Anyway, this statement got me thinking... it is really time for another Swoon-worthy man!
But I decided to do something different. I went to the Board of Trustees at Cleaverland and asked them to please think of something new. My mother thought I needed to put more ads for boxed wine on here. Aunt Barb wanted more chocolate references. Aunt Judi wanted me to do a post on her fuzzy eyes. Cousin Steve wanted to start doing his own posts on here... but we all know where that would lead don't we? So I looked to the last board member (me) and I decided that I would start a "Regular Joe" showcase... or swooncase, however you want to look at it.
You all know who "Regular Joe" is don't you? He is my husband and your husband. The unsung heroes of our lives. The men that put up with us and always find their way home each evening after work. The guy that kills the spiders in the bathroom, opens lids and jars for us, parallel parks the van for us... that guy (thanks Hobbit for reminding me of all the things men do for their wives.)
So I have scoured the Internet for the first Regular Joe winner. I tried to get my husband to do it, but he said it he was too busy... something about planes and missions and blah blah blah...
Ladies of the Six-Pack, I would like to introduce you to Emily's husband ... our very first "Regular Joe" who is worthy of a swoon or two:
Warren and his family have a great blog about their lives in West Virginia. From what I can tell, he is the kind of guy that doesn't mind pushing his sleeves up and working the land. He has more interests than the economic stimulus plan and a person would be blind if they did not see how much he loves his kids and wife-which in my book makes him more swoonworthy than Brian Urlacher (you have no idea how hard that was for me to write.) I first asked Warren to ask his wife if he could do this, and then we sat down (figuratively) and talked. Well, I quickly found out that Warren loves to talk. I mean, they say that women are big talkers who need to say at least 25,000 words in a day, but Warren here has all women beat because he basically spoke a novel about himself. Seriously, if I just print off this post and send it to a publisher, it will be on the shelves of Barnes and Noble with the title He Who Talks To Bees... and Talks... and Talks... and Talks.
Let me give you a little background on Warren. He is a bee farmer who also does technical stuff. He has big biceps and a bald head. He loves his wife and he loves to can just about any vegetable out there--even some Romanesco Broccoli!
Here is his interview:
JC: Hey Warren-thanks for doing this. I have no idea what I am going to ask you and I have no idea how this post will go, but I promise to make you look good. I just need you to think like a complete and total man when you answer these questions-so go out and chop some wood, go hunting, change the oil in the truck, get stung by a bee, and then toss your wife over your shoulder and drag her into your bedroom before you even think of answering any of these questions. Okay? Are you ready... let's see what we come up with shall we?
W: Cool! I drank a fifth of whiskey this morning for breakfast so I should be ready... oh yeah, and I ate a box of nails too!
Occupation: Software Engineer/Love God
How long have you lived in WV? 3 years. It's a great place but it helps if you have either 3 legs or if one leg is longer than the other. Everything is on a hillside here. (Does anyone else think that the "3rd leg" line is something you would hear in a West Virginia bar? I thought so.)
Any good childhood stories we need to know about? There are a few...I used to pick on my younger brother all the time. We fought like brother do. Anyhow, he had enough of my crap one day. Somehow e talked me into tying a rope around my belt loops. Seizing the opportunity, he threw the line over a hanger and hoisted me up in the air. He tied it off and left me hanging. Eventually my belt loops broke and I escaped, but I've been into bondage ever since...uh...never mind. Just kidding. (Warren also told me stories about fireworks, setting his dad's car on fire, working at a bait shop, and other times in his life when he has fought death and won, but this is only a 30 minute program so I had to edit.)
Are you an environmentalist? Sort of...I am not fanatic to the point of blowing up Hummers and oil refineries but I think that we can and should do better about conserving resources, recycling, having a lower impact, etc. Aside from one's belief in global warming, it just makes economic sense to use less and to spend less and keep the environment cleaner. Regardless of whether our planet is getting warmer, I prefer clean air and skinny dipping in the river without fear of growing extra parts or losing the parts I have! (I didn't pay one bit of attention to anything he just said until he mentioned skinny dipping... )
Tell me about your kids: Isaac is now 9. He was born 2 months early under extreme duress. You can read all about it on my blog (search for preemie). To get you up to speed, he nearly died and we were told he would have a host of problems. Here we are 9 years later and his only problem is that he has some hearing loss (we were prepared for deafness from some meds he received). I can't explain how watching that helpless little baby, so sick, yet so tough, changed me forever. I can't think of it without crying. Dang it, I am crying right now. (Awww... that right there is what won him this prestigious position) Anyhow, he has always been so special and I love him so much. I think I learned early on how important he is to me. I know you innately love your kids, but I think I got a helping of "even deeper love" by almost losing him.
My daughter Abigail, on the other hand, came right on time and is a joy in a different way. I always figured that people create the differences between girls and boys. I see how wrong I was. Girls are just different. Still, I love to play with her and see how she nurtures her ponies (My Little Ponies are a favorite), and the cat, and her brother. In some sort of basic way, I think I get her joy in that. Now don't get me wrong, she loves a great burp or a good splash in the mud. She's a puzzle I guess. She loves her pink cowgirl boots and will use them to kick her brother squarely in the shins when he doesn't take her nurturing the right way! (Atta girl Abigail!)
How many ears of corn would you say you have shucked in your lifetime? Hundreds probably. My cousin and uncle (in PA where I grew up) raised cows, field corn and sweet corn. We used to eat it a lot in the summer. My mom cooked out over an open wood fire for most of our suppers in the summer. We ate corn cooked in the coals a lot. I sort of dig messing with our corn because I have a gigantic knife I use to cut the stalks. I get the "Banana song" in my head (Come mister tally man tally me bananas) and get to work! (What? Giant Knife?)
Tell me about being a bee keeper...I sort of got into it on accident. I was bored at work on day and started searching for random things that came to mind. I saw there was a beekeeping club near my home in TN so I decided to go see what a beehive looked like. That was going to be the end of my interest in bees. Anyhow, one beekeeper invited me to his place to look at his bees and he ended up sending me home with a hive in my truck and I was hooked. I love it now. I really pay attention to the seasons and enjoy doing something old-timer. There aren't too many beekeepers under the age of 70 so I sort of enjoy that aspect of it. I guess I also like the danger part. People think I am all brave and tough (oh, I am ...don't doubt that!). It can be dangerous to keep bees if you don't know what you are doing or act like a fool, but bees mostly don't want to sting people. If we handle them correctly and mostly leave them alone, they couldn't care less about us. Some of my hives are right in my yard and we do stuff around them all the time. We typically have no problems at all. Harvesting honey is a lot of fun too. We usually wait for the absolute hottest day in August (not on purpose, it just works out that way) to collect the honey. It's hot, heavy work (big biceps help...see below). You'd think being all slathered up in honey would be fun...and, oh yes, it can be, but not with thousands of angry insects with chips on their shoulders around. Anyhow, it's the only time that the whole family gets involved in beekeeping. It is much easier to process the honey when everyone helps. We get a couple hundred pounds of honey a year. Most we sell but we use a lot too. We never make money at beekeeping but we don't usually lose too much at it either. (And you thought you would never learn anything useful on this blog!)
How many times have you been stung? I am sure I have been stung hundreds of times. I know on a few occasions I have been stung over 20 times at a given episode. I seem to have this thing with females. I go in and tell them how they ought to arrange things, and they get all nasty and make me sleep on the couch for a week...wait, we're talking about bees, yes, the female bees are the ones that sting and they sometimes get testy when I mess with their digs. Typically, I don't get stung at all when I work them. The stings usually come when I drop a frame by accident (or the worst time was when I was removing a nest from the walls of a house). (I love when a man gets stung. He just looks at the bee and flicks it off of him as if it was nothing. Real men get stung.)
Do you have any tattoos? No...I think it would be cool but I can't figure out what I'd want. I thought about my favorite stuff...you know Mt Dew, bees, my cats...but then, I don't want someone else's "can" or "stinger" or...well, anyhow, I can't think of anything I want on me forever. I sort of dig small tattoos on people though...maybe someday. (You could get one of a cat and a bee playing cards drinking mt. dew?)
Is your wife smarter than you? We both know our IQs and we are pretty closely matched on paper. But that's really only half of the story. Of course, she is much smarter than me on some stuff and I am much smarter than her on others. For instance, I know exactly how many sausages I can fit in the frying pan. I have good spatial ability. She gets money and people much better than I do. She has managed our money for our entire married life. Some guys would hate that but I sort of like not having any responsibility...wait, that sounds just like a stereotypical guy. We are such misunderstood creatures. Anyhow, she's just better at tons of stuff than I am. We divide up stuff differently to suit our abilities. (You know he had a long answer but the basic gist of it was "Yes, my wife is smarter than me, and I am so lucky.)
What size is your shoe? I used to be a size 10...but I seem to have shrunk to a size 9.5 lately. I don't know if the shrinkage is due to aging, or the cold temps, or what...I hope my...uh...feet remain average size! (How good of a dancer are you? That is what really matters.)
Any dreams for your children? I have no specific dreams, but like most parents, I suppose, I want them to be good people, I want them to marry good people and to be happy in doing what they enjoy. I also dream of them hitting the Powerball lottery and taking care of me in my old age!
How much of your land do you farm/garden? We live in the city so have little planted at the house. We grow mostly herbs and fruits in the city. We have blueberries, blackberries and apples growing. I am working on chickens for this spring at the house, but that's a work in progress. We also work nearby at my wife's grandparents' land where we tend a 4000 or so square foot garden that they've let us have. We keep bees at our place, at their place, and at 2 other locations in the nearby area.How many vegetables/fruits have you canned? We can everything we can can. We make a salsa that I like to call "@ss in the tub" salsa. We make pizza sauce, pickles of various sorts, green beans...a lot of green beans, peppers, jellies and sauces for ice cream/pancakes/wife's bellybutton. We dehydrate and freeze a lot of stuff too...squash, peppers, tomatoes...about everything we can manage. It saves us a bunch of money since we don't count our hours on the job - it's our hobby. I like staying up late with the wife while we can stuff. We get a chance to chat and dream about stuff. There's something about being up late that does that to me. Just laying in bed doesn't do it....I fall asleep. But put me on task late at night and I'll spill the beans on anything. That's pretty goofy I guess! (Look at that... nothing sexier than a man with some earth rubbed in his wounds. What? That isn't what you all were thinking too?)
Any hobbies we would like to know about? Aside from beekeeping, I also am trying to learn to play violin and I tinker with stained glass. I suck at both though so I don't know if you could call them hobbies or just ways I give away money. Anyhow, I also like tinkering with stuff...not necessarily anything in particular. I just get wild hairs and have to run with them (see violin and stained glass, above). I love to target shoot also but the kids are a little young to make a family affair out of it. I used to hunt but I am sort of over shivering in the cold. I remember deer hunting in the freezing cold and snow in PA one time. A deer walked 10 feet from me and stopped. I already had my rifle up, but I didn't have the hammer pulled (I had a lever action 30-30 with me). My fingers were so frozen I couldn't pull the hammer back or run the lever to get a bullet in the chamber. I was so mad I wanted to throw my rifle at the deer in hopes of getting him that way. Anyhow, now I target shoot. (So you are a beekeeping, violin playing, stained glass making hunter turned target shooter?)
Who taught you how to knit? No one in my family knits so I had to consult the ultimate authority on all things important...the Internet. You tube is great for knitting though I am not too hot even still. I like the looms for knitting. Needle knitting is probably not for me. I have a 3x5 inch square that needs finished as the sweater it was to become is so far off...3x5 is a nice pot holder size, right? Anyhow, the looms are pretty easy. I don't knit a lot but I do dig wearing my homemade hat. I am working on one for my daughter now too. (I once looked up knitting on the Internet but it sent me to a site that I would not recommend to anyone-it was knitting for adults only. You do not want to know what kind of "warmer" they suggested as your first project.)
How big are your biceps? I haven't measured in awhile but the last time they were just under 17 inches...the implants have held up rather nicely! (Nice... That is all I can say. Nice.)
Do you know how to use a chainsaw? Absolutely! I shave with it every morning! Actually, I have been using a chain saw for a long time. I grew up in the woods in NW PA and we heated with wood. My brother and I learned to drive when we were 10 so we could get a truck out of the woods if my Dad got hurt cutting trees. Anyhow, we started splitting wood before we had hair on our chins...in fact, I am pretty sure that the 2 shots of whiskey to keep us warm as well as all of the wood splitting are what put hair on my chest. (Chest hair, chainsaws and splitting wood... you are one sweet talker.)
Have you ever gotten in a fist fight? Twice, and both times were a long time ago. I won of course. Being a benevolent victor, I offered the olive branch to the kids and gave them back their lunch money. (Fighting for a girls honor I am sure.)
What is the most important thing to you? Definitely my family...followed closely by my M*A*S*H dvd collection. Really, my family is most important to me. I work like everyone else but I basically refuse to work over, go on long trips, etc because I want to get home and hang with the family. The kids continue to get more and more interesting and I really enjoy doing stuff with them. My wife has gotten slightly less interesting but she's still pretty cool to do stuff with. Anyhow, we spend a lot of quality time together. We haven't had cable tv in 13 years, mainly because we don't want to be a tv-family. No dig on people who do watch tv, it just isn't for us. Does that sound stupid? Anyhow, we really like doing other things together. Soon, I will get my son to start chopping wood too! He needs hair on his chest! (No wonder you knit-you don't watch TV!)
