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29 February 2008


....nothing more than memories....Johnny Mathis, right?

How's your memory?

In a recent entry we talked about how the A3's out there (Allegedly Average American) lose their own things with such frequency that they spend nearly an hour a day looking for where they left them.

But what about our memories? How often do we leave them behind?

Where were you seven years ago? How about SIX years ago? Unless you live in a cave, your life in that intervening year changed. Some how, some way it changed. Maybe the way you thought, the way you acted, the way you believed.

In 2001 America was attacked by terrorists. America and it's allies rallied around the flag and united to defend, to protect and to many, proactively seek and destroy the pricks that did this to us. But how about now?

Now, even with 100's of thousands of US troops and patriots still deployed in this fight, many newscasts don't even mention it unless it is part of a political soundbite. And usually one that casts dispersions about all the negatives they can find about this war. (As if war was intended to be a positive experience?)

We hosted a friend of mine this week that was back briefly from his post in Baghdad. The work he is doing is amazing, dangerous and is keeping thousands of our troops, allies, contractors and peaceful Iraqi citizens safe. He is actually making a difference. Whether a Hawk or a Dove, we should all be so lucky to be able to make an impact in our work that he does in his.

Yet, people in airports etc. thumb their noses, scoff and grumble when they discover he is supporting the war effort. He is filled mostly with pity and dismissiveness for these miscreants and I suppose I should be too. Sure I have pity, but I also have anger and sorrow for the Americans that die in Iraq and Afghanistan with nary a mention here in the state's because it is not a popular topic anymore. Too taboo and controversial to mention I guess. Since the run up to the war had some blemishes; many tend to throw the baby out with the bath water and condemn the war and everyone and everything attached to it. Why the short memory?

That scorched earth approach many folks take comes at a high cost. For those that so publicly hate our president; they often don't have the maturity, common sense or independent thought to avoid doing anything other than hating everything associated with him too, which is asinine. And yes, a blanket condemnation of anything cuts both ways.

Throughout history men and women in our all volunteer military have died protecting the right for others to be apathetic, ignorant and disrespectful. However unfortunate that is, it would be nice if those apathetic, ignorant and disrespectful people would at least offer an ounce of thanks and recognition that some people still do have a memory of what happens when you allow a combatant to bend you over a barrel.

Why have our memories gotten shorter?

Why has it become so difficult for folks to hate the game but still support the player?

28 February 2008

What's a What??


27 February 2008

You're So, uh, Unique!

(photo courtesy of John & Jesse Williams @ in accordance with Creative Commons copyright restrictions)

"Just because you are unique does not mean you are useful"

We - again the ubiquitous global we - tend to celebrate uniqueness don't we? Perhaps it tells us that our own anomalies (or abnormalities as the case may be) are not really that far out after all. Or perhaps we live such a bland existence that we secretly want to live vicariously through those unique dudes and dudettes we see in our malls, on our TVs and in our movies.

Kids are given names that can barely be spelled, much less pronounced. How hard are these kids going to have it as they get older and try to normalize? Unfortunately, the choice was never given to them - their parents made it for them. And I thought Frank Zappa naming his kids Dweezil and Moon Unit were outrageous!

Fashion has gone from being about expression to being about dysfunction. We will always have teens rebelling with their clothes - but that is not with this is about. Some styles now require an extra hand to hold up their britches, a seeing eye dog to walk anywhere since their hair is blanketing their eyes and many need their own decon unit to clean the bottom of their pants after dragging the same ground they drag their feet through. Where's the f-f-f-function in f-f-f-fashion?

Is the quest for unique-ness some insane desire for attention or is it something else?

26 February 2008

Deal's Derivative

Deal's Derivative -- Workers will always expand to fill the space available to them.

Many moons ago I was out in the woods with my dog. He got skunked. He smelled. I had a SUV at the time, which means it was fully enclosed. Plus it was packed with stuff already. I lived 1.5 hours away. Get the picture?

A week later, I had a new truck with a camper. It was a great because I had all that extra room in the back for smelly stuff, gear (a guy has to have gear) and probably even room to rent out for parties. But then a strange thing happened. By the time I moved all of the contents from my SUV over to my truck, plus just a few other things, then the truck was bulging at the seams for space too. Can you relate?

So Deal's Derivative can take many shapes.

So too in management. If you have ever been in the position to hire someone for a one-time job, paying them $100 for the project will produce much different results than paying them $10 and hour until they complete it.

Family vacation? Ever confined your kid to the back and said "here is your corner, keep you and your stuff contained here." Yeah, right. I am still finding hair clips, arts and crafts and food wrappers hidden in some pretty strange non-approved places in our vehicle.

Is it human nature that we want to keep expanding to our outer limits....or are we just unable to respect boundaries?

25 February 2008

Chicken or the Egg?

In the news recently, there was a story of a man from State "A" who bought some un-zoned, county property in State "B" in order to put a Chicken Ranch on it. Not the Chicken Ranch like Dolly Parton ran in the 1982 pic, "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas", but a real chicken ranch with chickens, eggs and all their, uh, smelly, noisy accoutrement's.

"It's been a business doin' pleasure with you" was the memorable line in the movie.

But not so much pleasure - or good business - in this Chicken story.

Seems the neighbors across the street are in a zoned, municipal residential area that boasts big houses in a gated community, kids in private school and a king sized NIMBY flag a wavin'. (Not In My Back Yard).

The earnest TV reporter called the Chicken Rancher on his Chicken phone.

"Well, I just bought some land out in the country for my chickens so I can harvest some eggs, I wasn't aware that it was across the street from city property where there is a neighborhood." He even added that "I wouldn't want a chicken ranch next to where I live either". He then even went so far as to allude to having looked at other Chicken Ranch location options. Seems like a great foundation for a workable Chicken Ranch solution, right?

Ah, but then our intrepid Chicken reporter discovered this: Apparently, several hundred of the NIMBY Chicken folks called, mailed and emailed this new property owner to demand (chicken threats included) that he take his self and his chickens elsewhere. No, not a "what can we do to promote a Chicken win-win?", but a full blown, holier than thou 'get the flock out of here' demand.

And the result was as predictable as a Chicken crossing the road.

"Well," said the Chicken Man, "I was willing to look into a reasonable alternative until they started telling me what I could and couldn't do".

And now the fight is on like Donkey, er, Chicken Kong...

So which came first, the chicken or the egg entitlement or common courtesy?

Speaking of Chicken Feed, you do have your very own Daddio's Daily Dose Feed right? It's free, easy and insures you'll never miss another chicken brained post. :) Click on the "Feed Me!" link on the right panel and pick your favorite option.

24 February 2008


"How was your off-season?" I ask.

"It was Pimpin'."


"You know, Coach Mike, it was PIMPIN'."

"You mean like, Huggy Bear from Starsky & Hutch Pimpin? Do your parents know about this?!?", I ask incredulously.

"No, no, no. You know, like, it's all good."

Oh. I see. Pimpin'. But of course Ma petite mésange.

So when we got home from practice, Tonya asked how practice went. (Yep, you know its coming....)

"Why, it was Pimpin'," then I walked away, grinning.

Should be a fun season.

23 February 2008

Lost & Found

"According to a study conducted by a Boston marketing firm, the average American burns 55 minutes a day-roughly 12 weeks a year-looking for things they know they own but can’t find."

Holy messy house Batman! Is this true? Nearly 1 whole hour per day. Looking for keys, phone, TV remote, little Frankie's loose chameleon lizard? Really?

I can only imagine the questions that produced that statistic.

I read a
funny blog post the other day about a teen survey where they asked about drug and alcohol use. Because of the poorly worded strategically worded question, the teen in question fell into the statistical black hole of a bona fide "Teen Drug & Alcohol User" because he had taken a sip of his dad's beer as a child. As a card carrying cynic, I'm sure there was a plan to seek funding for some new fangled anti-drug program based on the high number of "yes, I have used drugs or alcohol before" question.

"I haven't trusted polls since I read that 62% of women had affairs during their lunch hour. I've never met a woman in my life who would give up lunch for sex."
-Erma Bombeck

Do you find any surveys preposterous?

22 February 2008

Shoot This!

The space shuttle had to land,
The stormy seas had to abate;
The missile strike to knock down the satellite,
Would make us all sit and wait.

It seemed so far fetched,
To shoot something so far;
It travelled at 17,000 mph,
And was barely larger than a car.

But somewhere in DHS,
Lady Luck did appear;
That satellite did get shot down,
Before to us it got too near.

Teams were at the ready,
To respond to a major de-orbit crash;
If that flying can of fuel made it to earth,
Who knows what it would smash?

Surely the Navy is having a party,
Over making such a hard shot;
But they should surely temper their glee,
Because this caper sure cost a lot.

The folks it would be interesting to hear from,
Are the ones who started it all;
Whose job was it for it to work initially,
So that it wouldn't eventually fall?

Regardless how it started,
It ended like it should;
No shower of toxic stuff came down,
No houses crushed into splintered wood.

Maybe future satellite gurus,
Can remember a thing or three;
Before you launch another one,
Would you be sure to check the battery?!

(c) 2008
Daddios Daily Dose

21 February 2008

Comin's Law

Comin's Law -- People will accept your idea much more readily if you tell them Benjamin Franklin said it first.

Kind of like the consultant principal giving extra credence to the out-of-towner with a brief case. Almost embarrassingly, that has been me before. And it is astonishing how the simple appearance of novelty, exclusivity or travel-from-points-unknown-to-attend-to-your-very-special-problem can engender new commitment, enthusiasm and mystique. And it costs more too.

Of course many people don't know that when Ben was just 15 years old he used to say things under the nom de plume of Mrs. Silence Dogood in his letters to the local paper. I guess he really got the townsfolk talking.

Franklin also used the pseudonym of Richard Saunder's when he published the acclaimed Poor Richard's Almanack, in which he, Richard, famously uttered things like "fish and visitors stink in three days" and "A penny saved is twopence dear".

Since his picture is on the $100 bill and the $4400 he willed to the city of Boston and the city of Philadelphia upon his death grew to a combined $7 million dollars, is it more appropriate to say that Ben is really the most famous for saying that it is money that talks the loudest?

After all, wouldn't people accept our idea with a few "Benjamin's" more readily than with just a kind word?

Is money ever more important than our word? Any examples?


Another note of thanks to everyone who followed the Mating Growl Series and who shared their comments. It had been on my mind awhile after reading so many other blogs where men were characterized as mysterious. Hopefully I helped debunk some of the least from my perspective. If you know others who would enjoy it, benefit from it or giggle from it, would you please help spread the word? The "Feed Me" tab on the right panel is a great, easy and effective way to collect your Daily Dose of Daddio and also share the posts you like with others. Thanks again for your readership!

20 February 2008

Mating Growl, 6 of 6


Unfortunately, some men never learn and become road kill, are skinned alive, or worse.

Divorce affects nearly 2 million people directly (and untold children, pets, etc.) each year and is the post script to 43-ish% of all US marriages. The toll increases for each subsequent marriage. For some men, they can't cope and selfishly take their own lives. For others, whose undesired behavior led to the divorce in the first place, they leave a trail of incredible pain, deep seated distrust, vitriolic anger....and often children in a fatherless home that are destined to repeat the cycle. Surely you don't need me to tell that divorce is bad news.

In the first installment of our safari, we explored both the ideal and not-so ideal comparisons between man and beast....human males and Lions. The Lion is supposed be an enduring example of the same things many men want to be associated with: virility, protection, strength, courage and royalty. But increasingly, Lions are also becoming extinct.

"Animal species disappear when they cannot peacefully orbit the center of gravity that is man."
- Pierre-Amédée Pichot

Perhaps when males (and yes, females) center our orbits on our family, our mate and our collective future, instead of our own preservation as a Lion, we will likely live a long, loving, and extinction-free existence.

And isn't a long, loving and extinction-free relationship what we want out of a mate in the first place?


I hope you enjoyed the safari. Please disembark from the tour bus carefully. If you have other 'wildlife' in your life that could benefit from our findings...would you please direct them to the safari's start by clicking the email icon below or directing them to the FEED ME link to the right?

Thank you for helping to develop the Daddio's Daily Dose (D3) readership.

Okay then. What do you want to talk about now? :)

19 February 2008

Mating Growl, 5 of 6

Oh, been there, Brother Leo. Anybody else relate? Did he track mud in? Get hair in her meal? Forget to groom the cubs?

I think I am safe to assume all relationships periodically go through a period of disharmony. Ours does. And I think that helps us in the long run wear down the sharp edges until we become more harmonious. Seems so simple, eh? I wish. But at least there is science to back it up.

A 17 year study conducted by the University of Michigan School of Public Health and Psychology concluded that couples that scream, yell & throw things express themselves live longer than those that bottle up their anger.

In our kindler, gentler world (yeah, right) we are conditioned to equate passivity with civility to superiority. Well, fooey on that.

Thunder & Rain

I'm sure I am not alone in saying that I have been in a strife filled relationship before and it was the pits. Of course we don't always know it is the pits until we are no longer in the relationship. Perspective is a beautiful thing.

A guy I used to office with has a rather tumultuous relationship with his wife. On his desk he displayed a sign "A Marriage was Made in Heaven...but so is Thunder and Rain". For them it worked...and they have been married for 20+ years.

"By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest."
- Confucius

A long time ago I learned that the opposite of love is not hate. It is indifference. And so it goes. Our relationships are in the worst shape, the most trouble, when we no longer care about the other person, the topic at hand, the whatever. Hate the way your spouse squeezes the toothpaste tube from the middle? At least you care enough to have an opinion. And spring for 'his' and 'hers' toothpaste tubes to avoid this by the way. :)

Relationship Math

Now lest you think I was some whipped puppy before meeting Tonya, you're wrong. We both came into our relationship at nearly 100%. It is a common misconception that each relationship participant makes up 50% of the relationship to make a whole 100%. Well, horsehockey. How unfair it would have been to expect the other person to make us complete, dontchathink? In relationship math, 100% + 100% = 100%. Whereas 50% + 50% = future trouble in China town. Got it?

Unfortunately, couples rarely stay at 100%. What happens is a type of trade off. The ebb and flow of our relationship river of zen. I can have some humdinger days when I am not in sync, not productive, not happy...and not pleasant to be around. As trite as it sounds, that is when Tonya steps up. She really does complete me, or rather completes US. She pulls the weight for the both of us and our relationship stays afloat. I do the same when the roles are reversed. In the long run, by bouying each other, we gain individual and marital experience in maritime navigation. And the more experience we have at that, the less likely we will get lost amid a sea of distractions, perpetual unhappiness or isolation.

So I submit that it is not the never arguing that makes relationships suceed, but in having a relationship where arguments start and end in a respectful manner.

Deal Breakers

What if the argument is about a deal breaker or even the end of the relationship? For starters, remember that there is no such thing as a happy ending...if it were truly happy, it wouldn't end.

Secondly, nothing should be allowed to die a slow death. We all have deal breakers (or we should anyway). Things like infildelity, abuse, insane religious conversion, incarceration, NASCAR, whatever. And if that line gets crossed, if that boundary is obliterated, if that deal gets broken, then evaluate whether a professional can help fix it, or let it die. Endlessly arguing about it does nothing but generate unhealthy patterns for more arguing.

"There is nothing so easy to learn as experience and nothing so hard to apply."
- Josh Billings

The important takeaway, however obvious in retrospect, is that the better we "hire" our mates in the beginning, the less likely we will have to "fire" them in the end.

In the last part of series Mating Growl (don't fret, withdrawl symptoms are natural and will subside with time) we conclude with our "State of the Male" prognosis. If you are catching the safari late, be sure to review the first 5 stops on our tour by starting here.

If you haven't signed up for your own Daddio's Daily Dose FEED, get yours now at the right column under "Feed Me!" so that you don't miss a single post!


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18 February 2008

Mating Growl, 4 of 6

The male of our worst enemies. Oh sure, women have one too (not enemies, silly, egos!), but not generally of the same epic and often catastrophic proportions as some men.

Sports cars have been leased, muscle shirts have been worn, wars have been waged, hair has been moussed and grand stands have been stood on in the name of male ego. Fortunately, most of these dudes are laughable, embarrassing and harmless.

"He is a self-made man and worships his creator." - John Bright

Unfortunately though, not all ego-maniacs are self made ... and not all are harmless.


I occasionally make mention of the monster's that hurt children. There are too many of them and they continue to come from somewhere. While I am not going to pretend to be literate on the psychology of what makes a man hurt a child or a woman, I will suggest that if they are not allowed in the house in the first place, they would not have as easy of a time committing their heinous crimes. Seems simple, but for example, the next time you read about a child that is hurt by a non biological male (boyfriend, step-dad, etc.), look carefully for the telltale signs of unwarranted permissiveness and access by the custodial mother. Sorry ladies, but nobody should need a man so badly that your protective instincts are traded for a man's 'affection'.

It does bear repeating....we do more of what we are reinforced for doing. Both desired and undesired behaviors. If a male can treat you or your child like garbage and not receive a negative consequence (an ass-kicking to the curb, jail or a come-to-jesus lecture), or worse, receives a reward (an abject woman begging for him to stay..."I'll do anything", she'll plead) then expect more of the same, with an increasing frequency.

In one of the books I recommend on the right panel called the Gift of Fear, there is an abrupt, yet true position about these men who assault. The first time it happens, the female is a victim. The second time she is a volunteer. The book is a must read for every woman and can be quickly ordered by clicking through my link to the Amazon store.

Be Right or Be Happy?

Entertainers have made entire careers from making comedy out of the differences between men and women. They'll say that "we either get to be right, or we get to be happy...but not both." Is that true? Personally, I think the antithesis to being happy is not in trying to be right, but in trying too hard to be self righteous.

If we expect to always be right, or worse we expect our mate to always be wrong, then the foundation is not strong enough to build on yet. Or if we do, the structure of our relationship crumbles like a shanty during an earthquake. Out of the nearly 1/2 of all failed marriages, I suspect many failures have their origin's in differing expectations.

But by synchronizing our expectations, harmony often ensues and the foundation hardens. And the stronger the foundation, the more that can be built on top of it.

Sounds ideal right? Easier said than done of course. In the real world, there are plenty of obstacles and conflicts that threaten the fiber of our relationships. Please tune in for Part 5 of Mating Growl and we will cover Relationship Conflict, Sharing and How Not to Get Skinned Alive.


If you haven't signed up for your own Daddio's Daily Dose FEED, get yours now at the right column under "Feed Me!" so that you don't miss a single post!


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17 February 2008

Mating Growl, 3 of 6

"No man is capable of self-improvement if he sees no other model but himself. "
- Conrado I. Generoso

In my early 20's when my familiarity to harley and bops barley and hops was, shall we say, common, my friends I learned an important social lesson. I bet you did too. There was always one guy (or gal) in the crowd who defended their excessive drinking with the refrain: "but drinking amplifies my personality!". We learned of course that their theory was correct for both gregarious, fun people....and assholes. And nobody likes an asshole to start with, much like one who is, uh, amplified and who has beer farts.

Astute and attentive D3 readers know that my dislike for arrogance is well documented. When we become too busy congratulating ourselves, we leave no room for perspective, service or improvement. Men that fall into that category are the least likely to recognize that there is a need for improvement in their life; much less do anything about it. They will however express their perceived, albeit shallow, needs in a Janet Jackson-esque "what have you done for me late-ly" kind of way.


Mentioned in Part 2, we all have needs. Sexual needs are often presented as among the most basic, but there are others. And since sex produces a healthy dose of the feel good hormone dopamine, sex for men is often a proxy for the unfulfilled needs that lie beneath. We don't typically have a lot of tools to know how to ask for those things, so we have, think and/or talk about sex instead. It increases our dopamine production and helps us to feel good without the trouble of having to step outside of our comfort zone of stoicism, exposing our perceived weaknesses and our, uh, small tool boxes. Things we need but don't typically do a good job asking for are: a need for more confidence, a need to be needed and a need to win.


Men are competitors. Whatever competitive fire that is not present at birth from our long lineage of genetic warriors, is honed by our consistent environmental expectations to compete. Our sports, our toys and our media is designed to cultivate the competitor in us. And so we're clear: competition is good. It works. Like the life we live, it prepares us for winning and losing. It helps us appreciate the value and importance of thoughtful preparation, after action lessons and in overcoming humility. Competition has its place. And men in competition insure we are bettering the breed.

So let's not be surprised when men bring that same competitive fire from the boardroom into the bedroom, okay? While you are gazing into each other's baby blues, he may very well be thinking: Was your last dude better than me? What do I have to do so that I dominate your thoughts? And even, I can't believe that I let Dingler drive past me to make the game winning shot at the rec today. Besting the other demon, co-worker, your former boyfriend, maniac driver who cut us off last Thursday, etc. is a varying, but ever-present part of most men's psyche.

The underpinning of what makes us competitive of course is our desire to not end up a loser. Few would argue the manliness of professional athletes, but during any championship game, (Super Bowl, NBA Championship, etc.) the 2nd place team (or 1st loser as the case may be) will be overrun with grown men crying and in despair over their lack of success. Never mind that they beat everyone else but one team on the whole planet...they didn't bring home the hardware when it mattered. And that hurts. Some may mock the 'softer' side of these players, but their emotion speaks very much to their male authenticity, their true inner Lion.


Winning is validation. And losing removes that validation. See where we are headed friends?

val·i·date (vāl'ĭ-dāt') ; to make valid; substantiate; confirm.

Men need validation. Not coddling. Not pity. Not condescension. Validation. Are we expert at folding those annoying fitted sheets? Probably not. Can we passively sit through an hour long, uh, soliloquy about a drama at your work without injecting some type of Lion-like strategy? Unlikely. Yet some effort getting some validation will lead to greater future effort. Basic principles of reinforcement. Need effort? We usually have plenty. Right or wrong though, it is often buried underneath a historical blanket of INvalidation, ergo, losing. And like a 3rd generation lion born in captivity, we eventually lose the edge to hunt, to provide and to be the regal, virile, full-maned leader we are often expected to be.

When we identify what motivates our mates, we can go a long way in making our relationship happy, harmonious and full of hubba hubba.

More male perspective ahead. In the next part of the series, we will look at the male ego trying to survive in a relationship and how to keep it balanced for mutual success. Thank you in advance for tuning in and for telling your friends!

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16 February 2008

Mating Growl, 2 of 6

Grrrrrr Baby. Grrrr.

During a bout of intense mating, which often lasts for several days, a Lion and a Lioness are likely to do the hobbly gaga ... 30 times a day. And the Lioness? She mates with more than one male when she is in heat, which is several times per year. Oh yeah, lions have spikes on their penis to promote fertilization too. Yow.

Men ... real, human, normal, not-on-performance-enhancing-drugs or with spikes on their wee-wee men would not be able to channel our inner Lion for such a feat. Yes, even with irresistible cologne.

It is well documented (and every angle studied by earnest researchers I'm sure) that folks in a relationship have a greater frequency of sex and more satisfying sex than single people. So how would you explain the 'practice' (is that even the right label?) that is called Friends With Benefits? This involves, I presume, friends having sex with friends....and then staying "just friends", no messy relationship strings attached. Hey, wasn't that a Seinfeld episode?

For our part, my spouse Tonya is my best friend, whom I love and whom I have the benefit of a committed relationship with. The primary Benefit is in the relationship folks, not in the sex. We are not so prudish to think that others couldn't pull off the FWB thing, but having some relationship experience under our belts, FWB is sure not something we are going to advocate for our kids.

Nonetheless, sex is a necessary building block for more than just having a baby (hubba hubba). It also serves as a layer of intimacy that further strengthens a bond between mates. (You have ordered the Emperor's Embrace from the Amazon bar to the right haven't you? In it, there are other stories of species that mate for life). So for discussion purposes, we will focus on the goal of a committed relationship between 2 peeps. Welcome to my world. :)

As we spoke about in the first part of our series, men enter into every encounter with a woman with their own tool kit of interpersonal tools. And no, I don't mean those tools. We are still talking about the metaphorical tools of relationship building, okay you little Vixen? Some men have a full tool kit and some men have a rather light, Handy-Andy, miniature tool kit. Again, think metaphorical, this is an important point.

And our approach to sex is one of those tools.

If a potential
relationship were a house, would you want your dude to have a BIG tool box full of tools, or a SMALL tool box with only a screwdriver and a roll of duct tape? In this instance of tools, ergo, the breadth of knowledge, skills and experience we have, size does matter.


So back to the sex. Men and women have long differed on the meaning, significance and even the definition of sex (isn't that right, Brother Clinton?). For this discussion, we'll break it down into two parts, the physical and the, uh, metaphysical.

Physically, our tool box (and yes, our other tool, too) make up the mechanical parts of sex. A first timer? His tool box of sex-with-a-partner skills will be bare, as in, empty. The caballero that played the field into his 50's and had low standards for a bed mate? His tool box will be full (and probably in need of a good sanitizer). Like riding a bike, the physical act of sex is a linear learning experience and one that accumulates as we, you know, experience it.

Metaphysically is where the departure occurs between men and women. Here, I am reminded of an old Eddie Murphy bit where he explains the difference between sex with his wife (making love) and sex with his mistress (just screwing, or something).

If a man never learned how to connect to and with a woman in other parts of his life, it is unlikely he will be able connect with a woman in the sack beyond the obvious physical hook up. It is for this reason I am reasonably certain that the FWB notion was started by a man.

Now, thankfully we can learn how to connect; our tools do come from somewhere, right? And dare I say if there weren't nurturing, supportive and patient women-folk out there, many of us would still be eating cereal with our hands. Note that men do have plenty of social skills, just not typically the kind that involves tea parties.

All of which brings us back to the origins of our training. Little men, aka boys, were conquering, dominating and commanding our playthings while girls were typically talking, convalescing and cuddling. Unless, and until, that boy learns how to talk, convalesce and cuddle, he is and will be on the short side of the relationships that many women want from him.

If the expected contribution is just a meal, a roof or new brakes on the car (or a roll in the sack), then the pool of available guys goes up considerably. Of course, most folks know that already, yes?

Basic Needs

What are some of the basic needs of a typical male? Well, we need to feel the same thing women do, and strangely, that critical fact is often mistaken. As Maslow opined back in the 40's we all need relative comfort, safety, confidence and a sense of achievement. How we get there and their place on our personal bedroom check list may differ between men and women, but be assured, we are all looking for the same thing deep down, even the FWB's out there.

For men, the sense of achievement takes on a slightly more significant meaning. Besides the physical achievement of sex, there is the innate desire to achieve varying degrees of power, of benevolence, and yes, a measure of selfishness. Sometimes all at once, sometimes one at a time.

Inner Lion

So how do men
tap into the best parts of their inner lion, without becoming a beast in the process? Well for starters, we acknowledge that men often have both forces to contend with, some more than others. Secondly, we should expect more. Garbage in garbage out as the saying goes . Boys do not need to be male version of our daughters, they do however need more life tools than many are currently getting. "Boys will be boys" is a copout.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, as men we need to respect boundaries. This should be a simple concept for boys raised on the battle ground of GI Joe and dodgeball, but as men, we often lapse into a world of self appointed permissiveness. And that can spell trouble with a capital "T".

Male lions range the savannah eating, growling and pillaging. And when they encounter another male's pride, they either fight or they flee. If they fight and win, they kill the cubs of the previous male. Consequences of crossing a boundary are clear, decisive and life threatening.

In our kinder, gentler world however, many men cross their moral boundaries with reckless abandon and the consequences are not as clearly defined. Too bad. Perhaps they played too much of the game Battleship as a kid and see every thing, every woman, every opportunity as a chance to conquer; or perhaps they just haven't learned to keep their feet in bounds if they want to stay in the game. In either case, too many men destroy relationships and families because they crossed the line. This is not about being chaste, oblivious or in pretending we don't have an inner beast (read: one who crosses the agreed-to boundary), it is about having the personal fortitude to stop at the line before crossing it. Dig?

So, since we agree that men are a sum of their experiences; and we agree that men are limited or empowered by the size of the toolbox; then we can predict future performance more accurately based on our knowledge of their past experiences and tool acquisitions. Yes, for you analytical thinkers out there, it is kind of like betting on the stock market. :)

Does a guy perpetually cheat at backgammon? Plant a flag sister. Does he lie about where he is, was and will be, with ease? Plant some more flags. If there is a pattern of crossing the line of appropriate behavior, and the landscape around him looks like Arlington Memorial Cemetery because of the flags, then you have a choice. Either encourage him to get the tools needed (he must be aware and sincerely on board), or watch him keep crossing the line until the consequences start hurting YOU.

Am I man-bashing? No. I am bad man-bashing. They give other men a bad name and they hurt innocent people. I'm also suggesting that the under-equipped men who are relying on unbalanced tool boxes to get better equipped.

Sex is often the example used when citing a failed relationship, either a committed relationship that doesn't have enough or when one of the partners has sex with an unapproved 3rd party. But sex is an act brought about by the needs of it's participants.

So in the next installment of Mating Growl, we will dig deeper into the male psyche and discuss what motivates us to do what we do. Make sure you don't miss a single post!


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15 February 2008

Mating Growl, 1 of 6

Ah, the Mighty Lion. The Panthera leo, King of the Jungle. No wonder men have long since associated their, uh, prowess with these majestic animals.

Admittedly, it starts young too....

I have been amused and fascinated with Ethan's huge 'growl' (okay, yawn) since his birth. I can only hope that the comparison speaks of future conquests, adventures and nobility in his later years.

History should be on our side:

In nearly every culture, the Lion represents strength, leadership, royalty, guardians of sunrise and sunset, protectors of their city and battle gods. Lions adorn buildings, pyramids and castles as a protector of all who enter.

C.S. Lewis even made Christ a Lion in the Chronicles of Narnia, for christsakes.

The national flags of Ethiopia, Scotland, Swaziland, Sri Lanka, Singapore and Iran’s previous flag all hailed the great Lion.

In early Africa, wannabe warriors had to slay a male lion in order to establish their own manhood and warrior status among their tribe. A symbol of warrior besting warrior.

Anyone that has watched National Geographic and has seen a lion take down a wildebeest can relate that Lion's have it going on. They are virile, powerful and sustenance providers for their family.

What human male wouldn't want to emulate that?

But, p
erhaps that notion is misplaced:

  • Lions are inactive up to 20 hours in the day
  • Lionesses (not Lions) do most of the hunting in the Pride (and Lionesses kill by strangulation)
  • Lions that oust other Lions from a pride also cull their cubs so the Lioness can be ready to mate again
  • 8% of Lions are homosexual (nothing wrong with that, I just thought it was interesting)
  • Some Lions are nomads, living their adult life alone while others live their life in a pride
  • Lion population living in the wild has dropped almost 50% in the last 20 years

Oopsy. Like the tragic over population of Dalmatians after being deified by Disney, perhaps the Lion is not the best role model for men after all...

Perhaps a vulture, a sea horse, a chinchilla or an Emperor Penguin is more apropos since they reportedly mate for life and actually care for their young. But those creatures aren't as regal, dominate or as hairy as the Lion image men often promote of themselves. Even the mane is a corollary to health and virility among lions. A nomadic lion with a flowing, vigorous mane is a powerful influence over prides with males with a lesser coiffure. Is it a stereotype of the strong overtaking the weak; or is it truly nature's way of bettering the breed?

With a healthy dose of perspective, lions can help us understand ourselves as men and help balance the comparison to a functional level.

As single men, we are raised under often crippling stereotypes that we are supposed to be all of the things history has told us to be. Be tough, don't cry, withhold emotion and fix, don't discuss. While women have their own set of challenges, they don't usually grow up under-equipped to be in a relationship. The stereotypes women grow up under actually include tangible relationship tools like nurturing dolls, conversing over tea and 'interfacing' with Ken & Barbie.

Boys will be boys.

Well of course we will boys. How many times have we heard that, or said that? But what does that mean? In many cases, it means that boys will fall into the same reinforced gravy train of man tools that every other male around them has. And therefore history - both good and bad - merely repeats itself. As boys, we learn how to drive a Tonka truck, fight bad guys and build things. Do those skills translate to adulthood? Of course they do. But how many boys grow up learning to nurture, to converse to interface with women?

We - the global we - are all a sum of our experiences. Contrary to theologians, zealots and mystics, we do not magically wake up one day a better equipped person nor do we magically have someone else to blame when we louse up our own life. What we are and what we do are learned behaviors.

So the man we are, the man you are married to, dating or wanting to 'interface' with are the same guy we were yesterday, with just one day more of experience.

Yet, when we listen in at places like the estrogen ocean (aka iVillage), we repeatedly hear how we are ill-equipped to share our feelings, careless about what ails women and that we date like a carnivore who's been fasting instead of a human. While all of which may sometimes true - though certainly not always! - I submit to you that we shouldn't be surprised. Wherever the male is in the jungle, or wherever you want him to be, be assured that he can only rely on his previous experiences - and the tools that came with them. And since those experiences and tools often have familiar beginnings; they therefore provide predictable endings.

Single men and some married/committed men frequently flourish because of their lion-like characteristics. Conversely, single men that act like lambs seldom flourish. Male lions prowl their social Serengeti, they mercilessly hunt the weaker animals and, like the real life lions mentioned above, they sometimes become nomadic, even in marriage.

So how do men tap into the best parts of their inner lion, without becoming a beast in the process? And how do women find the well balanced lions?

How does a woman know when a man is really a penguin in lion's clothes? Or a lion in penguin's cloths?

What are some of the basic needs of a typical male? Don't scoff just yet! You might be surprised by some of the things on the list.

Please tune in tomorrow, for Part 2 of Mating Growl. Our safari will explore what happens when the male lion actually catches a lioness to mate.

Also, if you haven't signed up for your own Daddio's Daily Dose FEED, get yours now at the right column under "Feed Me!" so that you don't miss a single post!

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14 February 2008

Love or Money?

Holiday pressure can be absurd
Unless of course you're Hallmark
Then holidays are for profit
And that certainly is not a lark

Does a card make the day
Or is it the other way around?
And why are non participants made to feel
Like we are really the one who's the clown?

With Valentine's Day for sure
We are supposed to think love is novel
And that its celebrated just one day
And where we buy and dine and grovel

If it wasn't for the card companies
Would we show more love throughout the year?
Or would we still wait until each Feb. 14th
To put our true love in gear?

The pressure is great to perform
And love vendors seize the yearly chance
To screw the late shopper to the wall
Out of his wallet, his shirt and his pants

And pity the poor schmuck in love
Who is just trying to compete
For the fair ladies glance and attention
But can't afford even a movie seat.

The expectation is to dazzle and impress
And the standard is set very high
By the jewelers and florists and the like
Who only want us to buy, buy, buy

For love is usually an afterthought
On holidays buried in so much market flair
Genuine affection is not highly regarded
When what sells is all the hot air

So if this V Day was ideal for you
And you got what made you sappy
Hopefully behind the glitter and the chocolate
The sentiment is what truly made you happy

But if this holiday was the pits
And nothing met your liking
Know that your love life is more than a day
And there is still a year ahead that needs writing

(c) 2008 Daddio's Daily Dose

Tomorrow starts Day 1 of our safari series: Mating Growl
. Please join us tomorrow!

13 February 2008

Just Say No

Daddio's Public Safety Message:

Just Say No To Drugs


Daddio's Hairstyle Message:

Just say no to Muttonchops that are as big as a pot roast.


Just Say YES to...

...Just 2 more days until our 6 day safari....Mating Growl. Get your FEED and be sure to check in with your tour guide on Friday!

12 February 2008

Intel ... Outside

Awhile back we spoke of a program called One Laptop Per Child. By all accounts, the premise is a good one. By most accounts, the execution of the program is also a good one. It is a humanitarian undertaking with a benevolent founder and a benevolent mission.

It is precisely what is sounds like too. You donate money to OLPC and they arrange for a laptop to go to the undereducated hands of a child in a developing country (where less than $20 is spent annually to educate each child versus $7500 per child in the US).

Some big brains at MIT, presumably wanting to escape their campus disaster, developed this program and unveiled the first $100 laptop computer. By donating just $200, they guarantee that one of these whizz bang computers will end up in the hands of a deserving youth in some faraway place where they will commence computing, learning, connecting and bettering themselves. You can learn more by searching One Laptop Per Child from the Google Search Bar on this page.

Like all good missions though, there is usually a profiteer there to muck it up. And in the spirit of full disclosure, I like profiteers. Profiteers are capitalists and capitalists make our world work. They give us jobs, make us money and innovate cool stuff. Profit and Capitalism are good. But sometimes there is a difference between Profit and Reward. And some of the schmoes making decisions for big, influential companies skipped that lesson in Humanity School...or perhaps they skipped Humanity School altogether.

Intel is the largest manufacturer of semiconductors in the world with a net income of $7 Billion dollars in 2007. And they were original supporters in the OLPC mission, which was a great fit considering Intel's experience worldwide. That is until OLPC selected a more cost effective microprocessor made by Intel's competitor AMD. So Intel pulled its support from the project and publicly mocked the AMD OLPC laptop as a "gadget". Nice.

Craig Barrett, their Chairman, unabashedly said recently about Intel's self interest, "We're not a charitable organization. We're trying to foster the continued growth of our products".

Oh yeah, Barrett also serves as chairman of the United Nations Global Alliance for Information and Communication Technologies and Development. That means he is crafting an agenda to develop technology around the world for the UN. How unbiased is he going to be?

Let me say again that I am not a neophyte regarding this type of 'goodwill development'. Nor do I have any illusions about Intel's primary for-profit mission (in fact, I own some of their stock). I have personally and professionally donated plenty of money and goods through the years for toy drives, golf tournaments, 10k's, etc. in order to increase the awareness of my business, etc. But just kick me if I ever get so arrogant and narrow minded that I would withhold or impede a good or service from a worthy cause because I can't suck every last penny of profit from it.

We expect social responsibility from ourselves, our families, our political leaders and our public figures. So is it not reasonable to expect more social responsibility from our corporate citizen's too?


Just a couple more days until we
begin day 1 of our 6 day safari entitled the Mating
Make sure you have a reserved seat by grabbing the
feed of your choice at the "Feed Me" option on the right

11 February 2008

Mating Countdown....

When I was a teen, my family got a microwave not too long after microwaves hit the mainstream. A big, honker of a machine that we were scared to be around unattended.

I think it cost $700 and for months all it did was tell time. Yeppers, a $700 clock that took up an entire counter.

Well, we eventually got over our trepidation and learned to make things like hot water and nachos. It was excellent training for my 2 stints as a bachelor because my microwave and I were never far from each other at meal time.

But I digress.....

Technology has a way of transforming our lives and most would agree that it is better with technology than without. As our consumerism moderates and we find our own balance of what technology works for us what is just annoying. For example, cell phones that vibrate when someone calls is okay....cell phones that are constantly on and sound like a siren when they ring are not so okay.

You don't need me to tell you that technology is here to stay; so it should also come as no surprise that technology has embraced the love business too.

I recall an attempt years ago when an outfit tried to equip singles with special bumper stickers with code numbers on them. In traffic, if you made a love connection, you could jot down their code number and call into a service that would help get you the hook up. Right. Yet that was pretty cutting edge at the time.

The blogosphere is buzzing about Valentine's Day later this week and I am struck by how connected, truly connected, some people are as a result of the Internet. It connects lovers and lovers-to-be in some pretty far out ways.

Through the years, I have gathered some mating, dating, kid and marriage lessons - all from a male's perspective. And yes, your mileage may vary. :) On February 15th, the day after Valentine's Day, I will be starting a six (6) part series on Mating, D3 style.

So that you don't miss a single word, be sure to grab your free Daddio's Daily Dose (D3) Feed by selecting your option from the "Feed Me" option on the right panel. Also, please be sure to share with anyone who might be interested in hearing about Mating. :)

10 February 2008

Dress the Pig

"Character is what you do when no one is watching"

Okay. But what about when everyone is watching? Should we expect that people would have even more character than 'usual'?

I love the meaning behind the original quote. There is no shortage of people that act on their best behavior when the light of supervision is on them. But in the shadowy corners of our private lives, when temptation is there, when misbehavior beckons, when we can act up or act out without getting caught....who are we really?

Note: while this concept has been adopted by organized religion, that is decidedly not what I am talking about. Regardless of our religious beliefs, we all still have to walk in our own shoes and look into our own mirror. Can we do that without blinking?

We can't throw a rock these days without hitting a public figure who has stepped on their own proverbial wee-wee over something....and has been over-exposed in the media as a result. Politicians, TV and films stars, business magnates and musicians. Most people that show their ass and the organizations that sponsor them try to cover up, usher away, deny and misdirect the attention. So how odd - how pitifully odd - that the music industry seems to do just the opposite?

The Grammy's have been handed out since 1959 to award "outstanding achievements in the record industry". Detractors largely agree that it is the music industry celebrating the music industry and is a disguise for marketing their music. Hard to disagree with that logic, huh? With sales in the toilet and sustainable, productive artists vanishing without development money, there is not much to celebrate anymore. Unless they lower the bar that is.

This week the music industry's spin doctors will be working over time trying to gussy up their latest two big Grammy winners, Kayne West and Amy Winehouse. They are the new poster children for the recording industry.

Kayne is the imbecile that went off the written script during a Hurricane Katrina fundraiser to spew racist rhetoric like "been five days [waiting for federal help] because most of the people are black" and "America is set up to help the poor, the black people, the less well-off, as slow as possible" and of course "George Bush doesn't care about black people." Nothing heals a nation after a disaster like a mental midget like Kayne. Jeesh. But the music industry loves him and can't promote him enough. I could find ZERO condemnation of Kayne divisive comments by any music industry person anywhere.

Winehouse couldn't attend the Grammy's. The story the industry press sold us was because she was not able to get a work Visa in time. The reality is that she is a drug addicted criminal (she has several notable criminal charges pending in Europe) and the USA would not grant her a Visa to come into our country (a decision that was later overturned after the music industry appealed, by the way). This gal's life is a train wreck of epic proportions and I can't imagine a Grammy will bring help or balance (she left rehab to perform via satellite for the Grammy's for goodness sakes - nothing like priorities, eh?). Ironically, her father begged her fans earlier this year to not buy her records or see her shows because it would only hasten her demise into drugs and her well documented self destruction. Leave it to the music industry to milk that cow dry though.

Speaking of farm animals, we used to call what they're doing dressing the pig. You can make a pig look pretty and even smell pretty....but they are still a pig and they still roll in their own feces.

"Of all the properties which belong to honorable men, not one is so highly prized as that of character." - Henry Clay

Should Pete Rose get into the Hall of Fame for his off-field betting? Should married politicians be re-elected if they lied about being gay (for the lie, not for being gay)? Are their contributions in one arena (sports, politics, music, etc.) separate from their character in the rest of their life? At what point do we hold people responsible for their poor character and banish them instead of celebrate them?

09 February 2008

It's The Law, Ma'am

Law of Mechanical Repair - After your hands become coated with grease, your nose will begin to itch or you will have to pee.

Law of the Workshop - Any tool, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible corner.

Law of Probability - The probability of your being watched is directly proportional to the stupidity of your act.

Law of the Telephone - If you dial a wrong number, you will never get a busy signal.

Law of the Alibi - If you tell the boss you were late for work because you had a flat tire, the very next morning you will have a flat tire.

Variation Law - If you change lines or traffic lanes, the line/lane you just left will start to move faster than the one to which you just moved. (works every time).

Law of the Bath - When your body is fully immersed in water, the telephone will ring.

Law of Close Encounters - The probability of meeting someone you know increases dramatically when you are with someone with whom you do not want to be seen.

Law of the Result - When you try to prove that a machine will not work, it will.

Law of Biomechanics - The severity of any itch is inversely proportional to the distance you have to reach to scratch it.

Law of the Theater - At any public event, the people whose seats are furthest from the aisle will be the last to arrive.

Law of Coffee - As soon as you sit down to enjoy a cup of hot coffee, your boss will ask you to do something which will last until the coffee gets cold.

Murphy's Law of Lockers - If only two people are in a locker room, they will always have adjacent lockers.

Law of Rugs/Carpets - The probability of an open-faced jelly sandwich landing face down on a floor covering is directly proportional to the newness and cost of the carpet or rug.

Law of Location - No matter where you go, there you are.

Law of Logical Argument - Anything is possible, providing you do not know anything about that to which you are talking.

Brown's Law - If the shoe fits, it is ugly.

Oliver's Law - A closed mouth gathers no feet.

Wilson's Law - As soon as you find a product that you really like, the company will stop making it. (this one is also true every time!)

Doctors' Law - If you do not feel well, make an appointment to go see your doctor. By the time you get to the doctor's office, you will feel better. If you do not make an appointment, you will continue to feel sick.

08 February 2008

Boyle's Law

Boyle's Law -- Talent in staff work or sales will recurrently and incorrectly be interpreted as managerial ability.

Sound familiar? I used to work for a company that was humming along, doing what we do, for a boss we enjoyed immensely. Of course that in and of itself had to a be problem, right? Right.

So the new upper swingin' you-know-what's decided to send our man out to pasture and bring in their own "yes man". Of course the Yes Man immediately tried to captialize on our previous accomplishments and in fact was able to report some outstanding reports of achievement since he took over the management of our division. The problem was that the work product was a function of his predecessor, and us underlings. And oh yeah, he was and probably still is the most incomplete, dysfunctional, derelict ever to be called a manager. So when he was publically honored for 'his' accomplishments, the world really knew that he was just a tool.

This law (not to be confused with the law by the same name that refers to the much less entertaining topic of thermodymanics) I'm sure can be seen in more places than just my resume.

Where have you seen Boyle's Law?

07 February 2008


2005 - FEMA, The Federal Emergency Management Agency, part of the Department of Homeland of Security developed, paid for, printed and distributed thousands upon thousands of multi page Awareness and Disaster Evacuation Guides that were delivered, free, to the citizens of greater New Orleans. You see, they knew it was coming. And they knew that New Orleans was a sitting duck. The guide, with maps, telephone numbers and free services included also told the citizens how to safely get out, where to get a free ride, where not to go, why not to stay and other surprisingly relevant and useful facts.

For its part, the local government departed - big time - from the federal government's guidance and did nothing to reinforce that message until less than 1 day before landfall. At that time, the local government gave a half-hearted mandatory evacuation, but also included places called "refuges of last resort", like the Superdome. 'Oh yeah', they said, 'bring your own food and water since the Dome was never intended to be a shelter in the first place.' Duh. Then they had just a few hours to find the keys to go open up the Superdome in time to start sheltering all the people that did not heed any other substantive and informed evacuation warnings.

There were at least 60,000 people of them and over 1000 of them needlessly paid with their lives. The rest were forcibly displaced while the world watched.

2007 - Wildfire evacuation warnings were spread throughout the affected regions all up and down the west coast. Many left their homes before the fire reached them and saved themselves in the process. Some did not and perished after being engulfed in flames. Flames that systematically and predictably marched their way to them ... and they did little to get out of the way. San Diego officials also deployed a reverse 911 system that repeatedly called everyone in the affected areas with consistent alerts and demands to evacuate. Hello? Can you hear me now?

2008 - Disaster warnings spread throughout the Southeast for three (3) days prior as the destructive storm cells developed. Over 1000 warnings were issued. Take cover in a suitable shelter they were told. Yet, one aftermath story told of a victim who was fatally wounded while sitting - to begin with anyway - in his mobile home, which was not even strapped to the ground. How old do you have to be to understand what 3 days notice, 1000 warnings and a fabricated house with a long history of becoming a projectile mean before you un-ass your mobile home and find a real, suitable shelter?

"But Daddio, maybe they were really taken by surprise?"

Oh really? Virtually every region affected had an early warning system in place - and it was used. And the stories - and my point - were not about the unsuspecting victims, but about folks who were duly warned but still chose to do nothing about it. As a result, their families are mourning them today. Was that re-run, chicken pot-pie or whatever that kept them on the sofa really worth it? Huh?

And so I am calling them out. Perhaps the media and others should stop glorifying their dying acts as heroic and start calling attention to the folly of their choice instead. That way, perhaps future victims might actually start absorbing some of that precious institutional knowledge and break the cycle of stupidity.

As bi-peds, we have put men on the moon, made phones that talk without wires and made pizza that gets a crust when cooked in a microwave. As a society - as an institution - we have learned that mean people suck, good health is, well, good and that steroids will get you banned from nearly every sport ever played.

So why can't we - as an institution - learn that the Hurricane Katrina victims died from the same results of poor judgment as many of the victims in the Southern California wildfires and many of the victims in Tuesday's Southeastern Tornadoes?

[If you know someone who tends to like re-runs and pot-pie more than safety, then please click the email icon below to forward this post to them. Or, subscribe to the Feed at the right, and forward the feed to them. They need all the help they can get.]