Archive for November, 2016

Vacation 2016, Part 1

Here’s a recap of our summer vacation. This year, it was driving to Mt. Rushmore.

Day 1

The first day was just a long day of driving. Made it to Des Moines, IA. The hotel there was fine – standard chain fare that meets our requirements (pool, breakfast, sleeps 6 per room, has a fridge, etc.). The main item of note with our stop in Des Moines was that our hotel was within walking distance of a Pizza Ranch. My wife had memories of visiting Pizza Ranches in her younger days, but I and the boys had never even heard of it.

If you have never been to Pizza Ranch, you need to change that. Especially if you have growing boys who like to eat. It’s an all-you-can-eat pizza buffet, with additions such as fried chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, salad, corn, and – my favorite part – dessert pizza. It’s a good thing we walked across the parking lot, because we needed that walk back to burn some of the calories we gained in the restaurant.

After a bit of time for digestion, we spent some time in the pool, then watched some TV because that’s tradition on vacation now, and then off to bed.

Day 2

The second day was just a long day of driving. Made it to Sidney, NE. Home of Cabela’s. The hotel there was great – it met our requirements and then some. It was called a lodge, so it had timber throughout the lobby and hallways to make it look lodgey. Our room was the closest one to the breakfast area, which was convenient. It was one of our favorite hotels of the trip.

We got there around dinner time. I took the kids to the Cabela’s store, which was about two buildings over. It was not as impressive as the newer Cabela’s back home, but it was a fun distraction after being in the van for 8 hours. We got back and had dinner than my wife had made in the room’s kitchen.

After a bit of time for digestion, we spent some time in the pool, then watched some TV because that’s tradition on vacation now, and then off to bed.


Happy Thanksgiving

I’m not posting anything today – I’m too busy doing Thanksgivingy stuff.

O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting.

1 Chronicles 16:34

Another Accent

In case you have a need to sound French or just want to waste a few minutes, go try to speak with a French accent.

The site works like the game Mad Gab, for those who are familiar with that. If you’re not familiar with it, just type in a phrase, click the button, and read the result without thinking about it.

Just read it.

Out loud.

As written.

If you can’t think of a phrase, try entering some of these into the generator:

  • Your mother was a hamster.
  • This will never work.
  • There is a time to laugh and a time not to laugh, and this is not one of them.

That’s probably good enough for now.

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

nor to many peoples of unintelligible speech or difficult language, whose words you cannot understand. But I have sent you to them who should listen to you;

Ezekiel 3:6

NFL Penalty Parity, Part 2

Last time, we covered pass interference. Most of the other penalties don’t have so much of a discrepancy between offense and defense. For example, a face mask penalty is 15 yards against the offender no matter which side he was playing.

Today, I’m covering personal fouls. I agree with the league’s changes for this year in which players can now foul out. But there is one more change that should be suggested – the eye for an eye principle.

This would mean that any injury that resulted from a foul would cause the perpetrator to be suspended for as long as the injured player was out of commission.

Players do get injured playing football. I’m not proposing any injury gets this treatment – only injuries that happened because the opposing player did something egregious.

It sounds fair though – if you hurt someone such that he can’t play football, then you don’t get to play football until he does.

Good luck getting that through the committees though. Maybe a cap, such as a maximum suspension of 12 games, would help make it palatable.

But if there is any further injury, then you shall appoint as a penalty life for life,

Exodus 21:23

NFL Penalty Parity, Part 1

Now that we’re midway through the NFL season, I thought it would be good to review some of the penalties and how their consequences could be re-worked. This is needed mainly because the penalties are skewed toward favoring the offense. To restore some balance to the game, we need to even up the penalties.

Pass Interference
If the defense commits a pass interference penalty (DPI), the offense gets the ball at the spot of the foul (as many yards as necessary) and an automatic first down. But if the offense commits pass interference (OPI), it’s only 10 yards and the offense gets to try again.

There are a couple of way to remedy this disparity.
A. Make OPI the same magnitude as DPI – the defense gets the ball at the spot of the foul and it’s first down for them. The spirit of NFL DPI is that it assumes the receiver would have made the catch. Why not do the same for OPI?

B. Apply the yardage only – whatever the spot of the foul was, walk the offense back that amount. Similar spirit as the original rule – punish the offender the amount of the foul.

C. Make OPI an automatic 4th down. Since DPI is automatic first down (drastically favoring the offense), OPI should match it (drastically punishing the offense).

D. Make it 10 yards plus loss of down. I think this is the most palatable change because it’s not so drastic. It’s not the most even, but why should the offense get to retry the down on which they fouled?

A man of great anger will bear the penalty, For if you rescue him, you will only have to do it again.

Proverbs 19:19


It is weird seeing the words “President Trump”. Two movies come to mind.

First, Back to the Future:

“You mean Ronald Reagan, the actor?”

image of Doc Brown from Back to the Future

I feel like Doc Brown – “You mean Donald Trump, the reality TV guy?” It seems odd that Trump will be president because he’s not presidential. But I suppose that was the point – he was elected because he is not a politician.

Second, Rocky III:

image of Rocky Balboa fighting Hulk Hogan

This one is a little more of a stretch, but it has to do with what happens during the election (the fight in the ring) and what happens afterwards (the photos and small talk). If you remember the movie, Hulk Hogan is pretty brutal during the match, but then friendly afterwards, much to Rocky’s confusion. I see the American public (mainly the non-Trump supporters) as Rocky after the fight – having experienced Trump’s battle for the election in which he has been rather rough towards various people, they are wary of anything different from him.

If you’re not familiar with those scenes, then never mind.

Another thought that came to mind when I was debating which non-Hillary choice to make: the ballot needs another option. My proposal: You still get one vote, but you can choose to vote for a candidate or against a candidate. There were plenty of people who wanted anyone but Hillary, and plenty of people who wanted anyone but Trump. With the option to vote against someone, that would count as -1 for the candidate. In other words, it would take away a vote from the candidate.

This has two benefits.

One, it allows people to more accurately express their desires at the polls, and then pundits and analysts can better tell if the winner won because of popular support for him or because of the unpopularity of the other candidate.

Two, it might allow a third-party candidate to win some electoral votes. For example in a given state, if half the Trump supporters voted against Clinton instead of for Trump, and half of the Clinton supporters voted against Trump instead of for Clinton, then Clinton would receive approximately -6,000 votes and Trump would receive +6,000 votes, and they would have been beaten by Gary Johnson who received 170,000 votes with nobody voting against him.

I think that’s a much better change than what those crazy popular-vote-instead-of-electoral-vote people are trying to do.

As the heavens for height and the earth for depth, So the heart of kings is unsearchable.

Proverbs 25:3

Think Outside the Fence

Delta had some schoolwork that involved a form of geometry: telling the difference between items inside a boundary and items outside the boundary.

He was to circle the horses inside the fence and underline the horses outside the fence. This is what he produced:

image of an horses inside and outside a corral

“Now I don’t have to underline any of them!” was his remark.

Solomon had 40,000 stalls of horses for his chariots, and 12,000 horsemen.

1 Kings 4:26