Saturday, November 29, 2008

BOLT in 3D

My parents and I took the kids to see BOLT, the new Disney animated movie in THREE DIMENSIONS today.

The last movie I saw in 3-D was Captain Eo.

Bolt is the story of a puppy who lives on a television set and believes he really is a super-dog with super powers. Through a series of events he ends up in the "real world" and has to try to save his owner with only the help of a delusional hamster and a cat "prisoner".

The movie was decent. The kids loved it. Little A cried at one point, she was so sad for Bolt. The television-show within a movie concept was a little confusing for both kids, as were the family situations (the owner had a single mom in "real life" and a single dad in "television life", and then an "agent" in real life who had sort of a paternal interaction with the kid). Overall, though, it was fine. Some good laughs, pleasant, no offensive message.

As for the 3D, it was fun to watch a 3D movie again. The glasses they hand out now are quality. Sometimes the movie distracts with the use of the 3D... "LOOK! The rock at the front of the screen is sticking out while the action goes on behind it"... but actually they were pretty relaxed about it, not a lot of things flying out at you all the time.

But let's be honest, 3D movies are meant to involve either space aliens or enormous monsters attacking things. And the best line from a 3D movie remains, "HOOTER ATE THE MAP!"

Truckin' Along

Officially in the final quarter of the first draft...

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
45,994 / 60,000
(76.7%)


It's like a marathon without all the sweating.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Another Thankful Day

The day after Thankgiving is usually when we go out and buy our Christmas tree. But since we're still out having fun with the fam we did some different stuff. We planned to go hiking up to a lake, but the road was closed due to snow. So here's us out on the road:



We also sent the kids racing down the side of the road (Shasta found a too-steep hill and pushed the kids down while no one was watching). Here's a picture of A snagging some air:



Tonight we went to see the Victorian Carolers, the tree lighting and the arrival of Santa Claus here at Sun River Lodge. It was a pretty dramatic affair, complete with fireworks, a parade and a dog fight. It was great and we had a lot of fun walking through the dark, lit only by luminarias.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

My daughter A shares some Thanksgiving thoughts

Why do we celebrate Thanksgiving?

'Cause we're thankful for a lot of things.

When was the first Thanksgiving?

When the pilgrims celebrated at America.

What are you thankful for?

I'm thankful for my Mom and Dad and my Grandmas and Grandpas and Jesus' love.

What are you most excited about for Thanksgiving today?

Because it's almost my birthday.

Z shares some Thanksgiving thoughts

Why do we celebrate Thanksgiving?

To celebrate all the things that we give thanks for.

When was the first Thanksgiving?

When the pilgrims came.

What are you thankful for?

Daddy and Momma and the whole family.

What are you most excited about for Thanksgiving today?

The treats.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

writing update

A couple of updates. As of last night I hit the 60% mark in the book! Yay! Right now I'm writing a scene involving Jesus, an inner-tubing contest and a hungry bear.

I've already mentioned to a few of you, also, that I recently signed with a literary agent. For those of you non-writers out there, this is a Big Deal and I am very pleased. It's a long story of how it came about, but essentially Gary Thomas gave me a couple of referrals and one agent agreed to represent me and the book I'm currently working on. My agent is named Wes Yoder, and he's the President of Ambassador Literary Agency.

Wes has been great to work with... insightful, helpful, available and he has a sense of humor. Once I get the book done and the basic information for a proposal together, Wes will try to sell the book, probably this January sometime. Assuming I have the book done... I have to write it outside of work time, of course, because it's my hobby, not work. So I work on it during weekends and at night.

Fun In the Car

It's always entertaining to be trapped in the van with the kids for several hours, as you are forced to listen to whatever it is they are doing, singing or saying. Two favorite moments from the children yesterday"

1) As we drove through a snowy pass, A said, "Dad, if the temperature was Zero Degrees would we turn into statues?"

2) Z started singing a Kwanzaa song. I asked her if she had any idea what Kwanzaa what it was and she said, "OOOOOOOOO KWANZAA!"

We're in Sun River now with my parents, Krista's parents and our good friend Shasta for Thanksgiving. So far the main rule is "Do whatever you like."

