Does The Buying Power of Dads Really Matter?

Recently several articles dealing with the role of today’s modern father and how marketers should view them popped up in my news feed. As a longtime dad blogger with a background in marketing and experience working with major brands, I have a keen interest in such information. One of the reasons I blog is to help collectively reinforce a positive image of fatherhood, and in a sense, the way marketers represent dads in their campaigns can serve as a gauge of success in regards to this.  Sometimes brands get it, and sometimes they don’t. Often the difference is the reality verses perception.

The reality, it seems, is that men place a higher value on their involvement as fathers over other more traditional functions. According to Boston College’s 2011 The New Dad Report, when it came to defining what it meant to be good father, men prioritized providing emotional support, being present, and being a teacher well above other aspects such as providing discipline and financial security.  This, of course, is a big shift from the days when being a good father was measured by merely bringing home the bacon. So too is the amount of time fathers spend with their children, a metric a Pew Study discovered has tripled since 1965.

Based on these and other findings we know fathers are more involved. What then are marketers to make of this? A number of brands to include DoveSubaru, and Tide have gotten behind this movement by introducing campaigns involving dads. However, is the hype surrounding dads justified? Not necessarily says Stephanie Azzarone, founder of Child’s Play Communications and blogger at Mom Market Trends.


Breaking Dad: Say My Name

First allow me to apologize for the “Breaking Dad” portion of my title. I realize it’s a bit cliché, and thousands of dad bloggers and journalists have probably already worn it out. Hopefully, though, by the end of this you’ll agree it still applies.

By admission I was a latecomer to the television phenomena that was Breaking Bad. I resisted the hoopla for as long as I could, but left with nothing substantial to entertain us, my wife and I binged our way through all five seasons in a matter of a few weeks.

Naturally, as a father and husband I was drawn to the show’s premise: A once world-class chemist, turned teacher, manufactures methamphetamine to secure his family’s financial security after learning he is dying of cancer. Simply put, the man wanted to provide for his family, and debate me if you want, but I believe this is an inherent instinct men are wired with.


If You Give a Mouse CPR

Most people know I’m not a cat person, and yet, despite this we have a cat. The reason for this is simple: Our house was being overrun by mice last winter, and conventional methods such as traps and poisons failed to stem the tide. A cat, therefore, seemed like the only other cost-effective option. After a brief search through Craigslist my wife found a suitable feline candidate that was even advertised as being a good “mouser.”

In short order our mouse problem was no more, even though I only ever saw the cat catch one of the furry little bastards. My guess is that our cat’s mere presence was enough of deterrent to keep the mice at bay.  Since then the cat has been splitting her time between being an entitled indoor cat and a prey-stalking outdoor cat—something akin to a Kardashian living a dual life as a ninja assassin.  It’s not uncommon to open the front door and find the limp body of a once perky chipmunk or hairless baby squirrel at least two or three times a week.
I know the common belief is that these little “gifts” are a cat’s way of showing they are happy, but the reality is cats have an inherent kill pattern programmed into their brains.  That and they are very bad at disposing of the bodies. (See this infographic.) Thus, if you suffer from Phagofelinephobia, take heart, once the cats have had their fill your corpse will be found (of course, on whose doorstep is anybody’s guess). I digress.


13 Things My Kids Seem Incapable Of [Slide Presentation]

Are there certain minor, little things that your kids keep doing even though you've tried time and again to get them to change? Do you wonder if your children will ever get it? I'll wager to say we've all been there. Here is my list of things that cause me to ask that very question. Are some of these on your list, or are there others in your household?


Dreams of Failure [GMP]

A while back I had two dreams that were so vivid I will never forget them. In the first I was a boy, roughly 10 or 11, standing before a white farm house with three gabled windows protruding from the roof and a wide, covered porch spanning the entire front exterior. Yellow daffodils filled the flower beds at the porch’s base, and the surrounding yard was neat and trimmed. Facing the left side of the house stood a traditional-looking barn with two large doors that were swung open revealing its insides.

A path to the left of the barn cut through a spacious field that was bordered on three sides by a wall of maple and oak trees. Something compelled me to follow the path, and as I walked my feet could feel the cool clover growing in the raised strip running between the shallow ruts that were worn into the damp dirt by some wheeled vehicle.

Continue reading...


Daddy Blogger Mad Lib

The other day I walked into the (ROOM) where I found my (NUMBER) year-old child, (CHILD’S NICKNAME) playing with a (NOUN) in the toilet. This frustrated me because I’ve tried over and over to teach him/her the message that (CLICHÉ MAXIM). Unfortunately it seems like it’s going in one (BODY PART) and out the other. It makes me want to pull out my (BODY PART) sometimes. Not only that, you’d think at this age they would be potty trained and I wouldn’t have to clean the (BODILY SECRETION) out of his/her diaper anymore. The other day he/she dropped a man-size (BODILY SECRETION) that they proceeded to wipe on the walls. I supposed this is just part of being a full-time parent.

I love being a dad, but if I was being honest, I would have to admit that I like my (FAMILY MEMBER) more than my son/daughter. Hey, I’m just saying is all. I know some might find this controversial, but it’s simply the truth, and I’m not going to hide it.


The Perfect Life

I don’t know if it’s because I’m wading into the deep end of my mid-life crisis or if it’s simple escapism, but lately I’ve been thinking a lot about when my life seemed perfect. When precisely was this this? It was soon after working through the issues of my recent divorce. I was in my 30’s and making a comfortable living which afforded me a trendy downtown loft and a hot car, the kind the valets like to park out front for others to see.

Physically fit, I weighed 25 pounds less than I do now, and had a closet full of designer suits that made me feel sharp as I walked out the door each morning. Professionally, I was at the top of my game, and I knew it which gave me a supreme confidence and healthy sort of cockiness that fueled my continued success.


J.J. Abrams, Dad 2.0, and The Life of Dad [Podcast]

Earlier this week I had the opportunity to be a guest on the Life of Dad After Show where I chatted with hosts Art Eddy and Ryan Hamilton about Star Wars, J.J. Abrams, the origin of Clark Kent's Lunchbox, how to make Sugar Milk, attending the Dad 2.0 conference, and the evolution of dad blogging. I did my best to sound interesting, but who knows--I say "uh" a lot. Anyway. It was at least nice to have a real conversation with a couple of great guys which is a big deal for me considering I only have a cat to talk with all day.

If you're not familiar with The Life of Dad bunch and all the stuff they are doing, then I highly encourage checking them out and joining the community they've put together over there.

