"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

Thursday, October 30, 2008

A long time coming, but well worth the wait!



I almost thought this day would never come. In the world of Boston professional sports, the Bruins and Celtics had become an afterthought, especially with the recent successful championship runs of the Patriots and Red Sox in the last eight years. In fact I had pretty much given up on ever seeing this sight again. Not since the glory days of the original 'big three' of Bird, McHale and Parish along with Danny and DJ have the Celtics been able to win the NBA champiponship. But here it was on opening night, two nights ago, banner #17 being raised to the rafters in the new Garden.

Now the NBA "experts" are talking repeat? Unbelievable.

So the next question is, when will the Bruins get off the schneid and win the Stanley Cup? A feat they last pulled off in 1970, I believe, and haven't even come close since the Finals wipeouts at the skates of Gretzky, Messier and the great Edmonton Oliers teams of 1988 and 1990.

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

it took a little more than a week

for someone to steal my Obama/Biden yard sign that I got in the mail last week (as an incentive for making a 2nd donation.) It was there this morning as I left for work but this afternoon when I got back was nowhere to be found. So on Friday I'll stop at the nearest Obama campaign office (since I'll be driving right by it anyway) and acquire some new signs and maybe a few bumper stickers for the new beast.

Can someone tell me what the acronym GOP stands for? No, seriously I never can remember this. Or figure out or why the repubs would even need such a pointless moniker. Dems apparently don't need such a thing, cuz they're special.

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I only managed to miss the first two or three minutes of Barack Obama's unprecedented 30 minute, multiple network public service announcement and I have to say I was impressed. Impressed that the man seems to have a definite plan for America, should he win the election next week.

I can't comprehend what anyone sees in John McCain, except a grumpy old man who is out of touch with what this country needs. He scares me primarily because of his age and who his runing mate is: Sarah Palin, a woman hopelessly unqualified to step into the highest office in the land, should she need to.

One positive thing I'll say about McCain is that he doesn't have that deer-like lost-in-the-headlights look that W has featured throughout his presidency. Instead he features that rabid puffy-cheeked squirrel look. I don't know which is worse...

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One of my co-workers today said she'd love to see a Hilary Clinton v. Sarah Palin presidential debate/catfight. I don't know if I'd want to see that. She was speculating what kind of future Sarah Palin has on the national political stage. I'm all for the Dan Quayle political style future. Uneventful, comical yet utterly forgettable.

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

too close for comfort

I despise car repairs. Especially with older vehicles where I'm not the original owner and have no clue what was done repair-wise and what was not.

Every time I need my car fixed, I feel like I'm getting raped. See, I have no clue about the inner workings of a car's engine and other systems. About all I can do on my own is check the various fluid levels and add more when needed. So when I take the car into the shop, they could tell me just about anything is wrong with it and I'd probably believe them.

At this time and in this place, I drive a crappy green 2000 Chevy Lumina that had just over 100,000 miles on it when I bought it. I've owned this beast since December 2007 and for the most part have had no problems with it. Until about a month or so ago when my brakes started squeaking. I also started to hear a horrible sound coming from the engine area. Since my engine seemed to be loud, I thought I might have a hole in the exhaust system somewhere.

Last Friday, on my way to pick up V and M after work, I had some time before I was scheduled to meet them, so I pulled in to a local repair chain at which I've had work done before on other vehicles I've owned. I've felt in the past that they've treated me fairly and haven't gouged me too badly.

I knew I had multiple things wrong with the new beast and went in telling them what I suspected was wrong. They told me they could do a full check of the car and tell me everything that they found that needed attention, eventually, listing the most critical things first.

I told the guy behind the counter that I'd have to tackle the repairs in chunks for budgetary reasons and I asked him what the most critical repair was and how much it would cost. Turns out the price he quoted me was exactly 77 cents more than what I had in my checking account.

Good thing this Friday is payday.

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I've started watching season one of two old television shows that I bought on DVD recently. One show I watched sporadically when it first aired and the other show I never watched at all but always wanted to see what the hype was about. The first show made its debut in 1982 and the second show made it's debut in 1992. What were the names of these shows? For now, I'll keep that to myself. Don't worry, I'll tell you what they are one of these days. In fact I think I'll watch a few episodes of one of these shows before I go to sleep for the night.

