November 19, 2018

Has 2018 gone too far?

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2018, it seems has been the year of a lot of people being offended over what I can only describe as, fuck all.



We've seen people complain about a tissue being classed as "Man-size", a woman make allegations that she was the victim of violence and then trying to destroy the other person's life, even though we could all see on TV, across the country, that she wasn't touched. We've seen people complain about the Yorkie slogan "It's not for girls". It seems clothes that are specifically labelled for a boy or a girl are ridiculously offensive now, even though those children have no idea.

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We have people who are gender fluid, non-binary, identifying as inanimate objects among many other things. Now I'm all for letting people be or feel how they want to feel but, do we really need a word for all this stuff? Do people really need to shout it from the rooftops that they don't identify as a male/female but they do identify as a duck-billed platypus and we should respect their rights as a duck?

We have seen over the year lot of people shout out about all this stuff on social media, claim outrage that a label they've given themselves isn't immediately respected. These people will then claim they are being bullied and respond to being bullied by giving abuse back, more often than not, ten times worse than anything they believe they have received. A lot of people are applauding this and feeding their delusions.

If you identify as an inanimate object then you should consider the fact that you have a mental illness and you need some help. The people who feed this by telling you how brave you are, are not helping you. Identifying as a building or a baby giraffe isn't normal or even slightly out of the norm. Do we really believe that people who do this are of sound mind? Should we not try and get them the help they need?

Maybe I'm wrong here, maybe this is perfectly normal and I'm just way out of touch now. I don't think I could ever believe that someone who believes they identify more like a building than a person doesn't need some sort of help. These are my feelings though and possibly don't represent many people at all, I don't know. This is just my corner of the internet to ramble on.

Have we gone too far?

The other day i saw an article on my local cities Facebook page about a CBeebies presenter had labelled on live TV a snowman as a "snow person".

WTF!?

Are we really that pathetic now that something that isn't real, will only last a few days at most, has gender biased issues? I don't usually comment on things like this, I just think quietly to myself how ridiculous a lot of these things are but this seemed to stupid not to comment on.

Apparently calling a snowman a snowman is outdated. Why? Why does this matter? Its snow!




As you can see above, I have come up with some much more cooler names if we really going to be offended at the word snowman.

Its called a snowman cause when people make one, it resembles a man. By all means, if its the fact that the word "man" bothers you, wack some snowboobs on it and call it a snow-woman. I doubt anyone will care and especially won't be offended.

I for one, cannot wait to get out of 2018. I hope 2019 is a little saner and people find an actual worthy cause or to be enraged about and try and make a change instead of worrying about snows feelings and whether a tissue has size issues.

What do you think? Have we gone too far this year?




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November 18, 2018

How A Toe Ruined My Sunday

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Today I should have been going to my sons 1st proper karate tournament in Barnsley to watch him complete. Instead, as I write this, it's 8:20 am and I'm sat in A&E with a possible broken toe.


How did it happen I hear you ask? Well, you'll find out further down the post.

I got up at 6 am this morning with everyone and waved them off. I got myself ready and then hobbled to the bus stop. I couldn't risk driving just in case it was broken, as I wouldn't have been able to get the car back home. The bus was quite busy but once I got into town it was very eerie. All the shops were closed due to it being early on a Sunday and nobody was around.

The autumnal weather has almost gone and winter is slowly sneaking up on us. There was a shimmer of frost on the ground and I could see my breath in the air. I'll be honest, I was freezing my tits off, and yes, I do have tits now. I've put on a little bit of weight, OK!

Once I'd gotten to A&E and completed the self check-in, I was seen by a nurse practitioner within 5 minutes. He prodded my toe like it was a piece of jelly (Do you prod jelly?). I had to push my toe against his finger in different directions, all of which were painful and almost impossible. My toe has started to go black along the left side and it is very swollen compared to my other toe. He decided to send me for an X-Ray.

Radioactive Man!

I made my way down the corridor to the x-ray department and rang the bell as instructed (I'm a good boy). Within 2 minutes, I was in the room getting my foot naked. Whilst I was sat outside the room I noticed a sign on the wall stating that when being x-rayed you are exposed to a small amount of radiation but the potential benefit of an x-ray outweighs the risk. Fine by me, If I get superpowers from this I'll be well happy.

