Sunday, January 31, 2010

Getting to the truth

Sometimes getting the truth out of kids can be a very tiring chore. For example, my 12-year-old daughter (who I lovingly call the Drama Queen, or just D.Q., on my blog as well as in real life) told me on Friday night that she didn’t want to go to her ski and snowboard club on Saturday because she just didn’t like it. I knew that wasn’t the case because she comes back every Saturday night telling me what a great time she had.

Actually, it wasn’t just me she told. The Phone Sex Operator (AKA P.S.O., AKA my girlfriend and no, not really a phone sex operator) was with me and she seemed a bit surprised by the statement as well. I pointed out that the last four Saturdays she told me what a great time she had and we asked her what the real story was.

What we got was a list of the common excuses. I would run them all down but as parents you have them all burned into your mind with a whiny-ass laser. She kept throwing out the bull and it didn’t matter how many times I asked her to stop with the crap and just tell me what the real story was, she just couldn’t come up with the truth.

It came time for her to go to bed and she whined that she just wanted to sleep in and stay home tomorrow. I told her to go to bed and we would discuss it in the morning. The reality is that she was going no matter what. The club is only eight weeks and she told grandma that was what she wanted for Christmas and grandma got it for her.

P.S.O. and I were snuggling up on the couch watching The Hangover and getting some very well deserved time alone when D.Q. came downstairs to tell us that she couldn’t sleep. I already knew that something else was bothering her but now I REALLY knew it. This was not like her to get so stressed out about something and I knew that there was more to the story. I told her to go upstairs and go to sleep and that we would discuss it in the AM.

I woke up on Saturday morning and got her up. She started whining about how she was soooo sick and about how she didn’t want to go and why was I making her? I politely asked her again to just tell me what was really bothering her and that we would figure out what was happening (although she was still going no matter what!) She continued with the yadda-yadda. Imagine that.

I told her that she was going, so hurry up and take the dog outside and come in and get dressed. We were going to stop at the Original Pancake House on my way to work and I was not going to be late.

I work on Saturdays and while she has her snowboard club she goes to work with me until noon, then I drop her off. I work until 5 then pick her back up at 9. On Saturdays when she doesn’t have this, she typically stays home alone all day and that is something that I try and avoid.

It’s amazing what pancakes and sausage will do to get the truth out of a 12-year-old. After we ordered she finally confessed that the reason she didn’t want to go was that she was having a hard time getting up on the board, but once she did, she was doing OK. I reminded her that the lady in charge of the club told me this three weeks ago and that we both suggested she go out in the backyard with her board and practice. Of course, this practicing has yet to happen.

She agreed that the whole thing was really her fault and that she should work on it more. She said that she still didn’t want to go, but at least I now had the truth. We went to work and shortly before noon (in a last ditch effort to stay home) she announced that she had thrown up a bit. I checked and it was about 2 tablespoons and I told her that she was going to have a glass of ginger ale then we were leaving.

The bottom line? At 5:30 PM my cell phone rang and it was D.Q. telling me what a great time she was having and that she was really glad that I made her go. She was hanging out with a couple of her recently made friends and they were having a blast.

“What’s the point of the story?” You ask. Well here it goes: Daddy was right. Again. It cost me $20 at breakfast for the truth and as many times as she said she realized that I was right and that she just needed to practice, I have another $20 that says she won’t do it at all this week. Anyone want to take that bet?

If you want to read more about Drama Queen, Phone Sex Operator and the rest of my crazy life, please check out You can also become a friend on Facebook by visiting me at www/ and you can become a FB Fan of Sex and the Single Dad on the website.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

How Young is Too Young

For a kid to have a cell phone and to be left home alone?

What, you thought I was talking about something else? Get your minds out of the gutter!

Darling Boy aka DB is 9 years old and in 4th grade. We can't drop him off at school until 8:15, which most days isn't a problem. His best friend lives right next door, and his mom has offered for us to send him over each morning at 8:00 and she'll take the boys to school. For the most part, this arrangement works very well, except when Veronica needs to be at work earlier than 8:30 and I can't step in to take care of getting the kids out the door.

Such as during this past week. For 3 days Veronica had training in downtown Boston, and due to traffic, etc she had to leave pretty early. Normally I leave the house around 7-7:15 and am at my desk by 8:00 at the latest, so not getting in until 8:45-9:00 really messes up my day.

So we decided to leave DB alone in the house. Veronica left with Princess Persistent around 7:00 and I left for work around 7:30. DB was left with written instructions on what to do. Feed and water the dog, put the dog in the garage (the destructive little fucker can't be trusted to be left alone in the house!), turn out the lights, and to lock and close the door behind him. When I left I told him he could watch a cartoon and when that was over, it was time to head to the neighbors house. We had a little safety net in the neighbor, who was expecting him to come over at 8:00 and would come looking for him if he didn't show up on time.

We're pretty comfortable with this arrangement. DB did really well and didn't mess up any of the instructions we left for him. On other occasions, we've left him home alone for a little while, 30 minutes to an hour during the middle of the day, and he's done just fine.

But there is one thing we're uneasy about- we don't have a land line at home, Veronica and I only have our cell phones. What if there was a problem? What if one of us just wanted to check up on him? What if the neighbors aren't home? We have no way of getting in touch with each other if we needed or wanted to.

I can't believe I'm thinking about getting a cell phone for a 9 yr old, but I am. Next year we're considering not enrolling him in the after-school program and just having him come home on the bus and letting him have the house to himself for as much as 2 hrs before Veronica or I get home.

We're certainly not getting him anything fancy, just a basic phone for making calls and sending text messages. We can add a line to our calling plan for $10/month and get a flip phone for free.

