Daddy Drinks: Dark and Stormy

The recipe for a Dark and Stormy is very simple, yet also very specific. Gosling’s Black Seal rum is non-negotiable. Authentic ginger beer is likewise essential. Eric Felten insists on Barritt's. The Reed's brand is available locally, so that's what I use. If you want to go DIY with fresh, small-batch ingredients, Jeffrey Morgenthaler offers a recipe for homemade ginger beer.

Measure out 1.5 oz of the Gosling's and 4-6 oz of your ginger beer of choice, and pour over ice. A lime garnish is permitted, but not encouraged. Keep it simple, and enjoy the subtle nuances of this sophisticated drink.


I'm very fond of bento boxes. When I was living in Japan, they seemed like an elegant and practical means for transporting homemade lunch food. Before I left for the States, I found a lunch box that proclaimed, "we are passionate about lunchtime communication! Lunch is a good day pass-time." I bought it immediately. Then I returned home and never once used it, because it was so very small.

The Plastica Bento Box is a segmented stacking container, made with multiple color options. Our child isn't even born yet, let alone eating solid food, yet I'm sorely tempted to pick up one of these. Just to try it out, you understand. I'll give it up when she grows a little older... or maybe she can get her own.

Looking for a more traditional design? Check out the adorable boxes at I Love Obento! Don't miss the nylon pouch that straps to your bicycle frame.

Plastica Bento found at Babygadget.


Astronomical dial, originally uploaded by santi_rf

The countdown has almost ended, so if there's no baby in three days, then we're really on the clock. I doubt they will need to induce labor, though. Both my wife's sisters were very prompt at delivering their babies. I hope that giving birth on the due date is a shared genetic trait in her family.

Daddy Drinks: Scotch Sour

Because every dad deserves a well-prepared beverage to cap off his day, I will be posting a selection of cocktail recipes. I hope to make this at least a semi-regular feature, which I have tongue-in-cheekily titled "Daddy Drinks Because You Cry." Or, for short, "Daddy Drinks!"

Let's start with a basic cocktail that's a little sweet, and a lot sour. To make the Scotch Sour, fill your shaker with ice and then add the following ingredients:

1 1/2 oz Scotch
Juice of 1/2 Lime
1/2 tsp Powdered Sugar

Shake well and strain into a glass. I prefer my drinks on the rocks, but you might serve it another way. Top with a slice of lemon and a cherry, or if your selection of citrus fruits is limited, whack off a wedge of the fresh lime that you used for juicing. Kick back and pucker up!


photo originally uploaded by Shane Henderson

Growing up, I lived in a strictly no-cussing household. There was zero tolerance for anything resembling swear words. We were not allowed to say that something "sucks." My mom once let the s-word slip while she was driving, and while my brothers and I were shocked, she was even more mortified.

On the other hand, some folks have no problem using salty language around kids. Our neighbors across the street certainly don't let the presence of children inhibit their nonstop barrage of f-bombs and profanity-laced threats.

I haven't decided how to moderate my own occasional cursing. I have recently become more aware when a "bad" word escapes my lips. Involuntarily, I think I am inclined to follow my father's footsteps. At least I have an outlet for venting frustration that didn't exist when he was my age: that's what the Internet is for!

Dodge Caliber SRT-4

2008 Dodge SRT4, originally uploaded by carscomeditor

My wife and I both drive 4-door compacts. They are fine cars and I do not have a problem with them. I don't buy into the idea that having kids automatically compels us to purchase a larger vehicle. My wife supports me in this belief.

Nevertheless, the more dad stuff I read the more I wonder... what if I could move up in style? For one thing there's the continuous station wagon coverage on Daddy Types. Now Dodge is driving another nail into the coffin with its Caliber SRT-4. Mister Jalopy makes a strong case for this pretty black hatchback (also available in inferior red color option, shown).

If you are like me then you have only three questions:

Yes, yes, and heck yes.


manhattan memorial lights, originally uploaded by absolutwade

I write to remember. One year from now, I will be looking back on my last Memorial Day as a non-parent. So, what were my weekends like before baby came along?

