Monday, October 31, 2005

I didn't mention it when my great uncle died almost a month ago. He's my mother's uncle, and I didn't know him very well. It was case where I was there more for my grandmother, my aunts, and my mom than anything. I don't think my great uncle had seen me since I was a toddler to be honest. I went to pay my respects and to be there for the people I love. Tonight came the news that my dad's uncle died earlier this morning. This is a little harder to take because I knew my father's uncle a little better. I can still see him stoically paying his respects to my grandfather at his funeral as I was crying uncontrollably. The last time I had the chance to talk to him was at the family reunion this past June. He had lost some weight because of the chemotherapy, but otherwise was fine. He was still actively semi-retired. From what I understand, he was still working last week. It just goes to show how quickly we can die, even when we feel OK and think everything's under control.

I know it's Reformation Day, but I'm not in the mood to post anything about it.

Saturday, October 29, 2005


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IMDB's Top 100 Best Movies of All Time
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Didn't See It/
Started It/
Finished It/
Hated It!


Godfather, The (1972)

Finished It


Shawshank Redemption, The (1994)


Godfather: Part II, The (1974)

Finished It


Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, The (2003)

Finished It


Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, The (2002)

Finished It


Casablanca (1942)

Started It


Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The (2001)

Finished It


Schindler's List (1993)


Shichinin No Samurai [Seven Samurai] (1954)


Star Wars (1977)

Finished It


Citizen Kane (1941)

Finished It


One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)


Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)

Finished It


Rear Window (1954)


Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

Finished It


Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

Finished It


Memento (2000)


Usual Suspects, The (1995)

Started It


Pulp Fiction (1994)

Finished It


North by Northwest (1959)


12 Angry Men (1957)


Fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain, Le [Amelie] (2001)

Finished It


Psycho (1960)


Lawrence of Arabia (1962)


Buono, il brutto, il cattivo, Il [The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly] (1966)

Finished It


Silence of the Lambs, The (1991)


It's a Wonderful Life (1946)

Finished It


Goodfellas (1990)

Finished It


American Beauty (1999)

Hated It!


Vertigo (1958)


Sunset Blvd. (1950)


Matrix, The (1999)

Finished It


Apocalypse Now (1979)

Finished It


Pianist, The (2002)


To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)

Finished It


C'era una volta il West [Once Upon a Time in the West] (1968)

Finished It


Some Like It Hot (1959)


Third Man, The (1949)


Taxi Driver (1976)


Paths of Glory (1957)


Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi [Spirited Away] (2001)


Fight Club (1999)


Boot, Das (1981)

Finished It


Double Indemnity (1944)


L.A. Confidential (1997)


Chinatown (1974)


Singin' in the Rain (1952)


Maltese Falcon, The (1941)


M (1931)


Requiem for a Dream (2000)


Bridge on the River Kwai, The (1957)

Started It


All About Eve (1950)


Se7en (1995)

Finished It


Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

Finished It


Saving Private Ryan (1998)

Finished It


Cidade de Deus [City of God] (2002)


Raging Bull (1980)


Rashômon (1950)


Wizard of Oz, The (1939)

Finished It


Sting, The (1973)


Alien (1979)


American History X (1998)

Finished It


Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)

Finished It


Léon (1994)


Vita è bella, La [Life is Beautiful] (1997)


Touch of Evil (1958)


Manchurian Candidate, The (1962)


2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)


Treasure of the Sierra Madre, The (1948)


Great Escape, The (1963)

Finished It


Wo hu cang long [Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon] (2000)

Finished It


Reservoir Dogs (1992)

Finished It


Clockwork Orange, A (1971)

Finished It


Amadeus (1984)

Finished It


Modern Times (1936)


Ran (1985)


Annie Hall (1977)


Jaws (1975)

Finished It


On the Waterfront (1954)


Braveheart (1995)

Finished It


High Noon (1952)

Finished It


Apartment, The (1960)


Fargo (1996)

Finished It


Sixth Sense, The (1999)


Aliens (1986)


Shining, The (1980)


Strangers on a Train (1951)


Blade Runner (1982)

Finished It


Metropolis (1927)


Duck Soup (1933)


Finding Nemo (2003)

Finished It


Donnie Darko (2001)


General, The (1927)


City Lights (1931)


Princess Bride, The (1987)

Finished It


Toy Story 2 (1999)

Finished It


Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)

Finished It


Great Dictator, The (1940)


Sjunde inseglet, Det [The Seventh Seal] (1957)


Lola rennt [Run Lola Run] (1998)

Which movies have you seen?

HT: Musical Ramblings.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

I haven't had much time to blog about anything lately.

