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Hot Stove Commentary

I was pleased with the signing of former Twin Boof Bonser the other day. To me he seems like an improvement over Wakefield; age-wise anyway. It looks he's gonna be a long man in the annual revamped 'pen. Whatever.

I say whatever because yesterday's signing of former Angel ace John Lackey makes the Bonser signing completely irrelevant. Despite stating the season on the DL for his former team the last two years, he still brought it for them being up near the top of their rotation. Depending on Dice-K' Matzusaka's new conditioning program goes, they'll fight each other for third which is awesome. What I don't like is this makes Clay Buccholtz trade-bait. Trade Wakefield and/or Bonser for the final bat.

Jason Bay demanding a fifth year, or at least his agent, does not impress me much. Pedro pulled the same crap when he left for the Mets. Pedro wasn't worth a longer contract then and Bay isn't now. If I was negotiating I'd give him 4 years as …

Rules For A New Star Trek Series

After reading, this article, I think all of my readers know I had to comment. Actually, I did at the article itself but what kind of host would I be if I forced you to go there and search for them? Besides this is why I have blog in the first place.

I loved the new movie and agree a reboot needed to be done. It's more Trek than Universe is Stargate That said, it's too soon to use that alternate universe for a series. I'd wait until the third or, better yet, the fifth for that. That said, speaking strictly as a Trekie, it's not too soon for a new series for me...

My must haves, in no particular order:

1. Likable characters-Tension is great but Stargate: Universe vs. Voyager/DS9 has shown even characters that hate each other in the beginning eventually should get along. Even Enterprise characters grew on me by season 2...

2. A ship-Space, time or space and time, I don't care but there must be a ship. DS9 was and still is my favorite of the franchise but the main com…

What Does Alanis Morrisette Need With a Starship?

For this month's book group at church I read The Shack by William P. Young. Simply put, not nearly as bad as I feared it would be given the beginning reminded me of Left Behind which as a pretty good story but "nauserating" theologically. In fact, Young's novel was quite thought provoking.

The book tells the story of a man irritatingly named Mackenzie Phillips (Young never saw One Day At A Time apparently...) who holds a lot of emotional pain from a abusive father and kidnapped daughter and is summoned by note to the scene of his daughter's murder supposedly by God.

What I liked about the book: though The Shack is fiction, Young writes it as if Mack related the story to him to write down. It's a plot device I really want to use someday.

As I implied earlier, the book's writing style was similar to Left Behind but, as the story gets going, it turns out it's more in-line with where I am theologically. Hint: God isn't an old white guy and Jesus is Ara…

One More For November

We're down to our last piece of pie and we're tossing the turkey carcass out so I think Thanksgiving 2009 is finally over. It may have actually ended when my parents went home on Friday but whatever...Yes, my parents came down and we had the dinner upstairs in my aunt's apartment. It was just the five of us.

On Wednesday, I tried once more to get my ID replaced. They were open this time but I forgot to put my birth certificate back in my bag. Because this was a replacement, they had the address on file but I couldn't prove I was born here. Yes, I was born here then but I'm not now? Do terrorists have time travel tech to change this? Anyway, the saga continues...

This is my first Christmas using Pandora. I have some thoughts. James Taylor's cover of Joni Mitchell's "River" is the most boring version I have ever heard but it perhaps is the only male version I've ever heard...Apparently, Louie Armstrong put "What A Wonderful World" on…

More Thoughts By the Numbers

1. In case you missed my raving about the movie, I so enjoyed Pirate Radio. What do you get when you mix the hilarious Brit writer Richard Curtis, of Vicar of Dibley, Love Actually, Notting Hill and 4 Weddings and a Funeral, and music of the '60's? This gem. Go see it!

2. I'm thinking I should try the DMV again tomorrow as I have Wednesday and Friday off and Friday is Black Friday which may be scary being the mall and all. I'm still curious where my ID went in the first place...

3. We're having Thanksgiving up at my aunt's apartment. In attendance will be my aunt, my cousin (The one I live with not the one I can't stand), my parents and myself. The menu sounds traditional...

4. Finished reading Tess Geritsen's The Keepsake recently. After a break with The Bone Garden we're back to the Rizzoli/Isles series. I think the break helped. While the other books weren't bad by any means, Gerritsen added a bit more action to this time around which is always…

Updates and Commentary

1. It's been almost a week since the same sex marriage law was shot down. I'm not totally pissed about it as I was as, you know, time heals all wounds or what not but I still am a bit irritated. There was a discussion about it at the seminary today on how for many opponents it was the word "marriage" that did it for them. The only openly gay student present responded she wanted the word. I can't say I blame her. I noticed this argument a long time ago, however. I was in Boston when thie issue was discussed there and in Connecticut when it was discussed there (Actually, it was just civil unions there at the time and then later became marriage...) and this was the first time I noticed the civil union option wasn't poo-pooed as well.

