Friday, February 29, 2008

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Four-hundred years ago, on the planet Earth, workers who felt their livelihood threatened by automation, flung their wooden shoes, called sabo, into the machines to stop them . . . hence the word: sabotage.
Lt. Valeris – Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

I feel that I continue to sabotage my weight loss efforts. I need to re-loose about 20 pounds off of my 6’2 endomorphic frame. I do really well in the morning and afternoon because I am at work. It’s only after dinner do I struggle with the “I’m bored ergo I want to eat.” My downfalls in the past has been an acute addiction to sugary cereals and PB&Js. Last night was some really, really salty Wheat Thins while watching last week’s “Jericho.” Usually, Mondays and Tuesdays are my loosing days with the rest of the week being maintaining days. Fudge.

For LJ - The Duck Reference

Monday, February 25, 2008

Suffer Not…

Last night in small group, the subject of curriculum came up. One parent had asked if it was possible for the church to align curriculum across the church so what the children learned was what the adults were learning. I guess the net goal was to make the "so, what did you learn in church today" question easier to discuss.

You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. Deu 6:7

Another parent chimed in. Apparently, their child had been taught that witches were real. You could hear the intake of breath. "Oh, you need to report that, we don't believe that here." I had to raise my hand. "Perhaps," I started, not to sarcastically, "that they read the 'suffer not a witch verse.'"

The SG leader wisely got the discussion back on track. I was not trying to derail the class, but, the subtext of my message was clear (at least to me). Or church's constitution makes no stand on the existence of witches. However, it does make a stand on the authenticity of the bible. Logic (at least what passes for it in my noodle) says "if we believe the bible to be true, and the bible says not to suffer a witch, then, ergo, there must be witches to not be suffered."

You can tell who they are because they weigh the same as a duck.

Ok, so I was being a smart alec. But the point that got lost was it is the parents, not the church, that need to teach the Bible to our children. The Sunday School teachers should be our partners, reinforcing what we have taught our children and not the other way around.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

What a Day!!

I left the house for the cinema at 9:30. Put some gas in the car, picked up Tony and got there around 10:15. We claimed some choice seats, but not the coveted 4RC (sorry Jay). The films started promptly at 11:00 and ended about 12 hours later.

Michael Clayton: Of the five, the first was my favorite. Nice story structure and satisfying ending. Excellent Soundtrack.

There Will Be Blood: I was really looking forward to this film, but, in many ways, it might be my least favorite. Make no mistake, the film is a worthy watch and Daniel Day Lewis is fantastic. In between films we had a bit of a talk back with people nearby. I was the only one who thought that Paul and Eli were not brothers as Paul had said, but rather the same people. Eli was a bit off his rocker, and it made me think that Paul must have been his "nicer" personality. In the end, this perplexed me, but made perfect sense that Eli thought that Daniel had made the deal with him, and Daniel reminded him that the deal was made with Paul. Anyways, I want to read Upton Sinclair's "Oil!" which the film was based upon. Brilliant Soundtrack.

Atonement: I was not looking forward to this film. In many ways, it was exactly what I thought it was going to be until the last five minutes. And then it all comes together. Seriously, just wait for the ending. Casting did a fantastic job of matching actresses to Briony in her different ages. The evacuation of Dunkirk was surreal, and has a fantastic uncut (apparently) shot that last nearly three minutes. Favorite Soundtrack featuring a type writer as a percussive instrument.

Juno: Like last year's "Little Miss Sunshine," I am a bit perplexed as to why this film was nominated. I really liked it, but when compared with the other films it seemed out a place. You know, "one of these things is not like the other." kinda different. Otherwise, dialogue was smartly written. Utterly forgettable soundtrack.

No Country for Old Men: I really wished they would have not placed this last in the line up. By the end, I could feel myself nodding off during long stretches of dialogue. Very well written dialogue. It was an interesting story, but I am not sure I got it. At first, it seemed to be a very straight forward crime drama with a relentless assassin armed with a very clever weapon. It settles into a chase film and ends up … well, I can't tell you that. But, it doesn't end in the way you think it will. I really don't think I missed it, I just think I was getting to run down to concentrate. Was there a soundtrack?

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Sit Long and Prosper

Today, Tony and I will drive up to the AMC Theater in Hampton, VA for the second annual "2008 Best Picture Showcase." The five Academy Award Nominees will be presented starting with Michael Clayton (11:00 am), There Will Be Blood (1:20 pm), Atonement (4:20 pm), Juno (7:40 pm) and No Country for Old Men (9:00 pm). I am thankful that my wife understands me.

See you tomorrow!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Past the Hurdle

My posting has slacked considerably over the past two weeks. In fact, if you were to look at my Google Reader, other than my good friend's postings, I have a lot of reading to do. Luckily, this is the first President's Day that I have had off, so I hope to clear out my back log. The past two weeks I have been preparing lessons for my small group bible study. Typically, what this means, is that I have a set amount of verses that I will be covering. I then spend my morning time (if I do not get distracted), simply reading the assignment, reading commentaries, reading postings. Essentially, this is what Dr. Maddox taught me to do. Yes, I am doing a bible lesson, not a research paper, but I turn it into research. I spend nearly all day Saturday pulling notes and outlines together into something comprehensible. Sunday afternoon, I review, practice, cull it down and prepare a class outline.

I only wish that I could do this type of "due diligence" with my personal bible study when I know that I am not responsible to a group. I come away with such a deeper understanding, debunked suppositions, challenged assumptions, and sometimes just some very simple beauty that I had never really seen.

A case in point is the character of Barabbas. For me, he had always been that simple stepping stone between Christ and his crucifixion. Barabbas was guilty of his charges (insurrection and murder) and was found guilty. The Chief Priests, Scribes and Elders had tried to pin charges of sedition and insurrection on Christ. Even they could not produce two witnesses that agreed, and after private cross examination, Pilate could not substantiate the charges of kingship.

There you have Barabbas (son of the father) standing next to Jesus. One is about to be let free, even though he is guilty. The other is going to fulfill his purpose in life, even though he is innocent. He takes the place of Barabbas on the cross. And that is when it became clear to me, that Barabbas is me, and he is you. A simple and beautiful picture of what Christ has done for me.

As a side note, Cindy stated that she is glad that she does not have to walk on pins and needles around the house. Come on, I am not that bad! But, the spiritual warfare that comes into my home on Saturday is intense. I get filled with self doubts, a loathing of my research and preparation, and a good old fashion simple fear of failure. My beautiful wife came over to me on Saturday, placed both of her hands upon my shoulders and whispered those four words that I just love to hear "Let's go to Starbucks."


Thursday, February 14, 2008

"I thought that was closer..."

I have not been holding my breath for the next Raiders installment (yeah, I know, but I was there when it came out, and this series will always be Raiders), but I have to admit to the chill bumps popping out when the fanfare started. See ya in May!

**Updated with better quality **

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Smile you son of a …

From time to time, I will post about the passing of a movie actor. Typically, they are somehow connected to Star Wars, but not today. Roy Scheider died Sunday afternoon at the age of 75. For many, Scheider's signature role was Chief Martin Brody in Jaws. Scheider's Brody was the film's everyman, afraid of the water, but ventures out onto the ocean to kill the shark. "Smile you son of a b…." and, of course, "you're going to need a bigger boat" were classic lines. He reprised the role in the sequel, Jaws 2, in which, prior to electrocuting the second shark, exclaims "open wide." Other films that were memorable to me were 2010, Blue Thunder, Marathon Man and The French Connection.

Netflix Roy Scheider Page

IMDB Roy Scheider Page

AICN Roy Scheider Tribute

Tuesday, February 05, 2008


Last year, I went to the AMC Best Picture Showcase. I had a great time watching all five of the nominated Best Pictures back to back. When I look back on last year's pictures, for some reason Little Miss Sunshine and Letters from Iwo Jima stand out more than Babel or The Departed. As much as I liked The Queen, I am not sure that I would watch the film again.

I just saw that AMC is doing it again this year on Saturday, February 23. And, like last year, I have not seen any of the films. There Will Be Blood, Juno and No Country for Old Men look fantastic. I notice this year, they are only doing free large popcorn, and no drink. Hmmm. Perhaps I will bring my extra large coat this year to hide the sodas.

Monday, February 04, 2008


I came across this picture of an outting to Bush Gardens with Mr. Pacific Grits back in the late 90s. The ride is an archeological boat ride through the ruins of Pompey. Fire erupts all around you, and finally you escapae by sliding down a huge ramp making a spectacular splash.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Another Super Bowl

To all you Giant's Fans out there, congratulations. I am sure that author George R. R. Martin will be elated that his beloved Giants beat the Patriots. On the other hand, I left our Super Bowl Party at half time, it was predominately Patriot fans. I volunteered to be the one Giant fan just to make things interesting. All in all, I am glad that it was a good game and not a blow out. I wanted to see the Pats complete a perfect season. Even the commercials were pretty good. I especially liked the Terminators coming out and putting a hurtin' on the robot football dude.

Good Night!

Friday, February 01, 2008

Watch Ben Stein’s Trailer

My cognitive recognition of Ben Stein started with the 1986 movie "Ferris Bueller's Day Off." He played a droning economics teacher with a droll voice. Ben was the author of a commentary about the observance of Christmas that was delivered to my inbox multiple times during the Christmas season – and Snopes confirmed the authenticity of the letter, making this one of the few UL that turned out to be true.

A friend sent a link to his new project, Expelled. The idea is simple – academia encourages the flourish of free thinking, unless you are thinking about Intelligent Design/Creationism. In which case, you suffer the aggression of Neo-Darwanist.

Check it out.