Friday, February 29, 2008

Do You Believe in Love at First Sight?

Julie, Julie, could you have doubted this casting for a second?

Leap Day

I remember back when I was in the State Indoctrination Centers as a kid, it was typical for them to do something special on that intercalated day in February. Classes, on the whole, were canceled in lieu of activities. Movie day (using actual projectors); I remember one year which was unseasonably warm our elementary school had a track meet kind of thing; or something along those lines.

I didn't make any plans for the day for our little academy--I got behind after being taken out with a kidney stone for a couple days last week, and am just too unorganize to have thought of it before this morning anyway. Honestly, I don't really have any ideas what we could do to commemorate the day--other than having the Princess propose to someone, I guess--and that'll only happen over my rotting corpse.

What kind of things are you and yours doing to mark this 'bonus' day? update

Indulging the addiction...think they're all self-explanatory...if you don't recognize one, leave a comment, and I or a fellow addict will be more than happy to help. If you recognize them all, you probably need help. (Please note that I obviously am in deep need of help)

I know, I know, left a few things off...Remy Zero's "Save Me;" "Moon Over Parma;" The Presidents "Clevland Rocks;" Nerf Herder's little ditty...and many others, but hey...I only have so much disk space on my server :)

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Ahh, Justification for that Decades Old Thing Hanging in my Closet

(semi-h/t: the fine folks at girlfriday)

I just don't get Wes Anderson

I'll say this for Hollywood Video, they are really into movies. They want their employees thinking about movies all the time--during the interviews, orientation, etc. they kept making us think about movies--not just the new releases, but older films, genre films, and so on. The first Team Meeting I attended we got things rolling by having to name the last movie.

The answers were the typical...Merchant-Ivory flicks, Old Yeller-ish things and so on. I remember struggling to come up with something as it was coming up to my turn. Thankfully, I caught a cover over my manager's shoulders. "The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou--just so much wasted talent and opportunity." Not only did I successfully answer the question without the stammering and "uh"s that the other guys made us suffer through before they admitted that Debra Winger die of cancer made them get weepy, but I also shot myself to the head of the Film Geek pack.

In all honesty, I don't really think I shed a tear over The Life Aquatic, but it would've been deserved. Rushmore was great. The Royal Tenenbaums was one of the best films I saw in 2001. But I just totally didn't get The Life Aquatic...I thought Wilson was fine, Blanchett was good (she's genetically incapable of being anything other than good...see Stewart's comments from the Oscars), as were sever other performances. But the whole thing just left me disappointed and annoyed.

That was then, just a fluke, I was sure. So, last night I grabbed The Darjeeling Limited. It, also, contained some good performances. And, to same something positive...I wasn't annoyed, or even that disappointed. In fact, I'm not sure I had any reaction at all. Wilson was good, Brody was good, Schwartzman was good. But, eh. Who cares? Certainly not me. Didn't enjoy it, didn't hate it. Just...nothing. Is it me? Is it Anderson? I don't like watching films and having no discernible reaction.

April 4 is how many days away?

too many...far too many....

Monday, February 25, 2008

Your Geology Lesson for the Day


just another example of White Noise doing our part to educate the masses...

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The First in Six Years

Yes, Laura, I have hair. Some. A bit.

Actually, got my first haircut in six years last week. Still not sure I like this better than the Mr. Clean/Dr. White/Caucasian-Avery Brooks look that I've sported May '02 (and off and on before), but this is far easier to maintain.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

I am so smart! I am so smart! S-M-R-T! I mean, S-M-A-R-T!

blog readability test

TV Reviews

Saturday, February 16, 2008

In Treatment

Anyone else watching this?

Tidying up...

Slipped a new profile picture of sorts up there and cleaned up the links over to the right.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Date Night

This past Saturday, the local rec center had their annual "Daddy/Daughter Date Night." Last year, I asked her several times to attend, but my Princess just wasn't interested. This year, however, once she saw the flyer for it about a month ago, she wouldn't shut up about it. At.All.

Being the observant guy that I am, I figured she wanted to go this year, so I reserved us a couple of spots. Very glad I did (pretty sure she is, too)

The place was crowded--I'm not sure how many I expected, but it wasn't half of who showed up. I think it was more than they expected, too, based on some of the things the DJ said. But the staff, while clearly over their heads, did yeoman's work, keeping things fun for the girls--dancing, snacks, corsages, a little make-your-own-necklace craft table, portraits, snacks, games and so on.

Oh! and the best face-painting that the Princess has ever been on the receiving end of. Can't forget that.

It was enjoyable just to watch the dad's dote on and goof around with their daughters. There were some girls who clearly would've been embarrassed as anything by their fathers if there had been any boys present; but in their absence of them, they were having a lot of fun.

