Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Zombies Are Coming

Every now and then it is fun and important to have a little distraction. So, I read the book World War Z, An Oral History of the Zombie War.

The book is a collection of interviews with people who survived the world war with zombies. It is actually fun and interesting, if not a little gruesome.

I am not obsessed with zombies and never really got into the night of the Living Dead sort of Zombie movies. They do seem to be becoming more and more popular now. A movie version of World War Z is even in the works, set to be released in 2010.

Here are some of my limited thoughts on the matter:

First of all, Diane doesn't like zombie movies at all. It didn't help, I am sure, when I told her 28 weeks later was kind of a cerebral thinker of a movie. Two minutes into it, when zombies starting eating people, she looked at me in disgust and left the room.

Zombies are now understood to be the result of some incurable virus that can kill and then reanimates the dead, rather than some sort of voodoo curse. Of course, the zombies in I Am Legend didn't kill the victims, it just made them zombies.

I always wondered how zombies knew to chase living humans in hordes. Why didn't they ever attack one another? I came to realize from the Z-War book, that they sensed (smelled or whatever) living flesh, so that is what they go after.

In any case, check out the World War Z site. You can even take a little quiz to calculate your personal risk of becoming a zombie and see your likelihood of surviving the global crisis of the zombie hordes.

Or, you can just play this game.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Indiana Jones in Tucson???

I went to see the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. If you are a fan of the other Indiana Jones movies, how can you not? And, of course, having seen them all when they first came out, and several times since then, I am.

To paraphrase George Lucas, any Indiana Jones movie is going to be a disappointment on some level, because everyone's expectations will be so high. After all, they should be able to make a great movie in the 19 years since the last one, right?

Here are some things that I found a bit disappointing, or maybe just plain silly:

-Sean Connery turned down a chance to do a cameo.

-The whole Crystal Skull thing was just silly. The biblical artifact Jones movies seem to be better than the weird pagan artifact Jones movies, in my opinion.

-Shia Lebeouf looked ridiculous in his leather Brando On the Waterfront outfit.

- The action sequences call for an even greater suspension of belief than all the previous films combined. Cars going over waterfalls with the occupants not really any worse for wear, Indy at 65 taking on countless bad guys, all that sort of stuff.

- The Last Crusade was supposed to have been the send off for Indiana Jones, and it really was a great movie!

Now that I got those out of the way, I did really enjoy the movie. No, it was not a great movie, but it was great to see Indiana Jones back in action. The movie makers were kind enough to make him 20 years older and fighting evil Soviets, rather than still trying to be the same age fighting evil Nazi's.

It was also a bonus to have Karen Allen (Marion Ravenswood) back. Do these heros really never see the love's of their life ever again and have a brand new soul mate every time they leave the country?

Without giving too much away, some of the better scenes involved a "nuclear city", an escape from some goons with Lebeouf and seeing the doctor fight his way through countless bad guys and dangerous ancient ruins.

Yes, Harrison Ford still makes a great Indiana Jones!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Should I Be Freaked Out?

The other day, I saw an alien with an Area 51 logo on his pants.

This is Men In Black sort of stuff, I think.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Vintage's Approach to Missional

Vintage Church

Every Church you find has some sort of a Vision Statement to paint a picture of where someone wants or wanted it to go and some sort of a mission statement describing someone's idea of what the Church is all about. One of the unique things about Vintage Church is that they are all about their vision. Here is part of how they define what they do with a comment or two by me below it.:

To grow our MISSION:

  • We will take the commands of Jesus seriously and do whatever it takes to see others experience the Kingdom of God and the good news of Jesus
- Many Churches will nod in agreement and say isn't that nice. But do they really take "the commands of Jesus seriously" and have a commitment to do "whatever it takes"?
  • We will remain pure and holy, yet never disconnecting from the culture around us
- Can you connect with the culture and still remain pure and holy? I have seen both sides, churches that distance themselves from the culture in an attempt to remain pure and holy and churches that will compromise and de-emphasize purity and holiness for the sake of being culturally relevant.
  • We will passionately strive to see those who have rejected the Christian faith experience the light and love of Jesus through us
- People really have rejected Jesus because of his people. Can we be different in a way that lets people see him in us?
  • We will see missions as holistic -- both local and global and involved in social justice issues

Monday, May 19, 2008

Jason Bourne is not Door Hingeing Here

“As a door turns on its hinges, so a sluggard turns on his bed.”
Proverbs 26:14.

Today was the first time I have had a Monday off since I have been with the unit. Instead of taking it easy, Diane got me up early for a walk. I then put on The Bourne Identity while I cleaned clothes out of my closet. I got rid of 12 or so shirts. It is a wonder that I have any clothes left.

We took the clothes to the goodwill place, then went to Lowes and got a lemon tree, a leaf blower, some spray paint, a small succulent and some sand. When I told the check out guy that it was a lot of sand he said, "Yeah, it is a ton of sand....literally."

Actually, it is 1 and 1/2 tons of sand.

So, I finished sawing down a tree stump, planted the lemon tree, unloaded the sand from my truck, helped Diane with putting in some brick pavers, juiced a bunch of grapefruits and made dinner for everyone.

I must be a real renaissance man.

By the way, which of the Bourne movies do you like best? I think I am partial to The Bourne Identity.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Prince Caspian in Tucson at the DeAnza Drive

We went with some friends last night to see Prince Caspian at the drive in. At $6.00 a head for everyone ten and up, I believe it cost us more than a matinée at a regular theater. Well, Emily brought her friend Sarah, which cost an extra 6 and Abigail is ten now.

