Never Say Never!

State Farm has nailed the male experience with its latest “NEVER” commercial.

The dude tells his buds how he’s never ever going to get married then he’s in the jewelry store getting the rock…

and well you know the rest!

 

Kissing Butt (Ant Butt, That Is…): Cast of Dads Episode 57

Green Lemon Ant

Green Lemon Ant (Photo credit: pietroizzo)

The Cast of Dads finally got together again for another gabfest about fatherhood and then some.  There is always something for us to talk about, and as usual, we cover a wide (and not necessarily logical) range of topics – in this episode everything from the serious (the Boston Bombings) to the sublime (licking the butts of ants).  Beware, we do let loose a few “f bombs” and “s” words, so you may want to listen to this one with the headphones on.  Enjoy!

You can click here to listen to Cast of Dads Episode 57.

Topics discussed in this episode include:

  • What age do boys need to wear cups when playing sports?
  • Phil Phillips new song talks about his crotch?
  • Rymes with crotch
  • Boston Marathon Bombing
  • Good vs. Evil
  • Don’t mess with Boston
  • First firefly of the year!
  • WALL-E is reality at Disney World
  • Black Ant butts that taste like lemons?
  • Washing out your mouth with soap
  • School overnight trips
  • “First Times” at Summer Camp
  • Are “The Bases” different today then what we remember them as?
  • Staying safe online
  • Brisket
  • Cooking with wine
  • Drinking with our kids
  • House of Cards
  • “Obama” premiere at Correspondance Dinner

If you have been enjoying the Cast of Dads podcast please tell your friends about the show and have them subscribe to either our direct feed or via iTunes. Also, please leave us a review in iTunes!

Cast of Dads is a group of podcasting and blogging dads who gather to gab about fatherhood. The cast of dads includes C.C. Chapman, Jeffrey Sass, Max Kalehoff, Michael Sheehan, and Brad Powell, who collectively represent 13 kids from the youngest of babies to full grown adults. Each of them brings a unique perspective to being a father.

Jeff Sass is the proud dad of ZEO (Zach, 24, Ethan, 22 and Olivia, 21).  He is also a seasoned entertainment and technology exec and active social media enthusiast.  You can see more of Jeff’s writing at Sassholes! and Social Networking Rehab and you can listen to Jeff on the Cast of Dads,  Wunderkind!  and Gape Into The Void podcasts.  Jeff just launched a new story podcast, DadSlam.

 

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Men of Action

Some of us men aren’t that good when it comes to expressing how we feel through words but for some reason we find it easier to show how we feel through actions by doing things that mean a lot to the one we love. Some men are excellent when it comes to sweet talk but sometimes they don’t seem to back it up with actions. I guess when it comes down to it, the most important thing about love is knowing that it’s all about actions and what we do, not just what we say.

Here’s an excellent scene from the movie “He’s Just Not That Into You” between Ben Afleck and Jennifer Anniston who play a couple who’ve dated for over seven years and she wants to get married but he’s the kind of guy who doesn’t believe in marriage at all. They break up because of this major difference of opinion. She wants him to prove his love by taking the action of marrying her.

Later, when she goes to visit his father who’s recovering from a heart attack she is disgusted by the husbands of her sisters who are just watching a football game and they haven’t done anything to help out. Then she sees her ex-boyfriend there doing dishes. My commitment phobic…wearing an apron and he tells her how he did the laundry and that he went food shopping for her dad and got him some healthy food as well as some non-healthy kind because he deserves it. She is over-whelmed with emotions at this because it’s a powerful display of his love for her. His actions told her all she ever needed to know.

She later visits him to thank him for his kind actions… and tells him that she realizes how much she loves him and misses him and that she’s willing to be with him and give up the notion of marriage if that’s what he wants. She says he’s more of husband than her sisters’ husbands ever will be.

So how does this all end? Does he get his way? I think it’s a wonderful ending for many reasons. Again, his words and actions say it all.

Here’s the end title song just cause I love it…

 

Super Bowled Over: Cast of Dads Episode 56

 

baseball ballOk, I admit it.  I am a male, and I am not much of a football fan.  So, once again I am the butt of the “big game” jokes as the Cast of Dads gathered for our own little “pre-game” show.

Of course, as is typically the case, this being the Cast of Dads we talk about a lot more than just Football!

You can CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO CAST OF DADS EPISODE 56.

Topics discussed in this episode include:

If you have been enjoying the Cast of Dads podcast, please tell your friends about the show and have them subscribe to either our direct feed or via iTunes. Also, please leave us a review in iTunes!

Cast of Dads is a group of podcasting and blogging dads who gather to gab about fatherhood. The cast of dads includes C.C. Chapman, Jeffrey Sass, Max Kalehoff, Michael Sheehan, and Brad Powell, who collectively represent 13 kids from the youngest of babies to full grown adults. Each of them brings a unique perspective to being a father.

Jeff Sass is the proud dad of ZEO (Zach, 24, Ethan, 22 and Olivia, 21).  He is also a seasoned entertainment and technology exec and active social media enthusiast.  You can see more of Jeff’s writing at Sassholes! and Social Networking Rehab and you can listen to Jeff on the Cast of Dads,  Wunderkind!  and Gape Into The Void podcasts.

Photo Credit: © Albo – Fotolia.com

 

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Father and Son Advice

Here are some motivational speeches from movies from fathers to their sons and in the last one from a coach (Al Pacino) to his players.

The first one is from Sylvestor Stallone from Rocky Balboa.

Rocky Balboa: “You ain’t gonna believe this, but you used to fit right here. I’d hold you up to say to your mother, “this kid’s gonna be the best kid in the world. This kid’s gonna be somebody better than anybody I ever knew.” And you grew up good and wonderful. It was great just watching you, every day was like a privilige. Then the time come for you to be your own man and take on the world, and you did. But somewhere along the line, you changed. You stopped being you. You let people stick a finger in your face and tell you you’re no good. And when things got hard, you started looking for something to blame, like a big shadow. Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard you can get it and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done! Now if you know what you’re worth then go out and get what you’re worth. But ya gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody! Cowards do that and that ain’t you! You’re better than that! I’m always gonna love you no matter what. No matter what happens. You’re my son and you’re my blood. You’re the best thing in my life. But until you start believing in yourself, ya ain’t gonna have a life. Don’t forget to visit your mother.”

The second one is from Will Smith from The Pursuit of Happyness.

Christopher Gardner: Hey. Don’t ever let somebody tell you… You can’t do something. Not even me. All right?
You got a dream… You gotta protect it. People can’t do somethin’ themselves, they wanna tell you you can’t do it. If you want somethin’, go get it. Period.

The third one is Al Pacino from Any Given Sunday. Warning: It contains some adult language which is common in the locker room.

Tony D’Amato: “I don’t know what to say, really. Three minutes to the biggest battle of our professional lives. All comes down to today, and either, we heal as a team, or we’re gonna crumble. Inch by inch, play by play. Until we’re finished. We’re in hell right now, gentlemen. Believe me. And, we can stay here, get the shit kicked out of us, or we can fight our way back into the light. We can climb outta hell… one inch at a time. Now I can’t do it for ya, I’m too old. I look around, I see these young faces and I think, I mean, I’ve made every wrong choice a middle-aged man can make. I, uh, I’ve pissed away all my money, believe it or not. I chased off anyone who’s ever loved me. And lately, I can’t even stand the face I see in the mirror. You know, when you get old, in life, things get taken from you. I mean, that’s… that’s… that’s a part of life. But, you only learn that when you start losin’ stuff. You find out life’s this game of inches, so is football. Because in either game – life or football – the margin for error is so small. I mean, one half a step too late or too early and you don’t quite make it. One half second too slow, too fast and you don’t quite catch it. The inches we need are everywhere around us. They’re in every break of the game, every minute, every second. On this team we fight for that inch. On this team we tear ourselves and everyone else around us to pieces for that inch. We claw with our fingernails for that inch. Because we know when add up all those inches, that’s gonna make the fucking difference between winning and losing! Between living and dying! I’ll tell you this, in any fight it’s the guy whose willing to die whose gonna win that inch. And I know, if I’m gonna have any life anymore it’s because I’m still willing to fight and die for that inch, because that’s what living is, the six inches in front of your face. Now I can’t make you do it. You’ve got to look at the guy next to you, look into his eyes. Now I think ya going to see a guy who will go that inch with you. Your gonna see a guy who will sacrifice himself for this team, because he knows when it comes down to it your gonna do the same for him. That’s a team, gentlemen, and either, we heal, now, as a team, or we will die as individuals. That’s football guys, that’s all it is. Now, what are you gonna do?”

 

Best Christmas Movies

Everyone is creating lists this time of year. They are for favorite things of the year or best of all-time, etc. This list we are sharing today is for the best Christmas movies of all-time. We noticed one list today that excluded Frank Capra’s “It’s a Wonderful Life” which is insane! It is one of the best movies ever, not just holiday movie. This isn’t just my opinion but that of most critics and audiences as well. It is always on such lists.

Anyway, here are some of the best that come to mind.

  • It’s a Wonderful Life – George Bailey thinks he’s a failure until he sees the impact he had on the world
  • The Family Man – Inspired by It’s a Wonderful Life, Jack gets a glimpse of what his life would have been like
  • Miracle on 34th Street – I prefer the original 1947 version but the others weren’t bad. Love the Santa and Natalie Wood.
  • A Christmas Story – Played 24 hours in a row every year, I’m sure it’s on most people’s list now. From director of Porky’s. He died tragically in a 2007 accident with his son.
  • A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens classic and all of the many variations. I think the 1951 version is the best. Vote for best here.
  • Charlie Brown Christmas – Yeah, Chuck is a depressive whiner, but it’s part of our youth. Love the music too.
  • How The Grinch Stole Christmas – Boris Karloff as the Grinch rocks. The live action Jim Carrey version is good too.
  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer – Everyone loves this one.
  • Santa Clause is Coming to Town – Mickey Rooney as Santa.

What are some other favorites?

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone from the dads at Dad-O-Matic!

 

Wiggles Farewell Tour

I had the immense pleasure and honor of interviewing Greg Page, the original yellow Wiggle who has rejoined the band for a farewell tour that ends in December 2012. He along with two other original members, Murray Cook and Jeff Fatt will be retiring from the band after over 20 years.

Greg Page took the time to speak to me before the Wiggles show at the Fox theater in Atlanta, GA. I was thrilled to get the chance to ask the original Yellow Wiggle some questions that I’m sure many fans would love to ask. We’ve been lucky to interview other members of the Wiggles in past such as Jeff the purple Wiggle in 2010 and Sam the yellow Wiggle in 2011 that replaced Greg when he left for health reasons.

DOM:
Hello Greg. It’s a pleasure to speak to you.  As you can imagine, our readers and their kids love the Wiggles so they are looking forward to this interview. The first thing I want to say is welcome back! My kids were over the moon when they heard you were back for this tour. My 6 and 9 year olds can’t wait to see your concert here in Atlanta on Tuesday at the fox theatre. I have to admit that I am too.

Greg:
Hello and thank you very much. That is very nice to hear. I am really looking forward to this tour. I never got a chance to say goodbye properly when I left the band due to my sickness so this is all quite wonderful.  

DOM:
Speaking of sickness, how are you doing now physically? I understand that you have been able to better manage your condition, Orthostatic Intolerance.

Greg:
Yes, that’s the name of the condition they diagnosed. At first they didn’t know what it was but now we know so we can treat it properly and manage it so that I can perform in our shows which as you know are quite active and take a lot of physical energy and effort. I’m feeling very well these days too.

DOM:
I’d like to clear up the initial confusion and controversy surrounding your return. Some rumors were circulating that you asked the band to return which meant kicking Sam out of the band which I discovered was totally untrue. Can you address this one last time so everyone knows how this all really happened?

Greg:
Yes indeed. Thanks for asking. I would love to clear this up for everyone. You are correct that the original perceptions were wrong. I did not go to the Wiggles and ask to come back nor have anything to do with Sam leaving the band. Sam decided to leave on his own which opened the door for management who thought it would be a great idea to have me return for a farewell tour along with Murray and Jeff who also planned to retire. So it was an easy decision for me but I had to ask my wife first because we have two small children now.  

DOM:
Jeff and Murray are leaving too? Is Anthony staying?

Greg:
Yes. The three of us will be riding off into the sunset but the blue wiggle will stay on for a bit longer with three new members. You will see them on this tour. 

DOM:
The first female Wiggle? How exciting.

Greg:
Yes. Her name is Emma and she is absolutely fabulous.  She’s performed with the band for a while already so she is very familiar with our shows. I think little girls all over the world will love seeing the first female Wiggle.

DOM:
How long is this farewell tour?

Greg:
This special goodbye tour will go on the rest of the year until our last show on December 23, 2012.  We are looking forward to saying thank you and farewell to all our fans.
DOM:
Will you and the other members still be involved with the Wiggles brand after you stop performing?

Greg:
Oh yes definitely. We will stay active behind the scenes with everything Wiggles in regards to writing songs, TV shows and working on live performances. We just won’t be traveling and performing live anymore. However, we plan to remain very much involved with the Wiggles.

DOM:
How can fans keep in touch with you and up to date on what you’re up to?

Greg:
I’m currently having my personal website totally renovated and updated. Just go to www.GregPage.com and you’ll be able to see what I’m up to, with and without the Wiggles. 

 

 

Here’s their message to the fans about their retirement.

Here are the new Wiggles lineup that will start touring in 2013. They’ve already started performing with the current ensemble in order to prepare to take over.

 

 

 

 

 

Disclaimer: I was fortunate enough to attend the Wiggles concert here in Atlanta, GA on 7.31.2012 thanks to the gracious Wiggles PR team! We even got to meet the band before the show.

WTF Is A Huckapoo Shirt? – Cast of Dads Episode 53

Our children and our childhoods sparked an olympic discussion in the lastest episode of the Cast of Dads podcast.  Where else can you listen to five disparate dads debate topics from malaria to Mini-Coopers, from the Olympics to the “Orangutang Hang!”  Enjoy!

You can CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO CAST OF DADS EPISODE 53.

Topics discussed in this episode include:

If you have been enjoying the Cast of Dads podcast, please tell your friends about the show and have them subscribe to either our direct feed or via iTunes. Also, please leave us a review in iTunes!

Cast of Dads is a group of podcasting and blogging dads who gather to gab about fatherhood. The cast of dads includes C.C. Chapman, Jeffrey Sass, Max Kalehoff, Michael Sheehan, and Brad Powell, who collectively represent 13 kids from the youngest of babies to full grown adults. Each of them brings a unique perspective to being a father.

Jeff Sass is the proud dad of ZEO (Zach, 24, Ethan, 22 and Olivia, 20).  He is also a seasoned entertainment and technology exec and active social media enthusiast.  You can see more of Jeff’s writing at Sassholes! and Social Networking Rehab and you can listen to Jeff on the Cast of Dads and Wunderkind! podcasts.
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Laughing Pizza

One of the best perks of being involved with Dad-O-Matic is getting to meet wonderful people like the members of the family band Laughing Pizza. We’ve covered them before on here when I shared their wonderful song called DADDY. Well, this time around I got to sit down with them before their show here in Georgia and interview Lisa, Billy and their daughter Emily.Here’s a photo of Laughing Pizza with my son Matthew (9) and Rachel (6) who were so excited to meet them. OK so was I! They have a new movie out now on DVD that shows how they started the family band. It also shows how good they are on stage and the high energy of their live performances of completely family friendly music.

You can checkout the video of the interview below but please forgive the poor sound quality. My nine year-old recorded it with my iPhone. Next time we will use pro gear. Here’s the transcript of the Q & A session we had before the live show here in Georgia in June 2012.

Transcript of particular Questions and Answers

DOM:
How did you come up with the name Laughing Pizza?

Billy Pizza:
“When I was in college in my band we used to have a saying when we wanted to get serious and rehearse, ‘No Laughing, No Pizza!’

Lisa Pizza:
“Then when we started our band for this one (Emily), we wanted to create music for her, we thought the only thing we wanted to do was have laughs and have pizza” so those two words came together because that’s what we do.

DOM:
When did Laughing Pizza start?

Billy Pizza:
We really started in 2002. Before that I had a corporate job and I was on a plane on 9/11 and it took me a week to get home. That’s when we decided we didn’t want to be apart again as a family.

Lisa Pizza:
“To me, we didn’t become a band until Emily joined us (2005)”

DOM:
Emily, when did you join the band officially?

Emily Pizza:
“I used to join the show now and then at 9 or 10 and sing. But then eventually I started writing music and performed more.”

Billy Pizza:
“By the time she was in 6th grade she got a tutor and stopped going to regular school. She’s been on online school ever since.”

DOM:
“Emily, how long would you like to perform with Laughing Pizza? Do you have plans to ever become a solo artist?”

Emily Pizza:
“I’m a songwriter and I write songs for them and other people. I would never want to be a solo artist. I can do this the rest of my life”

DOM:
“What I like about Laughing Pizza is the fact that it’s safe for kids to hear”

Lisa Pizza:
“That’s one of the things me and a bunch of other moms were talking about last week. Kids can pick up on things so quickly with today’s music, even things they don’t even understand. There’s a big between between what’s appropriate for kids and what’s not.”

Billy Pizza:
“and like your kids are Wiggles fans… once they’re a certain age they start growing out of that and then what’s the next step? There’s a big gap. We hope to at least give families an option to give them something else to listen to and also inspire them. We sing about common things like school, homework, etc.”

DOM:
“Have you noticed a wide age range in your audience?”

Lisa Pizza:
“It touches us to see all ages. It’s heartening to see all ages at our show and to see parents rocking out with their kids. We know the kids will enjoy the show but we love it when the parent enjoy it too.

DOM:
“Have you met any other artists or bands?”

Billy Pizza:
“Yes. We did 18 months doing a Target book festival all over the country and what was fun with it we got to meet authors and bands.”

DOM:
“How long is this tour?”

Lisa Pizza:
“We’re doing the back to school bash locally at the end of July at Stone Mountain and then we’re gone for two more months.”

Billy Pizza:
“Between now and then we’re doing a new CD, shooting our TV pilot hopefully”

DOM:
“We look forward to the show. Thank you for the time to talk”

Grown Men Giggling: Cast of Dads Episode 52

A few days before Father’s Day, the Cast of Dads got together with a serious case of the LOL’s – and there were no cats involved.  I’d say you had to be there, but you can!  Just click the link below to listen to the show…  Just be prepared, as laughing is known to be contagious.

We hope everyone had a wonderful Father’s Day.  We did!

You can CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO CAST OF DADS EPISODE 52.

Topics discussed in this episode include:

If you have been enjoying the Cast of Dads podcast, please tell your friends about the show and have them subscribe to either our direct feed or via iTunes.  Also, please leave us a review in iTunes!

Cast of Dads is a group of podcasting and blogging dads who gather to gab about fatherhood. The cast of dads includes C.C. Chapman, Jeffrey Sass, Max Kalehoff, Michael Sheehan, and Brad Powell, who collectively represent 13 kids from the youngest of babies to full grown adults. Each of them brings a unique perspective to being a father.

Jeff Sass is the proud dad of ZEO (Zach, 23, Ethan, 22 and Olivia, 20).  He is also a seasoned entertainment and technology exec and active social media enthusiast.  You can see more of Jeff’s writing at Sassholes! and Social Networking Rehab and you can listen to Jeff on the Cast of Dads and Wunderkind! podcasts.

Photo Credit: © Yael Weiss – Fotolia.com


TV Dads

On this Father’s Day I’m remembering some of the good portrayals of dads on television which sadly is few and far between.
One of the best ones that comes to mind is “The Courtship of Eddie’s Father” starring the late Bill Bixby. I loved that show as a kid because I grew up without a father figure so I lived vicariously through Eddie. I loved the opening of the show the most because they usually showed a touching father and son moment before playing the theme song by Harry Nilsson.

I also loved Michael Landon from Little House on the Prairie. Who wouldn’t want him as a dad?

Good Times was another favorite and despite all of the hilarious business from JJ Walker and his DYN-O-mite catch phrase, there were many serious themes and moments in the show that depicted a realistic portrayal of growing up in urban America that I related to in a strong way. Though the father James was usually a stressed out, angry dad, it was an honest portrait of dads struggling to keep a roof over the heads of their family and food on the table. One of the most memorable episodes for me was the one where James dies. In this incredible scene from the brilliant Esther Rolle she finally deals with the shock and impact of losing her husband. Up until that moment she had been the pillar of strength for her kids and remained stoic until it all came crashing down on her in this classic moment.

Here are the actors who played Michael and Thelma talking about that special episode.

I think that show impacted me in a profound way because when a father leaves the family via divorce it feels very much like a death. Yes, many dads still play parts in their children’s lives after divorce, but sadly too many don’t.

Bill Cosby on the Cosby Show was always a funny and positive dad.

Ward Cleaver from Leave it Beaver wasn’t bad either. Here he shares his theory on why women cook inside the home and men handle outdoor grilling.

Father Knows Best painted a good portrait of a strong and knowledgable dad.

What are some other good TV shows that had good portrayals of dads?

Mother’s Day, Razr’s, And A Dad At Sea

The Sass Kids

(This episode of Cast of Dads is sponsored by the new Motorola Droid RAZR.  Want to win one? Listen to the show and find out how!)

Everyone at the Cast of Dads and Dadomatic hopes you and your families enjoyed a great Mother’s Day this past weekend!  Four of the five Cast of Dads got together to recap our own family adventures.  Speaking of adventures, Max was not able to join us for the show as he and his dad and his son were at sea, on a sailing trip from Ft. Lauderdale to New York!  We look forward to hearing about his trip on the next episode of the show.

You can CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO CAST OF DADS EPISODE 51.

Topics discussed in this episode include:

If you have been enjoying The Cast of Dads please tell your friends about the show and have them subscribe to either our direct feed or via iTunes.  Also, please leave us a review in iTunes!

Cast of Dads is a group of podcasting and blogging dads who gather to gab about fatherhood. The cast of dads includes C.C. Chapman, Jeffrey Sass, Max Kalehoff, Michael Sheehan, and Brad Powell, who collectively represent 13 kids from the youngest of babies to full grown adults. Each of them brings a unique perspective to being a father.

Jeff Sass is the proud dad of ZEO (Zach, 23, Ethan, 21 and Olivia, 20).  He is also a seasoned entertainment and technology exec and active social media enthusiast.  You can see more of Jeff’s writing at Sassholes! and Social Networking Rehab and you can listen to Jeff on the Cast of Dads and Wunderkind! podcasts.

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Vote for Chris Mann on The Voice Tonight!

I’m lucky that in my professional travels, I have a chance to work with and meet so many wonderful people.  In February, while attending the Blissdom Conference in Nashville, I was fortunate enough to have a few minutes to meet and talk with singer Chris Mann.

At the time…Chris was one of dozens of contestants on NBC’s The Voice and had just made it onto Christina Aguilera’s team.

Tonight…he’s one of four contestants vying to fulfill a dream and competing tonight to be the winner.

Dads…Chris has an exceptional understanding of social media and how the community of women online connect with each other but let’s show him a thing or two about dads…that we too can motivate an army of advocates.  Watch the show tonight and vote for Chris.

Here’s a message from Chris Mann just for you…with all the details.  Thanks!

 

5 Dads, 50 Conversations, Tons of Fun

© style-photography.de - Fotolia.com

Woohoo!  This is EPISODE 50 of the Cast of Dads podcast!  As we hit this milestone, I thought I would share the tale of how the Cast of Dads came together…

Back when Sony came a callin’ and invited myself and four other dads to become “DigiDads” and get the chance to play with some of their products, of the five participating dads I only knew C.C. Chapman.  Since then I have had the pleasure of spending time in person with all of the former DigiDads (C.C., Brad Powell, Max Kalehoff and Michael Sheehan) but actually, the five of us have yet to meet as a group in person (brands, are you listening?)  During the DigiDad program we had regular conference calls together, and it was clear that, despite geographic, age, and kid-stage differences, we all got along great, and had a collective kindred spirit about life, parenting, and blogging.

When the DigiDad program ended we really didn’t want to stop our regular calls and our budding friendships, so we decided to keep the dream alive and start a podcast together.  The result is the Cast of Dads.  If you’ve been a regular listener you know that we don’t have much of an agenda.  Really, we’re just being ourselves and having a conversation, and inviting you to listen along.  Between us five dads we have thirteen kids, from toddlers to college grads, so we have lots to talk about and perspectives and opinions on just about every phase of parenting and fatherhood.  I  hope you’ve enjoyed these 50 episodes as much as we have.

Today, I consider Brad, Michael, Max and C.C. among my best of friends, and I truly look forward to every time we get together to record a show.  Of course, the Cast of Dads wouldn’t be half as much fun without you too!  We greatly appreciate your taking the time to listen, and always love hearing your comments and feedback.  THANK YOU!  We hope you’ll continue to tag along for the next fifty shows!

You can CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO CAST OF DADS EPISODE 50.

Topics discussed in episode 50 include:

If you have been enjoying the Cast of Dads podcast, please tell your friends about the show and have them subscribe to either our direct feed or via iTunes.  Also, please leave us a review in iTunes!

Cast of Dads is a group of podcasting and blogging dads who gather to gab about fatherhood. The cast of dads includes C.C. Chapman, Jeffrey Sass, Max Kalehoff, Michael Sheehan, and Brad Powell, who collectively represent 13 kids from the youngest of babies to full grown adults. Each of them brings a unique perspective to being a father.

Jeff Sass is the proud dad of ZEO (Zach, 23, Ethan, 21 and Olivia, 20).  He is also a seasoned entertainment and technology exec and active social media enthusiast.  You can see more of Jeff’s writing at Sassholes! and Social Networking Rehab and you can listen to Jeff on the Cast of Dads and Wunderkind! podcasts.

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My Dog Skip

I truly recommend watching a movie called “MY DOG SKIP” which was based on a true story. It’s a wonderful coming of age movie featuring the cute little dog named Skip, of course. It’s full of funny little moments and captures the essence of youth, especially about the special relationship between the only child and his beloved pup. This sequence truly summarizes the whole story very well and totally moved me. Even though I didn’t grow up with a dog, I’ve made sure that all three of my kids are enjoying the experience of growing up with a dog of their own. I think this movie and this sequence had a lot to do with my decision. What a treat for the whole family.

One of the best lines is this one at the end
“Why in childhood and youth do we wish time to pass so quickly? We want to grow up so fast yet as adults we wish just the opposite.”

Three Dads At The Final Four

I’m back from New Orleans and a whirlwind few days with fellow Cast of  Dads hosts C.C. Chapman and Brad Powell (we sorely missed our other two hosts Michael Sheehan and Max Kalehoff.)  We had a great time with the LG team, who were gracious hosts and made sure we had a fantastic experience both with the games, and by giving us a better understanding of LG products (I already miss the slick LG Nitro HD Android phone I was using for the weekend…)  I will share more content from the trip in a future post, but wanted to first share this quick “3/5th of the Cast of Dads” video episode we shot across the street from Bracket Town.  Enjoy!

Thanks again to everyone at LG and LG-One for arranging this trip and for giving us the opportunity to attend the NCAA Finals.  It was a weekend we won’t soon forget.

Disclosure: http://cmp.ly/3/k1OU88

Jeff Sass is the proud dad of ZEO (Zach, 23, Ethan, 21 and Olivia, 20).  He is also a seasoned entertainment and technology exec and active social media enthusiast.  You can see more of Jeff’s writing at Sassholes! and Social Networking Rehab and you can listen to Jeff on the Cast of Dads and Wunderkind! podcasts.

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Help Me Get My March Madness On!

I love basketball.  To be more specific, I love playing basketball.  I’m not tall, not light, and I’ve never actually been that good at it, but that never stopped me from loving the game.  That probably comes from growing up in a part of Queens N.Y. where asphalt was everywhere and thus so were rims.  Grass and fields were not part of the equation in my childhood.  I lived in an apartment.  My elementary and Junior High Schools had only paved yards, so it was only natural that they offered an abundance of hoops and that basketball became the game of choice, and for most of my formative years, the game I played just about every day.

My Day On Court

Half court, full-court, one on one, three on three, horse, whatever. If it involved bouncing that ball and tossing it toward (and hopefully through) that hoop we played it. We lived it.  I played in leagues.  I played at summer camp.  I even had my moment at age 11 or 12 when I miraculously scored a winning basket, a clumsy, unexpected bank-shot, in the famed (famed for camps in the Berkshires) Pittsfield Tournament.  Back then I was big for my age (I grew early and stopped growing early) so I was valuable on the court to get in the way and grab rebounds, but I rarely had the opportunity to take a shot, let alone score a basket.  I remember the article about the game in the camp newsletter referring to me as “defense specialist” when reporting on that remarkable winning moment.

Kids, Knicks and Dads!

When I became a dad, I was still an avid fan of playing, and couldn’t wait to put up a hoop in my own driveway and play with my sons.  When they got older we played together at the gym.  Yet with all my love for the game, I haven’t kept up as a spectator.  I haven’t really followed a team where I knew all the players since Walt Frazier, Willis Reed, Dave DeBusschere, Bill Bradley and Earl Monroe ruled the Knicks, and Phil Jackson was a player, not a coach…  Yeah, I’m that old.  So if I haven’t kept up with the NBA, you can imagine my lack of team knowledge when it comes to college basketball… yet I couldn’t be more excited to say I’ll be heading off to New Orleans this weekend for the NCAA final four!  I am excited because I love the game of basketball, and I am pretty confident I will bear witness to some great games.  And, I’ll be doing it with some great dads!

Life’s Good!

LG – the consumer electronics company whose motto is aptly “Life’s Good” is making sure this weekend life will surely be good for a number of dads including my fellow Cast of Dads co-hosts C.C. Chapman of Digital Dads and Brad Powell of DadLabs.  Courtesy of LG we’ll be spending a few days in the big easy watching some great b-ball and getting the inside track on a wide range of LG products.  The geek in me is as pumped up as the old basketball player as I saw a sampling of some of LG’s 3D TV’s and other products at both the Consumer Electronics Show in January and the Dad2Summit earlier this month.  Lots of impressive technology all around.  As an official NCAA Corporate Partner, LG has a number of events going on  for the NCAA finals, including an LG Home Court Challenge Experience for fans in Bracket Town on Sunday April 1st.  You can get more info about LG and their NCAA promotions here.

Who Should I Root For?

So, do me a favor.  Since I don’t have a team to root for yet, please help me out with my last minute bracket.  Please help give me a crash course in this year’s NCAA finals.  Leave a comment and let me know who I should be rooting for to win the championship.  If you tell me to pick the right team (the team that actually does win) you’ll have a chance to win a prize: If you help me be a better rooter, I’ll give you a chance to win a router! (That’s right, I have a brand new Linksys E4200 Dual Band N Router I’ll give, randomly, to someone who picks the winning team in the comments to this post.  Comments must be received by 12 noon EST on Monday, April 2, 2012).  Thanks for your help!

Go ______________!!!

Disclosure: http://cmp.ly/3/k1OU88

Jeff Sass is the proud dad of ZEO (Zach, 23, Ethan, 21 and Olivia, 20).  He is also a seasoned entertainment and technology exec and active social media enthusiast.  You can see more of Jeff’s writing at Sassholes! and Social Networking Rehab and you can listen to Jeff on the Cast of Dads and Wunderkind! podcasts.

Getting Back On The Bike: Cast of Dads #49

Spring is here and the Cast of Dads have sprung back into action with a new fun filled episode.  Next show will be EPISODE 50, a nice milestone for any podcast.  Thank YOU for listening to us rambling dads for all this time.  We greatly appreciate you putting up with us – er, listening to us, and hope you continue to enjoy the Podcast, and tell others to tune in as well.

