Friday, November 28, 2008

Random Thoughts 11/28/08

  • The Jayhawks, even in their loss to Syracuse, look really good for a team starting three freshmen and a sophomore. If they look this good and even make the NCAA tournament, that's not bad for an "off year" where we lost 83% of last year's points and rebounds to the NBA.
  • We saw Disney's Bolt at the movie theater this morning; it was really good. Not Pixar good, mind you, but almost. The cost of taking a family of six to the theater, even at 10am, is horrible (about $40). It's almost demoralizing, it's so expensive. Thank goodness the movie was good and the kids liked it.
  • In contrast to a $25 per hour movie experience, video games at home are mere pennies per hour of entertainment. My kids and I play the Wii for hours and hours every week and the whole family really enjoys it. But someday (another 3-5 years?) this amazing little game console will begin to show its age and need to be replaced. What will that new Nintendo look like? Here's a nice collection of improvements for the Wii 2.
  • The Legends was not too crowded at all this morning at 9:30am when we went to our movie. Target on the other hand looked like a sea of cars and minivans.
  • If you want to know more about the terrorist attacks in India, you can find good analysis here.
  • If you want to know which ships are being held by Somali pirates, look here. Interestingly, it may fall on the Indians and Chinese to do the heavy lifting with this problem because of political considerations. In some circles, it's perceived that "Easterners" could eradicate the Somali trouble makers without too much fuss where "Westerners" doing the same thing would smack of colonialism and racism.
  • K-State is bringing ugly back. The Wildcats are wearing the retro faded-lavender jerseys mismatched to dark purple shorts. They've had this combo in the past. It was ugly then; it's ugly now. It screams, "our equipment manager didn't use color-safe bleach!"

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Turkey Day Agenda

We've had a good Turkey Day at home with the in-laws.

  • The house is clean and smells of wonderful food.
  • Thanksgiving dinner was at 1pm. Snacking continues 'til next Tuesday.
  • Football, football, and more football.
  • We've been snuggling our kids a lot today. We're kinda partial toward them, ya know.
  • The Christmas tree goes up tonight!

Tomorrow, I'll go in to work. But first we're going to take the kids to a movie tomorrow morning: the 10:10am showing of Bolt at the Legends 14 Theater. If anyone else wants to meet us there, we'll be the family not participating in the Black Friday feeding frenzy.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Toughest Hurdle

There are several hurdles you have to get over in order to change.

The first hurdle is in your head. You have to identify and to some degree understand what it is that needs to be changed. You must agree that the need is real. Without some kind of awareness, you can't change.

The second hurdle is in your heart. You have to sense that this needed change applies to you in a personal way. You must feel that the need is necessary. Without some kind of appreciation, you can't change.

The third and most difficult hurdle is in your will. In the end you have to act on this needed change; you can't procrastinate forever. You must be persuaded that the need is urgent. Without some kind of action, you can't change.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Random Thoughts 11/25/08

  • Here's a great interview with Chris Horner about global warming on Pundit Review Radio. I love listening to these interviews while I work.
  • China and the Al-Gore-Global-Warming acolytes are asking for carbon credits for their abortions. The thinking is: by aborting babies we're eliminating future polluters, thus reducing our carbon footprint. Hence, give us carbon credits for our abortions. Nice.
  • Remember that economic recessions are also good for global warming. I wonder which way government officials and elected leaders will go: save the economy or save the planet?
  • Michael Yon says the war in Iraq is essentially over. Hmmm…
  • Did you hear about the Russian expert who says the economic crisis will cause the USA to collapse and break apart into six countries? Seriously. He predicted that the U.S. will break up into six parts: the Pacific coast states will become Chinese; the South[west?] will be Hispanic; Texas will be independent; the Atlantic coast will be independent; "poorer" central states will revert back to the "large Native American populations;" and the northern states will become Canadian. He then suggests that "[the Russians] could claim Alaska - it was only granted on lease, after all." Yeah, right buddy. That'll happen when pigs fly. Remember, this guy, like most of our children, was educated by socialists.
  • Speaking of schooling… there's lots of good news on the success of homeschooling. When you homeschool you're often made to feel like a pariah – so good news is always welcome. Here it is:
  • Homeschoolers win national spelling bees and other contests.
  • Homeschoolers score 30-37 percentile points higher than public school peers.
  • "…findings show that when parents, regardless of race, commit themselves to make the necessary sacrifices and tutor their children at home, almost all obstacles present in other school systems disappear."
  • Homeschooling costs on average per student is $546, while the average for public school is $5,325, where the public school student scores 30 percentile points lower.
  • A 1998 study showed that spending less than $200 on homeschooling results in an average of the 80th percentile. Results for $200-600 was still in the 80th percentile. More than $600 per student in homeschool saw a modest increase in test results at the 83rd percentile.
  • Homeschooling has grown from less than 15,000 in 1978 to over 1.1 million in 2003. There are more children in homeschooling than charter schools or using vouchers for private school, making homeschooling the largest school refrom alternative.
  • Make sure you read the last few paragraphs of this article which evaluates homeschool.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Gratitude Beyond Words

