"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

Saturday, November 24, 2007

SNMR 4.3: "The Bourne Identity"

Tonight's SNMR feature is "The Bourne Identity" (2002, PG-13, 119 minutes), starring Matt Damon, Franka Potente, Chris Cooper, Clive Owen, Brian Cox and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje. The film was directed by Doug Liman.

PLOT SUMMARY:
Matt Damon stars as rogue CIA agent Jason Bourne who is pulled out of the ocean with two bullets in his back and a bad case of amnesia. Bourne has to dodge his own govenment trying to kill him while attempting to piece together his past memories. Chris Cooper co-stars as Alexander Conklin, the CIA chief trying to bring Bourne down. Franka Potente co-stars as Marie Kreutz, a woman in the wrong place at the wrong time who gets caught up helping Bourne.

Tonight was the first time I had ever watched this movie. I had wanted to get into the Bourne series since this movie was released but for one reason or another, never got around to it.

WHAT I LIKED ABOUT THIS MOVIE:
I like these type of movies involving the CIA and it's agents, so I thought the premise here was good. Matt Damon is believable in the role of Jason Bourne. Chris Cooper is generally underrated as an actor and his intensity here is good. I thought the one car chase scene through Paris was well shot.

WHAT I DID NOT LIKE ABOUT THIS MOVIE:
This movie didn't nearly have enough action to justify the nearly two hour length. This is due to an average script and so-so directing. The movie is slow in places which drags down the pace of the story. Since there have been two sequels, something about this movie must have struck with audiences - what that is I'm still trying to figure out. Maybe repeat viewings will help.

***1/2 out of *****

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Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving 2007

Whatever the actual history of the first Thanksgiving is or is not is not really that important to me. What Thanksgiving means to me is to be thankful for the overall good fortune in my life and all of the blessings God has bestowed upon me in my 38+ years of living.

Psalm 95 (NKJV)
A Call to Worship and Obedience


1 Oh come, let us sing to the LORD!
Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.

2 Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving;
Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.

3 For the LORD is the great God,
And the great King above all gods.

4 In His hand are the deep places of the earth;
The heights of the hills are His also.

5 The sea is His, for He made it;
And His hands formed the dry land.

6 Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
Let us kneel before the LORD our Maker.

7 For He is our God,
And we are the people of His pasture,
And the sheep of His hand.


V, M and I had an excellent Thanksgiving. It was a truly leisurely day. We had the traditional turkey with stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, corn, asparagus, and dinner rolls. To top it off we had the choice of blueberry or pumpkin pie with whipped cream.

Sitting at the table here were my parents, my brother A, younger sister C, my nephew D, V, M and myself.

It took my mom all day to prepare the meal and all of 30 minutes for us to devour
it. That turkey was so good that it all but melted in the mouth. Mmmmm.


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Here's a dumb Thanksgiving joke that I saw on a sign in Nashua this week:


Why did the policeman arrest the turkey?












Because the turkey was suspected of fowl play....


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Did you all have a relaxing Thanksgiving?

What did you do? Did you spend it with family or friends?

Did you have the traditional Thanksgiving turkey dinner?

Did you take a tryptophan induced nap?

Did you watch some NFL football on television?

Do you have Friday off or do you have to go back to work?

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Saturday, November 17, 2007

No SNMR this week

Sorry to disappoint you loyal readers of this feature, however many of you there are out there in bloggerland.

Due to my being out of town this past week and lack of time to watch, let alone write about a movie, I'm going to forgo posting a movie review this week. The regular Saturday feature should resume on it's normally scheduled day, if all goes well.

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Friday, November 16, 2007

Fabulous

I've copied here the picture that Fondue Princess posted of Esther and me over on her blog.

Esther and I are getting along fabulously. I've been here for two plus days so far and everything has exceeded my wildest expectations.

Folks, let me tell you that eHarmony works. BIGTIME!!!!! The comfort level Esther and I shared talking over the phone and on Yahoo Messenger over the past three months has easily, easily translated into our comfort level in person.

So much so that I have to pinch myself at times to realize that I'm not dreaming.

We have been busy enjoying each other's company and enjoyed dinner and riotously funny games of rummy with Fondue Princess and her family.

Everyone here has made me feel so welcome and has made the trip well worthwhile.

I'll have more for you later, as circumstances allow.

'night from South Carolina!

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Monday, November 12, 2007

Road Trip

Well boyz and girlz, ladeeeeez and gentz

I'm off to see the Wizard! The Wonderful Wizard of Oz!!!!

Well, not really. Not even close, actually.

