Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Better, more evil hair shot

Better, more evil hair shot

I took another picture. With the black wife beater, as requested.

The new hair is growing on me.

Monday, February 27, 2006



After I mowed off my hair.

Sorry the picture is a little dark.



Before I mowed off my hair

Friday, February 24, 2006

I can't believe it

I actually agree with Bush.

This crap about blocking a company based in the UAE from taking over administration of a few US ports is irrational racist fear-motivated behavior.

What does congress hope to prevent?

Non-US company running US ports? Sorry. Current state is that they're run by a UK based firm.

It's more likely that congresspeople fear having a company based in a country with brown-skinned Muslim folk, which employs some brown Muslim folk in charge of letting things in and out of the country. The congress folk imagine a network of shifty Hollywood caricatures all in cahoots, all knowing which container on that big ship holds the "special" cargo, all collaborating to bypass proper procedures and paperwork, while masked guys with machine guns look on. Because, of course, they're all working together. You know. The middle-eastern types. That's why attacking Iraq is OK based on 9/11, because, they're all brown Muslims. They're all alike, and they're all plotting to get dirty bombs into New York.

And, of course, a company that operates ports world wide would gladly commit financial suicide by letting something terrible enter the US on their watch, since it would please Allah. I mean, why keep your reputation intact and the money coming in when you can lose all your customers, property and rights around the world once the inevitable post-attack investigation pins the blame on your already warily regarded firm. Martyr the firm. Allah be praised. Cash flow be halted. Arabic Islamic business thinking, of course. Because they're all terrorists. Even the babies.

Of course. So thinketh our wise congress people.

So if Bush gets the nutjobs in congress to eat it on this one, I'll be pleased. Free markets: 1, Racist regulations:0.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Grab bag of Ken facts

I'm still not 100% well. I'm going to be precise. This post will contain TMI. We're all adults. Put on your scientist/ doctor objectivity persona. Ready? Details:

My bowels seem to be functioning better, in that stuff is moving through. I've re-vamped my diet to high fiber, and that's helping. Oh is that helping. But the uncomfortable pressure/ sharp pain still builds, particularly later in the day. In the morning, I wake up really hurting. I wake up a few times in the night, uncomfortable, with the pain localized in my lower, just-right-of-mid abdomen. Think upper right corner of what would be my bikini zone (if I didn't wax... I kid, I kid.), then up and right just another inch. But then, since it's 5 am, and my body knows that's poo time, things move along, and I feel a little better, though the soreness in that spot persists. Morning is good, but by the time it's dinner, I hurt again. Yes, I do try to go during the day. That helps, a little. A lot of the pressure seems to be "bubbles". I don't know if this is caused by my new diet, or cause for concern. I had a friend who investigated irritable bowel syndrome for work. I fear it.

My hope is that some bad constipation led to a muscle strain, and all will go back to normal in a few weeks. Many of you have asked how I am. So that's how I am. Sorry if this was TMI. We're all adults. Everyone poops.

I broke 37 minutes for 10K on the erg this morning. I haven't gone that fast since 2003. My record is 36:48. So I was 11 seconds off my record. I will break it by April. I feel really good about this. It's so gratifying to be that fast right now.

I went to the DMV this morning on my way to San Jose. I got plates for my car. Seems the dealer gave them the wrong address for me. Odd. DMV was all automated and supremely efficient. I was in and out super fast. Not my expectation. Good on them.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

I'm hard to kill

I counseled a friend of mine on the phone yesterday who's also going through a divorce. She's early on. Hasn't moved out yet. Is stuck in that terrible phase of all the emotional turmoil and all of the logistic turmoil of getting separated. Disentangling two lives is painful and hard. Hell, finding a new place to live and moving at any time is hard, let alone when you're going through a break up and having your financial picture change as you go from sharing expenses to sole provider.

So I pointed this out:It's hard. Sometimes, you just can't do anything except get through a day. Even when you know there are 1000 things you ought to be doing to "keep the process moving forward".

