I’m Mr. Clean When It Comes to Personal Hygiene

Cleanliness is next to obsessiveness.

Danny Tanner was OCD about cleaning his full house.  Howie Mandel is insane in dealing or not dealing with germs.  As for me, I am obsessed with feeling clean and fresh in regards to my own body.  If I had to go a full day without taking a shower, brushing my teeth, or clipping my fingernails (they grow very fast; I have to clip them every five days), then it would pretty much ruin my day, like a canker sore.

I keep an extra toothbrush, toothpaste, and pair of nail clippers with me at work.  As well as in my car.  Heckler from the crowd shouts out: “Well you better get used to feeling dirty!  That baby of yours is going to be puking and peeing on you every day…”  But that’s different.  To me, that’s more of an external situation.  I’m obsessed with the internal.

What I get on me, I can clean off and be okay with.  It’s what comes out from within my body that bothers me.  Knowing that sweat is constantly slowly seeping out of my skin and that bacteria in my mouth begins festering again the minute I finish brushing my teeth.  Yikes.

And truthfully, this obsession has a lot to do with my extremely strict diet which is based around “clean eating”.  The way I see it, the foods I put in my body either make my insides cleaner or dirtier.  It’s typically hard for me to eat a big greasy hamburger because I imagine the liquefied, digested fat leaking out my pores.  What a nightmare.

Surely everyone is at least a little bit OCD somehow when it comes to cleanliness.  This is mine.

Here's something else I keep at work. It's that important...

*Unnecessary ethic information: Both Bob Saget and Howie Mandel are Jewish.

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What Makes a Person “Cool”? (Being Subtle, Aware of Social Cues, and Having Something Exclusive)

I asked dozens of people in real life and on facebook in order to find the answer.

There are some things in life we recognize and encounter everyday, yet we don’t understand them.  For example, questions I constantly ask myself as I am writing each day are “is this funny?” and more importantly “is this interesting?” Both humor and being able to captivate a person’s attention are not really cut-and-dry, black-and-white issues, though I am definitely a cut-and-dry, black-and-white person.  It takes being very observant of social cues and even pop culture, at least in my experience, to make it work.  The difficulty and creativity in the search to be both funny and interesting is that both of those things are abstract, moving targets.

I am so overaware (it’s a made-up word but if I keep using it I think I can get it to catch on) and intrigued by marketing tools and methods.  For example, from now on, anytime you see an ad for a clock (not digital) or even just a new clock for sale in a store, you will be amazed at how many of the clocks show “10:10” as the time.  My guess is that “10:10” easily shows both arms of the clock and also it’s a time that many people are awake for both times each day, both morning and night.

Another interesting observation is how many African-American models wear purple in magazine ads and commercials on TV.  From JC Penny catalogs to The Princess and the Frog, purple is present.  Notice how few people of all other races were purple in ads.  I’m sure it’s because the color purple compliments darker skin tones much better than it does for lighter ones, and because purple is a color of royalty, which is a common theme in African-American culture- like the way bishops are often common in African-American churches.  And it may be stretching this concept, but the Disney movie The Lion King takes place in Africa, and as the title explains, it is a movie about a kingdom, even though it’s about animals instead of humans.

So keeping all these things in mind, I started thinking about an important and invisible factor in selling a product: being cool.  Apple computers are definitely cool, as is Steve Jobs who started and runs the company.  Is it because of those TV ads starring Justin Long, portraying PC’s as nerdy and Mac’s as hip?  I don’t think so.  Those ads just cleverly symbolized what many clued-in consumers were already aware of: Mac’s are cooler than PC’s.

Apple has always made their own rules, not being limited to the guidelines and expectations of other computer programs or even customers.  But they get away with it because Apple basically writes The Book of Cool when it comes to media technology: User-friendly computers that don’t really get viruses, iPods, iPhones, and iPads, all of which use a minimal number of buttons, and are so cool they don’t easily interact with other Apple products.

