Home > Genius, Humor, Query, Random/Rants > Spelling Bees, Button-Mashers, and the Mennonite Dress Code Dilemma.

Spelling Bees, Button-Mashers, and the Mennonite Dress Code Dilemma.


This is going to be the oldest sounding thing I’ve written, but regardless, the kids of today are going to unbelievably smart when they get to an age where they’re able to contribute to society.  That or, they’ll just keep being good at computers and video games.

My 3 year old niece and my 5 year old nephew know how to navigate the internet, and are showing me the how to beat levels on Super Mario Galaxy for Nintendo Wii. The other day I got beat in PS2 NHL ’08 Shootout by my friend Colin ( http://go-team-burritt.blogspot.com/ )’s 3 year old son (What kind of a controller uses shapes for button designations, anyways?  Screw you, Sony.).

Back in the day, adults were in awe of our generation.  In second grade, we

this machine taught me that typing f-u-n-d got you free money in SimCity.

this machine taught me that typing f-u-n-d got you free money in SimCity.

started learning to type on computerized keyboards and we were the lab rats used to figure out the first generation of black and white Mac computers.  Unfortunately for them, we spent more time figuring out SimCity and SimAnt than we did figuring out the things we were supposed to be doing, which I still can’t remember what they were.

Around the same time, I began my domination of the original Nintendo Entertainment System, which still is relatively uncontended.  Mario Brothers (all incarnations), Mega Man, Ninja Turtles, Batman, and plenty others fell to my

all kinds of awesome.

all kinds of awesome.

conquering fist and button-mashing thumbs in my basement.  But these young whippersnappers of today I tell ya, they’re getting good, and they’re getting good early.  I better start shopping for a strata.


Ok, so you’re Amish.  Maybe you’re Mennonite.  Perhaps you just simply feel and believe that showing the skin on your arms below the elbow, and neck is

pass the curds and way please, Gertrude.

pass the curds and way please, Gertrude.

unacceptable.  Fine, you’re entitled to your belief set, whatever it may be.  But just because you’ve decided to a strict 17th century dress code style, does it automatically mean that your clothes and their style are stuck there too? Is a long sleeve t-shirt and jeans out of the question?  Are you locked into the bonnet-black dress-white apron look?  If it’s a matter of not supporting off-shore sweatshop manufacturing or something of the likes, that’s respectable.  But I’m sure there have been a few updates in sewing patterns that could pass as acceptable.

Also, why does it seem that the women in these societies seem to be more bound to these rules than the men?  I have a few Mennonite friends that I hope I am not offending by any of this; I simply want to pose a few questions that I do not know the answers to.  Please excuse my naivity and ignorance.


I don’t think the format of today’s spelling bees are a fair way to determine a

That's Phonics with a P-H, homie.

That's Phonics with a P-H, homie.

spelling champion.  The contenders should not all have to spell different words.  If finalist 1 gets “tetrahydrozoline” wrong, and finalist 2 gets “schematics” correct, what has that proven?

In my spelling bee, all contestants would be locked in individual sound-proof booths until it was their turn (the claustrophobic need not enter the contest).  One by one, each player would spell the same word, and then return to their enclosures, until they were eliminated by their mistakes, and a legit winner was eventually crowned.  If ESPN and TSN are going to continue to cut out actual sports that deserve airtime for things like spelling bees and dog-shows, then they need to amp up the legitimacy.


  1. Stacy
    October 14, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    Don’t forget The Oregon Trail!

    • October 14, 2009 at 2:14 pm

      enlighten me please, I’m not sure what you’re referring to…

  2. Stacy
    October 14, 2009 at 3:13 pm

    Do you seriously mean to tell me that you did not play The Oregon Trail on your first generation computer? We are NOT that far apart in age!

    • October 14, 2009 at 5:12 pm

      must’ve been an Alberta thing. The only other one I can recall beyond the Sim games is Kid-Pix. What was the premise of Oregon Trail?

      • Robarelli
        October 14, 2009 at 10:32 pm

        Just Kidpix and Sim? Carmen Sandiego was also gold back then

        Oregon Trail was around in my day…the 2nd generation mac (color!!), which was after you left. That was the age of such games as Geometric Golf, Cross Country Canada, Dino Park Tycoon, and The Secret Island of Dr Quandary

  3. October 14, 2009 at 9:29 pm

    I remember Oregon Trail also. I guess it was sixth grade so 1985 on a black & green screen Mac. It was a history themed game with the premise you’re a pioneer on the Oregon Trail. You plan, shop, then travel the Trail in your covered wagon. Along the way were floods, river crossings, hunting, sickness, bad water, and other perils.The idea was to get to the West. I never made it. Those who did got a certificate printed out on the dot matrix printer.

    • October 15, 2009 at 2:31 am

      thanks for bringing me up to speed! I don’t know if my elementary school attention span would’ve had the patience for this anyways, sounds like more effort was required than I likely would’ve been willing to contribute. I had Megatropolis’ to build anyways!

      • Robarelli
        October 17, 2009 at 1:32 pm

        Why the heck did we need a code book for Sim City anyways? If it wasn’t floating around somewhere in the lab, we’d be stuck with a lunch hour full of earthquakes

  4. kbarnstable
    October 14, 2009 at 10:42 pm

    You are ON to something with your spelling bee ideas! How can they truly keep it fair with different words?? It’s simply luck, or back luck of the draw. Keep the ideas coming!

    • October 15, 2009 at 2:32 am

      There is no “off” position on my genius switch, Karen.

  5. October 15, 2009 at 2:28 am

    I can’t believe I forgot about “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?” Mac gaming at its finest.

    Stacy, it seems you in good company with all these fellow Oregon Trailers! I don’t know how I missed it…

    • Robarelli
      October 17, 2009 at 1:29 pm

      that’s ok, i’m surpassing your milestones anyways so it’s no surprise

  6. Stacy
    October 15, 2009 at 11:55 pm

    Geez – I actually DO WORK at work for a few days and I get so behind! 🙂 My Oregon Trail was also on a black and green screen…Dave if you really want to try it out, believe it or not you can add it on Facebook!

    • October 16, 2009 at 12:01 pm

      Doing work at work is over-rated. Besides, you need the time to write conversation provoking comments on my blog. Just look at the rabbit trail your first Oregon Trail comment made!

      Sounds like you guys were playing that game on an over-sized Gameboy with that black and green screen… how was that an upgrade from black and white?

  7. October 17, 2009 at 7:32 pm

    Purists didn’t need code books, all the codes were memorized in their heads.

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