Archive for the ‘Relationships’ Category

Nothing says love like a bouquet of roses…


From Daryl Dixon!



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My dear friend and professional colleague, EM, and I were sitting in a courtroom the other day, discussing simple homespun adages from The South.

We both have a soft spot for pithy precepts and little aphorisms that gladden the heart and give us words by which to live.

A well-coined phrase from south of the Mason-Dixon line [1] speaks to our depths.

Here’s an example…

Those who stir the shit… should be made to lick the spoon!


Someone should put that one on a doily.  Ah’m serious!


[1] The Mason–Dixon line (or Mason’s and Dixon’s line) was surveyed between 1763 and 1767 by Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon in the resolution of a border dispute between British colonies in Colonial America. It is a demarcation line among four U.S. states, forming part of the borders of Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, and West Virginia (then part of Virginia). (Wikipedia)

In popular usage, the Mason–Dixon line symbolizes a cultural boundary between the Northeastern and the Southern United States (Dixie).

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Just about every day,  I check the Dilbert [1] cartoon.

If you are not already in the habit of doing so, I highly recommend checking Dilbert out daily. Scott Adams has a real gift for pinpointing (and mocking) all the annoying little things about life in a corporate cube farm as well as the denizens thereof.

wifi(Wife vs Wifi!)



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I don’t know exactly what it is but there is something about 2013 in that I am hearing more and more horror stories involving ex-spouses.


A very dear friend of mine calls ex-husbands ‘wusbands!’ I love that expression!

psycho-bitch-1(Friend: “My ex is crazy. No really. I’m serious. She’s actually crazy!”)

Whether it’s husbands complaining about ex-wives or vice versa, there sure seems to me a lot more of it than usual.

Whether the people are just splitting up, in the middle of the divorce process or even if the divorce is finalized and they are still dealing with the ex for custody and access reasons, the complaints are oddly similar.  “They’re unreasonable.  They’re crazy. They’re evil!”

genitals-wallet(Thanks to Robin Williams for that joke!)

I don’t know why I’m hearing more of the “my ex is Evil Incarnate” shtick lately but such complaints are definitely on the rise!

I hope this is just an abnormal blip and not the Way of the Future.


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Those of you have been following this blog for awhile know that I have two children. I refer to them as Exhibit One and Exhibit Two. [1]

jon-britt35(The kiddie-winkers!)

This past Friday afternoon while I was driving through Crystal Beach, minding my own business, I received a surprise call on my cell phone from Exhibit One in Israel.

“Hi! I have some news!”

My first reaction was, “Uh oh! Good news or bad news!?”

last 085(Mazal tov! The couple in Jerusalem)

My lovely daughter announced that she was engaged.

I practically drove off the road and into a ditch with excitement.

???????????????????????????????(Fiancée and fiancé in Jerusalem)

I showered her with mazal tovs. I even got a chance to wish her fiancé a hearty mazal tov!

It was about this time that I noticed a police cruiser following me. I had to quickly end the call. Her Majesty’s government frowns on the use of handheld communication devices while driving.

???????????????????????????????(Fiancé and fiancée in Yaffo [aka Jaffa])

Exhibit One engaged. Wow!

Luckily for me, I highly approve of the fiancé. As a general rule, I dislike Israeli men. Bunch of blow-hard macho know-it-alls, if you ask me. This young man, however, is a refreshing exception to the stereotype. I like him a lot! Charming, witty, intelligent, kind, soft-spoken. A real mensch.

The wedding will be held in Israel. Not sure yet exactly when and where.

Details to follow in due course!


[1] To those new to this blog, a brief history: When I was a young rōnin, I was for several years in a relationship and living with an even younger partner. While I did not fully appreciate it at the time, we were in a common-law marriage. That person is, therefore, my ‘first spouse’ [‘SA’], as opposed to the person I legally married (then legally divorced) many years later [‘WHN’]. My children, Exhibits One and Two, were tendered into evidence during the second marriage.

Details: Exhibit One (23 year old girl), lives in Ramat Gan (east Tel Aviv), Israel. Exhibit Two (21 year old boy) just graduated from McMaster University in Canada and is also presently in Israel.

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You’ve got to hand it to the geeks and nerdlings over at ScienceDaily.com!

Yesterday’s headline really caught my eye.

Survival of the Prettiest: Sexual Selection Can Be Inferred from the Fossil Record

The article begins, “Detecting sexual selection in the fossil record is not impossible, according to scientists writing in Trends in Ecology and Evolutionthis month, co-authored by Dr Darren Naish of the University of Southampton.”

The term “sexual selection” refers to the evolutionary pressures that relate to a species’ ability to repel rivals, meet mates and pass on genes. We can observe these processes happening in living animals but how do paleontologists know that sexual selection operated in fossil ones?

pretty-dinosaurs(Sexual dimorphism in the pterosaur Darwinopterus [Image by Mark Witton])

Historically, palaeontologists have thought it challenging, even impossible, to recognise sexual selection in extinct animals. Many fossil animals have elaborate crests, horns, frills and other structures that look like they were used in sexual display but it can be difficult to distinguish these structures from those that might play a role in feeding behaviour, escaping predators, controlling body temperature and so on.

However in their review, the scientists argue that clues in the fossil record can indeed be used to infer sexual selection.

“We see much evidence from the fossil record suggesting that sexual selection played a major role in the evolution of many extinct groups,” says Dr Naish, of the University’s Vertebrate Palaeontology Research Group.

“Using observations of modern animal behaviour we can draw analogies with extinct animals and infer how certain features improve success during courtship and breeding.”

dino-couple(Above image of sexual selection in dinosaurs may not be 100% accurate)

Modern examples of sexual selection, where species have evolved certain behaviours or ornamentation that repel rivals and attract members of the opposite sex, include the male peacock’s display of feathers, and the male moose’s antlers for use in clashes during mating season.

Whilst these features might have had multiple uses, the authors conclude that sexual selection should not be ruled out.

“Some scientists argue that many of the elaborate features on dinosaurs were not sexually selected at all,” adds Dr Naish, who is based at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton.

“But as observations show that sexual selection is the most common process shaping evolutionary traits in modern animals, there is every reason to assume that things were exactly the same in the distant geological past.”


Journal Reference:

  • Robert J. Knell, Darren Naish, Joseph L. Tomkins, David W.E. Hone. Sexual selection in prehistoric animals: detection and implicationsTrends in Ecology & Evolution, 2013; 28 (1): 38 DOI: 10.1016/j.tree.2012.07.015

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Those who know me will freely attest that I have a ‘thing’ for Oriental girls.

Chinese, Japanese, Korean… you name it, I am completely dippy about them.

I recently had the opportunity to meet a very charming young lady, LingZhi. She goes by the English name ‘Liz.’ [1]

She and I met a month or so ago and have been getting together now and again since then.

(LingZhi has this thing for Blue Morpho butterflies)

LingZhi is what I call a ‘stealth loonie!’ She has the cool, calm ‘normal’ exterior thing going, for sure. But once you get past that, she is a different girl altogether!

I really enjoy her company. She has been in this country a couple of years. Her English is more than OK although she is a bit self-conscious about it. [2]

socks(LingZhi’s socks. I mean, really!)

We do unusual things. For example, about two weeks ago, out of the blue, she asked me if I could teach her how to make mashed potatoes. How do you say ‘no’ to that?  So, off to the grocery store we went. As we were shopping, I tried explaining to her what ‘kosher’ meant but gave up after a few tries. I’ll get around to it eventually, I’m sure.

tea-yixing-pot(LingZhi’s tea with my yixing teapot and cup. Note dead bonsai in background)

LingZhi, knowing my fondness for Chinese green tea, was kind and thoughtful enough to give me some as a Hanukah present.


Yesterday, she flew back home to China for the holidays.

Hopefully, she will return next month and we can see what kind of trouble we can get into again.


[1] I personally think that the name ‘Lindsay’ is more closely connected to her real name but what do I know?

[2] Not nearly as self-conscious as I am about my Mandarin. The expression ‘Significant Suckage’ leaps to mind.

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