Tuesday, September 13, 2016

How to cope with life when your child dies in a drowning accident or drowns but doesn't die - a Christian perspective.

The purpose of this post is to help people cope with a drowning accident.
Before we get to that, let me say the most important thing - if and when your children are around water, make them wear something buoyant.  Foam swim clothes for babies, puddle jumpers for toddlers, life vests for older kids or kids on bodies of water other than pools.  If they are buoyant, they can make some noise and be visible and have a chance - remember, drowning is the silent killer.

A couple of years ago my 3 year old daughter drown in my neighbors pool.  Thankfully, God  resuscitated her and she is alive today.   There are 2 main things that will completely take over your life after such an event:
1.  How you should react/interact with your spouse and cope
2.  How you should act around your other children and your child who survived.

I was discussing the incident today with my now 5 year old daughter at the spot where she drown.  I'm pleased to report that my wife and I must have done something right, because all those things I worried about never happened and my daughter hasn't been affected negatively at all by her drowning.  She is not scared of the hot tub in which she drown, she is not scared of swimming, she is not repressing anything or maladjusted psychologically.  She even remembers the event fondly.  She remembers the drowning, being stuck in the deep box of the hot tub and not being able to get out, but she also remembers the time she spent with us, getting to ride in the ambulance with her mom, and spending the night with her parents at the hospital and getting to watch TV.

I can't guarantee if you do what I did you will get the same results.  Maybe my baby girl is just so awesome that she'd be cool like this no matter what her mom and I did.  She does have an amazing personality and smiles all day long.  She's a real corker, as one of our friends says.  But there were a couple decisions I had to make about how to treat this event and I would recommend them to anyone.

1.  Don't bring up the incident in daily conversation unless the child who drowned brings it up and wants to talk about it.  They probably won't bring it up, but if they do then answer their questions in a normal tone of voice.  Do not treat the incident differently from other things that happen in life.  Its not a family secret or a dirty little secret.  Don't whisper, frown, only talk about it when alone, etc.
2.  Tell the rest of your kids not to bring up the drowning unless the victim brings it up, and then when she does, remind them not to dwell on it or embellish it.  My daughter had 3 older very talkative siblings, who at the time were more than happy to say really stupid and insensitive stuff about the incident such as "Daddy let you drown" and "don't do that, you'll drown and die again!"  Not helpful, in fact its harmful.  People remember things only if they replay them over and over again in their minds.  So the goal here is to let the bad memories go.  Young children especially, will focus on the good things I think.  But if yours isn't, then feel free to remind them of the good things around that time.  I had to very sternly tell my children the rules about the drowning.  Kids think they know whats best, but their words can do so much damage.  I leaned on God heavily to tell me how to handle the situation and He did.  I told the kids not to talk about the event with each other or the victim.  Its best to let the memory fade.  The ability to forget is a wonderful thing.
3.  Don't change your swimming habits or routine.  If the drowning victim is more hesitant around water than she was before, then go with it.  Start over swim training if you have to, but do not push them at all.


If you find you are beating yourself up about allowing your child to drown, then try to focus on the good things that it brought about.  Maybe it encouraged you to get CPR training, like it did me, and you will see someone elses life.  One thing is for sure, you will figure out just how much you missed your kids by how you react.  Remember that - remember how much you love your kids, or miss the one who died, and dwell on it.  It will make you a better person when you take life less for granted.

If you are wondering where I'm coming from and what my credentials are, you should know that although I'm not a psychologist, I did take to it very well as I learned in the few classes I took.  I'd make a good behavioral scientist (I know this from what other people have observed about me).  Also, I can offer up the solitary journal entry I have from that event.  Because I know if I were you and I had just read this I would really want a full accounting of what happened so that I could determine the veracity of the above statements.  so here goes:

I need to remember what it is I learned from this experience.  
Ever since Josh and Kelly Proctor had a stillborn baby I had wondered to God what it would be like to lose a Child.  I know this sounds bad, but I wondered, why aren’t they happy for the child?  After all, being a pastor, he should know it’s in a better place.  
That is the wrong thing to say to someone in that situation.  They want to grieve.  
I’ll never forget the evening of Friday, June 20, approximately 8 PM.  Annabelle should have been in bed by then, but  she and Savannah had worked hard cleaning up the house and had earned the right to go to the pool.  So I took them around 7:45.  Gerald was in the pool cleaning it, and he invited us in.  I notice the pool water had some debris in it, so I got the skimmer and started skimming.  I asked Gerald how often the pool water needed this, and he said every time you swim.  Bugs and leaves get in it all the time.  I started talking to him more and more.  Savannah jumped in with him and started swimming.  I walked past Annabelles life jacket on the bench and considered putting it on her.  I made a pass around the pool once while Annabelle took her Yellow duck float and jumped in the hot tub.  It has a seat around the outside and she can stand on it and be above water.  Plus she had the float, so I figured she was good to go without the jacket for a while.  Besides, once I was done skimming, I’d be right with her the whole time.  I had been teaching her how to swim a few days before and she made lots of progress.  
After the first pass around the pool, I started talking to Gerald and focusing on the corner near the hot tub.  Then I looked up, God prompted me to look up and check on Annabelle.  There she was, her duck in the corner of the tub, and she was floating face down in the water.  At first I thought she must be playing a trick on me.  But she is too young.  She isn’t moving, and she doesn’t know how to do that.  I grabbed her.  Her face is blue.  She is dead.  How long has she been like that?  This can’t be happening.  I tried holding her upside down and squeezing the water out of her lungs.  Nothing came out.  
I put her gently down on the Astroturf.  Her eyes were closed.  I should give her CPR.  I pushed on her chest a bit.  Nothing.  I tried opening her mouth.  It was shut tight.  I tried prying her teeth apart.  I blew into her mouth with them together.  It’s not working!  All the time, I’m saying Shit, Shit, Shit, Shit.  Oh Shit.  No, NO!  Gerald is out of the pool in a snap and on the other side of her, looking so very concerned.  
What I’m doing isn’t working.  I realize that God wants to save her, not have me do it.  This is going to be weird, but I’m going to do it anyway.  I look up the sky, reach out with my right hand and say “God, save her!”  I look back  down at her, pry her mouth open a bit, and blow into her lungs.  This isn’t doing anything, I think.  But her mouth loosens a bit.  Her eyes open.  She is so blue.  They are glazed over.  She looks like a zombie.  She is coming back from the dead.  God has restored her soul into her body at this point.  I’m a little hesitant to rejoice- there is still work to do.  The blowing worked, so I did it again.  She must have water in her lungs, so I flip her over and hold her upside down.  Nothing is coming out.  She says “Daddy” in a really slow and groggy voice.  She is getting stronger.  I’m trying to drain the water out.
Gerald takes her and does reverse chest compressions on her, pushing her rib cage up by her weight.  She vomits a big.  “That’s good”, he says, “That’s a good sign”.  He does it some more.  I think that will also get air into her lungs.  Nothing more for me to do.  I stand up.  I pace.  What should I do?  He is doing the best thing right now.  I call to Savannah – go get your mother!  A minute later she is there with a phone.  “Call 911!”, I yell.  “You can go inside and use his phone”.  I walk over to her.  “I found Annabelle face down in the pool.”  “How long was she like that?” she asks.  “I don’t know!”  I go over to Annabelle, and she pukes up the rest of her dinner.  I take her and hold her.  Stephanie brings me a towel.  Annabelle is going to make it now, I know, I just want her to be comfortable now.  I want her to feel my love.  I put a towel on my shoulder and hold her on it.  I pat her back and tell her how much I love her.  
“How could I let this happen!” I think.  No time for those thoughts now.  I check on Annabelle, she looks tired, but OK.  She is so precious to me, how could I let that happen?  When will the Ambulance be here?  They were just down the other street a minute ago, can’t they stop by here?  I talk to Stephanie.  We hear some sirens and decide to go out to the driveway.  Stephanie is holding her now, she wanted her mommy.  I’m a bit upset that she doesn’t want me to hold her.  Will she love me less?  I saved her, I want to hold her.  But I know I’m also the one who let her drown, so I just want whatever she wants.  She holds Stephanie while the Fire Response team arrives.  I go out to them in the yard, and wave them over.  They aren’t moving very fast.  I tell them what happened.  They put an oxygen monitor on her.  They want my ID and I tell them we live across the street.  The police come.  They look for a seat “For the mother”, and they get a stool out of Gerald’s garage.  There Stephanie sits, holding Annabelle.  They do a pupil dilation on her while I watch; normal response.  There are now four emergency vehicles in the street.  This is going to be expensive.  The cops are asking me the same information.  I explain to one what happened.  The EMS are talking about taking her to the hospital.  I realize I should probably get dressed.  I want to go with Annabelle, I want to be there for her.  I walk over to the house and get dressed and go back.  Stephanie is in the Ambulance still holding Annabelle.  I pop my head in and give her my cell phone since we can’t find hers.  We make plans to meet at the hospital.  I overhear the officer explaining to his chief what I told him.  I ask them if they need anything else, they say “No.”  I go back to the house and yell at the older kids once again to go inside – they are talking to the neighbors about what happened.  They just are not listening – they woke up the baby and aren’t going to bed.  I put them to work – they can’t find her phone either.  I can’t find the neighbors number, so I drive over there  really fast.  I drive back home and she is there a minute later.  I get some stuff for an overnight hospital stay and leave.  I drive like a bat out of hell to the highway and then as I go through in my mind what I need to take I remember that I forgot the car seat.  I have to go back.  Even faster now, I try not to draw attention, but I just want to get there.  I pull up the driveway with my blinkers on and hop out, grab the seat, and take off again.  I’m driving 25 miles over the speed limit – 65 in a 40.  I get to the highway fast and turn on my blinkers.  After I ride someone’s bumper a few seconds, they usually get over.  I’m going 85 MPH.  Why did they want to take her to downtown Dallas!  That is ridiculous.  I get to the busy interchange and have to slow down because there is too much traffic.  After a while I turn off my blinkers.  I’m going as fast as I can and still be safe.  I finally get to the exit, and right before I do, I finally see a cop car.  I’m glad I didn’t get pulled over.  As I’m driving I’m considering what I’d do if I saw one try to pull me over.  Would I stop or keep going?  If I stop, I’ll ask them for an escort.  I get there and park in the first lot I see.  Its so far away, I grab the stuff and take off jogging.  
I ask a stranger where a little kid would go if they came in on an ambulance – and they point me to the right place.  I wonder how crazy they think I am, or if I was going to ask them for money.  
I get inside and go to the desk.  The nice lady there asks for ID and looks up AB in the computer.  She isn’t there, she says.  Oh, there she is, they just put her in.  She says,  “You probably don’t want to wait, I’ll take you right back” and off we go.  “You are right, thank you.” I muster.  She takes me through the doors and to the room where I see my Annabelle laying reposed on the bed and my wife with a smile sitting in a chair.  I ask Annabelle what happened.  
“I was in the cold tub.  I slipped in the water.  I kept my mouth shut like you taught me.  Then you pulled me out.”  
The nurse is there, listening.  She says she has a good vocabulary.  I’m proud of her.  I’m ashamed of me.  What a bad parent I am, so let that happen to her.  How could I hurt her so much?  She is so perfect and innocent and godly and pure, and, and, and…..I push my disgust aside.  Its not helpful now, and I’m only doing what is helpful.  I talk to my wife next.  I apologize to her.  She is acting like it’s a regular doctor visit.  I ask her what happened and she explains the trip to me.  I talk to Annabelle some more.  I’m up, I’m down.  She’s watching TV and I sit right in front of her face and hold it and look into her eyes.  I was expecting her to be happy to see me, but she is watching TV and doesn’t pay me much attention.  I’m heartbroken, but I push it aside because I don’t matter.  Its late now, so I go over to Annabelle and tuck her into bed and rub her head until she nods off.  It doesn’t take long.  For the next couple hours I talk to Stephanie.  I have so much to work out.  But I know she isn’t’ ready for it yet.  I try to explain to her that I feel guilty for not being that shook up that Annabelle almost died – because I know she’d be in heaven so Its not such a big deal.  But on the other hand, shouldn’t I be really, really concerned?  She takes it as an insult, since she is acting the same way I am.  I explain its not, that it’s the way I feel.  Eventually she understands.  We talk and talk and talk.  She feels very close to me now, because of that, I know.  She is very supportive and comforting.  I put my head on her shoulder and take a short nap.  When I wake up, I want to leave.  I don’t want to be there any longer, I want to put this behind me.  Yet I’m torn, because this is such a big deal, I want it to be a big part of my life.  For four hours I’ve been wondering what God is trying to teach me through this.  Then it hits me.  I tell Stephanie about how I’ve always wondered what it would be like to lose a child- and when I think about that, I think of Annabelle.  She said she does too.  I wonder aloud if Satan is trying to attack her.  She is such a happy and obedient child.  She is the only one of my children who demonstrates a relationship with God that actively means something.  
We pray again.  The first time was for a complete and total healing of Annabelle, but now its for God to protect her from Satan, and to break his attack on her life.  I mention that we should give her a middle name, because she seems incomplete without one.  Like she is a person in Limbo; I don’t want her to be in Limbo – I want her to be with me, really and truly and fully all the way here in my arms firmly planted on this earth.  I think about names.  Life.  Her name is now life; because I am countering Satan’s attempt to take it.  It turns out that the name for Life is Eve.  Annabelle Eve Ulrich.  I’m learning a lot, but surely this isn’t about me.  Its about Annabelle, she is the one who nearly died.  Where is His compassion on her?  Surely God isn’t just using this to teach moi a lesson?
Annabelle, God is going to make it up to you one day.  If He used you to teach me a lesson, then He will make it up to you in Heaven.  Otherwise, it wouldn’t be fair.  

Just so I don’t forget, I want to write down what it is like to lose a child.  If its even remotely your fault, you will hate yourself for letting them die.  If it was your miscarriage, you will question every action of your pregnancy.  You will question what you could have done to save them.  You will second guess every decision of yours, your spouse, and your doctor – everyone involved.  You will hate yourself.  You will probably want to die so you can be with them.  I pray that you are a Christian, so that you can avoid suicide.  Otherwise, I don’t see how you could go on living without them.  Satan will use it to take another life – yours.  He will want to take you away from the people that love you – its called a twofer.  You will never forget that moment you first saw your child dead.  It will be laser ingrained in your memory forever.  You will start to think about all the Firsts your child is going to miss, and you will cry for them.  You will cry for all the lost opportunities.  If you have any other children, you will neglect them because you cared so much for the one.  Even though if they had died, you’d be crying for them, you just ignore them.  Sure, you hug them and hold them tight, but they don’t understand, so you go off alone so you can cry without them asking you a hundred questions.  
You will think a thousand times faster and question everyone, especially God.  IT will give you more time to think of all the times you spent with your child and what  you could have done differently.  If you ever see someone who lost a child, hold them, hug them, and cry with them.  Just do that, nothing else.  Listen to them.  They will want to know “Why me?, Why them?”
You’ll never get an answer. If you survive long enough, you might look back on how that tragedy helped you help someone else out with theirs, and maybe, just maybe, then you’ll have part of an answer.  But you will want your child back anyway.  
Just know, God will make it all right someday.  
Yesterday at the doctors office they had health tips playing.  One was on water safety.  I was so grateful they were playing that, I wanted to hug the doctor who decided to play that.  But no one was watching it.  I wanted to call attention to it in the waiting room.  I want to write a book that will help prevent drowning’s.  I want to warn the whole world – watch your kids!  Wear life jackets!  Hold them close and don’t ever miss a chance to hug them.

You will need to talk a lot.  You will want to talk to someone who understands what it is like.  


Monday, December 21, 2015

How to transfer Quickmemo items to quickMemo plus on a new cell phone.

So lets say you get a new 5.0 android phone and your old 4.0 android phone has a lot of memo's on it you want to transfer.  Let me tell you how to transfer Quickmemo items to quickMemo plus on a new cell phone.
On your old phone, go to the Quickmemo app.  Click your menu button and then click on backup. Create a backup file on your SD card.  Then close the app and take out the SD card and put it in your new phone.  On your new phone, use file explorer to copy the file to internal storage.  Then if your new phone has Quickmemo+, click on Import from Internal storage, and you should find backup.rnt in the /storage/emulated/0/Download folder.
Using external storage for this didn't work for me. It said no files found.

There you go, one file and all your old memos show up on your new phone.  Now you can save them to Google Drive and never lose them again.  Progress!!!

How to reliably transfer contacts:

You have to be careful if you have a lot of contacts, it might only transfer some of them at random and not others.  I've found that if you transfer via bluetooth in small batches of 20 or so, it works well.  Just go to Contacts, settings, Transfer Type, and select Send Separately.
Then go to menu, share, via bluetooth, and select the contacts you want to share and send them in a small batch to your new phone.  Then on your new phone, they should pop up on the notification screen and you can click on each file there and it will import that contact into your new phone.

Again, from there, save to Google drive and you will never have to do this again.

Unless Google goes bankrupt?

Tracfones dirty little secrets

I recently upgraded from an LG Optimus 2 to an LG22C and I learned a few things you might like to know.
1.  Tracfone can and does still transfer minutes, days of service, and/or phone numbers from your old tracfone to your new one.  Despite what some other blogs may be saying, it is still possible and not quite too difficult, if you read this blog post.
2.  The trick is to go to the Tracfone Facebook page and start up a chat with someone.  I started mine like this: "High Mark, can you help me transfer the minutes and days of service from my old tracfone to my new one?  But leave 5 days of service and the phone number on the old phone?
And Mark says.... "Yes, I can do that."  Mark had to do the service days thing manually, since he was splitting it up, but it still took all of 7 minutes.  Way to go Mark.  I'm guessing Tracfone hasn't outsourced their Facebook personnel yet.  So get it while you can, YMMV.
3.  Don't call their customer service number, especially after hours.  You would, like me, get someone who thinks all cellphones have sim cards and IMEI numbers.  When in fact, we all know that CDMA phones have no sim cards and most new phones only have MEID numbers (They refer to MEID DEC numbers as serial numbers).
4.  Do have your old and new phone numbers and MEID numbers handy, and give them to the rep after they say they can help you.

Happy Tracfoning!

Monday, September 1, 2014

fISHER PRICE FP3 PLAYER mp3 conversion

Here is how you can convert .fp3 files from mp3 files on a computer.
First, go spend 8 hours with your kids.
Second, download these songs onto your kids fp3 player via windows explorer and then call it quits.
Stories
Songs


If you really want to continue, then don't say I didn't warn you.  Take that 8 hours with your kids and fugedaboutit.


If its not a windows computer, you will need an emulator.  Mac can dual boot into a windows OS, etc.
It does not have to be a 32 bit windows system, as windows 7 and up can run the Fisher Price Software in compatibility mode.
Thanks to this dude:
http://mnteractive.com/archive/fischer-price-fp3-player-headaches-for-dad/


You can download the Fisher Price software here: 
 You will have to use the serial number that came with your device to install the software.  When you do, if you aren't on a 32 bit machine, the R click on the program in the start menu and click on Properties, then the compatibility tab, and then change the settings for all users - Run in Windows XP SP3 compatibility mode. 


Burn all your .mp3's to a cd using Windows media player.  Forget mounting virtual drives, etc. unless you already know how to do it.  Now is not the time. http://www.ehow.com/how_5495336_convert-mp-fp.html
OPen up the FP3 player software and it will automatically find the music cd's you inserted into your computer.  Copy the files to your library. 
Then navigate to: C:\Users\*yourusernamehere*\Music\Fisher-Price\FP3 Player
Copy the .fp3 files from the above folder to the device via usb cable or sd card. Edit the playlist files on the device in Notepad.exe


Remember, playlist.sty is for stories and playlist.sng is for songs.  Skip the numbers of the stories on the song list.  Numbers start at 0000 and at the top is the number of Stories or Songs on the list (depending on which list you are creating).


If your setup is anything like mine (64 bit windows 7), then the software won't work correctly and it won't find your device.  That is OK, it will still convert CD songs to Fp3.  But it will save it in the above FP folder, and you have to go there, drag the songs onto your device through windows explorer.  Also, if you have an SD card inserted as a drive B, then it will not find that either.  Open that in Windows explorer and copy more songs onto it.  Start the filenames on that where you left off on the device.  So if you stopped at 00056, then on drive B, you will have 00057 and on.  Make sure on your song/story playlists you specify which songs are on drive B and which are on A (internal memory).  The only playlists are on drive A, don't put one on B. 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

How to really setup a hotmail account on an Android device

This instructions are accurate as of 2014.
1.  Go to hotmail.com and login
2.  CLick on the Sprocket in the Upper Right of the screen.
3.  A menu will drop down, click on options.
4.  Under the heading Managing your account, click Connect devices and apps with POP.


POP

 
6.  On your android device, click the email app.  If you have the option between Exchange and pop3, then choose PoP3.
7.  Enter your hotmail email address as the username.  
8.  Enter your email password for the password, or if you have 2 step verification, enter your app password.  For instructions: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/app-passwords-two-step-verification
9.  Click Next or connect. 
10.  You are now connected.
11.  Thank me by clicking a link or something.  Or even better, stay faithful to your spouse until death sets in. 


FYI, this is a lot easier on a multi-platform email app such as K9 mail, which as of August 2014 supports gmail, Hotmail and yahoo mail. 

Monday, March 24, 2014

How to beat LOTR Middle earth Defence 320x240 Cell phone game

It seems really hard at first, but once you know these strategies, it becomes really easy.
Rule #1, place barriers in such a way that it will force the attackers to go around your warriors in a circle, or U-shape. Position your warriors, if possible, in an area that will maximize the amount of time they can spend attacking enemies in their sphere of influence. On most levels it is possible to attack on 3 sides.
Rule #2 Start with an Elven archer, upgrade him two times, three if necessary to not let any enemies through. As soon as possible, get the hero archer. This is usually possible on the third level. Place him strategically, preferably as far away from the first archer as possible, but where both of your guys can attack bad guys utilizing their full sphere of influence. Upgrade Legolas as soon as possible until he is maxed out. Then upgrade your elven archer. Most levels, this is all the good guys you will need. If you need more good guys, get a hero or another maxed out archer. Some of the later levels will have these flying dragon things that you can shoot down really easily with an archer. When you get to the later levels, you can get Gandalf. He will take the place of Legolas in your strategy. Also, you can get Arwen – but she only helps on things that are weak to magic.
Rule #3 Barriers – use the barriers sparingly and never destroy one, it’s a waste of barrier. Save up for a Mirror of Gadriel as soon as possible and use that to slow enemies down while they are in the range of your heroes. Most of the earlier levels you should get two mirrors, three on the later levels. If you try a level and some bad guys get through, then redo the level and make some tweaks to your strategy. This is where the FFWD button the upper right of the screen comes in handy. If you let one or two get through in order to save your money up to buy a hero or upgrade a hero, don’t sweat it. As long as you are getting your guys upgraded, its not worth chasing a few bad guys here or there. Don’t waste money on buying guys and not upgrading them. Non-upgraded guys don’t do much damage and aren’t worth it. If you get a good guy, he needs to be fully upgraded. That’s about it – using these strategies you should be able to beat most levels with two or three good guys and only let 7 or 8 bad guys through.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

How to Configure ARC through a Vizio Exx0i LED Smart Slim series TV

This is how you make sure the TV will send an ARC signal on HDMI 1 to your sound system. HDMI 1 is the only HDMI port on the TV with aRC - you'll notice the letters ARC below it.  

This instruction is not found in the manual!

Click Menu on the Remote, Go to Settings, CEC settings, Go to CEC function, enable it. Go to System Audio Control, set it to ON.

You also have to set HDMI control to on on your sound system, so check your sound System manual for that.  


Thursday, December 26, 2013

An open letter to the A&E Network management re: Robertson hiatus

An open letter to the A&E Network management.  This letter has also been sent to aefeedback@aenetworks.com
Dear A&E executive staff,
Last week you decided to indefinitely suspend one of your television show stars as punishment for some remarks he made in an interview with an unrelated media outlet.  From what I've been able to gather, this week you have taken a hiatus, as a break to give you time to consider your decision.  While I'm guessing you have already made up your mind on the situation and won't budge, I would like to share with you a similar situation that occured a while back, as something for you to consider. 
About eleven years ago I was a poor college student at Purdue University.  I was also a residence hall counselor, which with it, paid my tuition, room, and board. I was brought in partway through the semester because the previous counselor was fired for something he didn't even do.  You see, he was a black openly gay man and one night he found a cohort of eighteen year old residents and their friends drinking alcohol in their room after curfew, which violated national, state, and local laws and organizational rules.  He was pretty nice to them, and got right in the middle of the whole deal and did his best to deal with the heart of the situation. However, one of the instigators later made sexual abuse allegations against him, which, along with his parents bullying, prompted his dismissal, along with the loss of his tuition, room, and board. 
In that story, which isn't even my main one, find yourself in the shoes of the residence hall staff, and Phil is the gay counselor and the LGBT vocal minorty are the instigator and his parents. 
Although the counselor lost his job, the instigator got away with something he shouldn't have.  But not for long, because later in the schoolyear I busted them all personally, and they didn't dare falsely accuse me.  The residence hall staff just kicked the can down the road, angered their counseling staff and alienated the rest of the residents.  I believe that outcome is given the term "a lose-lose-lose situation". 
 But hey, they shouldn't have hired a gay counselor to live with young boys anyway, so his loss is my gain, right?  So as a poor college student and enterprising young fellow, I was always looking for a way to make some extra money.  I collected the abandoned bicycle remains on campus and refurbished them into fully functioning bicycles that I would then sell to students.  One day while I was working on the bikes, the jealous roommate of my future wife saw the perfect opportunity to strike, so he called the campus police, who promptly came and ordered me to give them all the bicycles and accused me of stealing property.  Maybe they felt they had a right to property abandoned on campus, but if I had taken all the litter on campus and constructed an art sculpture, would they have reacted the same?  No, only if I sold it for a huge chunk of money.  They were motivated by greed.  The dean of the university then put me on probation and I lost my job as a counselor. 
The residence hall lost their Best Counselor of the semester, and someone who could best deal with the brats on the 8th floor.
The university lost all hope of ever getting any future donations from me, tuition from any of my many children, or support from me in their alumni associations or the ability to identify themselves with my future success.  I ended up attending another college for my masters degree and with always associate myself with this fine institution instead of Purdue because, although I have forgiven them for their harshness toward a poor college student, it is my perrogative as to what to do with my future loyalty.  I chose not to reward an instituion which punishes someone for cleaning up litter on their campus and upcycling it for a profit.  I don't reward stupidity, greed, and malice, which were all present in the way I was treated by everyone involved. 

 Now, find yourself in this story.  It was malicious of you to suspend Phil Robertson, and as to greed or stupidity, the coming week will only tell.  If greed be your motivation, then you will apologize to Phil and reinstate him as a full cast member, and go on to make hundreds of millions of dollars with all this free publicity. 
However, if stupidity rules the roost of A&E, then you won't apologize to Phil and every Duck Dynasty employee will be fired, you will lose your top show, millions of viewers, and on top of that, hundreds of millions of people across the world will, like me, chose not to reward stupidity.  So it doesn't bode well for your future network ratings. 
By the way, if you are hoping for Phil to apologize so you can save face, then I hate to break it to you, but that ain't gonna happen.  Everything he said was true, correct, and moral, so its not him that needs to apologize.  Something to the effect of "A&E Networks apologizes for placing Phil Robertson on hiatus.  We did not mean to demean him for exercising his right to free speech and we would like to continue using our network to bring you the latest and best in authentic programming" ought to do the trick.  
 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

