Category Archives: Parenting

10 things I learned while camping at Parker Dam

1) Clearfield, PA is a lot smaller than I thought it would be.

2) If Jeff Foxworthy ever runs low on material, a visit to Clearfield, PA would clear that up quickly.

3) Scotto’s Pizza in downtown Clearfield, PA has some decent pizza.

4) Some squirrels and chipmunks can be pretty bold when it comes to looking for handouts.

5) Getting to know your neighbors camping can lead them to believe that you automatically will watch their children.

6) Drinking coffee near a campfire is a must-have experience (even if you don’t drink coffee….or like campfires).

7) I still can’t believe there are people out there who will burn plastic and metal cans in a campfire. Smokey The Bear should go Chuck Norris on their butts.

8 ) You can hear some strange noises coming out of the woods at night. Somehow, watching too many low budget horror films that involve camping and having an active imagination doesn’t help either.

9) I was able to get my Larry The Cable Guy costume for Halloween. A flannel shirt & camo baseball cap cost $11 bucks.

10) People in Clearfield, PA will look at you weird if you try to pronounce Dubois (doo-BOYS) as it is pronounced in French (doo-BWAH). Of course, not wearing a black concert shirt in Clearfield will get you strange looks too.

Bad Parent Magazine polls results are in: Chuck E. Cheese voted #1

      Bad Parent Magazine, a resource for couples whose feel responsibility for children ends at conception, has voted Chuck E. Cheese the best place to watch their offspring.

      “Whenever there’s a birthday party there, I know that they got plenty a people there to watch my kid while I am at home relaxin’,”  states Brian Johnson – father of 7.  He went onto explain that he was there for what he thinks was a birthday party for one of his children’s classmates. He’s not sure he has the right day, but that didn’t seem to matter. Mr. Johnson sometimes uses Chuck E. Cheese as a free day care.

    “It’s perfect for me, ‘cus you don’t gotta register no one. They don’t ask for emergency contact numbers. You don’t have to worry if your kid is sick or not. They are open almost all the time and you can drop them off whenever,” Mr. Johnson explains.

   Reggie Wallace, shift manager at Chuck E. Cheese, expresses concern with the practice but appreciates the business.

    “I am lucky that most of my employees have enough interest to show up. The ones that do decide to show up for their shifts will get that all-important babysitting experience,” Mr. Wallace continued. “I don’t know if I would want my kids to be raised by my employees, but I am glad we can provide this important service for the public. We take really good care of the kids. Most of them buy tokens by the bucket and we just keep the bottomless soda coming.”

    The dark side to this impromptu day care situation is that the police continue to get called to the premises. Reports of harrassment of other customers, physical threats and some elementary school-level gang activity have made this a potentially risky spot for those children who treat the establishment as it was originally intended.

   The survey taken by Bad Parent Magazine found that Chuck E. Cheese was the best place to drop children off at. This was followed by – in order of ranking – family reunions, bowling alleys, laser tag arenas/roller skating rinks, zoos, amusement parks, bus stations, crack dens and supermarkets.  98% of all bad parents survey felt that it was “somebody else’s fault” when it comes to their own childrens’ atrocious behavior. When given a choice between holding their child accountable or taking someone else to court when their children got into trouble, 99% chose litigation.

        It is also interesting to point out that 75% of these parents felt that their children’s meals should consist of the 4 main food groups: sugar, fat, fillers & preservatives. The remaining 25% of the parents were vaguely aware there were other little people in the house and had noticed some food was missing. All of bad parents surveyed felt that toys from China were an excellent source of lead and very educational when it comes to teaching their children about the Periodic table.

     A popular alternative day care choice among bad parents also included R-rated films that feature adult content, graphic violence and sexually suggestive language. These parents also found television programming on The WB and Fox network that featured elementary school age children with libidos was “effin’ hilarious.” 89% of the parents surveyed also felt it was not the school’s job to teach their children the “birds and bees.”  100% believed that it wasn’t their job and think that they’ll figure out one way or another.

9 things that bother me

Adults who buy their children ATVs – Is this a socially acceptable way to crush your children?

low budget hotdogs – If I am going to indulge in a meal that’s incredibly bad for me, it should at least taste good.

The fine print – I absolutely love car commercials on tv that have the 6 point font that explain the terms of contract. Just because I can’t see the specific terms of the contract doesn’t mean I can’t trust them, right? They’re looking out for me. I know they are. 28% interest sounds fair.

