Back to School

Back to School time. Parents love it. Finally, Jr. is going back to school. I'm sure the retailers love Back to School time too. All the stuff that must be purchased is staggering. Clothes and uniforms, new shoes, notebooks, pens, pencils, protractors (Why do kids need a new protractor every single year? It's one of life's greatest mysteries.), locker locks, art supplies and of course the backpack. I'm not sure how I survived all my school years without a backpack, but they are required equipment now. Backpacks can be fairly pricey too. Gone are the days of a cheap backpack with a couple of pockets for supplies. Now they have padding, 758 different pockets, handles, heavy duty zippers, expanding panels and who knows what else. It can be quite the shopping experience to find just the right backpack.

Now in all honesty, my boys are pretty decent with their backpacks. They don't need a new one every year, they manage to go two or three years before needing a new one. So that's good. But this year, we needed a new backpack. So we headed out to an unnamed office supply store to get one (the store name is one word, named after an office supply that holds paper together. Starts with "S" and ends with "s"). After checking out the many options, we settled on just the right one. So we headed to the checkout with our backpack and few other miscellaneous bits.

The clerk began going through every pocket in the backpack. All 758 of them. Unzip each one, look inside, put his hand inside to check for stuff that I guess he couldn't see by looking, and zip it shut. All 758 of them. During this several minute process there's nothing to do but watch. I know good and well he's checking to make sure I'm not trying to steal something by hiding stuff in the backpack. I'm not a thief, but the clerk doesn't know that, so he has to check. Fair enough.

About half way through the process, the clerk looks at me and says, "I have to check to make sure all of the stuff that belongs in the backpack is still in here." What?!?! Did he really just say that? There's no stuff inside a backpack. It's not like a laptop case that has adjustable dividers and what not. And even if it did, how would the clerk know what dividers belonged with what backpack? There's only like 200 different backpacks to choose from. But I stood in there in shock when he said he was checking to make sure everything was there. I knew he was lying. I'm pretty sure he knew he was lying. And while he blamed his lie on store policy, I'm equally as certain the store doesn't want it's employees lying to the customers.
Why lie? Why not just admit the truth that you are checking to make sure all the pockets are empty? Or just saying nothing at all and do your job.

I wonder how often we tell a little white lie to try a make something seem better? Why do it at all? What's stopping you (and me) from just telling the truth, all the time? Of at least just keeping your mouth shut and don't say anything at all.



Only one month until Heroes starts up again! I can't wait.

Is it just me, or does this sound like a parallel to the gospel story too?


Apple Snobbery

No, I'm not talking about those over enthusiastic Apple fans with their iPhones, Macs and whatever else Steve Jobs can sell them. I'm talking about real apples. The kind you eat. Fruit.

It seems I've become an apple snob. I'm not quite sure how it happened, but it did. I think the journey started on the day I realized the Red Delicious Apples are the mealiest, nastiest apples on the planet. Why anyone would call those horrible things "Red Delicious" is beyond me. But the discovery that Red Delicious Apples aren't, is probably Harsh Marketing Lesson #2 (Harsh Marketing Lesson #1 here). But I don't think I was an apple snob, yet. I just didn't like Red Delicious Apples.

I pretty much ate most apples that came my way for years. But recently I started eating apples a lot more regularly. In fact I eat one apple a day as part of my lunch. Since I've been eating more apples, I've notice that I only like one apple - Gala. All the other apples seem inferior to that apple. Last week my wife did the grocery shopping and for some reason she didn't bring home Gala apples, but some other brand. With the first bite I knew it wasn't a Gala apple. It wasn't a bad apple. Still light years better than those nasty Red Delicious Apples (have you figured out I REALLY don't like those Red Delicious Apples yet?). All week long I ate these other apples and I noticed two things. Not only were the apples not quite as good as Gala, but the little stickers they put on them were a pain too. I gave up try to get them off the apples. They simply were too sticky. It was easier just to cut them off. Plus the writing on them was so small I couldn't tell what kind of apples they were anyway. Stupid.

This week we have Gala apples again. I'm happy. I don't know when I became such an apple snob, but I did. I'm happy with my Gala apples.

What are some of your favorite varieties?


Another Guitarist with a version of Pachelbel's Cannon

It seems like there's a million guitarists with a version of Pachelbel's Cannon in D - some have even been featured on this blog. This one is quite a bit different. He wrote some words. Very original. Maybe you can relate to some what he's saying - I did!

In case you are completely unaware of the Pachelbel's Cannon trend among guitarists, check out this video of a compilation of players.

[HT microexplosion]

22 Years Ago Today

22 Years ago today, I married my awesome wife, Linda.

Two boys, 2 houses, 2 Hondas (each), 22 years - and you're still the ONE!


Harsh Marketing Lesson #1

Sea-Monkeys are not monkeys.

We've all seen the cute commercial of these little creatures who live in the sea. For a few bucks you can have your very own colony of them. It's something that every kid has - or wants. And every kid who gets them learns the harsh lesson, sea-monkeys are not monkeys. They aren't cute. They don't have little families with a daddy, mommy and a couple of kids. They are brine shrimp. Definitely not cute. It's cruel lesson in the reality of marketing. The child learns that not all marketing firms tell the truth.

One has to wonder how in this day and age of lawsuits, how has this company not been sued for false advertising. I haven't done the marketing research, but I'm guessing a truthfully labled package of dried brine shrimp won't sell anywhere near as well as "sea-monkeys." Every generation this lesson must be learned again. Every generation there's a new group of kids whose hearts are broken when the much looked forward to sea-monkeys turn out to be ugly brine shrimp.

I guess the real question is, why do parents do this to their kids?


How would you like to get passed by this guy?

Imagine you are out for a nice ride in the mountains, then this goes by.

I wonder how many times you can cross the center line on a mountain road and still live to tell about it?