Sunday, March 3, 2019

The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men...

This was not a weekend that went as planned or anticipated.

It has been a mild winter here, in terms of average temperatures and "climatological data".  While we enjoyed a cooler January than in recent years, the temperature never got into the mid-30s and there was never a threat of frost.  Average low temperatures were in the mid-40s, which is below average (around 50, depending on the date), but nowhere near records.  I really don't recall it even getting into the upper 30s this year.  February was warmer, with most of the month above average in lows and highs.

That means that the pollen producers had no reason to hold back, and everything is coated with pollen.  On our cars, we get a coarse, sticky, yellow-tinged coat; I've long been told it's mostly pine but I honestly don't care.  I just know it means it's past time to wash the cars.  The nature of the mess is that a drive through car wash won't remove it.  It needs to be scrubbed with something like these.

Due to our size differences, Mrs. Graybeard and I have an arrangement in life.  I clean the roofs, hoods and other high surfaces while she gets the lower parts of the quarter panels, wheels and the lower panels.  I'll do the first arm length down from the hood or trunk, leaving the lower stuff for her.

At one point, Mrs. Graybeard was pulling the hose around her car to get the wheels on the other side and she tripped on the hose.  As Murphy demands, she missed landing on the grass and fell onto our concrete (paver) walkway narrowly missing whacking her head on the rocks that trim the front planted area.  She landed hard on her left hip.  Here's where I need to point out that both of her hips have been replaced, the first one when she was about 50.  She couldn't get up due to excruciating pain.  We tried waiting for a few minutes, and everything I could think of that might help.  She could get upright and stand on her knees, but couldn't stand up any farther.  It took about 15 minutes for her to say, "we'd better call 911".  The paramedics were here quickly and took her to the big hospital ER in town; I straightened up a bit and drove down to sit with her.

The big fear was that the implant was damaged and that can mean emergency surgery.  Thankfully, she didn't damage the implant, but she did break part of her thigh bone (two pieces off the greater trochanter for you medical folks who visit).  The ER doctor said as far as his expertise goes, it doesn't need surgical repair, but it's going to hurt like hell for at least a few days and she should see a specialist.  They sent her home with a prescription for pain meds - ironic in view of my last post - along with a referral to see an orthopedic surgeon.  To both of our surprises, I found her old walker in the garage from when she had one of the hip replacements.  That's helping her get around quite a bit.  She will be very inactive the next few days, and I'll be doing all the cooking, cleaning and such.

That's why it was "radio silence" yesterday.

But that was then and this is now.

Over the last few days, one of my favorite reads, Aesop at Raconteur Report has been running some exchanges (this, for example) with some women in the aftermath of the court ruling that a military draft that took only men was unconstitutional.  With very few exceptions, or so it seems, people who have been on the front lines in the military are against this idea.

In that light, I want to point out something that hasn't seemed to get much coverage.  Congress critter Ilhan Omar (D - Minnesotastan) has asked the Minnesotastan Attorney General, Keith Ellison (D - Domestic Abuse)  to investigate USA Powerlifting for barring biological males from women’s events, according to a Jan. 31 letter she sent USA Powerlifting.

USA Powerlifting has said that men who are transitioning genders may not compete as women because of the obvious advantage being male has.
“Men naturally have a larger bone structure, higher bone density, stronger connective tissue and higher muscle density than women,” the weightlifting association notes in an online explainer. “These traits, even with reduced levels of testosterone do not go away. While [male-to-female athletes] may be weaker and less muscle than they once were, the biological benefits given them at birth still remain over that of a female.”
Rep. Omar told USA Powerlifting that the advantages they document are a myth:
“I urge you to reconsider this discriminatory, unscientific policy and follow the example of the International Olympic Committee. The myth that trans women have a ‘direct competitive advantage’ is not supported by medical science, and it continues to stoke fear and violence against one of the most at-risk communities in the world,” wrote the congresswoman.
The same thing is going on in other sports, as I'm sure you've heard.  Unlike what Rep. Omar says, in sports like various Track disciplines or Cycling, for example, there are long standing Men's and Women's records.  They are often kept by age, or weight class for each sex.   Without exception, Men's records are faster than women's.

A few months ago, a biological male who identifies as a transgender woman won a women’s world championship cycling event.

Rachel McKinnon, a professor of Philosophy at Charleston College, won the women’s sprint 35-39 age bracket at the 2018 UCI Masters Track Cycling World Championships in Los Angeles.   Allow me to post a picture of the podium from Cycling Weekly.  I think it's an instructive game of "one of these things is not like the others" that a small child could spot.

The woman on the left is silver medalist Carolien Van Herrikhuyzen of the Netherlands and on the right is bronze medalist Jennifer Wagner of the USA.

Unlike Powerlifting, cycling is a sport where the most important metric is not pure size or pure strength, it's power to weight ratio (usually in watts/kg), so McKinnon's obviously wider, masculine physique is not as big advantage as it might be in Powerlifting.  She/he says that the smaller Jennifer Wagner had beaten her in 10 of their last 12 races, including the 500-metre time trial earlier in the week.

But, of course, this isn't about the athletic ability, it's about social justice and "muh rights".
“Focusing on performance advantage is largely irrelevant because this is a rights issue. We shouldn’t be worried about trans people taking over the Olympics. We should be worried about their fairness and human rights instead.”

McKinnon also compared restrictions on biological males competing in women’s events to racial segregation.

“This is bigger than sports, and it’s about human rights,” McKinnon said to USA Today.

“By catering to cisgender people’s views, that furthers transgender people’s oppression. When it comes to extending rights to a minority population, why would we ask the majority? I bet a lot of white people were pissed off when we desegregated sports racially and allowed black people. But they had to deal with it.”
I don't care if Wagner had beaten her 99 out of 100, they shouldn't be competing.  Modern military work for the guys on "the pointy end of the spear" is more like Powerlifting than cycling.  Women shouldn't be in there, either.


  1. I hope mrs SiG is going to be okay and have a speedy recovery.

  2. I'm very sorry to hear that. I hope she has a speedy recovery.

  3. You be nice to the missus and end her our best

  4. The real question I have over the whole men competing against women thingy is, usually, how did the dude do against actual males before 'transitioning' to compete against the girls?

    Twisted. The whole 'I'm a loser as a male in x field so I'll go compete as a woman' thingy and the support by all the official agencies makes me want to become world dictator just so I can abolish gender-based sports and make everyone compete against everyone no matter what. Hey, take it one step farther, no separation by age or sex or handicapped/handicapable. Everyone is Equal! Go Equality! No more Best Actor/Best Actress also, no gender distinctions! Everyone will wear the same cloths, as it's non-discriminatory. Tear the whole gender world down!

    I'll just make sure I have my BFR from Elon all ready to escape to Mars when the lynch mobs come.

  5. RE: Mrs. G - the trochanter is one of the largest bones in the body, and that it suffered a fracture is concerning. Maybe an osteoporitis study is in order?

    Older people - especially females - frequently don't have the necessary lower body strength to resist falls by catching themselves, and lower body muscle capacity (which also includes improving lower back muscles, which are frequently neglected in strength programs) is directly related to maintaining balance in compromising positions. A little bit of applied force leads to "passing the point of no return" on balance, and gravity is a force. That, and never having learned how to fall can lead to severe consequences; "how to fall" is an important motor skill, usually picked up in earlier years during high activity sports. Not knowing how to go to the ground and minimize concentrated impact leads to concentrating that impact on a single point - a "flat fall." The person tries to resist the fall, doesn't have the strength to do that, and when the effect of gravity and/or motion become inevitable lacks the knowledge, skill and practice to minimize the effect. Scaphoid fractures (wrist) or broken radius (forearm) are common because often the best such a person can do is put their hands out.

    1. Considering her age and her previous bi-lateral hip surgeries, I would think she probably has already been tested for osteoporosis. My wife has osteopenia - some deficit, but not as much as someone with osteoporosis - so she takes calcium and Vitamin D supplements, and has to have a Dexa-scan every few years to make sure it hasn't worsened. Falls at our age can be quite dangerous. I no longer ride horses for that very reason.

  6. The practical definition of Leftism is "The denial of reality for political purposes".

  7. Jewett Orthopedic in Orlando:

    Because sometimes convenience and cost savings simply are not worth it.

    1. Jewett Orthopedic saved my wife's life when the broken leg that got a hospital acquired infection at Worst-Off in Cocoa wouldn't heal.

      She's the first one at Jewett to have external fixiter braces attached to bones to aid in healing and stabilization. And she's the reason y'all get general anesthesia to remove said fixiters. The doc who started removing all the rods did it in his office. She toughed through it, and he swore he'd never do it again.

    2. I would suggest that both of you look into Judo lessons. Find a class/trainer that emphasizes learning how to fall. I took this in my early teens, and the three hour class (once or twice a week) had the first hour of every class focused on practicing falling. That training made a huge difference in falling safely. I was only able to take the class for a few months or so, but decades later it was evident the moves had been ingrained.

      Not to mention that the judo training allowed me to avoid being stabbed by an attacker in my early 30's.

  8. Best wishes for Mrs. Graybeard's speedy recovery! My mother has struggled with hip issues for many years and I know full well the downstream effects of mobility challenges like that.

    I fully endorse and support trans "women" being allowed to compete across the board in women's sport events. Every time a trans "woman" destroys a field of actual women, and their hopes and dreams with it, is a sharp cognitive dissonance moment for lefties. Nothing gives me schadenfreude like watching two of their insane doublethink denials of reality grinding against each other.

    1. Amen. I also think that 20 year-old athletes who self-identify as 38 year old athletes should be allowed to compete in the 35-39 category as well. Otherwise they are being discriminated against by age.

      However, as much as I would enjoying seeing that, I believe the whole thing needs to come to a screeching halt. This is the Left, which is finding it easy to destroy Western civilization from within, by changing values, principles, definitions, and the way we _used_ to get along without this much strife and insane, twisted illogic.

      The Left seeks to destroy our culture, our moral code, our sovereignty/nationalism and the bedrock of our relationships as husband and wife, boyfriend and girlfriend, and both sexes being able to be _just_ friends with someone of the opposite gender, relationships based on the true, biological genders of male and female.

      The Left has driven so us far toward the edge (and beyond) of insanity that there are clinics for changing the sexual gender of _children_ for G-d's sake. Children who have no say, no choice in what is being done to them, or have been manipulated into thinking they are really the opposite (of the two, true genders) sex. Sick adults suffering from gender dysphoria - a serious mental disorder - have their neurosis worsened by fools in the medical and psych fields _pandering_ to their confusion, often for the money it makes for them, rather than any real attempt to provide care for them. Worse, parents that play with their child's gender because it is cute, or the Jones are doing it.

      This smelly, divisive, reeking morass of "gender-identity"is a red herring for conservatives to chase while the Left is diddling many of our other important institutions. They want us so busy dealing with the conflicts caused by these attacks on our values that they can step in and take power, purportedly to sooth and smooth the conflicts, but also to move from adjudicating nonsense like who can use which bathroom (anyone of the Heinz 57 "genders"), to adjudicating who can own what firearm (cops and military, only), live rurally, read what pleases us, say what pleases us, etc..

      If a stop isn't put to this subversive monkey-wrenching of our society, our country, we will end up in a civil war - or worse, with us fighting as a guerilla insurgency against a totalitarian government.

      Churchill said it best: "If you will not fight for right when you can easily win without blood shed; if you will not fight when your victory is sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves."

  9. OUCH!!

    Here's hoping she makes a full and speedy recovery!

  10. I thought back when the trans circus rolled into town that it was a suicide pact between Big Gov and Big Ed. The instructions that went out from the Obama Dept. of Ed was that gender self-identification was sacrosanct and could not be questioned.
    The ideal situation would have been for several good (but not draft quality) male high school basketball players show up for a top tier female university basketball scholarship try-out. They would easily dominate and could not be refused based on biology. If rejected, sue. Obama would have to side with plaintiffs by his own letter. The guys could not be held to any standard, according to the WH, other than a professed belief in their own femininity. Even if they dated their female classmates no doubt could be cast because only a homophobe would try to harsh their inner lesbian. A win win all around. The guys get an elite school scholarship and the school wins the National (female) Tournament, at least the first year. the second year female sports would collapse and it would be all male teams. Looks like we're getting there, just slower boil.

    1. A young black weight lifter recently participated in doing some lifts that set several new records - for women. He identified as a woman during the moments when he was actually lifting the weights. This beat the results of several of the top women weight lifters, but it was ruled as being acceptable.

      What would you like to bet this creates enough animosity between men and women in general - along with the insanity of consensual sex between a man and woman _later_ being decried by the woman as having been rape, because she changed her mind - into some sort of actual physical strife between women who refuse to accept these changes, and the men who _use_ these changes to make a point or to boost their egos.