Saturday, December 19, 2009

Avatar Review


I took my son and nephew to see Avatar today. What a trip! An expensive trip that cost me $40 bucks! Against my better judgment, we decided at the last minute to see the 3D showing. I’ve seen a bunch of the 3D flicks and each time I regret it. The glasses and/or picture always seem out of focus. It seems like I always waist the first 20 minutes trying to clean and adjust them only to find that they will never be as clear as no glasses at all.

After I succumbed to the poor vision with the polarized 3D glasses, I settled in for the 2.5 hour movie. I won’t blow the details or the plot; it won’t be necessary. From the opening scene to the finish, the movie is completely predictable. That’s not much of a surprise in and of itself since the director/producer, James Cameron, came up with the whiz-bang plot for Titanic. Like we didn’t know how that one was going to end! I was surprised to see just how many clich├ęs were implemented in the story line. All that aside, I need to point out the very cool equipment that was featured right out of 1985. Cameron managed to use all of my toys that I played with in the 1980’s. There were the AMP suits from Robotech and the RDA Scorpion Gunships based on the Hummel. The graphics were pretty neat too, although the 3D glasses and effects blurred the quality. The Shrek trailer was equally as impressive.

I took it as a smooth blend of Star Wars, G.I. Joe, Alien, and Rambo: First Blood. I enjoyed the movie because it drew me into the story and the effects seemed to work. I wish Cameron would have spent some time introducing a quality plot with twists and turns but after spending hundreds of millions on the effects, that wish proved to be too much to deliver. Unless you are going to make it a family event, you might want to wait and rent Avatar on Blu-ray.

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Voice of An Angel - Katie Castillo

This is Lenny Castillo's daughter singing her heart out!

Be a Good Scout - Be Prepared










The Washington Times reported (http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2004/may/10/20040510-122711-8996r/) on Monday, May 10, 2004 that “Metropolitan Police officers took more than a minute longer to respond to emergency calls last year than they did in 2002, according to recent police department statistics. The statistics, contained in the department's fiscal 2005 budget performance report, show that the average response time for the highest-priority calls -- Priority 1 -- was 8 minutes, 25 seconds in fiscal 2003, up from 7 minutes, 19 seconds in fiscal 2002 and 7 minutes, 47 seconds in fiscal 2001.”


Imagine struggling with a carjacker armed with a knife and high on meth. He is trying to take your car and in the back seat is your sleeping infant.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The People of Fullerton Give Away Millions of Dollars to Help the Poor


Well, not exactly. By a margin of 3-1 (with one abstention - Nelson) the city council of Fullerton approved a $9,500,000 32-unit condo project. There are just a few problems that should be pointed out.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Boy fights for life after jump-rope accident

I read about this a few days ago and was deeply saddened. When I got home, my wife told me about it and that little Jeremy attends my daughter's preschool. There is a lump in my throat as I type... Please read the article by Barbara Giasone for the O.C. Register (cut and pasted here for convenience)...


(Left: Jeremy Friedrich, 4)

FULLERTON - Donations for medical expenses have been pouring in to a Fullerton bank account for a 4-year-old Fullerton boy who continues to fight for his life after becoming entangled in a jump rope.

Jeremy Friedrich was playing with his sister, Emily, 6, on Nov. 29 when the rope he had tied to a back-yard play set accidently wound around his neck .
 When his father, Mike, found him, he said on his Web site that Jeremy wasn't breathing and his heart had stopped. His mother, Naomi, tried CPR but it wasn't until paramedics arrived on the scene that Jeremy was able to be resuscitated. He was taken to St. Jude Medical Center, and then transported to CHOC, where he is in a coma and periodically breathing on his own, his aunt Rebecca Avila said.


"Mike had been watching the children, and stepped inside the house for a minute only to find a window had broken," Avila said Tuesday. "He stopped to pick up the glass, and then noticed Jeremy."


The Friedrichs posted an update on Jeremy's condition Tuesday on their Web site, caringbridge.org with the link oursuperherojeremy, and asked that people join a unified prayer time today from 5 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. They have also asked that people show additional support by participating in a short time of fasting.

"The doctors are beginning to press us for some critical decisions," Naomi wrote. "So now seems to be the time for all of us, as one body, to turn to the Lord, imploring Him together."


A relative said the decision relates to having a tracheotomy.


Avila said her sister, Naomi, has been telling friends, "If one other parent could be spared from this heartache (by knowing the dangers of jump ropes), that's what's important."


The Friedrichs have been active in Fullerton Pop Warner and Little League, where Mike has coached children for seven years.


Prayers and wishes from those friendships and from strangers across the nation have brought thousands of visits to the Web site for Jeremy.


The Friedrichs have another son, Seth, who suffers from Perthes Disease, which is a rare hip disorder, friend Suzanne Alexander said.


