Saturday, July 28, 2007

18 Points Men Should Learn About Women

Recently, the question was posed about what men know about women. Since I consider myself as qualified to answer this conundrum after nearly 30 years of marriage to a wonderful woman, I offered these hard learned lessons in woman logic.

My proof-reading fellow Baytown Sun forum poster, Dagney Taggart graciously offered confirmation to my 18 point assertion on women, (her comments appear in parenthesis)

1. Almost all women expect and appreciate fidelity in a man.

2. Shoes! For some reason beyond man’s comprehension, shoes are very important to women.

3. Women find it hard to apologize first, so for the sake of the relationship, men should sincerely apologize as many times as it takes allowing the woman to reenter the relationship gracefully.

4. Women value stability in a relationship over muscles.

5. Women love money. (I do love $$ in the sense that hubby has worked his tail off from day one, and been a good steward of the $ earned. He has built a secure, stable little world for us and our children. SO, I look at it a little differently than say someone who just wants to blow it all, and have a good time. AND I didn't love him ANY less during the lean years while he was still in college and we didn't have all the material things we have today. Sometimes, I even long for those simpler days).

6. The house is the woman’s domain. If men will realize this early on, it will bring peace to the home.

7. Women have an innate need to pamper themselves or be pampered.

8. Women need to be told they are beautiful on a regular basis.

9. Women need other women as a support group. This is very important to them.

10. Shopping to women is like hunting or fishing to men. Women love shopping.

11. Women tend to change the rules once a man complies. (Guilty as charged. I like to keep him on his toes. I prefer to think of it as "goal-setting". Gotta give a man somethin' to shoot for)!

12. Women tend to view all purchases as "saving money". (Ha! Ha! AND it's true; provided we don't charge the item that's on sale... we NEED those things)!

13. Women see a mate as a life work in reconstruction. (No....no... you misunderstand. It's "training", and I HAVE to say....after spending half my life w/ this man, he's there :) SO, now I change it up from time-to-time so as to keep him current on all previous "training").

14. The longer a woman is married, the more often she feels the need to re-feather her nest - home improvement. (This correlates to the VAST remodeling knowledge you guys have gained over the years through our "projects" AND those hours you spent watching Bob Vila etc. We let you watch those SO you can competently complete said "projects").

15. PMS or Menopause? NOPE! It's you that have the problem Bubba! (That's a touchy subject. Hubby and I have devised a system. When his breathing is getting on my nerves, I very sweetly let him know. That's his clue to tread lightly until I let him know I'm over it. He truly does give me a WIDE berth and pretty much doesn't comment on anything).

16. Women are almost always right. Smart men figure this out quickly, or are forced to wait 5 or 6 days for reconciliation. (Although I've learned over the years, in the interest of marital harmony, to admit when I'm wrong. Something miraculous happened... he NOW admits when he's wrong).

17. Most women prefer to manage the money in a relationship. They see it as being a good steward of the relationships assets and secretly think the man will not handle is wisely. (I think Hubby would do a fine job. He told me a LONG time ago; he'd seen the job and didn't want it. As long as he has some play $$$, he's content. (Play = golf, boat, fishing).

18. Smart women know how to word things to get what they want, so the man thinks it’s his idea. (BINGO! I have my ways of "planting the seed", and before I know it...).

One wise and brave fellow dared to confess "When we consider the above habits of women closer, we can see they are not so terrible. Nobody is perfect, and partners should learn to compromise and be patient toward each other".

Dagney Taggart offered this: "Men & women are complementary to each other. If we could all just see that each has unique strengths, talents, and weaknesses... used TOGETHER, you have something pretty REMARKABLE. I don't want to be masculine and I SURE AS HECK don't want him to be feminine".

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Hollywood Politics Anyone?

I was watching the Indie Channel recently, getting a dose of counter-culture and who of all people showed up to bless the world with wisdom, but New Jersey comedienne Jeannine Garofalo, that iconic bastion of political wisdom!

Before she launched into her obviously righteous collectivist criticism of the current administration (I’m going to go ahead and tell you she is really upset with George W. Bush…surprise!), she gave us an “insider” on how memory can be boosted simply by taking a couple of Adderalls , a prescribed stimulant for people suffering from ADHD and then drinking two Redbull energy drinks.

With legs crossed and hands akimbo, she droned on with manifest intellect and candor on how I should think, all the while giving no agitated indication of mental or physical stimulation from her drug and energy-drink cocktail elixir.

Now please don’t get me wrong. I am blindly in awe of educated and cerebral people and for what it’s worth, I like to watch this woman act and talk. I even blushingly confess I think she’s cute in a fatherly sort of way and I can abide just about anything she says. I do however recognize her for what she is – just one person with a strong political opinion who does not speak for me.

