Same Geek Channel: Supergirl 1.4 Livewire: Mothers & Daughters

Thanksgiving came early to National City this year. To avoid portraying bombs going off in National City so close to the attacks in Paris, the Thanksgiving episode aired on November 16th.

Spoilers ahead friends! 

We find ourselves at the DEO watching an alien prisoner transport gone wrong. While nothing important happens here, there is a fight scene between Supergirl and said alien that looks to be well choreographed, but it’s hard to say that for sure as the camera never settles for long.

Supergirl subdues the alien, takes the rest of the day off, and flies home to find Alex freaking out about the pending arrival of their Mom, Eliza Danvers. Mama Danvers is none other than Helen Slater, who is visiting for Thanksgiving, and says she approves of Kara’s “coming out” as Supergirl. Not sure I believe her but let’s move on and meet the villain of the week.

Leslie Willis, CatCo’s own shock jock, disapproves of Supergirl and denounces everything from her “adorkable thing” to her wardrobe and her sex life. Leslie’s rant is yet another way the producers bash us over the head, but this time they vocalize a lot of our concerns about the Girl of Steel. So, they’ve got my attention. And Cat’s. She is not happy with Leslie’s “going after a young girl, insulting her body, how she dresses, her sexuality.”

And yes, that was Cat Grant seemingly standing up for Supergirl. Leslie counters that Cat is just as hard on Supergirl as she is, so what makes Supergirl special?  “Supergirl is changing the conversation of National City.” Cat tells her. “People don’t want your brand of negativity anymore Leslie. They want optimism, hope, positivity.”  Leslie calls Cat, rightly, a hypocrite, and Cat demotes Leslie to traffic reporter.

To the CatCopter! (Seriously, that’s what it’s called.)  Continue reading Same Geek Channel: Supergirl 1.4 Livewire: Mothers & Daughters

Best Sales of the Day, November 25

Photo credit: CC-BY Olin Gilbert

For the last few years, I’ve brought you the best of the Black Friday sales for geeks, moms, and their families. But since increasingly the sales are stretching through the week, I’m going to be bringing you a daily list of sales for the next few days! Keep checking in–I’ll update the posts throughout the day as things change, and there will be a new post each day. Let me know in the comments if there are deals you want to know about, and I’ll keep an eye out for them!


  • First-time HSN customers can use enter code 150136 at checkout to get $20 off your $40+ purchases.


  • Silhouette Cameo Starter Bundle for $179.99. I bought this on Amazon’s deals of the day last year, and it has become one of the most used items in my craft room.

Toys and games

  • Tons of board games are buy two, get one free at Amazon, including a lot of geek favorites, like Pandemic, Ticket to Ride, Small World, and 7 Wonders (any of which I’d recommend!).
  • Just Dance 2016 is $25 at Amazon.
  • The Target Cartwheel app has 35% off of Lego Dimensions through today. This is cheaper than the set comes in any of the Black Friday ads I’ve found so far.
  • The Nintendo Shop has used Zelda games for Wii for $15. Appears to no longer be available.
  • Entertainment Earth, the land of much expensive geekdom, has some things in their 5-day Black Friday sale marked down 95%. You can get the Doctor Who 500-Year Mini Diary for $1.90 and Pop! figures as low as $6.

Continue reading Best Sales of the Day, November 25

Helmet Heads Can Be Cool

As the mother of four children, three of them extreme sport-loving boys, I am very familiar with the dangerous side of having fun. This is why I was thrilled to see GeekMom Ariane’s recent post about the importance of wearing helmets while ice skating. Fortunately, many people are finally realizing that flying down the hill on skis requires a good helmet, but it’s taken a bit longer to get the skating crowd on board.

I blame part of this trend on the movies and television shows. When you think about the life moments that might find you sliding around a rink, you usually envision the cute stocking cap on your head, or scarf around your neck. The skating outfit is usually a part of the winter fun scene that television and movie directors are looking for. Adding a rigid dome to the actors’ heads isn’t an option.

There is a reason life doesn’t really look like the movies. From wardrobe to relationships, most of us are smart enough to realize that the real world life is a bit messier.

