Monday, June 30, 2008

A Review of RAMBO

“Blood and guts” is a good way to describe RAMBO, the fourth installment in Sly’s warrior flick. Little bitty bits of brain and bone, legs and heads, were flying through the air during the Vietnam Vet’s rescue mission to save some missionaries captured during a humanitarian crusade to help the people of Burma.

Jon Rambo tried to turn the missionaries from their campaign, warning them over and over again that they cannot change the world. While a few made it out alive, in the end nothing really did change. Hoards of bad guys, really bad guys, died a miserable death, but there are always others to take their place, right? Rambo’s outlook on life is bleak and pessimistic to say the least. Ultimately, he saves the missionaries (and the mercenaries hired by the church to save them) but the genocide in Burma is left unchanged.

Rambo finds piece, we can only assume, by finally accepting what he is. More accurately, he accepts what he was molded by the army to do (kill), an epiphany he has while hammering away on the anvil creating his war clever.

RAMBO is gritty and not for the faint of heart. It’s great to see an old guy flat out mow those younger guys down. He is one tough, but reluctant, old bird.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Raiders of the Lost Arc Complete

My wife tells me that I need to do a podcast of Sophie and I playing Lego Indiana Jones for the wii. She insists it is hysterical. Apparently (and I don’t buy any of it), we bicker back-and-forth and cheer each other on like an old, married couple.

We were playing Lego Star Wars. A good game, to be sure, but we only rented it and we kept it a week past the due date. Damn that Blockbuster and its late fees. The wife and daughter got this old man Lego Indiana Jones for Father’s Day this year. Tonight, Sophie and I finally finished the first installment, Raiders of the Lost Arc. Dadgum brilliant.

Gamers say this is the best Lego game yet and I tend to agree. It is a lot of fun. I really enjoy the collaborative nature of the game and the problem solving that occurs. In all her wisdom, Skinny Kitty had sense enough to buy the strategy guide at the same time, and God bless her for that. There is nothing more frustrating that to get to a level and not know what to do, even after frequent attempts to smash, click, jump, or dig your way through. Sometimes, you just need a hint.

Maybe we will have it beat by Christmas and then we can get the upcoming Lego Batman, which coincides with the new flick coming this summer. I tell you what. I have never been a gamer, but I love my wii and I love playing it with my daughter.

By the way, Willie whines way too much, just like in the movies. But Marion, oh man she kicks butt.

Friday, June 27, 2008

The Nightly Read-Aloud Continues with ‘Poop’ in the First Chapter

My daughter and I finished our first read-aloud of the summer, The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo. It was simply fantastic – a beautiful piece of children’s literature. No wonder it won a Newberry Medal.

Despereaux was my pick. This next one is hers. Research tells us that a child’s ability to choose his or her own reading is vital to reading motivation (Cavazos-Kottke, 2005; Edmunds & Bauserman, 2006; Guthrie, Hoa, Wigfield, Tonks & Perencevich, 2006; McPherson 2007; Pachtman & Wilson, 2006; Veto, 2006). It’s hard for adults to let go and allow children to make their own choices. We want so much to control their little minds and decisions. But I want my daughter to read because she loves reading and not because her father or teacher assigns it. As Drego Little said it best: “Nothing is more damaging to the love of reading than the belief that it is something you do for someone else” (Little, 2005, p.3).

This go around she chose the Judy Blume book, Double Fudge. Never read it myself, but I’ve heard good things. I know that kids love Judy Blume, and a love for reading is of utmost importance. So Double Fudge it is. We read the first chapter and already we’ve read the word “poop”. No wonder kids like it. This is going to be fun.

Cavazos-Kattke, S. (2005). Tuned out but turned on: Boys' (dis)engaged reading in and out of school [Electronic version]. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 49(3), 180-184.

Edmunds, K. M., & Bauserman, K. L. (2006). What teachers can learn about reading motivation through conversations with children [Electronic version]. The Reading Teacher, 59(5), 414-424.