Anyway, a good time was had by all, and as we left, she started making plans for next year. Including the need for us to practice dancing a bit more--she clearly felt uncomfortable on the dance floor. Sure, part of it was intimidation being in the presence of a modern-day Astaire, whether he's her father or not--and who can blame her? I'm looking forward to it.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

On putting my money where my mouth is

(no pun intended)

I hope it was obvious that I was blowing off steam/joking around Tuesday. The news isn't quite as bad as it could've been--but it'd have been hard pressed to be worse than it is.

The trust I talked about yesterday isn't always's doable, but not without some effort--for me, at least, it's always harder when dollar figured get tossed around. But that's what friends/readers are for, right? Prayers and/or a minivan transmission would be appreciated.

Kids are from Mars, Dads are from Earth

Taglines on movie posters/marketing campaigns aren't always that helpful, but in the case of The Martian Child, the tagline's right on: "The story of a man becoming a father...and a boy becoming a son."

John Cusack stars as David Gordon, a widower and Sci-Fi novelist who decides to finish what he and his wife started two years prior to her death: adopt a child. He's matched up with a six year old who's convinced he's from Mars, sent to earth to study what it means to be human. Bobby Coleman plays the boy, and gives what's probably the best child-performance since Cole Sear saw dead people--he's been abandoned, emotionally abused, socially awkward, and totally unsure of himself.

Amanda Peet erases whatever karmic debt she owed the Hollywood pantheon for Studio 60 playing Gordon's wife's lifelong friend--likely Peet's most fully human character to date. Oliver Platt is effective as Gordon's agent (tho' underused, like he is in 97.8% of whatever he appears in), Richard Schiff delivers as the social worker in charge of the case, and Joan Cusack somehow pulls off portraying Gordon's older sister.

The plot is fairly obvious and predictable, but it's supposed to be. This isn't one of those stories that's supposed to sneak up on you and rattle your bars. A simple, straightforward and heartfelt plotline.

Not that this has anything to do with the movie, but coincidentally enough, during the climactic scene the pollen count the house reached astronomical levels--thankfully that count returned to normal while the credits scrolled by.

I should note that while this is a PG movie (yes, they do still make those, I'm as surprised as anyone), I'm not sure it's a movie for kids. Just don't think they'd get into it--which is okay. It's a movie for grown-ups.

This is possibly the sweetest movie I've seen in years--if not ever. Definitely worth the time and money (or spot on the rental queue)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

A Lot Happier than I Expected to be a Year Ago

A year ago today when I posted "One of My Best Days," a friend pulled me aside (well, as close as you can come to doing that in the cyber world) and asked if I really thought that it was all that wise to wax romantic about my wife, given what was going on then. I told him that I really didn't care if it was all that wise, it was what was on my mind, so I wrote it.

I don't bring this up to belittle Chris or his remark*, I'm really thinking of what difference a little perspective makes. I'm pretty sure that if I asked him now what he thought of that post, he wouldn't have a single misgiving about it. Now, when I wrote that post, did I have a clue that I was a few days away from having my heart stop when I received divorce papers? Nope. And on either of those days, did I have the foggiest notion, that God, in his Providence was going to restore the marriage? Nope.

But, we all know that God knew it. He is on His throne, and we are not. From the perspective of us here on this ball of dirt, the tapestry is a giant, dismal, confusing mess. But from the perspective of eternity, the tapestry is beautiful, perfect--nothing out of place.

Which means that when the going gets rough (and, we shouldn't forget--when the going is smooth) we can trust in the care of the Master Weaver--it's all going according to plan. How the Arminian/Open Theist/"Don't Label Me Anything, But I Sure Ain't No Calvinist" can rest, I'll never know.

More immediately, this means: while it's slipped a little in the ratings, February 13, 1996 is still one of my best days, and my lobster and I are celebrating an even dozen years as an official couple today. Yahoo!

Soli Deo Gloria.

* One day if I remember to, I'll write up a list of the dumbest comments made to me during that time of trial. All were well meaning, but gracious! people really need to stop and think of what they're saying...

Mahna, Mahna Strikes Back

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Here's One of Those Sentences that Make you Wince

Me, talking to my mechanic yesterday:

"What's the worst case scenario here gonna run me"

"Aww, you don't want me to answer that...Let's do some diagnostics first."
Don't want me to answer that? Ugh. Please pass the hemlock.

Finally was able to get a number out of him (but he insisted several times that it probably wouldn't be that)...a few hundred more than the purchase price.

Make that a double hemlock to go, please...

Monday, February 11, 2008

Help Wanted

a fellow homeschooler sent me a piece from Alpha Omega Publications' Homeschool View

Now accepting applications―

Family seeking fun-loving, godly homeschool teacher. Applicant will be responsible for providing total educational development and daily personal care for children of multiple ages. Applicant will assume the following roles: cook, housemaid, nurse, taxi driver, administrative assistant, accountant, athletic coach, social director, computer technician, household and automotive repairman, gardener, course instructor in multiple subject areas and grade levels, and various other responsibilities. This is a full-time position―approximately 120 hours or more per week.