It’s time for winter sports season once again. Whether you live near a scenic frozen lake or have a rink tucked conveniently in your local shopping mall or town square, a lot of people have access to skating once the winter months hit. So it’s time to talk about helmets. Continue reading Helmet Heads Can Be Cool

Why I Owe My Successes to Anxiety

“Generalized Anxiety Disorder with Obsessive Compulsive Tendencies is great for work but not so great for life.” –Dr. LaFrennier

Two years ago, I walked through the door of my psychiatrist’s office, sat on the familiar couch, stared at the familiar rug, and answered the familiar questions. Bear was getting ready to start his pre-school 4’s class and already I was getting anxious about how life would change when he started Kindergarten in a year. Being kept awake at night worrying about not being around him as much in a year meant that my anxiety was kicking into a ridiculous overdrive, and I needed medication again. Fair enough. I’ve never been one to hate being on meds, they make me a better me.

When the doctor asked me about work, I said that things were going well. I was consulting and teaching. I was working through audits fairly quickly. Working with my dad was great in that it brought us closer together, but our working styles were very different. I was highly organized while my dad was not. My dad’s lack of consistent planning, something that had plagued our working relationship for nine years at that point, was nothing new.

That’s when Dr. LaFrennier told me that GAD with OCD tendencies was great for work but not for life. I laughed, but this hit home.

Continue reading Why I Owe My Successes to Anxiety

‘Art of the Brick: DC Comics’ (plus Giveaway)

There are only a handful of themes which truly stand the test of time. The kind of things shared between generations; dancing across language barriers; appreciated by any child, anywhere, anytime. Lego is definitely one. DC characters are absolutely there. Art is certainly there.

And then whoa! You have someone like Nathan Sawaya combining all three?!? Welcome to the Art of the Brick: DC Comics. Prepare to be joyfully stunned.

Also below is our giveaway but one big caveat: it’s for Australia residents only.

Continue reading ‘Art of the Brick: DC Comics’ (plus Giveaway)

GeekMom Holiday Gift Guide #4: Toys and Lego!

Now that we’re in the second half of November, I know I’m not the only one starting to really flesh out my holiday shopping lists. Toys are almost always on kids’ wish lists (and many adults’ lists, as well!), so here are some of our favorite toys that we (or our kids) are wanting this year.

Continue reading GeekMom Holiday Gift Guide #4: Toys and Lego!

Lessons From a First-Time Mini Maker Faire Exhibitor

The excitement in our household was barely containable. Anticipation, joy, and dreams of what could be all radiated from the two geeks who live with me.

What caused such enthusiasm, you ask? Was it Christmas? Someone’s birthday? An anniversary, perhaps? The new Star Wars movie?

No, my friends. It was the announcement that Barnes & Noble, in partnership with Make Magazine, was going to be hosting a Mini Maker Faire at every single store location in the U.S. Continue reading Lessons From a First-Time Mini Maker Faire Exhibitor

Forget Pepe. #ifoundmurky at BlizzCon 2015

Throughout October, leading up to BlizzCon 2015, one hashtag ruled them all as far as Blizzard games were concerned. The tag #ifoundpepe took off as players tweeted images of their characters with the beloved bird on their head.

When the Blizzard Gear store released a plush Pepe, the frenzy around him reached a fevered pace. But while there were dozens of Pepes to be seen throughout BlizzCon, another character also seemed to have caught the eye of crafters throughout the fandom. So I would like to propose a new hashtag, #ifoundmurky.

Murky is a murloc, a small creature that most World of Warcraft players would recognize as one of the many mobs that characters plow through in their quest for experience and gear. Heroes of the Storm players might recognize him as a niche character that shocks everyone when a player selects him.

No one really gives the poor creature much of a thought, outside of being a humorous addition to any game. But he has found love among a small group of crafters and I caught up with a few of them at BlizzCon. Continue reading Forget Pepe. #ifoundmurky at BlizzCon 2015

Why I Let My Kids Play Fantasy Sports

First, there were Pokemon cards strewn all over the carpet. Then came Magic. These days, their game of choice is fantasy football. I’ve set up accounts for each of them online (I am aware of the age limit of the site, and am responsible for—and have access to—each of their accounts). For the second year in a row, my three sons are in two fantasy football leagues—one with their friends, and one with extended family.

