Saturday, December 29, 2007

Lincoln on the Constitution

Don't interfere with anything in the Constitution.
That must be maintained,
for it is the only safeguard of our liberties."

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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

If You Think You Had a Lousy Christmas...

... it could have been worse.  According to this AP story, an Iowa man spent more than an hour stuck head-first in the opening of his septic tank on Christmas Eve.

This story helps me put my own Christmas Eve in perspective.  My 21 year old son and I made the annual Christmas pilgrimage to my mother's home in west-central Minnesota this past weekend. Since Christmas fell on a Tuesday, we celebrated the holiday a little early this year. As we were returning home on Christmas Eve, the alternator of my vehicle failed about a mile from the nearest town. I ended up having it towed to a closed automobile repair shop which would not open until the following Wednesday (today).  The rest of my Christmas Eve was spent in a hotel room. Fortunately, my good friend Mondo was willing and able (barely) to make the one hour drive on Christmas Morning and bring us back the the Twin Cities. As of this writing, it appears that I will once again be fully mobile by this time tomorrow.

While my Christmas Eve was inconvenient and rather expensive, I can honestly say that it was better than spending an hour head-first in a septic tank.

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Christmas Present for Tolkien Fans

There's some good new for fans of Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings (LOTR) films. The Daily Mail has reported that Jackson and New Line Cinema have agreed to work together in making J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit. The Hobbit, which is often referred to as a "prequel" to the LOTR, was actually Tolkien's first commercially successful book. The success of The Hobbit resulted in Tolkien writing what some consider to be the greatest novel of the 20th Century.

Jackson and New Line settled their lawsuit over the proceeds from the first film, The Fellowship of the Ring and worked out a deal with MGM Studios in order to clear the way for making a film version of The Hobbit. Jackson, who directed the three LOTR films, will be the executive producer this time around. The director has not yet been named. As I have long suspected given the success of the LOTR films, The Hobbit will actually be two films and will be shot simultaneously, in the same way Jackson shot the three films for the LOTR. Let's face it. There's too much money to be made to only make one film.

With Peter Jackson on board, the odds of Ian McKellen, Hugo Weaving, Cate Blanchett, Viggo Mortensen, Orlando Bloom, and Andy Serkis reprising their roles has greatly increased. Tolkien fans will note that the characters played by a couple of these actors do not appear in the book, The Hobbit. However, we are talking about the film, The Hobbit. I doubt Hollywood will have too much cognitive dissonance over that minor point. As many Tolkien fans found out with the LOTR films, the movie ticket isn't the only price you pay for seeing Professor Tolkien's world on the big screen.


There is a website that has been set up by the film-makers in order to keep fans updated on the latest news regarding The Hobbit film.

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I'm Not Dead Yet

Okay, I'll admit it. My blogging frequency leaves much to be desired. On the other hand, nobody ever gets tired of hearing what I have to say. On a few occasions, I have been dangerously close to putting my thoughts on the 2008 Presidential candidates on the record. However, I'm one of the few (apparently) who really despise the fact that the race began a year earlier than in the past. Not only that, but states have been playing chicken to see who can set their primary closest to January 1, 2008 without going over.

Maybe it's jut me, but doesn't it seem odd that, with all our advanced technology and transportation, Presidential candidates need a longer period of time to run for office than they did 200 years ago? A two year election campaign would have made sense when candidates "flew" from town to town on a speeding horse-drawn carriage and the equivalent of an e-blast was some pimple-faced kid handing out campaign brochures on the street corner.

It is likely that this election will eclipse all previous records for campaign spending. At least we have McCain-Feingold to get the money out of politics . . . (do I need to add?) . . . NOT!

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