Evil Electricity, Squished Squirrels, and Sister Missionaries

Monday, September 29, 2008

Walking is part of being LDS.

We are the descendants of brave pioneers who walked...and walked...and walked...and waaaaaaaalllllked. Another Primary song teaches us that at least one member of the church often goes walking in meadows of clover and it fondly reminds her of her mother. I, on the other hand, get down right angry when I go walking through clumps of clover. This is mainly due to the fact that my clover are ugly weeds that are killing the grass in my front yard, not the type of vegetation that makes me reminisce about what my mother's fabric softener smelled like when I was in Kindergarten.

While I officially hate clover, I always look forward to taking our Sunday evening family walk through the neighborhood. We spend so much of Sunday cooped up in the house that it's a good way for us to be active without doing anything too inappropriate on the Sabbath. (On a side note - Can somebody please give me advice on how active is too active on Sunday? For example, my 7-year-old son loves to play tackle football with me in the backyard. On Sundays he will ask, "Dad, can we play tackle football?" and I will say, "No, that's not the best thing to do on a Sunday." He will then ask, "Well, can we just play catch?" and I say, "Sure, that sounds about right." Then he will ask one of those gray area Sunday questions, such as, "Well, can we play one-hand touch football and not keep score?" and I respond with, "Uhhhh...go get me an Old Testament and open up to Deuteronomy somewhere..." Please answer my poll question on the right to give me some advice on this vexing Sabbath observance question.)

Since every neighborhood has its own little quirks, I decided on our last couple of family walks to bring the camera and post some of the more humorous observations from our neck of the woods. Strap on your walking shoes. Get yourself a water bottle. Loosen up those hammies. Let's go on a leisurely stroll through my neighborhood:

Observation #1 - Electricity: The Meanest Utility on the Block
Nearly every house we walk past has a large electricity box (unit? housing? doo-dad? I'm useless) the size of a small dog house planted in the front yard. There is an ominous warning label on the outside that looks like this:
I love how aggressive and angry they make electricity look in this picture. It gives you the impression that electricity has the same disposition as a rabid, ill-tempered, hungry wolverine that will sucker punch you from behind without warning or provocation. These electrical boxes are double reinforced and locked with one of those huge locks that can withstand a bullet from a .45 Magnum. You would seriously have to be MacGyver or a bored raccoon to get the thing opened and expose yourself to possible electrical harm. Instead of making electricity look like the bad guy, I think the label should show an apologetic blob of electricity saying, "Dude! I tried to warn you! This is all on you, homie." The person smoldering on the ground would be wearning a dunce cap.

Observation #2: The Squirrel-ing
I have not seen M. Night Shyamalan's last movie, The Happening, but I have heard that people go insane and look for random, grotesque ways of killing themselves. Their thoughts were probably eerily similar to some of mine while taking Chem 101 at BYU. I am positive that the suicide-inducing epidemic from The Happening has infected every squirrel in North Carolina. Seriously. I honestly believe that every single one of them has a death wish. When I drive to church at 7:15 on Sunday mornings, the following disturbing event happens about ten times between my home and the meetinghouse:

1. I see a squirrel standing on his hing legs on the side of the road, frozen in fear.
2. I say, "Don't do it, squirrel, don't do it!"
3. The squirrel suddenly darts straight in front of my car and stops in the middle of the road.
4. I swerve within my lane to try to make the squirrel pass safely between wheels.
5. I feel a barely noticeable "thump...thump."
6. I close one eye and try not to look in the rear view mirror.
7. I look in the rear view mirror.
8. "Eeeeewwwww!"

I think I have killed 14,836 squirrels since I moved here in 2003 despite my best efforts to avoid the little buggers. During our walk we probably saw at least twenty of these sad little reminders of just how stupid squirrels can be. (I was going to post a road kill photo, but it was just a tad too gruesome even though I tried to keep the picture somewhat tasteful. I learned that some things, no matter how hard you may try, can never be tasteful. Road kill falls into this category.)

