Archive for February, 2010

Raising Awareness of Awareness Raising

or, Be Aware – The World Needs More Wares.

or, Be Aware – Be Very, Very Aware.

I heard a radio interview where some lady was “raising awareness” for an issue near and dear to her heart. I don’t begrudge her the chance to make her story known, and I do wish her well in her endeavor to find a cure for her child’s affliction.

But . . .

There comes a point where raising awareness is not going to do anything anymore. We may be at or past that point already. You know, diminishing returns and all…

If all the issues are raising awareness of themselves, then people will be equally aware of all issues and the net effect is no one issue gets more attention than any others. In other words, when everyone is special then no one is special.

Ahh, my favorite movie quote is applicable once again.

charts showing what happens when all issues have raised awareness

Not everyone should be aware of all the issues facing everyone else. There are just too many people and too many issues. We do need to have experts in each area, and I think that’s not a problem currently. But the more issues there are of which to be aware, the less attention or interest each one gets or generates.

graph of personal interest in issues versus number of issues

Feel free to keep (or start) raising awareness for whatever you want. Just don’t be offended if I tune you out after I hear the phrase “raising awareness”.

But they refused to pay attention and turned a stubborn shoulder and stopped their ears from hearing.

Zechariah 7:11

Winter Wednesday

This was going to be something like a Wordless Wednesday, but I knew I would have to add commentary so it couldn’t qualify as wordless. So I am making it a Winter Wednesday.

Exactly two weeks ago, I wrote how our church program was cancelled (am I the only one who wants to spell “cancelled” with two Ls and wonders why the spell checker won’t recognize it? It wants me to write “canceled” but not “cancelation”. “Cancelled” and “cancellation” or “canceled” and “cancelation” – make up your mind, spell checker) due to a snow day.

Now, exactly two weeks later, it is Wednesday again. And it is snowing again. And church is cancelled again.

Here is the snowfall from last time.

picture of flower barrel covered by snow

And here is the snowfall from this time.

picture of flower barrel covered by snow

The boys had fun playing in the snow and building a fort and throwing snowballs. I took Gamma on a walk down the driveway (about as long as a football field, so it counts) because it was scenic. While I was there, I took some pictures of the road because it was scenic.

Here is looking right.

picture of flower barrel covered by snow

And here is left.

picture of flower barrel covered by snow

I think that the church leader who prayed for a lot of snow three weeks ago (read the post if you want to know) should remember to pray for no more snow. It seems his last prayer is still in effect and he needs to cancell it.

Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months.

James 5:17

I’m Thinking You Get What You Pay For

or, to please Winston Churchill, I Think You Get That For Which You Paid

Arby’s was on the way home from the ice-hockey tournament at which we were spectating, so we used the convenient drive-through ordering thingy. My wife is a fan of whatever restaurants’ value meals, so she ordered value-meal roast-beef sandwiches for everyone. Everyone except me. I was driving, so that meant I had to give the order to the Metal Pole Which Speaks. I ordered a regular roast-beef sandwich for myself.

We noted that the value-meal sandwiches were $1 each but the normal sandwich was $3 (I think the actual prices were $0.99 and $2.79, in case you care). So, if the value meals were really a better value, they would be comparable to the regular sandwich.

What do you think?

Arby's roast beef sandwiches, some value meal and one regular
one Arbys regular roast beef sandwich compared to three value-meal roast beef sandwiches

Yes, you can order three of the small sandwiches for about the same price as one normal sandwich, but all you will be doing is filling up your tummy with cheap bread. It looks to me like the regular sandwich has the same amount of meat as three of the measly sandwiches. The value-meal sandwich is not a value. I propose they should call them cheap-meal sandwiches because they are cheaper but not a better value.

On the other hand, they don’t claim it is a better value, just that it is a value. The measly sandwiches do have a value – about 1/3 that of the regular sandwich.

The priest shall value it as either good or bad; as you, the priest, value it, so it shall be.

Leviticus 27:12


Now it is time for another PSALM.

This movie was made back during Christmas break, lest you think I have time these days to make movies. The boys got a Lego Space Police set for Christmas, and this is how the set looks and what it does.

Now only 147 more to go.

If the movie player isn’t working, you can save the .mpg file to your computer and open it with your computer’s movie-player software

But You, O LORD, are a shield about me, My glory, and the One who lifts my head.

Psalm 3:3

GPS, Garage Doors, and You

I have seen a few articles that noted the trend of criminals who steal cars and use the GPS to drive to the victim’s house, knowing that the victim is not at home. The garage door opener left in the car provides the means for the thieves to enter the residence for the robbery.

Since we don’t have a GPS or a garage door opener, I can consider this situation somewhat objectively. The recommendations of the various writers was to leave the “Home” button of the GPS unprogrammed or to set it to a nearby intersection or local business but not your actual home address.

That’s no fun.

I say set your GPS Home location to the closest police station.

You leave your event (football game, concert, etc.) and get that sinking feeling as you begin to think your car is stolen. Simply call the police station (you do have the police station’s number in your cell phone, don’t you? And no, 911 is not their number.) and ask if they see a such-and-such car in their parking lot. No, you don’t say “such-and-such” – you need to replace that phrase with the make and model and color of your vehicle.

Of course, the savvy burglar might realize what is happening and figure you swapped your Home and Police Station entries. So don’t make it too easy and enter your home address under the title of “Police Station”. Make it “Church” or “Doberman Breeder” or something else.

But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into.

Matthew 24:43

Word Find Generator

New Webpage Announcement: You can now generate your own word-find puzzles at Some Fun Site.

Background Information: I always liked it in school when the teacher would want to fill some time and gave us the word find-type puzzles. So, many years later, I made a computer program (VB, for Windows 3.1) that would make a puzzle based on words that the user provided. It randomly picked layouts and directions and tried to fit the words in the given size.

Now, about a decade after I made that program, I finally ported the word search code over to a web page. There are some things to be tweaked, such as setting up a decent print page or providing better error handling if the person types too many words for the size of the puzzle.

In case you can’t tell, Some Fun Site is a close relative (cousin, I think) of Some Blog Site.

For he has not arranged his words against me, Nor will I reply to him with your arguments.

Job 32:14

Finding Joy Friday, February 2010 Edition

Finding Joy Friday

In cooperation with LaanyKidsMom, here is my entry for this week.

Where did I find joy this week?

Kindergarten Valentine’s Day parties
I got to attend my son’s class party, the type where everyone gives harmless cards to everyone else and they’re happy because they got some candy. And they make crafts with glue and stickers and stuff.

food at a kindergarten Valentine's Day party
craft with jars at a kindergarten Valentine's Day party
craft with paper at a kindergarten Valentine's Day party

Pick six! PICK SIX!!
No, I am not talking about the local lottery numbers. The 4th quarter of the Super Bowl brought me joy this week. It was fun to watch, although my favorite Super Bowl play is still Mike Jones’ tackle to keep the Titans from beating the Rams.

One More
The last thing that brought me joy this week (there were many more things that brought me joy, so this isn’t really the last thing that brought me joy, it’s just the last item I’m going to mention in this blog post) was my nephew was born. It was a few days early, which was odd because the C-section had been scheduled for next week.

New nephews and nieces are always nice to have, but my favorite part was his name. No, for the sake of his privacy I am not going to list his name here. Plus most of you readers are family so you already know the name. Non-family readers may email me if they are curious.

Blessed is he who does not take offense at Me.

Luke 7:23