Thursday, December 19, 2013

Fake Stands

Been tooling around Facebook lately? I need to get off Facebook. Seriously, my IQ drops every time I log-in.

It's easier to support a millionaire self-proclaimed redneck on Facebook than to actually feed the hungry, show compassion to the homeless, give aid to the poor and care for the orphans and widows.

Because all you gotta do on Facebook to show you care is to click on a button and tag a photo. That shows you truly care.

pic: St. Francis of Assisi

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


This was the scene directly west of Dealey Plaza last Friday, the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy Assassination. I has accompanied my students to a field trip to Medieval Times right down the street. Not sure if this mess had anything to do with the JFK ceremonies. Cold and rain always freak out Dallas drivers. 

Monday, December 09, 2013

One and Two

This stuff just doesn't happen very often. So I thought I'd make note of it. Americans finished 1 and 2 this weekend at a World Cup Alpine Ski race, specifically the Giant Slalom at Beaver Creek. Ted Ligety, who has become the best GS skier in the world, came in first...a full second before everyone else. A full second. In alpine skiing terms, that's monstrous!

Second place went to the legend...Bode Miller. The old man (36 years old) didn't ski at all last year due to knee surgery. He hasn't been on a podium in 22 months. GS isn't his specialty anymore. He hasn't placed in the GS in eight years. But the man pulled off a fantastic race. I'm hoping he burns up one more Olympics before his retirement. I love skiing and I will be sad when Bode's no longer competing.

Ligety is the man. My son has loved saying "LIG-E-TY!" since he was two years old. It's always good to see him dominate. What a great skiing weekend.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Self Preservation

I see nothing in the life of Christ or in the New Testament that celebrates the concept of self preservation.

picture: detail from the fresco 'The Martyrdom of Saint Stephen', Bernardo Daddi, 1324, Santa Croce, Florence, Italy

Friday, November 22, 2013

50 Years

Fifty years. We drove by Dealey Plaza today on a school field trip. Still is an eerie place.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Being Intentional

Being intentional about serving Christ can be challenging. Sometimes you just can't wait for opportunities to present themselves. Often you must be proactive in finding avenues to live out your life for Christ. We also shouldn't look for particular types of service. We should be open to the needs around us. God has given us opportunities to serve others right where we are. Sometimes we have to be creative. Sometimes we have to sit and think for a moment and use our God-created brains to figure out how we can live for others. The Kingdom of God is not far away. The Kingdom of God is near. It is here. It is all around us. We just need to look around and engage.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

New Monasticism

I like this...

From The Simple Way website.

12 Marks of New Monasticism

1) Relocation to the abandoned places of Empire.

2) Sharing economic resources with fellow community members and the needy among us.

3) Hospitality to the stranger

4) Lament for racial divisions within the church and our communities combined with the active pursuit of a just reconciliation.

5) Humble submission to Christ’s body, the church.

6) Intentional formation in the way of Christ and the rule of the community along the lines of the old novitiate.

7) Nurturing common life among members of intentional community.

8) Support for celibate singles alongside monogamous married couples and their children.

9) Geographical proximity to community members who share a common rule of life.

10) Care for the plot of God’s earth given to us along with support of our local economies.

11) Peacemaking in the midst of violence and conflict resolution within communities along the lines of Matthew 18.

12) Commitment to a disciplined contemplative life.

Monday, November 18, 2013

What is your purpose?

This week I have committed to asking myself the question, 

What is my purpose?

I wrote this question on the white board by my computer. I wrote it at the top of my to do list on my phone. I am beginning each day asking this question, what is my purpose?

The answer: to reflect Christ. 

I desire to reflect Christ to everyone I meet or encounter. I desire to reflect Christ to myself. 

I fail at this too often. But this is my goal. This is my purpose. I desire to reflect Christ. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Burn it all Down

I was stunned to hear the announcement that the Atlanta Braves are abandoning Turner Field for the suburbs and a new $650 million stadium.

