Episode #43 – Household Chores – Division of Labor

Barefoot and pregnant – That’s how we like em!

Have I got your attention now?  Who does the dishes in your house?  How about the laundry?  Who cleans the toilets?  Do men do as much of the dirty work as the wee womenfolk do?  All this and more in our Household Chores episode.

Some interesting facts from the lives of three brothers

  • Linda does an extra fine job of taking care of her cats.  She doesn’t want to give John an excuse to kill them.
  • Matt and Mary just ‘synergize’ the chores.  Its like they are both part of the ‘Borg’.  Have Jack, Emily and Andrew been assimilated?
  • Mark just does as he is told.  Is that so wrong!
  • In each of our houses, the man is the ‘IT’ department

We agreed that the traditionally male chores (fixing things, breaking things, lawn) probably take up less time than the traditionally female chores (cook, clean, laundry, dishes, etc.).  This was a fine division of labor many years back when the man was the sole breadwinner (think of the Cleavers), but in todays age it is not a fair division.  However, in all of our cases, we (the O Bros) have kept the traditionally male chores, but also jumped in on some of the traditionally female ones.  In others words, it is all working out pretty fair.  Our wives still probably do more than we do, but that the women probably still do more than men, but the difference is far less than it was a generation ago.

Here’s to hoping that all of your listeners have reached ‘synergy’ in your families.  Please don’t forget the Amazon Banner on the right side of the screen.  Also, dont be afraid to comment!  We would love a guest rant.

Mark Out



Episode #41 – Women in Science w/ Special Guest – Dr. Bob Cook!

We finally brought in an expert!  Dr. Bob Cook, professor of Computer Science at Georgia Southern University.  Dr. Bob has been teaching college students about technology for over 35 years!  In addition to GSU, Dr. Bob has taught at Ole Miss, UVa and the University of Wisconsin.

Dr. Cook’s take on the issue of women in science and engineering was an eye opener.  He started by reminding us that in the later part of the 20th century, we (the USA) were building GREAT things like nuclear power plants, interstate highways, and bridges.  There was also the space race.  These were inspiring projects that drove a lot of people into technical fields.  He suggested a few inspiring projects that might reignite the spark and drive new engineers of both genders back to school.  He best idea (I thought) was an underwater city.  Sort of like a moon colony, but somewhere in (under?) the Pacific.  Dr. Cook also suggested that the way we teach science pre college might be a factor.  He suggested more ‘hands on’ learning in the technical fields such as experiments and field trips.

We also talked a lot about ‘Nature vs. Nurture.’  This is an age old question.  Bob was more on the side of nurture, suggesting that part of the problem was that we hand our daughters dolls right away and dress them in pink.  Certainly this is a factor, but Mark and Matt felt that mother nature’s influence was stronger.  We have both seen boy children gravitate to cars and hammers while girls will gravitate towards dolls and kitchens.  This is simply based on observation of my own children and their friends.  Certainly these are not hard and fast rules, just gender statistical tendencies.  To be on the safe side though, you might want to give your daughter a calculator to go along with that ‘polly pocket’.

Then Mark went to nsf.gov (http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/wmpd/2013/digest/theme4.cfm) and read off some statistics.  Women made up a huge percentage nurses, dietitions and teachers and an incredibly small percentage of engineers.  This is the heart of the issue.  How do we fix this?  Is it really a problem or just indicative of gender differences?  Matt felt that any sort of strong manipulation (read – affirmative action) was simply social engineering.  Mark agreed.  John was smart and stayed silent.  I think we could all agree that:

  • There certainly should not be any barriers to women in technical fields. We need to make SURE of that
  • We as a country (and a race) need to get our act together and start building some cool, inspiring stuff!
  • Pre college teaching methods for math and science could use some help.

Regardless, it was a GREAT episode and fun was had by all.  Thanks to Dr. Cook for joining us.  Thanks to YOU for downloading.  Thanks for subscribing. Thanks for giving us 5 stars on iTunes, but MOST OF ALL – Thanks for spending an hour with us!



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Dr. Bob with the grandkids – Alex, Molly and Luke

Episode #39 – Christmas Round Up and Kids Birthday Parties

Welcome to 2013!   Hear about the best toys of Christmas by age.   Did you know that power wheels (battery powered kids vehicles – Jeeps in our cases) are actually motorized vehicles in the eyes of the law?  That means they must obey the speed limit of course.  And as the safety nerd points out, they are insurance nightmares.  Should we put a jeep on a trampoline and really blow his mind?  Skylanders are another big hit with both dads and children.  Musical gifts such as drums and guitars are also big hits.

Then we covered birthday parties.  Matt is going to have a house party!  This is an awesome way to go.  All families should do this at least once.  It will probably be a real pain, but they will always have the fun memories.  Mark had some of these in the past and said they were fun, but they were worth it in their way.  So… Go Matt!  I hope the Jackster has a great time!  We decided that gift bags were ‘too much’.  When they are young and the classes are small, it is appropriate to invite the whole class, but when they get older (elementary school) it is probably too much.  Mark does ‘sleepover parties’ with the older kids and that seems to make the kids happy while still keeping within budget/hassle limits.

That is all.  We are working to make some improvements in 2013.  Mark vows to get more guests and to find better music.  Matt will round up the listeners.

So there you go.  Another fine episode of Engineering Fatherhood.  Have a great week!


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Episode #38 – Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from EF HQ!  We talk about Christmas preparations, Christmas letter dos and don’ts, how great Amazon is and all that.  Oh and that dratted elf!  Tune in for some quick dorky fun.

Also, listen to our moments and rants.

We Owens Brothers thank you for listening all year and wish you a very dorky Christmas.


Three Brothers

Three Brothers

Episode #37 – Sibling Rivalry

Matt and I were arguing about who would write this, but I (Mark) won…HA!  Its mine… All mine!  (I am doing the final edit … it’s mine (Matt))

Sibling rivalry is not simply when your children are competitive, it is when they bug each other senselessly and thus argue and thus annoying you, the parent.  We listened to some funny examples of this!  Of course they are only funny in retrospect.  Rivalry is a real pain, especially for parents of children close together in age.  Here are the solutions we came up with:

  • Let them work it out – If you can stand it, this is a good option (ear plugs are cheap).
  • Separate them – This is not always possible, but when you can it is nice.
  • Watch secretly so you can see who the instigator is – The instigator will likely get all lawyer on you and say ‘I was only waving my arms near her’.  Stick with the intent and not the law.  If one child was essentially starting the whole thing, they should get in trouble.
  • Let kids keep ownership of their possessions – This is a touchy one.  The fighting commonly occurs when one child has something the other wants.  Still, if one child ‘owns’ the desired toy, you have to let them judge whether to share.  (Here you can listen to John moan about his boss mustang hot wheels car that Mark ruined…)

As always, we did not solve all the problems relating to sibling rivalry, but we worked through it and gave some good advice I think.

Rants, moments, etc.  And lots of fun was had by all,

Thanks for listening – give us a like on facebook (Engineering Fatherhood) or subscribe on iTunes.  Also – send us a guest rant.  We love those…


Episode #35 – Comedian Justin Worsham

Justin Wosham joins us on this episode.  What a blast!  We talk to him about being a comedian and being a father, but mostly we just had a bunch of laughs.

We also talk about how Mary is about to pop and John’s injury prone weekend.  All this was comedy gold when Justin got ahold of it.  Seriously, if there is one episode to listen to, this is the one. We recommend wearing a diaper (we all have them, right?) cuz you are gonna pee your pants!

Highlights –

  • Matt and the the 38 minutes (conception or delivery – I’ll bet you can guess…)
  • Justin is prime for the Hunger Games with mad arrow making (fletching?) skills
  • John makes actuarial calculations of california traffic gun violence
  • Mark gripes about cutlery cleanliness.

Justin (Husband, Father, Jerk), is the host of The Dad Podcast.  Astute listeners might realize that Mark was a guest on his show a few weeks back.  Therefore we got him to join us, exchange student style (without the language barrier).

Jason splits his time between being Mr. Mom and being a traveling funny man.  In some odd way that seems a perfect fit.  Hopefully he is coming to a city near you. A native of Modesto, California, Justin has been performing comedy in front of live audiences for over 15 years. In addition to performing in comedy clubs all over the country, teaching improv and hosting numerous live events, Justin was featured on Showtime’s Comics Without Borders with Russell Peters. Both of Justin’s albums, Paternally Challenged and Justin Worsham: I’m a Good Husband can be heard daily on Blue Collar Radio on SiriusXM Satellite Radio.

Check him out at justinworsham.com.  There you can find out about his podcasts, his comedy albums and even check out his schedule to find out when he will be in your part of the country.

This is a pretty long episode.  Just another way you get more from your money here at Engineering Fatherhood.  Still, you might want to bring an extra diaper.

Thanks Justin!

Mark Owens
EF Intern
EF Headquarters
Somewhere on the internet

Engineering Fatherhood Episode 35

Comedian Justin Worsham


Episode #34 – Video Games and Children

Sage advice on raising children (especially boys) in the age of video games.

There are several major problems with video games

  • They cost a lot of money (Here at EF we are nothing if not frugal…)
  • They are usually antisocial activities.
  • They can contain serious violence
  • They can cause an addiction

A lot of this is obvious but here are the suggestions that Matt, Mark and John came up with to raise a well adjusted child in the age of video games:

  • Sit down and play with them! – Obviously we do this because we are nerds and we like to play, but it is necessary even if you are a non gamer
  • Set Time limits (this enables reward/punishment)
  • Understand the types of games (strategy vs ‘twitch’) Some game are good for learning!
  • Use the purchase of games as a money management tool (incentive for saving)
  • Talk to your kids about the games.  Nothing too serious, but it will get a shy kid talking for sure…
  • The gaming should take place in a public part of the house.  Consoles/computers in the kids rooms are a bad idea!

All this wise advice is free of charge!  And you get rants and moments too!

App/game of the week – Bad Piggies (sequel to angry birds).

Tune in next week for a very special guest!

Signing off…


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