Monday, November 24, 2008

Slow Going This Weekend

Quite a bit less movement forward on the book this weekend. It was a busy one, with birthday parties and movies and a visiting sister. Good times were had by all.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
33,798 / 60,000
(56.3%)


Despite the lack of forward motion, I have a good idea where we're headed for the next five or six chapters, which is good, and then we'll be well into the final third of the book! I think the Thanksgiving weekend will give me another good jump on it. We shall see.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

News From My Neighborhood

Missing: One Farmer. While walking around the neighborhood, Krista and I came upon a wandering farmer. We assume someone is missing him and would like him to come home and drive the tractor. He is tall, Caucasian, white hair and is wearing the traditional red hat and jean overalls. As I recall he said, "Hi" to us. Please contact me if you need further information.

Helmets Perfectly Designed for Upsetting Your Mother. On the same walk, as we came down a hill and turned toward another neighborhood a kid zoomed by on his bicycle, doing wheelies. He had no helmet on. He did have a helmet, but it was attached to his backpack. Which we could see as he continued to do wheelies down the street.

Houdini Dog... Unleashed? Also on this walk, we noticed one of the neighbor's dogs sniffing around the yard in one of Houdini Dog's favorite areas to deliver packages. I went over to the dog (a little blonde yapper) and it immediately started growling at me and walking backwards. I decided to leave the dog alone, come back from the walk and see what deed he had done, cementing his identity. However, upon my return there was no excretory evidence of his presence. Which brought me to this question... was the dog actually Houdini Dog, and, aware that I was aware of his presence he cleverly avoided leaving those tell tale signs of his passing? Or could it be that he is some sort of Dog equivalent to a Police Inspector, doing his best to capture and prosecute Houdini Dog? Sneaky, sneaky Houdini Dog. I'll catch you next time, my pretty.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Eavesdropping With Matt (Episode Thirty-Five: At the Christian Book Store)

Dedicated to the young man and his mother in line ahead of me, and especially to the woman who was ringing up their purchases.

Cashier: Oh, is this book meant to be the Christian answer to Harry Potter?

Boy: Uh, no. Not really.

Cashier: Did you read those books... the Harry Potter books?

Boy: Yeah.

Cashier: Did you want to read them or did you get forced to read them at school?

Mother: He and his father read them together so they could discuss them.

Cashier: They're just terrible. I heard that a girl becomes a witch and flies around the room.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

this post is the result of tough love related threats concerning me not working on my book and what ninjas will due to me if I don't get back to it

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
30,406 / 60,000
(50.7%)


Officially passed the halfway mark tonight. Yay!

AND watched Steve Martin on 30 Rock. Yay again!

GMAIL NINJA!

GMAIL NINJA! Gmail just rolled out "themes" for your personal mailbox. I chose the ninja, which is awesome. Cute little ninjas are dancing around with their deadly weapons. The ninja change when you're doing different tasks. When you're writing a note, for instance, a ninja appears on the right side of screen practicing his characters. It's great. I want to go to Gmail just to watch the little guys watch my email.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

on my way to OSU

I'm off to speak at OSU tonight. It should be fun, I haven't been on campus in Corvallis in a while. I'll tell you how it goes.

When they won their last game, my Mother-In-Law celebrated with the kids by taking them out for pumpkin milkshakes, because OSU's colors are orange and black. I told the kids that the next time OSU wins they'll have to go out and get black licorice milkshakes. They didn't seem as excited as I had hoped.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Me, the PTA, and Burgerville

Imagine for me now, if you will, your good friend Matt Mikalatos, wearing an apron and working at a fast food restaurant.

I know, that's not a stretch for anyone to imagine.

Ahem.

My job at the PTA-sponsored Burgerville night was to hand out the food to the customers after the Burgerville employees cooked the food. I received no special training. I was neither asked nor required to wash my hands. But I did have an apron, setting me apart from the "customers" and also giving the impression that I was too inept to walk from the counter to the tables without possibly spilling food on myself.

Since the *last* time the PTA "helped" at Burgerville we apparently threw away too many of the little plastic numbers given to customers to let us know their order number, Burgerville now had us using sticky notes to discern who should get which order. The main drawback of sticky-note with a pen-written "108" vs. a plastic tent with a printed 108 has to do with ability to see the number. Add to this the strange human compulsion to roll sticky notes into little cigarette shapes and you suddenly have a lot of parents in aprons walking around and saying things like, "ONE-OH-EIGHT? A hundred and eight? One-zero-eight? It's a milkshake, people. For number one hundred and eight." The less bold parent helpers just walked in circles around the restaurant like Indy 500 racecars (only much slower), hoping that 108 would look over and snatch the milkshake from their hands.

The last time that the PTA hosted this event the teachers served the food, which resulted in our children clamoring to go see their teacher serve burgers, which is, after all, a rare event. Hundreds of people lined up, stretching out of the building and around the restaurant. Tonight the parents helped serve the food, which apparently children see every single day, so the crowd seemed smaller to me. Every few minutes the organizer would come over and say, "It's going to get really busy any minute!" She would look out the window, as if expecting a caravan of cars to pull in.

Burgerville donates 10% of the proceeds from tonight's event to the kids' school, and that's what really matters. So a huge thank you to Burgerville and the Sarah J PTA! And also to me for helping serve food.

Book Update

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
27,268 / 60,000
(45.4%)


This puts me just shy of halfway (obviously). I'm just starting chapter 18.

In other news, tonight I'm volunteering at Burgerville for the PTA from the kids' school. That's almost certainly going to provide something for the blog, don't you think?

Monday, November 17, 2008

This is going to be the best 28 seconds of your day

Here's a video of two rabbits fighting. Until two chickens intervene and break it up.



via boingboing.

Old Man Sweater

I have this blue cardigan that I wear pretty much every day. We call it the "old man sweater." But now it's coming apart. It's getting holes in the sleeve. It's wearing out.

Now I won't have old men walk up to me and say things like, "I wore a cardigan like that every day for twenty years when I worked at Albertson's grocery store."

No longer will I be able to say, "You know, in Europe this is considered fashionable."

No longer will I feel the warm fuzzyness of lamb's wool upon my arms.

Unless, of course, I just keep wearing it anyway. And that is what I am planning on doing.

OLD MAN SWEATER FOREVER!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Other independent films to watch for

When we went to see "Tell No One" there were two trailers I thought looked interesting enough to pique my interest. One's an animated movie about the reality of war. The animation looks fascinating and the story makes it clear this is a movie for adults, not children. No superheroes or fuzzy talking animals. It's called "Waltz With Bashir." Here's a trailer:



The second is called "Slumdog Millionaire." The basic conceit as I understand it is that the main character is on the Indian version of "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" and each question causes a flashback into his life that slowly helps us put together his story and the centrality of a long lost love to why he's on the show. Sounds interesting.



Krista says she'll watch "Slumdog Millionaire" with me, but "Waltz With Bashir" will be on my own. Anyone interested in watching a serious cartoon?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Tell No One

Krista and I went down to the Fox Tower Regal Cinemas tonight to see the French thriller "Tell No One."

A man's wife is brutally murdered. He's suspected of the crime, but we the audience know he's innocent. Eight years later he receives an e-mail that tells him his wife is alive... but to tell no one because he's being watched.

And that's pretty much all I can say. It was a good movie, nice to have a thriller with a slightly more sedate pace (i.e. not summer blockbuster style). The movie is really a meditation on family, justice and obligation. It was interesting and Krista and I had a good conversation about it on the way home.

Not Rated. There were several violent scenes where Krista needed to cover her eyes, and there was a great deal of swearing in French, also some brief nudity. The movie isn't rated, but I'm certain it would be rated R.

And now for something completely different

I'm writing a new book. It's called "Imaginary Jesus." It'll clock in somewhere around the 60k (give or take 5k) mark for words, so here's where I am so far:

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
20,838 / 60,000
(34.7%)


I'm having a lot of fun writing it. I'll fill you in a bit more in the near future.

Friday, November 14, 2008

News From My Neighborhood

Old Man River. There's this old man I often see after taking Z to school. He walks his poodle. He's the one who reads the Farmer's Almanac. Today as I walked by he said, "Nice to get a break from the bad weather for a couple of days, isn't it?" I looked up at the blue sky, stopped and noticed the balmy weather and said, "You know, it really is." Then I felt all thankful for the weather. Thanks, Old Guy!

She Loves Trash. You know how sometimes you see a lot of paper trash on the side of the street where kids are always walking to school? I always assume it's snotty junior highers. Why? Because I am ageist! Early this week I saw a cute little girl (about five or six) walking with her brothers, eating her breakfast off a napkin. Then she finished and placed the napkin in a bush, practically without noticing. Thanks, kid!

