Sunday, November 23, 2008

Differences Between the Sexes

I was going to call this entry "The Difference Between Men and Women", but I thought I'd experiment to see if my web traffic would go up if I use the word sex in the title of this post instead. If you are new to this blog and just got directed here from a web search, sorry to let you down, but welcome anyway. I was not smart enough to write a book about men and women and planets, but I do have some observations I'd like to share. I admit these are obvious generalizations, but for the most part they hold true. There are many differences between men and women, but I've found that the obvious physical ones are the least of them.

Shopping-I hate shopping. I don't mind buying groceries since I can anticipate eating them and food makes me happy, but if we have to go shopping let's get it done fast. The two worst places to go shopping with a woman are 1) for clothes, and 2) to a fabric store. Clothes shopping takes forever and my feet and legs will literally give out after a few minutes of following my wife around. It is painful to wait for her to try things on. She has learned not to take me along since I will rain on her parade. Fabric stores are even worse. These are stores full of bolts of fabric and patterns. There are usually only a few places to sit down and you can see tired husbands fighting for seats like a game of musical chairs. Luckily they have magazines in case you are waiting for a woman who happens to be checking out every sample of fabric in the store. Unfortunately all the magazines are about fabric!

Friends-Guys don't do a lot of talking with their friends and when they do it is usually superficial stuff like sports and movies. Most guys keep to themselves. Girls tell their friends every intimate detail about their lives. A while back I went to a movie with a friend who I had not seen for several years. We went to go see The Bourne Identity. We met at the theater and I asked how things were going and he said good. We sat down, watched the trailers, and then the movie. When it was over we walked out and we said "see ya" and left. When my wife asked how things went I told her it went well. She asked me questions about my friend that I did not know I was supposed to ask. She was appalled that we were so aloof and impersonal. Sorry we are guys.

Multi Tasking-It seems that women can do a variety of things at the same time. (One of these is usually talking on the phone). The fairer sex can carry on conversations, cook, clean, send e-mails, and discipline kids all at the same time. I need peace and quiet just to open a can of peaches. Guys are like DOS and women like Windows. Women are almost always better at multi-tasking than men except for one are...

Watching TV-I just said that men are bad mutli-taskers but this is the one exception. I can watch 3 or 4 TV shows at the same time and have excellent comprehension of each program. It's kind of like speed reading but instead of impressing people it just annoys them. A guy obviously invented the jump channel feature on a remote control. I can tell if something is worth watching in a fraction of a second. My wife is not as judgemental. She will watch a show for several minutes to decide if it has any merit. This can be frustrating when you have already determined that the channel should be changed. Women want to know what is on TV, Men want to know what else is on TV.

Self Confidence-Women are usually harder on themselves and guys are more forgiving. Women look in the mirror and complain about their imperfections regardless of how beautiful they may be. Guys look in the mirror with unwarranted confidence and are often clueless about their negative attributes. When a woman starts to gain weight she complains about getting fat. When a guy gains wait he blames his clothes for shrinking.

Men and women obviously have their differences but I have found that whenever there is a disagreement between the two, women usually end up being right (except for the channel changing scenario). It is frightening to think how lame life would be without the influence of women in our lives.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Time Travel

There have been many movies over the years featuring time travel. Some of the more popular ones are: Frequency, Back to the Future, The Terminator, Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, Time Bandits, Deja Vu, Star Trek, Groundhog Day, The Time Machine, 13 Going on 30, Time Cop, Superman, 12 Monkeys, Kate and Leopold, Timeline, Planet of the Apes, Somewhere in Time, etc.

This is a topic I am very familiar with and have given alot of thought to. My wife thinks it is a waste to spend time thinking about this topic but someday she will be grateful I was prepared. I have often thought about what it would be like if you could go back in time to when you were in High School with the body you had as a teenager but with the wisdom, experience, and maturity you now have? Not that High School is the place one would want go if they had the ability to go travel back in time, but I have thought about this as it relates to basketball. If I had the jumping ability and fitness level I had as a teenager combined with my current understanding and knowledge of the game then I could have been unstopable. I was totally serious as I typed this and then I realized I sound like Uncle Rico in Napolean Dynomite.

The problem is that if I were able to do this then there would probably be time travel police hired by the NEA doing the same thing. They would be on a witch hunt to find out which students were really adults in a teenager's body. How would they catch the guilty parties? Maybe they would work in the lunch room to see who ate well balanced low cholesterol meals. I think another way the bounty hunters could identifying potential time travelers would be to watch which students had a better understanding and concern for politics and current events. They couldn't let the student body or faculty know what was happening so it would have to be a secret operation and they would also have to be posing as teenagers. (All this talk of adults posing as young students reminds me of an episode of Beverly Hills 90210).

