Monday, April 30, 2012

Pro Sports

I root for certain sports teams and against others.  But I never want anyone to be injured.  Chicago sports has had 2 major injuries to their favorite sports' teams.

Toward the end of the football season, Jay Cutler was injured and missed the final games.

And recently Derrick Rose injured his ACL near the end of the first playoff game.

After the Cutler injury, the Bears lost the rest of their games.  They were close to my Lions before the injury, but finished behind them.

Rose has been injured for much of the season, he missed something like 27 games during the regular season, and his team won 2/3 of them.  But playoff basketball is different, so they are at hugh disadvantage.  The coach is taking some heat because he left Rose in with 80 seconds to go with the Bulls up 12-14 points.

Rose appears to be a "good guy."  So I hope he can come back next year at his full potential.


I found this fun article when searching for something else:

Fun Ways to Tell Your Husband You Are Pregnant
Pooch Delivery
I wrote "Mama's Pregnant" on a piece of paper and attached it to our dog's collar. When my husband came home, our dog ran to greet him. Once he realized what was going on, he couldn't stop beaming.
Colleen, San Diego, California
Made with Love
One night, when my husband came home from work, I told him there was something sweet in the oven. When he opened it up, he found a large bun on a plate. Puzzled, he just stood there until I shouted, "Honey, there's a bun in our oven!" He was so shocked, he didn't believe me.
Melissa, Alexandria, Virginia
Spell It Out
My husband and I are huge fans of Scrabble. So, when it came time to tell him we were expecting our first child, I couldn't think of a better way to share the news than to spell it out while playing our favorite board game. My husband was ecstatic!
Sally, Destin, Florida
Shirting the Subject
Once I discovered I was pregnant, I embroidered a shirt for our 1-year-old son that read, "I'm a Big Brother." I put the shirt on our son right before my husband came home from work. He walked in, read the shirt, and became very excited.
Tricia, San Francisco, California
A Sweet Surprise
I planned a theme dinner for my husband. I made baby corn and carrots, baby back ribs, and for dessert I walked out with a big red bow around my belly, holding a small bowl of Sugar Babies. He loved it!
Carla, Allentown, Pennsylvania
Seeing Red
Minutes before my husband came home, I wrote "You're a Daddy!" on my belly with bright red lipstick. The look on his face was priceless!
Rachel, Camden, Michigan
The Secret's in the Sauce
I created a label that read "Andie & Michael Are Prego" and placed it on a jar of pasta sauce. That night, I suggested we make spaghetti for dinner. After handing my husband the jar, I watched him carefully. Within seconds, he was grinning from ear to ear!
Andean, Olney, Maryland
It's in the Bag
My husband is a golf addict. When I found out I was pregnant with our first child, I gave him a gift bag. Inside was a onesie that said "Daddy's Future Caddy." He was so happy he cried.
Judith, Hazlet, New Jersey
On the Bottle
I made dinner plans at our favorite restaurant and dropped off a baby bottle that I had decorated and written "It's a Baby!" on beforehand. That night when we arrived for dinner, I asked the manager to serve my husband's beverage in the bottle. At first, my hubby was totally baffled, but once he read the bottle's message, he quickly leapt out of his chair with excitement! (
Heidi, Kailua, Hawaii
Originally published in American Baby magazine, May 2005.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

More Interesting?

While a group that opposes expressions of Christianity in public forums wants the IRS to use its formidable power to crack down on what pastors say, one legal foundation says, “Bring it on,” promising a “legal war” if churches are attacked on such issues.
Americans United for the Separation of Church and State Executive Director Barry Lynn recently wrote a letter to the IRS demanding help in quashing the speech of a leader in the Roman Catholic Diocese in Peoria, Ill.
The April 19 letter calls a recent homily given by Bishop Daniel Jenky a violation of IRS regulations relating to the tax-exempt status of the church, because Jenky cited atrocities of past governments, specifically naming Hitler and Stalin, and then cited the failings of the Obama administration.

It is frightening to me when the IRS can be used for suppressing religion (or for enforcing ObamaCare).  There is no outrage when P.O. uses a Church for campaign purposes (no double standard here!).

The federal government is investigating the business practices of the NBA players' association.
The union confirmed Friday it has received a subpoena for documents from the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan and says it will cooperate with the investigation.
The NBPA also said in a statement that it has appointed a special committee to oversee an internal inquiry, including a financial audit.
Recent reports have questioned the NBPA's finances and spending practices, largely having to do with the hiring of family members and firms that employ relatives of executive director Billy Hunter. Hunter says he will cooperate with the internal inquiry, but will not be in involved in the effort so it remains independent.(

Once again the federal government is protecting us from villains like the NBA!  It's good to see our money spent so well!

Blue collar Democratic voters, stuck taking depressing “staycations” because they can’t afford gas and hotels, are resentful of the first family’s 17 lavish vacations around the world and don’t want their tax dollars paying for the Obamas’ holidays, according to a new analysis of swing voters.
“They view everything through their own personal situation and if they can’t afford to do it, they can’t enjoy it, they don’t like Obama using their tax dollars to benefit himself,” said pollster John McLaughlin. “In this case, they see him as out of touch. While they are struggling he’s not sharing in that struggle and he’s basically doing what they can’t do on their tax dollars,” added the GOP pollster. ...
During the focus group discussions about debt and spending cuts, many in his group volunteered criticism of the presidential vacations as something that should be cut. Among the lines McLaughlin wrote down was one from a Democratic woman who said, “Michelle Obama spends $1 million to take the kids to Hawaii,” and another who said, “President Obama was the only president to take so many trips.”
The theme, said McLaughlin, is that the first family “is out of touch” with working class voters.

The Obamas' summer break on Martha's Vineyard has already been branded a PR disaster after the couple arrived four hours apart on separate government jets.
But according to new reports, this is the least of their extravagances.
White House sources today claimed that the First Lady has spent $10million of U.S. taxpayers' money on vacations alone in the past year.
The First Lady is believed to have taken 42 days of holiday in the past year, including a $375,000 break in Spain and a four-day ski trip to Vail, Colorado, where she spent $2,000 a night on a suite at the Sebastian hotel.
And the first family's nine-day stay in Martha's Vineyard is also proving costly, with rental of the Blue Heron Farm property alone costing an estimated $50,000 a week. (

Some people think that P.O. is spending too much on himself, what an outrage (oh yeah, I think so too!)!  Being President is a difficult job and some vacation time is good for him and us; but the first lady and kids don't need to spend our money on their vacations!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

College Debt

I found this article and it got me thinking:

College students held demonstrations in several U.S. cities on Wednesday to mark the day total U.S. student loan debt was expected to reach $1 trillion, with some burning student loan documents and others demanding a right to "debt-free degrees."
The demonstrations for "One Trillion Dollar Day" come as President Barack Obama was visiting colleges to push Congress to extend the low interest rates on college loans to more than 7.4 million students. If lawmakers fail to act, rates on the loans will double on July 1 to 6.8 percent.
Describing his own struggle to pay off college debt, Obama appeared at the University of Iowa at Iowa City on Wednesday to talk to students about his campaign to make education more affordable. He made similar appearances on Tuesday in North Carolina and Colorado.
Several hundred protesters, mostly college students wearing placards noting the size of their debt loads, rallied in New York City's Union Square park on Wednesday.
They set fire to student debt documents and held signs reading "Debt free degrees" and "Education in America: Don't bank on it." ...
Protest organizer Katie Zaman, a Wisconsin Ph.D. student in sociology with $111,000 in debt waiting for her when she graduates in three years, suggested the federal government forgive all student loan debt, especially after bailing out big banks that had lost huge sums because of risky investments


There are other options then student debt.  Like working before going to college, going to Community College for the first few years, selecting a less expensive school.

It is interesting that PO should have a hard time paying off his loans when he made over $200K in the years before his loan payoff (  Plus Obama took over the student loan business as one of his takeover items, so he is complaining about himself!

Once again protesters want something for nothing.  They want free tuition, free loans, free birth control.

Here is a hint: parents start saving early for college for your kids!  I am a person that is willing to sacrifice now to be better off later; if possible save money by reducing unnecessary expenses (carry a lunch, no lattes, etc.) and put the money away OR of course you could have your child be a world class athlete!

With about 50% of the college graduates either unemployed or under employed, it makes one wonder if college is worth the cost.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Google takes Over

First, Google had the search engine, in my opinion the best search engine on the web.  They give the best results very quickly.  Seldom do they have entries which don't make sense.

They have just started Google Drive, a free 5 gb. cloud storage.  They have Google Chrome, a web browser that claims to be the safest (which I am using now).  They have Google Docs.  They have the Android operating system on non-apple tablets.

They have a Google pay system.  They bought YouTube.  They started google+, a Facebook type site.

Not to mention Google blogger, which I am using right now to express my ravings!

Some people are worried about Google taking over too much.  But they do many things well and deserve the credit for it.  It amazes me the ingenuity of American entrepreneurs!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Politics to the Dogs

It's not bad enough that we have people upset over the politics, but now we are stooping to dog politics.

The third video shows why I think President Obama should be defeated.  The way things are now with hugh debts and less than full employment; our grandkids are on the hook.  We are ruining the future for our grandkids.

Monday, April 23, 2012

National Debtors

An interesting (for some reason I type intersting almost all the  time instead of interesting) video (to me).  Compares the amount of national debt/spending per the last few Presidents.  Interesting to me is the good job that Clinton did.  I think if you compare who was in the Congress at the time there is a correlation to the speed of spending.  Under Clinton after the first 2 years he had a Republican congress, Bush I & Reagan had democrat congresses, Bush II had republican congress at the start & democratic his last few years.  It looks like the most dangerous time is if there is the same party in both houses.

I am sorry that my grandkids will have to pay for our irresponsibility.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Interesting Stories?

The above video shows an interesting (to me) dichotomy between the left and the right.  They both think they are correct.  Each is trying to show their side in the best light (since I lean way right, I tend to agree that way),


McMillan Fiberglass Stocks, McMillan Firearms Manufacturing, McMillan Group International have been collectively banking with Bank of America for 12 years. Today Mr. Ray Fox, Senior Vice President, Market Manager, Business Banking, Global Commercial Banking came to my office. He scheduled the meeting as an “account analysis” meeting in order to evaluate the two lines of credit we have with them. He spent 5 minutes talking about how McMillan has changed in the last 5 years and have become more of a firearms manufacturer than a supplier of accessories.
At this point I interrupted him and asked “Can I possible save you some time so that you don’t waste your breath? What you are going to tell me is that because we are in the firearms manufacturing business you no longer what my business.”
“That is correct” he says.
I replied “That is okay, we will move our accounts as soon as possible. We can find a 2nd Amendment friendly bank that will be glad to have our business. You won’t mind if I tell the NRA, SCI and everyone one I know that BofA is not firearms industry friendly?”
“You have to do what you must” he said.
“So you are telling me this is a politically motivated decision, is that right?”
Mr Fox confirmed that it was. At which point I told him that the meeting was over and there was nothing let for him to say. (

Retail Banking Ratings
Bank of America
US Bank
Product Offering
Account Information
Account Activities
Overall Satisfaction
  • 5 Among the best  4 Better than most  3 About average  2 The rest

Bank of America is one of the least popular banks as shown in the above table (Midwest bank ratings from JD Powers).  So they are adding to their enemies some very powerful interest groups (NRA, etc.).


My 300th. post went unnoticed by me; not that there is anything spectacular about it, just that relatives of mine are at 500 or more.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Used more than New

I was browsing through and looked at the Kindle Fire prices.  A new Kindle Fire from Amazon costs $199 with free shipping.  I looked at the used prices and there are 19 used Kindle that are more than the new, a few a couple of dollars more due to shipping but 4 at $300, $399, $600, and $999 plus shipping respectively (or rather un-respectfully).

When I go on Ebay, I often find the prices greater than the retail price; some of these are because the bidding drives it up but others start out greater than the retail.

Of course, I am frugal (some, nay most might say cheap) so I shop around before I buy things. But on the prices page for the Kindle Fire it has "NEW (1 from $199.00)" right at the top.

It pays to pay attention.


By the way, I really like the Blogger preview when I am writing these blogs; you may not believe it but it saves a lot of errors.  I write then go to the preview and read what I wrote (it is amazing to me the number of errors that I miss when just reading the entry in the post section) and then correct it and re-preview for a number of times to get to the publishable post (of course I still miss many errors).


Some of the titles in my spam folder are "Sexual Married Women" and "College F***(spelled out) Book", and "Gain Inches."  Who ever opens up these emails.  I guess someone must since they keep coming.

There are numerous reasons to not open them: they are trash, could contain viruses,etc.; but why would anyone actually open them?

Who would buy the drugs like VIAGRA® from one of these emails?

I guess I am just naive.


I see that the Blackhawks lost again in Overtime.  I think all of the games have gone to overtime in that series most of them at 3-2 (one was 4-3) .  Playoff hockey is very intense and fun.  Sorry Kiddo (I guess RW and BH both need a miracle down 3-1)!


Gas is down to $3.949, you're welcome!

Thursday, April 19, 2012


Since I retired, time seems to not have as many reference points as it once did.  When I was working, I could look forward to those Monday holidays, but now the only thing they mean is that we don't get mail that day and usually we forget that it is a holiday.

When our kids were growing up, we had interesting reference points like first walking, talking, first day of school.  

It was easier to remember when things happened.  Like in 1970, we had our first child and were living at school and we went to the hospital after midnight.  But now it is hard to remember when things happened.  How long ago did my LW join her singing chorus was it 2005 or 2006 or 2007?  When did we replace the roof, 2003 or 4 or 6 or etc.?  When did we get our dog?

I remember doing things just not the reference point (date).  We were trying to remember when we did something the other day(week, month?) and we couldn't.

So young people enjoy your reference points!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

RIP RedWings

Once again the Detroit Red Wings have met a hot goalie in the playoffs.  Last night the stats were Predators P. Rinne  shots: 41,  goals: 1, save percentage : .976; Red Wings  J. Howard shots: 17,  goals: 3 ,  save percentage : .824.

Game three: Rinne Shots 43, goals : 2; Howard 22 shots, 3 goals.  Game 1 : Rinne 37 shots, 2 goals Howard 26 shots, 3 goals.

Seems like every year recently the Red Wings have met a hot GK.  They are down 3-1 and it doesn't look like they are going to come back.  Early in the year they won a record number of games in a row at home but this series they have lost both home games. So Red Wings have a nice summer!

My son's Blackhawks also lost last night, but they are only down 2-1, so they have a chance.


Gas continues to go down after our purchase.  $3.969 is the best price around here at the moment.  Our purchase was at $4.189.  Plus I also sold some stock, so it might be a good idea to buy some now!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Thing I Care About

When I was younger (not that I am old now, almost to middle age), I worried about different things than now.  About my job, my kids education, things like that.

But now some of the things that I care/worry about include:

... did the dog poop on his last walk (he is over 14 years old and does not have as much control as once he did).

... how can I pronounce the Swedish in the songs we are singing (especially fast songs, first I have to figure out the correct Swedish pronunciation of the word then look for the note to sing then the speed of the note, but that time others are often 2 or 3 words ahead of me and it repeats again).

... how my grandkids are being left with a hugh debt (US) (we are spending their money by taking on more and more debt with no reduction in spending).

... finding a doctor that will still accept medicare (thanks Obama!).

... how to make our retirement funds last (I am not assuming that SocSec will be around actually I was not sure that they would have been available at all for us).

... if Obama gets reelected how bad will he act with no restraint of having to be reelected (obvious).

Things I still care about:

... my Lovely Wife (obvious).

... our children (obvious).

... will our Church survive (as most Churches, ours is losing members mainly due to old age and few new members to take their place).

... our Country (still so far the freest).

Monday, April 16, 2012


On Monday mornings, I like to bike into the Y early in the morning since my LW goes in the evening for a class.  I left around 0415 and got there around 0453.  Since we had a lot of rain the last two days the bike path was very muddy.

When I was done getting my stuff off the bike, the doors were opened; which was nice since I didn't have to wait outside for it to open (opens at 0500 weekday mornings).  When I got to the locker room, the lights weren't on.  I looked  for a light switch in the dark unsuccessfully when another person came in and he said that the lights get turned on from the front.  Shortly thereafter, the lights went on.

I was able to get my favorite lane, since I was the second person in the water (the last lane next to the outside, I like it because it seems to be slightly cooler which helps after a lot of laps and since one side is solid and most popele don't like to double up in it).

I started my 52 laps.  I noticed that I was the tortoise (slowest) swimmer.  All the others were much younger and fitter than I am.  Since I just do 3 strokes (the breaststroke, the sidestroke (both sides), and the elementary backstroke), I am usually slower then younger good swimmers using the crawl, but I am usually faster then people near my age.  But today, I was the tortoise; but since they didn't stop until they were done,  I never caught up to them. Don't they know the story of the tortoise and the hare?

Sunday, April 15, 2012


Our Church recently had a sermon series on the book "What's the Least I Can Believe and Still Be a Christian?"

It starts out with 10 things you don't need to believe and than has 10 things you need to believe to be a Christian.  The author talks about how he was asked that question and this is his take on the answer.

This book is good at what it attempts to do.  

But sometimes I think that the least attitude is too prevalent today.  What is the least I can do to remain married, what is the least I can do to raise the kids, what is the least I can do to keep my job, I can go on unemployment and make as much as working.

This country was created as an opportunity for excellence.  Going the extra mile, creating industries, protecting its citizens.  Our founding fathers were not minimalists  but maximumists.

