There needs to be some fashion standards enforced!

I get so annoyed at trends in fashion, the sizing of pants in particular. When I was in my teens, if I bought a pair of jeans with a twenty eight inch waist, they actually fit my twenty eight inch waist.

As time went on, I found that I had to start buying thirty inch jeans to fit my twenty eight inch waist. And now, a few decades later, I’m looking at buying thirty four inch jeans to fit my twenty eight inch waist!!!!

Is there no agency that governs the fashion industry to make sure that when they label a pair of pants as twenty eight inch waist, that they will actually fit a twenty eight inch waist??!!!

The Art of the Selfie.

When you mention the word selfie, most people automatically think of a teenage girl sitting in her room, or in the bathroom mirror, taking a picture of themselves while making a face that looks like a duck. Or you might think of a teenage boy, bare chested, making pseudo-gang-rapper signs and trying to look tough. But it is not likely that the term selfie would conjure up images of a middle aged semi-bald, pot bellied male . . . . Unless you live in my house.

I discovered my love for the selfie almost immediately after learning of their existence from my teenage daughter, and I now consider it my medium . . . My art form. 

It’s not so much out of vanity that I choose to selfie, it’s more out of self-amusement . . . Or at least that is how I justify my being a middle aged selfie taker. I just love pulling off a great selfie.

Now believe it or not, selfie taking is a skill that, like many things, takes practice. There is a learning curve. The first step is learning how to properly operate your phone’ camera . . . So you don’t end up accidentally taking a selfie of yourself trying to figure out how to take a selfie:

One needs to consider things like . . . What’s in the background:

And . . . Is the cat as excited about being in a selfie as I am? (This selfie cost me a rather nasty scratch to the nose):

But once one has ironed out some of the typical beginner selfie taker difficulties, there is a whole world of selfie taking that opens up. 

You can selfie yourself at work (which is a little more interesting if you happen to be a tree trimmer . . . And currently in a tree):

Or you can take one at work while other people are working and you are just standing there taking a selfie:

You can selfie on the morning your favorite socks show up in the laundry basket:

You can selfie your special alone time reading classic literature:

You can selfie while fighting for space in front of the heat register:

You can hijack a selfie:

You can have your own selfie hijacked: 

As your selfie skills progress, you can start stepping up your game with the use of photo editing apps:

But no matter how much fun you have getting creative with your selfies, the best ones are still the ones you take that have meaning . . . Like one with two beautiful daughters . . . Even if they aren’t willing participants 🙂


Video can be a Horrible Shock to your Self Esteem . . .

My girls were watching a video from a family get-together that we had at our house last summer and laughing hysterically.

“What’s so funny?” I asked, as I walked into the living room.

Both girls stopped laughing and acted as if they hadn’t heard my question.

“What’s so funny?”

There was still no response, so I turned my attention to the video. The camera that was recording the video had obviously been set on a table or chair and left to record the goings-on, the center of which was a volleyball game that had gone on for most of the day.

As I stood and watched for a few minutes, it became obvious that the girls had been laughing at one of the players in the volleyball game. His lack of coordination and overdramatic reactions to his pathetic attempts at diving for the ball made him a comical center of attention. Other players on the volleyball court chuckled behind his back on the video.

“Who’s the bald idiot?” I asked, still laughing at the poor player’s lack of skill.

Both girls looked at each other for a silent moment.

“Ummm, that’s you, Dad,” my daughter Hannah finally answered.

“Ha-ha, very funny,” I replied, but neither girl was laughing.

I narrowed my gaze at the video playing on the television. I recognized the Star Trek T-shirt that the “bald idiot” was wearing as my own.

“Hey, why is that guy wearing one of my…”

My face suddenly got hot with embarrassment, as I realized that the spectacle, the train wreck, the elephant on the court…was me.

I stood in shock. I knew my hairline had receded a bit, and the back of my head was getting a little thin, but I had no idea it had become bare; bare like the grassless spot on my lawn that commemorates the great hornet/gasoline battle of ’04.

My posture was slouched like a man who had been beaten down by years of climbing trees for a living and accented by a potbelly that was much larger than the one I see when I look down.

My playing skills were terrible…terrible to the point of being amazingly terrible. I had never been a volleyball wizard, but I could, at the very least, hold my own in a game when I was younger. But time after time, I watched myself on the video hit the ball out of bounds, into the net, off my face, or miss it altogether. Worse yet, with each failed bump, set, or spike, I would fall to the ground in an overly dramatic fashion that would best any cowboy movie showdown death. Then I would lie there, flailing like a turtle stuck on its back, until someone finally came over and gave me a hand getting up, followed by two or three minutes of “walking off” my injuries, while I made loud “walking off” my injuries noises.

The video was much too painful to watch. I could still hear myself encouraging other players to “COME ON, GET IN THE GAME!” And my exaggerated grunts and bemoanings coming from the TV as I walked out of the living room. The girls resumed their laughing at me when they thought I was out of earshot.

The video had been a rude awakening to my current state of degradation and lack of coordination. Ever since watching it, I have begun to see myself in an unflattering new light.

More recently, a video of myself dancing at a wedding reception enlightened me to my dreadful loss of rhythm and fashion sense. Mothers in the video are seen rushing to shield their children from my thrashing, dancing appendages. A young couple sitting a table near the dance floor are pointing and laughing at my twenty-year-old dress shoes that I occasionally revitalize with a fresh coat of black magic marker.