I love how Bishop Malone still claims his opposition wasn't about discrimination. Isn't denying a group the right to do something that everyone else is allowed to do the very definition of discrimination?

2. Wow. Carrie…

New Fall TV And Other Musings

1. With the exception of two episodes of Courtney Cox's Cougar Town which as only two things going for it,Cox and co-star Crista Miller, I've really only started watching two new shows: NCIS: Los Angeles and Stargate: Universe.

I can see now why producers or CBS or both didn't want it called NCIS: Special Projects or whatever. Supposedly, they're an uncover branch of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service but aside from a scene here or there, they never go undercover! When reading about it, it sounded like a cross between NCIS and Mission: Impossible which is an awesome concept. In reality, the difference between this and the show it spun-off from is the same difference between CSI and CSI: Miami. I will say Linda Hunt as Hetty Lange makes the show worth watching anyway.

I'm curious to see where Stargate: Universe goes. The tone is darker than the previous series akin to Deep Space Nine. That show wasn't as well received as the other Star Trek series but …

MLB Divided More Like NFL?

After reading this article this morning, I was inspired to blog. I personally like the wild card but I admit the Sox could have tried harder this weekend.

I've never understood why the Nation League has 16 teams and the American League has only 14. Why not 15 each? Having teams hurting for money makes it hard to think about making even more teams but what do I know? Also, I've never understood why the Phillies and the Pirates are National League. One should be in the American League.

The teams the writer of the piece put into the North and South divisions are crazy. Detroit, Minnesota (Where from Mary Tyler Moore re-runs I understand it snows year round.) and Colorado in the South? Really?

To that end here are my suggestions for division break up:

AL East
Boston Red Sox
Cleveland Indians
New York Yankees
Philadelphia Phillies

AL North
Detroit Tigers
Minnesota Twins
Toronto Blue Jays
Chicago White Sox

AL South
Baltimore Orioles
Kansas City Royals
Tampa Bay Rays
Expansion Team

AL West
Los Angele…

Media Report

Movies

Now that we have NetFlix, we've been watching more movies lately. First was the animated Superman: Doomsday. Overall, it was a great film but too short. I realize the whole "multiple replacement angle" may have been too convoluted for it but it still seemed more simplistic than it really should have been. Running at only seventy-something minutes, they could have expanded it more...

Last night, we watched 88 minutes with Al Pacino, Alicia Witt, William Forsythe, Amy Brenneman, Neal McDonough and Leelee Sobieski. Going into it, my roommate thought it would be a 24-type thing but, thankfully, it really wasn't. Don't get me wrong, I like the show but I prefer originality...They did it in such a way, everybody seemed too obvious to be a suspect. I really enjoyed it.

Books

Forged in Fire is, hopefully, the first Star Trek: Excelsior novel. Telling the story of blood oath pact three Klingons made with Trill Curzon Dax. Adding Captain Hikaru Sulu to the mix wasn&#…

Thoughts on a Holiday Weekend

This whole controversy on permission slips being handed out to parents on whether they want their child to watch President Obama's speech to them is just one more example on the whiny losers conservatives really are. I personally think children should know who their president is. You only have to watch one installment of "Jaywalkin'" to see most adults have no grasp of current events. (As an aside, back in '84 I supported John Glenn for president while my parents were for Walter Mondale. This wouldn't happen today...) I'd assume the plan is just for him to wish the kids a good school year.

Since kids aren't old enough to vote, I seriously doubt he's trying to use it as an opportunity to pass health care reform. So why demand a permission slip? But what if he does exhibit a point of view different than the parents? My feeling, as a non-parent, is that it's good to expose them to such points of view. At the very least it gives families somethin…

Making Babies

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A History Lesson Into My Family

Oscar Fellows had two sons Frank and Raymond. The descendants of these two branches gathered this past Saturday on a lake in mid-coast Maine. Frank, my great-grandfather, had more children so, naturally, more of them where there. It may have been tough for many but still being introverted, I found meeting relatives I've never met and then others who I haven't seen since some family funeral a decade ago quite overwhelming. That's in addition to everyone I knew of course... As befitting the occasion, there was tons of food...

I drove up and back with my grandmother, uncle and little cousin, who is even more annoying in a small car. On the way back, we saw a moose by the side of Route 1. It was still far off in the distance so we didn't get a great view.

I get home and realize my glasses case, with my glasses in it, was still in the car (I was wearing my sunglasses) so that added even more excitement...

