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"Goodbye, Jean-Luc, I'm gonna miss you. You had such potential. But then again, all good things must come to an end."
- Q, Star Trek: TNG

Geek Dad

Red Ring Redux

by Ken Newquist / October 31, 2008

For the second time in two years, I have a dead Xbox 360. The machine gave me the Red Ring of Death on Sunday after crashing while running DeadSpace. The machine simply froze, and when I powered it down and powered it back again, I was greated with the ominous glowing red rings.

Normally, this would be inconvenient by manageable: Microsoft extended the manufacturer's warranty on the 360 to three years, and my Xbox is still covered. Unfortunately, this month isn't anything resembling normal. I've got three game reviews looming between late October and late November, and don't have time to wait for Microsoft to fix my box.

The first thing I tried was stopping by Best Buy; I got the extended warranty for my first Xbox 360, and when it died I was able to walk into their store and get a replacement. Unfortunately, the warranty was from the original date of purchase and wasn't extended when I got the replacement.

Haunted Walking Tour of Easton

by Ken Newquist / October 14, 2008

There's going to be a "Haunted Walking Tour of Easton" on October 24 and 25, 2008 from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tours leave from Centre Square, Easton, Pa. The cost is $7 in advance, $10 on the tour date. Tickets are available at Pearly Baker's Ale House, Porter's Pub, the Csmic Cup, Partyology, Connexions Art Gallery, Easton Yoga and the Easton Farmer's Market.Learn more by visiting the Scarecrow Festival page on MySpace at: http://www.myspace.com/eastonscarecrowfestival

NASA, U.S. Chess Federation Begin Earth vs. Space Match

by Ken Newquist / October 3, 2008

This is just so damn cool (and by cool, I mean insanely geeky). NASA and the U.S. Chess are sponsoring a match between, well, the world and the International Space Station. And the really cool part? The moves are being chosen in part by elementary school kids. Here's the deal. The chess team at Stevenson Elementary School in Bellevue, Wash. is facing off against the crew of the ISS.

Google Calendar integration with iCal, Outlook

by Ken Newquist / October 2, 2008

One of my goals this fall has been to get my calendars under control, and to do a better job of keeping track of what I'm doing (and where I'm supposed to be doing it). Somedays that works better than others (Monday, in which I forgot my wife had yoga, would be one of the bad days) but all in all I'm making progress. A big reason for this is that I'm syncing my home and work calenders in iCal via Google Calendar. My calendars "live" on Google, but I'm able to add and edit events via iCal thanks to Google CalDAV support. This article explains how to get it working:

OOF 8/17: Picnic in the Park

by Ken Newquist / August 17, 2008

I'm doing the bachelor dad thing while Sue's away at a PowWow this weekend, so I figured it'd be a good thing if we started off our day with some exercise. I packed some zucchini bread and milk for the kids, loaded up the wagon our baseball mitts and Lucas, then walked to the Cosmic Cup for morning coffee while Jordan road her bike. Coffee in hand, we walked back home, deposited the bike in the side alley, then walked down to Nevin Park for breakfast under the trees.

After that the kids and I ran around on the playground equipment and swung on the swings, taking occasional breaks to play catch. All in all, a good start to the day, the only downside to which was the whining from Jordan about how tired she was on the walk back home.

It wasn't a hard work out, as things go, but it got my heart pumping climbing the hill back from the park, and tired out the kids so I think we can declare mission was accomplished.

A Night with the IronPigs

by Ken Newquist / August 12, 2008

 Coca-Cola Park, home of the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs I went to my first-ever baseball game with my dad last night, as we watched the Lehigh Valley IronPigs take on the Buffalo Bisons at Coca-Cola Park in Allentown, Pa.

It took us a while to get there, seeing as how I'm 36 and he's 66, but it was worth the wait. The IronPigs are the AAA affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies, which means they're one step down from the Show. The new stadium reflects that; it's a first-rate, beautiful stadium. I doubt there's a bad seat in the house; we had field-level seats down the first-base line and even we had a good view. It was also cheap; tickets were $9 a person, and even with the entire family there -- my parents, Sue and the two kids -- the whole thing end up costing me about $60.

It was fantastic being there with the kids, sitting in foul ball territory with Jordan, gloves in hand, waiting for fly balls to come soaring our way. None came close, but it was fun to watch and wait all the same. Jordan was half-crazy with excitement about being at the game, and while she got a little wild at the end, she loved it. It was a good trial run for going to a big league game -- like watching the Mets at Citi Field next year.

Good Bye Elmo, Hello Truck

by Ken Newquist / August 10, 2008

 Elmos on the Sofa

One of Luke's first words was "elmo". No, not the Sesame Street character. He rarely watches TV, and when he does, it's not Sesame Street. No, "elmo" was his word for truck. Cars he calls go-gos (no doubt from the many readings of Go Dogs Go he's enjoyed) but trucks have always been elmos. In recent months, he's mixed this up. Dump trucks? Dumpy elmos. Big trucks? Bumpy elmos. No matter how many times we said otherwise, trucks were elmos.

Until last week. When, while walking up the stairs to his room, he decided to call them trucks, and keep calling them trucks. They're simply not elmos any more. Infact, if you say "elmo", he corrects you and says "truck".

All of this is part of his toddler word explosion. Car. Grass. Green. Money. Bike. Blue. Saint. Move. Play. The words just keep coming, as do the combinations, as he tells the dog (that'd be saint) to move, points out blue trucks, and exclaims that he wants to play on his bike.

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