Everything is easy once someone shows you how

Bart-Oh-Low-May-Day and the Egg

Egg of Columbus from WikiCommons
(c) Wikicommons

Today is Columbus Day here in the States and for years, I rolled my eyes at people that felt it should be renamed. Tradition and whatnot.

Then someone sent me this Oatmeal comic, which I found pretty eye-opening. Ended up doing some more reading and he really was a horrible human being.

So now I’m in the other camp and agree that the name – although not the holiday itself – should be reconsidered.

Still, there’s this apocryphal story I like about him, which is called the Egg of Columbus.

The story goes that a buncha dudes were sitting around Columbus and essentially saying that, at some point, someone from Europe would have “found” America.

Columbus ignores them and, instead, asks for an egg.

He says to the men, “Stand this egg up one side.” The men can’t. So he then takes it, cracks the bottom of it, and then stands it up.

Then he says something like, Everything is easy once someone shows you how.

I imagine he then throws the deuce, flips the table over, tells them all the screw themselves, and says, peace out.

My brother did something similar when I was a little kid – the balancing the egg part.

I couldn’t figure it out and then he took some salt, poured it on the table, and sat the egg up in that. Some 30 years later, and I still remember it.

Speaking of which, he figured out how to save (most of) the pictures from my camera card.

Smart fella, my brother. Everything is easy once someone shows you how.

Now off to work – no Bartolomé/Indigenous People Day for this fat boy.
UFC Fighter Angela Hill at Formerly Crows

Here’s one of the few pictures that made it through – with Angela Hill from the UFC.

Location: The New World
Mood: excited
Music: baby, as long as skies are blue
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From the Archives: Soul and What’s for Sale?

You don’t have a soul, you are a soul

Wall in Downtown Manhattan

Was planning on writing this thing about how the first Hollywood sex symbol was a Japanese man but I’ll do that in a few weeks.

For now, here are two entries from the archives.

You are a soul
You know when someone talks about selling your soul, or whatnot? That irritates me. Because you’re not a body with a soul. You are a soul. You just happen to have a body.


What’s for sale?
The makers of the PBR have decided to package their decidedly inexpensive brew as a luxury beer in China. How high end? $40 a bottle high end.

Silly Chinese. But wait – that’s just what the makers of Stella Artois did here.

PBR for far less than $40 in NYC

Location: running out the door
Mood: full
Music: hope, which then turned into a quiet thought
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40th Weekend Conversations

Went to two 40th birthday parties

Mojitos in Jersey City

Three friends turned 40 over the weekend so there were three events on Saturday I had to go to. Only made it to two of them. My liver barely made it through the second one.

The memory card that had all the pics that I took didn’t make it at all.

I’m so bummed, I had some great shots. That is before everything turned very blurry.

Me: Happy 40th! It’s all downhill from here.
Him: Hey, thanks for coming!
Me: Of course I was coming.

The first one was with my buddy Rick, whom I’ve known since college. We met 21 years ago, a number I’m still having difficultly wrapping my head around.

His wife took out an entire half of the Experimental Cocktail Club, which was very cool. (Damn, I wish I had some pictures to show you). And she had an open bar, which was even cooler. But the coolest thing? Top shelf rum I’ve never had.

French Bartender: You’re a rum drinker? I’ve got something for you. It’s a French rum aged in cognac barrels.
Me: Can I drink it neat?
Him: (slightly offended) But of course!

Had much more than I should have. After some catching up with people I’d not seen in ages, dashed/stumbled off to the second joint.

That party was for the owner of Evolution Muay Thai, where another buddy Kung and The Ultimate Fighter contestant Angela Hill were. Angela told me some cool stories behind the scenes, none of which I can reprint here.

Hadn’t meant to stay quite as long as I did  but people – mostly Kung – kept buying me drinks.

Me: I can’t, I’m already snockered.
Him: (handing me drink) Too late – got you some rum.

Managed to get drinks spilled on me on me not once, not twice, but thrice.

