The Beard, a Dude’s Best Friend: Young, Healthy, Handsome, Sunblock & Delicious Beer

Don't Worry My Dad Has a Beard

Don’t Worry My Dad Has a Beard

I’ve often professed my love for facial hair. The Dude is a card carrying member of Beard Team USA, and I even have a blog category dedicated to fun with facial hair.

It seems the beard really is a dude’s best friend…

Long live the beard.

PS – I scored some sweet beard oil for Father’s Day. Never used beard oil before, but I’m sold. The Dude is a smitten kitten. Smells great. Keeps the beardiness healthy, handsome, and shining. Color me impressed.

Space is Super Cool

The Dude has always been a lover of space. The infinite, unknown is very cool. Limitless opportunity.

A quick glance up, and you realize quickly how small we are and how little we know.

Mi padre was a stargazer and took the time to share constellations and rad stellar events as we were growing up. NASA was also a big deal for a long time (what happened to that?!), so space was a regular topic of discussion.

It seems the allure of space has faded a bit these days. Perhaps because our heads are stuck looking down at technology so much.

But space still dazzles the Dude. I love to gaze up at the stars and point out constellations to the kiddos. It doesn’t get much better than a fire-pit  a few brews, and some gazing towards the heavens.

With that in mind, let’s take a few minutos to enjoy some space…

Google Presents an Interactive Visualization of 100,000 Stars: Google may be spying on our every move, but they sure do offer some cool tricks. 

 One Hundred Thousand Stars  is an interactive map of space including the locations of—you guessed it—more than 100,000 stars. (Note: Before you experience the map, you will need to download the Chrome browser.)

Read the full description at It’s worth the read…space is crazy cool!


An Astronaut Self-portrait: How cool is this?!

This awe-inspiring self portrait brings into one frame “the Sun, the Earth, two portions of a robotic arm, an astronaut’s spacesuit, the deep darkness of space, and the unusual camera taking the picture.” – Hat tip to

Astronaut Self-portrait

Astronaut Self-portrait

The Universe & a Brain: And if that wasn’t enough space radness, it seems the Universe is growing like a giant brain. Nature is awesome.

A team of scientists from University of California San Diego recently published a study in Nature Scientific Reports suggesting that the bioelectrical firings between brain cells mirror the shape of expanding galaxies. – Gracias

You Should Stand More.

Seriously, you should stand more.

The Dude has been dropping some healthy living knowledge recently. Although, now that I mention that, what qualifies me to drop health knowledge?

Nothing, really. Other than the fact I’ve been trying to develop a healthy lifestyle for myself for many moons. As I mentioned, I was a certified personal trainer, but that just means I passed a test; I never used it as an occupation. But I have been researching and developing my healthful approach to life for years.

So, bam. I just qualified myself. Maybe all the book knowledge from The Man just gets in health professionals’ way anyway.

But back to the subject of this post, from someone that has no qualifications to discuss this subject; standing. You should stand more.

I’ll preface this post by saying that this may seem a bit strange, but challenging the status qua is a good thing. Strange is a good thing. Embrace it.

I came across this “stand more” idea a while ago, and I committed to standing at my home computer about a year ago. I sit all day at work, so standing at home made complete sense after I dug into it a bit.

Although, I kept sitting at work. I guess I let the strangeness “stand in my way” – you like that play on words? 🙂

A couple weeks ago I started standing at work too. And I love it. I vary between sitting and standing, but that’s probably because I don’t have a standing desk to be comfortable at.  Here’s what the Dude is rocking for his standing desk…

I’m standing more than sitting these days, and it’s super rad. My butt hurts if I sit for much time now.

But (bam, playing on words), don’t take my word for it. Check out all of this stand-up cheer-leading…



Hemingway Standing Desk

Hemingway Standing Desk

  •  Last, but not least, a great infographic about the “The Harm of Sitting Constantly” – love the deathly graphics 🙂 – aka “Sitting is Killing You.


Sitting is Killing You Infographic

Sitting is Killing You Infographic

You should stand more.

The Power of Music – Part II

The other day I knocked out a post about the Power of Music, showing how much listening to music can have positive effects on Alzheimer patients. It’s a amazing to see the immediate reaction in the video.

But the power of music goes beyond listening. Playing music may have an even more profound effect. Perhaps staving off degenerative mental disorders like Alzheimers?

A bold assertion, but there is now scientific evidence that “lifelong musical experience has an impact on the aging process.” And “older musicians [have] a distinct neural timing advantage.”

