Monday, August 31, 2009

"I'll get you, my pretty and your little dog too! "

"I'll get you, my pretty and your little dog too! "

That quote from the Wicked Witch of the West in the Wizard of Oz came to mind as I gazed at the actual witch's hat worn by Margaret Hamilton. The hat itself, though pointy, was velvety, still quite elegant - even after it had debuted 80 years ago on the big screen .

This summer, we visited friends in Idaho, where (they joke) the biggest cities are Salt Lake City and Spokane. Since they live in the pan handle, we trekked for an afternoon at the Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture (MAC) in Spokane, WA. The MAC hosted the traveling exhibit "Out of This World: Extraordinary Costumes from Film and Television" from science fiction films and television programs. These were part of the private collection of Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft.

No pictures were allowed, but I jotted some notes of other memorable costumes.

From the Original Star Trek series:

  • The tunic of the evil Captain Kirk worn in "Mirror, Mirror," the first alternate reality episode where a transporter mishap swaps Captain Kirk and some of his crew with their evil counterparts in a parallel universe.
  • The Gorn lizard suit, where in the "Arena" Captain Kirk was pitted against this reptilian captain. Captain Kirk triumphs, showing mercy, though he manages to get his shirt ripped - so common in many episodes.

Star Trek: Next Generation:

Star Trek: Voyager:

  • The uniform worn by Jeri Ryan as Seven of Nine, the adapted Borg, severed from the collective. From the costume, this actress was petite with curves in all the right places.
Star Wars:
  • The costume of one of the most well known super villains of the cinema - Darth Vader. Those buttons and controls on the front of the dark lord's suit up close looked so faky. Oh, the power of the big screen!
  • The black robe of Obi-Wan Kenobi. With the pointed back of his hood, this costume looked like a black KKK robe if the hood was over his face.
  • The Imperial Stormtrooper outer armor. Again, up close, the white armor looked more like Styrofoam covered with white plastic.
Leather jackets:
  • Indiana Jones's leather jacket. Still looked very cool.
  • The leather jacket worn by the Terminator complete with metallic bullet holes. Not as cool as Indy's jacket - all those metallic holes kind of wreck it.

Super heroes:
  • Batman & Robin costumes. Batman was very dark. But Robin? These duds were full of color with those bright yellows, greens, and reds. If you ask me, Robin was the most brave to wear this with a straight face.
Like the ancient Greeks' gods, goddesses, and demons, these are a sampling of our super villains and heroes in the 20th and 21st century. Yet all these characters are just extensions of our faulty images of ourselves.
Psalm 97:9&10 (King James Version) gives me a perseptive that we have much greater Deliverer than anything else that is reflected in our popular arts and literature:
For thou, LORD, art high above all the earth: thou art exalted far above all gods.
Ye that love the LORD, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked.
Related links:

Witch's hat:
Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture:

Monday, August 24, 2009

From Huckleberry Jam to Buffalo Jam to Obama Jam

Mid-August, we took a trip to Yellowstone Park. We met with friends, did some camping, and took in many things wonderful and wild.

Huckleberries - a wild blue berry - were omnipresent in and about the park. Restaurants served huckleberry pie, huckleberry ice cream, huckleberry sauce, huckleberry milk shakes. Concessions sold huckleberry jams and jelly, huckleberry coffee and tea, huckleberry candy, .... I can't remember them all. I do remember the huckleberry ice cream with huckleberry sauce was wonderful. The wildness of the fruit makes it sought after and intriguing. And it is the state fruit of Idaho.

Wild things were the tourist's obsession, seeking wild life as the paparazzi seeks after hot celebrities. As the traffic crawled to a halt, odds are it was a buffalo jam. When a buffalo, an elk, a deer,whatever, does what comes natural - grazing the the meadows, basking in the sun, the cars slowed, many stopped, cameras whipped out, pictures taken. The tourist were thrilled.

The day after we left the national park, I just missed one of the biggest jams of the Summer - the Obama Jam - as the President of the United States swung by to visit Yellowstone.

