Stuff for Dads

Modern Day Dad On Pinterest


Not one to deny myself a good old-fashioned Internet fad, I've started some Pinterest boards for Modern Day Dad. I've decided to try to keep my boards relevant to the types of things for parents, kids and dads that I've written about on this blog over the years. There will be some things that I've written about before that I still love, and new things that I've never mentioned before (like the Facebook "Like" and "Dislike" stamps in the picture).

Anyway, you can check out and follow my Modern Day Dad Pinterest boards here.

If you'd like to check out some of the more personal stuff I'm pinning too (some related to parenting but not all) I've started a personal board as well.

CES 2012: iCade iOS Video Game Controllers


I wrote yesterday over at The Gentlemen of Gaming about how underwhelmed I was towards video game stuff at CES this year. In fact, the only stand-out thing I saw was the iPod, iPhone and iPad game controllers from iON Audio. The standard iCade has been out for a year now. (You may have seen it at your local Best Buy - it's the miniature video game cabinet that turns your iPad into a little old-school arcade system.) This year they've got three more, the best of which is the iCade Mobile (shown below).

The iCade Mobile is a Bluetooth controller for an iPhone or an iPod Touch. You just put your device in the center, pair it with the controller and you can play any compatible game. Currently there are 100 games that are compatible, but there is a public SDK out there for developers to use so they are expecting more games available by launch. It felt substantial and seemed like a pretty cool thing, especially if you've got a son or daughter who are big iOS gamers. At an MSRP of $79.99 it's not cheap, but it's a lot cheaper than a PSP or a Nintendo DS, especially if your kid already has an iPod Touch.

iCade Mobile, available for $79.99 in May from iON Audio.

(Oh, and for you parents of girls like me, Toys R Us is going to have an exclusive pink version so look out for that too.)

CES 2012: GoPro Wi-Fi BacPac + Remote


I am really, really enjoying my GoPro video camera. For $200 to $300 you can get a great 1080p video camera that you can put almost anywhere. It will also take time lapse images which [I've been really enjoying lately][youtu]. At CES this year GoPro announced a really sweet accessory for their cameras.

The Wi-Fi BacPac + Wi-Fi Remote connects your GoPro camera to your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch through a Wi-Fi network it creates. Once connected, you can see the live video output of the camera as well as control what it's doing.

It will also connect up to 50 GoPros at a time, giving you the ability to put these small cameras all over a shooting area and control them remotely.

Controlling 50 cameras might not be the use-case of the average person, but putting the camera in a hard to reach place and then controlling it with your iPhone opens up all kinds of possibilities creatively. Imagine putting the camera on your kid's skateboard helmet and then watching what he's doing live from his point of view. Or imagine attaching the camera to the hood of your car and turning it on periodically during long road trips. There is huge potential for cool things to do with it.

The WiFi BacPac will be available March of 2012 for around $100. It will work with the new HD Hero 2 cameras, as well as the HD Hero with limited capabilities (you can control the camera but you won't get live video streaming with the HD Hero).

Check it out at


The Best Diaper Bags for Dads - An Update


One of the more popular topics on Modern Day Dad has been diaper bags for Dads. There are a lot of Dads (or Dads-to-be) that want to find a diaper bag that does the job while still looking like it belonged on a man. Actually it was one of the reasons I started writing about being a Dad in the first place. But even though my kids are beyond diapers now (thankfully), I realized I haven't done an update in a while so I wrote one up for Man of the House.

Unfortunately, the bag I used for years and still love the "Dad Field Bag" from Jack Spade is no longer being made. However I was able to find some good alternatives, from the venerable Diaper Dude, to the innovative Dad Gear to the still-awesome Skip Hop. I also found a beautiful leather option from Petunia Pickle Bottom (or "PPB" as they say when taking about men's bags). Just don't try to right-click an image on their site however, because that's been "disabled to protect brand integrity."


