User-agent: Mediapartners-Google* Disallow: Things that make you go hmmm.: April 2005

Things that make you go hmmm.

Friday, April 29, 2005

How could you miss that call?!!!

When we took a tour of Safeco Field home of the Seattle Mariners baseball team a couple of years ago, we were waiting to go into the locker rooms when I looked over and noticed a sign on the outside of a door to a smaller room that said “umpires”. This was obviously their changing room. I looked closer at the sign and noticed that the word “umpires” was written in Braille underneath it. Now isn’t that appropriate?

Thursday, April 28, 2005

I'll be a secretary...

... if it means getting to go out for a free lunch. I get to go out to lunch today paid by my company with three co-workers for “administrative professionals day” I believe formerly known as “secretaries day”. I don’t consider myself as an administrative professional really and definitely not as a secretary. Not that there is anything wrong with being a secretary, it's just not what I have been educated or trained for. It all started when I first joined this company 4 years ago. I was hired as the company’s accountant and my boss was the office manager. She was also the supervisor over the other more traditional secretarial/admin. positions so when secretaries day came around I was included. I didn’t mind since no other perks really for my job, no Christmas bonus or other monetary perks like that, and it was a free lunch. About 2 years ago, our corporate office moved the accounting functions to corporate so I was facing my job being eliminated. The local office finally decided to keep me on so I could take over the responsibilities of a man that was retiring as well as other misc. duties. I no longer report to the office manager and I am more just her co-worker and my job is even less secretarial (although I do have to answer phones and other such duties since our office is so small). Am I bad/wrong for participating in being recognized in this way? I feel a little funny being included in this still, but like I said before it is a free lunch. I am not one to have such an ego that I feel I am above these other workers either so I’m not too proud to go, especially since it is a free lunch. What would you do? Remember, we are talking about a free lunch here.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

What should you do?

I didn't really recognize we had Earth Day last week with the exception of a blog posting I read, see . It made me think of this troubling dilemma. I am sure that any good environmentalist would cringe at the prospect of finding themself in this situation.
What should you do when you see an endangered animal eating an endangered plant?

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Things we take for granted

Sitting at my desk early this morning, I was typing away on an email response to our corporate office when all of a sudden the power went out. Not sure why, but it affected my building and others around us and it even knocked out a traffic light at a major intersection nearby. The light was not even blinking, it was just out. Could have been pretty dangerous, but no wrecks that I know of. The electricity was out for just over an hour and during that time I was reminded how much we depend on it. No problem with being able to see because the sun was shining brightly through our windows, but I couldn't do anything on the computer or my ten-key calculator and our phones were out too. All things vital to my job. I got to thinking about other things that God has provided that we take for granted on a daily basis. What if we didn't have clean water to drink and clean with, or food to eat, or jobs available to provide for our family? Hmmm. It made me thank God for these basic necessities. Also to thank God for this country I live in where we have so many freedoms, most importantly to be able to freely worship the one true God. Maybe this has helped you think of things that you take for granted. Feel free to comment on these, better yet, feel free to thank God for these.

Monday, April 25, 2005

What kind of pot are we talkin' about?

What’s the old saying? “A watched pot never boils.” Why is it that it seems like every time when you are waiting for an important phone call, you sit around doing nothing and the phone never rings, but as soon as you leave to do something, you miss the call? My experience at work recently has been like this, but with a little different twist on it. I don’t get that many phone calls at work, maybe 2-3 on average a day. Recently, it seems like the only times I get phone calls, I am “away from my desk” if you know what I mean. Those times that I am waiting for someone to call me back, I think to myself that I shouldn’t go to the restroom until I get the call, but they never call until I can’t hold it any longer and sure enough I get back to my desk and there is voicemail on my phone. Do you have any examples of waiting for something to happen and it never does until you go on with your day and you miss it?

Friday, April 22, 2005

Remembering your childhood

What causes some people to be able to remember their childhood, and yet others like me can't remember very much? My wife is one who can recall things pretty well from her growing up years. She will joke with me about never being able to recall things when things come up, usually regarding our kids' experiences. Like birthdays, she remembers birthday parties with a lot of details, even what the cakes looked like. Maybe because those were things that she cared about then and I didn't really (not that I know whether I didn't care or not because I can't remember). Or maybe it's because there were pictures taken and she remembers looking at those. That could be it, I am the youngest of 5 kids and my family would joke about how there were hardly any pictures of me. Are there some other reasons for not remembering? Maybe it's a chemical imbalance (not sure what that means, but it sounds good). Some might say psychologically that people like me are repressing those memories due to something that happened in my childhood. Sounds like a lot of therapy psycho-babble. Not me, I had a very good childhood (I think, I can't really remember). What about you? Do you remember your childhood?

