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10:04 AM on 11.15.2010

Dr. Light, Mega Man, and Proto Man go Trick-or-Treating

Hello all! So I finished my portion of the costume for Halloween! We had a great time trick-or-treating, but only one group during our night out got it. This doesn't include stopping by digtastiks neighborhood for a little show and tell. Anyways, here is some more pictures and a video of the night.

If you want to know how to build the costumes go here:
Dr. Light
Proto Man
Mega Man



8:25 PM on 10.28.2010

Dr. Lights Halloween Boys: Mega Man and Proto Man

Hello everyone, its been awhile again. Family life doesn’t leave itself much free time, but I managed to get my whole family helping with this years costumes. This year after talking it over with my sons we decided to continue with the Mega Man theme costume.  My youngest was now the same age as my oldest when we built the Mega Man costume. Of course he is about twice the size as his brother was, so the suit is tight, but he is happy to be Mega Man. My oldest thought it would be a good idea to do Proto Man. Especially when he found out that Proto Man was like Mega Man’s older brother. I haven’t finished my costume yet, when I do, I will post some more pictures, but you can probably guess what it is.

I thought it should be pretty easy since they are so similar. I could use my experience from the Mega Man costume, and make improvements along the way. The one thing I wasn't going to change was the finish. I think the fabric (cotton in this case) wrapped components make a great looking real life conversion of cartoons/video games. I ended up usi   read

3:29 PM on 12.28.2009

NVGR: My Christmas Project... That's no moon!

Been away awhile again... Christmas breaks will do that. During this break I made something I wanted to share with the Destructoid Community, my new Christmas tree topper. I have been collecting star wars ornaments for my tree since about 1999, since then I have been wanting a Death Star on top of my geek tree. This year was the year. It plays three different songs/sound effects, has a motion sensor and some control buttons. The lighting is done with LEDs and a Laser... yes a laser :)

Go here and vote for me so I can win free stuff or if you want to learn how I built it.

Here is a video of it in action:

Here are a couple of pics:


8:37 AM on 12.01.2009

BabaGeek Family Friendly Gaming Setup

This may not look like much, but under the hood is another story, and that is exactly how I want it to be. If you have read any of my other articles you know I am a happily married father of two boys. The need for a nice family room that is kid friendly and aesthetically pleasing is important to us. After finishing the Halloween Costumes this year I decided that I was going to get all of our entertainment into our family room.

There is a lot to cover so I will break this down into three areas:
1. Furniture
2. Equipment
3. Collection

My video game collection was scattered around our home and not all that accessible. I needed component shelving for all the consoles and AV equipment. Media shelving for all the DVD's and Games. I also needed a place for my center channel speaker. Finally I needed a place for all the controllers and accessories. All these pieces were design and built or modified by me... click the header links to see the instructions and more details/photos.

AV Equipment Shelves and TV Stand
The equipment needed to be up off the ground where the kids could not really mess with them. I also wanted the "hot" components to have as much open air around them as possible, which lead me to the design. As you can see it is open on all 4 sides. There are just two planks to hold the component. The XBox 360 and the Onkyo were of major concern. I am trying to avoid a RRoD, and so far I have been successful (knock on wood). I wanted the newer consoles up off the floor and I wanted room for growth (didn't have the 360 when I built these, and still have space for a PS3 and something in the future).

The TV stand was something that we purchased from the store, but I modified it after getting the DLP TV. It used to have cubbyholes on the right and went around the CRT TV that was in there. This holds all the older consoles along with the Pelican AV Switcher.

Media Shelves
I had build the first media shelf awhile ago to put all our movies on. We out grew that and have had only about 1/2 our DVD collection out. I built the big 8 shelf 6' wide set just this month. The 8 shelf one will hold about 960 movies, which should last us for awhile. Part of the kid friendly design is that the lower two shelves are reachable by our little ones, and hold all the movies fit for them. The top shelf is stuff that we don't access that much (since even I need a step stool to reach the top), like TV shows and Holiday movies. The older of the two shelves now holds some DVD (Just so it doesn't look empty) and all of my games. I really do enjoy displaying all this media... I know collection issues.

