Mystery J.J. Abrams

Updated website: http://www.1-18-08.com/

Entertainment Weekly revealed that it definitely is a monster movie. Godzilla? Maybe something new? Doesn't matter...can't wait.

The Simpsons

I went and saw The Simpsons Movie tonight. The image below is not from the movie but I like it. I wouldn't mind seeing other beloved American icons in anime if anyone knows where to find some.

First off we ate at Chuy's beforehand and I had two great soft chicken tacos. Here's their menu so you can plan ahead.

Soft Tacos
  • Served with lettuce, cheese, pico de gallo & guacamole.
  • Choose from: guacamole, chicken, carne guisada or ground sirloin.
  • Crunchy TacosGrilled sirloin, lettuce, cheese & tomatoes.
  • Tacos Al Carbon Fajita chicken or beef with grilled onions and green chiles.
  • Baja Tacos Your choice of lightly battered and fried fish or shrimp with cilantro, red cabbage and Creamy Jalapeño.
  • Taco plates come with rice & refried or charro beans.

Back to the movie. If you haven't been to the official website you should check it out. I don't want to give to much away, but please allow me to state a few thoughts about this flick:

  1. Maybe the best opening sequence in a movie ever!
  2. Between this movie and Knocked Up I feel as if I have had a summer course in either Biology or Sex Ed.
  3. While most of the treasured town characters were visible many were notably non-vocal.
  4. The previews for The Chipmunks and Bee Movie are definitely creating some buzz. Oops sorry about that pun.
  5. The credit "scenes" weren't too impressive.
  6. The Spider-Pig song is amazing.
  7. There was no Butterfinger "cameo".
  8. I love the way The Simpsons can address issues of government, environment, religion or whatever current hot button issue without going overboard and offending people, but rather challenges ideas on both sides of an issue.



Usually late night shopping at Wal-Mart makes some sense. I'm gathering supplies for camp the night before we leave. I realized that I have no breakfast the next morning. I'm having an asthma attack and my inhaler is out...actually I may have to make another trip tonight.
Anyways tonight was for another reason entirely. I don't wait in lines to go to the movies. I don't wait in lines to get great seats for concerts. I don't like to get to excited about anything. But I could not control myself.
And $19.25 later I have it. It's been years since book six, and now the answer are finally going to be revealed.

Bought What They Were Selling...

According to CNNMoney, Schertz, TX (my residence) is one of the top 100 Best Places to Live

40. Schertz, Texas
Population: 22,600
Median home price (2006): $187,824
Average property taxes (2005): $2,526

Sandwiched between the hustle and bustle of Austin, San Antonio and Houston is this quaint little town deeply rooted in Central Texas history. Schertz has the kind of collective nostalgia that historians only dream of: Descendents from the first settlers (last name Schertz) still reside in the city. The United Methodist Church building serves the same purpose as it did a century ago. And the same is true for the red-brick business building on Main Street. With San Antonio and its famous Riverwalk and plentiful jobs an easy drive away, Schertz's economy is humming. Schertz's crowning gem and most-beloved tradition? The Schertz Fourth of July Jubilee, which draws visitors from all over the state.

I'm not really sure what the CNNMoney judges were looking for but Schertz is a very odd choice according to this Schertz inhabitant. And I'm not sure who is traveling to Schertz for the Fourth of July Jubilee, but I went to Transformers instead.
Nevertheless...if you're looking for a place to relocate to...Schertz is the 40th best place to choose.

Two Weekend Thoughts...

I had breakfast/lunch with my family today. We ate at this "hole-in-wall" place called Grumpy's. While I had the ham and cheese omlet someone else got the above chicken fried steak. This steak was literally 12 inches square. It was huge. The fork in the photo was to give perspective, but then I remembered forks can come in different sizes. About a 1/4 of it was eaten the rest was taken home in three, count them 3, to-go boxes.

I loved The Order of the Pheonix! It may be my second favorite. I'm still think The Prisoner of Azkaban was brillant, although not my favorite book. While the plot moved quickly and liberties were taken that differed from the book, the overall film was great. While the "first kiss" was highly anticipated, I think the Luna Lovegood character was spot on casting and wonderfully created and acted, possibly my favorite part of the movie. I also can't wait to see more of Bellatrix in the next movies as well.
The above photo is a die hard Potter fan. I went on Friday night, several days after the opening and I'm assuming this person was seeing the movie for the multi-time. At first I thought it was hilarious, with his Gryffindor flag and wand down his right sock, but then I was impressed. He could have easily bailed, but he hung in there through the whole movie.

Bush Successful?

William Kristol of The Washington Post offers a piece on why Bush will be remember as a successful president.

