Friday Date Night: Destination Space

Destination Space, movie, scifi, classic, 1950sOne of the Simple Pleasures of life that Marie and I enjoy is a standing “date night” where we set time aside specifically to spend it relaxing together doing something we both enjoy.  One of our common interest is 1950’s Sci-Fi movies.  What we call Schlocky Sci-Fi.  We have quite a collection of our own, and we have discovered that we can “rent” others on-line and watch them on our television by patching my notebook computer into the TV with an HDMI cable.  Those we particularly enjoy we will purchase for the collection.

Rentals can be had from Amazon.com, Hulu.com, and Netflix.com.  Pricing generally runs either $1.99 or $2.99 from Amazon (our preferred provider) and both Amazon and Hulu offer some free rentals.

This week’s selection was “Destination Space”.  Details provided with the listing were: Continue reading Friday Date Night: Destination Space

THE RESURRECTION

Today is Good Friday so I thought I’d share a piece by my friend and mentor Dr. Calvin Metcalf about why the resurrection of Jesus is important.  For Christians, the events of this weekend are the nail upon which our entire belief swings.  For us it has nothing at all to do with colored eggs, chocolate bunnies, peeps or baskets filled with candy.  All of these came from an ancient Celtic rite of spring worshiping the goddess Esther; the goddess of spring and rebirth.  For us it is the self-sacrifice of Jesus and his rebirth that matter.  If you don’t choose to believe as I do, that’s your choice; peace be with you.

calvin metcalf

The spiritual and emotional energy for Christianity comes from the Resurrection. No other event is as pivotal to the expression of our faith. It is the focus of our theology. We may disagree on the particulars of our faith, but we cling to the Resurrection. Our day of worship coincides with Resurrection day. For most Christians the Sabbath gives way to Sunday simply because Jesus rose from the dead on the first day of the week. Some of our most optimistic and powerful hymns feature the Resurrection. Gospel sermons resonate with a strong emphasis on the risen Christ. It is an inescapable fact that Christians are an Easter people. We are nurtured in the Resurrection conversation.

Because of the Resurrection we are not worshiping a dead hero, but a risen Savior. Our Lord’s teaching and example were good in and of themselves, but the Resurrection gave impetus to all He said and did. It validated who He was and gave credence to His proclamation. His whole life pointed to this ultimate miracle. Without it His followers could have been disillusioned by seeming defeat. Without it Christianity might not have survived the first century and the memories of those closest to Jesus.

There is a tremendous note of victory produced by the Resurrection.

From the despair of Good Friday the disciples rejoiced in the presence of the risen Christ. Because Jesus survived death, hell and the grave they began to feel it was also possible for them. Because of the Resurrection there is the feeling of eternity about our life in Christ. The future loses some of its mystery because death cannot keep it prey. We began to sense that life is headed somewhere. We are not on a dead-end street identified by a grave marker. We too anticipate a resurrection.

The Resurrection is a strong reminder that evil will not have the last word. Although it seems to prevail in this life, we are moving toward its defeat. People who hate and murder, lie and steal, or cause confusion and discord are not an Easter people because Easter people rejoice in good and not evil. No one deserves it, but everyone is invited to God’s great Easter party. Come, let us celebrate. He has risen. Indeed He has risen.

Dolly Settles In

This article was actually written in 2008, lost in a computer crash, and resurrected when I found it again on a web site – complete with my photos.  So I saved the photos and text back to my hard drive and will post the story here as a Wayback Whensday post.  Especially since Dolly recently passed away and we are focusing on remembering the good times we all shared.  And yes, I am now doing a weekly back-up of my hard drives! 


This weekend we have been officially moving into the new house.  I began facilitating this move on Friday by bringing over a couple truck loads of boxes of stuff from our storage room and stashing it in the big closet that will serve at our storage room in the new place.

We have been mindful of the advice often offered which says that if you have boxes of stuff from your last move that have never been opened, you should just throw them out and not move them again.  But, while we have not (often) opened most of these boxes, we know what’s in them and don’t want to toss (most of) what’s in them. Continue reading Dolly Settles In

Book Review: Torch Ginger by Toby Neal

mystery, crime novel, Hawaii, Toby Neal

Torch Ginger is the second book in the Lei Crime Novels series written by Toby Neal, the first being Blood Orchids.

In this book, main character Leilani Texeira is a police detective who must lead her team in solving serial murders that involve the disappearance of a certain class of tourists and are probably cult related.  These murders occur on the Hawaiian island of Kaua’i, which is, as Ms. Neal’s story describes it: “…the last of the Wild West, a jungle paradise of secretive people and strange spiritual forces.”

