Say It Ain’t So: 2012 Ice Cream Crisis!



I try not to have regrets. Life is too short to worry about what might have been. However, the Dude missed two career paths that have left trails of regret.

1. Zamboni driver. You know. That car-type thing that cleans the ice at hockey games. Always seemed like a great job. I should have earned some college money driving the school zamboni.


2. Ice cream man. Awesome high school summer job. It’s mindless. Outside, somewhat. And you’re driving a truckload of happiness. Perfect summer job.

I’ve pretty much moved on from these regrets, but now that summer is here, and Little Dude learned what the “i-deem-man” does, it’s all flooding back.

The ice cream man is a pretty hilarious concept.

$3 for one of what you can buy a box at the store. .But somehow it makes sense because a dude in a truck, that’s about to breakdown, is selling it out of his window.

Okay. Two please.

At the beginning of the summer it’s great. Once. Maybe twice. After a few weeks, it settles in that this dude is coming everyday. And the kids want ice cream. Everyday.

Kids and parents react instinctual. Consistently, the same reactions. Kids scream. Amazing, ridiculous screams. And may run around in circles.

Parents, hang their head and slouch their shoulders – like their favorite team just lost a big game – knowing they are about to get ripped off.

Little Dude now recognizes the “i-deem-man’s” music and knows that it leads to a truck with delicious snacks.

It’s pretty adorable.

Dada. I-deem-man. I-deem-man.


Which is why I’m dismayed to learn that the there is a 2012 Ice Cream Crisis. Don’t tell Little Dude. He’ll be heart broken.

Good Humor is short on the Toasted Almond, Chocolate Eclair, and Candy Center Crunch in the Northeast. They are blaming it on an unusually warm spring.

Is this a plot to get us to believe in climate change?

And why only the Northeast?

Those aren’t popular on the west coast.

No taste buds in Cali?

Dude’s News: The Holiday Edition

Passed Thanksgiving and fast on the way to Christmas. How does time move so quickly? The older we get the faster it moves? Or do kids do that to us? It’s hard to keep track of what’s going on in the chaotic circle of the Dudes.

As a result of the fast gallop that life is taking into the future, the Dude has once again accumulated some tasty morsels of internet sweetness. This edition of Dude’s News will be a bit of a potpourri, but there will be some holiday tinged items to keep us festive.

Local News

The resident photographer was out at a meeting the other night, so the Dude got to enjoy a solo dinner with the kiddos. Dinner conversation with the kids is always fun. The Princess generally leads the way.

Princess: I don’t like sweet potatoes. I don’t like sweets.

Dude: Sweet potatoes aren’t that sweet.

After a minute of contemplation. Princess: I like candy. It’s a type of sweet.

This exchange is followed immediately by, Princess: But I don’t want dessert tonight.

Dude: Ok.

Princess: Mom gave me a consequence this afternoon; no dessert. But I’m all right with it. Mom gave me a choice – tv or dessert – and I chose dessert. I felt like telling the truth would be better because later you would have said, Princess why didn’t you tell the truth?

She’s right, I would have. I congratulated her on telling the truth, and we talked about what happened while we finished dinner.

As I was clearing the table, Princess: But Mom said I could choose not to sleep in my bed, and that’s what I chose. I’ll just have to sleep in the bean bag.

Dude: No, that’s a punishment for us dealing with a tired version of you tomorrow.

She’s crafty, just like her mother.

In other local news, Princess finally has a loose tooth! Hasn’t fallen out yet, but it’s on the way. And, the boy’s hair is growing fast and furious. We are officially passed the one year mark (Thanksgiving) since his last haircut. Awesome.

Evolution of a Crazy Man

Evolution of a Crazy Man

Say It Ain’t So
Is the U.S. government seriously considering pizza as a vegetable?! For real?! This is some sort of bizzarro world, right? House of Representatives say pizza = vegetable. 🙁

 11 Best Illustrated Children’s & Picture Books of 2011
Unfortunately, I can’t say that I’ve read all (or any) of these books, but they all seem pretty dope, so I figured I’d share.

