Monthly Archives: January 2014

Product Review: Skydog Parental Controls

by admin

When I used to work in IT I had the chance to marvel at some state-of-the-art server based monitoring and blocking software for coporations.  I was impressed with the level of control offered and the way the service was constantly updated with classifications relevant to the control of inappropriate content at the office or jobsite.

At the time, family was still in my imagination.  But I thought to myself, “Is there anything like this out there for home use?”  At the time, I was disappointed.

Since then, I have been watching and waiting for a solution to come out that is not PC based.  We have always had multiple computers in our home, from the day we got married.  Those computers have always shared an internet connection through some kind of hub.  But I had never been able to filter internet content upstream of everyone until I finally discovered Skydog.

Image Courtesy of Skydog

Here is the short form of this review: Skydog is nothing less than a must-have for every family which seeks to keep their children from inappropriate and/or dangerous content on any platform from iPads and tablets to PCs to laptops to any other internet-connected device.  It is ridiculously easy to set up, and affords unheard of control to parents over the use of the internet on all devices connected to the network.  FURTHER: it enables you to completely stymie unauthorized connections to your home network unless you SPECIFICALLY approve of them.  This control can even be operated remotely via your smartphone or any internet-connected device, anywhere in the world.  Read the rest of this entry »


Leftovers: Friend or Foe?

by admin

So I set out to make lunch for my preschool aged twins and I (the rest are at school).  The first stop was the fridge – what’s there for leftovers?  I discovered enough mac and cheese for the little guys, but not enough for me.  What to do?

Of the leftovers I saw the two that stood out to me were spaghetti noodles from the weekend and about 8 oz of roast beef from last night.  I first pondered making a coconut curry sauce and using the chipped beef, but that seemed a little weird.  Then I remembered this thing called beef stroganoff.  A creamy alfredo type sauce with beef and mushrooms usually.

I tried googling some recipes but ended up winging it.  Here’s what I did:

  • Creamy chipped beef on noodles8 oz cooked roast beef, chipped
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup leftover beef gravy
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp flaked dried onions
  • a shot of worchestershire sauce

 

Mix it all up in a pot and heat.  Serve over noodles.

Win!

 


6 Kids: You Know What Causes That?

by admin

Since pretty much our 3rd kid, when someone discovers how many children we have, a good chunk of the time the question gets asked, “Why?”  Often it is presented in a more joky fashion – like, “Do you know what causes that?” or “They have solutions for that, you know.”  I haven’t always had the best answer for it.. my answer tends to be on the long-winded side – we both love kids, and we both love each other, and we don’t like watching TV much so…

The biggest and the smallestBut seriously, it never crossed our minds to have an abortion, and hormonal birth control was messing with my wife’s body too much to stick with.  Nerfing sex drives kind of defeats the purpose of birth control doesn’t it?  So, other methods were employed.  Twice those methods failed us – resulting in 3 of our 6.  Three times, we chose to set them aside.  And to be perfectly clear, the two times they didn’t work, we weren’t upset – things just happened sooner than we expected or planned for.  Our last were twins, but we were thinking of having another 2 or 3 years down the road anyway, so it just bumped up our plans.

But you came here for something amusing – and I want to share it!  I ran across a blog with 5 kids, and there was this post about why they have as many as they do.  The Dad had a great perspective – “I don’t have to convince you of my politics or religion.  I just have to outnumber you.”  I love that – it speaks of deliberation, and thinking of the future.  I can’t say we stepped into having 6 with such forethought.

But the comments – oh the comments!  They were rich with pithy one liners to respond with!  If you need an answer to some snide, “You know what causes that?” – here you go!

  • (female response) “Well behaved children and an irresistible husband!”
  • (male response) “Good kids and a HOTT wife!”
  • “We’re pretty sure, but more testing is required.”
  • “We’ve narrowed it down to water or sex, and we aren’t giving up either one!”
  • “I handle my business, and God handles his.”
  • “Yep, and we’ve got the trophies to prove it right here!”

If you’ve got a good response to that question, please add it in the comments!  I’d love to grow the list!


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