Thursday, May 31, 2007


Just a note to start, I was not slacking by not posting for the last week. I wanted to leave the Sethas post up for a while because I love the idea of the Chase clan getting some attention. They are awesome.
Been enjoying getting to watch some of the NBA Playoffs. It is funny. Growing up, I loved watching baseball, liked watching football, and could not stand to watch basketball. This is a shame because I could have been following Magic and the Showtime Lakers. Now, I like all three sports, but I find that I can sit and watch a basketball game start to finish better than baseball or football. There is just so much action, so much scoring, and each possession is a chance to see something special. This year has been good, not great (kind of like the season of 24). There have been some things I have enjoyed, though.
1. Former Lakers Contributing to New Teams. I have nothing but affection for most former Lakers who were a part of their Threepeat. It was great to see Derek Fisher contribute to Utah's run (which just ended last night). As always, I love watching Robert Horry (let's all move on from his uncharacteristic and inappropriate foul on Nash). Horry hits big shots, does all the small things that help his team win, and he is such a schmoozer with the refs that it always makes me (and them) smile.
2. Deron Williams. This guy is amazing. No single player was more fun for me to watch. He is a star. I love guys who get assists, and he dishes with the best in the league. But the thing that makes him in the top three point guards (along with Nash and Kidd) is that he scores, is tough defensively, and is willing to take the contact. Man, he was fun to watch. Would have liked to see more of him.
3. The Demise of the Mavs. How great was it to watch a team that won 67 games tank it in the first round?! Maybe I am sick. I just loved it, though. Loved watchign Baron Davis also (UCLA, baby).
4. Tim Duncan. Now that the Lakers are no longer a factor in the playoffs (more on this later), I think I can truly appreciate just how great Duncan is. I do think that he will go down as the best power forward of all time, because he has led his team to titles. Think about the other great power forwards. Charles Barkley, Karl Malone, Elgin Baylor. None of them won a title. Duncan is likely going to get his fourth, and he is just simply unguardable. Great teammate too, and great guy.
5. Suns Vs. Spurs. It was the best series. Too bad about the suspensions, because otherwise it may have gone the full 7 games.
6. Lebron. So hoping that he leads the Cavs to the finals, but they may be a year away. It reminds me of MJ running into the Pistons year after year, and then finally leading the Bulls past them. I would love to see Lebron do the same.
7. The Blazers Winning the Lottery. People around here are just going nuts for Greg Oden. I must admit that I am a little happy for Blazer fan.
8. The Lakers Stealing the Spotlight. Hysterical. Out in the first round, but still they have everyone talking (there has been much less drama since the Spurs beat the Suns). Kobe is mad. Kobe wants out. Kobe is staying. Great stuff. I think Kobe is right that the Lakers have done a poor, poor job of putting together a team that can possibly win a title. And I don't necessarily buy that he forced Shaq out three years ago. As a Laker fan, I would love to see them make a deal to get Garnett, or Kidd, or someone who is a legitimate running mate. My problem is that I wonder if the talent around Lebron is really any better than the talent around Kobe. Is it? Hard for me to say that it is. Who is the second best player on the Cavs? Larry Hughes? Drew Gooden? Ilgauskas maybe. And yet Lebron is leading his team deep into the playoffs.

That was fun. Later I'll write about something related to something else.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Sethas, Part 2

Those of us who knew him best talk about him often. I swear, the stuff he pulled. Sometimes it makes me sad, Andy being gone. I have to remind myself that some birds aren’t meant to be caged. Their feathers are just too bright. And when they fly away, the part of you that knows it was a sin to lock them up does rejoice. But still, the place you live in is that much more drab and empty now that they’re gone. I guess I just miss my friend.

