The Hilarity of Youth

My little girl is almost 2, and her language acquisition is stunning. She has used sentences with up to 7 words in them, and we stopped counting the words in her vocabulary months ago. It is an incredibly interesting thing to behold and can be phenomenally hilarious.

Earlier this week, I was coding away furiously at the computer, while the little one was eating crackers and playing. I was somewhat paying attention to her but, for the most part, we were both just doing our own thing while waiting for Mommy to get home. The crackers were in a little green bowl, and she would ever-so-carefully retrieve one at a time and then eat it with gusto, declaring, “Monster bite!” This went well for the first half of the bowl, but then she managed to catch the edge with her finger and the whole thing went topsy-turvy onto the floor, spilling crackers everywhere. Her hand went up to her forehead, and she exclaimed, “Oh my goodness, Daddy! So messy!”

Last week, during breakfast, we were having our ritual breakfast of an incredible amount of yoghurt and some cereal. A quick aside: almost invariably, the first words that pass the mouth of my wee lass in the morning aren’t, “Hello!” or “Good morning!” but instead are the monstrous exclamation, “YOGHURT! YOGHURT! YOGHURT!” This particular morning was no different, and she was eating cheerios along with her blueberry yoghurt. She had finished half of each of her servings and then came up with the remarkably genius idea of putting the yoghurt on the cheerios. Unfortunately, this didn’t seem to taste as good as one might think. “I don’t like it, Daddy,” she told me. “No more, please. Want YOGHURRRRTT!” I told her that she would have to finish what she had before she got more yoghurt. She looked all hurt and repeated, “I don’t like it, Daddy.” I looked at her, stoic, and she realized that I was unbudgeable on this matter. She picked up the spoon, looking mightily unhappy and told me, “I eat it.” Her lip curled with a small sneer, and she added epithetically, “Daddy.”

Another time, Mommy and Daddy were curled up on the couch, probably folding clothes or something nearly as entertaining, when the little one came running out of the kitchen and exclaimed, “There’s a kangaroo!” When asked the whereabouts of said kangaroo, she told us, “He’s right there,” and pointed to the hallway. It was made abundantly clear that it was an evil kangaroo and that he was chasing our tiny heroine. It ended up all right though – that night, the little one pulled my arms around her while reading a book and told me, “I’m safe!”

Just this week, we finally got rid of the crib and started the little one sleepign in a “big-girl bed.” The presentation of the big-girl bed – it was a surprise for her, after a night away with her grandparents – was met with solid approval and dancing. Going to bed the first night proved to be a bit of a challenge, though. At one point, she got out of bed and started walking down the hallway. I took her back to bed, and then we had a bit of a talk. “Little one,” I said. “You have to go to sleep in your bed, now. It’s bed time.” She looked at me unhappily, threw her arms up in the air and yelled, “AW, MAN!”

Let’s talk about Porn

I came across an interesting article, titled The Porn Myth by Naomi Wolf. I can summarize it for you – they Myth is that pornography turns men into sex-crazed psychos, willing to rape and pillage to get what they want, which is sex, sex, sex. The actuality, according to Wolf is that men have becoming uninterested in women because women do not compare with the ideal porn woman. Women just can’t compare, because they are real, actual women “with pores and her own breasts and even sexual needs of her own”. Men just don’t feel that the girls that they encounter are porn-worthy and they no longer try to have sex with them.

Wow. What an utter and complete load of horseshit.

There’s only two things wrong with this article.

a) She didn’t do any research+.
b) She didn’t draw any reasonable conclusions.

I was going to draw some conclusions from my own life, but I think that would be making the same mistake as Wolf. Instead, let’s take this scenario (“men no longer want sex”) and take it to its (possibly il-)logical conclusion.

For starters, what has been driving men’s brains for the last million or so years? That’s right; sex. Sex is behind almost every decision that men make and quite nearly everything that men do. Here’s a list of things we do for sex:

  • Groom ourselves. We groom to get chicks*.
  • Buy flowers or chocolates.
  • Go to a gym.
  • Go to bars. 90% of the time you see a guy in a bar, he is trying to score. The rest he is getting drunk, usually because of a woman.
  • Go to fancy restaurants. We tend to like beef, usually cooked by fire.
  • Wear clothes. The only time I really like to wear pants is in the winter when I’m outside, because it keeps my boys from freezing off.
  • Go to work. We go to work to get money. We get money so we can spend it on girls. We spend it on girls so they will have sex with us. It’s like plumage.
  • Play sports. This one might be difficult to see, but I’ll explain – sports are a symbol of the times when we could just fight each other. Sports are, in fact, organized warfare with rules where people tend not to die. We play sports because women don’t like us killing each other all the time, and because chicks dig a guy who plays sports.