Cool Diaper Bags for Dads, [Man of the House]

iPad App of the Week: Phaidon Design Classics


Phaidon Design Classics is a book (or really, a three volume set) for design nerds like me. In it they curate and chronicle 999 objects that they deem are noteworthy for their innovation, influence and are "perfect in their design." The objects are numbered and ordered chronologically, starting with Chinese household scissors from 1663 and ending with the most modern products of today.

Though you could buy the three volume set at Amazon for $110.25, for $19.99 you can get all of that content and more on your iPad - plus an extra product (product 1,000 - the suitably chosen iPhone). It's an awesome collection of things both historical and current, allowing you to browse through not only the history of object design but human history as well.

The interface is fairly easy to understand, and while the clicking sounds it makes when you transition to a new object are kind of hokey, they do help you navigate through the enormous collection. You can also narrow down the number of objects shown by choosing categories or by running keyword searches on the titles and descriptions.

Running a search on "children" yields 49 results, among which there are some of the things you might expect, like the Mammut Chid Chair sold by Ikea, the Tripp Trapp Child's Chair from Stokke or the Eames Hang-It-All. There are also many objects that are taken for granted but are nevertheless incredibly innovative, like Crayola Crayons, Pez candy dispensers, the very first Jigsaw Puzzle (made in 1776), or the very first Teddy Bear (made in 1902). I must admit that I never really gave much thought to the Classic Red Wagon from Radio Flyer (pictured), but two paragraphs later not only do I know the history behind how it was designed and developed, but I appreciate it all the more.

Phaidon Design Classics for iPad by Phaidon Press, $19.99 from the iTunes App Store.

CES 2011 - All the Great Stuff for Men


CES was way over a month ago, but I just wanted to point your way to my final posts on the subject that are up now on the man/father super blog Man of the House. Here's the breakdown of everything I saw that was great for men and fathers:

CES 2011: Best New Gear of the Year - Most Useful - The Road Torq from Eton saves your bacon when you've got a flat tire

CES 2011: Best New Gear of the Year - Coolest Toy - The AR Drone iPod-controlled remote control helicopter.

CES 2011: Best New Gear of the Year - Best Television - The Samsung 8000 Series LED Television

CES 2011: Best New Gear of the Year - Most Innovative - The Razer Switchblade

CES 2011: Best of CES for Guys - And these are the "honorable mentions" of the things I saw at CES that were great, specifically for guys.

Great iPhone Apps for Kids: Cookie Doodle


Cookie Doodle for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch is a great app for kids for three big reasons:

  1. It's fairly easy for children 3(-ish) years and older to understand and use without constant help from Mom or Dad.
  2. Instead of a game that rewards with a score or unlocked levels, it encourages simple creativity. The reward is the cool thing you make.
  3. It's $0.99.

Cookie Doodle is an app that lets your kids go through all the steps of making a "virtual" cookie, from rolling out the dough, baking it, decorating it and eating it. Kids can pick from huge lists of types of dough, frosting, and other decorations. The app is also updated constantly for holidays, so right now for instance the app is configured for Valentine's Day cookies. But even if your child can't read yet, the interface is still simple enough to figure out how to use.

My daughters, especially my youngest (4 years old), love this app. Lots of apps for kids take a few minutes of their attention before they get bored, but when they're using Cookie Doodle they probably spend more time on it than any other app. There are so many choices and steps until the cookie is finished, that once they finally complete what they are working on they've already thought of another creation to make.

Trust me. Put it on your iPhone and hand it to them when you get to the restaurant, and before you know it you'll make it to when the food arrives with no drama. That is, unless they're fighting over who's turn it is to make the cookie.

Cookie Doodle by Shoe The Goose is available for $0.99 from the iTunes App Store.