The Meh Day

Yesterday morning, I went to a funeral for a well-respected churchgoer. It was very touching. Though I knew the man well enough to want to pay my respects, I wouldn't say I knew him all that well. Yet, I cried twice. One of the hymns they'd played makes me weepy anyway as perhaps I will always subconsciously connect it to when we moved away from my hometown. (That's my explanation for that but hopefully there's a better one.) I realize now there was transference as well. Many things the two of his children who spoke related to us my own father would do/does. And then I discover he had the same cardiologist as my grandfather...

As I was preparing dinner last night, I blew up the microwave which caused the whole apartment to fill with smoke. Just before I had to go back to work... I had followed the directions on the package and never had a problem withthe product before save for water leakage but something wasn't right. I couldn't possibly have cooked it for more…

Let's Go To The Videotape!

After going to see the latest Harry Potter film, I had to re-read my reviews of both this book and The Deathly Hollows. Interestingly, the biggest peeve I have with this movie was that they left out the "Half-Blood Prince" explanation that didn't make much sense to me in the book anyway but, still, some explanation on why this person went by the name in the first place would have been good...

People have complained the end falls flat but I pointed out, in my review of the book, the death wasn't surprising to begin with. Yeah, the final battle(s) in the book was better but that would have added another half hour at least to the movie which is really not the way to go. That's what the director's cut of the DVD is for. (Actually, the only thing if you ask me...)

With the opening scene in the movie, it's established Harry is a playa which makes his infatuation with a certain young lady make more sense than it does in the book. My mother, who only read the fir…

Of Dentists and Death Stars

Tuesday, I was supposed to go to the dentist. I call for a taxi as I didn't want to risk being late on the bus. They said they'd send one right out. I wait outside and when the taxi arrived, the fun began. Another person in my building apparently called the exact same taxi company not 5 minutes before I did! I realize now that this confused them. It became too late for my appointment so I had too call and reschedule for next month. Hopefully, the penalty for a missed a appointment isn't too steep...

Wednesday night at work, I finished reading Death Star by Micheal Reeves and Steve Perry. The book was good all the way through but had no central plot until the last third in my opinion which was a downgrade. In that last third, we basically get a "Lower Decks" retelling of most of A New Hope. I did like how they were able to incorporate what we now know about Darth Vader and Grand Moff Tarkin into it though...The question I now have is, if Millennium Falcon is writ…

Simply Because I Haven't Posted This Month

I've seen a lot of family recently. This has been good. Went with my parents to spend the Fourth visiting my father's, and my "upstairs aunt's" sister in New Hampshire. This was a nice change of pace. The weather wasn't too bad but it wasn't good swimming weather so boo to that! Now that he's 10, that little cousin is not the annoying little kid he used to be.

They themselves came here to Portland to visit my cousin this past Thursday and we went out to lunch. Nothing exciting happened.

Today, another mutual cousin and her husband, who have rented a house up near my parents, stopped here for lunch. It was good to see them as I don't think I really had since their wedding. Maybe...

Going to the dentist tomorrow. I'm not expecting terrible news; just the usual "floss more" stuff. I'm just not looking forward to it. Like haircuts, it must be done...

The weather has been nice finally after days upon days endless rain. Living in an…

Can Anyone Tell Me What These Two Reviews Have In Common?

I almost forgot to go to work Wednesday then forgot to actually make sure the door was unlocked for the groups to get in. I've been pretty absent minded lately. That's of course including the leaving my cell phone charger at my parents while clearly "remembering" it was in my pocket...

After I unlocked the door and finished dinner, I finished finally finished reading a book from Christmas: The Town and the City by Jack Kerouac. As really most of his books, it's a fictionalized autobiography about the Martin family of Galloway, MA which anyone who spend one night in the area knows it's Lowell. Despite the fact that there wasn't really a centralized plot per se, there was many a scene or chapter that was interesting. But Josh, if it was so good, why'd it take you six months to read it? Well, I kept getting distracted by books my book group wanted to read and I didn't say it was good; I said it had it's moments. I got the sense while reading it …

Twitter Update

Instead of giving you a huge recap of what I did over my little vacation up north, I decided to give you, more or less, what I'd have said on Twitter, more or less, at the time. I'm not counting characters and this probably won't be in order.


-Had root beer float with dinner. Why is that funny, Dad? Hmmm?

-Why does the new Iron Man cartoon suck? I mean besides them making Pepper annoying...

-I'm glad the Sox finally capitalized on Lowe's weakness. Prick him and he bleeds.

-Saw Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore. Apparently basis for '70's sitcom. But funnier.

-If Green keeps this up, Lugo may never play again. #redsox

-Saw The Proposal with parents and aunt. Green card wife couldn't make it.

-Centurions not as good as I remember from my youth...

