March 23, 2011

Weekly Wednesday Wisdom: You can learn from Chip Kidd

Wisdom for Miloh: Not all frauds are bad.

I "met" Chip Kidd about seven years back at a book signing. You can read a bit about it here.

The image below is from one of the books he signed. I realize he was just goofing around, or maybe not, but I think there's a nugget of awesomeness.

Although I know it would put Chip Kidd in a state of depression for years to hear that he's not my favorite fraud I have to say that P.T. Barnum holds that place in my hear. Phineas Taylor is actually a hero of mine. He was an incredible salesmen... Maybe the best.

The dude made a fake Cardiff Giant and then when the "real" Cardiff Giant was found out to be a fake he billed his as the Fake Fake Cardiff Giant... People kept coming to see his fake.

He also came up with the "This way to the Egress" signs... Freaking brilliant if you ask me... But if you ask others he's a fraud.

That's just the tip of the iceberg of Barnum but I'm not under the gun to do a whole report on him... However, Miloh, when you have to do your first expository report (haven't used that word since 10th grade) I'll make you suggest you do one on him.

Barnum, and others, paved the way for modern marketing... What I do... Really it's the same thing he did... Smoke, mirrors, telling the truth in your own way... Yeah being a fraud isn't the worst thing ever.

March 20, 2011

Miloh the 15th or In Your Face Morgan Freeman

If you've read my blog for over a year you'd now about my Ides of March ritual. If you haven't been reading that long I really need to ask what took so long? I mean seriously. Did you know that more people wake up to my blog each day than wake up to the Today Show, Good Morning America and The Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About That combined?

The short story is I don't work on the Ides of March and I've decided that I'll spend the day with Miloh each year until he goes to college and then celebrates it on his own but only because he's celebrating not having to hang with me.

This year we went to the Aquarium at the Mall of America. In case you can't do the math, don't know the days of the week or just don't really care that much I'll remind you that the 15th was a Tuesday this year. And apparently that means Toddler Tuesday at MOA.

They call it Toddler Tuesday because there are events and such for the kids... I however prefer to call it Never Step Foot In That Mall on a Tuesday.

Why you ask? Because that place is packed with people, most of them toddling.

I guess it's good for people that take care of their kids every day because it's probably a good break... but had I known I would have skipped it because a free kid's quesadilla at Chipotle isn't worth the long lines, the crappy parking and the billions of people.

Still it was a good day for Miloh and I. He got to go the the aquarium again and he loves it there.

Sure his attention span was a bit short but the sense of wonder he had as sharks and sea turtles passed over him was priceless... So, take that Morgan Freeman for wondering when the last time I took my kid the the aquarium on a Tuesday afternoon... it was last week. And you're welcome readers for alluding to two competing (and old) credit card campaigns in one paragraph.

Also I'd like to take this time to mention that sea turtles are huge. Five divers were corralling one into the back while we were there... it was as long as the divers so unless they were super small people the sea turtles were much larger than I thought.

March 16, 2011

Miloh Dancing Part Deux

This video is a reprise to the first one video of Miloh dancing. He goes up to our radio and turns the volume up and down like and good DJ would. He's no Mixmaster Mike but he's only one.

This video is great because as you can see he's totally Djing. He's working two things at once. What he doesn't know is that the thing on the left is our router so it doesn't affect the music... Still who cares.

Also I should add that if you make it to the end I know that the band playing is The Clash. I mention The Sex Pistols because he pulled out his Johnny Rotten sneer and I was actually rather embarrassed that he would get the two bands mistaken on video.. It makes it look like I don't educate him well...

The best part about this being a part deux is I realized I never uploaded the first version to the blog. So here that is... It's from November.

And last I should add that yes, I did an amazing job in the top video of using environmental elements as a framing device.

March 15, 2011

You got your fish in peanut butter. No, you got your peanut butter in my fish.

In the early winter of 1928 Harry Burnett Reese was cleaning the gutters on his home. He took a break to enjoy a candy bar that his buddy Milton Hershey created. While sitting on the roof with feet on the ladder his wife came out and said, in a naggy voice, "You wouldn't be so cold if had done this earlier in the year."

Harry tried to ignore her and go back to the gutters when he slipped from the roof and landed on the ground. His candy bar fell from his hand and landed in the open jar of peanut butter his wife was holding.

He pulled the chocolate out and tried it... it was the best thing he had. He said he'd make a candy of the peanut butter and chocolate combo.

His wife scoffed and said that putting chocolate into peanut butter was the craziest things she'd ever heard of and that no one would buy it.

Well, the peanut butter cups that Reese made became a hit and Harry was worth some good cash. He left his wife who didn't believe in his new invention.

Later he remarried but that didn't work out either, then he married again and had twins with his new wife. They later divorced and he hooked up with a bunch of porn stars. He went completely nuts... it was fun to watch at first then it was just pathetic.

His peanut butter cup cash cow dried up a bit. However he was able to channel his craziness to draw a huge following from people who would read the crazy telegrams he'd send.

