To wash, or not to wash?

Ok, this is one that my wife and I have a mild disagreement over.  When is it okay to NOT wash your hands after using the bathroom?  I know, everyone’s quick answer is “Never,” but hear me out…

Before we start, I’d like to say that I’m NOT a germaphobe.  However being married to an RN has introduced me to levels of cleanliness I didn’t know existed.  This had the side effect of making me hyper-aware of germ-laden venues.  For example, it’s great that the kids making my sandwich at the sandwich shop wear plastic gloves to keep my sandwich clean.  Next time you get a sandwich, watch them.  They touch your sandwich, the cash register, and just about everything else with those gloves, then go back and make another sandwich.  Come on, what’s the point?  But I’m off topic (again), back to bathrooms…

Bathroom’s are filthy, disgusting places.  Even if they look clean and sparkling, they’re covered in things you don’t even want to know about.  Seriously.  If you flush the toilet with the lid up (or, like most public bathrooms that don’t have a lid), you’re literally spraying feces bacterias all over the place.  It’s gross.  If you touch ANYTHING in a public restroom (flush handle, SINK FAUCET HANDLE, door handle, paper towel release handle thingy) congratulations, you have someone else’s poop on you.

Now obviously 99% of the time you’re going to want to wash your hands after you use a restroom.  If you really care about it, you’re going to use the paper towel with which you dried your hands to turn off the faucet (remember, you and everyone else turned it on with your filthy germ covered hands) and use that same paper towel to open the door.  Otherwise you have literally negated all the benefits of washing your hands anyway.

But what if you could get in and out without touching ANYTHING.  This one’s more for guys.  Ladies, you definitely have it tougher than us, which is why your bathrooms are fancier, with nice wallpaper, flowers, incense burning, couches to rest while you wait, etc.  I’ve never been in one, but I assume they all look like this:

ladies bathroom.
The men’s room most often looks like this:

mens bathroom
Some bathroom’s (like in parks, airports, and sports arenas,) have no doors, just a short hallway to enter.  What if I can walk in, use the urinal, and walk out without coming into contact with anything in the bathroom.  We’ll assume, for the sake of argument, that I managed not to urinate on myself.  We’ll also assume that I showered, and all the parts of my body are clean.  So here’s the question:

Do I wash my hands, or do I walk right out?  If I touch the sink faucet I’m immediately worse off.  My opinion is that the more hygienic move is to leave without touching anything.

These are the thoughts and mysteries that rattle around in my head.  It’s a weird place.  Sound off in the comments if you agree, disagree, or have other ideas.

As always, you’re welcome.

Living the Dream,
Humble Dave

It’s Nice to be Nice

This isn’t some mushy blog post about how being nice to people makes you feel good (it does, btw).  It also isn’t some philosophical mumbo-jumbo about the nature of the Universe.  This is about complete and total self-interest, that also happens to help other people.  Being nice offers real, tangible benefits for you, as well as intangible benefits for others.  But since this post is about complete and total self-interest, we’re going to ignore the benefits to others (for now.  But really, if you’ve read any of my other blog posts you know that my style tends to be a bit…bouncy.  Just because I start somewhere doesn’t mean I end up where we’d expect).

So what the heck am I talking about, and how could being nice help me?  Tangibly (Huh.  I wasn’t entirely sure that was a word.  I’m always pleasantly surprised when an uncertain word comes back without the “red line” beneath it.  Today is going to be a good day! Where was I?  Right.  Tangibly.).  I need an MRI for my neck (why?), and scheduling of such a thing can take weeks and weeks.  Now, “weeks” when you’re in pain is a long time.  I don’t want to wait weeks.  So I call on Tuesday and talk to the scheduler (Carrie).  I am super nice and upbeat.  Cheery, even.  I schmoozed her.  But I’ve got to be honest: Carrie was awesome.   Sure, she started out gruff and all professional.  The old “Let’s get this done, I have a million other patients to deal with” attitude.  Can’t blame her!  I was on hold for 10 minutes waiting for help.  They’re ALWAYS busy.  But in the face of my cheery self she loosens up and finds me a date of March 1st.  No, sorry, there’s no cancellation list where they’ll call you if someone else cancels.  I should call back every morning to check.  No problem, Carrie, thanks so much for your help!  Seriously, a week and a half isn’t too bad! Not what I wanted, but C’est la vie.

