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  • April 7, 2007

The local McDonalds has remodeled their kids place.

The new climbing apparatus is much bigger, making it easier for larger children and even adults to get in on the fun.

They also have a set of hoops and plenty of balls for shotting.

They even have a computer game you play by peddling a bike. They also have a dancing game, but none of the kids here could figure out how to operate it.

Parenthacks had a post on Making up New Rules for Card and Board Games and it reminded me of a version of Uno we used to play with a group of teenagers back before my kids were born. Basically we added three simple rules, but the effect was to create a game that was fast a furious and very engaging.

Cummulative Draws

The first rule was that if someone played a Draw card on you, you could play another draw card of the same type and the efeect would accumulate to the next player. For example, if someone plays a Draw 2 on you, you could play another Draw 2 and the next player would either have to draw 4 cards or play a Draw 2 as well. Likewise with Draw 4. Some times shock and horror would ensue as all 4 "Draw 4" cards would come out and some unlucky whelp (usually me) would have to draw 16 cards.

Rapid Succession

The next rule was what really increased the pace of the game. If someone played a card and I had the exact same card, color and number, I could play it out of turn and play would continue as if it had been my turn. Say play is going clockwise and the person on my left plays a Blue 4, if I have a Blue 4 and can play it before the next player, play would continue as if it had been my turn and the same player would need to go again effectively skipping the rest of the players at the table.

Equalization

And last came the rule and leveled the playing feild and could change the tide of the game in one fell swoop. If you have a 1, no matter the color, and can legally play it, when you do you have the option of trading hands with any other player. Usually this took the form of one player calling "UNO" and another player playing a 1 and trading their pile of cards with the other person’s single card. Other times one players excitement of drawing some cool cards would turn into disappointment as another player traded hands with them. Sneaky players could sometimes bluff others into trading hands with them only to be disappointed with what they got.

Using just these three additional rules Uno became a wild game that would keep teenagers occupied late into the evening at the same time giving adults no chance to coast along. I personally wouldn’t recommend trying these rules with small children as they tend to get confused and frustrated. But my older kids (9 and 11) really enjoy the challenge.

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Micah, Hannah, and I have been avidly reading the Warrior series by Erin Hunter. Hannah just started book #3 tonight. We check them out at the local library. Micah and Hannah finsih them in a couple of days. Its takes me considerably longer.

One of the things I enjoy alot is my time around the dinner table with my family. It seems like everyday, I come home with something interesting to talk about that I saw on the internet. Here is the list for tonight.

First, Tim Tucker has come up with a great idea. Merging the fun of play Tetirs, with the bored of regular exercise. Checkout Tetris Weightlifting. This is a lot more exciting that Dance Dance Revolution. Primarily, because I don’t have to put quarters dollars in a machine each time to exercise, and I love Tetris.

Schwinn has a line of electric bikes. The motors are in the front hub and the batteries are very small and very high power.

Finally, someone has slowed down Alvin and the Chimpmonks so you can hear how the real singers sound. This is almost a homeschool science and technology unit study in the making.

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  • October 12, 2006

We were blessed with a happy accident this last weekend. We were intending to go see the Dead Sea Scrolls at the Pacific Science Center, however, upon arriving we learned that the exhibit was sold out for the day and so whilst wondering around the Seattle Center wondering what to do with our day, we discovered that this weekend was the annual NWBrickCon! We saw all kinds of lego creations and I expect this will become an annual event for our family.




















For thos interested, I picked up a little card there with the following links for more information.

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  • October 5, 2006

Look forward to a great post on Xbox Media Center and python scripting therein. I’ve been working really hard at work to put together some great stuff but I’m not quite ready to share.

Until then I did want to shout out to Alex, who submitted a great post on folding roses from maple leaves. As the owner of a larger maple tree and the proud husband of a very creative wife and father of 4 very creative children, I’m sure this will make the fall season very interesting around our home.

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  • September 20, 2006

Micah got hooked up on an Insulin Pump today and the whole family celebrated by going out to dinner at Krispy Kremes. It’s been over 6 years since Micah has been able to have 3 donuts and a bottle of Milk at the same meal.

SquidSoap 

I came across two interesting sites today. The first sells a soap that teaches children how to wash their hands while they are washing their hands. Kind of a learn by doing approach. The trick is that the dispenser has an ink blotter on top that will dispense an ink mark on your childs hand when they dispense the soap. The ink is designed to come off after 15-20 seconds of scrubbing.

The second site I found from an article about using a timer to help your children learn to concentrate. Perhaps I should consider this technique as opposed to the lecture approach that tends to get abstracted and abstracted and overly generalized.

Lisa says:
I just overheard Micah tell Hannah that he’s got girls figured out…..
SeanK says:
😮
Lisa says:
they all just try to distract boys.
Lisa says:
“Daddy told him so, and he’s a professional!”
SeanK says:
ROFL
Lisa says:
I thought you’d appreciate that.
Lisa says:
Your influence knows no bounderies.
Lisa says:
🙂
SeanK says:
I’m blogging this
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  • September 4, 2006

White Elephant

Almost every Labor day weekend for that last 4 years, we have gone over to the Spokane, WA area. One of the places we always make a point of going to is the White Elephant. Essentially a toy store for kids of all ages. It’s also located two blocks from a Salvation Army Thrift store so mom is happy too.