Friday, January 31, 2014

"High" Bar in the Basement

The kids love to hand from everything in the house, the fridge, the dishwasher, my leg; so I thought it was time to put something up more appropriate for them.  I bought a 1 inch piece of black iron pipe and mounted it in the little hallway we have in the basement.  Nick is able to grab it without help, but Maddie needs a boost.  I am OK with this, as I can see her dropping on her head.  Nick is bit more cautious.

I think the 1 inch pipe might be a bit too large, I should have gone with a 3/4 inch.  Though a high bar in gymnastics is a bit over an inch.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A simpler time, a more innocent time

Internet not required.

Nick has started to play some games on my Nook tablet, the issue we have run into is often they need to be connected to the internet in order for him to play.  I would rather the wifi be turned off when he is using it (can't buy stuff on accident, in the car, ect).  He has also been playing some of my old NES games on the Wii in our basement.  So there is a perfect intersection, with a few apps he can play old NES, SNES, ect games on the tablet.
The best part is that he can use the Wii Remote to play the games.  In the picture he is actually playing Donald Ducks playground which my family had for the Tandy computer in the late 80's.  He is running the DOS version in DOSBox on the nook, again using the remote.

Pretty nice setup.  Here is the software I am using:
  • Jon NES (there is a lite version)
  • SuperGNES (there is a lite version)
  • DOSBox Turbo
  • Wiimote Controller (looks like it might not be compatable with 4.2+ devices at the moment.  There are a lot of these, so you should be able to find one that works).
DOSBox takes some configuration, so I had to play around with the settings.  Once you figure out the settings you can setup configurations in DOSBox Manager, so your kids can just click and go.  Once you get the emulators you need to find ROMS or DOS programs and get them on the tablet.

Nick likes to talk about how he plays Old School games, it is pretty cute.  He says that when he has kids some day he will have to call them Old Old School games.

Cold Days, Burn Wood

You know it is cold when the furnace is running and you are burning wood.  Our fireplace is rated to heat up to 3000 square feet.  When we are heating with it the furnace will generally not run.  The last couple days though it hasn't been able to keep up.  Also, stay out of the basement when it is running, it gets pretty cold down there.  On the plus side the water out of the tap is very cold.

Built-in Cabinets

I have been working on constructing some more shelving in our basement, so we can get a little more organized down there.  To that effort I have been working on building some built in shelving units to replace a stand alone shelving unit from ikea.  Here is the story in pictures so far.

I also put in a small door for the kids to use to enter the area under the stairs as a play house.  It will probably be awhile before I get around to dry walling the interior, but the kids don't care.

I built the cabinets in the garage and hauled them down on a dolly, that was a mistake I should have cut and routed in the garage and glued it in the basement.  I built a jig out of peg board to drill the holes for the adjustable shelves which worked pretty well.

I built the two tall shelves and brought them down.  They are not perfectly square, but once the face front is on I don't think anyone will be the wiser.  Jen didn't notice so I will call that a win!

It took me awhile but I was able to build some smaller upper cabinets as well.  They are 15 inches deep instead of the 24 inches of the tall cabinets.  I am very glad I did that, since they are almost sticking out too much as is when you are coming around the corner.  As you can see they are filled already... sigh!