"So Let it Be Written... So Let it Be Done"

The life and times of a real, down to earth, nice guy. A relocated New Englander formerly living somewhere north of Boston, but now soaking up the bright sun of southwestern central Florida (aka The Gulf Coast). Welcome to my blog world. Please leave it as clean as it was before you came. Thanks for visiting, BTW please leave a relevant comment so I know you were here. No blog spam, please. (c) MMV-MMXV Court Jester Productions & Bamford Communications

Monday, July 31, 2006

Clarification of my position: Israel v. Hezbollah

It seems that American Guy has taken offense to my statement that I support Israel 100% since he has dedicated an entire post on his blog to it and also linked it to God v. Darwin. He is now accusing me of taking pleasure in the deaths of Lebanese Muslims (and no doubt civilians, too) so I can "buy my ticket into heaven," or some other such nonsense.

First of all, let me say that I do not approve of war in general. However, such things do and will happen.

It is unfortunate that civilians, mainly women and children, are caught in the middle of the fighting going on right now between Israel and Hezbollah.

I am pleased to read in today's Boston Globe that Israel has agreed to cessation of their airstrikes over southern Lebanon for 48 hours, because of the international outcry over the deaths of said civilians.

However, I strongly believe that the IDF has acted correctly in defending themselves against Hezbollah. This is an organization that, with public vocal support from Iran and Syria, and silent support from other Arab nations, would like nothing better than to have Israel and the entire Jewish population wiped from the face of the earth. Don't think for a second that the Hezbollah rockets being fired into towns in northern Israel are just for show. These rockets are being fired to do exactly the same damage to Israel's civilian population as the IDF's airstrikes are now doing to southern Lebanese towns in which Hezbollah is using as a shield. Hezbollah is not firng it's weapons at the IDF but at towns filled with Israeli civilians.

It is also very easy to believe that a terrorist organization like Hezbollah would intentionally set up their rocket launchers in heavily populated civilian areas so that when the IDF strikes back civilians would be hit. Terrorist organizations in general don't give a rat's rectum and what comes out of it about civilian populations - Israel's or their own. Hezbollah is no different.

Hezbollah knows that if/when the world and specifically Arab nations in general learn that the IDF has, however inadvertently, killed Muslim women and children, that more nations would condemn Israel and its actions. This is exactly the result desired by Hezbollah, even if it is not publicized. And, unfortunately, it works every time.

This current conflict, in my opinion, signals the return of an open Arab determination to eliminate the Jewish state once and for all, instead of veiled attempts to do the same. When I say I support Israel 100% always, I am referring to their right to exist and to be in that land, which is rightfully theirs.

Now this does not mean that I agree with everything the Israeli government does regarding the current conflict, simply because I don't know all of the details, facts and reasons behind it- because this information is not up for public debate or scrutiny.

However, I am very aware of the underlying reasons for the endless conflict between Israel and the Arab nations in the Middle East, which is an argument that has been going on for millennia and which I've stated above. This conflict has only one way to be permanently resolved. It is a way in which non-Christians and non-religious types refuse to deal.

What I do know is this: this conflict and others will continue to plague the region despite negotiations and promises of cease fire agreements and any other diplomatic efforts by the US, UN, EU, ACLU or the girl scouts.

And that this or any other conflict in the Middle East has no bearing whatsoever on wether or not I'm going to heaven or not.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
TANGENT:

Before you even ask - do I welcome the "end times"?

Yes and no.

Yes, because I believe that I, nor any other Christian for that matter, will be present on earth for it.

No, because I have a general idea of what's coming and have great compassion for those who will have to live through it (or try to anyway...). Have you ever heard the phrase "hell on earth"? This future time, my friends, is exactly what it refers to.

END TANGENT
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Neither does this current conflict have any effect on the yet future reality of Armageddon, for Jesus Himself said:

"...You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains..." Matt. 24:6-8

Finally, I know this from past experience - that AG (and perhaps others) will attempt to twist my words in this post to make me out to be some kind of evil racist who hates Arabs or Muslims when nothing could be further from the truth.

So I leave you with this question: Do you support Israel or Hezbollah? C'mon, be brave and voice your opinion and (if you care to say) why you take one side or the other. I think it's evident whom I support.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

SNMR 1.25: "Blade Runner"

The second of this week's SNMR double feature concludes Harrison Ford month. Tonight's film is "Blade Runner" (1982,R,117 minutes) starring Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Edward James Olmos, Darryl Hannah, M. Emmet Walsh and William Sanderson. The film was directed by Ridley Scott. I'm watching the Director's Cut.

This dark, sci-fi film has become a cult classic and I think is very underrated. It has always been one of my favorite Ford roles. I've seen this film many times. Probably the first time I saw it was after it came out on video, because I was not old enough in 1982 to see an R movie by myself.

From the DVD's dust jacket:

Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) prowls the steel-and-microchip jungle of 21st century Los Angeles. He's a "blade runner" stalking genetically made criminal replicants. His assignment: kill them. Their crime: wanting to be human.
The story of Blade Runner is familiar to countless fans. But few have seen it like this, because this is director Ridley Scott's own vision of his sci-fi classic. This new version omits Deckard's voiceover narration, develops in slightly greater detail the romance between Deckard and Rachel (Sean Young) and removes the "uplifting" finale. The result is a heightened emotional impact: a great film made greater. Most intriguing of all is a newly included unicorn vision that suggests Deckard may be a humanoid. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Is Deckard a replicant? As with all things in the future, you must discover the answer for yourself.

From Martin & Porter's DVD and Video Guide 2006, p. 115:
This Ridley Scott (Alien) production is thought-provoking and visually impressive. Harrison Ford stars as a futuristic Philip Marlowe trying to find and kill the world's remaining rebel androids in 2019 Los Angeles. The film may not be for everyone, but those who appreciate something of substance will find it worthwhile.


