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The Dating Sweet Spot

So, there’s this hilarious mythical theory stating that from ages 35 to 45 men are in the perfect position to date the widest age range of women: from post college lasses in their mid twenties to the lasses’ 55 year old mothers (but not actually the mothers and daughters simultaneously because that would be weird). It's known as the Dating Sweet Spot. One could surmise, based purely on age averages, that men in their 30s and 40s cut right in between those extreme age groups of women, thus giving credence to this theory of successfully dating all around the outer edges of time and space. Read the rest of this entry »

Touring The Coba Mayan Ruins In Mexico

In December I climbed a Mayan pyramid. It was awesome. I am not Spiderman. Before Christmas I took a Caribbean cruise with some of my former college classmates where we did some mission-y projects at the ports in between bouts of sea-sickness. The seas were so rough (Stuff broke. Gravity was defied.) that we could only stop at 2 of our 4 ports and only one of those was a project port. The other port, our last, was Cozumel, Mexico. Read the rest of this entry »

Enhance Your Life By Taking Free Courses

billymadison adam sandler movie school(Our guest writer, Brian Jenkins, writes about a variety of education topics for BrainTrack.com. This includes college level courses in culinary arts, which many bachelors out there could desperately use.)

 

Do you feel as though you could use some upgrades to your dating, personal finance, and/or cooking skills? Perhaps you’re preparing to take a beautiful woman to a fancy restaurant and you want to learn how to reject wines like an expert? You can learn this skill, and other skills useful for bachelors, for free! Let’s take a look at some free courses and some other interesting resources:

Cooking Classes

After preparing and providing an elaborate home cooked meal, your date says, “That was very good.” However, even your parakeet knows she’s lying. What can you do? Take a cooking class and learn how to cook scrumptious meals. You may even get lucky and meet some women in class.

European Cooking Vacations

Take a European cooking vacation and add some spice to your life. The International Kitchen offers an array of cooking vacations and one day classes in France, Italy, and Spain. The programs also include sightseeing tours. Cooking Vacations provides hands-on cooking classes and cultural tours in Italy’s 20 regions.

Free Online Wine Courses

How can you class yourself up to impress women? You could always wear a monocle. But perhaps a better choice would be to dazzle women with your wine knowledge. Take these two free online wine courses. The short interactive course will have you tasting wines like an expert, while the advanced course teaches you how to do the following:

  • Differentiate and describe wines like an expert
  • Talk about and order wine with confidence
  • Save money when buying wine
  • Reject wines commonly accepted by other people
  • Pair wine with food

Personal Finances

You don’t know much about personal finance topics? Is your brain melting due to your substantial credit card debt? What can you do? Enhance your knowledge by taking some free online personal finance courses. Check out Financial Security for All at eXtension, Money 101, and Planning for a Secure Retirement.

Even if you’re an expert on personal finance, consider taking a free undergraduate business course through MIT OpenCourseWare. MIT’s Sloan School of Business Management offers an extensive list of free classes. And yes, you can impress women by casually letting it be known you’re taking classes at MIT!

Speak With Class

How can you woo your date? Sprinkle the conversation with romantic French phrases. Don’t have the time or money to move to Paris? No problem! Take free online french lessons! Obviously, you’ll need to wear a beret to complete the wooing process.

By not paying a dime for these life-enhancing courses, you can buy that 2011 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class automobile (MSRP $110,400) you’ve been thinking about! THAT should impress a few ladies.

 

(The opinions expressed by this writer don’t necessarily reflect those of The Domesticated Bachelor.)

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Top Bachelor Links of the Week (Feb 6-12)

Phaistosdiskcode

Phaistos Disk-1700BC. Can you crack the code?

Last week was most notable for the Super Bowl and some heavy changes in Egypt that hopefully don’t make things worse than they were (cross your fingers on that power vacuum).  On a somewhat lighter note, I’ve gathered some nifty new weblinks from last week that might be of interest to the bachelor folk. 

