Saturday, March 31, 2007

The Man in the Yellow Hat

#1 The hat isn't really yellow.
#2 This post was almost entitled "why Sarah is going to kill me."

You see, after I met another blogger a few weeks ago, Sarah commented that I'd fly 3000 to meet him, but wouldn't drive 10 miles to meet her. (Honestly I had a business trip. It just worked out that way.) After that, I promised we'd finally meet up.

So what I'd do? I met another blogger on Thursday and it wasn't her. Sorry, babe.

Papa Bradstein has been on the scene a few years, but MetroDad gave him up as one of the 'dads to watch for 2006' and increased his circulation ten fold. Being a local DC guy, I always love to see what others in the metro write. There are a few of us, you know.

Early on, his writing made me laugh. My favorite of all time (and not just because it mentioned me) was the story of Pickles.

He & I finally made the time to meet and again, it's like we'd been friends for years. We'd constantly finish each other sentences with information we'd read on the other guy's blogs. We joked at the things we had in common including non-profit jobs, a love for hard rock & theater and owning beagles. I still marvel at how much a person acts like they write.

We left after 2 1/2 hours agreeing that we needed to get the families together. With luck, they will enjoy each other as much as we enjoyed our time.

The next morning, I mentioned the blogging encounter to my co-worker. She too, had met up with a group of local DC bloggers the previous evening and had an equally enjoyable time. We marvelled at how blogging had almost become a way of pre-friending people. Get to know them before you get to meet them. She joked that if real dates could work the same, there would be so much less disappointment.

So Sarah, you're next. I promise.

Well, unless a month goes by and I'm in New York seeing these guys.


Thursday, March 29, 2007

It Puts the Lotion on Its Skin

My friend Charlie hooked me up again, this time with Keri lotion. You remember that commercial… “Keri, it’s so very.” I always thought that was a weird way to end a sentence. "Very what?"

Anywho, I’m a guy who has used one lotion for about 15 years. I hate smells and I don’t like the greasy feelings afterwards. The problem has been that my current brand has gone through the roof in costs. I used to get one of the 15 gallon jugs from the warehouse clubs for $5, but no longer. Now I resort to eBay, scoring bottles that mysteriously fell off trucks.

When he offered up the chance to try a new lotion, I jumped. Overall, I’d have to say it’s pretty good. I was sent two bottles; the original moister therapy and shea butter. Neither smells all perfume-like nor is too greasy.

The promotion package I received says there are 7 different types of lotion including SPF 15 and overnight deep conditioning versions. All of them have vitamin E as well.

What made me laugh about the promotion package however was the marketing tie in. It came with an acrylic paint set (which could not have been more timely) and a book with beginning instructions on how to paint. The book said it chose the paintings because they featured and celebrated women feeling beautiful and confident and enjoying the experience of being a woman.

Ummm, yeah. Please dear God, don't let that happen for me. I seriously enjoy being a guy.

However, the lotion is a winner.


Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Can You Hear Me Now?

Anyone who knows me, understands I'm generally not a fan of customer service. I LOVE going to stores that have self-check outs. If I can do it online, all the better. I will honestly choose one vendor over another if I can accomplish the task without risking the anger or disappointment of having to deal with a human being.

Sadly, my cell phone provider is that not tech-savvy.

I've been with Verizon almost two years. The main reason I switched was that they have exclusive service in our Metro system. I've had less dropped calls since and they also offer the "talk to other Verizon customers without using minutes" set-up.

However, the phone could only hold an hour charge at this point. I had a feeling it was the battery and was hoping to hold out until my contract renewed and I could get another phone. No such luck. I just couldn't take any longer.

So I took a co-worker and we went to the Verizon store. I had been dreading this visit since those stores usually have a huge wait to get service. Not this time. We walked right in and there was only one customer in the store.

This store has three distinct areas; the sales area, customer service and technical support. The sole customer was in the tech line, where I was pretty certain I was to go. However, I also thought that maybe... just maybe, Verizon would allow me to sign another two-year contract and just get my new phone early. However, I didn't know exactly when my contract expired.

Since no one was in line, I walked up to customer service. There was a larger woman sitting there, turned around in her chair, talking with co-worker who was fumbling with something at the back counter. She clearly saw me, but kept talking. About three minutes pass and I notice a service kiosk where customers can sign in to be queued up for one of the three areas. I thought it would be a good idea to get 'in line' for tech but still ask her my contract question.
I signed in and returned to her line. She finally acknowledged my presence with the roll of her eyes as she spun around.