Pretty cool article from

I’ve always dug great music, but I regret not learning how to play earlier in life. But the great news is that it’s never too late.

I’ve been trying to teach myself the harmonica for quite a while. It’s been a long road, but I’m making progress, and hopefully my efforts rub off on the kiddos.

Let’s start the love of music – listening and playing – early and often. It sure is powerful.

PS – To all you grandparents out there, get to playing. We want you around as long as we can have you.

Dude’s News

The quantity of information available these days is amazing.

A short 10 – 15 years ago, the biggest source of information was TV and radio. We are now inundated with information almost constantly. We are riding the information superhighway after all.

I think it’s about as rad as rad can be. I love finding new sources of information, learning something new, starting a new hobby, teaching myself how to do something I’ve never done. The pace of learning has exploded.

I’m sure it’s a double-edged sword. I’m sure negatives can be argued, but I dig the plethora of information at our finger tips. The drawback I find is having the time to consume all of the ideas that I’m interested in.

I have so much great information coming at me through my RSS feeds (If you’re not familiar with RSS feeds, it’s worth the read – awesome way to collect info you’re into without having to go find it.) that it’s impossible to follow every idea down the rabbit hole, and even content that I dig is often pushed aside or forgotten.

I’ve been collecting a few nuggets of greatness in my email for a week or two. My goal has been to write separate posts for each, but time keeps passing, and the content keeps coming. So, rather than try to get individual posts out, I figure I’ll share them all at once under the amazingly clever name of “Dude’s News”…I know, you love it.

Let’s start with some Local News

Local News
The Boy is a lunatic, and the lunacy grows everyday. Running, screaming, throwing, kicking, and a whole bunch of eating along the way.

Words are coming slowly but surely. He is always moving and exploring, and he’s becoming much more sure-footed. It’s fun to set him loose in the yard and follow him around. A great way to slow down and enjoy some everyday exploring.

The Princess is crushing first grade. Reading like a champ, loving piano lessons, and being a fantastic big sister.

The local news is all unicorns, gummie bears, and rainbows.

Here’s a very cool video from TED (as in “Ideas worth spreading,” TED) about the complex experimenting and decision making that babies and toddlers use to figure out the world around them. I get the impression that the collective “we” views babies as lacking in some of the cognitive muscle that we flex as we get older. But maybe “we” have it wrong.

Judging by Little Dude’s constant exploring mentioned above, I’m inclined to think that psychologist Alison Gopnik may be onto something here. She says something in the video about toddlers not having ADD but rather lacking the ability NOT to pay concentrated attention to all of the amazing things around them, and that seems to fit Little Dude to a T.

Here’s the video description: “Babies and young children are like the R&D division of the human species,” says psychologist Alison Gopnik. Her research explores the sophisticated intelligence-gathering and decision-making that babies are really doing when they play.”


In other science news, here’s an article from Discover titled: 100,000-Year-Old Paint Factory Suggests Early Humans Knew Chemistry.

As in one hundred thousand, 100k, one hundo thousundo! That’s craziness!

As a culture, how can we feel comfortable with the idea that we have any clue about what is going on? We know of a blink in time of history.

Jesus was around two thousand years ago. We have written history for something like ten thousand years. That still leaves 90,000 years between our knowledge and people sophisticated enough to craft paint.  That’s “20,000-30,000 years before archaeologists had previously thought such complex thought processes possible.”

That’s a huge amount of time. Wild.

Lastly in the science department, this is what the Universe looks like. Insane, right? The Universe. You’re looking at it. A second ago I implied we don’t know anything, and now we have an example of us mapping out the entire Universe. Life is full of paradoxes.


As described on “Richard Feynman talking about the beauty of science and of the natural world over a bunch of video footage taken from NASA, Microcosmos, and BBC nature docs like Planet Earth.”

This video is super cool. Got a special place in your heart for Mother Nature? You will after you watch.


In a similar nature-loving vain, here’s a great video of a dude following mountain climbers for National Geographic. The Dude is becoming increasingly intrigued by mountain climbing.

If you have a chance (especially if you have Netflix), check out 180° South. It’s a surfing/mountain climbing “documentary,” and it’s pretty rad…with a rad soundtrack. It gave me a new outlook on mountain climbing. A completely isolated and useless act, but you come back with a new perspective. Anyway, onto the feature presentation.


