Made in…

Do we make anything anymore in the United States? Okay. I know we do but damn, every time I get that itch to buy some clothes, an electronic device, a ballpoint pen from any store its origins most often are…international.  Is there anything wrong with that? Not at all! I like variety, options, a chance to experience a product that can’t be made anywhere else but that country only.  But it’s a shame when we as a society are morphing from being producers to mere consumers.  A throwaway culture because we can always buy another at the store.  Authenticity is scarce.

I decided to do a little something because I was tired of feeling as if my only option for anything was to buy it. I knew I could make something that wouldn’t require a Ph.D or be too time-consuming.  I looked up how to make soap, the different methods and techniques to make soap, and what ingredients to use.  It felt good! I built on that empowering moment and started making deodorants, aftershaves, toothpaste, my wife even put together a skateboard for my birthday.  I’m thinking of also making my own BBQ grill, a burglar alarm, a lightsaber! The point is build something.  Use your hands to create, craft, cultivate, code, cut apart, chisel or carve something of your own doing.  If nothing else it’ll give you a reason to make the garage useful again.

Be smooth.

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Respect

What does respect mean to you?

We know all the classic cliches and quotes about it, right? Respect is earned, not gained. Respect yourself and others will respect you. Respect starts at home, Aretha Franklin singing about respect, so on and so on.  I agree with it all.  Respect is one of those fundamental characteristics that shape us, define us as a society or as individuals.  We respect a profession, firefighters battling a blaze, surgeons operating on a patient’s heart, sanitation workers cleaning up your crap.  We respect the underdog, a survivor, a deserved ass whooping.  It all ties in together in to this beautiful mosaic of singing, laughter, hugs and skittles thrown in the air.

Then there are those days…

Those moments, those situations, those people who don’t deserve your respect.  It would be lost on them.  They would take the respect you give them, tear it up, grind it put it in the oven and call it dinner. If you had the option and the law wouldn’t be involved you’d throw that person out the window as a gift to humanity.

But, we at Smooth Vintage know better. We can’t go down to that level and neither do you. So keep on respecting to the best of your abilities. I’ll respect that.

Chivalry

Chivalry, that old fashioned word that has defined many a gentleman across many countless societies.  The word always sounded so regal, sophisticated and maybe elitist.  For me, I believe one thing comes to mind when we think about that word. What exactly does that word mean? I still don’t have a grasp for it in our modern society.  Fortunately I can figure this out and maybe, just maybe this will help other guys out in their pursuit of the gentleman standard.

Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines chivalry as: mounted men-in-arms, archaic, gallant or distinguished gentlemen, the system spirit or customs of medieval knighthood.

Okay.  I can tell you right now I am not a knight or belong to any knighthood.  As a matter of fact, I don’t know of anyone under the age of 40 who is and if they are it’s not like they are fighting battles in full on chain mail and armor. Now, gallant or distinguished gentlemen seems more of an appropriate definition for the modern day smooth guy, one that I’m sure gets overlooked.  I can see a lady minding her business and all of a sudden that smooth guy walks past her down the street she thinks in her mind and says out loud, “That’s one chivalrous looking dude”.  Maybe, just maybe the concept of chivalry might actually be useful in the 21st century.  I’ll try the word out on some friends, male and female and see how it goes.

Every day greeting

I have a minor pet peeve that has been irritating me more and more as the years go by and maybe you as well share this sentiment.  Let me set up an illustration for you to follow that will explain.

Scenario:  you are feeling, looking and displaying a level of smoothness on a Thursday morning better than any Thursday morning you’ve had in recent memory. Breath is so clean and minty fresh that you might have a pack of gum in your own name by the time you get groceries that afternoon.  You’re walking down the street and see a fellow human being and greet this person as you would any other human being to acknowledge their existence. In response to your well-intentioned greeting you receive…nothing but a blank stare! For real?  You mean to tell me one can’t, at a minimum, give a head nod, a “What up?”, a “hey” under your breath?  Sad.

I’m not saying we should all walk down the street skipping and hold hands and tipping our hat at  everyone we see unless that’s really your thing, but come on, man to man, dude to dude; man to woman even.

As my brother says, can’t trust another man that can’t even respond to a head nod.  You might get jacked!