• Life,  Parenting

    Understanding My Kids’ Relationship With YouTube

    by   So lately I’ve been trying to watch some of the YouTube video channels that my oldest daughter is into. I watch them with her, because none of them are things I’d likely go to on my own, trying to understand what she sees in them. This is a bonding experience, I suppose, because from my perspective, the attraction to most of these is like a train wreck: you just can’t look away. Let’s be clear: not all of them. There are actually a small handful I enjoy, although I wouldn’t sit down and watch a whole bunch in a row.   Fun Stuff on YouTube Movie Sins is…

  • Life,  Parenting

    Field Trips

    by So all of my children have different ideas of what school should be, and what it means to be social, and things they should have to do. This is normal and natural, and I expect no less from them, but they are coming into an age where they can actually argue better than, “I don’t want to”. This is a good thing, but sometimes makes discussions take a little longer. I love that they are using their brains to try to get their way rather than a just flat black and white argument. But as a result of this growing brain power, both of the girls did not go…

  • Life,  Parenting

    Sushi and Onigiri (Mostly Onigiri)

    by So I’m not a big sushi fan. There’s nothing wrong with sushi and millions of people like it, but it doesn’t do it for me for reasons that have nothing to do with Japanese cuisine (a lot of which I do like). I don’t really like fish. Sorry. I know that’s a sweeping, general statement, but it’s more or less true. I like it better than squash, if that helps, but given two choices of protein for a meal, I want to choose the other one. And sushi uses raw fish. I’m good, thanks. You can keep the seaweed, too. Tastes like fish. But take that sushi rice and…

  • Gaming,  Parenting

    Video Game Companies Need to Get Smarter If They Want My Money

    by Backing that up a bit, I appear to be raising several gamer kids, although of distinctly different types. At some point, we’ve all been Halo fans, and fans of first person shooters in general. Those days are mostly over, I think. We’ve decided we’re not going to bother with the XBox One at this point for a variety of reasons, but the 360 still has a solid place in our entertainment unit. So does the PS3. The Wii (although that’s mostly for Gamecube games, and the Gamecube itself has migrated to my son’s room with an older 360). And the recently acquired Nintendo 64. There are a variety of…

  • Gaming,  Parenting

    The Perils of Minecraft

    by Dig, farm, make, build, create. Minecraft is hard to describe in only a few words. It takes place in a randomly generated, blocky, heavily pixilated world where just about everything is made out of cubes. Okay, that’s oversimplified, but it starts to find the flavour of the game. It’s a mostly creative endeavor, and can be either cooperative or competitive (with a heavy emphasis on the first one, which is why I like it). It’s also rather addictive if you have the right mindset for the game. Harvest resources (mining, digging, farming, chopping, fishing, etc, etc, etc) and use them to create your own home, castle, shop, world, whatever.…

  • Life,  Parenting

    Star Trek Re-Watch

    by As part of the Days of Geek podcast (which, yes, I know I’m supposed to release an episode of today, but I’m not nearly finished editing it yet), I’m doing a Star Trek re-watch. The Original Series. As in, the series that originally ran before I was born. I grew up watching Trek. One of my earliest memories is sitting in my father’s lap in that old green chair watching “The Immunity Syndrome”. As a three-year-old, the idea of a giant space amoeba eating whole planets was hard to wrap my mind around, but it was pretty cool. I watched every episode of the show over and over as…

  • Conventions,  Life,  Parenting

    Fall Conventions

    by We’ve been planning to go to Quinte Mini Con in Belleville since we first heard about it very early in the year. It’s the first Con in the area, and will become the closest without going to Toronto. A small con, and a first time foray, it looks like the con organizers are going to every effort to put together something people will want to go. I don’t expect Fan Expo, and one of those is enough, really, but I expect to be impressed. Guests, events, panels, and a vendor’s room. Should be fun. My daughters, particularly Oldest Daughter, made some friends in Vocaloid cosplay at Fan Expo (and…

  • Life,  Parenting

    Dice Overload

    by A while back, oldest daughter declared she wanted to try a pencil and paper fantasy role playing game. Of course I stepped up to the plate and offered to dust off my ancient GMing skills to run an intro campaign for her and any friends she might scrape up who were interested. On the one hand, I’m not sure that was such a good idea as I really haven’t done the RPG thing since about my fourth year of university, and that’s longer ago than I like to think about. On the other hand, I’m not sure that was such a good idea since she passed over pretty much…

  • Life,  Parenting

    The Sadness of September

    by Posting this, it’s Sunday night before the second week of the school year, and it’s still a bit of a melancholy time for me. I don’t really like the whole BTS thing. Yes, kids need an education, but in a time when fewer and fewer of us have so called “standard” work hours, summer is better for seeing your kids. I’m not talking about taking vacations, but all the time. During July and August, if I have the day off, so do they. If I’m working nights, they’re probably around when I get up. I get a lot more time with them, even the teenager. When they go back…

  • Life,  Parenting

    Begun, the Language Wars Have

    by My oldest daughter is learning a bit of Japanese, partly due to a desire to live in Japan one day, and mainly via anime and Japanese music. I’m encouraging this, as she’ll let me, since it’s a dream of mine to spend a year in Japan, pending my spouse being convinced, and hopefully soon enough to take all three of our children with us. Somewhere in the anime, she’s picked up a couple of simple insults and has apparently used at least one of them on her sister. If only I were surprised. My youngest daughter has decided she needs to learn to respond, also in Japanese. Last night,…