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We Planned It This Way

This adorable black lab puppy and me in my denim blues make a good pair to match today’s selection. Did I plan it ? No, but you can be sure I was gonna hold the treat over my head as long as it took to get this picture once he sauntered up to demand attention.

Don’t worry, though, it wasn’t all cheesing for the camera. Smoky always gets the attention he’s hunting for in the end.

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QIWAT: Is It Dots Or Is It Polka?’

Orange dots on a field of blue. The perfect socks to applaud FC Cincinnati’s first win of the season. But, more interestingly, this particular pair triggered a conversation about what exactly defines the ubiquitous Polka Dots. Most everyone who saw these today made gliv reference to polka dots. But, is that just because of dots? Surely not all dots are polka flavored, right? If not, though, what’s the difference?

In other words…where do simple dots end, and polka dots begin?

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Holy Socks, Batman

These should have required little introduction, except the big yellow logo ended up a bit distorted, making it hard to see that, yes, those are, in fact, Bst Signals. Each pair only has one yellow logo, facing outward, giving each sock an actual left vs right orientation, making them far more worthy of debating Left/Right than those stupid Twix commercials on all the time these days. Also made them a lot harder to get a picture of, which is why today’s shot definitely isn’t winning a Pulitzer any time soon.

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As A Surprise To Exactly No One

Surely it comes as no surprise to anyone thay The Puddinette had me well setup for St. Patrick’s Day. In fact, I’ve got several holidays waiting for me in the drawer already. But then, when you’re married to someone who has the presence of mind to make sure even the couch is decked out in appropriate green shamrocks, it’s not hard to tell just exactly who won the marriage lottery. Sure, I pour a mean beverage for her, but it seems like poor trade off for putting with all my nonsense and still making sure I’ve got just the right socks!

Happy St Patrick’s, people. Try not to set the place on fire.

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The Eyes Say It All

Long day. Longer week. Looking forward to wearing green tomorrow, but it’s not St Patrick’s Day quite yet. That made me think this grey-white pair of argyle was the perfect set up for tomorrow’s colorful nonsense.

Anybody up for kegs and eggs at 6AM??

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I looked at these this morning (which, apparently, was 18 hours ago at this point) and immediately saw a tiny armada of space-faring invaders, undeniably reminiscent of Galaga. Needless to say, when the video game nerd finds a pair of socks that make him think of one the first, best arcade games he’d ever played, well, they immediately go on the feet.

The only real question is: will I actually break down and take them off? 🤓

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With Man’s Best Friend Like This…

I’m not entirely certain what I think the best thing about today’s sock picture is: the blue-on-blue stripes topped with a ring of pinkish orange, or my awesome Captain America pants. I would totally understand if you felt the tiniest amount of envy for either. Or even both.

What is definitely not the best thing about today’s picture is that the dog bed in the background seems to be lacking the usual black lab mutt, Smoky. The canine punk decided he was ready for actual bed a bit earlier than usual tonight, and so the traitorous pup hightailed it upstairs to snuggle in at the Puddinette’s feet.

I guess I see where I fit on his priority list.

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Like Pretend Old Timey Hockey Socks

Had a playoff hockey game tonight in my beer league, and we surprised everyone (including ourselves) by actually taking the W in a shootout following a scoreless overtime. We busted pretty much all the brackets, you know, if anyone had done a bracket for Northern KY C League hockey.

Spoiler Alert: no one did a bracket.

Bracket or not, I felt pretty stylish rolling in with this pair of red and blue stripes, as if they were the kind of thing old timers might have worn, back in the day. Is that possible? Probably not. But if you don’t tell anyone neither will I.

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Fortunately, The Socks (a Puddintopia Treatise on Turning 45 and NOT Quite Being The Rock)

This pair of socks is pretty much unlike anything I’ve worn so far this year, and not by accident. In fact, I’ve been saving them for today. Because kinda like these socks, today is a day a little unlike the others, and this post will follow accordingly. That is, I hope you can forgive me an extra thousand words or so, because if didn’t know already, today’s my birthday, and that usually means I’m gonna ramble for a bit.

Contrary to the suggestion of previous annual posts, though, I try not to get too silly about my birthday, especially seeing how I’m 45 years old now and all. I mean, that’s a little much to be getting excited about my age. Let’s face it, I’m past the years of both Fundome pool parties and pub crawls (not that I don’t give the latter a try every few years, just to remind myself why I don’t do them anymore).