Guthrie, J. T., Hoa, L. W., Wigfield, A., & Tonks, S. M.. Perencevich, K. (2006). From spark to fire: Can situational reading interest lead to long-term reading motivation? [Electronic version] Reading Research and Instruction, 45(2), 91-117.

Little, D. (2005). In a single bound: A short primer on comics for educators. Retrieved January 19, 2008, from

Pachtman, A. B., & Wilson, K. A. (2006). What do the kids think? [Electronic version] The Reading Teacher, 59(7), 680-684.

McPherson, K. (2007, April). Harry Potter and the goblet of motivation. Teacher Librarian, 4, 71-73. Retrieved June 17, 2008, from WilsonWeb.

Veto, D. (2006, April). Motivating reluctant adolescent readers. School Administrator, 4. Retrieved June 17, 2008, from WilsonWeb.

More Racism from a Republican

Obama and Hillary are on the tube right now, campaigning together (Friday, June 27, 12:31 pm). A former co-worker of mine sent me this jpg of what appears to be them at this very campaign stop. He wasted no time in getting this photo out.

He ain't from Texas and he ain't from Kentucky, but he is a dyed-in-the-wool Republican – a conservatives-do-no-wrong Republican. He's a Missouri boy and one who is always touting the Christian faith in his politics. He's always sending out crap (much of which is proven untrue thanks to about race and religion and how evil and anti-Christian all Democrats are.

This pic from him comes right on the heels of my last post on politics and racism and religion. Pertinent. You bet. Thanks to this former co-worker, my point about politics and Christianity was proven. And yes, dear friends, it is with much regret and chagrin that so many of my fellow Christians swim in the pool of racism and discrimination. I don't smile and take joy in the fact that it is true. It makes my blood boil that ignorance, racism, discrimination and hatred run rampant in my religion.

Thus my comment about Christianity when discussing politics and race.

Comics, Not Candy, for Halloween




Donald Duck


I know. It’s only June, but the trick-or-treat season is coming and you want to be prepared. Rather than rotting kids’ teeth and adding to the obesity epidemic, you can choose to stop the madness and increase literacy all at the same time.

You can buy 25 mini comics in a bundle for the low-low price of $3. This year they offer five titles:

  • Bone
  • Cowa!
  • Archie: The Mystery of the Museum Sleep-In
  • A Peanuts Halloween
  • Donald Duck: Halloween Hucksters

You can purchase these by going to your local comic book store and placing an order, citing the Previews Issue: June 2008, page 21. Easy as pie.

Our family did this last year and it was a hit. The kids were very excited about them and so were the parents. These are kid friendly titles.

These make great gifts for the kids in your elementary classroom, too.

Alive and Well in the Good Old US of A

This tidbit of racism being alive and well comes from Trail Blazer’s Blog, of the Dallas Morning News, where a vender at the Republican state convention in Texas was selling this dandy of a pin.

You might think that racism is relegated to the quiet jokes when the coloreds and the commie liberals aren’t around. Then you’ve never been to a motorcycle rally in Kentucky. They had entire vendors dedicated to racism, nazi, KKK, and other white supremacy rallygoers. I should have taken pictures. I was stunned at the outright hatred, and I do mean hatred.

“The only good nigger is a dead nigger” slogans on shirts. Swastikas, KKK, it was all there. I kid you not.

These vendors did not make up the bulk of the salespersons. Oh no, there were just two of many, but they were there and selling crap like hotcakes. It should be noted that not all bikers, not all the people who attend this biker rally, not all Kentuckians, feel this way. But enough do to make the trip worthwhile for these racist venders. I did find an inordinate number of rebel flags being flown in Kentucky.

And so it is no surprise to this blogger to see this pin at a Republican rally in Texas or any other southern state for that matter. The sentiment is rich and deep-rooted in cultures. We’ve seen it first hand. I do think that we who find such sentiments disgusting should be reminded that not all of the convention attendees would agree with such sentiment. Certainly, not all Republicans (Texans, southerners, or otherwise) would agree. But it is fair to say that there is a strong racist thread running through the Republican party, especially in the South. Could be that the thread is prevalent in both parties in the South.

