Archive for August, 2009

Berry Nice Car

Since this past Saturday was the last weekend in August, I thought it would be good to take the vehicle out for one more spin while the weather was good. I took the kids to the local raspberry-picking farm place.

Here is a picture of my ride, parked on the field at the raspberry farm..

picture of Dodge Viper parked in raspberry farm lot

What’s that, the side shot of the Viper doesn’t do it justice? Okay, here’s a better angle of the Viper.

picture of Dodge Viper parked in grass

How do I fit two kids in car seats in a Viper? Let’s go back to the first picture and I’ll point it out to you.

picture of Dodge Viper in front of Dodge Caravan

There’s my vehicle. I was just taking a picture of my minivan and that pesky Viper was in the way. I hate it when that happens.

I do wonder how much grass the Viper scraped off the field as it was driving through the parking lot. It is just a regular grass field and has to have some bumps larger than the ground clearance of the car.

So he made his chariot ready and took his people with him;

Exodus 14:6

Get Your Own Connection

One of the joys of wireless internet on these newfangled laptoppy thingies is finding a Wi-Fi connection. I normally don’t take my laptop somewhere unless I know there is going to be free Wi-Fi there, unlike my brother who takes his iTouch (okay, iPod Touch, but no one really calls it that) everywhere and has fun seeing if free Wi-Fi exists wherever he is.

I was in a place that I knew had access, and I knew the router had the memorable name of “linksys”. I had my wireless program scan the airwaves and it gave me a list of routers so that I could select linksys.

get your own connection

I had to laugh when I saw the other router named “GET YOUR OWN CONNECTION”. Note: it was encrypted. I’m thinking they shouldn’t have a problem anymore.

He who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one who has need.

Ephesians 4:28

Sleep Avoidance Program

The baby is several months old and has been sleeping through the night for a while. It was rough those first two or three months, but we made it and have been enjoying solid night’s sleep every night. Or had been enjoying.

The kids recently coordinated their efforts to interrupt my sleep. Friday night (also known as Saturday morning) it was the middle child around midnight, the oldest around 1 AM, the baby at 5 AM, and the oldest again at 6:15-ish.

Although it was rough, I must say the kids were off their game Friday night. We had a stretch from 1 to 5, a whole 4 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Back in the day, when those kids were in their prime, we had nights of no more than 2 hours of sleep at a time. I think they may have miscommunicated, and whoever had the 3 AM shift didn’t know it was his turn to wake us.

But I must commend the baby for bringing his A-game. Whereas the other children just needed to be accompanied back to bed, where they quickly fell back to sleep, the baby did not want just company. Nor did he want just to be held. No, he held out until I was carrying him and walking around the house before he stopped crying. When I gave up on that, he refused to go back to sleep until he was fed. Baby 1, parents 0.

I’m sure that, when the kids are older and cannot be roused from bed easily, I will look back on these days with fondness.

During that night the king could not sleep so he gave an order to bring the book of records, the chronicles, and they were read before the king.

Esther 6:1

Not Mine Monday, August 2009 Edition

In a shameless spoof of MckMama’s Not Me Monday, I am posting a Not Mine Monday (which she has since also done).

  • My children did not yell “Let’s put on our party hats!” and then run around the house with underwear on their heads.
  • My child did not avoid going to sleep, and try to stay up with the adults when we were playing board games in the dining room. And if that child complained that his bed wasn’t comfortable enough and I asked how he would be comfortable, he most certainly did not respond with “by sitting up and playing something“.

And here’s a Not Me to round out this post…

  • I did not discover that the baby sits quietly in my lap while I play 1080 Avalanche on the Game Cube (snowboarding video game for those of you who didn’t understand the last half of that sentence). And I definitely did not offer to take the baby when he was fussing around bedtime, because that meant I could get in a few games. (Note to wife: if I did do that, it would be only for the baby’s sake.)

In peace I will both lie down and sleep, For You alone, O LORD, make me to dwell in safety.

Psalm 4:8

Economic Sugar Rush

Cash for Clunkers is the economic equivalent of eating sugar when you’re tired.

Sure, the car sales numbers for July and August will be great, but then what happens when the program is canceled on Monday? That’s the problem with government stimulus – it’s a temporary measure. What happens in September, October, November, and December, when all the people who wanted cars this year bought them with the Cash for Clunkers program and there’s no one left to buy cars?

Coming down off the sugar high…

The country needs the economic equivalent of a long-lasting energy bar.

