Thursday, April 28, 2011

Transformers: Dark of the Moon Trailer

Finally, it's here.  It looks pretty good, but I'm curious how they're going to make a few of the elements work.  We shall see.  All I know is that if they make the 3D as awesome as merely the idea of watching the Autobots and Decipticons doing battle in three dimensions, this will be epic. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

It's About Time!

So does this mean that we can finally put this birth certificate stuff behind us?  Do I believe that it’s real or fake?  It doesn’t really matter, does it?  Logic says that it’s real, but anything involving a liberal tends to defy logic, so it wouldn’t surprise me to find out years down the road that it’s a fake.  However, that’s not the point.  The point is, we should have moved on from this issue a long time ago.  Are there legitimate questions concerning President Obama’s citizenship?  Probably, but they’re not something you can base a campaign against him on.  The only lingering question I have is why now?  Why wait three years to release this thing?  As much as I generally loathe both men for their media whoredom, I would think even less of Obama (which is truly saying something) if he finally released this because of the fuss Donald Trump has been making about it. 
The fact of the matter is, even if all the conspiracy theorists out there were right about his lack of proper documentation (undocumented President, anyone?), the media is in the can for Obama, and will dismiss the notion as kooky if it’s ever questioned.  Any potential Republican candidate has a goldmine of material to run against Obama on.  For instance:
·         The public upheaval over ObamaCare
·         The epic failure of the stimulus
·         The unprecedented growth of government in his first term
·         The total lack of leadership when it comes to Libya (not to mention his total lack of foreign policy credentials)
·          His administration’s efforts to restrict free speech (Fairness Doctrine, internet regulation, etc)
·         Politicizing tragedies (Congresswoman Giffords’ shooting, Fort Hood shooting, etc)
·         The czars
·         Gas prices. Do I really need to elaborate on that one?  For the sake of time, reader fatigue, and the fact that expletaives would probably be used, I won’t. 
These are just the tip of the iceberg with Obama.  Republicans would do well to not spend time on the birth certificate the way Trump has.  And seriously, does anyone actually think that guy is legitimate?  There’s no way anyone can take him seriously.  If he even makes it to the Republican primary, I’ll think less of the Republican Party.  Let’s run a serious candidate who can knock this cartoon character in the Oval Office out of the park.  Oh, I’m sorry, was that violent rhetoric?  Tough [feces].  Let’s move on from the birther controversy and focus on policy – because that is where a true conservative would have a field day with Obama. 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Cowboys & Aliens Trailer

Yes, it will probably be all kinds of silly, but it looks totally fun.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes Teaser Trailer

I'm torn.  This could be really good, and a great lead-up to the original Planet of the Apes, or it could be so incredibly bad that it will make Tim Burton's mediocre remake look like sci-fi nirvana.  We shall see...

Reaction to Obama's Debt Speech

I’ll be honest.  The prospect of watching or listening to President Obama’s debt speech yesterday seemed daunting.  So I decided that I would read it instead.  I couldn’t finish it.  When he starts out the speech by stating that he “kept the government open was so [he] could be [with the students at George Washington University]”, I was automatically put in a bad mood.

I really want to go through his speech line by line – something he said he’d like to do with the budget, but that will never happen – and tear it apart, but it looks like an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal did it for me. 

Also, Congressman Paul Ryan’s comments after Obama’s speech are dead-on.  Notice how he doesn’t have a teleprompter…

Our nation is at a crossroads.  We can either keep the failed policies of liberal blowhards like Obama, or we can actually try to pull ourselves out of the fiscal cesspool that we’re in by looking into common-sense solutions to our debt – like Mr. Ryan’s. 