How to encourage your kids to get along while playing xbox

Xbox Kinect is the kind of amazing technology I fantasized about as a child.  Now its here, and it really is uber cool to be able to use it.  
I've had one for a year, and let the kids play the kinect because unlike most video gaming, this isn't sedentary.  Its our way of exercising.  However, I noticed the unintended consequence of this - the Kinect UI is very frustrating sometimes, and its hard for young kids to be cordial to each other when playing it together.  Also, kids don't know how to rank the importance of the game in the overall scheme of things.  To them, a game is the most important thing in their lives, because their lives are so small.  
Yesterday I gave a rousing speech to my family about how unimportant the Xbox was.  I told them that one of the reasons we have it is so that we can practice life together, the right way, loving each other in the process.  But we are failing at that, and instead we tear each other apart when playing a game.  Why?  Because just like Satan wants, we are putting a stupid game above each other.  Games are so temporary, but each other are eternal, just as are the words we say to each other.  Its an amazing power that God gave us.  WE are going to start using that Xbox for Good, and slap Satan in the face.  We hate Satan, and we take a stand against him, and redeem this gaming console for the use of the Kingdom. 
                And after that rousing, theologically correct lecture, I encouraged everyone who now agreed that "Its not worth it" would be our new warning phrase to take a time out, to give each all a group hug.  And my son aid he didn't want to. 
                To me that presents a problem.  Someone who doesn't want a group hug is someone who is too stuck up to be a part of our family.  And therefore, that is someone who is not on the same page as the rest of us, and won't play by the rules that we outlined, which are based on selflessness.  If I let someone play with my family who doesn't follow our family rules, then they will start to break down.  They will hurt my children and my wife.  My wife's ears will hear more satanic fire and her soul will despair. 
                So I want more than someone who will just SAY they agree with this philosophy of gaming, I need players who will demonstrate the philosophy. So to that end, I am now implementing a measure to ensure that only people who demonstrate our Family Philosophy on Xbox gaming will be the ones playing my Xbox.  


Family Philosophy on Xbox Gaming

1.   The purpose of the Xbox is to practice life together, the right way, by loving each other in the process.
2.   Games are unimportant and temporary
3.   Family members, and how we treat them, is eternal. 
4.   If someone says to you "Its not worth it", then you must stop your game and take a time out.  Failure to do so will result in a Strike.
  1. Failure to play in a kind manner to each other will result in a strike.

After three strikers the player will be banned from Xbox gaming for one week, at which time the slate is wiped clean and they are given another chance.  If they get another ban, the time period will be increased to whatever the previous ban was, plus one day (up to one week at the discretion of the parent). 
The StrikeXBox.  Write Date of Infraction in box below.
Player 1
Player 2
Player 3
Player 4
Player 5

















Thursday, November 14, 2013

A Practical Guide to Amateur Punkin Chunkin

This fall I decided to host a punkin chunkin event at my church, through my mens ministry, the Band of Brothers.  Well, it was quite a success, to the surprise of anyone who thought about that sort of thing.  
We had 4 devices.  The one that shot the farthest was a 10" ID air cannon.  It shot about 300 feet.  The second farthest was a trebuchet with a 10 foot arm (between pivot and knock) with about 400 lbs of weights on it.  
Unfortunately, I made an onager, and that shot about 20'.  Backward.  
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/73zu5que6q7pajr/IIdR1euAmA



My onager was small, light, and easy to assemble/disassemble.  It was tethered to the ground at the front supports.  The lower ground support rails extended forward three feet, so it would keep the onager from rocking in either direction, fore and aft.  

Punkin Thrower Selection

First, decide how far you want to throw a pumpkin.  Assume it weight 8 lbs.
Depending on that, you can select a design.  Also take into consideration how many people will be helping you build and test the device.

1.  Air cannon

These are the easiest to build, if you have the materials on hand.  I would only do this if you have or can borrow a compressor, large pipe, and air tank.  If you have all that, go for it.  One person can make a cannon that will shoot 300 feet.  Any larger than that, and you'll need a helper.  The larger the device, the more helpers you'll need.  

2.  Trebuchet

This is something you should do with at least one other person - for a pumpkin.  If you are just making one to throw a small ball or stone, then you can do it yourself.  But if you want to throw a pumpkin, you'll need at least one other person.  
For one the size as the one in the pictures I have linked to,  then get two people to help you.  For a trebuchet with a 15' to 24' arm, get a 4 person team.  For a 25 to 35 foot arm, get a 5 person team.  Larger than that, get at least six people who are dependable.  Also, make a Floating arm trebuchet if you can, they are the most efficient kind.  

3.  Onager

First, I would recommend that unless you want to spend a couple hundred bucks, and have someone on your team, don't even consider an onager the size of the one I did.  If you want to throw a baseball 300', then you can make an onager yourself.  It can at most be 3' wide with a 4" diameter skein.
This is not good enough to throw a pumpkin. If you really want to launch a pumpkin, you'll need an onager at least 4' wide, with a 6" diameter skein.  
Make the onager so you don't have to screw it to the ground - there are too many rocks in the ground, and it adds to the time you can't spend with your friends.  
You have to make the modiolus line up with the hole in the board, otherwise the modiolus will move too much.  Also, its best to spend time and effort designing it to be easy to rotate.  By hand is fine, but it needs to be quick and easy.  
I suggest making a two piece modiolus like that on the mister ballista or chunk norris.  it has a smaller gear with a crank you can put it.  I suggest using the gear arm as a secondary modiolus stopper, and adding a primary one as a flat toothed piece that fits in a built up area on the scutula hole carrier (frame) and locks with the teeth. 
 
 

Don't use sheathed rope for the skein, such as this:
http://www.harborfreight.com/75-ft-x-3-8-eighth-inch-camouflage-poly-rope-47835.html
It got some really loose skein strands after a few throws.  But more importantly, it had a bad power curve. 
This rope was cheap, but its not true rope.  Its sheathed cigarette filters, except the filter material is polyester.  The power curve for this stuff is horrible.  I’d have been better off with Polyproplene rope, even though polypropolene rope isn’t good in sunlight. 
It was about 1500 ft-lbs of torque when pulled down to the ground, but up at the top only about 100 ft-lbs.
Each time you pull down the arm, you will have to tighten the skein.  So do this about 5 times before you fire the first pumpkin.
I recommend using a true polyester unsheathed rope with a diameter about 16 times smaller than that of the scutula hole diameter.

If you do want to attempt a larger skein, on the scale of the one I made, here is what you need to know:

  • First, you will need to have someone who is good at cutting and welding.  You will need to use some metal. 
  • Second, you need a source of scrap metal. 
  • Third, do NOT count on the skein to center the modiolus.  Make a flanged modiolus so that part of it will sit inside the skein hole.  Otherwise the modiolus will move too much.  On Siege Engine.com, they suggest using a "rope sleeve".  That would be good on a 4" dia skein sized device.  Larger ones should have the sleeve welded one piece onto the modiolus.  
At the size above 3’ wide, 4” diameter skein, you will need to switch modiolus design to that of an externally toothed modiolus.  It is the only thing that can apply the torque you will need to turn the skein. 
Also, its best to spend time and effort designing it to be easy to rotate.  Rotating by hand is fine, but it needs to be quick and easy.  


For an example of what I’m talking about, see the modiolus on the mister ballista or chunk norris.  it has a smaller gear with a crank you can put it.  I suggest using the gear arm as a secondary modiolus stopper, and adding a primary one as a flat toothed piece that fits in a built up area on the side board and locks with the teeth. This will keep the modiolus from rotating when you are done tightening the skein.   

 How to not make an onager that works


First, read this, and learn all you can.
My onager had a floating wooden modiolus, a scaled up version of the 3’ wide kind of onager.  I made it an octagon shape so it could be rotated with a huge wood wrench I crafted.  I could only turn the modioli to about 1500 ft-lbs of torque before the wrench got too stretched out.  On top of that, I had to try and line up the pin in the modioli with the pin in the board under it, all while trying to hold the skein in tension.  It’s a nightmare when you are trying to take care of all the other stuff to set up and fix on the day of the chunk. 

Also, I’m not the only one who understands that grease is not enough to reduce the friction between the modiolus and the board under it.  I recommend UHMWPE, but there are other options. You could use ball bearings, if you had a bunch of them on hand.  Kamatics makes a P54 material which can take about 20,000 psi and has a friction lower than UHMWPE.  You’d only need something like this if for some reason your modiolus area was really small, or your skein diameter is huge, or a combination of the two.  

The reason for needing to make the modiolus out of metal in these larger onagers is partly due to the properties of the wood.  Although in my case, I was able to make a 1.5” thick modiolus out of two pieces of cabinet quality plywood, I would have been unable to make it toothed.  The teeth push on the wood in a direction perpendicular to the force that the bar is trying to break the modiolous.  The fact that the wood is a composite makes the fibers splinter then locally acted upon in this direction.  It would be better to have homogenous wood at the teeth, and plywood around the hole.  I’m not saying its impossible to make a working externally toothed modiolus out of wood, its just that metal would be a lot easier.  I suppose if you were forced to make it out of wood for some reason, you could do it, it would have to have a large diameter for the teeth.  A good rule of thumb for this kind of modioulus might be to have the external modiolus diameter set to 3 times the internal modiolus hole diameter.  The wood at the teeth would need to be extremely hard, so you can start with a hard wood, or use a wood hardening chemical.  The meshing smaller crank arm gear would also preferably be made of a hard wood. 

Again, wood is not recommended for onagers over 4” in skein diameter!

Advice For Many Kinds of Siege Engines, such as Onagers and Trebuchets:

The key to making a siege engine, I believe, is using what you have on hand, or can find or borrow easily. 
Obvious limits are time, money, and storage space.  After all, if my Aerospace company were so inclined, we could design and manufacture a siege engine that would shoot a pumpkin to the moon!  But no one has unlimited resources.  

You need the throwing arm to be strong.  If its made out of wood, then wrap it with rope, which will help keep it from splintering.  For the rope wrap, use a spiral hitch: watch video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=p5qocr-pIQo

Pay lots of attention to the knock and how the sling releases.  Make a knock that is infinitely and easily adjustable.  I'd suggest a toothed circular plate that against another toothed plate and clamped down with a bike quick bolt. 

Simulaitons

There are various programs you can use to simulate your device:

For the onager program, my onager had the following settings:
Torque Cocked = 4500Nm
Torque Rest = 1500 Nm
Pumpkin mass = 8.4 lbs
Beam mass = 10 kg
Beam shape factor = .43
Beam length = 2m 
Sling length = 1.4m
max range calculated to  be 313.9 meters

Also note the design for my onager is lighter weight than that on most because I turn the scutula frames 90 degrees so they are C shaped.  the max load of a 4' span is the following:
2"x8" = 4,956 lbs compression
Two 2"x8" = 24,000 lbs compression
4"x4" = 16,000 lbs compression
2"x8" = 4,956 lbs in bending 

Therefore, my onager could take over 10,000 lbs in compression.  If I had needed to, I could have added a 4"x4" near the skein to take more compression load, and that would have increased the capability to about 25,000 lbs of skein compression!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Barack Hussein Obama using American Taxpayer's money to commit crimes against humanity


In case you didn't already know, B.H.O. aids and abets the Muslim Brotherhood:
http://www.raymondibrahim.com/islam/obama-accused-of-crimes-against-humanity/

I have translated this article below for you to read, which orginally is posted on http://www.elwatannews.com/news/details/273605

"Home" published the text of the first communication for "international criminal" accused Obama and the leaders of the "Brotherhood" of committing crimes against humanity

