Don’t be that prototypical Esquire guy with the $70 hairstyle, carefully trimmed beard, fashion sense of the dandies of the Victorian era and the personality of a fish

I blame Esquire for the lack of testosterone in today’s men. I happened to come across a Esquire magazine today at work and I almost threw up my breakfast going through page after page of carefully styled self acclaimed “modern stylish men” with hairstyles that only my great grandfather would have worn and with clothes that make them look like royal clowns but that somehow they think make them dapper and distinct. What’s worse is that the editors of these so called “Men’s Magazines” only care about the money that advertisers bring in by putting these male models with fashion and hair styles only the most of narcissist would dare wear. I’ll bet you my Tuesday lunch sandwich that the editors of Esquire are laughing their wealthy a**es off at the ridiculous stuff they allow men’s fashion companies to put in Esquire’s pages.

I haven’t really followed much on the male fashion trends or what is the latest cool super duper men’s hairstyle, I couldn’t give much of a dam to be absolutely honest with ya. However being curious as to whether this silly experience with Esquire was an actual standard of the men’s magazines industries, I went to a kiosk after work on picked up two men’s magazines, Men’s Health and GQ. Lo and behold, the same style crap from Esquire of  silly looking hairstyles and clownish clothes repeated itself on both magazines. Then I didn’t some research online (I will admit I love researching online) and I was able to confirm that men seem to be lacking the testosterone that our forefathers had and that enabled them to be real men and lift a country up without the need for organic hair pomade or $700 chino pants handmade in a rural village of Vienna.

Men worldwide (but especially so American men): grow a set of balls, throw away your overpriced hair gel, your fruity smelling eau de perfum and your grandfather’s tuxedo and be yourself and not some kind of idiot who gets brainwashed and played around by fat balding wealthy editors who love to see you pay big money to style yourself like an utter clown.

Rant over. I’m back online, and I;m back with style, real manly style…


Protect your facial hair with a beard beanie and have a real man’s manly thick beard from the distance?

Dude protect your facial hair with this stupid manly beard beanie

Only on the internet will you find stuff that makes you WTF yourself to oblivion. So I’m browsing around online on Men’s Health (yes I know… I live a sad life), then land on a facial hair styling article, like one of the facial hair styles which is a full beard, then google it and I find a picture of a beard beanie which is made to protect your face and facial hair from the cold LOL apparently this beard beanie is sold on Amazon but I need to confirm this for real so nothing like a little online social search to confirm whether something is an urban myth or not, and I end up at some forum for male facial hair and hairstyles called (go ahead, click the link and be ready for WTF) where a little browsing confirms that such an artificial beard man look exists LOL so no longer do you have to wait what like a month to grow a full beard and invest time in keeping your beard trimmed and groomed, you can simply buy yourself a beard beanie and so long as you kept yourself some 500 feet away from people no one will realize your thick handsome beard is nothing but some knitted piece of cloth covering your real lousy beard consisting of a couple of facial hair strands.


Car Dealership Service Departments Suck

So, I drop off my Pathfinder early Monday morning for a normal brake job. The “Check Engine” light had been coming on so I had them check that out too. The guy says the car should be ready by that afternoon.

The afternoon rolls around and I have not heard from him. I leave several messages at the dealership. I finally hear from him and it turns out they needed to order a part that will be in on Tuesday morning and so they need to keep it overnight.

Great. Fortunately, a colleague of mine has an extra car at home so he runs me out to his house and pick up his car.

Tuesday morning, 11am. Still no word from the dealership. I try calling them and get a busy signal. I get a busy signal all day, in fact. I call their 800 number and get passed around from person to person. The switchboard operator tells me she will get someone in service to give me an update and asks me to hold. I hold for 15 minutes. She comes back on “Hello, thank you for calling ABC Dealership. How can I help you?” AAARRRGGGHHH!!

Finally, around 5pm, the guy who has been working on it calls me and says that while in the process of fixing one thing, they accidentally broke something else. Minor thing, but required another part to be ordered. They need to keep it one more night. Sweet. I end the conversation by asking the guy if he’ll call me in the morning to give me an update and he says he will.

Wednesday morning: do you think he called? Hell, no.

Wednesday afternoon: a repeat of Tuesday—voice mail messages, getting passed around by random people, switchboard operators forgetting that they put me on hold, phone calls that are not returned… you get the picture.

4pm rolls around and still no word. I am so fed up. I finally decide to send a fax to the dealership and the service department demanding that someone call me back right away.

Five minutes later, the guy calls. Says he got “my note” (as he called it). Ok, the part they ordered came in and … er … um … they ordered the wrong part.


I ask him to tell me at what time precisely he will call me in the morning with an update. “Oh, sir, I will call you at 9:30am sharp. I will leave a note to myself which I should have done yesterday. I’ll call you for sure.”

Yeah, bullshit, I say. You know what sucks? There are only 2 Nissan dealerships near me and they are both owned by the same company. So it’s not like I can go anywhere else (I don’t have a third party mechanic or anything).

I love my Pathfinder. I just can’t stand dealership service departments.


Microsoft Employees Love the iPod

I just read an interesting article about the popularity of the Apple iPod amongst Microsoft employees, worrying executives and resulting in internal memos and policies discouraging its use. One employee blogged about it, writing “I couldn’t resist anymore. The industrial design on the iPod is absolutely amazing. The usability of the device is light-years beyond anything else I’ve seen.” One Microsoft source is reputed to have said that management is “really quite scared. It shows how their backs are against the wall…. Even though it’s Microsoft, no one is interested in what we have to offer, even our own employees.”

