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The Great Suburban Mushroom Hunt


morels mushrooms hunting“Hey Wookiee,” Randy hailed me from across the office, “I was thinking we might go mushroom hunting Friday after work. We’ll see if we can get Galen to come, too.”

“AWESOME! That would really boost my Mo-REL.”

Randy had just been mushroom hunting a few days before and bagged several tasty morels out at his old hunting grounds in the country. He’d been mushroom hunting since he was knee high to a grasshopper, as had a few other coworkers, but until about 3 years ago I didn’t know it was a thing.

Though I’d lived in Nebraska 20 years, I hadn’t really been tight with any old-school Nebraska natives or known the strange ways of the country folk until one day I overheard Randy and Dave whispering about the hunt in reverently excited tones (which would have sounded cooler with Irish/Amish accents). Read the rest of this entry »

Butter Question On A Social Networking Site

(The following is a recent online conversation I had about butter, salt, and margarine with some of my friends on a certain social-networking site. Names have not been changed to protect any innocents. All are guilty!) Read the rest of this entry »

I Whip My Hair Like a G6, Pilgrim

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Over Christmas, I visited my brother Jay & his family & our recurring themes of obnoxiousness included the young Willow Smith’s “Whip My Hair” & Far East Movement’s “Like A G6”. One early holiday morning, Jay woke me up blaring “Whip My Hair” at an alarming volume. It was special (yeah, we’re in our 30s).  Short of making an awesome Mashup of “Whip” & “G6” to immortalize this memorable holiday moment, I’ve made an animated video. Sort of. I used Xtranormal’s awesome online software & of course they’re running a contest now, so I entered it & whoever gets the most views by the end of the month wins $1000!  So, watch this short over & over until you memorize it & get sick.  Oh, and you can enter, too, if you really want.

Here’s a description of the video:

Verily, dost our Pilgrim recount a tale of Coachella and the hair whipper. Our Indian mostly has food on his mind. Like a G6.

December Cruise

Cruise With A Mission Holland AmericaLast Sunday I climbed off a cruise ship after a fun week of rocking (and extreme rolling) and still felt the waves for 5 days afterward despite the solid stuff beneath me.  The cruise included a mission-y element and I met with some of my former college classmates and various church gang members as we traveled around the Caribbean getting our cruise on.  It was my first cruise.

The plan was to do projects at most of our ports (for schools, orphans, sick people, people needing new roofs, etc),  while we enjoyed the weirdness of life at sea on a fancy boat with an everlasting buffet.  However, because of bad weather (high waves and wind measured in knots) the boat couldn’t stop at the 1st 2 ports (including Jamaica), vases broke, & some folks got sicker than dogs.  Still, we were able to complete our planned projects in the Cayman Islands & did a few ad hoc things on the ship, so it wasn’t a complete foul up.  In fact, I really enjoyed my time and met some cool people in shorts who played Catchphrase in December.  I even got to climb a Mayan pyramid in Mexico.  That was awesome!

I might extrapolate deeper meaning from it all one day, but for now I just wanted to give a shout out to my Cruise With a Mission peeps.  So, hey.  Yo.  Miss you guys.  Merry Christmas!

And Merry Christmas to you, my fine goat-readers.

The secret phrase is motion sickness

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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!!

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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

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Kitten of Evil

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Nicknaming Your Friends (For Fun and Revenge)

(I was going to title this “Nicknames:  Another Tool in the Guy’s Arsenal”, but decided it sounded fairly perverse, so I didn’t.)

Jonathan Blarney Perry

I like it when someone gives me a nickname.  At least a good, non-insulting nickname.  Nicknames are for friends and buddies.  They’re cool and kind of endearing.  It’s said that one’s name is one’s most precious possession, so it’s important to mess with those, but only a little.  And really, being the nickname-giver grants you a certain power.  It’s like naming a baby and if the nickname sticks and everyone starts using it, then you’ve really started something.

I was kind of named for my Uncle John, but not really and my mom doesn’t like it when people call me Jon.  She’s weird.

Nicknames I’ve had:

  • Jonny (by family & people who’ve known me since I was little)
  • Jon (by a lot of my friends who don’t know my mom)
  • Donger (High School.  Sounds worse than it is.  Maybe.)
  • Goat (Mostly by Roland & Lenny.  I use it for them, too, and randomly for everyone else.)
  • Jonathanatos & Thanatos (Thanatos is Greek for death.  I took a year of Greek in college.)
  • JonPerryJonPerry (Teri D probably started it)
  • JB (My dad calls me JB.  It was the name of one of his mentors.)
  • Jap (This was in middle school.  Not sure if anyone besides Elizabeth Franks called me Jap.  I had a huge crush on her.)
  • Jack (a nickname I’ve envied, but it’s only been slightly used for me)
  • Jon-dong-athan (by my brothers.  My bro Chris sings a little song when he says this twice.  Kind of cool.)
  • JonnyBear (by my friend Heather.  She’s too cute.)
  • Wookie (Randy in the office calls me this a lot)
  • Jon-Jon (my old friend Jeannine calls me this)

When I visited Taiwan, my friend Roland helped me pick a Chinese-y/Taiwanese-y name, ‘Pan Yuwehan,’ so I could have a rubber stamp made using Chinese script.  It was pretty awesome to see my Chinese nickname in pictograph and perhaps one day I’ll find a use for the stamp, maybe in government work that involves rejection letters to Asia.  At least I didn’t get a tattoo.

