Monthly Archives: May 2012

Loser of the Day: Frisbee Golf (Frolf) Guy

Time for another new feature on The Man Blog.  Hey since this is a new blog, all the features are new, right?  The concept for this is simple….I am going to pick out a particular type of person or group of people and tell everyone why you are a loser/losers.  Politically correct?  Probably not.  If you don’t like it, or if this offends you, you’re wrong.

Loser of the Day – Frisbee Golf Guy

I like to ride my bike.  I try to get out and ride at least a couple of times a week.  Near my house, there is a park and the main function/focus of this park is a frisbee golf course.  Now, for those of you who don’t know, there is a stupid game out there called disc golf, frisbee golf or “frolf” and there are actually losers that play this game.  I will refer to it as a game instead of a sport because it is not a sport.  I guess the concept of frolf is ok enough….so it’s just like golf, but with frisbees.  You throw the frisbee into a basket looking thing (see photo for reference) and this goes on and on for several “holes” with the idea that the lowest score wins.  Duh.

A disc resting in the basket

A disc resting in the basket (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What bothers me most about this game are the losers that are playing it.  Now, this is an equal opportunity for both ladies and guys alike to act like total and complete morons, but I will focus on the guys here.  This is The Man Blog.  In riding my bike through this park, I’ve now had several opportunities to witness these morons first hand getting their frolf on, and it’s not a pretty sight.  What’s shocking is the consistency that I observed in evaluating the game’s participants.  Now it might be that it’s just the same losers every damn day over at this park playing this stupid game, but I think it’s sadly many people who are doing this.  They’re all alike.

First requirement….you have to be a total burnout loser to play this game.  Wow, I am impressed with your ability to smoke a cigarette while you frolf, and what’s even more amazing is that everyone playing this game smokes.  It’s almost a badge of honor for you to style your frolf moves while rocking a heater in your mouth.  Can a physical activity really be considered good for you if you can smoke a cigarette while you do it?  I even saw some stoners toking it up.  That’s a blog for a different day.  Hey, it’s a beautiful day outside….let’s go frolf and burn some heaters.  Brilliant.

Second….no shirts allowed for the guys.  We are all very impressed with your heroin user skinny man body, and the fact that your ratty shorts are clinging to the lower part of your “just a little thicker” hips for dear life is quite impressive.  Taking the shirt off really allows the casual onlooker to see just how dirty you are.  Curly chest hairs and pierced nipples aside, your physique is not a thing of beauty and the fact that you wanna take off your shirt when you play disc golf makes you a loser.  No one is impressed.

Third, you must be totally oblivious to everything else going on around you.  I know that in real golf, focus is important when you’re making that all important long distance putt for the win, but chucking plastic discs around the park does not require the same amount of focus.  Pay attention to what’s going on around you, loser.  I almost had my head taken off at least three times in the last week riding through the frolf battleground at the park.  This was after I saw the loser going into his windup and quite audibly shouting at them to stop what they’re doing as there is a bike coming in their direction.  It didn’t work.  Approaching a frolfer on bike is like sneaking up on a deer in a Hummer, and the frolfer still seems startled when I enter their field of view.  Wake up, dumbass!  You’re not alone in the park.

It’s also amazing to me the amount of gear that these dorks are hauling around with them when they play this game.  Some of them have bags full of frisbees to use in different frolf scenarios.  Out of curiosity, I stopped and talked to one of them about what all the frisbees were for.  Hell, he had “drivers”, “mid range” and “putters”.  What a tool.  I wondered how much these things cost, and was startled to find on www.rei.com that you can spend up to $20-30 on an individual disc, plus bag, plus crap.  Am I the only one who thinks that frisbees were meant to be given away at carnivals and school functions for free?

I guess this disturbing trend is here to stay.  There is actually a Professional Disc Golf Association (www.pdga.com) and you can join as a member.  Where I come from, you don’t have to be a member to be in a group of losers.  For $50, you can join the PDGA, and prove even more to yourself and your friends that you, Frisbee Golf Guy, are a total loser.

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I Just Want to Get Married…..I Want it to be Affordable, and No…I Don’t Want to Buy Your Crap

Wedding of Mr & Mrs Henry McDonnell. Alice Rac...

