A Great and Relevant Movie

Recently I saw the movie Mary Poppins for the very first time.  For some reason, I just never saw it as a kid.  So having children allows for redeeming missed opportunities: this is part of the blessing of being a parent.  I always liked Dick Van Dyke (a sort of precursor to Jim Carrey) and Julie Andrews (I always knew her from another great movie, The Sound of Music).  But the character I, unfortunately, most identified with was Mr. George Banks.  He was sort of an uptight curmudgeon who was constantly barking out orders and rules, and scarcely finding time for his children.  The crux of the movie occurs when Mary Poppins sings about feeding the birds in front of the bank.  This initiates a sequence of events that comes down harshly on George.  As he goes in the last sequences to accept his fate at the bank, he finally realizes that the nuisance of Mary Poppins and her “Supercalifragilistic-expialidocius” singing, playing, and going on outings had struck a deep nerve as to what was important.  This movie is very relevant today, especially to the dad (or mom) who is too busy to take time with their precious children:  I want to be the George Banks at the end of the movie.

In summary, what an all time classic this show is.  It is highly entertaining and carries a deep and powerful message about priorities in a society that prides itself on business (or busy-ness) and financial and status advancement.  I give it two thumbs up!

Published in: on July 31, 2006 at 2:01 am  Comments (1)  

A New Blogger

Well, Kim has decided to take the plunge into the world of blogging.  Kim’s Blog is through a homeschool related site.  I look forward to seeing her thoughts on a page. 

I have found that, as a friend told me, blogging allows you a chance to gather your thoughts and express them in ways that might be difficult to say, or say concisely anyway.  I think it is a great pontificating platform, as well as a simple means of recording the day to day events of your life.  It is (or can be) fairly fast and convenient.  I’m sure it will be valuable to look back on some day.

Published in: on July 28, 2006 at 1:33 am  Leave a Comment  

My Two Cents … Part II

The world seems to have completely lost it. Why in the world is there such a double standard when it comes to Israel and the terrorists?!?  Most anytime the terrorists capture, kill, maim, or slaughter innocent civilians, the world (or most of it — it seems) turns a blind eye, and finds a way to blame the US, Britain, or Israel (and for the true diehard militant Islamists, India fits the bill too) as the reason it happened.  Nevermind that the terrorists hide behind civilians, store their weapons in civilian buildings, and pose as civilians when they blow themselves up in public places: somehow this appears to be excusable.  (more…)

Published in: on July 21, 2006 at 4:13 am  Leave a Comment  

My Two Cents on the Middle East

Iran has all the interest in the world in fomenting violence in the Middle East.  Whenever somebody sneezes over there, guess what happens?  The price of a barrel of oil goes up.  And who has the oil?  Well, Iran is somewhere in the neighborhood of the 4th largest oil producer in the world.  I wish the price of oil would go DOWN every time there is a hiccup in the Middle East.  That would teach them (this is my salute to Jack Handee).

Secondly, I still haven’t made up my mind as to whether this is World War III, Part B (Part A kind of kicked off on 9/11/2001).  Or maybe it’s WW4?  Anyway, there is ALWAYS some kind of attack against Israel, to which they, predictably and reliably, respond with deadly force.  The only difference this time is those captured soldiers.  If one or all of them are murdered, I really can’t guess what might happen.  Down with Hezbollah! That’s my two cents.  (I heard today that it costs 1.4 cents to mint a penny; this is leading to talk of canning the penny.  “Two Cents” may just go out of style as a saying!)

Published in: on July 19, 2006 at 3:54 am  Leave a Comment  

Welcome Home

The family arrived back in town on Sunday night.  I had definitely missed them.  I think the kids’ limit without Dad was reached as well.  They were as thrilled to see me as I was them.  It was a 17 day visit that they had taken to Tennessee; I couldn’t make it this year due to work. 

Oddly, I did not take advantage of the time in order to read anything of consequence, either fiction or non-fiction (there goes the “no time” excuse!).  I gave up on my book buying obsession briefly: not one thin dime was spent on a book.  I did, however, buy 2 Johnny Cash CDs and rented 3 movies from Blockbuster (a rarity indeed): Minority Report, Gattaca (see the embedded nucleic acid sequence?!?), and Stargate.  I even came across a blast from the past on Jetix: a hilarious comic hero satire cartoon (ever see The Tick??!); it is definitely a winner for fans of comic books.  A fellow from work lent me the first 3 seasons of the sci-fi series Stargate.  I am now 13 episodes in (including the original movie of 1994 and the pilot of the new show), and I am definitely on my way to being hooked.  The reinterpretation of mythology, from the Norse gods, to ancient Egypt, Bablyon, the Mayans, et al, is quite interesting.  I also managed to catch Superman Returns, as well.  Overall, I liked the show pretty well; there were plenty of salutes to previous lore.  The best part to me was that we got to see a return of the menacing Lex Luthor (I like Gene Hackman, but the previous movies were a bit too campy regarding Luthor).   

All in all, excepting some long hours at work, it was somewhat of an ironic departure from the things that I had planned.  I’m glad life is returning to normalcy.  So I say to Kim and the kids: Welcome Home!

Published in: on July 18, 2006 at 2:02 am  Leave a Comment  

A Salute to Comic Books

In the new Superman Returns movie, Bryan Singer has reinvented the Superman mythology.  As as this post, I haven’t seen it, but I plan to as I have always been a Superman fan.  The timing of the movie must have prompted the History Channel to put on a couple of shows that I became enamored with last week.  The two shows, Look, Up in the Sky – The Amazing Story of Superman , and Time Machine – Comic Book Superheroes Unmasked, were very interesting, as I used to collect comics as a kid.

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Published in: on July 10, 2006 at 3:45 am  Leave a Comment  

Man in Black, Man in White

Now I realize that the music of Johnny Cash is not for everyone, but lately, I’ve been a fan.  Growing up in East Tennessee meant that you always heard about the fame of Cash and the Carter family.  My mom lived in the same community as the Carters.  There was the old Carter store in Hiltons, VA, that eventually became the “Carter Fold”, where live music happened every Saturday night.  Vocal music was, and still is, quite a tradition in them ‘thar hills and hollers.  My dad would do an imitation of Cash by saying, “My name’s Johnny Cash” and start a tune, “I hear that train a coming …”  Back then, I associated his music with gospel songs; I always thought I knew what Cash’s music was … but, was I wrong.  I did know that the lady he wound up with, June Carter, had a previous marriage.  Certainly 40 years ago, that was something to cast a suspicious cloud over things, but I didn’t know what had happened.  I only realized just how vague (and basically wrong) my understanding was when I saw the recent film Walk The Line(more…)

Published in: on July 4, 2006 at 4:11 am  Leave a Comment