April 27, 2011

Random questions

Is there anything cuter than your kid taking your hand during dinner so he can lean on it and cuddle?

Why do kids, at least Miloh, think it's so hilarious to run around while I try to put lotion on him that he laughs until he can't breathe?

Why does our dog thinks it's a good idea to lick Miloh's pee off the carpet?

What would make a kid think you'd want a dried apricot that has been chewed, spit out, chewed and again and then spit out?

Is there anything better than cinnamon sugar?

Why is it hilarious that I eat the same food as Miloh?

How awesome is it when your kid washes your hair while you're giving them a bath?

Have you ever brought a book to bed?

April 24, 2011

Upcoming Q&A and a clips post

Remember that time I gave my PR policy? Well I got a couple emails since and sent out invoices but have received nothing so emails go unread.

But I received one from the folks at Gilt Children and since they have tweeted back and forth with me in the past I waived the $10 fee.

Additionally on this Tuesday the 26th of April at 8pm EST I'll be doing a Q&A on the Facebook page. It will be focused on dads getting a say in room style, maybe a little montessori stuff if people ask and anything else people want to ask me about my style of dad-ness.

If you want to join the Like Gilt Children on Facebook and show up on their page at 8pm EST on the 26th. If you know me in real life or follow me on twitter you know this is kind of huge because I hate Facebook.

And that all leads me to my clips show portion of this post. If you're new to the site because of the Gilt thing here is a really horrible summary of this blog.

You should start with my first clips post that will bring you up to speed on me going form a dude who was completely scared of kids to a dad of a then 3 week old kid.

I'm happy to say that while I feel completely comfortable around Miloh I'm still freaked out by a lot of kids especially when they are in packs.

Another thing you should know, especially because the Gilt thing is a bit about style, is that we had Miloh on a floor bed and never a crib... It's a montessori thing.

I say had because here's some breaking news that's a bit old... So I guess it's broken news... About 2 weeks ago Miloh got a real toddler bed. I should probably right about it a bit to sum up the floor bed and I will... But the gist is he was loving his cot in toddler school so we thought we'd try him on a bed... And he likes it.

You should know that in the time Miloh was on the bed he never had a stray roach fall on his head. Honestly I can't explain that comment without getting long winded so just read that post.

We took a tally of a lot of things during Miloh's first year and they ended up in some infographics... Still a couple more to go.

And I had some Weekly Wisdom for Miloh in the past but I've given him all the wisdom I have so that's on hiatus for a bit.

So that's a summary... And while it has nothing to do with me really please check this post about Megabolt and their great sketchbook project for kids in hospitals.

April 22, 2011

Backwards day

Miloh's a bit of a daredevil. He runs and then leaps off off of 3 foot high surfaces at the gym. But when it comes to getting off things he's supper conservative. He turns around way to early to go backward... and sometimes he's just acts ridiculous.

I'm sure I'll be able to get enough video soon to fill the rest of the song...

April 15, 2011

Miloh's twelfth month in numbers

Here's the last of my monthly infographics. It's late like the rest. I'm hoping to get the third and fourth quarter of year one up next week. Then one more bringing them all together.

December 22 - January 21

April 9, 2011

PR Unfriendly

A couple posts back I mentioned I was working up my PR Unfriendly page and I'm proud to say that it's now live... In fact it's this post repurposed into a page. But before I start I should mention that "repurpose" is one of my least favorite business speak words... Fun Fact.

I used to do a Gear Thursday feature, but at some point writing about gear got really boring for me (not saying Gear Thursday is totally dead but it's hiding better than Bin Laden). Aside from the boredom I was soured on reviews by all the emails I'd get for companies asking me to pimp their stuff. If you blog you know what I'm taking about.

I'm not going to write a post about some stupid product, movie or such that has enough cash to hire a PR firm but expects bloggers to write about it without compensation... Or maybe, if I'm lucky, I'll receive a sample and a few for my readers... Eh... not interested.

And that's why I've come up with my PR Unfriendly policy. But, because I'm me, I decided I'd write it up in response to an email I received to review a book. This would be a perfect moment to an Adaptation style thing and mention the book while slamming the process of reviewing... but I'm not going to do it.

And I should mention I feel kind of bad for the dude that sent me the email, because he seems nice-ish, but I decided I'd write to the next email I received one day and this was it.

Dear Eric Smith

Thank you for your email regarding the book you'd like me to review. I have recently changed my policy on reviews. I will be updating my blog with said policy but you're lucky enough to be the first to receive the new policy. You can consider this an exclusive and I would encourage you to write about it on your blog if you have one.

I now charge $10 to read emails. My time is very important to me so I've had to place this rule into affect. You'll be pleased to know that I will not be sending you a request for payment for this email as the policy was made after your email was received. In the future please send me $10 in a paypal payment to this email address. Please include the subject of the email in the notes of the payment so I know which one to read.

As for book reviews I will have to ask that you send an audiobook version as, like I stated earlier, my time is important to me. I'm always at a loss as to how to refer to the act of listening to an audiobook. I still call that reading because I don't think anyone has come up with a better term. "I listened to  that new Jonathan Safran Foer book" just doesn't sound right. Also I should probably let you know I've never read his stuff but I've been told I'd like him.

Even though I'm asking for an audiobook the cost of the review will be $5 a page based on the printed book. Rest assured I will not be charging for any of those front or back pages that have the Library of Congress info and all that stuff no one cares about.

I also have to ask that any audio version I receive should be read by Malcolm Gladwell, David Sedaris or Jim Dale. I can't stand listening to poorly read books and, if not read by one of these folks, I can't guarantee I will listen to the book. I can however guarantee charging for my time.

It looks like you only work for a book company but since this letter is going on my blog and you may go to another company at some point I'll give you the rest of my review policy.

My policy for gear reviews are as follows. Let's say you want me to review a snowboard, a bike, a camera  or lens. I will require a product for the review. So if you want me to review a snowboard send me a snowboard. Want me to review a camera? Send me a camera. I will send the product back if needed but unfortunately I will have to charge a nominal fee of 3 times the cost of the product as a handling fee.

This gear policy is a little different than other blogs policy so please let me explain a bit more. I do except reviews for products other than snowboards, bikes, cameras and lenses however one of the things on the list will need to be sent along with the product you want reviewed.

For example if you have a new baby toy you can send me info on that toy along with a snowboard (I ride a 156 and it has to be a good board). Or if you want me to write about a great new snow globe why not choose a lense as payment? They are both made with glass so they compliment each other well. Please note I will only except Canon or Sigma lenses, with Canon mounts.

Do you have a movie you'd like me to review? I would of course need to see the movie before reviewing. Also I should mention that I only see movies with Seth Green. Before you say "who would want to see a Seth Green movie?" please reread the statement. I only see them with Seth, I wouldn't actually see one starring him. We try to see a movie every couple weeks and then we switch off who buys the popcorn. In case you're wondering it's his time to buy next time.

I will require an advanced payment of $5 a minute based on the time of the movie and all but the first two previews, Seth's always running late, plus $12 for snacks. So a two hour movie would cost approximately $687 ($600 for the movie, $75 for previews and $12 for the snacks).

I also welcome reviews of music. I charge a minimum of $500 per CD. Cost is based on the quality of the music... if it's complete crap a review could cost as much $1400 but that is the maximum. For instance if you want me to review a Foo Fighters CD please send paypal payment of $1400. For a Weezer CD the cost would be the same as they have gone to shit. The Beastie Boys album that comes out soon would only cost $500.

I should state that I don't know if the Foo Fighters or Weezer are coming out with new stuff but they were the first examples of bad stuff that came to mind.

These guidelines should cover most any review needed. If you're ever in the need for a review of travel or other services please contact me an we can work out something to get that review done. My charge for an estimate of a review is only $137. Half of that cost will go towards the actual review cost.

I know we're both excited about working together and I look forward to hearing from you soon. Please remember to send along a $10 paypal payment when you contact me next.



April 7, 2011

Miloh's eleventh month in numbers

November 22 - December 21

First Day

Monday was Miloh's first day of school... He started in the toddler community at Staci's school. Actually it was only the first day of phase in week so he'd only be there an hour... but still.

And yeah he's kind of young for school, but the toddler community in Montessori is made for kids his age.

You may remember that before Miloh was born I was thinking about what a good dad is... in that post I decided I'd make waffles as a nice comfort food for our kid (we had no idea what kind we'd be having). So I decided it would be nice way to start Miloh's first day of school.

After breakfast we got Miloh ready to head out. We told him he would be going to school. He's familiar with the school and his new room. He actually loves the environment, it's really beautiful. He took some infant classes there, and his teacher was the first person not related to us (or not a hospital worker) that saw him so they have a great bond.

So we think he kind of understood. We got him dressed and then headed to school.