The 3 Biggest Disappointments of CES 2011


I went to the Consumer Electronics Show last month, and I've bitched about written already about some of the stuff I saw, but today on Man of the House I've written about my top three disappointments. Including in this is my open post to George Lucas:

Dear Mr Lucas, enough already. I bought your movies when they were on VHS. And then I bought them again on VHS when you "updated" them. Then you made brand new movies that kind of sucked but I went (and even waited in line) to see those. And then I bought the good movies when they came out on DVD. And then I bought...

The 3 Biggest Disappointments of CES 2011 [Man of the House]

New Nintendo 3DS Not Safe For Kids Under Six. Really Nintendo?


Nintendo says their new gaming system the 3DS might hurt the eyes of children under six, but eye doctors are saying that's not necessarily true. Aren't the big bad companies supposed to be putting our kids at risk (for a profit) while doctors are supposed to warn us against this kind of stuff?

It's an interesting swap of expectations, and the subject of my latest post on Man of the House.

New Nintendo 3DS Not Safe For Kids Under Six. Really Nintendo? [Man of the]

Bond on the Brain - The Music and the Fashion


You may or may not have heard about the recent death of film composer John Barry, but he was the person most famous for composing eleven James Bond soundtracks, most notably the James Bond theme at the beginning of every movie. He also wrote the theme songs for Goldfinger and Thunderball.

Even if you set aside one of the most iconic themes in all of film music, he'd be tops in my book just for Goldfinger. Who can deny the awesomeness of Shirley Bassey's Goldfinger?


In fact, if you want to check out a really great interview of John Barry before he passed away, check out his interview with Terry Gross on Fresh Air on NPR

The Suits of James Bond
And then last night I was reading one of the blogs that I regularly check out - Put This On (it's a blog that kind of aims to encourage men to dress like adults) and they linked to an amazing website called "The Suits of James Bond." And while I am rarely what anyone objective might call "well dressed," I stayed up way too late last night reading it.

The Suits of James Bond is a website written by a person who has (what appears to me at least) an expert-level knowledge of mens clothing, who can parse exactly what type of suit James Bond is wearing, how it is made, and often what brand it is. It covers all phases of James Bond, from Sean Connery to Daniel Craig. And sprinkled inbetween the minutiae is how the fashion relates and inter-relates to the rest of the James Bond universe. To wit:

Roger Moore always wore slip-ons with his suits, as practised by the literary James Bond. Slip-ons are traditionally too casual to wear with a city suit, though it was popular to wear them in that fashion in the 1980s. Moore left behind the bit loafers in the 1970s and for the 1980s wore a more conservative style.

Read it long enough, and you start to realize you're getting tips about dressing yourself too (for instance, shiny neckties are more appropriately worn in the evenings and for more formal occasions). It sounds nerdy (and believe me it is) but it is really awesome.

The Suits of James Bond via Put This On.

UPDATE: For those shopping on a budget, check out Affordable Bond via my friend (and 007 enthusiast) David.

The Best Wheeled Boards for Bugaboo and Other Strollers

If baby number two is on the way, it may have already occurred to you that you're eventually going to have to move your firstborn out of the stroller to make room for the baby. And depending on the age of your child, it's likely hard to imagine them all of a sudden walking around instead of riding. Not to mention the fact that you're no longer going to have them strapped in confined to a stroller anymore. When the time came for my family, the solution was the Bugaboo Wheeled Board.

A wheeled board attaches to the back of the stroller - usually the rear axle - and allows your oldest to ride behind the stroller while standing up. But what if you don't have a Bugaboo? Fortunately these days there are wheeled board options for all kinds of strollers. Here's a breakdown of what I think the best are:

Bugaboo Wheeled Board
The Bugaboo Wheeled Board is the granddaddy of this product category, and it's the first time I ever saw something like it all those years ago. It attaches to the rear axle of the Bugaboo and your kid stands in between you and the stroller. It also has a strap that allows you to fold it up under the stroller when you're child decides to walk.