This isn’t even a very complete list. There’s a ton of other things we do so we can have sex. But let’s see what would happen if we stopped being interested in sex:

  • Men stop grooming themselves. Head and Shoulders goes broke. Lever 2000 goes broke. Crest goes broke. Gillette goes broke. Long beards abound. Long hair abounds. Lice abound.
  • Flower stores go broke. Chocolate manufacturers do not go broke, but they stop making frou-frou little chocolatier-style chocolates in doilies.
  • Men’s gyms en masse transform into fighting schools.
  • All the bars close. The Beer Store’s stock goes up 68000% because men know that drinking at home with buddies is cheaper than drinking at a bar with buddies.
  • Every fancy restaurant either closes down, or gets a charcoal grill and starts serving steak and burgers.
  • Every tailor goes out of business except for the guy who specializes in loose fitting pants, sandals, and full winter gear. Men will wear the loose fitting pants when they barbecue.
  • Surprisingly, professional sports do not shut down, but every sport becomes more like hockey, except for hockey which becomes more like fighting with ice skates on. A new rule is added to every sport – if you win a fight, the other team gets a penalty for being wussy.
  • Men stop going to jobs that they don’t like and start going to jobs that they do. There is a drastic increase in a number of professions including gunslinger, cowboy, porn director, porn distributor, jockey, bullfighter and fireman (not firefighter – fireman, as in, “one who lights fires”). All the infrastructure for waste removal falls into disrepair; garbage piles high on the streets and the sewer lines back up. All mining stops. The diamond industry collapses. Methane build-up reaches colossal proportions. The price of kidney beans skyrockets. Cats are hunted and killed on sight. Dogs are everywhere, and are free to lick their own balls. Speed limits are abolished. Every major conflict is decided by a fight to the death and minor conflicts are decided by armwrestling. To the death.

Seriously, though, I think if men were no longer interested in sex, or even if there was a significant decrease in the libidinous nature of we manly beasts, there would certainly be repercussions beyond a general lack of sex. Let me introduce another theory:

People today have the same problems connecting with one another that they have always had. It can be difficult to talk to people, to make yourself feel as if the person you with is really, honestly listening and actually cares about what you are saying, thinking or feeling. As always, the easiest scapegoat in the crisis of inter-human relations is the media. Naomi Wolf can try to blame pornography for the problems of men and women, but I think that’s the same as looking at someone who has tuberculosis and saying that “your tuberculosis is caused by all that coughing.” It’s a symptom of the problem, not the root cause.

I think you’ll find that the root cause is the incredible differences between men and women and the way that we think. Good job, though, Ms. Wolf, on giving us an inconcrete idea to put the blame on – that’s really going to help the situation.

+ I know she did talk to some people. I don’t think that constitutes “research”.
* Almost every argument here can be used about the GLBT crowd as well by replacing a few words.

If a picture’s worth 1000 words, then why can’t I eat you?

We have often heard the old saw, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Is that really true? Here are a few points to consider.

We see at about 22 – 24 fps. Each individual frame that we see can be considered to be a picture. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then we’re taking in 22,000 to 24,000 words per second.

  • A movie is something you watch, and almost flawless (for the purpose of being seen, not from any artistic point of view).
  • A movie is usually about 100 minutes (or so) long.

From this, a moving picture is worth about 22 to 24 thousand words per second. A full length motion picture or movie is worth between 132 and 144 million words.

To put that into perspective, “Moby Dick” had about 208,000 words. “Atlas Shrugged” is about 645,000 words.

So, “Atlas Shrugged” would be worth about 10 minutes worth of a movie, using this formula.

I think that’s a little bogus. Let’s look at it this way:

“Moby Dick” would be a pretty decent 2.5 hour movie (150 minutes). (Editor’s Note – I realize that there are a few Moby Dick movies – 22, 77, 116 and 180 minute versions. If I was making it, I would aim for 2.5 hours. That’s what I meant. Plus, if I picked a different time, then it wouldn’t prove my point!) That’s about 1385 words per minute, or approximately 23 words per second. Funny thing – didn’t we say that a moving picture has 22 to 24 frames per second?

So, apparently, a picture is worth one word.

(Editor’s Note: QED is an acronym that one puts at the end of a math problem. It stands for Pancho Villa saying, “Questeeon Ees Done.” I considered posting this in a new category called “Lunacy” or possibly “Frivolity.”)

Resume Versus CV

I’ve been asked a few times why I have both a résumé and a CV when they’re the same thing. Now, before I explain my reasoning, let me say this: I don’t think that I’m necessarily correct and that the people who asked are incorrect. I merely would like to share my opinion and why I do things the way that I do.

Oh, and if you’re looking for someone to do web work for you, feel free to browse through my Curriculum Vitae and my Résumé.

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With Bated Breath

I used the term “baited breath” yesterday, which brings to mind a poem:

Sally, having swallowed cheese,
Directs down holes the scented breeze,
Enticing thus with baited breath
Nice mice to an untimely death.

Baited breath is a silly idea – what does one bait one’s breath with? (Evidently cheese if one is a mousehunter). Why do we say this?

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