Ready for Y3K. On a walk with my wife today, she pointed out that one of the neighbors on another street has an entire garage full of beer and spaghetti sauce. Why can't they be like the rest of us and fill it with stuff? We are not sure. But cases of spaghetti sauce... so strange. Thanks, Chef Boyardee!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A little window into the differences between my kids

We took the kids to the book fair at their school tonight. My parents took them and then I met them there. It was also a "family fun night" where the kids could do crafts. I had a short conversation with each of the kids that points out a couple of their personality differences:

Me: Z, finish up your last craft and then let's walk through the book fair and I'll buy you a book.

Z: But Grandma already bought us each a book...

Me: That's okay, I'll still buy you another.

Then I went to another table to talk to A:

Me: A, finish up your last craft and then let's walk through the book fair and I'll buy you a book.

A: But Gran-- hmm. Okay, Daddy.

Revolutionary Advice With Matt

Q: Dear Matt, my pillar candles burn evenly and become lopsided. How can I prevent this?

A: I suppose you could carefully guard the wick to make sure it doesn't get to long, patrol the melted wax to make sure the solid to liquid ratio of the wax is correct, and keep the candle away from persistent draft.

On the other hand, it's a great deal easier if you never light the candle. It will never burn unevenly then.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Writing Updates

My kids are out of control writers all of a sudden. A is addicted to your comments and dictated another story to me last night so that she could hear from you again. Z has been holing herself up in my office for hours at a time working on a story about fairies and bears and wolves. It's long. You'll see it eventually.

Meanwhile, I have some writing updates myself, but I'm going to hold out for a little bit before revealing them. But it is good news, I think you will be pleased. I may even put out a public cry for help and readers.

In any case, the moral of the story is... keep writing. Keep it up, people.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

This is the last book that A writed. We have the continuing.

Book Two: The Cat Meets The Bunny

Once upon a time there was a cat and a bunny. They lived at the same house with their owners, the mom, the dad and the girl. The bunny had lots of fun with her toys. One day they went to a cat field. And they saw a cat that they really liked sooo much that the mom and dad asked the owner if they could have it. And he said yes, but make sure to take very good care of her, only give her five buckets of food a day or else she will do something. And he said not until you give her four buckets a day.

Chapter Two: The Cat Finds She Likes the Bunny

One day the cat was in a rectangle play place. The bunny was in it, too. She talked and talked with the bunny. And one day they started to play together. They found playing together was more fun than playing with their old friends.

Continuing tomorrow…

Peace At Last


Thinking about Armistice Day today and the "War to End All Wars" made me think of that future Day I hope for when that will actually be true, and no one will dare ever raise their hand in anger against another person made in God's image, and no one need bring violence in the service of justice, because the Prince of Peace will have already brought justice to the Earth.

I stumbled on this painting by Jim Janknegt and really loved it. The Prince of Peace on his white horse, the saints behind him, and fiery angels overhead. From the woods the animals gather, peace even among them, and below the detritus of human society is done away with. Beautiful stuff.

Happy Veterans Day


Today is Veterans Day, which was originally Armistice Day, a celebration of the cease fire at the end of The Great War (on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month... Nov. 11). A lot of people thought at the time that the "War to End All Wars" had finally taught us human beings a lesson, and that the world would never again stoop to such a bloody last resort. So Armistice Day, for many people, was a celebration of what they hoped would be a lasting peace.

In the 1950s, people started to clamor for a chance to honor the dead and living of other wars, too, and so Armistice Day became Veterans Day (interesting side note... the US government has officially declared that it is, indeed veterans (plural) not veteran's (possessive)).

So... happy Veterans Day to all the Vets here at BHR and especially to my Dad, Pete, for his time in the Navy and my Father-In-Law Terry for his time in the army. Also my grandfather, Everett Jones, Army man, my Uncle Tom (army) and my brother-in-law Todd, currently serving in the Navy. Feel free to give your favorite veteran a shout out in the comments.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Woman Loses Earring Two Thousand Years Ago


The Israel Antiquities Authority announced today that they had found a two-thousand year old earring underneath a parking lot in Jerusalem.

Some archaeologists have expressed dismay that they have only found one, and have committed to tearing up the entire parking lot if that's what it takes to complete the pair.