Ms. Garofalo enjoys the company (politically speaking) of other great Hollywood and New York City-based political pundits, the likes of which are Rosie O’Donnell, Alec Baldwin, George Clooney, Susan Sarandon, Sean Penn, Tim Robbins and Danny Glover who regularly stand in front of a camera and microphone and tell me how to vote.

There is no doubt Ms. Garofalo is smart as a whip. She really is. I would enjoy sitting down and chatting with her, just not about politics and probably religion also. I imagine we would run into irreconcilable differences within 30 seconds. Maybe 15 seconds.

I wonder what a conversation between her and Dennis Miller would sound like. Dennis is far more eloquent and informed than I am for sure and we share political views and opinions on the war on terror. Politically, Mr. Miller and I put the future welfare of our country ahead of partisan politics and we both believe we are going to fight terrorists “somewhere”, so we might as well draw them to us – over “there”.

Mr. Miller and I firmly believe the radical Muslim element is not going to go away any time soon, regardless of who sits in the Oval Office. Ms. Garofalo and all her elitist buddies will tell me Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton is going to solve our security problems with the stroke of the inaugural pen. I’m not buying it.

I’m not buying it for the simple reason that I don’t think the radical Muslims (Jihadists) care who is in power or what political party is in charge in America – they see us as corrupt…period and the only way to spread their brand of religion to us, is to force it down our throats. We are too corrupt in their eyes to deserve anything more than violence.

No one in their right mind wants our guys and gals to be maimed or killed fighting in a foreign country. No sane person takes war lightly and no reasonable person should think withdrawing from the Middle East in retreat will benefit Iraq and the rest of the world, regardless of what brought us there.

We do have a lot of information at our finger tips nonetheless and making our government accountable for their actions is our patriotic duty. I want to be informed and I strive to gather information from as many sources as possible. I do, however, draw a line on partisan politics, either way, and that line is very well defined for me by Hollywood.

I can just about decide which direction to take on a political subject by listening to Rosie O’Donnell. If Rosie is against it, I am probably for it. If the amphetamine and Redbull juiced-Jeannine Garofalo drones on for something, I will probably disagree. If the Hugo Chavez-hugging Danny Glover calls for political action, I will most certainly vote the other ticket.

Why in the world do Hollywood and the New York City entertainment industry love the Democratic Party so much? Is it because there are no jobs and folks can’t afford a movie ticket? Nope, that doesn’t fly. Times are good; jobs are available to those actually willing to get up and go to work. Giant signs along the highway are begging folks to work all the overtime (with per diem) they can handle and folks are company jumping like lemmings for better pay and benefits.

If Hollywood really wants to do something to help this country and its future, they will do what Gary Sinise and other actors are doing. Get on a plane and join the USO, support the troops and come November 2008, vote for the candidate of your choice. In the meantime, I will use their socialist partisan outbursts to determine how not to vote.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Hurry along now…

For years I’ve pondered the lemming effect social conditioning has on people. Why do we folks accept poor service as up to standard? Why, we don’t even complain when it’s handed to us. That’s just the way it is, good enough.

The current buzzword describing this social phenomenon is “sheeple” and it is apropos, as large numbers of we the people allow ourselves to be led down a path of apparently inevitable substandard service. Sheeple implies that those people (as sheep) believe whatever they are told, without processing it to be sure that it is an accurate representation of the real world around them.

In so many ways, as much as I resist this trend of substandardness, I feel like I am nit-wittingly going along with it. Heckfire, just try to stop being a part of it, and folks look at you like you are the problem, not the business. Let’s take a look at a couple of real world scenarios we have all bought into.

On the hellavision I’m told if I want the best of the best of the best in service, go to Home Depot to get superior products and exclusively expert advice from the legions of crack sales associate/owners, which, of course, are lined up to answer my myriad of confusingly intricate questions, and then with a Cheshire cat grin, they will patiently explain in the simplest of terms, that even I can understand, the most direct and least expensive way to solve my household problems.

The reality is it’s difficult to even find sales staff of any kind and the person who handles whatever you need… is off that day. Step two? Leave the store and attempt the same thing at Lowe’s and after the same experience, come back and bear it like the well-behaved shoppers we have been trained to become…or you can go to Eastham’s Home Center on Business 146 or Thomason Interiors on N. Main and someone will personally assist you.

The next scenario we all buy into is at the doctor’s office and involves making appointments and keeping them. Call for an appointment and when the prescribed 2 weeks go by, show up 15 minutes early. Sign the paper and sit down. Wait 15 to 20 minutes and then when dutifully called to the window, pay your deductible (copay), if insured and then like an obedient animal companion, hunker down for “the wait”. This could be a long time, so bring at least 2 Snickers bars, a book or watch “As the world evolves” on the idiot box.

The first thing that goes through our minds is “I wonder what they are doing behind that frosted glass”. The second thing we ponder is “I wonder why I bothered to make an appointment, when it doesn’t seem to make a difference if I am on time”? And last “What a grand waste of my precious time”!

It’s time for Doctors to take a reality check and remember they are actually a business and they have paying customers and to instruct their office staff to be considerate of our time and discomfort. “Excuse me folks, the extremely important and busy doctor is still in surgery and I know some of you have been here for three hours, so we are having sandwiches and sodas brought up to hold you over and make the wait a little more pleasant”… Fat chance, but then again, we have learned to accept this as the norm, so why should they change?

Recently, my wife contracted a drywall/sheetrock man, who was truly an expert and a joy to employ. She told me his name is Mr. Martin Serrano and he came when called, had his crew do the required work in a timely and professional manner and the only time he delayed was in billing us. He wanted to make sure we were happy and personally came by to recheck their work. I rate this man’s work ethic right at 5 stars, whatever that means, but you get the point. His business delivered in a fashion reminiscent of the old days when customer service meant something and it was a totally refreshing experience.

We also found ourselves in need of a plumber due to a cracked water line at the meter and since I did not want to leave work, she was able to get immediate service through “No B.S. Plumbing” and I can attest that there was no B.S involved. He came, he fixed and we paid. Wow! I now have him fixing a few more items inside my house and guess what? He came directly and is doing the work as I write this.

We have learned to settle for less and it’s high time we put our foot down on poor service and give our business to those who truly offer personal service.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Is There an Anti-Muslim Whiplash on the Horizon?

I'm going to take a bold step and predict there will be elements in this country, which will react in a violent manner against Mideastern looking people, if we begin to experience al-Qaeda style attacks on our home turf. The reason I say, "Mideastern looking" is because many Americans will lump people from Iraq, Iran, India, Pakistan, Lebanon, Afghanistan, etc. together, as look-a-likes, not recognizing the difference in culture of each country.

Many Americans will suspect Mideastern looking people of being Jihadists and radical Muslims, especially with news from England of sleeper cells involving doctors.

Americans are getting jumpy. If Islamic-Jihadist violence breaks out here in our country with random acts of terror, Americans will look for retribution and an excuse to take out their frustration. Many will simply boycott a business, change doctors or express distrust to friends and family, but some will go on the offensive.

Most of us basically do not understand the silence of "peaceful" Muslims, concerning Jihad against America and this exacerbates our anxiety. As muted American Muslims have watched violent Jihadists attack Americans abroad, muted non-Muslim Americans will watch violent fellow citizen vigilantes attack Muslims…and anyone who appears to be from the Mideastern countries. I am against vigilante justice and pray innocent people will not be targeted, but I will have little sympathy for actual terrorists, caught in the act.

I've been kicking around the economic implications of domestic terrorism since 9-11 and I always come back to the same conclusion, which is, we are not going to handle it well. Most of us will hunker down and try to wish it away, depending solely on our prayers, our God and our law enforcement – and that is what we should do. A certain number will do everything in their power to tear down our government's decisions, putting all the blame on them and second-guessing their every plan to pull us out of it.

Some will see it as strictly another inevitable event by the Globalists to turn the world into a dystopian society. A smaller group will actively do something about it by taking the terror to the terrorists and this is the scariest of the scenarios. One thing is certain; once again our lives will be changed forever.

Suicide bombers, improvised explosive devices, soldiers and Marines guarding our stores and streets, and the general public afraid to attend any crowded venue will become normal America and our pursuit of happiness will be dampened by the threat of dieing.

Or…we can toughen up starting today. We can envision this horrible scenario and react with grit and determination. We can begin to face the worst of it right now and decide to live on as we did before the trouble began. We can quit walking around like the world will never end and start watching what is going on around us. True-blue Americans watching out for each other and let color and customs fall by the wayside.

Americans who practice Islam should begin to separate themselves from those who wish to kill and destroy in their God's name. This is a land of religious tolerance, but that tolerance is beginning to stretch thin. American Muslims should become very vocal against the Jihadists. Jihad, or Holy War, should be tossed back to the 15th century where it belongs. Violent intolerant religion has no place in a religion tolerant country.

One of the saddest possibilities to this Muslim backlash is many innocent people will be targeted by those wishing to stop terrorism, through reciprocative violence. Coptic Egyptian Americans look identical to Wahabi Saudis to some of us and some think a turbaned Sikh is the same as a Kurdish Iranian Jew.

We loyal Americans simply want to know which side everyone is on.

I've said for years that if Jesus the Christ were working the register at our local 7-11, some folks would walk off complaining about all the "rag heads" in our convenience stores.

I don't even know where to go with all of this and I apologize for the rambling style. I do however realize Americans are ready to lash out and like a caged animal, we must know in advance who our enemies are. If you are an American citizen, it is time to declare loyalty to your country and all the principles of freedom it stands for...before trouble starts here.

If you are in our country to kill, maim and destroy, then may the God of Peace have mercy on your heathen soul.

What, me read? Isn't that a 4 letter word?

I had an appointment this week at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center to have an echocardiogram, which by the way is an EKG ti...