Friday, October 31, 2008

Keep This Blog Politics-Free…

Vote for John McCain (and you won't have to see daily posts about how Obama is flushing our country down the socialist toilet).

  • I'll bet Obama doesn't share the campaign wealth with John McCain.
  • Obamanation. Voting for Obama could ensure the murder of 10 million black Americans in the next 30 years.
  • Rev. Wright is wrong. But which is worse? That Obama didn't realize Wright was wrong or that he cynically sat there for 20 years and didn't care that Wright was wrong?
  • Biden and Murtha attempt to blow the election for Obama (SNL skit).
  • The character assassination of Sarah Palin.
  • Victor Davis Hanson says Palin not so bad.
  • Obama keeps saying, "I am my brother's keeper." Does he know enough Bible to realize that he's misquoting a murderer?
  • This election is close and it all depends on turnout.

Purely anecdotal observation:

The people in my life who are self-starters, who are productive, tough, and admirably self-reliant are voting for McCain in droves. They worry about what is ultimately right, whether it's popular or not. I really respect these folks; they keep this country running.

The people I know who don't keep up with politics and spend most of their energy worrying about themselves and how people feel about them are largely voting for Obama. They ask first, "what do I get out of this?" and secondly, "what would my friends say?"

I'd bet that holds true across the board.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Al Qaeda Doesn't Vote Republican

First the Palestinians and the PLO, now Al Qaeda. Muslim terrorists around the world are voting Obama, or at least calling for the humiliation of Bush's Republican party (what's the difference really).

Can you really vote in along the same lines as terrorists? How dumb are we?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Stay in School, Earn More

The astute, though sometimes lascivious, Gregg Easterbrook writes the following about college basketball players leaving school early to go pro:

Following the NFL draft, [I] noted that the NFL's advisory committee, which gives underclassmen an estimate of where they will be drafted, and draftnik commentary in general, both overstate a player's odds of being drafted high, or drafted at all. I cited examples of football players who had been enticed by such overestimates to give up their senior years because they expected to be drafted high, then were drafted low or not drafted at all.

The same tendency to overestimate draft chances is drawing underclassman basketball players out of college. In the run-up to the NBA draft,'s Insider ranked the top 100 prospects and estimated their draft slots. The estimates had 19 players going in the lottery (where there are 14 positions), 44 players going in the first round (there are 30 choices) and 69 players going in the 30 choices of the second round (that adds up to more than 100 owing to some players listed as likely to go in the "late first to early second" round). Many basketball touts and hangers-on were urging players on the bubble to jump out of college, in part by overestimating their draft prospects. Jump early and become a star, like Kobe Bryant, and you maximize your lifetime earnings. Jump early and struggle -- like the majority of those who jump early to the NBA -- and you cost yourself millions of dollars.

Underclassman basketball players ranked by touts as likely to be drafted in the first round, including Mario Chalmers, DeAndre Jordan and Chris Douglas-Roberts, gave up the rest of their college experience only to last until the second round. After the draft, John Denton of wrote, "Chalmers, the Final Four's Most Outstanding Player and a hero for hitting the clutch 3-pointer that forced overtime, looked on in disbelief on draft night as the first round came and went without his name being announced ... Douglas-Roberts ... has fumed about his horrifying draft experience." I attended the Final Four, and while watching CDR, I thought, "He is a potential star but there is no way he's ready." Egged on by overstated estimates, CDR left college and declared for the draft, only to discover the NBA consensus was that he should have stayed in school.

