Friday, November 21, 2014

The Chicken or the Egg?

I would like to announce that I have solved the chicken-or-the-egg problem:

An egg is a chicken.

Think about it. A fertilized egg is a single cell with complete chicken DNA. When a chick breaks out of its egg, it’s really just shedding a layer of itself, the way scorpions molt from their old skin.

(Of course, this still begs the question of whether the first chicken appeared as an egg or an adult, or something in-between. But putting it that way is not nearly as compelling.)

Sunday, November 9, 2014

People's obnoxious questions about children

A while ago my wife and I were leaving a store with some of our kids, and someone commented, "You've got your boy!" I thought that was weird – I mean, why would we leave him behind? But then my wife explained that the lady had probably meant, "You had some girls and then stopped because you had the boy you were hoping for." Apparently my wife gets comments like this all the time. I was shocked. And actually, this is just a slight variation on a whole category of questions, comments, and assumptions that people throw out about other people’s families, none of which I understand. I would think it would be common sense to avoid this kind of thing, but evidently not, so as a public service announcement, here are a few.

  1. “Are you pregnant?” Come on people – Weird Al even makes fun of this kind of thing. (See the lyrics of “Tacky”.) If a woman wants you to know, she will tell you. I seriously doubt any woman has ever gone around thinking “Why don’t people ask me about the shape of my abdomen?”
  2. “Do you hope it’s a boy or a girl?” This may sound innocuous, but think about it: If you don’t get what you told someone you were hoping for, then that makes it look like you’re disappointed about your child. And if your child ever found out that you had said something like that, (and remember, anything online is there forever,) how are they going to feel?
  3. “So are you done?” or “So are you having more after that?” or even “When are you planning to have another one?” This kind of question is wrong for at least two reasons:
    1. It’s pretty much the most personal issue you could ask about.
    2. Just like the previous example, your response could be incriminating. If you say you’re done, and then you have another child, then that child could end up thinking that he/she was unwanted. And if you say you’re not done but then don’t have more kids, your youngest might end up feeling somehow inadequate. Not that such feelings would make sense, necessarily, but they happen.
  4. Then we have the cases where people assume you were waiting for a boy. (This is perhaps the worst of the lot.) If a couple really has this mentality, that’s like viewing daughters as mistaken attempts at a son. It would be a very sick way of family planning, and it amazes me when people imply that I would think that way.

I know it’s natural to be curious, but some issues are just off-limits unless someone volunteers information.


Monday, October 27, 2014

Peanut Butter and Jelly/Jam

First of all, watch this skit if you haven’t seen it already:

This has caused me serious doubts about how I make peanut butter and jelly/jam sandwiches. I should state up front that I don’t actually like them; I just eat straight peanut butter on bread. But maybe that’s because I’ve been doing it wrong. I’ve always made them the Whitney way, with peanut butter on one slice and jam/jelly on the other. But Jason’s logic is very strong. I guess as long as my kids aren’t complaining, I’ll just keep doing it the old way though, because it’s easier and seems to have a good balance of ingredients. (Matt’s way gets both ingredients on the knife at the same time and could corrupt the jam jar.)

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Faith is Not a Verb

I totally get what people mean when they say that faith is a verb. Faith motivates action; faith without works is dead. No problem. But just because a word describes something that is related to action, that doesn’t make it a verb. “Let’s go faith something today.” “Come on dude, it’s time to faith.” Nope.

And then some people go so far as to say that it’s an action verb. As opposed to what, a helping verb? “I faith going to the store.” “I faith made cookies.”

So while people wiser than I have said that faith is a verb, it’s just not.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

The Plasma Shadow

shadow3Thanks to some nifty cover art from my sister-in-law Christina, I published the sequel to The Plasma Master last night. Book three is almost done, but progress is slow due to actual stuff going on. But early reviewers agree that the sequel is better than the original, and I’m excited to be moving toward the conclusion of the series. (Even though the first book stands on its own, I kind of feel like I’ve paused a movie right before the end and left it that way for years.)

Links are on the book page.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

The Star-Spangled Banner - modern version

My sister-in-law and I were talking about how the national anthem uses phrases that don't really work anymore, like "oh say". It kind of went downhill from there.
Here is the modern version of The Star-Spangled Banner:

Hey dudes, check it out -
Like, this stuff is tots great!
Hashtag USA
LOL, I like our flag.
Here are pics of my cat
and a YouTube debate
between Obama
and the right wing, set to rap.

I don't always fight wars,
but when I do, I win.
Hold on for a sec,
while I take a selfie.


Saturday, June 21, 2014

Enough with the “an historical” bit

I hate it when I hear things like “an historical moment” said in an American accent. I hate it more when people actually cite those instances as an exception to the “a-an” rule. The reason why you see “an” in front of words starting with “h” is that in British English that “h” is silent. That’s it. If you’re reading something out loud, you can say “an historical” or “an happy” or whatever. I guess. Otherwise, stop it! (And to be honest, I try to read those things with a British accent. “an ‘istorical”. “an ‘appy’'.)

There. I feel better now.