Thursday, April 16, 2009

Movie Review: The Spirit

I rented this movie and totally intended to write a review of it. However, I only got 20 minutes into it before I decided that it might be one of the worst movies ever made. Sure, the screen shots looked cool but that was about it. The hero was goofy as hell and I quickly, very quickly, lost interest.

I decided to clean my house instead. That should tell you the quality of this fine film.

Book Review--A Tribesman Memoir of Darfur

As you would expect, this book was a tough read but a tough read that I felt was worth it.

Most of us know what has been going on in Darfur but this book brings it a little closer to home. We have all seen the news articles about Darfur and some of us have actually looked it up on the map. However, it's one thing to see a 10 second video bite about a war somewhere with people we don't know and another to read about the atrocites from someone who experienced them first hand.

That's what makes this book difficult to read. There is only so much human suffering that a person can read about but I would encourage everyone to make an effort with this one.

The writing is decent but what really stood out was the lack of emotion in some of the story telling. I say this as a good thing though because the feeling that I get is that this guy had seen so much evil that emotion has kind of left him, at least when describing it. It makes the stories that he tells that much more powerful and closer to home. How this guy is not a raving lunatic I have no idea.

The basic story is this: The author is from Darfur and witnesses his villiage being destroyed in a most brutal way. We follow him as he escorts what's left to refuge camps in Chad. From there, he begins to work as a translator for the different relief organizations and news agencies that want to go back into Darfur. The book continues by describing some of the situations that he finds himself in.

This is a book that I call a "thinker" which obviously means it will make you reevaluate your own place in the world and give massive thanks that you live where you do. At the same time though, I do think it gives some pretty good insight into that part of Africa and some of the jacked up politics there. Sure, there is a lot of debate and I would even say massive dislike in our own politics. However, the difference is that we don't drive tanks into farmers when we get pissed.

Go to your local library and give this one a chance, it's not bad but you might need to do some drinking when you finish.


Location: Usually in parks or other wooded areas.

Cost: Free, if you have the right equipment

Equipment: You are going to need a GPS system. Several on the market. I actually used my Garman. The only problem with that is that it wasn't very accurate in terms of feet but would get us pretty close. My partner had one made for hiking. Several in our dad's group have these things so pairing up shouldn't be a problem.

Website for coordinates:

What it is: I think just about everyone has heard about this. Basically, think of it is a treasure hunt. People had little caches in different locations, then go to the website and log in the coordinates for those. You can either play the hunter and go find them, or the pirate and hide some of your own. All in all, pretty simple.

So what is a cache and what do they look like. It could be any kind of container. We found 2 today. One was a coffee can wrapped in camoflauge tape. The other was about an inch long and it was hanging from a tree.

Inside the coffee can were different trinkets that you could take, but only if you left something. Inside the inch long container, there was a coupon for pizza. Here is what I liked about it. Usually there is a list inside the find where you can sign your name, showing how awesome you are. We showed the greatness of KCDADS and signed it that way and left our website address.

I went with the Hippie today. Because after all, if you are going into the woods what better person to go with than the vegie loving earth mother? But it worked out because he had an awesome child carrier that I put my 1 year old son in. He had his 1 year old as well. Bringing up the rear was my 3 year old daughter. We wanted to do some actual hiking as well today so we parked about a 1/2 mile away. We were at Shawnee Mission Park.

Here is what I learned. A 1/2 mile through brush and woods is a lot different than a 1/2 mile on the road walking by yourself. My daughter was good to the first treasure but then wanted to be up on my shoulders. By my count, I had a 30 pound kid on my shoulders and a 20 pound kid on my back. If I haven't said this before: this is why Dad's are awesome.

The Hippie and I worked together though and we found both without much fuss. I would recommend that those with smaller children drive as close to the treasure as you can and then do the hiking. Both that we found were actually just off the road.

They have these caches everywhere so don't think you have to go deep in the woods to find them. Chances are there is one in your local park by the swing set. It's a pretty fun little activity that got everyone out of the house.

My daughter fell asleep as soon as we left.

