Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Hey There Mr. Neck Hair Man - This Razor's for You!

Forgive the spoof on the "real men of genius" commercials but I couldn't resist. Well, maybe I could have but that isn't the purpose of the post!

Anyway, from the MetroMan, why is it so hard for guys to just do a little maintenance shave on the back of their neck between hair cuts? Man... one day I saw a guy with hair growing all the way down the back of his neck to, well, it must have been his back. Geesh! Hello! Anyone have a spare Gillette for this guy? Please?

Here's the deal guys: Girls DON'T think it's sexy. Chest hair - that's one thing. Nec hair? Ewwww!

So, get with the program, or at least get your hair cut more often!

PS Hey folks, this is cross posted to my brand new podcast! Yup, Metro Moment - The Metrosexual Muse for the Unwashed Masses has been launched! Check it out!

Does anyone but CyberGal Read This?

I always wonder. I love having CyberGals comments - but is anyone else out there? If so, drop a note!

I Am One Blessed Dude

I think this picture says it all. The pregnant mom sleeping by the newly put up tree with my second oldest, Bayley, totally crashed (in an awful position!) on the couch next to her. And, I've got two more (the oldest and the current youngest - until little Sophie pops out) upstairs sleeping quietly.

It's a simple case of God providing above and beyond anything I could ask or imagine. Thanks Lord. You done good.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

I am sooo bloody tired of...

Well. This post is a positive or necessarily constructive one. Maybe it's just me commiserating. But, I have to say, I'm just bloody tired of always fighting to have enough money to pay the bills.

I know. Some of you might be saying - well there Mr. BMW Mobile Studios - get rid of the Bimmer and you'd have more money. And, if I had gone out an paid a lot of money or I was carrying a huge bank note on the car I might be inclined to agree. Reality is though, my note is only $221 a month, the car is good on gas because it's only a 4 cylinder, repairs aren't completely awful - especially considering I've now got 140k miles on it. So, what else?

Well, it might be the mortgage. That's always a big chunk. Maybe the van? Nah, we own that free and clear. How about the girls school activities or dance? A mere pittance. Yet still, it's always a struggle. Nope, we don't go out to eat a lot. And, when we do go out it's usually Wendy's. You know, family of 5 for $14. I will admit to a bit of a book habit, about $5.12 per week for Agatha Christie, Poriot Investigates novels (currently on my 14th book) from Food is a killer - at least $200 a week. Heat/gas/electric - whatever is also brutal now as well.

Thing is, I make pretty good money. In fact, I make darn good money. Still, we're barely staying afloat. Nope, no big bling bling jewelry. No big screen TV or amped up stereo/sound system. However, I do have three little ones that burn through clothes like there is no tomorrow. Nope, we're not shopping at Abercrombie, more like Target or Old Navy (on sale!), some Children's Place (awesome sales - outfits for $12-14). Me, new clothes? Uhhh, that would be my new mock turtleneck (2x$12) and a pair of jeans ($20 on sale). Nope. Not that. So what is it?

Maybe it's just me. Who knows. But some days it just seems like the more I make, the faster it goes. And I've got college coming up for a 10 year old in just 8 years. Good grief.


Well, thanks for letting me commiserate. Really, I'll be fine. I think we all deal with it, I just needed to vent. Feel free to join me in the comments ;-)

Hey, and with all that, all of you keep your chins up. We will all make it, we just have to stay focused, do what we're called and follow through.


Friday, November 25, 2005

Hello Pain

You know, I was feeling really great Tuesday morning. Woke up, thought "wow! my back isn't even giving me a twinge! So, I got up, went down stairs, worked out (good work out too!). Upstairs, had breakfast. Down stairs to check my email. Sit, turn to my left with my right arm reaching across my body... PAIN. new realms of pain. What did I do? I seemed to have dislocated several ribs. Lovely. Problem was that I couldn't breathe.

Unfortunately, it didn't make any difference if I could breathe or not, I had to go into the office. Three meetings, no way to dodge them. So, I went in. I managed to struggle through the meetings. Mind you, I'm carrying two computers, I can't walk. All the muscles on the right side of my back are in spasm. Frankly, it hurt to breathe, never mind bend, twist, pick up weight, take notes - whatever. And, I also had meetings in two completely different buildings that were not on the same campus. Lovely.