Observation #3: The Complexity of the 7-year-old Boy
One minute my son is completely transfixed by a smushed squirrel on the side of the road and we are having to prevent him from poking at it with a stick. The next moment he is pickig wildflowers and giving them to us in a bouquet. I'll never figure this kid out.
Observation #4: Sister Missionaries and a Life-and-Death Decision
We happened to bump into the Sister Missionaries during our walk, which is very rare with the large ward boundaries we have. Being the responsible parents that we are, we stopped in the middle of the road to chat with the Sisters. (If you are not a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and have never spoken with the missionaries, you can chat live or call them at 1-800-537-6600. They are some of the best young people in the world and have a wonderful message to share.) As we were talking a car came around the corner and began heading right at us. For a moment I was terrified that it was being driven by 38 angry squirrels who were finally seeking their revenge on the person who has singlehandedly decimated their population.

As I processed the situation, I realized something terrible - my son's bike had fallen in the middle of the street and he was trying to pick it up, but couldn't. I was standing behind the stroller and instinctively ran into the road get my son and his bike out of the way. The only problem was that we were on a hill and the brakes on the stroller weren't on, so my daughter in the stroller started to zoom downhill the moment I sprang into action to get my son out of danger. Now both of my kids' lives were in jeopardy and I was left in that horrible parental predicament of, "I can only save one kid. Which one do I choose?" Well, I made my choice. Fortunately both kids survived. I will never, ever tell my kids which one of them got my help and which one got the shaft. I'm a horrible father.

Observation #5: I Will Get Blown Up One Day
We probably walked past as many discarded cigarette butts as we did dead rodents. North Carolina is home to cities like Winston, Salem, Tobaccoville, Cancerboro and Emphazymaville. I'm pretty sure Joe Camel was born in Charlotte and the Marlboro Man was Governor for 16 years. Needless to say, a lot of people smoke out here. One of my all-time pet peeves is when the driver in the car in front of me flips a cigarette butt out the window and it passes directly beneath my car. I am always afraid that I have a gas leak and the small spark from the butt will ignite the gas line, causing my car to burst into a mushroom cloud of smoke, fire and old Depeche Mode CD's. Maybe I played too much Spy Hunter as a kid. I'm pretty sure the cause of my untimely death will look like this:

Observation #6: Kids Are Gullible
One of our neighbors has an Invisible Fence to prevent their dog from leaving the yard. I'm pretty sure they also have an invisible dog, but that's beside the point. Our son saw the Invisible Fence sign beneath the mailbox and asked what it was. Being the dad that I am, I told my son that there was an invisible force field-type fence protecting their yard, kind of like on Star Wars. My son looked at me unconvinced, so I walked onto the lawn and put my hands up like a mime and pretended to push against the invisible fence. My son believed me and then came forward slowly reaching for the fence. When he realized I was pulling his leg, he immediately tried to trick his little sister into falling for the same prank. This is what it looks like to push against an invisible fence:

Ah, kids. The never ending comedic prop.

Well, my calves are burning, my hammies are aching, and I need a drink of water. Thanks for coming on a walk with me today. Now I just need to cross the street one final time to get home. Uh, oh, there's a squirrel right there! Don't do it, squirrel! Don't dart in front of me. I can't stop the stroller......!!!!!




-Andymann: You said that your rule for physical activity is that you should not do anything that cannot be done while wearing you Sunday best, therefore football is out. I can see the logic in this guideline. However, does this mean that you can coach football in the backyard? Mike Nolan of the 49ers coaches in his Sunday best. I also played a ton of soccer with little Chilean kids in the street during my mission, so soccer technically meets your definition of an appropriate Sunday activity. Does this mean that you wold endorse two-hand touch football?

Stay cool! You're a stud!

Monday, September 22, 2008

I recently had the opportunity to go up to Young Women's Camp and share a Family Home Evening with the young women in my ward. Serving with the youth is far and away the most rewarding aspect of my church calling. We have an outstanding group of young women in our ward right now. Every time I am with them I am filled with hope and optimism for the future knowing that these bright, motivated, kind, ambitious, spiritual young women will be leaders in their homes and in society. It also makes me feel reassured to know that they will also either join the workforce or support their husbands in doing so since my Social Security benefits will depend on them. This is particularly relevant since my 401-k is now worth about as much as a 1991 Geo Metro that smells like dog musk.