The original owner of the earring was unavailable for comments.

Me and My College Friends

Thanks to the miracle of Facebook, pictures of me in college are making their way to the internet. This one was uploaded by my RA (Kit, in the red sweater) at Lothian Hall at UC Riverside. These are many of my hallmates in the dorms.

From looking at this picture, you can probably tell why one of my nicknames was "White Boy." I miss hanging out with these guys, we had a fun time.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Credit Where Credit is Due

Z spent much of the afternoon typing out a lengthy story, which will no doubt find it's way to BHR eventually. It's the story of a group of fairies trying to figure out how to capture a grizzly bear.

But A became bored because of Z's desire to write, write, write.

Finally, I told A that if she wanted to dictate, I would type for her, and she could have her own story, too (see below).

"Can I put it on my own blog?" she asked.

"Let's just put it on my blog," I said.

"But then you get all the credit," she said.

For the record: I typed the story. I did not edit. I did not ask questions. I did not choose the font colors. It is all A's work.

A Story by A: The Bunny and the Cat

The Bunny and the Cat


Chapter One: The Bunny Meets the Cat


The man asked his wife, “When will we get a daughter and a pet? Our daughter would have the bunny and we will have the cat.”


One day they had a daughter. They were very happy, but it was only one year old. They wished it was seven. One day it was four years old. They were so happy. Soon after a few years she was seven years old. They were even happier than before, when she was only one. Soon they got the cat and the bunny. “One problem,” the daughter said. “I don’t like bunnies.”

The parents said, “Well, you’ll just have to deal with it.”


CHAPTER TWO: The Daughter Finds She Likes the Bunny


They went to a bunny field one day, when she was eight. The daughter thought is was beautiful and she just really wanted a bunny now. But there was still one problem. They had already run out of all the bunnies. Then she liked one of them so much in the field that the person just did it, he gave it to the girl. She was very very very very very happy.


CHAPTER THREE:


When she got the bunny she named it Strawberry. The mother and the father left to buy a cat. But – oopsie – they had gone to the wrong place, it was too far away. The bunny was very happy she got a carrot. She gave her a carrot and she loved her bunny for a long time.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Pharmaceutical Madness

Z has a bacterial infection on her eyelids, which means that I took a journey to the pharmacy today. The pharmacist did not inspire confidence.

Pharmacist: Your daughter will need to take this medicine once every eight hours.

Me: Hmm. So, do I have to wake her up in the middle of the night?

Pharm: No. Give it to her once in the morning when she wakes up, once at night before she goes to bed, and once eight hours after she gets up. You shouldn't have to wake her up.

Me (doing math in my head) -- Let's see, she gets up at seven. Eight hours later it's three in the afternoon, so that's just after school. Eight hours after that is eleven at night. This is not going to work.

Pharm (seeing my confused look): FINE, okay, there's some leeway. Six to ten hours is the window you're looking for.

Me: My daughter goes to bed and doesn't get up for twelve hours...

Pharm: You don't have to wake her up.

Me: Okay.

Next, he introduced the topical cream for putting on her eyelid.

Pharm: When you put this in her eyes, her vision will become blurry. So don't let her run out on the playground while her eyes are blurry.

Me: But... the cream isn't going to actually be put on her eyes, right? Just on her eyelids.

Pharm: Uh, right. But it can be used on the eyes themselves. So if it gets in her eyes, don't worry. But her vision will be blurry after that.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Gearing Up For A Talk Tonight

In a few minutes I'm on my way out the door to go speak at our church's high school group.

BUT WAIT, you say, ISN'T IT ALREADY AFTER NINE AT NIGHT?

That's right, kids. Youth group at our church starts at TEN AT NIGHT.

Why, you ask?

Because our church is rad, that's why.

OBAMANIA

Seattle practically exploded like a teddy bear when Obama won the presidential bid, and my friends in Portland say it was the same around here. Strange episodes of completely spontaneous geriatric bingo burst out, with people shouting things like MCCAIN! I SEE MCCAIN!

As I surf the net, however, I see that people have gone completely out of control with Obama Mania.

For instance, this man has taught his dog to say "Obama."



Others have discovered the effect of Obama's presidency on the far future:


People are making overt references to Obama being Superman:



Or some sort of legendary creature:Whatever happened to the old days, when people were satisfied with painting enormous murals of their candidates?