This year, though, is a little different. Not because it’s evenly divisible by five (although it is), but because I promised myself at the start of 2018 that if I made it to my birthday, I’d write a proper post about it.

Not sure quite what that it is? Well, if this is the first time you’re visiting Puddintopia this year, the past 70 posts have mostly been about stocking. That is, pretty much everything about this year has about my socks.

Perhaps not surprisingly, I’ve gotten a lot of questions in the past two plus months about my deal with the socks. Do I have some kind of bottomless sock drawer? Did I get a gross of new pair for Christmas? Better yet, do I have some kind of sock fetish?

(For the record, that one was my favorite).

But, no, seriously, what IS the deal?

Well, in simplest terms, it’s a New Year’s resolution, believe it or not. My resolution for 2018 was — and is — to wear a different, unique, interesting pair of socks every day this calendar year.

Now, I know that sounds crazy, trust me. When I first suggested it to the Puddinette, she didn’t tiptoe around it much before making it abundantly clear she thought I was out of my mind. But, a lot of the reason she and I work together is that I’m mostly crazy nuts and she’s mostly crazy reasonable, and after 17+ years of marriage, we know when to let the other’s specific crazy run free for a bit. So she handed my the tiller and has since been invaluable in finding good deals on fun socks lest my crazy little scheme break the bank.

All of that, though, doesn’t say anything about why.

Well, as the last days 2017 ticked past, I started to give serious thought to what I could do to make 2018 more awesome. To make myself somehow a fundamentally better me in the coming 52 weeks.

Thus, I started making A Plan. My first thought was to make goals, like a step-ladder or pyramid of them, and work day after day on getting after them. You know, lose x pounds, and then, after achieving that, go y days without a beer, and after that, go z consecutive weeks working on Couch to 5k or something. Add some weight training and maybe some writing goals. And then, and then, etc.

That is, the idea was to make a chain of work goals and life goals and writing goals and physical goals and and and…

And bullshit. The fact us, I’m not the Rock. He’s The Man when it comes to setting goals and driving yourself hard. And I’ve got nothing but respect for his focus and work ethic and ability to basically Eat. All. The. Cods. But my priority is my kids. And the Puddinette. And then, and only then, if there’s time and energy left over, for working on me.

Which means none of the fancy, complicated step-wise goal making I concocted was going to survive as a core focus past my first crazy week, or the first multi day work trip, or the first busy weekend — and with four kids, three of whom have winter activities, all of the weekends are busy.

I realized all of this, and, then, in one perfect moment of clarity in late December, it occurred me: what I really wanted was to Be. Different.

To be different than the norm. Different than my own norms. To evidence some change, a subtle change, a break with my myriad of various (occasionally self destructive) habits. A reminder to push myself. To recall, for a moment, Every. Single. Day that no matter how many times I’ve spun around the humble star at the center of our solar system, that I’m never done — and never going to be done — working hard, or, working The Plan, in pursuit of The Goal…because, as a very wise man once taught me, Those who succeed have a goal and a plan.

This, then, is how I’ve chosen to strive to be a different, better me every day this year. By reminding myself every morning when I pull on the day’s pair of socks that I need to work myself to be just as unique, just as different, just as awesome, as the patterns on my feet. Every. Single. Day.


PS: If I/we somehow manage to make it 365 days without repeating a pair of socks, I intend to donate all but maybe my 10 favorite pairs to charity. Because proving to myself that I can be different is only half of showing that I can be an decent human all the way around.

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Not-Quite Birthday Flowers

A week ago, I asked my wife if these were poinsettias. She told me that they were something that starts with an H. Hydrangeas? Not Heather. Holly maybe? Hibiscus?

Maybe that last one. I don’t know. All I do know is that tomorrow is my 45th birthday (I think), and while I can still remember the atomic number of oxygen (8) and can name every Marvel movie from phases I, II, and III, in order, I often forget stuff someone told me 3 days ago. Also, my back hurts, but I’m going to pretend to blame that on my daughter’s speech and drama competition instead of the advancing years, because the beds in the hosting hotel had NOTHING on medieval torture devices.