Saturday, October 28, 2006

Sorkin's New Show

mostly for girlfriday & taj...or anyone who's been watching Studio 60. If Aaron Sorkin wrote a show about baseball.

(via Alan Sepinwall and Lee Goldberg)

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Jonathan Edwards and Friends is Dead

For good reason, TEXpresby had to take down alas. I'm going to try to resurrect it in some form over at

Monday, October 23, 2006

Been Chewing on this for a While Now

GreenBaggins posts this very good quotation on Genesis 45, dealing with forgiveness and God's sovereignty. I'll copy the sentence he highlights, and then urge you read the rest.

Reconciliation comes through forgiveness, and forgiveness through the recognition of God's sovereignty.
Click. Read. Meditate.

My Favorite Wise-Cracking PI

On Oct 23 in Chillicothe, Ohio, Archie Goodwin entered this world--no doubt with a smile for the pretty nurses--and the face of American literature was destined to change.

I'm raising a glass of milk in his honor.

Somewhere I have a long list of wonderful things that Archie has said, but (and I've quoted this before here) this is the only one at my fingertips. Am sure one or two of you could add some in the comments section. But I think this tells enough about the gumshoe that one can understand why he's my favorite, and maybe even want to read some of him themselves.

I would appreciate it if they would call a halt on all their devoted efforts to find a way to abolish war or eliminate disease or run trains with atoms or extend the span of human life to a couple of centuries, and everybody concentrate for a while on how to wake me up in the morning without my resenting it. It may be that a bevy of beautiful maidens in pure silk yellow very sheer gowns, barefooted, singing Oh, What a Beautiful Morning and scattering rose petals over me would do the trick, but I'd have to try it. -- Archie Goodwin

Pumpkin Fest 06 - UPDATED

After a little chat about how part of the image of God is creativity--and the differences between God's creating power and our abilities (ex nihilo vs. using materials; affect of the curse, etc), the kids decorated some pumpkins this weekend (for those keeping score, not the same ones from the trip last week--don't go accusing me of altering images). Carving was thought to be too messy (as opposed to the inherent tidiness of black paint, I guess), so we went with paint.

Kids had a blast.

Samwise with Monster Tracker's Blockhead, his latest obsession
How can someone so sweet create a scary looking witch like that--and look happy about it?
Portrait of a Young Man as an Artist
Got him to sit still long enough to pose!

Will try to update later with a picture of Arnold and his masterpiece, assuming I can get him to pose.

Random Weekend Pic

Friday, October 20, 2006


One of the things I'm working on is admitting when I was wrong. I was with my thumbnail review of Over the Hedge. I've seen Over the Hedge a few more times, and have to cop to the fact that I like it. Guess I wasn't paying enough attention the first time. This is a fun flick. Not Shrek or Pixar-level, but better than Madagascar and Shark Tale. Still, story isn't perfect--but the characters, voice-work and individual scenes make up for it. I've become quite taken with Bruce Willis' RJ and Steve Carell's Hammy (tho' very little of Hammy has to do with dialogue--mostly animation). There's one particular scene toward the beginning where RJ introduces the rest of the animals to the relationship of Humans and Food. Utterly priceless (the words alone won't do it, gotta have the images).

Not unlike this:

RJ: That is an S.U.V; Humans ride in then because they are slowly losing their ability to walk.
Lew the Porcupine: Wow it's huge!
Hammy the Squirrel: How many people fit in there?
RJ: Usually, one.
...the voice-overs on the credits are great, too.

Revised Grade: B+/A- It's going on my shelf.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Yay Capitalism!

Up in Smoke: Smintair, an Airline for Smokers, Takes Off

Smokers around the world are celebrating the emergence of a new airline, Smintair, or Smoker's International Airlines. The brainchild of German businessman Alexander Schoppmann, the smoker's airline, based in Düsseldorf, Germany, is scheduled to begin flying in March 2007.

Smintair isn't just about lighting up, however. According to the airline's Web site, Smintair "will treat its passengers like the guest of an international Grand Hotel . . . to bring back the exclusivity in flying encountered in the 1960s and [which is] dearly missed by so many." Such things as "telephone, TV, DVD, MP3, Internet" and other in-flight entertainments are being "envisioned" for all passengers.
Not saying I'd fly that airline if given the choice. But I really like the fact that someone's trying it.