As always we cover a lot of topics, from Max’s son’s first ride without training wheels, to the fantastic Dad2Summit that C.C., Brad and I had the pleasure of attending and participating in (big kudos to Doug French and his team for putting on a great event.)

You can CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO CAST OF DADS EPISODE 49.

Topics discussed in this episode include:

If you have been enjoying the Cast of Dads podcast, please tell your friends about the show and have them subscribe to either our direct feed or via iTunes.  Also, please leave us a review in iTunes!

Cast of Dads is a group of podcasting and blogging dads who gather to gab about fatherhood. The cast of dads includes C.C. Chapman, Jeffrey Sass, Max Kalehoff, Michael Sheehan, and Brad Powell, who collectively represent 13 kids from the youngest of babies to full grown adults. Each of them brings a unique perspective to being a father.

Jeff Sass is the proud dad of ZEO (Zach, 23, Ethan, 21 and Olivia, 20).  He is also a seasoned entertainment and technology exec and active social media enthusiast.  You can see more of Jeff’s writing at Sassholes! and Social Networking Rehab and you can listen to Jeff on the Cast of Dads and Wunderkind! podcasts.

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Meatloaf Again??? Cast of Dads Episode 48

@HighTechDad and daughters backstage at America's Got Talent

2012 is already fast underway, and while it may seem like the Cast of Dads have been absent this year, we actually recorded a great show in January that was lost to the digital demons.  It was probably our best show ever – funny, poignant parenting tips… heartfelt fables of fatherhood… and so much more.  Alas, you will never hear it, and I will only be able to cherish it as a fading memory…

But… we did get together again and record a new show, complete with tales of Meatloaf, Movies and Howard Stern.  Enjoy!

You can CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO CAST OF DADS EPISODE 48.

Topics discussed in this episode include:

If you have been enjoying the Cast of Dads podcast, please tell your friends about the show and have them subscribe to either our direct feed or via iTunes.  Also, please leave us a review in iTunes!

Cast of Dads is a group of podcasting and blogging dads who gather to gab about fatherhood. The cast of dads includes C.C. Chapman, Jeffrey Sass, Max Kalehoff, Michael Sheehan, and Brad Powell, who collectively represent 13 kids from the youngest of babies to full grown adults. Each of them brings a unique perspective to being a father.

Jeff Sass is the proud dad of ZEO (Zach, 23, Ethan, 21 and Olivia, 20).  He is also a seasoned entertainment and technology exec and active social media enthusiast.  You can see more of Jeff’s writing at Sassholes! and Social Networking Rehab and you can listen to Jeff on the Cast of Dads and Wunderkind! podcasts.

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My Son, The Mowerman, and the Toxic Crusaders (Or, How a 2-Year Old Helped Create a TV Villain)

When I lived in New York and was just starting my family, we moved to a house in Rockland County.  As someone who grew up in an apartment, and whose parents both grew up in apartments, it was my first experience with living in a house (and becoming a homeowner) and it was a bit of a shock to my system.  We had a large yard, a little more than an acre, and, determined to prove my worth as the “man of the house” I purchased a lawn mower.  Of course, having zero experience with lawn care, I first bought a standard push mower.  It was fantastic!   Every weekend I spent 8-10 hours covered in dirt and grass, itching, scratching and sneezing as I walked a dizzying, repetitive path back and forth and around my property.  It was the life… just not the life I wanted… so I purchased a riding mower.  Wheels!   So, now I only had to spend 4-6 hours every weekend as a poor old sod, caring for my sod.

Enter The Mowerman

After a few rides I knew the shiny red Snapper was not going to turn mowing the lawn into the “snap” I was hoping for.  I had to face the truth and acknowledge that I’m just not wired for lawn care.  No grass for Sass.  So I hired a guy named Terry to come do the lawn.  My oldest son Zach was around 2 at the time, and while he never seemed particularly interested when I was up to my sass in grass, for some reason he would always get all excited when Terry showed up to man the mower.  Zach would watch Terry from the window for hours at a time as he literally cut a path through our lawn and yard.  Eventually, Zach started calling Terry “Mowerman” and each weekend, when Terry would show up to kick some grass, Zach would start exclaiming, “Mowerman is here!  Mowerman is here!”

Take Inspiration Where It Strikes!

Back then I was working for Troma and we were in the midst of producing an animated Saturday morning cartoon series, The Toxic Crusaders.  I had been offered the opportunity to help write an episode of the goofy but environmentally friendly show, and Zach’s constant cries of “Mowerman” made their mark somewhere in the back of my mind.  I wanted to create a character that would appeal to my son, and so emerged a new super villain, the embodiment of shear evil (and a cut above Edward Scissorhands).  I created “Mowerman” – a hideously deformed bad guy, with superhuman shears and strength.   In the episode we called “Still Crazy After All These Shears,” Mowerman is hired by the dastardly Dr. Killemoff to help in a plot to thwart Toxie and the Toxic Crusaders!

While I wasn’t able to thrill Zach by mowing my own lawn, I certainly was his hero for bringing his Mowerman to life on TV!  Thanks to the magic of the Internet, I found The Toxic Crusaders on Hulu.  Here’s the episode that introduced Mowerman to the world back in 1990.  Watch it with your kids, and let me know what you think.

Have your kids been the inspiration for something you have done at work?

Jeff Sass is the proud dad of ZEO (Zach, 23, Ethan, 21 and Olivia, 20).  He is also a seasoned entertainment and technology exec and active social media enthusiast.  You can see more of Jeff’s writing at Sassholes! and Social Networking Rehab and you can listen to Jeff on the Cast of Dads and Wunderkind! podcasts.

 

Meet The Parents (Cast of Dads & Sass Edition)

Meet the Parents

From the lost film archives… Meet The Parents (my parents…):

Once we become parents ourselves, our perspective on our own parents changes.  Suddenly many of the things that annoyed us about our folks when we were young begin to make perfect sense.  We see ourselves interacting with our kids in ways similar to how our parents interacted with us.  We see ourselves in our parents in bigger, deeper ways than perhaps we ever have, when we look at the world through the eyes of a parent ourselves.  Talking with our parents about parenthood can be both frightful and insightful as we realize how everything has come full circle in our roles as both a child and a parent.  A few years ago I introduced my parents here on Dadomatic as part of a Sony Digidad project.  Here’s another chance to “Meet The (Sass) Parents…”

Back in April I had the pleasure of going on a Cast of Dads road trip courtesy of Ford and Sony.  Fellow Cast of Dads hosts C.C. Chapman, Brad Powell and I drove from Boston to New York in a shiny new gadget-laden Ford Explorer.  We brought along talented DadLabs cameraman, director and filmmaker Danny Cameron to help document the Journey.  While I have already shared some of the videos of the trip as well as pictures from the NY International Auto Show and an awesome performance by Train, we recently uncovered the lost video of the Cast of Dads taking my parents for a ride (with the clear intent of leveraging them to embarrass me…)  We hijacked them from their apartment for a “taxicab confessions” style ride around Manhattan.  While I silently drove the Explorer, Brad and C.C. grilled my parents for a true touch of Sass…

Have you recently captured video of your parents?  I highly recommend grabbing your smartphone or camera and interviewing your parents on video.  I know my kids and I will cherish these videos for a long time, and I’m thankful to Sony, Ford, Cast of Dads and Dadomatic for pushing me to record my parents.  What do you think?

 

Jeff Sass is the proud dad of ZEO (Zach, 23, Ethan, 21 and Olivia, 20).  He is also a seasoned entertainment and technology exec and active social media enthusiast.  You can see more of Jeff’s writing at Sassholes! and Social Networking Rehab and you can listen to Jeff on the Cast of Dads and Wunderkind! podcasts.

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Macaroni and Cheesy… Cast of Dads Episode 47

Macaroni & Cheese Stuffed Turkey by Chef Zach Sass

The Cast of Dads got together to talk turkey (or in my case, Tofurkey) in the 47th episode of our (almost) weekly gabfest.  As always, we are hard pressed to stay on any one topic for too long, and we run the gamut from Thanksgiving dinners to toddler vandalism to kids pooping in the dryer.  Yes, there is no topic too small or too cheesy for the Cast of Dads to tackle.  Enjoy!

You can CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO CAST OF DADS EPISODE 47.

Topics discussed in this episode include:

If you have been enjoying the Cast of Dads podcast, please tell your friends about the show and have them subscribe to either our direct feed or via iTunes. Also, please leave us a review in iTunes!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Cast of Dads is a group of podcasting and blogging dads who gather to gab about fatherhood. The cast of dads includes C.C. Chapman, Jeffrey Sass, Max Kalehoff, Michael Sheehan, and Brad Powell, who collectively represent 13 kids from the youngest of babies to full grown adults. Each of them brings a unique perspective to being a father.

Jeff Sass is the proud dad of ZEO (Zach, 23, Ethan, 21 and Olivia, 20).  He is also a seasoned entertainment and technology exec and active social media enthusiast.  You can see more of Jeff’s writing at Sassholes! and Social Networking Rehab and you can listen to Jeff on the Cast of Dads  and Wunderkind! podcasts.

 

Just Fishin’

Here’s a beautiful song called “Just Fishin'” by Trace Adkins who’s become the unofficial music artist of Dads because we’ve featured several of his songs on here already. What can I say? Trace truly understands and appreciates the power of being a dad and a parent. His songs on this subject matter truly captures the essence of raising children. (Then They Do, You’re Gonna Miss This, All I Ask for Anymore)

In this song, he sings about the value of doing things with your kids like fishing…not just for the activity itself but for the bonding you do. It’s such a wonderful sentiment and so important to remember….no matter how big or small the activity, the important thing is to spend time together enjoying the experience together. They are the memories that will be remembered for many years to come.

All of the dads on Dad-O-Matic want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. I hope you are counting your blessings and feel thankful for all that you have in life.

I’m lost in her there holdin’ that pink rod and reel
She’s doin’ almost everything but sittin’ still
Talkin’ ‘bout her ballet shoes and training wheels
And her kittens
And she thinks we’re just fishin’

I say, “Daddy loves you, baby” one more time
She says, “I know. I think I got a bite.”
And all this laughin’, cryin, smilin’ dyin’ here inside’s
What I call, livin’

And she thinks we’re just fishin’ on the riverside
Throwin’ back what we could fry
Drownin’ worms and killin’ time
Nothin’ too ambitious
She ain’t even thinkin’ ‘bout
What’s really goin’ on right now
But I guarantee this memory’s a big’in
And she thinks we’re just fishin’

She’s already pretty, like her mama is
Gonna drive the boys all crazy
Give her daddy fits
And I better do this every chance I get
‘Cause time is tickin’
(Yeah it is)

And she thinks we’re just fishin’ on the riverside
Throwin’ back what we could fry
Drownin’ worms and killin’ time
Nothin’ too ambitious
She ain’t even thinkin’ ‘bout
What’s really goin’ on right now
But I guarantee this memory’s a big’in
And she thinks we’re just fishin’

She ain’t even thinkin’ ‘bout
What’s really goin’ on right now
But I guarantee this memory’s a big’in
And she thinks we’re just fishin’
Yeah, aww, she thinks we’re just fishin’
We ain’t only fishin’
(This ain’t about fishin’)

A Hair Raising Month: Cast of Dads #46

November is Movember and thus there is an abundance of facial hair around the Cast of Dads.  Please consider supporting the cause and donating to Max, Brad, Michael or C.C.‘s efforts to raise money and awareness to fight cancer in men.

As the holidays are already approaching it is exciting to see that we are fast approaching our 50th episode of the Cast of Dads podcast.  What should we do special for show 50?  Let us know your thoughts…

Meanwhile, in episode 46 we touch on some current events and then some…

You can CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO CAST OF DADS EPISODE 46.

Topics discussed in this episode include:

If you have been enjoying the Cast of Dads, please tell your friends about the show and have them subscribe to either our direct feed or via iTunes.  Also, please leave us a review in iTunes!

Cast of Dads is a group of podcasting and blogging dads who gather to gab about fatherhood. The cast of dads includes C.C. Chapman, Jeffrey Sass, Max Kalehoff, Michael Sheehan, and Brad Powell, who collectively represent 13 kids from the youngest of babies to full grown adults. Each of them brings a unique perspective to being a father.

Jeff Sass is the proud dad of ZEO (Zach, 23, Ethan, 21 and Olivia, 20).  He is also a seasoned entertainment and technology exec and active social media enthusiast.  You can see more of Jeff’s writing at Sassholes! and Social Networking Rehab and you can listen to Jeff on the Cast of Dads  and Wunderkind! podcasts.

 

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The Real Hages of Washington

More fun for free: Make a comic strip of your very own family life.

Yes, this really happened.

:: Joe Hage is chief storyteller for Medical Marcom, a medical devices marketing consultancy helping medical companies become more approachable and engaging. ::

It Won’t Be Like This For Long

My blog posts on Dad-O-matic have sparked a running joke where some readers compare them to interviews by Barbara Walters because they both tend to make people cry. I take it as a compliment of course. I enjoy sharing some amazing songs with intensely emotional meaning such as my pieces for “You’re Gonna Miss This” or “Then They Do” by Trace Atkins.

Well, here’s a new one that’s guarantied to get you misty-eyed. It’s called “It Won’t Be Like This for Long” by Darius Rucker, formerly from Hootie and the Blowfish. It’s a beautiful song with an important message similar to the other tunes I’ve shared before, all about the importance of enjoying and appreciating our precious time with our kids and families. Yes, even the tough times as the song describes so well from the start when newborns cry and cry all night and you can’t sleep. Pretty soon all parents learn that each phase passes rather quickly, perhaps too quickly and we wind up missing those things we couldn’t wait to end.

On a personal note, I know I miss those late night bottle feedings and diaper changes at 3 AM. I still have a soft spot in my heart whenever I see or hear anything to do with Nick at Night because I used to watch it while I fed one of my babies in the rocking chair. The other day I saw one of the drop clothes I used to use during those feedings and I had to fight hard not to cry. I really do miss so many of those times even though I did my best not to miss out on any of them. Even then I reminded myself that I would miss losing out on sleep for one of my angels but I still long for those days. I would give anything to do it all over again. After all, when we are old and gray we won’t remember how much sleep we got but all of those precious memories we made.

Note: I want to thank Stephen “Steak” Shapiro from 790 the Zone for introducing me to this song. He was talking about it this morning during my drive to work so I had to check it out and sure enough it was as good as he claimed. I know it’s funny because here’s a big city sports talk show host sharing how emotional he gets listening to a song on the air. I think real men don’t have a problem with showing their emotions, especially when it comes to their family.

Lyrics to Darius Rucker’s new song
It Won’t Be Like This For Long

He didnt have to wake up
He’d been up all nite
Lay’n there in bed listen’n
To his new born baby cry
He makes a pot of coffee
He splashes water on his face
His wife gives him a kiss and says
It gonna be OK

It wont be like this for long
One day soon we’ll look back laugh’n
At the week we brought her home
This phase is gonna fly by
So baby just hold on
It wont be like this for long

Four years later bout four thirty
She’s crawling in there bed
And when he drops her off at preschool
She’s clinging to his leg
The teacher peels her off of him
He says what can I do
She says now dont you worry
This will only last a week or two

It wont be like this for long
One day soon we’ll drop her off
And she wont even know your gone
This phase is gonna fly by
If you can just hold on
It wont be like this for long

One day soon she’ll be a teenager
And at times you’ll think she hates him
Then he’ll walk her down the isle
And he’ll raise her vale
But right now she up and cry’n
And the truth is that he dont mind
As he kisses her good night
And she says her prayers
He lays down there beside her
Till her eyes are finally closed
And just watch’n her it breaks his heart
Cause he already knows
It wont be like this for long
One day soon that little girl is gonna be
All grown up and gone
Yeah this phase is gonna fly by
He’s try’n to hold on
It wont be like this for long
It wont be like this for long

Dear Zachary

Dear Zachary” is an amazing documentary that everyone should experience. It’s a tough one to get through but it’s so worth it if you do. I won’t give away anything surprising but all I can say is that you will be moved and I think changed for the better after witnessing this masterful film.

In essence, this is a love letter from director Kurt Kuenne to his best friend Dr. Andrew Bagby who was murdered by a woman he dated. He made this movie for Andrew’s unborn son so he would know the real man who was his dad. He interviewed all of his friends and relatives to paint a wonderful and honest portrait of Andrew. Along the way, the story becomes unbelievable and infuriating. If it were not a true story you would stop watching this film. It’s that outrageous what happens in this film.

The parents of the murdered father, Kate and David Bagby, have to endure incredible hardships as they have to move to Canada to be with their grandson while the law tries to extradite the murderer of their son. All the while, they have to talk to this monster and see her if they want to spend time with their grandson. It’s unreal what the Canadian legal system does or doesn’t do for over a year. They even let her go free on bail not once but twice! I will say no more.

Fortunately, if there is any silver lining to the nightmare that these sweet people had to endure is the fact that they were able to force major changes to laws in the Canadian legal system that would prevent murderers from getting free on bail. It might not help them but they did this to help many other victims in the future. I truly think Kate and David Bagby are amazing human beings for having the strength to do all that they did. The same is true of the director of this film who did an incredible job. It truly showed the impact that each friend can have on so many lives. It reminded me of It’s a Wonderful Life in some respects as we got to see how Andrew’s short life (only 28 when killed) impacted so many lives in a big way.

By the way, Kurt Kuenne also directed one of my favorite short films, the viral hit called “VALIDATION” which is on YouTube. He’s a talented filmmaker and judging from this work of art, a wonderful friend.
Here’s Validation

Reminders of Love

Dad-O-matic is focused on dads and the family and once in a while that means addressing the subject matter of the relationship between fathers with mothers. After all, they are partners in the business of raising children, right? Too often we parents are so busy working on all of the details involved with taking care of the kids that our personal relationship gets lost in the shuffle. The drifting apart syndrome is rampant in this country which is why it’s critical that we make the time to remind each other why we fell in love in the first place and started a family.

There are many ways to rekindle that spark, such as implementing date nights or doing little things you used to do before you had kids. Go through old photos and videos of your courtship days to see if that elicits some smiles and hopefully kisses and perhaps some tears. The key is to acknowledge the change and vow to do something positive about it. No one talks about it except on TV after relationships have gone in the toilet and they become freak shows for all to watch. It doesn’t have to get to that point. We just need to remember what made us fall in love with our partner in the first place. Those traits and qualities never truly go away because they are usually part of their core being. What goes away and changes is the way we think about them. Reminders are a wonderful way to re-introduce yourselves to your better half.

Here’s a beautiful song from Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood called REMIND ME that captures the pain that couples endure when they realize something has changed.

photo credit: Pitel

You’re The Best Daddy (Song)


I heard this absolutely beautiful song called “Daddy” at the end of Curious George by a group called LaughingPizza and I just had to find out more about it and hear it again and again. It truly got to me and I think it will for any parent. Such a sweet sentiment and such a lovely song.

I love how it describes the way the dad is missed when he goes away to work and how the child loves the way they play, in such a way that the mom can’t even bare to look. We might play rougher but we will always be there to catch them if they fall.

You can hear the whole song here on their website. You can buy the song for .99 cents or get it for free by liking the LaughingPizza fan page on Facebook. It’s truly worth it either way.

To watch the music video go here and scroll down to the song called “Daddy”.

Here are the lyrics

Daddy

You are my Daddy
I am your girl
You’re the best daddy in the whole wide world
I miss you so
When you go away
Won’t you come home soon so that we can play?
The way we love to play
You throw me up
So high in the air
But I know that you’ll catch me
You’ll always be there
You push me higher
So high in my swing
‘till I feel like I’m flying
Just like a bird with wings
Like a bird with wings
But Mommy won’t watch
No she just turns away
She gets too nervous the way that we play
Oh it just makes us giggle
It’s like a joke that we share
‘Cause whatever we do
I feel so safe in your care
You’re the best Daddy
And I’m your best girl
And please know that I love you
While you travel the world
There’s no one like you
And there’ll never be
You’re my prince, you’re my Daddy
Forever my Daddy
You’re the best Daddy for me

Written by: L.Michaelis/E. Schlosser

(c)2008

One on One with a Wiggle: Sam Moran


The Wiggles are celebrating their 20th anniversary which is an impressive milestone for any band nevermind one for children. They’re currently on a US tour celebrating this achievement. Much like last year when I got to interview Jeff (the purple Wiggle), I had the pleasure of speaking to Sam (Yellow Wiggle) this time around.

Me:
Hello Sam. It’s a pleasure to talk to you on behalf of Dad-O-Matic. So you’re celebrating 20 years? Congratulations!

Sam:
Thank you.  The band has been together for 20 but as you know I’ve only been with them as the Yellow Wiggle for 5 of those years.

Me:
Of course. You replaced Greg the original Wiggle. How is he doing these days? Does he ever perform with the band as a special guest for example?

Sam:
Right. Greg is doing much better these days since he stepped down from the tour which as you can imagine is quite grueling. Unfortunately he has not performed with us and there are no plans to do so on this tour.

Me:
So you are currently on the US leg of your tour, correct? How long will you be in the states?

Sam:
That is correct. We will be traveling America until the middle of August I believe.

Me:
I took my family to your show in Atlanta Georgia this month and it was a wonderful show. I have three kids and they really enjoyed it, well I’m not sure about the 12 year old who thinks he’s a teenager now but the two younger ones were extremely excited to see you guys again. We were all quite surprised and sad to hear about Jeff whom I interviewed last year. What happened and how is he doing now?

Sam:
So glad to hear you enjoyed the show. Yes, we were all quite shocked by what happened to Jeff because he has always been in the best shape and always so active. No one was more shocked though than Jeff. He said he was experiencing some painful heart sensations and quickly went to the hospital where they determined he needed a pace maker.

Me:
How scary. So I guess this means he will not be on this tour at all.

Sam:
I’m afraid not. Doctor’s orders of course. He will need some time to recover and we fully expect him to come back very soon.

Me:
We sure hope so. He’s very popular with the kids. However, I think Brad did a stellar job in his place. I think he was one of the dancers, correct?

Sam:
Correct. Much like myself, Brad has been with the band for a while. He had little trouble jumping right in to help out.

Me:
I wanted to ask you about the name of the band. How did that come about?

Sam:
I was told that it was basically because it’s something that most kids do… wiggle in their seats…always squirming about and all that. We also had a song called Get Ready to Wiggle.

Me:
Who writes most of the songs? Do you have outside songwriters or do you guys do it?

Sam:
Good question. We write most of our songs for sure. We really enjoy it.

Me:
What are some of your favorite songs?

Sam:
Personally, I really enjoy performing the Shimmy Shimmy Shake and Rock-a-bye Your Bear.

Me:
After an incredible 20 years, how much longer do you see the Wiggles performing?

Sam:
We think the band can go on as long as the audiences want us to. Just like I came on board to help the band and Brad has, the Wiggles will have no problem carrying on whenever one of us can’t.

Me:
Well, that’s good to know. Congratulations again on the amazing 20 years. We wish you many many more years of success.

Sam:
Thank you. We hope to see everyone and their kids in America this summer. Please come out and see us.

For more information about the Wiggles including their tour schedule please checkout their official website.

Little Wonders

My 8 year-old has been after me to watch Meet The Robinsons for the longest time so I finally made time to watch it with my kids and I sure am happy I did. I absolutely loved the movie. Now, I have to admit that I’m a sucker for most of the animated films these days because quite frankly they are so well-written and well-made. Not only is the animation incredible, but they all seem to tell a good story and there always seems to be something touching in them too. For example, starting way back with the Lion King (when the dad dies) all the way to last year’s Toy Story 3 (when Andy goes off the college made millions of parents cry like babies). So I’m pretty much prepared for this winning formula by now. Still, Meet The Robinsons got to me in a big way with its beautiful finale sequences. Totally unexpected and well done.

One of the things I liked best about this story was the fact that it addresses a subject matter that isn’t really tackled much, adoption. I believe Tarzan does a good job with the subject matter but I can’t think of too many others that do. Despicable Me also does a sweet job with adoption. In any event, Meet The Robinsons does the best job I’ve seen. I don’t want to give away anything more so I can’t go into details here. Please watch it with your family. Even if we think we have the weirdest family around, at the end of the day, it’s still your family.

Here’s the ending to Meet the Robinsons with the beautiful song “Little Wonders” by Rob Thomas. I can’t believe how much I was moved by this ending. It all just tied together so wonderfully. Even the quote they used at the very end by Walt Disney to “Keep Moving Forward”.


 

Here’s the whole song and music video for “Little Wonders”

 

 

Little Wonders lyrics
Songwriters: Thomas, Rob;


Let it go, let it roll right off your shoulder
Don’t you know the hardest part is over?
Let it in, let your clarity define you
In the end we will only just remember how it feels
Our lives are made in these small hours
These little wonders, these twists and turns of fate
Time falls away but these small hours
These small hours still remain
Let it slide, let your troubles fall behind you
Let it shine until you feel it all around you
And I don?t mind if it’s me you need to turn to
We’ll get by, it’s the heart that really matters in the end
Our lives are made in these small hours
These little wonders, these twists and turns of fate
Time falls away but these small hours
These small hours still remain
All of my regret will wash away somehow
But I cannot forget the way I feel right now
In these small hours
These little wonders, these twists and turns of fate
Yeah, these twists and turns of fate!
Time falls away, yeah but these small hours
And these small hours still remain, yeah
Ooh they still remain
These little wonders, oh these twists and turns of fate
Time falls away but these small hours
These little wonders still remain

 

I Looked Up Cute In The Dictionary and This Is What I Found…

The title of this post says it all.

A a dad of daughter who is now 19, while she will always be a cutie in my eyes, I can fondly remember when she was the age of these incredibly cute (and talented) contestants on America’s Got Talent.  I love seeing the parents in the wings and the expressions of pure pride on their faces.  I know I have felt that way about my kids and hope that you have had the occasion to enjoy that feeling too.

What do you think?  Cute, or what!

 

Jeff Sass is the proud dad of ZEO (Zach, 23, Ethan, 21 and Olivia, 19).  He is also a seasoned entertainment and technology exec and active social media enthusiast.  You can see more of Jeff’s writing at Sassholes! and Social Networking Rehab and you can listen to Jeff on the Cast of Dads podcast.

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Let the Fireworks Begin! Cast of Dads #43

A Fourth of July fireworks display at the Wash...

Image via Wikipedia

Happy 4th of July Weekend!

The Cast of Dads got together before the weekend to share our post Father’s Day adventures and we had a blast sharing some of our own stories of fireworks and other explosive topics.  We also announced the winner of our Father’s Day Dell Inspiron Duo giveaway, thanks to our friends at Intel and Dell.

Independence Day is a time of celebration, family and appreciation, and we hope you are enjoying your time with your family and friends, and taking a few moments to reflect with gratitude upon the true freedom and independence we enjoy in so much of our lives today…

You can CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO CAST OF DADS EPISODE 43.

Topics discussed in this episode include:

If you have been enjoying the Cast of Dads podcast, please tell your friends to subscribe to either our direct feed or via iTunes.  Also, please leave us a review in iTunes!

Cast of Dads is a group of podcasting and blogging dads who gather to gab about fatherhood. The cast of dads includes C.C. Chapman, Jeffrey Sass, Max Kalehoff, Michael Sheehan, and Brad Powell, who collectively represent 13 kids from the youngest of babies to full grown adults. Each of them brings a unique perspective to being a father.

Jeff Sass is the proud dad of ZEO (Zach, 23, Ethan, 21 and Olivia, 19).  He is also a seasoned entertainment and technology exec and active social media enthusiast.  You can see more of Jeff’s writing at Sassholes! and Social Networking Rehab and you can listen to Jeff on the Cast of Dads podcast.

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Showing Our Junk (And a Father’s Day REWARD!)

We’re baaack!  It’s been a few weeks, but the Cast of Dads got back in front of our respective microphones, phones and headsets to deliver a new, fun-filled episode.  With political private parts in the headlines, bathroom humor abounds and we make our fair share of “weiner” jokes.  Brad goes so far as to reveal that he, too, has posted pictures of his junk on the interwebs.  OMG!

Because this weekend is Father’s Day we also reveal a special give-away thanks to our friends at Intel.  Be sure to check out how you can get a chance for a Dell Duo convertible netbook.

You can LISTEN TO CAST OF DADS Episode 42 by CLICKING HERE.

Topics discussed in this episode include:

Give-Away Details: We’ve got a brand new Dell Inspiron Duo to give away to one lucky Dad. All you need to do to enter is leave a comment to this post that answers the question “The most rewarding thing about being a fathers is?”

We’ll draw a winner at random from the comments posted. You have until the end of the day on June 19th, Father’s Day to get your answer in. Good luck!!!

If you have been enjoying the Cast of Dads podcast, please tell your friends about the show and have them subscribe to either our direct feed or via iTunes. Also, please leave us a review in iTunes!

Cast of Dads is a group of podcasting and blogging dads who gather to gab about fatherhood. The cast of dads includes C.C. Chapman, Jeffrey Sass, Max Kalehoff, Michael Sheehan, and Brad Powell, who collectively represent 13 kids from the youngest of babies to full grown adults. Each of them brings a unique perspective to being a father.

Jeff Sass is the proud dad of ZEO (Zach, 22, Ethan, 21 and Olivia, 19).  He is also a seasoned entertainment and technology exec and active social media enthusiast.  You can see more of Jeff’s writing at Sassholes! and Social Networking Rehab and you can listen to Jeff on the Cast of Dads podcast.

DISCLOSURE: I am part of the “Intel Advisor” program and am compensated and/or receive other value from Intel to advise and attend events on their behalf.

 

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Talking Tech and Toddlers on MashUp Radio

Last week I had the chance to speak about kids and technology with Intel‘s Peter Biddle on his MashUp Radio show.  We had a fun conversation that ran the gamut from toddlers and tablets, to “Free Range Kids,” to marketing to kids, to the concept of our kids never being alone thanks to technology.

Peter is an awesome guy to chat with as he has had some great experiences and in addition to hosting MashUp Radio, he leads AppUp Products and Services in Intel’s Software and Services Group.  While Peter has an impressive tech industry background, the line in his bio that got my attention is:

“Peter’s first business venture was as sole proprietor of a paint-ball field in Washington State, where he developed the skills that help him navigate Silicon Valley successfully.”

Now that’s a guy you want to talk to!  I have embedded my talk with Peter below, and I hope you enjoy listening.  Please let us know what you think in the comments and add your own thoughts about toddlers and tech.

Listen to internet radio with MashUp Radio on Blog Talk Radio

DISCLOSURE: I am part of the “Intel Advisor” program and am compensated and/or receive other value from Intel to advise and attend events on their behalf.

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40th Anniversary Reunion for Willie Wonka and The Chocolate Factory

The kids from “Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” reunited on the Today Show for the 40th anniversary of the film classic. Check out Charlie Bucket, Violet Beauregarde, Augustus Gloop, Veruca Salt & Mike TV as they look now all these years later.
Noticeably absent is their ring leader, Gene Wilder and Grandpa Charlie who was played by the late Jack Albertson.

Here they discuss some of the secrets we never knew about the movie. For example, was the river of chocolate really chocolate? Was all that candy truly editable?

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

 

 

 

 

Coffee, Cast of Dads & Conversation…

As you know if you’ve been following me here, some of the Cast of Dads had the chance to go to the NY International Auto Show, courtesy of Sony and Ford.  As you may know, the Cast of Dads podcast began as an offshoot of the Sony DigiDad project, which brought together myself, C.C. Chapman, Brad Powell, Michael Sheehan, and Max Kalehoff to blog about our family experiences with a variety of products loaned to us by Sony.  With that as our history, one of the highlights of the Cast of Dads road-trip to NY was the chance to spend some time with our good friend Sukhjit Ghag from Sony.

