Friendship in the Time of Facebook

Inspired by Beck (and with apologies to Arnold S. Lobel), I wondered what Frog and Toad’s relationship would be like if they had Facebook.

The Facebook status of Frog and Toad as Frog tries to wake Toad in the spring

I have taken the liberties in updating the Frog and Toad story to today’s society. Thus, the story ends a little more abruptly than it does in the book.

Toad's unfriending Frog on Facebook.

My suggestion to FB is that they should not let you unfriend someone so easily. If you do say you want to unfriend someone, FB should tell you to talk to them and work out whatever is bothering you. A cooling-off period, perhaps.

Likewise, FB should have different levels. Right now, everyone is a friend. You shouldn’t be able to call someone a Friend so easily. You should have Acquaintances and Friends – two different categories. Acquaintances could come and go, but Friends could not.

Of course, I’m not a FB user, so I won’t notice if they change their friending policies. But I do hope that people don’t treat other people the same way in real life as they do on Facebook. Because the friends in Facebook are just names on the computer screen, not real people, right?

A man of too many friends comes to ruin, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

Proverbs 18:24

Family Conversations, Part 8

For your entertainment today, here are a couple of scenes from our life.

Scene 1

The whole family is in the minivan, just starting a trip into town.

Wife:Hey, do you think Gamma is over 20 lbs.?
Some Guy:Probably. We can weigh him when we get back home.
Because if he is, we can turn him around so he faces the front.
loudly so that Alpha, who sits in the very back, can hear: “Then he would be able to see Momma but not Alpha anymore.
What do you think, Alpha? We can turn Gamma around…
Alpha:Does that mean his skull is closed?
(husband and wife exchange confused stares for a second before laughing)
in an affirming voice: “Yes, I think so.

We had not been discussing fontanels with him recently. We didn’t know he even knew about the soft spot on a baby’s head and that the skull needs to grow together. My first thought when he said that was that he wasn’t answering us and was talking to his brother about something they made with Legos (yes, there are skeletons from some of their sets). But then we realized he was concerned about Gamma’s growth and development, and it became quite funny.

Scene 2

The whole family is in the minivan, halfway to home from a trip into town.

Beta, out of the blue: “Momma, why do you wear glasses?
Wife: “So I can see. Without glasses, everything looks blurry. Sometimes I wear contacts instead of glasses, but they do the same thing.
Some Guy:You should let him wear your glasses so he can see how things can look blurry.
(worrying that the eyeglasses might be a little worse for the wear after the kids had them) “Even better, how about I let them wear my old glasses?
You have glasses?
I used to wear glasses. Then I got my eyes fixed. They zapped them with a laser and now I can see clearly.
Did your eyes smoke?
(laughing, while recalling the smell of burning flesh during LASIK): “Yes, they did, a little bit
(now worrying that the kids might think that eyeballs and lasers normally play well together) “The eye doctor used the laser very carefully. You should never look at a laser or let anyone shine a laser at your eyes, because most lasers will hurt your eyes and then you might not be able to see anymore.

I think I got the point across, although it may have taken the fun out of the conversation.

The things you never considered before being a parent…

When discussing LASIK with people, you would assume they have enough common sense to know not to try laser eye surgery on their own. But how do people get that common sense in the first place? That’s part of the parents’ job – teaching children lessons as they go through life.

And yes, I still have my old glasses. They fit in the very broad category of Things With Sentimental Value that I like to save. And it’s fun to show people how bad my eyes were before LASIK.

But since I could not see because of the brightness of that light, I was led by the hand by those who were with me and came into Damascus.

Acts 22:11

Olympic Winners, 2010

Since there is some debate about the best way to measure who won the Olympics (correct answer: “We all did”), I thought I would prepare the results using several different methods so that various countries could claim to be the winners.

Most of the debate, at least here in the USA, centers around do only golds count (Canada won) or do all medals count (USA won). The seemingly official method is to count all medals, but there are some other ways.

Since there are too much data to put into one post, I’ll summarize the results in this post and also point to another page that contains the unsummarized data.

Summary: Korea won the 2010 Olympic games.

I prefer to normalize the Olympic rankings by athletes or, as they are sometimes called, delegates. How many contestants did a country send to win medals? And how many medals did they win? It’s more of an efficiency rating, but I think it is better than comparing medals to the general population.

Country Athletes / Point Rank
Korea KOR 0.92 1
Netherlands NED 1.31 2
Norway NOR 1.32 3

When one adjusts the points total by number of athletes sent to the Winter Olympics, South Korea is the winner. They were the only country to earn more than one point per athlete or, as I ranked them, less than one athlete per point.