Amazingly Cool
In the amazingly cool department, ABC News is reporting that the DeLorean is coming back! Back to the Future…Present.

And, it’s coming back as an electric car.

Nice work making electric cars cool. Didn’t think it could be done.

And to round out the Dude’s News coverage, let’s take a quick look at a report from Bloomberg stating that DC now outpaces Silicon Valley for the highest household income in the country.

As Don King is fond of saying, “Only in America.” How is the region that houses the government and all of the cronies that go along with it the highest paid area of the country? How is that possible?

Federal workers earn an average of $126,000 in total compensation!

Our tax money pays them, correct? Do we see the shitstorm going on in country/world right now? Are they really worth an average salary of $126,000? Things are waaaaayyyyy out of whack these days.

Amazingly Cool Part Deux
To end on a positive note, let’s showcase what could be one of the greatest father/son bonding experiences of all time – and absolutely the greatest Hotwheels track the Dude has every laid eyes on (hats off to for another gnarly video)…


1 Year, 9 Weeks: The Yin & Yang of Toddlerhood

1 Year, 9 Weeks: Yin & Yang of Toddlerhood

1 Year, 9 Weeks: Yin & Yang of Toddlerhood

Science is amazing. With a little ingenuity and some perseverance, there doesn’t seem like much we can’t accomplish.

For example, did you know that science has discovered the most annoying sound?! I thought Jim Carey presented these findings in Dumb and Dumber, but it turns out his theory wasn’t backed by science.

It almost seems too basic, but I guess simple is good. So, what could it be? Whining, of course.

Makes sense right? Kids needs something so they whine, and adults jump through hoops to quiet the beast asap.

Seems like evolution was on to something. Would have been tough for cave dudes to save little cave dudes from wooly mammoths if the whine didn’t bother them.

So here we are in 2011 still tortured by the whine, but at least science has finally proven what we’ve all known for millennia; whining sucks. Unfortunately, it’s a necessity, and toddlers are really, really good at it. Little Dude is a natural.

We’re now past the first year mark, and we’ve entered an entirely new frame of reference; toddlerhood. Yep, it’s as scary as it seems. We’ve gone from cute and cuddly to hell on wheels…well, still cute and cuddly, but much more mobile and destructive now.

Along with the mobility and destruction comes the whine. Little Dude has had teeth popping through for what seems like two months, so he has really had an opportunity to perfect the whine. But more than a mere complaint about that aggravating dull pain that he’s dealing with, the whine has become his form of communication. Actually, it’s much more than a whine; it’s a whine that has developed into a scream – a horror movie scream. And he is not afraid to use it.

His mind is always working…and his feet are always moving. Darting from one spot to another, grabbing, throwing, tasting…and screaming. I can only imagine how frustrating it is to be thinking and processing but have no way to communicate wants or desires. The young fella is stuck in that predicament. And his solution is a Freddy-Kruger-is-chasing-me-scream.

So, I’d actually like to challenge science’s whine findings with a recording of this ear piercing scream.

Along with the whining/screaming, toddlerhood also brings the joy of hitting and throwing food…well, throwing anything really, but food is a favorite projectile. The perfect toddler trifecta; screaming, hitting, and throwing. Little Dude has perfected them all.

Sounds agonizing, right? Not really. In fact, it’s amazing to witness the rapid development. The world works in mysterious ways, and any “bad” is generally accompanied by an ample dose of “good.” While it can be fun to complain, there really is a great balance of yin and yang with toddlerhood.

Sure he’s whining and screaming, but that just leads to words; more, Marley (Mar mar), Dada, Mama, Bubba (also referring to Marley…and every other animal), hi, bye bye. Plus, it’s pretty fun to watch a crazy little dude running and screaming. He’s just figuring out this whole communication thing, and it’s pretty cool to watch the process.

Sure the throwing of food and every other object in his path may be a bear to keep clean, and a bit destructive, but he’s just exploring (or so I tell Mrs. Dude). Plus, he’s developing quite a throw!

Sure the hitting is uncalled for, painful, and a bit embarrassing in public, but it’s leading to some incredible new skills; skills that are worth every bit of pain and frustration – hugging, squeezing, holding hands, and my all-time favorite, kisses! Mmmm-aaaahhh. Hearts melt, seriously. Didn’t know hearts could do that, but they do with teeny, tinnie little kisses. Rad.

The yin and yang of toddlerhood is awesome. And the Dude is enjoying every millisecond.