The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 49

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The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 49 covers a pretty busy week, a really productive weekend and my thoughts on the passing of the legendary Harold Ramis.

If you haven’t seen Harold Ramis flicks like Ghostbusters, Ghostbusters II, Animal House, Stripes, National Lampoon’s Vacation or Stripes, you should do that immediately. Head on over to UnitedMonkee.com to check out my 2009 interview with the man.

I’m not sure how well I described the fabric bookshelves I was talking about, but my wife was rad enough to send along the Penny Carnival link so you can all check it out. mysterious tadpole

The book I couldn’t remember the title of is the excellent Mysterious Tadpole by Steven Kellogg.

The gender episode I mentioned was #39 if you were curious. kidswitch

The Pop Poppa Seal Of Approval goes to the Kid Switch extender. If it sounds like something you’re looking for check out their website.

As of this posting, my latest appearance on Matt & Brett Love Comics hasn’t gone up (

For more of me check out UnitedMonkee.com, MonkeyingAroundTheKitchen.com, Comic Book Resources and @PoppaDietsch on Twitter.

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The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 45

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This week’s episode delves deep into the topic of strange sleep cycles, Lu successfully staying quiet during one of my interviews for work and talk of Disney and Toy Fair. Sorry about the difference in sound around the 22 minute mark. I lost about 10 minutes of the original recording and had to get back in there and do a replacement track.

To hear about Lucy’s first trip to Disney check out PPNC Episode 11.

You can read my posts about Dexter here: Season Four and Season Five.

For more of me check out UnitedMonkee.com, MonkeyingAroundTheKitchen.com, Comic Book Resources and @PoppaDietsch on Twitter.

The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 36

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The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 36 recounts some recent upticks, our recent house search and the popularity amongst my friends to be stay or work from home dads.

mickey's house of villains I’ve seen this House Of Villains Disney special roughly one bajillion times in the past week.

Ephraim Goodweather, the star of The Strain books got The Pop Poppa Of The Week for doing his best in a world turned upside down. The Fall is part of my Ambitious Halloween Reading List.netflix-logo

And Netflix Instant got the Pop Poppa Seal Of Approval, possibly for the second time.  Also, when I mentioned Borders, I meant to say it’s closed, not closing.

For more of me check out UnitedMonkee.com, MonkeyingAroundTheKitchen.com, Comic Book Resources and @PoppaDietsch on Twitter.

The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 33

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The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 33 features all kinds of goodness from the more pleasant moments of raising our toddler to horror movies and a store I like to frequent.

My full review of The Shining is over on UnitedMonkee.com. Its author, Stephen King earned the Pop Poppa Of The Week for his talent.

The Pop Poppa Seal Of Approval went to Marshalls, not because I’m hoping for some advertisers, but because I do dig that store. (I am also looking for advertisers).

For more of me check out UnitedMonkee.com, MonkeyingAroundTheKitchen.com, Comic Book Resources and @PoppaDietsch on Twitter.

The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 32

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The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 32 covers a recent parental visit, new yard sale-purchased toys and some of the more difficult aspects of parenting I’m experiencing these days.

little people farm

According to This Old Toy, the Little People Farm we got was the one that came out in the late 90s. The Farm and Little People also earned the Pop Poppa Seal Of Approval. the shining

The Shining is still freaking me out! When I’m done, I’ll write up a review over on UnitedMonkee.com.

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Please, don’t let this dumb-dumb bear be your kid’s main teacher.

The Dad and Buried post I talked about is called “Phasing Out Phases” and can be found here. I’m becoming a huge fan of Mike Julianelle’s writing which earned him the Pop Poppa Of The Week.

For more of me check out UnitedMonkee.com, MonkeyingAroundTheKitchen.com, Comic Book Resources and @PoppaDietsch on Twitter.

The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 30

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The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 30 features talk of business, a fun wedding excursion packed with friends and some praise for a DVD player holder and film. The last 10 minutes or so of the episode sound static- y, but it’s actually the rain. Sorry about that!

terry crews expendables

If you’re not familiar, this is Terry Crews from The Expendables. You can check out my full interview with him over on CBR. My interview with Ultimate Spider-Man producer Cort Lane is up there as well. I also mentioned Danny Trejo who I interviewed way back in 2009.

Bob_Evans_white_logoWe’re big fans of Bob Evans. Check out their site  to see if there’s one near you!

