Thursday, December 15, 2005

What movie did they see?

I just read a review of the Chronicles of Narnia in Time, and I can't figure out what the guy's talking about. Maybe it all comes down to having movie reviewers who are illiterate. If they can't read, then they certainly haven't read the books on which the movies they review are based. This would at least give a reason for their thinking that Narnia is a rip-off of Harry Potter.
I mean, good grief, these books were written in the 1950s - unless C.S. Lewis had some amazing psychic powers, I'm pretty sure he never read any of the Potter books which weren't written until decades after his death.
As to the similarities (?) to Tolkein, they were friends who read their books to one another as they were writing them. These guys knew each other's work, and also knew the original backgrounds of the mythic elements they were using.
OK, now you're (perhaps) wondering what I thought of the movie. I found it spectacular. Unlike the Time critic, I found the child actors to be quite excellent. Perhaps he's never experienced emotions beyond fear of explosions and the joy of destruction in a film, but Lucy actually portrayed a very wide range of emotions very well. The special effects were quite special, and the changes made to the story line from the book were quite acceptable to me. By that I mean that I understood that they had only a 2hr period to give us all the background that the expository text of the book would normally convey, so they added a scene or line here and there to give us a quicker glimpse into the relationships among the siblings.
About the only thing I missed (and they almost gave it to me) was the part where the children ask the beavers if it's safe to be around Aslan. The response is that of course he isn't safe - he's not a tame lion, after all - but he's good. They came to it at the very end when Lucy and Tumnus are watching Aslan leave, and I felt it worked well there, but it was still missed at its original spot.
All in all, I loved the movie, and would happily go see it again. I certainly hope they've had enough box office success to assure us at least the next installment in the Chronicles!

Friday, December 09, 2005


At last! The Chronicles of Narnia - The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is opening today, and I'm there! Got my tickets bought, now it's just a matter of waiting and eating popcorn.
I have heard only one even slightly disappointing review so far, and from what the guy said, I don't think he knows the books, so I'm still going in figuring this is going to be spectacular.
Aslan Rocks!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Report on NaNoWriMo

I'm sure you're all dying to know the outcome of National Novel Writing Month. As you probably remember, the goal was to come up with a draft novel of at least 50,000 words. As you probably don't know, I simply don't write rough (nor hardly even first) drafts; I write a finished work, pretty much right as I go along.
Given that, I figure I don't have to get as many mere words placed one after another in order to count myself as successful. (Yes, this is, in fact, a big batch of rationalizing after the fact, but bear with me nonetheless.) As I finished more than 10% of the stated goal of 50,000 words (in fact, I have the first 6,992 words of a novel ready for publication as I write this), I figure I'm way ahead of those who now have to slog through 50,000 words of drek, mining those five or six thousand words worth keeping.
I may post an excerpt at some point, but only if you beg.

Have we all quit Phonics cold turkey?

OK, now that I've gotten that out of my system:
What is it with people who can't pronounce familiar? It's not spelled furmiliar, so why is it constantly pronounced as though it were?
It's not just random stupid folks either - it's supposedly educated television news personalities - oh, sorry, I "meant" journalists.
Good grief, people, look at the word, think about its origin, this isn't rocket surgery (I loved that line in the Eggo syrup commercial). This is coming from the same root as family - you don't go back to your furmily home for Christmas, do you? I didn't think so. Right then, everyone stop it; just pronounce this word correctly so I don't have to get phonetic on you.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Grand Excitement!

It's hard to believe, but we're nearing the mid-point of October. That, of course, means that it's barely more than two weeks to the beginning of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo to those in the know).
I've got far too many ideas for stick shaking, but I plan to press on with my newest concept, and I'll invite you all to view my progress. I'll post the occasional excerpt here, as well as basic info on how it's going. That way, my huge reading audience will be ready for the publication of the next in an ever-growing line of novels from Grand Teuton Press. (Interested in a great book? check out our online store at
I can hardly wait to get my words down on paper (or display, or whatever). If you want to be a part of National Novel Writing Month, check out the website at - you'll have a blast!

Thursday, September 22, 2005

What a trip!

Well, we just got back from our huge trip to Newfoundland which took us through Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Manitoba, Ontario, and back to Michigan. Oh, somehow we missed Newfoundland - perhaps it was the $5 and $6 gallons of gasoline? perhaps it was the $100+ ferry rides to and from the island? I pity the poor folks who count on tourism for their livelihoods these days, it can't be an easy time for them.
Still, we found Voyageurs National Park quite spectacular, even without a boat, and the Thunder Bay / Lake Nipigon region is still wonderful, and the Fall colours were in full swing, let me tell you. Bizarrely, once across the bridge into the UP, the colors went back to green, as if a switch had been turned, or a time zone crossed (no thanks to Rogers wireless - grr! the bane of my cell phone existence, at least as far as the time was concerned. Since when is Thunder Bay in the Mountain Time Zone? No one there seemed to think they were, as evidenced by the time checks on the Giant (, but my phone resolutely pronounced a time off by 2 hours, despite being reset twice! Once we were near the Sault, however, things were back to Eastern Time, and all was well with the world.
I suppose I'll put pictures up somewhere, but man, that's good gouda up there, and amethyst to die for. Who knew that a Sleeping Giant and a quacking duck could coax a hydrophobic dog (no, not rabid) into the bay of Lake Superior? Not we, at least not until we saw it with our own, startled eyes!
OK, enough for right now, I just wanted to get back to a little blogging after my total withdrawal from the virtual world into the real (natural) one. More to come, eh.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Cooking is Art (but not baking)

You know, I find that cooking is an art, but baking is a science. Recipes can be altered as you go, based on what's in the cupboard or pantry, but if you change your baking recipe, you're most likely doomed. That's why I don't bake much.
Cooking is a creative outlet that lets the cook express his feelings: his love for the folks who will consume the food, his love for the Lord who created it all, his joy with the various ingredients. Beware, however, the food of a chef who is busy expressing darker feelings - angst, doubt, anger, despair, a desire for revenge - these will produce dishes best served to no one at all, regardless of the temperature!
I don't know what I'm going to cook tonight for dinner, but I know it's going to be good!


