Thursday, February 21, 2008

College Road Trip Screener

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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Sumo Farts

Steve Robinson hated, but silently tolerated, Roy's patented "Sumo Farts."

lol, good one Jason Knott of Arlington, VA

Monday, February 18, 2008

Wintergreen Pictures

Since I don't have a camera myself, I have to rely on others for pictures. I've compiled most of the pictures I got from others from the trip and placed them on line.

Click HERE to view them now. You may need to log in first or create an account.

My Jumper Review

I was surprised by the number of big names in a movie like this. I mean having 2 is about all you can expect but you had Hayden Christensen of Darth Vader fame, "It's my beer" Samuel L. Jackson, the ever talented Diane Lane, the beautiful Rachel Bilson of the O.C., Kristen Stewart from in the Land of women, and up and coming child star AnnaSophia Robb. Granted they are not all A listers but they are all known for different movies.

You basically get a kid who discovers that he has the ability to teleport after almost drowning in a river. His home life isn't abusive but is far from great. We find out that Diane Lane, his mother left him as a child so he makes up his mind to leave.

In New York, he realizes he can exploit his new ability to make money. The basis of his power is that he can teleport to any place he has visually seen. He visits a bank and comments, "I'm a kid, what would you do?" Flash forward a few years and he's grown up comfortable with this new life style. He teleports to London to pick up chicks. Leaves her the next morning to go surfing in Fiji. Then later he has lunch on the great sphinx of Egypt. Finally he ends his day back at his 5 star hotel suite. In doing so, he attracts the attention of another jumper and the attention of jumper killer Samuel L Jackson. Jackson tracks him back to his fancy pad and it ends with the place being destroyed and Hayden slipping out with only a bag of money and his life.

He goes back home to find his long lost kiddie sweetheart (Bilson). They it it off and go on a vacation to Rome. He shows her a good time but eventually run into trouble with the law. His mother shows up to let him off the hook but leaves before he has a chance to talk to her. Jackson figures out the connection to Bilson so Hayden ends up teaming up with the other jumper to take down Jackson.

After some flashy camera work and some showing off of their abilities, they end up with a plan that is going to work but it would take the life of Bilson and everyone else. Hayden will not go along with it so he has to fight the other jumper to get him to stop. Hayden ends up winning and somehow manages to teleport not only Bilson out with him but also Jackson and half the building. He brings her to safety and drops Jackson in the middle of nowhere. This is a different turn of events because Jackson claims all jumpers are killers and it is his job to kill them. Hayden comments he could have left Jackson with the sharks but he did not therefore he is different.

The movie ends with Hayden and Bilson at a surburban house. He rings the doorbell and finally gets to have a conversation with his mother. She turns out to be a jumper hunter like Jackson and has been protecting him with out his knowledge for most of his life. She explains that she left him when he was 5 because he jumped for the first time then. She had to leave or kill him. Hayden is hurt but understands. He then jumps with Bilson for lunch. Where? "Surprise me" she says and the movie ends.

The Good:
Well, comic book or superhero type movies don't always do well in the movies and rightly so. They too often rely on special effects or star power and forget the plot makes or breaks a movie. This one had your basic two sided fight between beings with power but was different then the run of the mill superhero flick. Neither side was good but you tend to side with Hayden since he is fighting for survival. I don't have a lot to say on it except I enjoyed the movie. The cinematography was good and the acting didn't suck. It was a fast action movie but it wasn't beyond my suspension of disbelief. I enjoyed it for what it was.

The Bad:
There wasn't much wrong with this movie other then it was an action flick. You rarely get to see an action movie with much more then fancy camera work and cool camera tricks. This one was by no means Oscar worthy but I can't say too many bad things about it since that isn't what you would expect out of this type of movie.

My Juno review

I'll start with what I knew before going into the movie. If you are thinking about going to see the movie and would like to know what to expect, feel free to read this part with no major spoiler info.

Juno has won all kinds of awards. It was praised by pretty much all the critics. It is an indy film. Also, a Focus on the Family website, praised it for it's message of love for life and family.

The basis is this 16 year old girl (Juno) gets knocked up by her good friend. She decides to keep the baby and it tells the story of what she went through bringing this baby into the world.

--- Spoiler starts here ---

Juno is a quirky quick witted kid with no indication of a moral direction. For the most part, she has her head on strait and refused to conform to the pressures around her. Her friend, the guy who knocks her up is a kind dork who understands Juno and doesn't try and change her.

She is after all 16 so her first reaction is to get a hasty abortion. As she goes to the clinic, she is met by a classmate who is protesting the killing of helpless babies. She spouts the normal "the baby is alive and has a heart beat" with no effect but at the end says it has fingernails. Kind of a weird thing to say when trying to show the humanity in an unborn child but Juno is kinda weird herself so it works. She is freaked out by the people in the clinic and can't bring herself to terminate the child.