Anime – large-eyed people with narrow mouths that have the acting depth of Steven Seagal. It’s beyond annoying.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – I bet the stuff he was smoking that made him think he’d be able to visit the World Trade Center site was really strong. He must have the same drug dealer as Ann Coulter.

Lee C. Bollinger – The President of Columbia University is confusing academic freedom with being an unbalanced idiot.  It is possible to be liberal without sounding like you’ve had a lobotomy.

Digital Rights Management – The recording industry is trying to make up for lost decades of the public trading copies of audio cassettes. It’s made them think that the individual doesn’t really own the material they buy now. They’re just borrowing it. I am all for protecting the rights of distribution, let’s say, in the crackdown of foreign countries pirating movies. I am not, however, liking being locked out of being able to convert items to other formats for my own use.

Windows Vista – This operating system is such a resource hog that even mentioning it in front of your own computer will make the system run slower or crash. I plan on having an open source operating system on my home computer before this becomes public.

Law breakers who try to wrap their crimes in The Constitution – Would someone please let Warren Jeffs & his followers know that sexually assaulting 14 year olds is not a constitutional right?

Observations of a 4 year old birthday party

    My daughter celebrated her 4 years on the planet. During all the festivities, I made note of several little events I felt compelled to comment on here.

    I think one of the most annoying things I have experienced, even before becoming a parent, is watching other parents leave their children to fend for themselves at public functions. As soon as they arrive, the parent and child go their separate ways. I am not sure if this is a misinterpretation of “it takes a village” or what. Having been a camp counselor, I instantly feel I have to keep a watchful eye on the child. I find it hardly coincidental that the parent capable of this is oftentimes paired with what we in the childcare field referred to as “demon spawn.”  While most children have a natural appeal, these beings evoke no calming emotion. Luckily, the party only lasted 2 hours. I did quietly smile to myself watching these kids putting away soda in college beer bong proportions.  It’s almost like karma in disaccharide form.

     Other than that, I reaffirm my hatred of Bratz toys. The good news is that the toy gods were smiling upon us because there was only one this time. I find it really hard to celebrate inner-city attitude venerated as if it were culture. Bling is merely the substitution for the phrase “fascinated by shiny objects.” Even the frickin’ name emphasizes illiteracy…..

Candy cigarettes: a second-hand bad habit

   Up until a few days ago, candy cigarettes didn’t seem like such a big deal. My recent observations have led me to believe that candy cigarettes may not be such a good idea.

   While watching my oldest son play baseball, I witnessed a group of children eating candy. One little girl in particular was holding a box of candy cigarettes. Instead of just munching these chalk-like candies, she was posing with them while talking with her friends.  The edible cigarette was held between her index and middle finger on a relaxed arm. Pointing the imaginary lit end away from her body, she stood with her friends – repeating what is probably parental behavior regarding COPD in convenient rolled form. What was the name of the candy cigarettes? Target brand, of course.

   The mind races (mine, at least) at the possibilities with other marketing ideas to aim at kids.  Fisher Price Toys could come out with a bright colorful plastic oxygen tanks that the kid could lug around with them. Velcro chest straps could playfully minimize the difficult breathing that you get when you dance with Mr. Tobacco for decades. Baby Gap could come out with fashionable hospital-like gowns.

    O.K., maybe it’s a stretch. However, I don’t see the need for candy cigarettes.  Having lost loved ones to this, it’s more than annoying to see something deadly appear as a harmless activity for kids. The message is rather conflicted, don’t you think?

My blog is two years old this month!

   I remembered that it was two when I busted it jumping on my couch. It’s cool, though. I bribed it with some Cheerios to get down.

  The only downside is that my blog refused naps in the afternoon. Well, that and my blog doesn’t like to be strapped down in car seats when we go on long drives.

The Loft That Daddy Built (with Mommy’s help, of course)

Here, my daughter poses on her new “big girl bed.” Not only did she upgrade from a toddler bed, she now has DISNEY PRINCESS SHEETS. This combination of new bed and new sheets puts my daughter’s excitement level approximately that of a gameshow contestant. 

Please note that the loft resides in what used to be a narrow closet. Daddy had to remove a section of wall to expand her room to hold this wooden monstrosity. Daddy would also like to point out that Mommy had a big role in designing and planning the necessary equipment for this project. Thank you, Mommy.