Posts About ‘Guy Stuff’

The Power of Dad

Monday, June 10th, 2013

Dad teaches Dylan about canoeing

This is a sponsored post for Father’s day as part of Oral-B’s Power of Dad campaign.  I’m required to disclose a relationship between our site and Oral-B. Oral-B provided us with content, product, access or other forms of payment. All opinions are my own. 

Being a dad is the most wonderful thing in the world.

Sure, some days are harder than others and it can be very stressful. But, ask any guy who is a father if it is worth it and he’ll say yes.

When Oral-B contacted me about taking part in this program I was a bit hesitant. Brands don’t always shine a light on dads in a light that I’m comfortable with. But, after watching this video I agreed to take part.

The Power of Dad is an important thing. I remember many moments growing up (and still to this day) when my dad gave me pause and I realized how great of a father he was.

One memory that comes to mind is when he took my son on his first canoe trip.

Outdoor activities had always been a part of my life growing up. No matter how much I complained or wanted to do something else, my dad always took us on hikes, camping and canoeing.

I’m thankful he did this because as I grew older, I learned to love these activities. To this day some of my happiest moments are when I’m dirty, tired, but outside in nature.

We went canoeing and I got to see first hand my dad being excited about being a grandfather.

He was teaching my son how to paddle, skip rocks and the basics of how to handle a canoe. Sure, he was too small to appreciate it at the time, but I realized that I was witnessing the same lessons he had taught me when I was too young to remember them all.

I think part of the #powerofdad is that you don’t realize how much you are passing on to your kids when you are doing it. You hope that they keep the important stuff, but it may take years before they hit home and you find out if they stick or not!

Thanks dad for always teaching me to love nature even when I didn’t want to!

I also want to thank Oral-B for asking me this question and for shining a light on dads. I wish more brands realized the importance of fathers and it honestly was easy to say yes when the campaign is done as well as this one is.

Hope all the dads out there have a great Father’s Day and feel free to share your own stories.

Gillette Goes Gold For the Olympics

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

I’ve always been a Gillette guy.

Not sure why, but thinking back it is the razor I’ve always used. Might because they are local or perhaps it is just what I first tried and never saw a reason to switch.

When I first heard about their newly rebranded products for the 2012 London Olympics I giggled. Is there really a need to rebrand for one event like this? Does it make a difference?

The short answer is probably no, but then the more I thought about it, the more I liked it.

Gillette is an official sponsor of the US Olympic Team. They obviously wanted to showcase this in a unique way and painting their razors gold for a limited time is a fun and unique way to do it. It doesn’t make the razors are any better than they already were, but perhaps it gives you a bit of a warm fuzzy knowing you are helping our athletes go for gold.

In addition to their ongoing partnership with the Olympic Movement and support of 24 athletes including Ryan Lochte and Tyson Gay, Gillete has rolled out the following  limited-edition Olympic-packaged products: Gillette Fusion ProGlide Razor , Gillette Sport Body Wash and Gillette Clear Gel Antiperspirant & Deodorant Sport.

So even if you can’t run or jump like an Olympian, at least you can be shaved and smell good like one.

I also have to give Gillette huge kudos for the ad below that they ran during Father’s Day. It was awesome to see dads getting some props finally.

I shaved with my gold razor the other day since Gillette sent me one and I wanted to see if it felt any different. It is still the great razor I’ve always used, but with a bit of American pride now built into it.

Go Team USA!

Fast cars, Big Money, Bored Daughter

Monday, February 20th, 2012

I’m standing before a mint-condition, piercing red 1965 Bizzarrini P538 race car. I can’t even muster a word, like that awe-struck kid who’s utterly speechless in the presence of his hero ballplayer. The Bizzarrini is a one-of-a-kind Italian sports car that just oozes sex and speed, and it’s so surprisingly low to the ground that even a toddler could climb in. Oh, right. My 3-year-old daughter is with me – and she couldn’t care less about the Bizzarrini that I’m about to lick.

This moment is poignant because it reminds me what it means to teach your kid something (or to try to). It means that something is important to you, whether it’s the significance of a religious holiday, or a story told to you decades ago by your own parents, or a personal life value that you desperately want your child to adopt. Or a shared passion for gorgeous, hand-crafted European race cars that make most dads stop dead in their tracks.