Tyson Chicken‘-Besides being a dude thing, giving nicknames is useful as a mnemonic device.  I seem to have a crap memory, so sometimes I’ll give people nicknames so I can remember what the heck to call them.  Recently 2 engineers started working at the office and I found it helpful to call Tyson ‘Tyson Chicken’ and Paul ‘Paul Bunyan’ (Paul is tall, but Tyson is not a chicken, so…).  For years I confused Larry and Gary in another part of the office, though they look nothing alike, and eventually figured out that since Gary has gray hair it was helpful for me to think of him as Gary the Gray (like Gandalf the Grey), but I’ll never actually call him this, since he might not be so keen.  Also ‘gray’ is an anagram for ‘Gary’, so bonus.  Anyway, I no longer confuse them.

Paolo Weisskopf”-Some nicknames are just fun.  I know 2 other Pauls from work, one I call ‘Paolo’ or ‘Paulina’ (at some personal risk to myself), and the other is a former supervisor who’s now retired, Paul Whitehead.  For Paul Whitehead I came up with ‘Paolo Weisskopf’.  ‘Paolo’ is a Portuguese name and ‘Weisskopf’ is a German rendering of Whitehead.  This made me think of Nazis who escaped to South America (Brazil in this case) and gave their children mixed language names.  I never called Paul this (that’s a shame) and certainly never meant anything bad by it, but thought it was awesome and should’ve been widely and obnoxiously used.

Stinger‘-One of the techs I work with is Brian Walker, who I refer to as Brian Walker ‘Texas Ranger’.  He always wears a cowboy hat.  I just found out that another tech, Bob, has been called ‘Boonie’ for 32 years by the other techs because he lives way out in the Boonies.  This is useful since it can be rhymed with Goonie, loony, and Clooney.  Maybe ‘Debbie Boonie’.  Bill has been called ‘Stinger’ since he got into a nest of yellow jackets and had to visit the ER because of a bad reaction.  I’ve called my college friend Allison ‘Allisonogram’, Pat ‘Patapan’, and Sue ‘Sousaphone’, but they ignore me, which is probably best.  Usually anyone I know named Scott becomes ‘Scotland’ or ‘Great Scott!’.

DJ Mice-K‘-My buddy Randy at work (he calls me ‘Wookie’) admitted he was called ‘Nerd’ a lot growing up, but now is known as ‘Wizzer’ (not Wizard), because of his great betting and gambling prowess.  I asked around and learned Dave Micek was called ‘Meats’ (for Micek) and Matt was called ‘Bones’ because he’s very tall and thin.  Great names, but they could use some fresh stuff.  For Dave Micek, I’m pushing the name ‘DJ Mice-K’.  It’s only mostly stupid.

Hildegard‘-Randy mentioned picking out the Catholic confirmation name ‘Francis’ when he was a kid.  When I discovered the coolness of the confirmation names, I asked a few of the other Catholics.  Dave’s was ‘Paul’.  One woman was also ‘Frances’ and another claims to not remember, so I suspect it to be something awesomely embarrassing like ‘Gertrude’ or ‘Hildegard’.  Picking a confirmation name is like Asians picking out their Western names.  It seems that in grade school many Asians pick out their own Western nicknames.  It’s kind of cool, but if you’d picked out your own name as a kid, what would you have chosen?

Mikhail‘-My friend Mike, a former Mormon, once told us he was given the Mormon temple name ‘Mikhail’, which at first he thought was pretty great considering his name is Michael, until he overheard other guys in the temple that day getting the same special name.

Tenderloin Vanderbeek‘-I like trying out different nicknames on friends.  It’s great to mess with them until something really fits.  In emails, my friend Cami (who’s been known as Spam, Moose and Chamomile for years) and I use different nicknames each time for both ourselves and for the other person.  For example, in a recent series of exchanges, she called me Red Man, Monkeyboy, Yoda, Spanky, Cracker, and Captain Congo and referred to herself as Django, Moosetart, Otto, Tarbaby, Samurai Smack, and Scarlet Pimpernel.  Then I called her Moosey, Super Bon Bon, Manhands, Hydroponic Mosquito, Crotchety Crocheter, and Racist Casseroler while referring to myself as The Waffler, Chewbacca, DonkeyKongKublaKhan, Blarney the Gaelic Dinosaur, Snorklefish, Cap’n Crunch, Kim Jong Ill, and Tenderloin Vanderbeek.

Geritol‘-Of course, nicknames can also suck and be hard to shake.  You always hear about those bad names kids get in school that turn them into the next David Koresh or Ted Kaczynski.  Darrin and I use nicknames as good-natured insults.  Darrin, who harasses me about my old man car, usually calls me some variation of ‘Old Man’, which is ironic because he’s about 5 yrs older than I am and is pretty gray. We go back on forth on names along the line of ‘Grandpa’, ‘Geritol’, ‘Ben Gay’, and ‘George Hamilton’ (Darrin is tanned).   I think we’re still looking for the best nickname insults, though I’m proud to have told him “Go fold your Cosby sweaters, grandpa.”

Quality nicknaming doesn’t always come easily.  They often take time to figure out and shouldn’t be forced.  You have to try them on, like a Cosby sweater at the store.  It might look nice on the rack, but end up looking crappy on you in the dressing room.

If all else fails, I’ll call you ‘Goat’.

Famous Nicknames: Wild Bill Hickock, Johnny Appleseed, Lucky Lindy, Lady Bird Johnson, Billy the Kid, Buffalo Bill

Famous Sports Nicknames‘Shoeless’ Joe Jackson, Reggie ‘Mr. October’ Jackson, Karl ‘The Mailman’ Malone, Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson, Wayne ‘The Great One’ Gretsky, Michael ‘Air’ Jordan

What nicknames do you like?

The secret word is Tenderloin.

Related Reading:

Will Your Siblings Use Up The Good Names?

A Photographic Memory

Children, Braid Your Nosehairs

Couples vs Singles: Socialization

Bachelors In History

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