How did it happen?

If it is a broken toe then this will be probably the lamest way to break a bone ever. On Saturday morning we were getting ready for my cousin's wedding (I don't blame her for this by the way, honestly). The Mrs had come downstairs from straightening her hair and said she had forgotten to turn them off. 

So, being the gallant knight in shining armour that I am,  I ran upstairs to turn the plug off. As I got to the last step, I hit the stair riser with my big toe. I said "fuck, shit, bollocks" under my breath as the pain was horrific and my toe went numb. Like any good soldier though, I carried on with my mission and I'm pleased to report, the plug was successfully turned off (no need to nominate me for any awards, silent adulation is enough).

We spent the rest of the day having a great time at the wedding. Throughout the day I could feel my toe throbbing and when I got a chance to take my shoe off and have a look, we noticed it starting to go black. The Mrs said that because it's my big toe I would need to go to A&E, just in case it is broken. 

Is it broken?

Now, the time is 11 am and I'm at home finishing the rest of this post. The toe isn't broken, just badly bruised. I have to rest it and stick an ice pack on it.

I kind of wish it was broken. I feel shit for missing Josephs karate tournament, especially for something as stupid as this. The only consolation is that I know there will be plenty more tournaments to go watch him unless of course, I sprain my wrist opening a bottle of juice or something.





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November 18, 2018

What My Son Thinks Of Bullying

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My son Joseph has been doing karate for a while now and recently, whilst at his weekly class, his Sensei taught the children about bullying and how to handle it.


So now its been a few weeks since that chat I decided to see what Joseph thought about bullying. I decided to ask him a few questions, you can see his answers below.

What do you think bullying means?

Like, being mean to someone or unkind. Teasing someone. Pushing someone, hurting them.

Is bullying good or bad?

Bad!

What do you think of people who are bullies?

They're not nice.

Would you ever bully someone?

No!

Are you being bullied?

No.

What would you do if you were being bullied?

Tell the teacher.

What if the bullies kept bullying you, what would you do?

Tell them to go away and if they didn't, do my karate.

Who teaches you about bullying and how to deal with it?

Sensei, you and mummy.

What do you think of your sensei?

He's really good cause he teaches me things.

Has learning karate made you feel better about sticking up for yourself against bullies?

Yeah.







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November 14, 2018

Interviewing my kids

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This week I came across a post on Facebook that gets you to ask your children some questions and record their answers.


So, I decided to do this with my two. Josephs is seven and Alice is 3. I asked Alice the questions first as she was a bit knackered and I thought she would even try to answer them Lets see what they said...


WITHOUT prompting, ask your child these questions

Alice 3 years old


*What is something Dad says a lot? I don't know

*What makes Dad happy? Crying (I don't cry and it also wouldn't make me happy if I did LOL)

*What makes Dad sad? Don't know

*How tall is Dad? *raises arm over her head

*What's Dads favourite thing to do? Play with me

*What is Dads favourite food? Mash and gravy

*What is Dads favourite drink? Coca cola

*If Dad could go anywhere, where would she go? Bridlington

*Do you think you could live without Daddy? No

*How does Dad annoy you? Me don't know

*What is Dads favourite tv show? Barney

*What is Dads favourite music to listen to? Nothing

*What is Dads job? I don't know

*How old is Dad? 3

*What's is Dads favourite colour? Blue

*How much do you love Dad? Two eighteen




Joseph 7 years old


*What is something Dad says a lot? Stop shouting

*What makes Dad happy? People being good and nice

*What makes Dad sad? Me and Alice being cheeky

*How tall is Dad 6 foot

*What's Dads favourite thing to do? Have a rest

*What is Dads favourite food? Mummy's pasties (that's not a euphemism)

*What is Dads favourite drink? Fanta

*If Dad could go anywhere, where would she go? Disney world

*Do you think you could live without Daddy? No!

*How does Dad annoy you? When you say maybe cause I don't know if you're saying yes or no

*What is Dads favourite tv show? Batman

*What is Dads favourite music to listen to? Shotgun

*What is Dads job? Working at ********** and selling things and looking after us

*How old is Dad? 32

*What's is Dads favourite colour? Blue

*How much do you love Dad? 6000% and mummy 6000% I mean the biggest number in the world. 



