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Do you Stine? April 12, 2010

Posted by schlanghole in Uncategorized.

To Stine (definition): The act of vacating an event and/or function without saying goodbye and without anyone realizing you departed until much later.

You know what I’m talking about. You’ve probably even Stined yourself but didn’t know what to call it. Or maybe you Stine all the time and have a different name for it. We call it Stining after our most excellent friend Eric Holstine. Nobody can pull off a Stine like Eric. He is the master and the rest of us are mere grasshoppers compared to his awesomeness. I started Stining in the mid 90’s and have become pretty darn good at it so I thought it my responsibility to define, document, and share my learnings with you here.

Here are some tips on how to pull off a successful Stine: You’re out with a group of people at any given event or function. It could be drinks, birthday party, work event, concert, etc. After hanging out for an appropriate amount of time and are ready to bail, start forming your Stine-plan. First of all, it is always much easier to pull a successful Stine if your party has consumed a sufficient amount of alcohol. Second, identify your different exit options. I typically do this once entering an establishment in anticipation of pulling off a Stine later. Next, an amateur move I see all the time and a sure way of being caught is if someone catches you paying your bill. It’s a dead giveaway. Make sure to settle up any tabs well before attempting to leave. Paying cash along the way is a good long-term approach.

When you’ve decided it’s time to make your move, one popular tactic that has worked well for me over the years is the “fake-call”. Pretend you just received a call, put your finger in the other ear as if you can’t hear, walk away from the table or group, and continue your way out of the building. When outside you can determine whether it’s safe to leave or not depending on if anyone else in your party is also outside. If they are, you have a couple choices. “Continue” the fake call until said friend goes back inside or abort and start over. Another popular tactic I’ve used dozens of times is excusing myself to pretend to buy a drink at the bar or to use the restroom. Whether an opportunity exists to Stine at this point or not will be determined by a number of factors including whether someone is watching you or unexpectedly blocking your desired exit.

Over the years it has become more and more difficult for me to Stine. This is because all of my friends are aware of the Stine and my propensity to perform it. They are constantly watching me in hopes of catching me in the act, which has forced me to get creative over the years. This brings me to the unsuccessful Stine or as we like to call it, The Kerns.

There will be times, especially early in your Stining career, where you are unsuccessful. We call this a Kerns after our pal Holly Sue Kerns. Holly is the worse Stiner I know and we are constantly catching her. She tries so hard and I will admit she has pulled it off a couple times but it is rare. Remember, it is not a Stine if you’re caught or someone asks, “Are you leaving?” If this occurs at any time during the event, you have failed. This is called a Kerns.

The most difficult and gratifying of all Stines is the Double Stine. This demands a great deal of coordination and I would not recommend attempting it until you’ve got a few successful singles under your belt.

I Stine all the time. I love to Stine. So the next time there’s a bunch of us hanging out and you realize you haven’t seen me for a while ask yourself “Did Tony Stine?” Because I probably did.


I’m a hugger … not a shaker. March 31, 2010

Posted by schlanghole in Uncategorized.

I consider myself a personable guy and I am a hugger. I like to hug. I’ve always been that way. When I see my friends out, I welcome them with a hug. Family friends, girl friends, guy friends, old people, young people, bald people, hairy people. It doesn’t matter. Sometimes even when introduced to someone for the first time, I will give them a hug.

But lately I’ve been thinking I need to reign it in a bit.

I know certain people are not huggers and by invading their space I’m making them uncomfortable. I don’t want to make people uncomfortable. So lately I’ve been trying a new approach. I have been “backing off” and trying the old stand-by handshake. The problem I’ve noticed however is that it might be too late. When people see me coming they expect the hug and prepare themselves for it whether they like it or not.

For example, the other day I saw a buddy who I know is NOT a hugger but I’ve been hugging him for years. I tried my new approach and attempted to stick my hand out instead but it was too late. He was already coming in for the hug. And it was … awkward.

I guess I’m at a hugging crossroads. I’m not sure if I should continue trying to convert my hugs to handshakes or embrace (pun intended) my instincts to hug regardless of whom I creep out.

So here is my message to you. If you’re not a hugger and I bump into you in the near future, give me a sign. I won’t be offended. If you don’t … I’ll assume I have a green light and will be coming in for my hug.

Well … here we go. November 19, 2009

Posted by schlanghole in Uncategorized.

Perhaps someones first blog post should be profound. However, that’s too much pressure and instead I think I’ll simply try to explain why I finally decided to get on board and start one.

Reason #1: To record my journey through life.

I think it’s important to grow as a person. I desperately want to evolve. I want to be remembered as a kind and giving person. Someone who left the world a little better place than when I entered it. By writing a blog I hope to document that growth process and use it to recognize turning points in my life and in my character. I’ve tried this before in years past with traditional journals or diaries. I couldn’t tell you where one of them is today. My hope is that through this vehicle I will be able to save and review my progress for years to come.

Reason #2: I have something to say.

I have many interests and want to share them with others. I have strong opinions on most subjects and this will be my vehicle to express them. I love the power of ideas, the power of social communities and the incredible power the web has to distribute those thoughts worldwide. I hope I can stimulate others into meaningful dialog around topics of common interests.

Reason #3: It’s time.

It’s been on my to-do list for a long time. I’ve been hesitant because of the implied time investment and the fact I’ve been known to obsess over new bright shiny objects. My wife, Tanya, is afraid that this added to the other social vehicles I am already addicted to, she’ll never see me again. But it’s time to give it a try. I’ve been encouraged by my friends, peers, company and family to start it up and see how it goes. Maybe it won’t take but I intend to give it a try and hope it’s of value to me and, who knows, maybe you.