Monday, November 30, 2009

Random Thoughts 11/30/09

  • Ugh, November was a hard month to blog. In fact it was my lowest output for a month… ever. Sorry about that.
  • It turns out that you can mix oil and water.
  • By the way, climate change happens, with or without us. Don't be so arrogant as to think we can can make a dent one way or another.
  • That said, pick up your trash, litter bug!
  • I'm reading the book, Legacy of Ashes by Tim Weiner, about the history of the CIA. Oh. My. Word. You've got to be kidding. Thousands of people were killed due to CIA mistakes in the first few years of the CIA with virtually no successes whatsoever. Other countries stole our secrets and fed us false information at will. It was amateur hour, with deadly consequences… for years. It's a wonder we survived that kind of incompetence.
  • I avoided the Black Friday lines. I feel like I find pretty good prices online, so why get out at 4am to go stand in line?
  • Though I'm not a big fan of standing in line at the store, I love to wrap Christmas presents for my kids. I wrap them and number them and then keep a master list, detailing which present goes to which kid. They don't know which present belongs to whom, hopefully preventing snooping.

Please Stop Bowing

From Gregg Easterbrook last week:

Mr. President -- Americans Don't Bow to Royalty!
The right-wing wing-nut faction is blasting Barack Obama for bowing to His Imperial Majesty the Emperor. That's how you are supposed to address the guy; you are not supposed to speak his name, Akihito. The wing-nuts are correct in this case: Americans, do not bow before royalty! That has pretty much been our policy for the past 233 years. Only the Japanese can say why Japan should still have a royal figurehead, much less with the goofy title "emperor." The United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Sweden and other nations can say why figurehead royalty still exists. But Americans don't bow to aristocrats. Our national spirit rejects the legitimacy of inherited positions.

Local custom, you say? [The author] does not much like Dick Cheney, but when he met Akihito in 2007, they shook hands. When Norman Schwarzkopf received an honorary knighthood in 1991, he said he would do so only if he were not required to kneel, because Americans do not prostrate themselves before royalty, even the royalty of good friends. Elizabeth II gave Schwarzkopf a box containing emblems of his knighthood, then they shook hands. If Akihito had bowed back to Obama, maybe that would have been OK as local custom. (You take turns bowing in Japanese culture.) If Obama had bowed to Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, the democratically elected leader of Japan, and Hatoyama had bowed back, that would have been fine -- Hatoyama represents the free choice of his people. For the democratically elected leader of the United States to humble himself before a royal who acquired his wealth and status entirely by accident of birth, while the "emperor" looks on smiling, is outlandish.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Glutton for Punishment

2:20pm - Why am I sitting here in my office, listening to the KU-MU football game? Really, what do I expect to happen this year?

Good luck, Tigers, you'll probably not need it this year.

3:20pm - MU 3, KU 14

Wait a second here…

4:20pm - MU 13, KU 21 at the half. Hmmm…

5:40pm - Tied at 36-36 in the 4th quarter. Now I wish I'd watched the game.

6:20pm - Bad guys win, 41-39. Wow. KU football is still horrible, but what an exciting game to listen to.

My Beautiful Family

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Splash of Color

Here's a photo our church that I took and retouched on my iPhone. I'm so impressed with the video and stills that the phone can take and I'm especially impressed with the computing power the iPhone has.

Monday, November 23, 2009

104,000 Hits

Whoa, I missed that one. I guess we passed 104,000 hits a few days ago. Oops.

For some time now, I've been getting 1,000 hits every 10-12 days. Not a lot, but good for just family and friends. If the pace picked up, I'd only post a milestone every five thousand or ten thousand, or more.

Of course, the key to increased traffic is increasing the content and keeping it regular. And I've not done too well with that lately (darn you, Facebook, and your easy status updates!).

Thanks for Participating, Here's Your T-Shirt

I'm Rep. Dennis Moore's (D) new biggest fan!

