"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

Sunday, June 29, 2008

SNMR 4.1-4.30 Index Page

Time to do a little sidebar tidying, now that SNMR series four is safely in the books.

Click on the link below to select the review you want to read.

  • 4.30 Popeye
  • 2 stars
  • 4.29 Shopgirl
  • 1 1/2 stars
  • 4.28 Key Largo
  • 2 1/2 stars
  • 4.27 Four Weddings and a Funeral
  • 1 1/2 stars
  • 4.26 Iris
  • 3 1/4 stars
  • 4.25 Picture Perfect
  • 3 stars
  • 4.24 The Man Who Knew Too Much
  • 3 stars
  • 4.23 Music and Lyrics
  • 2 stars
  • 4.22 300
  • 3 stars
  • 4.21 Kate & Leopold
  • 1 1/2 stars
  • 4.20 A Lot Like Love
  • 3 stars
  • 4.19 Hollywoodland
  • 4 stars
  • 4.18 Mr. Deeds Goes to Town
  • 4 stars
  • 4.17 Rumor Has It...
  • 3 3/4 stars
  • 4.16 The Bourne Ultimatum
  • 5 stars
  • 4.15 Down With Love
  • 3 1/4 stars
  • 4.14 The Departed
  • 5 stars
  • 4.13 The Mists of Avalon
  • 3 1/2 stars
  • 4.12 Groundhog Day
  • 4 1/2 stars
  • 4.11 The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
  • 4 stars
  • 4.10 Bonnie and Clyde
  • 2 1/2 stars
  • 4.9 Dial M for Murder
  • 5 stars
  • 4.8 My Cousin Vinny
  • 3 stars
  • 4.7 Anger Management
  • 4 stars
  • 4.6 Dances With Wolves
  • 4 1/2 stars
  • 4.5 La Bamba
  • 5 stars
  • 4.4 The Bourne Supremacy
  • 5 stars
  • 4.3 The Bourne Identity
  • 3 1/2 stars
  • 4.2 13 Going on 30
  • 3 3/4 stars
  • 4.1 The Big Sleep
  • 5 stars

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    Saturday, June 28, 2008

    SNMR 5.3: "Failure to Launch"

    Tonight's SNMR feature is "Failure to Launch" (2006, PG-13, 96 minutes), starring Matthew McConaughey, Sara Jessica Parker, Zooey Deschanel, Justin Bartha, Bradley Cooper, Kathy Bates and Terry Bradshaw. The film was directed by Tom Dey.

    PLOT SUMMARY: Tripp (McConaughey) is a 35 year old who still lives with his parents. Who can blame him? It's free, he's got a great room and mom (Kathy Bates) does the laundry. Desperate to get him out of the house, his parents hire a gorgeous woman, Paula (Parker), to give him a little... push. They just didn't expect Tripp to push back!

    MY OPINION: I enjoyed this movie. The story was typical romantic comedy fodder, but that's okay. The premise of the film was interesting and the script was decently written. Matthew McConaughey is a really likable actor and believable in every role I've seen him in. Sarah Jessica Parker was adequate in her role as the hired date. One thing about Parker though is that she looks too thin. Unhealthy thin. She definitely was better looking in her younger days. The two actors that stole the movie were Terry Bradshaw and Zooey Deschanel. Especially Bradshaw because he's not really an actor but still was very funny. The other cast members were fine.

    The special features on the DVD were well done.

    Overall a good date movie.

    *** out of *****


    Thursday, June 26, 2008


    Since some of you are curious...

    My friend and I did meet for lunch yesterday and we had a nice conversation. We both agreed that it was good to get away from work for a bit and socialize. Most of the time she eats lunch while working. Since I normally bring my lunch, I normally eat at my desk. After I got back to my desk I emailed her and thanked her for lunch. I suggested we do it again sometime. She agreed that that would be nice but we did not schedule anything.

    I learned a few things about her during our conversation:

    1) She's not from New England and moved here because of the job.

    2) Her birthday is a week before mine (June 18 for those of you playing the home game).

    3) She has lots of family who live all over the country.

    4) She has a boyfriend.


    Wednesday, June 25, 2008

    39 is not a prime number

    ...but it is how old I am today. It's just the final rung on that ladder leading to 40, which I will reach next year. We'll have plenty of time to dwell on 40 in 2009.