New 8 shelf 6' wide version

Smaller 6 staggered shelf 5' wide version

Center Channel Ledge
I needed a nice place to put my center channel, and it wouldn't fit (nor did I want it to) under the TV Stand. This was a quicky to build, and works really well. As an added bonus the Wii motion bar fits right underneath the speaker.

Game Accessory Coffee Table
The piece that I am probably most proud of (probably because I just finished it) is the coffee table. I wanted a place to store all the controllers and accessories. We had this pretty cool looking coffee table that we liked. We also had end tables that matched it. After doing some calculations I figured out a way to use the table and fulfill my gaming needs. As you can see there are 10 cubbyholes, I have 9 consoles right now... hmm... still missing that PS3 :). I had originally thought to put the actual systems in there and have everything hooked up, but that would have been a bit of an overkill (Yes, that is a very ironic statement). This design gets all this messy stuff out of sight.



Part of making this family friendly is ease of use. Between the Onkyo Receiver, Pelican AV Switcher, and Harmony Remote everyone in the family can access all the different components easily.

Samsung HLP5063W DLP TV
This TV is over 4 years old and has been a fantastic set, once I got past the lag issue (more on that in a bit). I haven't had to replace the lamp yet (knock on wood again).

Onkyo TX-SR706 Receiver
The Onkyo receiver does two key things for me. It acts as an AV switcher for all my sources (including HDMI), and it upconverts my older systems so I have no lag on my Sammy DLP TV (which was a HUGE issue!). The upconverter in this unit was well worth the money alone. It does a pretty good job and all my old systems are now playable.

Pelican AV Switcher
I picked this up at Fry's for little money for what it offered me. I have all of my last gen consoles hooked up to this. I have one SD output that goes to the Onkyo which then gets up converted.

Harmony H688 Remote
I got this for free when I used to do trade shows for my company. Best thing that I got from that position! This is an older model, but if it ever dies I am going to get another one. This one is over 5 years old now.

Other Equipment
Dish Network ViP622 DVR
Sony DVD player (it holds up my Wii (hehe))

Other setup items
I'm using Rivet on the mac to share my music/video/etc to the 360, which I find very nice.
Because my TV is so far away from my couch I needed to get extension cables for all of my consoles that use wired controllers.

The worst thing that I did growing up was getting ride of all my old stuff. I no longer do that, and am trying to collect what I used to have and then some.

Genesis (First time owning one)
SNES (First time owning one)
N64 (First time owning one)
Xbox 360
V.Tech (I guess I have 10 systems :)

Yeah, I am not going to list my games. If you are really interested you might be able to make out the names from the pics. You could probably guess from the images that I am more of a Retro gamer and lean towards Nintendo, especially the DS and the NES/SNES. My DS gets the most play from me, but that is slowly changing back to consoles as I have the time. This new setup is already helping the cause.

Pictures of my games...

I know, this needs lots of work.

I am starting with things good for my kids.

N64 Games not pictured because they suck and have no readable label from the side.


11:53 AM on 10.21.2009

BabaGeek: Halloween 2009, Yoshi Mascot Costume - The Head

Here I am, I have not forgotten my destructoid crew... nor the costumes for my kids. This is just the start of the story.

After some research and careful planning we decided on making a Yoshi mascot costume. A mascot costume being something a little more than just your average suit. Yeah I could have just tweaked a dinosaur costume, or made a yoshi hat, but I like a challenge, and I wanted it to be proportional. The other reason I thought I could pull this off is I have my mother-in-law helping me with the sewing (and she is awesome at it). This would be a combined build of ingenuity and tailoring.

I am a fairly good 3d artist so I felt confident that I could recreate Yoshi based on some imagery I found online, along with some drawings I made for sizing purposes.

