Archive for May, 2013


photo of Doris Day

a darkened photo of Doris Day, making her Doris Night

photo of Doris Day with a helmet from a suit of armor, making her Doris Knight

A day of wrath is that day,
A day of trouble and distress,
A day of destruction and desolation,
A day of darkness and gloom,
A day of clouds and thick darkness,

Zephaniah 1:15

Pokemon State Park

We went to Pokagon State Park in northern Indiana. I like to mispronounce it as Pokemon State Park, hence the blog title. I had to issue a correction though, otherwise my kids would have been very disappointed when we got there and there were no Pokemon.

Weekend Recap, with Photos:


If you hadn’t read the introduction to this blog post and you saw this photo

photo of the Potawatomi Inn  at Pokagon State Park in Angola Indiana

would you have guessed it was a state park?

I wouldn’t have.

I made a 360° panoramic photograph of the inn/lodge. Click on it for a larger photo.

panoramic photo of the Potawatomi Inn  at Pokagon State Park in Angola Indiana


Spring Book Thingy 2013

Normally, I do my book review post in mid July, after we have gone on vacation. That’s because I don’t normally read full-length books until summer vacation – that’s when I make time for that.

Since we had a spring-break vacation this year, I got to read a couple books earlier in the year.

image of the book Legal Fables by Ray O. Sage
First book: “Legal Fables” by Ray O. Sage.

This book doesn’t quite qualify because it is not a novel. There is no story; rather, it is a collection of short stories. Each chapter tells how someone (humorously named) has or gets into legal trouble and concludes with a moral (usually that one should consult a lawyer in that situation).

The book was amusing and somewhat educational, especially if you want to know about wills and trusts.

image of the book I Am Half-Sick of Shadows by Alan Bradley
Next book: “I Am Half-Sick of Shadows” (a Flavia de Luce mystery) by Alan Bradley.

If you are not familiar with Flavia de Luce, stop reading this blog, go to your library, and check out the whole series.

If you don’t want the whole series, get the first book (“The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie”). I liked all of them except for the second one (“The Weed that Strings the Hangman’s Bag”).

“I Am Half-Sick of Shadows” was good. I recommend it.

image of the book Speaking From Among the Bones by Alan Bradley
Next book: “Speaking From Among the Bones” (a Flavia de Luce mystery) by Alan Bradley.

“Speaking From Among the Bones” was better than the previous book. It would have been my favorite of the whole series except for the ending. I think it’s not a spoiler to say the book ends, but the story doesn’t. In other words, the author may as well just put a giant “To Be Continued…” at the end of the last chapter of this book.

The mystery part of the story is concluded quite nicely and neatly, but the larger themes that run through the series are not concluded. In fact, they become more complicated. I assume it is being setup for a good conclusion in a later book (next book is scheduled for 2014). But it does leave a dissatisfied taste in one’s brain after finishing the book. Your alternative is to wait until the series is done before you start reading it.

image of the book The Trials of Lance Eliot by M.L. Brown
Next book: “The Trials of Lance Eliot” by M.L. Brown.

I read this book last year (read my review of Lance Eliot), but I read the Kindle version. Now I finally have the paperback version.

Again, the main problem with this book is that it needs a sequel to resolve some questions. The series is supposed to be a trilogy, but the other two books are not done yet. So you can either order “The Trials of Lance Eliot” now, or wait until the trilogy is complete.

image of the book Quitter by Jon Acuff
Last book: “Quitter” by Jon Acuff.

I wasn’t originally planning to read this book, but it was a gift so I didn’t want to be rude.

Why was I not going to read this book? Because I’m content. The types of people who want to read this book might call it complacency rather than contentment.

According to the book, I fall into the group of people who believe the “This job just funds my real life” myth. But it works. And I will probably be content until it doesn’t work.

I want to like the book, and I want to heartily recommend it to other people. But that’s because I have a connection with the author, not because of the book itself. The book was fine; I didn’t dislike the book. For people who are not content with where they are in life, this book should be a good help. I’m just not at a stage in my life where I appreciate the book as much as other people do. Sorry for the lackluster review, Jon.

Then the book will be given to the one who is illiterate, saying, “Please read this.” And he will say, “I cannot read.”

