Wednesday, December 10, 2008

It's Raining Frogs, Hallelujah!

The absurd is sometimes possible.
So if the absurd is sometimes possible…how is it that God is not possible?


There have been 9 reported rains of frogs since 1939.
In 1953 it happened in Massachusetts. In just 1998 it happened in London. As late as August of 2007 it happened in Chistlehurst, Bromley.
In these incidents, a waterspout or tornado, will pick up animals that are often in a pond, then drop them in a localized area.




Sunday, December 7, 2008

Leave No Dog Behind

I know the beginning of this video is kind of disturbing. But the dog actually lived. Who saved him is what is awesome.





Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I Believe In Father Christmas (Part II)

I am glad Megan noticed a lyric change that I also did and was contemplating mentioning. I thought I might be accused of reading too much into it, but I have noticed when Bono does such things, it usually seems to have intent behind it.

But I Believe In The Israelite being a stronger statement for me than the original Until I Believed In The Israelite.

Maybe the most powerful lyric for me is the final The Christmas We Get We Deserve.

As Lake might be saying..."this could be more powerful a holiday if we didnt screw it up."

But it also makes me think that of course we don't deserve ANY Christmas..much less Easter.

The fact we have received this gift and made it something Christ would not have wanted it to become...at least in part.

In a fairly recent interview, Lake said "There is a sort of sadness to Christmas too. It is all those mixed emotions that go up to make, you know, the very sort of special time really."

Here is Greg Lake's version. The end of the video possibly being the most interesting part.




Monday, December 1, 2008

I Believe In Father Christmas

I Believe In Father Christmas written by Greg Lake (of Emerson, Lake, & Palmer)
performed by U2

U2 released this just today for publicity to the (R)ed Wire website

As far as Christmas themed songs go by rock artists, I think Greg Lake's song is one of the strongest. (As I reread that sentance that might not be a huge statement...but I think its a solid song). I find it interesting to be one U2 would choose to cover. When I looked up the lyrics, I noticed the song provokes strong feelings with people.

According to one source, Lake wrote this as an objection to the commercialism of Christmas. He was concerned that the true spirit of Christmas was being lost in the marketing of the holiday.

And that is the way I hear the song. Others do not. Wondering if any of you might have a certain take.



They said there'll be snow at Christmas,
They said there'll be peace on earth,
But instead it just kept on raining,
A veil of tears for the Virgin birth.

I remember one Christmas morning,
The Winter's light and a distant choir,
And the peal of a bell and that Christmas tree smell,
And eyes full of tinsel and fire.

They sold me a dream of Christmas,
They sold me a silent night,
They told me a fairy story,
'Til I believed in the Israelite.

And I believed in Father Christmas,
And I looked to the sky with excited eyes,
Then I woke with a yawn in the first light of dawn,
And I saw him and through his disguise.




I wish you a hopeful Christmas,
I wish you a brave New Year,
All anguish, pain and sadness,
Leave your heart and let your road be clear.

They said there'd be snow at Christmas,
They said there'd be peace on earth,
Hallelujah! Noel!, be it Heaven or Hell,
The Christmas we get, we deserve.

Monday, November 24, 2008

I've Just Been Cutting Onions

Just felt like sharing a video I like at the moment. I think it works on multiple levels. How men save face after a breakup (maybe in our own mind).

"You looked kind of cute when I was drunk" and "What I really want is an Australian" (the duo are from New Zealand) are harsh yet hilarious to me.



Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Jesus fills out his ballot

In 2004 Barack Obama ran against Alan Keyes for Senator of Illinois. Keyes was a last minute choice by the Republicans (chosen 86 days before the election) because the Republican incumbent dropped out over a divorce/sex scandal. Realistically, he never stood a chance.

But through the debates between Obama and Keyes, something was brought up that I have heard pondered locally and nationally. As in, "Who would Jesus vote for?"
(I asked essentially this question in a Sunday School class...not claiming to have an answer.)

The quote from Keyes was "Christ would not vote for Barack Obama, because Barack Obama has voted to behave in a way, that is inconceivable for Christ to have behaved."

Does your faith (if you have any) go into your decisions for who to vote for? Should it?

Do you prefer politicians to have a rather obvious belief system or to keep that out of the discussion?


