Saturday, 10 September 2011

10:05 – Happy Anniversary to us. Barbara and I were married 28 years ago today. I tried to convince her that the traditional 28th anniversary gift was science equipment, but she’s not buying it.

It’s hard to believe we’ve been married for 28 years. Barbara was 28 years old when we married, so we’ve been married for literally half her life. I was 30 years old, so I have to wait a couple more years to meet that milestone. Fortunately, Barbara is a woman of great restraint, or she’d probably have killed me by now. (I still sometimes introduce her as “This is Barbara, my first wife.”) XOR has also caused some discussions over the years: Barbara: “Do you want peas or corn?” Me: “Yes.” I finally convinced her that I wasn’t being obnoxious and that really is the way my thought processes work.

Fortunately, unlike most women, Barbara has a sense of humor. She ignores me when we’re watching a video and I comment, “I like her dress” (exposed cleavage), “I really like her dress” (topless), or “I really like her dress” (full frontal nudity). In fact, she considers turnabout fair play. When we were watching Rome or something, there was a shot with male full frontal nudity. Barbara, of course, commented, “I really like his dress.”

Also unlike most women, Barbara understood from the start that women must take men as they find them. There’s no point to trying to change or train us, except in the most trivial ways. (Putting the toilet seat down comes to mind.) Our personalities are set in stone well before we’re out of diapers. We’re unchangeable and untrainable. Basically, women are civilized and men are barbarians, but it takes a very smart woman to realize that and tolerate it. In effect, we men are pets that are quite aggravating on a regular basis.

I’m sure most of my regular readers wonder how Barbara has been able to tolerate me for 28 years. I know I do.

I mixed up some copper(II) sulfate for Barbara this morning, about 30 mL of 1 M solution to 1.5 L of water. Barbara sprayed the shrubs affected by the fungi. I was kind of disappointed in the results. I was hoping to hear high-pitched tiny little cries and watch the fungi drop off the leaves. Instead, they just sat there. I was surprised to see that a 0.02 M solution of copper(II) sulfate is still noticeably blue. I expected maybe a slight blue tint, but it was visible as distinctly blue through the translucent sprayer bottle.