A Fridge Full of Expired Food. Ewww

There I am, living in blissful ignorance of the fact that my refrigerator was swamped, overrun, infected by container after container of food that was past its prime, was poised and waiting to attack me and my children when we least expected it and where we least wanted: our digestive systems. And it’s all about those silly little “best if consumed by” stamps… As you can see above, though, it’s really easy to have food that’s theoretically…Read More

Astronaut John Glenn Orbits the Earth!

It was fifty years ago today — February 20, 1962 — that astronaut John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth in his little space capsule Friendship 7. Perhaps not as much a milestone as Neil Armstrong and his team stepping foot on the moon as the amazing culmination of Apollo 11, but still an accomplishment worth honoring and remembering in an era where our accomplishments seem to be more focused on product…Read More

Sunset at the Digital Gear Corral…

One of the most annoying of modern parenting challenges is managing electronics. Not battery life, not mediating between kids arguing about whose turn it is to charge their latest gizmo that’s “dying and I really need to get that text!” but just managing their all-too-pervasive presence in our lives nowadays. If it’s not a laptop, it’s a cellphone or smart phone. If it’s not one of those, it’s an iPod. Whatever it is, I have…Read More

Social Networks for Children? Not so much…

I got a query from a PR representative a week or so ago pitching a social network aimed at the under-13 crowd and surprised them when I responded that I was really not at all supportive of kids spending more time on computers but rather preferred things that helped kids have non-screen time and real-life friends. What struck me as I wrote to them and got their “oh, um, okay” response was that it might…Read More

How Does TV Affect Your Kids?

A guest post… Are you a parent of young children? Do you sometimes worry about the types of shows your children are exposed to on television? Do you ever wonder if television is having a negative influence on your children? If you have ever worried about the effect television is having on your kids, read on for a short discussion of the negative, as well as the positive, aspects of TV. First, it is important…Read More

Freaky Pets: just like kids, they’re cute and cranky

Ah, ya gotta love the effort companies put into creating interesting and meme-worthy toys for children. According to their PR team, Freaky Pets are the next big thing, and they’re described thusly: “Freaky Pets are guaranteed to make life interesting no matter what planet you live on! Freaky Pets is a new interactive product from Abandon Interactive Entertainment that combines a unique line of transformable plush creatures with a browser-based 3D virtual world for kids…Read More

Google, this has got to be the lamest search suggestion…

It’s time for me to reinvent this parenting blog and change it to a dad blog. My kids are older and “attachment parenting” isn’t necessarily the philosophy I’m going to be using to guide my parenting decisions as a single dad with a teen, a pre-teen and a fiery second grader. Instead, I’ve registered the domain SurvivingFatherhood.com and am working with a designer to create something quite different from this attachment parenting blog. It’ll be…Read More

School emergencies and mass dialing systems

Where was all this cool stuff when I was in school? The school my kids all attend has signed up for a service called Parent Reach that offers mass broadcast capabilities through its system. Simple, easy, effective. They’re testing it next week and sent a message reminding us parents that calls from Parent Reach will have a displayed Caller ID of “411-411-411. Slick. It’s even smart enough to listen so it doesn’t start talking while…Read More

Parenting and social media = lots of missed parties

Before the advent of social media, and particularly geolocation checkin games like Foursquare, it was easy for us parents to sit in blissful ignorance of what was going on around us later in the evening and even into the wee hours of the morning. Become a single parent, get some time off each week, and it’s like a ton of bricks: there’s a world out there after 7pm and it’s full of interesting people! Amazing!…Read More

The Green Lantern Hits Our House!

There are definitely some perks to being a daddy blogger with a following, thanks to y’all! What am I talking about? Free stuff. Yup, companies love to get ahold of us daddy bloggers (though some definitely seem to think that the world starts and ends with moms and mommy bloggers. apparently they haven’t gotten the memo that there are a lot of single dads out here that make substantial purchase decisions, even in the supermarket,…Read More

Neopets and the alarmingly tasteless April Fools

I enjoy April 1 every year, curious to see what my friends and kids are going to pull and just as interested to see what funny things appear in the online world. Google had a good one this year with Gmail Motion, for example, and my 8th grader was all psyched about her trick: giving some boys Oreos with the filling replaced by toothpaste. Sometimes, inevitably, an April Fool’s misfires and ends up coming across…Read More

Disneyland prep: iPhone App Anyone?