It appears that our Synodical President is in something of a bind with respect to this whole lawsuit thing. I haven't posted much on synodical politics lately because people seem to be beating me to it, but this story I haven't seen yet, at least in the circles I look at. President Kieschnick is now on his third lawyer. Right now, the Synod isn't saying squat about the lawsuit. It looks like some District Presidents are going to be deposed. Jesus First(NI!) is, of course, defending Kieschnick and doing some sort of fuzzy math I can't figure out. In case you're wondering, I've had more than enough math to understand what is going on with the numbers game, but even I couldn't figure out what the heck Jesus First(NI!) was trying to claim numbers wise. They must be using a different base than 10. Either that or they're just making it up as they go along.

The Schedule for the Lutheran Carnival is now up. We're looking for people to host the Carnival as well. We've already had one volunteer. I've had people also tell me they're willing to volunteer. I just need them to tell me what dates are good. Karl already has 11/20, so anything else that hasn't been claimed is up for grabs. I'll update the schedule tomorrow

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Patience isn't a virtue I have a lot of, but I find I have more than I thought I did when I teach ESL. Frustration can come easy and overtake you if you are not careful. One of the things I am learning is that if you work at explaining something hard enough, you can get through to your students. It can be a long and quite frustrating process, but once they understand what you are trying to do, they try their best to accomplish the task at hand. It's an interesting dynamic, yet it seems the only way we all learn is through this process of frustration, patience, and hard work. I feel exhausted after coming back from an ESL session, but I have a hard time saying much else gives me more satisfaction as a good night of teaching. I enjoy my job (even though I'm bored out of my mind right now, but that's besides the point.) ESL is a challenge to me. It's a challenge to help adults whose English skills are somewhere between nil to almost fluent and make them better English speakers. It is a challenge I relish, however.

Monday, October 17, 2005

I want to remind everyone that in 48 hours, your posts for the Lutheran Carnival need to be in. E-mail them to lutherancarnival AT gmail DOT com.

Now that we have that out of the way, we can get on to the important work. First off, for full disclosure, I am a proud member of the National Rifle Association. Secondly, this post is an example of what is wrong with England as a whole. John doesn't seem to realize that the police have no legal duty to protect any specific citizen because their job is to protect the city or county as a whole. If he would look it up, he would probably find the same holds true for the UK. I bet most people in the UK don't know that. The reason why I am attacking that is because the whole gun control mindset starts with the argument "The police are able to protect you" and go from there. The truth is they cannot protect you from an individual attacker that wants to do you harm. At best, they can be a deterrent.

Another point is that the poster from the Brady Campaign is disingenuous and doesn't accurately describe what the law in Florida actually does.

The "Castle Doctrine" simply says that if a criminal breaks into your home, your occupied vehicle or your place of business, you may presume he is there to do bodily harm and you may use any force against him.
It also removes the "duty to retreat" if you are attacked in any place you have a right to be.
Furthermore, this law provides protection from criminal prosecution and civil litigation for those who defend themselves from criminal attack.

All the lunacy about being able to shoot at crowds and some of the other stuff mentioned is pure garbage. If you're not threatening someone, you're not going to get shot. Honestly, the only thing this changes is having a option they already have become stronger. In application, people who can flee an attacker will still flee. Nothing really changed after concealed carry passed in 1987 except violent crime dropped and has been dropping ever since. While John talks about gun deaths, he conveniently ignored the fact that in ever other violent crime statistic, the UK has jumped ahead of the US. You're more likely to get raped in London than any major American city except the possibility of Washington DC. Washington DC has the strictest gun control laws in the country and also has the highest rates of violent crime and murder. Wonder why. One other fact John ignores is that the murder rate has been dropping in the US and rising in the UK. The irony is, in a quest to be civilized, the UK is becoming more and more uncivilized.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Tonight was the first night of ESL classes in our new place. We moved our classes to a local elementary school because more people could come then. Anyway, we've gone from 5-10 people on any given night to almost 30 people. This is kind of a jump, especially when you had three or four teachers working with that many people. Tonight I had six people of varying skill levels with me trying desperately from keeping the more advanced students from being bored and the beginning students from not understanding what you are trying to accomplish. Talk about a thin line. Anyway, it looks like I will be teaching the intermediate students next week. They are an interesting challenge. It consists of a lot of people who understand and know a lot of English but have a fear of speaking it. I think we'll be reading out loud a lot and doing a lot of speaking drills while continuing to add to their vocabulary.

Anyway, it's good to be teaching again, and it felt good to be speaking broken Spanish again. I somehow get through, even if I don't say it properly.

