Tuesday, June 28, 2005

RCS Boycotts Russell Crowe Films and other such nonsense(news)...

Well I've been watching Mr. Crowe and his antics for a few years now hoping that he'd finally manage to prove himself to be every bit as good a human being as he is an actor. I'm done watching. I'm done. I'm not sure what passes for acceptable behavior in his world but if this account is accurate Suit vs. Crowe to fly then I hope they throw the book at him. Way to go Mr. Crowe, I'm glad you finally found your way into the American Criminal Justice System. Of course you're rich so you may prove that there was a good and justifiable reason for throwing a phone and then a ceramic bowl at a hotel clerk's head...

The nausea and my general, I don't want to be here attitude are working together to make it difficult for me to stay in school today. Some days are just like that. I'm going to go to my Biology lab anyway. We have a midterm. I didn't study for it at all yet though I'll probably put some time in after I finish this blog entry.

On the home front, the girls are all sick with, what looks like, tonsillitis so nobody's sleeping with all the coughing. Fun fun fun...

In other news, the fine art of Necromancy has made a great stride forward this week. Boffins create zombie dogs Apparently scientists have managed to revive dead dogs three hours after they were clinically dead and are eagerly looking forward to applying this technique to humans. This scares me on some level (not that you couldn't tell). Maybe it's the photograph in the article.


Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Musings on life...

I was replying to a blog earlier today and ended up writing a rather large chunk. I thought it to be coherent enough to be included here as blog entry:

"I think that life, here and now, is exactly as it "should" be. I think that it is the product of more than just what I've done. Rather the product of what my friends, my family, my government, my society, stretching back through the generations to the dawn of time have done. I think life, this world in which we live, is an extention of all of us - our hopes and dreams, our successes, our failures, and our beliefs. Looking too long at one aspect of one life causes me to lose focus on the beauty of the tapestry as a whole - a single point on a single thread is rather boring and unattractive when taken out of context.

The interesting thing to me is that no matter whether I am afraid and feel inadequate to a situation or supremely confident and capable, the results, in the world around me are largely beyond my control. I simply focus on doing my best to show up for whatever life throws me every day. If I can find someone to help, even in the smallest way, I can forget, for a moment the maelstrom inside my head and proceed without fear.

I no longer spend a lot of energy planning for the future. Rather, I wake up everyday and show up, to the best of my ability, for the adventure that is life every day. I listen to my inspiration more and more and it has led me without fail to what I "should" be doing moment to moment, hour to hour, and day to day."

I didn't realize until after I had written this that I had failed to apply the priciples I espouse here in my own life today. I've been running around with a constant, low level of anxiety all day. Not your full on, shitball crazy panic mind you, just nervous and anxious. The beauty is this, and it works this way every time in my world, as soon as I quit focusing on my BS and got on with trying to help somebody else, I began to feel peace. I don't really know why it works and, I suppose, I don't really care - it works if I can just get out of the way.


Sunday, June 19, 2005

Ratings and Comentary on a few films...

As it turns out, I see a lot of movies. Given my schedule, I haven't really had the time to write a full review for all of them so consider this an apology and an effort to catch up...


Star Wars

Star Wars Episode III - Revenge of the Sith was easily the best movie of the new trilogy. It's a bit tedious in parts and Amidala's death seems a pointless degradation of her character from a strong, principled senator to a girl who can't live without her man. Aside from that however, the movie is breath taking. I would rank it above Return of the Jedi but below the original Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back.


Batman Begins

Saw this one yesterday and it is absolutely incredible. It takes on the DC Comics storyline of Batman and succeeds admirably. This dark knight is dark and broody but still maintains a sense of justice and kindness at his core. All of the performances are interesting and fresh. The players include newcomer Christian Bale as batman, Michael Cain as the butler Alfred, Ken Watanabe plays as the old master Raz, Liam Neeson is Raz's best pupil and trainer of the young Bruce Wayne, the cast is rounded out by Rutger Hauer, Morgan Freeman, Katie Holmes, and Gary Oldman as Detective Gordon. This is a must see.


Angels in America

This HBO mini-series is incredible. It tracks the lives of two homosexual men during the Reagan Era and their struggle with AIDS. Al Pacino, Meryl Streep, and Emma Thompson are the powerhouses of the series though the less well known actors, Marie Louis Parker, Jeffrey Wright, Patrick Wilson, Justin Kirk, and Ben Shenkman all turn in performances equal to and, at times, better than the series greats. It's gritty, irreverent, and wry humor along with it's often poignant scenes of loss and frustration made it impossible for me to get up and do anything else until it was over.


Sin City

This movie is one you'll either love or hate. It's done in comic book style. It's entirely black & white with select portions colorized to emphasize certain portions of the film. It's noir, it's pornographically violent, it's unsettling and it will be a cult classic. I loved it.


An Officer and a Gentleman

For many of you who may be thinking, "They made a remake?" No. I just saw it for the first time this week - so I get to review it. It's pretty damn good I must say – a little corny in some places but, all in all, a good film. If you haven't seen it, check it out.


Saturday, June 18, 2005

06.18.05 - Life Update

I added some blogs to the list that I visit. They are all hilarious and irreverent - qualities I appreciate. Check them out!

Life continues to be interesting. I took my first exam in Biology this week and I'll be pleased if I got at least 70% on it. I have never worked so hard for so small a victory in school before. I said that I was looking forward to the challenge. Well, it's here and I'm sweating it a bit. Growth is good right?

Josh is back from Canada. He seems no worse for the wear although he did come back with a DARK tan. He had fun and caught some big fish. He's looking forward to the eighth grade this fall. My three will get here tomorrow and Jordon is back on Monday. We'll probably send Joshua with his other grandparents for a week so they can see him. Hopefully we can work out a time in August for him to go out to Oklahoma and visit his dad.

I switched over to Mozilla Firefox this week after reading about it online. I like it quite a bit and, if the literature is to be believed, it is MUCH more secure than Internet Explorer. Also on the software front, Crap Cleaner has become one of my new favorites. It basically cleans up the crap on your computer... ;-)

I'll be studying for the remainder of the weekend. Yay! Hopefully more studying will improve my grades. I'm even thinking about seeing a Biology tutor...


Undestand why you think what you think by taking this political test.

Political Test

Your Score

Your scored -3.5 on the Moral Order axis and 1 on the Moral Rules axis.


The following items best match your score:

1. System: Socialism
2. Variation: Moderate Socialism
3. Ideologies: Social Democratism
4. US Parties: Democratic Party
5. Presidents: Jimmy Carter (95.06%)
6. 2004 Election Candidates: Ralph Nader (88.95%), John Kerry (86.56%), George W. Bush (54.02%)


Of the 83816 people who took the test:

1. 1.2% had the same score as you.
2. 26.1% were above you on the chart.
3. 66.6% were below you on the chart.
4. 69.4% were to your right on the chart.
5. 22.6% were to your left on the chart.

I am not a socialist or even particularly liberal. I certainly have issues on which I may wax a bit liberal or socialist. Still, I'm curious if the test works for any of you. Take a look and let me know what you think. It's 16 multiple choice questions!


Saturday, June 11, 2005

06.11.05 - 100 Things about RCS

Well others have done it and so shall I. There’s some gritty stuff here that some of you may not know – so go carefully. Here’s my 100 things about me list…