I have no emotional attachment to Turner Field. I have never seen it in person. But I find the idea of bailing on a state-of-the-art stadium, that is only 17 years old, unbelievable. Not only is it a fairly new stadium it was once an Olympic Stadium. The city of Atlanta has announced they plan on tearing down the structure as soon as the Braves vacate.

This is wrong on so many levels.

First, this is a perfect example of the greed that runs rampant in our culture. The Braves are making this move to make a lot of money. They are completely ignoring the historical import of an Olympic Stadium and a stadium that has hosted countless baseball playoff runs. The Braves have no sense of civic responsibility in helping maintain and cultivate an urban core.

This move is also indicative of our throwaway culture. We have no respect for permanence. We have no interest in building things that last. This is a complete waste of resources and man power. Environmentally it is almost a criminal waste of material. We don't like something, we throw it away.

This move also shows a complete disrespect for the people. Once again we have rich billionaires demanding the public pick up a large portion of the tab for the building of a new Braves stadium. Turner Field was built using public funds and now is being abandoned and destroyed. How about a refund to the tax payers who helped build it in the first place?

Of course not. The same hypocrites who criticize the welfare system for giving out handouts turn a blind eye toward the rich who are asking for even greater handouts. The billionaire does not demand money for food for their children or unemployment assistance. The billionaire is demanding money for a place to play sports and to make themselves even richer.

This is not just a sports issue. This is a social issue. This announcement is simply a mirror of our contemporary culture. I dream of a day when somebody somewhere says no, we will not allow you take advantage of the public. Probably a pipe dream. Maybe Thomas Hobbes was right.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Goodbye Blockbuster...

I don't usually have sympathy for multinational corporations. But I must admit I was a little sad to hear that Blockbuster was closing the last of their brick and mortar stores. I haven't seen an open Blockbuster in years and the last video store in my town (Video and Tan) closed a couple of years ago. I miss the video store.

I miss going into the video store on a Friday evening and browsing the hundreds of VHS tapes then DVDs. I miss the internal debate about which movie to rent. I don't miss the lines or the late fees or the hassle of having to actually go to the store to return the movie. I miss the late night college runs to the video store to rent a marathon's worth of movies.

Today I am one of the dwindling few who continue to use Netflix's DVD mail service. Soon that will go by the wayside. Digital streaming is very convenient but there is still something missing in the process of physically going to the video store. Part of my nostalgia is due to the fact that I'm old enough to remember when movies were not so accessible. It wasn't until I was ten or eleven when most people could actually afford a VCR. It was a stunning concept that you could watch movies any time you wanted if the movie was available at the video store. You no longer had to wait until the movie played on television. I remember that transition that so many take for granted today.

So goodbye Blockbuster. It was fun...

Friday, November 08, 2013


 I know I know. Today is Friday. But we are celebrating it as THORsday. We are going to see the new THOR sequel with great enthusiasm.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Football Guilt

I grew up a football fan. I am still a football fan. I have invested a lot of ridiculous emotion in rooting for the Oklahoma Sooners and the Kansas City Chiefs. I have been thrilled by the Chief's 9-0 start to this season. But the past year or so I have been conflicted by football. For years the big money and the corruption in athletics have disgusted me. But I always kind of swept those feelings under the rug as I continued to spend a lot of time and money watching and attending football games. Just last week I attended with great enthusiasm the SMU Homecoming game. I have been rooting for SMU since I began attending graduate school there a couple of years ago. However, if there's one school that represents corruption in college athletics it's SMU due to the excesses of the early 1980's. SMU still can't avoid being linked to events that happened thirty years ago.

But what is more troubling about football is the concussion issue. The constant trauma to the brain in the game has resulted in great tragedy for thousands of former football players. Player after player has come forth with stories about suffering from chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Just yesterday it was Tony Dorsett. Last week it was Brett Favre. Sure these guys made millions off the game, but what is the brain worth? And what about elementary kids, high school players and college kids?

I'm having trouble reconciling my enjoyment of the game with the knowledge of the toll football is having on the lives of young men. I am a hypocrite. I will be keeping tabs on tonight's Sooner game against Baylor. I will be watching November 17th when the Chiefs play the Broncos in primetime. But I am conflicted.

