Wednesday, March 26, 2008

National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets

I know it came out a long time ago, but it just recently came to the cheap theater which is the only place I can afford to take the whole family and not feel horribly guilty ($60 for a movie night is WAAAAAYYYYY too ridiculous).

So, okay, the movie. It was fun. A certain Sherlock suggested it was a lot like the first movie, but really, it wasn't. You remember how Disney used to put out sequels straight-to-video of their brilliant 2-D animations that they've so foolishly cast aside (the original, not the sequels). The originals were by top drawer talent and the sequels were done by the television third-rate pitchure draw-ers and felt like it.

Same with this movie. The scams were EFFORTLESS and EASY. They made it look like anyone could do it (the first movie was clever, this one was cheap). The actors were fun, the plot needed a re-write, the stakes were too low. If he had easy access to the president, why not just ask? Had they been bitter enemies, had the queen been in residence, had it just be harder and more risky instead of everyone seeming to be sleepwalking...

Nonetheless - apart from a truly bad hairpiece for Nick Cage - it was clean (even the ogling White House guy was mostly implied).

The elements were there; the execution was not... should have used the room behind Mt. Rushmore which was SUPPOSED to be a library but "never was." More real history bent to story purposes, higher stakes, and a better ticking clock is all they needed.


Monday, March 24, 2008

So So

Goodness, the press had made hay out of a totally pragmatic response of VP Cheney's response to a reporter saying two-thirds of Americans don't think the Iraqi war is worth it. He said, "So?"

Probably not the most diplomatic response, but truthful? Yup. Until a time machine is invented, what we now think of a past action that is irrevocable should be "so what?"

We can't change the past. Now that we're there, we have no viable choice but to see it through. What should he have said? "I'm sorry" "that's too bad" "I'm not one of them?" No, none of those are effective responses because looking back is not what's called of leadership, looking forward is. Regret is not an executive quality. Perhaps that's the difference between Republicans and Democrats (or at least these Republicans and, y'know, those Democrats), the recognition that polls do not determine right or wrong or leadership.

"So" indeed.

Friday, March 21, 2008


I don't know what they call it, but have you ever seen ice skaters do this odd figure-eight thing with their feet where it looks like their feet go through each other before moving away again? My brain does that a lot.

I was sitting here thinking about the presidential race and the dismal prospects ahead of us and I realized something. Most presidents are just standing in until a great one comes on the scene. Sure they may do some good, but that's what they're supposed to do. Some, like Carter, you have to be grateful they didn't completely destroy the world. Most, you have to hope they manage to keep the damage down to a minimum. I think we're due a great president soon. Certainly not in this race, probably not in the next two, but we're due soon. Washington was a great president. Then there were some good ones just standing in until Lincoln showed up (interestingly, he was an okay president his first time, then a phenomenal one his second term). After that we had some boozers and losers until Franklin Roosevelt hit the scene (a Democrat!). Then we had some primpers and sour fellows until Reagan came up. Since then we've had major disappointments... to be fair, GW Bush was a miraculous right man at the right time in his first term; kind of sad in his second...

Then my brain did the crosshatch thing.

I realized that that's descriptive of a man's life, too (and maybe a woman's, but I don't have first hand knowledge of that). Most of the time we're just standing in for ourselves, then there are moments or seasons in our life where we are great (invested unduly with the grace of God, no doubt). It's more obvious in some people's lives. A prolific writer, for example, where many of his books are just okay, but then suddenly the great one comes out. The one he was born to write and the others were just practice. Or perhaps a composer and his one or four songs out of two dozen. Or an athlete who puts it all together for a star performance just once.

There are some people who are great all the time (Spurgeon, Shakespeare, Di Vince) but for most of us there are golden moments but briefly... but, oh, those times are like lightening in a bottle. They may not be loud, or all that golden for others, but we know our own moments.

It's been awhile for me. I'm hoping I have a few left...

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Talk about lazy...

