Posts from July, 2009

The quick brown fox jumped over the good, but lazy Parker family.

sexy australian: the dual flush toilet

Thursday, 30 July 2009

i forgot the most exciting part of the last week: we got a new toilet.

ever since we first stepped foot in australia, we’ve been fascinated by aussie plumbing … and not in a grossed-out-because-it’s-only-a-hole-in-the-floor sort of way.

apparently, australia has been in a drought for much of the decade (actually, for most of their existence) so the aussies have developed some smack-yourself-on-the-head brilliant toilet technology.

the best is a toilet with two “levels” of flush: one flush is what one would expect in any bathroom in America, and the other is a half-flush for waste of a liquid persuasion.

anyway, our building is replacing our old, out-of-date toilets with more efficient models (we’re trying to drive down our shared $16,000 annual water bill) and we opted to pay a little extra for the sexy aussie model.

needless-to-say, we (a) are both really excited, and (b) both really need to get out more.

in mt. pleasant, dc:

2y, 0m, 10d

bambi on skates

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

ever since I started really following English football (neé soccer) four years ago, I’ve been infatuated with a striker fans affectionately refer to as “Bambi on Skates” (or “Bambi on Ice”, for much the same reasoning).

Peter Crouch (as I am assuming his parents call him, tho them calling him Bambi or Skates would be fantastic…) is 6 feet 8 inches tall, and his nickname is a spot on description of how he looks when he plays the game … there are legs flying every where.

and now, Skates has landed with my team, Tottenham Hotspur … and I am completely cheesed.

I wish I could say more about his recent playing days … but we just sprung him from a couple of years in purgatory (otherwise known as Porstmouth) so I really have little clue what sort of form he’s in.

that being said, he does a fab “robot” dance after scoring (see 0:31 above for a sample). let’s hope he’s got plenty of celebratory dances opportunities left for the coming seasons.

found: portrait of baby sparklet

Tuesday, 28 July 2009


ECPA20090724_0002, originally uploaded by [ecpark].



sibley memorial baby-birthing resort

Monday, 27 July 2009


i learned two very important things today: our delivery hospital (sibley memorial hospital in D.C.) has valet parking, and the lady sparkler isn’t anywhere near the craziest baby momma in the District right now.

we went out to sibley for an official hospital tour this afternoon. it’s not any closer than it was before, but wasn’t any farther away either (funny, that buildings don’t move around much). it took about fifteen calm, serene, scenic minutes to make the trip, which i am sill having difficulty reconciling with the unbridled anarchy i know is just 15 weeks away.

during the tour, we saw first hand sibley’s range of post-partum recovery rooms, and some of the private rooms (including the delivery rooms) are just ridiculously nice. one wing has deep hardwood floors, flat screen televisions, mp3 player hookups, arm-chairs that fully recline into beds for tired partners, baby blanket warmers, etc.

they may have mentioned something about medical facilities, it was only an afterthought … and i think i must have been distracted when it finally came up. did i mention they have valet parking?!?



family’s reunion

Saturday, 25 July 2009

· ·

quick trip to williamsburg, today. brother and best man Pop Culture Examiner was down for his 239th high school reunion, brought to you by “facebook” and the “national association of lafayette high school alumni who have been gone long enough to have forgotten why they left.”

we came down because we haven’t seen him (nor wife, niece and nephew extraordinaire) since the lady sparkler got us pregnant. needless to say, we wanted to see them — the little ones especially — to better transition into that little bundle of joy they are going to be expected to coo about over the holidays.

that night, grandma, grandpa, the wee ones, and the sparklers did a very special dinner at Sonic (lady sparkler’s fast food crush) while the reunion festivities raged over at “the hospitality house.” the niece and i got into a pig-tail measuring contest (she won) and super-nephew tried to get in on the action as well.

which makes me wonder … have my classes had reunions? i haven’t heard of one, but then again … if i was throwing a reunion, i probably wouldn’t invite me either.





bridge 2009: Quick and Dirty Case Studies for Social Media Fundraising and Engagement

Thursday, 23 July 2009


I presented at Bridge this afternoon, a conference for non-profit fundraisers and marketers.

