Getting that graduation gift doesn’t mean going for bust

image After reading about how the parents of LuLu Diaz gave their daughter $6,000 breast implants for her high school graduation gift, I couldn’t help but be shocked by the idea of a father agreeing to anything that would make his teenaged daughter more enticing to teenaged boys.

As luck would have it, I actually spent several years in my teens. Because of this I can tell you there are many teenaged boys who still haven’t made it past the “breast” portion of this column. Sadly, some may never finish reading it because, in order to break them out of their current hypnotic spell, it will become necessary for a close friend or family member to light them on fire.

Let’s face it: This is the nature of most men until the aging process inspires a level of physical maturity that dethrones sex as the main motivator. While there is no set timeline for this transformation, most experts agree it begins anywhere between six and eight months after death.

Until then, at least from a father’s perspective, men can’t be trusted. Continue reading

One group’s quest brings them to… The Door

The Door: Cultural mecca; journalistic icon; restroom door.

The Door: Cultural mecca; journalistic icon; restroom door.

The media storm continues to swirl around us in the newsroom here at Siuslaw News, where we have denied access to all the major news outlets seeking an exclusive to The Door (of Shame, Blame and Brilliance). Obviously, this has made us a lot of enemies at ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX and The 700 Club, all of which have sent their most prestigious correspondents to secure an exclusive to what Brian Williams has called, “Equal to the Rosetta Stone in terms of journalism — You know, if The Door wasn’t already in English.”

While Morley Safer is continuing to hound us for the exclusive by faxing images of his buttocks with the words “You will crack” written on them, Barbara Walters has been talking about us on The View, hoping to manipulate the public into thinking we have something to hide. As she said during this morning’s show, “What if we cwosed the Smithswonian to the pubwic? What are they twying to hide? It’s a weal twavesty.”

The fact is, we have nothing to hide. At least, not unless someone is on the other side of The Door using the commode. Just last week I spoke at the Boys and Girls Club about journalism, and how any one of them could become a successful journalist like me! Once the laughter faded, I ended my presentation by talking about The Door. Continue reading

You can’t swim with one hand on your woggle

square Bad swimmer copy I wasn’t born to swim. This became evident early in life after habitually swimming into the side of pools, then immediately sinking headfirst to the bottom. A number of factors can be attributed to my being hydro-challenged, beginning with the fact that I can’t actually breathe under water.

This traumatic realization was made one morning after watching Aquaman on T.V. and then, as a test to ascertain my level of super powers, trying to inhale running tap water from the kitchen faucet. The experience was a wake-up call, and forced me to admit that the closest I’d ever get to being an underwater super hero is if “dog paddling” and “consuming large amounts of pool water” qualified as special powers.

Needless to say, I wasn’t exactly waiting for a call from The Super Friends. Continue reading

Coordination is the key when batting with a cucumber

Ned Hickson photo/Siuslaw News

Ned Hickson photo/Siuslaw News

Walking through my town’s small baseball park the other morning, I was struck by a bit of nostalgia. This was unexpected, considering what I’m usually struck by when the Cedar Company bird squadron begins its morning maneuvers. With spring approaching, first-year tee-ballers were scattered around the field with their fathers, who were imparting basic hitting and fielding fundamentals, baserunning technique, and clarifying that running home didn’t mean crossing the highway alone.

Watching this, I was reminded of working with my oldest daughter in preparation for her first season of tee-ball five eight ten not long ago. As you’d expect, we bought a mitt, ball, practice tee and all the equipment necessary to get started on the basics. For obvious reasons, I saw no need to purchase an athletic cup — until I decided to advise her about batting stance, at which point it became obvious that I should have.

At least for myself. Continue reading

Teaching public rest room etiquette is difficult when your commode is watching

Robo-urinal Few things can make you look stupid faster than being outsmarted by a public urinal. Especially when it occurs in front of your four-year-old son to whom you are trying to impart rudimentary public rest room etiquette.

I don’t know if potty training is a seasonal thing, like the migration of geese or fluxuating interest in the Kardashians, but I’ve noticed a lot of people talking about potty training their children lately. Apparently, there was a lot more dancing around the May pole nine moths ago than I knew about. Regardless, all this talk about Fruitloops in the toilet got me thinking about my son graduating to the use of a public urinal eight years ago.

We had no problem with the initial stages of our educational process, which began with the proper entrance, i.e., avoid all eye contact and enter the rest room as if you had called ahead and reserved a specific commode. If one isn’t open, go directly to the nearest sink and wash your hands until something becomes available. The trick, of course, is to avoid washing you hands for so long that you appear to have severe obsessive-compulsive disorder. Continue reading

Contemplating life without training wheels

My daughter, age 7, surveying the parking lot across from our home, moments before we removed the training wheels from her bike.

My daughter on Aug. 11, 2002, surveying the parking lot across from our home, moments before I removed the training wheels from her bike.

As a parent, you never think it will happen to you even though, somewhere in the back of your mind, you know the possibility exists. When it does happen, you realize that no amount of preparation can prepare you for something like this.

On Jan. 13, it will happen to me.

Suddenly, and without warning, my oldest daughter will turn 19.

This morning, I came into work early and sat with my cup of coffee. It was my first opportunity to really contemplate this event without interruption or distraction. As I scrolled through old columns I’d written about being a dad, and specifically those about my oldest daughter, I was drawn to this piece I wrote when she was seven. She had just learned to ride her bike without training wheels. As I read it, it struck me how more than a decade later the experience, as well as the advice I had given her, still applies. Continue reading

It takes more than G.I. Joe to break the power of Barbie’s mojo

Apparently, G.I. Joe and Steve Austin use their acute eyesight for more than just scoping out the bad guys.

The act of “playing” is a crucial part of how a child establishes self image and a basic understanding of the world. I know this because, as a progressive father of today, I have read extensively about this very topic — which is why I progressively freaked out when I found my son playing in the shower with a Barbie doll.

It wasn’t the fact that he was playing with a doll that bothered me, it was the fact that it was still completely intact — something I don’t expect from a child who routinely disassembles my office chair and a good portion of my desk in less than four minutes using nothing but a three-piece “Bob the Builder” tool kit.

I decided something needed to be done. It was time to enlist the help of an old friend; it was time for G.I. Joe to break Barbie’s mojo. Continue reading