Monthly Archives: February 2006

Yes, it’s still moving on

The remodel continues to move forward. The addition has insulation, wiring, and siding. And all the gutters on the house have been replaced. (This is especially good since the ice rink that had replaced our front walk was a little dangerous.)

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Make a what?

Some months ago, I first heard about a new magazine called Make. Well, the other night, we saw it on the shelf at Borders. It had a lot of cool stuff in it. For me, the most interesting article was about putting together a cheap satellite dish for free TV. For Teresa, it was how to build a windmill for generating electricity. Now we both have some summer projects. Since Teresa plans to watch the kids at home this summer, maybe they’ll pitch in too!

In the first issue, there was an article on how to make a video stablizer for $14. If you’ve looked at my skiing videos, you probably think I need to build one!

Skiing with the kids

Last Sunday, 2/12/06, Emily had her first day skiing. She went to Kinderhut at Breckenridge. She had a wonderful time. She fell on her first run, but after that there was no stopping her. Except for lunch, she wouldn’t go inside. Teresa says she would try to pass the other kids in order to get more time on the slope.

Here’s a picture of her ready to go in the morning:

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And here are some movies from the day.

It’s like crack for kids

Scott and Tim just can’t stop playing/programming with Stagecast Creator. As a parent, you always need something that your kids really love. You need it so that you can threaten them with its removal. Programming is now the drug of choice. Removing it causes withdrawal symptoms. Threat of removal gets instant compliance.

Sarcasm aside, I’ll have to post one of their games soon. The artwork could use some work, but the “tar monsters” and “ninja stars” seem to keep them happy. 😮

Stagecast Creator

Well, I read a paper the other day about teaching programming to elementary school kids, and it mentioned Stagecast Creator as one of the tools it looked at. It actually seems pretty similar to AgentSheets, but it’s more polished, costs only $50, and has a 120 day free trial. The programming is more “by example” (you move things around by dragging them, rather than writing code).

The boys and I spent an hour each of the past two evenings going through the tutorials. They really like it, and the only frustration has been that the tutorials hold your hand so strongly that you can’t experiment while you’re playing with them. That may be a good thing.