Isaiah 29:12

Regrets, I Have a Few

Here I rank one’s chances of regret for various actions:

Always Regret

  • reading urban dictionary

Usually Regret

  • tattoos

Sometimes Regret

  • pressing Send without thinking “how would this look in court?”

Never Regret

  • opting for bacon

Here is something else on which to ruminate:
Must you gret something first before you can regret it?

And he answered, ‘I will not’; but afterward he regretted it and went.

Matthew 21:29

Vegas Recap, Part 3

Day 6

Zion National Park

photo of the entrance sign at Zion National Park

This day we set out early again, mainly because we had a 3-hour drive to get to Zion. The kids did very well. I did very well too, until we tried to park the vehicle. It should be called Zion National Take-the-bus, because there is no parking.
I should have taken a photo of the madness that was the road into Zion National Park – cars parked all along both sides of the road outside the park, everyone walking from their cars, cars waiting in line to get into the park, cars turning around at the entrance because they didn’t have a reason or reservation to be admitted, shuttle buses going back and forth.

We found a parking lot a half mile from the entrance and parked there. We had to change our plans because we brought extra stuff, assuming we could get to our van between hikes for some refreshments or strollers or whatever. We had to leave the stroller and some snacks. We made our way to the shuttle bus stop and got into the park that way.

There was quite a line of pedestrians to get into the park. It seemed to me the reason was the park service had only one person at the ticket booth. By the time we got in the park, most of us were hot and frazzled. Beta was complaining about being hungry, but he couldn’t eat the rest of his sandwich that we packed because we left it in the van.

All that to say this: if you do plan on going to Zion National Park, be prepared to carry everything you need. Do not expect to have your car available for anything.

Really, they should have put the canyon in a better place, with more parking. Or maybe they could widen the canyon so they could fit more parking spots inside it, closer to the trails. They really didn’t think this national park through very thoroughly when they designed it…

Baby Names 2012

Subtitle: in which I improve the government’s records

Allow me to introduce to you the 2012 SFS Baby Name List. That baby name list is the place to go in case you are wondering what are the most popular baby names in 2012 regardless of how they are spelled. The Social Security baby name list does not adjust the rankings based on alternate spellings (like Catherine/Katherine), but SFS does.

For yet another year, Jacob is NOT the most popular boy’s name in the US – Aiden is. Rather, the name that is pronounced the same as Aiden is the most popular boy’s name in 2012.

Some Stats

  • The top 4 names for the boys are the same as 2011, but not the same order except for Aiden at the top spot (what the government said was the most popular name was actually fourth).
  • The top 2 names for the girls are the same as 2011, and places 3 and 4 just switched spots (the government got the first and fourth places correct, and switched spots 2 and 3).
  • I don’t remember making any name predictions like I did last time, so I have no updates on that.
  • Ethan is the highest-ranked boy’s name that has no spelling variations, passing Noah, which passed William from last year. This means that the boy name ‘Ethen’ has dropped off the rolls.
  • Girl names still have more spelling variations than boy names (301/1000 vs. 214/1000 alternates)
  • The boys still have the name with the highest number of alternate spellings (Aiden with 9 vs. Hailey with 8)
  • There were more Sophias and Emmas this year, but fewer Isabellas and Olivias.
  • Emma is the highest-ranked girl’s name that has no spelling variations, same as last year. It’s simple enough that it’s hard to vary it.

2012 Improved Baby Name List

Click on the link above and peruse to your heart’s content!

Two sons were born to Eber; the name of the one was Peleg, for in his days the earth was divided; and his brother’s name was Joktan.

Genesis 10:25

Light and Fluffy

We bought an item from the grocery store. The packaging described it as “light and fluffy”.

image of a product described as light and fluffy

Just to make sure we are on the same page, let me run through some items I would describe as light and fluffy.

  • Cotton candy
  • Cotton balls
  • Whipped cream (after it leaves the can)
  • Clouds
  • Feathers and/or down

Now that you’re thinking of light and fluffy things, let me show you the product:

image of potatoes described as light and fluffy

Potatoes! No, a potato is not light and fluffy.

If it would hurt to have someone throw an item at you, that item cannot be described as light and fluffy.

I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able

1 Corinthians 3:2