As you can see, Alice is doesn't know a lot of things, but I guess I can let her off as she has only just turned 3. Joseph got most of these, spot on, although my favourite song isn't shotgun, it's his LOL. Why not have a go at this yourself, copy, paste and see what your child says!

You will be surprised how much your kids pay attention to you!






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November 11, 2018

Do These Animals Have Belly Buttons?

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Children come out with all sorts of questions, some important, some, not so much. They generally come out with these questions around bedtime. Anything to stall the inevitable drift into slumberland. One night a few weeks ago, the Mrs was putting Alice to be when she came out with...


This may seem like a simple question to answer but do you know the answer for certain? This isn't something I have ever been asked or even thought about. I mean, why the frig do I care if a pig has a belly button or not?

It turns out they do have belly buttons but they are just a bit harder to find.

What other animals have belly buttons Rich? I hear you ask.

Well, the below list of animals I hand picked and did a quick search to find out whether they had a belly button or not. You're welcome.

  • Sharks - Only for a few weeks after giving birth
  • Chimpanzee/Gorilla - Yes
  • Duck-Billed Platypus - No
  • Kangaroo - No
  • Koalas - No
  • Panda - Yes
  • Tiger - Yes
  • Penguin - No
  • Parrots - No
  • Cats - Yes
  • Dogs - Yes
Basically, if an animal has a baby like we do and not in an egg like birds, they will have a belly button as the umbilical cord will be attached.

I hope that has settled some of those niggling questions that I know you've all had. 

What random questions have your children asked you in the last week?


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November 07, 2018

Is Shopping By Gender Really A Big Deal?

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This week I came across a Twitter post that called out Matalan for the way their Christmas jumpers are gender specified. The post stated that Matalan "need to drag themselves into the 21st century and let kids be kids and wear what they like". So I asked myself...

The main issue was that a jumper which had Santa and a dinosaur on it had a label that said "boys" and a white jumper that had #santasquad on it said "girls. The problem being brought up was, that girls like dinosaurs to and boys like white.

After reading this comment my first thought was, "Are Matalan deliberately trying to cause offence here?".

No, I'm pretty sure they weren't. After all, they are retailers, they have suppliers who no doubt use that specific label on plenty of other things. The person who raised this issue didn't see why he had to walk to the boy's department to get this jumper for his girls, the jumpers should have been together.

This point I agree with. Partly.

I do think that Christmas jumpers or anything particularly seasonal should be put together so they are easier to find. What I don't agree with is, is there not being a specific section for boys and girls or men and women.

Now that that bit is out of the way... 

I decided to run a twitter poll to see if I was the only one who felt this way about gendered sections in shops, which I suspected I might be. This being 2018 an all.



The results speak for themselves I think. This isn't to say the person who wrote the original tweet is wrong, of course not. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and I respect their right to have one. For me, it just doesn't matter. I will walk to a different area of the store to get my child something that they want and I don't particularly care what that section is called.

What came out of this poll was that whilst a lot of people weren't bothered by calling departments boys or girls, as it makes shopping easier, it did bring a fair few people who would like to see a unisex section. After all, there are plenty of clothes that both sexes can wear. If you identify as a frying pan one morning, I'm sure there'll be something for you too.

It also showed that some people genuinely believe that 2-year-olds can be fully aware they are the wrong gender. Can a 2 year old be aware of this? I personally doubt it but I'm no expert. A massive row erupted over this  because there are certain people out there that cannot simply accept other people's opinions and that their way is the right way. 

I think some people should stop using children to further their own agenda (I don't mean the original twitter post here). Let kids be kids, sure, but let them do it without clouding their mind with all this crap. After all, you're the one that has the issues about it. Your kids have no idea. They just want to wear a jumper, climb a tree or whatever else they choose to do. I am glad to see that most parents aren't like this. 

As we all know, male and females bodies are completely different and most of the clothes made are to suit this difference in body shape, hence the departmentalised areas. I personally, don't want to have to walk through tons of strappy vests and skirts just to find a t-shirt that is going to fit me. I want to be able to go straight to that area and know that the top is made for a man and not a woman. I don't want to have to waste my time trying something on to realise it is made for a woman's body shape. I shop quickly, I know what I want, I go and get it, then I pay for it and leave.

