August 20, 2015

Josh Duggar, Oy Vey

We’ve never been big fans of the Duggars. I wrote a piece for Babble.com about the “quiverfull” movement awhile back (can’t find the link) in which I basically said that it was a lot of nonsense and they should stop having so many kids, but if they want to have so many kids, don’t use religion as an excuse for it. Also, don’t put the kids on reality TV shows. Now, with the news that Josh Duggar had an Ashley Madison account, I’d like to keep things simple. Josh Duggar, oy vey.

Details below.

The family of Jim Bob Duggar.

The family of Jim Bob Duggar. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In 2013, conservative reality TV star Josh Duggar—of TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting fame—was named the executive director of the Family Research Council, a conservative lobbying group in D.C. which seeks “to champion marriage and family as the foundation of civilization, the seedbed of virtue, and the wellspring of society.” During that time, he also maintained a paid account on Ashley Madison, a web site created for the express purpose of cheating on your spouse.

Source: Family Values Activist Josh Duggar Had a Paid Ashley Madison Account (Gawker)



August 19, 2015

Mixed Feelings About James Harrison And Participation Trophies (UPDATED)

NFL player James Harrison does not believe in participation trophies. Even if they’re for his own kids.

James Harrison and coach Keith Butler can be s...

James Harrison and coach Keith Butler can be see in the background. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Via ProFootballTalk:

Anyone who’s ever watched Steelers linebacker James Harrison play football knows that he’s an intense competitor who wants to win at all costs. So perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising that Harrison is passing along that intense competitiveness to his sons.

That’s a good, but imperfect, description of what Harrison did. Here’s the post from Harrison’s Instagram:

In general I agree with the notion that we have gone too far in the direction of “attaboy” awards for children and for adults. So while at first I might be inclined to join the chorus of “yay! Go James Harrison!”, in this specific case I think returning the trophies puts Harrison’s kids in an uncomfortable situation socially. Granted, their father is a professional football player, and a well-known one at that. (He’s not Tom Brady or Peyton Manning, but most NFL fans know who James Harrison is.) That makes it easier. And I would never presume to tell someone that they should go against their personal family values, even if that person isn’t someone who can throw me across a room with his pinkie. (That doesn’t mean I think people can beat their kids, or do other harm to their children in the name their individual “family values”.)

However. In this specific case, everyone gets a trophy. I admit those trophies look a lot bigger than the crappy ones that we got “just for playing” when I was young. But youth sports often have a participation trophy, or certificate of completion, or something along those lines. This analogy isn’t perfect, but if a player is injured, he still gets paid, right? The backup quarterback of a Super Bowl winning team still gets a ring, even if he never played a single down. (I know the analogy isn’t perfect. If you have a better one, let me know and I’ll post it.)

Maybe you’re a good player on a crappy team. In my case, I was a crappy player on a great team, at least my first year in youth baseball. The team was so good we won the championship. I didn’t do much to contribute, but I got a HUGE trophy. Should I have given it back because I didn’t do enough to earn it?

This is in no way a commentary on James Harrison’s parenting skills. (And not only because he could hurt me if he wanted to.) I don’t know what kind of father Mr. Harrison is, and I’m glad to see that he is, at minimum, an involved one. But while I agree that “sometimes your best is not enough, and that should drive you to want to do better” I’m not sure it follows that participation trophies are given out because kids “cry and whine until somebody gives you something to shut u [sic] up and keep you happy.” That certainly wasn’t the case when I played, nor was it the case when my own children played.

The truth is, part of life IS about showing up. Maybe the answer lies somewhere in between. Kids who never missed a game or a practice without a legitimate medical reason get a trophy, while kids who only bothered to show up every other game get bupkis. That won’t happen, but it would be a happy medium.

UPDATE: Albert Burneko wrote a piece on this topic for Deadspin that is less restrained than mine. (H/T Whit Honea.)

Source: James Harrison won’t let his sons accept participation trophies (ProFootballTalk)



August 17, 2015

Books – The Original iPad

I recently received an email from a PR person touting the success of electronic devices giving parents some time to themselves. This is true. But it doesn’t only apply to electronics. It also applies to books.

DaddyTips—Thoughts on Dadding

When I was a kid, there were electronics, but they required dinosaur toenail clippings to run. (Little joke there.) I spent plenty of time in front of a screen, usually a television, because that’s what we had. I also owned a lot of handheld games, like this miniature Pac-Man machine. Eventually I had a TRS-80 Color Computer which I used to play games and also write programs in BASIC.

English: Tandy/Radio Shack TRS-80 Color Computer 1

English: Tandy/Radio Shack TRS-80 Color Computer 1 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But before any of that, I read books. So many books. The Hobbit. Lord of the Rings. Bored of the Rings. A Wrinkle in Time. The Fletch and Flynn series by Gregory MacDonald. (I was too young for those but I read them anyway.) Agatha Christie. Sherlock Holmes. Comic books.

Reading gives parents a break as much, if not more than, electronics do. I’m not anti-screen time. I try to manage it, and I recommend that parents with very young children manage screen time closely, mostly because I don’t see any reason for a 6 month old to be playing with an iPad. But as a kid who grew up watching a lot of TV, it would be hypocritical of me to say that I’m anti-screen.

But a good book will always trump electronics. A good book — I’m talking about a really good book — is hard to put down. Sometimes it is impossible to put down. “Just one more chapter. Just one more page.” Sound familiar? Sure, the same can apply to a video game. “Just let me beat this boss.” But it’s not the same thing. A book requires imagination, and therefore uses more of the brain than anything involving a screen does. (Kindles count as books, although there is an argument to be made that plain ol’ paper books are more involving because it’s just the book, no buttons, no screen. It’s not necessarily an argument you will win, but you can make it, and I’d back you up.) (Note: the statement “uses more of the brain” sounds like I’m making a scientifically proven statement. I’m not. I think it’s likely that my statement is correct, but I don’t have the science to back it up.)

Not all kids are readers. I was, and luckily so are my kids. I like to believe that because they grew up in a house where reading was a regular activity, they naturally became readers themselves. I have no idea if this is the case, and I never will. Maybe I just got lucky. But I can confidently say that once your kids learn to read, it has the potential to be life changing… for you.

Kids who love to read get involved in their books. And when they’re reading, they don’t ask you to look up a walk-through so they can beat a section of the game they are playing. Also, reading is a quiet activity. Books don’t make noise. And readers rarely make noise when they read. (Occasional exclamations of surprise and/or joy don’t count, although they are wonderful to hear.)

Again — I am not knocking screens, literally or figuratively. Heck, unless you printed out this blog post, you’re reading it on a screen. And video games are fun. My point is simply that back in my day, when dinosaurs roamed the Earth, books provided a service to parents that electronics do now. And they still can.



August 9, 2015

Tim Brown Happy His Son Is Happy

Former NFL great Tim Brown made it into the Pro Football Hall of Fame after 6 years of eligibility. What’s he most happy about? The fact that his son is happy.

On the first night of the NFL Pre-season, the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game, Brown was interviewed by Paul Burmeister, who asked him how it felt to make it to Canton and what’s been his favorite part of the festivities.

Paul Burmeister: What’s been the most memorable part of the weekend?

Tim Brown: My son came up to me, he’s only 12, he didn’t see my career, but after the ceremony, at the enshrinement last night he came up to me and he said, Dad, you’re cool, you’re cool Dad. So to me, that was big time.

What can I say? I love stuff like this. Fathers and sons. Even a football legend like Tim Brown is happy that his son thinks he’s cool. This is one of those rare times when I can honestly say I know how a pro athlete feels.



July 27, 2015

Buy This If You Want To Piss Off Your Wife

DaddyTips readers know that we like to post DaddyDeals when we find them. Good prices on, you know, stuff. (By the way, we heard the portable DVD player deal sold out almost as soon as we posted it. Although we take no actual responsibility, we feel bad that you weren’t able to get the deal. We have to say “we take no actual responsibility” for legal reasons. At least that’s what we’ve been told.)

This deal we don’t actually expect anyone to buy, unless they happen to be in the market for such a thing. When we saw it, we thought, “wow, how funny would it be if a guy bought this for his wife?” Why? Because the item in question is a Neoprene Waist Trimmer Belt.

Nothing says “I want to sleep on the couch tonight” like buying your wife a Neoprene Waist Trimmer Belt.

If that’s how you roll, it is currently, as of this writing, on sale for under 10 dollars.

Amazon.com: Ohuhu® Neoprene Waist Trimmer Belt, Black: Sports & Outdoors

Source: Amazon.com: Ohuhu® Neoprene Waist Trimmer Belt, Black: Sports & Outdoors


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July 27, 2015

Don’t Read This Until After You See Ant-Man

But DO read it AFTER you see Ant-Man because it’s a fun article.

There are also a bunch of Related Articles below that probably contain spoilers. If you care about such things, don’t read those either until after you’ve seen the movie. Which I did, and it’s fun.

Scott Lang Ant-Man Trade Paperback

 

Director Peyton Reed talks about that fight scene and the movie’s hell yes! mid-credits scene.

Source: Spoiler: Ant-Man’s Twists and Cameos Explained — Vulture



July 24, 2015

Amazon Portable DVD Player Deal

Nice deal from Amazon on this portable DVD player that also has an SD card reader. Plus it’s purple. Limited time offer, caveat buyor, etc. As I write this it’s $39.99, regular price is $69.99. Good for the kids on a long car trip.

Check it out. Link below. And here.

Amazon.com: Sylvania SDVD7027 7-Inch Portable DVD Player with Car Bag/Kit, Swivel Screen, USB/SD Card Reader (Purple): Electronics

Source: Amazon.com: Sylvania SDVD7027 7-Inch Portable DVD Player with Car Bag/Kit, Swivel Screen, USB/SD Card Reader (Purple): Electronics