Remember last month when I said it was a big year?

I'm lying awake tonight, and as tired as I am after a full day working at The Pantry unloading trucks, stocking shelves, and then doing the other hundred things my father-in-law Alden and Mother-in-law Linda do there while they spent the bulk of their day at the hospital I'm not sure as we near two if sleep is possible tonight.

In about five hours my Father-in-law will enter a surgical OR for a valve and aortic replacement.  The surgeon will literally be replacing nearly a quarter of his heart!  This is major surgery, especially for a 75yo with long history of heart problems.   Ever since the aneurysm that necessitates this procedure was found six weeks ago as both a church body and a family we have been praying that God's will be done to heal him. All along we have felt reminded by the Spirit that sometimes God uses the hands of skilled surgeons in that healing. 

So here we are: In three hours the rest of the family will get Alden checked in while I am home praying and getting ready to go back into the Pantry to make sure that things continue to run smoothly there while waiting for news from that hospital 12 miles away. 

I spoke to Dad tonight for the last time before surgery and he fealt at peace with the surgery moving forward.  The entire family is concerned, obviously at different levels.

My feelings are hard to describe as I lay here writing this.   You see, a little over 13 years ago my father went in for open heart surgery.  30 days later we had lost him.  Part of me really wants to be at that hospital to support my wife and her family, but a big part of me feels guilty that I'm glad I don't have to face that tortuous wait again, because I know I'll spend most of it thinking of my Dad.

I know this is all in Gods hands.  I know the only practical solution is for me to rest and be ready to fill Alden's shoes at the pantry for the next few weeks while he recovers, especially tomorrow while everyone is adjusting to his absence.  Now if I could get my body to cooperate. 

If it comes to mind between 7:00am and 12:00pm PDT your prayers and positive thoughts would be greatly appreciated. 

Review: SkyDog Smart Family Wi-Fi Router

When SkyDog launched a KickStarter campaign in April, it struck a cord with families.  A Web-controlled router giving you very targeted control of al devices and people accessing your wireless network.  They raised 162% of their requested funding in just over a month, and their product just released to the public this week.  I got a-hold of their Skydog Web App and Smart Family Wi-Fi Router to try in out house, and I'm not ever going back to a normal router.

Powercloud Systems, the company behind SkyDog has built a very well thought out and functional product.  I get a text alert and email any time an unknown device connects to the router.  I can then ban it if it is unknown, leave it with the default security access on the router, or assign it to a known user so that it receives the limits I have set for that person.  

While that may not make sense to all of you, here is an example that will:  My son connects to the wireless network with his Xbox to play a game.  I have already set his access to limit use to certain times of day, and to further limit his access to appropriate sites during the time he has access.  As soon as the xbox connects it gets the default access level (family safe browsing/streaming) for the network he is attached to, and as soon as I tell the router it is the boy, his access increases during allowed hours, and is turned off during limited time slots.  If he wants to stay up a little later than usual because there is no school tomorrow, I can override his turnoff time for just tonight by hitting the override button and setting a time limit.  Here is what his access profile looks like:

What makes this even better is that I can set up multiple virtual networks and limit the ammount of our internet bandwidth each network can access.  In real world application the network is set up like this:

So my wife and I connect to the main network with 75% of the bandwidth.  All of the streaming boxes except for the sons XBox connect to the main network as well.  The kids are sequestered to their own virtual network, where I can make sure that their usage doesn't interfere with anyone's TV watching.

In all there is much more control than this, and we may dial things down even more in time.  The big thing is how easy it is to use this system, and being able to put so much control into anyone's hands to limit access to their home networks.

I highly recomend this router to anyone wanting to make sure they know what and when their kids are on the internet.

iPad (3rd Generation) - the Fallout

For many of us, getting a new iPad means a trickle-down effect.  What to do with the old iPad it is replacing!  In my house, my old one goes to Carrie.  So not only do I go through getting it backed up to restore data onto the new one, but I need to back her old one up to restore the data onto MY old one.  Once all of that is done, we go through the process of making sure that everything is in working order for her to get back to work on Monday.

TJ Luoma over at has posted a great article on the basics of getting the old iPad ready for the next person.  What that means is going to be different for everyone, but it is a great start for you to make things easier on yourselves.  You can find the article here.

Getting the ball rolling

Wow, getting this started took all day, but I have the basics in place:

Accounts setup for the family
Domain registered and redirected to Squarespace
Email setup with GoogleApps
Twitter account (@teknoholics if you want to follow us)
Amazon Affiliate account set-up to try and make money

Now we just need to get everyone trained in how to post, get some content up so people have a reason to come visit, and get enough traffic so that I can do this full time. No problem, right?

The wife thinks people would like to learn things like setting up GoogleApps domains for family schedules and such, so I'm going to have some how-to articles to write.

Let the fun begin!