Monday, June 30, 2008

My favorite UGA joke

I heard Andy Griffith tell this joke back in the days before his TV show when he was a young, country comedian. Now, mind, I didn't hear it live - I heard it on tape. But still, it's hilarious...

Auburn is playing Georgia in a key late-season SEC ballgame in Athens, Ga. Two Tigers fans -- George and Albie -- have driven in from Auburn. They arrive early to Sanford Stadium, tailgate for several hours, mix and mingle with Georgia fans and mind their manners.

An hour before kickoff they make their way to their seats so they can check out the teams warming up, listen to the bands and enjoy the atmosphere.

In comes UGA. Fans in the stadium, not quite full, roar their approval of their beloved mascot. He slobber-walks by the cheerleaders, slobber-walks by the players and coaches. When the team retreats to the locker room for a final pep talk, UGA moves toward midfield for a pre-game ceremony.

Suddenly he stops. And sits.

And proceeds to lick himself in a place where dogs are prone to lick themselves.

Up in the stands, George has in binoculars trained on UGA. He sees the proud bulldog stop to take care of himself.

"Boy, Albie," he says to his friend, "you see that?"

"Sure do, George," Albie replies.

"I sure wish I could do that."


"George," Albie said, "that dog'd bite you!"

BrainyBoy Takes a Dive

Starting week 2 at McCallie Sports Camp with a splash...

Friday, June 27, 2008

Friday's Feast

Feast One Hundred & Ninety Five

Appetizer - What is the weather like today where you live?

Pretty warm, high in the upper 80's and lows in the 70's. Should be partly cloudy and humid with a chance of scattered storms off and on throughout the day. I don't anticipate any meaningful rain...

Soup - On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being highest, how career-minded are you?

I'd say a 6 - I don't consider my career to be the center of my life but then again I'm not doing what I would consider a "dream" job so that could be different. I would enjoy moving up a ladder but so far that hasn't happened and isn't likely to. I just want to be happy with what I do and proud of my work.

Salad - What type of window coverings do you have in your home? Blinds, curtains, shutters, etc.?

We have curtains and blinds in most of our windows.

Main Course - Name something that instantly cheers you up.

Just being silly with my kids. Making them laugh improves my own mood.

Dessert - How many times do you hit the snooze button on a typical morning?

My wife gets up before me and hits the snooze button twice. When she's finished in the shower she wakes me up and I go in, although sometimes it's tough to get out of bed. The Today Show is my snooze alarm...

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Close But Yet So Far

As I write this, BrainyBoy is starting his first full day at a 2-week all boys sports camp in Chattanooga. We would normally never be able to afford such a trip but were able to get it at an auction for about 1/4 what the normal price would have been, so that's great.

Although he's been to church camp for a week at a time several times the past few years, this is the first time he's been away from us for this long. And it's difficult that we're not really able to keep in touch since they don't have email access for the campers. We are able to send him emails which they print out for him, so that's nice at least.

In addition to multiple days of baseball, soccer, basketball, lacrosse and other sports they will have the opportunity to go to Six Flags and a Braves game on the 4th of July, go white-water rafting on the Ocoee and other great side-trips and activities. There's even a dance at the end of the session with a nearby girl's camp. He wasn't terribly thrilled about that prospect, but hey, you never know.

I find myself wondering what he's doing all the time - even now, not even a full 24 hours since I last saw him. When we dropped him off yesterday, he was ready to go and didn't look back. But we did a few times...

Thursday, June 19, 2008

It's a Runaway

Sixth foot found on B.C. coast
Another human foot has washed up on British Columbia's shores - the sixth in less than a year and the second in three days. The latest foot was discovered yesterday on a sand spit in the Vancouver Island community of Campbell River. The foot, believed to be a man's right foot in a black running shoe, was discovered by a woman searching for rocks.
Right now, for those of you scoring at home is 5-1 in favor of the right feet. It's possible the left feet could jump back in the competition, but right now I think the rights are going to run away with it.

Ok, sorry.

Anyway, this is a great and bizarre and terrible story that has my interest piqued. How in the world do six severed (not broken, but actually deliberately cut-off) feet suddenly appear and begin washing on shore in British Columbia?

Personally my favorite theory is that it's a new viral campaign for next season's "Lost" and they're feet of the Oceanic 815 victims....

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The New Firefox is Here! The New Firefox is Here!

Get a copy of Firefox 3.0 if you can - the servers are really busy...