So, I made it. Went to the Chiro. Snap, crackle, pop. My LORD, I'm still in pain. Unfortunately, I have a presentation in the morning that I have to go to. Beautiful. I'm up till 3:00. Get up, oh yah, still in pain. Hustle as much as I can, get to my meeting. Goes pretty well. To chiro again. Snap, crackle, pop. OK. Still in pain, but not quite as bad. Later in the day (Wednesday), I still have to go home, sit in front of a comptuer and bang out the rest of a deliverable. Ready for bed - still in pain.

Thursday morning. Thanksgiving Day. And, I'm giving thanks. I can see, I have a great family, I've got a good contract, my mind works, we have a home. Unfortunately - I'm still in pain. Like it hurts to eat pain. A nap helps, but everything still hurts. The food however, was incredible. Great job Shannie and to my brother and sister-in-law that always make the Thanksgiving Day feast our special occasion with wonderful sweet potato stuffed granny apples and home made cranberry sorbet. Shannie delivered in her usual marvelous fashion - the turkey was awesome (though I didn't do a single thing this year, except wash the kitchen floor and clean the bathroom!), the stuffing was great (stuffing type stuff, celery, onions, chicken sausage, crasins - and secret other ingredients) and her famous spinach, artichoke and cheese recipe. Oh - YUM. Oh yah, pie. :) With so much good food, I almost forgot the pain. Oh, we also broke out some special coffee that my brother had sent to me special. I saved it for the occasion. It's this incredible Blue Mountain Jamcian (I believe) coffee. Holy coffee beans. The only other coffee that I've ever had that was in the same ball park is real Kona coffee that you can only get when you're in Hawaii. Totally smooth. Lovely body. No bite. It was worth actually having coffee for the first time in a long time!

Friday - I attempt to get out of bed - SPASM! I begin to wonder... will I ever not feel this pain? Mellow day, not too much time at the computer - then out with the wife. I realize as I'm walking that my spine is so rotated that I'm walking like a car that is out of alignment. It's so bad that it's actually throwing off my balance - something I'm certainly not used to because typically my balance is great and my feet are very nimble. I feel like a plodding, tipsy old clutz. Of course, being that it is the Friday after the holiday - NO ONE is open do deal with my back - my only choice is to hang in until Monday. Lord help me, I have two full days to go. Work to do Saturday, church on Sunday morning, birthday party Sunday afternoon.

Ah. Hello pain. I'll look forward to saying good bye!

Monday, November 21, 2005

You Know You Haven't Got Time to Crap When...

Yah, I know, lovely title for the post but I was inspired. I just got out of the can. As I was washing my hands and leaving the throne behind (no pun intended) - flushed and with the seat down by the way - I realized that I just don't have time to crap anymore. And I know I haven't got time to crap because

* I haven't finished reading my Bimmer magazine (the monthly from the BMW Car Club of America) and my new one has been in the bathroom for two weeks
* I'm three months behind reading MacWorld
* I don't even know if I still have my MacHOME subscription
* My "Mobile" magazine subscription ended - and I didn't realize it for two months.

Worse yet, I'm on a program to get focused, organized and get some things accomplished - and I haven't had the 20 minutes a day to do my praxis for about 3 weeks. Isn't that sad?

Good news is that I've been making time to read my Bible and pray every day, and that I've been working out every day too. I even get to spend time with my kids.

So. I guess it's a trade off. I may not have time to crap, but I'm spiritually and physically in great shape and I'm playing with my kids too. And, being that I've been helping the wife out a bit more too - I think I'm doing OK even if the magazines don't get out of the plastic.

Hmmm. Maybe I do have time after all, I'm just using it someplace that it does more good. What about you?

Ladies, don't kid yourself! It's not supposed to be pink!

I hate to be cruel, I hate to ruin anyones day but I have to say. Ladies, don't kid yourself. Your hair really is kind of pinkish, or blue or purple. And no, not because you're doing it on purpose like Pink is.

Here's the deal. Too many people out there (cause I've seen guys too) get their hair coloured without dealing with the underlying gray first! Don't do it! This is a critical mistake. If you're graying, then be sure to get the gray coloured to a darker base first, THEN, get a lighter colour. Is it more expensive? Yes. And it's worth EVERY cent. Please. Really.

Here's the bonus kicker - you'll look at least 5 years younger!

Another tip for those of us going grayer - don't kid yourself by going with a dark hair color. Face it. There are very few of us that still have dark hair into our late 40's or 50. Go with a lighter shade of a good color for your skin. You'll love it and by going with the flow you'll actually look younger than you would by obvioulsy colouring your hair darker than it should be!


