Thursday, August 31, 2006

Random Thoughts 8/31/06

  • It's amazing how much my boys can learn in two hours per day of homeschool. These kids are like sponges; they soak up the information, especially Brennan (in kindergarten this year). He's learning cursive and I believe he'll be reading well within months. My question is what on earth do the public schools do for seven or eight hours a day? It's not that well trained teachers don't exist (I know several). It's not that they don't spend enough money (they'll outspend me by several thousand dollars per kid per year). It's not that they don't have the facilities (we teach our kids in our little office at home).
  • Panasonic announced that they will begin selling a 103 inch flatscreen TV for $80,000. I guess I'll have to wait for the price to come down a bit.
  • Iran's deadline passed today. I guess the UN will wag an angry finger at them now. Maybe even issue a sternly worded rebuke. I'm telling you, DO NOT buy property in Tel Aviv, Israel in the next few years.
  • The Chiefs' last preseason game is tonight. They'll be taking up a collection at the stadium for a ticket taker that died of a heart attack after leaving the most recent preseason game. He was the brother of a member of our church and we're glad to see the Chiefs make this gesture for one of their own.
  • We're trying to decide what kind of musical keyboard to get for the kids. I don't care so much about the various bells and whistles (literally) that some keyboards have but the problem is that the little cheap ones (less than $50-75) only play 4 notes at the same time. So by the time a student learns to play with his left hand, the machine is useless. But bigger and better means more money, so we'll have to see. I'm especially enchanted with Yamaha's YPT-200, but I don't know.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Serendipitous Moments

Brennan and Tanner have been using the computer (with special kid friendly settings) but apparently they taught Elijah (2 and a half) to use the computer as well. I rounded the corner the other day and to my horror saw this:

Sometimes it's better to just snap a picture from the hip than to worry about lighting and composition and such. At a birthday party for a friend I just called Brennan's name and clicked the shutter button at waist level. It also helps that the subject is my most photogenic, i.e. vain child, Brennan.

The Quotable Tanner Riley

Tanner has become quite quotable lately. He is our most tender-hearted son; he's eager, innocently naive, and optimistic. He's always expressing his love for Mom, Dad, and his brothers.

The other day he told his mom, "I love you dis much," spreading his arms to the point that they were behind him. Then he said, "Acturrally, I would hafta take my arms off."

Shannon was praying with Tanner at naptime the other day and she took the first turn, "…thank you, God, for my sweet Tanner…" When Tanner prayed he began matter-of-factly, "Tank you Dod, for making me so sweet…"

The boys were playing in the yard this evening after the rain and found a crawdad, stranded in a plastic toy. They wanted to know what this strange creature was and I told them that it was a "crawdad." Tanner furrowed his brow and said, "A cr–… a car–… a ca–… a red lobster?"

Close enough you sweet angel, close enough.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Home School

The boys had their second morning of home schooling this morning. Brennan (not quite 6) and Tanner (4) are learning phonics and math and science and all kinds of things. And Shannon is doing a fantastic job using the A Beka curriculum.

The boys are surprisingly enchanted with the whole thing and laugh a lot as they learn. That said, the two boys couldn't be more different. Brennan is too easily distracted. If he's not consuming new information at rapid pace, he tends to drift away. Tanner, on the other hand, is Mr. Compliance. He sits in his little chair with eager eyes, giddy at the chance to learn. Those boys are pretty special.

Of course they will have their moments where they'll drive Mom crazy, but after two days we've gotten off to a good start.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Friend Day Update

We had a good day yesterday at Church. We had lots of guests and everything went smoothly. It was certainly a success.

That said, attendance was a bit off from previous Friend Days. We expect attendance to almost double on Friend Day but this year it wasn't even half again more than usual. The cause may have been the timing (late summer instead of spring) or the weather (it rained cats and dogs) or something else entirely. The Elders discussed it last night and they were pleased with it and want to do Friend Day again next year.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Friend Day

Sunday is Friend Day at Wyandotte County Christian Church.

