Geek Dad – Making Things With My Kids

Being a Geek Dad — curosity, electronics, treehouses, and children

Recent Blog Posts on this topic: 

Beat Box Breakdown

Posted by on Dec 25, 2018 in geekdad, Updates | 0 comments

Christmas 2018 — I invented and created from scratch a new board game for my 16 year old son, Nick, whose favorite music genre (currently) is hip-hop and contemporary rap. The game is called Beat Box Breakdown, and I’m exploring options to fully productize and produce the game for the mass market (so yes, there are trademarks and patents in motion, because that’s how I roll). Here are some pictures, as well as some of the instructions for the game. Your hip-hop journey in Beat Box Breakdown travels in a clockwise spiral as...

read more

Balancing Life in Writing and Tech

Posted by on Jun 16, 2017 in lifehack, tech, technology, writing | 0 comments

I recently had the opportunity to talk at some length with an engaged set of students at Olympia High School. (I talk regularly to school groups, and if you’d like to book me to talk to your school group, you can contact my booking agent here.) We discussed both my high tech career as well as my writing, and found ourselves discussing technology, the future, and how one balances career aspirations as well as creative endeavors.   Here are some of the resources I shared with them after my talk, as “footnotes” to our...

read more

Intel’s Next Generation Drone Platform with the Intel® Context Sensing SDK

Posted by on Jun 18, 2016 in geekdad, Identity, Intel, tech, technology | 0 comments

The Intel® Context Sensing SDK surfaces the power of the Intel Integrated Sensor Solution and advanced sensor capabilities to power mobile, laptop and wearable apps. What if the Intel Context Sensing SDK could be used to understand a drone’s environment and even control a drone?  That’s the vision we set out to discover in this demo at Intel® Day Zero Google I/O in 2016. Our demo at the Intel Google I/O Day Zero Pre-Party demonstrated the integration of Intel’s Context Sensing SDK with Intel’s next generation drone platform for the collection...

read more

Runcible – Monohm at MWC 2015

Posted by on Mar 4, 2015 in geekdad, Identity, Intel, lifehack, software, tech, technology | 0 comments

Runcible – Monohm at MWC 2015

I am so impressed with the craftsmanship and creativity shown by the Monohm team with their new “heirloom device,” the Runcible. Even in the first generation of this smartphone, the device no longer feels like a technological interloper on your life. Instead it feels like a natural part of your daily wardrobe, part of your life, and part of your family experience. This is what a “next generation wearable device” should feel like: it should be organic and beautiful. The Runcible device is a round smartphone that fits...

read more

On Police Power — Bringing Peace or Fear

Posted by on Dec 5, 2014 in amwriting, geekdad, writing | 2 comments

Peace or Fear (I’m posting this on the day when a police officer was NOT indicted for choking Eric Garner to death without any overt provocation. Here’s the news story, and the actual video and audio tape) A few years ago, I did a ride along with the sheriffs department in Thurston County. The officer I was assigned was thoughtful, judicious, and extremely diplomatic. He defused about three situations we saw that day. Finally, we pulled up at a domestic violence situation at exactly the same time as another officer. My man turned...

read more

Trains, planes and Seattle supercommuters

Posted by on Nov 14, 2014 in geekdad, lifehack, tech | 0 comments

FLASHBACK — TWO YEARS AGO… This is an interesting article in Seattle Times written about my commute to California, when I was working for Xerox PARC in Palo Alto.   May 18, 2012 at 1:00 AM Trains, planes and Seattle supercommuters By Lora Shinn / Special to NWjobs For two years, technology product manager Ned Hayes would rise before the sun at 4 a.m. every Monday to drive to SeaTac airport from his home in Olympia. He would hop a flight to San Jose, Calif., and arrive at his workplace in Palo Alto just in time for the weekly...

read more

Nikki McClure and Sinful Folk

Posted by on Apr 2, 2014 in books, geekdad, reading, sinfulfolk, writing | 0 comments

New York Times best-selling illustrator and author Nikki McClure and I know each other through our children’s school and our mutual interest in locally sourced art and supporting local artists. Nikki’s son and my children both attended the Lincoln Options Elementary School, and we are both very involved in the local arts community in the South Sound area in the Pacific Northwest. We first met at a Solstice Celebration that featured local children in an impromptu theatrical celebration of the season.   Nikki created the cover of Sinful Folk as...

read more


Posted by on Oct 30, 2013 in geekdad | 0 comments

The really neat thing about carving pumpkins is that it’s a transformative activity. You’re taking a smooth surface — an organic substance (no two pumpkins are the same) — and changing it into something that resembles a human being. What’s even better is that it doesn’t last — perhaps that’s why I like both pumpkin carving and sand castle building. Neither one of them are permanent art installations; both forms of art are ephemeral. Oh, and they are also architectural. I love planning out how a...

read more

rocket hacking

Posted by on Jun 22, 2012 in geekdad | 0 comments

We launched a model rocket this last weekend. It was a blast! (sorry, I couldn’t resist) The kids really enjoyed watching me put together the rocket, and I encouraged them to decorate the rocket as they wished. I tried to explain the basic chemistry, but they lost interest quickly. So I just focused them on how cool it would be when the rocket took off into the sky, and how the parachute would open and allow it to float down safely. The funny thing is that the ignitor didn’t work. And this is where it got really creative — I...

read more

PARC – New Context Aware App (featuring Ned Hayes)

Posted by on Oct 7, 2011 in lifehack, tech, technology | 0 comments

At the renowned PARC (Palo Alto Research Center), I’ve been instrumental in creating the Meshin context-aware communications platform and mobile apps for Android and iPhone. Meshin analyzes communications in real-time and provides insight into your activity with a new user experience on Android and iPhone. Recent videos about my work on PARC’s Meshin project below: Vulca

read more