Sunday, January 27, 2008

Thought for the Lord's Day #14

The Spirit of God shows us hidden things, the knowledge of which cannot reach our senses. . . . We are told of the resurrection of the blessed, but meantime we are involved in corruption; we are declared to be just, and sin dwells within us; we hear that we are blessed, but meantime we are overwhelmed by untold miseries; we are promised an abundance of good things, but we are often hungry and thirsty; God proclaims that He will come to us immediately, but seems to be deaf to our cries. What would happen to us if we did not rely on our hope, and if our minds did not emerge above the world out of the midst of darkness through the shining Word of God and by His Spirit? Faith is therefore rightly called the substance of things which are still the objects of hope and the evidence of things not seen.
- John Calvin
not sure how I got off-track on these, will try to do better...

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Semi-Coherent Random Ramblings

Having one of those nights where consciousness wants to leave me faster than um, some witty metaphor about me back in high school and cheerleaders that I could write if I wasn't about to receive a restraining order from wakefulness. So am just going to type random thoughts into NoteTab during these wee small hours of the morning in an attempt to keep the brain churning.

Buckle up kids, this could be a bumpy ride.

I understand the WGA is fighting for what they think is important, fair, just, etc.--and I truly support them (which is gotta be the first time in my life that I've pulled for strikers). But I want this strike over! I want Chuck, HIMYM, Life, Battlestar, House, Bones, etc. back. The double-dose of Chuck Thursday (thank you NBC!) which I just finished watching (thank you!) really just served to remind me how much I miss them. (that doesn't sound tooo pathetic, does it?)

Whoever first thought of wrapping milk chocolate with a thin candy coating is a genius, right up there with the inventor of the wheel.

Had my first exposure to Vista tonight. They bought a new computer for the office at work and asked me to set it up for them (wow! they actually read my résumé!!!). I don’t get the hate for it. Seems kinda nice. When I had my desktop repaired last spring, my computer guy told me he'd tell me to take my money elsewhere if I asked him to install Vista. Based on press/friend reviews, I assured him that wouldn't be an issue. But now, I don't know. Don't get me wrong, I'm not running out and buying a copy today (pretending I had the money) or anything, Dear :) It probably helps that this machine was designed for Vista, unlike most of the people I know who hate it on upgraded XP machines. Not sure I see any great advantage over XP, but then again, I haven't spent that much time on it.

Thomas Sangster is one impressive child actor. But his eyes are seriously creepifying.

Good friend wrote a very long soul-baring blogpost a week or so back. Don't see eye to eye with her on some of what she talked about, but I can see where she's coming from. Great example in how a church can fail...

Co-worker was watching Shattered Glass tonight. Saw something I couldn't believe...Hayden Christensen was acting! Don't get me wrong, he's not my generation's DeNiro, but he was actually acting pretty well. Figured after recently ripping on the guy, I should mention that.

I just find it hilarious that the Feds can't find Chuck Knoblauch to give him his subpeona to appear before that waste of taxpayer money committee on 'roids in baseball. Speaking of which, Stallone is saying he took HGH to get ready for Rambo. NO WAY!

Speaking of Yankee players, Phil Hughes started blogging recently--this probable future superstar is interacting with the fans in a very open way. Seems like a fun guy. Liked what I saw from him last year, have great hopes for this year. Now am pulling for him even more (didn't think that was possible), cuz I feel like I know the guy. Silly, I know.

Man, my handwriting (which is fairly nightmarish to begin with) is really, really nasty when I'm tired.

For those having a hard time surviving the strike...Alan Sepinwall's Strike Survival TV Club is a real help. Right now, he's going through Cupid--best work Paula Marshall's ever done and some of Jeremy Piven's best as well. Even Lisa Loeb!

I've held off on a couple of anti-Marvel/anti-One More Day rants over the last couple of weeks for some reason. Still might let loose with one before long, but, I should just take this opportunity to say I hate, HATE, HATE, HATE the moves that Joe Q and the rest of the Marvel Powers That Be are making lately. Nothing against them personally (well, am trying to keep it that way) but may they have very short tenures at their current jobs.

One of the best ways technology is helping my life is my cell phone. Why? I get to talk to TLomL on the way home from work each day. The conversation is rarely profound, rarely productive or even that informative..."Man, it's cold." "I'm so tired." "I've got so much to do today..." "Kids work up too early." That kind of thing. But I'll tell ya, that 20 minutes or so are some of my favorite each day.