It says a lot about how deep, how rich, how prevalent that sentiment is when a political party allows such pins to be sold at their state convention. That is unsettling.

CNN and the AP reported the Texas GOP banned the vendor after the event (and presumably once the story hit the news) and donated his $1,500 vendor fee to Midwest flood victims. Good for them, but I suspect it is more spin than anything. I wonder how many buttons he sold? Seems a reported might have thought to ask that question.

I wonder how many of those who bought the pin are also part of the "America is a Christian nation" members? I digress.

Innocent Symbols of Death and Contempt

No doubt you've heard that what we Americans consider symbols of okee dokeeism are not necessarily universally dandy to the rest of the world. Cracked puts it on the table with this article "7 innocent gestures that can get you killed overseas."

I like this guy. He's one funny S.O.B.

Monday, June 23, 2008

What Would George Carlin Say?

The daughter came home from camp today and sang us a couple little ditties while Skinny Kitty and I were washing up the dishes.

There once was a genie
with a 10-foot weenie,
He thought it was a snake
so he hit it with a rake,
and now it's 5-foot-4.

Yankee Doodle went to town
riding on a heater.
He cranked it up to 99
and burnt his little weiner.

Obviously, these came from those dirty little boys at her summer day camp, right? Oh no, dear reader. These came from the cousins, a girl and a boy, who are a tad older. To laugh or to cry? What is a parent to do? I could frown and punish and make a big deal out of it. Instead, I drug her into the office so she could recite them as I blogged.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Good Old Betty Sure Can Make a Meatloaf

The 8-year-old daughter got a kids cookbook for her birthday and we just got around to making her first recipe with it: meatloaf.

I love the meatloaf, so long as it is:

  1. Firm
  2. Covered in sweet, saucy goodness
  3. Absent of that bastard of a herb, sage

Now the wife is not a cook (self-described), but she prides herself on her meatloaf and I have enjoyed her concoction for many years. Served with biscuits and brown gravy is the best way, but she cares for my heart and health too much to give me gravy.

The truth is brutal, but must be told. My wife’s loaf was beat fair and square by the daughter’s simple recipe. Fantastic was her special meat pie, with it’s special ingredient. Sophie's meal was goodness all the way around.

My little maid can make me meatloaf anytime. I look forward to the cold meatloaf sandwiches. Watching her in the kitchen was a delight. Not because of any misogynistic need to have a lady fulfill some antiquated ideology about female “duties”, but because she enjoyed making her Daddy something all her own. She made it too. She cracked the egg, mixed the ingredients with her bare hands (as any good meatloaf is made) and put it in the oven. All by her little lonesome. Mom was there, of course, to facilitate, but not to do. Hands-off was the mother.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Not-So-Incredible Hulk

The Hulk, I have decided, is not a terribly interesting character. I made this statement to my comic book guy to which he replied that The Hulk does not translate well into other mediums. Philosophically speaking, I can relate to the inner beast that cannot, at times, be controlled. Despite our higher thinking and evolution, we are still beasts, animals with deep-seeded instincts. The Hulk’s nature speaks volumes about human nature and our greater society. To that extent, I find him intriguing. I guess I like the idea of the Hulk but I am not so impressed with the end product.

I have some copies of Marvel Adventures Hulk. Marvel Adventures being the more kid-friendly version of the comics. MA titles come in many forms: Spider-Man, Iron-Man, Fantastic Four, and The Avengers, along with some other double-flips and whatnot. Some of the MA books are better than others. Marvel Adventures Iron Man was pretty good, for instance. The MA titles tend to stip a character down to nuts and bolts for the kids. The language and violence is dialed down and the story lines are told within one comic (usually 32 pages).

That means the focus is more on action than character. This is overly true with Marvel Adventures Hulk. The complexity of the character, the drama and tension, are edited out, leaving us with nothing more than a green guy who smashes stuff to bits. They make use of the many manifestations of The Hulk, ranging from the childlike “Hulk Smash” id, to a brainiac scientist in green skin. I hate that. My comic book guy assures me that Hulk has gone through many changes through the year. Fine, but that does not mean I have to like him as an intelligent being. It destroys the tension of the story.