The Good, The Better And The Meh

It's been awhile since I did a full CD review on here so let me tell you about Kelly Clarkson's new All I Ever Wanted. It's more and more awesome with every listen. It's not as good as her previous two albums. She has less writing credits with this album so it's less personal or "personally personal" as it contains genuine emotion but in the more generic sense. The sensible side of me wants to say the songs she actually did write are the best but I really can't say that. My favorite tracks are "All I Ever Wanted", "My Life Would Suck Without You" (Which she didn't write) and "Already Gone" (Which she co-wrote with one other). I know this can't be the first example of an album that combines phat (which is in Firefox's vocab apparently) beats touching lyrics throughout the entire album but it's the first I've thoroughly enjoyed.

Yesterday, our final movie was The Spirit. It was very good but the chee…

I Was Going To Call This "Russel the Wilderness Explorer" But...

Yesterday, since my roommate was going with friends anyway, I went to see UP! What a great movie. After seeing Wall-E, I worried that Pixar had lost it but this was great. There are few actors still living that I can think of when I think crotchety old man and Ed "I Hate Spunk." Asner is at the top of the list. Christopher Plummer was awesome as the villain but this should not surprise anyone. (True story: he blames himself for William Shatner's rise to stardom.) I loved the Dennis/Mr. Wilson dynamic between Carl and Russel. ("Can help walk you across your yard?" "No.")

Last night, our friend that likes to cook and watch movies came up so we watched The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and The Exorcism of Emily Rose. The first film was full of deep meaning and sadness. The one problem I had with this movie and I really don't think this is a spoiler, Benjamin is born as a baby-sized old man. As he grows taller, he grows younger at least until he …

A Survey For June 2009

15 Super Special Awesome Questions Survey from Quizopolis.com

Are you awesome? - Yes
Do you like nachos? - Who doesn't?
Do you know a person named Ashley? - Know a person? Yes. A few...
Do you have blog? - Apparently
What's your favorite food? - macaroni and cheese (homemade)
Puppies, kittens, or pot-bellied pigs? - Kittens
Do you forward those irritating chain e-mails? - Not usually.
Do you have any stickers? - On MySpace, yes...
Does your mom have the same color hair as you? - No but my dad does...
How many times a day do you go to Facebook? - I think I've been there 3 times today already...
When was the last time you had a staring contest? - Let's say four years ago but probably more...
When was the last time you fell asleep with the TV on? - Good question.
Has anyone kissed you today? - No but I guess it's still early...
Do you believe in love at first sight? - Strictly speaking, no...
Are vampires real? - Possibly.

Take This Survey at Quizopolis.com
http://www.quizopolis.com/…

The Heart Of A Geek

While doing two stints at church this week unlocking doors, etc., first at the dance group and domestic violence group on Wednesday then for the final string quartet concert of the season just yesterday, I finished reading Heart of a Woman by Maya Angelou for this afternoon's book group. Today due to vacation schedules and possibly naps, I was the only male among four women; all of whom are over 50. (I don't think that last bit's important but maybe...) The book had it's moments but, frankly, aside from all the name dropping, I've seen better Lifetime movies because "men are evil and they will hurt you." The book basically deals with her life between like '57 and '62. Several instances were interesting and amazing that one woman actually went through all this but it simply was not a "guy's book."

Here's An Update (In Bullet Form)

1. My boss at the library is on vacation this week though was here on Monday anyway. Yesterday, it was fine. The semester is over so, besides the workstudy students, we had only one come in who needed help with the copier occasionally. The biggest problem lately has been our computers are totally crappy. We have 4 and it really seems like I have to go to each one to perform a specific task and it involves much rebooting.

Today, I walked down as usual to find the seminary closed today due to the elevator project my church has been involved in. (You knew it was the same building, correct?) Was I called? Nope. The secretary called me once so I don't know why she wouldn't have my number... ::shrugs::

2. Though thinking back I know when it happened, we discovered a couple nights ago that we no longer have BBC America as they moved it to the digital cable level. This was the cable system I've encountered where it was expanded basic but still... Epic Fail.

3. I heard through Faceb…

I Can't Believe Chirstian Bale Actually Said "I'll Be Back..."

The movie reviewing continues this episode with Terminator Salvation. I've said this before, twice, and I'll say it again: the acting was way better than I was expecting. Christian Bale was great as the finally adult John Connor. Sam Worthington was awesome as was Bryce Dallas Howard who was somehow in a smaller role yet way more interesting as Kate than Claire Danes' more-involved version in T3. I never thought Danes was was a terrible actress by any means so it was either script or direction. (Um, wait. Didn't McG direct this one?) Moon Bloodgood (No, not Moon Zappa. Where is she now anyway?), from the kick-ass, yet tragically short-lived, Journeyman, had an oddly bigger role in the movie than Howard and it was not wasted in my opinion. One more casting point: Anton Yelchin, whom I just saw in Star Trek as the re-imagined Pavel Chekhov, was more convincing to me as the re-imagined Kyle Reece. One could rightly argue the latter role isn't nearly as iconic so the …

Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight.

