Circuit Song

In case there are students who are struggling in the beginning circuits course, I am providing this little jingle to help you remember stuff.

You should be able to figure out the tune once you start reading.

Verse 1
Ohmic Donald had a circuit.
And on that circuit he had a …
… resistor!
With a voltage drop here and a voltage drop there.
Here a drop, there a drop, everywhere a drop-drop.
Ohmic Donald had a circuit.

Verse 2
Ohmic Donald had a circuit.
And on that circuit he had a …
… capacitor!
With a stored charge here and a stored charge there.
Here a charge, there a charge, everywhere a charge-charge.
Ohmic Donald had a circuit.

Verse 3
Ohmic Donald had a circuit.
And on that circuit he had a …
… inductor!
With magnetic flux here and magnetic flux there.
Here a flux, there a flux, everywhere a flux-flux.
Ohmic Donald had a circuit.

Verse 4
Ohmic Donald had a circuit.
And on that circuit he had a …
… transistor!
With a switch-switch here and a switch-switch there.
Here a switch, there a switch, everywhere a switch-switch.
Ohmic Donald had a circuit.

Any other components that a young student of electronics should know?

And yes, I know that inductors deal more with Faraday’s Law than with Ohm’s Law. If we stuck only with Ohm’s Law, there would not be very many verses.

Its rising is from one end of the heavens,
And its circuit to the other end of them;
And there is nothing hidden from its heat.

Psalm 19:6

Sales Pitch

There is an ad running on the radio stations around here. I don’t know if it’s national or not, but it is for La Quinta Inns.

The ad sounds something like this:

Normal Announcer:When salesman Rob Taylor stays at La Quinta Inn, he is well-rested. And when he’s well-rested, you know what he does?
Baseball Announcer:And here’s the sales pitch…
Sound of bat hitting a ball: Thwack!
Normal Announcer:He knocks it out of the park!

It’s good they kept the cliches consistent in that the ad is all baseball, but now I have questions about the purpose of the sales pitch.

Logic of the Analogy:
If a sales pitch is analogous to a baseball pitch, then the salesman is the pitcher.
If Rob Taylor is the pitcher, then he is not batting.
Thus, he cannot hit it out of the park.
Ergo, his customer must have hit the sale out of the park.


  • Is it good or bad that the customer hit it out of the park?
  • What does it mean if the customer gets a good hit on your sales pitch?
  • Is a sales pitcher’s job to throw strikes? And get the customer to swing and miss?

Normally, a pitcher is trying for strikes, meaning that the batter does not hit the ball. Certainly, you don’t want your customer to strike out. Then he goes away and you have to find a new customer.

Maybe a sales pitcher’s job more like coach-pitch youth baseball, where the pitcher is supposed to gently toss the ball to give the batter the best chance for a hit.

But then the salesman isn’t being fair to his own company; he needs his employer to make money off the deal too.

I don’t know what to make of this. You don’t want the customer striking out and you don’t want the batter hitting home runs. There is no good result of a sales pitch.

But when you blow an alarm, the camps that are pitched on the east side shall set out.

Numbers 10:5

Fussy Baby

comic about a child who is not teething but is rather serious instead

Wife : Why’s he so fussy?
Husband : Maybe he’s teething…
Wife : Poor baby…
Husband : Are you teething?
Baby : No, I’m not teething…
Baby : I am very theriouth

Also, do not take seriously all words which are spoken, so that you will not hear your servant cursing you.

Ecclesiastes 7:21

Programming Humor

In C, we call functions:

"Hello, is function there?"

If we have something to tell the function, we pass arguments to the functions:

value = GetValue("did not", 
                 "did too");

And if there are many arguments, we will group them and then pass pointers as arguments to the function:

value = GetValue("he did it", 
                 "no, he did it", 
                 "yeah, but he started it");

I don’t like confrontation, so I prefer the term “parameter” instead of “argument”.

“Present your case,” the LORD says. “Bring forward your strong arguments,” The King of Jacob says.

Isaiah 41:21

Running Thoughts – Race Food

I was pondering some things during my Saturday-morning run, and the one that seemed best to share with the internet was my list of fruit to eat during a race.

Yes, I said “during a race”.

In the longer races – half-marathon or more – you can be on the course for at least a couple of hours. You will definitely get thirsty, but the race will have stations setup to provide drinks for you. You might get hungry, but the race will probably not have stations setup to provide food for you.

One of the races in which I ran had an unofficial food station. It was unofficial in that the people who setup the station were not part of the race organization. They were just some people who had a location along the race course and were being helpful. It was a pleasant surprise. I encourage groups with a presence along a race route to setup something during the race. Almost anything is better than nothing: drinks, food, a live band, a stand-up comedian, a sprinkler, etc.