Please pray for those who will be visiting our congregation and pray that we might make meaningful connections with them. God may work through our church family to make a difference in their lives – let's pray that this is His will in this circumstance.

You're On the Clock, Part 2

Well I think my draft went well. Here's my likely starting lineup:

QB Matt Hasselbeck, SEA
RB Ronnie Brown, MIA
RB Kevin Jones, DET
WR Donald Driver, GB
WR Larry Fitzgerald, ARI
WR Torry Holt, STL
K John Kasay, CAR

I'm really happy with my receivers and I'm happy about my Quarterback. My key backups include Jake Plummer, Brett Favre, Dominic Rhodes, Laveranues Coles, Michael Clayton and others. I'm just unnerved about my lack of depth in running backs.

Looking at the other teams, however, I think that I'm a little ahead of the curve, though the draft didn't go like I thought it would. We'll see how it all turns out – there's a lot of luck when it comes to fantasy football.

Friday, August 25, 2006

You're On the Clock

Our Fantasy Football Draft is tonight in few hours. I let you know how I did. I've already made a few trades, including trading away Edgerrin James for Miami's Ronnie Brown. Brown will be my one keeper that I'm allowed and we'll see if I can build a team around him.

It could go either way.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Take Me Drunk, I'm Home Ociffer

Kansas City is the fifth drunkest city in America. Measured by DWI arrest rates, alcohol related traffic deaths, and alcohol related liver disease deaths, Kansas City rated #97 out of 101 American cities, recieving an F grade for "fatal inebriation." I heard on the radio that KC also leads the country in Alcoholics Anonymous attendance.

Only Albuquerque, Anchorage, El Paso, and Denver ranked worse, mostly because KC still has at least one teetotaler left… me! The Royals have driven everyone else to drink.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Doing My Part

I don't normally post complete articles from the Opinion Journal but this one's worth reading; it's both interesting and funny.

The Fertility Gap

Liberal politics will prove fruitless as long as liberals refuse to multiply.


The midterm election looms, and once again efforts begin afresh to increase voter participation. It has become standard wisdom in American politics that voter turnout is synonymous with good citizenship, justifying just about any scheme to get people to the polls. Arizona is even considering a voter lottery, in which all voters are automatically registered for a $1 million giveaway. Polling places and liquor stores in Arizona will now have something in common.
On the political left, raising the youth vote is one of the most common goals. This implicitly plays to the tired old axiom that a person under 30 who is not a liberal has no heart (whereas one who is still a liberal after 30 has no head). The trouble is, while most "get out the vote" campaigns targeting young people are proxies for the Democratic Party, these efforts haven't apparently done much to win elections for the Democrats. The explanation we often hear from the left is that the new young Democrats are more than counterbalanced by voters scared up by the Republicans on "cultural issues" like abortion, gun rights and gay marriage.

But the data on young Americans tell a different story. Simply put, liberals have a big baby problem: They're not having enough of them, they haven't for a long time, and their pool of potential new voters is suffering as a result. According to the 2004 General Social Survey, if you picked 100 unrelated politically liberal adults at random, you would find that they had, between them, 147 children. If you picked 100 conservatives, you would find 208 kids. That's a "fertility gap" of 41%. Given that about 80% of people with an identifiable party preference grow up to vote the same way as their parents, this gap translates into lots more little Republicans than little Democrats to vote in future elections. Over the past 30 years this gap has not been below 20%--explaining, to a large extent, the current ineffectiveness of liberal youth voter campaigns today.

Alarmingly for the Democrats, the gap is widening at a bit more than half a percentage point per year, meaning that today's problem is nothing compared to what the future will most likely hold. Consider future presidential elections in a swing state (like Ohio), and assume that the current patterns in fertility continue. A state that was split 50-50 between left and right in 2004 will tilt right by 2012, 54% to 46%. By 2020, it will be certifiably right-wing, 59% to 41%. A state that is currently 55-45 in favor of liberals (like California) will be 54-46 in favor of conservatives by 2020--and all for no other reason than babies.
The fertility gap doesn't budge when we correct for factors like age, income, education, sex, race--or even religion. Indeed, if a conservative and a liberal are identical in all these ways, the liberal will still be 19 percentage points more likely to be childless than the conservative. Some believe the gap reflects an authentic cultural difference between left and right in America today. As one liberal columnist in a major paper graphically put it, "Maybe the scales are tipping to the neoconservative, homogenous right in our culture simply because they tend not to give much of a damn for the ramifications of wanton breeding and environmental destruction and pious sanctimony, whereas those on the left actually seem to give a whit for the health of the planet and the dire effects of overpopulation." It would appear liberals have been quite successful controlling overpopulation--in the Democratic Party.

Of course, politics depends on a lot more than underlying ideology. People vote for politicians, not parties. Lots of people are neither liberal nor conservative, but rather vote on the basis of personalities and specific issues. But all things considered, if the Democrats continue to appeal to liberals and the Republicans to conservatives, getting out the youth vote may be increasingly an exercise in futility for the American left.

Democratic politicians may have no more babies left to kiss.

19,000 Hits

Dusty Gym (his actual name but spelled differently) said, "I was randomly scrolling down and happened to notice that I WAS THE 19,000th HIT!! WOOHOOOO!!! I know, I know... I'm the man. "

Congrats there. I'm sorry I don't have a prize to offer, but that makes me think that I ought to offer a prize for 20,000 which should roll around in early September. I'm not sure how I'd get someone to prove it, or participate, or collect their prize. Or how I would pay for a prize in the first place. Oh well. Your reward for now: the satisfaction of a job well done.

We passed 18,000 hits on August 9, just two weeks ago. So that's 500 hits per week or about 70 hits per day. Not bad for my little website (the Drudge Report had 150 million hits in the last two weeks).

Thanks again for reading. And please jump in a post a comment when you can, I love to hear from you.

Strongly Worded Enablement

Iran missed their chance. August 22 was supposed to me the Apocalypse but Iran only announced that they'll engage in "serious" negotiations. Iran now has until next Thursday, the 31st, to give up Uranium enrichment. Otherwise the UN will use very strong words… again. Ooooohhh.

Give me a break. It may not have happened today but someday Tel Aviv, Israel will get nuked for no other reason than that the UN did nothing to stop it. And since much of the UN (and Europe) is openly anti-semitic, it's not surprising that they're in no hurry.

Now we'll have to wait until 2012 for the end of the world! (That's when the Aztec and Mayan calendars end.)

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Special Skills is helping me pick football players for my fantasy team by showcasing some of their special skills.

Ok, maybe there was some computer enhancement there (probably a lot for Simms). Here are two more with Neil Rackers kicking from the 50 and Braylon Edwards catching the ball blindfolded.

These remind me of that Lebron James commercial from a few years ago where he supposedly makes several full court shots in a row or the one where Michael Vick knocks receivers off of their feet and then throws a ball into the nosebleed section.

Happy Doomsday!

Happy Doomsday everybody!

Don't forget to change the batteries in those smoke alarms.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Random Thoughts 8/21/06

