Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Song Posting

Obviously, anyone who has read this blog for some period of time knows that the music I'm usually most interested in, lyrically-speaking, is music that chronicles the human journey but often incorporates the spiritual (Christian) aspect. I don't listen to the radio that much, so I'm usually late coming across songs, and such is the case here - so you've probably heard the song. Nonetheless, I heard Carolina Liar's Show Me What I'm Looking For for the FIRST TIME last night, and I immediately thought I'd post it on the blog.

For me, the message is pretty simple. I'm all mixed up and messed up. I need the Lord. Don't know if that's the songwriter's (songwriters'?) message per se, but that's what I derived from it. And in general, that pretty much sums it up for me on my own human journey.

Hope you enjoy!

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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Sherlock Hemlock

Got an e-mail from the Diabolical Genius today. I've copied and will paste it:

Saw Sherlock Holmes movie. It was great. Highly recommend it.

Brief and to the point. That's our Ken!

Waitasec! Do I have the right picture here. Oh no. Wait. This is better. Here we go:

Edit: And this is why we love Ken! For his on-the-spot reviews!

On his word, I went and saw Sherlock Holmes last night, and I thought it was fantastic. Really enjoyed the interplay between Holmes and Watson. Rachel McAdams played Irene Adler very well. And the spin to make Holmes and Watson more physical instead of merely cerebral both modernized the characters and made for a more action-oriented film, which I enjoyed. Lastly, there was Holmes nemesis, Moriarty, lurking in the background for a possible sequel, and director Guy Ritchie did a swell job of keeping him in the background yet making him seem the most menacing and dangerous of all the villians.

So, two thumbs up for Sherlock Holmes from the guys at The Realm!

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Thursday, December 24, 2009

How Do the Presents Get There?

You're all probably well aware of the physics to debunk Santa Claus. If not, here's one of many links to what was originally a cynic's argument to do just that, with quite a few rebuttals from physicists, engineers, mathematicians, and other folks that likely did not want the lump o' coal in their stocking. I'm not going to print all the rebuttals (although a couple of them warrant perusement), but I will print the original assertions below.

1) No known species of reindeer can fly. BUT there are 300,000 species of living organisms yet to be classified, and while most of these are insects and germs, this does not COMPLETELY rule out flying reindeer which only Santa has ever seen.

2) There are 2 billion children (persons under 18) in the world. BUT since Santa doesn't (appear) to handle the Muslim, Hindu, Jewish and Buddhist children, that reduces the workload to 15% of the total - 378 million according to Population Reference Bureau. At an average (census) rate of 3.5 children per household, that's 91.8 million homes. One presumes there's at least one good child in each.

3) Santa has 31 hours of Christmas to work with, thanks to the different time zones and the rotation of the earth, assuming he travels east to west(which seems logical). This works out to 822.6 visits per second. This is to say that for each Christian household with good children, Santa has 1/1000th of a second to park, hop out of the sleigh, jump down the chimney, fill the stockings, distribute the remaining presents under the tree, eat whatever snacks have been left, get back up the chimney, get back into the sleigh and move on to the next house. Assuming that each of these 91.8 million stops are evenly distributed around the earth (which, of course, we know to be false but for the purposes of our calculations we will accept), we are now talking about .78 miles per household, a total trip of 75-1/2 million miles, not counting stops to do what most of us must do at least once every 31 hours, plus feeding and etc. This means that Santa's sleigh is moving at 650 miles per second, 3,000 times the speed of sound. For purposes of comparison, the fastest man-made vehicle on earth, the Ulysses space probe, moves at a poky 27.4 miles per second - a conventional reindeer can run, tops, 15 miles per hour.

4) The payload on the sleigh adds another interesting element. Assuming that each child gets nothing more than a medium-sized lego set (2 pounds), the sleigh is carrying 321,300 tons, not counting Santa, who is invariably described as overweight. On land, conventional reindeer can pull no more than 300 pounds. Even granting that "flying reindeer" (see point #1) could pull TEN TIMES the normal amount, we cannot do the job with eight, or even nine. We need 214,200 reindeer. This increases the payload - not even counting the weight of the sleigh - to 353,430 tons. Again, for comparison- this is four times the weight of the Queen Elizabeth.

5) 353,000 tons traveling at 650 miles per second creates enormous air resistance - this will heat the reindeer up in the same fashion as space crafts re-entering the earth's atmosphere. The lead pair of reindeer will absorb 14.3 QUINTILLION joules of energy. Per second. Each. In short, they will burst into flame almost instantaneously, exposing the reindeer behind them, and create deafening sonic booms in their wake. The entire reindeer team will be vaporized within 4.26 thousandths of a second. Santa, meanwhile, will be subjected to centrifugal forces 17,500.06 times greaterthan gravity. A 250-pound Santa (which seems ludicrously slim)would be pinned to the back of his sleigh by 4,315,015 pounds of force.

In conclusion - If Santa ever DID deliver presents on Christmas Eve, he's dead now.

Now, not sludging into much of the fallacious reasoning asserted in this argument (i.e. flying reindeer only being credited with pulling 10 times the amount of non-talking, non-flying reindeer [HUH???], the incredibly high [these days] amount of children on the "naughty list", omitting elvin assistance [and all that implies], etc.), any essay containing both the words "Santa" and "joules" -- although "Santa" and "payload" deserves it's due credit -- within should be summarily dismissed. Has no one learned the folly of the Burgermeister Meisterburger and the distribution of Christmas toys?

Flying reindeer, dragging what must be an incredibly gargantuan sleigh, that somehow avoid all the anti-aircraft, fighter jets, ground-to-air missles that have to come along with the job in this Call of Duty Modern Warfare Age; magical, toy-making elves (and "toy-making" is a loose term that denotes all the modern techno gadgetry in which these sprites have quite possibly led the Technological Age) that abide in a sub-zero degree climate and darkness most of the year; a crystal ball that illuminates the activities of roughly 2.9 billion children twenty-four hours a day, seven-days a week, 364 days a year not including Christmas - and 365 on Leap Years; ten zillion presents a year both packed and taken out in a logical child-by-child order starting at the first house in Japan (according to the NORAD tracker) to the last house in Hawaii, including automobiles for sixteen year olds, weights and benches for athletes, pre-assembled drum sets, bikes, toy trains, etc., that are somehow encased (and rarely broken) in an unbreakable burlap sack that miraculously stays in an uncovered sleigh going near or at the speed of light; a five hundred lb., one-thousand year old Kringle that spryly slides down and nimbly clambers back up chimneys with the greatest of speed, agility, and ease (or slips in windows when chimneys are not of avail) all while lugging a bag many times the size of himself, not to mention the fact that he's been a pipe smoker for all these years without a hint of lung problems; treating peoples to aforementioned presents on six continents not including islands nor scientists holed up in Antartica...

...I mean, what's not to believe here? I believe.

So to all you cynics, skeptics, and pseudo-scientists that try to debunk what happens every December 24th like clockwork, I pose the question used in the title of this post. If my mom and dad don't put them there -- and they don't -- and I don't put them there, then how...?

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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Christmas Card for Everyone!

To steal a quote from one of my movie favs: Unforgiven (ironically enough):

"Deserve's got nothing to do with it."



God With Us!
Prince of Peace!
King of Kings!
Lord of Lords!
First and Last!

Feel free to add on!

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Work Christmas Breakfast

Here at work, each day of December one or two folks sign up to bring some breakfast dish for everyone to enjoy. Tomorrow is my day - me and a friend. I luck out in this, because the one thing I can cook is a breakfast food. Tomorrow, my workplace can revel in this great, great food:

My friend's bringing Froot Loops and milk. We rock!

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Friday, December 18, 2009

Going to Nashville for the Dolphins / Titans Game on Sunday


I'm for the Dolphins! How about you?

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Yo Quiero Taco Bell - Folk Style

Got an e-mail from Doug with this link. Thought I'd share the humor:

Muchas gracias, DugALug!