"It's tragic what has happened to this family," Alexander said.


Avila said the family has minimal insurance coverage. Regardless of the outcome, Jeremy could need long-term care.


To help the family, contributions may be mailed to the Jeremy Friedrich Fund, P.O. Box 10151, Fullerton, CA. 92838 or go to any branch of Fullerton Community Bank and deposit directly into the Friedrich Family Fund.

The Impact of a Life

I started off yesterday trying to be uplifting. I remarked on a few birthdays and how a few folks, some of which you may have never heard of, have changed our lives. The fun came to a screeching halt when I received word that James Wernke's lifeless body was found in Brea Creek behind St. Jude Medical Center. I didn't know much about James except what was being reported on television and on the internet. My lack of insight didn't matter when my wife walked across the street to tell our neighbors the sad news. My neighbor's daughter, a young nursing student at Cal State Fullerton, knew James. Needless to say, she and her mother broke down in tears. Every member of the household was disturbed by the sudden and untimely death. Last night they participated in a rosary vigil at St. Juliana with friends and family.


Although I did not know James, I know that the impact he made on the lives of those grieving was substantial. James wasn't just liked by many, he was LOVED by all.

May the Peace of The Lord give comfort to all who who feel the loss of James Wernke, and especially his family.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Body of missing ballplayer reportedly found

(from the Orange County Register)
BULLETIN:


Santa Ana College baseball player James Wernke, who disappeared over the weekend, has been found dead, according to news reports. Wernke's body was reportedly found near a creek bed in Fullerton. There was no immediate word on how he died.

December 15

KABC Los Angeles reported that today is Don Johnson’s birthday. Of course you might remember Johnson from 1980’s TV show, Miami Vice. That sent me pondering just how many great people were born on December 15th and have changed our live, knowingly or otherwise.

One such person is Tim Conway, born in 1933. His comedy has made millions laugh for decades. His shticks include all manners of slapstick and wacky hysteria. Here is a short 3 minute classic.



Another important figure in our lives is chemist and inventor, Arthur D. Little, born 1863 and pictured below. You can thank him for all things rayon. He didn’t invent it but he did patent it.



Born in 1848, Edwin Howland Blashfield, "decorated" the dome of Library of Congress. If that doesn’t sound impressive or life changing, take a look at the dome the next time you visit the Library of Congress.


Last up is a person you have never met, and unless you are a history buff, you never knew existed. His name is Nero Claudius Augustus Germanicus and he was the 5th emperor of Rome. He was born in 37 (that’s Year of Our Lord 37, not 1037 or 1137) and ruled from 54 to 68. Like his predecessors, he did a lot in a short time. Wikipedia has a pretty good brief history worth reading.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Lofty Idea Auctioned Off


The Orange County Register is reporting that the Harbor Lofts in Anaheim (adjacent to Angel Stadium) put 60 condos on the auction block! 

With original prices starting at an inflated $350,000, some units were auctioned for as little as $250,000. 

It looks like these lofts were someone's lofty idea for moving more apartments... That's redevelopment for you!

Sheriff: Aide Becomes Right Hand




News - The Orange County Register

LAKE FOREST – An up-and-comer. A man with incredible talent and leadership. A man who speaks his mind.

That's how Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens describes

Greg Sebourn

Orange County Bail Bonds

The Beauty of a Storm

The Beauty of a Storm
Orange County, Ca.

My Grandma - A Eulogy

LET'S TALK ABOUT 1914 FOR A MOMENT.



FOR STARTERS, GRANDMA WAS BORN TUESDAY, DECEMBER 22, 1914 IN HER FAMILY'S ATWOOD RANCH HOUSE.



IT IS WORTH NOTING THOSE ALSO BORN IN 1914:

JACK LALANNE

JOE DIMAGGIO

DANNY THOMAS



AND WHO DIED IN 1914:

JOHN MUIR, THE FAMOUS NATURALIST FOR WHICH NUMEROUS ROADS, PARKS, HOTELS, AND NATURE RESERVES ARE NAMED.



IT IS ALSO WORTH NOTING THAT IN 1914 WOODROW WILSON SIGNS MOTHER'S DAY PROCLAMATION AND BABE RUTH MAKES HIS MAJOR LEAGUE DEBUT WITH THE RED SOX. MOTHER'S DAY AND BASEBALL- TWO OF MY FAVORITES!! (PERHAPS HER NICKNAME "BABE" CAME FROM BABE RUTH???)



GRANDMA WAS BORN INTO A PERIOD OF TIME FILLED WITH TURMOIL. IN JUNE OF 1914 ARCHDUKE FRANZS FERDINAND WAS ASSASSINATED. WITHIN ONE MONTH WORLD WAR I RAGED ACROSS EUROPE. TWO DAYS AFTER HER BIRTH HOWEVER, GERMAN AND BRITISH TROOPS INTERRUPTED WWI TO CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS. (PERHAPS THEY PAUSE KNOWING THAT A GREAT WOMAN WAS BORNE) WORLD WAR I CONTINUED UNTIL THE TREATY OF VERSAILLES IN 1919.



