Monday, September 21, 2009

And, by the way . . .

Can you tell Fall is in the air?

The last two blog posts should be a clue.


The news of the day

I got a marriage proposal today. Cool, huh?

To be honest, she's already married (yes, she) and I told her that her husband is cuter than me so she should stick with him.

Now, in good Paul Harvey fashion I should probably tell you the rest of the story:

I and some other friends in college used to make Baklava on a regular basis. We did it for our friend who had a huge crush on a guy who loved Baklava. I've made it several times over the years since, but I hadn't made it in some time. Quite recently, I developed a craving for it again and was looking for a good reason to make it. Last week, the reason presented itself in the form of a particularly bad day at work. And what's the prescription for a bad day at work? Goodies, of course!

So, this weekend when I went grocery shopping, I picked up the supplies and let the phyllo defrost in the refrigerator until today. I was a bit nervous making it since I was out of practice. However, it turned out to be just like riding a bike. After the first couple of torn sheets, I was layering and brushing with butter like it hadn't been any time at all since the last time.

Once I unveiled it at work, 2/3 of the pan disappeared in short order. One of the supervisors told me it was the best she had ever had and told everyone in the break room she was going to have to ask me to marry her. She did that later, in a note.

I turned her down, but still appreciate the compliment.

Now, if I didn't work in a female-dominated profession, that marriage proposal might have been a bit more interesting . . .

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Hmmm, what's that smell?

I went out and ran errands this morning - library, grocery store, etc. And, since I had managed to abandon my grocery list and spend over $90, I didn't feel like getting dressed again and going out this afternoon when I conceived a craving for bread.

So, I made my own. Turned out rather good, if I say so myself. And if I sound surprised, it is because I experimented a bit with an herb bread that will make excellent toast to go with my home-made chicken noodle soup.

Now I'm ready for dinner!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Today's Civics Lesson

Some of you will remember Cindy Sheehan, famous for camping out on the road to President George W. Bush's Crawford, Texas home and demanding he meet with her to tell her why her son died (her son, Casey, was killed in action in Iraq). What some people had forgotten by the time her campaign became famous was that the President had already met with her.

Some years have passed since then and I thought she had quietly gone away, having had her more than fifteen minutes of fame. But no. Cindy Sheehan has become a professional "progressive" gadfly. She's been seen protesting on Martha's Vineyard while the first family recently vacationed there. She has a website she calls her "Soapbox" from which platform she agitates for "revolution". But then there was the Russia Today interview.

Russia Today is one of those news programs you can find on your PBS station (that's where I see it) which specializes in the sensational, featuring interviews with the fringiest of the fringe of American progressive politics. In case you doubt that assessment, note that the banner on their website reads, "Any story can be another story altogether'. However, back to Cindy Sheehan and her interview on RT. You see, Sheehan thinks Obama is making mistakes in his political decisions. As you will discover in this bit of the interview, transcribed below, she is either serious about her advocacy of revolution or she is simply a product of government schools (as evidenced by her ignorance of Constitutional process and the way Congress works):

The administration made a bad mistake going after healthcare and staking the 2010 elections on that. Our Healthcare system in America doesn't need to be reformed, it needs to be overthrown and replaced with a single payor system. And not to let, this is the biggest, I don't know if this is a mistake, I don't know if this is on purpose, I don't know why this is happening? But why to the Republicans in the House of Representatives and in the Senate have any say in what is going on? They are a minority, they have no power. We have a democratic, a large democratic lead in the House and in the Senate and we have a democratic President. Every progressive agenda item should be able to be pushed through right now. As I see it with the, Obama is using the Republicans to say, "I can't do this, the Republicans say no, I can't do this." When, actually, it is the corporations, the insurance companies, big pharma, HMOs telling him "No, we can't have healthcare reform." And so they are going to lose seats in 2010.

Here endeth today's civics lesson.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Ah yes, we love our womanliness . . .

I stumbled across a blog post today, courtesy of one of the sillier religious feminist discussion boards, that really caught my eye. It is a post on the subject of a 'women's roles' study by a gentleman who used to teach at Bethel University (in the interests of full disclosure, I have a family member who has worked at Bethel for more than 30 years). In this, their first week, they started with the more conservative position by reading 'recovering biblical masculinity' (that is as it is in the blog post, no caps). This does not bode well for the rest of the article if he doesn't trouble to type the name of the book correctly, especially when a picture of the book cover tops the article! For the record, the book they are studying is the standard work of Complementarianism, Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, edited by John Piper and Wayne Grudem.

Further in the article, the author writes:

Another problem I personally have with Piper and Grudem is that it seems aimed at unisex androginous feminism– one which claims that there are no non-social real differences between men and women. But that form of feminism is largely discredited– in feminist circles. Rather, what we have today is a view that women ARE different than men– and that they have abilities men to not– which are quite useful in leadership, among other things.

Now that is so astonishing a claim as to tempt me to write the author asking on which planet he resides! That describes no sort of religious feminism which I have ever seen. Rebecca Groothuis has been known to point out that while there are differences between men and women, it is more important that there are huge overlaps. One religious feminist recently claimed, on a friend's blog, that the only significant differences were related solely to procreation. This past summer, Christians for Biblical Equality presented a workshop purporting to teach us what there is to learn from the "intersexed". And, finally, there is the religious feminist mentioned in an earlier post on this blog who claimed it was the highest compliment she'd ever received to have someone not notice she was a girl after having spent a week together in close quarters.

So please, Mr. Gustafson, can you tell me where you find these religious feminists who celebrate our sexual differences?

Finally, I didn't know whether to laugh at the silliness or cry at the utter blindness evidenced in the postscript:

I got interested in the ways which evangelical women think of themselves and their possibilities when I was teaching at Bethel in Minnesota. Two of our strongest departments were Philosophy and Physics, yet these departments had the fewest women. When we would ask women if they would consider being a philosophy major (becaue they were doing so well in the philosophy classes) their response was usually that they were women, so they didn’t think they could do that. They hadn’t seen women Christian philosophers, and didn’t know women could/would do such a thing. Some even said that they felt like their family and church had sort of told them that teaching philosophy was not for women. This made me start to think about what women are told they can and cant do. It also made me act, and I helped some female students start BUFF: Bethel University Feminist Forum (we debated over labeling it feminist, but eventually decided to, more for effect and the added benefit of the cool acronym)

BUFF, eh? A friend tells me this is also the nickname for the B-52 Bomber, in which case the acronym stands for, "Big Ugly Fat Fella". Whichever the case may be, it seems that women who embrace their womanliness, even if it includes an inclination toward studying philosophy, wouldn't think it was "cool" to go around calling themselves, BUFF.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Can someone please explain this to me?

According to the "experts" at the London School for economics, Contraception is several times cheaper than any other green technology in combating global warming.

Meanwhile, in other news, NOAA reports that summer temperatures have been below average for the United States.

I don't get it.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Kill your television!

Last week, via Stacy McDonald's blog, I learned about a news story posted on ABC News's website. It had been announced that the Duggars are pregnant with their 19th child and that their eldest son and his wife are pregnant with their first.

The ABC news website story was a hearty congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Duggar. Right?

Umm, no, it wasn't. Instead of congratulating them and writing with wonder and a little bit of awe that they can keep their brood clothed, fed, clean and well-behaved, ABC posted the most hateful, spiteful, rude and gutter-language laden criticism of the Duggar family. One presumes that the authoress (of course, it was a woman) considers herself something of a feminist and yet she treated Michelle Duggar as if she doesn't have a brain cell to her name and is utterly incapable of speaking for herself.

Since ABC news was the last of the three broadcast networks with any hint of a fig leaf of balance covering their liberal bias, I decided I'd had enough.

I killed my television. Sort of. I removed the digital converter box and hooked up the dvd and vcr.

And then I celebrated by watching, "Waking Ned Devine"

Friday, September 4, 2009

So that's why men seem so intelligent around me . .

A new study in the Journal of Experimental and Social Psychology has found that men really do lose their wits around attractive women .

The story, published in the Telegraph (London) says that even a few minutes talking to a pretty woman affects men's ability as measured in cognitive tests. As the story points out, these findings have implications for "men who flirt with women in the workplace, or even exam results in mixed-sex schools."

The conclusions drawn from this study also have implications for the depth and persistence of sex differences. One would not expect a university-based study to have a bias toward traditional sex stereotypes. So, it is interesting to note that the conclusions are that men might be "reproductively focused" while women seem to find other attributes as important or more important than merely looks. The story gives no hint of irony or skepticism about these unconscious sex differences, either on the part of the researchers or the reporter. I am a bit surprised nothing was noted about the nature vs. nurture debate. In fact, the newspaper report indicates these differences are assumed to be inborn or "programmed".

All the tests subjects were heterosexual men. The study says nothing about the affects of a pretty woman on men with SSAD. "Women, however, were not affected by chatting to a handsome man."