"Did you sign up at the kiosk?" she asks.

Fuck me. It doesn't take long for me to get sarcastic. In this case, just seconds. "You just saw that I did. The kiosk is five feet from you. But I still have a quick question?"

Another roll of the eyes. "What?"

"If it's not a bother, I'm trying to see when my contract ends. I think I have battery issue and I thought that maybe I could just renew my contract and get a new phone."

Fat fingers type. My contract, it seems, expires in early June. "So is it possible to sign up early for another two year?" I ask.

"As I said, it expires in June." she said firmly.

"Seriously, I understand the calendar lesson. What I'm asking is if you let people renew early."

She let her whole body sigh as if exasperated buy our brief conversation. "I'm telling you that you can't."

Ignorance is my friend. "No, what you told me twice was that my contract expired in June. That told me nothing about renewing early."

With that the tech line opened and I moved over without saying another word. The gentleman there listened as I explained the battery situation and offered to test the phone to see if it actaully was the battery or the whole phone. Since there were a few other phones being tested, I was to return in 15 minutes. Just enough time for a Starbucks next door.

Upon returning, the same man greeted with a "May I help you?" I looked surprised. "Yes, I was just in here and you're testing my phone. "

"Oh.... I guess it's in the back."

(For the love of all things holy, where are they getting these people?)

Three minutes later, he appears. "Ummm, well...we tested it and ... well, it's not working."

"Could you be more specific? That was the whole reason I brought it in. "

"Well, there are things that... the phone just won't... it's..." It was like he was trying to tell me fatal news and just couldn't figure how to deliver it gently. "Let me get the woman from the back. She can explain it much better."

A young woman appeared. "Yes sir, what I can I do for you?" Clearly this was Verizon's greatest mistake in not having this a woman deal directly with the customers.

"The gentleman can't seem to grasp all the problems with the phone."

She looked over at him and then at me. "It needs a new battery."

I looked back at him. "What part of that didn't you understand?"

The woman walked away and he & I looked at each other for a good thirty seconds until he said, "What?"

"Well, obviously, I need to buy a new battery. Can you ring one up?"

He looked confused. "I'm not sure." Then he turned to fat woman, who sat just on the other side a six-inch wall, pretending not to have heard any part of this conversation "Can I ring something at this register?" he asked her.

She looked at me and said, "Well, what are you trying to do?"

"For the love of God, all I want is a freaking battery." (I really did say freaking, but it was all could do not to scream at them.)

The guy then leaned over and said, "Do you have the battery?"

"Yes, you see, I'm the Flash (which actually I am) and while you and Miss Helpful were deciding if you have super-register powers, I walked through your store, automatically figured out which of your 300 batteries fits my phone and came back to patiently wait for one of you to comprehend how to actually ring up a sale."

From across the room, my articulate battery tester holds up a battery in her hands and motions for me to come to sales. "He'll be happy to ring you up here," she says.

As I approach her and prepare to pay, I just sigh. "Those folks are morons. Seriously, they couldn't sell me air if I needed it. "

Without hesitation, she replied, "That's why they are in customer service."


Tuesday, March 27, 2007

A post from the Jasper Chronicles

Last week, I talked about swapping stories as a great way to share posts with other bloggers, but not our regular readers who include co-workers and families. The Jasper Chronicles took me up on it.

When Steve offered up his space for other bloggers to post topics of a sensitive nature, I jumped at the chance. My co-workers read my Blog, and if you consider the nature of the following missive, you'll understand why I've chosen to post this on the safe haven of The Hygiene Chronicles.

Six weeks ago I got a vasectomy. That in itself is not earth-shattering, and aside from a few awkward moments at the office - "So how ARE you doing?" - I didn't really care if my co-workers knew or not. No my problem stems from the post-op follow-up, here's the deal.

1) Sometime this week I'm supposed to produce a sample of my semen for
testing, to make sure the vasectomy went according to plan.

2) The doctor is only available in the afternoons.

3) Semen samples are only "fresh" for four hours.

You do the math! Somehow during the workday I have to blow my wad into a cup. If that isn't enough of a turn-off, I don't actually have anyplace private to do the deed.

My office walls are frosted glass, so even with the door shut people can see my silhouette, and a silhouette of guy jacking-off looks pretty much like you'd expect it to.

