Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tebow

            I’ve been wanting to comment on Tebowmania the last few weeks, but have never really coalesced anything substantial together (btw, I love Tebow).   This whole time I’ve been so frustrated at the hate Tebow has been getting and I feel this recent article below sums up why there is so much hate (sort of how I wrote about the torrid unforgiveness shown Michael Vick last year). 


But there’s always been something nagging on me about Tebow’s disposition.  Not that he’s necessarily doing anything wrong or disingenuous at all…but that he’s sort of “missing” something related on how to use his platform most effectively.  I think Kurt Warner, no one more qualified to constructively and lovingly criticize Tebow if anyone, articulated it best when he said Tebow may want to be more “strategic” in his sharing his love for Christ.  The part I most agree with is the part about living the Gospel, using words when necessary yes, but let others glorify Christ through your testimony…sometime you just don’t have to do it yourself.  And you want to be careful not to throw your "pearls among swine," which I think Warner is trying to get at as well.



I feel like Warner was more encouraging Tim to remember Matthew 5:16,

“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”  -Matthew 5:16

Monday, November 28, 2011

UPDATED: Top 10 Ways to Not Be Poor

Update:
I've realized my intent wasn't exactly conveyed properly with the word "don't".  I've modified it to reflect a more positive suggestion.

You notice all those news reports about “poor” people in America (I put poor in quotes because it’s all relative.  Those we consider “poor” here in America would be at the very least upper class in some much more underprivileged societies), that typically it’s a young-ish couple…often with small children?  Of course this is an anecdotally-based generalization, but it always seems like it’s a young-ish (20-30’s) married couple with one or two or three small children.  Rarely do you see much older couples, or couples without children, or singles.  Interesting.
            Wealth is by no means a barometer for success or individual or familial health, but an individual, or couple, or family that doesn’t have to really worry where the next paycheck is coming from or how the next food bill will be paid tend to operate more peacefully.  The following suggestions/guidelines may not be liked by everyone, but they’re simple and don’t require a college degree (of course considering no extenuating circumstances like a life tragedy, physical disability, etc.).  They may not make you rich, but they should keep you from being poor.

1.         Don’t Wait to Get Married
            -Most of these young-ish couples in financial turmoil are finding out what they knew all along but never wanted to admit it while they were dating; that love doesn’t pay the bills.  Why get married if you are in the midst of financial troubles?  What’s the rush?  Why don't you spend a few months or even years getting on your feet?  There are no good answers.  Though when did those in love ever respond to reason anyways...

2.         Don’t Wait to Get in Debt
            -No you actually don’t need to buy that thing just because you want it real badly.  No, you don’t need that new car that will put you with a payment you can’t handle.  No, you don’t need that house that will put you in a mortgage you can’t do.  No you don’t need to go to that prestigious private school just because they have higher law school placement rates. 

3.         Don’t (I mean it here) Be a Slave to Interest
            -Pay off your credit card bill in total every month.  Do not let the principle of interest own you.  If you can’t pay off your full credit card bill every month, see #2.

4.         Get a Job, Any Job
            -For reasons I can’t explain I’ve had peers languish in unemployment because they’re looking for the “right” job.  Huh?  If you don’t have a job, and considering the good chance you’re not independently wealthy, go get a job, get back on your feet, and who cares what it is.  Starbucks, Walmart, or the many other establishments and local services would probably be happy to hire you as long as you’re not an ex-con.  I am befuddled when beggars become choosers in this arena.  Befuddled.

5.         Don’t Wait to Have Children
            - As much as they are bundles of joy, the fact remains that children cost money and you don't need to have one.  Why have a kid before you can afford to provide for that child?  Aren’t you starting off on the wrong foot when before the kid is even in the world you’re already being a bad parent fiscally?  There is no mandate you have to have a kid.  Just don’t until you can reasonably provide for its basic needs.

6.         Don’t Wait to Have Sex
            -There are plenty other reasons not to have sex (see The Virgin Manifesto for a few), but going along with the aforementioned reason, considering how much a financial burden children can be – and that sex sometimes ends up with a kid, why take the chance (despite the fact there are like a billion ways to enact birth control contingencies) for something so temporal?  This goes for married folk as well - at least you have “other” outlets than ones that lead to procreation.