While I certainly feel a bit foolish in the moment, I have to admit I’m still determined to teach my daughter the words Ferrari, Aston Martin, and Lamborghini. I brought us here because I want her to appreciate that these vehicles are absolute marvels of imagination and technology. I want her to feel what I feel, that visceral, heart-thumping excitement in response to these rare machines with their growling V-12 engines and luxurious exotic styling. And that’s why I’m a complete idiot. Because it’s not the right place or time for that.

As I force my daughter to stand there longer with me, I realize that she’s not actually bored with the car itself but with the gallery where we’re viewing it. She begins aggressively swinging the blood-red felt rope that separates us and the car because she wants to get closer, to touch it, to get inside. And I have to say, I couldn’t agree with her more. It suddenly feels pretty ridiculous to be viewing these amazing driving machines as they quietly and meekly sit there, mere shadows of what they really could be on the open road. (I’ll leave the zoo analogy untouched.)

We turn to leave and I realize that the trip has been a bust. My daughter still does not know the word Ferrari and the uniqueness of these cars is still completely lost on her. But her felt-rope-swinging impatience has reminded me of the value of experience, as in feel-it-with-my-own-two-hands experience. Why did I ever think I could inspire her in the equivalent of a car library?

It’s a good reminder of how to craft a successful activity that’s equally enjoyable for parent and child. While I’d clearly shaped this experience to not suck for me and to pass the “single friend beer test” (i.e. good story-telling potential), I’d dropped the ball on framing up the right experience for my 3-year-old, who wasn’t enjoying just looking at the cars from a distance. (At least at an outdoor car show, they’ll rev the thundering 12-cylinder engines and you can get up real close and personal.)

Which leads me to our next adventure. While I may not own a Ferrari, I sure as hell can rent one. Guaranteed my daughter would know the word Ferrari after that.

Harley Makes Me Want to Ride

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

Maybe it is because one of my favorite shows on television is Sons of Anarchy or maybe it is something inside every man that fills them with an urge to learn to ride a motorcycle.

Sure, I’ve ridden on the back of a couple when I was younger and even crashed a brand new dirt bike at my buddy’s birthday party when we were young. But, I’ve never had the pleasure of channeling my inner Easy Rider and hitting the open road on a motorcycle.

No, I’m not going through a midlife crisis or anything like that and yes I know that motorcycles are very dangerous when you put them out there agains the soccer moms and idiot teenagers on phones in their cars who are not paying attention to the road. But, still someday I hope to at least learn to ride a motorcycle and Harley-Davidson’s new campaign called The Ridebook is fueling that desire again.

As you can see, the site just launched and there is only one piece of the story live and that is a cool video of Tomcats Barbershop in Brooklyn, NY. Click over and watch it and I promise you’ll be inspired because it is beautifully shot and told. The content lover in me applauds Harley for doing this because it is exactly the sort of thing I encourage businesses to do in my book Content Rules.

As you watch the video think about how unbranded it is, but at the same time completely fits the vibe of Harley-Davidson perfectly. They aren’t spokes people for the brand. They are guys who love the bikes and want others to love the brand. Their passion is what gets me wanting to ride, not some sales pitch like most companies force feed us these days.

I’m very curious to see where this site goes in the coming weeks since they are teasing some other great content. I’m especially excited about the ones about music and travel since they are both passions of mine as well. I’m hoping that they don’t make me wait too long for the news ones because they’ve certainly got my attention now and if they wait to long they might lose it.

Kudos to the team at Harley-Davidson that made this happen. I may not jump on a hog anytime soon, but I can imagine I am through The Ridebook.

My Son is Hetero – I’ve Failed!

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

As parents, we’ve clearly failed because my son is heterosexual. You know that one guy who is annoyingly loud, yelling out player stats, team standing, and gets other men to question their testosterone when he gives out a full holler every time the home team scores? That’s my 8-year old son.

Here we are as two proud gay parents trying to enjoy our New Orleans sea food risotto, while our boy is engaging full stock men from other tables into what’s going on with the Vancouver Canucks hockey game. Admittedly, we don’t approve of the game because it seems more like a professional fight spectacle. I’m also one who’d much rather play than watch. Still, here we were with our own little spectacle at our table, and I’m thinking about what did we do so wrong that made him turn into such a big hetero. For that matter, what is hetero and what is a real man anyway?