This is the kind of film that you need to pay attention to because of the small details that you miss if you aren't. Harrison Ford is excellent in the lead role and Sean Young also gives an excellent performance. The script is well written and moves at a decent pace. I think the film drags in only a few places. The line between who is and who isn't a replicant is thin and subtle so that you never really are sure who is and isn't. This is an overall excellent film, one of my favorite Harrison Ford movies. I'll give this film four and a half out of five stars.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

SNMR 1.24: "Presumed Innocent"


The first of this weekend's SNMR double feature is "Presumed Innocent" (1990, R, 127 minutes), starring Harrison Ford, Brian Dennehy, Raul Julia, Bonnie Bedelia, Paul Winfield, John Spencer and Greta Scacchi. The film was directed by Alan J.Pakula.

For a long time, this has been one of my favorite Ford films. I had wanted to see the film after reading the novel in college. I was looking to see how much different the book and film were off. Once again Ford plays the average Joe, whose character is up against seemingly insurmountable challenges, who, with the outcome in doubt, manages to pull through.

From the DVD's dust jacket:

Presumed Innocent is a suspenseful whodunit, a sexy thriller, a powerful courtroom drama and a dazzling vehicle for Harrison Ford. He plays a deputy prosecutor engaged in an obsessive affair with a coworker (Greta Scacchi) who is murdered. Soon after, he's accused of the crime. And his fight to clear his name becomes a whirlpool of lies and hidden passions.
Brian Dennehy, Bonnie Bedelia, Raul Julia and Paul Winfield co-star under the crackling direction of Alan J. Pakula (The Pelican Brief, The Devil's Own). Suspense master Pakula uses Scott Turow's bestseller to examine the American legal system - discovering the sword of justice is double-edged.

From Martin & Porter's DVD & Video Guide 2006, p. 895:
Director Alan J. Pakula's superb version of Scott Turow's critically acclaimed bestseller features Harrison Ford as a prosecuting attorney who finds himself under suspicion when his mistress is murdered. Even if you've read the novel, you'll want to watch this gripping thriller.


This film is riveting all the way through. There are excellent performances given by many actors in this film. I thought Raul Julia was superb in the role of Sandy Stern, Harrison Ford's defense attorney. The script is well written and doesn't stray far from the novel, as I recall, except for one difference that I recall from the ending of the novel and the ending of the film. This drama will satisfy no matter how many times you've seen it. I'll give this film five out of five stars.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Summer blogger blues

I haven't really felt like posting much in the last few days. Nothing really exciting going on, except that ....

I had a great deal of fun on Monday after work.

See, the car I currently drive, while adequate for getting me to work and back (for now), is falling apart. While I can't argue with the cost (free), it has many mechanical problems that I've inherited- too costly to fix in my opinion. Of course I'm referring to the 1998 Dodge Neon that my parents gave me. I posted about that a few weeks ago when the beast died, my car day from hell.... This car, even in top shape, will not handle driving in the snow well at all, which is necesary for New England winters. Plus I'm so low to the ground that I feel like I'm driving a skateboard with a lawn mower engine. Not safe at all. I wouldn't last in this car, should I ever get into a serious accident.

SO I went to a local Nissan/Honda/Kia/Used car dealer and test drove two vehicles that I had interest in.

One was the 2006 Nissan Altima, a stylish sedan with a powerful 245hp V6 engine... It was nice BUT I'm not a sedan kind of guy. Perhaps if I was 70 it would be good. But I'm not.

The other vehicle I drove I had my eye on before but absolutely fell in love with it when I was driving it. I had a pretty good idea that I would like it going in but ooooh baby, what a ride!!!

I told the sales guy that when I bought a vehicle, that would be it and that I plan to drive it until I can't drive it anymore. Ideally this vehicle will last me 12-15 years. I was going to buy it this month but decided that I need to get some things in order first. Now my goal is to purchase the vehicle at the end of August.

Now I know people say that you shouldn't buy new because of the immediate depreciation as soon as you drive it off of the dealer's lot. But guess what? I don't care about that AT ALL. I'm not going to buy a vehicle with the intent of selling it. I'll buy it to beat the crap out of it. Plus, I'm 37 and have never bought a brand new car in my life. All of the previous vehicles I've owned were used. I want the opportunity to have a worry free vehicle for once in my life.

What was the vehicle that I drove? I'm not telling... For now.

Now I have something to look forward to - a goal to shoot for.

Now you have another reason to keep coming back to read my blog, because I know that your every breath hangs on what you read here AND because you all love me so much!!! (LOL!!)







What, you DON'T?????????

Sunday, July 23, 2006

SNMR 1.23: "Hanover Street"

The second of this weekend's SNMR double feature is "Hanover Street" (1979, PG, 109 minutes), starring Harrison Ford, Lesley-Anne Down, Christopher Plummer, Alec McCowen, Richard Masur and Michael Sacks. The film was directed by Peter Hyams.

This is one of Harrison Ford's older films that I am viewing for the first time tonight. I bought this DVD on ebay because now it's hard to find in regular stores, since it's not one of Harrison Ford's better known films. I thought at first this film would be interesting, even though war films aren't my favorite genre. I've seen Leslie-Anne Down in the superb television miniseries North and South (1985) based on John Jakes historical novels.

From the DVD's dust jacket:
War-torn Europe is the setting for this romantic action/adventure about the fateful entanglements of two men in love with the same woman.
Lt. David Halloran (Harrison Ford), a courageous American bomber pilot, and a British nurse (Lesley-Anne Down) accidentally meet during an air raid and fall instantly in love. Committed to an assignment, David asks her to meet him two weeks later, in spite of the fact that she's married. And she does. Her husband (Christopher Plummer), is a British intelligence officer in charge of a special, dangerous mission behind enemy lines. As fate would have it, Halloran is chosen to fly Sellinger on the task. When their plane is shot down, the two must work together to complete their mission - and it is only then that Halloran discovers who Sellinger is.