On a personal note, I am thrilled that the Church no longer refers to the week-long outdoor adventure for the girls as "Rough Camp" as it did when I was growing up. When I was a rude, insensitive teenager I had far too much fun harassing the young women in my ward about going to "Ruff" camp every summer. Yes, that's "Ruff" as in the noise a dog would make. And yes, I have repented and changed my ways.

This year for the FHE discussion I brought my High School yearbooks to use as part of an object lesson. It was the first time I had opened them up in about a decade. I was literally laughing out loud as I read the messages that my friends scribbled in their barely decipherable handwriting as we parted ways for the summer. If you have not busted out your yearbooks recently, I highly encourage you to do so. Please post comments with some of the funny phrases, words, etc. that people left in your yearbooks. I'm sure there are some gems out there. You can also vote in the poll on the right that lists some of my favorite generic yearbook lines.

Here are a few of my favorite quotes that were written to me from my friends at Hunter High School from 1991-1993. Many of my friends gave me advice about my future. Let's see how well I have heeded their counsel:

Comment: "You are such a stud!"
Response: If there were 300 guys who signed my yearbook, 298 of them called me a "stud". The other two tried to call me a "stud" but managed to misspell the word somehow. Have I remained a stud as a 30-something adult? Well, I have three kids. Does that count?

Comment: "Stay cool!"
Response: The use of the word "cool" was second only to "stud" in my yearbook. I think the word "rad" was probably third. As I recently documented, my family buys water park passes every summer to "stay cool". I think "cool" back then referred to dating girls, playing basketball, and listening to Kid 'N Play. Today it means floating down the Lazy River with three kids and my hot wife. Oh well, I'm trying.

Comment: "P.S. - Spark me some salt!"

Response: Using the word "spark" instead of "pass" or "get" was an inside joke I had with one single friend of mine in High School. I had completely forgotten about the word "spark" until I sparked myself my yearbook. For the past two weeks I've been asking the NMW to "spark me some baby wipes" or "spark me my ice pack for my back." I dare you to try using the word "spark" for two days and see how it makes you feel. I doubt I will ever be able to go back to common English again. The word "spark" makes me feel studly, cool and rad all at the same time!

Comment: "You're so funny, but tall. I remember when I was taller than you!"

Response: I have tried to keep a decent sense of humor, but I'm still almost 6'6". I love how my friend made it seem like a tall person can't be funny. She is so wrong! Just look at all of the tall, hilarious comedians out there. Let's see, there's.....Brad Garrett...and...uh...nobody else. And Brad Garrett isn't funny. Maybe my friend had a point. It is impossible for tall people to be humorous. We just freak people out as we lurch over them and completely block out the sun, making it difficult for people to laugh at our jokes when they are secretly fearing for their lives.

Comment: "Chemistry was a ton of fun! I don't know how I'm gonna (sic) make it threw (sic) next year without watchin (sic) your mouth hang open while you sleep."
Response: First off, I might have slept through Chemistry, but she apparently slept through English class. I have always hated Chemistry. I slept though it in High School and then took an "I" at BYU instead of an "F" when I bombed Chem 101. Ugh. Chemistry!

Comment: "Don't ever change!"
Response: Well, this person probably hates me today because I have changed a lot in 15 years. First, I no longer turn off all of the lights and listen to The Cure when I experience drama in my personal life. Second, I no longer blast LL Cool J's "Mama Said Knock You Out" in my car to get pumped up for basketball games. I now listen to "Wheels on the Bus" as I head out to church ball with my family. Third, I now have ear hair.

Comment: "I hope your life ends up great!"
Response: I would really like to track this person down and let them know that their wish for me came true. I've been married to my sweetheart for eleven incredibly happy, fulfilling years. We have been blessed with three beautiful children. We have been sealed as an eternal family in the temple. The Lord had me serve a mission to Chile and gave me the chance to learn to love Him and to serve other people. My parents, siblings, and in-laws care about me, support me, and bring happiness into my life. I have been given opportunities through education and employment that I had never expected to attain. The Lakers and Diamondbacks have won championships in my adult life and the Panthers played in the Super Bowl. BYU is on a 103-0 run over its last two games. Yeah, my life ended up great.

Or rad.

Or cool.

Or studly.

Whatever you want to call it.

Girls Rule, Boys Drool..Yadda Yadda

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Okay, Hollywood, we get it!