Here is an article by ESPN columnist Rick Reilly that summarizes my views exactly. I don't always agree with Reilly but I'm with him on this one:

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Reformation Day

Yes I know today is All Hallow's Eve and I intend to celebrate. But it is also Reformation Day, the day when Martin Luther started a revolution...kind of a big deal. Hammertime!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Keep Calm and Drink Green Tea

I have a cold. So I am drinking lots of green tea. I drink two cups of green tea every day but when I'm sick I up the dose to six or seven cups. Only way I make it.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


Here is an interesting perspective on why you need to think twice about displaying the Confederate flag. Hint: It's not just about racism.

Monday, October 28, 2013


Today is a Brazzaville kind of day. I am listening to nothing but Brazzaville.

photo: Brazzaville playing Uzbekistan

Sunday, October 27, 2013


For those who think they've got it all figured out...

"Our logic, itself a construction of language, is surely not capable of exhausting the infinite abundance of experience. Life is larger than thought."

- Roland Stromberg

Friday, October 25, 2013

Perspective from another Perspective

The same people who are throwing fits about the concept of Universal Healthcare are the same type of people who:

in Ireland rioted for a week after the release of the play The Playboy of the Western World by J.M. Synge.

rejected the art of Van Gogh, Picasso and Matisse as ridiculous.

as members of the Paris Academy ejected Maurice Ravel in 1903.

scorned the music of Gustav Mahler, Wagner, Debussy and Schoenberg.

rioted in the streets of Paris following the release of Igor Stravinksy's Rites of Spring.

declared that Pet Sounds by the Beach Boys was un-listenable.

They will be on the wrong side of history when all is said and done. There are serious flaws with "Obamacare." But don't obfuscate the issue with flaws in the Obamacare Website roll-out. Flaws there will be but I applaud the first efforts in a revolution to provide affordable healthcare for ALL people. First efforts are often sloppy but you have to take the first step. Outlawing pre-existing condition clauses and raising the age children can remain on their parent's insurance, allowing someone who works 40 hours a week on minimum wage access to affordable healthcare...these are bad things? 

Enabling people to get preventive screenings and visits that potentially ward off more expensive health issues...these are bad things? Giving insurance companies more competition for health care? I thought competition was a conservative and capitalist value.

Overreach? We require students to get an education until their mid-teens. We regulate food and drugs. We require protection against workplace abuses. We require drivers to carry insurance. Overreach? Or prudent governance?

This is tyranny?


Decades from now our children will be amazed that this was even a debate. 

painting: Riot in the Galleria. Umberto Boccioni. 1910

Wednesday, October 23, 2013



If you earn over $50,000 annually you are in the top 1% of the world’s earners.

If you have $2,200 in assets like your home, car and clothes then you are among the top 50% of the world’s wealthiest people.

If you made $1,500 in income last year, then you are in the top 20% income earners in the world. You are richer than 80% of the world’s people.

If you have $61,000 in assets or $25,000 in income you’re in the top 10% of the world's richest people.

Source: MSN Money

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


He has averaged an assist a game. He's become the best dribbler on the team. This was his breakout season. Four seasons just running around. Fifth season he becomes a player. Even picked up his first ever foul for pushing back the other team's biggest player and bully. Rarely have I been so proud than when he committed that foul. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

We Build Tomorrow

I was stunned when I first saw the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona on a college band trip in 1995. I had never seen a building like it. When I returned to Barcelona to live for a year in 1996-97 I often visited the cathedral because it was a never ending source of inspiration. I found myself becoming more creative just by being in proximity to Antoni Gaudi's famous work.

They have been working on the cathedral since 1883 and it is still not finished. But real progress is being made and some project that construction will be completed by 2026. It almost makes me sad to think that someday the whole thing will be finished. The never-ending work was part of it's mystique.

The firm that is overseeing construction has released this amazing video of what the finished project will look like upon completion. I love this building and have a poster of it hanging in my home. I would love to visit it when it is finally finished.

