Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Personal Note

Oh commenter Kelly, over to your right, you will see the words "my complete profile." Click on them, and then use that e-mail link to drop me a note. How'd you find this little patch of cyberspace? How you doing? Etc. Etc. Etc.

Great to hear from you! Been far too long... (which is my fault, too)

The Management

P.S. Anyone else (Vince, don't think we've met) is welcome to do the same :)

Monday, May 30, 2005

Friday Night Videos, pt. 1

Last Friday, the Mrs. and I did something we hadn't done in at least a year, and really haven't done regularly in two years...we did rented movies. We used to do this multiple times a week...now, practically never.

I so need a new life.

Oh, anyway, the first movie we watched was In Good Company. This film got some great reviews in Newsweek (prompting no riots) and World, but pretty much no attention in the box office. It was a surprisingly charming film--at moments it was pretty much cliché romantic comedy type stuff, but it didn't ever fall into that rut 100%.

As for the acting...I was very pleased. Dennis Quaid was very restrained as the loving father/dedicated employee/old-school salesman who believes in his product. Quaid's been a personal favorite since his days as Gordo Cooper in The Right Stuff (I was even able to forgive him for Inner Space), and it was very nice to like him again in a role. Topher Grace did a great, great job. Showed me that he can handle stuff beyond sit-coms (which I love him in)--I expected he could, but was glad to see I was right. I'd never seen Scarlett Johansson in anything before, but now I want to (and for purely platonic reasons). I'd apparently seen Clark Gregg before (AI, State and Main, Clear and Present Danger, Usual Suspects) but I only remember him as Mr. Quo Vadimus in Sports Night. He played pretty much the same character in this movie, only without a heart. David Paymer was excellent as usual, wish he got bigger roles--tho' I think he does better in the small stuff.

Like I said the story was border-line cliché: Old School Business vs. New Order of Profit at all Costs; Forbidden Love; Old Dog vs. Young Pup; and a few others. But they were meshed together so well you don't care. A few genuine laughs, a couple of great scenes, a couple things they could've given you more of/resolved better. All in all a nice movie, and those are too few and far between. Nothing I would make an effort to see again, but if given the opportunity to, I wouldn't mind a bit.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Beautiful Sight

Looking at the AL-East standings gives me a nice, warm, fuzzy feeling. Yankees (winning 15 of the last 17) are now at 26-21, .553 PCT. Sure they're 4.5 games behind Baltimore, but after that rocky start, having them in second place is a sight for sore eyes.

Yeah, that's right I said second place. So what happened to Boston? Well, after being swept by Toronto they're 5 games out of first. And they're starting a 3 game series at Yankee Stadium. Wakefield vs. Johnson...this is gonna be good.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Yeah, Yeah, Yeah

Fine. I admit I was wrong. That's my quota for this month. Last night, I stuck to my guns (that "Independence Day" was embarassing for Carrie--on the little flashback they showed tonight displayed that she really can sing it very well), sure he messed up on the first dreadful tune, but Bo came back strong. Still thought he had a lock, but it was closer than I had thought.

But today when I was watching the video of last night (don't laugh, I'm not that sad, my kids didn't get to see it when it first aired) I started to waver. Guess this shows I should stick with my gut and not have reconsidered my original claims about Carrie.

BTW, major kudos to the brains behind American Idol--that "Crime Time" segment was HI-larious, brilliant way to deflate the whole Corey Clark thing.

"Piety Kills the Creative Mind"

Saw this today as an advertisement for some group of Christian artists...disgusting, isn't it? The all-too typical "Yeah, I'm a Christian, but I don't let that interfere with my art" mentality that we saw a lot of in the 80's and 90's--can anyone say U2? (I had a couple other references jumped to mind this morning, but they've slipped off the tip of my tongue...I may update this later). It's meant to be shocking, it's meant to be in your face, it's meant to challenge your assumptions. Flummery, humbug and balderdash. As with most things meant to shock it just comes across as juvenile. Listen, it's not deep, it's not thoughtful, it's not Christian. It is rebellion.

First, piety doesn't kill the creative mind. Tell that to David. Tell that to Solomon. Tell that to Jesus.

Secondly, what exactly is piety? A couple of my favorite definitions, from that big old nasty opponent of the arts, John Calvin:

  • "I call 'piety' that reverence joined with love of God which the knowledge of his benefits induces."
  • "True piety consists in a sincere feeling which loves God as Father as much as it fears and reverences Him as Lord, embraces His righteousness, and dreads offending Him worse than death."

Give me piety any day.

Now I didn't name the group or link to 'em because I don't want to deal with a bunch of those poseurs coming over here and showing their intellectual superiority over me because they "get it" and I don't. Yeah, I do get it, and I know what name to apply to it. Vanity.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

She's a little bit Country, He's a little bit Rock 'n Roll

Somehow, despite my repeated intentions to the contrary, I've blogged very little about American Idol (and several of you are very grateful). So I figured I'd better do this now, while I had a spare moment.

First off, I fully expect either tonight or tomorrow they'll give us Carrie and Bo doing a duet of that old Osmonds song.

Secondly, back before we got the final 12--and were immersed in the Mario/Nicco switch, the shady past of "The Body" and had to figure out just why Constantine thought that same Hannibal Lecter stare into the camera was sexy--I was saying definitively that there was no way that anybody but Carrie Underwood would win. When Simon said that she was going to win the competition and sell more than any other winner, I was pleased to see him catch up with me.

But tonight...sorry, Carrie, my dear, but the best you can hope for is that 1 hr before taping Simon and Paula run off to Vegas for a quickie wedding and they have to declare it a draw because Randy can't decide which of you is more aaight. There's just no way you can beat Bo. You don't have it in you. The fact that you beat Baby V last week is a testimony to your fans' loyalty (and Clive Davis' comments about her)--and sadly, not you. Tho' I still bet you sell more records than any Idol contestant.

Last year, I had very little doubt that Fantasia was going to walk all over poor little Diana. This year I have none. It's all about Bo.

this should be fun...

A few websites are reporting that Ken Jennings is getting his own Comedy Central game show.

"Research has shown that our viewers are clamoring for more shows hosted by software engineers from Utah and, fortunately, Ken was available and had a screen test handy," said Lauren Corrao, senior vp original programing and head of development at Comedy Central.

This is great...there's soemthing about Jennings that just makes you want to root for him and see him make big bucks (recent stories about him not spending much of his record Jeopardy winnings yet for some reason make me want to see him get more). And Comedy Central's game shows like Win Ben Stein's Money and Beat the Geeks were great.

Going the lazy route on posting

Gotta respect a guy like this, from a Mike Straka piece:
"The thing that I have to deal with," [Jason Alexander] said, "is finding a way — particularly being that I live in Los Angeles, which is a town full of illusion and questionable values and morals, and the fact that my children are being raised with financial means and the odd behavior that surrounds a celebrity — so imparting to them what really has value and worth is a little harder than how I was brought up in a middle-class family," he said.

When Alexander goes to Disneyland with his children, for example, he says they don't wait in lines. It's important, therefore, he says, to teach his two young boys that that is not normal and that they are not better than the families who are waiting in line. It's just that skipping the lines is the only way for them to experience the rides as a family, as otherwise he'd be bombarded by autograph requests.

"I can say that until I'm blue in the face," he said, "but will they get it? I have to deal with giving them a real sense of what is valuable, what is right and what is moral, when all they see at their age is privilege, and that's tricky," he said.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Kidney Kid Update 5/18

Not much to say, but enough to litter your inbox with. We had a new ultrasound on Monday, and we saw pretty much what was expected--dark blobs on top of light gray blobs, with intermittent splashes of color. Assuming that the people at the hospital know what they're talking about, they saw what they should've, too. The "very bad" kidney is still very bad, and the "not as bad" kidney has grown some. The good news there is that it's what we were supposed to see.

This ultrasound was the precursor to the operation we mentioned in the last update. That was this morning, we've been sketchy on details on this because one day he'll be old enough to get embarrassed and he wouldn't like it if we gushed on this, but basically he had some work done on his urethra. Surgery went well, we were told that afterwards we'd hear him before we'd see him in the recovery room. Well that didn't happen. When he came to, he was basically the Kidney Kid, just very subdued (not at all the person we were told we wouldn't recognize in our son's body). He's still subdued now, just less so, he's wanting to get up and walk around--and doesn't understand why we won't let him (nor does he understand why his legs seem to have been transubstantiated into jello). For the next few days, basically our job is to keep him relaxed and to watch out for "bladder spasms"--which sound just horrible, then we go back in a week for a follow-up with the Urologist.

Unless something changes, that's about it for now. We'll just leave you with this word of advice: if you're ever given the opportunity to care for a 1-yr old with a catheter: skip it. :)

Tuesday, May 17, 2005


Skewlz out for summer!

Paper's done, debate's over, final's submitted.

My brain is officially mush.

Monday, May 16, 2005

9 in a row...

The boys are back! Tino, Bernie...aw man...it's like 2001 all over again. Tino had 8 homers in 8 games last week! Tied for 1st in the majors right now!

And Bernie's career 11th Grand Slam tonight, man! Wish I could've done more than read about that.

Keep it up guys! August is right around the corner.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

3 for 3

Well, that's three trips to Greenville. Three times my flight out has been cancelled.


As my hostess said, "at least he's consistent."

Apparently, the big to-do about the Cessna flying into Washington's restricted airspace resulted in some flights being grounded/delayed. That made our flight out to Chicago 2 hrs late, which would make us late for our connecting flight. Soooo, I get to wake up at 4 am to try this again.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

National Day of Prayer

I don't get it...just don't get it. Never have. Don't know if I ever will.

Anyone want to explain it to me?

"And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you." (Matt. 6:5-6, ESV)

Seminary of the Kitchen Table

...that's what Tom Tyson calls the theological education (catecheses, etc.) that his mother gave him as he was growing up. There are times when that seems like a very fitting name.

