Posts Tagged ‘work’

A Gift

By Daddy Brad Thursday, January 7th, 2010

DSC_0399hAfter a long holiday break, it’s back to the old grind stone here at the DadLabs.  While the hiatus from the office was enjoyable, it wasn’t exactly restful.  Multiple ear infections, fevers and an under the weather marital partner made for extra late night work for dear old Dad.  But I guess I can sleep when the kids go off to college.

But even fatigued I absolutely love the days between Thanksgiving and New Years!  It’s the best time of the year.  The food is great, the parties have an extra zing and I dig the SNL episode where John Belushi is the leader of the masons and forgets all the words to the Christmas carols.  That one always gets me. Read the rest of this entry »

The Key To Parenting Broke Off In The Lock

By Daddy Clay Monday, March 9th, 2009

I’m throwing a tantrum in front of my son. A doozy. I’ve chucked my keys on the floor. I’m cursing and referring to the DadLabs World HQ in decidedly unflattering terms. I’m storming around.

What would cause an otherwise reasonable person, especially one concerned with good parenting practices to act like such a moron in front of his kid?

I blame it on materialism.

When my Phillips SoundBar home theater crapped out on Friday, the plan was clear. Work hard around the house, clean everything, drive everywhere, try hard to gain Brownie Points, and plot a bender at Costco. See, in addition to the sound system (which we pretty well never used at anything near its capacity), there was also the KitchenAid mixer that hadn’t made it out of the box since it was under the Christmas Tree, and my Costco American Express reward check as well.

All told, in exchanges and refunds, I might have enough to maybe pick up that Canon Rebel XSi I’ve had my eye on for some time now — without laying out any additional cash — and with enough left over to give the wife a gift card making up for the mixer debacle.

But first I had to earn the kitchen pass. So I picked up, I did dishes, I even cleaned the hamster cage (with Ri-ri’s help). I offered the Costco trip, ostensibly to help provision for our beach trip to Port A next week. Got the nod. I scooped up Bubba, and away we went.

We had to make up a quick pit stop at DLWHQ to pick up the jumbo sized box for the Phillips system. I somehow thought that packing the thing up in the original box might influence the Costco gatekeepers to give me my money back. I was fuzzy on the purchase date — less than a year, I was sure. But would they really give me my cash back? I hoped so because the system had not been a good purchase. When was I really going to use surround sound? After the kids went to bed? The speakers on the TV are weak, but I’ve come to think of that as a feature and not a flaw.

I was more confident about the mixer. It had been just over 90 days since the purchase and there was a still a shred of Christmas paper left taped to the box. It seemed unlikely that they would take both back, so I knew I would need Bubba with me to help in the cute/credible department.

We’re on the way out of DadLabs, and I can’t quite get the lock to turn over. I try again. No go. I dash around the offices looking for a little WD40. No, but AHA! I return to the door with a paperclip and a capsule. Fish oil. I pop that bad boy and squish it into the lock. Smells bad but looks very lubricated. Bubba is impressed with my improvisational skills. I give it another twist. It’s moving!

Snap.

Then the general cussing. Then the keys slamming down. More cussing, this time more specifically about what a dump we work in. Huffing. Then, eventually, the of calling the locksmith. Then the paying of the money to the locksmith. Then the calling of Daddy Troy to disrupt his Sunday to get him to lock the place up.

The trip to Costco happened, but it was a rather dispiriting affair. There was some anticipation, but the Costco folks were so nice and accommodating — they just hauled all my gear back in and issued me a gift card. We moved efficiently up and down the aisles. Just the provisions, no discretionary spending.

Bubba made a nice lunch out of the available snacks, but I was blue — embarrassed by my outburst, a little pissy that I didn’t get to buy myself something. But by the time we got back in the car, I was actually feeling pretty good. Hadn’t parenting taught me anything? What’s the surest way to make sure you kids come down with something? Make a dinner reservation and hire a babysitter.