The following thank you note is also on my church blog.

Last Wednesday at our church Thanksgiving dinner, one of our Elders called Jay-rod and me and our wives up to be recognized. He presented us with gifts from the congregation, specifically an offering of almost $3000 to be split between our two families.

Words can't express how honored and gratified we were. Frankly, I expected no offering at all to be taken as October (minister appreciation month) was particularly harsh economically. I know we have a generous church family but considering the circumstances… we didn't expect to be the recipients of any kind of monetary gift.

Below is the note I posted at the church:

Dearest Church family,

God bless all of you for the generous outpouring of love and warmth, expressed through the gifts we’ve received this last week. Many of you have sent us the kindest words of encouragement and affection – more meaningful to me and my family than you could ever know – and we’ve been endeared to you now more than ever.

We were particularly stunned and delighted at the love offering we received Wednesday night, the largest gift of its kind I’ve ever received. It left me speechless. I love this church family with the greatest affection I know.

May God bless each of you as we partner in God’s work here together.

In His love,

Jared Altic and family

How truly blessed we are!

Random Thoughts 11/24/08

  • Heroes, for anyone still watching that show, is about to commit one of my major pet peeves in television: depicting the state of Kansas without ever really going there or knowing what it looks like. The Heroes supposedly go to Lawrence tonight, but they are far more likely to go to a nondescript town in California, likely with mountains on the horizon, or even worse: beachfront and palm trees.
  • Speaking of Lawrence, KU plays a legitimate opponent tonight with the possibility of playing Florida tomorrow. I'm trying to remain realistic, knowing that the Jayhawks won't be as good as they've been in the past. But I really don't want them to be horrible and for KU .500 would be horrible.
  • K-State has rehired Bill Snyder as their football coach. That's too bad. When you name a stadium and a highway after a guy, you can only go down from there; this is not the second coming. Snyder's reputation and legacy are on the line and he probably won't be in a position to improve them. This could get ugly.
  • Speaking of ugly, the Chiefs have lost 19 out of the last 20 games. I'm a Herm Edwards fan but there's no reason he should have a job. I'm not a Carl Peterson fan and I can't see any excuse for why he wasn't fired years ago. According to my notes, the Chiefs have only 3 players remaining that they drafted between 2000 and 2005. This should be the veteran core of the team, players with 4-9 years experience, and the Chiefs have only three – and one of them is the punter! This is Peterson's responsibility.
  • When I answer the phone at the church, salespeople often ask for me by my first name. For years I've been able to put them on hold and hand them off to Jarod Anderson. After, Jarod leaves, that trick won't work anymore.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Très Magnifique

No matter how it appears, not all French people are American-hating, foul-smelling dirtbags. Some of them like Americans.

Including this Frenchman who served in Afghanistan alongside the 101st Airborne. You have to read the flattery and compliments; he's practically fawning over them.

Also here.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Become a Better Kiwanis

I was preaching at 7:30am Thursday. Yikes.

Larry F. invited me to come and speak to his Kiwanis Club. So I met him at 7am at a local bank where I gave a 20 minute sermon from Philippians 4:6-8.

