Propaganda! Is! Revolutionary! And! Effective!

Welcome to the new epoch of The Busy Dad Blog! I would like to avail myself of this auspicious occasion to provide a state of our union to you, the people's voice of parenting. 

There is a new look and feel to the site. Some may call it a rebranding. I would call it a reinvigorated purpose. A new glorious pathway. One that required diligent effort and much Photoshop. Please give Ashley Mattocks your credit (which she can exchange for chocolate and VCRs) for her dedicated guidance.

You may have also noticed a new central committee. This consists of my new Minister of the Interior, Exterior and everything in between, Shannon and those who will henceforth be referred to as "The Gang of Five." Their dossiers have been vetted, approved and available in this website's About section. 

As with any transitional administration, forging a smooth path to compliance is wrought with bends in the road, if "bends in the road" means the Great Wall of Laundry or enough dirty dishes to line the Marxist-Leninist pathway. While any self-respecting benevolent, great leader always has labor camp at his disposal, there's not much demand in my neighborhood for freshly smelted iron. To my dismay. So instead, I decided to rely on best practices established by luminaries before me to inform, invigorate, and comply: colorful and inspiring posters!

We have a glass problem here, in that children have short memory spans when it comes to cups. When liquid enters their bodies to refresh and replenish, cups get abandoned and forgotten. An average citizen should consume eight cups of liquid per day to remain communally viable. But nowhere in the doctrine does it state eight different cups. They must therefore be corrected.

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A full pantry is a sign of prosperity. However, it must be clarified that "full" is defined as full of edible staples. An empty Oreo package, as expertly resealed as it is, cannot be used to fuel our movement. A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step toward the trash can, and maybe five more to complete the assignment. Our trash can even opens on its own. I treat the people right. 

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When you spend your time toiling to advance the cause, or build that five-story underground fortress on Minecraft, you will need to wash the bourgeoisie spatter off your body. The agenda cannot progress on Axe alone. 

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While any leader would be more than proud of accomplishments that challenge the infrastructure that the short-sighted elite have set in stone and porcelain, it is unbecoming of visionaries like me to jam a toilet snake into said infrastructure. 

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Every revolution is a struggle for power. However, I would rather exert our collective effort in wresting it from the ruling class than writing a big check to the electric company. 

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We thank you for your support and compliance. Or else.

What to drink when you're sick

We all do it. We all have that one indicator we've designated as the DMZ between the Republic of Healthy Happy and the Commernist Socialist Crappiarchy of Sick. Perhaps it's dry eyes for you, or maybe it's that itch at the back of your throat. Whatever it is, once you cross it, you're in enemy territory, wallowing in a jail cell made of crumpled wads of tissue.

For me, it's the sick sneeze. The sick sneeze isn't like other sneezes. A healthy sneeze hits you hard and quick. It's over and done with, and you go your separate ways. The sick sneeze taunts you all day. First, as a twinge in the dark recesses of your nostrils, then, as the day wears on, it advances to a full-on itch with some heat behind it. This is when my fight begins. If I can fend off the sick sneeze for a full day, I won't get sick. If I give in and sneeze, the rest of my immune system bounces like dominoes in an Ice Cube video.

I truly believe that I have defeated many a cold, simply by holding off the dreaded sick sneeze. It ain't pretty, but it works.

But despite my best efforts and contortions, sometimes Ice Cube yells "Domino!"and it's not a good day.

When that happens, my first line of defense is booze. Alcohol kills germs, and that's all the science I need. Which reminds me. Way back in the day, an old Japanese kickboxing coach of mine gave me this recipe for a cold:

  • Some Sake
  • A raw egg
  • Some sugar

I think the raw egg protein helps to strengthen your immune system while the sugar kick starts it. The sake helps you not care that it doesn't work.

I did some Googling today, and it turns out the above is really a legit traditional Japanese natural cold remedy called Tamagozake. While some of you may run and try it because, hey, an excuse to drink (don't tell me I don't know you guys), some of you may dig the natural aspect of it, but not the complications from salmonella. For that, may I suggest the best of both worlds:

Nature Fusion is a line on Vicks products that combines good stuff from nature, like honey, with the stuff in medicine that you can't pronounce but works like a charm to get you back on your feet. Nature Fusion products also contain no alcohol (I like mine on the side anyway) and no gluten (if you must have your gluten, you can always dip some foccacia in it). I like this concept a lot, because it's like the Robocop of over-the-counter cold remedies. Nature and science, rolled into one badass cure for all evils. 

In the spirit of disclosure, I must tell you that I haven't yet tried it, so I cannot vouch for how well it works. However, I do have some sitting in the medicine cabinet for the next time I lose the sick sneeze battle, which won't be for a while. I love being on the Vicks Blogger Brigade and all, but I love not being sick more. Plus, I've been working on new faces.

Let's take it back to the old school

When I started my blog, I had the luxury of blogging 4 hours a day as I made my daily commute to and from work on the LA Metro system. Nobody knew who I was, and nobody cared - which meant I had to write posts about parenting from a universal perspective, rather than posts about me and my life. Now, I get about 15 minutes a day to blog, if I'm lucky. Granted I have more fun with it now, but my posts were OH SO MUCH BETTER back in the day.

That's why when The Yummy Mummy Club asked me to guest post, I jumped on it. Nobody who reads that site knows who I am. It would give me a chance to write an old school BusyDad post. Sure, it took me like 2 weeks to write, but I loved every minute of it. I could almost smell the transients on the train as I typed away...

Anyway, check it out. This is a post about how the second kid always gets stuck with the jaded parents. If you can comment, that would be great. It's been up like 3 days with no response. I like going old school, but not THAT old school!

What to Expect When You're Expecting... Again

Guerrilla Counter-Whining Tactics

Let’s get my disclaimer out of the way first. Whenever possible, I follow the accepted protocols of parenting. To borrow a term from the search engine optimization world, I do my best to keep it whitehat. Above the belt. Geneva Convention. But as every dad knows, these adversaries we call our children are a reckless bunch, often flagrantly disregarding our accepted rules of engagement. We don’t like to do it, but in the name of maintaining family sanity, we must occasionally don the ski masks, shed the dog tags and regulate. The following techniques are straight from my black book of parenting techniques, section C-47: Counter-Whining Tactics. Warning: may cause post-traumatic guilt syndrome.
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The Practice Pumpkin Revisited

I wanted to jump on here real quick to let all you parents know about a serendipitous discovery that came about as a result of initiating the "Practice Pumpkin" tradition last week.  If you pre-empty a pumpkin and let it sit in the fridge hollow for a couple days, it softens up real nice. For those of you with young kids, this will make the carving process a lot easier. Even with kid-friendly tools, carving a fresh pumpkin requires the exertion of a lot of force at very unstable angles. By dry aging your pumpkin first, nobody loses an eye except for ol' Jack.

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How soft, how squishy, how Dahmer-esque...