When I’m not supporting public charter schools in the area of finance and accounting, building my non-profit (Black Dad Connection), publishing a book, designing a website, performing weddings, and just generally keeping busy as a father and husband I am, well, doing other things. For instance I read, play with toys, and generally don’t sleep. Who needs sleep when there is so much not sleeping to do? I am as addicted to Red Bull and Monster as I am to Smart Water, so I have a balance in that sense. I also want to take up Salsa dancing and yoga soon. At some point I decided to live this thing called life and I’m not any less stressed because of it, I’m just stressed in a more positive way now. Or I’ve lost my mind and haven’t noticed.

That said, here and there I agree to read a book, play with a toy, or start a nonprofit (shameless plug) and give my opinion on it. As I have said in the past I tend to agree to review things that I suspect I will like. I’ve lived with me a long time so I can kind of guess what products and services are going to piss me off and which ones will not. Here go a few this summer that I have liked for one reason or another:

Beast Friends Forever: The Super Swap-O Surprise by Nate Evans and illustrated by Vince Evans is an over-the-top laugh out loud chapter book that will appeal to young people who like silly, fun, kid stuff. It’s the second book in the series about a beast named Otto who lives under the bed of his friend Zeke. Zeke’s sister Hannah is part of the trio that make up a fun-loving comedy trio. My son Dev thought the book was hilarious and was glad that the beast wasn’t beastly at all and enjoyed the way the author weaved in comic-style sequences. Since he never read the first one, Dev is ready to go back to the beginning to see how it all started.

The HEXBUG Inchworm is this little remote controlled robotic creature thingy that is surprisingly worth playing with. When I received the offer to review this product I jumped at the chance. It reminded me of when I used to have an office, and a man-stash of small toys that I used to play with. I no longer have an office to call my own, and instead live a consultant’s life in vagabondage, but the HEXGUG is small enough to travel with you wherever you go. In fact we took it with us to Hotlanta last month and Dev played with it in the airport. We also took it on our cruise. It just kind of hangs out with us. It’s kind of creepy to watch it inch through the house at night in the dark, but that’s part of its charm. just don’t drop it or step on it because like any bug, you will crush it to death. We also have the HEXBUG Nanos but they remind me a little too much of roaches so they give me the heebie jeebies.

OK, so this is a bit of a cheat, and it’s not a product review. But hey, I’m going to sneak this in wherever I can as I continue to build it up. Black Dad Connection is my newly formed 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. I am still working with Malecare for technical assistance but I am branching out. While the focus is black fathers you will find that there will be plenty of opportunities for all of us dads, no matter their race, to collaborate and hang out and support one another. The following is the mission statement as it stands today but a mission statement can be a living thing that grows organically so it could be a little modified by the end of the year:

BDC was created to impel black fathers and the fathers of black children to take action steps toward living the best, most connected, and longest lives possible for the sake of their children.

That’s it for now… The book is up next and it’s literally right around the corner. Just working out a few minor things but it is done. The Fatherdad experience will come full circle soon!