From Martin & Porter's DVD and Video Guide 2006, p. 480:
Action director Peter Hyams is out of his element with this melodramatic World War II drama, which consists mostly of an unlikely tryst between American soldier Harrison Ford and (married) British nurse Lesley-Anne Down. Overblown and mawkish.


I thought this movie was okay. Not great but not horrible either. The storyline was a bit predictable and I didn't like the way it ended. The writing was choppy and the film dragged for the first hour or so. All I could think of was Harrison Ford as Han Solo, as he had the same hairstyle and look of Solo. Star Wars IV was only two years old and The Empire Strikes Back was a year away from release and the First Indiana Jones film was two years away. This certainly is not my favorite Harrison Ford film and neither will it be yours, unless you like WWII movies of any type. Though it is a must see for true HF fans - at least once, anyway.... I'll give this film 2 1/2 out of five stars.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

SNMR 1.22: "Regarding Henry"

As we continue Harrison Ford month, the first of this weekend's SNMR double feature is "Regarding Henry" (1991, PG-13, 107 minutes), starring Harrison Ford, Annette Bening, Bill Nunn, Donald Moffatt, Rebecca Miller, Elizabeth Wilson and Mikki Allen. The film was directed by Mike Nichols.

The first time I saw this movie was when I was in college. It was shown in the school's movie theater when I worked there. Since then, as with many of Harrison Ford's films, I have watched it many times.

From the DVD's dust jacket:
Henry Turner is a successful but ruthless New York lawyer who needs to win at any cost, even at the expense of his wife and daughter. But a single gunshot brings Henry's fast-track rise to a dead stop, leaving him incapacitated and with no memory of the life he used to lead. Now, faced with starting over, Henry Turner is avout to learn the hard truth about a total stranger...himself. Harrison Ford stars in this dramatic, often funny and heartwarming film that reunites the talents of Ford and director Mike Nichols (Working Girl). Co-starring Academy Award nominee Annette Bening (American Beauty).


From Martin & Porter's DVD & Video Guide 2006, p. 936:
Harrison Ford gives one of his finest performances as Henry Turner, a successful, self-centered attorney who loses all memory of his past when a robber shoots him in the head with a small caliber weapon. Annette Bening is equally fine as the wife who finds herself falling in live with the gentle, childlike man who emerges in her husband's body.

I've always thought that this was one of Ford's best, if not understated, performances of his career. To see the transformation in charachter from an ass to a very likeable guy is difficult to do convincingly. Director Mike Nichols, and Ford, working together for the second time are seamless. It is interesting to note that the script was written by JJ Abrams, who created my favorite television series, Alias. Annette Bening is excellent as Turner's wife and the supporting cast is excellent. I especially liked Bill Nunn's performance as Bradley, the physical therapist.

This is a very well thought out film which moves along quite nicely. This film is a another winner in my opinion. I'll give it four out of five stars.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Countdown

Stolen from Sarafina's blog

10 Favorites
Favorite Season: Summer
Favorite Color: Blue
Favorite Time: Bedtime
Favorite Food: grilled steak tips
Favorite Drink: Frozen Mudslide
Favorite Ice Cream: Chocolate
Favorite Places: Washington DC, Israel & Egypt
Favorite Sports: Football and baseball
Favorite Actors: Harrison Ford, Michael Douglas, Richard Dreyfuss, John Cusack and Bill Murray.
Favorite Actresses: Jennifer Garner, Natalie Portman, Kate Beckinsale, Kate Winslet and Gwyneth Paltrow

9 Currents
Current Feeling: Lazy
Current Drink: Mountain Dew
Current Time: 22:45 - EDT
Current Show on TV: Red Sox v. Seattle Mariners
Current Mobile used: Motorola (T-Mobile)
Current Windows Open: Email, Spreadsheet, Blogger, IMDB, eharmony
Current Underwear: briefs
Current Clothes: Dungaree shorts and red tank top
Current Thought: I've gotta post on God v. Darwin soon

8 Firsts
First Nickname: Vince
First Kiss: My first REAL kiss was with my ex-wife (girlfriend at the time, though)
First Crush: Honestly can't remember.
First Best Friend: Paul Mulligan
First Vehicle I Drove: 1985 Jeep Cherokee
First Job: stock person for Bradlees
First Date: Sometime in High School.
First Pet: a beagle named Mandy.

7 Lasts
Last Drink: Mountain Dew
Last Kiss: Goodnight kisses I gave V and M.
Last Meal: Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich
Last Web Site Visited: www.blogger.com
Last Movie Watched: Robots
Last Phone Call: ex
Last TV show Watched: Adventures of Superman (1952) on DVD

6 Have You Evers
Have You Ever Broken the Law: Yes
Have You Ever Been Drunk: No.
Have You Ever Kissed Someone You Didn't Know: No.
Have You Ever Been in the Middle/Close to Gunfire: No.
Have You Ever Skinny Dipped: Yes.
Have You Ever Broken Anyone's Heart: Yes.

5 Things
Things You Can Hear Right Now: rain outside, fan, television
Things On Your Bed: Pillows, blanket, etc., clean clothes to be folded, and a book I'm reading.
Things You Ate Today: 2 toaster pastries, roast beef & cheese, crackers & cheese, pb & j.
Things You Can't Live Without: food, my kids, friends & family, books and DVD's.
Things You Do When You Are Bored: sleep, read, putter around

4 Places You Have Been Today:
Work, post office, Macy's parking lot, gas station.

3 Things On Your Desk Right Now:
books, tv & dvd remotes, pens and pencils

2 Choices
Black or White: Black
Hot or Cold: Hot

1 Place You Want To Visit(Just 1?!?!? ... oh, ok) England

Thursday, July 20, 2006

More info about me

Stole this from Constant Rain's new blog & had to share it with you. Edited, of course, with my info....

