The Difference Between Men and Women – variations on a theme.


Sorry that I didn’t put up a post yesterday, but we were installing a kitchen isle to add to the counter space downstairs.

It was sort of a lesson in the differences between men and women.

Myself and accomplice, neither of us fainting maidens, first went to the cabinet store, and found that cabinets we could barely move with much effort between the two of us were hefted around effortlessly by teenage employee who probably weighed all of 90 lbs and therefore less than either of us, and had arms like boiled spaghetti, but who had the blessings of testosterone making him much stronger than either of us.

I first ran into this with younger son, who at fourteen looked like a twig which I could have broken over my knee (he’d just grown two feet over the previous year, going from a foot shorter than I to a foot taller.  This was also the year in which I was unreasonable and would turn around when he came in the room and say “shower, now” even though he’d already showered twice that day.  I.e. to quote our old neighbor “that poor boy is being beaten with a stick made of testosterone.  Mothers of boys will get it.  At least mothers of boys who went through growth spurt from hell.) We went to the store to get cement to repair a crack in a garden path.  The bags were 100 lbs.  I tried to lift it and (partly because it was at foot-level and was an awkward floppy bulk) just couldn’t budge it.

Younger son gave the theatrical teenage sigh, reached past me, grabbed the bag and threw it into our shopping cart, leaving me open-mouthed in surprise.

So every time 90 lb girl beats a 300 lb trained fighter on TV remember that.  And for the love of heaven explain to your daughters that it’s play fantasy.  The daughter of old friends of ours has fallen for this hook line and sinker and was telling older son she could beat him.  Older son actually has muscles (he was the one who helped me renovate two Victorians from the ground up and build two balconies.  He also does all the sawing by hand.) He’s six one but projects taller.  He also happens to be built like a brick ****house, as the men on my side of the family are.  (As a little girl I keep insisting my cousins were wardrobes.  If you think of the old fashioned wardrobe, seven feet tall and six feet wide, that’s the impression they projected.) That poor girl is five five and skinny for her height.  She coudln’t even push older son back if he decided to stand still.  She MIGHT be able to fend him off long enough to run away, if she fought like a cornered cat and gouged eyes and bit (I’ve done something like that in similar circumstances, but there’s a reason I’m never without a weapon.) but that’s about it.

Watching her brag to my least excitable, very patient son who just sighed and didn’t even bother contradicting her, I thought how lucky she was in her choice of male to annoy.  But if she keeps it up, sooner or later her luck will run out.

We shouldn’t lie to the young, and all our fiction and most of our movies lie about what women can and can’t do, all in the name of “there is no difference between men and women.” (“Except men are defective women” is implied.)

Look, when I was young and in shape I might have been able to match that radically deconditioned store clerk.  It would have taken effort but I might be able to.  I’m 55.  My accomplice is 28.  Neither of us lifts weights (the guy doesn’t either) so not a hope.

Sure, some women can be stronger than some men, but that’s not the way to bet.There is a reason from time immemorial men and women don’t compete on the same teams.  It’s okay, if they’re all pre-adolescents, but after that there’s not a hope.

In the same way when time came to make the installation permanent, we had to go get husband from his tax-work to come and help, because neither of us could visualize in three dimensions.

Now I KNOW that’s not all females.  I know females who are engineers and artists and can “see” the back of an object in their minds.  But that’s one of the few things (that and the propensity to find writing characters easier than writing plot) in which I’m wholly feminine, and alas, so is accomplice.  Without husband (who was grouchy at being rousted from his numbers) the poor isle would obviously be made of three separate elements, each pointing in a different direction, poor things.

Again, it’s not all females.  But it’s a majority of them.  One of the things we consistently find across all cultures and types of tests is that men are better with spacial relationships and women are better with language.  This is most obvious at a very early age.

Sure, you can train the visual/spacial side of your brain.  I started out near abnormally low, mostly because I think that’s the part of my brain that got affected by being premature.  At least my coordination was messy too.  I also suspect — there was no one around to diagnose it — that I had central processing disorder as a child.  Younger son did, and his problems were the ones I had till about 14, the ones paternal grandfather had (which caused his family to take him out of school and apprentice him as a carpenter), the ones oldest uncle had, and a more severe version of the ones my brother had (which finally caused him to write all in print, because even he couldn’t read his own handwriting.)

I am much better since I took up art and particularly DAZ 3D.  But the ease with which husband handles spacial and visual stuff makes me sigh.  The ease with which sons handle it too.

At the same time, this morning female accomplice and I were remarking on how hard it is for them to explain themselves, to the point we sometimes laugh because it sounds so silly.

She said they probably find us silly too.  I’ll be honest, this type of “merry war” between men and women is how I grew up.

In my earliest years, mom and grandmother would sigh and mutter over how “men are like children.”  Mostly when dad plowed into the kitchen right after it had been mopped without even noticing, and left muddy footprints throughout.  Or when grandad would upend an entire sinkful of dishes, removing the ones that were soaking from their place and mixing dirty and clean in search of his favorite coffee mug.

And I heard dad and grandad laugh at the women in the family (sometimes also mildly exasperated laugh) when they upset the men’s long range planning or ideas, or just refused to acknowledge the sovereign importance of knowing soccer statistics.

Men and women are different.

If men and women weren’t different, what would be the point of transexuality, or transition, or any of that.  If it’s all the same…  Well, I guess that’s when people decide they’re a different gender every day.  Never mind.

Men and women are different.  Impossible not to be when our hormones, and the separate pressures of selection have molded us so.

On the other hand no one is exactly what it says on the can.  Sure, I can’t visualize the relationship of three objects on a plane without physically wrestling them into position.  When we were young and moved more, I had 3-d paper models of all our furniture, which I’d place in the plan of any prospective apartment or house.  (And then sometimes missed the obvious, which is why we once stayed up till four in the morning, maneuvering an 8 foot sofa past two doorways placed at the worst possible angle.) Other women can.  Sure most women aren’t as strong as most men.  Some women are.  But with my being utterly feminine in those two things, I still like playing with power tools (husband is sure I’m going to take out my typing fingers.)  I don’t mind getting dirty and sweaty and in fact rather enjoy heavy, violent work.

When younger son was young, he was once heard to lament that mom refinished pianos and daddy played them and “I want to have a normal family.”

This is okay for pre-teens, who are looking at models and trying to figure out where they fit.  But adults who insist if you aren’t exactly what THEIR image of a woman or a man is you must be “gender fluid” or whatever is just zany.

Men and women as two vast groups are different, on the average.  But any individual woman is not the archetypal “woman” either.

We are individuals first.  And if women find it difficult to understand men sometimes, and find it much easier to talk to other women… well, that makes sense.  Women’s experiences are often at least somewhat similar.  Those of us who are odd in particular often share the experience of not being a particularly gregarious woman in a sex that — mostly — runs to liking groups.

And that’s okay.

This morning female accomplice and I agreed that all men are zany and it’s a good thing we love them.  We’re fairly sure they think we’re zany too.  And it’s a good thing they like us.

Believing men are “defective women” and women are ideal humans is as crazy as the opposite.  All it does is destroy society.  And men and women with it.

450 thoughts on “The Difference Between Men and Women – variations on a theme.

  1. Then there are the “women” who say both “I am Woman! Hear Me Roar!” and “I am Woman! Hear Me Whine”. 😡

    1. “I am woman, hear me…”
      “Shut up, and pick up your end of the boat, please.”

    2. That sends both my daughter and I spare with frustration. Look, either strong, tough, able woman, or delicate little flower. Pick one or the other and stick to it, please.

      1. I don’t know. I’ve dated a few of those strong, tough, able women, and one feature I believe they liked about dating me is that I would let them be both, and just accepted who they were.

        One was a weight lifter and truly was one of those rare women who were stronger than a good 75% of men (or more) but when we went out, she got to be a “girl”. All the other guys either treated her like “just another guy” or like a freak. My (rather dumb) older brother made the mistake of calling her “horse faced” to her face and went FLYING… rather literally. She got mad, grabbed him and picked him up… then couldn’t think of what to do with him so she threw him. She picked me up a few times like that while we were dating (although, not in anger, just in fun)… it was a little surreal just getting hoisted up like a rag-doll. Yet, she spent a scary movie practically curled up on my lap because she was scared, hiding her face till I told her the scary parts were over.

        The other was more of a bruiser. Sure, she wasn’t particularly stronger than most guys, but she had a lot of rage. She beat up a couple guys in the time we were dating, one of which she put in the hospital. That dude made the mistake of hitting the nice little 80 year old lady who worked as a secretary where she worked because of an argument over pay, so my GF physically threw him out the door into the parking lot. By the time the cops got there, they found her literally stomping on his face. After a week in the hospital the guy went to jail for a few years (Here in Florida, hitting old people is REALLY frowned upon). I’m surprised she didn’t get arrested too, but the cops were too busy laughing from seeing a full-grown man being stomped on by a not-particularly-large woman that they probably didn’t even think of it. I think in her case, the lesson is that sometimes pure RAGE really does trump strength. Well, that and surprise. They guy involved was a smarmy a-hole who didn’t expect women to stand up to his “manliness”.

        1. Worked in a garage with a lady who was seriously into cars & fixing them.
          I think she registered at Snap-on (and bought toys for her tots from there as well).

          1. NEVER piss off a woman mechanic. It doesn’t take a whole lot of upper body strength to cold cock someone with a wrench. And do you want an angry woman working on your brakes?

              1. Not severely realistic, but at least fully plausible in context. Ditto for Kaylee in Firefly.

                Far less realistic are the boys’ Teacher (Ishimi somebody?) and General Armstrong.

          2. I knew a woman who was in the Navy Test Pilot School class ahead of mine – her hobby was fixing her ’63 and ’64 Corvettes. The amusing part being that she was spectacularly good-looking – a Valkyrie straight out of Central Casting.

            1. One of the best helicopter mechanics I ever worked with was a tiny slip of a woman. I could literally put my hands around her waist and have my fingertips touching (OK,I have big mitts, but still), she could crawl up into the hellhole of a Huey helicopter – with the cargo hook *installed*. And lovely? Lovely doesn’t even begin to describe her. Long, raven-black hair, raven wing eyebrows topping ice-blue eyes . . . Uh well, you get the idea. I’d actually gotten a date with this paragon, and that very Friday morning the company sent me to Alaska for what turned out to be the summer. Turns out that it was probably a good thing, too, but that’s another story.

        2. There’s a difference between being strong, yet having vulnerabilities, but the way Paul put it is generally associated with those who use their feelings as a weapon to shut down people they don’t agree with.

        3. I knew one rather short but stout strong lady bike racer and Nautilus competitor (those “ergo” weight machines still around?), 5’1″ or 2″ and often went out with large weight lifters as escorts, not dates. The guys job was to keep her from hurting friends while drunk.
          She was mostly a happy drunk, but being in a headlock while she told you how great a friend you were made it hard to breathe. The guy she did that too was able to pick her up and carry her to the escort for removal.
          She did punch one arse in the ribs for hitting on her too much (3 times in a night but he was not a “good friend” in her opinion, or mine, I threatened him with possible death once myself). His bruise was impressive for a short punch to the ribs from a little drunk girl.

        4. I knew a woman, 90lbs soaking wet, little pipe-cleaner arms and legs, glasses, mousey hair, maybe 5’4″. She broke the collarbone of a man double her size at a bus stop one day. He was trying her on, and she broke his damn collarbone with a palm strike.

          Training and intent.

          1. A lady sculptor of my acquaintance. Looked like a Tolkien dwarf (no beard), heaved around stone and metal all day. So of course she could also lift humans.

            But she was the exception.

      2. If it’s your partner you are dealing with she can be both, so long as you know when she’s tough and when she needs coddling. And it’s reciprocal.

        Good therapists help when communication breaks down, but remember THEY work for YOU, you aren’t experimantal subjects with which to confirm their biases.

        We’ve been lucky that way.

  2. This was also the year in which I was unreasonable and would turn around when he came in the room and say “shower, now” even though he’d already showered twice that day.

    The real use for Axe level body-sprays.

    (When used as advised, not half a bottle at a go.)

  3. Nancy: “Boys and girls are different, Wilbur.”
    Wilbur: “I’m glad.”
    Nancy: “What?”
    Wilbur: “I mean, it makes it so much nicer for dancing.”
    Paraphrased from memory (from a long time ago) the movie “You’re Never Too Young.”

  4. Some of the girls in my books (okay most of them) are cranky bitches who will fight at the drop of a hat. They have their reasons, and their motivations of course. But they also have extensive training, dedication to the martial arts far beyond what is normal, and I cheated and gave them powered armor.

    Without the armor they’re not nearly as dangerous as a man, in hand-to-hand combat. But, being cranky bitches, they’re most likely to bring a knife and a gun to a fist fight.

    Because if you’re not cheating, you’re not trying hard enough. ~:D

  5. Funny story– husband is re-watching Deep Space 9. (I am fluttering while he does so– I remember the stories too well!)

    There’s an episode where Chief O’Brien is laying the charm on his wife, and they have the most adorable “I am trying to make you happy and getting annoyed by you frustrating it with trying to make ME happy, just either let me make you happy or STOP!” fight.
    At one point he stops snickering and asks “Wait, do I do that?”
    “What? No! Well, not exactly. Sometimes you’re kind of like (specific example), but since I’m usually growling that doesn’t exactly count. So no, but sort of? I KNOW I do what’s she’s doing!”
    “You’re not that bad.”

    On spatial reasoning– I’m good with three dimensions where I can relate to it. I can’t do it with computer stuff, and we recently found out I can’t do it with heights that are beyond what I deal with. So “this couch can fit in that corner”– he eyeballs it and says no, we check and it’s got a couple of inches.

    “This couch can fit through that door”– he says no, we check it and when angling it up to “walk” through it’s not even close. 😀

    1. “On spatial reasoning”

      Backing the RV trailer up. Hubby driving. Me giving directions. Fun? Not so much. At home, I let the kid & dad do this. Have since the kid started driving.

      Every single time, it’s “The trailer can’t turn that quick, you have to let me know further out.” Problem is I can’t tell until it is within about 4 or 5 feet. Especially if I’m on the side where he can see me for my directions, & I have to be watching the other side because that is the side he can’t see in the mirrors. Am so getting a “tow camera” system for the trailer & truck. Will help with the backing up.

      In the case of backing the truck up to hitch to the trailer, the stupid hitches have to be less than a foot to know if it is going to be close enough to match up. Stupid tow camera is not going to help with this. So wanted the backup cameras that were optional on the truck, but the cost was prohibitive then. Tow camera isn’t going to help with hitching (darn it).

      After 40 years, you’d think he’d know I have this deficiency. But, no, I’m suppose to “learn” how to judge better. Guess what, it ain’t gotten any better. We’ve established some coping skills, but the spatial reasoning has not improved.

      1. That’s why I was backing up trailers so early. 😀

        It’s a lot easier to yell “TURN LEFT” and “STOP” than it is to teach an eight year old what “that means you need to tell me to go more to the right this much.”

      2. Pre-measuring can be your friend as far as telling him when to begin turning. Might need to do some experimenting to learn the right range for it, but once you have that, you can lay down a premeasured string, ribbon, lanyard, what-have-you so you know when to tell him.