In my opinion, masculine identity is a social construct, similar to an old Buick. There was the traditional man, the hegemonic icon that was once captured by the likes of Humphrey Bogart. The learned decision maker, integrally loyal to self, family, and community, and the meaning of life was patriarchy – enforced through religion and culture.

However, there came a time when women didn’t need or want these traditional men anymore. Due to war demands that raised women’s capabilities, the sexual revolution, women’s rights, the feminist movement, and legal updates, men lost their significance and purpose. Furthermore, men were disappointing because their traditional identity pride became embattled and bruised, and they made hopeless promises in attempting to uphold the traditional male icon and not ask for help while their postwar emotional ruptures landed them on bended knee. Here were the traditional men, having once held unearned privilege and status by just being men, now being crippled by their weakness in emotional expression and self-confidence. In man’s emotional constipation, anger appeared to be the only acceptable expression through physical force or grunts, while women took responsibility over dead-beat-dads

So what then is a real man? It isn’t about hetero or homosexual identity. Perhaps it’s the man with the strongest sense – the ones most fully accepting of themselves and pulling their weight in personal responsibilities regarding: self, sexual health, relationship, community connections and work. This is akin to dropping the bottle of shame, and challenging the myths of what it means to be a man. This means unabashedly seeking mental health support when one needs it, seeking a doctor when it’s time for the checks of prostate or colon cancer, verbalizing being pissed off to the spouse in a way that’s respectful and encouraging, and teaching young boys that real men DO cry at times. Perhaps this is a call to blow the whistle on the shame that the disfigured traditional man has left as an inheritance, and a time to be our own real men, accepting ourselves as we are.

As for my son, it looks like he’s on his way to becoming a real man. I don’t like hockey but I figure it’s best to support my son’s interest. Considering how he woos women, plays sports, and takes on challenges, I’m quite confident that this one will be playing for the hetero team – and that’s the way it’s going to be. GO CANUCKS!

New York Auto Show

Sunday, May 1st, 2011

Last week I was given the opportunity to attend the New York Auto Show. I might not be much of a car guy, but I had a blast being able to walk around and take photos of everything without it being swarmed by people. Ahh, the joys of a press pass.

My friends at Ford and Sony asked the Cast of Dads if we could all get together in Boston and then drive 2011 Ford Explorer to NYC to attend a concert/party with Train (photos) and then spend a day with press access covering the show. Schedules prevented all five of us from going but those of us who could go did. It was a lot of fun. Plus, since they were going to pay for the trip, how could we say no?

I took a ton of photos during the trip and the first pieces of video content we produced have now hit the web and I wanted to share them with you.

The first was an episode of Cast of Dads that the editing team at DadLabs cut down to a nice five minute discussion of the change in family road trips since we were younger. Technology definitely changes it and we discuss the good and the bad.

The other was a personal highlight for me was getting a chance to sit down with my buddy Sukhjit Ghag from Sony over coffee. We talked about a bunch of different things and of course since we are all geeks a lot of the chat was about technology in our lives.

In the coming weeks there will be lots more content that will be posted so stay tuned.

Disclosure: Ford & Sony covered travel expenses and gave us press access to the auto show. We were provided with a Ford vehicle to drive from Boston to New York. All thoughts, words and anything else we say is totally our own opinions.

Me In My Place

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

I love when two things I enjoy come together to form a third that is even better. So when I heard the tagline of Real girls in their own place.  Not too crazy and just a pinch of naughty… I knew I was going to like this site.

Me In My Place takess my love of photography and of women and merges them together in an ongoing photo project that I’m now a huge fan of. Think of it as a safer for work version of Suicide Girls with less body art.

I’ve always said that the sexiest thing a woman can wear is her confidence. That shines through in these photos of women who volunteer to be part of the series and agree to have themselves shot in their own clothes, with their own poses in their own houses. Everything about this screams confidence and I love it.

The photographer is a famous fashion photographer who has chosen to remain nameless. Esquire Magazine (where I learned of this project) has hired him to do photo series specifically for them which is another great success story of doing something your passionate about and doing it well and people will notice.