The post-Ang Lee movie version was fine. Not great, but fine. I liked it. Had a good time. It didn’t suck and was better than the previous green man flick. Not as good as Iron Man by any means. It had to be made, I suppose, so they could go ahead with the Avengers franchise. Avengers, you see, is on its way, if the hints and suggestions in the Iron Man and Hulk movies are to be believed. If you don’t already know, be sure to brush up on your Avengers, S.H.I.E.L.D., and Nick Fury history. Think there will be any social commentary with S.H.I.E.L.D. (Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division)?

Judge Says Faux News ‘Gullible’ and ‘Unprofessional’

So much for “fair and balanced”.

Apparently, Faux News ran straight with an article that happened to be a spoof. They quoted the obviously ridiculous quotes as the real deal, coming dangerously close to libel. The judged ruled in their favor, but had some harsh things to say. I’ll let you read up on it yourself.

Click here. All the links you need are in the article.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

'Ugly' is Still Illegal for Some

The things our society does to preserve “decency” and “morality” are unbelievable, many times bordering on horrible and many times unethical. They certainly are not always Christian or moral. That’s still true today.

Chicago used to have an “Ugly Law”, as did Columbus, Ohio and Omaha, Nebraska. Chicago’s law was as follows:

No person who is diseased, maimed, mutilated or in any way deformed so as to be an unsightly or disgusting object or improper person to be allowed in or on the public ways or other public places in this city, or shall therein or thereon expose himself to public view, under a penalty of not less than one dollar nor more than fifty dollars for each offense.”

Thanks to a Jack operative, who happens to be an award-winning advocate for persons with disabilities, we were pointed to this blog. I just had to blog about it. Our history is ugly indeed, but not because of diversity, despite the calls to homogeneity of some arch conservatives.

Those “different” people, who God created, walk among us but are rarely treated with kindness, love, forgiveness or tenderness. Typically they are met with contempt and disgust. I can’t tell you how many mothers I talked to back in my disability-advocacy days who were kicked out of their family churches because their child had Autism or some other disability and the child moved around or made noises. These ladies would sit in my office and cry because they were unable to access God because the church refused to accept or understand their child. “If those mothers would just discipline those Autistic children” – a common mantra by the willfully ignorant.

Oh the ugliness continues today with people who have disabilities, disfigurements and the homosexuals. Even some compassionate folks can be kind to the poor disabled and still have open contempt for those who love the same sex.

I don’t feel sorry for society’s “ugly ducklings”. I just feel angry that my fellow Christians, as we make up the majority of the US, find such practices acceptable and Godly. Most of my agnostic and atheist friends do not. I don’t know if that is true for the general non-God population. Just an observation.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Fundamentalist Librarian Freaks Over Harry Potter Party, Sues Poplar Bluff Public Library

From: KFVS 12 News > The New Yorker > Library Journal > Gregory Holman’s blog

Librarian Deborah Smith, from Poplar Bluff, had religious concerns over working a library-sponsored Harry Potter party. According to the KFVS 12 News report, she allegedly refused to work the party and was suspended for 10 days.

She doesn’t work there now and with the help of the ACLU, has sued the library. According to the religious wrong, the ACLU is an anti-Christian, communist organization, hell bent on destroying all things Jesus. That’s their story anyway. No mention of the ACLU standing up for Christians on the local fundamentalist blogs thus far. Be that as it may …

Poplar Bluff is not known, to my knowledge, as a liberal hideout of pinko commies and hippie dope smokers. The bootheel is pretty conservative.

