November 30, 2007
Yesterday I picked up a copy of The Dangerous Book For Boys, a book full of the sorts of things that Wyatt’s mother will get very upset if he does in a few years [but that he's going to do anyway].
But I’m a bit worried. He’s already reading The Economist, so this book might be a little bit below his level
November 11, 2007
Intelligence is not the most understood of human attributes, and is quite certainly one of the most contentious, especially when the field of genetics become involved.
Breastfeeding has been shown in some studies to be correlated with higher intelligence. But a recent study, reports The Economist, suggests that there is a genetic component as well. But here is where the story gets strange:
Dr Caspi and Dr Moffitt, however, were not so sure. They suspected the involvement of a gene called FADS2. This regulates the metabolism of a group of molecules called long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids. These are important for the growth of nerve cells and are abundant in human milk but generally absent from formulas. FADS2 comes in two varieties, known as C and G, and the researchers wondered if these two varieties interacted differently with breast milk.
What Dr Caspi and Dr Moffitt found was that the increase in intelligence associated with breastfeeding only happened to people who had inherited at least one copy of the C version of FADS2. (Most genes are present as two copies, one inherited from the mother and one from the father.) The effect did not depend on the social classes or IQs of the parents, nor on the birthweight of the child in question (low birthweight has been linked to lower IQ). And the difference in IQ was preserved into adulthood.
Only about 10% of the population is double-G, but what is curious about this result is that the G version of the gene has survived at all. If intelligence is valuable, the C version might be expected to have become universal. Indeed, this is the nub of the nurturists’ argument. Natural selection should have pushed intelligence genes as far as they will go, so all variation should be environmental. That it is not suggests there is some unknown countervailing advantageâ€”at least in reproductive termsâ€”to being less than averagely bright.
This is incorrect. That the gene has not disappeared does not show that there is an advantage evolutionary to being dull, only that being dull isn’t a disadvantage to mating. Evolution is not necessarily based on what is optimal, only what is “good enough” to find a mate. I’d say that looks and pheromones are probably much more important traits than pure intelligence. After all, Britney Spears was able to reproduce twice, and nobody will say it was her brainpower that got her knocked up!
PS – I wonder what sort of Google hits this title will bring in!
November 3, 2007
Well, Purdue didn’t win today, but unlike the OSU and Michigan games, we actually made a game of it. And I can always blame the officiating, which was horrific.
But when I think about the ugliness of the men in stripes, I can look at the below sight and feel a whole lot better
He must be a Selwyn Lymon fan
Of course, many thanks need to go to frequent commenter and former Purdue roommate Nick M, who sent Wyatt the jersey (along with a copy of “Radicals For Capitalism” for me).
(In other news, a much higher quality camera was ordered last night– early Christmas gift from Joanna and I to each other– so within a week we can avoid the weak poor-quality pictures like the above).
October 23, 2007
About 5 1/2 years ago, on a bench atop a cliff above the Pacific Ocean, outside the absolutely beautiful Ritz Carlton resort in Half Moon Bay, CA, I proposed to Joanna.
We went back there this past weekend, and the bench was still there. Of course, we’ve added someone since those days!
Good times… My apologies for the horrible camera, the old one broke and the camera on our videocamera is not as good as we had hoped… The picture doesn’t quite do the scene justice. If you’re ever in the area, I highly recommend it.
A few more:
And, of course, the star of the show:
October 9, 2007
As many of you probably noticed, I don’t exactly have much time for blogging any more. Babies appear to take a lot of time and effort, and somehow I’ve noticed that taking the time to think about, compose, proofread, and post blog entries falls by the wayside. Especially if I’m trying to write something intelligent or insightful, which is hard enough for me as it is!
So instead, I give you baby pictures! As of yesterday (2 months), Wyatt is 9 lb 9 oz, 22 inches long, and healthy. He’s spending more and more time alert, smiling, and making non-crying noises, which is nice. He quite often has that furrowed brow, “I’m trying to understand what I’m seeing” look on his face, which either means he’s naturally inquisitive, or he’s constipated…
Anyway, away we go!
