I am out of touch with the cool music scene.

kongos_come_with_me_nowSince the death of Grooveshark, I’ve returned to Pandora. The thing I miss most about Grooveshark is the control I had over my playlist. On the other hand, by listening to Pandora, I am introduced to new and potentially awesome music. That’s just what happened the other day when I heard “Come with Me Now” by Kongos.

Unfortunately, Pandora doesn’t allow you to hit the repeat button on a song if you want to hear it again, so I hopped over to YouTube and searched for the song. I wasn’t sure if I was going to find anything or not. I mean, I just discovered the song, so what were the chances that anyone else had heard the song?

When I saw the number of video views, I discovered just how disconnected I am from pop culture. Something I thought was new already had over 33 million views.

Here’s the video in case you’d like to see it too, but chances are good that you already have.

Thinking back, I wondered if I had ever been on the ground floor of some pop culture movement. I came up with only one instance, and it is rather telling.

Before it blew up, I was one of the first hundred or so people to watch the PBS Mister Rogers Remix.

Does that make me even less cool? Probably to some. But Mister Rogers is still pretty cool in my book.

Mister Mosey’s Neighborhood

danieltiger-banner-imgA friend and I were talking about Mister Rogers recently and he asked me who was filling that role today. Specifically, he was referring to the role of a safe, father-like figure filled with wisdom, patience, and an appreciation of every human soul. I suggested that “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood” was doing a nice job of filling some of the gap, but that no one in educational entertainment today came close to modeling Mister Rogers’ role.

And then my friend suggested something laughable. He said that I should fill that role.

Sadly, I am no Mister Rogers.

Lately, my eldest daughter (4 years old) has been acting out some kind of angry persona, whether she is actually angry or not. Whenever she acts angry, she becomes generally hard to deal with and abusive toward any notion of control that someone exerts over her. In any case, she had chosen to model her angry face while my wife and I were trying to get her and her sister ready to go to grandma’s house for the day.  It was a rough morning.

As I carried her to the car, I informed her that I didn’t appreciate the act and that I was fairly certain that she wasn’t actually angry.

“I am very angry,” she said without a hint of emotion.

“I don’t think you are,” I said.

“I am too!” she said, a little more convincingly.

“I still don’t think so, and I don’t know why you’d want to be,” I said.

“I am angry!” she said again through clenched teeth. And then to convince me, she started clawing at my face.

I snapped.

“If you want to see what real anger is, I will show you!” I yelled as I grabbed the hand that was clawing at me. I deposited her in her car seat, buckled her up for safety, and walked back to the house seething to grab the rest of the stuff that we needed for the day.

It wasn’t my finest moment of parenting, and what I said to her was unfortunately true. I did show her was it was to be angry. I was definitely a role model for my daughter, but not at all the way I should have been.

And so I think I’ll have to pass the chance if PBS comes knocking at my door and asks me to be the next Mister Rogers. I still need to work on being a good Mister Mosey before I can show other kids how to be patient and kind all the time.

Can you think of any good role models for kids? Who did you want to be like when you were a kid?

An Updated Slice of my Childhood

You know how when you were growing up, your parents would buy you a Berenstain Bear book for whatever thing you happened to be struggling with in the hopes that you would take the lesson learned in the book and apply it vigorously in your own life? No? Was I the only one?

Well, the two books that I was read on a regular basis were The Berenstain Bears and the Messy Room and The Berenstain Bears and Too Much TV. In adulthood, my room is a lot less messy (not my office, just my bedroom, but to be fair, I don’t think there is a Berenstain Bears and the Messy Office) and my wife and I don’t even own a television.

Whenever we want to curl up in front of a screen, we use the computer, and our kids really enjoy some of the shows available on pbskids.org. Anyway, when I was a kid, I was a massive couch potato. Often, the best way to punish me was to take away my television time. Not that I ever needed punished, what with being such a great kid and all (I’m hoping that my parents forget to read today’s blog post).

But one of the shows that helped shape my childhood was “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood”. I loved Mister Rogers. Even looking back now at old episodes on YouTube, I still love Mister Rogers. He was 100% genuine and a great example of how a person should live among other people. The world lost a great man when Mister Rogers passed away.

As I was flipping through the videos available on pbskids.org, my eldest daughter wanted to watch the kitty cat show, which I discovered to be “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.”

Oh my goodness, how this updated version of the show I grew up with brought back memories!


Though animated, the show is cut from the same cloth as the original, using songs and interesting people to teach lessons about life. The show we watched tonight was about how making things for others is a good way to show them that you love them. And when it was done, my eldest asked me if she could make Mommy a card. Unfortunately, it was bedtime and I’m an ogre when it comes to a strict bedtime, so I told her that we could do that tomorrow.

I’m super glad that Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood exists, and I’m already looking forward to watching it again with the girls in the future. Maybe it’s nostalgia or a relapse into my couch potato tendencies, but I’m going to believe that it’s just a good, educational show.

If you aren’t familiar with it already, you check it out here. Good job, PBS!