  • Don't forget, tomorrow is Doomsday! August 22 is an important day for Shia Muslims, some of whom connect to Armageddon. Iran's president says the 22nd will be the day he'll give his final answer on nuclear development, which is odd because Iran made a statement today that they intend to continue their nuclear work. So what happens tomorrow? We'll see.
  • My boys have discovered BOZ, the Green Bear Next Door. It's not Veggietales but it seems pretty good. Who knows, it may turn out to be a favorite.
  • Speaking of Veggietales, you may have heard that they went bankrupt a few years ago. It's true and you can read about Big Idea's collapse and Phil Vischer's departure from Big Idea here. It's sad but inspiring at the same time; the guy who brought us Bob the Tomato is still hard at work bringing God's message to our children.
  • I just heard a good quote on the news about France's efforts (or lack thereof) in Lebanon: "It would be funny if it weren't so pathetic." Bingo.
  • Next Sunday is "Friend Day" at our church. Don't forget to invite your friends and make sure you arrive early enough to meet them when they get there.
  • This Friday is the draft for our Fantasy Football League. We have a trophy and twenty teams, divided into two conferences of ten each. We have our own websites and this is the fifth year we've been playing. We're in the process of changing the structure of our league so that more people can play next year. It's been a great way for guys from the church and our friends to have a lot of fun.

I'm Sure That'll Work

You can always depend on the French to be undependable. They're dragging their feet on providing real security for Lebanon and the actual disarmament of Hezbollah. They are truly the "useful idiots" of Western Civiliazation, who are too weak and self loathing to stand up for anything that's right.

I just hope that people like these aren't ever in charge of the defense of our country.

In the Jungle

I just snuck up on the boys singing. Brennan sung the lead (of course) with Tanner providing back up vocals.

Brennan: "…In the jungle, the quiet jungle…"
Tanner: "weema whoppa! weema whoppa!"

Brennan: "…the lion sleeps tonight!"
Tanner: "weema whoppa! weema whoppa!"

Friday, August 18, 2006

The Sincerest Form of IQ Test

Shannon and I took IQ tests this week and I was skeptical of the results. I've taken IQ tests and psychological evaluations administered by phychologists with stop watches, puzzles, charts, ink blots, and square pegs and round holes with hundreds of questions. This puny online test was only 40 questions, none were timed and all were multiple choice. I doubted the test's abilities.

Shannon's score was very impressive, placing her well ahead of the pack as I had already expected, but the attached personality evalutation had an odd slant to it. It said she would be happiest as a mathematician or a physicist! What? She hates math; she's a people person and very relational. And the only questions she got wrong were the advanced math ones. Flattering but not too accurate.

Likewise, the test put my IQ just one notch above average even though I got all 40 questions correct. What more can you do? I didn't expect an Einstein-like 200 but I know I've scored higher than this in real life. So c'mon, I aced your little test! Give me some love!

My ego bruised slightly, I thought all of this confirmed the flaws in this puny test and so I was eager to see what my personality results would be! Afterall, what can they say about my strengths and weaknesses when I did equally well in all four categories of questions?!

What can they do? They can flatter.

Your mind's strengths allow you to think ahead of the game — to imagine or anticipate what should come next in just about any situation. … The timelessness of your vision and the balance between your various skills are what make you a Visionary Philosopher.

Uh, ok, that's more like it!
Great Jobs For You: Archaeologist, Detective, Psychologist, Sculptor, Architect, City planner, and Chief executive.
Some of Your Greatest Talents: You've got tons of strengths. It wouldn't surprise us if you: Think of the "big picture," Can anticipate and predict patterns, Are good at context clues, Can see similarities in seemingly disparate things.

And this went on and on for pages.

So like I was saying, this IQ test is a reliable and trustworthy evaluation of the finer points of one's intellect and…

Thursday, August 17, 2006

I Forgot…

The Chiefs played the Giants tonight… and I forgot! The highlights were on the news and I just sat here stunned. There was a Chiefs game? Tonight? Oops.

Oh well, it sounds like I didn't miss much. The Chiefs were shut out.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Gallows Humor

It's interesting how people respond to stress and soldiers have given us some of the oddest humor over the centuries. This pic has been making the rounds. It shows a message printed on the gunner's position of a .50-caliber machine gun (read: really big gun) on an armored Humvee.

I doubt this does anything to improve relations with the locals, but I know it gets a chuckle out of the soldiers there who are under both extreme pressure and opressive monotony.