And that’s where the benefits start kicking in.  Because you know what?  People WANT to help people who make them feel good.  Because that ALSO feels good (yup, already made the first sentence of this post into a lie.  Deal with it.).  So anyway, Carrie says, “You know what?  I’ll keep your name and number next to me here for the rest of the day and if someone cancels I’ll give you a call.”  Carrie’s the best.  We hang up and frankly, I’m not expecting any calls.  Come on, she’s busy!

smile loud

About 15 minutes later my phone rings.  It’s Carrie, laughing because literally the call right after mine was a cancellation, and do I want to come in on the 27th.  Heck yeah I do!  Lots of thanks and emphasis that she is appreciated.  Boom, I’m in 2 days earlier (remember, when you’re in pain every day is an eternity.  So technically, I’m 2 eternities better off!).  Life is good!  Also, she’s feeling great because her normally “standard” day is suddenly just a tiny bit different, and better.  I could hear the smile on her face.  It felt great.

Anyway, I’m going about my business when about an hour later my phone rings again.  It’s Carrie!  HI CARRIE!  She just had another cancellation and do I want it?  It’s for the 22nd, this Thursday (now today, as I’m writing this).  HECK YEAH I WANT IT!  THANKS CARRIE; YOU’RE THE BEST!  Bi-directional happiness ensues.

So what did we learn?  Being nice to people has tangible benefits.  I get my MRI a full week earlier, which means I can make my neurosurgery appointment earlier.  Which means we can solve my neck problems sooner.  Which would be so awesome.  So, so awesome.

And this isn’t my only story.  These go on and on.  In another soon-to-be- written post you’ll read about how being nice via email to customer service reps can help fix your gross stupidity in letting airline ticket vouchers expire a month before you tried to use them (Sorry Dad.  You were right, I was wrong.  You’re smart, and I’m dumb.  You’re very good looking, and I’m not good looking at all.  Fortunately, we’re all good now!).

I know some people are reading this and saying, “He’s only faking being nice to get something.”  To that I respond: That’s not true.  I’m a nice person most of the time.  But regardless, IT DOESN’T MATTER.  If you act nice, you are nice.  Nobody knows what’s in your head.  You could be thinking about horrible, terrible things.  Nobody is affected by what’s in your head; people only know you by the actions you take.  BE NICE.  If you won’t listen to me, listen to the late, great, Patrick Swayze.

be nice

How will you know when it’s time to not be nice?  You won’t, Dalton will tell you.  Also, if you don’t know this quote, then go watch Roadhouse.  That movie is amazing.  But seriously, just be nice all the time.  My mom has similar wisdom, “Kill them with kindness.”  Be nice.

Thanks for reading!  And since you’re all awesome, I know you’ll share that awesomeness with everyone else (see what I did there?  I was nice, and now you want to tell people about my blog!  Seriously, tell people about my blog.).

Living the Dream,
Humble Dave

 

The Six P’s

My father once told me about the six P’s, and I’m going to pass them along to you.  When I’ve followed this advice my life has been easier and less stressful.  When I have ignored it… well… let’s just say you don’t want to ignore it.

The Six P’s:

Proper Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance

This is definitely one of the most valuable pieces of advice I’ve ever received, and it’s easy to remember.  It’s right up there with “Don’t touch hot things”, “Be careful with that piece of glass”, and “Power tools are not toys!”  Learn it. Live it.  Share it with others.

Now, I was going to end this post here, but because I’m wholly incapable of keeping things “short and sweet” I’ll add this one additional piece of trivia: There is some controversy regarding the Six P’s.