        1. We moved the fence back /grin. Not the reason we moved the fence back, but hey, fixed a problem.

          Seriously, don’t have a specific tool, but pretty much know how the trailer has to be to get it where we park it at the house, he can swing wider on the outside arc before straightening it after getting it over the ‘curb’ (which we took out). Also got rid of that stupid dip that tilted the trailer into the gutters after the back had cleared it (by 6 inches). Not sure he’d have done better that time, after all the trailer had cleared that hurdle & we were threading the fence & the chimney brick at that point. Still got yelled at, but … Once we knew it was there (caused by the gate), we knew what had to be threaded at that point.

          When out & about more complicated, because so many extra factors. Tree limbs, under carriage, where slide goes, trees, can we level it, etc. … Pull through is my friend (not pull offs however).

          To my surprise hubby brought up the Tow camera setup. I looked at them, but figured he’d never go for them. But his concern is driving.

          Had a neighbor total his truck & trailer. Guy drifted into the next lane at the wrong time, while checking behind the trailer using his side mirrors on a long curve (might be able to see the legal distance behind, but you still can’t see enough, except on curves). Totaled truck, trailer, & a brand new off the lot 2017 Ford Crew Long Box ($60k+). No one hurt(*), but a wake up call. That the tow camera works both for knowing what is behind you on the road, & will help with backing up the trailer … worth every penny.

          (*) Passenger broke wrist. Immediately after the accident. Their small dog got thrown out the (open) passenger window. She went (panicked) to find the dog & tripped & fell over unseen pasture fencing the rig had plowed through. Dog was okay.

  6. But any individual woman is not the archetypal “woman” either.

    Alright, I’ve been trying (and mostly failing) to understand bits of biochemistry a bit much of late. So help me, for an instant I wondered just what an acetyl woman was.

            1. depends on the amount of pressure. really high? Diesel, explodes at relatively low pressure (i.e. explodes because you look at it crosswise), might be acetylene
              acetylene, the leftoid of gases!

                1. I actually spent a decent part of the morning mourning over what El Paso thinks of as a “cold morning.”

                  F, no, 60s is not COLD.

                  That said, if it’s cold enough in the garage that my fluids turn to gel, I’m slow getting up. 😀

                  1. One winter I was living/working in Columbus Georgia and some of my co-workers were apologizing for the “cold weather”.

                    To a person who grew up in Danville Illinois, it was “light coat” weather. 👿

                    1. It’s the co-worker from India who complains about the cold when it’s not even below freezing at the low — and expects sympathy if not agreement. . . .

                      So we had a cold snap the end of December with sub zero Fahrenheit lows and in January he was talking about how it had warmed up on days that were colder at the high than the days he had complained about, at the low

                    2. We got off the plane in Orlando, FL, pouring down rain, in February. Rained every day that week. I think the only day we actually put on light jackets was to get off the bus to look at the Atlantic at Cape Canaveral; you have to take a bus back to the main museum, or did.

                      We wore shorts, sandals, & t-shirts, all week. Got damp, but not cold. I think it was 70s/80s & raining. Back home it was just above freezing that week, I think.

  7. I do the spatial thing just fine (I like to build stuff, wanted to be an architect, love playing with SketchUp models). But I’ve known since I was in my mid-teens that boys are stronger than girls, even though I’m probably stronger than most females (hefting fifty pound feed bags and bales of hay will do that to you). I have two younger brothers. One is a year younger, the other is two and a half years younger than I am. I used to beat them up. LOL! Of course, they usually started it, but I finished it. Then they hit puberty, and suddenly I couldn’t beat them up anymore. Not even one at a time. Women have more of their muscle mass in their legs (I suppose so we can carry babies and toddlers around all the time) and guys have more of theirs in their upper body. That’s just the way it is. And since they are (usually) bigger than females, they have more muscles total. Why it hurts some people so much to admit scientific facts which ought to be totally obvious to anyone with a brain is something I will never really understand.

    1. Men also have longer bones, which makes even a bigger difference than muscle mass. Just that little bit of extra leverage makes a big difference in actual strength.

        1. Testosterone side effect (in part). Bones are formed from the soft tissue. Testosterone promotues muscle tissue growth, when you have more muscle tissue you get to the point where you need more surface area on the bones to attach, you grow thicker bones.

      1. More bone mass, and the big difference is larger muscle attachments. The tendons are nearly twice as big. Look at a woman’s knee and a man’s knee sometime. The guy has dinosaur bones.

    2. “Why it hurts some people so much to admit scientific facts which ought to be totally obvious to anyone with a brain is something I will never really understand.”

      At some level, the Progressive Left knows that if they start to admit obvious facts, they lose.

      Obvious fact: Men and women are different.

      Obvious fact: Some cutures are superior to others.

      Obvious fact: Introducing solar and wind power to a distributed grid accomplishes nothing good.

      Obvious fact: Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, and the Sainted Che were monsters.

      Obvious fact: If tomorrow we magically had electric cars that would charge up in the time it takes to pump gas, we wouldn’t have the generating capacity to power them.


              1. Every element heavier than helium was synthesized in stars (well, trace amounts of a few might also have come from the early universe). Every element much heavier than iron was produced in supernovae). Thus the “nuclear” energy from these heavy elements is stored “solar” from a supernova.

                And fusion, provided we ever make that practical? Why that’s just synthetic solar power.

                1. I’m just referring that I wasn’t certain if I shpuld include the internal fusion process as opposed to locat energy conversion via photosynthesis or evaporation.

                  Question of definition mainly

        1. The unfunctionality of both solar and wind fits perfectly with my long held belief that the real definition of ‘alternative energy’ is ‘any means of generating electricity that is in no danger of being practical’.

      1. Some of those aren’t obvious in their own right; they need a certain amount of background knowledge before they become obvious. E.g., I never used to think that solar and wind would cause problems to the power grid, because at the time I didn’t know how the power grid operates. Now that I’ve learned about the need to match generation to consumption, it’s more immediately obvious why solar and wind are such a problem (especially wind with its wild unpredictability). But that’s why the left gets away with claiming that solar and wind will fix everything: because that one isn’t immediately obvious, and to most people, electricity generation is Sufficiently Advanced Technology.

        1. Solar and wind don’t HAVE to seriously disrupt the grid power, but in order for them not to do so requires that they work through a significant storage system, so that they inject a less variable input to the system. But then, that raises the cost significantly, and reduces their already-questionable cost efficiency.

          1. I was going to post and point out that I really like wind power for stuff like “move water up to the holding tanks.” That’s what windmills are for in Nevada, at least when I was a kid– sometimes you still had to take a pump out to get more water up, but 90% of the time it filled the tanks entirely and it was awesome. Work that doesn’t need to be done on demand, just needs to fill a tank.

            Then I thought of a use for solar– what if it was tied to the heating/cooling system?

            K, the heating wouldn’t be worth so much. But AC is a HUGE demand– why not use it to take a chunk out of that?

            1. Have to look into how expensive it would be, but you could do both at the same time, if it was installed as part of a modified “geothermal” HVAC installation. They’re already expensive, but I don’t think it would be very much more so to divide off sections of the yard, insulate them, and when the heating/A/C was not actually running for the house, use the solar to power the unit to shift the heat from one section to the other, creating hot and cold sinks for it to draw from.

              1. Hawaii has a lot of rooftop photovoltaic solar, and as one would think, cooling load coincides with higher insolation, so on a macro level that’s good. The problem isn’t total load, it’s the sharp edges of the load. Hawaii also has direct exposure to typical tropical weather patterns. Think of the net load for an entire island’s grid when a flock (yes, they come in flocks) of pretty puffy tropical clouds floats by on the tradewinds, casting shade across a bunch of rooftop pv solar panels and then lighting them up again, effectively randomly, across the entire island. The grid has a base load that has to be supplied to keep things going, plus there are electric power stability requirements else things connected to the grid start to burn out, yet on the other hand there’s all this rooftop solar yanking the power supply up and down randomly and unpredictably.

                The Hawaiian grid infrastructure was built over time with an expectation of a steady-ish load and managed supply frequency and such, but now it’s very much not steady. And since the islands don’t have any depth to their infrastructure, they can’t dynamically generate power varying it minute-by-minute to level everything out and stabilize the grid.

                So the power company has put the brakes on new rooftop solar unless the homeowner pays to upgrade the local chunk of grid to which it would connect.

                It’s a really difficult problem.

                See story from Scientific American for more:

                1. It’s actually an even worse problem as a number of the Hawaii installations are set up to “sell” power back to the grid when the residence is not using it all. So, not only do they get surges on demand, they also get supply side surges which are difficult to project. None of which should stop a homeowner from running an off-grid air-conditioning system (and/or hot water systems) hooked to solar power with some level of battery to allow for smooth transitions onto and off of the system. The problem occurs when the homeowner wants smooth switching between solar and the grid systems.

                  1. The problem occurs when the homeowner wants smooth switching between solar and the grid systems.

                    …and also a subsidy for their rooftop solar panel installation via selling excess power back to the utility, which resale at inflated rates being mandated by the .gov to legislatively combat the small slice of climate change that could possibly be anthropocentric in service of mother Gaia and the Sierra Club.

            2. An acquaintance was recently posting about having gotten a solar system installed with a (hopefully very large) battery for her own home’s use — I don’t know how it decides whether to prioritize that or feeding back into the grid, but I think it was programmable, and she was eager for the storage as a backup if the power went out at night. Me… yeah, it’d be trying to pay itself off in air conditioning.

            3. Don’t know how the large solar or wind farms work with the grid. But if you put solar or wind on your home, any excess is collected & you are credited for it. Since the locally available utilities (by area) are power & water, getting any money is rare. Even then I think the credit stays on your account until you aren’t producing power. Generally that is winter; so far solar has been the option of choice.

    3. Back working at Boy Scout camp: “Why are you carrying the canoes next to your hips? It’s easier to life them over your heads.” “Because we can’t carry them over our heads, twit.”

      1. Make a yoke with two paddles, then use your legs to swing them over your head and carry them on your shoulders.

        1. Oh, we could have rested them on our heads if it weren’t for the fact that we were moving them through camp and into storage and needed to *see* where we were going. 😉

          1. Hubby & I trying to remove the canopy from the back of the pickup …

            Him: “I said PULL …”
            Me: “I AM!!!!” As it moves actually nowhere … The fact I was all but standing on my toes to reach what I had to, didn’t help with the leverage, but no way was I moving the thing. I’m 5’4″ & then weighed about 125 (now, weigh a lot more).

            We got creative to take off & put on the canopy that ultimately took no extra muscles, but first time was …. uhhhh, educational.

          2. Once they are on your shoulders, you tilt them backwards so you can see where you are going.

  8. On women in movies fighting….the only honest scene I have scene was Rhonda Rousey in Expendables 3. She spends the scene fighting a bad guy wearing a helmet, throat guard and groin guard (all the bad guys did, so did some of the good guys). She does all the wrestling moves using her body and legs to try and torque him, as the black widow does. Her mass and momentum do not stop him, or drop him or flip him. She does manage to disarm him and at one point, she has one arm pinned while hold the other one. He walk/runs and slams her repeatedly into a wall. She falls or lets go, then grabs the gun and shots him.
    It was the most realistic fight scene between a man and woman I have seen in a movie that did not involve superpowers and where both people where supposed to know how to fight.

    1. Black Widow also cheats a little with those gadgets that deliver electrical shocks, IIRC. I’ll have to go rewatch that fight scene from Iron Man 2 and see how many of the guards she takes down with a gadget or similar.

      1. Even her costume is useful– an awful lot of the guys LOOK like they’re going “Wow!” instead of “aah! Shoot her!” or similar.

        And she obviously has super-strength… to be roughly as strong as Clint. /wry

          1. I also remember one scene where she’s taking a quick sneaky-peak at the people she has to go past, and judges that the nailer will be insufficiently effective and makes a different plan.

            1. Make a meme with that line “The most effective feminist ever was Sam Colt.” I’ll share it around, and I know a bunch of other people who will, too! (Including the one of my brothers who is on-line.)

              Isn’t it ironic that so many women push anti-gun laws??

              1. I need my rest, but I will not stop* anyone trying to en-meme-ify that.
                Have at it, any and every one.

                * Like I could stop anyone when awake, let alone when asleep.

                    1. I did an extensive transcription job for a client, of the Colt family papers – yeah, local Colt weapons enthusiast, who went as far down in the weeds as to get access to the Colt papers in a university archive, and hire me to read and transcribe them – and it was a most fascinating task. I actually became rather fond of various members of his family through the letters – his brother-in-law and his father-in-law, who appeared to me to be a rather decent old Yankee stick. Colt’s wife, Elizabeth Hart Jarvis didn’t write all that much, and she had somewhat difficult handwriting – but when he died of chronic (and somewhat mysterious health problems in 1862 – he left his whole enterprise to her control (in trust for a three-year old surviving son), and to the management of her brother. It was one of the biggest industrial concerns at the time. Elizabeth was one of the richest widows in post CW America – and yet she didn’t really splash about much in late 19th century society.
                      I’ve always thought – just from reading all those letters – that he must have trusted her a lot, over and above practically everyone else/

                    2. The galleries at (a friend of Mad Mike Williamson) have quite a few meme type images about how guns & being armed are good for women & their rights…

              2. The most effective feminist ever was Sam Colt.

                That would be Samantha Colt, n’est-ce pas?

      2. I’ve heard it argued that BW is actually more interesting and effective in a non-combat role and as a spy. In Iron Man 2 for example, or when she tricks Loki into revealing his plan by using her empathy and – yes – femininity, complete with a pose of vulnerability. The same when she tricks those gangsters while ties to a chair (and even that fight at the end of the scene was tacked on and unnecessary. SHIELD could have just told the gangsters they were in snipers’ sights, Widow undoes the knots herself, gets up and strolls out with class. I’d have liked that)

        I don’t like how they insist on turning her into just an action girl in later movies. Part of the backlash against the suggestion that not being able to have kids is a source of sorrow for her.

        1. I don’t like how they insist on turning her into just an action girl in later movies.

          I justify that as her kind of trying to off herself in a passive way, because she betrayed Bruce for the “Other Guy” on the flying city.
          And they both left.

          SAme way a lot of Tony being an idiot fits PTSD to a T. (Or maybe MT, Massive Trauma.)

          1. He is not only an idiot, he projects his faults (and they are legion) onto everyone around him. That was the main reason for the civil war (the movie, not ACW).

            1. Both of which are far from uncommon for PTSD and related issues that boil down to conflict over losing his mom and dad, but he’s supposed to be a super-smart awesome guy so… he’s an ass, which comes across as confidence 90% of the time. (See PUA sites for details.)

              1. Makes you wonder if maybe President Trump has some traumatic issues in his past? That might explain why he acts like such a buffoon so much of the time. Of course that does work wonders in getting people to always underestimate him.

                1. I’d guess he takes to the Alice Cooper theory of dealing with people– find a persona that’s useful for your business, stick to it, then you don’t get stabbed in the back where it hurts, you get stabbed in the back where it’d hurt your mask.

                  It’s like manners for things where classic manners would be rude.

                  1. It would not surprise me to find that the real Trump is both much smarter and significantly lower-key than his public persona.

                    1. I wouldn’t tell either of them this, but he reminds me of my mom. (She’s like HER mom, though I wouldn’t say that, either, it’s not needfully a good thing. IT’s just a thing.)

