Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Kill Us, Kill Them

So, let me get this straight...

...Islamic Jihadists who use guns, planes, bombs, knives and other forms of violence to kill unbelievers are bad.

But are we attempting to train a generation of Christian kids to use the same tactics?

Check out this video game.
"Wage a war of apocalyptic proportions in LEFT BEHIND: Eternal Forces - a real-time strategy game based upon the best-selling LEFT BEHIND book series created by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins. Join the ultimate fight of Good against Evil, commanding Tribulation Forces or the Global Community Peacekeepers, and uncover the truth about the worldwide disappearances!

  • Lead the Tribulation Force from the book series , including Rayford, Chloe, Buck and Bruce against Nicolae Carpathia – the AntiChrist.
  • Conduct physical & spiritual warfare : using the power of prayer to strengthen your troops in combat and wield modern military weaponry throughout the game world.
  • Recover ancient scriptures and witness spectacular Angelic and Demonic activity as a direct consequence of your choices.
  • Command your forces through intense battles across a breathtaking, authentic depiction of New York City .
  • Control more than 30 units types - from Prayer Warrior and Hellraiser to Spies, Special Forces and Battle Tanks!
  • Enjoy a robust single player experience across dozens of New York City maps in Story Mode – fighting in China Town , SoHo , Uptown and more!
  • Play multiplayer games as Tribulation Force or the AntiChrist's Global Community Peacekeepers with up to eight players via LAN or over the internet!
Talk to Action describes the game:
This game immerses children in present-day New York City -- 500 square blocks, stretching from Wall Street to Chinatown, Greenwich Village, the United Nations headquarters, and Harlem. The game rewards children for how effectively they role play the killing of those who resist becoming a born again Christian. The game also offers players the opportunity to switch sides and fight for the army of the AntiChrist, releasing cloven-hoofed demons who feast on conservative Christians and their panicked proselytes (who taste a lot like Christian).

Is this paramilitary mission simulator for children anything other than prejudice and bigotry using religion as an organizing tool to get people in a violent frame of mind? The dialogue includes people saying, "Praise the Lord," as they blow infidels away.

The designers intend this game to become the first dominionist warrior game to break through in the popular culture due to its violent scenarios and realistic graphics, lighting, and sound effects. Its creators expect it to earn a rating of T for Teen. How violent is that? That's the rating shared by Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell - Chaos Theory, a top selling game in which high-tech gadgets and high-powered weapons - frag grenades, shotguns, assault rifles, and submachine guns -- are used to terminate enemies with extreme prejudice.
The publishing empire created by Tim LaHaye and Jeff Jenkins, authors of the inexplicably popular and theologically suspect Left Behind series, are at the heart of the creation and distribution of this game.

I really believe there is a large sect of Christianity out there in America that wants this kind of scenario to happen. It's the same sect that, while they may hate the Islamic Jihadists for blowing up the World Trade Center and lopping off heads of innocent bystanders in Iraq, secretly long to take the same action against their own "infidels". All in the name of God, praise the Lord and pass the ammunication.

Still more disturbing is the realization that a member of the Board of Directors of Rick Warrens' Purpose Driven (mega-)Church is also on the Board of Directors for this Left Behind Games company:

The international director of Mr. Warren's Purpose Driven Church, Mark Carver, is a former investment banker who serves on the Advisory Board of the corporation created in October 2001 to develop and market this game. The creators plan to market their game using the same network marketing techniques that Mr. Warren used to turn The Purpose Driven Life into a commercial success. For example, they plan to distribute their merchandise through pastoral networks, especially mega-churches.

I don't want to get into a discussion about how The Purpose Driven Life relates to the Left Behind empire and vice-versa - the site linked above is looking at that story. I do mention it because my church is struggling with whether to offer a church-wide Sunday School discussion on The Purpose Driven Life. My wife has read it and enjoyed it, and got a good message from it. I have not read it but have planned to and kept putting it off.

Thank goodness Slacktivist reads (and brutally critiques) Left Behind so the rest of us don't have to.

It's a very dangerous business that these mega-churches/mega-corporations have opened themselves up to. They and their congregations run the risk of being taken over by charismatic leaders and pastors that promote their own suspect theological agendas that stray in several different directions from the core Christian message. We have to stay vigilant.

