The Jasper Chronicles

The Journal of a Cynical Dad

Monday, March 30, 2009

That’s Not What Mine Looks Like

(Slightly graphic details ahead. You’ve been warned.)

I guess it's the age, The Boy is really getting into his genitals. Yesterday while on the toilet he was rolling back his foreskin and checking out the goods inside. Pooing and playing with himself, a true multi-tasker.

I brought him a dinosaur book, made a face, and gave him some privacy.

Suddenly, “Hey guys! Come here. Take a look at this.”

We don’t move. I know it’s innocent self-discovery, but it still weirds us out.

“Come here. It has horns.”


“Horns, it has horns.”

“What has horns?”

“Come here.”

P and I are perplexed, “I hope he isn’t talking about his penis.”

I poke my head in the door and, thankfully, he’s pointing to a dinosaur in the book.

Whew! But what if it really did have horns? Next thing you know he’d be in a freak show, touring, and making good money. And I always had him pegged as a doctor.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Back To Regular Programming

Said what I needed to say about Starbucks. Shitty coffee + declining sales = well you do the math.

Now back to the trials and tribulations of Me, P, and The Boy.

This morning The Boy wandered over to the toilet, lifts the lid and peed standing up! A huge milestone in my opinion. Aside from the fact this makes public washrooms easier, his Potty Seat never really fit the toilet properly - a slight twist right or left and the seat would fall into the bowl.

I got totally stressed each time The Boy went to the washroom. If he actually fell into the toilet, I'd probably be no where near my camera to take a picture.


Somewhat related. On a recent trip to the US, I discovered Americans don't use the term "washroom", they prefer "restroom". Every time I asked someone where the washroom was, I'd get this blank, furrowed stare. "You must be from Canada... we don't really go there to wash, so washroom doesn't make any sense."

Yeah well listen snot-face, I don't go to the restroom to rest either, I go there to work.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Starbucks In Decline - I'll Tell You Why

It's been well documented the past couple of years - coffee giant Starbucks is suffering.

Sales are down, stock prices dropping, stores closing, and the biggest tell-tale sign of trouble, they're jumping the shark; rolling out new products faster than you can say brand extension. Just last month, the company that moved the world away from instant coffee launched an instant coffee. Things must be getting desperate.

My fellow marketers love to dissect Starbucks. They truly were a success story. With virtually no advertising and a focused vision, they rose from a small storefront in Seattle to coffee world domination. Now that they're failing the hand wringing has begun. "They've lost their way." "Go back to core competencies." "What's with the egg sandwiches?" "Market saturation."

But there one point my contemporaries keep on overlooking: Starbucks coffee is awful!

Yeah that's a highly subjective opinion (mine), but I really believe that's the heart of their problem.

In the early days of Starbucks, there weren't a lot of shops like them. Most coffee was brewed in giant urns and served in Styrofoam cups. Starbucks changed that. The whole Starbucks experience revolved around enjoying coffee. It was unique at the time and took North America by storm. Naturally, competition came along.

It wasn't the competition itself that was the problem. It's the fact the competition was serving up better coffee. Starbucks was so busy planning the next phase of world domination, they forgot the reason people went to their stores in the first place, to have a coffee experience. Now they've become the coffee shop of convenience (they are everywhere) and not a destination; Starbucks has become the McDonald's of coffee.

Sure Starbucks has their legion of diehard fans, but they aren't the problem. The competition is making better tasting coffee for the same price, and all things remaining equal, people will go for taste every time.

Saturday, March 14, 2009


[Crinkle. Crinkle]

Me: What are you doing?

The Boy: Nothing.

Me: Are you sneaking a cookie out of the box?

TB: No. I'm doing nothing.

Me: I think you're getting a cookie.

TB: No I'm not.

I turn around just in time to see The Boy hide a cookie behind his back. I'd be gobsmacked if it wasn't so cute. This is the very first time he's tried being sneaky. Probably not the last time though.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

A Man Of Leisure - Day 2

The hardest part of being given six-months notice are the stares I'm getting from the surviving staff, like I'm the walking dead.

Honestly people, you can talk to me. And yes, I'm doing okay.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Man of Leisure

I was given my notice at work today.

Six-month working notice, which is a pretty long time, but there are a few projects they need me to manage still. I’m not all that upset, I was planning my next career move anyways, but I would have like to have left on my own terms.

So now the challenge will be to see how many blank DVDs and mechanical pencils I can steal before six months is up.

Ha ha, just kidding… I’m eyeing the laptops!

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Someone Your Own Size

The Boy and I were at Science World today, in the Lego exhibit, sending Lego cars down the Lego racetrack. He was having a good time, and the kids were playing fairly well together - lining their cars up and taking turns pulling the Start lever.

Until this one six-year old showed up. A good five inches taller than the others, he decided he was gonna be "King of the track" - taking over the table, crowding kids, and generally being the biggest one there.

If The Boy was intimidated, he didn't show it. He played with his car, cheered as it raced, and pretty much ignored the kid. I guess this got under his skin because as The Boy lined up his car for another race, the kid reached over and pulled the wheels off.

Now The Boy is going to have to learn to fight his own fights, but when it started getting physical, three years and five inches seemed too lopsided. So I did the first thing that came to mind, I grabbed the six-year old's car, pulled the wheels off, and tossed them on the floor.

The tears started immediately. His mother rushed over but he was inconsolable. I explained what happened, and fortunately, she took my side. Five minutes later, they left.

I made a six-year old cry. Yeah, not my proudest moment.

On the way home I wondered if I could have handled that differently. I guess I could have scolded him, or called his mother right away. But you know, I think I got my point across.

Monday, March 02, 2009

You'll Go Blind

The past couple of weeks The Boy has been playing with his balls. "Look!" he'll say, "Boingy, Boingy, Boingy..." jingling them around like loose change. Yup, he's definately a boy.

Tonight he asked P, "What do my balls do?" P called me right away.

"Why do I have to tell him?"

"Because I don't have balls."

Fair enough.

"Son. Your balls are full of things that make you a boy. Girls don't have them, only boys do."

"And don't play with them in public." P offers.

"That's right. You've got a lifetime ahead of you for that."

Okay, I can't believe I just had a discussion with a 3-year old about his balls. I really wasn't expecting to have this talk with The Boy for at least another 10 years, at which time he'd probably learn all he needs to know from the Internet, sparing me from the conversation.

While I think my explanation satisfied him, tomorrow he'll probably walk right up to his daycare worker and exclaim "I have balls. You don't."

Can't wait.