Dad Partner

Jupiter has coined the term which this post is titled by. Chris and I did not quite know what he meant by it at first. We have since found that it is a term that is used to describe the person that he wants to raise a child with.

One day he was talking to Chris about how he and his dad partner would have a little girl together. He did not name anyone specific for that role. We were curious as to whether it was meant for a boy or a girl. But that is just it. It could be either one, which makes it great. 

The "dad" part of the title is meant for him, but the "partner" part is, I think, genius in many ways. It could mean a female counterpart, a male counterpart, or even a counterpart who does not fit into either of those. Boyfriend or girlfriend might make an assumption that I do not think needs to be made. Wife or husband reeks of old world patriarchal roles that I have sometimes seen put one person above another in a nonsensical hierarchy that need not apply to the relationship between two people. Indeed, as often as I remember to (habits die hard), I do call what is traditionally referred to my wife as my partner instead.

Another part of it is that it escapes the expectation that this "partner" is someone who he is wedded to in any sense of the word. Just because someone wants to raise a child with a partner, does not necessarily imply any sort of romantic or monogamous relationship in any way. For example, my decision to procreate with Chris was absolutely separate from my decision to marry her. For me, it happened to be the same person, but that does not mean that it has to be.

Eventually he told us who his envisioned dad partner is. But he's five right now, and that will certainly change over time. We could attempt to tell him that the word is looking for is husband/wife/girlfriend/boyfriend/etc., but I think that might just cheapen the genius that is the term that he came up with, so I figure I will just leave well enough alone for now.


Chat Heads

I sort of despise Facebook. I am not sure exactly what it is. Sure the privacy issues irk me. The format of the website has most recently been more annoying than innovative. The mobile application has been barely functional on both iOS and Android. While those things bother me, I am not sure exactly what it is that makes me want to flee it. It is probably a bunch of little things like those listed above.

There are some likes I have within the world of Facebook. All of them are entities that also exist outside of Facebook. That is to say, I like the users that I am connected with on Facebook. In fact that is what keeps me and, as far I can tell from the chatter among the internet, most everyone else there too.

I do have to confess though, that I am liking one of their recent products. Chat Heads is a new feature for Facebook's messaging platform on Android devices (and in a very limited fashion on iOS devices). It came out with a more prominent product that I never see myself using called Facebook Home. But you can get Chat Heads without using the whole launcher by simply having the Messages app installed.

What I like about Chat Heads is the ability to have a text conversation without leaving what I am doing. Although Chris calls this the ADHD function of Facebook, I would like to see other messaging products come up with their own versions of this. It would be handy to see some text messaging apps such as Google Voice as well as even Gmail's mobile app use something similar. With Gmail, perhaps one could set a certain group of contacts that would show up as a chat head, or whatever alternative nomenclature Gmail might use.

So to conclude. I am still not being brought back to Facebook by this feature. I suppose it may increase my usage of the Facebook Messaging platform temporarily. But I would like to see this type of feature become standard across the board for other messaging platforms.

Have you used Chat Heads? If so, do you find it useful or annoying?


Random Thoughts As Cars Drive By

We live on a fairly busy street. Lots of cars drive by our house in the morning commute. There is a 'T' intersection that stops just outside the picture window to our living room. There are also a lot of people running or walking their dogs down the street as well.

We have shades for the picture window. We keep them up all the time because they are broken due to our dogs inability to contain their excitement for new mail, new packages, and the sexy dogs of the neighborhood who are walking their humans. This despite the fact that they do not get any mail and the neighbor dogs are seemingly not interested. We could replace them, but the excitement of the dogs would not end there.

I know that the commuters, particularly the ones who stop at the 'T', can see me sitting here most mornings in my boxers if they are lucky (less if they are not) reading books on my book reading technology while waiting for others in my family to wake up. Then I have to wonder what the reaction is.

Do they avert their eyes from the overweight, hairy, tattooed, pierced, aging man that they see? Do they change their morning commute in order to do so? I have noticed no decrease in traffic (yet). Do they shout obscenities at what they feel violated by having seen without their permission? I have always contended that when someone looks into a window of someone else's life, what they see is their own responsibility to deal with.

I am not here trying to be looked at. I just want to read my book and watch the cars drive by. I am in my house reading my book. Why should I have to make myself less comfortable in my private vicinity for their comfort on a public street?

Out Front