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Archive for March 2010

MY BUCKET LIST: 100 Things To Do Before I Die

not my hand

Do you have a bucket list?  What do you want to do before you die?
I usually have a small list of life goals banging around my head & bits written down, but I challenged myself to write it all out & was surprised.  Some of the list is comprised of half-crazed dreams that seem like a stretch, but would be swell to accomplish.  Sure, I’ve just created more identifiable ways to fail.  Good stuff.

I’ve divided my list into 5 groups:  Learning, Creative, Travel, Adventure, Domestic. If I’d made the list 10 years ago, it would’ve included things I’ve done since like seeing castle Neuschwanstein, lurking about Stonehenge, buying a house, visiting Asia (Taiwan), etc, & I’d have more of a sense of completion to this point & the existing list would be shorter.  Maybe in 5 years I’ll have knocked off a dozen more & will have replaced them (If I can survive a 5k race without dying from asthma, then maybe a 10k would be in order.  Junk like that.).

(Take the Bucket List Summer Challenge)

By the way, a few items I don’t think I’ll add are bungee jumping and skydiving, since I don’t want to die trying to check something off my death list.  Am I an incredible chicken?  Yes.  Yes, I am.  But accomplishing most of these things requires me to get off my lazy chicken butt and get with it.  So, the gauntlet has been dropped.

Learning Goals

1. Learn a new brass instrument

2. Learn a new stringed instrument

3. Learn to play the accordion so I can annoy friends and loved ones (in a different way)

4. Take the IQ test before the mind starts going.

5. Learn to play decently at cards/poker (I’ll have to work on my P-P-P-Poker face)

6. Learn to play golf properly/get my own left-handed clubs

7. Learn to play piano by ear/Be the Piano Man!

8. Learn conversational Spanish (my 8th grade Spanish didn’t stick well)

9. Study another language like German or French or Mandarin

10. Learn to surf

11. Learn to sail

12. Study a martial art (Karate, Tai Chi, etc)

13. Take an art class where I learn how to draw, paint, create visual junk

14. Learn to juggle

15. Do a thorough genealogy search (& find if we are really related to Ben Franklin, Napoleon, prez Andrew Johnson & an Indian chief) (I can only half cross this off)

16. Record oral histories of my family  (I’ve done 3 now. Need more details, though.)

17. Travel the country/world to see gravestones of ancestors/relatives

18. Attend family reunions for @ least 2 branches of my family (eg Hinkles & Gottschalls)

19. Learn super debating techniques

20. Give a speech to a large group (while awake and wearing more than underwear)-> Sort of Done.

21. Be able to identify more constellations (beyond Orion & the Dippers)

22. Learn good storytelling techniques

23. Read all the books on a snobby list of classics

24. Be able to identify 10+ birdcalls

25. Learn the main arguments for creationism

Creative Goals

26. Publish at least one song
27. Write at least once for a national/int’l magazine
28. Make a scripted home movie with a story line
29. Finish writing my Christmas Cantata (for a choir) & have it performed & recorded
30. Finish Writing my rock musical:  music, lyrics, story
31. Write a screenplay for a movie (possibly for that rock musical)
32. Publish at least one book
33. Design and landscape my backyard (possibly with help)
34. Start a magazine
35. Build a proper treehouse (not like that awesome bit of childhood @my grandparents’)
36. Record a semi-pro album
37. Perform a full set of my own music (+some covers)
38. Write a stand-up comedy act, even if I don’t perform publicly
39. Write several comedy sketches, enough to match an episode of SNL (or In Living Color or Kids in the Hall or Monty Python or Mad TV)
40. Perform the aforementioned sketches with friends in an improvised version of SNL.  Videotape it.  My band could be the featured music(could be just the sort of thing to organize over an extended Christmas holiday)coat of arms family crest rausch design standard herald heraldry
41. Write a script for a tv show
42. Design a family crest/coat of arms
43. Invent something & take out a patent
44. Become handy with some new dangerous tools (probably something that ends in -saw)
45. Build some fairly simple furniture without help from former felons or summer camp dudes
46. Build an instrument from a kit
47. Write a Christmas story
48. Write a non-Christmas hymn (another one, but one that doesn’t suck so much)
49. Design a Lord of the Rings amusement park for fun
50. Design a Christmas-themed amusement park for fun

