Boxing Day

Sorry, Canada – this post has nothing to do with Christmas.

My wife and I are similar in that we like to pile things up and take care of them later. This has a drawback in that, if one waits too long, the pile can become overwhelming. (Don’t even ask about the ironing.)

For example, we separate our cardboard boxes from the rest of the garbage because that’s what the recyclers want. Plus I have to break down and fold the boxes anyway because they’re too bulky for the normal trash can. Once I have to break it down, it doesn’t cost me any extra to place it in one bin versus the other.

But so that I’m not inconvenienced any time I empty a box, I just toss the boxes into a pile (in the garage, usually) and break them all down at once (when I can’t walk through the garage anymore, usually). Sometimes I do rethink this method.
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AP Needs New PR

I have criticized Adrian Peterson for his choice of words when discussing the tension between the NFL players and owners. Now, in the spirit of helpfulness, I want to give Mr. Peterson (or his agent) some ideas for what he should have said. He needs to craft his speeches a bit more carefully.

I have no clue if he or anyone near him is going to read this, but here are my suggestions for what to say to improve how he is perceived. Note: I put in the end of the previous answer, taken from the Adrian Peterson interview on Yahoo, in order to give some context to the statements (“SC” stands for Shutdown Corner – the area of Yahoo! Sports that published the interview):

Original Quote – Trying to Generate Sympathy

AP: …. The owners are making so much money off of us to begin with.

SC: It’s nothing that I haven’t heard from other players, believe me.

AP: It’s modern-day slavery, you know? People kind of laugh at that, but there are people working at regular jobs who get treated the same way, too. With all the money … the owners are trying to get a different percentage, and bring in more money. I understand that; these are business-minded people…

The problem with that is the same problem Marie Antoinette had. Peterson is essentially complaining about caviar while the general public is going hungry. Or rather, the players and owners are arguing about how to slice the cake, while the people who make the cake can’t even afford bread.

Improvement – Get on the People’s Side

AP: …. The owners are making so much money off of us to begin with.

SC: It’s nothing that I haven’t heard from other players, believe me.

AP: A lot of players feel that way, but we’re making enough money to be comfortable. With all the money … the owners are trying to get a different percentage, and bring in more money. The problem with that is that the money is coming from the fans. The average guy out there isn’t getting a pay raise, so why should any of us in the NFL? That’s why I’m trying to work with the players and the owners to see what both sides can give up in order to lower ticket prices for the fans. More fans means more business and it’s better for everybody.

Do you think anyone out there would disagree with Adrian Peterson if he had said that? Anything else that A.P. should have said?

For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves.

Matthew 18:23

Basket Case

Click on the image to see a full-size version (and zoom if your browser shrinks it to fit). It might be easier to read that way.

comic of bog and marsh discussing NCAA basketball tournament terms

Bog: Hey Marsh!
Marsh: Hi Bog.
B: What’s going on?
M: I’m angry! Just like every other year…
B: It’s time for Marsh madness again?
M: Yep.
B: Hey, I was talking with Creek and Swamp, and they wanted to know if…
M: No! Tell them I don’t want to help them make a deeper area of water again.
B: Okay, so you’re not participating in the pool this year?
M: No. Go away.
B: At least tell me why you’re so mad.
M: You know how we’re close to the Gulf Coast and all…
B: Right.
M: Well, I’m used to just the right amount of seawater mixed in here. But it’s way off this season.
B: Oh, you’re not happy with your brakish.
M: Not at all. And another thing…
B: Go on…
M: All these shrubs and weeds are sprouting in all the wrong spots!
B: Let me see…the seeding’s all messed up?
M: You got it. Who put those together anyway?
B: It is hard to please everyone.
M: Wait, where was the word-play in that last line?
B: There wasn’t one – you’ve had enough punishment for one day.

But its swamps and marshes will not become fresh; they will be left for salt.

