10 Days To Go – Brown Britches Time

The frequency with which I post about personal things on this site has become a rarity akin to a day without TMZ posting a wardrobe malfunction. In some ways that’s a sad thing for me, as this site has been a cathartic release for me for over a decade, however, it’s also a sign that life and business are good. That is to say, business is keeping me too busy to post anything unrelated, and life is too good for me to have much to complain about – besides exhaustion, my ever-present companion… I’m telling you 18 – 20 months old and separation anxiety… oh man!

If I’ve learned anything over the past 15+ years of blogging (an amazing 10 of which are archived on this site) it’s that there’s an ebb and flow to my writing that is not only governed by my passions but also by what’s happening in my life at the time, so I try not to sweat it.

That said, I am sweating right now. Not literally sweating – mentally. Scarlett Elyse will be born in 10 days and her impending arrival is causing me all sorts of anxiety. It isn’t that I’m not excited – quite the opposite. I couldn’t be happier and more excited, but I am afraid.

I was afraid when Malcolm “Stormageddon” Tennant O’Flaherty was born too, but this is different.

You see, Mal was my first and as such my parenting skills were entirely untested. 20 months later and I would have to declare my parenting skills still largely untested. It’s not that I’m not heavily involved in my son’s life, because I like to think I take a more active role than most, but beyond stating that “I haven’t managed to kill the child yet”, I can’t really attest to doing things right.

“The proof is in the pudding”, as they say (I don’t know who they are, but they clearly know a lot about pudding).

Unfortunately the pudding of parenting isn’t ready to eat for about 18 years.

Sara doesn’t berate me much for my parenting style, so I guess that’s something – but now I’m about to have a second child to morally corrupt / screw up / turn into the worlds first evil genius with the ability to actually defeat James Bond and even worse, manage to get through interrogating 007 without divulging any of her plans or secrets.

What can I do. What will become of the world?

I know I’m probably over-reacting. I’m betting that this is standard pre-birth paranoia for most parents. I just don’t want to get things wrong.

I want the best for my kids, and I want to be the best for my kids.

I guess the adventure is worth a little sweating and a fistful of new gray hairs!

This Photo Sums Up Much Of What Is Wrong With The Deep South

“Loose” the second “ammendment”. Let the second “ammendment” run free.

I have no idea what an “ammendment” is, it may be distantly related to an amendment, but apparently if we “loose” the second one, we will have to “loose” them all.

While we were driving home today from West Mobile, Sara spotted this truck with some awesome stickers that just have to be seen to be believed.

I’m not normally a stickler for spelling and grammar (I can’t type coherently without spell-check) , but if  you’re going to stick something on the outside of your vehicle supporting a political or religious view, then be prepared to come up against some ridicule when you cock up.

Second Ammendment

Malcolm Tennant Cometh

Tonight we head to Providence Hospital to begin the induction that, hopefully, will result in Malcolm Tennant making his first live appearance outside Sara’s belly.

Needless to say, I’m nervous as heck, but before we head to the hospital I wanted to get some words on video (however awkwardly) that have been beating around inside my head for the past few days.

Wish us luck! I can’t wait to meet Malcolm Tennant, and for you guys to see him too 😀

Love you Sara!

Dad’s Not An Idiot – He’s Me!

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that just as there are stereotypes that (some) men impose on women, and criticisms that should never be leveled because they are sexist, the pendulum swings both ways and it is perhaps most evident in the area of parenting.

As you may know Sara and I are expecting the arrival of our first child in early August. This will be my first child, and Sara’s fourth. With babies and parenting in mind Sara linked me to an article by Aaron Gouveia over on the HuffPo – It’s time to stop treating dads like idiots.

Aaron reached his breaking point when sent a picture of a onesie that said “This shirt is Daddy-proof!” and I find myself totally sympathizing with him.

The same people — mostly moms — who claim to be overworked and desperate for dads to do more are all too often the first ones to criticize them for not doing things right when they do step up. And by right, I mean their way. I’ve seen dads criticized and made fun of for how they dress the baby. For how they feed the baby. For how they handle things differently than moms. Despite the fact that most first-time moms are just as clueless and confused as first-time dads, it’s chic to make fun of the dads, while moms are assumed to know absolutely everything. As if the parenting instruction manual is imprinted in the female DNA. The fact that mothers face an unfair societal expectation to be a perfect parent from the get-go is a separate, albeit deserving, issue. But it’s no reason to crap all over the very same people you just asked to help more.

I’m a very lucky guy in that I have a very supportive wife, who has more faith in me than I do myself, and is already experienced at navigating the oft-convoluted and confusing paths of child rearing. I shall have a guide.