Travel Goals

51. Visit all 7 continents.  Yes, this includes Antarctica.

52. Visit all US national parks
53. Visit every US state
54. See the pyramids & the Sphynx (Egypt, not Vegas)
55. Walk the Great Wall
56. Visit the Terra Cotta Warriors in Xian and buy tacky souvenirs
57. Visit Beijing, China
58. See New England in full leaf-peeper season
59. Visit Machu Picchu, Peru
60. Visit the Taj Mahal, India
61. Visit Angkor Wat in Cambodia (carefully stepping around the landmines)
62. See the 7 Wonders of the world
63. Visit France- -> DONE!
64. Visit Switzerland -> Officially done! Do longer.
65. Go back to Austria, but for longer than 2 hrs this time. DONE!
66. Sleep in a castle
67. Take a Euro-trip just to visit castles & cathedrals (the 2 previous trips nearly qualify)
68. See Italy -> DONE!
69. Visit the Cinque Terre on the Italian Riviera
70. Visit Japan (see more than just the airport next time)
71. See the Acropolis in Greece
72. Visit Russia
73. See the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul (not Constantinople), Turkey (yeah, I called you a turkey)
74. Big heads on Easter Island, Baby!
75. Visit the Holy Land between bombings

Adventure Goals

76. Run in a 5k race without stopping partway through to get a rock out my shoe
77. Ride in a Hot Air balloon and/or a Zeppelin (possibly while singing “Stairway to Heaven” or “Immigrant Song” or saying stuff like “Oh, the humanity!”)
78. Walk longish segments of the Appalachian Trail
79. Take a cruise (I’m probably going to sign up for one in the next week)-> DONE! 
80. Travel the Trans-Canada Hwy from coast to coast
81. Canoe the boundary waters or a waterway (but book woods with showers & toilets)
82. Travel by train across the US
83. Take a US roadtrip from coast to coast
84. Get SCUBA certified (if asthma allows)
85. Take flight Lessons
86. See the northern lights
87. Take a helicopter ride
88. Go whitewater rafting
89. Live in or travel around another country for a few months at a time
90. Take a proper cabin/lodge/ski vacation

Domestic Bliss Goals

91. Marry someone swell
92. Procreate
93. Become self-employed (make a living off my creative work for at least 1 year, but preferably always)
94. Get back under 200 pounds (and stay there)
95. Build my own house (by which I mean have someone else build it to my specs)
96. Regain my 6-pack
97. Develop a unique recipe that’s pretty darn good
98. Grow a decent backyard garden by myself that survives
99. Learn to make at least 5 dishes from memory
100. Help plant an orchard (preferably mine on a large acreage)

What’s on your bucket list?

The Secret word is Falafel


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The Great Massage Adventure 

Fear of Middle Age

Google-Stalking the Ex

Children, Braid Your Nosehairs

11 Steps to Becoming a Domesticated Bachelor

Famous Historical Bachelors-A List

17 Types of Bachelor Pads

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Intimidated By Smart Girls?

by Jonathan Birddog Perry

Intimidated by smart girls?  Yes.  Yes I am (a little).  But I’m intimidated by lots of women, so it’s not a different thing.

Bianna Golodryga
Smart girls are those studious bookworm types who often fly under the radar.  Sometimes they’re so engrossed in their reading or the studying of Physics or Socrates or Russian Lit or Adam Smith‘s take on Economics that they often go unnoticed by guys and may not notice guys stalking them in the library.  This makes them a great undiscovered and untapped resource.  Finding a new hot smart girl is like finding a gold nugget in a creek.  They’re both shiny and heavy (I mean pretty and smart.  And rare.   Ok, it’s a flawed simile.).  These distracted smart hot girls are not unlike those newly minted beauties who’ve just blossomed into hotness or who have recently lost 30 pounds and aren’t aware how attractive they are, at least early on.  If you can catch one before she develops that sense of self, realizing the evil power she wields over men, do it,  because she will discover her powers and use them and you might not make the cut.