So many LOLs were had.


Laurie Berkner

Kids music sure has come a long way since Sesame Street songs (which I grew up on). If you have a child and have not heard of Laurie Berkner, you really need to check her out. Laurie plays guitar and sings vocals in a band along with her husband Brian Mueller, on bass, and Susie Lampert on piano. Their music is sort of folksy but very catchy. You can see some videos of them on the Noggin channel website. I only wish they would come to our part of the country! My wife and I would love to take our 3 year old son to see them play.


Home Networking With the Mac Mini

I am trying to figure out how to fit a Mac Mini into my home network. Do I need one? No. Do I want one? You bet.

I’m thinking that I could use it as an iTunes/file/print server. I know it only has a 4200 rpm hard drive in it—the same type that are in notebooks, but if I attach a mega firewire drive to it and serve all the data from the firewire drive, the slow internal drive shouldn’t be a problem, right?

I am fortunate in that I have access to an employer discount for Apple products (well, Apple, and a whole bunch of other vendors). The savings isn’t huge—the $499 Mac Mini is $469 for example—but it does add up. Anyway, I just priced a 1.25GHz Mac Mini with 40 GB hard drive (since I’ll attach the firewire drive, no need to upgrade internal HD), 512 RAM, Bluetooth, and Airport Extreme and it comes out to $660. Not bad.

I know some folks are thinking about turning the Mac Mini into a home entertainment center, but I don’t know if it’s quite there yet. Almost, but not yet.


Happy New Year

I hope everyone had a safe and happy New Year’s Eve. I have never really been into New Year’s Eve celebrations, but even still, this time ours was really not so fun. My wife and I took turns staying up all night with our sick son, who appears to have come down with a stomach flu. I feel bad for the little fella; it’s no fun being sick. I think my wife may take him into the doctor this am.


Blogging software analogy?

I have used Movable Type, WordPress, and ExpressionEngine and feel that I am pretty familiar with each of them. Anyway, I was discussing the strengths and weaknesses of these three systems with a friend of mine when I hit upon an analogy: if I were to compare these three systems with the three operating systems I know very well, Windows, Linux, and Mac OSX, I would say that MT is like Windows in that it is easy and widely used, WordPress is like Linux in that it is harder to use than MT but it is very customizable and totally free and GPL’d, and EE is like OS X in that it is proprietary and the most expensive, has the smallest user base of the three, but it is probably the slickest (especially with the soon-to-be-released Image Gallery Module) and most powerful of the three when comparing the out-of-the-box experience. Let me explain that last point: like Linux, WordPress is very, very configurable to a knowledgable hacker, and ultimately, can probably do anything for someone who has PHP skills, but for your everyday person, I believe that WordPress is more difficult than EE, and EE offers more features and more flexibility that can be easily implemented.


Kerry: U.S. needs to ‘wipe slate clean’

Now here is something that you don’t get too see a lot in the news:

John Kerry said on Saturday the United States needed to start with a clean slate on Iraq and his new running mate John Edwards portrayed America’s allies as “hungry” for better ties with Washington.

The problem I have with the war in Iraq is this: questionable rationale and poor planning. If our government truly believed Iraq posed an immediate threat (which I find doubtful), we should have done everything in our power to work with our allies around the globe to build a real consensus. I believe that our government, especially Paul Wolfowitz and Donald Rumsfeld, had long wanted to go after Iraq and pressured our intelligence services to drum up “evidence” that could be painted in a light most favorable to the immediacy of the threat. I think that no matter who wins in November, we, as a country, need to go back to our allies and repair our relations. Clearly, Saddam was a bad guy. And maybe he should have been booted. But the way we went about it — flinging aside the disagreements of our allies and basically saying, “fuck it, we’re going to do it anyway and we don’t care what you think” is really short-sighted at best, and isolationist at worst.


Last 10 countries I have visited

Whenever I am not busy, which is like once every yellow Moon (and now, you cannot imagine it’s the Sun), I do in fact like to travel and to get away from everything. These are my last 8 countries I have visited in no particular order:

  1. Mexico
  2. Dominican Republic
  3. Canada (some people say it’s part of the US – LOL just joking you canucks!)
  4. Italy
  5. France
  6. Thailand
  7. Australia
  8. Peru

Just to give you an idea, this has been over the last 10 years which comes at a measly 1.25 years per country. That itself should tell you about how much “free time” I have.


The Best Dead Show Ever

Was there ever any better performance by the Grateful Dead than the one on May 8, 1977 at Barton Hall, Cornell University in Ithaca, New York? That Sunday night, they played:

1: Minglewood, Loser, El Paso, TLEO, Jack Straw, Deal, Lazy Lightning> Supplication, B. E. Women, Mama Tried, Row Jimmy, Dancin
2: Scarlet> Fire, Estimated, St. Stephen> NFA> St. Stephen> Morning Dew E: Saturday Night

While that set list may not be the most inspiring, the playing, man oh man, the PLAYING, was outstanding. The second set, especially, is simply divine.

Back in my tape trading days, this was one of the first shows I got in a collection that eventually grew to several hundred shows. There were lots of great shows (1970-1972 were great years, as were some of the 1989-1991 shows), but Barton Hall, to me, ranks number one. I wish the Dead would release this show on CD, either as a fully remastered version, or as a Dick’s Picks.

I have a poor quality CD copy now with a missing beginning to Minglewood (my tapes are long gone, unfortunately) that gets me by, but I sure would love to have a top-notch, A grade CD set. (Any suggestions or links to a good download version?).

Barton Hall rocks.