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

R.I.P. GUS

The World's Ugliest Dog has died.



Gus, a Chinese Crested Dog (is that breed #1 yet?) had one eye and three legs. He was rescued from a bad home (a cat took his eye) and went on to fame and glory, however brief. But I guess in dog years it was a decent amount of time.



He was 9 years old.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

70%


70 % of eligible Iraqi people turned out in 2005 to vote. Amid promises of violence (44 people were killed).

This election will almost surely set records for turnout. The sad thing is, if we all decided to vote it would be too much for us to handle. Because it has never been close to 100%, its never been much of a concern. And that is sad.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1082591/Prepare-chaos-U-S-electoral-warned-cope-historic-number-voters-cast-ballot.html

Malta averages 94% turnout
Austria 92%
Italy 90%
Iceland 89%
New Zealand 88%
Israel 80%
United States 54%

We should burst over 70% this election. As much as we might pat ourselves on the back, will we stay around those numbers?


We will see.



Monday, November 3, 2008

Mike versus Bill

I was flipping around last night and saw this. I was impressed with how Huckabee handled this interview.




Best Job Contest (Job #3) Animal Entry

Ok, so most pigs lives don't end too well. But I would say these pigs have it made. The original beer drinking pig of St. Croix (Buster) drank real beer. Of course an annoying group like PETA got involved eventually and now they drink O'Douls. Still, not a bad life. "How was work?"
"I had some much to do today. I drank like 20 beers!"

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Best Jobs Contest (Job #2)

Ok, so you never made it as a rock star. But if you love and know about guitars and effects pedals and signal paths, you can be Dallas Schoo (Guitar Tech for the Edge...as well as Prince, Steven Van Zandt and Paul McCartney)


Saturday, November 1, 2008

Best Jobs Contest (Job #1)

Hopefully most of us like or appeciate our jobs. But if we ever need a change, these are some of my leading choices.



Ice Cream Taster (ok you look kind of ridiculous, but does it matter?)



Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

Your kids young and unsure about Halloween? Find this house. They will make up their mind quickly.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Government knows how best to help you

Campaign Music

We have heard primary school children sing for Obama. We have heard John Rich "Raise McCain." Is it too late to hear some really good campaign music?

JFK's song was very catchy



We also see why Eisenhower beat Stevenson. He wrote an original song.



Stevenson had to rip off old songs





Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Our First Guest Blogger! (Anonymous is his given name)

Election 2008 - Do You Really Know What You’re Doing?
By: Anonymous

By all means, if you have good, valid reasons for voting for either McCain or Obama then please do so.
But if you don’t know where your candidate stands on the issues, then it is your responsibility to go find out.

This election is very important. We will elect the President of the United States .
Please don’t be one of those millions who are content to watch TV or listen to radio coverage, and vote based on someone else’s opinion.
Do your own independent research. Below are some links that I have found to be helpful:

Project Vote Smart - http://www.votesmart.org/election_president.php
McCain - http://www.votesmart.org/issue_rating_category.php?can_id=53270
Obama - http://www.votesmart.org/issue_rating_category.php?can_id=9490

Citizens Against Government Waste - http://www.cagw.org/site/PageServer
http://councilfor.cagw.org/site/DocServer/2007_Senate_Ratings_Final.pdf?docID=3282

National Tax Payer’s Union - http://www.ntu.org
http://www.ntu.org/misc_items/rating/VS_2007.pdf



(Thank you anonymous for being the first to guest blog. If anyone else would like to do this sometime please just email me....Matt)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Redistribution Debate

This is getting some interest this morning. I was wondering what people might think about it.


The ominous music aside, does this disturb you or does this make you think Obama is a forward thinker that we need? We are hearing a lot about redistribution. Could it be good?




Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Playing Ball

Guilaini...Hillary....now Obama. Come on people...it's just sports. Do we have to pander at every opportunity?











Friday, October 17, 2008

Brooke

So I have had a hard time writing between being busy and a bit burned out from "news." But I thought I would share this story about Brooke. I do not think they would mind since it is on the VA Pilot site. Brooke is the niece of one of my best friends. I just would like to share a story with a happy ending. As her grandfather said... "I can't imagine how anyone could view this and not believe that God answers prayers and is able to perform miracles in our lives."


http://hamptonroads.tv/hrtv.php?id=2266685

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Nobody Puts Baby In A Corner

People have yet to discuss an important part of the presidency. Dance moves are now highly inportant to foreign relations, as well as keeping spirits high in tough times. Who is best qualified to follow in Dubya's footsteps?









Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I urge all my friends to not vote

Please reconsider voting. I know, that might sound a bit odd coming from me but I had never known before how dangerous it is. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26959100/


Your risk of death goes up 18% that day.

If someone tells you "I do not care who you vote for, as long as you vote" that person hates you. Of course they care! Now I realize those people are evil.

"Voters can easily avoid the risks by not speeding, wearing seat belts and avoiding alcohol use before driving to the polls and on the way home."

Please... If voting in this election makes you want to drink...wait until you get home.

Just Say When...

why 700 billion?


"It's not based on any particular data point," a Treasury spokeswoman told Forbes.com Tuesday. "We just wanted to choose a really large number."


Saturday, September 27, 2008

Paul Newman

I have always thought Paul Newman was the coolest actor ever.

He served in the navy in WWII as a tail gunner. In one battle his entire detail was killed except for him and his pilot. They were held back at the last moment because his pilot had an ear infection.

At the age of 70, he became the oldest driver to be part of a winning team in a major sanctioned race, the 24 Hours of Daytona in 1995.

He was married for 50 years to actress Joanne Woodward. They lived in Connecticut.

As of May this year, the Newman's Own Brand had contributed over 220 million dollars to charity.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I'll have to stop drinking coffee


PETA Urges Ben & Jerry's To Use Human Milk


"PETA's request comes in the wake of news reports that a Swiss restaurant owner will begin purchasing breast milk from nursing mothers and substituting breast milk for 75 percent of the cow's milk in the food he serves," the statement says.

Ben and Jerry's HAS wanted their customers to start younger. Stay tuned...

http://www.wnbc.com/news/17539627/detail.html

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Stupider Like A Fox!

We all do dumb things. But let us try and learn from our mistakes.



DeSean Jackson: Last High School Game.


DeSean Jackson: 2nd NFL game (NEARLY first touchdown)

Monday, September 15, 2008

I was a stranger and you invited me in...



Just a little reflection about my weekend.

I went to Pennsylvania with the girlfriend and another couple.

We saw Abraham and Sarah at the Living Waters Theater. Good stuff. Not my favorite but some good stuff. Then we went for a buggy ride. We saw some Amish people working there. Got excited to have a real Amish person give us the ride/tour.


Saw a young blonde woman wearing jeans walking around looking for who her next customers were. We wanted to hide. "She's not Amish! We want our money's worth." It felt worse than when I ordered a large #3 yesterday and got a small fry.

But thats who we got and it turned out great. She had just bought the company from an Amish guy because Amish aren't supposed to profit from tourism. The guy felt guilty and sold it. She runs it with her boyfriend who grew up Amish, but left the church right before having to choose to join. If he HAD joined and THEN dropped out he would have been shunned. But left before officially joining so not so bad a thing.



The four of us enjoyed an hour long ride courtesy of Smokey the horse. Smokey was a slow mover but that was fine by us.


Stopped for a few minutes to buy some lemonaide from some Amish children who had a stand. Freshly squeezed and the best lemonaide I ever remember having.


Stopped at a home where an Amish family lived. They had deer as pets in a large pen. Don't think could do that where I live.

We went to a church service the next morning. Found an Amish-Mennonite church. Not Amish. Not Mennonite. Amish-Mennonite. They broke away among other reasons as I understand it, that they did not believe in the practice of shunning people that leave the faith.

They also have cars. When we got to the church we parked in spaces up front marked visitor. Shortly an Amish dressed woman apprached our car to tell us when to come in for service. We walked in at 10am and were very warmly greeted. We signed in the visitors book and then noticed one thing I did not think about. The men were sitting on one side while the women were on the other side of the church. Our greeter told us we could of course sit together and an usher would seat us. He sat us on the left side with the women. Ladies in traditional Amish dress and "kaps" were all around us as we were smack in the middle with our "modern" clothes. Once seated the service was already into singing. They use no instruments other than the voice. The worship leader was asking for requests. We would turn to that page in the hymnal and he would blow into his pitch pipe and then start us into the singing. One song had a very nice, women sing first and then men harmonizing part that was quite beautiful.