And try to make sure Left Behind: The Game isn't promoted in my church...

Short Takes

  • Welcome Back, Michael Silence and happy birthday to your lovely wife!

  • Lauren at Created for his Glory has a great anti-profanity rant (which sounds like a contradiction) with No Swearing Allowed - I have a great rant on this subject as well but I have to get a great picture digitized to go along with it, first
  • Saturday, May 27, 2006

    80's Video Blast of the Week II

    Genesis: "Land of Confusion"

    This week one of the weirder videos of the era. The same group that did the "Spitting Image" British TV show did caricature puppets of Genesis members Phil Collins, Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford as well as a number of popular political figures of the mid-80's.

    You can read more about the, ahem, genesis of this video here.

    Friday, May 26, 2006

    More Proof That...

    ...I should have a baseball hat surgically attached to my head so you can't see my hair.

    This is also proof that we should never look at photos of ourselves taken at angles we can't see in a mirror....

    Friday's Feast

    Friday's Feast

    Friday, May 26, 2006 - Feast Ninety-Five

    Appetizer - How old were you when you got your first credit card?

    I don't really remember having a card when I was in college, so I guess it was after. Probably when I got my first job after I graduated.

    Soup - When was the last time you felt out of place?

    Yesterday afternoon, at a meeting. Everyone in the room was talking about all these media and society people they know and I had no idea who any of them were.

    Salad - Did you have a curfew when you were a teenager? If so, what time did you have to be home?

    Not really a curfew, but I knew what time I needed to be home. I had no real reason to stay out all night. I had fun with my friends going out for pizza after the football games, but otherwise I came home. I really lived the idealized 50's high school experience in the early 1980's...

    Main Course - Name a person from history with whom you feel you have something in common.

    I don't feel I know enough about the people of history to know if I have much in common with any of them or not. See my post about historical accuracy for more of my feelings on the matter. I think most historical figures have a few traits attached to them (Lincoln: integrity, perseverence; Washington: honesty; Franklin: spunk, tenacity; Twain: wit, sarcasm) but we know very little overall about what kind of people they are. How did they treat their children? Their parents? Their peers? The strangers on the street? In some ages, their slaves and the "lesser" society members? Washington may have been the most honest man alive, and in his private moments kicked his kids and slapped Martha around. Yet many people would choose him as someone to admire and emulate solely on the legends of history. I'm not saying you shouldn't admire Washington - I do - I just think it's difficult to feel real commonality with people from the past, especially famous people, when all you have is the legend of their personalities to go on.

    Dessert - When you read a newspaper, which section do you go for first?

    When I was a kid, it was always the comics. Or, more correctly, the "funnies". That's what they were called, that's what they are called, and that's what they shall ever be called. Amen.

    Today, if it's football season the sports page. Otherwise I usually skim the front pages of the top four sections (Main, Local, Business and Sports) then head to the sports. This time of year it's NBA and NHL tournaments (yawn!) high school baseball/softball/soccer finals (yawn!) and of course, NASCAR (extremely high-pitched and obnoxious yawn). Oh, and the MLB box scores which I'll occasionally peruse to see how badly my Fantasy players are doing (translation: badly). Sometimes there's a pro or college football story, but not all the time.

    I enjoy the Editorial page because it's kind of like reading blogs. Except for the writing experience. And to see what's melting down Don Williams or Cal Thomas this week.

    Most of the national and world news I see in the main section I've already read about the previous day on the web, so that's old stuff.

    A lot of the Local section is spent with recipes and feel-good fashion articles, which I flip past. There's a way-too-short entertainment column above the TV listings, and then...of course. The funnies.

    Thursday, May 25, 2006

    What I Watched Last Night

    The last five minutes or so of American Idol. And then just because it was on.

    My thought, after seeing him perform the final number amidst all the glitz and fireworks, etc...

    What's the big deal?

    Sorry, I could care less.. My wife thinks he's really good, but listening to him sing doesn't make me want to pencil him into my Top 5 pantheon. Not that I actually, you know, have a Top 5 pantheon of singers, but if I did he wouldn't be there.

    His voice is too thin and shallow for the style of singing he was doing. I would've picked the girl.

    If I cared.

    Which I don't.