In the mornings I wake up refreshed from a full night's sleep. The dog might start whining around 6:00 when she needs to go outside, but it's just as likely that I'll be awake before then. She takes care of business and I feed her breakfast.

The Internet beckons. After some time-wasting, I check the forecast: if it's not supposed to rain, I water all the plants and tend to our flowers. Then it's back inside for a cup of coffee and some light reading before taking a shower. My wife sleeps in until 10.

When she wakes up, it's time for a little housework. We catch up on chores, do some cleaning, run a few loads of laundry. If the weather is good then we work in the yard a bit. The rest of the day is up for grabs.

At least every other weekend we visit family. We don't have many local friends but sometimes we drive out of town to visit college buddies and, increasingly, their kids. I make sure to get out on my motorcycle once or twice. In the evening I may have a drink to cap off the day, we watch TV for a while, and go to bed around 10.

We've been married without children for three and a half years. It's been a good run so far, but still, I wouldn't want to keep on like this forever. I look forward to seeing what the future has in store.

Birds & Bees

I love being outside during the spring. It's fun to get my fingers dirty in the garden, plucking weeds and planting seedlings. There's something very satisfying about caring for a tender sprout until it grows to maturity, especially when it yields flowers or delicious vegetables.

Then you've got the critters living in our urban forest: squirrels and rabbits, stray cats and yappy dogs, birds and birds and birds. Last year I made a bird house and stuck it in the backyard. It sat vacant for a season, I took it down for winter, and put it back up a month ago.

In the past couple of weeks I've seen a Chickadee flit to and from the entry hole with stuff in its mouth. Sometimes it pops inside and stays for a while. I think we might have a new family living there soon.

Car Seat is Go

The Caprice of a Classic Ride, originally uploaded by Hamed Saber

How quickly things change! By simply installing a beat-up secondhand car seat, I have transformed my plain old daily commuting vehicle into a family car.

Now, when I close my eyes, I can picture my newborn daughter inhabiting that car seat. If my imagination is especially vivid, I can almost smell the pruno fermenting already.

Build your own cardboard furniture

How perfect for a child's room is furniture made of cardboard? It's sort of durable, the materials are cheap, and you can mold it to any shape you please. Love the rounded corners! If a toddler ran headlong into this, she'd more likely dent the furniture than her own face.

If you want to learn how to build it yourself, you can buy a "How Things Are Made" film featuring Eric Guiomar and a group of Parisian crafters called the Cartonnistes. Or check out the free Instructable written by someone using the same techniques.

Found at Apartment Therapy via Boing Boing.

Babies are better than dogs, part 1

Suspicious package?, originally uploaded by JamesCalder

Our dog was fussing and whining at some time before 5:00 this morning. I was frustrated that she was being so noisy while I was trying to rest. To myself I said, "if I get irritated by waking up now, even though I slept through the entire night, how am I going to handle caring for a newborn?"

Then I had an epiphany. It's going to be so much easier with my daughter because I can take care of all her needs in the privacy of my own home. I don't have to go outside. I don't even need to put on pants!

Plus, unlike my dog, I won't have to chase my baby around the yard to make sure she doesn't do anything disgusting with her own feces. At least, not at first.


Duck Hunt (NES), originally uploaded by skinny coder

My whole life is about to be turned upside-down. Does that include giving up video games?

In a GameSetWatch article, Mr. Raroo examines the topic of continuing hobbies after the baby arrives. The conclusion? Be prepared to take a hiatus for the first month or two. After that, it's game on... with a few caveats. Your habits may change, but if there's a hobby you truly enjoy, then eventually you'll pick it up again.

It's a good read, whether your treasured pastime is playing games or something else. As it is, although I enjoy video games very much, they are less a priority now than when I was young and single. On the other hand, he did get me thinking about how nice it would be to play DS (or read a book) while I take the bus to work.

I've done that in the past and it worked out swimmingly. It's too bad that taking public transit to my current job would jack my commute up to four hours a day. Looks like I'll be plugging in some headphones and quietly rocking to Guitar Hero during nap time.

