Thursday, October 27, 2011

Movember - The Stache is Back!

The time has come for me to release my inner stache! This November, along with men (and women) from around the world, I will be improving my look by donning a moustache. 
"I...left the stubble on my upper lip for a moustache I planned to grow" ~P. Theroux
Now, I'm sure many of you are thinking: "of course you should grow a mustache - it is an all-time classic look", "Nice!" or "Great, I was thinking how awesome a stache would look on Jay". And for those kind thoughts I thank you, but this endeavor is about more than just looking awesome. The goal of the moustache is to celebrate Movember to and help raise awareness of health issues affecting men.
Napoleon Dynamite: How long did it take you to grow that moustache? Pedro: A couple of days. ~Quote from the movie: Napoleon Dynamite
The information listed below was taken from Please take the time to read it over and afterwards share it, or what you have learned, with someone you care about. Men are people too!



Movember is the month formerly known as November, where men and women across the globe join together to raise awareness and funds for men’s health issues. Men grow a Mo (moustache) for 30 days to become a walking, talking billboards, for our men’s health causes - specifically cancers affecting men.

Men who support Movember, called Mo Bros, start by registering at Mo Bros start Movember 1st clean-shaven, then grow and groom their Mo, for the rest of the month, raising money along the way. Women who support Movember, called Mo Sistas, also start by registering at Mo Sistas champion the Mo by supporting their Mo Bros, organizing events, leading a team and spreading the important message of men’s health.


  • The average life expectancy for men is five years less than women (presently 77 years old compared to 82).
  • 1 in 2 men will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime and 1 in 3 women will be.
  • Evidence suggests that about a third of the 571,950 cancer deaths expected to occur will be related to obesity, physical inactivity, poor nutrition and thus could be prevented.
  • 1 in 6 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. 240,890 new cases of the disease will be diagnosed and 33,720 men will die.
  • Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in American males between the ages of 15 and 34. 8,290 men will be diagnosed with the disease and 350 will die.
  • Smoking accounts for at least 30% of all cancer deaths and 87% of lung cancer deaths. An estimated 115,060 men will be diagnosed with lung cancer and 85,600 men will die from the disease.
  • While not as common, men can get breast cancer. About 2,140 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed among men and about 450 men will die from the disease.
  • The most common cancer in the US, skin cancer strikes 1 in 5 Americans. An estimated 43,890 men will be diagnosed with skin cancer and 8,080 men will die from the disease.
  • An estimated 13 million adult men over the age of 20 in the US have diabetes- and a third do not know it.
  • Approximately 50 million men and women in the US have high blood pressure- almost 30 per cent of them do not know it.
  • About 1 in 3 adults has high blood pressure, and blood pressure tends to rise with age.
  • 1 in 8 men who suffer from mental illness actually seek help (
  • Four times as many men commit suicide compared with women.
  • 24% of men are less likely to go to the doctor compared to women.
Let’s face it, men are known to be more indifferent towards their health, especially when compared to the efforts of women, who proactively and publicly address their health issues in a way not traditionally seen with men. As a result, today the levels of awareness, understanding and funding for support of male health issues, like prostate cancer, lag significantly behind causes such as breast cancer.

The reasons for the poor state of men’s health in the US and around the world are numerous and complex and this primarily due to a lack of awareness of the health issues men face. This can largely be attributed to the reluctance of men openly discussing the subject due to longstanding traditions, coupled with an ‘it’ll be alright’ attitude. Men are less likely to schedule doctors’ appointments when they feel ill or for an annual physical, thereby denying them the chance of early detection and effective treatment of common diseases.   

Studies show that many men don’t get regular health checks for the following reasons:
  • Fear it will lead to a hospital visit.
  • Embarrassed to discuss their health issues.
  • Find it too hard to see a doctor because they just can’t fit it into their schedule.
  • Just can’t be bothered making an appointment.
Statistics show that, on average, men die at a younger age than women – the average life expectancy for men is five years less than women (presently 77 compared to 82). That said, despite trailing the women’s health movement, things are beginning to change, but much more progress needs to be made to close the gap between the state of men and women’s health.  Established taboos and barriers relating to men’s health are gradually being broken down.
Movember aims to change the face of men’s health and reverse this way of thinking by putting a fun twist on this serious issue. Using the moustache as a catalyst, we want to bring about change and give men the opportunity and confidence to talk about their health more openly.

Movember's primary campaign objective is to raise awareness of men's health issues, specifically cancers affecting men. We want everyone to know that most cancers are highly curable if caught in the early stages - including prostate and testicular cancer.  Movember aims to increase early detection, diagnosis and effective treatment, as this will ultimately reduce the number of deaths from cancer.  It’s time men face the startling health facts.

It’s not all bad news! Maintaining a good diet, smart lifestyle choices and getting regular medical check-ups and screening tests can dramatically influence your health, Regardless of age, stay on top of your game by doing the following:

Find a doctor and make a yearly appointment each Movember for a general health check.  Getting annual checkups, preventative screening tests, and immunizations are among the most important things you can do to stay healthy.

