What's In This Blog

I created this blog for my journal. I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In this blog I keep many of the things I come across as a member of the church. I also share my experiences on the ACE Train and getting to work, my experiences in Manteca where we have lived for three years, and other things I think are noticeable.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Movie Night: A Christmas Carol

There are over forty versions of "A Christmas Carol" and so I am offering my ideas as to which I prefer.  This is a work in progress and I will add reviews when I see another one.

**  "A Christmas Carol, The Movie" 2001.  I must admit, this is not me favorite version.  It does have Kate Winslett as a love interest to scrooge and she sings beautifully, but it doesn't have much else to recommend it.  It has a non animated section, which I enjoyed.  It showed Charles Dickens traveling to America, and reading the story with some changes. This part was well done.  When he tells the story it is animated.  The movie adds two mice, with the motivation of attracting children to see the show.  The mice just seem obnoxious to me and don't add anything.  In fact the change the tempo of the action.  The animation seems poorly done, although there is a long list of animators.  This is not the version I would pick to see.

***^ A Christmas Carol 1984 with George C. Scott of Patton fame.  Scot is a better Patton than a Scrooge.

Made for t.v. ****A Christmas Carol 1999 with  Patrick Stewart.  In all the viewing I have don, this is the one that takes first place for me.  Patrick Stewart is superb.  The movie is choppy at places with stops made for commercial breaks, but the characters come through.  The first ghost was not a woman and I thought this fit perfectly with the character.  The change was done a believable fashion.

*^A Christmas Carol 2008, animated.  This movie as shorter, and just missed the feeling of the story.  It had animated animals portraying the parts, and was two inmature for my taste. 

***Christmas Carol 2009, animated.  This is the Disney version with Jim Carrey.  The characters are so real with their animation, which is their strength and down fall.  It is just too much over done with the new animations.  It makes the characters scary, much to scary for children, and sometimes for me.  I cannot watch this with Tony

**Scrooge 1970.  This is a musical version featuring Albert Finney and Alec Guiness.  When I realized it was a musical, I had my doubts, and those doubts were confirmed.  How could Scrooge be a singer?  Although I enjoyed hi "I hate people."  I did not like the songs at the end, "I love Christmas" which turned into a big production numbers, just to have one it seemed.  Scrooge played Santa to the Crachetts, which didn't work for me as it was too drastic a change.  The anonymous Scrooge is more to my liking.  Alec Guiness lived up to his being a master of disguise, but his character seemed like a robot rather than a ghost.

*Scrooged 1988  Bill Murry as a t.v. executive.  This I give my lowest marks.  This movie was just too irreverent.  The only thing I found funny was Mary Lou Retton as Tiny Tim and her doing a tumbling run after being healed.

****A Christmas Carol: Scrooge 1951  This movie is available through Netflix DVD.  It stars Alistair Sim as Scrooge.  It is really the penultimate Christmas Carol in terms of telling the complete story.  Other versions cut short Christmas Past, but this does not.  It gives much more breadth to the story as a result.  The other ghosts also show more scenes than other versions.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Christmas Movies:

I am writing reviews of Christmas movies.  I try to watch at least one a day during the season, and also read Christmas stories.  I will be adding at least one review a day.  All of these movies are from Instant Netflix unless I note otherwise. 

*^ "The Bear Who Slept Through Christmas" 1973, Casey Kasem as the narrator and Tom Smothers as Ted E. Bear.  This movie was mostly just filler, and a sort of silly story.  I thought it was a top 40 show with the narrator's voice.  It was written for small children.  Ted E. Bear believes in Christmas.  The other bears do not as they always sleep through it.  Ted E. Bear is determined to find Christmas.  Santa advises him. "Christmas is that certain glow that just can't be defined; That happy, happy feeling that you get inside when you are kind."

** "Jeff Dunham's Very Special Christmas Special"  This would have gotten more stars if there was lest swearing (although it is bleeped) and less sexual innuendo.  However the music with guitar guy and "Night Before Christmas" reading are very funny.

No stars  "A Christmas Too Many"  I only got through 5 minutes and was presented with homosexual innuendo and an "f" bomb and decided this wasn't the Christmas movie for me.