Speaking of which, today when I get home, I'm going to do something I've done for maybe a grand total of 7 hours since Sept 06 when I gave up the whole land-line thing...I'm turning off my cell.

Time to go...

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Am sorely tempted to give this a try...


Turn your waking day into a 22-hour party by getting your shut-eye polyphasically — in a few quick bursts. Studies by the Chronobiology Research Institute show that for those on round-the-clock schedules — sailors, astronauts, gamers — it's more effective to recharge in short stints. For survival, the brain will eventually adapt by entering the REM state much faster. The cumulative result: a higher percentage of the best kind of z's.
Can't help but think that they're absolutely right later on when they say that, "The first seven days of deprivation will be sheer misery."

H/T: Sheldon

Not quite up there with Shawn Spencer in the whole observation department

So we get the new Nampa Recreation Department catalog the other day, TLomL flips through it and passes it along, "nothing interesting in here." I start to thumb through it, catch this picture out of the corner of my eye, do a double take, then whack her on the shoulder with the rolled up catalog. "Nothing interesting, Mom?" I ask as I show her the picture with her #2 in the center. Oops.

But it goes downhill from there.

We later show the picture to Samwise, "Hey! I have that shirt!" Oy vey. "I would hope so, since it's you wearing it." "Hey! That's me!!"

A couple days later we show that to my mother, who admires the photo as any grandmother should adding, "And I recognize that pair of eyes behind him, don't I?" "Nah, Frodo's in another class this year." "Oh, really? I was sure...." Then this morning, as I'm scanning the picture, I take another look...those are Frodo's eyes (and, proof that only a parent would catch, Sam hasn't worn those pants to PE this year)--that's a picture from last year.

Heaven help us if we're ever called upon to identify someone in a police line up...

Monday, January 21, 2008

Of all the sexist, racist, ignorant things to say...

Been seeing this headline on my iGoogle page all day and I've finally had enough:

Apparently black women (at least those who'd vote in Democratic primaries, and what self-respecting black woman wouldn't, I guess...) cannot think in terms of issues or qualifications beyond skin color and gender. John Edwards must only have White Male Democrats voting for him. How do people think like this?
Racism is simply an ugly form of collectivism, the mindset that views humans only as members of groups and never as individuals. Racists believe that all individual who share superficial physical characteristics are alike; as collectivists, racists think only in terms of groups. By encouraging Americans to adopt a group mentality, the advocates of so-called "diversity" actually perpetuate racism. Their intense focus on race is inherently racist, because it views individuals only as members of racial groups.

(for those who are interested, you can click on the image to get to the CNN article, or if you want to read something of value, click on the name of the best GOP candidate running to read his article "What Really Divides Us?")

Just 'cuz I haven't done this in awhile

snapped this yesterday

Frodo took this while we were at it...I was supposed to be in this pic, but...ugh. No way am I showing anyone that can see my driver's license photo first.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Well, that explains a lot...

In memory of December 31, 1995...

Has it really been 12 years? Seems like yesterday...

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

You've Got Your "Ooo"; You've Got Your "Eee," You've Got Your "Ooo Ah Ah Ting Tang" and You've Got your "Walla Walla" and Your "Bing Bang"

Had this one about ready to go last Tuesday, and for some reason didn't finish it...I'm telling ya...over the last month or so my attention span has been akin to a hyperactive fruit fly's....

Went to see Alvin and the Chipmunks last weekend, and I'll be the first to tell you I had almost no interest at all in doing so--was practically antagonistic about it. I stopped short of antagonism because 1. it's a kid's movie fer cryin' out loud, not some Michael Moore or Oliver Stone dreck; 2. The TLomL and Offspring were bored out of their minds and this would serve to alleviate that for a while (I was pretty bored, too, but had a couple of unread novels on my library stack, so...); 3. I was trying to be a good sport things that didn't involve me sitting around sipping some sort of beverage and reading/watching TV. So with only a little expressed reluctance, I throw in the towel and go.

All the Offspring were excited about this movie--Arnold, in particular, was excited to go see "the 'real' Chipmunks" (as opposed to the cartoon snippets he'd seen on youtube). The rest of them kept singing "The Chipmunk Song" (a cute enough song in December...but in January?). This was going to be a long afternoon.

