Archive for October, 2016

Backpacking Trip, Part 1

I do not like camping.

Camping is pointless.

Campgrounds are annoying. I am not a social person. Why go somewhere to get away and relax when there are a bunch of people right next to you?

I take each kid somewhere individually each year. For example, this year I took Beta, just him and me, to Cedar Point for the whole day.

And I took Alpha backpacking.

People who know me were curious as to why I was rounding up camping equipment.

“A tent? I thought you hated camping…”
“I do. That’s why I’m not going camping. I’m going backpacking.”
“What’s the difference? You walk around, you go to a campsite, and you sleep in a tent.”
“No, there’s no campsite. The difference is you make your own camp, wherever you want.”

Some people still weren’t quite clear on the concept.

The key is to find a national forest or national park that allows for backpacking (or what they call “dispersed camping”). That way you can camp wherever you please. Well, almost – they don’t want you camping next to the trail or near water. But it’s great – you walk along as far as you want and then you camp there. No “we have to make it 3 more miles to the campground”. And from the time we left the parking lot to when we returned to it, we did not see or hear any other people.

If you’re going camping to enjoy nature, then backpacking is the way to go, not camping. Or “campgrounding” as some call it. That’s the way to enjoy crowds and inconvenience.

After He had sent the crowds away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening, He was there alone.

Matthew 14:23

Pets’ Names

Delta has a lot of temporary pets.

There were a bunch this summer. I think it started with Crickety, which – if you couldn’t guess by his name – was a cricket that he captured in the yard.

Then came Grasshoppy. I think Gamma either accidentally stepped on him or let him escape. Something traumatic happened to Grasshoppy, because Delta came inside very distraught. Crying about “Gwasshoppy”.

After that it was firefly season. So I caught a firefly for him. Brought it inside. Delta had built a home out of blocks for Fiery, and you could hear the wails throughout the house an hour later when he couldn’t find Fiery anymore.

Given those names, I’ll bet you can guess what some the things are that he named next. Hint: no insects, mostly inanimate objects.

Quiz: What is
A. Fishy 1?
B. Fishy 2?
C. Corey?
D. Boony?
E. Boxy?
F. Walny?

Here’s some filler so you have to scroll to see the answers…
A. A goldfish
B. Another goldfish
C. An apply core. Yes, he saved an apple core from the apple he ate, as his friend.
D. A balloon. This was a little tougher, so congratulations if you got this one.
E. A box.
F. A walnut from our yard. He gathered probably two dozen walnuts, but one of them made the cut to be his Walny friend. Which he then stuck in my shoe to surprise me.

Among these the land shall be divided for an inheritance according to the number of names.

Numbers 26:53

Why Johnson?

I discussed the third-party contenders for president with someone last week. People were jumping off the Gary Johnson bandwagon and onto the Evan McMullen train.

I do not wish anything bad on Mr. McMullen and I would be pleased if he were president. But getting him into the presidency is not my priority.

My priority is to prevent Hillary and/or Trump from getting the presidency. And I see Johnson as the best means to accomplish that.

Not as the best president, but he gives us the best chance to avoid an awful president.

My main reasoning is this: he takes votes away from both sides.

McMullen will get approximately 0% of the left’s vote. Which means that he will take votes only from Trump. Which means that there is nothing slowing Hillary down.

But Johnson, on the other hand, is between Trump and Hillary. He will take votes away from both sides. We need someone who can take a red state from Trump and a blue state from Hillary.

That’s why I keep promoting Gary Johnson.

And I saw coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs;

Revelation 16:13

Gas and Go

Apparently some people followed the directions on the front of this box:

image of moto mini bike box that says to just add handlebars and gas

Just attach the handlebars, add gas, and you can start driving.

And I’m sure they did. And I’m sure it worked fine.

For one time.

After that, it was probably hard to start. And they probably started complaining to the manufacturer (and/or the store where they bought the product).

And, after some intensive customer service work, they probably had some satisfied customers.