Do you think THEY spent forty grand? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What the hell is wrong with the “Wedding Industry“?Yes, I will call it an industry because that’s what it is.  According to www.weddingindustrystatistics.com, “For the first time since 2008, wedding budgets are on the rise,” said Carley Roney, cofounder of The Knot. “In 2011, one in five US couples spent more than $30,000, and 11% spent more than $40,000 on their weddings. Our research shows that couples and their families are less concerned with the economy and are increasingly comfortable investing more in the once-in-a-lifetime occasion of their wedding.”  So most “average” couples would rather go into debt over a wedding than eat for the next 6 months.  Wow…..genius.

It’s not hard to see why.  As you may have gathered from previous postings, I am currently engaged and set to be married to my lovely fiancée in September.  As a result, we have spent the last few months scouting venues, talking to caterers, DJ’s, bands, photographers, florists and the like trying to plan our special day.  It’s amazing how much things cost, and what a huge business this has become for so many people trying to sell you crap.

This is nowhere more evident than at a wedding show.  If you haven’t been to one of these, it’s just like it sounds.  It’s a damn wedding show…..basically a collection of vendors get together and decide that they’re all going to get in your pocket all at once.  It’s fantastic.  We also had to pay to get in, so now I am actually paying out money for people to sell me things.  Doesn’t that seem backwards?  Now I would expect certain vendors to be there…..country clubs, dance halls, florists, cake shops, etc.  What I did not expect are all the other losers that really have nothing to do with weddings that show up.  Wow, I’m a wedding show…I’d love to look at some closet organizers while I’m here.  Awesome.  Hey, check it out….I was actually thinking about getting laser hair removal, tattoo removal, and personal training.  I’m so glad I came so I could knock all this out in one place.

I guess all these things do have a very very loose connection to getting ready for a wedding, but seriously folks.  These weddings are getting out of control and you’re the reason why.  I talked to my mom, who has been married to my dad for over 30 years.  She didn’t get laser hair removal before her wedding, and she didn’t have a personal trainer.  I am pretty sure that things were simpler then, and all this nonsense is just something that we’ve created over the years as a way for even more people to make more friggin money.  I’m all for the free enterprise system….please save your nasty emails, but sell your crap to someone who wants it.

My fiance and I decided that our wedding was going to be simple, memorable, and affordable.  We are not taking on a mountain of debt to get married.  We are cashflowing the whole thing ourselves.  We have been smart and frugal about hiring our professionals.  Here’s a couple tips that we’ve discovered to keep the cost of your wedding down.  No big surprises here, but maybe there’s something you haven’t thought of:

1.  Plan Early –  Sure, the idea of a whirlwind engagement sounds like fun, but if you’re planning a ceremony and reception this is not the way to go.  We’ve had months to plan and it’s still been a headache.  Giving yourself plenty of time will allow you to have the most flexibility in your decisions….more people will be available and not yet booked out to help you.  Also, with many vendors, if you book well in advance, they will give you a discount if you just ask for it.

2.  Try Some Different Sources – Did you know that you can find service providers for these types of things a lot of different places?  I would actually say that somewhere like a wedding show is the worst place to hire people.  Maybe go there and get some ideas on what you want to do, but seek out better deals elsewhere.  We found scads and scads of DJ’s, photographers, and the like on Craigslist.  Yes, Craigslist.  Now, these people are not pre-screened so you have to do your due diligence in checking their references and abilities, but if you’re willing to spend the extra time, you can find a smoking deal.  Make sure you call their references, do not give them more than a reasonable small deposit to reserve your date, and ask them to see lots of examples of their work.

3.  Make Things – We found that the materials to make a lot of items like centerpieces, invites, place cards, menus, favors and so forth are available online for a fraction of the cost you pay to buy them.  Websites like www.tablelinensforless.com and www.koyalwholesale.com have a lot of great products to make just about everything you need.  In conjunction with Item #1, if you give yourself enough time to make these things, you can save a boatload of cash.

