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Showing posts from April, 2013

When Baseball and Love Collide

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It was a stereotype in movies and TV when I was growing up: new fathers showed up at the hospital with a tiny baseball glove for their day-old sons, secretly hoping they could play catch out in the hall before they all went home.

Even today, dads still want to play catch with their sons and daughters in the backyard before dinner. They sit in front of the TV with their young children and introduce them to baseball. They haul the entire family to the ballpark, to impart their love of the game, and instill the loyalty of their favorite team.

They buy tiny baby baseball hats and tiny baby baseball jerseys, and the kid grows up loving their dad's team, before they ever really have a chance to exercise their own decision making skills.

As Roger Angell said in his essay, "Three for the Tigers," everything dads do in their lives, they do so their sons will go to ball games with them.

So what do you do if it's mom who loves baseball?

And mom and dad love different teams?

Fr…

Hit Any Key to Flush

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Erik is out of the office this week, so we are reprinting an article from 2003. While Microsoft USA originally denied the story, it was later revealed to be completely true. Coincidentally, this column helped him discover a plagiarist at a newspaper in Ontario, Canada.

Bringing new meaning to the slogan "Where would you like to go today?" Microsoft announced their plans to make toilets with web access.

I swear I am not making this up.

The new web-enabled toilet — called the iLoo — is being developed by the MSN division of Microsoft in Britain, where a toilet is called a "loo." The iLoo would be stationed in public toilets at British summer festivals, making its first appearance at the Glastonbury Festival in June.

And while some people may appreciate the seamless integration between technology and basic bodily functions, others aren't so wild about it.

"iPoo on iLoo" said one computer weblog.

The iLoo will have a wireless keyboard and height-adjustab…

27 Things Every Dad Should Know or Have

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Fellow humor writer Jenny Isenman recently offered her list of 40 things every mom needs to know by the time she's 40.

That got me to thinking about all the things that dads need to know, do, or have by the time they're 40. So here's my list, gleaned on my last 16 years of being a dad, and 45 years of being a son. But there are only 27 items, because Guys are simple and don't require as much stuff. Plus, I tend to ramble, and didn't have the space to get 40 items.

By 40-ish, dads should know, do, or have:

1. Three hammers. If you build stuff, you know that one hammer is not enough. If you live in a condo or apartment, then two hammers is acceptable.

2. A socket wrench set. You should also have a spark plug socket, even if you can't find the spark plugs in your car.

3. You should know how to find the spark plugs in your car.

4. Build something, whether it's a spice rack, a workbench, or an entire house.

5. Teach your kids to build something.

6. Teach your ki…

Want to Quit Something? Quit Complaining

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Pittsburgh high school senior, Suzy Weiss, is bitter — BITTER! — at America's Ivy League schools because she didn't get admitted to her dream college. So she ranted at all colleges in the country in a Wall Street Journal op-ed piece.

"For years," she wrote, "we were lied to. Colleges tell you, 'Just be yourself.' That is great advice, as long as yourself has nine extracurriculars, six leadership positions, three varsity sports, killer SAT scores and two moms."

So now Weiss, who was "herself" by not participating in any extracurricular activities, not organizing any charitable events, and not doing any sports, is blaming everyone else but herself for not being the kind of person an Ivy League school wants in their student body.

"I've never sat down at a piano, never plucked a violin. Karate lasted about a week and the swim team didn't last past the first lap," she wrote. "I should have done what I knew was best — go t…