The book title is what set me off not the book.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Suspicious Car

This morning on the dog walk (at about 0430), I saw a suspicious car.  At first, it was parked at the intersection of 2 roads facing west.  The lights were on and I heard some doors opening and closing.  A short while later it turned left onto a street that is the closest cross street to us facing north.  When we got to the intersection of that road and our street, I had Frisbit "stay" on the grass (which I always do when there is a car close) and waited for the car to do something.  There was some more opening and closing of the doors, the lights did not come on when the doors were opened.  I thought maybe I saw someone in the backyard of some houses to the south of us but was not sure.

We waited at the corner watching the car.  And eventually it started up and went past us to the next street down from us and turned around and zoomed past us turning right (west) onto the street we first saw it.  It appeared to be Mustang or some car similar to that; it had one of those loud muffler sounds associated with it.  I didn't get its license plate number (too small and was too quick past me).

I later heard it going East on the street it had disappeared to.

It might have been nothing criminal but it gave me pause.  Since ar 0430 on a Saturday morning, there are not that many people around (usually just Frisbit and me).

Friday, April 13, 2012


Hilary Rosen disses Ann Romney: The Democratic adviser says Mitt's wife doesn't understand economic issues facing women because she's "never worked a day in her life, " (

Democratic Strategist Hilary Rosen appeared on CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 Wednesday night, where she delivered an unprovoked attack on Ann Romney:
  “His wife has actually never worked a day in her life. She’s never really dealt with the kinds of economic issues that a majority of the women in this country are facing in terms of how do we feed our kids, how do we send them to school and how do we . . .  why we worry about their future.” (

I know at least 2 wonderful women who do not work outside the home.  They both have worked a day in their lives.  It is important to raise children.  Many women work outside the house for many reasons, but there is no reason to think that being a mother and wife is easy.

Some mothers can work outside the home and be there for their children (I know at least one my D-I-L), but others don't have the time or the energy to properly raise their children.  Some women have to work to pay for the necessities, but the woman I love (my LW) did a great job and I am appreciative of the sacrifices she made for her family.

The NOW president suggested to Ed Schultz tonight that Ann Romney, along with Mitt, lacks "life experience" and "imagination" needed to understand most Americans.
For good measure, in the very same segment Dem congresswoman Maxine Waters called the Republican candidate for president Mitt "Rot-ney." (

NOW does not in my opinion represent most women who would prefer to be with their families.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Debt Zwei

I am not a big advocate of debt.  But the following is especially disturbing:

But as financial institutions recover from the losses on loans made to troubled borrowers, some of the largest lenders to the less than creditworthy, including Capital One and GM Financial, are trying to woo them back, while HSBC and JPMorgan Chase are among those tiptoeing again into subprime lending.
Credit card lenders gave out 1.1 million new cards to borrowers with damaged credit in December, up 12.3 percent from the same month a year earlier, according to Equifax’s credit trends report released in March. These borrowers accounted for 23 percent of new auto loans in the fourth quarter of 2011, up from 17 percent in the same period of 2009, Experian, a credit scoring firm, said.
Consumer advocates and lawyers worry that the financial institutions are again preying on the most vulnerable and least financially sophisticated borrowers, who are often willing to take out credit at any cost.
“These people are addicted to credit, and banks are pushing it,” said Charles Juntikka, a bankruptcy lawyer in Manhattan.  (

Didn't the banks and credit cards issuers learn from last time.  Some people can not handle / repay debt.  They have enough problems just feeding themselves and providing shelter.  Subprime loans were pushed by the government so more people could "afford" to live in a home of their own.  But subprime loans are not good business and it cost the taxpayers billions of dollars (with many more billions in the future [fanny mae and freddy mac]).

When we were first married, we applied for a credit card and were rejected.  I wrote one of my bitter letters, explaining that we had no credit history because we paid cash for everything and had various investments, etc. so we were not bad risks.  And they eventually gave us the credit card.  Credit cards are useful for some things and if you can handle credit (i.e., pay off the bill every month) can give some benefits.


We bought gas @ $4.18.9 the other day, on a trip yesterday we saw it at $4.08.9; so it looks like I am in control once again!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Mishmash пять

In WI our neighboring state,  the governor and the LT Gov are having to run in a recall election.  They ran on a platform to eliminate the deficit, balance the budget, and help increase employment.  To do that they reduced the benefits of the state workers, since (they said) the workers should have to contribute to their pension and health care like the majority of the taxpayers.  The WI public unions have bank rolled
the recall effort to the tune of millions of dollars.  The above video is a short ad for the LT Gov.  After years of overspending and rising taxes, a responsible Governor has tried to fix things, but for that he is facing a recall vote.


As a commenter said the mortgage deduction is only on the interest of the loan.  It is large at the beginning of the loan with the principal payment only 1-5% of the payment.


