pets

I was thinking about the household items that are the most important to me. Not the ones that are life-critical, like the bed, or the stuff that is great to have (my iPhone 3G came in very, very handy in Kauai), but the things that serve crucial functions in shaping my life.

As of right now, they are:

My clippers: The Remington MB-400 Titanium Precision Pro Rechargeable Vacuum Mustache & Beard Trimmer. Quite a mouthful, huh?

Why is it vital? Because as someone over the age of 30, hair control is becoming more and more important. A trimmer such as this works not only to keep my beard neat when I have one, but also to whack it down to shaveable stubble when I’m done with said beard. Then there’s the dreaded manscaping: my father has the perennial fluffy tufts of chest hair escaping over the top button of his shirt. I have made a solemn vow that I’ll keep my own pectoral carpet under control until the day I die. This also extends to the nether regions, although great care must be taken down south.

From keeping the back-of-neck neat between haircuts to shaping the ol’ soul patch, the low-cost Remington is plenty for me to get the job done. The vacuum feature doesn’t catch all the hair (I frankly never expected it would) but it grabs enough to make cleanup easier.

My crock pot: This Hamilton Beach 4-Quart Slow Cooker.

I’ve only been a slow-cooker owner for a few months, but I can’t tell you how much difference it has made in my nutritional plan. Let me give you one example. Take cheap, lean stew meat, cut some carrots and potatoes and a small onion, add one bullion powder packet and water to cover it all. Stir, set it on low and go to work. Get home from work, salt and pepper to taste and enjoy. Presto, meals for the next 3-4 days with 5 minutes work and about $12 of ingredient cost.

The best part is the incredible tenderizing magic of the crock pot: the cheapest cuts of beef are usually also the leanest, giving you all the benefits of eating red meat without the artery-clogging consequences. Slow-cook a tough cut for a day and it will practically fall apart in your mouth. There is simply no easier way to make massively nutritious meals. And I like simple.

My cat. (Sorry, no Amazon link for that.)

Here’s where your mileage will vary. And to tell the truth, I didn’t choose to be a cat owner – it’s a long story, but she picked me. Still, the benefits of a pet, considering you have the ability to properly care for one, are tremendous. There is research that indicates pets help people live longer lives, and dogs and cats are frequently used as therapy for recovering patients.

Caring for something also gives you a greater sense of purpose – a strong plus with women. Yes, I have obtained dates in part because of “pet bonding.” Just don’t start speaking for your pet (“she says ‘who’s this new person?'”) or talking about that adorable way he sleeps in the bed with his paws across your chest: it will take down your masculinity and make any other guy within earshot have to vomit. And ladies, as an animal loving guy, I still don’t want all three of your dogs sleeping on the bed with us.

So why a cat? Besides the cat-choosing-me thing, I love dogs too, but my lifestyle is not, let us say, regimented enough for a creature that needs regular bathroom breaks. Whether it’s a ferret or tropical fish, just make sure you can take care of it, both time-wise and financially. Word of how you took your dog to the shelter so you could get that awesome apartment in that no-pets building will not help you get laid.

Now that you know the things I’m grateful for, tell me, what three items can’t you live without?

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