Archive for August, 2012

New Cheerleader

In a little-publicized press release, the NFL announced that teams who currently do not have cheerleading squads will be supplied with cheerleaders from the Recording Industry Association of America.

comic of Lady Gaga cheering for a football game, accompanied by Ryan Seacrest

Cheerleader (offscreen): Rah! Rah! Sis-boom-bah!
Cheerleader (offscreen): Rah! Rah! Sis-boom-bah!
Lady Gaga (on a football field): Rah! Rah! Sis-boom-bah!
Lady Gaga: Caught in a bad romance
Ryan Seacrest: Looks like they went
Ryan Seacrest: Three and … OUT!

Would He not let my few days alone?
Withdraw from me that I may have a little cheer

Job 10:20

Summer Book Thingy 2012


In the normal course of events, I read about 2 books a year – whatever I can get through during our summer vacation.

This year, however, I made it through 7 books – 4 on vacation and 3 at home on whatever evenings I could manage.

But first, a disclaimer: I actually read over 100 books a year. But 99% of those are books that I am reading to the children and have read bunch of times before. They involve characters such as Papa, Mama, Brother, and Sister Bear. Or Little Critters. Or a Tank Engine. You get the idea.

My book reading started earlier this year. There was a book sale and my wife got Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief for Alpha. We had heard a little bit about the book but did not know if it would be appropriate for him to read, so I started reading it to gauge its content.

I was going to read a couple of chapters one evening, but when I finally looked at the clock it was after midnight and I was halfway through the book. I finished it a couple of nights later. It was very engaging. I do not oppose Alpha’s reading the book, but he’s not old enough yet. Maybe 6th grade. He’ll understand some more of the themes then, and the monsters might not be as frightening. Think about it – should a kid in elementary school be reading descriptions of the Underworld? How long would it take him to close his eyes that night?

We visited my sister and family not long after that. It turns out that my nephew has the whole Percy Jackson series – all 5 books – so he lent them to me for my vacation reading.

Naturally Yogurt Flavor

[happy music]
Hello again everyone! Welcome to another episode of Hyphen-Man!

[suspenseful music]
Today’s case involves a box. A cereal box. See for yourselves:

Text from a yogurt Cheerios box that describes it as a naturally yogurt flavored coating

Transcript – the box says:
Sweetened Whole Grain Oat Cereal
with a Naturally Yogurt Flavored Coating

Only Hyphen-Man can clear this mess!

Little does he suspect that the evil masterminds are trying to distract him by adding “ly” to words that don’t need it.

[faster suspenseful music]
“Naturally Yogurt?” he questions. “Yogurt is a noun – it shouldn’t be modified by an adverb!”

“Adjective-Man!” he calls. “I need your help!”

Hyphen-Man rushes to add a hyphen between Yogurt and Flavored while Adjective-Man arrives and starts removing the “ly”.

The trap worked! They continue their tasks, not realizing the words should have been rearranged first…

[commercial break]
Should it be “Natural Yogurt-Flavored Coating” or “Natural-Yogurt Flavored Coating” or “Naturally-Flavored Yogurt Coating”? Oh, the choices, the ambiguity, the tension!

Tune in next week, when Hyphen-Man fixes the phrase “Sweetened Whole Grain Oat Cereal”!

So I was left alone and saw this great vision; yet no strength was left in me, for my natural color turned to a deathly pallor, and I retained no strength.

Daniel 10:8

Maybe Rae Jepsen

comic of David Letterman asking Carly Rae Jepsen if he can call her Maybe

Late-show host: Ladies and gentlemen … Miss Jepsen!
Carly Rae Jepsen: “Miss Jepsen” sounds too formal.
Late-show host: Can I call you Maybe?

I thought the comic could use another panel, but I decided to give the options here instead. What should Carly Rae Jepsen’s response be?

  • No, but you can call me a taxi.
  • Sure, just don’t call me late for dinner.
  • I am serious… and don’t call me Shirley.
  • Good night Gracie.

Any other good lines?

Then the commander of the officials assigned new names to them; and to Daniel he assigned the name Belteshazzar, to Hananiah Shadrach, to Mishael Meshach and to Azariah Abed-nego.

Daniel 1:7

Vacation II Photos

Some of you may be thinking “Hey, we already had a round of vacation photos from 2012!”

You are correct, but we took another vacation so now you must endure another set of photos and recap.

I suppose you don’t have to, since you are free to browse to another blog instead of reading this one.

Day 1: Going UP

We drove to the Western Hemisphere’s longest suspension bridge:

road sign showing the distance to the Mackinac Bridge

Then we drove across it:

view of the Mackinac Bridge while driving over it


The Rest of the Story

A Letter to the Couple Who was Watching Us from a Window

Dear People I Don’t Know:

I got the impression that you thought I overreacted. You saw my child start crying, then you saw me yank him over to our vehicle and start smacking him.

Yes, I really did do that.

You may have thought to yourself that I was a bit harsh on him, that I should realize that 3-year-olds just cry sometimes. Maybe you thought I should have relaxed, cut him some slack. Maybe you thought my nerves were fried or I didn’t get enough sleep the night before.

I don’t know what you were thinking, but I do know that you were watching us. You were right next to the window of a nearby building and I could see your expression. It wasn’t a full-fledged glare, but it did convey concern.

That concern is what I want to alleviate. You see, although you had a pretty good view of our situation, your view was not good enough – you couldn’t see the yellow jackets that were stinging my son.


The Touristy-Looking Guy with the Floppy Wide-Brimmed Hat

And that’s how our Tuesday on vacation started. It was supposed to be a fun day – playing miniature golf, eating lunch at a restaurant, and visiting a museum.

Not-So-Great Lakes

Our two vacations this year have taken us to two of the Great Lakes. With the water levels down slightly, I got to thinking “what if they weren’t so great anymore? What would they be called?”

So I present to you the Good Lakes.

First, a refresher on the names of the Great Lakes:
Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario.

map of the Great Lakes

Now, the names of the lakes if they are downgraded to Good Lakes:
Average, Michigan State, Eagle, Westo, and Manitoba.

map of the Great Lakes, but with different names to make them the Good Lakes

Average should make sense to anyone.
Michigan State will make sense to those who know what the Big Ten is.
Eagle should make sense to those who know a little bit about Eastern Michigan University.
Westo won’t make sense to anyone. Really, off the top of your head, could you come up with something that would rank below an Erie? I had to look this one up. I’ll save you the trouble and tell you that the Westo tribe is what the Erie tribe became after they got kicked out of the Lake Erie region by the Iroquois.
Manitoba should make sense to us northerners. And if you’re from Manitoba, rest assured that I based the ranking on geographical area and population, not on the quality of the people in the province.

I did not go to the next step of naming the Bad Lakes. Of course, the first one would be Lake Inferior. I’ll let you, dear reader, figure out the names of the other lakes.

Now on one of those days Jesus and His disciples got into a boat, and He said to them, “Let us go over to the other side of the lake.” So they launched out.

Luke 8:22