I Love Don Week 2017, Part 1

Just because I haven’t Blogged anything about I Love Don Week, it doesn’t mean it’s not happening and isn’t amazing. I guess you could say I’ve taken I Love Don Week underground and now it’s a sorta cult type thing. People are toooootally into it and give me gifts and praise me, just like normal, but it’s, like, veeeery exclusive.

Side note. Did you see how I wrote “tooooootally” and “veeeeeery”? When you write something you’re going to say slowly, make sure you’re multiplying the correct letter. There’s a woman at work who would write those as “totallyyyyyyyyyyy” and “verrrrrrrrrry” but if you said those out loud, it wouldn’t be the effect you were hoping for.

OK. Back to me and I Love Don Week. For those new to this worldwide phenomenon, I Love Don Week is the 6 days prior to my birthday (July 11th). I looooooove my birthday, but one day didn’t seem like enough, and when I heard my brother-in-law had invented a week for himself, and when I started Blogging and embraced social media and saw how our narcissistic society was evolving, it seemed to me just posting on Facebook wasn’t enough. I needed lists, and daily updates, and demands for praise.

Here we are, already on the fifth day of I Love Don Week, which amazingly kicks off on July 4th and everyone shoots off fireworks to mark the start of the week, and this is my first Blog entry on me and my week.

It’s been quite fantastic, so far. First, I got a black iPhone-to-USB connector chord to replace my ugly, awful white chord. I get it, Apple. Your thing is white. But my thing is black and pretty much every day I hopped in my car and had to plug a white chord into my iPhone and that white chord just sat there looking awful in my black car with black leather interior – it’s been hell. Now I have a black chord, and it looks much better.

Then, my daughter picked out some loud socks, which is still trendy, and an Independence Day themed Old English “D” t-shirt that I can wear once a year (or maybe I can wear it on Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day). A t-shirt and socks, you ask? Isn’t that kinda cheap and insignificant? Hey! My 10-year-old picked it out, and I’m not going to yell at her for lack of effort and value.

On Day-2, as a gift to myself, I joined Dollar Shave Club and almost 90% of the reason I picked Dollar Shave Club was because of the video the founder has on the home page (embedded below).

Day-3, my wife bought two fantastic outdoor chairs for my deck that match the existing outdoor couch and table almost exactly. We toasted me with a whisky-gingerale as we sat in said chairs.

And then, on Day-4, my wife bought me a new desk. I had a “writing desk” but it was black and didn’t fit the new color scheme of our family room. Yes. I love black but I had to give-in on this one, because the kitchen into the great room is all brown tones, and the black didn’t work. Hence, a white desk. And the desk is better because it’s built to hide my PC tower, has drawers and cabinets (my “writer’s desk” didn’t) and my son and I can’t wait to build it and hide all the wires and make it ‘simple.’ That’s a big thing with some desk/computer people. My son and I actually follow a few ultimate-desk set-up fans on Instagram (examples here).

Day-5 will be building that desk and having people over for drinks and bonfire.

Want to get involved? Comment below. Send me an Amazon gift card. Buy me a new pair of Bedphones, or send me coffee. If you need ideas, Tweet me at @donkowalewski.

Let’s Talk About My Underwear

Do you ever think we live in a world where we dwell on the importance of things that aren’t really important? I’m about to Blog about two competing underwear brands, and I’ve Blogged about pillows and headphones, and I get obsessed with these things.  I can’t help but think of my father, father-in-law, their fathers, and their fathers before them. Somehow the “greatest generation” and generations previous to them without fancy generational names managed to raise families, hold jobs, and build the world and they didn’t have space-age memory foam mattresses to sleep on, their pillows had feathers and they slept on them for decades at a time, and their underwear was white and tight. That’s all there was. If you came across a time machine and zapped yourself back to 1972, I’m pretty sure you would only find white underwear.

Why underwear? Mainly to protect our good clothes from the worst part of our body. That’s all underwear is and was ever invented for. It’s a liner that goes under our clothes that protects our “outer” garments.

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Then models in the 80s looked hunky in underwear, someone thought boxers was a good idea, Victoria shared her secret with the world, and now we’re obsessed.

Well, I’m obsessed, anyway.

This Blog is going to compare my Costco-bought cotton Hanes, my Tommy John‘s that someone bought for me, and Frigo Revolutionwear Coolmax Stretch Collection. I got for free as a promotional giveaway.

*** If my father-in-law knew I just wrote that last sentence, he might ask for his daughter’s hand back and force our divorce ***

Hanes Boxer Briefs from Costco – I think even Clint Eastwood’s cowboy characters weren’t savage enough to deny the boxer-brief is far superior to a classic flowing boxer or tight mini briefs. We all use electricity and we don’t kill our own food, so some level of evolution is acceptable. They’re cotton. They’re soft. The boxer-brief design means they go down the leg a little bit. You can get 12 in a pack so laundry only gets to be desperate every two weeks(ish). But if you happen to be doing something that makes you sweat, you’re going to feel like you’re wearing a crotch sweater. Going to back to my thought on why underwear exists in the first place (to protect your outer wear), the Hanes boxer brief serves its purpose and doesn’t cost very much.  If you’re playing a vigorous sport (which nobody really does after age 25), wear a supporter. For less than $30, you’ll have underwear covered for years (I think my current collection of Hanes might be 8 years old or more). Hanes Boxer Briefs from Costco, Walmart, or Target are ‘good enough’ and your life will be just fine. And I think even my 77-year-old father-in-law and my 90-year-old neighbor would wear them.

boxersFrigo Revolutionwear – If I didn’t already own a pair of Tommy John underwear, I would be declaring this the best pair of underwear I’ve ever worn (even if I think their nut-sack flap …my word …doesn’t do anything). Frigo underwear is why old dudes look at us young dudes (I’m not quite 44 years old so I’m still going to categorize myself as “young” so shut up) and laugh and call us soft. This underwear is so high-tech, the website has a “how to wear” tutorial, boasts the personal-fit technology, and guarantees you’ll love them or they will refund your money. Underwear. We’re talking about underwear. Just watch this video!!! Wow!!!

All laughter aside, and if you can refrain from thinking of my hairy Dad-bod stuffed in those, these Frigos are a very comfortable pair of underwear. This next part is difficult to write, but I’m ashamed to admit the Frigo Zone (TM) Netted Pouch doesn’t seem to do much. It’s supposed to hug and hold the you-know-whats, and there are straps and buttons to adjust it to my unique needs, but I think if I cut that netted pouch out, I’d still love the Frigo Revolutionwear. What I really like, and I won’t be wording this right, is the silicone (might be rubber) piping around the bottom of the legs that hold the underwear in place so the legs don’t ride up as you move around throughout the day. When I first saw this rubber strip, I thought it would pull the hair on my legs like crazy, but it didn’t.

Bottom line, I would probably buy another pair, but the $36 price tag (per pair) will make it something I ask for on Father’s Days, birthdays, and Christmas when you ask for non-essentials like $36 underwear. Oh, and I will almost definitely order a Frigo Coolmax T-Shirt because I’ve suddenly become obsessed with my t-shirt collection and widdling it down to just under 20 shirts, and fewer logos. But, here too ….$48 price tag = special occasion.

Now we come to the life-changing underwear – the Tommy John Second Skin Boxer Brief. I don’t know where the human race is headed, but if the human race (the men, at least) were to all at once make a 100% transition to Tommy John Second Skin Boxer briefs, there would be no more war, no arguing, and the Pope could retire because he wouldn’t have to campaign for peace, love, forgiveness, and mercy. I regret only having one pair because I’m only amazed once every couple of weeks on laundry day. This underwear is so incredible, on normal ho-hum days, I move it aside and wear Hanes from Costco because I feel like I should only break out the Tommy Johns on special occasions or when I have a big meeting, interview, or sales pitch. Even men 70+ who might grumble and ask, “isn’t it just underwear, whadda hell does it matter about my  underwear, that’sa problem with the, what do they call them, Manila …no …Millenables …they worry so much about their underwear and mattresses, they oughtta worry about getting a job and saving. I fought in two wars.”

