"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, March 31, 2008

Green's 2008 Baseball Predictions

Even though the Red Sox have already played two games in Japan that count in the standings for this season, the rest of Major League Baseball got underway last night with one game and today with a full set of games in both leagues.

You know I like to tell y'all what I think, even if y'all don't care as much as I do. Everyone's got an opinion so I thought I'd give you my predictions for this new, wonderful baseball season!! With a full 162 game schedule for each team between now and October, anything can happen and it usually does. One thing I know for sure is that I'm going to enjoy the ride.

American League

East
1. Boston Red Sox
2. New York Yankees
3. Toronto Blue Jays
4. Tampa Bay Devil Rays
5. Baltimore Orioles

Central
1. Detroit Tigers
2. *Cleveland Indians
3. Minnesota Twins
4. Chicago White Sox
5. Kansas City Royals

West
1. Los Angeles Angels
2. Seattle Mariners
3. Oakland Athletics
4. Texas Rangers

National League

East
1. New York Mets
2. Atlanta Braves
3. Philadelphia Phillies
4. Washington Nationals
5. Florida Marlins

Central
1. Chicago Cubs
2. Houston Astros
3. Milwaukee Brewers
4. Cincinnati Reds
5. Pittsburgh Pirates
6. St. Louis Cardinals

West
1. Los Angeles Dodgers
2. *-San Diego Padres
3. Arizona Cardinals
4. San Francisco Giants
5. Colorado Rockies

*= Wild Card teams

WILD CARD PLAYOFFS (best of five)

AL- Boston over Cleveland
AL- Detroit over Los Angeles
NL- Chicago over San Diego
NL- Los Angeles over New York

CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES (best of seven)

AL- Boston over Detroit
NL- Chicago over Los Angeles

WORLD SERIES (best of seven)

Boston over Chicago

Since I was in college, the Chicago Cubs have consistently been one of my favorite National League teams. Lou Piniella is an outstanding manager who has won a World Series (1990 Cincinnati Reds) and the Cubs look to have a very good team this year. Plus, they are the sentimental favorites, since their last World Series championship was in 1908. Yes, 1908. 100 years ago. And you thought the pre 2004 Red Sox and pre 2005 White Sox were pathetic. C'mon admit it, you did. Yes. You. Did.

I may be a bit of a homer when it comes to predicting for or against my Red Sox, but the defending World Series Champions are essentially returning with the same team as the one they won with last year, which rarely happens in this day and age of professional sports, so how can I not pick them to repeat?

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Saturday, March 29, 2008

SNMR 4.20: "A Lot Like Love"

Tonight's SNMR feature is "A Lot Like Love" (2005, PG-13, 107 minutes), starring Ashton Kutcher, Amanda Peet, Kathryn Hahn, Taryn Manning and Aimee Garcia. The film was directed by Nigel Cole.

I'd never seen this film before now. In fact, this is the first film I've ever seen anything with either Amanda Peet or Ashton Kutcher. I checked it out of the library because I was looking for some lighthearted fluff to watch. The DVD happened to still be in my player, so I watched again last night as I was lying in bed.

PLOT SUMMARY: Oliver (Kutcher) and Emily (Peet) cross paths at the airport and are on the same flight from LA to New York. They spend time together, life takes them their separate ways and they meet again three years later. Life separates them again and they meet a third time three more years later. They meet for the fourth time a year after that and a fifth time six months after that. When they are together they don't seem like they want to admit that they are falling in love. When they are apart they realize how much they miss each other. Until finally....

MY OPINION: This movie fit the bill perfectly for what I was looking for. A light, fluffy, romantic comedy. While this movie will never be on par with other great romantic comedies, it is a decent film. The script is nothing to wow you and has been compared in rip-off fashion to "When Harry Met Sally" (most r-c's pale in comparison to that one) but that's okay by me, since I got what I expected to see. The lead characters do just enough to make me want to care but there is little depth to the characters. I think Kutcher is a marginal talent at best. Peet, who is undeniably cute but not drop dead gorgeous, can be better. For starters, she makes for an unconvincing punk rock/hood type and her performange gets better as the movie progresses. Neither one of them will wow you with their performances, which were decent, considering the material they had to work with was not top shelf quality-wise.

*** out of *****

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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

BB9 & Friends update

Here's what you missed this week on BB9: Episode 18, Episode 19 and tonight's Episode 20.

I was happy to see Adam put both James and Chelsia up for eviction this week, since they need to be broken up. Unfortunately James won the PoV and used it on himself, forcing Adam to nominate Sharon instead.

I would be seriously annoyed if Sharon is voted out tonight. I'm guessing that the vote will be 3-2 or 4-1 in favor of Chelsia's eviction, with James the only sure vote of support. We'll see what kind of revenge James can muster next week, especially if he wins HOH. I'm surprised that Joshuah is the only house guest that has never been nominated for eviction so far. I'd love to see him evicted next week. Can't stand him.

WOW!!! What a show tonight! I knew Chelsia would get evicted but had no idea James wouldn't even vote for her! She knew it was coming and I'm glad. Even just watching the CBS shows I could see what a little immature witch she turned out to be. Bye bye. Can't believe at the beginning you were one of my favorite players.

How about Natalie winning HoH for this week!!!! Even though she can be totally annoying I'm psyched that she won! Her revenge for the loss of Matt is almost complete! Bye bye James or Joshuah. I can guess already that your punk-a##es are on the block!

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I'm happily plugging along with season 4 of "Friends" and will finish the third DVD before I go to sleep tonight. I think one of the things that makes the show work so well is that the cast meshes extremely well together and they always look like they are having fun filming the show. It also helps that the show is excellently written every week.

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

"UnbeWEAVEable" Red Sox opener

Baseball season and the Boston Red Sox World Series title defense officially began early this morning, at 6:05 AM EDT. The Red Sox and Oakland Athletics are playing their first two games of the regular season in Tokyo, Japan as part of Major League Baseball promoting itself overseas and to baseball crazed Japan. I'm happy to report that the Red Sox won, 6-5 (10 innings). They'll play again tomorrow morning at 6:05 AM EDT. The rest of the regular schedule for the 2008 season resumes on April 1st. As I did last year, I'll keep track of the Red Sox record and upcoming schedule over on the sidebar.

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I got as close to "Hollywood" last night as I'll probably ever get.

Yesterday my dad called me at 17:30 to advise me that I should go over to the mall and check out some of the filming going on.

So I did. It was pretty cool to see all of the lights, diffusers, power cables and various other movie making equipment strewn about the place. It was interesting to watch the security people do crowd control for curious onlookers, such as myself. There were all kinds of production crew on hand doing their jobs. Many locals auditioned for the right to be extras, as part of a regular mall crowd, some of whom will actually appear in the final film, which is scheduled to be released in mid-January 2009.

I actually got close enough to see a scene between Kevin James and, I believe, this actress. I can tell you that the scene included James, dressed up in his security guard uniform and sporting a moustache, and the woman who was closing up her kiosk for the night. Her kiosk was called "UnbeWEAVEable" at which she was selling brightly colored wigs. Unfortunately, I couldn't hear any of the dialogue from my vantage point, which was about 75 feet to the left of where the actors were doing their thing.

I must have looked on for about 30 minutes, saw about all I wanted to see and then went home. It will be interesting to find out more about this film as details become available.

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Monday, March 24, 2008

Journey to the philosophical

Two Saturdays ago I picked up V and M at the Tae Kwon Do studio after they were finished testing for their (green belt with) blue stripe. I got there at 10:10 and they were done at 11:30. The TKD master, at the end of the testing session, talked for a few minutes about what TKD has meant to him over the last 50 years, what he's learned from it and what kind of an impact it can have on a student's (kids and adults, men and women of various belt levels) life if they keep up with it.

As I was listening to his speech, he ended with a very thought provoking question. He said that life is a journey in which we all travel, which everyone present seemed to be in agreement with. He then asked: "Does the journey make the person or does the person make the journey?"

What I think he was getting at is simple, yet does not yield a simple answer.

I understood his question more on a personal level, as if he was asking me if I let events in my life shape me or do I shape the events in my life?

Right now, I have no good answer for this question. At least not an answer I'm satisfied with or willing to share right now. Maybe I will at some point but not yet, anyway. I need to turn the question around in my head a bit more, I think.

So I will toss the question back at you, dear reader. How would you answer the question?

In this life, does your journey make you or do you make your journey?

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Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Keester

I love this picture. Reminds me of some of Anne Geddes' work. Might even be some of it.

Happy Easter, everyone.

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Happy 40th Anniversary, Mom & Dad!

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Saturday, March 22, 2008

SNMR 4.19: "Hollywoodland"

Tonight's SNMR feature is "Hollywoodland" (2006, R, 127 minutes), starring Ben Affleck, Adrien Brody, Diane Lane, Bob Hoskins, Robin Tunney and Lois Smith. The film was directed by Allen Coulter.

