Saturday, August 27, 2011

Zach (and other 8BitDads)

I've been following them on Twitter and on Facebook, and I've stolen more post ideas than I'd care to mention from them, and yet I just realized I wasn't linking to their blog until today. Well, that's been taken care of.

Zach--and sometimes Bryan and Justin--aim to be a resource for fathers and an authority on all dad-related info that comes up on the web. Basically a go-to place for fathers (but without ever taking themselves too seriously). And while a lot of their posts are less personal in nature, their personal touch appears on every post.

I believe that although we all love those best-of lists (8BitDad itself is nominated the Parents magazine Best Of Daddy Blogs), in the end, the only thing that matters to us as readers is how much we actually want to visit a site, and while we're there, how often they will get us to engage by commenting or sharing the post elsewhere. 8BitDad hasn't been around for a long time, but it's already the place I visit and comment on more than any other blog. This new blog is original and funny, and I'm sure you'll learn something new by visiting.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

In Which My Son Asks Me What Just Happened

Planet Earth

"What was that? That was an earthquake. What's an earthquake? Oh... It's when... You know... Like... We live on Planet Earth. I mean, we live in Baltimore, which is a part of Planet Earth. You know that ball you have, with the picture... Remember you asked me what it was, and I said it was Planet Earth? So that's what... So... We live on the surface of Planet Earth, in a place called Baltimore. Yes, in Maryland. Baltimore is in Maryland.

"Now, under the earth... like, under the ground in Baltimore and in Maryland and everywhere, there are plates. Hmmm... No. Forget I said that. There are big rocks under the ground, and sometimes they move because there's an earthquake. No, they move and THEN there's an earthquake when they move and hit each other. Something like that. So now these two rocks hit each other and there was a big BOOM, and it made everything shake all the way from North Carolina to New York or even further, and that's what just happened. Makes sense?

"No? Ask your mom when she comes home then."

I knew that day would come. I was a dreamer in high-school. In physics class, I sat by the window and watched the world. The teacher came over to my chair, and after a few quiet moments of just standing next to me (without me noticing), told the class, "We have a detective here! While we're wasting our time studying physics, he's busy doing his detective work. What are you looking at now, let me see... Oh, this guy walking there... Is he a spy? Are you searching for spies?"

Later that year, in the basement floor physics lab, which was the only air-conditioned room in the school, that same teacher told the class I was wasting the school's air-condition.

I didn't get science, in other words. And since we've made the decision to have kids, I was dreading the day I'd have to teach my kids something about science. As far as I'm concerned, if you fall off a plane, your best bet is to aim for a cloud, so at least it will be a cushy impact.

Considering I have no idea what I'm talking about, I think I actually did a pretty adequate job. And as long as my son never asks me about the way rainbows are made, I think I'm good.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Stay At Home Dad: POV

This video was taken a year ago and posted in the People in the Sun blog I've since neglected. Reposting stuff is quite possibly lame, so forgive me, but I love this video of a dad's point of view, dealing with a screaming baby, a random toddler, and two old Pit Bulls. Hope you like it too.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

In Which I Share a PR Email About Bullying

In a society where appearances dominate perceptions, physical features have unfortunately influenced bullying.

That's how the email starts. Well, fair enough. Although victims of bullying are often chosen at random, physical features can definitely influence a bully's actions.

So, what is this email about? Maybe they're trying to get me to publish a guest post about ways to confront bullies? I don't really do guest posts, but if it's for a good cause... Let's continue reading the email.

Kids are afraid to look stand out because of their difference of appearance; making them a potential bullying target.

That's not really English, but I can understand what they're saying. Kids who look or act even slightly differently from a perceived norm may be more likely to be victims of bullying than those who blend in. Also somewhat true, although it's not that clear cut. While kids in my elementary school bullied each other, the reason for bullying was often more random than related to clear physical differences. One kid's parents were too old. Another kid was too smart. One kid was a bad dancer... In fact, the hemophiliac, disabled kid in my class wasn't laughed at. Kids often helped him carry his bags on his way to school (even if partly because showing up carrying his bags gave kids an automatic pass for being late for class).

But let's continue reading this email, and see how a PR company suggests we overcome bullying:

Consequently, many young children with conditions such as astigmatism grow wary about their eye-wear in fear that they will be called “nerd” or “freak” by their peer aggressors. As a result of school-hall torment (and an attempt to avoid) the student may remove their helpful glasses. This action could lead to increased sight impairment and (increased) lack of educational focus.

Right. Wait, what?

Although contact lenses require a dedicated sense of responsibility, they can be an excellent choice for children.


Once contact lenses are decided upon by the family, and prescription is obtained from the child’s physician, the most convenient and inexpensive way to buy them is through

And there you have it. has just solved the problem of bullying in this country. Your kid comes home crying? They called him a nerd? Don't confront the bullies or his parents, don't teach your kid to stand up for himself, don't get in touch with the school or with the police. Why go through all this trouble when you can teach your kid life hurts less if he acts like the bullies want him to act and looks like they want him to look?

And now it's even cheaper to fight bullying because offers significant savings and discounts for customers: free shipping for purchases over $50.00 and a “best price guarantee” that promises to match competing prices.


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