HERE is an excellent article about this miraculous church that appeared in Slate recently.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

I miss Netscape

A few months ago I finally ditched Internet Explorer. IE would not open a lot of my favorite websites at my workstation. At home IE caused problems with YouTube and Adobe Flash. Although I felt like a tech adulterer, I began to mess around with Chrome and Firefox. Both browsers are so much more superior in so many ways. They're faster, less buggy, and much more secure against viruses. Personally I'm diggin' Firefox the most. But whenever I'm using Google products like Google Drive, Search, YouTube, etc I use Chrome. 

By habit I still find my mouse hovering over the e at the beginning of a browsing session but quickly head over to the fox that looks like he's on fire. 

Here's an article that gives even more reasons why you should ditch Explorer.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Friday, October 18, 2013

In the Aeroplane Over the Sea

I can't believe I just discovered this amazing song from 1998. I can't stop listening to it. In the Aeroplane Over the Sea by Neutral Milk Hotel.

Thursday, October 17, 2013


We were bored with The Moms out of the house for the afternoon. So we made a DIY pencil holder in the form of an upright piano. Look at all the things created out of boredom: Buddhism, Islam and DIY piano pencil holders made out of an Apple Jack cereal box. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


Malala Yousafzai is one of my heroes. Malala is the young Pakistani girl who as a fourteen-year old girl was shot by the Taliban on her school bus simply because she is an outspoken proponent of girls having the right to an education. She miraculously survived. She has a wisdom and courage beyond her years. She should be given the Nobel Peace Prize, there is no one more deserving. This short video clip of her interview with Jon Stewart will leave you speechless. Gives me chills.


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

No Privacy

No privacy. I lay on the floor for like 10 seconds and I'm already being judged. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Fair Day

Life's not fair, except for one day a year: Fair Day. This year was cool and rainy. But we were prepared and the rain kept the crowds low. No lines and cool weather made for a perfect day at the Texas State Fair. The new Big Tex looked great. 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Serious Affairs

Weddings are serious affairs. We really should be paying attention. 

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Ted Hearts Miley

Has Ted Cruz become the Miley Cyrus of the United States Senate. This article makes a convincing case. Please Ted, no twerking.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Cultural and Intellectual History

On the menu: Mozart, Beethoven, Darwin, Flaubert, Dostoevsky with a little Comte thrown in just to spice things up. 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Class Heathens

Me listening to my SMU prof discuss Marx, Darwin and Hegel. How dare they discuss such heathens at a Methodist institution!

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Back on The Hilltop

Yep. Another semester, another go around on The Hilltop. Two classes this semester one of which is in Dallas Hall (pictured). After this I will have only four classes left in the program. Of course, that might take two years because of my busy schedule. But I'm in no hurry because I have enjoyed every moment at SMU. 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Summer Reading