A Reprieve from the President (Sort Of)

UT delays program cuts, including Audiology and Speech Department
The University of Tennessee is postponing until October decisions on program cuts that include the Department of Audiology and Speech Pathology at the main Knoxville campus.

UT President John Petersen decided to postpone those specific cuts, however, on Monday in response to a joint request by UT-Knoxville’s interim chancellor Jan Simek and Faculty Senate leadership.

“The state budget process requires quick reaction, which has shortened the discussion time possible,” Petersen said. “To assure that all concerned have adequate time to study the issue and that we have dealt directly and effectively with all concerns that have been raised during this difficult process, I have agreed to the request by Interim Chancellor Simek and the Faculty Senate to a lengthened period to consider programmatic cuts.

“I will ask the trustees to allow campus and system leadership additional time to seek faculty input and involvement.”
So maybe there's a chance the departments can be saved. Now we have all summer and most of the fall to keep the ball rolling.

In the meantime, please go to and show your support to the UT Audiology and Speech Pathology Department there.

Monday, June 16, 2008

My Daughter the Hot Dog

Here are a couple answers to the questions a couple of posts ago:

Just call her "Tinker Knievel!"

Incidentally, that's our friend, Dr. Greg the pediatrician.

Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

BrainyBoy takes a dive

I Know Who the Final Cylon Is

Don't you just know it has to end up this way?

Fun Quiz

Ok, which of the following statements regarding my weekend are true?

  • I found out my brother is traveling to Paris to tour with John Schneider
  • My little girl rode on a motorcycle around the neighborhood.
  • I fell over a toy car in the floor and sprained my wrist
  • We had dinner with two pediatricians (not our own) and played kid church songs by the pool on our guitars
  • I sang "T-R-O-U-B-L-E" to a recently married bride
  • I watched "Cloverfield" and "I am Legend" back to back, finished the novella "When Sysops Ruled the Earth" about a massive attack that wiped out civilization and saw the mid-season, apocalyptic finale of Battlestar Galactica
  • One of my cats bit into one of those glowy-phosphorescent kids necklaces and his snout was neon pink for a while


(We're all shopping at Target. I'm lagging behind with Tink, who spies a hammer hanging on one of the sale racks)

Tink: Look daddy. (Indicates hammer. It's a kind of funky green and caught her attention)

Me: Yeah.... you know what, I would do if I had a hammer? I'd hammer in the morning. Why...I'd hammer in the evening - all over this land! I'd hammer out danger...I'd even hammer out a warning. I'd hammer out love between all of our brothers... All - yes all - over this land. (I end my dramatic monologue with my arms spread wide, encompassing the great and awe-inspiring world around us)

Tink: (pause). What in the world are you talking about?

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Repost: The Squirrels In My Yard Are Conspiring Against Me

This is a repeat of a post I did a couple years ago that I remembered when reading Newscoma and her friend the Squirrel Queen. I hope they like it, and take it in a tongue-in-cheek spirit ;).

The Squirrels In My Yard Are Conspiring Against Me

The squirrels in my yard are conspiring against me.
I know that they're watching me walk.
I go to the mailbox to get today's paper,
While they all talk their chattery talk.

Beady eyes flicker as I step through the leaves,
Their minds gauge and ponder my gait.
"Will he go left today? Go right? Try to sprint?"
The little fiends wonder with hate.

Up in the treetops, tiny pencils are drawing,
Charts of my daily routines.
I don't know this for certain, though I'm sure what I feel,
It's the reason I'm weak in the knees.

I find the newspaper, little protection that it is,
And make plans to return to my home.
Their plans, however, are much bigger and bolder
And require things like plastine and chrome.

But for now things are quiet, they nibble and pause,
Storing up knives and meat cleavers.
But for all their malevolance, still I must say,
Thank God they're just squirrels and not beavers.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Friday's Feast

Feast One Hundred & Ninety Three

Appetizer - Do you consider yourself to be an optimist or a pessimist?

Oh, I'm very much an optimist. I see the good in people all the time, and rarely have a default negative outlook toward the world. Unless something has specifically wronged me, I generally think the best of them. And I expect it. And, surprisingly to a lot of other people, I usually get it. Take that, O thou cynical conventional wisdom!

Soup - What is your favorite color of ink to write with?

Black. Colored pens look odd.

Salad - How often do you get a manicure or pedicure? Do you do them yourself or go to a salon and pay for them?

