Friday, January 29, 2016

It's Not the Hunger Games, But....

In light of last night's media circus, aka the GOP debate, I thought I'd do a William today and post an image blog paying tribute to the idiocy of our political system....


Friday, January 22, 2016


Okay, I confess. I didn't come up with that title myself. I stole it from the weather segment on the Today show dealing with the storm that's currently dumping on the east coast.

Doesn't this look like a scene from
The Day After Tomorrow?

Here, we only got a small amount of snow, thankfully--but it hasn't been a great week for me, so even this little bit of the white stuff has been a headache. I've been dealing with a cold that just won't go away--at least I think it's a cold. There's been a lot of coughing and sneezing, too much congestion (I go through an average of two boxes of Puffs per day!), fever and chills, all the stuff that goes with a nasty cold. Not sure what's causing the rash, though.

Anyway, I'm not up for a regular post today, so I'm doing a short one with a photo taken Wednesday morning, right after the snow arrived.I took it right outside our door as Collin was leaving for work (the footprints are his). Note all the little bird footprints, all around our door. It got really gold. I think the guys wanted to come inside. Not the first time they've tried to get in. If property management would have allowed it, I would let them in!

 The birds definitely wanted to come
in from the snow....

Hope wherever you are, you're safe and warm. If you're on the east coast of the US, I'll be praying for you!


Friday, January 15, 2016

We Lost Our Football Team--But There is a Bright Side (Maybe)

If you follow sports at all, you've probably heard that St. Louis lost its NFL team this week. The Rams had been in Los Angeles for almost fifty years before moving to St. Louis twenty-one years ago. In 1999, the team won its only Super Bowl championship and earned the nickname "The Greatest Show on Turf."

But that's just a memory now. Amid much acrimony, the NFL approved the team's return to Los Angeles, and team owner Stan Kronke became Public Enemy Number One here in the River City. Native St. Louisian and Bravo TV personality Andy Cohen pretty much said what local football fans were thinking on his show the other night....

Personally, I think the NFL should have gone with Disney CEO Bob Iger's Carson project, which would have been home to the current San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders. With Disney involved, it could have led to some interesting ideas for both team uniforms and potential themed luxury boxes. Collin and I had a discussion about it and came up with some ideas of our own. For example, the teams could have changed their names to the Rebels and the Stormtroopers and uniforms could be changed accordingly...

Maybe they could enter the stadium to the Star Wars theme and the Imperial march. Though I'm not sure the Stormtroopers' coach would want to wear that Darth Vader helmet.

And think about the potential for luxury boxes with themes. I'm thinking Star Wars, Marvel, Indiana Jones....

This could have made football a whole lot more fun!


Friday, January 8, 2016

Have the Rumors of Blogging's Demise Been Exaggerated?

Is blogging dead?

I've been seeing articles, blog posts and commentary on social media proclaiming its doom for the past couple of years now. Here are links to some of the articles I've found:

When I started blogging some years ago, it was something I did only for myself. After watching my mother's memories disappear in the wake of a series of strokes, I worried it might happen to me, too, so I started keeping a blog--an online journal just for myself. If anyone read it, fine. If not, I was okay with that, too.

Eventually, I also started an author blog--but in the past year, I confess I've lost interest in both. I've gone back and forth on whether or not to continue blogging. Finally, I decided to post once a week, see how it goes.

I've noticed several bloggers I was following have either deleted their blogs or just haven't posted in months.

Have you seen a decline in your blog traffic? Do you find you now interact with more people on social media than you do on your blog?

Do you think blogging is going the way of the dinosaur?

Friday, January 1, 2016


I read that George Lucas' vision for Episode VII was very different from the movie that's been breaking records ever since its December 18th release--and that he's not at all happy with Disney's version. I don't know if that's true; I don't know if his version would have been as popular as The Force Awakens. But the suggestion that he wanted to go with all new characters, "no retro," makes me think I couldn't have liked it as much as I like J.J. Abrams' vision for the franchise. I'm glad that Han Solo, Leia Organa and Luke Skywalker returned to maintain the continuity of the franchise. I like knowing what happened to them after the credits began to roll on Return of the Jedi. I love that the new characters are connected to the old ones. The writing is far superior to the original movies, and the special effects take a back seat to character and action.

The Force Awakens borrows heavily from the plot points of the original. There's a new and (unfortunately for the Resistance--formerly known as the Rebel Alliance) improved Death Star, now known as the Starkiller Base. (Clever--George Lucas had named Luke Skywalker Luke Starkiller in an early draft of A New Hope, I hear.) The Galactic Empire is now the First Order. There's even a Darth Vader wannabe--not a menacing Sith apprentice like Darth Maul in The Phantom Menace, but an immature, whiny brat calling himself Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), leader of the Knights of Ren. He's set out to "finish" what Darth Vader started, but as he's told quite bluntly in one scene, he'll never measure up to Lord Vader. Even if he does have conversations with Vader's burned out helmet.

Yes, I know Anakin Skywalker was also a whiny brat. So, to a degree, was Luke Skywalker--whiny, but not a brat. But couldn't whininess skip a generation or two? It would be a refreshing change. It would also make Kylo Ren a more convincing bad guy. Especially given his lineage, which is revealed early in the movie.

This film is a perfect balance of the old and the new, character-wise. There's a hotshot pilot named Poe Dameron (Oscar Issac) and a young scavenger, Rey (Daisy Ridley) who has powers she can't understand--yet. Abandoned on Jakku as a child, she refuses to leave, certain her parents will return for her someday. 

There's also a Stormtrooper who was taken from his family at an early age by the First Order and trained to serve without question. He doesn't have a name, only a number--until an attack of conscience leads him to free a captured Poe Dameron. Together, they escape and Poe refuses to address him by a number, dubbing him "Finn" (John Boyega). Separated in the crash of their hijacked TIE fighter, Finn encounters Rey--and the Millennium Falcon, abandoned in a junkyard. As they attempt to escape the planet Jakku (which looks an awful lot like Anakin Skywalker's home planet, Tattooine), they're captured--by someone who's been searching for the Falcon for a long time.

Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher, as Han Solo and Princess Leia--now General Organa--have both aged well, but play their characters as battle-weary and forlorn, having dealt with a lot, good and bad, in the decades since we last saw them. Leia is searching for her brother, Luke, believing only he can restore balance to the Force and help defeat the First Order. She's also looking for the child she lost, the only child born of her union with Han.

Standing in for Emperor Palpatine is a character called Snoke (Andy Serkis), who only appears as a hologram. That's one ugly dude--he makes Palpatine look almost cute. And while R2-D2 and C3PO do appear in the movie, the droid spotlight is now on the plucky little BB8, a rotating droid who carries the last piece to a puzzle both the Resistance and the First Order want: a map to the location of Jedi Master Luke Skywalker, who went into a self-imposed exile after one of his students was lost to the Dark Side and...well, if you want to know the rest, you'll have to see the movie. I've found most people tend to get nasty when faced with spoilers!