    Monday, May 22, 2006

    One More Soccer Story

    Friday evening Brainboy's team practiced for their final game the next day. Well, it was nominally a practice but in reality it was kids vs. dads, and I played in my first ever soccer game - formal or informal. The first time I'd ever been on a field competing in any kind of pick-up type game of soccer.

    It was fun.

    Especially when I scored a goal right past the goalie, Brainyboy. (Ironically it was the third point for our team, which is what he scored for his team the next day).

    He hasn't yet murdered me in my sleep, so apparently there's no hard feelings..

    The Imprecision of History

    Michael speaks about his minister's comments on "The Da Vinci Code":
    "The DaVinci Code [sic] is a fictional book and movie. And while it does take some things from history that sound good and like evidence, Dan Brown takes liberties with the actual facts in order to tell his story. For example, Constantine did not approve what chapters went into and which were excluded from the New Testiment."

    Here's something that is true of anything that's historically related to Christianity, but isn't directly referenced in the Bible: The history we all believe is the culmination of years and centuries of written and oral records, passed on from person to person. It is only as accurate as the veracity of the person or persons recording the event.

    Now Dan Brown wasn't standing behind Constantine, chronicling his influence on the Bible. But then, neither was anyone else alive today. Nor was anyone who's lived in the last 1800+ years. Everything we know we know from history, and the writers who passed on the stories from year to year. And the truth is, while it may be an "accepted" historical fact that Constantine didn't do what Dan Brown _fictionally_ supposes he did, nobody can really sure.

    History is always at best tenuous. What we believe is true is always subjective due to the most powerful influence of the time. The old adage is correct: "The winners write the history books".

    Now, the more eyewitness accounts to an event the better the chance the history is correct. Everyone believes the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on 12/7/1941. There were tons and tons of people who either witnessed the attacked or reported on it. But who knows who fired the first shot of the Revolutionary War? Was it Bell or Watson who really turned the final screw and invented the telephone (it could've ultimately been Watson that said, "Mr. Bell, come here - I need you")? Who was responsible for committing Christian forces to the Crusades?

    History has a lot of questions, and a lot of facts taken as fact due to tradition. Maybe they're exactly true, maybe they aren't. But until a Doc Brown really perfects the De Lorean time machine, there's no way to be absolutely certain what happened when the Bible was first put together. We can believe, and accept that what happened is correct (and it most likely was) but to blindly dismiss any other historical possibilities that far in the past, even fictional ones, is disengenous and close-minded.

    Those who forget history are bound to repeat it - but history may not be exactly what you think it is...

    It's Amazing the Things You Can Get Into on the Weekend

    1. Saturday morning was the End of the Soccer Season - for both Tink and BrainyBoy v10.3. Tink's 6-yr-old girls team was the usual mass of mayhem and confusion, with all the little girls running in a pack here and there like the hunting dogs in the old cartoon about catching a fox. They won, although sometimes it's difficult to tell who's scoring when all the kids fall into the goal along with the ball...

      BrainyBoy's 10-yr-old team was somewhat more refined, however that it a relative term. The best part of his game, however, was the goal he scored near the end of the game. Now, you have to understand BB isn't the swiftest kid on the block - he's become a competent goalie and is rather intimidating because of his size but he's always been a defensive player. In this final game, the coach promised him if they got a lead he'd let him play offense. Up 2-0, BB took control of the game and the ball, dribbling downfield and promptly placing it between the other team's goalie and the inside bar of the goal. It was the team's final score of the season, and my son was all smiles.

      So were we. Plus I have it on videotape!

    2. After the game was the team party and cookout for BrainyBoy. More mayhem and confusion.

    3. After the party the four of us drove to Gatlinburg for the Mountain Craft festival. Laura bought one of these:

      quilted maple top, walnut bow - Photo by Robert Batey

      It's a bowed psaltery, a string instrument originating in Scandanavia that has been imported to America and a built by a very talented craftsman named Rick Long. If you've never heard of one, go to the website and listen to some audioclips - it's a gorgeous instrument.

    4. The rains came and forced us soon back to our car. The same rains fairly well washed out the Gatlinburg Highland Games, but we drove up to check it out anyway, even though it was getting late in the afternoon. When we arrived most of the participants were packing up to go home, but we were very lucky to see the last event of the day - the mass bagpipe band performance.