Now is not the time for fear-mongering, campaign rhetoric, and making unsubstantiated claims about your alleged political record, Mr. President.  It’s time to face the music.  We’re broke, and you’re doing nothing to help.  That is, unless you count cutting military spending, which, I’m pretty sure, is not in America’s best interest.  I really don’t think you have any clue what you’re talking about, and watching or listening to you wax philosophical has gone from annoying to downright enraging.  Actions speak louder than words, Mr. President.  And Lord knows you’ve had a lot of words.  Now is the time for action – action that will leave the next generation debt-free.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Green Lantern WonderCon 2011 Trailer

After seeing the somewhat lackluster first trailer for this, I was somewhat apprehensive about my feelings towards this film, despite being a big fan of Ryan Reynolds. However, with the arrival of this new - and much better looking - trailer from WonderCon, I think I'm pretty stoked for the flick.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Paul Ryan's OpEd in the WSJ

If you haven't already, check out this article by Congressman Paul Ryan in the Wall Street Journal.  If this guy doesn't make more sense than anyone else in Congress, I don't know who does. 

Monday, April 4, 2011

Political Ponderings 11.01

Some political topics of late that I’ll comment on:

Obama announced his re-election bid
Big [freaking] deal.  He’s just doing it now because he’s polling horribly, and no Republican has officially announced his or hers. 
I’m curious, however, what he’s going to run on.  He hasn’t CHANGEd anything, and Americans have all but given up HOPE on so many fronts.  So what then will his mantra be?   
Unfortunately, the Republicans really better put someone out there who can cream this guy, or we’re going to end up with him for another four years.  And right now, the options aren’t looking so good.  I’m a big fan of Sarah, Michelle, Mike, and Mitt, but I’m not sure I’m ready for any of them to run for (notice I didn’t say “to be”) president.  I do know that if they nominate a “can’t we all just get along” guy, a la McCain 2008, they’ll lose.

The budget
I will applaud the Republicans for standing their ground on cutting what’s left of the year’s budget.  So far.  If they cave to Obama and his liberal minions, they will severely discredit themselves. 
A government shutdown seems to be the only viable option at this point.  Then we’ll see just what exactly is deemed “essential” by both sides.  Plus, think of the untold millions (billions?) that would be saved by not having to pay the non-essential personnel.  Look, I don’t know all the implications that a government shutdown would infer, but the option looks pretty good to me at this point.  When will these blowhard politicians wake up and realize we’re broke?  When you start throwing the word “trillion” around in reference to our debt, you know we’re in serious, nigh irreparable trouble. 

Okay, I’m all for human rights, don’t get me wrong.  But what exactly are we doing in Libya?  Am I the only one that listened to Obama’s speech the other night and was confounded as to what exactly our mission was there?  I mean, the speech sounded very similar to George W. Bush’s regarding Iraq, sans the WMDs.  Brutal dictator needs taken out and we need to stabilize the region for our interests.  What, pray tell, are our interests in Libya?
·         Oil?  Cue the liberal clamor.  Apparently the stock market thinks so.  Have you seen oil prices lately?  Even though Libyan oil accounts for something like 2% of the world’s oil production, the oil speculators have their panties all in a wad over this “crisis”. 
·         Humanitarian needs?  Really?  If this was a humanitarian crisis, where’s the support for Darfur, Yemen, and Bahrain? 
·         Deposing Gadhafi?  Where was the cry for his ouster over the past, oh, 25 years? 
·         NATO?  Sure, Obama’s little dog and pony show last week was intended to show the world that we’re in this little tussle together, acting under the direction of the UN.  What he forgot to mention was that NATO is comprised heavily of American forces, both politically and militarily. 
I can’t believe I’m typing this, but we would have been better off with Hillary.  As much as he’s off on a lot of points, John Phillips nailed it in his piece today in the LA Times when he said “…an awakened and enraged Clinton with cold cream on her face and curlers in her hair is far scarier to third-world despots than an ex-Illinois state senator.”  I’m not saying that she’d be a good president – she’s a Clinton, after all – it’s just that she might have a little more clout and ability to handle this kind of thing than Obama.  This is just further proof of how wrong those who vote Democrat can be.  
I don’t know the answer to what’s going down in Libya, but I do know that this is exactly what liberals [complain] about constantly.  Sure, you’ve got your Kucinich’s out there screeching about it, but where are the Reid’s, Pelosi’s, and Kerry’s yelling about how the US can’t be the world’s police?  Oh, that’s right, because the directive came from the UN.  Oh, but weren’t there 16 resolutions from the UN on Saddam’s Iraq?  But apparently this little incursion isn’t politically popular to oppose.     

