Re: Spoiled Rotten, Though

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Yes toys, yes restaurant meals. Mine have gotten to travel much less than I did, but that's fluky because it was so cheap for my parents. My kids are probably more useful around the house, cooking and cleaning-wise, than I was, though.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-24-14 5:15 PM
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Not particularly.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-24-14 5:18 PM
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Definitely toys and restaurants are way cheaper. Also there's a fair amount of fussing over, UMC overprotectiveness, etc., that just wasn't there in 70's parenting but that I unfortunately do. In terms of gross total overall spoiling though, I'd say my kid is overall less spoiled than I was, since we don't have a live-in maid and are generally poorer. She's certainly less spoiled relative to her peers.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-24-14 5:21 PM
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Generally lower standard of living, not particularly spoiled.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-24-14 5:22 PM
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Gently downward mobility: I'm doing it for you, kid.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-24-14 5:32 PM
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No, but ours is only one. It was his birthday yesterday, and he got one present from us -- cost £15. The real test will be in 5 years time. When perhaps we'll be spoiling him, materially. He eats out more than I did, but we are talking snacks in chains, not gourmet meals.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-24-14 5:37 PM
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About the same number of books and toys, but we almost never went out to eat when I was a kid. Definitely more exposure for both kids to activities like TKD, baseball, soccer, Girls on the Run, etc.


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 03-24-14 5:37 PM
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In discussions that we had on this in the past, my kids were unanimous in their fervent belief that the lack of the internet was the feature of their childhoods that they thought most superior to our own.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-24-14 5:46 PM
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In the olden days, one had to go to the docks and swap favors with Longshoremen to get pron.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-24-14 5:48 PM
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Mine is spoiled enough, but also more grounded and generally clueful.


Posted by: DaveL | Link to this comment | 03-24-14 5:53 PM
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My family did restaurants maybe once a year and most toys from garage sales. My girls have a lot more, plus a meaningful allowance they earn by doing chores.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 03-24-14 6:01 PM
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Very surprised at the consensus (10 comments in) that meals in nice restaurants are cheaper now. But it's hard to say---what would now be considered a nice restaurant probably didn't exist in almost all of the country when I was a kid.

That toys are cheaper now I can believe. (Even video games, though?)


Posted by: Kreskin | Link to this comment | 03-24-14 6:03 PM
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Lifestylewise, my kids are getting something fairly similar to my upbringing. Reasonable but not fancy house in a decent suburb, going to public schools, etc. I learned to drive on my dad's 13 year old Subaru hatchback, my older daughter drives around our 17 year old Corolla. Both parents in public sector jobs, vacations tend to be driving rather than flying. Maybe eating out more due to two kids vs the five my parents had.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 03-24-14 6:13 PM
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More toys and restaurant meals. But the meaning of them seems to have changed. We very very seldom ate out when I was growing up, and from what I know about what was available, that was a good thing. I never felt deprived, and sometimes felt when I did get something I wasn't expecting that they shouldn't have or didn't need to have given it to me.

We've lived better than my parents or my wife's, and my kids definitely feel advantaged. Many of their friends from school have been relatively disadvantaged, so they feel privileged and say so.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 03-24-14 6:17 PM
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No kids, but people definitely seem to go out more than what I remember from generic 70's upper middle class big metro suburbia in the US, but not than in Europe. It's the Frenchification of America. Back in the US I only ate out with my parents if we were on vacation; they had maybe two or three date like nice meals a year on their own and that was it. In Europe we were suddenly eating out five or six times a month not counting travel. That was partially money, but partially because there were actually restaurants around other than generic steak or lobster joints.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 03-24-14 6:35 PM
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Too early to say, but we have heaps more money than our parents did, so we're definitely going to run that risk.

Daycare is godawful expensive but I'm not at all sure if the experience counts towards "spoiling" or not - probably not.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 03-24-14 6:49 PM
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More meals out, definitely.


