So Much Stuff I Can't Recall

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

MacGyvering a Coathook

One of the things I noticed the other day is that there's no coathook in my classroom at school. (Until the weather dropped down into the high-in-the-60s category I hadn't needed a coat.) The first couple times I brought a jacket I draped it on the back of my chair, but that wouldn't work longterm.

So what's a guy to do? That's right: ask himself "What would MacGyver do?" (Jesus would curse a fig tree and it would wither into a nice hat/coat rack combo; unfortunately my classroom is a poor fig tree-growing habitat.)

After ascertaining I had no pushpins in my desk (they don't trust me with pointy objects, I guess), I grabbed a one-inch binder clip. Clipped it to my built-in bookshelf and left the clip handles extended.

Voila! Instant coathook.

(If I hadn't had a binder clip I would have needed some rope, a pulley (perhaps a block and tackle rig), and a heavy-duty paperclip.)


Mikesell : 9:30 PM : 2 snarky remarks

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Christmas in Wittenburg: Threepeat

Two years ago my first-ever story ("God's Creation Blog") was published in the Nov/Dec 2005 issue of The Wittenburg Door. Last year I also had a story in the 2006 year-end edition (2007 CCM Concert Forecast).

Well, in what I hope is becoming an annual tradition, I've got a story in issue #214. This time around I chronicle the hullabaloo surrounding James Cameron's follow-up to The Lost Tomb of Jesus. From the article:
"I was on vacation-slash-scouting trip," Cameron said, "looking for the right place to film my next feature, Piranha III: When Tilapia Go Bad, when I found a graveyard up on a small bluff overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Inside there were headstones with the names Zeus, Athena, Poseidon, and more. A cluster of graves like this can only mean one thing: the Greek Immortals were more mortal than we thought."
Expect a link to buy a copy for yourownself soon.

In other Door-related news, there's a new website for the mag being stress-tested. Following a story titled "Titus Refuses To Come Out of His Trailer" (the lighter side of the early church's circumcision dilemma), this comment appears (from Derek):
"This is the funniest thing I have read from you guys since the God's blog and of course watching God stuff. It is so refreshing to find a magazine with the same humor as I do in finding funny things about christianity...."
Always nice to hear from a fan. (Of course, if Joe Bob Briggs has raised the bar I've got to step up...)

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Mikesell : 4:15 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Phil's Ear

Phil's ear is fine, in case you're thinking he was mauled by gophers or something.

Actually, his ear -- his musical ear -- is pretty darn good. We were watching the opening of Shanghai Noon a few days back, and Phil announced, "This sounds like the music to Indian in the Cupboard." A quick trip to IMDb later and, sure enough, Randy Edelman scored both films.

If only there was an "I can name another movie by that composer in three notes" game show...

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Mikesell : 8:06 PM : 1 snarky remarks

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Don'ts and Dos

How's the A-Z iPod journey going? Midway through the Ds now. In fact, I just finished the Don'ts. How do they compare to the Dos? Here ya go:


Final score: Don'ts - 23, Dos - 16. Just call me Mr. Negativity.

964 songs down. 4,050 to go.

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Mikesell : 10:28 PM : 1 snarky remarks

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Texas Trauma

Dina's only been here a few weeks, but this evening she mentioned not only that she knows who Brad Paisley is but that she'd watched an entire video of his. This never would have happened out in Oregon.

Of course it helped (I'm sure) that the song was funny and it featured notable celebrities William Shatner and Jason Alexander, among others.

Enjoy "Online", if you dare.

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Mikesell : 10:07 PM : 1 snarky remarks

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Thanks, Kanga!

Last month I mentioned picking up some Carnival Skittles at a 7-11. And I said in passing that they had different flavors in Australia, more interesting and possibly more delicious flavors.

Friend Kanga sent us a big bag from down under, confirming their deliciousity. The new flavors? Popcorn, Jam Donut, Toffee Apple, Fairy Floss (cotton candy), and Bubble Gum. Yum!

Did I mention that the Porsches are different down in Australia?

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Mikesell : 8:13 PM : 2 snarky remarks

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Fair Skies with Son

Hit the State Fair of Texas yesterday. School was out for me, so we yoinked Phil from his early-release day and headed on down.

Somehow I expected more. Food and rides were incredibly overpriced; told Phil on several rides we'd wait until they showed up at the grocery store parking lot carnival. And for being the birthplace of the corn dog (locally, the corny dog), I figured they'd be somewhat different from elsewhere. Not so much. (Santa Cruz Boardwalk has the best corn dogs, at least they did last time I was there, 15+ years ago.) And it's always good to see that the Super Shammy people are still in business.

