Archive for September, 2009

A Mule That Spells

If you are not sure how to spell a word, then you had better hedge your bets and spel each werd differently eech time. That way, you are shur to get at least one of them right.

Maybe it’s “flys”?

Magazine cover that says 'A Mule that flys'

or maybe it’s “flies”?

Magazine article that says 'A Mule that flies'

Machine Design is a magazine that is sent to about 180,000 engineers. MD has been around for a while, and I’m pretty sure it has some editors on staff.  The magazine that came today had a nice little article about Urban Aeronautics‘ Mule, an aircraft that uses fans instead of wings or rotors.

I noticed the misspelling (or typo?) on the cover right away. I figured either someone turned off the spell checker or maybe that is how the British or French spell it (like “tyre”). Then I turned to the article and saw that “flies” was spelled correctly there. Looks to me like this one slipped past the editors.

Now the whole earth used the same language and the same words.

Genesis 11:1

Not Mine Monday, September 2009 Edition

In a shameless spoof of MckMama’s Not Me Monday, I am posting a Not Mine Monday. This week is a mix of Not Mines and Not Mes

  • My child did not stand up straight at attention with his chin up and say “Yes sir!” to my wife when she was sternly lecturing him about his misbehavior. And then he did not march out of the room when she was done.
  • And if he had done that, I would not have hidden behind the sheet of paper I was reading in order for him not to see me as I was stifling my laughter.
  • I did not notice that both drinking fountains had the same supply line and therefore the height of water in one fountain varied based on the other water fountain. And I did not use that knowledge to cause my oldest to have water sprayed in his nose by letting go of my drinking fountain’s button as he was leaning to take a drink from his fountain. That would have been immature and would have given him some bad ideas. But if that had happened, he would have thought it was funny too.
  • I did not pack part of my lunch in a Bob the Builder bowl and take that to work.

And whoever in the name of a disciple gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water to drink, truly I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.

Matthew 10:42

Hocus Focus

by Pocus

I saw something today that didn’t look quite right.

I was just driving (actually, I was stopped at a stoplight) and I saw alongside me a Ford Focus with a trailer hitch. I had my camera with me, so I snapped a snappy snap.

photo of Ford Focus with a trailer hitch

I had to take a picture, because who in his right mind would use a Focus to haul anything? Here’s another shot, closer this time.

photo of trailer hitch on a Ford Focus

Once I got home, I checked my extensive resources (i.e. Google) and found out that the Focus can tow up to 2000 lbs. That’s a whole ton! Who’d a thunk it? But the tongue weight is limited to 200 lbs. So I couldn’t step on the hitch if anything is being towed.

I know I can tell when there’s extra weight in my Buick (no diet jokes please). Throw several 40-lb bags of salt in there, and the 200 horsepower seems rather sluggish, not to mention the braking. The Focus is somewhere around 140 hp, and is only 2500 lbs. Almost doubling the weight that a car’s engine and brakes handle has to have significant effects on the vehicle’s performance.

I’m sure there’s some good reason for putting a trailer hitch on a Focus, but it sure looked odd.

How can I alone bear the load and burden of you and your strife?

Deuteronomy 1:12

Hey, He’s Not Immunized

Alpha is in the public school system and he is required, by state law, to have his immunizations.

I am writing about this topic today because he does not, by our choice, have all his immunizations. Nor will he have all the shots the state requires. So the school sent us a letter informing us that our child is not in compliance with state law and we needed to sign a waiver if we want him to stay in school.

I don’t know why they say he is required to have his immunizations since we can object to any or all of the shots. They should call them recommended, not required.

  • “Required” would be non-negotiable, I would think.
  • “Recommended” would be negotiable.

Since they are all negotiable, “recommended” makes sense.

I do have a theory as to why all the school forms say “required”. If the forms called them “recommended”, more parents might realize that all those shots are not needed. And then they might have more parents refusing some of the vaccinations. And then the authority of the government vaccination program might be questioned. And we can’t have that.

I filled out the form, indicating which vaccines we were waiving (whichever ones he didn’t have, that’s what we waived). Of course, the only ones he didn’t have were the ones we didn’t want him to have: polio and hepatitis B.

The interesting part was the claim on the waiver form.

I had read a website (it’s on the internet; therefore it must be true) that said to be careful what you sign on these waiver forms. If you acknowledge, in writing, putting your child at risk, that may be a “confession”. Now that may be a bit of a stretch, going from waiving a vaccine to having the state take your kids.

But why not err on the side of caution? What the website said to do was to modify the form to match your take on things.

I thought “Why not give it a shot? The worst that can happen is they’ll reject the form and send us another letter.” (pun not intended but quite clever if I do say so myself) So I found the part of the form that irked me and fixed it so I actually did agree with it. The part of the form that didn’t sit well with me was in bold on the form:

By signing this waiver, you acknowledge that you are placing your child and others at risk of serious illness should he or she contract a disease that could have been prevented through proper vaccination.