Pray for these guys' safety, effectiveness, and return home.

Random Thoughts 8/16/06

  • The board meeting for Mission Lake went well last night. There are many plans going forward and a general consensus to continue the progress already made. That counts for a lot right there. My optimism about our church camp is rejuvinated and I'm pretty encouraged right now.
  • I picked up Graham from his bassinet this morning and handed him to his mother and he was just ecstatic, jumping and smiling and kicking with glee. Shannon looked at him and cooed, "come here, dolly, dolly." I interjected, "Oh sure, he's cute if you don't mind that he's short, bald, and fat." Shannon replied that short, bald, and fat is ok if you're not yet three feet tall.
  • I'm really excited about changing the look of my blog. Blogger (now owned by Google) announced several upgrades that will be coming out soon and I'm looking forward to them. I especially like the ability to label things in categories so that you can find posts related to certain topics. Hopefully that will be available in future weeks.
  • The North American Christian Convention (NACC) will be in Kansas City next summer (July 3-6). I'm sure they'll be recruiting our church to help out at the convention but honestly I'm a bit reluctant. And if reluctant isn't the right word then I guess I don't feel obligated. There's just so many things that we need to do in God's kingdom that a convention for a group which is adamently non-denominational seems kind of funny. I'll probably go myself and probably help too, but I'm not sure that I'm going to push people from my church to invest their time on this. We'll see.
  • Tonight is the first night of our Wednesday night classes. I'm teaching a class on Old Testament prophets, which I think is both interesting and relevant to our time. The kids program is in the hands of one of our most capable church members, Jane D. She's about the most organized and creative lady on the planet and I'm sure she'll raise the bar for all of us. I'm also excited about the meal program. Two of our young women are taking over the supervision of it and I think they'll do a great job too. This is going to be a good day.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Church Camp

We have a Church Camp Board Meeting tonight. It should be interesting as we've not really implemented the plan from last year yet.

The key need is to hire a true camp manager – a minister type that excels at leading volunteers and promoting the camp. I'd be content if we just hired someone out of Bible College, though I certainly know some older, more experienced men who could do great things to grow our camp by leaps and bounds.

We need someone who can bring both small, rural churches and larger, city churches together. Our camp could easily thrive if only a vision and a goal were set for it. If we can't find someone who can fit that need, I'm afraid for the future of an otherwise great ministry.

Monday, August 14, 2006


Mark Twain said it best, "If you don't read the newspaper, you're uninformed. If you do read the newspaper, you're misinformed."

This short video shows why it's hard to trust the media. You really have to see it. It chronicles the way Reuters, the New York Times, and Newsweek (among others) have run staged, mis-labeled, or doctored photos to hurt Israel in its fight against terrorism.

You might wonder whose side these people are on; I think they've answered the question.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Our Precious Boys

Tanner and Brennan helped Aunt Vicki water the flowers while in Colorado. They went back and watered the ground every chance they got.

This is at Tiny Town, Colorado, where we rode a tiny train and looked at tiny houses in, you guessed it, a tiny town. Brennan, Tanner, and Eli (on my lap) enjoyed the break from the driving and couldn't resist the train. It was well worth the stop.

Tanner and Brennan help Uncle Ron feed the mules. The boys loved getting up before breakfast to feed Lily and Jose and company. When we left, the boys said a tearful goodbye to their new friends.

Proof of Life

Fidel Castro has been sick and out of sight… until today. The Communist Youth Newspaper in Cuba ran a picture of Castro holding Saturday's newspaper. The only question is… is it a fake?

Normally, I'd accept this as proof that Castro is alive; but can you believe a communist newspaper?

The problem is that it is so unlikely that Castro would have willingly handed over power - even temporarily - that it's almost unbelievable. So is Castro getting soft? Did he really let his brother take the wheel for a few weeks while he was ill? Or is Castro actually dead and this photo a fake? When will he make a public appearance? And why is Castro dressed like a member of the American Olympic team?