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Hate to Hear This - Chris Henry Died

Wouldn't normally post a random NFL football player's death, but I know Doug (DugALug) is a big Cincinnati Bengals fan. Sorry to hear about this, Douglas. Apparently on the backside of a domestic dispute with his fiance, and he falling out of the back of a pickup truck, Chris Henry has passed away. Chris Henry has had his share of life's problems and his NFL reputation wasn't the best, but at such a young age, you can always turn it around. And I was hoping he was.

I was talking to a guy at work, and maybe it's the masses and masses of media where we know almost everything that happens almost anyplace (or so it seems), but man, it just seems like there's something every single day that just makes you scratch your head. Anyways... sad. 26 years old.

Peace to his family, friends, and fans.

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Positive Trends!

Hey! Looking at our blog post-per-month trend pattern, since we've been back in the cyber-air, it appears that we've had some positive and negatives in our content output. As far as general posts, here's the data:

June -- 7 (better than none)
July -- 38 (big upspike)
August -- 35 (minor downturn)
September -- 31 (trending down, but still over a post a day)
October -- 12 (red flag)
November -- 7 (an appauling low)
December -- 12 (uptick at 13, with this post, and counting)

Our all-time record for a month is the very first month, January 2006, after we started this blog. The number of posts we had that month was 86. Wow. Ken must have had a lot to say. Not sure if that record will ever get broken, but maybe we oughta just take a month and try (that would take some major league begging from you, our three commenters, if we were going to try that). We trended down every month except March/April, 42 then 43 respectively, until we took our hiatus in September. At that time, there was much rejoicing. We've quelled that rejoicing quite well, though, in our major league comeback (very few sentences have two words starting with "Q" in them, but this last sentence I wrote managed that feat QUITE effortlessly - get ready for another upcoming "q-word" in the next sentence).

Now, as far as sheer quality posts, well, we're still looking for our first one of those. Please do us the favor of telling us if you read one.

What does all this meaningless drivel mean? Well, one, it scores another post for us so in a year when we chart stats again, it'll look like we were really writing it up last December!

More critically, though, it means Ken needs to post a lot more.

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A What-If Scenario

Suppose you had a young friend, maybe someone for whom you babysat a good deal, someone you mentored, or someone you taught or coached, who -- as many kids in his/her same unfortunate environment do when they get a little older -- made tragic and destructive decisions (perhaps armed assault, manslaughter, drug trafficking, etc. -- pick one or name another) that landed them in prison with a lengthy sentence but one that most likely will be reduced. Obviously, you care about your friend a good deal, but at the same time, you're not in your friend's inner confidences and not necessarily one of the persons he or she is most apt to turn to for help.

When this person is released from incarceration, the most likely avenues for livelihood your friend (add in his/her child(ren)) will have, now with a permanent soiled police record, is going back to the same destructive practices that got him/her into his/her current predicament. Initially, your friend has made the promise-to-self not to go back to the same way of life, but as far as actually getting out, what are the real means there?

With all this in mind, that's not what you want for your friend. Certainly, there has to be something better than the dead-end job that Red (played by Morgan Freeman) received in The Shawshank Redemption that couldn't support one person, much less a person with children. Especially when a person's young. Prison's not a rehabilitator, but we/you/I, as part of The Church (if you include yourself in That), need to be the Love of God in an instance like this, right? I think this is a tough question that is rooted in many of our societal ills, but for us as individuals, we have to take on questions like these, that are real to us, on case-by-case bases.

What's the answer or what are some answers, then?

Because if I/you/we aren't going to try to do something, then sure as death, nobody else is, either.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Randy Moss Quit on My Fantasy Football Team

My Fantasy Football team finished second in the league, made the playoffs, and was favored to beat the seventh-seeded team...

...and then Randy Moss quit on me.

I'm gone! Out! Done! Finished!

A FF coach can draft and make moves taking risks on players that get injured historically, play up and down, or are young possible sleepers and possibly not. But does a coach ever factor in a player quitting on him? That's what I get trusting a Patriot.


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Monday, December 14, 2009

So... Avatar?

Most folks inhabiting The Realm have certainly heard tell or scene the previews of the upcoming Avatar movie. I believe it's out in theaters this weekend.

A synopsis (warning: some spoilers) from IMBD is here. A little bit more brief plot summary I pulled off the Web without the spoilers would be: a crippled ex-Marine is chosen to make contact with the mysterious people as a remotely controlled avatar.

James Cameron, writer and director of other sci-fi flicks such as The Terminator, Terminator 2: Judgement Day, The Abyss, Aliens -- some of which I'd rate as classics -- writes, produces, and directs this film. And then, of course, he also is an Oscar winner for his efforts on Titanic. Early reviews for Avatar seem positive enough, and as far as special effects, there have been some reviews that are off the charts.

Personally, on one hand, this movie is one I'm somewhat looking forward to and certainly plan to see, but my expectations haven't been that high, for whatever reason. Back in the day, I sort of felt the same way about Aliens going into the movie, and lo and behold I was blown away, as Aliens is one of my all time favorite movies. One of the cool factors in Aliens was the characterizations of the marine outfit involved, and marines are used again in Avatar, so I've got a feeling Cameron will do well there. Also, I give high marks for the appearance of the alien race, the Na'vi, employed in Avatar.

Perhaps, I'm lost in my own world, but I just haven't heard the word of mouth at work, church, in the community, etc. on this film. Of course, I've seen a few promotionals and a trailer, but it's not like Spider-Man IV is coming out.

What about you guys and gals? What's the word you're hearing? And what are your thoughts on Avatar? Anyone dying to be there the first night? Anyone thinking, "I'll just skip this one"? I look forward to hearing anyone's thoughts on this one. I'd like to be psyched up!

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Why I Can't Stand Mainstream Radio Anymore

Billboard put out its Top 200 Albums of the Decade. Guess who topped it without looking at the pic. I have to go pretty far down the list to even find a CD I might enjoy.

Really, I have no words.

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Friday, December 11, 2009

Favorites: Music

"It's's like ANOTHER favorite, but not as much.not as MUCH favorite.but, they're both good.they're BOTH good." -- Brian Regan

Just like Brian, I have favorites. And least favorites. Unique, I know. Favorites are like opinions, which are like bellybuttons, which are like other various and sundry other unnamed body parts. Everybody has one.

But that's the beauty of the blogosphere. I tell you mine. You tell me yours. And we revel in the sameness or debate the differentness.

And that's what I'll do in this series that I'll call -- wait for it -- wait for it -- "Favorites". In this episode, our hero (The Diabolical Genius) much like Maria Von Trapp will reveal of few of his Favorite Things (BTW, I don't know how the Sound of Music and the Wizard of Oz became holiday movies, but I digress).

Here are my MOST favorites and LEAST favorites in the world of music. And unlike David Letterman, they are presented in Top 5 format. 5 is the number, not 10, 5. It's 5, I tell you.

Least Favorites

5. The Remix. Dance remixes. Radio remixes. Pop remixes. Hip Hop remixes. Yeech.
4. Voice gymnastics, especially when accompanied by hand gestures (thank you no, Mariah and Christina)
3. Song lyrics that either try to make a word rhyme with another just by pronouncing them strangely (i.e. Flo-rida's show and flo') or lyrics that are even more desperate and unoriginal that they rhyme a word with itself (i.e. "I don't mind if you change your mind)
2. Rod Stewart -- the sound, the look, the lyrics, anything
1. Steel Guitar

Most Favorites

5. The bass clef
4. 60's music
3. Penny whistles and bagpipes
2. Epic movie scores (LOTR, Star Wars, Braveheart, etc, etc)
1. Christmas songs. Hymns, classics, silly ones, new classics. Any of them (except 12 days of Christmas)

Very well. There you have it. Discuss amongst yourselves.