This being said, “coolness” is important in selling a product.  And that’s why marketing departments exist- to try and figure out, or at least convince people what is cool, so the product can be sold.  But the art of being cool doesn’t just apply to big companies and marketing teams, it also matters to us as individuals.  People are often drawn to other people who they think are cool; therefore being cool yourself may in turn attract other cool people.  I mean, some people are fine with regularly attending Star Wars conventions or sharing a house with 8 cats all named after cupcake flavors.  But just as that “uncool” example shows, even if we truly don’t care what other people think about us, being cool is definitely better than being uncool, if given the choice.

So what makes a person “cool”?  I’ve asked dozens of people both in real life and on facebook to find out the answer.  There were mainly just a few different answers, some being gender specific, some not:  Some males answered “money and material possessions” while some females answered “appearance and clothing”.  But the most reoccurring answer I received was “being confident to the point that the person truly doesn’t care about what other people think or say about them”.  Another similar answer that resonated well with me was “a cool person has something you don’t, even if it’s just confidence”.

Interestingly, the age of the people I asked made no difference to the kind of answer I got.  Not only do older people think that “confidence” defines being cool, but I also realized that being young isn’t a requirement in order to be cool.  I can think of three musicians who I’ve listened to my entire life who are still making music and for whom I’m still buying their albums and happen to all be currently right around 60 years old: Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, and Phil Collins. Age has nothing to do with being cool.  If anything, being young is a major disadvantage in being cool, since life experience is lacking.  Most teenagers only think they know what is cool, but many of them are trying so hard to be cool that they are not- which brings me to the first Rule of Being Cool.

The Rules of Being Cool

1) If you realize or acknowledge that you are cool, you either never were cool or are now no longer cool. Like John Mayer.  I will always love his music, but I refuse to think he’s cool anymore.  By the time he publicly started dating celebrities then disrespecting them later in magazines while making an arse of himself with prideful comments and talking about how much money he makes, it became official: John Mayer is aware that he’s cool, which officially disqualifies him for being cool.  I can’t totally discredit the guy, after all, he did pen the song “83” (I’ve been obsessed with the year 1983, since 1995) and it was one of his concerts that transformed a friendship into a dating relationship into a marriage into a family (the first date my wife and I went on was a John Mayer concert).  But John Mayer is officially disqualified from being cool.

2) You must be aware of social cues, but not become ruled by the expectations of other people. Obviously if a person doesn’t care whatsoever what people think, he could be rude, selfish, and only shower once a week.  But it takes more than not caring what people think and participating in personal hygiene, it takes being aware of the social expectations that actually matter: Like being friendly, positive, and simply passionate about things that are important, while not being self-centered, vain, or overly aggressive. Why?  Because a person who has these attributes I just listed in italics is a confident person.  When I meet a person who is constantly being negative and is generally condescending to others, I see a person who is unhappy, unfulfilled and desperate to find confidence; needless to say, that’s not a cool person.

3) You must have something that others inspire to have. Whether it’s wit, aggressiveness, style, a high income level, or personal character, just to name a few examples, we use other people as models for our lives.  Yes, being cool depends on who you ask, since it’s largely based on perception.  Yet still, confidence can always be found as the foundation of coolness.

And that’s it.  That’s how I define what makes a person cool.  From Zack Morris in the fictional world, to my own family and friends in the real world, I am blessed to know cool people.  Just as iron sharpens iron, so do cool people enhance each other’s coolness. Therefore, be cool to one another.


Unnecessary Bonus…

Ethnic Backgrounds of Celebrities Mentioned in This Post:

Steve Jobs (half Syrian, half English)

Justin Long (half Polish, Sicilian, English)

Phil Collins (English, Irish)

Bruce Springsteen (50% Italian, 37% Irish, 13% Dutch)

Tom Petty (English, 1/4 Native American Indian)

Henry Winkler as “The Fonz” (Jewish)

John Mayer (half Jewish, half German)

Mark-Paul Gosselaar (half Indonesian, half Dutch)






dad from day one: Light Years Away

Twenty-one weeks.

