• Josh :) grateful

Fort Yoyo Games

Good Friday to yas!

It has been a while since I shared something worthy of "building cool shit" and felt that this was worthy of doing so. I had shared a small glimpse of Tristan's gaming fort when I talked about me buying him $100 of Vbucks , but no detail. I had full intentions of sharing pictures of when the project was done, done, done... but, given how little time there is and how much he's using it, this made sense to do regardless of its doneness :)

Before I can share his clubhouse with you, I first need to give you some substance as to why clubhouses are what there are - at least in our house. With that will you fully understand what Fort Yoyo Games really means and why it's such a big deal.


Back story first.

It's probably not that big of a surprise that I like building shit... especially when it's cool shit... even better when it's cool shit for ma'boys! With my design background and being good with spelling hammer and using a hammer, I conjured up the idea to build my kids a fort.


Well, a couple times really.

And in total Josh fashion I fully committed. I'm figuring out as time goes on that I'm either NOT going to do something at all.... or I'm completely and fully engrossed into overly committing to doing something with the flavor of Bobby Flay and expectation of perfection like Steve Jobs... wrapped up all together... yeah.. that's where I'm at.

Chas deserves a medal for the crap I put her through haha!


So in our first house, Avin must have been a smidge north of 3 when I thought I'd build him a two story clubhouse.. yes. two levels and future provisions to include a rockwall. So with a simple drawing and inventoried material, my brother and I hammered out Clubhouse #1.. Well, and the help of Avin :)





I didn't ask the HOA prior to building, nor did I give my neighbors a heads up about what would be next door... Turns out our neighbors were out of town for the weekend when we built this. I'm very thankful they were super cool! Never heard a peep from the HOA! phew!



When Chas was officially pregnant with Tristan, I called family and other important people in our lives and let Avin tell them that he was going to be a big brother.. Avin and I were standing exactly where my brother is sitting now. Pretty cool :)

A year or so later after this pic, Chas and I would host Tristan's babyshower at our home. The clubhouse was tall enough that we had set up tables underneath its footprint to give shade. I recall sitting there with my grandpa and gramma eating.. it was really nice.. Family stuff was sideways at that time as they were the only family show up for the baby shower. I love them so much for that... R.I.P. GP

Growing up sucks sometimes... We would have that clubhouse for almost 2 years before we had to move due to short selling our home. It was a bummer. Chas couldn't work because she was on bedrest with a complicated Tristan pregnancy. We also managed our finances like a 16 year old with a part time job... #notatall. hahah

So shortsold and then we moved up the road to a rental.

Thankfully the rental was a step up in house but a step down in price... thankfully we had equity in our Tacoma to sell. (blue truck above) It was a retarded truck payment for having not enough to pay for.. After selling it we had enough takeaway cash to put down as security deposit on the rental home and left me enough to get a beater of a car...

A 1990 Honda Accord...she would overheat when driving with AC and only one of the four windows would drop down.. I'd come home in nice dress clothes soaked to the bone. I recall Chas crying when I'd get home with how bad she felt... I owned her for almost 6 years... of which I rode her in like a good truck!



Yes, those are big ass pallets on the car.. I'd drive 30 miles home with such things tied to the car. Hahaha! she was a workhorse! :)


So... when we moved into the rental my career took a wildly positive change. I was now designing hospitals and operating rooms. This was the career I had prior to leaving to go into real estate. Income was better, we were grinding ourselves of debt, our family was happy and healthy, and at this time in our life all of my family had moved out of AZ. Chas's mom was not in AZ either.. So life was 100% on us to make things happen. Looking back, although we struggled and pinched money, it was a wonderful time in our life and made our marriage so much stronger.

With more design experience in my new career, a bigger back yard, larger budget.... why not build another clubhouse!?!?!? REIGHT?!... So.. like a good designer would do... I designed what we were going to do!

I didn't want to build the next clubhouse from my laptop.. Not to mention I had been breaking down operating room designs for a while now, and loving the piss out of it... why not step the level of detail up on my end here?!!!





Having learned from the first clubhouse we decided to make the tallest part 4' high instead of 8'... Avin had fallen down the first latter cause they were too high... Dad award right there! So this one would also have a fireman pole and be painted.. and have a door! :)


Chas and I made a plan for Avin.. I would surprise him one morning by telling him that he didn't have to go to school, and that we would instead go to home depot and buy material for a NEW CLUBHOUSE!!!!!

I wouldn't dare put my poor honda accord through such torment... so, I asked a buddy if I could borrow his truck. He graciously said yes :)



Dude, Avin was jacked!! and so was I!!!!



