more helpful hints

A  story in The New York Times suggested that there could be cognitive advantages to learning how to dance, that it could be good for your brain and help offset some of the effects of aging. As the story noted: “The demands it places on the mind and body could make it unusually potent at … http://www.date-love.be/

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Facebook Does a Faceplant and We’re Paying the Price

Farmville. Mafia Wars. Poking friends. Ah, Facebook. Not that many years ago it seemed so innocent and harmless. Taking online quizzes about which Harry Potter character I was? Checking in with the locations of places I visited? Sharing personal details of my day-to-day life? Of course! Why not? What could possibly go wrong? Fast-forward to … Continue reading Facebook Does a Faceplant and We’re Paying the Price

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Life as a Super Fan of My Kids and Their Sports

There is nothing more exciting in parenthood than cheering on your kids in the things they do — sports, music, dance, etc. — and seeing them have fun. Through the years I have worn many hats from Soccer Dad, Baseball Dad, Swim Dad, Cheer Dad, Marching Band Dad, Gymnastics Dad…the list goes on. Of course you … Continue reading Life as a Super Fan of My Kids and Their Sports

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Middle Age and the Challenges of Finding Work

I’ve been out of work for some time. I have been sending out resumes and going on interviews, though. I had one interview in which they said that they needed someone “right away.” When I said that I wasn’t working and could start immediately, there was a pause, then an “Oh, you’re not working?” I’ve … Continue reading Middle Age and the Challenges of Finding Work

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Retirement? Hahahahaha!

There is a kitchen magnet I have that boasts about drinking coffee: “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” Yeah, it’s a similar feeling I have about retirement. I’ll retire when I’m dead. When you are in your 20s, retirement, pensions, 401(k) and Social Security are a foreign language. Saving for when I’m in my 60s? Pshaw! … Continue reading Retirement? Hahahahaha!

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Why ‘Stranger Things’ Is the Perfect Show for Middle-Age Guys

I just finished the second season of “Stranger Things” and if ever there was a perfect streaming series for middle-age guys, I don’t know what is. For the uninitiated, “Stranger Things” is a bit of “The X-Files” meets “Stand By Me,” the coming of age movie based on the short story by Stephen King of … Continue reading Why ‘Stranger Things’ Is the Perfect Show for Middle-Age Guys

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THON at Penn State Banishes Despair

It is nearly 3 in the morning on the Saturday of Presidents’ Day weekend and the Bryce Jordan Center at Penn State University in State College, Pa., looks to be hosting a celebration that is a cross between a rave and Mardi Gras. The circular corridor teems with college students wearing leis, beads or frilly … Continue reading THON at Penn State Banishes Despair

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Finding Fitness Is Like Getting Back on a Bicycle

I was a skinny kid. My mom took me to the doctor, who prescribed this yucky elixir to gain weight. I also had to add a powder to my chocolate milk to bulk up. They didn’t seem to work. I recall walking home from school and getting pushed into cars by strong winds. It wasn’t … Continue reading Finding Fitness Is Like Getting Back on a Bicycle

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Come Fly Us! No, Really. It’ll Be OK. Come Back!

I recently saw firsthand what an airliner would look like if my crew of childhood friends who make up the About Men Radio posse were running it. The instant I laid eyes on the baggage check-in of WOW Air (a name I swear I am in no way making up), I saw flash before me … Continue reading Come Fly Us! No, Really. It’ll Be OK. Come Back!

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Sports: Maybe It’s Not Such a Waste of Time After All

Some guys like cars. Some guys like comic books. Some guys like  gardening or even theater. Many guys, however, like sports. Me? I was always somewhere in between. Growing up, I was good at sports but I was more the lonesome, artsy kind of dude. I liked graffiti and visiting art museums on weekends. To be honest, … Continue reading Sports: Maybe It’s Not Such a Waste of Time After All

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An Endless Playlist of Nonsense

You know those earworms you get when you listen to a piece of music and it sticks in your brain and plays over and over again? My wife and I have something similar but it works a bit in reverse. We call it our “endless playlist.” For my wife, who is widely read and deeply … Continue reading An Endless Playlist of Nonsense

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Putting Fitness Back on Our Menu

