Friday, September 30, 2005

Internet to keep working

The U.N. wants to control the Internet. Specifically, they want to control domain names. U.S. officials say no way thereby guaranteeing that the U.N. won't screw it up.

The U.N. can't even handle humanitarian aid without corrupting it. Look what happened with oil for food in Iraq and sex for food in Africa.

Besides, the U.S. invented the Internet (just ask Al Gore). It's ours.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

The Greatest Game Ever Played - movie review

The Greatest Game Ever Played tells the story of how 20 year-old amatuer golfer Francis Ouimet won the 1913 U.S. Open by beating his boyhood idol, Englishman Harry Vardon. Really, the movie is about breaking class barriers to succeed on merit rather than social station.

Franics came from a working class family and taught himself to play golf while caddying for country club members at the golf course next to his house. As a young man Francis fights for the right to play in an amatuer tournament. He is first told he is not allowed to play in the tournament because of his social status. Golf is a "gentleman's" game. After failing to make the cut in the tournament, his father's criticism keeps him from playing golf until an opportunity is offered to play in the U.S. Open. This is the same tournament Harry Vardon has returned to the United States to play in. Another leading English golfer, Ted Ray, accompanies Vardon and the two are financed by English aristocracy to take the U.S. trophy back to England and therefore prove English dominance in the sport.

Peaks into Harry Vardon's past parrallel Francis' struggle to get past the class barreirs to play golf in a time when aristocrats view social position with more weight than merit.

The wonderful part of this movie is the portrayal Ouimet's rivals Vardon and Ray. Unlike Cinderella Man where the rival Max Baer was falsely portrayed as a womanizer and a dirty fighter, Vardon and Ray are not villianized. They both compete with integrity and recognize the talent of the younger golfer. At the end of the movie I was as much a fan of Vardon and Ray as I was of the unlikely champion Ouimet.

The show stealing character was Eddie Lowery. Unable to pay a caddie, Ouimet is forced to use 10 year-old eddie. His youthful exuberance and comments on the golf course, "easy peasy, lemon squeezy," contrast with wisdom beyond his years when he gives Ouimet valuable advice during the tournament. Somehow the combination works and makes for an entertaining character.

The movie's theme of men struggling against the odds to become champions in a sport that doesn't welcome their working class backgrounds is one that American's love. The way it is able to do it so that rival competitors are both admired is masterful.

4 stars (I laughed, I cried. It changed my life. Better than Cats.)

Serenity - movie review

Earlier this month I was invited to an advance screening of Serenity. Knowing that my friend Melissa is a great Firefly fan (the prematurely canceled TV series from which the movie is based) I invited her to the screening. The only catch was that she write the review (heh, heh). So, here is Mel's guest review:

A Cowboy Space Opera by Melissa

You have seen this story a thousand times. A small group of people, trying to stay under the government’s radar, discover something of momentous importance. When the government finds out, the chase is on. Sounds ho-hum? Not in this universe.

Based on the television show Firefly, Serenity is set in a future that could be ours, and what really brings this story to life is its characters and their beautifully detailed backdrop of Asian-American influence.

Meet River Tam: schizophrenic, government-trained warrior and meek 17-year old girl all in one. Serenity is really her story. River has been used as a lab rat for the Alliance government to create a psychic assassin. Her brother Simon, a brilliant doctor, rescues her from the facility where she is being held at the very beginning of the movie.

Meet Malcolm Reynolds: Captain of the spaceship Serenity, enemy of the Alliance, survivor of the Alliance and Rebel civil war, sarcastic shoot-first-and-ask-questions-later kind of guy, part parent and part commanding officer. Serenity is his ship. Mal has taken in Simon and River Tam as he has taken in the other members of his crew: First Mate Zoe, a fellow survivor of the war; her husband Wash, Serenity’s pilot; Kaley, their sweet natured mechanic; and Jayne, Serenity’s muscle, guns and thuggery.

If you have seen the television series, you already know how the actors bring these characters together to form a family unit as alive, loving and complaining as your own. If you have not seen the series, you will see for yourself how the actors play off each other to create the tension and force that drives the movie along.

And there is tension. This is a very dark movie, which may come as a surprise to fans of Firefly. One of the drawbacks to a 2 hour time limit is that we don’t really get to see the depths these characters show throughout the series. There are simply too many of them. What we see is a little more one dimensional, the darker, more serious side to characters we have come to love and laugh with throughout the television shows.

