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Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

Cute Toddler Moment - Fishing with Link at the Nintendo Wii Kiosk

Wednesday, December 6th, 2006

Paige (and I) need a Nintendo Wii. Fortunately, for my pocketbook, none are available.

Nintendo has a six Wii strong demo kiosk strategically placed behind the children’s playground at my local mall. We passed it while wandering around the mall after Paige’s visit with a real-beard Santa (who thought she was telling him she was a good girl instead of really asking him for Groovy Girl dolls). After lunch, Beth, my wife, and I split up so she could shop for baby boy clothes at H&M and I could take Paige to play Wii Sports Boxing.

Rounding the corner to the kiosk, it looked like a large crowd had formed but they evaporated by the time we got there (it was hard to tug Paige past the play area). I asked the Nintendo rep if he had Boxing (I wanted to recreate this video of a spastic toddler with the right hook, left jab and fancy footwork). We followed him to the other side of the kiosk but Boxing wasn’t loaded on any of the machines (I think the Wii’s had weird demo discs with limited features).

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Does Radio Shack Hate Their Customers?

Thursday, November 9th, 2006

Men and women have to shop differently. Men only enter a store to buy exactly what they have researched and bring it home for good. Women browse, buy many options and return what they don't need later. It's Radio Shack's fault (or Best Buy or Fry's or Home Depot). Here's why.

My daughter, Paige, and I ran a short errand to Blockbuster last week to return Disney's The Little Mermaid DVD. Paige thought we were going inside, but I just threw the overdue DVD (not "own-it" overdue, thank goodness) in the "Quik Drop." I picked Paige up and scurried down the strip mall's promenade to my secret destination: Radio Shack.

With Paige struggling to not slip down my winter coat, I rushed to the cashier and announced I had a return or exchange for a satellite signal booster (RS brand). How it went down:

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Library Drops $10 Credit Card Minimum Because of Blogger

Saturday, November 4th, 2006

I could be completely ego-tripping here, but I think my post last July, complaining about my local library’s $10 credit card minimum, actually made the library change its policy and drop the minimum.

My daughter, Paige (I’m dropping all my cute “geek” code names for my family members for their real names, I guess the black helicopters aren’t coming to take us away after all—wait, did you hear that?), and I visited the offending library branch on Friday night. I was looking for a few Seth Godin marketing books (I have three checked out now: Small is the New Big, Permission Marketing and Survival Is Not Enough), the new TV on the Radio, Return to Cookie Mountain (didn’t have it). My wife wanted me to find as many Sandra Boynton board books as I could for Paige. In the unorganized (or organized by two year olds) board book shelves, I found three. Paige picked out an additional board book about mother and daughter polar bears playing in the snow.

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Popularity: 13% [?]

Who Else Wants an Audiophile Trained Ear?

Tuesday, October 17th, 2006

Any audio expert will tell you that the best way to train your ears and brain to recognize fine audio components is to attend live music events. More specifically, live events with no amplification. You could go to the orchestra or a jazz club or a piano bar, whatever. Just get your ear in front of percussion, brass, strings and woods to develop a sense memory of these live events. For me this hasn't been very easy, I don't have the time or resources (or taste) to seek out these events.

Instead I stumble across live music that is unnecessarily amplified. If anything, these music sessions are ruining my ears instead of improving. Some examples:

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In the Groove Arcade Kids On My Summer Vacation

Monday, July 31st, 2006

The handrail behind the DDR and In the Groove arcade dance pads have always confused me. I've really only seen YouTube video of kids salsa dancing with them and the handrails never came into play. Was it there for safety? How could you use it and still see the screen?

I got my answer to the mystery handrail last week on vacation in the Cape Cod Mall FYE arcade. My daughter, father-in-law and I were passing the time in the arcade while my wife and her mom shopped for maternity and baby boy clothes. My father-in-law played a soccer themed pinball game while my daughter and I watched over his shoulder. My daughter got restless after he hit 65 million points and we moved on to pretending to play driving games. While hopping from one Initial D bucket seat to another I spied the DDR action.

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Vacation

Friday, July 21st, 2006

We're on vacation in Cape Cod through next Friday, July 28. I'm not sure how connected I'll be so you may see some posts and maybe not. Back to normal in the first week of August at the latest.

Popularity: 17% [?]

Not So Cute Toddler Moment - DVD to PSP encoding pre-empted for “I want my mommy”

Wednesday, July 19th, 2006

What I thought I was going to do tonight:

  • Put my daughter to bed
  • Rip and make PSP videos of the Lion King and Dumbo DVDs with Handbrake, or Mactheripper and FFMPEGX (see ripdifferent.com). This is in preparation for our vacation to Cape Cod, so we have video distractions in planes and cars.
  • Progress past "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" on Easy in Guitar Hero (I only began playing last night, so don't make too much fun of me)

What I actually did:

  • My wife left for her haircut, saying goodnight and see you in the morning to our daughter, our daughter wasn't paying attention
  • My daughter wandered into the hallway and realized her mom left, she starts hysterically crying, "I want my mommy" for the next ten minutes until I offer cuteoverload.com
  • We scroll through July and then June overloading on endless baby bunnies, hamsters, kittens and puppies
  • Another half hour of her crying, "Mommy," and me pleading, "She went to her haircut, she'll see you in the morning"
  • Finally, as she's screaming in my ear, I pulled a, "Did you hear that? It's the cicadas." I carried her over to the window and listened to the bugs rubbing their wings together, watched a robin flying from our roof to the tree past our sidewalk and lightning bugs blinking on and off
  • I tricked her into her room with promise of more lightning bugs in the back yard
  • She fell asleep in my arms a good hour after her bedtime

So the DVDs will have to wait until tomorrow night.

I'm exhausted. Tonight was only remarkable because she's never acted this way before—freaking out when one of us leaves. Weird.

Popularity: 6% [?]

Mac Mini Hard Drive Failure and Replacement - Back Up Your Family Photos

Tuesday, July 11th, 2006

I've had an unusual amount of electronics break on me in the past few months. This post should serve as a warning for you to back up any important data on a regular basis. Because if your spouse finds out you just lost every last picture you took of your daughter for her whole life, she may be a little pissed—kick you out of the house pissed.

The following electronics have failed me lately: first my Diva Swans M200 computer speakers, then my external USB 2.0 fanless HD case (luckily the HD survived), then my Linksys WRT54G wireless router, and finally the hard drive in my Mac Mini.

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Superman Returns - Good Movie, Bad Theater

Tuesday, July 4th, 2006

My wife and I hired a sitter Saturday night so we could escape to dinner and a movie (this was only the fourth or fifth time we’ve been out without our daughter since her birth). I wanted to see Superman Returns; my wife wanted to see… Superman Returns. Weird.

Since our date night began early—about 5 PM (we had planned to attend Naperville’s Ribfest to eat festive ribs standing up over yellow jacket swarmed trash cans while listening to REO Speedwagon’s live “new stuff” but the weather looked too thunderstorm-y)—we stopped by the theater and picked up our tickets for the 7:20 show. I had a feeling it was sold out, but it wasn’t. Before I ran into the box office, my wife told me to ask the ticket booth guy if there was any good restaurants in the area. Me: “Two adults for the 7:20 Superman.” Booth Goon says something away from the mike while staring at his computer screen. Me: “What?” Booth Goon: “$17.50.” I pass my credit card into the trough under the glass. Booth Goon speaks again, I still think I’m involved, “What?” Then I realize he’s talking to his booth mate. Card, tickets and receipt are thrown into the trough at me. I hop back in my car. My wife asks, ” Did they know any good restaurants?” Me: “No.” We drive around to kill some time and end up at a sports bar in the movie theater parking lot that served very dry fried meat.

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Popularity: 13% [?]

Guitar Hero - Toddler_o_Geek Rocks and Head Bangs

Monday, June 12th, 2006

Though never on my agenda, we ended up at Best Buy twice this weekend. The first visit was to buy my wife some time to shop at Old Navy across the parking lot; the second was to check the look and feel of the Panasonic DMC-FX01S 6MP Compact Digital Camera (it’s the size of a thick wallet, but somehow has a 28 mm lens).

On both visits my 27 month old daughter couldn’t be torn away from the Guitar Hero demo. Best Buy has a PS2 attached to a 42″ flat panel TV and two of those cheap bucket video game seats but only one Guitar Hero controller.

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Popularity: 12% [?]