January 1, 2014

Red Bull Marketing

whoever started the idea of using cool feats to represent red bull is great. it's a very easy momentum to keep building the brand on. gd execution team.

Bonus, more work for bike parkour stunt men & women!

December 31, 2013

Soldering the Octolively Kit

Note, I decided to solder the switch on the front of the board as the instructions say is an option; this way we can turn on the board as we play with it more easily!

Here are my learnings:

These were so tiny, but they are in the kit! So look for them before you solder the LEDs since the LEDs are much taller and you'll have to otherwise hold the 6 pin onto the board and potentially burn your finger like I did… haha ;-)

Evil Mad Scientist's kits:

The $90 Spark Fun Kit is also highly recommended.
Over the Christmas break we played with it with our 7 year old niece and 11 year old nephew.
The 7 year old had just enough motor control to place all the leads into the breadboard, whereas the 11 year old was programming combined exercises together -- sound + buttons, morse code, reaction game, ...

December 29, 2013

Drawing Lessons

My 7 year old niece is very into crafts and interested in drawing.
So instead of the usual math or programming activities we do with the nephews, I decided to make an illustrated video with her this Christmas!

I was trying to encourage her to free-hand draw more.
Unfortunately she still mostly preferred tracing most of the time.

Here's our first draft in Keynote.
I asked her to name and type the titles of each illustration.

There are a few more scenes I would like to add including singing Frozen songs all week and practicing the Cup song.

I wanted her to learn that things don't need to be perfect first off; we can iterate!
I also purposely did not correct the angles of the pictures to see if she'll learn to take better pictures of the drawings next time.

I didn't have exciting Christmas songs, so we upgraded to Animoto and of course used one of their spiffy styles!

And here's an Animoto version w pics.
We took some videos over Christmas, so hopefully I can add those in once the brother-in-law finishes them.

December 10, 2013

Your Majesty

Our cat Gray has been sick. We were not sure he was going to make it.
However, after a blood transfusion from a technician's cat, and several days of IV, Gray began to finally eat out of his food bowl again.

I commended him in that dog owner voice, "Good booooyyy."
And I immediately felt bad about offending him for talking to him like a dog.

Your majesty. I'm so honored you are eating again ...

November 2, 2013

Last Strawberries of the Season

Probably the last strawberries of the year. It's been getting colder in Cali.
I love the garden irrigation the hubby helped me put together when we first got the house.

This past year we tried strawberries & tomatoes outside; they worked great. I had to give away tons of tomatoes and strawberries to friends and neighbors throughout the year.
The first year we had cucumbers, romaine lettuce, sugar snap peas. They grew much faster than we could eat them.

We haven't been cooking the basil we're growing indoors.
In the next year, I want to try green grapes. I hope I have enough land to grow them!

July 13, 2013

Fixing Bikes for the Community

A girl friend and I volunteered at the bike workshop today, fixing bikes for under-served children. We learned so much about bikes in just 3 hours.
Ppl who were just a bit more experienced were helping those w less experience. If anyone needs more help, we just look for ppl who have even more experience. Really interesting chain of mentorship.
Someone organized it really well, had the passion to set up the whole process, tools, new equipment, ... Admirable.
We learned to inflate tires the 'right' way, took tires apart, put in new tubes, started to work on brakes, tuning spokes, ...

So many bikes get stolen in the bay area ...
I hope by providing more affordable bikes, ppl not buying from shadey individuals, bike theft would go down ...

Learning team work and confidence building!

Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition