Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Welcome to Earth!

Well, I got a lot less writing done in LA than I had hoped. Actually none. So it will be a little longer before I can post on the topics mentioned below. But I wanted to welcome two new people to this planet:

First, of course, is Grace, who arrived on the afternoon of Erin and Windy's 2nd anniversary on Monday, weighing a spritely 6 pounds. And now second is Betty's Sister who just delivered a slightly less spritely ten pound (!) baby boy today. Congrats all around.

And Welcome! The per captia national debt today is now $28,229 per person, so get workin'. We'll take it in tens and twentys...

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Off to LA

No more posting until Tuesday, as Kathy and I are off to Los Angelese for the Baby shower of Erin and Windy. We'll be hooking up with Airman O'Malley and my Mom, so a good time is guaranteed.

But fear not. While there I will be writing on numerous topics to be posted next week, including more follow-up on the Left Behind video game, a discussion of my gender orientation and a review of the Infancy Gospel of Thomas. Good Times are a-comin'.

Stay tuned.

Oh, and by the way, the previous post seems to have had an effect. The Kitties have been paying a lot more attention to the mice in the house, especially Wee Girl. Nothing like a little public scolding to motivate the soul...

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Tuesday Mouse Blogging

Normally when I skip Friday Cat Blogging, I make up for it later. Can't deprive the readers of kitties, after all. Well today I will, for this weekend they proved themselves to be utterly pathetic creatures.

As several of you know, in addition to having four (five, temporarily) cats, we have also found ourselves with a bit of a rodent problem in our house. Yes, we have mice. And the kitties have proven themselves incapable of dealing with the task.

Which leads to the event on Sunday morning. Waking up after a late night shindig with the usual supects, I started doing some cleanup in the kitchen, including taking out the trash from below the kitchen sink. After tying it up, I heard a curious sound, a sort of 'thump, thump, thump.' Now I am familiar with this sound, having dealt with it before in my office. But the kitties just stared at me, oblivious to the sound, and watching me curiously as I picked up the trash can and looked at the little mouse trapped inside, leaping in the air ineffectively in an attempt to get out.

So I took the little thing outside to let it go, and still, not a reaction from the cats. Nada. Nothing. So as a lesson to them, there will be no cat blogging this week, only a medley of lovely images of cute mice.


Monday, June 19, 2006

Your Funk's off the Hook

Last funkin' week we funkin' got free funkin' tickets to see funkin' Maceo Parker perform funkin' live in funkin' Prospect Park. The funkin' guy funkin' jammed for almost two funkin' hours, then funkin' went funkin' backstage to bring out funkin' Prince to play a funkin' encore. So then funkin' Prince funkin' jammed for another fifteen funkin' minutes.

It was funkin' great.

Also last week I finished season two of Deadwood. Better than the first. Onto Carnivale...

Monday, June 12, 2006

"This game tastes like burning"

Well my quick earlier posting on the upcoming video game, ‘Left Behind: Eternal Forces,’ has lately been getting me somewhat involved with an increasingly turbulent situation. It seems that my post, along with numerous others on the same topic, raised the awareness of one Chris Price, aka Layman, who is undertaking a one-man crusade on the ‘propaganda’ and misinformation on the game, and who is also now a reader and commenter of my blog (welcome, Chris). Mr. Price, who helps run a Christian apologetics website, has been fighting the good fight against those that seek to diminish or misrepresent his faith. To be honest, more power to him in that quest. I find that if one doesn't stand up for what one believes in, no one else will; although what I’ve read of his website seems to be primarily geared to the attacks on Christianity from inaccurate representations of the Left Behind video game and from ‘The DaVinci Code.’

Now the ongoing video game issue has actually made a top diary listing on Daily Kos. In the past week there are now lawsuits flying and resignations from the staff of Rick Warren, a mega pastor who wrote ‘The Purpose Driven Life’ over the issues that resulted from the publicity surrounding this game. Most of the critical commentary on the game has been (rather snarkily) posted by the website ‘Talk 2 Action’, and it is this website that has received the brunt of Mr. Price’s ire. A good old-school flame war has erupted which makes for some good and fun reading.

