Author Archives: secretdadblog

Running of the Goats

My family recently attended our first goat racing event in a small Pennsylvania town situated alongside the Susquehanna river. We had a blast watching people of all ages race their pet goats. Some folks were decked out in fun and gaudy costumes, and so were some of the goats! We got the feeling that the races were more about having fun and not so much about the competition.
Here are some more posted videos from the event:
One goat got a little too rammy and knocked over a judge. I hope all parties walked away unscathed!
I’d love to enter the race next year, except for the fact that I don’t own a goat of my own. Are goat rentals a thing?

Halloween Zombie Graveyard Cake

Last year we made a Halloween Zombie Graveyard Cake. While I’m not sure that we’ll make one again this year, one thing I would change is the grass. Instead of using green icing for the grass, I’d use coconut flakes dyed with green food coloring. I think it would look much better and taste great, too!

Gardens and Dragons

Dragon CarrotMy family has enjoyed tending our small vegetable garden all spring and summer. We use a square-foot gardening design to maximize our small space. While it’s full of the staples like tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and herbs, our favorite thing to do is to plant something unique or unusual each year. This year, we bought a pack of dragon carrot seeds from Amazon. The seeds germinated extremely well and we had to thin back the sprouts.
We’ve been pulling them out a little at a time, and are now enjoying the last of the bunch. They are a beautiful purple color on the outside and orange in the middle. They look great chopped up or as a garnish. To me they taste a little spicier than a normal household carrot, but perhaps I just can’t get the dragon idea out of my mind.
Even Kramer likes Dragon carrots!

Even Kramer likes Dragon carrots!

Quick and Easy DIY Juggling Balls

DIY Juggling BallsMy kids are finally taking an interest in learning how to juggle. They’ve always loved throwing balls around whenever I practice, but they’ve never been interested in practicing the proper techniques until now. The problem is, my favorite juggling balls, the MMX Plus, are too heavy and large for their tiny hands. Instead of buying smaller balls or hacky sacks, I used plans from to make several kid-friendly balls. This worked perfectly because I wanted to practice with them while their interest and excitement was high, and together we were able to crank out several balls in about 15 minutes. All you need to make your own juggling balls are balloons, tape, an empty water or soda bottle, and some filler (bird seed, sand, or rice). We used rice and the balls turned out great. Ok, kids, time to practice!Balls1 Balls3

DIY Juggling Balls


It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s a…Drum Major?

I love 35 drum majors caught in the moment, a Drum Corps International (DCI) photo gallery of drum majors in moments of extreme focus, glory, and raw emotion. The drum major uniforms are fantastic, and the shots are perfectly timed to capture some really intense musical moments. Some of these young band leaders look rather like superheroes, evil villians, or full-blown rock stars. I was fortunate to be a drum major in my own high school band, many years ago. My uniform had a red Power Ranger concept art vibe to it.Drum Major I cherish the experiences I had on the field and can totally relate to the excitement captured in 35 drum majors caught in the moment. Even if you were never involved in marching band, you’ll still enjoy these great photos.

Join Me and My Cousins at the Global Family Reunion

canvas4-150x150 In June I’ll be attending my very first family reunion—and boy will it be a big one! In fact, it’ll very likely set a new record for the biggest family reunion in history!

It’s called the Global Family Reunion, and it’s being billed as a “family reunion meets a world’s fair meets a music festival meets a TED conference.” Activities include musical performances, guest speakers, concerts, and demonstrations. Sounds amazing. I’m in!

The event is being organized by AJ Jacobs, a fascinating writer and “human guinea pig.” Some of AJ’s previous projects include outsourcing his life, reading the entire Encyclopedia Brittanica, and living biblically for a year. What’s different about the Global Family Reunion project is that everyone is invited to participate. I’m taking him up on it!

Soon after hearing about the Global Family Reunion, I visited WikiTree to look for a connection to AJ. WikiTree is a massive, collaborative, online family tree. New WikiTree users begin by uploading their own family tree information. They can then find any common ancestors from other member trees, and upon confirming the relationships, the trees can be merged together. This is where the real magic happens. As more connections are made, the tree continues to grow and becomes even easier to connect to. It’s been steadily growing in this way since 2008.

I joined WikiTree over a year ago and have made a lot of new connections, so I was eager to log in and try my chances at finding a relation to AJ. I entered my WikiTree-ID into the “100 Degrees of AJ” connection finder, and within seconds I was able see a path to him in 31 steps! Hooray!

Being a confirmed relation to AJ will qualify me to participate in a record-setting family photo, which I’m really excited about–I love records! What’s more–AJ has already discovered that he’s related to the likes of Albert Einstein, George W. Bush, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Daniel Radcliffe, just to name just a few, which means I am too!

While the Global Family Reunion sounds like a day chock-full of fun, it’s also interesting to think about the larger, long-lasting implications of how we’re all related. Spreading the idea that we’re all related is a great service to all of humanity. This awareness can only help to make the world a better, more connected place.

The Global Family Reunion will take place on June 6th, 2015,  at the The New York Hall of Science, on the grounds of the World’s Fair. All proceeds will benefit Alzheimer’s. I hope to see you there, cousin!


Found Items: Dungeon Map

This was found in an old bass clarinet case previously used by a middle-schooler. I thought I’d have some fun with it.Dungeon
Are you in the market for a new home? Seeking adventure? This one-of-kind dungeon may be just what you’re looking for! It features many of the hottest trends in minimalist, underground living.
  • Easy access to Dwarven city
  • Multiple all-purpose dungeons can be easily transformed into a home theater, sitting room, or office space
  • Main living space features a large, open floor plan
  • Comes with starting supplies and wood
  • Large monument spanning two walls in main living space is a great conversation starter!
  • Numerous hidden doors with chambers of various sizes (not shown on map)
  • Off-the-grid geothermal heating/cooling
 Contact Dungeon Master now for private showing!
Dungeon Map

Game of Thrones: A Song of Cardboard and Packing Tape

Five kings kids. One Throne. In celebration of HBO’s fifth season of Game of Thrones, I’m reposting some pictures of the cardboard keep, complete with iron cardboard throne. Castle, front viewView from above Photo Aug 24, 10 51 01 AMflagpoleUnfortunately, the cardboard keep no longer stands. We eventually had to reclaim our playroom floor space. The cardboard was repurposed as a Dalek costume.

Game of Thrones returns to HBO on April 12th at 9PM. While you’re waiting, check out Sesame Street: Game of Chairs.