Street Skiing
When I grew up, we use to drive six hours to Upstate New York for a week long ski vacation each year. We had friends that lived in NY, so it was a good excuse to visit and enjoy a week of skiing at the local mountain.

This dates me a bit, but snowboarding wasn’t even really an option at that point. It was skiing or nothing. By the time I hit college, I traded in the skies for a snowboard, and I never really looked back. Skiing seemed dated to me.

But skiing has regained much of its coolness over the years, and this video actually made me envy skiers again. Thanks Kottke.


Super rad, right? But back to my original point. Long distance family road trips. Awesome…in a grueling way.

We took a trip to West Virginia for Thanksgiving. It was a great time in the mountains with family, but the seven hour car ride was a bit challenging. Anytime with two adults, two children, three dogs, plus luggage, locked in a vehicle for seven hours is going to be tough. Now mix in some puke, and you have a legendary (or is it normal?) family road trip.

The Princess got sick about five minutes after we entered the car for the ride home. She handled it like a champ, and there was no sign of sickness the next day. Made for a brutal trip, but glad it passed quickly.

Good times.

Free education…that’s fun?! Can’t be. But it is. Check out this awesome site ( that is so simple, but such an amazing idea.

Over the years, I’ve realized how important – and cool – math really is, but figured I squandered my opportunities in school to truly understand it. Strange considering my Dad is a math professor. But Khan Academy has given me the gift of free math tutoring that is easy and fun…for real. And although they (really just he) started with math, there are all sorts of new topics coming online.

Here’s how the site describes itself:

Watch. Practice.
Learn almost anything for free.
With a library of over 2,700 videos covering everything from arithmetic to physics, finance, and history and 253 practice exerciseswe’re on a mission to help you learn what you want, when you want, at your own pace.

The Dude is a big fan of education. Not necessarily “formal education,” but learning in general. It’s fun to learn new things, and beyond love, it’s probably the most important aspect of life. So we is that we start to learn?

How about before we’re born?! Sweet! This is a cool TED talk


Surf Break
Everyone needs a little surf in their life. Here’s your dose for today with a surfer with one of the coolest names, Taj. (Thanks Kid)


Christmas List!
For all of those hard to shop for little dudes and dudettes, here is the Dude’s absolutely favorite list of the 5 Best Toys of All Time from Wired Magazine.

If you know Wired, you’re probably expecting some sweet technical gadgets, but be prepared to be amazed by simplicity. Love it.

In the first edition of Dude’s News I mentioned an article that discusses that early humans (as in 100,000 year old humans) were intelligent enough to seek out and mix materials to create paint for cave art. Very impressive.

Along the same lines, here’s an article that suggests that humans 42,000 years ago had enough “high levels of planning and complex maritime technology” to go deep sea fishing for tuna! Unreal. Our educational system teaches us about the last one to two thousand years, and the way we learn it makes it seem like there isn’t much to learn beyond that. Seems like there was a whole lotta life going on before our current frame of reference.

Awesome article. Ten Things Everyone Should Know About Time. Time is a amazing.

Here’s a sneak peek at #10:
10. A lifespan is a billion heartbeats. Complex organisms die. Sad though it is in individual cases, it’s a necessary part of the bigger picture; life pushes out the old to make way for the new. Remarkably, there exist simple scaling laws relating animal metabolism to body mass. Larger animals live longer; but they also metabolize slower, as manifested in slower heart rates. These effects cancel out, so that animals from shrews to blue whales have lifespans with just about equal number of heartbeats — about one and a half billion, if you simply must be precise. In that very real sense, all animal species experience “the same amount of time.” At least, until we master #9 and become immortal.

Make sure to enjoy all one and a half billion beats!

University of California, Berkeley, astronomers have discovered the largest black holes to date ‑- two monsters with masses equivalent to 10 billion suns that are threatening to consume anything, even light, within a region five times the size of our solar system.

Stop and ponder that for a minute. The size of 10 billion of our suns!? Think about the size of the Universe. We are just a tiny little speck in the middle of nowhere among an infinite amount of galaxies, stars, and planets. From a sheer statistical perspective, there’s no way we are alone in the Universe. No way. There is soooo much we have no clue about.


  • Children smile 400 times per day
  • Smile + frown = smile
  • Darwin: Facial Feedback Response Theory = smiling makes us feel better
  • Smiling creates as much brain stimulation as 2k bars of chocolate
  • Smiling reduces stress enhancing hormones, increases mood enhancing hormones, & lowers blood pressure.
  • Smiling makes us appear more likeable, courteous, and competent.

Seems like we should all be smiling much more.


Holiday Rituals
In the last edition of Dude’s News, I mentioned that I’ve been testing out the “primal” diet/lifestyle, and I have to say that it is going very well. Based on a month or so of walking the walk, I would highly recommend considering it. The ideas seem like commonsense…to the Dude anyway.

Here’s a recent post from Mark’s Daily Apple, the primal blog that I’ve been following, that discusses ritual, and it’s a great reminder of the importance of our holiday rituals, regardless of what they are.

Over the years, I’ve questioned the specifics of the rituals to much, and as a result I lost the bigger picture. It is important to bond us, as groups, in a common story and experience. Rituals help us know who we are and where we come from.

Keep up the rituals, and if you don’t have any, now’s a great time to start.

Say It Ain’t So: War on Drugs?

Over the past week or two, I noticed a couple national news headlines that made me scratch my head. They are unrelated stories, but the topics are most certainly related.

1. Drug deaths now outnumber traffic fatalities in U.S., data show – L.A. Times

  • So, drugs now kill more people annually than car accidents?! Well, a “War on Drugs,” definitely seems in order. Wait, what, the main culprit is legal, prescription drugs?…oh.
  • “While most major causes of preventable death are declining, drugs are an exception. The death toll has doubled in the last decade.”
  • “By contrast, traffic accidents have been dropping for decades.”
  • Prescription “drugs now cause more deaths than heroin and cocaine combined.”

Hmmm. Well, The Man must know what he’s doing. Even if legal, prescribed drugs are dangerous killers, at least the drugs we spend billions of dollars fighting, locking up non-violent criminals, and watching our “war” spill over to thousands of deaths in Mexico (and the US) must be immensely dangerous and worth the extreme sacrifice, right?

Enter headline #2…

2. ‘Magic Mushroom’ Drug May Improve Personality Long Term – USA Today,Discover, etc.

  • “Many individuals who took a single dose of psilocybin — the active ingredient in what the drug culture calls “magic mushrooms” — showed alterations in personality characteristics, largely for the better, that persisted for more than a year.”
  • Participants “tended to show increases in the personality dimension known as openness.”
  • “Openness is generally considered a positive characteristic and includes such traits as aesthetic appreciation and sensitivity, imagination, intellectual engagement, and awareness of feelings in themselves and others.”

For real?! This is the culture we live in?!

What’s the goal of the “War on Drugs”? Promote dangerous, addictive drugs created in a laboratory and sold for insane profits that limit our ability to think and act for ourselves, while at the same time locking people up and ruining lives for any interest in naturally occurring plants that have been used for thousands of years and create a sense of well-being and “openness”?

Seems logical. Par for the course for The Man.

I’ll skip the long drawn-out rant. There are a lot of much more qualified ranters on this subject, but I will leave you with this graph. Does something seem wrong with the way we’re currently operating?

American Incarceration Timeline

American Incarceration Timeline


Say It Ain’t So: TSA for Kids

A few weeks ago, I threatened to start a series of posts categorized as “Say It Ain’t So,” where the Dude could wax poetically about the ridiculousness of the world we live in. I was half joking, but I continue to be amazed by ridiculous ridiculousness, so I’ve decided to follow through…for at least one more post.

First it was Kidazania, but now The Man is pulling out all the stops with his craftiness.

Fan of TSA? Like being faced with the great choice of walking through copious amounts radiation so dudes in a back room can look at a naked version of you OR being forcibly groped, just so you can sit in a tin can banging elbows with the dude next to you and not being offered free peanuts?!  Seems like a blast, and definitely something free Americans who demonstrate no threat should be forced to endure in order to travel on a plane.

Right, the terrorists. They attacked by taking over planes before; I’m sure they couldn’t come up with another way to attack if they want to. Perhaps attaching bombs to themselves and blowing up public facilities (without TSA) like they do every day in the Middle East?

We’re so reactionary. Uh oh, caught a shoe bomber. Everyone take their shoes off from now on. Dude, they already tried that…and somehow you stumbled into stopping them. My guess is he must have had a big sign that said “I have a bomb in my shoe.” How about you try to stay a step ahead rather than continually trying to build fear in the populace to cover up your inept attempts to keep people safe.

Or maybe that’s the evil plan. Keep people scared and slowly remove their rights in the name of keeping them safe until we lose the ability, and the will, to say no.

Good luck stopping the “bomb implants” they  are now scaring us with (and by “they” I mean The Man, not the terrorists). How far can we take this? Will we all be getting a surgical procedure in order to board a plane?

If the “terrorists,” whatever that actually means, want to hurt people, they can…in a million different ways. The high school dropouts running the TSA checkpoints are not going to save us.

But they sure as shit will steal your stuff and/or make your grandmother remove her Depends to give a full search…of a clearly dangerous 105 pound, 95 year old woman, in a wheelchair.

But I digress…Say it ain’t so. A toy TSA scanner so every child in America can enjoy the fun it is to scan and search other free, unarmed, and non-dangerous children! Awesome!…and only $14.41 on Amazon!

Seriously, please say it ain’t so. Is the world really this crazy? Then again, that little punk in the picture sure does look like he’s having fun getting searched…maybe I’m the crazy one.

The Man sure is crafty. Is Kidzania using these yet?…they must be.

Update: It’s seems like a full-time job reporting on the blunders of the TSA, and I’m not looking for another job, but this news item was well timed, and too juicy to pass by this morning. Less than 12 hours after writing the above post, this morning’s headline reads: “Lawmakers Blast TSA Over 25k Security Breaches.” Yes, that’s 25,000 security breaches from 2001 to 2011. I feel safer already…good thing we’re giving up our liberties.

Say It Ain’t So: Kidzania

Are we really building “amusement parks” where we are willing to pay for kids to be exposed to mass marketing/consumerism and work in a mini-world as mini-adults?!

It seems like we are. Kidzania hasn’t arrived in the US yet, but it has locations around the world, and could be in your neighborhood soon.

Here’s Wikipedia’s definition:

Every KidZania is themed as a child-sized replica of a real city, including buildings, shops and theaters, as well as vehicles and pedestrians moving along its streets. In this city, children aged 2 through 14, work in branded activities from bottling Coca-Cola, working in a Crest-sponsored dentist office, and working at a McDonalds restaurant. The children earn KidZos currency while performing the tasks, and the money is kept in the KidZania bank for children to spend at the gift shop and on non-free KidZania activities. The blending of marketing has led The Morning News to dub KidZania as “advertainment”, stating “there is little that’s pretend, and the play revolves around following instructions from the adult Zupervisors.”

Sounds like a blast, right? Pay money to be exposed to marketing and work in menial jobs getting bossed around by Zupervisors for low wages that accumulate in fake banks (that probably lose your money on bad investments) so you can pay for more consumerism. Holy shit?! What’s wrong with us?

Really, I’m going to pay you to allow my kids to wash car windows and pump gas, all while you flash your company logos in our faces?

Adults don’t want to act like adults. Why would we make menial labor and purchasing junk seem like it’s fun for our children? How about some imagination, art, music, reading, physical activity, and god-forbid some non-big-business related fun? A beach perhaps?…and it’s free.

I can feel the brainwashing seeping into our domes…and it’s scary that we’re letting it happen.

Princess, Little Dude, please don’t ask; Kidzania is off limits.

Perhaps “Say It Ain’t So” needs to be a new regular installment for the Dude….an area where I wax poetically about the ways of the world. Eh, maybe not.