Christmas Classics volume I shows several different shorts:
*** "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer."  This is a very old version, and begins with a singing of the song.  This story reminds one of how cruel we can sometimes be to others.  Sometimes when someone is different, we treat them in a poor way.  This can be especially true of children at times, but I hope we can rise above this.  In Rudolph, Santa's needing his help on a foggy night does the trick.
  ** "Santa's Surprise."  This movie depicts children in a positive light.  They have caught rides on Santa's Sleigh and visit the North Pole to clean his house while he is sleeping.  There are children from all over the world.  The movie uses caricatures of different ethnic groups.  The African American boy is in black face and shines shoes, The Polynesian girl is topless, the Chinese boy does laundry.  However it makes fun of everyone as a cartoon is suppose to do.  The Dutch boy is the bungler with his wood shoes that make noise and he is always bumping into things.  They get the job done and leave a hint for him to visit them again next year.
 *^ "Christmas Comes but Once a Year'  This short is of an orphanage where all the Christmas toys are hand me downs, and break quickly.  An inventor happens by, takes the part of Santa Clause, making toys out of household items.  I only wonder what they will do without any household utensils for the next year.
* "Snow Foolin'" "With these prices who can afford Florida says the bird who didn't migrate for the winter."
* "Hector's Hectic Live", Dog trouble.
* "Jack Frost"  A baby grizzly runs from home and gets caught by Jack Frost.  A kind elf saves him and takes him home.
* The Shanty Where Shanty Clause Lives" 
* "Somewhere in Dreamland"
** "The Night Before Christmas" If you like the poem you'll like this movie, although it is a bit slow.
****  "A Charlie Brown Christmas"    This is a movie I grew up with.  It came out in 195, when I was eight.  Through my teen year the group of kids I hung with had a thing for Charlie Brown.  We would share his comics before school as the bus landed us a few minutes early.  And this is one of those shorts I have enjoyed my entire life.  Before video, I would look forward to the showing of this every year, and always try not to miss it.  I love when the sing "Hark the Herald Angels Sing."  I love Schroeder's music.  And I love Linus reciting the Christmas story.  This is a movie that makes Christmas season better.
***  "It's Christmastime Again, Charlie Brown"  Same character with a few new ones, but not the same pizazz.  Story is only mildly amusing and is mostly a forum for Peanuts Comic Strip lines.
****The Coat  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cp3IH8ZNviQ If this does not get you in the true mood of Christmas, nothing will.  A story from the life of Heber J. Grant.
***^ Christmas Angel 2009.  I think I saw this one on t.v. but I can't remember which channel.  It was actually an enjoyable made-for-t.v. Christmas movie.  It featured a story of people struggling to get through and being  brought together by a secret Santa.   Of course there are some bumps along the way, such as the attitude of the guy in the story, but it works out well in the end.

Christmas Letter 2011

Dear Family and Friends,

We hope everyone has enjoyed this past year and wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

The biggest family news of this year is that we moved from Cupertino to Manteca, California. We have been here for about nine months and so far we love it. We bought a beautiful home that we love living in. Billy is still working as a Social Worker in San Jose so he takes a two hour train ride there and back every weekday. Manteca is located in the Central Valley and we have had to get used to the different climate, but we still love it here. However, even though we are making new friends we sure miss the Stevens Creek Ward and other friends in Cupertino.

Natalia and Ty just celebrated their three year anniversary and are enjoying married life. They are still in Rexburg, ID. Ty is finishing up his last year at school while Natalia is teaching 1st grade in Idaho Falls. Over the summer Ty had an internship in Stockton, California so they spent the first part of the summer here in Manteca with us.

Mark is in Logan, UT. He and Liz are expecting a baby in early December. (His name will be Elliott) He is in his last year at Utah State where he is studying Anthropology.. He also transferred to a Utah division of the Marine Corps this summer.

Jeremy is also in Logan, UT and just got accepted to Utah State University in the Engineering program. (Aerospace Engineering)  He has been working at The Blue Bird in the kitchen and is the chief roll maker.

Charity and Anthony have survived their first year of marriage and seem to be enjoying everyday of it. They also relocated to Turlock, which is not that far from Manteca. Anthony is going to school at CSU Stanislaus studying Kinesiology.  Charity graduated from Cosmetology School in June and passed the State Board in August.

Miranda graduated from High School in June and has been nannying to earn money for college. She wants to go into Medical Administration and study at BYU-Idaho. She lives at home and is going to the singles' ward in our stake. She still loves playing the piano and works on improving her talent everyday.

Caleb is a Junior at Sierra High School. He has been enjoying his new school and especially likes his Physics class. He spends a lot of time with his girlfriend and her family. He has made a lot of new friends since we moved. He helped plan our Stake Youth Conference.

