Category: Updates

Wooden Train Sets From Melissa and Doug

There comes a special time in every father’s life and that time is when his child(ren) are finally old enough to get toys that the father wants to play with. This Christmas was that time for me.

Our son was given a Melissa and Doug wooden train set for Christmas and then for his birthday he got three more sets as well as some Thomas the Tank Engine train cars. There are a couple very cool aspects to wooden train sets that you don’t get with other styles of trains.

The first one is that you and your kids can easily pick up the tracks and create any layout you want. The track pieces fit together just like puzzle pieces. And because they are made out of solid wood, there is nothing to break on them. With a total of four sets worth of wooden tracks to work with, we are able to now create some fairly awesome layouts.

The other cool thing is that pretty much all the different brands of wooden trains and tracks will work with each other. So if your kid is into Thomas you could get a Thomas the Tank Engine and buy a more economically priced track and not have to worry about whether the two will work together.

I don’t know that I would want to try my hand at it but you can even get a model Train Track Bit Set to make your own tracks. Of course you’d need a router and router table as well but if you’ve already got them then this could be a really cool investment.

Last Minute Christmas Thoughts

So this year I asked for a deep fryer for Christmas because ours broke earlier this year and I’ve been missing out on fried foods ever since. I can only hope that if someone gets me one that they choose one from the Best Deep Fryer Reviews top ten list, because those ones sure look nice.

Many people this year are looking for ways to spend a little less at Christmas and one way to do that is with Printable Christmas games. They are cheap and can add some great entertainment to your family gatherings this year.

Christmas Song Airplay

Now through December 27th my Christmas song “Can’t Wait For Christmas” is on the radio playlist at Check it out, there are plenty of cool songs on the radio and it’s a really neat site in general for independent Christian music.

New Christmas Song

I just posted a new Christmas song to MySpace and Purevolume. It’s titled “Can’t Wait for Christmas.” I hope you guys enjoy it and in case I forget to say it later, Merry Christmas!

Listen on MySpace
Listen on Purevolume

Remembering the Important Role of Public Libraries

The following article appeared in the September 30th edition of the Lebanon Daily News.


Pennsylvania’s budget impasse left many libraries without state funding. Frequently, local news programs have featured one library or another telling a sad story about how they have been forced to cut back.

Thanks to Benjamin Franklin, we can take pride that Pennsylvania was the birthplace of public libraries. In the mid-1700s, when Franklin created the first public library, he did so with the intent of making books available to low- income people in his community. As a result, the common person in Philadel phia had access to a depth of knowledge previously only available to the rich and the powerful. Those without access to a good education could take personal re sponsibility for educating themselves and their children.

In recent times we have seen public libraries largely abandoned, and I be lieve that there are two main reasons for that.

The first is the Internet. The vast amounts of information readily available to anyone with a connection to the Inter net has caused many to use it as their sole source of knowledge outside of formal settings. I love Google’s Book Search feature. The ability to search thousands of books, especially ones con temporary to any historical time period, is a resource that local libraries cannot hope to match.

Many people, however, cannot afford an Internet connection and rely on free access at their local library.

The other reason is the public school system. Its creation has removed much of the sense of personal responsibility in regard to education. Many people, kno wingly or not, view schools and colleges as the only means of learning. When ed ucation is handed to you, in fact mandat ed to you, then you have no sense of appreciation for the education you re ceive.

Schools have their place, but how much money should taxpayers provide to educate others’ children? Shouldn’t each set of parents bear the responsibili ty for their own children? It is simply a matter of whether we want to take per sonal responsibility for our education.

My hope is that we as a society can be a little more like the people of Frank lin’s day and see and appreciate the great gift we have been given in public libraries. Politicians are fond of telling us how poorly our children are doing in their schools and telling us we need more funding for those schools.

I would suggest though, that that funding would be better spent on public libraries where people can rediscover a sense of responsibility and joy in learn ing new things.

Someone Paid Me $5 To Do This

People Just Like Beetles

My very first online video The Japanese Beetle Trap has surpassed 5,000 views on YouTube. I know that there are plenty of videos that get views into the millions but I’ll settle for 5,000 and counting for a low quality video about japanese beetles, it’s definitely a niche topic.

My two other more recent videos appear to have gotten lost somewhere in the bowels of YouTube however. A Valentine Song from back in February still has less than 20 views and Josh the Chicken only has 10 views. I don’t do enough in the field of online video to understand why one video gets lots of views and others never receive any. One thing I have noticed is that YouTube now pushes paying them to promote your video on their site. So that could explain why more recent videos seem to get lost if there’s nothing external to YouTube driving a lot traffic to the video. 


You can view all of my videos on the Videos page.

Chicken Coop Details

I’ve posted a detailed description of the construction of our chicken coop. Also we’ve got six more chicks now. For details on both please visit this post: The Chicken Coop.


The Chicks Have Arrived


I finally got my peeps yesterday, eight Buff Orpington chickens. They all appear to be healthy and are pretty fun to watch. Our son really likes watching them too. Now comes the hard part, I’ve actually got to build the coop. Once I get started on it, I will post pictures of the design and my progress.

In other news we got the garden planted today. This is year number four of our attempts at gardening. I’m thinking that this one will be our most successful yet. And since every previous year has been a near disaster, it won’t take much for this year to be an improvement.

Welcome To My New Website

For those of you who have found this website through links on various websites  or through search engines, welcome and  I hope you stick around for a bit and enjoy the articles I’ve written.

If you’ve come here from one of my other websites then much of the content here is already familiar to you. is an attempt to simplify and streamline my web efforts and gather all of my content into one place. My hope is that doing in doing so I will be better able to focus my efforts into things that are more impactful than perhaps some of my websites have been in the past.

All of my archived articles from other blogs have been copied to this new domain but some of the content still needs to be created so bear with me.

Thanks for stopping by