Also a word of note: watch out for ticks and bugs. It would appear that I was warned about this in an email that I didn't read. That would be my fault and my inexperience. I have pulled 2 ticks off my daughter this afternoon and a grand total of 4 off myself. My son didn't have any because he was riding me like a pack mule.

But all in all, with the proper precautions, a great free activity to get the whole family out of the house on a gorgeous day.

Playgroup: April 13

There were no fights. I swear to all that is holy we went though a whole playgroup and no one hit anyone else on purpose. No one threw a ball at anyone's head. No one pushed anyone down a flight of stairs or tried to shank anyone else with the official Pablo shank.

This is a momentous occasion. There are always disagreements when you get that many kids together. I think we had around 10 or so. But not this time. This time they all shared. They all played chase me chase me without ending it in push me push me. They brought eachother toys. They ate like civilized human beings.

We are the most awesome dads in the world!

How we did it?

We gave the kids a bunch of plastic balls and let them throw them over the railing to the downstairs basement. That then evolved into throwing any toy over. Which we allowed.

Totally worth it.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Something different for Easter

Want some colorful Easter eggs that you can actually eat? Jayne at Barefoot Kitchen Witch has an idea for you. Below is a picture of the eggs I made last night, I have already eaten them and they don't taste any different than normal hard boiled eggs. My plan is to make a bunch of then into deviled eggs for Easter dinner.

I just made a craft tag, I think I may need to turn in my man card.

Amish Friendship Bread Recipe


    • Do not use any type of metal spoon or bowl for mixing.

    • Do not refrigerate

    • If air fills the bag, let it out. If is normal for the batter to rise, bubble and ferment

Day 1 - Do nothing (this is the day you receive the starter)

Day 2 - Mush the bag

Day 3 - Mush the bag

Day 4 - Mush the bag

Day 5 - Mush the bag

Day 6 – Add to the bag, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup milk, 1 cup flour and mush the bag

Day 7 - Mush the bag

Day 8 - Mush the bag

Day 9 - Mush the bag

Day 10 – Follow the instructions below

1 – Pour entire contents of the bag into a non-metal bowl

2 – Add 1.5 cup flour, 1.5 cup sugar, 1.5 cup milk

3 – Measure out 4 separate batters of 1 cup each into 4, 1 gallon bags. Keep a starter for

yourself and give the others to your friends along with a copy of the recipe. Should the bag

not be passed to your friends on the first day, be sure to let them know which day it is at.

4 – Heat oven to 325 degrees

5 – To the remaining batter add:

      • 3 eggs

      • 1 cup oil

      • 0.5 cup Milk

      • 1 cup sugar

      • 0.5 teaspoon vanilla

      • 1.5 teaspoon baking powder

      • 0.5 teaspoon baking soda

      • 0.5 teaspoon salt

      • 2 cups flour

      • 1 large box of instant vanilla pudding

      • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

6 – Grease 2 large loaf pans and mix 0.5 cup sugar and 1.5 teaspoon cinnamon. Dust the greased pans

7 – Pour batter evenly in to the 2 pans, sprinkle top with remaining cinnamon/sugar mixture

8- Bake 1 hour. Cool until bread loosens from sides. ~10 minutes

If you keep a starter for yourself, you will be baking every 10 days.

That is the official directions, from here down are things I have learned. This is a sour dough type bread so if you store it in a metal container then it could pick up a metallic taste, that's why there is the warning about metal. Before step 5 I move the batter to my mixer with a metal bowl and paddles and I haven't noticed anything. Also I don't use the cinnamon in the dusting anymore, I just dust the pans and then cover the top with sugar.

If you want a starter ask some of the guys there are several floating around. I am working on the recipe for a starter and once I have it firgured out I will add it to the blog. Stay tuned.

Ladies Man Recipe Corner

Herb Roasted Pork Tenderloin
1/4c. Soy Sauce
1/4c. Worcestershire Sauce
1/4c. Oil
1t. Thyme
1t. Marjoram
1t. Rubbed Sage
1t. Garlic powder
1t. Onion Powder
1t. Ground Ginger
1t. Salt
1t. Pepper
1 Pork Tenderloin

Mix all ingredients in shallow pan. Prick thawed tenderloin with fork and place in pan and turn to coat. Cover and marinade for 30 min at room temp or chill for at least 2 hours in fridge. Place tenderloin on rack in roasting pan and spoon marinade over top then roast for 40 min at 350. The tenderloin is cooked when reaching inside temp of 155-160 degrees using food thermometer. Let stand for 15-30 minutes before slicing.

