Monday, December 29, 2008

Realistic New Year's Resolutions

Every year I make resolutions. And every year, I break them within weeks or even days. So this year I have decided to make resolutions I actually have a realistic chance of sticking to:

  • I will join a gym and work out three times a week for the first three weeks. After that I will slip to twice a week, then once. In September I will realize that I haven't been for months. I will continue to pay monthly dues until mid-2010 before finally accepting that I'm never going back.
  • I will go on a diet and lose 10 pounds. I will come off the diet and gain 15.
  • I will give up drinking. Except at weekends, of course: no point being a puritan about these things. And weekends begin on Friday. Which means a drink after sunset on Thursday night is really just getting an early start on the weekend. And one drink with dinner during the week isn't really drinking. Nor is one before dinner, one after dinner, or one instead of dinner.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Profound thoughts on the nature of dogs

With a four year old son, I get to watch a lot of cartoons featuring anthropomorphic animals, toys or vehicles. And I've noticed one odd pattern: the least anthropomorphic is always the dog. Mickey Mouse has Pluto; Tigger and Pooh have Buster; and so on. The dog often has near-human intelligence, but can only communicate in barks. Even in Toy Story, the dog is... just a dog.

Also of interest is that all of the cartoon serials eventually get around to two dog-centric stories. The first is the one where everybody else is frustrated because they can't understand the dog's barks. And the other is the one where everybody else is forming a band and the dog follows the others around becoming increasingly sad because he can't play an instrument. That one invariably ends with the band discovering that they can't keep time, and the dog discovering that he can be part of the band because he can play the drums.

So the message we're teaching our children about music is clear: there is a creature in this world that has near-human intelligence and the bare minimum of musical ability, but will always follow your band around with fierce loyalty. And it's called a "drummer".

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Male health

If you're a middle-aged male you probably already know roughly where I'm going with this...

So I had my first prostate exam last week. Yeah, I know it's important, you don't want to die of embarrassment, etc., but that doesn't mean I have to look forward to it becoming an annual ritual.

But what I'm really wondering is, who the heck first came up with the rectal exam? I'd sure like to have been in the room when that conversation took place:

"You know, we could really save some lives if we had an easier way to check the prostate."

"Hey, I have an idea... You're gonna need a rubber glove..."