Men vs. Women

Why is it that God has seen fit to make women and men so different? Besides the obvious differences, genitalia, femininity, child bearing and menstrual cycles, there are a thousand diametrical contradictions between us. It’s because of his sense of humor, that’s why. He had just finished building the earth, heavens and eternity and when Sunday rolled around it was Miller time or something. He made Adam, borrowed a rib and then came Eve. THAT is where things got messed up right there. I bet the first thing Adam had to do was take out the trash, sore ribs and all. She didn’t care that God hadn’t created light yet. She was perfectly happy bitchin’ in the dark.

I’ve heard it said a million times that men will never understand women. I beg to differ. We DO understand women, we just don’t frickin believe it that’s all. Argue, argue, argue, bitch, bitch, bitch. Man. All the time. They say never go to bed mad at each other. Really? What does that even mean? Stay up and fight? Women know stuff that men don’t and it’s not fair. They have long memories too. Why is it that in the midst of a heated argument, they will bring up something that happened five years ago that has nothing to do with what we’re arguing about? Nothing. In shock, we stand there with that dumbfounded, deer in the headlights look trying to figure out what just happened. It changed the whole topic. And while we’re standing there in total disbelief trying to figure out what just happened, they are so far along in their wailing we have no choice but to give up and lose. It’s at this juncture we know it’s over and anything said past this point is the start of a brand new argument.

My wife not only knows every single birthday and anniversary in her family, but mine too! I don’t care who you are, this is contrary to the ordinary course of nature. Borderline savant. She’s damn hard to argue with I’ll tell you that. Sometimes I feel like we, as men, don’t have much of a chance. And boy do they love their children. I’m not saying men don’t, we do, just not like they do. Women know every little detail about them. Birthdays, allergies, likes, dislikes, boyfriends and how to buy school supplies. They know shoe sizes, how big they are in the waist, what their favorite colors are. Men are vaguely aware of some little people living in the house. In all fairness, and I’ve always said, if it weren’t for women there would be, like 6 people on the planet. Yeah we’re different. I guess it’s better that way somehow. I just wish the footing was a little more even that’s all.
As it is, women will always sit and listen to a ten year old for an hour talk about how he almost caught a fly ball, and be just as proud of them as they can be. But men? We’ll always want to knock a fart out of him for making an error in left field.

A Day in Sam’s Life…

So I went to the pharmacy to pick up some Super Spike styling gel. I was milling around the back of the store pondering over the vast assortment of hair styling products. All of a sudden a blonde cashier from the front raced past me and alerted another staffer that a woman was trying to make off with some stolen goods. One of the pharmacist’s, another blonde, slightly older, left her station and followed the action toward the front of the store. My curiosity, like always, was rampant and the Super Spike could wait. I assumed a stealth mode and followed behind them.

The thief, a medium sized woman, knew the jig was up. She was shuffling down the aisle in quick small steps. An obvious attempt to dodge her pursuers. The posse now included a balding store manager and two apprehensive blonde clerks. Watching from behind the Max Factor display, I noticed the alleged thief wore no brassiere or shoes. She was dressed in a skimpy light brown top and black stretch pants. She did have on socks, and her breasts were swaying uncontrollably. I immediately felt sorry for her. I was trying desperately to telepathically inform her to drop the stuff, they can’t get you if it’s still in the store. It was like, an automobile accident unfolding in front of you and instinctively you slam on your brakes as if to save them. And like I was in a combat zone trying not to get shot, I found myself creeping from the Max Factor display to between the Revlon and the sunglass case.

With cat like instincts I watched. I was now in the perfect position to observe. A heavy vapor of body odor hit me like an invisible fog. It was so intense that it actually overpowered the Obsession sitting on the shelf beside me. The thief had moments before scrambled down this aisle and I had mistakingly stumbled into her wake. She could have been anywhere from thirty to fifty. Cinching the noose, they stopped her at the door just short of the Duracell batteries. The store manager, accompanied by his two clerks, good-naturedly attempted to gain her confidence. I could make out only parts of the conversation. She looked straight ahead, avoiding eye contact with everyone. She had an unnatural high-pitched tone. The kind that makes you want to clear your throat. I felt sorry for her even more. Embarrassed for her.

The store manager evidently felt her to be harmless enough, he was talking to her in sympathetic, almost caring tones. Although his physical appearance left a little to be desired, I admired his tact and sensitivity. For a moment I thought he was reaching her. I could hear her voice shifting from the high-pitched tone to something resembling adult speech. The two of them disappeared around the corner of another aisle. Damn. I had to find different cover. As I was making my move, the manager made a strategic blunder. He moved around her in an attempt to lead her down the aisle she had came from. This left a huge opening in the snare. She seized her opportunity for freedom. Just as an oblivious customer was coming in, and the automatic door opened, she bolted out, startling everyone. She was clutching some small object in her hand.

