Circle with Disney – A Dad’s Review

Have you ever wondered just how much time you’ve accidentally sunk into Instagram or Facebook in one day? Or how much time your kids have actually been playing Minecraft or watching Youtube videos?

Our family found a little white box that can reveal that information and let you take control of it for better balance in your household.

Circle with Disney


Top 5 Christmas Songs in Daniel Bishop’s earholes

  1. O Come O Come Emmanuel – August Burns Red
  2. O Holy Night – Becoming the Archetype
  3. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen – Fit for a King
  4. Little Drummer Boy – August Burns Red
  5. Silent Night – Forevermore

So good!


Mario Kart 8’s Highlight Reel is a Gem

Mario Kart 8 has been a blast to play as a family over the past couple years. When we remember to watch the highlight reel after races, we’re always rewarded. Here’s a clip of Abby (as Yoshi) rocking me w/ a red shell earlier this evening…

Yoshi’s face at the end! Bahahahaha!


Terrierists gonna terrier

Martha had an infusion today (Go keytruda, go!). With the kids on spring break, I had to work from home

There are few things like a limp, soggy, dead animal in your hand.


Offline Docs

You know those moments of realization where you discover something and feel like you’ve had your head in the sand for years?

That’s been my morning.

I just discovered Dash (or Zeal for Linux/Windows users) and I’m loving it!

Dash is an API Documentation Browser and Code Snippet Manager. Dash stores snippets of code and instantly searches offline documentation sets for 150+ APIs (for a full list, see below). You can even generate your own docsets or request docsets to be included.

If you dabble in web development at all, Dash is worth a download. Here are the docsets I grabbed without effort – all available for quick search.



Failed Resolution: #PlayThemAll2015

At the beginning of 2015, I chose a somewhat ambitious New Year’s resolution. I set out to play every game in my family’s collection by the end of the year.

I came up short. :/

I played a lot of games, but going into December (the busiest month of the year), I knew I wasn’t going to make it. I had too many games left that I couldn’t knock off the list w/ my kids (who were heroes and helped me get the majority of the games played). There were several I just ran out of time for and a couple I didn’t want to play and couldn’t get rid of before the end of the year (I’m looking at you Descent). Oh well.

So, here’s what I’m going to do for 2016: I’m going to get the remaining games played by the end of 2016.


  1. Ticket to Ride (US) Played 2016!
  2. Warhammer: Invasion
  3. Android Netrunner
  4. Descent Sold!
  5. Ground Floor
  6. Zeppelin Attack Played 2016!
  7. Machine of Death
  8. Epic Spell Wars: Duel at Mt. Skullzfyre
  9. Pint Craft Played 2016! Bound for Bookmans
  10. ROFL Sold!
  11. Coup G54 Rebellion Played 2016!
  12. Bomb Squad Played 2016!

It’s certainly a much shorter list this year. Though, I think I may still have to plan some game-specific nights/sessions in order to pull this resolution off. By all means, if you see a game you want to be in on, let me know!


Smile – Eric Hamilton

It seems fitting that I ran into this man today – the last day of 2015.

As I was leaving a coffee shop this morning, he called out to me to get my attention and then promised he wasn’t the neighborhood bandit. I knew he wanted to sell something to me or ask for a donation. And yet, I walked over anyway and joked about the two of us finding the bandit together and putting an end to his mischief. We laughed.

He introduced himself as a vet that’s been denied assistance by the VA. To try making ends meet he sells his poetry. Without waiting for me to object, he handed me a piece of paper and launched into reciting the first of 4 short poems.


by Eric Hamilton

If we all smile more this world be a better place.

And if we all smiled more they’d be so much more laughter, happiness instead of hate.

So, if we all try a bit harder to put a smile on someone’s face

Imagine the love and power when these smiles meet face to face.

I couldn’t help but smile.

He smiled back and began reciting the rest. I’ll admit, I could’ve been a better listener for the rest of the poems, but his first poem stuck with me. It’s not the most amazing poem I’ve read, but it’s the first poem in a long time that I experienced.

His recitation was a smile for me. As awkward as it was to stand in a public place and have a man recite poetry to me, it was an incredibly pleasant, comforting experience.

I told him I imagined he was selling his printed poems. After he confirmed, I told him that I had a small amount of cash in my wallet and I wanted to give it to him as payment – not for the paper, but for the experience he gave me. Maybe by letting him keep the piece of paper he would give me, he’d be able to make one more ‘sale’ later today? In hindsight, I’ve realized my request may have been unintentionally rude – I didn’t ask how much he thought his work was worth. I just made an offer.

All the same, he smiled at me and insisted I take his poem with me. I wished him many more smiles in 2016 than he’s had this year and I wish the same for you.


New universal caption for ‘New Yorker’ cartoons is amazing

I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.
The Atlantic



Mouse Guard: Swords & Strongholds

Mouse Guard has been a part of our family for a few years now. We’ve bought a few of the books, checked out a couple from the library, and keep our eyes out for new releases. Both my wife and I have loved reading to the kids as well as giving them a turn. I’ve said it before and I can’t seem to avoid saying it again, it’s been a delight to watch them encounter new vocabulary words, discuss meaning, and even work through reading difficult words that appear in highly-stylized handwritten text.

Mouse Guard Fall 1152 cover

Mouse Guard: Fall 1152 was our first journey into the Mouse Guard universe of Kenzie, Lieam, and Saxon. Winter 1152 followed. And then we found our noses buried in Beginning The Black Axe and even the Legends of the Guard books.

In the last few pages of Fall 1152, there are a couple mice gathered around a little game in a tavern. I remember the kids exclaiming at the tiny mice tokens when we read it for the first time.

Little did we know we’d have that same game on a table in our ‘tavern’ a few years later.

Kickstarter Campaign

Writer & Artist, David Petersen, teamed up with Game Designer, Luke Crane, to create a light strategy game and put their concept on Kickstarter.

A two-player board game from the Mouse Guard comics—for guardmice, patrons of the June Alley Inn and their fans.

Long story short: we backed it.

The Goods

Thankfully, the Kickstarter campaign succeeded. Once our copy showed up, my son and I were the first to put it through its paces. It’s a chess-like game that looks and feels as though it was magically extracted from the pages of the book, and most importantly plays easily enough while hiding a lot of depth. I’m sure we’ll get Swords & Strongholds to the table a lot around this house.

Over this last weekend, my dad showed up to Dice & Decks – a local board gaming club/event I run. I had to introduce him to the game.

Now, I’ll admit that I was so wrapped up in being thrilled that he came, that I forgot just how good my dad is at chess.

Early on in our first game of Swords & Strongholds, my dad captured one of my pawns, and then another. I felt like I fought back valiantly and managed to recover both after a few more turns. Although, it was only my third playthrough, so I’m sure to a seasoned player of chess or chess-like games I looked like a fish flopping around in a puddle.

He eventually whittled me down to one pawn and was able to maneuver one of his into the winning, stronghold-making position.

He called it a practice round and eagerly asked to play again.

I wanted to pass along a heartfelt “Thank you” to David Peterson and Luke Crane for the wonderfully delicious anguish over the decisions made while playing Swords & Strongholds. It’s a brilliant little package with a ton of charm; there’s so much game there. Excellent work, gentlemen!

Buy from BurningWheel | Buy from Paizo


Roasted Marshmallow Cups

Mmm! Roasted Marshmallow cups with chocolate milk. So good!!!