Sherlock Holmes

December 29, 2009 by cloften  
Filed under General Insanity, Silliness and Rants

I do not watch many movies in the theater, so do not expect this too often.  The ones I do see are guy movies that are cool visually that make it worth it to see on the big screen.  I am a guy who likes to own movies and for the price of two people going to see a movie when it’s new, you could own it.  So I go to see movies in the dollar theater or rent them and then decide if I want to own them.  I say all that because I will not do many movie reviews.  If I did, it would be for movies you saw 3 months earlier, and I’m not sure that would be helpful or entertaining.  Also, I am not the kind of person who will ever give spoilers, so if anything my reviews will seem incomplete.

Better than advertised

Better than advertised

So I saw Sherlock Holmes today with my wife, brother and mom.  Sherlock Holmes has Iron Man as the lead and also stars that weird playboy robot from A.I. and that girl from the Notebook.

Expectations:  It has Robert Downey as the lead so that means Holmes will be a little edgier and more of a cad than what he normally has been portrayed.  They will have British accents, so I will miss a lot of the dialog, and I will be wishing there were subtitles.  I think it will be very intelligent and have a lot of action.  It is going to be good not great.

Reality: Robert Downey was incredible as was Jude Law.  The spin that they gave those two classic characters were great.  The way they interact with each other is both clever and funny.  The Rachel McAdams character was. ..zzzzzz.  I didn’t care and I found it hard to believe that she was some sort of challenger/foil to Holmes.

The action was exciting and the plot was very smart, but without being hard to follow.  (My barometer for this is Heidi.  This was what I call a 1 “what?” movie.  A “what?” is the number of times Heidi leans over and asks, “what?”)  Any movie that my mom, wife, brother and I all enjoy has to be working on a lot of different levels.  I like great plot twists.  There are no huge plot twists, but zigs and zags enough to make it quite interesting.  There were no “Dude!!” moments which is something that is so awesome that I will shout that out in the theater or at least in my heart.  However, it was consistently entertaining and I never lost interest.  I never messed around on my phone, which is quite rare.

Appropriateness:  There was no profanity that I can recall.  There was almost no sexuality in it at all.  If you have seen the preview of him mostly naked and chained to a bed, that’s a small part of the movie and not what you think.  There is violence and some grossness, namely some pig carcass slaughter that made me laugh and freaked my mom out.

Rating: (Here is the system)

See it in the theater and will definitely own

See it in the theater and might own

See it in the theater and will likely rent it

See it in the theater and be done

See it at the dollar theater

Rent it

Avoid it.

I rate it a see it in the theater and might own it.

Words we love to misfrounounce

December 28, 2009 by cloften  
Filed under General Insanity, Silliness and Rants

Post your comments here for the Words We Love to Misfronounce List

Community and Christmas

Guest blogger JohnO

My Christmas tree growing up was made up of what is affectionately known as “homemade” ornaments.  NO, not just any old ornament would do, these had to be original.  They were lovingly assembled by children who thought that what they had crafted was nothing less than a masterpiece.  I grew up loving our tree and the different symbols displayed for all to see.  I often wonder what others who visited our home thought about when they saw the ornaments hanging on our tree.  You see, the thing is, my tree growing up represents true community.     We had collected an assortment of different pieces; large and small, red and blue, green and purple–different.     Each ornament had it’s own identity.  Each represented a thought, a creative idea, a picture of Christmas.

I can’t help but compare my tree to how I see living in community.  We all bring different thoughts, feelings, and ideas to our local church.  We have colorful pasts and each of us brings a unique story to this journey called the Christian life.    Individually,  the ornaments may not have been much to look at, but together they do what could never do alone…..tell a story about an amazing Savior.

Fashion Poll

December 23, 2009 by cloften  
Filed under General Insanity, Silliness and Rants

My wife and daughters are trying to stretch my fashion sense.  They bought me a vest today.  I am naturally skeptical, but I resist change.  So we need honest feedback here.  You can also mock me if you want, but we would like honest assessments as well.

Am I cool enough to pull off this vest?

Am I cool enough to pull off this vest?

No Stress at Christmas

I want to give you permission to not be stressed the rest of this week.  I wish I had told you this earlier this month.  For many of you it is already too late.  If you’ve been stressed, take a break.  Also, if you are stressed, I want to give you permission to not feel guilty about it.  Too often one of our Christmas traditions is to be super-stressed at Christmas and then feel guilty about it, because we are forgetting the real meaning of Christmas.  We then go to church and a well-meaning (?) pastor heaps more guilt on us for being too materialistic, stressed and not focusing on God enough.

I would like for you to give yourself a break from that.  The fact that we are too stressed, materialistic and we don’t focus on God enough will still be true in January and February.  You can work on those issues then.  For now, just take a deep breath, finish your checklist and enjoy your family, enjoy giving gifts to each other, go to a Christmas Eve service at your church, or another if you don’t have a church home or your church doesn’t have a Christmas Eve service.  Remember this, God loves you, Jesus came to give you life, and he really doesn’t want you to be overly stressed at his birthday party.

