Thursday, June 30, 2011

News from Our Neighborhood: SUPER MOUSE!

Well, there's been news aplenty from our neighborhood, but the sheer volume has made it nigh impossible to keep it updated.

One small tidbit from Our Very Own Garage.

Recently, there have been tiny sounds of munchings and crunchings around our house. As well as scurryings and hurryings. Suspecting MICE to be responsible (for I am naturally suspicious of mice), I have been mentally gearing up for figuring out how to put mouse traps about the house without accidentally capturing my two year old.

Today I walked out to the garage to put a box of crackers on the shelf, when I heard one of the aforementioned scurryings. I looked over to the shelf (which comes to about my shoulder) and saw a tiny furred body propel itself from the shelf as from a diving board, leaping a full two feet out from the shelf, landing on the ground and then making a great deal of haste to scurry across the floor and under the freezer. I stood in slack-jawed amazement at this prodigious rodent feat of aerial deviltry.

What could give a mouse such a gigantic store of energy? What could cause it to fly much like a rocket, and speed across the floor like a miniature NASCAR in a fur robe?

Excellent questions that were soon answered when I investigated the pantry shelf to see what the little thief had been eating.

One thing is certain: the mouse prefers strawberry flavor.
It appears that I will need to build a mousetrap that uses a remote control car as the base, so that it can catch up to this speedy mouse. And should I use sugar wafers as the bait? I GUESS WE SHALL SOON SEE, MY FURRY LITTLE NEMESIS!

Updates are sure to follow.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Movie Review: The Great Match

The Great MatchThis weekend we watched The Great Match, a really enjoyable and funny "global comedy" about three diverse groups of people trying to find a way to watch the 2002 World Cup, despite the fact that they live in remote sections of the earth. The story follows a family of Mongolian nomads, a tribe of Amazonian Indios, and a caravan of Tuareg in the Sahara desert, all trying to find a way to get a signal to their televisions that will allow them to watch the big game.

The movie was gentle, funny, moving, and ultimately a reminder of how much diversity there is in the human experience, as well as how much we have in common. And it was really fun to watch, and made me laugh out loud multiple times. I highly recommend it.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Imaginary Jesus in Santa Cruz!

The first summer mission trip I ever went on was to Santa Cruz, Califonia, on the Santa Cruz summer project. This summer they set out this sign by their motel and gave away copies of Imaginary Jesus to people as they walked down to the beach. They said that they've given hundreds of copies away! That's pretty cool!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Things I've Been Thinking About This Week

English stage magician turned Nazi fighter, Jasper Maskelyne.

Nazi motorcycle, the 1942 BMW R75.


Cowboy slang.

Wondering how long it will be before I'm forced by someone to use the term "ground truth" to refer to "field research." I heard someone on the radio this week saying she had been "ground truthing" the political situation in Portland. Blech.

Submitting comic book ideas to Dark Horse Comics.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wonderful Wednesday: Art by Jasinski

Parlor Tricks for the Rabble by Jasinski

My friend Alan sent me this picture last week, which led to exploring Jasinski's website, where you can see paintings that mix pop culture, music, science fiction and classic movie stars. They're a lot of fun and you should check them out.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Ridiculous Reviewers On Amazon: One Star Review for Green Eggs and Ham

Green Eggs and Ham (I Can Read It All by Myself Beginner Books)If you've been a kid, chances are good that you've read Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss. If you have a kid, you may have the entire book memorized. I think we all know what it's about... a ridiculous story of a guy who won't try green eggs and ham, who is mercilessly harassed by another guy to try them until he does and (SPOILER) he likes them. It's funny, surreal, ridiculous and entertaining.

But of course that won't stop some cranky Amazon reviewer from hating it and giving it a one star review. Here are my two favorites:

Numero Uno, from "A Kid" has this to say:

I dont like Dr.Suess books because they bore the heack out of me. The illistrations were lame,but after a while of constantly staring at them in discust, they were just really funny. Because they were funny,I gave them 2 stars.

Looks like somebody needs to read more Dr. Seuss books to learn how to spell. A counting book may also be in order, since he said he gave it two stars but actually only gave it one.

And, secondly, a classic review from A Customer, who titled his review, "An asinine, boring book."

