Merino Wool, The Way To Stay Warm This Winter


Fall is near, or if you have been to Starbucks lately, you probably believe that fall is already here as they are brewing up our yearly obsession of the Pumpkin Spiced Latte.  With each passing day, the sun rises in the east later in the morning causing a slight chill in the air.  One of the ways to keep warm would be to jump in your car and make the long trek through a Starbucks drive-thru to order your PSL.

Or there is another option out there.  Merino Wool.

Specifically, Super.Natural Merino Wool.  And their wool, is NOT your mother’s wool.

I started to pick up running this spring, my running gear consisted of a short-sleeved shirt and shorts.  I was not ready for the colder mornings that fall and winter brings to the Midwest.

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Growing Up Outdoors


When I was a kid, there was no MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, or smartphones.  We were forced to go outside and run in the streets.  20 years ago it was a different time.  Myself and our neighbor kids ruled the street.  We had a tree house in an empty lot down the street, to which you needed the secret password to get into, until the city came to tear it down.  Scouting was big in my hometown and I cannot count the weekends that I spent camping out with our Boy Scout troop.

My favorite memory of those many camp outs was a starry cold night at Scott Lake in Western Kansas.  We always stayed in the same cabin on the east side of the lake.  It wasn’t very big.  In fact it only had one room with nothing but a fire-place in it to keep the place warm a bunk bed and a few extra mattresses for us all to sleep on.

The cabin was right below the bluffs to the lake.  At the time, there were three cabins along the side of the bluffs each about a quarter-mile apart.  To our troop’s camp fire story-teller, he called them the Troll houses.  I realize now that this “Troll” family traveled from campsite to campsite, sometimes they were in different states then the story we were told a month before hand.

Just down the dirt road from the cabin and across a highway, there was a small boat dock that we would send ourselves off in our canoes to explore the lake.  By that boat dock, there was a section of thick cat-tails that was no larger than a football field.  This cool crisp night, the cat-tails were laying flat.  They were thicker than the humidity on mid-summer day.  So thick in fact that, you were able to walk on top of them without even touching the water.

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Teaching the Kid Life Lessons


Let me be the first to say this, I SUCK at doing chores.  I have the hardest time getting the motivation to do them after a hard day’s work.  It is my thought that I should be able to come home and just be able to relax.

I realize though, that there are things that need to get done around the house.  I know that the floor needs to be swept and vacuumed.  My feet appreciate picking up the Lego pieces that are left on the living room floor, if they don’t end up in the vacuum.  The dishes need to be done and the lawn needs to be mowed.

Doing these chores are a pain, I am not going to lie.  The moment I walk in the door I hear my empty easy chair calling my name.  My feet are hurting from walking to and from different sides of the building at work. The Netflix queue needs to be watched.  However, the Kid needs to learn that not everything will come easy.  There are times when we have to do things that we don’t particularly enjoy.

Teaching the Kid Life Lessons - The Rookie Dad

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The Smartphone, My Camera of Choice


When I grew up, if you wanted to take pictures you either ran to the store to grab a disposable camera or you pulled out a camera with a bunch of settings that you don’t know what they mean.  Today, you can still break out in a DSLR camera or you can just reach into your pocket and quickly take a picture with your smartphone.

I’m lucky enough to have both a DSLR and a smartphone. I’ve had both since the Kid was born. When the Kid was mostly immobile and I more time on my hands to edit pictures, I almost always reached for my DSLR.  The pictures always turned out so crisp and clean compared to my early iPhone.

The Smartphone, My Camera of Choice - The Rookie Dad

A picture taken of the Kid at 6 months old with my DSLR.

Now, the Kid is going on 4-years-old and can sprint around the house faster than it would take me to get my settings right on my Canon Rebel.  Now the moment I see a moment that I want to remember, I reach for my phone, usually in movie mode and I’m able to take pictures while I am getting video of the Kid.

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How Do You Explain Death To A Child?


How do you explain death to a child?  It is a question that I have been asking myself lately after hearing the news of Robin Williams.

How Do You Explain Death To A Child? - The Rookie Dad

Image Courtesy of Flavor Wire

The other night when we were sitting down to dinner my phone started to explode, not literally but the ringing from it was constant.  Naturally, I have to check it and find out that Robin Williams died knowing that Hot Momma would be interested.  We both were shocked by the news but little did we know that the Kid would be too.

The Kid, for those of you who don’t know, is named William.   I just chose to use the Kid as his name on this blog.  After making the announcement at dinner, William’s face immediately turns from a jubilant 3-year-old to heartbroken child.

“You mean I died?”  He said.

Hot Momma and I look at each other shocked that the Kid made an immediate connection to the death of Robin Williams, all because of a name.

We tried to explain that it was someone else, someone that Hot Momma and I used to watch on TV all the time.  This just made the situation even worse in the eyes of the Kid.

“Bad guys killed him didn’t they?”

“We don’t know that yet but I don’t think they did.” (We now know the most of the story)

“But only bad guys make people die.”

“Yes you are right, but sometimes people die from other reasons.  That happens.”

I will be the first to admit that the death of Robin Williams hit me hard.  It hit me harder than any other celebrity death.  This exchange with the Kid didn’t help things.   I could tell just how much he was identifying with the loss.  How do you explain to a child that death happens and is a natural part of life?

It wasn’t but five minutes after we had finished eating that he forgot the conversation and was asking me to play cars with him.  As I am racing cars with him I couldn’t help but wonder how this will affect the Kid.  Will he ask about it later? Will he ask if the bad guys that killed that one guy were caught?

On one hand I am glad to know that he understands the difference between good and bad guys.  On the other hand, I want him to know that death is a natural part of life.  Maybe I am expecting him to grow up to quickly.

I don’t know if I am ready to answer the tough questions that parenting has to bring me.  While explaining that bad guys aren’t the only reason people die isn’t that tough of a question, it was a sign of what is to come.  A sign that I am not ready for.

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