Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Fill In The Blanc

Today is the birthday of one of my favorite actors of all-time, Mel Blanc, who was born in 1908. While Mr. Blanc passed away in 1989, his work will probably live on forever.

He is responsible for the voices of so many beloved characters, it would be impossible to name them all.

Or would it??

In honor of Melvin Jerome Blanc, fill in as many of his voiced characters as you can (without cheating), and I'll let you know when "Th-th-th-that's all, folks!"

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Friday, May 26, 2006

Well Wishing

So much I do and don’t want to say here.

When Ken proposed this blog back in December, I thought it was the greatest idea. Both of us were excited about starting something new and – hopefully – different both for ourselves and here in the blogsphere. Our two or three main reasons for starting The Realm, though there were others, were to 1) have fun in an avenue of writing that would let us be creative and express thoughts that we had that wouldn’t go conveniently into our novels, 2) try to get the Pearce & Story name out to people who otherwise wouldn’t know us so that when our novels did see the light of day (and Dorkman’s coming – with more to follow – there’s no doubt about that), our market would be somewhat expanded, and 3) to honor Christ in all of our efforts. In retrospect, we probably receive mixed reviews in all three categories.

One thing about blogging, especially for one with an obsessive and addictive personality, is that it takes up gargantuan amounts of time and focus. Perspective is what decides whether that time and focus is beneficial or wasted – and here again… mixed reviews. From the start (believe it or not), huge chunks of the free time I had in everyday life were spent in thinking up posts for The Realm – in the morning, in the evening, throughout the day, and sometimes into the late night.

Like a hammer pounding a nail, it’s been brought to my attention in a plethora of ways that a lot of the time I have used dwelling on the blog has taken away from other important obligations I have sort of dismissed. There’s no question, I totally enjoy blogging, and the medium could dominate my life if I let it. But the matter of fact is, right now, too many important things have taken a backseat to something I selfishly enjoy. Starting the list: my quiet times, my novel and short story writing, my career/job, my children, and my wife, to name a few. When I weigh who and what I’ve hurt compared to anything or anyone I’ve helped, the scale is imbalanced in such a way that it’s very difficult, despite my longing to continue blogging, to see it as the right thing to do. Not that I’ll give it up forever, probably, but for now, it’s not worth the cost.

So… for the time being and any foreseeable future, I’m going to leave The Realm of Possibility in the able and capable hands of my great friend, brilliant writer, and diabolical genius, Ken Story. In the past, we’ve discussed adding other writers to the blog, and perhaps Ken will do that. We’ll no doubt, continue to give Dorkman updates. I’m still hoping that The Realm hits 500 posts and continues on and on. Believe me when I say, these last six months have been awesome. The Realm of Possibility has meant, means, and will continue to mean a great deal to me. So keep having fun here. No sad goodbyes in The Realm.

On a more personal note, I want to thank everyone who has ever come to The Realm, the lurkers and especially those that have commented. All of you guys I consider friends, and hypocritical that it is and hypocrite that I am, I encourage you all to keep blogging. I’ve received eternal benefits from the blogsphere, and I thank you all for the posts you have written. That said, I’m going incognito for a while in the blog universe to take a break and reestablish some of the more important relationships I have. I love you all, and once again: THANK YOU!!!

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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Polk Salad Alli's

A coworker recently pointed out to me that alligators have gotten tired of all the publicity that sharks have been getting and decided it's time for their fifteen-minutes of fame.

Ride, ride, ride, hitchin' a ride

Wild Thing, you make my heart sink

On the Road Again

I Always Feel Like Somebody's Watchin' Me...

Just slip out the back, Jack

Tie a Yellow-belly Gator 'round the old oak tree...

All I can say is it's a a good thing Steve Irwin's decided to expand his clientele. I mean what's next? Will they head into the shoe stores, too?

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Saturday, May 20, 2006

You Get More For Your Money...

Usually, I'll see a moral to these kind of stories, but I'm not sure what it would be here. Go barefoot?

Bizarre story!!

Rabid Bat Bites Boy At Payless

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Thursday, May 18, 2006

Round Here

Let's see what's going on in blogs we know and love:

codepoke's got a series of posts [I, II, III, IV] on leadership in the church, how it's integral with the family, and specifically, how divorce affects an individual's role in a church and its leadership. A lot of these posts are intensely personal, and the comments get pretty personal pretty quickly in a couple of them. Well worth the read even if, somehow, you haven't been affected by marital discord, separation, or divorce -- and since you'll probably, at some point, run into someone who has been affected, it'd be good to understand a different POV.

Along the same lines, imonk's got a couple posts on the subject of divorce, remarriage, and The Gospel (1 & 2).

Over at Maeghan's Daily Ponderings, her devotional blog, Maeghan has started her exegesis on Romans, and she's in Chapter 6 right now. Here are her takes on verses 1, 2, and 3. And all of you guys well know, anytime I get a chance to throw around terms that I have only vague understanding of -- words exactly like: exegesis, eisegesis, hermeneutic -- you know I'm taking it! At Maeghan's Musings, a touch of the lighter side, she has some cool posts as well. I especially enjoyed her list of quotes that she's collected over the years. Some really good ones in there.

In case your interested, Jared from Thinklings is now a fellow at the BHT. This post made it official. Now, you can read Jared's writings at about a dozen different places.

Loved this post from Bill at Out of the Bloo. But don't stop with just one.

At The Milly Times, she's got a post that makes me think Ken and I aren't the only ones who have no free time in our lives. We're just the ones who complain about it the most. Well, I do the complaining, and Ken just avoids posting at all costs.