Let’s be honest: Our attempt in 2016 to launch the About Men Radio Fitness Challenge — in which members of the posse pledged to improve our eating and exercise habits — collapsed quicker than a football handled by Tom Brady. But wait! Brady recently came up in a conversation between Chris and Pedro, and it … Continue reading Putting Fitness Back on Our Menu

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This Is Not The Star Wars Movie You Were Looking For

WARNING: This episode of About Men Radio contains spoilers for SW:TLJ!!! A small arthouse film by the name of Star Wars: The Last Jedi was quietly released in a few theaters across the known universe this past week. It’s getting good reviews from critics but decidedly mixed reviews from its paying customers. While it comes as … Continue reading This Is Not The Star Wars Movie You Were Looking For

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“The Last Jedi” Was Fine

Big bold disclaimer here: IF YOU HAVE NOT YET SEEN THE MOVIE, DO NOT READ THIS! “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” was perfectly fine, which is a passive-aggressive way of saying I liked it but did not love it. It was certainly no “The Force Awakens,” which in my book still ranks as the best … Continue reading “The Last Jedi” Was Fine

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Men, We Face Our Reckoning Post-Harvey Weinstein

How many times did Pedro and I *think* we were ready to record a show addressing the issue spawned by revelations of how movie mogul Harvey Weinstein treated women? Probably at least five times, I would say. And at every turn, when we would get our schedules lined up and prepare…Boom! There would come another … Continue reading Men, We Face Our Reckoning Post-Harvey Weinstein

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Photos and a Winged Visitor Help Reconnect With a Lost Loved One

Every other photo of Carla, my fiancée who died 11 years ago today, shows her with some kind of animal. This is no exaggeration. Carla with a horse. Carla with a cow. Carla with a cat. Carla with a camel. Carla with a llama. Carla (and I am not making this up) sitting on a … Continue reading Photos and a Winged Visitor Help Reconnect With a Lost Loved One

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When Our Dog Ate the Thanksgiving Turkey Thermometer

  Thanksgiving is a time for gathering of loved ones and sharing what we are thankful for. In my family it also includes being thankful for our pets. That brings to mind something that happened to our special dog, Smokey. He was part of our family for 14 years, helped raise four kids and was … Continue reading When Our Dog Ate the Thanksgiving Turkey Thermometer

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Who’s a True New Yawker? We Put Ourselves to the Test

In this episode of About Men Radio, Chris and Pedro debate the finer points of country vs. city living. The discussion is not exactly the opening credits of “Green Acres,” but let’s just say that Chris was more the Eddie Albert character in this talk and Pedro identified more strongly with Eva Gabor. (Well, that’s … Continue reading Who’s a True New Yawker? We Put Ourselves to the Test

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Do I Swear at Work? Damn Straight!

I read recently of a former CNN employee, a devout Christian, who filed a discrimination lawsuit alleging, among other things, that his co-workers frequently used profane language. Profanity in a newsroom?! I am shocked! Shocked I say! Pardon me while I wipe tears from laughing so hard. Newsrooms are among the few remaining workplaces that … Continue reading Do I Swear at Work? Damn Straight!

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On a Haunted Hayride, A-Shrieking I Will Go

If it’s Halloween time, it must mean it’s time for Chris to show the bravery of Sir Robin from “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.” You remember him, right? He was not exactly brave but pretended to be. Well, in the spirit of Sir Robin, Chris went on a haunted hayride at Woodloch Resort in … Continue reading On a Haunted Hayride, A-Shrieking I Will Go

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I Am Happy to Be an Inmate in the Green Prison

When people ask how long my commute is to New York City from the Poconos and I tell them it’s two hours one way, they look at me horrified. “Two hours?!” they say. “That’s crazy!” No, I will tell you what is crazy: Paying rent for a postage stamp-sized apartment in New York City that … Continue reading I Am Happy to Be an Inmate in the Green Prison

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A White Guy and a Puerto Rican Talk About Racism

In this episode of About Men Radio, Pedro and I discuss the thorny intractable issue of racism and how we’ve experienced it. It’s a white dude (me) and a Puerto Rican (Pedro), who both grew up in the Bronx, talking about a topic that in many ways is the third rail of polite conversation. I … Continue reading A White Guy and a Puerto Rican Talk About Racism

