Category Archives: Father

Kids Have Standards

I was wearing a Batman shirt yesterday.  It has the old-school logo on it.

Evan, my 9 year old neighbor-kid rolled up on his bike and asked, “You like Batman?”

“Yeah, I do.  He’s a solid dude, you?” I replied.  In truth, I don’t know anything about super heroes.

“No.  In the cartoons they draw him with long pointy ears,” he said.

“Yeah but he’s a super hero and he’s strong and stuff…a good guy.”

Evan looked off in the distance.  “Terrible,” he declared and rode away.

Was he talking about me or Batman?

Batman

Road Block’s Damnation

You might remember my posts about Barbie, “Dirty Blonds.”  Sweet girl, had a rough spot in life.

Anyway, my son got a GI Joe action figure for Christmas, his name is Road Block (the guy from the movie I refuse to see).  I’ve since started feeling really bad for Road Block even though his movie sucked so much.  He’s a decent dude who carries two large handguns all the time and he can’t bend his arms or legs.  Consider these difficult circumstances I’ve witnessed:

The Breakfast Nook

The Breakfast Nook

A relaxing dinner?  Not for Road Block.  This is turning out to be an Oscar Pistorius night.

Awkward Meeting

Awkward Meeting

My daughter introduced Road Block to Barbie’s friend, Skipper.  Awkward.

Road Block out for a Sunday cruise

Road Block and Barb out for a Sunday cruise

Yes, Barbie has a sweet ride but people just aren’t feeling it with all that road rage.

GI Joe turns 50 this week, been fighting tyranny and oppression since 1964.  This Road Block version is a poor substitute for the Joes of the past.  Maybe he is being punished for being in such a terrible movie.

Check out the Onion’s GI Joe 50 year timeline.

Lunchables; The Unfood

Be careful, may be a choking hazard.

Yes they are inexpensive, Yes they are convenient.  No, it doesn’t seem right.

I visited my daughter’s Kindergarten class for lunch, the girl next to her was eating a Nachos and Cheese Lunchable.  She plugged away at the chips, she didn’t like the cheese or the salsa.  Hopefully for her, snack time brings some joy because I don’t think she got what Michelle Obama was hoping for.

I did some research because I felt it was my duty to inform my readers about these mystery meals.

To start, their marketing is virtually impenetrable. After cruising around their website for a bit, I was ready to sit down and break open a “Chicken Dunks.”  This tasty combo has a few chicken nuggets (that will not be heated), a ketchup pack, a juice and (last but not least) an Airhead Taffy.   Blue Raspberry flavor no less.  This lunchable is so good that 45 people felt compelled to ‘Like” it on Facebook.  Puzzling.

The calories are low, the cost is low, the bad ingredients are pretty low so what gives?  Size.

Everything in a lunchable is a mini version of itself.  Many of the products look similar in size on the packaging but are really shrunken stand-ins.

Let’s take the Ham and Cheddar with crackers.  Kraft calls us to, “beat the lunchtime blues” with this pack.  I’m not sure your kid will have the strength to beat anything.  The entire meal is only 90 grams, about 3/4 the size of a medium banana.  The good news is it only has 120 Calories from fat, that’s just under a regular taco bell taco.

Sometimes as a parent you have to follow your gut (or in this case, your kid’s gut).  Feeding your kid a cold and fake deep dish pizza that they assemble themselves at the lunch table can’t be good even if it comes with two mini double stuff Oreos.

Daddy Pig – The Retort

I’ve gotten a lot of feedback on my judgmental Daddy Pig post.  In retrospect, I could have been more clear about a few things.

1.  Daddy Pig holds the world record in the pig sport of puddle jumping.  Impressive.  As I concluded in the Romeo Dance Cheetah post, being the best at anything is pretty awesome.

2.   Being a good dad doesn’t mean you have to be intelligent, in good shape or even motivated.  Sometimes you just have to be present.  My wife defended Daddy Pig pointing out that at least he’s not out drinking every night, she also named several dads that are one of the above but still seemingly great dads; point taken.

My daughter pointed out that Daddy Pig once skipped work then fell asleep in a chair reading the newspaper.  My son mentioned that one time when it was raining, Daddy Pig used the umbrella instead of keeping the family dry.  My kids don’t watch a lot of TV so these examples are telling.

Daddy Pig has become a regular term around our house to describe lackluster parenting.  The parents we noticed this weekend sleeping on the beach while their children frolicked in the hurricane driven waves- Daddy Pig.  The dads gathering to talk shop at the ‘family’ event ignoring the rest of the family- Daddy Pigs.  Staying at work too late and checking your e-mail when you get home- Daddy Pig.

The point is, there is a little Daddy Pig in all of us; the best we can do is to beat his swine-ass into submission.

For more information:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daddy_Pig

Daddy Pig is a bitch. Are you?

The guy on the left is a bitch.

Daddy Pig is a bitch.  He is fat, fairly stupid and seemingly lazy.

My kids watch Peppa Pig which is a pretty good show except for the Dad.  He snorts around and provides little more than comical relief for the family.

Dads, what has happened to our brand?  When did we become the chubby goofy guy who bumbles around from channel to channel contributing little besides money to family growth?

A recent trip to a family water park resort told me that Daddy Pig does exist and he represents our country’s fathers in force.  I saw a bunch of out of shape males milling around searching for the next beer, hopelessly fixated on their smart phones while the family functioned around them; at dinner, they find the nearest television to escape to while mom makes sure the family is fed.