DSC01153.JPG

While this is not necessarily the typical Cast of Dads episode, as usual we touch on a wide range of topics from cars and phones, to the gadgets that enhance our pleasure, to some thoughts on the future technology our kids will inherit.  Since we were fortunate to be traveling with the talented DadLabs cameraman, Danny Cameron, we recorded our conversation and hope that you will enjoy watching it.  So, grab your own cup of coffee… and join us for a chat with Sukhjit.

Coffee Chat Between Cast of Dads and Sukhjit Ghag from Sony from C.C. Chapman on Vimeo.

You can also download this video.

Disclosure: http://cmp.ly/2

Cast of Dads is a group of podcasting and blogging dads who gather to gab about fatherhood. The cast of dads includes C.C. Chapman, Jeffrey Sass, Max Kalehoff, Michael Sheehan, and Brad Powell, who collectively represent 13 kids from the youngest of babies to full grown adults. Each of them brings a unique perspective to being a father.

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Free Apps for Your Next Trip to Disney World


I took the family to Disney World for spring break 2011 and it was even better than expected. Maybe it was because the kids were a little older this time (ages 12, 8 & 5) or maybe it was merely experience paying off, but all I know is that we had the times of our lives. I also think all of the free iPhone apps that we used made things so much easier this time and saved us a great deal of time and headaches. Here’s a round-up of the best free apps that I used during this trip. I used a few way more than others, but really you can’t go wrong with any of them.

Quick tip: Besides using MouseSavers.com, you should also try to call the Disney Dining reservations hotline (1-407-WDWDINE) every day for helpful suggestions for places to dine. They are especially helpful for scheduling meals with Disney characters for autographs and photo ops with the children. We got extremely fortunate one morning when we learned that someone had cancelled their meeting with Cinderella at the Magic Kingdom which requires reservations at least six months in advanced! It became the highpoint of our trip as our 5 year-old Rachel got to meet Cinderella and all of the princesses at breakfast (we did too!). Here she is on her Belle costume and in the elevator on her way there.

 

Free Disney World Apps
What 2 Ride
This was my most used app. It quickly displays all of the things you can do and ride for each park.

Disney Ride Counter
This is a fun app because it keeps track of which rides you’ve all ridden and how many times. Good way not to miss any must-rides.

Point Inside is a unique map app because it shows the layout of interiors such as malls and airports

Disney Checklist

Radio Disney

Downtown Disney Maps

Disney World Maps (VersaEdge)

Disney World Park Hours

Disney wait times, Dining & Maps  (Undercover tourist)

Disney Wait Times (VersaEdge)

Disney Movies

Disney Lines

WDW Radio

 

Free Games
These free Disney themed games will come in handy if you install them on an iPad. It can keep the kiddies quiet and occupied during long drives.

Disney

Epic Mickey

Tangled Game

Disney Fairies Fly Lite

Toy Story 3 game

Beauty and the Beast Enchanted Rose

Alice in Wonderland

Mouse Trivia – Disney Edition

Tron

Have a safe drive and enjoy every moment you spend at Disney World, it truly is a magical place.

How Old Is Justin Bieber? The Cast of Dads Want To Know

This week the Cast of Dads are feeling inspired by the spring in the air and the spring in their steps, but even better weather cannot keep us focused on just one topic.  Where else can you find five clueless dads debating everything from Justin Bieber vs. Rebecca Black to MacGuyver vs. MacGruber in a single half hour show?… now THAT’S entertainment!

We are also excited about an upcoming road trip this week, sponsored by our friends at Sony and Ford, that will bring the Cast of Dads together for a private concert and an inside look at the NY Auto Show.  Follow me on Twitter to learn more about this event and how you might be able to participate…

You can CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO CAST OF DADS Episode 41.

Topics discussed in this episode include:

If you have been enjoying the Cast of Dads podcast, please tell your friends about the show and have them subscribe to either our direct feed orvia iTunes.  Also, please leave us a review in iTunes!

Cast of Dads is a group of podcasting and blogging dads who gather to gab about fatherhood. The cast of dads includes C.C. Chapman, Jeffrey Sass, Max Kalehoff, Michael Sheehan, and Brad Powell, who collectively represent 13 kids from the youngest of babies to full grown adults. Each of them brings a unique perspective to being a father.

Jeff Sass is the proud dad of ZEO (Zach, 22, Ethan, 20 and Olivia, 19).  He is also a seasoned entertainment and technology exec and active social media enthusiast.  You can see more of Jeff’s writing at Sassholes! and Social Networking Rehab and you can listen to Jeff on the Cast of Dads podcast.


Beer & Coffee: The Cast of Dads at SXSW

Having Beer and Coffee with @cc_chapman (winking at @matthewebel)For many geeks, the true March Madness is the trippy trip to Austin, Texas for South By Southwest (SXSW).  Last year, fellow Cast of Dads dad C.C. Chapman and I had the pleasure of visiting the DadLabs Studios, where Daddy Brad (Brad Powell) and his paternal posse produce their short fatherhood flicks.  This year we convened with Brad again, but instead of the studios we set up shop upstairs in a cafe that served both beer and coffee! Take that Starbucks!  We missed having our full quintet of dads together, but we did manage to record a video episode of 3/5th of Cast of Dads.  Between the beer and the coffee our energy level was high, and I apologize in advance for letting rip the “s” word at least once.  Yep, I said shit.  Whoops… did it again.  Enjoy the show!

3/5th Cast of Dads at SXSW 2011 from C.C. Chapman on Vimeo.

Cast of Dads is a group of podcasting and blogging dads who gather to gab about fatherhood. The cast of dads includes C.C. Chapman, Jeffrey Sass, Max Kalehoff, Michael Sheehan, and Brad Powell, who collectively represent 13 kids from the youngest of babies to full grown adults. Each of them brings a unique perspective to being a father.

Jeff Sass is the proud dad of ZEO (Zach, 22, Ethan, 20 and Olivia, 19).  He is also a seasoned entertainment and technology exec and active social media enthusiast.  You can see more of Jeff’s writing at Sassholes! and Social Networking Rehab and you can listen to Jeff on the Cast of Dads podcast.

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Whining and #Winning!

One dad clearly #Winning in the news these days is Charlie Sheen, and the Cast of Dads took a few sips of Tiger Blood while recording our 40th episode.  As usual, we cover a cornucopia of topics, from Charile’s angels -er, goddesses, to Dr. Seuss.  As a true sign of a dedicated dadcaster, our own Max Kalefhoff joined us for the show even though he was in the middle of a blackout in New York, prompting a a discussion about flashlights.  Clearly, anything is fair game with this Cast of Dads! Enjoy!

You can CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO CAST OF DADS EPISODE 40

Topics discussed in this episode include:

If you have been enjoying the Cast of Dads podcast, please tell your friends about the show and have them subscribe to either our direct feed or via iTunes. Also, please leave us a review in iTunes!

Cast of Dads is a group of podcasting and blogging dads who gather to gab about fatherhood. The cast of dads includes C.C. Chapman, Jeffrey Sass, Max Kalehoff, Michael Sheehan, and Brad Powell, who collectively represent 13 kids from the youngest of babies to full grown adults. Each of them brings a unique perspective to being a father.

Jeff Sass is the proud dad of ZEO (Zach, 22, Ethan, 20 and Olivia, 19).  He is also a seasoned entertainment and technology exec and active social media enthusiast.  You can see more of Jeff’s writing at Sassholes! and Social Networking Rehab and you can listen to Jeff on the Cast of Dads podcast.

 

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An Ode To Parenting and Puking

 

I am currently suffering from a bout of empty nest syndrome and one of the symptoms is recalling all sorts of memories of my kids at various stages and ages.  My oldest, now 22, recently ran a half marathon – his first – and afterwards he threw up.  Watching him barf as a young adult reminded me that I had actually watched him puke his entire life.  He was almost permanently ejected from nursery school for his daily disgorges, shortly after his mom dropped him off every morning.  Alas, he survived, as did I, but the memories inspired me to write a poem, “An Ode To Parenting and Puking.”

You can listen to me reading it or read it for yourself below.  I hope you enjoy!

An Ode To Parenting and Puking
By Jeffrey Sass

If you are a parent, you know the scoop,
We were put on this earth to clean up the poop.
When our kids are born we are put to the test,
We must become experts at cleaning a mess.

Learning to breathe through your mouth is a must,
To avoid making scents of what comes from their butts.
No matter how chunky or smelly or mushy,
It’s our duty to clear all the doody from their tushy.

Of course it’d be easy if poop was just it,
But there’s much more to clean than the diapers of shit.
That our kids have a mouth is certainly no fluke,
For how else would they be able to shower us with puke.

It starts on your shoulder when baby is little,
And decorates your clean clothes with splotches of spittle.
As soon as they advance from crawling to erectile,
Their spitting up evolves to vomiting projectile.

In car seats, at school, at the dining room table,
Your kids will throw up as often as they are able.
One moment they are happy, seeming without a care,
And the next they’re streaming vomit like a mini Linda Blair.

If you’ve been at it for years you might be feeling bolder,
But I’ve got news, they still blow lunch when they are older.
When they reach their teens you’d be safe (you’d a thunk),
Until the first time your kid learns to puke from getting drunk.

You see, barfing is something that comes to kids in stages,
It is not limited by size, by gender or ages.
You may not think such behavior befits a young girl,
But sooner or later, your little princess will hurl.

So Mommies and Daddies what ever can we do,
To ensure we are ready when our kids choose to spew?
There’s no point in getting angry or acting any meaner,
Just stock up on more of that anti-bacterial cleaner.

And remember, while holding the sponge and wearing a rubber glove,
That while your kid may give you vomit, you still give them love.

What do you think?  Has puking been part of your parenting too???  Don’t get all choked up… tell us about your experiences in the comments.

Jeff Sass is the proud dad of ZEO (Zach, 22, Ethan, 20 and Olivia, 19).  He is also a seasoned entertainment and technology exec and active social media enthusiast.  You can see more of Jeff’s writing at Sassholes! and Social Networking Rehab and you can listen to Jeff on the Cast of Dads podcast.

“An Ode To Parenting and Puking” (c) 2011 Jeffrey W. Sass
Photo Credit: caraman – Fotolia.com


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Having THE Talk: Cast of Dads #39

The full Cast of Dads got together for the first time this year and we talk turkey about one of the most feared feats of fatherdom – having the “sex” talk with your child.  The Cast of Dads’ kids range from toddlers to teens and beyond, so we all have our own unique takes on “THE Talk.”  Take a listen and let us know of your experiences tackling the proverbial birds and bees…

We also touch on other topics, as always, including news of an upcoming give-away of a Dell Inspiron Duo, like the one you may have noticed in our CES show.

You can CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO CAST OF DADS EPISODE 39

Topics discussed in this episode include:

If you have been enjoying the Cast of Dads (“The Mother of all Daddy Podcasts!“) please tell your friends about the show and have them subscribe to either our direct feed or via iTunes.  Also, please leave us a review in iTunes!

Cast of Dads is a group of podcasting and blogging dads who gather to gab about fatherhood. The cast of dads includes C.C. Chapman, Jeffrey Sass, Max Kalehoff, Michael Sheehan, and Brad Powell, who collectively represent 13 kids from the youngest of babies to full grown adults. Each of them brings a unique perspective to being a father.

Jeff Sass is the proud dad of ZEO (Zach, 22, Ethan, 20 and Olivia, 19).  He is also a seasoned entertainment and technology exec and active social media enthusiast.  You can see more of Jeff’s writing at Sassholes! and Social Networking Rehab and you can listen to Jeff on the Cast of Dads podcast.??

Photo Credit: iQoncept – Fotolia.com

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Discussing Dadgets: The Cast of Dads At CES 2011

Three of us Cast of Dads (CC, Michael and myself) were in Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and we got together upstairs in the Intel booth to record both a video and audio special episode of the Cast of Dads podcast.  We invited Dave Delaney of Griffin Technology to join us as our first ever guest Dad, and we had a lot of fun talking gadgets and dadgets in the corner of a very busy Intel CES meeting room.  In the show you’ll see us playing with an unusual netbook/tablet from Dell, and stay tuned to future Cast of Dads shows for news on how you may be able to get your hands on one courtesy of Intel & Dell.  Links to listen to the audio version of this show, as well as links to some of the things we talk about, appear below the video.  Enjoy!

You can LISTEN TO THE CAST OF DAD AT CES 2011 show HERE.

Some of the things we mention in the show:

And much, much more…

Jeff Sass is the proud dad of ZEO (Zach, 22, Ethan, 20 and Olivia, 19).  He is also a seasoned entertainment and technology exec and active social media enthusiast.  You can see more of Jeff’s writing at Sassholes! and Social Networking Rehab and you can listen to Jeff on the Cast of Dads podcast.??

DISCLOSURES: I am part of the “Intel Advisor” program and am compensated and/or receive other value from Intel to attend events on their behalf, including the 2011 CES show. I make mention of the  Sony NEX-5 Camera (affiliate link), which I received as a sample from Sony that I am not expected to return.

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Super Bowl, Super Ad, Super Dad!

With the hype and hoopla over, there will be plenty of talk around the water cooler tomorrow about “the game,” and of course, about the commercials.  One of the standout commercials was the “The Force” by Volkswagen for the 2012 Passat.  More than just Star Wars fans will love this humbling homage to the power of Darth Vader, starring the Dark Lord’s very own “mini me.”  The real star of  the spot, however, is one of us… a Dad, who, from the sidelines, amazes his young son by ensuring that indeed The Force is with him (with a little help from the new Passat’s remote control key fob).  It is an awesome moment of awe for young Vader as the family VW (and a clever Dad) help bring his dreams to life, something all Dads want to do for their children.

You’ve likely seen the ad already, but here it is again, and perhaps with a slightly different perspective now.  Kudos to Volkswagen (and their ad team) for charming us, and in the process, giving us some warm and fuzzies about their new Passat line.  It is always great to see great Dads in action, even in a commercial…

?

Last year’s Super Bowl was also a source of inspiration for us Dads.

Jeff Sass is the proud dad of ZEO (Zach, 22, Ethan, 20 and Olivia, 19).  He is also a seasoned entertainment and technology exec and active social media enthusiast.  You can see more of Jeff’s writing at Sassholes! and Social Networking Rehab and you can listen to Jeff on the Cast of Dads podcast.??

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A Kid Friendly iPad Case That Lets You Trace!

As part of the Dad-O-Matic CES coverage, Chris Brogan shared a look at the Crayola ColorStudioHD iPad app and “digital crayon” coming soon from Griffin Technology.  Cool as the Crayola app is, it wasn’t the only neat thing we saw from the Griffin gang.  Dave Delaney also showed me the Griffin LightBoard, which is a colorful, kid friendly iPad case (and companion drawing app) that cleverly lets you overlay a sheet of paper so kids can trace and recreate on paper their digital drawings.  Very clever and cool.  Dave also reveals a secret about the packaging for the LightBoard that every dad (and mom) will appreciate.  Also, Dave and the Griffin team were kind enough to give Dad-O-Matic a LightBoard to give to one of you.  Watch the video below and leave a comment between now and the end of the day Friday, January 21st and we’ll randomly pick one person to receive the LightBoard (iPad NOT included).

Jeff Sass is the proud dad of ZEO (Zach, 22, Ethan, 20 and Olivia, 19).  He is also a seasoned entertainment and technology exec and active social media enthusiast.  You can see more of Jeff’s writing at Sassholes! and Social Networking Rehab and you can listen to Jeff on the Cast of Dads podcast.??

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Coloring for the iPad with Crayola ColorStudioHD

I had the pleasure of catching up with Dave Delaney from Griffin Technology at the Consumer Electronics show, and he caught us up on the really cool app that Griffin developed with Crayola, called ColorStudio HD. We shot this little review here:

Can’t see this video, click here.

Check out the Crayola ColorStudio HD and let us know what you think?

Happy New Year From The Cast of Dads! (and Dadomatic)

As 2010 and another year (and decade) wind down, the Cast of Dads got together to squeeze in one last show for the year.  In this eposide you will hear about CC making bacon, Max blowing off some steam, Michael musing over MacAllan, Brad blowing glass, and me… ? Well, you’ll just have to listen to the show to catch my year-end thoughts.

On behalf of all of the Cast of Dads and the Dadomatic team, we want to thank each and every one of you for making 2010 a great year, and we send you and yours all our best wishes for a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!

You can CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO CAST OF DADS EPISODE 38.

Topics discussed in this episode include:

  • Happy 2011
  • Knee High Boots
  • Thigh Highs
  • Wonder Woman
  • Scotch
  • Shake Weight
  • Do “As Seen on TV” items ever make good gifts?
  • Surviving the holidays
  • Vacation week bed times for kids
  • The Digital Babysitter
  • Technology gift for kids
  • My First Bacon
  • Angry Birds Addiction
  • Model Steam Engine
  • Getting the kids to EXPERIENCE more
  • Life Trumps School
  • Museums, aquariums & other great gift memberships
  • Amazement of Glass Blowing
  • Gifts we gave our wives & girlfriends
  • What is THAT, dental floss?
  • Feelings at the end of the year
  • Last year of our lives?

If you have been enjoying the Cast of Dads podcast, please tell your friends about the show and have them subscribe to either our direct feed or via iTunes. Also, please leave us a review in iTunes!

Cast of Dads is a group of podcasting and blogging dads who gather to gab about fatherhood. The cast of dads includes C.C. Chapman, Jeffrey Sass, Max Kalehoff, Michael Sheehan, and Brad Powell, who collectively represent 13 kids from the youngest of babies to full grown adults. Each of them brings a unique perspective to being a father.

Jeff Sass is the proud dad of ZEO (Zach, 22, Ethan, 20 and Olivia, 19).  He is also a seasoned entertainment and technology exec and active social media enthusiast.  You can see more of Jeff’s writing at Sassholes! and Social Networking Rehab and you can listen to Jeff on the Cast of Dads podcast.??

Photo Credit: © Barbara Helgason – Fotolia.com

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Happy 1st Birthday Cast of Dads!

A little over a year ago I joined forces with four other dads and we launched the Cast of Dads Podcast.  The five of us, all with kids of varying ages, first came together thanks to Sony and the Sony DigiDad Project, and we got along so well we wanted to “keep the dream alive” so we started the podcast.  Now, a year and thirty-seven episodes later, we are as goofy and discombobulated as ever, filling each (almost) weekly episode with a virtual cornucopia of topics, from the ridiculous to the sublime, and everything in between.  We are sincerely grateful for all of you who have listened to our gabfest, and hope you have found tidbits of entertainment and value in our jib jab.

As we celebrate our first year of the podcast and the end  of 2010, on behalf of all of  the Cast of Dads I want to wish you and yours a very happy and healthy holiday season and a prosperous New Year!

You can CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO CAST OF DADS EPISODE 37.

Topics discussed in this episode include:

If you have been enjoying the Cast of Dads Podcast, please tell your friends about the show and have them subscribe to either our direct feed or via iTunes. Also, please leave us a review in iTunes!

Cast of Dads is a group of podcasting and blogging dads who gather to gab about fatherhood. The cast of dads includes C.C. Chapman, Jeffrey Sass, Max Kalehoff, Michael Sheehan, and Brad Powell, who collectively represent 13 kids from the youngest of babies to full grown adults. Each of them brings a unique perspective to being a father.

Jeff Sass is the proud dad of ZEO (Zach, 22, Ethan, 20 and Olivia, 19).  He is also a seasoned entertainment and technology exec and active social media enthusiast.  You can see more of Jeff’s writing at Sassholes! and Social Networking Rehab and you can listen to Jeff on the Cast of Dads podcast.??

Photo Credit: © Ruth Black – Fotolia.com

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Celebrating With A Sweet 25 Year Old: Cast of Dads #36

Last week one of the Cast of Dads, C.C. Chapman, was celebrating the release of his new book, Content Rules (Affiliate Link) and I saw him tweet,

Laura just brought home a sexy 25 Year Old to help us celebrate #ContentRules

Well, before you let your mind go right to the gutter (as, of course, mine did), in this week’s show CC reveals the truth about his new 25 year old companion (and the picture below gives it away).  As always, we cover a lot more than fine Scotch as the dads start winding up for the Holiday Season.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO CAST OF DADS EPISODE 36

Topics discussed in this episode include:

Pop Rocks & Scotch?

CC's Favorite 25 Year Old!

If you have been enjoying the Cast of Dads Podcast, please tell your friends about the show and have them subscribe to either our direct feed or via iTunes. Also, please leave us a review in iTunes!

Cast of Dads is a group of podcasting and blogging dads who gather to gab about fatherhood. The cast of dads includes C.C. Chapman, Jeffrey Sass, Max Kalehoff, Michael Sheehan, and Brad Powell, who collectively represent 13 kids from the youngest of babies to full grown adults. Each of them brings a unique perspective to being a father.

Jeff Sass is the proud dad of ZEO (Zach, 22, Ethan, 20 and Olivia, 19).  He is also a seasoned entertainment and technology exec and active social media enthusiast.  You can see more of Jeff’s writing at Sassholes! and Social Networking Rehab and you can listen to Jeff on the Cast of Dads podcast.??

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From Deep Thoughts To Deep Frying: Cast of Dads #35

We’re baaaack!  We missed a show due to technical difficulties, but that means the Cast of Dads had all sorts of pent up energy for our festive gab fest this week.  As we prepped our families for Thanksgiving we peppered our conversation with everything from freedom of speech issues to drinking and smoking, with a few bits and bytes of tech talk thrown in for good measure.

Before you dive in and take a listen, on behalf of all the Cast of Dads, we wish each and every one of you a happy, safe, filling and fulfilling Thanksgiving Holiday!  Please remember to be thankful at this special time of year.

You can CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO CAST OF DADS EPISODE 35.

Topics discussed in this episode:

If you have been enjoying the Cast of Dads Podcast, please tell your friends about the show and have them subscribe to either our direct feed or via iTunes.  Also, please leave us a review in iTunes!

Cast of Dads is a group of podcasting and blogging dads who gather to gab about fatherhood. The cast of dads includes C.C. Chapman, Jeffrey Sass, Max Kalehoff, Michael Sheehan, and Brad Powell, who collectively represent 13 kids from the youngest of babies to full grown adults. Each of them brings a unique perspective to being a father.

Jeff Sass is the proud dad of ZEO (Zach, 22, Ethan, 20 and Olivia, 19).  He is also a seasoned entertainment and technology exec and active social media enthusiast.  You can see more of Jeff’s writing at Sassholes! and Social Networking Rehab and you can listen to Jeff on the Cast of Dads podcast.?

?Photo Credit: © hc – Fotolia.com

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If your child likes video games …

… then you MUST see if there is a GameTruck franchise serving your market.

I showed my eight-year-old the video below and he went nuts. “How many days until my birthday?!” he exclaimed.

I met the “GameTruck guy” at a networking event and became friendly with him. [Disclosure: I helped him with marketing ideas so he let me bring Zachary and Lucas over for free.] Of course, it was almost impossible to get them out of the truck.

Here’s 8yo Zach (only 88 more days until his birthday!), telling you about his GameTruck experience:

It was great. It had, like, all these video games! There’s all these posters of them and there were, like, four 55-inch TVs with … it was just really great … I just didn’t want to get out.

There were some Rock Bands, some Super Mario games, Super Smash Brothers, um, there was some driving games (which I beat you and mom in!), and Lucas would not get off the drum set. He would just bang on whatever he wanted (my six-year-old brother, that is).

Everybody was just together, so when you had one game you wanted to play, you know you had more than one person to do it with.

Personally, I love this concept because if I have to go to one more Pump It Up or Chuck E. Cheese party I am going to scream! The Truck shows up at your house, the kids pile in, and they have a “Game Coach” to supervise the kids, promote fair play, and show them how to play the games. Our job, as parents, is to send 16 kids into the Truck for two hours and sit inside, have a drink and adult conversations. We don’t have to worry if they are safe / if somebody wandered off, etc.

Cool, huh? You can find out more at http://GameTruckParty.com. The Seattle guy runs promos on his Facebook fan page. Leave a comment and tell me what you think of the concept.

:: Joe Hage ::

Other posts from Joe Hage
Tweet your Kids, Parts One, Two, Three, Four, and Five
Dad’s Life Lessons: Rule #1, Rule #2, Rule #3
Behold the Marshmallow
Dermott

Lice, Lice, Baby! (Cast of Dads #34)

If you have kids then there is a good chance that at one time or another you may have found yourself scratching your head and asking “how do I get rid of lice???”  It’s a question that has been itching a few of the Cast of Dads (and their kids) so we talk about some things you can do when your family is having a lice time around the house.  Of course, we don’t cap our conversation at critters, and go off on several hair-raising and hair shaving tangents.  In addition, in the spirit of Halloween, it seems some digital devil has taken over CC’s voice, making his banter sound a bit like Beelzebub himself has joined the Cast of Dads…

You can LISTEN TO CAST OF DADS EPISODE 34 BY CLICKING HERE.

Topics discussed in this episode include:

If you have been enjoying the Cast of Dads podcast, please tell your friends about the show and have them subscribe to either our direct feed or via iTunes. Also, please leave us a review in iTunes!

Cast of Dads is a group of podcasting and blogging dads who gather to gab about fatherhood. The cast of dads includes C.C. Chapman, Jeffrey Sass, Max Kalehoff, Michael Sheehan, and Brad Powell, who collectively represent 13 kids from the youngest of babies to full grown adults. Each of them brings a unique perspective to being a father.

Jeff Sass is the proud dad of ZEO (Zach, 22, Ethan, 20 and Olivia, 19).  He is also a seasoned entertainment and technology exec and active social media enthusiast.  You can see more of Jeff’s writing at Sassholes! and Social Networking Rehab and you can listen to Jeff on the Cast of Dads podcast.?

Photo Credit: © Sascha Burkard – Fotolia.com

From Diapers to Dirty Old Men: Cast of Dads #33

Even a few dropped calls and technical glitches could not stop the Cast of Dads from chiming in on anything and everything that might be on a Dad’s mind… As the title of this post says we dive into a discussion that starts with diapers and ends with sex.  (Perhaps we had things backwards as oftentimes it is the sex that leads to the diapers….  hmmm.)  We also continue our discussion on bullies and buying cars (unrelated, of course…)

You can LISTEN TO CAST OF DADS # 33 BY CLICKING HERE.

Topics discussed in this episode:

If you have been enjoying the Cast of Dads Podcast please tell your friends about the show and subscribe to either our direct feed or via iTunes.  Also, please leave us a review in iTunes!

Cast of Dads is a group of podcasting and blogging dads who gather to gab about fatherhood. The cast of dads includes C.C. Chapman, Jeffrey Sass, Max Kalehoff, Michael Sheehan, and Brad Powell, who collectively represent 13 kids from the youngest of babies to full grown adults. Each of them brings a unique perspective to being a father.

Jeff Sass is the proud dad of ZEO (Zach, 22, Ethan, 20 and Olivia, 19).  He is also a seasoned entertainment and technology exec and active social media enthusiast.  You can see more of Jeff’s writing at Sassholes! and Social Networking Rehab and you can listen to Jeff on the Cast of Dads podcast.?

?Photo Credit: © caraman – Fotolia.com?

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Cast of Dads #32: An Educating Episode

From a toddler’s first steps to the steps we need to take to ensure the online safety and security of our kids, the Cast of Dads sound a bit more serious this week as we address our typically diverse topics.  Our serious tone was set perhaps by the breaking news as we recorded of the student suicide at Rutgers, which raised a number of online security and privacy concerns and sadly highlighted the very different world our kids are growing up in, where virtually anything and everything we do has the potential to be broadcast and amplified by the Internet.  Of course one topic is never enough for this group of gabbers and we go on to address everything from education to ranting on the so-called “Year of the Dad” in the Blogosphere…

You can LISTEN TO CAST OF DADS EPISODE 32 BY CLICKING HERE.

The topics discussed in this episode include:

If you have been enjoying the Cast of Dads podcast, please tell your friends about the show and have them subscribe to either our direct feed or via iTunes. Also, please leave us a review in iTunes!

Cast of Dads is a group of podcasting and blogging dads who gather to gab about fatherhood. The cast of dads includes C.C. Chapman, Jeffrey Sass, Max Kalehoff, Michael Sheehan, and Brad Powell, who collectively represent 13 kids from the youngest of babies to full grown adults. Each of them brings a unique perspective to being a father.

Jeff Sass is the proud dad of ZEO (Zach, 22, Ethan, 20 and Olivia, 19).  He is also a seasoned entertainment and technology exec and active social media enthusiast.  You can see more of Jeff’s writing at Sassholes! and Social Networking Rehab and you can listen to Jeff on the Cast of Dads podcast.?

?

Parental Guidance

Astro Boy I’m watching the recent movie adaptation of Astro Boy, a year or so after my daughter watched it. There are so many emotional upheavals and elements I probably didn’t want my daughter to see without some conversation. She’s a smart kid, but this movie is all about rejection. There’s tons and tons of situations of emotional discomfort that I don’t consider to be appropriate for an 8-year-old.

How did I miss this? First, the trailer. There’s nothing in the trailer that shows that the entire movie will be about a robot imbued with a child’s emotions forced to deal with rejection over and over. There’s nothing in the trailer that says it’s a giant movie about fitting in clad with robots.

Second, there’s the series. The series wasn’t like this. We (who grew up watching it) know it to be fun and peppy and full of great little adventures. The filmmakers took elements to make the new movie, but opted to imbue it with huge emotional conflicts and make a real adult-scale film.

Parental Guidance

Growing up, I did everything I could to get around ratings. I convinced my folks to let me see Jaws at a very young age. I did that kind of thing a lot. I pushed the boundaries of what was okay to see. I also got them desensitized to letting me see violent films. I want to talk about that for a moment.

Parents seem to worry about violence in movies more than any other element. Well, okay, sex comes first. If you see a topless woman, this is somehow far worse than bullets in the brainpan. But is that really the most scarring thing a child is going to absorb? I say no. I say that heavy emotional issues are far worse than a few guns or boobies.

As parents, it’s up to us to decide what is going to be okay for our child. It’s up to us to watch first, to know what we’re getting them into. And I missed it with this movie. I made assumptions based on the trailer, and I’m really sorry that I did.

Aftermath

My daughter never said much about the movie. She didn’t say that she disliked it. She didn’t say that she found it disturbing. She just didn’t have much use for it.

In fact, the movie’s pretty interesting from an adult perspective. The visuals are great. The acting is good. There are some really salient points and some emotional moments. But it’s not right for my kid.

Parental guidance is a lot trickier these days. The storyteller rules have changed. What we think kids want in a kid’s movie has changed. And animation, as you probably know, rarely means “children’s movie” these days.

Keep your eyes open, and dig deep. It’s amazing what one can find.

Darth Vader’s Dos and Don’ts for Dads

art by jason kotecki

With the 1977 release of Star Wars, audiences were introduced to Darth Vader, the baddest bad guy in the entire galaxy. As the story unfolded and the prequels arrived on the scene, many people were surprised to learn that Darth Vader was not always such a bad dude. It may be equally surprising to learn that Mr. Skywalker actually did a few things right in his role as dad. (But mostly wrong.) Here are a few things every father can take away from Luke and Leia’s dear old dad…

Do: Involve your kids in your work and invite them to become involved.
If you work outside the home, “Bring Your Kids to Work Day” is a great initiative. It allows your young padawans a look into your world, learn exactly where it is you go every day, and understand what you do to support your family.

