Sep 6

So, we just got back from a 1000 mile roadtrip–Evie’s longest car trip to date. A fee days before the trip, I realized that we would need an E.D.D. (an Evie Distraction Device). I planned to do most of the driving while she was sleeping, but kids have a nasty penchant for being unpredictable.

Recently, she’s taken an interest in Blue’s Clues. Nancy’s mom sent us a few VHS tapes of various kiddie shows, and Evie loved Blue’s Clues!

Yes. I could’ve gone out and bought a DVD player for the car, but I wasn’t confided that I would be able to find DVDs of a 15 year old show.

The day before we left, I came up with a plan. I had a tiny DVR laying around that I picked up a couple of years ago. So I converted the programs and loaded them on the device. I understand that some DVD players have a tough time with the car (bumpy roads causing skips) and I wanted to avoid that. Since the DVR has a hard drive, I figured it would be okay.

The next problem was how to attach it in such a way that wouldn’t damage the car. I wanted it to be very secure, too. I didn’t want Evie to get bonked by flying electronics!

With only a few hours to spare, I hit upon a solution. I took an old laptop sleeve and covered it with industrial strength Velcro. The sleeve was the perfect size to fit snugly on the headrest. Then I put velcro on the back of the DVR and added some additional speakers for good measure. It worked far better than I hoped, and we will definitely use this again in the future. It didn’t get a lot of use, but it was a lifesaver for everyone’s sanity.

As an additional note, I picked up this dual USB charger that plugs into the car’s cigarette lighter at a truck stop. It’s wonderful. We can charge iPhones, eBook readers, DVRs and more while rollin down the road.

Jul 19

Benefits of 5 a.m.

Posted by Matty

There are some good points to being awake with a fussy bebeh in the early morning.

For some reason she’s extra cute once she’s finally asleep. I think that there must be some scientific correlation between your lost sleep and her sweetness factor.

But there’s more. You get to see sunrises, a trick I don’t usually manage, due to my fondness for sleep.

Also, you get to work on your pet projects once she’s settled down. (more on this project soon.)

Finally, you can bang out quick posts to sate the Internet monster, if only temporarily. Ok. I’ve stopped making sense. It’s time for bed.

May 19


Posted by Matty

Maybe you read the earlier entry. The woot BOC (bag of crap) arrived this weekend. Wanna see?

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Apr 2

In the immortal words of the Byrds, “There is a season / turn, turn, turn ” — hang on, wrong part of the song.

As I was saying, in the immortal words of the Byrds, “[there is] a time to be born, a time to die.” For our friend Angi’s iPod Nano, the former was February, 2006, and the latter was now.

The battery in the Nano just wouldn’t hold a charge anymore, which made it less of a portable music player, and more a small, shiny rectangle. Instead of tossing it, she asked if could change the battery for her.

I said sure, why not? I was positive that a stiff shot of liquor would calm my nerves and steady my hands. Besides, it wasn’t like it was my Nano, or anything. gulp.

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Feb 12

Revitalizing Roomba

Posted by Matty

As our Roomba started getting older, we noticed that he didn’t have the same pep. He would peter out after vacuuming for 30 minutes or so, and he wasn’t doing the best job, either.

I checked my manuals, and tried reconditioning the battery, but to no avail. There was no way around it. Roomba needed a new battery.

I could have just bought a new battery from, but where’s the fun in that? How could I turn that into an article?

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Feb 1

I recently finished wiring and putting together our den/theater room, and was stumped on how to decorate it. I came up with an idea, which Nanc readily agreed to. (Remember that did you agreed to this, Nancy.)

I thought that it would be fun to decorate the room with props from some of our favorite movies and TV shows. After doing a little more research, I realized that the stuff that I really wanted was just a tad out of my price range.

Being the resourceful guy that I am, I decided to build some of the pieces myself. It’s fun, and keeps me from doing anything useful. My first piece is finished. Pics and details inside.

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Nov 2

Maker Faire wrapup

Posted by Matty

We just got back from Maker Faire in Austin (ermm, two weeks ago), and have much to share!

Geek out, with lots of pix inside!

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Oct 1

I have.

Atari is 30 years old this month. To celebrate, I just finished adding a cartridge slot to an Atari Flashback 2, which is a small game console with 40 built-in games. Now I can play the built-in games or play some of my old Atari cartridges. Anybody up for a quick game of E.T?*

Click the “read more” link for more general geekery on this topic.

Is geekery even a word?

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Aug 3

Buildin’ stuff

Posted by Matty

I needed a new computer for an upcoming project at home (hereafter referred to as “Project X”). Instead of going out to Best Buy or Circuit City, I figured that I would save a couple of bucks and build one from parts.

I shopped wisely and built a basic computer that fit my needs. So, what kind of computer can you build on the cheap? Take a peek and see…

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Jun 8

Keyboard Carwash

Posted by Matty

I’ve been getting ready for my new job, cleaning out my laptop bag and organizing my stuff. I took a look at my work keyboard, and it was kinda filthy. Okay, really filthy. If the CDC were to run tests on it, I’m sure they would quarantine or destroy it.

How would a lazy creative person deal with this situation?

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