The above quote is from The Shawshank Redemption. The speaker of the quote is talking from prison after his best friend has left. While to my knowledge, Seth Chase has never been in prison, there are still aspects of the quote that make me think of the fact that Seth, my friend, moved away. It makes me sad, but I am also happy for him and Trina as they "fly away" to do what God has made them to do right now in Burundi. In honor of the Chases, however, I wanted to write another post and show some fun pics from our adventures in Lithuania two years ago.
I think this picture on the left is the one they used for support-raising. It really shows their youth, vitality, and their dynamic relationship. I mean, come on, who would not want to give gobs of money to allow these two warriors to go on the mission field and make movies and snap pictures?
Here is my all-time favorite picture of Trina. This was taken on our canoing trip with Lithuanian students. Trina is actually an excellent boat person. She grew up with it. You might notice here, though, that she looks frustrated. The truth is that her partner wasn't quite savvy to canoe skills, and the language barrier made it tough for Trina to communicate her immense knowledge and experience on canoes.
The rest of the story is that Trina and I and our partners were all together on a "team" for the canoe trip, but my partner (Aligius) and I went on ahead because we were working together pretty well. We all got out of our canoes for lunch and waited for everyone else to arrive. Trina and her partner about pretty much dead last. Seth and I called out and cheered when they came around the corner in their canoe, and then Trina gave the look she is giving in the picture. At this point I turned to Seth and asked, "Do you think she's mad at me because I went on ahead?" At this point Seth thought, evaluated his knowledge of his wife after two wonderful years of wedded bliss, and then responded by saying, "I really couldn't tell you." Great moment.
Here are two more fun pics. I miss those Chases.
If you want to check in on my friends, the Chases, you can click on the link on the right side of my blog to Seth Chase's blog. You will not only see cool pics and read good rants, you will get to view some of the films Seth is making as he and Trina minister to missionaries and needy people in Burundi.
Love you guys.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

24 Recap (Spoiler Warning)

I thought this picture was hysterical.
So, just wanted to comment on the 24 Season Finale last night. I thought it was really good. I did not think it was amazing, but it was, as always, very satisfying. I thought some of the shots of Jack out on the oil platform with the ocean around him and things blowing up were amazing. I thought the resolution of stuff with his family worked for me. I couldn't believe that Josh shot his grandfather. I was glad that Jack stopped him, though. Jack again was sacrificial, as he constantly is (more on this later).
The White House resolution was good, I thought. I was really glad to see Karen and Bill get off okay. Good redemption for both Tom and even the VP.
Karina saw the pregnancy thing with Chloe coming as soon as her eyes blurred. That was cool, though. What was with the red herring of Milo's brother? Was I the only one who thought he was going to do something crazy? Even since Season 3 with Guiel's wife, they know they have us nervous.
The big surprise and tense moment for me was when Jack was talking to (yelling at) Heller. I did not see that conversation coming. I was nervous that Jack was going to lose it. What an amazing ending, though. Jack again keeps with his sacrificial life by walking away from the women he loves. Heller's point to Jack was right out of 1 Corinthians 7, the whole idea of staying unattached so that you can be single-minded. Jack knew that Heller was right, and they he would get dragged back in to CTU. Because of that, he needed to leave Audrey alone.
So, a 24 Season Finale without any major good guys dying. I was scared for Bill, but it all ended up working out. There were, however, some powerful death scenes in this season which has caused me to make a list of my Top Ten Powerful Death Scenes on 24.
10. Lynn McGill, Season 5 (Sean Astin's character, who sacrificed himself for the rest of CTU)
9. David Palmer, Season 5 (great character, abrupt death scene)
8. Milo Pressman, Season 6 (another heroic exit, totally unexpected because it happened so quickly)
7. Teri Bauer, Season 1 (no actual death scene, but msot horrific death ever in the show)
6. Curtis Manning, Season 6 (the unheroic death, but it was done so well with such intensity; Jack having to shoot his friend in order to do the right thing)
5. Yussef Auda, Season 2 (little remembered character who was attacked by rednecks, and died telling Jack where to find the Cypress Recording)
4. Paul Raines, Season 4 (died when Jack had to force doctors to work on a key witness)
3. George Mason, Season 2 (again, no actual death scene, but the sequence was amazing and heroic)
2. Edgar Stiles, Season 5 (I think I actually cried at this one; poor guy, died trying to check up on a missing coworker, and got caught out when the gas was released in CTU)
1. Ryan Chappelle, Season 3 (the best episode ever of 24, President Palmer had to ask Jack to execute his boss in order to comply with a terrorist demand; powerful because Chappelle went along willingly, knowing he had to give his life)

Noticeable absent from this list: Tony Almeida. First of all, because his death scene was a pointless outrage. Secondly, because he isn't really. . .