7.         $80/month Cell Phone Bill?
            -Have you ever seen those really ironic and seemingly dichotomous photos of like a very poor, third-world nation family living in a mud hut but the parent is talking on their cell phone?  What a conflicting image.  Sure in America a cell phone is almost a necessity for everyone (almost).  But do you really need the latest iPhone with the full data package?  No of course you don’t.  If you’re struggling financially and have a cell phone bill over like $40/month, well come on dude.  Smart phones and data packages are not human living sunk costs.

8.         Sell Stuff
            -It’s amazing how much “stuff” we acquire as humans.  I have a lot of stuff myself.  But you can believe that a lot of that stuff will be the first to go if I need some cash.  Sell all that stuff you have that you don’t need or use or both.  Services, often free, like Craigslist and Ebay make selling stuff so easy nowadays there is absolutely no excuse to retain all the stuff you don’t need that is actually worth money.

9.         Get Your Hands Dirty
            -The amount of money people pay to have simple things done on their cars and around the house is amazing.  This may be more for the guys, but if you can’t change your own oil, fix a leaking faucet, or trim your own bushes and tree limbs...well you need to man-up a bit.  Save money by doing lots things on your own.  Don’t pay someone else to do it.  With the Internet there is no excuse to learn pretty much anything.  I don’t to subscribe to it, but the DIY Channel  is like the coolest cable channel out there.

10.       Ramen
            -This is more a principle of culinary frugality than specifically referring to Ramen, but you can’t argue with the price of Ramen noodle.  Believe me, the more you eat it the more you will like it.  It’s like a delicacy to me now.  And with resources like this, you can keep things new every night!


Friday, November 25, 2011

The Misconception of Faith and Happiness

            For some reason I sometimes feel bad when I’m in a spiritually “Eeyore” type of mood.  I.e. just down on the brokenness of the world, sin in general and sin in my own life, the general ignorance of the spiritual realm people operate in, etc.  Yes the Lord gives me joy…but more in the eternal sense, knowing all the crap of “today” will one day be eliminated.  I feel bad because for whatever reason I feel like I’m either 1) being a negative influence on fellow Believers and/or 2) turning non-Believers off to Christianity because who would want to join faith of a bunch of sulking adherents?  But why should I feel bad about not always having a fake smile on my face though?  Am I not emulating Christ’s very own proportional human disposition when the burden of living in this mortal coil manifests itself in my mood?  Shouldn’t our heart’s break for the fallenness of the world just as much as his always did?  

Listen, I am not a Christian because if makes me feel better about myself, or primarily really for any emotional benefit it gives me (though that is one positive side effect).  In fact, the contrary is true.  But isn’t that the point of the Gospel of Christianity?  It’s not here to dispose of niceties and high fives…it’s here to dish out the truth…which is basically how screwed up the world is because of how screwed up we are as individuals.  The Gospel’s message isn’t initially meant to be joy-inducing.  When you’re drowning in the ocean and someone in a boat yells, “You’re drowning!”, you don’t exactly respond with happiness.  The joy comes from the result of accepting the hand that pulls you up from your sinking under the water to the dark depths, accepting the reality of the fallenness of man and ourselves...and realizing the debt owed has been paid, yet paid by a most assuredly not-so-happy set of circumstances.  It reminds me of the story Philip Yancey recounts in his book The Jesus I Never Knew of when Marco Polo first encountered asians in his expeditions west.  They did not want to see the murals of a crucified Jesus of his foreign religion, but were more drawn to the idyllic pieces of baby Jesus and his holy mother.  This aversion of the “difficult” aspects of Christianity exists even today, even with Believers.  I’ve even met some "Christians" that haven’t seen and won’t watch The Passion of the Christ because of how violent it is.  WTH?! You’re not a Christian if you can’t handle what your Savoir had to go through to save you (we know enough of the punishment Christ went through that Gibson’s rendition is across the board considered an accurate portrayal).  But this aversion of the hard stuff is just a symptom of a deeper missing piece in these folk in that they don’t want to face the real sin disease of the world and of their very own hearts.

Christ himself said being a Christian "will basically suck in this world".  I’m paraphrasing John 16:33 of course but that’s essentially what he’s saying.  For someone to say “hey you’re not smiling or happy all the time, why would I want to join your faith?” is so logically inconsistent and anti-truth it’s not even funny.  If I was to join a faith solely based on it making me feel better and happy and smiling all the time I’d join the Raelian Movement, definitely not Christianity and all the cross-bearing it demands.

Of course the counter-point to all this is that even though the world is very difficult often Christians should still have a positive outlook and a peace always despite the crap of the world.  I agree with this and I think I do generally have a positive, peaceful outlook (people often comment how I, on the outside, seem to see usually the good in people and situations, except my own life, but that’s not for here).  I’ve also met and read about other Christians live in, or have lived in, really crappy situations, but remain super positive and joyful throughout and after them.  That would seem to contradict my assertions above?  Well not exactly.  Because even though joy is present, or should be, in all circumstance, that joy is based in eternal truths related to who God is, not in temporal happiness, or lack thereof, of the current circumstance.  Also, sometimes life just is heavy and you need to express that heaviness.  I mean Jesus expressed that more than once.  Yes, he had a burden way beyond anything we could experience, but it’s all relative right? 

Anyways, I’m getting too analytical at this point.  I just wanted to make the point that being a spiritual Eeyore is not necessarily a bad or truth-void disposition.  And I surely don’t apologize for it to people that find it oft-putting or unattractive.  I think it indicates a properly perspective on a fallen world.  That said, without the Gospel, that perspective will remain in hopelessness.  The Gospel gives us the truth yes, but it follows up with hope.  And hope converts into joy once it’s fully realized.  That’s why even in my “this world sucks” moods I can be 100% accurate, 100% joyfully hopeful, and 100% Christian.

To further paraphrase Jesus’ words in John…things won’t suck forever.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

MTT is reminiscing

At least I'm able to fit MTT in...

Rampart
Bad cop drama

21 Jump Street
Used to watch the original tv show with my older siblings all the time

Pirates! Band of Misfits
New trailer

Beauty and the Beast 3D
It's even more magical in 3D?! Wow!

Bonus #1:
Raiding the Lost Ark: A Filmumentary - Part 1
Flippn' awesome!

Raiding the Lost Ark is an in-depth insight into the making of the 1981 collaboration between Spielberg and Lucas. This fan made Filmumentary contains behind the scenes video, rare interviews with cast and crew, reconstructed deleted scenes and subtitled facts.
This is a preliminary version of part 1. It's pre-QC and pre-audio mix.

Bonus #2:
Rampage
So there's talk of making the classic arcade game into a movie. Haha, could actually be pretty good/funny

According to Hollywood Reporter, producer John Rickard will be producing a film based on the classic video game and is looking for writers to help get the project started. New Line Studios will be releasing the film.

Bonus #3:
Prometheus
Pictures surfacing from Ridley Scott's pseudo-Alien prequel!!!


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Ultimate Bachelor Pad Indeed

            And I thought my place was pretty cool…geez this apartment is so appealing to me for some reason…and I’m not really a “city” guy.


If only I had $88k/month to burn on a mortgage…

Thursday, November 17, 2011

MTT had some of these trailers last week, but waited to show them

Snow White and the Huntsman
Does anyone else think the original Disney Snow White is kind of not-very-attractive? I always thought that mirror on the wall was a little off on that one.

Haywire
Trailer 2

The Hunger Games
Is this a teen book series or something? Never heard of it before this.

Brave
Looks good and funny, like most stuff Pixar churns out.

Star Wars: Episode 1 3D
For your consideration

Titanic 3D
For your consideration

Bonus #1:
Fiat 500 Abarth
Um...yeah. Ok you win Fiat. I will buy your product. You win. This commercial is just not fair.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Trying...

Trying to find the time and will to finish and post my plethora of thoughts and articles on life, love, and, why.  Apologies...

Thursday, November 10, 2011

MTT is looking forward to December 2012

Goon
Though I know it'll be very crude, a comedic story about a minor-league hockey goon sounds mildly entertaining. You can check out the "red band" trailer here...but warning it's crude

Journey 2 The Mysterious Island
I liked the teen-intended first one

Red Tails
Trailer 3. I'm all about this movie. Effects look amazing too.

Bonus #1:
The Hobbit
Production Diary #4. Can't wait, can't wait, can't wait...

Bonus #2:
Need For Speed: The Run
Yep...that sure is a BMW e30 M3 Sport Evolution featured throughout this crazy awesome trailer!

Sanctity of Life Double Standard

            A terrible tragedy has occurred at State College, PA, and I’m not talking about the dismissal of legendary coach Joe Paterno (though a sad sub-story to it all of course).  But I’m more referring to group of children that were abused physically over the however many years the assistant coach there was abusing them.  Poor, poor kids; may God’s grace and love comfort them.

