Brothers Hug. And So Should You.

Tommy Boy knew it. So did psychotherapist Virginia Satir…

We need 4 hugs a day for survival.
We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance.
We need 12 hugs a day for growth.

We need hugs. Lots o’ hugs.

The good news for all of the parental units out there, kids are great at hugs.

9 Reasons You Need to Be Giving & Receiving Hugs Everyday

  1. Stimulates Oxytocin
  2. Cultivates Patience
  3. Prevents Disease
  4. Stimulates Thymus Gland
  5. Communication Without Saying a Word
  6. Self-Esteem
  7. Stimulates Dopamine
  8. Stimulates Serotonin
  9. Parasympathetic Balance

12 Tips for Fatherhood Awesomeness

Little Dude - Before THE Haircut

Little Dude – Before THE Haircut

Short, but sweet.

I’d like to think I have a firm grasp on the majority of these tips, but some great reminders never hurt.

12 Tips for being a radical dad [from LifeHack]…

  1. Give ’em some love.
  2. Spend time with the rug rats.
  3. Show up at the big game/recital.
  4. Show the kids things you dig.
  5. Talk to them.
  6. Reading is always cool.
  7. Be grateful. And show it.
  8. Play.
  9. Treat everyone with respect and kindness.
  10. Smile.
  11. Pursue your bliss.
  12. Never too many “I love you’s” Prime + Subscribe & Save = a Crazy Awesome Life Hack

I’ve shared some sweet life hacks in a previous post – 99 Problems But a Hack Ain’t One – and now I have a new fav… Subscribe & Save

Amazon needs no introduction. I’ll keep this short and sweet.

Prime is pretty cool. Free shipping changes online shopping quite a bit. Amazon has become my go-to when I need just about anything.

But Prime is only half the battle.

Subscribe  & Save is where the magic happens.

Setup a subscription for pretty much everything other than food. Set the frequency. Bam! Not another thought.

Walmart, Target, Costco. No need.

Set it and forget it. Save money. Save time.

I’m sure my UPS dude isn’t digging the extra boxes, but it’s a pretty awesome life hack.

I swear I don’t work for Amazon, but check out these sweet benes:

  • Save up to 15% on your entire order when you receive 5 or more subscriptions on your monthly delivery day
  • Receive free shipping on every Subscribe & Save shipment
  • Cancel at any time – there are no commitments, obligations, or fees
  • No upfront charges – pay only when the item is shipped

Gracias Amazon. Keep up the awesome.

Don’t Underestimate the Power of a Checklist. Especially Super Awesome Kid Checklists.

A quick update. We are now three weeks into our adventure with Bruce Feiler’s The Secrets of Happy Families.

Short story. It’s pretty awesome.

It’s a work in progress. One great change is our weekly Family Meeting. Still finding our groove and building habits, but a sweet reason for everyone to sit down and talk once a week. Perfect.

But the biggest impact is the checklist. The morning checklist rocks. Amazing how smoothly chores/habits are reinforced with a simple checklist.

We put our checklists on the fridge with dry-erase markers. Simple. Convenient. Easily accessible. And they use it every morning…with very little reminder. Huge change.

As Feiler points out, you can’t underestimate the power of the check-mark.

But checklists are especially radical when the kiddos write them. Check out these awesome to-do lists that Mashable shared…


Get dizzy. Sit down. Classic.

Get a checklist. They work.

Awesome Life Advice from an Awesome Dude, Kelso.

Check out this awesome life advice from Ashton Kutcher. At the Teen Choice Awards no less.

Kelso may not be able to find his car, but there’s more than meets the eyes.

Seriously good advice to teens….or anyone. Nice work taking the high road Chris.


Hat tip

When Life Attacks You With Birds


When birds attack - mocking bird umbrella

When birds attack – mocking bird umbrella

For as long as I can recall, my father has had one predominant fear…

  1. Birds – Seriously, birds. He doesn’t trust them. Their fast and unpredictable. Shifty little characters. Doesn’t want to be around them. Doesn’t want to talk to them. Definitely not as a pet. And most certainly no birds swooping in an attack like manner in his general vicinity.

We’ve let him know how crazy this fear is…on countless occasions. An ongoing family joke…the crazy old man that fears birds.

Come on, how often do birds attack?

I’d say the warm glass of life is half full most of the time. Not many bird attacks. Lots of radness.

Except when it’s not.

Life is fast and unpredictable…like those damn birds. 

I believe the good far outweighs the bad, but sometimes birds DO attack.

It turns out the Dude’s Padre is in the process of losing at least a portion of his eye sight. He’s 65’ish, so I guess he’s had a good run with seeing and all, but it’s never cool to lose the ability to see low flying objects…like birds.

