I've been in a weird place the last year or so, the effects of which fascinate me for the most part. I've been devoting an inordinate amount of time raising my children; participating in their activities - which has opened me up to entirely new things - something I hadn't expected to happen. Its honestly been a lot of fun. I've also been creating activities which subtly double as lessons and lessons which blossom into activities. Most of the time the aren't even aware. But the sharper they get, the more they call me on it - realtime results of my efforts :)
My daughter had mentioned that one of her friend's dad was overprotective, and while trying to articulate I strove to be just-the-right-amount of protective rather than underprotective for example, I reiterated to her openness in communication helped in that regard and reminded her that I was the kind of dad who would never be embarrassed by what she might have to say. She replied, "I know, Dad. You proved it again in the mall the other day!" She and her girlfriend had just exited Victoria's Secret "Pink" (new lingerie line targeted to 15-to-22 year olds) and I pointed to a pair of rainbow leggings and asked, "Think they have that in my size? I could really make that work." She giggled and taunted, "I bet you're too afraid to even walk into that store!" I crossed my arms, put a finger on my lip, looked down my nose, and walked heel-to-toe to the back wall of the store and back. She was doubled over in laughter by the time I returned.
During the first half of that "weird place" period, I was abstaining from all alcohol - I required my mind to be clear and razor sharp - it helps tremendously in processing and collating data. During this time of abstinence I was also chewing tobacco (yes, after a 2-year hiatus). At some point, I switched the two; started drinking daily and quit chewing. The simple-minded correlate such a maneuver as trading one vice for another, but they do so because they are simple-minded; they have no working reasoning bits. The nuanced interactions of substances and their effect upon the dopaminergic and serotonergic pathways is an on-going study by real scientists who don't care what the simple-minded believe. They each do different things for me when I need them too.
But I stopped exercising prior to both the tobacco and the alcohol - I've never been able to successfully chew or drink while working out - but ever concerned about the effect age has on men's testosterone levels (one of the things which keeps me resistance training) I eventually dropped both and went back to exercising.
So there I was, gleeful that I was doing my body some good and getting back into the shape I was around this time last year when the following study was released on Scientific American:
Now I can't empirically say one way or the other as I have had limited exposure to naked men, and the few times I've been surrounded by other men's balls (basic training anyone?) I was decidedly not interested in determining who's were bigger - which incidentally I had always assumed was a figure of speech!
Short version, if I'm as good a father as I endeavor to be, its sapping the testosterone right out of me.
Gonna have to double-up on the weights :/