That said, in the media outrage of the cover-up (though I completely agree with this outrage and am just as horrified and disgusted by the apathy PSU officials and coaches, Paterno included, allegedly exhibited) I can’t but help see one of the most glaringly sad double standards emerge from this whole ordeal. 

The news show below, common discussion among the media the last few days, exhibits this double standard that I’m talking about*





Rape is one of the most horrific acts one human can commit against another human being.  It’s even more reprobate when a child is involved, as was the case with the Penn State coach.  I’m not marginalizing at all how reprehensible this was.  That said is that act worse than murder?  How about cold-blooded murder of a defenseless child?  Is it even equal to?  I know how terrible rape is, but I can’t help but think murder is even worse…right?

Then what is with all the condemnation of this situation…but when it comes to the murder of a defenseless child in a mother’s womb…it’s a violation of a woman’s rights if we say that’s wrong, above all?!  The newscaster here said he would’ve beat the crap out of this coach if he was there at the time of the transgression.  Great!  Me too!  But what about the when a women (and in many cases their male partner is just as culpable) knowingly lets a doctor stick instruments in her private areas to violently kill the life out of a human baby?  Ok maybe you don’t physically assault that doctor…but at least he should get the death penalty right - for such an evil act, right?  If we’re consistent in our conviction of the sanctity of life like in this Penn State situation shouldn’t we also be all up in arms over the abuse and murder of children down the street from us?  Wouldn’t that be the logical extension of that same chagrin we all have for these poor, abused children up at State College?  Please tell me if I’m being logically inconsistent here.  And choice be damned…the Penn State coach clearly made a choice that he thought was best for him, his body, and that would give him the most happiness.  Eff that choice…it was the wrong choice and we all know it…because innocent human beings were cruelly abused as a result of that choice.  We must have laws to protect those children…

Screw any religious or political injection here…I’m just trying to remain logically consistent.  The media and other individuals for the most part aren’t.  They’re only disgusted by wrongdoing when it’s convenient – and therein lies one of the most glaringly sad double standards in society and individuals today.  Wake up people.


*Yes, I know they don’t talk at all about abortion etc. in this discussion, and yes I do not know the each individual opinion on the topic.  Though I do know a few of their opinions, which fall into the double standard category I am referring to.  The point of this piece is more to reveal the broader double standard in those that oppose the abuse of defenseless children in all cases, except when they’re women's bellies…as if somehow, and terribly illogically and insensibly, they’re not human because they’re behind some skin. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

MTT is jackin' some cars and going for 4 stars at the end

Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol
This looks very entertaining. Directed by the same guy that directed The Incredibles

The Muppets
Final parody trailer. Voice-over guy reminds me of my friend Martin.

Dr. Seuss's The Lorax
Must've never read this one as a kid. My parents were against drugs.

We Bought A Zoo
I would buy one.

Project X
Are high school kids really this stupid? "Game-changer"?! What does that even mean in regards to the context? If girls aren't noticing you now, throwing a big party isn't going to change that. You really think what people, whom you won't even remember their name 10 years from now, think matters? Forget college and academic advice, HS guidance counselors should be telling students that the high school social "bubble" is so transient and hasty it's not even funny.

American Reunion
Continuing the stupid high school social world theme... Actually, the original movie in this series inspired me to start writing my book interestingly enough.

Shame
Provocative perhaps...but truthful of a lot of men I'm sure

Underworld Awakening
Never was a big Underworld franchise fan. Kate Beckinsdale however...

Bonus #1:
GTA V
Looks so good...

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Ideas for the Talented


            About on a weekly basis I’ll come up with a spectacularly great idea.  Or so I thought.  Don’t you hate when that happens?  You think of this awesome idea, but a little online searching reveals there’s smarter people out there, or at least quicker thinking, than you that have already thought it up?

This week’s idea was registering popular domain names with the “dotcom” nomenclature spelled out after the domain.

For example, www.espn.com would be registered as www.espndotcom.com. 

It would be the next revolution in domain naming schemas!  I would become a billionaire!

Of course my ignorance hindered me from realizing smarter people would’ve already thought this and a quick check of popular domain name registrations on www.register.com revealed as such, as all these were already registered.

Another one bites the dust…

“I've got a feeling that rests on my brain
It takes all my motion and decides my fate

My ideas, they out weigh all the talent I own…”  

-Ideas for the Talented, Starflyer 59

U.S. Air Force Soldiers Not Very Good at Following Orders

I'll let the commercial speak for itself.  No disrespect of course...just bad commercial writer/director...probably civilians.