Dad's diaper bag of choice

We've got half a dozen diaper bags at home, not one of which I'd wear of my own accord. I knew that someone must have cracked the market for dads, but I couldn't find them. Babygadget heard my cry, and pointed me toward the excellent Cevan Metro Diaper Bag from Allen Ave.

As a man, I'm an outsider to the mysterious world of "bags." Before today I never thought about what makes a diaper bag different from any other kind. After reading their list of features, I can understand why somebody would want one of these. BabyGadget assures me that "finding bags that look this good while still doing their job is rare." Maybe that's why I never understood the attraction until now?

Manly style and practical functionality: that's two-thirds of the way to my holy grail. Is it also cheap? $70 at Costco is... well... I'll have to ask my wife what she spent for the pile of feminine bags on our nursery floor. I will say that it's a price I'm willing to pay for gender-appropriate accessories.


1, originally uploaded by monalogic

With only 20 days until the due date, my wife and I are actively preparing for the labor and birth. This morning my subconscious mind got in on the action.

I had an exciting dream about spies and guns that ended with my wife holding her belly and asking to be taken to the hospital. I thought that she must be in a lot of pain, but she was strong and didn't seem to be concerned. Doors opened and a stream of people came crowding out. All the time, I was crying and saying that it was my fault this had happened to her.

Do you think it means something?


Perseids Meteor Shower, originally uploaded by The Korky

Friends and relatives descended on our home last Sunday to participate in an ancient ritual. The guest list for this ceremony was girls-only, so while they showered my wife with gifts, I excused myself for an afternoon of motorcycle riding. When I got home there was a pile of new baby stuff and our fridge was full of treats. It was a win-win scenario.

In addition to the items from our registry, our baby got some fun and thoughtful presents, like Haba's wooden twisting fish, "Moby." So cute! Best of all, my mother-in-law decorated our nascent nursery with custom fabrics. My wife picked out colors and patterns, and her mom sewed drapes and crib bedding.

It's amazing how much we have accumulated. Although we have most of the things that we truly need, my wife has a shopping list of some stuff she still wants. I have a list of my own, but it's very short; the one item on it is due for delivery in 3-6 weeks.


Clothkits launch, originally uploaded by joellybaby

Clothkits are patterns printed directly on fabric so that you can cut along the dotted line and sew your own babywear. They're sold as an end in themselves, but crafty parents could use them as a launching point for more projects. The cloth you can purchase is very cute, so they're worth buying once. On the other hand, once you buy a kit, you have a pattern... so why not make extra dresses in your own style?

If you have the time and inclination, you could screenprint your own designs over Clothkits patterns. Or, spray on a "tattoo" using stencils and bleach. Doing it twice is also an opportunity to change the dimensions for a custom fit. Your kid can rock it in bespoke clothing!


Musée d'Orsay Clock, originally uploaded by introvertigo

The due date is one month from today. Starting now, I'm no longer tracking the weeks--I'm counting down days.

For me, the time can't go by quickly enough, although my wife is not quite as excited about the arrival as I am. Which is understandable, since our baby's itinerary for that day includes a scheduled journey through my wife's vagina.

Nevertheless! After eight months of seeing our daughter only as images on an ultrasound or protrusions on my wife's belly, I think we are all eager to meet face-to-face. Only 31 days to go.

Side note: This is not a photo of us, but it reminds me of our honeymoon in France. It will be a long time before we can take another vacation like that again, with just the two of us, but we'll always have Paris.


Hold my hand Daddy., originally uploaded by naya_girl

Last weekend was stressful, exhausting, and exhilarating. My wife and I accomplished a project that we had been working on for the better part of a year. We host an annual event that brings together dozens of organizations and hundreds of participants. As always, it was an amazing experience.

So, what was the most rewarding part of my day?

Playing with my niece when it was all over. (This is getting to be a theme.)


My wife is planning to make her own baby food after the wee one graduates to solids. We've already got a passable blender and a nice little Cuisinart, but then along came the Beaba Babycook (thanks a lot, Babygadget).

I'm tempted to say this is just another kitchen tool we don't need. But then I can't dismiss it out of hand, because its repertoire includes steaming, heating, and defrosting in addition to the blending that I expected. Might have to add this one to our registry, after all.