I would like to end this post with a picture of this guy who has an Obama tattoo on his hip, but I debated long and hard and decided against it. You can google the guy, though. Two things will come up, this guy and some guy who had a tattoo artist (who does not specialize in realistic likenesses of the candidate) decorate his calf.

So instead I will leave you with this fashion accessory:


That's for you, Miss Alexis. I expect to see these in your earlobes when next we meet.

Obama Dog via BoingBoing.
Spockbama via Gateway Pundit.
Obama shirt and dragon via Zimbio.com.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

The name game


You may have heard that UK youth George Garratt has changed his name to Captain Fantastic Faster Than Superman Spiderman Batman Wolverine The Hulk And The Flash Combined.

Let us think about this critically. First of all, the Flash is clearly the fastest hero in this list, despite the occasional farcical race in which Superman ties him (yes, that's right, I am referring to Superman #199 and Flash #175). Let's be honest, here, the Barry Allen Flash could run at speeds approaching the speed of light... so that's pretty fast. Superman is a close second. However, Batman is an ordinary human being. So his speed would drastically lower the average. In fact, none of the others can come remotely near the speed of light. If we combined these six heroes together they would scarcely be able to break the sound barrier.

I will mention, however, that I had a small white stuffed cat in high school that we named using the same technique that Captain Fantastic Faster than Superman Spiderman Batman Wolverine The Hulk And The Flash Combined used. His name was Lyle Kyle Roscoe Shane Fuzzy Thing Jelly Doughnut Bat-cat Psycho Brain Gush.

P.S. Poor Captain Fantastic spelled his own name wrong. It's "Spider-Man" not "Spiderman." That's just sad for him.

Boys With Earrings

I picked up A from the grandparents' house today, and here's the conversation in the van on the way home.

A: Why do I see some boys at the grocery store who have earrings?

Me: Some boys wear earrings.

A: Are they called "Tomboys"?

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

My Favorite Election Moment in Seattle

Soon after President-Elect Obama's acceptance speech, I wandered out onto the Ave here in Seattle. As I headed just north of 45th Street I saw two men about to beat each other to a pulp. Then a bystander yelled at them. "STOP IT! OBAMA IS PRESIDENT NOW! STOP!"

Then the two guys sort of growled at each other and backed off.

It was amazing.

Then one of them yelled, "WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING AT BOY? That's right, turn around and keep walking. Stay cool. Stay in school." So I kept walking and stopped watching. And I guess I will stay in school, too.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Vote Quote #9

"Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men. Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God. Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king."

Apostle Peter

Vote Quote #8

“Alright guys, I want to get out there and vote tomorrow. And not because it's cool, because it's not. You know what is cool? Smoking. Smoke while you vote.”

Jon Stewart

Vote Quote #7

“Suffrage, noun. Expression of opinion by means of a ballot. The right of suffrage (which is held to be both a privilege and a duty) means, as commonly interpreted, the right to vote for the man of another man's choice, and is highly prized.”

Ambrose Bierce

Vote Quote #6

“The vote demonstrates that we accept the notion that all human beings are created in the image of God and have an equal right to preach and teach the word of God.”

Alexander Shapiro

Vote Quote #5

“The ballot is stronger than bullets.”

Joseph A. Schumpeter

Vote Quote #4

“Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule - and both commonly succeed, and are right.”

Henry Louis Mencken

Vote Quote #3

“Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.”

John Quincy Adams

Vote Quote #2

“Bad politicians are sent to Washington by good people who don't vote.”

-- William E. Simon

Vote Quote #1

The vote is the most powerful instrument ever devised by man for breaking down injustice and destroying the terrible walls which imprison men because they are different from other men.

-- L.B. Johnson

Dr. Suess and Coded Voting Instructions


Dr. Suess often included coded political statements in his books (as is so very clear in the book "Green Eggs and Ham").

Here's a quick little reminder from the good doctor about Election Day:

ONE FISH. Every vote matters... even if you're a yellow fish, don't be scared! Jump out of the water and get your vote in.

TWO FISH. Take a friend! Go to the polls alone if you must, but it's always more fun to vote together.

