Daily Grind :: Ammonia Balls, Relationships, Books and Design

Marriage and long term relationships have a funny way of evolving over time. Once you're with someone long enough, you oftentimes don't even hear what your partner is saying. Husbands and boyfriends especially get a bad rap for this. But wives and girlfriends are just as guilty. I think women in general are just better at covering up when they aren't listening to you. Men's eyes tend to glaze over and they begin flipping channels on the remote when they aren't listening, and the drool on the chin is always a dead giveaway.

However, women are instilled with the innate talent of multitasking which I believe lets them get away with zoning out more easily without being noticed. Their heads nod automatically in all the appropriate spaces when their men speak. They can drop in an affirming "that's true" when it may not even apply...even in the middle of deciding which new profile pic to post on Facebook or thinking about what they are going to say when and if their man ever shuts up.

"The Communication Gap is  this  big."

"The Communication Gap is this big."

We're all guilty of not listening. Men and women. Over time, I think you just become so accustomed to hearing that person's voice that it becomes part of your atmosphere. It's the sound of birds chirping. The neighbor's lawn mower in the distance. The music from down the hall. The furniture in the room. It's there. It's supposed to be there. It's comforting. It's home and home is forgiving. You don't mean to tune it out. But it's like their voice short circuits your ears.

And that's why one of the best kept little secrets about a long term relationship is the sheer pleasure you get when you get to say something shocking enough to shatter that fake listening facade.

You see, I read up that you can get rid of raccoons by soaking tennis balls in ammonia and then placing them in the place the little rascals have made a home. So, as my wife was heading up to bed last night, I casually said, "Good night. I'm going to soak my balls in ammonia and then I'll be up."

As you can imagine, I got the reaction from her I wanted. A "What?!" followed by a genuine guffaw followed by laughter on both our part. That moment right there is the best part of a long term relationship.

We don't always have to listen to get the really good stuff we need from a relationship. It's in there. Baked in. We know the birds are chirping whether we truly hear them or not, and that's comforting.

Today, in the grind we have some book news, design we love, some special dads and a chilling video from D.C.:

Trent McCain doing what dads are supposed to do.

Trent McCain doing what dads are supposed to do.

  • And then there's this guy who is an awesome dad in his own right. He's gained notoriety by copying his daughter's selfies:
Chris "Burr" Martin doing what dads maybe aren't "supposed" to do, but having a good time doing it.

Chris "Burr" Martin doing what dads maybe aren't "supposed" to do, but having a good time doing it.

  • Three surprising tips to feeling happier and less busy.
  • You could also play Gordon Ramsey's new game Gordon Ramsey Dash if you want to feel happier and less busy.
  • Call me weird and old-fashioned, but I still like the feel of a pencil in my hand. But pencils need sharpening, run out of eraser and turn into unusable nubs. No more. The Pencil+ is a clever all-in-one gadget that changes a device we've used all our lives. 
  • It took 2 years of development, but this light fixture built from its own packaging tube is fracking brilliant:


  • 62% of professional workers now eat lunch at their desks. "Desktop Diners", as they're now being called, face some positive and negative ramifications of always eating in the very spot they work.
  • I'm going to close out the grind today with a different kind of song of the day. This impromptu rendition of the National Anthem astounded and moved onlookers at the Lincoln Memorial:

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