Month: September 2007

3 Year Olds: What’s a Dad to Do?

it is 1:30 in the afternoon.  I just got a call from my wife.  We are about 8 weeks from our second child being born.  She is pregnant and tired; I am at work.  My daughter is flipping out in the background because she wants to go play with her friends.  My wife has been put on bed rest for today per doctor’s orders.  I’m stuck at work and at the mercy of the train schedule so even if I wanted to leave now I still wouldn’t get home until 5pm (earliest train I can catch right now would be the 4:15) What’s a Dad to do? Putting on the Uber-geek hat, I am going to walk over to the library and check out some books on raising 3 year olds.  I need an instruction manual – something I can hopefully read on the train and apply tonight. I need the magic wand of Fatherhood.  Becoming a dad was easy (let’s face it, biology is on our side guys), it’s being a good dad, husband, employee, friend, and the 43 million other things we do every day that all need to be done well that gets to be tough. — Later in the day — So I’ve checked out 3 books from the library, we’ll see how it goes.  The books I checked out are: Raising Your Spirited Child Rev Ed:...

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Solar Power Projects for the Evil Genius

Ok, this isn’t a book review per say, as I have not yet read this book, but as a father geek, with a geek in training, how cool is this?   Solar Energy Projects for the Evil Geniusby Gavin D J Harper Read more about this title…   The book, filled with projects on how to harness the sun for your own personal gain immediately drew my attention as some cool projects I can do with my daughter.  Since my wife and I were recently talking about the pros and cons of converting to solar and getting a bit more “off the grid”, I thought this would be a fun book to check out from the local library as well. I really think the Evil Genius series has a lot to offer some of us geeks and geeks-in-training and I’m looking forward to reading this book.  Here is a sneak peak at the table of contents: Chapter 1. Why solar? Chapter 2. The Solar Resource Chapter 3. Positioning Your Solar Devices Chapter 4. Solar Heating Chapter 5. Solar Cooling Chapter 6. Solar Cooking Chapter 7. Solar Stills Chapter 8. Solar Collectors Chapter 9. Solar Pumping Chapter 10. Solar Photovoltaics Chapter 11. Photochemical Solar Cells Chapter 12. Solar Engines Chapter 13. Solar Electrical Projects Chapter 14. Tracking the Sun Chapter 15. Solar Transport Chapter 16. Solar Robotics? Chapter 17. Solar...

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What is Regenerative Agriculture?

So organic farming is more than just agriculture‚Äďand it’s good to remind ourselves of this from time to time. We’re helping to create a healthier, better future for everyone. It’s Regenerative Agriculture. Regenerative Agriculture has become a whole science over the last 20 years, involving more than just farming and selling products. As we regenerate local woodlands and streams, as we help regenerate our local communities, many benefits come to us, monetary and otherwise. That gives most organic farmers a satisfaction beyond mere profits. http://www.newfarm.org/features/0802/regenerative.shtml Now I’ve been asked by my friends from time to time about why my family chooses to utilize organic methods and buy organic products.  And I think the above quote does a good job of explaining it.  It’s the healthier lifestyle and the ability to contribute to the regeneration and sustainability of earth.  Granted, it’s a very small contribution, but as they say “Think globally, act...

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Planning the Fall Garden: What’s Growing On…

It’s time to start planning the fall garden. This year I’m planning on having my daughter help plan the garden from start to finish and have her plant her own little garden as well to take care of. September is the best time to start planting in Southern California. The weather is cooling off, not too hot and not too cool. The first steps to having a vegetable garden is of course, planning! Picking a site First and foremost, you need to have some space to plant. It doesn’t need to be a large space, but there are three things you’ll need to keep in mind as you decide where to plant. Sunshine. If your plants can’t get sunlight, they can’t photosynthesis and this means they’ll starve. You want to choose a spot that gets at least 6 hours of sunlight a day. Water. Plants are thirsty. They need water, especially in southern California. Make sure the area you pick out is convenient to a watering source or that you can install an irrigation system relatively easily. Having to lug water to the garden every day soon becomes a chore, so make it easy on yourself. Soil. I’m lucky in that my soil is pretty good where I live, a little on the sandy side but I have a twin-barrel composter that turns my kitchen scraps into great nutrients...

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Book Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Book 7)by J. K. Rowling Read more about this title…   Ok, let me start off by saying that yes, I am a PotterHead. I thought this book was a great ending to a series that I have come to enjoy.  Even though it is often listed as a ‘Young Adult’ book, it does have some deeper stories and cross-links to previous books that not all readers may pick up during their first read. I especially enjoyed the way that Rowling has gone back and explained a few stories that were left rather open ended in previous books.  Also, after hearing a rumor about the movie ‘Order of the Phoenix’, where she insisted that Kreacher not be cut out of the movie, I had an Ah-Ha moment about half way through the book. I have to admit, that I didn’t really like the storyline in regards to Dumbledore, because he’d been put in the classic archtype role of mentor and then there are parts of the story that tear down that illusion and reveal him to be human, but it was done in a rather clumsy way that left you feeling a bit unfulfilled. Some of the other characters remained stiff throughout the book, and I really think that one of the stronger points of these stories is the underlying world-building that she...

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