For the complete data, please view the charts on the 2010 Olympics Results page.

An argument started among them as to which of them might be the greatest.

Luke 9:46

Raising Awareness of Awareness Raising

or, Be Aware – The World Needs More Wares.

or, Be Aware – Be Very, Very Aware.

I heard a radio interview where some lady was “raising awareness” for an issue near and dear to her heart. I don’t begrudge her the chance to make her story known, and I do wish her well in her endeavor to find a cure for her child’s affliction.

But . . .

There comes a point where raising awareness is not going to do anything anymore. We may be at or past that point already. You know, diminishing returns and all…

If all the issues are raising awareness of themselves, then people will be equally aware of all issues and the net effect is no one issue gets more attention than any others. In other words, when everyone is special then no one is special.

Ahh, my favorite movie quote is applicable once again.

charts showing what happens when all issues have raised awareness

Not everyone should be aware of all the issues facing everyone else. There are just too many people and too many issues. We do need to have experts in each area, and I think that’s not a problem currently. But the more issues there are of which to be aware, the less attention or interest each one gets or generates.

graph of personal interest in issues versus number of issues

Feel free to keep (or start) raising awareness for whatever you want. Just don’t be offended if I tune you out after I hear the phrase “raising awareness”.

But they refused to pay attention and turned a stubborn shoulder and stopped their ears from hearing.

Zechariah 7:11

Winter Wednesday

This was going to be something like a Wordless Wednesday, but I knew I would have to add commentary so it couldn’t qualify as wordless. So I am making it a Winter Wednesday.

Exactly two weeks ago, I wrote how our church program was cancelled (am I the only one who wants to spell “cancelled” with two Ls and wonders why the spell checker won’t recognize it? It wants me to write “canceled” but not “cancelation”. “Cancelled” and “cancellation” or “canceled” and “cancelation” – make up your mind, spell checker) due to a snow day.

Now, exactly two weeks later, it is Wednesday again. And it is snowing again. And church is cancelled again.

Here is the snowfall from last time.

picture of flower barrel covered by snow

And here is the snowfall from this time.

picture of flower barrel covered by snow

The boys had fun playing in the snow and building a fort and throwing snowballs. I took Gamma on a walk down the driveway (about as long as a football field, so it counts) because it was scenic. While I was there, I took some pictures of the road because it was scenic.

Here is looking right.

picture of flower barrel covered by snow

And here is left.

picture of flower barrel covered by snow

I think that the church leader who prayed for a lot of snow three weeks ago (read the post if you want to know) should remember to pray for no more snow. It seems his last prayer is still in effect and he needs to cancell it.

Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months.

James 5:17

I’m Thinking You Get What You Pay For

or, to please Winston Churchill, I Think You Get That For Which You Paid

Arby’s was on the way home from the ice-hockey tournament at which we were spectating, so we used the convenient drive-through ordering thingy. My wife is a fan of whatever restaurants’ value meals, so she ordered value-meal roast-beef sandwiches for everyone. Everyone except me. I was driving, so that meant I had to give the order to the Metal Pole Which Speaks. I ordered a regular roast-beef sandwich for myself.

We noted that the value-meal sandwiches were $1 each but the normal sandwich was $3 (I think the actual prices were $0.99 and $2.79, in case you care). So, if the value meals were really a better value, they would be comparable to the regular sandwich.

What do you think?

Arby's roast beef sandwiches, some value meal and one regular
one Arbys regular roast beef sandwich compared to three value-meal roast beef sandwiches

Yes, you can order three of the small sandwiches for about the same price as one normal sandwich, but all you will be doing is filling up your tummy with cheap bread. It looks to me like the regular sandwich has the same amount of meat as three of the measly sandwiches. The value-meal sandwich is not a value. I propose they should call them cheap-meal sandwiches because they are cheaper but not a better value.

On the other hand, they don’t claim it is a better value, just that it is a value. The measly sandwiches do have a value – about 1/3 that of the regular sandwich.

The priest shall value it as either good or bad; as you, the priest, value it, so it shall be.

Leviticus 27:12

PSALM 3

Now it is time for another PSALM.

This movie was made back during Christmas break, lest you think I have time these days to make movies. The boys got a Lego Space Police set for Christmas, and this is how the set looks and what it does.

Now only 147 more to go.

If the movie player isn’t working, you can save the .mpg file to your computer and open it with your computer’s movie-player software

But You, O LORD, are a shield about me, My glory, and the One who lifts my head.

Psalm 3:3