Friday, August 21, 2009

just curious

It seems like the best way to blow a fuse is by turning on a hair dryer.  If your neighbor is watching tv while you plug in a hair'd better know where your breaker box is located.

So I don't know much about electricity, but it seems like those things take up a lot of it.

Having said that, couldn't you make the argument that having a wall hand dryer is less green than having a paper towel dispenser?

I'm going to take that side of the argument.  I'm also going to say they're a lot louder (noise polution is a thing, right?) more annoying, take longer and blow dirty hand-water vapor into my lungs.
So, let's stop the insanity and bring back the sandpaper-tough hand towels and focus on more important things, like world peace and a possible Monkeys reunion...

Thursday, August 20, 2009

School is coming...

Griffin found out who his third grade teacher is yesterday.  This began a string of 30+ phone calls to all his friends asking them if they're in Ms. Kessen's class.  Our phone has been ringing as well.  Apparently Griff's best friend (besides me) is next door...with one of his other best friends.  He does have a bunch of friends in this class and it's fun to see him so excited to get back to the books.
He's a pretty smart little fella and loves to read, but I think he forgets about all the homework they give you now in grade school.  When I was in the third grade they were teaching us the colors of things like grass and the they're breaking down genome dna extraction and learning about how great socialized medical reform for young people who don't need hip replacements.
It's a whole new world?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


I was drivng out to the set yesterday (I'll take weblog post opening lines that Brad Pitt might use for $100, Alex) and talking to young Griffin, when all of a sudden the car lost all it's power.
Fake Conversation:
Me in my best Scotty:  I'm giving it all we've got captain!
Griffin:  Just step on it you big girl
Me:  That's kind of sexist Griff
Griffin:  What do you want?  You raised me...and I'm only 8.
And that's the fake version of how our Honda died yesterday.  If you're keeping score at home, that's Murphy vehicles 0, car repair shops 1, used car sales 1, and Murphy bank account 0.

So $580 later we should have the 'ol Honda back and running again tonight.  If only I can get Griffin to accept that both men and women are equally capable of driving a car.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Pencil Pushers, how dare you!

Would it be better or worse for the environment to eliminate all pencils from this planet?  I think the answer is obvious.  We'd save a few trees, eliminate the #3 pollutant in the world (rubber tip erasers) and also greatly reduce the waste that goes into manufacturing pencil sharpeners, both the hand held and desktop varieties.
I don't think I've used a pencil in 12 years.
I'm not saying I care more about the environment than you, I'm just implying it.
So go ahead pencil users, destroy Uncle Earth.  As for me, I'll spend my day not killing nearly extinct wildlife. 
Good day to you...
(some of the facts above have not been evaluated by Wikipedia, or even a reputable news source)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Open Door Policy

I like to think of myself as a reader.  I grew up with The Hardy Boys, The Great Brain and slowly moved on to the Fletch books.  For most of my adult life I've had a few friends who fairly consistently ask me, "so what are you reading?"  These guys are basically asking me what I'm filling my brain with...what I'm focusing on.
They're not necessarily wanting to know about the latest Grisham novel or O magazine.  They're wondering what I'm learning and what I'm working on.  I have a friend that Annie says costs me $20 every time I talk with him.    Every book is the greatest book ever and I'd be less of a man if I didn't get a copy. 
He's the boy who cried book.
So I don't mind reading.  I love it.
Having said that, I don't read everything.  In fact there are a few things that I rarely read.
-Directions for example.  Where is the adventure or discovery in reading the directions first?  That just seems silly. 
-mass/spam electronic mail
-most "reply to alls"
-1,000 page bills on health care (although I hear you're no longer allowed to question the ideas of the bills, because you haven't read them...even though the guys voting on it don't either...Does this seem crazy or just hypocritical coming from folks that have ripped politicians and/or policies for that last 6 or so years?)
-signs on doors

That's ultimately the one that gets me.  You see a double door and push on one side only to have it locked.  You look down and see at "Please use other door" with an arrow pointing to that other door that is six inches to the left and probably doesn't need an arrow at that point.

Can we just unlock both?  Is it an energy issue?  Are we worried that we're losing twice the conditioned air if we let both fly?  I'm guessing people will still only use one.  They would have a choice.  This would also free up someone coming in on one side while someone left on the other. 