If you choose the food option, please pay attention to the following list:

Fruit During a Race

  • Bananas
    Most people know that bananas are good for runners, but they are always served at the end of the race. I can see why, since bananas are not juicy enough on their own and require something to wash them down. That’s especially noticeable when running. If you do choose to serve bananas, make sure you are situated shortly before a hydrating station.

    Tips for serving bananas:

    1. Cut them in half
      No one wants to eat a whole banana while running. It’s too much.
    2. Peel them partway
      No one wants to try to peel a banana while running. It has to be peeled enough so that the thing can be eaten using only one hand (and a mouth, of course).
    3. But don’t peel them too far
      No one wants to hold the banana part of the banana. Runners should be able to hold only peel. I like to keep my hands relatively clean during the race, because I wipe sweat off my face. And one thing that’s worse than having banana stuck to my hands is having banana smeared on my face.
    4. Provide a bin or bucket or bag for the peels
      No one wants to slip on a banana peel while running. Set out receptacles for the banana peels so that the run does not turn into Mario Kart.
  • Grapes
    Grapes are almost the perfect fruit to serve during a race – they are self-contained, have zero mess, and are plenty juicy. Their only drawback is the choking hazard, which is amplified by the deep breaths drawn by runners. If you do serve grapes, be sure to have Heimlich specialists placed after the grape station.

    Slightly related: do not serve raisins. Too chewy and not juicy.

  • Oranges
    This is the fruit from my story above – where I was glad to have people providing fruit during a race. Oranges are flavorful and juicy – very refreshing during a run on a hot day. Be sure to cut them in wedges so that can be eaten using only one hand. The circles (or “wheels” cut) require two hands to eat.
  • Watermelon
    This has good flavor and plenty of hydrating power – but does it provide any nutrition or sugar? Still, it would be a welcome addition to a race. Keeping with the previous notes about serving suggestions: be sure to serve the pieces with the rind so that the runner can eat with one hand while taking bites at his own pace and not get that one hand all messy.
  • Cantaloupe
    Maybe better than watermelon. Maybe not. Either way, I think it has the same serving notes as watermelon.
  • Raspberries
    Or blackberries or blueberries or strawberries.
    I would say these rank slightly below grapes. More flavor with less of a choking hazard, but less juicy and more messy. Plus they’re probably more expensive. You are not going to get any financial help from the runners – I don’t know anyone who carries cash during a race.

Any other good fruits?

Thus the Lord God showed me, and behold, there was a basket of summer fruit.

Amos 8:1

Feeding the Hens

Here is a photo of a container of eggs that we bought at the store.

photo of a container of Eggland's Best eggs, particularly the part about Vegetarian Fed Hens

Regular readers of this blog will already know where I am going with this. So I could just leave it at that. But, for the sake of my irregular readers, I will continue.

The phrase “Vegetarian Fed Hens” is ambiguous. You think they are trying to convey the idea that their hens do not eat meat, and these eggs came from those hens therefore you are getting healthier eggs.

But the phrase can be taken a few different ways. How do you know what they really mean?

Maybe they are trying to be sneaky. Maybe their chickens were fed meat, but it was a vegetarian who gave them the meat.
“No, look. It clearly says that a vegetarian fed our hens. Sure, we left an ‘a’ and an ‘our’, but no one really needs those articles anyway.”

Or maybe it’s worse than that. Maybe they kidnap unsuspecting vegetarians and feed them to the chickens.
That would probably be something a company would not want to admit on its packaging though.

For that reason, I cannot recommend the usual fix of adding a hyphen. That would make it read “Vegetarian-Fed Hens”, and that would not make it unambiguous as to what the hens are eating. We still wouldn’t know if the vegetarians are feeding the hens or being fed to the hens.

The real problem is that vegetarians is an adjective and a noun. The company meant it as an adjective but the phrase uses it as a noun. What we need is a complete rephrasing.

  • “Our Hens are Vegetarians”
  • “We Employ Vegetarian Hens”
  • “Eggs from Vegetarian Hens”

Any other ideas?

One person has faith that he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats vegetables only.

Romans 14:2

New Summer Theme

It’s June, the start of the summer quarter. Time for me to update the theme on this blog.

As is usual, it’s not really a new theme – all I did was replace the images.

Anyway, here’s a slightly new look. Expect some tweaks in the days to come.

When day came, they could not recognize the land; but they did observe a bay with a beach, and they resolved to drive the ship onto it if they could.

Acts 27:39