Archive for January, 2016

All Over That

Here is a rare photo of Reggie White covering Jerry Rice. He’s all over him, as the sportscasters would say.

image of Reggie White covering Jerry Rice - the football version of White on Rice

The photo is rare because I made it up – pieced it together from other photos. I just wanted to make that pun.

And his appearance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow.

Matthew 28:3

Tongue Twister Winner

We had an impromptu tongue twister competition the other day. The winner was our youngest child – the 4-year-old.

Beta proposed a tongue twister, which Gamma promptly tried and failed. Then I thought I would propose one which I always mangle: “Word World”. For those of you without young kids, Word World is a TV show that teaches kids letter and word sounds. For some reason, I can never say the name of the show correctly. It usually comes out as “world world”. So I figured it would make a good tongue twister for other people too.

However, the first person to tackle the “word world” tongue-twister was Delta. Being only four, he hasn’t quite mastered his Rs and Ls, so it came out as “wuud wuud, wuud wuud, wuud wuud”. He said it correctly, for how he pronounces things. But the rest of us forfeited, knowing we couldn’t compete with that.

Then Moses said to the Lord, “Please, Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither recently nor in time past, nor since You have spoken to Your servant; for I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.”

Exodus 4:10



Precious in the sight of the Lord Is the death of His godly ones.

Psalm 116:15

Address Mishap

We send out of bunch of Christmas cards. I prepare them in large batches, dozens at a time. I’ll print a bunch of envelopes with addresses, then I’ll stuff them and seal them, then I’ll stamp them. Kind of like a one-man assembly line.

I was in the middle of addressing the envelopes and realized that one particular person had moved and I didn’t have her new address. Since I knew we would be seeing her in a couple of days and I could just hand her the envelope, I wrote “Some New Address” for the address line. I still wanted to address the envelope so that I could check it off the list and we would remember whom it was for.

But I made the mistake of keeping it in the stack of other envelopes. So it continued in the assembly line. It got stuffed, sealed, and stamped. And then mailed. I didn’t realize my mistake until a few hours later.

When we saw her later, I recounted what happened. I figured either the post office would somehow realize it needed to forward the letter to her new address or it would get returned to us for a bad address.

A week came and went. Christmas came and went. Then New Year’s. The letter finally was returned to us last week, over a month after it was mailed.

If you have something with critical timing, make sure you get the address correct. Because if it’s undeliverable, you might not know for a while.

Thus says the king, “Do not let Hezekiah deceive you, for he will not be able to deliver you from my hand;”

2 Kings 18:29

All-Haiku Bowl Results, 2015

Okay, okay, it is 2016 at this point, but the results are headlines as 2015 because they match with the 2015 predictions made in 2015 for the 2015 season. Also, the results are not all-haiku, just the predictions were. A more accurate title would be “Results for the All-Haiku Predictions made in 2015”.

Before the bowl games commenced for this past college football season, I made some predictions. Here, for your reading enjoyment, is the tally of those predictions. Note that the results are not in haiku form, in contrast to the predictions.


Here is the list (correct predictions in green, incorrect in red):

Arizona over New Mexico

Utah over BYU

App. St. over Ohio

SJSU over Georgia St.

Arkansas St. over La. Tech

WKU over USF

Utah St. over Akron

Temple over Toledo

NIU over BSU

BG over Georgia So.


Cincinnati over SDSU

Connecticut over Marshall

Washington St. over Miami FL

Southern Miss over Washington

Duke over Indiana

VT over Tulsa

UCLA over Nebraska

Navy over Pitt

CMU over Minnesota

Air Force over Cal

UNC over Baylor

Nevada over Colorado St.

LSU over Texas Tech

Memphis over Auburn

Mississippi St. over NC St.

Texas AM over Louisville

Wisconsin over USC

Houston over FSU

Clemson over Oklahoma

Michigan St. over Alabama

Northwestern over Tennessee

Michigan over Florida

ND over Ohio St.

Iowa over Stanford

Ok. St. over Mississippi

Georgia over Penn St.

Arkansas over KSU

TCU over Oregon

WVU over Arizona St.

Clemson over Michigan State

And here are the results of the various forecasting methodologies (see the first year for description of the methodologies) (also, use the word methodologies if you want to sound important; methods would work just as well and is shorter) :

  • Some Blog Site picks were 21-19 (similar to last year)
  • CBS120 picks were 24-16
  • HTW was 24-16 for the official Home Team Wins (HTW)
  • HTW was 20-20 for the Geographical Home Team (GHT)
  • Isaacson-Tarbell Postulate (ITP) was 24-20 if using HTW
  • ITP was 20-20 if using GHT

I won’t analyze the results as much as I did last year, mainly because I had more time and more sleep last year. But it was a decent year for all predictors – every method was at or over 50%. I just need to figure how to better predict outcomes. Especially against the spread.

