Sunday, August 31, 2008

Five Boy Trial Run

Shannon, Dustin, and Alanna went to a concert this weekend (Friday night and all day Saturday). This meant that I had my four boys plus my nephew, Kelby.

It wasn't that bad, really. Brennan is almost 8, Tanner is 6, Kelby is 5, Elijah is 4, and Graham is 2. We watched Star Wars and jumped on the trampoline. They played well, ate well, and slept well. The prospect of watching five little boys by myself was far more daunting than the actual experience.

What I forget is that the older boys are actually quite manageable and help with the younger ones.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Random Thoughts 8/29/08

  • Yet another story of using a Wii for physical therapy. Here, an Army medic who was shot in the shoulder by a sniper, uses the Wii and the game Guitar Hero to regain the use of his arm.
  • Did I mention that Sarah Palin is an excellent pick. Imagine this ticket in 8 years: Sarah Palin - Bobby Jindal! The future looks bright again!
  • Michael Yon is back in Afghanistan, with British forces in the South. Yon is one of our generation's finest combat reporters, make sure you've read his latest dispatches.
  • Nancy Pelosi tries to explain church theology and gets slapped down by Catholic Bishops everywhere. Finally, someone who knows less about their Catholicism than Bill O'Reilly! Not that Pelosi should be confused with a faithful Catholic, she's a pro-abortion, radical San Francisco leftist.
  • I know Kansas won the Orange Bowl last year and that I'll be a KU basketball fan until the day I die. But when I get my daily "Celebrate KU Football Tradition" I get a little embarrassed. I hope they go 8-4 this year, maybe better, but even if they do aren't we still a good 10 years away from any kind of good tradition?
  • This is the 30th anniversary of those little yellow Lego guys. Lego has sold about 4 billion of them since 1978.
  • Chad Johnson, the silly loud-mouth wide receiver from the Bengals, is reportedly legally changing his name to Chad "Ocho Cinco." Now he can wear his nickname (he wears no. 85) on the back of his jersey. What a dork.

Excellent Pro-Life Pick

John McCain has picked a VP, Alaska governor Sarah Palin.

You may not know Gov. Palin, but the more you learn the more you'll like. She is strongly pro-life, a former Miss Alaska runner-up, a corruption whistle-blower, a hunter and gun owner, owns her own float-plane, a mother of five children (including a Down syndrome baby), races snowmobiles, cuts government spending, etc. On her first day in office she took the private jet the state had bought on a credit card and sold the jet on eBay!

Pictured above surrounding the governor (clockwise from upper left), son Track, husband Todd, daughters:Bristol, Piper, and Willow. Baby Trig not pictured.

Now both Republican candidates have children in Iraq (Palin's oldest son is in the Army deploying in September; McCain's son is in the Marines).

Anything you can get with her describing her Down syndrome son, Trig, is worth hearing. She knew he would have special needs and talks of the privilege of being blessed with him.

She once broke several fingers while commercial fishing with her husband (a life long Alaskan fisherman and now an oil worker on the North Slope). The interesting details go on and on.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Fun with Herpetology

Our dog found this in the backyard today.

It looks a lot like a common Garter snake, but it might be a Western Ribbon snake or a Plains Garter snake (they all look pretty similar). Any ideas?

We find a lot of box turtles and snapping turtles where we live and we have little lizards and lots of snakes up at the church, but this is the first snake I've seen in our yard. It's wonderfully educational for the boys when these critters show up.

It is important though when you see a well-fed snake around the house, to go back and do a hamster head-count.

65,000 Hits

We passed 65,000 hits sometime earlier today. Thanks for reading!

We're also closing in on 1,600 posts, a milestone I'll pass sometime in September.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

My Fantasy Team

Now that I've slept on it (twice), I think this year's fantasy football draft was the most difficult I've ever been in for one reason: Everyone knew exactly what they were doing.

In years past, especially before the internet, owners would make several foolish selections (retirees and players who had been hurt were regularly drafted). But not this year. Our owners drafted the best running backs first, waited on quarterbacks, pushed kickers to the very end of the draft, and generally drafted as a savvy and shrewd group.

I ended up with the following:
Ben Roethlisberger, PIT
Bryan Westbrook, PHI
Larry Johnson, KC
TJ Houshmandzadeh, CIN
Calvin Johnson, DET
Kellen Winslow, CLE
Adam Vinatieri, IND

I have Cutler, Kitna, McGahee and others as backups. These aren't the guys I would have ideally chosen but I think its the best possible team for the draft I was in. The only real choices I felt I had was picking Westbrook over Adrian Peterson and picking Housh over Braylon Edwards (I might regret that one). I also skipped over Vince Young and Ricky Williams multiple times, both of whom fell in our draft.