Obama’s decision to go ahead with the trial of Kahlid Sheikh Mohammed at Gitmo, instead of NYC
      Big surprise here.  Obama flip-floped.  He’s the new John Kerry.  The question really is why on earth would he have even considered 1) giving this guy the rights of a US citizen, 2) not waterboarding him, or 3) moving his trial to the city that was attacked on 9/11.  Under normal circumstances, this might have warranted a “Obama gets it right” declaration, but he’s just caving to the pressure he’s been getting over the issue.  Kind of makes you wonder what else he’s capable of caving on.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Journal 11.01

So, let’s see.  The last time I had an official “Journal” entry was on Friday, September 24, 2010 on Xanga.  The only way to catch you up would be a bulleted list.  I’m going to attempt to do this in a rational fashion:
§  Quite frankly, my life has been consumed by work.  As I mentioned in a previous post, I have been working on a new Qatar project.  The way it’s described in several newspaper and magazine articles is basically to say that we’re designing the equivalent of the Country Club Plaza for Doha, Qatar.  Oh, and Qatar won the 2022 World Cup, so I’m sure they want this thing done before then.  So basically, I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I’ll be working on Qatar for at least the next 10 years of my life.   
§  I finally got the paperwork for my new truck all settled in October, so I finally got to drive the gas guzzler legally.  I also sold the Mazda in early December, so as to replenish bank accounts.  So naturally gas sky-rocketed as soon as I sold said Mazda.  Change we can believe in.  Dad, Cody, and I tested it’s power by hauling Carlsie’s truck to Dighton in late November.  The Bretz boys have finally got that thing running that’s been cluttering my shop for three years (more on that later).  But I only got 8-9 miles-per-gallon hauling that (and the back-trip tractor that Dad has yet to work on) out.  How depressing.  Since I still had the Mazda in early December, I took it out on Carlsie and I’s annual hunting trip.
§  Jared went with me on said annual hunting trip.  Since Dad, Cody, and I didn’t see any [shootable] birds on our stint out west, I was in need of, shall we say, carnage.  This trip didn’t disappoint.   Carlsie and Jared may have me beat when it comes to handguns, but I totally showed them up at shotguns.  I’m pretty sure I got all the birds (15), and I think they only had a couple assists between them.  Apparently we need to do some clay shooting this summer for practice. 
§  In November, Mom and I went to see Condoleezza Rice at the 980 KMBZ Business Forum.  What a remarkable woman.  We both got her book, Extraordinary, Ordinary People, and I have just recently finished it.  It was great.  I don’t see eye-to-eye with her on everything, but she is a testament to the American dream.  I am currently reading George W. Bush’s memoirs, Decision Points, and, again, while I don’t agree with him on everything, it’s still a great book thus far. 
§  Farm Life
o   Farm life has been a much needed break from the rest of the world.   I call it therapy, and it truly has its therapeutic qualities.  Granted, this was one of the hardest winters we’ve had recently, but we came through pretty good.  My protégé, Clayton, and his dad, Josh, helped Dad out quite a bit piling snow when I was in the city during the winter.  They were truly a life-saver.  Dad and I cut some wood when we could, split some when we couldn’t.  We (meaning, mostly he) fixed one neighbor’s tractor, only to have another one to work on shortly thereafter.  He’s almost got ours back to working order, but he’s still got three smaller antique tractors that need his attention before they can be cleared from his shop. 
o   I’ve become quite the shop Nazi.  I’m not sure whether or not I covered my cleaning activities last summer, but let me tell you, it was brutal.  Let’s just say that the space in Grandpa’s shops is being utilized much more effectively.  I got sick of everything just being piled into the shop, and sick of walking over trash, random parts, and unused implements.  I really shook things up.  Dad and Grandpa were kind of shocked. 
 Before...                                             ...After