The Old Man has AAION, which basically means he had a little stroke in his eye, and the result is lost vision. No treatment. Just the lose of vision to some degree in the effected eye.

Right now that’s about 25% of the left eye. No telling how much he’ll lose just yet, but it is slightly better than the more progressive form that can take 100% of sight and require years of steroid treatment.

Crazy old man stuff.

Getting old is hard. It’s difficult when systems malfunction.

However, as hard as life can be, as hard as aging can be, I suspect there’s an art to it. And I suspect that much of the art of living/aging has to do with our ability to laugh. Laugh at ourselves, laugh at the world around us, and laugh at the downright absurdity of life.

Losing vision is not cool. But finding a reason to laugh definitely is.

In addition to being crazy, life is also pretty comical.

The Old Man has to figure out how to deal with the stress of vision lose, and the effects this will have on his life. The figurative birds of life are on the attack.

But to lighten the mood, life has also sent actual live birds to attack as well. 


A pair of mocking birds is holding my parents hostage in their own house. It’s a war zone.

I got the full report over the phone last night. I called to get an eye update, and after some somber discussion, the hilarity ensued.

Two mocking birds have a nest with babies in their yard. The “attacks” have progressed from near the nest to throughout the entire yard. They can’t leave the house without the birds swooping in.

My Dad has been running to and from the house with a tennis racket! It has now progressed to an umbrella.

He has done his research, and once the eggs arrive, it is a punishable offensive to get rid of the birds/nest. The nest is there to stay until the babies leave.

He’s also learned that mocking birds claw larger birds with their talons while also defecating and vomiting on them. Awesome! The bird fear has expanded in grossness.

As I was on the phone, my Mom arrived home, and I was able to listen as my Dad yelled out directions from the upstairs window…

  • You’re good. I see them both in the nest.
  • Uh oh, they see you.
  • They’re on the move.
  • Get going! They’re coming for you!

Battle orders. Fantastic.

Never easy to see the comedy of life as you experience it, but the Old Man with eye sight dwindling and bird fears growing, was able to brush aside the stress and cackle with his son about the absolute absurdity of life.

The first time he laughed in over a week. And I’m glad I got to share it.

So what’s the moral of the story?

  • Irrational fears aren’t always irrational?
  • Worry about something for long enough and it will happen?
  • We’re all under attack by a new race of super birds?

I’d say the lesson here is that life is unpredictable. Things will change, the road will get bumpy…birds will attack, but we need to find a reason to laugh. 

Life is short. Enjoy what you have…while you have it.

Awesome Update:

Got this text from front line this morning…

The birds won’t attack if you look at them, so there are eyes to download. Our tactics are working.

The Art of Wrapping Your Extension Cord

How have I survived?

Small tricks make a big difference. It makes me wonder how many other fantastic tricks I’m missing.

Here’s a great post from about wrapping your extension cords. Awesome.

I’m always wrastling with tangles. I’m the typical throw it around your elbow and wrap. Not any more.

This slip knot approach looks sweet.


Although, I will say there’s some chatter in the comments about life of extension cord, yadda, yadda, yadda. I clicked through to another suggestion, and there is a cool “over, under” method that is pretty rad too.

Happy wrapping.

Over, Under Method:


Big Lebowski Buffet

The Dude

The Dude

I’ve professed my love for The Big Lebowski in the past.

The Dude abides. And that’s a nice way to live life.

I’m always excited to come across something Lebowski related, and this week I was blessed with three Dude sightings in my online travels.

A bit of a Big Lebowski Buffet to share with you…

1. An Esoteric Take on The Big Lebowski

This article gives a nice, quick history of The Big Lebowski, and digs into what makes The Dude so great – in this Dude’s humble opinion any way – The Dude’s approach to life.

The spiritual, philosophical, or esoteric undertone of The Big Lebowski that is oh so groovy. This is the idea behind Dudeism – by the way, I’m ordained. 😉

Here’s a taste of what the article offers about The Dude’s groovyness…

  • [N]othing seems to phase the Dude. Yes, he gets angry (to the point that Walter tells him: “Come on. You’re being very unDude.”), swears constantly, and talks back to Walter and many other unreasonable people who seem to surround him like mosquitoes, but soon he will be stirring himself another White Russian, or will have a smoke, or relax in a warm bath.
  • Occasionally he resorts to the gentle movements of Tai chi to keep stress at bay. Like a mystic, he focuses on the big picture. Better yet, like a true mystic, he doesn’t focus at all.
  • There is something transcendental about this: the Dude rises above all circumstances.
  • Dudeism: Much has been made of Dudeism, a philosophy of life inspired by the Dude. But there’s nothing new in this, as he seems to belong in the great stream of Philosophia Perennis which, down the millennia, has produced strikingly similar concepts even if expressed in different ways and from different cultures and ages. And in fact the proponents of Dudeism cite Lao Tzu, Epicurus, Heraclitus, the Buddha, and the pre-ecclesiastical Jesus Christ as examples of ancient Dudeist prophets.
The Dude and the Zen Master

The Dude and the Zen Master

2.  The Dude and the Zen Master

Is Jeff Bridges The Dude in real life? He just might be. Here’s a new book with Bridges and his Zen Master/friend Bernie Glassman – The Dude and the Zen Master. I’m sure there are some rad thoughts on life tucked away in here.