                      I would bet he’s loud when he’s passionate. That’s a BAD thing…unless you’re loud all the time. Then it just means you’re awake.

                  1. Yeah, I don’t see ‘buffoon’ when I look at Trump. I have a low tolerance for listening to political speeches so I haven’t listened to many of his, but he just comes across to me as a guy who is a little bit loud and brash and crude (but not obnoxiously so), but he’s got to be very intelligent or he wouldn’t be able to successfully run all his businesses like he’s done. I’d rather have loud and brash and crude with his head and his heart in the right place than smooth and mannerly and out for himself and devil take the hindmost, which is what most of the politicians seem to be.

                    1. I get the impression of someone who is playing “loud, brash businessman” to the hilt, with a laugh about it.

                      Brash usually trips my “fool” trigger, but that’s viewing someone as on “my” side; they’ll rush into silly mistakes, so I don’t trust their judgement.

                      I’m still not sure he’s on my side, so it doesn’t “read” as foolish to me. (He’s just not an enemy. 😀 )

            2. My reaction is usually along the lines of “beat him over the head until he stops being SUCH AN IDIOT, then get that guy a hug, some hot, fresh chocolate chip cookies and a seasonally suitable dunking medium for them.”

              1. No politician is ever “on your side”. However, occasionally they’re going in a direction you want to encourage them to go.

                1. But “is occasionally going in a direction I wish to encourage” is a mouth-full, and none of them are absolutely on your side, so just say “on your side.”

        2. It was the first Avengers movie, not Iron Man 2, but yeah. I liked her manipulation abilities.

          “This idiot is giving me everything!”

        3. I was under the impression the fact she got involuntarily sterilized was a source of sorrow for her … and, from my perspective, entirely and rightfully so.

      3. I thought the initial depiction of BW was interesting: the archtypical manipulative, treacherous w oman, but used for good instead of evil. There’s even hints of her being a reformed villain in the first Avengers movie. Red in the ledger, and she’s grateful for a chance to make amends instead of imprisonment or execution.

      4. Black Widow also cheats a little with those gadgets that deliver electrical shocks, IIRC.

        Cheating? That’s using your wits. Regarded as cheating chiefly by those lacking in them. But fights are not the Olympics with rules about what you can and can not do in them.

    2. There’s a scene in The Kingdom where Jennifer Garner ends up having to go hand-to-hand with a terrorist that probably had a good six inches an a hundred pounds on her (it’s been a while since I’ve seen the movie). He literally wipes the floor with her until she manages to get her pocket knife out and open, and even then she’s barely able to take him down. IIRC, he may not have actually stopped coming at her until her colleagues arrived and shot him multiple times with rifles.

      1. My daughter is currently in a Jujitsu class (or rather will be going back to her Jujitsu class in a couple weeks, long story). She used to do Krav, which is a good art, but had focus problems. This is much better.

        In a couple years though I think Daddy and Daughter will take a modern knife fighting class like Martial Blade Concepts. I’m a little too “old and slow” for such a thing, but I suspect a year or two of that will prepare her better.

        1. Find a class that is not dueling with knives. Knife fights are either over VERY quickly or they are bloody messes that may have NO survivors.
          Defending against a surprise knife attack can be almost impossible. I am talking an attack not someone threating you with a knife. Surprise attack, best defense is a mail shirt.

            1. seen the results of both making it to the ER
              My then GF was in the New Orleans Charity Hospital ER from 8am until 11:30pm waiting, I joined her at just after 6. NOPD brought the two in for treatment, one on foot, in cuffs, the other shackled and on a gurney.
              It is also the only fast way to get service there. In cuffs/shackles and bleeding was immediate, in cuffs was next fastest. Showing symptems of a heart attack and just a poor old black lady popping nitro pills like tic tacs? 10 hours wait, thankyou

              1. Cuffs or shackles, the client is the city, even if they weasel out of paying. Someone staggering in gray and making wheezing noises, that’s some schmuck who probably can’t cause them any trouble.

                Triage starts covering your own posterior first…

          1. I know a guy who had that happen to him. Someone had, essentially, dared him to make an exorbitantly dense chain-mail shirt (“it can’t be done, would be too heavy to wear” if I recall the exact words.) I don’t remember the link count, alas. But he’d gotten the body section done, no sleeves. And was wearing it about under his sweater (late fall) to get used to the weight while he made the sleeve parts. His job was campus security. They had a number where people with night classes could call for an escort across the large, dark campus if they were nervous. So he was out escorting the girl and passing a parking lot. Old truck screeches up and guy hops out, obviously drunk. Waves him off saying she doesn’t need an escort, he’ll take it from there. My acquaintance looked at the girl (who was now half hiding behind him) and asked if she wanted to go with the guy. She was, apparently, very emphatic with the ‘no’. So he stepped between them, firmly and said. “She’s not going with you.”

            Apparently the guy drew a hunting knife and stabbed him. (He was full of praise for the shot. No telegraphing just text book perfect.) He goes down on one knee. His first thought is. “I’m Not dead, huh…” His second thought. “Oh… I’m wearing armor… heeheehee.” And stood back up.

            Meanwhile the Drunk is looking at the guy he just stabbed, and still processing, apparently, ‘I just stabbed someone’. Followed by “Oh crap he just got back up.” and stagger/bolted back to his truck and sped off.

            He apparently still has the armor and the sweatshirt with the knife hole in it.

            1. There are a lot of stories in fandom dealing with SCA types being (unsuccessfully 🤣) mugged.

              My favorite ends with the SCA dude telling the mugger (who is staring at his snapped cheapass switchblade) “I’ll see your six inches and raise you three feet.”

              No idea if any of them are true. Don’t really care.

              1. Sir Trudy. 🙂 “I see your six inches and raise you Thirty-six.” That one is apparently quite true. I’m not sure how embellished it’s been since I didn’t get it directly from her. But the “just the facts” version (or at least that’s what they called it) I got was she had an old school English broadsword to the guy’s switchblade.

                Some are true. Some are false. Some are embellished. The one I told I got from the guy it happened to, and as I said, he still has the Chain shirt and the sweater.

              2. My uncle’s was Celtic association, and “honey, I hear something!” related gas-siphoning where he forgot he’d put the swords in the closet where he kept his custom home-defense bat (modified to be like a sword…and he made his swords, so not as crazy as it sounds) not mugging, but I don’t think the twerps who were stealing gas from his car appreciated the “why” of two naked-or-nearly-so dudes charging out, one with a sword he didn’t realize, the other (neighbor) with an inspired-by-fantasy dwarven axe that he DID realize.

                They got two cans of gas out of the deal!

              3. Oddly, I haven’t heard any of those stories. I have heard, however, of an SCA fighting practice location, in a bad part of Detroit, where the members never got their cars broken into, or vandalized, or anything. Apparently the local thugs considered anyone who would show up and beat on each other with sticks for fun was just a little pucker-inducing.

              4. My variation on that was not a mugging but a pranking, so no harm done regardless, BUT I went to a college with a gorgeous campus and the make-out spots were similarly alluring. One of my SCA buddies went “walking” with his girlfriend about the time the local lumpenfraternity decided it’d be fun to jump out of the woods at people.

                My friend was about 6’4″ and…pretty broad to go with it. He’d also just come from a meeting and was carrying his (rattan) hand-and-a-half sword. So when HE charged THEM,in the dark, swinging his sword with intent and screaming bloody murder…I’m told they stopped running sometime that weekend.

                1. Ah, Fraternities. So many of my Liberal acquaintances want them banned from one campus or another, and I always ask them, “Why would you want to ban an organization that causes all the monumental Jerks on campus to self-identify?”

                  1. Because nothing says “jerk” quite like belonging to a Masonic-lite organization with a mission of self-improvement and charity?

                    Why the Liberals want them banned is obvious. They strive to keep alive old values, and are independent organizations not under the control of the Commissars infesting higher education.

                    But why buy their propaganda? There are no shortage of jerks in dorms, behind podiums, or in administrative offices. Why fixate on people who have no power over you, and who you rarely directly interact with?

                2. I have a variant of that story from the other side.

                  So there we were, playing capture the flag in the woods on campus one night, when a small gaggle of girls came wandering through. We were letting them pass, completely oblivious (after all, we didn’t want to give away our position to the other team) when one of them stepped on the hand of one of my friends. He didn’t make much of a sound, but it was enough to get their attention. They saw him, frantically looked around, and noticed the rest of our group in dark clothes, with faces painted, trying to be invisible.
                  There was a moment of stunned silence, followed by a scream in four-part harmony tuned to the doppler effect (and occasional grunts as they ricocheted off trees).
                  They cost us the game, but we all had a good laugh about it, and went home.

                  The girls’ story of how they barely escaped a band of rapists was the talk of the campus for months. Panic, paranoia, and witch hunts followed in the wake.

  9. I used to, premenopause and many meds, be quite facile with words. I am absolutely awful with spatial perception.

  10. just like me telling my wife and my roomate’s wife to step back and let me move the washer ( an ollldddd Kenmore, early 80s at best) into position… *grunt, grab, grow, heave* “There, its in place”

  11. So we have a fifteen year old girl desperate to feel all grown up, so she somehow finds her way to a house party with kids her age or slightly older. It’s in the early 1980s so of course there’s underage drinking of which she partakes.
    At some point she finds herself in a room with two also inebriated boys and one makes a clumsy pass at her. She screams and he puts a hand over her mouth to quiet her down. The boys then back off and let her leave.
    She is traumatized by the event, a bit drunk, went somewhere she had no business being, and desperate to resolve what happened in her own mind. So of course it had to be attempted rape with she the innocent victim.
    Years later she calls up that victimhood under therapy, using it as a free pass in a dispute with her husband. It works rather well, and she enjoys her empowerment.
    Comes to modern day and the progressive left, her party of choice, is faced with a terrible situation. Trump has stolen the Presidency from its rightful recipient, and is now packing the courts with conservative justices. She studies the timeline and realizes that it’s physically possible for the latest Supreme Court candidate to have been one of her attackers. What empowered feminist progressive could possibly let such an opportunity go to waste.
    My point being, if two teenage boys had been seriously intent on rape, then a rape would have happened. Since it did not, it all comes down to feelz. As for my further speculations, those go to explain how we happen to find ourselves in the situation we’re in today. And that of course that liberal progressive Democrats, but I repeat myself, have no shame and will do anything whatsoever to win at any cost.

        1. If you’re referring to his mother ruling against her parents in a bankruptcy hearing, that was a mistake–she ruled in their favor.

          1. Fuzzy as she is about any number of past events how likely is it that all she recalls is that her parents went through a bankruptcy and a Kavanaugh was one of the judges? The woman demands complete 100% belief on some things while waving off major discrepancies in her story regarding other details.
            And in any case she is a known left wing activist, and this was far to tempting an opportunity to screw with conservatives to let a few pesky details get in the way.

          2. with her memory lapses can we trust her to remember that?
            Also, this reply is not in my notifications. Odd. Is there an ignore button I might have clicked or got cat clicked?

    1. Margot Cleveland does a terrific job of identifying the multiple seams in Jones’ story and definitely notes Jones’ … pecuiliar resistance to naming the boy — ” the person Mr. Whelan was trying to say looked like Mr. Kavanaugh” — connecting her (and not simply by Ed Whelan’s alternate scenario) to Kavanaugh.

      Now, I’m not a clinical psychologist, nor do I play one on TV, but it sure seems to me as if she is suppressing something there — such as the “fact” that a boy she had “gone out with” had assaulted her — and substituting a more acceptable scenario.

    2. [In 2012] later she calls up that victimhood under therapy, using it as a free pass in a dispute with her husband.

      As it turns out , she used it then to get a free pass from committing rent fraud. The 2nd door went up in 2008 to provide access to the illegal rental.

      No question of sticky memory, just a flat-out lie.

    3. What empowered feminist progressive could possibly let such an opportunity go to waste.

      I am not sure that she is the one who engineered this latest. Progressives are entirely happy to take full advantage of any useful idiots that come their way.

      I watched the left build up and use Cindy Sheehan when it suited them. They trust her out into the limelight to attack President George W. Bush. They stopped featuring her when it was President Obama she protested and she ran against Nancy Pelosi for the House.

      It could well be that this girl become a woman, instead of growing up and learning from experience, was rendered more fragile by drinking at the fountain of progressive feminist nonsense. Now she has been yet again ‘victimized’.  This time by the very people she trusted to defend her, the activists and the Democratic party who used her as a political weapon.

      Whatever the case: When they are finished with her and she has no further use to them they will abandon her.

  12. I never knew the spatial thing – is this why the stereotype of the woman telling two guys to keep moving the couch/table/other large furniture item exists? It would also explain some of the stereotypes of “women drivers” now that I think about it – those usually are about accidents at parking-lot speeds more than anything, or fender-benders in tight spaces, etc.

    On the strength thing, this is one of the reasons why we have The Daughter in karate. We KNOW she’ll end up being less strong, so if we start NOW, she may well stick with it once the strength difference begins to manifest. (It’s also to help with the clumsiness; still hoping that fades in the next year or two, but she’s only 6 still.)

    But for high school, my secret weapon is getting her to like/play field hockey. Plan is moving apace – we even accidentally live in a school district with a really good field hockey team. Why is this the secret weapon? Because when I was in school, man, NOBODY messed with the field hockey girls. They were scary. 😀

    1. My mother despised most woman drivers. Now, as it happened her first husband (my father) was a race car driver and auto mechanic and that’s where she learned a lot of her own driving. But her opinion of the average run of the mill female behind the wheel of a car was not fit for print.

      1. And yet young men have far more accidents. 😉

        (Point being, we compensate for our weaknesses.)

            1. I’m a bigger fan of “have at least basic understanding of physics.”

              Such as “vehicles are heavy,” and “a truck is not a smart car or motorcycle, stop driving like it is.”

              Also, “turning the wheel does not actually mean the vehicle will go where you tell it, when you are going too fast for conditions; the road is gravel is a condition.”

                1. Did you know the driver’s side window of a Smart Car is at the same height as the exhaust of a 1986 Ford crew cab dually? Yep. All that black diesel smoke went right in his window. ~:D

        1. Depends on what stats you’re looking at. Total, yes. But that’s because *way* more boys drive than girls, and more often, and further.

          The “accidents per mile” is lower for boys, but that’s not the figure you’ll often see.

          1. It’s very hard to figure how many miles anybody drives– or even how much time.

            I notice women tend to under-estimate distance a LOT, possibly related to the spatial thing. (This includes me.)

            1. When my insurance calls and asks how many miles we drive each vehicle, I go out and look at the records. It’s amazing how much easier it is to calculate when you have the milage written down at two points about a year apart.

              1. You can get an idea* of how many miles are driven inside of a state by using registration information, too– but it doesn’t tell you who drove. One of my grandmothers never drove herself, the other was very strange–drove almost as much as MY mom! But in our house, I drive if we’re both going somewhere, not because I’m good but because I don’t hurt when I’ve driven 18 hours and he does.

                *most driving is done inside of X distance of home, so mostly will be in the state of registration, at least close enough for a sky-level calculation

                1. Had a couple of years, where the home vehicle mileage stayed the same, but my actual driving mileage dropped like a rock. Kid’s sky rocketed, but then he was starting at zero. Only child. Once he got his drivers permit (then license), if he was in the vehicle, he drove; everywhere. He tracked about 200 hours of driving time, & that was only part of the times he drove. I forget the mileage now.