Notes: t=teaspoon

If not sure where to get tenderloin, I usually just get Hormel packaged from Walmart in meat section.

Enjoy! See you next time on LMRC

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Playgroup: April 8

Our playgroups seem to be getting larger and larger. Which is a good thing because it just reaffirms our awesomeness. The kids were bouncing around from dad to dad. Until the Ladies man gets there.

It's the same every time. As soon as the Ladies man shows up, all the little girls ditch thier dad and go hang out with him. He can be seen going throughout the house with a toddler hanging on one leg and his own daughter in the croock of his arm. This is not a bad thing, not at all. However, we should probably keep the wives away from him. He's dreamy.

3 new members made their second appearance and they seem to mesh well with the group. Cute kids, the kind you might find on a box of cereal or a soup can selling the rich goodness right inside. I always like seeing new members and seeing the revolution continue. Viva La SAHD! See world, we are not weird! We are not "different." We are men. And we do laundry. Poorly it would seem, but we still do it.

Because we all agreed that our wives mostly have a problem with the way we do laundry. Look, there is colored clothes and white clothes. There are no such things as "delicate" or "hand wash only" Pile A of clothes is what goes in the washer. Pile B is what goes in the washer after Pile A is done.

We also had a brand new member that showed up for the first time so we were all on our best behavior. He was entertained by the comedic stylings of the Hippie and the Texan who seem to make a really good team. Like Laural and Hardy. I'm the fat one. But still handsome.

Our host went all out on lunch and actually made hotdogs and hamburgers. Show off. All in all, it was good times. No injuries, minimal fights but no blood. That's a victory in our book.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Are You Prepared

I ask you, fellow fathers, are you properly preparing your children for the future. Sure, we have all given up valued careers, late night dinners with clients (where someone else cooks the damn steak!), possible liaisons from the office ho-bag. Yes, we have made our sacrifices for the good of our children.

But have we done enough, have we actually prepared our children from the single most terrifying threat that is coming? Oh yes, it's coming. It may be 20 years from now, but it is coming.

I am of course referring to zombie attacks.

Have you thought about what tactics you are going to teach your kids for that faithful time, when the zombie hoard comes to destroy us all?

Let me guess--you are perhaps teaching your kids how to use some guns. Hopefully a wide range of assault rifles, hand guns, perhaps even a harpoon because the horde will follow you into the ocean as well. We all know this.

And then maybe you are teaching them some survival techniques. Like what plants you can eat, how to set bear traps and the value of a meal cooked of dog. Not bad.

And finally, I would bet you are teaching them proper barricading techniques. Things such as how to board up windows, proper placement of punji sticks, which buildings make the best last minute forts. Hospitals are good. Gas stations perhaps, but only if they have an assortment of Slim Jims. But never a rest stop, the facilities are never clean enough.

But my friends, my dear ignorant friends, I declare you wrong. Yes, wrong as the day is long.

You are wrong because none of these things will ever work. We all know it. We've all seen it. I've seen just about every zombie movie out there. I have played just about every zombie game. And I've even read a ton of zombie books. And what have they all taught us?

There is no safe haven. There will be no great place in the country of western Kansas that will be free from the horde. There will be no government compound. Because all the movies and games tell us the same thing: it will all be over run. You can't keep the zombies out. They are relentless.

I have taken a different approach with my children. It's more passive, but I do believe it's ingenious. The only way to beat the zombies is to live with them. The only way to live with them is to convince them that you are ONE of them. Yes, you read that right, ONE of the undead. Without being undead of course, only acting like the undead so that they are not attacked by the zombie horde.

I have spent the last two days teaching both of my minions how to act like zombies. Sure, they are young ( a one year old and a 3 year old) but the lessons that they learn today will be the survival skills of tomorrow.