1.) I was very sickly for the first two years of my life.
2.) I got drunk for the first time at 2yrs old. My father set his beer down to go to the restroom and told me not to touch it. I drank the whole thing. I’m told I was drunk for quite a while and hung over for a couple of days.
3.) My grandfather, hereafter referred to as Forest, didn’t believe my parents should take me to the doctor.
4.) My dad quit smoking cold turkey because, at one time, my favorite toy was a corncob pipe.
5.) My mother detests violence and, as such, would never allow me to own any toy gun other than a squirt gun and those were only allowed outside!
6.) I’m told I once beat up a boy named David for a seat on the bus in kindergarten – I have no recollection of this event. I’m sorry David.
7.) I started learning to play piano when I was 5 and played until I was 8 when I discovered the guitar and I’ve been playing that exclusively ever since.
8.) I played violin from the ages of 7 to 9 and I was never, in my estimation, very good - though I was second chair for much of that time.
9.) I like almost all kinds of music.
10.) I drove Quarter Midgets and later Half Midgets from the age of 9 to the age of 18.
11.)I drove because it made my grandpa Lew happy – I was the boy he always wanted.
12.) When I was little, I adored my grandma Diane.
13.) When I grew up, I became resentful of her and ultimately broke contact with her.
14.) I spent much of my childhood with my grandparents – it was a happy time.
15.) My first “girlfriend” at age 5 taught me how to ride her bicycle.
16.) My second “girlfriend” used to hunt me down and alternately kick me with her purple pointed cowboy boots and/or kiss me. – We still talk every few years today.
17.) My favorite cartoons as a teenager were HeMan, Thundercats, and Voltron.
18.) My favorite songs were “Sweet Dreams” by the Eurythmics and 99 Red Balloons by Gold Finger.
19.) I lost my virginity at age 13. She was twelve. I remember being disappointed.
20.) I was elected President of my church youth group.
21.) I ran because a girl I didn’t realize I had a crush on was running.
22.) I was surprised years later, when I heard that she got married, to find that I was devastated by the news. My sister says everybody knew I had a crush on her. I wish someone had clued me in.
23.) I had a “mullet” hair cut.
24.) I fell in love, for the first time, at fifteen.
25.) I snuck out of my window and walked or rode my skateboard ten miles round trip every night for most of a year to see her.
26.) The night she lost her virginity, we fell asleep in each others arms and were awakened at 4:30am by her mother who was coming in to wake her up for Mormon seminary. Her stepfather came into the room as I was pulling my shirt over my head. That was the first time I looked into a man’s eyes and knew he wanted me dead.
27.) Her stepfather later molested me and equated the way it made me feel to the way I had made her feel. He forbade our relationship and she was turned out and vilified in front of her church and family.
28.) This plunged me into a two year depression. I later discovered that some of my teachers were so concerned that they met weekly to discuss me. It never occurred to me to hurt myself or anyone else.
29.) I fell in love with my high school sweetheart at age 17. We dated for two and a half years. We too still talk occasionally.
30.) I got drunk for the first time as an adult. It was incredible.
31.) At 19 I got involved in the Society for Creative Anachronism – a medieval recreation group whose moniker SCA could more accurately be translated as The Society for Consenting Adults.
32.) They taught me how to fence (with a sword), drink lots, and charm women.
33.) I’ve explored just about every sexual possibility you can think of. (well ok, maybe not every possibility ;-))
34.) I consider myself to be Bisexual though I strongly prefer women.
35.) I believe that 10% of the world is really straight and 10% is really gay and that the rest of us fall somewhere in the middle.
36.) I seduced my first wife with charm and a feather.
37.) I shallowly married her because we seemed to get along, she was pregnant, and I was pretty sure she would remain thin after having kids. Thankfully, I’ve grown up a bit.
38.) I quit drinking, smoking, and drugs 02/03/1995.
39.) Aside from 1 clove cigarette in 2000 (which made me sick) I’ve been clean and sober ever since.
40.) I worked in and/or managed Pizza Huts for approximately seventeen years.
41.) I hated it for at least fifteen of those years.
42.) I’ve worked as a Machinist, a Carpenter, a Painter, a Computer Programmer, a Computer Consultant, a Nutricutical Service Associate, a Call Center Team Leader, a Busboy, a Cook, a Waiter, a Delivery Driver, a Shift Manager, an Assistant Manager, and a General Manager.
43.) I’m the biological father of 3 wonderful kids and I am hoping to adopt my fiancé’s 3 as well.
44.) I cannot have sex without falling in love.
45.) I have a hard time being kind to ignorant people.
46.) I believe there are some things that are unforgivable.
47.) I believe that to forget things that you have forgiven can be dangerous.
48.) I believe friendship is rare and should be cherished.
49.) I don’t tolerate relationships that bring chaos and/or violence into my world.
50.) Once I love, I love for life - though I do fall out of like.
51.) I try to love without attachment.
52.) I am direct and speak with very little “editing”.