4.  Ask For Discounts – Do not underestimate the power of negotiation.  Obviously, some people are just flush with work and will not negotiate at all with you.  That’s fine.  Look for the skilled vendor that you want that’s maybe not as busy as the others.  Then ask them to lower their price.  Then ask them to lower it again.  Make this job the job that they want to take.  This job is going to be a showcase for them to build their portfolio.  Anything that you can use as a negotiating tactic is to your advantage.  For example, our wedding is at a secluded mountain lodge.  We sold this as a chance for our vendors to have a nice relaxing weekend getaway as well as do our event.  Room and board was included in their package.  Of course, we offset the cost to put them up with highly discounted rates for services.  We made out in the end.

5.  Be Smart – Do you really need that many flowers?  Do you really need that particular candle or napkin or whatever?  Making unnoticeable substitutions and cuts that no one would ever miss is a good way to make yourself some money.  Remember, you’re into the details of the day during planning.  On that day, your guests will be into seeing you get hitched and then downing as much free food and booze as they can.  They won’t care that your beautifully arranged candle ensemble came from Pottery Barn.  Keep it simple….elegant can be simple.

Guys, we know that we’re not geared towards this sort of thing.  We don’t plan weddings.  Take it from me, if you’re there to support your fiancee and help her as she goes through this, it will make your life a lot easier.  Don’t fight it.  Just drink a lot of beer samples at the wedding show, and you will get through it.

 

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Crappy Movies Not to Netflix: Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol

I am too cheap to go to the movies.  Sorry, but I just don’t have $50 to drop on a crappy movie that may or may not be worth a damn and a tub of “over saturated with butter” popcorn and some Skittles.  My fiancée and I rent a lot of movies on Netflix, and while we sometimes agree on what to rent, usually we don’t.  This means that I have an interest in seeing about half the things that we get, and do not have an interest in the other half.  I am still made to watch this crap, and therefore, I will review both types of movies.  Hey, it’s all a valuable service to you, right?  So without further ado….my first edition of “Crappy Movies Not to Netflix”!

Netflix

Netflix (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

May 12, 2012 – Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol

This movie sucks.  Let’s just get that right out there.  I am not going to make you wait until the end of my rambling for a verdict.  I’m just going to come right out with that.  I was a fan of the Mission Impossible series and of the first two movies, to a degree.  The first movie was cool….hey, Jon Voight was a bastard and all the Mission Impossible nerds out there got pissed off because Phelps was a bad guy, there was a hot chick, explosions, and it’s always kind of fun to see a TV show get converted into a movie.

I also typically like Tom Cruise.  He’s a bit of a douche in real life, and his movies are hit and miss, but overall he’s usually pretty entertaining.  Ghost Protocol only served to highlight for me that Tom Cruise is getting and looking old and his weak attempt at rocking a nice mop of hair in an effort to look younger and cooler.  Fail, Tom.  Cut that hair.  Keep it high and tight like you used to.  That works better for you.  You’re not a skater, and you’re not a beatnik.

Spoiler Alert:  I’m going to talk about the movie now.  If you have any interest in seeing this garbage, I’d stop reading now so I don’t ruin it for you.

Tom has a hard time acting his way out of this one.  The script is plodding and unimaginative.  Ooooh…..we’re back to fighting with the Russians, again?  Really?  I thought we were all friends now.  Tom’s (er, sorry…..Ethan’s) locked up in a Russian prison.  Some new fill ins from IMF break him out, and the fun begins.  We have a witty british dork who I guess is good with computers….nowhere as cool as Luther (aka Ving Rhames from the previous flicks) and your gratuitous love interest chick whom we all know Tom will hook up with eventually.  That’s the new team?  Hmmm….at least before we had “The Professional”.  I digress.

This weak plot proceeds.  We find out that there are some Russian nuclear launch codes “in the open” and IMF needs to get them back.  There’s a guy who is trying to acquire them.  He’s a nutjob with a cool name…Cobalt.  IMF needs information on this guy, so the first order of business is to…no way….wait a second….this must be a mistake…..break into….THE KREMLIN?!?!?!?  Dum dum dummmmmm.  Wow.  I can’t believe they’re even going to try this.  Again, I thought that we were friends with the Russians.  Why we can’t just ask them for the information we need, I’m not sure, but Tom and the gang break in anyway.  Of course they use some cool gadgets to get past security…..hey, security is pretty weak at The Kremlin….but the tapes they need are gone.  Cobalt’s already been here.  Then he sets off a bomb that blows The Kremlin to kingdom come.  Holy crap.  That is bad.

