21st Century Dad
One Dad's Thoughts, Ideas, and Feelings.
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JustDaddys.net – a New Internet Forum

June 3rd, 2008 . by 21st Century Dad

A Place for Dads to be Dads

Last night’s triple overtime thriller of a game meant a late night. My friend Greg was able to fly up to Detroit and get a couple tickets to the game. It would’ve been cool to see the RedWings win it all. Greg is a RedWings fan, and I would’ve loved for him to see his team win the Cup. I’m a little fried today between a late night and an early morning meeting with a client. I’m going to make this quick.

JustDaddys.net is a new forum for dads. Jason, the site administrator extended me a personal invitation to join. It’s still in the early stages, but this is where it can be fun. As an early adopter, you have a chance to shape the tone and feel of the forums.

The user base is growing every day. Jason already has tons of great discussion forums already in place. Everything is covered – you can get advice on dealing with an unruly teen or how to calm a colicky baby. Not only is this a place for dads to be dads, but it’s a place for dads to be men. There are discussion forums about plenty of guy things, like sports, cars, and gaming. It’s not a total sausage fest. Moms are welcome too.

When you sign up, please be sure to put “Elliott” (spell it with two T’s please) as the user who referred you. I’ll be totally transparent here. Jason is running a contest and awarding a prize to the top referrer of new users. Don’t let me have all the fun. Spread the word and you’ll get a chance to win too.

If you want to get in on the fun, here are the rules:
1. All referrals must sign up with the site by 11:59PM July 3rd 2008 to be considered a complete referral.
2. All referrals must have a minimum of ten (10) posts before July 13th 2008 to be considered a complete referral.
3. Both Referrer and Referral need to PM me the below items in order to be considered a complete referral.
a. Referrals PM me the name of the Referrer
b. Referrers PM me the name of the Referral
4. For each referral that is completed correctly the referrer will earn a chance to win the prize.
5. Prize will be a $30 dollar gift certificate to the store of your choice (limited to what is in my area to purchase, PM me with requests)
6. Decision of winners and prizes is completely up to me and names will be drawn from a hat randomly at the conclusion of the contest.

Please visit JustDaddys.net and take a look around. You’ll be glad you did.

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State of the Blog Address: Memorial Day Edition

May 26th, 2008 . by 21st Century Dad

12000 Flags for 12000 Patriots

Photo: dbking

We have a 3 day weekend courtesy of the United States government. There’s nothing wrong with barbecues, picnics, or a trip to the beach. Just don’t forget why we have this occasion on our calendars. Regardless of your feelings about the current conflict in Iraq, the US military has done many great things.

I’ve been covering some heavy topics lately, so it’s time to take a little break.

Twilli sportin\' a fauxhawkTwilli Pie

It started as my daughter’s online moniker. Now we call her Twilli, Twill, or Twilli Pie all the time. Somehow, it stuck and it just fits.

When it was time to start thinking of names, we came up with Ariana pretty quickly. I didn’t want to feel like a slacker, so I made a sizable list. The trendy names and more pedestrian names were conspicuously absent. Renee and I both liked Ariana just fine. Sometimes the first choice is the best.

Here she is, sportin’ a faux-hawk.

The Accidental Freelancer

“Let’s start you off on a 1099 for now.” really means, “I don’t think we’ll need you for more than a month or two.”

I don’t get enough visitors and clicks to live off AdSense (yet). Employment from outside the home is definitely a high priority right now. However, a number of factors are influencing me to explore free agency.

The thought of living contract to contract is scary. Just like any endeavor with high risk, the potential reward is much greater.

Oh wait, I said we were taking a break from heavy topics. Oops!

Spending Less Time With Stanley This Year

Watching the Stanley Cup Playoffs is much less of a priority these days. Maybe it would jump the queue if the Panthers could get their butts in gear next season. I kept up with the scores online, but I haven’t watched a game until this past Saturday. I love hockey, but being a dad is priority #1. With my jam-packed schedule, something’s gotta give.

What The Blogosphere Looks Like From Here

I promised more lighthearted fare here today. I already tripped up. I’m outsourcing to Jim for the laughs today.

I’ve recently become a fan of The Baglady. I used to think there were only FOB’s (Fresh off the Boat) Asians and me, as the lone twinkie pariah. Xin’s personal accounts tell me that you can be socially well-adjusted as an Asian-American.

Ron at The Wisdom Journal just plain rocks. You can find insightful articles on personal finance, career advice, and killer guacamole. If that doesn’t entice you to visit, he can tell you how to get out of a speeding ticket.

Boogiemum has done the legwork on finding free or cheap activities for your children this summer.

This one is long overdue, but the topic is timeless. Laurel at Parenting Diva presents us with 20 Things to Consider Before Having Children.

This one is even more overdue. GTA4 is flying off the shelves. I promised to share. Tom Hanson from Open Education gives us a Q&A with Lawrence Kutner, author of Grand Theft Childhood.