Ezekiel 47:11

How Not to Clean a Pacifier

It’s not a good idea

picture of a pacifier that melted in the dishwasher

to let your toddler

picture of a pacifier that melted in the dishwasher

toss his pacifier

picture of a pacifier that melted in the dishwasher

in the dishwasher.

picture of a pacifier that melted in the dishwasher

They are not dishwasher-safe, especially when they land right next to the heating element.

As smoke is driven away, so drive them away;As wax melts before the fire,So let the wicked perish before God.

Psalm 68:2

Modern-Day Slavery

All the radio stations were discussing a certain NFL player’s comments calling his situation “modern-day slavery”. Since everyone else seems to be offering opinions on his comments, I didn’t want to feel left out. So here are my thoughts:

An Open Letter to Professional Athletes

Dear Highly-Paid Athlete:

I hear you’re having a disagreement with the owners and executives of your team. In reality, your lot in life is not much different from most everyone else’s – someone owns the company and you get paid to show up and do what it is the company hired you to do.

That, my friend, is called a job. It is not slavery. You can choose to work at that job, or you can choose to retire tomorrow and not work. And there are a bunch of people who would love to be able to do what you do. I don’t know of anyone who thinks slavery is an enviable position. Nor are there any slaves who can choose to retire.

Now maybe you were trying to use a figure of speech and it just got lost in the context. But you used the specific term “modern-day slavery”. I need to point out that modern-day slavery is no different from old-time slavery. Slavery has not changed. Sure, America’s stance on slavery has changed since the 1800s. But there is still slavery.

Real slavery.

Not the I’m-slaving-away-at-my-job type, but the I’m-being-kept-against-my-will-and-working-for-nothing type of slavery.

Which is a far cry from your lot in life.

Yes, you have your problems, and I hope you can resolve them. But before you compare yourself to a slave, go spend a week with International Justice Mission so you know what modern-day slavery looks like. Go work in the brick kilns in Chennai for a week and then let us know how closely that compares to your life here in America.

Or better yet, how about devoting part of your salary to helping slaves? There are thousands of slaves in Sudan and millions of slaves throughout the world right now. Don’t just use them in your labor dispute. Don’t just reference them in your speeches. Do something for them.


A Fan of Football

For what it’s worth, I think his comments were nothing more than poorly-planned choice of words. Maybe, maybe not. I’m not angry with the player, nor am I offended. I just felt it was an opportune time to highlight a real problem to contrast with the so-called problem of an NFL lockout or strike.

There – I have done my slacktivism duty.

And I know some NFL players already do go to Africa and help needy kids. Good for them. Let’s have more of that and less of the complaining about your contract. Millionaires don’t get much sympathy, especially not now.

Getting back to the NFL … I do not like the plan to go to 18 games for the regular season. Go ahead and drop the pre-season games from 4 to 2, but don’t increase the regular season – that would water down the season.

and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.

Hebrews 2:15

Science Non-Fiction

I was supporting our local economy the other day, when I noticed further proof of the decline of the education system. Or maybe it was a pointy-haired manager’s decisions. Or maybe it’s the decline of common sense.

Regardless of the cause, here is the effect:

picture of Star Wars books on the non-fiction bookshelf

What are Star Wars books doing in the non-fiction section?

And it wasn’t just one book out of place. There were a few blocks of different Star Wars titles in there.

picture of Star Wars books on the non-fiction bookshelf

I can almost hear the rationalization: “It’s a book that describes the characters in the movie. It’s a non-fiction book about a fictional movie!”

If it were a making-of-Star-Wars book or the actors’ biographies, I could understand it. But it’s a book about fictional characters. It’s nothing but made-up people, places, and other nouns.

It’s fiction.

And many of those who practiced magic brought their books together and began burning them in the sight of everyone; and they counted up the price of them and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver.

Acts 19:19

What to Expect

Congratulations to Ricky Anderson! In honor of this momentous occasion, I gave him some tips on what to expect regarding the delivery room. Go over to his blog and read it.

and she was with child; and she cried out, being in labor and in pain to give birth

Revelation 12:2