Sunday, December 17, 2006

Are you kidding me?

This has got to be the stupidest thing I have ever seen.

It's no wonder print media is going out of business. Good thing I got my subscription to Time for free. Oh wait, it's on their website too...

Monday, December 11, 2006

Mastodon Rocks!


For some crazy reason, I absolutely love Mastodon!!! And their website address says it all: Mastodon Rocks.

"Leviathan" was an amazing album. I haven't had a lot of time to listen to their new offering, "Blood Mountain" yet (already on the iPod for the gym in the morning), but I have already checked out this song a bunch of times. "Colony of Birchmen" is just a great song. Amazing intricate guitar with not a lot of screaming. And some great vocal harmonies to boot. Still, not for the faint of heart.

Check out the "Birchmen" video. If you dare...

This week's sign of the Apocalypse

Unbelievable. But, in this day and age, unfortunately becoming the norm...

Saturday, November 25, 2006

It's all in the terminology...

Leave it to PETA to focus on the important things, namely this.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Here ya go...

Amy, this is just for you!!! I am blogging once again!

If there is anyone out there that actually still reads this blog, I am going to attempt some regularly-scheduled blogging on various current events and the upcoming Winter Movie Season.

So, hi to the whole Philly Clan. We'll be down to crash on your couch in April and see if I can't get a picture with King Tut.

Maybe they'll let me crawl in the sarcophagus with him...

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Philly here I come!!!


April is a ways off, but it is never to early to start planning our trip to Philadelphia, PA this spring to see our friends the Bookers and to see...

King Tut!!!!


I wonder if they will let me get in the saracophagus to get a picture with him. I kinda doubt it...

Jericho to bite the dust?

I read an Ass-ociated Press article in my local paper about shows that are likely to bite the dust early in the Fall '06, and one of my new favorites Jericho was listed. The writer said the show was "too dark" and depressing and not likey to survive because of this.

I hope he's wrong.

After watching the first episode, I had goose bumps. The premise of the show is that in the small town of Jericho, Kansas, small town life is at its best. Prodigal son Jake returns home in time for a nuclear mushroom cloud to be seen in the distance. The first show focuses on the first 18 hours after the bomb blast. A group of school kids goes missing, an empty prison bus is found on the side of the road, and the townsfolk already start turning on each other. The tension is palpable.

The last scene of the show shows the character Emily driving to Witchita to pick up her hubby-to-be. The road seems to be very bumpy and she pulls over to find out what the problem is. Waiting for her are hundreds of dead crows littering the road. I had the chills.

Like most great shows, if they don't pull in the ratings they get cancelled. I hope this isn't the case with Jericho.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Planet Earth


Now that I am teaching Earth Science, I am ever watchful for cool shows that highlight the amazing creation that we inhabit. Believe it or not, CBC has got an amazing documentary going right now called Planet Earth.

I've unfortunately missed the first two parts of the five part series, but was able to watch Freshwater last night, and am currently watching Caves.

Up next week: Deserts!

Great series. Visually rich and with great narration by David Attenborough.

Highway Companion


In addition to a free pound of Starbucks coffee (oh boy!!!), my sister-in-law got me the new Tom Petty album for my birthday.

Pretty good album overall considering I am not a huge Petty fan. Highlights include the rocker Saving Grace, Square One, Flirting with Time and Turn this Car Around.

Great gift, but if I was buying it myself, I would download these four songs from iTunes and call it good

Willie's at it again....

Willie Nelson, now 73, is smokin' the wacky-tabacky again and got cited for it:

Willie Nelson and four others were issued misdemeanor citations for possession of narcotic mushrooms and marijuana after a traffic stop Monday morning on a Louisiana highway, state police said.

That Toby Keith song that goes "I'll never smoke weed with Willie again" comes to mind...

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Wild Blue Yonder


Being my birthday and all, I went to Border's got myself a new graphic novel, Marvel Knights Spider-Man: Wild Blue Yonder.

While the cover is nothing to write home about (the cover of issue #13) with Wolverine supposedly hitting on MJ, the addage "don't judge a book by its cover" really comes into play here.

When you actually get into the meat of the book, it is awesome! Great story featuring the Absorbing Man aka Crusher Creel, the Owl (weak character in my opinion), the Fantastic Four and the Avengers.

This is a well done series with great art by Billy Tan and Mark Buckingham, and a story written by Hollywook heavyweight Reginal Hudlin (House Party, Boomerang). Well worth the purchase.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

I'm all hooked up...

Well, the wireless home network is now functional and secure!!! No cheap buggers stealing my signal and I can sit in bed and blog!!!

So, I now have my Apple Macbook Pro (I still love to say that), a Targus Tornado Chill Mat, and my Belkin wireless. I was a bit sceptical of the Chill Mat at first, but the results were instantaneous. The Pro radiates a lot, and I mean a lot, of heat (this doesn't help), and the mat pulls it right off and keeps that beautiful Titanium chassis nice and cool.

So hear I sit wireless, happy, and watching Antiques Roadshow.

OK. Two outta three ain't bad...

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Five new dramas worth your time this fall

MSNBC highlights five new dramas for fall that they have deemed worthy of watching this fall. Here is the list:

"Six Degrees"
"Heroes"
"Jericho"
"The Nine"
"Kidnapped"

While all five sound appealing, the two I am going to sink my teeth into are "Jericho" and "Heroes".

How can you go wrong with super-powers and nuclear blasts?

Monday, September 11, 2006

9/11

9/11 remembered. Let us a nation and the world never forget what happened five years ago on this date.

Where were you five years ago when you heard the news that our nation had been attacked? What did you feel? Anger. Fear. Sorrow. I felt all of those emotions and think we should always keep those feelings close at hand as we think about those cowardly individuals that would attack not only our beloved country but all nations throughout the world that love and embrace freedom.

Take time today to remember those who died on that awful day, in the attack and those awesome first responders that also gave their lives. Also take time to pray for those not only from our country but those from all over the world fighting for freedom and democracy in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the rest of the world.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Blogging also ensues because...

...I got one of these bad boys!!!

Just in case you thought I died...

...I really didn't.

There are a few factors contributing to the complete lack of posting during August without the slightest warning or update. I must confess, one was the complete lack of any desire to do so. Just didn't want to sit down long enough to write even a mere sentence. "Taking August off. Be back soon." That would have been easy right?

The second reason and more understandable is the fact that after 10 years with the same employer I decided to stretch my wings and took a new job with a couple of guys I know from church that run an alternative ed program. So I am now working with and teaching high school kids. And I am scared out of my wits. But I serve a big God, and know that I am in the right place and that Jesus is in the back of the boat when the storm rages and the seas get rough.

But even with having the God of infinite power on board, I have still had some major stress (mostly self imposed), so therefore most of my free time of late has been put into prepping for classes.

Another rough patch in August (the first day of our vacation in fact) was that my dear old cat that I have had for nine years and had reached the ripe old age of 17 died in his sleep. Rest in peace old buddy.

On the flip side, the kitten Tut has become very sweet. Likes to spend time with us. I know that he misses Leo, but I think he likes not being chased off the bed.

Plus, Halo Live still rocks!!!!!!!!