All I have to say is "How does a zombie go?" and immediately both of my kids spring into action. They snarl and they claw at the air, much like an inferi does. It sounds really good and I'm a quite proud father knowing that this is just the beginning. My son looks very good doing the zombie, he even slobbers a little. He may be teething but I take it to mean he actually understands the importance of what I'm teaching.

We are working on the zombie shuffle but that's not going so well at the moment. It's more stomping on the dog than shuffling for brains kind of thing. But we'll get there. I think we are making good progress. I made them do it for everyone at the gym today and I actually heard some screams in the background. Of course those screams could have been for me because I was all glistening in sweat and hotness, but I think it was for more the accurate portrayal of my zombie minions.

I realize that we have a lot of work to do, but we'll get there. And when the zombie horde comes, my kids will slip seamlessly into their ranks to gradually wait them out. Natural disasters should wipe a good number of zombies out. And I'm assuming that some will walk off cliffs and things because let's face it, zombies aren't that smart. And I'm sure some of your kiddos will take a few down before being over run. My kids will just sit back and wait, acting like zombies when necessary, scavaging for food when possible, and always praising the name of their father.

And in case you're wondering: I also taught my kids how to take a fake punch and then fall, how to do a three point stance, and how to say "Gigidy" like Quagmire from Family Guy. My wife is a very lucky woman.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Playgroup Recap: April 1st

Good playgroup. Topics discussed where Amish Friendship bread, video games, hookers, best recipes, selling a house and me bragging on my kid not needing diapers anymore at night. She's awesome, it runs in the family. She also is wearing pants that are to small so she continues to show ass crack wherever we go.

One minor incident were there was a shopping cart involved and the face of another kid. But don't worry, we were all watching it happen but doing nothing to prevent it. Some of the Mom's may not let us play together anymore. But everything go resolved and I am assured that insurance will cover any damages.

The Enforcer did bring the friendship bread though and ingredintes for making it. The two loafs lasted about 30 minutes. Because it tastes like sweet heaven frolicking in your mouth. He assures me that he will post the recipe soon although I'm a little concerned that the recipe is for actually making toilet wine because you have to let the dough ferment for 10 days.

And of course, like every play group, all the girls had to play with one dad. The Ladies Man continues to have a monopoly on the 3 year old and under crowd. They love him and no one knows why. I think my daughter has a crush on him because she doesn't hug any one but she can't get enough of him. The day ended with a tickle fight with the Ladies Man and we destroyed his house. All is right with the world.

Rebel Playgroup: The Firehouse

Location: Liberty Firestation

Cost: Free

Ages: 1 and up.

Our leader set up a visit with the Liberty Fire Station. I must say, this was awesome. This was awesome for everyone. The kids loved it, the fire fighters loved showing off, and I'll admit--the Dad's loved it. And why not? Big ass trucks, ambulances and hanging out with some dudes that do the remarkable.

First off, the fire fighters were not only gracious, but seemed to really enjoy showing the kids around. I think that they got a kick out of it. Of course who wouldn't? "Look around kids, look at how much I kick ass. Yup, that's a huge ax that I actually get to knock crap down with. And this is my big truck. It kicks equal ass."

I'm not afraid to admit it, I had a little bit of a man crush going on.

This was a free activity that we had a really good turn out from and I would love to do it again next year.

The fire fighters started the tour by showing us the trucks and the ambulance. The Leader's kid loved this almost more than anyone because he appears to have an encyclopedic knowledge of firetrucks. This was evident when he started to correct the firefighters. Nothing is quite as cool when your kid tells the firefighter what's up. Where did he get this from?

From his dad, of course.

During the tour the fire fighters showed us an antique fire engine. I asked when was it last in use, because I'm a bit of a history nut. The fire fighter responded by saying the 1950's.

"Nope, that's wrong." I swear to you, those where his exact words. The Leader then went on to explain that they were in use up to the 1970's. Needless to say, this is a family that spends a lot of time studying everything that has to do with firetrucks.

The Fire fighter's were cool though and let the kids climb all around the fire engine and the ambulance, which had to go out on a call when we where there. Very cool, although I suppose not for the people it was going for but the kids loved the sirens.

We ended by giving the fire fighters our phone numbers, ya know, because they are cool.