Archive for July, 2010

Changing Servers

Posted in Uncategorized on July 28, 2010 by raingeg

I’m changing servers right now, so things might be a little strange.


Bringing Movies Back to Tucson

Posted in Pop Culture and Entertainment with tags , , , , , , , , on July 26, 2010 by raingeg

I had the pleasure Saturday to meet Robert Shelton, no not the former President of the University of Arizona, the man that ran Old Tucson back when it was a thriving movie set. I can’t emphasize the word “was” enough. Old Tucson is only a shade of what it once was, after a devastating fire and a change in ownership, its never been the same.

This is from Old Tucson’s website about Shelton:

In 1959, Midwest entrepreneur Robert Shelton saw more than an antiquated movie set when he set eyes on Old Tucson Studios. He saw potential for expanding it from the ghost town it had become into a viable movie studio and family attraction. Shelton leased the property from Pima County and began to restore the forgotten town. Old Tucson Studios re-opened in 1960, as a film studio and a family fun park as well.

The park continued to grow, literally building by building, with each movie filmed on its dusty streets. Western film legend John Wayne, who soon became friends with studio owner Shelton, starred in four movies at Old Tucson Studios and each production added buildings to the town. Rio Bravo (1959) added a saloon, bank building and doctor’s office; from MCLINTOCK! (1963) came the McLintock Hotel; El Dorado (1967) left Old Tucson Studios with a facelift on Front Street; and from Rio Lobo (1970) came a cantina, a granite lined creek, a jail and Phillip’s ranch house.

The stampede of movie productions during those early years include, The Deadly Companions (1961), starring Brian Keith and Maureen O’Hara; Lilies of the Field (1962) starring Sidney Poitier ; Have Gun Will Travel (1962); The Outrage (1964) and Hombre (1966) with Paul Newman; and episodes of Bonanza (1966, ‘71, ‘72); Death Valley Days (1966-69); and High Chaparral (1966-’71).

Old Tucson Studios became the premier, privately owned, western film location. In 1968, a 13,000 square foot soundstage was built to give Old Tucson Studios complete movie-making versatility. The first film to use the soundstage was Young Billy Young (1968), starring Robert Mitchum and Angie Dickenson. That same year, Shelton also purchased the Mescal property, Old Tucson’s second filming location just 40 miles southeast of Tucson.

Tucson is really hurting for business, mostly because our city is run by people that either really don’t like Tucson and are trying to drive it into the ground (that’s a joke) or they are so tied to their leftist agenda that they are doing more harm than good.

There is a Senate Bill that we should all throw our support around.

Arizona Public Media reports back in April:

Senate Bill 1409 would extend a tax credit to movie productions companies that come to work in Arizona. The current tax credit expires at the end of this fiscal year, and SB 1409 would not only extend the credit but it would also increase it to as much as 30% if certain criteria are met dealing with the amount of money spent in the state and the number of Arizona residents hired for the production. Backers of the bill say it is needed to keep movie companies shooting in Arizona. They point to the 2007 version of 3:10 to Yuma, none of which was filmed in Arizona. Opponents, however, say the tax credit is too much and movie companies make enough money they don’t need the financial help.

On April 5, 2010 the full Senate failed the proposal on an 11-16 vote.

This would bring a lot of business to Arizona and hopefully turn Tucsn, not just Old Tucson, into a place where Hollywood can once again film some movies. With its natural light, great weather and short distance to California, Tucson is a great place for filming movies.

From what I can tell SB 1409 died in the Arizona House, I don’t know for sure. I’ve sent out an email in hopes of getting an answer to that question.

If you’d like to listen to last weekends Voices of the West program click on the link below and listen to or download the file.

Voices of the West 7-24-10

Macho Sauce Productions: Examining Black Loyalty to Democrats

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , on July 17, 2010 by raingeg

HT: Viral Footage

Koukl on Wealth and Capitalism: Is it greedy?

Posted in Economy, Humanity, Religion with tags , , , on July 14, 2010 by raingeg

Here’s a couple of older posts I found on Greg Koukl’s website Stand to Reason blog. It seems that there are a lot of Christians, particularly my younger peers, that want to buy the left’s ideas (fibs) about Capitalism and greed. I hope this helps you out a little.

Greg Koukl, STR, Wealth and the Bible:

I attended a lecture on “Wealth and Poverty in Scripture,” given by Dr. Jonathan Witt, in which he contrasted two polar opposite theologies–Prosperity Gospel teachings (God wants you to have a concentration of wealth) and Liberation Theology (God wants us to redistribute concentrations of wealth)–and then discussed some passages in the Bible often used to argue for or against private property and wealth.

Since I can cover only a small part of this in a single blog post, I’ll boil down the lecture and my response to it to two important points:

Read more…

Greg Koukl, STR, Are You a Greedy Capitalist?