At this time tomorrow, if all goes according to the plan, I'll be leaving for South Carolina to meet Esther.

I'm driving the roughly 15 hours it takes to get there, and plan to do most of my driving at night, when there is less traffic and traffic jams to deal with. I'm planning to make the trip without checking into a hotel along the way.

Don't you worry, though. I'm not going to attempt to drive for 15 hours straight. There will be meal and pee stops as necessary and more than likely one stop, for an as yet undetermined period of time, to catch some z-z-z-z-z's in my car.

The most important stop en route though, will be to freshen up a wee bit before I arrive, so I won't look quite as frumpy as I'm sure I'm gonna look and feel when I finally get there.

"You never get a second chance to make a first impression."

This was a line from an old soap/deodorant/cologne commercial that has stuck with me through the years. How true it was then and how true it is now. Funny thing about truth. It never gets old or goes out of style.

This will be another traveling first for me. I've never spent any meaningful time in the great state of South Carolina. Only once have I ever been to South Carolina and that was when I was a wee-small lad and drove to Florida with the fam in the late 1970's. But that's a whole 'nother story for a whole 'nother time. (Or NOT!!)

I will be posting next on Wednesday night from South Carolina.

'Til then people, I'm outta here.

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Saturday, November 10, 2007

SNMR 4.2: "13 Going on 30"


Tonight's SNMR feature is "13 Going on 30" (2004, PG-13, 98 minutes), starring Jennifer Garner, Mark Ruffalo, Judy Greer and Andy Serkis. The film was directed by Gary Winick.

PLOT SUMMARY:
Thirteen year old Jenna Rink isn't happy with herself and wants to be 30 and glamorous like the women in a popular fashion magazine. Thanks to her best friend Matt and a bit of wishing dust, Jenna gets her wish. Now she has to deal with the person she's become overnight - a heartless fashion magazine editor. Apparently Jenna's new life is everything she ever wanted, but finds it an empty life without her childhood best friend. Now, this grown woman must create some magic of her own to help the little girl inside find the true love she left behind.


The first time I saw this movie was just after it came out on DVD and Comcast pay-per-view. This was when I was in the midst of catching up on the first three seasons of Alias, so I was in a Jennifer Garner groove. And I still am. Always will be too.

WHAT I LIKED ABOUT THIS MOVIE:
Jennifer Garner demonstrates her versatility as an actress in this film, proving that she can do comedic roles just as well as the serious ones. My favorite scene is the dance/party scene where Jennifer Garner starts dancing solo to Michael Jackson's "Thriller" and gets everyone else to do it too. I love '80's reminiscent movies. Andy Serkis is fantastic and he steals virtually every scene he is in. The music in the film is an excellent mix of songs from the 80's and today. Mark Ruffalo is my hero. He's been "romantically involved" with some of my favorite actresses in several recent movies. The script is witty in places and I think is well written. Winick does a good job directing. The DVD does have some good cast and crew interview extras, which I like.

WHAT I DID NOT LIKE ABOUT THIS MOVIE:
Face it, this movie is smothered in cheesiness. There's no getting around that. Though he does have one good scene, Garner's hockey player boyfriend adds little to the story. Jennifer Garner's nemesis, played by Judy Greer, is quite annoying by the end of the film.

***3/4 out of *****

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castle

It's no secret within my immediate family that I have issues with the doctrinal statements of The Salvation Army, among other things.

One aspect of their ministry that is outstanding and one which I support wholeheartedly is their charitable work within the communities that they serve. This was driven home again to me tonight.

Every year, the Salvation Army in Lowell has what they call a "Christmas Castle", which hands out food to families in need in the Lowell area. The food is donated by people and businesses in communities around the city.

Tonight, V, M and I met my parents at the castle and we joined in with about 20 other people to sort the food. Pasta, pasta sauces, canned soups, canned corn, other canned vegetables, breakfast products, canned fruit and dessert items, Ramen noodles, macaroni and cheese and miscellaneous food items were all donated in abundance.

Over the next few weeks the food will be sorted into bags of various sizes for different sized families, giving those who have needs some basic food items. Whatever food is left over will be used throughout the year in The Salvation Army's various feeding programs.

This sort of thing makes you feel good that you can do something positive for others, while meeting a basic need. After we left the castle, I was talking to V and M, telling them that we are fortunate to have all of the nice things we do, food for our bellies and warm, safe places to live.

