Saturday, December 15, 2007

Talk about Denial....

I found this article interesting about a man whose wife tried to kill him in a murder-suicide attempt but he is standing by her:

Noel Hanson loves his wife.

Even though she tried to kill him this week.

The Blaine man, whose wife of more than 20 years, Sandra Rod Hanson, 55, appeared Friday morning in Anoka County District Court on attempted murder charges, said he's worried about her.

"She needs counseling," Noel Hanson, 56, told the Pioneer Press, "because she tried to kill me. I don't hate her for that. Irregardless of what happened, I'm alive. She's alive. There's gotta be some way we can go forward."

On Tuesday morning, facing eviction from their mobile home and mounting debt stemming from her husband's medical needs, Sandra Hanson turned on the gas stove, but not the burner, in an attempt to kill her husband and herself, Anoka County prosecutors allege.

My favorite line from the article was the following:

"There's a disconnect, because she obviously tried to murder me," he recalled. "But then she started asking me about food and what I had to eat. She was worried about me. It seemed unreal."

Call me crazy, but I wouldn't be letting this woman cook for me anytime soon if I were this guy.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Dating Toxins?

Following up on the nice guy post from yesterday, Dan Collins at Protein Wisdom emailed a column entitled: "Ask Sam Friday: Meeting Mrs. Right." When men were asked why they didn't date, this is what was said:

"Too many princesses," was one explanation I overheard during a blokes beer session the other night at the pub. "They're all either gold diggers or married," proffered up another. "I'm just way too shy," piped a third. And perhaps he might be right.

Recent scientific research has discovered that the fruitless search for love has less to do with the supposed Sheila Shortage (a term created by KPMG demographer Bernard Salt) and more to do with our own foibles and short-comings.

According to the research of psychiatrist Dr Victoria Lukats, who polled 5000 daters for UK dating website PARSHIP and found that those who haven't been on a date in the last six months or had a relationship in more than a year, it's down to a simple theory: a build-up of Dating Toxins ...

Wow, dating toxins, sounded interesting so I clicked through to the website mentioned to find out more:

Dating toxins are the top 5 reasons that people give as to why they're single when what they're actually looking for is a serious long-term relationship. These include lack of self esteem, shyness, lack of opportunity, fussiness and desperation.

Sounds plausible but the UK study seems to have overlooked an important aspect of what is going on in many western countries. Ambivalence --men are being told not to get married because of the bias in the courts there and are, with good reason, reluctant to get married. Somehow, I think this ambivalence plays as much a part in why men are not dating as "dating toxins."

Thursday, December 13, 2007

What Happened to All the Nice Guys?

A number of readers (thanks!) have emailed me with this link to a post on the best of Craigslist from a recovering nice guy asking and answering the following question:

"What happened to all the nice guys? The answer is simple: you did."

Read the whole thing.

Update: HotAir readers blowback about being a nice guy.

Update II: For those of you at work who are not able to get the linked post--I placed the whole thing it in the comment section below, at around comment 55.

Gifts for Boys

Okay, are you looking for some stocking stuffers for the older elementary or middle school boys on your list but are at a loss for anything other than video games and iPods? Not that there is anything wrong with those items, they are fun and many boys love them. However, getting boys books that they will love is important too, but the key is finding something that might hold a 10-year-old's interest. Not always an easy task.

I recently received a whole stash of books from the Penguin Young Reader's group that would be of interest to boys of around middle school age. I took a look at them and read through one of them by author Mike Lupica called Hot Hand. The book is the first in a series entitled Comeback Kids and is quite engaging. It is about 10-year-old Billy who is dealing with the divorce of his high-powered lawyer mother and basketball coach father. I like that in-between sports talk--there is a great narrative dealing with the psychological dynamics of divorce, family and how to cope with the pain of a family break-up. However, the author stays up to the task of keeping boys interested in the story without alienating them with too much focus on relationship issues and feelings.

There are two other series that I just skimmed through that you might want to check out--one is a new fantasy series entitled The Ranger's Apprenticewritten by John Flanagan. The other is the Alex Rider Adventures by Anthony Horowitz, which is a young adult thriller series that looks fun if you know a 5th to 10th grade guy who likes mysteries.

Of course, there is always the old standby if you are at a loss for a book, The Dangerous Book for Boys although this would have to go under the tree as it is too big to fit in a stocking. If you have a book suggestion for gifts for boys of older elementary, middle school or early high school age, drop it in the comments.

Meanwhile, if you're looking for something more hands-on, this electronics project kit seems to be pretty popular.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Way to Go

Thanks to Soccer Dad, I have learned I will have a beautiful death:

You'll die from a Drug Overdose.

You will die in a haze of ecstacy. Or heroin, who knows. It will be beautiful.

'How will you die?' at

Update: So SayUncle found out that despite his love of guns, he is a lover and not a fighter.


Would You Want to Know How You Might Die?

