June 2008 - HighTechDad

June 2008

daddy-spa My world is ruled by women! I have a lovely wife and 3 wonderful girls. So, how does one spend quality floor time with girls? I can’t say that I dress up as a princess (even if my girls would want it I don’t think I would fit in a yellow Belle dress). What is “floor time”? Basically it is a time that you spend with your child where you are truly down at their level, on the floor doing activities that they want to do. This is where you don’t structure the interaction with them and truly let them lead. It can become a bit chaotic at times and be prepared to do anything and leave a wake of disaster (e.g., destroyed rooms, for example).

While I wouldn’t trade my girls for ANYTHING in the world, sometimes it’s hard for a dad to find ways to interact and connect with his girls. So what did I do? I invented the “Daddy Spa” and don’t regret it the least! Let’s face it, girls love dressing up, putting on make-up and generally taking care of “people,” whether they be dolls or Webkinz or just each other. My girls are no different. I just integrated “Dad” into the mix.

Here’s how I do Daddy Spa:

  • Give your girls a heads up – “Time for Daddy Spa” gets them going in terms of prepping the “spa”. This is good for them to set up some structure and let them be the leader and controller of the environment.
  • Environment – their room (or yours) is great. My recommendation, a bed or the floor with LOTS of pillows. My girls close the shades, dim the lights and put on a sound machine of ocean waves in the background
  • “Spa Activities” – there can be many, here are a few that we have found to be successful:
    • Back scratch – this is an obvious one. Teach them to scratch your back lightly (they have a tendency to dig in their nails). 2 girl teams work great where they work like a sawing action back and forth
    • Hair brushing – this is a super one for littler girls. Give them a brush and let them go crazy creating new hairstyles. Water lets them mold your hair without any “damage”. Sometimes I even allow gel or de-tangler to be used as a “hair product”
    • Bandaging – sometimes the Daddy Spa turns into a hospital room. Just go with it. Toilet paper and scotch tape is a great way to create casts or large bandages
    • Nail polish – Okay, I WON’T let them put on actual nail polish so I came up with a good alternative. Grab a bunch of Q-tips and some small glasses of water. They can dip the Q-tips into the water and “paint” finger and toenails…and they can do this over and over again.
    • Makeup – along the lines of nail polish, you can use the Q-tip/water combo to apply eye-shadow, blush, lipstick, you name it!
    • Back rubs – this is where things can get a bit crazy. Let them pound away (it actually feels pretty good most of the time)
    • Back walks – if you are on the ground for your Daddy Spa, let the kids walk on your back. Be careful with this one, sometimes it is hard for them to keep balance and be sure you don’t let your bigger kids do this, it sometimes hurts! Be sure that if they do this, they have a safe place to fall off without smacking into things.
    • “Fart-age” – this is actually a word that is a combo of “fart” and “massage” in terms of the word pronunciation. This is something that is guaranteed to get tons of laughs and will most likely end the restful, peacefulness of the Daddy Spa. This is not for the weak of heart (grin). All kids know how to make farting noises by pressing their mouths to their arm or something. In this case, just replace the arm with your back (ewww, right?). Well, they love it and will most likely only want to do this activity in the future so use it carefully!

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Just a quick post here. Last weekend as I was installing a 3rd party app, I managed to freeze my iPhone. I could only restart the iPhone but it would freeze at the Apple logo upon each restart. So, since it had been a while since I had Jailbroken my phone, I had to find the latest and greatest iPhone Jailbreakers and Unlockers (I only Jailbreak).

With iPhone 2.0 just around the corner, some people may not be ready to jump ship and lose all of their 3rd party apps. Or, if you are thinking about selling your iPhone on eBay or something, you would want to set it back to a “reconditioned” status. Also, Jailbroken and Unlocked iPhone seem to be fetching a higher value in sales. So, if you want to stick around in the 1.1.x realm or if you want to prep your iPhone for sale, here are some apps that I found and used. Some worked better than others.

I’m going to flip this article around a bit and talk about the one that I liked the best first. You can stop reading this article after that or keep reading for curiosity’s sake.
The winner in my mind, was Liberty+ for its simplicity and easy-of-use, AND the fact that it automatically installed App Installer on the iPhone. Download is here. The reason I liked it, it just worked and was quick. I first had to Restore my iPhone in order to bring it out from a frozen state. This was done through iTunes. Once it had the standard 1.1.4 firmware on it, I simply fired up iLiberty+ and within minutes of choosing the Jailbreak option (and there are others), I had my phone Jailbroken with the App Installer installed. I did it a couple of times for good measure. A quick tip though, unselect the synching of Music and Videos, the whole process will go a lot faster.

Other applications that I tried in the past:

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All kids get sick. Colds and flu’s are just part of a child’s process of building immunities for their future health. When a child is sick, it is not a fun experience for either the child or the parent. But it is part of life. It’s when an illness becomes a child’s life that is the most devastating. It is truly not fair.

I have been blessed with healthy children. Sure, I have one child with severe peanut allergies but that sort of thing is manageable through education, awareness, and training. My wife and I are always in a state of constant alert when our child goes to birthday parties, camps and schools. How do you avoid the staple that makes up a majority of kids’ daily menus…the peanut butter and jelly sandwich? Trust me, it’s not easy. But this post is not about allergies but rather about something much more serious.

Leukemia-sm Some friends of our family whose daughter is in the same kindergarten class as mine recently found out that their child has Leukemia. As of this writing it is unknown what type she has but that doesn’t really matter. It is an unjust act of Nature or God when something like this happens. This child’s family is changed forever as of this point. Anything that was the norm is now only dreams and wishes.

I must admit I know next to nothing about Leukemia, or any other life-threatening disease for that matter. Call it “living in denial” or just not focusing on things that don’t affect me. Now I think differently. It is truly devastating as a parent to have your own creation affected in this way. Of course, you could live your life in fear that this could happen to you or your child, or you could live your life to the fullest, enjoying every second of the day. Most people live somewhere in between…until you are touched by the hand of fate.

If you are taking the time to read this, I thank you. Take a few more seconds to say a prayer or make a wish for children who have been dealt a hand out of their control. And don’t just stop there. Learn more, educate yourself and your peers, figure out ways to help, even if in non-direct ways. If you know a person or family in that situation, it might be incredibly hard for you to engage with them. They may be overwhelmed, or you yourself just simply may not have the capacity or strength to do so. But do what you can, even if your contribution is small.

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This is a re-post of an article I wrote on the GoGrid blog.

cloud Clouds are sexy right now. In this article, I tracked how “Cloud Computing” is becoming a hot, up and coming Google Search term. But why is it that there are so many new user communities that are conglomerating around “the cloud” versus other more traditional hosting concepts. I would say because of the social environment where this technology is emerging.

Asking the Question

Where does one learn about technology trends? How does one test it out or know if it is a match for your offering?

[poll id=”7″]

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Review: Safe Internet for your Kids with Intego Content Barrier x4

June 12, 2008

Being a good dad means protecting your kids. That can be by physically keeping them from danger, or, by preventing their young innocent eyes and minds from being corrupted by seeing content that they are too young for. With technology, connectivity and communications pervading all aspects of our lives, it has become increasingly difficult to […]

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Review: Car Gadget for Dad – DLO TransDock Micro with IntelliTune

June 10, 2008

Only a few days left before Father’s Day descends upon us, so in the spirit of “giving to Dad” (heck, it should be a WEEK of giving and not a day), here is another gadget review. Today I found out that the Netflix Player (reviewed here) is currently out of stock and back-ordered for 4-6 […]

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Review: Netflix Player – Get Dad Movies On Demand

June 9, 2008

I’m going to try something this week and write up some quick product reviews in case you are looking for something to buy your dad or husband for Father’s Day. This year, budgets are tight so even spending $100 may be pushing it, but when you make a tech decision, you should do some careful […]

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The 3G iPhone Dust is still settling … and Accessory Announcements come!

June 9, 2008

Hot on the heels of the iPhone 3G news-breaker are now peripheral press releases coming from accessories manufacturers. The first one that I have seen comes from Speck with a product line crafted exclusively for the iPhone 3G. While I typically only do product reviews of products that I can actually test, I’m breaking my […]

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