Qualified candidates must be able to work well under pressure, multi-task, and prioritize work loads while maintaining a friendly, enthusiastic attitude. Quick thinking, good memory, and a varied background in extensive subject matter are a must. Promising candidates will be resourceful, adjust easily to distractions, and display creative, hard-working leadership abilities. Organizational and problem solving skills are a plus. Previous teaching experience and/or college preferred, but not required.

If you're interested in working in a fast-paced, ever-changing environment, this is the position for you! For more information on this exciting opportunity to earn fulfilling, one-of-a-kind rewards, please apply in person today.
If this was in the paper/on I wouldn't have thrown a résumé at it--there's no way on God's green Earth I fit these qualifications. And yet here I am.

What was I thinking?

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Witty Repartee

I so have to remember this trick.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Q & A

Despite having been informed recently that I no longer hold Reformed convictions* (probably news to the Calvinistic Baptists I've been harassing lately as it was to me), we're plugging our way through the Westminster Shorter Catechism.

When Frodo and Samwise were younger, we used the First Catechism with them, and were pretty pleased with what they were able to do. But then a friend gave us a copy of Westminster's Shortest Catechism (partial answers of the WSC so that younger kids can get a start on it without all the verbiage--saves them from learning more than one catechism), and we tried that with the Princess until we lost it and went awhile without really any catechism at all.

That didn't last too long and a couple of years ago we started the older three on the WSC--we're making decent progress on memorizing and understanding it--have backtracked a couple of times to focus on this or that, etc. But Arnold's been left out of the memorization thing entirely (would try to ask him a few basic related questions, tho). But recently we've had him at least echo me phrase by phrase using the answers that the others are memorizing. And, naturally, he's actually memorizing things!

Granted, he's still having some troubles with pronouncing some words, so it comes out:

Jus-ication an act of od's free grace, wherein he pardoneh all our sins, and accept us as ri-eous in his sigh, on-y for ri-eousness o Chris impew to us, and ceive by faith alone![he picked up on my stress of that idea and shouts the last three words]
instead of
Justification is an act of God's free grace, wherein he pardoneth all our sins, and accepteth us as righteous in his sight, only for the righteousness of Christ imputed to us, and received by faith alone.
(and yes, Frodo, I typed that out from memory.)

Regardless of how he says it, it's a blessing to hear. Generally, his siblings will erupt in applause as he finishes his daily regimen of questions (while I appreciate the sentiment, and share it...the practice gets really old). Sure, he's got a long way to go before he really understands what he's saying beyond the phonetic level--and sometimes has a ways to go before he even gets that. But the neural pathways are being laid. The pattern is getting stuck in the recesses of his brain...and, by the grace of God, they'll stick there--and grow deeper and more permanent all the time.

* I haven't decided what kind of theology I now hold to...maybe I'll give the whole Emergent thing a try...get to drink coffee during services and cuss when I want.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

The movie with a title so long, you'd think a Puritan wrote it

With an all-star cast depicting the last days of one of the more colorful figures in U.S. History, odds are, you're going to end up with a good movie. Andrew Dominik's The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford is a textbook example that sure things aren't.

Or let me put it another way...if you've ever wondered how Young Guns II would've been if Kevin Costner had directed it...this is the film for you.

The actors did what they could with what they were given. Brad Pitt does a decent job, but is largely wasted. Mary-Louise Parker spends far too much of her limited screen-time as window-dressing. Sam Rockwell only gets to really stretch his legs for a few minutes, but, again, largely wasted. About the only actor who really gets to shine is James Carville (James Carville?). Casey Affleck, whose task it is to carry the film, tries but the weight is too much for someone of his stature. Try as they might, lemonade is out of the question--the best these pros can do with these lemons is make some ReaLemon.

The film is an interminable, meandering, would-be epic that looks gorgeous but in the end, just made me glad I got an extra 2 hour nap today.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008


Anyone out there read/had their kids read The Spiderwick Chronicles? Been wondering about them for awhile, the Library never has a copy in stock, and I just cannot bring myself to spend $11 on a book that measures 6.8" x 4.7" x 0.8" without a good idea if it's worth it (yet one more reason I won't buy a Bruce Wilkinson book, tho am pretty sure of the worth of those).

Monday, February 04, 2008

This is just sad...

Report: 1 in 4 Britons Think Winston Churchill Never Existed

One in four Britons don't believe wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill existed, according to a recent survey.
I'd laugh and laugh at this, but am willing to bet a similar number of Americans would say the same about FDR.
Churchill is compared to Florence Nightingale and Sir Walter Raleigh, seen by many survey respondents as a mythical person, the London Daily Mail reported Monday.

