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Rants, Raves and Photographs

I am exceptionally busy today (again). I have, quite literally, ten or twelve different web design projects underway. One of them is particularly massive and has a deadline of October 31, so the rest of the month is likely to be just as busy. So rather than try to focus my mind on one topic for any length of time this morning, I though I’d post about a variety of things that have been bouncing around my brain.

Halloween and Homeschooling: Yesterday’s inevitable discussion on Halloween has generated some interesting discussion on this site and others. On question in the comments section caught my attention. Mark wondered “if there’s a linkage to being okay with ‘Harry Potter’ books and being okay with halloween participation, and vise versa?” I am generally anti-Harry and at least somewhat pro-Halloween, so in my case there is no link. What would interest me, though, is if there is a connection between home schooling and Halloween participation. I realize this will probably offend many homeschoolers, and I am certainly not trying to be offensive, but would be interested in knowing if there is a connection between a refusal to participate in Halloween and a committment to homeschooling. I would imagine there is a connection and will provide two reasons why I believe this. The first is that some people seem to be naturally a little bit more isolationist or independent than others. It is likely easier for such people to remove themselves from activities such as Halloween as they have already practiced this type of seperation. Secondly, I would guess that many Christian parents who, either reluctantly or enthusiastically allow their children to trick-or-treat do so because they do not want their children to feel different than the other children in school. Obviously this is not an issue for homeschoolers. I should also add that all of the home schooling parents I know of in this area do not participate in Halloween. Of course this may be mere happenstance.

While we are on the subject of homeschooling, I’m also wondering what the connection is, if any, between those who home school and those who home church. In recent weeks I have learned of several people who worship in the home on Sundays, either as a family or with the participation of another family or two. While I know that not all (or even most) homeschoolers home church, all of the people I know of who home church also home school. Did you get all that?

And before I move on, I would like to reaffirm my respect for families that choose to home school.

Grammar and Homeschooling: All of this writing about homeschooling has made me realize that I am unsure of whether homeschooling should be one word (homeschooling) or two (home schooling). Same is true for homeschoolers, homeschool, homeschooling, etc. Can someone fill me in on the accepted grammatical standard?

Sports: In the past few days I’ve been thinking a little bit about Christians and sports. Now I believe Christians can participate in and watch sports, but I’ve been wondering about sports fans. A couple of years ago I went to a Buffalo Bills preseason game where the Bills took on the Rams. Just as I entered the stadium, near field level, Kurt Warner came jogging out of the tunnel leading from the locker rooms to the field. As he passed the crowd one man yelled out, “You’re going down, Warner. Number 95 is going to kill you!” Of course I have been to my share of hockey games and have grown accustomed to such threats and remarks, but I kind of like Warner and was a little surprised to hear such harsh words. When I watch the Atlanta Falcons play, I am always secretly hoping Michael Vick gets crushed by a big defensive lineman so we can finally watch a quarterback who can actually throw the ball instead of just dancing around with it like an inebriated ballerina. When I sit in the stands at a Bluejay’s game, I cheer for the home team and boo the opposing team, just as is expected from me as a Toronto fan. The question I have is whether this is just an acceptable part of sport or whether Christians should somehow hold themselves to a higher standard. Should we be always encouraging or can we accept jeers as just one aspect of what sports are all about?

Doug & Tim At long last Doug sent through a picture he took of the two of us in Minneapolis. This was actually taken at Minnehaha Falls. The bemused look on my face was my reaction to being dragged into some type of immature photo-fight between Doug and his sister. The two of them seem to have an ongoing disagreement who takes the best self-portraits (where the photographer holds the camera with his or her arm outstretched and takes a photo of him or herself). Doug wanted to prove that he could do better than his sister. Somehow this photo makes my head look like it is detached from my body. I am the least-photogenic person I know and absolutely despise having my picture taken so it is quite a big step for me to post a picture of myself here. In fact, in the years I’ve had this site, this is only the second such picture.

Incidentally, if it looks like everyone else in the photo is having more fun than I am, it is probably because my plane was leaving in about an hour, and as much as I enjoyed seeing Minnehaha Falls, I was fretting about missing my flight. So anyways, here we are. That’s Doug on the right and I’m on the left with my hair looking really spikey. Must be that hard Minnesota water. Doug and I have agreed that the prospect of a long, cold winter hibernation has encouraged us to pack on a few extra pounds.

Tim and Doug