General Housekeeping Information

Here are a few broad announcements.

1. Love my photography?  Ever wonder what it would like if you were in it?  Here is your chance! I’m doing portrait photography as a fundraiser for the youth group at my church tomorrow night.  So come down to the First United Methodist Church of Boone, Iowa from 5-8 pm and get your picture taken.  The rate?  $25 – cheap.  What do you get?  A couple of digital pictures of you and/or your loved ones next to the First United Methodist Church of Boone’s Christmas Tree.  It is a pretty sweet tree. On top of that every last penny of your 25 smackers goes to the Youth Group to help finance their mission trip to Kansas City next Summer.  A mission trip that I may or may not be chaperoning.  I’d guess “may not” at this point, but we’ll see.  No appointment is necessary.  Any questions, you most likely have my number or email address.

2. The 2011 Calendar. Every year I post something about not being sure if there will be a calendar next year.  Every year it is usually a lie.  Not this year.  After steady growth for the last few years, there is a chance that the calendar will not be published this year.  The guy that printed the calendars the last couple of years is refusing to print the calendars this year because I didn’t pay him for the calendars last year.  The fact that I asked for a bill at least 5 times and never received one is apparently irrelevant to the gent, so I have to come up with a new plan.  It is possible that I won’t come up with that plan. But one thing that is a certainty is that the run of calendars this year will be significantly less than the last couple of years.  So if you don’t get a calendar for next year, it is because of market fluctuations and what-have-you, the calendar just isn’t economically viable to be printed in as large of numbers as the last few years. If nothing else, my crew will be happier for the cut in workload.

3. Tomorrow marks the beginning of December.  The beginning of December marks the beginning of my descent into self-absorption.  The time when I look back at the year and answer the Proust Questionnaire.  The difference between this year and last year is that I’m giving my loyal droogs (you people that are reading these words) a chance to pick what questions I answer.  I will start the questionnaire tomorrow.  At the bottom of the questionnaire answer will be a trivia question about Yours Truly.  The first person to correctly answer the question in the comments section of this website will get to pick the next questionnaire question I answer. The trivia questions will be difficult and very specific, but I have faith that somebody out there knows me at least a little bit.

RWPE #47 – Discover

I don’t know if it was the theme or if it was the holiday, but once again submissions were somewhat anemic. Here are the submissions for DISCOVER.

Christopher D. Bennett

Dawn Krause

Mike Vest

There are only 5 themes left before this little experiment starts over. I went down and kicked the Random Theme Generator and told it to give me a theme that would light the fires of creativity under more people. It just sat there. Then it spit out the following theme:


On the surface that seems like a good solid theme that could be interpreted in a bazillion different ways. Hopefully this will get RWPE back on track.

Movie Review: Conviction & Unstoppable

So I fell really far behind in my movie reviews, so I’m going to crank out a bunch of these in short order and without much detail.

Movie – Conviction

Director: Tony Goldwyn (The Last Kiss, A Walk on the Moon)

Screenwriter: Pamela Gray (A Walk on the Moon)

Starring: Hilary Swank (Million Dollar Baby, Insomnia, Boys Don’t Cry), Sam Rockwell (Moon, The Green Mile, Matchstick Men) and Melissa Leo (The Fighter, 21 Grams, Frozen River)

Theater – The Fleur Cinema – Des Moines, Iowa

Companion – Sara Junck

Food – Mezzodi’s

Intellectual Honesty

I didn’t bring much to this movie. I enjoy Hilary Swank’s acting, but I don’t think that I’m partial to her in a way that impairs my judgment.


None. Don’t have a strong dislike for anybody in this film.

Synopsis from IMDB

A working mother puts herself through law school in an effort to represent her brother, who has been wrongfully convicted of murder and has exhausted his chances to appeal his conviction through public defenders.