And then in the opening shot of the three computer generatedly furry critters doing a bucket brigade with nuts while singing "Bad Day", I look over at Arnold--literally sitting on the edge of his seat, his back as straight as possible, and eyes wide and filled with wonder. So much for my bad attitude.

Just as well that I dropped the attitude then, it was a cute flick. Not up to Enchanted or your typical Pixar level, but it was a good kid's movie. Was everything you could hope for in a Chipmunks film. Jason Lee was great as Dave--I couldn't help but think repeatedly that Lee was doing this film just like Chevy Chase would've in the mid-80's. Just something about the way he carried himself. (if Lee was mid-80's Chase, I think that makes David Cross Dan Akroyd).

Was the movie predictable? I should hope so--the target audience is in elementary school, fer cryin out loud. Were some of the jokes dumb? I should hope so--the target audience is in elementary school, fer cryin out loud. Was it fun? Was the music catchy? See above. Will I stop writing these questions?

BTW, if someone had just told be before I went to the movie that Justin Long was Alvin's voice--I would've gladly gone. Something about that guy...

Anyway, there is one big warning I have to give: you will get "Witch Doctor" stuck in your head. Period. No question about it. The movie's hip-hop-ish version has been stuck in my head since [note: in the week since I first wrote this post, that song has become unstuck, but it took time, a very long iTunes play list, and a lot of effort]. The the Classic Chipmunk version is infectious enough, but this new one is audio-MRSA.

Cackling at this Classic

Was trying to come up with something to put up here involving text, ideas, thought, etc. when I checked my email and got this video from a good friend...couldn't much else but crack up.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Are You Ready to Vote?

No, not talking about Ron Paul (or anyone else...). I'm talking about the voting that we Americans really care about--Tuesday vote counts that make Super Tuesday look like a High School Newspaper Opinion poll, I'm talking American Idol.

That's right--it's back tonight. I'll probably ignore, as per usual, most of the audition shows, I know that once we get to Hollywood week--I'll be there with my kids right after (during?) breakfast, putting my DVR to use every single episode. Especially in these WGA-Strike days, where I have nothing else to do...

Can this year top last? Yeah, hard not to...and the producers seem to know that. Hopefully their intended tweaks do the trick. As usual, Alan Sepinwall nails it in his column: How to polish a tarnished 'Idol'. Idol fans, or just those who like to think about how a TV show--nay, TV juggernaut--can improve itself, give it a read.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

I knew something wasn't right lately...

It's snowing! We've got snow everywhere. Lots of it. According to the state's largest newspaper (which frequently gets things correct) 1/9 will be the first Snow Day for Government Schools in this part of the state since 1993. 1993? Really? That long? I knew our winters hadn't been up to snuff for awhile, but 15 years? That blows me away.

The way in to work tonight was a drag, to be honest--my co-worker, driving in her first real snow of her life was 30 minutes late. But, there's a part of me that really enjoyed it. Haven't spent too much time analyzing the why's and wherefore's of that enjoyment, but here's a few off-the-top-of-my-head thoughts:

  1. TLoML hates driving in snow--even a little bit of it. So when it's time for her to go to work today, she'll call on me, her Man, for help. Not often I get to feel all Iron John-like. If you hear me doing my killer Tim Allen impression over the next few days, this is why.
  2. I'm a native Idahoan. Which makes me a minority in most of the jobs I've held post-high school. Which, yeah, bothers me. I don't have a lot against those people who move to the state because of what it offers in way of nature, space, etc. (although too many of those types miss the irony of all the space, scenery and whatnot being destroyed to make room for them). What bothers me are the people who come here solely for the cheaper standard of living and complain non-stop about our infrastructure, government, politics, culture, welfare rules, weather, etc. etc. etc. I've worked with too many of those--particularly now. And I know they're all hating this weather--and all I have to say about that is, "HA. You moved here. This is Idaho." The person who will be relieving me at the end of my shift is a fantastic example of this. And I'm going to enjoy her misery more than I should.
  3. [please note I never said anything about these things making me sound like a good person]
  4. But most of all, is this feels right. This is what winter is supposed to feel, sound, and look like. It's supposed to be cold. It's supposed to be white. It's supposed to be wet. Lawns aren't supposed to be seen this time of year. And up until when I graduated UI (they still had snow days in northern Idaho after '93), that's what winter was about. But not lately. It's good to have it back.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Hasn't the Poor Man Suffered Enough?

