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

Things that make you go hmmm.

Friday, July 29, 2005

The Board is coming, the Board is coming!

I work for what I would call a medium-sized corporation. It is big enough that the company's stock is publicly traded on Nasdaq, but we are not so big that you would be familiar with us or that you would have ever heard our name probably unless you were in the industry. We do have a Board of Directors with some members that have some pretty impressive credentials. Out of the eight Board members, we have several CEOs, retired Generals, and even a billionaire (and I'm sure most if not all the others are millionaires). They were taking time to travel to all of the corporation's locations to see the operations side of the company for which they make decisions as the Board of Directors and they came to our location yesterday. Having arrived by private plane, they were to spend the day touring our work site. You would think that I should be very nervous about this wouldn't you? Well I wasn't. That's because I no longer work out at our site which is about 30 miles outside of town. I work in a small office we have in town and the Board was not supposed to come to our office. Notice I said not supposed to. After their tour, they told our General Manager who was showing them around that they wanted to see our town office where he and I and two others work. Fortunately, I looked presentable enough yesterday for meeting these men and I still wasn't too nervous since I figured they would just be stopping by and I would at most just have to shake their hands and meet them. Well, they did just stop by for about 20-30 minutes, but they spent at least 10-15 minutes in my office asking me questions. Our corporate President and CEO who is on the Board introduced me and said "whaaaat!, I hate to put you on the spot, but why don't you explain a little about..." and went on from there with several questions for which I was grateful that I knew the answers and I feel I was somewhat able to answer in an intelligent manner. Whewww. Maybe it was best that I didn't know ahead of time so I didn't get nervous and try to prepare and worry about saying the right things. All these guys were actually kind of nice and weren't all snooty and things, but seemed like regular guys. Yeah, regular guys with a lot of power and money, but you really couldn't tell. One in particular that asked me more of the questions was only maybe 10 years older than me and was wearing jeans which I noticed had a ring in the back pocket from a can of dip. He must just be a good ol' boy who made it big time, but who is still just a good ol' boy. Have you ever had an experience like this? Have you ever shaken hands with a billionaire, a retired several star General, or even a CEO? Well now I can say I have and it didn't even have to be that big of a deal.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Tense situation at New Mexico junior high school

With all the hightened security concerns at American schools following incidents like school shootings and especially in the wake of the tragedy at Columbine High School, authorities were taking extreme precaution on April 29 at Marshall Junior High in Clovis, NM. Someone made a call to police when they saw a boy carrying a suspicious package into the school. The package was a long cylinder and was wrapped in tin foil and a white T-shirt. Police put armed officers on rooftops near the school, closed nearby streets and locked down the school. Parents descended upon the school after hearing a report on the radio. They were waiting together to hear any news regarding the safety of their children. It was a tense situation until the police could secure the school and give the ok to remove the lock down. As soon as it was lifted, parents pulled 75 students out of school. The school principal brought everyone in the school together in the auditorium to explain the situation. The suspicious package that was brought into the school was described to the students. Afterwards, an eighth-grade boy approached the principal saying "I think I'm the person they saw". The boy went on to explain that he brought a package similar to what was described to school that day as part of an extra-credit assignment to create commercial advertising for a product. The package did not contain a bomb, it was a giant burrito! He made the burrito as a product that a restaurant could sell marketing it as specializing in oddly large burritos. When the police saw the large burrito, everyone laughed in relief. When interviewed later, the boy said "Oh, and I have a new nickname now. It's burrito boy".
See the full AP article on this at the MSNBC web site. I heard the retelling of this story on the radio yesterday on one of those Paul Harvey type of programs. Fortunately this one was a happy if not funny ending. I think the giant burrito could have still been considered a bomb though especially for whoever ate the thing. Can you imagine the explosion after consuming that much meat and beans wrapped in a giant tortilla. Things that make you go hmmm...mahhahaha. : )