Wednesday was the Seminary's end of the year party. Despite no homemade feast this time, this was more fun to me than the last Christmas party. Once again, graduating students rang the bell for every semester they attended. This year, we had two 16s!

But, Josh, you work on Wednesday night. Yes, I was working I just didn't get the money I'm used to. The dance group was canceled so we could use the space. The seminary gives more money to my church in terms of rent so there you go... The family crisis group still met so I had to give directions. To both groups actually.

My mother and aunt came down to visit their mother as my aunt was on vacation this week. I went over for dinner on Monday and then they took me, my cousin and my other aunt out to lunch. (Well, actually, only me and my roommate hadn't actually eaten yet but whatever...) While they were down, their brother's cat was very sickly so they offered to pay to have him (the cat, not my uncle) put down. It wa…

To Boldly Go Where No Quiet Geek Has Gone Before!

JJ Abrams has taken the mantle of God, if you will, from Rick Berman. Starting with Alias, I can't think of anything that guy has done that hasn't totally rocked. (Didn't watch Felicity and don't want really want to...)

His vision for the new Star Trek universe is scary cool. Almost every nitpick I may have had was wiped out from the opening scene. Every review I read say the same thing about the casting: Eerily close but slightly different. I agree with this assessment. Exact quotes were even used.

Abrams said, probably more than once, that he wanted Star Trek to be more like Star Wars . So, he blew up Alderaan. I don't think I would have had the balls to obliterate the planet they did but, reading interviews with writers Kurtzman and Orci, I understand why they did. They wanted to show that this universe isn't the one we know and love.

Because I can't do a review without nitpicks, here they are: Kirk's older brother's part apparently ended up o…

I Could Wait For This But...

Walking back in the rain from seeing Wolverine didn't dampen my enthusiasm for this movie. One thing this movie did well was threaten to fuck with continuity (In terms of the other movies. Let's forget the comics for the moment.) and then turn out really not to. I had worried when Cyclops entered the pic but he never encountered Logan and the latter doesn't remember nothing anyway. I didn't think the action was too unrealistic considering the genre so that's another plus.

I do have one peeve; and what would a review from me be without that? Stryker worked for the American government. Maybe there's a Washington in Canada. The capital I know is Ottawa but...In the comics, and I did say I'd only forget for the moment, Department H, the people behind the Weapon X program (and pointing out that's a Roman numeral was a nice touch) is part of the Canadian government. Even if they removed the Canadian involvement, I really don't think they'd like weap…

I Can't Think Of A Title

Last Sunday, and I can't believe I didn't post about this, I went to a workshop on energy conservation tips for church congregations. A 3-hour workshop. May energy was sapped after that...I'm glad I went though. My friend needed the moral support from her friends and I was the only one to show up. The presenter of the PowerPoint (Yeah, that's how Firefox wants to spell it...) reminded me of my uncle but a bit more of a snob know-it-all. I think he was probably a lax Catholic as he seemed to suggest we're all about the building and not spiritual matters. After that and a Q&A, they decided a tour would be a good idea though it was held at my church so I declined. They also asked if I wanted to be a part of their board. Um, no...

Not that I really could afford to but it was a nice day so I walked do to the Old Port and bought a couple CDs at ye olde local music shoppe. I was really looking for a good deal on the Pretenders new one as even Amazon is selling it at a…

The Neglected Blog

With the discovery of the time-waster that is Facebook, I find I no longer need to waste my time here. This is mainly why I haven't done any quizzes or other memes here in a cat's age. (I'm not a dog person...) They're all over there. Also why tell you all about what's not going on in my life when I can better waste time by making fake money off Lindsay Lohan's hi-jinks? Added to that, you can regularly follow the mundaness that is my life on Twitter.

I don't want to say I'll never blog again. Frankly, this site and I have chronicled much over the years and I'm not ready to give it up fully. Every so often, something comes up worth sharing.

Case in point, Thursday night, there was a retirement celebration for our outgoing OT professor complete with a guest lecturer from Boston, dinner and a vesper service designed by the professor herself. It was good Thai food, though admittedly not my favorite Asian cuisine, and saw many people I knew. My parents ca…

The Quiet Geek Uncensored.

Today, relatives came to my aunt's apartment (Did I mention that she lives in our building now?) to celebrate my grandfather's 87th birthday. Nothing completely annoying happened but it frankly tests my love of mature conversation. It didn't help that it was scheduled during a Red Sox game. I had heard all the news already. I don't care if my uncle is shopping around for truck to plow is driveway...