Of course there is a big misunderstanding, and the Russians think that Americans are responsible for the bombing.  Tom escapes the hospital and is picked up by the IMF secretary.  This guy’s new….I don’t remember seeing him before.  They’re riding along in a limo when the secretary drops the bad news….because the Russians think that IMF is responsible for the bombing, the President has invoked…….wait for it…….wait…….wait…….GHOST PROTOCOL!!!  Oh damn.  IMF is shut down and all agents are now disavowed again.  They are always disavowing people.  It’s amazing.  You’d think they’d stop disavowing people cause that’s gotta create a lot of extra paperwork.  Maybe IMF just uses the disavowing thing as a way to extract more work out of them.  I’m sure they complain a lot about having to work all these crazy hours and the crazy travel schedule.  Anyway…..the secretary gets offed and Tom’s on his own again.

So they come up with this brilliant plan to try to intercept the sale of the codes from the assassin to the Cobalt people.  All that involves is going to Dubai and wasting an hour of my time as Tom attempts a worthless stunt to climb up the side of the building for god-knows-why and also using a cute little machine to change the suite numbers at the fancy hotel.  After a lot of drama, the plan gets messed up, people end up dead, there is a big sandstorm….big freakin’ whoop.  Tom and the gang are nowhere closer to solving this problem or getting this movie anywhere closer to being over.  Sadly for us, now they have to go to India to track down a guy that controls the satellite that Cobalt needs to launch a nuclear missile.

The one saving grace for this movie is the interaction between the female IMF agent and the rich Indian guy.  That was pretty funny, but not worth the 2 hour wait to see it.  Are you kidding me?  This thing has gone on for two hours.  More things blow up and Tom saves the day.  The end.  Oh, there’s other stuff too but it’s just pointless to talk about.  Some of the effect are cool.  Most of them have been done before.  Most of all this has been done before, and better.  You get the idea.

Instead of renting this beauty on Netflix, save that two-day turnaround for something more worthwhile.  You will thank me for it.

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Come on, Men! Proper Etiquette in the Men’s Room/Locker Room

So this has gone on long enough….

I am sick and tired of stupid morons in the men’s room or locker room at the local gym behaving badly.  Are you freaking kidding me?  Didn’t anyone ever tell you that you shouldn’t do these things?  Were you raised in a third world country?  Ok, ok….so if you don’t know what I am talking about, I am going to school you guys right now on proper men’s room and locker room etiquette.  Pay attention!

First, guys……don’t come and do your business in the urinal right next to me when there are plenty of free urinals in a huge restroom.  Do you think that I am cold?  Does it appear that I want your company?  No!  God put several urinals in a large restroom for a reason, and that reason is so that we can all stretch out, enjoy ourselves, and not have to worry about some yutz coming along and taking up valuable personal space.  If the restroom is crowded….that’s one thing, but when it’s empty, spread out guys.  I was in the restroom the other day….five urinals in this place…..five.  This guy comes along and sidles up right next to me.  What, do you want to borrow a dollar, guy?  Do you need a mint?  Of not, then get the hell away from me.

Tiverton Golf Club : Urinals in Men's Changing...Second, don’t talk to me in the restroom.  This is not a place for conversation.  I don’t care about what you did this weekend, what the weather is like, or that you think Gladys in accounting is hot and she wants to go out with you.  I don’t care.  I want to get in and get out and conversation has no place here.  If you talk to guys in a restroom, you are a loser.  If you talk to guys through a stall wall, then you are really a loser.  There is one exception to this rule.  I know that sometimes guys get drunk at the ball game, and there is endless chatter in the restroom, even at the trough, as one drunk guy shouts at another drunk guy.  I think that this is an acceptable form of communication and while not preferred, is acceptable in some situations…..this being a group of drunk guys, and not just one on one drunk guys.  If you touch me, it’s over.

