There are three things I bring to any Dad's Night Out (aside, of course, from a small wad of cash, my discerning palate, a spirit of bonhomie, and a love for a good story):
The pocket-size is actually critically important. We are meeting in an urban environment and travelling to the month's chosen venue by foot, Citi-bike, subway, bus or commuter rail. Both the camera and notepad fit easily in a front shirt pocket—perfect for the Urban Surfer. A smart dad always travels light.
As of this month, DNO has been a thing for fifteen years! I've been documenting DNOs, with notepad in hand, like some earnest & dilligent cub reporter since September, 2006. I try to keep close tabs on what we have been drinking. When I say "we," it's a dad's night tradition that unless a brother is ill, we offer our comrades a sip of whatever it is we're drinking. Aisde from the obvious benefits to our immune systems as a result of sharing beers, it's also eminently practical: one dad can drink can only drink so much before the alcohol dulls the faculties. But with five dads, a dad can sample five times as many beers! Indeed, the blog you are reading is the product of fifteen years of trying all of these beers.
I've been using this particular notepad since April of 2013! There's most likely a blank page or two tucked amid the workman's scrawl, but the pages are stained with beer, the corners are dog-eared, the cover is falling off and it's finally time to retire this one.
So it is with a sigh and a mist in the eye, I bid sweet adieu to this beloved pocket companion. I raise a glass to you and all you have done for the cause of beer lovers everywhere!#1390