So now, well into the season, I have to ask myself (as I do with every parenting decision) whether I made the right choice. Whether kids participating in fantasy sports is a good thing or if I’m being too indulgent. Because frankly, if I have to listen to another conversation about how many points so-and-so got, or whether player A for player B would be a fair trade, I will go bald from yanking my hair out, one painful chunk at a time.

Continue reading Why I Let My Kids Play Fantasy Sports

GeekMom Deal of the Day: Kindle Under Fifty

I’ve been keeping an eye on Amazon for special deals, particularly on cool but not-too-expensive gifts for the four minions and spotted this one today.

Amazon Kindle 6″ Glare-Free Touchscreen Display, Wi-Fi – Includes Special Offers.

Not bad. For that price, I could get a couple for the younger minions and keep the iPad we’ve been fighting over to myself.

Keeping Teen Brains Safe

Image by Luke Maxwell

I have a disconcerting memory from when I was in my early twenties: I was reading an article in a magazine about how the adolescent brain is still changing and developing longer than most people realize. The article had an example which showed a photo of a woman. According to the article, adolescents saw anger while adults saw fear. I stared and stared at the photo but could not see fear instead of anger—even knowing what it was!

I was startled into realizing that no matter what stage of life I was in at the moment, my brain was not done yet. Was that a relief that any mistakes were the fault of not-full-adulthood? Or should I second guess all my decisions now? I decided not to worry about it, shrugged and put it out of my still-developing mind. Continue reading Keeping Teen Brains Safe

Screenshot Photography: Where Does it Fit in the Art World?

Screenshot photography is a newcomer to the art world. Screenshots have been around since the beginning of computer video games. PC gamers would use screen captures to document moments in games and capture vast virtual landscapes and character customizations.

With the introduction of screen capturing on new generation consoles, this new art form has made way into casual gaming.

In most instances, screenshots are basically candid snapshots. However, screenshot photography is gaining popularity with artists who are looking for an additional medium to explore. This new attention is due to the growing demand for video games. Games are worlds to experience, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that artists have begun to embrace screenshots as a new medium.

Continue reading Screenshot Photography: Where Does it Fit in the Art World?

What Beer Should You Pair With Turkey?

After writing my post Everything You Need to be a Craft Beer Geek – Except the Beard, I was inundated with questions concerning the foods that were best to try with these new found libations. Okay, maybe not inundated, exactly. But at least three people were curious. So even if you were not one of the three, perhaps you too would like something a little different with your Thanksgiving meal.

Why Beer?

Traditionally when someone starts discussing pairings, we think of wine. That is, after all, the standard go-to beverage for the sit-down meal. However, with the rise of the mixologist, cocktails have been working to carve out a place at the table, and right next to them should be a glass of beer from your favorite craft brewer. And with good reason.

While wine making is a true art in the hands of the right master, the basic process is simple. Wine comes from grapes. While sometimes yeast may be added, it isn’t always needed as grapes are naturally fermenting. Red wine ferments with the skins intact, hence the color, and white with just the juice. While there are many variations on this, and, of course, some wines are then aged, the basic taste is the grapes. A good sommelier will be able to tell you the flavors of the earth from which the grapes originated. These flavors work to create the pairings. Continue reading What Beer Should You Pair With Turkey?

The Davis Instruments Weather Box Fills My Need for Data

While I wouldn’t call myself a “weather geek” per se, meteorology and weather have interested me since at least high school. I love looking at weather maps, learning about low and high pressures, knowing what the marks on wind direction maps mean, and parsing the extensive data tables that come out of weather records.

Seeing how weather changes over a year for a particular spot really helps me get a feel of a place. Is it a wet winter or a rainy summer? Does it get above freezing during the winter? Is there a monsoon season? How likely are there to be mosquitoes (see: rainfall, among other things)? I’ve especially enjoyed how much more accurate weather forecasting has gotten over my (42 year) lifetime.

Before I got to try out the Davis Instruments Weather Box recently, the closest I ever got to a weather station was an outdoor temperature probe that was connected to an indoor wall clock. I loved weather data but had never had my own data to play with. So when the Weather Box arrived in the mail, I was excited to set it up. My 14-year-old daughter, equally excited, made me wait until she was available before getting started. She’s the type of weather geek who keeps a cloud journal.