After we got to McDonald's (my parents wanted to treat the grand kids) while we were sitting around the table eating, V was asking my dad if there were going to be any other opportunities to help out sorting food or whatever. Hearing my daughter say this made me feel even better. It shows that, even at 10, my daughter has a wonderful, compassionate side to her personality. Hopefully this part of her will grow in the years to come. M wasn't as talkative about it but I could tell that he was impacted by what we did tonight as well.

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Thursday, November 08, 2007

Making an impact

Everyone who blogs likes to have people read what they write. I'm no different. If they tell you otherwise, there's a good chance they're lying. Sure, some folks like to blog for themselves and that's fine. For them (and I include myself here) any readers/commenters are purely bonus. But the narcissist in all of us ask (even if only to ourselves), "How many people read what I write?" and "What kind of an impact am I having on those that do read?" Afterall, it's the underlying reason why we bother to blog at all, even if we don't readily admit it.

There are many blogs that receive lots of comments on a daily basis and it's easy to see that these blogs are popular and well read. There are some bloggers who post infrequently and get few or no comments because either we think they've abandoned their blog or they start it with the best of intentions only to find that they either don't care about blogging that much and quit writing or find that the time is just not there to fit blogging in. There are also nexus blogs, as mine was once referred to, that may or may not be read but serve as bridges for folks to get from one blog to another. Then there are blogs that post frequently (and I have been among this group, though not as recently) and due to the volume of material posted and the demands on our blog reading time, may not get as many comments on a daily basis but do maintain a list of loyal readers.

Allow me to share with you an email I received today. I'm sharing it with you because these emails are nice to get and I don't get them too often:

Hi Mr.Monster ;)
I just wanted to let you know that I've been following your blog for a little while now and enjoy poking around there every now and then. I'm not a blogger myself but have always found it extremely interesting how people put their lives out on the Internet for random people to check out.

Very cool. Anyway, just wanted to say hi and let you know about a new quiz site I found the other day.
www.quizlee.com. (I kind of noticed you like taking online quizzes) The web-lingo and web fiend quizzes are neat with great badges to post. Apparently I'm 85% web fiend but have no clue about web lingo, I knew that was coming. :)

I hope you get to go to Machu Picchu. My brother in law just returned from a 10 day trip there and said it was absolutely amazing. It's an experience of a lifetime he tells us. My husband and I are heading to Brazil over the holidays to visit him, hopefully we will get to take the trip.

Take Care and keep the posts coming!
Cheers for now,
{name deleted}


I sent this reply:

{name deleted}

Thanks for reading and complimenting me on my blog. I take great pride in it, as you can see.

I don't mind writing about myself and events in my life for people to see, because of the level of anonymity I can maintain, even when I "put myself out there". But there are rules I maintain: I will not post pictures of anyone that I know (without their permission) and no family members except those who are deceased. And when talking of friends and family, I always use blogger names (if applicable) or first initials only.

I do highly suggest you try out blogging. It's free and you can meet many great people while blogging that you otherwise might not have met.

Though I'm curious - how did you stumble upon my piece of blogger land?

Thanks for reading.

green

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Saturday, November 03, 2007

SNMR 4.1: The Big Sleep

Tonight's SNMR feature is "The Big Sleep" (1946, NR, 116 minutes, B&W), starring Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, John Ridgely, Martha Vickers, Dorothy Malone and Peggy Knudsen. The film was directed by Howard Hawks.

WHAT I LIKED ABOUT THIS FILM:
What is not to like? For starters, Humphrey Bogart is a stud. He has a woman fall into his arms within the first three minutes of the first scene. The chemistry between Bogart and Bacall is hot from the beginning, parallelling their real life, off screen relationship. The script is well written, flows well and had lots of witty dialogue. The story is complex, the action is subdued and subtle. The film is directed masterfully.

WHAT I DISLIKED ABOUT THIS FILM:
Nothing, really. This film is a classic and a standard of the murder mystery genre.


From the DVD's dust case:
L.A. private eye Philip Marlowe (Humphrey Bogart) takes on a blackmail case... and follows a trail peopled with murderers, pornographers, nightclub rogues, the spoiled rich and more. But Raymond Chandler's legendary gumshoe solves it in hard-boiled style - and style is what The Big Sleep is all about. Director Howard Hawks serves up snappy character encounters (particularly those of Bogart and Lauren Bacall), brisk pace and atmosphere galore. This DVD doubles your pleasure, offering two versions of this whodunit supreme: the familiar 1946 theatrical version [side A] full of re shot scenes of incendiary Bogart/Bacall chemistry, and the less-familiar 1945 prerelease version [side B], which recently resurfaced and whose plot and resolution are more linear in fashion.