As per my usual style I memorized the passage and my outline and delivered the talk without notes. Unlike usual, I didn't pray at the end, offer any kind of invitation, or have any deliberate emphasis on sin. Because my audience was only partly believers and the setting was secular, I used the scripture to talk about the impact of gratitude to God (thanksgiving) in our lives.

I certainly wasn't satisfied with it as a sermon. But as a inspirational talk from scripture to a bunch of business men, I think I pushed it as far as possible without completely alienating them.

When I finished, one of the men said, "Well, Joel Osteen sure did a great job this morning!"

He meant it as a compliment. I wouldn't normally take it as one (Osteen, in my opinion, preaches a watered-down Gospel). But I accomplished my mission, I witnessed to a room full of businessmen and women, didn't compromise my integrity, and now might have an inroad with several of these folks in the future.


Online dating service eHarmony is now being forced to include services to homosexual clients.

Why do homosexuals need to use eHarmony, a site that had a religious, straight-only reputation? Why not use one of the many other sites dating sites? There's nothing about eHarmony that takes away anybody's rights or interferes in anybody's private business. So why sue?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

If My Nose Was Running Money

I was sent a classic Aaron Wilburn video via email (thanks Dustin). I thought everyone would like to see it (if you haven't already). This one's for you, honey.

And for you Gaither fans, don't miss Momma, the Cat Ate the Gaithers.

P.S. Why is it every time I watch one of these videos, I think I spot Irvin and Lynda H. in the crowd shots?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Random Thoughts 11/19/08

  • If you missed Tom Rush's hit viral video, the Remember Song, from last year, here it is. But maybe you did see it and you just forgot how funny it was. What I didn't realize is what a big deal Tom Rush is. I'm just not up on my 60's singer/songwriters.
  • The Jayhawks raised their championship banner and then promptly smacked down their opponent, 85-45. Sherron Collins dominated this game statistically.
  • James Bond? Really? I usually rent these movies a year or so after their release but perhaps I'm missing something? The critics say this is typical 007 fare but the movie is setting records left and right. Maybe people just have money to burn.
  • What does Fred Astaire, Montgomery Clift, Marlon Brando, Nick Nolte, Wade Boggs, Andy Roddick, Chip Davis, Henry Fonda, President Gerald Ford, and Malcolm X have in common? Highlight the inviso-text answer here: They're all from Omaha, Nebraska.
  • Castling is a move in chess where the King skips over the Rook, moving more spaces than usually permitted. Casseling is a move in the Patriots quarterbacking corps where the Rook skips over the King, winning more games than usually permitted. NFL fans get this.
  • Is your favorite retail store really going out of business? Thanks to Snopes, now you know for sure. Kind of.
  • The NFL had its first 11-10 game ever (sort of), after almost 90 years and 13,000 games. 11 points is an awkward score to reach, as is 2, 4, 5, and 8. It's doable, just a little more rare than the usual 3, 6, 7, 9, 10, and everything 12 and up. One point is of course impossible to score under modern football rules.
  • If you sold your gas-hogging SUV for a little sub-compact car while gas was $4, how do you feel now that gas is $1.65? Do want your truck back? Are you expecting gas to go back up again? Do you feel you made the right choice anyway? And what if you bought an expensive hybrid car? Will President Obama subsidize your car?
  • Today is World Toilet Day. Seriously. It's an effort to eliminate flush toilets to save the Earth. Sometimes I wonder weather they really care if millions of people die of disease so long as the Earth gets saved. In fact, if those people die, then they'll stop using up natural resources and creating pollution. Hmmm…

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Technological Artifacts

There's an overhead projector in my office. Really. It sits next to my fax machine.

Here's a list of other gadgets and technologies that just a few years ago were everyday signs of man's technological achievement. Now they are hopelessly obsolete and outdated.

