Fun

Nerf Assault Vehicle

Our father-son group gathers once a year for a massive Nerf dart battle in a gym. One year I build this Nerf Assault Vechicle (NAV) using a Krazy Kar and a cardboard box. The only problem was it  was too small for  adults to ride!

 


"Adventures of a Geek Dad" -- my IGNITE Asheville 2013 talk

On February 19, 2013  I spoke at IGNITE Asheville

My talk was entitled "Adventures of a Geek Dad" and I won 1st place! The crazy thing is, I tried to back out of this event a couple of times. I honestly didn't think many people would be interested in what I had to say.

Although I've given many talks, this one was among the most difficult to prepare for and deliver. 

The difficulty stemmed from the format:  5 minutes long and slides auto advance every 20 seconds. 5 minutes is such a short amount of time. Every word counts. You'll see in the video that I got behind / out of sync with my slides - - so easy to do.

Assembling my slides took way longer then expected because I realized I had too much to say in 5 minutes and that meant I had too many slides. I had to eliminate, pair down, refine, etc. Not easy for a guy that likes to talk a lot.

The event organizers (all great people) provided a speaking coach and she was AWESOME. Her name is Angie Flynn-McIver of Executive Repertory. Angie met with me one-on-one and listened to my talk and asked me to make a couple of simple yet important changes. 

Here are a few resources that helped a lot:

Scott Berkun -- Why And How To Give An IGNITE Talk

Scott Berkun's blog post on the same subject

IGNITE's tips for beginners

Jason Grigsby's "How To Give a Successful Ignite Presentation"

I bounced some ideas off of Ken Denmead at GeekDad.com (Thank you Ken!).

The biggest realization I had was how vulnerable I felt talking about parenting, my kids, and doing geeky stuff with my kids. The place was sold out with 420 in attendance and I just wasn't used to talking on a subject so personal in front of so many people. 

Towards the end of my talk you'll see me get a little choked up when the slide of my daughter's thank you card is on the screen. That was a surprise. I practiced my talk so many times and not once did I have an emotional reaction to my daughter's card. Sharing that image with hundreds of people really did get me connected with why I do this Geek Dad stuff - - it's a great way to spend time with my kids.

 You'll hear me mention the weekend Hovercraft Project and the Adventure Tower project. 


Hovercraft -- weekend DIY project

On Saturday February 9, 2013 my daughter and her friend helped me build a hovercraft. In just two hours we were floating across the floor!

We started with one 4'x4' piece of plywood (4 ply) that is 1/2 inch thick.

Lift is provided by an electric TORO leaf blower but I plan to upgrade to a cordless (battery powered) leaf blower.I prefer electric over gas power because I plan to only use this indoors.

For the hovercraft to move forward it must be pushed (or pulled).

The hovercraft worked great on the cement floor of the warehouse. It did not work well outside on asphalt (pavement).

This hovercraft was inspired by a project in the MAKE Magazine blog HERE.

Science of hovercrafts found HERE.