53.) I will answer any direct question honestly.
54.) I rarely have the need to apologize - I generally mean what I say.
55.) The older I get, the less and less I care what other people think.
56.) The older I get, the less willing I am to spend my time doing things I don’t want to do.
57.) I believe in service. If I can help without endangering those for whom I’m responsible, I will.
58.) I never loan money unless I can afford to give it away as a gift. That way, if it comes back, I can be surprised and happy rather than be resentful that someone owes me money.
59.) I love good food.
60.) One of my favorite life tools is to remember that, in most every interaction with other people, they are more important than me.
61.) My favorite life principle is that if you want something, you have to give it to someone else.
62.) Today I depend upon my intuition. It is the root of my faith.
63.) I don’t find any personal validity in organized religion though I think it’s fine for other people if it is working for them.
64.) I do believe that there is a higher power (God) in the universe and that it has no specific gender and that it has a plan. Life is too ordered, an order within chaos, to exist without such a being. Perhaps it looks more like a combined life super-consciousness.
65.) I believe that there are many levels of life and that some may be sufficiently advanced, as compared to us, as to seem godlike.
66.) I believe in reincarnation as I think it unlikely that we could rise to a state of enlightenment or, in the Christian sense, to live a Christ-like life in one lifetime. I believe the lessons to be learned can only be learned at the right time, and in the right place, and only if the person is ready and willing to learn them.
67.) I believe that life, here and now, is exactly as it should be.
68.) I do not believe in time as a linear concept. Rather, I suspect that if we had perspective to view it, we would see that every event that has ever happened or will ever happen is laid out on a table in every possible permutation of free will.
69.) I think this explains our imagination’s capacity to create. I think that at some level beyond our consciousness, we are aware of these other realities and that we draw on them for inspiration in our own lives.
70.) I know that as a species there is far, far more that we don’t comprehend than there is that we do.
71.) I studied Aikido, Shao-lin Kung Fu, and Tai Chi over the period of several years until I discovered that I am not a violent man and I don’t want to hurt people.
72.) I will not get into a physical fight unless I have to – the price is too high.
73.) I spend money like water – very impulsive.
74.) I love to ride motorcycles.
75.) It took me years to get honest with myself about wanting to be a healer. It terrifies me because of the immense responsibility and because of the deep personal connections required to be really helpful.
76.) By default, I’m an isolationist. My intuition tells me, quite loudly, that I need to get out into the world and look for ways to be helpful. I’m still learning to listen to this suggestion.
77.) I think that the human race must learn to adapt or it will die off. We must, as a race, look to and plan for the future.
78.) I don’t believe we are the only sentient life in the universe.
79.) I do believe in extra terrestrials, ghosts, poltergeists, angels, and demons.
80.) I believe that 90% of good health is mental.
81.) I believe that everyone who dies, dies at the time that they have learned what they came to this place and time to learn from the aborted fetus to murder victim, to the old woman who dies at the age of 99 in the care of her loving family.
82.) I believe in spirit guides.
83.) I believe in the power of love and prayer.
84.) I love art, music, theatre, and film.
85.) I believe that families have a unique wisdom that should be nurtured and cherished.
86.) I am a genealogist.
87.) I want to be cremated and to have my ashes separated so that each of my friends and relatives who is willing can take a bit of my remains and sprinkle them over something or some place I might enjoy.
88.) I want to have a party at my death – a celebration of my life.
89.) I’m working to make it possible for those whom I love to live in some comfort and security in the uncertain times ahead.
90.) I do not want to be kept around on life support past the possibility of reasonable recovery.
91.) I plan to die sober.
92.) I want LOTS of grandchildren to have over for Holidays and to spoil rotten.
93.) I’ve only been out of the USA twice and both times were to Canada on fishing trips.
94.) I want to see the world.
95.) Integrity matters most to me in my dealings with people
96.) I’ve come close to drowning three times. The third time, I was lifeguard certified and jumped into a river after my hat. I tried every stroke I knew and ultimately had to dog paddle to shore.
97.) I suspect I will outlive many of my friends and family and that, as such, I will have the opportunity to be of service to them and their families through the process.
98.) Lord of the Rings – Return of the King is my favorite movie.
99.) My colors, those that I most like together, are silver, black, and forest green.
100.) I work every day to be a better person and to be more available to the world around me. I try to live in gratitude every day and to remember to be thankful for my blessings.