Our session (with Jocelyn Harmon of Marketing for Non-Profits fame) was a nice little road map for non-profits deciding if they should be in the social media space, and how to best go about getting there. I was brought in for case studies, and focused on Facebook Causes, Flickr, the new, and online donation based social media.

We actually had a third presenter, Roz Lemieux from Fission Strategy, but the fire alarm went off 30 minutes out from the end and she never made it podium. It was the last day of the conference, during the last session — why do i keep getting the graveyard shifts? — and nobody seemed interested in going back to the conference room after the all clear was given.

Now, if we had offered to finish it up at the hotel bar … who knows what sort of attendance we would have had.

Speaking of, the conference was at the Gaylord / National Harbor way out in suburban Maryland. The compound certainly was impressive, but in a fake, Disneyland sorta way. Everything was shiny and massive, but rang (more than) a little hollow. Not to mention, the Gaylord are the people who stole “The Awakening” from DC’s Hains Point, so I am already rooting for their speedy demise.

On the flip side, at least I have another reason to hate the ‘burbs … with all the baby shopping at suburban big box stores, I was obviously starting to run out.

the ‘burbs and the baby

Saturday, 18 July 2009

· ·

for the uninitiated, i really can’t explain the horror that is Babies ‘R Us.

our m.o.h., foster mom, is in town this weekend, and we’re taking advantage of her unbridled enthusiasm to travel across the vast wastelands of the D.C. suburbs looking for baby crap.

the store seems to have been organized via the detonation of a low-yield nuclear weapon, and then ravaged by whatever rampaging, post-apocalyptic hordes survived. there is no sign of intelligent life to explain to you what you really need, just clerks saying what will happen if you don’t buy the most expensive device they have in stock. to make matters worse, only the most overpriced items are readily available, and all the “reasonably priced” merchandise is either out-of-stock, or hidden in some dark ghetto corner-of-shame in the store.

admittedly, i might not be qualified to judge fairly — i hate the ‘burbs, i hate driving in the ‘burbs, i hate big box stores, i hate backward “R”s, and i get claustrophobic when surrounded by lots of 200 lb pregnant women using strollers as cow-catchers.

none of this affords me an unbiased platform from which to judge.

that being said, there is at least one good thing about these monuments to baby-spending-excess: you can touch the items. before you put them back down. and buy the same thing online. for 20% less.

fortunately, friend and co-worker Papa Bradstein (unwittingly) gave us sage advice about a book called Baby Bargains, which is a kind of Consumer Reports for baby stuff.

(actually, Baby Bargains is better, because while CR rates baby products, they don’t give much insight into why they rated one product better than another.)

the book has been great, and i’ve been reading it non-stop … taking away solid info on not only which particular product is best for us (ie. one car seat vs another) but what types of mass-marketing bunk we can avoid entirely (diaper-stackers) without it triggering a child endangerment persecution or (worse yet) nasty looks from our parenting peers.

luckily, as we slog through the baby shopping, the lady sparkler and i are on the same page about this breed of baby consumerism and she is every bit as exasperated/angry as i am.

the only difference? i know more about breast pumps than any human possibly can with out getting his man-card forcibly revoked.



the summer of sparklet

Monday, 13 July 2009


well, i’m pretty sure that the lady sparkler is pregnant. like, really *really* pregnant. like, duck-out-of-the-way-when-she-turns-around pregnant.

she’s a total trooper, but is just now starting to slow down a bit and get some of those typical symptoms of pregnancy (well, symptoms other than me saying “duuuuuuude, you’re HUUUUUGEE” daily). she’s getting a little tired, little sore (back, ribs) and is a little more dedicated to her naps and early bedtimes.

oh, but thank god for the el niño moderated summer temperatures this summer in the District. we’ve had a total of one day over 90 degrees since we got back from vacay this spring, and i think that is way better than we had any reason to expect.

turns out that while my beloved is incubating, she isn’t so interested in being incubated herself.