Ah, old people. Imagine how much better they’d have fought in those wars with underwear like Tommy John. Just sayin’.

What’s so great, you ask?  Basically, if you’ve read this far you might go back to the beginning to remember I said for decades and decades cotton briefs were enough. Hey, we once lived without microwaves and we had ice chests instead of Freon powered refrigerators. We read books by candlelight.

We evolved and when you wear Tommy John underwear you will notice a difference. It’s like walking around all day in cheap shoes versus well crafted, well-designed shoes. You notice at the end of the day. It’s like wearing a Columbia parka in the middle of February in Michigan and realizing the technology rated to -40 is working. Sometimes, you get what you pay for, and if you spring for the $37 Second Skins, you’ll notice. It’s like it’s not even there, and yet it’s totally there.

In conclusion, upgrading your underwear is wholly unnecessary and my religion and faith tell me if I have $30+ to spend on a single pair of underwear, I really should be giving more to charity. However, my American consumerism compels me, at times, to spend money on things I don’t need and if your American consumerism flares up, these high-end underwear options are as good as any. We wear underwear every day, keep the same pairs around for years and years, so why not do it in style and feel great if the option’s available.

If I was a real Blog, I would offer you a discount code or “free pair” if you share this Blog, but nope …I just like write.

Thanks for reading.

What? Two Blog Posts in a Day?

I used to be funny and clever in my Blogs. Now, suddenly, I’m all about deep thinking and changing lives and hoping I might motivate others while motivating myself.

I like Brendon Burchard (and wish his last name wasn’t so difficult to remember how to spell, but then again, as a guy with the last name “Kowalewski” and who named his blog “kaleidoscopic” who am I to tell anyone about making their name or brand more memorable?).

But let’s face it, Brendon and Brandon are interchangeable and if you say “Burchard”, if you don’t see it written down, you’re putting a “sh” sound in there.

Note to self:  Change my last name and the name of my blog.

OK. This post is posted because we all have bad days, bad weeks, and bad months. They’re called “slumps” and just as you can get into a slump, you’ll come out of it, but only if you keep positive and keep acting and doing.

Brendon says it perfectly in the first 4 minutes of this video (before he gets to his sales pitch).

Now, if you’ll excuse me I’m off to the grocery store for healthy fruit and veggies, and that’s a “power move” because what I really want is a burger from Five Guys …but no! I’m rising above.

Early to Bed, Early To Rise…

I think I need marriage counseling. No, not really, but I wonder – am I the only guy on earth who operates at his peak when he gets to bed around 10:00 p.m. and then wakes at 5:00 a.m. with a solid seven hours of sleep? Am I the only guy who does it in a house full of teenagers and an educator wife enjoying the summer off?

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Why do I point that out? Because when I go to bed at 10, nobody else is even close to being ready for bed. It’s like I’m the child.

It’s a lonely life. Albeit, it’s an optimized and energized day with the good sleep habits, but it certainly makes me feel like I’m avoiding the family. If you know me, that’s the furthest thing from the truth as can be. If I won the lottery and didn’t need to get up for work, I’d absolutely stay up late and sleep in.

Does this early to bed, early to rise, and all the health, wealth, and wisdom that comes with it come at a cost?

I guess it’s about what I do with the time I have between work and bedtime. Gotta approach it with gusto and passion. I gotta pretend when I get outta work and head home, that each day is as exciting as the first days of my marriage or the first days after my children were born when I couldn’t wait to come home and hold those little babies in my arms.

