Busy Busy Busy

Quest for Fall Color (Part II)Image by dbarronoss via Flickr

Hoping to figure out how to make some money to be able to travel, especially to take an extended trip back east in a couple of years. Working on a new blog for that.

Almost ready for school in the fall. Can't wait to start formal geography! Daughter can't wait for nature walks.

Will hopefully write more soon.
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Open House!

Real Estate = Big MoneyImage by thinkpanama via Flickr

We've got a big open house today and tomorrow mornings, 9-1. Let's hope that we get some traffic this time, and maybe even sell the house! It's bittersweet, though, because after living in something so small, the house we're trying to sell seems so big!
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Two More Days and Counting

Bau cetti !!!!Image by Funky64 (www.lucarossato.com) via Flickr

Two more days of school for the year. I can't wait. My daughter can't wait. We are truly ready for a nice long break.

And no, that's not my daughter to the right, but it captured the carefree attitude that I hope we'll espouse during our break.

We Take Summers Off

Sno-Cones & Popcorn (Re-Work)...Image by KmountMan via Flickr

We still have about a month left of homeschool for the year, but we're definitely looking forward to being done. We start the year on the day after Labor Day (just like I did as a kid), so we usually don't finish until mid June. Some people do school throughout the year, taking breaks as they need to. I like a distinct beginning and end to my year, and a lot of time in one chunk to hear myself think. We're taking the summer off from homeschool, but also from gymnastics and as many other things as we can. It's a time for the kids to have plenty of unstructured time, time for me to relax for once and have some fun time (I'm a work before play type of person, usually), and time for me to get some projects worked on that I don't have time for during the year. The last couple of years I haven't done so well on the projects, but hopefully I'll do better this year. I hope to make a serious dent in one or two of them.

As the kids get older, we'll give them summer projects as well. We'll work together to figure out something they're very interested in that they'd want to delve deeply into. I don't think we'll do that this year, but perhaps once they are 10 or 11.

Then, once the end of August hits, we'll have had so much time off from school that it's an exciting thought to start up again. This is important, as that momentum has to carry us as far into the year as possible. It usually carries me until late winter or early spring, which isn't too bad, when you think about it.

One month to go!
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May the 4th Be With You!

2007 - Day 124 - Star Wars DayImage by Jonathan_W via Flickr

It's Star Wars Day! At least one of them. There seem to be more than one official or unofficial Star Wars Day. But today is one of them, and Star Wars is awesome (at least the original trilogy), so there you go.

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Happy Birthday to Me!

I turned 36 today. It wasn't as hard as turning 35 was. I guess it'll be okay until I hit 40. We'll see. At least I'm in good company. As I grow older by the numbers, I just think of all the people I love and respect out there that are growing older along with me.

(Photo: ThreeSistersToys.com)

Lego Space Shuttle!

Combining my love of space/astronomy and my love of Lego, here is the Space Shuttle, ready for launch, made out of Lego bricks.

World's Largest Model Railroad

In Hamburg, Germany, sits the world's largest model railroad, the Miniatur Wunderland. It is gigantic, spanning locations from much of Europe, Scandinavia, and even the U.S. Their meticulous attention to detail and sense of humor is evident in the video.

Learn the ABCs from the Bad Astronomer

Awakening...!!!Image by Denis Collette...!!! via Flickr

Phil Plait, Bad Astronomer, is giving us all a lesson in our ABCs today. Some of you may not agree with what he has to say, but I agree with all or almost all of it. Most of you will chuckle a few times, at least. He's a very strong skeptic on just about every subject I can think of, so read at your own risk! =)

The photo at right really has nothing to do with this post, but it's gorgeous, so I thought I'd toss it out there. Remember to see the beauty in every day and in nature.
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Where the Wild Things Are

MoisheImage by minipixel via Flickr

A most beloved book, written ten years before I was born, is coming to life in the form of a film in October. After seeing a trailer, which seems to keep the movie fairly close to the book, I can't wait to see the movie. Of course, the book is quite short by movie standards, and the plot is not complex. I am wondering what details they will fill in, what storylines they'll add, and what aspects they will make more complex to make the movie long enough.

The film makers apparently consulted with Maurice Sendak, the author of Where the Wild Things Are (among other very wonderful things), on the movie. Sendak gave his strong opinions, but then deferred to co-screenwriters Spike Jonze and Dave Eggers. In fact, it was Sendak who came to Jonze a few years ago to pitch the idea of a movie for Where the Wild Things Are.

