Archive for August, 2016

Olympic Medals Per Whatever

I used to keep track of Olympic medal counts normalized to various criteria (population, GDP, Olympic delegate size, etc.)

But now, it seems that everyone else is doing that too. So why waste my time on producing information that is already produced?

In case you are interested in the old results, they are at the Olympic Results page of SomeFunSite. But that page will no longer be updated.

So Moses issued a command, and a proclamation was circulated throughout the camp, saying, “Let no man or woman any longer perform work for the contributions of the sanctuary.” Thus the people were restrained from bringing any more.

Exodus 36:6


I finally got to experience being asked about socialization for a homeschooled child!

I was aware that the non-homeschooling crowds were concerned that homeschoolers don’t get enough socialization. But I had never experienced it first hand.

I suppose that’s a good sign that they bring up socialization, right? That means they concede that homeschooling has superior academic results.

But it’s yet another myth that must be debunked.

What happened was I met a former co-worker out and about and we were asking each other about kids and school and stuff. I mentioned the youngest was starting kindergarten and we were going to homeschool him but he would be attending a nearby Christian school for their one-day-a-week homeschool enrichment program.

My co-worker asked very quickly, “Oh, for socialization?” To which I replied, “No, for the teaching of the non-core subjects like art, music, foreign language, etc.” And the conversation continued in an unremarkable manner.

I was thinking, during the conversation, “have you not read Lord of the Flies?” That right there is an argument against schools being useful for socialization. The main lesson I remember from that story is don’t trust crowds of children. Or rather, applied to the topic of raising kids: placing an immature child with other immature children does not cause him to mature well.

If you want your child to grow into something, you need to expose him to the expected result. If you want him to grow to be a well-mannered adult, you should place him with polite adults. Not with rude children.

There are many more articles and discussions about socialization available, so I’m not going to dwell on it further. In summary: no, I don’t care about socialization. But I feel I have now been inducted into the homeschooling community by having been asked about it.

When you enter the land which the Lord your God gives you, you shall not learn to imitate the detestable things of those nations.

Deuteronomy 18:9


There is now a Sean Connery accent option on Accenterator. Go try it out. It’s not as fun as the Australian accent generator because the vowels aren’t as dramatic, but it’s pretty good if you get the right collection of consonants in there.

If you need suggestions, here are some phrases to enter in the translator box:

  • Slow and steady wins the race.
  • This time is the last time.
  • Home sweet home is where I feel the safest.

In case you missed the link, go to and click the Sean Connery button.

then they would say to him, “Say now, ‘Shibboleth.'” But he said, “Sibboleth,” for he could not pronounce it correctly. Then they seized him and slew him at the fords of the Jordan. Thus there fell at that time 42,000 of Ephraim.

Judges 12:6

A Quieter Google

Google tries to be helpful.

Take, for instance, the auto-complete feature of its flagship search engine. You start typing, and Google provides some of the most popular searches that begin with the letters you have typed.

Sometimes it’s helpful. And other times it has me scratching my head wondering what’s wrong with people.

What got me thinking about it though was that some of the suggestions were either rude or family unfriendly. And my kids will sometimes use my phone to lookup things. And I didn’t want them encountering questionable content because Google presented it.

So I found a way to disable that feature. Now if someone uses my phone to lookup something, Google will not suggest anything. It will just accept what you type and go with that.

To accomplish that, you need to go to your bookmarks (or favorites, or whatever your browser calls them) and edit the Google URL.
Instead of just plain,

That’s the easiest way to disable Google auto-compete. Then you won’t be inundated with the world’s thoughts while you’re trying to find some information.

That URL was provided in text form so you could read/copy it as needed. Here’s a link if you need that: non-verbose Google.

All day long they distort my words; All their thoughts are against me for evil.

Psalm 56:5

Trooper Trouble

I had a misunderstanding with a member of the county sheriff’s office.

I was driving home, on a straight section of road, and I could see police lights flashing near the upcoming intersection. I was about a half mile away, so I couldn’t tell if it was before or after the intersection. And it was the last intersection before my driveway.

As I approached and slowed down for whatever incident the officer was handling, I saw the police car was before the intersection, as was a downed tree. The tree had fallen across just over half the road – the lane I was travelling in.

So I slowed and then stopped. Here is an artist’s rendering of the scene as viewed from above:

drawing of a county sheriff next to a downed tree

There were no other vehicles around. The police car’s lights were flashing, but no officer was visible.

As you can see from the drawing, and as I could see from the driver’s seat of my vehicle, there was room to go around the tree. And the officer had left room between the police car and the tree. And the police car was in the oncoming lane, leaving me room to drive normally after I passed the tree. The drawing does not show that there is a ditch on my side of the road but not the other side.