With the upcoming release of the movie The Longshots we will have one of the oldest, most frustrating, cliché storylines forced down our throats yet again. Raise your hand if you have ever seen a movie that goes something like this:

A bunch of bumbling, hapless boys play on a horrible youth sports team that rarely, if ever, wins a game. Then a shy, reserved girl wants to join the inept, boys-only team in a boys-only league and encounters much opposition and obstacle in the process. The girl is eventually permitted to play and then somehow leads her team to an improbable league championship. We then learn that the girl is an undercover CIA Agent who can travel into the future to kill undead mummies. (Okay, that last part was made up, but you can probably relate to the sports part.)

I’ve been forced to watch so many of these “girl saves the team and vanquishes her male rivals” stories that I was nearly wetting myself Saturday when BYU was up 59-0 over UCLA going into the fourth quarter. I was convinced – CONVINCED – that UCLA would ask its female head cheerleader to play quarterback and she would orchestrate a 60-0 fourth quarter come from behind victory. After all, I’ve seen more improbable miracles happen in multiple The Longshots-type movies before.

It is frustrating as a sports-crazed male to endure the hype that is unleashed upon us when women “hang with the guys” in the sports world. With the amount of hype that Danica Patrick receives you would assume that she is the second coming of Mario Andretti, not a middle-of-the-road IndyCar racer. If I hear that golfer Michelle Wie gets another sponsor’s exemption to play in a men’s PGA event, my will to live might literally free itself from my body and voluntarily inhabit an oak tree in Outer Mongolia where it will never again have to hear or see these overblown “You Go, Girl!” stories.

But these stories seem to have a loyal fan base and play well to the general public. So, despite my frustration with the whole girl-whomps-the-boy genre, I’m going to contribute to it by sharing a very personal experience:


I started a 12-team fantasy football league this year for me, my friends, and a few cool strangers I have met through my blog. Eleven of the teams are managed by men. The twelfth is run by The Normal Mormon Wife. Most of the men in the league are pretty serious, competitive guys who know a lot about the NFL and strategies for winning fantasy football leagues. Several of us spent so much time reading Matthew Berry articles and listening to his podcasts in preparing for the fantasy draft that we hallucinated his physical presence the night we selected our players. I spent as much time preparing for this year’s draft as I did studying for the GMAT several years ago.

While most of the men in my fantasy football league could immediately tell you the name of the Miami Dolphins' Tight End (Anthony Fasano, thank you very much), the NMW could not tell you the difference between Maurice Jones-Drew, Maurice Morris, and Maurice Clarett. In fact, I can’t even remember the last time I saw her glimpse an NFL game, let alone watch one from beginning to end. That said, the NMW likes college football, is a passionate Lakers fan, plays fantasy basketball, and usually does well in her NCAA Final Four brackets, so she does have some fantasy background. But when it comes to the NFL, she's really shooting in the dark for the most part.

Despite my wife’s complete lack of pro football knowledge she is in first place after two weeks in the Normal Mormon Husbands league. Actually, she’s waxing us. After two games she is 2-0 and her team has scored 289 points. There is only one other undefeated team (which is mine, by the way. Boo ya!) and the next highest point total is 250. The average point total is 205. Having the NMW in first place right now is like me beating her and ten of her girlfriends in a competitive scrapbooking contest despite not knowing the difference between a Crop-o-dile and an Olfa L1 knife.

With my wife and me holding the only two undefeated records at this point, I am desperately hoping that we will end up facing each other in our league’s Super Bowl. It would be the classic matchup of a highly favored, hyper-competitive man against an overmatched, underestimated woman who would have to silence her critics and defy the odds to win it all. Can you imagine if she ends up winning this whole thing?

Man, sounds like a great movie idea to me.

Do you think Hollywood would be open to an idea like that?


-Normal Mormon Wife - You're right. In the original post I focused too much on your lack of NFL experience and failed to mention the fact that you are a sports fan and even like playing fantasy NBA. I added that little tidbit in the revised version that is now available.