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Urban Legends

With all the comments yesterday about the liger and whether it was real or not, I decided to do some checking and do a new post about it. I am usually pretty skeptical about things I get forwarded to me in emails, but I didn't even think twice about this one for some reason. I checked the urban legends authority website and the pictures and the liger named Hercules is true. See this site for yourself. Here is another site at I didn't even think about the connection with the scene from Napoleon Dynamite. No skills in magic were mentioned regarding this real liger though. As a matter of fact, when Shannon mentioned Napoleon in her first comment, I just thought she was being funny referring to my previous post of the oatmel packet trivia about the real Napoleon having ailurophobia, a fear of cats. Then when others mentioned the movie, I recalled the scene where he was drawing the picture. What's the deal with this movie anyway. We finally rented it to find out and I have to admit I don't really get it. I mean it is funny and there are some good lines, but I don't always relate things to it like some people do. GOSH! I think that people who do are a bunch of freakin' idiots! Yesssssssssssss. : ) For more trivia about the movie check this out on Wikipedia.
Anyway, regarding urban legends, why do some people start these. I can understand a rumor that is maybe about something that the facts just aren't straight. But, some of them are intentionally deceitful. For what purpose? Like the one a lady in our church forwarded to us the other day about Dr. James Dobson requesting Christians to take action against a petition sent to the FCC for banning the gospel or any mention of Jesus on the airwaves, etc. I have seen this one several times before and it is false. All that I can say about these people is that they are a bunch of freakin' idiots, GOSH! I guess they do whatever they feel like they wanna do.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

What's a Liger?

A really big cat. I got this in my email yesterday. This cat is huge!
This is what was said regarding this monstrous animal in the email forwarded to me:

Part lion, part tiger Hercules stands 10ft tall on his back legs. Called a liger, in reference to his crossbreed parentage, he is the largest of all the cat species. On a typical day he will devour 20lb of meat, usually beef or chicken, and is capable of eating 100lb at a single setting. At just three years old, he already weighs half a ton. He is the accidental result of two enormous big cats living close together at the Institute of Greatly Endangered and Rare Species, in Miami, Florida, and already dwarfs both his parents. "Ligers are not something we planned on having," said institute owner Dr Bhagavan Antle. "We have lions and tigers living together in large enclosures and at first we had no idea how well one of the lion boys was getting along with a tiger girl, then lo and behold we had a liger." 50mph runner... Not only that, but he likes to swim, a feat unheard of among water-fearing lions. In the wild it is virtually impossible for lions and tigers to mate. Not only are they enemies likely to kill one another, but most lions are in Africa and most tigers in Asia. But incredible though he is, Hercules is not unique. Ligers have been bred in captivity, deliberately and accidentally, since shortly before World War II. Today there are believed to be a handful of ligers around the world and a similar number of tigons, the product of a tiger father and lion mother. Tigons are smaller than ligers and take on more physical characteristics of the tiger.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Youth camp

Do you have memories of going to camp when you were young? If you went to church youth camp, you may have had one or some of those "mountaintop experiences" where you learned something spiritually or your eyes were opened to some new truth that really touched you. I think I only went one year to our church's youth camp, but I do remember some different times in my youth group when I had "mountaintop experiences" like these. Maybe at a ski trip or some overnight thing. Our church's youth group just got back from a week long youth camp and they led the worship service last night. One of the neat parts of the service is where all of them sit on the stairs to the podium in front of the church and get to share something they learned from the week if they want to. It was neat to hear how God was working in their lives during the week and how they were learning fresh new spiritual truths. It also made me realize that we really need to pray for them during these years as they really are in the midst of facing the world and all the temptations and worldliness that can lure them away from Christ. It also made me remember the feelings of excitement when you finally get something that God helps you understand and apply to your life. These times that don't occur as often as they should as you get older and set in your ways etc. I need to ask God for that excitement and desire to learn more and to grow closer to Him. Hmmm, things you can learn from a high school youth.

Friday, July 22, 2005

More food related questions

Here are a few more food related questions for your reading pleasure:

Why do they use artificial lemon juice in most of those bottled lemon juices and yet they use real lemon juice in dish soap?

If vegetarians eat vegetables, what do humanitarians eat? Along the same line of thinking, if a cannibal ate a clown, would it taste funny?

Why is there neither pine nor apple in pineapple? And what's the deal with Grapenuts? They're neither grape nor nuts.

Have you ever wondered why does pizza come in a square box? For some interesting trivia on the history of the pizza box see this site.

How about those little tables they sometimes put in the box so the pizza for sure won't get squashed? They are perfect for a little girl's dollhouse don't you think?

If you sued a parsley farmer could you garnish his wages?

And my final one doesn't have anything to do with food, but I thought it was hilarious at the risk of being somewhat offensive. If quizzes are quizzical then what are tests?

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Food related questions

Scroll down to the previous post to set the mood with the pictures of savory food.
Here are some thoughts to ponder.

Do illiterate people get the full effect of alphabet soup?

If corn oil comes from corn and olive oil comes from olives, where the heck does baby oil come from?

Why is there an expiration date on sour cream? Does old sour cream go good?

If instant oatmeal is instant, then why does it take 1 to 2 minutes to cook in the microwave? I know I should have included this one with my series of posts last week.

If you're in France and you order toast, do you get toast or French toast?

And finally, if Wile E. Coyote had enough money to buy all that Acme crap, why didn't he just buy dinner?

Actually this is not final, I found some more I will post tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Good Eats

Or as my wife says "good groceries" usually referring to the one place on my body (my stomach) that shows I am out of shape and eat well. "You aren't fat that is just some good groceries." I am fortunately one of those that doesn't appear to be overweight, but I probably have a high body fat %. Anyway, I won't ask you about your weight or I for sure wouldn't get many comments except maybe from those "skinny" people who are in great shape and then we will all think negatively about them. What I wanted to post about today was regarding those who don't enjoy eating. Either they just eat to survive or they eat so fast that they don't enjoy a well cooked meal. Both of these types make me say "whaaaat!?".

If you go to a nice restaurant and spend mucho bucks for a great meal, don't you want to eat it slow and savor each bite and enjoy the experience? Even worse is when someone like your wife, your mother or mother in-law, or some friends who have invited you over for dinner spend all day slaving in the kitchen to prepare a great meal and then someone scarfs it down in 10 minutes. We have some friends who have invited us over for dinner several times and their family eats so fast they are done before we even cut our first bite of meat and get butter on our bread. The wife is a great cook and spends alot of time in the kitchen. They probably have great meals every day but they don't seem appreciated. My wife also knows one of those "skinny" people who are in great shape that I referred to earlier who said that they don't enjoy eating and that if they didn't have to eat to survive they probably wouldn't eat. Whaaaat!? Gag me with a beater (covered with chocolate icing). I think God not only supplies us with our daily bread, but he has given us plenty to enjoy tasting. Maybe not to the excess that we often indulge in. Everything in moderation, right? What do you think?

One of those foods we love to indulge in is a juicy hamburger. Have you ever wondered why do we call it a hamburger when it is made from beef? Hmmm. If you are really interested, check out this site.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

How old do you think Chuck Norris is?

Do you know Chuck Norris? He earned six undefeated World Professional Middle Weight Karate Championships and he is an 8th degree Black Belt Grand Master in Tae Kwon Do. He has starred in numerous movies and television shows including most recently “Walker, Texas Ranger”. How old do you think Chuck Norris is? This is what really surprised me, he is 65 years old. He sure doesn’t look that old. I would have guessed maybe early 50s. He has a 42 year old son. He is also a Christian. I read about his story in the June issue of “Stand Firm”. I delayed in posting this because when I told my wife this she guessed in his late 60s. Maybe I am the only one who thinks he doesn't look that old. She is always doing that to me by the way. I think I have some really cool fact or ask my wife to guess something and she always bursts my bubble. I guess she is good at keeping me humble. : )

Monday, July 18, 2005

Irrigation water

Do you have irrigation water where you live? We do, and I think it is great. We have water supplied from the river that comes through canals with pumps that give it enough pressure to make it to my lawn. I had never really seen this system used for residential areas until we moved here and it is quite amazing with all the miles of canals some are wide, some aren't and some paved and some are just ditches. It is pretty inexpensive too. We pay an annual fee and have the water supplied from April to October. A nearby neighborhood isn't hooked up to the irrigation water so they use city water for their lawn and some friends of ours that live there said that their bill for a couple of months could be what we pay for the whole year.