You see, there may be a lost, but not forgotten SEVENTH P!  This is a matter of debate between my father and his brother (who will henceforth be referred to as “my Uncle).  The “P’s” were passed down by my Grandfather to his two sons (I assume my Aunt, their sister also knows this, but she’s wisely elected to stay out of this so I won’t drag her into it now).  According to my Uncle, it should be the Seven P’s as such:

Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance

Frankly, I don’t see that 7th P adding any real value, so we’re going to fall on the side of Six P’s and call it a win.  Sorry Uncle Stevie, the internet has decided.  Are you going to argue with this man?

ben franklin
I didn’t think so.  Long live the 6 P’s!

Proper Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance

As always, you’re welcome.

Living the Dream,
Humble Dave

Coke Zero Sugar is Better than Coke Zero

You know what I’m talking about, right?  Coca Cola just tweaked their Coke Zero formula and rebranded it Coke Zero Sugar.  I tried it a month or two ago and immediately liked it better.  I was predisposed to dislike it.  I don’t always respond well to unnecessary change… change just for the sake of change.  But I really like it.  I’m a fan.  Way to go, Coke.

But that’s no longer the focus of this post.  When I went hunting for a good “Featured Image” as wordpress likes to call it, I found something that caught my attention.  Incidentally, am I stealing pictures if I just pull something off google images?  I mean, I don’t make any money off this blog, so I’m not using it for commercial purposes, so who cares, right?  Right.

Anyway, so I found this picture above of the new Coke Zero Sugar and Coke Zero poured into some glasses that I assume whoever took this photo just thought looked cool.  I happen to recognize them, as I have a couple in my cabinet.  They’re Glencairn Whisky glasses.  If you drink whisky (or whiskey) these are great glasses to use.  If you’re pouring soda into them you might want to re-examine your life-choices.  Because if you’re a fully functioning adult and old enough to drink whisky out of special whisky glasses, you should probably have normal drinking glasses for your soda if you’re too hoity-toity to drink it out of the can.

Anyway, this was originally going to be like a two-sentence blog.  “Coke Zero Sugar is better than Coke Zero.  That is all.”  That was my whole plan.  One day I’ll write a short post.  Today is not that day.

Living the Dream,
Humble Dave

The Importance of Socks and Pump Up The Volume

You know, I came here with a purpose today.  I was going to write about something so important, so CRITICAL to a happy life that I rushed to my computer to ensure you had access to this information immediately.  And it really IS amazing how the right pair of socks (or lack thereof), can completely affect your life.  Think on I’m wrong?  YOU’RE WRONG.  And I’ll probably tell you why.  Only probably?  Yes.

The thing that diverted me nearly completely from The Tao of Socks, is the fact that Pump Up The Volume should be required viewing in high schools across America.

pumpcoverYou probably haven’t seen it in a while.  It’s the story about a high schooler played byKevin Bacon who runs a pirate radio station out of his parents basement.  First of all, Kevin Bacon is a national treasure.  Second of all, the messaging seems incredibly relevant these days.  I really don’t think I can do it justice, so I’ll leave you with this: Violence in our schools is bad; we all agree on that.  Where we disagree is on the causes and how to solve it.  This movie deals with the raging emotions, unreasonable expectations, and incredible pressures that teenagers have to deal with.  It also offers hope.  Go watch it.  You might hate it, but I’m still right.  Happy Harry Hardon to the rescue!

pumpup

While I’ve got you, I’ll recommend Gleaming the Cube as well.  Another Kevin Bacon classic.  No bigger message, just a fun 80’s movie.

gleaming

 

 

Socks.  Welp, this seems trivial after helping to solve the school violence problem, but I’ll give it a go.

 

There’s are loads of different kinds of socks.  I was going to try and list them here but when I started I realized that it’s an exercise in futility.  I’m not sure if I mentioned this already, but there are LOADS of different kinds of socks!

