Otter Pops and Libertarian Porcupine Mascot Logo: My New T-Shirts from FavorMerch.com

Last week, the owner of FavorMerch.com reached out to me and asked if I would be willing to help boost his SEO by putting a link to his website in one of my pre-existing posts.

When it was all said and done, I posted the link to his site, and I got to choose two shirts from the thousands of options on his site.

After much deliberation, I found that the two shirts which best defined my identity were Otter Pops and the Libertarian porcupine mascot logo.

So in case you’ve ever heard of FavorMerch, now you know someone who now owns two shirts from that site.

You can also check out the video below, where I tried on the shirts the day I received them in the mail.

If you happen to be either a fan of the Otter Pops or a fellow Libertarian, be sure to let me know in the comments section.

Where my people at?

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Why I Own 7 Puffy Vests (or 3 Reasons I Don’t Own a Jacket or Coat; or 3 Reasons Puffy Jackets are Better Than Jackets or Coats)

Why I Own 7 Puffy Vests (or 3 Reasons I Don’t Own a Jacket or Coat, or 3 Reasons Puffy Jackets are Better Than Jackets or Coats)

Two Christmases ago, I began collecting puffy vests; and gave away my jackets and coats. I now own 7 puffy vests, which only cost me around $18 each; though some of them were gifts:

Red, burgundy, blue, gray, green, orange, and black.

I even own an 8th vest; which is black too, but it’s not a “puffy” vest. It serves as my “outdoor project” vest that I don’t have to keep clean; like when I changed my wife’s car tire after it froze and went flat.

Why I Own 7 Puffy Vests (or 3 Reasons I Don’t Own a Jacket or Coat, or 3 Reasons Puffy Jackets are Better Than Jackets or Coats)

As for my 7 puffy vests, I basically wear one every day from the months of October to March. I think they go well collared button down shirts. I think they look cool and are masculine in an outdoor sort of way.

Why I Own 7 Puffy Vests (or 3 Reasons I Don’t Own a Jacket or Coat, or 3 Reasons Puffy Jackets are Better Than Jackets or Coats)

I fundamentally don’t believe in wearing jackets or coats. I have never liked wearing a jacket or coat. As a kid, my parents always had to tell me to wear one in the winter, telling me I would get sick if I didn’t.

As an adult, in recent years, I’ve gathered my thoughts on the subject and now officially understand why it is that I don’t like wearing a jacket or coat.

Why I Own 7 Puffy Vests (or 3 Reasons I Don’t Own a Jacket or Coat, or 3 Reasons Puffy Jackets are Better Than Jackets or Coats)

1)      I don’t like the responsibility of keeping up with a jacket or coat. Once I’m inside a building, which is most of the day, I typically don’t need my jacket or coat again until the end of the day when I go home. I don’t want to have to worry about forgetting it and leaving it somewhere.

2)      They restrict the use of my fingers. When I first arrive in my office each day, while I am wearing still a jacket or coat because the heat isn’t fully turned on, I find it annoying that the ends of my jacket or coat sleeves slow down my thumbs and sometimes block my view of my fingers as I’m typing; should I need to seem them.

3)       Jackets and coats either keep me too warm or not warm enough. It’s a guessing game. I don’t like having to planning my day about how thick of an outer garment to wear.

Meanwhile, a puffy vest eliminates all 3 of these issues:

1)      Puffy vests take up less space. When I do need to take them off; it’s not a burden having to find a place to put it, nor must I worry about the sleeves of it dragging the floor while it hangs on my chair when I’m not wearing it.

2)      My arms, hands, and fingers are free. When you only wear puffy vests, you learned that unless it’s extremely cold and/or snowing, it’s mainly just your torso that needs to warmth.

3)      They keep my body temperature consistently regulated. Just like an insulated mug keeps cold drinks cold and hot drinks hot, the plastic material of my “torso-sized sleeping bag” keeps my body temperature consistent with itself; as opposed to overkilling the heat like a coat can or not keeping me warm enough like a jacket. When it’s really cold, I can simply wearing gloves, a scarf, and a hat; in addition to my vest.

Why I Own 7 Puffy Vests (or 3 Reasons I Don’t Own a Jacket or Coat, or 3 Reasons Puffy Jackets are Better Than Jackets or Coats)

So between my 7 colors of puffy vests, not to mention my “outdoor project” vest, I’m set. Give away your jackets and coats this Christmas. Buy 7 puffy vests instead!

dad from day one: Pickles and Ice Cream

Thirty-four weeks.