My wife has also had me working hard on her honey do list! New kitchen cabnets for the the tenants, bathroom sink for our bathroom (although that project has not gone as well as planned!) and a new kitchen floor! But, she is happy :)

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Liz who?

Let us turn out attention ever so briefly to motorsports. If I walked into a room and said, "Danica Patrick" out loud, the chances are someone would know who she is whether they are a race fan or not.

What about Liz Halliday? Ever heard of her? With a win this weekend at Portland, she has become the winningest female in American Lemans Racing with 6 career wins. She wants to be the first woman to win the 24 Hours of Lemans. And not only is she an incredible racer, but she competes in Equestrian events and want to gold medal with the USA Olympic Team.

Why don't we hear about her in the news?
Well, we've just returned from our annual weekend at Peaks-Kenney state park. Beautiful place with great campsites, a nice beach, and running water (if I have to cut the technological umbilical, I at least want to shower and so forth).

This is the point where I usually post all kinds of pictures from the weekend. I really didn't take any. It rained a couple of times and it was mostly overcast, so nothing really struck me as being particularly photogenic. Even though I saw a Pileated Woodpecker doing his thing. It is the first one I have seen in the wild. I know, I live in Maine, it is mostly wilderness. But I live in the city and large woodpeckers just don't seem to hang on out the telephone pole across the street.

Nice trip overall.

Friday, July 07, 2006

It's that time again

It's Friday night, summertime, and it's Bangor. It can only mean one thing...

Time for free movies downtown courtesy of River City Cinema!!!

This week's movie: Foreign Correspondent



Foreign Correspondent (1940) is another of director Alfred Hitchcock's spy thrillers. It was his second American film (and hired out by David O. Selznick to independent producer Walter Wanger), one that closely resembles his earlier British films: The 39 Steps (1935) and The Lady Vanishes (1937). Originally, the screenplay was based on Vincent Sheean's best-selling autobiographical memoir Personal History, but then it evolved into an original story/screenplay (crafted by screenwriter Charles Bennett and Joan Harrison). (Additional dialogue was added to the screenplay by novelist James Hilton and Robert Benchley and many other uncredited scriptwriters.) It was touted as "The Thrill Spectacle of the Year!"

The propagandistic tale of international intrigue from United Artists, involves a hard-headed, but relatively inexperienced American crime reporter and foreign correspondent caught in the political turmoil of Europe just before the outbreak of World War II (August, 1939). He becomes embroiled in the duplicitous activities of a peace organization operating as a spy ring. The film is best remembered for a number of memorable scenes, including a political assassination in the rain on the steps of the Amsterdam Town Hall, and a trans-Atlantic clipper plane crash.

The under-rated, enjoyable film didn't receive any Academy Awards, but it was nominated for six Oscars: Best Picture (producer Walter Wanger), Best Supporting Actor (Albert Bassermann who learned all his dialogue phonetically), Best Original Screenplay, Best B/W Art Direction (Alexander Golitzen), Best Special Effects (Thomas T. Moulton and Paul Eagler) and Best B/W Cinematography (Rudolph Mate). In the same year, Hitchcock was nominated for Best Director for the Best Picture-winning film Rebecca (1940) - his first American film.

The festivities start at around 8:30 at Pickering Square. Bring a lawn chair and enjoy the show!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Strawberry Pickin'


Josh Alves and TLC puts our favourite Australian naturalist out at Tate's doing some berry pickin...

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

A Whirlwind Few Weeks

Blogging...is...a...challenge....

What a extremely busy few weeks, and not all for good reasons.

We mourned the passing of my wife's grandfather:

OTIS - Ray S. Leavitt, 82, husband of the late Jane M. (Gilmore)
Leavitt, died June 21, 2006, at a Bangor healthcare facility after a brief
illness. He was born Oct. 3, 1923, in Mexico, Maine, the son of Lester L. and Hilma M. (Piper)Leavitt.
Ray was a U.S. Army veteran serving during World War II. He married Jane Sept. 14, 1946, and together they raised their four children in Hampden. Ray was a 57-year member of IUOE Local No. 4 Operating Engineers, and worked on many industrial
projects throughout Maine over his working career. Ray was a past member of the Masons and the Kora Shriners. Ray held many fond memories of his early morning visits at the Otis General Store and hunting seasons spent at his camp in Dixmont. Jane and Ray enjoyed many years together at Beech Hill Pond and their winters in Florida during retirement.

On a happier note, the Mrs. and I just celebrated our six year anniversary!

This was how we spent our special day: Margarita's for dinner (Peter, Grammy Garcia's homemade flour tortillas are way better!), then we hit the Dollar Tree trying to kill an hour before Superman Returns started.

Yes, I know, where has the romance gone...

Yet to come, fireworks pictures and all about our trip across the "DMZ" to watch them.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

New Music

"The Wreckers"!!!



Incredible album! These girls are very talented and there is a song on this album for everyone, whether you are a little country or a little bit pop. The highlights are "Leave the Pieces" and "The Good Kind", but every song on this album is great. Download the whole thing because you won't be disappointed.

Michelle Branch and Jessica Harp harmonize amazingly with each other and actually sound so much alike you really can't tell who is who without really listening. Great music and great lyrics as well. You'll forget these girls are both in their early 20's.

Got rid of the Dixie Chicks due to their political tirades? The Wreckers will fill that void quite nicely...

Photo Blogging

Figured it was the time to post some photo resto stuff just to prove that I am doing something besides playing Xbox.

Here is a before/after picture of a photo I redid for a friend. I cropped the picture which got rid of some of the most damaged areas, plus it made the scene less busy and directed your attention to the building.

I repaired the fence, put some grass in and retouched the faded parts, lovingly brick by brick...

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Crying


This week's Taste Like Chicken by the one and only Josh Alves!

Make sure to check out his blog to see his other art projects. Plenty of sketches this week.

3 AM...

...And for some reason I'm wide awake. So I guess this is as good a time to start blogging again.

It has come to light as of late that people I know actually read my little blog, so I guess I better start writing.

And what a week it has been. Work has been insane. A cruel, despicable monster has finally elimated. Forza Motorsports has made it into the Xbox collection, which in combination with Halo 2 on Live has crippled any desire to blog.

I've looked high and low to find a Dashboard Widget for the FIFA Word Cup that updates you with scores and news. Surprisingly, nothing yet...

Searched for X-Men (comic not movie) desktop backgrounds and found few of them as well.

The little buddy Esther weighs in on the ongoing discussion about how inappropriate My Space can be and on the general state of teenagers today.

The NHL Stanley Cup finals are on. The Edmonton Oilers versus the Caroline Hurricanes. Go figure. Yeah, I guess the NHL still exists. But do we care? I used to be the biggest hockey fan. I survived the '94 (was that the year) strike. Apparently not this one.

We'll get political for a second. I'm trying to figure out who to vote for to be Maine's next governor. Surprisingly, I found a Wikipedia article listing the candidates. Non of them look good, especially incumbent Democratic candidate John Baldacci. Is it too late for me to get the needed signatures to get on the ballot...

Alright boys and girls, this was a long rambling post, but at least I wrote something. It is now 4:00 AM. Too early to play Xbox?

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Something Fishy


Here it is at last, this week's Tastes Like Chicken by Josh Alves.

Gives new meaning to going through the drive thru...

Friday, May 26, 2006

The Last Stand

Alright, limited blogging will ensue.

