Archive for August, 2010

Microwave Brownies

One of the problems with the word “microwave” is that it is both a verb and a noun.

This caused a problem recently. I was making brownies, and I followed the instructions as written on the box.

picture of Betty Crocker box of Warm Delights microwave brownies

and here’s a close-up view of the instructions:

picture of Betty Crocker box of Warm Delights microwave brownies

It clearly stated that I was to add water and microwave. So I took out a big bowl and poured in the brownie mix. Then I poured in the water.

Then I put a microwave in the bowl and stirred everything together.

It didn’t taste very good.

I think their instructions were wrong.

but he hanged the chief baker, just as Joseph had interpreted to them.

Genesis 40:22

Husbands and Wives – Communication

A husband and a wife can say the exact same words but have very different meanings. Here are some examples:

Phrase: “The noodles are on the stove.

Wife’s meaning Husband’s meaning
so take them out to the table because we’re getting ready to eat. The noodles are on the stove.

Phrase: “The dishes in the dishwasher are clean.

Wife’s meaning Husband’s meaning
so please put them away You can use them, put them away, or just leave them alone – whatever. Just don’t put dirty dishes in there.

Phrase: “What time is dinner?

Wife’s meaning Husband’s meaning
Do you need help making dinner? You’re moving awfully slowly in the kitchen. I need to know how much time I have so I can decide if I should keep working on what I’m doing or if I should wash up now.

Those were, of course, random examples from anonymous people.

Here’s my tip for wives: don’t read anything into what your husband says. Take it at face value – he is just giving you information.

Here’s my tip for husbands: try to guess what your wife means when she says something. Don’t take it at face value – she is giving you secret instructions.

His disciples said, “Lo, now You are speaking plainly and are not using a figure of speech.

John 16:29

Driving in Cars with Phones

A long title for this post, I suppose, but it’s the best I got right now.

A co-worker and I were discussing the new laws about cell phones. In some states, it is illegal to use a cell phone while you are driving (although hands-free phones are allowed).

In our state, it is legal. But some cities have enacted local ordinances that make it illegal. So you could be driving along a road, using your cell phone. It would be legal for a while, then illegal for a while, then legal again as you drove into and then out of (if “into” is one word, why isn’t “outof” one word?) the city.

We came up with a solution that should work for any state: let drivers take a test to get a cell-phone endorsement on their licenses.

We have that for various things already – motorcycle, commercial, etc.

  • Some people can handle a motorcycle, so they prove that to the state and their licenses are marked with that fact.
  • Some people can handle a big rig, so they prove that to the state and their licenses are marked with that fact.
  • Some people can handle driving a vehicle while talking on a cell phone, so why not let those people prove that to the state and get their licenses marked? I’m sure the DMV/BMV/SOS wouldn’t mind the extra business.
  • Not only would it help weed out people who shouldn’t be DWTOTCP, but it would help the budget. Just think of the fees charged for the cell-phone tests and the upgraded license!

    Texting while driving is illegal in the whole state. The state should also enact a texting endorsement. The test for such an endorsement should be done on a simulator, because no one could pass it. And because no one could pass it, it would be pure profit for the state.


    People stay in the same situation they are today (no texting) but they feel like they have an opportunity (hope) and the state gets more money (which will help the schools, I’m sure). It would end up being a voluntary tax, like the lottery.

    Hold on while I get a Facebook fan page setup to garner support for this plan…

    He scorns the tumult of the city, The shoutings of the driver he does not hear.

    Job 39:7

Storm Surge

We had a thunderstorm with a lot of lightning, just after the kids’ bedtime. My wife and I noticed one particular flash of lightning that originated near the ground (not close though) and was greenish. And then the power went out.

My comment was that it looked like a transformer blew up. When the transformers around here blow, they are hurt-your-eyes bright, the light from the blast is green, and there is a very loud buzzing noise during the blast.

After the storm calmed down (and the power came back), I put Alpha back to bed. He was asking about what if the power went out, what if this, what if that, etc.

Then he asked, “What happens if another transformer comes?”

Transformer comes? That’s an odd way to phrase it – the transformer goes out when it blows up.

Then I caught on.

No, not that type of Transformer. Just an electrical transformer. It’s part of the electrical system. I’ll point one out to you next time we drive by the substation.”