1. The Best & Worst Cities For MenMen’s Health graded 100 major cities in the US using several criteria, including health & social factors.  I was pretty stoked because my city, Lincoln, Nebraska, came in 6th! (Lincoln’s done fantastically on several comparison lists over the last few years, which gives me some consolation since I don’t live in the Pacific Northwest.)  Take a look to see if your city made the list.

2. 10 Man Caves The real estate site Zillow.com made a list of 10 great man caves, including Larry the Cable Guy’s man cave.  Not so much bachelor pads as bachelor islands in the seas of marriage.  Or something. 

3. Top 10 Uncracked Codes If you thought women were hard to crack, check out these 10 codes that have stymied cryptologists for years.  One was even written by the composer Elgar in 1897.  Maybe you can crack them (probably not).  My brother sent me this link.

4. $20,000 To Hack Chrome For all you computer geniuses and/or nerds (like my college roommate Ted) who need legal & financially happy outlets for your hacking skills, check out Google’s offer of $20,000 to anyone who can hack their Chrome browser during an event in Vancouver next month.

5. 2045:  The Year Man Becomes Immortal (The Singularity)
This was a fascinating article from Time about Ray Kurzweil’s belief in ‘The Singularity’, where computers may soon far surpass human intelligence resulting in humans merging with machines in one of a couple ways.  A fascinating read, if potentially disconcerting.  Cyborg stuff.

6. 6 New Mythbusting Rules for Singles– Match.com surveyed 5,000 single men & women and found some surprising things that defied stereotypes, including that men fall in love more quickly and are more eager to have children.  Why must they tell our secrets?

7. Silver Bullion Backwardation Suggests Supply Stress-Running out of silver?  Sort of.  The demand is greater than the current supply which means prices should continue to run up for some time.  The article explains backwardation and what that means for the price of silver.  I started watching silver prices last summer when they were at the $17.50 an ounce level.  Today silver is just over $30/oz and this particular article expects it to reach as much as $130 in the not too distant future.  The instability of our fiat currencies certainly helps silver and gold, but gold is a bit high for the average investor (currently over $1360 an ounce).  Silver is outpacing gold with help from it’s many industrial uses, including it’s use as a conductor in solar power cells.  The article doesn’t quite suggest you run to your local coin dealer and stock up, hoarding silver in a hole in your backyard for retirement and/or nuclear fallout, but it didn’t really need to.  I think there was a link for that.

The secret word is cryptology

Listomania!

17 Types of Bachelor Pads

My Bucket List: 100 Things To Do Before I Die

11 Steps To Becoming A Domesticated Bachelor

My 11 Favorite Christmas Albums

30 Favorite Songs of 2009 (1-15)

My 25 Humanoid Things

9 Foods I Might as Well Move To the Bomb Shelter

Timely Link

Valentine’s Day Shame

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POLL: Who’s Your Favorite Hottie Actress of the ’50s?

LaurenBacall AudreyHepburn GraceKelly AvaGardner SophiaLoren NatalieWood actresses 50s

Clockwise from top left: Lauren Bacall, Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Natalie Wood, Sophia Loren, Ava Gardner

Poll time:  Who’s Your Favorite Hottie Actress of the ’50s?

If you’re retirement age, you might have adored these talented (and magically delicious) actresses the first time around during Hollywood’s Golden Age (circa 1950s).  Some of us younger folk have since grown to appreciate the grooviness of women who could be our grandmothers.  I think I mentioned before that I’m a bit of a Natalie Portman fan (see exhibit A & exhibit B), but there’s just something swell about the classic elegance of these fine Hollywood hotties.  A few of these actresses hit their heydays before the ‘50s, some just after, but they all did great work in the ‘50s. There were other excellent actresses from the period, but these are the 6 I like best (I’ve left out Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe because they’re overly popular and just not my favs).  Please vote for your favorite and tell us why in the comments, then check back for the results (you can see the results of the Favorite Fictional Bachelor Poll and still vote!).  Feel free to research their film catalogs and get back to us.

The secret word is classic.

Related Blogginess

Celebrity Crushes:  Is Elegance Elitist?

Sound of Music Death Match!! Liesl v Maria

A Moment of Silence For Natalie Portman’s Singleness

The Girl Next Door

Intimidated By Smart Girls?