Never had either one, never plan to have either one.

Main Course - Have you ever won anything online? If so, what was it?

I've won money from an online company that periodically distributed surveys for companies. I think I won a $50 Amazon Gift Certificate. I also won a Fandango movie ticket from the Blingo Search Engine once.

Dessert - In which room in your house do you keep your home computer?

We have a landing at the top of our stairs that the computer desk sits, as well as a large bookcase and a big fake tree. All the comforts of home...

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Life Finds a Way

John Hammond: All major theme parks have had delays. When they opened Disneyland in 1956, nothing worked, nothing.
Dr. Ian Malcolm: But, John. But if the Pirates of the Caribbean breaks down, the pirates don't eat the tourists.
Just pausing a moment to acknowledge the 15th Anniversary of the release of one of my favorite movies of all time, Jurassic Park.

One of the first Hollywood movies to convincingly showcase the power of CGI special effects and large-scale animatronics, Jurassic Park gave the world it's first taste of what live dinosaurs might really look like. No more stop-motion of the beloved Land of the Lost or merely live actors in suits or puppetry, but realistic, moving, running - and eating - dinosaurs.
Tim: What do you call a blind dinosaur?
Dr. Alan Grant: I don't know.
Tim: A Do-you-think-he-saurus.
Dr. Alan Grant: Ha ha. Good one.
Tim: What do you call a blind dinosaur's dog?
Dr. Alan Grant: You got me.
Tim: A Do-you-think-he-saurus Rex.
I have the John Williams soundtrack to this fantasic movie, and one of my favorite cuts from any soundtrack is cut #4, "Journey to the Island", the section where the helicopter flies in and lands, and Dr. Grant and the others see the herd of brachiosaurs for the first time. I sense the awe that Sam Neill and Laura Dern exhibit in the acting to be pretty close to what anyone would have seeing a giant dinosaur for the first time.

For kids of my generation, dinosaurs were a huge thing. We'd spent years watching old Ray Harryhausen movies, King Kong, and other attempts to capture the majesty of these creatures, but author Michael Crichton, director Steven Spielberg and producer Kathleen Kennedy truly brought them to life.

This is truly one of those movies you can come up on flipping channels late one night, and immediately have to put things down and watch it again. It's that fresh, engaging and enjoyable.

It spawned two sequels, the oddly dull Jurassic Park II: The Lost World which showcased a T-Rex running amok in San Diego and the surprisingly quirky Jurassic Park III that brought back Dr. Grant and somehow made Tea Leoni, William Macy and Michael Jeter (!) action heroes.

Reportedly, Jurassic Park IV is in production - although it's unknown precisely which actors may or may not be coming back, from what I hear Dr. Grant is out, but Ellie Sadler may be in. We'll see.

So happy, birthday Jurassic Park - thanks for bringing back a part of my childhood. In honor of that one of my favorite quotes from the movie:
John Hammond: There is no doubt that our attractions will drive children out of their minds.
Dr. Alan Grant: What are those?
Dr. Ellie Sattler: Small versions of adults, honey.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Speak Up Because Others Cannot

As some of you may know, a travesty is in the making regarding the University of Tennessee. Last week, the University of Tennessee proposed cutting the Department of Audiology and Speech Pathology in the College of Arts and Sciences; the Industrial and Organizational Psychology graduate program in the College of Business Administration; and the dance program, a minor concentration in the College of Education, Health and Human Services in a number-crunching move designed to help eliminate $11.1 million from next year's budget.

Take a look at those programs. To be honest, I don't know much about the Industrial and Organizational Psychology program, so I can't comment on that. I never had much official interaction with the dance program while I was majoring in Theatre at UT, but from time to time recitals would be presented in the Music Hall, where I had a work study position. As a student of the arts who's made it into a professional sideline, I am always wary about those who would cut the arts from any curriculum.

However, the Department of Audiology and Speech Pathology is a different animal. I want to tell you about a friend of mine, Hal Luper.

From his bio:
Dr. Harold Luper was head of the department of audiology and speech pathology from 1963-1986. He became director of the Hearing and Speech Center in 1966 when the center merged with the department. During his tenure, the first doctoral degrees were awarded and new clinical programs such as the UT Hospital Clinic, the Neuropathology program, and the Pediatric Language Clinic were added.
The Silverstein-Luper Building on the UT campus that houses the Hearing and Speech Center is partly named in his honor.

