Uncle Nick’s Enchanted Forest 14 through 19: The Blizzard Webisodes

Uncle Nick’s Enchanted Forest 14 through 19: The Blizzard Webisodes

From January 22nd to the 24th, I filmed 6 webisodes of Uncle Nick’s Enchanted Forest. Similar to the way I filmed 4 webisodes after the Christmas 2015 flash flood, I took advantage of the weather condition, making it the plotline of these half a dozen webisodes.

And starting with Webisode 18, I introduce a fun new theme song as well as a new animal hat…

I’ve gotten to the point where I pretty much just keep my camera, tripod, and Uncle Nick costume in my car with me; in order that I can always be prepared to shoot an episode on the spot.

Good thing I was ready on Friday, January 22nd, when the blizzard kicked in. I have a coworker, Shane Moore, who is quick and faithful to help me out with some of the shoots.

So he served as my camera man and assistant director for the first 2 webisodes of the blizzard story arc.

Webisode 14 features Mama Bear and Baby Bear, who get separated during the beginning of the blizzard. It’s up to Uncle Nick to reunite them!

In Webisode 15, we are introduced to a poor little homeless Husky who is stranded out in the middle of the snow storm. Uncle Nick must find her a new home to get her warm.

The remaining 4 webisodes of the blizzard story arc were filmed Saturday and Sunday morning; just me and my tripod.

Webisode 16 finds Piper the Penguin frozen to the ice. Uncle Nick must find a place to keep her safe until the other penguins return.

In Webisode 17, Uncle Nick must resuscitate a lizard he finds who is literally freezing in the river.

Then in Webisode 18, Uncle Nick encounters a sleepwalking pig, who is headed towards a frozen lake.

And finally, in Webisode 19, Uncle Nick must discover, and uncover, a frozen frog on a log.

In the next story arc of episodes, the plot will definitely be thickening…

If you haven’t checked out my Uncle Nick series, I encourage you to, with a younger child next to you. I predict it will be an engaging experience.

What I’ve Learned From Not Checking My Facebook Homepage For 30 Days

What I’ve Learned From Not Checking My Facebook Homepage For 30 Days

I’m not against Facebook. I think it’s a great thing. However, a month ago I had to go 4 days without any Internet (and therefore, Facebook) as we were moving into our new house.

When I finally did check Facebook, I realized that life went out without me… and I didn’t feel like I missed anything.

Prepare for the Hallmark movie cliché, but it showed me that my family right in front of me is all that really matters.

So from there I decided to stop checking my Facebook homepage for the following month; that time period ended today. However, the 30 day self-assigned pledge has inspired me to continue staying off my Facebook homepage.

I no longer am exposed to snarky, annoying, self-serving comments; including being tempted to post my own. My exposure to negativity has decreased by 100%; though I admit there’s probably not a true way to measure the validity of that percentage decrease.

But I feel it. I feel great. My quality of life has improved since nixing my Facebook homepage.

There is something called “FOMO” (fear of missing out) that is apparently increased by social media. Apparently, I have less subconscious anxiety in my life because I have less exposure to the news I’m apparently missing out on.

Can you gossip about yourself? If so, Facebook is the platform. I’d rather not tune in to people gossiping about themselves, about the the news, about groups of people, or whatever else can fall into that category.

I should point out too that I cancelled the ability for my phone to receive any messages based on Facebook activity too.

What I’ve Learned From Not Checking My Facebook Homepage For 30 Days

Another part of my pledge was to only start publishing new posts here on Family Friendly Daddy Blog on Thursdays, which helps me focus on living “real life” with my family and not being distracted by daily focusing on publishing new stuff.

That decision has proven successful for me. I am happier now that I am only posting new material one night per week, all at once. Therefore, that’s really the only time I’m needing to log in to Facebook anywhere.

I don’t feel socially disconnected since locking myself out of my Facebook homepage.

Friday begins the National Day of Unplugging (March 6-7, 2015). Of course, I’m taking the pledge. It’s pretty much my life now anyway.

It’s not right for everybody, but it’s definitely right for me. In the past month I have learned that my personal happiness can truly be measured by my lack of exposure to my Facebook homepage and having to feel pressured to daily post new stuff on my blog.

Feast, The Animated Short That Plays Before Big Hero 6: Family Friendly Review

Feast, The Animated Short That Plays Before Big Hero 6: Family Friendly Review

Right before the magnificent movie Big Hero 6 begins, there is an animated short called Feast.

It was so good that I wish it was its own 90 minute movie.

Here’s a preview…

The animation style is clever and unique, as the camera points to the floor, where a man offers a stray puppy a French fry, which leads to the man adopting the dog and naming him Winston. From there, the owner makes a habit of giving Winston table scraps on top of his bowl of dry dog food.

Over the months, this lucky dog enjoys quite the daily feast. One fateful day, his owner even takes him to a restaurant to dine together!

Feast, The Animated Short That Plays Before Big Hero 6: Family Friendly Review

His owner eventually meets the woman who soon becomes his girlfriend.

All the time, the camera avoids showing the humans’ upper halves; it’s pretty much a dog’s eye view the whole time.

The plotline thickens as the new girlfriend begins consuming his owner’s attention; therefore, gone are the days on feasting off table scraps.

Not only does the dog lose his feasting privileges in the process, but he becomes lonely for the first time in his life.

Quality time and gifts (food) were how the owner showed his love for Winston; but the new girlfriend changed all that.

Until the day his owner and the girlfriend broke up.

Feast, The Animated Short That Plays Before Big Hero 6: Family Friendly Review

Back came the tables scraps, as the dog’s owner essentially becomes a glutton as he tries to get over the break up.

While Winston greatly appreciates the gourmet meals again, he can clearly see his owner his not happy.

Without a happy owner, the dog realizes he can’t truly enjoy the table scraps.

I won’t give away the ending, but Winston leads his owner back to the restaurant where the now ex-girlfriend works…

Feast, The Animated Short That Plays Before Big Hero 6: Family Friendly Review

Again, all this is done from an under the table dog’s eye view. Not to mention, few words are actually ever spoken. They are mostly unnecessary for this beautiful little romantic comedy in which the dog is the protagonist.

My wish is that Disney would make this mini-movie into a full-length 90 minute feature film. I think the concept is big enough to work.

So, Disney, what do you say?

P.S. I now invite you to read my family friendly review of Big Hero 6!

It Looks Like My Facebook Friends Are Questioning Bipartisanship

This week on Facebook, during the midterm elections, I’ve been watching something refreshing and basically atypical for the social media network: I noticed an overall lack in faith and loyalty to bipartisanship.

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Instead of watching people try to convert each other to vote Republican or Democrat, I saw people questioning the American bipartisanship system.

I watched people remind each other through their status updates that it’s irresponsible to simply vote blindly either all Republican or Democrat.

It seems like I’m witnessing a large enough group of the voting population gravitating towards Libertarianism; in other words, it appears people are beginning to vote what they believe is right for our country, not what is simply and easily right for the Republican or Democratic agendas; which are undeniably financed and promoted accordingly; via Fox News or CNN.

If you find yourself already getting apathetic about the next Presidential election because you’re tired of seeing a back and forth game between the two main political parties, there’s a good chance you’re actually closer to being a Libertarian more than anything.

Often it begins with a person saying they no longer care about politics.

However, that apathy is most likely towards uncompromising bipartisanship itself. I think that now, enough people are tired of being forced to pick the candidate they dislike the least; because that’s a horrible way to look at our election process.

I think enough people are realizing that the main 2 candidates are ultimately puppets who are simply endorsing either the Republican (backed by Fox News) or Democratic (backed by CNN) parties.

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By 2016, we may not be ready for a Libertarian candidate… but I do believe we’re getting much closer to have that collective mindset as a nation.

I predict that it will begin when a future elected President will identify as a Libertarian, but run as a Republican.

From there, the slippery slope will begin and the door will be open for American Presidents to rely less on bipartisanship to win the election.

And then eventually, it will no longer be considered “just a wasted vote” to endorse a Libertarian candidate.

My prediction for the 2016 Presidential Election: If Ben Carson runs as a Republican against anyone else, he will win. I believe he’s the most “middle of the road” candidate we’ve seen in a long time and people are ready for that.

However, I believe if he doesn’t run, and Hillary Clinton does, that she will win.

This could actually get pretty interesting…

Ben Carson vs. Hillary Clinton 2016

Clorox Apologizes For Their Offensive “New Dads” Article

June 28, 2013 at 11:57 pm , by 

2 years, 7 months.

Dear Jack,

Have I ever had to apologize for a misunderstood satirical comment I’ve made in social media? Yes.

To publish a 400 word blog post 25 times a month puts me in a potentially vulnerable and dangerous situation. So I am trying to be compassionate with the people responsible for the current Clorox fiasco/social media nightmare.

After all, some people are having the worst week ever (!) right now and I would hate to come across as a bully.

So in order to explain what happened, I’ll start with the beginning… no, actually it would make more sense to start with the most recent part of the story. Here’s what Clorox posted on Facebook today:

“As you may have seen we recently removed a website article, ‘New Dads’, that was a part of a series of humor pieces on modern parenting. It was never our intention to diminish the important role of dads. The dad who wrote the piece for us actually was trying to poke fun at the caricature of ‘the hapless dad.’ To some of you it didn’t come across that way and we apologize. We’ve been talking with many of you throughout the day and appreciate the feedback.”

You may be wondering what the removed article said. Well, even though it was “removed,” I still found it, right here.

I do want to point out some of the article’s most offensive/bizarre lines. The most infamous and most quoted one is found in the introduction:

“Like dogs or other house pets, new Dads are filled with good intentions but lacking the judgment and fine motor skills to execute well.”

The article soon warns that new dads may put clothing on their child backwards and that “hip-hop fashions should wait a couple of years.”

Then there’s the weird line about exposing infants to reality TV shows, referring to the colorful moving yell-box.”

And comparing an infant’s eating habits to “a spastic Harlem Shake dancer.”

Mmm… and then the reference to The Hangover movie… I guess:

Casino: Some new dads have been inspired by raunchy comedies to bring babies to inappropriate places like casinos, pool halls, and poetry readings. None of these places are healthy for baby. If Dad needs persuading, just tell him that babies are terrible tippers and can never make bank shots.”

Uh… what?!

(I’m going to pretend I didn’t just see the phrase “poetry readings.”)

This Clorox story is viral right now because so many people see this thing as offensive. Sure, I totally see where they’re coming from. In fact, my friend at 8BitDad, Zach Rosenberg, points at why this “humor piece” is not sitting well with a lot of parents:

“The problem is that these toxic images and jokes at the expense of dads do a couple of things: they continue the ignorant thinking that only mothers can care for babies. These images attempt to widen the divide between moms and dads – where dad is forced to be one of the kids and mom is burdened with all of the housework. These images discourage fathers from being the best that they can be – hey, if Clorox thinks dads shouldn’t touch the baby, maybe we should skip the grueling newborn phase, dump the baby on mom and go hang out with our buddies? Where does that leave us?”

I totally agree!

At the same time, I personally struggle with finding the Clorox article to be offensive; mainly because I’m so distracted at the very bizarre attempt at humor.

Clorox is evidently currently protecting the identify of the freelance writer who wrote it, but I can’t help but get the feeling that the dad doesn’t have much experience blogging in regards to parenting.

I assume it’s common knowledge in the parenting blogging community that it’s beyond taboo to insult either moms or dads, as a group. Sure, you can make fun of yourself, as an individual parent, but not an entire gender; even in satire.

The tone of the Clorox ad is so literally unbelievable and unnatural that I actually wondered if it was an Internet troll that hacked the Clorox website somehow.

In their Facebook apology, Clorox proclaims, “To some of you it didn’t come across that way and we apologize.”

Well, uh… it’s just that usually there’s some kind of hint that something is satire, if it truly is intended to be. However, nothing about the article hints at being satirical… or more importantly, even funny.

I’ve spent the past 24 hours reading related articles (and comments on those articles) and I’ve yet to find one person who thought the article was actually humorous.

Is it offensive? Yes, to many.

Is it funny? No… in fact, it’s so awkward, I’m going to back away now while smiling and nodding my head…

 

Love,

Daddy