Sprout, Montel, and Tardive Dyskinesia?

Isaac is now fast approaching 15 months (two weeks away). During his infancy, we were very particular about any television being on within his view. We were particular at that time for two reasons. One, it’s pretty common knowledge that babies staring at televisions is a no no. Two, Isaac would do everything is his tiny little baby power to contort himself to see a screen, any screen. So we made sure to control that pretty well.

As he has grown, we have lightened up on that a little and one of the main sources of toddler entertainment has been Sprout. It’s a preschool targeted channel that has programming like Sesame Street, The Wiggles, Bob the Builder, Thomas the Train, etc. I basically like what they are doing with the shows they have, but in the short time I have been paying attention to it, I notice some things I REALLY don’t like.

Commercials: OH MY GOD, people. One day I look up after Bob the Builder or something and there’s Montel, yes THAT Montel. And he’s pitching a cash advance company called Money Mutual. Apparently they want to give my kid “A Thousand Dollars Fast”! Ok, maybe it’s targeted at me, but why do they need to go that way with their advertising spots? It gets better too. Ever heard of Tardive Dyskinesia? If you have, it’s likely because of that damn commercial on television. There are a ton of them too. If you have ever taken any medication, it’s likely you are entitled to a cash settlement. Seriously, I know these networks have to make ends meet, but is it not unreasonable to try to keep it less scummy? Ya know, for the kids?

Self Promotion: This is less irritating, but it’s incessant. Because many of the shows or segments they air run in the 5-15 minute range, there is a lot of transition. And when they are not running lame commercials, they are self promoting all of the other shows. The main problem with this is the sheer repetition. I perpetually have the Cailluo theme song in my head. I see the same promo over and over and over and over. I guess this part IS for the kids. But it’s the part that pushes the network like a dealer pushes dope.

I guess the last gripe I have with Sprout is that their content is regularly rotated. The same episodes of shows seem to pop up more often than needed. I suppose it’s not that big of a deal. And if I think about it, maybe seeing something familiar is good for wee ones. Whatever the reason, it’s not worth fighting over, it just annoys me.

Until we kill cable, I am sure we will continue to flip to FiOS channel 263. But when we flee from cable, I will not miss Sprout, Montel, or Tardive Dyskinesia.

Boys and Sticks

Isaac picked this new found joy on his own. I may have had a hand in him taking up “soccer”…. kicking pretty much everything across the room, but sticks are all him. Dangerous, yeah a little. Cute? You betcha. He touches everything in his path with the end of it. He also picked up one that was more like a walking stick. Made him resemble a gnome for a moment. Which was awesome of course.

Because the World

Is it best to live unsettled and a little jaded because the world is the way it is? Or is it better to accentuate the positive and find a way to be happy because the world is the way it is?

Baby Part Deux

Guess what internet!? In Jan. 2011, Isaac is going to be a big brother! At 17 months, he will be the senior of our brood.

This is his current status:

This is our second child’s current status:

Crazy right!? We’re very excited and at this point are just hoping Melanie’s pregnancy and delivery goes smoothly. She has reached the second trimester and the “morning sickness” (A.K.A. – “all day sickness”) seems to have subsided.

The anxiety level about the prep work is much lower this time, which I am very thankful for. It’s amazing how hard it seemed when making decisions about paint and furniture and bottles and clothes and blah blah blah. This time, we know what we like and where to go. In fact, it is likely the two baby rooms will be very similar to one another. Of course, paint and awesome vinyl decal accents will differ. Also, names, we’re already working on that. No one will know until baby #2 is born though. Always have to “make sure”.. you know?

Now… the question is. Double stroller, two strollers or a pack mule? Also, a minivan is still out of the question.

Before & After

The new logo started out with the same gold and gray color scheme, I am glad I changed it.

You Share… But I’m Weird?

I often find myself stuck between IRL (In Real Life) and some random, isolated, spot on the web. I “follow” and communicate with people I have never met face to face. I see Twitter posts, blog posts, and Facebook posts. We might even have some kind of dialog going from time to time. But if you have never met me, nor I you,  it seems like the “information to basis ratio” is off. I find it strange that I know people, based on their internet presence, yet have no basis for knowing if what they project is actually who they are. It boils down to strangers knowing much about you, without knowing you.

With this in mind, I keep myself protected when and where I feel the need. For example, when our first child was born, I put up an online photo gallery dedicated to the thousands of pics I took and will take over the years, but it’s password protected. If you happen to be my friend on Facebook, you know who I am married to and have even seen a picture or two of my son, but the settings are such that it’s not open to everyone.

Here’s the thing I am hung up on… if I follow someone’s internet ramblings for whatever reason (similar interests, phase of life, city, whatever) and then I meet them in person, even though I know they had some crazy experience the other day because they posted about it, I’m afraid it would result in an uncomfortable “this guy is a weirdo stalker type” moment. To be clear, I am not “a weirdo stalker type”, but if I am meeting you face to face for the first time, yet I know much about you, it’s kinda strange. Right? I will say it depends on the person however. I have met a few people that I first came to know on Twitter and found the exchange comfortable. They even had that familiarity that strangers certainly lack when first meeting.

So am I making this up? I feel confident that I could weird someone out if I met them for the first time and was able to ramble off the many facts I know about them. Is it my fault for consuming the knowledge without the basis? True community is in person. The internet can help this, but it can not make or replace real, true community.

Maybe this is a good argument for paring down ones internet presence to one that is more similar to ones real life. Or perhaps the solution is to expand ones real life to better match their life online.

So… if I meet you and know much about you, will you find it strange? Or will you remember all of the things I know are “out there” for all to see?

Now THAT’S a hole! – In Guatemala City

Big Ass Hole

A perfect and terrifying circular hole. The bad news… this hole swallowed a building. The good news… no one was in the building. They had departed a mere hour before this happened.

via BigPicture

How Do We Get Oil

Oooooh! So that’s how it works…

But seriously, it’s a damn shame companies aren’t required to have some kind of fail safe in place in case, you know, a rig completely fails. It’s tragic what happened to the workers on that rig and it’s tragic what is happening to our environment.

(via Fake Science via RVA Mag)

Spending Cuts and Bake Sales


Reminds me of this…

Baby Plus Netbook

Isaac managed to open favorites, open the page source, and then hit some magic series of keys that resulted in a black screen with a blinking cursor. Not bad for a baby.