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Smoking Cigarettes and Watching Captain (Kaaaaang) Kangaroo

Sorry to offend, if I did, with the old Statler Brothers "Counting Flowers on the Wall" number as a post title that I'm still sometimes subjected to when riding passenger in my dad's car. Actually, that's probably the Statler Bros. tune I enjoy the most, so I shouldn't crack on it. Some of the other artists I'm lucky enough to be exposed to in when in my dad's ride -- or he's cranking his music at our family get-togethers:

Oak Ridge Boys
Anne Murray
Elvis Presley (YES!!!)
Freddie Fender

If I'm lucky, I get some:

Johnny Cash
Emmylou Harris

And my brother has since introduced him to:

Over the Rhine

which he likes, and I can be very,very thankful for that. Dad seems to get annoyed when I put my music in, and I still can't figure that out, but oh well.

Now, growing up, the kids in my family heard more than our share of Anne Murray, who seemed to be his favorite, but we also had a lot of this:

Vicki Carr
Tom Jones
Bobby Gentry (one album I remember with Glenn Campbell)
Crystal Gayle
The Kingston Trio (who were his favs)
The Brothers Four (was that the Kingston Trio plus one?)
Roger Miller (whom I still look fondly upon)
Roy Clark
Waylon Jennings
Barbara Steisand

Let me just say for the record, the Vicki Carr lounge lizard stuff:

You're just too good to be true,
Can't take my eyes off of you,
You're like heaven to touch,
I just want to hold you so much,
You're just to be good to be true,
Can't take my eyes off of you.



Yeah, that stuff. That stuff was merciless. So, too, was Babs, for the most part.

But my questions to The Realm at large are these:

1) What was the music your parents listened to?

and, more importantly (relatively speaking)

2) How do you look back on it?

As major or minor influences in your life or music appreciation? As those silly folks of mine? As in "Please, please no, not that... THE HORRRR-RRRRRRAH!!!"? As in thank you Mom and/or Dad for this or that but NOT THAT?! As in you never give it a second thought? As in "My parents were cool"?

And then the reciprocal question for those that might have children:

What do you think your kids think of your musical tastes now and what will they think when they're older?

Because, despite what I'm saying about my dad, I'm just sure, sure, sure, SURE, SURE... that my kids will think"

"My dad is COOL!!!"

Well, they better.

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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Joseph's Lament

Traveled too far for the girl to end up like this,
bent in pain, tears mixed with sweat, and totally spent.
The cries of the child, this child not mine, in such darkness,
echoing against the stone walls, rising above the lows and bleats.
Cries that rend my soul.

For a dream did I stake this union, sure that I had heard from the Most High.
Yet, the house filled above, while she and I outcast with beast,
lying in straw and dung, searching desperately for cloths to cover the infant,
speak to the lucidity of my vision.
I am undone.

The arguing in halls overhead stirs the ass beside us.
Handing her the strips I find, she wraps the babe.
Sets him in the swine trough after I clear the refuse.
Footsteps descend from the stairs above, and slurred voices rise.
Who now, at this time of night?

She pulls her garment across her body just as they step into the lower room.
The stench betrays these men as herders, nomads.
I go to stop them when one grasps my arm.
Another trods past and falls to the flooring before the boy.
More follow, speaking of the sign.

Fit near rage, I break from the man's grip,
but then I stop.
These sheepherders, these outcasts, they groan praises.
Praises to the child. To this King. Praises to the Lord God of Hosts.
In this moment I am struck.
Who am I to do this?

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Monday, December 07, 2009

Good News Update... the Here's Another Little Something post about one of my co-workers, albeit living in a different state than I do, that I wrote a couple days ago.

Bob Sumrall was found! After seven days!!! Here's an article regarding him being found by a couple of ranchers, and here's another how he managed to stay alive. Apparently, he was lying face down fifteen miles from where his car had been found, and his dog, Zulu, a black labrador retriever, was sitting atop him, and that warmth saved his life. When the ranchers approached, the dog ran away, which is an ongoing story in this whole episode. As the matter of fact, a $2,600 reward has been posted for anyone that finds the dog. Hopefully, they find Zulu!!!

At first, Bob was unconscious, in critical condition, and treated for hypothermia. from another co-worker that he might lose some toes because of the frostbite he endured. He's since come around, and I think is in somewhat better condition.

So praises for that. Thanks to everyone who prayed. And we'll keep our fingers crossed for Zulu!

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Friday, December 04, 2009

Bests and Worsts # 1

Name your best and worst of the following:

The Best Kevin Costner Movie:
The Worst Kevin Costner Movie:

The Best Stephen King Novel/Story:
The Best Worst Stephen King Novel/Story:

The Best Seinfeld Episode:
The Worst Seinfeld Episode:

The Best Rolling Stones Song:
The Worst Rolling Stones Song:

The Best Saturday Morning Cartoon Character:
The Worst Saturday Morning Cartoon Character:

The Best Holiday Dessert:
The Worst Holiday Dessert:

The Best Movie/TV Cowboy:
The Worst Movie/TV Cowboy:

The Best of the Newspaper Comic Strips:
The Worst of the Newspaper Comic Strips:

The Best of Superman's foes:
The Worst of Superman's foes:

The Best Christmas Gift You Ever Received:
The Worst Christmas Gift You Ever Received:

That's ten and enough for this round. Feel free, if you want, to add the whys and whatfors regarding your choices. Those tidbits are generally fun to hear.

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Thursday, December 03, 2009

Go Ode Yourself

Let's see if I have this correctly. The last post crafted up by the Diabolical Genius sounded something a little, a little something, almost exactamentally, close to word-for-word, and something a lot like this. It reads similarly to this:

Where, O where, has my little Rich gone,
Where, O where, can he be,
Not in the parlor, not on the lawn,
Not in the loo to wee.
Poor Richard does not an almanac write,
Young Dick, he nevermore posts,
No clacking of keys and no scrawl of the pen.
The virus has swallowed his byte,
The Trojan has given the Realm up to ghosts,
But the worm cannot shut up ol’ Ken.

Is anyone else catching the irony here? "Irony" is a big word and sometimes misunderstood. Let me e'splain. By my count, since this frolicking, self-serving little poetic injustice here, sixteen posts, including this one, have been penned by the the selfsame victim of this verse. The sum total written at the hand of the author of this "Ode to a Madman" post is a grand, whopping total of negative one (plus one). Zero.

Again, back to the irony. The DG scribes: But the worm cannot shut up ol' Ken.

Apparently, something other than a worm has busted ol' Ken in the proverbial chops. And just on a little bit different tack, all the "Young Dick", "wee" and "Trojan" references...

...please Kenneth. This is a family blog. And we're children's book writers.

Back on point, where is this Lord-O'-Limerick now? Where can be found the Viceroy of Verse? The Sultan of the Sonnet? Or should I say, the Queen of the Quatraine?

Anyhow, I love the irony. Don't you?

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Here's Another Little Something

Over the years, on news telecasts and such, I've heard about people getting lost in mountains or when volcanoes blow or in rockslides, etc. I've heard about them. Heard. On the other hand, I've never really known or spoken with those people.

Well, for an unwelcome change, that's not the case anymore. Here's a news clipping on someone that works for one of my business' sister companies that went hiking with his dog out in the mountains of New Mexico. He didn't make it home on time, and then a blizzard hit dropping over ten inches of snow. His wife called him missing the morning after the evening he should have returned home, and the search teams started Sunday afternoon. To this point, no luck. In fact, the latest article here states that the search has failed.

Now, I don't know Bob very well, really don't know him-know him at all, but I have spoken to him on occasion for business-related subjects. I met him when he came to Huntsville once. Now, he's been missing for five days.

Just an odd, odd story. Familiar by other stories of this nature, but nontheless weird. Because it hits a little closer to home, I feel for the family. Prayers for him and his family would be welcome, I'm pretty sure.

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Silent Monks Singing Halleluia Chorus

Let's start off the Advent Season here at the blog with this YouTube. A good friend sent it to me, and it's worth a look:

Whattaya think?

