Bloggerhood Etc. 9/15/14

Sad Tony Romo

The saddest Sad Romo of them all (Image: Jon Bois/SB Nation)

It’s halfway through the month of September. Fall is coming, but you can’t tell in Oregon because it’s still 90° here! At least we’ve got Duck football (and Beaver football for my daughter). Anyway, here’s the best of the week …

Best Schadenfreude. “Breaking Madden: Tony Romo’s Week in Quarterback Hell” by Jon Bois at SB Nation.

Best Dad Post.Dear Kids … A Letter About Ray Rice” by Carl Wilke at Big Cheese Dad.

Best Guest PostThe Other Lie” by Lisa Sharon Harper at Rachel Held Evans’ blog.

Best Advice.Singled Out: How Churches Can Embrace Unmarried Adults” by Cristena Cleveland.

Best List.7 Toys That Are Not Played With as the Designer Intended” by Darrel Milton at Modern Father Online.

Best Commentary.Solidarity is Our Word: My Humanity is Bound up in Yours” by Meghan Clark at National Catholic Reporter.

Best Profile.Acosia Red Elk: Young Swan Rising From the Water” by John Mounts at 1859.

Best Reflection.Our Selves Drift Away” by Ryan Dueck at Christian Century.

Most Evocative Title. Dodging Farts on Mount Vesuvius” by Jason Greene at One Good Dad.

Best Hagiography. The Real Francis: How One Saint’s Ancient Insights are Transforming Today’s Church” at America.

Best Micro-Post.What Your Selfie Really Says About You” by Tamara Lunardo at A Deeper Story.

Best Path to Recovery.So … you left an abusive church? 5 Tips to Start Healing NOW” by Elizabeth Esther.

Most Honest.The 3 Toddler Words I Need to Stop Saying. Like, Right Now.” by Chris Routly at Daddy Doctrines.

Best Special Needs Post. What it Means to be Independent” by Laurie Wallin at Support for Special Needs.

Best Article. The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill Church” by Craig Welch at Seattle Times.

Best Interview.Dispatch from Zambia: An Interview with Claire Albrecht of Kasama Micro Grants” by

Best Video. Cute Character Blog” by Glove and Boots (via YouTube).

And I don’t like piña coladas either.

Bloggerhood Etc. 2/10/14

Olympic Rings

Photo: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Winter Olympics, winter-induced cabin fever, and more! It’s the best and the worst of the week.

Worst Olympic Coverage.Jon’s dispatches from Sochi, a place he is not at” by Jon Bois at SB Nation.

It seems like there are more and more Olympic host cities each and every year. But Sochi, the host of this year’s Winter Games, was clearly unprepared. Here is Jon’s report from Sochi. He is not there, and these photos are fake.

Best Cure for Boredom.The Sochi Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony drinking game!” by Matt Ufford at SBNation.

The Olympics Opening Ceremony has everything a bored viewer staying home on a Friday night could possibly want: pageantry, bad outfits, people walking, and announcers reading facts from Wikipedia. In other words: you’ll need a drinking game to enjoy it.

Best Primer.What you need to know about Olympic figure skating at the Sochi Games” by Roger Sherman at SB Nation.

Figure skating is America’s favorite winter sport, a beautiful art form we watch because somebody coated in glitter will have her life’s work shattered because she failed to land a triple axel. But what the hell is a triple axel?

Best Essay.A Miracle Put on Ice” by Jeff Perlman at SB Nation.

Four years after the “Miracle on Ice,” the 1984 U.S. Olympic Hockey Team never had a chance.

An impossible goal doomed them before they ever began.

Worst Case of Cabin Fever.Snow Days from Hell” by Evelyn Shoop at Momsicle.

… when the snow started falling on Thursday, I was giddy. There it was: quiet beauty with the promise of play time. Instead, I’m locked in a low-budget horror movie. Have you seen Despicable Me 2? You know how those cute yellow minions turn into feral, fuzzy creatures of death? That’s what happened around here.

Best Mental Escape from the Cold.Isla Taboga: Panama’s Best Kept Secret” by Jane R. Stevenson at Go Nomad.