The cool confines of the building washroom might work, although I think performance anxiety would get the better of me. It's damn inappropriate to 'pull-the-goalie' in any public place, not to
mentioned I'd be mortified if someone somehow caught me. Then there's the problem of visual aids.

I could try to do this at my doctors office, but performance anxiety would get me there too. It's one thing to produce a sample, it's an entirely different matter to say, "Let me go into the backroom and get that sample for you. Back in a few minutes."

If my doctor was available in mornings, I could take care of this at home. As it stands my only option is to rent a hotel room and have a nooner with my wife, which doesn't actually sound all that bad now that I think about it.

So thanks for use of your blogspace Steve. As you can imagine, if my co-workers caught wind of my dilemma, I'd feel pretty conspicuous. "Gee, why is everyone following me around with a box of antiseptic wipes? Oh... right, it's because I'm disgusting."


Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Swapping Stories

Have you ever wanted to write a post that references someone who reads your blog? Or maybe someone who knows them reads your blog. It happens to me all the time; so many great stories, just wasted. This always occurs because I have people reading my stories from every job I've ever worked... including my present one. And not writing at their expense shouldn't really have to alienate our friendship, don 't you think?

So I totally came up with this idea today. Many of these stories I want to write about these people are really for you anyway. (Well they would be for my real-life friends too, but since most of them don't read me with the same regularity you do, fuck 'em.) Why should I have to punish you all because I don't want these individuals to know I wrote about how stupid they are?

I shouldn't.

So my idea is to have one of you post my story on your blog. I mean what does it matter if readers see my thoughts here or at one of my blogging counterparts. We all read one other, right?

But the best part is that most of my real-life friends don't read all of you. They think it's crazy enough that I read over 70 blogs. They'd never venture over to your sites.

So you get the stories. I get to creatively write about those people who irrate me. And they think I'm still their friends. It's perfect.

Anyone up for it? I'd be happy to do the same for you if you want to post about co-workers or family.


Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Things that irritate me about Blogger

#1 Why were my margins like 2 inches on each side? I don't need that much gutter-space. I increased it today but tell me if you have to scroll back & forth to read it. You shouldn't have to suffer for my beauty. (Well, in theory, you should, but I won't make you this time.)

#2 Now when you add tags on old posts, it 'lists' them as new on the RSS feeds. Sorry if you're reading shit and it seems like it happens months ago. It probably did.

#3. Why would you EVER want to turn comments off? Isn't that what we all live for? Thanks to Whit, I discovered no one could comment on my last post about 80's hard rock. And seriously, who wouldn't want to comment on that?

Thanks for listening.


Sunday, March 18, 2007

Let There Be Rock

When Larry met me, he inherited a lot of crap that came along with this prize package; a kick-ass Ford Probe, green bean casseroles, my mom, really bad shoes and as he likes to call it... my poodle head rock.

I was the classic 80's kid; graduated high school in 85, college in 89. When I packed the U-haul to drive from Chicago to DC, there as very little worth saving; an old comforter, some yearbooks, a leftover microwave and 500 tapes, CDs and albums.

Music ran my life in the 80's: Prince, Kenny Loggins, Men at Work, Glass Tiger and Genesis. But most of all, I loved my Hair Bands.

In the world of 80's rock, there are many different levels and I fell somewhere in between. Metallic and Iron Maiden were about as heavy as I could go; Survivor & Loverboy were at the bottom end. But right in the middle...the sweet spot.

Dokken, Slaughter, Poison, Skid Row, Crue, GnR, Cinderella, Ratt, Whitesnake, Leppard, Scorpians, Priest, Firehouse, Vixen, Steelheart, AC/DC, Danger Danger, Quiet Riot, Extreme, Dio, Europe, Warrant and Van Halen. Add in a few outsiders like RUSH, Triumph and Queenryche and you have what I consider to be the best rock music ever.

So mix that with Larry's Donna Summer, Earth Wind & Fire and KC & the Sunshine Band and you have quite a diverse music collection.

Enter in the age of the Internet & downloadable music and the world expands. Who knew there were more Hair Bands beyond the walls of Headbangers Ball?

So here are 10 groups that I only discovered in the last few years. Ones that now rotate through the playlist with the masters.

Von Groove
Reminiscent of Bon Jovi, Warrant and Bad English, this three-piece Canadian band had their first release in 1990, just as grunge rock was hitting the scene. They released two more efforts in 1995 and 1999 before disbanding.