Don’t: Get all bent out of shape and threaten to kill them if they choose not to team up with you to take over the galaxy.
If your kids decide to follow in your footsteps, great. But they might not want to, for a variety of different reasons (none of them personal.) They may be gifted with skills and interests better suited to a different career. Even if they respect your success, they may want to carve out their own path. It’s ok. Everybody has a different destiny. They’re more likely to become successful if they receive your support in following their own dreams than if they are forced into something not meant for them.

* * * * *

Do: Stick up for your kids when they are under attack.
Darth Vader redeemed himself when he took The Emperor down to protect his son. As the leader of your family, it’s your responsibility to look out for your brood. And I’m not just talking about obvious threats like kidnappers, pedophiles, and bounty hunters. What about the hidden influences in their lives? Who do they hang out with? What sorts of music do they listen to? What movies and television shows are they exposed to? What are they really doing online? These sorts of things are affecting your children more than you might like to believe, and it’s your job to monitor these sorts of things.

Don’t: Align yourself with bad people who are likely to attack your kids with Force lightning.
Kids don’t listen to what we say as much as what we do. Who are YOU hanging out with? Are they good role models for your kids? (Note: Stay away from old politicians who promise you the galaxy.) What kind of language do they see you using? What kind of movies do they see you watching? For better or worse, the people and things that influence you will most certainly end up influencing your children.

* * * * *

Do: Discipline your kids in order to teach them right from wrong.
You are not here to be your kids’ friend. A friendship may well emerge from your relationship as your child matures, but it’s not your main job. Your job is to teach them right from wrong, to give them boundaries, and to tap into the wisdom and life experience they are lacking to look out for their best interests. It’s not easy, but for the good of your kids, sometimes you have to be the bad guy. And they probably won’t like it now, but they’ll appreciate it later.

Don’t: Strangle them by using the Force when they disobey.
Kids are kids. They’re gonna mess up. While I personally am not against a swat on the bottom when they’re really naughty, all discipline must be done in love. It’s a fine line to walk, but when it comes to parenting, grace is more important than justice. Save your best Jedi tricks for the young man who brings your daughter home after curfew.

* * * * *

Do: Love your kids’ Mom.
There is no doubt that Anakin was in love with Padme. They had a good thing going. One of the greatest gifts a father can give his children is to love their mother. If you are currently in relationship with her, make an extra effort to do something nice for her in front of them. If the two of you are no longer together, try your best to respect her and be kind to her, if nothing else than for the good of your children.

Don’t: Strangle her.
Kind of goes without saying, I hope. (R.I.P., Padme.)

* * * * *

Do: Allow your kids to see your true feelings.
Traditionally, men are supposed to be tough guys who lack tear ducts and hate all things cute and fuzzy. While I don’t think it serves anyone to abandon your masculinity and devolve into a namby pamby wimp, neither should you bottle up all your emotions and become an Adultitis-ridden stone-faced Sith lord. Your kids benefit from seeing your passion and enthusiasm. It’s not a bad thing for them to see you tear up at the end of Field of Dreams.

Don’t: Wait ’till it’s too late to tell them how you really feel about them.
Our tough guy persona often gets the best of us here. We feel icky delving into the world of “love” and “feelings.” We are creatures of action, and we think our actions speak loud and clear about how we feel about the people we love. They certainly are important. But sometimes our kids need to hear us actually say that we are proud of them and that we love them. Darth Vader almost missed out on the chance to tell his son how he really felt. He wasn’t so fortunate with his daughter. Don’t be afraid to remove your mask once in awhile to tell your kids how you really feel about them.

* * * * *

Do: Set an example of excellence for your kids to live up to.
Whatever you do, be really, really good at it. Work hard, pursue excellence, and do your best. Whether it’s lightsaber skills or salesmanship, your kids will observe your commitment and be inspired by your example, making them much more likely to become successful themselves.

Don’t: Get so wrapped up in ruling the galaxy that you lose perspective of what’s really important.
No matter what you do for a living, or how successful you become, or how close you are to getting that promotion, or how many people are depending on you at work, remember this: family first. Nobody ever says on their deathbed, “I wish I would have spent more time at the office.” We always wish we’d spent more time with the people we love. Don’t let finishing the Death Star, taking over the galaxy, crushing rebellions (or other urgent things that keep you busy), distract you from the most important things.

Sometimes it feels like you need to be a full-fledged Jedi knight to effectively navigate the challenge that is Fatherhood. Hopefully these tips will help you fulfill your destiny as the World’s Greatest Dad.

The Force is strong in you, I sense it.

Jason Kotecki is a dad who also moonlights as an artist, author, and professional speaker. Jason and his wife Kim (a former kindergarten teacher) make it their mission in life to fight Adultitis and help people use strategies from childhood to create lives with less stress and more fun. Escape Adulthood — stop by www.KimandJason.com and follow them on Twitter @kimandjason

Fart Is A Four Letter “F” Word… (Cast of Dads #31)

In this, the “Silent But Deadly” edition of Cast of Dads we dish about everything from decapitation to divorce (and no, there is no discernible connection between the two).  In true Cast of Dads form, even though we touch on some serious parenting issues, from safety helmets to adolescent desires, we still end up flabbergasted by flatulence in the end.  (Did I just say “flatulence in the end?”)  I had better put the kabosh on this preamble and just let you…

CLICK HERE LISTEN TO CAST OF DADS EPISODE 31

Topics discussed in this episode include:

If you have been enjoying the Cast of Dads Podcast, please tell your friends about the show and have them subscribe to either our direct feed or via iTunes. Also, please leave us a review in iTunes!

Cast of Dads is a group of podcasting and blogging dads who gather to gab about fatherhood. The cast of dads includes C.C. Chapman, Jeffrey Sass, Max Kalehoff, Michael Sheehan, and Brad Powell, who collectively represent 13 kids from the youngest of babies to full grown adults. Each of them brings a unique perspective to being a father.

Jeff Sass is the proud dad of ZEO (Zach, 22, Ethan, 20 and Olivia, 19).  He is also a seasoned entertainment and technology exec and active social media enthusiast.  You can see more of Jeff’s writing at Sassholes! and Social Networking Rehab and you can listen to Jeff on the Cast of Dads podcast.?

Stop Picking Up Their Clothes!

Trust me, it’s hopeless.  Do you dread walking into your kid’s room?  Are you tired of picking up socks, clothes and toys off of the floor?  Do you beg and bribe your kids to clean their rooms?  Well, you might as well stop right now and save yourself years of stress and anxiety.  You can reduce your future botox bills by slowing down the onset of worry wrinkles and simply accepting the fact that your sweet little child, that adorable cutie who messes up the charming, cozy room you toiled over to decorate just for him or her, is just going to one day leave home to live in a pig sty (a pig sty you may well be paying good money for – in the form of college tuition!)

Does A Higher Education Lead To A Lower Standard Of Living?

We try to teach our kids well and do our best to prepare them for “the real world.” Well, if they are college bound there is a good chance that their real world will consist of cramped rooms overflowing with piles of dirty laundry and sinks full of dirtier dishes.  I was in Boston this week and had the pleasure of visiting my son the Berklee student for the first time since he has moved to Beantown.  It was wonderful to see him, I am enormously proud of him and I love him dearly, but if he and his roommates have any dreams of ever entertaining a young woman in their, er, “humble” abode, they might want to sign up for the Monastery now.

Could It Be Hereditary?

I’d like to think that I was much cleaner and more domesticated in my college years, but I wonder if that is just the rose colored lenses of my memory.  In any event, if you spend a lot of time picking up after your kids, take my advice and just stop.  Let them live like pigs now, and know that you will just be doing your duty to prepare them properly for college.

What do you think?  Do you struggle with messy rooms, and if so, what ages are your kids?  What  kind of cleanliness inspection would your dorm room have passed?  Please air your dirty laundry in the comments!

Jeff Sass is the proud dad of ZEO (Zach, 22, Ethan, 20 and Olivia, 18).  He is also a seasoned entertainment and technology exec and active social media enthusiast.  You can see more of Jeff’s writing at Sassholes! and Social Networking Rehab and you can listen to Jeff on the Cast of Dads podcast.?

1000 Sleepless Nights

sleepy dadA while back, I wrote 600 Days Without Solid Sleep.  Well after yet another night marked by a 2AM wake-up call, I thought I would run the numbers, and what do you know? A nice round 1000 days!  How could I not mark such an auspicious occasion? Pardon me if I appear a bit snarky, but I’m on my 3rd double espresso, and that can affect a man.

Sleep is like the unicorn – it is rumored to exist, but I doubt I will see any – Anonymous

Our youngest daughter has had “sleep issues” from day one.  Actually, she doesn’t seem to care.  It’s my wife and I that take issue with it.  People have all sorts of advice.  “Go in, but don’t speak.  Just comfort her and put her back to bed in silence.” In silence?! Are you kidding me?  Who are these kids that respond to this?  On what planet does this work?

“Don’t go into her room, just let her cry.”  I never thought of that! Let her cry. Brilliant!  Besides, who is this helping?  Instead of not sleeping, you get to not sleep and listen to screaming.  You get to feel like Charles Manson, and as an added bonus, if you wait long enough, you get the older sister involved.  What’s better than being tired and cranky and dealing with a tired and cranky kid all day?  Being tired and cranky and dealing with two tired and cranky kids all day!  My wife gets those days a lot more than me.

You know what you don’t want to tell someone who has a kid with sleep issues? “My kid didn’t sleep through the night until she was six.”  You remember in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn, when Chekov has that eel put into his brain through his ear? Yeah, it’s a little like that.

“There will be sleeping enough in the grave” – Benjamin Franklin.

So my wife and I have learned a few things in these last 1000 days.  First and foremost, we’re never getting divorced.  If we can survive these last two and a half plus years, saying the things two kids in love say to each other at 3 in the morning over the screams of a wailing toddler,  then we’re pretty much good to go.

Another thing?  Nobody truly knows anything about getting a kid to sleep.  Oh, they have theories. If you try a “technique” and that happens to be when your kid decides to start sleeping, a sleep expert is born!  That happens a few times in a row, and that expert becomes a best selling author.   For us, The No Cry Sleep Solution, was no solution.  The Happiest Baby on the Block, does not live at our house.  Well she hangs out during the day, actually.  But at night she tags out, and Bride of Chucky hops in the crib.

The thing is, we really are truly blessed.  Tired and blessed.  Both of our kids are great kids.  Even little snooze alarm is the sweetest, happiest kid most of the time.  She’s quick with a hug, and easy to laugh.  She brings such joy to our lives that we couldn’t imagine life without her.  Of course lack of sleep has an effect on your imagination.

People who say they sleep like a baby usually don’t have one. -Leo J. Burke

Photo Credit: mmagallan

Ian is the father of two young daughters  (7, and 2).  He has a podcast about starting a business while raising young children at Startup Daddy.


Cast of Dads #30: Stuffed Animals, Stuffed Mouths, and Other Stuff…

Before I post a new episode of Cast of Dads I always listen to it, and even though I was “there” and part of the recording, I try to listen back to the finished show as a “listener” and experience it as I hope you will.  I have to say, this show, our 30th episode, had me smiling, laughing and almost crying as we touch on so many fun, interesting and challenging fatherhood topics and experiences.  I am extremely proud to be a cast member with this group of dads and men, who I now consider among my best of friends,  and I truly hope you are enjoying listening to Cast of Dads even half as much as we are enjoying creating the show.  If you are, please let us know.  We’d love to hear from you!

You can LISTEN TO CAST OF DADS EPISODE 30 HERE.

And here are some of the topics we discuss in this show:

If you have been enjoying the Cast of Dads Podcast, please tell your friends about the show and have them subscribe to either our direct feed or via iTunes. Also, please leave us a review in iTunes!

Cast of Dads is a group of podcasting and blogging dads who gather to gab about fatherhood. The cast of dads includes C.C. Chapman, Jeffrey Sass, Max Kalehoff, Michael Sheehan, and Brad Powell, who collectively represent 13 kids from the youngest of babies to full grown adults. Each of them brings a unique perspective to being a father.

Jeff Sass is the proud dad of ZEO (Zach, 22, Ethan, 20 and Olivia, 18).  He is also a seasoned entertainment and technology exec and active social media enthusiast.  You can see more of Jeff’s writing at Sassholes! and Social Networking Rehab and you can listen to Jeff on the Cast of Dads podcast.?

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Cast of Dads #29: From Dudes To Doggs…

One of the fun things about getting together with the Cast of Dads is that sooner or later each of us gets the chance to share an embarrassing moment…  Or maybe that’s just me who keeps sharing goofy moments?  Well, if it is me, this episode is no exception as I dive into a poorly sung rendition of one of my favorite childhood lullabies. Lullaby notwithstanding, I doubt this show  will put you to sleep as we cover topics as diverse as “negotiated infidelity,” Dude Ranches, sexy Katy Perry and Snoop Dogg as a Dad.

You can LISTEN TO CAST OF DADS Episode 29 HERE.

Topics discussed in this episode include:

If you have been enjoying the Cast of Dads podcast, please tell your friends about the show and have them subscribe to either our direct feed or via iTunes.  Also, please leave us a review in iTunes!

Cast of Dads is a group of podcasting and blogging dads who gather to gab about fatherhood. The cast of dads includes C.C. Chapman, Jeffrey Sass, Max Kalehoff, Michael Sheehan, and Brad Powell, who collectively represent 13 kids from the youngest of babies to full grown adults. Each of them brings a unique perspective to being a father.

Jeff Sass is the proud dad of ZEO (Zach, 22, Ethan, 20 and Olivia, 18).  He is also a seasoned entertainment and technology exec and active social media enthusiast.  You can see more of Jeff’s writing at Sassholes! and Social Networking Rehab and you can listen to Jeff on the Cast of Dads podcast.?

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Book Review: Crazy For The Storm – A Memoir Of Survival

Summertime is often a time we catch up on reading and this summer is no exception.  I finally sat down to read a book I purchased last summer, Crazy for the Storm: A Memoir of Survival (Amazon affiliate link) by Norman Ollestad.  This is a true story, but written with the depth, pace, and strong characterizations one would expect of a good novel.

When Norman was 11 years old, the charter plane he was on with his Dad and Dad’s girlfriend crashed into a mountainside.  Norman was the only survivor.  As much as this is a story of survival, it is also an insightful look at fatherhood, and a very special relationship between a father and son.  Watch the video below for more.

Book Review: Crazy For The Storm (for Dadomatic) from Jeffrey Sass on Vimeo.

Jeff Sass is the proud dad of ZEO (Zach, 22, Ethan, 20 and Olivia, 18).  He is also a seasoned entertainment and technology exec and active social media enthusiast.  You can see more of Jeff’s writing at Sassholes! and Social Networking Rehab and you can listen to Jeff on the Cast of Dads podcast.?

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Cast of Dads #28: Stitches, Veggies and Scooping Poop

In this episode of Cast of Dads one of the dads tells of a late night spill that ended with a trip to the ER and some stitches… which leads to a discussion of kids and injuries… which leads to me recalling the tale of my daughter and her missing finger tip… (you’ll have to listen to the show for the rest of that story!)  In the midst of all the gory talk we manage to give some heartfelt parenting advice, and even some tips on cooking as a family.  Once again we prove that five dads and thirteen kids equals a treasure trove of tales to tell.  Enjoy!

CLICK  HERE TO LISTEN TO “CAST OF DADS” EPISODE 28

Topics discussed in this episode:

If you have been enjoying the Cast of Dads podcast, please tell your friends about the show and have them subscribe to either our direct feed or via iTunes. Also, please leave us a review in iTunes!

Cast of Dads is a group of podcasting and blogging dads who gather to gab about fatherhood. The cast of dads includes C.C. Chapman, Jeffrey Sass, Max Kalehoff, Michael Sheehan, and Brad Powell, who collectively represent 13 kids from the youngest of babies to full grown adults. Each of them brings a unique perspective to being a father.

Jeff Sass is the proud dad of ZEO (Zach, 22, Ethan, 20 and Olivia, 18).  He is also a seasoned entertainment and technology exec and active social media enthusiast.  You can see more of Jeff’s writing at Sassholes! and Social Networking Rehab and you can listen to Jeff on the Cast of Dads podcast.?

Photo Credit: © Eric Gevaert – Fotolia.com

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Cast of Dads #27: Same Old Spit…

In the latest episode of Cast of Dads, we actually started the show with a couple of specific topics in mind: “Kewl Birthday Parties” and “the dangers of drowning.”  From happy to scary and everything in between we cover it all, and then some, in a show that combines serious parenting tips with a lot of goofy laughter.  A glitch in the phone system caused me to “hear voices” only on my end of the call, and one of the dads had a “live” parenting issue interrupt our recording for a little bit of unexpected drama.  In the end we learn that a pile of dirt just may be the best birthday party evah, and when it comes to multi-use liquids, spit wins hands down!  Enjoy!

CLICK TO LISTEN TO CAST OF DADS EPISODE 27…

A Blast From Sass' Party Favor Past: Toxic Crusader Action Figure!

Topics discussed in this episode:

  • KEWL Birthday Parties
  • Beer always makes kids birthday parties easier
  • Reptile Man!
  • They have Rednecks in the Bronx?
  • Googling “Reptile Man Johnny”
  • Toxie Party Favors
  • Pile of Dirt = Party Time!
  • Flaming Unicycles
  • Co-op Bouncy Houses
  • Video Game Vans
  • Dangers of Drowning Article
  • Pool Safety
  • Don’t depend on public pool lifeguards
  • Pool Parties = Can’t relax and enjoy
  • Safety from weird colored bathing suits
  • When in doubt, pee on it
  • Dip Spit = best cure for stings
  • Dealing with cranky kids at bedtime
  • Live Parenting Failure
  • The voices in Sass’ head

If you have been enjoying the Cast of Dads podcast, please tell your friends about the show and have them subscribe to either our direct feed or via iTunes.  Also, please leave us a review in iTunes!

Cast of Dads is a group of podcasting and blogging dads who gather to gab about fatherhood. The cast of dads includes C.C. Chapman, Jeffrey Sass, Max Kalehoff, Michael Sheehan, and Brad Powell, who collectively represent 13 kids from the youngest of babies to full grown adults. Each of them brings a unique perspective to being a father.

Jeff Sass is the proud dad of ZEO (Zach, 22, Ethan, 20 and Olivia, 18).  He is also a seasoned entertainment and technology exec and active social media enthusiast.  You can see more of Jeff’s writing at Sassholes! and Social Networking Rehab and you can listen to Jeff on the Cast of Dads podcast.?

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An Entertaining Future is #StillHere

When we were kids, entertainment was mostly a passive activity.  We plopped down in front of the TV and zoned out on BATMAN and THE MONKEES (ok, I might be showing my age here, but those are the shows I was enamored with…)  Our kids, however, are growing up in an increasingly connected, interactive world, that is changing the shape of entertainment and entertainment marketing.  Already their world is filled with immersive games, and high definition and 3-D images.  They are constantly connected with their friends through their social networks (as are we), so to get our attention marketers really have to raise the bar.

I Joined The Colony…

As part of a promotion for the upcoming (July 27th) premiere of season 2 of  THE COLONY, The Discovery Channel has created a rather ingenious interactive and very personal experience that makes clever use of our individual social graphs.  If you visit jointhecolony.com and log in using Facebook Connect, you will enter a very real, interactive simulation that blends status updates, news reports, video and more, from your real friends, to tell a detailed and realistic story about a fictional Pandemic.  It is a taste of what the classic WAR OF THE WORLDS radio broadcast might have turned into if Orson Welles had worked his magic today.  Instead of Welles, much of the content at JoinTheColony.com was created by the talented author JC Hutchins, but it appears, quite convincingly, as if the messages, comments and news stories are being presented to you by the people you know and trust.  It is very cool, and worth spending some time getting lost in the fantasy…

And This Has What To Do With Dads?

Ok, so perhaps The Colony and Jointhecolony.com are not really targeted to families or kids, and certainly they are not appropriate for young kids… However, I think the way this promotion leverages Facebook and drags real people we know into a fictional but realistic story is a small taste of what is possible, and an indicator of the kinds of interactive entertainment that will perhaps soon be commonplace to our kids.  As parents we already know we have to guide our kids through their digital lives and make sure they understand the implications of their social lives online.  Raising digitally aware and digitally responsible kids will be even more important as they experience creative uses of their social networks, like this one, that may temporarily blur the lines between fiction and reality.  Our kids are going to be exposed to new and exciting forms of entertainment that we might only have dreamed of when we were their ages.  I think that is pretty cool, and look forward to seeing how things evolve.  What do you think?

Survival Of The Fittest?

I found out about JoinTheColony.com from an unexpected package that I received, and I made the short video below to document my own experiences with this clever promotion.  If you are reading this, then you can assume I survived and am #STILLHERE.  Enjoy!

I Joined The Colony and am #StillHere from Jeffrey Sass on Vimeo.

DISCLAIMER: I am not expected to return any of the items in the package.  I can keep them (and they may come in handy during hurricane season).  CC Chapman, who was involved in the promotion on behalf of Campfire is a friend, and a co-host with me on the Cast of Dads podcast.  JC Hutchins is also a personal friend.  No pets, children, or neighbors were harmed during the making of this video, but some may have been spooked by seeing me running around the backyard in a bio-protection suit and mask…  That’s their problem.

Jeff Sass is the proud dad of ZEO (Zach, 22, Ethan, 20 and Olivia, 18).  He is also a seasoned entertainment and technology exec and active social media enthusiast.  You can see more of Jeff’s writing at Sassholes! and Social Networking Rehab and you can listen to Jeff on the Cast of Dads podcast.?

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A Most Awesome “Dad” Moment Courtesy of Old Spice

Much is being written about the awesome and uber viral Old Spice campaign featuring former football player Isaiah Mustafa.  It turns out the “Old Spice Guy” is a dad, and, it seems a great dad at that. Check out this “call out” to his daughter as part of the interactive “real time” videos that Old Spice has been churning out at a miraculous pace. What a great way to work being a dad into your work! Kudos to Old Spice, the ad team at Wieden + Kennedy creating the spots, and of course, my vote for dad of the day, Isaiah Mustafa! Go Dads!

Jeff Sass is the proud dad of ZEO (Zach, 22, Ethan, 20 and Olivia, 18).  He is also a seasoned entertainment and technology exec and active social media enthusiast.  You can see more of Jeff’s writing at Sassholes! and Social Networking Rehab and you can listen to Jeff on the Cast of Dads podcast.?

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One on One with a Wiggle: Jeff Fatt


I was fortunate enough to interview Jeff Fatt, the purple Wiggle from the world famous Wiggles! They’re going to be coming to the USA for their Wiggly Circus tour this summer. Jeff took the time from his hectic schedule to give me a call. I tried to ask him questions that I’m sure many of you parents and your children would’ve asked.

Me:
Hello Jeff. First of all, how did you become the purple Wiggle?

Jeff:
We all got to select our own favorite color. Anthony liked Blue, Greg preferred yellow, Murry fancied red and I always enjoyed purple.

Me:
You’re famous for being the sleepy one with the song “Wake up Jeff” being a real crowd pleaser. Is there any basis in reality to that?

Jeff:
Yes, I’m afraid there is a bit of truth to it. I’m the oldest Wiggle so I do tend run out of gas quicker than the others.

Me:
What do you think of all these new bands out there that seem to be inspired by the Wiggles? One of them being the Imagination movers.

Jeff:
Honestly, we’re flattered by it all and think there’s plenty of room for all of us. In the end, it benefits all of the kids.

Me:
Being the parent of three children under the age of 11, I’ve always been a fan of the Wiggles because all three of them love the band. I’ve always enjoyed your upbeat and positive attitude and the educational lessons instilled in your songs and the TV show. For example, “Look both ways” teaches the valuable lesson of crossing the street in a fun and important way. “Fruit Salad (yummy yummy)” shows kids that healthy snacks can be delicious and also fun to make. There are so many more great examples like that.

Jeff:
Thank you. That’s very nice to hear. We set out to do just that, perform songs that have a good message in a fun and entertaining way. The secret to our success is that little known fact that some of us were pre-school teachers so we understand how to communicate with children.

Me:
How long can the Wiggles go on? One of the founding members, Greg, had to leave the band due to health issues and Sam stepped in to replace him. How has the transition been and how have the fans reacted to this big change?

Jeff:
We feel that the Wiggles can go on for a very long time as each one of us will eventually be replaced. The fans have really embraced Sam and understood that it was in Greg’s best interest to step away from the grueling tour.

Me:
By the way, how is Greg doing?

Jeff:
Greg is doing quite well these days. We all still keep in touch and see him from time to time.

Me:
How long is this current tour going to run and what cities will you be visiting this time around?

Jeff:
The entire Wiggly Circus tour is going to last 5 weeks and all of the dates and cities can be found on the Wiggles website.

Disclosure: I will be attending the Wiggles concert with my three children when they come to Atlanta thanks to Wiggles and their management team who will provide us with tickets. We were planning to go anyway. Sssh, don’t tell ‘em. :)

Cast of Dads #26: Hot Fun In The Summertime…

The heat was on for this week’s Cast of Dads show as the Northeast experienced record breaking (and air conditioning breaking) temperatures.  From the humidity to stupidity, we crack open some beer and wine and I cracked some of my usually corny jokes (well, you might not consider them jokes). I seemed to have had a problem with my microphone so I apologize for my tinny voice.  Luckily the other dads sound fine, and had more pithy things to say than me anyway.

Emily & True 7-4-2010

CC's Daughter Emily & Her New Friend...

Topics discussed in this episode include:

You can LISTEN TO CAST OF DADS #26 HERE!

If you have been enjoying the Cast of Dads podcast, please don’t forget to tell your friends about the show and have them subscribe to either our direct feed or via iTunes. Also, please leave us a review in iTunes!

Cast of Dads is a group of podcasting and blogging dads who gather to gab about fatherhood. The cast of dads includes C.C. Chapman, Jeffrey Sass, Max Kalehoff, Michael Sheehan, and Brad Powell, who collectively represent 13 kids from the youngest of babies to full grown adults. Each of them brings a unique perspective to being a father.

Jeff Sass is the proud dad of ZEO (Zach, 22, Ethan, 20 and Olivia, 18).  He is also a seasoned entertainment and technology exec and active social media enthusiast.  You can see more of Jeff’s writing at Sassholes! and Social Networking Rehab and you can listen to Jeff on the Cast of Dads podcast.?

Cast of Dads #25: Russian Home To The Family

The Russians are coming, the Russians are coming!  From warships in San Francisco, to spies to Diplomatic tweets, this week the Cast of Dads hopped around more topics than a room full of kangaroos.  If you’d like us to be a little more focused in the future feel free to E-mail us your topic ideas!

Meanwhile the topics we discuss in this episode include:

You can LISTEN TO CAST OF DADS EPISODE 25 HERE.

If you have been enjoying the Cast of Dads podcast, please don’t forget to tell your friends about the show and have them subscribe to either our direct feed or via iTunes.  Also, please leave us a review in iTunes!

Cast of Dads is a group of podcasting and blogging dads who gather to gab about fatherhood. The cast of dads includes C.C. Chapman, Jeffrey Sass, Max Kalehoff, Michael Sheehan, and Brad Powell, who collectively represent 13 kids from the youngest of babies to full grown adults. Each of them brings a unique perspective to being a father.

Jeff Sass is the proud dad of ZEO (Zach, 22, Ethan, 20 and Olivia, 18).  He is also a seasoned entertainment and technology exec and active social media enthusiast.  You can see more of Jeff’s writing at Sassholes! and Social Networking Rehab and you can listen to Jeff on the Cast of Dads podcast.?

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Hip Hop By Pop: Dad Life

This has been floating around Cyberspace a while I think, but it just landed on my radar and it is too good not to share with Team Dadomatic. Enjoy!

Dad Life from Church on the Move on Vimeo.

Kudos to the super creative team that wrote and produced the Dad Life song and video!  Go dads!

Jeff Sass is the proud dad of ZEO (Zach, 22, Ethan, 20 and Olivia, 18).  He is also a seasoned entertainment and technology exec and active social media enthusiast.  You can see more of Jeff’s writing at Sassholes! and Social Networking Rehab and you can listen to Jeff on the Cast of Dads podcast.?

Huggies Jeans Diapers

I’m going to admit that I’m on the fence. With this ad for Huggies Diapers (click through if you can’t see it in your reader), the ad itself is a bit awkward (adult women making “oh he’s HOT” faces at toddlers – yes, it’s tongue in cheek), but I dunno. Diapers that look like jeans? If we’re going there, I want ones that look like studded leather pants. Or chinos. Or…

You?

Cast of Dads #24: From Father’s Day to “V”-Day

In this show the Cast of Dads regroup to recap our respective Father’s Day activities, but as usual we can’t possibly stay focused on one topic.  Before long we jump from discussing a dad’s happiest day, to a day many dads fear: V-Day! (with “V” standing for Vasectomy!)  Want to know which of the Cast of Dads has already suffered through the “big snip”?  Listen on…

Topics discussed in this episode include:

You can LISTEN TO CAST OF DADS EPISODE 24 HERE.

If you have been enjoying the Cast of Dads Podcast please tell your friends about the show and have them subscribe to either our direct feed orvia iTunes.  Also, please leave us a review in iTunes!

Cast of Dads is a group of podcasting and blogging dads who gather to gab about fatherhood. The cast of dads includes C.C. Chapman, Jeffrey Sass, Max Kalehoff, Michael Sheehan, and Brad Powell, who collectively represent 13 kids from the youngest of babies to full grown adults. Each of them brings a unique perspective to being a father.

Jeff Sass is the proud dad of ZEO (Zach, 21, Ethan, 20 and Olivia, 18).  He is also a seasoned entertainment and technology exec and active social media enthusiast.  You can see more of Jeff’s writing at Sassholes! and Social Networking Rehab and you can listen to Jeff on the Cast of Dads podcast.?

Photo Credit © Barry Barnes – Fotolia.com

Happy Father’s Day, God

VOUTSINAS FAMILY PHOTO

Have you heard the story about the married couple photographed together at Disney World 15 years before they met? (I found out about it from a link Chris Brogan shared via Twitter.)

The couple didn’t know each other, and they didn’t even live in the same country at the time the photograph was taken:

That fateful realization came just one week before their wedding eight years ago. Alex and Donna had been going through old family snapshots. There, in the blurry background of a picture of 5-year-old Donna was 3-year-old Alex being pushed down Main Street at the same moment in 1980 by his father. The senior Voutsinas’s distinctive jet-black hair with its white tuft caught his eye.

“My mother pulled out albums from the same trip. My dad is wearing exactly the same outfit.”

Other pictures from that trip showed Alex on his dad’s shoulders. The boy in the background of Donna’s picture and the boy in those pictures were the same.

Weird, huh?

I can’t even begin to imagine the odds of such a thing happening. A bajillion-to-one would be my highly uneducated guess. But although many people probably chalk it up to a remarkable coincidence, I have another theory.

I believe it’s an example of God having fun.

He often gets a bad rap. Popular thinking often paints him as curmudgeoney old guy with a long white beard sitting up on a cloud somewhere, spending his days smoting people from a distance. He sits on a thrown like a Roman emperor, judging the fate of people with a simple but emphatic thumbs up or thumbs down. If he lived in America, there’s a pretty good chance that he’d run the IRS. He’s often painted as a pretty serious dude with a serious case of Adultitis.

It’s too bad, really, because I believe there’s another side that people don’t often think about.

His goofy side.

If God really was as serious as some people imagine him to be, we’d never have the duck-billed platypus, giraffes, or Elton John.

