This is not about to turn into a blog about our newly arrived daughter- as exciting as that is for my wife and me I can't think of anything more boring for the rest of you (and besides, she has her own place over here). That said, fatherhood does focus the mind somewhat and in these first few days I have begun to compile a list of advice for said kid. I'm going to share it with you as I feel the concepts are universal, not just for folks with no control over their bowel movements.
1. Learn how to throw the knuckleball in baseball and the leg spinner in cricket. Guile eventually beats speed every time.
2. If you are to do one mean thing "just because", never yield to people trying to merge into traffic from a MacDonalds. Let them stew in their own greasy juices a little.
3. And speaking of driving, remember that the rules of the road still apply in parking lots. By the time you can drive, you might be the only person left who still knows this.
4. Juggling, mime, and unicycling- while hard to properly master and impressive because of that- are the sole preserve of French Canadians and should never be attempted. I don't care how rich the Crique de Soleil guys are; you must maintain your standards.
5. Make friends with at least one commercial fisherman. That's how you get the good stuff.
6. When in America, by all means let people know you are 1/2 English. When in Britain however, claim to be 1/2 Canadian. The British are a grumpy and generalizing people who will blame you personally for whatever has pissed them off about the President, some religious nut, fat people, padding on football players, and/or the way the American dialect has evolved seperately from Estuary English over the past 300 or so years.
7. Never say something about someone in private you cannot later vigorously and convincingly deny in public.
8. If you ever visit the western United States, you'll want to buy a genuine cowboy hat. Don't.
9. Always save used stamps. I have found that a random assortment of 75 stamps will sell on Ebay, starting at .99 but occasionally reaching $5.00. You can get 1.99 for the shipping, too. One or two packets every couple of months will pay for your Maine fishing license and your dump sticker.
10. Other than All the President's Men, never buy a Bob Woodward book- get them out of the library. You'll only read them once and then nobody will want to buy them from you on Ebay or Amazon.