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  • Bree dances at Crown Center

    2015 - 10.26

    Watch Bree perform 4 dance numbers with the Legacy Dance Company during a halloween show at Crown Center.

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    Buttered Pecan Ice Cream (without an ice-cream maker)

    2015 - 09.23

    I recently found a recipe for ice cream that doesn’t require an ice-cream maker, uses only a few ingredients, and is incredibly tasty and smooth. My favorite way to customize this recipe is to add fresh buttered pecans. The end result is amazing and the whole process is really quick. Here’s what you’ll need:

    4 cups pecan halves


    1 tablespoon salt


    1/4 cup butter (4 tablespoons)


    2 cups heavy whipping cream


    1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 oz)

    sweetcon milk

    1 teaspoon vanilla extract


    First, combine the melted butter and salt, and add it to the pecans. Stir to fully coat the pecans.

    mix butter with pecans

    Then pour the pecans out in a single layer on a cookie sheet with a silpat or cooking spray so they don’t stick. Bake them at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes until they start to brown.

    cooked pecans

    After a few minutes of cooling, cut or break about 3/4 of them in half. In my opinion, this seems to be the perfect size for the ice cream. Take the remaining 1/4 of the pecans and store them in an airtight container. Add these to your cereal, oatmeal, yogurt, salads and just about anything else. I usually just eat them plain.

    Now it’s time to make the ice cream. In a large bowl combine the 2 cups of heavy whipping cream, and 1 14oz can of sweetened condensed milk. Also add 1 tsp of vanilla. Mix everything together with a small electric hand mixer, or stir briskly with a spatula.

    mix mix

    You’ll want to mix for 5-7 minutes, until the mixture gets whipped up with air and has the consistency of…well…whipped cream. You’ll know you’ve whipped it enough when you can stand a straw up in the mixture, or when the spoon marks don’t disappear. Now add the pecans and stir everything up really well.

    add pecans to cream

    The pecans should be suspended in the ice cream, not floating on top or sinking down to the bottom. Stir until you feel the pecans have been evenly distributed. Now pour the mixture into a large container. Cover the container and put it in the freezer for at least 6 hours.


    When it’s firm you won’t believe how smooth and creamy it is. This basic ice cream mix of whipped cream, sweetened condensed milk and vanilla makes an incredible base for other ice cream flavors. Try it with fruit, cinnamon, candies etc. Enjoy!

    ice cream

    Retro: Jacob Reads His Favorite Books 2000

    2015 - 09.08

    In honor of Jacob’s upcoming 18th birthday in November 2015, I wanted to remind him of his humble roots. I found these audio files I made in 2000 of him reading me some of his favorite stories mixed with pictures of the book; The Very Noisy Night and The Big Wide Mouthed Frog. Jacob taught himself to read when he was 2, and he would read anything he could get his hands on. We originally thought he was just memorizing the stories, but we tested that theory. We would hand him a book and he would open it to a random page and start reading. He would follow along with his finger and correct himself if he missed a word. He would correct us if we were reading to him and tried to skip a page. It was creepy and cool to watch, so I knew I had to record it, and put it here on the blog for posterity. Click below to listen to Jacob read his favorite stories in his adorable little 2 year old voice.

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    Breckenridge Trip 2015

    2015 - 08.17

    Our vacation this year was again in Breckenridge, Colorado. We zip lined, rafted, rode a mountain roller coaster and alpine slide. Watch the video below to see more of our trip.

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    The iPhone Business Card Case

    2015 - 07.18

    So what do you do with an old out of warranty iPhone 4S? Well, you could sell it to one of the online services like Gazelle, but they only offered me $15 for it. You could use it as an iPod, but it only has about 13 gig of storage, and that wouldn’t even hold half of my iTunes library. Or better yet, you could upcycle it into something new. I realized that the iPhone 4S is just slightly larger than a business card, so I decided to make a case to hold my cards. My goal was to make the case indistinguishable from a working iPhone, even if someone was to hold it in their hands and examine it. I didn’t want any glue or hinges showing from the outside, and all the buttons and screws should be in place. Of course, you could also use this to hide credit cards, money, keys or anything else small that you want to protect from prying eyes…

    Here’s the steps I took to create a unique Apple business card case.

    Step 1: First, get your hands on an old iPhone and remove the 2 tiny screws on both sides of the charging port at the bottom. Then you can easily slide the screen off. Keep the screws as you’ll want to glue them back in place once you’re finished. Once it’s opened, go ahead and remove everything you can from the inside. The largest piece you’ll find is the battery. Keep pulling parts out until you’ve got everything removed. Don’t remove the buttons, charging port or sim card, as you’ll want them intact when the case is completed.


    Step 2: Once everything is removed, it’s time to use the greatest tool known to man; the Dremel. Use the Dremel to flatten and smooth out the inside of the case, removing any screws and pieces of the frame that you couldn’t remove in step 1. Test the case to be sure it will hold your business cards or valuables, and keep smoothing out the frame until you’ve got the space you need.


