Disillusioned

I am a creature of many passions, two of which are playing games and writing. So last year I decided to combine those two passions and write a book about a game that I enjoyed playing. And so the Assassins’ Creed: Pirates Game Guide was born.

I originally released it in two versions: a free version and a paid version with ten extra pages of personal research and information that was not available anywhere else. I figured that if folks liked the free version that they would pay a few dollars for the paid version.

I was wrong.

The free version got hundreds of downloads, but in spite of my lowering the price from $4.99 to $2.99, there were only a handful of sales. The market has spoken. Or more specifically, the freeloaders have made their point. I made a mistake, one that I will not make again.

As a result, I am reducing the free version to a “preview” version that features only the first twenty-five pages of the book.

This will doubtless upset some people; you may thank the huge number of freeloaders who do not value the many hours of work I have put into writing and publishing this book.

Don’t blame me, blame the freeloaders.

Solomon II Elevator Speech

An Oldie but a Goodie.

The Elevator speech by Solomon II. An imaginary speech that Solomon II would have made to his younger self.

The original site is down and has been for some years. But this is so good that I thought that it was worth repeating:

“There are no good women, and there are no bad women. There are just women. Women do what they want when they want and justify their actions later. That’s why it’s important to find a woman of character who is naturally inclined to do the things which are wholesome, respectful, productive, and conducive to rearing the offspring produced by your potential union.

“A woman’s character is of utmost importance. A woman’s past actions matter. In fact, her past matters more than anything else because it reveals the character she developed during her impressionable years. A woman may change what she does, but she can’t change who she is or repair her reputation. Like hot or cold water eventually comes back to room temperature when no external forces are present, so a woman returns to her base character level when no external forces are present. If you choose to be a woman’s external force in order to exact a temperature change within her, don’t be surprised when she reverts to her room temperature character the moment you’re not around.

“What defines a woman of good character varies from man to man. Know which character traits are important to you. Study to learn the signs of these traits, and study harder to learn how manipulative women mimic these traits when they are not in possession of them. Judge harshly and without apology. Recognize flaws within yourself and actively work to right them, but never let a woman convince you to consider your own personal flaws as a valid reason to overlook hers.

“Recognize, protect, and celebrate a woman of good character, for she is exceedingly rare. Recognize, expose, and shame a woman of low character for she is a parasite driven by consumption and will kill her host. Above all, know that a woman of character and a woman of risible morals are often indistinguishable at first glance. Only the erudite man committed to attaining the knowledge and skills to determine one from the other stands a chance of reaching his full potential.”

Goodbye Old Friend

One of our favorite German restaurants is closing today.

20150328_142759

We happened to stop in today for lunch, only to find that the place was bare, and the menu was limited, but the food was good.

According to our waitress, the removal of troops from Fort Knox was a blow from which they could not recover.

Goodbye Caroline’s Alpine Haus, you will be missed.

Choices, Changes and Consequences

I don’t normally comment on a book without reading it, but one of my founding values is to “never reward incompetence with your purchasing dollars” — and the lessons drawn from this one made it too good to pass up.

The story began here, and was featured in the New York Post. This led me to a book review in the Washington Post (I was tickled at the title: She took a year off from her marriage to sleep with strangers. What could go wrong?) which summarizes thusly:

  • After eighteen years of marriage, she’s bored, suddenly decides that she wants a baby
  • Her husband doesn’t, and never has.
  • He does what any self-respecting dude would do when his wife gets “baby-rabies”, and gets a vasectomy.
  • She goes off and has sex with twelve strangers over the next twelve months — two of whom were women.
  • At the end of her “year off”, their marriage falls apart (surprise!).
  • Then she writes a book about it.

Lesson 1: Women change, men don’t

Let’s start by looking for the genesis of this debacle.

Over time, Rinaldi decided a baby would add purpose to their lives, but Scott wouldn’t change his mind. “I wanted a child, but only with him,” she explains. “He didn’t want a child but wanted to keep me.” When Scott opted for a vasectomy, she demanded an open marriage.

Let’s read the salient bits out loud, shall we? She decided… he wouldn’t. “I wanted”… he didn’t. He opted… She demanded. Seeing a pattern here?

Here’s how I think it played out.: When they married, neither of them wanted children. Twelve years later, her biological clock goes BOOM! and suddenly she changes her mind and wants a baby. But that’s OK, because it’s always a lady’s prerogative to change her mind. He’s expected to go along with it, because happy wife and all that, but for some strange reason he doesn’t (consistency being a masculine virtue). But in her mind it’s his fault. Because.

But wait! There’s more! Evidently he knew or suspected that she was not above getting “accidentally” pregnant in order to get her own way regardless of his feelings, because he had a vasectomy (the bad, bad man is bad, bad, bad!) and there go her nascent dreams of mommyhood. But Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, so out come the “demands” and off she goes on her “voyage of discovery”.

He supports her (like he has a choice in the matter?), but at the end of her “year off”, their marriage collapses under the strain.

Lesson 2: It’s different for girls

The biological truth is that a high number of partners is not generally good for women. It has been proven that the more partners a woman has before marriage, the less attractive she is to men and the higher the chance of divorce. One reason for this is that sexuality and emotions are more tightly integrated in women than in men, who are far more capable of separating their sexuality from their emotions. Double standard? No, two completely different standards.

Lesson 3: Sauce for the goose?

What amazes me about this is not what she did; men and women do stupid stuff for the flimsiest of reasons all the time. No, what surprises me is that instead of hanging her head in shame, she wrote a book about her stupidity and loudly trumpeted it from the rooftops.

Imagine if the situation was reversed, and it was the husband who had a mid-life crisis instead of her. Then when he couldn’t get what he wanted, decided to “take a year of to explore himself”, presumably with a dozen women who were younger and hotter than her. Somehow I don’t think that publishers would be lining up to offer him a book deal. No, men and women (but mostly women) would be lining up to call him out on his behavior and smite him with locusts and frogs.

Does that sound like equality to you?

Lesson 4: Women can rationalize anything

It is comical listening to a person trying to rationalize a mistake, but women seem to be past masters at it. I have yet to hear a woman admit that the failure of their marriage was her fault; it was either a mutual decision, or she was the long-suffering heroine and some man was the villain of the piece. But at the end of this particular day, when all is said and done, it was she who blew up a good marriage because she was bored. They will both have to live with the consequences. And I suspect — nay, hope — that she will be the one bears the brunt of those consequences.

Because, as Oprah was wont to say: “Karma’s a she-dog”

Trademark Mania

  • You “Xerox” your documents
  • You reach for a “Kleenex” when you have a cold
  • You put a “Band-Aid” on a contusion.
  • You put “Gasoline” in your car

And yet you snicker when I “Hoover” the house.

Arguing with Biology

Stumbled across this story a little while ago: Why are older men looking at women half their age?

Ah yes… yet another variation of the age-old lament of the older woman: “where have all the good men gone?“.

The first mistake that I noticed was in the headline: “Why are older men looking at women half their age?” The brutal truth here is that it’s not just older men, it’s *all* men. The following pair of graphs (compiled by OKCupid) show that while women are generally interested in men about their own age…

Data_9780385347372_3p_all_r1.j.indd

…men, irrespective of age, are fixated on women in the 20-24 age range – from the adolescent whose hormones just dropped to the ninety-six-year-old geezer wheezing out his last breaths on his deathbed.

Data_9780385347372_3p_all_r1.j.indd

Blindingly Obvious Fact #1: Mother Nature gives most girls *awesome* power over men at about the age of sixteen. However, Father Time takes away that power about twelve years later, presumably in an attempt to preserve balance in the universe.

Blindingly Obvious Fact #2: Men mature later than women. The following graph (source) shows that while the attractiveness of women peaks between about 16 and 28, men peak much later, and keep their attractiveness into their fifties, as long as they keep themselves in good physical shape. This may also explain why some women who were uninterested in marriage suddenly become desperate for a husband at around the “magical” age of 30.

Print

This is because a man’s attractiveness has less to do with his looks and more to do with power – confidence, competence, charisma, and the ability to provide, protect and determine his own destiny, while a woman’s is mostly physical (“I can bear you many fine sons!”), as the multi-billion-dollar cosmetics, fashion, cosmetic surgery and other “turn-back-the-clock” industries can attest.

So when a woman over 40 gazes longingly at a “Silver Fox”, she is deliberately ignoring the fact that he is in his prime, while she is past hers. One money quote from the article says it all:

Another said I sounded nice, but added: “Though unfortunately I have stringent physical criteria.”

Translation: “I can do better. And by better, I mean younger, hotter and tighter than you“. That is the voice of a man with options. And she wonders why he isn’t interested. As the old saw goes: “Men age like wine, women age like milk.”.

Blindingly Obvious Fact #3: Women do not get to determine what men should find attractive: Take a look at this quote from the article:

“I bet you were gorgeous when you were young,” I was told recently, via message, like that was supposed to be a compliment. Yes, I was gorgeous, ish, for a while, and self-absorbed, and shallow, and inexperienced, and over-sensitive and dull. You’re right, mate, you’d have much preferred me then.

The elephant in the room – and the slingshot that brings down her argument – is that a man who marries a young woman gets to enjoy the obvious benefits of her youth, and then look forward to her growing out of her “shallowness”. He can have the best of both worlds, while she, with her youth well and truly behind her, offers only one. Sounds like a bad case of sour grapes to me.

The author has committed the sin of projection on several fronts: She has made the assumption that his definition of “gorgeous” is the same as hers. She is mistaken. She assumes that because she is older and more mature that she is somehow more worthy of his attention. She is mistaken. She then gets upset by the implication that she was more attractive when she was younger. Women will howl and yowl and try to shame men for looking at younger women but one of the fellows said it better than I ever could:

“These are just facts. Men like youth. They like long hair. They like colour. They like slender, as well. Sorry. You’re going to have to lose weight and grow your hair and wear red if you want the silver foxes to see you.”

Her reply is telling: “The question is, should I be prepared to change?”

The answer is equally telling: Lady, we don’t care. Men want what they want. You get to decide whether or not to show up. The awful delusion here is that women believe that maturity and experience make them more attractive to men. This is absolutely untrue – unless they are shared experiences.

Blindingly Obvious Fact #4: Beauty equals Fertility plus Love. A man’s perception of beauty in a woman is based on two factors: her physical attractiveness (which peaks between the ages of 16 and 28), and the history and experiences they have shared together. The best approach is therefore for a woman to marry young and give her husband the benefit of her looks and her youth. Then, as she matures, he gets the benefit of that maturity and wisdom. To the man who has savored and enjoyed his wife’s youth and beauty, she will be forever young in his eyes.

So… let’s answer the million-dollar question: Why are older men looking at women half their age? Because they can.

Here’s the counter-question: Why should a never-married or divorced woman who has hit the wall think she deserves a Silver Fox who can clearly do better? She doesn’t.

The bottom line: Ladies, don’t wait. Use the power while you have it, and use it wisely. For once it’s gone, it’s gone.

And then you will be reduced to writing plaintive screeds arguing with biology.

Survey Says…

Women who lost their virginity as teenagers are ‘more likely to divorce’

Women Take Almost 50 Percent More Short-term Sick Leave Than Men

Excessive Tattooing and Piercings are evidence of Self-destructive behavior(PDF)

Scientists Link Selfies To Narcissism, Addiction & Mental Illness

Addition of testosterone reduces lying in men

Egalitarianism, Housework, and Sexual Frequency in Marriage
Why men shouldn’t do housework – Dividing work in the home along gender lines = more sex. (PDF)

Couples that delay sexual activity experience higher quality relationships

Slimmer Women’s Waist is Associated with Better Erectile Function in Men Independent of Age

The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness
“By many objective measures the lives of women in the United States have improved over the past 35 years, yet we show that measures of subjective well-being indicate that women’s happiness has declined both absolutely and relative to men.” (National Bureau of Economic Research)

The bigger the wedding, the shorter the marriage

Attractive women get more job interviews than unattractive women. Attractive men have no similar advantage.

Correlation between tofu consumption and low brain function.

The Gender Pay gap is due mainly to women choosing lower-paying jobs (Bureau of Labor Statistics PDF)

Sexual assault on College Campus is not 1 in 5, more like 1 in 165 (Bureau of Justice Statistics)
And remember, sexual assault != rape!.

College Students Are Actually Less Likely To Be Victimized than those outside of college (DOJ)

70% of domestic violence incidents were started by women and the men were defending themselves (which a man has the common law right to do, just in case you didn’t know). (APHA/CDC)

Outstanding student loans reduce a woman’s odds of marrying

Stop! Grammar Time!

Grammar Time!

I thought that I would punctuate my normally weighty pronouncements with something a little more light-hearted than the usual. Here are some pictures I have taken over the years that made my eyes roll.

Where you at?

At least they didn’t say “Where *is* you at?””

MO Fighterfighter's Museum

Apparently they only have one firefighter in Missouri

Big Savings at Kroger's

Not sure if this is correct, but it somehow seems… odd.

Only one kid gets to brush their teeth!

Only one kid gets to brush their teeth!

Translated from Taiwanese to Ebonics, perhaps?

Translated from Taiwanese to Ebonics, perhaps?

Grammatically correct, but deliciously ironic.

Grammatically correct, but deliciously ironic.

Rape Fantasy

Starring Ms. Reporting, Ms. Representation, Ms. Characterization and Ms. Communication

I just stumbled across this piece:

www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2842276/Anti-rape-campaigners-slam-terrifying-blog-tells-men-never-no-answer-want-sex-wives.html

Upon an initial read, my first thought was “What an appallingly poor piece of reporting“. But from the Daily Mail I expect nothing less. What was intriguing was how many rules of journalism were broken in this piece. I can only assume that Jennifer Smith is not a real reporter.

  1. No references, attribution or source material: The beautiful thing about the world-wide web is that it features these things called hyperlinks that allow users to click on them to examine the source material. Ms. Smith forgot to insert such a link to the actual story under discussion, so that readers can examine the material for themselves. Here is a link to the story so you can check it out for yourself.: www.returnofkings.com/47540/5-lines-that-potential-wives-cannot-cross
  2. It’s old news: “News” is, by definition,”new”. The original piece that mas made Ms. Smith’s head explode was published more than three months ago, but they waited until today to go hysterical over it. One can only assume that it was a slow news day in the offices of the Daily Mail.
  3. Poor or non-existent research: The site that caused such an uproar is called “Return of Kings“, not “Return of the kings”, as Ms. Smith ms.-reported. Her inability to get the name of the website right does her no favors. One can only assume that her love for all things Tolkein rendered her temporarily blind to reason. This is a trivial point, but if she cannot even get the title of the blog correct, then how can she expect to be taken seriously?
  4. Misrepresentation/mischaracterization of the source material: The article purports to give advice to men considering marriage – a dangerous proposition at best. It posits several areas that should be deal-breakers, of which sex is one. Men have a fear that once women have a men “locked down”, the great sex he married her for will dry up and she will no longer “feel like it”. That is a reasonable and valid fear. And it is not unreasonable for a man to feel this way – after all, sex is the only part of marriage that cannot be outsourced.
  5. Suppression of discussion: The original piece has hundreds of comments, the Daily Mail piece has three, none of which call out the alleged journalist on her foolishness. The fact that they disabled commentary is telling; it shows that they do not want any discussion or disagreement with what they have decided must be the truth.

I could easily dissect this miserable little screed paragraph by paragraph, but it is simply not worth the effort; my fingers have better things to do. Suffice it to say that this is not about rape, it is about setting solid boundaries before entering into a life-long marriage. To disagree with the author’s point of view is to flout the “to have and to hold” part of marriage vows.

Marriage is, at its core, a negotiation between two parties, both of whom have their wants, needs, and non-negotiables. If a man even *thinks* that his prospective wife will use sex as a bargaining chip or to control the relationship, he is entitled – and, I daresay, encouraged – to walk away. And that is the exact opposite of rape.

Bottom line: Beware of opinions masquerading as news.

Miseducation

A friend sent me this piece: Obama: Everybody’s Got to Learn How to Code

My first reaction was “I don’t agree”. After reading it in more detail and watching the relevant piece of video, I still don’t agree. Sort of. Let me explain…

Yes, we need more engineers and scientists, less emphasis on marketing and sports. But that’s not going to happen while the jocks get all the respect and popularity and engineers are treated with disdain and disrespect. It’s a societal/cultural problem.

“The president has encouraged his two daughters, Sasha and Malia, to learn to code, although they apparently haven’t taken to it the way he’d like.”

I don’t believe that everyone has to learn to code, though I believe that everyone should grasp the basics of how computers work, we are not all cut out to be programmers.

I also don’t believe that we need to push more women into STEM; girls go where they want to go. Most pharmacy classes are 60%-70% female. Women outnumber men in America’s colleges and in the workforce.

iq-by-college-major-gender

Girls go where they want to go

If a girl wants to go into engineering, by all means encourage her, but the simple fact is that most girls don’t want to enter the STEM fields for the same reason that they don’t pursue careers as plumbers or Auto Mechanics – they just don’t want to.

“I think they got started a little bit late… Part of what you want to do is introduce this with the ABCs and the colors,”

Again, Mister President, I respectfully disagree. Aptitude for programming is not a function of age, it is a function of passion, curiosity and time. I didn’t start programming until I was 19; I’m still doing it more than thirty years later. It’s either in your blood, or it isn’t. You don’t become a programmer because a politician thinks you should, you become a programmer because it’s what you were born to do. We need to learn programming like we need to learn plumbing. Or electronics. Or carpentry. Or Auto maintenance. Some are born for it; most aren’t.

To take the Automobile analogy one step further, we all know how to drive a car, yet most of us don’t know how to change the oil or replace the brake pads. CEOs and managers don’t need to know how to program; they hire specialists who do.

I have found that the more the Federal Government insinuates itself into our education system (for which they have NO constitutional mandate), the more politically-correct it becomes – and the less effective.

  • We no longer teach the Classics or Liberal Arts (Logic/Rhetoric/History), and place little emphasis on Critical Thinking.
  • We give out A’s far too easily (I was a B/C student in school – NOBODY got straight A’s), and do not allow kids to learn how to fail.
  • We learn History, but never learn how to apply the lessons of History to the modern world.
  • Our schools have turned into glorified childcare facilities.

The teachers no longer have the ability to remove troublesome and disruptive students (and schools no longer have the ability to remove ineffective teachers), and thanks to standardized testing, they are discouraged if not prohibited from failing those students who clearly do not meet the standard. Instead we have an “everybody-gets-a-prize” mentality which encourages all students to believe that they can take on the world and win, without preparing them for the hardship and failure that is almost inevitable.

Maths, reading and science

“Could do better”.

As things stand, America spends more per child on education than any other country in the world. And we’re 38th in the rankings.

If that’s the best we can do, we should be demanding our money back.

My opinion is that the over-socialization of the school system is the nub of the problem. It is a source of amazement to me that a State-provided education is so costly, and the fact that private schools can do it better and cheaper. I think we should give parents the choice to send their kids to private schools, and give them some of the money that would have been spent on State-funded schools.

Naturally, leftoids and Socialists will foam at the mouth and flop on the floor on hearing this. Partly, I suspect, because the School system is the primary vehicle for leftist indoctrination – or maybe I am just being overly cynical. Either way, the Teachers’ Unions will also throw a hissy-fit; anything that gives parents a real choice about their children’s education would meet with their ire and opposition, since it is in direct opposition to their financial interest. But the fact remains that Private Schools can do it better and cheaper.

The little school house gave us the likes of George Washington, Benjamin Frankin and Theodore Roosevelt. The schools we have today look more like prisons.

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