1. How tall are you barefoot? 5′7″
2. Favorite movies? Star Wars I-VI, Hitch, The Firm, Chronicles of Narnia, A Few Good Men. This is just a sampling....
3. Do you own a gun? No
4. Who is your biggest enemy? I don't have any enemies that I know of.
5. Favorite Scent? I don't wear cologne or aftershave.
6. Do you like hot dogs? Yes, fried, not boiled unless I'm at Fenway Park watching the Sox.
7. What's your favorite Christmas song? O Come All Ye Faithful
8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Hot Chocolate then Orange Juice but not at the same time.
9. Do you do push-ups? No, but I should.
10. Brothers or sisters? One brother, two sisters.
11. What's your most liked piece of jewelry? My cross necklace. When I was married, a wedding band.
12. What do you take for pain relief? Always generic Naproxen Sodium (Aleve)
13. What is your secret weapon to lure in the opposite sex? Am I supposed to have one?
14. Do you own a knife? Yes. A small pocket knife my dad gave me years ago.
15. Do you have A.D.D.? Yes. Definitely. What did you say again?
16. Middle name? Begins with D. But I won't tell you, because I don't like it.
17. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment: I have to clean my apartment. I need a new job. I need a new car.
18. Name the last 3 things you have bought: Food, water & soda
19. Name 3 drinks you regularly drink. Mountain Dew, water, orange juice and some cranberry juice combination.
20. What time did you wake up today? 6:00. Got out of bed at 6:14.
21. Current worry? How will I pay for a new car.

22. Current hate? Don't have any.
23. Your favorite place to be? Anyplace that is not at work!
24. Least favorite place to be? At work.

25. Where would you like to go? Crazy. Wanna come??? Oh, I'm already there.
26. Do you own slippers? LL Bean Wicked Good Slippers!
27. What shirt are you wearing? Boston Red Sox 2004 World Series Champions t-shirt.
28. Do you burn or tan? Tan.
29. Least favorite color? Pink
30. Would you be a pirate? Not today.
31. Last time you had an alcoholic drink? A month ago.
32. What songs do you sing in the shower? I don't sing in the shower.
33. What did you fear was going to get you at night as a child? Can't remember.
34. What's in your pockets right now? Wallet, pocket size NASB, eyeglass cloth, three Nebraska quarters.
35. Last thing that made you laugh? Something I read on a blog, probably.
36. Best bed sheets you had as a child? Empire Strikes Back w/ Darth Vader prominently featured.
37. Worst injury you've ever had? Does having a kidney stone count?
38. What is your favorite pet? Dogs. Right now I have two cats, though.
39. How many TVs do you have in your house? One
40. Who is your loudest friend? Josh
41. Who is your most silent friend? Sarah
42. Does someone have a crush on you? If they do, I'd like to know about it.
43. Do you wish on stars? No.
44. What is your favorite book? The Bible.
45. What is your favorite candy? Always Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.
46. What song do/did you want played at your wedding? Whatever.
47. What song do you want played at your funeral? I'll be dead, so it won't matter.
48. What were you doing at 12 a.m. last night? Falling asleep in bed.
49. What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up? Another slow day at work.
50. Do you have a favorite charity? Yes. Me. I'm tax deductible so donate NOW!!!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

I'm so stooopid... but fortunate.

Today at work I got a call on my cell phone from an unknown number. These calls I don't usually answer for obvious reasons. I figure if it's important, whomever it is will leave a message.

For some reason I decided to answer it and I am glad that I did.

My bank was calling me because they noticed that someone was trying to use my Visa debit card, trying to make a purchase from Italy. Fortunately, their attempt was unsuccessful and they did not get any of my money (what little of it I have, anyway). The person I talked to closed off the account number and advised me that I'd need to go to the bank as soon as possible and request a new card.

I just discovered why their attempt to steal from me went bad. I just looked at my checking account balance and it's negative!!!! For once I'm glad I bounced some stuff, however briefly, since the bounced fees are going to kill me.

So that's where I went as soon as work was done.

But now I'm without my debit card for 7-10 days, until I get my new card in the mail. Now I'll have to write checks whenever I go to the stores I go to that I always use my debit card at without thinking twice. What a pain in the -.

Why am I stoopid? Because I got an email from Paypal that said there was a problem with my account and they needed my number. I get these emails frequently and never respond to them, though I wonder why I did last night. Obviously, it wasn't the real Paypal but some hacker slacker who is trying to earn money the old-fashioned way - by stealing it.

Bottom line is this - and it's a lesson to be learned by all of us: never click on an email link that asks you to enter personal information like credit card numbers, etc. becasue you'll never know where you'll be redirected. These scammers make their pages look like the real deal and sadly fool many of us.

This incident will not deter me from the convenience of on-line shopping, however. One bad incident out of hundreds. From now on I'll just have to be more careful to report, forward and delete these emails without entering anything.

So let that be a lesson to me -- and you.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Is this me or is it??

Some of this is spot-on me, others of it is not. You decide which you think are true and which are not. I'm not telling...

Your Values Profile

Loyalty:

You value loyalty.
You're loyal to your friends... to a point.
But if they cross you, you will reconsider your loyalties.
Staying true to others is important to you, but you also stay true to yourself.

Honesty:

You value honesty.
You're honest when you can be, but you aren't a stickler for it.
If a little white lie will make a situation more comfortable, you'll go for it.
In the end, you mostly care about "situational integrity."

Generosity:

You value generosity.
You are all about giving, as long as there's some give and take.
Supportive and kind, you don't mind helping out a friend in need.
But you know when you've given too much. You have no problem saying "no"!

Humility:

You value humility highly.
You have the self-confidence to be happy with who you are.
And you don't need to seek praise to make yourself feel better.
You're very modest, and you're keep the drama factor low.

Tolerance:

You value tolerance.
You are open to new cultures, beliefs, and ideas.
You have very few prejudices that you're aware of.
And while you are tolerant, you do stand true to what you believe.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Weekend Update

It was probably the worst possible weekend to voluntarily be stuck in a car for six hours two days in a row, considering how hot and humid it has been all over the northeast in the last few days.

That being said, all in all it was a good trip to New Jersey and back. It was nice seeing my grandfather again for the first time in two years. And it may be the last time I do. His last illness, sometime earlier this year - whatever it was, really did a number on him. He's now thin as a rail and lucky to weigh 80 pounds soaking wet. He is now permanently in a wheelchair and can no longer do many of the things that he used to be able to do on his own, even things he could do just a few months ago.

Seeing how frail he now is and knowing how he once was is very sad. Granted, growing old is presently a part of the human condition but it sure can be a bummer. I have a strong suspicion that whatever illness he catches next - even a simple cold - will be his end. I really don't think he has the immune system left to deal with anything. So I expect that he will not last the year.

If we aren't forced to go down earlier because of his funeral, the next opportunity I will have to see him is in September sometime. So I'll now go as often as I can with my parents to see him, not knowing when it shall be the last time.

We arrived in Asbury Park at 12:04 and promptly had lunch at a Perkins restaurant within walking distance of the nursing home where my grandfather lives. By 13:00 we were visiting with him and we stayed there talking to him for three hours. He now speaks just above a mumble for the most part and often will be in the middle of saying something and then just stop in the middle of it. When I told him who I was, he kept calling me by my brother A's name. So I would correct him and he looked as if he were mad at himself for not remembering my name. Then a few minutes later he would call me A again. Oh well. One of the goals I had when talking to him was to purposefully ask him questions about things from his past, to make him think and to see how good his long term memory is. His short term memory is next to nothing. The picture below was taken on Saturday, as we sat on the portico of the nursing home enjoying the summer breeze.


A bonus for me was that I got to see an Aunt & Uncle (my grandfather's namesake) that I had not seen since my grandmother's funeral in 2001. They called my dad's cell phone from the road on Saturday and told him when they would be arriving. So we arranged for all of us to meet for breakfast at Perkins on Sunday morning before heading over to the nursing home once more. This time my parents and I only stayed for about 90 minutes, knowing we had a long drive ahead. Though we left my grandfather in the capable hands of his oldest son and daughter in law, who had driven up from their home in Florida.

On our way out of the building we briefly ran into one of my other grandmother's best friends, who lives in the same nursing home as my grandfather. This rather short woman appears as a typical senior citizen. This woman is quite remarkable, looking quite healthy, having her wits about her and being able to walk rather well (even while using a walker) at the stout age of 102. Yes, she proudly announced her birthday to us as July 5, 1904. Amazing it is how everyone ages differently and not always well.

The drive home was uneventful, and I finally arrived back at my apartment at 18:30 last night.


---

OFF LIMITS

On an unrelated note, any chance or opportunity I might have had with my female co-worker is now gone. Apparently I underestimated the seriousness of her relationship with her boyfriend. She relayed in our morning staff meeting that over the weekend he had proposed to her and she had accepted. She was not wearing the ring yet as there was an issue of a loose diamond on it. But soon enough she will be and apparently it is a very large rock, from what she said. Unfortunate for me, good for her - I suppose.

Quite ironic because I was going to say something to her today along the lines of what was suggested in the comments of last Wednesday's post. Now I shall have to suffer in silence, and just enjoy the friendship that we now have.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

SNMR 1.21 "Firewall"

Tonight's SNMR feature is "Firewall" (2006, PG-13, 105 minutes), starring Harrison Ford, Paul Bettany, Virginia Madsen, Mary Lynn Rajskub and Robert Patrick. The film was directed by Richard Loncraine.

As one who owns nearly every Harrison Ford film, from the oldest to this, the most recent - I had to buy it when it came out on DVD, no matter how good or bad it turned out to be. And, like many other DVD's I end up buying, had never watched it until tonight.

From the DVD's dust jacket:
It's an ordinary day at Landrock Pacific Bank - ordinary for everyone but I.T. expert Jack Stanfield. His wife and children are held hostage at home. Their kidnappers have one demand: Jack must heist $100 million from the ultra-secure system he designed. And they'll be watching every move he makes.

Showing the Everyman vulnerability, strength and resourcefulness that make him one of film's most appealing heroes, Harrison Ford portrays Stanfield in this cyber-edged race against time. Paul Bettany (The DaVinci Code) co-stars as an ice blooded crime mastermind. And Virginia Madsen (Sideways) plays Stanfield's wife, who disregards her own terror to protect her children. The criminals' plan is airtight. They figure they can't lose. But they overlook one thing: the desperation of a man with everything to lose.

I thought that this story had much more potential in the script than was actually written. So much more could have been added to the story to make it better. Harrison Ford carries the film and Virginia Madsen is excellent as his terrified wife. Paul Bettany plays a ho-hum bad guy. This film reminded me a wee-bit of Die Hard, with the techie-savvy crooks looking to steal lots of money and getting beat up in the end. This film definitely wasn't one of Ford's better roles, but I credit that to a weak script, rather than a poor performance or bad acting. Overall I thought it was a decent film, with just enough tension to keep the story moving. I'll give this film two and a half out of five stars.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Traveling man

Early tomorrow morning, my parents and I will be driving down to New Jersey so that we can visit with my 97 year old grandfather. They've been going once a month recently. I have not seen my grandfather in a year or two. I'm going this time because it very well may be that the next time I see him will be at his funeral. I haven't taken the opportunity to go down there to see him very often, since it's a long drive and well, he'll know that I'm there but he won't likely remember that I am. We'll be driving back on Sunday and I should be back sometime Sunday afternoon or early evening.

Healthwise, he's doing as well as anyone his age can be expected to be doing. But when you get to be that old, every day is a blessing and a bonus.

I'm going to bring my laptop with me but likely will not post on Saturday becasue I'm not likely to have an internet connection at the place we are staying. So just a reminder that this week's SNMR will be posted on Sunday, as we continue Harrison Ford month.

