Music Monday, still on a Tuesday – The North Pond Hermit songs

North Pond Hermit Maine woods in winter

As Wyldstyle proclaims in The LEGO Movie that the day of uprising against Lord Business will be known as “Freedom Friday, still on a Tuesday”, this Music Monday post is coming to you on, well, Tuesday. An article appeared on GQ recently about the man known as The North Pond Hermit from Central Maine, which is where I live. And on this subject, over the years, at least three Mainers that I know have written songs about the man. Christopher Knight walked into the woods of North Pond, Maine twenty seven years ago, and lived there in a tent since his capture this year. He spoke only one word to another person in that entire time. He never lit a fire, for fear that his location would be given away, and used only a standard camping tent for shelter. Anyone from Maine will tell you that winter in this state… read more

Search engine fun – Weird search terms that found my dad blog

SAHD life quotes search engine search terms thumbnail image

A fun thing I like to do when I check my blog stats *cough* times per day is look at the search engine queries people give to search engines and ultimately end up at my site. Today, I looked back at all the search engine terms readers have used to find articles on this happy little dad blog. Most are straightforward. Some are just plain weird. The Cute and the Creepy A while back I wrote a post on the weird, cute, and sometimes creepy things my kids say. A collection of kid quotes, you might say. As I was writing the post, I thought it a bit weird to have “cute” and “creepy” in the same piece, but it worked so I went with it. Turns out, a lot of people want cute and creepy in one neat package.  Check out these search engine terms that led readers to… read more

Dear Madeleine – Teaching my kids life lessons using family history

map of the western part of new france french canada

About fifteen years ago, I became interested in my family history and began asking relatives about where we came from. From that point I was hooked. I’d caught the genealogy bug. I’ve discovered some amazing things in those fifteen years, such as the fact that we are descendants of Vikings and pirates. Most of my blood is French – Acadian and later Franco American, but I also have Norwegian, German, Irish, and as I’ve recently discovered, possibly Mi’kmaq. I think it’s important for kids to know where their roots are, and a lot of kids find it fascinating. Genealogy for kids can be a really fun activity, and you will never run out of things to research. In addition to the names and dates of your ancestors, you will learn about history and culture, and might even inspire you to learn a new language. I’m going to introduce a new… read more

ISIS, plane crashes and tornadoes – Why the news is bad for my fatherhood

world newspapers on news stand

ISIS beheading Christians, another plane crash, more tornadoes destroy entire towns, another celebrity suicide, more plane crashes, the endless Middle East conflict, another suicide bombing and pictures of dead children. It’s all in the news, all the time. It seems like it’s all bad news, and I’ve had enough. Last week I was reading story after story about ISIS beheading dozens of people in Iraq. Innocent people who did not share their killers’ radical beliefs. There are so may readily available and in your face pictures of heads on spikes and dead children. The children. It literally made me sick to think about the children. And it pissed me off. The last time I was so pissed off at the world was October of 2001, and I marched into my local recruiter’s office to enlist in the US army. But that’s a whole different story. I came to realize that… read more

Parenting assumptions nobody should make about stay at home dads

father and son walking holding hands

Another year, another school, another kid found ineligible for special education services because he’s too damned smart. But after a perfectly written letter from my wife to just the right people, a second meeting was held and our four year old was identified as needing special services. The battle has just begun. We’ve done this before with J, and we know how it goes with a very gifted kid who does not fit the mold in our school district. B tested well into the genius range on the IQ test done by the child psychologist, with his true score likely being much higher as the tests needed to be stopped because my son never hit a ceiling. Over 99.9th percentile. I’m uneasy talking about it because it somehow feels like bragging, but it’s not. It is what it is, and it’s not easy, not for B and not for us…. read more

Stay at home dad well-being survey is looking for participants

stay at home dad and son holding hands love

Attention stay at home dads, full-time dads, fathers who stay home with their kids. Whatever you want to call men who consider fatherhood their primary job, spread the word. Researchers from Widener University are looking for stay at home dads to participate in an anonymous, online survey about the well-being of families where the father is the primary caregiver. Some dads have already taken a similar survey, but the questionnaire has been shortened and the researchers at Widener are looking to recruit more fathers. If you are full time dad between the ages of 18 and 65 and care for children under age 18, these Widener researchers are looking to hear from you. If you know any dads who fit this demographic, please share this link with them. Even if you don’t, please consider sharing. The more information the study collects, the more our society might understand stay at home… read more

Music Monday Review: Jason Didner and the Jungle Gym Jam “Everyone’s Invited” – Not just Raffi Rocking Out

Jason Didner and the Jungle Gym Jam Everyones Invited album cover

Not just Raffi rocking out Last week, I won a giveaway iTunes copy of Jason Didner and the Jungle Gym Jam’s latest album Everyone’s Invited!. After three listens through with my four year old, my overall impression of Everyone’s Invited! is that is is at the core a great rock album for kids. The rock base differs, in my opinion, than children’s records that are recorded with backing tracks in a rock style. It’s not just Raffi rocking out. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with Raffi. I love his world style and my kid loves his music. But he also likes smarter, more modern kid-based music like the great albums done by They Might Be Giants, and Everyone’s Invited appealed to us in some of the same ways. I just get the impression that Jason Didner and his band are rock musicians first and foremost, and great kids’ music… read more

For my wife: Year after year, we can make it through anything.

wedding bouquet

Marriage is our rock My dear wife, Do you remember our first year? Newlyweds in a city we hated, in jobs we despised, with no money for diapers or milk? We both were rebuilding after divorces, almost nothing to our names. We whispered and tiptoed so we didn’t wake the child who barely slept, such a mess with his unknown-to-us Asperger’s. Every day was an ordeal and a test. It was my first leg of the step-parenting voyage, my first taste of fatherhood. We talked of snapshots, pictures of our life together that we wanted to treasure. That was the year I knew we could make it through hard times and still love each other, and what a good team we made together. It was the year we became a family. But there was also that second summer together. The summer of “Goodwill Hunting”. Sleeping late, sometimes staying in bed all day…. read more