      Sitting in the stands at the football field, we saw and heard the amazing spectacle of over a hundred bagpipe players in full regalia playing several numbers, including the traditional "Amazing Grace". Truly spectacular.

    5. Back home and disappointed because "Lost" - Season 1, Vol. 2 was supposed to arrive from Netflix today, but it didn't. I've determined Netflix is not great on their shipping promises... Have to wait till Monday...

    Saturday, May 20, 2006

    80's Video Blast of the Week

    "Total Eclipse of the Heart"

    Do any of you from my generation remember sitting in front of MTV (when it was first getting popular) and watch videos for hours? Waiting for your favorite one(s) to finally come into rotation?

    YouTube has 80's videos like this one from Bonnie Tyler, one of my favorite songs from high school. I almost helped a girl perform this during a chorus concert. We did a duet of "We've Got Tonight" instead.

    Friday, May 19, 2006

    Friday's Feast

    Friday's Feast

    Friday, May 19, 2006 - Feast Ninety-Four

    Appetizer - What is the last thing you had to have repaired?

    My car, after I collided with a deer last year.

    Soup - If someone gave you $2,000 with the stipulation that you had to spend half of it on yourself and give the rest to charity, where would you spend the $1,000 and which charity would receive your remaining $1,000?

    I'd buy myself a synth keyboard, so I don't have to keep borrowing the one I've been using. That way I'll have my own for my band and the shows that I play. The rest I'd give to my church.

    Salad - What is one of your favorite songs from the 1980s?

    "The Power of Love" by Huey Lewis and the News is probably my favorite song. It was the theme song to "Back to the Future".

    *sigh* They don't make music like that anymore...

    Main Course - You enter a pet store. Which section do you go to first?

    Realistically, I head for the dog or cat food aisle cause that's probably why I'm there. But if I'm just hanging out or browsing, I'll go see the tropical fish.

    Dessert - On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being highest, how athletic are you?

    I'd say about a 6. I don't exercise much, but I can play softball without much problem.

    Thursday, May 18, 2006

    Ok, That's Great, But...

    Key sworn in as city's new fire chief
    "When Robert L. Key Sr. was formally sworn in Wednesday as Knoxville's new fire chief, it was in a ceremony outside the Knoxville Fire Department headquarters building.

    As Key took the oath of office from City Judge John Rosson Jr., he stood close to the department's antique fire engine, which is on permanent display."
    ...why, exactly, do we need to swear in a fire chief? I mean, who cares really, but why does a fire chief have an oath of office? Are we afraid they might betray the city and start putting out fires for Sevierville instead?

    Wednesday, May 17, 2006

    Man Deemed Incompetent

    Man Deemed Incompetent
    Nothing in particular to say about this story, I just couldn't quit looking at the headline:

    Man Deemed Incompetent


    Man Deemed Incompetent

    Before I read the article I couldn't help wondering who in particular it was about. The President? Bobby Knight? Alec Baldwin? Sam the Butcher? Or is it some kind of existentialist judgement of the human species? Some over-reaching feminist statement attempting to draw a conclusion on the relative intelligence of the male gender? A fatalistic message received from an alien intelligence out among the stars.

    No, I'm pretty sure it's about this guy.

    Christmas Capitalism and Field Trip Follies

    Well, we did just like I said. Tink and I ate dinner, played Monopoly, bounced a balloon back and forth to each other and watched Looney Tunes until she went to bed.

    One word about the Monopoly game we played. It was the Christmas version (one of about 10 versions we have, including Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Monopoly Jr., and I think maybe Green Acres. I'll have to check.) and she insisted on buying and selling yule-themed real estate. The thing about the Christmas version is some of the cards require you instead of advancing to St. Charles Place or taking a ride on the Reading Railroad, is to sing a chorus of "Jingle Bells" in order to keep from paying $100. In May. Ok, whatever. I sang. I'll sing anything. I'll sing "Ina-Gada-Davida" to keep from paying $100.

    Then another card signified, "You've been elected Head Elf! Pay each player who voted for you $50" Wow. Institutionalized bribery up there at the North Pole.

    Anyway, great holiday capitalistic cheer was spread all around. Even the cat put on his reindeer antlers.

    So, my wife calls about 10:30. The fourth graders, she, and the rest of the parents spent the evening at the Grand Ole Opry, listening to - in her words - "some of the whiniest country music I ever heard." Yep, welcome to Nashville. Unfortunately Porter Wagner was supposed to appear but called in sick. But there were several performers they enjoyed, so it seemed to work out.

    When they got to the hotel after the concert they found out the reservations had all been lost.

    Welcome to Nashville...

    Tuesday, May 16, 2006

    Just Me and My Gal...

    Laura and BrainyBoy are in Nashville today and tomorrow with the rest of his class on a field trip.

    So it looks like it's just me and the Tinkerbell this evening. Any suggestions? Hang gliding? Rock climbing? Offroad racing?

    More like takeout or frozen dinners, playing Monopoly and watching DVD's.

    Who cares? It's an evening with my little girl.

    Friday, May 12, 2006

    At the Sound of My Voice...

    Logtar has interviewed me online via podcast.

    You can listen here, or go to if the link doesn't work.

    We discuss family, 9/11, blogging, superheroes, rock tumblers, whatever happened to Theatre Thursday and many other exciting topics, so take a listen!

    Friday's Feast

    Friday's Feast

    Friday, May 12, 2006 - Feast Ninety-Three

    Appetizer - What's your favorite flavor of ice cream?

    Black Cherry, that I used to get at Kay's Ice Cream on Broadway in Fountain City. But just about any brand of Black Cherry is good.

    Soup - What are 3 things you would like to put in a time capsule?

    Today's newspaper, my high school yearbook and maybe a vinyl album.

    Salad - Name something you are 100% sure of.

    The Designated Hitter rule is bad for baseball.

    Main Course - What is something you do to calm yourself when you're stressed or upset?

    I play a game on the PC. Preferably something that totally occupies by brain, usually a simulation game like Civilization III or Starcraft. Planning strategy and using logic lower my stress levels.

    Dessert - If you could receive an invitation to any important event, what would you like it to be?

    I'd love to go to Game 7 of the World Series, or the Super Bowl. I'd also enjoy going to the Oscars or the Tonys.

    Thursday, May 11, 2006

    Docent for a Day

    Yesterday BrainyBoy v10.3 was a junior docent at James White Fort here in Knoxville. He and 17 other of his 4th-grade classmates carefully studied texts and history of the home of one of Knoxville's first settlers, and became guest tour guides for the exhibit.

    Wednesday, May 10, 2006

    Now That's Sum Classy Lit'ratyur

    Painstakingly transcribed from a cartoon on the side of a Krystal cup:

    Girl: What are you doing?
    Boy: Don't peek. It's a surprise.
    G: This better be good.
    B: Don't worry.
    B: Happy Birthday!
    B: Fry?
    G: I love you as much as Krystal.
    B: Slurp.
    G: Giggle.

    G: (to us) I knew my boyfriend was special when he set up a Krystal picnic for my birthday. 8 Krystals, fries, flowers and one coke with two straws. He's so sweet.

    Marilee Harrison
    Savannah, TN
    I need to add this little heartfelt dialogue exchange to the post below of things that made me cry...

    But what's extra funny is reading this without the benefit of the cartoon pictures. Until you get to her soliloquy at the end, it sounds pretty dirty.

    Let's Get Dramatic About It

    Here's a great example of a company stuck between a rock and a hard place - between sticking by their guns and legal rights, and disappointing a bunch of kids...

    They Get to Put On a Show in the Bronx
    "On Friday an official from Samuel French, the licensing agent for "Chicago," the hit Kander and Ebb musical that has been playing on Broadway for nearly 10 years, told that Bronx high school that it would not be allowed to stage the show because it had not applied for permission. Dozens of students, who had worked for months on the production and had been planning to perform it tomorrow, were heartbroken."
    As the article says, it's a basic - basic - responsibility of a performing group wishing to put on a production to first pay royalties to the company that owns the right to the particular play or musical. This is true from the largest-scale Broadway musical on down to some of the most basic children's plays.

    But apparently there was ignorance all around of this process:
    The case, from a legal perspective, was not complicated. The school's drama teacher, Anthony Cerrini, 24, had decided to stage "Chicago." He found some dialogue on the Internet, transcribed some of it from the 2002 movie starring Catherine Zeta-Jones and Renée Zellweger, and wrote some of it himself.

    At the news conference, Mr. Cerrini took responsibility and said that he had never been told about the need for an application.


    To put on just about any Broadway show, a school or performing group must apply to the licensing company and pay a fee. No one at Lehman High School made the application, and the principal, Robert Leder, said he had not recalled having to apply for anything in 27 years of putting on high school musical events.
    This lack of knowledge, by a high school principal who's been putting on shows for 27 years, and a drama teacher, is inexcusable. There's also this:
    Meanwhile, Mr. Van Nostrand said that Samuel French would begin looking into those previous musical productions that Mr. Leder said the school had been putting on without, to his recollection, applying for permission. "I'm a little curious about what those other 27 years were," Mr. Van Nostrand said.
    I think this school could be in some serious, serious trouble.

    Oh, but wait! There's hope on the horizon, thanks to some city council members and other community leaders willing to hold their breath until they turn blue and guilt the rights-holders into granting permission:
    ...four [Bronx] City Council members and Betsy Gotbaum, the city's public advocate, vowed to stage a protest in front of the Ambassador Theater, where the Broadway revival is playing. By the time everyone arrived, however, the protest had turned into a triumphant news conference to announce that an agreement had been reached.

    The Shubert Organization, which owns the Ambassador; the producers Fran and Barry Weissler; and, most important, the songwriter, John Kander, and the estates of the lyricist, Fred Ebb, and the book writer, Bob Fosse, had granted permission for a single unauthorized, unlicensed performance at the school.
    So the thing we've learned here, is that no matter if you follow the rules, apply for permission to put on a show and possibly be rejected:
    With "Chicago" there was an additional wrinkle. For many Broadway and touring shows, agreements are negotiated by the producers and theater owners prohibiting competing productions of a show within a certain distance.

    If a group puts on a performance that violates this rule, it could be liable for hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages, Mr. Van Nostrand said. In the case of "Chicago," the radius from Broadway is 75 miles, easily covering East Tremont Avenue in the Bronx, where Lehman High School is situated.
    A similar thing happened recently locally to the Oak Ridge Community Playhouse. Last fall, they had planned to put on the musical "Peter Pan", had applied for and been greated the performance rights. Unfortunately, a touring company of "Peter Pan" added Knoxville to its schedule and the company was forced to rescind its permission for Oak Ridge to perform it. That's how, in its place, they substituted "Annie".

    But you can see how Oak Ridge abided by the rules, and I'm sure every other school that applied to do "Chicago" and was turned down because they were too close to the Broadway production was disappointed but complied. However, due to the actions of the city officials who excused the school principal and teacher's irresponsible and illegal actions, they saw the opportunity to take advantage of some possible bad publicity and "save" the show.

    Sure, the kids were kept happy, but the law and justice and fair play was screwed.


    Sounds a lot like the immigration question, doesn't it? Good things these kids are getting an education on how you can buck the system and cut to the front of the line, while the rest of those who work hard, keep their noses clean and follow the rules are ignored.

    One final thought. What in the world is a high school doing performing "Chicago"?? It's not the most, um, innocent of shows and a far cry from "Oklahoma!" and "Bye Bye Birdie" that I did at Central High...

    I Am: A Meme

    I AM: wondering if there is anything I actually have control over.

    I WANT: to know what I'm supposed to be doing.

    I WISH: there was a lot less competition in the world.

    I HATE: not being able to spend more time with my kids.

    I MISS: being a kid.

    I HEAR: an air conditioner. If I'm lucky, it's on.

    I WONDER: what I might be eating for dinner tonight.

    I REGRET: not being more decisive when starting my theatre career.

    I AM NOT: in the mood to argue about it anymore. You win.

    I DANCE: my Tink balancing on my toes.

    I SING: anytime, anywhere, any song.

    I CRY: during "Mr. Holland's Opus". Twice. Every time.

    I AM NOT ALWAYS: confident in my abilities.

    I MAKE WITH MY HANDS: letters magically appear on a computer screen.

    I WRITE: HTML code. I wish I could write fiction. I wish I could write songs and stories that make people gasp, or smile, or think, or want to change their lives.

    I CONFUSE: how to spell "weird" or "wierd".

    I NEED: a weekend off with my wife.

    I SHOULD: really stop blogging and reading blogs at work but that would mean doing more work, and who wants that?

    I START: my work days the same way every day.

    I FINISH: my work days the same way every day. Rut, what?

    I TAG: the usual suspects.

    Friday, May 05, 2006

    Friday's Feast

    Friday's Feast

    Friday, May 05, 2006 - Feast Ninety-Two

    Appetizer - From which country(s) are some (or all) of your ancestors?

    My ancestors, like so many others in East Tennessee, are Scotch/Irish. It's interesting, though it defies all rational explanation except for the fact that the hills of the Great Smoky Mountains are similar to the Scottish highlands, I would feel perfectly at home here even if I hadn't grown up here. It's almost like there's a sense memory that is passed through the genes of those who emigrated from Scotland and settled here, and all their descendants. It manifests itself in the music, the dance, the atmosphere, the personalities - it's just very Celtic, and I can feel it almost as a tangible thing.

    Soup - How would you describe your sneeze?

    I like to sneeze. If I ever feel one of those maybe/maybe not kind of sneezes coming on, I try to find a light and stare at it. That always helps the sneeze right along. Usually I try to control it, but when I'm alone in the car and the situation just calls for it, I can let loose with a window-shattering sneeze. It's

    Salad - What is the last thing you cleaned?

    Besides myself, this morning in the shower? I washed my hands a couple times today. I cleaned up my plate and Laura's plate after dinner. I need to clean some glasses away from the computer desk where they always tend to congregate over the span of several days...

    Main Course - Who made the strongest first impression on you?

    I can't think of anyone I've met that really made a huge impression on me the very first time. I guess I could say my wife, Laura ;)

    Dessert - Name one thing you want to accomplish in your lifetime.

    Boy, I'd love to go into space - somehow, somewhere, someday. I'd also like to be thought of as a successful theatre director, at whatever level is necessary.

    Tuesday, May 02, 2006

    Election Day Report

    Me: "I'd like a paper ballot, please."

    Lady Election Worker: "Ok, follow me..."

    follow, follow, follow...

    Lady Election Worker: "All right, you can take this ballot and fill it out and one of our many elaborate and secure voting cubicles (indicates cafeteria table with dividers made from cut-out cardboard boxes). When you're finished, dip your finger in the purple ink and you're all done!"

    Heh. At least some folks have a sense of humor about all this...

    Fellow Knox Countian - did you vote?

    Only Looks Good Through the Bottom of a Bottle?

    Last night, watching the latest "24" I just taped

    Me: What? Seriously, some guy is actually going to hit on Chloe O'Brien??

    Laura: (Upstairs, having already watched the episode earlier) He's really drunk.

    Me: Oh, well that would explain it.

    Just a Hypothetical Question..

    I've got a hypothetical question about immigration. I'm not for this idea, nor against it necessarily - I'm just curious what you think the effect would be.

    What would the effect be on America, our ideals, our law, or citizens or our immigrants if the "citizen by birth" statute were abolished? What if, instead, you had to be the child of a native or naturalized citizen to be considered an American citizen if you are born on U.S. soil?

    I've heard it said many illegal immigrant use the fact that they have children that are born here in the U.S. as a tool to keep themselves in the country. What if that tie was no longer an option? Would that help/hurt/hinder the process of immigration and naturalization of citizenship in America?

    Just curious. What do you think?

    Monday, May 01, 2006

    Happy Anniversary to the World's Fair

    1982 Worlds FairIn the midst of darker celebrations and protests marring the day, here's a lighter remembrance:

    The 1982 Worlds Fair opened on this day 24 years ago. Next year will be 25, and I hope Knoxville throws a proper bash.

    UPDATE: But then, of course, someone has to come along and ruin my World's Fair Day:

    Knox rally draws immigrant rights supporters
    Some 300 people gathered at Worlds Fair Park Monday morning to support U.S. immigration reform that is friendly to workers from Mexico and other countries.

    The downtown rally, held as part of a nationwide movement where immigrants are being urged to boycott work, school and shopping today as part of a "Day Without Immigrants," was organized by the East Tennessee council of the Tennessee Immigrants and Refugee Rights Coalition, which advocates for policies to empower immigrants and refugees throughout Tennessee.