Going to see X-Men: The Last Stand tonight. I'll post after the film with thoughts, but this film has some major potential. MSNBC has a nice little interactive that gives you some information about the different characters not only in this movie but the previous two.

New to this film are Juggernaut, Kitty Pryde (Shadowcat) and my all time favorite, Colossus.

I also have to note that instead of going to our local theater, which is getting ridiculously expensive, we are going to drive about 10 minutes up I95 to Spotlight Cinemas, where you can catch a first run film very reasonably and also get snacks without taking a second mortgage on the homestead.

Update: The movie was awesome! No spoilers here. I'll leave it up to you to see the movie. The effects were amazing. The only real problem I had with the movie was with what the writers did to a couple of characters.

Ratner, in my opinion, did a great job considering he had to follow in Bryan Singers footsteps, which is a hard act to follow. The movie looked great even though it was a little choppy.

This reviewer thought that Ratner killed the film and that being a mutant in the movie can be a metaphor for homosexuality. What movie did this guy watch, Brokeback Mountain? John Hartl, get a life.

I can't wait to see it again. Fabulous! Worth the full price of admission!

Friday, May 19, 2006

You know the drill...

Yeah, yeah, I know. You've heard this before. No posting in a while.

Well, life have been incredibly busy the last couple of weeks with work and personal stuff. Also, I've picked up a case of DeQuervain's Syndrome as a result of too much typing and well, too much Xbox. Therefore, I'm doing as little typing as possible with plenty of icing, stretching and rest. Therefore no blogging. You can see where this is going.

Off to a wedding rehearsal and dinner tonight. Wedding tomorrow with the reception to follow at the Penobscot Valley Country Club. Should be a good time, especially when we start getting rowdy...

Just reading through the Chronicles of Narnia, which I almost ashamed to say I have never done before. And what I have been missing out on. More to come on this later. All I can say is that if you are a fantasy fan, and never read them, you should. Good stuff!

Friday, May 05, 2006

Irons Sharpens Iron Update

Sorry this update is late in the coming, but like most weeks, this one has been busy.

As you will see in this post, I was heading to Portsmouth, New Hampshire this past weekend to attend the Iron Sharpens Iron conference being held at Bethany Church (amazing facility by the way!).

So I can keep this post relavitely short and focus on the positive, I am going to give you the highlights of the conference for me.

The first was the morning session speaker, Ted Roberts. This guy is an ex-marine fighter pilot and is as real as it gets. If Ted was leading the charge on the very gates of Hell himself, I'd be right there with him.

The other real hightlight for me was Paul Coughlin and the Good Guy Rebellion. In his book, No More Christian Nice Guy, he really strikes at the heart of the matter that being "nice" isn't always a good thing, often leading to fear and passivity, and that being "good" is another thing altogether, and what we should be striving to be.

Men weren't created to by fearful and passive, but are slowly being emasculated by pop culture and believe it or not, the church. Jesus wasn't always "nice", but he is "good". Read the Gospel of Mark to see this in action.

Of course, that doesn't give us men the excuse to be jerks, but his book is really a great guide for living to our true Godly potential.

I have to say it was a great weekend overall and look forward to attending next year.

Make Like a Tree...


Josh Alves latest!!! And in color no less. Weekly readers only got black and white.

Ah, the power of the Web...

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Macs are now susceptible to viruses?

There have been Mac viruses for years, but apparently Mac users are just more creative and don’t have time to mess around with self-propagating viruses that cripple your computer.

The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW), details what the virus really is and as usual, the Main-Stream-Media is late to the party:

Several people have emailed us to point out that CNN is featuring an AP story about the 'first Mac virus' on their front page. It looks like CNN is a little late to the party, since the Mac web already reported about this way back in February. Damien wrote that, 'The bottom line is that this really seems to be a proof-of-concept trojan more than an actual "in the wild, self-propagating" virus. So yeah, it's certainly very interesting, but I'm not about to start watching for the sky to fall.'

The virus detailed in the CNN story is (though they never call it by name) Oompa-Loompa, as coined by Andrew Welch. You get this trojan (it isn't really a virus) by downloading a file that promises to give you a sneak peek at Leopard. You must then decompress the file, and then click on the resulting decompressed file. At that point an application runs that does a variety of things that Andrew details much better than I can.

I wonder what took the AP so long to sensationalize this little 'virus'?


I’ve been a mac user for at least a decade, and have never had a virus. Go figure…

How Opal Mehta got pulled from the shelves…

Copy or coincidence? Now, while I certainly don’t condone plagiarism (who would?), I wonder if this really is a case of prolific plagiarism or just a young impressionable kid emulating other authors that she enjoys.

I wonder, if you took all the books published in the world and compared them by genre, how many would truly have “similar” wording and phrases. I mean, c’mon, there is no new thing under sun.

Is she guilty? I don’t really know, and don’t much care really. If people want to read it, let them read it. Don’t pull it off the shelves. Don’t kill her deal. Let the readers decide. That could be death enough for her writing by itself.

Give her a chance to pen the second book. It might be all original work, even though I kind of doubt it.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Iron Sharpens Iron

I'm leaving this afternoon to travel to Portsmouth, New Hampshire to attend the Iron Sharpens Iron conference this weekend, and I am extremely excited.

While the conference is on Saturday, a group of men from our church are headed down tonight to stay over. We'll do the conference tomorrow, stay tomorrow night, attend church in N.H. Sunday morning and then head back home. I am looking forward to some great fellowship with the other guys and with God.

Tunes are essential for any road trip, and I just got Passion: Everything Glorious which will definitely go in the CD player. The newest Passion album features live worship tunes from the likes of Chris Tomlin, David Crowder, Charlie Hall, and Matt Redman.

Incredible music. These guys are not only incredible musicians, but they truly have a heart for God. But, this isn't old-school worship, or even like previous Passion albums. This one rocks! Crowder is just amazing! Well worth checking out.

Tastes Like Chicken


The latest from Josh Alves. A good commentary on the high price of gas and what it might take to get some in the days ahead.

Put another tally in nature's win column

What is this week's animal struggle against the inventions of mankind? Crocodile "wins" tussle with chainsaw:

SYDNEY, Australia - A 14.5-foot crocodile mauled a chainsaw a worker was using Friday to clear up debris left by a tropical storm that lashed northern Australia. While the croc and worker were both uninjured, the saw's woodcutting days are over.

Monday, April 24, 2006

"Get out of here"

This is the actual Hebrew definition of TomKat's new baby girl. Named "Suri", a Cruise family spokesperson said that the name had its origin in ancient Hebrew. This is puzzling the Israelis.

“I really don’t know what they were thinking when they chose this name. It’s a term that denotes expulsion, like ‘Get out of here’,” said Gideon Goldenberg, a linguistics professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. “It’s pretty blunt.”


Suri is a name that spans cultures, and it quite nice in other tongues rather than Hebrew, such as Persian, in which it means "Rose".

TomKat should have done some more research before they claimed a native tongue to the name.

Appalachian Impressions

The Mrs. and I just finished watching Appalachian Impression: Hiking the Appalachian Trail by Flagler Films. I got interested in the AT after reading A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson.

