Friday, February 29, 2008

The Constant

After last night's episode of LOST, I posted a comment about the editing of the show. In fact, during the show, I remember saying "wow" out loud during one of Desmond's "transitions", and the phone call at the end, the quick cuts back and forth between Desmond and Penny, clearly the emotional heart of the episode, is not likely to be forgotten soon. So when I woke up this morning, I was very surprised to get an email (through youtube) from Emmy Award Nominee (for LOST - Through the Looking Glass) Mark Goldman.

Are you the BubbaCoop who said "If that doesn't get an Emmy for editing, nothing should." about the Lost ep "The Constant" over at DarkUFO? If so, I couldn't agree more. And thanks for noticing!

Mark J. Goldman

and then his follow-up to my reply:

Well, thanks Mark. I'm thrilled with everyone's reactions to the episode. There was some discussion about using a very subtle visual effect on the transitions, but from the moment I read the script, I told Damon Lindelof that I felt the transitions should be clean. Luckily, everyone liked them that way, so while we did a little experimenting with visual effects, they never went anywhere. It was great fun to do things you normally would never do -- cutting in the middle of a line, for ex. Jack Bender did a bang up job in shooting the ep., of course. And where would I be without Ian's heartbreaking performance? But I spent hours shaving frames here and there on the phone call, and it's probably my favorite scene that I've cut from the series. So I appreciate your appreciation!

Glad you liked the show.

Mark Goldman

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Au Dentiste

It's awkward to sit in what basically amounts to a recliner that you can't control, with a light shining in your face, and a stranger looking in your mouth. You can't just stare back at them. So as I was trying to find a place on the ceiling to lock my eyes, I had the thought that it would really even the playing field if she took her mask off and let me look into her mouth at the same time...and no, I was not on any anesthesia or drugs at the time. That's okay. I didn't really want to look in her mouth anyway.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Merry Christmas!

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For me, anyway. In more ways than one. Except for the the food...and family.

My two big presents at Christmas were Cleveland Cavaliers tickets in Indianapolis for tonight (thanks Eric and Monica), and a gift certificate, which I used to order a new aviation headset, which happens to be set to arrive UPS today.

Also, there's something like 6 inches of snow on the ground, so I'll be spending a significant amount of time shoveling out my car and clearing grass in the back yard so my foot-high dog is physically able to squat without sitting in snow.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Perfect Time

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Taken from If Jesus Has Come by Steve Brown

World History's Preparation for Jesus
If you will, allow me to give you a short history lesson. There are two great streams of human history. One is the Judeo-Christian stream. Some two thousand years before the birth of Christ, a group of nobodies in the middle of a desert came up with the crazy idea that God had chosen them to be His people. These nobodies lived in the midst of cultures far more sophisticated and civilized than their own. One would have expected that these Hebrews, with their nomadic lifestyle, would have been absorbed into the cultures that surrounded them. That is the way things happen in the "real" world. But in this case it didn't happen. In fact, just the opposite happened.

Living among people who sacrificed their children to their many gods, people who worshiped the sun and the moon, these Hebrews worshiped one God. In fact they developed the highest form of monotheism the world had ever known. Their ethical and moral value system was incredibly sophisticated, and their theology was far ahead of anything yet seen on the face of the earth. The Hebrew religion is one of the great mysteries of history. From a sociological standpoint, there is simply no explanation for its development and perseverance. From a biblical standpoint, there is no mystery at all. They really were God's people! They had been chosen. They were right.

So imagine this Judeo-Christian stream of human history, beginning in about the twentieth century B.C., moving down a corridor of time. Now let's look at the other main stream of human history: the Greco-Roman stream. This stream began in the twelfth century B.C. with the Greek conquest of the Aegean civilization, and it moved through the Athenian golden age, the Peloponnesian War, the conquest and rule of Alexander the Great, and finally to the rule of Rome. Within this stream of human history we find our political roots. Here we find great learning, philosophy, architecture, art, and science. By the time the Romans ruled, there was a common language, a common coinage, a common road system, and best of all, peace. You may have heard the term Pax Romana, or "Roman Peace."

These two great streams of history moved in parallel, separate corridors of history for more than a thousand years. And here is where our history lesson becomes most interesting: In the first century, these two streams of human history crossed. And do you know what happened when they crossed? A Jew by the name of Jesus was born in a stable in Bethlehem.

From a purely human standpoint, if Jesus had been born seventy years earlier, when the Parthians occupied Jerusalem, you would never have heard His name. Nor would you have heard His name had He been born seventy years later, after the fall of Jerusalem. But during that brief interval, for the first time in human history it became possible for a story to spread throughout the Western world. For the first time in human history an idea could be heard by men and women everywhere. For the first time in human history it was possible for a man born in a little village in a small country, never traveling more than forty miles from His hometown, to become known and loved by thousands in countries and cultures far different from His own.

Do you think that was an accident? Do you think it was just one of those coincidences that happen occasionally in the annals of history? Or do you think that maybe, just maybe, God planned it all? Do you think that maybe, just maybe, all of history was prepared for this one event? Could it be that God prepared the conditions under which His coming would be the most favorable? The Bible says that, like the great communicator He is, God didn't speak until the audience became quiet. (See Rom. 5:6, Gal. 4:4.)