Continue reading The Davis Instruments Weather Box Fills My Need for Data

To the Parents of High School Seniors

Dear Parents of High School Seniors,

You don’t know me. In about nine months, your child will walk into a classroom on a college campus. Most likely, I, or someone just like me, will be standing in front of your wide-eyed, excited child explaining what a syllabus is.

Unless your child isn’t excited. Unless your child doesn’t want to be in college. Unless your child is feeling societal and parental pressure to make the most expensive mistake of his/her life.

Are you listening to your child? Are you really? Continue reading To the Parents of High School Seniors

CharmCam: a Baby Monitor That Does So Much More

Image via the CharmCam Indiegogo campaign.

Modern baby monitors have come a long way since the sound-only models that used to pick up the neighbors’ wireless home phone conversations. These days, they’re wi-fi enabled, allow remote access and viewing from our smartphones, night vision, and more. They’re certainly good, but they still end up being simply a camera in your baby’s room, and leave you as the parent to play the role of security guard, trying to go to sleep or get other tasks done, and worrying every time there’s 10 seconds of silence.

It seems like, with newer camera technologies, especially in the areas of pattern recognition, as well as the many additional sensors available, there’s more baby monitors could be doing.

Enter the CharmCam (GeekMom’s sponsor today):

Currently looking for funding on Indiegogo, the CharmCam is the next generation of baby monitors. Sure it’ll send a 1080p video stream to your phone at better than 15fps, in normal or IR light, but it also monitors your baby’s temperature constantly, watches in case the baby’s face gets covered by something, senses the air quality, and will even play a lullaby and deliver a soothing light show.


Every time there’s something you might want to check—an elevated temperature, or a face covered for more than a few seconds—you can set the app to give you a notification. Parents can rest easy that everything is okay.

If you’re interested in helping get the next generation of baby monitors into production, and get your hands on some of the first ones out the door, take a stop by the Indiegogo campaign, where early-bird supporters can pick up a CharmCam with both a table mount and a clamp-style mount for just $149.

The Force Awakens…A New Set of ‘Star Wars’ Snowflakes

Graphic designer Anthony Herrera has been creating snowflake patterns for Star Wars fans since 2011, delivering a fresh batch of designs each year.

For his 2015 set, Herrera celebrates the release of the seventh film in the Star Wars saga, The Force Awakens, with seven new character designs featuring Rey, BB-8, Finn, First Order Stormtrooper, Kylo Ren, Kylo Ren Lightsaber, and Poe Dameron.

This latest bunch brings the total to 57 different Star Wars patterns from which crafty fanfolk can get cramped fingers, crossed eyes, and a big smile making.

Another recent addition is Herrera’s Guardians of the Galaxy snowflake patterns set, with all five members of the team, as well as Baby Groot and Ronan. These join his already popular set based on the animated Disney hit, Frozen. Continue reading The Force Awakens…A New Set of ‘Star Wars’ Snowflakes

‘The Rise of the Tomb Raider’ Exclusive Art Giveaway

The revitalization of Lara Croft returns in Rise of the Tomb Raider, available exclusively on Xbox One. In celebration of this monumental sequel to the reimagining of Lara Croft, we have an awesome set we to giveaway.

The Rise of the Tomb Raider wooden crate is filled with four pieces of limited edition artwork as well as a digital download of the game to go with the prize pack. Check out the widget below to enter to win. Continue reading ‘The Rise of the Tomb Raider’ Exclusive Art Giveaway

Martian Manhunter Destroys Earth & The Secret Six Take on Aquaman in DC This Week

Welcome to our recaps of DC Comics’ latest issues. Ray is the prototypical DC fan. It takes a great deal for him to give up on a title. I’m the one who tends to have the quick hook, especially for titles are are just ‘meh.’

This week, the Bat-kids keep chugging along in Batman and Robin Eternal, the Secret Six get wet in a terrific issue featuring Aquaman, Martian Manhunter‘s many selves argue with each other about saving the Earth in a great whacked-out story, and the original Teen Titans try to get back together in Titans Hunt.

On the bad side, the title character of the Telos gets the most random origin ever, the aptly-named Doomed closes its run, and Jimmy Olsen gives in to the Dark Side in Earth-2 Society.

Batman and Robin Eternal #7 – James Tynion IV and Scott Snyder, story, Genevieve Valentine, script, Alvaro Martinez, pencils, Raul Fernandez, inks

Ray: 9.5/10 (Book of the Week)

Corrina: Buy the Series.

