May 19, 2013 at 11:10am
We are nine months into this thing called parenthood. Nadia is still the most amazing baby ever, and she continues to drop surprises on us. Since my last update ages ago, she has unlocked the following achievements:
Scooting. She has officially begun her reign of terror on the house. We have so far eschewed baby-proofing in favor of watching her like a hawk.
Waving. Nadia has added waving to her repertoire of clapping and giggling. It impresses people - mostly because she is a baby. Everything she does is akin to tearing down the Berlin Wall.
Solid food. We are slowly transitioning her onto foods that actual people eat. She loves bananas and avocados.
This post was brought to you by Markdown and tablet typing.
It’s like my own thoughts on the Wii U were harvested from my brain and distilled through someone else. I mean, seriously, Nintendo hasn’t come up with one compelling reason for me to buy the new console.
This is one of the things magazine publishers struggle with as they transition to the Internet. Words alone will suffice on the printed page - but not necessarily on the computer screen. You cannot take a print approach to digital media and expect readers to bite, yet many publishers still don’t get it.
If New York Times “snowfalled” on a daily basis, I would pay for their paper. As it is, Flipboard is free, absolutely gorgeous, and fun to read on an iPad.
It’s great to see education moving in this direction. As little as five years ago, teachers were hung up on the idea of learning styles. Finally, we realize that students don’t easily fit into boxes.
I still exist
So I disappeared for a while, in case you didn’t notice the complete lack of posts for the past week. I’ve been busy playing Tomb Raider and working on my first marketing class. I must say, I thought I’d dread the whole study, post discussion questions and write papers thing, but it’s refreshing to be back in the grind of academia.
Granted, University of Phoenix is a completely different sort of environment. The focus is less on stuffy theory and academic research and more on learning by doing. It seems like every assignment, so far, is geared toward teaching a skill that will transition well to the workplace — well, it would if I didn’t already work in the field I’m studying.
It’s interesting moving backwards in that way. I’ve already applied marketing concepts I didn’t even know I knew. Now I’m learning what those are. Weird.
Back to school
You don’t know what you don’t know. I’ve been writing marketing copy for over five years now, but I’ve never taken more than one class on the subject. The workplace has been a fantastic classroom in which to hone my skills, but without the theory to back it up, I feel as if there are things about my field that I don’t truly understand.
Thus, on Tuesday, it’s back to school. I’m starting small — heck, my last college class was almost seven years ago — but I’m hungry to get back into academia. Those were some great years. i’m hoping these 18 certificate credits will fuel my desire for an MBA. We’ll see.
I am enchanted with this.
This is really cool.
March 11, 2013 at 8:48pm
5 surefire ways to fail at Twitter
The Tweet is the haiku of the social media world. It demands brevity. For this reason alone, I think it’s one of the most powerful tools available on the Internet for quickly disseminating information.
Accounts like the one used by the AZ Department of Transportation, my personal favorite, enable motorists to stay up to date on highway closures and delays without having to (ugh) listen to local radio or watch the morning news. Twitter played a crucial part in helping activists mobilize during the Arab Spring. And, sometimes, it can be a neat place to get a few chuckles.
Unfortunately, some people just do Twitter wrong. Here are five ways to follow in their footsteps:
- Retweet. Everything. Quite honestly, if Twitter didn’t provide a way to block re-Tweets from certain users, I’d only be following ten accounts. if you really want to alienate your followers, litter your timeline with “RT” after “RT” — after all, people follow you to read things you didn’t write, right?
- Never update your profile photo. This is an easy one because it requires zero effort. Simply show the world that you want a Twitter account, but just not that badly, by leaving the egg as your default profile photo. That way, nothing you write will be taken seriously.
- Master the “passive agressive” follow. It’s completely reasonable to follow an account, demand to be followed in return, then unfollow the user when he or she doesn’t reciprocate. This paints you as a mature adult.
- Do that whole “follow Friday” thing. If someone you follow is worth checking out, I’ll hear about them in other ways, but go ahead and litter my timeline with “FF” lists, anyway. I will most assuredly do as you request and follow someone I don’t know.
- Post about mundane stuff. Twitter is totally Facebook. Talk about your feelings, let the world know what you ate for breakfast and just post generalizations about the length of your arm hair or how it’s unfair that that couple was seated at a table before you. Everyone cares.
Nadia at seven months
We’re finally at the stage where Nadia starts crossing milestone after milestone. Sitting up on her own? Check. Interacting with toys? Check. Smiling whenever I enter the room? Check — well, she’s been doing this for months, but it’s still one of the most amazing things about having her in my life.
As much as I think that the quote from which the title of this blog is derived nicely sums up the things a father teachers his children, I also feel that it’s an accurate summation of the mix of emotions one feels bringing a child into the world.
As parents, we want the best for our children, but we’re also afraid that they won’t hit milestones when they should, that they’ll make mistakes or that they’ll hate us for refusing to give them the things that they demand. But on the other side of the equation are things like the simple smile Nadia gives me after a bath. Being a parent means accepting a varying ratio of love and fear.
The rewards, though, are so worth it. Nadia is an exceptional baby. Her face expresses such a range of emotion. At all times, I want to know what she’s thinking, whether she actually likes the books I read to her and if the sweet potato puree I feed her is just the right consistency. She is an enigma that I desperately want to understand.
I probably never will — especially when she enters the awkward teen years. But at least now there’s so much to look forward to. I foresee many trips to the toy store in her future.
A farewell to white meat chicken
Sorry, boneless skinless chicken breasts. It’s not me, it’s you. Yeah, you may be lean — juicy, even, if marinated in Greek yogurt for a few hours — but I find your lack of flavor disturbing. There’s a new poultry in my life, and it comes from those sweet, succulent thighs. Yep, after years of demanding white meat from my chicken and turkey, I’ve converted to the dark side — er, dark meat, rather.
Chicken thighs are versatile. They can be used in rice dishes, breaded and baked, fried and poached. Here are three of the ways I currently prepare them:
- Breaded “Indian” chicken bake. This is my own special recipe. I mix Panko bread crumbs with salt, pepper, cumin, coriander and a splash of cinnamon. I dip the chicken in flour, then eggs, followed immediately by a healthy bath in my bread crumb mixture. After that, it’s just a matter of baking for 30-35 minutes at 400 degrees. Easy.
- Chicken and chick pea pilaf. The star of this recipe isn’t the chicken, which is again tossed with cumin and coriander, but the saffron threads and fragrant basmati rice cooked in chicken stock. The resulting golden concoction, which is tossed with raisins and chick peas, has a nice combination of sweet and savory flavor.
- Chicken fettucini alfredo. The beauty of this dish is that you can mix in any combination of vegetables, chicken and alfredo. Add some broccoli to the pasta water when there’s only three minutes left on the cooking time, and you have perfectly tender veggies to mix into your sauce. You can also do peas, spinach or what have you. Just bake your chicken in the oven for — you guessed it — 30-35 minutes at 400 degrees. Skip the breading on this one.