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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