I was pleasantly surprised by the incredible professional feel of this video. I think they did a great job of taking a look at the beauty of the 2,173 miles of the AT, while letting people know what an incredibly difficult task it is to thru-hike.

I must admit, for a fleeting moment I had grandious thoughts of hiking the entire thing. I know that this is complete foolishness, and the deal was clinched when they showed someone in the video flicking off his big toenail because they had all rotted off. Uh huh, no 2,200 miles hikes through the woods for me.

Someday I might do "the one hundred miles" trek in Maine, but that is in the distant future.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Sorry for the lack of posts

My wife and I are vacation this week, so I really haven't had a lot of time to sit down at the compter and connect the information umbilical. Nor have I really had a desire...

The Mrs. and I had a complete movie fest yesterday, starting early and ending late. We watched five movies yesterday (yes, my eyes are bleeding...). Here they are:

Dreamer- Excellent movie well worth a rental. Kurt Russell is always enjoyable and Dakota Fanning is just an amazing actor.

The Brothers Grimm- Another good one, well worth watching. Great take on the Brothers Grimm. Elements of the classic tales are woven throughout. Plus, Heath Ledger and Matt Damon had great chemistry.

Valiant- Complete and pleasant surprise. Animation was great. Good story. Well worth the time spent.

Chicken Little
- Good flick, but not what I expected it to be.

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
- Did the actors pay for this movie, or did they get paid to make it? I'm sure they are paying for it somehow. Any funny scene there was, it was in the trailer. It had lots of potential, I mean, c'mon, the cast includes Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, Owen Wilson, Willem Dafoe and Cate Blanchette, but it was a horrid movie. Good thing it was only $1!

Of course, there has been plenty of Halo 2 on Xbox Live. Maybe even some tonight! The Mrs. has joined the fray, and boy, is she good with a rocket launcher! She is getting good with the sniper, which even I can't use.

All right, I'm off to enjoy the rest of my vacation. The grind is going to return next week to smack me right in the face...

Sunday, April 16, 2006

He is Risen!

Happy Easter everyone! While the Easter Bunny is a fun little fable for the kids, the real reason for Easter is to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, come to this Earth as a sacrifice for each of us, to be a victor over death and sin, which we are born into. Today we celebrate Christ's death and resurrection from that death.

The account of Jesus' resurrection from Matthew 28:

Matthew 28

The Resurrection
1After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.

2There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. 4The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.

5The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. 7Then go quickly and tell his disciples: 'He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.' Now I have told you."

8So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9Suddenly Jesus met them. "Greetings," he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. 10Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me."

The Guards' Report
11While the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. 12When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money, 13telling them, "You are to say, 'His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.' 14If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble." 15So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day.
The Great Commission
16Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

Christians, today is a day of joy and celebration, because we have a risen Lord that seeks and saves.

If you are reading this today and don't know Christ the Risen Lord and want to have a personal relationship with him, you can.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Good Friday

Not much time for blogging this week as Good Friday and Easter approach. Our church is having a communion service on Good Friday and two services on Easter, so I have been very involved with the music portions of these services, both in picking music and playing.

Hopefully more to come later today.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Katie Couric look alike?

As most of the world probably knows by now, Katie Couric, "America's Sweetheart", is leaving the NBC Today show to anchor the CBS News, and Meredith Vieira has been chosen as her successor.

Is anybody else completely irritated by this? I've talked to plenly of Today Show faithful's that are. What was NBC thinking? Why not hire from within?

Because they were looking for a Katie Couric doppleganger, and they found it with Vieira. Do these two look a lot alike, or is it just me?


What about these other talented women that already work for NBC and in particular, the Today Show?



I have been saying for years that Ann Curry should be the co-anchor with Matt Lauer. Ann and Matt have a great chemistry. Why wasn't she given the nod? Natalie Morales would also be a great choice. Campbell Brown, who co-anchors with Lester Holt on the weekends was passed up why? Because they wanted another bouncy blond to try and lure morning viewers? I watch the Today Show despite Katie Couric, not because of her.

Vieira, whose recent gigs include "The View" and "Who Wants to be a Millionaire", isn't going to be half the news prescence at NBC that Couric was.

A poor choice in my opinion.

"Casablanca" top screenplay

The Writer's Guild named Casablanca the best screenplay ever. And I don't blame them. My wife and I watched Casablanca for the first time ever last weekend, and I was blown away. They don't make movies like that anymore, and that isn't necessarily a good thing. It had a great story, action, exotic locale, and well, Bogart and Bergman, a killer duo.

Sure, compared to today's glitzy blockbust movie standards, it was lacking. Unfortunately, modern movies often rely on over-the-top effects and scenes to carry the movie. The screenplay lacks. Not so with Casablanca. An amazing story and the writing team of Epstein, Epstein, and Koch nailed it, despite many obstacles. I plan to add this movie to the collection ASAP.

Oh, by the way, the Writer's Guild also picked out 100 other movies with the "Best Ever" claim. Here is the top 10:

1. CASABLANCA
Screenplay by Julius J. & Philip G. Epstein and Howard Koch. Based on the play "Everybody Comes to Rick's" by Murray Burnett and Joan Alison

2. THE GODFATHER
Screenplay by Mario Puzo and Francis Ford Coppola. Based on the novel by Mario Puzo

3. CHINATOWN
Written by Robert Towne

4. CITIZEN KANE
Written by Herman Mankiewicz and Orson Welles

5. ALL ABOUT EVE
Screenplay by Joseph L. Mankiewicz. Based on "The Wisdom of Eve," a short story and radio play by Mary Orr

6. ANNIE HALL
Written by Woody Allen and Marshall Brickman

7. SUNSET BLVD.
Written by Charles Brackett & Billy Wilder and D.M. Marshman, Jr.

8. NETWORK
Written by Paddy Chayefsky

9. SOME LIKE IT HOT
Screenplay by Billy Wilder & I.A.L. Diamond. Based on "Fanfare of Love," a German film written by Robert Thoeren and M. Logan

10. THE GODFATHER II
Screenplay by Francis Ford Coppola and Mario Puzo. Based on Mario Puzo's novel "The Godfather"

Read the rest of the list here.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Jesus walks on ice?

These days it seems to be the in thing too once again try to debunk the divinity of Jesus Christ. Michael Baigent has a book out about just that. Most I’ve talked too have determined that he is just plain crazy and has no proof, just tons of speculation. At least he is making some cash right?

So here is yet another attempt to man Jesus merely a man. Did Jesus walk on water? Or ice? Some scientist now seem to think there was a chance that He found an ice patch:

Rare conditions could have conspired to create hard-to-see ice on the Sea of Galilee that a person could have walked on back when Jesus is said to have walked on water, a scientist reported Tuesday.

The study, which examines a combination of favorable water and environmental conditions, proposes that Jesus could have walked on an isolated patch of floating ice on what is now known as Lake Kinneret in northern Israel.

Um, right. Now here is what the book of John has to say:

John 6:18-20 (New International Version)

18. A strong wind was blowing and the waters grew rough. 19. When they had rowed three or three and a half miles,[a] they saw Jesus approaching the boat, walking on the water; and they were terrified. 20. But he said to them, "It is I; don't be afraid."

So, if you believe the Bible, and I do, the boys were three or so miles out in the boat on choppy seas. I believe that the fully divine Jesus walked on the water to the disciples in the boat.