Wyatt, Chilling in his pack & play:
He may have big feet (for a baby), but they still seem pretty darn tiny!
Wyatt may be sleeping at the beach, but Mom & Dad certainly enjoy it!
Grandpa thinks he’s sleeping right now… Wyatt sure is devious!
August 16, 2007
As I’ve pointed out before (quite a few times), I don’t like California. I’ve done some things to ensure that I’m at least in an area that doesn’t make me want to hit someone, and for that, the ability to walk to the beach, and the nice cool beach breeze really comes in handy. One of the things I told my wife before we moved back here, though, was that while I wasn’t happy about California, I was sure that once Wyatt arrived, I’d have enough to make me happy that I wouldn’t really care where we lived. And that’s definitely true.
But at the same time, there are some things that remind me of some of the advantages of living here. For example, below is our view from the recovery room at the hospital. This is better than most hotels I’ve been to!
Granted, Wyatt won’t remember the hospital. And he’s not even in that picture. So perhaps a picture of his first real outing might be better. As I’ve pointed out, behind my apartment complex is a golf course and the St. Regis resort (within walking distance). So below is the first time we went out for a meal or other activity with him.
I don’t like SoCal, but that’s mainly due to the people. I love the weather and the scenery. Wyatt will be able to do things that I never could as a kid, such as going to the beach and surfing. He’ll be able to go snowboarding without having to experience winter on a daily basis.
I think he already looks happy about it!
August 11, 2007
So, people have been wondering what I meant when I said he had “Warbiany feet”.
Well, his mother has cute, dainty little feet. He didn’t inherit those. My father has little size 12 feet, I have size 13, my brother has size 14, and his son came out with feet that looked much, much bigger than an average baby.
So what are “Warbiany feet”? Take a look at the below photo, of Wyatt’s newborn footprints. Note the size of the paper they allocate to the footprint, and the relative size of his feet. I have a feeling he’ll grow up to have the same trouble finding shoes in his size that I do…
August 8, 2007
Born today at 12:05 PM. 7 lb, 15 oz. 20 inches long. And with Warbiany feet, that’s for sure.
Below The Beltway linked with Congratulations Are In Order
July 25, 2007
So life is pretty good for me right now… Positive things occurring at work, a new baby on the way, a lot of exciting news in the beer world, I live in the middle of sunshine next to the ocean and today’s my birthday.
But sometimes I see news that worries me. In this case, it’s financial. I reported on this over at The Liberty Papers, regarding a housing crash that may rival what we saw during the Great Depression, and knowing that if our government does anything to try to fix it, they’ll only make it worse.
But it’s still a good day… I’m happy and healthy, and I’m sure I can be whoopin’ and hollerin’ all the way down.
July 5, 2007
The wife went in for her last ultrasound today. She’s officially not due until Aug 15th, but I think he’s coming early. According to the technician, he weighs about 5 lb 7 oz at this point, and apparently has legs ready for the NBA. My wife said the technician couldn’t stop commenting on how long his legs were… I think he got those from me, not his mother. In addition, he’s already practicing breathing, which is a good sign.
So the “official” due date is Aug 15. One of the early ultrasounds, though, said Aug 6. This one indicates Aug 2. Apparently he’s already really low, but I personally attribute that to a very tall baby trying to find room in a very short mother!
In other baby news, our first shower gifts arrived today from my sister, who won’t be able to make it. I had to give the Baby Bjorn a little test…
Oddly enough, Guinness actually enjoys this!
June 15, 2007
Well, tonight was a new one… If the fact that I’ve felt my son kick isn’t enough, tonight is making it sink in that this is real…
Tonight was the first night of our childbirth classes. Us and about 10 other couples in a room with a lady up front telling us about the “fun” we’re about to experience… And a video so graphic that I think it was more disturbing than midget porn— don’t ask how I know… And we’ve got four more 2-hour classes to learn all about it. Yippee.
June 7, 2007
I’ve got a Cafepress store, and while it hasn’t exactly been lucrative, I have made $30 over the last year. So I picked up a few things for Wyatt:
Gotta start ‘em young, right? If I haven’t smashed the state by the time he’s my age (or, more likely, if the state has smashed me), someone needs to carry the torch!