The McDonald’s toys I mentioned were called McRobots and you can see them in the above ad.

Super Why is no  , but it’s still pretty neat and Lu likes it.

The portable DVD player holder that earned the Pop Poppa Seal Of Approval is called Case Logic PDVD-9 7-9-Inch Dual Screen DVD Player Case, Black. The player itself is an Insignia model that’s probably five or six years old at this point but still works well.meet_the_robinsons

Turns out I never did actually get around to reviewing Disney’s Meet The Robinsons. I should probably remedy that.

For more of me check out UnitedMonkee.com, MonkeyingAroundTheKitchen.com, Comic Book Resources and @PoppaDietsch on Twitter.

The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 27

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My apologies for the lack of episode last week and this one’s lateness, but life tends to get in the way of all my internet aspirations. Anyway, the 27th episode of the Pop Poppa Nap Cast runs down our recent vacation to Ipswich, gives an update on our house hunt and gives the Pop Poppa Of The Week to one of my favorite authors!

me and lu at the beach

Lu and I had a pretty good time at the beach, even though it was chilly.tangled

Tangled is a reimagining of the Rapunzel story. It’s pretty cute, but just about everything loses its cuteness after the 300th viewing.sid the science kid

I thought I’d done a post about my dislike of PBS’ Sid the Science Kid, but apparently I hadn’t. Basically, no other kid show bothers me this much. Even though the general message is “science is cool,” something I completely agree with, it just seems incredibly dumb and filled with one-note characters. Bleh. sesame street

Here’s the Geek Mom article about the new season of Sesame Street! Thank Henson for new content.the little endless storybooks

Jill Thompson’s excellent The Little Endless Storybook and Delirium’s Party: A Little Endless Storybook earned the Pop Poppa Seal Of Approval. I also recommend reading the actual Sandman comics either in regular trade form or the exquisite Absolute editions.brad meltzer the book of lies

And, finally, Brad Meltzer easily earned the Pop Poppa Of The Week, not just for writing a series of novels I’ve gotten hours of entertainment out of, but also reminding me how important it is to tell your story to the world. Seriously, check out The Book of Lies, it’s pretty darn great. I wrote a review of it a few years back over on UnitedMonkee, check it out!

For more of me check out UnitedMonkee.com, MonkeyingAroundTheKitchen.com, Comic Book Resources and @PoppaDietsch on Twitter.

The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 26

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Thanks for your patience once again regarding this holiday-belated episode of The Pop Poppa Nap Cast. The 26th episode covers the Labor Day Weekend, taking care of house business and my thoughts on gender and how niceness comes into play.

You can read Catherine Newman’s complete article, titled “I Do Not Want My Daughter To Be ‘Nice'” over on The New York Times sitemagic trackpad

Apple’s Magic Trackpad earned the Pop Poppa Seal Of Approval this week. As an added piece of goodness, I used this bad boy to help while recording and editing the episode. The-League-Kevin and ellie

Finally, here’s Kevin MacArthur (Steve Rannazzisi) with his daughter Ellie from The League also known as this episode’s Pop Poppa Of The Week.

For more of me check out UnitedMonkee.com, MonkeyingAroundTheKitchen.com, Comic Book Resources and @PoppaDietsch on Twitter.

The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 25

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The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 25 runs the gamut, talking about two different kinds of Spider-Man, enjoying That 70s Show with Lucy and The League on my own and lots and lots of free plugs for Netflix.

famous covers spider-man nap time

Apparently you can still buy Famous Covers Spider-Man and Electro 2-pack on Amazon!

I reviewed the first two seasons of FX’s The League over on UnitedMonkee.com. The fourth season hits Netflix on September 3rd and the fifth season kicks off on FXX the next day.

To read the full 10 Ways Living With A Toddler Is Like Being In Prison, head on over to HuffPo.Itchy_&_Scratchy_&_Marge_33

I’m embarrassed to say that I referred to Marge as Maggie while talking about The Simpsons episode “Itchy & Scratchie & Marge.” Let’s blame it on the cold, shall we?

uncle ben amazing spider-man

The Pop Poppa Of The Week is none other than Uncle Ben as played by Martin Sheen in The Amazing Spider-Men, a film I reviewed over on UnitedMonkee.com.

pocoyo

Peep Pocoyo and his pals above.