Todd keeps on keeping on at Beauty Out of Ugly Things with a post that hits on Communion as well as a few others since the last time I checked around the blogsphere. Always meaty, always good -- characteristics that you don't always find here in The Realm, to say the very least.

There are others, no doubt, and I'm sorry if I missed you. Oh, and I forgot to mention that Douggie and b have forgotten their blogs!!! b, at least, has the pregnancy/final exams excuse that just doesn't cut it for Douglas. Really, I'm just kidding. If nothing else, I know how busy people can get. The lack of depth and lack of thought in most of the posts we've laid down lately has a lot to do with that same busy-ness. I'm officially giving our Blog a "D-" for the last couple of weeks; it just hasn't been very good. Nonetheless, we're just looking for a light at the end of that tunnel. And hoping.

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Chick Turned One Yesterday and I Had Some Semi-Related Thoughts

My daughter, that is.

This is the way we do things: my younger son's fifth b-day was in March, but his Kingdom Birthday Party was last weekend. My girl's first b-day was yesterday, which means her party will come, say, maybe sometime in August -- which so happens to be when my birthday is. And, of course, I'm getting to the point where birthdays aren't celebrated so much as hidden and locked under old freezer chests until they suffocate to the point of saying, "Uncle!" and are mentioned no more. My oldest son turns eight in September, and he can just STOP!!!

It truly is amazing how fast time goes. Do you guys remember (and I know this is asking a lot for some of us) when you were young and summer vacation came around? Man, I thought it lasted forever, at least in those years before I was ten. Christmas just never came -- you had to wait like ten years for it. And, unfortunately, when the school year did come around, it was eternal.

Then, something happened and time sped up... Enough of the melancholy.

Anyway, I now have a one-year old girl crawling around the house and cruising when she can. As a prize, she got to go to the pediatrician today for her one year old check-up and got three shots. "Thanks, Daaaaad!" She did well, though. Hardly cried at all. I'm sure she'll be a little sore throughout the day -- but her Nana's got her ;) She'll be all smiles when I go to get her tonight after the Angels' (who are now somehow 4-4-1) baseball game.

Just as important I suppose is that there will be many women playing Bunko at my house tonight, so thank goodness for baseball!!!

The whole point of this post -- well, really there wasn't one -- is that my daughter turned one, and God has blessed me in the greatest of ways. She is a delight, and I love her with everything. It's nice to love like that, isn't it?

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Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Battle of the Presidents

Who are you voting for in the next election?

And why was the guy on the left giving some speech on Monday pre-empting the usual television shows, when we all know that President Charles Logan, the absolute worst president in the history of the United States of America rivaled by only the late former President David Palmer and his administration, was "leading" the country down the tubes and into terrorist' hands in the latest day-long crisis that's come up, since that's the disaster we've all been tuned into?

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Silly Song Lyrics

Over at the Thinklings, they had a post about the Worst 111 songs. Since I can't leave well enough alone, I thought it might be fun to post some of the silliest lyrics that we've heard in songs that are supposed to be somewhat serious. Here were two I quoted over there:

Way down yonder on the Chattahoochie
It gets hotter than a hoochie coochie

-- Chattahoochie, Alan Jackson

and, from one of my fav bands of all time:

She’s so beautiful now,
She doesn’t wear her shoes

-- Let's Go, The Cars

Almost without exception, I love The Cars music. Great hooks, music well put together, excellent pop. But what in the world does someone not wearing shoes have to do with how beautiful they are? It's just a classic, "Huh?" headturner in an otherwise fantastic song. Likewise, in Jackson's Chattahoochie, are hoochie coochies hot? In fact, are hoochie coochies anything at all?

Welcome to the world of the musical senseless. Do you guys have examples of lyrics that just leave you dumbfounded in their idiocy when you listen to them? The list is long and plentiful, I'm quite certain. Give as many as you can.

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Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Balaam's Ass -SQOTW

yeah i've always wandered by this riverside
i've always wondered what it's like to be more than alive
yeah the boss man says, "i'd advise you resist."
i just nod my head and look off in the distance, nod my head and look off in the distance

these days i never go out looking much
or feeling my best
i'm sorry! i'm sorry! i'm sorry! this stuff
it clings to my flesh

one is men's hearts that are failing for fear.
two see the carnage strewn on the shore.
three are the life boats full to capacity?
four is there room for just one more?
five you will feel like the great wallenda,
six as he stepped out over tallulah gorge.
seven i will bind myself to the truth
and speak it like balaam's ass once more.

-- Balaam's Ass, Vigilantes of Love, from the CD Blister Soul

Not much to say about these lyrics except how much imagery I get from them. The first verse speaks reflectively on what it means to really be alive. Then, the short bridge comments on the depression of loathing that part of yourself - the sin and love of self - that you cannot seem to get rid of. Lastly, there's the pounding chorus numbered off. The singer sees the state of mankind, asks if he can jump in with all those trying to save themselves, but finally decides to step out in faith and bind himself to the Lord.

I've been to Tallulah Falls and the Tallulah Gorge several times. I've attached a pic of the place where the Great Wallenda (of the Great Wallendas) crossed over on a tight rope. It's spectacular in its beauty, but as I'm one that's deathly afraid of heights, when you get too close to the edge of the cliff walls, fear seems to block out the grandeur. All I can think of is, "I don't want to fall." Unfortunately, that can be reminiscient of life too often. Instead of taking a step forward in faith, a la Indiana Jones in The Last Crusade movie, I'm running with others searching for my place on the life boat.