The local farmers love it too I am sure. We don't get much rain so most of the farming done around here depends totally on irrigation water. When you think of a field on a farm do you usually think of a square plot of land? For most farmers around here that use irrigation water, they plant their fields in circles with the huge irrigation sprinklers going around. It is quite a different looking site to see from the air when coming in on a plane.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Seagulls in the desert?

Do you have seagulls in your area? Do you live by the sea? We live more than 200 miles from the sea, yet we have seagulls all over the place. Would you still call them seagulls if they are not by the sea? Quite a few of them hang around a large river that is near us, so it makes some sense that they would be around the parks near this river and the riverbanks. But you actually see them all over town miles away from the river. Our house is about 10 miles away from the river and we live across the street from a nice green pasture that has cows and in the Spring when the irrigation water starts up and the farmer is watering his field, there are hundreds of seagulls that appear. It is actually quite a pretty site and neat to see (up until they drop poop all over our deck). We have also seen different varieties of cranes around, so maybe they are just traveling further to get enough to eat.

We don't have too many pigeons around but they can be similar to seagulls in creating a mess and begging for food etc. I heard or read something interesting the other day about pigeons that made me go hmmm. Have you ever seen a baby pigeon or a baby seagull for that matter? It's like they come out as adults, ready to scavenge for whatever they can find and then poop it all over.

Here are a few bird-related one liners:
When your pet bird sees you reading the newspaper, does he wonder why you're just sitting there, staring at carpeting?
If dove season means you can shoot dove, and quail season means you can shoot quail, what is the tourist season?

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Things you can learn from a packet of instant oatmeal # 7

I had just pushed the publish post button this morning when blogger must have had problems because I couldn't go to any site and I lost all I had typed so here we go again.

For those praying for Austin, this was on Cindy's site this morning:
the most recent information I have on Austin: His mother, who has been fighting a very bad bacterial infection for some time now, was admitted to the hospital yesterday because of the infection. I don't have any details, but I can only imagine how she feels being in the hospital while her 3 year old son, Austin, is in open heart surgery. They started the surgery at 8:00 or 8:30 this morning and I'll update you all when I hear something. Thank you all for your prayers for this family.
So continue to pray for him and his family and check her site for more updates and also for more prayer requests of hers.

On to the oatmeal trivia, can you believe that our sun is so big that more than one million earths can fit inside it?

I like to have sweetened tea, both iced and hot. How about you? Tibetans, Mongolians, and people in parts of western China put salt in their tea instead of sugar.

The famous American poet, Emily Dickinson (1830-1886), published only seven poems during her lifetime. Volumes of her work were discovered after her death.

In 1914, movie theaters became so popular that ushers in New York theaters were trained by West Point graduates to move masses of people through small spaces.

It is amazing how much influence marketers and advertising has on our lives, but did you know that they have even invented words that we use all the time. American advertising agencies have invented the words glamorize, sanitize, motorize, vitalize, finalize, and customize.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Pray for Austin

I just came across this post with a touching story of a little boy who is scheduled for open heart surgery tomorrow July 14th. Please pray for him and his family. Read their story and lift up a prayer for them as well as praise for how God is working in their lives.

Things you can learn from a packet of instant oatmeal # 6

Had enough oatmeal trivia? There are actually at least two tidbits of trivia on each packet of oatmeal and if they are printed properly you get four, so with 10 packets I could go on and on but I will spare you and just post some more today and tomorrow and then do something different on Friday.