I was sitting in my wife's grandmother's house in Indiana wondering what to read next. I had just finished the amazing Catch 22 by Joseph Heller but I was already looking forward to the next read. I had read Catch 22 in an actual book format but now that I was out of town I didn't have any other books with me. But I had my Kindle. On my trusty Kindle were dozens of classic works that I had downloaded for free but never read. These classic titles are free because their copyright has expired and many of them were on my elusive list of "books I must read before I die in order to be considered well read."
Moby Dick by Herman Melville has been on that list for some time. Believe it or not I never had gotten around to reading The White Whale. Somehow it never showed up on any of my high school or college syllabi. But it was on my Kindle so I gave it a go. After all, Moby Dick is considered one of the great American novels.
Immediately I was entranced. The narrative sparked my interest from the first page. The writing was poetical and ethereal. The storyline was hypnotizing, a real page turner (or Kindle click). The metaphors were evident but not simplistic. The allegory powerful but not cliché. The descriptions of Ahab's monomania are some of the best detailing of neurotic obsession ever put on paper.
I was forgiving the first time Melville left the linear narrative in order to go on a lengthy discussion on the different species of whales. I was skeptical when he left the narrative again for a long tangent about how different tools, sails and ropes are used on a whaling vessel. I became weary when Melville elaborated on the different paintings of whales and how these paintings are almost completely inaccurate. I was chagrined when I realized that the narrative was taking less and less space and the book was becoming more of a historical treatise about 19th century whaling. Soon I got bogged down.
I read through these tangents not wanting to miss something essential. I didn't want to miss an important metaphorical literary device. Soon I found myself skimming through these tedious passages. They ruined the book in my opinion. These tangents take away from a fantastic narrative and don't really add much heft to the reader's understanding of the context. Most of these meanderings could have been included in the narrative and severely edited without harming any part of the literary experience.
For example, Patrick O'Brian writes about 18th/19th century British naval experiences and never explains what a jib or mizzen sail is. You learn to either figure out the terminology or bypass them for the narrative. O'Brian's narratives are exceptional and never shut down in order to explain what a monkey rope is used for.
I also became weary of the pervasive racism in Moby Dick. I ignored it at first as a cultural relic and an unfortunate world view of the time period. In fact, to leave the racism out may have made the book less realistic. But it kept pounding away at me. Pounding away. And it wasn't written as any type of indictment of racism. It was simply the author's and the character's world view. As historically accurate as it may have been I just got tired of hearing other races so utterly demeaned all the time.
I realize that the modern reader should not necessarily force their modern conceptions of the world on to novels centuries old. But I find whaling barbaric and cruel as most 21st century readers probably do. Moby Dick is not merely a description of events on a whaling ship or a story about a particular journey while whaling. This book is a full on propaganda tract about the wonders and greatness of the whaling enterprise.
Maybe I missed Melville's tone. Maybe I missed the subtext. Maybe he was damning whaling and racism the entire time. Taking an author at face value can be dangerous. But I'm not so sure that I have missed Melville's point. I understand the story of monomania. But the constant going down unnecessary rabbit holes, glorification of a disgusting enterprise and the pervasive racism really took it's toll on my experience.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

World of Soccer

Got tix for this weekend's match between FC Dallas and the Los Angeles Galaxy. Looking forward to seeing US International Landon Donovan even though we'll be rooting against him once the clock starts. To get in the right frame of mind we made a visit to the legendary World of Soccer just to look at all the jerseys. Dallas 'Till I Die!

Monday, August 05, 2013


My wife re-did our laundry room inspired by Pinterest. She makes recipes inspired from Pinterest. She organically cleans carpet stains and kills weeds inspired by Pinterest. Yesterday she said she would like to get married again so she could plan it all on Pinterest. 

Saturday, August 03, 2013

Just because

Found another Royals shirt at the Old Navy in east Dallas. There was only one left so I decided to dress a mannequin with it. Just because. Oh, and the Royals have the best record in baseball since the All-Star Game.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Drive Ins

It's August 1st and I've been on an unplanned blog sabbatical. Honestly I've just been too busy. I was away from home for 30 out of 36 days due to work, vacation and family reunions. Then I got busy with home projects like refurbishing a patio and painting a storage building among other things. 

It's already August. Unreal. We celebrated the last night of July at the Galaxy Drive In Theatre.  Beautiful night under the stars in the back of the truck watching movies. 

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

A find

A rare find: A Kansas City Royals shirt at an Old Navy in Dallas. And only one left in my size. Must have been shipped to the wrong region by accident. Of course I snatched it up. Bonus: it was on sale! 30% off! Ten bucks!

Monday, June 03, 2013


Well the Royals lost. No surprise there. But a beautiful day at the Ballpark nonetheless. Concert afterwards followed by Taco Cabana. The best part? Knowing the next day is summer and we can sleep in. 

Saturday, June 01, 2013


Tomorrow we go see The Kansas City Royals and the Texas Rangers decide the series in Arlington. 

Friday, May 31, 2013

Last Day of School

The Temple of Doom is closed for the summer

Band of the Week - The Walkmen

The Walkmen have been around since 2000. They are a straight up New York City rock and roll band. They don't put on airs. They don't glam things up. They play guitar driven songs with interesting lyrics. This song, Heartbreaker, is one of my favorite songs of the past ten years...comes off their newest release Heaven.