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Summer is Here

Well, Summer has officially arrived from the Franklin household, as I finished up my seminary semester one week ago. God also seemed to have planned to have the weather take a serious turn toward SoCal at this same time because it has been incredibly nice out lately. To celebrate, this past Friday I took Matthew to Multnomah Falls, and he and I hung out and hiked. Some of you may remember that I took him there a while ago, and he wanted to walk up to the bridge without holding my hand. I let him do this, and I just walked next to him. I got several chiding looks from other parents, but I knew Matt could handle it, and he did.
This time Matthew walked to the bridge and beyond. I held his hand only when we crossed the bridge. Most of the time Matthew was saying, "Daddy, watch you." What he really was saying was, "I want you to watch me instead of doing this with me. Pretty independent, but we were able to come to an understanding.
All in all, it was a blast. Here are some of the pictures I took.

Monday, May 14, 2007


Okay, now my really final Survivor post. I thought that this season was not incredibly eventful, but I still liked it. Then the Finale. I watched it last night late (I had to tape it). I was jumping around the room when Dreamz didn't give up the immunity necklace (at which point I also said aloud, "It's going to be 9-0"). Let me say this, I not only thought it was the most messed up thing that a Survivor had ever done. I thought it was the ONLY messed up thing a Survivor had ever done. Everything else (at least in the seasons I have watched) was clearly within the game. Boston Rob turning on Lex? Sure. Jonny Fairplay lying about his grandma dying? Why not? Jonathan turning on everyone and rejoining Yul? Go for it. But Yau Man gives Dreamz a car, and then Dreamz doesn't keep his end of the deal. Yau Man did not ask Dreamz to quit the game. Dreamz could have gone to Yau and Earl and said, "You have a better chance against me than Cassandra." Or he could have gone to Cassandra and Yau and said, "Let's vote out Earl." I was beyond shocked when he didn't give Yau the necklace. It was the only time I really thought someone did something that was just wrong. Man.
Yau should have reasoned with him, "Dreamz, you know that if you betray me here, you are not going to get a single vote (he was already in many people's bad graces). Dreamz could have honorably finished in fourth. Instead he became the first (and in my mind only) totally dishonorable Survivor player, and all it got him was 3rd/2nd, with no votes from anyone.
I was happy that Earl won. I thought he was very deserving. I thought Yau was more deserving, but not by a ton. I was just happy when I knew for sure that one of them would win (once Yau won immunity in the final five). What a great attitude, though, by Yau, to show no bitterness. He came out smelling like roses.
Now I know why DaveMac called me during the show. It was right when that went down. Sad.
Anyway, I need to also revoke any affection that I poured out for Alex during the game. What exactly was it that he was so mad at Cassandra about? That was pathetic. And Lisi was worse. She's ragging on Cassandra when she quit the game? Dumb.
And finally, the finale just showed me again that Michelle got a raw deal and that she would have won it all if not for that lame twist of team immunity after the merge. Poor gal. She deserved better.
Anyway, good stuff. Hope you all enjoyed it (except for that horrific part where Dreamz sold out).
Just for fun, final rankings from 19 to 1.
19. Dreamz (sad, sad, sad)
18. Lisi (why all this bitterness from the one who quit)
17. Cassandra (no game)
16. Jessica (sorry, didn't know her)
15. Rocky (just did not see why he was so mean to Anthony)
14. Anthony (nice guy; just not a very good player)
13: Erica (didn't know her either, but seemed a bit unpredictable)
12. Sylvia (short stay)
11. Alex (man, falling from grace with that bitter rant)
10. Stacy (in the end, seemed pretty nice)
9. Gary (papa smurf, too bad he got hurt)
8. Liliana (just didn't get to know her)
7. Rita (I thought she was cool)
6. Mookie (decent player)
5. Boo (funny, nice, good in challenges)
4. Edguardo (really like him a lot)
3. Earl (prefectly happy with my third favorite winning)
2. Yau Man (he played the best overall)
1. Michelle (oh, what could have been)

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Yau Man

Okay, I know I said that last post would be my last one involving Survivor, but I wanted to comment before the finale. I don't know think Yau Man will go down as the greatest Survivor ever, but he may have just had the single best episode of any Survivor in history. David Cone, who once pitched a perfect game, will never be considered a greater pitcher than Roger Clemens, but David Cone's best day was better than any of Roger Clemens' best days.
Yau Man won the reward, gave it away (brilliant strategic move, and great heart), sent himself to Exile Island (a first), helped Earl find the second Immunity Idol, and then saved himself at Tribal by playing his (against the consent of Earl). I was cheering. What a genius!
Anyway, for those of you who watch (and by the comments, that includes many), I really hope Yau and Earl both make the Final Three (or Two, however they're doing it).
By the way, what was Stacy thinking at Tribal. She basically gave away that Yau was in trouble. She deserves to go. Glad she won't be in the finale. Not because she was mean. Just because she was not a good player.
Final Rankings before Sunday's finale:
1. Yau Man (has played an amazing game)
2. Earl (solid, but was taken in by Stacy)
3. Dreamz (at least he's playing; should have made the move on Yau one week earlier)
4. Boo (no strategy, but at least he's winning immunities; may make the finals)
5. Cassandra (they keep trying to make it seem like she has strategy, but she has none; she's no Cirie)