Baby Jack is starting to kick now.  Of course I’m assuming that he’s also simply moving around and turning inside there as well- not just kicking.  So it may not be his foot, but instead his elbow, or even his head that my wife and I are feeling.  This morning in my less-than-conscious-waking-state-of-mind, my wife placed my hand on her stomach, saying, “Do you feel him moving?”  I did.

And as real as this is, that our son is actually inside there, so lively, it’s still engrained in my brain somehow  Baby Jack is light years away, floating around in a heavenly baby universe until November.  Despite feeling him with my own hand, with just centimeters separating the skin of my hand and the skin of his body, despite him literally being a matter of a few feet away (or less, depending on how near I am to my wife), I’m having trouble grasping that in reality, he’s right there.

Jack's body is the length of a banana.

Jack's body is the length of a banana.

Not in another world.  But here.

Here’s what The Bump says this week:

“Baby gulps down several ounces of amniotic fluid every day, both for hydration and nutrition and to practice swallowing and digesting. And, these days, those taste buds actually work! Studies show that after birth, babies are most interested in tastes they’ve already experienced through amniotic fluid. Meaning, think about what you want your future child to eat as you prepare your own lunch.”

http://community.thebump.com/cs/ks/blogs/2ndtrimester/pages/week-21-banana.aspx?r=0

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

Blog- www.photojoeblog.com

Website- www.joehendricks.com

Taking a God-Nudged Leap of Faith (Like a Guinea Pig)

And hoping not to fall like an idiot in the process.

Thinking back on the lyrics of the popular traditional song, I’ve never really understood or wanted to understand why ten lords were ever leaping in the first place.  But after much thought, I perhaps have come to the realization that I have been one of those lords a leaping the entire time.  Needless to say, I’m not cool with wearing tights.

Desperately trying to avoid imagined images of myself wearing tights, yet still needing to get a grasp on my way of thinking, I’ve always been a bit of a Peter Pan.  (You may say that I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.) People like me never really grow out of that 1980’s propaganda mindset for kids that taught us we could do anything dream of if we put our mind to it.  Then we graduate college and realize that with this many people graduating college, having a college degree is less of a major advantage and more of a basic necessity.

On paper, my life looks pretty normal and planned out and even typical.  But behind the scenes, my life is series of leaps of faith that always got me where I wanted to be.  And I think by now, I’m just used to it.  My life plans are often void of much practical reason, instead, they are intertwined with my lofty dreams which I interpret as God’s will for my life.

I realized a while back that God tends to use me as the Guinea pig.  He already knows the plan will work but I become the human example to show others.  This is a fate I have accepted with surprisingly little fuss.  One of out 20,000 people in America has dyshidrosis, a vicious form of eczema that consumes a person’s hands and much of their body.  I was one of those 20,000 people.  But after several years of devastating torture embedded with anxiety and some depression, my skin problem has now 100% left me.  But God wouldn’t instantly heal me like I prayed for Him to do about 30 times a day.

Instead, He spoke through the wisdom of soft-spoken people in my life.  As well as random websites.  I now know the cure for dyshidrosis and eczema.  I proudly serve as God’s spokesman on how to overcome the skin condition, refusing any monetary compensation.

I feel honored to give out  this information.  Read The Cure for Eczema. Also, my e-mail address is listed on the upper right side of the screen for my more info.

That being said, I had prayed that God would get me around or over the problem, instead He took me through the problem to the other side.  And that is a classic (yet annoying) truth about life.  God doesn’t often use instant magic to fix our problems, He enables us to solve them ourselves.

But ultimately, even after God equips us with the wisdom and direction we need to solve the current problem; the ultimate issue is whether or not we give God the credit for it.  I remind myself that life is ultimately a spiritual war, and we can either say “God is good” or “look what I figured out” when we move from “tragedy” status back to “normal”.

Like the game between Jacob and The Man in Black on LOST, we serve as islanders who prove to the spiritual audience what’s really inside of us. It’s true that physically spoken words here in the physical world play a major part in the spiritual world.  That’s why I take these words of King Solomon so seriously in Proverbs:

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding, but in all things, acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight” (3:5-6).