I assume that Castro is probably alive but it's just bizarre to watch.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Or You Could Do That

The Arizona Cardinals finally have their own stadium… the first one in 108 years.

The new Cardinals Stadium is a $465 million spectacle of design and architecture. It's grass field rolls outside and back inside again - that's about 60,000 sq. ft. (or 1.3 acres) on a sliding tray! Future college championships and Superbowls will be played there in coming years and, believe it or not, the Cardinals have actually sold out all eight home games this year to fans who'll be watching in airconditioned comfort!

Meanwhile in Kansas City, we're renovating our 35 year stadiums for a cool $850 million. No cool dome, no sliding turf, no modern, innovative design, no infrastructure to support a Superbowl. Ugh.

At least we're getting the Sprint Center for basketball and hockey.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Sweet Tanner

Tanner (four and a half years old) is far and away the most tender hearted of our boys. He loves animals and babies and is quick to offer a hug or an "I love you," even to his brothers.

Tanner recently found a card that his great-grandmother had sent him for his 1st birthday. It's just a simple card with a loving note inside but Tanner now says it is his "favorite card." He carries it around with him day after day and guards it against his brothers' efforts to destroy everything they touch.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Email Pranks

There have been several email hoaxes showing up recently. Especially the one that goes, "I'm a lawyer, this was reported in the newspaper, forward this email and Bill Gates will pay you cash!"

No… he won't.

This joke (though not funny) has been around for years. It has never happened and never will although these things are usually presented as verifiable truths. One version said it was in Tuesday's USAToday; I did a search and what do you think I found? Other versions claim that it has to be true or the company/billionaire will get sued. Nope. It's just not possible for Microsoft or AOL or anyone else to know what you sent to whom. It's a bad joke.

As it says on the Urban Legends website, Snopes:
No, you're not going to be receiving money, merchandise, or free trips from Bill Gates (or anyone else), no matter how many people you forward this message to. Tracing all recipients of an e-mail message is not yet technically possible, and even if it were, Bill Gates certainly wouldn't be testing software that performed such tracking by blindly sending messages out to the Internet with a promise of financial reward to the recipients.
Click here to read the whole explanation. Email chain letters and petitions work the same way. There's no simple way to collect all of those signatures. Everytime you forward the message you're actually only sending a copy of the original that started with you and ends with your recipient, never to cross paths with its many clones. The thousands of copies are never collected together.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

18,000 Hits

18,000 hits – thanks for reading!

I've had an uptick of hits this last month. Two thousand hits in the last thirty days and half of that in the last 10 days. That's about two or three times the usual traffic I get. Cool.

I try to keep lots of information coming as quickly as I can. I try to blog in the evenings and fine tune them off and on during the day when I get a moment or need a break or something. I hope you enjoy.

Here's an interesting email I received about my blog:

I noticed on your blog that your goal is to share information with friends and family. It seems self evident that blogs are created for reasons like that but it got me to thinking about the folks in your church family that might not read your blog.

Have you ever considered printing up your blog each week so the “not so computer enabled” can get the same information? A small test would determine if this would meet a need in our family. Just print ten copies and put five at each door for a couple of weeks. If they don’t disappear then you’ll know that folks are not interested in receiving that kind of information that way.

You could even “blog” this thought and get feedback from your regular readers before you try it.

Just a wild idea for you to think about…

Not a bad idea… but my response was as follows:

I'm not sure about that, though I've considered it in the past. I occasionally put my address up in public, but I'm concerned that the blog is too diverse to be targeted at church members – I voice a lot of political and sports opinions there that I don't voice in church and probably shouldn't (too off topic). I certainly wouldn't distribute the content of my blog without the Elders being okay with it first.

That said, I wish people would read my blog, on their own time and of their own volition. I feel that I'm really transparent there and one can really get to know where I'm coming from and what my family is like.