Him: You’re going back to the bathroom!? You just came out!
Me: You just spilled on me again!
Him: Ooooh, my bad.

Had my revenge the next morning, though.

Me: How ya feeling? I had rum all night so I feel pretty good. RUM IS THE BEST. Sorry, I shouldn’t shout. What time did you call it a night?
Kung: 4 or so. Today is a lost day
Me: Ouch. Hopefully you can stay home and coffee it up.
Him: Oh yeah! I’m building a pillow fort.
Me: That’s why I build one the night before. It’s all about proper planning.
Him: Last night I was lucky to find my bed when I got home.
Me: Found bed, missed toilet. The wife will not be pleased when she returns.

Location: yesterday, with a pot of coffee
Mood: ready for the week
Music: My oh my oh my what a wonder, my oh my oh my what a wonder
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My Father and the Cherry Trees

Returning home stronger

Washington DC, Monument from Lincoln

Him: Is everything ok with you? Can I help you with anything?
Me: I’m fine dad, really.

Saw my pop the other day. He’s getting on in years and I worry about him. He’s a short guy but I remember as a kid that he seemed huge to me. Now that he’s older, he seems even smaller.

His birthday’s coming up soon and I’m trying to wrap my head around just how much older he actually is. I forget at times. After all, parents are simply just your parents – it’s hard to see them as anything else.

And I suppose the opposite is true as well; parents look at their children as naked helpless things.

It worries me just how much he worries about us. It doesn’t matter how much money we might make nor how secure we are in life, parents will always worry, I suppose.

Had to dash to a meeting so I didn’t have too much time to spend with him. But I wanted to tell him a story. Since I didn’t have time to tell him, I’ll tell you.

In 1912, the Mayor of Tokyo sent a gift of Japanese cherry trees to Washington DC as a symbol of friendship. A total of 3,020 from a famous group of trees along the Arakawa River in Tokyo were planted in West Potomac Park.

Then World War II happened. The relationship went to hell and only healed afterward.

In 1956, it was discovered that the cherry trees of the Arakawa River were badly damaged, most likely due to the war. So the US donated some of the cherry trees that they were given. They were the same stock – the very same family – of trees from 1912. But they were stronger than the original stock. They could flourish when the original trees that never left could not.

I wrote once to my grandma when she passed to not worry so much about my mom. She was safe here.

And to my pop, I want him to know we are too. We’re safe.

Because sometimes when you send things out into the world, they return home stronger.

Perhaps one day I’ll have children of my own. And I’ll send them off into the world.

I’ll try not to worry about them too much but I’m sure I will.

But I hope they return home someday, stronger than when they left.

Him: I worry about all of you.
Me: I know you do, dad. You don’t have to.

Location: yesterday, lunch with my dad
Mood: nostalgic
Music: Just like every cowboy sings his sad, sad song
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The City (Not Constantinople)

Istanbul means “The City”

Beers at Pier I in NYC

The wife and I had family and friends over in our hood this past weekend; one couple we met for a bike ride in Riverside Park near our home, the other was at another apartment in our building.

We figure if we wait long enough, everyone will filter through our neck of The City at some point.

It’s like that line in Fools Rush In where the Matt Perry character goes:

There’s a spot in Central Park, the Bethesda Fountain, where if you sit there long enough, the entire city walks by.

That’s how I feel about New York City. Or, as we call it, The City.

I’m sure you do that too; you call whatever major metropolitan city around you simply, “The City.”

A Goose in Manhattan

Turns out, people have been doing that for centuries. There was a cover song that was popular when I was a kid called Istanbul (Not Constantinople) that had a line that went:

Why they changed it I can’t say People just liked it better that way.

Actually, the name “Istanbul” comes from the Greek “istimbolin,” which simply means, “To The City.”

Which just goes to show that we’re all probably more similar than we are dissimilar.

And I suppose even then, there was some couple in some part of the city that was wondering if they should move out to where there’s green grass and shade or stay in The City forever.

A Goose in Riverside Park

One thing that we do love about living here is that everything is just a stroll away. Then again, this may not always be a good thing.

