Nation Gripped with Pancake Day Fever

Before I get ahead of myself, let me start by wishing you one and all a merry and joyous Pancake Day. As a fan of any food-related holiday, this one really hit close to home for us. Specifically it hit about four miles away, but it wasn’t bad since we drove.

Dominic chose to start off his meal by eating his entire dollop of butter. My that`s rich!
Dominic chose to start off his meal by eating his entire dollop of butter. My that`s rich!

Unlike its newer February cousin holiday of President’s Day, Pancake Day has a long, rich, doughy tradition dating back some six hundred years. And while I can’t be troubled to actually understand any day that falls on the calendar (least of all Mondays, those are never any good for me) I know all the info you could hope to find is at Wikipedia. You go read that, I’m going to keep ruminating on my pancake feast.

While many people may not think of it as a particularly valid holiday, it is enjoying a revival thanks to the fine folks at IHOP. Apparently they know pancakes; and I know that because they reintroduced me to the fine virtues of hotcakes, to commemorate this namesake holiday and they didn’t even charge a penny for them.*

But there’s more to Pancake Day at IHOP than gorging on hot, buttered discs of dough. There are also five kinds of syrup, and that alone made the trip worthwhile. I’m telling you, this Pancake Day fever has really got a hold on our great nation, and I think that’s pretty okay.

But why would they go through all the trouble? One big reason is to raise awareness for First Book, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to giving low-income families their child’s first book. I can’t imagine a world without books, and now I can’t imagine one without pancakes.

So show your good manners and graciously accept what you’re being offered – three free pancakes for Pancake Day. Oh, and while you’re there, check out the First Book literature. Some children are starving for knowledge, and that’s an empty pit even the fattest flapjack can’t fill.

 No, I’m totally serious. Throughout most of today, February 28th, 2006, IHOP is giving away a complimentary short stack of pancakes to every guest, even to short-stacks like me and my brothers.

free pancakes at IHOP on Pancake Day
Above – So many of us boys, so many of these pancakes, so much of this hotcakey joyfull goodness.


White Baby Black Market Softens

While many international sectors are enjoying recovery, others are not fairing as well. It’s no surprise Nigerian e-fraud is down 80%, but what did surprise me was the softening of black market adoptions.

story224To verify this, we went undercover in Shanghai, one of the largest cities in the world. Posing as a father with a white baby, me and Dad hit the streets. We were worried that no one would believe I was a baby, but the people played right into it.

Most Chinese have seen some white people, with as much as half a percent white population in major cities. What they haven’t seen is a white baby, since there’s fewer than a couple hundred in circulation at any given time. Compare that to the 2 billion Asians they see and you’ll start to fathom my rarity.

The locals ate me up like the baby tiger exhibit at the zoo. Everyone wants to oogle me, more than usual even. Many want their picture taken with me. What can I say, like David Hasslehoff, I’m a lot bigger in Asia.

Then the bidding started. I have to say I expected more. There’s always been so much talk about how valuable I’d be on the black market, and with the attention I got I figured it would be promising, but it was lackluster at best. This market has really seen a downturn.

Bidding opened at 37 cents. Not a very impressive start. After ten minutes of haggling, squeezing the footies and seeing what a cheerful disposition I maintain, it only got up to two bucks and change. Two dollars for a boy this handsome? You must be mad! (I know I was.)

Not finding a suitable buyer we gave up and went home. Investors, my advice is to keep your money in stocks for now and wait until buying and selling babies becomes profitable again.


Above: Sorry folks, it’s going to take a little more aggressive bidding to move this product. 


Montana Reviews Continue on the Best Montana Site

We’ve been running Montana articles with painfully few interruptions since we first headed east to the Old West last summer and we know it’s tiring for those of our readers not looking explicitly for that sort of info, but there’s good news, one might assume. We’re closing out the Montana stories, more or less, effectively now.

We are not looking back, but we are looking right atcha, and all from Montana, baby.
We are not looking back, but we are looking right atcha, and all from Montana, baby.

That’s not to say there weren’t gaggles more things we could have reviewed in Montana, because there were.

That’s not even to say that there won’t be gaggles more, because there will be.

It’s just to say that the majority of them will appear on instead, we’re all giddy about their endorsement. Kind of seems more appropriate too, don’tcha think?

Don’t worry about the very best of the best, those will still be here, but the more niche sorts of reviews will only be posted over there.

Montana With Kids is an accredited news agency, and they run all kinds of news about Montana that exceeds even the scope of kid stuff, so if you want news and reviews about Montana, even if it’s not written by a member of our seasoned staff, you might well find it right over there.

And we’ll try to get back to doing whatever it is we do best.

Also, if you could tell us whatever it we actually do around here, that would be helpful too.

We’ll run a summary article tomorrow. If you know of a place we missed, send us a letter. If you work for a place you think should have been in here send us a letter on that too, and we’ll let you know what happened, why we missed it, or what we’ll do to include it in the coming year.

So thanks again for your patience, you’re welcome for the enjoyment, and where the heck is my pudding cup?


Butte Visitor Center Must-First-Stop in Historic Mining Town

As an ever-traveling tourist, it’s easy to give up the easy “gimme” destinations in any given town. If you’re in San Francisco, you need to check out the Golden Gate Bridge, or if you’re in Shanghai you need to check out the Great Panda, but when you’re in any town, you really should stop in at the local visitors center, and Butte Montana has a great one.

Assorted funs to be had at the Visitor center.
Assorted funs to be had at the Visitor center.

It’s easy enough to just say that when you’re in any town, that you should stop in at the visitor’s center, but in an awful lot of towns, that just isn’t the case.

In Butte, it very much IS the case.

Not only is this the place where you can get on the city bus tour (which we do recommend highly, by the way,) but it’s also a whole stand-alone attraction of its own.

You could easily spend a good half hour or double that much time just checking out the exhibits in there. The people are nice, the building is gorgeous, and even if you just grab brochures to read later, your time will quickly pass.

And like many other such places (in Montana, at least,) the people there really are quite kind, attentive and helpful.

Don’t worry, you’ll still have plenty of time to check out the brochures when you get back to the car. Butte has more in store than you might imagine, but the best way to test the bounds of your imagination is by checking with them first.

Check them out online at for up-to-date info.

ABOVE: Butte Visitor's Center has all kinds of things for grownups to read and youngsters to ponder... indestructible ones at that... I mean, come on, it's a metal bear, at least I hope it's metal.
ABOVE: Butte Visitor’s Center has all kinds of things for grownups to read and youngsters to ponder… indestructible ones at that… I mean, come on, it’s a metal bear, at least I hope it’s metal.