Now let's see if he actually moves back home.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Evidence of Altic Women

Found near the church office…

Random Thoughts 11/19/09

  • Al Gore, who is making money hand over fist as government money is flowing to "green" companies in which he's invested, is still and idiot… and a liar. His latest book has some funny photoshop work, including some absolute impossibilities (hurricanes on the equator, islands with mountain ranges under water, etc.). Dear reader, please don't tell me that you think global warming is still happening or that it was man-made. Man-made global warming is quickly reaching flat-earth levels of ignorance. Don't be stupid.
  • I was in line at the post office for about 45 minutes the other day. Just think, someday these bureaucratic efficiencies can be applied to the already-slow doctor's office. Yay!
  • Intelligent, sophisticated women who like Sarah Palin don't really exist, do they?
  • Did I mention that man-made global warming is a hoax? It's just an excuse to implement government control of everything. Think about it. If the government runs health care (everything in your body) and passes climate change legislation (everything outside your body), in what area of your life can they not interfere? What you eat? What you drive? Whether your lights are on in your home or not? How big your TV is? Where you work or live? So much for the "land of the free."
  • HBO's companion series to "Band of Brothers," which is called "The Pacific," will air in March 2010. If it's half as good as the first miniseries, it will be worth watching. I've never paid to have HBO before, but just maybe…
  • If the terrorists go on trial in New York and are acquitted, but the Obama administration has no intention of then releasing them… then what's the point? If guilty, this is just a show trial. If innocent, the trial and verdict will be ignored. So the terrorists' fates are already sealed and a trial changes nothing – except that all of our secrets get revealed and our operatives get scrutinized. Wait… maybe that's the point.
  • Jesse Jackson says "you can't vote against health care and call yourself a black man." Really?! I know I don't understand (being a white guy and all) but I would be humiliated if someone suggested that my skin color dictated my political views. I have a brain and can come up with my own conclusions, thank you very much.

Thank You

Our lovely church family has outdone itself again. In the midst of very difficult economic times, our church gave us (Chris and me) very generous Pastor Appreciation gifts last night.

Considering the circumstances, I was totally okay with a handful of McDonald's coupons. That would be reasonable in a time when most families are really struggling. In fact, I was content to have already received my gift in July with my rock, which some of the church guys brought from Winchester to my house in Piper.

But our church family has showered us with cards and gifts, giving sacrificially to show their love for us. I was speechless, emotional, and greatly endeared to everyone last night. So…

Thank you. Thank you for your commitment to us and to the Lord's church. Words will never fully express how much this church family means to me. I thank God for how irreplaceable you are in my heart.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Random Jayhawk Thoughts 11/18/09

  • Kansas basketball is great. Even when it's bad, it's still pretty good. And this year, it looks really good.
  • I had Dustin over last night to watch the KU-Memphis game. It was such a slow a game, we both ended up playing our on our iPhones.
  • I'm waiting for southpaw phenom freshman Xavier Henry to pull that line from the sword fight in Princess Bride: "Why are you smiling?" "Because I know something you don't know." "What is that?" "I am not left-handed!"
  • I have a long standing rule to never, ever, ever agree with Jason Whitlock, but I think he's right about KU football coach Mark Mangino. If Mangino gets sacked, I hope he does something drastic to lose about 200 pounds. His family (and his career) will appreciate it.
  • Remember the heady days of KU's 5-0 football team? Dreams of the Heisman trophy, topping the Big XII North and a bowl game danced in our heads… that was mid-October. Less than 35 days ago.

Happy 30th Birthday, Dustin

Happy birthday to my little brother, who turns 30 today.

Now… what would Dustin want for his birthday? Hmmm…

Thursday, November 12, 2009

It's the Economy, Stupid

From the American Thinker blog:

Unemployment rate in December 2006 (last month of Republicans controlling both houses of Congress): 4.4%.

Unemployment in October 2009 (after 34 months of Democrats controlling both houses of Congress, and three minimum wage increases in those 33 months): 10.2%.

And from Reuters: 12 Reasons Unemployment will be 12 percent.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Random Thoughts 11/11/09

  • If I had the time, I'd go over the National World War 1 Museum today on Veteran's Day. The son of Sgt. Alvin York and the daughter of Gary Cooper are speaking at 1pm and Cooper's Oscar for portraying York will be on temporary display.
  • Does the homicide rate correspond to the number of executions? Look here
  • Here's a great analogy for how government should work… if it were a chess tournament.
  • A new record has been set for the youngest World Series of Poker winner ever (beating last year's record). The new champion is Joe Cada, a barely-21-year-old from Michigan. He reward is $8.5 million in prize money. Phil Ivey finished 7th for $1.4 million.
  • Brennan and Tanner are new recipients of Nintendo DS hand-held game systems. They love them!
  • I've been enjoying a first-person shooter on the iPhone called "Eliminate." It's a lot of fun. Dustin and I play each other in quick little 3-minute games over the internet. If you're playing it, look me up!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Random Thoughts 11/10/09