One song was on a handout and people from both aisles that surrounded us were giving us theirs. Then when the sermon began the speaker began immediatly reading verses from Romans and Exodus. We did not have any bibles with us and there were no "pew bibles." As soon as they realized, our Amish neighbors handed us their bibles to use for the rest of the service.

One Amish boy in front of me was coloring and not really paying attention. Kids in church are same wherever you go.

The message was a good one. (maybe told a bit slowly but good) We found out instead of one preacher there is a team of four men that take turns preaching.

After the sermon which was at least 35 minutes (whole service maybe hour and a half) as I remember, they had one of the 4 team members sum up the sermon. Then we prayed by kneeling but turning around so your arms are clasped on the seat of the pew.






Then they had another member do a sort of commision for lack of better word. Then they asked for any testimonials or anything the congregation would like to share. One member (grabbing the microphone..yes they had a sound system) gave a good 5 minute talk on what was on his mind and that was that. As soon as we were told "You are excused" The Amish women around us tell us how nice it was to have us and one lady invited us to lunch. We had to accept of course.


The Kaufmann family were wonderful hosts. Six children (which is the average) 3 boys 3 girls and their parents could not have been nicer. When we got there Mrs. Kaufmann was already pealing potatoes. One of the girls argued she wanted to set the table, so another task had to be found for the youngest sister.

Now we had just learned the day before from our buggy ride that Amish lunch is more like our dinner. They go all out for lunch. And it ended up being one great meal. I even took seconds on the green beans. I do not think I have EVER done that.

Mashed potatoes? Best I ever had. Meatballs. Apple sauce. Corn pudding was it? Another one of those things I rarely eat but was delicious. The kids were personable and considering 4 strangers were in their house, remarkably well behaved. Mrs. Kaufmann would make note on two occassions that her children were quite "mischievous" which made me think she was unsure what that word meant.

The conversation was light and easy. In explaining where we were from, the girls seemed excited about Chincoteague and hearing about the Pony Swim. They had read "Misty Of Chincoteague" and expressed an interest in going for a visit. Mr. Kaufmann found out my friend Pete was a firefighter (as was he) and they exchanged stories. His day job was involved in an apple orchard, and we noticed many beautifull red apple trees around the house




Finally there was pie and a bowl filled with icecream passed around as well as the option of coffee.

Part of my point on all of this? The most welcoming church experience I have ever had. I was just talking to a friend of mine about this same kind of thing. Some churches overdue it. But we were not made to stand up (though we obviously stood out) and tell who we were. On the other side, we were not ignored as I have been often at new churches. They seemed to do it just right. It was a weekend I will remember, and most of all from the way we saw God's face through strangers that welcomed us warmly.





http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weavertown_Amish_Mennonite_Church

Thursday, September 11, 2008

There's a fine line between clever and stupid

Who makes the better point?

Damon knows when you are going to die?! Those damn actuary tables!








Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

How Obama Can Get His Groove Back (and us too)

McCain has the momentum. Some polls even have him winning.

How can Obama reverse this? I have the answer. And it will work.


Obama must drop Biden from the ticket. It was a questionable
decision in the first place. Biden can say, "Oh I had a prior
commitment for the next 4 years I forgot about." He doesn't even have the fistbump down yet. Sad.

Palin has energized the Republicans like only a pistol packing sexy librarian with prolife values can do. People have not even noticed that Obama is running against McCain. The debate is between Palin and Barack.






So Biden drops out and Obama goes with Dennis Kucinich.

Yes you heard me correctly. Yes he is funny looking. Yes he talked about seeing a UFO in one of the debates and everyone laughed. But why will he be a homerun? Because that is not his daughter in that picture, its his wife of three years. I'm not laughing now either.


Elizabeth Kucinich is 30 (Hes 61). She's also British so you know, foreign policy will be taken care of.


Now Kucinich will have to bring her out for everything. During the debates, she can be front row cheering on her man. If he gets into a little trouble on an issue, she can run out, wipe his brow and nobody will remember he had been stumbling.