That aside, it is still fun to go with some friends to the drive in.

The Movie itself:
I didn't like it quite as much as the first one, and I am not sure I can put my finger on just why just yet. Maybe it was the un-placeable accent of Prince Caspian. Well, I guess it was placeable...he is a Telmarine and that is the accent he has.

Still, it was an enjoyable movie. Had some good moral lessons that were not terribly clear unless you have read the books. Like the lesson about trusting in Aslan (Lewis' allegorical lion that represents God) even when you can't see him or know what he is doing.

In one scene in the movie, some of the characters are on the verge of conjuring up the White Witch....from the first they can get the help that Aslan is not providing. My friend had to point out to me that the place where she was appearing was covering up a portrait of Aslan. The White Witch was trying to take the place that Aslan had, since they did not want to wait for him any longer.

The first movie was the second top grossing movie of the year when it came out, so I am curious to see if this one will do as well. They did spice it up with plenty of action and some fun creaturish things, though not as many as the first. Maybe that's where some of my preferences lie. But, it was certainly not a disappointing movie and the kids really enjoyed it. Although, it was a violent thing. Here is a review by the associated press that is simply titled: New Narnia, better, but too violent. Fortunately for the movie makers, no-one cares about whether or not their kids see violent images these days.

Now here is something disappointing. According to this article in the local paper, the DeAnza Drive-in may be closing soon.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Pics From our Trip

Well, we didn't take too many, but here are a few. We stayed at the WorldMark in Indio, which is close to Palm Springs. The pics show the ducks at the pond at the resort, celebrating my Birthday in the room with a cake Diane baked and us with the vacation bracelets we made at the activity center.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Some Tomes I have been taking in

With some free time I have had and a great five Day weekend at the resort, I have had time to read a few books.

I have just started The Turnaround Kid. It is written by a guy who was brought in by major companies to turn around major declines. His resume includes Chrysler, Delphi and work in Health Care, construction and other stuff. I thought it was interesting because I have read much of the material on turnarounds, restarts and refocus of Churches and wanted to see it from a business perspective. We'll see if it is good.

Fantastic is a biography of Arnold Schwarzenegger's life, with no punches pulled. It highlights how he has turned his boundless energy, optimism and hard work into more than successful careers in bodybuilding, Movies and now, politics.

The Portable Obituary outlines the final moments of some of your favorite stars, athletes and famous-for-whatever-reason, and how they passed on. Not overly substantial, but kind of interesting.

Hope you have had a chance to read something good.

Monday, May 12, 2008


We are back from our long weekend trip to California!

We had a great time.

Now I suppose I have to go back to work. Oh well, it should be good.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Deeds in the Dark

Well, we forgot to do before pictures, but Diane re-did the girls closet. I think it looks great! And, it seems much larger now.

We mentioned to some that we would put pictures of it on here, so here they are. It is kind of hard to take decent pictures of a small closet, but maybe you can get the gist of it.


A Nod to the Good Old Days.

I found this article that says: Classics like 'Sixteen Candles,' 'Ferris Bueller' still big among today's teens.

Anyone else grow up with some of these movies, or watch them when they were teens, even tho they were older? I thought Back to the Future was great when it came out in 1985.

One of Diane's favorites is Some Kind of Wonderful. And I am afraid that it is indeed Eric Stoltz in that movie. Yikes! People are still familiar with all the lines from the Princess Bride too.

Monday, May 5, 2008

This Week.

Today...Cinco De T.J.'s B-Day. I hope he has a good one. He is off in Hawaii doing Army stuff, so if you want to write him or something, let me know.

My B-day is tomorrow. Someone told me Saturday night....I think it was Liliana, and I am not sure that I am spelling her name correctly, that May was the best month for birthdays. I have certainly always enjoyed it.

I do have to work on my Birthday. i am saving up my leave time to blow it all this summer for a wedding I am officiating at and a trip. But, I get a five day weekend and I am taking the fam to a resort in Indio. Well, lets call it Palm Springs. It sounds better, it is close by and people know where it is.

Diane's Birthday is in May too. May 17th.

Dee-Kline and the Drive In

Here is some info from a Forbes Magazine listing of some of Americas Fastest Dying Industries. Most of them are because of some sort of competition, not because no one uses similar services anymore. Here is the short list:

Bowling Alleys - Well, that one is because people just don't do it as much.

Music Publishing - Supposedly as a result of easy downloads. The revenue in this industry is projected to decline about 10% between now and 2012.

Laundry Services - Small companies, price wars and ...and ....I don't know what will lead to bigger declines than Music Publishing. My mother works for a company that sells to laundromats and such. Watch out mom.

Beer Production - Increasing competition from wine and other spirits are leading this decline. And here you thought prohibition might be on the horizon again. Not likely.

Wired Telecommunications - People are increasingly picking a cell as their primary phone. Why? They are usually cheaper, more versatile and fewer pesky sales calls. Hmmmmm.....why do people even keep a land line? People like, say, me.

I think Drive In Movies were not on the list because they have already declined. I, for one, enjoy the Drive in. Yes, I know the one in town feels like the land of white trash. And, it probably is. I still like to go. Especially with a group of friends. What is more fun than sitting outside watching a movie, chowing on some pizza and being able to hear it from everyone else's car.

Of course, it would be nice if people didn't lite up the gonja while I was there.

Does anyone else like the Drive In?