And they probably had a lesson for their packaging/labelling/marketing group.

image of moto mini bike that says to add engine oil before using it

I counted three separate stickers – one on the seat (so you would see it before you sat down to drive it), one on the gas cap (so you would see it as you went to fill it with that initial gas), and one on the handlebar assembly.

Plus they included a container of engine oil, so that those who prepared for their purchase by reading the instructions on the outside of the box would not have to go buy it.

I am, of course, conjecturing about how those stickers came to be. But I bet it was not the original plan to place those stickers everywhere.

Command the sons of Israel that they bring to you clear oil from beaten olives for the light, to make a lamp burn continually.

Leviticus 24:2

Toad Lily Perspective

It’s fall, which means the toad lilies are in bloom. In case you’re not familiar with toad lilies, here is a photo:

close-up photo of toad lily blooms

I took that photo of our plants. But all the flower catalogs and websites show a similar photo. The toad lily blooms are colorful and intricate.

And since they are called “lilies”, one would picture them as with normal daylilies.

But no.

You’ll notice that no one who sells toad lilies shows the whole plant.

Here’s our flower garden with the toad lilies:

photo of toad lily plants in a garden

See any bright, colorful blooms?

Here, try a little closer:

photo of toad lily plants in a garden


I’ll circle them for you, in case you’re not sure.

photo of toad lily plants in a garden

The blooms are interesting, but they’re also tiny.

Caveat hortarius

I went down to the orchard of nut trees To see the blossoms of the valley, To see whether the vine had budded Or the pomegranates had bloomed.

Song of Solomon 6:11

Disengenuous Corolla Ad

I have noticed a certain ad that’s been on TV recently. It’s for a Toyota Corolla.

The ad features the song “You Don’t Own Me”, originally by Leslie Gore. The version of the song in the ad is not sung by her it seems, but rather by the group of active young adults portrayed in the commercial. There are people leaving (quitting?) work, people bicycling, people roller derbying, people going various places in their Toyotas. The activities shown somewhat match the feel and lyrics of the song. People are doing what they feel free to do – they are living their lives the way they want.

But then the car gets shown.

And it’s doing things opposite all that.

I think that’s not what the advertising agency was trying to do, which makes it amusing.

For example, right as the people are singing “Don’t tell me what to do”, the commercial is showing the car telling the driver what to do. Specifically, it shows the lane-departure warning telling the driver to get back in her lane.

So now I’m confused – do you want a car that tells you what to do, or don’t you?

All the safety and comfort features are about the car doing things for the driver. The song is ostensibly about empowerment, the car is about taking control away (depowerment?).

It certainly is a contrast.

If you really want a car that doesn’t tell you what to do and lets you be free from oversight, get one of the first or early second generation Dodge Vipers. Manual transmission, no stability or warning systems – you are in complete control.

They have turned their back to Me and not their face; though I taught them, teaching again and again, they would not listen and receive instruction.

Jeremiah 32:33

Supporting the President

While I’m on political topics… I was disappointed with Trump’s answer in the recent debate when asked if he would support his opponent were she to be elected president.

His answer: “I would absolutely support her.”

And there was someone a few years back who caught flak for not supporting something President Obama was doing. I forget the topic, and I think it was someone local so it wasn’t in the national media coverage. The charge against the local person was that he was not patriotic because he didn’t support the president. But I remember thinking at that time that, politically speaking, my allegiance is to my country, not to the president. So if the president is doing something that I feel is bad for the country, I (and any other good citizen) should not support the president but rather oppose the president. Within the realms of the constitutional process, of course.

So the same thought went through my head when I heard Trump’s answer – “no, you shouldn’t automatically support her.” An answer I think would have been better: “I will acknowledge and respect her as president, but if she’s doing something that is bad for this country then I will not support that.”

I think some people confuse “support the president” with “agree with his decisions”. What if you disagree with all of the president’s decisions? How can one support the president while opposing his direction for the country?

I think the “support the president” question is a loaded one, or at least poorly worded. And I must question how someone could “absolutely support” one’s political opponent.

Lo, God will not reject a man of integrity, Nor will He support the evildoers.

Job 8:20