I subscribe to the idea that coincidences are God’s way of remaining anonymous. SQuire Rushnell has written a series of bestselling books along the same lines. He calls such coincidences godwinks. Rushnell says:

What do godwinks mean? Think about when you were a kid and someone you loved gave you a little wink across the dining room table…Mom or Dad or Grandma. You didn’t say “What do you mean by that?” You knew. It meant: “Hey kid, I’m thinking about you right now.” That’s what a godwink is too: a message of reassurance from above, directly to you, out of six billion people on the planet, saying “Hey kid…I’m thinking of you! Keep the faith! You’re never alone.”

I’ve experienced some notable godwinks in my own life, and in my experience, if you’re open to them, you’ll likely notice even more.

The couple in the picture above being photographed together is really an inconsequential event. In the grand scheme of things, it’s not a big deal. Nothing about the lives of the couple in question would’ve been different had the photo been snapped a few seconds earlier or later. But I can only imagine God smiling to himself when the photo was taken, because he knew. I can only imagine his anticipation when the couple was sorting through the photos on that fateful day of discovery. And I can only imagine the chills that ran down the spines of Alex and Donna once the connection was made.

Call it random if you want, but I like to think of it as an example of God having fun.

Now while there is much debate over God’s gender, I have come to believe that God is God and not really a man or a woman, but posesses a combination of what we think of as motherly and fatherly traits. In thinking of him as a father, he may be a bit stern, serious, and demanding at times. But if I could send a Twitter message to God for Father’s Day, I’d say this:

“We’re not always the best kids. Thx for sticking with us and sharing your creative & fun side in the form of coincidences. And platypuses.”

Jason Kotecki is a dad who also moonlights as an artist, author, and professional speaker. Jason and his wife Kim (a former kindergarten teacher) make it their mission in life to fight Adultitis and help people use strategies from childhood to create lives with less stress and more fun. Stop by www.KimandJason.com and follow them on Twitter @kimandjason

Cast of Dads #23: Beer, Father’s Day, and the “Swedish Special!”

You may not like Mondays, but this week the Cast of Dads decided we did like them, especially since a Monday evening recording session allowed us to whet our whistles with beer, putting us all in an especially buoyant mood for our pre-Father’s Day show.

As dads ourselves we have the pleasure of celebrating both sides of Father’s Day, relishing in our roles as Fathers, and deeply appreciating the roles our own Father’s have played in our lives.  To all the dads in our audience, and to all the dads without whom we wouldn’t have an audience, HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!

Holiday or not, this wouldn’t be the Cast of Dads if we didn’t cover a TON of topics, and this episode is no exception.  Topics discussed include:

You can LISTEN TO CAST OF DADS EPISODE #23 HERE.

If you have been enjoying the Cast of Dads, please tell your friends about the show and have them subscribe to either our direct feed or via iTunes.  Also, please leave us a review in iTunes!

Cast of Dads is a group of podcasting and blogging dads who gather to gab about fatherhood. The cast of dads includes C.C. Chapman, Jeffrey Sass, Max Kalehoff, Michael Sheehan, and Brad Powell, who collectively represent 13 kids from the youngest of babies to full grown adults. Each of them brings a unique perspective to being a father.

Jeff Sass is the proud dad of ZEO (Zach, 21, Ethan, 20 and Olivia, 18).  He is also a seasoned entertainment and technology exec and active social media enthusiast.  You can see more of Jeff’s writing at Sassholes! and Social Networking Rehab and you can listen to Jeff on the Cast of Dads podcast.?

Cast of Dads #22: From Intel to In Tents

Dealing with the crazy schedules of five busy dads, this week we recorded Cast of Dads on a Monday, and it felt like the show had a different vibe from our normal Sunday morning chats.  That said, like always we geek out over a wide range of topics, from “Intel Inside” to pitching tents outside, to what dads really want for Father’s Day.  Enjoy!

Topics discussed in this episode include:

You can LISTEN TO CAST OF DADS EPISODE 22 HERE.

If you have been enjoying the Cast of Dads podcast please tell your friends about the show and have them subscribe to either our direct feed or via iTunes.  Also, please leave us a review in iTunes!

Cast of Dads is a group of podcasting and blogging dads who gather to gab about fatherhood. The cast of dads includes C.C. Chapman, Jeffrey Sass, Max Kalehoff, Michael Sheehan, and Brad Powell, who collectively represent 13 kids from the youngest of babies to full grown adults. Each of them brings a unique perspective to being a father.Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Jeff Sass is the proud dad of ZEO (Zach, 21, Ethan, 20 and Olivia, 18).  He is also a seasoned entertainment and technology exec and active social media enthusiast.  You can see more of Jeff’s writing at Sassholes! and Social Networking Rehab and you can listen to Jeff on the Cast of Dads podcast.?

Cast of Dads #21: Memorial Dazed

In this episode the Cast of Dads memorialize our Memorial Days, and as usual, we jump through more topics than a circus dog through hoops!  Most importantly, we pay our respects and thanks to all those who have served and continue to serve in the Military, and we are forever grateful for the sacrifices made on behalf of our freedom.

In addition to Memorial Day, in this episode we discuss:

  • Smoking & BBQing
  • Croquet Tournaments?
  • I.P.A.
  • How girls dress at any age
  • Boys painting their nails
  • Dazed & Confused
  • Going back and thanking the teachers who shaped us
  • Being hot for teacher
  • Not driving the babysitter home
  • We all want to defend our kids
  • The Parent Teacher Relationship
  • Max’s life of adventure
  • Traveling Teachers
  • Sir Ken Robinson’s TED Speech on Education
  • Volunteering
  • Community Service
  • Thank you to the Military

You can LISTEN TO EPISODE 21 HERE.

If you have been enjoying the Cast of Dads Podcast, please tell your friends about the show and have them subscribe to either our direct feed or via iTunes.  Also, please leave us a review in iTunes!

Cast of Dads is a group of podcasting and blogging dads who gather to gab about fatherhood. The cast of dads includes C.C. Chapman, Jeffrey Sass, Max Kalehoff, Michael Sheehan, and Brad Powell, who collectively represent 13 kids from the youngest of babies to full grown adults. Each of them brings a unique perspective to being a father.

Jeff Sass is the proud dad of ZEO (Zach, 21, Ethan, 20 and Olivia, 18).  He is also a seasoned entertainment and technology exec and active social media enthusiast.  You can see more of Jeff’s writing at Sassholes! and Social Networking Rehab and you can listen to Jeff on the Cast of Dads podcast.

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Cast of Dads #20: Does The Bag Make The Man?

The Cast of Dads gathered this weekend at 5pm instead of our usual morning date, which led to a little more giddiness and a lot more “adult” talk.  In fact, the original title of the episode is “From Douche-bags to Dish-washing!  To find out how we managed to align such disparate “D” words, you’ll have to just listen to the show!

Topics discussed in this episode:

You can LISTEN TO CAST OF DADS EPISODE #20 HERE.

If you have been enjoying the Cast of Dads podcast, please tell your friends about the show and have them subscribe to either our direct feed orvia iTunes.  Also, please leave us a review in iTunes!

Cast of Dads is a group of podcasting and blogging dads who gather to gab about fatherhood. The cast of dads includes C.C. Chapman, Jeffrey Sass, Max Kalehoff, Michael Sheehan, and Brad Powell, who collectively represent 13 kids from the youngest of babies to full grown adults. Each of them brings a unique perspective to being a father.

Jeff Sass is the proud dad of ZEO (Zach, 21, Ethan, 19 and Olivia, 18).  He is also a seasoned entertainment and technology exec and active social media enthusiast.  You can see more of Jeff’s writing at Sassholes! and Social Networking Rehab and you can listen to Jeff on the Cast of Dads podcast.

?Photo Credit: AttentionMax.com

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Cast of Dads #19: U CAN Touch This!

Once again the Cast of Dads go off on several tangents, from lawn-mowing wives to touch screen computing, and hand-written thank you notes, we leave few stones unturned in this week’s Podcast.

Topics discussed in this episode include:

You can LISTEN TO TO CAST OF DADS EPISODE 19 HERE.

If you have been enjoying the Cast of Dads podcast, please don’t forget to tell your friends about the show and have them subscribe to either our direct feed or via iTunes.  Also, please leave us a review in iTunes!

UPDATE:  I was in San Francisco earlier this week on business and had the chance to meet with fellow Cast of Dads host, Michael Sheehan (@hightechdad).  Since Michael had never met any of the other Cast of Dads in person and I have had the pleasure of now having met all of the Cast of Dads in person, we memorialized the occasion in this short video:

Cast of Dads is a group of podcasting and blogging dads who gather to gab about fatherhood.  The cast of dads includes C.C. Chapman, Jeffrey Sass, Max Kalehoff, Michael Sheehan, and Brad Powell, who collectively represent 13 kids from the youngest of babies to full grown adults. Each of them brings a unique perspective to being a father.

Jeff Sass is the proud dad of ZEO (Zach, 21, Ethan, 19 and Olivia, 18).  He is also a seasoned entertainment and technology exec and active social media enthusiast.  You can see more of Jeff’s writing at Sassholes!and Social Networking Rehab and you can listen to Jeff on the Cast of Dads podcast.

You’re Gonna Miss This

Here’s another wonderfully touching song from Trace Adkins. Much like “All I Ask For Anymore“, this one, “You’re Gonna Miss This”, is another tribute to families. This one is a reminder for us all to try to stop and appreciate these magical times–even when things seem like utter chaos and mayhem. We must do our best to appreciate the glory while we can. All too soon we will look back and truly miss these crazy times. We might not believe it at the time, but we will give anything to come back to this very moment that you might be taking for granted. Don’t let another precious moment slip through your fingers. Grasp as many of them as you can and embrace them.

What I love about the song is that it applies for all of us, all ages. We’ve all wasted too much of our youth looking ahead and longing to grow up only to look back with longing to be young again. It’s a sad and silly thing we all do. We should all try to appreciate the present and enjoy it as much as possible. Stop looking ahead or back.

This song also goes well with Phil Vassar’s “Just Another Day in Paradise” which was another tribute for all the things we will miss someday.

She was staring out that window, of that SUV

Complaining, saying I can’t wait to turn 18

She said I’ll make my own money, and I’ll make my own rules

Mamma put the car in park out there in front of the school

Then she kissed her head and said I was just like you

-Chorus-
You’re gonna miss this

You’re gonna want this back

You’re gonna wish these days hadn’t gone by so fast

These Are Some Good Times

So take a good look around

You may not know it now

But you’re gonna miss this

Before she knows it she’s a brand new bride

In a one-bedroom apartment, and her daddy stops by

He tells her It’s a nice place

She says It’ll do for now

Starts talking about babies and buying a house

Daddy shakes his head and says Baby, just slow down

-Chorus-
You’re gonna miss this

You’re gonna want this back

You’re gonna wish these days hadn’t gone by so fast

These Are Some Good Times

So take a good look around

You may not know it now

But you’re gonna miss this

Five years later there’s a plumber workin’ on the water heater

Dog’s barkin’, phone’s ringin’

One kid’s cryin’, one kid’s screamin’

She keeps apologizin’

He says They don’t bother me.

I’ve got 2 babies of my own.

One’s 36, one’s 23.
Huh, it’s hard to believe, but …

-Chorus-
You’re gonna miss this

You’re gonna want this back

You’re gonna wish these days hadn’t gone by so fast

These Are Some Good Times

So take a good look around

You may not know it now

But you’re gonna miss this

You’re gonna miss this

Yeah, you’re gonna miss this

Cast of Dads #18: From Dancing to Disgusting

Just before Mother’s Day the Cast of Dads got together for our weekly gabfest and as usual we covered a wide range of topics, from our daughter’s dancing to, well, things a bit more disgusting.  We even had to “bleep” out a few references in order to protect you, our listeners, from a Google search you would most definitely regret.  In this episode you will also learn about my cameo appearances in several Troma films.

Topics discussed in this episode include:

You can LISTEN TO CAST OF DADS EPISODE 18 HERE.

If you have been enjoying the Cast of Dads Podcast, please tell your friends about the show and have them subscribe to either our direct feed orvia iTunes. Also, please leave us a review in iTunes!

Cast of Dads is a group of podcasting and blogging dads who gather to gab about fatherhood. The cast of dads includes C.C. Chapman, Jeffrey Sass, Max Kalehoff, Michael Sheehan, and Brad Powell, who collectively represent 13 kids from the youngest of babies to full grown adults. Each of them brings a unique perspective to being a father.

Jeff Sass is the proud dad of ZEO (Zach, 21, Ethan, 19 and Olivia, 18).  He is also a seasoned entertainment and technology exec and active social media enthusiast.  You can see more of Jeff’s writing at Sassholes!and Social Networking Rehab and you can listen to Jeff on the Cast of Dads podcast.

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All I Ask for Anymore

Here’s a wonderful Trace Adkins song about a man who has changed his priorities in life. He shares all the things he used to pray for like cars and money but now understands that the only thing that truly matters is his family. All he ever asks for anymore is for the health and safety of his loved ones. What a beautiful sentiment. What an amazing song.

ALL I ASK FOR ANYMORE

it was a home run when the game was tied

a pick up truck when I could drive

one pink line when katie said I’m late

it was a passing grade, a pretty girl

all the money in the world

what mattered then kept changing every day

but when I bow my head tonight

there’ll be no me myself and I

just watch my wife and kids please lord

that’s all I ask for any more

now a days it’s crazy how

a passing storm, a siren sound

can make me drop it all and pick up the phone

to hear her say that all’s okay is all I need to know these days

can’t wait to see their faces when I get home

and when I bow my head tonight

there’ll be no me myself and I

just watch my wife and kids please lord

that’s all I ask for any more

let ‘em outlive me by a hundred years

let their laughter dry up all their tears

let ‘em love and be loved back like I have been

when I bow my head tonight

there’ll be no me myself and I

just watch my wife and kids please lord

that’s all I ask for any more

that’s all that matters anymore

Cast of Dads #17: Tears For Fears

The Cast of Dads celebrated Spring by jumping from the Cub Scouts, to Crying,  to Candy Cigarettes and our greatest fears.  We had fun talking and we hope that you have as much fun listening.

Topics discussed in this episode:

You can LISTEN TO EPISODE 17 HERE.

If you have been enjoying the Cast of Dads Podcast, please tell your friends about the show and have them subscribe to either our direct feed or via iTunes. Also, please leave us a review in iTunes!

Cast of Dads is a group of podcasting and blogging dads who gather to gab about fatherhood.  The cast of dads includes C.C. Chapman, Jeffrey Sass, Max Kalehoff, Michael Sheehan, and Brad Powell, who collectively represent 13 kids from the youngest of babies to full grown adults. Each of them brings a unique perspective to being a father.

Jeff Sass is the proud dad of ZEO (Zach, 21, Ethan, 19 and Olivia, 18).  He is also a seasoned entertainment and technology exec and active social media enthusiast.  You can see more of Jeff’s writing at Sassholes!and Social Networking Rehab and you can listen to Jeff on the Cast of Dads podcast.

Tweet Your Kids #5

In Tweet Your Kids, Tweet Your Kids #2 , Tweet Your Kids #3 and Tweet Your Kids #4, I wrote “Ever think ‘I should write that down’ when your child says something funny?”

I use Twitter for that. Here’re some Tweet-worthy comments from my boys.

Six-year-old Lucas

Lucas putting out fires

Dad trying to watch video. Lukey: “Daddy, is that our Master?” Dad: “Yes, that is President Obama.”

Lucas: “Mom, Dad? Do you have to squeeze the adult elephant’s trunk to get the baby out?”

6yo Lucas trying to distract me: “Look outside, Dad! A billion moneys!”

Lucas talking back. Dad: “Why don’t I just put you in a box?” Lucas: “Oh, hello??! I would not like that!”

Stratego explained by a 5 year old http://ht.ly/1G6t0 [YouTube video]

Zach plays one piano song over + over. Dad: “I wish you would add something else to your repertoire.” Zach: “Web-a-jar?” Luke: “Butt-a-jar!”

Lucas: “What is that [tampon] for? Your penis?” Momma: “I don’t have a penis.” Lucas: “For your hole penis?”

6yo Luke: “This rice has an acid taste.” Daddy: “I don’t think you know what ‘acid’ means.” Luke: “You’re right! I don’t!”

6yo @LukeHage got a scrape on his ankle. “Dad, I think I’m going to need crutches.”

Luke hasn’t quite got the concept of death yet: “Is it uncomfortable to live underground?”

6yo @LukeHage: “Dad, can we go on YubaTube and see crashing bikes? Like people falling down and they’re getting hurt?”

6yo @LukeHage to the Momma: “How come you have three private parts?”

The Momma: “Lucas! He goes first. He’s the guest.” @LukeHage: “No, he’s not! I met him before!”

“Daddy, do you know what your anus is? It’s a hole in your butt!” Insight from @LukeHage

The Momma: “Lukey, what’s on your forehead?” @LukeHage: “I think it is bee poop.”

6yo @LukeHage: “Daddy, I ate all of it so I can have flab like you!”

Witty retort(?) from 6yo @LukeHage: “Daddy, you’re a big pair of glasses!”

Eight-year-old Zachary

Zach's first communion

8yo @ZachHage: “I never tell a girl she’s flabby b/c I don’t know if she’s pregnant or not.”

Daddy: “What do you think would happen if Daddy tried the luge?” Zach: “Die. Because you are too lazy.” Nice.

Zach’s gift to Luke http://post.ly/d8H0

Zach and Lucas have a message for Grandma + Jeddo (kind of) http://post.ly/WB1R

Zachary got duped by a leprechaun he was trying to trap. “I know that trick. Thanks for the coin,” the leprechaun wrote back.

Caller: “Beth?” Zach: “It’s Zach!” Caller: “Oh, you sound so old!” @ZachHage: “I know! Because I’m eight!”

Struck by generosity. @ZachHage told a woman on a Disneyland shuttle abt http://ez.com/ZacharyHelpingOthers. She just gave $100!

Have some kid gems? Leave them in the comments!

P.S. 7,000 kids in America die from sudden cardiac arrest each year. I donated an AED defibrillator to protect my kids at school. Consider doing the same for yours. Email me for details at joe@joehageonline.com. Thanks.

:: Joe Hage ::

Cast of Dads #16: In One End, Out The Other…

In this episode of Cast of Dads, the Dads get down to the real poop of being a father.  While we always try to keep the show “family friendly” and avoid any potty mouthed talk, that doesn’t restrict us from talking about the potty, and this week we tackled both the input and the output of foodstuffs (amongst other topics).

Topics discussed in this episode:

  • Potty Training
  • Peeing off the back porch
  • Doing the Orangutan Hang?
  • Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution
  • Farmer’s Markets
  • Locally sourced food
  • Ketchup makes everything taste better
  • Eating with the kids
  • Magic Hat Howling Shepard’s pie
  • Meatloaf Cupcakes
  • A Cast of Dads Cookbook
  • Smoothies
  • Organic or not?
  • Animal, Vegetable, Miracle
  • Locally sourced restaurants
  • Being a Dad is FOREVER
  • Having parents nearby

You can LISTEN TO CAST OF DADS EPISODE 16 HERE.

If you have been enjoying the Cast of Dads Podcast, please tell your friends about the show and have them subscribe to either our direct feed or via iTunes. Also, please leave us a review in iTunes!

Cast of Dads is a group of podcasting and blogging dads who gather to gab about fatherhood.  The cast of dads includes C.C. Chapman, Jeffrey Sass, Max Kalehoff, Michael Sheehan, and Brad Powell, who collectively represent 13 kids from the youngest of babies to full grown adults. Each of them brings a unique perspective to being a father.

??Jeff Sass is the proud dad of ZEO (Zach, 21, Ethan, 19 and Olivia, 18).  He is also a seasoned entertainment and technology exec and active social media enthusiast.  You can see more of Jeff’s writing at Sassholes!and Social Networking Rehab and you can listen to Jeff on the Cast of Dads podcast.

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Secrets of the Mountain – Review & Give-Away

Secrets of the Mountain movie posterEarlier this week I had the opportunity to get a preview of a movie coming out next Friday. The movie “Secrets of the Mountain” is being funded by Walmart and P&G (Proctor and Gamble) and is their answer to the lack of family friendly programming on television today.

The movie centers around a single mother, Dana James, played by Paige Turco, raising three kids Jake, Jade, and Madeline. The children are played by newcomers Crawford Wilson as Jake, Adelaide Kane as Jade, and Kayla Carlson as Madeline. As a single mother dealing with a difficult divorce she buries herself in work to avoid dealing with her own issues. A consequence of this, is that she becomes disconnected from her kids and they are living in the same house but living separate lives.

An unexpected letter from an attorney arrives offering to purchase some property left to her by a dead uncle. Many years earlier Dana watched her Uncle Henry, played by Barry Bostwick, die when his Jeep was mysteriously forced off a cliff. He was apparently killed for reasons related to a secret hidden inside the mountain.

She decides to take the family on a weekend road trip to the property hoping they can reconnect during the getaway. While checking out the family cabin it turns out Harry is dead at all. He has spent the last several years traveling the world trying to discover the secrets hidden inside the mountain that Dana just sold.  Turns out he wasn’t dead at all and he finds it interesting that mysterious corporation now wants to purchase the mountain for a very large sum of money.

This movie is full of interesting twist and turns. There are treasure maps, Indiana Jones like booby traps, and secret passageways and treasure rooms that remind me of National Treasure. It is good fun for the entire family and I urge you to gather everyone around the TV Friday April 16th and watch it on NBC.

Now as a dad writing on a dad focused blog I have a few issues with the movie and the goal that Walmart and Proctor & Gamble claim to have with this movie. From the fact sheet I received from them:
“The film was produced in direct response to recent research conducted by the Association of National Advertisers’ Alliance for Family Entertainment that reveals that parents across America are seeking more family-oriented entertainment for the whole family to enjoy together”

There was one very short scene in the movie with the kids father and it depicted a disagreement between him and Dana. I personally think there is lack of programming on TV today that portrays families with strong father figures. Too many shows today display fathers as bumbling idiots (Homer Simpson or Ray Romano) or a testosterone-fueled disaster waiting to happen (Tim Allen).

I understand that single mothers have a unique set of challenges I and don’t want to diminish those, but for a large segment of the population a family is a complete family unit that contains a mother AND a father. If Walmart and P&G want to really create family-friendly TV it would be appropriate for that programming to include an entire family.

I hope that the next production can produce produce some content for the whole family and not leave us dads out in the cold.

Secrets of the Mountain DVD & Soundtrack CD Give-away

We will be giving away one copy of the movie on DVD to a lucky reader. The winner will receive the movie the day after it premieres on TV on 4/16/2010. Coincidentally, it goes on sale that same day at Walmart’s across the US.

How to Enter: Just leave a comment with your favorite family movie and include your email address so we can contact you if you should win.

DISCLOSURE:
In the interest of full disclosure I will mention that I was flown out to New York and put up in a hotel compliments of Walmart and Proctor & Gamble. This review was not impacted in any manner by this.

Cast of Dads #15: iPad, You Pad, We All Pad

The Cast of Dads recorded our latest show on April 3rd, the same day Apple released the now much ballyhooed iPad.  Of course us geek Dads couldn’t help but talk about it, even though only CC already had one.  (NOTE: CC’s daughter Emily – pictured below – gives her own child’s eye view of the iPad here.)  The iPad may have gotten us going, but our conversation quickly covered lots of ground, as usual.

Emily Enjoying the iPad

Topics discussed in this episode:

You can LISTEN TO EPISODE 15 HERE.

If you have been enjoying Cast of Dads, please tell your friends about the show and have them subscribe to either our direct feed or via iTunes. Also, please leave us a review in iTunes!

Cast of Dads is a group of podcasting and blogging dads who gather to gab about fatherhood.  The cast of dads includes C.C. Chapman, Jeffrey Sass, Max Kalehoff, Michael Sheehan, and Brad Powell, who collectively represent 13 kids from the youngest of babies to full grown adults. Each of them brings a unique perspective to being a father.

??Jeff Sass is the proud dad of ZEO (Zach, 21, Ethan, 19 and Olivia, 18).  He is also a seasoned entertainment and technology exec and active social media enthusiast.  You can see more of Jeff’s writing at Sassholes!and Social Networking Rehab and you can listen to Jeff on the Cast of Dads podcast.

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Cast of Dads #14: Car Seats, Common Sense & The Grill Of Your Dreams

The Cast of Dads have been on quite a roll lately and after our “live video” show from Austin Texas we recorded another audio episode the week before Easter.  Due to C.C.’s knee surgery, we are a little late posting the show, but we hope you’ll agree it was worth the wait.  We were all a little giddy, perhaps with a case of Spring Fever, but in any event we hope you will have as much fun listening as we had recording!  Enjoy!

The picture above is Max’s new grill

Topics discussed on this episode:

  • First Sleepovers
  • Max’s new grill
  • Which is harder to build? A swing set or a new grill.
  • Car seats for kids in buses & taxis
  • Convertable stroller into car seat
  • The “fun” of car seats
  • How did we ever survive before seat belts and safety everything
  • Common Sense = THE most important parenting skill
  • Texting while driving
  • Spot the Texting Game
  • Modern day Scarlett Letter?
  • C.C. apologizes to Cornell Basketball
  • Power washers
  • Spring Cleaning & Outdoor tasks
  • Home gardens
  • Yard Work Love vs. Hate
  • Brad wants to use a snow blower
  • Ocean Temperatures
  • Smurfing it up

You can LISTEN TO EPISODE 14 HERE.

If you have been enjoying Cast of Dads, please tell your friends about the show and have them subscribe to either our direct feed or via iTunes. Also, please leave us a review in iTunes!

Cast of Dads is a group of podcasting and blogging dads who gather to gab about fatherhood.  The cast of dads includes C.C. Chapman, Jeffrey Sass, Max Kalehoff, Michael Sheehan, and Brad Powell, who collectively represent 13 kids from the youngest of babies to full grown adults. Each of them brings a unique perspective to being a father.

?Jeff Sass is the proud dad of ZEO (Zach, 21, Ethan, 19 and Olivia, 18).  He is also a seasoned entertainment and technology exec and active social media enthusiast.  You can see more of Jeff’s writing at Sassholes!and Social Networking Rehab and you can listen to Jeff on the Cast of Dads podcast.

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Cast of Dads Special: “LIVE” From SXSW

While our intent is for Cast of Dads to primarily be an an audio podcast, a couple of weeks ago we found that three of us were actually going to be in the same city at the same time: CC and I were both in Austin, Texas for SXSW, and DaddyBrad’s home court, DadLabs, is also based in Austin.  Since Brad and DadLabs have their own  video production studio in town, we couldn’t resist the opportunity to shoot our first video episode.   Being geeks as well as dads, we weren’t about to leave out Max in New York, and Michael in San Francisco, so we set each of them up with their own “laptop” and remarkably, it really felt like we were all in the same room together.  What do you think?  Special thanks to the entire Dad Labs team for being so generous with their studio!

Cast of Dads Live from SXSW 2010 from Cast of Dads on Vimeo.

Download Cast of Dads: Video Episode 1

If you have been enjoying Cast of Dads, please tell your friends about the show and have them subscribe to either our direct feed or via iTunes. Also, please leave us a review in iTunes!

Cast of Dads is a group of podcasting and blogging dads who gather to gab about fatherhood.  The cast of dads includes C.C. Chapman, Jeffrey Sass, Max Kalehoff, Michael Sheehan, and Brad Powell, who collectively represent 13 kids from the youngest of babies to full grown adults. Each of them brings a unique perspective to being a father.

Jeff Sass is the proud dad of ZEO (Zach, 21, Ethan, 19 and Olivia, 18).  He is also a seasoned entertainment and technology exec and active social media enthusiast.  You can see more of Jeff’s writing at Sassholes!and Social Networking Rehab and you can listen to Jeff on the Cast of Dads podcast.??

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Cast of Dads #13: Talking, Texting & Tracking From Texas

They say “the show must go on” and this week was no exception.  I am on the road for business and called in from my hotel for this week’s episode of Cast of Dads.  I was in Austin, Texas to attend SXSW, and while in town, three members of our cast were able to gather at the DadLabs studios and record our first video episode (sneak peek picture below).  The video show is still in “post-production” so stay tuned.  Meanwhile, here is:

Episode 13 of Cast of Dads (CLICK TO LISTEN).

Topics discussed in this episode:

If you have been enjoying the Cast of Dads podcast, please tell your friends about the show and have them subscribe to either our direct feed or via iTunes.  Also, please leave us a review in iTunes!

Cast of Dads is a group of podcasting and blogging dads who gather to gab about fatherhood.  The cast of dads includes C.C. Chapman, Jeffrey Sass, Max Kalehoff, Michael Sheehan, and Brad Powell, who collectively represent 13 kids from the youngest of babies to full grown adults. Each of them brings a unique perspective to being a father.

Jeff Sass is the proud dad of ZEO (Zach, 21, Ethan, 19 and Olivia, 18).  He is also a seasoned entertainment and technology exec and active social media enthusiast.  You can see more of Jeff’s writing at Sassholes!and Social Networking Rehab.

?

Cast of Dads #12: Who’s The Boss???

??No??, this is not a show about Tony Danza and Alyssa Milano, but in this week’s Cast of Dads podcast we do start off discussing who plays the role of chief disciplinarian in each of our homes.  And of course, what would a show about discipline be without a healthy peek at punishment.  From “dunce caps” to spanking to a good old “guilt trip,” us dueling dads tackle tough love and more in this week’s talk.

Topics discussed in this episode include:

  • Who is the softy in the house?
  • Who is the enforcer?
  • When siblings begin helping with the parenting
  • Teaching to respect adults balanced with not trusting strangers
  • Friends known as “aunts” & “uncles”
  • Naughty Steps, Dunce Caps and time out
  • Losing control and raised voices
  • Extreme discipline
  • To Spank or not to Spank?

You can listen to Cast of Dads Episode 12 here.

If you have been enjoying the Cast of Dads, please tell your friends about the show and have them subscribe to either our direct feed or via iTunes.  Also, please leave us a review in iTunes!

Cast of Dads is a group of podcasting and blogging dads who gather to gab about fatherhood.  The cast of dads includes C.C. Chapman, Jeffrey Sass, Max Kalehoff, Michael Sheehan, and Brad Powell, who collectively represent 13 kids from the youngest of babies to full grown adults. Each of them brings a unique perspective to being a father.

Jeff Sass is the proud dad of ZEO (Zach, 21, Ethan, 19 and Olivia, 18).  He is also a seasoned entertainment and technology exec and active social media enthusiast.  You can see more of Jeff’s writing at Sassholes!and Social Networking Rehab.

From Chatroulette To Dadroulette!

Next??. ?Item ThumbnailNext. Next. Whoa! NEXT! Next. Hey now! Next. Next. Next…  If you have been clicking on “next” a lot lately, perhaps it is because you have been one of the millions of Internet users checking out the latest on-line fetish fad, Chatroulette.  If you live in a cave and haven’t yet heard of Chatroulette Jon Stewart gives a nice introduction here.  In essence, as the name quite literally states, Chatroulette is an anonymous video chat randomizer, allowing anyone with a webcam and Internet connection to essentially go speed dating through the motley morass that is humanity (at least the part of humanity that in 2010 feels compelled to test their inner voyeur, inner exhibitionist, or both!)  As with any new technology Chatroulette attracts pornography like a giant science lab magnet attracts iron dust, so be forewarned (and warn your Internet browsing children), Chatroulette is most definitely NSFW (not safe for work, or a home with kids for that matter).  Which is why we need, Dadroulette!