This is a fascinating true story, but it doesn’t really come off as that interesting in the movie. A woman without even a high school diploma goes back to school in the hopes of eventually getting a law degree and then getting her brother out of prison for a crime he didn’t commit. And she does it!

There is nothing wrong with this movie and the performances are solid, but this is the type of white trash that overcomes incredible adversity character that Hilary Swank plays in her sleep. Sam Rockwell is solid as the brother. Melissa Leo is impressive as the cop that frames Sam Rockwell, but she has an even more impressive performance that I’ll get to in a later movie review.

What isn’t covered in the movie is what happens after the brother gets out of prison. A year after he won his freedom he fell of a wall and died. How tragic is that? What I think is also fascinating about this woman that spent years and years trying to get her brother out of prison is that after she gets him out, she stopped being a lawyer. She went back to being a bartender. That is a fascinating person.

If this thing interests you, check out this link:

The Innocence Project

Rating: 3.5/5 Caramels

Buy on DVD

Not likely, but I would definitely watch it again.

2010 Ranking

I don’t think this really has a ranking. I guess it would sit just out of the Top Ten Movies I’ve seen this year.

Bonus Information

Before the movie I developed a love for boursin cheese. Thank you Mezzodi’s and Sara!

Movie – Unstoppable

Director: Tony Scott (Man on Fire, Top Gun, Domino)

Writer: Mark Bomback (Race to Witch Mountain, Live Free or Die Hard)

Starring: Denzel Washington (American Gangster, Glory, Malcolm X, Training Day) and Chris Pine (Star Trek, Just My Luck)

Companion – Nader Parsaei

Food – Probably but can’t remember.

Intellectual Honesty

I love Denzel Washington. I’ll watch him in just about anything and makes almost everything better. I like train movies. If I were to ever make films, one would definitely involve a train wreck. A real train wreck. No CGI!


I think Tony Scott is a merciless hack and one of the worst filmmakers in the world.

Synopsis from IMDB

With an unmanned, half-mile-long freight train barreling toward a city, a veteran engineer and a young conductor race against the clock to prevent a catastrophe.


Unstoppable? Unbearable is more like it.

You want to make a Tony Scott movie, here is his style in a nutshell:

Zoom camera. Cut to: Camera panning in a circle. Repeat until audience is nauseous.

For the most part, the acting in this movie was okay, but the action sequences were dreadful and the “ideas” these people had for stopping the train were laugh-out-loud ridiculous.

Plus here is free advice for Tony Scott. Next time you are trying to make a train look like it is going faster than it really is, even if you speed up the film rate, it is still obvious how slow the train is moving when you include so many other moving points of reference in the shot.

This film isn’t really worth any more discussion.

1.5/5.0 Caramels

Buy on DVD

Not even for a buck.

2010 Ranking

Probably the worst action movie I saw in 2010.

Bonus Information

Nothing to report.

RWPE #46 – Spiritual

The theme of SPIRITUAL didn’t ring the bell of many people this week. It reminds me of one of my favorite Daniel Tosh jokes.

“When people tell me, ‘I’m not religious, but I’m spiritual’, I tell them ‘I’m not honest but you’re interesting.'”

Here are the submissions for SPIRITUAL:

Dawn Krause

Mike Vest

Christopher D. Bennett

Dawn’s Poetry Submission


I thought of love in its glory
How each of us has a story
I thought of awe and thought of grace
Survival of the human race

And so it came I thought real hard
Of birds and trees in the yard
Of what it was that gave us life
And gave us strength in our strife

I pondered on many things
Of promises and wedding rings
Of how it is we know He’s there
The change we sense in the air

I felt a warmth begin to spread
It filled my soul from toe to head
I yearned to stay within that light
And so I prayed and said good night

We are definitely in the homestretch now. Just a handful of themes for the RTG to spit out. The theme for this week has been spat:


That is a good broad theme. Hopefully it will light a fire of creativity under several people and the submission pool will gain a good depth again next week.