RED FISH, BLUE FISH. It doesn't matter your political affiliation. What matters is that you take your responsibility as a citizen of this nation seriously and VOTE!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Seattle and What I Eat Here

I'm in Seattle right now. We have an annual conference where the leaders of our local teams come together and we work together to figure out answers to some difficult questions, spend time with Jesus and one another. It's a great time.

I love being in Seattle. It's like a huge flashback to my life when Krista and I lived here back before we had kids.

But the most important thing about going to your old home is making sure to eat at some favorite restaurants. I went to Cedars last night. If you've never eaten there, you probably don't realize how jealous you should feel. Lunch today was Nasai Terriyaki. What culinary treats await us tomorrow? Something Presidential I suppose.

Today's an Important Day!

Three years ago today I wrote my first blog post. That's right, today is The Burning Hearts Revolution's BIRTHDAY! Yaaaaay!

If you read that first post, you'll see from what humble beginnings BHR has come. Just look at who our first commenter was! Awww, we miss seeing that guy around here.

To celebrate BHR's birthday, we're going to kick off a month of celebrating. I'll give flashbacks to my favorite BHR moments. Maybe we'll have another poetry contest. I'm thinking, "The Clay Aiken BHR Celebratory Poetry Contest." That ought to be something worth seeing. There might even be gifts for my faithful readers.

In the meantime, if you would like to write a love letter about BHR to be posted here on the site as a guest blog, please send it to matt.mikalatos(at)gmail.com. Write "Happy Birthday BHR" in the subject line. Please remember that I am sneaky as all get out and if you are trying to slip some spam into my mailbox I'll totally catch you. I've seen more spam than a Hawaiian kicthen.

Happy Birthday, BHR, I hope your next three years are twice as strange, fun and interesting, and that you finally get the recognition you so richly deserve... like if President Clinton could come and make comments on the blog like in the old days.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Yet Another Winner

On yesterday's Halloween, the kids and I practiced learning the strange social norms of Halloween. For instance, a porch light that is "on" means, you may stop here and threaten us for candy. If you don't want to "celebrate" Halloween, then you just leave your porch light off and and people know not to knock at your door.

Well, at the end of our street someone had lit their porch light and had this sign posted on their door:

NO HALLOWEEN HERE!

HAPPY REFORMATION DAY.

I thought this was a winning combination of holiday cheer and pretentious snobbery. It's also a GREAT way to teach kids a lesson: Lutherans = Big Meanies. If the Catholic church had been in charge of Reformation Day, it would have been a perfect opportunity to try again at taking over the pagan holidays by having people dress up as Martin Luther. Then we could wander from house to house and nail a list of our demands for candy to the doors of our neighbors.

In other news, I took the kids past our friends' house in the neighborhood who I knew to be Big Fans of all things Reformed and told the kids to say "HAPPY REFORMATION DAY!" instead of trick or treat. So they got TWO pieces of candy each.

And the Winner is...

Lots of interesting costumes came by last night. Apparently the "corpse bride" is reasonably common among young women these days. A lot fewer Supergirls this year. I saw a couple of Iron Mans. Iron Men? There was one guy who had to be twenty-five dressed up as a plumber. He used a fake Indian accent for some inexplicable reason. Of course there were some animals, princesses, army men and (brrrrrr) zombies. Ninjas. Our kids were a fairy princess and a rabbit.

But there was one group of kids who so perfectly captured the spirit of the season, that I think I would give them the prize for Best Traditional Halloween Spirit Costume. It was a group of teenagers who were clearly too old to be going out for Halloween. They didn't wear costumes at all. They boldly walked up to houses, rang the doorbell and defiantly stared down the people who lived there and said, "Trick or treat." They held out their backpacks instead of candy bags. People filled them quickly and without question. One kid was carrying toilet paper, as if to subtly remind us what "trick or treat" really means.

Well done, strange but powerful little teenagers. I wish we had more holidays where you could cajole and threaten people into giving you things. But alas, this month we have Thanksgiving coming. You had best get ready to be grateful for what you've been given.

Eavesdropping with Matt (Episode Thirty-Four: HALLOWEEN EDITION!)

Dedicated to the junior higher with the glowing monster mask, and to my dad.

Kid with glowing mask: How many pieces of candy can I take?

Dad: One.

Kid's friend: Yeah, come on, dude, don't be greedy.

Kid with glowing mask: I'll take two.

(Kids leave.)

Dad: That kid took two pieces of candy.

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