3. The Big Lebowski Explains the Fiscal Cliff

In my opinion, the “Fiscal Cliff” is a joke. The US/world is definitely facing a massive fiscal cliff – probably a wide variety fiscal cliffs – the political/media charade that we’ve watched promoted over the past few weeks hardly addresses the BIG issues.

But thank the holiest of holy that the great politicians saved the day at the last minute on New Year’s Day! Just like a Hollywood movie. Hmmm.

However, with the out of the way, here’s a quick use of The Big Lebowski to try to explain what went down in Washington as politicians continue to convince themselves they are saving the world while they are actually steering towards the ice berg that is “dead ahead.” And any reason to share The Dude is good with the Dude.

PS – Here’s one of my fav jams – 75 & Sunny from Boston native Ryan Montbleu – that I was grooving to while slapping away at the keys this morning. Great vibe for a Saturday morning contemplating The Dude.


What’s up 2013?!

Adios 2012. So much for the end of the world. Ho hum.

Hello 2013!

The year of the Dude?! Fo sho. We expect big things every year. 🙂

Although, 2013 is most definitely going to get off to a fantastic start. The newest addition to the Dude Clan did not make an appearance during the holidays – although we were pretty darn sure we were close a couple times. So, we’ve crossed into a new month and a new year.

The Dude can only nest so much. I don’t think the house can get any cleaner. So, we’re just relaxing and waiting for the bambino to decide it’s (he or she?!) ready to say hi. Apparently there’s some cooking left to be done. No rush, baby, no rush.

I’m generally not much for New Year’s resolutions. I’m of the mindset that if you want to get ‘er done, then get ‘er done. We don’t need no stinkin’ resolutions.

However, we’ve had some time to kill, and I’ve come across some nice thoughts in my online travels, so here are some New Year’s thoughts – not resolutions – I’ll share with y’all…

Carpe Diem 
I subscribe to an online magazine called Bearings – “A Southern Lifestyle Magazine for Men.” It’s pretty great – food, music, fashion, drinks. I highly recommend it. They sent along a great end of the year message, and since you’re not a subscriber – yet, I thought I’d share a piece of their great message…

Seize the Day –  We are living bridges between who we were yesterday and who we can become, but the difference between the masterful and the mundane life is whether we make the most of the here and now. While some languish in their ode to past failures and others give up on their becoming because tomorrow never arrives, may we seize the day – purposefully living with the time, people and resources we have today.

Like I said, I’m not much of the resolution type, however, this is a pretty great list of 12 Powerful Resolutions You Should Make Every Year. Although, these feel like great life lessons more than fleeting resolutions.

I just started following this cat, but I’m digging what he’s laying down. I’ll let you click over to see the full list, but here are a couple good examples…

5.  Focus on solutions.

Life gets better when you choose to make it so.  Negative people make lots of noise about how bad things are, while positive people quietly and steadily improve things.

There are always problems, there are always challenges, and there are always people willing to transform those problems and challenges into great opportunities.  Those who have the courage, commitment and discipline to do so, create a better life for everyone.  Be one of these people.  Focus on solutions and work your way eagerly toward a brighter future.

9.  Set a good example.

It’s not about what you say; it’s about how you live your life every day.  The people who look up to you are watching you all the time.  These people are like sponges – what they see or feel you do, they will imitate.  So remember that your words mean a lot less than what you’re doing.  Choose to believe that you can and will change lives with what you do each day, and you will.

Let your actions speak for themselves.

Life Lessons
Speaking of life lessons, here’s a good list of 50 important pieces of advice that people usually aren’t told. Day 1 of a new year – a great time to soak up some great pieces of advice. Click on over for the full list, but here are a few of the Dude’s favs…

  •  Don’t lie to yourself.
  • Wealth is measured by your happiness and not by your financial statement.
  • Nobody has it all figured out.
  • Take your time.
  • Make mistakes  and LOTS of them!
  • Stop thinking so much and act.
  • Swallow your pride and apologize.
  • The grass is only greener where you water it.
  • You and you alone control how happy you allow yourself to be.
  • Be present here and now. You are lucky. Your life is a gift. Realize it.

Here’s to an awesome 2013! Keep on keepin’ on.

PS – Here are 10 great inspirational manifestos if you need a little added motivation.