But, just for the sake of argument, let's say it was ice. I'd say it still falls into the miracle category to ride a piece of ice miles out into the Sea of Galilea on some majorly choppy water. And on top of that he used the "ice patch" to get to the boat and got in (John 6:19).

Friday, March 31, 2006

So, where we gonna eat tonight?

According to a Discovery Channel news post, cockroaches make group decisions. Like what I suppose? Maybe something like this:

Where we gonna eat tonight? The two week old pizza molding on the counter, the three week old spaghetti sauce in the pot on the stove, or are we going to slide under the sink and get some drinks and meet up with some ladies?

Thursday, March 30, 2006

SPACE.com: Noah’s Ark

Wouldn’t it be really something if Noah’s Ark was actually discovered? Rumors and speculations have circulated for years about the Ark’s location and supposed existence, but new satellite images may help solve the mystery.

I know the chances of a wooden boat thousands of years old that came to rest on Mt. Ararat and has somehow been preserved is a long shot, but again, wouldn’t it be cool?

Here is a photo from SPACE.com:



The “anomaly” kinda looks like what we stereotypically think of as the ark…

Lost-Lockdown

Great episode last night! After weeks of reruns and some lackluster episodes, the land of the Lost returns in force.

MSNBC’s wrap up is here.

Lots happened last night, but the thing that blew my mind was the diagram that was revealed on the wall when Locke was pinned under the door. Here is a diagram (via http://lost.cubit.net):




It seems to be a map of the different hatches located on the island. What really intrigued me was the Latin phrases littering the map. I had the awesome idea to translate the phrases (I took two years of Latin in college), but someone beat me to it. Thanks to Onemorelostfan at the ABC General Lost Boards. Here is a breakdown of the phrases:

Aegrescit medendo - The disease worsens with the treatment. The remedy is worse than the disease

hic sunt dracones - which translates to, here are dragons. These simple, etched words signified the end of "discovered" lands, words warning sailors of the uncertainty and dangers of the unknown. This warning held many a brave man in check but for a select few; it issued a silent challenge to push forward. These men recognized the fact that no true opportunity or progress can come without risk. They were willing to face their dragons.

Credo nos in fluctu eodem esse - I think we're on the same wavelength

Ut sit magna, tamen certe lenta ira deorum est - " The wrath of the gods may be great, but it certainly is slow

sursum corda. - 'lift up your hearts'

Malum consilium quod mutari non potest - It's a bad plan that can't be changed.

Now this is the kind of complexity I expect from the Lost writers each week. I can't wait to see how this diagram comes in to play over the remainder of the season.

But, the real question is: Will Locke tell anyone about this?

Clowns are Evil


And here are five bad clowns to prove it:

1. Krusty the Klown- The Simpsons
2. Pennywise- Stephen King’s It
3. Homey D. Clown- In Living Color
4. The Joker- Batman
5. Jack I. Box- Jack in the Box resteraunts

There you have it. These clowns put the creepy in “Creepy Clowns”.

Good News out of Iraq

Islamic Extremists have released American hostage Jill Carroll, of the Christian Science Monitor, after 3 months of captivity. She is healthy (physically anyway) and glad to be free.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

I'm Back!

The long, dry trek through the broadband-less wasteland is officially over!

What I thought was going to be a week turned out to be a whole lot longer. But, I have faster download speeds than I had before and I'm saving a ton of money!!!

Plus I'm going local and stickin' it to the man...

A lot has happened since I last blessed the internet with my thoughts (probably there aren't any readers left to peruse my pages...).

Buck Owens, Stanislaw Lem, Judy Blume, and Kasper Weinberger all died.

An Afghan Christian was on trial because he converted to Christianity. Off with his head (isn't that the answer to everything...).

The DaVinci Code is on trial being sued by Michael Baigent, the same man who just released his book The Jesus Papers. Baigent claims to have proof that Jesus denied his own divinity, didn't die on the cross and resurrect from the dead, and went on to live a long life on this earth with his wife Mary Magdelene. Uh-huh. Right. A long rant is coming on this one, just getting together some materials.

But here is the big story to lead off the triumphant return to blogging: Psycho kitty terrorizes neighbors.

The persecuted kitty's blog might go something like this:

March 30, 2006,

Day 206 of captivity. Implemented Plan Delta as the strange lady that brings horrible smelling fluids into the house approached bringing more foul torture devices to torment me, much to my captor's delight.

I taught her a thing or two. But for some reason I can't go out of the house lately...

Monday, March 13, 2006

Be back in a week or so

I'm changing ISPs, so I will be offline for at least 7 to 10 days. At least that is what the new company said.

I'm hoping it is more like 30 minutes or so...

Ultraviolet

The Mrs. and I are going to see Ultraviolet tonight. It looks visually enticing, seems like it has a good story, and c'mon, it's got Milla Jovovich!!!

I'll let you know how it turns out.

The book funk is at least over…

I just finished reading Contest by Matt Reilly. Quick and entertaining read. It was his freshman effort and you can tell. Definitely not at good as Ice Station, but still as quick paced.

What happens when you throw 7 contestants into the New York Public Library to compete in the Presidian? Complete mayhem!!! 7 may enter, but only one can leave the victor. The reward for winning: your life!

Great little romp.

No if only the blog funk would come to an end..

Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons…



Last month, the book club at work was reading A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson. I had never been involved with the book club before, which is all women, so when they decided to read a book about the Appalachian Trail, I figured I could get into it. It was a great book, and the discussion was interesting as well.

I had a good time and was eagerly anticipating the next book the club would read. My excitement was short lived when I heard we would be reading Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons. I judged the book by its title, figuring it would be about a bunch of man-hating wives getting together to rail about their husbands.

I am glad to say I was very wrong. I told the group I would try a couple of chapters, and if I didn’t like it, I was out for this month. I read a couple of chapters and I was immediately hooked.

Written by Lorna Landvik, the book is about the lives of these women, which makes it extremely interesting. The story follows the lives of the Freesia Court book club, know as Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons, over a thirty year period. We see children born and grow up, husbands leave, and characters come to grip with life events they thought were insurmountable. It is not a book about women bashing and putting down men. Even though there was one husband that upon his introduction in the story you knew he was a mean, nasty, foul creature that would sully the good name of any and all men out there. However, even that scenario plays itself out well in the end.

I identified with Faith, who I would say is the main character of the book. In an effort to come to grips with her troubled past, she begins writing letters to her dead mother, who was a raging alcoholic. Over 30 years the process is very cathartic. I am also the child of an alcoholic, and at one point in my life in an attempt to deal with issues I had with my father, I turned to writing. I kept a journal, often addressing Dad and writing to him, and found it extremely helpful in dealing with my baggage.

This was an excellent story that kept me interested in the characters and their experiences. I highly recommend reading it.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Death of a blog

Well, I haven’t blogged in a while, and honestly I have had little desire. As I look at the news each day, nothing grabs me, not even this hairy crustacean.



But, here is a vain attempt at some less than deep thought.

I don’t think the much-hyped Origami is going to be as big a seller as Microsoft hopes. Why, you ask? Well, for me, because it runs Windows XP. When Apple creates a portable, handheld computer, we’ll talk.



This story really shouldn’t surprise anyone: Negative Perceptions of Islam Growing.

