Category Archives: Videos

No more WiFi. Also, no more ceiling.

While the wi-fi at our house did a sufficient job for surfing the net, when it came to using the wi-fi to steam media, it did a less than stellar job. We mostly noticed it when someone would use the microwave the same time we were steaming a movie from our computer upstairs to the TV in our family room downstairs. We tried a few different solutions to fix it, but came to the conclusion that wiring our house with CAT-5e would be worth it for us. Often we stream media not only to the TV in our family room, but to the arcade computer in kitchen/dining room and to Welly’s arcade computer in his room as well. So there was no doubt it would get well used. It not only improved our streaming capabilities it eliminated the mass of endless feet of cable cords we had rolled up under the desk.

Mark tried explaining to me the technical side of the project, but it didn’t all get through. I must have asked him a million times, “Now why are we doing this?”, “How much is it going to cost?” and “How many holes are you going to make in the walls?!” and “Why are we doing this?”, but he assured me it was going to be great.

Mark did a lot of research on the internet using mainly Instructables to help him. Monday Mark took the day off and along with his brother-in-law, Gary, wired our house.

Continue reading about boring wiring

Break-up letter.

Dear Vista,

I’m not really sure how to tell you this but it’s time for you to leave. Ever since you were installed on our computer, you’ve been a bit of a pain. It’s not me, it’s you. No, I don’t think we can still be friends.

Please don’t call.
Melanie

P.S. Mark made a back-up of all our stuff, and wiped the computer of everything including you Vista. He now has installed Windows 7. Windows 7 seems like a way better OP system than you (Troy, I know your laughing. Or else your crying because I make you sad).

Fantastic Mr. “Bulpis Bulpis”

We watched the movie Fantastic Mr. Fox with Welly a little while ago, and he has been LOVING it (and it’s not so bad for adults either). In case you missed it, the movie is a stop motion adaption from a Roald Dahl book of the same name, directed by Wes Anderson (The Royal Tenenbaums, Rushmore, etc…).

Because the director doesn’t normally do kids movies I was a little worried about content, but after checking out the movie on kids-in-mind.com, I felt it would be ok to watch with Wellington. Good thing I checked too because Welly has been repeating tons of lines from this movie (like weird bizarre lines I wouldn’t expect him to repeat, i.e. there is a part in the movie where Mr. Fox is telling people their Latin names, and a fox is Vulpes Vulpes. Took me a while to figure out what welly was saying because he pronounces it “Bulpis Bulpis”, be he says it all the time).

There isn’t any swearing in the movie, but instead they use the actual word “cuss” to replace all cuss words (so a character might say “What the cuss is that?” or you might see “CUSS” spray painted on a building in the background etc…). That is as bad as it gets, and in my opinion is actually kind of funny, but I could see some parents not being crazy about it.

The animation is great, the voice acting is great, and the story is really fun (not just for kids, both Mel and I really enjoy it too). I sort of remember it coming out, but don’t remember hearing much about it, so it seems it has kind of flown under the radar, but it’s well worth watching if you get a chance. Below is a little featurette on the movie from youtube:

Lesson learned.

Arrrggg! I’m so bugged. I worked so long on these cute collages of the boys in photoshop, then somehow (I still don’t know what happened), photoshop shut down and my unsaved project was gone. I know, I know, that will teach me not to save my work as I go. That’s happened to me before, and you’ld think I would remember. Well anyway, I didn’t want to fiddle with photoshop anymore, I couldn’t deal with it today, and so I made a lame-o slide show in Pinnacle of random cell phone pics that I’ve had on my phone for a while now.

I use my cell phone to take pictures a lot, it’s always with me and easy (even Wellington knows how to do it). Right now I have about 400+ pictures on my phone. I picked some of my favorites, about 100 (lucky you) and put it in this slideshow. Because they are cell phone pics there not great quality, but I still wanted to share them.

Most of them are of my boys. I love having boys, rough and tough boys. My Wellington is getting so big, not a baby anymore. And my baby, well he’s almost as much as a punk as my oldest. My life is crazy, sometimes a bit stressful (“if Wellington spills another thing of parmesan cheese one more time, I think I’ll loose it”) but I love it. I love my kids and I love my life!