Sunday, May 26, 2013


My local PBS affiliate a few weeks ago finally brought back one of my favorite shows...Globetrekker. I started watching this show in the early aughts and have been hooked ever since. Produced by Pilot Guides in the UK the show features young backpackers trekking around the world. The difference between this show and most other travel shows is that the hosts get off the beaten path. Although they hit some famous tourist spots they do their best to interact with the locals.

Their travels seem more authentic. I'm not a fan of rigidly scheduled tours. I enjoy the process of discovery. I also don't like rushing around to check off things on some list. My goal is to enjoy the experience and allow the process of discovery to develop somewhat organically. Globetrekker does a great job of portraying that type of travel experience.

The show will sometimes disappear for months and even a year at a time on my local television schedule depending on the caprices of the PBS programmer. So it's always a nice surprise to see it back on the air.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Band of the Week - Local Natives

Having XM Sirius Satellite Radio has been great. Admittedly I spend most of my time bouncing between two stations: AltNation and XMU. Both stations play indie music. Listening to these channels has exposed me to some great bands. Some I had heard of but never given a serious listen. A few of the bands that have caught my attention and I really dig are: Japandroids, Tame Impala, Grouplove, Alt J, The Lumineers, The Walkmen, Best Coast, Dirty Projectors, Milo Greene and more.

But the band I'm digging this week is Local Natives. Yes, all you early adopting hipsters, I know they're not a brand new deal. They've been around a couple of years now and I had heard a few of their songs on KXT in Dallas. But Relevant Magazine gave them a big spread in a recent issue and both Alt Nation and XMU give them serious playtime. They recently released a new album, their sophomore effort, called Hummingbird.

Very syncopated rhythms and intricate vocal harmonies. Sometimes their music is hypnotic. Other times it rocks pretty hard.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Just Keep Quiet

The night of the Oklahoma tornadoes noted pastor John Piper sent out this tweet:

The tweet was met immediately with negative responses and Piper took the tweet down. The 140 character limit often makes it difficult to express complex thoughts. Not quite sure what Piper was trying to communicate that night. Here was his follow up tweet:

My hope and prayer for Oklahoma is that the raw realism of Job’s losses will point us all to his God “compassionate and merciful.” Jam.5:11

Okay, so whatever Piper meant to say he missed an important lesson from the book of Job about dealing with tragedy.

We often breeze right past Job 2:13. Job's friends come into the story and see Job in great misery and distress. What they did next was an admirable display of friendship and understanding in the midst of tragedy:

And they sat with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his suffering was very great. Job 2:13 ESV

A whole week! They sat on the ground and didn't say a word for a week. They just sat there and let their presence be felt.

Unfortunately they couldn't keep their silence up. As soon as they open up their big mouths they quickly show what kind of lousy friends they are. They offer advice. They offer explanations. They offer guidance. They offer condemnation. And they are completely off-base in just about everything they say. God later excoriates them for their asinine speeches.

They were doing so well...until they started talking. This is a great lesson for us. In times of tragedy it's often best to simply keep our mouths shut and simply offer our support. Be there for those suffering and show God's love through our actions. In the midst of tragedy most aren't interested in theological explanations or questions of why.

When my wife was having emergency surgery and was near death our pastor came and sat next to me in the hospital waiting room. He didn't say anything for a long time. He just put his hand on my shoulder and sat silently. A little later he prayed with me and offered to get me anything I needed. But for the most part he sat there silently. His quiet presence was a great comfort to me.

A little later a layperson came who fancied themselves an unofficial pastor came and sat next to me. They yapped the entire time about God's goodness and quoted scripture and so on and on. They meant well but I found their words distasteful at the time. I was thinking: I am a follower of Christ, I know the scriptures, I know the theology but right now my wife is near death and I wish you would just shut up.

At that time in my life I didn't need a theological discourse. I just needed someone to sit with me in the hospital waiting room.

The two pastoral approaches were striking. They reminded me of Job's friends who did so well while sitting quietly but went completely wheels off when they started talking. If you don't know what to say don't say anything. In fact, even if you think you know what to say...don't say anything. You say a lot more with your presence and your actions.