  • Rabbit-ear television antennas - And tinfoil, lots and lots of tinfoil.
  • Fax machines - Can't we just scan and email?
  • Pagers - Two words: cell phone.
  • PDAs - An electronic address book in your pocket that can't make a call? Really?
  • Land line telephones - Admit it, have you ever looked up a number on your cell phone in order to make a call on your home phone?
  • Alarm clocks - Another casualty of the cell phone.
  • CB radios - And probably the 10-codes with them, are ten-seven, out of service.
  • Typewriters - really?
  • 35mm film and 35mm cameras - why not go digital?
  • Polaroid cameras - I can't remember when I last saw a polaroid.
  • Overhead projectors - Powerpoint for cavemen.
  • VCRs - But we'll still call the act of recording "taping."
  • Cassette Tapes - Remember winding a tape with a pen or your fingernail?
  • CD players and changers - Remember stacks and stacks of CDs in your car?
  • CRT computer monitors and televisions - Heavy TV screens used to be the norm, now they are flat and relatively light.
  • Dial-up modems and the funny little sounds they make - There was a time when you couldn't call someone because they were on the internet. And that was like three or four years ago.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Dancing Marines

I saw this video over at BlackFive showing a bunch of Marines dancing like idiots (they're doing the Cha-Cha Slide, your tax dollars at work here). The blog post states, "Methinks mebbe they been on board [ship] a bit too long."

Then the first response in the comment section said, "I've been in the Navy 33 years. Trust me, they act this way before we pull away from the pier."

Funny stuff.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Best Season in Sports?

The best season in sports is supposedly the college football regular season because every game really, really matters. Supposedly college football playoffs would somehow ruin that.

Rusty Weiss writes this analysis of a possible college football playoffs and argues that playoffs would improve interest in the college season.

Silver-Lining Alert!!!
If there's one good thing about electing Obama… sorry, my hands cramped up as I typed that… anyway… President-elect Obama told Chris Berman on MNF the night before the election that he would work toward getting playoffs for college football.

Let's hope that's not an empty campaign promise.

Following this Blog

I've rearranged my sidebar items, adding a "Follow this Blog" widget. Please feel free to "follow" my blog and get your little picture added to my tiny little photo album.

I also removed my "Vote for Life" widget. The election's over. The majority didn't vote for life. May Heaven help us.

Random Thoughts 11/15/08

  • My goodness this year is flying by. It's already mid-November, the elections are over, Christmas music is being played. Wow.
  • Keith Olbermann is the most unintentionally funny man on television. He's also an overrated sports anchor turned left-wing blowhard on tilt. Did you catch his rant on how Prop 8 keeps people from loving one another? Bold (and nonsensical) words from a 50-year old guy who's never been married. How does any law keep someone from loving? And don't miss Saturday Night Live's version of Olbermann; funny stuff.
  • I'm 5-5 in fantasy football so far this year. That's about as well as I could expect in this topsy-turvy football season. If the unexpected twists and turns have worked out for you, congrats. But a lot of us were planning and evaluating in August with the best information available… which turned out to be worthless. Oh well.
  • Graham (2 and half) is potty training "with an asterisk." He's not truly potty trained and his older brothers weren't even interested at this age, but he's getting there. Graham has figured out that we'll give him a treat for "going potty like a big boy." Compared to his brothers, that's great! But compared to his brothers, he's had more accidents than the rest of them combined. All the girls we've been around have potty trained closer to two years old than three, so I'm hoping Anneliese follows that pattern versus how (slowly) her brothers have learned.
  • Kansas plays #4 Texas today in football. Ugh. Last year Kansas had a favorable schedule, some real NFL talent, and some good bounces. This year, reality has set in. KU is a decent team but nowhere near the top echelon. Well, basketball starts tomorrow where KU is still ranked in the top 25.
  • Speaking of NFL talent from Kansas: cornerback Aqib Talib has played and even started a game with three interceptions for the Bucs, tight end Derek Fine has played sparingly with one touchdown for the Bills, and tackle Anthony Collins has only seen limited action in 3 games so far with the Bengals. All three rookies were with the KU Orange Bowl team last year.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Who Are Our Heroes?

I received this story in an email (thanks, Gordie and Sue). It tells the story of Irena Sendler and, unlike most emails, actually lists its sources.

There recently was the death of a 98-year-old lady named Irena Sendler. During WWII, Irena, got permission to work in the Warsaw Ghetto, as a Plumbing/Sewer specialist. She had an ulterior motive...

