Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Never Too Small to Kick the Ball

When does one officially become a parent? The night you survive an all-night colic session? The minute you're singing kid show theme tunes to yourself? The time you see yourself in the grocery store window with nap head, three-day growth and mismatched sweats? Those are definite indicators, but I crossed into the deep parenthood realm by signing young Maceo to his first 8-week class: Bug Ball.

Bug Ball takes place in an indoor soccer facility. It's run by coaches who help kids do fun age-appropriate things that involve el juego bonito. They roll the ball with their feet. They learn to share. They jump through hoops, literally, and work on balance and coordination. They do a lot of running around and kicking the ball. So for eight weeks, we packed him up and shlepped him off to the Bug Ball facility for a Saturday morning fun run. It's perfect for my son, who displayed a lot of advanced talent at running in stride with the ball (see above).

Or so I thought.

Maceo paid attention probably 30 percent of the time. Other times he's off in his own world, flopping on his back to look at the ceiling or to run to his bag for a juice break. I was a bit disappointed he wasn't sending long crosses to fellow Bug Ballers or dispossessing the other kids and burying the ball into the top right corner. He starts out good but loses interest fast, unless it involves kicking the ball into other people.

My hopes aren't totally dashed. I have to keep reminding myself, he's only 2.5 years old. Other parents have told (consoled?) me that when year 3 comes around, something switches inside them and they become more manageable. Maceo connects the dots that Saturday = Bug Ball, and that's kick. So maybe he won't make the FC Barça developmental squad by age 9 like phenom Bojan Krkic) but it doesn't hurt to dream.


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Santa, Can I Get A Hat That Fits?

Via Peter Hall (a design writer and lecturer in Austin, and a rice daddy himself), writing in Metropolis magazine, news that Asian heads are in fact differently-shaped than other heads.

In 1998, Burton Snowboards saw that helmet sales in Japan didn't match sales in the US and Europe. When the designer Roger Ball investigated, Japanese shredders told him "We have a different-shaped head than you!"

Now an assistant professor of design in Hong Kong, Ball created a team in 2004 to research Asian head shapes. This research culminates soon in Size China, the world's first digital database of Chinese head and face shapes.

In a nutshell, from the Metropolis article: Western heads are generally more oval and appear to have the corners "filled out". Earlier research reported here on Rice Daddies indicates Asian heads come equipped with better ear wax.

This research data will lead to better-fitting helmet designs for the Asian market (and eBay). It may be too late for my own shredding days, but here's hoping that our kids' heads are well protected.

We're on Alltop, baby!

I've been a fan of Guy Kawasaki's blog-topic-feed-aggregator Alltop since I first learned about it from Citymama just a month ago. It's a great timesaver and an at-a-glance way to keep up with what's going on in certain topic areas of the blogosphere, like getting to see the rss feed reader of a really well-read friend. In my work life, I've been enjoying the Social Media and Journalism topics, and, of course, checking out how the other half lives on the Moms page.

Alltop launched with the Moms topic already on board, and as they've been adding channels, I've been waiting for dads to come up. And now, they have! has a lot of familiar names, including, of course, our own MetroDad right up at the top in first position. But the coolest thing is that we're there too, thanks to a tip from MJ, the head-nanay-in-charge over at Filipina Moms. (Salamat po, mare!) [Was that right? I'm only pinoy by marriage, heh.]

So, that means two things: One, my brothas, better get your typing fingers in gear cuz now we got people watching! And two, uh, Guy? Email us. Seriously. You've got four kids! You're a mack daddy Rice Daddy. Join us!

[Oh, one more thing. Looking at other channels, I noticed that most of them, in the Alltop bar that stays static on your screen as you scroll, have a link to the main Alltop page--but on the Dads page, it says, "Perhaps we can interest you in our Sports and Autos topics." It's just me, but I thought that was hilarious. I love niche marketing. Heh.]

Thursday, March 06, 2008

NYT: New dad faces fatherhood alone

This is heartbreaking: a Sri Lankan-born legal permanent resident in New York City lost his Taiwanese-born naturalized citizen wife after she died, inexplicably and unexpectedly, weeks after their son was born. His mother-in-law can't move in to help because she needs to stay in a nursing home to qualify for Social Security benefits, the couple's friends and co-workers from her bank job and his sandwich shop job are helping all they can, but--here's the kicker: the U.S. government won't approve a tourist visa for the new dad's sister (he has no family here) because she can't prove she'll go back and because helping take care of her newborn nephew constitutes childcare and thus could be construed as work (that she'd be taking away from an American). Tai Ling Feng, Indika Arachchige, and baby Arachchige, you are in our thoughts.

[via Angry Asian Man]

Monday, March 03, 2008

Challenge Update: 2 for 1 Matching Expires SUNDAY, March 9th

You may be wondering why the deadline for 2 for 1 matching falls on such an inconspicuous date. Let's just say that March 9 is the birthday of a certain... RiceDaddy.

So, in lieu of birthday gifts, be generous with your donation to the RiceDaddies Empowerment in Diversity Challenge, and take pride in the fact that your donation will be worth TRIPLE what it would've been worth had it not been for 2 for 1 donation matching.


Launched in June 2007, the RiceDaddies Empowerment in Diversity Challenge aims to mitigate the marginalizing effects of diversity-negligent pop culture and media by funding innovative educational programs that do the following:
  • Promote positive images of ourselves for our children
  • Promote positive images of ourselves for other people and their children
  • Develop skills in our children that empower them to be leaders in the world in which we live
  • Promote pride in one's culture instead of shame
  • Promote self-respect and appreciation for others like ourselves
  • Develop our children's ability to use their imaginations in an empowering way
  • Encourage our children to be who they truly are

Instrucciones para cuidar un bebé

I dont know why the blog's in Spanish per se, but here from makememinimal is a concise, clear, visual-based guide to infant parenting that any new rice daddy or rice mommy would be proud to own.

Print out your own copy today. Or don't, I cant read the copyright info, it's in Spanish, and I took French in high school. Quelle useless.