Small Town Blogging

My take on things

Newspaper Frustrations

Our local paper has an online version that recently updated to include commenting on their various stories. I was very happy to see this added into the paper and looked forward to expressing my opinion on many topics. The level of ignorance that runs rampant today is truly sad and I was excited to be able to provide some actual truth and facts to people on various topics, as well as find some answers and information to subjects I didn’t know.

Unfortunately the paper has made some bad decisions. The first is that they are allowing anonymous responders. This simply begs idiots to post who have nothing better to do but slander, insult, and troll. As a result of this any time a comment is entered that is offensive, rather than just delete that one comment the entire article is shut down and all comments are deleted. What a shortsighted answer to a simple problem.

The best solution would be to implement a membership login feature where only people who have created accounts could post. Someone posts too many ignorant statements and ignores warnings would just be banned. It really is frustrating that there are so many immature people in the world who’s idea of discussion is calling other people names.

That the paper would let the acts of a few ruin the interest and involvement of the many is even more disappointing.


April 8, 2008 Posted by | Discussion, Entertainment | , , | Leave a comment

My hacking daughter

So my wife relates a story to me while she had gone grocery shopping that involved my eldest daughter. As my wife was waiting for a clerk to get her some products another nearby asked my daughter if she had the day off school. Both my kids attend school at home through Treca Digital Academy. Suffice it to say its a school in every sense of the word, but the classes are taken at home on computers supplied by them. My daughter explained that she attended Treca and didn’t go to a brick and mortar school like most kids. The clerk suggested that she must be very smart with computers then.

Our daughter has had her hands on computers since the age of 6 months when I used to hold her on my lap and she played with a hide and seek program that would pause until she pressed any key on the computer. You can imagine my wife’s surprise when she responded that no, she wasn’t very good with computers. Eldest daughter is often found googling subjects that interest or concern her and my youngest quite competently installs programs to play.

After the slightest missed beat she came back with “It’s those darn firewalls! I just can’t seem to get around them.”

Ok, ok. Just to put this into perspective. Each of the girls have their own computer to work on from Treca. My youngest daughter can access some educational sites that the other cannot on her computer and it drives her nuts when my youngest finds a particularly interesting site or one with fun games. So her idea of “hacking” is simply trying to get her computer to accept the same sites her sister gets.

The entertainment value of two daughters is priceless 🙂

March 26, 2008 Posted by | Discussion | 1 Comment

The best way to solve our current educational crisis? Ban Bad Hair

Banned Bryan Ruda

Bryan Ruda, 6 years old, in a Parma Ohio school found himself banned after attending school with a Mohawk haircut. It really makes one wonder at what priorities schools are focusing on. In my own area the schools are struggling to maintain the same level of income they have enjoyed for decades but is no longer attainable because of our local economy. Schools are really in a mess right now, and this is just one more example of how our educational system is focusing on the wrong things. This is indicative of the “No Tolerance” guidelines commonly used, which really translates to “No Thinking”. Students are being suspended, banned, or punished for ridiculous crimes such as pointing a finger and saying bang, taking aspirin or handing out candy and being accused of drug violations, or even writing stories that describe violence.

I would never have made it through school with these kinds of disciplinary punishments in place in the 70’s and 80’s. In fact, the haircut that Bryan is sporting was quite common at our school, only we called it a rattail or a flattop.

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February 27, 2008 Posted by | Discussion | Leave a comment

The clubhouse has taken a hit!

If you read about my time spent building my daughter’s clubhouse last spring you’ll know that I was pretty proud of that bit of work. They loved it and my eldest even started a “Clubhouse Kids” and invited many friends to come over on Tuesdays and Fridays. They would play out in the clubhouse and do various crafts and hobbies such as finger painting, scrap-booking, and various science activities like studying bugs or examining plants and leaves. All in all it was a great success (although both girls are still pushing for a second story observation deck and/or taking over the shed as a new clubhouse which is about twice as big!)

So you can imagine my disappointment this winter to come home after a particularly rough storm to find a limb about 8 inches across and 4 feet long sticking straight down through the roof! Thankfully it did not puncture through the dry wall ceiling inside, but it did rip through the shingles and the plywood roof. I stretched a tarp over it until I could get at it when the weather warmed a bit, but I think the clubhouse was only a prelude to more damage to come. My gutters are taking a beating!

But that is a story for another time when I break out the ladders and supplies to fix things this spring.

