Zach’s Comp Sci Class

My son Zachary has been taking his first “official” computer science class this year. They have been working with a number of 3D modeling tools and other graphics packages to create assets. He has also really used and mastered Apple’s Garage Band Tool for creating and syncing audio tracks.
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The latest programming they have been doing is in Adobe Flash (Action Script).

The other night at the local Apple Computer Store in Walnut Creek, his teacher, Mrs. MacDonald, had all of the students present their programs up on a big screen in front of all the parents. It was a really nice venue for the event and Apple gave the young programmers free T-shirts. It was really cool to geek out with the kids.

d30 2485 300x198 Zachs Comp Sci Class
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Zach authored and demonstrated several of his projects including an Animated Escalade car (like his mother’s real one HA) and a game that he built called Duck Shoot.

My Kind of Bipartisanship

I love to see this story on the new so called Bipartisan Stimulus Package.

WASHINGTON – Financial institutions that received federal bailout money and paid large executive bonuses would be required to compensate taxpayers under the economic stimulus bill approved by the Senate.

The $838 billion measure includes an amendment penalizing companies that paid bonuses greater than $100,000 to executives after receiving government rescue funds last year. The amendment would require the companies to repay within four months any portion of the bonus above $100,000 or face an excise tax of 35 percent on the portion of the bonus above $100,000.

The Senate approved the stimulus bill 61-37 on Tuesday, setting up negotiations with the House, which passed a slightly different version last week.

r3612002921 300x224 My Kind of Bipartisanship

From Yahoo

This is more the kind of work we need on these Wall Street rascals.  I say get all the money back that you can and make them pay through the nose!

Family Debt

Its been a while since I have posted to my blog.  I am thankful for the opportunity to do so.

Just like the Obama’s after a few months of very trying times for our family it was high time to pay off that HUGE family debt…

Welcome to the family! Lily is our new dog!

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We all love her!

Oh sh*t! I have a teen once again!

I was reminded again this weekend that I have a kid growing into a teen. We took Olivia to her Jonas Brothers concert in Hershey, PA.

jonasbrothers 300x300 Oh sh*t! I have a teen once again!

Funny thing was that Miley Cyrus appeared on the Today Show on Friday 7/25 just outside the window where I work. Had she not wanted to get up that early on her summer break, she would have wanted to go to that as well. I had forgotten what it was like to have teens in the house.

Jamaica Man!

Just got back from a great family vacation to the Caribbean on Carnival Cruise Lines (more on that later). My favorite place was in our last port of call Ocho Rios, Jamaica.

2665252454 fdc93bc823 Jamaica Man!

Dunn’s River Falls is a famous waterfall near Ocho Rios, Jamaica and a major Caribbean tourist attraction. The falls empty into the Caribbean Sea. It is one of the very few rivers in the world that actually fall directly into the sea.
The waterfalls are staggered and span some 600 feet, several small lagoons exist interspersed between the vertical sections of the falls. Climbing up the waterfalls is a popular tourist activity and is often, but not exclusively performed with the help of tour guides from the park. The falls can be walked up with relative ease, often a human chain is used snaking up the falls behind the tour guide.

Great fun and highly recommended if you are ever there!
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End of another school year

Friday marked another school year in the books for my kids.  Olivia finished up 7th grade at Liberty Middle School and will attend next year as an 8th grader.  Zachary finished up as a 6th grader and will attend Liberty Middle school with his sister next year as a 7th grader.

2601907402 7651c42d4c End of another school year

We celebrated the passing of another year with a ritual we have done for several years now — a bonfire party for all the kids to burn their homework.  It has become quite a tradition with a large bonfire a barbeque, fireworks and of course boxes and boxes of old homework.

Have to love nintendo wii

It’s amazing that Nintendo Wii has done what they have with clearly a lesser technical platform (compared to XBOX and Playstation 3). They continue to innovate with superior interaction with the release of Mario Kart for Wii.

The kids and I bought this new game on Saturday and spent a good deal of the weekend playing it with them. We had a blast!

wii fit Have to love nintendo wii

It uses a steering wheel that embeds the Wii remote control into it. You hold the steering wheel in mid-air turning it to play the game. It is a very immersing experience to drive the carts or motorcycles in the game. Although the graphics are clearly not as good (since they are standard definition compared to the high definition capabilities of the XBOX or PS3) I still really enjoyed the feeling of competing and playing in that way with “real” people.

My wife, Phyllis, and I are both looking very foward to the Wii Fit title that comes out on May 21.