Thursday, August 07, 2008

Men and Women

I recently came across this little gender-based joke of prejudice:

A woman marries a man expecting he will change, but he doesn't.
A man marries a woman expecting that she won't change, and she does.

While I do agree, for the most part, with this statement, I would change it slightly:

A woman finds a man she doesn't loathe and then tries to change him into a man she can love driven by a desire to be happily married.

A man finds a woman he can love until the day he dies and then struggles to adapt to the changes in her as time goes on by constantly altering his core beliefs and principals, as well as his behavior in the futile pursuit of making her happy enough that she will stop changing at some point and settle into just being who he met and fell deeply in love with all those years ago.

This is a fundamental difference between men and women, I think. Women are constantly in a state of fluctuation but men are happiest in a state of not having to change. It makes me wonder if more women say that their teen years were good than men. I hated my teen years and the chief reason is that I felt that during that Hellish decade I was being forced to change to fit into one of the convenient pockets into which society likes to place us. I often tease my wife that she's not happy unless she's unhappy about something in our relationship. Most of the time, I'm joking.
I think this is related to that famous quality of women to forget nothing emotional and use it later...much an argument to completely throw the man for a spin so that it is impossible to win. Women store away all the times they are offended or aggravated by something their man does and wait until "a good time to talk" comes along. Of course, that good time comes when I am tired and she is not and the lights have been shut off and we are lying in bed. Just as the first mists of the dream world are wafting into my mind I hear next to me, "There's something that I want to talk about with you." That's when I know I'm in trouble. Some time during the past few weeks or months I said or did something that I wasn't supposed to or didn't say or do something that I was supposed to and now I have to face the music. It aggravates me that it is usually played out this way because I really do love her and by doing this every 28 days or so, it helps her, but means I lose sleep and get aggravated and then have to change myself in order to have her love me for another 28 days.
Now, I'm half-joking about the 28 days. The half that's serious has noticed that this generally happens at the end of the month or the beginning - rarely in the middle...and we all know what that means. Sure, I know it's not politically correct to speak of PMS, but it IS scientifically correct. During those two weeks surrounding the release of an egg and the following flushing of the uterus the hormones in a woman's whole body (mind included) are very different from the other two weeks of the month. This difference effects the emotions and therefore thoughts of the woman. Men might be able to liken this to watching all 4 Rambo movies and then debating politics with someone from the opposite side of the spectrum or sitting in a strip club for 5 hours and then going to a dance hall for people under 25. Hormones have dramatic effects on our behavior and judgement.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Is the burkha also Christian?

Yes, it's me again, stirring up the crap...

I was just watching my favorite bigot. I downloaded the third season of All in the Family and have watched the first four episodes. In the episode I was watching a few minutes ago "Gloria and Her Riddle" she quotes the Bible and the quote stopped me in my tracks. I haven't read the whole Bible yet, although I keep meaning to. Anyway, she quotes from Paul's first letter to the Corinthians and what she said inspired me to read the entire verse so as not to get just a little piece of it as phrases taken out of context can often be misleading. The section of the Bible that was quoted was written by the apostle Paul in order to speak out about morality in the context of Christian faith and to answer questions and solve problems based on misunderstanding of that morality. The Bible that I have is the Good News version. I'm not sure how different it is from the King James or any other translation. Mine is in English. The section in question is chapter 11 which talks about covering head in worship. Here, it clearly states that woman is subject to man and man subject to God. A woman disgraces her husband if she prays without her head covered.

So this got me to thinking whether the burkha that some branches of Islam deems necessary for women is really that much different. Once again, I wonder if Muslims are among the last of religious groups to actually practice their faith to the letter.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I've just been watching a bit of Billy Connolly and once again, he's got me in stitches. That guy is one who will be remembered at least as long as I live.

"Suicide f*!%ing bombing, now there's a bright idea. Every time there's a bang the world's a wanker short!"

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Chicken Pox

The strange thing about chicken pox is that once the fever breaks and the itching stops, the rash is still red and angry looking despite the fact that the sufferer feels fine. Markús Litli is in good spirits today despite the red bumps all over his skin. Here he is apparently impersonating Tony Benet crooning to a Vegas audience.

Today's word: bezoar

I just came across this word. It sounds like something I heard Prof. Snape refer to in one of the Harry Potter movies, but must be different. According to it is defined thus:

n. A hard indigestible mass of material, such as hair, vegetable fibers, or fruits, found in the stomachs or intestines of animals, especially ruminants, and humans. It was formerly considered to be an antidote to poisons and to possess magic properties.

