Archive for April, 2008

In Myrtle Beach

Having spent some time in North Myrtle Beach, SC, I thought I would post something about it.

If you’re looking for a condo-type place called Brigadoon in the area, you won’t find it. That’s because they are clever and spell it Brigadune. If you do a search for Brigadune in Myrtle Beach, you will find it quite easily.

North Myrtle Beach is a very touristy area. Every block or two there are at least one mini golf place, a discount beach stuff place, and an all-you-can-eat seafood buffet. There are a bunch of coupons available, so if you go to any touristy place, do not pay full price. I think the prices are inflated to make up for the coupon discount. Kind of like higher education in America today. Tuition prices are artificially high because of all the student aid, federal loans, grants, and scholarships. There is also a parallel with health care costs. People think they’re getting a better deal with the coupons, but really they just take the price back to about what it should be.

The seafood buffets are numerous, and most of them have websites in addition to the flyers and leaflets and coupons. But you won’t see a published price anywhere. You can have a coupon for $5 off your meal, but nowhere does it mention the actual price – it could be $15 or $50. You have to call and ask. The actual prices range from $15 to $30. Just remember that you’re paying for the experience and for the quantity of food, not necessarily the quality of food. I thought the salmon tasted too fishy and the carved ham was too dry. The German chocolate cake was good though.

The crab legs were fun. I don’t like seafood. Fish yes, but seafood no. My wife and sister-in-law got several crab legs. My sons had never seen crab legs before, other than on living crabs. So when the others came to the table with a plate of crab legs, I told my son “Look, they are going to eat those.” And he did not believe me at first. But we showed him how the shell-cracker devices work and the kids had fun the rest of the meal cracking shells and moving the claws around, pretending they were crabs. That’s what the kids will remember – the crab legs and the aquarium, not how the food tasted.

The same goes for the putt-putt or miniature golf places. Don’t go without a coupon, and remember that you’re paying for the experience. It cost $7.50 per game, I think, so $30 for the four of us. There was nothing fancy in the greens themselves, maybe some curves or a tunnel. But there was a pirate show every half hour. The cannons would blast (just sounds and some water mist for smoke) from the ship to the fortress and the fortress would fire back. That’s what the kids will remember – the extra effects, not the game itself.

“I consulted with myself and contended with the nobles and the rulers and said to them, ” You are exacting usury, each from his brother!” Therefore, I held a great assembly against them.”
– Nehemiah 5:7

Nice Arrangement

 I have switched things around slightly.  Now the financial calulators have their own page, for better organization and cleaner names. 

“Therefore, COME OUT FROM THEIR MIDST AND BE SEPARATE,” says the Lord. “AND DO NOT TOUCH WHAT IS UNCLEAN; And I will welcome you.”
 – 2 Corinthians 6:17

Depends on the Definition of Free

Staying at a touristy/vacationy-type place, I was in search of a good wireless internet connection. I was not expecting anything, but a strong Wi-Fi signal appeared – a pleasant surprise. And it was unencrypted! So I connected to it and fired up my browser of choice (Opera), and saw a welcome screen for the pay-per-use internet service. Foiled again! The reason I am writing about it is that the name of the service is Connect Freely. I thought the name choice was rather ironic. They mean free as in hassle-free, not cost-free. I would rather have a little bit of hassle with no cost.

“but you shall freely open your hand to him, and shall generously lend him sufficient for his need {in} whatever he lacks.”
– Deuteronomy 15:8

Blog of Many Colors

I made changes to my Word Press theme last night. The dark/bright yellow/gold color is a bit much though. I’m thinking of changing it to more of a pale yellow so as not to distract from the text of the blog. I’ll probably be experimenting with the colors and layout designs some more in the future.  Further bulletins as events warrant.

Of the gold, the silver and the bronze and the iron there is no limit. Arise and work, and may the LORD be with you.

1 Chronicles 22:16

Paper Shuttle

Why does NASA go to great lengths and expenses to cover the Space Shuttle with all sorts of fancy stuff? When the shuttle enters the earth’s atmosphere, it needs protection from the extreme heat caused by the re-entry.

A Japanese professor is going to have some paper airplanes launched from the space station – little paper airplanes – and they will survive re-entry just fine. At least that’s the plan. So if they do make it through the atmosphere without burning up, maybe we’ll see a re-designed space shuttle – one that’s made of paper. I know, I know – the space shuttle has a lot more surface area and will be going a lot faster because it’s heavier so it will heat up a lot more than the small bits of paper. But if they could slow down the shuttle, they could make it less expensive.

“The third angel sounded, and a great star fell from heaven, burning like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of waters.”
– Revelation 8:10

Debt Reduction Program, Part II

The best way to get rid of debt is to pay it off. Another way to pay it off faster, other than rounding a payment up to the nearest hundreds, is to participate in a bi-weekly payment schedule instead of the normal monthly payment schedule.

To see the effects of paying 26 half payments instead of 12 full payments, try the bi-weekly payment calculator, which I added to this site today.

“So we built the wall and the whole wall was joined together to half its {height,} for the people had a mind to work.”
– Nehemiah 4:6

Ashes are Forever

My wife had mentioned that she would prefer cremation instead of burial should I ever have to make that decision.  I think a good plan would be not just cremation, but also turning the ashes into a diamond.  

That would be nicer to look at than ashes, and also easier to carry.

The actual price for the service varies, depending on the size and color of diamond that you want to get, but in all, it costs about half ($3000) as much as an average funeral ($6000). We would still have a funeral, of course, but no burial costs.  A few months later, when the diamond arrives, I would get a nice necklace or ring to hold her.

She says she would rather be in a keychain.

To grant those who mourn {in} Zion, Giving them a garland instead of ashes, The oil of gladness instead of mourning, The mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting. So they will be called oaks of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.

Isaiah 61:3