Tony has grown a lot over the past year. He tends to say some pretty hilarious, but smart, things on a daily basis. He is getting ready to go to Kindergarten next year and learning his colors, shapes, numbers, and letters. He has learned to write his name and other letters. He has a couple of friends in our ward that he enjoys having play dates with.

This year we did something new and got an exchange student for a month over the summer. She was from Spain and we really enjoyed having her here with us for that month. We enjoyed it so much that we got another exchange student from Brazil. His name is Tiago and he is here for the school year.

We hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas and New Year. We love you all and wish you the best. We love our Savior, Jesus Christ, and are glad to have this time of year to celebrate His birth.

With love,
The Wardles

Moview Night: ***Sunday in the Park with George; *^Solitary; ***Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

"Sunday in the Park With George" I got through NETFLIX.  I would have scored this movie higher, but tired of listening to Bernadette Peters say "George." I don't know how many times she said this, but it was too many.  This movie stars Bernadette Peters and Mandy Patinkin in two roles.  The songs are intriguing.  "The hat" grows on you, and his singing of the colors is fascinating.  But the song I most enjoyed is "Move On:"
Stop worrying where you're going-
Move on
If you can know where you're going
You've gone
Just keep moving on

I chose, and my world was shaken-
So what?
The choice may have been mistaken,
The choosing was not
You have to move on

Look at what you want,
Not at where you are,
Not at what you'll be-
Look at all the things you've done for me

Opened up my eyes,
Taught me how to see,
Notice every tree-

...Just keep moving on
Anything you do
Let it come from you
Then it will be new
Give us more to see...


"Solitary" is available through Netlix Instant.  This is a strange movie about a woman who loses her husband, and the twist in the end is that she is really in a coma.  Sort of strange.

"Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" I saw on Dish USA Network and recording it so I could skip the commercials.  I had never seen it before.  If I compared it to the other Indiana Jones films it comes up a bit flat.  However if I compare it to other action adventures it is a fun romp.  I especially like it that the bring in a son, and a marriage at the end.  The parallel universe left me a bit flat.  It is gong of the theme that the gods are aliens.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Ace Train 14: Caltrain Train Barn

On of the most impressive things along the train route, is the CalTrain Barn.  This is just before Diridon Station in San Jose.  CalTrain goes from Gilroy to San Francisco, and runs parallel with the Ace Train for a few miles just before Santa Clara Station to Diridon Station.  The train barn has facilities to clean the trains, and barns for where they can work on the trains.  It is really quite impressive.  It would make Thomas jealous.

Life in Manteca: 27: Crime

Last week the family went to see the new "Twilight" movie while I was at work.  After, I heard the story a couple of times of how some of the cars of friends were burglarized during the movie.  One car they had attempted to cut the lock from the door.  They did not succeed in getting into the car, but did succeed in causing extensive damage.  The other car they apparently got into the trunk.  They stole a Canon camera reported to be worth $1000.  It happened to be the vehicle of a police officer and they stole his bullet proof vest.

Shortly after we moved in, someone tried to break into our house while we were gone.  Fortunately we had an alarm installed and it scared them away.  However, in the same week, our neighbor's home was burglarized and jewelry stolen and sentimental items.  

In Manteca there have been a couple incidents which have been in the news.  Some people were pulling up a private train track, with the intent of reselling the metal.  There was an officer shooting of someone for whom they had a warrant.  I drove past this incident, wondering what was going on, and later saw it in the paper.  Then there was someone running away from the police, ran onto the freeway, stopped a car and high jacked it.  This process caused a motorcyclist to crash, trying to avoid the freeway traffic, killing him.

I am left with the question of whether crime is more or less in Cupertino than here.  Once, many years ago, while Sheri was at the doctor's in San Jose, our car was broken into, leaving us without a stereo and a broken window.  Another time our home, in San Jose, was burglarized. As many may know there was a multiple homicide in Cupertino since we moved.  This was at the cement quarry.  When we were over for an event, we drove up the street where the gunman was confronted by police, and killed himself.  This wasn't very far from our old house, although the quarry was the other side of town. 

Are we less secure than we were a few years ago?  Is crime more rampant?  Maybe it is a sign of the times, but I don't have to like it.  We are doing everything we can to be safe.

Thanksgiving 2011

Sheri roasted a big turkey and we had a big crowd for Thanksgiving yesterday.  A few pictures to highlight the day.  I went the day before and gathered chairs from Diana's, and went to the grocery store for last item shopping.  Sheri had done the big shopping the week before.