One of the problems with all sides to this conflict is that the video game has not had its official release yet. So as I point out in a comment to one of Mr. Price’s latest posts on the topic, it is somewhat unfair for all sides to get too crazy on this. Nonetheless, based on the lawsuits and resignations now flying, it does seem to appear that at least some of what the critics thought distasteful about the game is (or at least was) actually planned for it. After all, the screen shots I posted were from the marketing website for the game. But now, one can safely assume that the final game, if it is now ever released, will never be like this. Which is too bad, as it actually sounded like hilarious fun.

Whatever the merits of either sides’ arguments over this game, the folks behind ‘Left Behind: Eternal Forces’ have to admit that publishing screen shots from a game about a religious war showing New York City burning have to expect some inflammatory responses. Mr. Price makes the point responding to my comment that he doesn’t find the images that inflammatory, at least in the context of other video games which are in fact more violent. Perhaps. But any New Yorker who sees those photos are going to be reminded of other images of New York burning because of religious extremism.

As for the DaVinci Code, if I were a devout Christian I wouldn't be taking the success of the book and movie as too much of a threat. This is a book filled with goobers, including the idea that the bathrooms in the Louvre have bars of soap in which one can hide a GPS transponder. What rubbish. There isn't a museum bathroom in the world that doesn't use liquid soap. Sheesh.

Update: As per the posting in comments, I have edited this post to change the name 'Ware' to 'Price'. I'm not certain where that came from. Apologies to Chris Price.

Don't Mess with Jersey Cats

Jack the Cat meets:

A Bear.

From the AP:

WEST MILFORD, N.J. - A black bear picked the wrong yard for a jaunt, running into a territorial tabby who ran the furry beast up a tree — twice.

Jack, a 15-pound orange and white cat, keeps a close vigil on his property, often chasing small animals, but his owners and neighbors say his latest escapade was surprising.

"We used to joke, 'Jack's on duty,' never knowing he'd go after a bear," owner Donna Dickey told The Star-Ledger of Newark for Friday's editions.

Neighbor Suzanne Giovanetti first spotted Jack's accomplishment after her husband saw a bear climb a tree on the edge of their northern New Jersey property on Sunday. Giovanetti thought Jack was simply looking up at the bear, but soon realized the much larger animal was afraid of the hissing cat.

After about 15 minutes, the bear descended and tried to run away, but Jack chased it up another tree.

Dickey, who feared for her cat, then called Jack home and the bear scurried back to the woods.

"He doesn't want anybody in his yard," Dickey said.

Bear sightings are not unusual in West Milford, which experts consider one of the state's most bear-populated areas.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Congratulations, You are the 1000th reader of this blog

Well, this week this wee blog hit a a bit of a milestone: over one thousand unique visitors to the site. Of course, it's really more like the same five people hitting it 200 seperate times each, but still. Actually you five are not alone - the past 100 vistors come from the following places:

Newtonville MA
Davis, CA
Brooklyn, NY
Redding Center, CT
Tucson, AZ
Sunnyvale, CA
Bronx, NY
Decatur, GA
Arlington, VA
Massapequa, NY
Los Angeles, CA
Yakima, WA
Denver, CO
Berlaar, Belgium
Vilnius, Lithuania
Doylestown, PA

What can be interesting is how people are visiting. My 'Yelling Theater in a crowded Fire' post was linked to by a pro-life group who answered the question of whether or not to save a petri dish or a two year old boy by saying, "Save both!". Well, ya got me on that one. Unfortunately I don't have the links to that, as my cheap (ie free) sitemeter usage only saves the previous 100 links, and this one was a few hundred links back. I have had the review of Hedda Gabler linked to, along with a description of a dinner at Rosewater because of one particular wine that I mentioned.

