Archive for July, 2009

Have I Mentioned That I Like The Basement?

Inspired by another blog, I decided to put together my own Room of the House quiz.  The two main things that prompted me were these:

  1. The questions didn’t have the options that I wanted to choose, and
  2. The comment left by js was more realistic than the actual answers.

So I made up a quiz – I’m tempted to trademark SarcastiQuiz – that has other options and balances the all-positive responses of the other quiz. Plus, the other quiz has only 5 answers: Library, Living Room, Kitchen, Bathroom, and Bedroom. I have not used any of those rooms in my quiz – you get 8 other “rooms”.

So take the House Room Personality Quiz and have fun. Remember that all questions and answers were completely fabricated on a whim and should be taken even less seriously than the professional, psychiatrist-approved quizzes on other websites.

“For to this end also I wrote, so that I might put you to the test, whether you are obedient in all things.”
– 2 Corinthians 2:9

Dinnertime Conversation

We read somewhere that families are supposed to have a conversation during dinner, so we tried it. Here is how it went…

The question for everyone to answer was “What’s your favorite fruit?”
I answered “Mine’s raspberry.

Then it was the 3-year-old’s turn. We guessed a few things, to which he shook his head no. Finally he answered “grapes“.
What color grapes?” my wife asked.
Green.” he said.

That went well enough.  Then it was the 5-year-old’s turn.  He thought, then answered “chocolate-malt berries“.

If I had known chocolate was an acceptable answer…

On another day, the 3-year-old and I had this little exchange:
Eat your peas.
Those aren’t peas. They’re little grapes. They just taste like peas.


How is the land, is it fat or lean? Are there trees in it or not? Make an effort then to get some of the fruit of the land.” Now the time was the time of the first ripe grapes.

Numbers 13:20

Miscounting Calories

At a relative’s birthday party, I was pleased to see that the gracious host and hostess had provided other desserts, not just the standard birthday cake. I am a fan of the ice cream candy bars. As I grabbed one, I noticed the marketing hype on the front of the box, claiming that each bar has only 90 calories.

picture of the 90-calorie claim on the front of the ice cream candy bar box

Just for fun, I checked the nutrition information on the side of the box. It did not claim 90 calories per bar.

picture of the 80-calorie claim on the side of the ice cream candy bar box

I assume the nutrition information is correct in listing 80 calories, and perhaps the brightly-colored promotion deal on the box front is outdated. Why leave that claim on there if it’s wrong? Who wants to make something have more calories? Since when is that a selling point?

picture of the ice cream candy bar box

Differing weights and differing measures, Both of them are abominable to the LORD.

Proverbs 20:10

Rain, Rain, Go Away

I just had my second drive with rain-sensing wipers, and they are the greatest thing since intermittent wipers.

Before I bought my first car (at age 21 … my first motorcycle was at age 18, but that’s another story), I used to think that car ads were wasting their space by promoting intermittent wipers. Not only did all cars have them anyway, but even if they did have just off-low-high, the driver could just switch between off and low to handle inconsistent rain.

Then I got my first car. It was about 10 years old at the time, and I think the person who ordered the car forgot to hand in the page with the options checked. If it was optional or a convenience or a luxury, it was not on that car.

As you may have guessed, that car did not have intermittent wipers. After a winter and spring with snow and rain, I vowed never again to mock intermittent wipers (wiper no wiping, wiper no …). Okay, maybe I didn’t vow, but my appreciation of their usefulness greatly increased. Having to adjust the wiper switch every 15 seconds gets very annoying after a while.

Fast forward, umm, a few years to this year and now I’m in a vehicle (no, not mine, it’s for work) that has the rain-sensing wipers. I didn’t know the vehicle had the fancy-pants wipers (someone else was driving, otherwise I would have seen and used the wiper controls). All I noticed was that the driver wasn’t doing anything other than driving (both hands on the steering wheel) and the wipers were speeding up and slowing down based on how much water was on the windshield.

The intermittent wipers were a good improvement over the previous standard wipers, and the smart wipers are just as good a step after that. These days, I notice that I adjust the intermittent speed as the rain increases or decreases or stops. With the sensing wipers, you don’t even have to turn them on or off – just leave them on the automatic setting. When the rain starts, the wipers start going automatically, and when the rain stops, well, you get the picture.

Just do not, I repeat, do not, forget to turn them off when you go into a car wash.

