I have thousands of tools. No seriously. Thousands. In the process of packing up my shop, I realized I had three varieties of spring compressors, just one of a hundred “one trick ponies” I have needed for one or two jobs only to sit forgotten. That said, there are a a few dozen tools I reach for daily. Twelve of them can be had for less that $10, and at least half of those will have you wondering how you lived without them.
I lost my dad at 13 years old, yet it seems that the incredible amount of things he taught me could fill that many decades. From plumbing to electrical, how to tie square knots, change tires, how a carburetor works, the juiciest bits of medieval pope gossip (he was writing a book), my dad was always willing to teach me things.
It wasn’t until I was older that some of those things started to strike me as odd.
Like bolt crackers. Did you know you can use two nuts, a bolt and some “strike anywhere” matches to make a small firecracker that if done right can shoot a nut through a stucco wall, (or your leg)? Continue reading
When I was five, an uncle who worked at Texas Instruments gave me a TI-99, and told me “Computers will run the world someday and programmers will run those computers.” While I have done quite a bit with computers, including programming, I did not stay in the field for a number of reasons, but my comfort and familiarity with them has been instrumental in my life and career. That is why I am pledging to do an “hour of code” with my son this week, despite the fact that we are in the middle of packing for a move, and he’s only 3. Continue reading
As the turkey defrosts in the fridge, it means Christmas is right around the corner, and with it the impending onslaught of toy safety stories. When raising a child to be comfortable shaping and making the world around them, how do we determine age appropriateness?
Despite a few cute pictures that may say otherwise, I’m not a huge fan of handing a toddler a phone or a tablet to serve as a babysitter. So, rest assured you probably won’t be seeing many app reviews for kids here. However, Endless Alphabet by Originator inc and Callaway Digital Arts is something else. We’ve been using the app for almost a year now, and in that time our son has learned to identify all his letters, the sounds they make, and was able to sound out small words by the time he was 30 months old. That’s right; reading at 2. Continue reading
There is a serendipity to the internet. A happenstance clicking of a link only to stumble upon brilliance.
Whit Honea’s posting, “When Stuffed Animals Die” on his blog, Honea Express, is an awesome piece of writing I found only because I had clicked his profile page on “How to Be a Dad”.
The discussions section is here to inspire a bit of community before I launch forums. It’s a place were everyone can pitch in, and contribute ideas, feedback and tell their own stories. The posts here will generally be open ended, like this one.
What do you make with, for, or even to escape from your kids?
Kid’s Websites are easy enough to find, but finding quality web sites for educating our children is a trickier matter. Just after his second birthday, I diverted an old PC from the e-waste stream for my son. While it is predominantly used for the MakeyMakey, EZ-Builder and watching Mighty Machines on Netflix, there are a number of other uses we find for it. Even if he’s not quite old enough for Google’s App Builder or Codecademy, I’m building a strong library for the years to come. Here are a few of my favorite sites I have found since becoming a dad. Continue reading
Born a month early, our little boy suffered from the jaundice common among premature babies. During his ten days in neonatal intensive care, he spent a good amount of time under what we jokingly called either the maternity rave or the baby grow light.
Today, Project Firefly won the “Pitch Your Prototype” competition at the World Maker Faire in NYC. With an estimated 6-10% of infant mortality being preventable through infant phototherapy, this is one of the most inspiring technologies I have seen come out of a maker faire. Continue reading