Monday, November 25, 2013

This Is How The Kid Plays Minecraft

Ear buds and a call to a friend made this sessions particularly verbal.

Sunday morning the kid wanted to do something special -- get on the phone with a friend from school and play a bit of Minecraft together.

The computer is in our kitchen/family room and I was able to appreciate both the game play as well as the color commentary.

Friday, November 22, 2013

One-stop Hannukah Video Post - I Know, You're Welcome!

Here at Portdaddia Central tradition is of utmost importance.
Shoutout to my brother from the same mother who sent me the following Hannukah videos. Enjoy responsibly!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

8-year-old Designs Hairstyle For Himself

A bit of water and some fingers and a hairstyle is born.
Nobody saw this coming, one minute the kid has flat, uninteresting hair, then voilà! A star hairstyle is born.

No product was used in this creation, rather just pure mountain water and some fingers.

Reviews of the new hairstyle are extremely positive and the kid's fan base are hoping for another great hair creation soon.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Grocery Bags Take Over Car Trunk - Yet System Works Well

If we remember to bring the bags into the store we have plenty.
Marketers and anthropologists would have a field day if they got their sweaty little research mitts on our chaotic collection of reusable grocery bags in the trunk of our car (a 2001 Nissan Maxima, the finest automobile ever produced anywhere). The stories those bags could tell!

And we keep getting more bags -- store promotions, whims, a new color set, a particular relative humidity -- and the reasons just keep coming.

Usually this is my place to complain and say that I wish all the bags could be thrown away and I would have one burlap sack which I would carry as I walked barefoot to the farmers market, grunting and spitting every step of the way.

Not quite. The bags have become ubiquitous tools, at times replacing luggage or food storage containers. I am waiting for the challenge of transporting water or a refreshing beverage in one of the hardier models.

The system works for us, despite how ridiculous it looks.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Film Review: Sharknado Fine Family Entertainment

Rather than get out of the way, our eager hero leaps into the jaws of a falling shark, albeit with a chainsaw.
Imagine a tornado sucking up a bunch of sharks out of the ocean and spraying them all over Los Angels. Somehow as the sharks fly they are able to steer themselves and swoop down on the unsuspecting and unprepared.

If this sounds cool, then start up the popcorn popper for this is entertainment!

Although not a film that could normally be called good, when viewed ironically with lots of commenting this film becomes something of a success.

At the start of the film when surfers and beach goers have yet to experience the horror that awaits them, each shot of the ocean had different wave patterns and different weather. Luckily our heroes drove inland where the sharks swam out of sewers and dropped from the sky into swimming pools. Production values didn't necessarily improve, but I chaffed less.

The brilliance of the film stemmed from the title -- which needs no further explanation -- and all dialogue, casting, acting, and blood spurting stayed at a very silly level. My daughter and I enjoyed predicting who would be eaten next.

I worried needlessly about our 8-year-old not understanding the campiness of the film and becoming frightened. He stopped paying attention after twenty minutes and took out his iPod.

And yes, I did watch this movie from the opening scene to the ending credits. Too much fun on a Saturday night.


Monday, November 18, 2013

Multicultural Food Rampage Declared By 8-year-old

At the pizzeria I was instructing my daughter on how to obnoxiously carry on a conversation. She's learning from the best! 
We often go out to eat on Sunday nights. Lately we've been having some great food. Long gone are the days when serious compromises had to be made so chicken strips and other brown fried food could be served to our offspring.

Last weekend we had several challenging dishes of Chinese food, last night it was caesar salad, calamari, and pizza from a wood-burning oven.

The son was so pleased he declared our family had embarked "on a multicultural food rampage."

From the mouths of babes.

Sometimes there's just no better way to phrase it. Rampage on!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Desk Of 8-year-old Boy Explained

The desk may not be in use as it was intended, but it still serves a vital function for showcasing the cool stuff.
  1. Award stating kid chosen "Cabin Comedian" from camp
  2. Beanie with cool logo
  3. Remote control spider robot
  4. Angry Birds and Star Wars things
  5. Model car with surfboard on roof

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Our Beloved Peak Is Turning White -- Game On!

The above shot is from a ski resort on Mt. Hood.
A big storm is rolling in off the Pacific. Rain in the valley (Portland) and lots of the white stuff for the mountain.

Every November I take child-like glee as the winter games begin. Otaku!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Leave It To The Japanese To Have Cool Name For Nerd-like Behavior

I obsessively photograph the place where I live, among other compulsive behaviors.

  • Otaku (おたく/オタク) is a Japanese term that refers to people with obsessive interests, commonly anime and manga fandom. According to studies published in 2013, the term has become less negative, and many people ( the daughter) now self-identify as otaku.

One of the recent and fun developments in our family is that when I greet my daughter I give a Japanese-style bow and say "Otaku," which she does as well. We leave it unsaid as to what are our obsessive interests. One would not be wrong to say anime and manga fandom for my daughter.

Being the age I am I have the pleasure/horror of becoming obsessive about whatever is at the front of my brain at any given moment. Otaku!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Nobody Asked Me About The 1890s, But...

Barbering chair I sat in today in the not-so-fashionable barber shop I frequent in the fashionable Pearl District.
Thanks to the TV series Portlandia the 1890s are more alive and well in Portland than they would otherwise be. So much so that there are now new businesses sprouting up taking advantage of this extremely retro trend.

In the Hawthorne district I've passed The Modern Man Barber Shop a few times. This is a place where the barbers wear a starched collared shirt, sleeve garters and a vest or apron. Patrons can drink whiskey while having a hot towel shave, apparently free to rant about the Harrison Administration and the Pan American Union.