The view from Cerra de la Cruz, Isla Tabaga

Photo: Jane Stevenson

Best Admission (and Worst Schedule).My So-Called Blogging Life” by Natalie Trust.

Or “how to spend a whole day not writing.” So funny, and so true.

Best Resource.The Big Book of Black Quarterbacks” by Greg Howard at Deadspin.

This project started with my dad on Thanksgiving. He was reminiscing about Doug Williams, who in 1988 became the first black quarterback to start and win a Super Bowl. All these years later, he was still proud of Williams, whose name to some may be that of a half-remembered player from the past but to millions of others remains a powerful symbol of progress. It stayed with me, and it seemed that it was worth telling the story not just of Williams, but of everyone—of all those generations of players who struggled so that Russell Wilson could be, simply, a good young quarterback.

Best List.4 Things Little Girls Need from Their Dads” by Thomas Blevins at Elevate Dads.

Maybe you are wrestling with this and don’t know where to start. Maybe being a dad isn’t natural. Maybe your dad was never in the picture. But you can make a difference right where you are. Here are some tried and true principals that every little girl needs from their dad.

Best Video.Glove and Boots Product Testing: Rotato Express” by Glove and Boots (via YouTube).

Bloggerhood Etc. 11/11/13

Football contributions of folks named Johnson.

Infographic: Jon Bois/SB Nation

Best Bad Idea.Breaking Madden: One team, 46 guys named Johnson” by Jon Bois at SB Nation.

My question: what if an NFL general manager just started drafting every guy named Johnson that he possibly could? Frankly, it’s not the worst idea I’ve ever heard, so we’re going to give it a try. This is a two-phase experiment:



Special thanks to the largest Breaking Madden ensemble cast ever assembled, and to all y’all who applied for inclusion. While making these players, I spent so much time looking at the word “Johnson” that the silent “h” actually started looking weird and out of place. Mission accomplished.

Best Question.Are You a Bully?” by Thomas Blevins at Elevate Dads.

As a dad, this is what hits me hardest…

According to Child Trends: “Children who have less-involved parents are more likely to bully others, as are those who have siblings or parents who model or endorse aggressive behavior. Parenting styles linked to social bullying include those lacking nurturing or that rely on psychological control of children; children with parents who manipulate relationships to assert power or gain attention are also more likely to engage in social bullying.”

Wow. Can we just agree right now that we will never be our child’s bully?

Best Guest Post.One Small Change: Tipping My Hand” by Cara Strickland, posting at Addie Zierman’s blog How To Talk Evangelical.

It is easy for me to picture what a person in need, or a person hurting, looks like in my mind. I will tell you this: that person is not smiling at me, pulling out my chair and asking what I’d like to drink.

Best (and Geekiest) List.Top 10 Things You Can Upgrade with a Little Electronics Hacking” by Whitson Gordon at LifeHacker.

Retro Pac Man console

Image: Lifehacker

Best Commentary.Marriage Isn’t For You” by Seth Adam Smith.

… a true marriage (and true love) is never about you. It’s about the person you love—their wants, their needs, their hopes, and their dreams. Selfishness demands, “What’s in it for me?”, while Love asks, “What can I give?”

Most Scenic Pub Crawl.The Bend Ale Trail is the Perfect Weekend Away” by Evelyn at Momsicle.

My husband and I are trying to make fun stuff happen in our lives. Don’t get me wrong, our pets K-Pants and Baby Woww are fun, but they’re fun in a very volatile, Hangover sort of way. Some morning, about 16 years from now, we’re going to wake up with splitting headaches and ask ourselves, “What just happened?!? Do you remember any of it?”

In the meantime, we’re adding in a few lucid moments without the gremlins.

Wisest.How the Hidden Dangers of Comparison are Killing Us … {and Our Daughters} : The Measuring Stick Principle” by Ann Voskamp at A Holy Experience.

“The world isn’t a forest of measuring sticks. The world is a forest of burning bushes. Everything isn’t a marker to make you feel behind or ahead; everything is a flame to make you see GOD is here.”

Happiest. “All Together Now!” by Glove and Boots (via YouTube).

