Tag Archives: Man Cave

Music From The Man Cave – Introduction and “Gamma”

"Gamma" photo from the Davey Pattison Gallery: http://www.daveypattison.com/gallery/index7.html

Several months ago I was cooking breakfast for the kids.  It was a weekday morning before school and my wife was getting ready for work.  Kind of an oddity, I suppose, around our house (my wife is a chef) but on weekdays it is either me or my son who cooks breakfast.  I suppose we cook out of necessity since one of us is usually dressed and ready before the girls make it downstairs.

Anyway, I decided to have a little breakfast cooking music and put on my vinyl copy of Thin Lizzy’s “Live and Dangerous.”  One of the finest “live” albums ever released.

Yes, I know it has studio overdubs.  I don’t care.

Soon after, my wife came downstairs, looked at me, smiled and proclaimed, “You’re such a guy.”  Reflecting on that moment gave me an idea: Music from the Man Cave.  Recommendations by a guy for other guys.  Not that girls can’t listen too….

First up (we’ll get to Thin Lizzy soon, I promise) is a blast from my past.  I acquired a cassette copy of the second album from a band called Gamma, featuring Ronnie Montrose on guitar, Davey Pattison on vocals, Denny Carmassi on drums, Glen Letsch on bass and Jim Alcivar on keyboards.  This cassette spent a lot of time in my Walkman knockoff and I rediscovered it a couple years back.  It has a terrific remake of Thunderclap Newman’s “Something In The Air” but the song that I really want to recommend is called “Voyager”.  You can buy it for .99 on iTunes, or check out the YouTube clip at the bottom of this post.

“Voyager” is an amazing song Robin Trower is still kicking himself for not writing. Continue reading Music From The Man Cave – Introduction and “Gamma”

What are your N.U.T.s?

A lot of the blogs I read have written recently about the need for men to have a firm grasp on their non-negotiable, unalterable terms or as Wayne Levine (the man who coined the term) calls them, our N.U.T.s.

To quote Levine:

To be the man, father, husband or leader you want to be, you must develop and maintain a firm grasp of your N.U.T.s

N.U.T.s – non-negotiable, unalterable terms—are the things that define you as a man. They’re what a man is committed to. And when these N.U.T.s are compromised, men become angry, unhappy, frustrated, depressed. They would rather blame others than take responsibility for their own actions. They’ll play the victim as they take out their negative feelings on those they love. They’re also the guys who will try to drown their sorrows in alcohol, drugs, porn, and a slew of other equally destructive behaviors.

I’ve borrowed a list of a few examples of N.U.T.s from Levine’s website and have listed them below:

* I am faithful to my wife.
* Compassion for my family trumps my need to be right.
* I am a risk taker.
* I do what I believe is in the best interest of my children, even if they disagree.
* I do not ask for permission.
* I do not indulge my addictions.
* I take my problems to men, not to women.
* I do whatever it takes to keep my family in our home.
* I honor my daily spiritual practice.
* I do not sell out who I am to please others.

Although I suspect I have an unspoken list of N.U.T.s, I don’t think I’ve ever actually voiced many of them to myself or anyone else. In the coming weeks, I’m going to spend some time thinking about my non-negotiable unalterable terms and will be posting them here on the RDC as a permanent reminder to myself of those things that I will hold to no matter what. Some of mine will be fairly similar to the ones above and some will be quite different. Either way, I’m looking forward to the process of considering, defining, and listing my own N.U.T.s.

What are your N.U.T.s?

MacGyver Was A Real Man

First of all, the the fact that MacGyver was a fictional television character, which therefore clearly gives great irony to the title of this blog post, is not lost on me.

If you were not a fan, a quick perusal of the show’s Wikipedia page will tell you that MacGyver was a secret government agent who:

A) Preferred non-violent resolution to fighting where possible.
B) Often refused to carry a gun.
C) Was educated as a scientist with a background as a bomb team technician in Vietnam. (really who isn’t these days?)
D) Was laid back, intelligent, resourceful, and optimistic.

Oh yeah… I forgot letter E.

E) He could also solve just about any problem known to man, short of disarming an atomic bomb, with everyday readily available materials and his ever present duct tape and Swiss Army knife. On second thought, I think he might have actually disarmed an atomic bomb at some point during season three.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what made MacGyver a real man. Sure his anti-violence approach was laudable. But hey, I know a lot of dudes who aren’t violent who also aren’t very manly.

Now MacGyver on the other hand… give that guy a pine tree air freshener, a tube sock, a paper clip, a ballpoint pen, a rubber band, tweezers, nasal spray, and perhaps a turkey baster or two and he was virtually unstoppable.

MacGyver was a real man if there ever was one because he knew how to improvise.