Randy and Mom decorated.  We all cleaned.  Mom roasted the turkey,

while Caleb, I, and Tiago, and later joined by Jeremy and Kayla went to the Turkey Bowl of the Sycamore Ward.  I am the dirtiest which means I played the hardest.  Actually I missed Caleb going around the end, and went sliding through the wet grass.

Jeremy made the rolls.  (He had to leave before the feast.)  He used the recipe he uses at work for the Bluebird in Logan.  I filled water pitchers, but the corn in a bowl, poured drippings in a pan for gravy, and peeled taters.  Gary, Mark's brother carved the turkey.

We had the Normans over.  This included Mark and Diana as well as Mark's brother and his family.  We usually go to Diana's house, but have the same group for Thanksgiving.  We also had friends of Mark and Diana, Rocky and Kaylee and their baby Reggie (four months old, big blue eyes, dark hair with a black flower in her hair.)  I got a couple turns to hold her.  The day also included watching the end of a football game, watching "Sherlock Holmes" and game playing.  Tony found a friend in Rachel, and played for hours in his room.  They had fun playing with balloons.  After things slowed down we rehearsed the song we are singing Sunday for the Stake Choir Concert. 

Christmas Planning 2011

There are so many things going on this Christmas Season that planning for Christmas is somewhat hectic.  There has to be a balance between getting the mood of the season, and doing too much.  This Sunday is our Stake Choir music festival.  The choir has been rehearsing for the past couple months, and it is going to be a fun program.  Additionally we are singing as a family.  It should be fun.  We also have a couple of ward parties, relief society party and  Ward Christmas party.  I think we will be singing at each of these as well.

The festivities at the Temple start tomorrow.  http://www.templehillevents.com/Full_Details.html
Every year they have presentations about every night at Temple Hill.  It is all free.  This year is going to be especially fun.  A coworker's daughter is in the "Nutcracker" presentation. There is another Christ centered ballet at the temple, "Behold, the Gift."  Zion's Choir also performs at temple hill, but we are thinking of catching them at the Palo Alto Creche exhibit.  The day they perform there is also a marionette show.  There will also be lots of creche exhibits.  I think it is this exhibit that motivated Sheri to start collecting creche exhibits.  We will have them about the house this weekend.  It will be fun putting them into our new house and seeing how they fit.  We still have our first creche scene that my sister fired for us and gave us for our wedding many years ago.  There is also a creche exhibit in Modesto, but we want to hear the choir, and this gives us a chance to do two things at the same time.

There is also the annual Christmas party that my sister puts on.  It is a fun evening and includes us, my sister's family and Mark's brother's family--and any other family members who are in the area.  We are wondering a bout doing a family home evening sing-along.  In the past we have gone to these at the Ortons or the Struks in Cupertino.  We are wondering if we want to continue the tradtiton and invite a few families over for a musical evening. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

MovieNight: ****Into the Woods;

These movies I have watched through Netflix. The first through Instant Netflix. The first is the Stephen Sondheim musical.  My kids did this play when Mark was in Middle School. Mark was Jack with another boy his milky white cow.  It seems like the rest of the kids were involved.  However the version for the Middle School was written for school age   , and took out some parts; particularly the second act.  Things after the first act end up happily ever after.  However the second act holds several twists.  The princes aren't happy, nor are their brides.  Several characters end up dead, and the rest of the characters struggle with this and putting their lives back together.  This leads to some more heartfelt songs.  The Baker loses his wife to the giant and sings:
No more giants waging war!
Can't we just pursue our lives, with our children and our wives,
'Til that happy day arrives, how do you ignore
All the witches, all the curses,
All the wolves, all the lies, the false hopes, the good-bye's,
The reverses,
All the wondering what even worse is still in store!
All the children.
All the giants..
No more.
 Cinderella sings by way of answer:
No one is alone.  Truly.
No one is alone.
Sometimes people leave you
Halfway through the wood.
Others may deceive you.
You decide what's good.
You decide alone.
But no one is alone.
 And finally the Baker's wife provides counsel from the grave with 
regards to raising their son:
Sometimes people leave you
  Halfway through the wood.
  Do not let it grieve you,
  No one leaves for good.
  You are not alone.
  No one is alone.
  Hold him to the light now,
  Let him see the glow.
  Things will be all right now.
  Tell him what you know.. 
I enjoyed this show,  The songs have stuck in my mind. 

