Only Way is Dapper Ways

gingergrizzlyIt is not easy to look this great. It takes years to find the right diet, plastic surgeon, fitness program, but more importantly, the right hair dresser.  And I have been doing the latter wrong all these years of my adulthood.

My hair has been messed up with no clear direction and simply trying to get some styling done has proven to be a utter challenge.

Like so many trend setters before me, men have gone to high street hair salons, operated by wonderful women who had or has little understanding for a man’s desire to look awesome.  I need to look like a lumberjack, fresh from the mountains, and still rock an office doe that will make my male colleagues stare in amazement wondering who this awesome dude is.

The answer has been simple and right in front of me, but I haven’t dared to sit my feet in a barbers since I was 9 years old.

Back then, in the late 70’s, I went to the local barber in my home town.  The “barbers” had no training whatsoever and probably learned how to cut hair on Barbie dolls, sheep or blind folded.  They knew one cut, and if you asked for another, they frowned and gave you the standard cut.

Because I was 9 and had been running around all day, I was rather tired.  As a result, I started to doze of in the barber’s chair.  For the record … BIG MISTAKE!

haircut misfortune
obviously not me – just taken from Internet

I most have tilted my head slightly as the older (70+ year old) barber was cutting, and my fringe ended up with an increase of 2 inches from left to right.  It looked as if I had a half open curtain across my forehead, resembling characters from “Dumb Dumber”.

As a 9 year old boy, that is not cool.  I knew I would get a severe beating from other boys at school, or at least be humiliated in front of my 3rd grade crush. Utter devastation loomed.

I begged my mother to correct the mistakes, either by cutting the fringe straight or buying me a cool woollen hat, despite it being mid summer and 80+F degrees.

Years later, the trauma was still haunting me, when Felicia (3rd grade crush) laughed at my fringe that had been corrected by my mum, and was not 3 inches above my eye brows and none-existing.

Being happily married, and only other dad’s to impress at local school, I decided it was time to find a suitable barber.  You see them all over and I’ve sent my son there a few times with ok results.

Screen Shot 2018-02-11 at 17.37.16I found this cool place, Dapper Ways, and booked a time.  I had no idea what the different options were (gentleman’s cut, etc.) but that was part of the experience.  Dapper Ways has a cool interior and something seemed right.

Upon arriving, Nick greeted me.  He happens to be the owner and carries this amazing beard, and arms covered in tattoos.  I was greeted with a smile and took my place in the barber’s chair.  The next 40 mins was an experience I had not tried before.

This dude knows how to cut hair and beard.  He was using the buzzers, scissors and blade razor.  I had warm shaving foam on my face, hot towel and he even edged my sides to perfection.  Man, this was awesome.

I looked sharp.  I had a hair doe that made me feel like a million dollars, and Nick had been a true gentleman when doing his thing.  I can only say, you gotta try and visit Nick.

Screen Shot 2018-02-11 at 17.36.54This was absolutely the best hair dresser experience in decades, when I tried to impress a cute girl who was a hair dresser and learning Italian … another blog post entirely.

It was so good my wife smiled and winked at me, and pinched my left butt cheek.  My co-workers parted in front of me like Moses at the Red Sea, and the guys were asking what happened.  OK, slightly exaggerated, but it was bloody cool.

A few weeks later I took my son, and Nick did another splendid job.  Please note, my son has Down Syndrome, and sitting still is an Olympic challenge, but there was no moving around and just cool attitude towards getting his hair done.

3 thumbs up - Go visit Nick and Dapper Ways!

Hazmat suits and viruses

virusIt is like a headline from one of George A Romero’s zombie apocalypse movies, where the slightest infection will cause the end of mankind.  A virus will spread across the Globe eradicating life as we know it.