                  Now, during that time, hubbies car put on 48,000 miles in 17 months. He was commuting between Eugene, Oregon & Randle, Washington on Mondays (North), & Fridays (South).

              2. I was about to say — there is no point my trying to estimate distances, but fortunately we have odometers and notebooks.

                1. I just look it up on the computer 🙂

                  But, yea. Off the cuff, no map, etc., forget it. Road mileage bad enough, worse on the ground on trails.

          2. I don’t know accidents per mile stats but I do know that women pay less for car insurance than males do because men get into more destructive accidents than females do.

        2. I suspect men drive more. When you take a woman on a date, who usually drives? There’s possibly other factors, but that was the obvious one.

      2. I have lousy spatial visualization skills. Parking is a challenge and will remain so. As a result, I tend to be hyper-cautious, which has its own risks.

      3. Oh, hell, my opinion of about two thirds of the drivers I see on the roads is unfit for polite company. I’m a mediocre driver, but I try to drive like I know it, which makes up for a lot so far.

        Pedestrians are little better. What the holy jumping Jesus causes somebody to stand at a crosswalk, and start crossing the MOMENT the light for the crossing cars turns green.

        1. Or abruptly turn off of the sidewalk on to the 5 lane, 40-but-everyone-goes-faster area that’s just around a nice, big, wide turn?

          Car dealership area, I almost picked up three of their mechanics that way. Thank heaven I was going a bit slow because I dislike how folks will nose halfway into the road to look for traffic.

          1. I deeply sympathize with the traffic-nosers. Where I live there are entirely too many intersections where the stop line is too far back to see anything coming. You pretty much have to be stradling the line to tell if you are safe to go, and of course the guy in back of you hase pulled up so even if you tried to pull back you still crash into somebody.

            Wish the county would spend half as much effort cutting back sightline obstructions as they do clearing branches away from power lines.

            1. If it was that, I’d understand.

              But they drive up to the road full speed, slam on the brakes about when they hit the sidewalk, then skid out into the road and look at you a block away.

              Then sit there.

              1. Bleh. Sounds really irritating.

                Around here, I’ve been bitching about the decisions (which I’m sure are based on environmental regulation regarding green space when putting in parking lots) to put farking BUSHES in places that they will grow too tall to see over, creating a dangerous blind spot.

                One of those at a nearby gas station apparently either was causing too many accidents, or someone influential had an accident because of it, because one day I went to pull out of the parking lot and it had been hacked to the ground.

                1. My mom use to be the “jerk” who would tell people whose greenery and such was illegally placed. A couple of times phoned it in, too, when they refused to take action on dangerous situations. (Part of why I don’t go in for full-scale libertarianism– other folks’ lives, even those of their customers, were worth less that the bother of two minutes with a pair of sheers.)

                  Washington State, and California, actually have laws about that.

                  A notable part of the time, the illegal obstruction of view was by someone official. 😉

                  1. Most of the libertarian settings I’ve read in fiction, including Sarah’s Darkship universe, have some kind of weregild payments to get around that problem. When causing someone’s death is expensive, you’ll pay more attention.

                    Of course, the difference between weregild and laws against dangerous behaviors gets smaller and smaller the more you work out the practical logic of the setting. E.g., who determines the weregild? And what happens if you don’t pay it? If the community shuns you until you conform to community standards, such that you can’t even buy food, is that significantly different from pointing a gun at you to make you conform to community standards? And how does that differ from the abuses that HOAs get up to? All kinds of interesting questions come up when you start down this road… 🙂

                  2. Intersection obstruction: “Washington State, and California, actually have laws about that. ”

                    So does Oregon. Seen it enforced twice. Once with bushes (now they have a motorhome parked there /sigh). Other was a large van at a duplex; legally parked far enough from the intersection, just blocked line of sight. Someone must have complained as the van was tagged; they moved it into the driveway.

            2. Stop lines are usually set far back so as to allow tractor-trailers (articulated lorries) to get around the corners.

              1. Which would be fine, if they would keep the friggin’ sight lines clear.

                My only consolation is that, if they ever install traffic cameras to give out tickets for ‘running a red light’, the first tine somebody challenges them in court because of the sight lines the money grubbing politicians are going to get told to refund every single ticket.

                1. Legally, locally, when your sight line is obstructed for an intersection, fully, or partly, you are suppose to stop first at the designated line which is not the nearest, crosswalk line or where it would be if missing. After that full stop (rolling stops don’t count), you can pull forward to where you can see. That can be a full stop or rolling stop, depending on traffic. Thus, they have been able to issue tickets based on “not stopping” when it comes to cameras & make them stick. I have one intersection that is darn near a 3 stop, “stop”, to properly see. First time someone gets nailed the house causing the problem is going to be very sorry (they have their motor home parked along the side of the house, but too far forward, obstructing the left side of the intersection; same house where they were forced to remove privacy bushes for the same reason. Don’t know if it is the same home owners.) You can’t see what is coming from the left until you are well into the intersection.

          2. Part of the problem there is that I’m sure it was laid out with good sight lines…. before the shrubs and bushes grew up taller than the car… or some moron wheeled his “temporary” advertising sign out there…. etc.

            1. It’s stone walls here (I do the full legal stop, roll down a window, then edge forward listening as hard as I can so I can avoid a t-bone accident) but the area I’m talking about has four foot sidewalks that are totally empty on either side of the road, no trees. Use to be the edge of town about 10 to 15 years back, so it’s where all the dealerships are.

              HOW those idiots get going that fast when it’s coming out of a dealership…..but you can WATCH them bump forward when they hit the brakes, and then sit there. Making me change lanes. Then they sit there more…..

              I’d have to video it to convey how bad it is!

              1. I’m aware of…someone in the family…that got tired of one of the neighbors parking in the alley blocking half of it. He may, or may not, have been pulling a rather large, heavy trailer down the alley early one morning and just happened to put a 9″ crease down the side of the guy’s car from bumper to bumper.


                1. You reminded me of an incident in one of the DESTROYER books, that sums up why I read the silly things. Remo (the second deadliest assassin in the world) is stationed in Boston, long term. He has to drive on the Boston Beltway and only his superhuman reflexes have kept him from having a number of accidents brought on by the area’s super-aggressive drivers. So he decides he wants to drive something they will be intimidated by enough to leave him along. He gets an Armored Personnel Carrier….and it makes no difference. The Bostonians STILL cut him off at every opportunity.

                  1. I would love to have an armored car/van to drive around as an alternate vehicle. It would get horrible mileage, but I wouldn’t have to worry about stuff when I traveled.

                    1. Husband insisted our new driving-from-Texas vehicle had to be made of steel, and big enough to hold all of the kids plus a few passengers.

                      We got it. Hardly ever drive it, I don’t leave the house much during the week so it’s basically “we are doing something on the weekend we can’t walk to and more than can fit in the kia are going.”

                      That said, it took us nine months after we bought it to realize the guy before us had put a dent in the back bumper, and we’re pretty sure he never knew.

                      the rimshot: it has the same MPG in town as my first vehicle did on long distance drives.

                  2. If people will pull out in front of a BUS doing 35-40mph a hundred feet in front of it, they won’t care about doing the same to and APC.

                    And that’s where I live, not Boston.

                    1. Dodge Intrepid – Nighthawk Blue … darn thing had a hidden target on it, I swear. Four accidents in 6 months; NONE of them our fault … I don’t know how many close calls … we got rid of the car.

                    2. I currently drive an ’03 Intrepid that I inherited from my grandmother, only 50K on it. I hate the thing. Can’t see out of it, seats are uncomfortable, and gets crappy highway mileage. Oh, did I mention that every so often it just dies and won’t start for half an hour and the transmission slips when it gets cool (gets stuck between gears on first shift, fine after that). I can’t wait to get rid of the POS. It’s a cursed vehicle

                    3. Other than people kept hitting the thing with their car … it was a great car. Good power, & response; great mileage, in town, rural roads, & freeway; no mechanical problems at all. OTOH we knew a lot of people who also had the Intrepid & their results weren’t as satisfactory; what you are reporting is something I’ve heard a lot before.

        2. Pedestrians don’t have right-of-way in my state. And bicycles don’t have right-of-way over cars any more, either. In a fit of sanity, the legislature changed them to “may not obstruct traffic” a while back.

          You’d *think* the local air base would circulate a memo to incoming airmen about that… the bicyclists are almost funny; they jump out onto the road expecting cars to make panic maneuvers to avoid them and then get run over. And then they find not only are they not going to receive a huge insurance payout, they got a traffic ticket and are liable for any damage to the vehicle they obstructed…

          1. I’m quite sure that they do tell them they don’t have right of way.

            Many states have them held to the same traffic laws as anybody else…just the drivers are trained by what actually HAPPENS to react as you observe they expect.

            I don’t wish anybody harm, but I wanna cheer to hear some of those psychotic mobile hazards are actually being held responsible for driving like a prius driver on meth.

            1. Oregon gives pedestrians the right of way over vehicles & bikes, whether they are in crosswalks or at intersections or not. Bikes over vehicles … really, really, stupid.

              Some really big situations brought it about. Most were the fault of drunk drivers speeding & running a red light that happened to also have pedestrians in the crosswalk at the same time. One, which was the most tragic, was a family crossing a freaking HIGHWAY (granted through town so speed limit is 40 at that point) essentially jay walking, at night. All 3 kids killed. Other than “not impaired” & not hit & run, the driver has not been outed publicly. This section of road had few safe places to cross. Pedestrian triggered, non-intersection crosswalks are going in locally all over the state.

      4. I am terrible with spatial visualization. I cannot parallel park to this day. And I get lost easily.

        1. Ditto … or me too. Made my mom & a friend walk an extra block, because only parallel parking where we needed to be (hey I offered to let them out). Found diagonal parking. I can do this with the car we have, if I have to, it has a backup camera, but it takes me FOREVER. In the truck? Nope. Not a chance. I despise backing that thing up, let alone try to maneuver it.

          Getting lost. Yep. Hubby knows the town we live in better than I do … & I grew up here, he didn’t.

        2. My best friend’s father taught me to drive due to the nasty divorce going on in my family at the time. HE only had a church van for me to practice on. Everything. Incuding parallel parking.

          Once you’ve parallel parked a church van, you can do it with anything short of a cruise ship.

        3. I’m half-way decent at navigation, mostly because of years of playing dungeon crawler video-games ^_^.

      5. My spatial perception is so bad that I flunked driver’s test. I’m ok with the spatial awareness to be a pedestrian, but more than that is a no go for me.

    2. Many people end up looking directly at the object they are trying to get around when driving, which tends to have them driving right into the object itself.

      1. Hm, I wonder if that’s why I look at the space between– it can bite me if there’s an irregularity up above the level I’m looking at, but the GAP is what I’m trying to avoid, not thing-on-other-side.

        Mom would’ve taught us that pretty dang early– I was backing up trailers and such in single digits, though on a tractor– so I have no idea.

      2. “Look where you want to go.”

        Search “racing motorcycle crashes” on YouTube and you can *see* riders who forget that…

      3. A whole lot of people don’t know how to use their mirrors, and never set them up properly.

    3. Wolffstar, once she hits puberty or a little later, introduce her to weight training. Nothing really hard-core unless she’s truly interested, but resistance exercise is the best thing women can do to stave off osteoporosis and some other age-associated woes. And it will help her martial arts, should she continue with them.

      1. Just make sure she gets a trainer who will modify the lifts based on her actual physiology.

        There’s nothing quite a discouraging as finding out that “doing the lifts the way your trainer told you to” is probably what caused most of your current back pain. (Personal experience? Who, me?)

    4. That reminded me. The last BSA training session I went to I had just parked and watched a women drive right in front of me and turn into a lamp post in the middle of a nearly empty parking lot. Slow enough no dent. She asked me NOT to inform her husband, one of the trainers…

      Don’t know if it was A. Women driver syndrome or B. Older driver syndrome.

      My better half gets upset when I zip too close to something. Doesn’t buy my argument that it’s not too close if I missed it.

    5. there is a joke that goes “Why can’t women parallel park? (hold thumb and forefinger about 5 inches apart) Because they’ve been told all their life that’s 8 inches”

      1. I recently came up with an answering joke for men; “Why are men so bad at time management? Because all their lives they’ve been told that half an hour is ‘I’ll be ready in a minute’.”

        1. “I’ll be ready in a minute”

          “OK, I’ve set the timer.” 😈

          Note, I would say that to Mom but won’t set the timer. 😉

          1. Oh my gosh– Mouse was so bad about that, that my mom started giving her and my aunt the same time to show up for events.

            Half an hour early. MINIMUM.

            It’s also half the reason Elf and I want out of Texas. El Paso runs on “mañana” time. When I have an appointment for 7:30AM, and the doctor’s door isn’t opened until 8AM– and they have a policy of “if you’re late, your appointment is canceled and we bill you”– I am going to go nuclear. (they did not enforce it, but we were an hour and a half late for the thing we’d planned for two hours after the appointment.)

  13. On a related note, a scientist got banned from a CERN conference for pointing out differences. The obligatory shitstorm, of course. There are writeups in a few places, but Stacey McCain has a pretty thorough one:

    I can’t remember who (Ann Althouse?) said it originally, but approximately: “It’s not acceptable in The Narrative to point out differences between men and women, unless it’s to show women are better.”

    1. When I was back to college a few years ago a younger student was complaining about how sexist the Physics department was and how she had to change majors (to linguistics, which actually makes a deal of sense.) But the funny part of the story is that while this girl was probably plenty smart enough, top of the class and stuff, she apparently wasn’t precise enough or orderly in her mind (and how is *that* for a stereotype!). The sorts of things that her professors would get on her case for were almost certainly true. Enough so that her pre-med 4.5 gpa best friend quietly advised me not to have this girl help me with my calculus, even if she offered.

      It is OK not to be suited for some particular thing. Not everything is a Good Fit.

      1. (I am apparently also not a good fit for physics. Later I took the Physics-for-pre-med class (from a female doctoral student in the physics department so clearly they didn’t run all the women off) and found it profoundly difficult to let the numbers run their course. Frankly, I think that problems should not include physically impossible scenarios! But over all physics is very odd and involves no end of non-intuitive truth.)

        1. Thing is, physics theory is building mathematical models that may or may not correspond to the phenomena in question. Physics experimentation is getting actual data about the phenomena. If you are trying to teach people to wrangle that stuff, and stick only to models that haven’t been disproven, you can wind up crippling them.

          All of our models are wrong. Engineering is selecting useful models from a pool of wrong models. Those poor bastards in physics have to generate new alternative models, work out the ramifications, test them, and then spend the rest of their time arguing what degree of wrong the models are.

      2. I changed away from engineering when I determined it wasn’t a Good Fit. Psychologically, though—I was pulling a B average. My dad’s the one who pointed out that if I were enjoying myself, I’d be getting As.

        1. Hmph. I graduated with an Aerospace Engineering degree…with a 2.5 GPA. Virginia Tech’s Aero program in the early 1980s was brutal, I was in the middle of the class.

          1. Oh, I could have swung it, but it was actually against my inclinations. My problem is that I’m both creative and hyper-practical (“you’re the most left-brained creative person I know”), so I come off as confusing even to myself sometimes.