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My Wake-Up Call About Caffeine

It’s a ritual at my annual physical: My doctor asks how many cups of coffee I drink a day. Three or four, I say, and she gives me the thumbs down, indicating she disapproves and wants me to reduce my caffeine intake. And I am always like, c’mon! It’s just coffee! Where’s the harm? Heck, … Continue reading My Wake-Up Call About Caffeine

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I Spent Six Nights at AirBnBs and This Is What I Learned

I am a Luddite Lite when it comes to advances in technology and the digital economy: I embrace some of it and am confused or skeptical about the rest. I am a dedicated Facebook poster but use Twitter occasionally. I don’t really understand SnapChat, Instagram and Reddit, and therefore don’t use them. I am fine … Continue reading I Spent Six Nights at AirBnBs and This Is What I Learned

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Applying Boy Scout Motto to Hurricane Irma

It is daybreak No. 3 after the storm. We are still without power. Our utility company has all hands on deck trying to restore power. I am certain that they are doing their best. We prepared for the eventuality of not having power for up to a week. The maximum ETA is that power will … Continue reading Applying Boy Scout Motto to Hurricane Irma

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Hurricane Irma: Surviving Tornado Sirens and Power Loss

We went through a few scares early last night. While we still had power and were listening to the weather predictions, I noticed water seeping into the family room — right where we had placed the sandbags the day before. I left the comfort and safety of the house, put on a hard hat and … Continue reading Hurricane Irma: Surviving Tornado Sirens and Power Loss

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Hurricane Irma: Who Needs Lights Anyway?

We just lost power. We had a pretty good run as I followed many of my close neighbors over the last three hours, announcing their power loss. Just when we thought we could be clear, and just while the whole family was enjoying reruns of “Frasier” on Netflix, buoooooom. I think that’s the noise it … Continue reading Hurricane Irma: Who Needs Lights Anyway?

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Hurricane Irma: Of Battened Hatches and a Little Elbow Grease

The latest on the stormfront from Silvio LaFrossia as he awaits an unwelcome gust named Irma: Completely battened down. Plywood on all windows. A quick aside to those questioning the reasoning on plywood barricading homes when images from post-hurricane areas typically show total devastation of property. what can a thin sheet of plywood? The plywood … Continue reading Hurricane Irma: Of Battened Hatches and a Little Elbow Grease

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Being a Fire Buff Goes Beyond Trucks and Sirens

Maybe it is a case of “boys and their toys,” or some kind of wish fulfillment, but I have been a fire buff every since I was a kid. (To clarify: Being a fire buff does not mean being a pyromaniac or arsonist. It generally describes people who support or admire firefighters and firefighting.) I … Continue reading Being a Fire Buff Goes Beyond Trucks and Sirens

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Irma Checklist: Family, Plywood and Backyard Furniture

Silvio LaFrossia is sending bulletins about how he and his family in Florida are preparing for Irma’s arrival. Here’s his latest dispatch from late Thursday night: Thursday was the last normal business day at work.  Our office will be open but employees were given the option to work from home if possible and allowed blackout … Continue reading Irma Checklist: Family, Plywood and Backyard Furniture

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Bracing for Irma: Tales From the Florida Stormfront

We will be fine. We are well prepared. The only thing I wish I could get fixed is my chainsaw, which won’t start. I just may have to get another one. I am pretty sure there will be branches to cut away. Here is my hurricane tale through the years. Andrew, Charley, Frances, Jeanne, Dennis, … Continue reading Bracing for Irma: Tales From the Florida Stormfront

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Hurricane Irma: Forget Bottled Water. Getting Wine Is Tougher!

Silvio, who lives near Orlando, Fla., offers this tale of hardship in the lead-up to Irma’s expected arrival in southern Florida. He will be providing further updates on Irma as long as he still has power — and wine. I had already pretty much completed my hurricane supply run during the Labor Day weekend, beating … Continue reading Hurricane Irma: Forget Bottled Water. Getting Wine Is Tougher!