I had one of those weekends. Got notice Friday evening that my soon-to-be-Ex was giving me a take-it-or-leave-it settlement proposal before going to court to file motions to get things. This arrived after having a conversation with my immediate manager that left me wondering whether my employer sought to dump me before I dumped my employer. I had uncertainty about my income hit me within 4 hours of the threat of massive expenses. Just what I need. Lose the job and get hit with some vindictive judgment in which I have to give half my pre-tax income to my wife for 2.5 years. So I was stressed.

So I spent most of Saturday talking myself through just doing the basic things I needed to do to address the situation. I finally realized I had to do two things: 1) tell my ex that there's no way I could get her an answer by the end of Tuesday, and 2) ask my lawyer to help me figure out whether I should settle, or fight to have my wife assume responsibility for half my business school debt (since we paid for her school out of joint savings). Basically, half my debt is worth a lot more than any kind of support I'd pay her. We both have MBAs. She made as much or more than I did while we were married. I can't imagine I'd be on the hook to support her. But the settlements she proposes all involve me essentially handing her all the liquid assets I've got right now. Which is nuts. Bitch spent two months in Greece last summer. She needs to get a job and move on.

I got through it. I got the messages sent, and finally sorted and filed all the papers that had been building up in the apartment, too. I cleaned the kitchen, folded some laundry. And watched some Olympic biathalon.

Next weekend, I'd like to go cross country skiing in Yosemite on Sunday, the day before I turn 32.

I'm too worried about the divorce and my career to do much else right now. I just want to eat, sleep, row for a while.

I guess the thing I wanted to say, and never got to, is that I know I miss her. Many times, lying next to some one else, I have a moment of clarity in which I feel the deep sense of loss and sadness. This isn't what I wanted. I really did adore her. I know we, being who we were, couldn't have worked out. I still have the old dream in my head. I have no new dream to replace it. And in those moments in which I sense how far my current life is from the dream, I feel so sad.

I'm posting from the ferry

The wireless network on the ferry, which is usually password secured, is open this morning. I have surfed my e-mail and actually filled out my time card for this week for work. Pretty cool. I hope this is a permanent arrangement. A nice perq of riding the ferry: Free wireless.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Nice try


Taken in a McDonald's drive thru lane. Notice the sticker/ sign in the upper right? It says

"Braille and Picture Menus Avalable"

Think on it. The irony will settle in.

Nice to have the Braille menus for all the blind folk who drive up to buy burgers. And it's conveniently printed on a clearly visible sign.

And those picture menus will surely be helpful to the people who can't read. Or at least can't read English.

And of course, it's most helpful to find out about these menus at the window where you pick up your food after having ordered.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

To the women I like

You are the unopened present, gleaming
Beneath the tree.
Perfectly boxed and wrapped and bowed and gilded
Perfect in the possibility
Of what you could be.

To tear the paper
And crumple it in a ball
And know
What you are not

Moves my focus
To next year, less a moment
When another will sparkle before me
Perfect in possibility
Unmarred by my knowing
What's really inside

Friday, February 17, 2006

Because Julie loves me

4 Jobs I have held in my life

Pizza cook (Pizza Hut)
Soccer camp counselor
Director of quantitative research
Principal consultant

4 places I have lived

Granada, Spain
Boston, MA
Ft. Wayne, IN
San Anselmo, CA

4 TV shows I love to watch (I so rarely see TV…)

CBS Sunday Morning
Star Trek: Enterprise
Good Eats
Iron Chef

4 places I have been on vacation

Kona, HI
Galway, IRL
Grand Canyon

4 Websites I visit daily

Bad News Blonde

The world according to Allison

4 favorite food

French Toast
Chicago pizza
Grilled filet with grilled vegetables & beer

4 places I would rather be right now

MRA rowing
RBC rowing
Glacier point road

North Star

4 Favorite movies

The Matrix
Shawshank Redemption
Scent of a Woman
Lock, Stock & 2 smoking barrels

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Not doing so hot

Went to a networking thing then dinner with classmate friends last night. Was nice to see everyone. At dinner, before really eating, I got the stabbing cramps in my abdomen again. Could feel my system getting backed up.

