User-agent: Mediapartners-Google* Disallow: Things that make you go hmmm.: July 2006

Things that make you go hmmm.

Monday, July 31, 2006


Do you hate spam? No, not this kind of SPAM, the spam messages you get in your e-mail inbox advertising all kinds of things. Here are some interesting "facts" I read:

The time spent deleting SPAM costs United States businesses $21.6 billion annually.

Some spam filters with strict settings that catch the word "cialis" will not allow many work-related e-mails through because that word is embedded inside the word "specialist".

Why is it called spam? Unsolicited email earned the name "spam" because it resembled a Monty Python skit where a chorus of Vikings drowned out other sounds by singing "spam, spam, spam." Early digital marketing pioneers contend that spam is actually an acronym for Simultaneously Posted Advertising Message.

77 percent of Yahoo! Mail poll respondents said they are more aggravated by weeding through spam than they are by cleaning a dirty toilet.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Baseball, Shaved Ice, and Dancing in 100+ Degree Heat

We went to a minor league baseball game on Friday with a group from our church. It was a great time despite several conditions that could have made it not so great. The most obvious of these was that the high temperature on this day was around 102 degrees. Actually, it could have been worse, on Sunday it got up to 110. We brought our own supply of bottled water to make sure all of us stayed hydrated. We also gave in to the enticing shaved ice they were selling. Of course, I had to go stand in line during the game to purchase these refreshments, and of course it was a long line, and of course I didn't realize until I got up there that it would cost me $4 apiece, and of course I missed three runs the home team scored. I did get to see the replay of what I missed on the news that night so no big deal. There were also 5 more runs including a homerun that were made in later innings that I did get to see.

While standing in the long line, I was accompanied by my 3 year old daughter. I asked her if she was enjoying the game. She said yes. I asked her what she enjoyed most, again referring to the baseball game. She said dancing to the music which they were playing in between innings. Yes my wife and I are a little scared. At only age 3, our daughter has pretty good rhythm and has some dance moves of which most teens would be jealous. Right now it is pretty innocent and fun.

Another condition that could have been good or bad depending on your viewpoint was where we were sitting. We saw some friends and their kids came and sat next to our kids. We thought it was only going to be to say hi but they stayed for almost the whole game. They actually behaved pretty well, but watching other people's kids wasn't what we had in mind. Also, I ended up sitting right next to our pastor. Some would have seen this as a great opportunity. I just saw it as a situation where I had to be nervous the whole time. It ended up going pretty well as he is a great guy and it was relaxed and we had some good general conversation.

My son probably had the best time. He got a free hat they were giving away and he got it autographed by the team's mascot. He got to spend time with the friends that sat with us and he enjoyed watching a great baseball game. He also got to stay up way past his bed time.

All in all, a fun time of baseball, shaved ice, and dancing in 100+ degree heat.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Japanese R for L

Have you ever thought it was funny how Japanese pronounce English words that have "L" in them with an "R" sound. I just found out the reason for this is because there is no letter "L" in Japanese. In the Japanese language, they use "R" instead of "L". There are also no letters C, Q, and X in Japanese. K is used instead of C; K followed by a vowel is used instead of Q; and E - KU - SU is used instead of X. Also, B is often used instead of V, but this one can vary.

I found out about there not being an "L" in Japanese this past week. My wife's brother lives in Japan. He went there to work for a company that teaches English to Japanese. He met, fell in love with, and married a wonderful Japanese lady. They now have a beautiful baby girl and they were here visiting last week. We had a great time with them. They met when she wanted to learn English and he was her teacher. Now she speaks very well and understands almost everything we say to her. I wish I could say the same for us. We should really try to learn to speak some Japanese. Maybe the next time they visit.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Independence Day Number Facts

In anticipation of Independence Day on Tuesday, July 4th, I thought I would share some odd number facts related to that day:

2.5 million
In July 1776, the number of people living in the colonies. On this July 4th, the population milestone our nation soon will be closing in on is 300 million.

150 million
Number of hot dogs (all varieties) expected to be consumed by Americans on this holiday.

$201.9 million
The value of fireworks imported from China in 2005, representing the bulk of all U.S. fireworks imported ($211 million). U.S. exports of fireworks, by comparison, came to just $14.9 million in 2005, with Australia purchasing more than any other country ($4.4 million).

$5.5 million
In 2005, the dollar value of U.S. imports of American flags; the vast majority of this amount ($5 million) was for U.S. flags made in China. Only $993,000 U.S. flags were exported in 2005. Mexico was the leading customer, purchasing $529,000 worth.

There are 30 places in the U.S. with "liberty" in its name. 32 places are named "eagle" or have it in its name. 11 have "independence", 5 have "freedom" and 1 place in Indiana is named "Patriot".

Have a happy and safe 4th of July celebration.
God bless America!