My dancing very closely resembled someone who was making fun of someone dancing…in his grandpa’s shoes. Once again, I was mortified to my core.

I now avoid being in a video at all costs. And in the event I end up getting caught on camera, I steadfastly refuse to watch the footage. The volleyball and wedding reception incidents have damaged my self-esteem so horribly that I don’t think I would survive another video episode.

Saturday Night: It’s a Dad Thing.

It’s Saturday night. A night that promises reward for all of the preceding week’s labor. A night for the young-at-heart to cut loose and bend a few rules. It’s party night, a night I used to look forward too.

What am I doing this Saturday night? I’m wandering around the Meijer lawn and garden section looking at fancy expensive lawn mowers that I can’t afford. I’m drinking coffee at Tim Horton’s and using their WIFI to check my Facebook for the eleventh time and read stories on my CNN app. I’m napping in the front seat of my car with the radio playing.

And what has inspired me to spend my Saturday evening doing such excitement filled activities? I’m killing time while my daughter watches a movie with her friends because it’s not worth it to drive all the way home for a half hour and then drive all the way back to get her when the movie is over.

That’s what my Saturday nights have degraded to. I am no longer one who participates in the joyous activities of a weekend earned. I have been demoted to being the support staff to my daughter’s fun-filled social life.

Yep, I’m rockin’ the dad thing.

The Overtime Season

It is now officially the overtime season in the world of tree trimmers. You may have noticed a slowing down in my posting. As a middle aged tree trimmer, it is hard to stay awake for very long after plunking my butt down on the couch after a long day of climbing trees. I sometimes wake up the next morning still sitting in the same spot where I sat down after returning home from work the night before. Sometimes, I even have the partially chewed remnants of the previous night’s dinner still in my mouth.

But rest assured, I am thinking about all of you out there in the blogosphere constantly. I even dream about you all. . . . . . We’ll ok, that might be a slight exaggeration, but never the less, I do miss having the time and energy to post my nonsense for the world to read. 

I will squeeze out a post whenever I can!

I Can’t Stop Eating!

I spent the vast majority of my life weighing less than 150 pounds. I never had to watch what I had to eat because I quite literally couldn’t gain weight.

Some time around my nearing the age of forty, something began to change. One day, I caught a side view of myself in the mirror and I thought for a moment that someone other than me had left their belly in the bathroom . . . . but no! After some poking and inspecting, I was able to determine that it was in fact MY belly, it was attached to me, and it was much bigger than what I remembered it being.

It used to be that when I went through a door, my whole body entered the room at the same time. Now when I enter a door, it is my belly that arrives first in the room. If I were to stop before my head and legs made it through the door, whoever might already be inside the room would end up wondering, “Whose belly is that hanging around by the door?”

Now this belly situation wouldn’t be a problem if I hadn’t spent my entire life eating whatever I want, whenever I wanted it. I could just stop eating so much and slim down a bit.

But I can’t stop eating.

Many is the time that I have said to myself, “I am going to start eating better and get rid of this belly. . . . . tomorrow, so pass me another plate of Chicken Alfredo.”

When I was young and skinny, I used to think that over-weight people just needed to stop eating so much. Problem solved. I now have to apologize to all over-weight people who were the target of such thoughts.

Signs of Middle Age . . . . sigh.

Some unexpected events and signs that I have now reached middle age:

1. I don’t know why or how, but at some point after reaching the age of forty, I began to catch myself walking around with my zipper down. It’s not like it never happened in my youth, but the frequency it happens now is alarming. I don’t know if it is the onset of dementia, or perhaps the jeans that I so proudly buy at the thrift store for pennies on the dollar are there in the first place because of mechanical failure.

2. I nearly got into a fist fight with a friend who casually mentioned that it had been 31 years since Van Halen released their album 1984. I argued that his statement was ridiculous and that it didn’t seem that long ago that the cassette had arrived in the mail with my other eleven albums that I had purchased for one penny. It wasn’t until I actually did the math that I had to apologize for my insolence:

“If that album was 31 years old, it would have had to have been released in nineteeeeen eighteeeee. . . . . four.”

1984. Just like it says right their on the cover.

3. The last two times that I caught a woman staring at me like she thought I was attractive, I later found out that one time I had a booger hanging, and the second time I had forgotten to finish shaving the left side of my face.

4. This morning when I woke up and began walking to the bathroom, I realized that I was walking the same way I used to walk when I was making fun of old people.

5. And finally, an embarrassing and personal one that I can’t figure out how it could be caused by middle age, but I can’t deny the onset around the age forty.

When I wake up and go to the bathroom for the first time in the morning, what normally used to be one stream, is now sometimes two streams that end up on either side of the toilet. It happens enough that I know that by quickly turning slightly to the left, I can adjust my aim so that one stream lands in the toilet, and the other lands in the bathtub which is next to the toilet.


I get so annoyed at trends in fashion, the sizing of pants in particular. When I was in my teens, if I bought a pair of jeans with a twenty eight inch waist, they actually fit my twenty eight inch waist.

As time went on, I found that I had to start buying thirty inch jeans to fit my twenty eight inch waist.

Now, a few decades later, I’m looking at buying thirty-six inch jeans to fit my twenty eight inch waist!!!!

Is there no agency that governs the fashion industry to make sure that when they label a pair of pants as twenty eight inch waist, that they will actually fit a twenty eight inch waist??!!!