The Perler Bead Addiction Continues

Three weeks ago, I wrote about our Perler Bead addiction.  Since that time (except for a quick Perler Bead-related Rosh Hashana greeting), I haven’t posted about Perler Beads at all.  So clearly my addiction is over, right?


I’ll admit it.  I’ve been holding back.  We’ve been busy working on so many Perler Bead projects and while I’ve posted photos of most of them on Instagram, I didn’t want to become  I wanted to space out these posts a bit.  Now that I’ve waited a bit, here’s what we’ve been doing (in no particular order).

You remember Robin from the first post?

Well, JSL and I worked on the rest of the Teen Titans: Raven, Starfire, Beast Boy, and Cyborg.


Titans, GO!

I’ve also been working on some tiny Harry Potter figures.  See if you can guess who each one is.


Accio Perler Bead Tray!

I made a few Star Wars figures as well.


When 900 years old you reach, be made of plastic beads you will not. (Next up: Chewbacca and Boba Fett.)

I also made myself a baby Groot.


Groot, did you eat my brownie?  I AM GROOT!

B made Mike Wazowski from Monsters, Inc. and both Perry the Platypus and Agent P.


Oh there you are, Perry!

I made these parrots to turn into earrings for B.


Just don’t ask them if Polly wants a cracker.

NHL made a pair of fishes.


I think the smaller one’s about to be eaten by the larger fish.

Speaking of larger, I’ve also just got this for large projects:


I’ve seen some "turn a photo into a Perler Bead pattern" programs and I might just try a couple.  Those don’t work well with tiny projects.  Also, while you can connect the smaller boards together, our ironing area is upstairs from where we make the Perler Beads.  As it is, walking up the stairs carrying a tray of beads is tricky.  (One bump and not only is your design broken, but tiny, plastic beads could be scattered everywhere.)  The way the boards connect, though, wouldn’t let me keep them connected as I move them.  Now, though, I can make one big design or a bunch of smaller ones, and just carry one board up to my iron to melt the beads together.

It looks like my Perler Bead addiction might be turning into a full on obsession and that’s just fine by me.

(Lest anyone think that all of these projects are a waste of money – that I iron them, toss them aside, and then work on a new project, JSL now has a pile of Perler Bead figures that he loves playing with.  The other day, he had the Teen Titans being visited by the Doctor and Harry Potter.  He’s only seven and is already a master of the crossover.  *sniff* They grow up so fast. *sniff*)

Unwinding With Lego Marvel Super Heroes on the Wii U

Lately, I’ve been working pretty hard.  My day job has been keeping me very busy. (Not that I’m complaining, mind you.  I’d rather be busy than sitting with nothing to do.)  Then, after getting the kids into bed, I’ve been busy with a rather large freelance project.

After all of that work, I need to unwind and relax somehow.  Lately, my method of choice has been playing Lego Marvel Super Heroes for the Wii U.  I’ve been a fan of the Lego games for awhile on the Nintendo DS, but this is the first Wii U title I’ve tried.


A full review is still coming, but suffice it to say that I love it.  One of the things I’ve always liked about Lego games is the replay-ability.  After finishing all of the levels, you could always play them again in "Free Play" mode.  This title has that, but also has all of Manhattan to explore.  There are gold bricks to collect (over 200), citizens to help, Deadpool missions to complete, vehicles and characters to unlock, and Stan Lee to save (many, many times).  It’s quite daunting how big the world you get to play in is, but it’s also quite fun.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go flying around the city as Iron Man.  Or maybe go on a rampage through the streets as the Hulk.  TechyDad Smash!

What do you like to do to unwind?

NOTE: We purchased Lego Marvel Super Heroes on our own.  I wasn’t asked or paid to do a review.  I just wanted to mention a product that I liked.

Superheroes, The Sun, and (Because) Saturn!

I had three things I wanted to post about, but none of them seemed long enough for a post on their own.  So here they are together in a mish mash of superheroes, science, space, and social media!

Beware of Geek Kid

First comes a bit of Geek Fail on my part.  Recently, Cartoon Network released a large amount of their library on Netflix.  As I drooled over the shows that I could share with my boys, I saw "The Powerpuff Girls."  I laughed at it and, on a lark, decided to show them the show so we could laugh at it together.  Never underestimate a geek’s love of superheroes, though.  While I couldn’t take the show seriously enough to enjoy it, my kids loved it!  Now NHL is determined to watch every episode.  Geek Fail?  Or perhaps Geek Win in that NHL loves superheroes so much that he even likes PowerPuff Girls.

Goodness Gracious, Great Balls of Incandescent Plasma

Next up comes a little video that NASA put together.  You see, NASA launched the Solar Dynamics Observatory three years ago.  Since then, it’s been regularly taking photos of the Sun.  One photo every twelve seconds.  For three years.  It’s given scientists tons of data to prove and disprove theories about our favorite star.  NASA has taken those photos and strung them together into an amazing four minute video showing some amazing details.

