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Vive la Différence!


For today's instant vacation I'd like to highlight some of the delightful differences between women and men. I thought if some of you are working on Valentine's Day programs, I should send some stuff early. After all, February begins already next week!

I certainly don't agree with everything said below, but then, I didn't write it.

Some comparisons of men and women...

NICKNAMES
If Laura, Suzanne, Debra and Rose go out for lunch, they will call each other Laura, Suzanne, Debra and Rose.

But if Mike, Charlie, Bob and John go out, they will affectionately refer to each other as Fat Boy, Godzilla, Peanut-Head, and Useless.

DINING OUT
When the bill arrives, Mike, Charlie, Bob, and John will each throw in $20, even though it's only for $22. 50. None of them will have anything smaller, and none will actually admit they want change back.

When the girls get their bill, out come the pocket calculators.

MONEY
A man will pay $2 for a $1 item he wants.

A woman will pay $1 for a $2 item that she doesn't want.

MATURITY
Women mature much faster than men. Most 17-year old females can function as adults.

Most 17-year old males are still trading baseball cards and giving each other wedgies after gym class. This is why high school romances rarely work out.

HANDWRITING
To their credit, men do not decorate their penmanship. They just chicken-scratch.

Women use scented, colored stationery and they dot their "i's" with circles and hearts. Women use ridiculously large loops in their "p's" and "g's". It is a royal pain to read a note from a woman. Even when she's dumping you, she'll put a smiley face at the end of the note.

GROCERIES
A woman makes a list of things she needs and then goes out to the store and buys these things.

A man waits till the only items left in his fridge are half a lime and an almost empty milk bottle. Then he goes grocery shopping. He buys everything that looks good. By the time a man reaches the checkout counter, his cart is packed tighter than the Clampett's car on Beverly Hillbillies. Of course, this will not stop him from going to the 10-items-or-less lane.

SHOES
When preparing for work, a woman will put on a Mondi wool suit, then slip on Reebok sneakers. She will carry her dress shoes in a plastic bag from Saks. When a woman gets to work, she will put on her dress shoes. Five minutes later, she will kick them off because her feet are under the desk.

A man will wear the same pair of shoes all day.

LAUNDRY
Women do laundry every couple of days.

A man will wear every article of clothing he owns, including his surgical pants that were hip about fifteen years ago, before he will do his laundry. When he is finally out of clothes, he will wear a dirty sweatshirt inside out, rent a U-Haul, and take his mountain of clothes to the laundromat. Men always expect to meet beautiful women at the laundromat. This is a myth perpetuated by re-runs of old episodes of "Love, American Style."

SOCKS
Men wear sensible socks. They wear standard white sweat socks.

Women wear strange socks. Socks that are cut way below the ankles, that have pictures of clouds, that have a big fuzzy ball on the back.

MIDLIFE
When a woman reaches midlife, she goes through a variety of complicated emotional, psychological, and biological changes. The nature and degree of these changes vary with the individual.

Midlife in a man provokes a uniform reaction - he buys aviator glasses, a snazzy French cap and leather driving gloves, and goes shopping for a Porsche.

THE TELEPHONE
Men see the telephone as a communication tool. They use the telephone to get short messages to other people.

A woman can visit her girlfriend for two weeks, and upon returning home, she will call the same friend and they will talk for three hours.

DIRECTIONS
If a woman is out driving and she finds herself in unfamiliar surroundings, she will stop at a gas station and ask for directions.

Men consider this to be a sign of weakness. Men will never stop and ask for directions. Men will drive in a circle for hours, all the while saying things like, Looks like I've found a new way to get there." and, "I know I'm in the general neighborhood. I recognize that 7-11 store."

TOYS
Little girls love to play with toys. Then when they reach the age of 11 or 12, they lose interest.

Men never grow out of their obsession with toys. As they get older, their toys simply become more expensive and silly and impractical. Examples of men's toys: little miniature TV's. Car phones. Complicated juicers and blenders. Graphic equalizers. Small robots that perform various tasks on command. Video games. Anything that blinks, beeps, and requires at least 6 "D" batteries to operate.

PLANTS
A woman asks a man to water her plants while she is on vacation.

The man waters the plants. The woman comes home five or six days later to an apartment full of dead plants. No one knows why this happens.

CAMERAS
Men take photography very seriously. They'll shell out $4000 for a state-of-the-art camera and take photography classes.

Women purchase disposable cameras. Of course, women often end up taking better pictures.