Fast forward to about 5 years ago.

Jif finally found something crazier to put in peanut butter... They added fish.

I had been buying Smart Balance peanut butter for awhile because it has Omega-3 added and as a vegetarian Omegas are tough to get. Smart Balance uses flaxseed oil.

So when I was at a store that didn't carry smart balance I saw the Jif Omega-3. Instead of adding flaxseed oil, which kind of makes sense and if you could taste it that might be even better, they added sardine oil, anchovy oil and some yummy tilapia gelatin.

I'll tell you, ever since I became a vegetarian I miss a nice bowl of tilapia gelatin with grapes or pineapple added in... Mmm.

I'm not surprised that Jif doesn't really care what they put in their peanut butter... I mean I realize choosy mothers choose Jif but I gotta think that a lot choose to put it on Wonder Bread. I think I was a Skippy kid growing up. For awhile my mom switched to Reese's peanut butter which was great because that stuff is a bit saltier and sweeter than others. However we went back to Skippy extra crunchy because, well that stuff rocked.

But enough of my peanut butter preferences... what kind of pisses me off about the Jif situation is they took a great vegetarian protein and added fish.

Fast forward to last week. I bought some Stonyfield YoToddler yogurt. If you follow my twitter account you know I'm not a fan of milk products, especially cheese and yogurt. But it's a good source of protein for Miloh so if he eats it that's cool... I mean I die a little each time but it's okay.

Since I don't dig yogurt I decided to read the package for the YoToddler I was giving Miloh to see what made yogurt so gross... I mean yummy. This YoToddler had DHA and as I read I realized that not only do they use flaxseed but they use the holy trinity of sardine, anchovy and tilapia.

I was really taken aback... In fact I was so pissed I had to take Kalli for a walk while Staci fed Miloh.

It might sound ridiculous that I'd get so upset about that but here's why I did.

I've known of the brand Stonyfield for years... I have seen them go from a small brand just being sold in small natural food stores to being almost everywhere. Since they are an organic brand and have the history of being in small natural food stores I trust them as a good source of vegetarian protein.

Okay I've never had it but I trust them enough to give to Miloh. I trust them enough to be able to grab something off the shelf and assume it's vegetarian... I was wrong.

They took a great source of vegetarian protein and, in the YoToddler brand, added fish.

Maybe I shouldn't assume anything is vegetarian. I've been reading labels for over 25 years scanning for hidden meat ingredients... I can read them so fast at this point that things like gelatin and chicken stock usually jump out at me instantly. I probably read the label of every new food I buy... But there are some brands out there I trust... Stonyfield was one.

I tweeted Stonyfield suggesting they follow Horizon Dairy's lead and get the goods from LifesDHA which uses flax and algae. They said they used fish because it's a more natural source of Omegas but they didn't answer my question about angering their vegetarian fans. They mentioned that LifesDHA has to use solvents to get the DHA out of algae. Not sure how they make fish oil but I'm sure it's without it's negatives.

Still I really don't see why they made the choice to take something that a lot of vegetarians go to for protein and add fish...

So Stonyfield I'm not mad... I'm disappointed. No... I'm fucking pissed.

You can also find fish in Tropicana Healthy Heart OJ. It used to be in Arnold Bread's (and their various brands) Double Omega bread. I actually sent them an email when I discovered that (while toasting some bread for the morning) and they replied that they had made the decision because of many factors but always evaluate consumers thoughts. The bread is no longer on the market. Not sure if it didn't sell well or if they realized people didn't want fish bread. Perhaps Stonyfield will see the light. 

March 9, 2011

Weekly Wednesday Wisdom: Mistakes can be awesome

Wisdom for Miloh: Don't just learn from your mistakes... Relish some of them.

Maybe the photo above technically isn't a mistake... It could be called a moment of time... BUt some might have seen it as a mistake and deleted it.

I was photographing you and, like always, you grabbed the lens cap. Then you ran as fast as you could over to the camera and tried to put the cap on the lens... That was the moment I caught.

I couldn't have gotten the shot if I planned it... And if I tried to recreate it it could take hours to get the lighting, lens cap placement and your face all in the right spot.

I'll take what I got... an awesome shot of real life.

The thing about mistakes is they aren't always bad. I've sold in concepts to clients that started as a mistake. When something cool happens by accident I right it down, photograph it or what not and try to find a use for it.

When folks just toss mistakes aside they miss out on opportunities. Without mistakes we wouldn't have silly putty, Post-its or Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. And now that we're talking about Reese's cups what ever happend to the Crunchy Reese's Peanut Butter Cups?

Not all mistakes will become something great... But you need to be alert for the good ones.

March 8, 2011

Potty training is not so tough... Or my proudest day so far.

First off if you've been reading since the very start of this, the most read mommy blog written by a man, you will know that I hate the word potty. Not sure why... But I kind of think it's really a super-feminine word. Not that I need to look like a tough guy, but there has never been a time where a guy looked masculine while saying "potty."

