Saturday, September 26, 2009

Shut Your Eyes, Marion. Don't Look at it, No Matter What Happens!

Muffled sounds were the first bits of sensory input to disturb the stillness in the chamber. Voices, followed shortly thereafter by slow, steady banging. A pair of minutes crawled by until the sound of a small cascade of stones and a ray of light announced the breakthrough. They had breached.

Another 30 seconds of widening the initial breach, and it was wide enough for a flashlight to enter, with just enough space on the side to allow a pair of eyes to peek through, tracking the circle of light as it swept through the darkness.

"It's a chamber, alright. A big one, too. I can't see the far side of the space, at least not with this flashlight." The flashlight withdrew, and more chipping began.

"What did you see?" a second voice inquired.

"On the near wall, there was writing. Hieroglyphs of some sort. We'll need to get the light stands, the video camera, and our notebooks. Fire up the generator and string more cabling while I work on the opening."

The sound of receding footsteps were heard briefly between the steady chipping. Within 15 minutes, the opening was large enough for a grown man to crawl through. While supplies were being passed down the tunnel, the professor made his way into the chamber, trembling with the simmering adrenaline rush of discovery. He carefully stood up, turned on his flashlight, and pivoted, taking in the room. His eyes were drawn to the writing on the wall; the symbols were instantly familiar to him. Row upon row of neat, hand-carved hieroglyphs; a message from antiquity, and of all the members of the crew, he alone would be able to translate it.

"Where are those light stands?" he called out over his shoulder, without taking his eyes off the writing. He moved closer, went to the first line, and began to slowly, uncertainly read it aloud...

"Greetings, everyone! It has been a beautiful, mellow Saturday. The highlight so far has been a nap, and a pretty good movie..."


Greetings, everyone! It has been a beautiful, mellow Saturday. The highlight so far has been a nap, and a pretty good movie... the movie was the Ron Howard film Frost/Nixon, which was at once fascinating and boring. That's quite an accomplishment, if you ask me. The only other example of such an accomplishment that I can recall is, in a grand stroke of irony, the 1980 TV series done by Michael Palin (of Monty Python fame) called Michael Palin: Around the World in 80 Days. Ironic, obviously, because of yesterday's post. Literally, when I paused writing this sentence, and went to search out the name of that Michael Palin show, I had no clue that the title was such. I just remembered the concept and that I had written a review of it last year - that's what I went to dig up. I doubt you'll believe it was a coincidence, but it was...

In any case, Frost/Nixon. Good acting, but not great, I thought. Frank Nangella got a couple Best Actor nominations from the various industry glad-handing awards shows, but I'm not sure I'd say it was nomination-level. Don't get me wrong, it was good, it just didn't blow me away. But it was an interesting watch, I think I lean toward recommending it. And it has Oliver Platt in it, and you can't go wrong with Oliver Platt. Loved him in Diggstown.

If you're afraid of heights, or have ever unpleasantly dreamed that you are plummeting to the earth from waaaaay up in the air, you might not want to watch this clip... please, sit down before you fall down.

It actually is interesting to read about the project. These guys put the HD camcorder in this specially designed Styrofoam box, attached it to a balloon, hit "record" and sent it on up. It filmed itself going up to over 100,000 feet, where the balloon popped and it began it's descent back into the atmosphere. Eventually, the air pressure was such that a parachute could deploy, and it slowed its descent speed. They were able to track it with some onboard electronics. Anyway, here's their site if you want to read more about it and look at some pics.

Other Boring Tidbits: Had lunch with mom today at Panera. Always love eating there, and my mom is my favorite. Got some book covers done for a couple of Pastor's books. Worked on the camp slideshow but didn't finish it. Was going to get my hair trimmed tonight, but that didn't happen because I was too into the Frost/Nixon flick. Decided to try and ween myself off of caffeine again. Will it stick? Doubtful, but hey, I'm going to give it a shot. Here's to persistence! I know... "Dave, your persistence surpises even me. You're going to give mercenaries a bad name..."

And now, for your general betterment and philosophical enrichment, I present: Steampunk R2D2:

I am nothing if not random.

