Friday, March 31, 2006

What Time Is It??

Clock w/o hands from Bergman's film, 'Wild Strawberries'I believe that this will be the first time in my life that I've "sprung" forward. Yes, the State of Indiana has officially joined the rest of the goofy nation and adopted daylight saving time.

Overall, though, my take on the whole issue is a big, "so what."

I can see that the whole thing is silly. I can see how it is important to businesses/commerce. I can see that the "solution to the problem" in Indiana is no less confusing than it was before. I can see that no daylight is actually being saved by anyone anywhere. I can see how energy conservation is a factor.

Regardless, I will set the clocks at my house ahead one hour Saturday night before I go to bed. I will set an alarm so that I will wake up one hour earlier than it feels like I should on Sunday morning. Come October, I will return our clocks to standard time and I will stay up an extra hour, likely watching a movie. I will get over it.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006


I've got four simple words you need to remember:





Got it?

Forget X3
Forget Mission Impossible 3
Forget Fast and the Furious 3
Forget Superman
Forget Pirates of the Caribbean

This movie (starring Samuel L. Jackson) could end up being the movie event of the summer.

It's got the internet abuzzin':

Here's probably the premier source of information about this phenomenon, Snakes on a Blog.

The listing at Wikipedia: Snakes on a Plane

IMDb listing

And here's the discussion thread at the Home Theater Forum. Warning: Some foul language being used there on this particular thread (what do you expect? it a Sam Jackson flick).

just so you get the idea though...

Some quotes:

'Snakes on a Plane!'
It already is the tagline, the premise and the title.
It's everything! That's why this movie is the best thing to ever happen. And you have to tip your hat to Samuel L. Jackson for only needing to hear the title to know that this is something he needed to be a part of.

I can't wait for this thing. Unintentional comedy or no, just the sheer balls of Hollywood saying 'yunno what? It's snakes on a plane. You're going to see it or you won't. But it's snakes on a plane, so I bet you will' that has me dying laughing everytime I think about it. No movie can get any more high concept. None. The pitch is the TITLE. That's it. It's beautiful. I cannot wait.

Snakes on a plane, man. C'mon. Look at the thread. look what happens. If you're in a group of people larger than three, and you see that poster, or you see that ad--you're going to see the movie. it's just going to happen. Your brain will not allow you to pass up the opportunity to watch something that WILLFULLY and PROUDLY calls itself 'Snakes on a Plane' with a straight face.

I also really hope that Steve Irwin shows up at some point in the film, I would love to see Sammy snap his neck for dangling his kid over that Crocodile.

Apparently, they are doing 5 days of reshoots, basically to add scenes to make it an R rated film. Now, that's a first.

and the sequel: Snakes on a Plane 2: Snakes on a Boat


I'm totally seeing this! And it gets the sidebar countdown!! ---->

More More News??

GM lays off several hundred salaried employees (article from

Once again, I ask, is this news? I don't know about elsewhere, but 'round these parts, GM lays off salaried employees like they're going out of business! Oh, wait...

Monday, March 27, 2006

More News?

Or not.

Gas prices jump nearly 15 cents a gallon (article from

Is this news?? I don't know about elsewhere, but 'round these parts, gas prices jump fifteen to twenty cents every couple of weeks like clockwork.

Often, it goes up twenty cents, then drops by ten in just a few days. Then it slowly trickles back until the next jump.

I Want A Job In The Security Industry!!

First of all, I discovered (via The Sneeze) the scary story of a guy tearing up one of those dime-a-dozen credit card applications, taping it back together, filling it out, and mailing it in. Read his story to find out how it works out. It's frightening. We often just tear these things in half and put them in the trash, too.

And then tonight, I saw this story on

The headline was, "33 INJURED IN JET EVACUATION DRILL." So, I click -- and read. Apparently, in Germany, a crucial drill for evacuation procedures was taking place on the Airbus A380, soon to be the largest passenger jet in service. At this point, I bet you're thinking exactly what I was thinking -- that 33 injured must be a terrible set-back for Airbus, right?? Not so!! From the article: "Despite the injuries, Airbus said the plane passed its test." Flying colors might be pushing it, but Gustav Humbert, an Airbus manager begs to differ: "That was a very great success," he said following the bungled evacuation. Way to go, Gustav. How do I get this guy's job?

I'm already working on my resume' -- in light of these recent events, I believe I have every bit of the ineptitude it takes to succeed in the security industry.

Films Recently Seen:

Traffic (2000) dir. by Steven Soderbergh
I'm afraid that this was one that I'd seen before, but didn't remember. Does that ever happen to anybody else? It's so well done, you would think I would have remembered seeing it, but even in the course of watching it, I was thinking that maybe I'd started it and not finished it, but there were scenes that I definitely remembered seeing throughout the film beginning to end.