No matter what the issue, Kucinich can bring up stories about his wife. "Well as my wife and I were discussing Nuclear Energy last night..."


Obama and Biden? Just not as attractive..no matter how clean.


Its hope and change we can ALL believe in.















Sunday, September 7, 2008

Does We Will Never Forget Mean We Should Never View

Foreign Policy has always been a major issue looked at in Presidential Elections. And rightly so.

Commander-In-Chief is kind of a big deal. So when the thing that defined the outgoing president's foreign policy is brought up at the RNC, makes sense I would think.

Could showing something we saw over and over again seven years ago now be inappopriate?

As Keith Olberman of MSNBC says, "At this late date." Does he mean we should never see it again?

Should Pearl Harbor footage be shelved? Is Holocaust footage off limits? What about films? Was Olberman offened by the two 9/ll films released by major studios? Did he think it was too soon?

Was it? What are the rules? Where is the line or where should it be?





Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Don Lafontaine

Don Lafontaine has died. He had one of the most enviable professsions in the world.

You could not go to a movie and sit through the trailers and not hear his voice.

I think we will slowly start to realize film previews just don't sound as smooth.



So THAT'S What Happens When You Find A Stranger In The Alps

The Big Lebowski is now ten years old. Here is part of an edited version if you want to share this masterpiece with the kids.









What other films are now kid friendly? Well Die Hard 2 naturally. This could only help Nickelodeon and The Family Channel.

Here is an example. Maybe Fred Thompson could have used the "stupid arrogant psychopath line" to Putin. Why we didn't elect that guy... Look at his executive experience !






Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Democrats Pray Storms Blow Away Momentum

Every side has their crazy nutcases for supporters. But Obama should be really hoping his stop trying to help.

Everything was going so well.




“The worst Republican Environment since Watergate up against an exciting, charismatic Democratic Nominee.” (Mary Matalin)

Then he went to Berlin and pretended he was already president. The smug level that day in Germany was especially high and it did not play well back in the States.

Then he had a “forum” (please don’t call it a debate) with John McCain at Saddleback Church and lost so convincingly the (forum not debate) that his own supporters said “McCain must have known the questions ahead of time.”

His “safe” choice of Joe Biden actually dropped him 2 points in some polls the next day. No matter, he had the convention speech. It’s all anyone would be talking about the next day. Only McCain picked Palin and the news-cycle went something like this: McCain picks Palin!! What do you think of THAT!! McCain picks Palin!! What do you think of THAT!! McCain picks Palin!! What do you think of THAT!! Obama gives a right pretty speech. McCain picks Palin!! What do you think of THAT!!

Knowing they should be up more than they are they go on the attack. “Palin is not experienced! She’s so inexperienced our guy almost looks like he has experience!” You cannot focus on the potential Vice President’s “lack of experience” when it just reminds people of the lack of experience of the potential President.

But now the arguments are going from experience into things that should not matter.


You cannot go after a mother because her 17 year old daughter got pregnant. And you cannot…can NOT go after Palin for deciding to have her child, knowing before its birth it had Down Syndrome. Yes these are the kinds of arguments Obama has wisely asked people to lay off.
Here is an example of the kind of criticism I am talking about from a guy who signed his name as “reporter” on a political site.

Sarah Palin lacks personal moral scruples. Knowing that her baby (and 5th child) would suffer Down syndrome, she deliberately carried him to term. For her, religious belief is more important than human compassion: the humane thing to do would have been to abort the fetus in order to spare it from a life of suffering. Also, Palin deliberately chose to give birth to a 5th child even though she, as governor, does not have time to properly care for him.Note that about 90% of women who are aware that their fetus is afflicted with Down syndrome choose to terminate the pregnancy. These women (including both conservatives and liberals) did not want their potential child to live a life of suffering. (reference: “Anti-Abortion Activists Cheer McCain’s V.P. Pick” @ online.wsj.com/article/SB122005503104485161.html )

How many Down Syndrome people do you know? How many do you think are suffering and wished they had never been born? How does this person (or anyone) know what kind of care the child is receiving?

Must we be deemed perfect pre-birth to be worthy of love or life?
Because pretty much as soon as you are born you are no longer perfect.

