RVCA – Behind the Non-Brand

The Dude is not a fan of brands in general. Who cares about who makes what. Rock what you like regardless of a name attached to it.

As the wise men from Run DMC once said, “Calvin Klein ain’t no friend of mine; don’t want nobodies name on my behind.”

To avoid branding entirely these days is pretty much impossible. Brands are everywhere. We have to be very selective. But the one brand I not only don’t mind rocking, but actually enjoy promoting is RVCA.

RVCA has some of the best duds going, but beyond that, these cats are super rad. They are more of an “artist network” than a brand, and they are all about promoting diverse talents, rad gear and gnarly art.

This is a pretty cool behind the scenes of what the brand – I mean artist network – is all about…


(Tip ‘o the hat to Desillusion Magazine.)

Sugru for President! Sugru Will Save the World!

A bit over the top? Perhaps.

But there are a few things I know…about this post, anyway…

  1. If Sugru ran for President, I would have voted.
  2. Sugru just might save the world. From what? From anything. Sugru brings the awesomeness. Hard!
  3. This is one of the best product pitches I’ve seen…ever.
  4. The Sugru dude can hang with the Dude any day. Love his stilo (that’s style folks).

This rubbery, play-dough, super glue/concrete stuff is downright amazing. It may just solve all the world’s ills.

Do yourself a favor and get ye some Sugru…STAT!


(Hat tip to the Swissest of Misses)

The Dude Seeks Life Advice from a Chain Email & a Farmer

Old Farmer from Chain Email

Old Farmer from Chain Email

I hate chain emails as much as the next dude, but sometimes the chain just speaks to you!

I would imagine that I delete 99.99% of chain emails without a mere glimpse. Yet somehow this brilliant advice not only caught my attention, but convinced me to keep it lodged in my inbox for 51 days.

I’ve been waiting for the perfect time to pass on the chain email advice, and here we are…muy perfecto. Not sure what make this perfect other than I’m tired of looking at it after 51 days.

Are you excited?! Me too…I can finally delete this thing.

Here are some seriously wise words from a chain email…and a farmer.

Since an unknown troll under and unknown bridge creates chain emails, I have no one to credit except Tanta Linda. Thanks for clogging my inbox! 🙂

Life from the seat of a tractor – An  old farmer’s words of wisdom we can all live  by… 

  • Your  fences need to be horse-high, pig-tight and  bull-strong.
  • Keep skunks and bankers at a  distance.
  • Life is simpler when you plow around the  stump.
  • A bumble bee is considerably faster than a  John Deere tractor.
  • Words that soak into your ears  are whispered¦….not yelled.
  • Meanness don’t just  happen overnight.
  • Forgive your enemies; it messes  up their heads.
  • Do not corner something that you  know is meaner than you.
  • It don’t take a very big  person to carry a grudge.
  • You cannot unsay a cruel  word.
  • Every path has a few puddles.
  • When you wallow with pigs, expect to get dirty.
  • The  best sermons are lived, not preached.
  • Most of the  stuff people worry about, ain’t never gonna happen anyway.
  • Don’t judge folks by their relatives.
  • Remember that silence is sometimes the best  answer.
  • Live a good and honorable life, then when  you get older and think back, you’ll enjoy it a second  time.
  • Don’t interfere with somethin’ that ain’t  bothering you none.
  • Timin’ has a lot to do with  the outcome of a rain dance.
  • If you find yourself  in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin’.
  • Sometimes you get, and sometimes you get got.
  • The biggest troublemaker you’ll probably ever have  to deal with, watches you from the mirror every mornin’.
  • Always drink upstream from the herd.
  • Good  judgment comes from experience, and a lotta that comes from  bad judgment.
  • Lettin’ the cat outta the bag is a  whole lot easier than puttin’ it back in.
  • If you  get to thinkin’ you’re a person of some influence, try  orderin’ somebody else’s dog around.
  • Live simply,  love generously, care deeply,
  • Speak kindly, and leave  the rest to God.
  • Don’t pick  a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he’ll  just kill  you.

Thanksgiving Canceled! Turkey Day Replaced with Bill Day.

Mark your calendars. 2012 marks the beginning of a new holiday tradition –  end of Turkey Day and the beginning of Bill Day.

Similar to Festivus, it is completely contrived, so it can be anything we want. We reserve the right to add a catchy slogan (how great is “Festivus for the rest of us!?”) and/or adjust the holiday name at a future date.