JaVale McGee left college as a sophomore but after playing for only one year -- he did not start as a freshman, and was not dominant when he did play as a soph. Perhaps he believed projections of himself as a lottery pick; instead McGee went 18th overall, to Washington. Had he stayed in college longer and become a great player, plus well-known, fans would be saying, "Wow, the Wizards got JaVale McGee!" Instead fans are saying, "Who is JaVale McGee?" Because McGee jumped too soon, the odds are he will have a hard climb to be more than an NBA backup, because at the pro level, he's not going to get the minutes he needs to improve his game. In turn, he will have a nice income in the next two years, versus no income had he remained in college. But his lifetime income will likely drop way down because he may never advance to a mega-contract. Jordan was a particularly sad case because he jumped after his freshman year, expecting to go in the first round. Had he stayed in school he had an excellent chance of reaching the high first round and substantially increasing his lifetime earnings. Instead, he went in the second round, will struggle to get minutes, and is now much more likely to have a minimum-scale NBA career than ever advance to a mega-contract. Jumping early may have reduced his lifetime sports earnings by tens of millions of dollars.

Will current college basketball players learn the lesson of overestimation of draft status? Already ESPN Insider is listing the top 100 prospects for the 2009 NBA draft. Seventeen are listed as going in the 14 lottery positions, 56 in the 30 positions of the first round and 71 in the 40 possible positions of first round to early second round. There may be many cases where the universe of basketball agents, gossip Web sites and AAU hangers-on is overestimating the chances that underclassmen will be first-round NBA draft choices if they declare early. Most of these underclassmen will be better off -- and have higher career earnings -- if they stay in school.

Here's Your Placebo

The American Medical Association suggests that doctors should give placebos to their patients only if the patient is informed of and agrees to the use of the placebos.


Won't telling the patient negate the whole point of the placebo in the first place?

I already didn't want Washington bureaucrats in charge of my health care but now I'm not sure about the doctors.

Voter's Guides

Here's a voter's guide for Missouri, and more Missouri information and Kansas too. You can get Kansas pro-life voter's guides, county by county here.

Remember, vote next Tuesday!

Vote for an Obama-nation on Wednesday.

[just kidding]

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Not Everything is Bad

  • Gas in KCK is $1.99 at the QT stations.
  • The Dow went up 900 points today.
  • McCain is only down by 2-5 points in a few polls (it's catastrophic in all the others).
  • Tetris Party is the best game on our Wii right now.
  • We're having a girl.

It could be worse.

Monday, October 27, 2008


We had some bad news this week at church.

Our worship and youth minister, Jarod Anderson, announced that he will be leaving our congregation. The Elders and I found out last week.

It's tough news for a lot of us. Frankly, I'm heartbroken. But it also marks a bright new future for our dear brother. Jay-rod is tremendously talented and one of the opportunities he's pursuing would be a remarkable break for him career-wise, a boon for him and his family.

In the end, I love him so dearly that I wouldn't want anything to keep him from these opportunities. He has the giftedness and talent to do much bigger things for the kingdom than what is currently happening here in Kansas City. We'll do our best to support him as he leaves and send him with our blessings.

Things will shake out in the coming weeks, concerning Jay-rod's remaining time with us. We're still confident in our congregation's future and as we know more, we'll share more information.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

He's Been Licked

Tanner (almost 7) has discovered practical jokes.

Of all my sons, he's always been the most resistant to physical affection. "Do you want a hug from Dad?" No. "Will you give Mom a kiss?" No. "Come here you little squirt…" and off he runs, giggling with glee. Anything to avoid getting a hug or a kiss.

The other evening, after prayers, Tanner was suddenly affectionate. As the boys ran four different directions during the post-prayer, pre-bed chaos, Tanner came right up to me and kissed me on the lips.

Wow. What a breakthrough. What a heartwarming moment that I'll cherish for years to come.

"Thank you, son."

*snicker* "I let the dog lick my lips!", he laughed as he ran up the stairs.


Friday, October 24, 2008

Random Election Thoughts 10/24/08

  • Here's the comprehensive argument against Barack Obama.
  • What could turn Obama's landslide into a narrow victory, or Obama's narrow victory into a win for McCain? The Bradley effect. In a nutshell, people will say they're voting for the minority in order to be perceived well but may not actually follow through. Remember 10-12% claim to be undecided or at least don't want to admit how they'll vote.
  • If McCain loses, this proves wrong the notion that the conservatives should run a more moderate campaign to attract swing-voters. WRONG. Conservatives should stand without compromise on their principles. When you stand on your principles, you are truly leading and people will be drawn to that. When you compromise and stick your wetted finger in the air, you may please the public but you'll lose their respect.
  • If McCain squeaks out a win… see above. It's still true.
  • If McCain loses we'll have something solid to push against in 2010 and 2012, European Socialism and its intrusive, cradle-to-grave government. Obama will spread the wealth around – you know, by taking money from productive people and giving it as entitlements to unproductive people.
  • If McCain wins… see above. McCain will only slow down the march toward socialism. He won't put us on a new track. I'm still waiting to vote for a Bobby Jindal/Sarah Palin ticket in a future election. They can play rock-paper-scissors for top billing.
  • Read Charles Krauthammer's fantastic article on why he won't jump ship and abandon McCain for Obama.

Cranberry Fan

I've always had a thing for cranberries, specifically cranberry juice or, even better, real cran-apple juice (squeezed from real cran-apples, of course).

Now Pepsi's Sierra Mist (formerly Slice and competitor to Coke's Sprite) is introducing a cranberry flavored soda for the Christmas season. I always wanted Mountain Dew to give us a cranberry flavor, but this will have to do. Perhaps it'll even be better than my cran-apple juice cocktail and ginger ale concoctions, though that's pretty hard to beat.

Let me know if you try any of Sierra Mist's cranberry goodness.

Speaking of Mountain Dew, Pepsi is desperate to stay in second place behind Coca Cola and thus will be rebranding itself again. Along with bizarrely mutated logos and odd fonts, Mountain Dew will now be known Mtn Dew. Uh… okay.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Copter Canned

If you're working for Army aviation, don't go over budget and don't deliver late.

The Army has canceled the ARH-70 scout helicopter as the price soared and years of delays began to pile up. The helicopter was supposed to be $8.5 million but would now cost $14.5M. This was a huge contract for hundreds of aircraft; now it's filed in the lessons-learned category.

The ARH-70 was supposed to be a military conversion of a civilian helicopter. That's still not a bad idea, but you can bet that the next contractors will move a little faster and little more efficiently lest they get fired again.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Random Thoughts 10/22/08

  • Here's that video about the lawsuit to discover Obama's true citizenship status. I've got to think there's nothing to it, but why in the world is he not more forthcoming?
  • When it rains it pours. The Chiefs suspended Larry Johnson (again) for his off-the-field behavior and put two quarterbacks on injured reserve, which means they're out for the year. Tyler Thigpen is our QB now. Ouch.
  • You have to vote no matter what the news says the likely outcome may be. The AP reported on a poll today that showed Obama and McCain tied when Obama supposedly had a 10-point lead just days ago. The final days of recent election years have seen dramatic swings one way or the other. Just get out there and vote. Remember, registered Dems vote on Wednesday. Just kidding.
  • Why is it that DVDs from the Public Library all look like they've been stored in a box of nails? Many of the children's videos and a decent number of the regular videos are unviewable. I understand that the kids' videos may be handled by 5 year olds (who apparently attack the discs with with a hairbrush or brillo pad). But what's going on with the adults? How does a disc get scratched going from the case to your DVD player and back again? Are we letting the dogs play fetch with them? Are we handling them with pliars and throwing darts at them? How could those DVDs possibly get that bad?!
  • Kansas Football is up against it's third ranked opponent this weekend in Texas Tech. The Jayhawks are 0-2 in that situation (5-2 total). This could get ugly again, with K-State, at Nebraska, #1 Texas, and #15 Missouri yet to play. Compare that to Missouri (also 5-2), which doesn't play another ranked opponent this year, unless you count the Jayhawks, which probably won't be ranked when the two schools play each other.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


I'm assuming most of you saw this already, and I meant to post it Sunday, but here's Sarah Palin on the highest rated episode of Saturday Night Live in 14 years.

Hunkered Down

Sorry for not blogging recently; I'm kind of in self-protect mode right now, trying to deal with the ups and downs of life.

In spite of everything in this world, God is still good. I love Him and I love my family. I love our church and love my dear friends.