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Brother Jack

Matt is getting more and more used to the idea that "Brother Jack" is in Mommy's tummy. He still occasionally makes a reference to "Sister Gracie," but he gets the answer right more times than not.
Due dates can be funny things. You certainly don't want to feel like you are planning to have a kid in the same way that you plan to take a trip to the beach house. At the same time, in our age of family planning, it is not a bad thing to think, "Hey, if God allows things to go as we plan, why not try to work it out in a way that makes sense and seems prudent?"
Anyway, didn't mean to initiate a debate on family planning. My point in saying that was only to mention that Karina's due date is August 30/31. I should be starting the Fall semester of seminary that week. Hmmm. Should be interesting.
Either way, can't wait for Jack's arrival.
Okay, also, I am writing my final Survivor post. Some of you have had classic comments on the posts about this season. I especially liked my sister's. She said in her last comment that, in every episode Dreamz goes up on her list, but then he plummets at the end when he decides to vote with the crowd. I thought that was pretty right on.
I was bummed that Alex went down (sorry to Kelly McAllister). I was glad, however, that he gave it a great shot at immunity and at tribal council. I thought his strategy to vote out Yau was good. I was even rooting for it to happen because it would have been an amazing blindside.
Anyway, some final comments:
It looks like it will be another Final Three. I like the Final Three a little because it allows the possibility of the two best players being in the finals (last year with Yul and Ozzy). I don't like it, though, because it makes it easier to get to the finals, and it also takes away the responsibility of the final immunity winner to pick the person they want to sit across from.
Anyway, I predict that Yau will win it. He's played the best socially, strategically, and physically. And he has the idol. I think he will win a jury vote, and I think he deserves it. I think the Final Three will be Yau, Earl, and Stacy. No one will vote for Stacy, and it will come out 7-2 in favor of Yau. Specific enough.
And here are my Final 6 Favorite Rankings:
1. Yau Man (deserves it; gutsy not to play the idol)
2. Earl (the only person who is close)
3. Cassandra (smart move trying to get Alex's jury vote by talking to him; bad move by not voting off Yau)
4. Boo (I like him, but I don't think he has a strategic bone in his body)
5. Dreamz (dumb move not voting off Yau)
6. Stacy (openly admitted that she was a follower; lame)

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Survivor Post

Come on, you know you love it.
So, was I the only one who thought that it was no big deal that the guys went through Yau Man's stuff to find the Immunity Idol. I thought, "Hey, that certainly is part of the game." I was highly disappointed, though, in the weak, non-existent plan that Alex and Mookie put together. At least Alex outsmarted Mookie at the end by breaking the tie. Boo was hilarious, thinking that one of them might have the idol when they had no clues. Anyway, here's to hoping that Alex can find a way to be a seing vote.
New Favorites.
1. Yau Man & Alex (they tie because Yau Man was so slick in how he handled Alex outing the idol)
3. Earl (still slick, but he has been so safe for so long)
4. Boo (nice move popping the knee back in)
5. Cassandra (why not?)
6. Dreamz (moves up one slot for his hilarious explanation of why he voted against the guys)
7. Stacy (no good)

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The Growing Son(s)

Both of our sons are growing well. This picture was taken a couple of weeks ago, but you can see that Jack is growing inside of Karina. I felt him kick for the first time last night (that was pretty cool).
Matthew also continues to grow in his vocabulary and his physical prowess. He's getting better at hitting the baseball with his bat, and at catching the football. He is also getting better at forming sentences, so we can almost begin to reason with him (I said 'almost'). His favorite game is still "Tackle Dadda," but sometimes he asks me to play video games ("funny guys") and then requests that we "listen to Toad" (the Wet Sprocket). That's my boy! I'm now exposing him to U2 as well.