But more on Bill Day in a minute.

So, The Dude Family trekked up the to DC area for Thanksgiving. Every other year we celebrate Turkey Day with my sister – aka Lady in a Shoe because she has a ridiculous amount of kids…although The Dudes are catching up fast.

Two years ago it broke out into a children’s Thanksgiving Day dance party…a rare sight on eat-until-you-sleep day.

This year, we stretched it out to four days and even included a trip to Washington, DC with three adults and six kids from 2-8…on the Metro! We’re ballsy.

Chillin’ at the White House…

Little Dude at White House

Little Dude at White House

led to antagonizing at the White House…

which led to a White House wrastling match…

White House Wrastling

White House Wrastling

that led us to taking a deep breath and watching the world pass us by at the Washington Monument…

Washington Monument Chillin'

Washington Monument Chillin’

Much to be Thankful for. Indeed.

After a great day in the big city, we learned that Thanksgiving had been canceled!!! 🙁

To be fair, Thanksgiving wasn’t actually canceled. It was just postponed to Friday. But “Thanksgiving Postponed” doesn’t have the same impact.

Turns out the Dude’s Padre – aka Bill – decided to get the flu vaccine the day before the turkey was to be served. And the flue vaccine made him feel muy mal.

Bill, Doc, really?! The day before Thanksgiving? #headshake.

Let me pull up my soapbox and clear my throat….ah hem…this is where I link to the Dude’s Tips for Cold & Flu season as an unveiled “I told you so.” 🙂

So, Bill was too sick to join us for Thanksgiving, and by Friday Grammie had to leave Papa at home to carry on with the festivities.

But Thanksgiving is Thursday, not Friday! Well, it was. Now Thursday has become Bill Day, and Black Friday has become the new Thanksgiving.

All the cool kids are doing it.

Bill Day = do anything you want day. Everyone else is busy, so the world is your oyster. We chose to go for a hike, cut wood, light a fire, drink beer and watch football…while relegating the kids to the basement to fend for themselves.

Much like Thanksgiving…but no turkey. The perfect Bill Day!

Then we enjoyed a great Thanksgiving on Friday while everyone was beating the shiz out of each other to get the last pre-paid cell phone and/or .50 cent towel at Walmart.

All in all, a pretty great tweak to the Dude’s favorite holiday (4th of July is a close 2nd). Although, we did miss you Papa.

But golfing by Sunday?! Are you sure you were sick…or just avoiding a house with 6 kids and a pregnant lady?

Hey, it’s Bill Day…do you. 🙂

The Dude’s New Chopper – You’re Never Too Old for a Toy

I can’t resist the chance to share a Schwarzenegger clip…


Classic Arnold. 🙂

Nothing creates family bonding – and tantrums – like a remote control vehicle the size of a small bird.

The living room at the Dude Casa has a tall ceiling. Perfect for flying vehicles.

Inexpensive remote control helicopters have been on the scene for a few years, but my experience has been that these little bundles of joy are pretty delicate. As a result, I’ve resisted my urge to perfect my flying skills in the Dude air zone.

Until now.

Dude Chopper

Dude Chopper

I came across this sweet whirly bird on Huckberry, and it was a perfect match. A bargain and described as “practically indestructible.” I knew we’d test that description, but worth a $20 bet.

And this beauty has paid for itself in smiles, giggles, and tantrums when the batteries run out…which is every six minutes… literally

A few points…

  1. What, you haven’t heard of Huckberry?! It’s the shiz. Go sign up for the awesomeness. Here’s how they describe themselves: Huckberry is a bi-weekly web magazine that brings you unique apparel and gear at members-only prices along with the stories behind the products. Our emails are awesome and infrequent.
  2. Yes, the batteries actually run out in six minutes, and it takes about an hour to charge. But, honestly, we don’t need more than six minutes with it at a time. It’s a short burst of awesome, and we leave the kids wanting more – i.e. Little Dude kicking and screaming. 🙂 But he gets over it quickly, and he’s jazzed when “Daddy’s helcopter workin’!”
  3. Indestructible? Eh…for the most part. We did break the on/off switch off in the first day. But nothing a MacGyver fix with the back of an earring can’t remedy. And to be fair, it is for 14+ and we’re rocking it with a 2 & 7 year old. So, yeah, pretty much indestructible.