Life just gets kind of rough sometimes.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Ready for Obama Socialism

We're just a few weeks away from a 30 year mistake. Why 30 years? Even if Obama only serves one term and, best case scenario: a Pelosi-Democrat Congress is voted out in 2 years, it'll still take 30 years to fix what a single-party government could do.

  • 30 years to undo the rapid descent into European-style socialism.
  • 30 years to replace Obama's new pro-abortion judges on the Supreme Court.
  • 30 years to replace liberal federal judges.
  • 30 years to excise the new bureaucracy from our health care.
  • 30 years to rebuild our military (have you seen the other NATO armies?).
  • 30 years to pay for Obama's redistribution of wealth.
  • 30 years to rebuild our economy (it took 25 under FDR's "new deal" to finally get back to healthy).

By the way, you've got to love the communist-chic Obama posters floating around. Reminds me of Che Guevara, hmm…

Friday, October 17, 2008

Lost in the Phog

Tonight is Late Night in the Phog. Normally I'm more excited about the start of Kansas Jayhawk basketball, but… well… doesn't this feel like we'll be watching the B-team? Nearly all the players that won last year's championship are now smoking pot in the NBA. This is mostly an all new team.

Here's hoping for the best.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Random Thoughts 10/16/08

  • I had to watch the debate standing up, pacing back and forth, pausing the debate after each response to give the missing conservative answer. Not since Reagan have we had a "conservative" candidate that was remotely capable of articulating his own side. The Bush's were big government and inarticulate; Dole was outshone by Clinton. Good grief. I felt I could have answered every point significantly better than it actually was. ARGH!!! In hindsight, Romney, Huckabee, Thompson, or Giuliani are all better communicators than the grimacing, clinch-teethed, hissing McCain.
  • World of Goo is the best and perhaps strangest puzzle game I've played in a long time. What a quirky, Tim Burton-esque game. It's amuzing to no end and challenging too. What a great brain-teaser.
  • You must read this letter from black concert pianist, Huntley Brown: Why I Can't Vote for Obama.
  • Top 50 Star Wars characters you never saw in a movie. Characters from comic books, novels, and video games that make up the extended universe of Star Wars lore. Mostly forgettable, a few are from the Force Unleashed video game (good story, so-so game). Personally, my exposure to extended universe content is limited to a handful of Star Wars video games and the current The Clone Wars show on Cartoon Network I watch with my boys.
  • Let's vote Jindal/Palin in 2012.
  • Most Chiefs fans were talking about getting rid of Larry Johnson a year and a half ago. Instead the Chiefs gave him a boatload of money. Brilliant. What a malcontent miscreant.
  • The Screen Actors Guild could vote to strike this Saturday, much like the Writer's strike last year. You've got to be kidding. I almost hope they do, there's so much rotten TV out there, a lot of it deserves to go away. It would just be a shame to hurt the few good shows.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Halloween = Extortion

Halloween is all about extortion.

Am I talking about trick or treating? The time-honored tradition where children learn about organized crime by threatening vandalism in their own neighborhood and are then paid "protection money" in the form of candy?


I'm talking about parents under the pressure to buy Halloween costumes at $50 to $200 a pop. Only bad parents fail to dress up their kids in cute and clever ways. But may Heaven help you if Junior wants to dress up as his favorite cartoon character. Even second-hand, a "nice," i.e. name-brand, costume can cost a small fortune.

So most parents are left with the homemade option. We're thinking about Brennan being dressed as a mad scientist. He already has the goggles; we're looking for rubber gloves and a lab coat or something similar.

We're not sure about the younger kids yet. Any ideas?

Why Batman Had A Utility Belt

Every morning I walk out the door, stop, and begin to pat myself down.

Where did I put my keys? Where's my phone? Do I have my wallet?