I spent 20 min collecting Natalie Portman pics

I spent 20min collecting pics of Natalie Portman for this post

In college, there was one sciency nerdyish girl, a friend of a friend, who happened to be moderately good-looking, and complained loudly that guys didn’t ask her out because she was so smart.  I remember thinking that it was just possible they didn’t date her because she whined and was so annoyingly full of herself.  And that’s the weakness of the smart girl:  when she knows she’s smart and lets everyone else know, she becomes super-annoying.  And intimidating (of course this all applies to dudes as well, but we’re not talking about guys, are we?).

I’m not suggesting dating dumb girls, though they need love, too.  Boy, do they ever.  There were some girls in college I’d have dated more if I’d been more convinced of normal brain function.  I hope to end up with a smart girl, someone who’s a treat to talk to and who can gently correct my wayward grammar (on those ever-so-rare occasions) or indulge my constant questions about cultures or philosophical issues with thoughtfulness, charm, and accuracy without being smarmy.  I actually do decently in the brains department (he said with all false modesty, while secretly hoping someone discovered his high IQ) and I don’t want to feel like I’m talking to a brick wall.  If, by some chance, the smart girl and I procreated, besides breeding genius asthmatic musical children with low self-esteem and ADD who are beaten up in school (the good stuff would come from her), she could help raise our kids to be smart monkeys who create atom-splitting science fair projects on demand, which is all anyone could ask for.  Of course she’d help keep me on my toes, nurturing me to be that wise goat-baboon hybrid I always knew I could be (I‘m not really insulting my parents).

Bollywood star Aishwarya Rai

Bollywood star Aishwarya Rai

In earlier posts I wrote about different types of women, specifically about how I have a special place in my heart for women who are like the girl next door and who are elegant, especially those who crossover into each type.  I found some outstanding celebrity examples of these women who I think are especially swell.  That may be why I waited to write about smart girls.  I love smart girls, but I honestly can’t think of many celeb examples that I really dig.  There are a few financial-journalist types who seem smart, ABC’s Bianna Golorodryga and CNBC’s ‘money honeyMaria Bartiromo, but I haven’t fully inspected their brains.  I’ll do that now.  Yep, they’re smart. There are many beautiful celebrities who have attended Ivy League schools and other top universities, but we consider these people to be automatically suspect.  At least I do.  Would these women have really gotten into such prestigious schools had they not been famous?  Or hot?  Maybe, maybe not.  Here are my favorites and the schools they attended:  Natalie Portman (Harvard), Kate Beckinsale (Oxford), Clair Danes (Yale), Elisabeth Shue (Wellesley College & Harvard), Jennifer Connelly (Yale & Stanford), and Bollywood star Aishwarya Rai (U of Mombai).   All beautiful and well-educated celebrity women, though I think Natalie Portman is the only one to hit the trifecta, making all three of my celeb-crush lists.  She’s pretty nifty.

The key point here is to not overlook smart women, however intimidating they might be, especially the hot smart women who aren’t yet aware how awesome they are.  They can be really interesting, make good company on long roadtrips, and will still be smart and interesting long after the crow’s feet start walking all over them.

(Now I’m a little paranoid a smart girl is going to proofread this and give me a low score.  Dangit.)

The secret word is intimidation.

Take the pseudo-Cosmo quiz to find out your type ->

Read more on types of women:

Celebrity Crushes: Is Elegance Elitist?

Celebrity Crushes: The Girl Next Door

A Moment of Silence For Natalie Portman’s Singleness

Sound of Music DEATH MATCH!!! Liesl v Maria

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The Brady Bunch: “Time To Change”

The Brady Bunch kids wish to remind of the time change by singing this puberty-induced song.  Push your clocks ahead an hour today (if you’ve already done it, don’t do it twice).  Be sure to tip Peter Brady on the way out.

The secret word is tiger.

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JAMES BOND: Bachelor Spy

by Jonathan Bond Perry

james bond casino royale daniel craig poster 007

Daniel Craig as Bond

Last night I totally ignored the Academy Awards and all the Oscar weirdness, instead watching Sean Connery in the James Bond film From Russia with Love.  Within the first 40 minutes at least 8 stunning women (I lost count) were featured in places like London, Russia, and Istanbul (not Constantinople), and a fancy spy briefcase complete with a handful of gadget-y weapons was shown to 007 for his approval.  There’s also some stimulating repartee with Miss Moneypenny.  In another scene while spying on a woman in a secret meeting, a colleague asked Bond “How does she look to you?”, to which he responds “From this angle things are shaping up nicely.  I’d like to see her in the flesh.”.  Oh, and after a belly-dancing scene, there’s a catfight between 2 hot gypsy women who don’t seem to be overdressed.  (There were also goats, but that’s a side thing.)

