Monday, June 09, 2008

Fighting Back, Grave Injustice, -and- Look up in the Sky!

Fighting Back - man mauled by grizzly kills bear, lives to tell tale
Grave Injustice - investigators seek missing funeral funds
Look up in the Sky! - winged stuntman beats commercial flight

On this day in history: June 9, 1980 - In the midst of a cocaine binge, comedian Richard Pryor attempts suicide by dousing himself with rum and setting it ablaze. The self-immolation attempt goes haywire when the flaming man leaps from his apartment window and runs down the street, screaming in agony. Pryor barely survives the incident, and only after six weeks of intensive care and three skin graft surgeries.

Born on this day in history: June 9, 1963 - Johnny Depp (1963-) Born in Owensboro, KY, and raised in FL, actor and director Johnny Depp left school at 17 to play in garage bands. He gained teen idol status on TV's "21 Jump Street" and today has carved a niche for himself as a serious, somewhat dark, idiosyncratic performer, consistently selecting roles that surprise critics and audiences alike.

Scripture of the Day: People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. - 1 Timothy 6:9

Video of the Day: Amazing Stick Men - submitted by Frank

You in a heap o' trouble, boy! Click to enlarge.

The wind has abated—now that the weekend has passed. The wind that plagued us most of last week returned Friday evening, after a brief respite, and continued through the weekend. It is gone this morning, and today promises to be calm and hot. It is forecast to be 96 degrees today.

Friday even, we had grilled cheeseburgers. Laura incorporated thinly sliced steamed mushrooms and Jalapeños, minced garlic, Tony Chachere's More Spice, and ground black pepper into Sierra Nevada beef. She grilled the patties, topping with extra-sharp cheddar cheese just prior to removing them from the grill. At the table, we applied condiments to sourdough bread and added sliced tomato, sliced onion, and baby spinach leaves. It was an excellent meal.

Saturday evening, I grilled New York strip steaks, large white mushrooms, medium white potatoes, and large Jalapeños. I rubbed the steaks four hours prior to grilling with Tony Chachere's More Spice and ground black pepper. It was a wonderful meal.

Sunday evening, we enjoyed sushi. I made California rolls with shrimp and avocado, green onion, and Jalapeño slices. It was wonderful.

We watched "Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark" Saturday evening. [Get ready to globe-trot with one of the big screen's greatest adventurers. When Dr. Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) -- the tweed-suited professor who just happens to be a celebrated archaeologist -- is hired by the government to locate the legendary Ark of the Covenant (resting place of the original Ten Commandments), he finds himself up against the entire Nazi regime. Steven Spielberg and George Lucas teamed up to create this all-time favorite.] I had not seen this (or any of the Indiana Jones movies) previously. I enjoyed it a good deal and was impressed by the special effects and video quality of this 27-year-old movie. I highly recommend it.

Sunday evening, we watched "No Country for Old Men." [A hunter (Josh Brolin) stumbles upon a dead body, $2 million and a stash of heroin in the woods. He absconds with the cash, but brutal thief Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem) comes looking for it, with a local sheriff (Tommy Lee Jones) on his trail. The roles of hunter and prey blur as the violent pursuits of money and justice collide. Joel and Ethan Coen direct this dark morality tale, which won four Oscars in 2008, including Best Picture.] The mere fact that this movie won four Oscars should have prepared me for disappointment, but my appreciation of Tommy Lee Jones drove me to want to enjoy the movie. This could very easily be the worst movie I have ever seen—at least, I judge it to be the worst mainstream movie I have ever seen. Surely, there are independent films that are worse yet, but for a major Hollywood movie, this one is truly abysmal. There is a very simple plot, scant plot development, and no character development. The action—what little there is of it—is, for the most part, senseless, gory killing. The one opportunity for special effects comes at the end of the movie, when the hunter's car is T-boned by another car. Unfortunately, this accident is anticipated—so there is no element of surprise—and there are no special effects or dramatic photography whatever. The movie adopts the premise that the depiction of gory, senseless murder is a theme. In actuality, the movie is embarrassingly gruesome and, ultimately, boring.