Saturday, September 29, 2007

Appeal court blocks visitation between husband-killer Mary Winkler and her children.

The Gadget of my Dreams?

I was poking around on this morning and found the gadget of my dreams--okay, I was actually going there to buy some books--but a recommendation popped up for the Garmin Forerunner 305 Wrist-Mounted GPS Navigator and Personal Training Device with Heart Rate Monitor and I had to take a look. Why? Because I have both a bad heart and a lousy sense of direction and I had to see what kind of technology was available that would address both of these shortcomings. Here is what I found out:

Just when you thought Garmin had cornered the market on powerful, affordable, and effective wrist-mounted GPS devices, here comes the Forerunner 305. The release of this device is a major achievement from a design and technology perspective. This isn't just marketing-speak; the Forerunner 305 is the most accurate, most reliable wrist-mounted performance and GPS tracking tool we've ever tested. Yes, it's that good.

So for runners and for me--a walker--it apparently tracks one's heart rate and other exercise stats and also marks one's location and provides a simple map that displays your current direction and path. That sounds pretty amazing if it really works. I would love to have one of these devices for traveling or when I am not familiar with an area I want to walk in.

Before I spend a couple of hundred dollars on such a device, has anyone out there used this thing or something like it, or do you have any other suggestions for GPS gadgets?

Update: What I really need is a GPS system for my car--does anyone know a good one they can recommend that is easy to use?


Friday, September 28, 2007

Pajamas Media on XM

Pajamas Media (who host the Glenn and Helen Show podcast) will have an hour long show on XM Satellite Radio:

Pajamas Media is proud to announce PJM Political - our new weekly presidential campaign talk show - premiering Thursday, September 27 at 6PM Eastern/3PM Pacific on XM Satellite Radio’s P.O.T.U.S. ‘08 Channel 130. (P.O.T.U.S. ‘08 - President of the United States - is XM’s new non-subscription channel dedicated to the campaign. Those without XM will be able to get the show as a podcast on PJM or at Blog Talk Radio.)

Participating in the debut one-hour show: Michael Barone, Austin Bay, Bill Bradley, David Corn, Ed Driscoll, Jonah Goldberg, Jack Goldsmith, Jeff Goldstein, Stephen Green, James Lileks, Richard Miniter, John Podhoretz, Glenn Reynolds, Helen Smith and Roger L. Simon.

If you have XM, catch the show on Thurdays at 6 PM Eastern/3 PM Pacific and hear what we have to say.
DADvocate has some interesting thoughts on the recent "Happiness" study showing women to be less happy than men.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Dutiful Sons

I recently wrote a post about the book Microtrends: The Small Forces Behind Tomorrow's Big Changes. The book is chockfull of data on various trends in the US that are kind of under the radar, trends that no one really notices but that are very important. One of these trends is dutiful sons who are caregivers to their parents.

Now, most of the time when we hear about caregivers to parents, we are told that women are shouldering the burden of this work. In fact, there is a recent study showing that women are unhappy and one of the reasons is that they are not engaging in pleasurable activities. An example given is that when women are with their parents they are unhappy because they see it like a job (paying bills for parents, etc.) whereas men are just out to have a good time. Yeah, whatever...

The implication is that men just see their families, especially parents as a "good time" (although frankly, maybe this is a better attitude) while women care for their aging parents in droves that should qualify them for sainthood. But quietly and without complaining, men around the US are taking care of their parents and in record numbers, yet no one cares.

Even Mark Penn, the author of Microtrends has to explain that women are tops in this area before turning to the caretaking men. "Clearly, the bulk of the caregiving burden in America falls to women," he laments. However, the next paragraph belies the implication that men do not shoulder much of the responsibiity of their parents' care:

According to a 2004 study by the National Alliance for Caregiving and the AARP, nearly 40 percent of the 44 million people in America who provide unpaid care to infirm adults are men. That's about 17 million sons, sons-in-law, nephews, brothers and husbands caring for loved ones in their "spare" time. Throughout the 1990's, the fastest-growing group of relations providing care to chronically diabled adults was sons.