So the legend goes, pregnant women get crazy cravings for weird food combinations.  The token pairing of pickles and ice cream has become so familiar that it’s now a swanky maternity clothing store.  But is it a funny cliché or simply a reality?  For us, it’s the real deal.

Though my wife has not once dealt with morning sickness throughout the pregnancy, she has definitely battled leg cramps.  Of course, I’ve documented how she’s overcome them, by giving her body a surplus of the nutrients the baby is taking.  Yet since then, as our baby has been getting much bigger, the discovery of pickles (which provide electrolytes) and ice cream (which provides calcium) has helped ensure those leg cramps are kept at bay.

And hey, I’ve got no complaints.  Last Friday night we had to make an “ice cream run” after dinner at the house.  She chose a box of fat free Vanilla frozen yogurt, while I chose a low fat French Silk Chocolate.  As usual, she liked mine better.  Her secret to eating low fat ice cream is this- add two spoons of peanut butter and a little Hershey’s Syrup.  Some might think this defeats the purpose of low fat ice cream.  We’d rather live in ignorant bliss.

All pictures with the “JHP” logo were taken by Joe Hendricks Photography:

Blog- www.photojoeblog.com

Website- www.joehendricks.com

dad from day one: Where the Wild Things are Tame

Twenty-four weeks.

As my wife and I have begun registering at Babies “R” Us and Target, a major theme I couldn’t help but notice, particular to boys’ clothing, is the fact that wild, vicious animals are strangely friendly and helpful.  Smiling crocodiles.  Laughing gorillas.  Silly snakes.  Chipper tigers.

In real life, there’s no way I would let Jack near any of those animals unless it’s at the zoo. (Nor would I want anywhere near those animals unless I was at the zoo). Crocodiles, gorillas, snakes, and tigers all represent wild and dangerous elements of life.  But to a baby boy, these creatures resemble how he himself is adventurous and “in to everything”.  Of course, in a world where the baby boy is loved by all and has no concept of enemies, these dangerous beings become neutered, tamed, and enchanted to the point that they all want to be his friend.

The irony- as his parents, my wife and I will be Jack’s supreme protectors and guardians.  We will become the smiling crocodiles, the laughing gorillas, the silly snakes, and the chipper tigers: the paradoxical mix of strength and safety with love and happiness.  Even more ironic- Baby Jack won’t understand all this stuff about friendly yet wild animals and how his parents represent them to him.  All these “cute outfits” are for the adults to enjoy.  But we like to pretend Jack is aware of the fact that his shirt has a picture of a goofy blue beast on it with the caption reading “Mommy’s Little Monster”.  My, what imaginations we adults have!

All pictures with the “JHP” logo were taken by Joe Hendricks Photography:

Blog- www.photojoeblog.com

Website- www.joehendricks.com

How to Wear Dress Pants, If You’re a Guy: Don’t Wear Them With Sneakers and Avoid Khakis

Despite what you heard, don’t wear khakis.  Just because these men’s pants are classic, it doesn’t mean they’re timeless.  In fact, they’re starting to represent a dull and generic image for men’s attire.

Some articles of clothing go with anything, like Chuck Taylor’s.  Then there are specimens like Hawaiian shirts, that arguably go with anything simply because they clash with everything, technically meaning they go with everything.  And then there are khaki pants, which truly look good with anything they’re paired with, in theory.

But not for me.  I’m very particular when it comes to wearing khakis:

1)     They’re the same color as my legs, so I kinda feel like I’m not wearing pants at all.

2)     Because of their good reputation (“you can’t go wrong with khaki’s”) and popularity, they are a bit boring by now.  It’s assumed that a man automatically looks better because he’s wearing tan pants.  I say, not creative enough.  Deduct one point unless worn in moderation.

3)     Despite popular belief, they don’t truly look good with anything.

What has put these thoughts in my head?  Surely just random observances over the last twelve years:

1)     In high school, every Friday the football coach had all the football players wear khaki pants, a white dress shirt, and preferably a tie.  But  many of them wore running shoes.  It came across as predictable and forced to me (which it indeed was).  You want to look nice?  At least change the shoes.

