Archive for March, 2017

Nelson Ledges

We met some acquaintances at a state park: Nelson Ledges.

It’s a fun place for kids and a stressful place for parents. If you read my review of Letchworth State Park last year, this may sounds familiar to you.

Nelson Ledges is a scenic place, although on our day there were a number of rambunctious and/or reckless teenagers (or they could have been in their lower 20s, but I don’t have a good term for them that fits like “crazy teenagers” does).

Now for the pictoral tour through Nelson Ledges:

image of a walk through Nelson Ledges State Park

This was the start – just a walk along a forest path.

Stud Finder

One of the joys of buying a home is finding all the things the previous owners did to it. I know I used my first house as a learning experience to know how to and how not to do certain repairs/improvements.

I am redoing one of the closets in our house. I pulled off the boards that held up the old shelf in the closet and found this:

image of holes drilled in a wall to find the stud

Apparently there was not a studfinder handy when he installed that shelf. And just in case you think it was an isolated case, here is the other wall of the closet:

image of holes drilled in a wall to find the stud

The board wasn’t that long, about 15″ maybe.

On the plus side, I now know where exactly the stud is and where it isn’t.

A little bit of spackling and paint, and no one will ever know. As long as they don’t read this post.

He passed through the hill country of Ephraim and passed through the land of Shalishah, but they did not find them. Then they passed through the land of Shaalim, but they were not there. Then he passed through the land of the Benjamites, but they did not find them.

1 Samuel 9:4

Last Snow

Today’s post is going to be several thousand words long, assuming I get to convert each photo into the standard word count.

We had our last big snowfall of the season this last weekend, so we took some photographs as it was picturesque.

Our backyard.

image of snow-covered trees in our back yard


Not Hand Picked

I registered as a member at the Home Depot website. Which means that I get their emails. Which means I am a target of their marketing.

So they sent me this email:

image of an advertisement that was not handpicked

And I doubt that it was “handpicked”.

My guess it was an algorithm that determined which items they would like to sell, and then they sent me and everyone else in my area those items.

They were not picked especially for me. Nor were they picked by hand. The items were picked by computer for a group of people.

I don’t know why it bothers me that they say that. I ignore those emails anyway. The only emails that get my attention are the 10% or 15% off for this week emails. I add things to my Home Depot shopping list and wait for the coupon. Then I go buy them when they are discounted via the coupon. Emails with random (to me) items that you want to sell are not going to catch my attention.

After mulling it over for a few minutes now, I think I do know why it bothers me – they are misusing the word “handpicked”. It has a specific definition, which they are ignoring to further their marketing purposes. It’s like the boy who cried wolf. But now it’s the marketer who cried handpicked. By the time someone who actually handpicks things tries to use it, it will be meaningless to the public and they won’t care about handpicked anymore.

So, please, use “handpicked” correctly. Save it for when it is true.

And don’t get me started on mass email that contain the phrase “personally invite” or “personal invitation”.

Pick up your bundle from the ground, You who dwell under siege!

Jeremiah 10:17

Balloon Faces

For no reason at all, here are some balloons that my kids drew some faces on.

image of a face drawn on a balloon with marker


Various and Sundry Thoughts

Here are some thoughts I jotted down that aren’t quite sufficient for their own individual blog posts. If you’re the type of person who likes Twitter, pretend each of these is a tweet.

  • It doesn’t matter how old you are – anything imaginary outside your bed can be magically shielded by a simple bedsheet.
  • Your house is clean, with no fruit flies. You bring in fruit and let it sit. Fruit flies appear. Magic, or does every piece of fruit you buy contain fruit fly eggs?
  • It’s more fun to imagine that, for all the newly-formed local minor-league and rec teams that end in FC, the FC stands for Fight Club rather than soccer.
  • Why did they settle on GOAT to mean Greatest Of All Time rather than BOAT for Best Of All Time? How about COAT or MOAT?
  • I’ve been toying with the idea of bringing a weighted red handkerchief to meetings at work. Then if someone says or claims something I think is wrong, I could toss it in their direction. Challenging things in such a manner would certainly liven up things, or maybe I’ve just been watching too much football.

one male goat for a sin offering;

Numbers 7:16

Parenting Vs. Babysitting

This is not a discussion about how some people say thy are “babysitting” their kids whenever they have to stay home with them for some reason.

Rather, today I am asking the question “What is the difference between parenting and babysitting?”

I was thinking about it the other day, and the answer I came up with is purpose.

Other people may say things like love or pay or familial relationship, but those I think are incidental to the question.

The question is not “how do you tell the difference?” or “what are things that one done versus the other?” It’s hard to explain the question, so I’ll continue explaining the answer.

Some parents just babysit their kids, they don’t actually raise them because they as parents don’t have a purpose for their kids. Babysitters usually have a purpose, and that purpose is to keep the kids physically safe. That’s all anyone expects of babysitters. And that’s all some parents do. Which is better than nothing, I suppose. But let me encourage parents to aim higher than that.

As the saying goes, if you aim at nothing you’ll hit it every time. Unless you don’t pull the trigger. Plus how do you hit nothing? But I digress…

What is your aim for your kids? Maybe it’s college, maybe it’s starting pitcher, maybe it’s just to be happy.

If you don’t have a goal, a purpose, in raising your kids, then who knows how they’ll turn out? I say a parent should have goals. Plural. You’ll notice the examples I gave ranged from academic to physical to emotional. Think of those aspects, plus spiritual. Because if your kids are following God, the other things will be easier.

What if the kids don’t like your goals? Then discuss with them what they want as an alternative goal. Maybe start with vague goals and refine them as the kids grow. I think this is one of those areas where just about anything is better than nothing.

Pray for them. Pray for your children. And pray for yourself, to set the right goals and push your kids in the right direction.

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Matthew 6:33