One major truism I've found in my walk with God is that He doesn't let me spend an inordinate amount of time in my comfort zone. Let me be clear: I'm a person that LOVES my comfort zone. If I could, I'd probably ball up in a fetal position and spend all my time there. However, it's hard to love others there, and it's certainly easy to love myself. I'm an easy target for certain, shall I say, luxuries of life, and, like Balaam, though my tongue might speak the right words, my actions betray me. Sooner of later, I'm kicking my ass - figuratively speaking - when the Holy Spirit starts goading me and I don't want to go. However, whenever anything profitable has come from my life at all, it's usually because, like Wallenda, I've stepped out from where I feel safe, and I've gone where God wants me to go -- or at least where I've thought He's wanted me to go.

Writing with Ken has been one of those things. There's not a long list because, like I said, I love my comfort zone. Best thing for me, however, is bind myself to the Truth, and speak like Balaam's ass.

Sidenote: For those of you guys who think I picked this song just so I could use the word "ass" a few times in a post, you win a prize - cuz it was cool :). Is that what you thought I was gonna say?

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Monday, May 15, 2006

Update to Know Your Shakespeare # 2,371,839

UPDATE: Few entered, even less won. Astonishing. The prize was going to be a fishing pole whereby you could go out on either your real or imaginary boat and fish and dwell upon William Shakespeare's plays, sonnets, and poems for hours at a time. Probably a cane pole as we're monetarily starved here in The Realm of Possibility for the moment. Alas, no one guessed correctly.

William Shakespeare was Dog # 2. Thank you for playing.

Perhaps an easier contest coming your way soon. Such as: What the X is the 24th letter in our English alphabet? Or better yet, what is the fourth whole integer in a numeric line starting with the integer 1? But we'll see. We've got to get a contest here that somebody gets right sometime.

So keep on playing and please, please, please ignore my sarcastic barbs. As we know, only little, tiny, spineless, amoeba-like blog hosts throw sarcastic barbs at the very people nice enough to comment on their ridiculous posts.


Which one of these dogs is named William Shakespeare? DON'T CHEAT!!!


Three:......................................................................... Four:

Five:.......................................................................... Six:

MANY CAN WIN!!! Few will enter.

Will let you know who wins sometime before eternity starts. I think.

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Poetic License

As my wife was presented with a rose for Mother's Day, I was reminded of my favorite poem:

A Red, Red Rose

O MY Luve 's like a red, red rose
That 's newly sprung in June:
O my Luve 's like the melodie
That's sweetly play'd in tune!

As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in luve am I:
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a' the seas gang dry:

Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi' the sun;
I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o' life shall run.

And fare thee weel, my only Luve,
And fare thee weel a while!
And I will come again, my Luve,
Tho' it were ten thousand mile.
-- Robert Burns, 1759-1796

Here's to the feelings that putting one right word after another can create.

Perhaps I'm the only adherent of Romanticism in the group or perhaps you have a favorite that causes you to wax rhapsodic as well.

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The Party

My son's 5-year old birthday party, the one for which I had been building the castle, ended up a magical celebration for the boy. We had Sir Lancelot leading a dubbing ceremony, where our son was crowned king and all the other children were dubbed lords and ladies of the realm. Following that, Merlin put on a magic show that entranced the forty or so lads and lasses that attended. We, then, had a treasure hunt for kingdom jewels that were hidden somewhere in the yard. Before the pizza and cake, we presented a check to the Children's Hospital - one of those big placard checks - which said we had raised $1,000 but in reality it's a little more. The doctor that had done my son's surgery when he was three months old (my boy, not the doctor, of course) accepted the donation. He's the one with the vision to take volunteer services to the poor in Alabama and later nationwide, so we feel like that's a great cause. A friedn had come over and baked a three-layer castle cake that looked truly marvelous. Picture the witch's sweet-laden cottage in Hansel and Gretel, and then imagine it's a castle instead. That's how it appeared.

My 14-year old nephew and I finished the castle about an hour and a half before party-time, and that's after I took Friday off to work on it and then the two of us pulling an all-nighter (well, we finally went to sleep at 5:00 a.m., but I was back awake at 7:45 and he at 9:00. So really, there wasn't much sleep, and I was living off fumes for the party and clean-up. Still kind of am a day and a half after.

Nonetheless, the castle ended up looking grand. Four towers/turrets with long walls, a drawbridge that could be raised and lowered (which, granted, is what makes it a drawbridge), and a portcullis. We painted "stones" on the towers, giving the castle a real look. And, in the end, it passed every test. The kids loved it, the adult guests thought we had bought it, my wife stated it was more than she ever imagined, and it even took a beating from the late Saturday night storm, withstanding the torrential rains and wind. So we received a passing grade. I do have to confess, without my totally game nephew (I had vastly underestimated the work), the structure would not have gotten finished in time for the party -- thank you Lord for him.

Seeing how seriously the kids took the dubbing, watching them transfixed by the magic show, and then having sword fights galore across the back yard -- and lastly, getting to hear kids as they walked away say things like, "That party was sooooo AWESOME!!!", well, it almost makes me think all those late nights and the all-nighter were worth it. But the crowner that does make every minute and dollar invested worth it is knowing that through my son's eyes, he couldn't have had a better party. My first remembrances (now) are when I was a five year old, and I'm betting his oldest memories, once he's grown, might be of this party - and that's kind of a cool thought.

On a separate but related note, my older son (7 year old) and I were talking late last night as I was putting him to bed - and we discussed how while we were having this fun party, there are other Christians in all parts of the world that cannot have these kinds of events, either because of their government laws, poverty, they don't have the resources, etc. It's good to keep everything in perspective, and I'm so pleased, in a fatherly sort of way, that my eldest son sees how much excess we have and has compassion for others. Obviously, it's one thing to talk about having compassion and another thing to show it, but it has to start with the seeing. And then having a soft heart. And he does have a tender heart. God couldn't have given me a better gift -- and it wasn't even my party.