Psalm 19:1 in action

(H/T: bluewoad)

The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.

(click on the picture to be taken to the full-sized picture and explanation)

Monday, October 16, 2006

Not really my kind of movies, but...

Okay, a couple of films I wouldn't normally throw on the top of the pile (and one that I would). But based on what's coming out over the next couple of weeks, I guessed I would be talking about them all a lot at work, so previewed them, and figured I'd share a thumnail or two.

We start off with the Aniston/Vaughn's The Breakup (the movie one, not any of the actual breakups they've been involved with lately). Cute movie. Sucky ending. Aniston was really good--she wasn't Rachel--just a nice, confused gal in a lousy relationship. Vaughn...who will always be Trent Walker to me...was pretty good, too. Really felt for his character--and I almost think we were supposed to root him on more than Aniston. But maybe it's a gender thing. The speech he gave towards the end was eerily like one I've worked on lately. Almost word for word in some places--definitely the same outline. Creeped me out. First Sandler, now Vince Vaughn. I'm going to find myself as one of the Owen brothers before too long.

Best thing about this movie tho? The supporting cast. Always good to see Joey Lauren Adams, even if she's under-utilized as she was here. Justin Long was great (even if he did have a certain Bronson Pinchot-Beverly Hills Cop-rip-off vibe). Jon Favreau was excellent as the best-friend (nah, he wasn't excellent...he was sooo money, baby)--he had the best scene in the flick. Unless he's behind the camera, he needs to be the best friend in everything he does--he can't carry a leading role (outside of Swingers), but he's perfect as best bud. John Michael Higgins was perfect--this guy needs to work more (but he's so off-beat probably hard to find much to put him in)--2nd best scene-stealing here. Judy Davis was her typical self, great. Vincent D'Onofrio reminded me that he's really funny when he's not freakishly-intense. You take these guys out and replace them with whoever from Central Casting and yawn. Without them, Aniston and Vaughn are

Grade: B

Okay...Over the Hedge was pretty much a paint-by-numbers computer animated flick. I really don't know what to say about it. Wasn't thrilled with anything, but I really enjoyed it. Most of the voice talents (Bruce Willis, Garry Shandling, Steve Carell, William Shatner, Nick Nolte, Thomas Haden Church, Allison Janney, Eugene Levy...) rocked. That's what carried the film, the characters' voices/expressions. Story Animation was okay. Standard Dreamworks stuff. But my kids liked it, and I thought it was miles better than The Wild.

Grade: B

American Dreamz...ummm, wow. What do I say? It was cute. It was occasionally funny. But direction-less. It couldn't decide what it was: Political satire? Reality TV satire? Was it Dark Humor? Light Humor? Just silly? It was a little bit of each, but not enough of any one of those to be really good. Any one of those things done better, and it could've been saved.

Dennis Quaid/Marcia Gay Harden were a decent First Family Knock-Off. Dafoe stooped too low for his broad (overly broad) for faux-Cheney. Hugh Grant's self-loathing Simon Cowell Martin Tweed was a bit too much. Mandy Moore was okay as a self-obsessed, calculating wanna be Carrie Underwood-type (actually more of a Kelly Pickler with a touch more talent). Chris Klein was too cartoony as her rejected boyfriend (ditto for Jennifer Coolidge as her mom and Seth Meyers as her manager). Okay, so I haven't had anything positive to say since "cute." So here it is: Sam Golzari. Perfect. The only redeeming factor, and he's almost enough to make it worth the $3.99 to rent.

Grade: C+

New Avatar

Not as catchy, IMHO, as the Lego-head stuff, but thought it was sorta fun.

Post of the Day

Today's must read is over at the Macks' stomping grounds, God Change (note to self: add that to blogroll soon): Cheerful Religion.

So, brethren...are you like Whitefield? Why not?

I'm sure not...need to figure out why....

Friday, October 13, 2006

Warning!! Parental Advisory!

No, not an advisory for parent's to censor. Did a Homeschool Field Trip today, and got plenty of pictures. Please be advised that a camera-happy parent is posting below :)

Chip off the Old Block


Trip to the Berry Ranch

Went with a bunch of homeschoolers to The Berry Ranch today...did a hay ride, picked our own pumpkins, played with some animals, etc. Fun stuff.

