Cats?!?

As I thought to myself, “I should really write a review tonight” I felt the blogging blues strike…I didn’t feel like it. But being the good blog author that I am (or want to be) I decided to plod ahead anyways. What could I review? Well I actually have so many products and services – though most fall into a few select categories (books, movies, websites, software, hardware, health/food/household products). I didn’t particularly feel like reviewing any of those tonight so to add some variety, I’d going to talk about cats.

Feral Cats
Feral Cats (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Ohh no, you are one of those cat people!” Well, traditionally I wouldn’t think of myself as a cat person. While I had two cats growing up the one drowned rather early on (a horrific story I’ll tell perhaps another time – end result being mad at my parents for not listening to me on the dangers inherent in keeping a cat in a garage with a water room) and the second was a barn cat – not the kind you grow extremely attached to. My wife (Charity) on the other hand loves cats and was convinced we should get one. Being  much more of a dog person I disagreed – but “while the man may be the head, the woman is the neck and I turn the head whichever way I please” (that is from some movie…and my wife is great! don’t get the wrong idea).

When she told me about the small kitten she had found on the side of the road – dirty and tangled in duct tape, I couldn’t hold out any longer and Hermione became our first kitten. She would be followed several months later by Barclay and then nearly a year later by Piper. Now she’s talking about getting another one – and my heart has changed. While I won’t actively pursue more cats, on the other hand I can’t say no to the little fluff balls.

Yes, cats can be a nuisance sometimes. Not long after we got Barclay I was sleeping when I awoke to something warm spraying furiously onto my arm and head. It was Barclay. For some strange reason she had determined by bed and my body was the perfect place to relieve herself. Barclay still has a tendency to leave little brown nuggets every once in a while – or to spray an aroma on some piece of carpet. Piper believes blatantly stealing toast and meats from one’s plate off the table is acceptable. Hermione likes to whine – when she wants to be held, when she wants food, when she feels like it.

But…Those moments aside, cats are wonderful animals and their benefits far outweigh their nuisances. If you give a cat attention and love they will return it ten-fold. I am sure over time I’ll talk more about my life-long afflict with both Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and co-morbid struggles with Depression. Cats (and my wife) are two of the greatest treatments I have found for these ailments (no, you should still go see a psychiatrist! yes i mean now!).

Gator Skin Balls.


I love dodgeball…have since I was a kid. I have a good arm1for dodgeball. Unfortunately, its permanently messed up so I can only throw for five or ten minutes before my arm begins to ache2another story for another time. As a teenager I remember playing dodgeball regularly with Christian Service Brigade (CSB)3similar to boy scouts.. We used this balls that had a tough rubber exterior. They zinged if someone with a good arm hit you – and of course, a number of us had good arms. At around 8″ in diameter they were hard to palm so speed wasn’t quite so bad, but then we had a few 6″ balls – and these fit perfectly into one’s hand and flew like there was no tomorrow.

I remember on one occasion one of the leaders at my local CSB letting that little ball fly. A leader on the opposing team took it right to the face. His glasses ripped into his nose. Ouch. I think we stopped using the little balls after that.

No need to go into all the gory details, but I’ll add to that that myself and several others probably experienced concussions at various times due to extremely painful headshots – and there are plenty of other body parts that were smacked and left in excruciating pain.

For the last five years I’ve led a youth ministry with my wife Charity at our local church. Of course, the teens oftentimes want to play dodgeball. I was oftentimes hesitant – not only could some of us (including the teens) throw the balls real hard, but the gym was very small – lessening the distance between thrower and victim. That is when we discovered gator skin balls – and these days those rough rubber balls never come out of the closet.

Gator Skin wouldn’t sound particular soft – but these balls – commonly in 6″ and 8″ diameter are made out of a foam coated in a thin but durable plastic. As such they have enough weight to fly rapidly, but give significantly when they hit – resulting in much less pain and agony4not that a rapid headshot still won’t hurt…and some other really fast pitches won’t zing a little.

Okay, so they aren’t quite as cheap as other balls – but they last a fairly long time and they allow for a lot more fun (nobody walks away crying [usually]). In this article I’ve included links to a set of gator skins through Amazon. Whether you are a teacher, pastor, youth leader, or otherwise involved in active sports such as dodgeball – I recommend these as a must!

Creation Museum.

Friday morning I rented a fifteen passenger van and loaded twelve teenagers along with Charity and myself into the van. We drove – including rest stops – for around twelve hours to Florence Kentucky, where we spent the night at Hyatt Place. The next morning we would drive another twenty minutes to Petersburg Kentucky, home of the Creation Museum. We arrived around 10 a.m. and stayed nearly till closing – leaving sometime after 5 p.m. Today I’d like to give you a bit of a guided tour through some portions of the Creation Museum and talk about our experience.