Bottom-line: Banner castle! Banner party! Banner weekend! I'm so glad it's over...

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Friday, May 12, 2006

Best of KCS (or Ken Story's Greatest Hits Post)

Since I've been out building a castle the last couple days, I haven't been able to post. The big party is tomorrow, so Saturday's probably out, too (I'll give the party update on Monday). Due to the lack of activity here at The Realm, I've decided to run a Best of KCS list of posts links to keep you guys occupied for the next couple of days. The CD cover pic is pasted over there on the left. As we know, Ken's the Big Train!

So turn down the lights, and turn up the neons. Point the lights on Ken and let him shine. This is his 15 minutes of fame! Drum roll please. Here's your Ken Story Greatest Hits list of links (Ba Ba Ba Bum!!!)

wow. That was a short list.

Would you believe I wasted our 300th post of all time on this? Go figure.

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Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Sesame Street Humor

Got these and thought they were a little funny.

Have you guys seen these before?


This second one is just wrong! Look at Ernie and Bert's faces. Holy Pavlov's Dog, Batman!

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Agent Aaron Pierce Upholding the Namesake

On last week's 24, the previews to next week's episode shows the return of our favorite thin-lipped secret service agent, that being, of course, Agent Aaron Pierce. Perhaps, if anyone else out there watches the show (if not, what a misappropriate post this is, but then, I fall into that trap all the time, don't I?) you thought he was dead as characters on this drama, aside from Jack Bauer, have a way of finding themselves literally breathless more often than not. And ~ chances are, he will die... but not yet he hasn't. Since he shares my same last name, albeit the show producers like all my school teachers growing up, have spelled his name wrong, I have a particular affection for the fellow. Obviously, the name should be Agent Aaron "Pearce," the properly phonetic Welsh spelling of the name, and henceforth on this post, Aaron Pearce it shall be.

Being as how I'm an expert on the name of "Pearce" and in the field of Pearce-knowledge, I just wanted to let you guys know how well, or not, our favorite SSA is upholding the namesake.

On the positive side, just coming up like he did from basically a White House go-fer in the David Palmer administration to becoming President Palmer's Chief of the Secret Service Agent Staff of America and All Over the World, that's pretty good and, without a doubt, resembles something a Pearce might well do. Also, as we noted in next week's previews, Agent Pearce is a glutton for punishment when he's loyal to a cause. Under no uncertain terms, bloody-faced and all, he calls out the evil-weasel-and-near-suicide-victim-except-for-a-saving-phone-call-from-the-one-person-who-may-rival-the-evil-weasel-President's-evil-weaselness, that being President Charles Logan, as a, well, let me quote, "You're a disgrace to the Office of the President!" Very, very Pearce-like, I have to say. The best and most Pearcealian attribute our good agent has is the ventiloquist-like talent to talk without hardly at all moving his ultra thin lips. Not that thin lips are a notable quality of Pearces, but we certainly say a lot of stuff without moving our lips, or at least we try. "What'd you call me?" I ask my brother. "My lips didn't move. I didn't say nothin'," he'll respond. Oh, but I heard it. No mistaking that word. So, yes, Agent Aaron Pearce has some quality Pearce attributes that add to the reality of the show for me.

Aaaaaaah, but on the downside, there's the whole subtle, covert, seemingly platonic romance between our fair agent and the First Lady. Now, this is something the nation doesn't need to see. I'm not saying a Pearce might not experience some kind of romantic attraction for a President's wife - although that certainly hasn't been my experience - but this? This??? If it wasn't for Mike Novak coming in and catching Agent Pearce and Mrs. Logan holding hands earlier in the season, I'm fairly sure the viewing audience would have been subjected to a excruciatingly nauseous make-out session between the two, which, no doubt, would have reminded us all of Henry Fonda asking Katherine Hepburn, in On Golden Pond, "You wanna dance or suck face?" Uh, please dance. Good thing there's Novak, huh? Redirecting Agent Pearce. Sometimes we Pearces need to be reminded just exactly what our job is. "Is your job dropping moves on the First Lady or is it being in charge of everything Secret Service from now until the end of time - or at least your time as you're likely to die sooner or later on this show?" Methinks it's the latter.

Speaking of which, I probably need to be doing my job in getting to work.

On a more serious note, I sorta think here in The Realm, despite all my best intentions and former posts, there are a "ton more people" (a relative phrase meaning: about 5 of the 6 of us) watching American Idol than there are viewing 24. Which is a royal shame. If you wanted to listen to gray-haired men or men with shaved heads sing, me and Ken, respectively of course although Ken's head isn't shaved all the way even after the worst of his haircuts, could sing for you and save you the trouble. Meanwhile, you wouldn't be wasting your time if it was well spent watching the best TV show of our lifetimes, notwithstanding Seinfeld. So, so sad... what's a matter with these kids today? (Not that I want to sound patronizing or condescending to subjects of The Realm, but I guess I just did.)

So lemme just ask this if any of you read this far: Do any of you guys know who or what I'm talking about at all?

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Movie Tag, You're It!

How well do you guys know your movie tag lines? Heck, how well do I know them? Tag lines are at the top or bottom of movie posters -- as opposed to movie slogans, such as "I'll be back!" from Terminator. Here's a quiz I got from this site, and quoting from it, here's what it says about tag lines and the quiz:

Taglines appear at the bottom of movie posters and in movie trailers. Taglines can sell the premise of a film, they can tease you with excitement, sex, violence, and scares, or they can just be funny. Collected below are the the famous and infamous, the funniest, and most groan-inducing taglines Hollywood ever wrote.

