Technology and parenting

A great article in the New York Times about distracted parenting. I am so guilty of this and Kim is so good about attempting to manage me. (I don’t think I am at the level shown in this photo though…!)  It’s a 24/7 job. I promise I’ll do better. There. It’s in writing. My 3 followers are witnesses. Keep me honest will you? 


On the daily

Average cost to raise our bundles of joy: $222,360.00. The experience: priceless.

NPR tells us the answer this morning…



A middle-income, two-parent family will
spend $222,360, on average, to raise a baby born in 2009, according to a
government estimate released today.

Yes, a number like that screams false precision. Still,
some of the broad outlines that go into the estimate are pretty

  • Housing is the most expensive part of raising a kid.
    It accounts for 31 percent of the cost, followed by childcare and
    education (17 percent) and food (16 percent).

  • The annual
    cost rises a bit as the child gets older — from less than $12,000 per
    year for a baby to more than $13,000 for a teenager.
  • Among urban areas, the Northeast is the most expensive
    region to raise a child, and the South is the cheapest. Rural areas,
    which are lumped into a single category, are even cheaper.
  • The cost per child for a two-child family is 25
    percent lower than the cost per child for a one-child family.

broke household income into three levels: Less than $56,670; $56,670 to
$98,120; and more than $98,120.

in the lower-income group spend 25 percent of their before-tax income on
a child; those in the middle-income group spend 16 percent; and those
in the higher-income group spend 12 percent. But in absolute terms,
spending increases with income.

figures are adjusted for inflation, and costs are calculated through
age 17.


Diapers in Kindergarten?


Picture 3
I more than most recognize the contentious topics related to parenting given the business I am in. As I cruise around the interverse, the proliferation of Mummy and Daddy blogs astound me. And the ability to post comments anonymously offers a potent mix for folks to judge like there's no tomorrow. 

Kim and I are vehemently for choice in everything. I don't think we have one friend back in Sydney who uses gDiapers. And that is fine by us. We're still friends! Your choice in diapers is so personal. gDiapers isn't for everyone. Parents are all busy and we have a million choices to make about child-rearing so why contribute to it all with yet more judgments?  We strongly advocate the "whatever floats your boat" approach to life. We think breastfeeding is great. It worked for us but we know it doesn't work for everyone. As someone says in the article below, better a happy parent using formula than a guilt-ridden one trying in vein to get their milk to come in. Just feed the kid!

So with that tee up, the Motherlode in the New York Times dropped a grenade into the parenting debate with the topic of potty training. The 63 comments are insightful about how vociferous we are about this particular subject!

For the record, our 5 year old son still has the odd accident…ugh.


Barefoot running

I follow Peter on Dailymile. He has done some terrific videos looking at foot strike of varying shoes. These are Vibrams and to make them work you need to be hitting the deck with your fore foot or mid-sole – opposite to regular runners that promote the heel – toe action.

Forefoot Strike in Vibram Fivefingers – Super Slow Motion from Runblogger on Vimeo.

Anterior view of a running foot strike in Vibram Fivefingers KSO shoes on asphalt filmed at 300fps with a Casio Exilim EX-F1 digital camera – slowed down further in Virtualdub. Contact is initially made on the forefoot, and you can clearly see the ankle pronate after initial contact is made. Courtesy of


The Imelda Marcos complex


My name is Jason Graham-Nye and I have a running shoe problem. Step One done. Eleven to go.

After my first marathon in Sydney 10 years ago, I had hip issues and gave the game away. We moved to the US in 2005 to Portland – the home of US Track & Field. I was wooed back into running as a way to manage the insanity of launching a start up. Despite both Adidas and Nike being headquartered here, I had shoe issues. Pictured are the three pairs I have raced in recently. The gardening shoes on the right have done 3 marathons. The Vivo's (in the middle) just ran Eugene Marathon. And the K Swiss Australiana's did a 12 km race 3 weeks ago.

And yet, I have a dicky achilles so I am seeing my podiatrist (an ex US Track & Field star) to figure it out. Judging by the look on Kim's face, I don't think a new pair of runners is in my near future. changed my life

I might be completely late to this party but in the past week since signing up for – a free financial management tool, my ability to manage this part of my life has improved enormously. Log in and connect your accounts to Mint. Then let the magic happen. A quick check today shows a cheque for rent has just cleared, that Amex just slugged me a fee and an offer for a 0% credit card if I'd like to replace Amex.

The killer app though is its' ability to look at my financial statements, categorize each transaction and then analyze if I am better or worse than my budget. That process used to take me forever.

It really is very cool.

Seth Godin

When you’re ready to start something, ask these questions…

With thanks to Seth Godin.

  1. Who are you trying to please?
  2. Are you trying to make a living, make a difference, or leave a
  3. How will the world be different when you've succeeded?
  4. Is it more important to add new customers or to increase your
    interactions with existing ones?
  5. Do you want a team? How big? (I know, that's two questions)
  6. Would you rather have an open-ended project that's never done, or
    one where you hit natural end points? (How high is high enough?)
  7. Are you prepared to actively sell your stuff, or are you expecting
    that buyers will walk in the door and ask for it?
  8. Which: to invent a category or to be just like Bob/Sue, but better?
  9. If you take someone else's investment, are you prepared to sell out
    to pay it back?
  10. Are you done personally growing, or is this project going to force
    you to change and develop yourself?
  11. Choose: teach and lead and challenge your customers, or do what they
  12. How long can you wait before it feels as though you're succeeding?
  13. Is perfect important? (Do you feel the need to fail privately, not
    in public?)
  14. Do you want your customers to know each other (a tribe) or is it
    better they be anonymous and separate?
  15. How close to failure, wipe out and humiliation are you willing to
    fly? (And while we're on the topic, how open to criticism are you
    willing to be?)
  16. What does busy look like?

In my experience, people skip all of these questions and ask instead:
"What can I do that will be sure to work?" The problem, of course, is
that there is no sure, and even worse, that you and I have no
agreement at all on what it means for something to work.