Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Fun pics of Matthew

I thought this would be a good time to post some new pictures of Matthew. Here are some recent fun ones.

Here is Matt with his cuz. Notice the drool.

Matthew likes to try to lift us up on his shoulders.

Here he is wearing my old blankie, looking like a shepherd.

I don't know what was going on here. Karina took this one. She calls it the "crazy face" picture. Wierd.

Matthew is also communicating a lot more. He is putting word combos together, like "buckle up" and "out of here." This morning when I was reading a book to him, he said "butterly," correctly identifying one. He named almost all the animals in the book. It was pretty impressive.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Top 10 Songs. . .and a Final Comment

This week is a big one for the college ministry here at Good Shepherd. The picture on the left is from a get-together this Summer at our house. It is up because this year marks a BIG change in the ministry, which is now split, and two home groups will meet each week. Last night the Sunday Night group kicked off and had a great time. Tonight the Monday Night crew gets going. Should be awesome!
Before I release my top 10 favorite songs, just one last comment on the Lost thing. David made the comment about Lost being an award-winning series. I do concede that in its first season it won an Emmy for Best Drama. However, I think critics caught on because it was nominated in only one of the major categories this past year, and that was for Best Guest Actor in a Drama for, ironically, the guy who played Desmond (http://www.darkhorizons.com/news06/060707b.php). He had to do a good job acting to make up for the unrealistic nature of his character. Anyway, you may know that 24 won for acting, directing, and best show, not to mention that it had more nominations than any other show. Maybe critics are realizing that 24 just keeps getting better, and Lost is gasping for air. I'm just throwing that out there.
Okay, here are my top 10 favorite songs:
10. Here Without You (Three Doors Down)
9. Nightswimming (R.E.M.)
8. Thy Mercy, O Lord (Caedman's Call)
7. Fix You (Coldplay)
6. Superman (Five for Fighting)
5. Mayonaise (Smashing Pumpkins)
4. Black (Pearl Jam)
3. All I Want (Toad the Wet Sprocket)
2. A Long December (Counting Crows)
1. One (U2)

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Lost Rebuttal

Many of you will be totally bored by this. If you have an interest in arguments about Lost, you can click on the link to David Knepprath's blog so that you can read his scathing, and totally-missing-the-point, rebuttal to my previous post. David, this is mostly for you, but is also for the purpose of freeing people from the unnecessary slavery to a show that does not deliver on its promises.
First of all, David spent most of his post making points that are totally irrelevant to my argument. He was accurately showing the reasons why Locke would have wanted to stop pushing the buttons. I totally agree. It makes perfect sense for Locke to want to stop. I never argued against that.
The brutal inconsistency in David's post is when he says that no one has seen anything beyond flashing lights and heiroglyphics. Desmond saw and experienced much more than this in the flashback. For heaven's sake, are we forgetting the magnetic field that brought down the plane?! The whole place was shaking and going crazy. And when it starts happening again to Locke and Desmond, do we see Desmond saying, "It's okay, this happened before." No! He jets down to turn the emergency switch! It makes no sense. For Desmond to really have been at the point that you claim, he would have been willing to let the shaking run its course. He would have believed that it would go through all those bells and whistles and then do nothing. And if he really did believe that, and then was simply convinced otherwise by the thing with the date when the plane was brought down, would he really not have said to Locke, "I think you're right about nothing happening. Just so you know, though, when we don't press the buttons we should be prepared for some fake shaking and chaos. But don't worry. It's all still just an experiment." He could have thought that, but why would he not have mentioned it to Locke. I see limited possibilities:
1) He wants to die, so he doesn't tell Locke about it. Then why does he turn the switch when he realizes that something is happening?
2) He just doesn't think to mention his previous experience. Totally unbelievable. That would never happen.
3) He forgot. See above.
Am I missing a possibility (help me out, Lost guru).
To end the post, David claimed that Lost rubbed me the wrong way. Quite the opposite. I thought the first 8-10 episodes were brilliant. I still love several of the characters (Sawyer, Jin, Echo, Charlie, Kate; not Jack). I am even tempted to still watch it this season (did I just say that?). The premise of the show was brilliant. I am just sounding the alarm that they have not followed through on what they set up in the plot, and the finale to season 2 was just the most flagrant example of the fact that even the writers cannot keep the plot straight.
By the way, DK, I didn't mean that you were duped into thinking that nothing happened when the buttons were not pressed. I meant that you were duped into thinking that the writers were going to follow through on their promises.
No offense. . .really.
Anyone is welcome to join me on October 4th to watch the entire fourth season of 24. Just to keep us occupied.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Dan's Top 100 Songs, 4th Edition

