December 2011 - HighTechDad

December 2011

Post image for Parking Lot Personalities, New Law for Kid Giants & No Public Sporting Events – Digest – 12/20-23/11
Here is the weekly round-up of some posts that I did over at in the Dadding Section:


Post image for A Quest for the Holidays – The 2012 Nissan Quest

I sit in a darkened cafe. About a block away, packs of people are streaming into the San Francisco Opera House as part of a holiday tradition that goes back decades. Dressed up with kids in tow, they are off to see the San Francisco Ballet’s Nutcracker. I have seen the Nutcracker ever since I was a small child. It was an event that symbolized the holidays for me. Now, it has a different meaning altogether for me, and this year, there has been a car that has really made the difference for me and my family – the 2012 Nissan Quest.


A few weeks ago, I was given the 2012 Nissan Quest to drive for 2 weeks as part of an outreach program to bloggers around the country. We were ask to essentially embark on a “Holiday Quest” and we have been tagging our social activities with the hashtag #HolidayQuest. Nissan kindly donated not only the Quest for two week, but they also are donating $500 to a charity of our choice and provided us with $500 “holiday money” to help us take that hard edge off of the holiday season. And a few days ago, Nissan gave out 5 prizes of $1000 to some lucky Twitterers who participated in a Nissan Quest TweetUp!

For our family, the Quest became our transportation of choice, and boy did we have a lot of driving to do. When I checked the odometer at the end of my 2 weeks, it seems that we have gone almost 1000 miles just around the San Francisco Bay Area and most of the driving has been to holiday-related activities.

We used the Quest to go to holiday piano recitals as well as holiday dances for my younger two daughters. But probably most of the mileage has come from the back and forth from our home to San Francisco Ballet – the reason being, my oldest daughter, who is 12, is performing two roles in the SF Ballet’s Nutcracker, that of a dragonfly and also, the main role of Clara. Clara is the girl in the Nutcracker who receives the toy nutcracker and then has a dream sequence that spans the rest of the performance.

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Post image for Ultra Giveaway! Win an Ultrabook from Some #UltrabookDads!

I’m going to keep this short and sweet since I have already written a bit about Ultrabooks and I’m going to be talking about them more in the coming weeks. So let’s cut to the chase…Jeff Sass (who is a partner in crime on the Cast of Dads podcast as well as a fellow Intel Advisor) and I have been testing out a new line of Windows laptop, specifically, Ultrabooks.

Well, the time has come to announce a QUICK but GREAT giveaway, courtesy of Intel, who are the thought leaders behind the Ultrabook concept. There is now a page that lists out the Official Rules which I encourage you to read. Here are the critical details on the giveaway though:

  • Begins December 21, 2011 at 12:00:01 a.m. U.S. Pacific Time (“PST”)
  • Ends December 23, 2011 at 11:59:59 p.m U.S. Pacific Time (“PST”)
  • U.S. Residents Only
  • 18 years and older
  • Must have a non-private Twitter account
  • You must send a Tweet with the hashtag (#) – “#UltrabookDads”
  • Read the rest of the Official Rules

To make it a little more interesting, I ask that you tweet not only the hashtag listed above, but also say WHY you think Ultrabooks are so GREAT!

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Post image for I’ve Become an Ultrabook Dad!

I’m a dad who loves gadgets. That’s part of the reason why I have this site is so that I can share this love and hopefully provide insights and understanding into the complex world of consumer electronics. While I normally go by the nom de plume of “HighTechDad”, I have a new name that I’m going to assign to myself – “UltrabookDad“. Over the next couple of weeks, Jeff Sass and I, are going to be diving into the world of Ultrabooks.


What Are Ultrabooks?

What are Ultrabooks you ask? They are this new, hot slice of portable computers that sort of comes in between a netbook and a full-fledged laptop. While the price point of an Ultrabook is more than a netbook and frequently more than lower-end laptops, they are typically faster, more energy efficient and more light weight than other portable computers in the market. The term “Ultrabook” is something that Intel is driving and they have an educational site on Ultrabooks that provides information about this new type of computer that I believe will be extremely popular in the coming years. Ultrabooks generally have SSD (Solid State Drives), full powered Processors (like the Intel i5 or i7) and usually do not have a DVD or CD drive or Ethernet port. They typically have USB ports,  and micro VGA (or other display adapter capabilities) but usually do not have much more than that. They are typically very light-weight and ultra-thin as well.


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Ice for Xmas, Kid Failure, Modern Holiday Songs, Santa Believer, Holiday Spam List, 12 Gifts Not to Give & More from

December 16, 2011
Thumbnail image for Ice for Xmas, Kid Failure, Modern Holiday Songs, Santa Believer, Holiday Spam List, 12 Gifts Not to Give & More from

As I mentioned earlier, I’m now doing a daily article on’s new “Dadding” site. Since I feel that there is actually some of my better humorous content over there, I thought it would make sense to share the content with my HighTechDad readers. I’m going to start these regular weekly recaps with a full […]

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The Tech Upgrade Trickle-Down Effect, Getting the Gadget Gifts You Want, 4G or Not & other Content from Man of the House

December 16, 2011

As I mentioned in my last article, I have started doing some writing for Man of the House (MotH), a “real man’s magazine”. While I don’t have a regular schedule of when content is pushed to the site, I wanted to do a post that summarizes my first articles there. Moving forward, I will periodically […]

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Expanding my Content Wings – Writing for Man of the House & Babble

December 15, 2011
Thumbnail image for Expanding my Content Wings – Writing for Man of the House & Babble

You may of noticed that there’s been a slight slowdown in content on This isn’t because I haven’t been writing, quite to the contrary. It’s actually because I’ve been spreading my wings a bit and now I’m writing on a couple of other sites. I love writing, the hardest thing is finding the time […]

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Training Wheels without Training Wheels – The Gyrowheel

December 14, 2011
Thumbnail image for Training Wheels without Training Wheels – The Gyrowheel

I’m a bit of a slacker daddy. My kids seemed to be the only ones on the block who were last to learn how to ride their bikes. Chalk it up to me either being a bit lazy or them being extremely busy with a bunch of other activities (ballet, gymnastics, piano, acting, dance and […]

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