We’re heading to Disneyland in two days. We is my sister, my three kids (14, 10, 7) and myself. And we’re pretty psyched. It being the 21st Century, though, I’m not interested in pocket-size print books or guides I can keep in my daypack, I’m a smartphone guy and want a smartphone solution. Which means I’ve been asking the question: What iPhone apps are most helpful for Disneyland visitors?. 🙂 By a remarkable quirk of…Read More

Parenting in the Digital Age

Just a heads up that my article Digital Parenting in the 21st Century has been published at the Huffington Post. In it I observe: “The forces of the online world are winning and it’s getting harder and harder for us parents to control when, how and for how long our children go online. And that’s a problem. Maybe it’s just me, though. Perhaps I am one of a small percentage of parents who believes that…Read More

Texting policy for your children?

Here’s something that’s we’re finding a bit tricky to navigate: what’s a reasonable and fair policy for text messaging for a 14yo 8th grader? My initial reaction is of the “give them enough rope” variety, allowing her to text without much in the way of constraints (other than time-based) and see if she violates our rules. Problem with that is that it assumes a certain level of self-control and time management that might be a…Read More

Disproving daft chain email messages about invention dates

I don’t know if this is a pet peeve of mine or not, but on one of the many mailing lists I’m on, someone posted an email this morning about “grandpa talking about all the things that have been invented since he was born”, with us supposed to be surprised at the end when we find out he’s only 59 years old. Problem is, it’s about 90% wrong and as is typical with chain letters,…Read More

Hey TechCrunch, Computers do not produce bad grades!

I’m aghast. Over on TechCrunch, a site known as much for its gossip-mongering as its tech reporting, John Biggs is reporting (sort of) on a study that he claims demonstrates children who get computers in developing nations get worse grades in school. Here’s the link: Study: Mixing School-age Kids and Computers makes for Bad Stuff. I’m a researcher and there are so many things wrong with John’s throwaway piece that my head is reeling…Read More

Interviews, interviews: let’s talk!

On any given week it seems like I’m either launching an interview with someone interesting I bump into or receiving a query from a Web site asking if they can interview me. It’s fun and it’s a great way to build content for your site and get on the radar screen of some cool folk. And after all, who doesn’t like to be interviewed in a format where you can take your time and come…Read More

Review: fun, huge building blocks: Brik-a-Blok

A rather surprising email arrived in my inbox a few weeks ago from a PR company that represented a toy inventor in Québec, Brik-a-Blok Toys. Seems they have a sort of human-size Lego set and were interested if I’d like to have a look. Here’s a pic from their site: Looked pretty cool and my 6yo girl is always pushing things around to make forts and hideouts, so I answered their query “sure!” and dutifully…Read More

Honey, it’s our fetus on the phone again!

I am just so entertained by this phenomenally wacky hardware add-on to our handy Apple iPhones: the Ritmo Advanced Pregnancy Sound System, which, according to its makers, “was created to provide a convenient, comfortable and safe way for families to share the sensory and emotional experience of bonding through sound and music with their developing baby.” Marketing talk, for sure, but the basic concept is just hilarious: it’s a sort of two piece belt that…Read More

Fighting H1N1 with a cool soap dispenser

I’m not a big fan of vaccinations. I think that it’s one of the reasons that we’re seeing more and more extreme allergies and auto-immune deficiency illnesses, a path that only seems to have one direction for us to travel: to a world where people are more and more sickly, more reliant on the vaccinations and big pharma medications. Probably makes me sound a bit paranoid. Ah well, can’t be helped, I’m just being transparent….Read More

Teaching Internet Safety: I need resources

After becoming fairly alarmed at my 7th grade daughter’s requests for a Facebook account “because most of the kids in my class are already there”, I brought up the subject of Internet safety at the most recent parent evening. From what I could tell, most of the parents were completely clueless that their kids were using Facebook, let alone the other sites they’re doubtless visiting. My comment was “From what I can understand, about 1/3…Read More