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A couple of weeks ago, one of my favorite fellow Dad Bloggers sent up the Bat Signal for a project related to STAR WARS. Before I could fire back an email ("The first transport is away..."), the wheels were in motion for what would become quite possibly The Definitive Internet White Paper on When to Expose Your Kids to STAR WARS. Sam over at DorkDaddy.com (a site considered Rock Father-approved) had gone all Danny Ocean on us, pulling together a crew of 19 Dad Bloggers to throw down some virtual ink on one of parenting's most important issues.

Originally posted on February 10, 2013... interestingly enough, a year later (2/16/2014) and Crayola has a different company handling PR for Toy Fair 2014 (it's Edelman now) and it's all back to "Mom." Pretty safe to assume that Crayola is steering the ship on this and not the PR folks.

UPDATED: On 2/19/2013, a rep from Coyne PR on behalf of Crayola sent me a nice message that included the following:

"Your post was very poignant and makes some great points. Dads do play an important role in raising their kids and our products are the tools to help Moms and Dads, along with Grandparents, care givers, etc. foster creativity and inspire imagination in children. As we move forward, we will look at how we present our information to be sure we are inclusive of all individuals who care about kids and support raising creatively inspired children."

ORIGINAL POST: It's Sunday night, and as most folks are watching the GRAMMYS (my wife included), I'm sitting here skimming through hundreds of press releases and product sheets rolling into Rock Father HQ from the American International Toy Fair in New York City. While I wish I'd gone this year, getting the news via email and the wires is the next best thing, though I have to be a little picky about what I cover here on The Rock Father as time is something I could use more of. One thing striking me as I check out the media materials from a lot of toy makers is how archaic their views of playtime, parenting, and family structure still are. Yes, despite all the strides made in the last year about "gender neutrality" (a huge media push, too) and the change in family structure, the old stereotypes are back this weekend in New York, and the charge is being led by some disappointing offenders.

THE ROCK FATHERUpdate: I've received an apology from Hot Topic in an email dated 2/8/13

I don't often go on this type of rant here on my personal blog (it has nothing to do with parenting), but something has to be said. I believe that HOT TOPIC (Trade Symbol: HOTT) has just burned me for the last time.

The Rock FatherTonight, while much of the Nation was shouting at the television and tossing back Budweisers while watching The Super Bowl (or "Big Game" since the NFL doesn't really want people calling it the "Super Bowl" without paying for the right to do so), I was involved in a massive project here at Rock Father HQ. Upstairs, I found myself bouncing between the rooms of The Rock Daughters™ while sorting the outgrown clothes and swapping out sizes with stuff from the garage.

Updated September 7, 2014 - After a year-and-a-half on the Windows Phone platform and experiencing problems with devices made by both Nokia and HTC, I can no longer support or recommend the Windows Phone Platform.

1997. That was the year that I became highly desirable to women... wait. Let me start this off a bit differently. 1997 was, according to my wife, the year I "ruled Walmart." She likened it to the way that "jocks" rule the halls of a high school... the way my friends and I, my crew... ruled a certain Walmart in the South Suburbs of Chicago. She reiterated this tonight when I told her that I was going to be writing a Valentine's Day-inspired "How We Met" blog as a part of my affiliation with Microsoft as a member of Team Windows Phone. "You guys were the sh**," she said.

I had no idea what to call this entry. It's more of a scrapbook-y kind of thing - one of those milestones that every child hits, and one that our family certainly wanted to see pictures of. Baby Finley has moved into the world of jarred food. As with Addie before her, we've been taking our time and not rushing into things. Finn will be 8 months old (man, time is flying) this month, and while we started her on Rice Cereal back in December, late January brought with it the first food in the classic glass jars. We're feeding her EARTH'S BEST ORGANIC, which is also what we fed her sister just a few short years ago. So what's the menu been like?

The Rock Father is pleased to present a special guest blog from Phil Shepley of Dad Vs. Spawn...

Who says that 80s hair metal was only about sex, drugs and rock n’ roll? Perhaps back then it was, but now it’s about so much more. It’s about being a parent.

Kia Motors America will be hitting The Big Game this Sunday with an all-new Dad-centric ad that seeks to answer an age-old question: "Where do Babies Come From?" The clip is pretty funny (and well-done), so check it out below. I don't really plan on watching "The Big Game" this weekend (not a football fan), but my wife will likely force me to have it on for the experience of catching some of the commercials and the half-time performance "live" instead of online. Check out the new 2014 Kia Sorento Commercial below...

No, it's not family-friendly (I say "keep the kids off of it!"), but I know a lot of Daddys and Mommys that slip quietly into solider mode after the kids are tucked into bed for the night. I'm one of 'em, and CALL OF DUTY has long been my franchise of choice. Now that BLACK OPS II has been out for a bit, the first DLC Map Pack has been deployed on XBOX LIVE. CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS II REVOLUTION is available today for players on Xbox 360. It might be time to call The Replacer. Yes, the role of The Rock Father may have to be played by Peter Stormare for a little bit.

Just over 31 years ago (November 28, 1981 to be exact), my parents took me to the Chicago Stadium for something special. The "World Premiere Edition" of WALT DISNEY PRODUCTIONS' WORLD ON ICE promised "a whole new concept in live and in person entertainment for every member of the family." It delivered on that promise, becoming forever a part of my most cherished childhood memories.

When I was a kid, my parents got me a Fisher-Price Camera that was manufactured by Kodak and took real 110 film. I remember that camera being built really well, with a protective coating and rubber corner bumpers to protect it from the inevitable drops to the floor it would receive over the years. In 1984, it was a big deal to take pictures, have to take the film to get developed, and then wait a week or more to see the results. Fast-forward nearly 30 years, and my daughter now has her own Fisher-Price camera, albeit a digital device that allows unlimited photo-taking with instant results.

As countless conflicts continue to rage around the Globe, there's always a few that seem to get swept under the mental rug and forgotten about. We often think of the mess in the Middle East, with those "name-brand" clashes like the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, the War in Afghanistan, etc., but often forget about those other places like Burma and the Congo until a new RAMBO movie comes out to remind us (thanks, Sly!). As blood continues to be shed elsewhere, here in the 'States rages a war that has been spoken about in the media for years, debated in blogs, and has recently flared up once more... those against "The Princess Industrial Complex" Vs. pretty much everyone else.

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