Thursday, May 27, 2010

You know you are a parent when...

You keep the food coloring next to the bathtub.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Perhaps immodest

I’ve had a bit of writers block lately. My key problem is that as I think of what to write about, my mind is drawn to how incredibly awesome my life is. I don’t want to blog about that because when I write it in my head, it just sounds boastful and silly. Since I haven’t been able to figure out a way to avoid that, I’ll just go for it and you can all roll your eyes if you want =)

Reasons my life is awesome:
  1. Family: My wife and kids are great. Wonderful people, and we are happy together. I’m happy to go home to them and I’m so glad my life is all wrapped up with such amazing people.
  2. This country: Lebanon is a wonderful place to be. It’s beautiful, full of life and an elegant churning chaos that can smack you one minute and bring a smile the next. It has flaws to be sure, but what a place!
  3. Time: I get personal language tutoring, a talented cello teacher, a nice gym, more fascinating things than I know what to do with. What’s not to love?
  4. Setting: The Mediterranean Sea is 200 meters from my living room. I love that!
  5. My Job: My job is wonderful. I have a chance to make a difference for the world and financial security for me. That is rare and valuable.
 Anyway, I’ll cut my enthusiasm off here.

I have an awesome life and I am very grateful for it!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

What would you like for lunch?

Ok, technically, they had already had lunch and were angling for desert, but I like the theme.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

An idea, and speculation

For the last several weeks, I have enjoyed several podcasts on the parenting.  Err, well, that's not entirely true.  They are podcasts on motherhood.  For reasons unknown to me, there are far more podcasts related to motherhood than to fatherhood, and very few related to parenthood in general.

I see an opportunity here.  Podcasts do take effort, but have great value.  I'm thinking of starting one up that focuses on issues faced by young fathers.  However, instead of taking a 'if you build it they will come' attitude, I'm contemplating why there aren't already more of these available.

Reflexively, people might claim that dads aren't as interested in this type of content, but that doesn't square with my anecdotal experience.  In my corner of the universe, nearly every father is interested in being highly involved in parenting and so forth.  Therefore, I conclude that they are likely to be interested in the topic generally, but perhaps not inclined to access that type of content as a podcast.

If men just don't tend to turn to podcasts for this sort of thing, then I don't want to bother creating one.  On the other hand, if this is a market-making opportunity, I'm all over it.

I'm envisioning a group of 3 dads discussing a single issue per episode, with each episode lasting 10-15 minutes, published weekly. 

What do you folks think?

Do you expect that a podcast on fatherhood issues is likely to be listened to?

Monday, May 10, 2010

+5 Dad points

Today, I'd like to cross-link to a dad with a really neat idea.  He makes amazing pancake creations for this kids.  I'm definitely going to try this at home.

Monday, May 3, 2010

A bit of progress

A few months ago, I set a goal to learn how to facepaint.  I've been slowly making progress, and I figure if I post some results here, it will help keep me on track.  This hobby has turned out to be an unexpected learning process.  I've found many aspects of this process are very similar to Asian art.  There is a certain canon of subjects, which are arranged in sequential difficulty.  There are a few key techniques and tools that are layered together to create really attractive works.  Finally, it all has to be done in a very short period of time, with very little allowance for error.

Leave it to me to turn facepainting into a zen philosophical exercise =)

Anyway, here are my current results.  Below is my effort at a partial cat face.

For daughter #2, she wanted a Dalmatian.  I didn't want to put down the white base layer, so I went au naturale.  This turned out to be a good idea as she was feeling a bit jumpy and I had to do the whole thing in about 45 seconds.  For what it is, I'm pleased, but there is quite a bit of refinement needed in my technique.

As a side note, I discovered that if the kid can't stop laughing during the process (which is understandable due to tickling issues), the best solution is play a 'who can hold their breath longest?'  Then you have a few seconds with a stable facial expression to make your move. 

Thus far, I've got basic and fancy butterflies, and a dragon of my own design in my repertoire.  Hopefully, by the end of the month I will have animal faces mastered.  After that, I'll try Celtic knots and tribal designs.