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A Chilling Childhood Memory of Murder

Inspiration: To draw, create or write. It comes in many forms. One can draw inspiration from a sight, a sound or from a blog post written by a friend. This story comes from the latter. My good friend Chris recently penned a coming-of-age story about his first brush with mortality (someone else’s) in the summer … Continue reading A Chilling Childhood Memory of Murder

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I’m a Turtle on a Roller Coaster

What would summer be without a visit to an amusement park and a trip on a roller coaster or similar thrill ride? I’ll tell you what it would be: a helluva lot better. Miss out on the vertigo-inducing stomach-churning “fun” of feeling weightless on the Toss-a-Hurl or the Vertical Death Drop From Hell? Yeah, no … Continue reading I’m a Turtle on a Roller Coaster

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Heavy on Coffee and Light on Sleep

Sleep but not nearly enough. Wake. Drink coffee. Drink more coffee. In fact, just pour the pot over your head to wake up. Rinse and repeat. If this sounds familiar, welcome to the crowd. Some of us might rise, but we won’t shine. As a society, we’re chronically not getting enough sleep and let’s face … Continue reading Heavy on Coffee and Light on Sleep

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Coming of Age in the Summer of 1977

In the summer of 1977, I had a paper route delivering The Daily News in the Bronx to almost 100 customers, many of them older. One of them was Mr. Norton, a tough-talking grizzled New Yorker who frequently sent me to the deli to get him a six-pack of beer. He was a shut-in and … Continue reading Coming of Age in the Summer of 1977

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Just Call Me Rattlesnake Pete

Here’s the scene: It’s April and the Rosado family is deciding on summer plans. “How about the Caribbean? We could visit family and save some money.” A trip like that always sounds great during the planning stage but in practice, things invariably end in tears. Next… “DISNEY WORLD! DISNEY WORLD! DISNEY WORLD!” Hot as Hades … Continue reading Just Call Me Rattlesnake Pete

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Here’s a New (More Realistic) Line of Ken Dolls

Stunning news out of the toy world: Ken, the doll who was Barbie’s original blue-eyed chiseled boyfriend, is undergoing a huge makeover. If, like me, you grew up with GI Joe action figures or your sister played with Barbie and Ken dolls, this is a major development. (Notice, by the way, GI Joe was called … Continue reading Here’s a New (More Realistic) Line of Ken Dolls

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Recalling ‘Baretta’ and the Blackout

“Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time. Don’t do it!” In the mid 1970s that was the intro for the hit TV show “Baretta” about a street-smart quick-talking undercover cop with the NYPD who lived with an old man and a cockatoo. When “Baretta” came on, it was dad-and-me TV. Dad and … Continue reading Recalling ‘Baretta’ and the Blackout

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Where Were You When the Lights Went Out?

Each generation shares some moments in history that leave an indelible mark, and everyone alive at the time can recount where they were and what they were doing. Where were you when John F. Kennedy was shot? When the space shuttle Challenger blew up? During 9/11? For me, one of those moments was: Where were … Continue reading Where Were You When the Lights Went Out?

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Does ‘Wonder Woman’ Signal a Culture Shift in Hollywood?

One of the best movies this summer far and away has been “Wonder Woman.” The movie stars Gal Gadot, who is not just a pretty face. She’s got poise, comic sensibilities, acrobatic fight moves and a presence that really lights up a screen. And a special bonus:  The movie is now the highest-grossing live-action film … Continue reading Does ‘Wonder Woman’ Signal a Culture Shift in Hollywood?

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What I Learned From the “S-Town” Podcast

The highly acclaimed podcast “S-town” reinforces two notions I’ve tried to follow in my professional and personal lives: Every lunatic caller deserves 10 minutes of your time and so does every person – lunatic or otherwise – you meet. For those not familiar with “S-town,” it is the real-life story set in a tiny Alabama … Continue reading What I Learned From the “S-Town” Podcast

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Despite Their Flaws, Fathers Still Find Success

A funny thing happened on my way to Father’s Day 2017. I became a grandfather thanks to my stepson and his wife. The thing about becoming a grandfather is that it brings you sharply back to when you were a first-time parent. That moment is filled with an overpowering brew of emotions, among them anticipation, … Continue reading Despite Their Flaws, Fathers Still Find Success

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Reflections of a Godfather on Father’s Day

I’m the only About Men Radio member who is unmarried and childless, but I do have four godsons. The first was born with some complications. I remember being in the waiting room with my brother reassuring him that everything would be OK and praying. I may have also offered whatever was needed, such as blood or … Continue reading Reflections of a Godfather on Father’s Day