Here's a photo from flickr

It's a strange thing and it represents one of the reason nail biters should always spit out the clippings they bite off.

Friday, November 30, 2007

and now...alphabet jokes

Starring the English alphabet!

Q: What letter of the alphabet is an insect?
A: B. (bee)

Q: What letter is a part of the head?
A: I. (eye)

Q: What letter is a drink?
A: T. (tea)

Q: What letter is a body of water?
A: C. (sea)

Q: What letter is a pronoun like "you"?
A: I

Q: What letter is a vegetable?
A: P. (pea)

Q: What letter is an exclamation?
A: O. (oh!)

Q: What letter is a European bird?
A: J. (Jay)

Q: What letter is looking for causes ?
A: Y. (why)

Q: What four letters frighten a thief?
A: O.I.C.U. (Oh I see you!)

Q: What comes once in a minute, twice in a moment but not once in a thousand years?
A: M.

Q: Why is the letter "T" like an island ?
A: Because it is in the middle of waTer.

Q: In what way can the letter "A" help a deaf lady?
A: It can make "her" "hear".

Q: Which is the loudest vowel?
A: The letter "I". It is always in the midst of noise

Q: In what way are the letter "A" and "noon" alike?
A: Both of them are in the middle of the "day".

Q: Why is "U" the happiest letter?
A: Because it is in the middle of "fun".

Q: What word of only three syllables contains 26 letters?
A: Alphabet = (26 letters)

Q: What relatives are dependent on "you"?
A: Aunt, uncle, cousin. They all need "U".

Q: What is the end of everything?
A: The letter "g".

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

lightly snoring

So here I am again, on my bed. I was just reading a bit and answering an email from my boss. Markús Ingi is snoring lightly beside me. He's got his first cold - a terrible thing for a thumb-sucker to suffer at night. He didn't sleep well. He woke up at about 10:30 last night and didn't want to stop crying. So, we had to wake him completely and calm him down and then he was up until after 12:00. We had a little party in the master bedroom. I was trying to convince the Dear Wife that the visualizations in my media player (winamp) are better than those in hers (windows media player) so we let Markús decide which was more interesting. There was music and laughing and much crawling about.
I do like having the little stinker. He's awfully cute and fat. I'm starting to think that maybe I give him too much to eat. When he looks down his primary chin almost disappears into the fat underneath. He's got baby fat dimples on his knees. But it's so nice to hug him this way.
Here's a recent photo:

Monday, November 26, 2007

Shall we try again?

A couple of days ago, someone asked me why I had stopped blogging. the truth is that posting difficulties got too much on my nerves. I'm going to try again because there are things that I would like to comment on from time to time. In fact, just now I found something else that grinds my gears: Windows Vista.

Microsoft has always said that they don't care who has the code for their OS because they know that software works better with their products if it is built by Microsoft. But the truth was that many things produced by others worked better. So, rather than take the bullet and admit that healthy competition forces companies to produce things that work better, they release Windows Vista. In this new OS most non-Microsoft software doesn't work at all and that which does work has flaws. My research means that I have to read a lot of PDF files. I've always used Adobe Acrobat Reader (like most people who have had to read PDF's) and have always been completely happy with it. I recently got a wonderful, shiny new laptop from my darling wife as a birthday gift because my old Toshiba died. While I like this computer quite a lot - beautiful graphics, quick processor, light weight and all, it's got Vista. Acrobat works, but the text is in a font that is hard to read except at high (125%) magnification. Vista comes with the new Microsoft PDF reading program PDF Complete. This program demonstrates that developers do not always use the programs they are designing. It is obvious as soon as one starts trying to scroll around or use any of the functions that one has grown used to in Acrobat (a free software) that none of Microsoft's developers have ever used Acrobat. So, do I take advantage of the fun things one can do with Acrobat and sacrifice my vision and get headaches trying to read the distorted text? Or, do I sacrifice all of the convenience of Acrobat to have better vision and not as much of a headache?
Although there are some good features in Vista, I think that it was a major step backward for Microsoft.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


My Masters degree continues. My average for this, my third unversity degree, is 8.14. That's not too shabby considering my past attempts at learning something. I guess that this marine biology crap really does agree with me. Today I've been going over the data I've managed to collect so far about the animal communities between 240 - 374 meters. interestingly, my hypothesis seems to hold true so far. There does seem to be a connection between the type of substrate and both abundance and diversity of animals on the bottom. If ican show this is true for many types of substrate then I can go on to suggest that the type of substrate can be used to estimate what kinds of animals are present and in what abundance anywhere around Iceland. That would be pretty cool. Here's a picture:
As you can see by the four curved lines, the number of species found increases faster and to a higher maximum on a stoney bottom than on a muddy bottom. This is not really much news in the scientific world, but for my prject I had to show that there is an association in order to continue to the step of showing what species are characteristic of each substrate type. This is a trick ecologists use for the purpose of surveying areas too huge to be surveyed directly. Hopefully I'll get a whole bunch more data this summer so that I can get a very clear picture of things.

Thursday, May 24, 2007


Nothing much to report recently...well except for a great visit to Prague where I met a whole bunch of great people and had a new potato soup - well, new to me, anyway! As I had heard, Prague is a great city for photography. I kept almost 500 of the photos that I shot - deleting the rest was not too difficult with so many to choose from! The architecture is wonderfully rich and fascinating - although coming from a country where the word decoration is not used in architectural design meetings maybe it was inevitable to be blown away by the variety and richness of the decorative motifs on the buildings everywhere. I get the feling that we were really downtown in Prague and I though I would have liked to get out of the touristy part of the city and see more of the countryside as well, there just wasn't time. The positive side of that is that I have reason to go back to the Czech Republic. Of all the places I've been, Prague is the first city I feel like I want to go back to right away.
The Comenius Project that was the reason for our trip to Prague will require Inga to go to Belgium in November. I really hope that I can save enough for me to accompany her then, too.

Now, I've spent the last week laying down new flooring in the Dear Girl's room. I think it looks pretty good. I'm not much of a parket-layer, but I can do okay when I put my mind to it (and when the Dear Wife gives me a kick in the ass to get me started!)

All of a sudden I just don't feel like writing anymore...

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

A lot of a little

In case anyone still looks at this blog after such a long pause in published articles...

Markús Ingi Ericsson, the new baby, and the rest of the family are all doing well. I've been studying for the exam I have to take on the 7th of May. We got a passport for markús today. I'll have to try to take a photo of the picture of him that the customs people will see until 2012 when we renew it. The expression on his face is fantastic! Anyway, nothing else much is going on here in Vogar, the most beautiful town in Iceland - far more beautiful than Hafnarfjörður. Dagbjört and Inga are well on their way to planning the big Confirmation party. For anyone who isn't Icelandic, the Confirmation sacrament is extremely important to Icelandic culture. In fact, it's so important that kids undergo the ceremony (and the required party featuring overly extravagant gifts and too much food) that even people who don't believe in God themselves hold a non-religious confirmation ceremony hosted by the town they live in! I'm not joking - people really ARE that gift crazy. It's bad enough that Godless children lie in front of the altar swearing to worship Jesus Christ and do their best to follow his teachings for the sole purpose of getting a new tv, computer, and hundreds of thousands of krónur (that's lots of money, to all you Gringos). Now the parents who are willing to admit to the world that they don't believe in God and that their 13-14 year old children are too immature to have formed a true idea of religious faith have created a faithless ceremony in order that their greedy little stinkers don't feel left out simply because the true ceremony doesn't fit in their belief system (or lack thereof)! The whole thing makes me sick. It's worse than the shambles that Christmas has become. Jim Carey's Mr. Grinch points out the materialism and greed that consume western culture in November and December, and if he could see what is going on here in the Spring, he'd have an even worse taste in his mouth. Easter is another day that has completely lot its meaning. My kids got so much candy this year that they voluntarily gave much of it away. I got too much, myself and have decided to forego the large chocolate Easter egg next year. I know I'll be the only one in the family that does so, though.

I agree with my wife that the sacrament of Confirmation is a beautiful thing in and of itself. I also think that kids should be made to think about their faith. But like the rest of Christianity, it quickly loses its beauty when the meaning behind it is not taken to heart. I really don't like the idea of blowing so much money, time and effort celebrating a false idea. However, I am not going to raise a fuss about this. I know that there is nothing I can do about this. It's just another in the long list of things that make me feel ashamed of the world I inhabit. We spend way too much time thinking about stuff and money and not enough time thinking about bettering the quality of our lives.