Saturday, February 28, 2009

Saturday Stupidity Report

From low and high culture comes dumb.

A Mesa, Ariz., father, 19, decided it would be cool to tumble dry his son. Two obvious mistakes: 1) his son was not wet and 2) even though it may seem like a cool idea you can kill a kid by sticking him in a laundromat dryer and what was he thinking and hopefully during his prison/probation time he will have his head cleansed with some commonsense.

For all their alleged "progressive" tendencies, colleges and universities don't offer parental leave equally (or particularly fairly) to moms and dads. Maybe there is something here the Marines [Earlier: What Up] can teach the slacker dummies in their robes and gowns.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Downturn Uplift

Who knew a depression could offer such uplift?

Good news for unemployed dads comes from some Pennsylvania men and women. A report in the Beaver County (Penna.) Times suggests that dads, many of whom were not working or just scraping by for their familes, were the beloved heroes of the Great Depression, at least according to the memories of 80- and 90-year-old men and women. Another lemons to lemonade take is the tale (as told by Wisconsin's Capital Times) of Joe Bauernhuber, who was downsized from creative director to creative chef and homemaker. After all, how often at work did his boss or employees look up to him like his 6-year-old daughter Tia and encourage, "Don't worry, Daddy, you're super-talented."

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Proud Pom Pom Papa

Publishers Weekly described the new edition of Your Pregnancy for the Father-to-Be as a "helpful compendium" with both "obvious tips" and lists of information very unfamiliar to most wannadads. Fox News boiled it all down to nine tips for nine months.

So, probably, the book won't hurt the preparation for most pre-postpartum depression fathers [Earlier: Scary Visions] However, what most men fail to realize about their new role can be found in the 30 seconds of the government's fatherhood initiative PSA.

Dads, embrace the chance to make a fool of yourself if and when it will build up your kid. It's all you really need to know.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

What Up

"I got another one coming in '09, yeah! That's what's up!" says rapper Nasty NASir of the baby (his second, her first) he has on the way with milkshaking wife Kelis. He's married, no longer the gangsta player who dueled Jay-Z in a relatively silly war of words for a few long years. And so the the question is where on the spectrum of new dads Nas will fall.

Will he be a one thing to the outside world and something else at home as suggested by the new U.S. Marine Corps policy that allows the men it hammers men into fighting machines 10 days of paternity leave for new fathers and nearly three weeks off if they are adopting? Or will he just be an insane man who is unable to see anything but himself, no matter what he is supposed to be looking at like the Irish dad who sued (and lost) the midwife for €38,000 because she politely asked him to give her a moment without his sticking his video lens in her business while she performed an emergency procedure following the unplanned Caesarean birth of his new baby.

While most people asking what kind of dad Nas will be only care about him as a celebrity, the more important reason for asking the question is to find out what kind of child he'll have. After all, despite what some people say (or sing), it's not that easy to get a new dad if the old one isn't working out.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Workplace Surprises

Researchers from North Carolina State and Maryland universities are trumpeting findings that girls are drawn into their fathers business by about 13 to 20 percent more than in the past. The academics don't seem exactly sure why, but suggest it has something to do with daughters listening to their dads blathering on — even when they don't seem to be paying attention.

Hypothetically, a daughter following in her father's footsteps seems wonderful. Still, there are situations .... For example, accountant Celia Hewlett-Ola recently took over her father's practice, a part-time gig she picked up upon the passing of Charlesworth Hewlett, who died last month at the age of 73. Unfortunately, she may not have listened closely enough to what he had to say about his clients. Ms. H-O, whose father included disgraced Ponziist Allen Stanford and his multi-billion dollar international operations among his clients despite being pretty much a momless pop organization, is now a bit enmeshed in a sticky wicket thanks to listening to dear-old-dad wax rhapsodic on the magic of figures and figuring. In no tribute to her dad, Ms. H-O says she really has no idea what's gone wrong, describing it all as "a complete surprise."

Perhaps the researches should begin a followup to determine whether — given this fab news — girls need to listen more carefully or fathers must speak more carefully.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Pass It On

Fathers do know best, most often. Still, what is the right answer to the question of how much one wants to be irreplaceable and the desire to have a child fill one's footsteps?

