Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Papa's Clutch Purse o' Mail

With only six loyal readers, I don't get nearly as much mail as the dad bloggers who know how to write. I do, however, get some comments that I either can't respond to directly because I don't have that reader's email address, or that I think deserve a public response, but perhaps not a full post. I've collected the most recent examples here for a little feature called Papa's Mail Bag.

Actually, with only six readers, it's more like a small sack. Sort of a satchel. Really, they'd all fit in a clutch purse.

OK, so on with Papa's Clutch Purse o' Mail . . .

Phthalate Haters

samantha jo campen commented:
So all plastic stuff messes with hormones? And that's why you think 3B only had one descended testicle? I had no idea. Thanks for the 411! Let me know what you think of the sippy cup.
That's a good question. I don't think that I was clear enough in my previous discussions of phthalates, cryptorchidism, and orchiopexy.

It's not the case that if a moth farts in China, a hurricane will hit Hawaii. There are a few steps between the moth's ass and Maui. Similarly, I don't think that it's likely that a single dose of phthlates caused 3B to have an undescended testicle.

There are other factors to consider, such as genetic predisposition, hormone level changes from other causes, and so on. However, what if it turns out that we're all exposed to a never-ending stream of phthalate doses--from shampoo, cosmetics, shower curtains, water bottles, and a myriad of other sources--such that we always have them in our system at a significant level? (In fact, there are some who claim that it's impossible to run a study showing differences between people with phthalates in their system and a control group without them in their system because it's impossible to find anyone without phthalates in their system.) And what if phthalates are linked to male genital abnormalities, specifically undescended testicles?

That brings the moth's ass a little closer to Maui for me.

Moses supposes his toeses are frozen peas
Mitch McDad commented:
Are you insane? That's all I have to say. Thank God I'm comfortably sedentary.

Boutros also commented:
I would only ride a bike in this weather if I were encased in a pleasant heated plastic bubble, like a big gerbil ball. How long does it take you to unfreeze (or thaw, as some might say) when you get to work or home?
Mitch: Probably, although I haven't found a psychologist who I find of sound enough mind to reliably declare me so. I also find that I get cabin fever as a result of spending my life in a series of little boxes: condo, car, cube, reverse and repeat. I'm not sure that cabin fever is listed in DSM, but it's as close to insanity as I'd like to get, so I ride my bike. Besides, this has been a cold week, to be sure, but this is nothing compared to my days in Colorado, when I would swap out my regular tires for studded snow tires in the winter. In those days, I could tell you the temperature within five degrees, depending on the sound the snow made under my tires. And I'm glad that you're comfortably sedentary too; as an editor, I've had to master the ability to stay comfortably sedentary for hours on end--it's a required job skill.

Boutros: You would have to have one big ball for that. Speaking of balls, how long it takes me to thaw all depends on your definition of "thawed." I'm never shivering--actually, I often break a sweat on the way to work--they do put windstopping material in many and strategic locations on those tights and jacket that we bicyclists wear. It's a short ride, but the hills are pretty serious. I only really lose touch with my toes--because I'm too cheap to get new shoe covers--and it takes just a few minutes for me to regain feeling in them. I admit that I don't really feel warm again, however, until I've been in a hot shower for a few minutes.

Hot date in a cold snap
Henitsirk commented:
Google came up with zilch for that quote. I don't need any burp diapers anyway, I've still got a huge stash. We had that sushi book too, it was a favorite. The dim sum and jewish food ones are cool too!

Steve also commented:
But Yahoo says it's Bruce Springsteen. We really don't need the burp diapers either. Buy me a drink someday instead.

Dad_to_Be also commented:
It's entirely unimportant, but "Pictures of Matchstick Men" is by Status Quo, one of the UK's longest working bands; in fact, it was their first single and is regarded as a classic of the psychedelic-era. Quo went on to write repetitive 12 bar blues and have been long derided (somewhat ironically, given the name) for having a back catalogue of songs that all sound the same.
So, we've found the gap in Google's armor: they don't love The Boss. If only the Yahooligans can figure out a way to exploit this weakness, they'll become the new internet Borg.

Steve did get the correct answer, even if he had to Google it up, unlike MetroDad who, although late, recalled the quote from his vast, scotch-soaked memory, and so I will be buying Steve a drink somewhere as soon as our children allow us to schedule some time to do so.

And, yes, Dad_to_Be, I'm aware that Camper Van's version of "Matchstick Men" is a cover--a freaking brilliant cover, I might add. One worth rolling all the windows down, turning up the volume to 11, and blowing out the woofers. I wasn't aware of the depth, as it were, of Status Quo's work, so I'll have to look into (listen into?) that. However, I doubt that their version of "Matchstick Men" would inspire the head-banging mosh pit that Camper Van's version did at the Greek Theater in Berkeley on a balmy summer eve in . . . well, many years ago. I have to believe that Camper Van's version is superior to the original, just as (cover your eyes, MetroDad) Manfred Mann's version of "Blinded by the Light" is far superior to Bruuuce's version.

Until Next Time
As soon as I get off my lazy, gin-soaked, diaper-changing ass, I'm sure that I will do this again. Until then, hold your breath for a reply to your comments and send me a picture of the color your face turns right before you pass out. But seriously, I'm not ignoring you if I don't reply, I'm just suffering from daddybrain.


  1. I like your blog because I'm not lost in the shuffle of 105 comments, like at those other daddy blogs you mention. Like MetroDad or Dutch will ever respond to one of my comments! Sometimes it's nice to be in a group of six.

  2. Oh yeah, I like your blog for other reasons in addition to my little vain "I need personal feedback to my comments" thing. Like: the writing, you were a best man at my wedding for God's sake, 3B is darn cute, etc.

  3. Anonymous11:11 PM

    Thanks! I love Q & A!

    (I say as I eye my Nalgene bottle wearily. . . .)

  4. Anonymous3:03 AM

    The King is screwed blued and tatooed. I love plastics. I will just add it to a long line of addictions that will find me slumped over a gold plated crapper someday.

    TCB on Dioxin

  5. dude: them's some funny comments to the comments.

    (I'm particularly fond of the 'moth's ass' analogy.)

    (oh look: I followed 'ass' with a word that begins with 'anal'.)

    (I am officially a twelve-year-old boy!)