This is the wheeled board I used with my kids, and from experience I can tell you it works really well. It supported the weight of my kid without a problem and both my kids felt very secure while I was pushing them. It is a bit annoying to have the kid right in front of you when you are trying to walk behind it, and you kind of have to stand a bit to the side of the stroller to push it and avoid kicking the board underneath (at least for my legs). You also have to detach it completely when you're stowing the stroller in the car, but I think this is probably something you have to do with all wheeled boards. The bottom line is, if you've invested in a Bugaboo stroller, this is a must have item.

Bugaboo Wheeled Board works with Bugaboo Cameleon, Frog and Gecko, $99.95 from

Lascal BuggyBoard-Maxi
If you've got just a regular stroller, even an umbrella stroller, and you still want the convenience of a wheeled board you should definitely check out the BuggyBoard-Maxi from Lascal. It's basically the same thing as a Bugaboo Wheeled Board, except it attaches to the rear upright tubing of a stroller (not the axle) so it can attach to a vast variety of strollers. Visit their website to find out if the board will fit your particular stroller, but chances are it will.

BuggyBoard-Maxi by Lascal, $87.20 from

Sidekick Stroller for Orbit G2 Stroller
I'm not saying that the Sidekick Stroller Board alone would be enough to convince me to get a G2 stroller from Orbit, but it definitely wouldn't hurt the cause. The Sidekick solves my main problem with the Bugaboo Wheeled Board, namely by moving the kid from directly behind the stroller (where your feet are supposed to be when you're walking) to behind one of the wheels in back. Your child then stands on the side of the stroller and out of your way.

It's a great solution in as of itself, but typical of Orbit, they've tried to solve all the wheeled board problems. The Sidekick Stroller Board folds up and away when your kid isn't riding, even when your stroller is folded. It also comes with a handle for your kid to hold onto, and it's made of hardwood and grip tape, just like a skateboard. Oh, and you can attach two at a time for three kids if you want.

The Sidekick Stroller Board for the Orbit G2 is $120.00 from

The Mountain Buggy Free Rider
Wheeled boards are one thing, but the coolest, most innovative wheeled board solution comes from Phil&Teds via their Mountain Buggy brand - the Free Rider. The Free Rider is a wheeled board that fits behind your stroller, but also doubles as a scooter. It attaches to the back of the stroller for strolling, and then easily detaches for your kid to play with. I saw it in action at the ABC Expo in Las Vegas at the end of last year, and it was one of the coolest things I saw - especially in the stroller product category. It will launch working on the entire Mountain Buggy line, and they told me at the show that they have plans to make attachments for all kinds of other strollers - not just Mountain Buggy and Phil&Teds brands.

The Free Rider Kiddie Board will release in March 2011 for $99.99 and is available now for pre-order at

Honorable Mentions

  • Lascal also makes a slightly cheaper "Kiddy Board Maxi" that attaches to the rear axel, and costs $79.95 at
  • Stokke also makes the Stokke Xplory Rider Board for their Stokke Xplory strollers. It's basically the same thing as a Bugaboo wheeled board, except that it has two wheels. It will run you $119.99 at
  • UPPAbaby makes a wheeled board called PiggyBack that works with their VISTA line of strollers. It's made of wood and has a non-skid surface, but I don't think it's designed to work with any other strollers than the VISTA. But if you need a three-kid solution this system could be for you. The PiggyBack costs $89.99 at

iPhone App of the Week: Momento for iPhone


Let's assume that you're a person in 2011 with a smart phone and a Facebook account (or Twitter, or a blog etc.). You may not know it yet, but you're creating a diary. Walking around, taking pictures of your kids, updating your status, "checking in" to the park or restaurants - all of these things create a digital time-trail of where you've been and what you did. Momento for the iPhone is an ingenious little app that takes all of that stuff and aggregates it into a diary - automatically.

I've never kept a diary, and although a few years ago I tried tweeting all the stuff I did each day (I was inspired by the Twitter account of John Quincy Adams). It lasted all of a day or two. But I do create Facebook status updates fairly regularly, as well as post pictures, check in to Foursquare and blog. Momento takes all of those things and then puts them into a calendar so I can see what I was up to.