The trailer shows images which really do look like they are straight from the book. Silhouettes of Max dressed up as a wild thing and brandishing his scepter bring back memories of all the times I've had the book read to me, and read it to my own children. There wasn't a lot of swinging from trees in the trailer, but I'm sure that will be in the full film.

Books from our childhood are precious memories to us. Some books are made into films well, others not so well. Some are made into great movies but are quite different from their wonderful book counterparts. This trailer shows great promise to the young and young at heart. I can't wait to see if it delivers.
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I'm Going to the Maker Faire!

I have the most awesome opportunity. I recently started writing for the GeekDad blog over at Wired Magazine, which is so exciting! It just so happens that GeekDad has a booth at the Maker Faire in San Mateo, CA, in late May. I'm going to help run the booth! It'll be a great opportunity to meet lots of awesome people that I don't know. And a great opportunity to go to a crafty festival that I've been wanting to go to ever since I knew it existed. So we're making a weekend of it, including my daughter's 8th birthday in the mix.

This year the Maker Faire's theme is to Re-Make America, following President Obama's call to "begin again the work of remaking America".

I hope to have a full report when we get back. But it'll be a couple of months before we get to go!

ThinkGeek Rejected Product

ThinkGeek lubs you :-)Image by Rain Rabbit via Flickr

You may think that the products that ThinkGeek carries are weird. Well, here's a video of a product that they rejected. It's pretty obvious why it was rejected. This video is hysterical and worthy of a couple minutes of your time. Enjoy.
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The Secret Life of an AT-AT

Ever wonder what a little AT-AT does when you're not at home? They play with the cat, go out for a run, play in the snow, and frolic on the beach. Now you know.

Josh Freese's New Album, $7 to $75,000

Massage in Frankfurt, GermanyImage via Wikipedia

I've never heard of this guy, but he's got a new album coming out tomorrow called "Since 1972". You can have different levels of it, and of Josh Freese's time, for a range of $7 to $75,000, depending on how many bells and whistles you'd like. Want a couples massage? That's one option. Want to get drunk and go to Disneyland? That's another. You can even cut each other's hair. Oh, and the music is thrown in there somewhere, too. For a great laugh, go check out his site. I have no idea what the music is like. But he gets a lot of points for style.
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Releasing The PastImage by AmahRa58 via Flickr

A friend told me about the Firefox plugin Zemanta, which is supposed to help with blog entries and such. The most appealing part, to me, seems to be the help in choosing copyright-free photos to go along with your entries. As I now need to have a photo or visual of some kind with each new GeekDad post, I thought I'd try it out. So this is a bit of a test post to see how it works. If anyone else uses Zemanta, I'd love to hear about your favorite aspects.

So far it doesn't display too many interesting photos, but perhaps if I talk about a subject in particular. Like robots. My kids love to pretend to be robots, especially my son. He walks around talking in a robot voice quite a lot. Robots are a fun thing for kids, and some grownups, but I'm not exactly sure why.

Well, so far there are a few really great photos, and quite a few that are boring. And the really great ones have nothing to do with what I've written about.

Tips anyone? Experiences? Okay, I finally got one robot image. Sorry for the nonsensical post here, just a big experiment!
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I'm the Newest GeekDad!

I know, I'm a mom, not a dad. But that doesn't matter. I am now a contributor to Wired Magazine's GeekDad blog! My first post is up, about my meeting Wil Wheaton in person a bit over a year ago. Please check it out. Tell all your friends.

Wooden Blocks for Your Wee Mad Scientist

Got a geekling at home? I'm sure they'll love these wooden blocks, designed for everyone's inner mad scientist. Find them at ThinkGeek!

And while you're at ThinkGeek, peruse the hundreds of other very cool products, including a dedicated children's section. And no, they didn't pay me to say that.

Exciting Things Afoot

Sorry I haven't posted much lately. There are some exciting things going on that I'll tell you about soon, but in the meantime my writing and posting efforts have been used elsewhere.

Happy Pi Day!

It's Pi Day, everyone, (3/14). Go out and have some pie and do some math for fun!

We're actually going to be eating pie today, but only by coincidence. =)

If Maps Could Fight

Here's a quick summary of World War II in drawings, each country its own character. It's quite interesting, at times amusing, at times enlightening. From the great folks at Strange Maps.

Secret Message from Long Ago

Here's a really cool one. Apparently inside Abraham Lincoln's pocket watch was inscribed a secret message about the Civil War. Watchmaker Jonathan Dillon was repairing the watch and felt inspired to leave a message behind. They say that Lincoln never knew that a secret message was written inside his watch. History rocks.