Motorized Ice Cream Cone

I’m sure there are allot of practical uses for a device such as this but I’m treating this as a fun way for Catriona to eat my favorite food. A love of ice cream runs through out all my family and I am doing my best to introduce this trait to my daughter. Luckily she is full of wisdom beyond her years and only eats the smallest tastes of desert foods – she seems to prefer to eat seconds of tofu and corn. The Motorized Ice Cream Cone will add some fun to our weekly sampling of ice cream. Available in 4 different colours for $9.95US (each) from Hog Wild. Found via Pop Gadget.


Childrens Paper Chair

This is clever. The genius chair/easel provides a huge roll of paper for a kid to sit on while she draws and comes with a 5 year supply of paper. Imagine rolling out that roll when it is finished and seeing the growth of your child’s illustration and visualization skills over time!
“The Chair is made with drawing paper, as the paper is being “drawn upon”, the size of the front cylinder increases and thus follows the child’s growth!- age 2-7 Years. Clean paper is transferred from the back cylinder to the front simply by rolling the front cylinder backwards. The amount of paper is approx. 500 meters, which means that the paper can be changed twice a week for 5 years.”
No word of availability or price. Product Page. Found via Gizmodo.


Where Art Thou?

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I haven’t written much here in the past few months as I struggle to maintain a difficult schedule of client work, projects, family life, and writing for other weblogs.
Since I am writing elsewhere I am trying a little experiment with an extra column to the right, on the homepage only, to track all my entries on those weblogs that I publish on my own. So far I don’t dig it much but I will give it some time to see if it’s worthwhile or not.
I have another project in the works which will likely influence greatly what I write here. For years I have wanted to publish a magazine in Chinese on topics related to the many facets of developing good user experiences online. Time has past and others have jumped into the fray with some excellent efforts but certainly there is room for another. Hopefully I will be able to announce that here soon and can get back to sharing all the great things I find online related to the topics here on this weblog.
In addition to this weblog I also publish the following:

  • Minzoo – Modern gear for babies and their dads
  • Pop Wuping – Modern stuff for a mobile lifestyle
  • Shao Kelake – Off-the-cuff commentary and destinations of interest
  • 35togo – snapshots of life in Taiwan and other parts of Asia

You can find some of my work here:

  • Quiet Please – I make interactive products, installations, and weird sound art
  • My Portfolio – design, research, photography, writing, and yes weblogs

Cow and Elephant Animal Lamps

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I’ve been looking lately for something to replace the Christmas lights that we had up in my daughters room up until recently. Yes we put up Christmas lights in her room and a Christmas tree as well. She loved it. There are allot of options and I particularly like the style of these cow and elephant lamps. The more colorful and warm lights in the room the better as these according to my daughter keep away the cookie monster. The cookie monster is sometimes a benevolent guy or someone who wants to steal her friend Mr. Mouse. I like these but would feel far more comfortable if they weren’t made of paper. They are likely fine. $20.00US each from uncommon good.


Velour Animal Hat

One of the items of clothing that my daughter loves is hats and I’m glad as there are so many wonderful examples to choose from. I think they are a fun , practical, extension of personality that we lose as we get older in favor of the boring baseball cap. This hat with the penguin head on top is very well made in Sweden of velvety soft velour. The hat is large enough to fit children over 2 yrs and supposedly most adults. I’m pretty sure it won’t fit my big head, which is a shame because I am sure it would give my daughter a great thrill if I wore one with her. You can buy it for $20.00US at Zebra Hall.


Please Do Not Touch Baby T-shirt

When you have a young baby in a country without many western babies you are often met with adoration, photo opportunities, finger pointing, and lots of uninvited touching. I’m cool to it except when it goes on for hours at a time or if their is a SARS outbreak like their was when my daughter was born. It’s at these times I start to lose my friendly pooh bear demeanor and become more like Eeyore. Instead of letting it ruin my day perhaps this “please do not touch” baby t-shirt will help, except that few people understand English enough to pay attention. It’s a good attempt all the same. $20.00US from moss.