 Anyway that all being said I will use it in this post...

Miloh is completely potty trained and it took little to no effort. I'm not bragging or anything but it's true.

He's seen me do my thing a few times and he figured it all out by himself.

Last week, when he was half naked about to get in the tub, he walked over to the toilet. He rested his right hand on the toilet (he was on the left side) and did a little lean. The he looked down and peed all over the floor.

Some might not consider this being potty trained... but I've been in the Wrigley Field bathroom many times. I've gone to bathrooms in shitty bars, gas stations, airports and Target stores. If you've ever been to the men's room in one of these places, you'd know that peeing on the floor pretty much counts.

Horseshoes, hand grenades and pee.

Sure he's had a little bit of a back slide lately... to be honest every day since. Until today when he was in our room, again half naked, and he spun around while peeing on the floor. I count that as well because it seemed as if it was on purpose and our bedroom is next to the bathroom... So it's still closer than some guys get at a baseball game.

So yeah... I'm proud of the little guy... Just bummed I couldn't get it on camera.

March 2, 2011

Weekly Wednesday Wisdom: Sleepovers are overrated

As you know every Wednesday, without fail, I post a little bit of wisdom for Miloh. This next installment was something I overheard while enjoying some Punch Pizza. Mine of course was cheeseless because, as I have scientifically established, cheese is horrible.

Wisdom for Miloh: Sleepovers are overrated

A woman said this to her kid as she was leaving Punch the other day. The wisdom can actually span your lifetime and is so sage that she must have been some sort of prophet.

Here's the breakdown on why they are overrated.

As a kid:
Here's how your first sleepover at a friend's house will go. We'll drop you off at your buddy's house and your mom will kiss you in front of him which will embarrass you. You'll play with your buddy while your his parents make dinner. By "make dinner" I mean order pizza.

After the pizza you will play a little more... and then you will be sick of hanging out with him. It will be 8 PM.

You'll feel a little better about hanging at his house because it will be snack time... inevitably it will be something you don't get at home. There's a 20 percent chance that it will be awesome and an 80 percent chance it will suck.

After snack you will remember you're sick of your friend.

Next, because it's your first sleepover, there is a 30 percent chance you'll be homesick. So homesick that you'll call your mom and me.

We won't pick you up because we were the smart ones who dropped you at a friends house so we could have a kid-less night. You will cry. You will hate us. You will fall asleep.

There's a 20 percent chance you'll pee in the bed.

In the morning you will be so sick of your friend and will be counting the seconds until we pick you up. But we won't be coming until about 10 AM.

Your friend's parents will make you breakfast. It will probably be horrible. For me that would mean eggs... but you like eggs. But don't feel all smug. They will make whatever you hate most.

Then you will have to play more with your friend who you couldn't be more sick of. There is a 10 percent chance you will break something valuable in the house.

Finally, right before you're about to end the friendship, we will pick you up. You won't talk to your friend for a week... which is a long time when you're young.

In college:
People think they call it the walk of shame because everyone watches you walk/run to your dorm to change clothes before class and they know what you've been up to.

In reality its the walk of shame because you were too stupid to leave before it became a sleepover.

What's going to happen is you're going to like some girl and at one point she'll say that "if you love me" you'll stay over.

You are 20-ish... you don't love her. DO NOT STAY OVER. Once you stay over there's no going back... at least for a while.

Your relationship just took a turn for the serious. Problem is next quarter in Anthropology class there is going to be a really cute girl that you want to ask out but can't because you slept over some other girl's place.

Some girl you may like but didn't plan on getting that serious with...

But the sleepover brings the seriousness of a relationship up 5.5 notches. That's a fact even though I'm unsure of how many notches would be in a relationship.

And once there is one sleepover there will be another. And the seriousness of the relationship builds logarithmically (perhaps I'm using that word correctly) with each sleepover. You are trapped.

So spend quality time with your college girlfriends. Hang at their place, have them hang at your's. But remember that girl you'll meet in Anthropology class and find some excuse to leave before you fall asleep.

As an adult:
Well this one is tricky. It's kind of like college. You stay over at a girl's place or let them stay over and the relationship get's more serious. It could be a good thing, could be a bad thing.

The rules on this one is a little more blurry. But you can hold off on the sleepover for awhile still... and you should.

A good way to put off the sleepover is get a cat.

Guys will say it's not masculine but that's not true. But cats are the perfect animal to get out of a sleepover.

"Oh, I can't sleep over I have to feed my cat."

You will look sensitive.

The thing is the cat will have enough food... there will be at least one square inch of clean litter in the box... and it won't even miss you if you stay out.

But the girl doesn't need to know that.

And a cat is better than a dog because if there is a chance that you think it's a good time to sleep over you will know that the cat will be fine. A dog would pee and poo on your floor.

Took awhile... Here's an infographic of MF's first year

I finished this about a year ago just for my personal use but thought I'd share it. It's a visualization of MF's first year in n...