Both times I've passed this place, admittedly during non-peak hours, I've seen the employees conversing with one another with nary a customer in sight.

I don't think locals will stop crafting beer or making artisanal bread, but some shark has been jumped with the mustache wax.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Everything Happened Before, Everything Will Happen Again

Quilted fabric depicting large-breasted women playing at winter sport.
The above decoration hangs in a coffee house our family enjoys. For me it's a joke, a 1950s designer's attempt to show pin-up girls involved in winter pursuits. The humor is that we (society? my wife and me?) view it as dated and chauvinist to such an extent that it ceases to be offensive and moves into the realm of kitsch or/and weird retro art.

My daughter is now figuring out that women in video games don't have a fair shake. She finds few cool games with female protagonists and complains that those in the games are over-sexualized.

I agree with her assessment, but am wondering how does a an 11-year-old perceive these elusive boundaries between legitimate concern over sexism and retro chic.

I fear the humor of the winter women will be reinterpreted as just what society did before women became pinup dolls in video games.

I hope all of us can keep our sense of humor and perspective about these issues.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Are Your Kids Eating Enough Junk Food?

Sometimes only artificial flavor will do.
Neither fish nor fowl, here nor there. I realize we clamor for hard and fast rules in which to make sense of our ever-changing lives, but sometimes parental inconsistency makes the best policy.

Obviously when one has really little kids they can't be expected to understand the 50 different rules concerning food, and must accept that cake is not to be eaten for breakfast.

My kids are 8 and 11-years old. So they are being introduced to 1) totally inconsistent parenting; 2) all sorts of food issues and philosophies, often in direct contradiction to one another. This is the challenge of our world, to embrace inconsistency and make order out of chaos.

I try to eat healthy, generally -- dinners have modest amounts of protein, limited starch (except on pizza and pasta nights), and lots of fresh veggies. No child can eat dessert unless he/she has "achieved" dessertness by eating the vegetables.

But then there is the "feast." This is when something moves me to declare the rules that normally apply have been thrown by the wayside and all can do as they please. Usually this is when grandparents are present, we are at a potluck, or it is just too inconvenient for me to monitor what the hell the kids want to eat.

I used to think this was a bad thing, but I have begun to see the merit. The kids need to know what it feels like to eat three doughnuts on an empty stomach, or what clothing looks like after a bag of Cheetos has been consumed.

Looking back I realize I spent more of my discretionary income on junk food when I was young. The little ones actually save their money and rarely purchase junk food.

I worry that they'll find themselves in a convenience store tasked with getting themselves a snack, realizing they lack the background in crap food to make informed choices.

I might have to take matters into my own hands and start a beef jerky tutorial or something similar.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Eggs For Breakfast Heaven Or Hell?

Spinach, black beans, cheddar cheese and two fried eggs were a delightful repast I enjoyed recently.

The kids just aren't into eggs. There, I said it. And, no, the confession is not soothing or pleasant.

Despite being a LOHAS dude, I still believe in the incredible, edible egg. Eggs were a hearty breakfast that stuck to the ribs, the foundation of many an excellent adventure of my childhood.

Why the kids don't like eggs is beyond me.

Mostly what they eat in the morning is various forms of bread with cheese melted on it.

Now that the cold weather is here I may have to redouble my efforts to get some eggs down their gullets. I realize each person has her/his own likes and dislikes, but on this point they're just wrong.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Friend's Garage Is Super Organized, Should I End Our Friendship?

Even the tool box shone as if it were recently polished.
Not only does my friend Greg excel at household chores and lord it over me that he's "handy," but his garage is ridiculously organized.

My garage is organized to the extent that we can find our car and a few bicycles when need be.

I get scared thinking how I would completely screw up the plumbing in our home if I had a complete set of professional tools and a neatly labeled box of plumbing parts.

Another good reason for not having a stock of supplies for household repairs is that on the off chance I do actually want to attempt to fix something, I get to go to the hardware store -- a thoroughly delightful experience (hose clamps come in so many sizes! Who knew?).

I take consolation in my diligent blogging, which elevates me from an uncredentialed schlub to a certified parenting expert, who is able to hold forth on cutting-edge issues like "putting stuff on the blog" and "how to anger fellow parents by putting stuff on the blog."

I know, you're welcome!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

I Am Science Project

Feb. 7, 1984 First untethered space walk.
I am like Booker DeWitt from Bioshock Infinite because I want the best for my loved ones. Science is questions and discovery. I would like to experiment in general. I would like to learn about quantum physics.
  • Geometa: Earth movement
  • Chronoflex: Time bend
  • Telesphere: Teleporting Dimension

Monday, November 4, 2013

Departing For Oregon Outdoor School

Batman is fine symbol of conservation, but I doubt his car is a hybrid.
The daughter left for six days of Oregon Outdoor School to learn about collaborative leadership and the natural environment.

The following is a documentary of the daughter's departure and provides some background information about the program.

The embed function is not working at the moment, so to see this video please follow this link.

Friday, November 1, 2013

What Kids Do #2

Halloween was celebrated yesterday by young and not so young. This year I kept in the street and wasn't required to accompany the troops right to the doors -- a fine new system. An acquaintance felt compelled to wear a Tigger costume and accompany his 14-year-old daughter. Compared to that I had it easy.
As I continue to explore the inner mental recesses of children and childhood with a rigorous, yet oddly minimal, aesthetic, I am pleased to offer (yet) another video.