Water Parks and Bodily Functions

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Every year we splurge a little bit and get season passes to Wet 'N Wild. We are just a little bit too budget conscious (read: cheap) to get a family pass to the YMCA or to join our community pool and tennis club, so Wet 'N Wild is where we normally go for summer fun. Labor Day weekend marks the end of the season so we made sure to squeeze in one last visit before they turned off the water, drained the swimming pools, and allowed homeless people to begin living in the covered slides for the winter.

Our youngest daughter is only three months old, so one of us had to stay with her in the shade while the other was responsible for making sure our seven-year-old son and four-year-old daughter did not do any of the following:

1) Drown
2) Wander off or get lost/abducted (which happens immediately if you take you take your eyes off of them for .03 seconds. And thanks a lot to Tom Cruise for the horribly frightening scene in The Minority Report when he takes his son to the water park, goes under water for thirty seconds, and then resurfaces only to find that his son was abducted while he was submerged. I am constantly afraid that every single person at the water park is scheming to abduct one or all of my children the moment I take my eyes off of them. Am I the only person bearing post-Minority Report mental scars?)
3) Accept funnel cake from strangers
4) Lose their goggles or flip flops
5) Monitor splashing intensity and refereeing between "it's okay to splash a little" and "you're splashing too much and annoying everybody around you, so stop it!"

While I was sitting in the shade with a sleeping infant I decided to bust out the camera and document our last day at Wet 'N Wild. Without further ado, here is a photo essay about how my summer ended: (I put smiley faces on people to protect the identities of the innocent.)

Observation #1) From Wet 'N Wild's Department of Irony and Sarcasm.....

No, I'm not having fun at the Baby Changing Station. There are a million other places at the water park where I would rather be right now, including the disgusting men's room with the sticky floor. The best comparison to how difficult it is to change a loaded swim diaper on a wet, squirmy, uncooperative baby is this: 1) Find and catch a jittery stray cat that is terrified of people. 2) Shave off all of the cat's fur. 3) Dip the cat in a bucket of lard. 4) Get out the ironing board. 5) Put a feline sweater on the cat while keeping it pinned to the ironing board throughout the entire process. Needless to say that the facial expressions of the parents grappling with their children did not match the smile of the model on the poster. Who did Wet 'N Wild employ to hang up their posters, anyway? Catbert?

Observation #2) Your Body Is a Temple...And a Canvass...And a Pin Cushion:

I'm pretty sure that Wet 'N Wild was running some sort of "Show a tattoo and/or body piercing and get a friend in free!" promotion over Labor Day weekend. Of the 5,000 people who were at the park, I think I counted fourteen of us who did not have tattoos or body piercings. We had to constantly hide from park security which was tracking us down one by one and throwing us out for "nerdifying" the environment. Now I know what Benji felt like in Benji the Hunted.

Observation #3: I Still Don't Get Speedos:

I will never, ever, ever be caught dead wearing a Speedo. I just don't get why some men wear them. Are there any Speedo aficionados out there? If so, please shed some light on this for me. There are only two legitimate reasons that I can think of to wear one: 1) You are from Europe and can trace Speedo wearing back to your great-great-great-great-great grampa and you would dishonor his memory by switching to trunks. 2) You lost a bet with a friend and this is your humiliating punishment. Are there any other legitimate reasons?

Observation #4: Little Boys + Flowing Water = Potty Humor

The picture says it all. What else would you expect a little boy to do when he sees a stream of water shooting out of a pole?

Observation #5: Fishing Nets In The Pool Are Bad. Very, Very Bad:

When the park staff begins quickly ushering every toddler out of the kiddie pool you had better scoop up your child and get him or her to dry ground as fast as if Jaws himself is on the prowl. Take a close look at that picture. Notice how there is something in the bottom of the net that is causing it to sag a little bit? Well, let's just say that not every parent spent the extra $5.25 to buy a pack of swim diapers before sending little Johnnie to go down the clam shell slide. Disgusting. I was hoping that somebody was playing the "Throw the Baby Ruth Into the Pool" gag, but I didn't see any caramely nougat or peanuts when they lifted the net from the water. The look on the guy's face who was responsible for wielding the net was priceless. I can guarantee that in his job description there is a sentence that says, "...and all other duties as assigned by management." I think they keep some of those "duties" vague for a reason.

Well, Wet 'N Wild, thanks for the memories! We had a great summer with you and we look forward to coming back next year.

