Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Stash it Away

So, my friend Jason sends out this email to all of his close friends about a month ago:

I'm attempting to bring back the mustache. I hope you will all join me. I started growing one as a silent protest to one of my superiors at work. Let's call the protest stache' a minor attempt at civil disobedience. It caught on with several of the guys I work with (and one hairy lipped woman) and now it's become quite a fashion statement. I challenge all of you to grow a mustache and groom it anyway you wish. The one rule is that it has to be natural hair. We can set a date and meet someplace for drinks, ribs, whatever and see who has the best mustache. The mustache can be judged according to the following criteria. Please feel free to add or subtract from the list.

Mustache Criteria

1. Thickness - Bare spots are unacceptable.
2. Style - Use gels and waxes for all I care. Curl it, shave the corners or grow it over your lip. Creativity is key.
3. Awesomeness - No explanation needed!

This will allow us to all get together, unless you live in Singapore, have fun, and laugh at each other. Please feel free to have anyone else join this contest. Let the criteria and debate begin.

Needless to say, I'm always up for both a challenge and on opportunity to embarrass myself. I sent a two word reply.

I'm in.

I have to tell was a long month. Firstly, you're either a mustache guy, or you're not. There's no in between. Throughout the process of growing this hairy ode to Magnum P.I., I had a hard time recognizing myself in the mirror. As I'd go to brush my teeth at night, I'd look in the mirror and think, "Whoa...oh yeah, that's me."

Melissa and Jack also had pretty strong opinions about the facial hair. Melissa pretty much refused to kiss me until I shave it off. As I happen to be a big fan of the whole "kissing my wife" thing, this has been a major drawback. Jack has also made his opinion known. Randomly throughout the day, Jack will just stop what he's doing, look and me, and yell, "Shave it off!" He also told Melissa that he wanted her to put my razor in my lunchbox to that maybe I would shave it off at work.

The best part about growing it is watching the reactions of people I know who haven't seen it before. There's three basic reactions.
  1. Ignore it. This looks like its actually not that easy. I can see them look right at it and pause a bit before they start talking to me. I can tell they're thinking about it but they don't want to tell me I look like a cross between a State Trooper and their 6th grade science teacher.
  2. Deal with it head on. "So, growing a mustache, huh?" Um, no. This caterpillar just crawled onto my face last week and I haven't had time to brush it off yet.
  3. Try to raise the topic in a round about way. "So, it's been a few weeks since I've seen you, have you lost weight? No? Oh, we'll you look different."
Thankfully, today is the last day of "The Great Mustache Incident of 2009." All of the boys back home in Massachusetts are getting together for barbecue tonight to compare and make fun of each other like a bunch of 7th graders. I can't imagine what the waitress is going to think when she shows up at the table to take the order. It's going to look like an episode of Reno 911 in there. Unfortunately, I can only participate remotely from my location here on the other side of the world. I've been told they'll hang my picture on a chair so that I'm represented.

By the way, Jack decided that he'd grow one himself too.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Posted on the SAS Wiki

Jack's class is finishing their module on non-fiction this Friday with the "Non-Fiction Celebration!"

All of the kids get an opportunity to present the research they've been doing over the past 6 weeks. Jack chose tigers as the animal he wanted to study. He's been looking at library books and looking up tigers on the internet.

All of this work has culminated in a movie that each of the kids made in their computer class.

You can click here to take a look. (link)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Mind of a First Grader - Volume 8

What did you want to spend your time doing when you were seven? Playing Legos? Watching cartoons? Riding your bike? Not my kid.

(last night after the cub scout meeting at the school)

Jack: Dad, when we get home, can I post on the SAS wiki?
Matt: (Pause) What?
Jack: When we get home, can I write on the SAS wiki?
Matt: Your school has it's own wiki website?
Jack: Yeah.
Matt: Oh. about tomorrow. It's a bit late tonight.
Jack: Ok.

Welcome to the 21st century my friends.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Everyone's a Winner

Last week was the annual "Pinewood Derby" for Singapore Cub Scout Pack 3017. It's one of the biggest events of the year for the Scouts and everyone has a good time.

This was Jack's first year to participate and he did a great job. He and I worked on the design together and then I cut the car out of the block of wood on the band saw that the pack owns. Jack then did all of the sanding and came up with a paint design. I showed him how to do it, then he painted the car himself.

Jack did such a good job, he got second place out of all of the Tiger Cubs in the design competition. Everyone told him how much they liked his car. Jack's favorite part of the car was that Indiana Jones (from his Lego set) was riding on top.

The race itself was done pretty well. It was a nice track with three lanes and an electronic timer. Each car got to go three times, once in each lane. Each of the heats had 31 races, but things were run efficiently and went pretty quick. The times from each of the three heats was averaged to give everyone their times. Jack's car did very well, coming in 6th out of eighteen cars in the Tiger Cubs group.

After the races, all of the kids were presented with trophies. Regardless of how fast everyone's car went, everybody had a great time. All of the kids were very proud of their trophies and spent about 20 minutes afterward congratulating each other.

Another fun day with the Cub Scouts in Singapore. Just a few more weeks until Jack finishes his Tiger Cub requirements and gets his Bobcat badge.