Many thanks to Art and Ryan for having me.

You can listen to the program here: The Life of Dad After Show


Type-A Takeaways for Dad Bloggers

Type-A Dad Panel: Myself, Fred Goodall, Eric Payne, and Trey Burley 

Over the past weekend I attended the Type-A Parent Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. This was my third appearance as a speaker covering the topic of daddy blogging, and as in years past, it was a wholly positive experience. Founder Kelby Carr and her staff did a marvelous job putting together an event that was both informative and fun.

Admittedly I was apprehensive about the conference after my experience earlier at BlogHer. Granted I probably wasn’t in the best frame of mind while in Chicago, but regardless, the event felt a little bit… flat—like everything was a matter of going through the motions. The strength, though, of BlogHer is that it’s a celebration of women—their creativity, their accomplishments, their business savvy, and ultimately their voice. And rightfully so. It’s not that I felt uncomfortable, this despite being “interviewed” by a curious mom blogger who, using a tampon as a microphone, wanted to know what a dad was doing at a blog conference geared to women.  Even so, as the male minority at BlogHer, I knew my place, and that was okay with me.


What's the Deal with Me and Richard Marx? [DadCentric]

Inevitably, if a conversation turns toward musical tastes, I always end up the laughing stock of the group. Why? No one has ever deemed my choice of bands and singers as being cool. I’ll bring up names like Matchbox 20 or The Fray—and of course there’s that whole thing with Coldplay—and everyone starts doubling over.  It’s fine. I’m used to it by now. Sometimes I’ll even join in. Admittedly I deserve ridicule for my brief flirtation with Nickelback.

My wife, Ashley, is undoubtedly my harshest critic. A song from Snow Patrol will come on the radio, and she’ll roll her eyes so hard I can hear it over the music. “How did I ever marry you,” she will sigh.


Not My Kid

Not my kid. That’s what we as parents wish we could think on a continual basis. We see another child doing something outrageous, or we hear about it from a fellow parent and we naturally imagine our own children in the same situation, believing that our parenting skills have made enough of an impact so as to prevent them from doing anything stupid and embarrassing.

Hey, I’m no different… I’m no different until I overhear someone commenting on the kid plundering the bowl of mints offered in the church’s coffee café, only to learn later that it was both my 11 year-old and my nine year-old sons who were grabbing fistfuls of peppermint candy like greedy pirates stuffing their pockets with gold doubloons.  I would’ve been none the wiser had it not been for the indiscriminate trail of cellophane wrappers laying in the hallway and the sibling who snitched on them. (With five kids it’s hard to get away with anything, especially when you don’t share the loot.)


The Life of Bi [Huffington Post]

There's an implied danger that goes with being greeted by a metal detector the instant you enter a door. After all, why would it be there if someone didn't want to prevent a deranged lunatic from attempting to sneak a weapon into a school or an airport? Or a behavioral health facility.
That's where I found myself -- a behavioral health facility assuring a hulking, six-foot-five guard that I had left my cell phone in the car as the sign in the parking lot instructed. The guard politely pointed me towards the door on the right of the nurse's station as opposed to the thick metal one on the left, which I noticed had a lock requiring the nurse to buzz someone in or out.
Peering through the small glass portal I could see a sterile hall lined with closed rooms. For a moment the option between doors made me feel like Neo choosing between the red pill or the blue pill, and I wondered which would take me down the rabbit hole.      ...continue reading.


Swim Test

Unlike me, my kids are a bunch of water bugs when it comes to swimming. Swimming is one of those things that never really stuck with me after I grew up. Perhaps this is because my sisters and I never went that often. Once each summer our mother would take us for a day at the Lake Erie peninsula where the lake’s docile waves would toss our bony little bodies back onto the gravely shore. Sometimes, if we were lucky, a well-off friend would invite us over to their pool, but mostly we just damned up the small creek behind our house and sat in muddy, knee-deep water.

My kids also have a good size creek running through our backyard, but they would much rather prefer the new outdoor pool at our local YMCA. It’s not that they are averse to playing in the creek (and then tracking mud through the house); it’s just that the pool has a thirty-foot water slide, a playground, a whirlpool, fountains, and a zip line. Needless to say we spent more than a few weekends there over the summer.


Gone Kitties

Have I mentioned that we have kittens—well, had, but I’ll get to that later. Perhaps you saw something about this my Facebook photos or Instagram feed. That I haven’t written about them already is, I suppose, some travesty on the part of someone who claims to be a blogger (something that I will have much more time for in the immediate future, but let’s save that for a separate post unto itelf). Getting back to the subject at hand—kittens.

When we got our cat, Tallulah, awhile back (something I have already written about) we were told she was “fixed.” She was not, a fact soon deduced by her swelling belly which in the late stages of her pregnancy would move revealing the squirming life forms lurking below the surface.

One evening as my wife sat reading in bed the cat leapt onto the covers searching for a soft spot to rest her heavy frame.


If God Was A Daddy Blogger

Today I'd like to introduce a very special guest blogger: God. Many people don't know God has a dad blog. No, I'm serious. He doesn't post as frequently as He used to, but He still tries to keep up with things. In today's post God offers a few thoughts on daddy blogging itself. Very glad to have Him today.

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I guess it’s been quite a while since my last post. Things in my world have been just crazy. One day you’re trying to keep Satan from getting Obama re-elected, and the next thing you know months have gone by and you haven’t written a damn thing. As a blogger this is like the angel of death for your site—stop posting on a regular basis and people pretty much forget you even existed. Oh well. It is what it is, and if you’re one of those loyal readers still following me then this is pleasing, in my eyes.

To be honest though (and I always am), another reason I backed off from posting is I find myself wondering what to even blog about anymore. Keep in mind I started this site like an eternity ago; I’ve been blogging since before daddy blogging was even a thing. After a while you tend to run out of things to say. Read More...


Man of Steel Review: It’s Superman And Yet It’s Not

If you’re a Superman purist I can guarantee you won’t enjoy Man of Steel. If on the other hand you go, forgetting all that you know about the world’s greatest superhero then you’ll likely be entertained. For years now, fans and critics alike have been calling for a believable Superman, one relevant to today. Director Zach Snyder and screenwriter David S. Goyet accomplish exactly that with this dark, reimagined version which bares producer and Dark Knight director, Chris Nolan’s imprint. However, some of the liberties taken by these three to update Superman’s story have fans up in arms and understandably so. (Spoilers to follow)

Man of Steel does incorporate a number of the elements many would recognize from the Superman of before—the destruction of Krypton, the Kents raising young Clark, the return of General Zod from the Phantom Zone—and for the most part the movie does a good job portraying these backstory events in the setup. Beyond this things start to get dicey.