We just hope next time the fishing net stays locked in the utility shed.

My Unabashed Palin Crush

Thursday, September 04, 2008

I've got a crush on Palin.

Last night at the Republican Party Convention I joined with 37 million others in being introduced to a person who completely blew me away. A person with a rugged Alaskan background. A hardworking person who has reached a world-class level of success. A person who has managed a demanding, challenging career while simultaneously raising a beautiful family. When you throw the stylishly good looks into the mix you have to ask yourself one question:

How the heck does Todd Palin pull it all off?

That's right. Todd Palin.

Sure, last night was supposed to be Sarah's coming out party, but I turned off the TV being more intrigued about her mysterious husband than in the possible future Veep. You could say that I have developed a healthy, respectful, unawkward man-crush on Todd Palin after what I learned about him from his wife. Here is Todd Palin in Sarah's words:

"Todd is a story all by himself.

He's a lifelong commercial fisherman ... a production operator in the oil fields of Alaska's North Slope ... a proud member of the United Steel Workers Union ... and world champion snow machine racer.

Throw in his Yup'ik Eskimo ancestry, and it all makes for quite a package."

Quite a package indeed! His life story reads like that of a cheesy fictional male lead character in a Dan Brown novel. His life sounds so made up that I would not be surprised if Todd Palin is also trying to unravel the tangled web of deception behind his father's unsolved murder. His clandestine investigation leads him to a mysterious council of extremely tall supervillians who are ready to unleash an aggressive, unstoppable biological weapon on the earth that will kill everybody shorter than 6'5". Can't you just imagine Todd Palin ramming a snowmobile through the doors of the secret test lab and using his Eskimo Ninja skills to singlehandedly save the day just seconds before the plague is released? I can.

Let's examine what little we know about Todd Palin to see why he is perhaps the manliest man on the planet:

"He's a lifelong commercial fisherman ... " In other words, he's man enough to be on The Deadliest Catch. When I watch those guys working 20 straight hours lifting 200-pound cages in freezing temperatures I say to myself, "Great call going into HR! I still have all of my teeth and fingers and the closest I have been to freezing to death on the job was when we had to evacuate the plant in January due to a propane leak." Only gritty, burly, strong men work in commercial fishing. Todd Palin is a man. Me? I know how to use Excel Formulas and terminate people without getting the company sued. Take that!

"A production operator in the oil fields of Alaska's North Slope ..." I guess Mr. Manly Man scales 300 foot oil pumps in sub-zero tempatures in his spare time when he's not hauling Cutthroat Trout out of the water with nothing more than dental floss, a Sharpie pen, and his bare hands. I can just imagine him climbing to the top of a ridiculously high pump (with no support harnesses, of course, since those are for pansies) with a young greenhorn who is scared out of his mind. After reaching the top, Todd pauses, closes his eyes, takes a deep breath, and asks the kid, "You smell that?" The petrified rookie mutters a, "No, sir. I don't smell anything." Todd Palin then looks the kid in the eyes and says, "I smell opportunity. I smell independence. I smell money. I smell oil!" Just then the oil will begin gushing while drenching the two of them in liquid gold as Todd yells, "YEEEEEEEE-HAWWWW!" Seriously. Could this guy have selected any two more dangerous and manly professions? I guess the commute to West Virginia to moonlight as a coal miner was just too much.

"A proud member of the United Steel Workers Union"...As an HR Manager who works and negotiates with labor unions, I'm actually not very impressed by this one. Perhaps Todd's role is to work behind the scenes to influence his fellow union members to accept the contract that the company has proposed since it is fair and reasonable. Now that's a real man.

"And world champion snow machine racer." Just in case any of us thought we may be more manly than Todd Palin, HE'S ALSO A WORLD CHAMPION SNOW MACHINE RACER!" Game. Set. Match. Palin. Are you kidding me? He's not just a snowmobile enthusiast. Not even a pretty competitive weekend racer. Oh, no, not our Mr. Everything. He's a WORLD CHAMPION. And not just on a wimpy snowmobile, but on a snow machine. I've never seen a snow machine before, but I'm pretty sure that it looks like a snowmobile with a jet engine ducttaped to the back of it. I also envision it having the protruding, sharp, steel death rods like the bad guy's car on Grease that cut through Danny Zuko's car as if the fender were made of card stock. Images of Mad Max Thunderdome taking place in the snow come to mind. Todd Palin is more of a man than I can ever hope to be. If you squeezed the manliness out of me and the first thirty guys who read this blog and combined it all together, our aggregate studliness would equal roughly half of the stuff that courses through Todd's veins.

