KC Home Dad

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Convention news and notes - Breakout Session 4

Instead of sneaking away for a nap, I decided to drag my dreary bones over to the Breakout Session 4 on Blogging presented by Caleb of http://www.hailtopitt.org/. The funny thing about his presentation is that there was so much information (and I know so little to begin with) that it took me about 24 hours to process everything he was talking about. Maybe I was groggy after lunch I don't know. Kace from KCDADs came with me and I think we both (even though I have a blog) wanted to understand why some one has a blog in the first place. Perhaps that is sociology question rather than a technical one, but Caleb gave some great reasons why to have a blog. I believe his answer is that it is the new way to communicate with mass audiences without the filter required when you have to be supported by advertising. Of course, a lot of it is junk that needs to be scrutinized (except this blog obviously) but some of it is good stuff. One of the last things he said probably summed up the answer I was looking for - you need to credit your sources. That sounds like journalism to me.

I got the most out of this session for me personally because it helped me understand whether or not I should even have a blog and what I want to do with it. I'll provide my conclusions on that in a future posting.

CHEER: A techy who was really a 21st century journalist - impressive
JEER: More technical detail was needed (did I just contradict myself?!)


Convention news and notes - Lunch

Lunch was next. A simple spread of sandwich fixings and the like. Good stuff. I spent most of my time talking to a dad from Omaha that will be moving somewhere else soon. He is a big Chicago sports fan and although I am not a Chicago sports fan, I am all about sports. Certainly not too many moms out there who could keep up in that conversation.

CHEER: Simple lunch - a dad's dream
JEER: Keynote motivational speaker was needed here to energize us - after lunch we were all wondering when nap time was...


Convention news and notes - Breakout Session 3

Breakout Session 3 was BY FAR the most popular of the convention. In fact, we all agreed it needed to be held twice next year. And no, it wasn't the session on how do I get my wife to do the dishes while I'm at the convention. It was the open forum discussions about our kids broken down by age groups. I was in the 2-5 age group forum which was broken down further into 2-3 and 4-5 because there were so many of us in the room. One of us would throw out a problem he was having with his child and we would all chime in on solutions that worked for us. Lots of great ideas were passed around including the Sunday box which is where toys go when they are not picked up (the child gets them back each Sunday), the "No Thank You Bite" where your child has to take a bite of food she doesn't like, and creating a CD of Grandma telling stories as a special treasure for the children. Next year there will definately be TWO sessions dedicated to this open forum discussion since it was clearly everyone's favorite part of the convention.

CHEER: Grandma's stories on CD and the Sunday box were AWESOME ideas I will be doing
JEER: More sessions like this are needed


Convention news and notes - Breakout Session 2

For Breakout Session 2 I went to the Guide to Basic Digital Photography presented by Brian. There was standing room only, which just goes to prove that men LOVE gadgets. Brian did an excellent job explaining the basics of how to take good pictures. He also showed us how software such as Photo Shop or Gimp can help improve a picture by removing red eye or by adjusting the brightness or contrast. I was most impressed with his tripod which was so small it could fit in your pocket - I had never seen that before! I think we all could have been in there for another hour but the show had to move along.

CHEER: Mini tripod - simple, cool and useful
JEER: More specifics on how to use photo editing tools were needed


Convention news and notes - Breakout Session 1

For Breakout Session 1 I decided to attend the talk on At Home Dad Resources presented by Dayv. With my new duties for KCDADs as a membership coordinator, I was interested in finding other at home dad websites and resources to pass along to our group. For the most part, I found that I knew about all the websites Dayv discussed but there were a couple of books, Libby Gill's Stay-At-Home Dads and Dr. Kyle Pruett's Father Need, that I didn't know about and thought would be interesting. I think the session on child safety may have been a better one to attend until I heard from other guys that it wasn't that great because the Police Officer didn't seem to relate to her audience well. Hopefully that session will be improved for next year.

CHEER: Dayv - great presenter and moderator
JEER: There just aren't many at home dad websites


Convention news and notes - Welcome Session

After a quick breakfast and lots of "Dude, you made it!" (Friday night was a late one for many), Dayv and Andy began the convention. Nearly 50 dads from all over the country were there including several members of the media which was awesome. I have been to other much larger "social" conventions and never seen such interest from the outside world. There was a newspaper reporter for England, a magazine reporter from Japan, an author of an upcoming book, a columnist from a south Chicago suburban newspaper, a reporter from the Kansas City Star, a photographer and a PhD student. At the end of Andy's welcoming comments, the staff of the convention presented a $200 donation to the host of the convention, the UMKC Women's Center which I felt was a real class act. Andy made a great comment that while we are men, we are a women's issue because our success at managing the kids and the home allows our wives a better opportunity to succeed in their careers.

CHEER: Donation to UMKC Women's Center
JEER: Introductions of the media representatives should have been in the welcome session not the final session


Convention news and notes coming

The convention is over and my head is spinning, and not just from the beer paid for by the convention staff at Arthur Bryant's! So many great ideas, anticdotes and laughter. Later this afternoon I will post a run down of the sessions I attended and other notes from the convention, but right now I have to start my pre-game ritual. The Chiefs are playing at Miami at noon.