a daddy

reflections on daddy-hood and other random things

Monday, October 25, 2010

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

The Alphabet According to Google

With the launch of Google Instant today, we can create an alphabet book for the internet, according to Google that is, just by typing in one letter and seeing what this psychic version of Google search thinks we want.

I must say, most of these are pretty good guesses:

A is for Amazon
B is for Bank of America
C is for craigslist
D is for dictionary
E is for ebay
F is for Facebook
G is for gmail
H is for Hotmail
I is for IMDB
J is for, get this will you, Justin Bieber
K is for Kroger
L is for Lowes
M is for Mapquest (not Google Maps!?)
N is for Netflix
O is for Office Depot
P is for Publix
Q is for quotes
R is for REI
S is for Skype
T is for Target
U is for USPS
V is for Verizon
W is for Walmart
X is for Xbox
Y is for YouTube
Z is for Zappos

Sympathies to Wells Fargo, Home Depot, FedEx, and all the other brands that Google doesn't predict to be at top of mind...

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sex Discrimination in My Little Pony Land

"Ponies are girls, Daddy."

-- 4 y.o. daughter (with disdain) in response to my asking where the boy ponies were in my daughters' voluminous My Little Pony collection

Who knew?
This was originally posted on my blog at:

Friday, September 11, 2009

A brief history of my 4th grade experience at Wilkes Academy

After reconnecting with my fourth grade teacher on Facebook, I had a flood of memories from that special year that I just couldn't help but share. Unless you had something to do with Wilkes Academy or my class, then this is probably a post that is not worth your time.
  • The year was 1981. Ah, the early side of the crazy, crazy 80's.
  • We were the first fourth grade class that did not change classes. Mrs. Aycock was hired, and we got her all to our selves all day all year. All 15 or so of us... I need a yearbook to confirm just how many we were then.
  • Mrs. Aycock was young and full of fun. But she could be strict too. Mainly fun though.
  • I was amused, and still am, that on the first day of school my fellow students told Mrs. Aycock that we'd have a new student in our class who would be arriving in a few weeks from Taiwan. How they knew it and she didn't remains a mystery. Jennifer did eventually show up, fresh from Taiwan. Her dad was in the military. (Has anyone connected with her on Facebook? Surely she's out there somewhere. She was working for a bank in the D.C. metro area several years ago.)
  • Mrs. Aycock lived in Lincolnton. Since we had no one in our class from Lincolnton, I was, up until that point, unaware of this whole Lincoln County culture who seemingly lived in the middle of nowhere. I still don't quite understand that town. You go there, and then you realize that you're not anywhere. No offense, it's just somehow the incarnation of the seemingly paradoxical juxtaposition of suburban sprawl on top of a quaint rural town. The result? It's basically a place you go and you're still nowhere.
  • We had very ancient (red, at least originally?) carpet in the room that we, as a class, took up one day. The carpet was so rotten that we swept up huge piles of black dust, basically the disintegrated underside of the carpet. I swept, it seems, all day. It was hot, and I got blisters on my hands. Angela/Angie B. wanted the broom but I wouldn't give it up.
  • Mrs. Aycock got a roll of fake hardwood vinyl donated (by Alex perhaps?). We were the envy of the school once that was installed. And that was before hardwoods came back in style (and also before vinyl went out!).
  • A particularly memorable incident involved Jennifer (who has exceed her 15 seconds of fame in this post already) as the unfortunate victim of being caught up in the carpet as the rest of the class pulled up the carpet. I remember Mrs. Aycock yelling at everyone about the this carpet demolition riot. But Jennifer sure did roll quite well as the carpet knocked her down and begin to wrap around her body. She fully recovered.
  • At some point we formed "clubs" and Eric (who had by then fully recovered from his Midwestern pronunciation of "nice" and "rice") insisted on having a Dial "M" for Murder Club. The support for the quickly vanished when Mrs. Aycock kept pressing him with the question "but what would the club do?" Uhm. Good question. Let's keep this legal.
  • Fourth grade was the first year that everyone in the class accepted the fact that the jolly man with bowl full of jelly belly was basically a hoax. I don't really recall being devastated over this. I mean we still got toys, right?
  • Interestingly enough, everyone got an Atari 2600 that year for Christmas. Except for me. Well don't feel too bad because I did get the Sear's private label version called a "Video Arcade." It was basically the Atari version that had a faux wood panel glued on the front. What was Sears thinking and why couldn't they just sell stuff without their name on it? (I still ask that question today. Some things never change.) Anyway, my mom's love affair with that store only ended when our catalog sales center closed.
  • Pac-Man fever had seized the nation. Mrs. Aycock was a huge fan of Pac-Man. I'm not sure why. Was this the featured game at the hot club in Lincolnton? Somehow I was an avid fan as well even though I was too young to drive to the arcade, and even if I got there, I didn't have the quarters to play the game more than once or twice.
  • The arcade was located in a long skinny building that once housed a fabric shop. It had a War Lords game in the corner that you could sit down at on nice black vinyl. I went to Chris' birthday party there, but otherwise, the arcade was teenage territory.
  • I have the "original arcade version" of Pac-Man on my phone now. Freaky.
  • We wrote our own books as a special project that year. I wrote a book based on Pac-Man. Yes, it was a gripping work of fiction that featured Pacu as the main character. Plot development was not my strength in that fine work of literature, but somehow I did know that writing about a cultural trendy topic was the key to success rather than wasting my time developing gripping content. I even had one of the wiggly plastic eyes that I glued on the cover's picture of Pacu. This was obviously an early indicator that I have knack for marketing. The third grade class got wind of my book and asked that their teacher read it to them. I need to dig that book up. Perhaps I could market it as a e-book for the Kindle.