      3. Tangent: When did GPA’s start exceeding 4? They discontinued them at my high school when I was freshman, and every college I attended (as recently as five years ago) even A+ for a class added a 4.0 to the record.

        1. Depends on the school. Some places when they ask for the GPA, make a point of asking for the scale.

        2. I don’t recall exactly how much they added for the “+” a couple of years ago at UNM. I did get it once or twice. My 4.5 remark was pulling the number from my backside.

        3. As I recall, high school used 4.0 for an A. College, Uni of Illinois, AKA the Ivory Corn Silo used a 5.0 for the same, with an F being a 1.0. I never investigated if it were possible to get < 1.0.

          (In elementary and junior high school, the best grade was a '1', with a '7' being a failure. No idea where that came from, though I suspect it was somebody's great idea.)

          1. In lot’s of high schools “honor courses” are 5.0 for an “A”. If the course is distinctly harder than the non-honor’s course.

            Our local HS doesn’t do that. My youngest graduated #2. The difference was- #1 took business math senior year, he took calculus.

          2. My private school did the ordinal numbers thing: 93 to 100 was a 1 (actually, 98 to 100 was 1+; 93 to 94? was 1-). 92 to 80 something was a 2, etc.

            And someone tell me that ‘A’s are not given in Britain for 70s!

        4. They’ve been doing that for a long time, depending on the school. Students get to do extra credit work and it adds on top of even a 4.0 GPA. Makes me crazy, like whenever I see someone talking about “giving 110%” or “turning it up to 11”.

  14. Alessandro Strumia of Pisa University, in a conference at CERN, presented a talk giving evidence that men are better than women at physics, and that men are being discriminated against because of ideology, and was immediately suspended for it, because it was “highly offensive”.

    It would be, if you happen to be the female head of CERN. But being offensive is not a disproof, nor does suspending him refute his contention that feminist ideology is systematically discriminating against men.

      1. They’re on it.

        “A senior software engineer at Google with responsibility for a key feature of Google’s search engine labeled Tennessee Senate candidate Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) a “violent thug” and a “terrorist,” who Google shouldn’t “negotiate” with, according to internal emails obtained by Breitbart News. The employee also defended the censorship of her campaign ads on social media.”

    1. It would not *necessarily* be so if you were the female head of CERN, but it seems that it was?

      Statistical averages are not destiny. It’s really not *particularly* difficult to figure this out if one also has the chops to be a scientist.

  15. Concerning spacial awareness, I once wrote something that I believe has some bearing;

    In the 1970’s, after what one gathers were years of behind the scenes wrangling, the Federal Government officially stated that it was going to move the United States over to a Metric Standard of measurement. This was greeted with pockets of resistance and widespread apathy. Efforts began with some PR fanfare, a swath of public school initiatives, and some ostentatious shifts away from the old Imperial Standard. By 1980 it was fairly clear that nobody besides a few nut cases gave a flip either way, that the Imperial Standard (and several others, like the various nonsensical clothing size standards) was too entrenched to be dug out easily, and that getting excited about the whole mess was on a social level with getting into a lather about spelling reform.

    Basically there are three schools of thought about this;

    1) I love Metric. Metric is so easy to use. Metric is what I use every day. I don’t understand what everybody doesn’t just do it my way.

    2) I love Imperial Standard. Imperial Standard is so easy to use. Imperial Standard is what I use every day. I don’t understand what everybody doesn’t just do it my way.

    3) Oh, will you both just SHUT UP!

    The reason behind the preferences, however, is something most people haven’t thought about.

    Metric is all about decimal places. It’s for mathematics, and therefore for science. On paper, when using math, Metric simply makes sense. But in real life, ten is only cleanly devisable by two and five. And that simply isn’t very useful.

    Imperial is all about dividing by hand and eye. A foot is twelve inches. Twelve is cleanly divisible by two, three, four, and six. Three out of the four can be easily approximated by eye and hand, with a little practice. Other measures in the Imperial system have similar characteristics. If you are manipulating stuff in the real world, such as a kitchen or a sewing room, then Imperial may not make QUITE as much sense as Metric does in the laboratory (because each type of measurement is a different scale), but it makes one hell of a lot more sense than lifting Metric out of its natural setting.

    And there you are. Everybody is right. The scientists who prefer metric. The cooks and seamstresses and carpenters who prefer Imperial. And the rest of us who wish they would just leave it alone.

    Edited to add;

    Do you suppose that one of the reasons behind the push for Metrc is that its unsuitability for quick eye measurement helps disguise the difference?

      1. Imperial units are human scale. People grow from about 18 inches (Or 1½ ft) to normally about 6 ft. Some fall outside that a little, but no one reaches 10 ft. Meters the average person would be just less than 2, but no one would get to 3. And CM puts you in hundred and something range for the average person, whereas a 6 footer is 72 inches.

        A cup of pint is an easy amount to drink. A liter is an awful lot, and breaks down into ML. So a convenient cup becomes about 250 ML. So, would you like a cup or 250 ML? Cup is easier for everyday use.

        Hamburgers. A quarter pounder becomes a 113 grammer. Again- human scale- quarter pound or 4 Oz is human scale, unlike 113 gr or .113 Kg.

        And temperature. 0°F is really cold. 100° is kind of hot. And covers most everyday temps. Below 0 days and it’s really really cold. 0°C is , well, only just freezing, cold, but not really cold. Most winter temps end up below 0°C. And 100°C is dead. Convenient for knowing the temp at which water boils at 14.7 PSIA (101 KPa), but how often do you bother measuring your boiling water to see if it’s 212°F? You don’t. If it’s boiling, it’s boiling.

        I’m not a fan of the French designed metric system. For one- it’s French….

    1. I’d love to have a true Single Standard. And having done some thermo computation in both systems, metric wins easily there. But I can certainly appreciate the “carpenter’s perspective” as it were on Imperial. Different tools for different even if they (from the outside?) seem to be the same job.

      Disguising difference hadn’t occurred to me, but ox slow. (And I do have a certain fondness for the furlong, but that’s just plain bias, I admit.)

      As for disguising… how standards one what is a “serving” and containers need to have only integer multiples of such? Or we could just do away with a few decades of truly garbage dietary guidelines and not need to worry about it.

      1. Ah, but to do any thermodynamics, you have to convert to absolute temperatures (Rankine or Kelvin) anyway…and it’s smart to convert “pounds mass” to proper slugs, if in English Engineering Units.

    2. You have triggered one of my pet hatreds. /rant-mode/

      Metric is a disaster for furniture and small scale construction, and for mechanics. Imperial measures are thumb (inch), foot, and arm’s reach (yard). Six feet is a span, or a pace. Eight feet is as far as I can reach up over my head. Anything smaller than your thumb is divide by halves. I can tell if a crack in a board is 1/32nd or 3/64ths by looking at it. I know that a gap between two boards that is 1/64th or smaller will close up when the clamps are on, anything bigger than that needs straightening. I know what 4×8 looks like, and can estimate how many sheets in a room just by looking.

      Bolts, nuts and screws, same thing. I can tell 5/16ths from 1/2″ on sight. The 1947 Ford truck tool kit, the whole thing, was three open-end wrenches, a screwdriver and a pair of pliers. You could replace the whole engine with just that.

      Metric, I have to use my calipers. Vehicles these days have both metric and Imperial fasteners randomly all over them, I end up with two trays of sockets and wrenches just to change the brake pads.

      Here endeth my discontent. 😡 /rant-off/.

      1. This is because you’ve been doing it *forever*. I bet that you can find a european furniture guy who can do the same thing in Metric.

        1. I’ve met machinists who can do it in decimal inches, run their finger over a scratch and tell you if its .0001 or .0002 deep. So you’re right, it can be done.

          I just hate metric, is all. ~:D

      2. Most of the imports, and a lot of the new cars I worked on tended to be mostly 8mm-10mm-12mm across the board.

      3. Imperial is human scale and fractions.
        An inch is the width of my knuckle, a hand the width of my hand. A foot the length of my foot. A yard, the distance from nose to fingertip. A cup, the perfect size for a drink if you’re not thirsty. A pint, the perfect size for a drink if you’re thirsty. A quart, the perfect size for a drink if you’re very thirsty. A mile is a thousand places. A pound is the weight of a pint of water-based liquid. A degree in Farenheit is a temperature difference a person can perceive, zero on the scale is where blood freezes, and 100 is roughly body temperature.
        Fractions are fractions. If 1/7 is more useful to you than 0.1428571429, Imperial is where it’s at.

        Metric is, well, abstract in scale (I realize it’s based upon the size of the earth, but not in any readily useful way, unlike nautical miles, which is the same concept, but useful.) and decimal.
        It’s nice for diluting a solution to a proper concentration.
        Outside of the terrestrial realm, mass is more useful than weight.
        But these are rather specialized niches.

        I’m an unabashed proponent of Imperial measures.
        And I absolutely love it when some poseur says Celcius is most useful, because most of the planet is covered in water. (Salt water, of course freezes at 0 F. Not 0 C.)

        1. Amusingly enough, since I’ve got a bias against metric, I think a mix of both is better.

          IE, basically what the US has settled at.

          Even though I STILL growl a little at metric.
          (and don’t get me started on hospital mistakes that boil down to “are they going 7.6 lb as in six-tenths, or seven pounds six ounces?”)

        2. Didn’t read all the way down before I posted… But it needs to be repeated. Imperial is human scale.

            1. Rankine- 0° dead, 100° dead.

              Useful for (p1)(v1)/(t1)=(p2)(v2)/(t2)

              Aside from that, not much of anything else. Like °K.

            1. That’s another huge plus. >:D Just point out to them that the meter is an entirely arbitrary measurement, chosen for reasons of French politics, and watch them go f-ing crazy.

              By the way, for lurkers other than Sarah, the meter IS 100% arbitrary. Its the length of a bar of metal in a French museum. All the SI units derivation crap came along 100+ years later.

              1. The fact that the meter was at one time referenced to a specific metal bar is not what makes it arbitrary. The marks on that metal bar are set at a distance that was defined in relation to the circumference of the Earth. Choosing that relation as the base is what was arbitrary.

        3. Meters are now based off of a completely arbitrary subdivision of time… (from wikipedia) The meter is defined as the length of the path travelled by light in a vacuum in 1/299 792 458 second. originally, it was based off one ten millionth of the prime meridian, then it was based off the meter bar (completely arbitrary unit) then a different meter bar, then a certain numver of wavelengths from a certain mission line of a certain ktrpton isotope… so, once again, completely arbitrary. And Kilograms are based off heir perfect little kilogram sphere.

          Gee, i thought the problem with imperial units was they were based off arbitrary units….

          1. Whereas a gram used to be 1 cubic centimeter of pure water at 0°C. Trouble with their sphere is- it’s evaporating… Really. And if it gets dusty, and you wipe the dust off- some of the metal comes away with it.And a pint, well, a pints a pound the world around.

            The measurements that confuses people that make sense are nautical mile and knot. 1 NM – 1 minute latitude at the equator. So earth’s circumference at the equator is 21,600 NM. (60X360) And one knot= 1 NM/hour. It really bothers me when I see someone write knots per hour….

            Gradians, defining a circle as 400° instead of 360° never caught on.

          2. All of those different meters are the same length with different definitions. Everything is arbitrary.

            The only non-arbitrary one I can think of is to use Planck time and length as the base for measurement units.

          3. The meter is always based on the same distance. It’s just how that distance is defined has been give more and more repeatability over the years. All of those subsequent measurements are still based on the value originally defined by the prime meridian, but they are more reliable values, with the one about the distance traveled by light being based on the speed of light in a vacuum. But it was calculated to be the same as the original measurement.

      4. the metric/imperial in the same car is very GM, though Ford and Dodge had it a bit. Also the Domestics tend for metric sizes that cross closer to standard sizes, 11mm-7/16, 13mm-1/2, 14mm-9/16 17mm-11/16 where Japanese go for 8mm, 10mm, 12mm, some 14mm, then 17mm and varies from there. Been a while since I did a euro car, but I recall Peugeot doing 8mm ,9mm, 10mm ,11mm, 13mm and 15mm.
        I recall working on a Pontiac J2000 and needing both a 15mm and a 3/8 socket

        1. Ford F-250, 2011. I need metric sockets AND Imperial to get down to the caliper, and get it off. Dodge 1500, 2001, same thing. So annoying.

          1947 Ford, three wrenches, whole truck, everything but the Budd wheel-nuts. Those were 1 1/2″, really big. I needed a 1″ drive airgun for those, they were -on- there. There really nothing like having stood on the end of a 6′ cheater bar and gotten NOTHING, then putting the 1″ crew-served gun on there, and it just walks that nut right off. Zip! Done. Worth every penny.

          1. 10 mm- most common metric nut head, and socket most likely to be AWOL from the socket set.

      5. Eh, I can estimate Imperial and metric fastener sizes almost to the same accuracy. Imperial somewhat better because more practice.

        The part about scale, though, is well taken, and similar to what cpschofeld said above. The values are just more accessible to humans.

    3. I worked in semiconductors starting in the mid ’70s. At that time, everything was in mils, and wafer sizes were in inches. (We were moving from 2″ to 3″ wafers at that time. I feel old.)

      By the late 70s and through much of the 90s, geometry sizes on the circuit shifted to metric. A 4 mil (0.004″) bonding pad turned into a 100 micron one. Part of this was helped by the move from manual layout methods to CAD work. (It was really manual; rubylith* was scored with a coordinatograph** and waste pieces picked out with tweezers. Tweaks were done with an exacto knife.)

      IC die sizes shifted from mils to millimeters at the same time. However, die thicknesses stayed in mils. The machinery was set up for ANSI/English units and it wasn’t cost effective to change them.

      Agreed on the last bit. I can eyeball 18 inches a lot easier than (grabs calculator) 46 cm. OTOH, between 1/32″ and 1″, I can deal with either..

      (*) A two-layer plastic. Red was picked off the clear substrate. Apparently still in use in graphics applications. Maybe.
      (**) A really expensive way to guide a small knife to cut the ruby to relatively precise dimensions. At that time, we worked 400X and reduced it photographically.

      1. When I first got into amateur astronomy telescope size (diameter of the objective lens/mirror) was in inches.Thus F/ratio gave focal length in inches. And eyepiece focal lengths were in millimeters. Thus computing magnification meant a unit conversion.

        I think it’s all been metrified pretty much… but I have to convert back to inches to get a “feel” for the size being written of.

        1. We used a variant of such in a hybrid circuits lab. If distant (1973) memory serves, it was photosensitive, and post developing was pressed into the screen.

          1. We had a green film that could be cut like the rubylith and then softened with a solvent and applied to the silk screen. Actually, I take that back… I’m not certain that it wasn’t applied to the silk screen and then exposed to light with the rubylith design overlay and then the “cured” bits stuck and the uncured bits washed out of the screen so that the ink could pass through. Though I suppose bottom line is I did this stuff 40 years ago and my memory sucks.

            1. I think we’re talking about the same stuff. I still don’t recall the exact process, but have memories of sodium hydroxide to develop the film. (I think it etched away the unwanted portion, and either that bath or a rinse/stop bath softened the film so it could be pressed onto the screen.)

              I did it once in a lab course. Interviewed with the hybrid circuits people at $DEFUNCT_SEMICONDUCTORS_INC, but went for another department (and eventually, a different career path–more electronics, less chemistry).

      2. A “mil” was .001″ when I first encountered the unit in the 1970s. Now there are apparently metric mils.

        Hey, why not? Next time they revise the metric system it will become a named unit and you’ll have to “just know” what a Petain or a Levasseour is…

        1. Couldn’t find anything referring to a metric mil, but one could call 10^-6 meters a milli-millimeter. OTOH, we called it a micron.

      3. > I can eyeball 18 inches a lot easier than (grabs calculator) 46 cm.

        You wouldn’t have used 18 inches (foot and a half, or half a yard depending) if you’d been raised on Metric.

        You’d have used half a meter, or 50cm.

        You can eyeball 18 inches, but you can’t eyeball 19 and 5/8ths inches. Well, you can, but you get “18 and then some”.

        1. I was born in the early ’50s. I think I was in my teens before I had to deal with metric units beyond brief exposure.

    4. That explanation has just helped me make sense of why I’ve always instinctively preferred Imperial! I knew I could visualize measurements better in Imperial, but I didn’t realize why!

      1. Interestingly, in Germany they keep pound for human weight (28 kilos, one pound is a legit weight), cup, tablespoon and teaspoon. But dry ingredients are by mass and liquids are often by volume (.5 L, .25L). Temperatures are always C.

    5. > Do you suppose that one of the reasons behind the push for Metrc
      > is that its unsuitability for quick eye measurement helps disguise
      > the difference?

      No. People in most of the rest of the world seem to do ok.

      10 is also divisible by three (you get “3.3” or “Three and a bit”), four (“two and a half), five (two), and 8 (1 and a quarter).

      Notice that the country that won the space race, and the only country to make it to the moon had engineers and math folks who were raised on *imperial* units, which are a LOT harder to do math in.

      This is why we won. Doing imperial math makes your brain stronger.

      Metric is for the weak.

    6. Measurements are just like a foreign language- you need to be able to “think” in it to be able to use it.
      I had a hard time converting from imperial to metric over here back when I did construction, until I started to grok 2.4 x 4.8, which is basically 4′ x 8′, or the basic size of a piece of metric plywood.
      Now, I use both. I like metric for small, fiddly bits, say when building a guitar or amp… but still will do the design in imperial.

    7. As a weird kid in the 70s, I WANTED to use the metric system. It was based on 10s which seemed to make so much sense to me. Imperial made no sense. A foot was 12 inches, but a yard was 3 feet? Who came up with this crap?!?! BUT I eventually noticed that when I needed to describe how long something was, it was easy to think “about three inches”, but I couldn’t begin to estimate how many centimeters. To get that, I would have to get out a ruler and actually measure. I guess by that time my brain was already calibrated in Imperial.

      Oh, and yes I realize how open I’ve left myself for rude jokes there. It’s so nice to have someplace to comment that doesn’t automatically devolve to rude jokes.

      1. If we do jokes here, the funny is primary– the rude is secondary, and the insulting is only if it’s creative.

        Part of why I like it, too.

        The last one has a decent chance of someone thinking it up for what they wrote and responding to their own comment to make it!

        1. I wanted to make a rude comment, but couldn’t think of anything in the time I allowed myself. Maybe I’m sick.

    8. Imperial is an evolved system that is based on things people deal with on a daily basis (or at least used to).

      Metric is a designed standard thought up out of thin air.

      That’s why metric works so well for intellectual pursuits while imperial is better suited to day-to-day operating.

      1. had to laugh some time back where they noticed some of the official standards for the metric system were off/wrong.
        Of course, iirc it was in the nanometer scale or similar.
        They were going all Alex French Guy Cooking OCD/ADHD over it

        1. The guy on PBS (well, UNC-TV) who does “The Woodwright Shop” has used cubits for a few things; toilet seats comes to mind. Your own forearm is the size of seat you need.

          1. Roy Underhill strikes again! [chuckle] I rather liked his approach, and the carp worthy titles to his shows.

    9. The reason behind the preferences, however, is something most people haven’t thought about.

      Straddling the line of the two worlds, I have thought about this a lot, and came up with similar conclusions.

    10. I use metric when dealing with different physical measurements, such as mass to volume. Much easier to remember that one liter is one kilogram, rather than that one gallon is ~8.34 pounds. (US gallon, there, as the UK gallon is different. Sigh…)

      Otherwise, yes – the US variant of Imperial. I can get pretty close to how many miles I have traveled, but have no feel for how many kilometers. Although that could be because I was raised with the system. European’s meterage may vary…

  16. I’ve recently picked up a booklet, written in the 60’s, about liquid fueled rocked engines, that uses Imperial units. I prefer to work in metric, for scientific purposes, for several reasons, one of them being that the equations are easier and simpler. Conversion is a nuisance. A necessary nuisance, but still a nuisance.

    1. (evil grin) there are two kinds of Nations. Those that use metric, and those that put a man on the moon (^_~)
      I’ll use both doing construction, and work in both pounds and kilos at work

      1. Getting them mixed up face-planted at least one space craft into the surface of Mars. 😛

        1. Insisting on using a different system of units than an entire industry, as well as your upstream contractors, and then failing at unit conversions will do that to you.

            1. > Gimli Glider

              As usual, it was a whole chain of errors, that particular time offset by the kind of luck that you need to win the Super Trifecta *and* find a pirate chest full of gold in your flowerbed.

              You’re only in partial control of half a million pounds of meat and metal that’s coming *down* with the glide slope of a brick. And then you see your only possible landing site is full of people…

              “Fiction has to be believable; truth only has to be real…”

              A fairly good documentary:
              It’s an hour long, but it covers a lot of the minor details the Wikipedia entry skips over.

              1. A lot of them are. Very very few could not be stopped with a very simple change. Most of those are the ones where you learn something brand new.

                Both of those are the things I find amazing about BA009. That was a culmination of bad luck that was probably not humanly preventable but was averted, in part by being creative with checklists (they started restart attempts much higher than normally would but even though it didn’t catch it broke up the solidified ash and made the restart at lower altitude more likely.

      2. In materials testing we sometimes use both in the same test. The metric measurements (usually grams) end up becoming a % so the units go away though.

        1. If you inventory a lot of fasteners, the lack (or profusion…) of metric thread standards makes it useless to try to sort them past “various coarse” and “various fine.”

          I also have a container just for freak fasteners; metric diameter with inch pitch, inch diameter with metric pitch, diameters that match no obvious standard but have inch or metric pitches, studs that are metric on one end and inch on the other (Detroit Specials!), and so forth.

          Of course, there are BA and Whitworth, and 32-pitch, and various industry-specifics, and all the different pipe threads, and… those all get tossed into a common bin as well. Because I’m too cheap to dedicate a complete storage bin to a single nut or bolt.

          – TRX “will single-point fasteners for money”

          1. Yep. Standards. Trying to explain that ½” copper is really 5/8″ OD unless you’re talking refrigeration copper, then ½” is ½”. But ½” IPS is .840″, and it means iron pipe size not inside pipe size….

            And ½” pipe fittings, ½” compression fittings, and ½” flare fittings aren’t interchangeable, and it really helps if the customer knows which they really want. Oh, then there’s 3/4″ pipe and 3/4 hose fittings which almost match but don’t/

            1. National Pipe Tapered, National Pipe Straight, British Standard Pipe Tapered, British Standard Pipe Straight, *metric* tapered and straight, and “WTF mystery” pipe fittings abound on automotive sensors.

              I have a drawer full of thread gauges, an expensive Mitutoyo thread micrometer, and thread wires. And I *regularly* come across mystery threads on sensors.

              Do I haul out the tools and make an adapter on the lathe? Hell no, that’s what pipe dope and the Big Wrench are for…

              “Standards are wonderful, that’s why we have so many of them!”

              1. We had a flag pole snap in two. Was a kludge with chain link fence pipe after the $150 pole snapped in two with wind. (had been previously weakened by soccer fans that went through and knocked over every flag pole on the block. Really.)

                Husband laughed at me for physically taking a chunk with me to the hardware store to size a stick to go inside it.

                Then he discovered that the stick that fit was officially bigger than the pipe we were putting it in….fit like a glove, though.

          2. About 25 years ago, a surplus shop in San Jose was selling stainless fasteners by the pound. These came from dismantled equipment, and at the time, almost all were US made using ANSI threads. I bought several pounds and filled a couple parts cabinets after sorting the mass. Might have had a couple dozen metric fasteners versus thousands of ANSI screws. I think it would be reversed now, though the surplus shops were dying when I left in 2003.

            I’m still working on that stash, though I’ve had to restock some of the more popular sizes. I seem to use a lot of 10-32.

            I have a few odd taps for engine kits, including BA and 8-36. Those kits are on the round tuit shelf. One of these days…

            1. I encounter 8-36 fairly often, for some reason. I haven’t ever encountered a BA thread in the while, as far as I know. I gether from some of the “model engineering” magazines that they’re pretty rare in Britain now, too.

              1. I have a Stuart Turner engine kit that uses them (included; not going to use unless there’s something prethreaded.) The BA system seems to be carefully designed to make it hard as hell to singlepoint. I think (!) the base size is metric, then there’s a 10% drop as the size changes. Yikes!

                I don’t expect to use much BA threads. The 8-36s are on some oilers on a different engine kit, so that’s a given. There’s also some miniature pipe threads I’ll have to mess with.

                Home Shop Machinist has a fair number of articles submitted by Brits, and you’re right: It’s been metric a long time. That ST engine was designed in the ’40s, so BA.

                1. It was intended that BA and Whitworth threads primarily would be formed with “chasers”, which look like one cutter from a geometric die head. Chasers appear to have vanished, but I don’t know why.

                  1. The thread pitches are crazy, 0BA is straight 1mm, but there’s about an 11% drop as you go down a size. I’d figure out change gears, but life is too short. 🙂

  17. My earliest wake up call regards to the differences between men and women were when I tried joining writing groups. Invariably the groups 1) were all taken over by women (who were the ones with the most free time I guess) and 2) all turned into romance novels workshops.

    As a correlary, none of the other writers advice was any help to me on my WIPs, nor was my advise helpful or heeded. Essentially i was giving suggestions based on the assumption that i was looking at a sci do or fantasy novel, not a romance with sci fi or fantasy trappings.

    Frustrating for all concerned, but it drove home the point: women approach and emphasized things fundamentally different than me.

    1. Another odd phenomenon: the big-time novels BECAME ro!ances, or at least fundamentally different, in this atmosphere. I recall one WHO that caught my interest: the heroine was good and appealing, but flawed, and the plot is actually kicked off when she screws up royally. The mistake is understandable but the consequences are dire, and she’s driven to try and fix it. I was rooting for her!

      One revision later: the plot is changed. She makes no errors and all her faults are nearly excised. She’s perfect.

      1. Oh, now *that* is a sad and awful thing. I’m guessing the feedback pushed that sort of smoothing out. Which is sad because it doesn’t make good romances either.

      2. John Wright’s critique of The Last Jedi is an epic rant. He’s devoting 16(!) articles on the film, and one of the many flaws in that thing is the Mary Sue nature of the lead (Rey?). Where Luke had to spend time learning from Yoda, she has it down right away.

        I can’t confirm it on my own; the prequels were bad enough and I’ve been sandbagged too many times by Hollywood to give them any money any more. (Last movie purchased was Happy Feet. I didn’t need the sermonizing.)

            1. Ah yes, “The stupid, it burns!”

              I’d pay money for his alternative; it sounds quite interesting so far.

    2. I took a class from a lady I knew who wrote sci-fi/fantasy genre YA but I was the only sci-fi writer there. There was *one* guy in the class and all the others were women. I don’t recall what genre the fellow was writing in. Everyone was very nice and helpful but… but not so much to me. After the class was over the group determined to continue meeting but I didn’t join in. (Don’t know what the odd-man-out did.)

      But the reason that it wasn’t helpful *to me* was because everyone seemed to get distracted by the sci-fi trappings. So while it was often, “This is so interesting!”, which is nice to hear and makes a little warm spot in your heart, it’s not *helpful.*

      1. when I was in a non-sci fi writers group they drove me nuts. They wanted me to have pages and pages explaining say anti-grav. WHICH IS NOT THE POINT OF SPACE OPERA.

        1. “If I could do that, I’d have the Nobel in physics!”

          And $HOUSEMATE noted there is no Nobel in Literature this year. Evidently gray goo reserves are a tad low or sommat.

          1. I thought that was because #MeToo claimed a couple of scalps and the committee no longer had a quorum. I can’t even claim to be surprised.

            1. As far as I can tell from a quick search, there are at least three issues. First, the #MeToo-like issue was that husband of one of the committee members was convicted of rape, and has been accused of additional rapes, some on the property of the academy. Second, the list of nominees leaked earlier this year, and they’ve got an internal investigation going on that. Third, there are conflict of interest accusations being tossed about, details of which I could not quickly find. As a result of all that, at least two members of the committee withdrew from the matter at least for this year, and the committee decided to delay any award until they get their own house in order. They may make an award for 2018 next year.

              1. I wish the Nobel committees would restrict awards based on the improvements in explosives. Get back to basics.

        2. I remember one midlist writer who was fond of making angry pronouncements that SF dealing with FTL travel was idiotic, because it would never ever be possible. But he had no problem writing “crossover” fiction with Lovecraftian horrors, vampires, or superheroes. Which were all apparently perfectly believable, not like stupid faster-than-light.

          1. Some people believe science fiction (never scifi, must be serious here!) should only use science that might be possible. And of course they use their own definitions of what might be possible. Often time travel, FTL and perpetual motion are RIGHT OUT for them.

            But for them fantasy is “anything goes” so they give vampires and super-heroes a pass because they’re obviously not science.

            1. I’ve hit walls trying to write romance because I can’t get my mind around the concept that romances are fantasies.

              1. There were some times during high school where I’d have agreed that romances were purest fantasies. And sometimes it wasn’t a problem, because I’d just discovered, oh, tidepooling, and had focused on that to the exclusion of almost everything but eating semi regularly.

            2. People who rule out FTL because it’s “impossible” really annoy me. Sure, with out current understanding of the universe, maybe it does look impossible. Except, what we REALLY know about the universe might fill a thimble (but I doubt it). Who knows what we might discover tomorrow, or next week, or 300 years in the future?

              The idea of “It’s Impossible” should never be considered science, it should be considered the enemy of science.

              1. If I wanted to read about stuff done only with modernly possible tech, I’d be reading a techno-thriller, not sci-fi.

              2. Cracking the Light Barrier will be an act of faith. First you decide that it WILL be done…then figure out how to do it.

                1. Or perhaps some Odd somewhere will be smashing atoms together, or pointing super-powerful lasers at something in their odd little way, just to annoy their cat or… you know… see what happens… but mostly to annoy the cat (or perhaps some other kind of ingenious experiment that I don’t even know enough to make up on the spot), and they will see a bit of something out of the corner of their eye, or in the recorded data that reminds them of something else, which reminds them it’s their Mom’s birthday and they need to buy her a cake… and then EUREKA!!!! THE UNIVERSE IS JUST LIKE A PINK FLUFFY BIRTHDAY CAKE!!!! And all that will flow together into the theory of Spacial Outer/Inner Navigational Kinetics, and before you know it, we’ll all be SPOINKing around the universe, completely ignoring the FTL problem that was used as an excuse by a bunch of lame quitters.

            3. I’ve seen that used as a definition of “true hard science fiction,” as opposed to just “hard scifi” or “that kids’ escapism stuff.” I try to avoid continuing conversations that begin that way, because so often they turn into “I’m right, all y’all are wrong, and here’s four volumes on why.”

              1. When your definition of “true hard SF” excludes Hal Clement’s work, your definition is wrong.

    3. Oh, I have a writer’s group story of why I’m not wanting to be anywhere NEAR a writer’s group anymore…

      Being in a writer’s group in the SF Bay Area was bad, even in the days when the Martian Brain Fungus hadn’t eaten people too much. The group I was in was about ~70% women or “feminist allies” (which means “boys repeating feminist cant to get laid,” even back then) and it had become little more than a critique circle (i.e. your story is evil, you’re appropriating from other cultures, and you need to make your white heterosexual male protagonist in a story about the middle of North Dakota into a trangender bisexual Zulu/Japanese immigrant grrl or else you’re a Bad Writer). The guy that had submitted that story was new (first time there, I learned, I LIKED that story), and his story was set in Minot in the mid-‘90s.

      Which was something like 95+% white back then. And is still about 90% white these days. And, with the Air Force Base there, anybody that far outside the norm would probably not get hired, let alone make Detective. Pointing out that this would fly in the face of common sense got people telling you that you were being insensitive and you should be more inclusive.

      1. Huh. I was in that area “back when” and our critique group was pretty good. The most it got was one lady excusing herself from the story written by the super vegan guy because it included a roofie. She didn’t tell him not to write it though and everyone was clear he wasn’t promoting the idea, she just explained that she wasn’t able to be impartial or helpful.

        I did go to a workshop once and encountered a few “writing as therapy” sorts… *shudder*.

        1. David Drake is one of the few “writing as therapy” types that is actually readable.
          And even then, when someone described his early stuff as “psychological horror masquerading as military sci-fi” I couldn’t disagree.

  18. Incidentally, on the subject of the post, I’m an old guy with a bad knee. I just soloed a kitchen appliance off the back of a pickup truck and into the kitchen that took three men to lift into the truck at the store. They were younger, and one of them was stronger than I am.

    1) chain lift and some clever use of strapping made lifting down out of the truck suuuuuper easy. (I recommend every householder should have at least an A frame. No one does, obviously, but they should. You can move -anything-.)
    2) cart with fat tires, because gravel driveway.
    3) hand truck and a couple of boards for ramps up the steps.

    No injuries, no scratches or broken tiles no dropping the 200lb appliance. YAY!

    I have met, over the years, one or two ladies who could have pulled this off. Maybe. By contrast almost any man could do it. We’re just plain bigger.

    But there’s also the male determination thing. Example: I can’t pick up an engine block. I have a couple lying around here, and there’s no way. But if that engine block is in the road of something I’m doing, and it needs to move from here to over there, I will find a way or make one.

    But I am not special in this regard. This is a common trait in men that I don’t see often in women. Not impossible of course, just a guy thing. Women call a man and get him to do it. That’s what we’re for.

    1. As long as my back isn’t acting up, I can move a LOT with a cart or a hand truck. One exception was my refrigerator — I waited until Cedar was here for a visit to even get one because I knew i would have trouble with that on my own. But that’s more due to bulk than to weight. I can lever things; ‘walk’ them; slide them; roll them (with a cart, or without if they are round, like the big rolls of fence wire). But I can generally ‘get ‘er done.’ And once I’m ready to do something, I don’t stop to wait for someone else to do it. When we moved in here, I had help with what we brought with us, but other than the frig, the stuff I’ve bought since the move I’ve moved by myself. That includes two Hoosier cabinets, a big dresser/bookcase, a kitchen island, another kitchen cabinet, a big multi-part desk, and a smaller desk, and two bookcases. Oh, and two glider-rockers. I didn’t do them all at once (too much for my truck to haul, and it would have killed my back), but given time to work on it, I can still do a lot!

      But I am still well aware that it would have been a lot easier to have a man around to help with all of this stuff.

      1. “But I can generally ‘get ‘er done.’ And once I’m ready to do something, I don’t stop to wait for someone else to do it.”

        Damn, I wish there were more like you out there. Women I pay to work will phone me if the computer doesn’t start, never mind move a refrigerator. Send one of them to Staples to buy an office chair? HA! Not happening.

        Get Old Man Phantom to do it. He’s a Man, furniture is Man’s work!

        So I do it. Barf.

        Tell you what though, my life would have been a lot easier and less skittery today if I’d had a helper. Being clever with straps is all well and good, but having another pair of hands is a lot better.

      2. I’m 220+or- and moving my fridge was tough for me in part because levering it up with a hand truck was difficult. And that was with the doors removed so it’d get through the entry door (also removed)

        1. The used frig we got is big (three feet wide and taller than I am), and we had to take the doors off it to get it into the house. I dread when we have to take it out!

      3. Likewise, there’s men who are useless in this respect. Many Moons Ago (1986, I think, or possibly 1987), the hotel where I worked got a new phone system. You can tell it was a long time ago, because of how big the unit was that we had to unload from the truck and get up to the wiring closet on the second floor – it was slightly larger than a big double-door refrigerator, and the guy delivering it said it weighed 760lbs.

        He basically got it down from the truck himself, because the special dolly he had made it possible, but he needed help getting it up the stairs. So, the hotel manager and I helped him move it up the stairs. Each time we moved it up a step, it felt like the unit was going to tip over towards the manager, because (I presume) he couldn’t put enough muscle behind it to keep up, so it was basically the delivery guy and me taking it up the stairs, and we would have been better off without the manager’s “help”.

    2. I have a folding engine hoist that’s moved a couple of engines, as well as a modestly equipped shop of machine tools. OTOH, when it’s appliance time, I’m now letting younger guys get it from the truck and into the house.

      Still, I’ll shuffle appliances when needed. Had to get the ‘fridge out so I could connect backup power on Saturday, but I left the freezer, hoping we’d get mains power before it got too warm. We did. (Wildfire a few miles away, apparently started by a transformer/pole fire. Contained that day after 100+ acres.)

    3. It seems like an awful lot of men just don’t bother either. I’ve done landscaping with rocks and a long steel pole to use as a lever. Tools make a huge difference. Lifting properly makes a huge difference. Having long enough arms makes a huge difference.

      My daughter works at a hardware store and her coworkers tease her that she’s stronger than the guys. She’s less LAZY than the guys. But she does shift the 100 pound cement bags (shift, not lift from the floor) and will and does move anything else she’s asked to move. And she’s skinnier than she’s ever been, so little (muscular) stick arms. If the male employees aren’t hefting the 100 pound bags of cement, and from the floor, too, it’s because they’re lazy, not because she’s strong.

      I will say though… I bought an office-chair-in-a-box at Costco… I tipped it into my cart myself and also tipped it into the back of the car myself. It had a “team lift” warning but I wasn’t lifting, just tipping. 🙂 I got home and called her out to get her chair and was halfway in the middle of “You and Dad carrying that in…” and she’d plucked it from the back of the car and was half way to the door with it.

      1. Cases of toilet paper have “team lift” warnings these days. Not to belittle your chair, mind you. I’ve hoisted a few of those lately, they’re not light.

        I use a dolly and a hand truck because I’m lazy. ~:D

        1. Heh. Boxes off the UPS truck at old job had such tags on ’em. Ranging in weights from packing peanuts to yougottabefudginkiddinme!

          Used to, I could tell the weight just by picking up a corner, near enough. Have shifted, deadlifted, and tossed things up to my body weight on occasion. And been accused of “showing off” when it was weight I was used to working with every day. *chuckle*

          If you know *how* to lift safely and efficiently, things get a lot easier. I’d have… well, not killed or maimed, but put a serious hurtin’ on something to have a good chain hoist a time or two. Having the right equipment is a good investment. Especially if you happen to be a grumpy old cuss. *grin*

          1. One thing I *am* going to have to get help with — there’s a little Vermont Castings Aspen wood stove (smallest one they make) sitting in the back of my pickup. It’s been sitting there for almost a year. (There’s a cap on the back of my truck.) Before that it sat in the old 5th wheel for a year or two. I cannot shift that thing for anything. It is HEAVY. Eventually — before winter, if I can find someone to inspect and repair the chimney — it needs to come into the house. That little stove doesn’t shift an inch in the bed of the truck even when I slam on the brakes.

            1. Cast iron wood stove? Be still my heart. Those things hold some of my best childhood memories. First cup of coffee I ever had on a freezing cold February morning. Christmas time we used to make boiled custard atop one such stove.

              Yes ma’am, those cast iron jobs are heavy stuff. Properly hung, you can pick up a small one with an engine hoist (at least, I did the oncet). Or scoot it on an equipment dolly, the kind with the solid wheels, if you can pry it up carefully. That’s going to be a job no matter what you do most like, though.

              I miss cooking on a cast iron stove though. Have to get one set up in my shop one of these days, myself. *grin*

            2. I had serious stove-lust for Vermont Castings, but at the time, a Lopi insert made a lot more $ense. The newish barn stove is a heatilator, a bit lighter and a whole lot tighter than an ancient Lopi that came with the property.

      2. I’ve put together several pieces of furniture labeled “two-person build”. Would it have been *easier* with two people? Indubitably. Especially if one of them was a guy. I have no problems whatsoever asking a dude for help with something. I know my limits. And I know I’m never going to be able to do what guys do in my chosen field of endeavor. And that’s okay because I can enable them to do what THEY do best.

        1. I firmly believe that every piece of “assembly required” furniture should be labeled “two person build.” Whether the assembly is being done by female or male. Unless they are an octopus – or an alien that is less limb-challenged.

            1. Oddly enough, here I have never had as much trouble alone as with help… hubs and I both have the kids help put stuff together as a labor of love, not for actual help.

              And we do it anyways, because we grew up with our folks not having us “help” because it wasn’t help, so we can’t do what they expect us to know.

              1. We are working on the balance between encouraging the little one’s disconcerting fondness for sweeping, instructing how to do so effectively, and trying to discourage sweeping at inappropriate times and locations, such as the top of the lamp….

          1. Meh. I used to put RTA stuff together for a living. Other than getting the box(es) into the customer’s house, never actually needed another person. Everything from wee little side tables (seriously, a top, 4 aprons, a shelf, and 4 legs. I appreciated the money, but, really?) to a big outdoor playset, with numerous bookshelves, entertainment centers, treadmills and weight sets in the mix. There are a batch of tricks that make putting stuff together MUCH less stressful. Such tricks include having the optimum tools for the fasteners and having clamps. Yes, you CAN put it together with the screwdriver from the kitchen drawer that’s been used as a punch and prybar, along with the dinky hex key included by the manufacturer. Or you can use proper tools. When you open the box of the thing to be assembled, take a fishing tackle box and DIVIDE UP THE HARDWARE. It is soooooo much easier and quicker if you don’t have to fish around in your pile of hardware for EVERY stinking nut, bolt, screw or washer. And then, when you’re done, KEEP any leftover hardware. I’m STILL using some of the leftovers, and it was more than 20 years ago that I did the RTA work. (Small cordless drill with clutch, and a full assortment of bits, including METRIC HEX KEY bits will make life much simpler. Every homeowner should have one.)

            BTW, if anybody ever wants to see how RTA hardware should be packaged for ease of assembly, take a look at SawStop saws. Between the superb instructions and the hardware packaging, it was one of the best assembly experiences I’ve ever had.

      3. Costco cases of pop/drinks, cat litter, pet food bags, etc., can’t lift them, but I can lever them into the cart. Now days, getting them out of the cart into the truck can be a problem when the back is hurting, but otherwise generally can do that too.

        Now, putting the case of pop on top of the freezer when I get home. First level, yes, barely. Get one end kind of up on top and lever up. Second level, nope, barely reach that high let alone lift one of those cases up. Well if I get one of the step stool … but that’s the kid’s job.

        Remember working for the Forest Service & crew had to move cases of paint & seedling bundles. Okay, so I could only carry one at a time, while the guys hurt themselves carrying multiple … Work we did in the woods … well short stuff had to run to keep up with their walk, couldn’t run all day, but at my pace, yes. With a large crew, the pace was doable. With only 6 or so, they’d forge ahead then wait.

      4. > don’t bother

        Some of that comes from scholastic instruction.

        student: [makes a tentative yank] “It’s too heavy!”

        teacher: [beaming] “But you TRIED! Four gold stars for effort!”

        what was taught: faking it and doing it get the same reward

        1. “what was taught: faking it and doing it get the same reward”

          Then they join BSA, at the scout level, & discover it doesn’t work that way. Or it isn’t suppose to. Actually have to learn the skill & demonstrate it. Granted they can demonstrate the skill until they get it right, over & over, again. But they can’t just “try & fail”. It helps that most the skills they have to learn is used, or should be used, by the programs, every outing.

          Kid is a better cook than I am because of it. He can cook over a wood fire better than I can. We can both build fire, but I can’t split the wood(*) … OTOH, he probably wishes he couldn’t either … he ended up being the one who split firewood for home & grandparents once that little skill was cemented.

  19. “I know females who are engineers and artists and can “see” the back of an object in their minds.”

    That’s me. I once got a random passerby to applaud my parallel parking (one of the times that it actually went exactly like it’s supposed to, yay.) I’m also tall enough to have leverage on my side (5’8″ but most of my proportions are scaled to six feet—my hips threw in a dissenting vote.) And lately I’ve got the Mommy Guns as well as some extra strength from shifting rocks. (I do have that finger length thing, interestingly enough. I’m also considered a good Tech to Normie translator.)

    Still female, though. If I don’t have the ability to use the smarts to move heavy things, I’m calling in the muscle. Really, though, if you have ways to do pivot points, you can move just about anything, like that guy building a Stonehenge replica by himself using sticks and rocks.

  20. I’m small and I have back and hip problems. I have to work sneaky – leverage, hand-cart, take-it-apart if possible – or get help. Bulk is more of a problem than weight unless the thing is on the floor.

    I’m not a guy. I have certain weak areas that are very stereotypically female. When I need to I work around them or work a lot harder to master them, and then that skill fades faster. OTOH I don’t want to be a guy.

    1. Male or female, once you have developed back problems you best find ways to work around them. If we don’t treat our backs with respect we pay dearly, something both The Spouse and I have learned the hard way.

      I have had more than one friend observe that aging is not or sissies. The Spouse, OTH, observes it is not the aging, it is the decrepit that really gets you.

      1. I did that hard way learning when I was 30 or so. I was helping a friend load sheetrock and he insisted on 12′ pieces because reasons. Did a bit of a number on a few discs and have to be careful.

        OTOH, if I do it right, I can lift a fair amount. Saturday chores involved trimming 6″ of pipe off 17′ lengths. I used the tractor to get them close to the saw, but the rest was muscle. No back problems, but my hands were not thrilled.

      2. Pa related this exchange years ago:

        Pa: Would you give me a hand with lifting this?
        Other: Ya got back problems?
        Pa: No. And I plan to keep it that way.

        1. Very smart man on that, your Pa.

          An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and, in the case of back injuries, the cure never seems to be complete.

