Archive for August, 2011

Pun-ctuation: Feline

No explanation needed for this one:

feline punctuation pun: cat plus apostrophe equals catastrophe

cat + apostrophe = catastrophe

Thus says the Lord GOD, ‘A disaster, unique disaster, behold it is coming!

Ezekiel 7:5

Raspberries 2011

It is raspberry season, so we took our annual trip to go pick raspberries. It’s not much of a trip, since it’s only a few miles away. It’s quite convenient, in fact, especially with 3 children in tow.

picture of children picking raspberries

The baby was sleeping, so I took the other children.
Last year, the older two did a decent job of picking the berries.
Last year, I had Gamma in a backpack carrier, so he did fine too.

This year, the older two just ran around and played in the open field.
I sent them there after too many complaints about bees and mosquitoes and thorns.

picture of some raspberry bushes

Gamma just stuck by my legs and asked to be picked up or carried or to go home the whole time.

picture of children picking raspberries

I picked a few pints of raspberries.

picture of a container of fresh raspberries

The boys got to see some sandhill cranes, which apparently like to frequent the raspberry farm.

picture of two sandhill cranes on a gravel driveway

And that’s good enough for a while.
We froze about half the raspberries, so we can enjoy them throughout the year.

and as he sowed, some seeds fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate them up.

Matthew 13:4

Introducing Meta App

Everyone has an app for me to download and use on my phone – the electric company, the grocery store, etc.

If I installed every app that was offered to me, I’d have hundreds and hundreds of apps. It would be a pain to organize them and find what I wanted quickly.

I have a solution for this problem, and I think it’s going to be a killer app. I call it the Meta App.

What it’s going to be is one app that can display a variety of information and handle a variety of tasks. The user would simply type the name of the company or service into the app-finder field, and the Meta App would call up the code from the target and serve it to the user.

Of course, to make things easier for everyone, the Meta App would use a common programming language so that apps would behave the same across the board (and across mobile phone platforms). Maybe I’d call it SGML, for Some Guy’s Markup Language…

Don’t you think Meta App would be much better than so many individual apps?

What’s that you say? A browser? No, I don’t know what you’re talking about. That does sound useful though. Why don’t more companies take advantage of this “browser” rather than developing their own apps?

who formerly was useless to you, but now is useful both to you and to me.

Philemon 1:11

The Parable of Fannie Mae

This might make more sense if you’re familiar with the news story that picked up steam last week about Fannie Mae. If you haven’t been paying attention to the news, read this article or this article to get up to speed, then come back here and continue.

And you should also be familiar with the parable found in Matthew 18:23-35. If you are not, go read the parable of the ungrateful servant, then come back here and continue.

Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain president, which would take account of his agencies.

And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed $317,000,000,000.

But forasmuch as it had not to pay, the president commanded it to be sold, and its officers, and all that it had, and payment to be made.

The agency therefore fell down, and pleaded with him, saying, “Mr. President, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.”

Then the president of that country was moved with compassion, and bailed out the agency.

But the same agency went out, and found one of its mortgagors, which owed it $5,000: and it laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, “Pay me what you owe!”

And the homeowner fell down at its doors, and besought it, saying, “Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.”

And it would not: but went and foreclosed the house, till it should be sold at auction.

So when the other mortgagors saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto the president all that was done.

Then the president, after that he had called the agency, said unto it,
“O thou wicked bureaucracy, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me:
Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy debtors, even as I had pity on thee?”

And the president was wroth, and delivered it unto bankruptcy, till it should pay all that was due unto him.

In case you had trouble following the story:
Original version:
king forgives servant,
servant does not forgive other servant,
king gets mad at first servant.

USA version:
Fannie Mae gets bailed out so that it can help people stay in their homes,
Fannie Mae keeps its money and continues foreclosing on people,
President/Congress gets mad at Fannie Mae.