I want to know if this library staffer checks out Harry Potter books to patrons or stocks the HP books on the shelves? Are they so evil that the bound copies cannot be touched? Or does God simply draw the line elsewhere, forbidding her to be staff at a work-related party where people might read and enjoy the evil witchery? I don’t really understand the whole hate-Harry movement, as The Wizard of Oz, Narnia, and Lord of the Rings have all kinds of magic and whatnot. Why is it okay to work in a library that houses “witchcraft” and yet it is not okay to work a book-specific party? It doesn’t seem consistent.

Me thinks there is much more than meets the eye. I disagree with her choice, but is it so difficult to find another staffer? Can’t a good manager just respect her irrational belief and just find someone else? And a 10-day suspension? That seems harsh. I just get the feeling that there is a history here, perhaps a long history of insubordination? No surprise that the library is all hush-hush over the ordeal.

The 13th Wedding Anniversary

Today is our thirteenth wedding anniversary. Skinny Kitty got me a pair of Batman cufflinks to mark the occasion. How cool is she? She is so supportive of my geekness, even attending a comic book convention in Chicago with me. Most of my dress shirts are French cuffs. I love them. There is something classy and distinctive about French cuffs. This anniversary was supposed to be one of those “we are not going to buy each other anything” as the graduate school thing is wreaking havoc on our finances. The price of food and fuel is not helping. The retort, of course, was that she bought these back in March before we made the rule. Convenient isn’t it. I don’t think that far ahead, most of the time.

You know what that means, don’t you? A trip to the store to pick out the purtiest little thing I can find on a shoestring budget. She deserves more, of course. She should get diamonds or pearls or some such glittery goodness. I keep telling her that after I get that high paying teaching job things will be different. Good old gal, that Skinny Kitty, she always laughs at that joke.

She mentioned this morning that she can’t remember living without me. Although I’m sure she’s tried to block it out on more than one occasion. I can’t hardly remember my life before her either. I’m not sure I want to. I’ve fallen into the honey pot, and that’s just fine with me.

Living Day-to-Day

Politics, religion, local government goings-on – it’s all of little interest to me this day/week/month. Summer school is all about graduate work, 600-level classes that meet for 8 or even 5 weeks as opposed to the typical 16-week regiment. I’m busting my hump trying to keep up with it all. Research, reading, tests – it’s all a bit much. Couple that with the recent and painful death of my loveable grandmother, and the world just seems too cruel.

Boy, that was a bummer of a paragraph, wasn’t it?

When I reflect, however, I find that I am enjoying the experience – parts of the school work, I mean. I find that I enjoy reading and thinking about educational philosophy. Why we do what we do, teach the way we teach, how we approach children and engage them in the process of learning is fascinating to me. Is that weird? I think that it is. I’ve lived all of my life on this side of the weirdo spectrum to some degree, so I’m pretty comfortable with that. I don’t go all goo-goo-eyed over the Mayor of Weirdtown like some geeky blogboys (with whom I am friends), but I am firmly on the side of unconformity. At least I am not one of those crazy … Libertarians [shudder].

Today I am on EbscoHost and WilsonWeb, searching professional journals and dissertations for a literature review which will eventually lead to a research study and thesis. The dog is curled up comfortably on a pillow, which is lying on the futon next to my workstation. Those big old ears of his sticking straight up, and his eyes slammed shut.

Later this afternoon I will sit and read through the nearly 30-plus pieces of literature I have printed here at home. That is fun in short bursts, but becomes tedious over the course of an entire day. Thank goodness I enjoy the subject. Such is the life of the poor graduate student. I quit searching about 30 minutes ago and the printer is still printing. Not a slow printer, but a huge queue. Crazy days.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Desperate to Read

Tonight is the last night of our vacation. Tomorrow I start back to college, the wife to work, and the daughter to summer camp. So begins our summer reading extravaganza. My Grandma Pearl, a teacher for over 30 years, always says that a person can do anything if they can read. She’s right on that one. Reading is the lynchpin, the foundation, to success in life.

I went through our library and pulled out a basket full of books both above and below her reading level. I happen to know her reading level as it was sent home in a packet of information on the last day of school, although I don’t put too much emphasis into lexile ratings. I am more concerned with reading as a big picture first; kids should enjoy reading and should find books that interest them and energize them. They should not be concerned with the level of their book. Reading is something we do for ourselves, not something we do for others. I’m rambling – giving you too much of my personal educational philosophy.

