Archives for July 2009

Are We Poor?

Poker Chips

If I had a chalkboard inside my house I would have written the following three lines on it:

Are We Poor.
Are We Poor?
Are We Poor!

Then I would have taken the erasers and clapped them together and laughed while the dust went everywhere. It must be close to 25 years or so since the last time I got in trouble for that. But I don’t have a chalkboard inside my house and I really didn’t want to take the one on my porch inside.

So instead of writing those three lines and speaking with my son about the influence of punctuation on the sentence I launched into a relatively brief discussion about why I don’t care what others think and neither should he.

It seems some other child at his camp told him that he thinks that we are poor. Being a man of class and distinction I told him that when he sees this boy tomorrow he should ask him if his father still beats his mother and whether his uncle still buggers the dog.

Take a deep breath, I didn’t say any of those things. I thought about it, but not in an angry way. I grew up in a middle class home and have spent my entire life with people who were less fortunate and more affluent than we were. During my professional career I have had my ups and downs, but have had far more ups than downs. Overall I can say that we have been very fortunate.

But the advantage of being 40 is that I have all sorts of life experience to rely upon and he at 8.5 does not. So now opens a new chapter in his life, the awareness that some of his friends have more than we do.

I am pleased to say that this is a recent event. For years now he has been playing with other children whose families are very well off. There have been lots of play dates at homes that are much larger than mine and trips in cars that cost more than both of mine. It didn’t faze him, until now.

And I suspect that the reason it has is because the kids are getting a bit more aggressive and a bit nastier about some things.

Anyhoo, when he told me that this other boy said this I told him that he needs to remember three things:

1) His own sense of self esteem and self worth comes from within. It is not based upon how many friends he has or doesn’t have.

2) We make decisions about others based upon their actions.

3) Money and possessions do not make people happy. They may help, but the ultimate source comes from within. Not to mention that he needs to get used to being a middle of the pack kind of kid. In this family we are not driven by money.

So I think that he followed what I was saying and that he got it, at least I hope so. In the interim I am going to monitor what happens with him and this other boy. Just another one of those life lessons that we get to experience.

The Wedding and Divorce Entrances

Among the many parodies

JK Unexpected Divorce Hearing Entrance – Watch more Funny Videos

Some Links

Deal reached for custody of Michael Jackson’s children– Will these kids ever have anything resembling a normal life.

Movie/record industry rep says that you shouldn’t expect to be able to play your media for as long as you own it– Planned obsolescence for your media. This bothers me.

The Book vs. The Kindle: funny videos about the Kindle’s user rights shortcomings.– Some things worth thinking about.

2010 Camaro– I miss my ’77 Camaro. I loved that car.

Does Hairy Backvertising Go Too Far? Ah, another candidate for the Mangroomer. Don’t miss our series of posts about useful products. The most recent one offered information about The Bathroom Revolution as well as links to previous posts.

If I had a Spare BillIon I might Buy This

LONDON, England (CNN) — A spectacular superyacht has been designed by an internationally renowned urban planning architect in a very unusual shape.

Seventy-six meter long “Oculus,” which is designed for 12 guests, looks like a large sea creature, with one end looking uncannily like the jaw and eye socket of a shark or a killer whale.

A second design, the futuristic, 91-meter “Infinitas,” is based on the figure-of-eight shape of an infinity loop.

The pair are the brainchild of Kevin Schopfer, a Boston, Massachusetts-based architect who felt the design of luxury yachts should move away from generic boat shapes to something more playful.

The two eye-catching designs, which include inside swimming pools and helipads, are still looking for an owner. With a starting price of $95 million for Oculus and $140 million for Infinitas, they don’t come cheap.

Riding The Mommy Blogger Gravy Train

In the early years of my blogging career I had big plans for my corner of cyberspace. I envisioned an empire that would stretch across the world. In my mind’s eye I could see it so clearly, I’d live on my own private island and have a staff that would cater to my needs.

As you can see from the video, It wasn’t hard to imagine. In no time at all I had launched my blog and begun my conquest of the world. Cue maniacal laughter Muhahahaha

And then I came back to reality. I love to write. It brings me great pleasure to sit here at the keyboard and compose these posts. And so I have spent almost 5.5 years blogging about a wide variety of topics. Over time I have developed a steady following of readers who I am greatly appreciative of, not the least of which is that they read my posts because they enjoy them, not because they might win a contest.

In other words, I didn’t jump on the bandwagon to try to ride the Mommy blogger Gravy Train. Yes, I am calling out those Mommy Bloggers who entered the blogosphere because they saw an easy way to stuff their pockets full of cash.

Before we get any deeper let’s make it clear that I am not impugning all of the Mommy Bloggers. I intentionally haven’t identified bloggers by name because not all of you deserve derision or scorn. Many of you are very fine bloggers whose blogs I enjoy very much.

This is one of those posts that has been percolating through the old melon for quite some time, but I just never got around to it. In part I didn’t touch it because I don’t usually care whether people make money from their blogs. If you are able to do so, then more power to you.

But the story about the woman who tried to blackmail Crocs into giving her a free pair stuck in my craw so I decided to wade in and add my two cents. A womb and a keyboard do not make you powerful, nor does it give you license to threaten others.

As I sit here I wonder how many people jumped on the bandwagon because they thought that they could take advantage of brands who still haven’t figured out how to use the net to effectively market themselves. Brands who have been told that social media is the next great frontier and threatened to be left behind if they do not develop an effective social media plan.

And when it doesn’t work out for you, how long will it take for you to jump ship and go running for the next trendy thing to do. Maybe I am being unfair. Maybe I am acting like a stuffy old man, but that is how it comes across.

What do you think?