Thursday, June 26, 2008

Boys Who Like Boys

Most day's I'll say that having two boys is ideal for our little family. I love having two boys and am relieved that I will never have to worry about a teenage daughter or have to put up with a ton of princess shit. I know I, of all people, shouldn't be giving in to socially prescribed gender roles, but Hannah Montana is lurking around every corner to deprogram all attempts to raise an anti-princess. Having two boys also provides me with an almost endless supply of Beastie Boys costumes for the three of us for many a Halloween.
That all being said, every once in a while I do miss the little girl we will not have. I'm bummed that we'll never get to use the name we picked out for a girl (Harper). I'm even more disappointed when I think of all the great songs that I would have sung to her. Not that I can sing.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Gone Baby Gone. The Goat is Gone!

If it wasn't bad enough that I had to take the boys to the mall this morning, somewhere between The Apple Store and Urban Outfitters, Goat, one of Ozzi's favorite wrestling partners, abandoned stroller never to be seen again.

With the tragic irony of this and my previous post fresh in mind I frantically searched everywhere praying I would find him. No luck. I annoyed the hell out of a few MOA employees. No luck there either.

But, all is not lost. Pacifier reassured K8 that Goat is still replaceable. During the search I also meet a super cool family from Iceland, Norway, or one of the other Nordic nations. Their orange Phil & Ted's was much cleaner than ours and they weren't in a panicked frenzy.

And just in case you were wondering who makes the cutest and cuddliest little goat this side of the alps: blabla kids. A fantastic globally responsible company that you can be happy to give your money to.

Hero(es) of The Week: The volunteers that found Keith Kennedy

Kennedy, an autistic man with some health problems, had been missing for a week. Just before the search would have been called off for the day, a group, including a few St. Paul Firefighters, decided to "go back in" one last time to search an area that had already been searched at least three times since the searching began. Kennedy was found in rough condition but alive Sunday.

Here's to all those willing to "go back in" one more time.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

While I'm on the subject of cool new cars...

I really wish the people at great companies like Tesla Motors and Fisker Automotive would strike up deals with great toy companies like Plan Toys and Automoblox. A Tesla Roadster is too impractical to ever be parked in our garage, but a Tesla Roadster wooden toy car... We'd gladly make room in the playroom for at least a few.

BTW, we finally got the Automoblox C9R Sportscar. Without a doubt, Automoblox make the best toy cars you can buy.

But does it come with the LATCH system?

At $100,000+ the Fisker Karma is still a lot more than I'm willing to pay for an environmentally friendly car. But, next to the similarly priced Tesla it does have some major advantages.

Four doors. The Tesla doesn't even have a back seat.

The Karma is an electric-first plug-in hybrid. So for your under-50-miles-a-day commute you won't use any gas, but on the weekend when you need to go 300 miles out to the lake the backup gas engine will get you, and the kids, there.

The design for the interior of the Karma is way cooler.

Best of all, the Karma has a solar roof that, while it is parked out in the hot sun of the Super Target parking lot, will power the A/C to keep the inside of the car nice and cool when you get back in. Oh hell yeah, that feature itself is worth $100,000.

Now if only they (or Tesla) would make a wagon.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Go pee before you watch this video, trust me.

Thanks to the Pioneer Press article about us "daddy bloggers" I found Looky, Daddy. Thanks to Looky, Daddy I found one of the funniest videos I have ever seen, or ever will see, in my lifetime.


Picture Books A Go Go

Though a bit limited so far, is a super way to find new picture books for the wee little ones. You can set up a bookself to share what books you and your spawn are reading over and over and over and over and... Or you can use it the way it should be, a wish-list of books that friends and relatives can go to for gift ideas. At least that's what I did because they don't have much for books that we already have at home. The feature that puts lookybook above all else though is that you can actually look at entire books on-line and even embed them like this:

Just click on the book.

And yes, I know the illustrations in the Jabberwocky book is pretty dark for the little ones. That one would be more for me. I'm weird like that.

Concentrate Daniel-san

As I type this Q is in the other room trying to catch the dust floating in the sunshine coming through the window. Like Mr. Miyagi said, "Man who catch fly with chopstick accomplish anything."