Danny Vaughn is one of the best voices in hard rock. First with Waysted, then Tyketto and then the group, Vaughn, he creates a majestic sound with incredible control and range. More in line with a heavier sounding Foreigner or Journey, this group had 2 CD's in the early 90's until Vaughn left to care for an ill family member. He then was replaced by Steve Augeri (the guy who replaced Steve Perry in journey) for two more CD's. Danny Vaughn is back with most of the original group and released a new CD last month.

Wig Wam
Sometimes a group isn't from the 80's but dedicates their lives to preserving a way of rock & roll tradition that has almost been forgotten with this entitlement generation. Wig Wam is one of those bands keeping this art form alive. They represented their country of Norway in the Eurovision Song Contest 2005, and came in 9th. With four CD's since 2004, they are best known for their #1 rock cover of the club song, I Turn to You.

With ten #1 CD's in their home country of Switzerland, this group has been around since 1992. Probably my favorite of the musicians listed here, they most resemble Bon Jovi if you were trying to find a US comparison. Lead singer Steve Lee has that crystal clear vocal, but enough metal rasp to really drive a lyric home.

The Poodles
Moving to Sweden, we have the stupidest named group I can come across. It make you wonder if any of them spoke English when picking a name. Their debut CD, Metal Will Stand Tall (actually released in 2006) is kind a misnomer since it's less metal and definitely rock. This four person band plays hard, but we'll have to see what they do on their sophomore effort.

Harem Scarem
Also joining us from Canada is this four-person group, first formed in 1991. If 38 Special and Dokken had a child, it would Harem Scarem. Guitarists/vocalists, Harry Hess and Pete Lesperence anchor this group which has generated in 12 CD's in their fifteen year history. Their latest CD Human Nature was released last October.

Bonfire is a heavy metal group from Ingolstadt, Germany,that began in 1980 under the name Cacumen and then became Bonfire in 1985. Personnel has changed over time, with the only permanent founding member being singer Claus Lessmann. Bonfire has released over 20 CD's and is still touring Europe fact they are playing a festival this summer with 80's classic, Krokus.

Hailing from Finland, this band brings the heavy bass sounds of Queensryche. The debut CD released September of 2006 and they've been enjoying a huge success... well, in other countries except the US. Still, their rocking beats and ever so slight LIVE sound in the vocals will give this band a long chance at success.

Rough Cutt
Part Quiet Riot, part Ratt, all 80's. The group had two CDs and then disbanded when lead singer Paul Shortino left in 87' to replace Kevin Dubrow in Quiet Riot. The remaining members left to form Jailhouse with lead singer Danny Simon, and guitarist Michael Raphael. They released their second CD in 1989. Rough Cutt then reformed briefly and released Rough Cutt Live in 1996.

Blue Murder
Blue Murder was the brainchild of guitarist John Sykes. Upon his firing from Whitesnake, the former Thin Lizzy axe-man set out to create a similar sounding bluesy hard rock band. The debut CD would sound a lot like Whitensnakes 1987 album. In fact, Sykes' vocals sounded an awful lot like that of David Coverdale. They released three CD's before calling it quits.

So there you have it, more of the music that gets my juices flowing.

Long live the 80's!

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Saturday, March 17, 2007

Who's the Boss?

This past year has paid off well. My year as a Capo is over and I have moved up the ranks in the family. I am officially one of the Bosses at BlogFathers.

Go on over and say hello to the incoming group of incredibly talented Capos.


Thursday, March 15, 2007

The Tortoise and The Hare

I get bored easily…sometimes too easily.

I haven’t held the same job for more than five years. No matter how much I love a company (or hate it), in time I am restless or I just jaded with the work. It’s always time to move on.

I joined a gym once. I tried using the weights or the cardio equipment, but found that the 45 minutes I’d work out would then be reduced to 30…and then 20...then 15. I’d honestly spend more time changing than I would working out. That got me excited about the classes, but interest waned there too.

We started swimming last February. I don’t think we’ve been to the pool since October.

A few years ago, I was a big reader. I also had a workbench in the basement where I’d build things. eBay was a great distraction for years. Then Craigslist. All are things that have gone by the wayside

We are like that cartoon of The Tortoise and The Hare; Larry is slow and steady. I am Ricochet Rabbit… I just bounce from one thing to another.

My latest ‘give up’ has been church. About 18 months ago, I felt the need to go back to church. I had been raised Catholic, but that wasn’t a good fit. In 2005, I joined a Christian church with a younger congregation. The pastor was 35 and it just fit with what I needed then. They sang modern songs at worship and the messages were timely and uplifting.