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Counting Horseshoe Crabs in the Dark

Editor’s note: This is a story written by Meg McGuire, wife of AMR contributor Christopher Mele.  Meg is the publisher and editor of delawarecurrents.org, an online news magazine dedicated to covering the entire length of the Delaware River. It is published here with permission — and mostly because Chris thought it was such a cool story … Continue reading Counting Horseshoe Crabs in the Dark

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Years Later, the Emotions of Grieving Loved Ones Are Still Raw

Note:  This was not an easy essay for Richard Rodriguez to write.  In fact, it was in development for six months before he decided to go ahead with it.  The results reflect a profound courage to confront the pain, anger and confusion of grieving for lost loved ones. It’s a real credit to Rich that he … Continue reading Years Later, the Emotions of Grieving Loved Ones Are Still Raw

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Adam West Saved My Life

That headline is not just clickbait my fine-feathered friends. Actor and professional handsome guy, Adam West, really did save this humble podcaster’s life. As all of you reading this undoubtedly know, Mr. West played the title character in the superhero TV classic Batman which was first broadcast in the U.S. on the ABC television network … Continue reading Adam West Saved My Life

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We Swear, Cussing Is a Way of Life

There is just something so primal about cussing and swearing that it’s difficult for us guys to suppress. Hey! Asshole! Are you paying attention to what I’m sayin’ here?! See what I mean? Whether used to vent (“I can’t fucking believe it!), to make an assertion (“That is fucked up”) or to beg a question … Continue reading We Swear, Cussing Is a Way of Life

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The Need to Digitally Detox

If it is true that the eyes are the window to the soul, I am convinced we live in a soul-less society. When was the last time you were in a mall, elevator, bus depot or train station and you could see someone’s eyes? Yeah, me neither. It is because everyone has their faces buried … Continue reading The Need to Digitally Detox

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The Meaning of Manliness

In ancient Greece, men were encouraged to let the tears flow. Dudes in the 17th century looked for a virile, masculine edge by slapping on a pair of high-heels, and it was perfectly masculine for a man to wear a pink silk suit with floral embroidery in the 18th century. As the cultural ideal of manhood continues … Continue reading The Meaning of Manliness

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Fine-Dining Disasters

A recent article in The New York Times reported on an emerging trend that I support: Some high-end restaurants are discontinuing the practice of asking customers to taste wine and approve of the selection. Instead, the article said, these restaurants are relying on the sommelier (French for “grape guru”) to do the sampling for you. As … Continue reading Fine-Dining Disasters

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What It Is Like to Feel Like ‘Other’

I recently had, for perhaps the first time in my life, experienced what it is like to be “other.” As a white middle-class man, I have been fortunate to live a largely privileged life, free of discrimination (at least as far as I know) and to mostly feel I was part of the mainstream. It … Continue reading What It Is Like to Feel Like ‘Other’

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Chris and Pedro Come Clean About Housework

So after three years of doing this podcast, Chris and Pedro decided to go where fools rush in and angels fear to tread and that is an honest man-to-man conversation about chores and housework. What is revealed is as about as pretty as balled-up sweaty socks turned inside out. I’m not sure we know the … Continue reading Chris and Pedro Come Clean About Housework

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BONUS EPISODE: We Really Are Getting Too Old For This

It seemed like such a good idea at the time. Chris and Pedro were just planning on having a drink or two after work at a local dive bar. What could possibly go wrong? Listen in as two (very) hungover old friends are hit with the sudden realization that they may be too old to party like … Continue reading BONUS EPISODE: We Really Are Getting Too Old For This

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The End of the World Starts Here

​​For an idea of where the end of the world might start, visit the Titan II Missile Museum in Sahuarita, Az. The site is a former missile silo, complete with a disarmed Titan II still intact, 35 feet below ground in a steel-and-concrete-reinforced bunker. It is a sobering reminder of the destructive power of man and how … Continue reading The End of the World Starts Here

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‘My Own Particular Aesthetic’

​With clarity and conciseness, my older son coined a slogan that epitomizes the don’t-give-a-crap attitude that makes guys great. I am convinced his insight belongs on coffee mugs, T-shirts and the business cards of men everywhere. Here is the backstory: No. 1 son broke the toilet seat in the downstairs bathroom and set about replacing … Continue reading ‘My Own Particular Aesthetic’

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Arizona or Bust? I’ll Take Bust Please!