The movie begins with Lara, Superman’s mother, giving birth to her son, an act of treason on Krypton where children are artificially conceived and genetically engineered for predetermined roles within society. This is pivotal in setting up the themes of hope and choice echoed though Kal-El’s journey to becoming a superhero. Soon after the planet’s doomed fate is revealed, baby Kal-El is launched into space, and General Zod (superbly played by Michael Shannon) is banished for leading a failed coup. The rest, of course, we know.

Next we see a grown up version of the now, Clark Kent (Henry Cavill), working a series of odd jobs in his search to discovering his origins while trying to keep his abilities under wraps despite circumstances forcing him to do otherwise. These scenes are intertwined with flashbacks to Clark’s past as the strange boy who never fit it and the lessons from his adoptive father (Kevin Costner) and mother (Diane Lane). Both actors made for the perfect Jonathan and Martha Kent, and Costner does a particularly good job as he expresses his deep concerns that the world isn’t ready to accept what it can’t understand in Clark’s powers.

Along the way we are introduced to intrepid reporter, Lois Lane (Amy Adams) who is covering a story about a strange object discovered in the ice somewhere in the nether regions of the arctic. After an encounter with Clark, Lois goes on the hunt to learn of her rescuer’s origins, eventually tracking him down to Smallville. Meanwhile, Clark discovers the frozen object is actually the key to discovering who he really is (although has to wonder how a centuries old Kryptonian scouting ship could contain the famous blue suit made specifically for Kal-El).

And then, after a solid hour or so, our story begins.

General Zod, who managed to escape the Phantom Zone with a squad of co-conspirators, shows up in search of Clark and an object containing the genetic coding necessary for preserving the Krytonian race which Zod, naturally wants to resurrect on earth. With the earth’s fate in the balance, Clark reveals himself to the world as the alien Zod is looking for, and he willingly surrenders, first to the U.S. government and then to the Krytonian invaders. So far so good.

Zod’s plan is eventually revealed and thus begins all the fighting and destruction—oh, the destruction. First Clark’s hometown of Smallville is ripped to shreds in a main street showdown, showcasing a host of corporate logos including Sears, 7 Eleven, and IHop. (Hey, they said they wanted to make it believable--what's more believable than IHop?) Next, the center of Metropolis is pulverized into dust as Zod tries to alter Earth’s composition into something a little more Krytonian. It’s like Michael Bay’s wet dream to the tenth power making the Avengers battle scene look like a fender bender on 5th and Wabash. And just when you think it’s safe to come out from under the rubble, Superman and Zod take turns wailing on one another as they topple about a dozen more skyscrapers for another ten minutes as a build up to a shocking climatic scene. (I’m not saying what.)

Given my blogging persona, I’ve been getting pegged with questions asking for my opinion of the movie almost from the minute I left the theater. Honestly, I’ve been debating how to answer this. Driving home at 3 AM, I really, really wanted to like Man of Steel. I mean I’ve been waiting for over two years to watch this movie, and yet after seeing it, I couldn't tell if it was worth the hype. This made me think that maybe my expectations were too high, that, like many fans, nothing could please me. However, by the second trip to see it, this time with the family, I felt a bit more comfortable with the movie—but not all of it.

The storyline, the acting, and the overall feel of Man of Steel were all headed in the right direction, certainly more so than Superman Returns, which, by comparison, even made the fight scenes and collateral damage justifiable. Execution, however, was another matter. I could nitpick the movie's flaults, but I’m not a critic, only a fan. And so, it’s from that perspective that I will point out the biggest flaw of the movie—they changed Superman.

I realize that changes were inevitable—needed even, but in Man of Steel there’s very little that makes the Big Blue Boy Scout just that, a boy scout. Sure, there are a few scenes of him saving a school bus full of children and a handful of trapped oil rig workers, but beyond this Superman, by omission, demonstrates an uncharacteristic lack of concern for human life (or Kyptonian for that matter since he wipes out his own race's last chance of survival--so much being a symbol of hope).

When Smallville is turned into a literal war zone, Superman does nothing to move the fight away from the terrified citizens. (You'd think he’d be more sentimental about his hometown.) The same is true when the Zod hits the fan in Metropolis as the two wreck everything and anything in their path.  And then there’s that final scene which caused everyone’s jaw to drop. Even my youngest son turned to me and said, “Superman doesn’t do that.”

Granted, I didn’t want to see a campy, sappy version of my favorite superhero, but in attempting to create a believable character Snyder and Goyer stripped Superman of the very essence of what makes him Superman, ultimately bringing him down to our level rather than giving us something to aspire to.  

Throughout the movie I kept waiting for that one dramatic moment when I'd be overcome by goosebumps after Superman did something amazing like rescuing a scared child from a meteor shower (Tom Welling in Smallville) or gently dropping a doomed airliner in a stadium as the crowd goes wild (*sad sigh* Brandon Routh in Superman Returns), but, to my great disappointment, that moment never came.  It never came because the real Superman, the one that inspires us never showed up. Oh well, maybe next time. 

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Do I recommend you see Man of Steel? Yes. It is a Superman movie and still entertaining (and better than Iron Man 3). For parents, keep in mind that Man of Steel does depict some dark imagery and a lot of violence; so, if you’re wondering whether or not to take the kids I would consult Common Sense Media for objective insights.


A Letter To Batman From His Son

Yesterday, my esteemed and highly talented daddy blogger colleagues, Charlie Capen and Andy Herald of How to Be a Dad published a post entitled, 5 Reasons Batman Would Be a Better Dad Than Superman. The post naturally elicited a massive response from the fan-boy dads, which I, of course, could not refrain. Charlie and Andy wrote their piece specifically ignoring the canon of both superheroes, and so I have done the same with this letter written in a completely re-imagined world of the Dark Knight and the Man of Steel.

Dear Father Bruce,

I am writing this letter to you as part of my anger management treatment which, of course, you know the court mandated. Dr. Friskin, my therapist, thought this would be a good way to constructively work through my feelings. Honestly, though, I don't even know where to begin. I guess my biggest question are all why. Why did you want me? Why did you fight my mother for full custody in the divorce? And why did you think you could ever be a father to me given your dual identity?