She bounded across the parking lot crossing the busy street. The balding store manager and his blonde assistants made a feeble attempt to chase her, but decided that whatever it was she had done wasn’t worth the effort. The madwoman was running though one of the widest and busiest streets in the area, and we all watched in horror as she charged blindly across it. I expected to see a flattened carcass at any moment. Flashes of Eyewitness news crews and Life Flight raced through my mind. I could see myself explaining the whole torrid story bravely to a beautiful brunette roving reporter, sadly grimacing while nodding my head from side to side. But, she survived. Turns out she could run remarkably well for an overweight madwoman. She sprinted through the Block Buster parking lot, maneuvered a corner like Mario Andretti and vanished from sight. Carl Lewis couldn’t have caught her. I returned to the Super Spike, slightly shaking, and resumed my original quest. As I paid for the gel, I chatted with the young blonde who had now returned to her station shakily. I asked what the woman had stolen. Turns out, she had taken nothing. The small object she was clutching in her hand was a pack of gum the store manager had given her in return for surrendering the stolen goods. And what was it that she had attempted to steal in the first place? Deodorant, the girl told me. It now all made perfect sense.

Growing Old…

At 59, I think I’ve noticed that deterioration has not only become foreseeable but inevitable. I feel like one of those public statues that attract pigeons. I’ve crossed the half-century mark, and already sense the whoosh of angel wings around my shoulders. I find it shocking, and scary, that I’m now closer to eighty than twenty, closer to ninety than ten. I swear it was only yesterday that I was throwing baseballs over our house and screaming “Annie Over”. Now I have little hairs sprouting from various parts of my nose and ears. The barber’s scissors have become a nuisance in only reminding me of the march of time.

My ten-year-old inner self still grimaces at the reading glasses that lay on virtually every table at my house. The flecks of white in the eyebrows and beard, the wrinkles that seem to grow everyday. As an analogy, I think life is a lot like a toaster. You go in soft, pliable, and out pops a dried up old person. I guess that beats not popping out at all. Over the coming years I can look forward to liver spots, failing memory, calcified arteries, digestive miseries, prostate and bladder complaints, faulty hearing, sadistic joints and those damn free radicals overtaking every cell in my body. I’ve already shrunk half an inch from my once proud six-foot three inch stature. It doesn’t seem possible that I’ve already outlived most of my friends and some of my family, considering all that I’ve done. Hell, if I were to keel over tomorrow I’d be less famous than a Chia Pet. That’s a sad piece of information right there.

It’s already too late for me to become an astronaut or a nuclear physicist or maybe a writer. And as proof of that fact, I just gave up on finding three synonyms for “detestable.” What’s even more troubling than the relentless march of time is its damnable tendency to accelerate as we age. When I was a child of six, one year was an entire universe of discovery and jubilation, a vast arena in which every experience tasted like a new ice cream flavor. Peach today, Rocky Road tomorrow. A year represented a massive chunk of my child life. But now, being a man of age, a year encompasses a mere two percent of the territory, a barely perceptible blip on the scale of a life time. Days become weeks, weeks become months, months become years. I’m thinking of all the time I’ve spent checking e-mail, brushing my teeth, driving, nodding off during business meetings, or reading the sports section for the thousandth time. Add up all those forgettable moments and it’s no wonder I misplace car keys, forget to water the garden or wash the damn truck. Hell, sometimes I misplace an entire decade.

Although, I’m not without weapons in the war against time. None of us are. I mean, if you think about it. I snatch victories when and where I can by creating moments, like walking in the rain, fishing on a beautiful lake in the evening or appreciating how the sun looks as it too, disappears over the horizon. But even those memories recede eventually. I try and fill my life with the love of family and friends. But even my favorite people tend to mutate over time. Sometimes into odd and unrecognizable people. I have convinced myself that I’m growing in wisdom, even though I’m losing mental dexterity along with precious I.Q. points seemingly everyday. I argue that time and gravity are the same. Both pulls us into a steeper and faster descent, we narrow our focus to the path ahead, dodging the occasional obstructions, hitting one every now and then. They seem to just poke up from no where. In the descent, you begin to spot the bodies of the luckless ones who crashed or spun out of control, former people you’ve known who came to grief in their own descent. We pass them, we pass everything in a blur as we accelerate, thinking we’re still in control, but no one ever survives that sudden stop. It’s like jumping from a 50 story building. Down around the 25th floor or so, you’re thinking, well, so far so good. Cause of death? Stop trauma. We then close our eyes and enter the next realm of possibility.