For a nice ending to the story, we would see some oversight of the quasi-governmental agencies such that the bailout money is used for its intended purpose.

Even better, the bailout money could be taken from them and given directly to the people – cut out the middleman. In which case tax money is taken from the people and then given back to the people. Might as well just not tax ’em.

So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.

Matthew 18:35

What Color Car?

On the way home last night, I saw a white car. That would not normally be remarkable enough to appear on this blog, but this was not a normal car.

This car claimed that it was green.

picture of a white car that claims to be a green taxi

Clearly, the car is not green – it is white.

A green car would look like this:

picture of a white car that claims to be a green taxi

If they had used the term “eco” then there would be no problem. “Green” is too ambiguous – don’t use it in your product name. Well-known products can be grandfathered into this rule, such as Jolly Green Giant.

He explores the mountains for his pasture
And searches after every green thing.

Job 39:8

No Place is Perfect

This conversation took place a while ago as we were driving somewhere.

Alpha: Daddy, can we go somewhere where we don’t need to worry about anything?
Me: Why? What do you have to worry about?
I think we’ll be okay. Every place has something like that.
Paris! Maybe the Eiffel Tower will fall over.
Maybe, but probably not.
Beta: What does Florida have?
Alpha: Gators!
Me: And hurricanes. And California has earthquakes.
Alpha: And lots of fires.
Me: Oh, and we have mosquitoes. And we have bees.
Beta: Bees are nice. They help the flowers.
Alpha: Male mosquitos are nice.
Beta: They help the flowers just like bees?
Alpha: But female mosquitoes are not nice. They sting you.

I hope he learns not to worry so much – he’s going to have plenty more worries as he grows up, so it’s best to start with as few as possible.

From the LORD of hosts you will be punished with thunder and earthquake and loud noise, With whirlwind and tempest and the flame of a consuming fire

Isaiah 29:6

Airplane Mode

I think that someday people will look back to this decade and wonder “What were they thinking?” regarding cell phones and tablets and notebooks and laptops. It’s about the same way that we wonder what people were thinking regarding cigarettes 50 years ago.

There are studies and research and stuff about the negative effects (or lack thereof) of radiation from cell phones. The results are mixed, but studies are always like that. (And by “radiation” I mean electromagnetic radiation, not nuclear radiation. “Radiation” as in something that radiates or travels outward from a point source, in this case the radiation is electromagnetic waves.)

Until the results start converging, I prefer to play it safe.

Every year, there are more and more signals added to the air waves. First it was just radio. Then came TV. Then microwave ovens.
Cordless phones.
Baby monitors.
Video monitors.
Cell phones.
I don’t know what the breaking point is, but I don’t want to find out.

  • I use my cell phone as my alarm clock, so it stays on my nightstand (right near my head) all night.
  • My kids will occasionally play games on my phone. And their bodies and brains are still growing and developing.
  • No one ever calls me, other than my wife. That’s fine – I like to keep the cell phone for urgent matters (They’re out of the sausage links that you put on the grocery list. Do you want something else instead or should I skip that one? Okay. Bye.) and not for chit-chat.

Because of all those reasons, I put my cell phone into airplane mode when I get home from work each day. There are still cell signals flying through the house, but they are reduced. My phone does not generate any cell signals (or wi-fi either).

As an added benefit, I don’t need to worry about my kids inadvertently buying or downloading games or clicking on ads or calling someone while they’re playing a game. And most of the games use a server to generate the ads, so without an internet connection, the ads don’t even appear in the games. And no phone call will interrupt my game.

That’s only at home. At work, I keep my phone in normal mode. But I don’t wear it. I set it on my desk so the radiation-generating point is not so close to my body.

Time may prove that EMR does not effect any health problems. But until then, why not play it safe? It takes me just a couple of taps to put my phone in airplane mode. It’s free and easy.

For the waves of death encompassed me;
The torrents of destruction overwhelmed me;

2 Samuel 22:5