I want to believe that as a baby our family was happy one, but over the years I've realized that it couldn't have been if Mother left you so soon after I was born. Did you even love one another? I guess it all didn't matter after one of those freaks--what's his name, Penguin--killed her. Listen to myself; a bird man murdered my mom with a stupid trick umbrella, and that's not even the most bizarre part! That would be that my dad dresses up as a bat to fight other such loonies around Gotham City, in alternate dimensions, and God only knows where else!

Okay, I get it. Your parents were shot right in front of you, and it made you angry--so angry you vowed never to let it happen to you again, and ever since you've been busting your ass selfishly trying to get the world to bend to your vision of how it should be whatever that is. What it all comes down to, though, is that you've been holding the world's biggest pity party for yourself because your dad wasn't around. Guess what? I'm angry too and for the same reason. At least Grandpa Wayne had a good excuse. What's yours? Answer me that.

When have you been there for me? How many birthdays did I celebrate alone? Sure there were tons of people, massive cakes, and expensive presents, but that didn't make up for you being gone. Did you know I threw bar mitzvah and confirmation parties for myself even though I'm neither religion just to see if the absurdity of it would force you to show up. But, no, you were off in deep space fighting alien creatures along with your little group of "super" friends while I'm still getting hit up by the local synagogue and archdiocese for donations.

Yes, there were a few events in my life that you showed to, but, god, what a spectacle you made driving up late in another Bugatti and getting out with another woman--sometimes two--on your arm. Then you'd make some half-assed toast about how great fatherhood was before unveiling your latest lavish gift to me, most of which made no sense. A marble statue of myself put up in the Wayne Manor topiary maze? Was that meant to represent how perpetually lost I looked? My favorite, though, was the pony. What kid doesn't want a pony? Yeah, when they're eight, not fifteen!

Fifteen. That was the same age when you finally told me your dirty secret. Was it because you realized I wan't a little boy any more? Bet that was a real surprise. One day you're sending me to Switzerland to attend prep school and ten years later you can't figure out why I'm punching that damn pony in the face in front of god and everyone.

Or was the real reason you told me because I was becoming a liability to you with all the drunken parties, and drugs, and girls back at school. I guess that abortion for Lex Luthor's daughter was a real wake up call. What did you expect, dad? I was only mimicking you. Did you think that revealing your true self to me would change how I saw the world? Actually for once you were right; it did.

You showed me how f*#ked up life was, and the way you went on and on about it made me cynical. I kept wondering why if the world was so hopeless did you kept sneaking out at night with your fancy bat-gadgets to save it. I learned to hate you for it and everyone around me. It's only taken me until recently that I realized you weren't trying to save the world, you were trying to save yourself from the guilt of Grandma and Grandpa's deaths. And the courts said I'm the one who needs therapy!

My mistake was thinking I could somehow fix you, and suddenly we could be a real father and son. That's why I went after the Joker. I thought if I got rid of your biggest arch-villain, you'd see me differently and let me into your dark, twisted world. Well, I guess we all know how that worked out--me taking a hammer to the Joker's face. I didn't quite kill him but I sure as hell bashed that silly-ass grin off his pale face. It's kind of hard to smile without a jaw. Ha!

What's sad is that Dr. Friskin eventually helped me to realize that all that anger I released on that whack-job's face was actually meant for you, Bruce. I feel terrible admitting to you how good that handle felt in the palm of my hand as I swung it over and over, but after twenty one and a half years of you never being there, of having to carry around your secret, of seeing the world and everyone in it as so inherently evil, I needed a release. And now here I am in Arkham Correctional Facility writing you this letter ...and only a week before Father's Day no less!    

You know what's funny? Do you know who's the only person to visit me on a regular basis (not you, that's for sure)? Clark Kent Jr, that's who.

I remember how you used to talk about his dad, that he was some sort of overly-optimistic chump, pulling his punches because he believed in humanity. I used to think that of Clark Jr. too; he seemed like some goody-two-shoes little prick. But now that I've gotten to know him he's made me realize there is a lot of good in the world, and this has given me hope that despite everything, there's also good in me.

Guess your buddy, Superman, rubbed off on his kid too. Why couldn't you have been more like him?


Your Son

* * * Read more on the debate from others * * * 

Andy & Charlie - HowToBeADad: "5 Reasons Batman Be A Dad Than Superman"

Sam Christensen - "Why Superman is a Better Dad Than Batman"

Alan Kercinik - Always Jacked: "6 Reasons Superman Would Be A Better Dad Than Batman"

Stephanie Reidy - Escaping Elegance: "Boys, Boys... Must We Bicker?"

Eric Bolton - Boltonshire: "Why Green Lantern is a Better Dad Than Batman AND Superman"

...and more to come I'm sure.


Superman's Two Dads In Man of Steel

Last week Entertainment Weekly published an interesting (well, interesting to me) article in their Summer Must List edition. The article centered on Superman's two dads in the highly anticipated Man of Steel movie coming out in a few weeks. (I've already bought tickets and put in for a vacation day.) According to interviews with both Director Zach Snyder and screenwriter David S. Goyer, the role of fathers will be a central issue critically affecting Clark Kent's choices in becoming Superman.

EW correspondent Anthony Breznican writes that Clark is "in a tug-of-war between his Kryptonian biological father, Jor-El (Russell Crowe), and his adoptive earthling dad, Jonathan Kent (Kevin Coster)." Goyer continues the thought stating, "It's about Clark trying to decide whose son he is," while adding that Clark's decision will determine the the fate of the earth.

As I've mentioned before, the conflict, of course, stems from Jor-El sending Kal-El to Earth with a message to his son that he is to become a savior to his new home world, while Kent, on the other hand urges Clark to conceal his powers out of a fear for the worst from humanity.

What I liked best about the article, mainly because it's something I readily identify with, is that both Snyder and Goyer's experiences as fathers influenced this particular aspect of the movie. With eight kids, Snyder has had much to draw from, while Goyer goes on to recount a particularly poignant moment as a parent.    

"One day [my stepson] was mad at me and said, 'You're not my real dad! I don't have to listen to you!'" Goyer recalls. "[Jonathan] Kent says a version of what I said to my stepson, which  is, 'You're right. I'm not your real dad, but I love you and chose you. And I didn't have to choose you. And that's a big deal.'"

Being both a dad and a stepdad this article really hit home with me. In one sense I am both Jor-El and Jonathan Kent which often makes me question the consistency of the messages I pass along to my three sons and two stepdaughters. Sometimes I get it right; sometimes I don't. Mistakes are part of the story, but so too are triumphs.