Is content really king or do you need to write for the spiders?

There has long been a debate in the search engine world as to whether or not you need to focus on the kind of killer content that will benefit humans the most and push them to your site or to use all of the tips and tricks that we have to make sure that the search spiders push us up the rankings in way that would only make human readers head’s itch. And while the perfect answer probably lies somewhere in the middle of these two extremes, the debate still rages on.

So which one is best – is content really king of the hill when it comes to driving traffic, or can you get away with a bunch of keyword stuffed electronic friendly articles to push people to your sites?

Content is king – most of the time

While it may have been possible to get some pretty slick rankings in the past with spider optimized articles and websites, the fact of the matter is that things are changing – and rapidly at that. Each and every day sees more and more subtle changes to the underlying structure of SEO, and the major search engines are constantly shifting their algorithms to weight different factors across the board. This has made it next to impossible to gauge with any real accuracy what the future of SEO holds, and it’s become more and more important to make sure that we are writing for our readers more than the spiders.

That’s not to say that the SEO world is dead and we need to shift our focus entirely – far from it. But we need to be more judicious with the way that we write, and understand that companies like Google are looking for the most relevant content to serve their users – and the eventually the spiders will only be focusing on killer content just the moment that the technology makes that possible.

You cannot ignore the new wave of search engine practices or the boom in other traffic methods

The second major reason that you need to focus on content over the spiders is the fact that he social web has changed the very fabric of web traffic. No longer can we count on all of our traffic to come from the search engines. While they still play a prominent role in how new visitors find our material, the social web has caused millions of other little pathways to our content to open up – and if a reader stumbles upon some jumbled mess of an article or other SEO work we’ve created for the spiders we’re going to start losing the pole position we’ve worked so hard to create.

So while there needs to be a balance between writing for our user base and writing for the machines, the landscape of SEO is dictating that we need to be leaning more towards amazing content and less on trying to game the search spiders.

Joel Mayer writes about SEO and other online marketing techniques for the AustralianWebMarketers blog

Low Riders

Today I saw a kid, who couldn’t have been no more than 12. His pants were down over his hips and just above his penis. I am sure this appendage was the only thing keeping his pants from falling off completely. He would take three steps and pull them up, take three steps and pull them up. Without realizing, his taste in fashion, or lack thereof, is leading to a compulsive disorder that could possibly stay with him into adulthood. What is up with kids these days? Maybe his family lineage has a long line of plumbers. Maybe it’s really not butt crack just rear cleavage. Maybe his gene pool needs some chlorine. Is it a tough boy thing? Showing your crack builds street cred’s or something. There are probably degrees of street credits. Like, no belt, you’re cool, but a novice, 1 credit. No belt, small shoestring around two belt loops, add a slight droop 2 street cred’s and you can hang out behind the gym with the rest of the fashion challenged. Sagger’s, low riders, what do you call them? There is legislation in some states that actually prohibit this style of dress with fines and jail sentences for non-conformists. I guess it’s good that the government has stepped in to help the rest of us respectable citizens with real class.
I just hope they don’t make me remove my dangling bull nuts from my truck bumper…

Things better left unsaid

We’ve all had those times when something comes out of our mouths that was meant to stay locked away forever. Except of course those things you can’t wait to share with your best friend and only if it’s behind the other persons back. I knew the meatloaf was horrendous and instantly thought meatlump, definitely not meatloaf. But in saying so, and using my most sweetest tone, a cataclysmic chain of events set in motion that made the Big Bang theory look like snap, crackle, pop. Apparently when asked if I liked it, I missed that suttle expression on her face. Men know that look. We have been genetically bred for thousands of years to aim ahead of the fleeing antelope, what formation to use against an attacking tribe, how to keep beer at that perfect temperature. At the top of all our survival instincts is knowing “that look”. That look of pride in knowing something they’ve done is remarkable. That look of, go ahead, say it, I’m awesome. It’s a twitch of the eyebrow, that certain purse of the lips, the look in their eyes. I totally missed it. Damn. And women have remarkable memories. It’s been 12 years since I’ve had meatloaf. I got it at Golden Corral one time and she made me put it back. Yes, we all say things that are better left unsaid. My buddy told me it has happened to him as well. The other night he and his wife were eating dinner and having a casual conversation. He told me, what I meant to say was “honey would you please pass the peas..”, but it came out “you fat cow, you’ve ruined my friggin’ life.” It’s been two weeks now and he’s still on my couch. They’re trying to work it out through counciling.

Male doing laundry

I hate doing laundry. I hate it so much that I wait until everything I own is dirty before I face it.  Why is it that women know the difference between the colors and the whites? Men don’t. To us it’s simple. If it’s underwear or T-shirts it’s white, everything else is colors. We bought a new Samsung front loading washer. I know that Samsung makes TV’s, DVD players and Cellphones, none of which I can operate very well, why I would think a washer would be any different is beyond me. It has a Sanitizing cycle, Bedding cycle, Steam cycle, Normal cycle, Delicate cycle, hot wash, cold rinse, warm wash, cold rinse , cold wash, hot rinse, normal load, Jumbo load, large load, small load and automatic load. Why isn’t automatic load all there is? I’m sure this thing would get HBO if I could figure out how to hook it to the dish. With me it’s automatic load, hot wash and cold rinse. Period. Everything I own has a red or blue tint to it. I have come to think of this as a character trait and not a sign of failure. Once the washing is done comes the real work. Drying and folding. It always starts like this;  Take everything out of the washer and throw it in the dryer. Set the heat as high as it will go so it will finish faster and I can get this over with as soon as possible. I start the dryer and then watch it like a hawk. When it’s almost stopped spinning, I fling the door open, ignoring the burns from the steel tumbler and red hot zippers, and pull everything out into my basket. Like a nascar driver coming out of turn four, I open the garage door slinging it wide, and send my two dogs scrambling for cover in terror. I’ve cleared off the couch, and the end tables and usually a TV tray that has become a permanent piece of living room furniture. I dump the basket on the couch and begin separation.  I have a particular style of lint removal that I am very proud of. I pick each garment up and raising them over my head I snap them downward in a whipping motion that a ringmaster controlling a tiger would be proud of. It didn’t take me but twice to remember the ceiling fan. In one solid move two things happen. One, the lint is removed completely and two, the dogs bolt upright ready to fight or flee. The shirts and pants that need hanging are immediately removed from the pile and the lint removal process applied. I rush to the bedroom, grab seven hangers, rush back, put them on the hangers and then hang them on the door jamb. Now on to separation completion. It’s usually during this second separation process that I discover one of my wife’s favorite rayon, nylon, polyester, whatever, blouse, shirt, top or whatever, in the mix. It now fits an eight year old. Damn. Thinking quickly, I wrap it in a newspaper to conceal it and throw it away. One of my daughters will get blamed for stealing it eventually. I can live with that. I then start with my favorite logo Tee’s. I apply the lint removal process to each, smoothing them out and lay them on a flat spot on the couch. Next are the shorts and then the socks, underwear and white T-shirts. Now I fold, beginning a stack on the coffee table with my Logo Tee’s. Then the shorts, then the white T-shirts, underwear and socks. I leave the underwear until last because no one cares if they’re wrinkled or not. Well, maybe Mom…she used to tell me I should always have on clean underwear so if I got in an accident the EMT’s or Doctors wouldn’t think less of me.The dogs have came out from their shelter now, stretching, but still keeping a wary eye on me. I take the one sock that doesn’t have a match to my overflowing orphan sock drawer. I have socks in there from 1982. Making seven trips, I put everything else away. Done. Record time of…2 hours and 45 minutes. Now, I feel like I’m a pretty darn normal person, but…is it like this in every household? I get up the next day, do my coffee thing, shower and get dressed. My clothes are wrinkled and have a red tint, but at least they smell like springtime in the Rockies. Or that’s what they’re supposed to smell like, I’ve never been to the Rockies….

The Eternal Question: Who’s Better Behind the Wheel?

Who’s better behind the wheel?

SCCA Pros Teach the Newbies

The Eternal Question: Who’s Better Behind the Wheel?

Few men would have the guts to admit that their girlfriends, wives or female friends are better drivers than they are. It’s simply taken for granted among men that they know the rules of the road better than their female counterparts. While competitive driving leagues like NASCAR and IndyCar are male-dominated, and there is some scientific evidence to support the notion that men have faster reaction times and better spatial judgment than women, it may surprise you to learn that the question of who is better behind the wheel is still being debated.

Accident Rates Per Miles Driven
If you’re a younger guy, regardless of your driving history, chances are you cringe every time you pay your car insurance bill. There’s a reason your rates are so high: You’re paying for the sins of your peers. Among all demographic groups, young men are the most likely to be involved in serious car accidents.

The Teenage Issue
According to recent data, teen-age males suffer an average of nine deaths per 100 million miles traveled, compared with five for teen-age females. Fatal crash rates per 100 million miles decline sharply for both sexes as drivers age, falling to a rate of 1.6 for both men and women aged 60 to 69. This suggests that men become far less aggressive as they age, catching up to women by the time they’re ready to retire. Death rates for both sexes increase again after age 70, to about 4 per 100 million miles, a phenomenon attributable to age-related ailments like poor eyesight.

A Learning Curve
So does this mean that male drivers learn more as they age–that they’re more adaptable and willing to shed bad habits behind the wheel? Actually, yes. Another Insurance Institutes For Highway Safety study that measured long-term changes in accident rates among certain demographic groups found that as women drove more miles per capita between 1970 and 2003, the incidence of serious accidents involving women increased markedly. Female accident-related deaths increased by 14 percent even as male deaths decreased by 11 percent, indicating that women have become more careless behind the wheel. Men, meanwhile, seem to be dialing back their reckless driving habits, leading some to wonder if young men pay too much for car insurance.

Smash-Ups Or Fender-Benders?
Another important study sheds more light on the issue. Although men in general are three times more likely to get into fatal car accidents, this number is skewed by the recklessness of younger male drivers. More importantly, it turns out that men and women are equally likely to get into accidents of any type. In other words, although crashes involving male drivers tend to be more serious, females are far more likely to get into fender-benders.

Age Matters
What’s more, female drivers’ accident rates increase with age, so that women are actually more likely to get into crashes of any type after age 35. Think about this the next time you let your girlfriend parallel park!

The question of who wins the battle of the sexes behind the wheel is as old as the automobile. Thanks to modern safety studies, we finally know the answer–well, kind of. While men are more likely to die behind the wheel, women have a much greater chance of banging up their cars in general. Keep that in mind next time a female friend questions your driving habits!

5x
Guest author Patricia White is a freelance blogger and is writing on behalf of www.carinsurance.org.uk.

Parking Lot Idiots

I can probably speak for most people when I say I hate driving in the winter. Not only do you have to deal with snow, ice, scraping and warming up the car you have to deal with the idiots on the road. We were hit with a lot of snow and freezing temperatures and it threw everyone off. Unfortunately, life doesn’t stop for the weather so people still had to go to work and to the grocery store. Well I’ll tell you I have never been more frustrated in parking lots then I have been the past month.

Lets get a couple of things straight. Number one people can’t park in general. So throw snow into the mix and what do you get? Parking lines that you can’t see. So now you have people parking on angles when it’s straight or people taking up two spots instead of one. Another thing that annoys me is when you come back to your car only to find out you can’t get in it because some idiot decides that he doesn’t need to leave you any space to get into your car so you either have to crawl in through the passenger side or stand there and wait.

Another thing that really gets to me is people who are impatient. Now I understand people with small kids are just trying to do regular errands like everyone else and that they are probably tired but I think that is no excuse for being impatient and rude.

Picture this you are in the parking lot and just finished loading the last of your groceries into the car. When a woman decides to pull up on your side of the vehicle in one of the MANY parking spots available. This was a regular spot it wasn’t close to the store and it wasn’t one of those family spots either. So she sees that your trunk has been closed and your cart is gone. It’s safe to say that you are probably going to get in your car and pull out. Well instead of waiting the one minute it would take you to get into your car and leave she decides that she’s going to get out of her car and block your access with her door  as she takes her small child out of the car seat while you stand there looking at her as she fumbles for 5 minutes. Now the polite thing to do would have been for her to just sit in her warm car and let you get into your car. Now some of you may not care but that really got on my nerves. Like why can’t people just wait for one minute or park properly because guaranteed they would be just as pissed off if they were in that situation.

Shoveling Snow Sucks

CROW AGENCY, MT - MARCH 29:  A snow plow clear...
Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Over the past month we have had a ridiculous amount of snow. The roads were terrible the first time around. Waiting for the roads to be cleared was almost as frustrating as dealing with the cold snap. Now it’s not as cold out but we are still dealing with all of the snow. The side of the street we park on is sloped downwards so when it snows or rains it floods our side of the street. We aren’t a major road and we don’t have a  bus route through our neighbourhood which means are streets don’t get cleared or at least they aren’t a priority. Today we spent a good two hours clearing snow off the road so we can pull in and out of the driveway and park along the street. Layers of ice and hardened snow are not easy to break through. I tell you I’ll be feeling the pain and stiffness tomorrow.