VIDEO: Fun with kids

Now that I've got a kid, I finally have a real idea of how funny they can be! Here's some other kids being almost as entertaining.

3-year-old Explains Star Wars

via [ Wired's Geekdad Blog ]

Fight Dad vs. Kids

Note : no kids were harmed in the making of this film!

Product Testing with Kids

A little parody from Jimmy Kimmel.

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Yep, It's Valentine's Day

Larissa and I already had our Valentine's Day celebration last weekend, by giving the Squid away to his Mema and Granddad for a weekend (you can catch her take on it here), so we aren't planning any specific festivities this evening. But, it's still saying "St. Valentine's Day" on my calendar, so I'd feel very remiss if I didn't take a moment to tell you all how amazingly wonderful my valentine (and wife! what a bonus!) is and has been for the last 4.5 years.

Over there is my favorite picture of her so far - smiling while holding our son for the first time. That was an insane and wild night, and we were all drained - emotionally and physically. And yet, even though Lukas isn't looking too happy about the situation in that photo, this was a moment of peace and joy for everyone. My wife has become an incredible Mom, just as I knew she would when I married her. I wouldn't have ANYONE else raising our son. Some women are just blessed by God with all the skills, common sense, and patience it takes to be a stay-at-home Mom, some aren't. I know Riss thinks some days that she can't do this mothering at home thing any more, but I always know that she has more than it takes. I'm so excited for our son, because he's going to get the best start from the best educator I know.

Now, lemme tell you, this lady here didn't just become amazing when she started changing diapers regularly. I'm utterly stunned over and over by how wonderful she is to ME, especially on those days when "brain-dead, blithering idiot" is the nicest description I deserve. We've had hard times and good, and we're still figuring out what it means to be "us", but I LOVE the journey we're on. Being her husband can be something easy to take for granted, because her presence has become something like air - always present, life giving, and something you don't think about always. But on today, this day when some Saint did something special that I have no clue about, I get to bring this love to the forefront and shine a big ol' cyber-spotlight on it.

Happy Valentine's day, darling. I love you.

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VIDEO: Uncommon Art From Uncommon Means

Your average art is just that - average. It comes from an average medium by average artists using average methods that have probably been broadcast on PBS at one time or another. Art of this quality seems to become a wash. It's as nondescript as Muzak and just as tolerable. Good examples would be any of those "films" with the name Uwe Boll anywhere near them.

And then there's greatness.

Art that isn't just phenomenal because of what it is, but also because of how it was made. Any of us can appreciate a good beat, but done A Cappella? Now you got yourself some interesting art. And it's with that focus on the unconventional that I present you these fine examples.

Bob Staake Illustrates in Adobe 3.0

Bob Staake is a fantastic graphic artist, with an immediately recognizable style. He does a lot of work in "traditional media", but sometimes he busts out his digital studio - an installation of Adobe Photoshop from 1995! For those of you who don't have your jaws on the floor yet, imagine Leonardo da Vinci creating the Mona Lisa with a box of 24 crayons. It's utterly amazing what this guy can do with a tool that seems so limited by today's standards.

Guitar Zeros

Unless you're living under a rock, you've heard of the amazing game called Guitar Hero. (And unless you're me, you might even own it already.) Not many people would call what comes out of that game to be "art" - it's more like a highly interactive karaoke. BUT, what if you truly could rock out with the plastic guitar? What if you could make this medium your own outside the game and enter actual rock stardom??

These guys do just that. Take one (or more) guitar controllers, add laptops and custom software, and you've got yourself some original and house-shakin' ROCK!

Underwater Astonishments from David Gallo

The greatest art of all is, of course, found in nature. Man simply can't recreate the work of God found in both flora and fauna. Underwater is prime real-estate for these kinds of wonders, and only recently have we captured some of these phenomena in video to bring back to the surface.

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How I Know I'm Such A Dad

The dear Spouse of Swan and I were able to spend a weekend alone together, thanks to her wonderful parents taking our son (aka Spawn of Swan) for two whole nights! It's the longest and farthest we've been apart, and yet, I think we all needed it. Getting a break like this gives you a chance to take a step back and realize how far you've come. We've been together for almost 10 months, the three of us, and it's been an amazing journey - even in such a short amount of time. Sure, we've all had extreme changes to our lives (like our son starting his!), but sometimes it's the more trivial ones that I take a look at. The ones that give you an interesting angle of life-perspective, and a little chuckle too.

I know I'm such a Dad because:

1. I can hum almost all of the major classical pieces in human history, but only 15 second snippets. And I can't tell you the work or composer, just which toy they came from.

Hey, I'm a fan of Baby Einstein, and my son is too. But sometimes I think they take this classical music thing a tad far. EVERYTHING with their logo on it ONLY plays shorts from composers with fake, powdered wigs. And, since they've become THE name in baby entertainment, all the other baby toys do, too! Personally, I'm ready for a toy to snap off with some Led Zeppelin, or some Sgt. Pepper - Tom Petty maybe? Can a Dad get a little "Free Fallin'"??

On the same lines, I've taken it upon myself to expand my son's musical horizons. He can have a main diet of the "classics" (classicals?), but like any diet, variety is necessary. A couple days ago I put in Blast! during dinner time, and he was riveted. Just tonight we were dancing to "Drumbone" from hThe Complex Tour Live by the great and incomparable Blue Man Group. (Did I mention they have onesies, anyone?) I can see it now - my boy's going to be the only kid in kindergarten with a penchant for everything from Dave Matthews Band to Daft Punk.

2. I've never paid more attention to burps, farts, poops, pees, laughs, cries or giggles before.

I have to laugh at myself with this one. It's unbelievable how important those bodily functions we take for granted in adults become when you're watching your own child grow. And it's amazing how stupid and silly I would act when my son was just becoming vocal to get even the slightest hint of a laugh. (These days I only have to be mildly silly to get laughs, and sometimes I get laughed at for what seems like no good reason at all!) If baby laughs at it, you'll keep doing it until YOU'RE exhausted because it's so rewarding to see him so happy.

On the other hand, you get to know your own kid's cry REALLY well. I always thought that took years, but it didn't take us long at all to be able to recognize his cry, or decipher some of the basic messages he was giving us. You know - "I'm hungry", "I'm tired", "I hurt myself", and "I think what's in my pants really need's Mom's attention." At least, that's what I hear when he's getting kinda odorous. ;-)

3. I'm redefining what I believe to be dangerous

We were trying to figure out which superheroes all the kids in our church small group best represented, and I christened my boy Baby Daredevil. The kid has NO Fear! Stairs? No problem. Balancing myself by holding on to a swinging chair while wearing socks on a hardwood floor? Bring it on! Cats, with potentially dangerous claws and teeth? Playtoys!

Now, to the credit of our household felines, they've been FANTASTIC with our young one. I think they realize that he's a baby, and just know the rules are different with him. Ember, my black tomcat, just runs away whenever he crawls his direction. Ember's far too aloof to play with a baby, much less let himself be caught by one. But Melody (the one pictured here)? Stays right there! Our dear child will crawl over to her (laughing the whole way and going faster than you'd thought possible on hands and knees) and do his best imitation of petting her - which basically means grabbing her tail in a vice grip. Mel will meow a mildly plaintive call, but she won't fight back at ALL. She'll stay there and let him tear out fur if he wants to. What's more, when we put him to bed, she'll stay in his room until she's sure he's asleep, THEN come settle down for the night at the foot of our bed. She's our own version of Nana!

and of course....

4. I'm finding myself WAY too busy to blog!

Sorry about being away for a while, kids. I'll try to get back in the swing of things here. Thanks for stopping by!

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