Americana, Just for Fun

Ethnocentrism is simply pride on a group scale.

I know, I know, I’m simplifying a little here. Let me explain.

Ethnocentrism = Group Pride

Ethnocentrism is one of those words that can carry multiple meanings, but generally, it’s defined as a sense of superiority over someone (or their group) due to a belief that one’s own group is different, or better, than others. I have yet to meet or hear of any group of individuals who don’t struggle with ethnocentrism on some level. Continue Reading

Americana, Just for Fun

What the Media Won’t Tell You: The Shortage of Turn Signals

There is a national epidemic that no one is talking about. You won’t find it on NBC, CNN, or Fox News. You probably won’t even find it on your favorite alternative news site. It’s affecting at least 50% of our country’s population, and equally affects every demographic imaginable.

The problem involves our nation’s shortage of turn signals.

You’ve probably heard of turn signals. They’re those little lights that blink right before a car turns or changes lanes. At least, that’s what is supposed to happen. These days, however, more and more cars are being made without turn signal lights. I know this, because about half the cars I come across no longer signal. It’s appalling,  how many of our citizens are unknowingly driving a vehicle that doesn’t know where it’s going.  Continue Reading

Just for Fun

I’ve explained before that my wife has celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder triggered by gluten. Over the course of our gluten-free experience, we’ve begun asking questions like,

“Where can we find cheap gluten-free baking products?”

“Is gluten-free shampoo really necessary?”

“What in the world are coconut aminos?!”

We’ve also discovered a surprising number of friends and family who avoid gluten for dietary reasons and are asking the same questions! So, we’re starting a blog. Continue Reading

Just for Fun, The Great Outdoors

Since the Backyard of Awesomeness is still in the design stage, our family’s gardening attempts this year involve helping my wife’s family with their garden, and pots.

Oh, and a Home Depot bucket filled with potatoes. (Search for “potato bucket” on Pinterest and you’ll see what I mean.)

As an experiment, I’m also trying my own twist on self-watering plant containers. Continue Reading

Just for Fun, Uncategorized

I can still remember the first time I paid for a book.

There is (or was) a small teacher’s supply store somewhere in Utah with a wire book rack full of classics: Black Beauty, Robinson Crusoe, and the like. My mom was purchasing some supplies for our homeschool co-op.

Now, if you’ve ever shopped with a teacher or a homeschooling parent in a teacher’s supply store, you know it can take a very. long. time. Think of how long it takes a hunter to shop at Cabela’s and you’ll have a general idea. With time on my hands, I started perusing the books. (This was back before cell phones for kids was a thing.)

Robinson Crusoe? Already read it. Tarzan? Nope. Swiss Family Robinson? Too close too Robinson Crusoe.

Then an intriguing paperback’s cover caught my eye. A giant squid, reaching its tentacles towards some sort of submarine.

Cool!

Glancing at the title, I started reading. My nose enjoyed the distinct smell of a newly opened book. The plot was a little slow at first, something about a French professor and narwhals. Still more interesting than cardstock and “educational” games, though.

By the time my mom was ready to check out, I’d reached chapter two and was being introduced to Captain Nemo. A mixture of genius, maniac and revolutionary (with a dash of tragic/murderous background), he and his Nautilus caught me hook, line and sinker. His motto, Mobilis in Mobili, was temporarily my own.

Five minutes later, I’d purchased my first book. My book–bought with my hard earned cash, and worth every penny.

Once in a while I pick up 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea again, and Captain Nemo escorts me across the wonders of aquatic creation.

Mobilis in Mobili. Latin for (more or less) “mobility in a mobile element.” That’s what a good book is: the mobility of imagination diving through the sea of written words.

To quote Captain Nemo: “There I recognize no master! There I am free!”

20k Leagues book

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©2016

 

Just for Fun, Uncategorized

Baby likes to bite on things–

Bottle caps and wedding rings,

Pieces of his dad’s flip-flops,

Wipes, and even old floor mops!

Everything fit’s Baby’s mouth:

Cheese with peppers from the South,

Clothing left out on the floor,

Grass clips from the lawn next door.

When will Baby stop to bite?

When his teeth can fit juuuuust right.

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©2016

Just for Fun, Uncategorized

Recently I read an online comment suggesting that a worldwide “Space Night” could be fun. The idea was that, on a specific hour of a specific night, all the lights in the world would be turned off at once, so we could enjoy the vastness of space. Perhaps cookies shaped like Saturn and glow-in-the-dark milk could be served!

While this idea is noteworthy, it’s both impractical and unscientific.

Impractical, because no one wants to dim car lights, stoplights, or their smartphones for an entire hour–that’s just ludicrous.

Unscientific, because it would confuse the aliens.

You see, unless we send out an interstellar “FYI” message, any intelligent life forms watching us will be quite alarmed when the “silent planet,” us, suddenly goes dark. I can just imagine the ensuing conversation:

Alien 1: “Sir, could you take a look at this?”

Alien 2: “Yes, what is it?”

“Sir, planet X normally appears right here, in quadrant 5.”

“And?”

“Well, sir… it isn’t.”

“What are you talking about?”

“It disappeared, sir! Its moon is still in orbit, and there’s a certain amount of light fluctuation where it was, but it just… disappeared! I’ve never seen anything like it, sir!”

“Impossible, planets don’t just disappear.”

“Sir, it’s been nearly an hour, and there has been no light detected from planet X, none!”

“But how… send the planet’s records to my office, I’ll have a team look at this immediately.”

“Yes, sir.”

15 minutes later

“Sir!”

“Yes?”

“IT’S BACK!”

“What’s back?”

“PLANET X!”

Ensuing scramble to pull up the data

“What in blazes–”

“Sir, I am at a complete loss to explain it!”

As you can see, an event such as “Space Night” could throw our celestial neighbors’ scientific progress into disarray.