Thursday, December 31, 2009

The FUTURE & My Jet Pack

When I was a little kid we were all 100% certain that the year 2010 would be smooth and silver, we'd all have robots to do the housework and even robot pets competing with our real pets for our affection. For some reason we were all going to wear shiny jumpsuits and strange headgear but we could order anything we wanted from the food synthesizer on the wall. More importantly we were going to fly to school with our jet packs, if we even actually went to school instead of having our robot teacher teach us at home. I was so down with either option.

In the late seventies my generation caught wind of Soylent Green, Omega Man and Planet of the Apes and the downward spiral of our future began. Goddamn you Charlton Heston. But it wasn't all Chuck's fault, soon came Mad Max and Blade Runner and we just knew we'd never get our jet packs and robot servants because man is ultimately so flawed. Condemned to row homes and cars with four wheels we gave up on the 2000s as our time of unhurried intellectual and artistic pursuits.

I think this introduction to dystopia made my generation take its eye off the ball, we resigned ourselves to the mundane or worse: a future of bare bones survival or at least a future of earning money doing things we care little about.

So here we are going into a new decade and even though the future of my childhood never came I've decided to try to pursue things that I want to do and that might also provide a little happiness for others. Still want my Jet-Pack though.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Contents & Man Bag

My wife got me a nice, manly messenger bag because as a stay at home dad I really started to need one. A lot of men would look at the Man Bag as embarrassing or something that will need a lot of getting used to, I view it as an opportunity to be PREPARED. Men love to be prepared, we fill our car trunks with jumper cables and flares, we make sure every floor in the house has a smoke alarm and we fill our tool boxes with something for every job. So why not an everyday bag filled with "just in case" stuff?
I dumped my bag on some white construction paper, it is by no means complete yet (I need a little map) but here goes.

A. The Bag, kind of rough canvas and leather, lots of tiny pockets and pen holders.
B. Spare car key. No brainer.
C. Emergency rations, and emergency fresh maker.
D. Combination pen and measuring tape. You want both of these things and can easily fit both but my son gave me this for Christmas. Measure twice write once.
E. Notebook, where you write your measurements and notes.
F. Flashlight, Sometimes it's dark. Flashlights are great when you want to give your sons
something to fight over, like throwing a steak into a den of lions.
G. Pocket knife. Who knows when a knife fight is going to break out? Or when you'll need to
cut the twine you used to tie your Ikea purchase to the car roof.
H. Quarters. Sometimes it's gumballs or parking or one of those crane games- it's the currency
of the stay at home dad.
I. The movies you need to return. They're slippery and make it difficult to hold two sets of
hands in the parking lot.
J. Multi tool. Scissors because you WILL need to separate a toy from it's packaging on the fly.
Screwdriver, you will also need to open said toy's battery compartment. All the rest is just
gravy, or extra tools.
K. Nail clippers. Little boys (and girls?) have ever growing and dirty fingernails, don't want
Grandmom seeing those.
L. Lighter. Sooner or later something's going to need to burn.
M. Lens cleaner wipes. Little boys have sticky, dirty little fingers that they love to rub over
any and all glass surfaces.

Addendum- My checkbook and some band-aids were zipped into a pocket I forgot about.

Saturday, December 26, 2009


So I've been lifting weights for over twenty years, I'm in pretty good shape but lack strength and flexibility in the support muscles and tendons. I recently made a sad attempt at learning Jiu Jitsu, it was then that my "bar body" was pointed out to me. A bar body is when someone looks pretty strong but really just has defined pecs, triceps, biceps and delts so they look good sitting at the bar.

I started doing some research and found that a kettlebell workout in addition to weight lifting helps make all of the muscles and tendons as strong as the show muscles. Yoga would probably do the same thing but I've tried kettlebells and they're fun.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Happy Christmas

I don't know who the hell these people are but this is what I want for Christmas. No, not a cruddy looking old black and white picture, I want my family to be really happy Christmas morning. It's funny how the most materialistic holiday makes me feel the least materialistic. Christmas always makes me realize that I have everything I want, wonderful children, a beautiful, loving wife and a warm, happy home.

So I'm taking the holiday off from thinking about what I want and loving what I have.

Merry Christmas

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


I currently have a first generation Dyson, it still works great, is easy to maintain and does a bang up job on the carpets. The only problem is that it weighs a TON and is a pain to take from one floor to the next. The DC24 is much lighter and more compact, not to mention the cool "ball" for easy maneuvering.

So I want one, I should actually be lugging out the old one to clean RIGHT NOW but instead I'm pining for it's younger, lighter and cooler looking sibling. No more putting it off.....

Sunday, December 20, 2009

SnoWovel Wheeled Snow Shovel

After spending about 40 minutes shoveling snow with an old orange snow shovel I'm on the couch with a heat pad on my lower back. I don't have enough sidewalk to justify a snowblower, and I'm low on storage space. So I googled Ergonomic Shovel and was met with a lot of shovels that still had me lifting and throwing heaps of snow. Then I found the SnoWovel, it looks like an old Victorian unicycle with a shovel attached. The giant wheel acts as a kind of fulcrum so you can flip the snow instead of lifting it.