Okay fellow parents, tell me, how old were your kids when you started leaving them alone, even for short periods of time? What are your thoughts about kids and cell phones? What sort of restrictions do you impose on their use? If you don't have kids or yours aren't old enough for this to be an issue yet, what are your plans?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Charity May Not Start at Home For The Holidays

My New Friends over at the New Wife Revolution have been posting about Ex-wives with borderline personality disorders. I urge you to go check it out (it's not as depressing as it sounds). Any readers of Trooper Thorn here on Hot Dads or over on Dogs & Jeans are aware of the hell I've gone through with my Ex, particularly her influence in turning the kids against me.

My time with my kids (14 & 15) has been spotty through the fall, partly because they have their own lives and friends and don't want to come see me on the weekends (which I understand) but also because their mother keeps telling them that my girlfriend and her kids are now my priority, which couldn't be further from the truth. I understand that they don't want to spend anytime with her and her kids (even though my ex left me nearly 4 years ago for somebody else) so I make sure our time together is ours alone. But if they want to see me during my non-access time, my girlfriend has bent over backwards to make them welcome.

What I won't do is cancel plans when my kids try and see me during non-access time. Unfortunately, this is most frequently when I hear from them, as though I am being tested.

Anyway, I hadn't seen or heard from my kids since the middle of November. All calls and emails asking to see them were ignored and I was not given any time with them over Christmas as was guaranteed in our separation agreement. In fact during the last visit, my 15 year old was calling me an a**hole for making their mother move. (The courts split the assets and she is supposed to buy out my interest in the house. 8 months later there has been no movement on this).

So now I was faced with the issue of what to do about Xmas presents. At their age, I would expect the kids to accept some responsibility for their own behavior. They were making no effort to communicate what they wanted for gifts and I didn't feel motivated to give them an envelope of cash in hopes that they would "love me again".

I decided to make a $50 donation in each child's name to an organization called SmileTrain who performs cleft palate surgery for children in 3rd world countries. I got each kid a card, included the information about the charity saying "I didn't know what you wanted for Christmas, but since you have the capacity to smile I thought you'd like to help out some kids who can't". As well, I offered to pay for lessons in their respective activities in the New Year.

On Boxing Day I received emails from each of my kids telling me I'd "blown it" and to "get help or else". My Ex sent the following email:
"You must have some understanding how your teenage children would respond. They had been surprised that you would send them gifts at all and the hope on their faces before they saw what you had sent, followed by their response to what you did send was a terrible thing to witness. Your daughter was sobbing, your son said he had no father and his whole life sucked. Cards from the hare lip foundation arrived for the children. I have not given them to the kids because I thought it would just make things even worse."

While I understood that such a gift would be provocative (and I wouldn't have been happy when I was a selfish teenager) the thing I think is most sad is that they have no adults around them to say "Did you call you Dad about seeing him at Christmas? Did you tell him what you'd like. Don't you think helping less fortunate kids at Christmas is a good thing?"

Needless to say, it's now the end of January and my ex refuses to require the kids spend any time with me.

Who else thinks I'm a terrible father?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Winning the Lottery: What Would You Do?

I was talking with a friend recently about winning the lottery. It's a great fantasy to think about getting a ton of money and turning in your old life for a new one filled with buckets of caviar, gold plated computers and money fights.

When most people talk about winning the lottery, they think about what they would buy, and my friend was no exception.

“What would you do?” I asked him.

He immediately began rattling off a detailed list of purchases that he would make. It was clear this was not the first time he had thought about this.

I interrupted him, “But what would you do?"

He stopped and pondered in silence for a while. This was not something he had thought about.

As great as it would be to win enough money never to have to work again, waking up each day with no real sense of purpose isn't enough for me. I need to be doing something, though if I didn't have to do anything, I'm not sure what I'd do. Maybe I'd write full time. Or perhaps I'd find a cool hobby or take up golf. I'd like to see more of the world than just the United States.  But the reality is while all of these things sound like fun they aren't enough to fill up the rest of my life. I would need to be challenged. I would need to turn on my brain. Vacations are fun, but if there is nothing to counter-balance them, it's easy to imagine life becoming stale.  Without the need to work, what would propel me through life?  I'd like to think that I would be the type of person to use my financial freedom to better the world in some way--start a charity or something noble like that.  

The idea of filling up your life with possessions is easy, but filling up all of that time is much harder. If given all of that money and all of that freedom, what would you do with it?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

What is a Hot Dad to do?? Another Update

Quick update kids!!!
Well...An update on the update on the post (??????)

So yesterday Mariah and I were volunteering at the middle school (where the girl goes to school) and We are there during lunch time. I usually start by walking around the yard to find out 13 year old…so that she can come say “hi” and then we can embarrass her a bit. After finding her and starting to head back to the table that we sit at…I caught a glimpse of something bursting through the clusters of teen eating their lunches. Then I heard my name being yelled. It was her. She was bolting straight for me with her arms stretched out, yelling that she needs a hug.

Instantly I flashed to my posts here and the feedback I had gotten, then I flashed to me being hauled off to jail…after the principal and other teachers see a man hugging a pubescent teen (who he is not related to) in the middle of the school yard…Then I just ran.

The girl cut off my angle and was right behind me in a flash. She reached out, still screaming for a hug, grabbed the back of my shirt collar and repeated, “I need a hug!” I ducked out of her hold and said, “No.” Then…to my amazement she toned it down and said, “OK…can I at least get a fist bump?”

I, smiling, turned and said, “of course!”

I gave her the fist bumped and then I scurried back to Mariah’s side. As I turned around to tell Mariah, I noticed that the girl vanished…just as quickly as she appeared.

All is good…I just can’t believe the size of this girls balls…and that she was not in the least embarrassed with her behavior in front of the entire 7th grade.

Monday, January 25, 2010

What is a Hot Dad to do????? Continued

In an effort to keep you all updated on posts of importance, I thought I would fill you in on the latest home visit from the girl who can’t keep her hands to herself.