For several years, Dr. Luper sat beside me in the tenor section of the Bearden United Methodist Choir. When my wife and I first came to Bearden and joined the choir he was probably one of the first people I met. Soft-spoken with a gentle sense of humor and a keen mind, I looked forward to speaking with him every chance I could.

Unfortunately, about ten years ago while on a trip by himself to his native Portugal Hal tragically passed away. The news shocked us all... We've been very fortunate to continue to be blessed with his wife and daughter in our choir, as well as many other members of his family in the church. The family also owns and operates Naples restaurant on Kingston Pike, a local Italian favorite for many years.

But at the slash of a red pen, the department he worked so hard to build could come to an end.

My friendship with Hal and his family are my personal connection to the story. But there's a bigger reason to save this department - the work that they do for not only the dedicated students of audiology and speech pathology that have come through and continue to learn, but the many people the Speech Center has helped recover from such challenges as stuttering, voice and laryngeal disorders, hearing-impairments, children developmental and speech delays and other life-altering situations. According to current department head, Ilsa Schwarz:
The department clinic draws patients from as far as the Virginia and Kentucky border and is one of the largest university clinics of its kind in the U.S. There is an entire region of the state that will be without (an audiology and speech pathology) program.
The program has won national awards and great recognition in its field and more importantly has assisted many people with speech and hearing afflictions that otherwise may never have found the opportunity to live more productive lives.

Many local opinionists agree - today's News Sentinel editorializes:
Phasing out UT's [Audiology and Speech Pathology] program over the next couple of years might be - as one UT dean noted - 'the best of the bad choices under the circumstances,' but it will stand as a ringing indictment of the state's inability, if not unwillingness, to fund higher education at a level that encourages success and competitiveness in all areas instead of merely survival until the next round of budget cuts.
What can we do?

I have a list of all the email addresses of the UT Board of Trustees, including UT President John Peterson and Governor Phil Bredesen. Since I'm a nice guy and at least fairly ethical, I'm not going to post the email addresses online for fear of attracting spammers to their mailboxes but if you are as concerned about the possible loss of these departments as I am and are willing to contact these Board members and request that the decision be reconsidered, I'd be happy to give them to you. Simply email me at and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.

It's my understanding the final decision is set for a Board meeting next week. Time is of the essence. I'll try and find out for certain what the deadline is and update this post.

I know budget shortfalls are never easy to overcome. Not only are these departments threatened - campus administration may have to absorb $6.7 million in cuts, as well as other campus academic departments and chancellor areas. But of all the departments at UT that do good for not only the student population but the community in general, the Department of Audiology and Speech Pathology should have been one of the last ones to go. Please let your voice be heard and request the decision be reconsidered.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Meme from Trumwill

1. What is your occupation?
Website Coordinator for local healthcare system.

2. What color are your socks right now?

3. What are you listening to right now?
Mostly silence. The hum of my computer, the A/C, and the fluorescents of my office.

4. What was the last thing that you ate?
A little snack bag of Cheetos.

5. Can you drive a stick shift?

6. Last person you spoke to on the phone?
My wife, Laura, about a work project we were finishing up. She works for the same health system and she's occasionally one of my "clients".

7. Do you like the person who tagged you?
I wasn't really tagged, although Will said he thought I'd probably do it. I've never met Will in person but he seems like a nice guy. I've been reading his site for years.

8. How old are you today?
41. But tomorrow, who knows? I could suddenly by 5!

9. What is your favorite sport to watch?
Probably football. Any other time I would say baseball but I just haven't been into it as much these past few years.

10. What is your favorite drink?
Iced tea (sweet)

11. Have you ever dyed your hair?
Ha! Um, no.

12. Last time you hugged your child?
This morning before they left for camp.

13. Favorite food?
Pizza - pepperoni or meat lovers especially. Also fettuccine alfredo, tacos, popcorn and chips.

14. What was the last movie you watched?
Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Crystal Skull

15. Favorite day of the year?
I suppose Christmas, mostly because of the kids. But the hype leading up to Christmas throughout December and a lot of November dilutes the arrival of the actual day somewhat. I've grown more partial to Halloween the last few years for some reason.

16. How do you vent anger?
Most of the time I get sullen and quiet, giving people the silent treatment. Unfortunately other times I let my (worse) nature get the better of me and I can get a bit rude. Usually this happens in instances where I feel I've been wronged or mistreated, and need to assert myself again. Unfortunately this happens at work far too often.

17. What was your favorite toy as a child?
Star Wars Death Star action figure playset.

18. What is your favorite season?
I've fluxuated through my life from spring to summer to fall - now I'm back to spring again :) Never, ever, ever winter though. Useless toad of a season that is...

19. Ocean or pool?
Actually pool. I like to look at the ocean, I don't particularly care to get in it. Probably dates back to a particularly nasty jellyfish incident when I was a kid...

20. Cherries or Blueberries?

21. Do you want your family & friends to participate?
Sure, if they want. I don't have many offline friends or family that have blogs though. Big Orange Michael is by far the blogger I know the best in the offline world.

22. Who is the most likely to respond?
Not sure. Probably Logtar.

24. Living arrangements?
Live with the wife and kids!

25. When was the last time you cried?
I've answered this question in a couple other memes - sometimes the finality and future of my kids' lives will hit me out of nowhere and I'll just tear up. *sniff*

26. What is on the floor of your closet?
Shoes, dirty towels waiting to be washed.

27. Who is the family or friend you have known the longest that you are tagging?
No tags, but again it would be Michael.

28. What did you do last night?
Ate dinner with the family at Texas Roadhouse (both mine and Laura's steaks were undercooked and we had to send them back), went to church choir practice then to Target.

29. Hawaii or Florida?
I love going to Florida, especially Orlando so I would never pass up an opportunity to go back down there. But I've never been to Hawaii, and after learning so much about it from Becky's stay here, I'd love to see it. Count me in on a "both" on that question.

30. What inspires you?
My kids constantly inspire me to remember you don't have to lose innocence to exist in the world.

31. What are you most afraid of?
Failing those I care about. Irrelevancy and uselessness. I fear not succeeding, and being important in the things I do.

32. Plain, cheese or spicy hamburgers?
Cheese, please. With bacon if possible.

33. Favorite dog breed?
We have a beagle/basset hound mix (a "bagel"). I really like Cocker Spaniels, though...

34. Favorite day of the week?
Weekends are more or less like any other day except I just don't have to go to work so Saturdays and Sundays are not that big of a deal. For a long time I looked forward to Thursday because a lot of good TV shows were on that night, so I still feel Thursday's a good day. Hey, that's today!

35. How many states have you lived in?
Only Tennessee. I did stay for 3 months in Daytona Beach, FL when I worked for a summer at a repertory theatre, but I don't consider it "living" there.

36. Do you like these questionnaires?
I do, but only when the questions are fairly unique. I've answered some of these before here and there. I like real off-the wall questions that actually end up revealing something interesting about my or someone else's personality.

37. What kind of car did your very first date drive?
I haven't the slightest idea.

38. What is the last book you read?
I just finished "An Innocent Man" by John Grisham and "The Ruins" by Scott Smith. Would recomend the former, not the latter. I also recently finished "1633" by David Weber and am currently reading, "Dragonlance: Dragons of the Highlord Skies (The Lost Chronicles, Volume Two)" by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. There's nothing I like better than losing myself in the Dragonlance universe ;)

39. What are your hobbies?
Computer games, music.

40. Can you still make the Hula Hoop stay around your waist?
Never really could.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Heard on the Radio

Yesterday on the Terri and Lee Frank show on AM850 (a local ultra-conservative radio show I only listen to because they talk about local issues sometimes. And even then, it's only when Sports Talk's at commercial), they were railing about how global warming and how the "Libs" (their favorite term) misuse statistics to support their case.

Never mind that the "Pubs" do the same thing as regard to global warming, but that's not the point.

A guy called in to mention that the night before at a Knox County Commission meeting, local Commissioner Mark Harmon (that is it say, local DEMOCRATIC Commissioner Mark Harmon, who is definitely one of the only honorable ones on County Commission) mentioned that according to statistics, based on the national average of one policeman per 1,000 people nationwide, Knox County has 56 too many officers. Based on the statistics, Mr. Harmon made an observation.

I hope everyone understands what he did - he simply stated that, compared to the national average, Knox County is above that average in number of sheriff deputies. That's all. Not an endorsement of the idea, not a recommendation that we fire 56 deputies, nothing like that at all. That's extremely obvious, isn't it? Right?

Not according to Lee and Frank, as Frank proceeded to practically explode at the notion that this (every unflattering name in the book conservatives insult liberals with that can be said on the air) Democrat was calling for 56 deputies to be fired, just to make the national average. In this day of increased crime - and he proceeded to rattle off recent crimes that have been going on around the area - Harmon wants to decrease the amount of officers on the street! The nerve of this city-living, peace-loving, soft-on-crime LIBERAL!!

Folks, this is a prime example of what happens when we continue to separate into our two camps of liberal/conservative or Democrat/Republican. I'm confident Frank knew full well just what Harmon meant, but saw an opportunity to attack a liberal and took it. And those listening who follow that line of thinking I'm sure just ate it up.

The more we continue to follow this traditional liberal vs. conservative model as the way to define our lives, our politics and our leadership the worse things are going to get.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Because sometimes we all just need a little Bohemian Rhapsody...

"Lost" in Thoughts: Season Four Mega-Finale

I know it's been several days since the 2-hour season four "Lost" finale has aired, but I've had time to rewatch it, cogitate on it, and read a little commentary here and there. Here are my (for the moment) final thoughts on the episode and the season.

  • A big question regarding the Oceanic Six and the big "lie". Wasn't it reported in the (fictional) media that all the bodies of the passengers and crew of Oceanic 815 were located at the bottom of the ocean in the (fake) airplane? I seem to remember one of the TV reporters saying something like they'd counted all 88-odd irretrievable and unidentifiable bodies under the water. So then just the presence of the Oceanic Six (really the Eight because they did mention two other crash survivors that subsequently died) throws the cover story into question.

  • Some commenters have wondered how anyone could've moved the island before and the the ice/glass barrier that Ben had to break through (and subsequently cut himself) still be intact. My theory is that the same subterranean tunnel he disappeared into a few episodes back in the barracks to summon the Smoke Monster also leads to the Frozen Donkey Wheel room. Being that the barracks were cut off to him, he knew there was another entrance behind the Orchid "vault" and got in that way.

  • By the way, for those who don't know, "Frozen Donkey Wheel" is the term the producers of the show teased us with a month or so ago as the key to the season finale. And that's literally what the big thing was Ben turned to move the island - a Frozen Donkey Wheel.

  • Having everyone refer to Locke as "Jeremy Bentham", even among themselves, was a little silly as they all knew him better as John Locke. Especially Walt. But you kind of have to assume in some of those scenes they actually did say his name but the producers wanted us kept in the dark. So it was almost like a censor *bleep* - you know the *bleep* didn't come out of the guy's mouth, it was a bad word so you imagine what the bad word was (c'mon, you know you do). For most cases "Jeremy Bentham" was a *bleep* for John Locke.

  • Unless of course the body in the casket is Locke's long-lost clone Jeremy. Then all bets are off.

  • The first rule any person should know if they're dumped in deep water is to remove pants and shoes for easier swimming. Sawyer, being the cool Knoxville dude he is, only removes his shirt. Whatta guy.

  • I thought after viewing the episode for the first time, "Christian Shepherd" had whisked Michael away at the last second before the explosion. After seeing it again, I'm not so sure. I think in fact Michael is dead. So then why did Hurley tell Walt he was probably still alive? I know at that point in the episode we hadn't seen the boat blow up, but still... Maybe he's in that that kinda alive state that Claire exists in.

  • Speaking of Claire, listen to her speak to Kate with no accent. Creepy. Is Dream Claire appearing to Kate like Dream Horace appearing to Locke? Horace was indeed dead, but sorta a ghost. Is that Claire, too?

  • According to my count, eleven of the people on the island make it back to civlization at some point: Jack, Kate, Aaron, Sayid, Hurley, Sun, Ben, Locke, Desmond, Frank, and Walt. Seems strange that at this point we're supposed to believe the Oceanic Six don't hear from Des/Penny and Frank for three years...

  • Also still seems strange nobody goes to see Walt when they get home. Especially Hurley. He just shrugs when Walt questions him about it, so there must be another reason besides, "Sorry dude, we forgot..."

  • The Keamy dead/not dead fake-out was just wrong, wrong, wrong. In the clearing after Richard Alpert shot the mercenary while fighting with Sayid, to be in character Ben should've come up to the body and shot him a few more times, or stabbed him personally. We see now how emotionally headstrong Ben can be. Even if Keamy's eyes were starting open, someone should've - would've - checked his pulse to confirm he was dead. As it turns out, the boat would've blown then and thrown the whole plot into chaos, but it would've been much simpler to somehow have Keamy escape into the jungle and show up later at the Orchid station. As it was, having him "come back from the dead" smacks of B-movie horror flicks.

  • Locke also should've at least attempted to transfer the heartbeat monitor to himself when Keamy was dying. There would've been a few seconds interruption in the signal but it would've been better than no signal at all. Another bad characterization move for plot expediency.

  • Just an idle thought: was the Looking Glass station transported along with the Lost Island and the Hyrda Island? I just keep thinking of poor Charlie, still floating dead in that communication chamber...

  • I smell a bit of a rat in Sun's offer to assist Widmore. I just don't buy she's become as ruthless as her father in the interim time since buying controlling interest in his company. Her offer to join forces sounded more like baiting a trap. I wouldn't be surprised if by this time she's working tacitly with Ben and Sayid.

  • I firmly believe Jin jumped off the boat before the explosion and, like most of the other boat survivors and Daniel Faraday and his Rafties travelled with the island in its jump and all make it back to the island. The mix of Freighties and Losties now continue the struggle vs. Locke and the Others.

  • So Where Are They?

    Good question. Where is the island now? Did it move to another physical location in an ocean somewhere on Earth? That's possible, but it's also possible it moved forward in time - just like the bunnies did (although on a slightly larger scale). Trouble with the time thing, while it buys them some...ahem...time, it doesn't get them off the hook with Widmore. Assuming he's at least somewhat aware of the island's abilities, he simply has to wait till it shows up again in the same coordinates he originally sent the freighter. So it must've moved physically, and ahead in time.

    How far ahead? Not the full three years that the Oceanic Six have been back in the world. There needs to be time for all the "really bad stuff" to happen that Locke apparently tells them about. I'm thinking the logical amount would be, oh, say, 108 days?

    Of course I could be wrong and they went back in time to the year April 8, 1516 at roughly 11:42 pm...

  • So Where Does This Leave Us?

    Where do we start next season in the timeline? According to the timeline on Lostpedia (a very well-done resource for all things Lost) the island jumps on December 30, 2004 (my birthday!) and the Oceanic Six are rescued about a week or so after that. Over the span of the next three years, through the fall of 2007 the events of this season's flash-forwards occur. Ben and Jack talk in front of Locke's coffin sometime around September of 2007. The island and all its inhabitants have disappeared and the "present" time has caught up to the chronological beginning of the flash-forwards. What will be next season's main time period, and what will be the flashbacks and flash-forwards?

    I think a show like this has to be able to ground itself into a narrative reality, and with all the time-skipping Lost has done (both real jumping and narrative jumping) you have to have a "present" or a "now" for the general viewing public to hang on to. Up till now this has been easy... it now becomes a bit more difficult.

    I'm guessing they pick up the "present" storyline a while after the Oceanic Six return home. The biggest gap that we haven't seen detailed much is the time after Nadia is killed and Sayid joins Ben (Oct 2005) and before Jack begins seeing his father and drifts away from Kate and Aaron (Aug 2006). There are a couple of incidents that happen in between then (Sayid's first assassination mission, Kate's trial) but that's a lot of time for Locke to surface, take the identity of Jeremy Bentham, and start appearing to the Oceanic Six folks (and Walt). This could lead up through the events we saw with Locke's death and beyond.

    I'm thinking the island reappears the same "time" that Ben does - October 24, 2005. That would be about 300 days after they left (298 to be exact - I was SO hoping it would turn out to be 324 days after they left...i.e. (4+8+15+16+23+42=108) x 3, for the third jump the island's made. I know, I'm such a LostGeek). So if we pick the story about the time the island jumps back, we can see the "present" on the island and on the mainland at the same time.

    Just a thought. But the show really does have to have a "now" to keep everything balanced.

Monday, June 02, 2008

So Does This Mean We Finally Get Our Flying Cars?

Some downtown Knoxville streets are changing direction

I take this to mean these streets will now be going up-and-down instead of side-to-side, right?


Memorial Day in Colonial Williamsburg

Glass Musical Instruments in Williamsburg

While we were in Williamsburg, VA on vacation, we took in a concert by Dean Shostak, master of the crystal instruments. He played something called a "Glass Armonica", first invented by Ben Franklin and composed for by Mozart in the mid-18th Century. It was lost for years, and only rediscovered as viable musical instrument in the early 1980's.

He also demonstrated a beautiful glass violin:

As well as a set of glass handbells:


(You might want to bump up the volume a bit to hear the music)