With the head being the most challenging part I started with it. After the success of last years costumes I knew that I wanted to make the costume fuzzy and cute. So it was going to get covered in fabric again. I decided to construct the head out of wire and plastic mesh for the foundation.

I started with the front view outline and then slowly built up a wire frame of Yoshi's head. This took a few hours (not to bad).

I then cut out the plastic mesh to lay over the wire frame and attached it by weaving a thin wire. This took FOREVER. Looking back I might have just been able to use yarn.

All the while I was testing the fit on my boy... but... I didn't really let him carry the weight until I got towards the end. It was heavy for him. It was a little over two pounds, and when you weigh just 32 pounds... that's heavy. I hadn't worked on the mounting or anything yet, so I figured it just needed to be stabilized.

My solution? I thought 2lbs was too much for his head to support, so I decided to let it rest on his shoulders and then have a stiff harness system that would come down his chest/back and attach to a belt.

What the hell was I thinking. Well... I was thinking that I have just spent a long time and I didn't want it to go to waste. I probably could have added a head support system to help. But at this point I was feeling like a terrible Baba for making my son wear such a monster of a head, and it didn't even have its skin yet. It would be great for someone that is older, but for my 4 year old... yeah, not a solution.

This video should get the point across...

After sulking about my failed first attempt I tried to talk to my son about choosing a different costume. The conversation went something like this:

"We might have to do something else for your costume" I said.

"Why?" he responded.

"Because this is too big and heavy for you."

"You will make it lighter baba." stating with complete confidence.

"I don't think I can make this one lighter." Feeling pretty low at this point.

"You can do it." As he walks away.

This was one of the first times I really got to see how my son looks up to me and thinks that I can do anything. I remember feeling that way about my dad, mom, and older brothers. What was I to do? Shatter that image at 4 yrs old, or man up and figure it out. I obviously choose the latter.

So I got to researching and after some good advice and more idea's I started over... with precious little time left.   read

1:43 PM on 08.21.2009

Gearing up for Halloween with the Kids... Again.

It has been a long while since I have been around these parts, but I am in need of motivation. For those that are new around here, or don't remember... I did a custom set of costumes last year.

I have the idea for the costume this year, but I am so busy with life and work that I am having a hard time finding the time to work on stuff. Since I don't want to let me kids down, and I don't want to let myself down, I am going to start writing articles here. This will hopefully give myself more motivation by knowing that you all will be counting on my costume prowess powers as well.

The costumes this year are not 100% set, but I have some thoughts.

Eldest son (will be 4 by Halloween): Yoshi
But not some simple costume... this is going to be more like a mascot costume for a 4 year old. I have a good idea of how to make it as well.

Youngest son (will be 2 by Halloween): Mario or Toad
I am not sure what I want to do here. I first thought to make him Toad which the size will work well. Also the big mushroom head would look super cute. Then I thought about making him Mario, because the size would work there too, and it would then be more recognizable.

Me: Mario or Bowser or None
At first my youngest was going to be Toad and I was going to be Mario. But the size really doesn't work. Then I thought I could just not dress up. Then I thought well... maybe Bowser if I have the time. If I make Bowser... then this would be more about the bowser costume than anything, and I really want the focus to be on the kids. I don't want to take anything away from them. Plus I really don't think I will have the time for Bowser.

So what does everyone else think? Going with the Yoshi/Mario theme what would be good costumes for me and my youngest?   read

1:28 PM on 04.10.2009

Wii FNF: Teetering on the brink of Collapse

Come one come all to our fun night of Wii games and Skype mayhem. Looks to be a decent crowd so far... please add your info in the comments below as the Wii is a steamy pile when it comes to online play.

Mario Kart:
Mine Kart Kode: 3738 0140 6156
Mine Code: 0044 6227 4344
Medal of Honor Heroes 2:
Nicknames: craineum
Skype: kevin.craine
Time: 10pm EST   read

12:55 PM on 03.27.2009

Wii FNF: Wii're Baaaack

That is right, after a long hiatus, we have returned! Since we will have some visitors from across the pond, it will be a Kart and Bomberman event (mostly Kart).