***** out of *****

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Green fought the law....

It was my first day on the job of a one-day temp assignment and it was a Friday. The staffing agency told me that if I wanted to get paid on time for the day, I'd need to get my time sheet in by that afternoon. Problem was, I didn't have any time sheets.

Before I was supposed to be at the new job I had to stop at the staffing agency to get the time sheet. The staffing agency is located at the north end of Main Street, which runs right through the heart of downtown Nashua. Of course, making this extra stop meant that I was on the verge of being late if I was delayed in any fashion. Stopping at multiple red lights, stopping at a red light that stayed red for longer than normal, being pulled over for speeding...

I drive through downtown Nashua frequently. I have been doing so since K and I moved to New Hampshire in 1996. With all of the traffic lights and volume of traffic on this road, it's difficult to go faster than the speed limit for any extended period of time. Never before had I been stopped for speeding on this road.

Until that day.

When he pulled me over, the Nashua Police officer said that he clocked me going 42 miles per hour in a 25 mph zone. Hello $100.00 ticket.

Great. Freakin' great.

Understand that, to this point in the summer I had not been working and the last thing I needed was a speeding ticket. I had no money to pay it.

So I did what I always say I would do. Appeal the ticket and take my chances with our wonderful legal system.

Today was my day in court.

As it turns out, I've never had any occasion to go to the Nashua District Courthouse. In the last dozen years, I've only had to go to court once, and not since my divorce was finalized in April, 2004. The Nashua Courthouse is a non-descript brick 1980's style concrete monstrosity.... ummm, building. Which is to say that it does not stick out as a piece of architectural brilliance but blends in nicely with the majority of buildings downtown. And I didn't realize I didn't know exactly how to get there.

The summons sheet I received in the mail informed me that I needed to be at the courthouse by 08:15. I got into downtown Nashua at 07:50, figuring that 25 minutes was plenty of time to get to the courthouse, park and get into the building past security in plenty of time.

Wrong. I proceeded to spend the next 40 minutes trying to find the building but couldn't do it. Once I did find it, I discovered that there was precious little parking in the lot in front of the building. A uniformed officer patrolling the reserved section of the parking lot advised me that there was a parking lot right up the street from the courthouse, about 200 yards away. Fantastic.

If ever you visit Nashua, bring a lot of quarters. Nashua is possibly one of the most parking meter happy cities in America. I don't normally carry any change.

Once I pulled into the parking lot and found my space, I realized that this lot, like many others around the city, was metered. Fortunately I had some singles in my wallet and was able to get change at a wallpaper and flooring store nearby. I pumped four quarters into the meter, which should have given me 2 hours of parking time but only gave me 90 minutes.

I ran into the courthouse, already late for my scheduled appearance. I had to empty my pockets before I walked through the metal detector. I passed through OK but security decided to hold on to my keys because I have a nail keyring. The nail is a replica of the nails used in a crucifixion. My nail keyring is made of soft metal and would bend and break if I attempted to use it as a weapon. But for this reason they held on to my keys.

I finally entered courtroom one at 08:45. It seemed like the court was disorganized and none of the days proceedings had begun yet. That, at least, was good. I found a seat on one of the chairs in the back of the courtroom. A few minutes later my name was called and I was asked by a court official if I would like to have a hearing or not. I said that I would, since that is why I was there. I sat back down and waited for 15-20 minutes for the next step. One of the Nashua Police Officers who was working at the court that day called my name and asked me to step outside of the courtroom. He was carrying my paperwork.

Once outside the courtroom, the officer asked me what I'd like to do here. I told him that I'd like to get the ticket dismissed or at least reduced. Shuffling through the papers in his hand, he reminded me that I was caught going 17 mph over the posted speed limit and with three other speeding violations on my record in the past few years he advised me that the judge would not reduce my fine or dismiss my ticket. In fact, he informed me that it was possible that the judge could decide to increase my fine and or have my drivers license suspended. At that point I decided to suck it up and pay the fine and be done with it. The officer nodded, advised me that he would let them know inside and that I should go downstairs to the window and pay my fine.

So I did.

I went downstairs and walked toward the window and stood several feet away, a sign posted on the glass advised only to come to the window when called. Several people were called ahead of me to settle their business after I got there. Once the woman behind the glass was done calling out specific names, about 90 minutes later, she looked at me and asked if she could help me. I told her my name and that all I needed to do was pay my fine. She looked through her stack of folders and paperwork but couldn't find anything with my name on it. She wrote down my name and told me that she would call up to the courtroom to see where my paperwork was.

