June Newsletter
   February 26, 2014         |    Santa Barbara, California                  


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I land on my feet after springing 27 inches in the air nearly hitting my head on the ceiling. If you'd asked me to do that on the basketball court, I would just laugh. Tech men can’t jump. Except when startled by their 10-year old.

“You HAVE to stop doing that!”, I say hand to heart.

“Doing what? What did I do?”  The almost smile on his face belies his ignorance.

“Scaring the—[thinking fast for the G rating]… ssshSMOKE out of me like that! You’re gonna give me a heart attack.”

“Pops, smoke? You have smoke in you?”

“You know, smoke. Stuff, stuffing, the living daylights, that sort of thing.”

A significant part of my parenting is trying to cover my tracks once an ignorant proclamation is in play.

“Wouldn’t it be healthy to scare the smoke out of you? Smoking’s bad for you, right?”

[Sigh]  My son is currently going through his “literal phase” where he takes everything literally and corrects e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g I say. I love this little guy but sometimes these chinwags burn far too many calories.

“It’s just a figure of speech. Now that my heart rate is slightly below being chased by a rabid bear protecting her young, what can I do for my little cub?”

“Why were you jerking your wrist all around like that?”

“Um… like what?”

“You were standing there jiggling your left arm non-stop.”

“Oh… THAT. I was…um…just doing some flexibility training stuff. Don’t you have homework to do?”

“Don’t change the subject, Pops.”

“I’m not changing the subject! I’m just worried you won’t get your homework done.”

“No you’re not. C’mon, Pops! I’m 10 years old. That change-the-subject thing might have worked when I was young, but not anymore.”

“When you were young? [singing] ‘When you were young and your heart was an open book, you used to say Live and Let Live…’

“Pops! Stop singing! Stay on point here!”

“What was the point again? Something about your homework, right?”

My boy sighs and looks at me like I’m 7 trying to slide something past his wizened 10 years.

“Son, you’re 10. I know it seems like you know everything, but that won’t happen till you’re a teenager.”

“I know enough to see you’re trying to hide something here.”

So Live and Let Die…

He continues like an attorney who has just broken a hostile witness.  “It seems to me you might be trying to get some free steps on your FitBit step counter.”

Trapped. Seriously. Note to self: tie cowbell around little guy.

“Okay, OKAY! Busted. It’s just really hard to hit my 10,000 steps each day and still slave away at my sedentary job to put food on the table, a roof over your head, and wearable technology on your wrist.”

He doesn’t take the bait. What is it with kids these days anyway? They don’t see or hear anything we say when they’re in their world, but they’re bloody Sherlock when we're trying to have a little alone time in ours…

“You and Mama have a contest, right?”

“Well, I wouldn’t say it’s a contest, per se… more of a friendly, supportive, cooperative, win-win kind of thing.”

“Friendly, supportive WHAT?!…. Pops! You and Mama are in heated competition with each other to be the first to get to 500,000 steps. Besides, you’re supposed to model truth telling if you want me to tell the truth.”

“Doesn’t the fact that I’m a terrible liar help?”

“Epic Fail, Pops. Now, are you going to tell Mama you’ve been cheating on this cooperative thing, or do I?”

“You’re a cruel son.”

He imitates me and it sounds remarkably like Yogi-the-Bear: “‘When we tell a lie, the only way to erase that lie is to tell the truth about the lie.’ Sound familiar, Boo-boo?”

“Do you write this stuff down?”

He raises his little 10-year old eyebrow at me, just like his mother.

“Okay, okay. I’ll tell her. Man, you’re a tough cookie. I guess that means a secret trip for frozen yogurt won’t make this go away?”

“Nope. But 3 might.”


“And extra time on MineCraft when Mama’s not around.”

“Now hold your ponies there, little Mister. There’s only so much blackmail and collusion I’m up for. I refuse to give you extra video game time, but I might be persuaded to make TWO trips for frozen yogurt in the next month. Deal?”

“Only if you don’t have any.”

“What?! Are you serious?! How did I raise such a heartless child? There’s no way I can take you for frozen yogurt and not have some myself. That’s just cruel and merciless.”

“Isn’t that the whole reason you and Mama got the FitBit exercise tracking bracelets? Didn’t you just say that your 6-pack looks more like a keg?”

“You were way more fun when you were 9.”

“I’ll tell Mama you said that.”

“Oh hush, whipper-snapper. Okay, 2 trips for frozen yogurt before the end of March, but I’ll still have a small portion myself. That’s my final offer.”

“Deal,” he says and disappears before I can growl.

At Mick’s Macs, we’re not just waiting for the iWatch to arrive. We’re early adopters of precursor tech too. Wearable technology is going to change our lives as much as the iPhone did. Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, my simple plan is to walk to and from the frozen yogurt shop.

All the best,