Or at least that is how the #fakenews and CDC make it sound, as we are half way through the flu season.  Actually, it is a scary thought that we have a season for illnesses.  Normally a season is associated with something positive, but flu season is the devil’s work!

noun: virus; plural noun: viruses; noun: computer virus; plural noun: computer viruses
  1. 1.
    an infective agent that typically consists of a nucleic acid molecule in a protein coat, is too small to be seen by light microscopy, and is able to multiply only within the living cells of a host.
    “a virus infection”
    • an infection or disease caused by a virus.
      synonyms: disease, bug, infection;

      “the child caught a virus”
    • a harmful or corrupting influence.
      “the virus of cruelty that is latent in all human beings”
  2. 2.
    a piece of code that is capable of copying itself and typically has a detrimental effect, such as corrupting the system or destroying data.
    synonyms: worm, Trojan Horse

    “a computer virus”

For years we have not received the flu vaccine.  It is not linked with religious or political beliefs, but merely a parent not believing a potion will help us fend off the evil bacteria.  I think we are simply making the viruses stronger, and this year seems to prove my doomsday theory.

The flu strain is stronger this season and people with or without the flu shot are getting hit.  And getting hit badly.  In too many cases it has resulted in death, which I feel very sorry about.  We should say goodbye to family members as they get ill with a known virus.

But, this is a man made virus and we have to invent stronger vaccines to combat it.  This will have a negative impact on our bodies and it is a losing battle.  Just like in War of the Worlds, we will eventually succumb to a small bacteria, leaving the planet to microbes.

We have been extra vigilant these weeks to protect the kids.  Cleaning everywhere, covering while sneezing, washing hands, and avoiding people who might be a little ill.  Just to make sure our kids did not contract a virus.

outbreakA few days ago our son developed a fever.  Nerves kicked in and we monitored closely.  My wife brought him to the doctor, and she confirmed that he had contracted the dreaded flu. Good news (if that is possible) is it was not the evil stronger strain of the virus, so he would not be as affected.  Nevertheless, we went into post-apocalyptic mode.

We pulled the hazmat suits out of storage, dressed the entire family except him, and started the quarantine exercises with these simple steps;

  • No-one touches him
  • He eats alone and uses disposable cutlery
  • No-one enters his domain
  • No-one kisses or have physical contact like hugging
  • Room has to be sterilised
  • No school or social activities
  • Total isolation from the rest of the World

…if we get to more severe phase, then food is shoved under his door.

3 days went by and he was showing signs of improvement.  Fever had dropped after 48 hours, he was drinking plenty of fluids and not side effects such as vomiting encountered.

Day 4 showed excellent progress and he will absolutely go back into civilisation Monday.

I really hate when my kids are sick.  There’s very little I can do for them, except kid painkillers and antibiotics.  And of course rest and fluids.  It is a waiting game.

The real challenge is the aftermath.  Will anyone else in the family contract the flu?

Is this the end?

For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.  Matthew 24:7

My son is a Special Olympian!

I have sold ice cream biked miles, and walked for Down Syndrome – now you can support me revisit puberty with polar plunge and a bunch of people.

It is important we celebrate and support our awesome Special Olympians.  They excel and impress globally, with their enthusiasm and sportsmanship.

My son is a Special Olympian!

He was born with Down Syndrome and has been an absolute blessing to our family.  He’s cheerful, loving, and works hard to achieve his goals.  I’m a proud father for this amazing young man!

This year I pledge my support to Special Olympics New Jersey by making a donation through my page.

You have the awesome opportunity to also support me, and I will in turn share pictures of a pale, freckled, ginger bearded viking plunging into the ocean.  It will certainly be an experience for spectators as my roar will echo along the Jersey Shore.  And no, it is not a blue whale mating call!

The process is fast, easy and secure. Thanks so much for your support… and please don’t forget to send this page to any friends you think might be interested in donating!

Visit my donation page and share your love – Polar Plunge 2018

Icicles and hairdryers

Ok, I normally don’t use foul language in my blogs, but to be fair, 2018 had a pretty fucked up way of saying welcome to my family.  Seriously, we hadn’t been spending many hours in the new year until she decided to kick me in the nuts – smack in the pubic bone!

Thanks to digital streaming on the AppleTV, we missed the ball dropped live.  Apple apparently decided that there’s a lack, so despite stating ‘live’ on the screen, it is actually delayed by almost 2 minutes.  I suspect that is false advertisement, but we somewhat say the switch to 2018 twice.

Anyway, a few hours after the famous Waterford Crystal ball dropped, we moved our ageing corpses to the beds.  Gone are the days of drinking all night, dancing like crazy on the tables, mingling with strangers in a smelly night club or having to clean the house from alcohol left-overs, smoke and confetti.  That is the curse and benefit of being responsible adults, and also the fact that kids give zero fucks about hangovers.