This is one of those films that looked really good in the movie trailers and one that I wanted to see in the cinema but never got around to it. While the movie was good, I'm glad I didn't spend the money to go and see it.

PLOT SUMMARY: Biopic of the late actor George Reeves (Affleck), who played the lead role in the 1950's TV series "Adventures of Superman", and the tragic events surrounding his murder/suicide on June 16, 1959. Louis Simo (Brody) is a private investigator who doesn't think the actor shot himself to death. Who could have done it? Was it the seductive, scheming fiancee' Leonore Lemmon (Tunney), the spurned lover Toni Mannix (Lane), the enraged husband EJ Mannix (Hoskins) or was it really a suicide? Hollywood still doesn't know for sure.

WHAT I LIKED ABOUT THIS MOVIE: I'm not a huge Ben Affleck fan, but he was very credible as George Reeves and gives an excellent performance. Diane Lane has long been one of my favorite actresses and is still underrated in my opinion. I like the way the film goes back and forth between real time and flashbacks rather seamlessly. I appreciate the ending of the movie, which paints equally all of the suspects with guilt and motives, but doesn't presuppose any one over the other, leaving the case as it stands today with still many unanswered questions.

WHAT I DID NOT LIKE ABOUT THIS MOVIE: The movie is very deliberate and has a slow pace to it, which bogs down the story at times.

**** out of *****

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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Spring is Here!!

Spring officially begins here in the Eastern United States at 01:48 EDT and I have to say that it's about time!!

Bye bye, winter!!

I love Spring.

Summer is better, but Spring is definitely a step in the right direction.

(Of course you realize that this post was post-dated ahead of the actual time of 1:48 AM, right? I'll happily be in z-z-z-z land by then. Check back once in a while today because I'll be adding more stuff as the day wears on with each entry in a different color and font.)

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Two book stories for you:

1) If you've read here long enough you'll know that I love going to bookstores but that I hate paying too much for the books I want to buy. Yesterday was no exception. I went in to Barnes & Noble to use up a gift card I had left over from Christmas, which had like $4.51 on it. I ended up spending over $50, but here's the kicker: One of the books I bought had a list price of $30. Subtract the discount from my Membership card and my price for the book dropped to $24. Not bad, I thought, until I got home and saw the exact same book here for $19.80!! So I ordered it and will be returning the copy I bought yesterday.

2) Most Saturday mornings, V, M and I go to Borders for the kids' story time. When I'm there I usually find a book to glance through while I'm waiting. About a month ago I was reading one of these books that I thought would be nice to own eventually, so I put it on my wish list at another store's web site (not Borders though because they are consistently on the high end with their prices). Two weeks ago I was looking over online what I wanted to get at the Warehouse Sale and happened to notice that the price for the exact same book at Amazon was around $9 lower. I emailed CBD to let them know of the wicked price discrepancy and included Amazon's link for reference. They sent me an email back thanking me for letting them know about the pricing issue. A few days later they sent me another email again thanking me for letting them know about the price problem and that they were going to send me a free copy of the book! Last Saturday my free book arrived in the mail(woo-hoo)! I love it when I get free stuff! It's not a big book, but hey... if you want to send me a free copy of a book I'm going to buy anyway and save me some money, who am I to argue? Seriously.


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In case you missed anything on BB9 this week, here are the recaps of episode 15, episode 16 and episode 17.

I've decided that I'm not going to read the spoiler blogs and such before the actual CBS shows, which I had been doing over the last week and a half or so. I like BB9 but am not addicted to it. I don't need to watch BBAD or subscribe to the 24/7 feeds to enjoy the show. I am surprised at the events that happened this week, with Sheila being taken off the block and being replaced by Matt and then with his eviction last night following James casting the deciding tie-breaker vote. Natalie is right to be angry at James the hypocrite for nominating and then evicting Matt after he promised Natalie he would not (as a condition of him winning the HoH instead of Natalie) and saying that your word is all you have in this game, then going back on it. I hope he gets voted out this week.

It will be interesting to see who new HoH Adam decides to nominate this week. I'm pretty confident it will not be Sheila, Ryan or Natalie. My guess is it will be either James or Chelsia and Josh or Sharon. I personally would like to see him nominate James and Chelsia. Neither one is my favorite but I'd love to see James get his comeuppance. Right now my favorite players are Sharon and Ryan. Sheila, Josh and James are my least favorite houseguests.

I wonder what Evel Dick from BB8 will do on the show next Tuesday?


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This speech is a great example of why I'll cast my vote in November for Barack Obama, assuming he'll win the Democratic nomination for President.

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Clarke, 90 & Minghella, 54 die


Sci-Fi author Arthur C. Clarke, 90, (photo from 9/2005) died today (actually March 19th local time in Sri Lanka where he lived), as did movie director Anthony Minghella, 54, shown here in 1997.

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Saturday, March 15, 2008

SNMR 4.18: "Mr. Deeds Goes to Town"

Tonight's SNMR feature is "Mr. Deeds Goes to Town" (1936, NR, 115 minutes, B&W) starring Gary Cooper, Jean Arthur, Lionel Stander, George Bancroft, Douglass Dumbrille and Raymond Walburn. The film was directed by Frank Capra. Capra won the Oscar for Best Director in 1936 for this movie.

The first time I tried to watch this movie I fell asleep on it, primarily because I started watching it late at night. This was my second attempt at watching this film. I had never seen anything Gary Cooper had been in before this and only one other film that Jean Arthur has been in.

PLOT SUMMARY: Longfellow Deeds (Cooper) is a man from a small Vermont town who inherits $20 million dollars from the estate of a distant uncle. Deeds is then thrust into the New York spotlight and branded a fool by a wise-cracking newspaper reporter (Arthur). Deeds doesn't realize that the woman he's fallen for is one and the same reporter until it's too late. Not handling fame and riches too well, Deeds decides to help out of work people and is arrested and tried on charges of insanity by jealous relatives who got no share of the fortune.

WHAT I LIKED ABOUT THIS MOVIE: Gary Cooper is brilliant as the thoughtful, introspective Deeds. Arthur is masterful as the cynical reporter turned heroine. (Arthur will reprise a similar role in another Capra film to be reviewed at a later date in this column.) Director Frank Capra's ability to take average people and turn them into everyman heroes comes through in this film, just like it does in other Capra films I've seen. The mark of a classic film is that the story and plot gets borrowed and reshaped into other films and this film offers no exception. The script is well written and the dialogue is crisp throughout.

WHAT I DID NOT LIKE ABOUT THIS MOVIE: Really, the only major mark against this film that I can see is that it drags a bit in the beginning. The court room scene is, to be mild, rather corny and unrealistic at times. Even that is not enough to drag this movie down.

**** out of *****

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Thursday, March 13, 2008

BB9 update & Friends

BB9: Episode 14.

The endurance competition came down to James and Natalie. After over four hours of swinnging around and around on a disco ball, Natalie asks James for protection this week for she and Matt. James promises, Natalie pukes then drops. James wins HOH and goes from eviction to HoH, just like Ryan did last week.

I so wanted Natalie to win HoH! That would have turned the house up side down. It would have been fun to see everyone sucking up to Natalie this week. But this seems a lock: With James as HoH we can assume that Chelsia, Joshuah, Sharon, Natalie and Matt (if James keeps his word) are safe this week. That puts Ryan, Adam and Sheila at risk this week. Right now, my money is on Ryan and Sheila being the nominees for eviction this week.

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I've just finished watching the first half of Season Two of Friends. I was half on the floor because I was laughing so hard! I hope the show stays this funny for the next 8 1/2 seasons. I keep asking myself how in the heck did I manage to never watch this program when it was on? In fact, I laughed at my parents for being addicted to this show during its last two or three seasons. Hmmmmm....

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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I agree

In blogging, there are rare occasions when the unthinkable happens. One of them is when scribe and I agree on something, which doesn't happen too often.

But the Scribester is totally right in that y'all need to get your wonderful blogging selves over to our wonderful movie blog more. Create a link for your sidebar or something, but visit! and comment! (Comments are always niiiiiice....)

Believe it or not, we do put considerable time and effort into that blog, though we may not always post as frequently as we (or you) may like.

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In case you missed anything: Episode 12 and Episode 13. I'll post the link to tonight's episode tomorrow.

WOW, what a weird Big Brother tonight! I have to say I was totally disgusted that the house chose to bring back newly evicted James, instead of going with America's vote for Alex. I really wanted to see his red haired mohawk butt out. It will be interesting to see who wins the HOH competition this week, since the show ended with an unresolved contest, and I do not subscribe to the live feeds. Well I guess I'll find out by going to one of the BB spoiler web sites to see who is going to win.

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Sorry I haven't had much time for blogging this week so far. I've been busier than normal this week. I hate it when life prevents me from my writing/blogging.