I don't think I mentioned this last time I did it but for the second time, I was the roamer/floater for my Sunday school this morning. All you do really is wander back and forth between the classes and make sure there's no murder or molestation going on. OK, there's more of a point than that but you understand...

Yesterday, I went to the mall and got my haircut. The guy who cut my hair asked me twice if it started raining yet. Do I get weather reports beamed to my brain every ten minutes? Sadly, no.

When I returned home, I started to do some writing but was inte…

Stargates, Potlucks And...

Watched Stargate: Continuum last night. Overall, I liked it. Never have I seen an alternate timeline actually complain about getting fixed. Of course, they were going to anyway because yuck...Alternate timeline stories on Stargate all have similar elements. Teal'c is always First Prime to someone although making it Ba'al instead of Apophis was different. Also, because Vala is part of the cast now, having Quetesh was of course mandatory. (That was a cool part however.) When I was watching it, I thought Apophis being the last Ssytem Lord to resist Ba'al seemed strange but I realized today that Ba'al helped take down Anubis in the proper timeline so...Two questions/statements about Daniel: One, his losing a leg was glossed over as the movie went along. I realize a whole year went by but...And Two, why does he just happen to to know the name of the ship that brought the Stargate to America? I realize he probably read it somewhere or Catherine told him at some point but eve…

Busy Weekend #235

On Friday after work, I helped set up for Saturday's string quartet concert and then walked to the bank in the pouring rain. Fun times but I suppose if you walked in a nor'easter, that was nothing. Besides, I had Chinese food waiting...

Saturday was the concert itself. I showed up when I was told but I really think I could wait at least another half hour before going. Since I'm "the guy" now, I may negotiate this. Nothing really that exciting happened. I did get approached by a woman who complained the water fountain just gave a "weak stream." She must have been using only one finger or something because I found, when I "palmed" it, it worked fine. I liked that they do afternoon concerts now as I can be home for dinner but attendance at this one in particular wasn't good.

I arrived home to discover our movie-loving friend who I knew was coming up for the day was still there so we had pizza and beer and watched the following movies...

Hellb…

Updating Previous Topics

Some of you may be interested in knowing what's new in my life. A couple weeks ago, I finished reading Ernie's Ark which is a collection of short stories written by Maine author Monica Wood. Recently, I read on fellow Maine author Tess Gerritsen's website that she felt the short story format was dead. I agree it's dying but I'm not sure it's totally dead as this book, put out only a couple years ago, proves. The important factor here, I think, is that the 9 stories are connected; moderately in some cases, tightly in others. I enjoyed the book overall. Of course, given the format, I enjoyed some stories more than others... I enjoy accurately described Maine. We've been reading a lot of non-fiction in my book group so I was pleased someone else picked a fiction book. I think I missed it...

Remember I mentioned the seminary was searching for professors in both Old Testament and New Testament? The appointments have been officially announced. In OT, they went…

Research Material?

Yesterday, I went to see the new Julia Roberts/Clive Owen picture Duplicity. Hearing it advertised, I assumed it was a MI-6 agent and a CIA agent having a relationship without revealing their respective allegiances. No, they've actually left their respective agencies and now are supposedly working a corporate espionage scheme for a company when, in reality, they're using the situation to raise enough capital to retire together. While my previous notion of the plot intrigues me more (and, since they didn't use it, I might someday) the movie was very well constructed and acted. If you need your characters to be "likable" and/or "admirable", I don't recommend the movie but if pathological liars and corporate espionage intrigue you on any level, go see it!

Because I always comment when I series ends, I was pleased overall with the end to Battlestar Galactia this past weekend. I was pleased they landed in prehistoric Africa instead of 1980 or 2009 or wha…

Well, I'm Not That Old!

Created by Train Horns

I Guess I Should Have Waited...

Though it snowed a lot yesterday and it looked like every class was canceled, the seminary had the final New Testament professor candidate make his presentation. Since no one answered the phone when I called three times, I assumed they were closed so I didn't go.

Here's what I know. Candidate One was a woman who admitted she just turned fifty. (Age I think is less of an issue here but there you go.) During her presentation I thought she was a bit shy and I freely admit her "introduction" to her topic was more interesting than the topic (Cleansing in Luke and Acts) itself. When I saw her again, at our weekly chapel service, it happened to be Ash Wednesday, she was much more relaxed and, to be brutally honest, I liked her more...

Thursday was our visiting professor's turn to be permanent. On paper he's more qualified than the first one. He seemed very nervous and I was very bored. His topic was connecting the Psalms to the Gospels; mainly Mark. One of the profes…

When A Crocodile Eats My Mind.

