Aratsy-craftsy new uses for hardware will keep the kids happy at home

A mid-Atlantic heat wave has taxed the wiring, and stifling humidity keeps the
cyberrodent busy mopping condensation off the walls of his home command bunker.

An even hotter threat to the Rat's peace of mind goes unchecked: The ratlings are home
all day now. And the Rat has found himself spending a lot more time working at home after
recent problems with toxic fumes at his office bunker.

Even worse, the Rat's beta software is now being forwarded to his home address, and the
stacks of FedEx, UPS and Express Mail packages piling up in the foyer annoy his
significant other.

Unlike the old days when software came on easily recyclable floppies-the Rat's
department hasn't budgeted for floppy disks since the Bush administration-there isn't much
you can do to recycle CD-ROMs. Even the most convivial household uses a finite number of

So to reduce clutter around the house and turn the ratlings' idle hands away from
random acts of destruction, Mrs. Rat has helped devise a one-stroke solution: crafts.

In the interest of easing the pressures of technologically burdened parents everywhere,
the Rats now share their ideas on how to turn those unwanted beta CD-recordable disks,
shipping peanuts and express envelopes into useful items that will make Martha Stewart
green with envy:

Insert face into
envelope. Wear during software-debugging rituals and while e-mailing voodoo curses.

Take this to a neighbor's house, let their kids beat it to
pieces and stick them with cleaning up the mess.

The Packet Rat once managed networks but now spends his time ferreting out bad
packets in cyberspace. E-mail him at [email protected].

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