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To see the Disney cartoons I mentioned, check out Walt Disney Animation Vol. 1: Mickey And The Beanstalk and Vol. 3: The Prince & The Pauper.

For more of me check out UnitedMonkee.com, MonkeyingAroundTheKitchen.com, Comic Book Resources and @PoppaDietsch on Twitter.

The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 24

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The most recent episode of The Pop Poppa Nap Cast deals with out most recent trip to New Hampshire, some new developments in our household and a brief tribute to author Elmore Leonard.

The name of the place we visited in Maine is called York’s Wild Kingdom and the restaurant we ate at is Inn On The Blues .

If you’re interested in reading the panel report about Brian K. Vaughan, Grant Morrison and Jonathan Hickman talking about writing, it’s over on CBR.

Here’s a cool page of Scott McDaniel Nightwing art where he showed motion using static figures all in one panel. He’s one of my favorites.

Nightwing Scott McDaniel

Head on over to CircleOfLifeSite.com if you’re interested in checking out Miracle Heal Herbal Salve.

For more of me check out UnitedMonkee.com, MonkeyingAroundTheKitchen.com, Comic Book Resources and @PoppaDietsch on Twitter.

The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 23

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The 23rd episode of The Pop Poppa Nap Cast deals with keys, phones, potties and more!

keys

Above you can see my keys and the dog leash swivel clip I was talking about. Like I said, any clip-type key chain will work!

scooby doo knight

Lu thought THIS guy was Superman! I’m gonna have my work cut out for me with this kid.

emos potty time

If you have a kid at potty training age who also likes Elmo and Sesame Street, do yourself a favor and buy Sesame Street – Elmo’s Potty Time.

boardbook

This week the Board Book Photo Album – Black gets the Pop Poppa Seal of Approval!

elmo and his dad

And congrats to Elmo’s dad for earning the Pop Poppa Of The Week!

For more of me check out UnitedMonkee.com, MonkeyingAroundTheKitchen.com, Comic Book Resources and @PoppaDietsch on Twitter.

The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 21

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The Pop Poppa Nap Cast’s 21st episode is trying to stay more positive. I talk about some of the great stuff Lucy has been up to, one difficult incident last week while I was trying to work and some plusses and minuses when it comes to Disney and their Blu-rays.

To read the actual interview I talk about in the episode, head on over to CBR.

If you think your kid might fall asleep while you play video games, give Skate 3 a try. I briefly reviewed the game on United Monkee last year and still play that game more than any other.

merida

You can get your own Merida 20-inch plush doll, check it out at the Disney Store.

If you’re interested in finding out more about Pop Poppa Of The Week recipient Brian K. Vaughan’s comic book work, check out the official Image Comics site and The Private Eye on Panel Syndicate.

For more of me check out UnitedMonkee.com, MonkeyingAroundTheKitchen.com, Comic Book Resources and @PoppaDietsch on Twitter.

The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 20

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“Frustrating” is the word of the day when it comes to The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 20 thanks to a disinterest in swim class, even less in potty training and a strong desire to wake up at 7AM every morning.

The swimmie thing I mentioned is actually the Stearns Deluxe Puddle Jumper 30-50 lbs. Unlike the one pictured in that link, Lu’s has a zebra on it.

Get your own copy of the Wreck-It Ralph (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo) and/or Meet the Robinsons [Blu-ray] by following that links.

Before I started watching it several times a week, I reviewed Toy Story 3 on UnitedMonkee.com.

Mommy's Helper Contoured Cushie Step Up

Lu’s potty seat is more known as the Mommy’s Helper Contoured Cushie Step Up.

copco bag cap

The recipient of this week’s Pop Poppa Seal Of Approval is more specifically called the Copco 0-62009 Medium Bag Cap – Orange.

idris elba pacific rim

The Pop Poppa Of The Week is Idris Elba’s Stacker Pentacost from Pacific Rim pictured above. To read my full review of the film, head on over to UnitedMonkee.com.

The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 20

For more of me check out UnitedMonkee.com, MonkeyingAroundTheKitchen.com, Comic Book Resources and @PoppaDietsch on Twitter.

The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 19

pop poppa nap cast logo The much anticipated 19th episode of The Pop Poppa Nap Cast is finally here! Sorry about the delay, but now you can not only hear about the trip out to Michigan, but also our recent foray into realty open houses and the ridiculously hot weather.

