Tag Archives: Nuts

Sometimes They Say Yes

Chicago — My middle young dude, Zippy the College Boy, is so over-the-top, face-meltingly hot for cars, it gets sort of scary to walk with him through any big city.

Off in the distance will be some sort of growl or other and Zippy the College Boy will stop dead in his tracks, head cocked like a walking dog trying to identify the rustle in the bushes and deciding if it’s something to sniff, chase, eat or pee on. Not that those are the choices for Zippy the College Boy. He’s trying to identify the make of the car. From just the sound of its engine. Or, if he’s lucky, but the view he gets out of the corner of his eye as it roars past.

So. Cars. He’s in lust with them.

Which makes what happened here in Chicago all the more understandable. We walked past an exotic car dealership called the Perillo Bentley Gold Coast and simply lost Zippy the College Boy. He had to keep using his sleeve to wipe off the window of the store because his breath was steaming up the view, and the drool was making it look sort of runny.

He was in lust. Deeply in lust.

Unfortunately for him, the shop was closed, so he had to content himself with looking in the window. Still, he immediately perked up when his mom and I said he could come back the next day to walk around inside. To which, the next thing he said was approximately: “I need to go get a nice shirt. Something button down and maybe a sport coat. I don’t want them to think I’m some kind of slob. You’ve got to look nice if you want to get into a place like that.”IMG_2042

Not sure where he got that idea from, but it was hard work dislodging it from his head. Eventually I hit him on the noggin several times with my wallet to get across the idea that money talks and it doesn’t matter what it’s wearing. Not that we could afford to buy one of those cars, you understand, but it was the principle.

So we get there the next day and, basically, Zippy the College Boy goes nuts. He took pictures of every single car in the showroom and then started casting covetous glances up the stairs of the place, where he knew there would be even better cars.

Unfortunately, the stairway was blocked with a sign that said, again approximately: no entrance without advance appointment.

He was crushed. He seriously wanted to go up there. “Go on,” I told him. “Ask someone. It can’t hurt.” He refused again and again. Finally, and probably only to avoid hearing me say go on go on go on more, he went ahead and asked.

Lo and behold, he was allowed to go up the sacred stairs and oogle the cars.

All of which brings me to the point of the post and explains the title.

It’s something we need to make sure our little dudes understand. It’s okay to ask for permission to do something. The worst that can happen is you’ll be told no. Just make sure that, if the answer’s no, they don’t keep after it and after it and after it again and again and again.

You’ll never be allowed to do something if you don’t ask.

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Dude Review: Nike+ Fuelband

I’ve been feeling a bit like I’m getting in better shape these days, dudes. And I owe it all to Christmas.

Well, not to Christmas, per se. I mean, really, I probably owe more than a few pounds to Christmas and all the sweets and chocolate and nuts and sweets and chocolate and nuts with chocolate and peanut butter that I scarfed down to fill in the tiny spaces left open after the turkey and key lime pie and vegetable casserole and fondue and chocolate fondue.

So, yes. I was eating a lot.

However, I did receive a very nice gift from my wife, known to me as She Who Must Be Harping On About Health And Fitness All. The. Time., that is helping me lose those extra pounds.

Oddly enough, it was something I asked for. No, not a membership to the pole-dancing-as-weight-loss class. That would be silly. Besides there was already a waiting list for the viewing window and I didn’t want to wait.

No, I received a Nike+ Fuelband. Here’s what it looks like in the black ice version, which is what I received.


The Fuelband is the latest little shot in the fitness wars in which sedate, out-of-shape Americans try to use technology as a way around good, old-fashioned hard work and effort as a way of losing weight.

And, yes, I do include myself among those dudes and dudettes.

Anyway, the whole point of the Fuelband is to fuel that competitive spirit that rages inside every dude. See, the band uses a small accelerometer inside to track your steps and movement and suchlike. Then, using a formula that takes into account your height and weight, it tells you how many fuel points you scored during the day.

The big deal with the fuel points, according to Nike, is that they are designed so everyone is equal. If you gained 3,000 fuel points during the day thanks to the walking you did with the dog and getting up to walk around the cubicle farm, then you gained just as many fuel points as the athlete who worked at cardiotennis until she reached 3,000 fuel points. Just because someone is much better at a sport than you are, that doesn’t mean they will receive more points. Because you both expended the same amount of exertion, just at different levels.

So I set my goal as a relatively modest 2,000 fuel points to begin with and managed to make that pretty handily. So, when school got back into session and I was walking around more with the kids at Wonderful Elementary School, I decided to up my goal to 2,500 fuel points. Even then, I managed to make that goal pretty handily. I’m feeling the need to maybe crank up that goal again.

I’ve got some Facebook “friends” who also have Fuelbands and I’m thinking it might be time to show them a thing or three about how the old people can still move. There’s that competition again. Thanks, Nike.

Strangely, considering this is a Nike product, it’s not actually the top of the line. There are similar gadgets like the Jawbone Up and the FitBit, both of which track sleep activity, but I like the look and the feel of the Fuelband. Plus, there’s that whole fuel points thing where I’m certain to be kicking someone’s butt.

I think I’ll get back to it.

If not the Fuelband (which I do really like), I’d recommend you get something like it. Anything to help you get and stay in shape has got to be a good thing.

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There’s Something Wrong With That Boy

by Richard

Silly me. Here I was thinking that Hyper Lad, at all of 11 years old, had finally reached the age where he would begin to realize that a sub-freezing temperature on the thermometer means it’s actually cold outside and he should dress in some fashion that at least acknowledged that fact.

Again, silly me.

Hyper Lad is the young dude who, in years past, I had to actually fight with to make him wear long pants during the winter. If he had his way, he’d be strutting around in sandals and shorts all year long. No, I don’t understand it either.

He’s at least gotten a little better about things lately, but it’s still enough to drive me nuts. The other day he was out with Zippy the Monkey Boy and the mercury was in the blue. Of course, Hyper Lad decided that jackets were things that happened to other people. What he hadn’t counted on was the deficient parking skill of a certain boy of the simian persuasion. Zippy the Monkey Boy hates trying to get into tight spaces, by which I mean he doesn’t like to have other cars parked within a 100-meter radius of where he’s going to go. Knowing his skills in parking, it’s a pretty sensible precaution.

That meant, however, that Hyper Lad had to do a long walk in the cold, sans jacket, to get where they were going. By the time they had their little walk, he was shivering and Zippy the Monkey Boy was laughing. (Finding the funny in another’s pain is the very definition of a brother, yeah?)

Lesson learned? Well, no, not quite. This morning, I asked Hyper Lad to get his jacket (a flimsy hoodie, but better than nothing) on and head to the bus stop. The temperature was below freezing, as it had been for the last couple of days.

Hyper Lad, though, couldn’t find his jacket. He slapped his head and said, “Oh, yeah. That’s right. I left my jacket at school yesterday.” Which meant he waited outside for the bus, rode the bus with windows open and then played outside before homework, all in the sub-freezing temperatures and all without a jacket.

There’s something very, very wrong with that boy. I’m thinking it might be time to sell him to an itinerant clan of Eskimos somewhere on the arctic tundra. Just for the heck of it.

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