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Back-to-School is still such a strange time of year around here - something that just seven years ago was decades behind us, and the thought of having one kid in school was unbelievable, much less having two. But now my wife and I do have two in school, and at the end of the month The Rock Daughters™ will be rockin' the halls once more. As our lives become busier with each passing year, and seemingly with each flip of the calendar, it's also incredible how much we depend on technology to hold it all together. Here at Rock Father HQ, my office PC is labeled with a Batcave-esque label that describes on the monitor exactly what it is: "THE ROCK FATHER - COMMAND CENTER." That HP desktop has been labeled as such for years, and my laptops are always a component of my "Mobile HQ" as I travel. Now it's time to tie the whole family into one, and for that we've added the HP Pavilion Liquid Platinum Gaming Laptop (15-AU010WM) to the arsenal - one of the all-new lineup of HP computers available at Walmart just in time for Back-to-School this year. It's a perfect machine for the entire family.
If “wearing many hats” is the metaphor for chronic multi-tasking, my virtual hat rack is full -- something that’s probably fairly obvious to anyone that’s followed my adventures on the social networks these past few years. On the surface, my #1 gig is being a parent - my wife and I raising The Rock Daughters™ with me as the (mostly) work-from-home parent while she maintains a career outside of the home. Thing is, as the years roll on, my travel has increased - the necessity of adventures in far-off locales… places where staying connected might not always be easy. On top of that, one of my lesser-known gigs involves my “other kids” - five of them. I serve as co-manager of the metal band Product of Hate - a gig that’s special to me as the boys are very much like my brothers, though on the artist management side there’s sometimes a “parental” vibe in looking out for their best interests, and part of that is helping to keep them connected to friends and family while out on the road. For their latest U.S. Tour, the AT&T Unite Explore by NETGEAR became a new tool in our arsenal - a Mobile WiFi Hotspot to put #RuggedWiFi* wherever the guys might be, as long as there’s a cell phone signal (4G LTE/4G where available).
The concept of a "Smart Home" is something that we've not really jumped on-board with here at Rock Father HQ, despite our ongoing #RockFatherRemodel Project and an abundance of future upgrades planned for the home that we intend to raise our daughters to adulthood in. If I were to pinpoint a single reason why, the big one is that I've turned out to be a lot more old-school that I once thought - a sometimes early-adopter that is immersed in tech daily, yet makes an attempt to keep his children as tech-free as possible, firmly believing that our age of "devices" has severely over-saturated the human species. However, I am intrigued by a lot of the tech that's been coming out for the home, and being so rooted in music, I'm always keen on new ways to bring the audio experience into new places. When the folks at Sengled got in touch to ask me about reviewing their recent Pulse Solo LED + Wireless Speaker, I took them up on it... despite not being entirely sure what to expect from a lightbulb with a Bluetooth speaker inside.
Over the past six years, there have been over 3.6 billion total downloads for games and apps within the TALKING TOM and FRIENDS collection - with players having spent a combined 945 thousand years playing with Talking Tom apps; knocking him down over 191 billion times. So how do you take a fresh approach to an old favorite? For Outfit 7, they went back to the original TALKING TOM CAT and gave the character some upgrades for 2016, relaunching the 'Cat with a whole new look...
MARIA BAMFORD is busy, the Minnesota native long-ago leaving behind "The Land of 10,000 Lakes" in favor of the Los Angeles River. Aside from doing stand-up and making appearances on shows such as ABC's FRESH OFF THE BOAT, Bamford is a prolific voice actor, lending her chords to everything from ADVENTURE TIME and KUNG FU PANDA to WORDGIRL and AXE COP. One of her most-heard roles is that of TALKING GINGER - a boy kitty, performed by a girl. As part of the YouTube hit,TALKING TOM AND FRIENDS: THE ANIMATED SERIES, millions have seen the character from Outfit 7's popular series of apps go on countless adventures. To celebrate Talking Ginger's birthday (today, April 8), Bamford took a few minutes to throw down some knowledge about the curious cat.