Merry Christmas–Loften Christmas Card

Hope you all have a totally radical Christmas.  Love, the Loftens

Hope you all have a totally radical Christmas. Love, the Loftens

The Nucular List–Words we love to misfronounce

December 22, 2009 by cloften  
Filed under General Insanity, Silliness and Rants

A new list that we will be working on over the holidays.  Words that we mispronounce.  Maybe it’s one your dad mispronounces or almost everyone.  Give me your suggestions.  Top 10 best mispronounced words.

Some questions about the alphabet

December 20, 2009 by cloften  
Filed under General Insanity, Silliness and Rants

I don’t know why I think about these things, but I have some questions about our alphabet.   Typically I would google such things, but I decided I would just ramble and rant a little bit and let people who know stuff or want to google provide the answers.  I’ll write it out so that we will have a reference:


ay bee cee dee ee eff gee aich(?) i jay kay el em en o pee queue (?) arr ess tee yoo vee double-yoo eks why(?) zee

1) We will start with the most obvious of questions.  Why is ‘w’ called a double u?  If you were to put two u’s together, it would sound like an extended u, it wouldn’t make a wuh sound.  Furthermore, it is shaped like two v’s, wouldn’t double-v be more appropriate?  Why not just go with what seems to be the primary pattern of pronunciation and go with wee.

(Sidenote, do not reference the alphabet song as a reason or answer for the questions.  Pretty sure that the song was created to fit the alphabet, not the opposite)

2) Speaking of “wee,” what is the pattern as to whether or not we pronounce the name of the letter with vowels before or after the consonant sound? (What are you talkng about?) For example, el versus bee.  Why is it not lee or ebb?  At a minimum, those should be the only two choices.  Suddenly for no good reason we have jay and kay.  I guess they make it jay to not get it confused with gee.  But why kay?  Did they not want jay to get lonely?  Don’t even get me started on h.  How do you come up with that?  I imagine a group of people coming up with the names for our letters and someone says, “OK, next we have hee.”  Then someone with my sense of humor says, “No, no, no.  Let’s have fun and name it something that is completely unrelated to the sound it makes.  How about aich?”  I’m sure that was the same guy that came up with double-u.  Wouldn’t it be simpler if we had named all of the consonants with the sound followed by ee?  I understand that there would be some problems with that, most of them minor.  We would have a hard time prounouncing xee differently than zee.  We would just have to work harder.  We would have to make an exception for Q since you can’t have an ee sound immediately after a q.  It would have to be quee, pronounced kwee.  I’m fine with that.  Also, g would have to be pronounced with a hard g, like ghee so it doesn’t get confused with jee.  The biggest problem would be ess and cee.  That would make them both pronounced cee.  This leads to another question:

3) Can’t we just get rid of C?  It’s primary duties are already being shouldered by two other letters.  If it is a hard c, k is working fine.  If it is a soft c, s is doing great.  Unless, I’m missing something (how is that possible?), the only problem is with the digraph ch. (I almost called this a dipthong, thanks as always, Google.  A digraph is different than a blend.  Did you know that? You do now)  This presents us with an opportunity to replace cee with the newer, much cooler chee.  While we still have 26 letters, some of our writing is simpler in that we now have one letter instead of two. Imagine how cool chee would be if we got to design it. It could be even cooler than the ampersand (&) which is, I will have to admit, pretty cool.

In conclusion, I am willing to make an exception on the consonant change for R and Y.  I can make the exception for Y because it is a consonant and sometimes a vowel, so it can be its own category.  Does anyone else remember growing up that we used to be taught the vowels were a e i o and u and sometimes Wand y?  They stopped doing that after a while.  I think mostly because no one knew under what circumstances w was a vowel.  It certainly never makes a vowel sound.  NERD ALERT! I figured it out in seminary while I was studying Hebrew.  It involves open and closed syllables and how that affects long and short vowel pronunciations.  If you want to know more about that, holler at me. 

I am willing to make an exception for R, because saying it makes you sound like a pirate, and well, pirates are cool.

Best Movie Villains

December 15, 2009 by cloften  
Filed under General Insanity, Silliness and Rants

Post your comments here on the latest list, Best Movie Villains

This is My Church

December 10, 2009 by cloften  
Filed under Bible, Church and Leadership, Teaching

Over the next few weeks, we will post some videos on what it means to take ownership of your church, to be more than just a participant.

Here is the intro to the series:

First up in the series is our need to serve.  We all have a part to play.

Next, our need to be involved in the lives of others

We also need to think carefully about when we worship:


I meant to put something at the end for people who go to churches that only have one worship service. Here it is: Sit at the front. I mean the front, front. Leave the seats in the back for new people and late arrivers. You always want people to be able to find a seat easily.

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