A Completely Uninformed Book Review


I've never read it, not even ever opened it.  And so here is my uninformed review of Fifty Shades of Grey by ELJ.  

My wife C has been reading the Grey books and suddenly I find our plain vanilla relationship has a good bit more passion (reminiscent of college days).  Yes, I've heard it called mommy porn and trash - but I for one am fully in support of this amazing relationship self help book that should be titled "A Little Riskier and Friskier."    Dr. Ruth herself couldn't have done much better in bringing the magic back.

Clearly the book has its defects and detractors.  It has, perhaps wrongly, been characterized as erotic romance novel.    The cover art is a bit bleak.  It sounds like there could be some kind of tediously manufactured relationship drama going on inside - and frankly I'm not a fan of that genera.   And there is the controversy over how much plot the book borrows from Twilight.

Still, two happy thumbs up from me.  ELJ's writing may well be top notch.  I for one have greatly enjoyed C's bedtime reading of it, and highly recommend Fifty Shades of Grey by ELJ.


I Barely Believe It's not Butter Beer!

After a trip to Universal, my family came back wanting for butter beer.  My son H and I came up with this recipe.

In tall chilled glass add:

1 can chilled Cream Soda (A&W but others brands work well) 

Slowly add nearly completely melted ~1.5 tablespoons
Haagen Dazs Dulce De Leche (caramel) ice cream to top of drink.  10 seconds in the microwave should do it.

Optional adult-only version (add 1 shot of rum)




How to turn your Friends into Garden Gnomes

This was a fun little project done for a grade school art and science fair.  In it we learned how to make a life sized bronze sculpture garden quality garden gnome for approximately $36,320.  

DD & QD & Neighbor CD used multiple cameras and Autocad 123Catch beta to capture an image of juvenal gnomes models (actually QD and CD in costume.)  Catch converts to 3d object that can be printed in ceramic/sand and then bronze filled.  

Kids QD and CD were a bit disappointed not to have drummed up any sales at their Art and Science fair, but remarkably enthusiastic about the project nonetheless.  Maybe we will someday get a sale and have one cast.

And if anyone asks, yes - we can turn a movie of your head (or someone you love) into a awesomely detailed 3d bronze for the bargain basement price of $36,320.  Likeness, but not satisfaction, guaranteed!


Kittens and Oatmeal

On April 23, 2012 my son Q asked me "How many kittens die annually in oatmeal related accidents?"

I was speechless, at least in part because of a strong suspicion that evil was afoot.  But no- just a ten year old asking a question.

Anyone have deep insights or at least a suitable reply?

Update:  Oddly enough, Kittens and Oatmeal drives brings in more web visitors than anything else on this site.  

Update2:  Ok, the its because of the fantastic comedy site.  Didn't know that.    


Optional Minor Male Surgical Procedures

My web research, prior to undergoing a common minor male surgical procedure, was remarkably unhelpful and politely uninformative.  So much so that I feel that I should weigh in on this subject.  But the last thing I want is to become a top hit on google and have my name directly associated with the subject "clip and snip."

So preface aside, what follows may make more sense: 

I rolled over the idea for many moons before I scheduled an appointment with Dr. S.  There was a six week wait for the procedure, which was good because from my perspective my doctor selection was almost at random.  Luckily, my wife is in the medical industry has some knowledge of Dr. S.  She assured me I had made a very competent selection, and drove me in on the day of the procedure.

I’m not certain that anyone has every accused me of being chatty, but still there was far more dialogue than I’m willing tolerate happily in such circumstances.  Missing two meals that day had me a little off perhaps, but  it started with the receptionist and a full waiting area loaded with elderly persons who did not appear to be there for the same reason I was.  Then a bit later with a nurse and my wife in a more private room, with the nurse seemingly pink from embarrassment.  And lastly alone with just the doctor.

All dialogues started something like: “Yes I’m Dustan and I’m here for a v_s_ct_my.  Yes, I have three children.  Yes, I know it is unlikely that this can be reversed.  Yes, I know it won’t be effective right away.  Ummm... I’m not sure I want valium.”  But with a more questions, and informative statements like “after 20 umm... expulsions umm... bring back a fresh warm sample in this intimidatingly large cup for counting” with awkward pauses.

So, a big unanswered question centered on the use of valium.  Would I be taking valium for the procedure?  My wife insisted I should.  That’s why she was there to drive me.  And again, she does work in medicine and this was both her professional and personal opinion.  I, personally, didn’t want an I.V. injection that was optional and pricey.    I admit now that I choose poorly, relaxation has never been my thing - but it would of been helpful later in the procedure.  No valium for me.