Anyway, I wanted to post about Siji Kids the great kids clothing store that recently moved from Snelling, blocks away from our house, to Grand, just a few more blocks away from our house. It's hard not stopping in whenever we walk past while out on a walk and I'm glad we did the other day because we found what I believe could be the coolest kids shirt ever:

Friday, June 13, 2008

The Hipster's Father's Day

We've got a heap of stuff going on this weekend but I'm still hoping that we can make it to the Stone Arch Festival of the Arts. With a variety of food, music, art, cars, and kids activities, there's something for everyone. And while you're in the neighborhood you might as well stop by Pacifier and check out their big weekend sale with 70% off the clearance racks.

If you're going to the festival on Saturday you can try and get there early and hit the Mill City Farmers Market first.

Are 3 year olds allowed in Nye's Polka Bar?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Green Babies

For those of you that are looking for ways to become more environmentally friendly, you know, for the kids, and have stockpiles of cash that you saved by selling your Hummer and biking to work everyday. Check out Tiny Decor and they will tell you where to go for those $200 organic cotton print shades you just have to have for the nursery. Or you can wait for them to open their online "boutique" sometime this summer. (Sorry, the last shred of manliness I have forces me to put words like "boutique" in quotes.)

Big Ups to My Homegirl in NYC

We got a care package in the mail yesterday from our favorite New Yorker, Becker. A couple of great books that we surprisingly didn't own and a "I (heart) New York" shirt for Ozzi. Great. Thanks Becker.

But forget all that stuff. She also included a tro-tro book that she picked up in Ghana a while back. I guess my begging the last time we saw her paid off. Tro-tro books are wonderfully bizarre and unintentionally hilarious. The Girl Who Lived in a Tree Part 1 seems to be about a little girl that climbs a tree to avoid the outbreak of a disease. Like I said, hilarious. They are a bit like a West African Aesop's Fables but with much stranger "lessons".

Thanks Becker. One of these days we will come to visit. I swear.

Update: Holy shmoly! She sent us 2 tro-tro books! "The Wicked Teacher and the Stubborn School Boys 1" was stuck inside one of the other books for the boys. Sweetness!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Ants in my Arty Pants

I was just about to post about how this Tuesday is the day to go to Arty Pants at the Walker because of the two great exhibits in the Sculpture Gardens right now. But now that I check the Walkers schedule I realize that Design for the Other 90% doesn't open until 11am (same time the museum opens up) and the artist-designed mini golf is only open Wed. - Sun.

We'll probably still be going, partly so I can voice my opinion about the mini golf not being available before Arty Pants to some poor Walker employee that will obviously not give a shit.

If you happen to find me in the Sculpture Gardens before 11, I've got 2 free admission tickets for the museum.

Update: There were more people at Arty Pants today then I have ever seen. We made time to go through the Design for the Other 90% exhibit which was pretty cool and were able to at least explore the mini golf, albeit without balls. Here's some pictures to motivate some of you to go next time:

Quote of the Day

If I absolutely had to name one, and only one, musical artist as my all time favorite it would have to be Ben Folds. So I was pretty damn pleased this morning when Q exclaimed, "I'M ROCKIN' THE SUBURBS!" after I put on his Clash t-shirt.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Ozzi vs The Octopus

Target Family Day at MIA was great. The highlight, making shadow puppets.

K8 made an Ozzi puppet:

I made an Octopus:

Q and Ozzi made it worthwhile:

Hero of The Week: Kim

Kim purchased a One Laptop Per Child XO Laptop for an up coming trip to Sierra Leone. Then later decided it would be too difficult to bring it with everything else. Instead of selling it on ebay for the going rate of $400+, she decided to sell it to someone locally for much cheaper. That someone was me.

So, Kim, thank you so much. Q loves it. Good luck in Sierra Leon. Godspeed.

Update: After originally posting this I started thinking how it would be cool if I could get together some stuff (books, crayons, etc.) to give to Kim before she left to give away to the kids in Sierra Leone. After contacting her she accepted my offer and informed me she leaves THIS THURSDAY. Not much time to work but I already got over 100 little 4 packs of crayons from the wonderful people at Pizza Luce on Selby.