She KNEW what the Nazi's plans were for the Jews, (being German). Irena smuggled infants out in the bottom of her tool box she carried, and she also carried in the back of her truck a Burlap sack, (for larger kids). She also had a dog in the back that she trained to bark when the Nazi soldiers let her in and out of the ghetto. The soldiers, of course, wanted nothing to do with the dog, and the barking covered the kids/infants noises.

During her time and course of doing this, she managed to smuggle out and save 2500 kids/infants. She was caught, and the Nazi's broke both her legs and arms and beat her severely.

Irena kept a record of the names of all the kids she smuggled out and kept them in a glass jar, buried under a tree in her back yard. After the war, she tried to locate any parents that may have survived it, and reunited the family. Most, of course, had been gassed. Those kids she helped were placed into foster family homes or adopted. Last year Irena was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize....


Al Gore won for doing a slide show on Global Warming. Irena Sendler passed away 12 May 2008. She was 98.


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Ottawa, Eh?

KU basketball begins for real this weekend (Sunday night against UMKC).

The Jayhawks have already played five exhibition games in August and November, beating three hapless Canadian schools and two equally hapless state-of-Kansas schools by a combined 447-324. Ironically, KU beat the University of Ottawa during that stretch, but had to travel 1,300 miles to do it.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A Little Quiet Time

Quietude, which some men cannot abide because it reveals their inward poverty, is as a palace of cedar to the wise, for along its hallowed courts the King in his beauty deigns to walk.
Charles H. Spurgeon

The Liability of Prayer?

Here's an unusually interesting article from, which posits the question how far you'd go to stand by your belief in prayer.

Basically, if your church prays against a local watering hole, and the bar is then struck by lightning and burns to the ground, and then the bar-owner sues the church for damages… Would your church accept the blame/credit or deny responsibility?

First off, this story is fictional, it's never really happened.

Yet, if the church gets sued over an obvious testimony to God's power or the effectiveness of prayer… I'd latch on to that, even if it meant a monetary setback.

It also seems that the law should distinguish between my belief in and/or desire for God's actions and my responsibility for a sovereign God's actions. There may be room for the church to stand on its beliefs and still argue that it's not directly responsible for what He does.

Any legal opinions out there?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Random Thoughts 11/11/08

  • May God bless our veterans and their families who have sacrificed so much. And happy birthday, yesterday, to the United States Marine Corps, 233 years young.
  • This is the 90th anniversary of the end of World War 1. Good WW1 movies: Paths of Glory (1957), All Quiet on the Western Front (1930), The Blue Max (1966), Sergeant York (1941), The Lost Battalion (2001).
  • Have you heard about the guy who launched his iPhone in a model rocket? It recorded accelerometer data and GPS coordinates in 3 axes. Geek out on it here.
  • I had a surprise at work today. I normally sit with my feet under my chair, but I kicked my feet forward and ran into something. Lo and behold, there was a object in a black, plastic trashbag under my desk. I pulled it out and it contained a brand new Wii Fit balance board. Hmmm. Is this a gift? Was someone hiding it under my desk? How long was it there? Days? Weeks? I'm still not sure what to do with it, there's no card, no receipt, nothing. If it's a gift I'm very grateful; but if it belongs to someone else, they better identify themselves quickly because we'll gladly put this to good use.
  • The funeral home I worked with Friday had some misspellings in the little handout they printed. They misspelled the name of the deceased as well as my name, in addition to giving me the wrong title (I don't use Rev. and specifically asked them not to use that). Oh, well. It just so happens that a few years ago the same funeral home, serving the same family, famously misspelled Jarod Anderson's name as Harold Andersopn, which has become his nom de guerre.
  • Gasoline is selling at $1.87 down the street. My that looks cheap; does anyone else feel like a road trip? We have a friend who said she would dance in the street if gas ever fell below $2 again. I'm still waiting for the photographs.

A Great Communicator

Whatever the GOP does in 2012, let's get a candidate that can speak well.

Let's have a leader that can speak with ease and authority on a wide range of topics, who is articulate and comfortable in his own skin. President-elect Obama is that way. Ronald Reagan was the epitome of this.

But most of the other candidates in recent years, win or lose, were not great speakers. George W. Bush obviously was not a talented speaker at all, with odd mannerisms and a stilted, fumbling delivery. But Gore was mind-numbingly boring and Kerry came off as a elitist snob.

Bill Clinton was an excellent and intelligent speaker but Bob Dole, though good, was not anywhere near as gifted. I really don't remember the George H. W. Bush's speeches very well, which may be commentary in itself. Dukakis and Mondale are blurs to me.

I just can't bear another election cycle where I feel that my candidate is incapable of expressing clearly the party's position.

Four Sermons and Funeral

Okay, I'm back.

That's about as long a break (four and a half days) as I've ever taken from blogging; even on vacation I'll write stuff to be blogged later.

Not that I didn't write anything. The reason that I didn't blog was that I was busy writing, or at least finishing, four sermons and funeral. In the 48 hours between Friday morning and Sunday morning I preached those five sermons six times.

And that'll tucker out anyone!

I have a ton of blog-related stuff to catch up on though it may be late tonight or tomorrow before I can start sorting it all. I have a church camp board meeting tonight in Nortonville.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Busy Weekend

I don't know how much I'll be able to blog this weekend. I have a funeral, a men's retreat, and Sunday services to finish getting ready for. I'll try to get blogging again whenever I get a break.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Why Navy SEALs are Cool

Just watch this

…because submerging part of your helicopter for a "high speed boarding" is just another day on the job.

Deciding on a Path to Take

On the way to work, the morning after the election, I saw a car which was pulled over on the side of the road. The driver threw open his door and vomited in the street.

I know how you feel, brother. I know how you feel.

But it's important that we don't sink to the juvenile levels of cross-eyed hate mongering that the left has been stuck in for 8 years. Let's not become the vile, seething, loony president-haters that have been haunting President Bush.

President-elect Obama…
is NOT a Muslim.
is NOT an anti-American fifth-column saboteur.
is NOT the Anti-Christ.

President-elect Obama…
IS unknown and untested.
IS a politician.
IS our duly-elected chief executive.

Any president deserves our respect (for the office) and our prayers. If he makes decisions that are bad or with which we disagree, we'll voice our dissent in a rational and fair manner.

Let the batty, left-wing conspiracy theorists corner the market on irresponsible, personal attacks.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Life Takes a Hit

Across the nation, in ballot measure after ballot measure, Americans voted for death.

California - Abortion Limits: No 52%
Colorado - Life begins at Conception: No 73%
Michigan - Embryonic Stem Cell Research: Yes 53%
South Dakota - Abortion Limits: No 55%
Washington - Doctor Assisted Suicide: Yes 58%

Have I mentioned that we elected a president that has voted to let children die if born after a botched abortion? Wow. As President-elect Obama appoints pro-abortion judges, we'll continue to see about 1 million abortions per year for the foreseeable future. About one-third of those will be African American children.

In other culture-of-death highlights:
Arkansas - Lottery: Yes
Maryland - Video Lottery: Yes 59%
Massachusetts: De-criminalize Marijuana: Yes
Michigan - Medical Marijuana: Yes 63%
Missouri: No-Limit Casinos: Yes

America did not however vote for homosexuality: Bans against gay marriage or gay adoption were approved in California, Florida, Arizona, and Arkansas.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Our President

May God bless our elected leader, President Barack Obama.

May the Lord grant him wisdom and bless our country.

Heaven help us.

My Ballot

In this country we have the right to a secret ballot (unless you're union). But I think I'm safe from the Thought Police and I'm proud of who I voted for, regardless of who wins.

President: McCain/Palin (R) (won Kansas, lost election)
US Senate: Pat Roberts (R) (won)
US House: Nick Jordan (R) (lost to Dennis Moore)
KS Senate: Steve Fitzgerald (R) (lost to Kelly Kultala)
KS House: Margaret Long (D) (won)
KS Supreme Court Retention: No for both judges.
KS Court of Appeals Retention: No for three judges, Yes for Judge Greene.