Anyway, if I mention the name of Miers, will I get a spike in people visiting my blog? Miers, Miers, Miers, Miers.

The more I learn about this woman, the less I like her. I may go so far to write Senator Brownback (who serves on the Judicial committee and is an honest conservative) and ask him to vote against her. If Bush was nominating her for a lower court, sure. I could see that. But not the Supreme Court. Miss Miers would do us all a big favor if she withdrew and allowed someone else to be nominated. I didn't vote for Bush for crap like this to happen.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Next time I try to take someone else's argument and explain it in my own terms, hit me and make me post the link.
I must take a little bit of time to reiterate my comments policy.

1) I need an email address. If you don't want to give it, then what you have to say isn't worth it.
2) Not giving an email risks being permanently banned from commenting.
3) Anonymous comments will get you permanently banned without a second thought.
4) Don't piss off the host.
5) There are exceptions to the above rules. Certain people (like Josh and Webcritter) can post without emails and I don't care.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Lutheran Carnival VIII is now up. Go and thank Karl for his hard work. Also, thank you everyone who sent in a link or two. Keep it up!

Saturday, October 08, 2005

What is justice? It seems to me to be a goal worth reaching, but it often ends up becoming this ill-defined notion of equality and fairness that ends up turning justice into something it is not. For instance, in a race, as long as the rules are followed by all and strictly enforced, it is considered a fair race, irrespective of the skill of the racers and whether the Toyotas all get beaten by Hondas because the Hondas all have better gas mileage. Today, OU got blown out by Texas, but the game was fair because the rules were applied evenly. OU just sucked. How come in sports we can accept there are winners and losers but in life, many people seem unwilling to accept this fact and want to "even the playing field?" People are going to make stupid mistakes. Players will make a bad cut, turn the ball over, or foul at a bad time. People will screw up their lives, and there is nothing we can do about it. Many of us think that the loving thing to do is to allow the government to give people money and try to help people out. We reward people for fouling. This is stupid! Yet this is what people call "justice?" Bull. This is pure, unadulterated niceness and we need to realize that being nice and being loving are two separate things! You can't justify this kind of justice because it isn't justice but punishing those who played by the rules and rewarding those who foul. Let's quit calling this justice and call it what it is: weakness.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

I occasionally feel the need to say certain things after reading other people's blogs. After reading a blog by an anonymous, I want everyone to know this: I am Lutheran because I am catholic. This point seems to go over the heads of certain groups of people who seem to think Walther is the end all for interpreting Scripture. Nothing makes me madder than Lutherans who seem to forget there was a faithful Church before "Lutheranism" came to the fore. We sometimes are Lutherans in Mormon clothing, ignoring everything that happened between Paul and the Reformation and thinking that, somehow, the Church in all her glory was missing for 15 centuries. Please. Some people ask why can't we be good Lutherans. I wonder why we can't be good catholics.

In other news, the deadline for submitting links to the Carnival has been extended to 11:59 PM CDT Saturday. So you have a little longer to get your posts in.
Since Blogger was down yesterday, I'm going to take the opportunity to remind everyone that submissions for the Lutheran Carnival are due tomorrow at 7PM CDT (British Bloggers should add six hours to that to get the proper time for you). I'm sure if you get them in sooner, our host would greatly appreciate it. Turnout has been good, but we could use a lot more participation from a lot of people who once contributed but haven't for a while *cough*. The last thing I want to do is pull out the hammer again.

Anyway, keep sending the links in and the Carnival will keep on trucking!

Monday, October 03, 2005

I've almost lost all faith in the President. Did anyone else go "who is that?" when he announced the Supreme Court nominee. I don't get it. If you wanted to write a book on how to piss off the base, look at what Bush is doing and emulate him perfectly.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Ooops. I haven't updated in a few days.

I would suggest monthly carnivals. Most of my posts lately have been garbage not worth linking to. "Carnival" suggests a big event that takes some kind of planning and/or preparation. Churning out a weekly or even biweekly post of reasonable quality is too much for most bloggers.

Josh, I would suggest that the reason why your posts haven't been all that good lately has less to do with your capability that you looking forward to December. Even so, while my posts haven't been great, I still have the ability to produce decent posts for the Carnival. Heck, this has been the home of the "Don't Rebuild New Orleans!" brigade. I'll continue to argue until,I am blue in the face that we're dumping money into a pit and trying to control things that eventually will not be controlled.

In other news, there are three links submitted so far to the Carnival. Remember, you can submit up to two links. You can also submit third party links for now. It has worked out OK so far. I would suggest not submitting links to anyone who you do not know very well, and I would also remind you to submit your links in the proper format.