A decent number of people visit as the result of Google searches. Some of them are Googling me, but most are googling things like 'Judas and Giraffe' and coming up with one of my postings on the Judas Gospel. The good news for results like that is they are apparently staying long enough to read the posts, and not flying back to Google to try again.

At around 9 or so visits a day, by year's end I suppose I might end up breaking 2,500 visits. Not bad, I suppose. Of course, I need to keep up posting for that to happen. My brother should take heed...

Friday Cat Blogging

Niece tormenting kitties with a laser pointer edition.

Greetings from Tucson

Though this tidbit is probably old news by now to readers in Tucson, it’s a pretty fun read for those of us who have been inundated with more boring weather lately (rain, rain and more rain.) Via my friend Janni, I was directed to the weather channel blog’s post on a storm that hit Arizona on Tuesday.

What’s fun about it, and what Janni notes, is that this storm was born in Tucson, and hurled at Phoenix. Kind of a revenge fantasy for those who don’t place much value on those living in Arizona’s Capitol. I hope that they are now welcoming their new Duststorm Overlords.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Spring Catchup

Hopefully over the next few days I’ll be able to play some catchup with postings that I have been planning on doing for the past month or two. Things always get in the way, etc, but you, dear reader, care not for such mundane events. You want content, and you want it now, dammit.

I finally got a roll of film developed which will cover several post-worthy events, so now I’ll show some scenes from a wonderful spring day at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Erin and Windy were in town, to help promote the new film that Erin produced for Jeff Garlin, ‘I want someone to eat cheese with.’ Saturday we spent at the Garden, which as it turned out was the Japanese Cherry Blossom festival, and therefore the entire population of the Borough was in attendance. But everything was in bloom, as you can see, including a fairly pregnant Windy, now expecting to deliver in mid-July. In a few weeks Kathy and I will be heading out to LA to say howdy and attend a shower for Windy. A good time is pretty much guaranteed with such hosts.

Erin later scored us some tickets to the movie, and Kathy and I felt privileged as we skipped the long lines in the rain, instead being directed to the line where the important types got their tickets to the sold out show. I don’t believe that the movie (which was being shown as part of the Tribeca Film Festival) has a distribution deal yet, but it was a sweet film and we wish Erin and Jeff Garlin all the best luck in making beaucoup bucks with it.

Friday Cat Blogging

Final Dylan edition. We put up 30 posters around the neighborhood of the new guy, but no responses. But it looks like we got him a home, and hopefully he'll be moving in shortly. We'll miss the scamp.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

The Most Dangerous Game

Ran into this picture at Jesus' General. Too good to pass up. I guess this is what happens when you're forced to stop hunting humans.

Left Behind

In penance for the foul language of the post below, I offer up a posting of free advertising for those who walk in the path of Jesus. Namely the company responsible for the zillions-selling 'Left Behind' series. Not satisfied with taking over the publishing world by storm, they have decided on assaulting the beachhead of video games production.

Via Steve Gilliard's The News Blog, I found out about this game due to be released in October of this year: Left Behind: Eternal Forces. (The above images are screenshots from the game.) Talk to Action has some behind the scenes on the power and money behind this video game dedicated to the teachings and glory of the life of Christ:

Imagine: you are a foot soldier in a paramilitary group whose purpose is to remake America as a Christian theocracy, and establish its worldly vision of the dominion of Christ over all aspects of life. You are issued high-tech military weaponry, and instructed to engage the infidel on the streets of New York City. You are on a mission - both a religious mission and a military mission -- to convert or kill Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, gays, and anyone who advocates the separation of church and state - especially moderate, mainstream Christians. Your mission is "to conduct physical and spiritual warfare"; all who resist must be taken out with extreme prejudice. You have never felt so powerful, so driven by a purpose: you are 13 years old. You are playing a real-time strategy video game whose creators are linked to the empire of mega-church pastor Rick Warren, best selling author of The Purpose Driven Life.

Hopefully this free advertising will help me escape the hellish fates awaiting me for my foul language...