The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 19

The portable DVD player holder my wife picked up is called Case Logic PDVD-9 7-9-Inch Dual Screen DVD Player Case, Black. The player itself is an Insignia model that’s probably five or six years old at this point but still works well.

I reviewed Patricia Cornwell’s Port Mortuary audiobook here.

circo feed and sleep

Lucy’s new doll is the Feed & Sleep model from Circo, available at Target. She also enjoys the Baby Doll Care Kit.

Just for fun, here’s a clip of Talking Tina form The Twilight Zone.

red forman that 70s show

And, of course, here’s the inimitable Red Forman, this week’s Pop Poppa Of The Week from That 70s Show.

For more of me check out UnitedMonkee.com, MonkeyingAroundTheKitchen.com, Comic Book Resources and @PoppaDietsch on Twitter.

The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 18

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Talk about our upcoming trip to Michigan for Fourth of July and my cousin’s wedding as well as reusable diapers is peppered with rants about Disney not automatically including digital copies of their movies, a great Kindle Fire app and some rad dads in Gangster Squad on the 18th episode of The Pop Poppa Nap Cast.

The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 18

I wrote about why we decided to use reusable diapers here, the newborn ones here, the ones we still use here and the wipes set-up here. Head on over to the Bum Genius website for more information on what they’ve got going on these days. The new detergent we’re using for the diapers is called Rockin’ Green. I’m not seeing the exact diaper sprayer we have on Amazon, but here’s the search I did . As you can see there are plenty of options. When we do use disposables we use Pampers Cruisers 3-Way Fit which we get at Target.

kindle free time

For more information on Amazon’s Kindle FreeTime app, check the site out.

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Pop Poppa Of The Week winners Giovoni Ribisi and Josh Brolin are on the far left of this Gangster Squad poster. My review of the film goes up on UnitedMonkee.com this Friday.

Read more of me on UnitedMonkee.com, MonkeyingAroundTheKitchen.com, Comic Book Resources and on Twitter @PoppaDietsch.

The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 17

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The latest episode of The Pop Poppa Nap Cast deals primarily with Lu’s first and so far only day at daycare as well as some new discoveries about the Old School Sesame Street DVDs and a brief description of why my dad is rad.

The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 17

If you’re curious about the work I did while Lu was at daycare, check out the interviews here and here.

Pop Poppa Seal Of Approval Winner: Sesame Street: Old School – Volume One (1969-1974)

Read more of me on UnitedMonkee.com, MonkeyingAroundTheKitchen.com and on Twitter @PoppaDietsch.

The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 16

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The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 16 runs the gamut from parental visits and Father’s Day fun to Lu’s upcoming first trip to daycare.

If you want to read the first entry in my recurring “Ultimate Spider-Man” interview series, click this link.

The official Stormville Flea Market website.

Above you can see the three books I mentioned in the podcast: If I Ran The Circus, The Disney Junior Encyclopedia Of Animated Characters and The Amazing Spider-Man Look and Find. Follow those links to Amazon if they sound like something you’d like to check out.

The Adventure Time Blu-ray review I mentioned can be seen here. If you want to buy them for yourself, click the following links:

And here’s the short piece I wrote for Spinoff Online about Girl Meets World getting officially picked up by Disney.

I wrote this piece about how Superman changed my life and this one  about Man of Steel.

Read more of me on UnitedMonkee.com, MonkeyingAroundTheKitchen.com and on Twitter @PoppaDietsch.

The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 15

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A busy week packed with a family trip down to New York City and a parent-only journey to Long Island for a wedding makes for a travel-packed episode of The Pop Poppa Nap Cast.

I wrote about my wife’s hospital stay in my Photo Diary posts last November, you can read them here, here, here, here, here and here.

If you’re in New York City and have a few hours to kill you can do a lot worse than the Central Park Zoo. And that’s coming from someone who’s not a fan of the form.

I wrote about my love of Batman Returns over on my pop culture blog UnitedMonkee.

A look back at Lu’s previous Disney-based petting zoo experience .

This week’s Pop Poppa Seal of Approval recipient, Aqueduck Faucet Extender, Aqua can be purchased through the previous link.

I write for Comic Book Resources and Spinoff Online  and also run UnitedMonkee.com, MonkeyingAroundTheKitchen.com and am on Twitter @PoppaDietsch.

The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 14

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The latest episode is all about movies, sleep and some of the adorable things are darling daughter has started to say.