As a guy, I still think that lingerie is over rated. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll never say no to it and there is nothing on this earth sexier then a garter belt and thigh high stockings, but I still think the sexiest thing out there is a woman in just a men’s dress shirt or whatever makes her comfortable and makes HER feel sexy. Leather or lace can be a lot of fun, but it is not necessary.

I  like that every girl on this site volunteers for it. They have a submission form where anyone can raise their hand. I’m hoping this brings in a variety of different sizes, shapes and colors of women because so far it does seem like one standard profile for the most part. I also get a big kick out of some of the crazy poses the women pick and seeing them in their own houses makes for extremely interesting backdrops. (yes, I really did look beyond just the women)

Plus, these women in my mind are not barbie dolls or airbrushed to perfection. They are naturally beautiful women comfortable in their own skin. Why not show some of it off in playful, yet sexy, photos?

There is now a video page up that is random and you never know what will appear. Their archives is one of the coolest layouts I’ve ever seen and I hope they don’t mind me taking a screen shot of it to use with this story.

Kudos to the mystery mastermind behind this project and to all the women who have taken part in the project.

Guys, am I right that simple sexiness is a great thing?

 


Founders Note – April 2011

Friday, April 1st, 2011

It is amazing to me that the moment you say the word Dad, Father or Pops, you are instantly put into an interest bucket with all the Moms and Mothers. This means that all the lazy agencies of the world start pitching you on the same things they pitch them on.

You’ve heard me say it before and I’ll say it again. We treat this website as a site for guys to talk about men’s issues and topics. Sure, we talk about parenting and almost all of our writers are parents. We LOVE being Dads, but here we want to write about other things that reach beyond just our kids as well.

Something has bothered me a bit lately and that is the state of manhood out there. I think all the time in front of our computers and playing video games has made us a bit soft.

There is nothing wrong with enjoying a photo of a naked woman (or man), having a cold beer on any weekday afternoon and screaming out loud at a sporting event. I love to crank the tunes, drive fast and experience everything that life wants to give to me. I enjoy talking about sex and like having it even better. I’m not all that handy with tools, but the idea of building things and fixing up my house excites me. Tequila, scotch or wine all make me happy depending on the mood.

I bet most of you guys out there share similar thoughts. Yet, why do so many of us (me including) fear expressing this openly in today’s world? Sure, the political correctness bullshit has certainly put a damper on our fire and the anonymous nature of the web makes us try to always maintain a certain level approach in what we say and share.

But, does this mean that we should be ashamed to be men? Hell no!

I got thinking about this as I was talking to some friends recently and realized that while we’d have the conversation face-to-face, I bet that none of us would be willing to have it online due to the flack we’d get. The more I thought about that, the more I realized how much that sucked.

My rule with Digital Dads is this is where a Dad can be a guy and I plan on keeping it that way. Don’t ever worry about being a man here please.

Photo Credit: Valeria Maltoni

Circumcision, Circumlocutious, and Loquacious Punditocracies

Monday, March 7th, 2011

Circumcision, circumlocutious, and loquacious punditocracies is what I hear in the subtext when someone asks, “So are you going to circumcise your son?” Of course, the big words are fun and I dare anyone to try to say the title fast without a slip up – kinda hard, which brings me back to the subject at hand: the penile foreskin (the male prepuce).

Alright, let me start by sharing that this was my first experience of prejudice. It was 1981, 6th grade camp, and the parents of one of my classmates had arrived early morning after the first night. Apparently, my classmate didn’t want to shower with the rest of the boys because he was embarrassed that he was uncircumcised. The issue made no sense to me at the time, until I got to secondary school (Jr. High) and heard and saw all the bantering, bullying, and humiliation going on in the showers from the majority (circumcised) against the minority (uncircumcised). Again, too young to understand except to not hang around in the showers, and so I figured this was a terrible school issue – but who cares?

