Tech Dadding With The ClarkNova: Video Baby Monitor


Ok, so here’s my take. I’m a tech dad. I like “techie” things, so naturally when I saw the video baby monitoring systems on the market for fairly cheap I said “cool” right? NOPE. They are all shit. Tech dads, there is a MUCH better way to do this. I’m sure this is not a novel approach, as I have not really looked around, but nevertheless, it should be shared.

Wireless IP Video Cameras (such as this one) can usually be purchased for the same price, if not cheaper, than the baby monitoring systems currently on the market. Not only are the wireless IP cameras cheaper, they are MUCH more flexible in terms of A/V monitoring capability and quality (think remote viewing capabilities, night vision, remote-controlled pan, zoom and tilt with high quality video and bi-directional audio). The wireless IP camera can, of course, be viewed from any device connected to your home network via computers, laptops, and the handiest one of all: wi-fi enabled smartphones! Now you can be anywhere within range of your home network and still be able to view a live stream on your device anytime you “just want to check”. But wait. It gets better!

So you finally found a baby-sitter and are going out for the evening? Unlike most current baby monitoring systems, now you can check on your kiddo(s), even when you are away. All you have to do is setup a VPN on your home network’s router! Most, if not all, smartphones have VPN capability, so now you have the best reason of all to use it: something to take away that nagging feeling of whether or not your baby’s OK without having to call the sitter 500 times on your date night.

P.S. Feel free to post your questions comments or concerns.  If enough people show interest I will do a how-to.

Be Good,

The ClarkNova

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Cooking With Clark: One Ingredient Ice Cream


Trying to keep Cookiebear cool at 41 weeks pregnant is a task! I think our heard our AC crying last night… then I remembered I saw a recipe on Reddit last week for 1 ingredient ice cream. Ready?

The 1 ingredient…

Peeled bananas (I used 5) cut into 1 inch slices

Directions:

Freeze sliced bananas 1-2 hours in a pie pan. Once frozen solid, put the slices into food processor and blend away. The frozen bananas will eventually become “crumbly” and start sticking to the sides of the food processor. Scrape from sides back into the center of the food processor and keep blending. The fats in the banana will start to work their magic then voila…

Tips:

  • Use ripe bananas for a sweeter ice cream.
  • You can add peanut butter, chocolate chips or maybe honey to it while blending. Be creative.
  • Immediately after blending, the texture will be much like soft-serve, refreeze to get the texture of regular ice cream.
  • Yes, it tastes like bananas.

My bananas are freezing right now. I will update this post once consumed and let you guys know if its worth your time and effort (what little effort there is… come on, its one ingredient.)

Update 1: The bananas are taking a bit longer to freeze than the suggested 1-2 hours.I’ve had mine in the freezer for 3 hours  now and they are almost solid. I think that if I were to blend them right now, not being completely frozen, I’d wind up with mush. 1 more hour should do it. I think cutting them a bit thinner next time will speed this process up. Maybe 1/2 inch pieces. Just another test of patience.

Update 2: Success! After waiting another hour or so in the freezer the bananas were frozen solid. Perfect! I threw them into the blender and started blending. I had to scrape the sides about 3 or four times then something magical occurred. The chopped up bananas turned into what can only be described as soft serve banana ice cream heaven. It came out exactly like the picture! Try this guys. You WILL NOT be disappointed.

Be Good,

The ClarkNova

Modern Dadding’s “Beer Of The Weekend” Award goes to…


WAKE UP DEAD IMPERIAL STOUT by Left Hand Brewing Co.

Profile:

Russian Imperial Stout
ABV: 10.2% IBU: 45 Color: Black, 55 SRM
Here’s a black ale to brighten your day. Wake Up Dead lurks in our cellars for over 4 months before being unleashed. Hints of raisins, black licorice, coffee and dark chocolate are followed by earthy, herbal hop notes. Any apprehensions about the rest of your day are quickly forgotten, for whatever the mind expects, it finds. Sometimes you’re not in the mood for what everyone else is having.

What The ClarkNova Says: Wake Up The Dead Imperial Stout is STRONG (ABV: 10.2%)! Even with the toasted malty sweetness and dark chocolate undertones it has a very smooth finish, probably due to the fairly low IBU’s. Dark and sweet (a little too sweet for my palette), with not much of a head, it is a rather heavy and slow beer to drink, but hits you like a ton of nice warm blankets. I’ve heard conflicting reports from multiple sources about whether or not drinking dark beers helps “let down” if you are breastfeeding. However, dark beers do have more flavonoids (Vitamin P) than lighter beers, and they do quickly replenish the much needed calories that women lose while breastfeeding. Here’s to you Cookiebear!

Note to self: Don’t let my wife know; she might ask me to start taking turns breastfeeding the baby.

P.S. to self: while pouring, be wary the “evil” lurking at the bottom of that deep, dark bottle.

Note: This prestigious award will be given out every Friday to make your weekend more enjoyable!

Be Good,

The ClarkNova

The Modern Dadding Method: Online Baby Scrapbooking (just keep reading…)


     We recently got a baby book as a gift from my grandparents, and so, of course, my wife started filling it out immediately. However, like any normal parent, I wanted to contribute somehow (in my own way) in the documentation of all the amazing shit I know my kid will do.

     Here is  one of the better ideas I came across across for the modern dad: an online baby scrapbook (unfortunately, I cannot seem to find the original article). Creating your own online baby book is as simple as setting up an email address/social networking profile/blog for your new kiddo as soon as you find out you are expecting. Once you have done this, you can send email and updates to your baby with pictures and videos attached and, as long as you are regular with your emails, the scrapbook will be chronological. Every time the kid does something awesome, just email the awesomeness to your online baby scrapbook, trapping it within the internets, so that it may not escape. It’s a great way to keep all those memories from getting lost or destroyed. Putting it all online also keeps you from having to buy multiple books since many only go up to a year, some go to 5 years, etc. This way, you have one spot to keep everything. The best part: you don’t have to color-coordinate anything or add bedazzles!  If you really wanted to, you could have a book printed through sites like shutterfly, snapfish, or lulu of all the letters and pictures you have emailed your bébé over the years.  Better living through technology. Onward Ho!

Interesting info. according to this study:

  • The average age at which a child acquires an online presence courtesy of their parents is at six months, and by the time they are two 81% of children have some kind of ‘digital footprint’.
  • A third (33%) of children have had images posted online from birth
  • A quarter (23%) of children have even had their pre-birth scans uploaded to the Internet by their parents
  • Seven per cent (7%) of babies have even had an email address created for them by their parents
  • More than 70% of mothers said they posted baby and toddler images online to share with friends and family
With that said, just be mindful of your kiddos privacy. Take the path of least resentment and keep the naked baby pics to yourself.

Be Good,

The ClarkNova