Friday, July 28, 2006


Rev Gals Hot Five

Here's the answer to the five RevGals questions for this week.

1. What's the high temperature where you are today?
It's 101 degrees right now, but will surely reach 105.

2. Favorite way to beat the heat:
Drink fluids and enjoy the airconditioning.

3. Evaluate this statement: "It's not the head, it's the humidity."
Absolutely true. 105 and dry is better than 80 degrees and 95% humidity. I've lived in both. The major difference is that the dry heat makes you fatigued if you stay out in it too long, while the humidity just makes you sticky.

4. Discuss one or more of the following: sauna, hot tub, sweat lodge, warm-stone massage.
I will hot tub anytime, anywhere. I'd really like to try a natural hot spring sometime, though.

Saunas are great in the wintertime. I recently read that in order to get some of his quirky moves to play Jack Sparrow, Johnny Depp locked himself into a sauna at 250 degrees. Talk about dedication to a role!

5. Hottest you've ever been in your life.
112 degrees, here in Texas, summer of 2003.

Non-temperature related bonus: In your opinion... who's hot?
Keifer Sutherland is hot. And I've always thought Bob Dylan was hot.

Thursday, July 27, 2006


Comics Curmudgeon

Comics Curmudgeon is a site my husband and I have both enjoyed for some time. Ever read the comics and say, "Huh?" This is the site for you.


Counseling Kevin: Identity Theft and Security Breaches: A Different Approach

Counseling Kevin has an interesting post on identity theft and security measures. The problem is more complex than hoodlums stealing an individual's identity through stealing checking account numbers and credit card numbers. He asks how willing consumers are to endure identity verification measures when banking online, for example. I, for one, am willing. But I'm the kind of girl who is willing to show my I.D. at the grocery store when I buy a bottle of wine. I don't mind proving who I am.


In High School...

Arty Kid

Whether you were a drama freak or an emo poet, you definitely were expressive and unique.

You're probably a little less weird these days - but even more talented!
Who Were You In High School?


What Will My Famous Last Words Be?

Your Famous Last Words Will Be:

"What we know is not much. What we don't know is enormous."
What Will Your Famous Last Words Be?


Oh Bliss!

This story says that Kiefer Sutherland, whom I adore as Jack Bauer, is guest voicing on the Simpsons this coming season. He'll play an Army Colonel. As Homer would say, "Woo hoo!"

For those who can't bear waiting, the article also lists other luminaries scheduled to guest voice.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


OK, Just One More

OK, Just One More

Here's my favorite Weird Al song.


And One More...

And One More...

Here's a merge between Star Wars and The Holy Grail.

The Lego Version of Camelot

Here's the Lego version of Camelot.


Eugenics in the New Millenium

From National Review Online, I linked to this article from Business Week concerning the testing of embryos. In a nutshell, preimplantation genetic halotyping can screen embryos for 6000 inherited or genetic diseases, thus giving the parents the choice of whether or not to carry a child to term. The article is written by Elizabeth Schiltz, a law professor at St. Thomas School of Law. She shares her outrage that many in the medical and scientific community have labeled her a 'sinner' for being the type of person who would 'choose' to have a child with Down's Syndrome in spite of having prior knowledge of the condition.

Schiltz does not demonize the scientific community. She recognizes that the intentions are to alleviate pain and suffering. But she is right in saying that this type of activity sends a message to those who are disabled.

In Vacation Bible School this summer I had two disabled participants. In the frustration of dealing with the usual hijinks of kids poking each other and kids complaining about the snacks offered, these two brought me the gift of God's grace. One was an elderly adult, who with childlike joy embraced all the activities as if he were already in the Kingdom of Heaven. The other was a child who spent his time snuggling up to me, hugging me, and laughing with me. I just don't understand how anyone would want to treat these human beings as if they are a file on a computer to be deleted.

Schiltz points out that the people who have disabilities rank their lives as being happy, while those on the outside say that they cannot possibly be happy. Who are we to make the decision to take precious lives and destroy them? Who are we to say that the 70 year old man who will never advance mentally beyond 6 years old cannot live a complete and full life? We USAmericans are so hung up on perfection. Perfect looks. Perfect house. Perfect car. Lord, have mercy upon us.


