Thursday, April 30, 2009

Too funny not to share

glad someone's finally standing up to 'El Jeffe'

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

This Saturday - Free Stuff!

Just a reminder:

It's a great way to get someone started with comics--and a great way to take advantage of the inevitable sales that accompany the festivities for us non-newbies.

The Offspring and I will be headed over to Captain Comics in Boise--tho' there are a few other places here with FBCD activities, CC is the best store.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Who Needs Sleep?

Am reading Andrew P. Napolitano's book A Nation of Sheep, which is quite the experience so far. The book is about how our national government ignores, circumvents, and attacks the rights and liberties that are the foundation of our nation.

Napolitano's best known for his frequent/regular appearances on pretty much every show on FOXNews, he obviously takes his talking points from the GOP, slavishly promotes the agenda of the Bush (43) Administration, and is some sort of fascist (closeted or otherwise). Right?

Except he's not. In fact, the Bush Administration's agenda is the main target of Napolitano's vitriol. However, I should note that the Adams (2), Lincoln, Roosevelt (32), Trueman and Nixon administrations receive knocks as well.

After a few chapters skimming U.S. History (with quick glances at contemporary events), Napolitano turns his focus on the present with this little end-of-chapter tease:

If you're not convinced that the government is hell-bent on accumulating extreme amounts of power in the name of national security, the forthcoming chapters will finalize the exsanguinations of your skepticism. In other words, get ready for some sleepless nights.
I found that more amusing than I ought--the one phrase I've been muttering to myself (and TLomL) about the book so far is "don't know if I'll be able to sleep again." And he now tells me it's gonna get worse?


Friday, April 24, 2009

My latest addiction

I know, technically, I'm supposed to be in the business of helping people overcome addictions, so technically, I shouldn't post this kind of thing, because it'll likely just add one to the list of whoever clicks this link.

But the game, DeepLeap (still in the demo stage), is just the kind of thing for those who need a break from Free Cell, Spider Solitaire, Tai Pei, and like word games. It's a freakishly simple, fun, and about as addictive as meth (but probably won't lead to you cleaning your bathroom tiles with a toothbrush for hours at a time).

Go on, give it a try, you know you want to.

(h/t: Very Short List)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Chuck vs. the Colonel

I really didn't want to do another TV post this week, but having just watched the Chuck's penultimate season 2 episode (please, please, please, NBC, don't let this be the penultimate episode for the series), I can do nothing else.

This post will be spoiler-free on behalf of my Australian friend who's on vacation, so will be behind on TV viewing. This one had it all...humor/action/romance...everything was firing on all cylinders. Gonna do a run-down on most of the characters to sum up how I feel about this one.

Morgan...Awesome. Seriously, way to go buddy.

Anna Wu...Awesome.

Big Mike...fairly awesome.

Lester & Jeff/Jeffster...creepily awesome.

Ellie...wasn't in the episode much, but awesome hair at the end.

Ted Roark...if awesome were nerdishly'd be Roark

Casey...Reagan-esque awesomeness.

Milbarge...completely not awesome (in an awesome way)

Steve Bartowski/Orion...paternally awesome awesome as ever.

Sarah...awesome enough to make Sydney Bristow nervous.

Chuck & Sarah...'awwwww'some.

and I cannot forget: Devon ('Captain Awesome') totally awesome.

I could buy this episode alone on Blu-Ray tomorrow (and would if I could) play it on a loop until every member of my family was quoting verbatim, and still not be terribly sick of it.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Kings Is Dead, but Still Kicking

that's gotta rank up there with the worst post titles I've thrown up here over the years, sorry.

NBC's Kings, the loosely-based on I&II Samuel drama, is dead. While that's unofficial, such was clear as soon as NBC moved it from Sunday nights to Saturdays. But NBC is doing the classy thing, and rather than just yanking it from the schedule, they're airing the all the completed episodes. Which came as a relief, because to have this very impressive show yeanked without some sort of resolution would be criminal (however much resolution they had in mind for their season--now series--finale).

The writing is compelling--and makes a great case against all my friends/acquaintances who reflexively assume that nothing good can come from Hollywood, or television. It is epic in scope, and delivers in a way that little else has for years. It actually reminds me of the mid-80's heyday of mini-series (like The Winds of War).

The casting is good--not great, but good. The characters, however, resonate, and while David Shepherd and Michelle Benjamin, might be on the bland side, you pull for them (all the while relishing in the morally questionable king, queen and prince). I absolutely get why people rave about Ian McShane now--all the name conjured up for me were memories of Lovejoy on A&E and Code Name: Diamond Head from MST3K (quite the enjoyable episode, as I recall). But as the mercurial king Silas, he's just great to watch--his is one of those performances it'd be worth watching a mediocre show just to see him do his thing (see Ray Wise on about 2/3 of The Reaper episodes and John Noble on early Fringe episodes).