Well, when you have predominately Islamic countries like Iran wanting to build nukes and cause the U.S. “pain”, it’s hard to portray what should be a peaceful religion as that. When you have Muslims rioting over Danish cartoons (just an excuse for violence, when there should be forgiveness), and Iraqis blowing each other up, it is kind of hard to feel the love. The Middle East is just waiting to tear itself apart. Like most groups, the Muslim majority that is peaceful is getting the shaft from the violent lunatics. It isn’t the first time that the many are negatively effected by the few.

Now on to game time, and this seems as good a time for a rant as any.

As any reader of this blog knows (I know you are few), I have been devoting too much time to playing Halo 2 on Xbox Live. While I thoroughly enjoy the game, I have to say, the people that tend to play it can lean toward the reprobate side of things. When I play a ranked Rumble Pit game, I tend to leave my headset unplugged and enjoy the action. Today, I made the mistake of plugging in to give a listen. I was assaulted by some of the foulest language and demeaning comments I could possibly conceive. I hate to say it, but I was so taken aback it threw me a little off my game, obviously the goal of these foul-mouthed teens.

Was I surprised? Sadly no. This seems to be the norm. Apparently, some members of the Halo community have 1.) way too much time on their hands, 2.) no social lives outside of online gaming, because they certainly don’t have any social skills, and 3.) are hard-wired badly or Mom and Dad failed somewhere in teaching manners to their offspring.

Will this keep me from gaming online? Heck no! I enjoy the down and dirty play as a single in the Pit, but the real fun comes when I get on with my friends, either my local pals or the people of Seasoned Gamers.

In fact, I think there will be a little community of my fellow well-mannered, older gamers on tonight for a little action in the Pit.

Fun with Mr. Potatohead


Latest Tastes Like Chicken by the one and only Josh Alves!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

In Bit of a Blog Funk

In addition to being in a complete book slump, I am in a blog slump as well. As I peruse the internet each day for interesting tidbits, I just can't seem to find any. Maybe they are hiding. Maybe I am currently living under a large rock in what has become the Frozen Tundra of Maine (went from 50 degrees to -10 in one fell swoop). Cabin fever finally sets in.

I have been busy though. I just finished writing my first worship song. I hope to put a rough cut into Garageband this weekend, and then with the help of the worship team at church put some finishing touches to it, like some vocal harmonies and some guitar fills.

The book club at work has decided to read this gem, and are looking for me to input my male perspective.

I've read the first chapter and no emotional vomitting yet...

Howl’s Moving Castle

This post is not totally precipitated by the release of Howl’s Moving Castle on DVD March 7th. It is actually because I just read the book, which was amazing.

While perusing the local paper, I came across a review of HMC, where the writer lauded the film by celebrated director Hayao Miyazaki as amazing. While muttering out loud about how I needed to see the movie, a very knowledgeable co-worker says to me, “Did you know that it was a book written some time ago and was made into a movie. The book is amazing. I have it if you want to read it.”

I quickly and eagerly agreed since I am in sort of a book funk. The usual suspects (books I reread often) hold no appeal, and nothing was jumping out at me, so this book suggestion came at a great time.

A brief synopsis of the book written by Melissa Hyland (from Nausicca.net):

Howl's Moving Castle is based in a slightly fantasy setting, in that magic
fantastical creatures and many fairy-tale conventions exist. The heroine is
Sophie, who lives with her step-mother and two step-sisters after her father
dies, leaving them his hat-shop. Since they are very poor, the step-mother
decides it would be best to send to of the daughters away where they can be
assured of a good start in life. In fairytale convention, the youngest child
will always suceed best when seeking their fortune, so the youngest daughter
Martha is sent to learn magic with a friendly white witch, while the middle
daughter Lettie begins an apprenticeship with the local baker. Sophie, the
eldest, doesn't have much chance, so she stays on with her mother to help run
the hat-shop, which she will inherit someday.

However, things don't work out as planned. Martha and Lettie use a spell to
switch places, since Lettie wants to learn magic and have adventures while
Martha wants to get married and raise a family. After Sophie discovers this,
she crosses paths with an evil sorceress who for some reason that is not
revealed at first, casts a spell on Sophie that turns her into an old woman and
prevents her from telling anyone about it. Forced to leave the hat shop, Sophie
goes to find some way of breaking the curse and ends up taking refuge at the
moving castle (yes, it is a castle that can move about, and also has a door
that can lead to four different locations). This place belongs to Howl, a
charming yet seemingly irresponsible wizard with a reputation for chasing
pretty girls. The castle is powered by Calcifer, a fire demon who lives in the
hearth and is bound by a contract with Howl. He makes a secret bargain with
Sophie; he will break the curse she is under, if she can find a way to break
the contract as it could destroy him and Howl. Sophie takes a position as
housekeeper and tries to find out what the contract is (Calcifer is also bound
not to tell her what it is), whilst putting up with Howl's annoying behaviour,
and there are further complications when he clashes with the evil sorceress.


Written in 1986 (I believe that is the year) by Diana Wynne Jones, I am amazed at how cool this book is, and definitely recommend it to any fantasy fan. Great characters and story. You burn through every page to see what sort of calamity happens next.

I hope the film is half as good as the book.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Matt Dillon for Best Suporting Actor

I had a dream last night the Matt Dillon won an Oscar. I don't really care if he wins and I'm not a big fan, but that was really kinda funny I dreamed he won.

I'll guess we'll see if dreams do come true...

Vacation Day 3

No, you didn't miss the Day 2 post. I never did one. I was busy in the morning around the house and then got into online gaming in the afternoon, so I didn't take time to blog.

But today on the other hand, has been busy but good. I have one important task today that must be done and here it is: I am going to our local audiologist to have a hearing test. I spent way too many years in a rock band without any hearing protection, so I want to find out how bad any hearing damage I have really is. I still play in a band at church that isn't all that loud, but that still doesn't guarantee I'm not hurting my ears. I already have Tinnitus (ringing in the ears), so might as well have it checked out.

I'll let you all know how the results turnout. I have to admit, I am a little nervous.

UPDATE: Well, that was one of the quickest, most painless tests I have ever had. And the good news is, my hearing is normal. No damage, even despite my audio negligence, thank God!!! I am still going to get the musician's earplugs. No sense in causing damage now.

So, I guess when I can't hear my wife it IS selective hearing...

Monday, February 20, 2006

Elephants before and after

Here are the elephant pics, pre and post, well, the waste.






































Nothing groundbreaking I know, but still looks better than before.

Vacation at Last!!!

Vacation is here at last, and it seems like it's been a long time comin'!!!

After sleeping in this morning (usually up by 5:30 AM doing some sort of workout), here is my day in a nutshell so far:

7:00- 8:00: Had a nice breakfast with my wife, caught up with the world on the Today Show, and got the trash out (exciting I know).

8:00- 9:00: Great workout because I well, have no time constraints. Shoulders and legs today. If it is nice enough, maybe a walk later. That is if my legs will work. Legs are a huge muscle group and usually sucks the life out of me. Where is my protein...

9:00 -10:00 or so: Our friend Esther sent us some elephant photos from her trip to Africa to give as a gift to someone. Great photos, but as we all know Nature can be unpredictable, so there is a HUGE pile of elephant pooh in the middle of the photo. A little Photoshop magic and poof, the pooh is gone. I'm posting the cleaned up pic and the original. Thanks Big E!!!