(Obviously, you can go to the site and cheat, but why not test yourself against the rest of The Realm to see who is the movie tag line king or queen? And, sadly, we'll also find out who the movie tag line joker is as well.)

Update: Since I don't grade on a curve and all The Realm denizens seemed to be failing, maybe I tested too hard - sorry Millie, since you've already looked. So now I'm including some hints.

1) A comedy about fear of commitment, hating your job, falling in love and other pop favorites. Hint: Top 5 lists

2) A Masterpiece Of Modern Horror Hint: Red rum

3) A nervous romance. Hint: A neurotic, New Yorkian director

4) A tale of murder, lust, greed, revenge, and seafood. Hint: Listed as a favorite comedy on my Side-splitter post

5) All his life, Ray Kinsella was searching for his dreams. Then one day, his dreams came looking for him. Hint: Sports movie

6) Can two friends sleep together and still love each other in the morning? Hint: High maintenance Meg

7) Coming To Save The World This Summer. Hint: Ernie Hudson

8) Don't Go in the Water Hint: Dun-dun-dun-dunt... Dun-dun-dun-dunt... Dunt-ta-Dunt-ta Dunt-ta, Dunt-ta... DUN!

9) Ever wanted to be someone else? Now you can. Hint: A second John Cusack movie on this list so far

10) Everyone has one special thing. Hint: Markie Mark

11) Family Isn't A Word... It's A Sentence. Hint: Royalty

12) Fear can hold you prisoner. Hope can set you free. Hint: "Brooks was here." then "Red was here."

13) Five Criminals. One Line Up. No Coincidence. Hint: codepoke's comment

14) Five Total Strangers Team Up For The Perfect Crime.They Don't Know Each Other's Name. But They've Got Each Other's Number Hint: Tarantino

15) He is afraid. He is alone. He is three million light years from home. Hint: Ow-oooch

16) He Saw The World In A Way No One Could Have Imagined. Hint: Jennifer Connelly was in it.

17) His whole life was a million-to-one shot! Hint: A. Creed

18) How the future began. Hint: T.. R.... S....

19) In space no one can hear you scream. Hint: Dallas, Parker, Brett, c'mon this one's too easy

20) In Vietnam The Wind Doesn't Blow. It Sucks. Hint: War movie that's not Platoon

21) It's the hottest day of the summer. You can do nothing, you can do something, or you can... Hint: Mars Blackman

22) Just because they serve you doesn't mean they Like you. Hint: 16 year olds' minimum pay gig

23) Leisure Rules Hint: Ben Stein's first movie

24) Love Kills Hint: S & N

25) Man is The Warmest Place to Hide. Hint: Kurt Russell Sci-Fi

26) Mischief. Mayhem. Soap. Hint: Brad Pitt

27) Never give a saga an even break! Hint: Mel Brooks

28) Never let her out of your sight. Never let your guard down. Never fall in love. Hint: Cheesy songstress. Cheesy actor.

29) No One Gets Away Clean Hint: Don Cheadle's in it

30) Not every gift is a blessing. Hint: I See Dead People (there's a gimme now)

31) On The Air. Unaware. Hint: Not The Mask

32) Paul Sheldon used to write for a living. Now, he's writing to stay alive. Hint: Bates

33) Tea At Four. Dinner At Eight. Murder At Midnight. Hint: Dame Maggie Smith

34) The Day We Fight Back Hint: Firecrackers

35) The first casualty of war is innocence. Hint: _____, Halt!

36) The greatest fairy tale never told. Hint: Farquaad

37) The Man... The Music... The Madness... The Murder... The Motion Picture... Hint: Falco

38) The most devastating detective story of the century! Hint: Bob Woodward

39) The Story That Won't Go Away Hint: Magic bullet

40) The Ultimate Trip. Hint: This date and its journey has come and gone

41) They have a plan, but not a clue. Hint: Clooney

42) They stole his mind, now he wants it back. Hint: Governor of California

43) They're young... they're in love... and they kill people. Hint: They're outlaws

44) This time it's war Hint: Believe It or Not

45) We are not alone Hint: Which kind?

46) We could tell you what it's about. But then, of course, we'd have to kill you. Hint: Poitier

47) You Won't Believe Your Eye. Hint: Mike

48) In The Game Of Seduction, There Is Only One Rule: Never Fall In Love Hint: Dangerous Liasons of the Teenage Kind

49) This Summer, Evil Meets It's Moose. Hint: Boris & Natasha

50) If you see only one movie this summer, see Star Wars. But if you see two movies this summer, see... Hint: SNL

51) Be afraid. Be very afraid. Hint: Goldblum

52) Be Unafraid. Be Very Unafraid. Hint: Snadler's imp

53) Be Afraid. Be Kind of Afraid. Hint: Right Raggy

54) It's 4 A.M., do you know where your car is? Hint: Harry Dean Stanton

That's it. Just 54 of them, but at least it's enough for everyone to get at least some of them. I don't think anyone will get them all. Some of them are a little obscure, but most of them are movies you're probably aware of. Also, which one do you think is the best of all these, and which one is the MOST groan-inducing. Put all your answers in the comments so we can see just how movie-smart you are.

Have fun!