I'm not recommending you set aside some time next Saturday evening to watch it, or to program your DVR to watch it for you. If you were to watch episode 6, "Brotherhood", without the five before it, you will probably be disappointed, lost, and not want anything to do with it. This right here is, of course, one of the reasons it's doomed--you have to watch all of it (at least the first three hours) to get any of it. But I'm sure it'll be coming to DVD soon--when it does, rent/borrow/buy it, it'll be worth your time.

I will say this--with the writing on the wall (oops, sorry, jumped ahead a few centuries from II Samuel there), as it was for the people behind Life on Mars, I can only hope that the finale doesn't reveal David to be a seminary student who fell asleep during a performance of Shakespeare in a contemporary setting (like say, Henry IV in the Cold War). If they pull something like that I will repeatedly kick any nearby (and hopefully inexpensive) objects.

Updated: Ugh. So much for class, NBC is shelving Kings 'til June 13 (or never).

Spring is Here

Typically, I don't consider the seasons to have changed without my hay fever giving me fits, but I think it's time to admit/concede/rejoice that Spring has sprung.

It's 55° outside, 75° inside here at work. Two weeks ago, I couldn't have got the temp to 75 with the heater on (probably could've last week with the heater).

Aside from this making it even more difficult to keep the kids attention focused on school (particularly for Samwise), I think this is a good thing.

Do kinda wonder what happened to my hay fever tho.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Shoshone Falls

The weather here is finally starting to resemble spring (mid-70's today). Now normally, I celebrate this by turning on the A/C as I crack open a book. But this year, we decided to try something different...and go outside. Last week the local paper was talking about how great Shoshone Falls was looking this year (video at the link), with officials releasing water from reservoirs to make room for melting mountain snowpack. So we decided to take a day trip to check it out.

Little did we know at the time, about three-quarters of Southern Idaho was thinking the same thing. About two miles from the park, traffic came to a stand still, a few yards from there, we saw a sign warning that due to high traffic we could expect a delay of up to twenty-five minutes. They were only off by thirty minutes. Yup. Took us 55 minutes to travel 2 miles. (the way out took 10 min--probably would've been 5 if it hadn't been for all the people who decided to abandon their cars and walk the 2 miles--and take up half the 'out' route in the process)
Anyhow, it was a pleasant day, got some decent pics (and some others, too). Tried some nature shots, which I don't normally do, as it involves being out in...nature. Anyhow, here's the thumbnails, click on 'em for a full image.

the backside of the falls
the backside of the falls, with Lilliputians looking onthat's a lotta water
after the fallsmildly different perspective
Frodo's more impressed than he looksslightly different perspective
was trying to get a shot showing how tall the thing was, but that stoopid rainbow got in the way

Thought for the Lord's Day - #39

If every attribute of the Deity were a distinct member, purity would be the form, the soul, the spirit to animate them. Without holiness, his patience would be an indulgence to sin, his mercy a fondness, his wrath a madness, his power a tyranny, his wisdom an unworthy subtlety. Holiness gives decorum to them all.

Stephen Charnock

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Arnold Update

Had our regular checkup with the kidney doc today. Everything was in the good to excellent range on the blood test front. Kidney function was at 35-40%, but the doc's not worried--hydration level alone is worth a few percentage points. The doc took a minute or two with the other kids to drill them on anatomy, and teach 'em a little bit (that was fun). And I learned the phrase "the third kidney." Educational for all involved.

Overall, very pleased.

The big news is, he started reading this week. Yeah, if he was less stubborn, he'd have done it in February. Yeah, he's older than his siblings were when they started. But, really, who cares? The kid's on the verge of literacy.

Couldn't be prouder.

...oh yeah, and this weekend, he started whistling. He's pretty good at it, definitely better than any of his siblings (either at this age, or currently). And he knows he's good, so he does it a lot.

Absolutely irritating.

The Ides of April

which means it's time for me to post this quote again.

A man condemning the income tax because of the annoyance it gives him or the expense it puts him to is merely a dog baring its teeth, and he forfeits the privileges of civilized discourse. But it is permissible to criticize it on other and impersonal grounds. A government, like an individual, spends money for any or all of three reasons: because it needs to, because it wants to, or simply because it has it to spend. The last is much the shabbiest. It is arguable, if not manifest, that a substantial proportion of this great spring flood of billions pouring into the Treasury will in effect get spent for that last shabby reason.
--Nero Wolfe

Monday, April 13, 2009

In nomine pizza domine!

a quick peak into my geekery:


Thanks to the virtual signing hosted by Dog Eared Books last week, I received my signed copy of the new Dresden Files novel, Turn Coat this weekend. This being the, I think, 6th signed book in my meager library,** this one is obviously being added to my "do not loan" list--honestly, not sure I'm going to let myself read it.

