Grandpa Alba and Me

Here’s a picture from many, many years ago.  My grandpa died while my family was were overseas – I must have been around 12 or 13 years old.  Before that I remember seeing him a couple of times, but that’s it.  We didn’t live close to where they were.

The stories of him and his family, though, are legendary.  He had an impact on a lot of people, and apparently had this smile all the time.

As for me, I think I look a bit mischevious.  Look at those cachetes!  Chale.  And that shirt.  Geesh… where can I find one of those now?


Google Cardboard – seen it?

Last night I went to the LaunchUp event (website admittedly stinks, but sign up on the top-right to get invites to the monthly events, starting again in January) and saw Josh Coates speak… he was pretty awesome.  He got cut off for time, but if I ever hear of a chance to hear him speak again, I’m going.

Anyway, after all of the presentations, I learned about some new companies as I milled around.  One guy (I can’t remember who) showed me what his company was doing with Google Cardboard.  Haven’t heard of it? I hadn’t either.

He pulled a cardboard box out of his backpack and put his phone in it… and you now had your own virtual reality machine.  It was super cool.  I can’t remember what I was looking at – something with space, or a planet or something like that, but to use your smart phone as a screen, and a homemade cardboard contraption as the viewer… it really was geeky cool.

Here’s a short video on kind of how it works… on the Cardboard page you can learn how to make your own … (and develop apps for it):

Another Awesome About Us Page

A couple of years ago I blogged about a “brilliant About Us page“… I recently found another one that is just awesome.  This is from Canvas, which provides software (learning management system, or LMS) for schools.  Josh Coates is the guy who sold his startup to EMC for $76M, and he’s running canvas now.  Check out the Canvas (aka, instructure) Our Team page.

It looks fun and playful, right?


If you mouse over each person’s image, it changes from the playful image (Steve’s playfulness is his clothes, which you’ll have to go to the page to see) to a serious corporate image.  But it defaults to the playful one. Isn’t that cool?




Great job Canvas peeps!

The Quest for the Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

I love a good chocolate chip cookie.

Just the other night we made cookies and I remembered advice from THE person who makes the most available cookies I’ve had.  Her dad owns a bakery and she has some kind of midas-food touch.

Her advice?

I simply follow the instructions on the package.

Yeah, like it’s that easy, right?  I do that to, exactly… with a few exceptions.

Those darn exceptions have got to be the downfall of “perfect.”

Anyway, it’s been on my mind this week, and look at this article I just found: Ask a Chef: Chewy chocolate chip cookies

Here’s what I love about this article: instead of a recipe (which there is, actually, at the bottom), it focuses on the science of making a good cookie.  When you have words like creaming process, seeping, “run out,”  hydrated, emulsify, brown the butter, etc. you know it’s going to be fun to read.


YouTube Celebrity: Kurt Hugo Schneider (musician)

Kurt Hugo Schneider is AMAZING.  Check out his YouTube channel here.

How is it in such a crazy, noisy, crowded space (music on YouTube) he can get hundreds of millions of views?

On the originals list, each of the uploads has over 1M views:


Check out his popular uploads… the lowest has over 30M!!


If you are interested at all in making money from YouTube, or getting credibility, or customers, etc., you need to become a student of Kurt Hugo Schneider and his work.  Amazing, and well done!

“WWII is over? I’m not sure I can trust you… “

Check out this fantastically interesting article about a family that left for the Siberian forest to stay away from the harm of World War II… and they never came out (until they were discovered by some geologists doing research:

For 40 Years, This Russian Family Was Cut Off From All Human Contact, Unaware of World War II


This story is crazy awesome… !

Dr. William Beaumont: The Stomach Expert

For over 20 years I’ve been intrigued by the story of Dr. William Beaumont.  I heard this story when I was in middle school and I’m sure I was on the edge of my seat when I watched the movie in class.  I think this was the beginning of my awe of the discovery of modern medicine… how did we figure this stuff out?

So I don’t spend another 20 years trying to remember the name or details, here are two resources:

The wikipedia page of William Beaumont (aka, the Father of Gastric Physiology)

A two minute video with the story in a nutshell (this is the best I could find):

Pretty cool story, huh?

Adding a Blog page to your blog

I recently set up my newest project,, where I’ll be teaching people how to make video games using GameSalad. The class is going to be super-cool.

While setting up the blog I do a few things:

  • Delete the Hello World Post and anything else WordPress puts in,
  • Create new Pages, which also become the main menu across the top,
  • Set the Home Page as the first page people get to, as opposed do the default of going to the latest blog Post,
  • and, setting up the link “Blog,” where the Posts land.

I didn’t know how to do the last part, but my developer just emailed me telling me how:

  1. Set up a Page called “Blog,” and leave it blank
  2. Go to Settings, Reading
  3. Under Front Page Displays, there is a option to change the front page to a Page.  Change this to Home (which is a Page you have set up)
  4. The next dropdown asks what the blog Posts page is – that is the Page Blog that you set up.

Now, on the main menu, you have an option titled Blog, and this is where the Posts go.

Easy, eh?


Why Homeschool?

Here’s a fun article in my local newspaper about a family in Arkansas who homeschools: ‘Brainy Bunch’ family puts 7 kids in college — all by age 12

I’m not sure how many homeschool families aspire to this (I’m guessing it is less than 1%).  And honestly, getting my kids into school before they are 12 is not on my list.  I love the dad’s line at the end: “Truly, we’re just average.”  “Yeah, right,” most people would argue… average.  That makes pretty much everyone else way, way below average :p

The haters come out and tell why it’s so horrible that these socially deprived kids have lost out on their childhoods, etc. etc. etc.  All the lame, uninformed reasons why no one should homeschool.

Let’s get beyond those sophmoric, insecure whinings, and dig a little deeper.  Those kids seem well-accomplished, driven, and pursuing passions and interests.  Quite a bit different than what I saw in my schooling, with more of the glazed over look, or the socialization that I got, which was how to be street smart (read: not get beat up).

But that’s not why we homeschool.  Here’s part of the article that touches on one thing we love about homeschooling:

“Hannah was whizzing through the math and saying, ‘Mom, do I really have to do the rest of this chapter? It’s so repetitive,’” Mona Lisa said. “And we’d say no just do the odd (questions) or the even ones or just skip the rest of that chapter because we know that you know that… and next thing you know, she’s ready for some advanced math.”

We love allowing kids to go at their own pace, learning what they are interested in… what an awesome part of life-long education!

Naval Admiral William H. McRaven / Navy Seal / Commencement Speech at UT 2014

This is so awesome… here’s the post from LifeBuzz: 10 Life Lessons From A Navy Seal. I Will Always Remember #4.

Here’s the video: