Friday, October 16, 2009

Parenting - 2009

Que sera sera.

That about sums it up. I find parenting to be a guilt filled venture.

In the olden days it was the church and your family telling you how to raise them. Or I guess your religion and culture would be more accurate than "the church". That's just my upbrining. The Church is always well related to The Government. So they told us how to raise our children. How many times to hit them when they did this, instilling the fear of an omnipotent God in them for those we didn't catch, and how long to put them in jail when they grew up and we figured they were killing a few too many of the more useful people in our little group.

Then Democracy hit. With it came free markets. So not only did a man have the freedom to speak, but also to make as much money as he could fit in his big fat gullet. The Corporation began to become a being, with it came funding. With funding came science. Lots of it. Within 100 years democratic countries went from horse and buggy to nuclear, nanotech, microchip and everything else. By opening the markets, the nation grows fat on Corporate tax, but thing is, when people give a lot of money to you, you gotta start listening to them. Suddenly The Church means less.

With the drop in spirituality, so comes the change in the family unit. People are becoming increasingly polygamous, even if we don't see it. We're having children with multiple partners more often. It means for the sake of this essay that the effect of the family on raising children is different.

People are increasingly influenced by the science of child raising. This of course is provided in large part by Universities that get research funding from all sorts of great places. Places with lots of money to spend. So we get breakthroughs in the materials our children are in contact with - Lead and BPA are two of the more prominent breathroughs of this type in the past while. But they spark massive purging and binging sessions as old products are discarded for new. Advancements in child psychology and biology has this mass of information bombarding parents with facts and statistics, some very contradictory (I've seen VERY strong arguments AGAINST c0-sleeping in recent weeks, in sharp contrast to past research I've done). Of course with every new discovery comes a product or a book or a DVD. Because of this potential for money making, there is a lot of shock factor and guilt delivered with their announcements. It shoots up sales. The longer you keep it in the press cycle, the more units you sell.

I'm getting tired of the research and the guilt. I want to find my own path to parenting. Maybe it won't be the right path, but even with all the research and perfect living, well you're condemning yourself to a pretty stressful and boring life. I want to live a little closer to the edge. Emotionally, spiritually and parentally. I want to tickle my child well past the point that you could call it torture. I want to let her scream at the bedroom door for her mom. I don't want to worry about the cup that she drinks from or the food that she eats. I want to be a little negligent, so they can learn to become independent.

And I want ramen noodles for lunch on Saturdays in the winter.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Oh how I ache.

So I discovered this week the wonderful charm of desk-related injury from work. I'm usually pretty achy in the joints in the fall, but mix in my inexperience at a desk and you have an explosive mixture for disaster. (duh duh duh).

I managed to get through Friday with the help of a couple friends called Amanda and Ibuprophen. Sadly, it means I didn't get to celebrate the first TCK show with a drink, but it did allow me to play a great show. A lot of folk showed up, kinda funny, it was the biggest crowd I think I've played since Kerosene. Tonnes of fun, we even made some money and got ourselves another show! Now to figure out how we're gonna make it through the next show... possible longer set and lack of polished material are going to factor in strongly. I should also mention in addition to Amanda and Ibuprophen, the rest of the guys in the band helped me with my heavier gear, a pretty integral part of playing a show.

I made crepes this morning for breakfast. I like making crepes, people think pretty highly of them and yet they are PAINFULLY easy to make. I tell ya, "The Joy of Cooking" is one of those books every household should own. Like the Anarchists Cookbook and How to Program with JavaScript.

I have 2 ocarinas. Real life ocarinas. I have no idea how to play them or where I'd use them. Maybe it's a summer camping project.

But is sounds like the girls are getting out of the tub, which means... dad time soon.

Thursday, October 08, 2009


So a debate is raging at our house right now over the "Spanking Law" currently under discussion in the Senate. Rhonda is firmly on the side that yes, we should criminalize spanking, I could not think of a more ridiculous way to deal with this issue.

I'm having a great deal of difficulty with this debate, because of my often stated fact that I don't think spanking does a lick of harm. Advocates against argue that there is no communication. I think cause-effect. A child puts hand on burner, burn happens. Communication has occured. Child is stealing dog food-hand slapped- communication occurs. The problem is the definition of communication is set by the anti-spanking folks, and well we all know how that works in debates.


Frankly I understand that my views on spanking are outdated. This is not something I'm gonna change overnight. Just like my grandparents occasionally referring to black people with the magic N word still happens although they know it's not acceptable practice, It's just they're upbringing, so will my views on spanking likely linger my entire life. It's a struggle I will have to endure, and try to do the best for my children, no matter what my personal views are.

What I'm most opposed to is the criminalization of spanking. Rhonda's biggest argument is that spanking is outdated and cruel and we need to do something about it. I find it ludicrous that we're planning on dealing with an outdated and cruel punishment with another outdated and cruel punishment. Jailing and fining people for spanking will not change peoples opinions of spanking, it will only further oppress those who frankly were just raised to think it was right, making they're lives harder and increasing the possibility of incidents that go further than a swat on the butt or slap on the wrist. Full on abuse cases will increase as people try and cope with the fact that they're only known form of discipline has been taken away. Not to mention we all know that the best way to make a criminal is to send them to jail. As to fines.. .well it just lets the rich beat they're kids while the poor are persecuted.

I contest that if we're taking society's ability to spank as a discipinary tactic away, then we are compelled to take criminal imprisonment and fines away. If we are truly trying to move to the next level of society then our governments and leaders need to show us non-violent and non-oppresive discipline before they begin to force it on us.

I'm not arguing that spaking is right. I'm arguing that making it a crime is wrong.

Monday, October 05, 2009

The Pilot' World Orchestra

I've always been someone who has a love of rich full sounding music. I like "epic".

I'd like to share with you a list of instuments, both rare and common that I would have in my perfect "orchestra".

The Beam - a gigantic custom built instument using 24 piano strings it is perhaps most famous in its use on the soundtrack of the film - Chronos. I love it's singing highs and it's rumbling lows.

The Glass Harmonica - invented by Benjamin Franklin, this is a haunting instument that is really just a mechanized version of the ol' wet finger on a wine glass trick. Bet you never knew what they used for that high part in Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy -

The Pipe Organ - You Tube can't do this instrument justice... maybe it's my Catholic upbringing but something about the pipe organ shakes me to my very cockles. No wonder the church uses it... how could you not be inspired by this thing!

The Vibraphone - Ah the great calm after the pipe organs and beams. This is one of the most relaxing and immersive instruments on my list. I just fall right in. My favourite performance is actually on a contemporary track, "Wake Up" by Mad Season. Not a spectacular complex song, but wow... emotion

Timpany - Well we need some more percussion don't we? Lordy.. .this list is full of it. Who can resist the timpany, when I was in school I would spare no effort to try and play the timpany in the band room at least once a week.

Tubular Bells - another old favourite from band class. It's the peircing nature of this one that I love so.

Moog Synth - well c'mon - aside from revolutionizing music, it might be the best instument invented in the past 300 years.

So there's a good start to my orchestra. I'm sure there are many more... not sure how to get all these together, or even what we'd play, but they shape my sound and what I love about music.

What instruments do you like?

Thursday, October 01, 2009


mmmm. One of the side-effects of marrying Rhonda is that I've become a real coffee snob. We've got our favourite coffees, grind our own every morning and have graduated from the peice of shit Black and Decker drip coffee maker to a French-press. Tres chiq.

I'm really enjoying the French-pressed coffee.. more flavour, less bitter. The only method of making coffee I like more is the percoltor we use when we're camping. Of course it could have to do with the fact that my coffee is 50% Baileys when we're camping. Nah.

Oh and it makes me ponder why people drink Tim Hortons coffee... but then I guess no one said society was SMART.