Tuesday, February 26, 2008


I don't have anything important or interesting to say about myself today . . . but I did want to stop and acknowledge some interesting stuff that kids are doing out there.

First, Sarah is hard at work on a new story. It is inspired (as you might guess) on the Harry Potter universe. I haven't read it yet, as she is still working on it, but it seems to be set in the "second generation" group of characters, carrying on the future of the Harry, Ron, and Hermione's children and their own struggles and triumphs at Hogwarts (and beyond?).

What's interesting about this . . . beside the fact that Sarah is really energized with this idea (she's been working on it hard for a few days and generates lots of manuscript every day) is that tons of people are out there doing this now. Existing fan fiction sites have been writing alternative HP stories for many years now, but since the publication of Deathly Hallows, the possibility of plot threads in a Next Generation world has grown steadily. My go-to HP website, The Leaky Cauldron has now begun an ongoing fan-directed story set within this universe.

If Sarah is willing, I'll reproduce the finished text on her blog when she is done. Based on random sentences I have heard, her attention to some details, her sentence construction, and her ability to generate believable dialogue construction is pretty impressive for someone who's seven-and-a-half. I promise you that I read some "college-age" essays when I was a grad student teaching assistant that didn't approach her writing ability.

So, look for that. And while you wait . . . check out this hilarious, kid-centric review of Star Wars.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Bob Evans=newscaster heaven

After church today, we decided to go to Bob Evans for lunch.

While we are juggling the positions of 2.5 kids and coats, a car seat, warming up a bottle, and trying to get our name in the queue for a table, I notice a familiar face walk by in a black turtleneck and jeans.

Why it's none other than local TV anchorman Kent Brockman . . . I mean Kent Justice. Yep, another trip to Bob Evans and another close encounter with a local TV personality.

Years ago, the family saw Bob Nunnally at a Bob Evans in Hilliard. We were having a lunch with our old church's priest at that time.

Now its Kent Justice at a Bob Evans in New Albany.

(And once before, we worship alongside Clay Hall at the huge Lutheran church in Hilliard.)

One can only assume that the newscasters of Ohio are a godly bunch that really enjoy that farm fresh taste.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Stuff . . . galore!

I am desperately trying to carve out some time for myself to blog about the stuff that I can--which is to say not much of anything right now. I could talk about Hannah, but when she's not sleeping, she's eating or crying. The simple truth is that she doesn't do much right now. That will certainly change in the coming weeks (for which Lynda will be very happy) as her eyes begin to focus sharply and she notices that the blogs around her are actual people, making faces to laugh at and so forth. So, that's to come (TK, as they say in the publishing world).

Other random stuff:

1. I found time while Hannah slept on me to watch the tape I made of the "Knight Rider" movie (possible series reboot) that aired last Sunday night. I was underwhelmed. Growing up, I was a very big fan of the original show but this new version just seems to lack any energy. The new KITT is a schmancy Ford Mustang Shelby redesign. The "Mike Traceur" character, who is the son of The Hoff's indelible "Michael Knight" original seems to lack energy also. Most importantly, the voice of KITT (then done by William Daniels) is now done by an almost unrecognizable Val Kilmer (!). Kilmer was a late replacement of Will Arnett. I think that Arnett--given his familiarity with saying the name Michael with contempt--might have added much needed verve to a show that just didn't go anywhere or do much of anything. And you really didn't get the sense that the car (and it's capabilities) are all that awesome. Have we become so technologically jaded since the 80s? Is the ubiquity of cell phones, YouTube, and iPods made it all seem so simple?

2. The family went to see Sarah perform in the Drama Club at her elementary school last night. There were three (approximately 12 minute) plays performed. Sarah was a dwarf named "Slumpy" in The Case of the Bewitched Books, a tale of fairy tale witches that cast a spell to reshape their familiar evil portrayals in fables into that of heroines. In the process, the former heroines--Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, et. al. are recast as villains. You can see a brief clip of Sarah below. She's the second dwarf on the right, in the red cap and red coat. The dwarfs are being forced to march all day and night by a pitiless drill sergeant that is now Snow White.

