Daddy Drinks: Hot Buttered Rum

° c o f f e e °, originally uploaded by ° d i + m a r s °

Rum and butter are two great tastes that taste great together. If you like both of those things, and you like to have warming drinks from a mug in winter, here's a nice one to keep at hand during the holidays.

3/4 cup Boiling Water
1/4 cup Spiced Rum
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon Butter
1 Clove
1 Cinnamon stick to stir

Boil water and pour into a mug. Mix in the brown sugar and spiced rum (I use Sailor Jerry's). Add the butter and stir until melted. Use a tea strainer or infuser to mix in the clove flavor, then remove the clove. Do not eat the clove. Sprinkle lightly with nutmeg and stir with a cinnamon stick. Drink up and stay warm!

Bread & Jam

rainy saturdays, originally uploaded by MEOMI

We had a little snow storm over the weekend and spent an entire day at my in-laws' house in the country. This might sound awful, but I like my wife's family, so I didn't mind being stranded. I helped her dad to clear the snow outside, and her mom taught me to bake bread and make a batch of Christmas jam.

It is fun to learn traditional skills, and I am especially fond of any process that results in something I can eat or drink. Jam isn't hard to make when you have the right tools. Bread was easy too. Basically the bread-making machine does all the work for you.

I also learned that the primary ingredient is sugar, which explains why jam is so delicious. Hopefully I can find the time to make more bread and jam. Now I know the process, I want to try different flavors and varieties!


, originally uploaded by beebo wallace

We started Ashley on "solid" foods a while ago. My wife has made some of it herself, which is cool. She mushes up the vegetables and separates them into individual servings in an ice cube tray and freezes it for later. When it's dinnertime, we pry out one cube of food and thaw.

Eating is a fun new game. Her technique leaves something to be desired, but you can't fault her enthusiasm. She dives nose-first into each spoonful of oatmeal and sometimes she even gets some into her mouth and swallows it. She understands the basic concept. We could tell she was ready when she started taking an interest in watching us eat and drink.

Fun fact: this is also a new form of cheap entertainment. To keep her busy, all I need to do is open a bag of chips. She will stare for several minutes, enraptured, while I fire them down my yapper. The last time I had an audience watching me eat was when my Japanese host family was teaching me to eat soup with chopsticks. Now the student has become the master.

Pedal Power

I'm warming up to the idea of building a custom pedal car. This guy sells plans for "The Speeder," shown above. The body is a 55-gallon plastic drum, the wheels use bicycle tires, and most of the working parts are constructed from PVC tubing.

As I was drafting this post, I looked back at something I wrote five months ago, also on the topic of pedal cars. Wow, did I sound like a Scrooge.

My attitude about parenting sure has turned around during the last six months that I've actually been a parent. Now I can't image denying my daughter anything. That could change around the time she becomes a teenager and starts demanding keys to a real car. But, for now, all good things for my little girl!


Splish Splash, originally uploaded by nature55

Ashley has always seemed to enjoy taking baths, even when she was very small. First of all, she loves being naked, so we're off to a good start. After the initial shock of being set in the water, she would smile and flail and grab the sides of the little plastic tub.

We have always looked forward to bath night, and now that our baby has figured out what's going on, she really gets into it. As soon as her butt touches water, she starts kicking, and those legs don't stop until half the water has been splashed out of the tub. The whole time she has a tremendous grin on her dripping face.

The only trouble is actually getting her clean. She doesn't like to have her splashing time interrupted. If I grab one leg to soap it up, she kicks the other one twice as hard. It's unbearably cute. When did bath time stop being so much fun?

Happy Repeal Day!

Vintage Schlitz ad Xmas card, originally uploaded by Paxton Holley

Prohibition in the United States was ended 75 years ago today. The 18th Amendment, which outlawed alcohol, was repealed by the ratification of the 21st Amendment on December 5, 1933. This amendment guarantees all Americans the constitutional right to drink.

Anyone can celebrate Repeal Day. It's easy, just add alcohol! Whether it's a Schlitz dinner at home or pints at the local beer hall, there's no wrong way to party.

Today is a day to celebrate freedom. And what will you celebrate tomorrow? Hangover Day, of course!

Grasshopper vs. Ant

Happy Grasshopper Days, originally uploaded by madmanor24

I got a lot done over the long Thanksgiving weekend. And I learned something about maintaining a productive mindset. Start by getting things done, then it's easy to do more things.

For example, let's say it's time to wash the dishes. The trick is, to paraphrase David Allen, a "mind like dishwater." I'm more inclined to roll up my sleeves if I already spent the evening taking care of baby and doing laundry, instead of playing Super Mario Galaxy for hours on end. This is a purely hypothetical scenario. Once again I see the wisdom of my parents in using video games as a reward, compared to goofing around all day and then trying to get something done.