Well, I love this picture. I think it is hysterical. Not only because Matthew is getting smooched by Karina, but also because he is in his water diaper, and those things crack me up. It is like a baby speedo.
I am still waiting for David's response to my Lost blog, but as I wait I thought I would give my 25-11 favorite songs. I thought it would be appropriate to save the top 10 for the final installment. It's fun how songs are so loaded with memories. I remember my dad talking about how he still connects really well with the music he listened to in junior high and high school. Most of the songs on this list are those that meant something to me in junior high and high school. Anyway, enjoy.
25. Say it Ain't So (Weezer)
24. Strange Currencies (R.E.M.)
23. Angel (Sarah McLachlin)
22. What it Takes (Aerosmith)
21. Nothing Compares (Third Day)
20. Hard Candy (Counting Crows)
19. Nearly Lost You (Screaming Trees)
18. Bed of Roses (Bon Jovi)
17. Glycerine (Bush)
16. Fly From Heaven (Toad the Wet Sprocket)
15. Tip of My Heart (Bebo Norman)
14. Needs (Collective Soul)
13. Where the Streets Have No Name (U2)
12. Cover Me (Candlebox)
11. Back to Good (Matchbox 20)

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Lost Blogging

Okay, I know I am going to be fighting a losing battle here with how many people are against me on this one, but after a heated conversation a week ago, I felt compelled to blog about it.
3 years ago I had the joy and euphoria of discovering the greatest show in the history of television: 24. It has continued to get better and stay true to itself. It is compelling, and it delivers on what it says it is going to do.
2 years ago I watched the first 8 episodes of a show that I thought rivaled it: Lost. The characters were interesting, the story was captivating, and the flashbacks were shocking. I loved it. Then. . .it stopped progressing. Half way through the first season it seemed that the writers were saying: "Wow, our show is a big hit! We didn't really expect this. Now we have to actually make these plot lines go somewhere." And they spent the rest of Season 1 opening up plot line after plot line and advancing none of them. In fact, I think the writers right now are looking at chatter and rumors on the internet to try to get ideas for how they can possibly make the show cohesive. The finale to season 1 was the most dissatisfying finale I have ever seen on any show. All the things you thought would finally be answered were given the reply: Wait til next season. When the next season came, they did deliver on some things, but they also spent the first 3 episodes without moving forward at all. They were all from different perspectives, but they all ended with Desmond having Locke as a hostage and saying, "I'll shoot him, brother!"
Half way through the second season I decided that something needed to be done. So I did it. I began to protest the show. Out of principle I decided that I was not going to be one more person who they messed with. There are plot lines on this show that opened up years ago and they have pretty much been dropped. This should be a one season, at most 2, show with a beginning, middle, and end. Instead it is being dragged out over, apparently, 5. No wonder they keep bringing up new questions without ever answering the previous ones. There are so many things to tie together that I will be truly amazed if they ever come close to taking care of it: (1) Why does the island bring healing? (2) What is the deal with the others? (3) How do the numbers play into it? (4) What about the monster? That is just to name a few. Not to mention that season 2 ended with a pathetic inconsistency. David K. and I have debated it over email; I think he is refortifying his position now to find out how to deal with the loss of innocence as he comes to grips with the fact that he has been duped.
So, I want to invite all people who have watched the show to join me in boycotting it. This matters. We need to send a message that we deserve better. We deserve stories that are actually going somewhere and not dragged out just to prolong the craze. Less is more. Give us a story with a beginning, a middle and an end. If I am wrong about Lost, I'll rent it. But I am not wrong. Take my word for it.
By the way, the picture I chose highlights Sawyer, who was by far my favorite character on the show. If I still watched it, I would be interested in what goes on with him.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Dan's Top 100 Songs, Third Edition