*The inscription, "In nomine pizza domine!" is the battle cry of Toot-Toot and his dewdrop faerie friends, as they attack the Summer Court in Summer Knight.

**I fully expect certain readers, like TLomL, will dispute the use of the word "meager." On this, however, she is uncharacteristically wrong.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Thought for the Lord's Day -- 38

...what the Mediator was to accomplish was no common thing. His task was so to restore us to God's grace as to make of the children of men, children of God; of the heirs of Gehenna, heirs of the Heavenly Kingdom. Who could have done this had not the selfsame Son of God become the Son of man, and had not so taken what was ours as to impart what was his to us, and to make what was his by nature ours by grace? Therefore, relying on this pledge, we trust that we are sons of God, for God’s natural Son fashioned for himself a body from our body, flesh from our flesh, bones from our bones, that he might be one with us. Ungrudgingly he took our nature upon himself to impart to us what was his, and to become both Son of God and Son of man in common with us. Hence that holy brotherhood which he commends with his own lips when he says: "I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God". In this way we are assured of the inheritance of the Heavenly Kingdom; for the only Son of God, to whom it wholly belongs, has adopted us as his brothers. "For if brothers, then also fellow heirs with him."

For the same reason it was also imperative that he who was, to become our Redeemer be true God and true man. It was his task to swallow up death. Who but the Life could do this? It was his task to conquer sin. Who but very Righteousness could do this? It was his task to rout the powers of world and air. Who but a power higher than world and air could do this? Now where does life or righteousness, or lordship and authority of heaven lie but with God alone? Therefore our most merciful God, when he willed that we be redeemed, made himself our Redeemer in the person of his only-begotten Son.
- John Calvin

Saturday, April 11, 2009

What Have They, What Have They, What Have They Done to Deserve This?

It's been noted by more than one that extremists have no sense of humor, which might be why PETA hasn't noticed they've become a parody of themselves.

According to

PETA has asked the Pet Shop Boys to change their name as part of a publicity stunt to oppose pet stores.

The animal rights group wrote to the band requesting they change their name to the Rescue Shelter Boys in opposition to the "cruelty" of pet shops.

"Most dogs and cats sold in pet shops are sourced from profit-hungry breeders who may have bred them in cramped, filthy conditions," the letter said.

"Most pet-shop animals are kept in cages or runs that are far too small for their needs.

"Exercise is minimal, and they often never leave their cages until the day that they are sold."

In a message posted on the band's website, the Pet Shop Boys politely declined the bizarre request.

Yes, the name of that band is really encouraging people to frequent/shop at/own and operate pet stores. Same reason every time I listen to Sugarland I want to eat a bunch of candy and/or move to Texas. Or when I listen to Matchbox 20, I want to become an arsonist who plays with die-cast metal car toys. Or the prevalence of Polydactyly in Finger Eleven fans.

Better stop now before I get to that band that recorded "One Week" and "If I Had a Million Dollars," so my mom can read this post without blushing.

(h/t: kletois)

Friday, April 10, 2009

RIP Nick Adenhart

Since I heard about it yesterday morning, I haven't been able to get the death of Nick Adenhart out of my mind.

Obviously, the deaths of all three men in that car are tragic, as are the injuries sustained by the fourth man. But, I only know anything about Adenhart--and outside of hearing about the game, I knew nothing.

A 22 year-old pitcher, who'd seen a little action in the Majors last year, started his rookie year on Wednesday by pitching 6 shut-out innings for the LA Angels. It was one of those nights he'd look back on, tell his kids and grandkids about. One his buddies from high school would remember, they'd have been cheering him on while watching the game on TV--as would his family. This is what they'd all dreamed of since Little League. And where would he go from here?

Then it was all snatched away by a repeat drunk driver running a red light, slamming into a car, driving it into a telephone pole. All that remained was memories--and given what happened after the game Wednesday, those memories can't be full of that much joy.

It's mostly his parents that I can't stop thinking about, the loss their dreams and hopes--but more importantly the loss of their son, horrific even without the timing. I don't know the eternal state of Adenhart or his parents--I pray they know the saving grace of our Lord, and if not, that the Gospel will work in their hearts as they grieve.

If this isn't proof that under the sun, "all is vanity and a striving after wind," I don't know what is. One more reminder that we need to

Enjoy life with the wife whom you love, all the days of your vain life that he has given you under the sun, because that is your portion in life and in your toil at which you toil under the sun. Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

What Made BSG Great

I've been wanting to write something about the phenomenal Battlestar Galactica finale/series, but I'm just not good enough--see the take's that Alan Sepinwall, Maureen Ryan, and R. A. Porter had on it.