Miranda's Last Young Women In Excellence

A couple weeks ago I went to the Young Women in Excellence, which happened to be Miranda's last as she makes a new beginning with the Singles Ward--Yosemite Ward.  They did a very nice music presentation dealing with the Young Women Values, and the Thirteenth Article of Faith.  They also showed a brief movie from young women around the world.  They took a picture after with the bishop.

Of course they had displays you could look at.  Miranda included a display of the songs she is learning.  She is now able to play about 50 hymns.  I was most impressed with the displays by Haylee, who is doing extraction work.  She has a goal to get 1000 names done this year.  That is more than my goal.  Also I liked the memory book Moriah did for her brother's mission.  He served in Logan.

Book Review: ****^Ride the Laughing Wind (to mmboe)

I found this book in Sheri's home library.  It is written by Blaine and Brenton Yorganson and published by Bookcraft in 1984.  I enjoyed this book immensely.  It is not a book that is meant to be rushed through.  It is a slow read.  That is because of the beauty of the words.  These words are meant to be savored and not to be rushed over.

The poetry in the book is moving, and is generally in the form of a prayer.   Here is a marriage poem:

O Great Tiaowa hear the voice we send, hear the voice we send at last as one.  Wa!

Give the love Between us tenderness.  Wa!
Give this love between us honesty.  Wa!
Give this love between us playfulness.   Wa!
Give this love between us power.   Wa!
Give this love between us excitement.   Wa!
Give this love between us meaning.   Wa!
Give all this love to us, we plead, forever.   Wa!
 From this you can see why I say this is a book to be relished and enjoyed, not read quickly.
This book tells the story of a couple, who were found amongst the ruins of the ancient ones, in a cliff dwelling that no one had noticed for hundreds of years.  This is the explanation given by these two authors as to why they were there.
It is a beautiful love story, which the actors almost overlook.  However it is also a story of the ancient ways of peace, and the new ways of hate.  It is a story of betrayal.  It is a story of makeshift family.  The village of the four young people is destroyed at the first of the book, and this is their fleeing into the wilderness to escape the evil men pursuing them.   They make a family, and flourish, and this that family's story.
I enjoyed my time with this book, and recommend it to those who are interested.  I am sure you could find in through Amazon.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thanksgiving Decorations 2011

entry way

entry way

Many years ago Sheri cross stitched, and the cradle boards are authentic Shoshone doll cradle boards


living room
I should have posted these pictures a while ago, but Sheri has the house all festivated for the Autumn.  I didn't post Halloween, but many of the decorations double.  We replace the Jack-O-Lanterns and scary ones with turkeys.  I would like the Native American display to be up all year, because it reminds me of a simple time in our life, when we were just married, and working for the Duckwater Shoshone Tribe.  Sheri only likes it up during the holiday.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

To the Movies/ Movie Night: ***Three Musketeers, ***Mansfield Park, ***^Sons of Katie ElderPark,

Tony and I went to see Three Musketeers at the Marketplace Theater.  It was fun.  Tony was interested in seeing the sword play, and was not disappointed.  The story was very repetitive in comparison to other versions of the same story.  The only addition was the flying ships, which really added some fun to the story.  They had two men-of-war, which were attached to dirigibles, and had a fine battle.  This movie is worth seeing just for the battle between these two vessels.  However other than that the story has been told before.

Mansfield Park is the Billie Piper version which I got from Netflix mail.  I liked Billie Piper in Doctor Who and she is very good in this as well.  The story as told in this PBC WGBH Boston version loses some of the periphery stuff, and is much more directly a love story between Fannie and Edmond.  I missed the story line of the slaves, but really it did keep the movie focused on the main characters.

Lastly The Sons of Katie Elder is an old John Wayne, who is always good.  There is a scene where John Wayne is shooting his two six shooters much like Rooster Cogburn in True Grit.  I guess this was a rehearsal.  It reminds one of the importance of family, and not forgetting those who are older, even when we are moved out and doing our own thing.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Veterans in my family

My Son, Mark, Marine, served in Iraq

My dad, Navy served during WWII in Brazil and Africa
Great-great-great grandfather Ashton who served in the Infantry of the Army defending U.S. interest at the time against Native Americans 1856-1861.  He marched to California, and walked the entire state North to South.  He was discharged from Benecia in 1861. (sorry no picture)

Aunt Verna who did a a couple tours of duty.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Ace Train 13: Diridon Station