The Grounds & The Petting Zoo:

The Creation Museum was packed when we arrived. Lines of people were everywhere and parking attendants were a frequent appearance as they waved us deftly into new spots. Once we secured our group tickets a group of us walked through the grounds. The Creation Museum has set up some very beautiful gardens. Several bridges cross over and stand near a large pond where small fish are frequent appearances and small machines allow you to purchase for twenty-five cents a handful of fish food to throw into the waters and watch as the fish flit about just below the surface.

The bridges are built in true Indiana Jones style – they bounce and jiggle as you run/walk/jump across. An adventure in and of themselves. Dozens of flowers, bushes, and other plants are everywhere, giving a unique botanical feel. A small portico is a nice place to rest and sculptures of sea creatures and dinosaurs made out of moss dot the landscape. A little smaller than I had expected, covering perhaps one acre – but extremely enjoyable none the less.

From there it was up to the petting zoo – a highlight for myself and many others. Unfortunately, I hadn’t been taking many pictures at this juncture so you will have to use your imagination. But among the creatures we saw were zorses (a cross of a horse and zebra), donkeys, llamas, a camel, goats, a pig, turkeys, peacocks, and rabbits. Many of the animals you could actually walk into their pens and pet and feed them. I spent some time in the pen with the goats feeding them. I also fed the donkeys – unfortunately one choose to gnaw on my hand (left a red mark, nothing more). The camel was enjoyable – it doesn’t even use its tongue to get the food off your hands, just these two gigantic lips. Below is one of the donkeys…

The Food:

The Museum has several different locations to eat at – Lakeside Grill (outdoors, burgers and hot dogs), Noah’s Cafe (indoors/outdoor patio, soups/sandwiches/wraps), Noah’s Originals (indoors/patio), Palm Plaza Cafe (Tex/Mex). All very reasonable priced – I think everyone was able to get a full meal for well under $10 (mine was around eight for a large burger, fries, and a soft serve ice cream cone). The atmosphere was very nice as well in each location. 1 Two small negative items where (a) they charged us a small fee for a cup for water and (b) two of the teens were held up for 30 minutes getting food, while the rest of us received ours within around 10 minutes.

The Movies/Planetarium:

The Creation Museum has a number of top-notch documentary/entertaining videos one can watch. One of their features is a humorous/sarcastic Men in White video lasting 15-20 mins. in a special effects feature. Well-done, I was not entirely comfortable with the presentation due to its lite-handed dealing with evolutionists2Something that bothers me often on both sides…Evolutionists constantly ridicule Creationists as well.. The rest of the videos were more documentary in nature – and of similar quality as one would find at any general museum or on The History Channel (I personally enjoyed one on dragon legends).

We also attended the Planetarium. An extra eight dollars, this showing was a highlight for many of the teens. I was looking forward to it as well, unfortunately I was exhausted and fell asleep for around half of it. Very comfortable seats (that leaned back) where available. The presentation helped one understand the scope of space – comparing the size of various stars and the distance between planets, etc. The unfathomable magnitude was both impressive and overwhelming. Well-done for what it was I had hope more to just take a tour than learn about distances.

The External Exhibits:

There is a main exhibit – the seven c’s of history – which we have not even begun to cover yet and then there is all we have mentioned as well as some external exhibits. The external exhibits where all very professionally done and one could as easily have been in the Smithsonian or any other popular museum as the Creation Museum. Impressive artifacts where everywhere – fossils, geological formations, etc. There was also an entire dinosaur section which I enjoyed very much. I’ve included some photos below.

Rhinoceros

Okay, I lied. Not a dinosaur, this is a rhinoceros skeleton, but I wanted to throw it in here somewhere.

Dinosaurs!

Now we see some dinosaurs! The large one here is a stegosaurus.

Stegosaurus Information

Here you can see the sort of information they gave us on the dinosaurs.

Ain’t he cute?

Could be wrong…but I think this was an Archaeopatyrx.

Rather not run into him while hiking.

A fossilized dinosaur egg.

Raptors – apparently the ones in Jurassic Park where 3x the size of real ones!

A triceratops skeleton.


One’s friendly T. Rex.

They had a lot of dinosaurs…

As you can see – the artists where extremely talented!

They also had little videos running at different junctures offering insights into dinosaurs and CGI renderings of them in action.

Well…I’m tired of writing for now, so I’m going to hold off here…Tomorrow I’ll try and post Part 2, which will include a tour of the main Creation Museum exhibit. For now, let’s just say the Creation Museum gets a 4.9/5 stars from me!