While zombie walking through the house, more asleep than awake, I turned the heating down … or so I thought.  You see, we live on the East Coast, and this happens to be winter. So, it gets a little chilly outside and the last few days had been sub-zero.  If I didn’t know better, I would say that we were about to reenact “Day After Tomorrow” scenes and experience arctic super deep freeze.

Next morning as I stumbled towards my coffee machine to get a caffeine kick, I noticed that the ground floor was chilly.  Did I mention that my absolute favorite coffee brand i ‘Black Riffle Coffee Company‘ – they kick arse.

The thermometer showed 52F so I instantly knew something was wrong.  It’s not like I’m a natural born plumber, but when the baseboard pipes are colder than my freezer, then something is off.

Thankfully the heating in the basement and 2nd floor were both working, so I used those areas to heat up the rest of the house.  I spent the remainder of 1 January 2018 heating up the baseboard pipes using hot towels, hair dryers and my Scandinavian charm … nothing worked.

hotshotNo other option than called in the cavalry in the form of the local plumber.  He showed up with what looked like an oversized car battery jumpstart kit.  Two larger clamps were attached to the copper pipes, and 2 hours later he had managed to thaw the pipes.  Heating was coming back 🙂

It takes a big man to admit when he has made mistakes, and I’m no big man!  That said, I had accidentally turned off the heating when going to bed, and with the sudden drop to arctic climate, the still water in the pipes decided to freeze.

The plumber that came to help was top drawer.  An amazing customer service and fair priced I suppose.

I can honestly say that this was not the way I had hoped for 2018 to start, but at least we have heat, food, each other and 363 days to get back to Christmas.

I need Doc Hudson too

emotionsIt is strange how some movies can make you think and seriously review your own situation.  These hidden and less than subtle messages hit you straight in the ticker.  They really make you ponder about life itself.

It happens rarely, probably because I mainly watch movies with less important or real-life connections. But when it happens, it occurs when you least expect it and during the less obvious movie titles.

For me it happened when watching the iTunes release of ‘Cars 3‘.  So, only a few days ago really, but might as well have walked into a glass-door as it hit me completely off-guard.

Spoiler alert for those of you who have not seen the movie, or might not even be familiar with the stories of ‘Cars‘.  Yes, it is a Pixar animated movie, with many laughs and overloaded with feel-good moments.  No spontaneous singing like most Disney movies, but a good family movie.

Nevertheless, Lightning McQueen has lost his driving mojo and seeks out the track where his great coach started his career.  There he meets Smokey, who tries to help Lightning, who really isn’t sure what he needs help with.  He’s looking for the reason he loved racing and how he gets his mojo back.

Suddenly I realised, when watching Smokey talk about how much Doc Hudson loved to train and mentor the younger Lightning McQueen.  It was as if he was talking about me and my life.

I need that father figure and mentor, to put a hand on my shoulder to tell me I’m doing a great job, or gently guide me into making a change.  These little conversations that helps me shape into becoming an even better father, husband, brother and friend.

Since my father passed away, I have had a void in my life.  Not that we were super close or hanging out daily, but just with him being there for me.  He listened, talked and guided me.  It may not have helped me getting a better career or make more money, but I became a better person.  It also motivated me to enjoy things in life.

It may sound like as if I do not enjoy life, but that is not the case.  I love my family and friends, but I need to get acknowledgement and support.  I need a mentor that will help me grow and take on the next obstacle head on, or perhaps even help guide another person through their life challenges.

Professionally, I think I have lost my way a bit, and simply needs that fatherly guidance to help me make the right decisions, and help get my confidence back. It’ll come back I know, but takes a little longer than I had hoped.

Life decisions are hard some times, and having a mentor and father figure really helps in those situations.  Job sucks at times, but it is how you deal with those situations that makes you a better and wiser person.  Look at Gandalf, he really had a tough time and yet looked positively at things 🙂

I often look to the sky, obviously imagining that God’s Kingdom is up there, smiling at my dad.  I silently whisper for his help and guidance, and often get some signs.  But, I would do anything for a hug from my dad.  I miss my Doc Hudson!