Christmas is coming!!!

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Monday, November 30, 2009

In Addition...

...and while maybe I shouldn't apologize, I've felt guilty about not posting or doing any other writing lately, so I'm sorry for the blog neglect. Hopefully, I'll be a little more prolific in December. This blog hasn't been fun lately (really, it hasn't been a blog lately; it hasn't been anything lately). Of course, it'll be more fun when Ken writes as he's more funnier.

I do hope everyone had a GREAT THANKSGIVING!!!

Okay, I'm off to Asheville.

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My Grandma Passed Away

She was the last of my grandparents, in her mid-nineties, and it's been awhile since she really "lived". My dad and his sister both have struggled with when the right time to let her go has been. God and Grandma helped with that decision, thankfully. Today, I'm heading to Asheville, NC for the funeral, which is tomorrow. I'm not sure what exactly I'm feeling, if anything, except that I want to be with my dad (and mom), his brother, and sister to share in their grief. And really that's more because that's how I'd want my kids to be for me rather than for any personal benevolence. Sometimes, I worry about my personhood. Well, many times.

As opposed to my mother's parents, I wasn't that close with my Dad's. They just weren't in our lives as much. Nonetheless, both Grandma and Papa were wonderful people, albeit a little quirky, from what I know, and for the times I saw them, they were good grandparents to me and, as Christians and decent human beings, they helped a lot of people. I used to love going out on Papa's fishing boat when we went down to Miami, and Grandma would cook up the perch we caught and make it taste like fried shrimp. I used to climb in their fig tree and stuff myself. They had a mini-farm and barn, and when I was a baby, they bought Gingerbread, a Shetland Pony, for me. I never got to see the pony much, although I rode him and their other horse when I was down there. They had lots of chickens as well - used to collect the eggs when I was down there... and cats and two or three poodles. Grandma made the best key lime pie, too. And then, I remember she told me a couple stories I almost had trouble believing. One was about her and Papa talking to and encouraging Billy Graham when he was young and had thoughts of abandoning preaching. I wonder if that really happened?

Whatever is in me, though, I just don't feel that much. I'd like to feel more, because I think that'd be more human. She was my grandmother. She loved my dad. She loved me. While I'd like to think it's grief, I'm fairly sure it's rather that my soul's just a little too numb, I don't love enough, and really, my heart's a little too hard.

Lord, soften it.

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Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Stream of Consciousness

Times of wonder, those Summer, days gone by. Children climbing, hiding on the bluffs. The sounds of squirrels and rabbits, fleeing from footsteps of running boys. Sweet breezes that blow through hair and into eyes, and the twilight fades and the darkness sets in. The resilience of youth is but a facade and can be seen through like Saran wrap. The chickens always come to roost, so they say and nevermore true than now. And later. Life trods on like the hull of the battleship still gliding yet deeper through the seas neverminding the torpedo that ruptured its aft. Sparrows still sing. The harvest moon yet rises. Puffy clouds still find their merry paths below azure skies. All the regrets reflected in the tears of one man's eye forgetting not the passion and devotion and hopes and teaching and some of the prayers. Where to begin, where to end, and to perservere in between, so it is and so am I.

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Tuesday, November 03, 2009

V - A Shout-out!!!

V, the TV series (the 2009 version), starts tonight at 8:00 EST/7:00 CST on ABC, and I've got my fingers crossed that this one's going to be good. It has, from one of my favorite series, Josh Whedon's Firefly, the beautiful Morena Baccarin as Anna, one of the aliens, and that's reason enough for me to watch it. Obviously, this is a re-making of the 1983 (mini-series) and 1984 (TV series) version of the show with the same name: V, which starred none other than The Beastmaster (Dar), Marc Singer. While the original V miniseries was mildly successful, spawning a year-long TV series the next year, I'm hoping for a more Battlestar Galactica-like re-envisioning here -- although I'll not set my expectations that high. Really, I'm just hopeful for a legitimate sci-fi drama that's cool to watch. And, of course, scary aliens.

However, the reason for this post is beside the point of all that. The REASON FOR THIS POST IS that it also stars Logan Huffman (pictured to the right), a friend of Shawn, who is one of our blog followers. Shawn (correct me if I have any of this wrong) home-schooled Logan, and her son and Logan are best friends from way back. SO! Give V a try, and keep a lookout for Logan.

The Visitors are here!

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Post All Hallow's Post

Understanding that not all folks that come to this blog love the Halloween holiday, I'm still a big fan, so please indulge me for a few questions. Just wondering what trick-or-treating was like in all your neck o' the woods. How was it where you live? My neighborhood has a lot of kids, so we had a lot of traffic. However, by and large, I've heard that kids on the candy rampage was down this year for several reasons, not the least of which is the Swine Flu. So tell me:

What did you do for Halloween? Did you dress up? Did you hand out candy to passersby? Did your kids dress up? As what? Do you have any candy leftovers? Can you send them to me? What were the best costumes you saw? Did anyone have or go to any festive parties? Did your church have a fall carnival or a Reformation Day? Or was Halloween just another day that went by, not much different than any other day?

Also, are you ready for Thanksgiving? How about Christmas?

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Friday, October 30, 2009

Matthew Ryan's Dear Lover

Christmas comes at Halloween with the release of Matthew Ryan's Dear Lover CD on sale now at Matthew Ryan's website. I've blogged before here about Matthew's last CD, Matthew Ryan Versus the Silver State, and just how absolutely fantastic that release was. Here's a musician and songwriter I just cannot recommend enough. He's one of those guys that if you like what you hear now, you want to go back and gobble up his whole discographic catalog. Here's a teaser track from the CD:

Take a listen and decide for yourself if this is a CD worth taking a flier on listening to and then talking about it to friends, family, work associates, school chums, and, heck, even strangers that love brilliant, poignant albeit ofttimes heartbreaking songwriting and excellent music. His songs are ones you listen to repeatedly and then think about long after the music's stopped.

I'm purchasing it today, but hearing what I've heard from Matthew Ryan's past, I'm recommending it sight unseen, or rather, CD unheard. Of course, I'll also be letting you know in the comments about my feelings once I receive it. Here's a few pre-release reviews:

Glide Magazine

Thanks for listening!

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Post D v. G

The David versus Goliath analogy is used by millions nowadays, both in Western and Eastern civilization as well as in the North and South, too. Anytime one supposedly great force challenges a lesser force, the "David versus Goliath" phrase is invoked. Obviously, as a Christian, I understand that David won that mano-a-mano duel due to the power of the Lord God of Hosts, and really any of David victories both before and after he became "King David" were also due to his Lord's empowering him and his missions. All that is true and is well to be remembered.

From a more sociological point of view, I'm wondering just how much of a mismatch this confrontation really was. Goliath was the Philistine champion, and with that title, it must be assumed that he had won his share of clashes with other men, specifically, other warriors. On the other hand, the boy, David, had for his part taken out wolves, lions, and bears with his sling, and I'm not so sure how well Goliath would have done in a cage match with one of those beasts. When Vegas was figuring the odds of the David v. Goliath head-to-head grudge match, would the odds really have been as astronomically overwhelming in Goliath's favor as we tend to suggest? Certainly, the Hebrew warriors and David's own brothers didn't give him much of a shot, but I think we've got to give it up to Saul. He must have seen something in David. According to conventional knowledge, here was the King of Israel sending what was little more than "a mere child" out to apparent suicide, and not only that, he was staking the fate of his own army on the lad. If that was really the case, Saul was one of the worst leaders in the history of mankind. He had to have seen something in David, and if so, was the outcome as surprising as the legend has become?

We all know the story. David won.

To further my point, though, this most notable victory wasn't David's only victory. No. This victory was merely the beginning of a string of military victories and conquerings throughout his life. Many, many, many. Obviously, he had his troubles, too. Saul tried to kill him. His own son tried to kill him. But David is remembered far more for his victories, starting with Goliath and then going on from there, than he is for his troubles, militarily-speaking.