I often have a stack of books and my laptop bag with me as well. It amazes me how many items I feel I need to have and how easy it is to walk out the door without them. Here's how I'm usually equipped (the only other item normally on my person not pictured is my nondescript wedding band, but I never take it off):

It might be argued that I'm a little conservative in my color scheme here, but take note of the flashy blue keychain. I hear blue key chains are the new black. I actually didn't realize that everything I carry on me is black and silver until I took a picture of it all; it wasn't intentional but it's genuinely me. I'd be embarrassed to carry a bright orange phone or any flashy jewelry.

So what do you carry in your pockets or on your person? I'm not talking about the contents of your purses, ladies. I can't hold a candle to that! But apart from (or in addition to) purses and backpacks, which seperate items do you have to grab before you go out the door?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Ask the Senators to Quit First

I appreciate Gregg Easterbrook, even if he is rather licentious and crude at times. Every once in a while he really nails a point. [In my mind he falls into the same category as Steven Pressfield and Thomas Cahill – not sure if the comparison is apt but that's how I see it…]

From last April:

States including Arizona, Florida and Georgia have in recent years passed "resign to run" laws that require an office-holder seeking higher office to resign from his or her present position. The time has come for a resign-to-run law at the federal level. Membership in the U.S. Congress should not be treated as a lifetime entitlement that pays whether you perform your sworn responsibilities or not. In 2007, Senator Chris Dodd of Connecticut, then in the Democratic field, actually moved to Iowa and lived in the state -- yet was still taking his taxpayer-funded salary for serving the people of Connecticut, a job he was making no pretense of performing. It may be nonsense that the current political reality requires a year of round-the-clock campaigning to win a party's nomination, but taxpayers should not subsidize this nonsense.

A federal resign-to-run law would make government more accountable, and how can anyone but the holder of a no-show job object to that? Such a law also would eliminate many marginal candidates, especially senators who have scant hope of winning a nomination but declare for the presidency for reasons of vanity -- then demand taxpayers support them as they self-stroke their own egos. Members of the Washington establishment constantly praise the risk-taking spirit of entrepreneurs, but when it comes to themselves, they want zero risk, running for president while clinging to their current positions. If declaring for the presidency meant a senator could lose his or her seat, few senators would run. And what a relief that would be!

Here's a backup possibility: return Congress to per diem. Until 1855, members of the Senate were paid on a per diem basis -- they drew money for those days on which they engaged in their duties. Suppose senators were given a high per diem rate (say $1,000 per day) but only received this pay when actually performing the public's business, rather than when campaigning, fundraising or slipping away for other self-serving activities. Panic would strike the Senate if such a law were passed. Senators would be expected to earn their pay!

Who'll Rescue the Heroes…

…from their own writers?

It's tough to watch a bad show and desperately want it to be good. In spite of its repeated failings you make excuses for it. You overlook bad acting and implausible plots. You eagerly await any kind of excuse explanation for what you just saw.

Heroes is doing this to me. I want to like it like I liked it two years ago. I don't want it to become silly and forgettable.

But Heroes is suffering from a number of problems, up to and including an idiot plot. Not an idiotic plot (though that may be the case as well) but rather an idiot plot, where the protagonists "behave in a way to suit the author's convenience, rather than through any rational motivation of their own."

In a show with invulnerable time travelers and future-seers, the only way for the plot to be suspenseful is for these people to conveniently forget their god-like powers.

Monday, October 13, 2008

A Further Explanation of Good News

Family and friends,

We've had a tremendous scare– our baby being tagged as high risk for a fatal disease. But after further testing today it's been determined that our baby, a girl, appears to be safe and healthy. We're so happy and thankful beyond words.

Please continue to pray. Pregnancy is difficult. And the determination today was only a statement that it's "highly unlikely because she appears healthy," instead of a firm diagnosis (it was a sonogram, not a genetic test). The doctor is very confident in her health but obviously cannot be certain.

So we will continue to trust in God and be grateful for your prayers.

God bless you all,

Jared and Shannon


We went to the perinatal specialist this afternoon and received wonderful news…

The baby is beautifully and perfectly formed. There were no structural or soft tissue markers that indicated a chromosome disorder. Specifically the doctor was pleased to see straight and outstretched fingers on both hands, an indicator that virtually always points to a healthy baby (Trisomy 18 babies always have clenched fists, among many other possible problems).

