Archive for September, 2007

Man of the Year mini-review

September 30, 2007 Leave a comment

Last night, my wife and I watched the Robin Williams comedy-drama Man of the Year. It’s about a political comedian named Tom Dobbs (Williams) who decides to run for President and—surprise, surprise—gets elected as an independent over the Democratic incumbent and Republican challenger. However, the happiness and shock are both short-lived when it’s revealed that a software glitch in the computerized voting system propelled Dobbs to victory. In fact, as we learn in one scene, he didn’t even come close to winning.

While the ominous computer software company that created the voting system tries to silence the truth, we’re left with two giant plot holes. In light of the 2000 elections (namely, Florida), why didn’t the two main candidates make an issue over the result? After all, again, Dobbs didn’t even come close to winning. Second. Dobbs’ comedic team has virtually no suspicions. Comics are generally very intelligent people whose humor often serves as an acerbic-but-sharp social commentary. How come none of them suspect anything amiss, either? They all just want to bury it and move on. Maybe it’s from the euphoria of a Hail Mary-style election win, or maybe it’s just inferior script writing.

Intriguing film, but I would’ve liked to have seen the story line developed more. The one thing I did like about the film is how, though flawed (Dobbs seems to pick and choose the issues over which to be pragmatic and which to simply joke around and follow status quo) it captured the American frustration of the two-party system.

Categories: Uncategorized

Starting another great book by Bodie & Brock Thoene

September 30, 2007 Leave a comment

I was saddened a few years ago to finish Bodie Thoene’s The Zion Chronicles series. You know a novel—or series of novels—is great when the characters seem real, when you can feel heartache at the adverse moments and joy at the triumphant ones. When I finished The Key to Zion (the last in the Chronicles series), I wanted to keep reading about Moshe, Rachel, Yacov, Ellie, David and so on.

And now, I’m reading Jerusalem Vigil, the first book in the Zion Legacy series. Woo-hoo! Oh vey! Am also reading two other books in my spare time: The Reagan Diaries and Dutch: A Memoir. Lots and lots of reading.

Categories: Books

Good morning!

September 30, 2007 Leave a comment

About to head to church, where my wife will reveal herself to her Secret Sister (who has the same birthday, same favorite flower and also loves the cartoon character Ziggy). I wonder if our church will now do something for the men, like Backalley Brothers.

Yesterday I started a handwritten journal entry–inspired by The Reagan Diaries. Hopefully it’ll keep up. Longhand seems tedious, and though I love using pens, I may have to switch it to computer. The other night I spoke with my nephew, Caleb, who keeps a journal, and I told him about how frustrating longhand journals can be because it seems like my mind is usually at least three sentences ahead of my pen.

Categories: church and journals

Gorgeous day

September 29, 2007 Leave a comment

Temperature is in upper sixties, and it’s sunny. Down in Texas, the temps have been in the nineties. Someday, if I ever can afford to a second home, I envision Texas as a winter home and Michigan as a summer home. Too hot to live in Texas during the summer.

Categories: Uncategorized

Questions about God

September 28, 2007 Leave a comment

I frequent a bulletin board where other Christians gather, and someone posted this question: “Why does God exist?” An interesting question, but it’s not one with an easy answer. For one thing, the question implies that God has to explain Himself to us. He doesn’t.

One person had a response I liked, where they speculated how God would reply to such a question: “I AM.”

The idea is that humans will always have a hard time trying—with their finite minds—to understand an infinite God. I would compare it to trying to explain calculus to a newborn child, and even is a loose comparison since the bridge between our and God’s intellect is far greater.

This question reminds me that there are just some question about God that will have to wait until I trade this imperfect mind for a glorified one.

Categories: God

Rumor about a horror film classic

September 28, 2007 Leave a comment

There’s an interesting rumor out regarding Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 horror masterpiece The Shining, of which a special-edition DVD will be released on October 23. The DVD is said to have special features, and the rumor is that one special feature reportedly will be a deleted scene that many—including myself—have been dying to see.

SPOILER ALERT: if you’ve never seen The Shining but want to, please don’t read any further.

Final warning.

Ok. here it goes.

When the film was released (according to my mother-in-law, who first saw it when it came out in theaters) between the scene of Jack Nicholson’s character frozen to death and the slow zoom on the picture of him “always” being at the hotel, there was another scene. Wendy Torrance is in the hospital, and Overlook Hotel manager Mr. Ullman comes to visit her. He tells her that they’ve searched the hotel and maze thoroughly and could not find Jack’s body. He then leaves, laughs as he pats Danny’s head, and then something really creepy happens.

A ball rolls on the floor to where Danny is.

Yes, that same ball from earlier in the film.

Danny then starts to “shine” again as the scene ends.

One person I e-mailed once claimed to know the late filmmaker and said that the deleted footage is locked in a London vault. Maybe we’ll get to see it again.

One thing’s certain: I doubt Stephen King, who wrote the novel, will watch this film. King, whose dislike for Kubrick’s version is legendary, back in the late nineties made television version of his novel. Though closer to his novel…well, let’s just say that though King is the better writer, Kubrick is by far the better filmmaker.

Chavez and Ahmadinejad: How long will the honeymoon last?

September 28, 2007 Leave a comment

There’s a news report where Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez have further solidified their support for each other as they seek to fight “Yankee* imperialism”.

Chavez, like his buddy Fidel Castro, has in the past questioned President Bush’s intelligence. There’s a part of me that wonders just how smart Chavez is. After all, he’s in bed with Ahmadinejad, an Islamic extremist who wants Israel wiped off the map. Like other Islamic extremists, Ahmadinejad probably wants to eventually see a world where the international religion is Islam. Simply put, you either convert or die.

I wonder what Chavez would do if put into a “convert to Islam or die” situation.

This deal reminds a lot of Germany and Russia’s non-aggression pact they signed prior to World War II. Just a few years later, after the pact served its purpose, Germany invaded Russia.

* I always get a chuckle when foreigners call Americans “Yankees”. They apparently don’t know that this slur was used in the Civil War as a derogatory term for people from the northern United States and is still in use today. Back at college, a southern roommate of mine told me that his girlfriend (also from the south) had one strict dating policy: no Yankees.

If you’re not from America and are reading this, if you happen to be visiting southern America or happen to meet an American from a state like Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Florida, etc., don’t call them a Yankee. Not only will they likely find it insulting, but, well, depending on their disposition, they could construe it as grounds for a fight.