If you do smoke, stop! Compared to non-smokers, men who smoke are about 23 times more likely to develop lung cancer.  Smoking causes about 90% of lung cancer death in men.

If you are not already doing some form of exercise, start small and work up to a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate physical activity most days of the week.

Fill up with fruits, vegetables, whole grains; include lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts; and eat foods low in saturated fats, trans-fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars.

Balance calories from foods and beverages with calories you burn off by physical activities.

Stress, particularly long-term stress, can be the factor in the onset or worsening of ill health. Managing your stress is essential to your health & well being and should be practiced daily.

Alcohol can be part of a healthy balanced diet, but only if it’s in moderation, which means no more than two drinks a day. A standard drink is one 12-ounce bottle of beer or wine cooler, one 5-ounce glass of wine, or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits.

Start a discussion with your relatives about the health issues they’ve had in the past. Be sure to learn about relatives that are deceased too.  

Monday, October 24, 2011

Simple Ice Cream Social or beginning of a New World Order?

Preschool is in full swing and the boy is still having a blast.  So far he has had his first field trip, me and the Mrs. had our first back-to-school night, and most recently the whole family attended an ice cream social held by the school.

"Life is like an ice-cream cone, you have to lick it one day at a time." ~Charles M. Schulz
The ice cream social was a lot fun.  There were several activity stations set up for the the kids to enjoy including: spin art, pumpkin decorating, temp tattoos, ring toss, bean bag tosses, etc.  At each station was a Girl Scout (or two) that supervised the event and kept things running smoothly.  
"Three groups spend other people's money: children, thieves, politicians. All three need supervision." ~Dick Armey
At first, I was very impressed with the Girl Scouts.  While appearing to be only 8 or 9ish these girls had complete control over their stations and the kids partaking in the activities.  They had crowds of 3 and 4 year old children following their every instruction.  These girls were amazing.   They had everything running so smoothly that the parents were able to just let their kids have fun and do what they wanted while they stood back and watched or talked amongst themselves.
"For a people who are free, and who mean to remain so, a well-organized and armed militia is their best security." ~Thomas Jefferson
However, after watching the Scouts in action for a little while, my opinion of these girls began to change.  Don’t get me wrong... they were still doing a great job, but I began to realize who these girls were and what they were capable of doing.  All of these girls were the alpha girls that ask the teacher for homework or remind the teacher that they were supposed to have a quiz.  But instead of being separated they were all in one place.  They were motivated and working together very much like the raptors in Jurassic Park.
"Now nobody get nervous, you ain't got nothing to fear. You're being robbed by the John Dillinger Gang, that's the best there is!" ~John Dillinger 
It made sense. The school wanted to keep the kids under control so why not get the most controlled kids out there to do the work. Just like how the Rolling Stones hired the Hell’s Angels as bodyguards to control the partying concert crowd. And that worked out well... hold on, that did not end well at all! The Hell’s Angels turned on the crowd and started a melee. Would these girls try to take over?
"The first duty of a revolutionary is to get away with it." ~Abbie Hoffman
The night ended without the Scouts trying to take over but I saw a glimmer in their eyes that showed they could if they wanted to.  Be careful, I think these girls may be up to more that just selling cookies!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Oh, those Preschool Days!

So big brother is now out there in the big world.  He has been enjoying preschool (or at least we think he has been) as each day of school has offered him something new and exciting.
"Every child has, at birth, a greater potential than Leonardo Da Vinci ever used." ~Glenn Doman
Since birth, my wife and I, have watched and marveled as he has progressed through the various stages of life. He has grown from an infant, into a baby, into a toddler, and now into a kid.  We have always been impressed with what he could do but never really thought about what other kids his age were doing.  Entering him into preschool made us realize that our big guy was now going to be surrounded by his peers. I know that all kids develop at different paces but I couldn't help but wonder how he would compare.  He's not a big talker, he's very independent, full of energy, not yet potty trained (still working on that one), and never really been with anyone but family.  How would he respond to being told what to do by a random adult surrounded by strangers? Would he fit in?   
"To learn anything fast and effectively, you have to see it, hear it and feel it." ~Tony Stockwell
After much consideration, my wife has proclaimed that she would be willing to pay $500 for access to a live video stream of his classroom.  (A little steep but I think I'd also pull the trigger at that price.) But since this is not an option, we only know what the teacher has told us, and what we have seen the few times we were able to view him through the classroom's window, as to what actually goes on in class and how he is performing.    
"If you can dream it, you can do it." ~Walt Disney
All signs indicate that he is doing really well! He clearly has been having fun! Each day he goes in happy and comes out happy. Each day after class he exhibits some new skill or performs a new activity that he just learned that day. He's talking more, singing more songs, being more helpful cleaning up, and exhibiting more creativity with his art. We couldn't be prouder of how he has handled this big change in his life.      
"To learn it, do it!" ~Roger Schank
While I’m glad that we decided to enroll him into preschool, and glad that he is having fun and learning so many new things, I am a little concerned about his picture depicting Humpty Dumpty's tragic fall.  
The blood coming from the nose... In my opinion, a little too spot-on for preschool!