Tag Archives: Cookout

Memorial Day 2014

Take a moment to remember.

Here in America, today is set aside to remember and honor those who gave their lives in the service of this country.

As far as I know, Memorial Day is supposed to be reserved for those who died while in the armed forces, but I like to think that it includes all those who were working to make our country a better place.

Yes, it’s a broad definition, but I like it. Mostly because it means that killing people isn’t the only definition of greatness.

While you dudes are out at the cookout, or enjoying the warmth of late spring/early summer or doing whatever it is you’re doing instead of being at work, do take a little time to remember those who went before.

Talk to your little dudes about why they’re out of school.

You might also want to consider how you can honor the lives that have gone toward making our country a better place to live. Carrying on that sort of work sounds like the best way to me.

Make our country a better place for all its citizens*. Restore its justification to act as a moral beacon to the world.

Today isn’t only about getting a day off work or a day out of school.

Remember. Act. Improve.

Footnotes & Errata

* You have no idea how tempted I was to insert a blatantly political paragraph/rant here. I think I might have given myself an aneurysm from stopping my fingers. Ow.

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At The Lake

by Richard

Is there anything more relaxing, fraught with the possibilities for so much fun and danger, than a day at the lake?

Well, unless you’re with your parents, or similarly sans-parents and at the beach, I’d have to say no.

What dude doesn’t dream of grabbing some friends, meeting some girls, taking along food and drink and maybe even the supplies for a cookout, and then heading out to the lake for swimming and splashing? It’s the ultimate day-cation.

And it’s where Casa de Dude is headed right now.

To celebrate the graduation of Zippy the Monkey Boy, we’re gathering up some of his friends, his relatives in from out of town and his relatives here and we’re all going to the lake. We’re packed full of drinks and snacks. We’ve rented a pontoon boat and a speed boat so we can drift and we can ski.

Zippy the Monkey Boy is heading off to college in style.

See you on the other side of the lake. Provided I make it that far.

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Don’t Stop. Smell The Roses.

by Richard

On Mother’s Day, in between breakfast in bed and getting set up for the big cookout I was putting on for the local mothers in our family, I took an hour or so off to go for a nice long walk with Buzz, our dog.

We wandered up and down, and to and fro in the neighborhood, just plain enjoying the mild weather and the blossoming flowers. And pooping and peeing with abandon. That last bit was just Buzz. As far as you know. Anyway, I had a great walk and came back feeling oh, so much better than when I set out.

Apparently the walk was a nice way to take a mental health break and help keep my body in shape. And that, dudes, a scientific fact.

According to a study published last week by a team from Essex University, headed by Professor Jules Pretty, in the American Chemical Society’s journal Environmental Science & Technology. “We all feel,” says Pretty, an environmental scientist, “that spring is a wonderful time for nature, but what we have been trying to do is measure that feeling accurately and therefore lift it out of the realms of quackery.”

His paper, A Dose of Nature, finds, in a sample of some 1,250 people, across a range of age groups, that both mood and self-esteem improve significantly in quantifiable ways from contact with nature, especially if that contact includes “green exercise” – i.e. walking, gardening, cycling and countryside sports. “And self-esteem and mood,” he says, “are strong indicators of good mental health, and also, in the long-term, of good physical health.”

It turns out my mom was right after all when she kept yelling at me (in a loving, caring manner of course) to put down the book, shut off the television and go outside, you obnoxious, little germ. Or maybe that was me doing the yelling. It’s so hard to remember at full volume. Anyway.

The study shows, for example, that being in a green environment is better than being in an urban one in terms of a measurable positive effect on blood pressure, hormones and stresslevels. Intriguingly, it also concludes that the biggest beneficial boost from exposure to nature is gained within the initial five minutes of each encounter with the great outdoors. While it continues to reap a harvest thereafter, the crop of positives diminishes. So, it will be the first few steps of a walk through a spring garden that changes your mood most, rather than clocking up the first mile.

I don’t know about you, but I’m definitely going to be adding that to my daily schedule. Five minutes in the back yard for better mental health and physical well being? Sounds like a winner to me. I know my little dudes will be glad to have me in a better mood.

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