On Wednesday as I was heading to the front door to greet our 13 year old as she came home from school, when I saw ‘her’ head coming in the front door. I don’t know what came over me but I did an instant 180 and bolted straight back to my desk. After settling my head a bit I walked out, gave a passing fist bump to our daughter and then to ‘the girl’. I immediately went up stairs and just sat on the edge of my bed.

A few minutes later, Mariah came up and asked me what my pained look was for. I explained that I was …chicken to go down stairs…as I did not want any possibility of this child’s inappropriate behavior to present itself. She chuckled and told me to man up.

After thinking about it for a few more minutes and realizing that she was right and I was acting like a big old pussy…I went back down stairs and returned to my desk and normal after school activities.

Surprisingly enough, the two teens stayed at the table doing their homework and chatting with one another. Two hours later, when the girl’s parents showed up to bring her home, I realized that either my ‘fist bump and walk away’ worked or she was not in a ‘friendly’ mood…either way, I am happy that there was no incident to report this time.

I have decided…and have told all of the kids…I am now the fist bump dad. All of the kid’s friends get a fist bump every time they come over…nothing less, nothing more.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Explaining Bad Things

My 11-year-old daughter lives a plane ride away. She visited me over the Christmas holidays and we had an amazing time. During her visit, there was an attempted terrorist attack on an airplane that was flying into Detroit. It was extremely difficult attempting to explain how the world had changed in just a few days.

We watched a bit of the news about the event and I tried to explain just what had happened. I tried to explain how carry-on luggage rules had changed because of what this man had done. I tried to explain how her plane was safe because it was just a short plane ride and terrorists normally target larger planes (probably not the best explanation in the world, but I didn’t really know what else to say at the time).

So the question I have is…What should I have said to her?

And it doesn’t stop there. How do you explain the earthquake in Haiti? I mean, you can explain the science of earthquakes and explain that many people but how can you adequately explain the devastation and horror and death? Maybe the question is: should you?

One of the responsibilities of being a parent, especially in a world where EVERYTHING is at a child’s fingertips, is attempting to put all things into a certain frame of reference so that they understand. The real difficulty, I think, is trying to find a happy medium between scaring the crap out of them and making them immune to the world around them.

How do you explain a crazy person who shoots up a military base in Texas? How do you explain the war in Afghanistan? How do you explain how bad the economy is and how people are losing their jobs on a daily basis? How do you explain the situation with NBC, Jay Leno, and Conan O’Brien?

Okay…scratch that last one.

Seriously, though…what do you do to explain the bad things that go on in the world to your children?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Sexy Hookups Make Blogging More Fun!

I’ve been divorced ten years, and I’ve hooked up more than a few times. It’s not something I’m proud of. It’s simply an artifact of being a middle-aged single parent in the suburbs. It’s hard finding a woman who wants to date, doesn’t mind that I have teens, has time to date, is attracted to me, and who is someone I’m attracted to on multiple levels (mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually, sexually.) Hooking up provides much-needed intimacy when I’m in a dry spell, dating-wise.

Plus, hookups make blogging a lot more fun.

Case in point: remember my coffee date who just wanted rebound sex? Blog fodder, in spades.

Or that sexy wine country date I had with a Brasilian woman? She wanted to have car sex right there in a traffic jam. Ay carumba!

I have plenty of sexy and funny dating stories. In the archives, at least.

The reason this has come up right now is that I’m trying to stop hooking up, and open the way for the right woman to come into my life, be it for a long term relationship or a short-term snuggle fest. I’ve actually been in this mode for a while now. I’ve had some relationships (both dating and friends-with-benefits), and I don’t blog details about people I am currently seeing. I feel to do so disrespects their privacy, and it can only come back to bite me in the butt if (or when) things go downhill and we split.

Plus, it’s damn hard for a blogger to get a date with a new woman if she knows about my blog and she reads that I hooked up with someone else the night before!

And so, my blogging has been relegated to funny stories about recycling bottles and cans, and my teen son wanting ripped abs and massive pecs. (Of course, even dates gone bad can turn into good blog material if they involve a tattooed hooker on craigslist personals. Doh!)

At some point, I’ll stop this dating nonsense, and get back to generating blog topics the old-fashioned way – by hooking up!

p.s. if my date this weekend reads this post, please know all this hookup talk is humor! Fiction! Funny stuff! I made it all up while helping an old lady across the street, on my way to volunteering at the local animal shelter where I’m busy researching a cure for colds in cats.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Victoria's open secret

The following is a 100%-authentic conversation with my 2-year-old daughter M- that my wife (J-) and sister recently endured when they were unfortunate enough to end up in Victoria's Secret with her:

M- (loudly, while pointing at some mannequins, scandalized): Why can you see their bummies?!

J- (vainly encouraging her to take the volume down a few notches): ...Because the store wants to show you what all the different underwear looks like when you wear it.

M- (thinking): Ohhh. ... (now excited AND loud) You can see their vaginas! Why can you see their vaginas??!

J- (dumbfounded, and probably blushing due to the increasing attention and laughter): No, no M-, you can't.

M- (mercifully letting that one go as she looks around more): Hey, they have no heads, but they have boobs!* Why don't they have heads?!?

J- (skipping a chance for some biting social commentary): Well... 'cause you don't need to see their heads for underwear and bras. Their heads don't matter for that.

M-: Ummm, okay, but when I get big and buy a bra, can I still have my head?

* I have no idea where she learned this word, but hopefully it doesn't become her new favorite for random shouting.

You may also enjoy my previous M- conversations, (5 YO son) D- conversations, and (wife) J- conversations.

Posted by LiteralDan

Monday, January 18, 2010

It's Enough to Make You Puke!

Just a casual observation from a dad who has seen his fair share of vomit from all ages and both genders (and everything in between): Why is everything you throw up orange, no matter what color it was when it went down?