As soon as you mention you are visiting Arizona, you know what people say. C’mon, you know. You have said it yourself: “Oh, it’s a dry heat.” Yes, yes it is. So is sticking your head in an oven door and closing it. The people who inhabit the great state of Arizona are made of sturdier stock than I ever … Continue reading Arizona or Bust? I’ll Take Bust Please!

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Restoring Nudes to Playboy? I’m Still Canceling

Now might seem like an odd time for me to give up my subscription to Playboy magazine – considering that it is restoring nude models to its pages. As you might recall, the men’s magazine surprised many when it announced a year ago that it would discontinue its decades-long practice of featuring naked women. Instead, … Continue reading Restoring Nudes to Playboy? I’m Still Canceling

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Body-Shamers, Have You No Shame?

Like millions of other Americans, I watched the Super Bowl halftime show last week. I tuned in specifically to watch Lady Gaga, who I had seen twice in concert. I think she is extraordinarily talented, energetic and gives everything for her audience. I thought she delivered a stunning halftime show. Replete with a Peter Pan-like … Continue reading Body-Shamers, Have You No Shame?

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Lost Podcast Is in the Wild!

We found it! Pedro and I recorded an episode a few weeks ago that fell somewhere into the couch cushions but fear not, we’ve dusted it off and it’s as good as new. Well, almost. We do discuss (belatedly for you dear listeners) our sense of loss at the death of our beloved Carrie Fisher, … Continue reading Lost Podcast Is in the Wild!

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“I Feel Pretty, Oh So Pretty…”

At the risk of getting my Man Card revoked, shredded and incinerated, its ashes buried in some unmarked grave, let me make the following confession: I have taken to using “product.” You know, “product.” The euphemistic term used by and among men to describe the various unguents (a fancier way of saying ointments, instead of … Continue reading “I Feel Pretty, Oh So Pretty…”

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Being Directionally Challenged Means Always Seeing Someplace New

My wife and I have a simple rule when we travel to parts unknown by car: I drive and she navigates. The reason for this is twofold: I am a lousy passenger who turns green riding shotgun and I have a sense of direction worthy of Christopher Columbus. (Dude was headed to the Far East … Continue reading Being Directionally Challenged Means Always Seeing Someplace New

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An Appreciation of Carrie Fisher

​ In the constellation of stars who died in 2016, the one that I was heartsick over the most was Carrie Fisher. When I first saw her in “Star Wars,” the special effects and droids got more of my 12-year-old’s attention than her signature character, Leia Organa, the blaster-toting, tough-talking, take-charge princess. By the time … Continue reading An Appreciation of Carrie Fisher

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Mourning — and Celebrating — Three Music Giants Who Died in 2016

It is finally over — the year that took so much away from us in such a big swipe. The year of course is 2016, “a year that will live in infamy,” if you will allow me to paraphrase FDR. It was a year filled with losses of the famous and talented. There are so … Continue reading Mourning — and Celebrating — Three Music Giants Who Died in 2016

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A New Year’s I’d Rather Forget!

Have you ever read something that flicked a switch in your brain, that suddenly filled your head with a memory long forgotten or repressed? Recently my good friend John recounted a story about a visit to Guatemala. You can read it here. His memory of his first visit to a Central American country was of … Continue reading A New Year’s I’d Rather Forget!

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“Manopause” and Having a Midlife Crisis

A midlife crisis makes for good movie fodder: There is the wayward husband who suddenly wants to take up with a younger woman or the guy who believes that getting a bright shiny sports car will make him youthful. The truth is having a midlife crisis is not just the stuff of fiction. It is … Continue reading “Manopause” and Having a Midlife Crisis

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Childhood Memories Built of Legos

As Christmas approaches, it stirs memories of one of my favorite childhood toys: Legos. I was an avid collector of the tiny bricks that snapped together but Legos in the 1970s were a lot different. Back then, they did not have as many little figurines and cool components as they do today. The sets were … Continue reading Childhood Memories Built of Legos

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Not All Men. Just Us Men.