It’s 7:55am, June 12th. It’s my Mom’s birthday today. She’s turning, ah, well’¦; let’s just say
she’s a year older than last year. Sunday is Father’s Day. In cities and suburbs all around the
country kids will be making their Dad’s breakfast in bed (try not to burn the toast) and a lot of
20,30,40 and yes some 50 year olds will be calling , e-mailing (that’s pitiful) or visiting their folks
‘” if they’re lucky enough to still have them around.
It’s funny, when I was a kid (before I hit the double digits, 3 years before I would be a teen-
ager) I believed my Dad was the smartest man in the world. He could spell any word I asked him
about (of course he knew its six different meanings), had two master degrees, was a pilot (later
wing commander) in the Air Force and my role model. I always thought, ‘If I can be just half the
man my Dad is I’ll turn out alright’.
As the years went on (teenage years) I started thinking that maybe my Dad wasn’t
as smart as I was giving him credit for. He didn’t know the latest music (he thought Anne Murray
hung the moon along with Abba) and certainly didn’t dress hip. He never wore bell bottoms or
velour shirts or owned a pair of Pumas or Adidas. Maybe I was a little naive to believe I was the son
of the smartest man on Earth.
As more years went by, my 20’s and 30’s, my Dad suddenly started getting smart
again. All those paths he warned me not to go down (a lot of course I did anyway) didn’t turn out
the way I originally planned. Of my own accord I had gone down a lot of dead end roads that my
Dad some how (through osmosis I thought) knew were going nowhere. In the end his Oxxford
suits never went out of style, nor did his wing tips or the advice on how a good pair of shoe trees
can add years to the life of a shoe. My Dad can still spell any word I throw at him, know its six
meanings and teach more of what it’s like to be a man than anyone I’ve ever met. I hope some day
I’m half the man Hector Manuel Cuellar is.
Tonight I’m having dinner with my folks. We’re celebrating both my Mom’s birthday
and Father’s Day. We’re eating at a wonderful restaurant called ‘Marks’ inHouston(for all you food
connoisseurs). In making the reservations I realized that the time I spend with my folks has been
relegated to birthdays, Father’s Day, Mother’s Day and holidays. On this my Mom’s birthday I
realized how lucky I am to have my Mom and Dad here to hang out with. A lot of my readers may
not be so lucky. Yet I’m letting so much precious time that I could spend with them slip through
my fingers because I ‘have my own life’. Besides the knick- knacks I’ll give my folks I intend to re-
prioritize my life, to spend more time with my Mom and Dad (and my mom’s new little dachshund
Butchie). I’m so lucky to have the most beautiful and loving mom in the world and the smartest
and greatest dad!
Next month’s article of the month is ‘The top ten men’s wedding
bands’. I hope you like it.
Talk to you soon,
The world’s top ten men’s wedding bands
I’ve scoured manufacturer after manufacturer in search of the top ten men’s wedding bands on the
planet. The bands were judged on price, quality, popularity and ingenuity. It comes as no surprise
to me that all ten winners come from only two companies–Novell, who has probably single-
handedly revolutionized the way a men’s wedding band can be custom made and Benchmark (the
Mercedes Benz of wedding bands) who invented the comfort fit„¢ phenomena. While there are
many ring companies that have similar, if not copy-cat designs, they lacked the consistency in
quality, customer service and warranties.
#10 The Classic: If the sole job of the ring is to just announce you’re ‘off the market’ then it’s hard
to beat the old Classic. The Classic comes in any width, is half round (curved on top) and is
generally preferred comfort fit„¢ (inside round not flat). The most popular width for a man is 6mm
(about ¼ inch) and most men prefer the heavy comfort fit. „¢ (Comfort fit„¢ is offered in ranges
from light to heavy).
#9 The Classic Millgrain: The C.M. is perfect for the man who feels like the engine on the moped of
the Classic needs a little tweaking.
The beaded edge isn’t just decorative. If the ring slips out of your hand (what the heck were you
taking your ring off for anyway?) and hits a hard surface it’s less likely to dent the metal.
#8 The Slides:Â If you can’t decide between platinum and yellow gold then the Slide is right up your
alley. Constructed in two pieces (inner tube and outer shell) then soldered together the wearer gets
the benefit of platinum or a white gold ring with a touch of yellow or vice versa. Overwhelmingly
popular in the late 90’s (Prior #1) its current popularity has dropped it to 8th place.
#7 Nephis: Strictly a Benchmark product that never entirely caught on but still makes the top ten
for its ingenuity. If two tone, expensive and unique are what you are looking for then the Nephis is
for you. Instead of casting two rings and then sliding them together, the yellow gold is poured into
already cooled platinum to create a unique blended metal design. It’s like the inventors over at
Benchmark have gotten oil and water to mix! A tremendous work of art!
#6 Chiseled: A.K.A ‘Self-made man.’ Looks like a throwback to the old hammered style wedding
bands till you take a good close look. Each of the centers of the chiseled collection look like the
artist took a hammer and chisel to a circular pipe of platinum to give it its masculine finish. Each
band is then hand turned to produce its distinctive side wall trim. Only Novell with their
painstaking attention to detail (3 weeks to hand make each ring) could come up with such a
masterpiece. If price is no object then Novell is the only way to go. They are the best among the
#5 Tempered: The Tempered bands are offered by all manufacturers. The idea behind them is to
place a satin like finish on the rings to make them more scratch resistant. Does it work? It sure
does! Plus, when you do eventually get a scratch on it, the scratch blends in so the ring looks
#4 Dual Lines: The symbolism behind the Dual Lines collection is simple yet beautiful. Two dual
lines (representing life lines) are placed on the top surface of the ring. Each goes in the same
direction but each following its own path. The lines are there to remind us that when we marry we
should not give up our own individuality even though we are going on a life time adventure with
the one we love. Dual Lines are a Novell inspired creation.
#3 The Interwovens: As their title intimates, the Interwovens are a weaving of precious metal. The
most complicated and most expensive (way over $2K) they are not only time consuming to make
(in some cases months) but a labor of love. Created to symbolize the strength in unity when a
couple comes together and invincibility should anyone try to pry them apart. Once again, if you’re
Donald Trump or have someone to give you a lot of money, you can’t go wrong with these
magnificent Novell rings.
#2 The Forever: A Novell creation.
This was a tough choice; I went back and forth on whether or notÂ Â ‘The Forever’ should be #1.
Each Forever ring comes out of a super-sized hand rolled pipe of platinum (over 30 percent thicker
than any other platinum ring made) and then each ring is hand engraved with an ancient Greek X
over and over on to its surface. The Greek X represents 1,000 years and the symbol for Chronos
the God of Time. The meaning is ‘I will love you for over 1,000 years; till the end of time.
#1 The Inverted Wedding Band:
Touted as the world’s most comfortable wedding band I eventually could not deny Benchmark the
top slot! Years in development, Benchmark has always sought to make a men’s wedding ring more
comfortable. (Men’s #1 complaint is that their wedding ring quite simply is uncomfortable to
wear). If comfort is your #1 concern than the inverted wedding band is the answer! By contouring
the outer body of the ring to two small aerodynamic curves, perspiration is allowed to roll through
the canal allowing the webbing on either side of your ring finger to breath. It also makes it lighter.
Within just a few days you’ll forget you have it on! Not just comfortable but a beauty to behold.
When I first held it I wasn’t sure if I was holding a ring or something that belonged in The Museum
of Modern Art.
You guys are the leaders of the pack!
(All photographs were taken by acclaimed photographer and artist Ricky Fernandez)