What was amazing and wonderful is that so many people get excited about nature and the beauty of God's creation, whether animal (buffalo), vegatable (huckleberries), or mineral (Yellowstone Falls.) And this wonderment is shared from the humblest camper to the President of the United States.

Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth.Isaiah 40:25-27 (King James Version)

Related links:
From Buffalo in Yellowstone
Yellowstone Insider: Obama Visit to Yellowstone Isaiah 40:25-27

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

91 Year Old Blogger

O God, thou hast taught me from my youth: and hitherto have I declared thy wondrous works.

Now also when I am old and greyheaded, O God, forsake me not; until I have shewed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is to come.

Psalm 71: 17 & 18 (KJV)

Since last Thankgivings my mother-in-law has felt compelled to write down her memories of the Great Depression, World War II, and 1950s. As part of the "Greatest Generation," I am grateful she penned them or typed them out on a manual typewriter. I was able to post her manuscripts on my website,, and at On authorsden, her stories of the Great Depression have surpassed my best read article on Black Holes.

Her latest, Memories of Japan, has just been posted:

As my mother-in-law is into her ninth decade, I thought of Psalm 71, a psalm for everyone as we all are getting older. Even in our old age, God still uses us and is glorified.

During these uncertain times, I noticed many have taken a renewed interest in the Great Depression. A teenager from the Midwest was doing a class project this spring and was most interested in interviewing someone who had lived through these economic troubled times. She read my mother-in-law's stories and contacted me. It was difficult to arrange for the student to directly interview her, so I got the student's list of questions, conducted the interview, and emailed back the answers. The student was most grateful.

Now also when I am old and greyheaded, O God, forsake me not; until I have shewed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is to come.

Please feel free to check out some of the my mother-in-law's memories:
The Great Depression 1929 - 1945
The Great Depression 1929 - 1945 Part 2
World War Two before, during, and after
Cherry Blossoms
Memories of Japan

Photo from second thoughts

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

National Night Out

National Night Out? It was to happen August 4, 2009. The flyer caught my eye earlier this week as we were paying our city water bill at the local town hall. I just found out about another national event where the flyer explained -

What is National Night Out? This is an annual event where citizens throughout the country are asked to LOCK their doors, TURN ON their outside lights, and spend the evening out with neighbors and law enforcement.

Last night, we did just that. Locked our doors. Turned on the outside light. (This really wasn't necessary for it was still light out.) Then we went to the park near the river where the sheriff and a few of his deputies were cooking up hamburgers for the community.

We are newcomers to this small town and had a chance to chat with some of our neighbors. Greeters presented us with "National Night Out" stickers with a red flashing LED. The kids thought these flashy things were pretty cool. We meet our county sheriff and a few of his deputies, who have quite a large territory to cover, as we had an opportunity to ask questions and share our concerns.

This all dovetailed with a Bible study ( I'm following in I Timothy:

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;
For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.

1 Timothy 2:1-2 (KJV)

Truly, these men and women in law enforcement are God's ministers and through this national program they are ministering to the public. They all deserve are prayers and support.

Related links:
National Night Out Kick-off photo:
National Night Out:
Thru the Bible:

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Happy Friendship Day!

"A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother."
Proverbs 18:24
(King James Version)
This morning I got a surprise eCard from Carole, a friend and former co-worker, who now lives 1000 miles away. It looked like a Birthday greeting. She wished me a Happy Friendship Day!
Friendship Day? I looked it up on the internet. From the site,, I learned this -

"Friendship Day celebrations take place on the first Sunday of August every year. The tradition of dedicating a day in honor of friends began in US in 1935. Gradually the festival gained popularity and today Friendship Day is celebrated in large number of countries including India. ..."

I wish all my readers, fellow writers, and bloggers a Happy Friendship Day. I thank you for following my blog and encouraging me - like a friend that sticks closer than a brother.

Photos of friends:
Friendship Day: