Recycled Dad Index (Prototype)

NOTE (6/8/2011): The embedded chart is continually being updated, so it no longer matches the information in this post.

UPDATE (5/20/2011): Still can’t put script in, but if you click here or click the chart, it will open the interactive version of the chart in Google Spreadsheets.

Still experimenting with different visualization tools, but here is a glimpse of what I’m trying to do:

Recycled Dad Index - bar chart

Click the image to go to the interactive version of this chart

For each celebrity dad on the list (and me), I’ve plugged in the dad’s date of birth and the date of birth of each of his children. I use the data to calculate and display each dad’s recycledness score (the widest gap, in years, between two of his children) and, just for fun, his virility score (the gap, in years, between his age and his youngest child’s age). The recycledness bar is green, of course; the virility bar is the color of a pharmaceutical that may have a connection to some of these statistics.

If I could use javascript here, you’d be able to fly over the bars to see the actual values. FYI, Keillor’s recycledness score is 28.60, and Morrison’s virility score is 64.37.

My vision is to enable regular guys to enter similar data on themselves into a calculator in order to  see how they would rank on this index. (For these two scores, most of us can do the math in our heads — and probably have — but eventually I’d like to introduce more data and other kinds of scores.)

This prototype is in Google Spreadsheets, but I’m also getting familiar with Zoho Creator. Somehow I need to enable new entries via a web form. Ideas welcome and appreciated.


Unafraid of technology

I’m continually amazed at how a modern 5-year-old takes technology in stride.

Driving Jacob home from preschool recently, I turned on the Pandora music streaming app on my iPhone and piped the music through my car radio, as I do routinely. Jacob heard a few bars of the rap song that was playing and said, in a panic, “Push the thumb-up button! Push the thumb-up button! I like this one!”

Nostalgia engine

Super Mario 64 screen shot

(Thanks to for the screen shot)

Back in 2004 (I think), I bought a Nintendo 64 game system for $20 at GameStop so I could play it with Charlie and Thomas during their visits. It was the same kind of system they had played on when they were young kids,  so we all experienced some nostalgia as we played again — some of us more than others, I’m sure.

A few months ago, I introduced Jacob (5) to the N64. He is now capable of beating me, and his mom, and his grandparents, and all the computer players, in MarioKart, not always but more often than we would like. Angela saw how much he enjoyed MarioKart, so she ordered two more games, one of which is the classic Super Mario 64. The learning curve of that game is a little steep, but Jacob is picking it up quickly, thanks in part to the vast supply of YouTube videos of people playing the game extremely well.

Jacob shows the same talent and patience for learning these N64 games that Thomas had when he was little — which is saying a lot — and he shows the same kind of excitement in learning the ‘maps’ and how things behave in these alternate universes.

Playing the games with any of my kids brings back memories, but seeing glimpses of the older sons in the youngest one is what really takes me back.

Nothing is what happened

As promised, the results of the Craigslist experiment:


Life goes on, happily!

Looking for locals

A year and a half ago, I started reaching out online to all recycled dads around the world via this blog. But that was a pretty illogical way to start, considering that almost no one knows what a recycled dad is, or even that the term exists. (I literally cannot think of any search string other than “recycled dad” or my name that would reliably bring this blog up on page 1 of a search result.)

So I’m trying what I should have tried in the first place: I’m putting an ad on Bay Area craigslist to see if any other recycled dads in in the area want to hang out. Yes, in person.

I’ll post about what happens, even if it’s nothing.

Who will learn more – you or Cameron?

It’s been a long time since I posted. But I’ve come out of hibernation for a good reason: to publicize this opportunity for other “old new dads” to help a marketing student in the U.K. with his research by sharing their insights.

If you are a recycled dad, please download this questionnaire, complete it, and e-mail it to . I found the questions very thought-provoking; you probably will, too.

Here is the message the researcher sent me via my blog:

My name is Cameron Black. I am a  first year student at Bournemouth University, England and am currently studying Advertising. As part of a consumer psychology unit, we are doing a project on a new market segment that is yet to be explored by a high street retailer i.e old new dads. The main aim of our project is to discover what new products might appeal to men who have become Dads later on in life and what would help them to bond better with their children.

If you have any suggestions or any information regarding a product that you think might be successful it would be much appreciated. I would also be interested to hear about your experience of becoming a older or recycled father and what the positives from that experience.


I’m a lot less uptight about the words I use around Jacob than I was ‘a generation ago’ with Charlie and Thomas.

Today, as I was putting Jacob in his car seat:

Jacob: “Ow!”

Me: “I’m sorry. Did I crush your nuts?”

Jacob (laughing): “No, you didn’t crush my nuts! How did you know I had nuts?”

Angela and me (laughing): “…”

Jacob: “How did you know I had nuts in my belly?”

Angela and me (laughing uncontrollably): “…”