Posted by: Klug | Link to this comment | 03-24-14 7:07 PM
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Yeah my kids definitely are spoiled. But generally pleasant little people otherwise. a reasonable amount of empathy. Would be nice if they showed more though.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 03-24-14 7:20 PM
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I was more spoiled, except for all the fucking plastic crap.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-24-14 7:24 PM
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Fucking plastic crap. I hates it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-24-14 7:25 PM
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We're still working to ward off "spoiled." But my daughter is definitely more privileged than I was as a child (and that is not to say I didn't have a privileged childhood myself). More meals out, more air travel, very little constraint on the availability of books or clothes. Not a nanny -- in our case, economic privilege manifests as my wife being able to stay home without much of an impact on our finances.

Your previous post really resonated with me for that reason, though I was too tied up today to participate in the earlier thread. I don't know any real way to address the issue other than to focus on manners; on realizing that not everyone has the same privileges and that it has nothing to do with moral desert; and, to the extent we can, on social responsibility.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 03-24-14 7:32 PM
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We did have an incident last year where our daughter ruined a dress by doing something she'd been told not to do and said: "It doesn't matter, I have more." I wasn't there for it, but my wife (by her own telling) blew a gasket. Among other consequences, the kid was restricted to two dresses (and I think one pair of shoes? maybe two) for the following several weeks.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 03-24-14 7:41 PM
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I'm in my late 30s -- is there something to the thought that there's more cheap/free toys for kids around because of the Chinese trade imbalance? I don't remember if there were cheap Japanese/Taiwanese toys when I was a kid.


Posted by: Klug | Link to this comment | 03-24-14 8:42 PM
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My kid is spoiled enough to own this item as her school backpack and lunchbox. I think it is literally the tackiest thing imaginable, at least that doesn't contain an overt sexual reference. Oh ho ho design-influenced Scandinavian wooden toys, who is on top now??


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-24-14 8:53 PM
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Mine are more spoiled-- a few more toys, more eating out, but mostly a sense of entitlement to my attention and time. They also demand things like listening to their goddamned frozen songs in the car (I swear everyday for like the last 2 months). It never would have occurred to me as a kid that my mom would switch the radio station or that I should ask or whine until she does (that dial was welded to npr my whole childhood). But why do I give in and let them? Because I can't handle kids crying for 20 minutes all the way to school and then the 4 yo clings to my leg like a monkey at preschool drop off. So I would say my kids feel entitled to attentive parenting but that's about it. My husband losing his job and losing the house in the Great Recession has made them a little attuned to economic things ( they know people can be poor and there's nothing wrong with that).


Posted by: Miranda | Link to this comment | 03-24-14 9:18 PM
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24: wow that is hideous!

Child definitely has a materially more privileged experience, but has also taken on bent the usual stereotypical aesthetic preference for nice things used to death in a strenuously nonwasteful manner, because we are basically totally predictable.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 03-24-14 9:29 PM
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This is what a real tacky request looks like.

http://www.welovefine.com/7704-i-am-catbug-hooded-backpack.html#.UzEPEVDnbqA


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 03-24-14 10:11 PM
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No, we ate out most weeks when I was a kid (usually just a curry, nothing fancy) and it's not that frequent here. We have nicer holidays than I used to, but not as nice as C used to. (But his parents never took him to the cinema, which we also did frequently - we hardly ever go as a family these days because it's so expensive it hardly ever seems worth it.) There are more toys available, but I'm not sure that we have more in our house than I grew up with.

I also grew up with my dad being at home earlier and never ever working at home after office hours, although I guess he did travel quite a lot for work. (My mum worked either at home or during school hours, so that didn't have much of an impact on me either.)

So overall, no, I don't think my kids are any more spoiled than I was.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 12:33 AM
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Ah, of course, what my kids do have way way more of is gadgets and computers. I got a Walkman when I was about 15. My youngest got a (very cheap!) mp3 player for her 4th birthday, which I thought was pretty ridiculous (but now I see 3 year olds with their own ipads and that boggles my mind). And when the handing downs meant that she could have a pc in her room when she was 6, she said "At last!"