Her: There are just two bags of potato chips here.
Me: Yeah, I forgot what I needed to get at the drugstore.
Her: You went out to get some ibuprofen and instead come back with two bags of chips?!
Me: (…) In my defense, they were on sale.

Location: the city, of course
Mood: patient
Music: Even old New York was once New Amsterdam

Guest Post: Alex Templeman

Some online dating tips from HDR in the UK

Honest Dating Review

Today we have a guest post with three quick dating tips from Alex Templeman at Honest Dating Review.

1. Being open, doesn’t mean being vulnerable
It is a tricky concept. On the one hand, we’re being told not to share all of our personal details online, then you hit the questionnaire of a dating site like eHarmony and they ask for details that are more personal than something like your bank account number.

But it’s important to remember that this information isn’t broadcast for the world to see so much as it will be interpreted and key aspects of your answers will be used to match you with like-minded singles. This is why people need to be honest and open in the questionnaires that most popular sites utilize because otherwise; you’ll just be matched with the wrong people if you are pretending to be someone you are not.

2. Too much is never enough
When it comes to the bio for your profile, how in depth can/should you be? The honest answer is; as much as you want. Or more importantly, as much as you’re willing to give.

At the end of the day, you’re on the site because you’re serious about finding a partner and getting that relationship – the more informed you both are the better.

Suppose you like video games and you think ‘nah, that is too geeky for a dating profile’ and then you might be paired with someone who hates them, then there is already a point of contention.

Now, in the reverse scenario ‘I love video games and love a relaxing night in with the PlayStation after work’ then when you get a reply from a potential match saying ‘me too! What games do you play?’ then all of a sudden you have a rapport with someone who has a genuine interest in the same thing, and a conversation has already begun.

3. Use Headlines and Pictures to Showcase Your Personality
Headlines have been used for centuries to catch people’s attention and make them read what is underneath, and an online profile is no different. No one is going to have much luck if they open their page with ‘Yeah, I would say I’m ok’. This is a time to be creative, have some fun and let your personality shine, because then you can be sure that the people that continue reading after that line are genuinely interested.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words and as no one is likely to trawl through a two thousand word bio, so why not throw up a few pictures? At the end of the day, there needs to be an attraction there and profile pictures play a huge part of whether someone will look at your profile or not. And your picture should support your headline.

Note that the choice between a ‘funny’ picture and a serious picture is a hard line to walk; you don’t want to look like an immature joker, but you also don’t want to look like a suit who is married to his job.

So there you have it, if one line and a picture is all you have to sell yourself then make sure you make the most of it!

Use the above tips along with Logan’s tips to maximize your online dating, but most of all enjoy online dating – it’s an exciting, dynamic and ever evolving world that guarantees a great experience to people who use it, and genuinely throw themselves into the fun!


Alex is the owner of Honest Dating Reviews and has worked on dating websites throughout his online career and partnered with many big sites such as Match.com and eHarmony.

If you liked this entry, get some more tips for just $0.99 with A Great Online Dating Profile at AmazonBN.com, and the Apple Store, as well as most other online retailers:

A Great Online Dating Profile

Rum and a Rye Smile

Don’t actually drink a lot of rum out and about

Old Fashioned in NYC

A wrassling buddy: We have to take it slow, I’m feeling old today.
Me: I feel old every day.

I’m supposed to be meeting my buddy Gene from Flow Athletics at some point this week. We were actually supposed to meet up for a glass of rum but I told him that I didn’t actually drink much rum out in the world.

In fact, when I’m out and about, I’ll more likely order an Old Fashioned with Rye or a Vodka Tonic or even just a beer. And the reason is because most places carry just regular rum, which I don’t drink except in a pina colada or a daiquiri (not a frozen daiquiri).

The difference between regular rum and aged rum is the difference between moonshine and whiskey.

Aging rum and moonshine makes them different, better.

Like most people, I suppose.

And at the few places that do actually carry aged rum, carry stuff that I already have at home – or stuff a lot worse than the stuff I have at home.