“How dare she take the VP job when she has a 4 month old disabled child!!” (another comment on the same site)

So much for the feminist spirit if you are running against a Democrat.
How did that song go? I am woman hear me roar/but only if I am Democrat, let me out the door!!

I mean if 90% are going one route, it must be the correct route.

Obama wisely has said Palin’s daughter is off limits. I hope he says the same about her son. I give him the benefit of the doubt.

If these people think they are helping, they are sincerely wrong. The more people hear these kinds of attacks or want to focus on someone having or not having children, the more ammunition for the Republicans.

Diehards will have to bring up Obama’s support against the Illinois Born Alive Infants Protection Act.

And why does a far left position on abortion still matter in this election? Because these are the people who are voting:

“A new poll finds half of voters don't know that presidential candidate John McCain is pro-life on abortion or that Barack Obama is pro-abortion. The survey shows that, when pro-life voters know that information, they support McCain by a three-to-one margin.
A new poll from the Pew Research Center finds voters are more interested in the 2008 election than they were the 2004 election, but they are less informed on where the candidates stand.
Pew finds that just 52 percent of voters rightly identify Obama as pro-choice and only 45 percent know John McCain is pro-life on abortion.
A stunning 38 percent of voters don't know where either Obama or McCain stand on the issue of abortion. Some ten percent wrongly identify Obama as pro-life and 17 percent think McCain supports abortion. http://www.lifenews.com/nat4043.html

There is a long way to go. Obama could be photographed saving a child from the storm while Palin makes her speech Wednesday (and if he is smart he will) That would be good for at least a 5 point surge. But it looks like we might have a race on our hands after all.
This has been considered the Democrats Election to lose.

Sounds like they are taking that as a challenge.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Veep Veep



Initial Impressions.




They might likely change.




Who did better in their Vice Presidential selections?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Key Issues







What are the key issues for you as a voter?


Economy
Iraq
Taxes
Death Penalty
Abortion
Immigration
Health Care
Welfare
Global Warming/ Environment
Gas Prices
Alternative Energy
Maybe its something not mentioned here. What do you as a voter consider the key one or two issues in this election?

Also:



I asked who you were voting for. The more important part of the entry being, WHY.

We have had spirited responses (so far all between people who are most likely voting for the same person) and I thank those for opening the discussion.


Who I would like to hear from now (which doesn't mean I dont want to continue hearing from the others) are the people voting for Obama. I know you are out there. Half the people I originally told about this blog are voting for him. So why?

Let's hear the other side of the coin.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Worst Song Ever?

I think this is wrong on a number of levels. Anybody know of worse songs?

Or am I wrong? Does anyone think this is good? If so I have to rethink everything.



Is it Ridicurus?


The LPGA just reported that all new players to the tour are required to learn English starting in 2009.

Players who have been LPGA members for two years face suspension if they can't pass an oral evaluation of English skills. The rule is effective immediately for new players.


Is this fair? Is this just good business?


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0BanwQzBQGM&feature=related

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Reason For Your Vote


Who will you vote for and why?


You have a reason for voting for one guy
over the other. What is it?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

With Wings As Eagles






Now the Olympics are over. As one jaded sports analyst said, Michael Phelps broke records, he didn’t drop gas prices.

But to me the Olympics are everything that COULD be right about sports. Do they succeed? For moments at a time, absolutely. Other times, no.

Some of my memories of the Olympics growing up contained Mary Lou Retton’s perfect 10. Greg Louganis winning, then next Olympics bashing his head on the board and still winning on the very last dive of his career. Carl Lewis. The Ice Hockey Team in 1980 (If I did not see it when it happened, it was talked about enough I feel I did). Men’s Volleyball. Bad boxing decisions. Bad figure skating decisions. Eddie The Eagle. I could keep going.

My family always loved the Olympics. And I still do, mostly. Phelps going for 8 golds was remarkable. It took 4 times looking at the end of that one race before I thought he actually won. And the greatest relay finish ever as we beat the arrogant French team. What gets American Patriotism flowing more than that?

And yet I watch the much ballyhooed American Men’s Basketball team with a feeling of loss. Loss for what the Olympics no longer are in certain ways.
It all changed when we let pros play in what was once an amateur competition. I know I know. Michael Phelps and many others aren’t really amateurs. Not with his Speedo and other endorsements before these Olympics. But with swimmers and others who we only see every 4 years, they still have that amateur feel.

