holy wars

This weekend is the True/False Film Festival in Columbia. I’ve always wanted to go, but still haven’t managed it. Still, I often look at the line-up so that I can try and see the films at another time.

This year a really interesting one is called Holy Wars following an Irish convert, Khalid Kelly, to extremist Islam and Christan fundamentalist Aaron Taylor.

I went looking for Aaron Taylor to see where exactly he stood in the spectrum of conservatives, and I found this blog. At least, he seems to be admitting he was misdirected, if not out-right lied to about the war he originally supported in Iraq.


I’d still like to see that documentary by Stephen Marshall. There’s also a book written by Taylor about the experience called Alone with a Jihadist: A Biblical Response to Holy War. I’m considering getting this book or getting the library to buy it. It sounds like a very well-thought, comprehensive argument for Christ-like peace.


kudos to Toyota…

Everyone knows that Toyota is having troubles with a couple of giant re-calls on their products, right now. But last night I saw a new commercial from that company that caught my attention.

It was very impressive because I don’t often hear corporations basically say “we’re sorry”, “we made a mistake”, “we’re working to fix it”,”we’ll try to do better”.

After all, we’ve seen a lot of this recently, from contaminated pet food and childrens’ toys, to peanut butter and tomatoes… even war.

I can respect a mistake apologized for and fixed a lot more than a mistake glossed over, passed on and ignored.

I’ve gotten so sick of of this bluster-through policy that I almost automatically think the worst of those who utilize… and we’ve seen way too much of it in the last decade.

It’s good to see a change, and as for me, I remember things like this when it comes time to spend my money as well as my vote!

Avatar academy award?

Okay, how the heck did Avatar get on the Best Picture nominee list?

This was a fun movie, with awesome special effects that, I’m sure, advanced that technology similar to the way LOTR did. But Best Picture means, it should be all around better than other movies, not just the cool special effects.

But I could identify at least Dune, Pocohantas, and Dances with Wolves easily within the simple storyline. In fact, when I saw it a month ago, I’m sure my list of plots from other movies was longer, I just can’t remember them now. Still these three were the loudest of the bunch.

Besides Avatar could easily been split into two movies which would have allowed more depth to the flimsy characters. You could practically see through them, they were so thin. Despite the fact that I, of course, wanted the Na’vi to win I didn’t feel many tugs on my heart strings because I barely got to know any of the characters. None of them seemed to have any history or intensity.

“Oh, don’t hurt Home Tree. We couldn’t possibly live anywhere else.” “No! Home Tree is destroyed.” “Wait, let’s go to the other tree (I can’t remember that one’s name.) We’ll be safe there if we dance in front of it. The bad guys will never find us!”

I don’t know, it just seemed like the Na’vi should have been smarter than they really were.

But still, really AWESOME special effects. And Cameron should probably get an Oscar for that. (Makes me wonder if it might be possible for a Dragonriders of Pern movie!!!!)

Just not for screen play or Best Picture… come on. Where are the standards?

all is not lost, for Aggie’s torn ACL

Aggie’s knee has not been well lately. In fact, it’s been down right awful. I hate watching her limp around, trying to do all she used to on three legs instead of four, feeling like there’s nothing I can do. My vet gave not a lot of hope, unless I paid for the surgery – which I cannot afford. In fact, she told me I might as well save up for the other knee, if I could not fix this one.

I met a woman in the park this past weekend – actually, I’ve seen her before, with her three dogs. It’d be hard to miss her because one of the dogs is an ancient golden retriever, that has to stop and take breaks. But Saturday, we were going the same direction, at the same time, so I slowed down to walk with her. This was before Aggie’s knee went really bad again, but going slowly is better for her knee these days anyway.

So we talked alot, about our dogs (of course!); good things and bad. When I mentioned Aggie’s issues, she gave me the cell number of a vet that specializes in accupuncture and sports medicine for dogs.