And in other news, the friendly, little Miami Dolphins play the big, bad, NFL monster that is the New Orleans Saints this coming weekend...

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Thursday, October 15, 2009


Cue trumpets! Cue bells!

In case you guys didn't hear, well, let him be the one to tell you this awesome news!

Congratulations Kevin & Dana!

All best wishes from The Realm of Possibility to and for the both of you, forever.

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Favorite Sports Rivalries

I'm still on Cloud Nine after the fabulous Monday Night Football game between my Miami Dolphins and the dreaded, evil-incarnate, trash-talking New York Jets. Score one for the good guys as the Fins took their first of two meetings this year 31-27.

As football rivalries go, for me, it doesn't get any better than the Dolphins/Jets... and I live in Alabama, and am an Auburn University grad and fan, and here you hear about the Iron Bowl rivalry 365 days a year -- and I'm not joking about that. I know most people in Alabama that root for one of the two schools, well, there's nothing that compares to Auburn versus Alabama (I'm fairly sure, if Alabama fans read what I just wrote, it might stick in their craw a bit that I listed Auburn first just now -- that's how bad it is). I can't downplay the rivalry here because it's like nothing I've ever seen. However, I have a lot of friends that are Alabama fans, and I enjoy them a lot. We give each other hard times, but most of it is in good fun. On the other hand, I don't have any, that I know of, friends that are New York Jet fans. So I don't look at them in the same way -- there are no "real people" that cheer for the New York Jets, only automaton spawn that spew the "J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets, Jets" mantra and infiltrate football stadiums, perpetrating heinous acts. Call me crazy, but since I let myself see it that way, then, the New York Jets... with their blowhard coach, their irritating chant, their sore-loser players (save Kris Jenkins, who manned-up after the loss), their big city media that follows them, and, as of right now, their 3-2 record, which is a game ahead of my team's... well, they're just sort of this nebulous evil entity that my Dolphin-fan-guts-and-insides just wants to rail against so as to champion the triumph of justice, decency, and valor everywhere over the insidious evil that flows out of the Empire State in the form of the New York football Jets.

Okay, okay, I'm just kidding. Sort of.

I could spend hours and pages writing about the intricacies of Monday's game... but that's not really Realm material. Plus, I do that with my dad and brother.

However, since it is what's on my mind, I decided to ask you guys:

What are your favorite sports rivalries? What makes them special to you? I know there are some good ones, and some that are longstanding. Red Sox/Yankees. Cubs/Cardinals. USC/UCLA. Army/Navy. Cowboys/Redskins. Bears/Packers. Celtics/Lakers. Rangers/Islanders. Sampras/Agassi. Ali/Frazier. And that's just touching the tip of the iceberg. Let's hear some good ones.

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Here's a Gimme Question for You

In my Sunday School class, we're discussing the Trinity -- right, one God, three persons, three-in-one. Question:

What is the best explanation you've ever heard that describes the Trinity?

Fire away!

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Friday, October 09, 2009

Battlestar Galactica Space Glow Putty

Except for the Space Glow Putty. Ken let me borrow his copy of Season One of the re-made Battlestar Galactica (BSG), which includes the miniseries that started the serial. Let me just say this:

This is not your mamas' and daddies' Battlestar Galactica.

Back in the day, as a child, I kind of enjoyed the old BSG, but really I only remember Dirk Benedict, Lorne Greene, and Richard Hatch from the show. Well, them and the Cylon robots that had the cool cyclops eye with the moving red light. However, I was never overwhelmed by that show and thought it was campy, so when BSG reappeared in a modern version on the Sci Fi (now SyFy) Network a few years back, I didn't give it a second thought. Probably lame. Probably cheesy.

Hoo boy.

While I'm not sure it's for everybody (and certainly not for children), this remake is pretty amazing. I've read on some of the reviews that the show wasn't just one of the best (or the best) Sci Fi dramas on television, it was one of the best dramas on television. Really, I'm inclined to agree with that. While having to spend around $30-$40 for a half season, which is the way the DVDs are packaged, seems a little steep, they do suck you in.

I'll say this in that regard: it IS nice to have a pal like the Diabolical Genius that is just dying to buy the next half-season and then let his good friend, Rich, borrow the disks after he's watched them. You'd think he might garner a little DVD rent from me... but no. All he asked was for me to watch and then return. Check and check. Ready for the next one, Ken!

A few things that you're not going to see coming out of this BSG version is anything like this:

Yeah, and no plastic cylon figures, either. Probably not even good to think about that.

Anyhoo, I'd like to hear -- without spoilers, mind you -- anyone else's thoughts on BSG, if you watched it. Favorite cylons... er, characters, I mean? Favorite episodes? Likes and dislikes? Etc.

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Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Whatcha Reading?

Right now, I'm in the middle of The Lightning Thief, which I have to say, I'm enjoying quite a bit. More than I thought I would. My son, Carson (11), had loved The Percy Jackson & the Olympians series by Rick Riordan, siad they were his favorite books EVER, so I thought maybe I should check them out and see what he likes so much. The main character, Percy, Riordan nails, and I can see why boys would like him. The mythological gods, demigods, monsters, and other characters brought current will have kids enthralled in this story as well as checking out Greek and Roman myth books from the school or local libraries. Also, I think The Lightning Thief is coming out as a movie in 2011. So that's on the list.

Also, I'm about four or five chapters through The Hunger Games -- as recommended by Joanna, and written by Suzanne Collins -- and that's been fantastic, as well, to this point. Actually, I'm reading this one to my boys, so although I'd like to be going faster, I'm sort of hamstrung on that account. They're enjoying the story as much as I am. Carson always starts out picking up a Spider-Man comic book when nighttime reading begins, but within thirty seconds of me starting into The Hunger Games, he's set down the comic and is fascinated. Davis asks a lot of questions, but he's into it probably more than my older son. Collins has done a good job with the post-apocalyptic Panem world, and I've warmed to her protagonist. The story reminds me a bit of that old Schwartznegger movie, The Running Man, if anyone ever saw that one -- but this book is quite a bit better than that movie, despite Richard Dawson's appearance (sarcasm alert!).

Not sure which book I'd say was better... they're for different age groups. Really, I give them both really high marks for their target audiences and just from a personal enjoyment standpoint as well.

For Sunday School, our class is reading and discussing Christian Beliefs, which is essentially the cliff notes version of Wayne Grudem's 10-jillion page tome Systematic Theology. I couldn't hope to make it through that one, although we've got some guys in our church wading through it... bless their hearts. No, I'm good with the twenty basics. Really, I'd be even better if I could just get two commandments down. Regardless, I'm reading the book. The short one.

So that's it for me right now. How about you?

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Messianic Christianity? I'm Clueless. Open Questions to The Realm.

Whenever I don't know something, I've been told the best thing to do is ask the Internet. Certainly, one can't go wrong doing that, can one? Better still, since I have a blog, I can put forth my inquiries to wiser people than me that come to The Realm of Possibility. Surely, I can arrive at some conclusions in here, my happy house. So here goes. I've got some questions about Messianic Christianity, if someone knows something about that. Hopefully, I've got that name correct as I'm really not even certain about that. This post could sound utterly and amazingly ignorant, but it wouldn't be my first one of those, nor my last.

Apparently, Messianic Christians are different in at least one respect, maybe a great many more, from Messianic Jews in that, well, they're not Jewish. Let me just get to my list of questions for those that might know:

1) Messianic Christians are non-Jewish persons that adhere to parts of Leviticus and the old Jewish Law? Why? I know some people that are involved in this denomination -- if that's what it is -- and they certainly aren't adhering to all of it. So... just select parts of the law. Is that correct? What is the reasoning behind this?

2) Also, is most of their "church" focused on trying to obey the Jewish laws and customs rather than on Christ? I know they celebrate the major Jewish festivals, feasts, and holidays, and they may or may not celebrate Christmas and/or Easter. Does anyone know about that?