April showers bring May flowers.  On April 1 during the morning dog walk, we had lightning to the north of us and lightning to the south of us and lightning to the west of us.  But we did not get much rain, maybe a 1/8 to 1/16 of an inch.

After that day, we have had no rain.  Rain cuts down on our bicycling but since we have a well for water we need rain to keep drinking water.  This winter/spring, we have had little rain/snow.  How can we have May flowers without the rain?

Also after a warm winter, it is below normal temperatures for this spring.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Interesting Articles

A Virginia middle school teacher recently forced his students to support President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign by conducting opposition research in class against the Republican presidential candidates.
The 8th grade students, who attend Liberty Middle School in Fairfax County, were required to seek out the vulnerabilities of Republican presidential hopefuls and forward them to the Obama campaign. (

Education should be to educate, if you are going to have this type of assignment, it should include both sides and sending them to the Obama campaign is ridiculous.  1984 had a similar education system.

A Virginia elementary school teacher told her students that “Republicans are stupid” and “they don’t care about anyone but wealthy people and businesses.”
Kristin Martin said this to her 6th grade class as Republican voters were filing into the halls of Powell Elementary School in Fairfax County to vote on Super Tuesday.
“It all started when this disabled kid came in and named all the Republicans candidates for Super Tuesday,” one student told The Daily Caller. “She [Martin] said to him, ‘I don’t like them, I think that they are stupid.’”(

Actually I was hoping that I m not stupid!  And republicans want people have opportunities to better themselves and become rich!


At our Church on Easter Sunday, we did not have great attendance. There were only a few more people then normal.  It looks like there aren't as many 2 Sunday Church (Easter and Christmas) goers as previously.

  1.     Divorce. Marriages in which both spouses frequently attend religious services are less likely to end in divorce. Marriages in which both husband and wife attend church frequently are 2.4 times less likely to end in divorce than marriages in which neither spouse attends religious services.1
  2.     Mother-Child Relationship. Mothers who consider religion to be important in their lives report better quality relationships with their children. According to mothers’ reports, regardless of the frequency of their church attendance, those who considered religion to be very important in their lives tended to report, on average, a higher quality of relationship with their children than those who did not consider religion to be important.2
  3.     Father-Child Relationship. Fathers’ religiosity is associated with the quality of their relationships with their children. A greater degree of religiousness among fathers was associated with better relationships with their children, greater expectations for positive relationships in the future, investment of thought and effort into their relationships with their children, greater sense of obligation to stay in regular contact with their children, and greater likelihood of providing emotional support and unpaid assistance to their children and grandchildren. Fathers’ religiousness was measured on six dimensions, including the importance of faith, guidance provided by faith, religious attendance, religious identity, denominational affiliation, and belief in the importance of religion for their children.3
  4.     Well-Being of High School Seniors. Among high school seniors, religious attendance and a positive attitude toward religion are correlated with predictors of success and well-being. Positive attitudes towards religion and frequent attendance at religious activities were related to numerous predictors of success and wellbeing for high-school seniors, including: positive parental involvement, positive perceptions of the future, positive attitudes toward academics, less frequent drug use, less delinquent behavior, fewer school attendance problems, more time spent on homework, more frequent volunteer work, recognition for good grades, and more time spent on extracurricular activities.4
  5.     Life Expectancy. Religious attendance is associated with higher life expectancy at age 20. Life expectancy at age 20 was significantly related to church attendance. Life expectancy was 61.9 years for those attending church once a week and 59.7 for those attending less than once a week.5
  6.     Drinking, Smoking and Mortality. Frequent religious attendance is correlated with lower rates of heavy drinking, smoking, and mortality. Compared with peers who did not attend religious services frequently, those who did had lower mortality rates and this relationship was stronger among women than among men. In addition, frequent attendees were less likely to smoke or drink heavily at the time of the first interview. Frequent attendees who did smoke or drink heavily at the time of the first interview were more likely than nonattendees to cease these behaviors by the time of the second interview.6
  7.     Volunteering. Individuals who engage in private prayer are more likely to join voluntary associations aimed at helping the disadvantaged. Individuals who engaged in private prayer were more likely to report being members of voluntary associations aimed at helping the elderly, poor and disabled when compared to those who did not engage in private prayer. Prayer increased the likelihood of volunteering for an organization that assisted the elderly, poor and disabled, on average, by 20 percent.7
  8.     Charity and Volunteering. Individuals who attend religious services weekly are more likely to give to charities and to volunteer. In 2000, compared with those who rarely or never attended a house of worship, individuals who attended a house of worship nearly once a week or more were 25 percentage points more likely to donate to charity (91 percent vs. 66 percent) and 23 points more likely to volunteer (67 percent vs. 44 percent).8
  9.     Voting. Individuals who participated in religious activities during adolescence tend to have higher rates of electoral participation as young adults. On average, individuals who reported participating in religious groups and organizations as adolescents were more likely to register to vote and to vote in a presidential election as young adults when compared to those who reported not participating in religious groups and organizations.9
  10.     Ethics in Business. Business professionals who assign greater importance to religious interests are more likely to reject ethically questionable business decisions. Business leaders who assigned greater importance to religious interests were more likely to reject ethically questionable business decisions than their peers who attached less importance to religious interests. Respondents were asked to rate the ethical quality of 16 business decisions. For eight of the 16 decisions, respondents who attached greater importance to religious interests had lower average ratings, which indicated a stronger disapproval of ethically questionable decisions, compared to respondents who attached less importance to religious interests.10

Seems like attending religious services can have a positive effect on the family.  I am glad that my kids are attending with their kids.

Monday, April 9, 2012


I kicked my Lovely Wife a couple of nights ago.  Though actually I was kicking a Bad Guy/ Monster.  I was having a dream that a bad guy / monster was coming into the room.  I threw a lunch plater at him and then kicked him in the belly, trying to protect my LW.  Immediately after my LW asked what was wrong and I figured out I was instead of kicking the bad guy I was kicking my LW.

I only remember one other time that I kicked in my sleep.  I was trying to defend against another soccer player and I was able to kick the ball way from him towards a teammate.  Unfortunately, I was actually kicking the book case next to the bed.   Fortunately, I was facing away from my LW

Most of my adventure dreams don't involve kicking, mainly running or hiding from the enemy.  Fortunately,  those dreams do not hurt my LW!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

He is Risen

The reply is "He is Risen indeed!"

Today is Easter; this is the day that defines the Christian experience.  Every Christian loves Easter.  After the days of Lent; a depressing season of sacrifice.  Our Church has soup suppers every Wednesday during  Lent.

Then comes Maundy Thursday, the last supper where the traitor is revealed and the Lord washes the feet of the Disciples.  Next is Good Friday and the Crucifixion.  Our pastors tell us that the depressing days are necessary to get to the miracle of the Resurrection and the empty tomb.

That is obviously correct but in our want only good society, we don't like sad times to lead to the Joy.

He is Risen! He is Risen indeed!

Saturday, April 7, 2012


Money, money, money be ABBA.

My daughter wrote in her blog that she is debt free.  This is a lifestyle that we have aways tried to live.  The only things that we have bought with debt are our 2 houses.  Both of which we paid off way early.

Many people think that a home mortgage is great since it gives you a tax deduction.  If you have a mortgage you can deduct the amount of the mortgage from your income.  However, there is a standard deduction for Married Filing Jointly of $11,600.  So if you only have the mortgage plus some state/RE taxes, you only get a partial deduction or no real deduction.

Even if you can deduct the whole amount,  the tax advantage is 10-35% of the amount, e.g., if your tax rate is 25% this means you are paying 3 times the amount of the taxes to save 25% of the amount.  To me this is not good math.

One advantage that we had is that the amounts of our mortgages were much smaller than the amounts now-a-days.  However, we made less than most people do today.

Having a mortgage also can lead to foreclosure if you lose your job.

We are lucky that we are able to live debt free.  Dave Ramsey has a national radio show and other classes to teach the art of being debt free.

I am glad that my kids are able to manage money as well as they do; we must have done something right!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Biking Past Tense

When my kids were growing up, we use to bicycle everywhere.  In WA State, the roads were very hilly.  We had a tandem that was modified to fit my daughter.

We bicycled to Church the day Mount St. Helens blew.  We were basically the only ones to show up.  I guess others had more sense.

We use to bicycle to my son's and daughter's soccer games and then they played in them.  I was a little worried that they might get to hate bicycling, but as my son's blog showed and the above video (ripped off from the blog) he is carrying on the tradition with his kids.  When my daughter visits, she brings the kids' bikes and they appear to enjoy biking.

The other day, I saw a young child in an electric car (toy sized).  He did not have to pedal and was going very fast.  Part of the childhood obesity problem is toys like that that do all the work for you.  Bicycling is much better for keeping kids at the proper weight.

Thursday, April 5, 2012


A friend of my wife's has an iPad and my LW thought it was interesting,  So I bought my LW an iPad.

The new iPad has per the Apple website : Four times more pixels than iPad 2. Razor-sharp text. Richer colors. The Retina display transforms the entire iPad experience; The 5-megapixel iSight camera features a backside illumination sensor that captures great-looking pictures whether by sunlight or candlelight. Autofocus, tap to focus, and tap to set exposure functions mean every photo you take instantly becomes a frameworthy gem. And with built-in face detection that automatically balances focus and exposure across up to 10 faces, there’s more room for more grins. So everyone look at iPad and say “Cheese.”;  The new iPad supports fast cellular networks the world over — including 4G LTE networks in the U.S. and Canada.

However, I bought an iPad2 (the old model) because they dropped the price when the new model came out.  Also it just has WiFi (no 3G or 4G).  I guess I am just cheap!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Singing Prequel

WSGC and WSWC Uniforms (date is incorrect should be Dec 2011)
My Lovely Wife(LW) has sang in the various Church choirs and certain other choral organizations for many of the years that we have been married.  She joined our present Church choir when the churches were united into Trinity United Lutheran Church about 20 or so years ago.

She has a lovely voice(which goes with the LW part) and enjoys singing.  About 5 or 6 years ago, I decided to join the choir also. I am not a great singer but I enjoy singing, and our choir director makes it fun.

About 6 years ago, my LW joined the Waukegan Swedish Women's Chorus an offshoot of the Waukegan Swedish Glee Club.  She has sung in an AUSS (American Union of Swedish Singers) National Convention and a regional convention.

This year I decided to try to join the Waukegan Swedish Glee Club (WSGC).  The WSGC sings a little over 50% of the songs in Swedish.  To join the WSGC, you must attend 12 practices and then sing a audition for the Music Committee as a quartet (I sing Baritone so with a Bass, 1st & 2nd Tenors) a song of our own choosing.  I picked It's Grand Night for Singing from State Fair.  I did what I considered a horrible job.  

But for some reason they thought I might have potential and they accepted me.  Since then I have sung at the Salvation Army, at the Julmiddag, at a rest home and then last Friday at the Festival of Music.  I still am not as good of a singer as I hope to be, but I try.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Free Money

As income tax payment time arrives, I always wonder about people who get income tax refunds.  This year the average refund is Taxpayers received tax refunds averaging $2,913 in 2011, down 3% from the average refund of $3,003 in the prior year, according to the latest filing statistics released by the IRS.
(To find out what happened to your refund, check the status by using the "Where's My Refund?" tool on the IRS website.)

My more liberal friends who believe government is the answer for everything must be happy to give the government an interest free loan.  When you are retired, you have to pay estimated tax every quarter and we try to not pay anything extra.  I really don't want to contribute to more Solyndra type fiascos.

I can sort of understand if people feel that they can't save on their own, but why not open a savings account and have the extra go to it.  At the moment the interest rates are low but it is under your own control.  The above article states: Direct deposit was the most popular way for taxpayers to receive refunds last year, with more than 79 million refunds deposited into accounts -- up 6% from 2010.  So why not do the work yourself?

Monday, April 2, 2012

Forbidden Words

The above video from CBS New York has a list of the words that are not to be used in standardized tests in NY.

Here is the complete list of words that could be banned:

Abuse (physical, sexual, emotional, or psychological)
Alcohol (beer and liquor), tobacco, or drugs
Birthday celebrations (and birthdays)
Bodily functions
Cancer (and other diseases)
Catastrophes/disasters (tsunamis and hurricanes)
Children dealing with serious issues
Cigarettes (and other smoking paraphernalia)
Computers in the home (acceptable in a school or library setting)
Death and disease
Expensive gifts, vacations, and prizes
Gambling involving money
Homes with swimming pools
Junk food
In-depth discussions of sports that require prior knowledge
Loss of employment
Nuclear weapons
Occult topics (i.e. fortune-telling)
Rap Music
Religious holidays and festivals (including but not limited to Christmas, Yom Kippur, and Ramadan)
Rock-and-Roll music
Running away
Television and video games (excessive use)
Traumatic material (including material that may be particularly upsetting such as animal shelters)
Vermin (rats and roaches)
War and bloodshed
Weapons (guns, knives, etc.)
Witchcraft, sorcery, etc.

The rationale from some of the words:

“dinosaur” made the hit list because dinosaurs suggest evolution which creationists might not like,
“Halloween” is targeted because it suggests paganism; 
a “birthday” might not be happy to all because it isn’t celebrated by Jehovah’s Witnesses

I guess I am naive since I didn't think standardized tests had to be produced to keep from annoying anyone!