James Bond is awesome.  His job, nay his duty, as debonair spy for MI6 (British Intelligence), has him traveling the world, wearing sharp suits, driving magnificent autos, and entangling with exotic and dangerous beauties who seem to have left most of their clothing in the other bag.  Bond has engineers constantly creating cool new spy toys to help him dispatch the enemy, which he always does with panache.  Why am I using French words like panache and debonair when Bond is clearly English?  Maybe I want to be beaten up by the james-bond-logo golden eye bullet pierce brosnanbullies in my head.  I don’t know.  But I do know this: James Bond is perhaps the prime vanguard of all bachelors.  He epitomizes the Domesticated Bachelor.  He’s suave, stylish, sophisticated, and completely fictional.  Truly a standard bearer.

James Bond was created in 1952 by British journalist Ian Fleming while on holiday at his Jamaican estate, Goldeneye.  Yeah, Goldeneye.  Fleming wrote twelve novels and two short story collections about 007, who, it’s said, was actually modeled on Fleming, himself something of an overly-confident manwhore.  Beginning with the 1962 release of Dr. No, there have been 22 Bond films in the EON Production series, making it the longest running, most financially successful English-language film franchise in history (at least through the most recent film, Quantum of Solace).  After Fleming’s death in 1964, several other writers authored James Bond novels and screenplays and perhaps named their Sedona estates Moonraker and Thunderball, but maybe not.  James Bond has also been spoofed, most famously in the Austin Powers series by Mike Myers.

James Bond collection2 007 actors roger moore sean connery timothy dalton george lazenby daniel craig pierce brosnanBond’s date of birth often changed from story to story, frequently leaving him in his 40s, which apparently is an ideal age for spy-adventure coolness and gives me a small degree of comfort as I near that middling decade of life.  Over the years, 007 has been portrayed on the big screen by several actors, most notably by Sean Connery and Roger Moore.  These are usually considered the classic Bonds.  In fact, there was a situation in 1983 where 2 different Bond movies played in theaters simultaneously.  Roger Moore was in the EON production of Octopussy, when Sean Connery, the previous EON Bond, was brought back as Bond in the non-EON Never Say Never Again.  Eventually MGM purchased the name “James Bond”, so this problem could never be repeated.  007 has also been portrayed by Timothy Dalton, George Lazenby, David Niven (in an early spoof), Pierce Brosnan, and most recently Daniel Craig.

Bond music is easily recognizable the world over.  The Bond theme is a super instrumental used in every movie, then a different song usually opens each film and this song is sung by one of the current hot singers.  Some of the best include Paul McCartney and Wings doing “Live and Let Die“, Duran Duran in “A View to a Kill“, and “Nobody Does it Better” sung by Carly Simon for The Spy Who Loved MeShirley Bassey sang three Bond themes.

james-bond-goldfinger shirley eaton jill masterson

Don’t get how her panty bits turned gold, but it’s advanced science

James Bond has had many relationships with women, often quite meaningless relationships.  Of course he’s on the go a lot, sometimes the women are spies, and sometimes they die or turn gold and then die.  At one point, though, Bond marries, but on their wedding day his bride is killed by his archenemy (seems like the writer’s convenient way of keeping Bond single).

Yes, women love 007, at least the ones in his movies (some of my married friends aren’t so keen).  Between the exciting job, the snazzy clothes, the good looks, the sweet rides, and the strong self-esteem, he has little trouble with the fictional ladies.  He’s the sort of guy other guys hope to emulate, minus the murder.  And the excessive manwhoring.

The secret word is Moneypenny.

Related Reading:

Bachelor Profiles: Mad King Ludwig

Bachelor Profiles: Vincent Van Gogh

Bachelor Profiles: Sherlock Holmes


Bachelors In History

Famous Historical Bachelors-A List

Becoming A Domesticated Bachelor:  The Right Wardrobe

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