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Saturday, October 25, 2008

SNMR 5.19: "Primary Colors"

With the 2008 election season just about ready to wind down in the next 10 days or so, I thought I'd use for tonight's SNMR feature one of the movies Scribe suggested for our other movie review blog (which no one seems to read), but didn't get to review over there. So tonight's film is "Primary Colors" (1998, R, 135 minutes), starring John Travolta, Emma Thompson, Adrian Lester, Billy Bob Thornton, Kathy Bates, Maura Tierney, and Larry Hagman. The film was directed by Mike Nichols.

PLOT SUMMARY: Henry Burton's (Lester) life seems pretty normal, until he goes to meet with a politically unknown southern governor. Before he knows it, he's on the campaign trail with Governor Jack Stanton (Travolta) and his wife Susan (Thompson), and their whole crew. While Henry is hesitant at first he soon becomes a believer in the man and his message. Will the road lead to the promised land (the White House) or somewhere less desirable?

MY OPINION: I had heard about this movie for years but never had the desire to watch it. What I discovered was an interesting look at the inner workings of a political campaign that the general public never sees. John Travolta is right on the mark imitating Bill Clinton and Emma Thompson does a credible job portraying Hillary Clinton in this fictional account of the 1992 Presidential primaries. Billy Bob Thornton and Kathy Bates are also quite good. The script is snappy, based on the book by Anonymous. Mike Nichols is a capable director. I think this film works better because it is not told from the perspective of Stanton or his wife.

Having said that, this film is missing something for me that would elevate it from slightly above average to a film I'd want to see again and again. Though I can't quite tell you what that something is.

Still, it's a worthwhile rental.

*** out of *****

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Friday, October 24, 2008

9!!!!!!!

M turned nine today, precisely at the time I've used for this post. I'm still in shock and awe over it.

Couldn't have happened to a cooler kid.

Happy Birthday, M!!!! I love you buddy.

What did I get M for his birthday?

A three ring D-ring binder for his football cards, which I actually gave him two weeks ago.

A basic Rummikub game, so he can play it with his sister V at home and get K (ex) hooked as well.

A gift card to Game-Stop, so he can trade in his Gameboy and upgrade to a DS.

I'd post a picture of him but I don't do that here for reasons previously expounded upon in this here blog.

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Saturday, October 18, 2008

SNMR 5.18: "Amazing Grace"

Tonight's SNMR feature is "Amazing Grace" (2007, PG, 118 minutes) starring Ioan Gruffudd, Romola Garai, Ciaran Hinds, Rufus Sewell, Youssou N'Dour, Michael Gambon and Albert Finney. The film was directed by Michael Apted.

PLOT SUMMARY: Historical biopic based on the life of William Wilberforce and his quest to end the British slave trade.

MY OPINION: I only learned briefly about William Wilberforce within the last couple of years. When I saw this DVD in the store and at the library, I was tempted to buy it, but I didn't because the price was too high or there was always something I wanted to buy or see more. You also have to be in the mood to watch this kind of movie. Sometimes I was and sometimes I wasn't.

Finally I decided to give it a go and am glad I did. This is a film that is filled with fine acting performances, from Wilbur (Gruffudd) all the way down to John Newton (Finney). The story is well written and Michael Apted does a great job keeping the action flowing and the audience involved because he gives us a reason to be invested in these characters lives. It's a moving story with a satisfying ending, a film that I'd watch again and might consider buying for the right price.

Who knows, you might end up learning something too. Imagine that. Definitely a worthwhile rental for two hours of your life.

**** out of *****

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Thoughts on the third Presidential Debate

Can anyone tell me what Senator McCain had in his cheek? One side of his face looked awfully puffy. Did he have a bit of smokeless tobacco in his mouth? Gum? A breath mint?

I don't think McCain looked directly at Obama more than once during the whole debate.

McCain says he's disappointed in the tone that this campaign has taken. But do you think he'll stop running his negative ads because of what he said tonight? I doubt it. Now I'm not saying that Obama's campaign has been clean and rosy and polite in the ads 100%. That would be naive. I believe McCain said at the outset that he would run a clean, negative ad free campaign, yet the first negative ad I heard was a McCain ad.