Wanting stuff leads to broken keys and cussing. That is all.

Other Dads Hit The Test Track; My Digital Tank Is Full

By Daddy Clay Sunday, October 5th, 2008

No Test Track for Daddy Clay

It’s pretty quiet here at the DadLabs WHQ. Just me and Aaron the intern holding down the fort. At the moment Daddy Troy and Daddy Brad are doing doughnuts in the center of Ford’s Test Track in Dearborn. As part of a press junket, the car maker has invited mom and dad bloggers to the test facility to demonstrate their latest safety equipment. They guys will be taking spins in Volvo S80s and Lincoln MKZs.

The freaking test oval? I’m the car geek in the bunch, yet here I sit, driving my iMac across the information superhighway.

How did this injustice come about? I burned up my travel chits last week by heading to the iHollywood conference in San Francisco. Plus the car maker could only accommodate two representatives of this esteemed media organization (budgets a bit tight? weird). So what do you think? Did I get the good deal going to SF instead of Detroit? Bear in mind that I was mostly sitting inside the Moscone Center..

I can’t wait to see the footage. There’s a pretty high statistical probability that Troy will get in an accident and Brad will get a ticket. Those episodes should be hitting the site in a couple of weeks.

Sorry, Honey, But No More Pictures

I tried to update my system last week and was informed by my computer that my hard drive was full. 150G just isn’t enough any more. I had no idea what could possibly be the culprit here. My whole iTunes library is a measly 12G. My iPhoto trove of over 5K photos is just 26G. How have I managed to fill up a drive?

My old friend and nemesis: video. More specifically, unedited video. Not really all that much: a few school performances, a couple vacations, and birthday parties that had been loaded from the camera but never edited. Of all the people that should understand how this stuff consumes memory, it should be me. I work in constant danger of being crushed under the weight of a hard drive avalanche here at DadLabs.

So I went through, hacked a bunch of things together, exported quicktime movies and dumped all the original footage. I got about 15G back for all my efforts. And a rather nostalgic trip back through time. That part was fun.

But I also realized that I am shooting less and less video of my kids. A few clips now and then on my Canon Elph, but mostly I like stills and slide shows more than videos. Dispensing with the irony that my work is making digital video, I wonder why this is? Somehow, to me, childhood is more poignant, perhaps more palatable to a nostalgic parent when captured in a still photo. My digital video camera is gathering dust.

Getting their voices preserved is worth getting at least some video. And I really treasure the few little narrative “movies” that I have made with the kids, but overall I have to say that I much prefer stills. What do you think? And why do you think that is?

Dadlabs Masters Of Our Domain

By Daddy Clay Monday, August 18th, 2008

I’m generally not a big one to spend a lot of time here talking about DadLabs itself. We are here to talk about parenting, more specifically fatherhood, not about the state of online video or life at a startup. We’ve toyed from time to time with the idea of creating a “behind the scenes” blog to talk about the complexities of production, and ups and downs of trying to get a company started in an entirely new “industry,” but I think too much of that gets a little self reflexive.

All that said, sometimes I have to share some good news. Starting tomorrow, we will be filming segments for a month of shows to be sponsored by Babies R Us. Way back when, when Brad and Troy and I were spending all our free time away from our teaching jobs dreaming about what DadLabs might be, we always thought that the ideal sponsor would be Babies R Us. So here we go. I hope that we can deliver the goods.

It’s also nice to get a little notice in the press. Daisy Whitney has emerged as a powerful voice in the world of online video — she writes for TVWeek and NewTeeVee, and her video podcast appears on the ABC network of sites, and she has consistently covered DadLabs. Her most recent column for TVWeek is the best yet. She picks DadLabs as one of the web series most likely to succeed. Digg this puppy like crazy!

To make Daisy look like a genius, we certainly need your help. Keep spreading the word. Use the invite tab on the website to bring your friends in. Let’s put this thing over the top.