If aliens were to determine what we eat based solely on what we regurgitate, they would say humans diet consists entirely of badly processed carrots.
I have an idea for a new business: Vomit Stain. If you are feeling poorly, take a Vomit Stain to ensure a more appealing shade of puke. Anyone want to invest?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sunday Slides, Caption Contest, Funnies

Well thanks to everyone who commented on the Turkey Hunting post!! Here are some funnies and a caption contest!

1. Y'all go ahead and tell me how it was! Don't order mountain dew or 7-up tho, you never know!

2. I passed!

The Husband Store

A store that sells new husbands has opened in New York City, where a woman may go to choose a husband. Among the instructions at the entrance is a description of how the store operates:

You may visit this store ONLY ONCE! There are six floors & the value of the products increase as the shopper ascends the flights. The shopper may choose any item from a particular floor, or may choose to go up to the next floor, but you cannot go back down except to exit the building!

So, a woman goes to the Husband Store to find a husband. On the first floor the sign on the door reads:

Floor 1 - These men Have Jobs

She is intrigued, but continues to the second floor, where the sign reads:

Floor 2 - These men Have Jobs and Love Kids..

'That's nice,' she thinks, 'but I want more.'

So she continues upward. The third floor sign reads:

Floor 3 - These men Have Jobs, Love Kids, and are Extremely Good Looking....

'Wow,' she thinks, but feels compelled to keep going.

She goes to the fourth floor and the sign reads:

Floor 4 - These men Have Jobs, Love Kids, are Drop-dead Good Looking and Help With Housework.

'Oh, mercy me!' she exclaims, 'I can hardly stand it!'

Still, she goes to the fifth floor and the sign reads:

Floor 5 - These men Have Jobs, Love Kids, are Drop-dead Gorgeous, Help with Housework, and Have a Strong Romantic Streak.

She is so tempted to stay, but she goes to the sixth floor, where the sign reads:

Floor 6 - You are visitor 31,456,012 to this floor. There are no men on this floor. This floor exists solely as proof that women are impossible to please.. Thank you for shopping at the Husband Store. (scroll and keep reading!)


To avoid gender bias charges, the store's owner opened a New Wives store just across the street.

The first floor has wives that love sex.

The second floor has wives that love sex & have money & like beer.

The third, fourth, fifth and sixth floors have never been visited.

3. I could hand these out by the tub full!

4. LOL

Dan was a single guy living at home with his father and working in the family business.

When he found out he was going to inherit a fortune when his sickly father died, he decided he needed to find a wife with whom to share his fortune.

One evening, at an investment meeting, he spotted the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. Her natural beauty took his breath away.

"I may look like just an ordinary guy," he said to her, "but in just a few years, my father will die and I will inherit $200 million."

Impressed, the woman asked for his business card and three days later, she became his stepmother.

Women are so much better at financial planning than men.

Bwahahhahhah Thats funny right there.

Surely TC is gonna hit this! Who else? Gimmie a caption!!

Y'all have a big ole Sunday! I'll be deer hunting allllllllllllll day (If it ain't rainin) go me!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Turkey and Baby G

Well I thought I'd tell y'all about my hunting trip yesterday. It really wasn't a trip per say because here we hunt mostly in the back yard and the front yard. No I'm not kidding, you can see the house from either deer stand.

Well since I don't do still well, or I should say I don't do still at all, I just go sit in the stand about 45 minutes because any longer than that I fall asleep or am moving so much I might as well yell to the deer "Run Run Run!!!" Well since I hardly ever get the good daddy cookie because I don't let them get away with anything and I am a hard ass about the chores and such I figured I'd take them hunting when they wanted to go with me since that was something kind of cool that we could do together and it is free and not something where either of us, me or the kids, is hung up together to long.

So yesterday I came in from the trellis building gig and checked the kids room which were kinda clean and asked in my most inviting tone "anyone wanna go be cold and not see anything?", my standard invitation. Well the girl child, daughter 11 y/o, "Baby G" aid yes shed go. So we got on our Global Warming gear since it was 30 degrees here in the tropics, no I'm serious I live in the tropics nearly, and off we went.

So its 5:15 and we get to the stand. It gets dark at 6 so we are good on time. We get up there and get settled and she breaks out her Ipod thing, whatevertheF that is and is fondling it and I am getting out he Crackberry and happened to look up and what do I see but 4 pretty big gobblers coming into the food plot.

* not the actually turkey*

So I got her attention and she saw them and I said "you wanna bust on of em?" She nodded and got up out of her chair. I got her gun up and through the window and she got in position.
"You see em baby?"
"yes sir"
"You want me to pull em in?" (adjust the scope so that they look bigger)
"Yes sir" (slightly breathless)
So I did.
"No sir thats good"

Well the way the stand is and where they were I had to look out the other window, so I said take the safety off.
"Fire when ready"


Well they scattered, but didn't leave the field. They were about 65-70 yards, "get on em again baby, shoot again"


Well then they really scattered, cept one that was really slow.


Well the second shot as paydirt! The turkeys flew off except the one and he ran off and quickly gave out.

She looked at me with some concern in her pretty eyes and I said "shhhhh" and you could hear the turkey flouncing around. "Whats that Daddy?"
"Thats your bird"

So both of us relieved we climb down out of the stand. Well the boy child, 6, "Rowdy" (and yes he earned that name, oh boy has he ever) was outside when the assault in Sageville went down and had run in and alerted the reinforcements (Momma Sage) so they were standing outside and waiting on us to climb down.

Well everyone was tickled and we went and got the dead turkey.

So I did get the good daddy cookie from her yesterday and I had a good time watching her. So all was well in my world yesterday!

Hey y'al Hit me up on The Real World Venus Vs. Mars short easy post!

I'm sure there is some goodness in Sageville today too, y'all check it out!

Southern Sage

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Hottest Tech Products of 2009

As a tech savvy, non-geeky, Hot Dad...if that can be used as a title, I thought I would bring to you all a list of some of the best hottest tech product for this past year. I looked for products that would be suitable for Moms, dads and families. The following is a list of some of the items that I found to be the hidden treasures of the tech arena.