The song, you might first recognize it as the opening credits song to Malcom in the Middle (a show I loathed and refused to watch for so long until I watched it and found out it was pretty funny), but the song is by TMBG (they might be giants) and a good one at that. It’s catchy and actually I can’t get it out of my head now. I like how it’s a bit rebellious sounding, perfect for my house of boys.

cell_phone_pics from mel Stevenson on Vimeo.

P.S. You may notice this isn’t a youtube video. The audio I have on the video is copyrighted, so it was muted on youtube. In my opinion, silent videos are boring. I guess I’m confused by youtube, cause some video’s I have DO have copyrighted material and aren’t muted. Some actually have ad’s on it for the mp3 featured on that video, which is fine with me, but I wonder why some get through and some don’t. I know there are other people’s video’s out there with thousand upon thousands of views with copyrighted music on it. Maybe those users haven’t been flagged or ratted out yet (I’m not sure how it works) or whatever. I wonder why they can’t just put ad’s on my most recent video uploaded featuring the awesome music of TMBG? I read that you can change the pitch on the audio to “trick” the copyright infringement filters, but that sounds hard and kinda cheaty, so I’m trying out this other service, Vimeo. We’ll see how it goes. So far, it was easy to sign up and upload, not as many features and more limited on how much you can upload, but so far so good. It seems like it might be a good video sharing site.

Everybody dance now!

One of my favorites things to do is to turn on some music and dance with my kids. My kids happen to be the only ones that have REALLY seen all my moves, and It will probably stay that way. When Welly was younger I would hold him and dance with him in the kitchen. He’s a little heavy to hold up now but we hold hands sometimes and dance. Welly has always loved music too and even at a young age would bop his head to the beat, raise the roof, or do a little jazz hands move. Lately he’s obsessed with knowing what the song is called or who sings it. In the car he’ll ask, “What’s this song called?” and if you don’t happen to know he gets kinda ticked. He also sometimes demands that “Everybody dance now” he used to just say “Everybody dance” but we helped him add the “now” part cause of a line from the Show “30 Rock”. Anyway, Welly is my little music baby and I love it.

Recently I’ve been on a Neil Diamond kick (okay really it’s just like two or three songs, but they are so darn catchy) and the other day I happened to be watching a video of a song of his called, “Cherry, Cherry” when Welly asked, “Who’s that guy?” I replied, “That’s Neil Diamond”, and came back with, “He’s a cool guy huh?”

Yes Welly. He is a cool guy.

I put together a little video of my boys dancing, set to the music of “Cherry, Cherry” because that song makes ME want to dance (but sorry none of me dancing in this video, only my nonjudgmental kids should be subjected to that) and because maybe watching this video a bunch will help me get this song out of my head. I really made this video though because nothing makes me happier than to see my kids dancing and having fun.

TURN IT UP!!!!!!(there’s nothing like blasting some Neil Diamond)

Wondering what the boys are Really dancing to on the video’s? Ratatouille DVD menu, Defontes, Pitbull, Led Zepplin, the Ren and Stimpy opening theme music, a weird music player with like 5 nursery rhyme songs on it, BTO, and Great Heights by the Postal Service (that dance was pretty funny because he came running in my room where I was listening to it, and he stood and danced for the entire song, unprovoked with his little up and down bouncing and he had a serious look on his face the whole time like he was a robot programmed to dance, he kept dancing till the very last note and then when the song finished he ran off).

Show a little love and respect YO!

This video reminds us of something that we all can work on. My parents are getting older and sometimes they forget things, sometimes we don’t agree, sometimes I have to repeat myself and this video is a great reminder on how we should be treating not only our parents but how we should treat everyone…with a little love and respect.

Being a parent yourself does help give you more of an idea of how you should treat your own parents (I sure hope Wellington and Hilyard treat me nice, visits me, includes me in their lives, and shows respect to me in my old age). But I think even if your not a parent yourself you can exercise a little sensitivity, sympathy, charity, you know, the whole golden rule thing.

I encourage all to take a moment to tell your mother or father how much you love and appreciate them. Give them a call, write them a letter, go and see them if you can and even better than telling them, show them that you love them.