Well, apparently, most everyone does care and has an opinion on the matter! My “full circle” Oprah moment happened when someone asked me, “So are you going to circumcise your son?” That question then morphed into the, “So did you circumcise your son?” This question is laden with instant peer pressure, politics and personal preferences, all the makings of prejudice and none of which had any interest or concern for what my son might want. Well I did make my ruling as to whether my son would wear a turtle neck, V-neck, or perhaps a tailored crew neck. However, it’s no one’s business, but I marvel as to how the matter of the foreskin keeps coming up.

I just saw a daytime show which exhibited a few doctors, and the female doctor was advocating for circumcision. She was over the top about her opinion. A male doctor was advocating how unnecessary circumcision was, and he was promptly cut off by her. He tried to chime in again, but a different male doctor gave him a look of disgust, and so the conversation was over. It was horrible high school peer pressure again (sigh).

Still, women have preferences as to what they want and they do express them. Men have preferences too, but I think men are more concerned by the shame factor. At the men’s urinals, there is this constant shuffling which has something to do with privacy and embarrassment (I think), or perhaps a post-school-traumatic-foreskin-humiliation effect.

Now, let me clarify my earlier overgeneralization by saying that “everyone” in the U.S. has an opinion on the matter. While the rest of the world couldn’t care less about their foreskin (excepting religious or medical concerns), it is in the U.S. where there are very strong anti and pro circumcision groups, as well as foreskin restoration groups. Yes, I did say foreskin restoration, and I’m not talking about the cosmetic surgery type. With foreskin restoration, people wrap their penis with surgical tape and pull the skin using weights, suspenders or other devices – and with great success! While the 20,000-70,000 nerve endings that were lopped off with the original foreskin may not return, sensitivity and lubrication does increase. For aging men, extra sensitivity would not be a bad thing to have.

So, why does it matter so much for Americans? I don’t know but let me do a quick flash of stats. In the U.S., most men are circumcised – or at least in 1985 that would have been the case. Back then, someone did a study that did spot checks and found that 77% to 98% percent of baby boys were being circumcised – so my classmate was part of that minority. Presently, according to the New York Times, the rates have since dropped to 32.5% in 2009. This has been largely due to American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations of “risk to benefit” health concerns, perhaps also some insurances not willing to pay for the procedure and/or just American politics. This just doesn’t seem to be in issue for the rest of the world.

In Canada, for example, circumcision is not covered by health care except for medical reason. There is no need for it, which is why the Canadian Paediatric Society has recommended against routine circumcision, and the rates have also gone down from nearly 40,000 in 1996 to less than 20,000 in 2005. While these numbers may sound like a lot, consider that there are over 30 million people in Canada. Whether one is circumcised or not, just isn’t a political issue.

So after all this circumlocutious, regarding the loquacious punditocracies out there, I propose we get past the circumcision rhetoric, and also stop using the terms “circumcised” and “uncircumcised” because it’s pejorative. Or if you’re feeling vengeful, then use “foreskin” and “foreskinless,” or “pen-glan-sensational” and “pen-glan-senseless.” Personally, I say…

Gro a Mo, Save a Bro

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

If you remember, last November I posted about taking part in Movember and I’m doing it again this year.

Movember is a global event that raises awareness and money to fight the cancers that directly effect men. Since we are dedicated to talking about everything guy related of course we’d be covering Movember.

They put together a great series of videos to raise awareness. More on the Movember YouTube Channel.

Now, if you are a guy and your thinking that you can’t grow a mustache right now for any reason, I’m here to tell you that all of them are wrong. I do a lot speaking and business meetings and while it is weird to walk into either with a mustache it is the perfect conversation starter and when you say that you are doing it to fight cancer everyone pays attention. My wife is not a big fan of facial hair, but she knows that it is for a good cause and supports it. (But, she loves when December arrives and I shave even more.)

This year, I’m part of Team Boston and I personally want to raise at least $5,000 in donations from individuals and corporations. I know money can be tough, but honestly every dollar helps so please donate today and then encourage others to do so. I’ve set up a handy URL of http://www.helpingthecause.com which goes directly to my donation page. Feel free to share it far and wide.

I don’t know if we’ll see a cure for cancer in my life time, but I’m hopeful that cures are on the way and I know that fund raising events like Movember are helping to make that happen.

So guys. Consider growing a Mo to help save a Bro! It is only 30 days and I know you can do it.

The shoe cables a repent reward near the visible.