Fun Music Site

I love the Pandora radio website. Here you can customize a radio station, just as you can at Yahoo Launch, but I think this plays more ecclectic music. You can also build more than one station, and post your station for listening on your blog (which I will, once I perfect the station).

Knights of the Trek Table

Where do Monty Python fans and Star Trek fans merge? At Camelot, of course. Hat tip to Ace of Spades.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


Lady in the Water

Lady in the Water has been getting some pretty stinky reviews. But from the moment I saw the preview, I knew I wanted to see it. Now that so many are saying, "Ugh, it's horrible," I can't find anyone to see it with me. I'm resigned to seeing it by myself, which is O.K. too.

Hollywood Jesus has a review of the film by Rick Bonn. He calls it M. Night Shylamen's deepest, funniest, and warmest work. Shylamen birthed the script from a fairy tale he made up for his own children. It seems to have been quite the labor of love for him.

Bonn believes this movie to be of great spiritual significance. He writes, "For this viewer, the movie was a holy prayer, a poem of peace, a transcendent fairy tale, and an intrusion of the ancient-saving-other into my perilous, rational, violent times. It is one of the great spiritual films of our new millennium and the viewing of it was miracle for meā€”that rare experience of being transformed in a darkened theater. "

In these days when we watch the news and see the painful events in the Middle East, how important it is to remember the ancient-saving-other who entered our world to bring salvation.

Monday, July 24, 2006


School Starting Soon

A little over a year ago, the Texas legislature passed a law requiring schools to start after Labor Day, unless they had an exemption approved allowing them to start earlier. I heard that all school districts but one applied and recieved the exemption. So this year they said, "No, we really mean it. We're going to be tough on exemptions."

Guess what? It's July 24th, and school starts here in three weeks. I'm just wondering how many school districts didn't receive the exemption!

Friday, July 21, 2006


Draw A House

Draw a house, get a free psychological profile! What a great way to waste some time. Draw your house and add it to my street here . See my ugly castle here .

UPDATE: (7/26/2006) Apparently, the link to my ugly castle and my street no longer work. But you can access draw a house here.

Saturday, July 15, 2006


Lone Star Politics

One of the things I looked forward to most in moving to Texas was enjoying the colorful political scene. The local politics is not unlike anything I experienced in Ohio. But the state politics has not yet disappointed me.

Shortly after we moved here, there was a dispute over the reorganization of congressional districts. As much as the media made it out to be all Tom Delay's fault, the dispute was the same as in any state where the party in power redistricts to ensure their party would be in the majority at the next election. The dispute was just more ornery.

The House of Representative Democrats protested by leaving the legislative session and holing up in a Holiday Inn in Ardmore, Oklahoma, screwing up the quorum and putting everything on hold. The Senate Democrats, about a month later, did the same thing, except they went to a luxury hotel in New Mexico. The comments I remember from the time went along the lines of, "Gee, the House members did try to sacrifice at least. They only went to Ardmore--not much to do there. But the Senate members, not much of a protest at a resort, is it?"

Now we are having a governor's race.

The current governor is Rick Perry. He is the man who succeeded W. as governor. I've asked some Republicans here what they think of him, and the response seems to generally lay along the lines of "underwhelmed." Some even say that he is too dull. They like a little spice in the governor's office down here.

The Democratic Candidate is Chris Bell. You can already see that his schtick is that he's a husband, father, public servant, and a Texan (not necessarily in that order). His web site claims that he was a victim of redistricting, as he lost his U.S. Congress seat in the last election. The latest thing I heard from Bell was that the Governor spends too much on air conditioning at the governor's mansion. Wow, Chris! That certainly tells me about the bold changes you'll make when you become governor!

And then there's Kinky Friedman, whom I am seriously considering voting for. He's promised to make Willie Nelson in charge of promoting biodiesel fuel. And I tell you what, he's working hard for the votes. He may be a bit vulgar, but there is no chance that his term in office would be dull.
Carole Keeton Strayhorn is a Republican running as an independent. She's very conservative, and recently made a fuss over not being allowed to be called "Grandma" on the November ballot. She would also be more interesting than Rick Perry. She's former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan's mother. She's disgusted with the ineffectiveness of the Perry administration, and feels that too many special interests are holding him hostage.