    Step 3: Glue some strong circular magnets to the case at the locations marked below. Use a strong glue like Gorilla or Super glue. This takes some trial and error depending on the size of the magnets you use. I found that glueing 2 magnets to opposite corners of the case, and 1 magnet to opposite corners of the cover worked perfectly. The goal is for the cover to snap closed without any space showing. You want it to look like a regular working iPhone with no hints to what’s inside.


    Step 4: I went ahead and added a bent paper clip to the case to keep the business cards from falling out. I decided to do this after noticing 2 screw holes at the top of the case that perfectly hold a paper clip securely in place. A little super glue and some bending should be all you need.


    Add that’s it! Check out the video below to see the completed case. Mine holds about 6 business cards, but my cards are pretty thick. It will hold about 10 if your cards are thinner.

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    Open Mic Nights (updated frequently)

    2015 - 06.25

    I recently discovered the local open mic scene thanks to my buddy and bandmate Steve Greenberg. Open mic nights are where a band lets anyone come up and play with them for a few songs. It’s an absolute blast, as you never know what you are going to play, or who your are going to play with. We’ve seen many guitarists, bassists, drummers and harmonica players, but also a few trombones, saxophones and even a guy playing a saw. So we’ve started to head out to various venues during the week. A previous post talked about the Levee, where we played along with our band member, Vic. Tuesday night Steve and I checked out another bar in south KC called Llywelyn’s. Click below for images and videos of Steve playing a very bluesy harmonica, and me playing drums along with some very talented strangers. Keep this page bookmarked, I’ll be adding new videos here as we get them! The newest videos will be at the top of the post. Here’s a link to the OPEN MIC PLAYLIST ON YOUTUBE where you can easily watch or listen to all the open mic videos that I post.

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    Brianna’s Dance Recital 2015

    2015 - 05.24

    Brianna performed onstage with the Legacy dance academy at the Lied Center in Lawrence, Kansas. This was her 5th time onstage with Legacy and she’s been taking dance lessons from various places around town since she was two. Take a look at the pictures below (click each pic for a larger version) and watch Bree perform her 2 dances by clicking the video link at the bottom.

    bree dance 3 2015bree dance 4 2015bree dance 2015bree dance 2 2015jayhawk 2015

    Conviction Gigs

    2015 - 05.14

    con logo

    My band, Conviction, played a couple of interesting gigs this month. We played at the Overland Park Regional Medical Center for their Stroke Fundraiser. A few of us also went to The Levee in Westport for their open mic night with the Brandon Miller Band.

    Click the pictures below to watch us play. Click the Conviction logo above to go to the band website.

    Screen Shot 2015-05-14 at 10.01.55 AM


    Apple ][+ Signed by Woz!

    2015 - 03.04

    As many of you know, I tend to keep old Apple products around our house way past their usefulness. I’ve turned old machines into cases for new machines, G5s and Mac Pros into shelves and benches, hard drives and Airport cases into candy dishes, broken circuit boards into pads of paper, picture frames, coasters and even stranger things if you dig deep enough into this blog. But this time, I wanted to do something very different. I wanted to take an old iconic and personally very meaningful computer and get it signed by the creator. I started looking online to see what would be involved in trying to get Steve Wozniak to autograph my old original Apple ][+ and Apple ][e computers. I knew from the many interviews I’ve read by Woz that he loves his fans, and is usually very accommodating when asked to do things like this. After all, he did give away the original schematics for the Apple I for free to the members of the Homebrew Computer Club before Steve Jobs floated the idea of staring a company.

    After some searching I came across signedbywoz.com. This site offers the service of having Woz sign any item you want (at his discretion I imagine) for a set fee. To say Steve Wozniak is an incredibly busy guy is a huge understatement. He travels and gives lectures constantly, invests in interesting startups, plays Segway Polo, did a stint on Dancing With the Stars (I didn’t watch…I just couldn’t…), and is even looking into moving to Australia. Everyone seems to want a piece of him, and that feeling grew even more intense after his original partner, Steve Jobs passed away in 2011.

    So in early December 2014 I sent off the covers and nervously waited, hoping the postal service didn’t choose this particular package to lose track of. A few back and forth emails with his assistant followed and then, just a few weeks ago, I finally received the case covers signed by the man himself, with an included note of authenticity attached. It felt so strange and surreal to know that my Apple ][ that started me down the path of computer consulting and Apple fandom almost 40 years ago was actually in the hands of the person that invented it and started the personal computer revolution.

    Here’s me proudly holding my original Apple ][+ signed by the one and only Steve Wozniak. I sent the Apple ][e case to my cousin Dustin, owner of Mac MD Los Angeles. This is one obsolete computer that I will only be recycling into cherished wall art, hanging happily above my Powermac G5 bench. Thanks, Woz!



    woz on the wall

    Conviction Band Blog is now LIVE

    2015 - 02.10

    Check out the blog I created for my band, Conviction. We are a 5 piece band featuring vocals, guitars, bass, percussion and harmonica. Lately we’ve been having a blast playing covers of songs such as 867-5309/Jenny, Behind The Wall of Sleep, I Don’t Wanna Be, some Tom Petty stuff and many others. Click the image below to check out the blog, and book us for an event!

    conviction blog screenshot