I can watch Kobe and Lebron and the rest, a great part of the year. No way are they amateurs. No matter how much the rest of the world has caught up, the USA basketball team was an extraordinary collection of talent. No way should we lose. We could not. Which makes the gold medal more a sigh of relief than a feeling of true joy.

There will never be another “Miracle On Ice” because we are the same as the “professional” Soviets were. A bunch of college kids beating a pro team is a story for the ages. We have not won that gold medal since. And if we did, watching pro NHL All-stars play against one another, we would not care even close to as much.

I watched Chariots Of Fire the night before the Beijing Olympics started. The controversy back in 1924 Britain, was the fact that sprinter Harold Abrahams hired a coach. An amateur athlete hiring a coach was not illegal but looked down upon. What a truly long time ago.
Now the problems I have with track and field are I just do not completely believe my eyes. For the clean athletes, this is not fair at all.
But I have a hard time believing certain times and certain gymnasts ages. Years ago, we seemed like the moral and right exception to the amateur’s only rule. Now it sometimes feels like pro that cheats the best versus pro that cheats not as well. I long for the days when having a coach was the biggest no no.

Eddie The Eagle, Britain’s first (and only) Olympic Ski jumper, was not allowed to be in the Olympics anymore. He was just not good enough, no matter if he was the only guy in his country willing to give it a try. He was too amateur. Eddie the Eagle is the kind of Olympic moment I miss. It is the kind of great moment we now have less and less often.

There will be no film made about the American Basketball Team beating the outmanned team from Spain. There is one planned about Eddie The Eagle.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

what da!




Bono and Robin Williams are famous people who are often seen with other famous people. I have never seen them together.



Hmmmm.....

Sunday, August 10, 2008

A Need To Know Basis







Metropolis is the most interesting of films. It is an undisputed masterpiece. It has influenced countless filmmakers. And it has been seen by virtually nobody. Not in its entirety. Missing scenes have given the film a mystique that can’t be matched. It’s like the Venus De Milo. Once the arms go back on, will it just be a pretty woman?

Will the missing footage (most of it anyway) that has been found keep the film in the high status it has established? Will the missing plot holes be explained by Patrick Duffy walking out of a shower and us realizing it was all a dream? Was it all in the head of an autistic child looking at a snowglobe? Was an annoying CGI created sidekick who spoke ebonics, the reason for the missing scenes?


Probably not. But all these mysteries being solved lately to me are kind of, well, disappointing.
I liked it better when we did not know who was the woman in the Mona Lisa. I preferred a time when we were unsure what the heck Stonehenge was.


We each get something different out of a piece of art. What did Bill Murray really whisper to Scarlett Johansson at the end of Lost In Translation? Why would I want to know? What I feel he said on some level, or the power of a moment shared between the two characters could not possibly become more powerful by finding out.



EX: (Wasn’t it cooler in a way when you didn’t know what giant warehouse the Ark of the Covenant, was stored in at the end of Raiders of The Lost Ark?)



What was the glow in that briefcase in Pulp Fiction? Macguffins are a part of films because our individual imaginations create a better scenario, than if the director revealed it at the end. When they are revealed they are often disappointing. If they are not a disappointment, the film is classic (i.e. Citizen Kane)

Macguffin: A term used by Alfred Hitchcock to refer to an item, event, or piece of knowledge that the characters in a film consider extremely important, but which the audience either doesn't know of or doesn't care about. Examples: the engine plans in The 39 Steps, the statue with the microfilms in North by Northwest, and the contents of the briefcase in Pulp Fiction.


The best Macguffin of all is the one we live through every day. The big questions we all have for God. “Why if _____ then _____ , _____, ______ happens?” It can be frustrating to the point where we say a lot of blankety blanks to ourselves.

Our feeble minds cannot fathom why. God is on a whole other level of intelligence. And when everything is made known we won’t be disappointed. It will be Metropolis plot holes all tied together brilliantly, times a million. But I will enjoy all the mystery in the mean time.
But don’t forget. We are characters in one heck of a story. And even Orson Wells is gonna be impressed with all of the reveals at the end.