We decided against polio and hep. B because of the low risk. The entire Western Hemisphere of the world has been certified polio-free for the last 15 years. Hepatitis B is transmitted by morally-objectionable activities, none of which our kindergartner should even know about, much less be involved in. It’s the same objection many people have about Gardasil. If, later in life, Alpha wants to travel to India or work with blood, then he can get the polio or hep B vaccines. But until then, his risk is very low.

I felt that the form did not recognize that the risk of serious illness could be low and that it wasn’t really putting my child at risk. But the worst part about the form was that it claimed I would be putting other people at risk.


Other people should not be at risk if my child is not vaccinated. They could be at risk for one of two reasons:

  1. If vaccinated people are at risk for a disease because someone else wasn’t vaccinated, that means the vaccine is pretty much useless.

  2. If the other people are not vaccinated, then it was their choice to be unvaccinated that put them at risk.

Neither case involves my child. I did not want to acknowledge something that did not make sense to me, so I altered the form.

Now it says

“By signing this waiver, you acknowledge that you are placing your child at low risk of serious illness should he or she contract a disease that could have been prevented through proper vaccination.”

I am no longer liable for other people’s illnesses. And I am not agreeing that my choice is risky. There, now I am more comfortable with it. All the school will do is file it away with my child’s permanent record. I think they don’t care what’s on the form as long as they have something to show the state.

What is the difference between vaccinations and immunizations anyway?

Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget none of His benefits;Who pardons all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases;

Psalm 103:2-3

Food Thoughts

Lunch for Beta today consisted of macaroni and cheese, accompanied by a hot dog. It was an extra-nutritious lunch because I was in charge. Normally when my wife makes lunch she includes things like fruit and/or vegetables.

When I make hot dogs, I check with each child to see how he wants the hot dog served: normal, cut into little circles, or made into an octopus shape. I think they have each taken me up on the octopus offer only once. After they see that the octopus isn’t really much to behold, and it tastes the same anyway, they stick with just a plain hot dog.

But today, for some reason, Beta took the octopus option. So I got to serve my infamous hot-dogtopus.

hot dog cut into an octopus shape

It might be better if the octopus had 8 legs instead of 4, but my knife skillz aren’t that great. They are approximately halfway between dejected and upset – nowhere near mad. And if you do try this at home, you get bonus points if you taper the legs so that they look more like tentacles and less like stumps.

Come to think of it, the mouth isn’t representative either – but who wants to eat a hot dog with a beak in it? That’s a rhetorical question.

On a somewhat-related note, Alpha is at school all day so he takes a lunch. I packed him a salami sandwich, some chips, string cheese, and 2 chocolate-chip cookies. He came home today with the following items in his lunch box: half a bag of chips, string cheese, and 2 chocolate-chip cookies. So all he ate was a sandwich and about 4 chips.

That is uncharacteristic of him – he is a very god eater. Lunch for him yesterday was 2 pieces of pizza. Besides, what elementary-school-aged child ignores chocolate-chip cookies?

Oh well, packing his next lunch should be easy. I’ll just make another sandwich and put it in the box with today’s leftovers. He didn’t say the food was bad – just that he wasn’t hungry.

My soul refuses to touch them;They are like loathsome food to me.

Job 6:7

Some Photo, September 2009 Edition

My parents always have cats on their farm, and the variety of cats usually produces a good crop of kittens each year.

This year was no different and there was even a bonus: a heterochromiate (or is that heterochromian?). Having just watched a movie that had an antagonist whose main identifying mark was his eye color, I think that this cat would make the perfect sidekick.

kitten with one blue eye and one green eye

As for those who seemed to be important—whatever they were makes no difference to me; God does not judge by external appearance—those men added nothing to my message.

Galatians 2:6

I Only Have Eyes for You

Before I get started on today’s topic, I will digress on the title. I did cringe as I typed out those words; it took all I had (okay, maybe not all I had, but something at least) not to correct them to “I Have Eyes for Only You” or even “I Have Eyes for You Only”. But, as “I Only Have Eyes for You” is a common phrase, I thought it best to keep it as the title.

Let’s think through that phrase a little more. What does it mean? Is it “I Only”? If I am the only one who has eyes for you, then you must not be much to look at (errrr, at which to look).

Or what if “only” isn’t supposed to modify “I” – maybe “Only Have Eyes”? That means that only my eyes are for you – not my ears, not my arms, not anything else. That’s a lousy deal too.

Wait! Maybe “Only” is supposed to modify “Have”. That’s a curious case. That would imply what? that I never had eyes for you before? that my eyes are present-tense only? Scratch that – they probably meant something else.

It really is a poorly-worded phrase. That’s about the worst place they could have put the word “Only”.

Now on to what I originally wanted this post to contain…

When you’re looking for that perfect someone, consider the following, which will be of benefit to your future children.

Marry someone who has a prescription that’s the same as yours, but with the opposite polarity (near- or far-sighted). That way the near-sightedness and far-sightedness will cancel, and your kids will have great vision.

I’m sure you’d also have to factor astigmatism in there too, but I will leave that as an exercise for the reader.

You will only look on with your eyes And see the recompense of the wicked.

Psalm 91:8