Third moron….the guy that doesn’t wash his hands.  OK, so you don’t want to wash your hands that is your business.  You are a dirty individual.  If you wanna go home and kiss your wife and play with your kids with those dirty hands, go for it….but don’t you dare leave the restroom before me.  I swear…it’s like the minute the guy decides not to wash his hands, no matter where I am in my restroom routine, it’s a big race to the door so he can get out first, and I have to grip the dirty handle with my freshly washed hands and touch what I know is fresh nastiness that he just transferred.  I will say that I am NOT a germophobe.  I realize there are germs out there and they surround us.  I know they are part of our lives everyday, but that doesn’t mean that I want to play pattycake with some guy’s ball sweat or pubes right after he gets done shaking it off.  Have some freaking courtesy guys.  If you aren’t going to wash your hands, then wait for everyone else to leave the restroom before grabbing the door handle.  If people keep coming in the restroom before you can leave, hey….you have the time to WASH YOUR HANDS.  If you still refuse, please stay in there forever and don’t reproduce.

Now these rules all stand true for the restroom, but they also apply in the locker room at your local gym.  The only problem is that there is a whole different subculture of jackasses at the gym that do all these things listed above and more.  It’s like these guys get to the gym and they may be successful businessmen, doctors, lawyers, whatever…..but they get to the locker room and all vestiges of common sense disappear and float out the window.  It never ceases to amaze me the amount of stupidity and the total lack of common sense witnessed at the locker room.

Guys, the locker room is not your bathroom at home…..well, unless you’re a homeless dude and in that case, you have a whole different set of problems.  We do not want to see you set up your shampoo, cologne, diet supplements, razors, shaving cream, toothpaste and toothbrush all in a pretty little line in the middle of the damn locker room.  Get in and get out.  Take care of your business and move along.  Do you really have nothing better to do in your life than to spend two hours getting right in the locker room?  I can get in and get out of there in 20 minutes like most guys can.  If you are at the gym, and find yourself laying all this stuff out for all to see, you are a loser.  If you walk around the locker room with your equipment hanging out all over the place, you are a loser.  If you clip your toenails at the gym, you are a loser.  Have I made myself clear?

It all starts here, guys.  We’re all in this together.  If we can’t get along in these environments, where does that leave us with respect to the rest of our society?  How can we truly move forward when some of us behave so badly when it’s time to hit the restroom?  I would challenge each and every one of you to stop this ridiculous behavior….and to go an extra step….call out those who engage in this behavior to make them stop.  Only then can we truly set ourselves apart and function to our optimal ability as men.

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Reflecting on the Passing of a Hip-Hop Great, MCA

When I heard the news last week that Adam Yauch, aka MCA from the Beastie Boys had passed away, I probably had the same reaction that a lot of people had……”Wow, that sucks.”

Now I have to admit that in recent years, I hadn’t followed the Beastie Boys as much as I had in younger days.  It seemed as though it was ages ago when I couldn’t stop listening to those guys, and they were always a staple in my CD player (yeah, CD player….lol).  I started to think about that a little bit and reflect on where I was when I was a big Beastie Boys fan and where I am now, and I have to say that it got me thinking about a simpler time in my life.

Beastie Boys

Beastie Boys (Photo credit: Serjao Carvalho)

Those guys liked to party….hell, “Fight For Your Right” was a theme song at our high school parties.  Smashing beer cans on your head, drinking with pretty girls, yelling and screaming and pretty much not giving a damn about anything was what those guys were about, and as young impressionable high school dudes, we embraced that.  MCA was an idol to us….we emulated him.  We looked up to him, and so did the music business.  If you go back and listen to old school and newer rap alike, just think about how many times you’ve heard a sampling of a Beastie Boys beat, lyric, line or idea.  It’s ironic that three white Jewish boys from NYC did so much to influence so many people at the early dawn of rap, but their mark on us is undeniable.I had the opportunity to see the Beastie Boys here in Denver back in 2000, and while it was one hell of a show, I did not realize at that time that this would be the only time I would have the opportunity to see them live.  They had a huge mural with a dragon on it behind them as they performed and even at that time, I felt as though I had lost some of my youth as I had fallen away from being a hard core fan.  Obviously, the group evolved over time to somewhat keep in sync with an older following, but I feel that they never lost their original hip-hop origins.  I guess they didn’t really change….it was me.