  21. At least mothers of boys who went through growth spurt from hell.

    A few of us were visiting the house of a fellow high-schooler.  This was his junior year.  So far he had shot up thirteen inches, going from the shortest in the group to taller than most.  His mother, in a moment of awkward transparency, announced that she no longer bothered to launder his jeans.  We all sat in uncomfortable silence a moment before she added that she just kept buying him new ones to fit.

    1. My kids used to have a steady rate growth and were 6 inches apart from the one above or below them. Now, the growth spurts and/or puberty are hitting and it is more variable. My 8 year old son is now about an inch away from the 11 year old daughter’s height. And the 13 year old is now almost a foot taller than the 11 year old.

    2. 🙂 🙂

      Yes. I remember those years. Avoid buying pants until it was too cold for kid to wear shorts to school, then buy jeans every month until it was warm enough to go back to shorts. Shorts could at least start longer, as long as he didn’t out grow the waist, could wear them awhile.

      It started the summer he turned 14. His dad & him went with council BSA contingent to Philmont High Adventure for an 80 mile backpack. Was a little bit worried about how the food situation would be as he was a little bit of a fussy eater; figured he’d survive. At the end of the trip, dad called to check in. Knowing me, when I asked how it went, he said “kid had a bit of a food problem /pause … he went on the ‘see food’ diet.” Apparently the food meals are setup so that groups meeting on the trails would exchange food packets, problem is, their group never had any extra because of our kid. He also was the only one who gained weight on the trek. Good thing they were wearing shorts most the trip because I swear they put the kid on racks somewhere on the trail. His rain gear was 6″ too short, & they started out rolled up, because they were a tad too long!!! He left for the trip shorter than me, came back an inch taller.

      1. That is how it would be dealt with now. I know it was most helpful to the clothing budget with The Daughter, who reached five foot eight and a half inches in her fifth grade year.

        Back in the late 1960s we had just gotten permission for boys to wear jeans to school and any kind of pants for girls. Shorts were permissible for gym and gym only.

        While it is admittedly often more comfortable, I am not sure that as a society we haven’t lost something in the pursuit of more casual dress.

        1. Starting high school in 1966, Levis were OK without rivets. Senior year, they dropped the dress/skirt requirement during an extended streak of Global Cooling.

          At college in the early ’70s, Fall and winter was a dreary mass of blue denim below the waists, with Army Surplus jackets above. A few renegades would use Pea Jackets or AF parkas. Didn’t see much colorful clothing until spring.

          1. Mom’s school in the 60s was OK with pants.

            Mom’s mom was not. Jeans were to be worn UNDER skirts while doing the miking, etc.

            They were small enough there weren’t school dress codes, just Aunties.

            Last year of school she did get into “Alley Oops,” though, and first year of college. (Any type of pants, you put them on, then you whip-stitch them skin tight above the knee, and let them bell out below) She stopped giving a dang after the first year.

          2. A sea of blue jeans and Army Surplus jackets? Oh yes I remember that look. That and Navy Pea jackets. Now me? I had gotten a Navy Surplus officer’s long coat. I am not one to say favorite, but that really was my favorite coat ever.

            1. Eldest brother bought Dad an army jacket (new style, circa 1969) from the PX. After Dad passed, it was mine for my first winter at school. The liner I found was intended for the older revision of the coat, but it worked, and it was almost warm enough. (Champaign-Urbana gets really cold in February, and more so in the early ’70s.)

              Sophomore year, I was flush enough to buy an Air Force parka. The extra insulation and the hood were nice. OTOH, I kept that Army jacket a full 10 years beyond the parka, largely because lowland California.

        2. I don’t think it’s the more comfortable clothing, it’s the folks using that as a route to be jerks.

          Which was also an issue with formal clothes.


      2. I did that with Kid’s shoes when she was younger. Buy her sandals the second it was warm enough, and it didn’t matter if her toes overlapped the ends by October, at least I knew what size shoes to buy for her over the winter. 🙂

  22. A few years ago, my otherwise sensible partner said that males and females were equally strong unless male spent time in gym lifting weights. I am tall/thin, people in my family have been calling me ‘bean pole’ since I was ten, and she thought the two of us were equal strength. I didn’t want to start an argument so all I said was if we are same strength why do I always have to open jars for you?

    1. In AD&D terms, I had an STR of 16 back in my 20s. I’m probably about a 14 right now..

    2. Opening jars? … This requires strength in a specific muscle groups.  I knew a woman who in high school regularly kneaded enough dough by hand to bake bread to feed 75 adolescents.  She was the one who was called upon to open jars in her household.  

      Still when it comes to moving heavy objects about the place that was another matter altogether.

  23. My Lady and I reverse the patter of verbal vs spatial, in general. She can pack more into a small space than I can, but loses words more often and isn’t as facile with them. Also, she had a grasp of computer languages, symbolic logic, and math that leaves me in the dust. That was before she did a crash and burn by working too hard. I suspect she could pick it up again fairly quickly if her health issues would allow her long periods of concentration.


    OTOH, once in a while I can eyeball a space she thinks something will go in and say ‘nope’, and I’m right often enough that she seldom pushes.

    All of which ch goes to my firm stance that people are individuals. I’ll be prepared to accept a woman having enough strength and skill to be an effective fighter, but she will have to prove it in an honest test. None of this, ‘most women fail the test so it isn’t fair’ malarky.

    1. It looks like we may have developed the fundamental science to the point where we where we could scan someone’s pelvis, establish that the structure and probable composition predisposes them to too many injuries for infantry work, and go on from there. The research would need to be done, and is probably too politically toxic to do, but the work done on some other injuries makes me think that we are near the capability, if we don’t have it already.

      1. Require this with draft registration for EVERYONE just like men have the registration requirement now, then draft enough women for 50% infantry. Then lock down your hidden fort and watch the fun.

  24. Story I’ve told before, but still relevant:

    Woman I used to work with got very upset with me when I told her I had weight-tested the stones I had brought her from my creek by handing them to my then-12yo son to be sure they weren’t too heavy. But when I casually handed one to her with one hand, held by the edge, and she took it in two hands and nearly dropped it, she said maybe I had had a good idea.

    Oh, this was a woman who did rock climbing.

    1. In rock climbing, square-cube is on her side. In lifting objects other than herself it is irrelevant.

  25. Good point about transgender/gender fluid being an unnecessary category if there are no differences between the sexes, but I know that this logic escapes the “scientists” on the other side of the aisle land. (I also take online surveys, and I can’t understand what value is gained from asking me to select one of 4 or 8 or 100 genders – what does that tell them about me?)

    1. The multiplicity of genders is the closest the group identity thinkers can come to admitting that people are individuals.

  26. In my research about female fighters, this has been what I’ve been figuring out and discovering-

    1)If your female character is a waif, she’s either got to be the meanest, most ruthless bitch around when steel is drawn, or she’s dead. She WILL back stab you because she knows that if she goes from the front, she’s got better-than-even odds of getting killed.
    2)If you’re going for any kind of realism, girls trading blows with guys on a one-to-one basis usually means the girl is down on the ground very quickly.
    3)Women, on average, are not going to be as good as men in physical contests. So, if your female character is able to compete with men at an even level in a “realistic” world, she’s well ahead of the curve.

    The screaming usually starts here, even when you drag up the Olympic Records page on Wikipedia. ( The only contest that I can find women beating men is the discus throw, and this is the “top of the world” category. This is the .01% of the .01%-and men usually are at least a second faster in any running, a meter higher in any jumping, and otherwise…yea, more physical.

    (11 meters further in the Javelin throw. Wow…)
    4)Breasts get in the way of EVERYTHING. And, I do mean everything. Admittedly, it’s usually an entertaining “getting in the way of” thing, but yea.
    5)The moves are different. They have to be-wider pelvis, smoother bones, different shapes of rib cage, different structures of the muscles and how they work…

    And, we can’t forget about testosterone and how important it is in building muscle structure, especially in adolescent males.

    This doesn’t mean that your girl can’t be an absolute kick-ass, bubble-gum taking fighter. Nope.

    She just does it differently than the boys. She plays the game by a different set of rules.

    And, in my eyes, that makes her more INTERESTING.

    1. Well yeah. Someone who has the self-discipline to acquire the conditioning and training necessary to compensate for natural weakness of any kind is almost automatically a more interesting character than the person who’s just naturally capable.
      Unfortunately, the wish-fulfillment potential goes down, and it’s also harder to write “weak but skilled” than “strong.”

      1. “Weak but skilled” requires to think about how your barely 135 pound girl beats men twice her size by going for weak spots, being faster, meaner, and more viscous than her opponents. You have to figure out the best way to drive a sword blade in without it getting caught on bone. And, it’s easier to just shoot them.

        “Stronger” just means “Oggette pounds foe into the dirt.” All you have to do is give your guy fighter tits.

        1. Faster won’t work either, because we’re not. We also seem to be able to absorb less damage, but “citation needed”.

          But sneakier, yes. The blade is always poisoned. Fighting fair is for dead women, etc.

          1. In passing, THANK YOU, because you have just made my next-after-this book more interesting. What *does* happen when someone with an empathic connection with plants turns her talents to poison-brewing?


        2. One would think that ‘flowing’ slower than one’s opponents would be a major disadvantage in combat.

    2. I’d like to know if there are structural differences in the shoulders, too. That might account for the different ways males and females throw things. (Hurts my shoulders to throw overhand.)

      1. One of the big differences, if I remember right, is that while the shoulders are about the same, the torso they connect to tends to be more “barrel” shaped in male chests than female chests.

      2. Men naturally stab downward.
        Women naturally stab upward.
        It leaves different wounds and different splash patterns.
        (Women have the better of this argument. Going under the ribcage is just good sense, and gut wounds from a “failed” attempt are no joke.

        I’ve evidently done a bit too much research on messy ways to die.

        1. “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach … then up and under the ribs”. 🙂

        2. Now I’m curious… in your research, how does the male access (stab down) to the carotid arteries work? Complete non-starter? Or…

          Yes. It’s morbid. Interesting, though.

    3. Well, I’ve got a female fighter in my current work being outlined.

      Then it’s a D&D/Pathfinder-ish universe. When a man tells her she would be in real trouble without magic, she, being a paladin, blinks and says, well, she’s got the magic.

      1. How big are these character’s tracts of land, to have them getting in the way? I mean, after the first month of growing out, that is not usually a factor. Until people start breastfeeding, that is.

        1. It kinda depends on what you’re doing– I know they get in the way for ranch work, and other stuff that is mostly for guys.

          1. So are we talking a “need to be skinny” problem or a “need to put your hands/arms in specific positions” problem?

            I’ve got decent numbers up there, but my butt and pelvic bones stick out further than my top, even now that my top is several sizes bigger than when I was young and skinny, even though I started with a fair amount of boobage. (Let’s not even talk about the gut I didn’t use to have….)

            “Walking my outer thighs into things that used to be well to the side” was always my primary puberty problem. (Although “walking my shoulders and upper arms into things that used to be well to the side” was also prevalent.) But I wasn’t doing a lot of hard labor stuff, so I’m sure that makes a difference.

            1. The second one– even a-cup gals sometimes run into it, it’s sort of a variation on “no, I can’t balance the heavy thing against my chest” issues– or that trick with standing with your heels against a wall and leaning over to pick something up. 🙂

              1. Ohhhhh. Yup, that would do it. The “I can probably figure out a way to do this, but it will never be the way you do it” problem. Which is why it is sometimes better to have teams of women separated from teams of men, even if they are doing the same jobs.

                The heavy things against chest thing, maybe it is a function of individual chest shape, or the shape of the heavy things? But again, maybe I just don’t carry heavy enough things for the problem to emerge. In my life, it is usually boxes, book stacks, or furniture, and in my case those can be snugged up as close as you like.

                The main problem is heavy stuff from above. “I would try to catch that, but I am pretty sure it will break my neck if I do.”

                1. Part of it is irregular– until I started tracking it, I didn’t even realize I don’t hold stuff against my chest at certain times of the month, because it hurts.

                  Basic human– “hey, that is uncomfortable, adjust slightly, k do it that way” avoidance.

    4. I have used women warriors a couple of times. Invariably the woman is at least three or four sigma on the high end of the bell curve in physical characteristics. They have to be. Usually there’s a “magical” reason for that (fantasy gives you a good bit of flexibility for things like that provided you set it up right).

    5. So, if your female character is able to compete with men at an even level in a “realistic” world, she’s well ahead of the curve.

      You will probably find that she is also far better trained in the art of fighting.

      I have read that in long distance (endurance) swimming it has been found that women have an advantage, or at least less of a disadvantage, compared to men that is believed to be related to their naturally higher body fat levels.

      1. If you’re really fast and accurate and never hesitate, if you get range or if you get inside the man’s range and use it against him, and if you always leverage your advantages and avoid disadvantages, a woman fighter can do a fair amount.

        But it’s not something easy, historically. And in a sense, you can never “fight fair,” because you always have to be using your advantages before the guy’s can kick in.

        Wing Chun (aka Mantis-Style) is a good historical example of leveraging the advantages of women, kids, or short men. It’s a little paradoxical, because it’s about extremely close combat and trying to be too close for the other guy to use his strengths. (Also, getting away from pursuers is openly part of the style, at least in some schools.)

        But it’s dangerous to use the actual style, and it’s not really possible for advanced users to spar, per se. There’s practicing the moves, and there’s actually trying to kill/disable someone with your hands or weapons, as quick as you can; there’s not much in-between.

        But still, among people who take Wing Chun, a big guy can usually beat a short guy or a woman or a kid, if all else is equal. (Obviously the style teaches you to avoid having all else be equal.)

  27. My husband and I are almost even with hefting and strength things. Part of that might be because he is more hampered by back injury and congenital short tendons.

    1. When I was young I was ALMOST as strong as my husband. He’s also about my height give or take and I’d done a lot more manual labor than he had. Not that he was weak.
      We used to leave all our friends lying on the floor panting, while we were still moving furniture during our house-moves.

  28. A fine example of misleading statistics… Women throw the discus farther than men in the Olympics – yes – but it’s a discus that weighs exactly half what the mens’ discus weighs… 1 kg vs 2 kg.
    Whoops, that’s in messy metric. I meant 2 lbs, 3 1/4 oz vs 4 lbs, 6 1/2 oz.

    1. We have a fun family story about my cousin’s (then) boyfriend practicing with the solid iron discus made for him by the local blacksmith. Then going to the Olympic trials. “No you may not use your discus from home, you have to use ours…”

    2. Whoops, that’s in messy metric. I meant 2 lbs, 3 1/4 oz vs 4 lbs, 6 1/2 oz.

      Le gasp! Taking metric to imperial makes funny imperial numbers!

      Would be a better zinger if it wasn’t a situation where their weight was altered to be in metric– kind of like my mom’s joke about how her remaining records in track will never be broken is more impressive when you don’t know the background.
      (She had three, one was broken by her niece; the rest lasted two more years, then the school went to metric for track.)

    1. Older son and I can get lost in our living room. We both get it from my mom, but it doesn’t seem to be related to sex. HOWEVER he can visualize atoms in midair (had to do that for his chemistry degree.) I think I’d have to build them out of something to “see” them.
      This is why it’s “Statistical average” not individual.

      1. Does he do sky-sketches?

        Princess can write out equations in the air and have it work — sometimes I can do drawings and thus “see” stuff.

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