For three different takes on the possibilities we have two kings and a commoner. First is the tale of Japanese Crown Prince Naruhito, 49, who has been hanging out all these years waiting to take over from pops, Emperor (not really a king, per se) Akihito, now 75. Recently the Prince said he would try to do more, given dad's ill health, which would seem to require a few more ribbon cuttings, since there actually is a parliament that is supposed to be in charge of the country. (BTW bonnie Prince Chuck, maybe you would like to take the hint and do more than wait for mums to drop the handbag of power?)

Second, we have Martin Luther King III, who is celebrating the 50th anniversary of his dad's travels in Gandhi's footsteps by stepping out on the same path. Literally following in his father's footsteps does seem a more realistic approach to life, since he has been unable figuratively to do so.

Finally, we have the irreplaceable commoner, Pontiac, Mich., alderman Don Don Stalter, whose death propelled son Mike into his city council seat, but whose passing (and Mike's decision not to seek a term of his own) has left nobody willing and/or able to step forward and take his place.

What would their dads want? What would you or yours choose?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

And The Oscar Goes To ... Or Doesn't

This week's objet d'eBay, a fake Oscar whose model was the childless Emilio Fernández Romo, is the reminder that the tube du jour is the Academy Awards. [Earlier: Movies to Be] Of course, everyone of heart is rooting for Heath Ledger's dad, Kim, to receive the award for his son's Joker performance that will eventually pass to Ledger's daughter, Matilda.

That rooting isn't quite fair to the various other nominated dads or all the fathers rooting on their children. But as is said quite often, life isn't fair. Peope see things differently as evidenced by the If it were, then more people would have been inspired for good and bad by the multi-awarded, but never Oscared 2005 dark comedy, In Memory of My Father, which would also be a wonderful name for the movie created from the angst of a woman whose dad was a CIA star (another still-to-be-made film).

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Unemployment Compensation?

Once again Britain's Liberal Democratic party leader Nicholas Clegg has brought up the issue of fathers taking care of children. Earlier in the year he was proposing a year of paternity leave for new dads and now he has suggested that the UK's finest, who lose their jobs in heavy industry be retrained as nannies or SAHDs.

Something about the proposal seems a bit off — and it seems unlikely too many dads will be affected — so the biggest wonder is what it might do for Clegg's prospects.

[Update: As of Feb. 22, Clegg and wife are proud parents of Miguel, their third son.]

Friday, February 20, 2009

Snatching a Celebrity 15

Oy! Vat a conundrum.

On the one hand pop culture brings us the dueling Brown and Fenty dads. (Well, they're not actually dueling and Chris, son of Clinton Brown, hitting Rihanna, daughter of Ronald Fenty, is in no way humorous.) As they battle for the 15 minutes of fame one will surely gain out of this — unless, of course, they somehow manage to share it — Brown expresses his son's remorse, while Fenty offers the more handsoff parenting style of not telling his daughter what to do, but offering the media the opinion that, "If it were me, I'd move on."

On the other hand comes the surprising news of the DVD release of the 80s sit-com My Two Dads. (Who could have imagined there was interest?) Amazingly, the show about a teenage girl raised by two men, only one of whom could be her biological father, although nobody would ever know who (unless someone eventuallly decided to take a DNA test) limped through three seasons.

So, the dilemma is what kind of mash-up to promote celebrity spinoffing do we go with here. Should Brown and Fenty have a reality show where they have to work together as survivors, living a surreal life of celebrity. Or, should they get a sit com, like MTDs, where they have to bring their own styles and "skills" to bear on an aspring celeb?

Surely there's some boob-tube magic to be made here if only someone could offer the wisdom (?) of the right way to go.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

ITYS ... but did you or will you listen?

Intriguingly, if you Google father and I told you so you are directed to a link allowing you to watch the episode of Father Knows Best [Earlier: What a Father Really Knows and What Would Bob Say?] that has Bud aching to grow up and getting a little snippish at dad for not recognizing him as an adult.