I'll have to blog about this…

And so I did. What do you think? Should blogs only stay on the internet or should they branch out into hardcopies?

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Take the Rest of the Year Off

Reason #317 why Macs are just plain cool:

The annual Nerd convention (actually the Worldwide Developers Conference) was this week and they started the conference with this message from "PC" to all the programmers and engineers in the industry. I guess "PC" doesn't want "Mac" to get too far ahead!

It's pretty funny.

Random Thoughts 8/8/06

  • Today is primary day in most states, including Missouri. One quick word on Joe Lieberman: if he loses today the Democratic party will have taken a hard left turn for the worse. A Lieberman loss is like cutting the last mooring line to the docks of reason. If Howard Dean and Nancy Pelosi become the mainstream Democrats, there will be a lot of union democrats, new deal democrats, and black democrats who are going to jump ship when this party moves firmly into the gay/lesbian, blame-America, pro-abortion culture-of-death camp.
  • It looks like the Chiefs are going to replace the "Hey Song" with Boom. The "Hey Song" (actually titled Rock and Roll, Part 2) is by the Brit glamrocker Gary Glitter who is in prison for child pornography and molestation; thus, the NFL is distancing itself from the long time favorite touchdown celebration song. So say goodbye to the "we're gonna beat the h*** out of you, and you, and you, you, you" chant. And say hello to BOOM!!! the hard rock song by the Christian band P.O.D. It's also kind of catchy; the WWE is already using it and other NFL teams are looking at it as well. You can vote on Boom and other songs at the Chiefs website, but the Chiefs' cheerleaders have already selected Boom as their favorite.
  • The End of the World may be August 22… at least if you're the nutjobs running Iran. It's really scary that these guys are convinced that the Apocalypse is going to happen soon, when Shia Muslims believe Israel will be destroyed, and they are likely going to have nuclear weapons soon. Why isn't this a bigger deal?! Someday a nuke is going to explode offshore of Tel Aviv and then it's going to be too late.
  • Brennan has been learning to use the computer. It really forces him to improve his reading skills and he's doing a great job. He surfs the internet (within kid friendly sites we allow) and watches his Veggietales DVDs on the computer.
  • The Dixie Chicks canceled concerts in 14 cities, including KC, because of slow ticket sales in the MidWest and Southern states. Perhaps they can make up the business in Canada and Europe where their political views might get a little more traction.
  • The experts at the National Hurricane Center said today that this year we may see less than half of the hurricanes of 2005. It was originally predicted to be a very bad year, but high altitude wind shear is dissipating the storms out at sea. I guess it's still hard to predict the weather.
  • The number one high school basketball player in the nation (graduating in '07) is going to Kansas State! Michael Beasley, a 6-9 phenom, can do everything and will be huge for the Wildcats as a Freshman in 07-08. KU has a 6-11 center ranked at #25 with other prospects that haven't committed yet. This year's freshmen at KU will be five-star Point Guard Sherron Collins, five-star Forward and NBA prospect Darrell Arthur, and 3-point specialist Brady Morningstar.

Pilot to Bombardier

Here's Brennan and Tanner in the cockpit of an experimental plane in Colorado. Uncle Ron let the two little test pilots push every button and play to their hearts' content, which you can do when the plane is half taken apart in the hangar.

The second time we went to the airport, uncle Ron played hide and seek with them using the walkie-talkies (also a big hit with Brennan and Tanner). The boys had a good time at the Alamosa airport.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Can a Zebra Change its Stripes?

The referees of the NFL have a new look this year. They've "reinterpreted" the black and white stripes of old and come up with a better, more functional top. The league says it's a made from better materials that will stay cooler in the heat and warmer in the cold. Reebok designed the new shirts.