10:00- 11:00: Time to hit the Xbox and play some MechAssualt 2. Halo is on the afternoon playlist. Then maybe some actual housework of some sort.

11:30- 12:15: OK, I hit the Halo a little early. Played with my buddy Slubgob.

12:15- 2:00: Got some actual work done around the house, and made lunch for my wife. Nothing fancy, but the highlight of vacation is being able to have lunch with the Mrs. Watched some Olympics, including a nasty crash by the Danish Women's Bobsled team. It was ugly to watch...

2:00-4:00: More Halo with Slubgob. Eyes burning...

4:00-5:00: Signed up to be a member of Seasoned Gamers, a place where old people like me that like to play games online go to get away from the kids that play Xbox Live.

Well, that concludes Day 1 of the vacation. My wife and I are planning to have a relaxing evening watching the Olympics.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

The Mrs. rants

Here is the first post by my lovely wife. As she watches the Today show each morning, she is getting completely fed up with Dick Cheney's accidental shooting. Her thoughts:

Ok, I don't know if it is just me, but if I hear one more thing about Dick Cheney shooting his friend and hunting partner, I'm going to scream!


Don't you think that we could have done with a little less coverage? I mean really, it was an accident. I'm sure Dick didn't wake up that morning thinking what fun it might be to shoot someone (at least not a good friend). I don't think we need to put him, the poor man that was shot and the country, through 24 hr. coverage and the fact that is wasn't disclosed as soon as it happend. What has happend to a little privacy these days?

Maybe we have forgotten that people get shot all the time and they don't get wall to wall coverage and that is when it isn't even an accident. Why don't we just hang it up and leave this subject alone? The media must be able to find something else to talk about. Like the Olympics or maybe a nice uplifting story.

But on another note I think I might get the T-shirt I saw this morning that said "I'd rather hunt with Dick Cheney than ride with Ted Kennedy."



Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The Bode Miller Blues

Great commentary by Mike Celizic on why Bode Miller has blown his chance at greatness during the 2006 Turin Olympics.

It wasn’t the beer before the downhill or his hell-bent-for-leather style in the combined slalom that did in Bode Miller. It was all the beers in all the months leading up to the Olympics and all the years of living his life as recklessly as he skis his races.

You don’t get many chances in life to climb to the pinnacle of your business. For Olympic athletes, three cycles is usually the max, and one of those is when you’re young and brash, one is when maturity should compliment talent and the final one is when you’re riding on experience and conditioning.


Was Miller over-hyped as being America’s best shot at gold? You betcha, and even Celizic admits the media is partially to blame:

It takes years of training and dedication to win an Olympic gold medal. It doesn’t take nearly as many years of taking yourself and your talent for granted to lose it.

Blame all of us in the media for some of this. It has been evident all year that Miller was not the same skier this year that he was last when he won the World Cup, skiing’s equivalent of NASCAR’s Nextel Cup. We kept writing about him as if a return to form was just around the corner.

Silly us. The reality is clear now that Miller took his talent for granted for too long. Last summer especially, when he should have been getting himself into supreme shape for the biggest skiing meet he’d ever be in, he partied instead. It had always been there for him. It would be there again.


Will Bode win gold? Perhaps. But unfortunately more attention has been paid to what has come out of his mouth rather than what he has done on the slope.

At least Ted Ligety picked up the slack and the gold.

Read the whole Miller article here.

Hulk Arrest!

Lou Ferrigno, better know as the Incredible Hulk from the ‘70s, has been sworn in as a sheriff deputy reservist.

I don’t think anyone is going to argue with big Lou if he pulls them over.

Distractions

Sorry posting has been so light, but I'm so wrapped up in Xbox Live that I just can't stop playing.

Halo 2 is currently the game of choice, but my wife and I have been putting in some serious mileage playing Project Gotham Racing 2.

Expect a rant within the next few days on my experience playing Halo 2 online so far, poor attitudes and Xbox mods.

Friday, February 10, 2006

A Walk in the Woods

This post receives this title for a couple of reasons. The first, I just finished reading A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson. The second reason stems from my desire to actually walk in the woods once the weather improves.

I'll start with the book. My insurance company has a health rewards system based on a virtual Appalachian Trail. I wear my pedometer and log my daily steps. The site then adds up my daily mileage and adds it to my total. I have now gone something like 300 miles on the virtual AT. They have pictures that pop up along the virtual hike when you get to a shelter or state line.

Next, I somehow got involved with a book club at work, where we read a book pulled at random and then discuss it. I had no real interest in the club until they decided to read Bill Bryson's book, which is about his experiences on the Appalachian Trail, which led me to read the book because of the virtual AT. Bryson is a writer by trade, and was completely ill prepared for the trail. But the stories he related about Bear attacks, getting lost in the woods and incurable diseases killed any desire that I had to do the real AT. As I was reading the book, I had some grandiose idea that I would someday hike at least the Maine leg of the AT. After reading A Walk in the Woods, all desire to do this is gone (maybe not all, but most of it).

But, that doesn't mean I wouldn't like to actually start hiking. I got myself some decent day hikers and a backpack/hydration system, so I figure this is the year to get outside and see God's creation.

Another impetus for the outdoor activity is that I have diabetes. On March 16, 2005, I was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes, more commonly known as adult onset Diabetes. I was very overweight and was a 9 on the blood glucose scale (which is considered the "dangerous" level). Since then I have dropped 45 pounds and am at a 6.5, which is the "Extreme Control" category. I have about 15 pounds to go to reach my goal and figured hiking would be a great way to get outside and get these last few pounds off. My wife and I already walk three times a week. On the off walking days, I do some weightlifting. Hiking seems like a great way to add an enjoyable element to my current workout routine.

Plus, we have a lot of beautiful wilderness here in Maine (actually the state is mostly wilderness). Acadia National Park has the best of both worlds, wilderness and seacoast with Cadillac Mountain right smack in the middle. Even our own little metropolis of Bangor has a city forest with plenty of trails and sights.

Now the tough part is 1.) waiting for spring and warmer temperatures and 2.) breaking away from Halo 2 and Xbox Live…

Thursday, February 09, 2006

To My One and Only

Latest comic by the one and only Josh Alves. Presenting: Tastes Like Chicken!

Friday, February 03, 2006

I must be a browser junkie…

There it is, I’ve admitted it, I have an addiction. I love web browsers. Not the old school browsers, like Netscape Navigator and the insipid Internet Explorer (Microsoft stopped developing it for the Mac at version 5), but cool, new ones, and there are a couple I am trying out.

Of course, Firefox is my browser of choice, and the old standby, while my wife’s is Safari. Here are a couple of new designer browsers I am trying out to see how I like them.

The first of this new batch is Flock. Built on a Mozilla platform, it works great, is aesthetically pleasing, but adding favorites is hard and I am still trying to get the hang of it (reading the how-to would probably help about now). Overall, though, very nice.

The newest addition to my hard drive is Shiira. This browser is being developed by a Japanese company and is based on the same platform as Apple’s Safari browser. The Shiira people however are touting their browser as being better than Safari. We shall see how this browser treats me. I’m downloading it as I am posting this. Link to Shiira via Monkey Bites.

iPod Lawsuit?