What I do want to talk about is this great post by Marcus Sakey over at The Outfit. Now, I don't know why, but I haven't been able to get into one of Sakey's novels, but I really enjoy his blog posts and interviews. Sakey has got his hands on a series bible from BSG, and cited a few passages, all worth reading for anyone interested in the show or the craft of writing. For example:

Our show is, first and foremost, a drama. It is about people. Our characters should always be the most important element of every story. Breaking the traditional rule of the genre, we should sacrifice plot at every turn in favor of character. Time spent discussing the technical problems of outwitting the latest Cylon plot will be better spent dealing with the emotional fallout of the Adama / Lee relationship.

Do not be afraid to expose our characters’ faults, for in their frailties also lie the seeds of their triumphs…Our people are deeply flawed, deeply human characters. They are not, by nature, innately heroic or noble creatures. They do not always make the right decision and do not always do the right thing. They make mistakes, act out of pettiness and spite, and occasionally do things that are reprehensible. However, they are also capable of growth, of change, of learning to overcome their many flaws and rising to he challenges laid before them and performing great and mighty deeds.

They are human.
As Sakey said, that's pure gold for writers. It's because the writers stuck to that that the series was so good. It was the show's humanity, not the F/X, not the mythology, not the acting (all were great, btw), it was the fact that the show was populated by humans.

(tap, tap, tap) Is This Thing On?

I have to stop visiting my pal Micah's Radon Thoughts, gotta delete it from my RSS feed, lose the bookmark. Why? He's got this stupid little widget telling me how long it's been since I posted something new here, and I just can't take the guilt.

I've made a liar out of my post last Monday, sadly. I've now got the number of draft posts up to ten--with roughly the same number of facebook notes in progress (I do intend to reply to all the tags, really...I just spend too much time revising the straight answers I give to make them at least semi-amusing. Plus two other writing projects that I've been unable to get past the blank "page" stage in OpenOffice. Not sure why I can't finish anything...

Will keep trying. In the meantime, I'll just say that I'm not too upset about CC's sloppy start on Monday, so don't bother asking, and that I'm really enjoying Justin Gustainis' Black Magic Woman--glad I gave it a shot, despite a couple tepid reviews. It's like someone sat down to write an urban fantasy convinced that the last few Dresden file novels have been too light.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

The Boys Are Back!

All right, all right...that is more like it.

After a disappointing second season, last night's premier of My Boys was not just a return to the air, but a return to form.

My Boys is not a history making show, it doesn't redefine the genre, but when it's firing on all cylinders, it's a whollle lotta fun. At it's core, it's about a group of friends hanging out, enjoying each other's company, making fun of each other, laughing at life, playing a little poker.

It's a comfy show that makes you feel like part of the gang (see: Cheers, season 1 of Friends). Very glad to see it back.

He's Ready for the Next Re-Imagining

All of this has happened before,
and all of this will happen again

This afternoon, Arnold enjoyed some downtime by playing with the art set he got for his birthday--and, as he's oft want to do, he brings his latest project over for me to appraise. I broke out in proud laughter at this one, and had to snap a pic of my latent geek.

(for the overwhelming majority of you who sadly don't get it, check out
the way he cut the paper.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

"Singing, we're singing of you, ah, proudly too..."

Just got this great news:

Senate Bill 1017 has passed both the House and the Senate unanimously! The bill is headed for Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter, who has indicated his willingness to approve the bill.

This is a significant victory for homeschool freedom in Idaho. These amendments being adopted into the compulsory school attendance law to protect homeschooling will enable Idaho to avoid the danger experienced by California last year.

Senate Bill 1017 will do the following:

1. It specifically adds private home education in the compulsory school attendance law.

2. It removes the requirement that this private instruction has to be "comparable" to the public school curriculum.

3. It clarifies that homeschoolers do not have to teach any certain number of hours or days per year.

4. With this language added, the law allows other friends or relatives to provide the teaching--not only parents. This flexibility is important for times of crisis where parents want to continue homeschooling but need to have the support of someone outside the home to provide the instruction for a time.

Sen. Russell Fulcher and Rep. Bob Nonini sponsored and labored for this.

Upgrade - updated

updated with a less goofy picture.

I took the Princess in for an eye exam last week--we knew she was having some issues with distance,, I had no idea how bad it was. When she failed to read the third line of the eyechart, I felt a horrible parent.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know, "If she was in a real school you'd have known about this long ago when she couldn't read the chalkboard..." Whatever. (in my head that's in the voice of Jimmy Neutron's teacher, btw)

Anyway, problem fixed...just got home with her new glasses--pretty fetching, I must say.

man she looks older now...