Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Circumcision - final post

Here are the links to Post 1 and Post 2 I wrote on circumcision.
I would like to thank all of the people who have taken the time to leave comments. and some pretty lengthy ones at that. Again, I never thought that there were so many strong feelings on the subject.
I found that the comments that factored most into out decision making process were from nurses/doctors and other parents. I felt that some comments came across as far to 'liberal crunchy' to have much weight in our final decision. And while I mean no disrespect, I am somewhat amazed that some men are putting effort into either stretching out their dick skin or trying to get some put back on.
Guys. Its gone. Move on. There are WAY more important things in life.
So then with that said we have decided to leave our son 'intact'.
In the end the biggest reasons for me were that: 'It is as mother nature intended' and that 'Most of the world leaves it alone.'
And having a European wife I have come to appreciate more European ways of thinking. Meaning that, not everything done in the US is the right way to do things. That other perspectives and bring fresh light on old subjects.

Peace out Homies.

I will never eat steamers the same again.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Circumcision - The Decision.

I am utterly surprised at the 'shit storm' and number of comments that my post on circumcision generated. I never would have imagined it. Early on in my thought process we were going to have the Circ' done. After all, 'that's what's done.' Then I read some and backed off on the decision. I wrote the previous post with a neutral position. This post will focus on comment reply/ discussions and my current train of thought.
More than one Commenter suggested some specific web sites:
There were also a couple of other web sites suggested:
I have also read the articles in Mothering magazine. Though, it does seem that there is much more anti-circumcision information available than pro-circ'.
The National Organization of Restoring Men tries to help men reconstruct it. *?. ahh, ohh-kay* but it is an irreversible procedure. And I doubt it can work. You just can't restore natural nerve endings.
The statics seem to be all over the place. One thing I learned that was helpful was that the practice is on the decline in the US. The Mothering magazine published that worldwide only 30% have circum's. 2/3rds of which are Muslim. So, its really the Jews and Muslims that seem to drive a big part of it. Maybe fighting in the Middle East would come to and end if all the men just showed each other their dicks?
The Penis Accords :)
There were pleas in the commenting, not to do it. "Take your whole son home.."
There were many first hand experiences from both men and women. My favorite was from Adam Smith, a 15 year old:

"honestly bro, I really wouldn't do it. I'm 15 and my parents had me "crimped ", watch the videos its pretty gross"

I did read somewhere that Smegma does have some health benefit. Something about anit-

bacterial properties. An argument that kept coming up was that it should be my son's choice. I don't think this is solid since that as parents we need to make decisions for them all the time. This just happens to need a little extra thought.
I once had a gym teacher who told us that when he joined the Navy he had to get circed' before admittance. He and a few guys were there and after the 'procedure' they were all in the same room, And I guess that the nurse was real good looking, so the kept getting boners and making the new cut re-open. "OUCH!" Then they would take smelling salts or something to...ah, soften the rod.
The poll I posted is currently running about 69% No.

This is kind of like having my dogs tail docked, and interesting the hygiene issue is used for that procedure as well. Let me now 'cut to the chase', if you will, and end this shit.
After it all washes out I think the biggest factors in helping make a decision to keep the skin are:
  • That the foreskin is natural. It must be there for a reason.
  • Removing it is basically plastic surgery, and while plastic surgery can look AWESOME (see Nurse pic, right) it is un-necessary.
  • The falling statics in the US indicate to me that it is falling out of favor with US doctors. (younger doctors?)

  • It obviously hurts like a son-of-a-bitch when done. So, why are we going through all the steps to have a natural child birth, only to have this unnatural thing done.

The factors not to keep it are:

  • looks for the ladies (well, some of them),
  • locker room ridicule, and
  • the UTI decrease.

I hope that this adds a real perspective to the debate on circumcision for any new dad's or mom's out there looking for guidance. It's not just statics. It's not just religious. It's not just appearance.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Circumcision Decision...