May 19, 2007
This was three weeks ago, but they just got all the photos online. As you can see, the wife’s already showing off the little one soon-to-arrive… It’s amazing that we’re just about through May, and little Wyatt is arriving in early to mid August… If not sooner, as babies have a way of telling you when they want to arrive, not the other way around…
Doesn’t she just glow?
The Unrepentant Individual linked with Brought The Camera This Morning
May 4, 2007
This sounds like a pretty sweet deal:
If the typical stay-at-home mother in the United States were paid for her work as a housekeeper, cook and psychologist among other roles, she would earn $138,095 a year, according to research released on Wednesday.
This reflected a 3 percent raise from last year’s $134,121, according to Salary.com Inc, Waltham, Massachusetts-based compensation experts.
The 10 jobs listed as comprising a mother’s work were housekeeper, cook, day care center teacher, laundry machine operator, van driver, facilities manager, janitor, computer operator, chief executive officer and psychologist, it said.
So wants to hire me? I’ll cook and clean, and I’ve got a history of armchair psychology (usually after drinking gin)… I’ll bet I could do this job and still have time to blog on the side…
Plus, that way I could actually start paying my wife to be as stay-at-home mom when she starts being one in August… Right now she’s not making squat.
May 2, 2007
Alright, time to eat a little crow. I wrote a post about 2 years ago called “My Dust Bowl Migration”. In that post, I suggested that California was a lost cause, a place which will soon become the true People’s Republic that has been joked about for years. And I said it was time to leave for greener pastures.
Which makes it tough to say this… I’m going back.
The wife had been having trouble throughout most of last year, missing her family and friends. She grew up in a family that is extremely close, and all the square footage in the world doesn’t replace that. When we found out that she was pregnant, that was too much. So we decided to make the move.
Since my boss had held off until last night to actually make the announcement (and since I have a few coworkers who occasionally read this blog), I couldn’t announce it here. But it’s coming fast. We close out our house next Friday, and at that point I get in the car and start driving. In a mere two weeks, I’ll be a California resident again.
Obviously, if you know me, you know I’ve got some mixed feelings on this. I have to start going back to an office, which sucks. We’re moving from a 3400 sq ft 4-bedroom house into a 930 sq ft 2-bedroom apartment, saving $200 a month because we got a stellar deal. It’s off to a land of taxation, regulation, and a place where I’ll have to raise my son defensively so he’s not polluted by the culture of SoCal. There’s an infectious “status” society out there… While I was in California over this past weekend, I told two different groups of people that I didn’t have a TV. All I got in response were open-mouthed, aghast stares. Heck, when I bought my POS truck, part of the reason was that I refused to take part in the “If you don’t drive a Lexus you’re worthless” society. To put it simply, there’s something seriously wrong with LA culture, and while I may begin living there, I refuse to take part in it. In fact, it makes me angry to be around it. I’ve even joked for years that when I’m in LA, I’m always within 5 minutes of an assault charge… So stay tuned to the blog, there’s no telling what might happen!
On the bright side, though, I managed to get a few positives. We’ll be living in Dana Point, CA, which is down in south Orange County, not quite as horrible as LA. We’ll also be a 3/4 mile walk to the beach, which is close enough that I can take the dogs down there quite easily. I told Joanna that if I was headed back to CA, I need to be near the beach, and that worked out. One of the nice things about living near the beach, so I’m told, is that “there are only assholes on three sides of you”. Also on the bright side (for me, anyway), the housing market in SoCal is in it’s first stage of implosion. When the recession sets in over the next year, it will get truly ugly, and I think if I wait it out about 2-3 years, I should be able to buy in when it gets close to a trough. Last, I have a healthy wife and a baby boy on the way, and I’m sure when I see his face for the first time I’ll forget about where I’m living and just be thankful for life itself.
Oh, and from what I hear, Arnold’s going to pay for my healthcare, so I’ve got that going for me, right?
« Previous Page — Next Page »