Ray: I was waiting for this series – which has been consistently strong since it started – to truly wow me with an issue. Valentine’s first issue as the script writer does just that as it turns the spotlight on Cassandra Cain and Harper Row and their growing friendship. The team is a bit splintered, as Tim Drake has gone off the grid and is following his own leads – accompanied by Jason Todd, who tries to get the young genius Bat to open up about his issues with Dick and Bruce in his own snarky fashion. I’ve really enjoyed the interaction with these two in this series, even though it’s a pretty clear indication that we’re wiping out their previous hostility.  The flashback segments continue to show us how Bruce got closer and closer to Mother in the past, but they’re brief.

The meat of the issue is in Harper and Cass’ undercover mission for Dick. Continue reading Martian Manhunter Destroys Earth & The Secret Six Take on Aquaman in DC This Week

Gather ‘Round Padawans: Lessons From Star Wars (Part Three): Darth Vader

All I need to know in life I learned from Star Wars. Well, okay, not everything, but a lot of stuff, most of which I didn’t consciously realize had penetrated my cortex until the hubs and I launched Operation: Engeekify Spawn.

Darth Vader by Kieran Gillen, Salvador Larroca, Lenil Yu, Joe Caramagna, and Jordan D. White is a phenomenal book.

It is definitely not aimed at kids and you may want to pre-screen before sharing it with yours to decide if they’ll be comfortable with some of the tougher subject matter. There is a lot of killing, though very little blood, and a couple of seriously sadistic droids, lying, cheating, stealing, bounty hunting, and many other unsavory and potentially upsetting things.

But there are things we can learn from the Dark Side.

Continue reading Gather ‘Round Padawans: Lessons From Star Wars (Part Three): Darth Vader

Should Parents Sign Those Sports Media Permission Waivers?

It was time to sign up my kid for futsal, so I followed the link in the email from the team manager to sign him up. Only, in addition to digitally signing a waiver recognizing the health risks and holding the organization free from blame, I was also expected to sign a media release waiver:

“I, the parent/guardian of the above named Registrant, in consideration for accepting the Registrant for their Futsal programs and activities (collectively the “Programs”) hereby grants to [The Organization] and its member clubs and organizations, the right and permission, free from approval, review or cost, to photograph, record or otherwise capture the Registrants likeness in participating in the Programs for use in media, now or hereafter known, including, but not limited to pictures and video, to copyright the same in its own name, and which may be included in whole or in part for commercial or promotional use”

A quick perusal of the organization’s website shows that they pretty much just show group pictures of winning teams, maybe a couple action shots of groups, and that the likelihood of my child being singled out for ridicule or being the subject of a “what not to do” article is low.

But that’s not the point, is it?

I’m talking about digital images of my child that will live on to perpetuity and granting the rights to that picture to someone else forever. In whatever way they choose. Without my approval or review.

Do I sign?

Continue reading Should Parents Sign Those Sports Media Permission Waivers?

Gremlins Galore! Geeking Out About Hideously Adorable Sidekicks

Magic, mystery, and romance are three things readers can expect in Beth Cato‘s steampunk fantasy adventure, The Clockwork Dagger. But what might not be obvious from the book’s description is that behind the airships and spies, there is another force at play: that of a race of little…well…read what their creator, Beth Cato, has to say about them! I’m very glad to know I’m not the only one who has a soft spot for little green “hideously adorably” critters!

I geek out over the gremlins in my Clockwork Dagger series. One of the amazing things about being a published author is that readers geek out over my gremlins, too. That made it all the more exciting to write a novella in my book universe that is all about these hideously adorable chimeras.

My gremlins are like green-skinned furless cats with bat wings. They are creatures melded out of magic and science, very steampunk stuff, and cobbled together from bits of other living animals. Most of them can’t speak with words, though they comprehend human speech and mew, purr, and use other means to make their opinions known. Continue reading Gremlins Galore! Geeking Out About Hideously Adorable Sidekicks

Kickstart Your Kids’ Confidence in Math with MathKit

Of course you read books aloud to your kids often, but have you ever thought about setting aside time to cuddle and solve math problems together?

