The elephant in the room for Hillary Clinton’s Presidential campaign is the fact that women are harder on other women.
This goes deeper than lingering fears of another marital scandal during a Rodham Clinton Presidency. The media doesn’t ask, for example, whether America is ready for another Oval Office affair. Rather, it poses the question over and over again, “Is America ready for a _woman_ President?”
As far as I can tell, no one has come up with a good answer.
Continue reading Women and Other Women
I started thinking about this while reading “The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini, a novel about a family in Afghanistan that spans the twenty or so year period from the mid 1970’s to the takeover by the Taliban:
Fact: the American starry-eyed worship of youth is not just a marketing device, but a dominant factor in molding the corporate culture of businesses and especially office environments.
Fact: the eager young MBA’s and especially the over-competitive, short on social skills tekkie types that populate American offices have a lot in common with the “average” al Qaeda terrorist, as profiled by terrorism expert Marc Sageman back in July 2004.
Continue reading Does the Taliban Run Your Office?
I’ve been watching a couple of series on the Discovery Channel, about people who voluntarily put themselves into extreme survival situations, like climbing Mt. Everest.
Everest is 29,035 feet high, poking its way into the jet stream at an altitude beyond which helicopters can fly.
Summitting Everest requires a 12 hour climb from the highest base camp; the last 300 feet alone take 1-2 hours. Having not slept for the 48 hours before beginning their ascent, climbers must reach the summit and then descend safely past the “Death Zone” in a continuous 17 or more hour non-stop trip.
Oxygen levels at the top of Everest are about 1/3 of amounts at sea level, leading to hypoxia and cerebral and pulmonary edema: if someone were dropped directly from sea level to the top of Everest, they would die in 3 minutes.
Wind speeds can exceed those produced by a category 5 hurricane like Katrina. In July, the warmest month, the average summit temperature is -19 degrees C.
Continue reading Extreme Absurdity
There are people out there – in fact, the great majority of Americans – so divorced from reality that they believe – no, they _have_ to believe – that the world is fair.
Recently, a group of Harvard and Stanford researchers led by graduate student Kristina R. Olson concluded in a study of American children that kids as young as five to seven believe that luck is not random, but explainable by “good things happening to good people”, and vice versa.
Continue reading Belief in a Just World
Today, I got an extra hour. It wasn’t due to a time change, but an adjustment in schedule.
A whole hour, and I have no idea where it went.
Non-office time is like that. Before we know it, it’ll be Monday morning, and everyone will say, “Where did the weekend go?”
Today is Peter’s birthday. In about an hour, he’ll officially be 37.
I get to mention this because I’m The Mom. Moms are goofy about their kids’ birthdays, even when party favors and silly games have become a relic of long ago. It’s a victory over the forces of nature that we feel entitled to share.
Continue reading Happy Birthday, Peter
Peter and his family are coming over tomorrow for his annual birthday party. This year, it’ll be brunch, a meal that easily incorporates one of his favorite foods, bacon.
Even though he elected a brunch menu, we will still have his traditional birthday cake for dessert: 4 chocolate layers with mocha whipped cream filling, topped with a chocolate ganache.
Continue reading Jiffy Fudge Frosting Mix
Save being able on a good day to hammer a nail and drive a screw, I have no intuition about how things are put together, especially electronic and mechanical devices.
I’m pretty good with sniffing out software issues, but that only came with years of banging my head against the cyber wall and learning from mistakes.
Fortunately for all of us, Peter is amazingly talented with electronics, especially computers.
Last night, he was able to repair my cell phone, which had decided it wasn’t able to send calls or to turn itself off.
This morning, my neighbor John, who is an equally incredible mechanic, managed to get my furnace blower going. He’s downstairs now, tinkering.
Like Peter with electronics, John can fix almost any machine. He has that intuition about where to look and the skills to make things right.
Thank goodness for people like Peter and John. Otherwise, the rest of us might as well give up and move to a one-room hut with a firepit, a privvy and a nearby fresh water supply.
Parts of Texas and the Midwest got hammered last week, and snow is predicted for this week in this region.
After a mild November, it’s finally settling in that winter is coming, soon. Will it be benign, like last year, or will we be buried, like the year before?
Continue reading Chance of Snow