Generally, I love that Sarah is in the Drama Club and I am fully in support of the effort made by the kids, the coaches, the volunteer parents, and everyone involved. But you can't overlook the slipshod nature of the performance. It's funny when the various microphones that the kids are turning on and off, passing back and forth, causing feedback and static amidst the dropped lines, the monotone delivery of one and the over emphatic nature of another. Add to that the fact that the popcorn maker running in the background periodically makes more noise than the acting troupe--mic'ed up or not. But Sarah did a good job.

4. I refuse to give Puff Daddy/P. Diddy/(just) Diddy any credit for his work in the new remake of Raisin in the Sun. The reason has nothing to do with his performance (or lack thereof). Simply this, after years of asking us to call you increasingly ridiculous names, you try to use Sean Combs in the commercials? Forget it.

5. Wanna influence television directly?

6. In more relevant news . . . I still haven't decided who to vote for in the upcoming Ohio primaries. As you probably know, my first choices are somewhere between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. But I do have a lot of respect for John McCain, though I don't think I'll vote for him in the end. About a week ago I was all psyched to vote Obama . . . but now I'm beginning to think he's like New Coke. Everyone was excited briefly, but in the end you wanted your old familiar Coke back again. (In this tortured analogy, Hillary is regular Coke.) New Coke is flashy and has dramatic advertising. But after tasting New Coke, you wonder if he can get things done in Washington. The newness is exciting but in the end, will your thirst be quenched like you need? Regular Coke, on the other hand, is predictable, less exciting, and fully expected. But you know that Regular Coke can get legislation through Congress and get the government running right? Regular Coke has been doing it forever and knows how to get frosty in the glass just when you are thirsty. McCain, I guess, is RC Cola . . . or (if you believe his detractors who call him a hothead . . . Mountain Dew?). So, what I'm saying is . . . I don't know for sure yet. I'm tantalized by the prospect of newness and dreams of the unknown, but the practical father and suburbanite in me is leaning toward the more of a sure thing?

Last night's LOST episode: "Eggtown"

Lots of very interesting stuff happened on last night’s episode, “Eggtown.”

  • First and foremost . . . we already have “Who’s in the coffin?” NOW, we’ve got “Who are the Oceanic 6 PLUS TWO? We know Sayid, Kate, Jack, Hurley get off the island. Now we know that Aaron is also off, but is he one of the O6?
  • We also know that the “lie” that has been mentioned about their time on the island is being revealed. The O6 survivors say that only 8 people survived the crash. We can already calculate that Jack, Kate, Sayid, Hurley, (and Aaron) are among that 8, but who else are they claiming? One of those 6 (or 8) is the person in the coffin, right?
  • Before Kate said her son’s name, Lynda and I debated who the father was. She said Sawyer, I said Jack. Now it’s neither. But presumably Claire dies and Kate takes Aaron back to the U.S. Why? How?
  • I don’t think we can count Ben among the 8 survivors that Jack mentioned at the trial. Ben’s been coming/going from the island for quite a while—as evidenced by the cache of clothes and money revealed last week and by Miles references to “what Ben can do” last night.
  • Now we have a better idea of why Jack want’s to go back to the island. Clearly things go very wrong as they board the freighter and try to leave the island. Possibly Claire dies in some mix up. Jack feels responsible for this and that is why he won’t come to see Aaron at Kate’s house. He want’s to go back to the island to atone for his mistake in contacting the freighter, and for providing a reliable way to bring home the remainder of the survivors that no one knows about.
  • Locke is in serious trouble, being manipulated by Ben once again. He’s always been gullible and susceptible to the wiles of other, stronger individuals. He’s clearly in over his head at the Barracks—his tough grenade talk with Miles notwithstanding.
  • Shouldn't Kate be MORE concerned about the possibility of getting pregnant on the island? She knows from Juliet that pregnancies conceived on the island are a death sentence. I suppose she figures she’ll be leaving the danger zone before the problem arises? And doesn’t Sawyer know about the pregnancy dangers as well? He seems awfully casual about sex that might lead to Kate dying, right?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

I love my neglected blog

I really do . . . but I haven't written on you in a week or so.