While we were waiting....(Arnold's there, just can't see him...he's too busy talking to "The Sheets")
Frodo's taking it all in on the hay ride
No, really, there is hay on the hay ride...
The first of many "just a milisecond too late" shots of the day
The Princess in the Pumpkins
He literally would've sat on here all day...had to pull him off kicking and screaming
Heading Out

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Random Thought of the Day

Think I've decided what lifts the song "Gaston" from Disney's Beauty and the Beast from "cute" to "classic." It's this line:

I'm espcially good at expectorating!

You take out that line...the song just isn't the same.

...hey, what do you expect? I work in a video store...

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Writer's Envy

Doing a little reading this morning while the boys do schoolwork and the Princess is hopping around on gymnastic this paragraph from Jim Butcher's Summer Knight. Just struck me as the kind of thing a writer should be able to do, should be great at. This is a paragraph that Dan Brown could never write. Me either. Which bugs me more than I can say.

I leaned against my door with my eyes closed, trying to think. I was scared. Not in that half-pleasant adrenaline-charged way, but quietly scared. Wait-on-the-results-of-medical-tests scared. It's a rational sort of fear that puts a lawn chair down in the front of your thoughts and brings a cooler of drinks along with it.
Little bit of humor to create/maintain the tone, gives insight into the character, and you know exactly how the narrator feels--even if you haven't felt that way yourself--and if you have felt that it resonates with you in such a way that you are in the moment.

Monday, October 09, 2006

I have seen the movie, and the movie is me

WOW! Outside of Finding Nemo's portrayal of my parenting skills/paranoia through Marlin, I cannot think of a movie that so captures my life--and in an uncomfortable way--than Adam Sandler's Click. (although Mark Harmon's Freddy Shoop comes close to the depicting that one crazy summer...)* I'm not exactly sure what it says about me that I find myself depicted by Sandler, but hey, truth is truth sometimes...

Click is the story of up-and-coming architect Michael Newman--devoted father, loving husband who wants to provide the best he can for his family. Which means that he must get ahead in his career--which leads to him letting down his family. A lot. He's been half-done with a play fort for 2 months, is canceling camping plans, etc., etc. He hates to disappoint his family, but finds himself doing it anyway. He does it so much, he really doesn't notice. Then he comes into contact with a time-manipulating universal remote control (this is where it departs from my life, because my playing with time-manipulation has never worked).

The rest of the movie shows what happens when you skip/fast-forward through certain parts of your life to focus on other parts.

Yeah, the movie shouldn't be watched by all. Crude, some sexual humor, some drug humor (more of the former than the latter), sometimes juvenile. Even if it doesn't send you off on a tour of self-introspection it's worth the watch. David Hasselhoff that the big & loud lady from Legally Blonde are hilarious. Beckinsale minus her accent is weird, but she does okay (what Michael actually sees in her character, I'm not sure I see, but not sure it matters). Sean Astin does a good job in his new role as Sandler stock-player. Funny stuff on the whole.

The lesson that Michael Newman learns is one I've spent the last couple of weeks learning. It was slightly jarring to find it reflected on that DVD.

The question for me is, since real life is rarely like the movies--when it's never too late for characters who learn something to turn things around--have I learned things too late? Stay tuned....

* I hope it's obvious that this line is a joke

"It is sayd, that at the nede the frende is knowen."

Proverbs 17:17 A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
I don't have a lot of friends--somewhat on purpose. I have a number of close acquaintances, but few actual friends. Few people I've let in to that inner circle. In fact, until recently I've had one (well, two, but the other guy is so busy/far away we interact very rarely and only via email, on the active roster). There've been several on the "potential friend"/"close acquaintance" list, but for one reason or another, it hasn't gone past that.

I've not been happy about that situation, and really wished it would change. But lately, I've come to understand that such wasn't just inconvenient/unfortunate--it was wrong. I needed to have more friends--I should've made the effort. Not that there's anything wrong with the one I had (or the other one--I understand busy). But I needed to have made the effort, I needed to have shared my life more with others. It was selfish, self-centered, and short-sighted.