Again, she is 16 so her only other option is to give the baby up for adoption. We meet the couple she chooses and despite being a little off, they seem like the perfect young couple. At this point, you think you know where things are going. Like most of Hollywood movies, you finally find the perfect couple with no flaws and the pains Juno has to put up with are small in comparison to finding a good home for the child. Well, like in real life, it isn't that simple.

The adopted father is a wanabe indy rocker who does commercial jingles for a living. He feels trapped in a Richy Rich life and wants to get out and be free. You know the guy I'm talking about. It's the classic Peter Pan syndrome where the guy has this dream of endless fun and no responsibility. He is so desparate to get out that we find he actually makes himself thing he has feelings for Juno who is half his age.

The adopted mother is so focused on her needs that she forgets she has a husband to love. She gives him one room in the house to store all the things he feels makes up who he is and even that, he has to keep them in boxes. She pushes him away as she grabs for more.

That tension finally comes to head as they decide to split up leaving Juno in a very hard place. She is close to her due date and has no adopted parents lined up. Wow! could things get any worse? Most people do not like watching disaster movies with out a happy ending, myself included. I began to wonder if this movie could be saved but they do it masterfully. Juno realizes that despite all the flaws they both have, the adopted mother would make a great parent and she was willing to go along with it if she was willing.

The adoption goes through and we end with the adopted mother holding the baby by herself. It was a sad ending but one with hope and love. In my experience, situations can change but hope and love for another can last the hardest of trials. It's the most one can ask for in this imperfect world and done right in a movie, it can change the overall effect.

Now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:13)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

We won a game

We played indoor soccer tonight and actually won a game. By win, I mean we beat them something like 20 to 5. I can't remember the score but when you beat a team by more then 4 times their score, does it really matter?

We didn't really play that great though. They just really stunk. I thought our second game was the best game we played. Then our defense marked the cutter and stayed back. Our offense was open for the back door pass, and the midfielder came back on D.

Anyways, after a very long day at work, it was good to get out and get some exercise. What a great way to release some stress.

You Are Good

Yesterday was an amazing day. It's one of those days you just have to stop and count your blessings. As a typically quiet person, I think my brother thought I was on crack when I called him. I get really chatty when I'm excited and I talked for 10 minutes and 24 seconds strait according to the timer on my phone. Here are a few of the things I noticed that are blessigns.

I own a house
My brother finally cleaned his room and helped out in the kitchen
It's starting to look like a cool house
I own a car
I love driving my car
I have a good job that pays my bills and allows me to do things I love like planning a ski trip and fronting rentals for everyone
I got free passes to a movie I really wanted to see
I get paid Friday from Ateb
I get paid Friday from EFT group
I get paid Friday from Tax refund
I get a profit sharing bonus from Ateb
I have great friends
I go to a great church
My Sunday School is awesome
Bible study Tuesday night went really well
BSF has continued to be good and I've learned a lot from the study of Jesus

There are several more that I won't share on this blog for the sake time and some of them are personal but it has been a good week. It was almost too good one might say. I'm just waiting for everything to go wrong because it's about time for another trial. I was listening to a Point of Grace song saying over and over that "You are good." They would give situation after situation and say God is good. Now that I can see my blessings, I know God is good. I then remind myself that even if all of the things I've listed dissapear, He is still good.

I've gone through both the valley and the mountain this past year and I've seen God there with me the whole time. I leave you with the lyrics of that song I heard.

Penelope Raleigh Screener

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Fat Tuesday, Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, Easter Sunday

Lent... So where did it all start anyways? I know many people who began giving up things for Lent including Baptist who do not specifically celebrate that tradition. Well, as I wrote in my first blog entry, I've got 14 new years resolutions and what better way to stay strong in those then to set a time line to remember them. Specifically, I'd like for my relationship with God to really grow stronger during this time so I like many others give up certain personal freedoms so that I can stay closer to Christ.

Looking back, I've had some pretty funny things I've given up for Lent. Probably the best was giving up Hawaiian Punch at the NC State's cafeteria. Then there was video games, sweets, soda, and others through out my 27 years of life. My thinking was "all things are permissible but I will not be mastered by anything (1 Cor 6) .

I don't know that my thinking has changed but what can I do different for these next 40 days to grow closer to God? Well, I give up time before bed to spend in the Bible even when its after midnight. Then there is always the breaking of old habits that harmed that relationship or at least didn't help it. Here's to the next 40 days minus a week and Sundays. May it be a banner season for Christ.

