Helpful Pet

Some of you may recall that my wife and I like things that are no- or low-maintenance. That’s why I sold my lawn mower and pay the neighbor to mow my lawn.

There is an easier solution: have someone else do all the maintenance work.

Normally, that would entail hiring a handyman or some service. But it turns out that’s not necessary. There is a special breed of pet (a cat of course, because cats are better than dogs) that will handle all the work for you.

And you can get this pet at Costco.

Don’t believe me? Here’s a picture I took at our Costco:

picture of a bag of maintenance cat

It clearly says “Maintenance Cat”.

It also says “Super Premium”. Maybe the normal variety of maintenance cat is somewhat lazy and does sloppy work.

Just don’t view the full-size version to see the context.

then hear in heaven their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause.

1 Kings 8:45

Baby Names 2010

Allow me to introduce to you the 2010 SFS Baby Name List. Some of you may recall that I like to take the Social Security baby name list and reorganize it so that a name is counted only once even if it is spelled different ways. It is that time again, this time it’s the names from 2010.

The government, being on its own timetable, released the numbers for 2010 a couple months ago. They’re getting better though. It used to take them months to compile the list. Now it takes them weeks. And if I had known when the list was being released, I would have had this post done back then.

Some Stats

  • The top 3 names for the boys are the same as 2009.
  • Sophia and Isabella swapped spots for the girl names from 2009.
  • William went down in popularity, but I suspect the royal wedding will cause a spike in that name for next year’s results.
  • Same thing with Catherine/Katherine. More people spell it with a ‘K’, but the Duchess of Cambridge spells hers with a ‘C’.
  • Girl names still have more spelling variations than boy names (323/1000 vs. 236/1000 alternates)
  • The boys still have the name with the highest number of alternate spellings (Jayden/Aiden with 10 vs. Hailey/Carly with 8)
  • Popular boy names end in ‘n’ (the first 7 variants); popular girl names end in ‘y’ (the first 2 variants).
  • ‘Skylar’ is still a girl’s name and ‘Skyler’ is still a boy’s name. (’a’ vs. ‘e’, in case you didn’t catch it).

2010 Improved Baby Name List

Click on the link above and peruse to your heart’s content!

But God said to Abraham, “Do not be distressed because of the lad and your maid; whatever Sarah tells you, listen to her, for through Isaac your descendants shall be named.

Geneses 21:12

There’s Medication for That

This won’t be as much in the forefront of people’s minds as it would have been a few years ago when the medications were just being introduced, but some of you might still get the joke.

(Click on the image for a slightly larger view)

comic of irritable vowel syndrome instead of irritable bowel syndrome

Transcript:

A: What’s your problem?
E: You’re so annoying.
I: Just go away!
O: Would you stop that?
U: I can’t take any more of this!
Y: Sometimes, I wish you would leave me alone.

Irritable Vowel Syndrome

For this one, I used one of my favorite fonts: Caricature font.

I’ve been trying to figure out how to work the term “consonant” into this post, but I give up. I’ll leave that as an exercise for the reader.

So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience;

Colossians 3:12

NFL in May 2011

I know I said I wouldn’t have any more football posts for a while, but I forgot about the release of the 2011 NFL schedule. And between now and the start of the season, I may go back and analyze previous seasons to get more samples of prediction methods.

In the last week or two, we had the NFL draft and the announcement of the 2011 schedule. Now that we know who will play whom and when (that is, if the NFL and players get their act together and resume football as we knew it), we can start predicting wins and losses.

I keep my predictions over at Some Fun Site. During the course of 2010, I saw that predictions based on the previous season’s results were just as good as predictions that updated themselves week-by-week. View results of previous football seasons.

2010 Summary

Last year, I predicted that

  • Arizona = 12-4
  • Carolina = 7-9
  • Chicago = 5-11
  • Cleveland = 2-14
  • Detroit = 1-15
  • New Orleans = 16-0
  • Pittsburgh = 11-5
  • San Diego = 15-1
  • St. Louis = 0-16
  • Tampa Bay = 2-14

How they actually did was

  • Arizona = 5 -11
  • Carolina = 2 -14
  • Chicago = 11-5
  • Cleveland = 5 -11
  • Detroit = 6 -10
  • New Orleans = 11-5
  • Pittsburgh = 12-4
  • San Diego = 9 -7
  • St. Louis = 7 -9
  • Tampa Bay = 10-6

Only one of those was close. So much for the consensus picks…

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Watch Your Phraseology

Sometimes people don’t think about what they’re saying. They just repeat a phrase they’ve heard and it gets ingrained in the language.

Because I take things literally most of the time, I’ve noticed that some phrases don’t really mean at face value what they’re intended to mean. Without further ado, I present to you
Phrases that Need Correcting:

It is better to seek forgiveness than ask permission.

Wrong – it is easier to ask forgiveness afterward, but I disagree that it is better. Of course, “better” is subjective. It might be better in the eyes of the asker, not necessarily the askee. But still, it sounds like you think it might be wrong but you’re going to do it anyway.

About half the people use “better” and half use “easier”. If we could just gently steer the “better” people over to the “easier” camp, it might tip the scales to the correct side. Better yet, do the right thing and you won’t need to use this phrase to try to justify your actions.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over yet expecting a different result.

No, that is a possible example of insanity, but not the definition of insanity. There are plenty of insane people who don’t do that.

Plus, I work in the software industry. There are plenty of times where something fails only once out of dozens of times. So sometimes we repeat tests over and over, expecting a different result. And you know what? We do get a different result.

Whatever doesn’t kill you will only make you stronger

Stuff and nonsense. It is entirely possible that something will make you weaker. And it is possible that something will leave you unchanged – you are neither stronger nor killed.

The problem with this phrase is that no timeline is given. Eventually, the person will die and then the other person can see “See?” The other problem with this phrase is that it reminds me of antibiotics.

I know this saying is just intended to provide motivation. I doubt it was meant to convey truth. But the problem is that people keep repeating it. And if you repeat something often enough, people will believe it.

Say it with me: if you repeat something often enough, people will believe it.

Again.

You got it now? Okay. Good.

Umm…now where was I? Oh yes, don’t believe this phrase.

Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.

Really?

Really?!?!

Have you ever actually thought about what you’re saying there?

My standard response to that is “I’ve heard it’s fun being run over by a semi truck.”

Their response: “That’s ridiculous.”

My response back: “No, you’re supposed to try it first before you say that.”

Of course you should try new things when possible. But that doesn’t mean you can’t evaluate something based on second-hand information. You can extrapolate some experiences into others. Your mind was meant to handle that task.

How’d you sleep?

My standard answer: “Like this!” (while I tilt my head to one side, close my eyes, and pretend to snore. Because that is how I slept.)

I think it should be “How well did you sleep?”

It is a trustworthy statement deserving full acceptance

1 Timothy 4:9

‘Tis a Puzzlement

Garage sale season has started. My wife found a 3-D puzzle of the Millennium Falcon at a decent price.

picture of the box for the 3-D puzzle of the Millennium Falcon

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Cherubim and Friends

This is somewhat related to last week’s comic.

comic of cherubim and seraphim using a serif font with angel wings

Transcript:
cherubim
serifim
sans-serifim

I’m pretty sure the sans-serifim were the one-third that fell with Lucifer.

Seraphim stood above Him, each having six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew.

Isaiah 6:2