The survey, conducted with 3,000 respondents to test their general knowledge, reported other historical figures such as Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi, Cleopatra and the Duke of Wellington were made up for books and films, the Mail reported.
Oh I've seen this on Leno. Who knew he could've gotten scholarly attention for this? (note: am sure this serious statistical analysis was exponentially more funny than Leno has ever been)
The survey, by UKTV Gold, also found that Sherlock Holmes was a real person.
A drug-addicted genius solving the impossible while abusing his good-natured doctor friend? 'Course they think he existed...they watch House, M. D.
Young Britons under 20 lack a basic historical education according to the survey results, historian Correlli Barnett told the Daily Mail.
I'll take 'Obvious Conclusions that Really Didn't Need an Expert to State' for $300, Alex.
"This suggests a complete lack of common sense and respect for our greatest heroes of the past," Barnett said.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Do I really want a wireless lifestyle?

Snow's coming down steady today, and it appears to be intermittently interfering with things

  • Satellite TV...spotty (can't help but rejoice that I'm a baseball fan today of all days for TV signals to go wonky...LOL)
  • Wireless Internet...very spotty
  • Wireless phone...bad connections, dropped calls, static-filled convos
I got no strings to pull me down, but that also means that I could be easily set adrift.

Thought for the Lord's Day #15

How just is the apostle's observation, that no man can say Jesus Christ is Lord, but by the Holy Ghost! How astonishing the thought, --that the Maker of heaven and earth, the Holy One of Israel, before whose presence the earth shook, the heavens dropped, when he displayed a faint emblem of his majesty upon Sinai, should afterwards appear in the form of a servant, and hang upon a cross, the sport and scorn of wicked men! I cannot wonder that to the wise men of the world this appears absurd, unreasonable, and impossible; yet to right reason, to reason enlightened and sanctified, however amazing the proposition be, yet it appears true and necessary, upon a supposition, that a holy God is pleased to pardon sinners in a way suited to display the awful glories of His justice. The same arguments which prove the blood of bulls and goats insufficient to take away sin, will conclude against the utmost doings or sufferings of men or angels. The Redeemer of sinners must be mighty; he must have a personal dignity to stamp such a value upon his undertakings, as that thereby God may appear just, as well as merciful, in justifying the ungodly for his sake; and He must be all-sufficient to bless and almighty to protect ,those who come unto him for safety and life.

Such a one is our Shepherd. This is he of whom we, through grace, are enabled to say, we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. We are his by every tie and right; he made us, he redeemed us, he reclaimed us from the hand of our enemies, and we are his by our own voluntary surrender of ourselves; for though we once slighted, despised, and opposed him, he made us willing in the day of his power: he knocked at the door of our hearts; but we (at least I) barred and fastened it against him as much and as long as possible. But when he revealed his love, we could stand out no longer. Like sheep, we are weak, destitute, defenceless, prone to wander, unable to return, and always surrounded with wolves. But all is made up in the fulness, ability, wisdom, compassion, care, and faithfulness of our great Shepherd. He guides, protects, feeds, heals, and restores, and will be our guide and our God even until death. Then he will meet us, receive us, and present us unto himself, and we shall be near him, and like him, and with him for ever.
- John Newton

Please note the very definition of "Amazing Grace" by the hymnist himself:
We are his by every tie and right; he made us, he redeemed us, he reclaimed us from the hand of our enemies, and we are his by our own voluntary surrender of ourselves; for though we once slighted, despised, and opposed him, he made us willing in the day of his power: he knocked at the door of our hearts; but we (at least I) barred and fastened it against him as much and as long as possible. But when he revealed his love, we could stand out no longer.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Who Needs Obama/Clinton/Romney/McCain/Huckabee? Draft Abraham

Typically, I don't like it when a blog goes out of it's milieu--I read sports blogs to read about sports, political/news blogs for news/politics/reasons to kill myself, theology blogs to read about theology, writer blogs to read about publishing/process/promotion/influences/(okay, these guys typically get away wiht more before I get annoyed. But every now and then someone'll step off the reservation and it'll be worthwhile. Case in point:
Nice to see our priorities are in place

The nation is at war in Irag and Afganistan and families across the land are mourning their fallen sons and daughters. The economy is closing in on a recession. Our literacy rate is falling. Kids are abused, people are homeless and global warming could make Houston Street beachfront property in a few decades. Guns are readily available to criminals. The terrorists who planned the destruction of the World Trade Center remain at large. Gas is headed for $3.50 a gallon.

Yet Sen. Arlen Specter is concerned that the NFL destroyed videotapes of football games. And the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform today had a old baseball player named Chuck Knoblauch come to Washington to ask him if he used steroids six years ago.

What’s next....
You gotta read the rest...