Sunday, December 12, 2010

Brotherly Teamwork

Today my brothers and I decided that the snow on the ground was perfect snow in which to go outside and roll up some giant balls of snow. If you have never rolled up a enormous ball of snow before you are missing out because for whatever reason there is something satisfying about making a snowball that weighs easily a few hundred pounds more then you do.

My brother Peter and I started first while Daniel, being a good student, finished up his math homework and promised to join us. I started by just kinda pushing a lump of snow around and packing it in every roll as to make sure it didn't fall apart. As it got bigger and more ice and mud clung on it became more difficult to push and Peter joined in helping me push and the workload got significantly easier. For a short while. Then as the large snow ball (pictured at the far left in the photo) got heavier the workload yet again became quiet difficult. Peter and I then started working on the next one while waiting for Daniel. Thankfully he showed up soon after we'd begun on the second and both the second and third went up much quicker then the first had.

Although it may seem silly it made me think about how life is a bit like making a giant ball of snow: In life we start things, whether it be a a new major, job, or sport, and they can be fun and exciting but often require hard work. When that work gets hard or we get knocked down or that giant ball of snow gets too heavy to push any further, try as hard as we might to get back up on our own two feet, it is the support and teamwork from our families and friends that help to bare the workload and keep us going. On our own we'd only be able to make a snowball so big but with their support we can make those snowballs bigger and better together. Maybe it is the teamwork required to make these giant balls of snow that makes them so satisfying to make.


Happy Holidays!


Friday, December 3, 2010

A Funny Hobbs Nap


I snapped this photo of our kitten Hobbs (named for his resemblance to Hobbs from the comic strip Calvin and Hobbs) while he was napping over thanksgiving break- we find him napping with his tongue out like this every so often and when he hears us giggling at him he wakes up and gives us one of those "What are you laughing at" looks- So I just thought I'd share this with all the cat lovers out there

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Until next Movember

So today wraps up Movember 2010 and in that time I've learned many things and enjoyed many experiences with my furry upper lip. 

With the end of Movember 2010 I know we will all miss the warmth that has covered my upper lip and will miss the progress updates that came with it, however, never fear for Movember 2011 is only 335 days away! And next Movember is going to be a bigger, better and thicker Mo then even this year proved to be. Here are some final pictures of the progress we have made on my Mo this Movember...


A happy Mo'


My best Zoolander face

I want to say a very special thank you to all who donated the $195 raised for prostate cancer! That's $195 for Prostate Cancer research they didn't have before! 

So thank you to:
Aunt Zan, Uncle Tim, Jaque and Sean for being my first donors,
Grandmommy and Pop Pop for their generous donation,
Grandmom who sent me a check all the way from Canada!,
Aunt Annie, Uncle Tom, Catherine, Kelly and Kevin for their generous donation,
Mom, Dad and my brothers for their generous donation and support of the ugly caterpillar on my upper lip,
A special thanks to my girlfriend for putting up with my Mo' all month with so few complaints,
And thank you to Tracy Smith, President of the Syracuse Alumni Rowing Association, for retweeting all of my blog posts and spreading the word of my Movember endeavor!

Maybe tonight when I finally shave I will take a little video and get that posted too. Please feel free to check back on my blog for any of my future antics and insights that I may chose to share. Until then thank you for all the support Mo' bros and Mo' sistas

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Movember Day 27: The Movember Itch

Movember 27th is upon us and with it so is "The Movember Itch" 


Movember Day 27 Progress

Being three days from the finish of Movember- we are in the home stretch. However, with the finish line in sight two kinds of itches have emerged in my life: literal and metaphorical itches

Literal Itch: My Mo' has begun to irritate my upper lip during meal times or when working out or when talking with friends or family or even when sitting and writing up my latest blog post. It's driving my nuts, it's not so bad when I am working alone and can itch my Mo' in peace but when in public trying to discreetly scratch it enough to relieve the unpleasant sensation to a satisfying degree isn't so easy without drawing attention to the fact you are incessantly itching your 'stache. Although Chapstick helps, ultimately, it only seems to work temporarily.

Metaphorical Itch: I think the literal itch is causing the metaphorical itch because with the end of Movember in sight and the constant physical itching of my Mo' I cannot help but constantly think about the big moment in 3 days when I will lather up with shaving cream and remove the caterpillar that has grown across my upper lip. Thusly it has made me rather anxious to do so or as one could say its made me rather 'itchy'. 

Despite both the literal and metaphorical itches that my Mo' is causing for me I will stand by it fully till the last day of Movember and continue in my fight against prostate cancer. So as we make the final push to Movember 30th please donate to my page at and stay tuned for the closing chapters of my Movember Endeavor.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Movember Day 24: Mo' Progress Graph

I know I've been slacking with the updates these past few days- between racing and wrapping up school work in the last few days before break I've been a little pressed for time, however, I have thinking up some wonderfully exciting ideas that I'll try to post this week.

Movember 24 Progress Update:

As Turkey Day (or stuffing/mashed potatoes day for those of us who are vegetarians) quickly approaches I thought I'd give you a quick update on my Mo


Mo' on day 24 of Movember 

The thickness of the Mo' is now such that when people see it they no longer have to do a double take to figure out or not whether I may have missed wiping my mouth after I ate or if those pitiful hairs on my upper lip were indeed my attempt at a Mo'. This development is a wonderful thing because as it grows steadily thicker each day the looks of disgust I receive go down and I have actually begun to receive some compliments!  Based on these observations I have made a graph, please see below...


So I figure I'm somewhere in the middle "full blown duster" and "few pathetic hairs" as given by the graph because I have begun to receive "compliments" but my Mo' has yet to receive "longing looks of desire", however, I am still receiving the occasional "look of disgust" - Ultimately I just have to hope that by the end of Movember I'll be able to work my way up the trend line to "Full Blown Duster" and "Longing Looks of Desire" 

Until then please donate to my Movember fight against prostate cancer at and enjoy turkey day Mo' Friends!


Friday, November 19, 2010

Quick Update: A Movember Friend

Just returned from a delicious team dinner and now getting ready to head to bed early since I have a 5:30am wakeup call tomorrow- thought I would share this fantastic photo of my good friend and teammate Steve sporting a Mo' for the weekend:


A Fantastic Mo'

Stay tuned.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Movember Color Experiment

As promised I purchased the "Just For Men" facial hair dye tonight and went to town. 

Here is how the night progressed:

Initially I didn't really know what to expect. I opened the box to find the following:



- 1Mixing tray

- 1 Bottle of Color Base

- 1 Bottle of Natural Color Developer

- 1 Multi-Use Brush/Mixing instrument

- 1 Sheet of plastic to cover up to avoid dying skin or clothing

- 1 Step-by-step direction pamphlet 

- 2 $2 off Coupons on my next purchase of Just For Men 

- 1 Ad on "How to keep my hair looking fresh"

Being a male who was coloring the most testosterone filled form a facial hair then a fella can sport I tried to jump right into my kit in true male fashion: without reading the directions. However, I only got so far as to open up the "Color Base" tube and dab a little onto the mixing tray before deciding it would be in my Mo's best interest if I read the directions (I mean how am I supposed to know what the heck Natural Color Developer is anyway!?) So after reading the directions which ended up being surprisingly simple: Mix equal parts Developer and Base in mixing tray with back end of brush and then apply to Mo' wait 5 min. and rinse.

The result of which looked like I had smeared an obscene amount of peanut butter onto my Mo' It looked something like this:

(Warning for those faint of heart: Very graphic Mo' coloring picture attached below) 


During my 5 minutes of waiting for the dye to do it's job my thought process went something like this:

30 sec: "I look like I have peanut butter smudged in my Mo'"

1 min: "This isn't so bad I only have 4 minutes to go."

2 min: "Hey maybe if this doesn't come out dark enough I could give it a second go!"

2 min 30 sec: "I kinda wish it was peanut butter, I could really go for a snack."

3 min: "Hmmmm it feels like it's might be starting to burn a little bit"

3 min 30 sec: "Oh crap... It's definitely starting to burn."

4 min "This is really starting to hurt!! Is this going to sear the hair right off my lip??"

4 min 15 sec: "Ok how much longer must I suffer? 45 seconds fhew."

4 min 20 sec: "Ok thats been 45 seconds right?? WHAT- THAT WAS ONLY 5 SECONDS???"

4 min 30 sec: "WHEN WILL THIS MADNESS END?!"

4 min 32 sec: "That's it I'm washing it out!!!"

45 seconds later....

"Ahhhhhhhhhh so much relief"

As I emerged from dowsing my face in gallon after gallon of water I got my first glimpse in the mirror and what did I see? Something so magnificent, so majestic, so smooth it's comparable to a George Clooney character, and so mysterious it may be the cause of more speculation then the next Lady Gaga Album. It was a Mo' like I've never had before dark, full and completely visible.

Here it is unedited and unabashed my Mo' both before and after it's minor makeover: 


For comparison of before and after see Mo' Progress Day 16 Post below

Fantastic huh? Go ahead make it your background photo, I know I did. I owe it to you though readers, if it hadn't been for you I probably would have backed out of the idea to dye it but after making a promise to you all I couldn't back down. So thank you for sticking with me as Movember 18th comes to a close we only have 12 days of Movember left together so remember to check back for more progress updates and in the mean time please donate to my Mo's fight against prostate cancer at   Till next time keep the spirit of the Mo' with you!


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Movember Day 16 Quick Update

As it gets to the be the middle of the week and with the big race down in the Boston on Saturday looming ever closer, it's only normal that my school work should be rather heavy at the moment. However, after cleaning up my Mo' a bit last night I couldn't help but want to share it with everyone. So here's a quick shot of what it looks like as of tonight...


As I promised in my post yesterday I have a very special Mo' dye session scheduled for later this week. Until then stay tuned and don't forget to donate to my fight against prostate cancer at Thanks everyone!


Monday, November 15, 2010

A Movember Introspection: 3 Men with a Profound Impact

The question I have been asked most frequently these past few weeks is "Why is this fight against prostate cancer so important to you?" Prostate cancer has been a struggle that I have bared witness to my entire life by three of the men who have all had a profound impact on my life: My Grandpop Peter, 'Pop Pop' and my Father. Let me explain...

Grandpop Peter, who was my father's step-father, was a brillant patent who excelled in his industry and a wonderfully kind hearted person. A product of the commonwealth, he was born in Australia and later moved to Canada where he founded his Patenting Firm. Visiting him and my Grandmother throughout my childhood I have fond memories of trying new cuisines, exploring Parliament, and an learning a lesson in etiquette while enjoying tea at the Ch√Ęteau Laurier. While my brothers and I were still very young Grandpop Peter was diagnosed with Prostate cancer that had metastasized to his back and was given 2 years to live. However, despite his bad prognosis Peter fought the cancer for a very successful ten years and kept the quality of his life very high through those years. When cancer finally took hold of him and Grandpop passed away it was a very emotional passing for everyone. Grandpop Peter was someone who opened my eyes to the history, foods, and cultures that today have become a part of the interests and passions that remain close to who I am today. For him I fight prostate cancer.

'Pop-Pop' (as he has affectionately been known by myself and all my cousins for the last twenty years) is my Mother's Father and was diagnosed with prostate cancer when I was very very young and successfully has kept the cancer in remission for well over a decade now. Pop-Pop was born in Susquehanna, PA, home of the psychologist B.F. Skinner, he lost his father at a young age and became the product of the railroad industry and grew up working on and around the railroad while being raised by his widowed mother; I believe this is where his relentless work-ethic developed. He attended Mount Saint Mary's College and met my Grandmother while enrolled, after a brief stint in the Marine Corp he pursued a career as a school psychologist and administrator for Susquehanna Valley Schools. He is now the proud grandfather of 11 grand kids and an active member of the Knights of Columbus. It's rare to travel within a 50 mile radius of Binghamton and not run into someone that knows him and my Grandmother. Pop Pop has forever been a voice a guidance and sound advice in my life; when I have had conflict within myself or taken issue with others actions he is someone who I have and will continue to turn to for his wisdom. A great deal of my self-determination and moral convictions stem from Pop Pop. For him I fight prostate cancer.