Today's Hair Tip

Hey there boys and girls. Here with the hair tip for the day. What is it? Turn down that HOT water! Believe it or not it isn't that great for your head. You see, hot water can irratate and dry your scalp. Yup, it's true. So, if you want to be good to your scalp and your hair - go warm. And if you can, try to wash at least every other day.

Till next time!

The Chiropracter College Plan

Welll, their kid's anyway. This week in the household as been the complete living characterization of "oh my aching back!" First mine, then Shanna. Yikes. Not hard for me to get adjusted, but for a 5 month preganant woman - not nearly so easy!

So anyway, we're on the send your chiropracter's kid to college plan now. And she doesn't even have kids! Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my chiropracter. Shadi absolutely rocks, and if you're reading this and you're in MA or RI you should go see her! She's this tiny little thing - like all of 5'4" or something - and after she get's done with you, let me tell you that you know you've been adjusted!

Does this mean that Chrio doesn't work? Not on your life. I don't think I'd be standing upright without it. It works great. But, as I get older and work out harder - I need to make sure I stretch. And, I really need to make sure that my posture is good when I'm in the chair and typing - like I am now!

Well, that's all for now. That's a terribly enlightening post eh? Don't worry - more Metro to come! (Hair care anyone?)


Sunday, November 06, 2005

Blessed Assurance

This morning I got up and starting getting ready for the day. Being Sunday, that meant that I was getting up to get ready to head to church. Regardless of my destination however, it's not unusual for me to sing something - I'm a singing kind of guy.

There are two different types of songs that I can sing - or maybe it's two different motivations. Sometimes I sing a song from a movie I might have just watched or even a jingle that I hear on TV. Those in many cases are proximity songs. Other times I may sing songs I enjoy. But this morning, well, this morning the song came from the heart.

A moment to detour for some context...

When Jesus was teaching in parables to the crowds in Jerusalem he often confused his disciples. Frankly, they weren't a very bright lot - but I guess that just goes to illustrate the power of God more that the twelve dimwits that he started with turned the world upside down. Gives me hope that I can be used to! But I digress. Anyway, after one occasion when he confused the disciples regarding diet - he then explained that it is not what goes into a man (food) that makes him unclean because it goes into his stomach and out his body. However, what comes from a man's heart is what makes him unclean - for out of the heart the mouth speaks.

Now back to our story...

So, this morning, I found a song coming from my heart. I find this happens at times. There are just times when deep in my spirit there is so much going on that doesn't even surface to my mind - but it is still going on. On those occasions there are times when I wake up and sing - or just suddenly start singing songs that don't come from a thought - but from my spirit - and I believe in some cases like this morning, God's spirit.

The song that I sang is an old classic of the faith. It's not a classic because it is old, it was a classic even in its day (which was 1873 by the way). The song was Blessed Assurance, and the first line of the song is "Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine." Mind you, there is a lot more to the song than that line, but even that was enough this morning.

This may be something that some of you may not understand, but for a true Christian (regardless of your denomination), there is nothing more awesome, inspiring, humbling and joyous than knowing that "Jesus is mine." Knowing that regardless of your faith, or possible lack of it, or your sin and possible state of it - knowing that independent of your works (either too many or too few), knowing that independent of your witness, or if you've fallen off the tracks, yelled at your kids, kicked the dog or whatever - Jesus is yours. Oh! what a foretaste of glory divine!

You see, true Christianity isn't dependent on you - it is dependent on the grace of God (it is by Grace we are saved, by faith, and not by works lest anyone should boast). The fact that God has extended the offer of his unconditional love, and once you accept that in your heart nothing can take that away is amazing. No matter how well you're doing - or how bad - Jesus is yours. The same amazing God who spoke the universe into place, the same loving God that became man just so you could have the opportunity for life with him - he is yours AND you are his forever. Circumstances mean nothing - only God's grace. Only his determination to extend his love to you. That is a place of rest, a place of peace. That is something that can't be bought at any price.

Ah. Blessed assurance. To know that I am loved unconditionally. To know that my life has a hope and a future - and that God is determined to do good for me. That, my friends, is the way to start a Sunday morning from the heart! And not just in my heart - but from the heart of God.

I hope you make it a great day. Peace!

Saturday, November 05, 2005

I've become one of THOSE people.

Yah. Really and officially. Though even my wife doesn't think it's true. What do I mean?