Which brings me to the topic my post today. Last night my lovely and talented wife decided she wanted to return something she bought on the internet. We still had the box and all of the shipping material so she called the company to find out how to go about returning it.

After a few minutes on hold and the joy that is Burt Bacharach hold music, the customer service rep answers and tells her that she’s called just in time. They have a 30 day return policy and today is day 30 so the guy schedules her a FedEx pickup for this morning and tells her to put the pre-addressed return label that came with the package on the box and leave it on our porch first thing in the morning.

Simple enough, right? Continue reading MacGyver Was A Real Man

A Man’s Ode to Sleeping In

Inspired by a friend’s ode to his pickup truck, I decided to give an ode to something in my life that has been with me through thick and thin but that has, in fact, seen better days as of late. – M&M

Oh sleeping in… what a cruel cruel mistress you’ve been to me through the years. We’ve seen it all together, that is, as long as “all” occurred after 11 a.m.

I remember when I was just a wee lad, a school boy if you will, and my dad resorted to using a spray bottle to separate us as we lay there in my bed basking in the glory that was our time together. I may have been on time to school, but I never forgot you through the day because I knew you’d always be there for me the next morning.

In the summertime of my tween years, my parents instituted a 10 a.m. cut-off time on our blissful slumber together. I remember my mom calling from work around that time each morning to make sure I was out of bed. I must have been a bad liar or your influence on me was just too much, because she’d always know when we’d been together. Maybe she could hear it in my voice.

Either way, I’d leave you each day for a fun-filled afternoon of MTV’s beach house, little league baseball, or swimming in our above-ground pool. But then, like the bride of a soldier who awaits the return of her husband from battle, you were there waiting for me when I finally made my way back to our bed each night.

During high school, you never made me late for class, but you were the reason I rarely ate breakfast. It was you who made me forsake ironing my clothes. It was you who pushed me into the arms of hooded sweatshirts, nylon warm-up suits, and gym shorts. It was you who made me defy the normal limits of driving speed set by local authorities just to make it to class on time. And yet, I never complained because our love affair was deep and it was true.

Continue reading A Man’s Ode to Sleeping In

Real Men and Lava Soap

When it comes right down to it, the type of soap you use has nothing to do with whether you’re a real man or not. Unless of course, you’ve been using Oil of Olay or any type of bath bar. In which case, you should seriously reconsider.

With that said, I’ve noticed a lot of television commercials for men’s soap recently (with the Old Spice ones clearly dominating the field) and so I thought I’d throw in my own two-cents on the subject. After all, if a real man is supposed to be comfortable in his own skin, shouldn’t we try to make our own skin comfortable?

Lava soap is, as M.C. Hammer might say, “Too legit to quit.” I mean, just look at the packaging. It’s simple and practical. It’s red, black, white (all very masculine colors) and it has a picture of a mountain in the background. And it’s not some mamby pamby pristine mountain top either. It’s a volcano. A volcano that could, at any given moment, violently explode without warning spewing tons of ash and fire into the atmosphere grounding all of the flights in Europe for over a week. And that’s just the packaging.

When I tear into a bar of Lava soap, I never cease to be amazed at the beauty and simplicity of these little green bars of manliness. I mean, sure, it’s just a bar of soap. But this is no ordinary soap. As the packaging says, it’s PUMICE POWERED! I like to refer to it as scruffy soap.

It’s the kind of soap that you instantly know can manhandle any amount of dirt or grease on your person at any time. Axel grease, no problem. Manure, easy. Motor oil, piece of cake.

It’s the kind of soap that a woman would only use on the heals of her feet. Don’t even try using it on a child unless you want to be ridden with guilt over the pain and anguish you’ll inevitably inflict on their tender young skin.

This is man soap. Lever 2000 may be good for all your 2000 body parts, but there’s a reason they call it LEVER and that’s because it LEAVES dirt and grime behind. Not Lava. Lava will literally scrape everything off that Lever leaves behind, including the top layer of your skin if you’ve been pampering it with Olay or some other ladies bath bar.

If you’re already using Irish Springs, Ivory, Zest, or some other gender-neutral soap product, please don’t hear me saying you have to go out and switch to Lava in order to be a real man. However, if you find yourself in the market for a new type of soap at any point in the near future, let me encourage you to give Lava a try. You won’t regret it (Unless of course you’re a baby, in which case you will regret it because it will make you cry. Then again, if you’re a baby, you’re probably not buying soap for yourself yet).

If you’re not convinced yet, perhaps the ultimate stamp of approval for Lava soap is this: it’s the only soap I know of that is regularly sold in hardware stores.

Lava soap… it’s pumice powered, so you know it’s good.