The Diridon Station was originally called the Cahill Station when it opened in 1936 (the cornerstone says 1936.)  It was renamed Diridon Station for county board member Rod Diridon (who I met once) when is was remodeled in 1994.  Even after this remodeling was the addition of the light rail, which in fact goes underneath the station.  One day when I was early I stayed on the light rail and road it under the station to the next stop.  The station serves Caltrain, Amtrack and ACE, with the Light Rail having tracks behind.  They are adding lines, perhaps for the BART or for the speed train from L.A.  I shoed this construction in a earlier photo, and it seems to be almost done.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Mal Educado--Bad Manners

I take public transportation to and from work.  When I first took the bus, and train I lived in Argentina, and there was a decorum to the way you treated others.  Often the buses, called Colectivos, were crowded.  If there was a parent with child, you gave up your seat.  If there was someone elderly,you gave up your seat.  If there was a woman, your gave up your seat.  There was an understood hierarchy. If you didn't follow this understood practice, you were a mal educado.

I have noticed that people in the U.S. have not learn these basic rules of decency.  In fact, everyone seems to be doing their best to make sure no one sits beside them.  Most buses have two seats to a row.  People will put their bag on the seat, or sit on the outside so a new passenger has to crawl over them.  On the train it is funny to watch some passengers take not only the seat next to them, but also one across from them.  Sometimes on the light rail, the bench seats which are for three people, are taken by one person lying down.  I try to ignore people poor manners.

On the light rail the other day, a couple with a child in stroller boarded the light rail.  I tried to give them my seat by standing up.  You don't always signal to them because that can cause embarrassment.  Anyway, a young man quickly sat down there before they had a chance.  I travel with a bunch of rude people.  Of course not all fit in this group, but many do.  There are those who stand giving others the opportunity to sit.  Today, my faith was actually restored to a degree.  A young woman stood up, and provided her seat to an older woman.  I felt good seeing that there are young people who do understand.  I just wish there were more.

Movie Night: **^The Mill on the Floss; ****While You Were Sleeping

The movie "The Mill on the Floss" has a totally unexpected ending.  It was of the true romantic character, and I'm not sure if I like it; in fact I'm pretty sure I don't.  If you like movies that end in a way totally unexpected, then you would enjoy this movie.  This movie depicts the love interests of Maggie, and her relationship with her brother.  Maggie is portrayed by Emily Watson, not Emma Watson.   However Emily Watson is a very good actress as well.  I think that is why I picked it in the first place, hoping to see Emma Watson. I watched it on Netflix Instant.  I personally didn't care for the ending.

Maggie's first love is a young man with a hunch back.  He is an artist.  However he is also the son of the family's hated enemy, and her father, and brother after he passes away, refuse to the relationship.  She then falls for her cousin's boyfriend, and they run off together, and then she repents and goes back.  Because of family disgrace, her brother does not want to see her, and that leads us to the ending which I will not divulge.

The other movie, "While You Were Sleeping" is from our personal VHS library, and has Sandra Bullock in it.  This movie is very enjoyable.  Sandra ends up being taken for the fiance of a man she has a crush on, but has never met, whose life she saves at the rail station where she works.  He is in a coma, and in the mean time is taken in by his family.  This puts her in line with his brother, with whom she falls in love.  I really like Sandra Bullock, and this movie really displays her charm.  She is an incredible actress, when given the right venue, and this story is a true romantic comedy.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Last Weekend: South First Friday and San Joaquin City

I convinced Sheri to come and pick me up in San Jose this last weekend.  My goal was to visit the Quilt and Textile museum, and convinced her to do this by suggesting a visit with Jesse.  Jesse has gotten so tall over the past few months, and he is starting to talk.  He says, don't like it, don't want it, open it (of course these are one word statements), hi, truck, yea, and a bunch more words.  He is no longer our baby.  Sheri got him a tractor, "truck" for his birthday.  That's right; Jesse is now two.  We went to the **^Burrito factory.  I had a big burrito instead of tacos which I usually have.  It was satisfactory but nothing to be excited about.  I like their salsas, but I think I would have preferred McDonalds. 

We went to the South First Fridays.  This is the first Friday of every month, many of the art galleries, mostly along South First Street, are open and displaying art work.  We visited the Textile museum.  (No pictures as their was a sign saying take no pictures.)  The exhibit was much different than last time.  Last time there were many needle point exhibits.   This time it was mostly quilts.  The combination of colors was very interesting.  I liked a baby quilt which was many different pastel colors.  Tony, who was with us, liked a quilt with different colors of red.  Sheri preferred a quilt with traditional stars.