Also one of the best Beatles covers ever.

Bloggerhood Etc. 9/30/13

Jeffrey Wright and W. Kamau Bell

Image via FXX and The Washington Post

A lot of great stuff to sort through this week resulting in an extra-long list of links. Enjoy!

Best Solution to the So-Called Name Controversy.Jeffrey Wright defends ‘Redskins’ name” by Dan Steinberg at The Washington Post’s D.C. Sports Bog.

(Wright) pointed out the several majority-Native American high schools that continue to call their teams “Redskins,” and finally made a proposal.

“They don’t want this to disappear, either,” he said. “If the Redskins, RGIII, in the offseason, spent some time to go down and work with some of those young brothers, maybe help them out with some educational opportunities and things like that — if they made a connection in that way — I think it could dismiss the entire argument. Because in that way, there would be a sense of ownership, or at least a sense of connection to the team. And I think it could be very effective, and a good story for everyone.”

Excellent idea!

Best Response to Banned Books Week.Please Ban My Books as Loudly and Obnoxiously as You Can” by Chuck Wendig at Terrible Minds.

I have come to the decision — since it is banned books week, after all — that my books are vile, wretched specimens of American pop culture. They prominently feature:

Crass profanity!

Caustic violence!

Gratuitous sexual exploits!


Won’t someone please think of the children?

Best Reminder.No More Survival Mode” by Nish Wiseth.

I am a blessed woman.

And yet, when people ask me how I’m doing, I often respond with, “I’m tired. I’m in Survival Mode, but I’m okay.”

We too have spent the spring and summer in survival mode. It’s necessary sometimes, but it’s no way to live long term.

Best Lesson.Families First – Things I Have Learned Over the last Few Months” by Dennis A. Daniel at MAN UP! A Practical Guide to Being a Dad.

Over the last few months I have had the pleasure of being exposed to a group of men, who I never would have met were it not for (my) book.  This group is about as diverse as they come.  They are diverse politically, racially, economically and religiously.  They are from different countries and continents.  They are married, divorced, gay and straight.  They are young with new families, and older with grown families.

The thing that these men have in common is that they are all passionate about being great Dads.

We all love our children and want what’s best for them. That similarity is far greater than any of our differences.

Must Read.I’m Coming Out… as Pro-Vaccine” by JJ Keith at The Huffington Post.

I have two reasons for rethinking my silence: Jack and Clio … Their (leukemia) prevents them from receiving live vaccines such as the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) shot … The idea that they could be exposed to a vaccine-preventable disease while they are enduring treatment is troubling.

You might be thinking, “No worries, because those kids are protected by herd immunity.” Well, so many parents are foregoing vaccines now … (that) there are pockets where the vaccine rates are dipping below 50 percent. For herd immunity to be effective, vaccination rates need to be at least in the ballpark of 80 percent.

Get your kids vaccinated. The benefits—to them and to other children—far outweigh the risks.

Best Defense of Introverts.In the Whirled: Socializing our kids to death” by Tiffany Gee Lewis in The Deseret News. Like me, Anna seems to be an “outgoing introvert.” As much as she can be a social butterfly, there are times when she retreats to her room and lets her imagination run wild. She needs that space.

Best Travel Article.Expect the unexpected at Glacier Park” by Melissa Hart in The Eugene Register Guard. Hart always includes her daughter’s experiences in her travel writing. Wonderful stuff.

Best Photoblog.What The Monopoly Properties Look Like In Real Life” by Nick Carr (aka Scout) at Scouting New York.

Virginia Avenue

Photo: Nick Carr

Every property as it looks today. I really enjoyed seeing them all.

Best Book Excerpt.Someone just stabbed that man” by Cheryl Strayed at

“Someone just stabbed that man,” I said loudly to the waiter, who emerged from the café doors moments after the attack …

“I wouldn’t worry about it,” he said to me now, languidly refilling my coffee cup from the pot he carried.

“You wouldn’t?” I asked …

Best Video.My Little Pony Toy Store Extortion” at The Incredible Adela Ru channel on YouTube.

“I need them because I don’t have them.”