Actually, I want them for my birthday in November, but Christmas is the season-appropriate title.
Why do we love RC helicopters so much? Maybe it’s the way they hang in the air, able to do more delicate manoeuvres than other flying craft. We like the way they can glide and pull back, unlike anything a mere airplane can do. And for some reason, the thrill seems to be greater seeing them fly than actually being behind the control inside the helicopter. At least that’s how I feel piloting inside a helicopter in a video game versus piloting it from outside. Here are a few of my favorites, some we have seen in action, others we can just dream about.
1. The AR. Drone 2.0 — Like most dads, I’ve been dreaming of one of these since the first Parrot came out. From the demos I’ve seen, this is the easiest helicopter to fly. Now, in the 2.0 version, it includes a high def camera that can beam back aerial footage from high above your house. This is a must have if you don’t have to worry about what you must be able to afford. $300 at ardrone2.parrot.com
2. Heli Replay — a helicopter that can record its tricks and stunts for replay later. The Heli Replay, which we saw at the Time To Play Holiday 2012 Preview, can record multiple flights of 20 minutes each so that you can relive each one not as a virtual experience but exactly the way it happened. $44.99 on Amazon.
3. Motorized Stunt Kite – This really shouldn’t be in this batch, but it’s just too cool. This is a stunt kite powered by a front propeller that helps it fly gracefully without a lot of practice. It’s made of ripstop nylon and can take a beating, though crashing into trees isn’t something you should do on a regular basis. $200 from hammacher.com.
The folks at Tide’s PR agency sent this to me. Perhaps you’ve already seen it. Tide and Gilette were both at Dad 2.0. They are now awake to the changing buying behavior in America’s homes that has been going on for a decade.
I’m happy to show it here too. In many ways, this is a pivotal year for dads, not really because anything has really changed, but because popular culture is suddenly aware. And that means for a many, many little kids who need an involved dad, suddenly it will be cool to wrestle on the floor and stay home from golf or the office to coach little league.
I only think we’ll know things have changed when the all important Oscar speech lineup includes one person who says, “This is for my dad, who was always there for me and made me who I am today.”
I won’t say anything more than that I hope he can be as good and present a father as he can be to both of his kids.
Round two of diaper duty for Levi Johnston!
After fathering son Tripp, 3, with ex-fiance Bristol Palin, the news-making Alaskan, 21, is going to be a dad again, his rep confirmed to Us Weekly on Tuesday.
I received an Earpeace, a pair of noise reducing earplugs a few weeks ago. The Earpeace are an addition to the field of earplugs for adults to cut down the noise while outside or at a loud event such as a concert. They attempt to lower the overall volume while not muffling sound the way foam earplugs do. Independent tests (Michael and Associates) put reduction of sound pressure at 75%. EarPeace delivers 11+ to 17+ decibels of protection. This means that 80% of people will get more than 11 decibels of protection and 20% of people will get more than 17 decibels of protection.
In my tests at a loud concert, I found that they do decrease volume, but to my ear, there was some loss of crispness in the sound though I was still able to enjoy the music and to relax knowing I wasn’t killing what is left of my ears. I wish they made these for smaller kids since we often take our kids to concerts in the parks where the decibel level is just really painful for young ears.
These make a thoughtful gift at $12.95.
GreatDad.com Review Policy: The featured product for this review was provided to us, at no cost, by the manufacturer or representing PR agency for the sole purpose of product testing. We do not accept monetary compensation for reviewing or writing about products. We only review products that we have personally tested and used in our own homes, and all opinions expressed are our own.
The kids are at home this week and next, and it is hard. As much as I’d like to believe in it, there are no “great dads” or even good dads. There are moms and dads who try every day to manage their own demons and stresses to be the best parents they can be. My wife often says I get too preachy about being a good parent, and she is somewhat correct. Because I have a work at home job, and can spend a lot of time with my kids, I do have the moral high ground in helping with homework, forcing them to eat daily carrots (their only vegetable) and keeping them at piano practice way longer than they want to. And I don’t have to do all that after 9 hours of working with a boss I can’t stand. Even so, on long holidays, even I can get testy with them, especially my younger boy who everyday is asking for more GoGo dolls or another LEGO because he’s bored (and this 4 days before he’s zooming in on the big Christmas score).
The big challenge for me is to keep reminding myself that a 7 year old isn’t the same as an 11 year old and neither are the same as an adult. Each person, toddler, child, teen, mom and dad are seeing the holidays through their own prism, expectations and rose-colored glasses. I have to kick myself several times a day to not yell, not get impatient, not be empathetic since they are not all Zen Buddhist monks with no worldly cares or wants.
But some days, all you can do it count to ten and try not to be the least mature of the bunch. That’s my personal goal for today, tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday. Then I can go back to trying to be supremely patient and understanding once the stresses or Christmas are over and all that is left is the glow, and the wrapping paper to toss out.