Thursday, April 21, 2005


Who was it that came up with saying uh-huh and uh-uh for yes and no? I'm not sure how to even spell them, but you know what I mean right? Uh-huh? Maybe these utterances are even older than the actual words yes and no. They were probably the grunting sounds that the "caveman" made to his wife. Whaaaat?!! You know what I am talking about guys. When your wife is talking to you as you watch the baseball game and says "honey, are you even listening to me?" what do you respond? Uh-huh. And when she asks "honey, does this dress make me look fat?" you better clearly respond uh-uh. Too bad we can't color code our verbal responses as I have done above to make sure our wives hear the right grunting sounds and in the proper order. : )

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

High prices when there is plenty.

Why don’t things that are commonplace in some areas cost less for nearby residents?
For example, in West Texas where there are hundreds of oil and gas wells, the price for gas at the pump was often higher or at least the same as the rest of the country.
Or having to pay high utility bills when there is a nuclear power plant near your town.
Or having to pay the same price for paper products or lumber when there are forests all around you.
Can you think of more examples? How about examples of things that do cost less?

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Trust in the simple things

Why is it that someone will believe you when you say there are four billion stars, but they will check when you say the paint is wet?

Monday, April 18, 2005

Canine confusion

Have you ever noticed that when you blow in a dog's face he will get mad at you, but when you take the same dog for a ride in a car he'll stick his head out the window?

Friday, April 15, 2005

Tax day

It's April 15th, have you filed your tax return or extension with the IRS? Being that I used to prepare tax returns for a living, this was always a joyous day. That's right, I do consider myself an accountant even though I no longer work directly in this field, although the nerd part as I was referred to in a comment on a previous post (see Tax time below) is subject to your individual opinion. I don't think I am, especially compared to some of the geeky computer guys or engineers we know. : ) Anyway, for 7 tax seasons I put in a ton of overtime as a salaried employee (not getting paid extra for it) during the months leading up to this day. So glad I don't have to do that anymore esp. with a family. Most people might think this would be the busiest day of the year for tax accountants, but with the firms I worked for it was probably one of the most relaxed days because if you didn't have your stuff in to us early enough to get your return done on time we would have to get an extension for you. The weekend before the 15th were always the longest days for me. We would usually have some kind of office celebration on the 15th, pretty boring partying with a bunch of nerd accountants. : )
So, "how much are you going to get back this year?" "What are you going to use your refund for?" We got our big refund back in February.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

The things we eat

Have you ever wondered how we came up with some of the things we eat? And I'm not even talking about the strange delicacies that you will see people eat especially in other countries like on Survivor or the Amazing Race (see and ). Really most things make perfect sense, but what about things like cheese? Who was it that said no don't throw out the curdled milk, let's let it sit out some more and wait until it gets fermented and hard and then eat it. Speaking of milk, who was the first person to look at a cow and say I think I'll squeeze these dangly things here and drink whatever comes out? It must have been the same person that also said "See that chicken over there? I think I'm gonna eat the next thing that comes out of it." How about the potato (or is it potatoe? :) Who was the first person to be digging in the ground when they came across a lump covered in dirt and thought I think I'll eat this.
All this talk is making me hungry so I think I'll make myself some breakfast, how about some eggs with melted cheese, and hashbrowns, and I think I'll wash it all down with some milk.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Heating and Cooling

At this time of year especially on a clear day, it gets cool enough at night that the heat comes on and yet during the day with the sun out it gets warm enough that the air conditioner kicks in. Which brings up a good question, why is it that in the summer we are comfortable with the house at say 76 degrees, but during the winter this setting would be way too hot for us? And vice-versa, in the winter why are we comfortable at say 68 degrees but we would freeze if we set the AC for this setting in the summer? I should be glad though since it would be really expensive otherwise (see my penny pinching post below). Also for days like we are having now, what clothes should you wear? It seems like I always pick the wrong shirt, when I wear a long sleeve shirt it usually ends up being sunny and I get really hot and if I wear a short sleeve shirt it will be cloudy and windy all day and I am freezing.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Allergy Quacks