* I eat pretty much all whole foods
* I drink green tea (mostly decaf)
* I drink Soy milk (low fat when available)
* I've ordered a Soy Chai Latte (instead of coffee) at Starbucks - more than once.
* I use an all natural toothpaste
* I prefer homiopathic remedies when they can be found to most modern western medicine
* I do Yoga to stretch (though I don't buy into the rest as you know if you've been reading the blog)
* I do Chinese Long Life exercises in the morning to wake up
* I am a groopie for a computing platform that is cool, edgy and technilogically leading edge - but doesn't always play with the rest of the computing world (Apple), and
* I drive an older car (8 years old) of the type that I prefer (BMW) rather than spend the money on a new car - and I'm in the car club.

Yup. I've become one of THOSE people. What about you?

My Life is Not Funny

Really. It just seems not to be. Bizarre sometimes, yes. Funny, no. Chloe's life? That's funny. This kid is one of the most amped 2 year olds I've ever seen. And she's determined she's running the show. Even with her sister, my oldest, Halle.

They're in their room the other morning (all three share one room in our small Cape style home here in charming New England where $300k is a starter home) and the fun starts.

First, the start of the ritual. Chloe wakes up. Promptly upon seeing that she's the only one up she decides that it's wrong. I'm guessing that's because we still have her in a crib. We thought it was best for safety's sake. Not Chloe's, the rest of the family. I can only imagine what Chloe would do if she could get out in the house without anyone awake... But anyway. She starts the morning wake up ritual. Hawwweee! (It's how she says Halle). Hawweee? You 'wake? Hawweee. HAWWEEEE! (by this time not only do my wife and I hear her in our room - while both bedroom doors are closed - but several dogs in the neighboorhood have started barking). Halle however, being a very determined 10 year old isn't moving yet. Then Chloe really kicks in. Haawwweee! Get up! You want 'spankin?


Oh my word.

LOL. This kid is too much. First of all, you have to imagine her saying it with her tiny 2 year old voice. Then you just have to laugh at the sheer audacity of it - they 2 year old trying to strong arm the 10 year old. Oh - my - word. How funny is that?!

So, my life may not be funny - but man my kids lives certainly keep me amused!


Friday, November 04, 2005

Starbucks III - Revenge of the Latte

It has finally happened. And yes, revenge is sweet. OK, well maybe not real sweet... I only get two pumps in my latte. What am I talking about?

Well, for years I've been getting my chops busted because I'm high maintenance. More or less rightfully so. And this tendency generally extends to when I'm ordering almost anything. I figure that I'm paying for it so I might as well get what I want. And so, when I go to Starbucks I do not have a standard, cookie cutter order. In fact, my order is usually a grande, non-fat, half-caf, 2 pump (of whatever flavor) latte - no whipped cream. Unless of course I'm getting a nice chai tea or soy latte anyway.

Well ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls of all ages - today it finally happened. There was an older gentleman that walked into the Starbucks where my wife and I were killing time and ordered what has to be the most complex order I've heard to date. Ready? It was a Venti, quad, 180 degree, 90% full, 1 1/2 pump latte. As Stacy on What Not to Wear would say "SHUT UP!"

So there it is folks - revenge of the latte. Put that in your cup with it's trendy cardboard sleeve and drink it!

Parenting is NOT for Wussies!

I know. What the heck am I doing on this topic, right? How does a guy that just posts on nail care go to parenting? And even more so - specifying that parenting isn't for wussies? I mean, how can some blond tipped girlie man talk about parenting and fatherhood? Well, for me it's easy. You see, I'm kind of like Shrek - who's like an onion - I've got layers.

Yes. I can discuss nail care. I can tell you what colors to wear to accent your skin, I can tell you and probably most women how to dress for success. However, topics of interest, general hygiene and a good eye for color do not make a man less a man or more a man. What makes a man is character. And when it comes to parenting - character counts. Parenting is NOT for wussies.

I've been wanting to tackle this topic for awhile now. And, I don't think this is going to be my last post - primarily because from what I've seen there are a lot of parents that DON'T. Parent that is. And it's criminal, these people are potentially ruining their child's life and that's not fair to the kids.

So. Parenting. Rule number one: Parenting is not about you. Parenting is not about how other people perceive you. Parenting is not about what other people might think of you when they see your child (however that does not excuse allowing your child to go out in a slovenly fashion), it is not about making sure you're in the right mini-van or SUV. Parenting is all about the kids.