Through the night, same issues.

Up this morning at 5 to try to row. Wasn't going to happen.

Stayed home. Working form home on the laptop lying down is more comfortable. Took it easy this morning, and didn't eat. Figured I'd give my system some time to keep moving things along. I've examined my diet and realized that it's been pretty low fiber. Odwallas are good for me, vitamins wise, but lack the fiber of actually eating the veggies. Some of the cereal I thought was higher in fiber isn't.

Christ, I'm not yet 32 and thinking about getting enough fiber. Shoot me. Having these issues does not make me feel sexy.

If things are better by the weekend, that I'll call it case closed. If not, I'll see a doc again.

Before the networking thing, I agreed to meet M to talk. She was trying to figure out whether what she felt was real, or whether it had all been a big illusion. She also was angry and hurt and took some stabs at me. Which I chose to merely absorb and not respond to. But a funny thing happens when people are hurtful to me: I get cold. All the warm parts of me withdraw, and I become dispassionate and logical. And this kind of drove her nuts. And it all made me freak out a bit more:

My wife: Mediterranean, feisty, liked to declare the relationship over any time I said something she didn't like, hated it when I didn't display my emotions when I was upset.

M: Mediterranean, feisty, has called the relationship over twice in the last month when I've brought up and then clarified the "seeing other people" stuff, called me out on giving her the rational exterior, wanted access to the feelings underneath it all.

I know part of her was reaching out to find the parts of me that liked the relationship. But as a wise friend counseled me, to let this go on any longer isn't fair to her. And giving her hope isn't fair to her. So I hid parts of me. I still think she's hot. I know we can't date right now. I know she's not "the one" for me.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

I'm OK

The appointment went well yesterday. The CT technician had the most calming and re-assuring demeanor I'd encountered in a long time.

They did three sets of images. One straight up, one with this dye in my bloodstream administered by IV. It was some high molecular weight compound that ends up going straight through the kidneys. When it hits your blood stream, you feel hot. Peculiar sensation.

Got the films, took them to the doctor. Bottom line: No calcium blockages, no blockages of any kind. So I don't have kidney stones.

But it was clear my large intestine was pretty backed up. So I took the OTC stuff I was prescribed, and things feel a lot better. Feel a little silly, if that's all it was, but doctor told me I was reasonable to get it checked out.

I still have that sensitivity in one spot on my abdomen. Doc thinks maybe it's a muscle strain. Who knows. It's clear there's a very specific spot that hurts.

I'll post some cross-sectional pictures of my insides when I get home.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Feeling a bit like a scoundrel

For that matter, I'm feeling a bit crappy. Woke up with the same crampy ouchiness I had last night, which I have the CT scan for today. I hope the doctors find something conclusive. I'm going to work on writing stuff for work from home this morning. I had been afraid that by the time they were doing tests, I'd be all better. I wish that fear had come true. Better to be looked at derisively as a hypochondriac crybaby than to be genuinely suffering.

Scoundrel: Well, looks like M and I are done. During our first (and likely now, last) IM conversation yesterday, she started asking about my evening plans today. After saying something vague about how I didn't know how long things with the doctors would take, she started to get more specific about my availability. I told her I had plans. She asked if it was a date. I told her it was. She felt "like a fool". I felt like an asshole.

Seems she hadn't quite understood that I was actually seeing other people. I'm not sure how she missed this point, given that after we had the chat the first time, she told me she couldn't deal with that. Then she decided to "see where things go" and agreed that I should keep her aware of where things were at with me so she didn't suffer any surprises. So I figured we had a don't ask, don't tell policy. Seems she figured she'd just take up all my free time and there'd be no room for anyone else.

She sure teased me a lot about my "many women", especially for one who really didn't know I was dating others. Made me think she understood, given that I was just about ready to tell her to knock it off because it was making me feel uncomfortable.