I'm not sure that I do. I was reading the cover story of a recent copy of Wired magazine about a new DNA test that can tell you how you'll live--and die. The cost? Only $1000. The writer of the article at Wired took the DNA test which involves sending a saliva sample in a Fedex package to a company called 23andME which was founded by Linda Avey and Anne Wojcicki (of Google fame):

The experience is simultaneously unsettling, illuminating, and empowering. And now it's something anyone can have for about $1,000. This winter marks the birth of a new industry: Companies will take a sample of your DNA, scan it, and tell you about your genetic future, as well as your ancestral past. A much-anticipated Silicon Valley startup called 23andMe offers a thorough tour of your genealogy, tracing your DNA back through the eons. Sign up members of your family and you can track generations of inheritance for traits like athletic endurance or bitter-taste blindness. The company will also tell you which diseases and conditions are associated with your genes — from colorectal cancer to lactose intolerance — giving you the ability to take preventive action. A second company, called Navigenics, focuses on matching your genes to current medical research, calculating your genetic risk for a range of diseases.

While I would be fascinated to get a tour of my genealogy and find out where I got this contrarian streak, I am not so sure I would want to know what diseases are lurking for me in the future. I would find that more than unsettling.

What about you? Would you want to know what diseases are lurking in your future?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

"I didn't think for a minute to run away."

We need more people in this country like Ms. Assam:

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Jeanne Assam appeared before the news media for the first time Monday and said she "did not think for a minute to run away" when a gunman entered the New Life Church in Colorado Springs and started shooting.

There was applause as Assam spoke to reporters and TV cameras saying, "God guided me and protected me."

Perhaps if people would stop being so afraid of self-defense and stood up for gun rights, we would have less of these mass shootings. These killers do it, in part, because they know they can get away with it, when they no longer can, their numbers will decrease.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Sunday, December 09, 2007

A Little Socialism is Good for You, as Long as I get What I Want

I happened across a snippy little column over at Pajamas Media by Robert Rummel-Hudson today on why his special-ed kid needs special treatment:

Yes, special education is expensive. Good education of any kind is, for that matter. But no matter what your politics, nor how extreme your position within those beliefs, a little socialism isn’t going to hurt you, and it’s going to help Schuyler and millions like her.

This is my opinion, but one in which I believe so strongly that as far as I’m concerned, it is a Big-F Fact: a society that doesn’t take care of its own least fortunate, whether that’s the poor or the disabled or whoever, is a society that does not deserve to survive. If we as a civilization can’t do better than “Public schools should be reserved for the ‘neurotypical’”, then we deserve nothing less than to implode on our own selfish appetites and our own primping narcissism. I’ll be the first one at the barricades when the revolution begins.

While I have no real problem with special education students getting an education in public schools, I am not a big fan of mainstreaming. But I have to chuckle at this guy's sense of entitlement when it comes to his own daughter who deserves special treatment at the cost of tax payers.

I wonder how he would respond to the predicament of gifted students. Many of them, my daughter included, are gifted but have no resources at schools for kids who are "special" in this way. The Talented and Gifted classes (TAG) were done away with "for budget reasons" in our county and many gifted students sit in classes that are taught for the average and below students. I wonder if this guy would be as concerned about the gifted kids who get no services as he is about those who are in need of special education for their deficits? If not, he really has no room to talk.

Apparently, some children's education is more important than others to this guy. Because here is a Big-F fact for you: we also need people whose talents are nurtured in the sciences, math and other areas. They are the future scientists, doctors, teachers and potential inventors that might help kids like your daughter in the future. Perhaps if Rummel-Hudson showed less of his own "primping narcissm" when stating his opinion, people might listen more to what he has to say.

Fur Children Revisted

Last night, I got the chance to read political radio host Mark Levin's new book, Rescuing Sprite: A Dog Lover's Story of Joy and Anguish. "Yawn," I thought. The story didn't really sound that intriguing to me--a man who is upset by his dog being sick and writes an entire book on his family's relationship with the animal. I wrote a while back on the nonsense of people who call their pets their fur children and it seemed a bit odd to dwell over a dog so much. However, after reading Rescuing Sprite, I might just change my mind.

The book is more than a story about a sick dog and a distraught owner who treats his dog like one of his kids --okay, Levin kind of does, but that is not the point--it is the tale of a human connection to a spirited friend who sat with the author while he was sick, helped a family to feel complete and taught Levin to deal with loss, love and letting go.

In-between running a business during the day and broadcasting from his studio at night, (sounds familiar) Levin spends much of his time with his two dogs, Sprite and Pepsi. Sprite is an older dog who is sick with arthritis and other ailments, yet he is gracious under duress and never stops trying to live life fully. Levin watches him in amazement and realizes that the structure and small intimate time that he has with his dogs and family are the most important moments of his life. Politcs and work take a backseat in Levin's life as he spends his time thinking about Sprite's quality of life and how he will deal with the inevitable death of his friend.

While the book sounds like a real tear jerker, it is not. It celebrates life, love and the spirit of an animal who brought the author great joy. It's a great read, I couldn't put it down until I finished it and will definitely be adding this to my Christmas list for the dog lovers I know.