One of the coolest tech toys this year has to be WowWee’s JoeBot. I was kind of skeptical, as I am with many of these robot things that either don’t work or break in a day or two.

After receiving the JoeBot and unpacking it with my son, I was fearful that this guy might me a bit too technical or breakable for our household. As we pulled this sturdy guy from the packaging, I realized that Joe seemed to be a solid little guy.

Standing up, JoeBot is about a foot tall and weighs about 3 pounds. At first glance into the user manual, I instantly thought this was going to be a daddy and son toy as I did not think there was going to be any way that my 8 year old would be able to lead this sleek, technological robot all on his own. After going through a few of the touch and voice commands, my little guy took JoeBot by the arm and brought him into a room with a bunch of people…to show off all of his robotic talents.

Between his dance routine, battle mode, conversation mode, protection mode and his general voice commanded roaming around…this masterpiece can be hours of fun for both kids and adults. The touch commands are a breeze to master and in the right environment and with the right tone…the voice commands are a blast to play with.

I, without a doubt, believe that this robotic sensation is one of the Hottest Tech Products of 2009.

The Joebot robot is a content-packed, walking, interactive buddy with a sense of humor and
rhythm. Featuring voice command control, the Joebot robot is capable of responding to key phrases via sound sensors; he can also be controlled by his responsive hands or by the Robosapien™ robot's remote controller.

The Joebot robot is not your average Joe – in fact, he can beatbox and dance – just tap out a beat and he will repeat it perfectly while grooving along. His movements are fast and fluid, and he is able to avoid obstacles via infrared sensors or detect if he falls over with tilt sensors. Various modes include wandering, patrol, talk, guard and battle. In battle mode, for example, he will wander freely while tracking and blasting objects with his hand LEDs; you can even challenge him to a "duel" using any TV (IR) remote controller. Ages 8 and up. Available at

The CEIVA Digital Photo Frame (, is the one gift that can truly bring families together. With its easy set up and wireless (or hard wired) connectivity, this digital photo frame is one of the best that I’ve seen to date. With access as easy as the click of a mouse …or hitting send on your smart phone…this frame allows friends and family to keep even the most technologically ‘slow’ relatives hip deep in the latest family photos.

When I began the set-up of this photo frame I walked through the wireless set-up and before I knew it…it was up and running. The whole set up only took me about 10 minutes and then I began uploading photos to the online photo server. The process is simple and can be done by simply emailing images to the frame’s individual email address.

I instantly raved…to all who would listen…that this frame was definitely the best of its kind on the market. Even though there is an annual membership fee…I think that it is well worth it…especially for those of us with family spread all over the country.

The frame accepts photos DIRECTLY from iPhones or BlackBerries and INSTANTLY displays them. The frame connects through Wi-Fi or simply through existing phone lines. You don't need to upload anything and it is as easy to use as it is to send an email!

Through the CEIVA PicturePlan membership, your friends and family can email you photos as soon as they are taken so you don't have to miss out on any of the fun. You can wake up to new photos daily next to your bed, or walk by new pictures that are hanging on your wall -- you don't have to be tied down to your PC or laptop to look at new photos that have been emailed to you anymore. Even if you aren't tech-savvy you can use it!

V-Moda’s Faze headphones make my Hottest Tech Products list this year due to their amazing comfort and sound quality. I know that there is not much one can say about cell phone headphones, but these are definitely my favorite so far. The buds fit perfectly into my ears and seamlessly block out all background noise…so that I can hear the digital stereo sound the way it is supposed to be heard.

With so many choices on the market today, I recommend that you all go out and pick up a pair of these as I guarantee that you won’t be disappointed. If you are not into Bluetooth…go V-Moda!!!!

The Faze headphones include a fashion-forward design and an upgraded listening experience at an affordable price. Universally compatible with all iPhone and iPod products, Faze provides a hands-free microphone and call/music control button that allows users to transition between answering calls and listening to music. At $49.99, these headphones will give consumers a high quality, fashionable headphone without breaking the bank.

Plantronics’ Discovery 975 Bluetooth headset is the hottest choice for those of you who like to sport the coolest Bluetooth headset. Its sleek design and amazing level of comfort and sound quality put the 975 at the top of the list when it comes to Bluetooth. Along with its cool little charger/carrying case, this little tech wonder should be the envy of Bluetooth makers world-wide.

Its very stylish and extra light design allow users to feel as though they don’t have some big clunky thing hanging from their ear. I can barely tell that I have it on when I am using it and it being so slim and sleek makes it less of an eye-sore for those ‘anti-Bluetooth’ folks out there.
Boasting more than 15 hours of talk time per charge…I don’t know if there are any other units around that can match that. There is nothing worse than forgetting to charge your Bluetooth…other than using it and having it run out of power…That just won’t happen with this little miracle from Plantronics.

The Discovery 975 Bluetooth headset ($129) was designed to be sleek and stylish. Voted Editor's Choice by CNET in August, the 975 allows you to stay connected on the go without sticking an obtrusive gadget to your face.

The Discovery 975 is available at Best Buy, Verizon stores, Apple stores, AT&T Stores, Radio Shack and Sprint stores as well as online.

Epson's WorkForce 610
This machine boasts a sleek black look, is no bigger than a typical toaster oven and does absolutely everything. Besides printing about 40 pages per minute, the WorkForce 610 also serves as a fax machine, scanner, copy machine and digital media card reader. Designed brilliantly to connect via USB to any computer or independently onto a network via WiFi or Ethernet, the WorkForce now services many of our technological needs…all in one place.

Scanning the directions and knowing the delicate state of our home network…I had some concerns about trying to set it up wirelessly. I decided to try anyway. After all was said and done…it was a snap! The whole thing was set up in about 15 minutes and there was no (typical) trial and error. It just ran through the set up and we were all printing in no time. It amazes me how something so technologically advanced can be so simple to operate.