The summer reading library.

I piled a bunch of books (picture books, novels, novellas, comics and graphic novels) into two boxes and put them in the living room. Clutter be damned; this is reading! We have carved out times everyday for reading and writing, something that we are all supposed to be doing.

Tonight, I pulled one of the books from the summer reading library for me to read to her. Reading on their own is important, my friends, but children (even fifth and sixth graders) need to be read to. We chose The Tale of Despereaux. An excellent piece of children’s literature and one that I think she will enjoy. Despereaux is “the story of a mouse, a princess, some soup, and a spool of thread.” It has castles and dungeons and death and all kinds of marvelous things.

I read the first three chapters to her tonight and we have learned much about Despereaux the mouse and about life. From chapter three comes this prophetic little tidbit:

“Reader, you must know that an interesting fate (sometimes involving rats, sometimes not) awaits almost everyone, mouse or man, who does not conform” (DiCamillo, p. 25).

How can you not be hooked by that sentence?

The Tale of Despereaux
By Kate DiCamillo
2004 Newbery Medal Winner
Ages 7-12
Candlewick Press

My Granny Jewel

Granny Jewel holding my daughter, Sophie, on Granny's front porch.

My grandmother Jewel (Granny or Juju) has nearly come to the end of her life’s journey, and I am fearful that this is her last week. I do not care to remember her as she is now – sick and in bed, working to breathe – so before the end of her days, I am posting pictures of the beautiful woman I call “granny” here and on my personal site. You are welcome to click here and see more. These are a few of my favorites.

Granny and I pretend-smoking those candy cigarettes at Christmas.

Granny has a great sense of humor, a bit of an irreverent one, which is what makes her cool. She loves nothing more than sitting in public and pretending to smoke. She puffs away at her invisible fags, drawing deep and blowing smoke rings and whatnot. We were riding in the van once on our way to Oklahoma to see my sister and her family. Juju lights a nonexistent cig and smokes it, waving at the passers-by. No reason, just to pass the time. I’m sure the people in the other vehicles thought she was some crazy old coot.

One of her favorite pastimes is to sit on the porch and people-watch. She is a crack up to sit with because she will flat make fun of folks, making up stories and things about them. If she knows the dirt, why you bet she will tell you all about them and who they are sleeping with and what they are doing wrong. Oh, she’s a hoot. She’s a lot of fun to hang with.

She has the funniest sayings that she pulls out of nowhere: diabetes of the blow-hole, and hobble-gobbles and disconnected piece of sewer pipe. So funny and so unexpected, her timing is impeccable.

As a kid, one of the things I loved most about granny was her food. Juju can cook up a storm and try as they might, other people just cannot cook it the same. I don’t know what she did, but Granny makes the best oatties in the world. For the uninitiated, oatties is oatmeal with butter and sugar. She made it for me a lot as a kid and I loved it. I begged for Mom to make it the same way at home, and as good a cook as my Mom it wasn’t the same. Granny also cooks an old southern dish for me every Christmas: fresh side pork. It’s bacon that is not cured. She slices it thick, rolls it in spiced flour and fries it. You just cannot imagine how good it is. Oh, it’s heart block for sure, but tasty all the way.

Granny could sing. Well, I should say she would sing. Once in a while, as kids, we could get her to sing this old song and we would just howl. We got it on video once, with her playing her rolling pin as a guitar.

Don’t Momma and I’ll Be Good

My playmates they don’t like me
Cause I’m not kind and sweet
I make ugly faces
At the boys across the street
My Momma says that naughty
And I don’t know why she should
She makes me go to bed so I’ll be good.

Don’t momma and I’ll be good
Don’t momma and I’ll be good
I won’t tease the puppy
And I’ll not wool the cat
Don’t make me go to bed
And I’ll be good.