Sunday, February 17, 2008

In My Opinion

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Cake is just a socially acceptable excuse to eat frosting. The dominant food of celebratory events should be replaced with bowls of frosting eaten with spoons.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Note to self:

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Watching the movie "Sunshine" right before bed causes really weird dreams.

Friday, February 15, 2008

CFA, Driving, and Inner Monologue

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I got to go in late to work today because no one was on the schedule to fly until 10:00, and there was no afternoon dispatcher on the schedule, so I had to stay late. But that gave me the chance to go to Chick-fil-A for breakfast without having to get up before the sun does. Plus I knew they had Free Breakfast Friday, so I got a free chicken biscuit for breakfast, and bought a second one for lunch.

On the way back to the base, this one driver was holding everyone else up. It's 45 mph, no reason to do 30...UNLESS you're busy doing things OTHER than driving. This guy's got a GPS on his dash, a bluetooth on his ear, and he's drinking a bottle of water. How he found time to bother with controlling the vehicle is beyond me.

Which brings me to creepy Mr. Rogers-looking dude at work today. He started off in the office with the manager for an hour or two and is apparently doing an audit of selected member folders on Tuesday. He sat there in the office with his legs crossed, the way that only skinny tall guys (and women) can, and his khakis are clearly way too short, only coming down to the bottom of his calves in this position, revealing his white socks. Eventually he left the office by himself and walked past my desk, walking around the table and talking at that volume where you can't quite be sure if he's talking to you, so you keep looking up to see if he's looking in your direction, but he's not. So then I wonder if he's on the the phone with a magical earpiece. I had to wait until got around to the other side of the counter to see his right ear and sure enough, nothing. Okay, then I wasn't annoyed, I was just creeped out. This guy spent a full 2 minutes mumbling to himself. How full does your brain have to be that it's impossible to think without every thought dribbling out of your mouth?

The base commander came to the club today in an unofficial capacity. She was visiting with a friend who was stopping for fuel on the way from Scott AFB near STL to New York. At one point she pulled out a wooden nickel someone had had engraved for her with her name and the base shield. It had head and tails, and it was a "decision" coin on whether or not to close the base. Heads: Close the base. Tails: Close the base. She said it landed on its edge Tuesday, because there was only a start delay (and someone apparently forgot to open the gates, so I happened to see lines of traffic on the highway just before 10:00 that day). Anyway, I thought the coin was clever.

BTW, if you need a pre-determined day in February to tell someone you love them, you probably don't.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Everything must go!

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I mean, SOMEONE must want a 1988 Delco factory stereo from my old Camaro, right? No idea why I had it in the attic for the last 10 years, but it's for sale if someone wants to listen to cassettes while they're driving around.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

I wonder...

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...if anyone ever grows up and thinks to themselves, "This is EXACTLY how I imagined adulthood would be, when I was a kid."

Monday, February 4, 2008

Greatest American Hero

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When I was probably 3 years old or so, there were only 2 TV shows that mattered (to me, anyway). The first one was The Dukes of Hazzard. It's all about the car. The second, which is remembered by far fewer people, is The Greatest American Hero. A school teacher given a suit with special powers, but loses the manual, so he has no idea how to use it properly to do little things I haven't really watched an episode of the show in the last 25 years or so, but I have mixed feelings on the news of a film adaptation in the works. I just hope the theme music isn't any indication of the quality of the film, because honestly, the song is second only The Dukes of Hazard theme on the awesometer, so if it's a step down from how good the Dukes movie was (okay, I never actually saw it), I think I'll have to stay home.

Random poll results:
23% of Brits believe Winston Churchill is a mythical character, but 58% believe Sherlock Holmes was real.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Steve McQueen, the T-shirt

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I'm not a "clothes" person. I don't enjoy shopping for clothes. I don't like picking clothes out of the closet. I also don't own a motorcycle and never have. But none of that can stop me from getting excited about a T-shirt:

Triumph's got a t-shirt that will commemorate the 78th birthday of the king of cool, Steve McQueen. The logo on the front of their single jersey 100% cotton t-shirt looks just like the one McQueen wore back in the day, and "Steve McQueen Special Edition" is printed on the back, while the sleeve wears a graphic of McQueen's signature. The "as worn by" style gives it a lived-in look, and the shirt will be available on March 24, the anniversary of McQueen's birthday.

The t-shirt will be the first in a series of products officially licensed by Steve McQueen's estate; for more details, go to

Friday, February 1, 2008

Movie Pen

I haven't yet had my full 24 hours to recover from the LOST premiere, and there's probably nothing I could write that hasn't been written 100 times elsewhere, so I'll just stick to the things I've been thinking about most. I still think the "he" Kate mentions in the season 3 finale is not Sawyer, but her son. I believe future-Hurley still has his fortune and will use it to return to the island. Did they tell the world that no one else survived the crash? Why? Yes, it was the actor who plays Jack's dad in the rocking chair, but I'm sure Jacob, the smoke monster, and the island are all the same thing and his dad isn't still alive. Anyway, Jorge Garcia gave a heartbreaking performance.

With the mandatory LOST thoughts out of the way, I was given a unique gift today. It didn't cost the giver anything (and not that gifts have to), but he did bring it all the way from Paris. It was a pen from the Hotel Regina. Bourne Identity fans will recall the hotel as being the one where Bourne sends Marie to retrieve the phone logs for who he called when he was staying under an assumed name, and before he lost his memory.