Once we got there he was super cute. He must have known he wasn't there for just a visit because he hesitated going in.

He grabbed on to me super tight then tried to jump from my arms to Staci's. He was feeling first day jitters and a bit of separation anxiety. We set him down for a second to get the classic first day photo of him holding his little bag.

Afterward we explained to him that he'd love his class and his teacher who he already likes. And then we got him in the door.

But that was the door to the school not his classroom. Once we got to the room door it all started again. He jumped into Staci's arms and said "mama" for the first time. Then he started balling because he already missed us.

We got him in the classroom and said our goodbyes. He ran to the door and started crying but the teacher calmed him down.

It's sad to hear him cry for us but there's also something really great about knowing that he'd miss us.

I guess that's how most first days go down... the only problem is his was nothing like that... Sorry.

In reality it went down like this.

He had breakfast... Oatmeal. It's really too early on a weekday morning to do homemade waffles.

Then we got him ready for school and Staci headed to work (same place).

When it was time to go I strapped him in the car and headed out with a camera, flash and some props (his bag which he wouldn't need since he'd only be there for an hour and his monkey lunch box because it makes for a cute shot).

When I got to school we went to the door and I gave him the bag so I could get a cool photo. He immediately dropped the bag and started pounding on the door to get in to the school... I told you he loves it there.

There was no way I was getting him to turn around for a shot...

Then we went in to the school and I handed him his bag again. This time he held it then went to his classroom door and started trying to open it. As I kept calling his name so I could get him to look in order to take a photo he would glance, if I was lucky, and then try to get the door open.

I was able to get one shot off... Literally one... And it sucks (although he's rocking some Donald Trump hair).

Then when we got him into the class he headed straight to the fish tank. I tried to get his attention, again for a shot and I thank his teacher (who he does have a great bond with) for humoring me, but he could care less about me. Staci poked her head in but she got the same cold shoulder.

First day of school... No separation anxiety... No crying... No saying Mama (or Dada which he used to say but has decided to forget)... And he pretty much forgot about us the second he arrived.

All in all it was a success.

April 4, 2011

Megabolt: One for one sketchbook

I am in the process of adding a tab on my blog called PR unfriendly... because really I am. I get many emails on complete crap that people want me to promote... and for free.

But then once in awhile I happen upon something that's just really cool so I share it here.

Enter Megabolt. While perusing OMG Posters I saw a post about a sketchbook for a great cause. Megabolt is like the Toms shoes of sketchbooks... except they aren't completely ugly. I mean let's be honest... Toms shoes for guys are horrendous...or fantastic if you're a hippy.

You can get the down low for Megabolt here or you can enjoy my short little synopsis that I plagiarized* from their site (or you can do both). *It's plagiarism for a good cause.

Megabolt or The Bolt as I will now refer to them, since it feels weird to keep typing Megabolt, was started in 2009 to when a dude's friend's dad passed away from brain cancer and he needed help with the hospital bills. They raised some cash and after the bills were paid found that folks still wanted to help.

The Bolt shifted focus and started to raise money for kids in the hospital. They use art to help empower kids to keep fighting their illness.

Now here's where some real awesomeness comes in. The Bolt is selling sketchbooks for $7 or three for $17. For each book you purchase they will give one to a kid in a hospital. Cool right... But like a Ginsu  commercial that's not all.

Each book is hand numbered and with that number you will be able to go onto Megabolt.org and find out who the other book went to.

But wait... there's more.

Once a child is done with the book The Bolt is going to archive them digitally so you'll be able to flip through them online.

They do say that not all the books will be online... and with all the HIPAA laws I totally understand that. But still the project is great. And rumor is they will have different artist series covers in the future.

So buy one... for shipping it's just under $10 and three are $20.50 with shipping. That's basically less than you spend on your skim, decaf, sugar-free vanilla latte (or as we used to call them - a sorority girl).

And since you're all in the "I want to do something good" frame of mind here's something else to check out.

I while ago I mentioned a baby girl named Getty who has SMA. Getty's parents started a non-profit to help other families of kids with SMA.

Then Alex and Angela Dezen of the band the Damnwells heard Getty's story and created a great Lullaby CD. It goes on sale Tuesday the 5th and they are trying to get it to rank in kids music on iTunes.

So if you want to buy some great lullabies, that you actually would want to listen to yourself, and help a good cause out check them out. Here'st the iTunes link... or you can head here to get non-itunes mp3s and more info.

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...