Tag Archives: Younger Dudes

Slab Of The Future Ringing In My Pocket

I was lost. Not on a mysterious island with a smoke monster lost. Not crying desperately for a warm bed and maybe a fire to keep the creatures at bay lost.

Nope. Merely lost.

I’d thought I could find my way from our rental house in Key West to the transition area for the Bone Island Triathlon, in which my wife, known to me as She Who Must Be On The Move, was competing. I was supposed to meet her as she came out of the water from a one-mile swim and before she left on her 56-mile cycling course.

Unfortunately, I’d lazed around in bed for a bit too long, much too confident in my own ability to navigate the twisty streets of Key West based only on a hazily printed map of the area that the triathlon people had sent to us. I thought it would have been easy.

I was, of course, wrong.

I’d hopped onto my rental scooter and taken off in the direction I thought led to the transition area. After my first guess turned up empty, I started doing the most unmanly but most dudely thing I could think: I started asking for directions from the race volunteers.

To a man and to a woman, they all responded with, “Um. . . I dunno.”

Which was about the time that I remembered I had a slab of the future riding along inside my front shorts pocket. I had a device on my person that was so advanced that a person from 1980 would have had to cart around a couple of semi-trucks behind her to achieve only half of what this phone could do.

In less than three minutes I had precise directions on how to get from where I was to where I needed to be. An everyday occurrence, yes? But think about it. Think about all that can be done by a little slab of glass, plastic and metal that we throw into a bag, or slip into out back pockets without a second thought.

It’s a little bit of a miracle, really. And the younger dudes and dudettes of the upcoming generation are never going to have known a time when they didn’t have an automatic map, dictionary, thesaurus, comedy club, movie camera, still camera, sound recorder, game center, instant communicator with anyone and everyone at every time thing sitting in their pockets. The only thing it can’t do is initiate a beam up to a starship.

Seriously, dudes. I think it’s probably time for us to just sit back and appreciate all the wonders that are filling the world around us at an ever-increasing rate. This is the future, dudes. It’s here in some places and it’s protruding into the present at an uneven rate. But it’s here.

And I think we need to understand just what a wonder it can be.

We don’t have to be lost. At least, we don’t have to be as long as we remember we’ve got something besides change in our pockets.

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Big Changes Coming Sooner

When young dudettes start to mature and head toward puberty, the results can be strikingly obvious. How many young girls have had to endure the ridicule associated with suddenly having larger breasts, while the majority of children in her middle school are still relatively undeveloped? Far too many.

In 1997, a study was published that suggested young girls were beginning to go through puberty at a younger age than during previous decades. There was, to put it mildly, a lot of hoopla about the whole thing.

Now, here’s the deal. When young dudes start heading toward puberty, they’ve also got something that gets bigger. However, it’s normally not noticeable by parents or doctors or even the young dudes themselves. I’m talking about their testicles.

Young para-pubescent boys can look forward to a subtle testicular enlargement as a prelude to puberty. Here’s the kicker, though. That subtle enlargement? The immediate precursor to puberty? It’s starting to happen to young dudes as early as age 10.

Dr. Marcia E. Herman-Giddens, one of the lead authors on both the 1997 study on girls and the 2012 study on boys, said that, on average, boys are hitting puberty between six months and two years than they used to do.

All right, sure. It’s not the end of the world.

However, the physical changes aren’t the only thing that happens when a dude or dudette hits puberty. There also are some staggeringly significant emotional changes that begin to happen. We’re talking serious emotional whiplash, moodiness, an unexpected and unaccustomed sexual urge. . . It’s all pretty confusing.

And, if this is beginning to happen to even younger boys, then we seriously need to be on the lookout for this. We need to understand, as parents or teachers or, really, anyone who works with younger dudes, their brains might already be sloshing around in a potent witch’s brew of testosterone and other hormones.

Young dudes are light on the forethought at the best of times. Under the influence of testosterone? Fuggitabootit.

Although the effect has been documented, it’s not certain what the cause of the decrease in age for onset of puberty might be. Obesity, chemicals in the environment, diet changes. . . All of these have been suggested, but no one is sure.

It’s nothing I’m going to solve, but I did think it was important that we get this out to people. You dudes have kids. You know people who have kids. Get talking about it. Make sure our young dudes don’t suffer because we didn’t know or at least suspect what they were going through.

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Let Your Footies Do The Walking

by Richard

There’s no better way to get to know a new city than putting your feet to the pavement and doing a little walking around town. Which is why I found myself walking over the world’s largest floating dock on Lake Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

I’m in town with Sarcasmo, looking at a place for Sarcasmo to continue his education.

And, surely, I’m probably the last person in the world to figure this out, but Coeur d’Alene is a very, very lovely little town. It’s got no airport so the best way in is to fly into Spokane, Washington and then drive the forty minutes or so into the resort town.

A resort town because of a lake. It’s odd, really. Most of the places I’ve been that are touristy are built around beaches. Beaches that adjoin the ocean, not small man-made beaches that more closely resemble little spits of gravely land. But, boy, these guys make the most out of this lake.

There’s parasailing, jet skis, fishing, swimming and jumping from cliffs. Admittedly, it was only the younger dudes and dudettes doing that last, but there were a lot of them.

It’s a strange feeling. I’m from Texas, lived in Florida and in North Carolina (the flat part) and I’m not used to seeing so many mountains surrounding me. I’m feeling a little claustrophobic. I can’t see forever, or at least a reasonable approximation thereof, and I’m feeling a little bit closed in what with all the mountains surrounding me here.

Even stranger, there’s no snow on the mountains, so I can’t pretend I’m off on a skiing vacation.

Still, it’s been a nice learning experience to wander around town, seeing the sights, watching the sk8 doods rolling through the streets, and feeling the cool waters of the lake lapping against my toes.

You don’t get anywhere fast, but walking does make it worth your time.

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