Apparently, somewhere the show was also called "I Told You So", but the reason for looking it up is that Thing 1 is sick with fever and knife-edge sore throat. And polite. And nice. And all of this means that she now has to listen to me say that when she rushed out yesterday — not feeling well and before speaking with me — to play with friends rather than simply texting and Ichatting and resting for the day, she made a mistake and suffered the consequences I warned her against. Ironically, she did in fact make the same decision most adults make in those circumstances, but as I will try again and again to point out to her while I have her cooperation (i.e., until she is no longer feeling ill), that doesn't make it the adult decision.

And she should have and should always listen to her father. We'll see the effect of the "I told you so," but I am not counting on too much.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Some Pot Pops

Not only do kids bring joy, fathers can even (sometimes) get some sympathy for getting caught selling drugs by blaming his child.

That is the lesson to be learned from the case of Pennsylvania pop Richard L. Lerch Jr., 47, who explained that it was his 16-year-old daughter who convinced him to sell drugs to the judge who then sentenced him only to probation. Even Bermudan father Neilson Keith Burgess, nabbed for bringing home both crack and cannabis seems to have gained a bit of sympathy — his prison sentence was reduced from a possible 10 years to four — because he had a 17-year-old daughter to support.

The test of the theory may come with when Youtube Brit bragger
"Stackinpaper" gets nabbed. Will he be able to blame his 1-year-old for convincing him to go wrong when he gets pinched for growing dope in his basement, about which he posted videos (since removed). Certainly, he can make the case that times are tough and kids are expensive. Hopefully, he'll get a judge whose had some experience as a father and will be sympathetic to that excuse. We'll see.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Abe's Tale: Father and Son

For the final coda to this year's U.S. presidents' day we have the sad story of Abe and the Thomases Lincoln.

struggled with his father, Thomas, a single frontier parent for many years, upset over discipline and the elder's lack of education. (This sounds vaguely like Thing 2 telling me I don't know anything about her seventh grade math assignments, which, perhaps, maybe means I might be a presidential father?) Their divisions grew so great that as Thomas called for his son to his deathbed, the man 10 years from his presidency declined to make the 80-mile trip — not even making it after his father's passing mdash; believing, "If we could meet now, it is doubtful whether it would not be more painful than pleasant."

Still, there was some connection made by father to son as the president named his youngest son Thomas (with his father above). In a parenting style that doesn't need a forensic psychiatrist to explain, "Tad" (nicknamed for looking like a tadpole as a newborn) was allowed to grow in a cocoon of almost no discpline. He ran wild in the White House and died at age 18, about seven years after his father's assassination.

What were we celebrating again?

Monday, February 16, 2009

Write Good and Evil, Not the Middle

You can do worse — and, candidly, most dads do — than to live a life based on how you would like your child to write about you in their tell-all memoirs. But that is not the only road to fame.

Who wouldn't want to be remembered as a Louis Uhlberg, a deaf man and paragon of virtues who loving raised the son Myron, author of a new memoir, Hands of My Father? On the other hand, it is certainly possible that if Joe Queenan's father hadn't been such an unforgiveable alcoholic lout and so emotionally abusive, young Queenan not only wouldn't have had the material that frames his own new memoir of how he grew, Closing Time, but he might never have become a writer at all. Thus, in a scientific study based solely on these two samples, the lesson for dads is either to be angelic or satanic ... if your goal is to encourage your child to write about you.

Blah dads make blah memories and those memoirs don't get sold. Fair warning Things One and Two, in the interests of your future literary careers, I may have to change everything very dramatically.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

More Dirt. More Fun?

Lucky for this week's objet d'eBay, a toy Alfie who is part of the Thomas the Tank kids show, he will probably never have any little excavators. And while that's not the usual WD sentiment regarding fatherhood, it is foremost in thought as the story of Alfie Patten, dad at 13, has gotten infinitely sadder and more bizarre, which didn't seem possible at first glance. [Earlier: What's It All About, Alf]

Since it now seems there might be a good bit of money involved, some other lads are stepping up to claim that they fathered Alfie's now-alleged child with a 15-year-old mother. The sordidness of Alfie's bio has taken a turn southward as well, with the family of the young mom encouraging his overnight stays and a father who seems only to have settled down on top of to-be-mums (including young Alf's), never with them.

