Just a few minutes from downtown Tampa, Florida.
Having a child will change any new father’s lifestyle. It can be very difficult transition to make, and there will be times when you find yourself frustrated that you can’t just drop everything and head out the door. Many men find they have little time, less energy, and worst of all, more weight gain as a result of no real and consistent activity. However, there is a great solution I have found that compliments any exercise regimen that you do have. Also, it is a great way to spend time outside with your child; and wife as the image features.
The answer is buy a bike. Not just any bike, but one that you can sit back on and be comfortable. Get a cruiser with a fat seat, articulated handlebars, interchangeable gears, and shocks to minimize impacts. Once you’ve found comfort and the right features, slap a nice big basket on the front and a child seat on the back. Trust me, you’ll look cooler than you think, especially when you fly by some poor sap pushing a stroller.
Parents often elect to get the trailers instead of the seat due to safety reasons. I understand these reasons, so I do my best to be as careful as possible. What I like about the detachable seat is that it brings my child up closer to me. He sees more or less what I see, and we can interact with one another. The compactness of the setup also makes for easier storage and carry. There are several different child seats to choose from, but both Rhode Gear and Bell make decent ones. I happened to get the bike and the seat from Sports Authority.
Incidentally, Sports Authority has a nice selection of life jackets as well. :~)
Buying this bike has changed my life significantly. Not only do I now take and pickup my child from daycare whenever possible, but I have also discovered new areas in the place I live. It has freed me from some of the sedentary constraints of fatherhood, and given me and my son a way of discovering the world around us together. I’ve heard some parents complain their children are afraid of speed. My son now enjoys it. And a nice little bonus is that I have lost much of the weight I gained after he was born.
So fathers, get off your fat butt and go biking with your child.
Cigars are about as synonymous with Tampa as gambling is with Las Vegas. Guilty pleasures that cost money, and you can lose big when you play with them. I’m not so much of a gambler or a smoker, but despite the risks I do occasionally like to puff on a good old stogie.
I found Gaspar’s Cigar Shoppe by accident, but now I keep going back. Reason: in the back they have one case that contains Nicaraguan, Dominican, and Honduran cigars that are hand-rolled here in Tampa. The flavor and the price point are all perfect for my tastes, and there is something about the fact that there is no branding, labels, or fancy presentation – just the real deal. I also like the owner, D.C., a real deal himself who epitomizes many of the characters that compose the Tampa region.
Gaspar’s was established by fourth generation Tampan, Davelis “D.C.” Goutoufas, whose roots run deep in Tampa Bay. Goutoufas is the great grandson of a pioneering Greek who helped settle Tampa in 1887. He is a member of one of the Gasparilla krewes.
I snapped a picture of DC the last time I was in there. The above is my depiction of him.
A lot has changed since Kennedy was president. To think he never had the chance to slurp down a Starbucks non-fat latte while chattering on a 3G cell phone connection and streaming YouTube videos over WiFi is a shame. He may have helped us get to the Moon, but the idea that a human being can strap themselves to more fuel than some small countries have in reserve, and then launch beyond the confines of our atmosphere is, well, maybe not as exciting as American Idol or Michael Jackson’s drug addiction? We’ve been there done that, right?
When I rolled into Cocoa Beach Friday night on a mission to surf Tropical Danny, I observed hoards of people gathered on the causeway, and a brilliant white light beaming towards the sky over Cape Canaveral. Just a couple of subtle clues that something interesting was about to go down; or up if you want to get technical about it. I later confirmed that the Space Shuttle Discovery was scheduled to launch at 11:59pm that very night.
After settling in to my hotel room, I made my way down to the beach to see what all the fuss was about. A quick check of NASA’s Twitter account let me know there were no delays, and sure enough, just before midnight I observed a bright yellow flash on the horizon. Shuttle Discovery then lit up the night sky like a fire ball. You should see my hydrogen fuel tan, it’s fabulous.
The fact is this was no firework display or pop news that wastes brain space. It was human innovation incarnate, and I was both awed and humbled by it. As the team of astronauts arced their way out of our atmosphere at a chill speed of 17,500 miles per hour, I couldn’t help but ask myself – So, what have you done lately?
I just wanted to give a shout out to Outdoorzy and Origo for the sweet new watch. How did I win it? Well, Outdoorzy ran a contest on their snoop bloggy blog, and the blog pound rated the comments and chose the winner. What did I say?
“I run a lot of class V rivers and backcountry ski over difficult terrain that requires the use of a topographic map to judge location. It is always a bit of a guessing game, and it would be a lot of fun to see if the altimeter and compass matched up with the contour lines and my estimations of location. Plus, I really need a new watch.”
I’ll tell ya, I would’ve loved using the watch on this backcountry ski trip.
As far as the functionality of the watch is concerned, I would concur with this excellent review more than anything else I have seen. Even though some of the features of the watch are difficult to use and don’t work as well as I would like, the fact is there are a lot of features packed into this watch at a reasonable price.
Because I work in marketing, I can appreciate the power of word of mouth. If you are launching a new product, soliciting reviews and incoming links is a great way to build conversation and search relevance. Of course, you in turn run the risk of receiving a negative review, but even that can be beneficial. For example, I was not familiar with the Origo brand until now, and if you are reading this blog post you might not have either. Now their brand name is in your subconscious, and when they produce future watches with even better features the likelihood of capturing your attention for further consideration is that much higher.
Of course, there is always the tie back to Kevin Bacon.
It has been soooo HOT here in Tampa lately! The humidity and heat is a stifling stew that makes me want to run rampant, pillage, plunder, wreak havoc; but then that would make me sweat. Instead, I suckle my air conditioning vent like a lover and throw ice cubes at the fan.
Despite being situated between Satan’s arse cheeks, there are some not so subtle benefits of a nuclear summer – thunderstorms! The big banger variety that build in the afternoons and roll across the Bay with impressive energy.
I tried to take some photos of one the other evening out at Ballast Point State Park, but I didn’t adjust the ISO for dark light, rain beat against the lens, and my tripod swayed in the wind like the cheap POS from Ritz Camera that it is. Oh well, one of them actually came out alright even if I am too far away. The varying spectrums of light between the three bolts of lightning is what I like.
Hope you’re staying cool.
Whenever my wife and I go sea kayaking around the state of Florida, we often joke about “going down for the death roll.” It is a sick joke, but it seems to slightly alleviate the stress of being surrounded by an absurd amount of highly skilled killers. I just hope I never see this view from underneath a river log. It would indeed be my last gasp.