  • Since I'm evidently practicing full disclosure here, I also had a Pac Man 33 LP (If you don't know what a 33 LP is, please just keep that to yourself as it will make me feel a bit old). It featured the song Pac-Man Fever. It was the only good song. OK, that's not fair. Do the Donkey Kong was not that bad. When you got to Froggy's Lament, a remorseful song about Frogger's unfortunate contact with a speeding pixelated Ford Pinto, it started going downhill fast. Think you can find that one on iTunes?
  • Thinking about Sears reminded me of Sky City. I recall that Sky City was the most amazing store in the world. It was the only place you could buy a shirt, an aquarium fish, and a 45. If you don't know what a 45 is, see the note above on a 33 LP.
  • We studied volcanoes and I felt compelled to make one as a class project. Mine was fairly large, however I added too much dish soap to the vinegar solution (to make the lava more bubbly), and its red food color tinted eruption was just way too slow for my tastes. Angela/Angie (who kept changing her name) Blackburn had a smaller volcano that exploded really fast. Mrs. Aycock wanted my volcano but I wouldn't give it too her. I should have, because I had no room for it at my house.
  • Mrs. Aycock felt it was her duty to indoctrinate us in the concept of the pop quiz. She would give us multiple quizzes a day. In fact, I had more pop quizzes in 4th grade than I had combined the rest of my entire life. While that was rather torturous for fourth graders, I did appreciate learning how to deal with and properly manage the fear that accompanies the announcement of a pop quiz...that is for the whole 2 more times it happened ever, including college.
  • We learned about cells in the human body at a pretty basic level. Even though Mrs. Aycock told us repeatedly that individual cells were too small to be seen by the naked human eye, a lengthy queue formed at her desk of students asking if various things on the skin of their hands were actual individual cells. I thought that they should just take Mrs. Aycock at her word on that one. (Jennifer, this is a part I could write about you again, but I won't.)
  • I really have nothing against Jennifer. She just has occupied more than her fair share of my memories of 4th grade for some reason.
  • Each day we got the announcement (and absentee) list distributed to our room. Mrs. Aycock would put it in the top drawer of her desk. She had the entire year's worth of announcements in that drawer. I think my fondness for organization and archiving makes this particular unremarkable memory stand out.
  • I learned about the Ford Tough Quality of Mrs. Aycock's maroon Ford Escort Station Wagon. On our year end trip to Six Flags Over Georgia, I was sitting in the back seat. Sitting in the driver's seat, she could feel my knee sticking into her back through the seat. Very impressive, Detroit.
  • Also at year end, Mrs. Aycock invited us to her house to swim in the pool that she had told us stories about the entire year (e.g., she had to put ice in her pool one summer when the water temperature was consistently too hot to enjoy swimming in). I remember admiring all of her high tech equipment that had not made it to my household such as a VCR (the big kind with 2 channel knobs on the top) and a microwave.
  • I did actually have other classmates besides Jennifer, Eric, and Angie/Angela. But obviously, they just weren't that memorable until their antics in high school. I'm guessing they might not want me to write a post on that. :)
  • I'm sure we actually learned stuff in 4th grade. I just can't recall much specifically. I think we started learning long division, and then Mrs. Aycock realized we weren't grasping it at all. We revisited it later on and everyone got the hang of it.
  • All these thoughts about 4th grade make me recall my 2nd grade teacher, Mrs. Baldwin, who totally freaked me out with her real life ghost stories and witches with 6 fingers, but I guess that's the topic for another post another day...
  • The 4th grade classroom was the same room I had Pre-K in with Mrs. Poss. And on graduation day, it was the room we met in with our robes on and walked to the gym for the graduation ceremony. Funny how my 14 years at Wilkes Academy came full circle, beginning and ending in that seemingly sacred room.
  • Hail to thee Wilkes Academy!
I have no idea when the last time was that I saw Mrs. Aycock, but it sure was great to discover her on Facebook.

What are your memories? I look forward to your comments.

If you're reading this post on Facebook, the original version can be found on my blog at http://adaddy.blogspot.com.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Lip Synch-ing on the Subway

I'm not always sure why some things strike me as funny. This video shot on an Atlanta MARTA train does! Worth a watch to the end to see the I-don't-miss-a-beat interruption.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

DeKalb County Efficiency at Work Once Again

Evidently someone at the library is trying to justify their position and prove relevancy. I received a "bill" from the Patron Services Department at the Dekalb Library Processing Center (who knew libraries were so complex?) stating that I owned $6 in overdue fines. Keep in mind that all books had been returned.

Just so you'll know, Mooncake got hidden under the couch and it took a while to uncover it.

The postage for this library bill cost $0.335. Adding printing, paper, and who knows what kind of salary/administrative overhead probably took the cost of generating and mailing this bill close to the amount I actually owe them.

Funny thing is, I can walk into a library and check out a book without paying this, yet they're spending money to try to collect it.

You'd think that I had checked out the Rosetta Stone and failed to return it or something.

If you're reading this elsewhere, this posting originated on my blog at http://adaddy.blogspot.com.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The missing piece

- is inevitably in the center of the puzzle.
- has an increased probablity of occurence with the presence of a two
year old.
- somehow decreases the accomplishment of assembling just 999 pieces.