In any case, I am thrilled that Man of Steel is going to explore this aspect of Superman's journey. In fact, Snyder tells that a lot of emphasis will be place on Clark's years as a child growing up and the character development that molds the superhero he will eventually become.

For a guy with a blog named Clark Kent's Lunchbox, this is exciting to hear. It's exactly the part of the Superman story that made me a fan to begin with, and it's what helped make me a better father.


Man Up Monday: If You See Me Wearing A Blue Wristband

It's Man UP Monday!  I'm proud to be a member of the Team Single Jingles Man UP Monday PARENT BLOGGING TEAM! Today, I'm doing my part to spread an important message about Testicular CancerThis post is in support of the Testicular Cancer Foundation (Team Single Jingles) which provides education and support to young men in order to raise awareness about testicular cancer, the #1 cancer among men ages 15 – 35. It's important to know this ahead of time because I rarely talk about my genitalia. 

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Every guy has a good story about testicles, either theirs or someone else’s, and usually they elicit some amount of sympathy. Whenever someone mentions they were whacked in the nuts by a baseball bat-wielding toddler, or shares how some guy they know had his genitals squashed against the steering wheel during a car crash, every male, young and old, within earshot will wince as sympathy pains suddenly coursing through their groin and a wave of peculiar nausea rises up in their stomach.

I, of course, am no exception to the above, and could, in fact, recount a number of stories—mostly of others—that would make even a eunuch cringe. Of these, the one that stands out from among the rest occurred while I attended the Army’s Airborne School, a three-week meant to teach willing participants how to get sucked out the door of a perfectly good airplane as you kiss your ass goodbye.

On the day after our first a fellow student, who I never talked with before approached me in the latrine.

“Can I show you something?” he asked. There was a worried look in his eyes, and I didn’t know what to expect, which is why there was so much trepidation in my voice when I said, “Sure.”

That’s when he unbuttoned his pants and pulled out his privates. “Do you think I should get this looked at?”

At first I thought this would turn out to be some sort of crude joke or perhaps worse until I saw the one inch tear the base of his testicles. I winced and nearly threw up as he explained how when he jumped from the plane earlier that day, the jarring yank that occurs once your parachute pops open caused one of the loose harness straps running between his legs to slice into his—well, you get the picture.

Under normal circumstances the answer to his question would be obvious; however, to do so meant being recycled into another class to repeat training. So demoralizing is this possibility that given the choice between this and having your balls ripped off, one is faced with a legitimate conundrum.

“Oh man, that’s a tough call,” I replied. “Could you tape it maybe?”

He nodded his head. “That’s what I was thinking,” he said. Then he pulled a wad of Army-grade toilet paper from his pocket and stuffed it against the wound before buttoning back up and heading to the harness shed to suite up for another 800-foot jump.

I’m not sure if this chap ever graduated, of if he ever had children, but you can be damn sure I cinched down my leg harness tight enough to cut off the circulation to my feet.  I didn’t need any further motivation for keeping what’s naturally mine, which is why I recently went to see the doctor after my right testicle started hurting.  My lone hesitation in this, however, came at the thought of my doctor, Dr. Zhu, a middle-aged Chinese woman who stood no taller than the average 4th grader.

The idea of Dr. Zhu inspecting my package with her tiny child-like hands was enough to make me rethink my concern over the dull ache I had been experiencing over the last few days. Fear of the unknown won out, though, that and the impossibility of finding a make physician on such short notice.

What if it’s cancer? The thought both scared me and gave me a slight thrill over the attention I would receive. Ignoring the fact that my symptoms failed to coincide with testicular cancer, I started picking out colors for awareness wristbands I would give to friends and sell through an Etsy store.

Whatever the case I needed to know the answer sooner rather than later which is how I found myself with a miniature Chinese woman fondling my testicles which at this point looked like two overly ripe, fleshy grapes sporting the long, scraggly beard of a homeless Vietnam vet working the intersection of MLK and JFK. In the vet’s defense, he probably smelled better.

Dr. Zhu did not go about her work quietly as she pinched and squeezed the way people check for fresh produce at the grocery store.

“This hurt?” she asked.

“No.” The hesitancy in my voice more than conveyed my embarrassment over the present circumstance.

“How this?”

“It’s okay.”

“How ‘bout now?”

I jerked away wincing.

“Ah, I see,” she said rolling a few feet back in her stool.

By her tone I knew something was wrong. It was only a matter of how serious, and I braced myself for the worst while settling on blue for the awareness wrist bands.

Tossing her extra small latex gloves in the trash, Dr. Zhu took a deep breath. “You have more than one par-ten-ner?” she wanted to know.

More than one partner? The question was so absurd it hardly registered until I noticed she was waiting for an answer.

“Whaaa? No. I’m married!” As I said this, it occurred to me that being married could be taken as a flimsy excuse for why I shouldn’t have more than one partner, but it did not rule out the likelihood.  

Of the three possible diagnoses for my discomfort, two were STDs including gonorrhea while the third meant I should be doubled over in extreme pain. By simple process of elimination I started to doubt myself. What if I did have an STD? How would I explain this to my wife? I visualized her setting me on fire as I slept in our bed.

It seemed my doctor had her doubts too. “We order more test,” she said, scribbling on a note pad. “You need urine test and ultrasound.” Then she added patronizingly, “Just ah to make sure.”

During the car ride to the hospital my wife asked what Dr. Zhu thought.

“Well, uh, she isn’t sure and won’t know until after the tests.” I tried to disguise my nervousness which I hope would be interpreted as trepidation over the inconclusive diagnosis. This same nervous feeling stayed with me as I explained to the hospital admin checking me in that I was here for a sonogram.

The admin quickly glanced at the doctor’s orders. “You mean ultrasound.”

“Ultrasound, sonogram. It’s all just semantics. Am I right?” I tried to joke, but the admin didn’t laugh. Instead she gave me a disapproving eye as she read through what Dr. Zhu wanted to confirm or rule out.  

After a two hour wait, a radiology technician lead me back an exam room and told me to take off my cloths. He bore an uncanny resemblance to Seth Rogen, and I wondered how often he got the lucky job of pouring a thick, oozing goo onto another man’s genitalia in order to rub some plastic device over every hairy inch. By the confident manner in which he instructed me on the strategic placement of several hand towels meant to prop things up, I figured it was pretty often.