The next day was Sunday, and by Sunday night Aggie’s knee really swelled up. I called the vet – Sherri – on Monday and made an appointment for Wednesday (today!). She does clincs once a week in my city, because her home-based clinic is 30 minutes south. But there’s a “sports/training center” up here and lots of people can use her speciality there.

We went and I didn’t have much hope. I think that when I spoke to her on the phone she was expecting a different kind of dog – a typical, nerotic, over-weight American pet. Aggie is not that at all. She was highly impressed with Aggie’s physical condition and athleticsm. And Sherri said that it was going to make all the difference in her recovery.

Sherri is pretty sure that Aggie’s hips are just fine and that she hurt her knee stepping in a hole in the park, or twisting too fast. She says that Aggie’s kneecaps, are just a little short for her athleticsm and if she wasn’t the “mighty goddess of the hunt”, then it wouldn’t have been a problem. But because of Aggie’s habit of running down squirrels, it just not quite long enough to keep the knee aligned.

Yes, there are surgeries to correct the problem – specifically TPL surgery. There are lots of people online that say both “get the surgery” and “don’t get the surgery”. And they both seem to believe in absolutes. I think that there’s those that can afford to pay for anything there dog might need and then there are the rest of us. I also think that different dogs are in different situations.

Aggie’s in great condition and that’s really going to help her in the end. She’s at a great weight and strength, and she’s relatively young. There’s nothing to say it won’t happen again, but she can still have a good life.

So, I decided to go ahead and do our first accupuncture session. She’ll have another in a month. Mostly this is to ease discomfort in the other knee – which is getting alot of added pressure from all the limping – and her back, and it will help promote healing in her bad knee. It’s not designed to help the pain in the bad knee because she needs to beaware that its not healed yet, so that she doesn’t overdo it.

I think Aggie really liked the accupuncture. She’s sacked out sleeping instead of right by my side, and lately she’s been needy and clingy, instead of resting like she should be.

I have high hopes that I can at least make her comfortable and that she can still be healthy.


One of my new favorite shows (which actually started last year) is CASTLE on ABC. It’s about a mystery writer that is “consulting” with the police. Actually he’s just using his pull with the mayor’s office to follow a detective to use her as a model for his new book character.

I really like this show; it’s so much fun and it brings back one of my favorite actors Nathan Fillion, who played Mal in FIREFLY. Another show that I really, really loved: Space cowboys! How could you go wrong?

Last night was the Halloween episode and was pretty fun. Castle even dressed in FIREFLY Mal’s costume; trying out the space-cowboy idea for Halloween. It was great to see that again.

The Halloweed episode centered on vampires, of course. What else is hot this year?

Castle is a murder mystery, so it is always sad, but this series is great with the light-hearted comedy.

“Rapture Ready!”

There was a great segment on “To the Best of Our Knowledge”, on NPR today. It’s very imforative about how outsiders see Christian Rock music. I also liked that Radosh seemed to really enjoy the Cornerstone Festival.

Here’s the blurb from the TO THE BEST OF OUR KNOWLEDGE website: Daniel Radosh is the author of “Rapture Ready!: Adventures in the Parallel Universe of Christian Pop Culture.” Radosh, a liberal New York secular Jew, is married to a woman whose family is born-again Christian. They took Radosh to a Christian rock festival and introduced him the world of Christian pop culture.

I also liked that there are differences in styles in different cultures, but similarities too. Recognizable and connectable similarities.

At the end of the interview, Radosh recognized the positives that Christian rock artists can teach mainstream America. The Christian aspects and beliefs that change peoples lives!

solar decathlon


I heard the competition from the Department of Energy had ended, this morning. It’s pretty cool. I look forward to having a house off the grid some day.

The one thing for me is, I’m not big into modern/contemporary architecture. I understand about needing certain designs for efficiency’s sake. But to me, contemporary designs tend to be cold and blank and boring. There has to be a balance between designing a HOME and sustainable-efficiency.

If anything, I think most of these “houses” look more like summer cottages and less like homes.

Still, the fusion of technology is very, very cool!