Bible Study

Now that summertime is here, I’m using the bit of extra, unstructured time to try to develop some good habits.  This past school year was pretty brutal, between a heavy load of classes and up to twenty lessons a week.  I was thankful for the income from lessons and for the security of work, but it really took its toll as the academic year wore on.

Unfortunately, one of the first things I let go was daily Bible study.  I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve always been spotty about reading the Bible daily.  I’m often more interested in listening to someone else’s commentary on God’s Word than reading it for myself, as if I’m a medieval Catholic.

But there’s no substitute for the real thing—daily Bible reading and study.  So I’ve established a routine now that summer is here, and it’s really helped me keep on track.

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Monday Morning Movie Review: Portly’s Top Ten Worst Films: #5: Color Out of Space (2019)

We’re really getting into the dregs with these worst movies.  This point is where it starts getting hard for me, too—it’s easy to write about any movie, but having to think about the worst ones is surprisingly difficult.

As I had to travel out of town this weekend for a late family member’s memorial service, I decided to use the tactic to which all bloggers must, at times, resort:  reusing an older post.

The film is legitimately bad, and I really would place it on this list.  So, why not kill two birds with one bad film?

Last June, my blogger buddy photog over at Orion’s Cold Fire and I both published reviews of 2019’s The Color Out of Space simultaneously (you can read his screed against this cinematic butchering of the the Lovecraft story here:

He’d written a brief blog post comparing Nicolas Cage to William Shatner.  In it, he announced that Nicolas Cage starred in an adaptation of an H.P. Lovecraft story, “The Colour Out of Space.”

Naturally, I immediately went to RedBox and (with a coupon code, of course) and rented The Color Out of Space on-demand.  As a fan of Lovecraft’s weird tales and Nicolas Cage’s weird acting, I had to see this film.

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Lazy Sunday CL: More Movies, Part XVIII: Movie Reviews, Part XVIII

It’s hard to believe that it’s the 150th edition of Lazy Sunday.  Honestly, it felt like I’d already hit that milestone, but here we are.

I don’t have anything special to mark the occasion, just some more choice movie reviews for your reading delectation.  These are the first reviews of 2022, from the cold, lonely months of January, when all I want to do is eat DiGiorno pizzas and watch crummy movies (but these are all quite good):

  • Monday Morning Movie Review: Boys from County Hell (2020)” – Boys from County Hell (2020) is a comedic vampire movie that takes place in rural Ireland.  It seems that international horror flicks are some of the best lately, as they aren’t quite as bound by the conventions of modern American horror, which just seems to be a bunch of jump scares and loud noises.  The premise is straightforward:  in the small, dying town of Six Mile Hill, there is a stone cairn in the middle of a farmer’s field.  The cairn is said to be the grave of Abhartach, an ancient Irish vampire who is said to have been the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula.  Turns out local legend is true, and the residents wrestle with an ancient vampire.
  • Monday Morning Movie Review: The Wicker Man (1973)” – 1973’s The Wicker Man, based on a 1967 novel by David Pinner called Ritual, is excellent—an absolute must for fans of folk horror.  The protagonist is also a devout Christian who dies proclaiming his faith.  Wow!
  • Monday Morning Movie Review: Nobody (2021)” – Nobody (2021) depicts Hutch Mansell (now one of my favorite movie protagonist names) going about his mundane daily routine, until two burglars break into his home.  It begins a sequence of revenge that reveals there’s more to Hutch Mansell than meets the eye.

These are all winners this week.  Watch them all if you can.

Happy Sunday!


Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

Supporting Friends Friday: Frederick Ingram’s “Ephemery”

My phone has twelve tracks downloaded to it, which auto-play in alphabetic order every time I get into the car.  Six of them are the tracks from my album, Contest Winner EP; four are from Frederick Ingram’s Elements; one is Frederick’s single “Fish Bowl“; and one—oddly—is Ozzy’s “Shot in the Dark” from The Ultimate Sin album.

This Friday, I’m diving back into Frederick’s exquisite EP Elements, one of my favorite indie releases of the past decade.  Because I listen to this EP multiple times each week, I’ve gotten to know these tunes very well.  Indeed, I wrote about another song from the EP, “Yesterday’s Weather,” back in January.

Today, I’d like to examine the other standout track from Elements, the shimmering “Ephemery.”

