Archive for April, 2015

Modern Witch Trials

Not that there’s much difference, but the intent was Modern Trials of Witches, not Trials of Modern Witches.

image of Salem witch trials in 2015


NFL in April, 2015

In the last week, we had the announcement of the 2015 NFL schedule. Now that we know who will play whom and when, we can start predicting wins and losses.

I keep my predictions over at Some Fun Site. View results of previous football seasons.

2014 Summary

Last year, I predicted that

  • Cleveland Browns = 4-12
  • Detroit Lions = 10-6
  • New York Giants = 5-11
  • Pittsburgh Steelers = 10-6

How they actually did was

  • Cleveland Browns = 7-9
  • Detroit Lions = 11-5
  • New York Giants = 6-10
  • Pittsburgh Steelers = 11-5

Pretty good, except for the Browns.


Spring Book Thingy, 2015

For some reason, I’ve been reading books when it’s not summer vacation. Rather than wait until my annual summer book review and write an interminably-long post, I decided to write about them now.

Here they are, approximately in the order that I read them.

  • No Talking by Andrew Clements
    Story about kids in elementary school. I read this just because Alpha was. It was mildly amusing. Nothing objectionable that I remember.
  • A Love that Multiplies by the Duggar Family
    This is not a sequel to 20 and Counting. It is about one-third rehash and two-thirds new stuff. The other book was more about their life stories and this one is more about how and why they do the things they do. Not necessarily for children to read. Most parts are fine, but some topics are geared more towards those familiar with, umm, childbirth-type topics.
  • Boys Adrift by Leonard Sax
    I laughed, I cried, I worried.

    What is our transition event for manhood? What ritual must American boys complete in order to be considered a man? And I mean a good, positive cultural event. Killing his first antelope maybe?

    It’s a little reminiscent of the point of the movie Courageous.

    There are a lot of things working against males in the world today – that was the part that had me worried. Mainly the various chemicals. Don’t believe me – read the book.

    Not for kids, but I think parents – especially parents of young boys – should read this book. And his previous book Why Gender Matters. His religious and cultural views don’t always align with Christianity, but his conclusions are good.

  • Good Pictures Bad Pictures by Kristen Jenson
    Preventative maintenance is recommended for a number of things – your car, your water heater, your furnace, etc. How about preventative maintenance for your child’s mind? Specifically your child and the internet. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, right? A few minutes here and there going through this book with your child and discussing expectations and preparing him to avoid bad things online will save him from bigger issues later in life.

    This book is for a parent to read to a child. Have it on hand and go over it with him before you hand him the keys to the internet.

  • Your Legacy by James Dobson
    This reminded me a little of what Rob Rienow talks about. Interesting background into his family history. The stuff that’s not family history is stuff you probably already know but need to be reminded of anyway. It’s meant for parents, but if your upper elementary-aged child wanted to read it I wouldn’t see why he shouldn’t.
  • The Search for WondLa by Tony DiTerlizzi
    Good book. Interesting and imaginative world.

    This is the first book of a trilogy, but it stands on its own – the ending is satisfactory without any other books.

    I’d say 3rd or 4th grade on up. There is a bit of violence, but most of it is of the dissection-of-animals variety.

  • A Hero for WondLa by Tony DiTerlizzi
    Second book of the series. It doesn’t stand on its own – the ending does not feel like an ending. There is one bad word – but it is not so bad that the FCC bans it.
  • The Battle for WondLa by Tony DiTerlizzi
    Third book of the series. And the final book, as far as I can tell. A little more violent than the others, but nothing particularly gruesome unless your child is a vegetarian for humanitarian reasons.

    One of the characters does go into some vague musing about truth and it could possibly confuse young minds. Set those minds straight with the poem of the Blind Men and the Elephant. And evolution is mentioned in passing – more of a synonym of “change” than of a belief.

  • Out of the Silent Planet by C.S. Lewis
    Science fiction by a classic author not normally associated with stories of outer space. It was more interesting than I expected but, as it was written before people actually flew into space, it feels dated. I’d say high school on up.

Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.

1 Timothy 4:16

Tire Ladder

Inspired by Pinterest, my wife came up with some ideas for our yard. Here is the one I accomplished.

First step: acquire old tires.

This was an easy step. On my morning run I had seen four tires, abandoned on the side of the road. So I took the old minivan and picked them up. Then I went to the hardware store and got some lumber (some of that lumber is for a different project).

image of old tires in the back of a van

It’s nice having an old minivan into which I can throw muddy tires without worrying about messing anything up.

Family Conversations, Part 24

The scene: I see Gamma is drinking a cup of something.
Me : Is that coffee?
Gamma : I don’t have coffee – I’m not a grandpa!

The scene: I have just returned from running.
Gamma, to me : You stink – you’re all sweaty.
Gamma, loudly : Everybody get your nose shields!

The scene: Everyone is buckled in the minivan and I’m driving.
Beta : I’m going to Dairy Queen! Who’s with me?

Picture it like he’s William Wallace.

The scene: We watched Disney’s The Aristocats the day before.
Delta : Why does everybody want to be a cat?
Me : Because a cat’s the only cat who knows where it’s at.
Delta : Do dogs know where they’re at?
Me : Not as well as cats do.

And sometimes not at all.

The scene: I catch Beta wearing boots inside the house.
Me : Don’t wear your boots in the house!
Beta : It’s okay then – they’re not mine.

Okay, don’t wear anyone’s boots in the house.

Delta : Why did the turkey cross the road?
Gamma : Because the chicken was on vacation.
Delta : No, because the tornado was going to blow him up!

King Solomon made 200 large shields of beaten gold, using 600 shekels of beaten gold on each large shield.

2 Chronicles 9:15

Pot-Ready Spaghetti

Normally, making spaghetti involves breaking the noodles in half. If you don’t, it ends up looking like this:

image of uncooked spaghetti sticking out of a pot

Because the noodles are longer than the pot is wide.

But someone realized that there is no reason for all spaghetti noodles to be that long, since people usually break them for cooking or cut them for eating. So grocery stores are now selling these:

image of a short spaghetti to fit in a pot

That’s right – pot-ready spaghetti.

It’s the same amount of spaghetti as usual, just twice as many noodles and half as long.

But that got be thinking – there must be another way to solve this problem. And there is!

It’s the spaghetti-ready pot.

image of a pot shaped to hold spaghetti

Why do the noodles have to change? Why can’t the pot change?

Speak a parable to the rebellious house and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “Put on the pot, put it on and also pour water in it;”‘

Ezekiel 24:3

About a Kindergartener

Here is my kindergartener’s About Me poster

image of a kindergarten About Me poster

He filled it out at home and then took it into class at the end of the week. We did add photos to the empty spots.