Let's take a trip to the carnival. Josephine Clofullia (they probably just called her Jo), the most famous bearded lady of all time, and an attraction in P.T. Barnum's side show in the nineteenth century, had a beard six inches long when she was only sixteen.

The tallest man ever seen was an American named Robert Wadlow. He reached a height of 8 feet 11 inches. You might remember this fact from the Guinness Book of World Records. Here's more from Guinness about Mr. Wadlow. His greatest recorded weight was 491 lb. on his 21st birthday. His shoe size was 37AA (18.5 in. long) and his hands measured 12.75 in. from the wrist to the tip ofthe middle finger. His arm span was 9 ft. 5.75 in. and his peak daily foodconsumption was 8,000 calories. At the age of nine, he was able to carry his father, Harold F. Wadlow, who stood 5 ft. 11 in. and weighed 170 lb., up the stairs of the family home.

Can you believe that an American named Arnold Bly was able to inscribe the Lord's Prayer on a grain of rice and to write legibly on a strand of hair.

Did you know the U.S. coastline - Atlantic, Pacific, and Gulf of Mexico - involves 25 of the 48 mainland states.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Things you can learn from a packet of instant oatmeal # 5

Here is another little known fact regarding U.S. presidents. Did you know the U.S. treasury used to print a $100,000 bill with a portrait of Chester Arthur, our 21st president from 1881-1885? Just kidding, that was just for Danny's benefit regarding the comment he left on the previous post. : ) It was actually a portrait of Woodrow Wilson, our 28th president from 1913-1921. These bills are no longer in circulation. Wouldn't you like to have one of those?

Mother's Day was started by a West Virginia woman, Anna Jarvis, in 1907. In 1914, it was established as a national observance by president Chester... I mean Woodrow Wilson.

Did you know that King Henry III of France, Louis XIV of France, and Napoleon all suffered from ailurophobia which is more commonly known as fear of cats.

What letters should you call out when playing Wheel of Fortune? When you buy a vowel, you may want to consider that one out of every eight letters used in English is an e. Want proof, out of the 83 letters I used in the previous sentence there were 11 e's not counting the last one.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Things you can learn from a packet of instant oatmeal # 4

Did you know that the insulin used to treat diabetes in human beings is taken from pigs and sheep. The substance produced in these animals is exactly the same as that found in the human body.

On the subject of shots, did you know that the theory of immunization, and of smallpox immunization in particular, was known to Chinese doctors more than seven hundred years before its discovery in 1796 by the English physician, Edward Jenner.

How about this little tidbit for the next time you are playing Monopoly. The space on which a player has the greatest chance of landing is Illinois Avenue.

For those individuals who are married and are having financial difficulty (there must be some connection there), a wedding ring cannot be seized by creditors no matter how much a bankrupt person owes.

Can you believe, there is only one state in the United States named after a president-Washington. That is amazing especially with all the streets, buildings, airports, etc. that are named after presidents. I guess there won't be another any time soon either, huh?

Friday, July 08, 2005

Things you can learn from a packet of instant oatmeal # 3

Did you know the Baby Ruth candy bar was named after the first baby girl ever born in the White House, Ruth Cleveland-daughter of President Grover Cleveland.
Or was it? Maybe you can't believe everything you read on a packet of instant oatmeal. I always thought it was named for the great baseball player Babe Ruth didn't you? Well maybe it was. By the way, Grover Cleveland was the 22nd president from 1885-1889 and the 24th from 1893-1897, the only president to leave the White House and return for a second term four years later. He also was the only president married in the White House. There are several other inconsistencies regarding dates that I found looking into this. One site said that baby Ruth Cleveland was actually born in New York City after Cleveland was defeated following his first term. Also, she died in 1904 from diphtheria which was well before the Curtiss Candy Company reintroduced this candy bar in 1921 with this name which was the same year that Babe Ruth was a nationally famous baseball star for the New York Yankees after being sold by the Red Sox in 1920. Check out more on this topic at this site . It sounds like this may have been the candy company's "official" explanation for the name regarding the president's daughter since they didn't have the full approval of Babe Ruth and actually may have fabricated this story when they were challenged by a competitor who did have the approval of Babe Ruth to use his name. Interesting.