One of the really cool things is the fact that our daughter, who lives out back in the guest house, can use her wireless laptop and print things straight to my desk.

The printer retails for $199 - but if you go to the Epson store today you can pick up one of these bad boys for only $99.
*see my full review here!

OhMyBod’s Freestyle ‘personal massager’ is a dream come true. Either for a couple or a woman with a sense for good music and a gentle touch…this little guy is simply amazing.

When we tried this sleek vibrator for the first time, It was both simple…yet packed with choices…designed to suit anyone’s intimate desires.

Freestyle is the world's first wireless iPod "massager". It vibrates wirelessly to the beat and rhythm of the music on your iPod or other mp3 players.

Not having an iPod of my own, we had to swipe one of the kid’s iPods for this test. The music packed on the iPod was…not the best for what we had planned, but none the less, we easily achieve the g’O’al. We took turns at the controls of this vibrator as it can be used wirelessly or plugged into an iPod.

For those of you who like to add toys to your bedroom activities…and even for those of you who won’t admit it…log on and get yourself one of these technologically advance sex toys…you won’t be disappointed!!!!

This latest wireless release is pure luxury. Freestyle comes with all the bells and whistles you would expect in a luxury pleasure product. It is rechargeable, splash proof, has a custom travel case and adapters so that you can take it with you anywhere you may travel. Freestyle is available for $130 at and select retail outlets/retailers worldwide.

TuneUp Utilities 2010 is a product that came to me just at the right time. I was on the fence about throwing my entire computer out of the freaking window. To give you a bit of the back story…My computer was once an office computer, then a kids’ computer…then became mine. Needless to say there has been a ton of junk downloaded onto this machine, a bunch of re and uninstalls and mountains of garbage stored within its weak walls.

I go through phases where my computer is so sluggish that I can literally click a button to open Word, walk away, get some coffee, go to the bathroom and still have to wait for the program to open. This has all changed now. Once I installed TuneUp Utilities 20100, I no longer have to take anti-anxiety meds before sitting down at my computer.

It performs regular check on my system, allows me to speed things up with the click of a button…in Turbo Mode, and lets me know what system issues need to be fixed to keep things running fast.

This one little program saved me from having to go out and buy a new computer…and saved my ancient beast from going to the computer graveyard.

I have to say that as far as software is concerned…this version of TuneUp Utilities is by far the Hottest of its kind.

New to the 2010 version, TuneUp Turbo Mode allows users to temporarily switch off a large number of unnecessary background processes—with a single click. Consumers will see fewer program interruptions and an increase in the frames per second (FPS) in games.

TuneUp Live Optimization monitors and prevents background programs from using up too much of the PC’s resources. The function helps improve programs’ startup and response times, even when computers are bogged down with a number of applications running simultaneously. This is a great way for busy parents to keep their computers in shape and it's cheaper than purchasing a new PC.

TuneUp Utilities 2010 can be purchased via download at and also as a box in stores. The software, which can be used on up to three computers, costs $49.95, and users of previous software versions can upgrade to the latest one for a discounted price of $29.95.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Where Are My Teen Kids?

As a single parent with half-time custody, I’m supposed to see my kids half of the time. My ex's and my custody schedule works great. The kids are with me Monday and Tuesday nights, with their mom Wednesday and Thursday, and they alternate weekends between mom’s house and dad’s house. I love seeing my kids. Parenting rocks.

So how come this past weekend when they were supposed to be with me, they weren’t with me?

Because they're teens.

To wit: Friday night, my daughter’s friend from Sweden was enjoying her last night visiting the states. My daughter and all her friends were out till the wee hours giving waffle daagen a new name. As for my son? He was at a middle school dance, getting his freak on to Keisha (Tik Tok). With both kids gone, you think I could have persuaded a girlfriend to come over for couch sex or a movie. But, alas, I watched a DVD alone.

Saturday during the day, my son had some lacrosse activities, then hung out skateboarding with friends. My daughter slept in. I mean, she really slept in – till early afternoon. What’s a single dad to do when his kids are sort of around, but not really? I did yard work, pruning, taking down xmas lights. Gotta love quality family time, eh?

But not to worry – I insisted my daughter stay home and eat dinner with us Saturday night. And she gladly agreed, except that right after dinner she was heading off to the movies to see It’s Complicated with a child-of-divorce girlfriend. (They’re both 17, and can get themselves into R-rated movies.) As for my son? I forgot to command him to stay home for dinner, and he had a sleepover with those skateboarding friends.

Sunday is fun day, right? Er… for the kids. My daughter didn’t sleep too late, but once up her friends came by and whisked her off to the mall to shop for Winter Ball dresses. As for my son? He got invited to a Chowder Fest. Forty gallons of homemade clam chowder for forty guests. He ate five bowls, and loved it!

By Sunday night, my kids were exhausted. And here I’d spent the weekend holding down the fort in hopes we’d do something as a family. I'm a firm believer that parents should be present to their kids lives. Of course, that only works if the kids are present, too. Sigh. At least by my being around and giving them a long leash, they got to spend quality time with friends. That's important, too. Cool parent points scored.

The Winter Ball dress? My daughter didn’t find one. And the Chowder Fest? My son got a stomach ache from eating way too much. (Haha.)

As for this hot dad who wondered where his kids went - I had an awesome nap!

Next custody weekend, I won’t be sitting around solo. I’ll simply make plans of my own.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Caption Contest, Sunday Slides, funnies

Pastor's Ass

The pastor entered his donkey in a race and
it won.

The pastor was so pleased with the donkey
that he entered it in the
again, and it won again.

The local paper read:


The Bishop was so upset with this kind of
publicity that he ordered
pastor not to enter the donkey in another race.

The next day, the local paper headline


This was too much for the bishop, so he
ordered the pastor to get
of the donkey.

