Experimental College

 

What do red panties, Wrigley’s gum wrappers, typewriters, and a fish pond all have in common? Find out in this novel.

Experimental College is a cheerful, odd, and often surprising story about David Price, a Blind engineering student going to the University of Washington in the late 70s during one very special summer.. While he navigates his classes and degree program, he also meets several quirky companions, and discovers a lot about his own passions, both academic and romantic.

This story is a mix of gender role and sexual exploration combined with ruminations about life support systems, closed ecosystems, and physics. It is both cerebral and emotional and touches on some important points of psychology and sociology. It’s also a fascinating journey as young Dave Price learns more about who he really is. The story covers issues about gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people in a sensitive, intriguing way, as it is also a snapshot of the world of the 1970s.

This is an excerpt from the rear jacket:

“Experimental College: My summer in Serendip” is a lighthearted comedy with tragic overtones, which asks some ominous questions. Aiming at your heart, it may unexpectedly grab at your crotch but hopes to offer something to your head.

I couldn’t have said it better myself. I enjoyed editing this story, and I think you’ll like reading it. The book is available at multiple outlets, $15.99 for print and $2.99 for EPUB, Mobipocket, or PDF.

https://www.fastpencil.com/products/PJNF3VZIGHWF

10 creative uses for a milk crate

The humble milk crate is a surprisingly awesome piece of engineering.  It’s small enough to be convenient, strong enough to hold heavy loads, robust enough to take a lot of punishment, and at the same time it’s cheap to make and buy.  There are four handles all around the top so it’s easy to carry.

Basically, a milk crate does everything a bucket does except hold water, everything a tote does only it stacks better, and it’s rigid enough to hold four gallons of something very easily.

Milk crates used to be available for free if you knew a grocer, but now Home Depot and other big box home improvement stores carry them for $8-10.  They come in colors like pink and green but of course my favorite is the classic black.  If you want a bargain, by the way, the odd colors cost less.  I bought eight of them for help in my move and I may get more.

 

With a milk crate, you can:

Store things and carry them, similar to a plastic tote.

Use it as a step stool if you’re careful.

Make a simple patio end table.

Use it as a foot stool in the house with the addition of a pillow.

Stack them in a number of ways for modular shelves or storage.

Sit on them if you are short a chair.

Make a kitty cave with a blanket and pillow.

Stack them in two rows, lay a board on top, and make a shelf.

Hold canned goods, gallons of water, tools, anything heavy.

 

Do you have any other more unusual uses for a milk crate?

Gay Doves

We were treated to an interesting sight today – two gay doves.  It all started with the first dove making mating displays.  He fanned his tail and wings, bobbed his head, and generally displayed all that he had to offer.  Soon another dove landed nearby and started making the same displays.

After a bit, the first dove who had been displaying got on top of the other dove – afterward there was much billing and cooing between the two.  Literally.  Then the second dove climbed on the first one.  They swapped positions back and forth for a while, all while exhibiting friendly, loving behavior to each other.

It wasn’t dominance behavior either because it was obviously consensual and unusual.  Maybe there’s a bit more going on inside their little bobble heads than I thought?  Either way, I thought that was pretty cool to see!  Besides, both doves were happy.

It seems to me that if two wild creatures in nature do something, that’s by definition natural…

Intelligence versus physical strength

For a long time I’ve had this semi-conscious thought that if you are intelligent or sensitive you cannot be strong, and if you are very strong you will have less time for intellectual pursuits. An article I read recently turned that upside down and I started looking at why I thought that way.

For me at least, the idea came from popular culture – but it also came from a source that might be a little unusual, ant that is role playing games. It started with the popularity of Dungeons and Dragons. I have a lot of fun with that game and others like it, however some of the central ideas deserve some consideration. with D&D, if you are a Fighter of whatever type, you often have a very high Strength score for obvious reasons. But if you are a Wizard or other magic user, your Intelligence and sometimes Wisdom scores will be high but you take penalties on Strength. The idea is to preserve game balance by making no one character good at everything.

This is great for game balance but not good for life. In reality, developing your body can also develop your mind and give you focus and clarity. Developing your mind can give you the mental strength and fortitude to grow physically strong. Winston Churchill started out as a sickly, intelligent and sensitive boy, who resolved to become a strong and athletic man. Though he grew a little portly in later years, he succeeded. He became a sought after athlete and then a soldier.

Going back to my fantasy roots, one author really understood the balance between strength and intelligence. Barbara Hambly, in her Darwoth books, showed that to become a Wizard, a master of mighty magic, you needed to not only have a great thirst for knowledge, but you also needed to be very physically strong and hardy. Her Wizard, Ingold Inglorian, was very good with the sword as well as the staff even though he was also mentally brilliant.

After this consideration, I think I’m going to be more careful of false dichotomies. Rather than being mutually exclusive, intelligence and physical strength enhance one another.

Notes: D&D may have gotten me to think that strength and intelligence are mutually exclusive, that you cannot be strong and highly intelligent at the same time, because of their idea of game balance. Far better to think in a Darwothian way and realize that strength enhances intelligence by stimulating the mind, and vice versa.

“The Art of Manliness,” a good read for anyone.

 

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I happen to possess a pair of x chromosomes, yet I am still an avid reader of the Art of Manliness by Brett McKay and other contributors.  It’s a really good read and the site is chock full of awesome tips, knowledge, motivation and philosophy.  I don’t show myself in the forums or contribute, but I happily soak up the knowledge and learn a whole lot every time I go there.

I’m interested in becoming stronger, more confident, more gentlewomanly, more straight in my dealings, and more independent.  I want to build my lean muscle mass, know what they are talking about at the lumber store, be able to patch drywall, and maintain my own car. And knowing about shaving and men’s fashions is useful in case I need to give someone a gift.  I also want to be prepared in case something happens to my little family, disaster or otherwise.  I respect people like Winston Churchill and Teddy Roosevelt.  So the Art of Manliness really is for me.

Here’s a sampling of the things you can learn there, whether you are male or female:

Home repair, fitness, vehicle maintenance, really great easy to follow guides on skills – everything from grooming to wilderness survival, excerpts of classic books and texts, cooking, hobbies, so much more.  They try to put together everything you need to be a complete man – nay, a complete human being.

What I like most about AOM is it sets out to teach you all those skills you might have learned from your grandpa – skills that are dying rapidly.  So I read, learn, and start to carry the torch forward.

If you are curious too, click here:

Art of Manliness Blog