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Friday, April 27, 2012

Dr iPad To The ER

The above awesome image was provided courtesy of the one and only DrthGeek

We need to go back a bit to start our story.  Our boys love technology, and quite frankly, I do blame myself for that.  With a geeky dad, like me, did they really ever have a chance?

About a year ago, my wife acquired what we jokingly referred to as her "boyfriend."  The iPad2.  With some of the tax return money for that year, we were trying to decide how we should spend it.  I had decided to go the route of a tablet.  I had done a bit of research, and had convinced a somewhat reluctant wife, that she might enjoy one too.

My plan had been a good one, why limit ourselves to only iOS or Android?  She could get a tablet in one format, and I could get one in the other.  That way, I figured that we could get access to all of the thousands of apps that were available for both systems.  It was a good plan.  The only problem was that the tablet that I wanted, was not yet available, but hers was.  There was only just a slight twinge of envy, seeing my wife getting to play with her new toy, while I had to continue waiting for mine.  She tried to console me, by letting me download a couple free apps on hers, but it wasn't quite the same.  She got to be first (ah, the Geek-ster's lament).

Though initially skeptical, my wife fell head over heels in love with her iPad.  She barely even touched our family computer any more and did just about everything on her new little friend.  A question that almost immediately came up was whether or not to let our two young children (then 3 and 4) actually play on Mommy's expensive tablet.  After some trepidation and with strict supervision, she let them begin to explore it.  As kids are apt to do (see my related article "Rise of the Junior Geeks"), they began picking up on it right away and loved it. Even dad eventually got his baby and with little prompting necessary, I shared the joys of my toy as well.

Soon, they and the tablets were practically inseparable.  My boys enjoyed our tablets so much, that we decided to get them there own "kid" tablets for Christmas.  Looking at our options, we considered the Innotab from Vtech and the Leap Pad from Leap Frog.  We finally decided on the Innotab and awaited the joyous reactions from our kids at getting their own tablets.  Christmas came and the liked them okay, but the strangest thing happened.  They did not stop playing with our tablets.  We had fallen into the parental trap of spoiling them with the good stuff first (who wants to downgrade from a Harley Davidson to a Big Wheel).  Proud of their taste, but ugh!!!!

That brings us to a few months ago.  My son reached for mommy's iPad one day and said, "What's that stuff on the screen?"  I asked him for it, thinking that I would encounter the normal toddler messy finger junk on the glass, but instead I was met with a terrible sight.  Multiple hairline cracks had appeared on the lower left hand corner.  The horror!  Not wanting to see the quick and early demise of my youngest, I decided to break the news to my wife personally.  She was obviously devastated, but she refrained from breaking that particular commandment.

We had pieced together that it had been dropped, and despite the injury, it still was functioning.  Phew!  Keeping it in a leather case, she forwent my offer to have it repaired.  Less than a couple months later, though, disaster struck again.  This time it was Mommy.  Exiting our front door on the way out to church, the iPad slipped out onto the porch.  Had it not been for previous mishap, it probably would have escaped without a scratch.  Weakened, the damage to the glass was much more severe (I could see a sliver of the glass completely missing at the bottom).

This time, there could be no more delays, we had to call in the experts.  I checked around the Internet for some places and prices, when a friend of mine suggested a local company called Disciple Technologies.  We made contact, and their prices seemed reasonable, so we dropped off the precious cargo in their intensive care unit.  A couple nail biting days later, the report came in, the boyfriend had made it through surgery.

We were very pleased with their work and would recommend them to others.  As for the boyfriend?  He spends most of his time in his reinforced, shock resistant case, and...

...yes, the boy forgiven, is even allowed to play with him.  Sometimes.


Thursday, April 12, 2012

RIP One Easter Bunny

He was supposed to be a mostly "indoor" dog.  That was my wife's plan, at least, but more and more, it becomes evident that he is not.  She sometimes tries to bring him inside, but normally within a matter of minutes he begins whining like a tired toddler, and barking until she relents and takes him back out.  It's hard to fight those natural instincts.

To say that Buster has a lot of energy, is pretty much an understatement.  He is definitely a bit on hyper side and he tends to make known to you, the pleasure that he has, of you coming outside to see him.  He varies from bounding about, to leaping up towards you (two paws forward, which can be painful at times).  My wife has tried some of the Dog Whisperer techniques to keep him from his ballet like antics, but unfortunately she has not yet tamed the beast.

That brings us to a time near the most recent Easter holiday.  My two young boys and I had ventured into the jungle that we commonly refer to as our backyard (I really am truly hoping that the rain will cooperate with me, so that I can finish mowing it.).  We were playing, kicking a ball around, when we came across a rather gruesome scene.  There, lying next to the garage, were the grisly remains of a fairly good sized rabbit.  Our little Buster had claimed an unfortunate, furry victim.

I had to keep my rather curious young geeks at bay, as they tried to get a better look at the macabre sight.  Reminiscent of a CSI episode, I examined what remained of the poor creature.  Flies were encircling his little corpse like bi-planes around King Kong.  One front leg was missing (I guess it wasn't his lucky one, eh?) and there was a little hole there where it had once been.  The geek in me came out, because to me, it looked sort of like a biology class dissection project.  It was interesting to see some of the inner workings of the little guy.  A little gross, but interesting.

I ushered the boys inside and had to break the news to my wife about what had happened.  It saddened her, of course, that her little baby would do such a thing.  I saw her heading out the door with two WalMart bags, and I said, "No, you are not going to do that."  Besides the fact that I feel a certain amount of responsibility to handle some of those type of things for her, I knew that she can't even cope with the sights or sounds of vomit, much less the little bio-hazard we had going outside.

No gloves were readily available, so I had my wife fashion two impromptu ones out of the bags she had.  With a few more in hand, I set out to do the necessary deed.  Though not trained to do this type of work, I was able to get it accomplished.

So if you didn't get as much sweets during the holiday as you have in the past, now you know.


"Easter says you can put truth in a grave, but it won't stay there."  ~Clarence W. Hall