2)     In the movie 40 Year-Old Virgin, Andy (the lead character played by Steve Carell) wears khaki pants in almost every seen.  His attire is most noticeably awful when he first goes to the night club wearing a yellow polo and khakis.  Nerdy, man.  Nerdy.  Same thing in Sideways with Miles (played by Paul Giamatti).

3)     In the past 15 years, khakis and polo shirts have become the official uniform for employees of places like Best Buy.  So now khakis are starting to represent a dull, generic work uniform.

Instead of khakis, try this. Note: Black shoes with black pants. Not brown shoes.

Khakis have become part of a stereotyped outfit of an outdated man from the year 2000: Khaki pants, faded polo shirt, cell phone holder on belt.

Noted, there is a difference between what a man wears to work and what he wears to every other public events.  I know for myself, I don’t care that much what my coworkers see my wearing as long as I don’t look like a slouch.  So yes, I do resort to polo shirts and once every week or two, I’ll wear khakis.

But for many, work isn’t as a professional environment as we often pretend for it to be.  I don’t take as good of care on the clothes I wear day in and day out to work.  Who cares if they’re faded or a little wrinkled?

Bottom line: For a man to truly dress nicely, and appear to be modern yet not trying too hard, he should simply try doing so sans khaki pants.

How?  Charcoal colored pants.  Dark brown pants.  Slate (very dark blue/gray) pants.  But not tan.  Heck, even dark jeans can look better than khakis when done right.

P.S.  If you must resort to wearing khaki pants in an attempt to look nice, do not be temped to wear a navy blazer or jacket with it.  That’s for CEO’s who are 61 years old and don’t realize that it’s no longer cool.  Wearing a navy jacket with khaki pants is for guys still wearing Levi’s jeans similar to Jerry Seinfeld in 1994.

And one more thing… Now that you’ve read my take on pants, why not read my perspective on being a dad?  That’s right- parenting from a dad’s point of view.  I have been documenting my thoughts as a dad since the week we found out my wife was pregnant.  I formally invite you now to read my “dad blog” by clicking on the link below:

dad from day one

Stuck in Back in Time Like Ned Flanders, Dwight Schrute, and Austin Powers

 

Been there, done that, got the t-shirt…

Like a good bottle of Pepsi Clear or a box of Pop-Tart Minis, every person has an expiration date. Of culture, that is. There comes a certain year in a person’s life where they no longer continue moving forward concerning the way they dress, wear their hair, speak, and use technology. I’m not talking about a 16 year old kid who buys all his clothes at Goodwill, proudly showing off his 1985 Huey Lewis & the News t-shirt, and fashions his hairstyle after Ashton Kutcher in “Dude, Where’s My Car?”. Being retro on purpose doesn’t count.

For me it’s most obvious when I’m at Wal-Mart and the cashier lady’s hairdo consists of teased bangs brushed back into a permed Brillo pad of a mullet: 1984.

Or the retired farmer who is still wearing his Dwight Schrute style glasses and refuses to use a cell phone or the Internet: 1979.

Sometimes it’s less obvious- maybe that co-worker with a thick goatee, wearing a cell phone belt clip, still saying quotes from Austin Powers like “Yeah, baby, yeah!”, and whose cell phone ringtone is “With Arms Wide Open” by Creed: 2000.

This concept became obvious to me when I was accompanying my wife as she shopped for clothes on a Saturday afternoon. I walked into a Van Heusen outlet and realized that while they did have some good deals, if I actually attempted to buy anything from the store, my wife probably wouldn’t let me wear it. Why? Because everything available in a Van Heusen store is designed for men who are stuck in 1994.

It amazed me that a whole company would purposely make outdated clothes. But the executives at that company know their audience. If these outdated clothing stores suddenly stopped making pleated light khaki pants, their abandoned customers would just pledge their allegiance to another outdated store instead. Customers who still say “been there, done that, got the t-shirt”. And the t-shirt they are referring to is a Big Dogs shirt with the quote “If you can’t run with the big dogs, stay off the porch!” Yes, because that’s still cool.

Even though I am well aware that every person at some point in their lifetime freezes in the culture of a certain year, my awareness does not exclude me from the inevitable. I admit that whether it’s when I start having kids, or maybe not until I retire, still I will definitely get stuck one year, not even realizing it until it’s too late and I’m either too stubborn or apathetic to change.