a late post, but possibly better late than never…

To celebrate the 4th of July, we had a number of families from the church over for the afternoon and evening.

picture of ladies talking at dining room table
Daelynn, Mikaela, Lori and Jenn in the Dining Room
picture of ladies talking in dining room
Another shot of the ladies’ table

There were a lot of kids over and much fun was had in the swimming pool.

picture of kids in a swimming pool
Lots of pool activity

One of the families brought along (unbeknowst to me) a signal cannon.  Here’s a picture of one that I snagged from eBay, that was pretty similar to what they had (except that they only had the metal/aluminum cylinder but not the wooden carriage).

Signal Cannon
Signal Cannon

The basic premise is that it is a very loud noise-maker.  It consists of a metal cylinder which has been smoothly bored most of the way down, and has a separate small fuse hole.  A fuse is put in the cannon, and then it is loaded with gunpowder (up to the top lip, I believe) which is then tamped down (in this case I think they were using a short broom handle).  No projectile is fired, but the resulting noise is extremely loud (for those of you who have played the game “Bang!”, think of the “BLAM” made by the Howitzer).  On its first firing, I was behind the house by the pool, it was pretty startling.  It was only fired twice, which was probably okay as we live in a pretty quiet neighborhood.

We had purchased a bunch of fireworks (of the lesser explosion variety) to set off after it got dark.

picture of sparklers on Fourth of July
Sparklers and other fireworks


picture of fountain firework
Davison watching a “fountain” firework

Davison was our chief firework lighter and did a pretty good job of it.  We landed one firework on a neighbor’s roof (they weren’t home and it rolled off without starting a fire) and almost hit a couple of vehicles with others. But it all ended safely and the kids had a great time, especially with the sparklers and the snappers.

We also had some items that generated smoke which didn’t really work well in the dark, so we lit some of it off the next day.

picture of military smoke firework
July 5th – setting off the “military smoke” firework

All in all, it was a pretty fun way to celebrate with friends.

With my children I have a reputation for occasionally picking up weird and wonderful items, usually because they are on sale and being unloaded cheaply. Some of these purchases end up being winners, but others not so much. So, I thought I would throw together a post with some of the more recent winners and losers for your enjoyment.

picture of Dr Pepper cherry Dessert Topper
Dr. Pepper cherry dessert topper! Not sure if anyone liked it or didn’t read closely enough and thought it was chocolate syrup.  Apparently it is “Amazingly smooth”; not sure what that means for a product that is essentially a syrup.  On the other hand, maybe I was amazed at the smoothness the first time that I used it.
PIcture of Ferrer Wild Mushroom Porcine soup
These have been well received, particularly the mushroom soup as Mikaela and Heidi are in a really-like-mushroom-soup phase.
Picture of Caramel Sishito Mustard
These mustards were big hits (at least for Lori and myself).
Picture of Chocolate Flavored Blood Orange Sparkling Juice
This sparkling juice was a total fail.  Possibly the label “non-alcoholic” should be read as “non-drinkable”. If you want to try it, I still have a bottle or two!

I’m probably a bit of a sucker for gadgets (specifically ones that are not too expensive), so when I saw a set of specialty lens that could be used with iPhones and iPads (and more specifically that the set was less than $20), I did some research (as there was a bunch of options) and then committed. The set that we get has a clip that you use to hold the lens over the lens on the device. There are three different lenses, one a fish eye lens, the other two providing a couple of other options including close-in macro shooting.

picture of fisheye lens
Fisheye lens

fisheye lens picture of butterfly plant
Fisheye lens view of Butterfly plant
picture of Crepe Myrtle flowers
Fisheye view of Crepe Myrtle floweers
fisheye picture of pink flower
Fisheye view of pink flower