And like I have said before, our FNF's are more about the gathering and less about the games, so if you don't have a Kart, actually if you don't have a Wii, grab a white TV remote, load up some Kart YouTube vids and join us on skype... hell we won't even have to dick with Kart Kodes that way.

If you are going to play and we haven't hooked up in the past, make sure you post your Kart Kode below (or just do the YouTube thing).

I think ryu89 might be doing the Brawl thing too.

Mario Kart:
Mine Kart Kode: 3738 0140 6156
Digtastik Kart Kode: 2020 0092 3270
Mine Code: 0044 6227 4344
Digtastik: 4167 7948 3525
Medal of Honor Heroes 2:
Nicknames: craineum, digtastik, groebo (ie they all match our dtoid nicks)
Skype: kevin.craine, digtastik
Time: 10pm EST

ryu89 Hosting
Brawl Code: 0817-3428-3165
Skype: Ryuh89
Time: 11pm EST   read

3:18 PM on 02.13.2009

BabaGeek: Mikey is Awesome

A little while ago, and now I can't remember where I read it (probably facebook), it sounded like Mikey needed some funds. This sparked a thought in my head... I really wanted a custom piece done by him for me and the kids.

My idea was to take us in our Halloween getups, and then add a little Mikey flare to it. I sent him a few images of us to work from like this:

We worked out an agreement for compensation based on what I was looking for, then he got to work. First he put together a few different rough sketches that showed us in different poses.

After I selected one with a few tweaks to it, he sent me a final pencil rendering before going to ink and color.

Finally the results...

I am going to print this out and put it on my desk at work. Truly Awesome!

Here is a little comparison shot. I think he did an wonderful job catching just what I was looking for.

So this article comes down to nothing more than a fan gushing all over Mikey trying to get others to give him some money for a creation so full of awesomeness... you may just explode. Mikey does a lot of things here free of charge because he is cool as shit, so if you like someone's talent and want to support them... do it!

Mikey, you rock!   read

10:58 AM on 02.13.2009

Wii FNF: FingerBangTastik, the Good Years.

At the First ever show of FingerBangTastik much more than games and friendly banter transpired. It was a night of angry meltdowns and drunken words... and of course... Titties.

If you missed the show, hold onto your hats, because live and in person tonight... FingerbangTastik reunites for a special encore presentation. And yes... now we have groupies.

This evening will be... well... do we even really need to play games? Probably not, but we might as well. Since we will have some international flavor again, it will be either Kart or Bomberman.

Mario Kart:
Mine Kart Kode: 3738 0140 6156
Digtastik Kart Kode: 2020 0092 3270
Mine Code: 0044 6227 4344
Digtastik: 4167 7948 3525
Medal of Honor Heroes 2:
Nicknames: craineum, digtastik, groebo (ie they all match our dtoid nicks)
Skype: kevin.craine
Time: 10pm EST

ryu89 Hosting
Brawl Code: 0817-3428-3165
Skype: Ryuh89
Time: 11pm EST   read

12:37 PM on 02.06.2009

Wii FNF: Introducing... FingerBangTastik

Left to Right: Banj as Banjina, Groebo as Deep Throat, Digtastik as Diq-a-Stick, Serpentish as Slurp, Craineum as Cranus

Ok, we will be starting with Kart at 10pm, Bomberman after that, then maybe some MOH. Also ryu89 will be hosting Brawl again... see information below for that.

Damn... forgot to do the facebook thing.