I sat for several seconds, wondering what to do. If the police car had not been there, I would’ve swerved around the tree without much thought. My first thought was the officer was directing traffic. But there was no officer and no traffic. My other thought was that the officer was sitting there to warn people of the hazard in the road. I decided that was the case and proceeded around the tree. Better that than a 4 mile detour that wasn’t really needed.

As I was going around the tree, the officer opened the police car door and got out, approaching my vehicle. I stopped and rolled down my window.

The exchange went like this:
Her: “What are you doing?”
Me: “Heading home.”
Her: “You live around here?”
Me: “Yes, straight down this road, over the next hill.”
Her: “I didn’t want you to go around that tree.”
Me: “Oh, sorry.”
Her: “The branches could have punctured your tires.”
Me: “I thought there was room to go around…”
Her: “I was blocking the road until the tree crew got here.”
At this point, a fire truck pulls up. Seriously, the timing was great.
Her: “Here they are. Now be careful, there’s a ditch right there.”
Me: “Okay, thanks.”

Then she turned to head to the fire truck and I drove off home.

You may have read the conversation in your head with certain voices or tones of voices. For the officer, re-read it and this time use a voice that’s a cross between wondering and apologizing. She was not harsh at all.

My first thought after leaving was “if you’re going to block the road, then block the road.” or, to paraphrase Margaret Thatcher, “if you have to tell people that you are blocking the road, then you are not blocking the road.”

By her actions, her words, and her tone, my conclusion is that she is new to the area. In general, people who live on dirt roads, or drive on them much, are not very concerned about sticks or ditches. Those are everyday occurrences. But she was genuinely worried about them.

That would explain why she parked in a way that was not blocking the road – she didn’t want to get close to the ditch. And she didn’t park near the tree – thus leaving me room to go around – because she was afraid of the branches. Maybe afraid is too strong a word. But she was at least overly cautious.

And I do believe that she thought she was blocking the road. But she was assuming that other people thought as she did about branches and ditches. She thought she didn’t leave room for other cars because she wouldn’t get that close to those hazards.

Maybe she’s a rookie? Maybe she has a softer personality? Whatever it is, she needs to learn to be more direct as an officer. When she says “I didn’t want you to do that”, is that a statement of regret or something that I’m supposed to interpret to mean something else? An officer should give commands, especially in traffic situations. Ambiguity leads to confusion.

I’ve noticed the same thing with my mom growing up and with my wife and with other moms. Instead of telling one of the kids to set the table, she will say “Will someone set the table?” to no one in particular. It seems that women like to communicate indirectly. And this lady in particular was not a type-A personality.

Dear police officers, if you want people to do something in particular, make it obvious and communicate clearly and directly.

So also you, unless you utter by the tongue speech that is clear, how will it be known what is spoken? For you will be speaking into the air.

1 Corinthians 14:9

Always Two

always there are two, a master and an apprentice with Bill Belichick and Michael Phelps

People have associated Bill Belichick’s apprentice as someone else – usually Tom Brady. But I thought the hoodie and the scowl make Michael Phelps the more likely candidate.

Do you see a man skilled in his work?
He will stand before kings;
He will not stand before obscure men.

Proverbs 22:29

Hotel Conflict

Here’s a tip for you if you are having problems with another guest at the hotel: complain to the management, not to the guest.

The story:

We were at a hotel, on the second floor, and it was bedtime. The kids were doing a lot of running around while getting ready. There may have been some jumping off the beds too. I went to grab something from the lobby and when I got back to the room a stranger was right behind me, trying to get my attention. I thought he was going to tell me I dropped something, but he told me we were being too loud.

I replied the kids were getting in bed and it would be very quiet. He was not satisfied with that answer and proceeded to tell me very sternly that we needed to keep it down, way down, because he had a 6 year old. I thought about telling him that we have a 5 year old, so we win, but I just reiterated that we would keep it down and then he left and I closed the door.

That was 9PM.

The kids walked very quietly to their beds and everything was calm probably before the guy even got back to his room.

It was a very awkward encounter, and the awkwardness continued into the next morning. Would I run into him then? What if he ended up in line next to me at the hotel’s continental breakfast? Should I ignore him? Ask how his night was?

I think they left early – must’ve had a long day of driving ahead of them or something. Or he was smiling at breakfast so I didn’t recognize him. Either way, I didn’t run into grumpy man the next day.

But all that could have been avoided. He should have called the front desk and complained. The front desk then would have called us and asked us to be quiet. The end result would have been the same, but all the confrontation and awkwardness would have been avoided. Because the front desk would not mention who was complaining, I wouldn’t have been able to look for them at breakfast.

And the complainer is lucky that I’m a calm person. What if he confronted someone who had a temper and was already having a bad day? Things could have gone badly.

Please, hotel guests, go through official channels whenever possible and do not confront other guests directly.

So when Abner returned to Hebron, Joab took him aside into the middle of the gate to speak with him privately, and there he struck him in the belly so that he died on account of the blood of Asahel his brother.

2 Samuel 3:27