    V and M tell me quite frequently that I'm not old - and they are right. I once read a saying on a Salada Tea bag that has stuck with me through the years which said that, "Age is a matter of mind. If you don't mind, then it doesn't matter." I really don't feel as old as I am and still certainly look younger than my age. Apparently I look older than 21 because I haven't been carded at a restaurant in quite some time. That's progress... I guess.

    "Honey, it's not the years, it's the mileage." --Dr. Indiana Jones, Raiders of the Lost Ark

    Still though, I'm quite happy to be where I am now age-wise. I've got a lot of miles left!

    {BTW, only six more months of shopping before Christmas!}

    Your Birthdate: June 25

    You excel at anything difficult or high tech.

    In other words, you're a total (brilliant) geek.

    It's difficult for you to find people worth spending time with.

    Which is probably why you'll take over the world with your evil robots!

    Your strength: Your unfailing logic.
    Your weakness: Loving machines more than people.
    Your power color: Tan.
    Your power symbol: Pi.
    Your power month: July.

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    Monday, June 23, 2008

    George Carlin (1937-2008)

    George Carlin died yesterday in California at 71.

    I didn't appreciate some of his humor, but overall the man was a comic genius and a cultural icon. I'll bet many of today's top comedians were influenced in some way by Carlin's comedy and commentary on society.

    If there's one thing I can appreciate about George Carlin is that he certainly was not politically correct, as his comedy reflected that and generally tested boundaries of what was acceptable or not and many times crossed the very boundaries he was setting.


    Saturday, June 21, 2008

    dead weight is heavier than it looks

    About an hour ago the blue lights of a police cruiser came on just as it was passing by my parent's house. Instead of proceeding up the hill it stopped in front of the house next door and across the street.

    In this peaceful neighborhood, police cruisers are rarely seen. Its presence here must not mean anything good has happened. As I sat at my computer looking out the window facing the street, I saw the lights go on and wondered what the problem might be. I thought about getting up and going outside to see what all the hullabaloo was about.

    As I was soon to find out, there was a hit and run here tonight. The victim likely died instantly when the car struck, alive one minute and a pile of meat lying on the street the next.

    My brother A had the nicest, most mild mannered dog you could possibly want. She was a big, friendly dog named Tasha, a Rottweiler-German Shepherd mix. Tasha had a nice dog house and run in the back yard and was leashed there most of the time, except when A would come home in the evening from work and untie her. She spent most of the day sleeping in the shade under his truck during the heat of the day and was tied up until about an hour or so ago, I guess.

    She was always willing to go fetch a ball you had thrown and was always eager to be scratched behind the ears or patted or just shown some love and attention. Really a wonderful dog.

    As you probably have guessed by now, Tasha was the victim tonight. Never knew what hit her. Poor dog. At least she didn't suffer.

    When I was called outside to the news, I was shocked. Tasha often wanders up and down the street, usually having enough sense to move out of the way when a car approaches.

    At night it's a whole different story. Since Tasha's fur was mainly black with some minor brown highlights, if a car is traveling a bit too fast on the street or if the driver is not paying attention, things like this can happen. I'm guessing the hit and run vehicle was a pickup truck or an SUV with a higher wheel base and line of sight for the driver. With a bigger vehicle, the driver may not have seen the big black dog in the street. Plus, Tasha was an older dog and likely losing her hearing and possibly some vision. The officer told me he would search the neighborhood, looking for passenger side front end damaged vehicles and would let us know if the investigation turns up anything. I doubt we'll ever know.

    The police officer also asked me where the dog's owner was and I told him that I had no idea. I jogged down the street to A's girlfriend's house and asked her if she had seen him. She said no and sounded quite upset at him for reasons I don't care about. His motorcycle was back in her shed and his truck was in the gravel driveway next to my parent's house. But where was A? He was not in his room because I looked. He had to be close since his vehicles were both accounted for.

    I was told by the officer that A would have options in dealing with the carcass. Either Animal Control can come and take it away or he can take care of the carcass himself. He'll deal with it later.

    My dad and I got an old quilt from the basement and placed Tasha's body on it. We carried the carcass into my parents yard and up onto the porch and covered it with the quilt until A could be found.

    I went inside because V and M were in bed, calling for me and wondering loudly what was happening. I quickly told them what happened and they were saddened by the news as we all are.

    I grabbed my cell phone and went outside to try and call A's cell. No answer.

    Then I saw it coming from A's truck. Saw the orange glow of a burning cigarette and followed it. Turns out A was sitting in his truck the whole time the cruiser was on the street when the lights were flashing. Sitting in his truck drunk, stoned or possibly both. When I told him his dog was dead he barely understood what I was saying. When I told him again he just mumbled something about pirates. When I told him a third time he said it didn't matter, and that Tasha would be fine in the morning. Definitely in no condition to process information like this.

    So I walked away, disgusted.

    About fifteen minutes later I walked back to A and he was leaning over the steering wheel looking like he was asleep, probably realizing what I had told him minutes earlier. This time I told him that I would unlock the bulkhead for him so when he felt like it he could come inside and go to bed. No response.

    Once I unlocked the bulkhead, I walked back toward him and told him it was all set. he bulkhead was closed but unlocked and the basement door was also unlocked.

    A told me to f- off and to get the f- out of here.

    So I did.


    Before I went to sleep, I saw A in the back yard near Tasha's dog house, having his private mourning in whatever way he could in his alcohol induced state. He had dragged the body into the back yard, maybe intending to bury it. Who knows what he was thinking.

    This morning, my dad and A carried Tasha for one last ride in A's truck. They took her to an animal hospital in the next town that does more than your typical vet's office can do. There A decided to have the dog cremated but he didn't want the ashes back. So Tasha will be part of a mass cremation and her ashes will be disposed of somehow.

    Truly a sad, inglorious ending to the life of a beloved pet.

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    SNMR 5.2: "Sweet Home Alabama"

    ....where the skies are so blue."

    Tonight's SNMR feature is "Sweet Home Alabama" (2002, PG-13, 109 minutes), starring Reese Witherspoon, Josh Lucas, Patrick Dempsey, Candace Bergen, Mary Kay Place, Fred Ward and Jean Smart. The film was directed by Andy Tennant.

    PLOT SUMMARY: Melanie Carmichael (Witherspoon), a New York clothing designer on the rise gets engaged to Andrew (Dempsey), the son of the Mayor of New York City (Bergen). The only problem is that no one knows that Melanie needs to get divorced from her lifelong sweetheart and current husband Jake (Perry) first. When Melanie reluctantly travels to Alabama to get Jake to sign the divorce papers, which he is hesitant to do, she finds herself falling back in love with a man and a life she wanted to leave behind.

    MY OPINION: I liked this romantic comedy. Reese Witherspoon is fantastic. Josh Lucas gives a strong but underrated performance. Candace Bergen is comically great as the "bad guy". The rest of the cast is good. The script is well written and has a nice flow to it. Andy Tennant (Ever After, Hitch) proves here that he is a very good director. The deleted scenes on the DVD are interesting and fill in some of the story. I would have liked to see a featurette on the making of this film, with some cast interviews, which I always find informative and interesting.

    If I can find this DVD on the cheap someday, I can see myself buying it.

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


    Friday, June 20, 2008

    postponed and rescheduled

    A few minutes before noon today, I went to her office to see if she was ready to go to lunch. The door was almost entirely closed and I could hear her talking on the telephone. I went and sat down in the receptionist's area for a few minutes and waited, knowing she'd have to walk past where I was sitting to get to the cafeteria.

    Since I wasn't eating and just sitting around, I decided to go back to my desk and be productive, since I don't normally take lunch until 12:30. I emailed her and asked if she was all set for lunch? [pause for the reply]

    Nope. The call she was on lasted longer than the hour she had planned for it and she didn't know how much longer it would last.

    As of the end of work today her schedule was pretty free for next week, save for Monday. So with much apology, we agreed to reschedule our lunch for next Wednesday.

    I stopped by her office briefly before I left at 16:15 (supposed to leave at 16:00) for the day to say hi, reconfirm for next Wednesday and wished her a nice weekend. I didn't stay long to chat because a) she was in the middle of a conversation with someone else and b) I needed to head out to pick up V and M for the weekend, meeting K at 17:30. I knew the traffic on Route 3 would be heavy heading north into southern New Hampshire, as it always is at rush hour, especially on a Friday afternoon. You know how much I loooove sitting in traffic, right????? ;>)


    I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that the summer solstice is today at 19:59, meaning that my favorite season at last is underway. Hurrah for summer!!

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    Thursday, June 19, 2008

    Quiz Time

    It's been a while since I wasted your time with quizzes, and these are some that I liked and saved for just the right time, since last I left you with a quizzy-post.

    As usual, some of the quizzes are spot on moi, others not so much.

    You Are Strawberries with Cream

    Fresh and uncomplicated, you are always enjoyed but often overlooked.

    You're confident in who you are. You don't need a facade to feel better about yourself.

    Your Element Is Air

    You dislike conflict, and you've been able to rise above the angst of the world.
    And when things don't go your way, you know they'll blow over quickly.

    Easygoing, you tend to find joy from the simple things in life.
    You roll with the punches, and as a result, your life is light and cheerful.

    You find it easy to adapt to most situations, and you're an open person.
    With you, what you see is what you get... and people love that!

    You Are 76% Massachusetts

    You're pretty Massachusetts, but you're starting to slip. Go eat a bulky roll and flip off a New Yorker.

    You Are 36% Perfectionist

    Occasionally you have perfectionist tendencies, but overall you're pretty normal.

    You're sometimes hard on yourself, but you usually focus on what you're doing right!

    You Are Pretty Happy Being Single

    You have a full, fun life. And you definitely don't need love to be content.

    Of course, being single can get you down a little. Especially when you've been single for a while.

    But you know how to be patient and wait for the right person. You're life is too good to settle for anything!

    You Need Some Red in Your Life

    Red will make you feel energetic, passionate, and determined.

    And with a little red, you will project an aura of warmth.

    If you want to feel intensely, you've got to get some red in your life!

    For extra punch: Combine red with orange or pink

    The downside of red: Red can provoke anger or rage. Watch out!

    The consequences of more red in your life:

    You will feel more enthusiasm for life

    You will have the confidence to go after what you want

    You will have a lot more physical energy

    You Are a Little Messy

    You aren't the cleanest person in the world, but you're definitely not a slob.

    You clean up when you have the time, but you're realistic about what you can get done.

    Generally, you're pretty organized and tidy - though you may have a few hidden messes.

    You eventually get around to making things spotless, but you do it on your own schedule!

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    Tuesday, June 17, 2008

    b-b-b-b-b-b it happened again

    What is it about an attractive woman that makes me lose my nerve and ability to speak? Let me set the scenario for you:

    I'm trying to set up a lunch date with a woman at work. It's been harder than you might think because as the human resources person, she's in meetings, interviews or on conference calls most of the day. Plus, I'm at my desk immersed in my own stuff. It doesn't help that her office is in the opposite end of the floor, in another part of the building from where I sit.

    Early last week, I looked at her schedule and mine and decided it would be easier to break the ice by sending her an email proposing we get together for lunch. It took her a few days to respond but she eventually did saying that she rarely finds time for lunch, often eating right at her desk. She suggested that we might get together for lunch in the downstairs cafeteria sometime but didn't say when. I replied, acknowledging that her schedule was set more than mine and that whatever worked for her was fine with me.

    A few days more with no response and I decided to compare her schedule with mine and propose a time myself, which is this Friday at 12:00. When I left today she hadn't responded back so the time is still tentative.

    Before I left this afternoon, I checked her schedule and saw that she had gotten out of a meeting at 4 and would probably be in her office. When I left a little after 4:30, I decided I'd swing by her office to say hi and sure enough she was there sitting at her computer.

    But I couldn't even manage that! I just did a round about, passed by her door and went home.

    So again I ask you (a rhetorical question): What is it about an attractive woman that makes me lose my nerve and ability to speak?

    As of 4:30 this afternoon, lunch is on for Friday! This is good. Real good.


    17's are wild in Boston tonight. On the 17th of June, the Celtics will win their franchise and NBA record 17th championship.

    Twelve minutes to go and Championship basketball will be back in the Hub for the first time in 22 years. And this will actually be the first championship won in Boston in those same 22 years. {The Red Sox won their championships in St. Louis and Denver and the championships the Patriots won were played on neutral fields as they always are.}

    The Celtics are on the verge of winning the NBA Championship tonight, blowing out the Lakers by 30 heading into the start of the fourth quarter.

    Six minutes left and I have not seen such a dominant performance in a professional basketball game since the days of a guy named Jordan who ruled Chicago in the 1990's. In fact, this may be one of the most lopsided Finals games in NBA history.

    Final score: at Boston Celtics 131, Los Angeles Lakers 92

    Your Finals MVP is Paul Pierce, the longest tenured Celtics player and ironically, a Los Angeles native who grew up hating the Celtics. After 10 seasons wearing the green and white, playing on a lot of bad teams, no one is more deserving than The Truth. Ray Allen would also be a good choice if Pierce doesn't win it.

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    Sunday, June 15, 2008

    Father's Day

    I had a nice Father's Day, thanks for asking. ;>)

    After church we had to make a stop at Sam's club so I could pick up a last minute Father's day present that my mom wanted to give my dad. It was "The Bucket List" DVD, which was $18.88. But I found a deal: For just $1 more I managed to pick up "The Bucket List" and another DVD I'd recently watched that I thought was good enough to own, eventually. I had no intention of buying it today but you can't beat that price. DVD's for a dollar. Cool.

    Once we actually arrived home from church, we had a fantastic dinner consisting of grilled steak tips, home-made potato salad and corn on the cob. Of course I insisted on cooking the tips myself, Fathers Day or not... Grilling is a very manly thing to do and I love to do it.

    While we were still sitting around the dinner table out came the Father's Day presents. I got my dad a restaurant gift certificate. V and M got him an outdoor thermometer for his deck. I got some movie theater passes from V and M and a Fenway Park Red Sox clock.

    It was a cool, overcast day here and after the table was cleared, M and I went outside and played another round of catch, which we do quite often this time of year. (Remind me to remind you about some of the best money I ever spent). M also has been practicing his hitting, with a whiffle ball and bat. He's making great progress in his throwing and is starting to get the idea of hitting.

    Once I got winded from chasing whiffle balls around the yard, we went inside to finish watching the Red Sox win handily in Cincinnati.

    V, M and I finished out the evening watching a DVD before they went to bed. Right now I'm watching the Celtics - Lakers game five, hoping the Celtics can come from behind to win the NBA championship tonight. (Nope, didn't happen.)

    All in all a good day.


    Saturday, June 14, 2008

    SNMR 5.1: "The Pursuit of Happyness"

    We'll begin the fifth series of SNMR with "The Pursuit of Happyness", starring Will Smith, Jaden Smith, Thandie Newton, Brian Howe, James Karen and Dan Castellanetta. The film was directed by Gabrielle Muccino. Will Smith was nominated for the Best Actor Oscar in 2007 for his role in this film.

    PLOT SUMMARY: This film is based on the true story of Chris Gardner's (Will Smith) American dream. His rags to riches rise from virtually homeless to Wall Street legend. The story relays the struggles of Gardner as a salesman and Wall street intern. It is the story of how he loses almost everything but his self confidence and the love of his son Christopher (Jaden Smith).

    MY OPINION: This is a very well done feel good story that is at times depressing and uplifting, sometimes both at the same time. The real life father and son relationship of Will and Jaden Smith is evident in their on screen chemistry. With this role Will Smith again ably demonstrates his versatility as an actor in successfully being able to handle dramatic and comedic roles. The script is well written and the directing is smooth throughout. The film is a nice length of 117 minutes. Definitely recommended as a rental and possibly a place in your DVD collection if the price is reasonable. That's how I'm looking at it.

    **** out of *****


    Friday, June 13, 2008

    Tim Russert (1950-2008)

    It's always tough to read about people dying.

    As one who flirted with a broadcasting career back in the day, it's always sad to read stories like this.

    Russert, 58, was by all accounts a fair, honest and hard-nosed journalist. Even those he interviewed who disagreed with his politics would have agreed with that statement.

    Aside from having a great first name, Russert was also a Red Sox fan.

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    Monday, June 09, 2008

    How well do you know me?

    Today begins the fourth year of my blogging experience.

    (And there was much rejoicing....Yaaaaay!)

    I really do appreciate all of you who take the time to read here and share in this corner of my life. The only complaints I can muster are that y'all need to leave more comments AND because I usually tend to post alot, I think some of you miss out on some of the posts I write (hence comments would help here because then I know you're not missing stuff), so please scroll down and catch up on what you might have missed. [Not to mention three years of archives...LOL!] Mucho gracias.

    Since this is my 3rd bloggiversary (and some of you amazingly have been reading here nearly from the get go) I wonder, after three years, how well do you really know me? How much have you actually been paying attention to what you read?

    Fill out what you think are the correct answers to the following 25 questions and leave them in the comments section. I may offer a prize to the lucky stiff with the most correct answers. I'd offer a prize for the most amusing answers too, but I'm too cheap for two prizes.

    That's not really true, though, I'm really a very generous person. ;>)

    I really do want to see how much you've been paying attention and what kind of answers you manage to come up with. In the three years I've been with you here in bloggy-land, I've probably answered every one of these questions at one time or another. Go nuts. Knock yourself out. Have fun. Play nice with the other children.

    At some point I'll leave a comment with the correct answers.

    1. Did we meet in person?

    2.If so, Where did we meet and when?

    3. If we haven't met in person yet, would you like to meet at some point?

    4. Take a stab at my (real life) middle name?

    5. Do I smoke?

    6. Do I drink (alcohol)?

    7. If I do, what would be my favorite drink?

    8. What are the color of my eyes?

    9. Do I have any brothers or sisters?

    10. What's one of my favorite things to do?

    11. What's one of my least favorite things to do?

    12.What's my favorite type of music?

    13. What's my favorite movie?

    14. Who is my favorite actor?

    15. Who is my favorite actress?

    16. Am I shy or outgoing?

    17. Am I a rebel or do I follow the rules?

    18. What special talents do I have?

    19. How long was I married for?

    20. How many children do I have?

    21. What are their names (or the blogger equivalent of)?

    22. If you and I were stranded on a desert island, what is one thing that I would bring?

    23. How many times did I have surgery?

    24. what was it for?

    25. Where did I go on the best vacation I ever had?


    Must take care of business - Happy 25th birthday, C.

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    Saturday, June 07, 2008

    SNMR 4.30: "Popeye"

    Tonight's SNMR feature is "Popeye" (1980, PG, 113 minutes), starring Robin Williams, Shelley Duvall, Ray Walston, Paul Smith, Paul Dooley, Richard Libertini, Bill Irwin and Wesley Ivan Hurt. The film was directed by Robert Altman.

    PLOT SUMMARY: Popeye (Williams) comes to Sweethaven, gets the girl Olive Oyl (Duvall), adopts a son, rescues his pappy (Walston) and beats up the bad guy Bluto (Smith) after eating a can of raw spinach, all while singing a happy tune. Yada yada yada.

    MY OPINION: I remember seeing this film in the movie theater as an 11 year old boy. Back then I thought it was the coolest thing. Now not so much, though seeing this movie again after 27+ years brings back some fun childhood memories. I used to love watching the Popeye cartoons on television, both in b&w and in color.

    The casting of Robin Williams as Popeye and Shelly Duvall as Olive Oyl were excellent choices. The visual effects are good but the story is too long and could have been accomplished just as well in 90 minutes or so. This is one of the first cartoons to be made into a feature film as far as I can recall. The director has definitely captured that cartoonish feel to the film, which is great, considering the source material.

    It's a fun movie to watch with your kids (V and M liked it without ever having seen a Popeye cartoon) or if you were a fan of the old cartoons as I was.

    ** out of *****


    On to the general election!

    Now that Hillary Clinton is officially out of the race for President, we can get on to the business of the general election.

    Barack Obama vs. John McCain.

    Should be a good fight all the way to the conventions and on to November 4th. Both candidates have vowed to keep this a clean campaign. Yeah, right. We'll see how long that lasts. I'll bet you that McCain will do the first bit of mud-slinging, whenever that happens. Wouldn't surprise me a bit.

    Now the question is who will each candidate choose as a veep?

    Will Hillary be the right choice for Obama? Maybe someone from Ohio or Pennsylvania, two key battleground states, which will help. One thing we do know: John Edwards wants nothing to do with being the VP candidate this time around. (Can you say Attorney General?)

    Will McCain, as American Guy suggested, tab Condi Rice or possibly the Mittster- Mitt the Mormon?


    140th Belmont Stakes

    So it comes down to this, if you're interested in horse racing only for the Triple Crown, as I am. Apparently Derby and Preakness winner Big Brown has a great chance to break the 30 year drought of Triple Crown winning horses. According to the odds, his closest rival, Casino Drive, has pulled out of the race today due to an injury.

    One and a half miles is a great distance for a horse to run and fittingly, if he can win this will have a well deserved spot in Triple Crown racing history. Especially if he can win this race going away, as he did in the first two jewels.

    I'm hoping Big Brown can win. What a great story that would be. Of course I'll update this post sometime after the race with the results.

    140th Belmont Stakes
    at Belmont Park, NY
    (1.5 miles, Post time sometime around 6:05 PM)

    Post Horse ML Odds

    1. Big Brown 2-5
    2. Guadalcanal 50-1
    3. Macho Again 20-1
    4. Denis of Cork 12-1 ***Place***
    5. Casino Drive 7-2 *withdrawn*
    6. Da'Tara 30-1 ****WIN****
    7. Tale of Ekati 20-1
    8. Anak Nakal 30-1 **Show**
    9. Ready's Echo 30-1 **Show**
    10. Icabad Crane 20-1

    Big Brown couldn't deliver the goods today, finishing last in the Belmont Stakes. Da'Tara was your winner by 5 1/4 lengths in a really anticlimactic race. Denis of Cork came in second and both Anak Nakal and Ready's Echo finished in a dead heat for third.

    I actually like the fact that Big Brown finished last. Jockey Kent Desormeaux realized the horse didn't have it and rather than push, he eased up and just let Big Brown jog to the finish.

    Now the questions that will linger will be if Big Brown's cracked hoof had something to do with his performance or not. According to this
    article, the answer is no.

    Now we can effectively ignore horse racing until the first Saturday of May 2009, when we see which horse will try to snap the 31 year drought of Triple Crown winners.

    PHOTO CREDITS: Getty Images (top) and UPI (bottom).

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    Sunday, June 01, 2008

    Books of the Month - June 2008

    You may have heard me say before that Israel is a wonderful and fascinating country, even if you're not into the religious scene. The history speaks for itself, and not just in Israel but for the entire Middle East region, because this area of the world is known as "the cradle of civilization" and for very good reasons.

    This month then, I thought it good to focus on archaeology and how the study of these ancient cultures can help us understand our past and where we might be headed in the future.

    The first selection this month is "The Stones Cry Out" by Randall Price. Even though this book is ten years old and probably needs to be updated, it will still knock your socks off.

    Archaeology very well could be the final nail in Christianity's coffin - if it weren't for the fact that it supports the Bible at almost every turn. Dr. Price has studied, taught and performed archaeology for many years, and puts that expertise at your fingertips by showing what archaeology can prove, what new discoveries are revealing, and what all the evidence could mean.

    From the book's back cover: Discover what new archaeological finds have to tell us about Israel's journey to the Promised Land, the fall of Jericho's walls, the Ark of the Covenant, the kings and prophets of Israel, the Assyrian and Babylonian invasions, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the time and people of Jesus, and more. Includes testimonies and interviews from leading archaeologists and exciting pictures featuring the latest finds made in the lands of the Bible. "The Stones Cry Out" will give you a new appreciation for both the world and the Word of the Bible!

    Order your copy here and here.

    The second selection this month is "Biblical Archaeology" by John McRay and Alfred Hoerth.

    From cbd.com: For years archaeologists have been excavating historical sites to recover a better understanding of early civilizations. Their discoveries have given us insight on how, where, and why our essential religious beliefs came to be. Now Alfred Hoerth and John McRay offer you the opportunity to experience these early cultures for yourself.

    An informative and engaging introduction to biblical archaeology, this accessible book explores the histories, cultures, and social forces of the earliest civilizations. Full-color maps, photographs, and diagrams walk you through archaeological digs, including those in Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Palestine. The knowledge gained through these excavations will give you insight into the historical context and cultural setting of the biblical narratives. The result is a compelling look at the biblical text that allows you to see and truly experience the life and work of such godly men as Abraham and Moses, as well as Jesus and his disciples.

    Order your copy here and here.