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men who change diapers change the world

Friday, 11 February 2005
Ben MacNeill's Informational minimalist art
Taking a quick google news check with the keyword

I have been admiring Ben MacNeill's stunning graphics at the Trixie Update over the past year. It should follow some of the "early" computer art circa 1984. He ought to submit this one or my favorite, the daily feeding cycle (agitated) into the Museum of Modern Art. It should be labeled informational minimalist art so we can get the next art movement started. Ben's latest work of art at left breaks down the famous "two naps to one" event. For those not in the know Ben hits a certain keyboard key every time his daughter does nearly anything. (He has smacked the F9 key three thousand five hundred and thirteen times due to diaper changes). It was fun to check these stats, but the graphs didn't seem to show the trends in the short term. Over the long haul however, you can actually see the agonizingly slow and uneven process of naptimes on his graphs. By taking the emotional element out of the process, it's reassuring to any new dad to step back and see Ben's visual proof that those diaper leaks, naps and bottle routines that seem like they will never end always do.

Playgroup update: I've added 2 new playgroups and a new website to the Network.Tom Henry of Stockton, CA.(, Matthew Feinberg of Missouri City, TX ( and Seattledads new site at

Posted by athomedad at 1:30 PM EST
Updated: Monday, 14 February 2005 9:54 AM EST
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Thursday, 10 February 2005
A Quiet Dynasty
Topic: Stats

Like the New England Patriot's Defensive End Richard Seymour (pictured at left with his son by the Globes' Stan Grossfeld), working at-home dads have quietly taken the spotlight in the media in the last several years.  Also like the Pats they don't have a real spokesman either. Sure the reluctant Tom Brady  gets the GQ treatment but that's it. (Remember, Terrell Owens got more attention then the entire New England Team combined in one Ad.). In any case  the media seems to be enjoying putting together the terms  "working dad"  and the "at-home dad" qualifier in the same breath.  Reading through some "working dad" articles just in the past week I kept noticing sentences like...  "As the co-owner and chef of Three Oaks Chocolatier in Torrington, and a stay-at-home dad to three young boys.....or "He gets to schedule his work to spend as much time as possible with Joey, now 4 ?. He calls himself a stay-at-home dad"  or  "Being a stay-at-home dad three days a week, I've deep-six diapers, cut the crust off PB&J's, and made the ultimate sacrifice: sing along with Barney".  These dads seem to be emphasizing that, yes we do work, but we are still caring for their kids and we're proud of it.  The media isn't the only ones noticing, The Families and Work Institute  note in a 2004 report that Gen-X daddies (working dads between the ages of 23-37)  spend nearly an extra hour (or 3.4 hours/day) with their kids as compared to 25 years ago. What I found even more encouraging is that that the early returns (their samples were are too small to give out numbers) are showing Gen-Y dads (18-22 years old) are trumping the X-ers.  Look for this new generation of dynasty dads to be making more noise in the coming years.

Posted by athomedad at 12:42 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, 10 February 2005 4:41 PM EST
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Friday, 24 December 2004
A return to your 8-bit chrismas
Topic: music
I am done posting for the year

I am done posting for the year  (The kids are out of school)

till then, call the kids in and share a few tunes from your 8-bit past.

01. Yerzmyey - Jesus Holy, Born So Lowly
02. Nullsleep - Silent Night
03. Vim - When A Child Is Bored
04. Paul Slocum - Up On The Housetop
05. Bit Shifter - Let It Snow
06. Goto80 - Last Christmas Hot Digi Rmx
07. Dma-Sc - The First Blip Blop Noel
08. Hally - Xmas Songs Arcade Punk Mix

Posted by athomedad at 12:01 AM EST
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Thursday, 23 December 2004
Gift Taken, Gift Received

A chance to help one of our own:  Teri Thompson Children's Fund

Posted by athomedad at 8:58 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, 23 December 2004 8:59 AM EST
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Wednesday, 22 December 2004
Meet the F$%ckers
Topic: movies
I saw the movie

I heard a knowing giggle from my two boys as we were walking into the movie "Lemony Snickets:  A Series Of Unfortunate Events".  They were covering their mouths, trying to hold on to their secret.  I looked down at them and nearly ran into their inside joke. It was a huge poster for the Meet the Fuckers Fockers movie.   I could read their minds.  I have an excuse to say a near swear word!  Ok, hurray for Universal Studios for good marketing, but that's not why I'm writing about the movie.  Dustin Hoffman plays an at-home dad in the flick. With the tonnage of reviews, what would the critics call him?  A Mr. Mom or a stay-at-home dad?   The most widely distributed movie reviews were  from AP Movie Writer David Germain and Reuters reporter Sheri Linden. Checking  both sources, they decided to use the stay-at-home dad term. The Boston Globe and the Chicago Tribune, (also widely syndicated)  followed suit. The only major reporter using Mr Mom so far was  NewsDay's Gene Seymour.  It was refreshing to finally see an absence of the Michael Keaton descriptor from the major news outlets.  It could be an early indicator that the media may lighten up a bit  in next year Father's Day articles. Below are the early results and links (more reviews will be out today and into the weekend).

  Source  Writer   Term Used
Associated Press   David Germain
  AP Movie Writer
 stay-at-home dad
Reuters   Sheri Linden  stay-at-home dad
Boston Globe   Ty Burr, Globe Staff    stay-at-home dad
Chicago Tribune    stay-at-home dad
New York Post  Kim Burnes  stay-at-home dad
Lincoln Journal Star  L. Kent Wolgamcott  stay-at-home dad
NewsDay   Gene Seymour  Mr Mom

Posted by athomedad at 11:22 AM EST
Updated: Wednesday, 22 December 2004 12:58 PM EST
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Tuesday, 21 December 2004
I'll do the dishes after I make this throw....
Topic: celebrity dads
New Page 3 New Page 2

Quarterback Jamie Martin will be the key to success for St. Louis.

Hold on kids!  I'll be home in a sec. 

Just a few weeks ago, at-home dad Jamie Martin was playing football with his two kids at home. Having been retired for a few years he got a phone call out of the blue from his previous boss, The St Louis Rams. They were offering his old quarterback job back. With star quarterback Marc Bulger recovering from a bruised shoulder, and backup Chris Chandler playing as if he had one, Martin got the nod to take the field last Saturday after Chandler's poor 1st quarter play offered no choice. He ended up completing 16 for 31 passes and gaining 188 yards but did lose the game to Arizona Cardinals 31-7. The St Louis Dispatch reported that Martin hadn't thrown a pass in an NFL game in two years, which, "is a lot different than just tossing the ball around in the back yard." Looks like Bulger will back next week and if he holds up, Martin ought to playing football with the kids on a regular basis again after the season's over.

New playgroup: I'd like to welcome Tom Irwin of Baltimore County, MD to the playgroup mix he's at

Posted by athomedad at 1:26 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 21 December 2004 1:51 PM EST
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Monday, 20 December 2004
I am a Bum
Topic: articles
New Page 1

Here's an excellent Monday morning read from Tom Chartier out of Tom played lead guitar in legendary Los Angeles punk band The Rotters for 26 years  It's titled I am a Bum, and proves that this guy  is the ultra coolest at home dad of all.

Here's an excerpt:

You see I've managed to weasel my way into a couple of coveted situations and if weaseling your way into things isn't The American Way I don't know what is. First, I'm a house husband. My job is to hang out with my son. Oh sure, this means I won't get the penthouse suite, a company limo and will never get to sit with Wayne Gretzky in his luxury box at the Staples Center but I don't really care. I will also never get to make underlings squirm in terror at the thought of being told their services will no longer be required, but "say hello to the wife and kids and don't forget the fruit basket on your way out." Oh sure, it's a sacrifice but I am willing to make it. Oddly enough, unlike most of the big Kahunas out there standing center-ring running the show, these things don't give me any satisfaction. I don't even enjoy humiliating people, ruining lives or squashing bugs. So I guess there's no point in me running for office but...I don't care! And of course as Mr. Mom, I have to go to the store, do the laundry, clean the house and cook dinner. So what? I go to the store and come back with a heap of steaks, ribs, grillin' salmon flanks, corn on the cob, charcoal, ice-cream bars and cases of beer. Real American men live for these things. Do we ever let our wives even touch the BBQ? Hell no! That's our turf! And, I do not come home with broccoli, cauliflower or meat loaf fixins! Yeah, I gotta make the spawn do his homework but again so what? I don't sweat the small stuff. Whadaya mean you didn't get it done?! Oh well, neither did I and I'm a huge success. So let's go work on that balsa wood airplane kit and see if it flies. I do what most American men fear in their worst nightmares breaking out in a cold sweat, I take care of the house and kids! NO!!!! Well, let me tell you, they don't know what they are missing. read entire article 

Posted by athomedad at 10:24 AM EST
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Friday, 17 December 2004
at-home dad escapee
Topic: bad dads
New Page 1

I'm off to a Christmas party tonight, and it looks like my fellow daddy bloggers are quiet too, some probably decking it till 2005.  I didn't  feel like posting today either but I was reading this one media story from the Hawkeye newspaper out of Burlington, Iowa. Apparently a prisoner escaped from their local jail. Looking for clues, they found he listed his last occupation as a stay?at?home dad. If you are going to a Christmas party tonight and see this guy (he's probably the one drinking the most vodka) call the sheriff's office. 

Oh yes they also wrote: "he was previously charged with escape in August, but those charges were later dropped." (I guess when they caught him outside the prison last time they didn't have enough evidence.)

Posted by athomedad at 5:26 PM EST
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Thursday, 16 December 2004
married adults are healthiest but dad might be fatter
Topic: Stats
Married Adults are Healthiest but

I have great respect for people like Charlotte Schoenborn, a 20 year Health statistician veteran who headed up this government report. When reading it, I felt like I was looking at the chart at left, it's cool, and straightforward, but didn't mean anything to me. That's why we need people like Charlotte to dig through the data and turn it into this user friendly report released yesterday from the National Center for Health Statistics. This dumbed down "E-Z report" knocked out the following bullets:

  • Married adults are less likely than other adults to be in fair or poor health, and are less likely to suffer from health conditions such as headaches and serious psychological distress.

  • Married adults are less likely be limited in various activities, including work and other activities of daily living.

  • Married adults are less likely to smoke, drink heavily or be physically inactive. However, married men are more likely to be overweight or obese than other men.

  • Adults who live in cohabiting relationships are more likely to have health problems than married adults and more closely resemble divorced and separated adults.

  • The association between marital status and health is most striking in the youngest age group although it persists throughout the age groups studied.

This morning I asked Charlotte the loaded question, "Why are married men were more likely to be overweight than "other men?". She wasn't allowed to give out her opinion and wanted to leave it to "us" to come up with any speculation. So I offered her just that, "Could it be that the married man tends to be around the house more, and has more time around the frig?" She paused a bit, then, commented, "Could be... a stable environment could mean a stable food supply".

Don't think I could have worded it any better...

Posted by athomedad at 1:50 PM EST
Updated: Saturday, 18 December 2004 4:24 PM EST
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Tuesday, 14 December 2004
The perfect at-home dad media storm.
Topic: international dads

It looks like Japan is beginning to experience the media treatment we got in the mid 90's when at-home dads were "discovered". Back then, the US media was set abuzz when the US Census reported the nearly 2 million at-home dads number that was heard around the world. Japans Aera Shimbun magazine caught the drift of the US reports and even did a story on the trend (they used the photo at left)

Now Japan has 3 home dad media events colliding at the same time, creating the perfect At-Home Dad media storm.

1. Japan's report from the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry stating "The number of househusbands entitled to receive the same benefits as their female counterparts has doubled since fiscal 1996 to 80,108 in fiscal 2003" The Japan Times has a piece where they note of slight signs of emerging social flexibility over gender roles, quoting from an yet to be released government report, (it's coming out in June) saying the number of working women was set to rise sharply by 2020 and that "househusbands will become less unusual" around that time.

2. A new TV show titled At-Home Dad (mmm sounds familiar) featuring two at-home dads one unemployed and the other a veteran dad.

a sample of the commentary below courtesy of

Miki: Say, I hear the husband next door is quite a guy. He's a homemaker.
Kazuyuki: Huh? The man next door? You mean he's a male homemaker?
Miki: Yes. I hear the wife is doing quite well in her job, so the husband quit his job and became a homemaker.
Kazuyuki: He quit his job? Doesn't he have any pride as a man?
Miki: Hey. People all have their different circumstances.

3. A book titled "Shufu no Tashinami" as reported here The title means Wisdom of Househusbands; it is described as a "handbook for househusbands." (that sounds familiar too!)

What took my interest was this quote from same Japan Times above from an expert on child-care issues, she believes that the TV drama became popular because it showed a married couple's lifestyle that goes "half a step ahead of the times." Is the show a precursor of things to come in Japan?

The best expert I could find to answer this question was Casey Spencer of the LA Playgroup. He hadn't seen the At-Home Dad show but had a chance to visit Japan with his family for a few years and has offered me his "crude first take on the subject:"

In my opinion, Japanese TV shows play on crudeness and exaggeration. "Travel shows" are an example: overly enthusiastic, chatty actors visit a hotel or restaurant, tour the grounds, and interview chef ? then gorge themselves in graphic close-up shots with all of the munching, slurping and food-dribbling that bad taste will allow.

I think the dad TV show will appeal to Japanese women, who get great mileage out of complaining that their husbands never do anything around the house ? a stereotype that is well-earned, at least by past generations. Then again, the same women raise their sons to be spoiled, dependent, helpless babies who naturally grow up needing ongoing care & feeding. A favorite (but only quietly repeated) phrase among women is, "A good husband is healthy and absent."

I will agree that the current crop of Japanese mothers want more of what they see as the American dream ? freedom from stereotypical roles. and more social and economic equality - - - which will demand that men pitch in more than one or two begrudging hours per week.

If the show is actually a kindly one, it could possibly teach Japanese fathers a thing or two. They DO want to be closer to their kids, to teach their children hands-on skills and ways to cope, but most of the role models were away at work 70 hours per work so there is no model. And the moms cleverly get in the way of Daddy taking over their sacred turf - - - even as they grumble that he can't iron a shirt or open his own beer can.

Posted by athomedad at 2:10 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 14 December 2004 2:18 PM EST
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