Tag Archives: 21st Century

A Baby Is Born . . . via Text Message

The first text came in around 9 pm.

The grandpa-to-be needed to update the family on what was going on.

K is in hospital waiting fur the baby to come. She has been there since one this morning. They are about to give her an epidural and then try to speed things along. Will try to keep you all up to date if I can keep my eyes open. 

This was grandpa-to-be’s first blood grandchild and to say he was elated would be an understatement akin to saying Mount St. Helen’s got a little burpy back in the 1980’s.

I’m sure that this is nothing new to the older relatives of children being born these days, but the sense of immediacy and connectedness that this engendered was amazing to me.

Way back in the old days when I first blessed this world with the spawn of my loins, things were a bit different. And I don’t say that just because of all the dinosaurs roaming around.

My dad was the only grandparent who lived out of the state and so we had to call him in advance and let him know we’d be inducing our first born on a certain day. That way, he could plan ahead and be there when his first grandchild came into the world. Everyone else we delayed because we didn’t want our entire family in the delivery room.

We had to plan. Then, once the proto-Sarcasmo was born, the only people who knew what he looked like were those who came to look at him directly in the face and be blinded by his astonishingly good looks.

Non-immediate-family had to wait until we had taken the first of approximately 7 gillion pictures of the boy, had said pictures developed at a local photograph store, picked up said pictures and then mailed them out to interested parties. It was weeks before everyone we cared about knew that we were parents, much less had seen the little dude.

This time, though, it was like we were in the delivery room with the AlmostMom is smiling because the epidural has kicked in real nice and she's feeling no pain in the delivery room as she works to birth her first baby.beautiful mother, older sister, smiling dad, amazing aunts and gobsmacked grandparents.

We received pictures via text message and then e-mails with more pictures and even a video or two. It was a connected birth the likes of which I’ve never experienced before.

Say what you want about the intrusiveness of modern communication, how cellphones and computers and the internet are forcing us apart from each other and into hiding behind screens of glass, but there are definite upsides to this.

Not only did I know that Scarlet Jane (also christened Baby Jake by her grandpa) was born, I was able to look into her adorable little baby eyes and see her mother smiling back at me, the same adorable face I’ve known since she wasn’t even a teenager.

Thanks, Grandpa and Grandma, Auntie L and all the rest for your great updates. Thanks for showing us how it’s done here in the 21st century. And welcome, Scarlet Jane.

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Annoying On Twitter? Is That Even Possible?

by Richard

Yeah, dudes, we’re on the Twitter. You wanna make something of it?

I figured it was about time we got with the 20th Century. This was about the time the rest of the world danced merrily into the 21st Century. Still got a ways to catch up, but we’re getting there.


So. Yes. We’re on the twitter. You can find us @dudesguide there making with the twits, er, tweets. Or whatever.

Still, even having only been on there for a short while, I’ve already come to find a lot of things there annoying. I know. Hard to believe, but true.

Also, I’m not alone.

Katie Heaney over on BuzzFeed has a few thoughts on how people can be annoying while on twitter. She’s got a total of 11 ways, but I think she probably stopped a little bit before the end. I’m thinking there’s plenty more if she just gave it a second’s thought.

4. Be famous and brown-nose other famous people

4. Be famous and brown-nose other famous people

I don’t have the patience required to explain to you why Kelly Bensimon counts as a famous person. (Fine. “Why do we have to be all flowers and lollipops. Why can’t it be like fighting but we are actually learning? That’s called back-door education.” – Kelly Bensimon.) It’s already kind of embarrassing when celebrities use Twitter to let people know that they are legitimate friends with other celebrities. WE GET IT, you’re all crazy-popular and you’re all definitely going to be elected Homecoming King & Queen. What’s even more embarrassing is a celebrity using Twitter to try to BECOME friends with another celebrity. If you are a celebrity who wants another celebrity to be your friend, you have to do what the rest of us do: follow him or her around. Build a human nest in a tree that overhangs his or her house. Get plastic surgery to become his or her twin. Etc. All of these are less awkward than what you’re currently doing.

The sad part is, some of that even makes sense.

So, anyway, if you’re in the mood to take a break from washing butts and folding diapers, head over to BuzzFeed and take a read. A good laugh can go a long way when you’re wrist deep in the poo.

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Freaky Friday: Curve Ball

by Richard

My young dudes have a hard time reading. But they’re not alone. See, the problem they have with reading is when someone writes to them and uses cursive.

It turns out that, according to a recent New York Times article, young dudes and dudettes these days are losing the ability to read and write in cursive.

Who knew I was ahead of the curve?

Students nationwide are still taught cursive, but many school districts are spending far less time teaching it and handwriting in general than they were years ago, said Steve Graham, a professor of education at Vanderbilt University. Most schools start teaching cursive in third grade, Professor Graham said. In the past, most would continue the study until the fifth or sixth grades — and some to the eighth grade — but many districts now teach cursive only in third grade, with fewer lessons.

See, my problem was that I was living in England when I should have been in third grade and the schools there had already taught their students how to write in cursive, which meant I got very little instruction on something they had already covered. When I went back to America for fourth grade, they had already taught cursive there, so I got very little instruction on something they had already covered. Seeing a pattern here?

I eventually learned cursive — a little. My writing became rather idiosyncratic in that it was a combination of cursive and printing. Things got worse when I started working as a reporter as I had to write very, very quickly and I started using shortcuts that further deteriorated my writing legibility to others.


My young dudes, while they can puzzle their way laboriously through someone’s written cursive missive and can write in cursive with a lot of pauses to look up or ask how to write certain letters, are much more comfortable with printing. With the advent of and near-ubiquity of computer keyboards, the question becomes: Is learning cursive really necessary?

“Schools today, we say we’re preparing our kids for the 21st century,” said Jacqueline DeChiaro, the principal of Van Schaick Elementary School in Cohoes, N.Y., who is debating whether to cut cursive. “Is cursive really a 21st-century skill?”

With schools focused on preparing students for standardized tests, there is often not enough time to teach handwriting, educators said.

I think you probably will get more fine-motor skills in your hands if you’re practicing and learning cursive, but I’m not sure that’s really worth it. I have a feeling that, like watches are quickly disappearing in the younger generation that relies more and more on cell phones to tell the time, we’re seeing the slow disappearance of another relic of our past.

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