Mario Kart:
Mine Kart Kode: 3738 0140 6156
Digtastik Kart Kode: 2020 0092 3270
Mine Code: 0044 6227 4344
Digtastik: 4167 7948 3525
Medal of Honor Heroes 2:
Nicknames: craineum, digtastik, groebo (ie they all match our dtoid nicks)
Skype: kevin.craine
Time: 10pm EST

ryu89 Hosting
Brawl Code: 0817-3428-3165
Skype: Ryuh89
Time: 11pm EST   read

12:28 PM on 02.03.2009

10 Things That Can Kill EGM

I do not venture out here enough... these top 10 lists are truly amazing, so now I will add my own.

1. Life Changing Places
I have an Awesome wife, and has opened my eyes to so many wonderful things. She happens to be from Nepal. So for our belated honeymoon we went to her home country. It has been one of the most aw inspiring trips I have ever been on. The things that we got to see, the places we went... it was truly epic, and there is no other word to describe it.

2. Speaking of Amazing Places
I have never been a part of any online community before Destructoid. Like some others have said, I never saw a reason, but this place has changed that. This is one of the most awesome communities I have ever been apart of, and I think it has all to do with the people in charge. If it wasn't for Niero and the awesome team he has put together, I might have to actually work during the day.

3. Never finish games as a kid
I could probably count the number of games on one hand that I finished as a kid. There are many reasons for this. One I suck at video games, even though I love them. I have finally been able to admit this to myself. Second I got bored easily. Third... I have serious OCD issues. I would try and find out every little secret in a game before moving onto the next area/level.

4. Anal...
My OCD issues crop up in many different ways. From being to obsessed with finding every detail about a game to having all my movies/games laid out in a certain way. I am in the middle of finished some furniture for my gaming setup, and once done, you will see the sickness that I have when I post some pictures.

5. Super Power - Acid Skin
For some reason I have a super power of being able to ooze acid from my skin. I can't wear leather watchbands (they don't last 3 months). My $200 Shure headphones... I have gone through 3 pairs (I no longer buy the good stuff). My wife gave me this ring to wear one time, and as you wear it is supposed to shine more and more... well... it turned black... she put it on, and it got shiny?!?

6. Diet
I was starting to get heavy and feeling really crappy about myself. I wanted to be able to do more with my kids. So I completely changed my diet. I gave a sugar (which is basically like a crack adict going clean, seriously) , I gave up all white bread's, potato's, rice... etc., I hardly eat anything prepacked, avoid MSG, etc... etc... etc... I dropped 50lbs, it was awesome. Since then my tastebuds have completely changed, and I like stuff I have never like before. If I can do it... anyone can. Now I need a way to motivate myself to exercise...

7. Romantic Comedy Sucker
Some of you already know this, but I love romantic comedy movies. Actually anything that is comedy based is gold to me... ie... martial arts comedy, ala Jackie Chan is effing amazing.

8. Dredge Hater
While we are on movies... I hate anything that doesn't have some kind of redeeming quality to it. I turned off Fight Club. And don't get me started on Jerry. I don't mind dredge if there is at least some kind of light in it. Like Sin City was Awesome, lots of dredge, but there were people trying.

9. Early Life Lesson
Till about 6th grade I was a douche. I remember bullying this one kid nonstop in the playground. Then my world crashed, my parents divorced and me and my mom moved to a new school. I was branded a loner by these really stuckup kids, and it stuck. I was then the victim of so much bullying that it more than made up for what I used to do. But to drive the point home, and the irony of the situation was... the kid I used to bully in the old school ended up becoming my friend in the new school. I wouldn't change this life lesson for anything, it has defined me.

10. Karma is a bitch
From #9 Karma has kept my ass in line for a long time. I haven't been able to do anything wrong, as it immediatly pays me back. One time I was with a friend from college in his home town and we decided to go out with a few of his friends and releave the state of some unnecessary advertising (ie we took some street signs). On THE LAST SIGN, we got caught, put in jail, and had to goto court. The judge was nice and didn't charge us with a felony (based on the value and amount of signs we had it should have been).

Extra Credit:
Most people know this... but I love my family more than anything. Being a father/husband has been the best thing to have ever happened to me.   read

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