Lush Bubble Bars

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We have always been pretty sensitive to introducing any new detergents or bath soap to our daughter. We found that Johnsons baby products were what worked best with little or no irritation to her skin. We didn’t see any need for upscale “organic” products. I love the smell of Johnson’s baby soap so much I tend to use it myself. But when it came time for bubbles in the bath we didn’t have much luck. Bubbles mostly came from me working furiously to stir up the soap, which was fun, but not really quite as fun as when we tried Lush bubble bars. Coming in a range of different “flavors” these bath additives create mountains of bubbles to the absolute joy of our daughter. She loves it. The flavors don’t always smell authentic and pink or yellow coloured water isn’t my thing, but so far no skin reactions and quite allot of fun. It’s a bit expensive for daily use. If you don’t have the luxury of a Lush shop you can buy it online for $6.30US per 3.5oz bar.


VIP 15 metal pedal bin

We bought a fancy plastic garbage can for diapers that self-seals before our daughter was born – it had the cool Japanese chic about it that seemed to force me to buy it. It was a good concept but unfortunately I could never figure out how to use it. I wish I had bought this four-gallon, hand-crafted pedal bin from Denmark instead. It looks almost too good to put diapers in. On sale at Design within Reach for $169.95US.


Hockey Night in Canada Red Infant Huggy

Just because your baby is only 6 months old doesn’t mean she/he won’t appreciate an afternoon of Hockey Night in Canada reruns on DVD. You have to start them early. Turn the air conditioner on high, wear some thick socks, scarf, and woolen hat and it will feel just like home. I should have combined this with the other bit of CBC couture but it deserved some love all on it’s own. $24.99CAN at the CBC shop.


CBC Baby Varsity Romper

I still get gifts from home with little bits of Canadian couture emblazened on the front – usually university, beer, and CBC logos. I think it’s my family’s way of reminding me to get the hell home and stop living the life of an expat. I do miss CBC radio and have yet to find a substitute in Asia. This Romper is available in sizes from 3 – 12 months for $15.99CAN at the CBC shop.


Boopop Table for your Toddler

We recently bought my daughter a small low rise play table that converts into a surface for playing with legos. It’s really been a great purchase as we get to have an accessible place to build all kinds of creations – usually that includes zanga blocks that she can knock down, water paints, legos, and well, just about all the activities we have tried where sitting at a table is good practice. The downside to the table and chair set we bought is that it is made from cheap and ugly plastic. Though we bought it in an upscale shop most items made and sold here tend to skimp on the design.
When I saw the Boopop table at moderntots I thought I saw a beautiful replacement – the table top is natural bamboo plywood embedded with clear polyester resin and the legs are brushed stainless steel. A good replacement until I saw the price. Moderntots are selling the Boopop for $1,995.00US. Not something to buy on a whim and perhaps only if you think it can find other uses after the children grow out of it. Though with this kind of an investment in a small table do you really want crayons and paint all over it?


Hiding while she sleeps

My daughter is going through a phase where she wants to hide when she goes to bed. She will grab her blanket or pillow and try to hide her head from whatever imaginary character is in the room (or just dad). She does this now when she first is put to bed and at anytime later. It seems cute and sometimes fun but it freaks me out.
I’m not overly protective nor I am really all that gentle with her. I rough house with her and even let get her bumps (despite the heart attacks it gives me). But I have this innate fear that somehow by putting her head under her blanket or pillow she will smother. I don’t know if I am being rational but my frequent checks on her while she is sleeping have increased since she started.
Every night I check on her by placing my hand on her tummy or back, feeling the rhythm of her breathing. It’s always a beautiful moment watching her sleep. Now I keep pulling the pillow and blankets of her head, with her sometimes fighting with me even when she is asleep.


Klong Plush Toy

For long drives or flights where I or Mom can’t give our daughter a hug or hold her, this plush toy might serve as a temporary substitute. “Klong also doubles as a pillow, scarf, or comfort blanket on long journeys.” Is there any way to resist buying more and more stuffed or plush toys? Our house is overflowing with them. Klong is available from the MoMA store for $58.00US.