Moments later Seth Rogen returned to find my unkempt homeless vet setting prominently in a way that made me think it was holding a sign promising work in exchange for a good shave.  What followed were the most awkward and intrusive twenty minutes of my life thus far. Thankfully, the technician made no attempt at small talk. For dentists, a little conversation is fine, but when it comes to touching another man’s balls, outside of a consenting relationship, there are rules about such things, rules each of us was not about to violate.

With the procedure done and after nearly another hour in the waiting room, the test results were in. Seth Rogen’s doppelganger put me on the phone with Dr. Zhu who explained everything had come back negative, and the source of my aching pain was nothing more than a fluid buildup that should go away in a few days.

Although a part of me was relieved to learn I wouldn’t have to tell my wife about a mysterious STD, another part of me felt slightly disappointed over the blue wrist bands. My emotions, however, shifted to both panic and hope. I forgot that I had scheduled a full physical with Dr. Zhu which included a peek at my prostate. Maybe the wrist bands would be a possibility after all.  

* * * 

Did you know that Testicular Cancer is the #1 cancer in young men ages 15 to 35? 
Did you know that Testicular Cancer is highly survivable is detected early?
Did you know that young men should be doing a monthly self-exam?

What can you do?
Stop by the Testicular Cancer Foundation website for more information on Testicular Cancer
Request a FREE shower card with self-exam instructions - it just might save a young man in your life!

And if you're feeling just a little AWKWARD about this conversation, check out this video from some parents who feel the exact same way!



Dump Truck Full of Dead Babies #MaleDepression

Full of dead babies
Recently the dad blog community learned that Marc Block of Divided Dad took his own life as a result of his struggles with depression. In the aftermath of this tragedy a number of dads committed to writing blog posts meant to bring awareness to male depression. This is mine. I originally posted this last year, but it still applies.

* * * 

"What's worse than a dump truck full of dead babies?" my teenage niece asks me. I shake my head having no clue how to repsond. "Unloading them with a pitchfork," she answers with perfect deadpan timing.

I laugh. I laugh so hard tears come from my eyes and my sides feel like they're being gripped by a monster's gigantic hand.

I haven't laughed like this in four, maybe five months. I don't know. It's been so long I can't remember.

I've been in a fog. A daze. A darkness that won't release me. The longest depressive state I've ever been in. Still is. I don't know yet.  That's how it works--just creeps in and never leaves.

My on-going struggle with depression is not something I talk much about. As I recently told one dad blogger who knows a little something about the topic, writing about my chronic depression isn't what I want to be known for. There are some, like this guy's wife, who do talk about it, and they have a gift for helping others as a result. Then there are others for whom blogging about depression is their "jam," and they play it like a harp for comments and page views. I am too afraid of coming off as the later.

Besides, depression is ...depressing. Who wants to read about that all the time. Plus I'm a guy. Guys aren't supposed to be depressed. We're supposed to provide for our families, drive luxury SUV's to the golf course, and exude the confident of Don Draper. Well, it's either that or we're supposed to be so slovenly stupid that our lone hope for survival is exclusively dependent on the female of our species. 

Honestly, both extremes sound depressing to me. Either way, there is no middle ground, no spectrum of reality where a guy can say, "Hey, I'm so depressed, I'd rather shovel dead babies from the rusty bed of a 25-ton Caterpillar Super Truck than get up and face another day." Try using that line without getting some looks after somebody asks you how's it going.

I'm of the opinion that it's easier for a man to admit he's gay than it is to admit he's depressed. For one, the very term gay (to be happy) has depressed (to wallow in a pit of dead babies) beat by a long shot. Done deal. When opening up about being gay, most people (the non-judgey ones at least), pat the person on back and applaud his courage to be himself (and rightfully so). "Well, done," they say. Mention that you deal with constant depression and you usually get an empathetic response followed by, "Are you on any medication?" The irony in this is that the depression is just as much a part of a person as is being gay for someone else.

To answer the question, yes, medication is involved. I've gorged myself at the buffet on the dining car of the pharmaceutical crazy train. Sometimes it helps just long enough for you to get a few hours of work done, or to write a blog post, or to listen to your kids for a change or to sound completely normal to others, or perhaps not. It's never the same, and the effects never last. Eventually you'll find yourself lost again in the strange Land of OZ, still searching for courage, heart, and a chemically balanced brain.

Today I do something different. Today I go for a run. It kills me. My lungs are blazing after only a minute and thirty-seven seconds. People walking their dogs pass me. I am dying. I can't see how this is supposed to be good for me. I try to forget about all the fears and worries as my feet pound (shuffle) against the pavement, and over the music from my iPod I hear my niece's voice. "Hey Uncle Pookie, what do your friends have in common with a tree?" There's a pause before the punchline. "If you use and ax on them they'll both fall down." I laugh again.

* * *

Read other blog posts by dad bloggers talking about male depression

Christopher Lewis - Dad of Divas: The Time is Now to Ask for Help

Jeremiah Delatycki - Krazy Dad Memoir: Do Not Go Gently into that Good Night

Oren Miller – A Blogger & A Father: The Solitary Confinement of Depression

Chris Read - Canadian Dad: The Day the Darkness Crept In

Aaron Gouveia - Daddy Files: Come Back to Me

CJ Cat - Legal Dad: Words From the Wife

Scotty Schrier - Dads Who Change Diapers: When the World Goes Numb

James Hudyma - Dads Round Table: Strategies to Fight Depression


Man of Steel, Free Will and Where My Kids are Going Wrong

To say I'm excited about the new Superman movie is an understatement. Giddy is more like it. (I mean have you noticed the name of this blog?) My kids on the other hand couldn't care less. Last week at the theater the boys practically went nuts over the World War Z poster, this while I'm Instagramming the hell out the one showcasing Man of Steel. Pffft. Who would ever want to see a movie with Brad Pitt and zombies? As if.

Truth be told, my kids really don't get my--obsession is too strong, so let's say my fascination with the whole Superman thing. "Why do you like him so much?" they ask me over and over to which I launch into my standard spiel about what we can learn from Clark Kent as he grew up and how, as Superman, he uses his powers for the good of others and so on, and so on.

Why I keep doing this, I don't know because all it does is prompt the boys to remind me of every instance where Batman somehow manages to pummel Superman, which is a bunch of contrived hooey not to mention a faulty counterargument to my line of reasoning. A guy can hurl a tank into outer space, and they're all like, yawn, but give them some brooding schmo armed with a utility belt that's always prepared for every occasion and suddenly we have the world's greatest superhero. For the record, being prepared is not a superpower; it's a motto for the Boy Scouts. But like, whatever.

