All thumbs, none of them green

My grandfather was a farmer. He had an amazing garden that took up more than 2/3rd of his back yard in residential Friendswood.

I remember constantly eating fresh tomatoes, corn, and cucumbers that he had grown. Now it’s our turn to give it a shot (despite the fact that I completely lack the green thumb that came so naturally to my grandfather).

Today we build a box of dirt.

How to make children’s art embroidery

Child's drawing as an embroidery pattern

Making children’s art embroidery patterns is not as difficult as you might think; the largest hurdle will likely be the initial investment in the machine and software.  It took me a little while to get the tweaking down, but once I did, I was off and running.

To be perfectly honest, I really didn’t think too much about embroidery at all until my wife got a sewing/embroidery machine that had a USB port on it.  Admittedly, any time I see a USB outlet on any non-standard computing device I have a little nerdgasm.  Once I saw the outlet, I knew it was time to figure out how to hack it.  The result looks a little something like this:

Children's Drawing as an Embroidery Pattern

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Elliot’s Elmo Birthday Invitations

Elliot's Elmo Birthday Invitation

Elmo birthday invitations were a no brainier decision for Elliot’s first birthday. Hearing and seeing “Elmo’s song” is one of the only things that will stop the little guy mid scream in the middle of a meltdown.  Michele found some samples that she liked online and linked them to me.  What you see below is sort of a cross-blending of several different Elmo birthday invitations and a few extra design elements that I added.

Elliot's Elmo Invitation to 1st Birthday

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How to build an outdoor PVC Toy Box

It’s summer time!  That, of course, means more time outdoors and more toys strewn about the backyard.  This summer, I’m trying to take back my yard from wandering toys by making something that my son might actually use to keep his toys in place when he’s done with them. I was convinced I could make something that was not too complicated and relatively inexpensive using  a little PVC and shock cord.  I opted for a 3′ x 5′ PVC cube that would be lined on the sides with slightly taught cabling.  This is the look at the PVC toy box final result:

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How to remove and replace an iPod battery

How to fix your iPod after getting it soaked in water

If you’ve found yourself wondering how to remove and replace an iPod battery then you’ve come to the right spot.

This is step 3 of How to fix your iPod after getting it soaked in water.

iPod Repair: HD-ectomyThe free tools came in pretty handy for removing the old battery. Apparently the battery is held in place by two lines of some pretty good adhesive.

So, I took the iPod tool from iFixIt and slowly rocked the battery back and forth around the edges until it was loose enough to grab with my fingers and pull out. Do this slowly and gently because there other ribbons running behind the battery that you don’t want to tear.

iPod Repair: Battery AdhesiveOnce the old battery was out of the way, I popped the new one in and began connecting the ribbon. As I’m attempting to connect the ribbon, I hear pops and see the screen start to glow bright white off and on again as the ribbon pins make their connection. Yes! It’s alive! (but does it have a brain?)

Fingers crossed, I plugged in the iPod to the computer and hit the Menu on the wheel. It works! Yes, yes, yes! I figured I didn’t want to push my luck, so I turn the iPod off to give it time to charge. The screen now shows:

DO NOT DISCONNECT and the big red “No” symbol.

iPod Repair: It Lives!I’ll let it charge, methinks. The only thing is, 9 hours later, the screen still looks the same. “Do not disconnect.” Well, crap. I decided to go and disconnect and see if the brain was in tact. I turn it on and after a few seconds of whirring and grinding there sits my entire music library. Booyuh!

I am so pumped that it was just the battery but now, I guess I’ll have to get back to that whole running thing. I’ll just make sure to avoid any pre-hurricane like weather.

Oh, happy day! The iPod is back!

Resurrecting the iPod

Resurrecting the iPod requires waiting for the parts to air out.

 I started by reconnecting the headphone ribbon to the circuit board and then the hard drive to the circuit board. Before connecting the battery ribbon, I decided to try and power up the iPod by connecting it to the computer just to see what would happen.

There was no shrieking and the screen was actually trying to communicate something! Score!

I don’t remember exactly what it was (because it vanished so quickly) but it was something along the lines of:

Battery dangerously low! DO NOT DISCONNECT.

Naturally, the pod thought the battery was low because it wasn’t connected. But the fact that the screen was working gave me hope. I connected the battery ribbon and then reconnected the iPod to the computer. And like a shot to the gut, the high pitch noise returned and nothing displayed on the screen.

So this is what I know at this point:

  • Screen – working
  • HD – unknown
  • Battery – dead

I decide to check on prices for iPod batteries and they are nowhere near as expensive as I thought they were going to be. I picked one up (plus free iPod opening tools) for about $15 at iFixIt’s store. I picked the 4-7 shipping but the battery got here in 3 days. Sweet.