I am still quite the novice when it comes to Lone Star Politics. I am trying hard, as I hate to be an uninformed voter. However, I can be reassured that things will be very interesting this fall as long as Kinky and Carole are in the race.

Thursday, July 13, 2006


Lightning and Rainbow

Here are some cool AP pictures from Fort Smith, Arkansas. It's the rare combination of lightning and rainbow.


How About That Weather?

When we announced we were moving here to Vernon, many people asked where, exactly, Vernon is located in Texas. My favorite line was to tell them to turn on the Weather Channel and look for the red box over Texas.

I do live in tornado alley, and I really don't mind.

The wind here is powerful most of the time. I love it. James and I honeymooned in Wichita, Kansas, and one of the things I loved about Wichita was the wind. Even on a day like today, when the thermometer is above 100 degrees, I love the wind. It kicks dust around, blows trash into the yard, but it is so powerful and strangly beautiful.

At night, I will stand outside and enjoy the wind for a bit. In the morning, I open my bedroom window briefly to allow the wind to blow in (closing it soon afterwards due to the dust).

I love the wind. But there is something I enjoy even more. A good, strong thunderstorm. The wind is powerful and beautiful--but there is something about a good thunderstorm that is absolutely gorgeous.

I get excited when I see them coming in the distance. Because here in Texas you can see for miles, I see the lightning when it is still far away. God's fireworks. I never saw a really good electrical storm until I moved here. Now, almost every storm is electrical. And I never grow tired of it.

We have a carport, so the cars are safe from the hail. When the rain comes, it falls hard. The hail is usually pea to nickel sized. In this dry corner of the world, the rain is manna.

They take tornados here very seriously. Nearly 30 years ago, they had a massive one that killed a few people and destroyed a lot of property. People who lived here then remember that time with sorrow. I have been in a Wal-Mart in Wichita Falls when funnel clouds were spotted, and was told to take shelter. We had a fairly recent brush with a funnel cloud, and we all hid under cover in the bedroom. We had to pull off the road once between here and Dallas because of an approaching tornado (it touched down about 4-5 miles away).

Weather is cool. My fantasy vacation? Storm chasing. My fantasy volunteer work? Getting certified as a storm watcher for the National Weather Service (Norman, Oklahoma is our home office!).

Sunday, July 09, 2006


Viva Italia!

It's not so much that Italy won (although that is pretty awesome, too). It's that France lost!

Friday, July 07, 2006


David Guidice Presents...

James and I went to hear a jazz musician named David Guidice tonight. He didn't perform jazz. He performed a tribute to Billy Joel. I've seen Billy Joel twice, and was astounded by David's performance. He pounded the piano, sang his guts out, and if I shut my eyes I could swear that he was, in fact, Billy Joel. Fantastic.

Guidice also has a Frank Sinatra tribute. His trio has a gig at Tavern on the Green each Sunday. If you are ever fortunate enough to be in the Big Apple some Sunday, you'll do well to go and hear him.

Thursday, July 06, 2006


Way to Go, 24!

Leading the Emmy nominations!


Radio and Records: About to Bite the Dust?

It looks like Billboard Mag is about to buy Radio and Records. That's unfortunate.

As far as radio content goes, Radio and Records was my favorite trade magazine. They had better charts, better help-wanted ads, and better articles to educate radioheads like me. I truly hope that Billboard will keep R&R the way it is, rather than allow it to wither on the vine.


What Kind of Pirate Are You?

The History Channel is about to do a series on Pirates. In celebration, they've got a cute little quiz you can take to find out what kind of pirate you are.

I guess I'm Blackbeard.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


Math in the Simpsons

This one's for the math-lovers out there. John Derbyshire on National Review Online had this link to an article about the mathematical references on the Simpsons. I've used the Simpsons with my youth as a teaching tool in a spiritual sense. Now, even math teachers and professors can use the Simpsons in their classrooms.


Cedar Point Rocks

This story does not shock me. Cedar Point is a place where many of my happy memories, both childhood and adult, were formed. I had a pretty bad roller coaster addiction in my youth, and Cedar Point's coasters have always been rated the best by the different roller coaster enthusiast organizations.

Cedar Point is a clean park, not like Six Flags Over Anywhere. They tend to keep all of their rides open, too, also unlike Six Flags Over Anywhere.

