Thursday, July 22, 2010

Life or Pancakes?

Love this little exchange in the movie, Stranger Than Fiction, after Dr. Hilbert (played by Dustin Hoffman) has just told Harold Crick (Will Ferrell) that his impending death is inevitable so Harold should go and do some of the things he's always wanted to do until his certain demise takes him. Harold's first thought, of course, is that he wants to live.

Dr. Jules Hilbert: Hell Harold, you could just eat nothing but pancakes if you wanted.

Harold Crick: What is wrong with you? Hey, I don't want to eat nothing but pancakes, I want to live! I mean, who in their right mind in a choice between pancakes and living chooses pancakes?

Dr. Jules Hilbert: Harold, if you pause to think, you'd realize that that answer is inextricably contingent upon the type of life being led... and, of course, the quality of the pancakes.

Truth of the matter is, much of the time, I may as well be eating the pancakes. Now, I'm not saying that I, or anyone else for that matter, need to be running down a daily/weekly/monthly to-do list, and certainly not someone else's to-do list, to fulfill some nebulous life productivity requirement. That's just spinning wheels... well, a lot of the time it is. Often times, the right thing to do might be to... take a nap, complete a Sudoku, or be still and know that God Is. However, way too much of my time seems to be spent just making the hours go by until it's finally time to do that one thing I've been waiting to do. In the meantime, I miss so much.

There were several times when I was younger and even more recently, I promised myself, "I'm going to stop taking so much for granted. This is life. Live it." Broken promises. Some things, sure, I throw myself into - at least when I'm of that mindset. But there's always so much else i could be doing.

I always say I want to be writing novels, songs, shorts -- yet I'll go weeks without writing.

People I love and care for have asked me to pray diligently for them -- I'll go days or weeks without praying.

I want to fish more -- but I don't ever go fishing.

I've sworn I'm going to learn to play that guitar in my room -- but I hardly touch it.

I've got friends -- but they reach out to me far more than I reach to them.

I say "I love you, God" -- but keep Him at arm's length.

Now, I've gotten pretty good at some video games, and I can probably win a few television trivia contests. And please, quiz me on Dolphin football, Reds baseball, or Auburn sports. In and of themselves, all of those things are alright - and some uniquely part of me. But here's a confession - since I was divorced, I moved into a house in a neighborhood and have lived there almost two years... and I can't tell you the name of one other person (except the last names of the neighbors to my left because their name's on their mailbox and sometimes I get their mail) in the whole dad gum neighborhood. Well, maybe one or two of the kids - but that's it. We're to love our neighbors -- and everyone's our neighbors -- but hell, Rich, your neighbors are your neighbors!!!

That stack of pancakes is starting to look awful good.

In the end, I guess I can sum it up in a famous one-liner from another great movie:

Andy Dufresne: Get busy living, or get busy dying.

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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Unidentified Flying Object Over China

Starting with: If videos are legit --

--something weird happened in China, "they" say. Here are more words and video links regarding the mysterious vessel hovering around the skies over the Xiaoshan Airport, shutting the airport down and stopping flights for an extended period of time (about an hour). There're all kinds of Internet stories on this one - just Google "UFO Over China 2010" and you're there.

A couple of other statements should be made here:

Trust No One

Believe Nothing


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Trying to Invent Our Own Party Game

Through the years, at all of our family get-togethers, reunions, and such, we've done the party game thing with games such as Trivial Pursuit, Taboo, Apples to Apples, Wits and Wagers, Scattergories, Pictionary... the list goes on and on.

A weekend or so ago with all my family in town, we went out and procured three relatively newer ones: Loaded Questions, Pass the Popcorn, and Would You Rather... All were fun in their own ways and got us laughing, joking, and poking at each other... and then it got me to thinking -- I need to come up with one of these games. How hard can it be?

Brainstorming, my first and probably best thought - MUSIC!!! - I wasn't aware of any party game out there using music as its focus. Many of us go online and play the 80s or 90s or 2000s music trivia quizzes and that's fun, but how about rolling all that into a party game? And then, there used to be the game show "Name That Tune", and why not steal some elements of that. And then on the 101 station (DirecTV), I flipped across a quirky little game show: Rock and a Hard Place, where the Bay City Rollers were taking on Leif Garret and cronies in a new little game show. One of the interesting things they did there was give one contestant a kazoo, and he had to play a relatively famous song with the little instrument for his other team members to guess. Something like that to throw in a party game would be really cool, fun, and would really garner the guffaws. Think about it! Your crazy cousin blowing on a kazoo to some Dionne Warwick, Ten CC, or Rick James tune at which everyone could guess and mostly get wrong. Everyone'd be rolling in laughter all the while punching the cousin for his utter lack of musical talent!

So maybe you could have cards where contestants guess at songs with four to six categories (i.e Lyric Snippet, Song Facts, Kazoo Tune, and we'd have to think of a couple more), and you'd have a color-coated board path corresponding with each of the categories. You could have cards, or better yet - game versions, with differing types of music (i.e. classic rock, pop, country, alternative, etc.). The board would have a path to the Grand Stage where we'd need a cool final game twist for a person to win -- we'll have to think about that.

Alright, so I've gotten the ball rolling. Can anyone help me out here? Or maybe you have a better game that's not about music at all. Use your imagination. I am looking for board games, for the most part, rather than something like bouncing-a-quarter-off-a-tabletop-into-a-shot-glass-else-you-drink type of fun and frolic. And I'll keep at it, too.

Surely... surely, we can come up with something fun and ingenious! Then, we'll patent it, and anyone who responded in the comments can become millionaires along with us when the game sales royalties start waterfalling in. Here we go!

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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Wanda Said the Blog Was Languishing!!! Quick Robin! To the Bat Blog!

Of course, Wanda made that comment back in late June and now it's mid-July. And the last post was in April. Ugh. Maybe it's worse than languishing. Maybe, it's just plain dead.

But that's okay. We'll be Zombieblog.

Just a few tidbits:
  • No idea where Ken is at this moment. For all I know, he's ZombieKen.
  • There is no worse food trifecta than mayonnaise, Spaghettios, and sugar beets. Good luck trying.
  • Toy Story 3 & Despicable Me were both very cute and worth seeing, although I have to say, taking a family to the movies is no longer a fiscally reasonable thing to do. I do it anyway, but it's cheaper, for instance, to go see a pro baseball game. That said, I'm gonna be seeing Inception very soon.
  • Speaking of baseball, the Cincinnati Reds are in first place at the All-Star Break! Go Reds!
  • And sportswise, the Miami Dolphins open training camp in less than two weeks - HURRAY!!!
  • Psych, Season 5, starts... TONIGHT!!!

We'll just see where blogging takes me here in the next few days, weeks, and months. It sure would be nice to be disciplined about something, so there you go!

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Monday, April 26, 2010

Eyjafjallajokull Volcano

Just thought I'd share a link someone shared with me with pictures of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano eruptions. The power of nature as created by God - these pictures are awesome, terrible, cool, amazing, scary, and wonderful. Prayers, hope, and goodwill to all, especially the Icelanders and Europeans, affected by these eruptions.

Hope you like the pictures.

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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Church Sign: Death and Taxes

A local church here in Huntsville has a sign up that reads:

Death and Taxes - Are you ready for both?

My answer to that is: only for death. It's April 15th, and I still need to finish my taxes. Hopefully, all you mature, independent, patriotic citizens of these United States are a little better off than me in those particular pursuits (maturity, independence, patriotism, etc.).

For what it's worth, here I am blogging at midnight. I have to laugh because there just aren't any good excuses.

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Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Not that it matters much over here at the Realm, but Ken was good enough to (re-)lay-out our sister-blog, The Dorkman Cometh, as we're hoping to get more author visits and spread the word about our fine, ingenious and socially-relevant novel on a larger scale than it has been.

Also, today and tomorrow we will have been at ALLA, the Alabama Librarians Association conference held here at the Von Braun Civic Center in Huntsville, AL. In case you passed by, Ken was the one with the "DORK" shirt!!!

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Monday, April 05, 2010


Has anyone else watched or been watching any of this little BBC show called Merlin?

One of my son's really into fanstasy stories, and I told him about Merlin a few months ago while watching the show last year Sunday nights on NBC before football started. Since, NBC has dropped the show, but the SyFy Channel scooped it up. Anyhow, he watched his first Merlin show last Friday and really loved it.

The premise is essentially a reboot of the King Arthur legend beginning when Arthur and Merlin were in their teens a la Smallville and the Superman saga -- in fact, the show's producer commented that Smallville was quite an influence for Merlin. In the show, King Uther Pendragon, has outlawed all sorcery in Camelot. Meanwhile, Merlin is a magical being serving a snooty but good-hearted Prince Arthur for the good of Camelot that comes under all kinds of attacks that are going to take some of Merlin's magic to defeat. The building of the Arthur/Merlin friendship is a key part of the show. Also, Camelot regulars Guinevere and Morgana are invloved, and guest appearances by Lancelot, an imprisoned magical golden dragon, and some of the other figures in the Camelot legends should be expected.

I haven't watched too many episodes, but each one I've seen has been really entertaining and totally family-friendly -- unless you're just dead-set against the "magic" issue, which I realize some people are or you're very hard core on limitations to the Arthurian legend because this one takes its liberties. Also, most of the actors and actresses in the series are newcomers, so you're seeing them essentially as the role they're playing, which is cool.

Also, for anyone interested, Year One of Merlin comes out on DVD beginning April 20th. I ordered it for my son for Easter here at Amazon. If you're looking for a fun, family-friendly show, check out Merlin - Friday nights at 9:00 p.m. CST on SyFy. I recommend it!

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Sunday, April 04, 2010

Happy Easter!

Sunday comes! Jesus lives! The Resurrection and the Life. Believe!!!

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Saturday, April 03, 2010

Where I Fall Short

Just a very, very few of the areas where I fall short:

Love for others. Honesty. Hard work. Friendliness. Loyalty. Faithfulness. Personal discipline. Pridefulness. Anger. Parental guidance. Spiritual discipline. Listening. Broken vows. Dietary concerns. Being a neighbor. Hard-heartedness. Prioritizing. Competitiveness and fair play. Showing grace. Boundaries. Stewardship. Following through. Foul language. Sympathy. Lustfulness. Kindness. Self-indulgence. Bearing others' burdens. Protecting my own heart. Prayer. Apathy. Love for God.

So I confess, work on, and pray about those things where I'm the one holding the hammer and driving the nails. On the Saturday between Good Friday and Easter, those sins haunt me. But for all those things... Jesus died. And Easter Sunday's coming.

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