Poor, poor William Gibson.

It apparently wasn't enough for Hollywood to take his groundbreaking short story, "Johnny Mnemonic," and turn it into 1995's Keanu Reeves' nightmare. Nope.

Today's SciFi Wire reports:

Hayden Christensen (Jumper) may star in a proposed film based on William Gibson's seminal cyberpunk novel Neuromancer.

Citing an anonymous source, the site reported that Christensen would play Case,the hacker at the center of the story.
Christensen--that automaton that made people think, "You know, that Jake Lloyd wasn't such a bad little actor..."--playing Case??!? It's just wrong.

Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong.

Next thing I'll be reading that Larry the Cable Guy has been cast as Ender Wiggin...

Monday, January 07, 2008

12 years ago...

According to my calculations, it was 12 years ago yesterday that TLomL and I had our first dinner out--our first anything more than just hanging out.

It was at a Chinese restaurant in Pullman, WA, right across from an entrance to WSU called The Lotus--home of the world's greatest General Tso's Chicken (which for some reason, they called General Tong's--maybe to stress the difference between their version and the wanna-be's), and tolerable everything else (from what I understand, I never had anything else but the General's Chicken). I remember the drive over being very awkward, the dinner enjoyable but awkward, the drive back being even more awkward, and then because neither one of us were sure what to do, but didn't want to end the evening...we went to a grocery store.

No, really.

This was something that an old roommate and I used to do--we'd wander around various grocery stores in the area hunting for the strangest products we could find and make jokes--sorta MST3K does Supermarket Sweep. Am not really sure why I suggested it that night--and am even less sure why she agreed. I guess I figured I'd wave my weirdo-flag high, and if she didn't bolt...

As I recall, that's where things finally clicked that night--we walked around that joint for about an hour or so, making random conversation--music, books, movies, friends, family--riffing on what we saw. The jokes weren't as funny as usual (no offense, dear, but you're no Zane)--and were probably fewer as well, but it didn't matter, best time I've had in a grocery store (now when we go to the grocery store, we're just trying to get out of there without wanting to throttle more than one kid). It wasn't until the next day (or the day after) that I found out she'd sprained her ankle that morning.

The rest, as they say, is history. Thanks, Rosauers.

One more cute kid story for today...

Trying to catch-up on my grading this morning and get this Q&A from Samwise's Bible worksheet:

In one or two sentences, tell what makes you most happy that you are one of the elect.*
answer: I might get to see people like George Muller, Isobel Kuhn, Billy Bray

He's not my brightest Bible scholar, but he's got the experimental part of it down pat.

*we'll just ignore the Dutch predisposition for presumptive election of covenant children for now, okay?

This is what happens when I turn my back for five minutes...

I leave the room to make some photocopies and come back to this:

As it is written, "He who pulls the sword from the sofa, shall be King of the Kids"

(well, loveseat...but didn't have the same ring)

Thursday, January 03, 2008

yet another change

this'll probably stay up for awhile. Just wanted to get something up that had nothing to do with that holiday, so I threw together a dream mix for Samwise. I am certain if I turned this playlist on repeat and left him in a room with it, he'd still be jammin' to it 24 hrs later (and likely beyond).

Exceptions That Prove the Rule

I've wanted to read Neil Gaiman's novels for quite some time now--really enjoyed the first edition of Don't Panic, but have never been able to get past page 30 of one of his novels. But I figured after the great experience I had with Stardust, I'd be able to plow my way through the novel. Honestly, not sure I needed the movie, I was hooked almost right away by the style--I'd probably just picked the wrong books before.

But anyway, I'm a shade under a third of the way through the book and already I'm pretty glad I watched the movie first, because I might've gotten pretty darn annoyed with the radical changes already made (although I must say that on the whole, they were necessary to get a well-made movie on the screen--this isn't a book that allows for an easy adaptation). Still, it's another case of the book being better than the movie.

Which got me to thinking...which books were worse than their movie adaptations? Surely there've been some. Off the top of my head I sorta think that Altman's M*A*S*H was superior to the novel by Hooker (if only for the fact that it cut out all the Trapper John as Jesus nonsense). Some movies are just about as good as the books/stories they were based on, some are hardly recognizable...that's practically a cliche to point out. But I know there are some movies that do a better job telling their story than the book did. Just can't think of any at the moment. Can you?