A Talk Boy commercial to help jog your memory.

my neighbor totoro

If you like the sound of the My Neighbor Totoro (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo) pick it up through this link, it helps the site! Below you can see a picture of Professor Kusakabe with his daughters Satsuki and Mae.

my neighbor totoro

The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 10 – FIXED!

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I’m really sorry about the janky version of this episode that went out. I was in a rush pre-vacation and didn’t check to make sure it was the way it should be. Here it is as originally intended!

In this episode we prepare for Disney World while also talking about a super fun party with friends, the waning days of Wizard and how that experience has helped me refrain my bad days now. Oh, and fun with baby talk!

I was actually right that a pidgin is a combination of two languages! I know this because I looked it up on Wikipedia!

If you’re curious to see what other offerings Golden Books have right now, check out the official Random House website.

If you’re interested in The Spirit Is Willing check it out on Netflix Instant, that’s what I did. If you want to read more about it, check out my review over on UnitedMonkee.

The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 9

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In the latest episode of The Pop Poppa Nap Cast, the nice weather gets me all twitterpated, Lu gets her first haircut and we talk about bathies.

If you’re interested, here’s my review of Red Dawn from UnitedMonkee.com.

I can’t seem to find the full speech that Brett Cullen’s Tom Eckert gives to his boys in the movie, but part of it’s in this clip:

If the Fisher-Price Little People Splash ‘n Scoop Bath Bar sounds like your cup of tea, check it out through this link.

The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 8

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As the weather goes from great to grey, I talk about everything from nice weather memories and Mariah Carey to Mickey Mouse coloring books and how the movie Spring Break holds up as a good lesson on how to be a worthwhile person.

If you missed it, here are a pair of Photo Diary posts about us going to the park from Friday and Tuesday.

Here’s my wildly uninformed Sesame Street post from last year.

If you’re interested in checking out Sesame Street: Old School – Volume One (1969-1974) pick it up from Amazon.

And here’s a few images if you’re curious to see what Big Bird and Oscar looked like originally.

When I said that they hung out in a junkyard on The Cosby Show, I meant Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids – The Original Animated Series, Vol. 1 (with Bonus CD). I’m fairly certain Rudy and Theo never found themselves digging through trash.

The inimitable Mariah Carey singing “Always Be My Baby.”

If you’re curious to read my review of Summer School , head on over to UnitedMonkee. If you want to buy the film, follow that first link to Amazon.

The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 7

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The latest installment of The Pop Poppa Nap Cast focuses on a recent trip to New Hampshire for Easter, the many cartoons I want to share with my daughter and a big thumbs up for a new sitcom and my favorite diaper bag.

The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 7

The episode of The Big Bang Theory I mentioned that inspired Lu to sing “Soft Kitty” is called “The Adhesive Duck Deficiency.” I live blogged it back in 2009.

You can check out the piece my friend Sean Collins wrote about He-Man over on Vorpalizer.

While I’m linking to my pals, here’s the piece my buddy Rob Bricken wrote about the wacky He-Man/She-Ra holiday special that he wrote for io9.

As I mentioned in the episode, I’m trying something new with a little bit of advertising. If you’re interested in any of the products or DVDs I mentioned in the show follow these links to Amazon. It’ll help the show for sure, so thanks in advance. Here’s what I talked about this episode The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Third Season, Big Bang Theory – Soft Kitty Head Plush, DuckTales – Volume 1, Walt Disney’s Uncle Scrooge: “Only a Poor Old Man” (Vol. 12) (The Complete Carl Barks Disney Library), Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse Collector’s Box Set (Vol. 1-2) (Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse), Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers – Volume 1 and Plastic Man: The Complete Collection.

And of course, I’ve got to separate out the recipient of this week’s Pop Poppa Seal of Approval winner, the Diaper Dude Diaper Bag, Black, the best diaper bag for guys around.

If you’re curious, here’s the review I wrote of one of my new favorite podcasts Hear Me Out. Give it a listen, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 5

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This week’s episode of The Pop Poppa Nap Cast recaps a recent visit from my parents, awards the Pop Poppa Of The Week to a person I actually know and compares raising a toddler to Enemy Mine. Enjoy!

The Pop Popps Nap Cast Episode 5

If you’re interested in a little more information on our sign language process, check out this post I wrote a while back.

Here’s the Monkeying Around The Kitchen post I wrote about Barnaby’s.

I also wrote about Enemy Mine over on UnitedMonkee three whole years ago.

If you’re interested in learning more about this week’s Pop Poppa Of The Week Justin Aclin, check out his blog, but also be sure to buy his books Hero House and Star Wars: The Clone Wars – Defenders Of The Lost Temple. If that’s not enough, listen to his recent interview over on Matt and Brett Love Comics where, yes, he does in fact mention me.

And, finally, the drumming video:

 

The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 4

pop poppa nap cast logoThe fourth episode of The Pop Poppa Nap Cast hits chock full of geekery from a video game-creating dad to a little girl mashing up Star Wars and princesses plus a few positive thoughts on Pixar’s Brave, the importance of keeping yourself happy and more!

The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 4

Here’s the Disney Princess commercial I mentioned:

I first wrote about Brave on this very blog here.

Here’s the Wired story on Mike Mika, the guy who remade Donkey Kong for his daughter.

The Her Universe story on McKenna.

 

The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 3

pop poppa nap cast logoThis episode kicks off with me a little down in the dumps, but over the course of 30 minutes and a week, I start feeling pretty good. Plus, tips on removing Sharpie from a kitchen table, an evaluation of Playskool’s Sesame Street toys and a little personal reflection by way of the comic book Y: The Last Man. Enjoy!

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The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 1

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Alright gang, it’s finally here, the very first episode of something I’ve been thinking about for a while and working on for a few weeks now. There’s been plenty of starts and stops and the final product is far from perfect, but I think I finally hit something of a good stride and hope it gets better week in and week out.

So here’s the deal, if you’re looking to just keep this page and listen to the podcast, click the following link and hit the play button. If you want to save the file to your computer, click the link, right click and select “Save Video As.” I know it’s not a video, but that will download the MP3 file to your desktop. I’m working on getting the podcast searchable on iTunes right now, but you can copy this link: https://poppoppa.com/category/podcasts/feed/ into the Subscribe to Podcast option in the File drop down menu of your iTunes. Give it a whirl, see how it plays.

The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 1

Here’s a few links I reference in the episode:

LeapFrog Violet and Scout

The story about that d-bag on the airplane from The New York Daily News.

UnitedMonkee.com

Monkeying Around The Kitchen

Me on Twitter

Pop Poppa Of the Week: Alan Matthews From Boy Meets World

Anyone who follows me on Twitter will probably know that I’ve renewed my love affair with the 90s ABC family sitcom Boy Meets World (it’s one of the few watchable things on at 7AM, which is when the little darling gets up these days). If you’re unfamiliar, the series followed the adventures of Cory Matthews starting in grade school and, since the show lasted seven season, into college. While he spent earlier seasons as a slacker trying to game the system when it came to school, he eventually turned into, well, an old Jewish guy (watch the show and you’ll know what I mean). A huge part of the show revolved around his longtime relationship with Topanga which lead to them getting married in college.

But this post isn’t about Cory, it’s about his dad Alan, played by William Russ for the series’ run. You might think that, because the show was on Disney-owned ABC and part of the TGIF line-up that it would be completely bland and dull with nothing real happening. However, between goofy moments (most of which involved Cory’s dumb brother Eric) there are some legitimately honest moments between all the characters.

What I like about Alan and the way he was portrayed on the series is that he wasn’t perfect. He realized in one episode that he treated all of his kids differently, splitting interests among them, something the kids eventually realized and had a problem with. He didn’t have a good explanation for this, it was just something that happened and he tried to fix it moving forward. You get to see Alan go through a lot in the series, from dealing with the shockingly stupid Eric to Cory’s very early nuptials (even I didn’t get married that young) and he handles them like any person would, unevenly. He gets mad, he yells and he eventually feels bad about it.

He’s not a total dunce like many husbands/fathers are portrayed to be on TV and on the other end of the spectrum he didn’t set up elaborate scenarios to teach his kids a lesson like Mr. Huxtable. He’s a real guy dealing with things the best he can and as they come up. Sometimes he’s ready and sometimes he’s blindsided, but he does his best and that’s all we can really do as dads.

Pop Poppa Of The Week: Robert Crawley, Earl Of Grantham (From Downton Abbey Season One)

I wrote a bit about watching Downton Abbey–the account of a wealthy family dealing with a changing society in the early 20th century–over on my blog United Monkee and the idea to make Robert Crawley, the Earl of Grantham played by Hugh Bonneville a Pop Poppa Of The Week selection seemed perfect after watching the first season. He was so, SO nice, going out of his way to defend his former war buddy Bates and seemed like a pretty progressive man considering his station. Heck, he even went out of his way to make sure Matthew, the man who by law would take the house and title away from him, feel comfortable. He treated his daughters with respect and even seemed okay with the fact that his older daughter had yet to marry, which was terribly uncouth back then. So, based solely on the first season, Lord Grantham gets the nod!

Cut to Season Two, which we just finished last night–so SPOILER WARNING if you’re not caught up–and he not only gives his youngest daughter trouble for wanting to marry the Irish former chauffeur and even fooled around a bit with one of the maids. It’s a bummer because he was so good and so awesome in the first season, but there had to be cracks in his perfect veneer, right? He even does his best to make up for the mistakes he made in the second season finale, so it’s nice to see that there’s still goodness inside of him.

So, I guess if there are things to learn from Robert Crawley as a man and a father, it’s to emulate his good naturedness from the first season and his hard-learned humility from the second. We all make mistakes, but it’s important to admit them–at least to ourselves if not the person they were originally aimed at–and try to make them right. Crawley seems to have done that, but only time–and the Christmas Special followed by the third season–will tell!

Pop Poppa Of The Week: George Kirk From Star Trek (2009)

As part of my gig writing up news stories for the movie blog Spinoff Online, I wind up writing about a lot of the same movies over and over again. One such recent example is the sequel to J.J. Abrams’ 2009 sci-fi epic Star Trek that did the unthinkable in not only making Star Trek awesome to non-geeks but also deftly balanced old school continuity with a solid reboot. I was a fan of the first movie so much so that I own the DVD. With all this talk of the follow-up, I figured it would be a good time to watch the first flick again.

I had forgotten about the opening of the movie which features Captain Kirk’s dad George getting upgraded to Captain for a very short period of time. We discover as he does his best to keep the ship together and execute a mass evacuation that his pregnant wife is on board. George intends to escape with them, but discovers the auto pilot systems have been destroyed and need him to do it himself. George keeps his head together and, while his tenure as Captain is short, he saved hundreds of people, ultimately giving his life for them.

Man, I hope I don’t ever have to make a decision like that, but what an awesome man and dad George Kirk tunred out to be. Noble, honorable, strong, brave, what more can you want in a role model. Sure, his kid turned out to be kind of a hot head, but I think that he’s got potential.

Pop Poppa Of The Week: Sam Woods From The Wizard (1989)

Welcome to the inaugural and hopefully weekly presentation of the Pop Poppa Of The Week award. This will be given to men both real and fictional who display qualities in their fatherhood that I admire. Considering the idea just popped into my head and I watched The Wizard earlier this week, guess the source of my first pick. That’s right, Beau Bridges played Sam Woods in the movie about a pair of brothers, Jimmy and Corey (Fred Savage) and their new friend hustling their way across the western part of the country to get the boy genius Jimmy (who seems a bit autistic, though I don’t think that’s ever directly stated) to Vegas so he can play in a Nintendo video game championship. At the same time, Bridges and his older son, played by the always wonderful Christian Slater, are about a day behind them as they try to figure out where the kids are going.

At first, Bridges’ Woods doesn’t even resemble a good father. He’s perfectly fine with letting Jimmy be sent to a home by his mother (who he’s living with) and doesn’t seem capable of relating to any of his sons. But as he and Slater go on their journey he not only gets to help defend his son by giving the jerky kid hunter (like a bounty hunter for runaways) a hard time, but eventually realizes how distant he’s been and that he needs to start living with and for his family again. We find out towards the end of the movie–SPOILER–that Beau and his wife also had a daughter who passed away, which explains the rifts in the family. By the end of the movie, Beau not only realizes the appeal of the NES, but also that he needs to start mending the broken fences of his life.

Oh, plus, he lets his boy play in a video game tournament even though he ran away from home like five days prior. I think that’s the kid in me appreciating him more than the dad in me though. By the way, as I noted on Twitter, I feel bad for you if you didn’t have that moment as a kid where you came downstairs intending to play video games and saw your mom or dad bleary eyed in front of the system. When we got our NES my folks got pretty into Super Mario Bros. and the same thing happened a few years later when I got my Game Boy and Tetris was a big thing. Good times.