Fear not though, nothing tragic has happened to me. I'm not sick, either.

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Be a good little doobie and go now over to read Scribe & Green on the BIG Screen! I'll still be here when you get back. GO. NOW!! (Please?)

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Sunday, March 09, 2008

Left to Right

Its been more than a year now since I last changed my profile picture, so this year I thought I'd come at you from left to right, instead of right to left. The pic you see was taken last night.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

SNMR 4.17: "Rumor Has It..."

Tonight's SNMR feature is "Rumor Has It..." (2005, PG-13, 96 minutes), starring Jennifer Aniston, Kevin Costner, Shirley MacLaine, Mark Ruffalo, Mena Suvari and Richard Jenkins. The film was directed by Rob Reiner.

I had never watched this movie until recently, when I saw it in the library. I had been tempted to purchase it previously when I saw it in the store because I like Jennifer Aniston's movies. I haven't yet because I prefer the widescreen version for my DVD's whenever I can get them.


PLOT SUMMARY: At last there's a movie for anyone who's ever looked at the eccentrics and oddballs in his or her family and wondered: Who are these people? Jennifer Aniston (The Break Up, Along Came Polly) stars in and Rob Reiner (When Harry met Sally...) directs a star powered romantic comedy about family, love, marriage, and other major catastrophes.

Aniston portrays Sarah Huttinger, whose return home with her fiancee (Ruffalo) for her younger sister's (Mena Suvari) wedding convinces her that the sedate, proper, country-club lifestyle of her family isn't for her and that maybe the Huttinger family isn't even hers. Join Sarah as she uncovers secrets that suggest the Huttingers are neither sadate nor proper.

From Martin & Porter's DVD & Video Guide 2007, p. 968:
Fun flick ponders the possibilities that a Pasadena grandmother (MacLaine) was the prototype for The Graduate's Mrs. Robinson. Enter a confused Sarah (Aniston) who feels like a duck in a family of swans. Convinced that her now deceased mother ran off with Grandma's young man, Beau (Costner) and conceived her, Sarah confronts Beau. She finds herself deeply attracted to Beau which is just one of a number of convoluted turns that makes this such a great romp. Playing it straight, Costner shines while MacLaine's over-the-top Auntie Mame with a sex-life attitide steals every scene. Musical score doesn't just add to the film, it actually sets a hilarious tone to each pivotal scene.


WHAT I LIKED ABOUT THIS MOVIE: This was an excellent film - one that some of you will poo-poo just because Jennifer Aniston is in it. And that would be too bad. Any story that can draw off of another Hollywood classic and reference another (two of my favorite films) and still manage to hold it's own is good in my book. The story is clever and well written. The cast is marvelous. Rob Reiner does his usual top-notch directing job holding this film together.

WHAT I DID NOT LIKE ABOUT THIS MOVIE: My complaints aren't so much about the film itself but about the lack of extras on the DVD. I wish that the DVD had some cast and director interviews because I think it would have been interesting to hear their perspectives on the story. Outtakes and deleted scenes would have been nice too.

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

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(Woo-Hoo!!) Spring Ahead!

Aaaaah, it's that time of year again, folks!

For the majority of the United States, it's time to change the clocks one hour AHEAD tonight so that you'll be properly attuned to Daylight Savings Time. All except for that totally weird state of Arizona, which has decided to perpetually be in Standard Time. Weeners.

It's a bummer that we'll all get one hour less sleep tonight. Anytime I lose sleep it's never a good thing. I'll take the trade off anytime, which is more than acceptable: More daylight hours in the evening as the days get longer and longer (Until summer solstice, anyway).

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Today V, M and I went shopping for K's birthday present, at Borders and CBD. While we were at CBD, we ran into three most unexpected people. Namely my 12 year old niece J and her Nanna E and Auntie L. Yeah, tell me about it. It wasn't actually that bad. J noticed me first and came over to say hi. Then she saw M then V, who were each coming out of the restroom. We talked for a few minutes. I thought it would be rude to go our own way without saying hello to the people J was with, so that's what we did. I actually had a pleasant conversation with J, E and L that lasted for about ten minutes or so. There's a bit o' lingering negative family history here and because of that hadn't spoken to (E and L) in years.

Happy 36th Birthday, K.