I, Pencil; Mind, Blown!

The world we live in is RIDICULOUSLY complicated.

We get up each day and proceed down the increasingly complex path of daily life, but we loose sight of the complexity. We take what we know for granted because it’s always been there. But consistency doesn’t eliminate complexity; it just masks it.

But the beauty of complexity is that it’s natural. Life is complex. Nature is complex. Complex to the point that life is a miracle.

The smartest minds of our day – of any day –  have no idea about the BIG questions. None.

We’re all just faking it. Complexity IS the norm.

Why are we here? How did we get here? Where are we headed? What’s our purpose?

Right, no answer. It’s complex.

Complexity is great. It’s beautiful. Yet we try to limit it. We try to manipulate the complex so we can feel like we’re in control.

But the reality is that we need to release control. We need to let the complex flow and let nature take its course.

I, Pencil is a mind-blowing example of how simple the complex actually is. Life flows, and we all play our part…when we let it.

The trouble is we do a great job of getting in our own way.

We talk about “the market” when things are good.

And we talk about “bail outs” when things go bad.

Nature doesn’t give us the luxury of choosing when to embrace the complex. The complex just IS.

Let go. And let the complex lead us to simplicity.

A pencil isn’t just a pencil. It’s a mind-blowing process of complexity that is beautiful in its simplicity.

I, Pencil…


Hat tip to Lew.

Is School Broken?

First of all, let me proclaim my love for whiteboard videos. I dig watching thoughts turn into art as if it’s completely spontaneous. Very cool.

But on to the question at hand. Is school broken?

I struggle with this question quite a bit. The Dude Clan has a young one in 2nd grade and two more minds to be molded on the way to the prison that is the compulsory public education system.

Don’t get me wrong. The Dude is a fan of education. I love to learn. Thanks to the internet, I consume information and try new things at a faster clip than I ever imagined possible. I survived 12 years of public school, four years of college, and I even spent a successful year at law school.

But in the end, what did I get out of it? And was the end result worth 17 years of my life?…not to mention the endless money and stress that accompanies the process.  Could there have been a better method? Better for me, and better for the world as a whole?

I understand the value of learning. But the school that we know and love is not about learning. It’s about systemizing and building public servants…but that’s a whole different discussion.

Is school broken? My simple answer is yes, but I don’t have a great solution to this conundrum. I struggle with it daily, and I continue to consider options. We still send the Princess to the public brainwashing daily. For now it works. It is what it is, and we’re all surviving.

But is it the best we can do…the best we can offer our kids? I’m not sure it is. And that’s a painful thought.

I reckon the Dude will have more to say on the education topic, but for now, let’s listen to Sir Ken Robinson’s view of the education system – and enjoy the whiteboarding that rolls along with it…


Hat tip to the Jefferson Sudbury School for sharing the love.

Dude Tips for Fighting Cold & Flu Season – “Nature is smarter than people think.”

“Get up…’cause Mickey loves you.”


Classic Rocky.  Indeed, “nature is smarter than people think.” Much smarter.

Here we are, in the heart of cold and flu season. The Man (aka big pharma and the medical establishment) is endlessly beating us down with reminders to poke ourselves with needles. Why? Because they’re smarter than nature?

How have we survived for thousands, nay millions, of years without their needles?

Because nature is smarter than people think. Thank you Mickey.

As you may guess, the Dude is not a fan of the flu shot. Here, give yourself the flu so you won’t get the flu. Uh, OK?

How about I let nature take its course and see where it goes?

I’m sure there are times where vaccines make sense, and I’m not afraid to eat my words, but let’s not be in a rush to get there. Let’s not be so eager to find the next epidemic so big pharma can poke us.

Just chill. And take some precautions.

Here are some good tips from around the intertubes to fight off cold and flu season. But first, a couple reminders that The Man is not your friend…and the flu/cold season is not as dangerous as they’d like you to believe.

Thanks for sharing the love Lew…

Think for yourself. Don’t let The Man (aka – big media, big government, big business, big pharma, big medical establishment, yada, yada, yada) do your thinking.

Now, with that reminder out of the way, some Dude tips from the webosphere to perform a little Rocky Balboa on cold and flu season’s arse…

[T]he idea is to boost our immune system as much as possible and sooth our symptoms. My solution involves two very common ingredients, Zinc and Lime.