Naturally, if he gets kicked out of this tabloid tale — and he finds he has enjoyed his moments in the dirt — he can always cross the pond and claim a role as man of the family for the Suleman 14 [Earlier: Meddling in the Middle], since the octuplet-plus mom still hasn't made anyone an honest dad ... and, really, what would one more child be.

The familial mess of the boy/man, and the potential for things to get only ever stranger, does certainly add a shiny patina of irony to (the toy) Alfie's catch phrase of "...more dirt means more fun."

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Qs&As with DoDads — The Napkin Dad Daily

Nothing a dad does is a throw away gesture for his child. Not one thing.

If you doubt how true that is, consider The Napkin Dad Daily, a sketching of life in art and comment, that owes its genesis to Marty Coleman's daughter saving a napkins' year's worth of drawing and quotes he included with the lunch he sent to school. He received the collection one Father's Day and did what any self-respecting father should do at receipt of such a gift: he cried.

And then he continued drawing all through the remainder of his daughters' high school years and beyond even as they have now gone out into the world and grown in the same (and sometimes different) way his art has.

Coleman lives in Glenpool, Okla. — known the world over as the town that made Tulsa famous — with his wife, Linda, a wiggle dog a stubby dog, and two cats who hate each other and short and long distance fathers his four grown daughters, who contribute to society in ways, including but not limited to: catching turtles; getting a Ph.D. in neuroscience; playing video games; writing and playing songs; farming organic stuff; eating same stuff; sewing and knitting; making art; voting; getting married; studying apparel design; worrying about boys; finding themselves; finding each other; losing (and finding) their religion; kicking butt as a black belt; studying midwifery; yogaizing; going to college; and making him proud in every way. Although world famous thanks to the blog and Time Magazine picking one of his images to help commemorate Barack Obama's election, Coleman took time from his blog, his store and his art to share a few moments and some of his inspiration (and how he is progressing on the formula to cure evil, at the very end).

WhinyDad: What was the biggest challenge to starting and continuing The Napkin Dad Daily?
Marty Coleman: It really wasn’t much of a challenge at first. I had been scanning the napkins for a number of years and had them posted on my site, which I use primarily for my photography, but it allows drawings and illustrations as well. When I started the blog it was easy to simply cut and paste the code into the blog and that was that. When it became a challenge was when I decided to start writing commentary along with the napkin. In some cases I had commentary already written but for the most part I do that each day. Having to focus on the specific quote and figure out what I want to extrapolate out from it is hard work. I want it to be interesting and learning oriented, but I don’t want it to be boring or repetitive. I also want it to be interactive, to get people to comment back, to give their ideas of what the quote means as well.

WD: How has your Napkining changed? Has being a father changed your other art as well?
MC: I have a plastic bin full of the napkins I created over the years. I realized as I was going over them, scanning a few every day or so, that many of the early ones were very silly, very simple, sometimes with no quotes, only some funny drawing, other times only a quote. I started looking through and seeing that the drawing had become more sophisticated, more nuanced, and the quotes had become more connected to the drawings. This isn’t always the case, but it became more like that as the years past.

I think being a father is being an educator. In that sense my artwork , both the napkins and larger drawings as well as the photo-collages, has always been about putting out ideas, images, thoughts, ways of approaching the world and others that has some resonance with young people as they grow. Of course ‘young’ is relative so those I helped 20 years ago when they were 16 in a church youth group are now 36 and married with kids. I still hope I am helping them in the same way I did back then, by helping them to think through ideas and think for themselves.

WD: How much of the blog is directed at your daughters and how much do they influence your postings?
MC: The blog isn’t directed to my daughters at all actually. They got all the napkins originally when I put them in their lunches. Now the same napkins are going out again, this time to a different audience. My daughter’s do read the blog regularly and they do comment on occasion. I appreciate their comments quite a bit, they are usually among the most insightful.

I started drawing napkins again in 2008 after many years away from it. These drawings my daughters are seeing for the first time when the read the blog. I hope they appreciate them but at this point they are part of the audience in general, not the only audience, as they were before. So, I am aware they are reading the blog, but I don’t direct it towards them.