Once you give it your information, it will go back and grab as much as each service will provide, in many cases going back and getting months or years worth of stuff. It's really fun to go back and see what you were complaining thinking about a few months ago, or what your kids were up to, or what you thought was important at the time. You can also enter diary entries ("new moments") directly into Momento for those moments you want to keep but don't necessarily want to share with the rest of the world.

Though it will import from nine different services plus RSS/Atom feeds, there are a few other services I'd like to see. I'd love it to aggregate content from my Instagram feed for instance - or go back in time and find my TextAmerica Moblog images. (Is it even possible for anyone get those back?) It's also not optimized for iPad, which is unfortunate because I think it would be really cool optimized for an iPad - especially for viewing photos. An even better feature would be the ability to purchase a printed diary of what you did for an entire year (or other specific time frame). A skeuomorphic "virtual" diary transformed back into a real paper diary would be awesome.

I love this app, not only for what it does but for the possibiilities of what it could deliver in the future. Momento is made by d3i Ltd. and is available for $2.99 in the iOS App Store.

A City Map of Neighborhoods from Ork Posters

Ork Posters! is a small company born out of (I wonder how many small businesses got their start on etsy?) that makes amazing maps - primarily of cities - where each city is divided up into the individual neighborhoods. At the root of each poster is simple design that shows something you thought you already knew in an engaging way. It doesn't get much better than that.

Oh wait. It kind of does.

In addition to posters they also offer screen prints for only slightly more money. But having just received the Boston screen print (shown above) I can tell you they are worth it.

Ork also makes a couple other "maps" - a map of the heart, one of the brain and one of the Great Lakes. Unfortunately there are only 15 cities available so far, but they assure me that more are on the way. You can also suggest a city via email, so I immediately fired one off to ask for my city of Las Vegas and got a very nice reply. Who knows if it will happen, but if it does I'll be the first in line. I the meantime, I'll enjoy my new green and white Boston screen print.

Ork Posters! are $22 for a poster and $27 for a screen print, available at

CES 2011: Star Wars Is Coming to Blu-ray! (and other boring announcements).


This year was my eighth CES, and I have to tell you, I'm getting jaded. Even 30 live Stormtroopers and Darth Vader marching onto a stage wasn't even all that exciting. (Except the executive from Panasonic kept calling him "Lord Vader" which I thought was pretty funny.) The show was jam-packed with people this year (unlike the few previous years) and jam-packed full of stuff (very much like previous years) none of which I cared very much about.

But for my current hometown of Las Vegas, CES 2011 was great. Over 1.6 million square feet of convention space and over 150,000 attendees is definitely a step in the right direction. The economy sucks, but judging by the show maybe things are on an upswing. Maybe.

And no matter what people say (including me), there were some cool things at CES this year. There just wasn't any real innovation. I suppose it's because of the economy companies are dialing down development on the cutting edge and focusing on stuff that works and will sell. It makes sense, but it also makes for kind of a boring CES.

But there were some cool things, and I blogged the hell out of it. Check out all of my posts at right here (list of posts below as well). I'm also going to write two articles about it at, and when those go up I'll include those too.

Apple TV vs. Roku: Get Started With Internet TV | Review of Internet Television Boxes & Options | Man of the House

It's not exactly a bold prediction to state that in a few years much of the stuff you watch on TV will arrive to your TV via the Internet. With services like Netflix, Hulu and iTunes you can already watch most of your favorite shows and movies courtesy of your Internet connection, so what's the best way to start to adopt some of this new technology without spending an arm and a leg?


My latest post on Man of the House is my breakdown of AppleTV vs. Roku. If you're interested in bringing the Internet to your TV, it's my opinion that they are the only two devices worth looking at.

Oh, and they split it up between three different pages, so if you're interested make sure to click through to each page...