Dadroulette: Spinning Through Your Kids’ Lives?

Consider this post as an open request to the slick young Russian dude who created ChatRoulette to re-purpose his code for a good cause and please create Dadroulette.  Dadroulette would let us dads log on and “next” our way through the webcams of only our children, wherever they may be.  Sequestered in their bedrooms, in the computer lab at school, or at a friend’s house, wherever our kids are, Dadroulette would let us click through and be right there with them to check in and say hello.  I mean, if schools in Pennsylvania can do it, why can’t Dads everywhere?  Think how happy our kids will be to know that dear old dad loves them so much he wants to randomly pop up in their webcam while they are in their bedrooms and dorm rooms. Think how happy us dads will be to toss out any semblance of trust and responsibility and poke our pointy parental noses into the private lives of our progeny?  Awesome, right?  NOT!

Good Gimmick, Bad Idea

I hacked into the Chatroulette code and did a little test of my Dadroulette concept.  As the screengrab in this post documents, I came across my son in his apartment at college and my oh my, I found him hanging out with his roommates and one of them had, oh my gosh, A BEER!  I wanted to say hello and give him a fatherly lecture about responsible drinking but before I could finish unwrinkling my furrowed brow he went ahead and clicked “next”, sending me off to my daughter’s webcam, where I was equally shocked to find her doing her homework.  She looked up, gave me an exasperated, “Daaaad!” and “nexted” me off to chat oblivion.

The Real Roulette

Clearly, my satirical game of Dadroulette would in practice be a very bad idea.  However, I hope it helps illustrate a bigger point that we have written about before.  The Internet IS a game of Russian Roulette, especially for our kids.  At any given moment an on-line session can turn sour, exposing us to bad viruses and bad people.  Our digital trails do indeed go on our “permanent record” and can become a bullet in the chamber, shooting us in the foot when discovered by friends, family or employers.  From Chatroulette to Facebook, we can’t stress enough to our kids how important it is to be careful, cautious and to use common sense when hanging out in our digital world.  Chatroulette may be another good excuse to have that conversation with your kids again.

In the end, Chatroulette can be at once fun, funny, daring, disgusting, deplorable and delightful.  Just like the Internet.  Next!

What do you think??? Let’s chat about it in the comments…

Jeff Sass is the proud dad of ZEO (Zach, 21, Ethan, 19 and Olivia, 18).  He is also a seasoned entertainment and technology exec and active social media enthusiast.  You can see more of Jeff’s writing at Sassholes! and Social Networking Rehab.

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Cast of Dads #11: A Disaster Of A Show

As noted here, in this week’s episode of the Cast of Dads podcast we talk about how to be prepared for a natural disaster.  The topic was no surprise, since we recorded the show just hours after the earthquake in Chile was reported and while the world waited to see what coastal areas would be affected by the resultant tsunamis.  As usual for the Cast of Dads, we cover a lot of ground.  Living in an area frequented by hurricanes, this was a topic that hit close to home.  Speaking of hitting close to home, below is a picture I took outside my home after Hurricane Wilma…

Topics discussed on this episode:

  • Emergency preparedness for families
  • Earthquakes, wild fires, hurricanes, tornados & blizzards
  • Planning vs. Reacting
  • How does your school notify you about emergencies?
  • Steve Garfield’s French Toast Level Alert
  • The Media fueling panic with weather
  • How to deal with kids while going through a weather event
  • Technology solutions for disasters
  • Generators, Crank Up Radios & Battery Backups
  • Drobo
  • Getting rid of land lines
  • 911 Locations
  • What is in your car trunk?
  • Growing up on a sailboat
  • Remaining calm around the kids
  • Fear of kids in cars
  • I Saw Your Nanny
  • Nanny Cams
  • Finding your 13 year old driving
  • Fire Alarms & Smoke Detectors
  • The possibility of an upcoming “Mime Episode”

You can listen to Episode 11 here.

If you enjoy listening to Cast of Dads, pleased don’t forget to tell your friends about the show and have them subscribe to either our direct feed or via iTunes. Also, please leave us a review in iTunes!

Cast of Dads is a group of podcasting and blogging dads who gather to gab about fatherhood.  The cast of dads includes C.C. Chapman, Jeffrey Sass, Max Kalehoff, Michael Sheehan, and Brad Powell, who collectively represent 13 kids from the youngest of babies to full grown adults. Each of them brings a unique perspective to being a father.

Jeff Sass is the proud dad of ZEO (Zach, 21, Ethan, 19 and Olivia, 18).  He is also a seasoned entertainment and technology exec and active social media enthusiast.  You can see more of Jeff’s writing at Sassholes! and Social Networking Rehab.


Cast of Dads #10: Walking The Line Online

At the opening of this episode you will hear a promo for The Boom Effect, an auction and fund raiser for fellow dad and good friend Tee Morris who recently lost his wife.  Tee will be raising his little girl known as “Sonic Boom” on his own, and the Podcasting community has been very supportive with contributions and events such as this auction. The Cast of Dads encourages you to donate and help in any way you can to assist in making sure this little girl has what she needs as she grows up. Tee, our thoughts are with you!

This week the Cast of Dads faces off with Facebook as we talk about the challenges of raising kids in a digital world.  How old (or young) should kids be when they start using Facebook?  Does everything really end up on your “permanent record?”  These are just some of the things we cover in this episode:

You can listen to Episode 10 here.

If you have been enjoying the Cast of Dads podcast, please tell your friends about the show and have them subscribe to either our direct feed or via iTunes. Also, please leave us a review in iTunes!

Cast of Dads is a group of podcasting and blogging dads who gather to gab about fatherhood.  The cast of dads includes C.C. Chapman, Jeffrey Sass, Max Kalehoff, Michael Sheehan, and Brad Powell, who collectively represent 13 kids from the youngest of babies to full grown adults. Each of them brings a unique perspective to being a father.

Jeff Sass is the proud dad of ZEO (Zach, 21, Ethan, 19 and Olivia, 18).  He is also a seasoned entertainment and technology exec and active social media enthusiast.  You can see more of Jeff’s writing at Sassholes!and Social Networking Rehab.

Cast of Dads #9: Pausing For Valentine’s Day

The Cast of Dads gathered early on Valentine’s Day to catch up and compare notes on our romantic plans for the day.  Despite a few pregnant pauses as we contemplated Cupid, we managed to cover a wide range of topics, from our daughters dating, to the pleasures of power tools.  Here is a complete rundown of what is discussed in this week’s show Valentine’s Day show:

You can listen to Cast of Dads Episode 9 here.   You can also subscribe to either our direct feed or via iTunes.  Also, if you have been enjoying the show, please let your friends know and leave us a review in iTunes!  Thanks for listening!

Cast of Dads is a group of podcasting and blogging dads who gather to gab about fatherhood.  The cast of dads includes C.C. Chapman, Jeffrey Sass, Max Kalehoff, Michael Sheehan, and Brad Powell, who collectively represent 13 kids from the youngest of babies to full grown adults. Each of them brings a unique perspective to being a father.

Jeff Sass is the proud dad of ZEO (Zach, 21, Ethan, 19 and Olivia, 18).  He is also a seasoned entertainment and technology exec and active social media enthusiast.  You can see more of Jeff’s writing at Sassholes!and Social Networking Rehab.

Cast of Dads #8: Winging It For The Superbowl

Despite the siren song of beer and wings calling in the distance, the Cast of Dads set aside time on Superbowl Sunday to record an episode: “Superbowl Sunday With The Cast of Dads.”  While the talk quickly turned to football, some of us – er, me – revealed we are I am not as up to date on my sports as I am on my gadgets.  (For example, it was only during the big game that I realized the Colts were no longer the “Baltimore Colts” of my childhood…)

Fortunately for me, football was not the only topic of discussion in the show.  Topics covered in this episode include:

  • Superbowl and are we sports fans?
  • Tequila
  • Wives who love sports
  • March Madness
  • Sunday Night Jitters
  • Oklahoma vs. Texas
  • Young Cyrus lingerie line? (after the show it came out that it was false)
  • Kids growing up too fast
  • Teaching kids to read as babies
  • Potty Humor
  • An open invite to Kevin Smith to come on the show
  • Mom stereotypes
  • Swearing in front of kids
  • Kids swearing
  • Music Lyrics
  • The Barbie Song
  • Controlling what is watched on TV
  • Age differences
  • C.C. Chapman iPhone App
  • HighTechDad iPhone App

You can listen to Cast of Dads Episode 8 here.   If you have been enjoying Cast of Dads, please tell your friends about the show and have them subscribe to either our direct feed or via iTunes.  Also, don’t be shy…  go ahead and please leave us a review in iTunes!

Cast of Dads is a group of podcasting and blogging dads who gather to gab about fatherhood.  The cast of dads includes C.C. Chapman, Jeffrey Sass, Max Kalehoff, Michael Sheehan, and Brad Powell, who collectively represent 13 kids from the youngest of babies to full grown adults. Each of them brings a unique perspective to being a father.

Jeff Sass is the proud dad of ZEO (Zach, 21, Ethan, 19 and Olivia, 18).  He is also a seasoned entertainment and technology exec and active social media enthusiast.  You can see more of Jeff’s writing at Sassholes! and Social Networking Rehab.

Favorite SuperBowl Ads

We men took more than our usual bashing during the 60 or so commercials played during SuperBowl Sunday. We deserved some of the mocking but come on already, Madison Avenue. It’s time to give us men a little more credit, don’t you think? Still, I enjoyed the funny ones as much as the next guy. Here’s one of my favorites. Please share you favorites in the comments.

E*Trade Baby Outtakes

Here’s just a quick comedy break… hilarious stuff

Cast of Dads 7: More On Morons…

This week the Cast of Dads took a step back from tech talk and focused our discussion on more fatherly pursuits, thanks to some feedback and suggestions from our listeners.  We appreciate getting your feedback on the show and if there are specific topics you would like for us to tackle let us know in the comments here or at Cast of Dads or please send us an e-mail.

As usual, we covered a lot of ground, and finally admitted that at one time or another, we were all morons!  In this episode:

You can listen to Cast of Dads Episode 7 here.  If you like what you hear, please tell your friends about the show and have them subscribe to either our direct feed or via iTunes.  Of course, we won’t complain if you also leave us a review in iTunes!  Thanks for tuning in!

Cast of Dads is a group of podcasting and blogging dads who gather to gab about fatherhood.  The cast of dads includes C.C. Chapman, Jeffrey Sass, Max Kalehoff, Michael Sheehan, and Brad Powell, who collectively represent 13 kids from the youngest of babies to full grown adults. Each of them brings a unique perspective to being a father.

Jeff Sass is the proud dad of ZEO (Zach, 21, Ethan, 19 and Olivia, 18).  He is also a seasoned entertainment and technology exec and active social media enthusiast.  You can see more of Jeff’s writing at Sassholes! and Social Networking Rehab.

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The iPad vs. The iDad!

An apple a day… gives the media lots to talk about.  This week both the tech news and so called “mainstream media” was all abuzz about the long rumored, finally revealed, “tablet” device from Steve Jobs and his team at Apple.  When all the dust settled, as expected, everyone’s attention turned to the “core” of the Apple iPad, and the heated comparisons and complaints began in force.  While many have compared and contrasted the iPad to the Amazon Kindle, other tablet PC’s and Netbooks, there is one comparison that I haven’t seen, and one that is most suited for Dad-O-Matic readers: The iPad vs. the iDad!

The iDad: Why EVERY Home Should Have One!

There is a readily available interactive device that beats the pants off the iPad (and it even wears pants!)  Yes, the iDad is the one device that every household with kids should have, and it has standard features that clearly put the iPad to shame, including cameras, multitasking, expandability, and even a significantly longer battery life.  Yes, the iDad is the groundbreaking computing device that is clearly well positioned to take a bite out of the Apple iPad’s potential market.

Here is a simple comparison:

Which does your household need more, an iPad or an iDad?

Jeff Sass is the proud dad of ZEO (Zach, 21, Ethan, 19 and Olivia, 18).  He is also a seasoned entertainment and technology exec and active social media enthusiast.  You can see more of Jeff’s writing at Sassholes! and Social Networking Rehab.

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A father’s guide to safety devices

Nesting behavior has always baffled me. So I was more than a little frightened when I returned home from a business trip to find my wife had recovered her car seats and the den furniture in blue fleece and installed matching carpet in both.

“Honey,” I asked cautiously, “do you know something I don’t?”

“We’re having a boy,” she smiled.

“I thought the ultra sound was scheduled for next month?” I asked.

“I don’t need an ultrasound to know my baby,” she replied, both hands on her stomach. She glided to the kitchen table and passed me a stack of product brochures. “I’ve picked out a few things we need,” she explained.

The top sheet announced “the most exciting advance in stroller technology since rubber wheels” by taking out a 36 month note. As she explained it to me the manufacturers financing was too good to pass up, “no interest for 36 months and a credit worth up to $500 dollars, on a minimum order of $5000 at BabyConsumption.com.

Foolishly, I ignored my father in law who stood just out of Elaine’s peripheral vision frantically repeating the universal hand gesture for cutting one’s own throat.  “You know, we have saved enough to pay cash for most of the strollers on the market,” I offered, asserting my paternal rationality rights.

Elaine turned on me with a fury I had never seen before. Her eyes narrowed and her nails curled into the warrior stance of a mother bear. “If you think I will sacrifice the safety of my child for your self-serving greed……” She was struck with such a violent tremor that I briefly contemplated dialing 911 or at least administering aspirin as a prophylactic against brain clotting. My mother in law, who stands five foot even at 105 pounds, threw me to the ground with a flick of her forearm as she rushed to her daughter’s side. My father in law began displaying the International Geophysical Society’s hand signal for Get Clear: Immediate Volcanic Eruption.

Foolishly confident that a rational discussion could prevail, I opened volume 23 of Worried Mother, the Definitive Product Guide. I approached her warily. If you recall I lead eco-expeditions for a living and have extensive training regarding encounters with unfamiliar species.

“What about this model? Obsessed Parent gave it their best value rating and it retails for only twenty three hundred dollars.” I was nearly overcome with cognitive dissidence.

“What about my health?” she demanded. “Why it doesn’t have a National Weather Service console, the BabyDownTM alarm system or even a basic hydraulic lift. Do you realize how many mothers get permanent debilitating lower back injuries and have to depend on Nannies the rest of their lives instead of the deep satisfaction and bonding of changing diapers themselves?”

I was completely unaware of this health risk but I did have a vague sense of the going rate for nannies. “Do you think we need the Kevlar option?” I asked vainly. When I saw the look on her face I ran for the car.

I rushed to the store and happily signed away our next 3 year’s disposable income. After all, how many fathers can guarantee their sons are safe from armor piercing rounds?

Cast of Dads 4: Happy New Year (and Making it to Midnight!)

 

The Cast of Dads could not resist getting together to record one last podcast for 2009.  Certainly one of our highlights of the year was getting together because of the Sony DigiDad Project, and we have been having a lot of fun sharing our stories and just “shooting the breeze” together ever since in our weekly “Cast of Dads” podcast.  We appreciate all the support from you and look forward to many more episodes of Cast of Dads in 2010.  Together we are going to help make 2010 the “Year of the Dad!” and we could not do it without the great Dadomatic community!  Here is what we talk about in our end of year podcast (hmmm, can you see a pattern here?):

  • Gifts we Got
  • Beer
  • Microbrews
  • Beer of the Month Club
  • New Year’s Traditions
  • Drinking in general
  • Scotch
  • Making it till midnight?
  • 2010 Resolutions
  • When did we do our first funnel?
  • Dr. Does & Naughty Nurse —>
  • Predictions for 2010

You can listen to Eposide 4 here, and you can also subscribe to Cast of Dads in iTunes.

On behalf of all the Dads in our cast, and everyone here at Dadomatic we send you our very best wishes for a safe, happy and healthy holiday and a wonderful New Year!

See you next year!

Cast of Dads is a group of podcasting and blogging dads who gather to gab about fatherhood.  The cast of dads includes C.C. Chapman, Jeffrey Sass, Max Kalehoff,Michael Sheehan, and Brad Powell, who collectively represent 13 kids from the youngest of babies to full grown adults. Each of them brings a unique perspective to being a father.

Jeff Sass is the proud dad of ZEO (Zach, 21, Ethan, 19 and Olivia, 18).  He is also a seasoned entertainment and technology exec and active social media enthusiast.  You can see more of Jeff’s writing at Sassholes! and Social Networking Rehab.

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Opening Doors To Your Children’s Dreams

As parents we are many things.  At times we are the masters, at times we are the mentors.  We have to be both teacher and preacher.  We have to lead and feed and seed our children so that they grow into happy and productive adults.  We live in stressful and complicated times and now, more than ever, it is important to just be happy!  As many of us – myself included – can relate to, that is often easier said than done.

Don’t Worry, Be Passionate!

One of the surest ways to be happy is to pursue things you have a passion for, no matter what it is.  Reading, writing, cooking, knitting, drawing, sports, music, whatever it is that gives you that tingle of adrenalin and makes you smile just thinking about doing it, is the thing you should make sure you are finding ways to pursue.  As a dad, I have tried to make my passions obvious to my kids, and stressed to them the benefit of being passionate and, trite as it may sound, following your dreams.  As parents, I think it is our job to encourage our kids to believe that every door can be opened for them if they believe it, and are willing to work for it.

Guitar Man

With that in mind, I am enormously proud of my son Ethan, who moved to Boston today to pursue his dream and passion for his guitar at the Berklee College of Music.  When he first graduated from High School, he did not take the necessary steps to apply for admission to Berklee and he ended up in the music program at a local University. However, he did not give up, and set a goal to transfer to Berklee, a goal he has now achieved.  As a new door opens for him in Boston, it is with mixed emotions that I close the door to his room here at home.  I will sorely miss the sound of his guitar, which has been a welcome household soundtrack for many years, but I can only be happy and proud to know he is pursuing his dream.

Before he left, I made this video of him “jamming” in his room.  Of course, I am partial, but I hope you enjoy it, and more importantly, I hope you too are helping your kids open the doors to their passions and dreams, whatever they may be.

Jeff Sass is the proud dad of ZEO (Zach, 21, Ethan, 19 and Olivia, 18).  He is also a seasoned entertainment and technology exec and active social media enthusiast.  You can see more of Jeff’s writing at Sassholes! and Social Networking Rehab.

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Cast of Dads Podcast Episode 3: Mustaches, Massages & Man Purses!

The “Cast of Dads” is back for our last recording before the Christmas Holiday, and it’s a doozy.  Somehow our Holiday chatter leads us from the manly to the metro-sexual.   In this episode we discuss:

  • Snow Days
  • Holiday Gifts We Want
  • Mustaches
  • Massages and Massage Envy
  • Guys like the spa too
  • Pedicures? Really?
  • Daddy Spa
  • Chores
  • Modern Family & Men of a Certain Age
  • Holiday Traditions

You can listen to Episode 3 here, or to get the latest episodes immediately you should subscribe to our feed which you can now also do from iTunes (and of course feel free to leave a review).  You can also follow us on Twitter.  We hope you are enjoying the Cast of Dads podcast, and send you and your families our very best wishes for a happy and healthy holiday, and a prosperous New Year!

Cast of Dads is a group of podcasting and blogging dads who gather to gab about fatherhood.  The cast of dads includes C.C. Chapman, Jeffrey Sass, Max Kalehoff, Michael Sheehan, and Brad Powell, who collectively represent 13 kids from the youngest of babies to full grown adults. Each of them brings a unique perspective to being a father.

Jeff Sass is the proud dad of ZEO (Zach, 21, Ethan, 19 and Olivia, 18).  He is also a seasoned entertainment and technology exec and active social media enthusiast.  You can see more of Jeff’s writing at Sassholes! and Social Networking Rehab.

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Bad gifts

Listerine Pocket Pak s

Are you guilty of buying your spouse or significant other a bad gift?  Over the years I have purchased my wife a salad spinner, stuffed her stocking with Listerine Breath Strips (what the heck was I thinking?) and purchased concert tickets for a show I was much more interested in than she was.

What are your bad gift stories and how did you recover?

Photo credit: erik jaeger

Benjamin Strong is the Director of Marketing for the United States Coast Guard Amver search and rescue program.  He is the father of three boys, the oldest with Down syndrome.  You can follow his professional exploits on the Amver blog or on Twitter.  His personal thoughts are here.

How A Social Media Guru Helped My Son With His Homework

Thanks to technology, our kids are growing up in an amazing time. Homework assignments that I would have had to use construction paper, crayons and Elmer’s Glue to complete are now being accomplished with laptops and PowerPoint.  Stacks of papers and notebooks have been replaced by files on key chain sized USB drives.  Those are just some of the obvious uses of technology in the classroom.  With all the cool “web 2.0″ and “Social Media” tools available kids are coming up with new and creative ways to fulfill their homework assignments and recently I was happy to make a suggestion that that helped my son get an “A.”

The Animated Ghost of Christmas Present

My son was frustrated with an assignment to act out “Stave 3” of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.”  Most of his class was going to create a skit of the scene between Ebenezer Scrooge and the second of the three spirits he would encounter, however my son was having a hard time getting together with his classmates to write and rehearse a skit.

I suggested, “Why don’t you make a cartoon?”  He looked at me like I was crazy.  “Seriously,” I said.  “I saw this really cool animation called ‘The Social Media Guru’ that was made using a website where you type the script, direct the characters, and it spits out a YouTube video!”   He was intrigued.  I pointed him to www.xtranormal.com and he was off to the races.

While the hysterical Social Media Guru video is NOT SAFE FOR WORK OR KIDS, my son’s assignment for his class is, and it is embedded below.

How have your kids used new technology tools for their class assignments?  Please let us know in the comments.

Jeff Sass is the proud dad of ZEO (Zach, 21, Ethan, 19 and Olivia, 18).  He is also a seasoned entertainment and technology exec and active social media enthusiast.  You can see more of Jeff’s writing at Sassholes! and Social Networking Rehab.

Photo Credit: Jane – Fotolia.com

 

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Life Lessons from City Slickers

The movie City Slickers (1991) was a successful comedy starring Billy Crystal but what I loved most about the movie is its many tender moments like the clips I’m sharing here. There are some great life lessons here such as the one thing lesson from Jack Palance or the Best/Worst day stories from Billy and his pals while riding and his amazing Career Day speech at school about growing up and growing old.

Enjoy!

Jack Palance teaches Billy about “The One Thing” (There’s nothing like bringing in the herd)

Here’s the Best/Worst Day ever stories (wonderful stuff from Bruno Kirby at the end, R.I.P)

Billy’s Career Day Speech

Nesting Danger Signs

My job requires a lot of travel. It’s a fact of life; in a way the balance of our marriage teeters on it. I have overheard my wife assert on many occasions that I am required to spend at least one night a week on the road so she can get the house fully clean. So, when our pediatrician recommended that I not leave town during my wife’s third trimester I completely misunderstood his serious tone for medical conservatism. It was one of those man-to-man warnings, but I was too naive to listen.

My wife Elaine is a beautiful, intelligent, competent woman who runs an efficient household if I don’t help too much. She is level headed and financially prudent, almost to a fault. For example, she issues me a single check that I fold carefully in my wallet. In an emergency I am authorized to use it, provided I report the location of the expenditure, its amount, and the purpose within 24 hours.  If I meet these requirements I am eligible for a replacement check. Each day I am on the road I offer my humble thanks to the genius who invented the ATM machine. I like to think he was a married man as well.

In honesty, I must point out that her fiscal conservatism is not entirely unwarranted. I am an excursion leader for the largest ecotourism operator in the United States. You have probably heard our motto: “We make eco-guilt fun!” The last time I was forced to use a check was off the coast of Africa. Using my satellite phone, I gave my wife my location on the island of Sao Tome that the purpose of the expenditure was to acquire ‘fully deceased, non-arachnid meals’ for a culinary- minded tour group, and the exact amount. This is documented clearly in the check’s memo field.

Unfortunately, I was never strong in math and made a minor mistake on the Dollar-to- Dobra exchange rate. I mean any currency that trades at 15,443.18 to the dollar is mathematically challenging for a former History of Consciousness major. Hey, I was only off by a decimal place! I thought the bank unreasonably inflexible when they bounced our mortgage, car and credit card payments.

Since then Elaine programs my solar calculator with the correct exchange rate prior to each trip. I am hopeful that I will qualify for another blank check by Christmas this year. Santa needs to keep at least one secret.

Pregnancy announced the first break in my wife’s unerring practicality.  I was leading a rather timid group of New Englanders across the Kushk River into Turkmenistan when she called.

“Guess what! The Laura Ashley Hey Diddle Border for the boy’s room is on sale!” She gushed.

“That’s great honey,” I responded as I navigated a rope bridge with my free hand.

“The only problem is we need to buy the comforter, which is full price, but don’t worry I’m saving nearly that much on installation,”

“Oh?” I said, my attention focused on a portly man whose weight and poor equilibrium threatened to snap the rope if he slipped.

“My mother is flying home to help me put it up,” she gushed. Ok,” I responded, a little unnerved by the fact that I was being consulted on something so clearly in Elaine’s domain. Since when was I promoted to the interior design committee? This should have been my first clue that she had entered the charmingly altered state of “nesting”.

Her mother flew in the following day; first grandchildren receive dominion within the extended family that their post scripted siblings will only imagine. After moving the unassembled and still packaged equipment from the room, the two women stopped to survey their historic task.

“It seems a shame to mount that beautiful border on this dingy wall,” the Nana-elect observed.  Why don’t I paint it a nice mystical blue?”

“We should!” Elaine responded.

“Not we dear,” Nana replied, patting Elaine’s belly affectionately. “No paint fumes for this boy. Why don’t you go buy some nice masculine baby clothes,” she suggested.

”Well I can at least help you tape the windows,” Elaine insisted. They spent that entire day protecting each strip of quarter-round, electrical outlet, light switch, plus the spotted aluminum frames of our 1950’s style rollout windows. They ate a hearty dinner before focusing on the room’s central light fixture, a squat unacceptable globe that hung to the ceiling like old bubble gum and concentrated light on the dust bunnies that lived in the corners of the room. Both women frowned.

“I’ve always imagined the baby’s room filled with light, so I could keep it completely clean and sanitary,” Elaine agonized.

“Then let’s get shopping,” Nana barked, and before you knew it, certainly before I knew it, they were stalking the aisles of Rooms-to-Finance. Those of you who think of power tools and lawnmowers as the instruments of home improvement will be horrified to see the military quality technology that is paraded before your starry eyed wives in the name of sanitary child rearing.

Ultimately they selected a ceiling fan light combination that could deliver wattage that included a hypnotic blue glow guaranteed to drive the coliciest baby into REM sleep, a daytime setting that produced all the endorphins of summer sunlight in gently swaying wheat and an emergency setting that would expose diaper rash better than a border patrol spotlight. The fan’s Breeze Mode was guaranteed to simulate a gentle outdoor wind while the turbo mode used an algorithm patented by NASA and JPL to simulate tornadoes that was guaranteed to suck diaper odors into the upper atmosphere. The price clearly reflected the potential of NASA’s commercialization efforts. An OSHA compliant air filter, an air iodizer and an Ultraviolet light filter certified to destroy anthrax spores completed the assembly.

The next day Nana painted enthusiastically while Elaine took bids on the installation of the light and the upgrade of our electrical system to handle the new peak load requirement. This completed, Elaine could not resist inspecting the progress in the nursery. The ceiling and one wall had already taken on mystic blue proportions.

“Mom, it’s beautiful,” Elaine cried tearing up.

“Honey, you shouldn’t be in here, look how the solvents are irritating your eyes,” her mother said as she hustled her out of the room. “I tried to ventilate the room but only one of the hand cranks seems to work and that window only opens part way.”

“I have always hated those windows,” Elaine replied, narrowing her eyes in fury. “Dan promised me he would replace them when we had the money but he never did. I don’t know how I can possibly keep the nursery sanitary without any fresh air.”

Which is how I arrived home to a crew of 3 jackhammers removing 4.5 inches of brick from the front and west facades of our home to accommodate our new Pella windows. When I asked why we weren’t just replacing the bedroom windows I was informed exactly how ridiculous that would look. I really had no idea how badly it would embarrass our neighbors and affect their property values if the front of our house was marred by mismatched windows. Fortunately the power was only out for 2 more days. I really do crave a warm shower after bathing in leech infested rivers for 2 weeks.

And just in case you remember how this started, I was the one who finally installed the Hey-Diddle-Diddle border after Nana’s flight. Elaine seemed pleased that I sang as I worked, and she was too distracted to listen to the words: “Nesting isn’t painless, it brings on many changes” to the tune of the MASH theme song.


This One is for the Dads … Two stories

headerI was going to post a story here to share with your kids, but I posted the only kid’s story II have had published that is scary last year…in case you missed that you can find Cat Candles Here:  CAT CANDLES

If you are in the mood to have someone tell you a story… I just posted a podcast of a story on my own website.  That story involves fatherhood – and some deep issues.  It goes too far, as many horror stories do, but without any real graphic content…and I think it’s pretty powerful.  I also think dads, in particular, will appreciate it…

That story is ETCHED DEEP – let me know what you think.

And finally…for here, another short story … a scary story about a boy whose mother made the wrong choice in a husband – more lessons for fathers here, I think – and again, not very graphic, but I’d say older kids only…maybe fourteen or so?  Like I said in the title…this is for the dads.  Happy Halloween.

To Dream of Dragons

by David Niall Wilson (First published in 365 Scary Stories)

The moonlight cut through the blinds in Nick’s room, striping the walls eerily. He had the covers pulled up as far as they would come and wrapped tightly around his feet.  Above him on the wall, three clowns kept watch over the room.  Two were smiling, but the third – the frowning clown, was the one Nick never forgot.  It watched him.  His skin felt clammy and he needed to pee, but he stayed put.
There was a soft scratching noise, and the lid of his toy box raised ever-so-slightly. Nick gripped the blankets so tightly that his fingers hurt. He watched in terrified silence.
He hated the dragon. Stan “The Man” had given it to him, “Big Stan,” his Mom’s boyfriend, back when he’d been Nicky Nicastro — right after his dad had died.  Nick hated it when anyone but his dad called him Nicky, so of course Stan latched onto it, and his mother lent her support.

Then it got worse.  Stan sauntered into the house one evening, planted  himself as if he belonged, and sat grinning down at Nicky with one hand held behind his back.
“Know what I got for you, Nicky boy?” Stan asked.
Knowing it was expected, Nick had answered, “No, sir,” with a shake of his head.
Stan swung his arm around quickly, proudly displaying a stuffed green dragon with the golden letters SVU emblazoned across its chest. San Valencez University.
“Hadn’t been for my bum knee, Nicky’ boy,” Stan rattled on, “I’d be playin’ in the pro’s now. I used to be a hell of a lineman for the Dragons. I thought you might want to have this, you know? Since I’m stayin’ here now.”
Nicky’s mother had been making shushing, negating signs with her hands, but it was too late. The secret was out, the thing Nicky had dreaded most.  “Stan the Man” wasn’t leaving.  Ever.  Stan turned his grin on Nick’s mother and winked.

“Why don’ t you go out for a bit and leave us “guys” here to talk?” he said.

“Stan…” his mother’s voice trailed off, and she tried again.  “Stan, I don’t know…”

Stan’s grin faded, and the glare that replaced it sent Nick’s mom backing toward the door.

Tears had threatened to flow at that moment, branding him a wuss, so Nick took the dragon to his room and buried his face in it, wishing himself far, far away.  While his eyes were covered, and all that existed was sound, the fight began, and his nightmare was complete.