I've long since learned to ignore my children's misguided opinions about Superman. I realize they don't see the whole story from the same perspective that I do as a father--a theme that, based on the trailers, appears will be prevalent in Man of Steel. The film also promises to deliver on the theme of nature verses nurture according to screenwriter David S. Goyer in a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly.

We get a glimpse of this in the early teaser trailers. Two versions were produced, one with the voice of  Kal-El's biological father, Jor-El (Russel Crow), representing the innate qualities (nature) that influence his son's development, the other with Jonathan Kent (Kevin Costner) personifying Clark Kent's personal experiences (nurture) that shape his behavior.

Version 1: Jor-El

Version 2: Jonathan Kent

What makes this interesting, though, is the conflicting messaging the two fathers pass on to their mutual son.

"You will give the people of earth something to strive towards," explains Jor-El. (We assume this takes place at some point after Kal-El finds the Fortress of Solitude and learns more of his Kryptonian heritage.) He then goes on to say that despite the people of earth's shortcomings, "they will join you in the sun [and] in time you will help them accomplish wonders."

This sounds contradictory to what Clark is told by his earthy parents, who, despite passing along the many good values that govern Superman's morality, also instill in him an element of fear. After young Clark rescues a busload of students, a worrisome Jonathan tells his son that he has to keep that part of himself a secret. "What was I supposed to do? Let them die?" Clark then asks to which his father says, "Maybe." That's hardly heroic advice.

Trailer 2

This conflict becomes central to the internal struggle Clark wrestles with as he finds himself in what looks to be a number of situations where he's forced to use his powers in order to rescue others. In fact, in the  trailers we hear Clark say, "My father was convinced the world would reject me, the world wasn't ready for me." Somewhere along the line, though, Clark has to make a choice.

Choices. That's what it comes down to. In the nature verses nature debate, there's another factor that those who are smarter than me like to stir into the mix--free will. Free will kind of throws things off by dictating that people can ignore inherent and environmental influences and choose their own course. In Man of Steel, free will appears to get a nod too with each father passing it along in their own way.

In the Entertainment Weekly article, Goyer explains that Krytonian babies are genetically engineered to fulfill roles within society such as a warrior or a scientist. Jor-El and his wife have Kal-El naturally, an act that creates trouble, but it also frees their son to, "dream of being something other than what society intended." Had Kal-El's DNA been tampered with, who knows how he would've turned out on earth or how it would've affected Kal-El's decisions once General Zod shows up.

Jonathan Kent acknowledges free will too as he recognizes the impact Clark's powers can one day have on society. "You just have to decide what kind of man you want to grow up to be, Clark. Whoever that man is--good character or bad--is going to change the world." Jonathan might not like that his son has to make a choice, but he knows that moment will eventually come, and he'll have to accept it.

This is something I often think about with my own children. I recognize the behaviors they exhibit that mirror my own, and I can see how various circumstances influence their actions. There are examples I could point out on a daily basis. What's funny is there are also times when I've tried to change their way of thinking, and my only motivation for doing so was to maintain control.

Control is something that continues to erode as my kids grow older. It's much more difficult to relinquish than I expected, and yet I have to with the hope that, through word and deed, I've passed along enough good character traits to help them make the best decisions for themselves.

Where it's clear my kids have gone wrong, however, is with their whole World War Z and Batman mentality  But that's their choice. Me? I'll still be front and center come June 14th the minute Man of Steel is released.

* * *

NOTE: This post was in response to friend and fellow comic enthusiast, Eric Bolton, and his post "Why I Hate the New Superman Movie" at Boltonshire.


I Miss Being A Dad Blogger

I've come to a point in my life where for the first time I'm looking backwards more than I'm looking ahead. Maybe this has something to do with turning 41 last week. Maybe not. What's unclear to me is whether this is something normal that most men go through at a certain stage in their lives--the storied mid-life crisis--or is it just me. Whatever the reason, as I keep looking back in time I've realized I'm not happy in the present.

There's a lot I could go into with that statement--most of which I should probably tell a shrink. Essentially it comes to circumstances and believing that if they were different than they are now, or at least if they could be what they once were, then  I'll be okay again. It's a false hope, and staying on that road will only lead to a lifetime of never ending unhappiness. I know this, and yet, it still hard to fight thoughts the contrary.

While talking to my wife about it she finally asked the question I've found difficult to ask myself--What would make you happy?

"I don't know," I replied.

She helped me hobble through a list of possibilities that sounded reasonable, but that also felt impossible at the same time, like the book I've been working on ...that's stalled beyond its deadline. Again, I blamed circumstances--something about no time to write on the weekends anymore because of all the kids' social activities and whatnot.

It's funny, though. Of all the things my wife and I talked about that once did make me happy, being a regular dad blogger is one item I never would have guessed would be on my list. It used to be such a big part of my life, bigger than I realized at the time.

If that was the case, then why did I walk away from it? There were a few reasons. One, I was hired to work full time at my current job which meant giving up all of the writing gigs I was a part of. Two, I started feeling like my writing had turned stale compared to the fresh new dads who were coming onto the scene. Worse still, I felt my writing was contrived; it was becoming too easy to make myself look like some great dad when in reality I was becoming more distant from my children because of work.

Finally, and probably the biggest reason I quit, was that I didn't think I had anything more to say. My story had always been about being a stay-at-home to my stepdaughters while trying to find a way to reunite with my sons who lived hundreds of miles away. That story ended last May when the stars aligned, allowing us to leave Texas and be altogether as a family. The end.

But it's not the end. I just thought it was which is why I figured I wouldn't miss being a dad blogger anymore--one who posted on a regular basis, offered viable input to the community, and did what he could to support other bloggers. I thought that given my new set of circumstances I would be too busy to care. I'm starting to believe I was wrong.

As I stood in the shower this morning, it dawned on me that my story isn't over, it has only changed. There are new challenges to face--teaching my boys to be good men, helping my stepdaughters deal with being away from their father, and dealing with my own demons which have been raging more than usual.

Blogging once made me sit up and pay attention to what was happening in my life. Without it, I feel like life is drifting by unnoticed. I don't mean to sound dramatic, but I see now how essential blogging is for me. And when I talk about blogging, I mean the real stuff--stories, reflection, good writing, authenticity--not all the accolades  attention, events, and so forth. (Those things have their place, but it's not what it's about.)