My heart and prayers go out to all those who lost loved ones on May 20th.

I haven't lived in Oklahoma in sixteen years. But I was born there and spent a total of eleven years of my life there. That doesn't include the numerous visits to the state each year visiting my Grandparents and relatives. There will always be a part of me that considers Oklahoma home. It breaks my heart to see the suffering and devastation caused by this storm. God bless you all.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Summer Movies!

Summer movie season has begun! Here are three quick mini-reviews:

Iron Man 3: Good movie. Nice way to wrap up the trilogy...if this is truly the end of the series. Hopefully Robert Downey, Jr. will be back for Avengers 2. IM3 is full of surprises and lots of action. Still not as good as the first Iron Man...but very good nonetheless.

The Great Gatsby: A near masterpiece. Not sure what the negative critics are harping about. Virtually every line comes directly from the book. Only one or two minor scenes are left out. The visuals are stunning. This movie captures the feel of the book perfectly. I'm not sure how it could have been done better. My only gripe is Tobey Maguire. I don't like him in any movie. He was okay in Gatsby but he's such a doofus it's hard to take him seriously...which may be why he made an okay Nick Carraway. I wish they had included his story with Jordan Baker from the book. Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan and Joel Edgerton who played Tom Buchanan were  perfect. Absolutely perfect. Great movie.

Star Trek: Into Darkness: Another great movie. I know some nerds out there wish it wasn't so action packed. I know some wish it was more cerebral. But this movie is great fun. The characters are explored with more detail. The casting is perfect. The way they played with the Trek mythology was brilliant. I'm very glad I didn't read any spoilers coming into this movie. The villain is one of the all time greats in the series if not in any series.

Whew! More to come I'm sure.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Fred White, Rest in Peace

I was sad to hear about the passing of Fred White this week. White was the long-time radio broadcaster for the Kansas City Royals. Fred White and his broadcast partner Denny Matthews were part of the soundtrack of my childhood. Long before the ubiquity of cable, satellite and online streaming, radio broadcasts were often the only way to keep up with the Royals. I would listen to the broadcasts in the car with my Dad or on a cheap little transistor radio in my bedroom in the summer evenings of Kansas City.

Fred White's voice was evocative of the sounds of summer: locusts and the leaves gently rustling in the summer breeze as I lay on my bed looking out the window at the backyard every summer evening while listening to Royals games. White and Denny Matthews didn't spend a lot of time in conversation with one another. Often they traded off innings while the other worked the television broadcast. As a result they were often criticized for the long gaps of silence during the game. But I enjoyed those moments where all you could hear was the crowd. White and Matthews didn't believe in filling in space with nonsensical talking. That approach would probably not be well received in today's ADD world.

Fred White had a reputation of being a great guy who was always willing to help people out. He was an indelible part of my childhood. May he rest in peace.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

What to Do When You Grow Up...

A lot of students spend years fretting about what they should do when they "grow up." How does one find their calling in life. Relevant Magazine posted ten ideas I think are pretty useful. Here are just a can find the rest on Relevant's website HERE.

- Fill in the blank to the phrase "If I had a million dollars I would..."
- When are you happiest?

- What bugs you? (enough to spur you to positive action)

- What do personality and strengths inventories say about you?

- What do your friends think you should do?

- What would you like someone to notice about you?

- What kind of jobs match up with what you learned about yourself?

Monday, May 13, 2013

For Beginners

A few days ago I blogged about M Ward without providing any music. Well, here is his track For Beginners from the album Hold Time. One of my favorites.

Thursday, May 09, 2013


So Vine is the latest social media trend hit the digital multiverse. Released in January the app, created by Twitter, allows users to create six second looping videos. These videos allow for quick edits and short bursts of creativity although most of the vids I've seen feature shots of people's meals.

Students are quickly jumping into the trend. I saw some that showed videos of students in teacher's classrooms while the teacher was in the hallway. So I made my first Vine video as a warning not to make Vines in The Temple of Doom.

Click HERE for my first Vine clip or direct your browser to this link: