Monthly Archives: January 2011

How to get Silly Putty out of clothes – 7 day challenge

In the 7 day challenge, today’s topic is: Write a blog post on the same topic as one of my most popular posts.

By far, in both page views and comments, my most popular post is one I wrote a little over two years ago about how my daughter smeared Desitin cream all over herself and everything she could get her hands on. After a failed internet search, I was pleading for a way to clean the goop up without wrecking the rug and blankets. Apparently, this is a common problem with 2 year olds. I’ve had a steady stream of visitors commenting, almost exclusively mothers of 2 year olds, some with suggestions and most with thanks for those who’ve already shared. (The most popular solution seems to be Dawn dish soap, but it depends on what’s affected. Here is the ‘chemist-approved’ solution.)

So I thought for today’s challenge I’d revisit the idea of helping mothers figure out how to clean frustrating things out of clothing.

This one’s not nearly as hard, but it is a source of pain at our house. And it’s my fault (or so my wife thinks) because I supplied the material to the kids.

I really enjoyed Silly Putty as a kid. Heck, I still enjoy it today. It’s a fun ball of goo! What’s not to like?

This summer our street participated in a neighborhood yard sale, and one of our neighbors had a bunch of Silly Putty for a ridiculously cheap price – so we got a couple. Then my kids played with it and had a good time. Awesome.

Then my kids lost the “egg” containers and the putty began to be left around the house. Not so awesome. Not only did it start picking up pieces of fabric (annoying, but not a big deal), it started leaving pieces of itself in different fabrics. That’s when my wife got annoyed.

She tried freezing the putty encrusted clothing and then breaking it off, with limited success. I’m honestly not sure if she tried anything else, but the clothes eventually disappeared from the freezer, so she either succeeded, gave up, or threw the clothes out. I really wasn’t paying attention, so I don’t know. And I don’t want to ask.

For some reason I didn’t think to search the web for the best way to clean this stuff, but now that I have I’ve found this article on eHow, which boils down to this:

  1. Pull the material taut.
  2. Soak a cotton ball with rubbing alcohol and rub it on the putty until it won’t accept any more.
  3. Use a butter knife to scrape the Silly Putty off.
  4. Wash the clothes.

There you go. Done.

It also says you can use WD-40, but that may damage the fabric, so test first if you want to do that.

How geeky are you, really? – 7 day challenge

In the 7 day challenge, today’s topic is: Answer one question I think people visiting my blog may have.

Let’s be honest: I have no idea what question you guys/gals may have. Y’all need to speak up more for me to discern that.

So that leaves me with a choice – I can come up with some completely self-serving question like “what’s the best post you’ve written?” or I can make up something that allows me to talk about something I want to talk about.

I don’t really feel like doing either of those, so let’s go with this: “how geeky are you, really?”

Well, let’s look at the evidence:

  • I’ve never worn a costume while attending a Sci-fi convention.
  • I have attended multiple sci-fi conventions.

For most of you, that’s probably all you need to know, isn’t it? It won’t matter what else I list. That second bullet puts me squarely in geek-dom. For the rest of you, though, let’s go on.

  • I can quote from Babylon 5, Star Wars, Star Trek, and many other sci-fi properties.
  • I listen to movie commentaries.
  • I read comic books.
  • I wanted to be in the A-V Club in high school (but I wasn’t – though I’m not sure if this is an argument for or against geekiness)
  • I’ve done programming and scripting in the past.
  • I understand the parts of a computer.
  • I still wave my hand at motion sensitive doors to “open” them with The Force.
  • I own some Star Wars technical manuals, and have read them cover to cover.
  • I’ve slept out to buy tickets for The Phantom Menace. At 4 in the morning in that parking lot I played Star Wars Trivial Pursuit against the other gathered geeks and won.
  • I momentarily considered changing our wedding date when I realized Attack of the Clones was premiering that week — and while that was only a fleeting thought, I did make her stop to watch it on the 10-hour drive home from our honeymoon.

For expansion on some of the above, go read my post on the Coalition of Awesomess about my geek obsession. (and there’s more evidence… I write on more than one blog.)

Now, I could go on but I think I’ve made my case. I consider myself a geek. But I recognize that there are some more hard-core geeks out there who may disagree and want to obsess (somewhat geekily) about the level of my geekiness. So I put it to you to vote:

[poll id=”9″]

Feel free to back up your vote with derision, praise, or general observation below in the comments.

Identity: 7 day challenge

I’ve felt like I’ve been neglecting this blog lately, and wanted to get focused on it again. As it happens, I ran across the 7 day Challenge from Andrew Emmett‘s blog (via Lee’s entry), which seems like a good idea to get me started again.

The idea is to write 300 to 400 words about each of the following questions over the next week:

  1. What the purpose of my website is, who I am and why my blog is unique.
  2. Answer one question I think people visiting my blog may have.
  3. Write a blog post on the same topic as one of my most popular posts.
  4. Share a photo I took this week and tell you about it.
  5. Embed a legal youtube clip that I either found today or created myself. Then tell everyone about the clip and related information.
  6. Create a blog post on a subject I’ve never blogged about here before.
  7. Share hints or details of what I intend to write about in the future.

I’ll warn you right off I’m not going to be really paying attention to that 300-400 word goal. That would take attention and effort, and we all know I don’t put any of that into my writing.

So let’s go…


Originally, the real purpose of Caddickisms was just so I could get experience working with blogs, so I could then apply that experience to my job. To do that, I decided the focus would be on movie reviews and the distance learning industry. I wanted to have a personal tone, but not go into my personal life at all. In fact, at the beginning I wrote anonymously. By a few months in, I realized I was writing very few reviews, and mostly concentrated on distance learning and corporate life, with a large slice of sci-fi rumors tossed in, and had begun to throw some personal life posts in as well. Over the last 5 years I’ve lost almost all focus on distance learning and related technologies and moved almost exclusively to the realm of the stereotypical personal blog, focusing on my life with an emphasis on my entertainment choices. It’s a much more personal blog than originally intended. I feel like I used to write more “important” (and well-considered) entries years back, but it’s possible that people get a better sense of me now (well, parts of me, but more on that below) and I’m okay with that.

Who am I?

Given what I’ve just said, it’s a little odd to admit that I’m a rather private person. There are whole swaths of my life that will never be touched on in this blog, let alone dealt with in any detail. But there is this: I’m a distance learning specialist at a global company and I enjoy all the technology that goes along with that – computers, social media, data management, etc. I have degrees in Psychology and Education. I’m a husband and father of 2 girls, struggling to stay out of debt and plan for the future. I like movies, especially sci-fi and fantasy, but really anything done well (and some crap, truth be told). I want to improve in many areas, and I want to find a fun outlet for my creative side – and some of that might show up on this blog.

Why is this blog unique?

It’s not, honestly. There are a thousand blogs created daily of people spouting off about their life. But there is this: my blog has fewer grammatical and spelling mistakes than most of them. And that’s important.

Our kids adore us

For those who are unaware, I have 2 daughters, ages 6 and almost-5 (4 and 11/12ths, she tells us repeatedly). Being the perfect, completely respectful children that they are, we never have to discipline them or anything. The love just oozes out the walls in this house.


I’m starting to wonder if there is some sublimation going on, though. Little things are leaking out. They sound completely innocent in delivery, but when you sit back and look at what they’re saying in cold, black-and-white text…

Consider this conversation at dinner last night:

Daughter 2: I love you, Mom. I just can’t stop saying it!

Daughter 1, excitedly: I can!

Now, tonight was a bit different. After I showed my manly prowess by peeling the sealed lid from the yogurt container, daughter 2 looked at my wife and said:

Daughter 2: How did you guys get so strong?!

Mom: Lots of exercise.

Daughter 2: Not Daddy.

She didn’t miss a beat.

If they weren’t so innocent I’d think they were up to something.

My marriage’s “Nemesis”

Last night, my wife and I watched Star Trek: Nemesis on Syfy (I can’t type that without thinking “dumbest name ever”).

For those who are a bit forgetful, I’ll remind you that this is the final “Next Generation” Star Trek film, starring Jean-Luc Picard and crew.

This is widely regarded as one of the worst Star Trek films. The intent was to create a villain to rival Picard the way that Khan rivaled Kirk. I still remember the buzz at the time this movie was released – “this is The Next Generation’s Wrath of Khan!” they said.

That’s a lot of expectation to place on a movie. Wrath of Khan is looked upon as one of the (if not THE) best Star Trek movies.

It didn’t measure up (not by a long shot, unfortunately), but that’s not the point of this post.

Below is the point.

I am on record (in fact, recorded – at the 37:50 mark) as recognizing my wife’s affinity for Star Trek. She watched all the original series episodes and created her own episodes on cassette tape as a kid (which I’m sure are *ahem* excellent). She is also recognized as having an almost eidetic memory of our dates – she remembers what CDs (and even specific songs) are playing on our way to and from the event, for example, and what date it was, and what we talked about, and what we wore. Crazy stuff.

So that’s what makes the conversations we had during this movie so surprising:

Pam: Have we seen this before?

Jeff: Yes. We saw it when it came out.

Pam: Are you sure? Nothing looks familiar.

Jeff: Yes.

… later …

Pam: Are you sure you went with me? You didn’t go with someone else?

Jeff: I wouldn’t have gone to a Star Trek movie without you!

… later (and this was the kicker) …

Jeff: this was supposed to be Picard’s “Wrath of Khan”.

Pam: Was that good?

Jeff (looking dumbfounded): What?

Pam: What…. was Khan good?

Jeff: Are you serious? Yes! It’s pretty much the best Star Trek movie!

Pam: Yeah, okay, but it’s still kind of silly, isn’t it?

Jeff: Wha..? No! You’ve seen it, right?

Pam: Yeah. That’s the one with Montalban, right?

Jeff (as if she just proved my point): Yep!

Pam: And Chekov with the thing in his ear…

Jeff: yeah…


Jeff: yeah, well sure people made fun of that, and rightly so, but it was still an awesome movie!

Pam: Oh. … Really?

Jeff (defeated): what happened to you?

So there it is.

My wife, the woman I thought I knew, doesn’t recognize the awesomeness of The Wrath of Khan. Now I have to question her entire sci-fi pedigree. Has she just been playing me all these years? I mean, I know she wasn’t big on TRON, and hadn’t seen The Last Starfighter, and Star Wars was only a passing interest, but we always had Star Trek.

Now? I just don’t know.

I just.



At least we have Babylon 5

Don’t we?

Review: New Years Eve triple feature

In my last post I asked for some help coming up with films for my annual New Years Eve triple feature. I got some great responses (though very few actually on the blog, which I find kind of funny).

There was jockying and substitution all the way to the moment I paid the rental fee, but we ended up with the following list:

  • District 9
  • Knight and Day
  • Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole

It was touch-and-go whether my wife would make it through all three. She was starting to fall asleep during Knight and Day, but after some cajoling she pulled it together and we finished the marathon around 2am.

So, here’s my brief review:

District 9 was just about exactly what I expected. The documentary style got a bit old after a bit, but when it started easing up on that I liked it a bit more. By the end  there were some unanswered questions and a whole lot of room for a sequel, but that was okay. It felt more “real” than most sci-fi movies (once you accept the premise), which was of course the goal. Lots of gore and an overabundance of language (really just an impressive number of repetitions of the “F” word) could turn some off. It was well put together, though, and left me satisfied as well as wanting just a bit more. It did surprise me that I had such a hard time penetrating the South African accent. I was glad for the periodic subtitles.

Knight and Day was far less serious. I found myself laughing quite a bit with the “perfect spy” routine, which was played very well, I thought. This was a very self-conscious movie. They knew that the audience knew that Cruise’s character was going to succeed at everything and made very little pretense about that the entire time. He barely even let his smile fade the entire time. This was a light amusement park ride, and I enjoyed it thoroughly.

Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole was an incredibly visually realized world. Really impressive and pretty, without loosing a childhood fantasy appeal. And that pretty much describes the story as well. It’s a classical quest/hero story and one that delivers to its pre-teen/teen target audience while still appealing to the adults. The lessons are right out there in plain view – not a lot of subtlety – but that’s totally appropriate for the audience and lends an air of sweetness and innocence to a story that is really chock full of betrayal, danger, and violence. The term Parental Guidance really means something to me on this one. Younger kids will need plenty of guidance in navigating this one. I think my 6 year old will have to wait a couple of years before she can understand it.

What did you all do on New Year’s Eve?