Archive for June, 2014

Ketchup Bottles

An Open Letter to Restaurants

Here’s fair warning, restaurants: we are on to you.

We have caught on to your plans to deceive us, to make us think we have a full bottle of ketchup at our table.

Well, it’s not working.

We have seen past your little disguise. Past the solid-red plastic.

Oh yes, we know it’s the bottle that is red, and that the red is not the ketchup inside.

Why don’t you just give up?

Let us see how much ketchup is in the bottle. That way we don’t have to go through the effort of reaching the bottle, only to find it lacks substance.

And it will save us time for when we snatch a bottle of ketchup from an unoccupied table, only to discover that bottle is empty too.

What are you hiding?

Use clear plastic bottles like everyone else does.


A Customer

If I were tasked with making restaurant customers’ lives harder, I would keep the opaque red bottles. And I would add weights to the bottles.

That way, customers could no longer use the coping mechanisms they have found useful – hefting the bottle to assess the weight.

There is a positive correlation between weight and ketchup volume. I would exploit that by making each empty bottle weigh as much as a normal full bottle should.

Gotta stay one step ahead of the customer if you want to stay in business.

Why did you flee secretly and deceive me, and did not tell me so that I might have sent you away with joy and with songs, with timbrel and with lyre

Genesis 31:27


image of a Sudoku puzzle with Count Dooku instead of numbers

A cross between a Sudoku puzzle and Count Dooku from Star Wars, in case you are wondering what this is all about.

So they arose and went over by count, twelve for Benjamin and Ish-bosheth the son of Saul, and twelve of the servants of David.

2 Samuel 2:15

Reviewing the Reviews

My son was interested in reading a particular book from the library. We were not familiar with the author nor the series, so I set out to learn something about it before giving our approval.

My normal source for age-appropriateness and objectionable-content reviews of books is Common Sense Media, but they did not have anything for this book. So I thought I would look up other reviews, such as at Goodreads or Amazon or other places that people review books.

One of the strengths of the internet is that anyone can join discussions and contribute things, i.e. crowdsourcing. Reviews should, and many times do, benefit from the myriad inputs.

But one of the weaknesses of the internet is that the quality of contributions vary wildly.

In this case, most of the reviews were worthless. Most of them were a star rating (mandatory), an expression of sorts (I LOVED THIS BOOK!!!), and then a plot summary (It was a very exciting book that starts with the such-and-such and then this happens and they have to figure out this thing, etc.) There were very few helpful reviews. The reviews that were helpful seemed to use the format of listing pros and cons.

An Open Letter to Book Reviewers

Dear Reviewer of Books:

If there is already a plot summary of the book in the page content or in the other reviews on the page, then do not write your own plot summary.

Seriously, a book review page does not need dozens of plot summaries.

Give us your star ranking, some things you like about it, and some things you don’t like about it. What is your perspective of the book?

How about this: read five other comments and then make sure your comment/review is different from them. Do not duplicate anything from them.


People who are trying to use the reviews

In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel saw a dream and visions in his mind as he lay on his bed; then he wrote the dream down and related the following summary of it.

Daniel 7:1

Lego Fest, Part 2

We recently attended Lego Fest.

large sign at the Lego Kids Fest

Although the Lego people will tell you that the official name is Lego Kids Fest, everyone calls it Lego Fest.

(If all this sounds familiar, then you might be thinking of what I posted about our trip to Lego Fest back in 2012.)

We started out with the art this time. The art section gives you white square plates and a bunch of single-stud pieces to create your artwork. Then it all gets hung on some walls.

Gamma chose to follow one of their templates:

penguin art at the Lego Kids Fest


Hide and Seek

I was playing hide and seek with Gamma the other day. I was quite amused at the result, but he was so earnest in trying to hide.

I’ll let you try to find him.

image of a child playing hide and seek in a shower curtain

Micaiah said, “Behold, you shall see on that day when you enter an inner room to hide yourself.”

1 Kings 22:25

Let It Goto

There have been plenty of parodies and covers of “Let It Go” from Frozen. The fad has, for the most part, died down, which means it’s time for me to do something before it’s completely off the radar.

Hence, today’s post.

Now this isn’t a full cover of the song. In fact, it’s barely even an outline.

It was to be the Software Programmer’s Version of “Let It Go”.

image of the coder's version of Let It Go, AKA Let It Goto

The screen glows white in the basement tonight
<Insert some clever wording related to computers>

Let it <something software related>
Let it <something software related>

The code never bothered me anyway.

What happened was I thought of the tagline first (switching code in for cold). Then I tried to think of changes to the rest of the song to fit with the theme.

I got the first line and was happy with that, but then I was stumped with the rest of it. So, rather than foist a complete but sub-par product upon you, I decided to post an incomplete but par product.

She said to them, “Go to the hill country, so that the pursuers will not happen upon you, and hide yourselves there for three days until the pursuers return. Then afterward you may go on your way.”

Joshua 2:16

Some Blog! Again

It’s June, the start of the summer quarter. Time for me to update the theme on this blog. This one is a theme I put together a few years ago. Slight updates, but pretty close to what I had back then.


Whose confidence is fragile, And whose trust a spider’s web.

Job 8:14