Envy (2004) dir. by Barry Levinson

Heaven Can Wait (1943) dir. by Ernst Lubitsch
A charming little romantic comedy. There are lots of genuinely funny moments in this film, though many of them play as a stage play would because the screenplay was adapted from the stage play, Birthday. The basic story: a man dies and decides that instead of presenting himself at the gates of heaven only to be rejected, he will simply save everybody the trouble by presenting himself in hell. Unexpected, the master there asks the man to explain his case. The rest of the movie is a series of flashbacks over the course of his 70 years. Birth, childhood, teenage years, courting, marriage, fatherhood, later life. The life he lived was far from perfect, but was it worthy of hell? Obviously, there are issues here for Christians as religion and, not to put too fine a point on it, Jesus Christ -- are never mentioned in the film. Regardless, I enjoyed it.

Ice Princess (2005) dir. by Tim Fywell
Yeah, that's right! What? Shut-up!!

Lost Horizon (1937) dir. by Frank Capra

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Old Friends...

We've had several recent contacts with old friends recently:

First up:
Ryan Prinkey
You may have noticed a link to Ryan's blog over in my sidebar. Ryan is a good friend from college and though we only live an hour or so from one another, we don't see each other as often as we ought to. Ryan had his 30th "birthday" back in February, but his wife, mother, and mother-in-law thew a surprise party for him on Sunday, March 5, just to make sure he would be extra surprised! We headed toward Saratoga, Indiana after church that day. After eating lunch at the Chicken Shack, we went to the Winchester Wal-Mart and got a card for Prinkey. Prinkey is definitely the only attorney I know for whom I can buy a Spider-Man birthday card with complete confidence that it will be 100% appreciated.
Surprised Prinkey EntersShrine to Prinkey

Chad & Kellie Shepherd (and Caleb and Sasha)
More college friends. Chad and I were roommates our freshman and sophomore years. Chad stood with me at my wedding and we're always thrilled to have an opportunity to be with he and his family. Kellie was Chad's high school sweetheart and is always a wonderful hostess. We were happy to be able to use up another one of Chad's extremely rare weekends off from work. Unfortunately the weather didn't cooperate for outdoor activities on Saturday, so we headed for Cincinnati to the mall...

Caleb as BatmanHannah & Sasha
Hannah & Caleb at Bass Pro

Lane Byrum
While at the mall with the Shepherds, we were letting the kids play in one of the play areas there when I saw somebody I thought I recognized. "Couldn't be," I thought to myself. But then I remembered that I was in Cincinnati, the current residence of that "somebody." Just to be certain, before I made an idiot of myself, I followed his sightline to his daughter whom I recognized from pictures. It was my old youth minister from my high school days in Roachdale, Indiana, Lane Byrum! Once I was sure, I went over to him and put my hand on his shoulder which he quickly acknowledged, but it took him a moment to recognize me, too. Once I sat down next to him, he realized who I was and we had a few minutes to catch up a bit. I got to meet his daughter, Ava, and his wife, Sue. We'd only quite recently gotten back in touch through e-mail after years of not knowing where the other was. I was glad, too, because if I hadn't seen recent pictures and known that he was in the Cincinnati area, we might have just passed like ships in the night. I mean, what are the chances that we would be in Cincinnati at all, let alone at the same mall, and at the same time. And in a mall that size, we easily could have both been there and still not seen each other, especially since we weren't looking for each other! It's almost hard to believe, but it happened, and here's the picture to prove it!
Me and Lane

Chad Canipe (1971-2006)
The Canipe Family 2001 When I first heard that Chad was sick, I was concerned, but he was in good care at the hospital. "The doctors can fix him," I thought to myself. I said a silent prayer for Chad, but didn't think too much of it. When I got the news the next morning that he had died, I was stunned. Chad would have been 35 this May. They believe he died of a form of vasculitis called Wegener's disease. He seemed to be fine as much as two weeks before his death. The final post on his blog is now haunting because he describes in brief what killed him before he knew anything was seriously wrong.

He was doing everything right. He was seeking and following God's will. He had a full time job, plus he was doing that about which he was truly passionate: planting a church in his community. In a world full of deadbeat Dads and abusive, or just apathetic husbands, his wife and sons got one of the best guys, only to have him stolen away from them far too soon. "Why" quickly becomes one of those unanswerable questions.