Another point – there are numerous charities that take used cars from you and sell/give them to needy people. You get a tax deduction, and someone who needs a car gets a car. Won’t the charities be hurting for donations this year? I bet they have to restructure their operations because of the reduction in old cars.

Not only will the charities be hurting, but the needy people – the ones who can’t afford a new car – have just witnessed their transportation options being taken away. There were thousands of cars that were perfectly fine and could have helped families with getting to school or jobs, but the government just took all those cars and destroyed them for no good reason.

Okay, there were two reasons the government was doing this Cash for Clunkers thing: stimulate the economy by getting people to buy cars and improve the average gas mileage of the cars in America.

The first point worked, although the lasting effects have yet to be determined.

The second point is why the cars were destroyed. Okay, actually it was just the engines, but effectively that takes out the whole car. That was to prevent cars with low gas mileage from being driven, and that is supposed to combat global warming (and that is another topic for another blog post). Given how little effect that cars have in the global climate, and the fact that gas-fueled cars were just replaced with gas-fueled cars, how much effect will this really have on the environment?

My main question: is that really worth destroying the cars and making life more difficult for poor families? Would it really have hurt that much to distribute the cars to the needy? If you’re a politician who is not convinced of my point, just think of the photo-op and good press that would have got you: here is Senator So-And-So, seen giving a car to a father whose car was repossessed and he needs a car to drive to work so he can afford to feed his children.

Of course, maybe it’s just my innate sense of not being able to throw away things, especially things that are still working. Note to wife: socks with holes in the toe are still considered “working”.  Maybe destroy the cars with the worst gas mileage and give away the clunkers with decent gas mileage.  Surely some sort of compromise could have been effected.

Last note about Cash for Clunkers – I heard a radio news item that referred to the program as being popular. The evidence they gave for the popularity was that it ran out of money quickly. However, they way they said it put a different image in my mind.

I thought that the money could have disappeared quickly due to embezzlement, political favors, or any number of items not related to the purpose of the program. Just because the government spent the money quickly does not mean that it all went to the right people.

For he has oppressed and forsaken the poor;He has seized a house which he has not built.

Job 20:19

A Plethora of Pictures

I thought it was rather nice of people to take pictures and put them onto Google maps so that I could see places of interest from angles other than what Google itself provides. Then I thought maybe I could return the favor by posting pictures of places that I have been.

So now I am the proud owner of a Panoramio account. Go view my photos. Click on the pictures you like. Leave comments if you want.

These are just scenery pictures – no family members or anything like that. The point is to show other people what they would see if they went to that place on the map.

There, now I have contributed positively to the internet. I am a team player.

And He said, ‘How shall we picture the kingdom of God, or by what parable shall we present it?’

Mark 4:30

Bowling for Speed

We enrolled the kids in a Kids Bowl Free promotion, which entitles them to bowl up to two games per day for free (shoe rental not included). We paid extra (another $20 or so) for bowling for the adults too. So any day we want during the summer, we can go bowl and not pay any lanes fees.

Before this summer, I bowled rather infrequently, maybe once a year. We have gone bowling a couple times this summer, not a lot, but enough to get our money’s worth out of the deal. It had been a while since I had been in a bowling alley, and they added a new feature since I last bowled: speed readouts.

Now when you bowl, you get not only your score on the screen but also the speed at which you threw (or rolled or whatever) the ball.

Here’s a hint: don’t pay attention to the speed.

Unless maybe you’re trying to win a bet or something. Because, at least for me, speed and accuracy are inversely proportional. The faster I threw the ball, the fewer pins were hit. Here’s a good example. In this first picture, I was bowling normally, just aiming for the center pin and bowling at my normal speed.  I got a strike.

picture of bowling score screen with speed of 17 mph on it

In this second picture, I was still aiming for the center pin, but I was also concentrating on throwing it as fast as I could.

picture of bowling score screen with speed of 19 mph on it

I got a 1 and a gutter.  Not how you want to follow a strike.

How fast does a bowling ball go? My normal speed was 16-17 mph. I have no idea what a good bowling speed is. Is 17 mph a slowball? That was with a 16-lb ball. I topped out at 19 mph with a 13-lb ball.

And here’s a tip: always cut your thumbnail before going bowling. Because if you don’t, the ball will trim it for you.

He threw stones at David and at all the servants of King David; and all the people and all the mighty men were at his right hand and at his left.

2 Samuel 16:6