THAT is the question.

As the inevitable birth-day of my boy approaches my first difficult decision as a father began yesterday. Here's a breakdown of my CIRCUMCISION DECISION:

WIFE: I think you need to do some reading about circumcision. I know you've already made up your mind but, could you do some reading?

GJ: **sigh**All riight. **google. --> circumcision -->** basically I found out nothing new. and actually only served to confuse matters.
On the one side, you decide to have it done. Some people say there is no benefit. Others claim a benefit to hygiene and STDs. The medical reports are inconclusive with no significant differences in results to say one way is better than the other. So, FAIL to science and data. Some say the procedure causes psychological harm and some other namby-pamby bullshit about building trust. I don't remember getting circumcised. Do you?

On the other side, you don't have this 'medically unnecessary procedure' done and:
My son's schween will look like a long necked clam; We have to literally deal with schmegma; There is a 10 times higher chance of urinary tract infection; When is a little older I have to teach him how to 'retract the foreskin' and clean it.

'They' also do say sexual sensitivity is increased. That sounds good but doesn't it really just means that my kid to be a 'two pump chump' later in life?


The religious angle is out. We're not religious. If I were a Jew this could be easy.

I think after spending about 2 hours total writing this post that I am no closer to a decision. I started off with 'Yes Do It'. Then I went and started thinking and reading. Maybe I should just keep with my first instinct. I think the stats in the US are about 50/50.

I should just flip a coin.


instead of flipping a coin. I have added an internet poll in the upper right.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Sexy Raleigh

My Raleigh Olympian fixed gear bike is nearly completed.
I started in May 2007 after I found the bike at a yard sale for 15$ (post here). Here is a pic of the bike the day I brought it home. -->
In June '07 I hacked up the aluminum cranks in my Raleigh update post.
Later that year I found a bike for 1$ and scavenged some Shimano breaks and hubs off of it. The rest of the bike went to the dump.
In the previous post WHEEL BUILD, I showed off my fixed gear wheel construction and details. This actually cost some real money. But the wheel is sweet as hell and will last me 10-15 years. Just a few days ago I mounted a tire and put the wheel on. I fooled with the idea of jimmyriggin' a fixed gear wheel, but then I said to my self "Self, build a good wheel."
<-----Here is the semi-final result.
I am waiting for the fixed cog to come in. I will swap it around then. For now I am running with the freewheel.
After putting on the new wheel I realized that I really need to replace the front one too.
The other two things to finish it off are: change out the handle bars to a straight bar, maybe with a little rise in it and; upgrade the crank set a little and I'm sure other things will come up. Isn't that how it goes?

Sweet riding, low maintenance, quite as a mouse, street machine.
Total Cost 198$

For the curious it's running 42x16.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

NOW! NOW! Yesterday!

It's not quite 5pm yet. But I am DONE.

Today was one of the craziest days at work ever.
Twice today the next phone call came within the same second of hanging up the last call. Field person #1 called in to tell me they uncovered a 'mystery tank'. (An underground storage tank that for some reason nobody seemed to realize was there). So that set of a flurry of phone calls.

A sub- called in to tell me that the code enf. officer of the town need 'something in writing' by the end of the day or the client would not get to open their store. Sweet, thanks for the heads up and the specificity.
5 phone calls, with two messages to that guy. He called me back at 4pm. Ya know, cause i have no where else to be.
The client called me like 8 times today because he was getting worried the store wouldn't open. The sub called me back and I, well I spoke forcefully to him. I'm done with his shit. Worst communicator ever.

  • Field person #2 calls. "Joe. there are bees in the well."
  • Wife calls" Joe what do you think about the color of the britax car seat. tan or brown."

"Boss. I got to get that report out. NOW!" I got this guy waiting. That guy wont give the permit. The client has not reviewed it. You need to sign it. "I got like TWO 'A'-on-fire priorities right now." It was a cry for help. All he did was short out and call the client to get approval to send the report without reading it. I got the report out.