Because of the disparities between institutions and between conferences, it is tougher to predict bowl games than NFL games. But one thing seems to be pretty consistent: if you don’t want to do a lot of research, just pick the home team.

Thoughts on the season’s results

Last year, we could have used an 8-team playoff. This year, I’m happy with the 4 teams. If we’re going to stick with 4 teams, then the non-conference games during the season should be with a similar conference (e.g. Big 12 teams would play B1G or SEC teams). You don’t need 4 games against cupcakes. How about 2 cupcakes and 2 interconference games?


Since the strength of the conference has something to do with the results, I thought I would tally each conference’s bowl game record for the 2015 (and the first bit of 2016) season.

  • AAC: 2-6
  • ACC: 4-6*
  • Big 10: 5-5
  • Big 12: 3-4
  • Independent: 0-2
  • MAC: 3-4
  • MW: 4-4
  • PAC12: 6-4
  • SEC: 9-2*
  • Sun Belt: 2-2
  • USA: 3-2

* additional win/loss due to playoff + championship game

Normally, I take this spot to write different sentences each claiming a different conference as the best because of some different statistic. But this year, no conference could beat the SEC in any stat – they won the most bowl games, they won the championship, and they tied for most teams sent to bowls. So, I must admit that the SEC is the uncontested best conference in NCAA DIV I football.

Next year: playoffs again! A chance for someone other than the SEC to win!

Then the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Did I not tell you that he would not prophesy good concerning me, but evil?”

1 Kings 22:18

Misdelivered Mail

Occasionally, the post office will send us someone else’s letter. Sometimes the address is close, maybe off by one digit. Other times the address isn’t close at all, other than the ZIP code is the same.

In the past, I’ve written something on the envelope and stuck it back in the mailbox for the mailman to get and then he could see that it needed to be fixed.

Then I took the lazy way and just dropped it in one of the post office’s mail bins without writing anything on it. My thinking with that was that whatever glitch caused the letter to be routed to us wouldn’t happen twice in a row.

And it worked!


The next time I did that, the letter came back. So I gave it back to the post office. And the letter came back again.

The same thing happened with another misdelivered piece of mail. Twice I returned it and twice it appeared in our mail again.

But now I have found the secret – scribble over the bar code.

Now the wrong mail does not return to us.

image of a letter with the bar code scribbled over or invalidated so that the wrong address won't keep being used

Here’s my guess as to what happens: the automated sorter machine at the acceptance facility misreads the address and prints the wrong bar code at the bottom. All the subsequent stations find the bar code and don’t bother checking the address – they blindly trust the bar code.

When I put the letters back in the post office, I assumed they would read the address again. But they don’t, because the bar code is there. And the bar code tells them to send that letter to me.

So when I scribbled over the bar code, the machines had to reject it and then I assume a person had to manually sort the mail. It shouldn’t be any more annoying for them to manually sort that letter, since they would have to do that anyway if I put a note on it saying it was misdelivered.

If you really want to annoy people, I suppose you could take an black ink pen and a steady hand and extend some of the bar code lines so that it’s still a valid bar code but is delivered somewhere else. Visit the USPS’ page on their barcode for more information.

They said to the messengers who had come, “Thus you shall say to the men of Jabesh-gilead, ‘Tomorrow, by the time the sun is hot, you will have deliverance.’ ” So the messengers went and told the men of Jabesh; and they were glad.

1 Samuel 11:9

Bus Routes

We moved this summer, and I thought I’d compare the old bus route to the new bus route.

Whereas in years past our kids were the first on the bus and the first off the bus, this year they are first on the bus and last off the bus. The old school at least recognized the importance of limiting the kids’ time on the bus, so we had a long bus ride to school but a short bus ride home. It all evened out.

I don’t know how we angered the bus garage, but at the new school our kids have an hour ride each way, whereas the kids at the other end of the route are on the bus for 5 minutes each way.

Not only is the route direction worse, but the route itself is longer – with many more stops and very convoluted.

Anyway, here are the plots of each bus route (1 mile per grid line):

Old Route
We were stop #1. S is the Start (bus garage) and F is the Finish (school) for pick up. Drop off went in the same order, 1 first and 4 last – but it started at the F and went straight down to our stop.

image of the bus route for the old school

New Route
We are stop #3. Again, S is the Start and F is the Finish for pick up. Drop off is reversed, so we are the third-to-last stop.

image of the bus route for the new school

As you can see, there is a lot of stopping and starting and it is much more convoluted. The school is barely more than 3 miles away, so my wife just drives down and picks them up at the end of school. That way they are home about 45 minutes earlier than if they rode the bus.

Whose paths are crooked,
And who are devious in their ways;

Proverbs 2:15