This book is SOOOOOOOO annoying! What's the deal with all the rhyming? That got on my last nerve. I can't believe this book is a children's "classic". This book does for childrens' books what Jim Jones did for children's drinks (kool-aid, that is). If you want a GREAT children's book, try "Atlas Shrugged" the pop-up book by Ayn Rand.
Okay... the book is annoying, it rhymes and is boring. Hmmm. Then he compares it to deadly Kool Aid. Then he says that everyone should read a pop-up book of Ayn Rand's Objectivist screed, "Atlas Shrugged." I couldn't believe that such a book exists, so I looked it up and... as near as I can tell it doesn't exist. I suppose it's a joke. But from what I hear, if you want to be bored and annoyed you could look up the first part of the movie adaptation of Atlas Shrugged.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Weird Links!!!

A good friend sent me a lot of weird links this weekend, and now you must also share them with other people or you will be doomed to some horrible fate.

First, a Jewish rabbinical court has sentenced a dog to stoning... because they believe it to be the reincarnated form of a lawyer who once insulted them.

Second, a fawn carcass is found dangling from an electrical power line in Missoula, Montana. With pictures!

Third, New York City hates geese enough to cook them and send them to the poor, poor people of Pennsylvania. Because there aren't any poor people in NYC!

And lastly, Chinese genetically engineered dairy cows are now able to provide human breast milk! Question: will cows still be allowed to nurse in public? They will here in Portland!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Ridiculous Reviewers On Amazon: One Star Review for Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov

The Brothers Karamazov (Bantam Classics)The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky is the story of three brothers, their much hated father, a murder, a love triangle, God, free will, human suffering, and what it means to be a good person. It's entertaining, funny, moving and I would honestly say it's one of the greatest novels I've ever read. And I'm not alone... a long history of authors, artists and thinkers love this book. They don't care that it's Russian or that, at its heart, it's a Christian novel. It transcends the boxes people try to put it in, because it deals with universal themes.

Which, of course, means that it's time for another RIDICULOUS ONE STAR REVIEW FROM AMAZON!

Number one comes from our ever popular "A Customer"... a common name used by people writing one star reviews. Here's what he has to say:

If you are interested in reading a book with a plot, or something resembling a plot, you're in the wrong place. Classic or no, I couldn't care less about the characters and never finished the book. It was a waste of valuable reading hours.
 No, no, no. Even if you hate the book, you need to acknowledge that it has a plot. Like the next one star reviewer, also calling himself "A Customer" who used this provocative title for his review: "All about sex and violence and drunkeness, really boring."

Ha ha ha. Sex, violence, drunkeness. SUPER BORING!

And his review:

This book is all about some badly behaved brothers and their mean father and how they do nothing but shout and drink and threaten one another and are lewd and then, one of them anyway, goes to England, or at least he wants to. You call that a story?

Why, yes, yes I do call that a story. Also you left out the murder. And the love triangle. And the poor sick little boy.

Ahhhhh, Ridiculous One Star Reviewers, how you entertain us.

You can read more One Star Reviews here.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wonderful Wednesday: Lion Trying To Eat a Baby, Parents Laugh and Take Photos

Here's the video:

Apparently there's a whole genre based around large cats attacking kids through glass at the zoo. Which seems so ha-ha funny until the lions get out during some post-apocalyptic future and your kids think they are invulnerable to tigers or something.

When we lived in Asia, I had Z in one of those baby backpacks and we went to the local zoo, where the lion was held back from the visitors by a chain link fence. One day the lion looked right at Z and started roaring and then got into "pounce position." I didn't stick around to take pictures. We rapidly headed over to visit the monkeys.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I just couldn't help myself, I had to do it

Last week I saw a guy wearing this t-shirt that said, "SARCASM: The body's natural defense against stupidity."

I walked up to him and said, with all hte sarcasm I could muster, "Nice shirt."

I don't think he got it.

Monday, June 13, 2011

LINKS! The Sausage of the Internet

Hello, minions! I trust you have been busily doing something important during my brief blogging vacation.

Here are some things destined to make your week more lovely and enjoyable and to make the summer sunshine pierce straight through to your wizened little winter hearts:

1) I recently spoke at Clayton Community Church, which was a lot of fun. Many people I've known since I was a kid attend there, so it was like being at home! The pastors have decided to dedicate this summer to an "Imaginary Jesus" summer sermon series. You can hear my talk as well as the ones by ACTUAL PASTORS here.

Bond of Brothers: Connecting with Other Men Beyond Work, Weather and Sports2) My dear friend and literary agent Wes Yoder recently appeared on the Family Life radio program talking about his new book, Bond of Brothers. Here's the first part of the program. You can listen to the second part of the show here.

3) Meanwhile, I know that some of you have been wondering what you should do with all that spam you get. This guy had a good answer... pretend to be a comic book character and then write the spammer back.