These are the trials and tribulations of a rum drinker.

On the other hand, chili and gyros are essentially good anywhere you can get them.

So it all works out in the end.

Location: 7AM, the middle of Jersey
Mood: beat tired
Music: I’ll admit I’m just the same as I was

Wondering about the burbs

Maybe someday I’ll move from here

Statue of couple in Riverside Park NYC
Last week was a bevy of activity because a tenant in my building found bedbugs in his unit.

Because I still manage the building, I was involved with the process every step of the way. That was annoying and a massive time suckage for me. So, despite having a number of meetings with clients and the usual workload, I kept having to run back home to handle hysterical owners and irritated tenants.

It’s enough to make me think of moving to the burbs – in fact, I dropped an email to my old college buddy who bought into the building with me years ago, but later moved out of the city.

He says he has no regrets.

Thankfully, the building’s bedbug situation was resolved fairly quickly so I was back in a New York (City) state of mind.

Still, we do talk about it, the wife and I. Maybe someday leaving the concrete jungle for some green grass and shade. But then we’d probably find ourselves with just each other. Which might not be a bad thing.

Me: Don’t be silly, I love everything about you.
Wife: Tell the truth.
Me: I love most things about you.
Her: There you go.

Location: a building without bedbugs
Mood: relieved
Music: folks like to get away, take a holiday from the neighborhood

Neufchâtel 2

Another entry on our possible pasts

Ship on the Hudson River

Her: What are you eating on that?
Me: Cream cheese. Kinda.
Her: What does that mean?
Me: Well, it all started years ago…
Her: Oh no…

Just had a bagel with cream cheese.

Check that, I just had a bagel with light cream cheese.

Well, that’s not totally true either – I had a bagel with a cheese called Neufchâtel, which I mentioned in passing once before.

Here’s the story: A fella named Bill tried to recreate a French cheese called Neufchâtel here in the states. But, because of the differences in milk, climate, cows, etc., it wasn’t quite right. So he added cream to it to make it more appealing, resulting in what we call cream cheese now.

English: French Neufchâtel is a cheese labelle...

Decades later, with improved technology, companies were able to better mimic Neufchâtel without the cream. As an added bonus, they realized that, without the added cream, it was naturally lighter in calories and fat.

But, because now everyone was more familiar with the name Cream Cheese over Neufchâtel, they simply called it Light Cream Cheese.

If you read this blog, you’ll see that one of the themes I have is how location influences things – sometimes for the better and sometimes not

My last entry was about accents changing as people move around. Or delicious oranges turning bitter somewhere else. Industrial waste turning to delicious rum after an ocean voyage.

I wonder what my life would have been like if we never came here? Suppose it’s a strange obsession I have with knowing my possible pasts.

Me:…and that’s the story of Light Cream Cheese.
Her: (silence)

Location: a building with bedbugs on the top floor
Mood: annoyed
Music: it’s still an obsession

The Past and the Virginia Tidewater Accent

Why is it the Top 40?

Did you ever wonder why the music countdown was always the Top 40? Why not the top 30, or 50?

The reason is because early jukeboxes could only hold 40 songs. So, decades later, we’re still constrained by figures and things that are no longer relevant.

I think about that a good deal: Why things are the way they are.

As I teach my fencing art and continue to wrassle, I’m ever vigilant to wonder if things are done for a good reason or if that’s just how things have always been done – and if the latter, why.

The core of the fulfilled life is the life that wonders why. And I think we all – in our own way – wonder about our purpose.

On a related note, I found the video above fascinating because you can hear how accents changed over time – how a UK accent can become an American Southern accent over time.

It’s a great commentary on how environment and time affects things to make the so different from what they once were that they’re no longer recognizable as what they once were.

On the flip side, though, I probably lie awake too long at wondering.

Lie Awake

Location: a building with someone that is starkers
Mood: irritated
Music: It’s simple and eternal, the sum of where we’re made
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The musings of an insomnia-plagued writer in the city that never sleeps.

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