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Thursday, March 06, 2008

Brett Favre, BB9 and Friends


I've never been a Green Bay Packers fan. If you read here regularly you know or can guess what team I root for. But because I love football and am a football fan, except for one instance (Super Bowl XXXI), I have been a Brett Favre fan. So it was also somewhat of a surprise this week when Favre announced his retirement from the NFL after 17 seasons. After the excellent season the Packers had in 2007, I, like many other fans, assumed that Favre would want to come back in 2008. As a fan of the game, you have to appreciate and respect the high character and level of play of arguably one of the NFL's greatest players ever and certainly one of the top ten quarterbacks of all time. Watching Favre over the years and at his televised farewell press conference this afternoon, I'm impressed by his humility and emotion. It's no surprise that Favre was considered one of the nicest people in the league. Good luck, Brett. Thanks for the memories.

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If you missed any BB, you can catch up on episode 9, episode 10 and episode 11.

Last night's episode was really good. I was a bit surprised that the warning buzzer meant that the couples were going to be split up. I really don't think it was the intention of the shows producers to split them up - or at least not so soon into the season and with so many players left. I mean, why pair them up in the first place if you're just going to undo it later on? It also wouldn't surprise me if, in a few weeks, they resume the couples game but not necessarily with the same pairs of people. I think this greatly depends on who gets evicted in the next three weeks or so.

I was not surprised to see Allison get evicted by a 6-0 vote, since she had the whole house turned against her. I was also glad to see Ryan escape eviction and win the first solo HoH. It will be interesting to see who he decides to put on the block this week, since I don't see that he has conflicts or drama with anyone in the house. My guess is that it will be two of the other guys, since they might prove to be his strongest competition later on. On the same token though, whomever he puts up for eviction that stays in the house might turn against him.

I can't stand Joshuah and think he's just as big of a drama queen and attention seeker as Allison was, so would love to see his butt get evicted next Wednesday. Wouldn't it be sweet if Amanda or Allison get voted back into the house if/when Josh gets evicted?

On the viewer voting, I can't see one of the guys getting voted back in but I'd pick either Parker or Alex. Jacob doesn't have a chance. I think one of the women will be voted back into the house and I really can't see it being either Allison or Amanda, which leaves Jen. Of course I'll vote for her as many times as I can between now and when the polls close on the 11th.

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Would you believe that during its 10 year run on television, that I never once watched an episode of "Friends" ?


If you know me its really not that hard to believe. I'd much rather pop in a DVD of some kind than watch what is currently on the tube (not counting baseball and football games!). There are only a few shows that I watch regularly and they are few and far between, with "ALIAS" and this season's "Big Brother" being the most recent exceptions. Usually when I get into a show, I do so once it has reached syndication, is available on DVD or both. One early example is "Beverly Hills 90210" which was on regularly but never watched when I was in college and that I watched religiously in my early married days in the mid 1990's and would have K tape for me when I would miss it. "ALIAS" was another example of this. As longtime readers of this blog know, I started watching "ALIAS" at the start of season four and had to go back and watch the first three seasons on DVD. I'd like to get into "CSI: Miami" but would rather start from the beginning, rather than pick up the show in the middle of the current season six.

I digress: regarding "Friends", thanks to my sister owning the entire series on DVD, in the last few days I've now watched the first half of season one and am sufficiently amused to continue watching and watching and watching...

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Monday, March 03, 2008

POST #800: The Key Story

I felt that I needed to write something good for such a monumental post as this, since it is this blog's 800th post. The following is essentially a true story. Some of the details may have occurred a bit differently, since we're talking about a single event that happened nearly twenty years ago.

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Back in the fall of 1988, when I was a sophomore in college, I shared a room with G and P in Russell Towers. Our room was the same one I had as a freshman with two other roommates. It was located in C tower, room C303. Russell Towers has three separate sections, for obvious reasons labelled A, B and C tower. All three towers are connected but not all have the same number of floors.

G, P and I met as freshmen at Inter Varsity Christian Fellowship (IVCF) the previous year and quickly discovered that we'd become lifelong friends. We share many great memories of that one brief semester when the three of us were living in a room designed for two officially called a "triple" by the college's housing department. That was back before they built "the new dorm" across the quad and there was a serious overcrowding of students and not enough dorm rooms on campus to hold us all.

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It was a holiday weekend and the majority of students decided to go home, rather than stay on campus, including my friend P. I had a job working for the Campus Center and one of my duties was to show the films in the campus movie theater, so I could not go home. Not that I would have anyway, since I was content to try and catch up on stuff that I had to do for my classes and work a few shifts.

