Movies

Saturday, 25 June 2005

I went to see Kingdom of Heaven tonight. I was glad that it only cost me $4.50, and that included a Coke.

The first thing that really put me off was the title. I suspended my criticism for the sake of enjoyment, but it didn’t really matter.

It was simply a poor movie. To me it was merely a repackaged “epic film” that wasn’t all that epic in any aspect, save length. Plotline: hero in lowly station, hero learns something from past that changes life, hero undertakes quest, makes moral decisions, enjoys forbidden love (for which we’re all supposed to be excited, regardless of the fact that she’s married to another), conquers insurmountable odds, wins in the end, and, having learned something about life, chooses the quiet life…or does he? Orlando Bloom was, well, Orlando Bloom–a prince like in Troy, a blacksmith like in Pirates of the Caribbean, with a little sprinkling of Legolas.

Oh, by the way, Islam = good, Christianity = bad. I don’t know enough history to critique the historicity of the film at this point, but I did, perhaps from a preexisting bias, see a comparison between the two, holding the former up as noble and the latter up as not. The crusades were a mistake, to be sure. But the film was just one more stroke.

If I think about it more, I’ll process it more. If not, no worries.


25 June 1530

Saturday, 25 June 2005

Today marks the 475th anniversary of the presentation of the Augsburg Confession. It is the confession we Lutherans continue to make today. I’d encourage you to pick it up and read it this weekend. You can save it as a .pdf if you like. It’s a brief read but extremely edifying.


Why do I blog about nothing?

Saturday, 18 June 2005

bold the states you’ve been to, underline the states you’ve lived in and italicize the state you’re in now…

Alabama / Alaska / Arizona / Arkansas / California / Colorado / Connecticut / Delaware / Florida / Georgia / Hawaii / Idaho / Illinois / Indiana / Iowa / Kansas / Kentucky / Louisiana / Maine / Maryland / Massachusetts / Michigan / Minnesota / Mississippi / Missouri / Montana / Nebraska / Nevada / New Hampshire / New Jersey / New Mexico / New York / North Carolina / North Dakota / Ohio / Oklahoma / Oregon / Pennsylvania / Rhode Island / South Carolina / South Dakota / Tennessee / Texas / Utah / Vermont / Virginia / Washington / West Virginia / Wisconsin / Wyoming / Washington D.C. /

Go HERE to have a form generate the HTML for you.


Legal Guide for Bloggers

Friday, 17 June 2005

This was interesting reading, courtesy of Aardvark Alley.


Mowers, take heed

Friday, 17 June 2005

I am in the market for a new mower. And I hate to spend money. That makes me an internet review junkie for several days prior to any significant purchase. Ever since I first used one I have been something of a fan of the reel mower. After my research I’m absolutely sold on them. Here’s why.

The first reason is the air pollution. This graphic illustrates it:


(Image from South Coast Air Quality Management District)

One gasoline mower produces as much pollution as 40–count ’em, 40–automobiles in the same time. That’s absolutely unacceptable. We’re talking carbon monoxide, lead, nitrogen oxide, ozone, sulfer dioxide, hydrocarbons, and other miscellaneous nasties. On one day alone in a major metro this accounts for 1.4 tons of smog agents and 15 tons of CO. There are no pollution controls for mowers.

A second reason regards the pollution of the ground and simple waste. The EPA has stated that each year 17 million gallons of fuel is spilled by lawn and garden equipment users–more than that spilled by the Exxon Valdez. Granted, it’s not all localized as in the case of the Valdez, but it’s a lot of fuel.

The third reason is the noise pollution. Who hasn’t been awoken suddenly by an eager neighbor getting a jump on his Saturday morning? Gasoline mowers are loud. Period. The decibel level for the user is enough to cause hearing loss without proper ear protection. And the noise is annoying for other neighbors.

There are several alternatives to gasoline mowers. One may opt for a reel mower or an electric rotary mower. Both are cleaner and quieter than their gasoline-powered cousin. The reel mower has at least three major advantages over the electric.

First, it uses absolutely no power save that which is supplied by the operator, and is inexpensive to maintain. Reel mowers are generally light and easy to use. A good reel mower needs only to have the blades sharpened every year or two.

Second, a reel mower is better for the grass than a rotary mower. A rotary mower tears at the grass, leaving the grass tips exposed to brown over time. A reel mower snips the grass like scissors, making a clean cut and leaving the lawn greener and healthier. This is why reel mowers are exclusively used on golf courses (although they are generally larger tractor-towed models).

Thirdly, the reel mower is a natural mulcher. The grass clippings simply fall back to the lawn where they quickly decompose and fertilize the lawn, adding nitrogen and nutrients to the soil.

Give your gasoline mower the boot. Several States have implemented exchange programs where one may scrap their polluting gasoline mowers for cleaner varieties. Look into it. The overall benefits certainly outweigh the costs.


Quite the find

Saturday, 04 June 2005

My wife has been telling me that my clothes are falling apart. She’s right. I tend not to buy new clothes for myself unless it’s something of a dire situation. So on a lark I went to a secondhand clothes shop today.

Within an hour I came away with two new (to me) shirts and a pair of Armani trousers…for $20.

That’s what I call shopping.