The point of difference, and this line is often blurred, is mistaking a negative attack ad for an ad that points out the difference in the candidates views or policy differences. That's legitimate and definitely not negative.

It was interesting to hear each candidate defend their selection of their VP running mate. Obviously I'd feel more comfortable if Biden had to become Predident rather than Palin.

I think its funny (in a very sarcastic way) that McCain keeps harping that Obama wants to raise your taxes when Obama said to his face tonight and in other debates that he's not going to raise taxes for any family making less than $250,000.00. Is someone hearing impaired?

Abortion. Roe v. Wade. Wow! I'm not even going to go there in this post.

It is likely that the next President will have to appoint at least one, maybe two or three new justices for the Supreme Court and as Obama says, Roe v. Wade will hang in the balance (depending on the tenor and qualifications of each judge.) Remember that a Judicial appointment to the Supreme Court is a lifetime post, which will have an effect on this country for years to come.

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Saturday, October 11, 2008

SNMR 5.17: "The Italian Job" (1969)

Tonight's SNMR feature is "The Italian Job" (1969, NR, 99 minutes), starring Michael Caine, Noel Coward, Benny Hill, Raf Vallone, Tony Beckley and Rossano Brazzi. The film was directed by Peter Collinson.

PLOT SUMMARY: Stealing gold is easy. Getting away is the hard part. Charlie Croker (Caine) has just gotten out of prison when he learns of a heist that he's just got to pull off. An armored shipment of gold bullion is going to be transported through the streets of Turin, Italy. Thanks to a large traffic jam and a wild car chase, can Croker and his crew make a successful getaway?

MY OPINION: I was interested in this film simply because I wanted to see the inspiration for the 2003 version which I've already reviewed in this column.

This film starts out with a bang and ends with a great car chase and the best cliffhanger in movie history. It's the 80 minutes or so in between that is the problem. That's where the movie drags to the point of boredom/frustration. I think that slow paced movies were the standard style in the 1960's, with few exceptions. Michael Caine does a decent job with his character but the rest of the cast is only average. The script is decent but won't wow you.

This film is good for novelty purposes, but in this case newer is better. The 2003 version is the superior film.

**½ out of *****

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Wednesday, October 08, 2008

On Presidential Debates

Before the debate last night, the analysts on CNN said that the town hall style debate format works for John McCain.

I disagree.

This format worked for Bill Clinton. It would have worked for Ronald Reagan, too. It also worked for John Edwards in the early part of the primary season, when I met him at a town hall style gathering last December.

Those men, despite what you might think of their terms as President, or even as a candidate, had interesting personalities. McCain does not.

It worked better for Obama as the debate went on.

One thing I disliked about last night's debate was that we heard nothing new - from either candidate. That's okay if you're ahead in the polls, as Obama is. To use a baseball analogy, McCain needed a home-run last night but didn't get one. Instead he took a fastball to the head and groggily walked down to first base before being removed from the game because of dizziness.

What I noticed about McCain during the debate was that he really looks like the shriveled up old man that he is, especially next to the taller and younger Obama. This makes me even scared-er of him actually winning the election next month, if you know what I mean.

If you don't, it means that Palin would literally a lack of a heartbeat away from arguably the most powerful job in the world.

Plus, doesn't the taller candidate usually win elections?

My parents, the ever loyal, registered Independent but always vote for Republicans no matter what, thought Palin held her own against Joe Biden in the debate last week. Were we watching the same debate?? They've even suggested that there is a possibility that some stuck in the 1860's person might venture to assassinate Mr. Obama because of the color of his skin, should he become President. That would be tragic and sad to be sure. If it did happen, I'd sleep alot better knowing that Biden would assume the office instead of Mrs. Alaska Yokel.

One more presidential debate to go.

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I got my Obama-Biden car magnet in the mail today. This is the item that prompted me to donate my first $15 to any Presidential campaign ever, and it looks cool. Problem is, it's too big to fit on the back trunk of my current vehicle, mainly because of its circular shape doesn't fit with the rectangular shape of my trunk. I thought about sticking it to the side of my car and had it there for a few minutes before I removed it. Since it's only a magnet, I'm afraid someone might steal it.