Books: Ahmed Tariq Sabri springWednesday 08/21/2013 14:30
ObamaObama
Provided by Dr. Nabil Medhat Salem, Professor of Law, a complaint to the International Criminal Court, for himself and as a member of the Egyptian Bar Association, against U.S. President Barack Obama and all of Muhammad Badi leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohamed El-Beltagy and Essam el-Erian and Safwat Hijazi and Asim Abdalmagd, to do Obama accidentally agreement and incitement and assistance to the armed elements of the Muslim Brotherhood in the commission of crimes against humanity in the period from 03/07/2013 to 08/18/2013, the Arab Republic of Egypt.
I got "home" to the text of the communication, which is the first of its kind, which came pursuant to Article 15 of the Statute of the International Criminal Court, and referred to trial before this court in the light of the outcome of the investigation pursuant to Article 13.
The text of the communication submitted by Dr. Nabil Medhat Salem lawyer cassation that "Article 7/1 of the Statute of the International Criminal Court as a" means any of the following acts "crime against humanity" when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any combination of the civilian population, with knowledge of the attack: (a) murder. (B) Extermination. (C) slavery. (D) Deportation or forcible transfer of population. (E) Imprisonment or other severe deprivation in any other manner of physical liberty in violation of fundamental rules of international law. (F) Torture. (G) Rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilization, or any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity. (C) Persecution against any identifiable group or a specific population for political reasons, racial, national, ethnic, cultural, religious, or gender-related, as defined in paragraph 3. Or for other reasons that are universally recognized as impermissible under international law, in connection with any act referred to in this paragraph or any crime within the jurisdiction of the Court. (I) Enforced disappearance of persons. (J) The crime of apartheid. (K) Other inhumane acts of a similar character intentionally causing great suffering or serious injury to body or to mental or physical health.
Shows the text of this article that crimes against humanity based on the three pillars of the following: First: to commit the act Almathm in the context of a widespread and systematic against any civilian population, and the second: to take this action one of the pictures of the following: (1) murder intentional, (2) genocide, (3) slavery, (4) forcible transfer of population, (5) Imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty, (6) Torture and the intentional infliction of severe pain or suffering physical or mental person is under the control of the accused, (7 ) rape, (8) persecution, (9) enforced disappearance of persons, (10) apartheid, (11) Other inhumane acts, and third: take a picture mental element is criminal intent.

As it was, it was hard probes Case No. 338 for 2013 cover of the appellant Ismailia, and the sentence, and investigations of public prosecution in the events of peaceful demonstrations in front of the Palais des Federal, and investigations into the events of resolving the occupation field fourth Adawiya and the Renaissance and Fath Mosque, and what has been extracted from under the platform fourth Adawiya of bodies distorted by the effects of torture and intentional infliction of physical pain is severe, and CDs containing video tapes illustrated locally and globally that the armed elements of the Muslim Brotherhood driven instigation publicly Mohammed Badi guide the group, and Mohammed El-Beltagy and Essam el-Erian and Safwat Hijazi and Asim Abdalmagd members of the Guidance Bureau congregation committed crimes against humanity that killed deliberately premeditated many groups of civilians in the governorates of Egypt different, as Pett intent and determined to kill them during the peaceful demonstrations that took place in front of the headquarters of the Federal Government in Heliopolis, Egypt to demand the ouster of former President Mohamed Morsi Ayat of office. And the detention of several other groups of civilians, and deprivation of physical liberty, torture, and that these crimes have continued within the period from 03/07/2013 until 08/18/2013 throughout and around the provinces of the Republic, accompanied by depriving them intentional and severe deprivation of fundamental rights because of their political identity and religious, Mr. Barack Hussein Obama teamed up with all of Mohammed Badi and Mohamed El-Beltagy and Essam el-Erian and Safwat Hijazi and Asim Abdalmagd and armed elements of the Muslim Brotherhood in the commission of these crimes accidentally agreement, incitement and assistance, that agreed with them to commit, حرضهم publicly on it, and helped them to implement by providing them with firearms and cartridges contrary to international law, and the article 25/1 of the Statute of the International Criminal Court held this court jurisdiction to try natural persons for crimes committed against humanity, and the Article 27 states that applied the Statute of the Court equally to all persons without any distinction based on official capacity. In particular, the official capacity of a person, whether as Head of State or Government or as a member of a Government or parliament, an elected representative or a government official, not تعفيه in any way from criminal responsibility, nor does it constitute in itself, a reason for reduction of sentence, and immunities and procedural rules that are linked to the official capacity of the defendant does not preclude the exercise of jurisdiction by the Court it, and the Article 13 authorizes the Attorney General the authority to refer the case to the International Criminal Court if he had started the investigation on its own in the crimes within the jurisdiction of this Court based on the information that reaches to his knowledge about them.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

An Open Letter to Ted Cruz; Be My Prez, Cruz

Dear Mr. Cruz,

I think you would be a great president because you are what America needs right now.  Right now, America needs someone who will stand up to Washington fat cats and nullify Obama as a president of the United States, and all his actions while president.  America needs someone who will shoot straight, and remind us why America is great.  That is to say, someone who isn't afraid to reaffirm the vision of America as the last great hope for the world - a country ruled by Biblical Principles.  We need someone who can inculcate the fact that our country is great to the extent that its leaders and citizens humble themselves before God, begging Him to protect us.  Someone who can prove why this is the case and the great deal we stand to lose if we turn our backs on God.  We don't need just another Republican, or conservative, who just spouts out the great liberties of America, without any understand as to their foundation or the requirement that with great freedom comes great responsibility.  Indeed, our freedom is a responsibility, given to us by God, and easily taken away, so we must be diligent to beg God to not do so, and by doing this and this ALONE, we will return America to the status of world leader.  Not only can God reverse the course of America, He can make us once again prosperous and safe.  He can tread down our enemies, who are found under every rock all over the world - if we make our enemies His enemies, and cease being His enemy.
            Ted, I will vote for you.  I will ask 100 other people to vote for you.  I would donate $1000 to your campaign.  When I weigh the costs of not donating to your election, that is quite a bargain.  Please explain that to everyone.  And remember, when you are president, in order to move on, you will have to address the usurper who is currently in office and nullify his presidency before God will allow you to move on and successfully lead America.  I know there will be a tendency to just pass that over, but it must not be allowed to be overlooked, or it will happen again.  Besides, you can easily delegate that to 100 other passionate trustworthy men who can see to the details of unraveling the web of a foreign puppet presidency.

Godspeed,
Paul

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