We also visited a pottery studio.  There was a man demonstrating on the wheel. He had a very large mustache.  It was incredible to me how he could push on the inside, and make the pot bigger.  He was using a tool like a broken C.D. with which to push.  We looked at the displays, which seemed to be professional work, as well as the student's work.  Tony really enjoyed it, and asked me to go around again.  In fact he asked me to go around five times, but I only did two.  I was worried about Tony seeing a naked bust which was part of someone's work.

I also got to San Joaquin City this past weekend.  This is an old river port town of 1500, which is no longer there. It was on the San Joaquin River.  I went to seen the plaque, but the plaque is no longer there as someone stole it several years ago. 

Saturday, Sheri sent me to Winco's.  I really like that store.  They have lots of bulk items.  Miranda went as well as she wanted to practice her driving.  They had many good deals, but not everything is a good price.  You have to work at shopping.

Sunday was church, and choir practice.  We, as a stake choir, are singing the Sunday after Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

MovienIGHT: ****^Sense and Sensibility

Last night I had an enjoyable time watching the Columbia pictures Sense and Sensibility (1995) via instant Netflix.  This last week I also watched the newer Masterpiece Theater version (2009) from home delivery Netflix.  Miranda pointed out that the original version has five actors from the Harry Potter movies--Snape, Professor Trelawney, Madame Pomfrey, Dolores Umbridge and Cornelius Fudge.  On the other hand the new version only has Mr. Weasley.  On that score alone, I recommend the 1995 version.  The characters are fun, and the acting is superb.  The new version, although entertaining, just lacks the same character.  It tries to add sensuality, especially in the first scene, but it really doesn't fit.

So for the 1995 version, which had me in stitches.  Remember, this movie was made at the start of many of these careers.  Turns out Dolores Umbridge is married to Dr. House, who has the attitude you would expect Dr. House to have.  His sarcasm and wit is just as biting as in his future work.  I found it pleasing that Dolores was getting her pay back, after all she put Harry through.  It was fun to view this way.  In addition, Professor Trelawney loves Hugh Grant, And Snape loves Kate Winslett.  What could be funner than that?  The highlight of this movie is when Elinor (Emma Thompson) discovers that Edward (Hugh Grant) is not married.  She breaks into tears in front of  him.  It is a moving scene, and the humor of her collapse adds to it greatly.  I thoroughly enjoyed myself.   This moving kept me entertained from start to finish.   Mrs. Jennings and Sir John do an excellent job of teasing and needling the girls, and they make the movie fun while not taking itself too seriously.

So I heartily recommend the 1995 version, and don't recommend quite so much the 2009 version.

At the Movies, Movie Night: **^The Sorcerer's Apprentice; ***Captain America

I watched these two movies with Tony last week, the first on dish but it is also available from instant Netflix; the second at the Marketplace Theater.

I must admit, the Sorcerer's apprentice leaves something lacking.  It seems they try to mesh a modern adventure with the original Mickey Mouse movie, and fails in both respects.   I must admit I really don't like the ending, and the broom scene reenacted here is cute, but really doesn't fit into the plot.  Nicholas Cage is good, the apprentice is not, the young girl is pretty, and it is good the sorcerer (Nicholas Cage) gets back with his love after missing her for thousands of years.  The action is good, but science winning the day in the end is sort of contrived.  So this movie gets a reserved recommendation.

I judged the second movie through the eyes of Tony, who was really bored with the first part of the movie.  In the theater he was more interested in playing with his chair than the movie.  However when Captain America gets his shield, then things start to pick up. The action was exciting after that point.  This is a good WWII action movie.

It was fun that John Starks (Iron Man) was part of the movie, and a rival for the woman's affection.  It actually explains where he gets the power for the suit he eventually makes.  I hated the ending however.  I wanted him to get the girl, not end up frozen for 70 years.  And so for this movie a mild recommendation.

Book Review: The Book of Mormon: A Family Discussion Guide

This book is written by a member of our ward, April McMurtrey.  It can be had through Amazon.com.  http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=a9_sc_1?rh=i%3Astripbooks%2Ck%3Aapril+mcmurtrey&keywords=april+mcmurtrey&ie=UTF8&qid=1323640842
This is not a traditional book where you take it and read it from cover to cover.  However it is meant as a companion to reading the Book of Mormon.  It asks questions which will be conducive to fulfilling the requirement of Moroni, "...and ponder it in your hearts." (Moroni 10:3)

This book is geared to help direct family scripture reading.  It can also supplement reading for next year in Sunday School (which is gong to be focused on the Book of Mormon,)  family scripture study, and personal scripture study.  I am hoping that we can use this for Family Home Evening study over the next couple of years. 