But all good things must come to an end. While I love that church and will always feel like it’s ‘my church’, I just need something else; something that occupies my time and efforts for the next 6-18 months until I move on again.

Enter painting.

Around 1995-96, I got on a painting kick. Larry & I had been to Monterrey and stopped in gallery that features blue dogs. I won't mention the artist for fear that Google will lead them here, but I was amazed that a simple dog picture could cost so much. We saw a 2 dimensional version cut from wood. It was $3700. I looked at Larry and said, "I can make one of those for $75."

So I did.

I made a few other pieces as well. I found that I wasn't good at creating my own original pieces, but I really enjoyed the challenge of copying others. Since I just made them for me, I didn't feel there was a huge copyright problem. I'll never sell them and frankly, I get too bored to continue. I did three different paintings before I got burned out.

But last month, the church thing disappeared and I found an renewed interest in painting. My good friend, Jill is a painter; the real kind. You know, the kind that sits on a folding lawn chair under a tent and sells her stuff.

She'd been a painting slump and needed some renewed interest in getting back in the habit of generating pieces. I was looking for a new hobby. Peanut butter meets we decided to have a painting party. She pumped out four pieces in 4 hours; I concentrated on one.

I'd seen an artist online who I really liked. Rather than copy it exactly, I used it to inspire an idea and took it from there. It's amazing in a 4 hour time span how you can hate your work, then love it, then hate it again. It's certainly not an award winner, but overall, I'm pleased I could do this good a job after 10 years of not holding a brush in my hands.

So I have a new hobby... for now. In this latest change, I'm learning a lot how my psyche works and what keeps me grounded. I used to lament over my inability to stick to things. Now I'm understanding that the variety is what I need to keep me going.

This is the gay man in me, but look at how well it goes with the dining room drapes.

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Saturday, March 10, 2007

I Am,I Am, I Am (Not) Superman

Like Dadddy L from the Jasper Chronicles...turns out I'm the Flash.

Glad I answered "No" for likes to wear a thong. Worse yet, the Hulk stood between me and being Catwoman.

Your results: You are The Flash
Fast, athletic and flirtatious.

The Flash
Green Lantern
Wonder Woman
Iron Man

Click here to take the Superhero Personality Test


Monday, March 05, 2007

Three down... many more to go

It sounds more like a quest, but it's not. It's just an opportunity to finally put a face to a (screen) name.

I had the great pleasure of having dinner with Matthew last night. We spent several hours exchanging stories of fatherhood, blogging and all the other crap in our lives that though mundane, feed our blogs each week.

Matthew, in a way, changed my blogging life a year ago when he (on behalf of the rest of the group) invited me to join The Blogfathers. It was one of those moments that validated a year of writing and then set the bar even higher. It was the ultimate challenge that said, "You're good writer. Can you be better?" The day I received that email, I remember saying to Larry "OMG, people really like my writing." (Who knew I could channel Sally Field so easily?)

Writing is an amazing way to bear oneself before a world of unknowns. As I talk to other bloggers, a common theme echoes through on how more unknowns than knowns read your thoughts. In ways, strangers can know you better. And sometimes, we write more for them than we do for those we know personally.

As I meet fellow bloggers, I'm shocked at how much they are the people I would seek out as friends if they were in my personal life. And I'm amazed at how two people who have never met, can laugh and get along so easily as if they'd been friends for years.

So as I travel to your cities, I will continue to email with offers for dinner. And if you travel, I would invite you try it as well. We have a pretty great community out there and many times, it's really a pleasant surprise at the other of a URL.


Sunday, March 04, 2007

An East Coaster on West Coast Time

What's that mean? It means I'm in San Diego, it's 5 AM and I'm wide awake. I hate time zones. I swear it takes me days to get adjusted and then when I do, I'm hurling back through the air at 700 miles per hours.

As many of you know, I hate flying. Yesterday was no exception. First there was a three hour delay at Dulles. It seems the crew arrived late the night before and they have a minimum number of hours they need for downtime before they can return back to work. (That I can totally understand, btw. I think there jobs are important.) What I don't get is that these is no back up? I mean, won't that make them three hours late tomorrow? Doesn't the cycle just continue until these poor folks have a day off? 300+ people need to wait now because seven others need to rest? I just don't get airlines.