So we talked. Friends had counseled me that not to end things would be cruel. I know I've never been good at making break ups happen, and I need to get better at that. I'm out here to acquire dating skills, afterall. Ending things is one of those skills. But M had her mind all made up already. It was civil, but I could tell she was hurt. She had a hard time understanding how I could be with her as I had and be with others, too. Either I'm a "big liar or have a big heart". I'd like to think it's the latter. I never lied to her. I may have hidden some of the pieces of the truth, but I didn't feel like I needed to be in her face about the rest of my life. I still feel bad.

A friend counseled me that 98% of women can't deal with me seeing other people, though of them, 99% will think they can or will try. And women my age seem to be wanting not to "waste time" with relationships that "aren't going anywhere". Maybe I need to check out some 25 year olds.

Right now, I'm not feeling much like dating.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Denmark, Islam, Free speech & Cultural sensitivity

I was rather disappointed that I had a hard time Googling the 12 Danish depictions of Mohammed. I wanted to see for myself what the fuss was about. This was the best I found.

I think this article makes a good point. Most members of most world religions don't get upset when non-believers violate tennets of a faith that is not their own. Orthodox Jews don't find bacon cheese burgers reason to riot. Though the Christian right seems to seek to limit the expression of non-church-approved sexuality by limiting who can marry whom.

So the Muslim world looks a little bad on this one.

But I do think the angry mobs comprehend, on some level, what's really going on here. Religious society (in which everyone follows the rules of the dominant group, irrespective of group membership) isn't compatible with secular pluralist society (in which everyone is free to follow his or her own rules, insofar as those rules don't impinge upon the rights of others to follow their own rules). Something's gotta give. There can be only one. And in our global information age, what's written in Denmark gets read in Riyadh. What's not meant to be a direct attack or intrusion on a tightly controlled idea bubble still has a way of pricking tender spots. And we get riots.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Experiments are good

Saturday morning I had a message waiting for me in my in box from my match date. Seems my proactive clarity about my just looking to see what's out there let her think it through. She decided she wants to date a guy who's open to becoming totally devoted to her. So she's not wanting to pursue things with me.

And that's ok. I don't want to totally adore anyone. I made my wife the center of my universe, and it killed my soul when it became clear we weren't in binary orbit. I'm not out to make any one person the center of my universe. I'm open to connecting with those around me. But no single relationship basket is going to get all of my emotional eggs.

Friday, February 10, 2006

A Match date post mortem

Things I liked:

  1. Girl was genuine. No BS.
  2. Happy to break the rules about "stuff not to talk about on a first date".
  3. Holy crap what a body (pilates instructor! Hello! Mc Fly!).
  4. Nice eyes.
  5. Happy to make the first move.
  6. Lots in common: Philosophy, triathalon, both in same life stage.
  7. Seems low maintenence.
  8. She was forward.
  9. I felt relaxed with her.
  10. She actually liked that I referred to something she did as "cute".
  11. I know she's attracted to me.
Yes, 5, 8 and 11 are the same thing.

Things I didn't like:
  1. Her eyebrows could use a little more refinement in the waxing department.
  2. She kisses like a kissy fish.
  3. Safe first date attire, but if she found me hot, she coulda brought it a little harder in the sexy department. Strappy heels and a skirt, please.

I think I'd like to see her because I want to see what's it's like to date someone who would go trail run or mountain bike or road bike with me. She's got a hot bod. I don't feel the crazy "Juliet's dead? Then I'll take this poison!" thing, but I think that's fine. It's not a requirement for me right now. And I want to see how things develop when I let her know up front (as I did tonight) that I'm just looking to see what's out there. I think round two I'll make it clear that I'm not looking to date just one girl any time soon. We'll see how that goes. I feel bad for treating human beings with feelings like lab animals, but I'm trying things out. I think the only truly unfair thing would be to place artificial constraints on where the relationship can go. I'm open to what happens. And I have a few specific things I hope to learn.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

I wish it were a kidney stone

Went to the doctor today. No blood in the urine, so probably not a stone. Some manual poking around and the doc notices that my tender spot (right next to my bladder) feels like some intestine that's (his word) "distended". He ordered a CT scan for Tuesday. Happy Valentine's to me.