The first obstacle Detective Texiera encounters is the fact that murders have been occurring for some time and the police have not noticed.  The second comes in the form of the ambitions of others on the police force with whom she serves. And there is the issue of a past love, someone she is desperately trying to leave behind, being assigned to her team. Add in the fact that Lei falls in love with one of the suspects, and throw in a spiritualist who is consulting on the cultic aspect of the case, but seems more interested in Leilani’s personal life.  And there is Leilani’s past; something she doesn’t like to talk about but threatens to interfere with her ability to do her job, and you have the threads that weave the tapestry that is Torch Ginger. Continue reading Book Review: Torch Ginger by Toby Neal

LEARNING TO LIKE OURSELVES

This Spiritual Sunday guest post by Dr. Calvin Metcalf makes some great points about self image, regardless of your spiritual beliefs.

AP-CalvinHave you ever wondered why some people do not like you?  No matter what you do or do not do, they find you rather repulsive.  Since it is a normal tendency to want people to like us, we often grieve when dislike is obvious.  Our frustrations are compounded when, to us, there are no apparent reasons for their rejection.  It hurts to feel the hate of others when, in our hearts, we know it is not our intention to hurt anyone.  If we are people who provoke conflict, then we can expect some “eye for an eye” reactions.  But if, in the sincerity of our souls, we promote peace, then it is strange when others do not respond peaceably to us.

It seems that some folk need a few people toward whom they have an adversarial relationship, and at times we become their victims.  It may be that we remind them of someone who hurt them in the past.  It may be that we did not have the same opinion on some issue, and some people have tender egos when it comes to disagreement.  Perhaps we do not share the same enemies, and that creates problems for folk with hostile attitudes.  Again, it may be that we are perceived as being different and for some, conformity is a “religion.”  There are a variety of ways to analyze the dynamics of people’s dislike of us for no apparent reasons. Continue reading LEARNING TO LIKE OURSELVES

Making Sense of Your Web Site Statistics

We’ve all seen the ballyhoo about how all authors should have a web site to use in promoting their books.  There has been a lot of talk about adding a blog, what to show on your web site, selling from your web site, what kind of content to provide and how often it should be updated.  But one thing that hasn’t been mentioned much is how to determine if the web site is doing you any good. Statistics will tell you this.

Aside from an increase in book sales, it’s hard to know if a web site is helping you.  If you’re trying different types of campaigns which ones work, which ones don’t?  The answers often lay in the traffic reports that are available from your web host.  That usually looks something like this: Continue reading Making Sense of Your Web Site Statistics

Dolly

Awakened in the night by the need to urinate, I slide my legs over the edge of the bed. Instinctively I glance down, looking for the black and white blur of Dolly’s sleeping form in the dim glow of the hallway nightlight. Dolly has taken to sleeping next to the bed. This started during storms; rain makes her nervous, thunder terrifies her and she seeks solace by snuggling up next to the bed where I can drape an arm over and scratch her ears. Lately she starts out sleeping on her snuggle bed in the corner of the bedroom, but after we’ve gone to sleep slinks over and curls up as close to me as she can get. Continue reading Dolly

Wayback Whensday: Olympic Dreams

olympics logoWhen I was in Middle School, Phys-Ed included some pretty intense gymnastics lessons.  I was good at the rings, parallel bars and pretty good on the pummel horse.  A bit skittish about the trampoline. But, after I got some basic moves down I was feeling better about it. Coach encouraged me to try something more advanced; a forward roll-twisty thing. OK, I was game, I was doing well so far. Continue reading Wayback Whensday: Olympic Dreams

Five Sentence Fiction: Orange

Lillie McFerrin

What it’s all about: Five Sentence Fiction is about packing a powerful punch in a tiny fist. Each week Lillie McFerrin posts a one word inspiration, then anyone wishing to participate will write a five sentence story based on the prompt word. The word does not have to appear in your five sentences, just use it for direction.  The word today is “orange”.

Here is my Five Sentence Fiction entry:

A lump formed in his throat as he watched the frame building burn; orange, red and vermillion illuminating the night. Wood crackled and hissed, glass shattered as pieces fell inward, collapsing. The fire consumed the house, and the memories; all those memories. Was it wrong? No: she deserved it, burn witch, burn.

* * * * * Continue reading Five Sentence Fiction: Orange

Writing for Profit or Pleasure – Magazines & eZines

As a freelancer, seeing your name in major print publications and on top eZines is a major thrill. And many freelance writers want to know how to get their work in the spotlight.

My list of publications is fairly long and is available on the About Me page of this blog, so I won’t take up your time with crowing about it here.  As a freelance journalist, newspaperman/author for 30+ years seeing my name in print is nothing new – but is still a thrill (I’m easily entertained). But when a friend or colleague runs across my name in a magazine they often react with awe.

assortment of magazines

“How do you do that?” some ask, as if there were some magic incantation that lets me create bylines with the wave of my hand. Continue reading Writing for Profit or Pleasure – Magazines & eZines