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Crunchy on The Inside – Carnivore’s Edition

May 19th, 2008 . by 21st Century Dad

What my family eats is on my radar. I’m fighting years of sloppy code, poorly written nutrition updates and buggy performance in general. In my attempts to live a healthier lifestyle, I still get the blue screen of high fructose corn syrup all the time. Au-Teen gives me a Fatal Exception Error when it comes to drinking more water and easing off the sugar beverages

Making The Shift To Vegetarianism

Fresh Vegetables

Growing up in the United States means you were told that meat is an essential source of protein and other nutrients. The livestock industry is subsidized by our government. Vegetarians are seen as weirdos. It’s all about the beef here in the land that brought you the golden arches and hardened arteries.

Eating meat has become less appealing. I still enjoy the taste and texture of many meats, but it takes a toll on my conscience. Stories about factory-farm raised chickens and the treatment at cattle feedlots are almost enough to make me want to swear off meat. I’ve already stopped eating veal. These calves are kept in the worst conditions and slaughtered within days of being born.

Being a better steward of our Earth and vegetarianism go hand-in-hand. There are environmental reasons for going vegetarian. Did you know that:

  • Eating a vegan diet reduces more carbon emissions than replacing your conventional car with a hybrid.
  • Approximately 55 square feet of forest is destroyed for each hamburger that originated from animals raised on rainforest land.
  • One pound of beef requires an input of approximately 2500 gallons of water.
  • One pound of soy requires 250 gallons.
  • One pound of wheat requires only 25 gallons.
  • With the water used to produce a single hamburger, you could take a luxurious shower every day for two and a half weeks.

Activism isn’t going to turn us all vegetarian overnight. However, we can all do a little to reduce the demand for meat. A decrease in demand will not go unnoticed by the livestock and poultry industries. Fish farms do their share of damage to mother Earth too. There’s wild-caught fish, but are we fishing faster than the supply replenishes? One has to wonder.

Quitting Cold Turkey Cold Turkey

I’m not prepared to go full-time vegetarian, despite the benefits. Special dietary needs and travel don’t mix well. It really puts a damper on “souvenir dining.” I still know people in Philadelphia. There’s nothing quite like a steak from Rick’s in Reading Terminal. Mmm mmm. And what about sushi? Butter makes everything taste better. 🙂 As of today, going 100% vegan is out of the question. There’s a little thing called feta cheese that’s near and dear to me.

I continue to unsubscribe from long-held beliefs on my personal development journey. Everything is on the table. What I decide to eat is also under the scrutiny of this audit and subject to change. I truly believe there is a better way.

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Not-so-Frugal Friday, Amazon Style

May 16th, 2008 . by 21st Century Dad

With apologies to my favorite personal finance bloggers and frugality advocates, I offer you something more lighthearted after yesterday’s heavy topic.

I’m encouraging you to think about Father’s Day a month early. Time seems to speed up when we become parents. A month will be over before you know it. Start thinking. Start shopping.

Happy Mother’s Day

May 11th, 2008 . by 21st Century Dad

Happy Mother’s Day 2008!

Twilli and her MomWhen I started writing this blog, I somehow knew that a lot of moms would read it. Take a look at the comments here. Many moms stop by.

Au-Teen had a sleepover on Friday night. His best friend T came over. I swear, the two of them are like star-crossed lovers. (I’ll tell you more later. The relationship dynamics between Au-Teen and his friends is entertaining.) T lives 20 miles away in Au-Teen and mom’s old stomping grounds. That might as well be 100 miles to two boys without easy transportation at their disposal. We dropped T off at his house this morning so we could all continue with Mother’s Day plans.

Mom wanted to find a nice place to eat and enjoy being out and about. We indulged her in some window shopping at the Shops at Midtown Miami. Strolling through Target would break down our frugal defenses far too easily. Furniture is not, and should never be, an impulse buy. We were safe at the West Elm showroom.

Renee in front of a Britto installationThe Shops at Midtown Miami is yet another micro-mecca of American consumerism. Despite the debt-bloating potential of this place, it’s a great outdoor setting for spending leisure time. If a courtyard has art by Romero Britto, it has some cred with me.

We took advantage of some gorgeous north light in our bedroom to take some photos. Taking photos in front of a large window with sheers is some of the most gorgeous natural light to photograph in. Such a large diffuse light source can make anyone look good. You do not need a fancy camera to get great photos in this setting. With a little help from a Nikon SB600 flash unit, I supplemented the natural light with some diffuse fill light bounced off the ceiling.

Happy Hapa Girl

Priceless Moment #807,200,730,801,112,873

Funny Face Girl

Sometimes a picture falls 1000 words short of the old proverb. I’m speechless.

chocolate cake. mmm mmm .. goood

Finally, I baked a cake for Renee. The shortest path to her heart is through the pastry section. I called upon some seldom-used skills and baked a cake. Most of my work in the kitchen has more nutritional density, but hey, it’s mom’s special day. GeekMom, are you paying attention? 21st Century Dad can bake cakes too.

This mother’s day tribute cannot be complete without a nod to my own mother. She raised 3 children and ran a business. I have no idea where she stored all the energy in that 5-foot-nothing-90-pounds-soaking-wet body. I think I turned out OK, and so did my sisters. Without moms, none of this would be possible. Happy Mother’s Day.

21st Century Dad - 6 days old

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