This is still not a formal diagnosis, but the doctor was confident that no other investigation was necessary.

We also found out the baby's gender.

It's a GIRL!!!!

Her name is Anneliese Lily Keegan.

We're so happy. It'll be an entirely new experience for us after four boys. Please continue to pray for the pregnancy; our due date is March 20.

Also please forgive us for not calling everyone personally. Too many people to call and sore throats make it difficult.

Baby Update 1

We are going to the doctor this afternoon at 2pm for a level 2 sonogram and possibly an amniocentesis. We should find out a true diagnosis (vs just knowing the odds of being at risk).

After a night of praying I'm feeling better about it. If the baby has Trisomy 18 or another serious birth defect, I feel we're equipped to deal with it. On the other hand the odds are in our favor that this baby is completely healthy. That should bring us some comfort…

Either way, we'll find out the baby's gender today.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Pray for Our Baby

The doctor called this evening about our baby. Bad news.

The baby may have Trisomy 18, called Edwards Syndrome. It's similar to Downs Syndrome but usually fatal. 95% die in utero; those who are born alive live only 5-15 days on average. Only 5-10% survive their first year.

There is a 1 in 21 chance of our baby having Edwards Syndrome, based on the screening tests we've already taken. We'll have a sonogram this week and perhaps other tests to learn more. We DO NOT have a diagnosis yet.

Please pray for our baby.

Pray first that we would be one of the 20 out of 21 who have healthy babies under these circumstances.

Pray that if the baby is positive for Trisomy 18, that he or she would be one of the very few that live past infancy.

Pray for Shannon and me to handle the current uncertainty and potential grief that may be in our future.

Pray for the boys. They've been very aware of this pregnancy; we all pray for the baby every night. They currently know that the baby might be sick and could possibly die, and that Mom and Dad are very upset, but we haven't given them any details this early.

Friday, October 10, 2008


We went fishing a week ago with Joe S., an elder, Sunday school teacher, and friend from our church.

Here's Tanner fishing. Yeah, it's about that exciting. People who like fishing also tend to like baseball on TV and watching paint dry.

But then you get a fish! For a long time, the boys were fishing and only Mr. Joe was catching. But here Graham and Eli are encouraged to touch a live one. Cool!

Brennan on Walden Pond. Or maybe Lake of the Forest.

And here's Tanner again making my knees hurt just looking at him.

The catch of the day was blue gill, with an occasional large mouth bass. Brennan and Tanner caught two blue gill each.

If Only…

Too bad you'll never see this sign in real life.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


Do you ever watch webisodes?

They're short mini-episodes, outtakes, promos, or deleted scenes of television shows that are available to on the internet. In other words, it's abbreviated TV on the internet.

Cpl Alvin York

90 years ago today "Sergeant York" performed an act of bravery and heroism. Alvin York is an interesting American whose story was made into one of my favorite movies.

"And those machine guns were spitting fire and cutting down the undergrowth all around me something awful. And the Germans were yelling orders. You never heard such a racket in all of your life. I didn't have time to dodge behind a tree or dive into the brush… As soon as the machine guns opened fire on me, I began to exchange shots with them. There were over thirty of them in continuous action, and all I could do was touch the Germans off just as fast as I could. I was sharp shooting… All the time I kept yelling at them to come down. I didn't want to kill any more than I had to. But it was they or I. And I was giving them the best I had."

York shot and killed 28 German soldiers which forced the surrender of 132 Germans with 32 machine guns.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Fixing What's Not Broken

The NFL has toyed with the idea of expanding the regular season from 16 games to 17 or more.

Not only is it incredibly hard to stay healthy for 16 games (plus preseason and playoff games), the schedule is perfectly balanced with 32 teams playing 256 games; trust me, the mathematical symmetry here is as perfect as it gets. Adding another game or another team would ruin it.