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Tuesday, May 09, 2006


if you got a good home to go to
it's cool i guess i'll say
homeward bound and we touched down
there at the jfk
i'd like to forget that moment
there's the curse of video tape
screaming and all the clenched fists
spit rolling down my face

late at night tv's on
the kids are off to bed
under the haze of the cathode ray
step out of the cargo bay
women and children take them out first
the whole thing feels so hopeless
smile or a handshake and lookout baby
here comes the plastic explosive

ah take me down to the saigon river
ah take me down to the china sea
put myself unreservedly
in the stars and stripes forever
i got a little cauterized brain and a heart shot off at the knees
i got a little cauterized brain and a heart shot off at the knees
i got a little cauterized brain and a heart shot off at the knees

-- Vet, Vigilantes of Love, from the Welcome to Struggleville CD

Here are two of the verses and the chorus from Vet, a song Bill Mallonee wrote for a friend while working at Charter Winds Hospital. However you feel about the Vietnam War, I think it'd be difficult to listen to this song without being affected by the vivid and disturbing imagery from the POV of a Vietnam War vet.

It's too easy to say, "We take our armed forces for granted," when, then, we continue on doing what we do giving them hardly any thought as we live our lives. I'm sure many veterans would say that's why they do what they do -- so we can live our lives in freedom. But for us, those words should sound pretty hollow.

The sacrifices made by the men and women that fought in that war, and in others, aren't encapsulated just in the number of service personnel that died and for the years they served fighting abroad. Those years never leave the people that fought in them. My father-in-law fought in Korea, should have died, had great friends that did die, and to this day, he'll hardly ever talk about it. War doesn't leave them. They live on, but those remembrances are engrained, and we should all remember and respect them to our utmost. And, of course, as Jesus commands, love them as we should love everyone.

They've done something for which we owe countless sums, an intangible debt that can't be repaid. At the very least, let's think about them.

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Bluejeans Believe It or Not

I've now talked to a guy who actually purchased a $1,200.00 pair of jeans. That's correct. One thousand two hundred dollars. (Tax not included.) He's employed by my company, albeit he lives and works in Texas. My first thought was... only in California, but NO! San Antonio, Texas.

Maybe some of the Thinklings guys from Houston sport these babies. Or b! She's in Texas. Perhaps she's running around in these duds. How 'bout in Oklahoma, Millie? That's close to Texas. Without much hesitation, I can say I haven't seen $1,200 jeans here in H-ville, AL. And as long as I'm on this earth, I don't think I'll ever don denim that feels nice enough for which I'd shell out over a grand. I hear I should never say never, but even if the dollar hyperinflates, I can't see it. It ain't happening. I feel stuffy enough whenever I'm in a suit, and it's been a year or two since I've had one of those blasted things on.

But I digress. Remember Ken's The Hardest Things to Find post? Well, I never would have thought I'd find a guy wearing $1,200 jeans. $1,200 worth of denim. Will wonders never cease? Anyone in retail want to take an educate guess at the mark-up on those puppies? (Probably about $1,200 dollars, give or take.) Anyhoo, if it was on Ken's list, which it wasn't -- but if it was -- then we could cross it off, because I've found the guy wearing them.

Did I mention he lives in Texas?

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Something's Going On

All morning long and now into the afternoon, I haven't been able to see our blog... well, nothing but the header quote. Yet, I can write and publish a post like this one that no one will be able to read until the blog comes back up, which, of course, we hope happens in our lifetimes because if not, no one will ever get to read what I'm writing now.

Heeeeeeeeeey now. That gives me an idea. Just for the fun of it! I can say whatever I want, and no one can read it, heh heh heh.


Oops. What's that old saying about character is what you are when no one's watching?

Then, I guess, er, Ken is a nice goon?

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Sunday, May 07, 2006

Secret Passageways

I still have fond memories of a trip to the Biltmore mansion as a kid. There are a lot of cool things about it. Worth a trip if you're near Ashville, NC and have some time (i.e. not trying to get to Williamsburg, VA as quick as you can).

But my favorite thing about it was discovering a secret passageway. During the guided tour, which is very interesting and informative by the way, I happened to notice three small circles in the doorframe of one of bedrooms. They were nearly invisible, but the light caught the wood grain just right from where I was standing. Unfortunately, they were too far inside the velvet rope for me to do any further investigation. So, at the end of the tour guide's spiel, she asked if there were any questions, and I spoke up and asked about the circles.

The tour guide was unaware of what I was talking about, but walked over to examine the spot, and ran her fingers over the wood. Remarking that they seemed to be some kind of buttons, she fiddled with them until we all heard a click and a crack in the wall appeared. A gasp from the crowd was followed by one man's opinion that it was a door. After his comment, it suddenly appeared to all that he was correct and with some effort, the guide managed to prove him right by pulling that section of wall back to reveal a dark, musty passageway behind it.

The tour guide swore that this was the first time that she had ever been aware of this particular feature of the house, but speculated that its purpose was to permit house valets and servants access to the various rooms without having to be seen by the VIPs of the house in the general hallways. Now the cynic in me, figures that it is most likely that this passage was not entirely unknown to the estate curators, but that doesn't detract at all from the buzz that was created within our tour group for the rest of the day or from the feeling of adventure it gave to a young boy.

Now, as part of an adventure novel that Rich and I are writing, I've been doing some research on secret rooms and passageways. And I've run across some interesting Internet sites that are linked below for your amusement. Maybe it's not too late for me to build a secret room in my own humble mansion for a young boy or girl to find when they tour a famous author's home one day.


Abbey Darned

The Under Warehouse aka We don't need no stinking badges

From the "You Can Make a Secret Room, But You Can't Burn a DVD?" Department

For only 10 Gr Installed, You Too Can Head Down to Granpa's Lab Under the Stairs

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Friday, May 05, 2006

"R" vs. "K"

In this corner is Rich.