I didn’t exactly confirm my suspicion, but I got the inkling that he thought a Decepticon got in a good hit and blew up the Transformer and that Transformers blow up with a greenish blast.

As I looked, behold, a storm wind was coming from the north, a great cloud with fire flashing forth continually and a bright light around it, and in its midst something like glowing metal in the midst of the fire.

Ezekiel 1:4

Stuff Christians Like

Welcome SCL fans!

While there may be no better way, around here at least, to stir up a good debate among Christians than to question the merits of hymns versus praise chori, I do not want to stir up a good debate right now. (And “chori” is the Latin pluralization of chorus, so it’s holier than “choruses”.)

I wrote this blog post mostly to send my regular readers, some of whom don’t regularly check SCL, to SCL. For my regular readers who are not familiar with the acronym SCL: it is short for Stuff Christians Like. Jon runs that blog and was gracious enough publish a guest post that I wrote.

But so that you, dear SCL reader who followed the link from there to here in the hopes that you would be further amused, are not disappointed, I will provide you with one bit of praise chori humor.

image of the Blues Brothers saying that this church plays both types of music - praise and worship

Click on the picture for a slightly larger version. If you’re not familiar with the Blues Brothers, then it probably doesn’t make much sense to you.

I am sure that there is an SCL post waiting to be written on this subject, but I’ll let someone else run with it. I’m all creativitied-out for today.

Praise the LORD!Sing to the LORD a new song,And His praise in the congregation of the godly ones.

Psalm 149:1

Album Certification for Christians

RIAA certifies numbers of albums sold and gives awards for various levels of achievement.

If an album sells more than …

  • 500,000 copies, it is certified Gold.
  • 1,000,000 copies, it is certified Platinum.
  • 10,000,000 copies, it is certified Diamond.

What is the Christian equivalent to RIAA certification?

It’s not the GMA Dove Awards, as those are vote-driven not sales-driven.

The closest thing I found was the CMTA SoundScan, but you have to buy a subscription if you want to know the sales numbers. So I don’t know the Christian music sales numbers, nor do I know if there are awards at various stages of sales achievement.

The RIAA people don’t give awards that are explicitly Biblical. Christians need an equivalent to the worldly awards. There are Christian music associations, so why not more Christian awards?

Therefore, I propose a Biblical rating system for album sales. If an album sells more than …

  • 200,000 copies, it is certified Gold.
  • 500,000 copies, it is certified Frankincense.
  • 1,000,000 copies, it is certified Myrrh.

Notice I made the numbers smaller too. That wasn’t done to be more Biblical; that was done so that musicians in the GMA/CMTA realm could make the cutoff.

I’ll keep you, loyal reader, updated if anything ever comes of my proposal.

After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

Matthew 2:11

Maranatha Lesson

The topic of the week at our time at Maranatha during our vacation was relationships. The speaker was Ron Zappia, whose bio in the link I just provided accurately reflects his speaking style. I bet he wrote that himself.

He gave a week’s worth of sermons, complete with illustrations (literal drawings – he used markers and a sketchpad on an easel). I am not going to recap everything here, but I will go over one particular point.

Without self-examination, there can be no self-control.
Ron Zappia

That’s good, but that’s only half the equation of self-control. People need to see themselves honestly, but they shouldn’t be looking at just themselves. How does what I’m doing affect others?

That goes along with one of my favorite quotes about self-esteem:

Kids don’t need more self-esteem; they need more others-esteem.
I forget who

That’s what I see as one of my tasks as a parent – get my kids to see that what they do does affect other people. If it helps them, then they should do more of what they’re doing. If it hurts them, then they should not do it. Be aware of more than just yourself.

But that strays slightly from Pastor Zappia’s point, which is that you need to be aware of yourself first. If you don’t think you’re doing something, then you won’t check how it affects others.

So two points for raising kids (the process of which I am merely beginning): get them to recognize their own actions/attitudes and get them to recognize the effects those have on others.

I suppose the third point should be to get them to change the behaviors that are not good.

“But how do I get my kids to do that?” you may be wondering.

I am wondering that too.

If I ever get the answer, I’ll let you know.

Thus says the LORD of hosts, “Consider your ways!”

Haggai 1:7