Maybe one day at a pep assembly in front of the entire school you realized a fellow student was a bounty hunter and he realized you knew his real identity. Just imagine what might happen as these two time travelers were playing mind games and sizing each other up while at the same time trying to perform the skit they had been working on for the assembly. That would be awesome.

Sometimes I have wished I could go back and take advantage of investments for trends or technology that are common place today. I have imagined how things would be different if I had money to invest in companies like Apple, Microsoft, YouTube, Google, or others when they were just starting out. If I could go back in time and make investments in those companies I'm sure there would be time travel police there too. They'd keep a close eye on anyone who did well with their investments and would scrutinize your every action. I think it would actually be far more stressful to try and deal with that scenario and keep from being discovered than it would to just try and survive in today's economy and that is the main reason I haven't gone back and taken advantage of prior historical events.

I know none of these ideas are original. but anyone who copies my idea and writes a book or makes a movie about this had better pay me some kind of residual! If not I will go back in time and steal the script from you.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Grumpy Old Man

When I turned 30 I noticed that store employees started calling me sir. I turned 40 a couple months ago and was dealing with it pretty well until this week. A 20 year old kid was in my office and saw pictures of my kids and asked if "those were all my grand kids. " At first I just figured he was clueless but then I also remembered that I have recently been getting flyers in the mail from a hearing aid company. So while I was in my rocking chair yesterday I was thinking back about the many changes in society and advances in technology that have happened during my long lifetime. I felt like Dana Carvey's character "Grumpy Old Man" when I think back about how things used to be when I was younger. Here are a few of my observations.

In my day kids had to have an attention span to watch TV. It took metal toughness to watch Mr. Roger's 15 minute hushed toned monologues before we could get to the real action of watching Lady Aberlin and Bob Dog visit the place where they make apple sauce.

In my day nobody have ADD. It was just called "childhood". Since when were young kids supposed to pay attention for more than a few minutes? They weren't so quick to prescribe drugs to anyone who struggled in school either. Instead they'd just put you in the brown reading group. People didn't have Alzheimer's back then either, it was just called old age.

In my day very few people had child restraints in cars and if you did you quit using them once a child was old enough to walk. Today you get a ticket if your 12 year old is not in a car seat. We also used to pack 7 kids into a station wagon with the back seats folded flat with no seat belts. It built character.

In my day it was normal to skin you knees and elbows and get cuts, bruises, and road rash. The only people who wore helmets and pads were a football players. I guess you could have worn them to ride a bike if you were looking to get beat up.

In my day it used to take 45 seconds just to dial a phone number because we had to actually "dial" the number. Most young people today don't know what dialing means. Today nearly every 6th grader has his own cel phone and you are a neglectful parent if your child doesn't.

In my day when you wrote a paper for school it was either hand written or typed. Yes they taught typing with typewriters when I was in high school. We also did our research out of actual books like encyclopedias.

In my day the controls for video games consisted of one black stick and one orange button. Today you need a PHD to operate a game controller. I could go into more detail on this topic but I already have on a prior entry.

In my day when you watched a medicine commercial on TV they had a simple slogan like plop plop fizz fizz and that was about it. Today medicine commercials use most of the time listing close to 20 horrific side effects that are far worse than what ever might be ailing you. But that's ok because they usually show someone walking on the beach or curled up in front of the fireplace with a good book with a smile on her face as they list them.

In my day shorts were actually short. Today they should be called baggys. You could make uniforms for my entire high school basketball team out of all the fabric from one of Karl Malone's uniforms. (I'm not complaining. This one actually is an improvement). Speaking of the NBA, when I watched games growing up I can't remember one player who had a tatoo. I recently watched an old video tape of the 1992 NBA Allstar Game and not even Dennis Rodman had any visible tatoos back then. While I'm on the topic of sports, that reminds me that in youth sports only the winning teams used to get trophies!

I know that there are people much older than me who think I had it easy and can't wait to jump in and say "that's nothing" and one up me with stories about out houses and starting their car with a crank, but fortunately most old people are scared to death of computers and don't know what a blog is so I don't have to worry about that happening. If I'm hip enough to have a blog than maybe I'm not ready to join AARP yet.