Specifically, parenting - real parenting - is about how much of you you're willing to lay down. How much of yourself you're willing to sacrifice for your child. Don't get me wrong. I'm not talking about working 48 hours a day so your kid can have new toys. I'm not talking about being the world's greatest super-soccer mom and being the land ferry for hundreds of kids. What I am talking about is how much of your ego you're willing to lay down. How much of your convienience you're will to forgo. How much you can control your language, your viewing habits, your attitude and/or anger - all for the benefit of your child.

Let me give you an a few examples of what I mean. When was the last time you changed the channel when a commercial came on (other than possibly some ad for a slasher flick) to protect the modesty of your daughter or the eyes of your son? When was the last time you promised your child that you would discipline them if they mis-behaived, then dragged your butt off the couch to follow through on that promise even though your favorite show was on, or you wanted to research something on the web or whatever else you were doing? When was the last time you had a disagreement with your spouse - and held your peace until a time when your children were not present? When was the last time you didn't do something you found interesting, but instead happily did something your kids wanted to do with you?

All of the above are the types of selfless acts that I'm referring to. This type of behavior is not for wussies. Wussies yell at their kids and try to intimidate them - but won't discipline them correctly. This shows your children that you're also just a stuffed shirt or a bag of hot air because obviously you're not a man or woman of your word or there would be consequence. Wussies want to see a commercial that isn't appropriate for their children to see more than they want to protect the innocence or virtue of their children. Wussies make promises to play with the kids on the swing set, but then make excuses (I need to do my nails, work, build something, clean - whatever) and don't keep their promises.

You see - parenting is NOT for wussies.

Before I leave - DON'T confuse what I'm saying. I'm not saying that your children should be the center of the home. They shouldn't. Mom and dad should. And for those of you that are single parents - you are the center of the home. You are the anchor just like a mom and dad should be. Stability and love flow down hill from you. And I'll talk about that, and how important it is in another post. But for now I just wanted to clarify.

So. There you have it friends. Parenting is NOT for wussies. If you're a wimp, if you've got no spine (read: character) then don't be a parent. If you already are a parent, see if you can find some skelegrow for that spine of yours. It's a painful process growing a spine - but your kids will thank you for the rest of your - and their - life.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Because I can - Manicure Talk right here with the MetroMan!

I'm promoting this conversation - just because I can. I figured, hey, I think everyone should see this not just CyberGal. So, here is what CyberGal commented on in my post - and my reply. Happy reading!

CyberGal said...
Now, you've gone and done it - CyberGal is upset, having a hissy fit, with my panties in a bunch! I'll admit it, when it comes to being feminine, I score low. I'd rather program, than do my nails. I do housework for a living. You think your hands get dry... ? Just re-apply lotion after each hand wash. When my hands start to crack, chapstick, or petroleum jelly works groat (wear overnight and keep your hands in thin plastic gloves.)

I've gotten used to the idea that EVERY male in my life, seems to know more about being a girl than I do, but this is the last straw!

Use an emory board in ONLY ONE DIRECTION, says who? Alright, Mr. Wizard, Why? This is beginning to undermine my very sense of female-ness. Do you perform pedicures, pluck your eyebrows or powder your nose? (I want pictures.)

Its alright, I'm going over to a friend's house tomorrow and volunteer to wash and wax his car. (You think I can do good on a bathroom, wait till I get through with your car.) It will look good enough to steal

AND now - here's what I said to Cybergal...

Hey Cybergal,

First off - listen. There's a reason why I'm metro, you get that right? I'm not doing anything to undermine your sense of femininity . Being feminine has nothing to do with nail care - though I have to admit that I love it when my wife has nice nails.

Secondly, here's why you only go one way with the emory board...

"Never saw back and forth across the free edge as it can disrupt the nail plate layers and lead to splitting and peeling. The ideal shape of the free edge should mirror the shape of the cuticle, i.e.: an oval cuticle = an oval free edge."

Third: No, I don't perform pedicures. Ewwww. No way I want to mess with someone's fungal feet. Nor do I get pedicures - I'm way to ticklish on my feet.

Fourth: No I don't pluck, I have no need to. No uni-brow here.

Fifth: No, I don't powder. I don't use any foundation on my skin. I do on occasion use cover on the dark circles under my eyes when I've been bad and went to bed way to late and need to present something or have a big meeting. In most cases I can get away with a bronzer. The rest of my skin is evenly oily, so I make sure to stay away from most exfoliating products (there are alternatives) because they just crank up the oils more.

I wish you weren't on the other side of the country - I'd love to have you work on the BMW mobile studios - I need an interior detailing something fierce!

Hope that helps :)