Most of the time when I see this kind of story I cringe at the state of our society. A man is suing Apple because apparently the iPod is an unsafe device and can cause hearing damage. The man has new proof that he has hearing damage, but that doesn’t stop him from getting all sue happy.

However, he might have a point. Not that he should be suing because of it.

A friend of mine who worked at a speech and hearing office did say that using the earbuds can cause hearing damage, because it is closer to the ear canal and can damage the precious little hairs in your canals, therefore leading to deafness (at least this is how I remembered be told). Plus, the earbuds just don’t diffuse enough sound. Since I have some tonal loss and tinnitus due to the idiocity of my youth (a rock band), I’ve switched to headphones that sit around my neck and cover my ears. They let plenty of sound out.

Nevertheless, here is a good way to listen to your iPod and keep your hearing. Turn it down!!! Just because it can push out more than 100 decibels doesn’t mean you have to you have to listen to it at 100 db. Use some common sense (hysterical laughing breaks out at the mere mention of these two long-forgotten words).

Tom Cruise gets Razzie Nominations

And well deserved it is. This is the year most people wish Tom Cruise would just fall off the radar, or perhaps even the planet.

Tom Cruise may have survived a Martian attack in last year’s remake of “War of the Worlds,” but he has failed to elude Hollywood’s movie police.

The actor was among the contenders announced Monday for the annual Razzie Awards, which “honor” the worst achievements in film.

Cruise will compete for the year’s worst actor award with Will Ferrell (“Bewitched,” “Kicking & Screaming”), Jamie Kennedy (”Son of the Mask”), Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (”Doom”) and Rob Schneider (”Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo”).


Maybe we can convince the Martians to take him with them when they film the War of the Worlds sequel.

Nature Strikes Back Again

Remember the mouse that burned down the house? Another story of nature striking back at “the Man”.

Bull jumps into stands and injuring several.

And the half-ton bull’s name translates into “Little Birdy” no less.

Bull 1, Humans 0

The Midas Touch


This week's Tastes Like Chicken by Josh Alves!

Monday, January 30, 2006

Snow Falls

While on the marriage retreat this weekend, we had some free time and were able to visit Snow Falls in West Paris, ME.





















From Duty to Delight

This weekend we attended a marriage retreat at the Mollyockett Motel in West Paris, Maine.

It was an incredible weekend in a variety of ways. We traveled over with some friends that we go to church with in a 15-passenger van, which led to all kinds of bonding time. A 2 ½ hour ride lends itself to plenty of conversation and hijinks. The weekend ended up being a great time for not only bonding with friends, but for bonding with my wife and learning how to get even more out of a great marriage.

Some people think your marriage is in trouble when you say you are going to a marriage retreat. This is not the case. My wife and I have a great relationship already, but that doesn't mean we can't learn new things that are going to push our marriage to a even better, newer level. Someone this weekend made this analogy about the retreat: If you want to keep your car running at its best, you don't neglect it. You keep the tank filled, the oil changed, and air in the tires. This can be applied to marriage. We were at the retreat for a tune-up, and we got it. There a many things about our marriage that we wouldn't change, because they work, but this gave us the opportunity to look at some areas we would like to improve in and the steps we want to take to achieve this.

The most eye-opening session this weekend was called "Realistic Expectations". The presentation was about how we come into our marriage with all these "unspoken" rules that we learned as a child in our homes that we not only brought into adulthood, but also into marriage. This hit home because I am the child of an alcoholic, therefore I could easily have plenty of baggage coming into marriage, and because of the situation I grew up in, I could easily display these traits knowingly or unknowingly, whether I am a drinker or not. Thank God, I know that I have some issues that I have worked through before I got married, but it still is a matter of daily prayer and vigilance to overcome these scars and traits.

After the expectations discussion, we were given a chance to go back to our rooms and talk with our spouses about whether we came into our marriage with these unwritten rules and whether we had some unrealistic expectations we had forced on our other half, and if we had, what could we do to make more realistic expectations. It was a great time of soul searching and prayer.

But not all was serious this weekend. We had plenty of free time to chat with other couples, see old friends, and make new ones. We had some free time on Saturday to see the sites.

Overall, a great weekend. My wife and I have come back from this retreat feeling like we had a great tune-up for our marriage and we can’t wait to see what God has in store for us.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Freshly Fallen Snow



Snow has been a rare thing here in Maine this winter. Usually we are in snow at least to our waists and it is nasty cold. Not this year though.

So, when we got a couple of inches of the white stuff the other day, I took the opportunity to snap some photos ('cause the snow might not last). Here is one of them. I had a vision of some Ansel Adams-like photo that I was trying to achieve. I don't think I got it.

Marriage Retreat

Posting has been light this week due to my excessive and often late Halo 2 playing on Xbox Live, but no posting this weekend as we are going to be gone on a marriage retreat.

As soon as work is over tomorrow me and the mrs. are getting picked up by our friends and we are heading for the luxurious location of South Paris. Maine that is. Population 302 (just guessing). It is an all inclusive weekend at a hotel that has an indoor pool and a hot tub. I think I'll get in the hot tub and cook myself like a lobster!

All kidding aside, it is going to be a great time to get encouraged and explore this lifelong journey that my wife and I have embarked on called marriage. Can't wait to see what God has in store for us.

I also can't wait to see what is in South Paris, Maine. Or is it Norway...


Goldilocks and the Gum Balls

This week's Taste Like Chicken by Mr. Josh Alves.


Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Home Ownership II

Remember my post about the extremely freakish weather here in Maine last week? Here is the hole in my house:

Now, the repair guy assured us that no destructive amount of snow or rain is going to get in there before he fixes it. But these guys make me nervous:

The Goodfeathers here are perching on the chimney next door. Just stay there until I get the gaping maw in my eaves fixed, okay?

Flock?

Monkey Bites leads the way to Flock, a Mozilla-based open source browser with some cool features.

I've just downloaded it and am going to give it a try. Remember, it is between its Alpha and Beta release, so it's bound to be buggy and unreliable.

Don't give up using your Firefox or IE yet...

Keyboard Shortcuts for your Mac

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I am always looking for things to make computer use easier since I use it so much. Appleology has come across some very useful Keyboard shortcuts that I’ll be employing from now on (Link via TUAW).

Why use the mouse when you don’t have too?

Using the control key, and several different function keys (F2, F3, F4, F8), you can navigate through many key parts of Mac OS X with your keyboard alone.
Holding down the control key with:

* the F2 key enables you to navigate with the left side of the menu bar.
* the F3 key enables you to navigate the dock, using the left and right arrow keys to move between icons and the up and down arrow keys to view the navigate thought the contextual menu.
* the F4 key enables you to cycle through all of the open windows.
* the F8 key enables you to navigate through the right side of the menu bar. (Only works with some menu bar icons.)

Note that on laptops you must also hold down the FN key.

There you have it. Moving through the dock mouseless is now as easy as pie.

Friday, January 20, 2006

LIVE BABY!!!!!!

Posting will be very light over the next few days because I got Xbox Live!!!!

I'm online getting blasted by ten-year-olds, but boy is it fun!!!

Tastes Like Chicken

The Latest "Tastes Like Chicken" by Josh Alves is here.