Avin had a thing for construction... In support of his wanting to be a "builder" I would bring him old safety vests and hardhats from work to wear. He was all about it! There was one time where we were fixing the sprinklers and digging holes. It was so important to him that I also dress up too... so we both rocked a hard hat and vest and did the work together. Man I felt like a total tool!

sorry to report.. I do not have a picture of that time. :)

Damn this was a shit load of fun!!!!! We even had the neighbor kid over to help work as well!




I don't know what plans Avin was working from... but we did not approve a hole to be dug here..


With good plans, things can be constructed as designed and intended! :)




It was really neat to go through it all.. damn it was fun!


Thankfully Tristan had been corralled the entire time... too small to give any incite or support to the build. Although he was out there during much of the build :) The swing was old and we're ghetto'ass parents, so we used an expired belt to keep him safe! hahah :)


As time would go on Tristan would evolve into a normal, walking, talking kid and his own wants and desires to a clubhouse... so... we needed to make a modification.

Time to add a slide! :)

so.. again, like any designer, let's figure this bitch out first then dig a hole after!





Not bad if I say so myself :)​ My guys in the field would also be able to build operating rooms and more complicated surgical rooms with the same kind of exactness I'm rocking here... Damn it was hard for me to leave that field and go into sales! I loved it that much. :)


Success!!!! :) :)

Just as Tristan was getting his little kid legs and really turning into one who needed a clubhouse, we had saved long enough to go buy a new home, our first 100% family home Chas and I bought for ourselves and boys. :)


The only thing that sucked though was the yard from the rental was literally twice as deep as the one in our new home. We went from a healthy 40'ish from the house to the wall at the rental down to 22' from the house to the wall.

That made for a hell of an adjustment, but worth it since it was our house.



​It really crawled under Chas's skin when I pointed out the other house...


"see that other house? where it sits right now is where the end of our yard was at the rental"..

hahah! she wasn't happy.



When we left the rental I was sure to take the slide and fireman pole just in case we could pull off a clubhouse for the both of them again.. After long consideration we sided on the decision to not build a clubhouse as there just wasn't enough room.

So.. instead we'd lay grass and pavers. And like the clubhouses, we all got down to do so :)



Tristan had a thing where all he did was want to wear mom's shoes... he'd wander around everywhere with a thud-drag-scuff with every step... we loved it! We still have the shoes saved in a box somewhere.


The "old navy" shirt I'm wearing was a long sleeve I got from my grandparents while I was in high school. I still have it in my closet :) Now I understand the term "I have sox older than you" hahah!



​With the decisions and sacrifices we had made over the years gave us an opportunity to change things again... so with a sad but excited heart, we tore it all down so we could build our own pool.


The boys helped us too. It was hard for Chas and I to keep the both of them off the debris piles. Tristan being the persistent little shit he was, he would still ask about building a clubhouse... We'd combat the situation as best we could to not disappoint.. there just wasn't enough room.


One morning while sitting outside while gearing up for the day, I snapped this picture of Tristan playing... what a precious little asshole he was with his long hair. :) Miss that age a lot.




We ended up making the call to not build a clubhouse after all... Having held onto the slide and fireman pole so long it had started to deteriorate and couldn't pass it along to another family.. so we had to toss it when we got rid of all the yard debris. I apologized to the slide and fireman pole when I loaded it up on the trailer to take to the dump.

Aside from not having the clubhouse, Tristan was still happy that we were building a pool. :)


Similar to Avin when younger, Tristan was all about digging and building/construction stuff... but still had no experience of his own with a clubhouse.


We'd ultimately complete the yard and solidify 100% that there would not be a clubhouse in the backyard. Which was ok given that the boys now had a pool. Plus, Avin was out growing that idea and it would have been all about Tristan.



​Now you're caught up...

One day Tristan was bringing up the clubhouse idea again... even though we now have a pool, he'd still find digs to bring it up. One afternoon he made some comment about his bunk bed in his room and wanting to get rid of the mattress on top and bring his old computer monitor up there so he could play his playstation on top.

Small clarification.... we only have two kids.. one has a normal full bed and the other one, the precious asshole, really wanted a bunk bed... just for himself?! Being the pushover understanding parents Chas and I are we said what the hell and bought Tristan a bunk bed. Large in part because he never had a clubhouse, and this was the closest thing to one he would have.. Only until recently he would sleep up on the top always.


So he makes this comment to me about his bunk bed... and I'm not sure if I was in a certain state of mind or if I was just being me.. but that damn idea took a fat shit on my brain and there was no shaking the "possibility" of such a thing. I opened my mouth about supporting the idea but kicked it up, saying, "yeah, maybe it could go from wall to wall and clear up to the ceiling"...


yeah, that wasn't a good idea. hahaha! He jumped on it. In a calm manner I said do not mention this to your mom because she will say no. When I know the time is right let me pitch the idea to her. Do not bug me or your mom about this. He said ok. :)

So one night I presented the idea to Chas. Her first thought was no way, what happens when he grows out of it?.. my prepared mind said, what happens when he grows out of his bunk bed? We'd be in the same spot as a clubhouse we're taking down. He never had a clubhouse and this would be something he'd get. We left it at that and gave it a day or so.