Yes it is weird. Becasue of this quick weekend trip, I have arranged with ex for her parents to watch V and M. Her parents live on a lake here in NH. I told them that they will have a much better time playing in the water than sitting in a car for 12 hours and sitting with my grandfather for most of the other time. I told V and M that they'd be bored to tears if they went with me this weekend, considering both weekend days are supposed to be HHH. I'm going to call them on Saturday evening just to say hi and tell them that I miss them and love them very much, which I will and do.

I saw V and M last night and will have them with me again next weekend, resuming our normal schedule.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

This is nothing like me whatsoever

yet this is the result I got, twice. And I took the test for the first time more than a week ago. Maybe I'm missing something???

You Are Barney

You could have been an intellectual leader...

Instead, your whole life is an homage to beer

You will be remembered for: your beautiful singing voice and your burps

Your life philosophy: "There's nothing like beer to give you that inflated sense of self-esteem."

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

How do you do it?

Ok, I'm looking for a bit of advice tonight and perhaps you all can help me.

Here's the situation:

Today at work I was chatting with two of my female co-workers and during the course of the conversation I was asked who I would date between two other female co-workers and why or why not. I gave reasons why I would not date one and would date the other. And I, totally unintended, gave it away that I am attracted to one of them. The one I have an attraction for currently has a boyfriend, which is unfortunate for me.

So the question is this: how do I casually and tactfully ask the one I'm attracted to if she'd like to go out socially sometime without giving it away that I'm attracted to her? Or should I not even bother, respecting the fact that she's dating someone else? Not to mention that she's more than ten years younger than I am....

And to confuse me further, there are subtle things that she does that could be read as "I have an attraction for you also" signs but just could be coincidence and I could very well be reading these signals all wrong..

Believe it or not, I can be extremely shy at times around women and am sometimes shamefully quite clueless, especially since I have not dated anyone since my divorce was finalized. Actually, I have not "dated" anyone since before I got engaged to ex in 1992, seeing as how you technically don't date your fiancee/ spouse/ partner/ person.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

77th All-Star Game from Pittsburgh

Baseball's All-Star game used to mean nothing but a fun night for fans of the game. For the last three or four years the league that wins the All-Star Game gets home-field advantage in the World Series in October.

I thought this game would be exciting and feature lots of offense.

Not.

Here's a scoring summary:

Solo Home Run by Vladimir Guerrero, LA Angels. AL 1-0

Solo Home run by David Wright, NY Mets. Tied 1-1

The National League scored a run on a stolen base and on a wild pitch. NL 2-1 - which looked like the game winner, until...

Top of the ninth, one strike away from losing... my AL team scores twice to take a 3-2 lead on a single, ground rule double and triple.

Talk about convenient offense in a pitching dominated game.

Final Score: American League 3, National League 2.

Since 1997 the American League is 9-0-1 in All-Star games. Yes, that's right. The National League has not won this game since 1996. Amazing.

Monday, July 10, 2006

A night with Captain Jack...Sparrow

I went to see Pirates of the Carribbean: Dead Man's Chest tonight. I thought it was excellent, but not quite as good as the original. It serves the purpose well of setting up next summer's third and final installment in the trilogy.

I won't tell you anything about the plot of Dead Man's Chest so I don't ruin it for you. It's always helpful [and good for the Box Office] when you can get the original cast and director back for any sequel, which this film does.

I will say that Kiera Knightley is still hot AND there's a bit of a twist ending - one that I certainly was not expecting and that I hope will be explained next summer.

If you liked Curse of the Black Pearl, you should like Dead Man's Chest. Go see it. Spend the $8.50 for the ticket and another $10 for popcorn and a drink. You'll be glad you did.


Bring on At World's End, baby.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

SNMR 1.20: "The Fugitive"

Tonight's SNMR feature is "The Fugitive" (1993, PG-13, 130 minutes), starring Harrison Ford, Tommy Lee Jones, Joe Pantoliano, Andreas Katsulas, Jeroen Krabbe and Sela Ward. The film was directed by Andrew Davis.

The first time I saw this film was sometime in 1994, just after it came out on VHS. Since then, I have watched it many times. Tommy Lee Jones won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar in 1994 for his role as Sam Gerard. The film was nominated for six other Academy Awards, including Best Picture, but lost out to Schindler's List.

From the DVD's dust jacket:

Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones race through this breathless manhunt movie inspired by one classic TV series and which in turn inspired yet another. Ford is prison escapee Dr. Richard Kimble, a Chicago surgeon falsely convicted of killing his wife and determined to prove his innocence by leading his pursuers to the one-armed man who committed the crime. Jones [the 1993 Academy Award, Golden Globe and Los Angeles Film Critics Award winner as Best Supporting Actor] is Sam Gerard, an unrelenting bloodhound of a U.S. Marshal. They are hunted and hunter. And as directed by Andrew Davis [Under Siege], their nonstop chase has one exhilarating speed: all-out.

From Martin & Porter's DVD & Video Guide 2006, p. 423:
In a riveting performance, Harrison Ford stars as Dr. Richard Kimble, an innocent man accused of murdering his wife. Tracked by the relentless U.S. Marshal Sam Girard, Kimble tries to prove his innocence by finding the one-armed man he believes committed the crime.


This taut action thriller has me on the edge of my seat every time I watch it, even though I know how it will turn out. No matter, from the start of the film through the very end the action is non-stop. Both Ford and Jones are excellent in the lead roles, which even earned Jones a sequel. The train wreck scene was real, not shot in miniature as is often the case in movies and is phenomenal to watch. The script is well written and fast paced, with Jones getting most of the good one-liners, though Ford does get a few. All in all an excellent film, which gets a perfect five out of five stars.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

SNMR 1.19: "Witness"

The first of this weekend's double SNMR feature is "Witness" (1985, R, 112 minutes), starring Harrison Ford, Kelly McGillis, Josef Sommer, Lukas Haas, Danny Glover, Alexander Godunov, Jan Rubes and Brent Jennings. The film was directed by Peter Weir. I'm watching the 20th Anniversary Special Collector's Edition.