I'm concerned. Uncertainty freaks me out. I can feel the thing he found. It's there. I'm not symmetrical. And I fear it because I can feel it pressing against the inner workings of all my man parts. Feels like blood flow's getting a bit constricted. The right nut's feeling a little owie. I've recently noticed other activities involving my man parts have been connected with that same pain. Such that my interest isn't what it used to be. I like sex and plan on having quite a bit more of it before I die. So I'm pretty nervous.

What's the problem? How will it be solved? What are the risks? Surgery? Recovery time? Laproscopically, I hope? How did it get there? Will this happen again?

"I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain."

By will alone

I am at work. The walk from the ferry terminal to work took a lot out of me. That's sad. I'm still working on getting my energy level back up. I'm functional, but feeble.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Death by bread mold

Warning: Don't read this while eating.

The last 16 hours have been wretched.

About 5 pm yesterday, I started to feel a little off. I felt warm and uncomfortable. A biologically urgent detour to the men's room made me miss the 5:55 ferry. I eventually left work and walked very deliberately to the Muni stop. I passed a friend and classmate who told me I looked to be in a daze. I sat on the seat at the Muni stop, starting to shiver.

A train came and dropped me a few blocks closer to the ferry terminal. Walking to the terminal, I felt the need to stop for a moment on a bench. I put my head in my hands and waited for the weakness to subside. I told myself I only needed to make it home.

I got a seat on the ferry that would let me get up should I need to. About 5 minutes into the trip, I felt the need to get up.

The ferry bathroom is not vile, but not nice. Floor is some sand-paper-like black grip strip material. There's one lock-able door into the bathroom that has two stalls. Toilets look like the little outhouse toilets.

I got in the bathroom, locked the door, entered a stall. I could tell this was going to be terrible. My body was going into full blown "Every body out! Use both exits!" mode. I managed to get my ass on the can in time. "Violent" would be a good word. After a few bouts, I found myself half slumped off the can, feeling my stomach begin to churn. And then my body decided to crank the thermostat to "incomprehensibly warm". In my current state, I tried to unbutton some buttons on my shirt to get cool. In my frenzy to get cool, I ended up taking my shirt entirely off.

There I am, shirtless, pants around my ankles, slumped in a heap, praying I don't pass out and get found in my current state. Hoping that my body's two "exits" at least have the coutesy of taking turns such that I'm not stuck in some kind of Sophie's choice dilemma of which substance gets the toilet and which gets the bathroom floor.

Then the moments of knowing what was to come and wanting it to just hurry up and get over with. Knowing I'll feel better once I hurl, and just wanting it to happen. Eventually it happened. And there's that pre-flush moment of doing the forensics. "Is that my breakfast or my lunch?"

I don't know the physiology of how one's body can do that, and I don't know if abdominal muscles are involved, but I puked so hard I got a headache.

Eventually it was over. I scraped myself off the restroom floor, found my shirt, put it back on, looked at myself in the mirror to be sure I wasn't in awful shape, and then unlocked the door and staggered back out to my seat.

The rest of my night was more of the same. I'm staying home from work, now that the worst is behind me. I feel like I lost 8 pounds in about 4 hours. My body' s still not processing things well.
The culprit? My best guess is the PB&J I ate around 3:30 had bread that was starting to turn. The symptoms came on shortly after that, and there's nothing else that really could have been responsible. Needless to say, I won't be craving peanut butter for a long time.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

I'm making an appointment

To see a urologist, thanks to a blogging friend who helped me get over my hesitation. She sent me the link to a urology page. It had this picture. I needed to share it with you all. It's tasteful and Klassy.

Oh Shit, Valentine's Day

With the move behind me, I came to contemplate the rest of the month of February. Seems one of the most Hallmark of holidays will soon be upon us. I was made most aware of this when out with my brother and his wife in Chicago on Saturday night after packing all day.