WD: Is there art or commentary you can remember posting that you think might embarrass your daughters when they stumble upon it via an internet search in years to come?
MC: No, I don’t see anything specific having that reaction. I do think they might have had some reticence originally in having something that was given to them now going out into the world and having a life independent of them. But I think they see the value in it and support the napkins’ exposure around the world.

WD: What is the most important thing you've learned about being a dad from working on the site?
MC: I have actually learned the most about being a dad from having been interviewed about the site and the phenomenon of the napkins by local newspapers, TV stations and your blog as well. When you are going to be interviewed you tend to try to organize your thoughts. In doing so I was able to clarify what it was I was doing all those years ago. I was attempting to teach my daughter’s a set of ideas. They weren’t a code or a set of principles I could have put my finger on right then, but looking back, trying to figure out how I was going to explain it all to someone who starts knowing nothing about it, I realized I had a number of common threads going through the napkins.

Those include: Independent thinking; Giving the benefit of the doubt and thinking the best of people; Self-esteem that is based on accomplishment, not on just wanting to think highly of yourself; Love over judgment. There are many more principles that flow through the napkins and I am exciting about pulling them out and organizing them around those principles.

I also realized that being a dad isn’t a big job. It is a series of very small jobs all strung together. You don’t have to raise them to age 18. You only have to feed them one spoonful of food, or one good and lasting idea at a time. Of course, you have to do those things over and over, as I did the napkins, but it isn’t as daunting to do it with that mindset as it is to try and hold the whole 18 years on your shoulders.

WD: Which are the two or three most interesting dadblogs ... other than yours?
MC: Truthfully, I haven’t read many dad blogs. I call my blog ‘The Napkin Dad Daily’ because of how the napkins originated. But I see my blog has being more about being an educator, an artist and an idea generator than being a dad (even though they are often overlapping). The napkins were originally about me helping my daughters’ education. Now they are about me helping anyone with their education.

WD: A few words on how you'll continue to cure the planet of evil?
MC: I actually found a cure for evil a few years ago, but I left the formula in my favorite blue blazer’s pocket and then left the blazer on a chair at a restaurant. Later I heard it was stolen from the back office by a mysterious woman in black who was last seen boarding an airplane for Peru.

I have started over on the formula and should have it completed in 2010. In the meanwhile I am doing the next best thing, which is to sell the “Napkin Dad’s Book of Absorbent Ideas, Volume 1., t-shirts, coffee mugs, greeting cards and other stuff at

Friday, February 13, 2009

What's It All About, Alf

Oy. Here comes another teaching moment with Things 1 and 2 ... like any of three of us look forward to the awkward lectures that always seem to worm their way into what is (theoretically? hypothetially?) a mature give and take between father and child(ren).

This time the subject is the 13-year-old new dad, Brit Alfie Patten, who the story goes had one go at some unprotected sex with his 15-year-old gal pal. It is of course wonderful for a father to be close to his kid and able to relate to what s/he is going through, but this is probably pushing it.

It is of course possible this story is another media canard, somebody's idea of how to update the 1966 movie about Alfie Elkins and its 2004 remake focus on a ladies man who is suddenly forced to find a new way of life as a result of an unplanned pregnancy. Perhaps this Patten tale is being floated on its way to movie of the week status on Disney XD, the channel being started up to bring boys and dads together in tube time. But a dad at 13? Really....

Our teaching moment will revolve around relationships and sex and perhaps even movies and television. It could be racy and exciting and an extraordinary intergernational give-and-take. But it won't. Maybe — if I am real lucky and those are very unhatched chickens — it will have some long term impact because if history is any predictor, our discussion of boys and why one has to always be careful and unforseen consequences will be like that second movie, very painful to sit through.

Did Alfie's dad ever talk to him about stuff like this? Are they talking now?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Evolutionary Fathers

Today's birthday father, Charles Darwin (Happy 200th, Chuck!), constructed a mathematical (?) proof as a boy that convinced him marriage was the right course. Among the positives he found to outweigh the negatives was the potential joy of having children — he was father to 10 — even as his own father decried his likely ability to amount to anything (eighth and fifth paragraphs).