Do you shave your head or are you just naturally bald and beautiful? I am naturally bald and beautiful though I do a little touch up work on the sides every day. It makes me more aerodynamic. That's critical for my spy work that I do on the side. Did I mention that I also train with Michael Phelps? (It makes you more aerodynamic? That right there is enough for Swoon all by itself.)
Any special traits we need to know about? Hmm...you got bald and beautiful...you got average shoe size...
Can you ask your wife that same question about you please?
This is Warren's wife - I thought up some special traits that are particular to Warren.
He has a third nipple - not the whole thing, just the very end. His grandfather evidently had the same deal. It's pretty small so not grotesque or anything. It was quite a discovery for me though!
The fool let me pierce his ear when we were dating in college. It took a half an hour and I used a needle from my sewing kit. He lied and said it didn't hurt (I basically laid on him to do it so I think he rather enjoyed that part) so I kept on trying until it went through. It was really crooked though so I had to do it all over again. He only wears it now to embarrass me.
He has a freakish thing for stray cats. He can't stand to see them unfed. It's pretty sweet really. We now have 2 indoor cats and about 10 outdoor-only cats that we feed
He can't curl his tongue. Who can't curl their tongue?! (I think I would be GREAT friends with you Emily! and by the way, my husband can't curl his tongue either. What kind of childhood could they have had?)
Do you carry a hammer and a shovel around with you everywhere you go? No...but I never go far without a pocket knife. One never knows when there is a dragon to slay or a wrapper that needs removed! (Ha!)
Who is your hero? My grandpa...he was a tinkerer. He refused to grow old. He has birthdays every year (he'll be 95 this spring), but he never got old. He remained curious and excited about the small things in life...leaves changing, a good cup of coffee, a good garage cuss. He's kind and funny and alive! It's pretty much how I want to be as I tack on the birthdays. (He is on hook for next month's Regular Joe.)
What do you love the most about your wife? I love that she gets me. I am into trying all sorts of stuff and she puts up with all of it. She keeps me on track but lets me run too (if that makes sense). She doesn't love that I have a quarter of a million bees 5 feet from our bedroom window, but she tolerates it. I am curious about so many things and she lets me explore. She reels me back in when I need it too. That sounds sort of like "it's all about me" but I think what I am trying to say is that she is my balance, my other half. I also love that she makes kick-@ss lasagna! (Saint! Your wife is a Saint)
What do you think of women in general? I dig women a lot...I don't mean that in a typical guy way (though I dig women that way too). My mom and grandma were both no-nonsense kinds of women so I have never viewed women as less important, less powerful, etc. None of that ever crossed my mind when I was growing up (either one of them would have clocked me for sure). Of course, I have heard and witnessed a lot of the junk that women put up with and I think it sucks. I know that I don't want my daughter to be treated differently just because she has different parts than a man (that's simplified of course, but, I think you know what I mean). Though, in some ways I do want her to be treated differently. I get disgusted with men who don't treat a woman with respect. I guess I see two sides of women...women in the workplace I view as equals. At my last job in Nashville (before moving to WV) I worked with 3 women in particular who were amazing computer programmers. They were logical, tough, smart...all that stuff that stereotypically keeps women out of, or oppressed in, computer fields. It was an excellent opportunity to solidify my understanding that women are equals at work. On the other hand, I want any guy that spends time with my daughter, to honor her and hold her in higher regard than "one of the guys". (Short answer: "Yes, Warren like wimin.")
What are you wearing right now? HA! I am getting ready for work so I have on khaki brown pants. Aside from jeans, all of my pants are khaki brown. I have 8 pairs. I never have to worry about whether my shirt will match or if my one brown belt will "work" with an outfit. I also only own brown shoes and black socks. Now, the fun part is, I am wearing a shirt that I got sometime in the mid 90s. It's still in great shape and my wife hates it so much...it's what keeps me going! (Oh get on with it! Tell us the truth... that you are wearing carpenter pants, work boots and a white tank top with a tool belt slung around your waist. Why do you tease?)
Okay... that is all I can think of. You don't have to answer anything that you don't want to... but remember, June Cleaver is a fun blog, so no pressure... but be witty for goodness sake! This is pretty cool...I am vain enough I guess to really enjoy this! (I would have never guessed)
All in good taste and good fun. The Six-Pack upholds the right to love men, but also complain about them. I have read your stuff for 6-8 months, so I get it...and I dig it!
Thanks for being such a good sport Warren!
You can find more of this Regular Joe that is completely swoon worthy over at