So whatever leap of faith that is required of me from God (or that I throw myself into), I have to ask myself, “what’s the worst that can happen?”  If it is of God, or God finds favor in my plan, I’m not convinced that God will allow me to simply make a fool of myself when I am completely focused on finding a way to honor Him through it.

“Something good coming, there has to be… And I’m in it for the long run, wherever it goes, riding the river.” –Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (“Something Good Coming”)

Read the sequel to this blog, by clicking right here.

For a related post by the same author, read Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People ?

And one more thing… Now that you’ve read my take on faith, 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

The Cure for Eczema and Hand Dyshidrosis: Replace Processed Sugar by Eating Whole Fruits, Get Rid of Metals, Consume Chlorella, Sweat a Lot, Become a New Person

STOP! WAIT! This blog post is nearly 7 years old. I only keep it online to document my journey in curing dyshidrotic eczema. But I have learned a lot more since I wrote this back in 2010…

I beg you, please, instead, read the much-updated, and much more accurate 2018 version of this article. Just click the link below to find out how to cure dyshidrotic eczema:

How I Cured Dyshidrotic Eczema in 5 Steps and Have Remained Symptom-Free for 5 Years (But No One Cares Since I’m Not a Medical Expert)

It costs nothing but a lifestyle change.

For you to be taking the time to read this article, chances are you or someone who is close to you has suffered for years from the skin condition known as eczema.  Of course, after visiting at least a few doctors and/or skin specialists, the answer was that there is no cure.  Then a topical lotion was prescribed to “help keep things under control”.  But there is a cure that I had to discover the hard way, and thank God for it.

Make note that I am in no way a medical doctor.  And that’s a good thing.  Because the doctors say there is no cure.  But I say there is.  And I’ve been cured of eczema, specifically dyshidrosis.

I will make no money by telling you the cure.  You will not buy a book from me, nor will you subscribe to website that costs you any money.  You will simply read what I have to say and apply it to your life.

My hand a few months before it got really bad.

This is a very cut-and-dry issue.  It works if you do it.  It doesn’t work if you don’t, or if you cheat yourself by not fully committing.

If you are desperate enough to be healed, like I was, you will be willing to change your lifestyle.  And that’s what this will cost you- your lifestyle.  But not your life.

How to Be Cured of Eczema

1)     Completely cut out sugar from your diet, except for fruits in their whole form.  That means no fruit juice.  That means no yogurt (which is loaded with sugar.)  Instead, eat at least three servings of fruit everyday: bananas, oranges, apples, and grapes are the easiest and cheapest way to go.  You need the healthy sugar from the fruit with the fiber from the fruit.

This is the exact cilantro/chlorella extract I used.

2)     Completely cut out unnecessary metals from your body.  If you have metal fillings in your teeth, get them taken out.  (I even had to switch to a ceramic wedding ring.) If you have cartilage piercings, remove them.  Stop eating shellfish (shrimp, scallops, lobster, etc.), which have high levels of heavy metals.

3)     Sweat as much as possible.  If you have access to a sauna, take advantage of it.  If not, do plenty of outdoor exercise.  If nothing else, sunbathe.  Sweat helps remove the toxins from your body that sustain the eczema.

4)     Eat lots of chlorella (seaweed extract) and cilantro.  These both help your body to extract the poisons in your body that feed the eczema. I used a heavy metal detox like this one.

5)     Read these other articles I’ve written which explain more about why the first four steps are so important:

The Shell Diet

healthnutshell: The Unholy Trinity of Food

healthnutshell: A Tablespoon of Sugar or a Cigarette

healthnutshell: No Pork on My Fork

You should start seeing results by the third week.  It took me about seven months for my body to be fully removed of my eczema.  And if you go back to your old lifestyle, (not following my 5 steps) your eczema will return.  You have been chosen to live a different lifestyle; you have to accept it.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions, concerns, or stories you have for me.  Remember, I’m not a doctor.  Just someone who’s been where you are and wants this good news of hope to be spread.  There is a cure.

Contact me by email: nickshell1983@hotmail.com