As soon as you start to feel something nasty coming on, follow this protocol:

100mg of Zinc first thing in the morning (I usually take Zinc Gluconate but you can try Chelated Zinc or other forms to see which you tolerate best)

4 Eight Ounce glasses of fresh water with one whole lime squeezed into it

50mg of Zinc right before bed.

I find that this keeps me at 90% or better and I continue this protocol until I feel better. Zinc is a super immune booster as is Lime. Even though lime is a citric acid it has an alkalizing effect in our body and is very cleansing to our systems.

  • 5 steps to staying healthy during cold & flu season from Chris KresserChris is a pretty smart dude. There are some good tips here, but my favorite point – “75% of our immune system is found in the gut.”

    I’m realizing more and more that the gut plays a huge role in our daily lives, and major role in many diseases that plague our society. I’m still learning about the gut, but I have a feeling the Dude will have more to say about the gut down the road.

    By the way, Chris has a killer 6 part series about acupuncture…well worth the read.    

  • The Ultimate Natural Cold Prevention Guidefrom LifeExtension: This post is focused on natural supplements you can take to boost your immune system. But the main point is this:Prevention is your best defense against the common cold. Instead of taking a multitude of over-the-counter drugs or supplements when your symptoms kick in, please take measures beforehand!”

  • 10 immune-boosting steps for flu season from Wellness Times: 10 holistic strategies for strengthening your immune system. And, again, the key is prevention by taking action before any sickness kicks into high gear. By the way, the gut is a tip here too. 
Stay healthy Dude Nation. 

Surf Break: A Back Flip…with a Surfboard?! Insane.

Mark your calendar. November 13, 2012. Surfing was taken to a new level today.

Gabriel Medina, a Brazilian phenom surfer that is making a huge impact on the surfing world, nailed a back flip – A BACK FLIP – on his surfboard today.

Insane. Completely insane.


Hat tip to The Inertia for sharing the love.

12 Tips for a Bueno Casa

You like that Spanglish title? I knew you would.

Last night I shared 10 Tips for Raising Little Dudes. So, it seems like a good time to keep dropping some knowledge in list form.

Tonight’s list offers some ideas for a happy home, and I’m digging these thoughts from The Happiness Project. There are some great tips here that we can put to use at the Dude casa right away.

Here are the bueno tips…with some added comments from the Dude. Enjoy.

12 tips for a Happier Home:

  1. Turn routines into games. No one likes picking up toys. Making it a game is much better.
  2. Control the level of noise. “Inside voice, quiet. Inside voice, quiet.” Yo Gabba Gabba, anyone? For real, keep the yelling to a minimum.
  3. Organize space so it’s attractive, well organized, and well lit. One of my most important Secrets of Adulthood: Outer order contributes to inner calm. – Not the Dude’s comment, but I agree. Get rid of that clutter!
  4. Plan times each day for relaxing activities. For real, relax. We’re all too stressed. Find a way to let it go and be calm.
  5. Encourage a feeling of belonging, e.g., by displaying children’s work and pictures. Love it. Having the kids art work around makes them proud and adds some awesome art to the walls.
  6. Consider children’s reactions when making an unavoidable change. It’s easy to forget how the kids feel. I tend to be the “suck it up” type, but I’m learning to think about feelings more…thanks Mrs. Dude. 😉
  7. Balance indoor and outdoor activities. Every day, outside. No exceptions. Get outside, even if it’s just a few minutes. Breathe fresh air. Remember that we’re all part of nature. Get outside.
  8. Make sure there’s plenty of time to get things done without rushing. Mrs. Dude, did you read that one? Just kidding, you’re perfect. 🙂
  9. Provide opportunities for curiosity and creativity. Same as getting outside, no exceptions. Be curious, be creative; everyday.
  10. Speak in a calm voice. Nice voice, always. Little Dude gets this reminder quite a bit…he’s at the MINE stage.
  11. Explain the behavior you’d like to see in a clear, respectful way. Not “Settle down,” but “Sit in your chair with your feet under your desk.” Not “I could use a little help around here,” but “Please unload the dishwasher so we can get the dirty dishes out of the sink.” – Not the Dude’s comment, but oooh, I dig this. Clarity is crucial….Dude is learning this too.
  12. Meet people’s basic needs. Children and adults need to eat, drink, go to the bathroom, rest, and spend time outside. That’s it. Don’t make life harder than it is. Solve the basic needs, the rest is gravy.