I recommend this book to those who are seeking to enhance their study of the Book of Mormon--whether for family or personal study.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Charity's 21st birthday

Charity turned 21 yesterday.  We had celebrated with her the week before at Home Town.  Charity loves their potatoes and gravy.  I should have done better at pictures but I did catch Caleb with a ketchup cracker sandwich in honor of "Terminal."  We had a good tie, and then went to their house and rediscovered Legos.  Anthony had been playing with them.  Tony made a plane, and I played with the characters.  I was trying to put together a Star Wars battle. but I had to compete with Tony for the men.

Birthday girl and Miranda

cracker and ketchup sandwich

Tony took this picture
Charity's birthday ended up being a busy day.  She had a job interview, and Caleb had a talent show, Sierra Idol in which he sang and played, "Crazy"Andrew Garcia.  Caleb and Sheri were also helping with the ward Halloween party.  They had to make a delivery to the church.  Miranda was part of the interview as Charity needed to cut someone's hair, and turns out color it as well.   We ended up eating Texas chocolate cake Charity had made, but pretty late.  Tony and Sheri had gone to bed.  However we did sing to her, using a tea candle for the cake from the jack-o-lanterns we had the night before.  In the end Charity, Anthony and Miranda missed the Idol competition, and in fact didn't get to our house until after we did.  We were worried about them by that time.  But they were OK in the end.  Hopefully a long interview is good news. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Movie Night: *****Pride and Prejudice

This is not  review in the traditional sense, but a comparison of four different versions of Pride and Prejudice.  These four include the first one I saw, which is the 1995 six tape series with Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth in the lead roles.  I then saw the new movie, 2005, with Keira Knightley and Mathew Macfadyen in the lead roles.  I have recently been introduced to two new versions via Netflix.  One is 1980 BBC with Elizabeth Garvie and David Rintoul in the lead roles which is available through Instant Netflix. The other was a Netflix DVD, 1940 with Greer Garson and Laurence Olivier.

First generally reviewing of these movies.  They are all classics, and the story is classic. The first version actually takes the most liberties with the story.  Lady DuBourg is in league with Mr. Darcy, rather than actually upset.  The 1980 BBC version is actually the most modest.  However the version I first saw was the Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth.  This one highlights the figures of the women in a very pleasing manner.  And the Keira Knightley has a more rural feel to it, with pigs on the screen, and Keira Knightley is always beautiful, but no miracle bra is going to do wonders, so this version is more modest as well.

Eliza  I love Jennifer Ehle in this role, and her walking every place.  However the character in the 1940 version, captures much more passion for me.  So I must vote for Greer Garson as my favorite Eliza.

Mr. Darcy  In similar fashion I must say Laurence Olivier captures the romance of the film in the most placing manner.  I was introduced to this role form Colin Firth, who is a great actor, and one of my favorite.  However the way this role is played by Laurence Olivier is classic.  

Mr. Bennet is a wonderful character, who actually grows and matures from the experiences with regards to Lydia.  I must admit I prefer the character from the 2005 movie best from Donald Sutherland, just based on the way he presents one of my favorite lines, "If any other men come to marry any my daughters, send them in; I am quite at my leisure." Classic!  His smile is just perfect.

Mr Bingley  I like the Mr. Bingley from the six tape series.  He is just a happy young man, no one can help but like him. Lydia is such a clueless wonder in this version I have to love her. Mrs Bennet with her loud laughing and talking takes the day in this version as well as well.  Mr Collins, the cousin who is set to entail the estate, is such a nerd and brown noser in this version he is fun.  And his wife, Charlotte, is played in just the perfect fashion. Lydia is so good lamenting at her father's rebuke in this version.  Her cry is just perfect. 

Mr Darcy's cousin, Colonel Fitzwilliams is most enjoyable in the 1849 version as the actor is in a kilt.  Fun.  Miss Jane Bennet is the most beautiful in the 1949 version.  The last seen where Mr. Bingley proposes, and she cries through it.  That is fun.

Mr. Bingley's sister is the most sinister in the 1940 version.  Mary is at her worse in such a  truly delightful way in the version as well.

The bottom line is I love this story, and each of these version is a pleasure to watch.

A Family of Bloggers

Charity's blog:

Miranda's blog:

Mark's blogs:
A couple of his sites include his music, but not all of it. 

Natalia/s blogs:

Sheri writes in her journal, but doesn't feel she wants her thoughts online.  Jeremy does not yet have a blog.