If I did take the time to do so, I would take about the story that Val Kilmer is now providing the voice of KITT in the Knight Rider TV reboot that will be coming to a TV near you soon.

I would also talk about the sad death of Roy Scheider and speculate as to why Crazy Tom Cruise wanted the star of "Jaws" and "Blue Thunder" to exit the stage.

I might also express my excitement that the writer's strike is over and I can look forward to a grand total of 13 new LOST episodes in season 4. That's three less than originally scheduled, but considering how a three month strike wrecked havoc on the TV schedule this year, I'm pretty happy. I might also mention the plan that Shirtless and I hatched yesterday (and which I need to transmit to LOST producters Lindelof and Cuse) that the missing three episodes from this season need to be bumped to the end of the series in 2010 and used to create a stand-alone three-episode Zombie Season miniseries.

I might talk about how Hannah is doing what babies do . . . crying a lot at night and taxing the patience and reserve of Lynda and I. Who knows why? I am sure it'll someday end, but it sure is difficult when she is crying for minutes at a time and absolutely NOTHING that you do can stop it. I guess you just grit your teeth and bear it until she tires herself out.

These are things I might spend MUCH more time developing and being introspective about.

But that time is not now.

Friday, February 08, 2008

LOST epidose 402: "Confirmed Dead"

Just a few observations to last night's episode.

1. The people on the freighter, from which the UnFantastic Four from the helicopter hail, CLEARLY are members of the DHARMA Initiative. Dan is a physicist. Miles is a psychic. Charlotte is an archaeologist. And The Lawnmower Man (what's his character name) is a pilot for hire. The sinister African American (Mr. Abaddon, I think?) who hired Naomi and visited FutureHurley in the insane asylum is also part of the DHARMA Initiative.

2. This is clear since the sciences represented by Dan, Miles, and Charlotte are all sciences represented within the DHARMA Initiative.

3. The fact that they are out for Ben Linus--the young man that went rogue against DHARMA and participated in the mass killing of the entire research community on the island--is proof enough. But, even more compelling . . . who but DHARMA even knows where the island is?

4. Finally . . . who is Ben agent on the freighter? (Remember that he said at the end of the episode that he had a man on the boat?) I GUARANTEE that the man on the boat is Annie, the girl that befriended young Ben back in the Season 3 episode "The Man Behind the Curtain" where we see young Ben's life on arriving at the island.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Week Two

Just a brief note since I haven't blogged in a while. (I really had a nice rhythm going there, but we all knew it wouldn't last.)

Hannah recovered from her jaundice and has started gaining weight. She just crossed the 7 pound threshold the other day and the sky's the limit from here on out, I guess--at least until the President's Council on Fitness starts butting in or Mayor Coleman tries to get her to "commit to be fit."

Hannah got better, but I was worse. About a day after she came home from the hospital, I became symptomatic with conjunctivitis (pink eye as it is commonly known). It's highly contagious, as my next-door-cube-mate at work can sadly attest to, so I was unable to hold Hannah for about five days while I dosed my eyes with antibiotic and struggled with the irritation, the constant drainage. Yuck.

But, I'm finally over than and have been pitching in to help Lynda. Often our nightly routine is that I get Sarah and Grace up to bed while Lynda feeds Hannah and tries to get her down for an early evening sleep. Then she lays down to try and rest for a few hours before the late night feeding begins. At this stage of the game, H. needs to feed around every three or four hours. So, while I am not using my paternity leave (which I plan to bank and use at the end of her maternity leave), I get to sleep while she feeds her during the late night hours.

All in all, things are going well. We are settling into our various roles and spaces in the new family geography that is being created around us. As usual, when things become routine, something will pop up to throw that off, but that is the thrill of living, right?