I’ve been listening to a lot of old Beastie Boys for the last few days, and I have to say that it feels good.  Maybe there is room in our adult professional lives for a little “illin” and “body rockin”.  Maybe the next time you’re leaving a terrible business meeting that you just got your ass kicked in, or a fight with your wife or girlfriend that totally pissed you off, you should think about rocking a little “Brass Monkey” or “Jimmy James” to “put you in the right mood”.  We’re not too busy and important for that, are we?  The passing of MCA has reminded me that you’re never too old.  I’m afraid that I’m getting to the age where a lot of my musical favorites will get older and start to pass away and leave us for good.  It’s all a part of the game.  I’ve got a new appreciation for the mortality of the musical acts from my younger days, and I think that some of those old forgotten songs will find their way onto my iPod in the very near future.

MCA, you will be missed.  Time to get ill on the other side……and rest in peace, old friend.

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Booze on a Budget – What Every Man Should Know

Times are tough…..

Maybe you’re unemployed cause the boss’ son who now controls your old department laid you off because he was tired of stealing all your great ideas.  Maybe you’re only halfway to saving for that new Harley, or maybe you’re just a cheap skate.  There is nothing wrong with trying to save a little money, and let’s face it guys…..going to the bar or club can be an expensive proposition.  Add a thirsty woman into the equation, and you’re broke before you know it.

Should you opt for cheap booze, or drink specials in the God-awfulest hole in the wall dump you can find just so you can drink on the cheap?  Ummm…..no.  Enter the hip flask.  Now you might be telling yourself that bringing your own little supply of your favorite booze to a swanky bar or club is tacky, lowlife or below the belt.  I beg to differ my wanting-to-be-hammered friend.  The hip flask is your savior, and may be your best ally against high drink prices, jerk-ass bartenders, and the ever dreaded light handed pour.

Dansk: lommelærke English: hip flask Polski: p...

Dansk: lommelærke English: hip flask Polski: piersiówka (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are some rules and regulations that you should follow when employing your new little secret.  These rules will not only keep you in the bar, but keep you nice and buzzed as well.  There is a little bit of etiquette to observe when sneaking liquor into a bar or club that is dead set on selling it to you instead.  Think of that pimple faced kid at the movie theater who’s keeping you from bringing your own Twizzlers into the movie cause they want you to spend $8 for that in their joint.

Now, back to the flask…..make sure that your flask is a dark color.  A lot of the flasks being sold are shiny silver….no good.  They stick out like a sore thumb.  Try pouring that thing into your drink in a dark bar with flashing lights and it will be like your signaling for a rescue plane on a deserted island.  You’ll be detected and 86ed quickly.

Second, pick a flask with a thin profile that contours your leg.  With the right fit, the flask will be completely undetectable and you’ll have no trouble getting it into the bar.    Once you get in, you’ll be able to sit comfortably with your well shaped flask in tow without having to adjust yourself to enjoy the night.  You will be tempted to buy the biggest, most voluminous flask you can…..but picking a good sensibly sized flask is key.  I would recommend either a 4 or 6 ounce model for the best results.  Also, spend the extra couple bucks and get the funnel.  You’ll thank me for that.

glenlivet hip flask

glenlivet hip flask (Photo credit: bigbahookie)

Finally, practice your pouring technique.  It’s a good idea to be able to add a little happiness to your drink right there in the social area of the bar.  Ok, ok….so as a beginner, if you need to excuse yourself to the men’s room to pour your drink, that’s fine, but eventually you’ll need to learn to do it without being detected or drawing attention to yourself.  In addition, some bars don’t allow drinks in the restroom, and that obviously screws up your plans for the night. To properly pour in place, practice opening and sealing the flask under a table without looking at it.  Don’t look down!  Looking down while you pour is a dead giveaway.  It takes a little practice, but with time, you will master the art of sophisticated flask ownership and it will be one of the most satisfying tools in your man tool belt. Save money and drink the smart way.  Do it with a flask!  Your wallet will thank you.  As a real man, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that you’re getting hammered the smart way…..and that’s just boss.

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