o   Farm life has also gotten a bit more complicated.  Since Grandpa has all but officially retired, Mom and Dad have been going through the ringer trying to get things with the trust and such figured out, and there have been bumps in the road.  I really think Grandma and Grandpa want to do right by them, but it’s complicated.  Add to the mix that the 5, nay, 4.3 acres that we’ve been waiting for finally went up for sale – for ridiculously more than it’s worth.  Between Dad, Carlsie and I, we really want to get the place bought.  Dad and I met with the realtor (a nice woman we both are acquainted with) and made a somewhat generous offer.  However, she said the bank probably wouldn’t even entertain it since it was “too low”.  So we’re going to wait it out.  We’re hoping that our offer looks more generous as time goes on.  Still, the idea of debt makes my stomach churn.  
§  I went to Winter Jam at the Sprint Center in late February.  It was a blast.  First of all, it was the first time I had seen the “new” Newsboys, with Michael Tait.  They were fantastic.  Secondly, who knew that Sidewalk Prophets and Newsong were so good?  Like, old-school, gospel, bring-down-the-house awesomeness – something that isn’t truly reflected on the radio.  Francesca Batestelli was good, as was Chris August, but it was David Crowder Band that was the surprise.  Quite honestly, I’ve always thought of him as the hippie of Christian music.  Well, he’s still a hippie, but he puts on a pretty good show.  Ending with the ho-down was a great way to finish.  Kutless put on a great worship-esque set, and Red put on another rockin’ show.  KJ-52 had a couple short sets, but his rap on the new version of “Jesus Freak” with the Newsboys was the highlight of his appearances.  All in all, it was a fantastic show, and for $10, can’t really be beat. 
§  I’ve taken up what I like to call “full contact” UNO with some friends from college.  We generally get together once a month; have some food and a few adult beverages, then commence with full-on, often profanity-laced, sometimes borderline violent UNO.  It’s quite fun.  Especially since you have accountants playing, and they’re sticklers for scoring. 
§  I would delve into my nigh non-existent love life, but it’s better that I don’t.  Especially given that my sisters are chomping at the bit to determine whether or not any girl I’m interested in is worthy.  Needless to say, I have to periodically erase my text messages so my stalker sisters can’t read texts from a certain young lady. 
§  I started a weight loss program that was free through work.  It’s really a eat whatever you want, just slowly and take breaks, but no sweets plan.  Fortunately, I’d already given up pop for Lent (despite me being neither Catholic nor Lutheran), so it wasn’t a big step.  For the most part, I’ve stuck with it.  I’m only supposed to walk, and not exercise heavily.  Almost a month in, and I’m down about 10 pounds.  I need to keep going.
§  I had mentioned a few times in last year’s blogs that idle time was a problem for me.  Well, it’s gotten much, much better.  Granted, my computer issues have helped greatly, in that my laptop seems to be giving up the ghost.  Hopefully I can squeeze a few more years out of it.  I have more important things to save for than a laptop at the moment.  That said, being committed to cooking more, going to the gym, and keeping my apartment in controlled chaos mode rather than utter disaster mode is helping.  Taking my lunch to work and working late nights has also not given me a lot of time to think, much less goof-off. I mentoned cooking more...
§  As matters of faith are concerned, I’ve really been good.  I’m kind of in that comfortable place, which I don’t necessarily like, but I feel good about where I’m at.  My Bible Study on Thursday nights and having a great pastor like Pastor Carrier really helps.  I’ve got plenty of room to grow, and I look forward to it.  Praise and worship helps.  New favorites include Travis Cottrell’s version of “In Christ Alone”, the Harvest Bible Chapel’s rendition of “Revelation Song”, and the Newsboy’s version of “Mighty to Save”. 
I know, my life is kind of dull, but someone has been pleading with me to update with a “real” blog.  So, since this inaugural “real” journal entry has been quite long enough, I’ll bid you adieu.