The pastor decided to give it to a nun in a
nearby convent.

The local paper, hearing of the news, posted
the following headline
next day:


The bishop fainted.

He informed the nun that she would have to
get rid of the donkey, so
sold it to a farmer for $10.

The next day the paper read:


This was too much for the bishop, so he
ordered the nun to buy back
donkey and lead it to the plains where it could run

The next day the headlines read:


The bishop was buried the next day.

The moral of the story is . . . being
concerned about public opinion
can bring you much grief and misery .. .
even shorten your life.

So be yourself and enjoy life.

Stop worrying about everyone else's ass and
you'll be a lot happier
live longer!

1. I know a lot of folks that could wear this proudly!

2. That sign should say Sage! hahahaha

3. Ok y'all have all the stool you want!

Two women were out for a Saturday stroll.. One had a Doberman and the other a Chihuahua. As they walked down the street, the one with the Doberman said to her friend, "Let's go over to that bar for a drink."

The lady with the Chihuahua said, "We can't go in there. We've got the dogs with us."

The one with the Doberman said, "Just watch, and do as I do.."

They walked over to the bar and the one with the Doberman put on a pair of dark glasses and started to walk in.

The bouncer at the door said, "Sorry, lady, no pets allowed."

The woman with the Doberman said, "You don't understand. This is my seeing-eye dog."

The bouncer said, "A Doberman?"

The woman said, "Yes, they're using them now. They're very good."

The bouncer said, "OK, come on in."

The lady with the Chihuahua thought that convincing him that a Chihuahua was a seeing-eye dog may be a bit more difficult, but thought,"What the heck," so she put on her dark glasses and started to walk in.

Once again the bouncer said, "Sorry, lady, no pets allowed."

The woman said, "You don't understand. This is my seeing-eye dog."

The bouncer said, "A Chihuahua?"

The woman said indignantly, "A Chihuahua? They gave me a f---kng Chihuahua ???????


4. haaaaaaaaa I can too and I'm for it!

5. Me in ummmmmmmm 30 years!

Caption Contest, come on give it your best shot!

Didja think of a caption? Steal whatever pics you wanna. Hit up Sageville for more!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Colt, Football, Texas, The SEC, Roll Tide

Colt, my buddy Colt. Seems you were the QB of the #2 ranked team in the nation last night until the first time you got hit.

Well Colt in the SEC we play tackle football! Damn man you let the whole state down. What kind of football do they play in the tiny 10 or the sissy SW conference or whatever poor assed conference you play the season in? Do they play flag or touch football in Texas? They must, maybe powder puff! Yeah you should thrive there.

I get hit harder than that by my kids. If you don't grow a set and get a lot tougher the NFL will stand for "Not For Long" for you. There are an ass load of SEC players in the NFL. They seem to be a lot tougher in the South East than they are in your part of town.

I don't know about everyone else watching but you sure didn't do much for your image with me. I can't imagine anyone ever rooting for a team you play for ever. You laid down it looked like to me. One hit, you took one hit. Then you came out after the game and talked to camera, under your own power. Dood some advice from me.

If I was the all mighty and powerful QB of the mighty burnt Orange Long horns and I was the Heisman hopeful and all that they would have carried me off in an ambulance, or they would have carried me back to the sidelines in a body cast or I would have cowboy'd up and played, like a man. I can guarantee you this Colt, Tebow would have played. He would have played hurt, if his arm tingled a little bit he would have played. If he couldn't feel his arm he would have played one armed. I always hear about how good football is in Tx but you didn't do diddly for that image last night.

I keep hearing about your stats. How did you compile all those stats Colt? Against who? Being knocked out of the Championship game with that little pat makes me tend to think that you were playing some damn easy competition. It looks like your stats would have read pretty much 00000000 had you played in the SEC or anything other than patsy teams. Stats smats, thats what I now say about yours. In the no hit the QB conference what do stats count for anyway?

Yeah you are going to get the money and I'm envious, I am. It doesn't bother me and I hope you get a damn bunch of it. I don't wish you ill in the future either. I won't be rooting for you but I don't wish you any ill will.

Well Colt next time take some more advice from me, get your trapper keeper Colty.

Cowboy up.
putcher big girl panties on.
strap it on.
Pull your jock strap up tight.

Be a man.

Sage is out.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Ask Hot Dads - What's A Dad To Do?

Today I am asking the question.

I am very interested in knowing how the rest of you would react/respond to the following situation.

I think that I am considered by most of the kids’ friends as a pretty cool dad/step-dad and I like to play with the kids, rough house, joke with them etc. This has never been a problem until this year. Our 13 year old daughter has a friend who comes over from time to time. She has recently become very clingy with me. She always runs up to me yelling that she needs a hug. At first I was OK with it and many of our kids’ friends come up and give me hugs or fist pounds….or whatever else is cool in said time period.

The thing that is strange is that this girl is very aggressive and will hug then try to put her arm around me or make the hug a lingering one. I just feel uncomfortable with it all. I have tried to back away and say that she can have a group hug with everyone around but that does not seem to satisfy her…she always wants more. She has never been outwardly sexual but I still feel a bit ‘wronged’ when around her.

I have talked about this with Mariah and nudged her when it was going on….so she knows exactly what I am talking about. She and I have been closely watching the situation and I have been very careful as to not ever be alone with this girl and when she rushes me for a hug…I am always around many other people.

So now…the other day I was with my two boys, our 10 year old daughter and her friend…(the sister of the above mentioned girl.) While we were at the ice skating rink, this ‘younger sister’ of the original girl, started the same shit. She kept asking me for hugs…and when I would not concede , she began to chase me around the outskirts of the rink trying to hug me. Above and beyond that, this girl seemed to do everything in her power to touch me. She put her hand around our daughter in a way that would have put her hand in contact with my…’manhood’ ...I almost jumped across the rink to avoid that one...and then she just leaned up against me …like a new love would...even while I was hugging Mariah.