Random Thoughts 11/4/08

  • The award-winning game World of Goo is now available on Macs. It's actually cheaper to download it to a Wii (about $15) than to download it for the computer ($20), but not everyone has a Wii and not all Wii owners are online.
  • Have we ever seen Barack Obama and British race-car driver Lewis Hamilton in the same room? I'm just asking.
  • I love the Fall. I burned my brush pile yesterday, tending the fire through out the day. I love the smell of smoke in the Fall… and the rush of adrenaline when you have flames leaping 15 feet in the air. I lit the fire and then poured water on it with my garden hose for 10 minutes just to keep in under control. Whew! What a buzz!
  • I voted, getting in and out in under half an hour. The polling place was busy but the lines weren't too long. No Black Panthers guarding the door but I did see an angry-looking soccer mom.
  • Get FREE stuff if you wear your I voted sticker. Ice cream, sandwiches, Starbucks, donuts, and body piercings. Vote Obama and he'll pay your mortgage and fill your gas tank!
  • I did home school with the boys yesterday. Most of it is pretty easy, giving instructions on worksheets and answering questions. It's harder listening to Tanner read, he struggles with big words in this curriculum so he guesses a lot. That's time consuming. But overall, it was a very good afternoon.
  • The Blue Angels are flying a three ship formation, as the No. 4 jet is grounded for the last few airshows of the season. The pilot had an affair with another officer in the squadron, getting them both kicked out. It's nice to know some organizations still have moral standards and real consequences for failing those standards.
  • Now that the movie Fireproof has dropped out of the top 10, there's no movie I'd want to see playing in the theater. High School Musical 3? No. Saw 5? Yuck. Beverly Hills Chihuahua? Oh my.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Random Pre-Voting Thoughts

I checked the online database that is supposed to tell me the location of my polling place. It said I wasn't listed; that's encouraging. I'll sort it out tomorrow but one way or the other, I'm voting.

Here's what could happen Tuesday:
  • McCain pulls out a narrow victory. The Bradley effect, where nobody wanted to admit they're not voting for the black guy, has been skewing the polls the whole time. We have riots for a week and Jesse Jackson brands the whole country as racist.
  • Same as above but, like Gore, Obama actually wins the popular vote while coming up short in the electoral college. Riots, branding, and serious attempts to re-write the Constitution.
  • Obama wins, but just barely. The Democrats gloat for a day and then reality sets in. Obamessiah cannot deliver everything he's promised. The markets collapse, small businesses are devastated, the military is cut by 25%, and the global community delights in our weakness.
  • Right-wingers debate fruitlessly what effect the Obama-smitten news anchors had by calling the race for Obama hours before polls close in the Western parts of the country.
  • Obama wins in a landslide, i.e. better than 60% of the popular vote, 75% of the electoral votes. We become Europe: a mere shadow of its former self, identity lost to foreign invasion, economic vitality lost, an ultimately unsustainable nanny-state that's lost its way spiritually.
  • Nobody likes to say it, but I'll bet someone sets some cars on fire no matter who wins.

Wonderfully Full House

We had company last night to play cards, watch football, and generally hang out. We had 34 people in our house, including 18 kids (one teenager and a bunch of little ones).

That sounds like a lot, but it wasn't bad at all. We love our friends and the kids were really good.

I also think we're getting good at managing an evening with lots of kids. Feed 'em early, give 'em enough space and options to burn up their energy, and strictly enforce the boundaries. If one of my kids comes into the "grown up space," it better be for a good reason because otherwise they're kicked right back to the kids area.

We also don't let them play the Wii when a big group of kids is over. One or two kids (like Brennan) would hog the game and the little ones never handle that well; so it's not even an option. But movies, backyards, legos, and the like seem to work pretty well.

Finally, we stick to reasonable bedtimes. Even with company my kids are going to bed around 9pm, more or less. Sometimes our friends' kids are up later but that's still manageable with a dwindling number of kids and a little more adult attention. No problem.

Over all, it makes for an enjoyable evening… for kids and adults alike.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Halloween Costumes

Some enjoy Halloween more than others. Apparently it was a good day for mad scientists but not so much for pirates. My two power rangers also enjoyed walking around Grandma's neighborhood extorting candy from the neighbors.