St. Elizabeth'sRandy, Tim and I all rode together from the Indianapolis area. Pat also came up from Atlanta. We met in Cincinnati and attended the visitation together. The visitation was held at Saint Elizabeth's in Norwood, the home of Vineyard Central. It's an old Roman Catholic church, a holy space to be sure. Though it is in some disrepair, little effort is being made to hide its flaws. For Chad, they had U2 tunes playing. His friends and family were there to mourn together and to comfort one another. In many ways, that space, that night -- was very much like Chad: a holy space; imperfect, but admittedly so; surrounded by good friends and family -- filled by an almost tangible presence of God Himself. His physical body was visible there, but Chad wasn't there, he was already home, with his Heavenly Father. Believe this -- from Chad's new home, he is cheering each one of us on, praying that we do not lose sight of the goal which he now sees clearer than any of us ever have.

If you pray, please pray for Chad's wife, Renee and her two sons, Colin (7) and Aidan (3).

Thank Goodness for wireless technology, right Randy??Looks like a one-fingered salute, to me!

After the visitation, Randy, Tim, Pat and I all went out just to be together. We found a Red Robin in West Chester near where Pat was staying the night. After crying from sorrow, it felt good to cry from laughter (though, I think we can all agree that puking from laughter went a little over the top). It was great to be with those guys that night. Chad would have loved it if he could have been with us.

He will be missed.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Happy Anniversary Of The Day On Which You Were Born...

to Christy's brother Andrew.

That's right! He was born on St. Patrick's Day.

Now, I could go into a historical look at the real St. Patrick and the virtues that Andrew shares with him and how appropriate it was for him to be born on this special day of the year...

But, beside the fact that I'm far too lazy for all that, what I really want to know is...

Who the heck is this dude?

...and why isn't Andrew keeping better track of his evil twin?!?!

If you don't know Andrew, here (below) are a couple of pictures from previous posts that contain his image. I was going to try to find a better comparison picture, but need I remind you about the laziness?

Click to enlargeClick to enlarge

Andrew? Care to explain?

Films recently watched:

Walk the Line (2005) dir. by James Mangold
This was OK. I always do this to myself and build up my expectations from hype and then get disappointed by the actual film. Don't get me wrong, it was good, but not worthy of the hype and glowing praise it has received by much of the media. Reese Witherspoon was also good, but not deserving of her recent Oscar for best actress, in my opinion. Joaquin Phoenix was good, but I never bought in to him being Johnny Cash. He was always Joaquin, playing Johnny to me.

The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (1984) dir. by W.D. Richter
Big-boo-tay! Big-boo-tay!

Murderball (2005) dir. by Henry Alex Rubin and Dana Adam Shapiro
An interesting documentary about the sport of full-contact rugby played by quadriplegic athletes. They discuss in the film that it is a common misconception that quadriplegics (or tetraplegics) are simply paralyzed from the neck down. Though some are (or were, like the late Christopher Reeve), many do have some function in their arms. These athletes have at least enough control over their arms and shoulders to push their customized wheelchairs, which look more like gladiator chariots or battlebots, across and around a basketball court. Though the film is about quad rugby, as they call it, all of the films' best moments occur off the court. These guys' stories about their injuries and recoveries are inspirational. Examples, etc...
The DVD is quite nice with substantial bonus features including a Larry King interview with guys from the film; Murderball guys having fun with Johnny Knoxville and Steve-O from MTV's Jackass; two full length commentaries, etc.

Batman (1989) dir. by Tim Burton
After listening to the excellent original soundtrack by Danny Elfman recently, I felt compelled to rewatch the film itself.

There are so many wonderful moments from this movie: The opening credits with the camera wandering around the iconic Bat symbol; Vicki Vale arriving at the black-tie party in white; Joker's reveal (and just about every moment Nicholson is on screen); "Improving" at the art museum; Descent Into Mystery; Batwing sillohoutted against full moon; Final shot with Batman and the symbol.

Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985) dir. by George P. Cosmatos

West Side Story (1961) dir. by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Recent Losses

Dennis WeaverDon KnottsDarren McGavin

Just wanted to acknowledge the recent losses of actors, Dennis Weaver, Don Knotts, and Darren McGavin.

Many know Dennis Weaver from his television roles, but to me, he will always be remembered as David Mann, running for his life from a maniacal, but never-seen truck driver in Steven Spielberg's Duel. You can't beat me on the grade. You can't beat me on the grade!

Though he had a few memorable film roles, Don Knotts will be forever known to me as Barney Fife from the Andy Griffith Show. Nip it in the bud.
Runner up: Ralph Furley from Three's Company. Despite my Mother's best efforts, my sister and I found a way to watch this show whenever possible.

Again, many will remember Darren McGavin from his television roles, but to me, he will always be 'the old man' from A Christmas Story, an annual Holiday treat in our household. McGavin is perfect in his role as the short-tempered, furnace-fighting, profanity-weaving, prize-winning father who ultimately delivers the goods for Ralphie. Nottafinga!!

They will all be missed.