Camping at Arrowhead: Gear Stress Test Results

Stubb's Falls

I just wrapped up two weeks of camping at Arrowhead provincial park (a few hours north of Toronto). While there, I took advantage of the time and activities to put some of the gear I’ve accumulated recently through extended, real-world tests. Continue reading

11 Geeky Choices for Independence Day Video Entertainment


It’s Independence Day in the United States of America, so patriotism is in the air. In case you feel that the urge to be patriotic conflicts with your usual urge to be geeky, we’re here to help.
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How-To: Cardboard Robots and Rocketships

Final rocketship with shiny paint job.

We just had our son’s second birthday party. He’s already a geek-in-the-making, so the theme we decided on for him was Robots and Rocketships. He already loves both, thanks to a bounty of robot and rocketship toys he’s received in the past two years plus my own collection of both that I willfully share with him (yes, I’ve even let him play with vintage Transformers). Continue reading

GeekDad’s Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

new 3ds xl

Valentine’s is next weekend, so your window for finding that perfect gift is rapidly closing. Thankfully our crack team of GeekParents has compiled a quick list of ideas that are sure to appeal to your geeky significantly other. Continue reading

Geeky Gifts for Wedding Anniversaries Today, Tomorrow, and Forever


People have always had problems picking out gifts to give each other (or friends and relatives) for wedding anniversaries. At least, it would seem so considering the rather detailed lists that have existed for centuries all over the world to help puzzled gift-givers in their annual purchases. And while there have been attempts to create “modern” lists, they still always seem to be a little out of touch. Continue reading

A Geek Dad’s Year-End, Get-It-Done Self Review for 2014


I just googled a few items and discovered I haven’t done a year-end, get-it-done review since the end of 2012. I’d done one for 2011 and 2012, but somehow 2013 came and went and I have no idea what happened there. I’ll just blame it on my kids.

My hope is that some of the information below might be useful to you in your own personal and work lives. And trust me… for every item I seem to have under control, there’s a matching item that is completely chaos. I’m looking at my kids again. Continue reading

Happy Holidays From the Great White North

Christmas lights

Every family has its holiday traditions. One of ours is to pile the kids into the SUV the night before Christmas Eve for a tour of the city and its holiday decorations. Hot chocolate is a requirement, as are blankets — even though it’s warm in the vehicle, something about being wrapped in blankets makes the drive a little more festive. Canadian weather doesn’t always cooperate. Some years have seen blizzards that push the four wheel drive sled to its limits while cutting visibility; this year was rather green, drizzly and dreary (so much for The Great White North). Methodology has changed tremendously, too. Many of the more popular displays are synchronized, computerized light and music shows (I still have a soft spot for the old school decorations that have clearly been collected over the course of decades). Instead of word of mouth or random exploration, there’s now an app that maps the holiday light hotspots. And, of course, my kids have grown. There’s a high school student riding along with us now — when did that happen? No matter what traditions your family celebrates, here’s hoping this holiday season finds you healthy and happy. Continue reading

A Very Lord of the Rings Christmas

Image: idreamlikecrazy via Flickr

A few years ago, we dreamed up our own December tradition: Rings Day. Starting on the 25th and running until the 31st, we watch all three Lord of the Rings films back-to-back. We start at Bilbo’s 111th birthday party and try to get Frodo’s trip to Valinor to unfold on New Year’s Eve. It gives the kids our own December tradition to look forward to and occupies us when all the stores and restaurants are closed and our friends are ensconced in Christmas activities. Continue reading

Dancing LEDs Promises Maker Christmas and Hacker New Year


What do you get when you hang a Christmas tree with 4,000 LEDs connected to a Teensy board? In the hands of Austin maker and electrical engineer Jarrod Eliason, you get, well, you get this… Continue reading