He remembered screaming voices, his mother, Stan, his mother again.  There were tears, more screaming, and then, very loud and final, the slamming of the door. He remembered the sound of footsteps beneath his window, running toward the road, the sound of a car’s horn blaring, the sound of a scream… the silence.

After that, he remembered Stan’s words, emotionless and void of truth.
“It was an accident, boy. Don’t forget that.”
Nick hadn’t forgotten, and yet, despite keeping the secret, the dragon didn’t trust him. It crawled out of the box every night as he watched, trying to coax him into a cry, or a scream. If he gave in, Stan would appear in the doorway, his hair wild and his eyes mean.
The dragon’s claws scrabbled over the edge of the box; its long, serpentine nose followed.  With a sickening thump, it slid over the edge and dropped to the floor. Heart slamming, Nick pulled his knees to his chest and fought the scream that begged for release. The wet, slithering sound of the creature’s progress across his floor drove him beneath the covers, where he bit down as hard as he could on his lip to distract himself. If Stan appeared. the dragon disappeared. That was how it worked.
He held his breath, and, after a few moments, he noticed that the sounds were growing softer.  Screwing up his courage, he risked another peek. Maybe it was going back in the box. Maybe it was running out of whatever supernatural power fueled it and it was just a stuffed animal again, resting in a heap on the floor.

No such luck.  Nick was just in time to see a scaled tail disappear around the corner of the door to his room and into the hall beyond. As quietly as he could, he slid from his bed and followed. He was scared, but he’d never managed to keep silent so long, and he had to know what the thing was going to do.
He reached his door and peered around the corner, but it was nowhere to be seen. He heard Stan’s heavy, steady breathing, and took a deep breath of his own, then slipped into the hall and across to the big man’s door.
He saw the tail of the dragon draped across the footboard of the bed, and with his heart in his throat, he crawled a few feet closer. It was poised above Stan like a snake,  claws extended and eyes glowing.
‘Stan,” it hissed. “Stan, I’m here… I’m back.”
The voice was strange, but familiar, and Nick cowered back against the wall. He wanted to run and call the police, to dive beneath the covers of his bed and stay there until the world came back to normal, but it was too late. The dragon spoke with a warped, sibilant version of his mother’s voice, and as Nick watched in fascination, it fell silent and struck. Nick ran, then, but the image was stuck in his mind, strobing alternately with a different image, a pair of scissors, his mother’s scissors, protruding from the pasty white flesh of Stan’s neck.., his own fingers closed on the scissors.
When he reached his bed, the toy box was closed. He fell asleep almost immediately — dreaming of dragons.

Where The Wild Things Are (Or Aren’t)

Where The Wild Things Are (1963).
Image via Wikipedia

The adventures of Max and his wild, woolly friends has always been a favorite of mine. The unique visual style of Maurice Sendak‘s images mesmerized me as a child, and again as I frequently read WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE to my own kids, living vicariously through them my own fond memories of Max’s inspired fantasies. As an adult, I have also been a fan of filmmaker Spike Jonze and his brilliant executions of Charlie Kaufman‘s quirky BEING JOHN MALKOVICH and ADAPTATION. Thus, the matching of Jonze and Sendak seemed a perfect storm of powerful creative forces and I eagerly awaited the film’s release last week. And stormy it was.

Let The Wild Rumpus Start!

I did not see the movie with my kids so I don’t have their young adult point of view. I found the film visually striking and emotionally engaging. The seemingly muted color palate made the oddly sized and shaped creatures all the more real, and their expressions and personalities were believable, as was their engagement with their newly anointed King, Max. What surprised me about the Jonze version of WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE was the intense anger and frustration pent up and bursting forth from almost all the characters, from Max, to his Mom, to the creature Carol and his quirky cohorts. It was at times unsettling, but that may have been the point.

Divorcing The Film From The Book

Whereas my recollection of the book WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE is of a young boy’s wild imagination bringing on a world of fantasy and adventure, the film struck me with perhaps a deeper meaning. To me, it seemed a major character in the film was one who never appeared – Max’s father. It felt that Max, his Mom, and even his briefly appearing sister are all reacting to and, in their own awkward ways, responding to a change in their lives perhaps brought on by divorce. As a child, by definition Max has limited control over his own life, and he sees the others who are supposedly in control slipping further and further away. His dad, who is not there. His sister, who is off with her friends.  His mom, who is entertaining a new man in her life. Like the furry and often furious Carol, Max can’t help but feel the people he cares about, who should be caring about him, have all gone away and left him to his own destructive devices.

The Boy Who Would Be King

Max seems ever desperate to be master of his own domain. Whether it is his cleverly crafted igloo, a bedside fortress built of blankets, or as King of  “where the wild things are,” Max thrives on being in control of the chaos, and for King Max, in all his worlds, chaos reigns supreme. Of course it is that same chaos that breaks down Max’s kingdom(s).  When he finally faces Carol’s world (which is also Max’s world) falling apart – literally and figuratively – only then is he able to recognize that connection and not chaos is the only way he can regain control and and a sense of normalcy in his real life. We are left hopeful that Max’s visit to “Where The Wild Things Are” has tamed the wild beast in him.

Let The Wild Conversation Start!

Have you seen the film? You can see the Trailer for the film here.  Please share your own thoughts in the comments. Do you agree with how I saw it? Is this a film for your kids? What did they think? It would be great to share some different points of view, from different age perspectives. Let the Wild discussion start!

Jeff Sass is the proud dad of ZEO (Zach, 21, Ethan, 19 and Olivia, 18).  He is also a seasoned entertainment and technology exec and active social media enthusiast.  You can see more of Jeff’s writing at Sassholes! and Social Networking Rehab.

DISCLOSURE: I paid to see the movie.  I did not buy any popcorn.  The links in this post to Books and DVD’s are Amazon Affiliate Links.  I have yet to earn enough to pay for a cup of coffee from such links, but I like coffee so I will keep trying.

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A Bravia New World: Turning “Movie Night” Into “Review Me” Night!

Daddy’s Music Helpers

(cc) Douglas CooteyIt’s that time of year again. It’s time to sort the CDs.

Oh, I’m sure you’re thinking “Why don’t you just keep them in order as you use them?” and normally I would agree with you. After all, that’s how I use them.

But I live with children. Four of them to be exact. And I foolishly managed to teach them to appreciate and even love my music, so from the first one all the way to the last they help themselves to my CDs.

It started with my oldest who liked to help reorganize them. Obviously, I knew 17 years ago that my tidy little world was going to become a whole heckuvva lot more cluttered when we started having children. However, I never realized that this clutter would come in such cute packages. How can you get upset at a five year old who proudly alphabetizes your genre sorted collection A-Z? Or were they color coded? Time has erased that painful memory.

I originally fought it. I’d re-sort things back to how I liked them, then find them re-sorted again. I tried scolding. I tried threatening. I even tried GRAND EDICTS OF POWER. All to no avail. She loved my CDs too much, and her sisters were just like her. I took to reorganizing only once or twice a year just to avoid the high blood pressure, especially when their reorganizing system seemed to involve physically relocating my CDs into head puzzling places.

Take today, for example. As I brought order back to cacophony, I discovered my missing Perfume CD. Gone for eight or more months, I had despaired of ever finding it. Nothing to worry about. It was only a limited edition import from Japan. Of course it belonged in the Lord of the Rings soundtrack case tucked behind my CD cabinet. What more natural a place could there be? And sticking the Lord of the Rings soundtrack CD in the Henri Mancini case was pure brilliance. They share so much in common. I had ripped those tracks eons ago and might never have looked there if I hadn’t discovered the Henri Mancini CD behind the cabinet, as well.

These days my older girls raid my MP3 collection and one day I imagine I won’t have to worry about reorganizing so much. By the time the CDs stay where I want them it will be time to pack them away with the LPs. The upside to all of this is that I’ve spent the past decade sharing my bands with some enthusiastic fellow listeners. If the price to pay for sharing my love for music is a messy CD cabinet, then I’ll gladly open my wallet.

My mother might point out that I used to love her music collection, too. Did you know that LP grooves are great for matchbox cars? If you apply enough pressure you can force the cars to stay in the grooves, except for when they wipe out and collide with oncoming traffic. Oh, those poor LPs.

Maybe I’ve grown up along with my girls. Whereas in the past I would find reorganizing my CDs frustrating, today I found myself chuckling. My girls are even discovering new bands all by themselves now and I find myself raiding their collections for a change.

Next week I sort the DVDs, however. I may need some help remembering how fondly I regard my children. You won’t believe where I found the Selena DVD…

Douglas Cootey is a married, full time dad raising four girls in the Salt Lake Valley of Utah who has long ago overcome his aversion to the color Pink. Douglas blogs about overcoming AD/HD & Depression with humor & pluck over at the award winning A Splintered Mind. He also co-produces a podcast with his 17 year old daughter. The random thoughts of his addled mind can be found at DouglasCootey and SplinteredMind over on Twitter.

A Kiddie Roundup with Buck Howdy

media_BBBlogo300 (2)My family enjoys many children’s performers such as the Wiggles, Dan Zanes, and Raffi. Recently we were introduced to Buck Howdy.  My wife was working so I decided to load the boys up and take them to our local zoo for the day.  The zoo’s barnyard area is contained and I can let all three run around without the fear of them getting lost.  We were pleased to see the zoo was holding “Barnyard Days” and had all sorts of farm related activities.  The best, however, was a performance by the Grammy nominated Buck Howdy.

Who is Buck Howdy?  According to his website Buck is  “the nexus of Roy Rogers, Will Rogers and Mr. Rogers, with a little Shrek thrown in for fun.”  His folksy style and rock-a-billy/western swing music is perfect for almost any child.  My three boys, ranging in age from 16 months to 6 years, were all  dancing, smiling, and clapping.  Buck Howdy kept the crowd entertained.  You can see more of Buck and BB on Noggin.  I appreciate fun wholesome music for my children and Mr. Howdy delivered.

Benjamin Strong is the Director of Marketing for the United States Coast Guard Amver search and rescue program.  He is the father of three boys, the oldest with Down syndrome.  You can follow his professional exploits on the Amver blog or on Twitter or connect with him on Facebook.

I am a rock star!

This Old Guitar

My wife and I work somewhat separate schedules.  I work a typical 9-5 schedule while she works part time at a hospital.  That means I spend some time watching our three boys by myself.  When the kids get all spun up and I start to get frustrated we need to find something to calm us all down.  How do I manage to keep three restless children (all under six) from driving me nuts?  I play the guitar.

I am horrible at playing the guitar.  I only know three or four chords.  I have an eclectic repertoire that doesn’t suite itself for children.  But when the going gets tough out comes my axe and we all sing The Wreck of the Edmond Fitzgerald, I’ve Got Friends In Low Places, or Crying.  The boys absolutely love it!

Research has shown music has a positive effect on children.  Why deny them something so much fun and entertaining?

Even better than calming my herd is the look on their faces as I strum and sing and they dance and smile. Am I ready for American Idol? Hardly. Do I deserve Daddy of the Year? Unlikely.  Am I happy I can calm the savage beasts and give them an appreciation of music? You bet!

What tactics do you use to help quiet or calm your children?

Photo credit: Originally uploaded to Flickr by _RobertC_

Benjamin Strong is the Director of Marketing for the United States Coast Guard Amver search and rescue program.  He is the father of three boys, the oldest with Down syndrome.  You can follow his professional exploits on the Amver blog or on Twitter.

The Living Years

minimeAll of us dads at Dad-O-matic (over 80 strong and growing!) want to wish everyone a Happy Father’s Day! Obviously, this is an important day for us because we strive to be the ultimate voice for dads and their families.

This day always makes me think of my dad who passed away rather young while I was in my 20s. We weren’t on great speaking terms because he abandoned my mom and four sons when I was a toddler and I’d never made peace with that fact. I never got to speak to him as I planned man to man to find closure because he passed away very quickly. Years later I visited his resting place and finally found closure in a profound way but still, it would have been so much better if I could have done so in his living years.

The song “The Living Years” by Mike + the Mechanics is one of my favorites. It still stirs up so many emotions and reminds me of a valuable lesson I learned the hard way as a young man. Life is so precious and so brief, we need to tell those we love how we feel and show them with actions while we still can. We truly never know how long any of us has in this beautiful life. I highly suggest you to find forgiveness in your heart while you can and conversely apologize for anything you’ve done or else live with regret.

I remember this not just on Father’s Day but do my best to do so each and every day. I’ve been blessed with three beautiful children (Nicholas 10, Matthew 6 and Rachel 3).
I continue to be the dad I never had.

Mike & The Mechanics – The Living Years

Every generation
Blames the one before
And all of their frustrations
Come beating on your door
I know that I’m a prisoner
To all my father held so dear
I know that I’m a hostage
To all his hopes and fears
I just wish I could have told him in the living years
Crumpled bits of paper
Filled with imperfect thought
Stilted conversations
Im afraid that’s all we’ve got
You say you just don’t see it
He says its perfect sense
You just cant get agreement
In this present tense
We all talk a different language
Talking in defense
Say it loud, say it clear
You can listen as well as you hear
Its too late when we die
To admit we don’t see eye to eye
So we open up a quarrel
Between the present and the past
We only sacrifice the future
Its the bitterness that lasts
So don’t yield to the fortunes
You sometimes see as fate
It may have a new perspective
On a different day
And if you don’t give up, and don’t give in
You may just be o.k.
Say it loud, say it clear
You can listen as well as you hear
Its too late when we die
To admit we don’t see eye to eye
I wasn’t there that morning
When my father passed away
I did’nt get to tell him
All the things I had to say
I think I caught his spirit
Later that same year
Im sure I heard his echo
In my baby’s new born tears
I just wish I could have told him in the living years
Say it loud, say it clear
You can listen as well as you hear
Its too late when we die
To admit we dont see eye to eye

Sorry My Kid Disappoints You On This Flight

Speaking for those who have children and have to deal with this, you’re not alone…

The Commercial Airline Industry is a Public Industry

screaming-babyHey arrogant business folk who tweet, moan and complain about kids and babies on planes; please realize you’re riding public transportation-an air compressed tube in the sky with 100/200 other people-one should ALWAYS expect children on flights to act up, how would you feel being trapped in a tube for 2 or 4 hours not understanding the concept of flying? One should also understand that we, as parents, would LOVE to not have to deal with a screaming child either but that’s life, we don’t do it JUST to annoy you, and no we can’t “shut the kid up.” By the way, when you say things like that do you realize you put yourself in harm’s way? How wise is it of you to say something like that to a person who will do ANYTHING to protect their child from harm. What do you think; once people have kids they aren’t allowed to travel anymore?

Consumer Entitlement

Just because you paid “good money” to fly doesn’t mean you’re owed silence or special individual treatment, so get over yourself. Hey, if you want “child free” transportation hire a private jet or start a childless airline!

The Apology (Breaking Brogan’s Law)

Sorry for my long absence from Dad-O-Matic but this is a sore point for me, since I’ve been seeing nothing but airline rage against children & babies. To be honest this has been a peeve even before I had a child…complaining about a child’s behavior on a plane is futile. The most helpful thing you can do if you’re one of these elitist snobs is to keep your mouth shut so we CAN regain control of our situation so your travel can be pleasant…

This is today’s Trials of Being Dad!

Thanks to my sister-in-law (I borrowed a bit of our conversation to write this) and the wife, my content editor.

Michael J. Carrasquillo is a NYC musician, filmmaker, speaker, organizer of NYC Media Makers & new father. He blogs at Issue De ‘Quillo and produces a podcast called “The Trials of Being Mike” and an upcoming podcast called “moments”. You can follow him on Twitter @mjcarrasquillo.

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Great Guesses and Remarkable Memory

My son’s eyebrows met in the middle as his upper lip disappeared beneath the lower.  “The library?” he asked.  His tiny nose scrunched the way it always does when he knows the answer is no.

I shook my head. My boy is now on his 264th guess, give or take. “Nope,” I said, “try again.”

“Ummmmm…” he elasticized the sound until it was almost at a chant. “Are we going to Disneyland?”

I could say that the guesses were growing outlandish, but a few predictions back he went with Las Vegas and there were definitely no plans of crossing any borders.

“Is it the park where there is the statue of the tall, tall man?”

I said “No,” but that particular prediction saw me scooping up my son, spinning him around, and tossing him on the bed for a torrent of tickles.  “Guess again.”

The tall, tall man is none other than the 16th president of the United States, Mr. Abraham Lincoln. Honest Abe happens to have a statue sitting at the entrance to a park we haven’t even breathed near for the last two years.

“The garbage dump?”

“He wishes,” I thought while shaking my head.

“The beach?”

“Not quite, buddy.”

By this time, my boy has been guessing for almost an hour and I’m honestly shocked he hasn’t yet nailed it. The answer is the movies to which he has already been handful of times. That’s more than I can say for Texas, the Island of Sodor, or “Dinosaur Missouri,” all which add to the sum total of never.

“Saturn?” his voice hit a pitch that let me know that he knew the precise giddiness of his guess.

“You finally got it!” I said.

“No,” My soon shook his head and fell into a fit of giggles. “We can not go to outer space.”

Surprisingly, he never did get it, but that’s not what this story’s about. He was undaunted no doubt, but the reason I’m relating this tale is because I was stricken by the wide reach of my little man’s recall.

If my boy can so fluidly draw memory of the park with the tall, tall man, even though we haven’t stepped foot in the shade of that American giant in half a preschooler’s lifetime, then there are a hundred million other moments inside the deepest trenches of his mind, waiting for resurrection.

I can’t control every machination of my children’s lives, nor would I ever want to.  They will choose what to make and who to make it with.  They are with me now though, and most of their minutes fall within my orbit.  I must make sure I manage all that rolls before me.

Sean Platt is a dad and a ghostwriter for hire who also tweets.

Why Must Kid Films Demonize Divorce?

"Warning: Objects in TV May Be Less Realistic Than They Appear"

"Warning: Objects in TV May Be Less Realistic Than They Appear"

When my kids stay with me as part of their weekly custody arrangement, we usually spend Saturday mornings eating my wife’s homemade pancakes and watching a movie I taped from either the High School Musical channel or the Sponge Bob channel. My nine-year-old son handles DVR remote control duties with the fluid dexterity of Liberace on the piano.At some point during recent showings of The Shaggy Dog and The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl, I picked up on two common themes:

1) The willingness of Sex and the City‘s Kristin Davis to play a suburban housewife under any circumstances, and

2) The leveraging a child’s worst nightmare – divorce — for gratuitous dramatic effect.

Kristin Davis: Two-Timing Mom?

Kristin Davis: Two-Timing Mom?

In both kid films, the parents’ marriage is in some state of jeopardy; in one, the kids perceive a role in saving it. In each case, the parents avert tragedy and ultimately fall lovingly into each other’s arms. (Though Davis should consider parting with her agent).

Said a friend of mine recently, “I remember as a kid of divorce, being deeply offended by “The Parent Trap” for its premise that a marriage could be fixed just by sticking the parents in a room together!

Even in the far superior The Incredibles, Violet warns her brother Dashiell: “Mom and Dad’s life could be in danger. Or worse, their marriage!”

What’s the takeaway for spongy young minds other than defining divorce as a fate worse then death?

I’m all for positive nuclear family images in kid films, even the “hit-you-over-the head-with-a-mallet” kind (see: Spy Kids). What makes me uncomfortable is when divorce is superfluously depicted to kids as the end of the world. The obvious inference to real-life children of divorce (of which there are roughly one million a year):

Your family is broken. Happy ending for us; stinks to be you.

Saving the world from evil...and divorce?

Saving the world from evil...and divorce?

In reality, while divorce is an unfortunate outcome, these children are not necessarily wounded for life. A comprehensive 2002 studyof more than 1,400 families and 2,500 children by a professor emeritus in the department of psychology at the University of Virginia found the negative impact of divorce on both children and parents has been “exaggerated”: Roughly 20-25% of youngsters experience long-term damage after their parents break up, but the large majority end up coping comfortably.

The difference between coping with upheaval and being deeply scarred by it seems to hinge more on good parenting — as well as what was going on before the divorce — than on family definition. Divorce is clearly not the psychological terminal sentence for kids it’s sometimes made out to be.

Knowing this, Hollywood writers looking to put their kid protagonists in jeopardy should stick to the safe slate of villains and demons, and avoid the all too easy road of demonizing divorce. 

 
Joel Schwartzberg is an award-winning essayist from New Jersey whose first book “The 40-Year-Old Version: Humoirs of a Divorced Dad” is now available.

Monsters vs Aliens vs My 3-Year Old Son

I’m a big film geek, I have been for many years. It probably all began when my mum took me to go see House of Wax in 3D, starring Vincent Price. No, I’m not “that” old, it was a re-release. :-)

I decided last weekend to take my son to go see a movie, Monsters vs Aliens. I was concerned at first, because I didn’t want to scare him or bore him. This was going to be his fourth in-theater film, so I wanted to be sure he’d have a good time.

After a great response from my friends on Twitter, I decided to give it a go. My son and I had a guy’s night out, while my daughter and wife did a girl’s night. It was a fun way to connect one on one. We went out for dinner and road some rides at the mall, then came the main event.

I am very happy to report that the movie was great. He sat mesmerized through the whole picture. He was talking and talking about the film afterward, which was a good indication that he loved it. I highly recommend it for a 3-year old, it’s even got some tongue-in-cheek jokes for us grown ups.

In case you’re wondering, his other movies were Bolt, which he loved too; WALL-E, which he was board to tears with (hey, it was rated Family!), and The 40 Year Old Virgin. Ya, that’s right. We took him when he was a baby to a Movies For Mommies screening of the hilarious film. We hope he was too young for it to leave a lasting effect on him. :-)

Have you seen any new good movies with your wee ones lately?

Photo by: JanneM

New Ziggy Marley CD Give-Away

familytime_ipod_prizing
Ziggy Marley
‘s new “FAMILY TIME” CD hits stores on May 5th! In honor of his first album featuring songs for children and the family, we are announcing an exciting little contest with several prizes. All you have to do is:
1. Subscribe to Dad-O-Matic
2. Share this post on Twitter
3. Leave your contact info in a comment.

The Grand Prize winner receives:

  • Copy of ‘Family Time’ CD
  • 1GB iPod Shuffle

Three (3) runner-up winners receive a copy of the CD
  • ‘Family Time’

The Contest Ends on May 25, 2009 at midnight.
Note: The winners will be randomly selected.

Here’s a taste of the new Family Time CD


ABOUT ZIGGY MARLEY
A native of Kingston, Jamaica, Ziggy Marley first sat in on recording sessions with his father, Bob Marley, when he was ten years old. Joining with his three siblings to become The Melody Makers, Ziggy crafted his own soulful sound blending blues, R&B, hip-hop and reggae, winning three Grammy Awards.
He has contributed to a variety of soundtracks including 50 First Dates and Shark’s Tale, in which he delved into acting for the first time, playing the character of Bernie, the Jamaican jellyfish.
In addition to his skills as a singer, songwriter and producer, Ziggy founded U.R.G.E. (Unlimited Resources Giving Enlightenment), a non-profit organization that benefits a wide range of charitable children’s causes in Jamaica, Ethiopia and other developing nations. More recently he has thrown his support behind the Youth AIDS campaign.

My Daughter's Eyes

rachel
Even though I’m sure Martina McBride’s wonderful “In My Daughter’s Eyes” is really meant to be a song for moms and daughters, I think dads can totally appreciate the beautiful sentiment behind it. I know I sure do. I love this song and totally understand what it’s all about. It can just as easily be about son’s eyes as well. It’s just about how our children teach us as much as we teach them and how they make us better people by trying to be better examples for them.

Here’s a live performance of the song by Martina as well as the touching lyrics.

In My Daughter’s Eyes
In my daughter’s eyes I am a hero
I am strong and wise and I know no fear
But the truth is plain to see
She was sent to rescue me
I see who I wanna be
In my daughter’s eyes

In my daughter’s eyes everyone is equal
Darkness turns to light and the
world is at peace
This miracle God gave to me
gives me strength when I am weak
I find reason to believe
In my daughter’s eyes

And when she wraps her hand
around my finger
It puts a smile in my heart
Everything becomes a little clearer
I realize what life is all about

It’s hangin’ on when your heart
has had enough
It’s giving more when you feel like giving up
I’ve seen the light
It’s in my daughter’s eyes

In my daughter’s eyes I can see the future
A reflection of who I am and what will be
Though she’ll grow and someday leave
Maybe raise a family
When I’m gone I hope you see how happy
she made me
For I’ll be there
In my daughter’s eyes

Doriano “Paisano” Carta is the proud pappa of three children, Nicholas (10), Matthew (6) and Rachel (3). Besides being a contributing Executive Editor for Dad-o-matic, he also writes for other blogs such as Mashable, Pistachio Consulting as well as his own two blogs, ThePaisano and Seizing The Day. He has also contributed to other blogs such as SarahLacy and SocialMediaMom. Pai can be found on twitter as Paisano.

Cinderella

disney-walt-cinderella-1192713
Steven Curtis Chapman’s “Cinderella” is a strong contender for record of the year at this year’s Dove Awards on 4/23/2009 which is the Christian world’s equivalent to the Grammy Awards. It’s a poignant and extremely touching reminder for all us dads on how quickly our precious little cinderellas grow up. In the blink of an eye we’re tucking in our little angels and then we find ourselves walking them down the aisle to give them away to someone who will replace you as the man in their life.

The song has taken on much more meaning because of the tragic event that took place not long after its release when Steven’s 16 year-old son accidentally ran over his 5 year-old sister on their driveway. Sadly, she died from her injuries and the family went into shock. Everyone that heard the news was saddened by the tragedy. She was adopted and extremely happy and loved. The family has had to rely on their strong faith in the aftermath.

Here’s Steven talking about how his daughters (including his precious Maria Sue) inspired him to write such a wonderful song.

Here’s the music video for the unforgettable song. All dads need to watch this and listen to it often.

CINDERELLA
She spins and she sways to whatever song plays,
Without a care in the world.
And I’m sittin’ here wearin’ the weight of the world on my shoulders.
It’s been a long day and there’s still work to do,
She’s pulling at me saying “Dad I need you!
There’s a ball at the castle and I’ve been invited and I need to practice my dancin'”
“Oh please, daddy, please!”

So I will dance with Cinderella
While she is here in my arms
‘Cause I know something the prince never knew
Oh I will dance with Cinderella
I don’t wanna miss even one song,
Cuz all too soon the clock will strike midnight
And she’ll be gone

She says he’s a nice guy and I’d be impressed
She wants to know if I approve of the dress
She says “Dad, the prom is just one week away,
And I need to practice my dancin'”
“Oh please, daddy, please!”

So I will dance with Cinderella
While she is here in my arms
‘Cause I know something the prince never knew
Ohh-oh ohh-oh, I will dance with Cinderella
I don’t wanna miss even one song,
Cuz all too soon the clock will strike midnight
And she’ll be gone
She will be gone.

Well, she came home today
With a ring on her hand
Just glowin’ and tellin’ us all they had planned
She says “Dad, the wedding’s still six months away
but I need to practice my dancin'”
“Oh please, daddy please!”

So I will dance with Cinderella
While she is here in my arms
‘Cause I know something the prince never knew
Ohh-oh ohh-oh, I will dance with Cinderella
I don’t wanna miss even one song,
(even one song)
Cuz all too soon the clock will strike midnight
And she’ll be gone

My Father’s Chair

Rick Springfield is best known for hits like “Jesse’s Girl” but one of my favorite songs that he did was his tribute to his dad called “My Father’s Chair”. It’s such a personal song about the painful impact the family experienced when Rick’s father passed away just as Rick was about to explode with massive success in 1981.

The song is another reminder for us all to appreciate our loved ones while we can. Whether you’re a son, daughter or a parent. We all need to remember how precious this time is together and never squander any moments.

It’s amazing how every day inanimate objects like a chair as in this song can become so powerfully emotional and comforting. The ending of the song is the best part of all. Truly a beautiful song that not too many people ever heard before. It’s a shame because I bet you that it’s one of Rick Springfield’s most important songs he’s ever written or performed.


 

My Father’s Chair still standing there
All alone since the long night
Now it’s three years on and I still feel
He’ll come home, we’ll be alright

So where’s this healing time brings
I was told the pain would ease
But it still hurts like the first night

That night my brother, my mother and I
Were looking up at a distant star
And wishing we could reach that far
And back in the house
And alone for the first time
We told each other we cared
We avoided My Father’s Chair

I watch my family, we hold on
We are strong and we’ll be alright
The clock continues counting down, all the while
And every child will share the long night

But do the spirits meet again
Why am I still so filled with doubt
Is my soul everlasting

And the far distant future
When I knew you’d be gone
Came too fast and stays too long
Why do they leave the weak of spirit
And take the strong

When the world turns sour
And I get sick from the smell
And I can’t find no comfort there
I climb into My Father’s Chair

Then They Do

The alternate title for this piece could have been, “Be Careful What You Wish For” because it’s all about how we shouldn’t ever look forward to a future when we’ll have time for ourselves again once the kids grow up and leave the nest. If we do that we’ll learn the harsh and painful truth that we would give up anything in order to have more time with our children again.

All too soon we’ll discover that we have too much free time that you’d rather spend with your beloved angels. Countless older parents will confirm this reality so consider this a warning whenever you catch yourself daydreaming about that day in the future when you’ll reclaim your life back from those little rugrats. The consensus is that you will always wish you spent more time with them. You’ll also wish you could’ve appreciated all of those magical moments even more than you did.

Trace Atkins says it best in his song “THEN THEY DO”. Here’s the music video that reminds us all to savor every moment while we can. We should never wish for our children to grow up and leave because as the song says, all too soon, they do.

Trace Adkins – “Then They Do” music video

In the early rush of morning,
Trying to get the kids to school:
One’s hanging on my shirt-tail,
Another’s locked up in her room.
And I’m yelling up the stairs:
“Stop worrying ’bout your hair, you look fine.”

Then they’re fightin’ in the backseat,
And I’m playing referee.
Now someone’s gotta go,
The moment that we leave.
And everybody’s late,
I swear that I can’t wait till they grow up.

Then they do, and that’s how it is.
It’s just quiet in the mornin’,
Can’t believe how much you miss,
All they do and all they did.
You want all the dreams they dreamed of to come true:
Then they do.

Now the youngest is starting college,
She’ll be leavin’ in the Fall.
And Brianna’s latest boyfriend,
Called to ask if we could talk.
And I got the impression,
That he’s about to pop the question any day.

I look over at their pictures,
Sittin’ in their frames.
I see them as babies:
I guess that’ll never change.
You pray all their lives,
That someday they will find happiness.

Then they do, and that’s how it is.
It’s just quiet in the mornin’,
Can’t believe how much you miss,
All they do and all they did.
You want all the dreams they dreamed of to come true:
Then they do.

No more Monday PTA’s,
No carpools, or soccer games.
Your work is done.
Now you’ve got time that’s all your own.
You’ve been waitin’ for so long,
For those days to come.

Then they do, and that’s how it is.
It’s just quiet in the mornin’,
Can’t believe how much you miss,
All they do and all they did.
You want all the dreams they dreamed of to come true:
Then they do.

Ah, then they do.

The Mom Song Video

Now why would Dad-o-matic cover something called the Mom Song? Well, first, because it’s a hilarious and spot-on look at the work that our better half does on a daily basis. Of course, many fathers are Mr. Moms so they can really relate to this song too.

I think it’s also applicable to the job all dads do whether we have a regular 9 to 5 job or not, so it can actually be called the parent song. Here’s the music video with all of the words which fly by in rapid fashion in sync with the William Tell overture quite brilliantly by Anita Renfroe. I get a big kick out of this every time I see and hear it. We hope you do too, whether you’re a mom or a dad.