There’s more to the song, but that’s what we have documented. There’s also a line “I’ll not pull grandma’s whiskers or rub mustard in his hair. Don’t make me go to bed and I’ll be good”. The first time I heard it I was a wee pup and she was sitting in the chair on the farm knitting or crocheting or something and she just sang it to me. I loved it. I was amazed to me that an old grandma could be so funny. She also sang some song about two old ladies laying in the sand, each one a wishin’ that the other was a man. That’s a real song; I’ve heard it before. I don’t know about the other one.

Granny Jewel with husband, Lee Sanders

Granny is a pretty funny lady, a far cry from the person in the bed right now. She is known to make faces, wiggle her tail or flash a tea towel your way if you give her any sass. And she doesn’t take any sass, I tell you what. I love that about her.

(UPDATE: Grandma Jewel passed away peacefully in her sleep on Monday morning, June 9.)

Friday, June 06, 2008

Another Steven King Novel Goes Comic

Example of some art of Randall Flagg

According to Scoop, Steven King's novel, THE STAND, is getting comic treatment from Marvel.
"The Stand takes place in a post-apocalyptic world following an unlikely group of heroes after a super-flu has killed 99% of the people. The remainders begin rebuilding and adjusting to their new lives in The Free Zone when another threat presents itself. Led by the vicious and charismatic Randall Flagg, a second group of survivors threatens to fill the new Earth with evil instead of hope."
Marvel has adapted another King work, a series, recently. THE DARK TOWER is an exceptional comic adaptation of the work, focusing on the events of Roland's entrance into manhood as a gunslinger, earlier than anticipated. I've blogged on THE DARK TOWER here and here.

Much to the chagrin of the wife, this will likely be an addition to my collection. Might also make a good Christmas gift for that special geeky someone. If you wait, they will collect this in both softcover and hardcover editions.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Love Splash

The Cuz and crew made a film short for SOTA 48, a 48-hour film competition. They camped out at the House of Jack for two days, staying in a van parked on the street. Sleeping inside is no fun for a group of teens, now is it?

Most of the cast and crew are 17ish, but I think the lead actor was a bit older. Early 20's maybe? I don't remember. Big fans of Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez, and the Evil Dead flicks. You can see the Rodriguez/Tarantino influence in the film. I know the boys so I was waiting for the movie to take a crazy turn. "From Dusk till Dawn" comes to mind.

They weren't able to finish the movie by the deadline, which kicked them out of the competition, but they were able to get a showing. Very cool. The movie had to be under 5 minutes (or something like that) and had to include Liberty Bank in the storyline. No part of the movie (script, shooting, nothing) could be done before the 48 hours clock began. Very hard to script, shoot and edit a movie in two days.

Hopefully, someday, I will be able to say: "I knew him when" after the cuz becomes a famous movie director.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Gaming and Green Blogs

It seems everyone’s cutting back on the blogging these days The 2 Dollar Bill, Snarling Marmot, Minutia, Dad’s on a Rant, Thinking Things, Corner of the Sky, Chatter, and even Life of Jason. What's going on? I must admit that school has affected FJ’s ability to put fingers to keys lately. Plenty of writing going on in the House of Jack, but not so much in the way of Erratic Rants. So many bloggers writing less is unsettling.

I am on vacation at home, which normally would lead to more blogging, but my wife and daughter are here too, so the girly and I have been gaming, mostly with Lego Star Wars for the Wii. We finally beat the section of Naboo that was befuddling us. Now it’s on to the pod races which we seem to repeat over and over with no clue as to what we are doing wrong.

Lego Indiana Jones comes out tomorrow. These Lego games tale, I tell you what. Great for kid and adult alike. My daughter and I game for 1-2 hours at a time, blinking our eyes at the clock in amazement. (Kids and Wives, if you are looking for a good gift for Dad, the new Lego Indiana Jones would be perfect if you have a gamer for a Dad or husband.)

I noticed that we have a new blogger for the local blog roll. Green Living in Greene County is a straight-up site for environmentalism in our lovely domicile. Good for us. This blogger needs all the help he can get.