3) They believe in Jesus... do they believe as orthodox Christianity does, that He is God, was resurrected, and through God's grace is the salvation given for all men and women? Do Messianic Christians believe following the law is part of salvation along with believing in Jesus?

4) At least the folks I know that are in Messianic Christian groups (and this is a small sample size, so I probably shouldn't generalize), they say they don't believe in preaching, as that's man telling the congregants how to live. They think God through the Holy Scriptures has given us what we need. Instead, they have instructors for their small group church. Is this how most Messianic Christians operate? And do I have right that they don't believe in the preached word? However, they're okay with teaching? Is that right? And most of the teaching is from the Old Testament, not the New?

I guess, just from what I've heard... well, I have a lot of problems with what I've heard, and it's a little concerning -- but, really, I am very ignorant on this practice and what Messianic Christianity is (who Messianic Christians are and what their intent is), and I'd like to learn a few things. If anyone knows something about it or if anyone is involved in it, please enlighten me. It would be much appreciated. Thanks.

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Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Ode to a Madman

Where, O where, has my little Rich gone,
Where, O where, can he be,
Not in the parlor, not on the lawn,
Not in the loo to wee.
Poor Richard does not an almanac write,
Young Dick, he nevermore posts,
No clacking of keys and no scrawl of the pen.
The virus has swallowed his byte,
The Trojan has given the Realm up to ghosts,
But the worm cannot shut up ol’ Ken.

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Friday, October 02, 2009

Tori Stellar by Jerry Seltzer

On the SCBWI list serve, one of the writers posted this link to an illustrator/artist's (Jerry Seltzer's) site for his Tori Stellar, Children's Book Author comic strip. From what I gather, the cartoons are cute and humorous bits of inspiration, advice, and experience for chidren's authors and aspiring writers.

Funny, and I can really identify with a couple of them (and no, I'm not talking about saying the S-word... althooo-ooough...). At the site, there are only a couple other comic strips, however, you can sign up for a free weekly newsletter, go to the newsletter archives, or e-mail Jerry with ideas.If the comic strips tickle your funnybones, check out the site.

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Little add-on game I guess I'll try. This could bomb big time - but... I have to be okay with that. I'm gonna list three green veggies, and your job is to rank them as you like them from best-to-worst, and then ADD ON two more green vegetables that are missing from the list - and then everyone has to re-rank again, adding ones we didn't have before. Now, by "green vegetables", what I mean are: vegetables that are COLORED GREEN.


turnip greens - green vegetable (they're green)
turnips - not green vegetables (they're some shade of off-white or sometimes yellow)

So carrots, rutabagas, squash - out, out, out. Green onions - in. Most other onions - out.

Get it? We'll see how many we can get to -- and see who likes what and who hates what -- before our heads explode. Or we get bored, which may have already happened for some of you. Sorry, if that's the case. Nonetheless...

This game sort of fits in with The Realm's current golf-putting-green decor. I know what you're thinking, and I'm thinking the same thing: STUPID COMPUTER GAME!!! At least you didn't wake up thinking that you'd see this stupid computer game here at The Realm of Possibility. Certainly, you may have thought you might see some variation of a stupid computer game as we've had lots of those... but this one? Never!!! Still, you have to play, because Mommie always told you:


List start - fav to least fav:

1) collard greens
2) green beans
3) green onions

Start adding green veggies!!!

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Thursday, October 01, 2009

Happy October

So which day is it that actually starts the "Holiday Season"?

Commercially-speaking, Halloween candy has been out in the stores since Autumn started, maybe a few days before. Is October 31st the day that ushers in the season? I'm not sure, but I do know that once I start seeing the Halloween decorations come out on people's houses, in the stores, and at work, I kind of feel a spring in my step. I love the season, and I suppose, for me, it's started already.

The government fiscal year ended yesterday, so at my work, after October, usually the cycle slows down through New Years. I know it's not like that for everyone... if you're in the retail business, it's probably just the opposite. However, I enjoy this part of the year, and folks usually seem to be a tad happier and lighter in spirit... until the stress of "OHMIGOSH!!! I HAVEN'T GOT MY CHRISTMAS SHOPPING DONE AND IT'S DECEMBER 23RD!!!" gets to them.

Anyhoo, for all you non-Halloweeners, the Holiday Season probably has to wait a month for you - but to that, I'm just gonna say, "Nanani-boo-boo!" Mine's started already! Hope you get here soon.

And, by the way, eighty-five shopping days left!

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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tearjerker Flicks

Alright, Lords and Ladies, for today, let's all get in touch with our feminine side. What are the movies that made you cry? It can be as a kid or an adult. However, if you're a person that's apt to let the rivers flow at any touching cinematic moment, then I only want to hear the ones where you were crying walking out of the theater... and then later on, whenever you thought of the movie or touching scenes, the water was falling once again. We're talking major league blubbering here.

Obviously, as this is a blog, everyone is more than welcome to expound on the scenes or parts of each movie listed that made them well up with tears. And just as painstakingly obvious, as this is a blog, anyone who would rather not expound, well, they're more than welcome to just list some movies... or lurk... whatever so pleases.

Brian's Song (pictured) and Where the Red Fern Grows were two movies, as a kid, I can remember just outright bawling when I watched. Even today, Brian's Song will get to me when I watch it. Also, I know Christians had both good and bad views of it, but I cried during Passion of the Christ. Really, though, I'm not a huge crier at movies, so it takes a bit. I'll try to remember a few more and list them in the comments.

Okay then, all you macho dudes "woman-up", and girls, I'm bracing myself for some Nicholas Sparks books-to-movies (rrrrreeeeeeetchhhhhhhhhh!!!). Make me cry!

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Who can take a sunrise, sprinkle it with dew...

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Monday, September 28, 2009

Viruses and Dinosaurs

Wish I was exaggerating about having a computer virus, but it turns out the part I was a little hyperbolic with on that subject was the word "had"... as in "I had a computer virus." No, it turns out that, while that was true, not only did I "had" a computer virus, but I still have one.

The other computer I have at home is a dinosaur sooooooooo old that turning it on takes a good half hour.

Right now, I'm pretty hosed as far as posting much to the blog. I'll try starting something from my home computer tonight, and maybe I'll have something within the next two days. Now, though, since I'm at work, I need to make this short. I hope your lives are going great.

Aside from the Dolphins being 0-3... well, is there really an aside from that?

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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Favorite Recipes #1 - Dessert Category

In the interest of making the world a better place, I present you with the recipe for my favorite dessert, Magic Cookie Bars (or Hello Dollys as they are known in some circles).


1/2 cup butter

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

1 can (14oz) Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk

1 package (6oz) chocolate chips (or butterscotch chips if you prefer)

1 can (3 1/2 oz) shredded coconut

1 cup chopped nuts (I like pecans)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees (325 degrees for glass pan).

Melt butter in 13 x 9 pan.

Sprinkle graham cracker crumbs over butter.

Pour condensed milk evenly over crumbs.

Top evenly with remaining ingredients.

Press down gently.

Bake 25-30 minutes or until lightly browned.

Cool thoroughly before cutting into squares.

Store loosely covered at room temperature.

Similar recipes can probably be found in most cookbooks or on the Net, but I know this one is good.

Also, make sure you have a cold glass or three of milk nearby to cut the sweetness so you can keep eating until they are all gone.

You're welcome!

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Thursday, September 24, 2009


At the risk of embarrassing myself by speaking about something of which I know very little, I present the concept of Alternate Reality Gaming or ARG.

This should not be confused with virtual reality or role playing games, though ARG may in some way owe some of its principles to ideas developed in these endeavors. Confused?

Well, ARG seems to pride itself on remaining elusive, even mysterious. It intentionally stays out of the spotlight, and yet snickers as it parades right before your eyes without you even knowing it's there.