We have had several occasions where friends have told us that their kids have been diagnosed with different food allergies and other things by a test that their doctor uses that is very unconventional. The doctor will have them hold in one hand usually a vial containing the substance that he is testing for allergies and if the patient raises their other arm then they are not allergic, but if they can't raise their other arm this indicates they have an allergy. I am not sure of the exact method, but it is some form of what they call applied kinesiology. Trying to look this up on the internet, I have found several sites that expose this as quackery and there seem to be several variations of how this is done. These doctors also use this to determine if the patient has a problem with good and bad sugars. The two doctors we know about who use this and other quacky procedures are a chiropracter and a homeopath. Both seem to profit from their diagnosing these conditions by then selling all kinds of vitamins and minerals and oils you drink and other treatments. It is amazing that people will believe these doctors, yet we know of at least 5 different families that have been suckered into this. Have you ever heard of this? Maybe you believe it works, or have an experience you can share.

Monday, April 11, 2005

One lane bowling alley

Our friends invited our family to spend an enjoyable weekend with them at their parents' "cabin" in the mountains. One of the other "cabins" nearby has a rather long and narrow building on their property and our friends told us that the owners are rather strange in an eccentric way. The gentleman built this building to house his own one lane bowling alley complete with ball retrieval. They also have a couple of really old snow mobiles with homemade dummies on them in different places around and above their house. This reminded me of the eccentric things that I would hear about of a very rich man in Amarillo, Texas who liked to spend his money on odd things. He is somewhat famous for burying several old Cadillacs in a row halfway in the ground with the back half sticking up in the air, or placing a white wall on a bluff so when the sun hit it just right it would make the top of the bluff appear to float in the air. On a smaller scale, I remember hearing that he likes to fall asleep with rain and lightning so he had some special machine installed to simulate this for him outside his window. There were other things, but I can't remember all of them. Do you have any stories of eccentric people you know or have heard about that have done things that have made you go hmmm?

Friday, April 08, 2005

Wild eye!

My brother just sent me this link to a site that has an eye that can do some weird, wild things. Check out and move your cursor around. Aren't you glad God didn't make us with eyes that do that? Can you imagine? Hmmm.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Tax time

You have heard it before I am sure, "How much are you going to get back this year? We are going to use our tax refund for...". It frustrates me when I hear people who brag about how big their tax refund is going to be and what they plan to blow it on. The IRS loves these people though because the government gets to use their money interest free for all that length of time from when it was withheld until they send them their refund. Retailers like auto dealers love these types too even advertising that they can use their anticipated refunds as down payments. It would just take a little bit of discipline to decrease their withholding and take the extra money they get in their paychecks and deposit it into even a simple savings account. This way they could have these funds available to them during the year, and with the interest it earns they could have even more that they could blow, use for buying something they really need, or just to save for the future. I guess that is usually the case, they don’t have the discipline on their own to save and they have to rely on the IRS to be their savings account.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005


What makes us form certain annoying habits and why do we continue doing them even when someone points them out to us? One of mine that my wife hates is that I like to have the bills in my money clip all turned the same way and from highest to lowest denomination and I will stand there after getting change and put them in order in plain sight which I guess could give a thief more of a temptation to rob me. What are some quirks, idiosyncrasies, or just plain annoying habits that you can’t stand of your loved ones or those around you?

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Pressing harder to make a difference

Why do people push buttons harder than necessary or over and over thinking that their extra effort will make a difference? Really, does pushing the elevator button more than once make it arrive faster? Or do people really believe that banging on the button at the crosswalk over and over will make the traffic signal turn green quicker? Or how about pressing harder on a remote control when you know the batteries are getting weak? Or quadruple clicking on something on the computer even though you already double clicked and the little hourglass is there showing that the computer is doing it's thing as slow as usual.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Daylight Savings Time

Here is a question for anyone who wants to admit to it. How long have any of you gone before you realized that you forgot to change your clocks, either springing forward for daylight savings time or falling back to standard time? I don't think I or my family have ever forgotten that I can remember. Maybe because it is always on a Saturday night and our churches usually remind us so we will be at church on time. I had to laugh at some friends of ours yesterday who showed up to church an hour late because they forgot and he is a Sunday School teacher so he missed teaching his class. Awhile back, the opposite was true when a family arrived a little late to our early service which starts at 9:30 thinking that they were coming to the late service which starts at 10:50 being that they forgot to set their clocks back to standard time. What about those who don't have somewhere that they have to be on time to like church on Sunday morning? Have you ever known someone to not realize it until they had to be at work or school all the way to Monday morning?

Friday, April 01, 2005


Why do people when they have the munchies and there is nothing new to snack on repeatedly return to the refrigerator or pantry with hopes that something new to eat will have materialized?