I know real dads are out there.  Many of our readers are real dads, I’ve seen them in action too.

Real dads bring whatever they have to offer to the table at night.  Maybe they ask leading questions about character, maybe they field the few questions that stump mom, they can lead family exercise, or  encourage self reflection; maybe they simply set the example.

Either way, your choice- Daddy or Daddy Pig?

Put down your cell phone and look up.

This shirt was at Walmart for Father’s Day, if you received it you might want to rethink your approach.

Writing in Parentheticals – A Feminine Practice

There is little excuse for a man to use parenthetical faces in his correspondence.  Men should simply use words to convey intent and meaning, leaving the faces for the ladies or kids who don’t know better.

If you can’t say it with words, just don’t say it; hide your feelings- you’re better off that way than to use a pair of punctuation marks to make cute faces or figures.

I understand that humans have been using codes to communicate for ages, blah, blah blah.  Let me assure you, emoticons are not the direction we want to go.

I wish, for the purpose of convincing my audience, that I had a more concrete argument but I don’t.  Bottom line:  It’s really lame.

I am glad that emoticon use has seemed to drop.  This is all the more reason to give it up entirely, it’s no longer cool, it’s perfectly lame, or if not lame, feminine at best.

To read more on this strikingly sorry way to convey ideas, see the wiki site:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emoticon

Back Yard Birds; Trying to get something for nothing

To quote the 1966, political sci-fi novel, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, by Heinlien:

TANSTAAFL!  There aint no such thing as a free lunch!

What a creative move by our noisy back yard bird friends.  It seems they’ve supported a study to prove that the feline domesticus are hazards.  I’m sure of it- no study required.  They call cats European imports, they didn’t mention that many of the birds that frequent our back yards are too.

An NY Times article on the study:  http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/21/science/21birds.html?_r=1

Did the birds really think that this veritable paradise would come without cost?  Without risk?

My back yard is inviting. I have two different flavors of suet, lots of sunflower seeds, dried blood worms and thistle (if you’re nasty).  For those wanting something different, I’ll occasionally feature a wild bird seed mix.  I even have a clean bird bath to freshen up on those hot summer days.

Here is what the kids and I get out of it:

The Scene:  I appreciate the sound and sights on a great range of southern birds.  The angry mockingbird, the squealing cat bird, the vibrant cardinals and golden finch.

The lessons we share:

Life:  It’s harsh.  Not long ago ‘Daddy Finch’ was plucked from the sky by some type of predator bird, a hawk I think.  He pinned Daddy Finch down then flew off with him, while both of our families (his and mine) watched.  We were having breakfast – so was the hawk.

Life:  It’s a miracle.  We watched as several finch and bluebird broods were laid, hatched and raised.  The kids (chicks) grew to eventually do the same.

Life:  The strong survive.  Every once in a while, my cat will get lucky and score a bird.  The bird victim must have been weak or gotten caught not paying attention, my cat lacks skills and I’ve stacked the odds against him.

I keep my cat lazy and well fed, a bell on his collar unless he pries it off, and beat him if he goes after the nest or the young.

Its a fair trade I think.  Visiting my bird resort has risks.

A message to the birds:  Come.   Come and eat.  Be bold, be cunning, but don’t be foolish.

Nothing in life is free, not birdseed, facebook or even health care.

The Updates

The sagas described in the past on Truth and Rhetoric have not ended. Based on your feedback and updated events, it seems they have just begun:

A Kid in a Candy Store

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Business has picked up at the Chocolate Wonderfall, I received this photo in a text shortly after the Feedbag post. As a reader, you’re in good company.

Barbie Rehab?

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The Avengers have moved in close to the Barbie Halfway House, pictured here is Hulk and Captain America fighting to become the next Bachelor.

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I think Captain America can do better than this.

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The Barbie fitness room has only gotten worse. The pretend treadmill is still running giving Barbie pretend treadmill burns, unfortunately, she’s too drunk to notice.

Starvation

…and on a serious note, the Privileged Shopper post has received the most reads of any post on this blog. Here is a thoughtful and sobering comment from one of our readers:

“You could have mentioned that the US has the capability to feed almost twice the world’s population given advancements that us spoiled rich people choose to ignore/insult. And a huge reason for the mass starvation in Africa is religiously motivated groups like Boka Haram and Al Shabab that tell their “subjects” that our food is the work of the devil because we’ve fucked with nature. Relief is denied to many regions by armed savages for this very reason.True story: I was standing in line at the [department store] and overheard a wife tell her husband she was buying an air freshener because it said “organic” on the label. An air freshener. Things are going a bit too far.”

Can I mix Barbie updates with world hunger commentary? Hell yes, this is my blog.

Speaking of, Barbie eats organic for her health but drinks like a fish…sound like anyone you know?

….and Starbucks? No change.

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Back Yard Prejudice

I have a bunch of bird feeders in my back yard. Its cool for the kids (and me). We even have a brood of Eastern Blue Birds growing up.

The bird feed suppliers and the feeders manufacturers market themselves as keeping away certain kinds of birds or squirrels.
WTF?
Racism, I say.
Why shouldn’t cat birds or cow birds be allowed to eat in my backyard? Maybe they eat more? Maybe they are a bit territorial but these are all important lessons about nature my kids need to see and learn.
If you are maintaining a racist, elitists back yard fantasy. Shame on you.
Open your yard to the real world, as imperfect as it perfectly is.

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