In that corner was Ken.

Ken is now dead. That has to be the reason he's not posting. As I told Dugalug before (and he dared to mock - at his own peril):

Fear the Rich

Sorry if you were cheering for the other guy. If so, you lost.

(By the way, is that a mansierre on Ken in the picture over there on the right? Is that a skirt and high heels on Ken? Now, I almost feel bad for doing him in... naaaaaaaaaah.)

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"X" vs. "S"

Now that the promos for the first of the biggies are out, it's time to make the official call on which Summer of 2006 superhero movie we're looking forward to more.

In the left corner, we have the third installment of Marvel's most successful superhero team. The first two movies of the series, albeit under director Bryan Singer (now the director of the competition), were major successes, and along with the Spider-Man movies helped revolutionize the superhero movie genre. In this, the third episode, we have a mutant antibody -- a "cure" for the gene that evolves humans into mutants, a human-mutant war waged by Magneto, not to mention the Dark Phoenix saga to which the former movie alluded. That's right ladies and gentleman, we have the defending champion of the superhero-team movies: X-Men III: The Last Stand!

Facing off against the Juggernaut (pun intended -- cue laughter) is the return of a series of successful and unsuccessful films from the 70s and 80s featuring the most notable superhero of all-time. The granddaddy of all superheroes. With an all new cast, but many of our same favorite characters, one of the best supervillians ever created (played by an Academy Award winner), and a mystery actor (we know his name but can he act?) playing the lead much like the man cast in the first of the series oh so long ago, we have the Number # 1-ranked challenger pitting the Man of Steel once more against his longtime nemesis Lex Luthor, the one the only: Superman Returns!

Locked in a cage here in The Realm of Possibility, only one can come out the survivor. Which of these two Colossuses (again, pun intended -- recue laughter) will reign supreme in The Realm?

You can only choose one. Which one are you going to see?

All the drama will be played out in the comments section. We have Oscar winners on both sides. The Big 2 in comic-bookdom, Marvel vs. DC. Awesome villians. The old X-Men director now directing the challenger, and the new X-Men director striving to show he can play with the big boys. Compelling heroes. Special effects buffs' delight. War and peace. Right and wrong. Truth, justice, and the American way. We have it all folks, right here in The Realm. Cast your votes and make your call the winner. Who's it going to be?

The X-Men or Superman?

Reality blogging at it's best!

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Thursday, May 04, 2006


I love Broadway musicals. I'm just gonna post a lyric line or two from my favorite one. Maybe later, I'll post a few more from some of my other favoites. Anyone who wishes to join in, feel free. Else, there'll just end up being a handful of "rich" comments, and what fun is that?

Here's my starter:

Will you give all you can give
So that our banner may advance?
Some will fall and some will live
Will you stand up and take your chance?
The blood of the martyrs
Will water the meadows of France!

-- Do You Hear the People Sing, from Les Miserables

I've mentioned it before here, but I just love Les Miserables. The barricade scenes are my favorite in the musical. When I was a kid, I loved the story of the Alamo. The handful against the unbeatable enemy -- the knowing that you'll be a martyr but fighting for a cause -- just really strikes a chord with me. Helm's Deep, in LOTR, gives me much the same feeling, although in that, our heroes miraculously triumphed. Still, it's the knowing you're going to die and still fighting for a cause greater than yourself that stokes my fires. The barricade scenes in Les Miserables give that same feeling. (Of course, they're written very well in Victor Hugo's masterpiece as well.)

Be that as it may, what are some lines from songs in your favorite musicals? And other Les Miserables songs are welcome.

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Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Close But No Cigar

You know, not everything goes together as well as peanut butter and jelly. And sometimes bad combinations can be made from things that sound similar. A few came to mind:

Driving Range and Driving Rain
Running Bear and Running Water
A Hot Date and a Hot Dog
Breaking Bread and Breaking Wind
Ken and Rich

Can you think of any others?

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Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Now as the Train Pulls Away - SQOTW

here on the platform, a well laid plan
pain in your pocket, ticket in your hand
rain on your lips, honey i wish you would stay
now as the train pulls away

no signs to read, no voices to warn
people don't stay, in love anymore
what about forever, 'til the end of our days
now as the train pulls away

rehearsed all my lines, but i forgot what to say
some things are just, too little too late

eyes they're all empty, mouths they're all dry
words they just stumble, and fail you every time
aching's all that's left, at the end of the day
now as the train pulls away

-- Now as the Train Pulls Away, Vigilantes of Love from the great, great Audible Sigh CD

This is it. If I had to pick one favorite over all the Bill Mallonee songs, this is the one. It's a simple lament over what's happened to love these days. It's beautiful in its sadness, and the rhythmic train-like start and finish fits just so well with the train image the song echoes.

My brother and I have talked a lot about musical perfection (specifically in rock music or its spawnings) before. I'm not sure there is such a reality of that ideal, although some songs rub up against it. For me, this tune is about as close as it gets for sustaining it for about three minutes.

The heartbreaking lyrics of broken love and broken marriage... mm... it hurts to think about, especially when you can identify or empathize with them. "What about forever to the end of our days?" We make and take these oaths when we're young (or sometimes not so young) with all best intentions, and then life happens. And time happens. A lot of taking without much giving. What started with forgiving and forgetting becomes remembering and remonstrating. Battlelines are drawn and defense mechanisms are aimed for counter-strikes to the bombs you know are coming until over time, all love gets bled out of a heart that becomes stone.

Aching's all that's left...

We live this life... we get one chance... and we end up with this mess on our hands and wonder how it came to this.