I don't recall when I first saw this movie. I don't think that I saw it in the theater, so it was probably after it came out on VHS. This film was nominated for eight Academy Awards but only won two, for best editing and best writing, written directly for the screen. Believe it or not this was the only film in which Harrison Ford was nominated for Best Actor. He didn't win, of course - losing out to William Hurt (Kiss of the Spider Woman).

From the DVD's dust jacket:

When a young Amish woman and her son are caught up in the murder of an undercover narcotics agent, their savior turns out to be hardened Philadelphia detective John Book.

Harrison Ford is sensational as Book, the cop who runs head-on into the non-violent world of a Pennsylvania Amish community. The end result is an action-packed struggle of life and death, interwoven with a sensitive undercurrent of caring, forbidden love.


From Martin & Porter's Video & DVD Guide 2006, p. 1274:

This is three terrific movies in one: an exciting cop thriller, a touching romance, and a fascinating screen study of a modern-day clash of cultures. Harrison Ford is superb as a detective who must protect an 8 year-old Amish boy, the only witness to a drug-related murder.


I love the scene where the first bad guy dies- being buried alive in a silo full of corn. What a horrible way to die... This film features the first big screen appearance of Viggo Mortensen (Lord of the Rings) in a few brief, cameo appearances.

This is an absolutely compelling movie and one of Harrison Ford's best performances in a career filled with them. I love the contrast between the "English" lifestyle and that of the Amish, which I think is overall a very accurate portrayal of that society. The cast is excellent, but I've always wondered aside from the main cast, how many are actually Amish and what procedures the producers had to go through to get consent to film amongst the Amish. Obviously the script is excellent, having won an Oscar for writing. I highly recommend this film to you, so I'll give it five out of five stars, even though I wish the love story had ended differently.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Bow the Knee

This is one of the hymns we sing regularly at church and is one of my favorites.

"Bow the Knee"

There are moments on our journey following the
Lord where God illumines ev’ry step we take.
There are times when circumstances make perfect
sense to us, as we try to understand each move He makes.
When the path grows dim and our questions have no answers, turn to Him.

Bow the knee;
trust the heart of your Father when
the answer goes beyond what you can see.
Bow the knee;
lift your eyes toward heaven and
believe the One who holds eternity.
And when you don’t understand the purpose of His plan,

in the presence of the King, bow the knee.

There are days when clouds surround us, and
the rain begins to fall, the cold and lonely
winds won’t cease to blow.
And there seems to be no reason for the
suffering we feel; we are tempted to believe
God does not know.
When the storms arise, don’t forget we live by
faith and not by sight.

Bow the knee;
trust the heart of your Father when
the answer goes beyond what you can see.
Bow the knee;
lift your eyes toward heaven and
believe the One who holds eternity.
And when you don’t understand the purpose of His plan,

in the presence of the King, bow the knee.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Returning the Favor

I saw this list on Kayla's blog a while ago and knew that I had to steal it to use here, on a night when I didn't feel like writing anything.

Performance Evaluations

These are actual quotes taken from Federal Government employee performance evaluations...

1. "Since my last report, this employee has reached rock-bottom and has started to dig."
2. "Works well when under constant supervision and cornered like a rat in a trap."
3. "When she opens her mouth, it seems that it is only to change feet."
4. "He sets low personal standards and then consistently fails to achieve them."
5. "This employee is depriving a village somewhere of an idiot."
6. "This employee should go far, and the sooner he starts, the better."
7. "Got a full 6-pack, but lacks the plastic thingy to hold it all together."
8. "A gross ignoramus -- 144 times worse than an ordinary ignoramus."
9. "He's been working with glue too much."
10. "He would argue with a signpost."
11. "He brings a lot of joy whenever he leaves the room."
12. "When his IQ reaches 50, he should sell."
13. "If you see two people talking and one looks bored, he's the other one."
14. "A photographic memory but with the lens cover glued on."
15. "Donated his brain to science before he was done using it."
16. "Gates are down, the lights are flashing, but the train isn't coming."
17. "He's got two brains cells, one is lost and the other is out looking for it."
18. "If he were any more stupid, he'd have to be watered twice a week."
19. "If you stand close enough to him, you can hear the ocean."
20. "It's hard to believe he beat out 1,000,000 other sperm."
21. "One neuron short of a synapse."
22. "Some drink from the fountain of knowledge; he only gargled."
23. "Takes him 2 hours to watch '60-minutes'."
24. "The wheel is turning, but the hamster is dead.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

230 years young



Today is the day the United States celebrates it's independence from England. Two hundred thirty years ago the Declaration of Independence was signed by this country's founding fathers, officially putting an end to British rule.

Hooray~ a day off from work with pay!! Bummer~ the end of a long weekend... :>(

Hope everyone had a happy and safe 4th today.

The very first picture, though you can't see it very clearly, is a copy of the Declaration of Independence that I have hanging in my hallway. It's something my dad originally put together in 1976. It was on display in my parents house for many years, until I bought my first house in 1996, when he gave it to me. In the border above there are two $2 bills, which never gained popularity and were only printed in 1976, as far as I know. Thomas Jefferson is on the front and the reverse is a reproduction of the famous painting of the signing of the Declaration.

Just thought I'd share that with you.

The barbeque at my parents' house today was basically uneventful. I got there at 14:00, grilled the steaks (I was recruited) at 15:00 and helped clean up by 16:00. A took a nap and the parents went back to doing whatever it is they were doing before dinner. Sensing all of the excitement about to happen there, I decided to skip out and come home. At least here I can be semi-productive and putter around.

Before you even ask: No I'm not going to see any fireworks displays tonight, since ex has the kids, and I've no one else to go with. Last time I went with the kids we had lots of fun. It was great seeing their amazed faces at the lights, colors and noise of the fireworks. Though it was rather depressing watching all of the couples that sat around us, holding hands and being romantic.


