Archive for July, 2012

Warrior Dash 2012 – Photos

Another Warrior Dash has come and gone. I was a little slower in this one, but I’ll blame most of that on the swimming. Last year there was some water but no swimming. This year we had to swim somewhere around 70 yards. And I mean really swim, in that you could not touch the bottom of the lake. That was in running clothes, with running shoes, and after having run for a mile. Even in a swimsuit and not having run, I am not that great of a swimmer.

On the bright side, the swim was a nice cooling-off break from running.

The mud this year seemed thinner. Last year it was more like a milkshake. This year it was more like dirty water. Now I sound like a snob: “The mud was not to my liking.” Don’t get the wrong idea – the race was still fun.

Now on to some pictures:

Warrior Dash 2012 – Grammar

As I set here recovering from the Warrior Dash, I have to to reflect on what made the WD a good event (I was going to use the word enjoyable, but that does not seem appropriate). Several things came to mind, but one that did not was grammar.

To show you why, I am providing the following image, which is what WD tells you to bring to the race.

screen shot of what to bring on the day of the Warrior Dash

And here’s a close-up of the section for what not to bring.

screen shot of what to bring on the day of the Warrior Dash, including no weapons, no alcohol, no glass containers, and a clean shaved chin is discouraged.

Any guesses as to the grammar problem?

They left out a hyphen.

I have extra hyphens here. I could donate them to any promotional or informational materials that can’t afford them.

They said that you should not have a “clean shaved chin”. Since clean and shaved are separate words, not joined by a hyphen, we can consider them separately.

So one could bring a shaved chin that is dirty.
And one could bring a bearded chin that is clean.
But one cannot bring a shaved chin that is clean.

The hyphen helps you to avoid ambiguity – do not be afraid to use it.

It should be “clean-shaved chin”. You want clean to modify shaved and clean-shaved to modify chin. You do not want both clean and shaved to modify chin.

But maybe they did want to say what it said. Maybe a clean bearded chin is acceptable.

that eighty men came from Shechem, from Shiloh, and from Samaria with their beards shaved off and their clothes torn and their bodies gashed, having grain offerings and incense in their hands to bring to the house of the LORD.

Jeremiah 41:5

Southern Definitions

Disclaimer: I’m not very Southern. I’m not from the South. So all I have to go on for this post are some vague stereotypes.


  • y’awl : /yôl/ : noun : a tool for poking holes in Southern things
  • pshawl : /(p)SHôl/ : noun : an outer garment that you cannot believe she’s actually wearing
  • y’all : /yôl/ : noun : a detergent used for cleaning barbeque stains from fabric

picture of y'all - the laundry detergent from the South

Your southern sector shall extend from the wilderness of Zin along the side of Edom, and your southern border shall extend from the end of the Salt Sea eastward.

Numbers 34:3

Mr. Customer

Businesses should address customers formally.

Not necessarily “Sir” or “Ma’am” (although I wouldn’t complain if they did) – a simple “Mr. So-and-so” or “Miss So-and-so” would suffice.

I don’t know when the change started, but I do know when I first noticed it. My family was checking into a hotel a few years ago and the clerk called my dad by his first name when she handed him his room key. That surprised me, because until that point people in retail settings have always called my dad by his last name (with a “Mr.” in front).

And that’s the way it should be: when talking to a customer, call him by an appropriate title.

Maybe stores are trying to differentiate themselves by appearing more comfortable, more welcoming. More of a small-town place where everybody knows your name.

It doesn’t work that way. You call people by their first names because you actually know them, not because you read their names off their credit cards.

Perhaps a customer likes to be called by his first name. He is still free to inform the clerk or cashier or waitress to call him by his first name. But to default to being on a first-name basis? I see that as a decline in manners and civility.

Another situation, which is related to the previous point, is when making reservations. Whether you call ahead or it’s just a busy night and you have to wait for a table, the receptionist/maitre d’ will ask for your name. I have noticed more and more people giving their first names. And more and more businesses expecting first names.

When I give my last name, the hostess will repeat it but she will change it to the closest-sounding first name. Then I have to correct her and spell it. That has happened enough that now, when asked for my name, I will usually start with “My last name is” and then give my name and then spell it. I try to leave no room for error.

If prompted for a first name, I am tempted to reply “Mario”.

Intercom-type static noise
Mario, party of 3. Mario, party of 3.

I picture anyone who happens to be a Nintendo fan also waiting in the lobby smiling to himself when he hears that announcement.

photo of Mario Party 3 for the N64

For the sake of Jacob My servant,
And Israel My chosen one,
I have also called you by your name;
I have given you a title of honor
Though you have not known Me.

Isaiah 45:4

Yet Another Trip to the Beach

Warning: vacation recap ahead.

Visit 2010’s recap of our trip to Maranatha for a refresher course, or to see how similar trips to Maranatha are. We want them to be similar, because kids need traditions.

I tried one new (new to me, at least) ice cream flavor at the sweet shop: Caramel Apple. It was slightly disappointing; I would not get it again. There was not much flavor. If I had read the full description on one of the posters I saw afterwards, I might not have tried it in the first place. The poster called it something like a “lightly-flavored” ice cream. In other words: bland. My favorite is still Royal Coconut, which they did not have there this year.

Now on to the photos:
Like all good vacation spots with kids’ programs, there was an opportunity for tie-dye T-shirts. As usual, Alpha was the only one of our children who wanted to participate.

picture of a child making a tie-dye T-shirt at camp


Christian Trapper Keeper

This post was inspired by both Jon’s post about the Edifi and back-to-school sales.

The idea here is “What if the concept of the Edifi had been applied about 25 years ago?”

There would be no electronic tablets to embrace and extend, so they (the nebulous “they” in this case is the Christian marketplace) would have set their sights on the equivalent: the Trapper Keeper.

picture of the Brother's Keeper - the Christian version of the Trapper Keeper.

Of course, it would be made by a company called “Mead and Persian”.

Then the LORD said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” And he said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?”

Genesis 4:9

Miranda Rights for Parents

Just a warning to those of you whose kids are too young to talk: when they do talk, they will remind you of things you said. So please remember your rights.

You have the right to remain silent.
Anything you say can and will be held against you in a subsequent disagreement.
You do not need an attorney – you are the parent.

In other words, don’t promise your children things in order to placate them temporarily. They will remember what you told them and will ask about it later (“But you said we could get the squirt guns after dinner…”). You as a parent should mean what you say.

To me they listened and waited, And kept silent for my counsel.

Job 29:21