Again I waited, this time about 45 minutes. When I approached the window the second time I restated what I needed to do but she still didn't have my paperwork. She then got up, went around the corner and came back a few minutes later. She informed me that they needed me back upstairs in the courtroom and I should go back there right away. Puzzled, I asked why and she repeated that I needed to go.

Back upstairs in the courtroom, my name was being called as I reentered the room. Apparently the officer forgot to tell someone that I decided to pay my fine instead of standing before the judge. They were about to pronounce me a no-show. When I discovered this, I quickly advised the court officials that I wanted to pay my fine and that I was told to go downstairs and do it. I told them that the officer I spoke to said he would advise them of my change of plea and that he instructed me to go downstairs and wait, which I had.

The court official nodded and told me that they would promptly send my paperwork back downstairs. I went downstairs immediately but it took another half hour or so for my paperwork to follow me.

Once my paperwork came down to the cashier-like lady, it took all of five minutes to pay my $100. By the time I got out of the courtroom and back home, it was 13:30 and I hadn't eaten anything all day.

Shortly after I got back, I called work to ask my boss if we were busy and if I should bother coming in for the last two hours of the workday. I told her briefly that I had just gotten home from court and she told me to have a nice weekend - that she would see me on Monday.

Appealing the speeding ticket did suit my ultimate goal - in that it gave me a few extra months to come up with the money to pay the fine, even though overall I lost out on a day's work (and pay) and gas to make an extra trip up to Nashua. I suppose it was a worthwhile experience. Barely.

But the ironic thing is that, after the day's work at the temp job, they took down my name and advised the staffing agency that I was there. So I did get paid the following Tuesday. My trip to the staffing agency that August day was not really necessary and had I known that, would not even had to come close to driving through downtown Nashua and therefore would not, in all likelihood, have gotten a speeding ticket that day.

Oh well.


Today Green fought the law....and lost; but not before becoming hopelessly tangled in the web of disorganization and red tape that our wonderful court system so efficiently provides.

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Thursday, November 01, 2007

Books of the Month - November 2007

Do you know what the true meaning of grace is? Have you experienced the grace of God firsthand? Certainly we humans don't fully understand the level of grace to which we've been afforded. This is such a pivotal topic that this month we're highligthing three excellent texts that deal with the issue as well as it can be covered by the pen of mortal man.

The first book this month, by Dr. David Jeremiah, examines grace through the lives of Apostle Paul and John Newton. I'm reading this book now.



"By examining the dramatic stories of the "Amazing Grace" hymn writer John Newton and the Apostle Paul's encounter with the God of grace, Dr. David Jeremiah helps you understand the freeing power of permanent grace and mercy. These vivid examples and fresh biblical insights demonstrate how grace wondrously spans all differences, rescues you from your lostness, helps you overcome your weaknesses, and transforms you from victim to victor. Through Captured By Grace, you'll have a fresh experience of the very personal, transforming effect of God's wondrous gift of grace."
Order your copy here or here.

The second title this month is by James Montgomery Boice and Philip Graham Ryken. I read this book on my trip to and from Dallas in March, 2006. Boice was one of my favorite authors. This book was in the works when he died in 2000 and was finished by Ryken, using Boice's notes.



"There is no question that we live in an age of weak theology and casual Christianity. We have substituted intuition for truth, feeling for belief and immediate gratification for enduring hope. Evangelicalism desperately needs to return to the doctrines that once before reformed the world: radical depravity, unconditional election, particular redemption, efficacious grace and persevering grace. James Boice and Philip Ryken not only provide a compelling exposition on these doctrines of grace, but also look briefly at their historical impact. The authors leave no doubt that the church suffers when these foundational truths are neglected and that she must return to a Christianity that is practically minded, kind hearted, and most importantly, biblically based."

Order your copy here or here.

The third, but by no means least, book for this month is Chafer's landmark classic on the subject of Grace. Chafer's writing style is much more scholarly and intense but eminently readable on the whole.



"No one word in all the Bible more fully describes God's plans and purposes than "grace," and no one work more fully expounds the multifaceted nature of God's grace than Lewis Sperry Chafer. Emphasizing the dispensational distinctions between law and grace, Chafer deals systematically and thoroughly with the relevant Biblical doctrines on the topic of grace. The text is extensively indexed by subject and Scripture reference, making it a handy reference tool for Bible study. Grace is a classic work by one of the 20th century's pivotal evangelical leaders and a basic reference text on the subject for pastors, Bible students and Bible teachers."

Order your copy here or here.

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