“Creepy” is a broad term that should not be used to describe all weird dudes out there because there are various levels of “creepy-ness”.
On one end of the spectrum, you have the harmless weird co-worker who simply looms over your shoulder a couple “Mississippi’s” too long while you’re typing in your password first thing in the morning.
On the other end of the spectrum is the convict whose knees you would break if they come within 50 yards of your child.
Technology mogul Elon Musk’s father Errol is far from the harmless end of the spectrum.
Errol recently revealed that, not only had he fathered a child with his step-daughter (who he met when she was 4-years-old), but that it was “God’s plan.”
(In defense of Tesla and SpaceX founder (and geek boy man-crush heart throb) Elon Musk, he has nothing to do with his father and has even referred to him as “a terrible human being” in a November 2017 Rolling Stone interview.)
The 72-year-old senior Musk told the Sunday Times of London that he fathered a son with 30-year-old Jana Bezuidenhout, the daughter of his former wife Heide. Jana was 4-years-old when Errol married her mother.
So 10-month-old Elliot Rush Musk is Elon’s nephew/ half brother I guess. Without a flowchart, I have a hard time with complex family trees. Unless it is Star Wars!
Apparently it is ok with Errol though because she lived away from family for part of her childhood. Sounds like odd rationale to me…
“We were lonely, lost people,” he said. “One thing led to another — you can call it God’s plan or nature’s plan.”
I’m not so sure mother nature intended man to father children with their own step children they met while pre-school aged…
You know how sometimes it is fun to kick back and reminisce about all those mindless stunts you pulled in high school and think “Man, I am lucky to still be alive!”
I remember in high school trying to help my buddy Jason learn to drive. His parents were to afraid to let him behind the wheel and after one driving lesson with him in the local Taco Bell parking lot….I understood why.
Well apparently Jason has a 17-year-old relative in Buffalo Minnesota.
According to the Buffalo Minnesota police department, a teen had this SUV in drive while they meant to back out of the parking space. If that is the case, this teen must have slammed the accelerator pretty darn hard, based on the damage to the SUV and the building!
The 60-year-old woman administering the test was taken to Buffalo Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The driver’ was unhurt, but I am sure is the butt of a lot of jokes at school this week.
Parents: Make sure you practice driving with your teen before they take the driving exam! I suggest an empty parking lot with no glass and brick buildings or pedestrian sidewalks nearby.
Lego Japan recently released the findings of a real interesting study. The study asked 100 graduates from each of six of Japan’s most elite universities (the University of Tokyo and Waseda, Keio, Hosei, Meiji, and Rikkyo Universities) about their childhood habits and how they think it affected their development.
More than 60 percent of the graduates from each of the universities said they played with Legos as children and 92 percent of them didn’t even use the Lego provided instructions (i.e. built from scratch). When asked how they thought the Legos improved their brain development, more than half claimed it improved their concentration, spacial organization, and creativity.
Last September, the Geeky Family headed over to the Brickworld Fan Exposition to introduce Lil’ G-Man to the wonderful world of Legos. While he was a little too young to appreciate much of the engineering marvels that we saw, he did enjoy tossing the Duplos around.
Most of what we do here at Geeky Daddy is “Geeky” oriented and looked at from a humorous point of view. At least what counts as humor to us.
But we take the “Daddy” part seriously as well, especially in regard to children’s safety.
With the recent blast of Hoth planet-like weather we have been seeing in Michigan lately, we thought we should take a moment and go over some Winter Water Safety tips to make sure all our younglings outside are playing safely. So we talked to our friends at Goldfish Swim School and they gave us some recommendations.
Here are Geeky Daddy’s Top 5 Winter Water Safety Tips Courtesy of Goldfish Swim School:
1. Stay Off Unfamiliar Ice
This sounds like an obvious one, but when temperatures reach this low, children often just assume that the pond or lake is frozen enough for a pick-up game of hockey.
Unless a lake or pond has been designated for skating and is certified for thickness and safety, stay off of the ice. Never walk on rivers or retention ponds, and remember that ice thickness can change on different parts of the water, and can be affected by conditions over night.
2. Have An Emergency Plan
Plan and practice what to do if someone falls through ice. Teach children not to panic if they fall through the ice; slow, calm movement helps retain body heat, which is critical as the body loses heat more than 30 times faster in cold water than cold air. Call paramedics right away even if the child appears OK, don’t take chances. Learn infant and child CPR. Keep rescue equipment, a phone and emergency numbers nearby.