We have already seen places like John Lewis and Next try the unisex selections, they clearly wanted the good press at the time and well done them but, this has clearly not made them enough money as they are either shrinking rapidly or now non-existent in most stores.

Does it really matter and will it ever change?

To me, no, it doesn't matter. I don't care. Will it ever change? Probably not, unless the masses demand it, it is going to stay as it is. This is what makes companies money. 

Are you bothered by gendered labels in clothes? I don't believe a label confuses children or anyone else, the confusion comes from how they are taught to look at these things.








November 06, 2018

Christmas Gift Guide For Dads

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It's that time again, where you have to think about buying gifts for others in the hope that you get something back.

Come on, we all do that!



This year is the first time I am writing a gift guide. I'm aiming to write this for people who aren't quite sure what to buy for their dads/husbands/brothers etc. It isn't full of expensive items, but items that you may potentially not think about buying, but they are nice presents to give.

For the purpose of this guide, I was sent each of these items to try out before reviewing. All views are my own. Now that the boring sentence is out the way, let's see what we have;


Storm Trooper Bluetooth speaker from Funky Pigeon

Funky Pigeon sent me this 5W high-quality Bluetooth speaker in the shape of a storm troopers helmet. I'm a big fan of Star Wars and have wanted a Bluetooth speaker for a while so this was a match made in heaven.

I was very surprised at how loud the sound would go without comprising the music I was hearing. This is a great gift for any Star Wars fan, especially one who enjoys listening to music. The product was easy to use, I paired it with my phone within seconds, stuck some music on YouTube and off it went. My little girl was rocking out to some music in no time!



Proze Band+ Fitness Tracker With Heart Rate Monitor

This Proze fitness tracker came to me at a time I had just cancelled my gym membership due to not having enough time to go. I have been using this tracker since I got it to keep a count of how many steps I'm doing at work and on my days off, it has helped me to be more active than I potentially would have been. 

It also tracks your sleep etc. You can download an app which you can sync the information to. The first night it showed me I had 2 hours of deep sleep (sounds about with two kids) and 5 hours of light sleep, this has shown me that I probably need to go to bed earlier than I currently do. The tracker will also inform you of phone calls etc. It comes with either a blue or purple strap. Inside the box is also a spare black strap in case blue or purple aren't your thing. I've kept the blue strap on as I wear a light blue shirt for work and I'm all about colour coordinating!


Using this has definitely helped me get more exercise, as I really want to hit my daily target. 



Paperspast 

Have you ever read a newspaper form the day you were born? I hadn't, but I recently received a genuine copy of The Times newspaper from 16th October 1986 from PapersPast. This was a unique gift that I would never have thought of getting before and it was great to see what was happening in the world when I was born.

It was especially hilarious to see that in the year a new Amstrad word processor came out that had an "enormous" 256k memory LOL! It was priced at £399!! Unbelievable.

I have written a review of this product which you can find here.

This is a really unique gift that I'm sure you would enjoy receiving.



Little Hungarian Heart Scented Sachets

This is a scented sachet for men that could be used in a gym bag, drawer, wardrobe, bedroom or anywhere else that might be a bit smelly. They are embroidered and sourced in Hungary and Romania from the artists and help support women in the economically deprived areas of these countries.

You can choose from either lavender or cedar scent. I would definitely have used mine in my gym bag if I hadn't had just stopped going, so instead, I have placed mine in my wardrobe. I went for the cedar scent as I'm not a big fan of lavender. 

These are great for a little stocking filler and I always find that handmade items make a more personal present, even if you haven't made them yourself. You can find them on Etsy here.


The Referee T-Shirt

I got this "Referee" t-shirt from Parent Bear which accurately depicts my life as a dad right now!


The Parent Bear sells t-shirts for mums, dads and baby grows with great slogans on. This t-shirt was my favourite. I ordered it in an XL as this is my size, I was very glad to see that when I tried it on it fit like an XL should. Not like in a lot of places where you buy your size and its either way to small or far too big. 

The t-shirt came in a choice of 8 different colours, I'm not one for bright coloured t-shirts so grey suited me fine. Being tall, I have a problem buying t-shirts that are long enough for me. I didn't have a problem with this one so I will probably wear it every day. I may wash it once a week, who knows.