I didn't do any extra research on this next one from the packet of oatmeal, so you can believe it or not I guess.
Still looking at American history, did you know that Paul Revere, famous American patriot, was once court martialed for cowardice, but was later cleared of all counts.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Things you can learn from a packet of instant oatmeal # 2

Did you know that travelers to La Paz, Bolivia often become ill the moment they arrive in the city. La Paz is 11,900 feet above sea level and is the highest metropolis in the world.
Added notes from wikipedia: The population of this city is about one million, La Paz is situated in the Andes mountains and atop a nearby plateau is the city of El Alto, where the international airport is located. La Paz is the largest city in Bolivia and is the administrative capital.
So, this is a major city and I'm sure has a lot of visitors that have to get acclimated to the thin air.

While we are in South America, did you know that a bridge built in Lima, Peru in 1610 was made of mortar that was mixed not with water but with the whites of 10,000 eggs. Called the Bridge of Eggs, it is still standing.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Things you can learn from a packet of instant oatmeal # 1

We like the little packets of instant oatmeal, just add hot water and you have a hot breakfast. We usually buy the store brand since it is usually a little cheaper and we can't taste any difference and besides that, you get some great trivia on the side of the packet. I thought I would share a few of the things I have learned that... well... made me go hmmm.

Did you know that in 1910, when it was announced that Halley's Comet would once again pass the earth, hysteria broke out in Europe. People thought the comet heralded catastrophe.

Did you know that bees create their own air conditioning for their hives. When they flap their wings it creates a cross draft within the hive and pulls the hot air out while drawing cool air in.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Dead and Buried... on a Golf Course

I know that there are several who love to play golf so much that they play every opportunity that they get, others are retired and can play almost every day (like my dad), and then there are others of us that love to play but can only get out every once in awhile due to a variety of circumstances like lack of funds and having little ones at home. Yes, there are plenty of us who love the game where you go on nature walks while chasing little white balls into holes. But how many of us would really want to have our remains buried in the rough next to the 10th fairway? OK, there are probably plenty of diehards (pun intended) who would love to be finishing a round of golf when they actually keel over and probably would think it a great thing to be buried somewhere on the course. But this doesn't actually happen, does it? Well, in a way it has on one of the local courses that I play. I actually got to play this past Friday on the course pictured after work with a couple of friends thanks to my wife who was willing to go it alone for a few more hours by herself with the kids and the fact that it was twilight rates which made it a little more affordable. While teeing off on #10, I was reminded of this oddity about this course and thought how appropriate it is for this blog, for on the other side of the rough is an area of grass about 30 yards square surrounded by a cast iron fence. I had seen this area for several rounds and I assumed it must be where they grow grass that they can use to transplant for ground under repair somewhere. One day I found out that it was actually a protected area because it was thought that it may be an old indian burial ground, or at least where one poor indian met his demise. I guess when they were constucting this golf course, they found a few bones and they possibly may have been human and possibly could have been from an indian so the golf course agreed I guess with the local tribe to not disturb the area any further and to fence this area off. So I guess an indian (or a few of his bones anyway) actually has what I'm sure many golf fanatics dream of, to die and be buried on a golf course.

Friday, July 01, 2005


Why does the word cleave mean to separate and at the same time it can mean to adhere?

cleave (v.) To split or separate, as with an ax.
cleave (v.) 1. To adhere or cling. 2. To be faithful.

In Genesis 2:24 and Matthew 19:5 the use of this word "cleave" is probably most familiar, but I always thought of it as just the event of leaving your father and mother and joining with (cleave to) your wife. I never thought of the additional meaning of the second definition "to be faithful". I guess this is probably one of those verbs that implies a continued process, not just a one time occurrence.
Matthew 19:6 goes on to say: So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate. I guess it could say what God has cleaved, let not man cleave, but that would be too confusing.
Are you continuing to cleave to your wife or husband?