There was more than one thing I wanted to discuss but I can only think of one thing at the moment. I just finished reading When A Crocodile Eats The Sun by journalist Peter Godwin. Of course not counting Winter Storm and The Bone Garden, this was my favorite book we have read for my book group. I was pretty much alone in this as the general consensus was it was too depressing and badly edited. Makes you wonder what they really thought of mine; although, I freely admit mine was badly edited...

It was an autobiographical view into this white man visiting his parents and past in his native Zimbabwe. Part of the book dealt with his relationship with his father and part dealt with the geopolitical scene in the country. Even I admit that there was probably too much of the latter but I think, overall, it was a good mix.

My Bologna Has A First Name...

I wasn't impressed with Hugh Jackman's hosting job. Will Smith was said it best when he implied the guy must be napping. The musical mash-up sucked. It had no place at the Oscars. That's a Tony thing and even less people watch that awards show so do the math! Letterman's "Oprah/Uma" turd back in the day was more interesting.

The Academy voters seemed particularly lazy this year. Slumdog Millionaire and Benjamin Button were nominated for and pretty much won everything. I haven't seen either movie but come on! Oddly, neither got any nods for acting. Heath Ledgwer's win though deserved was only because he was dead. As Will Smith also pointed out, action movies have the fans get the shaft when it comes to the accolades. Sure many deservedly win Razzies but there have been some awesomely acted superhero flicks in the last few years and yet they're relegated to the dumb technical awards that are blown through in ten minutes.

Finally, what the hell happ…

Wrestling With Life and Other Issues

In the last week or so, I've watched two completely different movies for two completely different audiences. First, The Spiderwick Chronicles. This movie was clearly trying to cash in on Harry Potter and perhaps even the Narnia movies. This was also based on a book series but instead of just one book per movie so they could legitimately milk it, this movie had plot and storyline from books 1-3 and 5. I really don't understand their reasoning here but, not having actually read the books, I can't complain too much.

As for the movie itself, it pales in comparison to the other series mentioned above. Again, I haven't read the books here where I certainly have in the other two cases so maybe I'm ignorantly bias. While I honestly didn't even notice both of the brothers were played by Freddie Highmore, this role wasn't as good as Charlie never mind the kid, who's name escapes me, in "Finding Neverland." This wasn't mother Mary-Louise Parker'…

Valentine's Classic

Last night, friends from the seminary, along with three friends of one of the students, met downtown for drinks and to hear a musician known by my boss. Yes, I was the token male in a group of 6 women. (Like immortals, apparently, there can be only one. But there must be one.) The music, food and entertainment was great. I mean who wouldn't like a block of Tom Petty on a Friday night? Of course, it wasn't his three best tunes but what can you do?

I close with a classic Valentine's article I wrote for a college website I maintained my senior year:

"Valentine’s Day is almost upon us. The special semi-formal is scheduled for tonight and, mingled with coldness, love is in the air. Or is it? How do single people celebrate the day? It’s not like they have that special someone to shower with chocolate and jewelry. (Being a small college community, just how much of that can a lowly student afford anyway?)

"The only option I see is the event mentioned above. School dance…

News and a Review

This is a time of change at the seminary where I volunteer. By the end of the month we'll have new professors in Old and New Testament. This week, we were treated to a lecture and Q & A over pizza with finalists for the position vacated by our retiring OT professor. Without getting into too much detail, both are women aged mid-30's to mid-40's and "of color." I choose to believe this is a coincidence but it sadly may not be. (The age thing in particular.) Both got the question of winters in Maine and both lived in New England for 3 or so years. Both are also ordained in some form of the Baptist church.

The first one, a native of Cuba, had her PhD but no practical teaching experience and a very thick accent but very dynamic. Her topic compared her upbringing to the OT, particularly a couple of the women. It was impressive. This wasn't well attended by either students or faculty.

Today, the second one, a "military brat" from the south, who is sti…

Why Didn't I Post Up North?

1. Yeah, so no eventful bus rides. It was kind of close making the bus home and for some reason the Metro bus driver didn't give me my free ride from the station. Maybe they dumped that arrangement due to the economy or maybe there's limits...

2. Wrote 10 pages. Actually, I wrote 16 but thanks to the cat, six were lost. She also managed to turn the display on my mother's laptop completely upside-down. Totally weird... I'm at about 75 pages now and have ideas on how to finish. I'm not sure how long it'll end up but will probably be comparable to the last one...

3. Watched many a TV movie but I will discuss 13 Going On 30 with Jennifer Garner. I think she is a much better actress than people give her credit. She acted like a 13 year old to me; at least one from the more innocent '80's... (Comparatively!) I loved her imitation of the "Thriller" dance as well as the dance she did to "Love is a Battlefield."