In the end I was able to secure 10 of my top 60 players overall (6 in my top 45).

Big Protest Sign

Outside of Denver…

The Nutjobs in Denver

Here's an alarming video where a loony-leftist threatens conservative columnist Michelle Malkin (it runs about 11 minutes).

It starts as a silly, tongue-in-cheek video documenting a silly left-wing protest of the Denver mint (something about abolishing money - not sure how Obama feels about that). But when Michelle Malkin shows up, they start screaming "Kill Michelle Malkin!"

A few notes from the video:
  • Stephen Green is a funny guy. It's too bad this turns ugly.
  • Some of the folks in the background appear a little unstable (note the guy in the aluminum foil cape).
  • I'm surprised the police wouldn't do more to step in when things get heated.
  • Alex Jones, the ringleader, ought to be held responsible for stirring things up like this. And isn't it ironic that the angry, screaming white guy is the "open-minded" democrat and the demure Asian lady is the "fascist" conservative?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

He Needs PowerPoint

Random Thoughts 8/26/08

  • It's hard to explain why exactly, but I just love fantasy football. We drafted last night and I really enjoyed it, as I always do. But try to explain to your wife how marking football players off a list for two hours is fun and it kind of loses something in the translation.
  • Conservative themed movies usually don't go over too well. It's not as funny to have principles and do the right thing and the easy laughs come from the mockers and scoffers of serious things. I don't know if this movie, An American Carol, will do any better (it probably won't) but we'll see.
  • Dustin gave us this porcelain enameled sign awhile back, which I've hung on my office wall. I love both aviation and history, so these vintage signs are great!
  • I'm busy with meetings every night this week (fantasy football, meeting with church construction company, Bible study, meeting with church architect, etc.) so I won't be watching much of the Democrat convention. I normally watch that sort of thing, but I'll just have to catch the highlights on the news and read all the commentary. Thanks Drudge, et al.
  • Obama's absent Biden bounce? I'm shocked he's not ahead by 10-15 points over McCain. If I was a Dem, I'd be fuming right now.
  • Hey, Hillary was right about at least one thing.
  • Disrespectful thought of the day: I don't understand why Teddy Kennedy is so revered. He's very brave to be facing the illness from which he's suffering but, politically or ideologically speaking, I don't get what's so great about Teddy.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Trampolines Are Safe…

It's little boys that are dangerous! I took some spy-photos from an upstairs bedroom while the boys rough-housed on the trampoline.

Here's Tanner punching Brennan before Elijah takes them both out.

And Brennan gets his revenge on Elijah…

And Tanner takes his turn jumping on Eli while he's down.

Elijah recovers and Brennan and Tanner turn on each other. Oops, I've been spotted.

Don't worry, nobody left this wrestling match crying. And Elijah is probably the toughest of the whole crew (and the most solidly built). This is what it's like when boys play: well-behaved, respectful little boys still love to test themselves physically.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Watching Airplanes

As I'm writing this, my brother is at the Kansas City Aviation Expo & Airshow watching the USAF Thunderbirds.

I'm especially interested to see how this went, since he took his son, Kelby, today. I'm wanting to take my boys to airshows in future years and I'm keen to find out how a five-year-old handles a day out on the hot tarmac.

Missed It By That Much

I was so close! I was even ready with the yard signs and everything for an Obama/Karl Marx ticket. I guess Joe Biden will be just as easy to poke fun at.

Speaking of Biden, what does Obama's new buddy have say about Obama and McCain?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

I've Created a Monster

Don't forget my wife's very popular blogging activities. She currently blogs at My Quiver and gives lots of wonderful anecdotes about life in the Altic house while we're expecting this next baby.

It took me awhile to convince her that blogging was a worthwhile hobby (it's good discipline for aspiring writers and a wonderful way to communicate to friends and family). But she had to go through facebook and myspace first before she finally started a "baby blog" on blogger. Now she blogs almost daily and gets more traffic than I do! (She has more interesting subject matter!)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Superfluous Enchilada Disposal

On Wednesday nights at church we have a fellowship meal (6:00-6:45pm, $3/individual, $10/family). I'm usually in my office studying while the meal is being prepared and I offer to help but most of the volunteers to smile and decline my services. They apparently don't need taste-testers.

Last week we had barbecue meatballs, tonight we're having enchiladas. Life is good.

Random Thoughts 8/20/08

  • McCain is passing Obama in the polls; it looks like the Dems picked the wrong man for the job. And what does that mean for the Democrat Party if they can't win the presidency after eight years of President Bush? That party is seriously broken at the top.
  • General Petraeus is being criticized for endorsing a religious book written by an Army Chaplain. A couple of notes here: 1) Anti-Christian nuts, who are always ready to pounce, seem to be the same crowd as the anti-win-in-Iraq crowd. Hmmm. 2) They want Petraeus removed and court martialed. Seriously? 3) The chaplain in question, Lt. Col. William McCoy, is formerly of the 10th Mountain Division and Ft. Leavenworth.
  • Legendary combat reporter Michael Yon is in Afganistan to report on that forgotten theater of war. Yon will say some bold stuff, which is risky for a guy who is reader supported. But I've been reading his dispatches for years and he's proven right 99% of the time.
  • It turns out the two country bumpkins in Georgia (our Georgia here in the US unfortunately) faked their Bigfoot discovery. It's shocking I know, but it turned out to be a rubber costume frozen in a freezer. They were hoping to sell pictures of the creature on the internet.
  • We'll have a Men's Retreat at the church camp in November. November 7-8 is our weekend (a Friday evening through Saturday midday) and Jay-rod and I are in charge. Make plans to be there!
  • The Democratic convention will feature such illuminating speakers as Jimmy Carter, Al Gore, John Kerry, Michelle Obama, Jesse Jackson, both Clintons, and the president of the AFL-CIO. Wow. Really? Wow.
  • Election Trivia: Kansas has not elected a Democrat to the US Senate since 1932.
  • Want to know what McCain and Obama think about abortion? Find out here and pass the info along. You could also listen to Obama give a speech to Planned Parenthood (try not to get ill listening to him belittle and laugh at killing babies). I highly recommend reading everything you can about the attempted genocide against black Americans at

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Hamster Inspections

Our four surviving hamsters are nearly 4 weeks old, which means it's time to determine their gender. Not surprisingly, that's not too easy to figure out when you don't know what you're doing.

So I've studied up on it (thank you YouTube) and I'm fairly certain we have two males and two females. I'll double check this in the next few days and move the males to the "boys dorm" down in our classroom, as hamsters become sexually active at six weeks old, go into heat every three or four days. With three females, we're probably talking 100-150 hamster babies per year with a male in the cage.

We don't need any of that.

That said, dwarf hamsters don't live all that long (a year or two, I'm told). So we might deliberately have another litter in six months, if it doesn't happen accidentally. So if anybody out there has a male dwarf hamster "stud" we could borrow for a few days this winter, let us know.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Football Buzz

Our fantasy football draft is one week from tonight!

I know those of you who don't play just don't get it. But for us hard-core football nuts, the season begins on a high (drafting your fantasy team), stays pretty high through the season and playoffs*, and ends on a high with the Super Bowl.

Football is good.

*Because fantasy football people are watching the best players from ten or twenty teams, we're virtually insulated from one team's bad year. We're always focusing on the winners.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Better Than a Debate

I really appreciated Rick Warren's interviews this weekend with the presidential candidates, Sens. Obama and McCain, at Saddleback Church in California.

Here are my first impressions from the two hours of interviews:

  • I'm not a "McCain guy." But this is the first time I've felt really good about McCain as President; at this point he could pick Hillary for VP and I'd still vote for him. [That was a hard sentence to write on so many levels!]
  • Obama gave a lot of safe, noncommittal answers, especially his "three wise advisers:" his wife, his grandmother, and everybody else. Seriously? You do know that you get your wife's advice whether you want it or not, right? McCain blew him out of the water on this one.
  • Obama can profess faith in Christ, but 20 years in a divisive, race-baiting, black liberation theology church (which he didn't mention) is outside the pale of acceptability for someone who should unite the country. He won't bring healing but further divisiveness.
  • Obama is for abortions on-demand and infanticide, doesn't know his facts, and misunderstands the context in which most abortions happen (they are not carefully, rationally thought out by responsible women making choices about only their own health). And the comment about determining when life began being "above his pay grade…" Wow.
  • When McCain speaks of the monumental challenges in his own life, it nearly moves me to tears. It makes Obama look incredibly amateurish. Obama is clearly fighting above his weight class.
  • For all of Obama's supposed speaking talent and intelligence, McCain is notably better at speaking off-the-cuff without stuttering or stumbling.
  • I loved McCain's line about helping bad teachers "find another line of work." Classic. He also supported school choice and homeschooling.
  • Overall, Obama looks good; in spite of the ears, he's quite telegenic. McCain looks a bit like a corpse. Sorry.
  • McCain had me sold at his answers about judges. That's all I really needed to hear, personally speaking. The other twenty great points he made were just icing on the cake.
  • Blogger spell-checks "Obama" and ironically suggests ABM (anti-ballistic missile).

Ten [more] Things Above Obama's Pay Grade
• Was that a Conservative McCain at Saddleback?
• On the forum itself. Warren's mistake?
• McCain was so good, Obama aides say he must have cheated.
• Obama and infanticide.

Friday, August 15, 2008

iMac Watershed

Here's a nice little article: 8 ways the iMac changed computing.

Most of it, I think, falls into the category of trend-setting more than technological innovation, but that may be exactly the point. Who knew how important design and culture was to everyday, consumer computing?

Random Thoughts 8/15/08

  • We have 30 teams in our fantasy football league. That includes two Jared's, two Jason's, four Matt's and two Mike's. Formerly, we've had two Jeff's as well as three Mike's. We're funny like that.
  • Today is the 10th Anniversary of the iMac. I bought one of these first iMacs ten years ago this weekend and used it constantly for almost seven years before it was eventually replaced. It's still sitting in my basement, out of commission. I just don't have the heart to toss it out.
  • All of you Harry Potter fans will have to wait awhile longer. The sixth movie, the Half-Blood Prince, has been delayed from this November until July 2009.
  • I'm surprised at how easily I've been sucked into the Olympic fervor. I didn't think I cared but I'm finding myself hanging on every update of the Olympic medal count. C'mon! Beat those cheating Chi-coms!
  • For you Office-junkies, you don't want to miss slap-face. You'll also need to hear about Dwight's new sport, centathlon (which includes murder ball, hamster-hiding, and flapping).
  • Our refrigerator died on us last night. That's bad; everything in the freezer melted/defrosted and we lost some perishable stuff. But Shannon can fix anything and won't rest until her family is taken care of. So while I was at work, she fixed it. She only had to replace the starter relay on the compressor. No big deal.
  • Interesting note on the use of technology in the recent (and perhaps ongoing?) Russia-Georgia conflict from Popular Mechanics. And did you see the video of the Russian soldiers robbing a bank in Georgia. Nice, way to take the moral high ground there, Mr. Putin.
  • I really want to love Star Wars, but that new Clone Wars animated movie looks just awful. Like Phantom Menace bad – almost good but not quite, in a really disappointing way.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Historical Perspective

Here's some interesting data about casualties in Iraq and Vietnam. I'm not meaning to draw any specific conclusions from this – quite the opposite – too many people who don't know what they're talking about tried to stop what we've done in Iraq by conjuring up the specter of Vietnam.

The conflicts in Vietnam and Iraq had some similarities… but they're not the same war. The list of differences is myriad, including the medias barometer of military worthiness: American deaths.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Random Thoughts 8/12/08

  • Russia is attacking another country, which began with internet attacks weeks ago, and they're apparently going to get away with it. The democratically-elected government of the country of Georgia is being destroyed by the naked aggression of Russia and the West is doing little or nothing about it. As the president of Georgia said, "This is the cold-blooded… murder of small country." [Late developing news, the Russians appear to be backing off. We'll see.]
  • Hamster update: We lost one of the babies. The tiny little all-white runt of the litter is missing. I cleaned the cage today and there is no trace of it. Presumably the mother ate it. Eww. On the bright side, the four surviving babies are running around the cage full speed, eyes open and stuffing seeds into their cheeks. We'll have to separate the males and females within the next week or two.
  • You can get your Olympic medal count here or here (with links to the medal counts of past Olympics). I'm not big on the Olympics but it can be rather interesting. NBC packages the human-interest story really well and some of the sports are fun to watch (once every four years).
  • Even though there has been no global warming for a decade, the nutjobs cannot be contained. They're stark raving mad and here's one of their rants. "Runaway warming… beginning of our extinction… rising sea levels of 80 meters…" But do you notice that their "solutions" always include the government seizing control of all industry, stunting progress and development, and controlling the smallest details of human behavior. Hmmm… I think that's called "communism."
  • This was my one day off this week, so naturally I was up at the church twice and took a half dozen business calls on my cell phone. Ministry is funny like that.
  • Some of the opening ceremonies at the Olympics this year were faked by the Chinese. Pre-recorded, lip-synced, and digitally altered, the jaw-dropping opening ceremony was improved with computer-generated fireworks and prettier little girl to lip-sync instead of the actual buck-toothed little girl that party-officials felt was unfit to be seen on TV. Nice.
  • Don't make any disparaging remarks about Obama or the Colorado Democratic party will shut you up! How democratic of them!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Even More Cuteness

Two weeks ago one of our hamsters had five little pups. Those things are adorable, pushing the cuteness factor to new heights at the Altic house! Last night, they began to open their eyes and run around the cage.

[Notice what happens to the bulletin flaps from church after they've been shredded.]

And here's the mother, Bella, Tanner's hamster.

64,000 Hits

We passed 64,000 hits today. Thanks for reading!

I added some Sunday notes and other information on the church blog (notice this blog has now moved to the church website).

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Still Angry We're Winning?

What happens when bitter Bush-bashers won't let go of what Michael Moore convinced them about Iraq? Even now Iraq is becoming the very model of a successful Arab state and the American-led coalition is undoubtedly achieving victory as we speak. But some pathetic old hippies give you wonderful letters like this one to noted historian Victor Davis Hanson, which says in part:

"We can't "win" the Iraqi war because its … objectives were never possible… In sum, you're an apologist and shill for the avaricious oilmen who are America's President and Vice President. Be a man and fess up."

Hanson responds brilliantly, as usual. It's short but it's a good read.

Take Me With You

What happens when you don't take your kids on vacations and overnight trips? You find them trying to stow-away for next time.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Random Thoughts 8/8/08

  • If you like Calvin and Hobbes and you like satire aimed at eccentric computer company CEOs, then you'll like Calvin and Jobs.
  • Our fantasy football league is up and running. I'm drafting second in my league; which is a great position to be in this season. Overall, I love the Autumn; football is great and football fans get so excited this time of year, my birthday is in October, and who doesn't love the smell of burning leaves and a comfy sweatshirts?
  • I was asked: do we want to have a girl with baby number five? Not necessarily. We'd love to have a daughter but that's not why we're having another child. We would very pleased to have a fifth boy and in some ways we'd even prefer it. We're geared up for boys; another boy would fit right in with what we're already doing. Although we'd be excited to finally have a girl, it would be a major shock to the system here at the boys dorm that is the Altic house.
  • Here's a great note about the use of iPods as translation devices by soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. It's an incredible use of off-the-shelf technology.
  • After a few months off earlier this year, I've resumed my quest to see all of the AFI's Top 100 Movies. When I started in June of last year I'd seen only fifty-five films of the top 100. As of last night, I've watched ninety-six movies from the 1998 list and ninety-two from the 2007 list (114 out of 123 films total). I've also seen 73 out of the 80 Best Picture Oscar winners. A couple more trips to the library and I've done it!

Crazy Eights

Happy 08/08/08!


Yup, that's it.

Check back in one year, a month and a day and we'll have more fun like this.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Church Stats in Kansas

I came across some interesting church stats from the Christian Evangelizing Association of Kansas. Unfortunately, the news isn't all good, especially in regard to the non-evangelical Christian groups.

Although 45% of Americans claim to go to church every Sunday, the reality is far less. People over-report church attendance because they want to be perceived well. But if actual attendance numbers are used the figure is something more like 20% or less nationwide. This is disappointing but presents an opportunity for evangelism.

In Kansas, approx. 23% of people attend church any given weekend, down 8% from 1990 to 2000. This, combined with a dramatic loss in mainline and catholic churches, paints a dismal picture for Christianity in Kansas. But not everything is bad news…

The only group that saw a net gain in number of churches and attendance was evangelical churches. Conservative, Bible-based churches are growing when other religious groups are losing membership and closing their doors. Groups like the CEA of Kansas promote church planting and cooperation between churches and good work is being done.

At the last census, Kansas worship attendances broke down like this.

Catholic 29%
Christian* 15%
Methodist 14%
Other 14%
Baptist 12%
Lutheran 7%
Pentecostal 5%
Reformed 4%

*Christian probably includes both the mainline, theologically-liberal Disciples of Christ as well as the conservative Churches of Christ and Christian Churches (like Wyandotte).

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

If She Doesn't Eat Her Young

As most of you already know, we're expecting our fifth child (we're due next March). Some folks balk at the sight of the four boys we have now, so just wait until we have five of the little critters. Having five is not that daunting, especially after you get over the notion of having more than two. But thank goodness we didn't have them all at the same time.

This summer we bought what we believed to be two female hamsters. Naturally, one of them turned out to be a boy. We know this because the other hamster gave birth last week to five baby hamsters. Assuming she doesn't eat her young, I told the boys we would name them Brennan, Tanner, Elijah, Graham, and "baby." Again this all hinges on whether the mother eats her babies (which we've witnessed this hamster doing already this summer).

In regard to names, we may have to pass a rule that all hamsters will be given unisex names until we witness them actually giving birth or they submit to a blood test. So now we're running two cages, a boys dorm and a girls dorm and we're eagerly hoping we get the five new additions assigned properly.

Chief Predictions

The Chiefs are in camp and both of their first round rookies have been hurt. Brodie Croyle is still the quarterback and Larry Johnson is still overpaid (especially with rookie RB Jamaal Charles being called the fastest player anybody has ever seen).

So what do you think? Do the Chiefs go .500 this year? Do they make the playoffs? Or are we looking at the Tim Tebow lottery?

I'm going to say 4-12 and a top-5 pick in the draft. And yes, Tim Tebow would be just fine with me. He can push the homeschool students in public school athletic programs issue here in Kansas and Missouri.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Mac vs. PC, again

Guys, guys, guys! Don't you have something better to do?

Jeff, Dustin is a dyed-in-the-wool Macolyte, he'll never be persuaded otherwise. Macs could be the worst computer ever but he would never admit it.

Dustin, you're at a dead end. Jeff is so anti-Mac, he'll never try one. It wouldn't matter if Macs were 10 times better than Windows machines, he's not going to give them credit for it, especially in front of you–you're too fun to argue with. Let it go, man.

Can't we all just get along?

Monday, August 04, 2008

Why My Mac Never Gets Sick

Why don't Macs get viruses anymore?

Here's a neat little article that lists 7 reasons (besides low market share) why Macintosh computers don't get computer viruses.

(A lot of credit goes to UNIX)


This man-made global warming thing is becoming epic.

It seems that almost everybody, including some fairly sophisticated and intelligent people I know, has bought into this con, hook, line and sinker. But I think this is going to go down in history alongside ignorant concepts like the flat earth and bloodletting.

So let me be crystal clear on my position while I'm still ahead of the curve:

1. The Earth has always warmed and cooled. History proves that it has been warmer and cooler through the centuries than it is today. I expect that in the decades to come we'll see normal cycles of extreme heat and cold.

2. The Earth has heated up about a degree in the last thirty years, but it's not as bad as the 1930's and it hasn't gotten any warmer in the last 10 years. That's right, all this fuss, and nothing has changed in a decade. Anecdotally, the last three summers here in Kansas have been downright mild and wet compared to preceding years.

3. Whatever warming has occurred has little or nothing to do with human activity. People just don't appreciate the scale here: our worst and heaviest pollution can't contribute a single percent to the gasses that actually govern the temperature here on earth. We couldn't cause the planet to heat up or cool off a significant amount if we tried.

4. Global warming politics is the new communism. Just ask a former communist, like Vaclav Klaus, the President of the Czech Republic: if you want to control people's lives and you hate capitalism, global warming is for you!

5. Global warming is becoming a religious dogma. A good person is being defined today as one who doesn't "sin" against the environment. And the sins cover every last detail of your personal life.

Take the Climate Change Quiz here to test your knowledge of the facts.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Back From St. Louie

We're finally back from the wedding in St. Louis.

All in all, it's not that long of a drive, but the traffic sure made the trip seem longer. The trip is just shy of 250 miles, one way, from KCK to St. Peters, Mo. Unfortunately traffic seemed to speed way up and then slow way down, repeatedly, the entire length of the trip, which meant no significant time on cruise control. This is unlike I-70 out in western Kansas where you can put it on cruise for hours on end, depending on Dairy Queen stops.

We had lunch Friday at Chevy's, which is a restaurant we don't have in KC. We loved it. We also had a rehearsal dinner catered by Bandana's BBQ, which is St. Louis-based chain with a location in Shawnee.