Archive for January, 2011

Second Hockey Game

Since Beta enjoyed last season’s hockey game so much, we scheduled another one for this year.


First off, parking was a hassle. It was very easy to get lost. Just look at this poor guy:

picture of a car driving on the hockey rink

And if not being able to find a parking spot wasn’t bad enough, people added insult to injury by throwing hockey pucks at the guy.

picture of a car driving on the hockey rink


Snow Shields

Here’s another winter weather update.

Pulling Sleds

picture of the outside of Shedd Aquarium next to Lake MichiganThe boys love playing outside in the snow. Sometimes they sled by themselves; sometimes I pull them.

The other day we were outside and we watched the neighbor get out his 4-wheeler and use that to pull the kids’ sleds around. That seems like cheating, if you ask me, but it also seems like more fun.

Snow Pile

I normally try to pile all the snow in one area. That way, there’s a nice hill for the kids to play on and in. We also normally try to hollow out the hill to make a cave, which the boys are calling an igloo.

Top Names of the Decade

Some of you may recall the adjusted (by combining alternate spellings) baby name lists that I put together not too long ago.

I have added another section to that site – Top Names of the Decade, for each decade from 1900 until now.

Go there and click on a decade (e.g. The 1930s) for the top 25 most popular names, as well as which names gained or lost the most ground over the decade.

Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven.

Luke 10:20

New Power Generation

I have a plan to save you money on electricity, and it was inspired by a faucet.

It was one of them fancy turn-it-on-by-waving-your-hands-in-front-of-it faucets. But most of those faucets take batteries. This one does not require batteries, nor does it plug into the wall outlet.

Did I mention that the faucet costs $711? Not $7.11, but $711.00! And that’s the cheap one! The expensive one is $1480!

That’s because there is a generator inside each faucet – a miniature generator that produces the electricity that the faucet needs to run. And the generator gets its power from the water pressure at the faucet.

I am here to propose a home-based power generation plan. People these days are talking about adding solar panels to their roofs or building windmills to generate electricity. But that’s a waste of money. The problem with those is that you don’t always have sunshine and you don’t always have wind blowing.

But you do always have water pressure from the local municipality. Water originates from the main line at point A and ends up at your sink, point B

Normal Water Lines

diagram of using normal house water pressure

If you want to cut your electric bills, then the most cost-effective method is to install a water-turbine generator in your house.

Water Lines with One Generator

diagram of using house water pressure to generate electricity

If you want to cut your bills even further, then you can install two generators and a water tank. Put the water tank as high as you can (accounting for losses from the first turbine). Now re-route the water lines so that the incoming water goes through the first turbine and into the tank. Install the second turbine between the tank and the faucets. Now you get double the electricity! At the cost of lower water pressure, of course.

Water Lines with Two Generators

diagram of using house water pressure to generate electricity

In case you’re wondering when I am going to implement this: I am on well and septic. If I did this, I would be using electricity to pump water to generate electricity. Maybe someone else can let me know how it goes.

Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and their feet from it;

Exodus 30:19

Guest Post at Ricky Anderson

Not much here today – I used up my blogging quote for the week by writing something for Ricky Anderson. Go visit his blog and read my guest post over there.

And while you’re there, be sure to browse through some other things that he has written. Oh, and leave comments too (on his other posts, not necessarily my guest post).

Today’s verse will make more sense after you’ve read the guest post.

If I look for Sheol as my home,I make my bed in the darkness;

Job 17:13

Winter Road Signs

picture of a child pulling a snow shovelMy kids like to play in the snow. Most of the time that involves either sledding (which ends only when I announce “Time for hot chocolate!”) or snowball fights (them against me, which ends when someone starts crying).

The other week, though, I was busy clearing the driveway so they came up with some other way to amuse themselves. They cleared paths in the lawn to make roads and then Alpha wrote appropriate signage in the snow so you could tell where to go.

First up – the roads, being made by Alpha and Beta:

picture of roads drawn in the snow on the lawn


Actual Size

picture of a box of Post Toasties cerealI tried a new cereal the other day: Post Toasties. I forget where I picked it up, but I haven’t tried to find it again.

This isn’t a review of the cereal itself (think “inflated grape nuts”), but rather of something I noticed on the box.

In the US, all food products are required to list the nutrition information. I believe that a corollary to that law is that all cereal boxes are required to show a bowl of the cereal with milk (fruit garnish optional).

Let’s zoom in on the standard disclaimer:

photo of the disclaimer on a box of cereal that the picture has been enlarged to show texture

No big deal, right? Every box of cereal says “enlarged to show texture”.

Wrong! Well, every box may say that, but that doesn’t mean that it’s right.

I started eating the cereal and discovered that the cereal’s claims were incorrect. The photo on the box was not enlarged to show texture. In fact, the picture showed the cereal smaller than it actually was.

photo of piece of Post Toasties compared to its picture on the box

photo of piece of Post Toasties compared to its picture on the box

Unfortunately for me, I now know that I won’t be able to win any money for deceptive advertising because it may be an obvious unilateral mistake. Plus I wasn’t really affected by it.

Oh well.

It’s actual size, but it seems much bigger to me.

saying, “When will the new moon be over, So that we may sell grain, And the sabbath, that we may open the wheat market, To make the bushel smaller and the shekel bigger, And to cheat with dishonest scales,

Amos 8:5