They sent me to the bathroom to empty my “just happens to already be nearly empty” bladder and then into a surgical room.  The Doctor S. was happy and chatty.  I set down in on a operating bench that seemed designed to prevent me from seeing what would happen.  I didn’t really want to talk, but one feels as though they are compelled to when they are getting their boys slopped with soap and shaved.

The shave gave time for the doctor to lay out what would happen, step by step, over the next fifteen minutes.  In no particular order:  Tape to hold things in position.  Iodine.  Numbing anesthetic.  Single front centered 1cm incision.    Rotation of righty to slit.  Snip and two plastic mini clips.  Rotation of lefty to slit.  Snip and clip.  Cauterize slit.

The anesthetic needle made me jump partly because the poke surprised me.  Righty went well right up to the last when the pain spiked to a level that made me writhe involuntarily for a few seconds.  The doctor seemed concerned, but assured me that I shouldn’t have felt anything just then.  Then chattily went on to his next subject - where did I work?

Now this perhaps wasn’t the best line of questioning.  I was fired from a company I worked for ten years and am contractually obligated to say nothing but saccharine sweet things about.  That I was fired hurts my pride.  I made them many many many millions, and had a hand in a eight new product line introductions over the years with new technologies and new production lines.   But I also wasn't feeling the love anymore or returning it- and the political connections needed to get big things done had been poisoned.  Creative flow flourishs under certain management styles and not with others.  I was pretty happy the day I left, it felt like freedom.   And it is my hope that each party is better for the lack of the other. 

Doctor S. persisted in his long line of questioning about the company I formerly worked for while he rough handled my boys.  Suddenly lefty made a brake for it and slipped through Doc’s fingers, under the tape and partially retracted to the safety of my abdomen.  I guess I have beefy cremaster muscles, as that takes quite some cord reflex.  The imminent snip provided more than a little motivation.  

The doctor told me I needed to relax while kneading and pulling lefty back into position.  And then he persisted in his line of anti-relaxation questioning.  Was I presently unemployed?  I’ve never collected unemployment, but was rather self employed by my own random pursuits.   

I think I came across quite snarky to Doctor S, as the rest of his questions were laser focused on what I did at my former employer and what I did for a living.  It seemed that being a leach and spending a year doing fantastic things with my kids just couldn’t be anything but a lie to him.  Which it probably was since a few of my random pursuits provide some income.  Maybe Doc was just distractedly talking, and actually focused on he actions and didn’t have enough left over awareness to understand that I didn’t want talk. 

Lefty for his part, kept pulling hard for a retreat to safety.  I was quite unable not to tuck him up.  And the Doctor’s tugs to keep it low caused me a fair amount of pain up in my tummy at the other end of that cord.  Telling me to relax made no difference.  About three minutes later my poor little cremaster muscle lost its tug of war match to the doctor's biceps.

After the procedure I got my first look and the boys looked more or less the same except for a blackened round slit front and center between the pair almost like a cigarette burn.  I was a bit wobbly in getting dressed.   The pair felt like they had taken on twenty pounds of added weight even if they looked the same except for the blackened crust where the incision had been.  Wearing support of some kind is a must.

So, one week post procedure:   Righty looks great- no difference.  Lefty is a black and blue mess, but at least normal size.  The cauterized incision hurts at the bottom edge of my consciousness.  Nothing feels functionally different.  Everything’s healing well- still a bit to go on that tho.  Support of some kind to prevent that sense of unpleasant weight still helpful one week on.  What else is there to say?

Insight:  Get to know your doctor before you go under the knife - an office visit isn’t that expensive compared to the procedure and builds trust, something helpful if not medically necessary.    If you are an “expresso a day sort”, go for the valium, even at 5% additional cost as you may find being relaxed both necessary and difficult.   The actual surgery isn’t bad - I’ve had ingrown toes that were more troublesome.  Just a couple very short lived spikes into whatever pain level causes involuntary full body shudder.

If you have read this and are thinking “I'm considering one but is this right for me?” - sorry I don’t know.   Your milage will almost certainly vary.  But please let me wish you good luck!

Upsides:  effective, simple compared to other surgical options, lower price among surgical options.  Downsides:  At least short term pain, permanence (If your situation outlasts your present relationship, what could the rules be in a future relationship?),  and a possibility of permanent scars and even long term pain.

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