I was thinking about my statement in yesterday's post about planning a trip out to New York City, just so I can get a pastrami sandwich at Katz's New York Delicatessen. Insane, I know. But then I thought, "you know, you're turning 40 next August. Why not celebrate by planning a trip out to NYC?" And it struck me as both plausible and sensible! So, who knows, maybe I'll just do it! I've got almost a whole year to plan, I should be able to secure travel and lodging for a decent price this far out... we have top men working on it now.

I'm still hesitant to unload my theological angst that has been rumbling in me since Wednesday. I pondered launching into it tonight, but I think I'll get a Sunday behind me first. Putting in some quality time at the altar tomorrow at church might yield better fruit than unloading here and possibly saying things that will need to be edited out. I thought I'd be over it by now, but I'm not. If I speak out of turn on this, it will not please Tutor Kitty.

You want to talk to God? Let's go see him together, I've got nothing better to do...

I think I'm going to run for now. Gotta prep for Sunday school class in the morning, and read more of The Well of Ascension. After that initial rough start, the book has blossomed nicely, much to my relief, and has officially hooked me. Zane = cool.

Perhaps we'll meet again under better circumstances. Until tomorrow, remember, you Americans, you're all the same. Always overdressing for the wrong occasions.


Upon finishing the initial reading of the wall writings, he looked up with a start, noticing for the first time that his assistant was next to him.

"Professor, can I ask you a question?"

"Of course, of course," he replied, dabbing his brow with a handkerchief.

"How did they embed video into the wall like that?"

He paused for a moment, tucking his kerchief into his back pocket. "Well, it appears the civilization we're dealing with here was far more advanced than we realized..."


Krista said...

Zane does rock! Zane and OreSeur were my favorite characters in this book.... you have some crazy plot twists coming, enjoy!

Krista said...

I commented on the last two post as well. Sorry I don't have time for major commenting as I must go pack!

All the best!

Paula Titus said...

Your creative juices are flowing, I see. :) Nice.

I loved the parachute clip.

logankstewart said...

Awesome post, Dave. Great clip. Great writing.

Maggie May said...

So you are a priest?

I also live in San Diego and like Panera and my mother :) and have avoiding watching Frost Nixon for the reasons you articulated.

David Wagner said...

Krista: Good luck with the move...

Paula: Trying to break up the monotony, eh! Hope it was sufficient...

Logan: Thanks for the kudos.

Maggie: no, not a priest, technically, but I've got a definite "religious whacko" streak... thanks for dropping by! Like your blog, by the way...

havah said...

Ahh...nice Indiana style opening there, Dave. I wonder if...hmm...let me read on and see ;)

Title: Raiders of the Lost Ark

Hmmm...could I be right?

"please, sit down before you fall down" -- Raiders of the Lost Ark

Ahhh, yes...the pattern is there...

"You're going to give mercenaries a bad name" -- Raiders of the Lost Ark

Theme: Umm...
Raiders of the Lost Ark? :D

Cool video clip. After it popped it looked almost like it was filming itself. The camera I mean.

Good luck with the caffeine thing. Of course, I'm assuming you only mean in terms of caffeine in drinks, chocolate?! *gasp*

I like the R2D2 dude!

Hey, the NYC trip is a great idea. Wonder what I'll do for my 40th? I've already changed countries, so that's out.

I do hope you get your angst sorted out. :(

David Wagner said...

And another 25 points to Havah, for the 3 quotes and the theme! Flew right by 300 points... something tells me you've got the crown for this month... good work!

Oh, and chocolate doesn't count... otherwise, what's the point in living?

havah said...

Left-over Quotes: All from Raiders of the Lost Ark

"we have top men working on it now"

"You want to talk to God? Let's go see him together, I've got nothing better to do..."

"Perhaps we'll meet again under better circumstances"

"you Americans, you're all the same. Always overdressing for the wrong occasions."

I think everyone else gave up on the quotes :( Perhaps you should award a second place? :D

Glad someone else sees chocolate through my eyes! :D

David Wagner said...

And another 20 points for Havah!! ... makes me wonder if I should even bother with an October contest... guess I'll pose the question in tonight's post and see if anyone else even wants to participate. Otherwise I'll just pencil in Havah as the October, November and December champ and save myself all the time it takes me to look up the quotes in the first place!

havah said...

I can sit out of October, Dave.