GARAGES
Women use garages to park their cars and store their lawnmowers.

Men use garages for many things. They hang license plates in garages, they watch TV in garages, and they build useless lopsided benches in garages.

BATHROOMS
A man has six items in his bathroom: a toothbrush, toothpaste, shaving cream, razor, a bar of soap, and a towel.

The average number of items in the typical woman's bathroom is 337. A man would not be able to identify most of these items.

ARGUMENTS
A woman has the last word in any argument.

Anything a man says after that is the beginning of a new argument.

FUTURE
A woman worries about the future until she gets a husband.

A man never worries about the future until he gets a wife.

SUCCESS
A successful man is one who makes more money than his wife can spend.

A successful woman is one who can find such a man.

MARRIAGE
A woman marries a man expecting he will change, but he doesn't.

A man marries a woman expecting that she won't change, and she does.

DRESSING UP
A woman will dress up to go shopping, water the plants, empty the garbage, answer the phone, read a book, get the mail, etc.

A man will dress up for weddings or funerals.

NATURAL
Men wake up looking as good as when they went to bed.

Women somehow deteriorate during the night.

CHILDREN
Women seem to be able to remember every little detail of each child's life - the first tooth, doctor's appointments, school pick-up times, food preferences, etc.

Some men are only aware that there seems to be an increasing number of short people in the house.

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Sunday morning we learned of the passing of another former member of the administration, Luena Barker, who had passed away following a massive stroke. Here's the information we received by email yesterday on campus: "Please pray for the family and friends of Miss Luena Barker, '50 grad and former dean of women, who passed away this past weekend. The funeral service will be Wednesday at 1 p.m. at the Braun-Everiss-Wagley Funeral Home (1501 W. Maumee St., Adrian, Mich.). Viewings will be Tuesday from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. and Wednesday at 12 p.m." I've copied Miss Barker's obituary from the Greenville News and put it on my website at http://ivman.com/barker.html for those of you who would like to read it.

quotation...

"Any married man should forget his mistakes. There's no use in two people remembering the same thing." - anonymous (probably by the speaker's wise decision to remain so....)

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

The easiest way to find something lost around the house is to buy a replacement.


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What Are They Really Saying?


When we arrived at the airport last week, we thought we were being greeted by our son and his girlfriend. But instead we were greeted by our son and his fiancée! The week before we got home, Mark asked Katie to marry him, and she accepted. They are planning to wed on June 29, 2007. Below is a picture of Mark and Katie at some time during this past school year.

picture of Katie and Mark

What I'm sending today is to help men and women to understand better what each other are really saying, especially for the young couples who are learning to navigate in these waters. The first section says that it's women who are explaining some of the things they say, but I strongly suspect that whoever is explaining what men are really saying in the second section may well have been a woman also. You can judge for yourselves.

Women's Vocabulary - women explain the meanings of their keywords and other utterances

FINE - This is the word we use at the end of any argument that we feel we are right about but need to hush you up. NEVER use fine to describe how a woman looks. This will cause you to have one of those arguments.

FIVE MINUTES - If we are getting dressed, this is half an hour. Five minutes is only five minutes if you have just been given five more minutes to watch the game before helping around the house, so we feel that it's an even trade.

NOTHING - This is the calm before the storm. This means something, and you should be on your toes. "Nothing" is usually used to describe the feeling a woman has of wanting to turn you inside out, upside down, and backwards. "Nothing" usually signifies an argument that will last "Five Minutes" and end with the word "Fine."

GO AHEAD (with raised eyebrows) - This is *not* permission; it's a dare - one that will result in a woman getting upset over "Nothing" and will end with the word "Fine." So, don't do it!

GO AHEAD (normal eyebrows) - This is not permission either. It means "I give up" or "do what you want because I don't care." You will get a raised eyebrow "Go Ahead" in just a few minutes, followed by "Nothing" and "Fine" and she will talk to you in about "Five Minutes" when she cools off.

LOUD SIGH - This is not actually a word, but is still a verbal statement very frequently misunderstood by men. A "Loud Sigh" means she thinks you are an idiot at that moment and wonders why she is wasting her time standing here and arguing with you over "Nothing."

SOFT SIGH - Again, not a word, but a verbal statement. "Soft Sighs" are one of the few things that some men actually understand. She is content. Your best bet is to not move or breathe in the hope that the moment will last a bit longer and that she will stay content.

OH - This word followed by any statement is trouble. Example: "Oh, let me get that." Or, "Oh, I talked to someone about what you were doing last night." If she says "Oh" before a statement, run - do not walk - to the nearest exit. She will tell you that she is "Fine" when she is done tossing your clothes out the window, but do not expect her to talk to you for at least two days. "Oh" as the lead to a sentence usually signifies that you are caught in something. Do not try to get out of it, or you will get raised eyebrows "Go ahead" followed by acts so unspeakable that I can't bring myself to write about them.

THAT'S OKAY - This is one of the most dangerous statements that a woman can say to a man. "That's Okay" means that she wants to think long and hard before deciding what the penalty will be for whatever mistake you have made. "That's Okay" is often used with the word "Fine" and used in conjunction with a raised eyebrow "Go Ahead." At some point in the near future after she has plotted and planned, you are going to be in some mighty big trouble.

PLEASE DO - This is not a statement; it is an offer. A woman is giving you the chance to come up with whatever excuse or reason you have for doing whatever it is that you have done. In other words, a chance to get yourself into even more trouble. If you handle this correctly, you shouldn't get a "That's Okay."

THANKS - A woman is thanking you. Don't faint and don't look for hidden meaning. Just say "you're welcome."

THANKS A LOT - This is dramatically different from "Thanks." A woman will say "Thanks A Lot" when she is really ticked off at you. It is usually followed by the "Loud Sigh." This signifies that you have hurt her in some callous way. Be careful not to ask what is wrong after the "Loud Sigh," as she will only tell you "Nothing."

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What Men REALLY MEAN when they say certain phrases...

"I can't find it," REALLY MEANS, "It didn't fall into my outstretched hands, so I'm completely clueless."

"That's women's work," REALLY MEANS, "It's dirty, difficult, and thankless."

"It's a guy thing," REALLY MEANS, "There is no rational thought pattern connected with it, and you have no chance at all of making it logical."

"Can I help with dinner?" REALLY MEANS, "Why isn't it already on the table?"

"It would take too long to explain," REALLY MEANS, "I have no idea how it works."

"I'm getting more exercise lately," REALLY MEANS, "The batteries in the remote are dead."

"We're going to be late," REALLY MEANS, "Now I have a legitimate excuse to drive like a maniac."

"Take a break, honey, you're working too hard, "REALLY MEANS, "I can't hear the game over the vacuum cleaner."

"That's interesting, dear," REALLY MEANS, "Are you still talking?"

"Honey, we don't need material things to prove our love, REALLY MEANS, "I forgot our anniversary again."

"You expect too much of me," REALLY MEANS, "You want me to stay awake."

"It's really a good movie," REALLY MEANS, "It's got guns, knives, and fast cars."

"You know how bad my memory is," REALLY MEANS, "I remember the words to the theme song of "F Troop", the address of the first girl I ever dated, the Vehicle Identification Number of every car I've ever owned, but I forgot your birthday."

"Oh, don't fuss. I just cut myself. It's no big deal," REALLY MEANS, "I have actually severed a limb, but will bleed to death before I admit I'm hurt."

"I do help around the house," REALLY MEANS, "I once threw a dirty towel near the laundry basket."

"What did I do this time?" REALLY MEANS, "What did you catch me doing?"

"She's one of those rabid feminists," REALLY MEANS, "She refused to make my coffee."

"I heard you," REALLY MEANS, "I haven't the foggiest clue what you just said and am hoping desperately that I can fake it well enough so that you don't spend the next 3 days yelling at me."

"You really look terrific in that outfit," REALLY MEANS, "Please don't try on another outfit. I'm starving."

"I missed you," REALLY MEANS, "I can't find my sock drawer, the kids are hungry, and we are out of toilet paper."

"We share the housework," REALLY MEANS, "I make the messes. She cleans them up."

"I don't need to read the instructions," REALLY MEANS, "I am perfectly capable of messing it up without printed help."

"I'm not lost. I know exactly where we are," REALLY MEANS, "No one will ever see us alive again."

quotation...

"When I don't pray in light of God's word, I set my sights too low." - Dr. Drew Conley

=^..^= =^..^= =^..^=
Rob

Do you ever wonder why test mice and rats seem to be so prone to developing cancer?


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Summer Upgrades


This summer when I'm not teaching in Asia, I'm working at IT HelpDesk on campus, "improving life, one computer at a time." Part of what we do each summer is upgrade various programs on the university's computers to the latest version. I like to say, "Summer upgrades ... and some aren't!" June is the month of the year when there are lots of weddings. For this week's iv, I'm going to "wed" those two ideas into the theme for the iv - comparing marriage to upgrades of computer programs. What you're about to read is two supposed email exchanges between newlyweds and tech support. They are similar in many ways, and yet very different so as to reflect the differences between the genders.

Tech Support Request

Dear Tech Support,
Last year I upgraded Girlfriend 7.0 to Wife 1.0 and after a few months I noticed that the new program began unexpected child processing that is taking up a lot of space and valuable resources. No mention of this phenomenon was included in the product brochure.

In addition, Wife 1.0 installs itself into all other programs, launches during system initialization, and monitors all other system activity. Applications such as Football 5.0, Hunting and Fishing 7.5, and Racing 3.6 no longer run, crashing the system whenever selected. I can't seem to keep Wife 1.0 in the background while attempting to run my favorite applications, and I can't seem to purge Wife 1.0 from my system. It's too late to uninstall and go back to the Girlfriend 7.0 program. Can you PLEASE help me?

Thanks,
Troubled User

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REPLY...

Dear Troubled User:
This is a very common problem men complain about, but it's mostly due to a primary misconception. Many men upgrade from Girlfriend 7.0 to Wife 1.0 with the idea that Wife 1.0 is merely a "Utilities and Entertainment" program.

Wife 1.0 is an OPERATING SYSTEM and designed to run everything. WARNING - do NOT try to uninstall, delete, or purge the program from the system once installed! Trying to uninstall or remove Wife 1.0 will destroy valuable system resources. You're right - you cannot go back to Girlfriend 7.0 because Wife 1.0 is not designed to do this.

Some have tried to install Girlfriend 7.3 or Wife 2.0 but end up with more problems than the original system. Look in your manual under "Warnings: Alimony/Child Support." I recommend that you keep Wife1.0 and work on improving the situation. I suggest installing the background application "Yes Dear" to alleviate software augmentation. Do not even think of trying to run Girlfriend 7.0 or 7.3 in the background. Eventually Wife 1.0 detects the other program running in the background and a system conflict occurs, this can lead to a non-recoverable system crash.

Having Wife 1.0 installed myself, I might also suggest you read the entire section regarding General Protection Faults (GPF's). You must assume all responsibility for faults and problems that might occur. The best course of action is to enter the command C:\I_APOLOGIZE because ultimately you will have to give the APOLOGIZE command before the system will return to normal anyway. The best course of action will be to push the apologize button then the reset button as soon as lock-up occurs. System will run smooth as long as you take the blame for all GPF's.

Wife 1.0 is a great program but is very high maintenance. Wife 1.0 comes with several support programs, such as Clean and Sweep 3.0, Cook It 1.5, and Do Bills 4.2. However, be very careful how you use these programs. Improper use will cause the system to launch the program NagNag 9.5. Once this happens, the only way to improve the performance of Wife 1.0 is to purchase additional software. I recommend Flowers 2.1 and Diamonds 5.0.

Suggestions for improved operation of Wife 1.0
-Monthly use of utilities such as TLC and FTD
-Frequently use Communication 5.0

Wishing you the best!
Tech Support

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Dear Tech Support,
Last year I upgraded from Boyfriend 5.0 to Husband 1.0 and noticed that the new program began making unexpected changes to the accounting software, severely limiting access to wardrobe, flower, and jewelry applications that operated flawlessly under Boyfriend 5.0. No mention of this phenomenon was included before the upgrade.

In addition, Husband 1.0 uninstalls many other valuable programs such as RomanticMovies 7.5, OceansideWalks 3.9, SappyLoveNotes 2.2, and OperaNight 6.1, and it installs new, undesirable programs such as BasketballNight 1.3, SaturdayFootball 5.0, Golf 2.4, and ClutterEverywhere 4.5. Whenever Communication 5.0 runs, it invariably crashes the system. Under no circumstances will it run Cooking 14.1 or HouseCleaning 2.6. I've tried running NagNag 9.5 to fix Husband 1.0, but this all-purpose utility is of limited effectiveness. Can you help, please?

Thanks,
Desperate

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REPLY...

Dear Desperate,
This is a very common problem women complain about, but it is mostly due to a primary misunderstanding. Many women upgrade from Boyfriend 5.0 to Husband 1.0 with no idea that Boyfriend 5.0 is merely an ENTERTAINMENT program while Husband 1.0 is an OPERATING SYSTEM that was designed to run as few applications as possible. Furthermore, you cannot purge Husband 1.0 and return to Boyfriend 5.0, because Husband 1.0 is not designed to do this. Hidden operating files within your system would cause Boyfriend 5.0 eventually to emulate Husband 1.0, so nothing is gained. It is impossible to uninstall, delete, or purge the program files from the system, once installed. Any new program files can only be installed once per year, as Husband 1.0 has severely limited memory. Error messages are common and a normal part of Husband 1.0.

In desperation to play some of their favorite old applications or to get new applications to work, some women have tried to install Boyfriend 6.0, or Husband 2.0. However, these women end up with more problems than encountered with Husband 1.0. Look in your manual under "Warnings: Divorce/Child Support." You will notice that this program runs very poorly and comes bundled with Heartbreak 1.3. I recommend you keep Husband 1.0 and just learn the quirks of this strange and illogical operating system.

Having Husband 1.0 installed myself, I might also suggest you read the entire section regarding General Partnership Faults (GPF's). This is a wonderful feature of Husband 1.0, secretly installed by the parent company as an integral part of the operating system. Husband 1.0 must assume ALL responsibility for ALL faults and problems, regardless of root cause. To activate this great feature, enter the command: C:\I_THOUGHT_YOU_LOVED_ME. You will find that sometimes Tears 6.2 must be run simultaneously while entering the command. Husband 1.0 should then run the applications Apologize 12.3 and Flowers/Chocolates 7.8.

TECH TIP: Avoid excessive use of this feature. Overuse can create additional and more serious GPF's, and ultimately it may be YOU who has to give a C:\I_APOLOGIZE command before the system will return to normal operations. Overuse can also cause Husband 1.0 to default to GrumpySilence 2.5 or Workaholic 6.9.

Just remember! The system will run smoothly and take the blame for all GPF's, but because of this fine feature, it can only intermittently run all applications that Boyfriend 5.0 ran. Husband 1.0 is a great program, but it does have limited memory and cannot learn new applications quickly.

Consider buying additional software to improve performance. I personally recommend HotMeals 3.0, Cheerfulness 5.3, Listening 1.4, and LovingPatience 10.1. Used in combination, these utilities can really help keep Husband 1.0 running smoothly. After several years of use, you will become more familiar with Husband 1.0 and you will find many valuable embedded features such as FixBrokenThings 2.1, Snuggling 4.2, and BestFriend 7.6.

A final word of caution. Do NOT, under any circumstances, install MotherInLaw 1.0. This is not a supported application and will cause selective shutdown of the operating system. Husband 1.0 might run only Fishing 9.4 and Hunting 5.2 until MotherInLaw 1.0 is uninstalled.

I hope these notes have helped. Thank you for choosing to install Husband 1.0, and we here at Tech Support wish you the best in coming years. We trust you will learn to fully enjoy this wonderful product.

Your friends at Tech Support

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personal update...

In about four weeks we leave for Asia. There's so much to do before then - lessons to plan, provisions to purchase and organize, arrangements to make for our son and daughter to take care of things at the house while we're gone, etc.

quotation...

"When we don't pray in light of God's word, we set our sights too low." - Dr. Drew Conley

=^..^= =^..^= =^..^=
Rob

Marriage is wonderful - it's so great to find that one special person to annoy for the rest of your life!


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Barbecuing


In preparation for the Memorial Day weekend, the tradition kick-off to summer, here's some humor for those who might be preparing to barbecue this weekend.

Outdoor Barbecuing: the only type of cooking some husbands will do.

When a husband volunteers to do such cooking, the following chain of events is put into motion.

1. The wife goes to the store.

2. The wife fixes the salad, vegetables, and dessert.

3. The wife prepares the meat for cooking, places it on a tray along with the necessary cooking utensils, and takes it to the man, who is lounging beside the grill, drinking a tall, cold beverage.

4. The husband places the meat on the grill.

5. The wife goes inside to set the table and check the vegetables.

6. The wife comes out to tell the husband that the meat is burning.

7. The husband takes the meat off the grill and hands it to the wife.

8. The wife prepares the plates and brings them to the table.

9. After eating, the wife clears the table and does the dishes.

10. The husband asks the wife how she enjoyed "her night off". And upon seeing her annoyed reaction concludes that it is just impossible to please some women!

quotation...

"I have wondered at times about what the Ten Commandments would have looked like if Moses had run them through the U.S. Congress." - Ronald Reagan

=^..^= =^..^= =^..^=
Rob

I've heard that a woman has never shot a man while he was doing dishes.


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