The book gives various reasons that sons are caring for parents, and it makes several interesting points. Male caregivers more often help other men--35 percent compared to only 28 percent of caregiving women who do. Male caregivers tend not to suspend or cut back on work, and they are much more likely (60 to 41 percent) to be working full-time, and the men often choose their situation, moreso than women. Almost two-thirds say they had a choice in the matter, compared to fewer than 3 in 5 women.

The book points out that maybe men have gotten a bad rap when it comes to taking care of their parents--gee, do ya think? Women often go on about how lazy men are or how they won't help out but if almost 40% of parental caretakers are men and many of them have full-time jobs, that seems like a lot of work to me. Plus, men are taking care of other men, I wonder why? Are women less willing to help fathers as they are mothers? Or do sons prefer to help fathers or do they do it because no one else will?

I can think of several men that I know who have sole caretaking duties for their parents, I am sure most of us can. So the next time you hear that men just look out for themselves and engage only in pleasurable activities that suit themselves, remember to check out the facts, they are often different than they appear.


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Kill Your Husband--Get a House and Car

So Mary Winkler, the woman who shot her husband, Matthew in the back has been granted supervised visits with her children by a judge:

HUNTINGDON, Tenn. - Carroll County Chancellor Ron Harmon ruled Wednesday night that a woman who fatally shot her minister husband could have supervised visitation of their three daughters.

Although Mary Winkler was denied custody, she will be allowed to visit the girls ages 10, 8 and 2 under supervised conditions. She can also talk to them on the phone every other day.

Winkler is on probation after serving about seven months in jail for shooting Matthew Winkler.

Not only will this murderess get supervised visits with the kids, but now her enabling community has provided her with some goodies, just to show their support!

Mary Winkler's supporters such as Kathy Thompson are helping her make a new home for herself.

"She's asked for forgiveness," Thompson said. "It's our duty. The Bible tells us, if we don't forgive others God won't forgive us. So we're just trying to pick up pieces and go on."

Winkler said the community has reached out to her, giving her everything from a five -bedroom home to live in for $150 to a car she's traded in for a sports utility vehicle.

What, the car wasn't good enough for her and she had to trade it in for a sports utility vehicle? Well, why not? Nothing's too good for Mary! It's hard to know who is sicker, Mary or her community.


Monday, September 24, 2007

"Producing even-handed research in this atmosphere is going to be an uphill battle."

Ironshrink responds to a question asking what he thinks about the recent study Neurocognitive Correlates of Liberalism and Conservatism:

I’ve never gone for conspiracy theories. Globalization paranoia and 9/11 cover-ups bore me. But I’m beginning to wonder if there is a conspiracy brewing amongst my colleagues. It seems that some of them have declared war on conservatives..

Read the whole thing.
It's good to see that at least some of the students and faculty at Columbia have enough sense to protest against Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaking at their university:

“I don’t mind giving a platform to people with different views, but when someone has consistently made a mockery of free speech in the way that Ahmadinejad has, it’s difficult for me to rationalize giving him a platform here at a great institution like Columbia,” said one student. “I’ve come out to protest that."

“I think the man is immoral. I think he’s a criminal,” said a community member. “It’s outrageous for Columbia to give him a forum. A man who is sponsoring terrorism and killing our soldiers in Iraq; I think it’s insane.”

Since Columbia is so enamored with criminals and murderers, perhaps they should invite OJ Simpson to be a guess speaker on domestic violence. I'm sure Columbia could learn a lot from what he has to say.


Sunday, September 23, 2007

Sunday Reading

The Carnival of the Insanities is up at Dr. Sanity's place. Also, the Moderate Voice has a good round-up of links from various viewpoints around the blogosphere.