Well, what a cool picture. . .and a really exciting one. The incredibly happy guy in this photo is my best friend Dave McAllister. This past weekend he got engaged! This is his fiance Kelly, showing off the rock! Congrats, you guys.
I included this picture to introduce songs 50-26 on my list because Dave has been the main friend I have experienced music with in my life. A lot of the songs on the list have distinct memories associated with certain people, and more are associated with Dave than with anyone else. Therefore, I thought it would be appropriate to dedicate this portion of the Top 100 to Dave and his future bride Kelly. Also, I am highlighting the songs that especially remind me of memories with Dave.

50. Immortality (Pearl Jam)
49. Yahweh (U2)
48. Hey Jude (Beatles)
47. I Wish I Felt Nothing (Wallflowers)
46. Who'll Stop the Rain? (Creedence Clearwater Revival)

45. Motorcycle Drive By (Third Eye Blind)
44. Friday, I'm in Love (The Cure)
43. Unforgiven (Metallica)
42. Glory Days (Bruce Springsteen)
41. Let My Love Open the Door (Pete Townsend)
40. The Narrow Road (Jars of Clay)
39. Free Fallin' (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers)
38. To Be with You (Mr. Big)
37. Until I Fall Away (Gin Blossoms)
36. Wonderful Tonight (Eric Clapton)

35. Murder of One (Counting Crows)
34. Offering (Third Day)
33. Walk On (U2)
Good (Better than Ezra)
31. Lightning Crashes (Live)
30. No Woman, No Cry (Bob Marley)
29. Unchained Melody (The Righteous Brothers)
28. Foolish Games (Jewel)
27. I Will Buy You a New Life (Everclear)
26. Dream On (Aerosmith)

Cousin Time

Matthew had some good play time Sunday night with his older counsin Jake. We were all at Randy and Nanci's for Dan Stump's birthday. Here are some fun pics of Matthew and Jake. I'll let Matthew take you through them:

Here we are on the deck at the beginning of the evening, scheming our mischief.

Then we sneaked into Papa's office, one of our favorite spots.

Then we had to head inside for dinner and presents and stuff for my Uncle Dan. My cuz is holding one of my favorite videos: The Amazing Book. It is so funny.
Then we had the most fun EVER by pushing this table all over the deck together.
My mom took this really cool picture of Matthew and cuz. He's not usually quite so blurry.
Anyway, hope you enjoy those.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

People in Our House

This Summer has been really fun because we have had the opportunity to have people (especially college students) in our house all the time. Last Wednesday we had 20 or 25 over for a movie night. They watched 'What about Bob?' If you know me, you know that the movie was not my choice. Anyway, it was a blast. Here are some fun pics.

Here is everyone getting ready for the movie.
Little did they know that I hid it! Ha!

Karina with Nick and Amy.

Grubbs and Josh. I can't tell if they are getting ready to fight, or just talking.

Afterwards there was a Mafia game. Sparky narrated. I guess he had some issues keeping control of things.

Everyone enjoyed the game. David, however, was zoned in. He takes these things pretty seriously. He was a really good doctor, though. Just ask Karina.

We're gonna miss having everyone over on Thursdays for Bible study, but we look forward to getting to see many of you guys Monday at the Harrises, and also Sunday 2nd hour for our college class.