Leslie Gilbert, a math teacher and creator of MathKit, has created a collection of games to show kids that math can be a fun way to spend family time—and give them the confidence to keep trying and learning, even when they get a problem wrong.

MathKit is currently running a crowdfunding campaign to get the kits in the hands of kids from kindergarten to third grade. My first grader and I recently had the chance to check out the games ourselves.

After a rainy day playing together, my daughter declared, “This does make math fun!”

Continue reading Kickstart Your Kids’ Confidence in Math with MathKit

The Hard Data on Ice Skating Injuries Says: Wear a Helmet!

My small California town just opened a new ice skating rink, so my Facebook feed as been filled with friends and their families discovering their new ice skating talents. But what I noticed is that there are very few kids and practically no adults skating with helmets on. As the rest of the country heads into their winter months, I thought a PSA on winter sports safety might be timely.

Those of us who grew up ice skating probably never wore helmets back in the day, so it’s still a strange concept to some of us. We see ice skating in the Olympics (no helmets!) and in movies like Frozen (no helmets!) and we get it in our minds that ice skating with a helmet would make us look pretty dorky.

But I’m here to remind you that ice skating is a sport, and it’s performed on a very unforgiving material in small proximity to a bunch of inexperienced strangers strapped to two giant knives. This isn’t the movies, folks. When people fall down in real life, it’s not always cute. It often results in gashes, concussions, and broken bones. Continue reading The Hard Data on Ice Skating Injuries Says: Wear a Helmet!

GeekMom Holiday Gift Guide #3: Tabletop Games

Many geeks sure love their tabletop games. From family game night to weekend-long game fests to gaming conventions, tabletop games play a pretty big role in our lives. We’ve come a long way since the days of Monopoly and Sorry (though those games still have their uses). What are GeekMom’s favorite games this year? Check them out!

Continue reading GeekMom Holiday Gift Guide #3: Tabletop Games

A Healthcare Headache

I am extremely grateful for the many, many years we have had of employer-provided healthcare. We decided to look at the Pennsylvania healthcare exchange and find a plan that works for our family of 6 should we need to purchase our own coverage.

But I found myself staring blankly at the screen, trying to figure out which plan would provide for us without bankrupting us. Continue reading A Healthcare Headache

To the Doctor of the Fat Geek

Dear New Doctor,

You probably don’t remember me. I mean, I’m kind of obvious with my tattoos and brightly dyed red and purple hair. I don’t look like the other patients around here. I mean, I’m a geek who wore a comic book t-shirt and Iron Man kids’ slip-on shoes to your office.

But, you’re busy. So, I totally get that one person might not stand out.

Oh, yeah, and I’m fat.

Continue reading To the Doctor of the Fat Geek

Start Kids on a Coding Adventure with the ‘Minecraft’ Hour of Code

Not only will your coding Padawan have the opportunity to learn programming concepts with the help of Star Wars, this morning Microsoft released a new Minecraft coding tutorial for the Hour of Code.

The Hour of Code Minecraft tutorial, aimed at kids ages 6 and up, encourages young Minecraft fans to learn to code with Blockly, a simple drag-and-drop interface.

Continue reading Start Kids on a Coding Adventure with the ‘Minecraft’ Hour of Code

Exploring the Supercute World of Hello Kitty

The Hello Kitty craze is global, from breathtaking fashion statements to almost any piece of merchandise you can think of. And it all started in March 1975 with a simple coin purse that cost less than a dollar.

At the new Hello! Exploring the Supercute World of Hello Kitty now at the EMP Museum in Seattle, you can get a look at one of those rare coin purses, along with more than 500 unique pieces from Sanrio on display. The traveling exhibit is fascinating for anyone who has ever owned their own piece of Hello Kitty merchandise or been intrigued by her rise to pop culture stardom over the past 40 years.

Continue reading Exploring the Supercute World of Hello Kitty

Between the Bookends: Tea, Vampires, Fantasy CSI &…Cheese-Mites?

In this month’s bumper edition of Between the Bookends, the GeekMoms have been reading about vampires (of both the sparkly and non-sparkly kind), tea, horror in New Zealand, cheese-mite cosmology, CSI meets The Brothers Grimm, and much more. Dive in to check out our recommendations for the month.

Continue reading Between the Bookends: Tea, Vampires, Fantasy CSI &…Cheese-Mites?