But thankfully, thankfully, a couple of brothers have stepped up--showing that they were born for adversity--and have kept my head above troubled waters. Loving me--not in some silly sappy way, but with shoe leather. Even the too-busy guy has made time for phone calls and email, which means a whole lot to me. Several online friends have gone way above the call of duty, too. Not to downplay them, but it's the flesh and blood area that I'm weak in. All these friends have kept me going when I thought I couldn't any more. Tears, pain, disaster, dispair, name it, they've seen it in the last couple weeks. And thanks to them I sit here typing, with some hope in the future, a lot of hope in our Risen Lord, and hope in their continued friendship.

At the same time, I've basically been told to stay away from one of my close acquaintances (due to gender, probably doomed to stay there). And while I understand it, that hurts. Bad timing, on that one. Maybe if I'd been a better friend myself, things wouldn't have got to that point. Shame it feels like it's too late to fix things--but I'll give it a shot.

All this has made me think a lot about that phrase: "A friend in need, is a friend indeed/in deed." Google helped me find a couple interesting takes on the phrase (and several others, but I called off the search early). I think the Word Detective's more helpful, but I liked the quotes from The Phrase Finder (as you can see from the title to this post--which is far more interesting than my working title "Friends/Friendship").

But that's a digression. I just wanted to take a moment to publicly thank these men (they know their real identities) and the God they serve for their friendship, to apologize to them for not reaching out in friendship earlier. Love you guys. (In a manly, hugging-with-three-pats-on-the-back kind of way) Also thought it good to mark the moment (a few days after it happened) when I realized what a colossal moron I'd been for my attitudes.

Man is a communal creature. He was made to be in fellowship with others--I'm very glad I've been brought into fellowship with those God has put in my life, real friends indeed.

Friday, October 06, 2006


Battlestar Galactica comes back tonight. Thinking about giving it a shot? Wondering what the fuss is? Think I'm crazy for caring? Give a quick read to a Couple of Side-bars by Alan Sepinwall: What you need to know if you are jumping in tonight & Why you should watch ("Four reasons to tune in even if you could never picture yourself watching something called 'Battlestar Galactica'")

Not sure I'll watch it tonight--but you can bet it'll be recorded.


In the 50th anniversary edition, Christianity Today published their take on the top 50 books in evangelicalism's last 50 years (H/T Ref21). I've read a decent-sized chunk of those. I've got my fingers on the pulse of evangelicalism, I guess. Some of those titles are frightening. Simply frightening (and I've read some of those I call that!)

Does it matter? Does anyone care what a movement considers important? What a magazine considers important? Yes. Tim Challies outdid himself today with his post, By Our Books Shall We Be Known. Challies quotes, Jay Parini's essay "Other People's Books" (which I clearly need to find):

What interests me about other people's books is the nature of their collection. A personal library is an X-ray of the owner's soul. It offers keys to a particular temperament, an intellectual disposition, a way of being in the world. Even how the books are arranged on the shelves deserves notice, even reflection. There is probably no such thing as complete chaos in such arrangements.

Other people's books draw my attention, of course. They excite curiosity about their owners and the worlds they inhabit. But it's finally my own books that matter, as they tell me about where I've been, and where I hope to go.
If that doesn't describe my psyche, I don't know what does. (other than a nasty coal mine...but that's another post for another time)

The rest of the post is just as incisive. Other than the stuff about film, I like to think I'd have written the same thing--were I as talented as Challies, or took the time.

Thursday, October 05, 2006


From the Father of lights you came
And I know I'll never be the same again
A beautiful gift has been given to me
Your smiling face is all I see

The look that's in your eyes
And your smile that sets me free
Has made me realize
All that you see in me

Most important day of my life. I entered into a blessed covenant with the most wonderful woman I've ever met, because God was gracious enough to bring us together. I'd do it, and everything since all over again. 'Cept this time with more laughs, more love, and a few different mistakes (not crazy enough to think I'd make less).

My best friend, my heart, my life, my soulmate...

I love you, dear. May be cliche, but love ya more now than then. More now today than yesterday. Here's to many more.

Together now and forever
You are the one
You are my everything
To me you bring
The love that I have waited for