They had invited all their friends to a local Mexican place to stop by and say goodbye. I walked past the mannequin dressed up as a bandito into a dining room in full-on red paper hearts and mylar balloons Valentine's "splendor". It was the decor you'd have expected if the junior prom committee had been hired to decorate with a $100 budget.

While I can appreciate, as a business man, their desire to tap into the Valentine's dinner market, barring a terrific sense of humor and irony on the part of my sweetie, I don't think they'd be on my short list. Acid test: Does the restaurant you're thinking of for Valentine’s have a big screen TV?

But the place did remind me that I do have some sweeties in my life this year. And I have no idea what to do about any of it. The key is to find precisely the right way of acknowledging their meaning in my lives. Too much, and I'm signaling more than what I feel. Too little, and feelings are hurt.

And I only have one Feb 14th. Time spent with one is time not spent with another that day.

I write as if there's this giant list of women. There's not. Meg is very casual, on again, off again. Hell, I haven't seen her since Christmas. M, well, that's heading more towards off from my end these days. She wants a boyfriend. I don't want to invest that much time with any one person. It's clear to me that I also don't want a relationship with someone who I feel wants more than I can give. I feel a little pressured and a little smothered with her, and it makes my inner voice yell out "run away!". I did learn that, in the future, I'm not going to let things get physical before being very clear about what I do and don't have room for in my life. I don't think M would have been open to connecting that way with me had she known, but once she did, there was some bad "sunk cost" thinking on both our parts: "Given what's gone on, we should try to go down this path".

K is great. When we're together, we're together, and when we're not, we're ok. And if I imagine my Valentine's day spent with anyone, it's her. Doing something that's appropriately "us" and appropriately not "mainstream Valentine's celebration".

I think right now I just hate the feeling of obligation. I don't want to do anything because I "have to". I want to do things because I want to. Valentine's day has a lot of "have to" in it, and I think this is why parts of me resent it so.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Sunshine police

Generally speaking, I try to place the needs of the many above the needs of the few, even when I'm starring as "the few".

And I understand how, on airplanes, having the window shade up makes the cabin brighter and the recently released (but not very commercially successful) movie seem more dim.

But I choose the window seat for a reason. Part of that reason is that it's easier to sleep with something against which I can rest my head. But a big part of it is that I like sunlight.

When they announce the movie start, they ask people to lower their shades if they're not enjoying the view. I do enjoy the view.

Shortly after take off I was awakened by the slam of my shade going down at the hands of one of the attendants, setting the plane to rights for the impending trip. The light Nazi. No sunshine for you.

I re-opened my shade. But now when she comes by, I feel the need to be looking out the window actively enjoying the view. "See, bitch, I need my shade open". Truth is I just like the sunshine coming in. It feels good. I spend too much of my time away from windows and sun. I need the little that I get.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Calcium sucks

Perhaps I don't drink enough water. Or maybe I'm genetically pre-disposed. But from time to time I get kidney stones. And I have the delight of working on one right now. While traveling and trying to help my brother move.

It feels like there's a prickly rusty burr slowly traveling through my renal system. The only answer: Pile on the water, work it out. Except that hurts. Feels like there's a needle stuck in my pipes. Traveling sideways. And the sudden sharp pain that hits "mid stream" really doesn't make me feel like reaching for another glass of water. Water leads to pee. Pee leads to agony. Agony leads to fear. Fear is the path to the dark side... So there are a few reasons my eyes glow yellow right now.

I suppose I should not be a typical guy and actually go see my doctor about this. I've dealt with this too many times for a soon to be 32 year old guy. Can't be normal.

Great cure for overactive libido: Kidney stone.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Weekend away (kind of)

I'll be boarding a plane for CHI this evening to help my younger brother move. I'll be helping him pack and carry things to whatever truck he's got. I'll fly back here Monday morning very early. I may be off line for a while.