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Saturday, October 04, 2008

SNMR 5.16: "The Gameplan"

Tonight's SNMR feature is "The Gameplan", (2007, PG, 110 minutes) starring Dwayne Johnson, Madison Pettis, Kyra Sedgwick, Roselyn Sanchez, and Morris Chestnut. The film was directed by Andy Fickman.

PLOT SUMMARY: Joe Kingman (Johnson) has it all as the star quarterback for the Boston Rebels, leading his team towards a championship. Fame, fortune, a fantastic apartment with all of the high tech toys a man could want. What he also has... is an eight year old daughter that he didn't know he had - until she walks up to his doorstep.

MY OPINION: My kids talked me into buying this DVD last night and watching it today. I had never seen this moive before and really had no desire to see it. Being a Disney film, I imagined that it would be sugary and cute. And it was.

But that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Johnson is a surprisingly decent actor with a bit of comedic timing and skill. He's quite likeable in this role, considering his character is a self-centered, pompous jerk. Daughter Peyton (Madison Pettis), in her first feature film role, steals the movie with every scene she's in. The script is decent, even though the story line is well-used and the directing, while not spectacular is good enough. I like that the film takes place in Boston, and I could tell that some of the football/staduim scenes were filmed at Gillette Stadium, where the real Boston area pro football team plays.

I'm not sure it was worth the $13 I paid for the DVD, but V and M liked it, so I can't complain too loudly.

**½ out of *****

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Thursday, October 02, 2008

Thoughts on the VP debate

Soccer mom, hockey mom...we're in trouble if that's how she starts off...

Her comments have no substance. How are you going to change stuff. That's what I want to know?

All are at fault in the economic meltdown we're going through right now, from Wall Street moguls to creditors and consumers.

It's laughable when Palin speaks on votes happening in the Senate, since she has no idea what happens within the chambers. I can watch C-Span too...

Taliban working with us? What world are you living in??

Drawing down troops over 16 months is not irresponsible and not admitting defeat in Iraq. What it does is makes the Iraqui government take responsibility for itself and its people. They will never do this if the United States keeps holding their hands.

The next President must support Israel. A two nation state in Israel is not the solution. Israel belongs to Israel. A hostile nation of Palestinians legitimized in Israel only weakens Israel.

I was so enthralled with the debate that I fell asleep on the couch. Since I was watching it on CNN I thought it was still going on when I woke up groggily at 1:11 AM. Then I realized that the network was re-airing the debate. I went to bed after shutting off my laptop.

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Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Books of the Month - October 2008

I'm going to recommend three books for you this month, all by the same author. Some of this man's work has been around for a hundred years and I just recently discovered it this year. The man is Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936).

The first selection this month is The Everlasting Man, first published in 1925. This is the first book of his that I read, back in the spring.




Through an insightful study of the history and nature of man, Chesterton draws the conclusion that the central character in history is Jesus Christ. Then he triumphantly explodes the myth that Jesus is the product of human imagination, asserting with unassailable logic that Jesus Christ is the God who stepped into his own creation right at the perfect time.

This book was one that had a profound effect on the life of C.S. Lewis.

Buy your copy here and here.

The second selection is The Man Who was Thursday, first published in 1908.



Seven members of the Central Anarchist Council, for reasons of security, call themselves by the days of the week but meet out in the open to discuss their evil plans. Who are these guys, anyway?

Buy your copy here and here.


The final selection is Orthodoxy, first published in 1908, which I'm reading right now. Well, not at this precise moment but have been reading for the past week or so.



A bit from the back cover: Of the numerous works that Chesterton wrote, the most scintillating synthesis of his philosophy and deeply religious faith was manifested in Orthodoxy, written when he was only thirty-four. It tells of his earth shaking discovery that orthodoxy is the only satisfactory answer to the perplexing riddle of the universe.

Chesterton was a pagan at twelve and totally agnostic by sixteen. His personal positive philosophy turned out to be orthodox Christianity. This is his account of it and the simple plausibility of traditional Christianity.



Buy your copy here or here.

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