Category Archives: General Musing

Hard Work Beats Talent

Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.

Time to Get Off

Seen as a sig. on a bulletin board post:

Capitalization is the difference between “I helped my uncle Jack off a horse” and “I helped my uncle jack off a horse.”

Bums and Crumbs

We are looking for some people in our church to reduce the workload on the deacons by freeing them from having to set up chairs and sweep the floors. I think good branding is a good start for any new ministry. This one should clearly be called “Bums and Crumbs;” or maybe “The Crumb Bums”.

Information Tourists

Information tourist: someone who visits a web site motivated by the desire to gather news or how-to “tips,” but having no reason or desire to ever do anything useful with the new knowledge; a well-read dilettante.

My definition, from a usage of the term on 43folders

XM Radio Beat Me

I called today to cancel my XM Radio subscription. I’m fond of several XM channels but I’ve been spending too little time listening to XM to justify the recurring monthly fee of $13.

When I called to cancel the associate ascertained that I was happy with the service, just not the price point, so he offered to give me a year’s worth of service for $7/month. Nice touch: haggle over the merchandise.

I took the deal.

Spending Money

Two thoughts on where I can find some fun money during these belt-tightening times:

  1. Cancel XM radio subscription, then argue that the $13/mo we’re saving should be given to me to spend as I please. (If wife tries the same argument with the fiber optic internet connection, throw tantrum.)
  2. Potty train the baby early, then claim for myself the $60/mo we save on diapers until his 3rd birthday when, ideally, I’d have had him potty trained anyway. (If wife tries the same argument substituting me for baby, beer for diapers, and liver cirrhosis for potty training, throw tantrum.)


I’m writing this while sitting on my couch staring at our Christmas tree. The radio is playing Christmas music. It’s beautiful classical stuff that’s driven by the voices of choirs resonating in cathedrals.

My wife is here with me, though she’s fallen asleep snuggled under a blanket with her mug of hot chocolate not even touched. I, on the other hand, am warm with the aforementioned chocolate.

My children are warm in their beds — lets call it, “nestled all snug in their beds.” All of them are resting peacefully after an adventurous day.

My brother and his wife came by for a wonderful visit earlier this evening. They’re in town for Christmas and it’s a treat to see them. It’s especially fun to see our girls having so much fun with them. It’s nice taking time to visit with loved ones that we don’t see often.

I can remember from my childhood sitting in a room lit by only a Christmas tree. It was a magical feeling: pondering the cold winter outside our house while we stayed warm inside; pondering the magical, mystical aspects of the Christmas story, with God sending a gift to humanity and angels announcing His kindness to shepherds in the field; the anticipation of the presents I would open on Christmas morning. Sitting here pondering my Christmas tree I’m connected to those far-away Christmas memories somehow.


We all know that as adults Christmas morning is nowhere near as fun as it was when we were children. Oh, it may well be more meaningful pondering the birth of our Savior; or we may now enjoy the fulfillment of watching our spouses and children open gifts that we’ve selected more than we enjoyed being children ourselves opening whatever Santa had brought for us. But still, as far as raw fun goes, present-opening was better as children than it is as adults.

Well Tina’s managed to make this Christmas’ present-opening pretty exciting for me. She’s gone and okay’d a purchase that makes me as giddy as a child while I await the UPS delivery. We’re getting a Roomba!

Yep, I’m going to get a robot. That is cool to me in at least 3 different ways. But allow me to ignore all of those ways for now and concentrate on a near-inanity: that is, what to name our new Roomba?

I’m a big fan of the show Futurama. On that program they often name their robots using a rather utilitarian formula: a robot is named after it’s function, and then the suffix “bot” is often added to complete the name. Examples: Humorbot, Preacherbot, Fatbot, and Hedonismbot.

So, I’m thinking our new Roomba robot should be named Suck-bot. How’s that?


I don’t tend to think of myself as trendy. In fact I take pride in my thrifty resolve to not replace stuff that works fine simply because something newer, better has come along. For example: my ’93 Toyota Camry. I bought it used, paid it off, and then drove it until it was barely worth anything on trade for the minivan we desperately needed after so many years of fertile lovemaking.

For another example: my five-year-old DV camera that was still top-of-the-line four years ago but definitely behind the technology curve ever since. I’ve kept that thing long past its freshness date and have used it to record every preschool play and awards ceremony that my children have ever been a part of. It barely records at standard TV quality let alone DVD quality. However, I continue to use it because I can take pride in the money I save by not updating.

My facade started to crack last Christmas when I used some gift certificates to buy a Tivo. While Tivo was not a cutting edge technology, owning a computer that would watch TV for you so that you didn’t have to was still a little unusual at the time. And then this Fall my wife and I decided to have Verizon run a fiber optic cable to our home. While the combination of services we receive via the fiber optic costs us less than what we were paying for them previously, it still feels a little cutting-edge to have the evening news beamed in via laser beam.

Today I was taken by a desire that is also hard to square with the pride I take in sober frugality: I want a Roomba!

It’s Science

I’ve just started making instant coffee instead of brewed coffee. I like the more scientific-feeling process involved: measuring spoons are used to add coffee crystals, sugar, milk, and water in a precise ratio. When I make drip coffee I have to measure out enough water and coffee grounds for several cups of coffee, and this introduces more error on a per-cup basis as subjectively judged by flavor variation. Instant coffee is precise.

The best part of waking up is precision in your cup.