He offers 3 examples as to why:
1. Economy - When Bush took over the economic future was uncertain between the dot-com downfalls and 9/11, however the national economy has been strong and it's building, unemployment has been low and the stock market is rebuilding. Bush's tax cuts, although highly criticized are proving themselves justified. Plus the Medicare initiatives have seen successful integration.
2. Terrorism - There has been no second attack on America (outside Iraq). This shouldn't be taken lightly. This is something that was assumed would be a continual reality after 9/11. And foreign policy is generally the same. While some national relationships have slipped others have found strength and all in all there is nothing that is too threatening.

But, what about...
3. Iraq - The Bush legacy hangs in the balance of Iraq. Kristol suggest that between the troop surge and Gen. Petraeus, the war has a 50-50 chance.

A few of other points that Kristol briefly highlights are: Bush's (successful) Supreme Court appointees, while the were highly contested, generally people agree that both Roberts and Alito are highly qualified. Also if Bush's second term can be followed (vindicated) by a elected Republican president in the coming election. The current Democratic candidates are not all that impressive and may chop their own heads off in the primaries. And Kristol believes that Bush's failed private Social Security and immigration policies will see success in similar agendas soon enough.

These are some interesting thoughts and I do believe that Bush's ultimate success or failure will be hard to judge until enough time has passed. How long will that be? And do you agree with Kristol?

Read the article and tell me what you think.

Great story!

A robber threatens to start shooting people at a party if they don't give him money, is instead offered some Chateau Malescot St-Exupéry, responds, "D**n, that's good wine," and eventually leaves peacefully--but not before requesting a group hug!

(by way of)


I love list. Some of my favorite list can be found at AFI's (American Film Institute) website.

But another good source for list, which are fun to discuss and argue, is Entertainment Weekly's website. I thought I'd highlight a few lists over the week as well as add my thoughts.

As you can probably tell I love movies and talking about movies. A perfect weekend includes at least two movies in it (either in the theater, on dvd, recorded on my dvr, or the random showing on tv). On to the frist list.

The 25 Greatest Action Films Ever! by Marc Bernardin on EW.com
(I'm giving only the top ten)

10. Terminator 2: Judgment Day - Still a great movie. The visual effects were/are amazing. My favorite Schwarzenegger flick, well this or Jingle All the Way (a Christmas action movie)
9. Hard Boiled - I have not seen this Chow Yun-Fat movie
8. Saving Private Ryan - I'm not sure if this falls in the category of action flick. Usually I distinguish war movies from action flicks. But a great movie.
7. Gladiator - I do think this is a great movie, but I personally thought is was slightly overrated. Mainly in the Russell Crowe sense. I could imagine a dozen actors filling those sandals and the movie still working. But none the less a great action epic.
6. Seven Samuri - I never taken the time to watch this, but I believe it was the inspiration of The Magnificent Seven starring Yul Brynner and Steven McQueen which I one of my favorite westerns.
5. The Matrix - Unfortunately they made sequels, because this alone was enough. An amazing movie. I can still remember seeing numerous times in the theater, something that was rare in my college years. This is actually the second Reeves movie in the top 20.
4. The Road Warrior - I recently watched Mad Max and I'm glad someone was able to see beyond that to make this movie. Unfortunately it lead to Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome.
3. Raiders of the Lost Ark - I think I could put all three Indiana Jones movies in my top 10. This is a perfect movie. And if I was making a straight up list of favorite movies this would right behind Forrest Gump and Braveheart.
2. Aliens - There was genius in James Cameron to take a Sci-Fi/Horror and make the action packed movie that is Aliens.
1. Die Hard - I probably flip flop Indiana Jones movies with Die Hard movies on my personal list depended on which is most recent to me. Not only did it offer Bruce his first lead movie role, but if also introduced us to Alan Rickman. Yippie-ki-yay

What movie would you add to the list? Check out the web-site for more ideas, they actually have a list of their top 100.

Man's smelly feet trigger police raid

I saw this article on the Internet and thought it was funny. It brought back some memories.
There was a couple of guys in college that had I not seen them during the day I suppose I could have called the cops to break into their dorm room. It stunk.
As not to embarrass them on the world wide web I'll refer to them as JB and TB (not related). They were both runners. In high school they both lettered and achieved a lot of praise for their athleticism. Actually while at school JB would run 5K's and he used the prize money for his weekly spending. I laughed pretty hard when he came back one Saturday afternoon having won the race, but instead of money he won a tree.
I digress.
I was mentioning them and their running, because their sweaty laundry wafted throughout the dorm floor. It would reek and we had to constantly recommend study sessions in our dorm.


"I am truly not one to give advice. I'm divorced and I stole my best friend's husband."