Blogging means more to me than I've been willing to admit. I miss it, and I miss the community. As I've thought about this more throughout the morning, it's become evident that, despite present circumstances, I need to keep up with blogging if for nothing else than just myself.


How Dad Bloggers Can Keep Their Posts Alive on Facebook

Facebook. Whether it’s our personal profile, a page for our blog, or a dedicated community, most dad bloggers I know use it in some manner to get their blog posts out there. In marketing speak Facebook is a "content distribution channel," and getting our content in front of as many eyeballs as possible is, admittedly, what we all want.

A drawback with Facebook, however, is that in recent years it has limited the visibility of posts to our network of friends and page followers. Couple this with the fact that the life of an average Facebook post is less than 3 hours and you’ll realize that not as many people are seeing your posts as you might have hoped.

There are a few things you can do, though, to help increase the life span and effectiveness of what you share on Facebook in order to reach a greater audience. To do this it’s good to be familiar with two things about Facebook—how it’s algorithm works and how it “weights” different methods of sharing. 

EdgeRank and Weighting

Facebook’s algorithm set up is known as EgdeRank which basically determines what information is displayed and how high it is on a person’s newsfeed. Edgerank, as you can see in this infographic, is based on four factors:

1. Your past interactions in another person
2. Your interactions with a specific type of post (Link, status update, photo, etc.)
3. A network of people’s interaction with a specific post
4. The amount of complaints or negative feedback on a post

So for example, if someone frequently interacts with your posts, particularly photos, and a large number of other people interact with those posts without negative feedback, than that post (in this case a photo) will display higher on another person’s newsfeed and it will stay alive longer. Conversely, the less interaction it gets, the less likely it will appear in your network’s newsfeed if it appears at all. By the way, if you’re into stats you can check your Facebook Page’s EdgeRank using this tool.

The other Facebook quirk is the weight it places on various methods of posting. In other words, Facebook plays favorites when it comes to what you post and how you post it which ultimately determines how much of a life it has in a newsfeed. What do I mean?

If you share your blog posts to Facebook using a third party app such as RSS Graffiti then Facebook doesn’t place as much weight on the information as it would if you manually posted the link to your blog in a regular status update.  Even better than manual posts are photos which are more noticeable on the newsfeed and have been proven to last longer in a feed than even a manual posting. And if you really what to get some reach and more fans, for a few dollars a day you can pay for a promoted post through your blog’s dedicated Facebook Page.

A Few Effective Tactics

So how does this all translate into tips to make your blog posts beat the average shelf life? Right. Here’s a couple things:

Determine how and what you’re going to post: Are you going to go with a feed, a manual link, or something visual? You already know which of these methods Facebook prefers more. There’s nothing wrong with doing all three. I actually do this by scheduling the posts out over a period of time. First, I post a picture associated with a blog post (400 x 400 pixels displays best). Then I place the link in the comments section below during a time of day I know (based on stats and previous experience) when most of my network is on Facebook. Later I will manually post the link, and finally, I set my RSS feed setting to automatically post my blog at a different time. By far the picture gets more play, but the other posts don’t do so poorly either. (You can see a few examples of this on my own page.)

Maximize engagement: Based on the above, engagement has been proven as the ultimate key to a long lasting Facebook post. It’s okay to ask people to Like, Comment, and Share posts. Everyone in the dad blog community recognizes we are trying to promote our work to build an audience and asking for a little help is okay.  One tactic for increased engagement is to post a photo with a link to your blog on your timeline and then to share it on a community page (if the rules permit) or your blog’s Facebook Page asking for Likes and Shares. All that engagement will get the post some high placement in newsfeeds.

Get a Facebook Page for your blog: If you don’t already have one then it’s a good idea to get one. I know it might seem like more work, but you’re missing out on a potential audience that may only be interested in your writing and not in what you had for dinner last night. Having a page also gives you some analytics that can help in knowing when and what to post. Plus you can do a few other extra things like “pinning” a post to the top of your page so it’s the first thing they see on a visit. (At some point I can share some tactics on how to build a Facebook Page audience if anyone is interested.)

These are just a few tactics I’ve advised clients to use that have thus far proven effective. Try these out on your own to see what works for you. Don’t hesitate to ask me to Like, Share, and Comment on your stuff either. Also, I don’t profess to be a know-it-all so if you have other tips please feel free to share with the group. 


Hookers, Line, and Sinker

I want to take a moment to talk about hookers. Did he just say—yes I did. Specifically I want to talk about my personal experiences which, believe it or not, are quite extensive (and no, not in the way you’re thinking). You may be asking what does this have to do with being a father. Well, it might sound like a stretch, but I intend to eventually pass these stories along to my sons to help them avoid such awkward situations later in life and to my stepdaughters so they don’t go down this road because of any daddy issues I may have caused. Think of it as a twisted take on How I Met Your Mother.

I could probably start off any number of over a dozen encounters with hookers such as the Lady Marmalade knock-offs at that dive joint near the San Antonio airport or the country girl in Tahoe who claimed she needed a place to stay because her truck had broken down—and don’t even get me started about my time living in the Far East! Instead, I’ll begin in my mid 30’s when I was between marriages and living the life of a well-to-do bachelor. (My wife refers to this time as my...


What's at the End of "The Road"

I have a thing about the end of the world, namely that I believe in it. Worse still, I’m sure it will happen in my lifetime. According to a life-expectancy quiz I took this week, I should make it to age 77 assuming nothing random happens to me like choking on a marshmallow or being hit by a flaming meteor (which we all know could totally happen).  In any case, simple math dictates I’ve got 37 good years ahead of me. This is plenty time for either A, the Democrats to confiscate all of our guns and force us into same-sex marriages thus leaving us defenseless against a Chinese invasion or B, the Republicans take control and plunge 98% of America into extreme poverty after funding a pork barrel project that results in a zombie army, hence setting the stage for a World War Z.
Truthfully speaking, my beliefs on the earth’s demise are aligned with the events prophesied in the book of Revelations which are totally plausible according to a Discovery Channel special and Kirk Cameron. Nutty, I know, but a guy’s got to believe in something, and besides, what’s the harm? If I’m wrong you all get to come back to this post and tell me, “I told you so” in the comments.

Lest you think I’m about to go on a religious tear, allow me to put your mind at ease. I’m not. Unlike the crazies that manage to end up on FOX and Friends, I actually respect other people’s beliefs because who’s to say I’m 100% right. This reminds me of a joke.

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