Naturally speaking, Darwin is thought of as "father to the theory of evolution." It's a theory (which is scientific speak for "what we really believe") that says (sorta) that while Julian Coryell is likely to be a guitar player like his father, jazz master Larry, it is also likely that the Coryell, Auger, Sample Trio — the CAST of Coolidge Returns! — will have evolved to a slightly different sound than what one hears when their famous dads play. And so they do.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Tech Today

In its march onward, technology is always giving to and taking from fathers.

On the one hand, Etendi is targeting divorced dads, among others, with their web-based suite (Etendi Bridge) of communication widgets to keep in touch with kids. (Admittedly, this is sometimes easier from a distance than face-to-face.) On the other hand, there is news from British researchers that one in 25 kids doesn't belong to the dad who thinks it's his, which is supposed to be good news since some thought the number was one in 10.

Joined together, the question does arise as to whether it might be possible for the biological fathers who are responsible for the five percent of kids who don't belong to their "dads" to use some secret communications technology to communicate and support their sons and daughters, without causing them too many problems at the same time. "Engineers, start your engines ..."

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Hearing Impaired

Have the six British prisoners serving extended terms in Her Majesty's gaols who claim their human rights are being violated because they aren't allowed to donate father sperm considered how they actually will parent?

A number of courts decided otherwise, but a "Grand Chamber" in Strassbourg decided — in a case brought by Kirk Dickson, 34, serving at least 15 years for kicking a man to death who hopes to knock up wife Lorraine, 48, who he met by writing nots to her while she was in prison for benefits fraud — that under European law, cons should get to father even though it would be many years, if ever, that they will actually be able to daddy. And so five other dad wannabees all demanded Britain let them share their goodies. Currently the British government Justice Minister Jack Straw is all in a dither over what to do.

Would it dissuade them at all (or help Straw figuring out how to keep them punished while letting them be a father) to learn of Debary (Fla.) dad Frank Formisano? He tried to do the right thing and remove his daughter's cell phone from her ear as punishment and because of his sudden move to take it away, the german shepherd who had guarded her as a baby bit off his a part of his ear. (A tale of a tail and paws that makes it even less likely Things 1 & 2 get a dog as I already have so many hurdles to get them to put down their phones and study ... or talk like real people to others in the same room.)

Monday, February 9, 2009

Of Insanty and Paid Leave

It's been a while since checking in with Thing 1, but that doesn't mean things haven't been stirring. The idea of any strictures at all — in this case a set time for lights and electronics off — is apparently insanely unsettling. Or that's what I would have said until reading that Tipperary's Paul Lane was found innocent by reasons of insanity of shooting and killing his father, who was otherwise engaged in watching the Minor All Ireland Hurling Final. Between the fear that it was actually his father trying to kill him, as well as the unsettling TV voices talking about him, Lane was clearly unsettled. ... and so I must vow to be more careful in setting bedtimes for 1 and maybe Thing 2, as well.

In other pop news, Tiger Woods is a daddy for the second time and,, if a Russian court has its way (and he moves) he could be eligible for federally mandated paid paternity leave from work.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Sometimes and Every Time

This week's objet d'eBay, a near-mint 45 of Dan Hill's mega-hit "Sometimes When We Touch," comes with a reminder that while everyone (male anyway, or female with a slight change) can make the same statement — as Hill does with his new autobiography — that I Am My Father's Son, it means something different for each person.

"Sometimes" is a syrupy, massively popular love song that seems odd when considered in terms of Hill's biography. He was the son of a complex father. Daniel Grafton Hill III was both the driving biography behind IV's music and, upon his passing from diabetes, the source for the ocean of agony that stood between the songwriter and his songwriting. Hill III was a black man in a mixed marriage who took his children to the all-white world of 1950s Canada. He was a father who told his son to stand up outside the home and sit down and be quiet within it.

It is the sort of mixed message that comes naturally from father to child and does spin off in fascinating and often compelling ways.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

More Cooking with Dads

Kudos to The New York Times Pete Wells who is serving as guide to two sons under four who are learning to navigate their way around sharp knives and hot handles as the learn to prepare their own food. Praise as well for the late producer Bruce Paltrow, who inspired daughter Gwyneth in the ways of food enough that she is dedicating to him her new cookbook, My Father's Daughter. And while the recipe doesn't end up producing food, kitchen honors need to be bestowed on Chuck Peartree, the Santa Claus-bearded machine shop owner who along with son Ken is cooking up the diesel that powers his trucks from Chinese egg roll oil. [Earlier: Beware! Dad Near Stove and Someone's in the Kitchen with Daddy...]