I also realized that this isn’t the kind of thing that can be explained, it has to be experienced.  So here’s my proposition:  Buy a nice pair of wooly socks.  Big, fuzzy, wooly socks.  Then go wear your normal* socks for a day.  At the end of the day, after you’ve completed your tasks/chores/responsibilities and are ready to relax, change into the wooly ones.  Then sit down and relax** however you do it.  That’s better, right?  the socks?  I know!  They add a whole other dimension to the experience.  It’s like, before you were relaxing.  And it was good!  But now you’re relaxing, and it’s much better.  By a measurable factor of 2-wooly-socks better.  There’s no need to thank me; you are SO welcome.

So there you go!  An unplanned posts on a Sunday evening.  Enjoy!

Living The Dream,
Humble Dave

*There are many kinds of normal socks.  To improve your overall mood throughout the day, I recommend getting a “fun” pair of socks.  Splashes of color.  Spiderman socks.  Whatever.  Go crazy.  You’ll thank me for this when you’re standing in a business meeting negotiating a multi-million dollar deal, you suddenly remember you’re wearing Marvin the Martian socks, and you smile.  You’re welcome.
**If you’re unsure how to relax, or don’t like your current technique and are looking at other options, please allow me to make a suggestion:  Comfy chair, glass of whiskey (however you like it.  Don’t let someone else tell you how to enjoy your whiskey), fireplace.  Combine those three things with one of the following:  A good movie, a good book, or quiet contemplation.  Enjoy.

An Open Letter To My Face

First off, Face, I’d like to thank you for a solid 40 years (so far!) of hard work.  You’ve always done what you’re supposed to do, which is cover the front of my head.  Mission accomplished!  I’ve also been told that I’m not terribly unattractive, so… you know… thanks for that too.

And, I guess it’s worth mentioning that when I wanted to grow facial hair, you fully supported my endeavor.  The goatee grew in nice and thick and was our chin-warmer for many years.  And should I forget to shave (or choose not to) for a few days the beard is full, with no patching.

One could also make the argument that you’ve gone above and beyond the call of duty, as you have managed to help me attract the woman who became my wife.  For that alone I owe you a debt.

With all you’ve ever done on my behalf, I feel slightly embarrassed asking you for this favor, but I thought I’d give it a shot anyway.

“Would it be too much trouble if you weren’t so darn sensitive?”

I know, a strange request, but hear me out.  We both hate shaving, right?  I hate the whole, time consuming process, and you CLEARLY hate the razor.  This is evidenced by the fact that your irritation is evident every I shave.  We both know what I’m talking about, so I feel there’s no need for details here.

Stop shaving and grow a beard?  Certainly an option.  Although it seems a shame to cover you up after so many years of service, with so many more ahead of us.  Also, the wife hates it, and we both like her kisses.  Those’ll stop if we grow a beard.  We have to reject that option.

Shave less?  I do that now.  Normally I’m every other day, and have been taking a few liberties stretching to 3 days when possible.  We also don’t shave over the weekend so you get the occasional 4 day stretch.  This isn’t sustainable. Also, as I mentioned before, it reduces the number of kisses we get.  For that reason alone this is an unacceptable solution.

As far as shaving options go, we’ve tried as many as we could.  Electric razor, 1-5 blade razors, and double-edged safety razors (with a variety of blades) have all removed bristles from us.  Shaving cream, shaving gel, and shaving oil (which we currently use) have all been the buffer.  We even bought shaving cream you add to water, mix, and apply with a badger-hair brush.  Nobody can say we haven’t tried.

So, all that being said, and as long as it isn’t too much trouble, could you toughen up just a tiny bit?  I’d be completely satisfied if our every-other-day shaving ritual would be unmarred by the usual irritation.  I completely understand if daily is just too often, and I’m 100% behind you  on this.  But every other day seems reasonable.  And we’ll keep skipping the weekends (unless there’s some event that requires it) to give you an extra break.

Now, perhaps the sensitivity is necessary to receiving all those other benefits.  And if that’s the case, of course I’m happy to continue on as we have been all these years.  But you and I both know that we can do better.  Let’s give it a shot, shall we?  We’ll both be better off for it.

Thanks a bunch!

-Humble Dave

P.S. If you have any pull with the rest of my head, a little more hair on top would be appreciated.  Thanks!