Saturday morning of that weekend, G and I decided that, after staying up until 2 or 3 in the morning watching movies that neither one of us would go to DAKA (the company hired to feed the student population) for breakfast in the morning and just get up whenever we felt like it. I suppose it was sometime after 10:00 AM when I climbed down from my perch on the top bunk to go down the hallway to the shower/bathroom. So, sans clothes and just a towel covering myself, I grabbed my toiletry bag and headed off to the shower. G was still sleeping in his bottom bunk.

Couldn't have been more than ten minutes later, I hear a voice in the bathroom calling my name with the distinct sound of a question in the voice. Immersed in a pleasantly hot shower, it took me a minute or two to realize that I was not imagining the voice and that it belonged to my roommate G. The conversation went something like this:

"Ummm..... T, do you have your keys?" was the million dollar question floating in the air before me.

"Huh?", I replied, still savoring the steamy cascade of water flowing over my body.

"Did you bring your keys with you into the bathroom?"

"No, I didn't. I never do."

"Uh-oh."

"Uh-oh, what uh-oh?"

"I didn't bring my keys either and the door shut behind me. We're locked out."

I finished my shower, got out and began to dry myself off. "What, are you serious?" I asked, as light began to dawn on the situation at hand. "Did you say we're locked out of our room?"

"Yup. As soon as the door closed," he said, "I knew. I just knew that my keys were inside."

As I came out into the main section of bathroom, I looked at G and he too was only wrapped in his towel. "Great," I thought. [Well, that's not exactly what I thought... you get the idea.] "You realize that no one is around this weekend, right?"

"Uh-huh. What are we going to do?"

"Well why don't you take your shower and I'll see what I can do."

So G hops in the shower and I, hair all wet and wrapped at the waist in my towel, head down to our room to confirm what I knew to be true. Door locked. Both sets of keys safely in the room. Both of us wrapped in our towels outside the room. "Unbelievable," I think to myself as I head back into the bathroom.

"This is not good," I said to G as he was finishing with his shower and was once again wrapped in his towel. "We need to find an RA. They have keys that open up everything."

Our Resident Assistant, whom I'll call Ed, was one of the students who had gone home for the weekend. He told us that if we ever got locked out of our room to come and find him or another RA and they would let us back in. We went down to the front desk in the lobby to see if anyone was there who could help us. That's where the office was and where the RA's gathered to socialize occasionally. No one was there. Not a soul. What were we going to do now? There was a signboard near the office that had a listing of all of the RA's names and room numbers.

We went back to C tower and decided to walk through the entire building, floor by floor until we could find an RA to help, stopping by the rooms of each RA listed. We hadn't found anyone up until that point. One more name on the list, an RA whose room was on the top level of A tower about as far away from our room as you could possibly get and still be in the same building. Hopefully this person would be in their room and able to help.

When we got to the room, we knocked on the door. Nothing. We knocked again. This time we heard a voice. "Wait a minute...." was the answer. As the door opened...

Now picture this: You're the RA on duty and you decide to sleep in on Saturday morning. You groggily open the door and you see two practically naked guys wrapped in towels standing in front of you, what thoughts would cross your mind?

Well, if you happen to be a male Resident Assistant, you probably burst out laughing and ask right away what the hell happened? If you happen to be one of three female RA's in the building, of which she just happened to be one, you probably have a dumbfounded but slightly amused look on your face.

Believe me, she did.

I'll always wonder what her first impression was seeing G and I like that at her door. I also wonder if she told anyone about this afterwards. I like to remember that the RA was an attractive woman but don't really remember. I do recall that she was not an ugly woman...

Embarrassed as all heck, we quickly explained our situation, that we locked ourselves out of our room, yada, yada, yada. She went back into her room for something (probably her room keys and the office key...) and came back out in about two minutes.

Silently we followed her to the office. She asked us what room we were in again so she could get the right key for our door. We then followed her back to our room (I don't think she wanted to follow us or look at us in our lovely towel attire...) where she unlocked the door. After repeatedly saying thank-you all the way back to the room, I went in first and G followed me. G told me later that just as she was turning around to head back to her room, his towel slipped off and fell to the floor. He's not sure what or how much she saw...

Let me tell you that I have never been so happy to get dressed in my entire life!

The whole ordeal probably lasted an hour or so but it seemed like an eternity.

To this day G and I still laugh about this. P wished he had been there to see it. If he had though, this event probably wouldn't have happened. P always brought his keys with him to the shower.