Friday, February 6, 2009

Farewell to a Funny Father and Son

The "son" is only 12 years younger than the "father," but both are retiring and have decided its time to say goodbye.

Will Ferrell, 41, as POTUS 43 is taking his Bush son out of office — with better reviews than the real guy got in office — and the world will get along, just as it has without 53-year-old Dana Carvey's POTUS 41 (and just as we have gotten along without the real father and will benefit from no more son).

So the best of father and son will be gone and the characters unlikely to return unless John Ellis or Babs and Jen can be encouraged to step up so that Saturday Night Live can fill their shoes. All the can be said is comedy will be the poorer as son and father head off into the dark night.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Punishment Updates

Trust is out. Precaution is in. That is the fathering hint(s) of the day, at least in terms of punishment.

Two dads corporally punished. Phillip Connor, who frogmarched his son back to the candy shop from which he stole is a hero because he did it after talking the punishment over with the police. On the other hand, even though an unnamed — to protect both the guilty dad and daughter — Hedgesville, W.Va., father thought it was no big deal to tie his misbehaving teen daughter up in the basement as punishment (because it wasn't that tight or for that long), police believed differently. He didn't call for permission and he will now be tied up in court dates.

So the rule of law (at least for today) seems to be not to trust your instincts, but to check with authorities. Additionally, don't trust the screens of your little computer. Occassionally break into their work to have a looksee yourself and make sure they aren't hiding their activity from you using something like Dad's Around, software that lets the user hit a "hot key" to avoid the prying eyes and (hopefully) a father's punishment.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Meddling in the Middle

Moderation being the key to all things, fathers have to learn how to meddle in the middle. Don't ruin things by getting too much involved or by not being engaged at all.

So, retired Rev. R.H. Schuller's family and faith impositions on son Rev. R. A. Schuller is responsible for the cracks currently shattering the Crystal Cathedral. However, the future of the Suleman octuplets (and their six sibs) seems fraught with lots of naught unless a father figure can be found, since there is apparently no actual father to be relied upon.

What's a father to do? Obviously, one can never be sure of most missteps until long after they'e been taken. However, the one idea that seems absolutely sure-fire is to acknowledge the genius of actress Kate Winslet's father and make your daughter pay for calls to her boyfriend.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Exploitative Relationships

Where in tough economic times can you look for cheap, easy financial remuneration? Why in family exploitation, of course.

Exploit your dad; exploit your kid; exploit the father-child relationship. Just remember, people have to laugh if there's any chance of money being in it for you:

Monday, February 2, 2009

Courting Disaster

From the Island Staten, between New York and New Jersey, comes a series of articles on the dire situation fathers often face when it comes to gaining custody (or even visitation) as a family breaks up. Dads sometimes do win, but there is nearly as large a cost to winning as to losing. If only we could go back to the good old days when dads were always in control.

This isn't to suggest that only Staten Island courts disfavor the father. The bureaucracy is to vast and and soul sucking and arbitrary about whether or not a man can keep his kids that it not only harms the good guys, it can make a man who names his kid Adolf Hitler [Earlier: Naming Rights], New Jersey's Heath Campbell into a nearly sympathetic character.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Cool D

No father is hip, down, sick, wicked, mad or hep or cool in the eyes of their child — at least while the child is a child. But every man still believes himself to be. Naturally, the sound track for that delusion should come from the land of so much make believe, Oz. This week's Objet d'eBay, is the greatest hits of Australia's jazz combo Daddy Cool, whose roots go back to the 1970s.

Like every father, the band has gone through its various incarnations, trying on different voices to come up with the ones that will have the longest and greatest impact. And like the band, no dad should ever give up, even if it takes 40 or more years, to get their kid(s) to realize they can be a hip, down, sick, wicked mad, hep or most of all cool daddy.