3. Ensure Adult Supervision is Present
Children shouldn’t play outside alone, especially in cold climates. A drowning child usually cannot cry or shout for help, so never turn your back on your child around water, including ice.
Assign a designated watcher so there are never questions about which adult is responsible for watching the child. Also, establish a buddy system with one or more friends and have them look out for one another.
4. Make Swim Lessons a Priority
As young as four months old (or when they establish head and neck control), enroll children in swim lessons. Teach children water acclimation and aquatic survival skills designed to help them survive should they reach the water alone.
We have had Lil’ G-Man enrolled at Goldfish Swim since he was 6-months-old and he loves it. He won’t be challenging Michael Phelps to a race any time soon, but he is already very comfortable in the water.
5. Have Conversations with Caretakers and Kids
If your child goes to a friend’s house to play, ask the adult what kinds of activities they will engage in, and specifically, if they will be around water/ice, and make sure the children are supervised. When traveling to relatives’ and friends’ homes, they may not understand the importance of keeping gates closed, doors locked, etc. This can be especially true when being left in the care of older relatives.
Start a conversation with your kids about water safety and share tips with them about what to do if they fall into water.
This article was written in exchange for the experience of swim lessons at Goldfish Swim School.
Warning: Spoiler Alert (Just Kidding – the script is so predictable there’s literally nothing spoilable)
My wife is a huge fan of cheesy Christmas movies..for reasons that continue to elude me a decade into our relationship.
As per our usual holiday agreement, I agreed to watch at least one Christmas movie with her not named Christmas Vacation, Die Hard or Lethal Weapon.
This year, my wife heard that the cheesiest of the cheesy ones to watch is Netflix’s A Christmas Prince. We are about 30 minutes into this Christmas Crap-tastrophy and I can’t take much more.
A quick Google search and I found out the Buzzfeed thinks “A Christmas Prince is simultaneously the best and worst thing Netflix has ever produced.” So far I am thinking the latter of the two is more accurate than the first.
A Christmas Prince is an amalgam of every cheesy Hallmark Christmas movie I have been forced to endure over the past ten years wrapped up in one predictable, horribly acted package. It does star Rose McIver who I really enjoyed as the uber pale Liv Moore on CW’s IZombie.
The film starts off with the tons of stock footage of Christmas in New York City such as ice skating in front of the tree in Rockefeller Center and Christmas lights all round various New York City landmarks. The film then cuts straight to what I am pretty sure is the Chicago Tribune building (?) where we meet our heroine: Amber.
Amber is a struggling newspaper journalist (which is actually the most believable part of the story) and is complaining to her under-developed co-worker characters (the stock gay friend and the sassy female black friend) about her mean boss and 5 rejection letters. Wouldn’t rejection letters be received over email by media professionals nowadays?
But Amber gets the opportunity of a lifetime when her publisher sends her to the fictional country of Aldovia, which I guess we are supposed to assume lies somewhere between Maldovia and Albania, to break a tabloid story about the playboy prince who soon will become king.
Amber has no trouble assuming the identity of the handicapped 12-year-old princess’s tutor and sneaking into the least secured and poorly guarded royal palace in all of Europe. Here we meet the rest of the ensemble cast of retreaded Christmas characters.
Enter all the stereo typical characters that we are familiar with seeing annually on Hallmark Channel. The Prince is of course a loyal, honest, charitable man who is misunderstood by the press. The conniving 2nd-in-line to the throne cousin who desires nothing more than to one day become king. The prince’s title obsessed ex-girlfriend who happens to lock lips with the prince while Amber catches a timely misunderstood glimpse of the embrace.
His mother, Queen Helena (Alice Krige), is a cold queen with ice in her veins (until she warms up to our heroine). She is also the one cast member I recognized from her portrayal as the Borg Queen in Star Trek: First Contact.
The 63-year-old queen is also the mother of the 12-year-old princess, which apparently makes her birth a Christmas miracle?
And remember Amber’s 5 rejection letters? As Twitter user Emily Black Favreau noted in a screenshot of Amber’s computer from the movie, Amber may have been rejected simply because she is a horrible journalist:
“Have to find out!!” and “I have to dig deeper” are not exactly bullet points a reporter needs in her notes. And why does the bottom of her screen say “0 words”? I see around 50 on her screen? What crap version of Microsoft Word is she using anyway?