So, what is ARG, and why should you care?

The short answer is that it's a cool multimedia scavenger hunt utilizing real world events in a secretive, highly sophisticated, conspiracy theory, secret agenty way. And you should only care about ARG, if you like fun and enjoy being in the in-crowd or if you are a writer.

Why a writer? Because the complicated structure, twists and turns, and ultimate resolution are very much like the well-developed plot of a great novel. A few novel writers have already realized this and are actively involved in developing new ARGs. And the best part is that ARG marketing is intentionally minimalist (called the This Is Not A Game aesthetic) and dependent on word-of-mouth and information sharing.

Intrigued? Curious? Check out the Wikipedia entry on ARGs or the trendy ARG headquarters at

Good luck finding a rabbithole and be wary of the puppetmasters!!

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Sky Is Falling

Been a little slow on the blog. Hate to go all personal on you, but a few things:
  • My friend a co-worker, Dan Phillips, passed away after a bout with cancer. I blogged about him here, and in case anyone's interested -- because his wife was a fantastic writer and the story was so touching -- the Caring Bridge journals can be found here.
  • My computer caught a virus, and that was irritating.
  • The Miami Dolphins are 0-2, and last night's gut-wrenching, abysmal defensive, hollowed-out-my-heart loss in a game our offense dominated... total misery.
  • My younger son brought home a robust 50 (F) on his science test, so more studying needed.
  • Instead of a blog/website I really read on the sidebar, Ken included a Precious Moments Doll site, which promptly includes the Diabolical Genius in the Buzzard of the Week discussion.
  • My co-worker is out at Disney World, so I'm here at 9:30 at night at work trying to do two people's job.
  • Working on 8 hours sleep in the last two days.
  • Even with Auburn being 3-0, our defense looks as much like Swiss cheese as Georgia's and Arkansas'.
  • I'm gonna be late on two bills, and I keep not making it to that oil change I desperately need.
  • Mom's waiting on lab test results from some nodules on her throat, and Dad just had a procedure to check on his semi-clogged arteries.

Anyway, all this to say I haven't been blogging much lately, and look what happens when I do. This drivel that I post that reminds me of blogs I'm not interested in reading. Come back for more of this!!!

Notwithstanding my complaints, please pray for Dan's family and my parents.

And I'm sure I forgot to mention -- the Dolphins are 0-2. Mizzzzzery.

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Favorite Spots #2 - Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia

Thanks for tuning in to the Realm Channel. Today we'll be traveling from the Rockies to the Everglades with stopovers at the homes of the North Avenue Trade School, the Stamford branch, and Rocky Bluewinkle.

You made our first installment of Favorite Spots big, 44 comments large. But if you somehow missed it, bang here. To recap, the theory is that you guys have been there, done that all over the country and beyond. And this is your chance to share your favorite spots. Try to be as specific as possible on the location of your favorite spot, as if one of our readers was headed there tonight.

Your favorite spot can be an attraction, a quaint cafe, a lovely meadow, or as we showed last time even a make-out spot.

Good luck and thanks for all the fish.

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Friday, September 18, 2009

Patrick Swayze Post Script

I was never a huge fan, but my mom, who is what I consider a typical female Oprah-watcher, liked him a lot and says he was a really good person. Others have made similar statements, so I'll go along with that. Think my mom even met his mother, who I believe owns or owned a dance studio. Of his movies, I saw The Outsiders, Red Dawn, Roadhouse, and Ghost, and then I saw one episode of The Beast on television. Never saw Dirty Dancing, Donnie Darko, To Wong Foo, or Point Break. None of the movies were classics, although I think The Outsiders and Ghost both had a bit of a following and Ghost was a pretty good movie. Roadhouse has taken a beating over the years, but I was entertained by that ol' Dalton in that one.

However, what I saw or thought is neither here nor there. Patrick Swayze was a figure most people knew, and, like Farrah Fawcett, his battle with cancer was pretty well publicized. People were pulling for him. So, if there are any thoughts you have about him and don't mind sharing, let us know.

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Tossin' Ken a Bone

Here you go Ken! Four kids stoned this creature to death a couple days ago.

What is it?


The Spanish to English translator used (not perfect) says the article reads thusly:

Strange Creature Found in Cerro Azul

The discovery of a strange creature in Cerro Azul has aroused controversy among the people, for while some say it may be a being from another planet, others simply believe that is an animal.

Four teenagers aged between 14 and 16 years, met him at the Jet Blue Hill, on Saturday, while having fun in the place.

As recounted one of them, they suddenly saw the creature emerging from a cave located behind the water jet. At her appearance and it began to climb over the rocks to one of them panicked and began to thrash him and throw sticks, getting killed, after which they threw into the water and ran.

Anyone? Anyone?

Here's our first guess - a hairless one of these:

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Buzzard of the Week: Rodney McGill

This weeks' buzzard story comes from the South Florida Sun Sentinel, where I do a tad of my Dolphin reading. However, this one is not sports-related.

Pastor Rodney McGill of New Hope Outreach Center in Jensen Beach, Florida and his wife Shalonda were convicted back in July on nine counts of obtaining mortgages by false representation, first degree grand theft and racketeering for fradulently obtaining some $1 million in real estate loans. At his sentencing, McGill turned his back on Judge Sherwood Bauer, Jr. as the pastor was handed a twenty-year prison term. Also, the good pastor had this little nugget to say at his counsel table last Tuesday:

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, for every witness called against me, I pray cancer in their lives, lupus, brain tumor, pancreatic cancer.
Wow. Just wow. Here's the Sun-Sentinel link. The unfortunate truth is that there are some that will associate Mr. McGill and, more specifically, his actions, with Christians and Christianity. That's saddening. One of the comments under the story is pretty humorous, but sad in a way, too:

Hey! I never knew this. You can PRAY so people you hate will DIE? Oh man, this is GREAT! I have a boat load of people I would like 6 feet under. Thanks SS Sun-Sentinel) for letting me know about this...
Sure, (and I realize the comment is tongue-in-cheek) we as human beings may feel this way at times, but this is the exact opposite of what Jesus said and did. Pastor McGill's words and actions, and I assume he probably has segments of followers at his Outreach Center backing him and influenced by him, are reprehensible in so many ways. Here's hoping that he finds the accountability he needs and Jesus, who forgives others and taught the same. Nonetheless, for his comments, Pastor McGill is The Realm's Buzzard of the Week.

Honorable mention to:

Serena Williams, who threatened a line judge at the U.S. Open
Anthony Fasano, Dolphins TE who fumbled twice against the Falcons
(but since both are related to the Dolphins, we don't eat our own)

Let me know your thoughts and any of your Buzzards of the Week, present company excluded, of course!

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

If You Loved Your Big Wheel...

... as a kid, you're gonna go ape over the new Persu as an adult.

Reminds me of the Big Wheel and the Green Machine with some futuristic elements from the Jetsons or Meet the Robinsons thrown in. This is sure to be popular with boys and girls just like its childhood inspirations were.

I'm not normally a "car guy", but I gotta tell you, my inner geek comes out a little when I think about getting behind the wheel of this bad boy. 75 miles to the gallon and it can run all electric or Hybrid. And the leans around the curves? Oh yeah!! Like a theme park ride.
Make sure you check out the BBC videos showing the Danish version called the Carver being driven.

BTW, for those with kids, a new version of the Green Machine has been released by Huffy.

Hey Mom, watch this!!

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Pick 1 or Pick 2: 1) 10 Best Songs of the '00s or 2) Top 5-10 Most Meaningful Songs to You

Posting slackard that I am, here's another at least half post on the shoulders of yet another of our faithful commenters - Anonymous, (signed) BP. Back on the MRVSS post, Brett mentioned to me:

Oh, and Rich, a silly project I've been torturing myself with in my spare time this week is trying to determine the 10 best songs (or my 10 favorite, anyway) of '00's. A blog post on this subject might be enough to make Ken's head explode?