And we watch as the person we once loved just walks away.

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Wanted to give an update to my post entitled Yesterday.

After the first round of chemotherapy and after the latest bone marrow tests, the doctors found no cancer (leukemia) cells -- that's right: NO CANCER -- in my friend's husband. He still has to go through a couple more rounds of chemo, and it's not something you can ever just stop worrying about -- but this news was nothing other than fantastic!!! When he heard the news, he cried tears of joy, asking, "Can this be true?" He's a worrier, and he had spent a lot of time dwelling on what happens if it turns out bad. Well, so far, it hasn't. And here's hoping it never does.

Anyone who has or is still praying for this man and his family, you have all my gratitude. A lot of people, a lot of churches have, and all praise to our awesome God!!! Of course, with two more rounds of chemo, it doesn't stop here for him, so please keep praying if you can. But also, thanks for rejoicing with me over this. They're a beautiful family, and this has been a difficult time for them.

Thanks again!

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Monday, May 01, 2006

Gonna Build a Castle

Each year for my younger boy's birthday, we've had a big party. When he was young, he had cranial stenostosis (of the sagittal variety) and the good doctors at Children's Hospital performed surgery when he was 3 months old (another post entirely, and I could go on at length about the problem) to correct the skull abnormality where his skull grew over his soft spot too early. Anyway, for the last three years, for his birthday, in lieu of presents, we accept donations to the Children's Hospital, specifically to help out the work of Dr. John Grant (the plastic surgeon who performed the surgery), in his effort to take his services to the needy -- starting with what's called the "Black Belt" of Alabama -- most of whom have no insurance, and to perform his surgeries on a volunteer/donation-funded basis on children with cranial stenostosis and craniofacial problems (cleft palates).

Well, this year, my wife's invited the doctor and also the local and Birmingham media to come to the party to generate additional support here in Huntsville for Dr. Grant's work.

For the past two years, my son's had a Captain Hook/pirate b-day and a Peter Pan Neverland party. For each of these shen-digs, I've made a major construction out of mainly cheap lumber and refrigerator boxes. The first time was a huge ship around our fort in the back yard. The thing ended up looking more like Noah's ark with Jolly roger flags than it did a pirate boat, although I had nets tied from the boat to the fort and the fort tarp colored black with a skull and crossbones. the next year I constructed a Neverland Lost Boys hideout, which didn't turn out nearly as good. Well, this year, my wife has requested a castle. And she has a threshold of satisfaction that I need to meet in my castle-building as she completes all the other stuff required for the party (i.e. invitations, cake, giveaways, etc.).

So here's the deal. I'm planning on having four circular turrets (which I've started and the process is painfully slow) made of two planks, cardboard circles duck-taped to them to hold the form, and then roofing material (the back stuff that goes under the shingles) circling the planks. I'll cover that with gray butcher paper, and then I'll use black paint to create a stone-like look. I'll use cardboard to create the circular chess-rook top of the tower. Or so I'm thinking. For the castle walls, refrigerator boxes covered by the butcher paper. For the front, I'll have a upper wooden frame connected to two turrets, and a refrigerator box will be staped to the front of the frame. I'll cut a drawbridge from the fridge box with pulleys to raise and lower the thing, and then I'll have a cardboard portcullis stuck on the back stapled halfway down.

So that's the plan. However, these turrets are problematic because they're not sturdy, and it's hard for me to make them alone without someone holding up the planks. All the work is done in the late night hours, which is fine except the no help thing. Anyway, if anyone has a better plan -- beside just renting a moonbounce castle [that won't cut it] -- especially for the turret-building, let me know. I'm REALLY, REALLY open to suggestions. Keep in your consideration that I'm not handy at all. But let me know.

My wife's sent out 67 invitations, so the pressure's on to make this thing look pretty good.


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Enjoy the Silence

Hopefully, that's what you've all been doing. I had guessed that Kenneth would post something over the weekend, but it was based on zero evidence, so I should stop guessing on that.

My weekend was full, and lo, the NFL Draft was last weekend. Just FYI, all you need to know is the Miami Dolphins got (by round):

1) Jason Allen, Free Safety/Cornerback from the University of Tennessee
3) Derek Hagan, Wide Receiver, Arizona State University
4) Joe Toledo, Offensive Tackle, University of Washington
7) Fred Evans, Defensive Tackle, Texas State University
7) Rodrigue Wright, Defensive Tackle, Univerity of Texas
7) Devin Aromashodu, Wide Receiver, Auburn University

A big WAAAAAAAAAAAAAR EEEEEEEEEEEEAGLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! on that last pick. The AU (my alma mater) connection to the Dolphins continues, and that's a good thing. If anyone wants to comment on their team's draft or discuss mine in the comments, feel free.

I would hazard a guess, however, other than Dugalug or Brett, there ain't a lot of folks out there in The Realm who really even care. So back to the silence. Wisdom says it's better to listen than talk most of the time anyway, so perhaps having post-free weekends might give people a chance to comment on old posts or let budding conversations develop without throwing up something new that diverts attention away.

OTOH, this is blogging, and besides me, most people can walk and chew gum at the same time. So multiple posts running most likely makes for a better blog site than those with one or none (over a two or three day or week period). That said, I can't promise anything, but I'll start trying to maybe get at least one post up over the weekend so that anyone who drops by can read something other than the random (most excellent, of course) comment or two that might get added. Although, I must say, comments and comment streams are often better than the posts themselves, but it generally is posts that gets all that started. So, I'll try. More than this, I'll try to get Ken to post something on weekends as well.

In the end, there might still just be more silence. We'll see.

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