Sometime between Amber befriending the Tiny Tim-esque Princess Emily and me waking up from my nap induced by the whimsical musical score, the cousin’s dastardly evil plot to assume the throne had been exposed by our heroine and the kingdom of Aldovia, the prince’s throne and Christmas are all saved.
Basically, the only reason to subject yourself to this Abu Ghaib level torture of a film would be if you are in the doghouse with your spouse or you need to bank some brownie points because you have done something that will soon land you in that doghouse.
Side Note: Also, how come the weather in all these Christmas movies calls for overcoats and scarves but no gloves? Exactly what temperature is that?
In the end, I would rate this around a 1.5 on the Geeky Daddy Movie Review Scale and a Kid Friendly on the Geeky Daddy Sidekick Safe Scale.
Grayson is barely over a year old and has already aced a report card! Sounds like he is taking after his mother and not me. Thank God for that! I am over forty and I haven’t aced a report card yet..
The ability to swim is obviously a very important life skill to have, especially in Michigan where there seems to be more lakes than there are potholes on Telegraph Rd.
I grew up in Iowa where coming across a body of water is about as common as coming across a Detroit Lions playoff victory. Therefore I never spent much time in that water as a kid. Partially because of this, I am still not very comfortable in the water to this day. Fortunately, thanks to my love of pizza and cheeseburgers, I have plenty of buoyancy to rely on should I fall in the water.
Seriously though, we knew we didn’t want Grayson to be in the same boat I am in (get what I did there with the water reference there?) and wanted to get him comfortable in the water at as early an age as possible.
Having the consistency of the same instructor for all that time has been great for trust building and comfort in the water.
Goldfish Swim provides regular progress report cards, filled out by your child’s instructor, to help you measure your child’s improvement. It helps to see how far his or her skills have come, as well as what he or she needs to work on.
In the age group Grayson is in for example, Mini 2 (16-35 months old), the wide range of skills the children are graded on include basic skills such as “comfort in water and class setting”, “tolerates kicking” and “successfully conditioned w/ water on face” to more complex combinations such as “underwater dip & rollover” and “climb out ‘fin, fin, belly flipper.”
For Grayson’s progress report, not that I am bragging or anything, straight A’s across the board with the exception of “Superman Glide.” But that is alright, we are more of a Batman household anyway. Just don’t tell my mother-in-law that, as far as she knows we drew the name ‘Grayson’ from “Literature.”
This article was written in exchange for the experience of swim lessons at Goldfish Swim School.
Wonder how popular a certain character is going to be this Halloween? Or, more specifically, how popular that particular character is going to be this year in your specific area?
Well the data collecting minds at Google have made it easy to figure it out this year with their Fright Geist dashboard.
Simply choose from their expansive list of costume ideas (as general as “Pirate” or as specific as “Harley Quinn”) and you’ll be able to see how popular that costume is, it’s national rank, searches by city, search trends of the past dozen years and category popularity.
Google Trends is like having your own personal Bat-computer!
For example, with Wonder Woman we can see that she is trending more popular than ever and comic book characters are making up about 11% of all costume searches this year!
I’ve always enjoyed being in the water (a stark contrast from Geeky Daddy, who in fairness was born in Iowa and you can’t exactly swim in a corn field). I started swimming lessons at 6 months old, was on the high school swim team and taught swim lessons as my after-school and summer job. Needless to say, when we had a baby, I was pretty excited about the idea of taking him for swim lessons.
But wow, swim lessons have changed from when I taught them (let’s not try to count how long ago high school was please)! One of the main reasons is because of Jenny and Chris McCuiston, founders of Goldfish Swim Schools. I knew Jenny in high school as the fastest swimmer I’d ever seen (darn, just revealed how long ago high school was). She literally left a wake behind her. I’m pretty sure at one point she went to the Olympic trials. We raced one time – the 100yd backstroke. I’m pretty sure that she finished the race before I got off the block.
But as a swimmer who also taught swim lessons as her side gig, she realized that there was room for innovation in the industry, and out came Goldfish Swim School. Here’s where it differs from the good old days.