Seeing Ken's head explode always being a good thing, this exercise might be a good one to try. What are your 10 (more or less) best songs of the 2000s? We should get a lot of divergence on this one, if people participate.


I had been thinking of this one for a while, and I just decided to include this one with the other because I think it's easier. Obviously, music is dynamic and fluctuating, and favorites and bests can come and go depending on moods, age or stages of life, hearing a new great song, and on and on. However, looking back over your life, what five or ten songs are the most meaningful to your life? This can be any type or genre of music, any type of song. Rock, country, jazz, blues, soul, gospel, and then hymns, holiday favorites, national anthems, lullabies, opera pieces ~ nothing is excluded. Music that has influenced you, moved you, gotten you through tough times, tunes that remind you of someone dear, these are the songs I'm looking for, not necessarily and likely not your favorite or best five to ten songs. That would be a different post. For instance, I know two of mine would be:

1) The Lust, the Flesh, the Eyes, and the Pride of Life by the 77s


2) The Little Drummer Boy

So, if you're game, pick a list and let me know what you think. Best songs of the '00s, which is tough, or most meaningful songs to you, which should be easier.

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Monday, September 14, 2009

Lost Musical Treasures in My Closet # 2: The Connells - Ring

Back in 1993, yeah, that's sixteen years ago, after a few moderately successful albums but problems with a record label causing a three-year hiatus in their recording, this little re-energized band from Raleigh, North Carolina called The Connells put out the CD that I consider the height of their career, Ring. I had really enjoyed The Connells' One Simple Word previously, and Fun & Games and Boylan Heights had been pretty good as well. Ring, however, brought everything together for the band, as they hit on every song. Here's a CD that, for me, had no weak moments, and the music is as fresh today as it was sixteen years ago and will be after sixteen more, I'm quite certain.

What I really love is when every single song from a CD, at different times, encaptivates me. Very, very few CDs pull this off. Ring did for me. Over time, though, and even now, I'll still have one of Ring's tunes breezing through my mind. It's one thing to have a bad song stuck in your mind -- that's bothersome -- but when Doug MacMillan's soothing voice echoes one of Ring's ditties in between my ears, it's always welcome.

Of the twelve songs, I can only remember the up-tempo Slackjawed, the single New Boy, and the haunting '74-'75 getting any radio airplay at all. Nevertheless, any of the songs seemed radio-ready to me. Upbeat numbers like Carry My Picture, Hey You, and Burden along with the aforementioned Slackjawed were interspersed with mid- and slower-tempo songs, but all of them had immediate hooks, and I was in love. After a few Connells CDs that I thought were great in the front half but a little weaker on the B-side, Ring doesn't falter but actually picks up. Spiral and Disappointed, two slower songs, sandwich the the rocking Hey You and stellar New Boy, which is a string of songs that I'd say highlights the CD if Slackjawed and Running Mary, the fantastic closer, weren't also such banner songs.

When I found Ring just the other day in a stack of CDs, I fell in love all over again.

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Who's Behind Our Now?

Wanted to share a little write-up by my Sunday School teacher, Heinrich Dubose-Schmidt, after he listened to a forty-five minute R.C. Sproul commentary on the life of Joseph (Old Testament). I'll add just a few thoughts at the end. Here's what he wrote:

Remember when Joseph had suffered for 13 years but had later been made the Prime Minister of all Egypt? His brothers come to Egypt looking for food during the 7 year famine, but they don't recognize Joseph at all although he recognizes them. As part of a test to see if they've changed, Joseph accuses them of being spies and says they must prove themselves by leaving one of their own (Simeon) until they can bring back their youngest brother still at home (Benjamin).

They return home without their brother, and tell their father Jacob (also known as Israel) all that had transpired. The brothers also discover that all their silver to pay for the food is in their sacks, and they are all frightened. Remember -- Jacob thinks his youngest, most-favored son, Joseph, is dead, and now he's given news that one of his older sons is hostage in Egypt and the Prime Minister is demanding to see his youngest Benjamin. In Genesis 42:36, Jacob utters these words: "You have deprived me of my children. Joseph is no more and Simeon is no more, and now you want to take Benjamin. Everything is against me!" (NIV)

As you read those words, I hope Jacob's despair and anguish came through. From his perspective, the whole world is against him; even as a believer, he was filled with despair at the circumstances of life. But, think about the reality for a moment -- Simeon is probably safer now than he's ever been in his life under the care of the Prime Minister (Joseph his brother). Joseph is not "no more" but is alive! In fact, he is working to preserve Jacob's entire family. Benjamin will be safe in Egypt, and while things seem bleak, everything is working out for Jacob.

So what does this mean for us? It doesn't mean that all of our tough times will have a rosy ending. It does mean that we should trust in our God who sovereignly and purposefully works all things to His glory and works all things for our good. The path we're on right now may seem dark and bleak, but God is working in and through and around us. We must trust in His fatherly care.


At least a few times in my life, I have railed to God about circumstances that have afflicted me -- situations that have come about by chance, personal decisions, personal wrong-doing, or others' wrong-doing. Certainly, I can identify with Jacob in this story when he cries, "Everything is against me!" While sometimes I realize that I only have myself to blame, at other times all I can see is a vast inequity of how random, or sometimes calculated, circumstances have stacked against me. As these life events unwind, I usually do find myself going to God, but do I really ever think, behind the scenes, the Lord is working life out for my benefit? For my good? Hardly ever. And it's hard. Very hard to think this way when life appears bleakest.

Nonetheless, a story like this one encourages me to rethink my own attitudes, and not only my attitude about life but my attitude toward God. Because I'm human, I see the surface but don't see in 3-D, figuratively speaking. God is sovereign, and He does. He Is. I can't figure out the Almighty, and really He's God, and it just is that way. However, I know Him enough through Jesus, my Good Shepherd, to know He loves me. At the same time, He loves me enough not to give me everything I want. Heinrich's last paragraph sums it up. Not all our endings will end up rosy. Our job, my job and my attitude, has to be to trust God anyway, through anything and everything.

No matter what's happening now, Someone's behind it.

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Friday, September 11, 2009

Secret Sauce and More

Secret recipes, secret formulas, secret sauce, mystery meat, and now this:

I was skeptical, as I am wont to be. So, I did a little more checking on this and found these too:

Christian Science Monitor article

Secret Menus including sit-down chains

A lot of the references seem to emanate from the same source, and you know the Internet.

So... Truth or Urban Legend? If you've held a position on "the other side of the counter" or have success ordering some of these interesting dishes, let us know.

Also, what exactly is the fascination with having insider information and getting something that no one else knows about... and then telling everyone else about it?

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Ever really give any conscious thought as to why we love Fridays so much? Is it:

a) because we're lazy bums that have such disdain for work or school, we just can't wait to get away from the drudgery of those two industrious enterprises?

b) we get to, by-and-large, do household or outdoors chores rather than work-related ones, and household and outdoor chores are so much more fun?

c) because church or mass is on Sunday (or Saturday for some), and only two more days (or one) until you get there?

d) because Fridays start with the letter F, and all that that entails?

e) because most of our escapism occurs on weekends, if we don't count the ongoing daydreams during the week?

f) because our kids don't wake us up early on weekends? (Riii-iiiight.)

g) because you have dinner with your relatives or in-laws each Friday?

h) because everyone else likes it, I should, too?

I don't know. Similar to most everyone else, I like Fridays. I don't have a real good reason or any reason except bits and pieces of a) and e) above, and then there's also a minor twinge of that little feeling you get (or maybe I'm alone in this) when you walk out of work right before holidays or when you have time off for a vacation. A little lightness of being. I usually get that feeling when I leave work Friday unless I have to work over the weekend.

What about you? Like Fridays? Why? Tell me the glass half-full mind set all you optimists out there while I'm busy being Eeyore.

Anyway, as I was saying, Thank God It's Friday.

(Go Dolphins! War Eagle!)

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