Aug 18 2016

What The Hell Is Up With That Robbery?

If you’ve been following the Rio Olympics at all, you likely have heard about Ryan Lochte and his teammates being robbed at gunpoint.

Taser Gun

(Note: the photo above is a taser. It was in the DaddyTips image library. It has nothing to do with the story. But it is a gun, albeit not a deadly one.)

Unless it never happened. Which is not what we’re saying AT ALL. This is just reporting what others have reported and adding some musings about the “Dad is my Spokesperson” thing.

According to the AP, two of Lochte’s teammates were pulled from a plane and had their passports seized. That seems odd to me. Here’s some details:

USOC spokesperson Patrick Sandusky said Jack Conger and Gunnar Bentz were released by local authorities after being pulled from a flight at the Rio de Janeiro airport, with the understanding that discussions would continue amid uncertainty over what truly took place during a late outing the night Olympic swimming wrapped up at the Rio Games.
Fellow teammate Jimmy Feigen also plans to talk to officials, Sandusky said, as he navigates a judge’s order that keeps him in Brazil. The order similarly called for Lochte’s passport to be seized, but the star swimmer had already returned to the United States before authorities could enforce the decision.
A lawyer for Conger and Bentz said Thursday that they won’t be allowed to leave Brazil until they provide testimony to investigators. The swimmers didn’t speak to reporters as they left the airport, shuttled away by a black car waiting outside. They departed for an unspecified location in Brazil and had yet to testify, said attorney Sergio Viegas. (emphasis added)

Kinda bizarre, right? Is it possible that they made the whole thing up? Apparently accounts of the details of the event have changed, which is less surprising when you read that Lochte and his teammates were, according to published reports, inebriated. What is very strange to me is that the athletes aren’t being allowed to leave the country. That feels punitive.

Here’s what Lochte’s father Steve had to say (this is why I’m writing about the whole thing on DaddyTips):

Lochte’s father told The Associated Press by phone from his Florida home that his son called him Tuesday after arriving in the United States. The 32-year-old swimmer was going to pick up his car and buy a new wallet to replace the one that he said was stolen.
“I’m just happy he’s safe,” Steve Lochte said. “It was an unfortunate experience for him and the other three. I don’t know what all the controversy is. They were basically taken out of the taxi and robbed. The main thing is he’s very lucky that he’s safe and that all they got was his cash and wallet.”

So Ryan Lochte was allowed to leave Rio.

A brief word about the whole “Dad as Spokesperson” phenomenon.

This is something that I continue to be fascinated by. Why does a 32-year-old need his father to speak on his behalf? Athletes in particular seem to have their Dads talk for them, especially in situations like, say, the NFL draft. We saw that in Jerry Maguire; the father of someone Jerry is trying to represent is clearly running his kid’s life. In that case it makes a bit more sense. The kid is young, impressionable, possibly not that great with money. That was the case in Jerry Maguire. It’s probably a little less true today. But Dad as head of the Athlete Brain Trust? OK. I can work with that.

It’s “Dad as Spokesperson” that I get stuck on. It happens more often in sports than anywhere else, but it also occurs in entertainment. At a certain point, I would think that one wouldn’t want want to have one’s parents speaking for you. (I apologize for that sentence.) It just feels weird to me. I love my kids but I want them to be able to speak for themselves, especially at the age of 32.

This should in no way be construed as a dig at any athlete, nor should it be seen as shedding any doubt on the story that U.S. Olympic athletes were robbed in Rio. The story is bizarre and doesn’t seem to be getting covered the way I would like, which is to say that this seems like a straightforward series of events — guys get robbed at gunpoint, police investigate, they get to move on. People not being allowed to leave the country? That’s odd. Bottom line: we’re just reporting what other outlets have reported, outlets with actual reporters doing journalism. If you want to read more about the whole mess, there are links below.

Three American Olympic swimmers planned to meet with Brazilian law enforcement Thursday to discuss a reported robbery targeting 12-time medalist Ryan Lochte and his teammates, a U.S. Olympic Committee official said.

Source: Ryan Lochte’s swim teammates to meet with authorities on robbery – Chicago Tribune

Aug 18 2016

Well That Got Weird Quickly

Nice article about Star Trek Beyond (written by my former colleague at Babble, Whit Honea). Discussing whether or not it’s OK to take the kids. Spoiler alert: Whit says it is, with the caveat that your mileage may vary. (That’s usually the case, but I was glad to read that there wasn’t any blood and guts, which is usually what bothers me.)

Then I read the comments. I’ll let them speak for themselves.

Star Trek Beyond article insane comments

Generally it’s a good idea to skip the comments. In this case, though, I’m glad I didn’t. Because commenters responded the same way I did, which is to reply with a hearty, “What the hell are you talking about?” Or, to put it another way:


Here’s what parents can expect from ‘Star Trek Beyond.’

Source: Are Your Kids Ready for ‘Star Trek Beyond’? | Fandango

Nov 20 2015

French Father Explains Paris Attacks To Son (Video)

This video of a father talking to his son about the Paris attacks might make you cry. Me? Oh, you know. Allergies. #liar

DaddyTips Featured Video

Oh my. The kid is adorable, and the way the father handles the situation is just wonderful. To be fair, I’m assuming that’s his father. It could be an uncle or a friend. But the tweet says father, so let’s go with that. Excuse me. I need a new box of tissues. I told you. Allergies. #liar

H/T to @thereaIbanksy and the awesomely talented actress Constance Zimmer (currently being awesome on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) who retweeted it.

Jun 17 2015

Childhood Obesity Meets Bad Parenting

What happens when childhood obesity meets bad parenting? You get overweight kids. And at least one bummed out blogger. (That would be me.)

Fat Boys on Vinyl

Check out the lede from this New York Times story:

Not only was the 16-year-old boy 60 pounds overweight, but a blood test showed he might have fatty liver disease. At last, his mother took him to a pediatric weight management clinic in New Haven. But she did not at all like the dietitian’s advice.
“I can’t believe you’re telling me I can’t buy Chips Ahoy! cookies,” said the mother, herself a nurse.

You “can’t believe” it? Lady, according to this story, your kid might have liver disease. And your response is that you “can’t believe” the dietitian is telling you that perhaps the cause is cookie-related? Read more »

May 04 2015

Age of Ultron Hard on Joss Whedon Because He Has a Family

Avengers: Age of Ultron ruled the box office this weekend. And before that, it ruled director Joss Whedon‘s life. This was, according to the director, difficult on him because he has a family. Here’s what he said in an interview:

English: Joss Whedon at the 2010 Comic Con in ...

English: Joss Whedon at the 2010 Comic Con in San Diego (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“When I watch it, I just see ‘flaw, flaw, flaw, compromise, laziness, mistake,’” said Whedon. “The reason I set out to make another film is because I wanted to make one that was better, and I wanted to up my game as a shooter and work harder on every aspect of it and sort of give myself up to it in a way that’s hard for me, because I have a family. I started as a writer in low-budget TV, and there was always this element of, ‘This is good enough.’ And with this movie, I never wanted to say, ‘This is good enough.’” (emphasis added)

And now the explanation. Read more »

Mar 02 2015

Vaccination Nation Continues

File this under “things that shouldn’t be a debate but are.” With no medical or scientific evidence to support a link between vaccines and certain undesirable medical conditions such as autism, many parents insist that they know better. Or at least that someone else knows better. (Usually it’s someone on the Internet.)

The making of a DNA vaccine.

The making of a DNA vaccine. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many parents are asking doctors to “spread out” the vaccines that their children receive, according to the L.A. Times.

Personally I don’t know if spreading out the vaccines is such a terrible thing, but according to the L.A. Times, citing an article in the journal Pediatrics, “87% of the doctors [surveyed] agreed that when parents delay some or all of these vaccines, they are putting their children at risk of being sickened by a preventable disease.”

In spite of their concerns, many doctors are doing it anyway.

So. To sum up. Most doctors (in a particular survey, at least) think that spreading out vaccines is dangerous. But if a parent is noodgy enough, they’ll do it anyway.

This is not good medicine. I’m not saying that doctors are always right. Far from it. (Oy, the stories I could tell you.) But if a doctor truly believes, based on all of the information available to them, that their patients, who in this case are children under 2 years old and therefore can’t decide for themselves, should be vaccinated in a particular way, they should not be swayed by a parent who complains loudly enough.

Other doctors are taking a hard line on the issue, refusing to treat children who have not been vaccinated.

Considering that measles is making a comeback (see the Related articles links below), and that Rand Paul and other politicians have made anti-vaccination a political issue as well as a medical one, I think it’s safe to say that this issue won’t be going away anytime soon. Which is annoying because, to the best of my knowledge, the entire anti-vaccine campaign (such as it is) dates to the Lancet study which was shown to be COMPLETELY WRONG in 2010. (More on that here if you’re interested.) And yet, five years later, we’re still talking about it.


Small Pox

As I said before — zero deaths. That’s the goal. And it’s an achievable one. How? Science! Cue music.

Doctors often delay vaccines for children to appease parents – LA Times.

Feb 09 2015

Mike Francesa Says Parents Should Relax About Fandom

Remember when I wrote about raising kids to be fans of perpetually bad sports teams? (If not, I helpfully linked to the article for you. I’ll expect a thank you note in the mail.) Today on WFAN, Mike Francesa took a caller to task about the same issue. Basically, he told the caller, a father and fan of the Jets (I think it was the Jets) that parents should relax about fandom.

Alabama High School Coaches Fighting on the Field

(Note: the image above has nothing to do with the story except that it is a sports image, and neither person appears to be relaxed.)

The WFAN host’s point, which I basically agree with, is that people take this whole “I’m raising my kid to be a fan of a perpetually bad sports team” thing much too seriously. Or, as Aaron Rodgers put it — RELAX.

Francesa went on to describe some of the favorite Yankee teams of his childhood, which he described as not being very good but he loved them anyway.

I am also a Yankee fan, and here’s where I have to respectfully… not exactly disagree with Mr. Francesa, but add to his point. When the Yankees lose, it doesn’t hurt the way it does when the Mets lose. The same is true for the Giants and the Jets. Even when the Jets WIN, fans find it painful. The first two years that Mark Sanchez was the Jets’ starting quarterback, which were also the first two years’ of Rex Ryan’s tenure as head coach, they made it to the AFC Championship Game. That’s one game away from the Super Bowl. I watched those games, and the ones that preceded it, with a lifelong Jets fan. You know what? Even the games they won, I could feel the tension. There’s always a sense that something bad will happen. I don’t know why, but I’ve seen it firsthand and discussed it with other Jets fans. They agree. Barring another Super Bowl win (and it is worth noting that the Jets at least HAVE a Super Bowl win in their history, something many other NFL teams do not), I don’t know that it will ever not be at least a little bit painful to be a fan of the Jets.

Does that mean raising your kid to be a Jets fan is somehow bad parenting? Of course not. That’s silly. In my experience kids pick up on fandom naturally — if you’re a Jet(s fan) you’re a Jet(s fan) all the way, and your kids prob’ly will be the exact same way.