No More Shivers
When I used to teach lessons, I needed to wear a wet suit because I would freeze teaching for several hours in the water. And if I was freezing, it meant that the kids were shivering away most of class. Kiddie pools barely existed and even if they did, they were maybe heated to 83 or 84 degrees. The bigger kids had to go in the big pool which was made for lap swimmers and maybe lingered around 80 to 81 degrees.
I remember when I took lessons as a kid that I always wanted the instructor to be in the water with me during class. I swore to my 8-year-old self that when I taught lessons I’d always go in the water. Fast forward to high school and college and nope – it was just too cold. When teaching older kids there are certainly advantages to teaching from the pool deck to better see their technique, but it’s possible that we would have been more involved/interactive if we were in the water.
Since Goldfish heats the pools to 90 degrees there are no issues for teachers or students. All instructors wear easy-to-see orange rash guards that can give an extra layer of warmth since they’re in the water for hours, but the temperature doesn’t seem to be a problem for the tiniest babies or the largest instructors (did we mention Grayson’s instructor Mr. Armand is pretty much a non-green, non-angry Hulk?)
Not only is the temperature useful, the pools made specifically for children have additional features that weren’t available to us a few years ago (ok, so like 15, ok, maybe closer to 20). The pools have benches arounds the sides for kids to stand or sit on while waiting to swim in the deeper water. We used to have to use water step aerobics blocks in the pool so that the kid could keep their head above water, or put the kids on the edge of the pool outside the water where they’d freeze. It was hard for them to grasp onto the edge of the pool for the whole lesson and nearly impossible for the under 5 age group.
The other advantage of having kiddie pools dedicated to lessons are that the you don’t have to share the pool with lap swimmers or people there for open swim. It’s hard to play fun games when cranky lap swimmers were upset if you accidentally went into their lane or threw a ball over by mistake.
Parents have always been involved in infant/toddler classes but tend to fade out of the picture at 2.5 or 3 years old. Most parents would either come onto the pool deck or watch through a tiny little window into the pool area. At one of the community centers there was a row of chairs on one side of the pool deck so they could watch lessons.
The main issue here was that if a parent is on the pool deck it’s distracting to the kid. It’s especially bad if the child is a little scared of the water and act up because they see their parent. I’m not teaching swim lessons to Lil’ G because it’s hard to take instruction from mom and dad sometimes. The kids that progressed the least were the ones where the parents wouldn’t let their child flourish on their own.
At Goldfish, the parents sit behind a large fish bowl glass enclosure where they can easily watch their kids. It’s also ideal since they don’t sweat to death inside the humid pool area. They’re called to the pool deck a few minutes before the end of class to talk to the instructor or watch a skill their child learned. They can then give their child a towel and shuffle them out to the…
Locker Rooms (or lack there of)
Gone are the days of having a traditional locker room and trying to wait for a family locker room or debating the cut-off age for having a child of the opposite sex in your locker room. Instead there are co-ed, community showers at the back of the pool deck for a quick shower with your swim suit on (baby shampoo and other products provided!) and then little cabanas for changing. Each small room has a bench and some hooks for quick changing. While Lil’ G is small enough to go into either locker room at a traditional place, it’s way easier having two of us to dry off and dress a wiggly baby.
Swim lessons of days past used to have set sessions that lasted for 8 weeks or so. You’d have to sign up each session (and sometimes not get in if it filled up too quickly) and have a new class and new instructor each time. Each session would also typically repeat the skills from the prior session as opposed to progressing with the kids in the class. Now swim lessons are year-round. Instead of enrolling in a session, you pay a monthly fee, much like you would with a gym membership. By having year-round swim lessons, kids don’t forget the skills that they learned and tend to progress faster than kids who take lessons more haphazardly.
Where Did They Get Those Wonderful Toys?
I don’t recall having very many toys when I taught swim lessons. We didn’t have an amazing kiddie slide, an adorable canoe or cars that can be powered by kicking. We didn’t have Elmo puppets, enough goldfish rubber duckies to fill a bathtub or floating activity mats. We had maybe a ball from time to time and sometimes some rings to dive for at the bottom of the pool. Oh, and a rusty diving block or two, which to be fair was a lot of fun to jump off. But it’s not a slide. Nothing beats the slide (except maybe 90 degree water).
Have you noticed changes in swim lessons over time? Let me know if I missed anything and check out Goldfish Swim School for kids 4 months to 12 years.
This article was written in exchange for the experience of swim lessons at Goldfish Swim School.