Simultaneously at 3pm the lawyer guy called me, "Hi. those copies you sent are too light. can you get me other versions?" "What's the time line?" I ask. "Yeah, thats the thing, we need them by the end of the business day today" AYFKM!

So yup. I am a miracle worker. I managed to get copies of the year old invoices faxed to me. The woman had apparently put them in the trash yesterday and fished them out to fax them. *PHEW!* I then met lawyer man on the street and handed him the paper work covert spy style under a shady tree.

All of this pushed aside my task list today of: a late report, a 20,000$ invoice and 4 reimbursement requests worth about 12,000$.

Well, I am outta here...
For tonight it's time to keep laying hardwood flooring with dad in a hot, humid sunny, room. *WOOT **WOOT*

Monday, July 14, 2008

Sea Level Rise

I actually had a little while to screw around with Google this weekend and I came across a cool widget and a cool feature that are available for google maps. The widget is a sea level rise display.

Here is the scenario for Boston, Massachusetts for 2 meter , 6 meter and 10 meter sea level increases.

A web article I found HERE indicates that a sea level change as much as 70 Meters is possible.

The other cool feature running right now is that google has done a street level view of all the 2008 Tour de France stages. Very cool if you are a cycling geek. See it HERE.

Have Fun Kids.
Last week was busy. And here is a lesson for future homeowners. Sometimes after you get home from work the sink drain is still clogged and you have to fix it because well, you have no choice.

After trying to run a plumbing snake down the clean out end a couple of times earlier in the week to no avail I thought of another ingenious, albiet, messy way to clean the line. I got out the garden hose. Set the sprayer nozzle to the jet adjustment and shoved it down the line to the clog.


Then the fun started as the nasty ass water starts pouring out the end I am working from as I work the hose back and forth, trying to get the clog to clear. Gray, stank water is pouring all over the basement and me. I and now covered in pipe-stew. After a few more minutes of jambing the hose back and forth the hose finally did the trick. The line was cleared. Ill need a hepatitis B shot now (not really Ma, don't panic) but at least I didn't have to shell out any money to a plumber.

I backed the hose out and spent the next hour cleaning everything and myself.

Job done. Now back to installing the hardwood floors, only one more room to go. Then it's on to painting the trim. ***Wheeee.*** It never ends. Ever. But what else are you going to do?

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Trials, Tribulations and Other Good Things


My dad is staying with us for a couple of weeks. He is working at the garage pumping gas (opening and closing) while Wife's parents visit their family in Budapest.

On Monday after I got home from work Dad and I started laying down the hardwood floor (pic right) in the Baby to Be room. Luckily at work I got to have a business meeting on the Boss's sailboat (pic left). WooHoo!

Tuesday I drove the usual 1 hour to the office followed by 2+ hours to job site to work for 6 hours in 90 deg. hazy, hot and humid heat and run around in a dry dusty containment area. However, I did get to see a really cool steel cutter attached to an excavator. The contractor was in the last stage of tearing down the old 500,000-gallon above ground storage tank (pic. right).

I then drove back to the office stopping off at another job site to stick my head down a storm catch basin and squeeze petroleum out of a saturated sorbent pad to collect a sample (nasty pic. left). I made it back to the office at 6. By the time I got home it was a 330 mile day.

Driving back from the first job site I did get a good picture of some nice gneiss. It was in a road cut and I didn't have time to get great pic. or any scale in there but the rock face is about 10-meters. Nice Gneiss (pic. right).

Finally, on my way home I tried to pick up lobsters for dinner but all the places were closed. Fuckin' figures.
I arrived home at about 7pm and I then learned that my sink is HELLA clogged. For the next 2 hours we (me and dad) tried to clear the lines. We both got fuckin' hosed with nasty ass, rank sewer water. I thought we got the lines cleared but no....pretty much made it worse. Ill try again tonight.

Back to the grind.