Archive for July 2011


I read an article on beards today titled What Your Beard Says About You.

It’s an excellent topic of discussion when you really think about it.  Some people see facial hair as a sign of manliness.  You can always spot a young teen letting the peach fuzz grow out.  For me, I never attempted to grow anything until after I was out of high school.  I played football and our coaches had a policy of no facial hair.  I never really thought about the why, but they also made us wear dress shirts and ties for away games.  They were trying to instill a little respect and dignity in us.  I also know how to tie a tie very well.  There’s a life skill some people could use some help with.

So what does your beard say about you?  For me it definitely made me look more badass in my younger days.  I’m not very tall, but I have gigantic shoulders.  Combine that with a shaved head, awesome beardage, and a black duster (yes, I wore one of those for about 8 years) and people were afraid of me.  Most of the time I found it hilarious, but sometimes it was just a nuisance.   I would often find myself getting profiled late at night when stopping to fill up at gas stations.   A couple times clerks pulled out weapons and didn’t want me to get close to the counter.  It wasn’t until after I had gotten them to take my $20 bill and left that I realized why they had acted so weird.

Some of my friends try their very hardest to grow a goatee, sideburns, or what have you and it just looks pitiful.  I really do feel sorry for them.  For me, it’s just a hobby really.  I can have a perfectly respectable beard in a week so I often cut it off and start over when I feel like doing something different.  I wouldn’t say it was every about rebellion for me, more of a frugal/laziness thing.  You see, by the time I started high school I was already noticeably going bald (it runs in the family), and when I got to college I didn’t want to pay for hair cuts.  That’s when I started cutting my own hair, and what’s easier than cutting it all off?  I quickly switched up to a razor and have never gone back.  I also hate shaving my face so having a beard was just another path of least resistance for me.  At times I’d even let it get long enough to shove pencils into or even braid.  Ok, so the braiding thing only happened once, but I used to put my goatee in pig tails from time to time.

There are definitely a few iconic beards out there.  If you need some help deciding what to grow, here are two resources you might want to look up.

Ol General Burnsides is one iconic bearded dude along with ZZ Top, The Dude, Sam Elliott, Zach Galifianakis and Chuck Norris.  Some people prefer just the mustache, but I’m kind of afraid of it.  Still too many connotations with child molesters for me.

So what about you?  Can you grow a beard?  Any kind of beard?  Are you stuck with one style due to how it looks?  Do you think a beard really says something about you?

Inside-out grilled cheese

The inside-out grilled cheese sandwich has cheese cooked into the outside of the bread.  Fortunately people don’t adhere too closely to the title because there is still plenty of cheese on the inside.

Cheese cooked into the outer crust

I first heard about these from the infamous Alton Brown.  He uses two giant frying pans and cooks his grilled cheese in between the two hot, heavy, cast iron pans.  While this doesn’t seem worth the work I must point out his use of brown mustard.  The mustard can be really amazing.

Fast forward a few years to the 9th Annual Lebowski Fest.  Greg and I are up late talking about food (cause what else would we talk about besides movies?) and this method of grilled cheese comes up.  I’m inspired and decided to make one later that year.

Tonight I made a simple cheddar and mozzarella grilled cheese with a mozzarella crust.  Nothing fancy, but sometimes less is more.  Here are some photos.  I mostly post these because of how much people talk about them.  Sorry if I make you drool.

Nick Offerman builds a boat

“Who the heck is Nick Offerman,” you ask?  Well that’s the dude who plays Ron Swanson.  Apparently he has workshop skills.  Check out this boat he’s making.

I guess Nick Offerman is just as manly as Ron Swanson in real life.

Ron Swanson: God Bless America

Liz found this for me on tumblr today.  God Bless America!

Here’s where she found it –

Mall Cops: Mall of America

If any of you watched Paul Blart: Mall Cop, or Observe and Report and found it a little over the top and are looking for a little realism you should definitely check out TLC’s show about the security force protecting shoppers at the largest mall in America.

While the show was mildly interesting and at times funny, it in no way belittles what these men and women are doing every day in Minnesota.  While I do admittedly mock some of the security guards I see at local malls and shopping centers, the Mall of America is no laughing matter.  That place is like a small city and definitely needs a security force.  In face, they are more like an actual police force and spend every day trying to keep everyone safe.

Overall I enjoyed the show, but really wished they took the time to actually tell someone’s story.  You’d often have an incident of someone shoplifting, a medical emergency, or a lost child and they never really took the time to dig into the background of the situation.  I guess they were modeling the format after Cops, and even though I loved that show (and the theme song) back in 5th grade, it doesn’t really do much to hold my attention in the year 2011.  I wish they had done something similar to Carrier, the reality TV show centered on life aboard a US Navy carrier.  In the same way the Mall of America is a small city, carriers are floating cities and both have a plethora of drama, comedy, tension and interesting stories to explore.  I imagine part of the problem is getting releases and mall patrons actually wanting to divulge information.  I would assume this wasn’t a problem with the mall security staff though since they were being followed around during their shifts and were actually “on” the show.

I watched the whole first season of Mall Cops on Netflix yesterday.  Each episode was in the 25-30 minute range.  Maybe the lack of time is why they never really explored things.  I’d totally watch more episodes, but don’t think I’d last more than another season if they didn’t change the format a bit.