4. Susie was fine with it just …

Writing Retreat

Because I know you all care, I figured I'd get on this here blog to report that tomorrow I'm back up north to cat-sit. My parents are going on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic for about a week and we all figured poor Susie would be happier not only having someone there full-time instead of just dropping by once a day but someone she knows and loves. This is where I come in...

I hope to use this time to finish Spring Thaw; as is the tentative title of my current novella. (I bet none of you can guess what it's a sequel to...) I figure I have only forty or fifty more pages in me while keeping the door to the plot bunny hutch tightly shut. Though the main plot of the third book in the series, unoriginally titled Summer Heat at this time, has so far eluded me, scenes that didn't make the cut for this book will surely be in it...

Back to Spring Thaw, is there precedence, if you signed only a one book deal as I did, for finding a different publisher for a sequel? Unlik…

Atlantis Deep Sixed

The main point I want to get across here is the finale of Stargate: Atlantis was much better than the one for SG-1. For one, they finished the storyline. I thought it was both touching and predictable they killed off Hammond given that Don S. Davis had recently passed.

Oh, I would be remiss not to point this out, when Major Davis was introduced, Carter was only a captain and now is a "full bird" colonel hence outranking him. Yet, no tension. The consummate professional he is... (I will point out here that my cousin and I agree Helen Magnus is a much more interesting character than Sam Carter...)

I'll be curious to see where the Atlantis writers go with this new development presented at the end of the show; which actually was tres cool... Other than Ronon, and especially Teyla, wanting to go home someday, what would be the point? Sure that alliance that recently put them on trial would be pissed they left the Wraith free to prey on them but other than that...

Nit Picks: W…

Post 666!

I wonder if that's significant for a Hot Stove talk...

I think it's time to talk a little Red Sox. I have no problem disposing of Coco Crisp for a relief pitcher because he really isn't needed and pitching always is.

The signing of Rocco Baldelli is an interesting one. I think, though am not really sure, he'll be able to play all the outfield positions where as they only used Crisp for center. (I was pretty sure Crisp played more positions for the Indians but maybe I made this up because he didn't for the Sox...) If this is true we can give all three positions days off including Jason Bay who hardly ever got one. If the Sox are able to resign Mark Kotsay, who can play first as well, things may be more complicated.

The return of Josh Bard in some ways is an even more interesting development. Bard stunk catching Wakefield meaning he ain't doing that again. At least that's my thought... Not having convinced Jason Varitek to retire and take a coaching position,…

Book Group Musings

As some of you know, the book group I am part of at my church, decided my book would be a good one to read over the holidays. We discussed it yesterday afternoon. It went much better than I thought it would, honestly. The format of our monthly meetings is to just discuss the book of the month but, since I the author was there, it turned into a Q & A with moi.

I'd have to re-read the interview I did for the paper for instance but this may have been the first time anyone asked me why I picked a female protagonist. The answer simply is I wanted the challenge. (The consensus was I handled this fairly well.) This was definitely the first time I was asked about what a neutron bomb actually was. This was probably the first time I discussed Winter Storm with a fan of the political thriller genre so I was pleased she was engrossed by the plot.

I conclude this section with a couple humorous exchanges; at least to me:

Woman: The airport scene in [Geneva] was quite accurate.
Me: Really? I…

One More Movie. A Christmas One No Less...

Fred Claus: This is the story of Santa's older brother Fred (Vince Vaughn). The plot is about an evil efficiency expert played by Kevin Spacey trying to end Christmas because he didn't get the present he wanted as a child; a Superman cape no less. Spacey's character reminded me a lot of Lex Luthor but somehow it worked quite well...Nick Claus was played by Paul Giamatti and his was a combination of Tim Allen and George Wendt. (What? You still have not seen Santa Baby?) Kathy Bates as their mother was da bomb...

I do have a couple nit picks. One: the female elf was much taller than the other elves. Was she only half-elf? Two: If Santa's whole family is immortal, why did the whole family age enough to be gray-haired but not Fred?

New Year's Day Movies

X-Files: I Want to Believe: I wanted to like this movie. Admittedly, I was never a fan of the series (I do love Fringe oddly enough...) and still have not seen the first movie. This didn't suck but but it was underwhelming.

Billy Connolly was great as the psychic priest. (I won't go into how priests are always either psychics or pedophiles and he was both here...) Amanda Peet was great and still think Studio 60 was a great show but I digress...Xzibit was not convincing as an FBI agent. He had the stereotypical ass part down but...

Though they really didn't go far enough relationship-wise, the best scenes were between Mulder and Scully when she'd try to get Mulder listen to reason and accept the fact his sister was dead.

Cannery Row: This movie was great if a bit long. It's story actually comes from the Steinbeck novel and a short story known as "Sweet Thursday." I haven't read either but the main story may actually come from the latter than the former..…