Back to School, Back-out of Marriage

I read with some interest this morning that divorces gather steam as we head into September. According to this ABC News article, the phones at the offices of divorce lawyers begin ringing off the hook in September. The kids are back in school, summer vacations are over, and for many, it’s a trip “back to reality.”

Ok, so statistics are statistics, and they don’t lie. (Though they can very, very often be made to say nearly anything you want. Consider any headline you see that says something like “18% of people believe X”, which also means that the other 82% believe something else.) While the trend is certainly disturbing, even more so (at least to me) was the cavalier attitude of the article. Consider the following direct quotes:

For wealthier families in which one spouse may spend time in a summer home while the other works, the summer can provide a needed respite — and opportunities for what lawyers delicately call “extracurricular activities.”

“People think the rules don’t apply” in the sultry summer months, Hoge said, “but it’s all over when school starts.”

“Extracurricular activities”? The “rules don’t apply in sultry summer months”? Gosh, kinda makes you wonder why these marriages might be in trouble in the first place…

[Read It’s Labor Day, I Want a Divorce]
[Send flowers to your spouse]

Parents of the Year

As you may know, I’m often hard on people for the way that they take care of their kids (or don’t as the case may be.) Normally, these stories involve feeding the kids paste and garbage or locking them in cages, things like that. Today, however, the story is a little different and it’s about… me.

Last Monday, Grace fell down on the front steps. After the initial bout of crying and my advisement to “rub some dirt on it!”, the crying subsided and she seemed fine. That night, however, she didn’t sleep very well. I ended up bringing her upstairs, where she lay next to me, laughing and messing with my ears. After an hour or so it was back to her own room.

The next morning, she complained that her arm hurt. I told her this sometimes happens in the morning when your arm is asleep. She rubbed some dirt on it and was fine. That night, she slept fitfully again. (The mystery deepens!)

The next morning, as she began to climb into her chair for breakfast, she complained that her arm hurt. We (finally) took 30 seconds to look closely at it…

“Hmmm… minor swelling, slightly bruised, tender to touch… what could it be? Crap! Her arm is broken!

Four hours, three X-rays and two doctor’s offices later, the diagnosis was confirmed and she came home with a pretty pink cast.

That night, I withdrew our application for Parents of the Year.

Chupacabra found in South Texas?

Someone call Fox and Mulder. Phylis Canion, a rancher in South Texas, has a body in her freezer, and it’s the body of a bloodsucker. “[It] opened [the cage] reached in pulled the chicken head out, sucked all the blood out, left the chicken in the cage,” she said.

She thinks the body she has is an example of the elusive, possibly mythical, chupacabra (which means, literally, “goat sucker” in Spanish.) These animals have been spotted several times over the years, and even more often in recent days around this small Texas town. Some experts think this particular animal is a mangy grey fox. For her part, Canion isn’t convinced. She’s sent the specimen off to the University of Texas where DNA tests are currently underway.

New, mysterious, blood-sucking species? Or just a sick fox?

[See the story from KENS-TV]
[Read about the Chupacabra on Wikipedia]
[Read about another, similar find from Elmendorf, Texas]

NC Beach Photos

Just another reason to love Apple: newly released iPhoto ’08 makes publishing web galleries simple and the result… well, let’s just say it’s amazing. You can view the photos in a variety of ways (just choose your favorite), you can download hi-res photos for printing, and with some galleries, you can even upload your pictures to add to the mix.

Very, very cool.

[See the gallery]

Searching for "How To…"

I’m always intrigued to lurk around and see what types of things people are searching for. Luckily, there are some sites out there like Hitwise that make it fairly easy.

What kind of insights can be gleaned through this type of voyeurism? Good question. Try visiting Google and searching for… (Just kidding.)

A recent Time Magazine article examined the emerging use of search engines to do more than perform simple queries. Increasingly, we’re asking these tools to sort through mountains of data to answer philosophical questions (why?) and instructional ponderings (how to?) It’s the second of these that recently caught my eye.

Did you know, for instance, that over the last two years, the How To question asked most often has been “How to tie a tie?” Seriously, haven’t we gotten this down yet?

Other notables:

“How to make out?”
“How to kiss?”
“How to have sex?”
(Those seem obvious, but I might be missing something. Now I’ll have to check.)

“How to levitate?” (That’s one I’d actually like to know.)

“How to get pregnant?” (No comment.)

Regardless, it’s an interesting look at culture through our common queries, which now account for almost three percent of all searches.