Some cool Cedar Point links:

The Point Online
A History of Cedar Point's coasters at
Cedar Point Wiki


I Love Jack Black

Thomas and I went to see Nacho Libre today. He and I saw the trailer for the first time back in January, and we were both excited about going. I don't know what was the appeal for him--I think simply because Nickleodeon was advertising it. But for me it came down to the fact that Jack Black was the leading man.

We have a friend in Louisville, Kentucky named Dan. He lived with us for a while when he was out of a job. I was pregnant at the time, and Dan kept me entertained while my husband was at work (being a manager in food service is a tough job). We used to go see all the movies that my husband did not want to see. Dan is a lot like Jack Black. The same sense of humor, the same good taste in music. I think part of my Jack Black admiration is that he reminds me of our old friend.

I think the first movie I ever saw Jack Black in was High Fidelity. I loved his character, Barry, who was the ultimate music snob. A favorite scene is when he berated a customer who came in to purchase Stevie Wonder's "I Just Called to Say I Love You" for his daughter's birthday. Great performance, and great physical comedy for a movie which relied a lot on dialogue.

I enjoyed him in School of Rock, where he starred as a slacker musician who ends up substituting in a tony private school. Instead of teaching the kids reading, writing, and 'rithmetic, he seizes the opportunity to teach them all about rock music, and turns them into a band.

Thomas puts up with my music an awful lot. I give him a lot of rock appreciation lessons. How often does a child have to tell the parent to turn that music down? In our house, every day. Poor kid.

In preparation for Nacho Libre, Thomas and I watched School of Rock. It seems that if a song appears in a movie, my son will like it. So now, my son likes Led Zeppelin. It's about time. Another reason to love Jack Black.

Then there's Black's band with Kyle Gass, Tenacious D. Spinal Tap type stuff for my generation.

As for Nacho Libre, I loved it. It was directed by Jared Hess, who also directed Napoleon Dynamite. Very quirky and fun. There are a lot of professional wrestling moves, and a little bit of bathroom humor. Black plays a Friar in Mexico, who is a cook at an orphanage. His lifelong dream is to be a professional wrestler. During childhood, he was punished for wanting to be a wrestler. As a grown man, he now enters the world of Mexican professional wrestling as a means to purchase better food for the kids in his care. I, of course, enjoyed the underdog theme. The music was awesome, but there is no soundtrack available.

A visit to the Internet Movie Database reveals that there are six movies to come from Black in the next year or so. One I am particularly interested in is called Be Kind Rewind. Apparently, it's about a man who is magnetized and accidentally erases every VHS tape in a video store. The IMDB says, "In order to satisfy the store's most loyal renter, an aging woman with signs of dementia, the two men set out to remake the lost films, which include Back to the Future, The Lion King, and Robocop." I can't wait.


10 Years Ago...

I got married to James. July 6th, 1996. Just one week earlier, the church I was pastoring was struck by lightning and burned to the ground. Amazing how much has happened during those 10 years.

Here's some pictures from that day. I'm older, have had to dye my hair to cover up a few stray grays, have given childbirth, and have moved four times since then. A lot has happened. Our marital adventures continue!

This is James (to the left), me (middle), and Bob Fish, my pastor at the time, and a dear friend. Bob is no longer a Presbyterian minister, having converted to the Orthodox church.

Daddy's girl gets a kiss on the cheek.

Mommy and me.

At the communion table (we Presbyterians don't have altars).

My beloved sister and I.


North Korea Trying to Ruin Our Party

Gee, do you think North Korea did what they did yesterday to try and ruin our fireworks? How lame.

Here is a hilarious post from GOP Vixen on the sitch.

Monday, July 03, 2006


Marvel Vs. DC

Growing up, I was never much of a comic book reader. I read "Archie," but not much else. But with the advent of the Spiderman movies, I've become more interested in the concept of the Superhero.

Watching the first Spiderman movie, I was so pleased to find a hero who struggled with his real life situation while trying to also struggle with evil in the world. It was so human. I empathized with Peter Parker's struggle, and was even able to come up with a few great youth meetings using that movie.

Having said that, through National Review Online, I found an excellent article on the difference between Marvel Comics and DC comics. I hope you find time to read it and enjoy it.

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