I don’t know if it is something with the family or if the kids are just fucked…. I don’t know if I should talk to their parents or just keep my distance.

I think the girls are nice and sweet kids, but I don’t want anything to do with misconduct or have anyone think that I condone their actions…what would you do?


Single parent Dad's House responds: a girl in my son's grade was just like this with me. When I volunteered in the classroom, she would always ask me for help. If a mom was nearby and ready to assist, she'd say no, she wanted me. She tried hugging me, but I wouldn't allow it. She tried sitting in my lap, and I definitely wouldn't allow that. She tried touching me a lot. For this particular girl, her mom had remarried, so she was dealing with a step-dad. And her step-dad was almost never home. He traveled extensively for work. Her mom was from another country, and she was only here because of the marriage so she put up with a lot. I think the girl just really needed male attention and affection and approval. But it didn't seem right for me to give that to her through physical touch. My advice to you - stay far away from these girls in terms of physical contact.

Daddy Geek Boy says: As I was reading this, I could imagine this turning into some horrible Lifetime movie where you have been wrongly accused of some misdoings with this girl and the whole thing turns into a media circus and trial...but clearly I watch too much TV.

Seriously, chances are good that this girl doesn't have an agenda but is looking for something. Either it's lack of a male parental figure at home as Dad's House implied, or she's got a crush. I'm guessing it's the latter. I would also guess that she's told her little sister about her crush and her little sister has a crush by proxy. If this is the case, I think you need to talk to her, but you need to tread lightly. Discuss how you are not comfortable with the hugging. But know, she will most likely take this as a form of rejection. Feelings will be hurt, etc. You may want to talk to Mariah to go over the best approach. I would also cut off all physical contact. Good luck, man. This is a difficult one.

Sage Says:
Knowing the girls home life would help with the cause of her need for affection. Either way though if it were me I'd definately not allow much affection, nothing more than a quick hug if that. I can see that ending up being a visit with police or a fist fight with her mom or dad if she has one. Tough situation though. If you shun her and she just needs innocent affection that would be bad but if you give her innocent attention and she has some malicious intent then that would surely be bad. All that being said it surely isn't your responsibility to give her affection or attention. I'd go with no hugging policy from now on with kids that aren't yours.

Russ Says:
While this maybe innocent, you really have to err on the side of caution. I think that a discussion with the parent(s) of the children are in order. It may be a simple case of needing a father figure, or it could be a case (as you put it) the kids might be fucked.

Speaking of parents, where are they during all this? Do they act the same way when they are around?

Canadian Bald Guy says:
Wow...quite the creepy situation. I would probably tell them flat-out that I'm not much of a hugger anymore or just tell them to stop fucking touching me. I mean, if it's creepy and uncomfortable then I wouldn't worry about hurting their feelings, especially in a world that would see that and immediately want to make it something that it's not.

Seriously...if both kids are making you uncomfortable and even Mariah knows that it's really awkward, then don't worry about telling them to simply NOT HUG YOU.

Hubman says: I'll echo what Russ said- talk to the parents, perhaps you and Mariah together and let them know what is happening and why it's making you uncomfortable. I can appreciate the desire not to hurt the feelings of a (possibly vulnerable) girl, but you need to look out for yourself first, so if the parents don't take you seriously, perhaps you just need to be blunt with the girls. Good luck!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Family Conflict

What is the best way to preserve …integrity, friendships, morals, etc.?

Here is the situation…in a nutshell:

A family that has been close family friends for years is now in the midst of marital hell. They have a 9 year old and a 12 year old who are both very good friends with two of our kids. The dad has become one of my close friends and the mom has been friends with Mariah for years.

The dad (from what I know) works in the investment arena and goes to work at 5AM every day and then is home with the kids in the afternoon and evenings. The mom has not worked for many years but has just now started working again. Dad is a straight forward happy and easy-going guy who does what he can to not create waves or engage in conflict. Mom is a bit overbearing and over-involved in the kid’s lives.

Over the years we have become quite close with this family.

Now…as they are separating and there is tension and allegations flying back and forth, Mariah and I seem to be caught in the middle. The dad has come to me for friendship and support (as he knows my history with similar…fucked up…divorces) and the mom has been reaching out to Mariah.

We both want to be there for our friends, but don’t want to get too involved.

The stories that they are telling us are completely opposite and we are now having a hard time knowing who to believe. On top of that we both feel that it really does not matter who we believe…we should just be there for our friends in this time of distress.

The dad…not being able to live at their house (3 blocks from us) stayed with us for a week and now may need to stay with us again. Is that getting too involved? Can we turn away a friend? As we know that the important thing is the kid’s well being, we want to help them not become too distant from the kids and such.

We really don’t know what to do. Should we back out? Should we remain involved? Should we ?????????

I know that this is really brief and bare bones, but we need your help and don’t really want to flood the Internet with their hardship.

What do we do??

Friday, January 1, 2010

Medical Emergency

OK everyone….I need your help here. I I would not blame you all for not helping me as I know that I’ve been very neglectful of this, and all blogs over the holidays. I do apologize for that and promise to get back into the swing.

So here it is…

About 4 days ago my left thumb started bothering me and I kept feeling the need to crack the knuckle. That feeling continued all day…I cracked it all day. The next day I woke to the same thing…except the knuckle was sore. I can’t seem to go 5 minutes without cracking my thumb knuckle. I tried wrapping it with sports tape…did not work.

This continued for the last 4 days and now it is very painful and has become swollen.

I have thought about it and can’t seem to figure out what started it and/or what it is…it is my left thumb…not from texting…not my remote hand. Not my beer hand. No…and not the hand I use to pleasure myself. I don’t really use my left thumb for shit.

I wanted to try the “blocter” before going in to see a real doctor. I wanted to see if any of you know what the problem is or what I can do to help it.

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