It'll be work, but it'll be good to be with him. He flew out and helped me move when I had a broken wrist and needed to move in May. I'm happy to return the favor. It may also get my family off my back a bit, given they think I'm avoiding them. Truth is, I am. I just don't have the energy to contribute to the family right now in the way they'd like me to. My brothers and I are on good terms, but the extended family doesn't really get me.

I'm really frustrated with my job. It's bringing me down a bit. I need to move on.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Let's just skip past ammendment #1

If you care about the state of freedom of expression in our increasingly fascistic state, read this.

It reminds me that, if an idea really is best, it should fear no challenge from competing ideas.

And to be even handed (somewhat), the woman's t-shirt only counted US military dead. What about Iraqui dead? Shouldn't we be outraged about those lost lives, too? Sad when the dehumanization campaign even gets to the progressive folk.

Family values & childlessness

I think a lot of women are going to be really angry in 20 years. We're in the midst of a shift in cultural values about sex, marriage and family structures. And when it's over, one old idea will probably have fallen into disuse, but by then, it will be too late for many women to reap the benefit. The idea up for extinction: First marriage, then kids.

I know there are plenty of examples of folks not buying into this notion. The couples that don't feel they need government or church recognition of their relationship. And there are the few women that elect to become single moms. But most don't do this voluntarily. The reason many couples who live together elect to formalize their bond? Time for kids. Must get married first.

And there are clearly practical reasons for this. Raising a kid alone is a killer. Hell, raising a kid with two parents is a killer. It's enough to make you want to live in tribal bands. And it's not just the time and energy drain but the financial drain. Two parents is easier than one.

It just strikes me as odd that we haven't made this leap as a society yet. Sex before marriage is now ok. Getting married and unmarried is ok. Having a "parent" in the house that isn't a biological parent is still the stuff of TV dramas and sit-coms, but no one bats an eye. But reproduction outside of the marriage contract is still a bit scandalous.

I think there may be some valid behavioral biological reasons for this. A female ought not to risk investing resources in an offspring that a male may not invest in equally. "You provide a squirt of gene juice, and I provide 18 years of care and feeding? Not a fair trade." Her circuitry will probably be appropriately wired such that she won't feel like making babies with a guy unless she feels like he'll stick around. There would be good evolutionary reasons for this. Females that were wired to be easy going missed their chance to screen for quality genes. Only the picky bitches got the best gene juice. And those who failed to get male resources along with the gene juice probably didn't have as high a survival rate for their offspring. Those who were good golddiggers could afford more babies surviving to reproductive adulthood, thus delivering more copies of the "marry me first" gene to the subsequent generation.

But we're more than our biological programming. And if women with rapidly approaching expiration dates on fertility insist on first acquiring a man, and then getting pregnant, I think many will miss their chances. And this is sad. If they really want kids, they should just have the kids. I think some of them really do just want kids. But my feeling is that many who want "kids" really want "a husband who will fulfill his legal and socially contractual obligation to take care of me and my kids". And so they wait for a man.

In my opinion, if a woman wants kids, she should seek out some good DNA and make herself a baby. If she wants a romantic companion, she should seek out a guy she likes. I don't think these two desires need to be linked. And when all the women who miss their shot at kids because they were too busy chasing husbands have that "I could have had a V8!" moment when they realize they wanted A but asked for B all because they bought into some outdated notion of social acceptability, they're gonna be really pissed off.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


Context really matters sometimes. At work, one of our whiz-bang pieces of price optimization software spits out these things called "DNF reports". I'm in racing sports. To me, DNF means "Did Not Finish"not "Data Navigation Framework". Maybe they should not let the math dorks name the product features?

So I was a little curious this morning when I saw an ad in my Gmail for "CBT training". Maybe mainstream folks wouldn't have found it odd, and maybe it's only because I live in SF that I'm aware of this, or maybe because I am a very kinky boy who just looks all innocent, but I know "CBT" can have a very different meaning.

Thus, I was curious about exactly what the company was offering me in my Gmail.