Friday, February 8, 2008

The Dark Knight

My reaction to Heath Ledger's preformance in the Dark Knight (click on image to see motion). I can't wait to see the whole thing.

My reaction to his untimely death is sadness. I can not claim to know his state but I imagine based on what I've read that he did not have all of his affairs in order.

Time is short so prepare for the future now.

Damage to US government property

Batman Interview

I'm having trouble getting the picture to be normal size so just click on it and it will bring up a larger picture.

The Last Battle

I was listening to Third Day last night and I heard a song on there called Eagles. The lyrics reminded me of the last book in the Narnia series. The lyrics are as follows:

My pain and problems keep me chained

And my troubled heart makes me weak

I'll wait for You to comfort me

And in You I know I'll find my strength

I will soar on the wings of eagles

I will learn to fly high above this world

And I will soar on the wings of eagles

I will learn to fly

I will learn to fly high above this world

I tremble with this heavy weight

And I'm buried underneath my grief

I'll run to You and not grow faint

And I'll lay my burdens at Your feet

The song may not sound remarkable unless you've read the book. In the twilight of Narnia when that world is coming to an end, they enter into a new Narnia that is like their own but only sharper and, well, just better. The mountains were clearer blue, the grass was greener, and the water was more refreshing. As they looked around, they could tell why they loved old Narnia. The old Narnia reminded them of here. Their heart knew they belonged and they were finally home. The bible says "He put eternaty in our hearts" and I think Lewis showed this really well through the pictures he painted in his words.

Well, the part of the song I like is where it says "I'll run to You and not grow faint." After they've realized this was true Narnia, they heard the roar of a lion. They instantly knew it was no ordinary lion but The Lion, Azlan himself. They began to run to him. They ran the first few miles like it was nothing. Jumping over logs like a deer in the forest, or through the fields like one of the giant cats. They came to a stream and they jumped in to swim all the time going towards Azlan. They found out in this Narnia, they could swim upstream. They began swimming and were amazed that after all this they were not the least tired. They swam till they came to a waterfall and did only what seemed the natural thing to do at the time. They began to swim up it. They swam and ran and jumped all the way to where Azlan was standing and arrived there not the least winded. Their bodies had been perfected to be suted for this new Narnia.

Most people know the Lion Azlan is Narnia's symbol of Jesus and the new Narnia is the new Earth that will be given us to have dominion over. How I can't wait to leave these burdens behind and be in His presence. Each night I spend time with God through his word, I am a little more amazed by who He is. Check out the book in addition to your quite time and I think you'll see what I'm saying.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


We went skiing at Wintergreen this past weekend. On the ride back, I was thinking about how bad of a name Wintergreen is. When you ski or board, you want as little green as possible. I think a better name would be Winterwhite. Now that would make me want to go there.

About the trip, it was a great time. We had three new boarders this weekend so it was cool to see their progress. I was really amazed at how quickly they picked it all up. When you're that tired and bruised, you don't feel like you are making progress but they really looked like they had been a few times before by the end of the day. Bogus and I got to sharpen our skills on the slope. After going down what was listed as a double black, we felt pretty confident in our abilities. That was our first problem. The other is that we are both pretty competitive and at one point we were racing down the mountain. I'm sure you know where this is going but I'll go ahead and throw it out anyways. As I attempted to pass him on the left side, he began to carve to the left and there was a collision. I just spun around but Dave was thrown to the ground. Luckily nobody was hurt so we could actually laugh about it after the fact. Things like this actually make snowboarding fun. It's been a while since I've had a rush like that and while I won't be seeking out crashes, its fun to be out of control every once in a while.

I also got to see how much I really dislike my board. Being a loose board, its great for jumps and tricks but since I've given up on those, I prefer a stiff board for speed and control. Dave and I switched boards for a while and it was amazing how much faster I could ride on his "junk" board. I'd love to get a new one but my New Years resolutions posted before include financial accomplishments so I won't be buying one anytime soon.

Hopefully pictures from the trip to come.


...Well, I thought it was funny.

Go Giants

In case anyone missed the game for all the commercials, the second half a great game. I felt bad for the patriots who came so close to a perfect season but just couldn't pull it out in the end. That was until the coach walked off the field refusing to shake the other coach's hand and the QB couldn't care one way or another. I know he's going home to his 3 rings and supermodel girlfriend but history was at stake for that game.

Of the commercials, they were as bad as they've been for a few years. Only a few stood out as worth the hype. I liked the etrade commercials as well as the mouse that crashed through the wall for some chips. My mom was partial to the lizard thriller commercial and there were a few others that would have been OK if it wasn't for the hype. Now some were just nasty or inappropriate for the wide audience base watching the game.