My father has unquestionably been the biggest role model in my life throughout my twenty years. My Dad had something of a dysfunctional childhood, his parents split when he was young and thusly he, like many children of divorced parents spent a lot of time traveling: spending the summer with one parent, the school year another and the occasional month with a particularly hilarious Aunt in Atlantic City. He put himself through college at SUNY Oneonta where he met my Mother. After the two graduated they lived in Boston for a number of years and got married, they then moved to Ithaca where my Dad enrolled in and graduated from Cornell Law School. After he graduated and passed the bar exam they moved to Liverpool, NY and I came along very shortly after. My brothers, not wanting to be left behind, entered the world about 2 1/2 years later. Pop', as I usually refer to him, is one of the hardest working men in the world he is incredibly determined and has a fantastic sense of humor. The amazing thing about Dad is the profound compassion that he has for people and in-particular his loved ones.

During January of my freshman year in college my father was rather suddenly diagnosed with prostate cancer; thanks to my father's intuition to get checked earlier then most doctors recommend which led to the early recognition of the cancer and my mother's amazing ability to leap into action, get all information she needed and formulate a plan of attack amazingly within two months he had beat the cancer and was back to work! I am who I am today because of my Pop. He's been there for all my wins and all my losses both on and off the water over the years and I'm proud of him and look up to him, not only for beating cancer, but for overcoming all the struggles in his life. For him I fight prostate cancer.
Please donate to my fight against cancer during this Movember at and stay tuned for more Mo' related updates- I'm thinking a bottle of "Just for Men" beard coloring solution and my Mo' may have a date later this week, which is clearly an experience that will need documenting.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Riding a Bike with a Mo'

It was unusually nice weather today for the middle of Movember in Central New York. 

I almost thought there was glitch in when I opened it up and saw this...


Needing to see this for myself- I immediately went to the window, threw it open and basked in the warm air. I decided it was an excellent day for a ride and with no class today I had no excuse not to. So I went for a wonderfully hilly ride out to Pratts Falls which is about 15 miles away from campus (see map courtesy of Google Maps)


During the ride I enjoyed, for the first time in my life, not only the sensation of the wind in the hair on my head but also in the hair on my top lip... And boy is it wonderful! Yes, I realize that it's strange to enjoy the sensation of the beautiful breeze whipping across your Mo' at 35mph but it's (almost) enough of a reason to keep my Mo' after Movember is over. 

After I returned home and had already begun frolicking in the endorphin induced euphoria that comes with an hour and a half of suffering on a bike, I happened to glance in the mirror and noticed an array of road grime had accumulated on my Mo'. After the initial shock had subsided and I done some dissection of my Mo's contents I had found one very small piece of bark and a noticeable amount of dust from the road. Apparently simply wiping my mouth with my forearm during my workout was not enough to remove the dirt from this resilient Mo' and it thusly took a bit of shampooing in the shower to remove it all.

Whereas this would be a sign for most people that maybe growing a Mo' isn't such a good idea after all for me is only fuel to grow it bigger and better! I figure that today my Mo' acted as a metaphor, with it's resiliency and persistence holding onto that dust and dirt, for my attempt to keep my Mo' going strong, despite the disgruntled looks and constant urging by my girlfriend to rid myself of it, and to continue my fight against prostate cancer.

Another day and my Mo' teaches me yet another lesson. Can't wait to see what other adventures this Movember holds in store! Stay tuned for more updates and please donate to my page at Until then stay strong Mo' bros and Mo' sistas.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Movember: Day 10


Ten days into Movember (see picture for progress) and my Mo' is starting to shape up and I can't help but have a few observational questions about life with a Mo'...

1. Is it just me or do I seem to be getting the stink eye more frequently from people as they walk past me?
2. Is it supposed to itch this much?
3. Do girlfriends always make this many excuses to not be seen with you in public? 4. At what point should I expect milk and other food to get stuck in it during my mealtimes?
5. Does 'Rogaine' work on the upper lip area?

Despite all of the disgruntled looks my upper lip has received (and most likely will continue to receive with added frequency) when people ask "Hey Isaac whats up with this disgusting mustache?" I don't waste a second explaining to them that the few feeble hairs sprouting from my upper lip are a symbol of my fight against prostate cancer and attempt to change the face of mens health.

So tonight 11/10/10 I begin my official fundraising efforts for Movember. So please visit my "Mo' Page" ( ) and donate. Every dollar I raise goes to help raise awareness, fund research and provide information on prostate cancer. So please help join me in this fight!


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Peter and Daniel at HOCR 2010

My brothers at the Head of the Charles Regatta 2010 sitting bow pair- just doin work!

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