But we did see/hear the Marine Drum and Bugle Corps perform. And then there were the dancing dogs and pig races. Took us all day to find the judged quilts and artwork; that's always been a favorite of mine at other fairs. Dina enjoyed deep-fried-peach-cobbler-on-a-stick. The chili-frito-burrito I had made me ill.

Our camera didn't cooperate, so all we came away with imagewise was this pic of Phil's BBQ and this footage of the Tornado (a ride Phil rode twice -- once and non-spinning (the ride itself spins, but you cna give your car extra spin by turning the disc in the middle of the seats) with Dina, once and spinning a bit too much with me). Phil and I also did the big spinning swing ride, and he and Dina did the skyway tram.

In all, not a bad day. Weather was about as perfect as it's been for quite a while. And the parts that were suboptimal ... well, we've gotten them out of our system (see chili-frito-burrito, above) and know not to do them next time around.


Mikesell : 10:55 PM : 1 snarky remarks

Sunday, October 07, 2007

In R'lyeh, Jesus Walks

Here's the opening of my short story “In R’lyeh, Jesus Walks”:
The light in the throne room turned sour, changing gold to brass. At the foot of the dais, angels caught the cue and shifted their praises to a minor key.

Jesus turned to his left. “He’s waking up.”

“Tell me something I don’t know,” the Father replied―their old joke along with “another day, another ten cents on the dollar”―but the light and the music lent a sadness that while perhaps unintentional, was certainly not untrue.

As Jesus walked down the steps in front of his throne, the angels parted but never halted their song.

“Son,” a voice called out from behind him, “take Lucifer with you.”

Alabaster pillars and niches lined the Hall of History, displaying bittersweet mementos from their endeavors to turn men’s hearts and minds to something greater than themselves. Zeus and Apollo, Odin and Thor, and down the hall it went: guises worn until mankind’s embellishment rendered them moot. As poorly as things often went with the Hebrew prophets and priests, at least they hadn’t strayed far from the visions revealed to them. Jesus grabbed a breastplate, red cape, and winged hat; the black leather breeches he put on both legs at once. After lacing up his boots, he hoisted Mjolnir, the Norse battle hammer, over his shoulder and headed down to Earth.

Lucifer was pacing outside Marquam Hall in the Old Boston Convention Center. The devil―crimson, goat-horned, and pointy-tailed―was livid. You didn’t need to be omniscient to figure that out.

“ ‘Come as you are,’ you said. ‘No pitchfork,’ you said ... and then you show up looking like―” Lucifer’s scaly hide burned blood red and his spade-tipped tail twitched like a copperhead unsure where to strike. And he’d tried so hard, so long, to convince mankind that this wasn’t what he really looked like. “What’s going on?”

“Comic book convention. Don’t worry―they’ll think you’re something out of Legend, or maybe a Jack Chick fan. Come on.”

The main auditorium was packed: folding tables crowded with pictures―pre-autographed and not―bankers boxes full of plastic-bagged comic books, action figures, t-shirts. The walkways were just as full with collectors, gawkers, and fans―not to mention the people in costume: the trio of Ghostbusters, the guy in biker leathers and Ghost Rider mask, the twenty-something Wonder Woman holding a pug dog dressed in a miniature Men in Black suit. Thor, god of thunder, fit right in as he eased his way through the narrow aisles. Mjolnir rumbled softly as it swung by his side.

Jesus smiled. All the heroes―action heroes, superheroes, the ordinary become something more―unstoppable. Humanity re-creating itself as it might have been, maybe even ought to have been. Virtue as distinct as logos emblazoned on primary-colored spandex.
Not exactly orthodox, but fun (I hope).

Read the rest In Coach’s Midnight Diner, available at Amazon or publisher-direct. “In R’lyeh, Jesus Walks” was the winner in CMD’s Jesus vs. Cthulhu short story competition.

Mikesell : 8:46 AM : 0 snarky remarks


Coach's Midnight Diner, which includes my short story "In R'lyeh, Jesus Walks" snd begins shipping this weekend, is available for sale at Amazon. Twenty bucks. Spend a five spot on any of the half-dozen or more other things available at Amazon and basic shipping costs are waived.

It's also (still) available from the publisher for $15, but depending on where you're at, paying freight may wash out the savings.


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Mikesell : 8:33 AM : 0 snarky remarks

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

The Dozenth Door

Today's appearance in the Wittenburg Door's newsletter (Production Begins on Lucado-Inspired Movie) marks my twelfth appearance inside the Insider.

When it was accepted a couple weeks ago it got this response from WDI managing editor Harry Guetzlaff: "I did a spit take on the title."

Get out your screen- and keyboard-protectors. You've been warned. (Otherwise, enjoy!)

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Mikesell : 5:41 PM : 2 snarky remarks