Tonight at dinner we had the Dividing Line on in the background and Frodo hears something about Joseph Smith and the Bible. "Joseph Smith was in the Bible? What did he do?" So I tell him no, that Joseph Smith lived about 150 years ago, taught something about God, changed the Bible, taught that God has a body, that Jesus and Satan were brothers, there are many gods... he responds (slack-jawed and wide-eyed) "That is evil." Of course, that earns him a bear hug from his pa.

Not everything went that smoothly, Samwise didn't catch it all so we were repeating that for him, expanding along the way, and included that if you're really good and do all the things you're supposed to do, after you die you can become a god and get your own planet. He gets excited "COOL!" Frodo, the Mrs and I jump in at that point with a correction (the Princess stayed focused on her Mandarin Chicken).

In the end we had a long and good conversation about LDS beliefs and contrasted that with what the Bible teaches. A little earlier than I'd planned on having that talk, but man, when your 6 year-old shows that level of discernment, you step up to the plate. (If only folks at Eerdmans, Fuller Seminary, etc. had the same level!)

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Each Generation's Task

It strikes many Presbyterians with surprise that the General Assembly and our leading periodicals in this year 1860, one hundred and fifty years after the beginning of our church in America, should be largely occupied in discussing the question, "What is Presbyterianism?" They ask with displeasure, "Are fundamentals never to be settled among us? Is the church never to be relieved of these debates, which thus agitate the settled foundations of our theory?" We may answer to these indignant questions with an emphatic No. The good brethren who thus deplore these renewed discussions of first principles misconceive the nature of the human mind and of free institutions. While man remains the creature he is, such discussions are to be expected and desired. Each generation must do its own thinking, and learn for itself its own lessons in first truths and general principles. If we insist that this generation of Presbyterians shall hold our fathers' principles on trust, and by mere prescription, the result will be that they will not hold them sincerely at all. For by the very reason that general principles do not lie on the surface, but are to be detected by analysis and induction, they are always in every science, other than first appearances and first impressions would lead men to suppose. Hence, in every science, the true general principles are unpopular and paradoxical, in the first, unthinking view. Prior to this active investigation, it is, in astronomy for instance, the earth which seems to stand still and the heavenly bodies to move; in hydrostatics, it is the empty tube which seems to suck up the water; in theology, it is the Pelagian view which commends itself to the natural mind, instead of the Calvinistic. So in church government, the actual first truths of the New Testament are not those which our unreflecting impressions would lead us to suppose. Hence each generation must correct those first impressions for itself, and be led down to the true principles by the laborious collision of debate and investigation.

Beside this, the human mind loves the concrete; and the labor of abstraction and correct generalization is most irksome to it. Yet it is certain that all general truths, that are properly such, are abstractions. Hence, most minds never trouble themselves to attain independently to an intelligent view of such truths, but adopt the practical results of them with a sort of imperfect comprehension and conviction; and of many who make such first truths the regulative sources of their practical opinions, the general views are more or less vague, and their agreement with each other in them is only approximative. Now we cheerfully grant that both these classes may be practically very hood and honest Presbyterians, and that their detailed opinions and conduct may be much better than the general principles of their theory. But it is none the less true that the general principles sooner or later work out their logical details in the public mind; and that it is the men who hold the abstractions--a Plato, an Augustine, a Calvin, a Des Carts, a Jefferson, a Calhoun--correctly or incorrectly, who in the issue determine the practical opinions of their fellow-men for good or for evil. The practical opinions can only be kept correct by a perpetual recurrence to first truths. Hence we must expect the perpetual agitation of those first truths. It indicates, not, indeed, the perfect health of the body ecclesiastical, a condition not to be expected while Christians are imperfect, but its sanative tendencies.

from R. L. Dabney, "Theories of the Eldership"

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

a rarity

Since the blogosphere is filled with places that seem to exist only to say nasty things about Dr. James White, figured he's due to have at least one nice post made about him from time to time (even if he can't pronounce my name).

One of the things that Dr. White is most frequently accused of is being a nasty, divisive Calvinist who will disfellowship those who don't agree with him en toto. If this is true, please tell me why he would include this paragraph in one of his blog posts today?

Now, you will notice, I am recommending a book that contains, as one example, a very Presbyterian discussion of baptizw, with which I would take exception. That's called allowing for differences, even important differences, and still learning from godly men who do not agree on every jot and tittle.

We here at the Noise of course agree with that spirit--which is why despite the fact that Dr. White doesn't get baptizw right (in fact, he gets it horribly wrong), we've been linking to him from the start :) Don't get me wrong, baptism is a huge issue, and one of us is sinning when we teach on/practice it. So we can acknowledge this divide, and learn from those on the other side of the chasm. I'll take that ecumenicism any day over the "let's brush everything under the rug as long as we can elect a decent president together" mentality so prevalent today.

So anyway, kudos to the Doc for saying what he did. Now off to drool some more over that book he was recommending...

Monday, May 02, 2005

Just wrong...so wrong

okay, the Health Nazi's take away our Super-Sized Fries/Drinks; they turn the Cookie Monster into a health food eater, and we sit by and take it. This has to stop now...they've gone too far: They're changing the Oreo Filling

Stand up! Take to the Streets! Let the Revolution Begin!

tip o' the cap to: Not So Fast