I should (we should) attack everything that way, shouldn’t we? If I took on my to-do list at work as-if it was my first week on the job, wouldn’t I do more and get more out of work? Wouldn’t people marvel at my passion? Then, when the day ends, I could leave work at work and race home with joy.

If we have to do things, we should do them with joy.

Mid-Year Review is Almost Here

img_5880For anyone who might’ve stopped keeping track, we’re 14-days away from the start of I Love Don Week and 21-days away from my birthday.

If I may ask one thing for my birthday, is that you don’t scroll back through my Blog posts and don’t ask me about #Project44 and please don’t ask me, “how is your book coming along?” Phew. We all know if you don’t ask, then I don’t have to feel guilty about still weighing too much and still not writing my book.

How easy would either of those things be? I mean, come on, Don. You started the year and you made easy resolutions. The list wasn’t even that long. The simple promise to do things daily around the number 44, which happens to be how old you’d be on your birthday.

I’m blogging in third person talking to myself. That might be early signs of madness.

I was going to do the following:

  1. Exercise for 44-minutes a day
  2. Lower my weight to 144 pounds.
  3. Write for 44-minutes a day

I’m sure there was some other stuff, but if I had been able to stay focused on those three things, wow, how amazing would it be right now just two-weeks away from my 44th birthday?

I guess there’s no time like the present. “Present” = gift. I’m going to give myself a birthday gift and recommit to my #Project44. How much can I accomplish in 21-days? Hey, and I don’t have to have everything done by July 11th, right? I have the entire year.

This Blog entry was supposed to be funny but, dang, it got serious. Well, that’s OK, I guess, because it’s time to get serious.

Are you ready to get “serious” with me, while also having some fun? It’s mid-year for me and it falls in line with my birthday, but it’s mid-year for everyone. Companies re-focus and re-set goals. Bosses usually introduce something new and exciting. Sales people are forced to come to grips with their quotas and budgets and commissions year-to-date.

Let’s all conduct a mid-year review and re-evaluate.

Thinking Thursday…

grammarly-review1Isn’t the Blog title great? I’ll bet I could make that my personal brand and send a newsletter out each week on Thursday and thousands and thousands of people would subscribe and wait on their weekly dose of amazing stuff from Don.

Like this . . .

“You are not the work you do; you are the person you are.”Toni Morrison

And then I’d talk about an App or book or item that’s changed my life. Like, for me, it’s been installing Grammarly on my computer. If grammar and spelling are important to you, and you write many email and correspondence, install it. In real time, it offers corrections and tips. Quite amazingg. Yes. I know I added an extra “g” and Grammarly caught it right away.

So, what am I “thinking” on this Thinking Thursday?

I think we’re too partisan as a society. I think I need to figure out a way to make lots of sales very fast so the second half of my year catches up to my annual budget. I think I need to take daily action steps toward compiling my past writing into my book. I think I feel great and empowered today because I actually dragged myself outta bed at 5:00 a.m. sharp and took a brisk walk with stops every 8 minutes for push-ups and dips.

And, I’ve made it through another day without losing my clip-on shades. Win!

For the Love of All Things Lost!

Any Catholics out there know which Saint is Patron Saint of Lost items? Or Patron Saint of Not Losing Things?

Here we go with round three of my clip on shades for my trifocal glasses. Co-worker A.B. laughs at my old man glasses and my clip-on frames, but she can laugh all she wants – I’m the hit of my Metal Detector Club.

I just can’t figure myself out. How do people not lose things? In the past year, I’ve lost my favorite thermal travel mug, my clip-on shades, my 6-iron, my golf glove, a set of ear buds, and my wallet. The wallet, interestingly enough, fell outta my pocket when I was working on the roof in the early spring of 2016, and then was found at Thanksgiving time when I went back on the roof to hang Christmas lights.

I’m sick of losing things.

Now. Behold the clip-on shades and we’ll see who’s laughing.