ALTHOUGH SHE WAS ONLY 5 YEARS OLD, SHE SAW THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS CREATED AND THE 19TH AMENDMENT WAS APPROVED BY THE U.S. CONGRESS GUARANTEEING THE RIGHTS OF WOMEN TO VOTE.



SHE LIVED THROUGH MANY NOTABLE EVENTS. LIKE THE 1933 LONG BEACH EARTHQUAKE OR WHEN ATWOOD FLOODED ALONG WITH MOST OF ORANGE COUNTY IN 1938 AND THE FLOOD-WATERS CLAIMED MORE THAN 50 PEOPLE, 43 OF WHICH WERE FROM ATWOOD! ALL OF THIS DURING A TIME THAT WE READ ABOUT IN SCHOOL AND KNOWN AS "THE GREAT DEPRESSION". SOMEWHERE IN ALL OF THAT SHE FOUND THE LOVE OF HER LIFE, GRANDPA LEO, GRADUATED HIGH SCHOOL, GOT MARRIED, AND HAD KIDS!



THEN THERE WAS WORLD WAR II. FROM PEARL HARBOR TO HIROSHIMA, GRANDMA WAS RAISING MY UNCLE BOB AND MOM ARLINE. WITH AIR-RAID SIRENS AND BLACKOUTS SHE WAS A WIFE AND MOTHER. WHAT A TIME TO RAISE CHILDREN! I BET GRANDMA'S PARENTS WERE ABEL TO TELL HER A THING OR TWO ABOUT RAISING KIDS IN WARTIME.



GRANDMA WAS THERE WHEN THE BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA HELD THEIR 3RD ANNUAL NATIONAL JAMBOREE IN 1953. SHE SAW AIRBASES OPEN IN '42 AND CLOSE IN '99. SHE WATCHED WALTER KNOTT START UP HIS BERRY FARM AND WALT DISNEY TURN ORANGE GROVES AND STRAWBERRY PATCHES INTO DISNEYLAND!



SHE SAW THE HORSE AND CARRIAGE FADE AWAY INTO HISTORY AND SPACE TRAVEL EXPLODE BEFORE HER WITH THE FIRST LUNAR LANDING. JUST IMAGINE HOW MUCH TECHNOLOGY HAS CHANGED OVER THE LAST 100 YEARS. FROM TUBE RECTIFIERS TO SUPERCONDUCTORS; FROM TRANS-ATLANTIC TELEGRAPH CABLES TO SATELLITE TV.



SHE SAW MORE IN HER 93 YEARS THAN MOST OF US WILL EVER READ ABOUT, LET ALONE LIVE THROUGH!



OF THOSE 93 YEARS IT IS MY HONOR TO HAVE BEEN HER GRANDSON FOR 35 OF THEM. SHE WAS MY MOTHER WHEN MOM HAD TO WORK. SHE WIPED MY NOSE AND PUT FOOD IN MY MOUTH. SHE LET ME PLAY WITH GRANDPA EVEN THOUGH SHE NEEDED HIM TO TAKE HER TO THE STORE. SHE WAS MY GRANDMA AND I WILL MISS HER IMMENSELY.



JUST LOOK AROUND THIS ROOM; SHE DID THIS. SHE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR BRINGING SO MANY GOOD PEOPLE INTO THIS WORLD AND TOGETHER TODAY. THIS IS HER LEGACY.



A Dedication To My Loving Wife, Stacey. Thank you for all you do for me!

Brad Paisley - I Thought I Loved You Then


I remember trying not to stare the night that I first met you
You had me mesmerized
3 weeks later in the front porch light taking 45 min to kiss you goodnight
I hadn’t told you yet but I thought I loved you then

Chorus
Now you’re my whole life now you’re my whole world
I just can’t believe the way I feel about you girl
Like a river meets the sea
Stronger than it’s ever been
We’ve come so far since that day
And I thought I loved you then.

I remember taking you back to right where I first met you
You were so surprised
There were people around
But I didn’t care I got down on one knee right there
And once again I thought I loved you then

Chorus
Now you’re my whole life now you’re my whole world
I just can’t believe the way I feel about you girl
Like a river meets the sea
Stronger than it’s ever been
We’ve come so far since that day
And I thought I loved you then.

I can just see you with a baby on the way
I can just see you when your hair is turning gray
What I can’t see is how I’m ever gonna love you more
But I’ve said that before.

Now you’re my whole life now you’re my whole world
I just can’t believe the way I feel about you girl
Well look back some day at this moment that we’re in
And I'll look at you and say I thought I loved you then
And I thought I loved you then...

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