But that’s all right. The amusing one-liners from the series are still there. The pointed jabs and in-fighting flow throughout the movie. This movie is one facet of the whole, River’s story, and we get to see sides of her only hinted at in the series. Never before had she used her abilities openly, with the knowledge and understanding of the crew. River is the catalyst that moves the plot along, and the movie flows well with her.

The universe of Serenity is an odd mix of western and science fiction, Asian and American influences. In the simplest sense, two great superpowers, China and America, fused together with onset of space travel. A lot of time has passed since the merge, and what we now see is a gorgeous tapestry of influences throughout the whole.

You will see classic cowboy style clothing next to brocade robes next to body armor, dusty hats, helmets and elaborate headdresses, shot glasses and sake sets. People speak English, but write with Asian characters. Fighting is done with six-shooters, swords, machine guns and martial arts. We also can’t forget the laser guns and hovercraft. The world flows together so nicely you would have to watch several times to see what the different influences even are. The CGI effects are dramatic, but tastefully done only where it makes sense.

You have seen this story a thousand times. But you have not seen the world in which this story is set or the characters with which it is played out. Watch the movie. Let yourself be taken away for a few hours to a unique place that Hollywood, for once, has never visited before.

3 Stars (More fun than Disney's Matterhorn)

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Would you believe.....?

Don Adams of Get Smart fame has died. Best television spy comedy ever. Not that I can think of any other television spy comedy right now, but still the best.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Christians don't do that

Yesterday the Anchoress mentioned that a friend of hers had a sex dream about Rush Limbaugh.

Today she mentioned that she received a few emails from people who had problems with her mentioning it. So are Christians not supposed to dream about sex. Or is it that they just aren't allowed to tell anyone that they do?

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

You are stuck on stupid

At one time those who worked in the press were considered to be in a noble profession. Now they aren't much better than used car salesman. Clearly they still have a high opinion of themselves though.

General Honore provided the quote of the year. The General is in charge the troops protecting New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Now with hurricane Rita threatening the Gulf Coast, he is assisting with another evacuation of the city and isn't playing any games with the press who still want to talk about blame for problems after the first hurricane.

General Honore isn't having any of that though. When a reporter tried asking a question about hurricane Katrina, the general told him, "you are stuck on stupid."

You can check out the video at The Political Teen. Now THAT's comedy.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Round 2

Tropical storm Rita looks like it is headed to the Gulf of Mexico. Projected paths right now have it headed towards the Texas coast. The warm waters of the gulf will probably turn the storm into a hurricane. Don't put too much faith in that projected course either. It could just as likely turn a bit to the north and hit where Katrina went on shore.

The possibility of another hit on New Orleans is so worrisome that some elected officials are starting to change their politices. In halting the reopening of New Orleans, Democrat Mayer Ray Nagin said, "If we are off, I'd rather err on the side of conservatism to make sure we have everyone out."

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Which way is it?

The angry left continues to show they have lost all touch with reason. Earlier this week Cindy Sheehan continued her rant against President Bush. In an article on the Huffington Post she says (emphasis added):
George Bush needs to stop talking, admit the mistakes of his all around failed administration, pull our troops out of occupied New Orleans and Iraq...

New Orleans is now (apparently unjustly) "occupied" according to the angry left. Yet before the National Guard got there President Bush was criticized for not getting them there sooner.

Well what is the President supposed to do, send in the National Guard or not? You just can't please the angry left. I guess that's why we call them "angry". When they run out of things to be mad about, they starting making up stuff.

Freak cat

Mila just loves the dog's water. What a weirdo.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Cherry Lime?

I bought a six pack of cherry lime soda last night. As I'm drinking it right now, I realize that it doesn't particularly taste like cherry and/or lime.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Progress with black voters

Hugh Hewitt points out the bigotry of the New York Times today where they felt the need to point out the economic status of a black preacher. It is clear the Times doesn't feel that T.D. Jakes is a "real" African-American because he is rich and supports the President. Have you noticed that Jesse Jackson's wealth never seems to get mentioned whenever he makes a statement?

The article's headline tells us that "Bush's Status With Blacks Takes Hit". It says a poll shows that "two-thirds of African-Americans said the government's response to the crisis would have been faster if most of the victims had been white". If you read further down, this may be an indication of good news.

But when I read the article, it sounds like there is good news for Bush. In 2004 89% of black voters voted against President Bush. Since African-Americans already don't like the President, is his status really taking a hit? The good news is only two thirds of them think he is a racist. That sounds like progress to me.

Sunday, September 11, 2005


Julie over at Happy Catholic is...well, happy. The Cowboys won today. I'm happy that football started. We won't disucss how the Broncos did today though.

Celebrating America

Many blogs I read regularly has a post commemarating 9/11.

I'm not one for anniversay mourning year after year. We can't forget what happened, but I don't see how manufacturing sorrow every September 11 is productive. I work today, so I don't have a lot of options, but instead of walking around in a funk all day, I'm going be thankful I live in America. I'm going to listen to football games, go out for lunch, and live free in the greatest nation on God's green earth.

Poor Honeybun

Honeybun and her friend went to Coyote Ugly last night. If you haven't seen the movie of the same name, it's a bar where the women bartenders and some customers dance on the bar. Honeybun ended up on the bar twice.

Needless to say, she has a headache this morning.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Friday, September 09, 2005

Eric the tile guy is demolishing the bathroom.  Posted by Picasa

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Gilligan, dead?

Bob Denver who played Gilligan in the TV show Gilligan's Island has died.

Come on. Gilligan can't die. I mean he's Gilligan, ya know? Who hasn't watched Gilligan on TV while growing up? He was an American icon. God bless Gilligan.

Saturday, September 03, 2005


Ever feel you are living in a moment that changes everything? First we have Katrina. Then tonight Chief Justice Rehnquist dies. At this moment there are two Supreme Court vacancies, one of which is the Chief Justice.

Environmental arrogance

In the aftermath of Katrina, the environmentalist zealots are out bashing President Bush for not signing the Kyoto treaty. According to their articles of faith (yes, environmentalism is a religion) hurricane Katrina happened because President Bush didn't sign Kyoto. We could have avoided all this misery just by reducing green house gases.

James Glassman (hat tip Steven Milloy) reveals the problem with the environmentalists' baseless claims.
Katrina has nothing to do with global warming. Nothing. It has everything to do with the immense forces of nature that have been unleashed many, many times before and the inability of humans, even the most brilliant engineers, to tame these forces.

Giant hurricanes are rare, but they are not new. And they are not increasing. To the contrary. Just go to the website of the National Hurricane Center and check out a table that lists hurricanes by category and decade. The peak for major hurricanes (categories 3,4,5) came in the decades of the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, when such storms averaged 9 per decade. In the 1960s, there were 6 such storms; in the 1970s, 4; in the 1980s, 5; in the 1990s, 5; and for 2001-04, there were 3. Category 4 and 5 storms were also more prevalent in the past than they are now. As for Category 5 storms, there have been only three since the 1850s: in the decades of the 1930s, 1960s and 1990s.

Fewer hurricanes in recent years? In wanting you to think otherwise, the environmentalists count on ignorance of history and must themselves be willfully ignorant.

It is a continued failing of human nature. We want to be safe all the time. People think we can be safe if we just engineer better buildings or levees, or reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The fact is the world is a dangerous place. Hurricanes happen weather you drive a hybrid car or an SUV.

It was arrogance that led people to believe the Titanic was unsinkable. It is just as arrogant to believe the Kyoto treaty could have saved people from hurricane Katrina.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Katrina and God

The Anchoress points out that people are looking for God in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina.

Sometimes you find wisdom in the most curious of places. I've been reading H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds. It's taken me over a month to get about half way through the book. Yet that timed perfectly with this week's events. That's where I found Well's comment on God and disaster.

The narrator is talking to a curate (clergyman) after the Martians have attacked the city of Weybridge. The curate exclaims, "this is the beginning of the end." The narrator's response is... well see for yourself.
"You are scared out of your wits! What good is religion if it collapses under calamity? Think of what earthquakes and floods, wars and volcanoes, have done before to men! Did you think God had exempted Weybridge? He is not an insurance agent."

Insert New Orleans, Mobile, or Biloxi for Weybridge.

Are our expectations of protection from calamity justified? Where does this expectation come from? There is no where in the Bible that claims God will avert calamity for us. We are not protected from every harm. We look at Job and learn that bad things happen to good people and like Job we will never learn why. That may not be a satisfying answer but it is reality.

Meanwhile, those of us who are safe can still pray and send what assistance we can.