On top of that, the entire ride was bumpy--like as in "Flight attendants, take your seats immediately" bumpy. Let me just point out that what you consider bumpy is like my-rubber-pants-just-filled for me. I fucking freak with bumps, especially the stomach-in-your-mouth little drops. I used to be a good flyer, but about 4 1/2 years ago (yep, the same time I became a dad), I started freaking out. Related? Who knows, but it's not a fantastic role model for the little boy. "Here, you watch Little Einsteins while daddy craps his pants."

I was lucky enough to have the middle seat free. I was on the window and this poor guy on the aisle had to witness my flying abilities. At one point he looked over and said, "So you don't like flying?"
"How can you tell? I asked.
"Your seat arms are soaked with sweat. I thought that was a pretty dead giveaway."

This plane also had one working aft lavatory. Let me just say that when you're in the last few rows, the build up of people was unbelievable.

On the plus side, we had two good movies The Good Year and The Queen. There were also three infants sitting within a few seats and each was quiet with the exception of take off and landing, which luckily enough helped conceal most of my screaming.

I always feel sorry for parents traveling with infants. Even if the child is sleeping in their arms as they board, most passengers will roles their eyes or look back if the baby even utters a peep. We never traveled with Corey as an infant. I couldn't imagine the scorn... or trying to pass the baby off to someone during the bumps so I could hang on for dear life.

We finally arrived in San Diego which is like 72 and perfect. Fuck seasons, I want this all the time. I'm so fine with never getting snow again. It's 54 degrees right now and DC is 36....yep, I could live here.

When I checked in at the hotel, my room wasn't ready. Normally, I'm okay with that, but seriously it was 2 PM and I had a day already filled with irritations. The lady at the front desk spent a few minutes looking through her limited inventory. "Oh, here is something you'll like. We have these Bay side suites with gorgeous views and are the three times the size of a normal room. They have a kitchenette and a huge balcony."

I paused and looked at her. "And yet you are offering this to me...a person who is getting the staff conference rate. What's wrong with it?"

"Nothing. It's enormous."

I think back to her description...view, size, balcony...something is missing.

"What size bed is it?" I ask.

She actually sighed. "A queen sleeper sofa."

"HA!" I said. "No way. My people don't sleep on sofa beds." (We do actually, but if I'm staying here I'm not sleeping a bed I need to put away each morning.)

A room miraculously appeared and let me just say.... it's sweet. I have a view of the bay and the mountains. I have a gin-ormous bed and bathroom. And I have coffee maker. (I also have a 400 pound person above me that I hear every time they take a step, but I do have a coffee maker so I'm cool with the elephant sounds at 5:00 am.

Today it gets busy, but not until Noon. I'm hoping to get in a nice walk and perhaps a dip in the pool. And I'm having dinner with one of my favorite bloggers tonight as well.

Geez, I love business travel...well...except for the flying part.

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Thursday, March 01, 2007

Breakfast of Champions

I for one, hate breakfast. I know, I know...the most important meal of the day.

But I am the guy who ate Chips Ahoy for two years every morning for breakfast. (Seriously, did you think I got this incredibly ripped physique from eating broccoli and carrots?) Every time we are in the supermarket, Larry buys these healthy granola-laden cereals and I still head for the Eggo section.

I'm 40 years old now. I have to at least look like I'm eating healthy.

Luckily, I was asked to review a product that could not have arrived at my door any sooner. It takes no effort to make, it's healthy and it's actually good.

Fiber One Oats & Chocolate chewy bars finally make me feel like I'm eating an adult breakfast. The bar contains 35% of the daily recommended fiber, so while I may not be eating solid granola, I'm becoming quite regular.

The bars are pretty healthy with everything they offer. There's no trans fat, they are low in calories and they are a good source of calcium & whole grain (both are things I don't eat enough of). I also love how quick and easy they are to eat given that the entire bar is 1.4 oz.

The “Oats & Chocolate” flavor is actually good. Since I have an allergy to nuts, I am lenient about about most breakfast bars. This one contains no nuts and actually reminds me of my Chips Ahoy days.

For those of you who are really health-conscious, there is one bad thing about the bars: high fructose corn syrup. Given my normal morning cuisine, it means nothing to me, but after showing this to a co-worker, she pointed it out. I guess that's bad, huh?


If you're looking to change your morning routine (including some highly related bathroom visits), then this is great start. It's healthy, it's good and it's quick.

Remember, 40 isn't that far for most of you. I can hardly wait until you join the club.

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