Oh, if you’re looking at a vehicle, make sure that you can turn off the feature easily. If there’s one thing we learned from Wall-E, it’s that automatic features must have a manual override switch.

“When He set a limit for the rain And a course for the thunderbolt,”
– Job 28:26

Receipt-Leavers of the World, Disband!

Previously, I had written how I did not like gas stations that printed your receipt for you at the pump, whether you wanted it or not. That is still very annoying.

I found a gas station that apparently is annoyed at people who leave the receipts at the gas pump.

picture of gas station sign saying to take your receipt

Because I ordered a car wash at this gas station, I wanted the receipt. So I did not get to see whether this station gave me the option of not printing the receipt.

On the other hand, maybe driving-off-without-paying incidents are rigorously enforced in that town, and the gas station just wants their customers to be protected against mistaken incarcerations.

“Show me a sign for good, That those who hate me may see it and be ashamed, Because You, O LORD, have helped me and comforted me. ”
– Psalm 86:17

Restrictive Wristband

You can tell, from very early in the life of a child, how he will be later in life. Of our kids, one does not mind collared shirts and the other one never wants anything touching his neck.

I have met some people in life who hate neckties. I have never minded ties and have often thought that those people who do not like ties are tying them too tight and that’s why they don’t like them. I mean, if you tie them right, they should not constrict or restrict your breathing at all.

But then our second child started talking. And picking out his own clothes. And overruling mom’s clothing choices. And vetoing anything that touched his neck. Anytime we approach him with a collared shirt, he starts insisting that we do not button anything near his neck. He doesn’t need to object, because he is so ticklish around his neck that it is impossible to get him to hold still enough to fasten any buttons anyway.

At our vacation, we had to wear wristbands. The facilities are open to registered guests only, and the wristbands are the means by which they can tell the registered guests from the unregistered guests. I think the term should really be “unregistered people”, since “unregistered guests” would not be guests.

Our child’s objection to restrictive clothing is not limited to his neck, or to clothing for that matter. As soon as we got back from any activities, he took off his wristband. That became something we had to check whenever we left the room: “sunscreen? towels? wristband?”

I expect that, when he gets to be an adult, his career will not be one that requires him to wear either a suit and tie or a wristband.

“thus says the LORD to me–‘Make for yourself bonds and yokes and put them on your neck,’ ”
– Jeremiah 27:2

Vacation Lesson, 2009

We spent our vacation week at Maranatha; thus we got to hear a number of good Bible lessons. Maranatha is like the Christian Reformed Conference Grounds, but it’s non-denominational and you get to stay in real buildings with all the amenities (i.e. there’s no camping). Oh, and the pool is at the beach, for what that’s worth.

The topic for the week was from Acts, mainly focused on the start of the early church. The speaker was Ron Cline, a man with a great voice for speaking. That makes sense, since he has a radio show (Beyond the Call). His voice is low and clear. When you meet him, that’s what you first notice.  If you listen to his podcasts, you will not get the full effect. They do not accurately represent the bass in his voice.

Just how low is his voice? He makes James Earl Jones sound like a little girl.

Okay, maybe not so much.

The one thing that sticks in my mind the most, from the content of the messages, was the statement that “you are a witness.” Not that you should be a witness, but that you already are one. If you are a Christian, that is your one main job – to tell others what God has done for you and what He means to you. “Now,” he said, “you may be a crummy witness” and never tell anyone anything, or you may be a great witness.

Our responsibility, as Christians, is to tell other people about what God means to us (but individually, not collectively). You choice is not whether to be a witness but rather what kind of witness you will be.

Ron Cline had a number of stories from his work with HCJB. The stories were about people who are doing God’s work and the amazing things that happen to people who are committed to serving God. And there is a lot of work to be done.

Much of the world is in bad shape, and much of the work involves taking care of basic needs (clean water, hygiene, education, etc.) that are unmet in country after country. It was hard to go eat lunch or go to the beach after hearing some of what other people’s lives are like, since our hardships (“what? that restaurant closed? Great, there go our dinner plans…”) are nothing compared to even a good day in a lot of places.

But feeling guilty won’t help anyone. Anyway, HCJB trains people to minister to their local communities. The people who are best suited for an area (language, culture, etc.) are those who are already there. I am just to be faithful to God by introducing Him to the people whom He brings in my life. That’s the big picture.

“For you will be a witness for Him to all men of what you have seen and heard.”
– Acts 22:15