Get up now
Get up now
Get up out of bed
Wash your face
Brush your teeth
Comb your sleepy head
Here’s your clothes
And your shoes
Hear the words I said
Get up now
Get up and make your bed
Are you hot?
Are you cold?
Are you wearing that?
Where’s your books and your lunch and your homework at?
Grab your coat and your gloves and your scarf and hat
Don’t forget you got to feed the cat
Eat your breakfast
The experts tell us it’s the most important meal of all
Take your vitamins so you will grow up one day to be big and tall
Please remember the orthodontist will be seeing you at three today?
Don’t forget your piano lesson is this afternoon

So you must play
Don’t shovel
Chew slowly
But hurry
The bus is here
Be careful
Come back here
Did you wash behind your ears?
Play outside
Don’t play rough
Would you just play fair?
Be polite
Make a friend
Don’t forget to share
Work it out
Wait your turn
Never take a dare
Get along
Don’t make me come down there
Clean your room
Fold your clothes
Put your stuff away
Make your bed
Do it now
Do we have all day?
Were you born in a barn?
Would you like some hay
Can you even hear a word I say?
Answer the phone
Get Off the phone
Don’t sit so close
Turn it down
No texting at the table
No more computer time tonight
Your iPod’s my iPod if you don’t listen up

Where you going and with whom and what time do you think you’re coming home?
Saying thank you, please, excuse me
Makes you welcome everywhere you roam
You’ll appreciate my wisdom
Someday when you’re older and you’re grown
Can’t wait ’til you have a couple little children of your own
You’ll thank me for the counsel I gave you so willingly
But right now
I thank you NOT to roll your eyes at me
Close your mouth when you chew
Would appreciate
Take a bite
Maybe two
Of the stuff you hate
Use your fork
Do not you burp
Or I’ll set you straight
Eat the food I put upon your plate
Get an egg A, Get the door
Don’t get smart with me
Get a Grip
Get in here I’ll count to 3
Get a job
Get a life
Get a PhD
Get a dose of reality
I don’t care who started it
You’re grounded until your 36
Get your story straight
And tell the truth for once for heaven’s sake
And if all your friends jumped off a cliff
Would you jump too?

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said at least a thousand times before that
You’re too old to act this way
It must be your father’s DNA
Look at me when I am talking
Stand up straight when you walk
A place for everything
And everything must be in place
Stop crying or I’ll give you something real to cry about
Oh!
Brush your teeth
Wash your face
Get your PJs on
Get in bed
Get a hug
Say a prayer with Mom
Don’t forget
I love you
**KISS**
And tomorrow we will do this all again because a mom’s work never ends
You don’t need the reason why
Because
Because
Because
Because
I said so
I said so
I said so
I said so
I’m the Mom
The mom
The mom
The mom
The mom
Ta-da

Words by Anita Renfroe Copyright 2007 Bluebonnet Hills Music/BMI

Monkey See, Monkey Do

Rodney Atkins’ “I’ve Been Watching You” is one of my favorite songs for many reasons. One of them is because my six year-old loves singing it at the top of his lungs while watching the video with me. The other reason is because it’s a wonderful song for parents because it brings home the message so well that like it or not, our kids learn more from what we show them than what we tell them. Actions truly speak louder than words when you’re a parent!

I’ve learned this lesson over and over again with all three of my children. I can say the same thing countless times but it falls on def ears but if they see me doing it, especially when I pretend I don’t know they’re there, then I inevitably see them mimicking my behavior.

Unfortunately, this applies to bad behavior as well! I’ve finally learned to NEVER utter a cuss word even if you think they’re not close enough to hear. I’ve also learned never to cut corners or do things with anything but my best effort because they notice it (well, their mom usually does first but they do too).

So, it’s a simple notion but incredibly important and a powerful teaching tool. Teach your children by setting the best example as you possibly can with your actions, not just with your mouth. Walk the walk vs talk the talk. Always remember that they’re watching you!

“Watching You”

Driving through town just my boy and me
With a happy meal in his booster seat
Knowing that he couldn’t have the toy
Till his nuggets were gone
A green traffic light turned straight to red
I hit my brakes and mumbled under my breath
His fries went a flying and his orange drink covered his lap
Well then my four year old said a four letter word
That started with “s” and I was concerned
So I said son now now where did you learn to talk like that

[Chorus one]

He said I’ve been watching you dad, ain’t that cool
I’m your buckaroo, I wanna be like you
And eat all my food and grow as tall as you are
We got cowboy boots and camo pants
Yeah we’re just alike, hey ain’t we dad
I wanna do everything you do
So I’ve been watching you

We got back home and I went to the barn
I bowed my head and I prayed real hard
Said Lord please help me help my stupid self
Then this side of bedtime later that night
Turning on my son’s Scooby Doo nightlight
He crawled out of bed and he got down on his knees
He closed his little eyes, folded his little hands
And spoke to God like he was talking to a friend
And I said son now where’d you learn to pray like that

[Chorus two]

He said I’ve been watching you dad, ain’t that cool
I’m your buckaroo, I wanna be like you
And eat all my food and grow as tall as you are
We like fixing things and holding mama’s hand
Yeah we’re just alike, hey ain’t we dad
I wanna do everything you do
So I’ve been watching you

[Bridge]

With tears in my eyes I wrapped him in a hug
Said my little bear is growing up
He said but when I’m big I’ll still know what to do

[Chorus three]

Cause I’ve been watching you dad, ain’t that cool
I’m your buckaroo, I wanna be like you
And eat all my food and grow as tall as you are
By then I’ll be as strong as superman
We’ll be just alike, hey won’t we dad
When I can do everything you do
Cause I’ve been watching you

Kung Fu Panda – a Family Movie With a Mesage

This past weekend we gathered the clan in the family room and plugged in the new comedy from Dreamworks, Kung Fu Panda.  This film features the voice talents of a star-studded cast, Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, and Jackie Chan, to name a few.  In our family, we like to find a film every now and then that all of us will enjoy; animated movies usually fill the bill, and this was no exception.

The animation is very well done, and blended with the amazing voice talent and an engaging storyline, made the film entertaining from start to finish.  The tale follows the dreams of a young panda, Po, who has grown up working in his family’s noodle shop in the Valley of Peace, secretly idolizing the Furious Five – Tigress, Crane, Mantis, Viper and Monkey — under the leadership of their Sensei, a Lemur named Master Shifu.  Po dreams of being a Kung Fu master, even as his father dreams of his one day growing up and assuming control of the noodle business.

There are no really new or innovative plot twists in this film.  It’s the story of a young man with dreams who gets the opportunity to fulfill them.  While there is a lot of buffoonery on the part of Po (Jack Black), there is also a very heart-warming message permeating the script.  There is no effort to make great changes in the protagonist, but instead an effort to help him understand and have faith in himself.  The issues of parental projection of values and dreams is addressed as is that age-old chestnut about judging a book (or a Panda) by its cover.

We thoroughly enjoyed the film, from parents down to five-year old Katie.  Finding time and experiences that the entire family can enjoy grows more difficult as the dispartity in ages increases, and the older children begin to branch out into lives of their own.  It’s important to find a way to bridge the gaps and share some smiles; moments like this are special.  Here’s to Po, the true Dragon Master.

Wide Open Spaces

“Wide Open Spaces” by the Dixie Chicks is a good companion piece to my previous post called “Toys in the Attic” which covered the pain of realizing your child has outgrown playing with their beloved toys. In this song, the parents have to come to grips with the sobering reality that their little girl is leaving the nest into the wild blue yonder known as life.

The other scary part of this seems to be the fact that you know they will make “big mistakes” which is why you have to give them plenty of room to grow as adults, hence wide open spaces. Still, you hope that your children will remember all of the valuable lessons you’ve taught them, not just verbally but via actions as well. Perhaps through osmosis?

My kids are still many years away from jumping ship but I’m already preparing for that day and making many pre-flight checklists. I’m trying to lead by example and by giving them little spaces to grow and make mistakes to learn from. Nothing major or dangerous, mind you, just little opportunities for growth for self-confidence. It’s also good practice for me in learning how to someday let go and let them fly away.

WIDE OPEN SPACES

Who doesn’t know what I’m talking about
Who’s never left home, who’s never struck out
To find a dream and a life of their own
A place in the clouds, a foundation of stone
Many precede and many will follow
A young girl’s dream no longer hollow
It takes the shape of a place out west
But what it holds for her, she hasn’t yet guessed
[Chorus:]
She needs wide open spaces
Room to make her big mistakes
She needs new faces
She knows the high stakes
She traveled this road as a child
Wide eyed and grinning, she never tired
But now she won’t be coming back with the rest
If these are life’s lessons, she’ll take this test
[Repeat Chorus]
She knows the high stakes
As her folks drive away, her dad yells, “Check the oil!”
Mom stares out the window and says, “I’m leaving my girl”
She said, “It didn’t seem like that long ago”
When she stood there and let her own folks know
[Repeat Chorus]
She knows the highest stakes
She knows the highest stakes
She knows the highest stakes
She knows the highest stakes

Holiday Road Trip? Kid's Music Choices That Don't Suck

Like many of you, our Christmas break is going to include some road tripping to visit family.  In my case we are driving from Indiana to New Jersey and there is no way I can deal with 14 hours of If You’re Happy and You Know It or London Bridge. While my oldest son will spend quite a bit of time watching DVDs, there are times when he just wants to listen to some music and probably wont go for Kings of Leon.

Luckily, I have discovered that there is quite a collection of kid’s music that doesn’t make you want to pull the car over to the side of the road and run into the woods.  Before you pack the minivan, check out some of these artists to take along for the ride.

Imagination Movers – yes they have a goofy show on the Disney Channel, but before these guys were recruited by Mickey they were releasing their own CDs of great kids music that has strong influences from adult artists.  For example, tell me that Seven Days a Week doesn’t sound like Big Country or the Proclaimers, or that What’s in the Fridge wasn’t influenced by 70’s funk.

They Might Be Giants – look, it’s They Might Be Giants so that gives them some street cred right off the bat, but their 2 kid’s albums Here Come the 123’s and No! are really good. Take a listen to High Five or the infectious Clap Your Hands which always gets my 3 year old moving.

Ralph’s World – Ralph’s World has several CDs available, but my favorite by far is Rhyming Circus. Listen to Folsome Daycare Blues and tell me you don’t at least smile.

So there you have it – a short list of kids music that doesn’t suck and will hopefully make your Holiday road trip a little more enjoyable.  There’s a lot of great kids artists out there – who are your favorites?

(Image credit: gemsling)

Why There Was No That's What She Said Wednesday: She Sings

I am not one to make excuses.  I was really busy yesterday.  I promised my wife that Is stay off  blogs and the Internet,  I broke the promise but for good reason so I could post this.

Danni, my daughter, is the little girl in the middle with the Santa hat on!  Enjoy and Merry Christmas!


Danni First Christmas Recital

In case it doesn’t inbed click here to see it on YouTube.

That’s Danni’s first Christmas recital and she worked really hard on the songs.  I am so proud.

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Worst of the Week: Our School Is Closing

Welcome to my regular Friday feature, Worst of the Week. As a white, suburbanite husband and dad of two kids, there’s a lot that can go wrong and this entry is all about how to fix it. I hope you enjoy it!

Just when things could get any worse for a family living in Detroit, we get a bombshell: our elementary school is closing at the end of the school year.

School consolidation due to a declining population has been brewing in our area long before we moved here three years ago. There have been numerous proposals, including closing down our two high schools and building a new massive Super-High. Suffice to say, tempers from all over our district are so running hot, one can light a cigarette with no flame at the our open PTO meetings.

I could go into all the politics of what is exactly is going on or what is to come, but this Blog is not the place for that kind of writing, it’s about our kids, so I’ll keep it simple.

Keep in mind that although our school is closing, which BTW is in our neighborhood and the kids can ride their bikes to it, it may not be a bad thing – long term. The students will all be moved together and not split up. Patrick and Erin will be with their friends and by consolidating money will be saved for new programs. They will also meet new friends or be reacquainted with ones they know from baseball, tennis and ballet lessons.

We are trying to keep an open mind about it and do what is right by teaching our kids that change can be a good thing, while we see other parents outraged and wanting to bring race into the equation as one of the factors. Yeah, like I said, it’s heated.

I’m sure I’ll blog on this more as the weeks and months progress and we know that nothing is in stone, but it looks to be inevitable.

If you are going through a similar situation, here is the site for our District and the Strategic Plan.

Becoming a Man: A Father of Boys watches "Twilight"

Twilight has a major following among teen and tween girls (like my 12 year old niece who spent all Thanksgiving plowing through the books or my 17 year old niece who went to a midnight showing when it opened and told me it was “incredible”), but I think it’s also a movie that boys and fathers can learn something from.

In case you don’t know, Twilight is a high school romance in which a human girl and a vampire boy fall in love with each other. Although very romantic (in the gothic novel sense of the word), the film is being seen as about, or at least a plea for, abstinence, although the act being abstained from is sucking the blood of another human being.

What can dads learn from this aside from the fact that pepper spray is ineffective against sexual assailants, if they happen to be vampires? Well, it was summed up for me when the deathly pale paramour, Edward, was explaining why he didn’t want to give in to his powerful urges and drain the lovely Bella Swan’s body of life. He puts it rather bluntly, “I don’t want to be a monster.”

He meant it very literally, but I heard in this not a struggle with the creatures of the night, but a struggle with his emerging male sexuality. The movie gives us a couple creepy glimpses into the monstrous side of male sexual energy, first in the form of a group of guys who accost Bella in a dark parking lot, and later in the guise of a psycho vampire/stalker who wants to torture and kill her while he videotapes the whole thing. True to conventional narrative form, she is rescued in both cases by Edward, but in the end, the men he confronts actually embody the violence and aggression he is so afraid of unleashing on the woman he loves.

Our job as fathers is to make sure that our sons don’t become monsters. Obviously, men can be extremely monstrous (consult any morning’s newspaper or any given history book for examples), but I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about helping our sons become good, strong, compassionate, and thoughtful human beings. I think we can do this by talking with them about our experiences, our struggles, and our mistakes. We also do this by teaching them that it’s not a question of being ashamed or afraid of our feelings or our (occasionally) jack-ass-ish behavior and impulses.

Instead, it’s about learning to listen to our feelings and the feelings of others as we become “men” in the best sense of the word: responsible, courageous, and wise.

The Dreams of Youth

The 49 UP documentary series is an incredible experience that every parent should make time for. It began in 1964 and has grown to become a collection of seven documentaries that has followed the lives of 14 British children every seven years from the age of seven to 49 in the most recent release. The premise of the film was taken from the Jesuit motto “Give me a child until he is seven and I will give you the man,” which is based on a quote by Francis Xavier.

It’s fascinating to see the these adorable little children on the playground talk about their hopes and dreams and then instantly cut forward seven years, fourteen years, twenty one years and so on. It is amazing to see how some of the boys and girls had a keen sense of what they were going to be when they grew up while others were totally clueless.

I think this series which started in 1964 was like the first reality TV show. There is so much to learn from this series and so much to enjoy as well. It forces you to remember your own youth and the things you hoped and dreamed for as well as some of your friends. It naturally makes you feel reflective and at the same time inspired to do more with your own life. Sure, we are not under the scrutiny of a film crew every seven years, but we shouldn’t need such pressure to stay focused on our aspirations in life. As a matter of fact, it is so informative that many therapists, social behavior professionals and educational institutions use this series as educational material.

As parents, we do our best to help guide our children as they strive to make their way in the world much like the 14 children in this series did. Some of them did achieve their dreams while many of them fell far short. That’s the way life goes, as much as it will kill us when it’s our own children that struggle and fail to reach their childhood dreams. Still, we all must keep the dream and do our best to prepare them for adulthood. I guess we also need to prepare ourselves for whatever happens in their lives. Much like every student becomes a teacher, every child becomes a parent and vice versa, huh?

Note:

Michael Apted has directed most of the documentaries. He always does a wonderful job being sympathetic to the subjects, understanding how sensitive and painful it can be to share your life in such a public manner every seven years. He has made many other excellent movies, including “Coal Miner’s Daughter”, “Gorilla’s in the Mist” and most recently, “Amazing Grace”. Roger Ebert has stated that this series of documentaries is in his top ten movies of all-time. After viewing just one of these installments I think you will agree.

 

For a complete update on all of the participants and the series itself, visit the 7UP wikipedia entry.A new documentary series called 7Up 2000 started in 2000 with a new group of children followed by 14up 2000. There is an American documentary series equivelant with three installments:

Age 7 in America (1991) and next Phil Joanou
14 Up in America (1998)
21 Up in America (2006) by Christopher Dillon Quinn[1]

 

Here are some video clips from the most recent documentary called 49 UP which includes footage from the previous six installments.

Children's Music Is Evil.

I love to cook. For years my pantry included the “cooking wine” that’s probably in your pantry as well.

One day I was watching Michael Chiarello’s show on Food Network, a show about risotto con funghi, one of my favorites. He paused after toasting the arborio and said something like, “At this point I like to add some dry white wine to the rice, I find it gives it a nice crispness underneath. Now whatever you do, PLEASE don’t use that “cooking wine” you find at the grocery store for this. You don’t need anything expensive, but you should NEVER cook with something you wouldn’t gladly drink.”

It hit me like a stone. I tried it next time, and it added a whole new dimension to my risotto, and everything else I use wine in (which is a lot.)

What does this have to do with children’s music? Well, in my house (or at the very least in my car) the same principle applies. I do not play music for my kids that I wouldn’t listen to myself.

Why poison your child’s very soul with some saccharin nonsense sung by a frustrated night club dropout? For God’s sake, you’re trying to prepare that critter for a great life; a life rich with art, lyrical prose, genuine emotion. Raffi is swell and all, but compared to Stevie Wonder? Are you kidding me?

If you doubt this, spin Superstitious the next time you’re in the car with your kids. Give it 3 plays, and if your child doesn’t ask you for that song EVERY TIME they get in the car from then on, I’ll spring for the Laurie Berkner (the LEAST bad of the age challenged genre.)

Some other guaranteed midget-pleasers:

Full disclosure: Most of these are artists I love. But that’s the bonus here, Dadawan.

First time Dads think they need to change themselves, become suddenly interested in the elaborate, highly specialized Kid-O-Sphere that profit seeking enterprises have constructed around their children. Kids music, kids food, kids drinks, kids shows, kids everything. When we were kids we listened to, ate, drank and watched what our parents did, and in the process learned more about our parents and ourselves as people. We learned to love – maybe even later in life – some of the things they loved.

That’s a pretty special connection, I’d say. So which of the music you love can you share with your kids today?

He's My Son

Mark Schultz wrote “He’s My Son” while he was a youth minister for a boy he knew that was diagnosed with leukemia. No matter what your religious background might be, I’m sure you will be moved by this song and the emotions of the parents that Mark so eloquently captures. The song has become an anthem for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society which has honored Mark Schultz with the Beacon Award for his awareness-raising efforts.

As a parent, especially as a father, can you imagine the helplessness you must feel when one of your beloved angels is stricken with something you can’t do anything about? That’s the heart-breaking aspect of this song that gets me. We’re left to our faith, whatever it is, and we realize just how much we love our family. So much so that we’d take their place if we could.

I don’t mean to be a downer with this. On the contrary, it’s my hope that it makes us all appreciate how lucky and blessed we are in life. Maybe you won’t blow your lid the next time you come home and the kids are making a mess and tremendous noise. Maybe you’ll enjoy it and even join in? All too soon they will grow up and leave you with a nice, clean and all too quiet house and you will miss them. That’s if you’re fortunate enough not to go through what the parents in this song went through and so many other courageous parents across the world.

p.s. There is a happy ending to this story. The boy that inspired this song is a grown man in his 20s and totally cancer free! :)

Here are the heart-wrenching lyrics
HE’S MY SON

I’m down on my knees again tonight
I’m hoping this prayer will turn out right
See there is a boy that needs Your help
I’ve done all that I can do myself
His mother is tired
I’m sure You can understand
Each night as he sleeps
She goes in to hold his hand
And she tries not to cry
As the tears fill her eyes

CHORUS:
Can You hear me?
Am I getting through tonight?
Can You see him?
Can You make him feel all right?
If You can hear me
Let me take his place somehow
See, he’s not just anyone
He’s my son

Sometimes late at night I watch him sleep
I dream of the boy he’d like to be
I try to be strong and see him through
But God who he needs right now is You
Let him grow old
Live life without this fear
What would I be
Living without him here
He’s so tired and he’s scared
Let him know that You’re there

CHORUS

Can You hear me?
Can You see him?
Please don’t leave him
He’s my son

The Cat's in the Cradle

Every dad knows this song, Harry Chapin’s classic “Cat’s in the Cradle”. It was a number one hit in 1974 and originally written as a poem by Harry’s wife Sandie who received credit as co-writer of the song. Incidentally, she didn’t write it about Harry’s relationship with their son as commonly believed but actually about the relationship her first husband had with his ultra busy politician father. Still, the message of the song is eternal and extremely important for all fathers.

As a father of three kids ages 9, 5 and 3, I continue to remind myself every day that they are the most important things in my life. It’s not my job, or writing or anything else. I also do my best to savor as many of these precious moments as I possibly can. I already know how fleeting all of this is. I look at my oldest boy Nicholas who’s almost as tall as me at age nine and I am in shock because I swear that I remember holding him as a newborn at the hospital just yesterday! I know it’s a cliche and it’s been said countless times, but it’s worth repeating. Time does fly, whether you’re having fun or not! You might as well choose to have fun with your family and enjoy as many of those moments as possible.

The song always gets me. I’ve always included it in every CD that I’ve created for each of my children. I’ll never forget the night Nicholas asked me to explain the song while I tucked him into bed. He’d heard it for years but he was old enough now to understand it more. By the end of the song we were both in tears and hugging each other tightly. We didn’t say a word cause we just knew how we felt. We still play that CD a lot and just smile when that song comes on.

Listen to the recorded version and download the MP3 here
Cat’s in the Cradle

A child arrived just the other day,
He came to the world in the usual way.
But there were planes to catch, and bills to pay.
He learned to walk while I was away.
And he was talking ‘fore I knew it, and as he grew,
He’d say, “I’m gonna be like you, dad.
You know I’m gonna be like you.”
And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon,
Little boy blue and the man in the moon.
“When you coming home, dad?” “I don’t know when,
But we’ll get together then.
You know we’ll have a good time then.”
My son turned ten just the other day.
He said, “Thanks for the ball, dad, come on let’s play.
Can you teach me to throw?” I said, “Not today,
I got a lot to do.” He said, “That’s ok.”
And he walked away, but his smile never dimmed,
Said, “I’m gonna be like him, yeah.
You know I’m gonna be like him.”
And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon,
Little boy blue and the man in the moon.
“When you coming home, dad?” “I don’t know when,
But we’ll get together then.
You know we’ll have a good time then.”
Well, he came from college just the other day,
So much like a man I just had to say,
“Son, I’m proud of you. Can you sit for a while?”
He shook his head, and he said with a smile,
“What I’d really like, dad, is to borrow the car keys.
See you later. Can I have them please?”
And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon,
Little boy blue and the man in the moon.
“When you coming home, son?” “I don’t know when,
But we’ll get together then, dad.
You know we’ll have a good time then.”
I’ve long since retired and my son’s moved away.
I called him up just the other day.
I said, “I’d like to see you if you don’t mind.”
He said, “I’d love to, dad, if I could find the time.
You see, my new job’s a hassle, and the kid’s got the flu,
But it’s sure nice talking to you, dad.
It’s been sure nice talking to you.”
And as I hung up the phone, it occurred to me,
He’d grown up just like me.
My boy was just like me.
And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon,
Little boy blue and the man in the moon.
“When you coming home, son?” “I don’t know when,
But we’ll get together then, dad.
You know we’ll have a good time then.

The Sins of Our Fathers

“Father of Mine” by EverClear is an extra special song for me because it truly hits home for me on a deep personal level. I relate to the words so much because my father left our mom with four sons in a strange new land when I was a toddler and I never really got to know him. I wanted to become a successful young man before I had my man to man conversation with him where I would learn more about his side of the story and ultimately I would find a way to forgive him if for no other reason than for closure on my part. Well, I never got that chance because he passed away tragically at a young age.

It took me a long time to deal with his death, the second time he would leave me without saying goodbye or any reasons. I eventually made peace with him when I made a pilgrimage to his grave in Miami, Florida a few years ago. I had that man to man conversation and had my cry and forgave him. I swear, a massive burden was lifted from my shoulders that day and I was never the same again.

As for this incredibly poignant song from EverClear (such an apropo name too), the lyrics and the music video truly move me because so much of it describes how I felt. Much of it is so similar to what happened with our dad and our family.

The part that gets me the most is “I was just scared white boy in a black neighborhood” because we grew up in Newark, New Jersey. We were one of the few non-black families in the neighborhood and school.Ironically though, I’m grateful for my childhood and growing up where I did. I didn’t learn about racism until much later in life when I moved down south but that’s another story.

The other part of the song that’s eerie is about the five dollar bills he would get from his dad which is what I’d get once a year or so. This passage really touches me:
I will never be safe
I will never be sane
I will always be weird inside
I will always be lame
Now Im a grown man
With a child of my own
And I swear I’m not going to let her know
All the pain I have known

Anyway, men can decide to be just like their dads or they can choose to be even better. I’ve chosen to be the father that I never had. I cherish each and every day with my three children and I know that they love their old man. I’ve chosen to learn from the sins of my father and I believe it’s the best decision I’ve ever made. Sadly, too many of us men choose to repeat the same mistakes that our dads made. Still, it’s never too late to change for the better. I know I would’ve forgiven my dad if he came to me and asked for forgiveness, even after I grew up without him. Ultimately, I did forgive him anyway.

Here are the words

Father of mine
Tell me where have you been
You know I just closed my eyes
My whole world disappeared
Father of mine
Take me back to the day
When I was still your golden boy
Back before you went away

I remember blue skies
Walking the block
I loved it when you held me high
I loved to hear you talk
You would take me to the movie
You would take me to the beach
You would take me to a place inside
That is so hard to reach

Father of mine
Tell me where did you go
You had the world inside your hand
But you did not seem to know
Father of mine
Tell me what do you see
When you look back at your wasted life
And you dont see me

I was ten years old
Doing all that I could
It wasnt easy for me
To be a scared white boy
In a black neighborhood
Sometimes you would send me a birthday card
With a five dollar bill
I never understood you then
And I guess I never will

Daddy gave me a name
My dad he gave me a name
Then he walked away
Daddy gave me a name
Then he walked away
My daddy gave me a name

Daddy gave me a name
Daddy gave me a name
Then he walked away
Daddy gave me a name
Then he walked away
My daddy gave me a name

Father of mine
Tell me where have you been
I just closed my eyes
And the world disappeared
Father of mine
Tell me how do you sleep
With the children you abandoned
And the wife I saw you beat

I will never be safe
I will never be sane
I will always be weird inside
I will always be lame
Now Im a grown man
With a child of my own
And I swear Im not going to let her know
All the pain I have known

Then he walked away
Daddy gave me a name
Then he walked away
My dad gave me a name
Then he walked away
My daddy gave me a name
Then he walked away
My daddy gave me a name
Then he walked away
Then he walked away
Then he walked away

Lullaby

Hey everyone,

Kathie and I are not yet parents. Fetus Wilder isn’t scheduled to make his debut until November 27th. Happy Thanksgiving!

So at week 34, Kathie is getting pretty round and she’s loving every minute of it! Yeah, it hurts to sit too long. It hurts to stand too long. It hurts to be in the minivan too long. But she’s taking it like a trooper and trying to enjoy every moment of ‘creating life’.

As for me; there’s not a whole lot I can do until the baby makes his debut. I do more chores around the house and do my best to make Kathie comfortable. But as far as substantive participation in the baby’s nine months of mommy time; I’m lucky to be around the moment when the baby starts moving around.

But since I’m someone who really enjoys writing, recrding and performing music. I thought I would share a lullaby that I wrote for the baby that will be included on the CD project that I’m currently in the process of recording.

Here’s the Link to Download the MP3

Feel free to give feedback/criticism here in the comments or email me: mrscott168 [at] yahoo [dot] com.

Scott Wilder – The Geek Dad

This Woman's Work (She's Having a Baby)

She’s Having a Baby is another one of those underrated comedies that touches you in ways that you never forget. John Hughes broke free from his high school brat pack mold (Breakfast Club, 16 Candles, Pretty in Pink, etc.) and totally captures the amazing experiences of marriage and parenthood in this wonderful movie. It includes a fantastic soundtrack as well.

Kevin Bacon (Jake) and Elisabeth McGovern (Kristy) were at their best as they portrayed the young newlyweds who survive the salads days trying to make ends meet. Jake struggles with the new concept of being monogamous as he’s tempted by a beautiful stranger. He also has to deal with a lifelong friend who has serious commitment issues (Alec Baldwin in a hilarious role).

Besides all of the witty and humorous scenes, there are some deep, emotional moments as well. For example, the following video clip will include the unforgettable birth scene which featured Kate Bush’s haunting and perfect “This Woman’s Work”. It is such a powerful scene because it depicts the hopelessness we men feel at that magical but scary time. All the lamas and training we do cannot prepare you for what you will encounter. John Hughes masterfully captures the raw emotions of that whole experience, especially if complications ensue. The best moment is when Jake’s teardrops turn into blood from his wife as she struggles to give birth. Jake realizes at that moment that he was a fool to ever doubt his marriage and to even consider being unfaithful and only wanted his wife back.

Here’s an amazing scene featuring Kate Bush’s memorable “This Woman’s Work” which captures the extreme helplessness we men feel at the miracle moment of birth.

Here’s Kate Bush’s music video of her song
Here’s a version of the song my Maxwell, yes, a male performer. He does a great job with the song, live even!

I’ve been blessed to experience becoming a father three times and I swear that I thought of this movie and especially the ending scenes each and every time! I also watched the movie before the birth of all three children. Somehow it just brings comfort.

If you’re young and haven’t experienced the glory of marriage and parenthood, then watch this movie and enjoy. It truly gives a good glimpse into what awaits you, my friend. If you’ve already been blessed with these magical experiences then it’s still a wonderful movie to watch and remember how it felt. I’m always moved tremendously whenever I watch it or hear the songs from the movie, especially “This Woman’s Work” and “Apron Strings”

Here are the lyrics to “This Woman’s Work”

Pray God you can cope.
I stand outside this woman’s work,
This woman’s world.
Ooh, it’s hard on the man,
Now his part is over.
Now starts the craft of the father.
I know you have a little life in you yet.
I know you have a lot of strength left.
I know you have a little life in you yet.
I know you have a lot of strength left.
I should be crying, but I just can’t let it show.
I should be hoping, but I can’t stop thinking
Of all the things I should’ve said,
That I never said.
All the things we should’ve done,
That we never did.
All the things I should’ve given,
But I didn’t.
Oh, darling, make it go,
Make it go away.
Give me these moments back.
Give them back to me.
Give me that little kiss.
Give me your hand.
(I know you have a little life in you yet.
I know you have a lot of strength left.
I know you have a little life in you yet.
I know you have a lot of strength left.)
I should be crying, but I just can’t let it show.
I should be hoping, but I can’t stop thinking
Of all the things we should’ve said,
That were never said.
All the things we should’ve done,
That we never did.
All the things that you needed from me.
All the things that you wanted for me.
All the things that I should’ve given,
But I didn’t.
Oh, darling, make it go away.
Just make it go away now.