Monday, August 15, 2005

Anybody remember Enable Software?

I was reading an article about some open-source software that's being used for extremely mission-critical type computing. It mentioned a website where one could find other users, in order to get help with the configuring and use of the software, and that got me to thinking.
Way back in the dark ages (before Windows started living on top of DOS and sucking up all the processor cycles), we had an integrated software package called Enable. It had a unified interface to a suite of applications: word processor, spreadsheet, telecom, graphing, and database.
We used to hang out at the enable bbs (that's bulletin board system to those not quite in the know), sharing our tips and tricks (and requests for enhancements) with other users, as well as with the company.
I guess I started using Enable when it was quite new - version 1.1A (back in 198x?) - and it was a welcome replacement to Wordstar and Lotus 1-2-3 in many ways. Stunningly, I still use it daily for many tasks - mostly database reporting, as it has an extremely rich and powerful procedural language which works with dBase IV dbf files, as well as a full implementation of SQL for those non-procedural tasks that sometimes rear their heads - even though the company has been out of business for several years.
One of the first things I do on my new machines is copy over the full installation of enable from a CD or zip disk (yep, it's less than 100MB for all that functionality!) so I can do what it is I need to do.
Anyone else out there still use old, supposedly obsolete software? I can't believe that in a world where tons o' folks are still using Windows 98, that there aren't tons of other older apps still churning out the good work for which they were intended. If you have other great abandoned apps which you still use regularly, why not post a reply here and share them with everyone? Here's a quick list to get you started:
  • enable (where we started)
  • pkzip (that's right, not WinZip!)
  • pfm (a great little file manager and viewer)
  • ted (a tiny editor)
  • AOLpress (an html editor that lets me put frames in my site)

OK, your turn!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Why Settle?

OK, first off, I saw a great sign in front of a church last night that I think was right on:
Envy is counting someone else's blessings, instead of counting your own.
Pretty smart stuff, that. If we would just pay attention to what we have, rather than to what someone else has that we don't, life would be happier, no?

Next, I came up with these on the way to work yesterday, so I'm sharing them here:

Why would you settle for happiness, when God offers you Joy?
Why would you settle for "the Good Life," when God offers you Eternal Life?
Why would you settle for affluence, when God offers you Abundance?
Why would you settle for friendship, when God offers you Fellowship?
Why would you settle for comfort, when God offers you Peace?
Why would you settle for slogans, when God speaks to you in a Still Small Voice?

It seems to me that this is the bill of goods being sold by a lot of the "prosperity" teachers who are abroad in the church these days. "God wants you to be rich," or "God wants you to be happy," or "God wants you to be pretty," or whatever. It's a crock. The fact is, God wants you. Further, God wants you to be. He wants you to be what He designed you to be, not what some charlatan in an Armani suit and Rolex is telling you you want to be.
All that stuff is just what the world has to offer, and it's all crap - it's all stuff that evaporates like a mist, that rust and moth can destroy. That's no treasure, it's a trap, so don't settle for what the world has, when you can accept what God has been trying to give you all along - peace beyond understanding, life more abundant, forgiveness, eternal life, Joy!

Monday, August 08, 2005


I don't understand why it's so difficult for most people (especially Americans, it seems) to handle personal pronouns. Let's take a look at the subject, shall we?

What are personal pronouns?
There are two uses beyond the simple substitution of he for Bruce or she for Sheila, for example. The singular indefinite pronoun and the singular pronoun of personification.

'He' is the singular indefinite pronoun in English ("if a person drinks too much, he will likely experience a hangover"). 'He' also happens to be the masculine personal pronoun.
'She' is the singular pronoun of personification in English ("if England fails to advance America's foreign-policy ambitions, she will suffer terrible consequences"). 'She' also happens to be the feminine personal pronoun.

Confusing the two exhibits not a warm-and-fuzzy concern for the inclusion of women so much as a writer's or speaker's ignorance. Using the feminine personal pronoun as an indefinite article is as moronic as using the masculine personal pronoun for personification. Thus the captain greets us: "Welcome to my ship. Isn't he splendid?"
I mean, give it up, people. It's not thoughtful; it's just illiterate.

Advertising, Marketing, all that kind of thing

I've been reading all these newsletters about how marketers can use blogs as advertising vehicles (They also talk about IM and picture phones). It seems to me that what they're advocating is the same as putting handwritten ads on community bulletin boards, pretending they're from your neighbors. It's one thing for my friend to call me on my cell and send a picture of his new car, just because he's excited about it, but it's another thing entirely to have Bob's Subaru send me a picture of the new Forester on my cell because they want me to buy one.

Just because there's a new way for people to talk to one another, that doesn't mean it has to be an advertising medium, does it? Let's hope not.

Thursday, August 04, 2005


OK, so what's wrong with the whole world, anyway? I mean it seems like no one is happy with anything they have, nor even with wanting to have what someone else already has. What ever happened to having fun at work? What ever happened to feeling like you probably made enough money, based on the work you were doing? Whatever happened to all the fun in the world?

On that cheery note,

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

First Entry

OK, this isn't really an entry, but I figure I should put something here, just to show that I really do have a blog. (How bizarre is that?)