I’m at the Acton Institute and I’m thinking about greed.  Greed is the essence of capitalism, right?  Michael Douglas captured this sentiment as corporate villain, Gordon Gekko, in the 1987 movie Wall Street.

“The point is, ladies and gentleman, that greed – for lack of a better word – is good.  Greed is right.  Greed works.  Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit.  Greed, in all of its forms – greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge – has marked the upward surge of mankind.”

Filmmaker Michael Moore echoes this attitude in his movie Capitalism:  A Love Story, calling the free market system “legalized greed.”  Well, if Hollywood is correct, then a free market economy isn’t an option for the Christian.  Jesus is clear on the matter:  “”Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”  Greed is immoral.  But is capitalism based on greed?  No, and if you think so, you’ve bought into the myth.

Read more…

I first heard Greg on Hugh Hewitt’s show and he did a good job defending the faith, I hope you enjoy his ideas.

Christian Music and John Mark McMillan’s “The Medicine”

Posted in Life, Music with tags , , on July 10, 2010 by raingeg

So I’ve just put a pot of water on to make some Saturday night pasta, in the mean time I’ve decided to write an album review. I suppose I should tell you the brief story that led me to this particular piece of music. Let me preface it by saying that I consider it a treat to actually review an album. It could be laziness, or just the fact that I’m not very enamored by new music, but I find myself buying about two new releases a year. It used to be that I was always looking for new bands on the horizon and looking out for new albums. Over the past few years my interest in new music has dwindled, and I’m much more content listening to an old record than a new artist.

It’s very rare that I am pleasantly surprised when it comes to listening to something that I’ve never heard before. I remember it happening some years ago now, when I listened to Wilco’s A Ghost is Born. I was in my best friends car one night, he had the album on and it hit like a ton of bricks, which is funny considering how light that albums sound is. Funny thing was, I couldn’t tell you what song it was that I listened to, I can just tell you that it hit me and I liked it. And it eventually lead me to really enjoy nearly all of Wilco’s music.

I remember waking up about a week ago, logging on to my FaceBook and just for the heck of it watching a video that my friend posted with the hash tag #musicthatdoesntsuck, so I guess that means it had to be good. This particular morning, like many mornings these days, I was stressed out, both mentally and physically. As many probably are, with the way things are politically, with the economy, and on top of all that just the everyday stress that comes with living. So, on this particularly stressful morning I clicked on the YouTube link my friend posted on his page. What to my wondrous eyes did appear, but a video and a song by John Mark McMillan. I happily watched as I ate my bagel before work.

I’d never heard of John Mark McMillan before, but I liked what I heard. The song playing was called “Skeleton Bones” and it seemed to hit me exactly the way the Wilco album did many years ago.

Christian music is not supposed to sound like this, its pretty good! Though I knew immediately that it was Christian music, which is something I liked. It was Christian music that didn’t wreak of the usual mundane stuff we hear pumped out in a fashion similar to that of the popular music of the secular industry. You know, the type of music that’s been run through one too many focus groups. Now my day was off to a good start and I felt much better.

Less than a week later I bought The Medicine. I didn’t know that McMillan had penned the popular Christian song “How He Loves” I just knew that he could write. It was evident in his lyrics, even One minute in to the first song of his that I’d ever heard. Also apparent was the fact that he was able to muster the courage to not sound like everyone else, something I admired.

For the last week I’ve been listening to the album as I drove around town. I listened to it straight through once and a few more times on shuffle, needless to say I liked it.

Modern Christian music, it seems, is supposed to have a certain sound, an almost corny sound that I can’t quite put my finger on. Its almost like there are a set of words and phrases that are to be repeated and any divergence from that path is to be regarded as wrong. Like using the mouths and minds that God has given us to create vivid imagery in our hearts and minds is to be avoided, so that even the basest mind can get the message. Though I’ve always understood The Gospel to be a simple message, one that is fit for the peasants and the kings, a message that does not need any dumming down. The addition of a metaphor that aptly attempts to put into words the wonder that is God is better than nothing at all. And a song that tugs on a joyful thought and applies it to Christ’s message is good. On the other end of the spectrum you have bands and artists that constantly force you question whether or not they are actually a Christians, a task that gets a bit too arduous. These artists are the byproduct of the Contemporary Christian music industry.

The Medicine does not fit either mold. I don’t want you all to think that I’m just writing this to bash on Contemporary Christian music, even though I am a little bit. I’m writing this because I thoroughly enjoyed John Mark McMillan’s work and I think that his music needs to be acknowledged and to a degree be emulated. Though I tread with caution there because I think blind emulation is something that has contributed to our current problem, and has created the other extreme, artists that won’t touch Christianity with a ten foot pole. There are in fact gems out there that write great Christian music and their work should not be marginalized.

Back to the album. The actual sound of The Medicine is a bit of a mix of Roots Rock, Folk Rock and plain old Rock music. The album is not lacking in lyrical mastery, and does not shy away from the powerful name of Christ, a plea for “righteousness” and what sounds like a real heart for God. It holds true to Christianity, all the while maintaining lyrics that uplift and make you think, as it holds on to a sound that leaves one desiring to hear more.

If I were you, I’d buy the album for $9.99 on iTunes, and check it out for yourself. It comes with some extras if you get it via iTunes. I hope the impact that The Medicine by John Mark Mcmillan had on me on a stressful Thursday morning will at least make you take a look at it, as I know this review is not quite like most reviews. I think about 25% was dedicated to the actual album.

Well, I polished off a plate of spaghetti and a couple of pieces of bread, now its off to bed so I can get to work in the morning.

Fan Falls From Stands at Baseball Game

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on July 7, 2010 by raingeg

Here’s some the story from

ARLINGTON — A male fan fell from the second-deck club level and into the lower bowl at the Ballpark in Arlington in the fifth inning of the Rangers’ 12-1 win over the Indians on Tuesday. The incident delayed the game 16 minutes as ballpark personnel tended to him and four other injured fans.

The fan flipped over the railing before landing on his back in section 35, which is roughly a 30-foot drop.

He was conscious and able to move all of his extremities. After being stabilized, he was taken to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas.

“He’s over at the emergency room having tests done,” Rangers president Nolan Ryan said. “The preliminary indications are that it could have been a lot worse. We really don’t know at this point in time. I think that obviously he’ll remain in the hospital for observation. We’re hopeful that what injuries he has are minimal.”

The man was sitting in the front row of Section 235 and was reaching for a foul ball that had sailed over his head and caromed back toward the field. According to a witness, the man turned his back to the field, reached over his head for the foul ball and lost his balance.

Four other fans were treated for minor injuries related to the fall, but none was taken to the hospital.

This video is very interesting. From the perspective that we have here, which is a view of the umpire, the players, the voices of the announcers and a select group of fans, what happened was obviously something that was not good.

But just the sound of the shear terror that comes from the crowd all at once is something to think about. Also the players that you see instantly praying. It just really struck me, how similar yet differently all of these people reacted to this. I don’t want to over analyze this video yet, but it deserves some thought.

Federal Gov. Pays for Deads Heating and Cooling, Woman Keeps Corpse for 11 Years

Posted in Economy, Humor, Politics with tags , , on July 7, 2010 by raingeg

It wasn’t too long ago that I watched the movie Psycho for the first time, I know, I have no excuse as to why it took so long. You ask yourself after that movie if anyone really does keep dead people around like that. Apparently they do.


A 91-year-old woman found living with the corpses of her husband and twin sister will be allowed to keep them if she installs a mausoleum or crypt, a prosecutor said Tuesday.

Its not just one corpse, its two! I guess the weirdest part about this story is the fact that her husband died in 1999! So for the last 11 years she has been tending to her dead husbands body.

State police have been investigating the bizarre case since the corpses were discovered in mid-June. Authorities found the body of James Stevens on a couch in the detached garage and the body of June Stevens on a couch in a spare room off the bedroom.

This sends shivers down my spine.

I actually feel kind of bad for the lady, she is lonely and apparently claustrophobic and didn’t want to think of her relatives stuck in a coffin. To that I say, there’s always cremation. But, really, you must be asking some of the same questions that I am.

In other news, the federal government has no problem sending money to dead people.


According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the federal government helped pay the home air conditioning bills for more than 11,000 dead people, 1,100 federal employees, and 725 convicts in fiscal year 2009.

The payments were made by a $5 billion program known as the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). LIHEAP is designed to provide federal assistance, administered by the states, to help people pay the energy bills to heat their homes in the winter and cool them in the summer. The funds are disbursed by the Department of Health and Human Services and are distributed based on a formula that takes into account a state’s weather and the size of its low-income population.

“Our analysis of LIHEAP data revealed that the program is at risk of fraud and providing improper benefits in all seven of our selected states,” reported the GAO. “About 260,000 applications–9 percent of households receiving benefits in the selected states–contained invalid identity information, such as Social Security numbers, names, or dates of birth.”

Now, the obvious question is why, with today’s technology, is there not some sort of system that the applications could have been run through to make sure that nothing fraudulent was going on. Better yet, why not just use the system that the GAO is using, whatever that may be.

“The identities of over 11,000 deceased individuals were used as applicants or household members for LIHEAP benefits,” reads the GAO report. “Our analysis matching LIHEAP data to the SSA’s death master file found these individuals were deceased before the LIHEAP application date.”

Every time I call my bank and talk to a rep from customer service I have to verify who I am, generally using the last four digits of my social security number, what’s even more impressive is that they can tie that social security number to my identity, all in about three minutes. There was one application lacked any proof of identification like a social security number or a drivers license number. These are the people you’d like in charge of you health care.

HT: Memeorandum