Fortunately, Roger Goodell said Sunday it was "highly unlikely'' the schedule will be adjusted for 2009 to add more regular-season games while subtracting preseason games.

Thank goodness. If the NFL wants to expand the season without ruining the scheduling, try adding another bye week. Each team could have one bye week early and another bye week late, the season would run an extra week (18 weeks total) giving the league an extra weekend of games (i.e. advertising revenue). Go ahead and drop one of those silly preseason games. In fact, changing them to scrimmages (each team gets x number of plays or each team runs a two-minute drill) would be better for the team and more interesting to watch. The plan ought to appeal to the players, the advertisers, and the league (and it sure will help with fantasy football scheduling).

Gaming, Part 2

I've been playing a lot of video games this week, both on my own and with the kids. In fact, playing games has been my main stress-reliever this week. Here's what I learned.

  • I missed playing games. In a typical day I don't normally play video games. Before the Wii, I'd go months without playing any kind of video game. Since the Wii, it's weekly but not daily. I really had a lot of fun this week, playing every day. Especially with Brennan and Tanner.
  • Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. For a big Star Wars fan, the story was worth it. How does the Rebel Alliance begin? This game tells that story. But as a game? Yuck. The game play had some design"issues" bordering on broken mechanics and the graphics were way below average. Thank goodness I rented it; I got my $7 worth and that's it.
  • We need to send our Wii wrist straps and remote skins through the dish washer periodically. Eww.
  • The Wii balance board and the games it uses, like Wii Fit, are fantastic. But they only allow one player at a time, naturally, and that's too bad. My kids do a lot of sitting around waiting for their turn when we play Wii Fit. I'm looking at Skate It, which come out next month, but taking turns at the virtual skateboard park will be a big turn off for my group of boys. Real skateboards might cause less pain.
  • I like puzzles. I've really enjoyed the Wiiware version of Toki Tori and I'm looking forward to World of Goo, which comes to Wiiware and PC next Monday. Shannon and I both are still waiting for Tetris Party as well, which hopefully will be available this month.
  • We have been using Energizer Rechargeable batteries in our Wii remotes and now in our balance board. They're expensive at first, but I can't imagine a better set up. They last a few weeks per charge (depending on usage); we swap out the old ones for freshly recharged ones and keep playing. They've already lasted us almost a year with no problems at all.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Random Thoughts 10/6/08

  • Vacation's over. Back to work.
  • Oklahoma has new uniforms for their men's basketball team. Hmmm. Looks the same to me.
  • Speaking of basketball, how did I miss that K-State's Michael Beasley is just as stupid as the dope-smoking KU players that were fined at an NBA program for rookies?
  • Don't forget the point of view of this black minister. He's definitely NOT for Obama.
  • It's great to not have the air conditioning on all of the time, but our allergies are killing us. Shannon and I both struggle quite a bit with the house open, though the kids don't seem to mind.
  • Jay-rod went on vacation this week, just as I'm getting back to the office. It'll be weird not having him around. Some days we're so busy we barely have time to say hi to each other, if we see each other at all. But often we impromptu conferences on matters big and small. I'll miss that while he's gone.
  • Graham is potty-training. That's six months or more earlier than the other boys. It's also taking significantly longer than the older boys, in whom a switch just seemed to flip at about three years old. Graham is taking the long way around to figuring this out; and Mom is doing more laundry because of it.
  • That sure was nice of Iowa State to let the Jayhawks back in the game on my birthday! Rock Chalk!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Voter's Reality Check

Do we realize that we are on the verge of electing the most left-wing, socialist candidate from a major political party in our country's history? Do we realize that Barack Obama is left of many European socialists? Or that he sat under a political-activist pastor for 20 years that was openly racist and anti-American? Do voters know that he taught and has practiced Saul Alinsky style politics as part of the Chicago political machine?

Do we realize that if we elect Obama that this political activist/community organizer will be appointing federal judges? The U.S. Supreme Court will likely have at least two openings during the next presidential term.

Do we remember that we are still at war?

So why are almost 50% (or more) of likely voters willing to vote for Obama?