Thursday, June 09, 2005

06.09.05 - Life Update

Wow! What a crazy busy couple of weeks it has been! I’m SOOOO glad that the only class I have until July 5th is General Biology I. I’m not sure what I’m going to do once my Music Theory class starts as I’ve got more than enough to do right now. It seems like I may never get caught up. I know that’s not true but I sure have a lot to do before I am. All and all the class is going well. The lecture and labs are graded separately which I think is a good thing as far as my GPA is concerned since I’ll get an actual letter grade for both. I have tests in both sections next week so I’ll be studying all weekend. Fun!

Josh is fishing at Lac La Ronge in Saskatchewan, Canada this week with his grandparents. I hope he’s having fun and catching lots of fish. I know he’ll be pretty well behaved so I have no worries there – he’s a good kid. Jordon is hanging out with the other set of grandparents this week so until the other three get here on Sunday, it’s just Cher, Jade, and I which is good considering how much studying must get done this weekend. Caitlin and Mackenzie have been sick off and on this week which is no fun though the rest of us have been healthy.

I sold my Dell this week. $300 was all that I got for it. It’s sad how quick electronics depreciate. I am, however, glad that I got rid of it before it was worth nothing. Cher was kind enough to give me her laptop, which is quite an upgrade over mine – thank you honey! I’ve spent much of my spare time this week nuking it back to bare hardware and installing the software I use for school. I’m really pleased with its performance. The speed, sound and video are MUCH improved.

The march towards the wedding is progressing smoothly. Cher and I bought our rings. She picked a white gold wedding set with three beautiful blue sapphires set with eight diamonds in the engagement band and a wedding band set with twelve small diamonds. I went with a plain white gold band. We got her a pair of pearl earrings and a matching pendant for the wedding. We also purchased her dress and cloths for the kids and I. We’re not going to be terribly formal. Her dress is a buttercup yellow and the boys and I will be wearing denim colored shirts with matching yellow ties and black slacks. The girls will each have a dress of a different color. We’ve picked out the flowers and started building the bouquets. We decided to go with silk since it is something we can keep forever and there are no bugs. We also decided that it would be better to have the wedding in the back yard of a friend’s house rather than rent a space. Paul and Jen have graciously volunteered. Thank you guys! I’ll be getting the remainder of the invitations out this week.

Despite my busy schedule, I’ve somehow found time to reconstitute my genealogy files and I am currently around twenty five hundred names thanks to the help of my Aunt Gay and Uncle Jud who each still had copies of my original files. I’m keeping backups these days. ;-) I’ve added in most of Cheryl’s family information and have expanded my own research as well. I’m still trying to get in touch with Barney as he has all of my Grandfather’s files on the Seiferts and my own research on that branch has stalled. I completed interviews with my mother and a group of relatives including my Aunt Gay, Marvin, Suzanne, and Don. The interview project has proven to be really interesting. It’s fascinating to hear different people’s perspective on the same events and all of the stories and memories that they’ve accumulated up to this point. It’s a very organic experience – you never quite know where it will lead. In any case, it’s been very rewarding and I look forward to doing more interviews. I am waiting to hear back from my Grandmother Dorothy to schedule a time to interview her.

So that’s it really, life is busy but good. I have no shortage of projects awaiting my attention when I get tired of studying and my kids generally trump them anyway. I am grateful today for my lovely fiancé, my kids, my family, and my wonderful friends. Life has a way of going pretty well if I can just relax and get out of the way. Hopefully I get time to write my review of Star Wars – Episode III…