I'm sitting in my easychair with my laptop in hand. Lynette is at her laptop in the other corner of the room. She's reading a funny e-mail and getting a real kick out of it. So I ask her to send it to me, which she does.

Now, I could have gotten up and gone the eight feet to look over her shoulder, but instead I have her forward it to me, which means the e-mail bounces out of the house, shoots through the network to Timbuktu and back to my house just a few feet from the originating computer. This doesn't cost any money, or slow down anyone's server. With all the traffic on the superhighway, this is less than a mote of dust on a scooter's windshield, but still, SOMEHOW, this is a waste of resources. For SOME REASON it would have been better for me to get up and walk the 8 feet.

But I didn't. And while I confess, I'm not so sure I repent...

Friday, March 14, 2008

Forever Young...

My oh my things are a-changin'

We have three kids in our sunday school class leaving for different states or churches. Home group seems very small all of a sudden. I was sitting there trying to imagine what the Cook group will be like without so many key players attending anymore.

Clearly, the Youngs may not go on vacation anymore. Forget about hosting it, with the exodus of the K's, M's, S's, and C's it is imperative that the Y's be there week in and week out. Imperative, I say. It's like a ship without an anchor, a camera without a flash, a sundae without chocolate.

(the official post missing the Youngs)

Sunday, March 09, 2008

The Diet/Non-Diet Thing

Okay, I got fed up with the extra fat I'd been sporting so I finally had the conviction to do something about it. I gave up processed sugar and dropped 15 pounds quickly. Lack of soda pop changes your eating habits a bit, but otherwise no-sugar was the big thing. Not as difficult as I'd have thought (but then, conviction comes from God and he helps with stuff He commands).

What has been difficult is training myself to eat when I'm hungry and not just when appetite shouts from its empty-calorie lungs. I don't think snacking between meals is bad unless it's because I feel like eating and not when I'm truly hungry.

For you young-and-can-eat-14-pizzas-and-six-liters-of-Coke-and-still-look-thin, enjoy it while you can.

At the same time, we just visited a nursing home and I couldn't help but think that a good, healthy diet gives you a long life that ends up there. If eating badly meant I'd go quickly and avoid long-term care facilities, it might be worth it.

Hypothetical (story idea, not reality): If you put a contract out on yourself and hire bodyguards to protect you, if the assassin succeeds is it suicide?

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Too bad cockroaches are vile, disgusting creatures...

...because really, they're quite pretty - if you can divorce yourself of their loathsomeness.

On the big palmettos, they have an exoskeleton reminiscent of the finest wood grain. And when you spray them and they flip over, the segmentation of their feebly kicking legs is an amazing example of engineering design.

Sometimes, as I gas them with a shot of Raid, I wonder, "what if we have it wrong? What if cockroaches are God's chosen people?" Think about it, after a nuclear war, they'll be scampering around on our radioactive bones. Everything about them denotes amazing design.

Doesn't stop me from killing them, of course, but sometimes I wonder.

Along the same lines, I watched a squirrel bound over grass and up a tree in a heartbeat and exulted in the furry clown. But if it had been a rat leaping and climbing I'd have grabbed a pellet gun. Can hair really make that much difference? Then I remember Farrah Fawcett from my youth and remember "yes it can."

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Presenting Mrs. Colleen Moore!

Colleen and David had a beautiful wedding. I am moved by God's graciousness to Colleen. She sold her house and moved down to Orlando. For seemingly unknowable purposes, God did not allow her to buy a house here. Staying afloat was difficult. Now, a few years later the purpose becomes clear. Colleen has moved to Jacksonville; had she bought a house, this housing slump would prevent her from selling it. Instead God has demonstrated her need to rely on Him (and she has faithfully always done so) and He would provide what she needs.

That's where David comes in. Colleen has a.... boistrous personality... and not just anyone would be a marvelous match for her. David, and his unique and lovable family is not just a match, but THE perfect match. He has demonstrated his love and faithfulness to her as the Lord has.

I wish them a happy life (which is like betting on a sure thing). Rock on, Moores!