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The Great Massage Adventure

by Jonathan Barndoor Perry

the masseuse and the massageYou hear great things about massages.  Then you hear the other stuff, which you assume is largely isolated and somewhat fictional.  I least I used to.  Last fall I flew to California to see my mom and took a short sidetrip to see my friend Cami who lives in the Bay Area.  Our visit together was brief, but we packed in a lot during that time.  We ate dinner at an Ethiopian restaurant, had a meal of Cameroonian food the next day at an outdoor market, caught a Regina Spektor concert, and even got massages.  I’d never had a proper massage before, so I was really looking forward to it.  Cami’s kind of an old hat at massages and had found a favorite place.

The massage was fantastic!  It was quite relaxing and thorough, but, um, a bit more thorough than I was expecting.  I was surprised when the masseuse climbed onto my back and used her knees and feet to loosen my knotted muscles.  I was also surprised when she massaged me like only that special someone might with near pinpoint encroachment of the nethers.  Actually, Cami had joked before we went in about the ‘happy ending‘ business and we had a good chuckle knowing we were seeing professionals, but wouldn’t that be funny?  Well, it happened.

At some point near the end of my session, the masseuse said something softly I couldn’t quite understand.  I had her repeat it and she whispered in my ear & pointed there (an area loosely covered by a towel), asking me if I wanted her to ‘do that’.  I nonchalantly said ‘no, thank you’ in a very polite way, as if one was casually turning down a great dessert at a fine restaurant because there are too many calories, though one has truly been craving the molten lava chocolate cake for months.  I’m a little repressed.

We left the massage parlor in a normal manner (I accidentally under-tipped) and as we reached the car I told Cami the previous hour’s highlights.  She was shocked!  Appalled.  She wasn’t sure she wanted to go back there again and I don’t believe she has since.  Gradually her shock turned to amusement.  Weird naked time became a recurring laugh.  Cami said her ex hadn’t been offered ‘that’ before (maybe he didn’t fess up), which made me feel just a bit special, though really, I already felt pretty special.

Anyway, the next time you’re in the Bay Area… db

 

The secret phrase is magic fingers.

Go San Francisco Giants!!

Similar Simian Reads:

No Mom, I’m Not Gay

The Great Suburban Mushroom Hunt

Google-Stalking the Ex

Dating Advice From the Family

Sound Of Music Death Match!!! Liesl v Maria

Bachelors In History

Esperanto Rhymes with Tonto

The Prophecy of the Tornado and the Trailer

Logan’s Run and Population Control

Kitten of Evil

Will Your Siblings Use Up the Good Names?

Which is Your Type? A Pseudo-Cosmo Quiz

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Antiquing and the Cylinder Phonograph

by Jonathan B. Perry

cylinderEdisongoldmouldedphonographamberolLast Sunday afternoon, if you’d been looking, you’d have found me crouched at an antique mall in Omaha sorting through a surprise collection of about 250 phonograph cylinders, checking for condition, price, and musical selection.  I bought 11.  What are phonograph cylinders?  You might know about them, but somehow I went my entire life, until a few weeks ago, without knowing. Now I own a cylinder phonograph, several cylinders, and rock out like Teddy Roosevelt rocking a monocle.

Invented by Thomas Edison in 1877, phonograph cylinders rivaled phonograph disc records for many years, but were no longer manufactured after 1929 (it was discovered that both sides of discs could be recorded on, while cylinders had no such option). Recently, though, novelty recordings have been made using cylinders, including a song by They Might Be Giants, “I Can Hear You”. This year, a British steampunk band, The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing, released a track on a limited edition cylinder.  I might have gone a few more years without knowing about these little record tubes had I not run across some orphaned cylinders in an antique shop last month.

Not long before, I’d started my antiquing obsession when I came across a beautiful set of antique history books being used as props at an interior design shop and thought they’d look swell in my library.  And they do.  I soon set out to find more nice pieces and maybe an old lantern or two, and knew I needed to visit some antique stores.  I hadn’t been to one in awhile and could sense my lameness.  On my first trip, I went to a large antique mall where I found some cool lanterns, as well as one of those old accordion-type cameras that unfolds.  It decorates a shelf in my living room.

It was the next store where I found some more great books and those fantastic phonograph cylinders.  When I saw them, I was amazed by the packaging, and of course the fact that this was another form of musical reproduction (like the cassette, cd, 8-track) and here I was, a fairly well-read person with an enormous music library, completely unaware of their existence.  In my excitement, I immediately called my brother Jay and had him look up what he could find on the cylinders (another good reason to buy a smart phone).  He saw lots of 25 or 30 cylinders selling on eBay and advised me of actual cylinder phonographs selling online for $800-1200. If nothing else, the cylinders were great novelty pieces and priced moderately, so I bought 3 of them.  And some swell books.  I held off on the nifty furniture, stained-glass windows, and brass miner’s lanterns until a somewhat distant future.

edison cylinder phonograph amberola 30

Cylinder Phonograph (Edison Amberola 30). Not mine (my camera cord is missing)

The cylinders became a footnote as I visited one antique shop after another finding such things as a unique 9″ tall brass mesh sieve and an 1880s 6 volume leather-bound set of Le Comte De Monte-Cristo by Dumas (The Count of Monte Cristo to us English-speakers).  The leather book spines have those cool ridges.  I even saw a nice cylinder phonograph with a beautifully decorated horn, but at $800 it was beyond my immediate consideration.  A few days later, though, as I was trekking through Iowa and Minnesota, I found another great cylinder phonograph.  This one played well, but had the horn built into the box, like a speaker.  I was primed.  Listed at less than half the cost of the other, I negotiated, getting an even better deal, and took the piece home.  I had my own musical bit of history.  It was awesome!

Really, I should be rebuilding my modern audio system rather than investing in the 8-track equivalent of the 1st World War, but it was too fantastic to pass up.  Also, such non-electronic devices will come in handy in the fallout shelter after EMPs (electromagnetic pulses) have destroyed modern technology.  Yea, verily.

To me, visiting these antique shops is like visiting museums where you can buy the display items.  It’s strange to see what people are selling and what they’ve collected over the years.  Sometimes the displays are themed, like Victorian or old tool shed or mad scientist, and really give you a small insight into the people behind the items.  It’s interesting to consider the provenance of a piece:  Who were the former owners and what were they like?  Which meth-addicted grandchild is selling off grandma’s treasures?

So now as Fantasy Baseball season winds down (I have a decent chance of winning 2 championships, if I can survive today oops!), it seems I’ve found an obsession replacement.   In the last 3 weeks I’ve been to a dozen antique shops in 5 towns.  I’ve started visiting garage sales (though I’m not an early-bird shoppers who arrives early for worms) and I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time on eBay.  I have an idea of what pieces I’m looking for and what my price points are.  At the moment I’m camping out on eBay looking for accidentally cheap, but fancy, 19th century music boxes that play a dozen songs or use weird metal plates or corn cobs.  I’m also checking out strange musical instruments and unusual antique scientific devices in nice wooden boxes.  In the shops my eyes are also open for the nifty furniture, stained-glass windows, and brass miner’s lanterns, knowing I should still wait on the pricier items until perhaps after I’ve had the house re-sided.  But if I should happen upon that rare cylinder with Christmas music on it, I’ll be sure to grab it right up.  You don’t just find that stuff anywhere.

Once I find my camera cord, I hope to post a video of my cylinders in action.  The cord may be in Minnesota.

The secret word of the day is steampunk.

Read These:

Buying Useless Antique Furniture: Globe Wernicke Card Catalog Cabinet with Map Drawers

Easter Antiquer

How I’m Not Really Related to Ben Franklin

Bachelors In History

A Photographic Memory

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17 Types of Bachelor Pads

by Jonathan Bonobo Perry

ABC has a new cheesetastic reality tv show called The Bachelor Pad which seems like it might combine The Bachelor with Big Brother and The Real World after they’ve soaked in a briny vat of The Girls Next Door.  It promises an abnormally good-looking and freakishly healthy cast of cast-offs from previous reality shows being overly-dramatic and dramatically-amorous in a fine and expensive model home.  Pray, what will this bachelor pad be like?  Certainly it has everything.  Entertainment, games, and watery places, perhaps 7 hot tubs (so a few could be decontaminated simultaneously).  This got me thinking about types of Bachelor Pads as theme parks for men or rather types of homes for types of bachelors. What if guys were only one-dimensional and could each be pigeonholed into one tidy category?  Here’s who 17 of those guys would be and how their bachelor pads would be set up to reflect the weirdness.

1 Lothario/Lech Pad-Round spinning bed, cocktail bar, fancy lighting, a fine collection of loungy mood music.  It would be like the digs for Quagmire from Family Guy or for Austin Powers, replete with bathrobes and smoking jackets and lots of velvet.  A hot tub.  This is usually the first picture that comes to mind when one thinks of the classic bachelor pad.  It’s a lie.  Mostly.

2 Gamer Pad-Comfy chair for all that sitting.  Probably plush.  A couple gaming systems (XBox, Nintendo, Playstation, Wii) backed up by a quality entertainment system.  Dice and game parts for various role playing games.  Occupant-pasty sleepy nerd. 

3 Partier Pad-A sufficient supply of food and beverages and, if lucky, easily cleaned surfaces.  Large tv and other entertainment devices:  good stereo, lots of music, the gamer’s gaming system, some board games and backyard games.  Possibly a jacuzzi and a grill in the awesome backyard.  There might be a firepit.  Tiki torches?

4 Handyman Pad-Handmade furniture or carvings.  An extensive collection of tools and parts.  A fine workbench in the garage.  Powerdrill always plugged into the wall.  Multiple projects at different stages of completion spread about the garage and house.  Possibly a classic car parked in the garage being restored.

5 Traveler Pad-Travel books, posters, and paintings.  Souvenirs and maps.  Photo albums of trips.  Several suitcases, bags & perhaps an enormous travel cases like Jimmy Stewart‘s from It’s A Wonderful Life.

6 Collector Pad-The house may be overrun and/or decorated by strange collections:  stamps, baseball cards, license plates, Coca-Cola memorabilia.  Butterflies.  Places to store and display all this stuff have been set aside. The Antique-r is a sub-specialist of collector. Or is it the other way around?

7 Gadget Dude Pad-Assorted collection of the latest and greatest gadgets both electronic and mechanical.  Not only does he have the latest ostentatious Apple product (iPhone, iPad, iTouch), he also has camcorders, ereaders, robots, roombas, gps’s.

8 Reader Pad-Several bookcases, maybe some built-ins for a large a well-organized library (possibly numbered books, as if it were a real library).  There might be a list of books lent out and who has them and why you’ll never get them back.  (Chris?  Marshall?).  If he’s gone gadgety, there might be an Amazon Kindle or a similar ereader.

9 Sports Fan Pad-There will be lots of sports memorabilia, some of it plastered to the walls.  Maybe jerseys of the home team.  There could be game highlight footage on DVD.  There might even be sports cards, but certainly sports magazines.

10 Movie and TV-Buff Pad-Huge TV entertainment system with surround sound.  Lots of DVDs.  Lots of VHS tapes with the player.  Possibly a Beta player and Beta tapes for some rare ancient weirdness.

11 Musician Pad-Instruments.  The pinnacle is a grand piano or a specialty guitar signed by some dead rock legend.  Recording equipment.  A fine hi-fi system that spans the years from phonograph to 8-track to cassette to cd to mp3 player.  There will be plenty of albums to play on this system.  There might be busts of musicians and sheets of music.  Perhaps rooms have been modified to adjust acoustics.

12 Fitness Enthusiast Pad-In this pad might be found a bicycle and helmet.  If he’s a daredevil he might have mountain-climbing equipment, otherwise regular (and strange) exercise devices: dumb bells, stationary bike, treadmill, elliptical, medicine ball.  He might have his own awards from previous sporty endeavors.

13 Animal Lover Pad-Aquariums, terrariums, cages and kennels.  Leashes and bowls on the floor.  Adorable creatures that want to eat and bite you and need to use the facilities which may or may not be in your house.  Animal hair everywhere.  Unsolved allergy issues.  Hello Kitty stationery?  Maybe that’s just a sub-genre.

14 Hoarder Pad-this comes from mixing too many of the other categories together and having certain psychological issues.

15 Artist/Photographer Pad-Paints and brushes.  Easels and canvas and frames.  Cameras and camera equipment.  Maybe a dark room for old film.  Some of his own work might be framed on the wall as well as his inspirations’ works.  Art supplies and works are spread all over the house.

16 Gardener/Plant Guy Pad-Much of this guy’s stuff would be in the backyard: Veggie garden, flowers, other odd plants.  Sometimes the greenery will come inside and there will be pots of living greenstuff (non-mold) around the house.  There might be books and magazines for gardening ideas and tips.

17 Chef/Cook Pad-This dude has a kitchen full of quality cooking equipment.  Pots and pans and skillets or whatever.  There will be odd measuring devices which might use the metric system or stuff like pinch or smidgen.  He’ll have lots of spices and fancy oils.  The cupboards and fridge are stocked with all kinds of food.

Certainly your type has been overlooked.  That just means you’re weird.

The secret word is pigeonhole

Related Reading:

How NOT To Decorate The Bachelor Pad

My Bachelor Pad

Bachelor Step #10: Collect the Right Toys

Bachelor Step #1: THE BACHELOR PAD

$15 Million Ultimate Bachelor Pad

Tenuously Related Reading:

Google-Stalking The Ex

Logan’s Run & Population Control

World Of Warcraft…Dating?

Bachelors In History

Sound Of Music Death Match!!! Liesl v Maria

Kitten Of Evil

Celebrity Crushes: The Girl Next Door

Which Is Your Type? A Pseudo-Cosmo Quiz

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The Minefield of Caddishness

Black Adder

One of my friends on Facebook recently posted some swell clips of a BBC show that I hadn’t seen before.  I hadn’t seen it yet because a) I don’t live in Britain and b) BBC America is passing off Star Trek the Next Generation as a British show (probably because Patrick Stewart is a limey) instead of showing a broader variety of what makes the BBC unique:  British tv culture.  Maybe it’s cheaper (maybe it’s a way to draw in potential Doctor Who fans).  I didn’t mean to go off half-cocked on BBC America (also, I’ll save my government-owned-tv talk for another venue).  They really do have lots of great stuff on the BBC:  Doctor Who, That Mitchell and Webb Look, Little Britain, Peep Show (not quite what it sounds like) & the occasional teen discomfort bit, but I’d like to see more of their recent shows as well as their classic-old stuff, heavy on the humor side:   Fawlty Towers, Monty Python, My Family, Black Adder, The Thin Blue Line, Father Ted, All Creatures Great & Small.  Junk like that.  I hear Red Dwarf is cool (in an Anglophile Sci-Fi nerd sorta way).  Frankly, I like being surprised by the awesomeness of classic BBC shows from the last 50 years, so I’m open to them mixing it up (instead of showing 4 hours of Top Gear in a row.  It’s a fine program, but 4 hours at a go?).  It’s television I’ve never seen because I’ve lived my entire life on the other side of the pond.  There’s something fun about catching up on the best of another culture and trying to discern what the heck they’re talking about over there, figuring out contexts and values.  Then there’s that whole adopted nostalgia thing I’m dealing with.  It’s slightly demented.

Anyway, back to the video:  This clip is of Harry Enfield doing a fake old-timey PSA thingy called “Women Keep Your Virtue“.  It warns women of the minefield of caddishness and of certain men who secretly desire to take diabolical liberties with their knees.  So, if you’re going to be caddish, know that women have been warned.  Some of them.

Related Reading:

Intimidated By Smart Girls?

Celebrity Crushes: Is Elegance Elitist?

Celebrity Crushes: The Girl Next Door

Sound of Music DEATH MATCH!!! Liesl v Maria

Which is Your Type?  A Pseudo-Cosmo Quiz

11 Steps To Becoming A Domesticated Bachelor

Famous Historical Bachelors- A List

The secret word is knees.

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