Obligatory Thanskgiving Post

Tomorrow marks the 20th time my wife and I have celebrated Thanksgiving since we met, and the 19th in which we’ve celebrated by staying at home. After we moved in together for college, we determined to stay home for Thanksgiving, as (a) we were planning on going home for Christmas and (b) the time spent traveling and visiting could be better spent that close to finals. It’s become our favorite holiday BECAUSE we stay home. We’ve traveled for all the others, but not this one!

The main traditions? Largely the same as everyone else’s. We eat turkey with all the trimmings. (My wife has perfected her turkey skills, and I have never eaten a better bird.) Follow the meal (which has been getting prepped since last night) with a little bit of lounging and then a marathon session (for me) of washing dishes. (No dishwashing machine in the current house, but even when we’ve had one it was never enough and much was always done by hand.) Follow that with a total collapse in front of the TV, usually to watch a disappointing football game or two. (Tomorrow’s games don’t look all that good, save that the NFL is so wild these days that you never know what you’re going to get in any game.)

Along the way we’ll imbibe our favorite wine, reflect on the things that were good from the previous year, try to avoid thinking of whatever has gone wrong, and think of friends and family. At some point, perhaps tonight, we will watch the infamous WKRP Thanksgiving episode. Friday perhaps we’ll dare some shopping, but usually we skip that nightmare. Perhaps we’ll just take our daughter to a park instead.

But the main thing is WE will be home together, with our daughter and our cats, and that is always the best of things.

All the [depressing] news that’s fit to print….

From the New York Times, a depressing story about what it is like to be long-term unemployed. This largely matches the experience that I’ve had, and the experience of those I know in this boat.

Continue reading “All the [depressing] news that’s fit to print….”

Death of a legend! [Updated]

Sam Behr died recently. He was 86. Here in Orlando he was notable for two things.

First, he had a store downtown that sold shoes. The store’s slogan was “We can fit any human!” And they had any number of improbable stories backing it up.

Second, in the 1980s he became a local media celebrity for his work on TV commercials for Allied Discount Tires, a local tire chain, run by a friend of his if I recall correctly.

Here’s a sample of Sam’s work:

Rest in Peace, Sam, and here’s hoping that in the afterlife your nuts always get hand-torqued and never fall off!

UPDATE: I added a link to the local obit above. And according to local legend (which has a grain of truth to it), the ad I embedded above only ran once. I actually saw that one on TV one summer, I’m happy to say! Sam represented a type of garrulous Southern man that has become increasingly rare, sadly.

UPDATE 2: Here’s another piece about Sam and the commercials he did – all unscripted! And here’s probably the most infamous ad he did. Remember Oral Roberts?

Ruminations on Bullying

Bullying has been much in the news lately. In particular, the case of Jonathan Martin of the Miami Dolphins has created a lot of furor.

Before getting to any other thoughts on the matter, I’d like comment on some of my own experiences with bullies, and thereby show that there are different kinds of bullies. (My examples will not be exhaustive of the different types, at least I don’t think they will be, and will be someone repetitive. So be warned!)

Of hand, I can recall dealing with six bullies during my lifetime. (I do not count my mother in this list. I’m not sure she fits, and I don’t think we have 43 years to discuss the matter.)

WARNING: Long post follows.

Continue reading “Ruminations on Bullying”

More wisdom from the archives!

The Ambivablog archives, that is.

As part of a side discussion on Human BioDiversity, intelligence and IQ came up. Commenter wj wrote that his scores on IQ tests were always going up. Amba responded with:

Your own personal Flynn Effect!

Actually, doesn’t sound mysterious to me — sounds like you were learning how to ace IQ tests!

Lo and behold!

Has a 15-year-old explained the Flynn Effect?

UPDATE: Basically, the 15 year-old has posited that, in fact, people have been learning how to ace IQ tests. Or at least do them better. It’s interesting stuff, honest!