The idea just made sense really.. so it was an unprovoked conversation Chas brought up to me the next day also liking the idea. We talked it over and made a plan.

Insert an overworked realtor-handyman-blogger here hahah! Given where I am in life now, I could no longer afford the creative time to design the Mona Lisa of a fort like I did with his brother...


plus, I think, pff... shittt... I got skills now man, I got dis!

So yeah I had it, but lord was it a slightly shitty dance... for me at least.. I did have to go back to the store and buy more material and make more than one correction on a bad dimensionally cut of wood.. that aside though. It was pretty simple in design so I had a small pass.


I asked T about what he wanted... all he said was he wants to make sure it has an access door and no stairs. So you want people to stand on your bed/pillow in order to get in the fort??. he said yes. I'm like, pff, my head doesn't go there, whatever bro! hahah :)


So, I present to you Fort Yoyo Games!

redyoyogames is Tristan's gamer handle when he plays online. Created from Avin in suggesting something to Tristan. Hella cool name! :)

Avin's is blackdicegamer (inspired by the Monopoly Black board game me and my bro made)

nd mine... yes, I have one too. V8Mentality (as in the American V8 engine)

sidenote:

when AOL first came out I didn't want to have a name that everyone else had, nor did I want a number in it.. (I'm like 15 maybe)... my AOL screen name was TAISTME. hahah! "how do you taste" would be a random instant message from people hahahh!!!


In case you do not know what a gamer handle is, it's like Maverick, Goose, Iceman, Hollywood on Top Gun... so what better than to name it after its name! :)


Twin on top, full on bottom.


​​The only reason why we have an elevation change is so that Tristan can still access his dresser below.. plus it turned into a dope ass desk station.. hell to the yeah!!




A = WE DID NOT BUY THIS FOR HIM!

The TV was not being used and was the boys old TV before I acquired their space with my office... so it wasn't being used. We were leaving the storage (uncle Ryan's stuff) and we were halfway to home depot and he made the comment about the old TV... I pulled over quickly.. which for a 10 year old, he said, he was stressing inside as if he said something wrong... I pulled over and was like... "that's a really good idea".. i flipped a bitch and we went back to collect the unused TV. I hope this kid gets into sales!!!!!!

B = oscillating desk fan... for when you're "sweating" as kids call it when you're just kill'n it in online gaming


C = desk light. He said he points it at his face like a light to help him show his face better for his someday youtube channel... - not happening!


D = 48" LED light

E = ruffles, who the hell approved that shit?!

F = at least he stays hydrated


A = a gift from his girlfriend... dude, he's 10!!!


B = a gift from a client, she makes amazing handmade acrylic coasters and other badassery stuff.. she's hella talented! https://www.etsy.com/shop/TurquoiseRoseDesign

C = cell phone... dude, my kid is 10?! ... i didn't get a pager until i was like 17..with my OWN money?! ...

Access hatch! oh, and is carpeted for comfort! haha :)

Handle for the access door below



just to the left of the access door below.. a support beam offered empty space.. which quickly turned into a shelf to hold his remote controls



"for when I'm tired dad"... "a light so I can read and fall asleep".. (100% his idea)


when he fades to sleep in bed... he watches TV... dude... 10 year old's these days! hahah (this was a Christmas present last year.... before Fort Yoyo!


​Pics from the build. Tristan really enjoyed being able to make this fort his own. :)


For the record, Chas cut about 80% of the framing wood. As soon as she'd come back I'd have a new measurement for her to cut. She was like "I feel like I'm just a tool for cutting".. I was like, well yeah someone has to cut the wood. hahahH!! It was nice to see her participate in the building. She must feel the same way I do when I'm cooking! hahaha



In case you were wondering... yes, I wear my GUD gear every time I'm getting down on a build.. even if I'm at home!



It was really nice to give this experience to him. Even as we speak, he's up there sweating away kill'n it!




So damn cool! :)

Well friend! :) I have been at the cultivation of this post since - literally 10:45AM this morning and it's 6:15PM... nothing but love for telling a gud story! Man Chas is a trooper tolerating my weekly commitment. I need to go eat some bomb ass food she made and also let you get on with your amazing Friday :)

Thanks for being awesome! That was a hella fun trip down memory lane! :)


There is just something about construction/tower cranes that get my blood pressure up. I love them! What better than to celebrate construction with tower cranes from Dubai!?!


Have a grateful weekend!


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