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TBT^2: Hungry Like the Wolf

Seeing as yesterday was my dog’s birthday, I figured I’d throw back to a piece that I seem to come back to each June, “Hungry Like the Wolf.” Tech magazine Gizmodo ran a piece some years ago that poses the question (in its title) “What Happens to Wolves When They’re Raised Like Dogs?

My thinking on dogs has done nearly a 180-degree turn—maybe a 150-degree turn?—over the past few years.  I’ve always liked dogs (so I was already thirty degrees in their favor), but I disliked dog people.  I still would not classify myself in that way, though I do serenade my dog, so maybe I’m just in denial.

Regardless, what chapped me was the way people would use dogs as surrogate children, or would invest huge amounts of their personal identity in their dog.  Again, perhaps I’m in denial, or blind to reality, but as much as I love my dog, I’d like to think I’m not pouring misdirected paternalism into her.

But dogs do provide wonderful companionship, and can be a great deal of fun.  Murphy does something comical or amusing just about every day.  And her adenoidal snoring and “talking” crack me up.  I actually sleep better when Murphy is snoring her brains out—she’s like a living white-noise machine.

Pretty crazy these chunky furballs used to be wolves, eh?

Here’s 24 June 2021’s “TBT: Hungry Like the Wolf“:

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Happy Birthday, Murphy!

Today my dog Murphy turns nine-years old.  According to the records I have from The Bull Terrier Rescue Mission, she was born 15 June 2013, which is a pretty easy date to remember.

Last summer I suddenly, inexplicably went a bit dog crazy.  I was not looking for a bull terrier at all, but stumbled upon one on at Petfinder.  I spoke with a representative from BTRM, and we realized that that particular dog would not be a good fit for me due to his advanced age and delicate health issues.

She put my information into their database and said it might be a few months before a dog came available in my area.  One week later, while moving a then-girlfriend to Athens, Georgia, I got a call from BTRM asking me to foster an older girl who was good with children and other dogs.

About ten days later, I had Murphy.

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Primary Election Day 2022 in South Carolina

Today (Tuesday, 14 June 2022) we have primary elections in South Carolina.  I’ll be honest, I haven’t followed these races nearly as closely as I should have been, but the big one is the Republican primary for South Carolina US Congressional District 7.

The current occupant of that position, Congressman Tom Rice, infamously voted in favor of the impeachment of President Donald Trump following the 6 January 2021 protests over the fraudulent election.  That single vote has haunted Tom Rice, who was first elected in 2012, then the 7th Congressional District was created, ever since.

I like Tom Rice.  He’s was overwhelmingly pro-Trump, that one vote notwithstanding.  He’s been pretty good on the House Ways and Means Committee.  He’s brought a lot of important infrastructure projects to the district, like the inland port.  He’s also a very sweet, congenial man one-on-one.

But that one vote.  Perhaps it’s silly to vote against a man based on one vote, when almost all the others cut the other way.  That’s certainly what Rice’s team is hoping South Carolinians in District 7 will think.

But that one vote was a betrayal so deep, most of us can’t abide it.

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Monday Morning Movie Review: Ponty’s Top Ten Worst Films: #5: Jungle Cruise (2021)

We’re cruising right along into the second half of the long countdown of worst films.  The ball is back in Ponty’s court, and he’s picked a real doozy to mark the halfway point.

Is there anything wokery hasn’t poisoned with its foolishness?  Apparently, Ponty’s pick for #5, 2021’s Jungle Cruise, suggests not.  A movie based on a theme park ride worked before for Disney, but that was a bit of a fluke; taking an even more obscure ride, then adding in loads of anachronistic presentism, was hoping for too much, even for The Mouse.

One of our regular readers and commenters, Alys Williams, is always wanting me to review flicks with bonnets and Biedermeier, but even those films are jumping on the identity bandwagon.  I have no problem with black people in movies—I mean, who doesn’t love Blade (1998)?—but a black English queen is too much.  Why?  Because it’s not historically accurate!

Sure, historical fiction can embellish some details here and there, but we’re really straining suspension of disbelief when a Nigerian portrays a Viking.  Imagine casting Chris Hemsworth as an African Pygmy—he’d stick out like a sore giant.

But I digress.  On with Ponty’s hilarious review of 2021’s Jungle Cruise:

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