So if you want to drop off a book or two (small paperbacks are best) contact me. I'm giving everything to Kim Wed. morning. If you're hungry for great pizza go to Pizza Luce on Selby.

Click here for more info on the organization that she will be working with while in Sierra Leone.

Friday, June 6, 2008

MIA is for the kids

Not this MIA...

This MIA.

This Sunday from 11am - 5pm Minneapolis Institute of Art is hosting Target Family Day. The event is chock full of workshops and activities for the whole family. They are even having a family yoga class. It should be a good time as long as it isn't as packed as Rock the Cradle was. We intend to be at the door when they open. If painting live (nude!? probably not.) models and seeing me embarrass myself attempting some kiddie yoga isn't enough to get you there, the Alec Soth: Sleeping by the Mississippi exhibit should be.

Edit: I just noticed that at 2:52 on the MIA video Mike D and MCA of the Beastie Boys make a cameo.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

The Bump

No, K8 is NOT pregnant! I'm talking about the Pioneer Press bump that this blog might be getting on Father's Day. Today while we had a few friends over for a playdate Molly Millett, a reporter from the PP, stopped by for an article about dad bloggers. A good time was had by all and a great many things were discussed. A lot of pictures were taken by John the photographer.

After everyone cleared out I continued to think about one of her questions. "Why do you blog?" Why do I blog? Why does any parent blog? I think the reasons are as varied as the blogs themselves. Some, myself included, wanted a way to post pictures and adventures of our children for family and friends to see. Some, myself included, quickly discovered the excitement of the idea that people you have never met from across town or across the ocean are looking at what you post. Some, myself included, want to be a resource for others to find those great people, businesses, products, and ideas that are out there waiting for everyone to discover and support. Some, like rebeldad and maybe myself to a dramatically lesser extent, want to be advocates. Some, myself included, dream of advertising dollars. Some, myself not included, actually get advertising dollars.

In a rare moment of real honesty I will admit that ultimately it really all comes down to, look out Eckhart Tolle, the ego. Positive comments about what you did or how cute your kid is helps beat back that self-doubting monster inside every parent. For the stay at home parent, blogging can also help restore the sense of identity that so many of us left behind with our previous careers or lifestyles that we had before we devoted all our daily efforts to raising our children.

I look forward to seeing the article and pictures.

Quote of the Day

Q: "nah nah hah.... nah nah hah.... foxy.... later... nah nah hah..."

Hendrix (and Garth) would be proud.

I wasn't quite sure if I should correct him or not. But it's nice to hear another song added to the short list of choruses constantly sung by Q around the house. He knows the words to Tegan and Sarah's Walking With a Ghost about as good as his alphabet.

The fact that he has become such a Tegan and Sarah fan does have me a bit concerned about his psychological wellbeing. I love their music too, but it is a bit dreary for a three year old to be this into it.

I really need to get the cable for the video camera so I can start proving some of this stuff.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The second best way to experience nature

Obviously getting off your butt and going outside is the preferred method to experience the splendor of our natural world but when those adventures are met with road blocks such as todays dreary weather (I know. I'm a wuss.) it's good to know that websites like exist.

With new high definition video of wildlife from around the world available daily, Earth-Touch is the best nature website that I have found. Possibly greater than the beautiful high quality footage is the narration, or more accurately, the limited narration. Just a brief description of what you are seeing. No over dramatizing or dumbing down.

They also have a weekly highlights podcast on itunes. Which could be very valuable on our upcoming plane ride, should we decide to include the computer in our carry-on arsenal.

Monday, June 2, 2008

A perfect morning for a 3 year old

... and he pooped in the big potty so we walked to Red Balloon and picked up Follow the Line Around the World by Laura Ljungkvist. I don't know Laura but I'm quite positive that some how she wrote this book specifically for Q.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Hero of The Week: This Kid

His name is Daniel Burd and for his science fair project he managed to isolate the microbes that brake down plastic. He's 16! Here's the whole story. Science rules!