February 26, 2008 Posted by | Discussion, Do It Yourself, For the Kids | , , , | Leave a comment

Guess I really should take more time here

Guess I should spend at least a little more time updating my blogs. My poor wife hears all my thoughts and keeps telling me “Your preaching to the choir” so to spare her from my rants I’ll make more effort to post here.

February 26, 2008 Posted by | Discussion | | Leave a comment

Texas Hold’em

Last night a friend of ours had a graduation party and hosted a Texas Hold’em tournament. We had 16 players at 2 tables with 12 minute blinds. 4 Places were payed with the payout being $80, $50, $20, and $10. I had a very good night and even managed to land a Royal Flush! Ironically the Royal Flush only netted me about 200 in chips while later an off-suit 7-2 on the big blind netted me about 1500 and eliminated 3 players when a 2 2 K flopped. The cards kept falling my way and by the time we combined everyone into a final table with only 8 left I had single handedly eliminated all but 1 person. No one wanted to merge to my table, which had now been termed, “The Table of Death”. But then the question of ‘poker ‘etiquette’ came up.

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May 27, 2007 Posted by | Discussion, Entertainment, gambling, Games, poker | 2 Comments

How I spent my Spring …

Original ConditionLast year our neighbors asked if we’d be interested in having a clubhouse that they had in their yard. It had been built by a local vocational school and sold at auction (I’m not sure what it went for) and then later resold to them for a few hundred. After several years of use by their 3 boys they had decided to get rid of it and were planning on just burning it down unless we wanted it. We need only find a way to move it from there yard to our yard. Structurally, it was mostly sound, but it had seen better days and being the play place of active boys had been through a bit of “remodeling”.

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May 26, 2007 Posted by | Discussion, Do It Yourself, For the Kids | Leave a comment

M.U.N.C.H. now Available to play

ScreenshotIf you’re looking for a quick and easy game then give M.U.N.C.H. a try. I just completed it and wanted to make it available to everyone. It’s very compact (less then 500k download, single 1.3 Meg file when uncompressed) and easy to install (simply unrar it into any directory) and easy to run (just double click on the exe file “Munch”. The object of the game is to consume anything smaller than you. As you consume more stuff you grow bigger, allowing you to consume bigger enemies. As your levels progress the enemies become more challenging.

Not much bells and whistles in this game, it was written as simple as possible. It does have an option for sound, but to save on bandwidth I left out the sound files. It uses simple .wav files and if you would like to add sound to the game then simply look at the Sound option in the game and it will list the files that are needed and what sounds they are for. Simply find a wav file that sounds like a “slurp” and then give it the exact names as described and place them in the same directory as the exe. You can even put your favorite theme wav in to play in the games background. The game graphics are very basic, but this is a fun and addictive game written for speed and enjoyment. Please comment if you try the game and let me know what you think. The only file this program creates is a 1k ‘munch.dat’ file that stores game settings and player highscores which is kept in the same directory as the exe. If you enjoy this game then let me know and I will present other game projects that I’ve done and/or been involved with. This game is freeware. The download link is M.U.N.C.H (

May 21, 2007 Posted by | Discussion, Entertainment, Games | 5 Comments

Preconceived belief – the only way Prayer works

As I am examining WordPress’s “Latest Posts” section I note an interesting blog entry entitled “Does Prayer Really Work?”. Interested, I followed the link and read the article. Apparently a woman suffered a stroke with partial paralysis and her husband (as well as her friends and church members) began a campaign of prayer to beg the All Mighty to heal her of her sickness. The husband then asks the question “Does Prayer Really Work?” and describes how his wife’s recovery progressed dramatically and immediately declares that “Yes! PRAYER REALLY WORKS!”

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May 15, 2007 Posted by | Discussion, People, Religion, Scams | 10 Comments

Religion claims to require ‘Faith’ – but does it really?

“You have to have faith” is the rallying cry of any believer you talk to once you’ve decimated their arguments with science, proof, and rational thought. It’s their last line of defense. “God cannot be proven or dis-proven – he requires Faith!” Perhaps ‘a god’ or the possibility of ‘a god or gods’ cannot, at this time, be proven, but there is ample evidence disproving the current versions of god going around (god, allah, Ra, etc). But who needs evidence when one has faith right?

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May 10, 2007 Posted by | Discussion, People, Religion | 13 Comments