  • I'm slowly losing touch with the games my kids play. I thought that as a video game-playing young adult that I would totally be in touch with whatever toys my children would play or TV shows they would watch. So much for that. Gormiti? Bakugan? Inuyasha? What?! I'm stunned at how out of touch I am already.
  • Back trouble again. My back went out Monday afternoon during my day off and it's been hurting ever since, in spite of an emergency trip to the chiropractor.
  • Speaking of my sore back, it kept me out of playing volleyball again. I've missed for meetings and my severely sprained ankle. Now I've missed tonight for my back and next week's final games for a church camp board meeting. Out of a dozen or more matches, I've only played twice (not counting the game where I sprained my ankle after 5 minutes).
  • KU (basketball) looks awesome!!!
  • I'm so glad Larry Johnson is no longer a Chief. What a malcontent. If only they had moved him out three years ago…

Realistic Army Video Game

Ultra-Realistic Modern Warfare Game Features Awaiting Orders, Repairing Trucks

The Intolerable Mac Monks

Here's a great article from the perspective of a Windows user on how much he hates Mac users.

That's hilarious!

Warning, it's a little bit crude at points. Thanks, Jessica for the heads up!

Friday, November 06, 2009

Men's Retreat '09

I'm leaving today to go to camp. I know that seems like more of a summer thing, but the men's retreat is this weekend and there's some serous hand golf to be played.

Random Men's Retreat Thoughts:
  • Is "retreat" really the best word to use? Especially as an encouragement for men to stand boldly for their convictions?
  • This is the first year in a few years that I'm not running the retreat. That feels weird.
  • I hate sleeping at camp.
  • I hate listening to other men sleep at camp.
  • Hand Golf: 18 holes of golf played by throwing a softball underhanded on a course of 18 buckets. I'll post some pictures.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

My Mouse is No More

My wireless mouse died. I bought this great little Logitech mouse 2 or 3 years ago for my laptop and it's worked fantastically, until just recently.

Lately it began to act out, double and triple-clicking erratically. The glitch had worsened to the point I couldn't use it anymore. Fortunately, a mouse isn't really an essential piece of equipment when the laptop has a trackpad.

Naturally, I took the thing apart; it was held together by only four tiny screws. Interesting… and a little disgusting. The track wheel assembly was coated in a nasty greasy residue, presumably from my greasy fingers. No more barbecue ribs while surfing the net for me!


Besides, I'm kind of eying the new mouse available from Apple. It's completely enclosed with no moving parts, a far cry from the nastiness-collecting things we've had in the past. Hmmm…

103,000 Hits

Just another mile marker.

Thanks so much for reading!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Random Thoughts 11/3/09

  • I've never watched the show but it's good news for television fans. "Southland," a big-network cop drama, got canceled but then picked up by basic cable's TNT. Increasingly high quality shows are being produced by "small" cable networks in recent years (such as SciFi's "Battlestar Galactica" or AMC's "Mad Man"). These smaller cable networks have lower expectations and narrower audiences that especially favor genre television shows; good news especially for science fiction fans.
  • Check your receipts. I caught a huge discrepancy at Walmart (in automotive) today, and after getting two managers involved, saved myself nearly $40.
  • Speaking of Walmart, I think I got hosed, even after my discount. Oh, well; I won't fret; God takes care of me. Psalm 37:1-3
  • 108 new bureaucracies in the Health Reform Bill. You've got to be kidding. I mean really, we're going to spend an extra trillion-point-two and we're already bankrupt. Really?!
  • I've been watching the governor races in Virginia and New Jersey. It looks like a win for in both states. Yay GOP. There's an argument out there that the U.S. House would change hands if that vote were taken today. The conservatives have had a great day.
  • This Monday's episode of "Heroes" was the best episode they've had in two seasons. Hands down.
  • I didn't play volleyball again. This is three weeks since my sprained ankle, and it still hurts a lot. No more bruising or limp, but it feels weak and and I have sharp pains at times. Grrrr… I'm getting old.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Halloween 2009

We took the family up to Mom and Dad's in Platte City to let the kids go trick-or-treating. Brennan and Elijah (above) were ready to go, each in the own way: Brennan (9) was ready for duty, while Eli (5) was just ready for candy. I don't know how they both ended up in Star Wars garb, but Darth Vader doesn't seem as suited to Eli as it once did. He loves the costume but he's not the angry little toddler that he used to be.

(almost 8), the sweetest little boy on Earth, was missing his cat mask, which would have perfectly completed his Kitty-Ninja costume. He watches way too many Japanese cartoons!

, the pirate, was his usual comedic self. That kid has a better sense of what is funny to other people (at three years old) than most people. He's the wittiest of the bunch.

The boys did so well, saying thank you and generally making out like bandits. They love going with their cousins and we sure enjoyed being with family as well.