Denise Richards, at the Ratatouille premiere, when asked by TV's Extra if she had any post-jail advice for Paris Hilton (click HERE for reference)

I'm struck by this rare showing of honesty from someone in Hollywood. I'm curious if there was regret in her tone or whether it was said with a blase attitude as if divorce and spouse-stealing are natural.
I write a lot in my Bible, and in the front inside cover I often write down quotes or ideas. Several years ago I wrote down, "Trust demands truth. Speak truth despite the risk and dangers. Have a ruthless truth teller in your life."
I've set a life goal of complete truth (harder lived than said). I'm tired of half truths and lies in my life. First off they are demanding in their upkeep. I struggle to maintain what I've said and to who I said it. I'm also finding that these lies and deceptions are not resulting in peace and security, rather I feel just as vulnerable and fearful as before, perhaps more. And this behavior in no way is encouraging my relationships, in fact I find myself more paranoid and more isolated as a result.
I want to embrace truth. To expose the reality of who I am. I believe their will be "power" in that weakness. How can I can I live in fear of what can be discovered about me if I've already told them everything. How can I accused of evil if I'm not slinking around in the shadows, because I've turned a spot light on the darkness that can be found. How can someone tear me down, when I've already humbled myself.
I'm thinking of that final battle scene in 8 Mile, when Rabbit (Eminem) lays out all the vulnerable attack positions that his competition could use (would have used). "Yeah I'm from trailor park, my girl friend cheated on me, my friend shot himself and I'm white...but I'm real, this is who I am" (obviously a paraphrase). The result was Papa Doc (for some reason I remember this name) had nothing to say and he knew he was defeated.
Made perfect in weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:9, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness". I want to trust this, but do I really believe it? I guess the truth of this will have to be discovered.


Audio A Farewell

Well in typical Christian Music Industry fashion, someone decided to squeeze a few more ounces of blood from the rock, and to be honest this time I’m buying.

A farewell album for Audio Adrenaline will be released at the end of August and I’m a gladly going to hand over the money for this one.

Jumping around, singing along, and dancing recklessly to songs like; Big House, DC-10, Can’t Take God Away, We’re a Band or If You’re Happy and You Know It, are some of my favorite concert moments. Unfortunately Rest Easy is not on this album, it’s my favorite AA song. And while I believe Bloom is their best album I don’t think that means they peaked in any way. From Some Kind of Zombie to Adios the music was always up to par. And in an industry that is generally cheese, l loved Audio’s music.

I think there is something to be gained from the fact that Audio’s farewell is largely because Mark Stuart’s voice was giving out. Anyone who ever attended an Audio Adrenaline concert would probably agree that this band preformed all out on every song. Whether it was Will jumping around with his bass, or Barry Blair (yep old-school) tearing it up on his guitar or Mark’s incredible vocals, you knew what to expect. When I think of my life/my youth ministry career will I serve all out every day until I physically can’t go on anymore? What a goal…

Back in 1996 when Audio was touring with DC Talk during the Jesus Freak tour, they actually came to Rapid City. We got one “big” Christian concert a year (not counting Hills Alive) and DC Talk actually came. I showed up early and Matt Grant, my brother and I got to help set up the merchandise tables. There were these two guys running this stuff and I not sure where they were in their faith, but I had my suspicions. They would brag to us about what people, particularly girls, would offer to get back stage. Anyways while DC Talk was doing their sound checks the Audio guys were out hanging with us checking out the newest t-shirts and stuff.
One of the sales guys says to Mark: “I can’t believe you guys stay and sign autographs and talk to all these fans after show. You know if you charged even $5 per person you can make a lot of money.”
Mark’s response was the classic right words at the right time. He said, “That’s just vanity man, vanity.” And he walked away.

Another perk to working the merchandise table was again an amazing experience. While Audio A was warming up and doing their sound check, Matt, Todd and I were freaking in the mosh pit. Once exhausted we jumped up and sat down on the stage and listened to the band jam. We were the only three people in the auditorium.

Advocating Leader

I took a personal dna test and the results suggest that I'm an Advocating Leader. Those of you who know me what do you think? Click HERE to find out more about what a Advocating Leader suggest.
Of course most people who know me don't read blogs so I suppose that I won't get any responses. Oh well. I'll have to print it off and take it to you and get some confirmation.

"Her message seemed clear enough. Behind the charade of the lunch menu recital burned the untapped rage of our secret passion."
-Kevin Arnold (Fred Savage), on The Wonder Years, as Winnie Cooper read the school menu.

It's brillant writing like that that made this show an instant classic.


new "Indy" pic

I can't wait, I can't wait, I can't wait!


I saw Transformers today. Typical Michael Bay flic. I felt like I was watching Pearl Harbor but with alien robots. Visual it was good, but the plot was weak. I still can't tell you exactly what the "significant object" (I don't want to give away details) did or didn't do. There was major plot confusions that really baffled me, to which I'll say if you're trying to protect people maybe a major city isn't the best place to have a big robot fight.
The movie did have it's moments though and I will give it some credit, but I should have waited and went to see Ratatouille.


Steve Jobs on youth ministry

Tim Schmoyer posted this on his blog Life in Student Ministry. Steve Jobs is speaking about passion for what you do. The Youth Ministry application is significant.

Human Joysticks (NewsBreaker Live - interactive cinema game)

This would definitely be a whole lot better than the trivia or "The 20". But even better would be this and trivia!