That said, I like to think that even without Sara to back me up, as a reasonably intelligent person with a fair degree of common sense, the ability to use Google, and to read and comprehend above a fifth grade level, that I could do just as well as most first time mothers. Heck, with the exceptions of giving birth and breastfeeding, I’m willing to bet that I could do better than a fair chunk of first time mothers, and many repeating mothers.

Let’s face it – not all mothers are great moms/parents!

What I’m saying here is that first-time dads deserve some slack. Within the space of a few weeks two of my friends shall join me in the becoming first time parents and one of them shall be the stay-at-home parent. I’m confident that we’ll all do rather well even if I am also rather terrified.

Sure we’ll make some novice mistakes. Sure we’ll drop some bottles, get peed on, feed the baby beer and do something terribly stupid at least once, but be honest, doesn’t everyone? After all, that’s how mommy learns!


Tumultuous – I like that word. Tumultuous – Say it out loud! It rolls off of the tongue. Tumultuous.

It’s a rather apt word for how life has been lately between preparing for the arrival of Malcolm Tennant, the demands of clients, family, podcasting, and the slow but deliberate revival of our network of sites.

I would like to say that all of the excitement has left me with little time to write, but I would be lying. I’ve had plenty of time to write. I’ve just had great difficulty in organizing my thoughts into any kind of coherent order and I’ve had even more difficult in prioritizing what I should say if I could organize them. That may not be a bad thing…

I’ve been expending my creative energies in other areas lately. Podcasting has been getting a lot of my attention. We’ve even been experimenting with live video podcasts on Nothing Serious, but after repeated crashes of my podcasting laptop whenever I used Google Hangouts (even though 3 way video chat on Skype works without a hitch), we decided that wasn’t the route to go. Daniel, Steven and I did actually record one hangout, but upon reflection we have decided to go “audio only” and not split our attention. We’re simply going to produce the best damn audio podcast we can. Period.

Expending energy, not just the creative kind, is a priority. Not that I have an overabundance of energy, but I do have an overabundance of overstuffed adipocytes. Needless to say I’m back on the low-carb boat and working out every day. I don’t know how well that’s working yet. I’ve been back at it for 5 days but lack the courage to stand on the scale.

The lack of desire to stand on the scales is not because I don’t think the diet changes and exercise is working, it’s because I’m afraid I’ll be disappointed by the results. Silly I know, but what can you do? At least Sara puts up with me, eh?

Maybe the exercise will shake loose some of the grey matter that occupies the space between my ears and I’ll start writing more? We can hope!

Please Support The Kim Hodson Cremation Fundraiser

I extend my deepest condolences to my good friend and mentor Steven Hodson, who’s beloved wife Kim passed away this morning.

Kim had been struggling against cancer and several chronic conditions for many years.

Steven has been unable to work outside the home for several years due to the caring for Kim during the course of her illnesses.

Throughout this time Steven has given a lot of himself to the tech community. He’s worked on many projects, podcasts and contributed to many sites with me, and I’m sure that if you read tech online you’ve probably encountered him at some point or another.

Sara and I would like to give back and support Steven in his time of grief and ensure that Kim’s cremation expenses are not another burden on him during this difficult time.

Steven has been a mentor to myself and others online, and we would very much like to see the online community give back to someone who has given it so much over the past decade, by contributing to this fundraiser.

The New, New Office

The impending arrival of a new baby causes one to deal with many changes to life, and last night I surrendered my office so that Malcolm Tennant could have a nursery.

Our home is 4 bedroom, with an office space (off of  the kitchen), however my (previous) office space was actually larger than the guest bedroom (which is back to back with the master bedroom. Sara and I wanted to have Malcolm’s nursery closer to the master bedroom (once he stops sleeping in our room), but we also wanted to keep a guest bedroom as it gets used a lot by friends and family that come to visit.

So, the decision was made to move the guest bedroom to the room where my office was, and to put the nursery where the guest bedroom was.

As a result I’ve moved my office to the  8 x 17 (136 square foot) raised, unused section at the end of our bedroom. Since we moved in to the house the space has been unused (except for storing boxes that hadn’t unpacked) so it feels like a good solution. The area is well-lit, has a window at either side, plenty of sockets and most of my equipment fits in with room to spare.

There are still a few kinks to work out, such as where I’m going to set up my green screen for recording, but that’s a minor issue.

The pictures below show what the layout of the office space is currently like, as I test my podcasting rig (after dismantling it for the move) ahead of tonight’s Nothing Serious podcast. Speaking of the podcast, the new space is also better acoustically than the previous space.

New Office SpaceNew Office SpaceNew Office Space

Stormageddon Week #11 – Heartbeat (Video / Audio)

Sara and I took a little time today to hook the fetal doppler up to my podcasting rig in order to get a clear recording of the babies heartbeat.

It took us a couple of tries as Stormageddon refused to “perform” when Sara was in a sitting position, but once she got down and stretched out on the office floor with some pillows under her, then Stormageddon put on a show 😀