We were the second people I knew growing up to have a computer (my godfather was the first, and he would bring his Commodore with him when he came), but that sort of thing has obviously got so much cheaper.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 12:46 AM
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You know who is more spoilt these days? Older people! My mum just messaged me to tell me she's going to Australia this autumn, with her sister (who lives near Toronto). The sister is flying here, then they spend a few days in Beijing on the way, 3 weeks in Australia, then a few days in Honolulu and then my mum will visit Canada for a few days before coming home. Tough life.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 1:14 AM
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I dunno, those are some long flights.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 1:26 AM
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now I see 3 year olds with their own ipads and that boggles my mind

I can completely believe that. The baby can already sort of work our iPhones. I could easily see us giving in to temptation and getting him some kind of cheap or ageing tablet for him to bash around on, before he gets to primary school.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 1:33 AM
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She's used to them, spoilt old lady. e.g. She went to Easter Island last year.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 1:34 AM
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32 - of course, you'd only let him play on the educational apps.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 1:35 AM
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33: Fair enough.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 1:37 AM
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I'm just a bit envious, but I'm very pleased for her really.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 1:41 AM
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I know the feeling. My mom's going to Hawaii in November with some friends of hers.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 1:43 AM
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She retires in May and is counting the days. This school year has been exceptionally hard for her, so I don't really begrudge her a nice vacation.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 1:47 AM
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Re: 32

Do they do Grand Theft Auto: Trike Edition?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 2:06 AM
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I would just like to say that I opened the comments expecting, nay, hoping, to see 2 (would have also accepted it from teo).
Neb, you spoil me.


Posted by: Awl | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 2:54 AM
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I view "spoiled" as whining for crap and getting it. I don't put eating out in the same category, because for me eating out is a shared experience, and if we have the money a) I don't see the problem with spending it and b) I'd rather invest in experiences than things.


Posted by: W. Breeze | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 4:00 AM
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My kid has his own Android tablet, which he rarely uses, because he spends most of his time monopolizing my dual-monitor PC, on which he utilizes one monitor to play Minecraft, while watching YouTube videos of other people playing Minecraft on the other monitor. So, spoiled by technology.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 4:31 AM
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On the other hand, he has a shit-ton more homework than I did at his age, and entirely new levels of bullshit surrounding the application of standardized tests.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 4:37 AM
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the application of standardized tests.

This truly distresses me.


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 5:55 AM
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I view "spoiled" as whining for crap and getting it.

By that measure, Rory is definitely not spoiled because she doesn't have to whine to get everything she wants. Definitely indulged. I like buying her nice things. Partly, I think, because I was inhibited about buying myself nice things for so long. Nice things are nice. Go go materialism!


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 5:59 AM
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I totally sympathise with the sentiments, my kid would probably not complain openly at the time but later would go on at length later about how hilariously chintzy a motel stay was.

But I think there is sampling bias. I think that we've discussed before that many here are (relatively) highly educated people from suboptimal childhoods. The resulting sense of not fitting well makes conversation here appealing. So, people here are a self-selected group for not understanding our own kids' childhoods.

Definitely true in my case-- I was working (weekends and after school) and stoned by 12. I am happy for my kid's childhood to be different. He's more empathetic towards animals than towards people.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 6:05 AM
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I don't know whether my kids are experiencing, as a whole, more or less (call it) material comfort than I did (AB's mom was putting her dad through college until she was 7 or 8, so she experienced some scraping by; truly, they didn't even have a TV). I grew up going out to dinner once a week; yes, it wasn't a new restaurant every time, and nor did it include the best restaurants in town, but we did go out to fancy restaurants a couple times a year. When I was in elementary school, we were still middle class, not UMC, but my dad was/is an early adapter type, so spare cash went to Atari and a VCR, so we never seemed to be materially behind. I think my kids are in roughly that same place.

We're definitely slacker on table manners than my mom was, but even there, my mom put up with me holding my fork wrong until I was in like HS, which wasn't really like her.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 7:17 AM
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42: OMG! your son is my nigh-ten-year-old daughter! except with macs and ipads. well, one of each. she has also watched shugga conroy play all the way through mario super sunshine galaxy twice, despite our not having a console on which to play it.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 7:34 AM
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This is a hard question to answer, and not just because there's a difference between being spoiled and having lots of toys. A lot of things that would have signified wealth to my parents are now much cheaper. The Calabat's been on plane trips twice already, but he's hardly a baby jetsetter, you know?


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 7:40 AM
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Mara spends almost all her limited youtube time watching either Japanese video games about taking care of babies or Rement videos in Japanese, where people demonstrate how realistic the realistic tiny plastic food is. (She's also obsessed with a Russian cartoon called Masha and the Bear, which she watches in Russian, and sometimes European baby doll commercials. Maybe it's not so mysterious why her English hasn't gotten better as quickly as we'd hoped.)


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 7:42 AM
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Does she play Minecraft? My son is desperate for people to hang out on his Minecraft server. The IP address is 54 dot 197 dot 235 dot 115.

Really, any of youse are invited.

And yes, I recognize that my son is spoiled for having a Minecraft server....


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 7:44 AM
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O (3) has an ipad that is "his" -- and people clutch their pearls about it and enjoy asking questions to signal their surprise! and shock! I mean, it was a first gen iPad that I guess I could have sold when I got a new one, but I'd rather not have yogurt all over mine.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 7:48 AM
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"Yes, I've chosen to raise a technologically literate child."


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 7:53 AM
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52, 53: Exactly. The Calabat already is obsessed with mine, and it will probably be his once I upgrade in a year or so. I don't have an iPad, but if I did, I imagine it would be about the same. He is fascinated by my smartphone.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 7:58 AM
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Laptop, that is. Isn't it fun to shut the screen while Skyping with Grandma?


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 7:59 AM
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Kids these days. When they use Skype, its like they've go no manners at all.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 8:02 AM
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Even while I know I'd let any potential offspring play with my technological toys and don't rationally think there's an issue, I totally have a pearl-clutching reaction whenever I see young kids with iPads or phones.* I don't understand when, exactly, I became a luddite.

*I swear, I do not say anything!


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 8:02 AM
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51: If I have time tonight I'll head over; I haven't played it in a few years but Minecraft is just an awesome game. I think my Minecraft name is my real firstinitallastname so if you see somebody whose name parses as that don't be too freaked out. I promise I won't troll your son.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 8:07 AM
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There is some great iPad content out there for small kids. Its much better to have them interacting with that than passively watching TV. But a lot of people who feel that Mr. Rogers was just wonderful (and he was) think that tablets are the tool of the devil.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 8:11 AM
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59: I have much the same reaction to kids and tv. Even though I darn well know I'll be turning on Mr. Rogers, too. Like I said, it's totally irrational.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 8:13 AM
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58: I promise I won't troll your son.

That's great! I just hope he doesn't troll you.

He's still learning how to behave on the internet. Fortunately, Minecraft offers a relatively safe space to learn those lessons.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 8:15 AM
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I share your reaction, Parenthetical.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 8:21 AM
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||

Apropos of nothing, but the Carpenter's 'Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft' is on the radio right now, sounding both amazing [the sound of it is super lush], and completely insane.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=teBV0EoJJY8

>


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 8:24 AM
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61: Then let me rephrase that: my trolling will be reactive and proportionate. Minecraft'sas safe as you can get in an unmoderated setting, and the construction/creation aspect probably makes it easier to empathize with others.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 8:27 AM
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I was raised without a tv, but Mara and Nia both came to us from (foster) households where the tv was on constantly and it didn't feel fair to cut them off completely. They only get to watch the shows they like a few times a week (so maybe 90 minutes total a week, outside of hair time, when we'll watch a movie or Netflix shows mostly) and yet I still feel icky about it. And actually not "the shows they like" since I've barred Nia from any of the awful Disney shows that are just about finding boyfriends. But it makes me feel bad that Selah can already say "tv," though at least she says "book" too.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 8:28 AM
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Let's be clear about Mr. Rogers, though: his entire raison d'être was as an antidote to then-popular TV culture for kids, and he was very careful about things like how many cuts per minute (which he and researchers believed to be important; no idea what recent science says). That is to say, letting a kid watch Mr. Rogers is no more equivalent to giving a kid free rein with TV or the internet than giving a kid a balloon is equivalent to signing them up for peewee football.

Anyway, that said, Iris got a hand-me down phone of mine a year or so ago, and then Kai (at age 5.5) got that one when last I upgraded. Iris turns 10 tomorrow, and went splitsies with my dad on an iPad Mini. We have an ancient laptop that's used for music and kids' videos/online video games. Which I'm more OK with than AB, for reasons that should be clear from my proviso comment.

That said, I really did and do think I wasted too much of my life in front of the TV when I was young, and the internet now, so I don't feel especially hypocritical about giving my kids less access than I had. Given the whole "access to whatever you want whenever you want" thing of internet streaming probably means they see just as many shows they enjoy as I did; they just don't need to sit through the crap in between.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 8:28 AM
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I think that we've discussed before that many here are (relatively) highly educated people from suboptimal childhoods.

No! I thought we were all well-adjusted and loved.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 8:29 AM
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I don't understand when, exactly, I became a luddite.

For me, it was clearly when my youngest was about 7. No one younger than her is allowed to have anything better than her, WHATEVER TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCES MAY HAPPEN. I'm not claiming this makes any sense, and I certainly don't think badly of people whose toddlers have tablets, more that I'm amused at my own instinct to grab my pearls.

My 13 year old has a Minecraft server (and for at least one other game, I don't bother asking much any more because I don't understand the answers), but he's not spoilt because he made it himself! And he bought his pc with his own money (a few hundred left to him from his great grandfather) - he wanted a superduper gaming pc; the only way he could have one with his funds was to buy the parts and build his own. So he has the best computer in the house, plus powerline internet connection (that he asked for for Christmas), so he also has the fastest internet access in the house. And he has a Nexus 7 that he bought last year with his own money (saved pocket money, birthday, Christmas). He's not spoilt because of having them, but it's certainly not how I grew up. But ffs, things change. That's ok and doesn't mean anything really.

As people have already said, being spoiled is more about demanding and instantly getting.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 8:30 AM
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For me, it was clearly when my youngest was about 7. No one younger than her is allowed to have anything better than her, WHATEVER TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCES MAY HAPPEN.

I think that I may have something similar going on with my little sister (who is 8 years younger than me). She is still "baby" --- and yet, I work with people born 6 years after her! How is this possible?

I'm not claiming this makes any sense, and I certainly don't think badly of people whose toddlers have tablets, more that I'm amused at my own instinct to grab my pearls.

This, exactly.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 8:35 AM
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the awful Disney shows that are just about finding boyfriends

I fucking HATE that Iris got into Wizards of fucking Waverly Place. We spend a lot of time talking about how shitty the show is, but she finds it funny, because the people responsible are eviltalented professionals.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 8:37 AM
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Funnily enough, I grew up in a household where the TV was on a lot. My parents are fairly hippy-ish, but they are still basically working class baby boomer Brits, so I don't think they ever imbibed the 'TV cooties will eat your child's brain' thing. I still quite like having the TV on in the background if I'm not listening to music. I guess as a result of growing up with a lot of TV, I'm one of those people who can completely tune it out. It's like the noise of waves on a beach, or something. It doesn't impinge on my consciousness at all, unless I want it to.

My wife is much more TV-averse than I am. I don't really worry too much about the TV being on as long as the baby isn't sitting staring at it endlessly.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 8:37 AM
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Lee keeps the tv on at all times while she's home, and I have such a negative kneejerk reaction and have to just live with it. The kids are really not interested enough in basketball or home renovation shows to get sucked in, and it's something she's willing to do with Nia, so they have special time watching The Andy Griffith Show and both big girls like Chopped, which is useful because the time it comes on means we can send them to bed after the appetizer round and they feel like they actually got to stay up late.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 8:39 AM
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re: 72

Yeah, I consciously turn the TV off when I'm home all day looking after the baby because I'd otherwise have it on a lot more [or have music on]. I usually only have it on for half an hour or so while he's getting a pre-bath snack and winding down at the end of the day. But on the occasional day when I have it on more, I don't really worry that it's doing him any harm.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 8:43 AM
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I was 5 when we got a tv, but programming didn't start in those days, CBC, until the middle of the afternoon. I would turn on the set in the morning and there'd just be snow and a loud hiss, which I'd need to turn down because it disturbed other people in the house. About noon, the test pattern would come on, the one with the diagonal cross and Indian head at the top. Then maybe 45 minutes later, the test tone would come on, an annoying sound that had to be turned way down. Then, finally, programming. Howdy Doody, Mickey Mouse Club. Before a few years had passed, there were Canadian content children's shows: Friendly Giant, Razzle Dazzle. Then began syndicated reruns and old movies, up to the cartoons that would start at 5 for kids arriving home from school.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 8:47 AM
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Ugh -- we've started to use the TV to mollify the kid when he's particularly restless. (He's 20 months old now, a full-on toddler). My wife more than me, she'll sit holding him on the couch watching Sesame Street or cartoons with him. It's rarely if ever more than 30-45 minutes, but it's gotten to the point that he'll take a stand in front of the turned-off TV and stab his finger at it repeatedly yelling, "TV! TV! Caillou! Elmo!". Sending pangs of guilt through my SWPL parental heart.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 8:48 AM
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Oh, devices. Yeah. Um.

Well, we had a family Atari (pretty sure it was an 800) when I was a kid, and then later an Apple IIe. That's about the same proportionately as a five-year-old having her own iPad today,[1] right? No generational difference here!

[1] Started off as an old one along the lines in 52. Then she got a new one as a present from her grandmother. She's good about taking care of it, at least.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 8:58 AM
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Yeah, I had a VIC-20 at a very young age. It lead to a career as a software developer, so I'm not seeing the harm it did.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 9:31 AM
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We always had a TV but I was only allowed to watch half an hour a day back in the US. When we moved to Switzerland I was allowed to watch as much as I wanted, with the catch that I couldn't understand anything, and in any case it wasn't on for much of the day - TV programing shut down around nine or ten in the morning, reappeared for and hour or two around lunch and then shut down until around five in the evening. The color/focus adjustment circular grid thingy got old rather quickly. So I read even more than I had before.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 9:32 AM
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79

For devices, I got an Atari after a couple years of whining, and then midway through high school I got a computer for schoolwork.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 9:34 AM
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I love television, but having a large, kick ass TV has made me less inclined to let the kid watch too much of it, at least when I'm around, because kids' shows that are too loud are annoying. I also can't handle the "soothing drone" approach to TV; if that thing is on, anywhere, I'm gonna be watching it, like a moth drawn to the flame. It makes things hard for me in the era of flat screens are everywhere in restaurants.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 9:36 AM
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TV being on as a kid didn't really make any difference to how much I read. I was either on my room reading, or curled up on the sofa reading [and ignoring the TV]. Plus, lots of football [soccer], anyway.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 9:37 AM
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The kid seems to have inherited my relative disinterest in video games. They're plenty available, but she just doesn't seem into them. She also inherited my love for passively consumed TV, though.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 9:38 AM
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83

We didn't have a tv, so didn't have any of those things to play games on. We had a Sharp MZ80K, a BBC Micro, an Atari ST, an Amstrad ... and then I went to university and pc's got more generic I guess.

I think my dad's work bought the BBC one, plus various extra bits. He did image processing stuff at work, so we had a video camera that would slowly scan your face or whatever, and then after about 3 days the computer would print out a pixelly monochrome picture. This was the height of technological excitement in mid80s South London, and any visitors to our house wanted a go.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 9:40 AM
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I remember watching a lot of then-standard "educational" TV shows - Sesame Street, Mr. Rogers, The Electric Company - and at one point noticed that they had episode numbers. I then taped a piece of paper on the side of the TV and tracked which episodes I had watched.

In retrospect, a lot of the half-assed life-logging kind of things I've done have been like that, so I guess I started early.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 9:40 AM
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re: 83

We got a ZX Spectrum, quite early-ish. Some of my friends had Commodore 64s a bit earlier, but not by much.

In a typical solution, for my parents, rather than put it in either my room, or my sisters room [and thus have to endure squabbles over who got to use it], my Dad built a sort of bridge over the stairs where the TV/monitor, tape recorder, etc could sit. And then made [out of scrap hardwood] a curved corner desk unit that would fit exactly on the landing, so you could sit on the landing and play with the computer [which was suspended in space over the stairwell].


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 9:45 AM
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To me. "spoiled" isn't about how much stuff you have, but have often you're told no. And whether no sticks.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 9:56 AM
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86: "no" sticks like epoxy in our house, our kid's emphatic NO to his having a phone. He has (rightly) identified it as a method of parental control. His strategy is clearly to keep pushing the boundaries of independence whilst resisting any opportunities for parental remote control.

If course he learned from us - no certainly meant (and means) no chez nous. We're negotiating the transition to more independence now tho so its getting more complex.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 10:24 AM
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80: The last two sentences of this describe me completely. I find it immensely, painfully difficult to carry on a conversation when there is a TV on in the room. I almost invariably get diverted to watching the TV, even if it is running commercials. Restaurants with TVs drive me crazy, and restaurants that position TVs such that there is nowhere you can sit without having one in your field of view are just the worst.

86: Oh good, we can totally pass that test. Mostly due to my wife rather than to me, I admit.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 10:41 AM
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85 - that sounds so cool.

Just showed the 15 year old a photo of an MZ80K. "Oh, nice, is the tape player so you could listen to music while you were using the computer?"


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 11:01 AM
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80, 88: Me too: if there's a tv visible or audible, I'm either riveted or massively annoyed. I can't handle it as background.

OT: If anyone has occasion to work with a BigLaw firm whose standard official abbreviation (that is, it's their URL) is surprisingly obscene in a blaxploitation sort of vein, I can't say nice enough things about their courtesy and helpfulness to opposing counsel. I almost hate to keep stealing their legal pads.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 11:17 AM
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Oh yes, I have had great experiences with Benham, Logan, Adams, Cumberland, Urpel, Lincoln, Aaronson, Schmidt, Donaldson, Ingersoll, Conlon and Karp.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 11:22 AM
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It really is just about that bad. I almost want to ask about why on earth they use the abbreviation, but it seems tactless


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 11:26 AM
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I believe it's pretty simple, their marketing consultants sold the idea of using the name in the mid-1990s when it seemed like law firms should be cool and stop wearing ties to get some of that sweet tech $$$$$. I think as a nickname it predates that.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 11:28 AM
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It is a perfectly natural nickname, and funny -- I wouldn't be surprised at all to know that it was in longstanding informal usage. I just find the decision to put it in everyone's email address a little inexplicable. Surely there are still people out there who can be offended by that kind of thing? Maybe not.

Anyway, I don't think I'd ever run into them before directly, and they're a pleasure to litigate against.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 11:35 AM
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90 et al.: There was a period of a couple years where they were representing co-defendants of mine so I was emailing people at that firm regularly, and it never stopped feeling so, so wrong to see their email suffixes pop up. (Not just because it was potentially offensive, it just seemed so juvenile.)


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 11:36 AM
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God dammit. Fess up, somebody!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 11:39 AM
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Hey, everybody, I think it's time to kill the lawyers.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 11:39 AM
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Sifu, by way of a clue, let me be the first to call you a dumb motherfucker.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 11:42 AM
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Although you could as easily have been stupid or ugly.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 11:43 AM
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It's a four letter abbreviation of a twelve letter obscenity, naturally preceded by "bad".


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 11:43 AM
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I've never enjoyed giving a hint quite this much.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 11:44 AM
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Oh, or Ogged could just make it easy.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 11:44 AM
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Man, I hate the coded conversations, and here I am, having one. I would just, you know, tell you, but maybe LB doesn't want even a googleproofed version here.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 11:45 AM
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Oh. MO/rr/iso/n FO/rs/t/er?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 11:45 AM
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Oops?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 11:46 AM
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I believe it's pretty simple, their marketing consultants sold the idea of using the name in the mid-1990s when it seemed like law firms should be cool and stop wearing ties to get some of that sweet tech $$$$$.

Robert Halford, J.D.
Chief Futurist, Intellectual Property Rockstar and Guru of Awesomeness
Offices of DOGBONER, P.C.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 11:46 AM
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In my defense 98-103 happened while I was clicking on all the firms on Wikipedia.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 11:47 AM
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Oh man, that's so...bro. Idiotic. Brodiotic.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 11:48 AM
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Oh, it's okay. I'm just literally sitting in one of their conference rooms waiting for them to come back with rehab questions for a witness I finished deposing, and it seems weird namin them while I'm still in the building.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 11:48 AM
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They are so cool.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 11:48 AM
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What's the private law firm
That's a sex machine to all the chicks?


Posted by: beamish | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 11:50 AM
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Getting rid of ties was a big step forward. If we have to put up with silly email addresses, it's a price worth paying.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 11:51 AM
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90: I deal with them a lot and they're charming and helpful to a fault. But they refer to themselves using the abbreviation too! They don't quite answer the phones with it, but at all other times...


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 11:54 AM
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That John Shaft sounds like one bad Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and --


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 11:55 AM
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Shut your mouth!


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 11:55 AM
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I actually know people who work there and was still totally failing to pick up on the hints until 98.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 11:59 AM
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I think it's time to kill the lawyers.

Having just finished the transcript of this morning's contraceptive mandate arguments, I'm inclined to agree.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 12:34 PM
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I was like, MFKR?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 12:59 PM
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Spike, I logged onto your son's Minecraft server (after much futzing with Java). Lots of neat stuff there; I've mostly played in survival mode so it's interesting how different (and packed) creative mode servers look. I started working on a rather lame circular tower on the stone bluff south of the starting area. I need to get some stuff done but I'll keep one eye on the server connections and maybe get back on later.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 5:07 PM
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That's great dalriata. My son will be very pleased. Unfortunately, he is working on homework now and will have to go to bed soon after. He usually only gets an hour a day on weekdays, and that's generally in the afternoon. There are some other folks who join from time to time - usually more often on the weekends, though. He generally spends a lot of time there on the weekend.

I will try to pop on myself at some point this evening, although I've actually got a bunch of work to do tonight.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 5:28 PM
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I knew someone who worked at the Badass lawfirm discussed. Their email format is first_initial last_name. So happens that her name is something like Sarah Lim. So her email address was slim@baddasslawfirm.com.

I was sad to learn a little while back she'd left. She probably had the slickest email address on the planet.


Posted by: mike d | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 5:32 PM
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"Paul Laya" at mofo.com.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 5:35 PM
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Stephen Haft.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 5:39 PM
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Brenda Aadasssss

(Thanks, Google: "Did you mean: baadasssss")

120: NP; I think I'm actually going to call it a night as I also have work to do and god making anything that looks decent in Minecraft takes a lot more effort than I feel like putting into something tonight.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 5:53 PM
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I'm not sure if this is the divorce announcement or the grounds for divorce.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 6:50 PM
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I will send my daughter to the minecraft server too. she likes watching videos of other people's world's so I can't think why she wouldn't be interested in looking at them/building cool floating balinese villas with infinity pools in them. she is responsible for getting a taylor swift song stuck in my head, but only in its minecraft parody version "we are never going to the nether."


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 7:04 PM
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I went to the Nether. I got killed fuckteen times. Took me forever to get my diamond pickaxe back from there so I could break the portal.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 7:13 PM
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On the subject of children playing with iPads, there were several of them at the Bering Air terminal at the Kotzebue airport today. Interestingly, that terminal also has a bunch of children's books and some signs asking parents to read to their kids, as part of a program by either the school district or some nonprofit. (I'll try to get some pictures when I go back through tomorrow.) No parents were actually reading to their kids while I was there. In addition to the iPads there were a lot more kids running around, climbing the stairs, playing on the baggage claim thing, etc. Conclusions about spoiledness are left to the reader's judgment, taste, etc.

On a more general note, boy are there ever a lot of little kids in this part of rural Alaska. These villages are growing like crazy. At least the one I'm staying at has a nice school. I'm posting this from the library, which is also where I'll be sleeping tonight.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-25-14 11:29 PM
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There's also "The End" which has the Ender Dragon. My son and I have killed the dragon and now we've planted a farm down there. So, there are a bunch of chickens and sheep hanging out in the apocalyptic wasteland.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 9:09 AM
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129: Nice! I haven't really played since they added the game-ier progression aspects so I've yet to do that. Maybe I need to restart my own survival world.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 03-26-14 9:17 AM
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