"Throw in his Yup'ik Eskimo ancestry..." I think every man whishes he was part Eskimo. It has been scientifically proven that Eskimo men can build igloos with better insulation than my house. Me? I get stoked when I correctly assemble my idiot proof tent and then manage to get the rain fly fastened in place. Eskimos also possess mystical powers over Mother Nature which allow them to summon forrest animals to voluntarily lay down their lives to provide the Eskimo with food and warm pelts should he be starving in the wilderness. Or if he needs a new polar bear skinned rug for his living room. Anyway, Eskimos are cool. Everybody knows that.

Plus, if were to poll most women, they would agree that Todd Palin is a handsome man. When you read about the rugged life that he has lived you would imagine him to be missing teeth and fingers. His facial skin should look more leathery than Jack Palance's in City Slickers since Todd has been exposed to the harsh Alaskan winds all day, every day, of his adult life. His back, hips and knees should be completely shredded after the abuse incurred in racing a snow machine and probably wrecking it multiple times. In short, Todd Palin should look just like John McCain. Instead, Todd Palin looks like a combination of Batman and James Bond.

Thanks to Captain Manly Pants, I'm going to begin living life to the fullest. I'm going to lose twenty pounds, take up rock climbing, become a competitive sky diver, and work as a rodeo clown on the weekends.

I hope you enjoyed this post. I might not live to ever blog again. But if this is the end, at least I will have died like a man!

Like Todd Palin.

Last Updated: 9/06/2008

Col. Smeag & Pappy Yokum - While you generally agreed with my assessment of Todd, you disagreed with my opposition to him being a steel union member. Col. Smeag's said, "I like the ideal of the steel workers union thing. I get images of burly guys with big muscles caring wrenches 3 feet long." Pappy made a similar comment of, "I picture Todd as one of those guys in the fire suits who stand ever so close to that molten pot of steel all day, slammed by heat with every pour - a job too hot for most men to handle." Deep within our hearts, most of us "office guys" would consider ourselves to be manlier if we worked in a sweltering production environment where sparks are flying and people randomly weld things to each other for no apparent reason. Welding would be a really cool topic for Men-richment.

Gretchen - A "snow maching" is simply a snowmobile with a cooler name? What a jip! I had better not find out that in Alaska they call people "World Champions" when they finish ninth in their neighborhood snowmobile race, or that they call guys "commercial fisherman" when they build a koi pond in the backyard.

Angela - Oh, big sis, where do I start? You mocked "us Republicans" even though this post was not about political preferences (and despite the fact that nobody disclosed their political affiliations), but about manliness. Manliness transcends politics. In fact, Todd Palin is not a Republican. Just to illustrate the point about manliness transcending politics, I gave props to Brad Pitt in my Twilight Rap despite the fact that his political views tend to differ from mine. Some people can take things, like manliness, at face value. Other people look for alleged hypocrisies where they don't exist. Oh well. :->

Katy and Landon - You asked an unanswerable question when you said, "Who would win in a death match? Todd Palin or Chuck Norris? It's like asking which will win, the unstoppable force or the immovable object? A few things have been proven about Chuck Norris that make it difficult to envision him losing to anyone at anything for any reason. For example:

-There is no "CTRL" button on Chuck Norris' computer because Chuck Norris is always in control.
-Chuck Norris destroyed the periodic table because he only recognizes the element of surprise.
-When Chuck Norris falls in water, Chuck Norris doesn't get wet. Water gets Chuck Norris.
-Chuck Norris can divide by zero.
-Chuck Norris always knows the EXACT location of Carmen San Diego.
-It only takes Chuck Norris 20 minutes to watch 60 minutes.

All things considered, I think Chuck Norris has the edge over Todd Palin. While they are equally manly, Chuck Norris has been practicing his version of manly longer than Todd has. I give him the small edge due simply to experience.