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Saturday, March 01, 2008

SNMR 4.16: "The Bourne Ultimatum"

Tonight's SNMR feature is "The Bourne Ultimatum" (2007, PG-13, 117 minutes), starring Matt Damon, Joan Allen, David Straithairn, Julia Stiles, Scott Glenn, Paddy Considine, Edgar Ramirez and Albert Finney. The film was directed by Paul Greengrass.

I did not want to see this movie in the theater this past summer because at the time I had not watched either of the first two Bourne films. When I saw Ultimatum on the three day loan shelf in my local library this week, I just had to watch it. This would have been an excellent movie to see on the big screen. Too bad I missed out.

PLOT SUMMARY:

Jason Bourne (Damon) still does not know who he is or the details of his past. But he's getting closer to the truth. The CIA still views Bourne as a threat and want to take him out...if they can find him.

WHAT I LIKED ABOUT THIS MOVIE:

Nonstop action right from the beginning!! I liked that this movie begins minutes after Supremacy ends. The script is again well written and fast paced. The chase and fight sequences are superbly done. The location shots are real and in many cases the "extras" are real people going about their lives. I like that the same director for Supremacy also directed this film and that the director of the first Bourne film served as executive producer. It helps to maintain the vision, feel and continuity between films. I liked that the movie ended in such a way as to invite another sequel (and even a prequel, perhaps). The special features included on the disc are excellent.

WHAT I DID NOT LIKE ABOUT THIS MOVIE:

It's not so much what I didn't like about this movie as what I might have added in to it. I would have liked to see Bourne have a potential new love interest here say from his hidden past who is also a part of his present reality (the possibility of which was subtly hinted at) and develop that storyline amid the chase and fight scenes. It might make an interesting prequel to develop that storyline further and invent the circumstances which drives Bourne to volunteer for work in the CIA in the first place.

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

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Books of the Month - March 2008

This month, I've decided to review three books. You'll see why when we're done.



The first selection for this month is "The Dawkins Delusion", by Alister and Joanna McGrath. McGrath, who holds a doctorate in molecular biophysics, was an atheist himself at one time and wonders how he and Dawkins can evaluate the same scientific evidence and draw such different conclusions about God. McGrath, in a polite, non-offensive way, systematically, meticulously and effectively picks apart Dawkins arguments in his book "The God Delusion."

Purchase your copy here and here.



The second selection this month is "Dawkins' God", by Alister McGrath. This book attempts to delve into the mindset of Richard Dawkins, who is an outspoken scientist and proponent of secular humanism, evolution and cultural Darwinism. Response is given to many of the theories, foundations and worldview he champions.

Alister McGrath, Oxford professor of Historic Theology and former atheist, offers a vast wealth of information in this volume, following the path that has led many away from faith, Opening windows into theories both for and against natural selection.

McGrath's coverage of memes and mimetics is intriguing, as it illustrates in Dawkins' own terms the types of problems he dismisses from theologians but has no problem believing outside of the religious sphere.

McGrath also touches on thinkers like Thomas Huxley, William Paley and Gregor Mendel. He also covers the idea of Lamarckism (basically, the theory that traits that have changed during the lifetime of an organism can be directly passed on to the organism's offspring) and the concept of awe.

Purchase your copy here and here.



Finally, this month's third selection is "The God Delusion", by Richard Dawkins. It would hardly be fair of me to promote books that criticize this book without acknowledging it as well.

World-renowned scientist Richard Dawkins writes in "The God Delusion": "If this book works as I intend, religious readers who open it will be atheists when they put it down." Dawkins also writes that, "Evolution has been observed. It's just that it hasn't been observed while it's happening."

Dawkins, a scientist who criticizes religion for its intolerance, has himself written a surprisingly intolerant book, full of scorn for religion and those who dare to believe in it. Dawkins however, anticipates this criticism and claims that it's the scientist and humanist in him that makes him hostile to religions, mainly fundamentalist Christianity and Islam. He claims that these religions close people's minds to scientific truth, oppress women and abuse children psychologically with the notion of eternal damnation.

Even some confirmed atheists who agree with his advocacy of science and vigorous rationalism may have trouble stomaching some of Dawkins rhetoric, like the biblical Yahweh is "psychotic," Aquinas's proofs of God's existence are "fatuous" and religion generally is "nonsense." The most effective chapters are those in which Dawkins calms down, attempting to draw on evolution to disprove the ideas behind intelligent design. Dawkins also attempts to construct a scientific scaffolding for atheism by using evolution to rebut the notion that without God there can be no morality. He insists that religion is a divisive and oppressive force, but is less convincing in promoting the idea that the world would be better and more peaceful without it.

Purchase your copy here.

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