Thanks to NASA images and videos being public domain for the most part (about the only ones that aren’t are items with the NASA logo or with people in the shot), you can download high resolution movies or still shots from this movie.

Why? Because, Saturn!

A couple of days ago, Phil Plait (aka BadAstronomer) and Jenny Lawson (aka The Bloggess) started conversing on Twitter.  Phil was tweeting a drive to press Congress not to cut planetary science at NASA.  This is a very good cause on its own.

Then, Jenny pointed out how "Because, Saturn!" was a good answer to anything.

"Why do I have to eat my broccoli?"   "Because, Saturn!"

"Why can’t I watch TV?"   "Because, Saturn!"

"Why can’t I stay up late?"   "Because… Saturn!"

Jenny mentioned putting this on a shirt.  While I haven’t done that, I did come up with this nice looking graphic.


That image comes from NASA via the Cassini space probe.  They stitched together 126 individual photos to come up with this 40 megapixel beauty.  Of course, you can and should go to NASA’s website to look up some of their other wonderful photos.

NASA makes getting great science and amazing images from millions of miles away look easy.  So please click the link above to press Congress to give NASA funding for planetary science efforts.  Why? Because, Saturn!

Batman Party

My boys love superheroes of all kinds.  So when a big box arrived, thanks to MomSelect and Mattel, they were excited to find tons of Batman goodies inside.


Before throwing a party with the gear, I let the boys each pick out a few items that they liked the best.  JSL chose a Power Attack Deluxe Turbo Punch Batman figure.  This Batman has a battering ram-like weapon that attaches to his arm.  When you squeeze his legs, Batman’s torso swivels and it hits its target.  (Speaking of targets, it comes with a cardboard Joker target to knock down.)  JSL also selected a Power Attack Robin with a shield.  NHL chose a Power Attack Killer Croc and Power Attack Deluxe Mallet Smasher Joker.  As the name implies, this Joker holds a mallet high above his head and smashes it down (perhaps at the included cardboard Batman target) when you squeeze his legs.


Also included was a Batmobile car that could hold one of the non-deluxe figures (such as Robin) and fire various missiles.


As soon as I opened the toys for them, they would disappear from my hands and rapidly enter playtime. The boys had a blast putting together scenarios where Batman and Robin were facing down Killer Croc and the Joker.  Robin would often enter the Batmobile and fire missiles at the villains.


Given that it was close to Thanksgiving, we had our party in two parts.  First, we met Becca Marsh and her family for a quick dinner out.  Becca has three boys and a girl.  I made sure to include a Batman toy for her daughter as well.  After all, Batman is not just for boys.

The kids had fun talking and playing in the restaurant together (and the adults had a good time talking to other adults).  They all loved the Batman toys and were excited when I laid them out on the table for them to choose their favorites.

For the second part of the party, we took advantage of some family coming into town post-Thanksgiving.  Uncle I, Aunt M, and Cousins S & B were staying at Nana and Papa’s house so we went over one morning with a ton of Batman goodies.  This time, since the kids would have more room to play, I had my boys bring the Batman toys they picked out initially.


Cousin S and Cousin B were excited about their toys and played Batman with the boys for awhile.  On one floor, there were both boys and girls aged from 2 to 9 years old, all enjoying Batman.  (Up to age 37 if you count me playing along when I wasn’t taking photos.)  Proof that Batman’s appeal spans a wide range of ages.

Disclaimer: I received a selection of Batman toys, gift bags, a Batman Brave and the Bold DVD, and various party supplies from MomSelect and Mattel to facilitate my Batman Party.  The opinions expressed above, however, are my own.

Aloha Friday: Solo Movie Night

My boys love comic book superheroes.  We watch Ultimate Spider-Man, Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, and other shows featuring super-powered individuals fighting evil.  With the Avengers movie in theatres, you’d think I’d be dragging them to see it.  Unfortunately, the live action Avengers movie (like the Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America movies before them) are a bit too much for an 8 year old and a 4 year old.

Meanwhile, B isn’t a very big superhero fan so she has no interest in seeing this movie.  I had pretty much resigned myself to catching it on DVD, but then I got to thinking.  I’m a man in his mid-thirties, not some teenager without a date on Saturday night.  I don’t need someone with me to prove anything to anyone.  Why can’t I go see the movie alone?  (Of course, finding the time to get out to actually see the movie is another story.)

My Aloha Friday question for today is: Have you ever gone to see a movie all by yourself?

P.S. If you haven’t already, try out my Twitter applications: FollowerHQ and Rout.

Thanks to Kailani at An Island Life for starting this fun for Friday. Please be sure to head over to her blog to say hello and sign the linky there if you are participating.

Aloha Friday by Kailani at An Island Life

Aloha #138

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