I really like the goofy look of it and the fact that it folds flat makes it easier to store than the outdated orange shovel I'm using now. I also think that the first two or three times I used it would be fun, since it snows about three times a year in Philadelphia that works out well. After that I'm sure it would go back to trudgery, but at least I won't be stuck on the couch nursing my back.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Rayban Prescription Sunglasses

So here's the thing, I can't wear contact lenses. My prescription can be made into contacts, I just can't put them in my eyes. I actually own contacts, but every time I try to put them in it's a huge, embarrassing failure.

I like my prescription glasses, they're fine but they don't accommodate clip-ons. Even if they did they would look cheesy. So I want a pair of prescription sunglasses, nice ones. I'm tired of playing with car visors and baseball caps, I want (need) prescription sunglasses. These Raybans look cool and I've tried them on at the store.

Rolling Razor

So I have no idea if it will really make shaving easier, I don't even shave daily but I think this is designed in a way that makes it LOOK easier. And let's face it, it looks really cool. They have several different colors and patterns including the "Goldfinger" "Desert Camo" and the "Silver Streak". The names are pretty funny but the razors still look cool, the model shown is the "Panther".

There are also models for women with equally silly names (that some may find sexist) such as "Jungle Jane", "2 Pink", "Totally Bronze" and of course the "Reef Girl". Even with the ridiculous names I can see where these might be even more practical for women, because the video on the company's web site make shaving the underarm look so easy.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Modern Well Constructed House

I like my house, don't get me wrong, but I've always lived in old victorian era apartments and houses. I would like my next house to be new construction, quality well designed new construction. I'm very handy, I've renovated a house myself for a fairly big profit, I also have not called in a repairman in twelve years. That said, it's no fun always being handy, it's no fun plugging drafts, lying in a tiny crawlspace sweating copper or stripping old paint on the outside trim and re-painting.

The idea of moving is so horrible and putting my house on a dodgy market and maybe losing money combine to make this idea something very far off in the future. Doesn't mean I can't dream of gapless windows, hardwood floors that don't look like horse trails, a master bedroom with it's own modern bath, windows placed where someone actually thought about maximizing light, more than two outlets per room or a heated garage.

A man can dream

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I received an email about my blog from a friend asking how I can be comfortable being such a materialist, I was a little shocked. Ever since I was a kid I wanted STUFF, GI Joes, Micronauts, A bike with flames on the seat, Hot Wheels, Kiss albums etc. Somewhere along the line it became clear that materialism was un-cool unless the item you were purchasing was hand knitted by alpacas in Peru.

Jesus, Buddah, St Francis and that guy from seven years in Tibet felt that the way to enlightenment was to shed your earthly goods to become free. I'd like to be enlightened and on the road to spiritual freedom but I like to think I can wear nice clothes and drive a cool car getting there. Truth be told I don't always buy the things I want, sometimes I just admire them from a design perspective or know that although cool, I wouldn't really use them.

I'm not materialistic in any way that hurts anyone or financially taxes my family. Often I find myself wanting things I loved as a child, buying these things is a slippery slope I have not gotten on, mostly because I don't want to turn into a demented hoarder with shelves full of crap that I'll never use.

The philosophy behind honest materialism for me is that I appreciate nice, well designed things and sometimes find a place for them in my life.

One thing from when I was a kid that I'd like back is this Nick Fury comic that I used to have hanging up because the art was different from what everyone else was doing. Something that I appreciate as art I would probably track down and buy.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

My Clubman

So I got my Mini Clubman about ten days ago, love it. I keep waiting for that moment of buyer's remorse that inevitably comes with any big purchase. Hasn't come and I don't expect it to. I love everything about the car, the interior is great, handling is incredibly fun, plenty of pickup and a surprising amount of storage. The six speed manual is tight and responsive and I'm averaging about thirty two miles to the gallon.

But what really makes me love it are the goofy things, the club door, the interior mood lighting, the ridiculously huge and redundant speedometer, the glove box that chills wine and the rear folding hatch doors. Silly stuff that comes without compromise make me very happy.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Fjällräven Vintage Shoulder bag

I've been a stay at home dad for the better part of six years and have railed against my inevitable purchase of a MAN BAG. I didn't want to be a man bag guy, I thought they looked kind of ridiculous. Having been born in the sixties and growing up in a very conservative neighborhood I tend to stick to traditional gender roles. But on becoming a stay at home dad I guess the flood gates are open. Juggling video rentals, books, phone and keys while wearing skinny jeans is a road to madness.

So I surrender. But I want this one.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Slim Fit Suit

I've wanted for some time to invest in a well made slim fit suit, I'm slim and tired of wearing clothes for people who eat fast food. Most of today's trousers for men are cut for guys with big asses and beer guts, not healthy people who exercise regularly.

I almost never have need of a suit, I work from home, but my wife's office has events I need a suit for and then there's the general stuff- weddings, funerals and Christmas eve mass. (Those are also the only times I'll go near a church) So I want a suit that doesn't look like I wear it three times a year.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Carnival Game Wheel

I worked one like this for a few summers on the boardwalk, I'd like to put one on the wall in my living room. Might be fun for parties?

Bottle Opener

I would open the crap out of EVERY bottle in my house with this. Such a great design with a very nice heft and finish. Nice packaging too, I'd probably even give this as a gift.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A Rack of Luchador Masks

No real reason to want this except to arrange them on my wall and occasionally try them on, especially the Spider Man one. But never in my underpants.

Tokaido Beer

I have no idea if it's any good. I'd just leave it on the shelf looking cool. If some guest was like "hey let's crack one of these" I think I'd lie and say a Japanese friend was coming over and I was saving it.