He's not George Bush and that's all some people know. George Bush has been so villified that a lot of folks can't even think straight at the mention of his name. Don't vote based on anger for someone not even on a ticket.

So here's a reality check. John McCain is a better, more experienced leader than Obama on almost every point, and he's not George Bush either.

This is too important an election to vote on emotion or in ignorance.

Vacation Week

We've had a nice, restful week so far.

Mon - work a little; come home and play with kids; watch TV.
Tues - go to the zoo; watch some movies at home.
Wed - play video games; eat out; watch another movie
Thur - funeral; go to the Deanna Rose Children's Farmstead
Fri - take the boys fishing; relax all day.
Sat - watch football; eat Birthday meal (roast beef, homemade bread, mashed potatoes, gravy, yellow cake with chocolate frosting)
Sun - church; watch football
Mon - do nothing; play video games and watch TV

Tuesday, back to work.

Friday, October 03, 2008

A Short History Lesson

I'm all about learning what happened and why; knowing (recent) history is important for making decisions. Especially regarding this recent financial hysteria.

So check out this video; it's about 11 minutes but still worth it.

In the end, what's going on now has been heading our way for years. It's just too bad that the "solution" we found was socialism.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

What I Saw at the Zoo

Here are my beautiful boys:

Brennan, the sensitive intellectual.

Here's Tanner, doing school at the zoo, reading about elephants. Tanner is a first grader.

Here's our adorable Graham, being cute (he can't help it).

And here's Elijah being all boy, getting dirty and climbing things.

Here they are in birth order, Brennan (8), Tanner (6, almost 7), Elijah (4), and Graham (2). They're not bored, they're watching an animal trainer work with an ornery sea lion.

VP Debate

First impressions:
  • Neither candidate is doing as well as they ought to.
  • Palin probably did much better than most people expected.
  • If this were a boxing match, it was a split decision from the judges, 2-1 Palin. Not a knockout but not an outright victory. Which is interesting, in the two debates so far, McCain and Palin just edged out their opponents but may fail to convert those slim victories into campaign traction.
  • Biden is hard to follow. He sounds like he's reading a phone book.
  • Both candidates desperately needed simple, clear illustrations. Palin's "ask a parent on a soccer field sideline" was one of the few for either candidate in 90 minutes. I desperately needed Palin to say, "my opponent is desperate to tax your employer to the point you'll get laid off."


This vacation I've been playing a lot of video games with the boys (mostly Brennan and Tanner) and on my own as a enjoyable time-waster.

I rented the new Star Wars game, The Force Unleashed, and I've been playing it late each night. It's a good story about Darth Vader and the years between episodes III and IV, but the game itself is only so-so. The story would probably make a better movie than a game.

We've also been playing with the Wii Fit, which has been a great way to focus on fitness and health (I'm drinking my second glass of water while I type this). The boys enjoy the balance games, though only one person can play at a time and boys are seldom patient with this. Brennan and Tanner are more enthusiastic about the Lego-based video games, which has a lot of easy fun mixed with puzzle solving.

In the news today I saw this video of an upcoming Wii title, the first Punch-Out boxing game in 15 years. That looks like a lot of fun, especially if you remember the original classic game. Speaking of classics, a new Tetris game is coming to the Wii (as noted in this Japanese commercial).

As gamers, we're excited about these games and the ones to come. Many of the games we play are social in nature and they're intellectually stimulating. It's also pretty cheap entertainment (I'll play that Star Wars game at less than 50 cents an hour).

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Say No to Debt

Here's Dave Ramsey's plan to fix the current financial crisis… and it doesn't include going $700 billion in debt to bailout the people who helped cause this problem.

This whole time I've been thinking, if you were following Dave Ramsey, this crisis doesn't hurt as much as it would if you were a typical short-sighted consumer. People who assumed that housing prices could only go up got hurt as did individuals and companies that thought they could always pay their day-to-day bills (like payroll) with borrowed money.

I think Dave Ramsey could have insulated a lot of people from their own foolishness.