Here's a pic of the lobsters that my dad and brother ate. They are called chix lobsters because they each weigh under 1 1/2 pounds. Aren't they cute?? My mom doesn't like the look of the weird looking critters. She was standing at the sink when one of them flipped its tail and she nearly had a heart attack, or so it seemed. Quite amusing, really.

I'm not much of a seafood person, so I didn't have any lobster to eat. Though I'm not in any way freaked out by them. In fact I think they're rather cool looking, don't you?

Monday, July 03, 2006

Guilty pleasures

Since tomorrow is a national holiday, I decided to take today off from work to give myself an extra long weekend. Ex picked up the kids after work this morning and once they were gone, I went back to bed for a few more hours.

I spent the day watching some of the 3rd season of ALIAS, while trying to get some things done today.

The only thing that I needed to do today was a trip to the post office to check my mailbox. On the way back I drove the route that I walked last Wednesday and it turned out to be just under five miles.

When I got back, I decided to take a swim in the pool here at the apartment. It was too crowded, so I didn't stay long. Even if there were fewer people there, I would only have stayed just long enough to take a dip and cool off.

While I admit it was nice to not have the kids to watch out for poolside, it was also quite boring. Knowing how much crap I need to do inside the apartment, I really couldn't justify staying too long at the pool, no matter how nice and refreshing the water was.

I'll be heading down to the parents' house sometime tomorrow afternoon, for I believe, a steak & lobster cookout. Should be fun.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

SNMR 1.18: "Working Girl"

The second of this weekend's SNMR double feature is "Working Girl" (1988, R, 116 minutes) starring Harrison Ford, Melanie Griffith, Sigourney Weaver, Alec Baldwin and Joan Cusack. The film was directed by Mike Nichols.

This film came out the year after I graduated from high school and was one of the first Harrison Ford films that I bought on VHS. I can't even tell you how many times I've watched this movie. This is the pre-botox Melanie, and she was hot, back then. This is one of those films where I always get the watery eyes at the end because the story hits home in a way in which we all can relate.

From the DVD's dust jacket:

Nominated for six Academy Awards, director Mike Nichols' witty, romantic look at life in the corporate jungle stars Melanie Griffith as Tess McGill, an ambitious secretary with a unique approach for climbing the ladder to success. When her classy, but villainess boss (Sigourney Weaver) breaks a leg skiing, Tess takes over her office, her apartment, even her wardrobe. She then creates a deal with a handsome investment banker (Harrison Ford) that will either take her straight to the top- or finish her off for good.


From Martin & Porter's DVD & Video Guide 2006, p. 1281:

Clever, sophisticated comedy makes up for a lack of all-out belly laughs with the ring of truth. Melanie Griffith is teriffic as the good-hearted gal attempting to work her way up but is thwarted by her scheming boss. A high-powered deal maker comes to the rescue.


Harrison Ford gives a strong performance as the good guy hero. Melanie Griffith is very believable as someone trying to get ahead in her career, despite the rules stacked against her. Sigourney Weaver is excellent as the nasty after her stereotypical heroine role in the Alien films. I think this film has something to do with why I despise Alec Baldwin in almost everything he's ever been in, with possibly one exception (Beetlejuice). I think the dialogue is snappy and the script is well written, moving along at a comfortable pace. This is an all around feel good movie, and you can't have enough of those these days. It's now a very reasonably priced DVD to add to your collection. I'll give this movie four and 1/4 out of five stars.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

SNMR 1.17: "Six Days, Seven Nights"

To kick off SNMR's Harrison Ford month, tonight's feature is "Six Days, Seven Nights" (1998, PG-13, 102 minutes), starring Harrison Ford, Anne Heche, David Schwimmer, Jaqueline Obradors and Temuera Morrison. The film was directed by Ivan Reitman.

The first time I watched this movie was probably shortly after it came out on video, in December, 1998. Ex and I rented it only because Harrison Ford was in it. Since then I've seen it many times.

From the DVD's dust jacket:

Big screen favorite Harrison Ford stars in this nonstop adventure hit about a dream vacation that turns into a hilarious tropical nightmare! A gruff, rough-hewn cargo pilot living in the islands, Quinn Harris (Ford) hates tourists...Though he's not above making a fast buck from a sharp-tongued New Yorker, Robin Monroe (sexy Anne Heche - Volcano, Wag the Dog), when she's desperate for a quick flight to Tahiti! But this already uneasy relationship suddenly takes a nosedive when his weather-beaten old plane is forced down in a storm! Now, stranded together on a deserted isle, Quinn and Robin quickly discover all the perils of paradise. As this mismatched pair find themselves facing danger at every turn, you're sure to find their misfortunes fueling one of Hollywood's most entertaining action-comedy hits in years!


From Martin & Porter's DVD & Video Guide 2006, p. 1037:
Star power doesn't keep this underimagined South seas romantic-comedy buoyant. Harrison Ford and Anne Heche crash on an uncharted island, where r=they're chased by pirates and fall in opposites-attract love because the screenplay says they should.


Despite the fact that I can't stand the whiny David Schwimmer, there's enough comedic situations and dialogue in this film to make it interesting. Anne Heche is very sexy, even though she's a mediocre actress at best. I like the fact that Harrison Ford can be selective in his roles and can pick quirky stuff just for fun, which this role obviously is. I think the plane, a DeHavilland Beaver, is cool and Ford is actually a licensed pilot - so any flying scenes are not done by stand-is, but by Ford himself. The writing is all right, though the romantic match between Ford and Heche is a bit unrealistic and far fetched, since she's almost half his age. Allison Janney's small role was excellently done. There are worse ways to spend the hour and forty two minutes. In my opinion, this movie does exactly what it is supposed to - entertain in a light hearted way. I'm going to give this fun little film three out of five stars.