If you don't like the new stripes, remember that it has been worse. The old AFL had red and white stripes in the early 60's and the NFL used to have the refs wear white dress shirts with bow ties and beanies when the league was young.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Little Pray-ers, Part 2

Brennan prayed tonight, "Thank you God, for me and everybody and for Kansas City for being so nice." He's getting better. Tanner, the more empathetic one, prayed for "Mommy not to be so sad."

The boys have been precious to their mother during this hard time. Elijah (2) went up to Shannon this melancholy afternoon as she sat on the floor, touched her on the arm and said, "Momma otay? Ben-ben otay. Tan-tan otay. Lijah otay. Gamby otay. Otay?"

What a blessing to hear these precious children speak to God and hear God speak through them.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Little Pray-ers

Tanner prayed this evening at bedtime for his stuffed toy hamster, Pellet. He said, "Tank you, Dodd, for Pellet James." Shannon and I both looked at each other and asked, "James?" Tanner said, "Like Kelby James!" Kelby, my nephew who gets called by his first and middle name a lot by his parents, became the inspiration for a middle name for Tanner's mischievous hamster.

Brennan is still prone to be a little self-centered in his prayers and often thanks God for himself, first and foremost. Last night he prayed, "Thank you God for me, and us, and everybody. Amen." We're going to have to work on that.

Return to ESPN

It's funny, but the last few years, I've not watched one scrap of ESPN between April and August. Once the NCAA basketball tourney ends, I just don't have any compelling reason to watch sports news until the NFL football season begins. I don't listen to Sports radio much during this time period either. With the exception of the two-day NFL Draft in mid- to late-April, that's a solid four months of sports "fasting." I'm pretty much an NFL guy who watches his Jayhawks play basketball. But that's about it.

Once the football season begins, however… like most guys I won't come up for air again until next spring.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Life After Priest

The Chiefs have traded for running back Michael Bennett, ESPN reported Tuesday night. Bennett is a fairly decent back who was a first round pick and a pro-bowler. He could start on many teams and is too talented to be a third-stringer, thus revealing that the Chiefs have officially moved on without Priest Holmes, who is on the Physically Unable to Perform list and may not get clearance to play at all this year. Bennett will back up Larry Johnson (and give Johnson a legitimate reason for that paranoid chip on his shoulder).

The Rams, Dolphins, and Texans were all trying to trade for Bennett. The Chiefs gave the Saints an undisclosed draft pick for him.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Random Thoughts 8/1/06

  • Over 20,000 players have played in the NFL. Only 229 have been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. I think it's neat that football hall-of-famers are truly "one out of a thousand." Basically you only have one hall-of-famer for every 20 teams worth of players.
  • DARPA (the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency), also known as the coolest place for nerds to work in the whole wide world, is working on an ultrasonic bandage that stops bleeding deep inside the limbs of wounded soldiers.
  • Qana, the ancient city of Cana where Jesus performed his first recorded miracle, was also the location of a building full of children that Israel bombed this week. Israel was raked over the coals for murdering innocents, as expected, but that may not be the whole story. Some rumors are starting to surface that Hezbollah placed their rockets on and around the building and then brought in invalid children, sacrificing those lives to hurt Israel's image. They also inflated the number of casualties (they said 50-60 but only 28 bodies have been found) and picked the location because Israel bombed civilians in Qana several years ago and took it on the chin that time too. Is it even worth asking why the side that deliberately targets civilians with hundreds of rockets packed with ball bearings and puts their own civilians in harms way doesn't get blamed?

  • I voted this afternoon. It sounds like it was a slow day at the polls.
  • The boys were playing outside this evening and I hear this blood curdling scream. Tanner was screaching like he'd had a limb cut off! I rushed to the door and Tanner turns and looks innocently at me and says, "I'm scaring da bugs away, Daddy."
  • The Chiefs first round pick, defensive end Tamba Hali became a US citizen today. Good for him: by passing his citizenship test he now knows more about the government and history of our country than 99% of high school graduates.