I'd argue that this will decrease the second of irritation people feel when they hit the wrong you really want to end with that?  So unlock your doors 7/11...go footloose and fancy free out of the way Greek place with amazing gyros...let's give people the freedom to choose which door they'd like to push or pull.  After all, it's 2009 and don't you think the founding fathers would have wanted it that way?

Friday, August 14, 2009

shooting star

I think I've figured out how someone could be an immediate star.  Oh sure, you could jump up and down in front of the Today show could send in a video of your son "accidentally" swinging the whiffle ball bat and hitting you in your bathing suit parts...but I'm thinking bigger.

Why not shoot yourself out of a cannon?

Seems so simple, right?  Have you ever heard of anyone getting hurt while being shot out of a cannon?  Me neither.  You ever hear of anyone getting hurt in a car?  Me too.  It's just simple math, if you drive a car you're going to crash it and have to wait for someone to get that adrenaline rush so they can lift the car off of you.  If you get shot out of a cannon, you just land on a big air bag and collect your adulation.  Money, fame, spandex...seems like a no-brainer.

You're welcome.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


It's become a Murphy family tradition.  I can just see our grandkids one day hearing about all the exciting staycations our kids went on in the early 2000s.  We played legos and catch in the backyard...and um...watched videos...and...well, did I mention the legos?

So we're once again looking for Cincinnati things to do.  This one is sort of a pseudo-staycation.  Annie is helping out with the movie today, and was out yesterday and seven days next it's sort of a working staycation.

We actually have enough time carried over from last year to take a real one in a month or so.  Maybe we'll go to Aunt Debbies place in Hilton Head and play legos on the beach.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I'm ready for my closeup Mr. Boyd

I've auditioned for one play in my life.  I was about nine when my dad called me and told me I should come down to the theater and audition for Pippin.  Believe it or not, I don't get many of those calls.  I went down and saw two kids audition before me.

The first kid handed his music to the pianist and then sang his little heart out.  The second one showed him up by bringing his own pianist.  I had no choice but to one up him.  I just had two problems - I don't act or sing.  So I walked up on stage, sans the music but holding an RC can and sang 100 bottles of beer on the wall.  I'm fairly certain I got more laughs than anyone else...but not the part.

So I'm 0 for 1 lifetime on auditions.  I've been in a couple of radio commercials, tv commercials, plays and have written and performed some stuff in front of groups big and small.  I remember being backstage with the Jars of Clay watching them laugh at a sketch I'd written right before I walked on stage in front of 4,500 people for the next one.  The thing about all of these "performances" is that I never auditioned or even asked for them...they just sort of happened.

Being in an improv troupe just sort of happened, and now being in a motion picture seems to just have happened.  None of these things are or were ever a dream, but they are kind of fun.  I tell people that improv, and now the movie, is like my golf.  It's something I do just for fun.  It's better than golf in that I make a little money, rather than spend it, and I rarely find myself throwing clubs in anger. 

And that's ultimately what it is for me.  It's a fun hobby with no great spiritual significance.  It's not going to end poverty or get Fuller new shoes.  It's just good fun.  Today I begin my part of this local motion picture, and what could be more fun on a Wednesday whilst on vacation... It's my golf...

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

John Hughes

A few days ago a friend of mine announced to a group of us that his favorite director had died.  When he said it was John Hughes I was thrown off a bit....John your favorite director?
I'd always thought of him as the guy that first started centering shots so that the sides wouldn't be lost when they were shown through someone's vcr.  I guess that's innovative...  He made a lot of great popcorn movies but favorite director?

That just sounded really off to me.  My friend is sort of a student of film and it just seemed odd that Hughie was #1.

I had to stop and think of all the directors I'd put ahead of him.

The Cohen Brothers, Tarrantino..(.although, if you take two movies away he might not be anywhere near this list), Kubrick, Hitchcock, Boyd, Woody Allen, Reiner, Kevin Smith, Opie, Fincher, Wise, Stiller...and I guess John Hughes.  He made the movies that I loved when I was a let's not hold Beethoven's 4th against him...lets remember Ferris.

Oh, he's very popular Ed. The sportos, the motorheads, geeks, sluts, bloods, waistoids, dweebies, dickheads - they all adore him. They think he's a righteous dude.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Hitting the Nuts

You could take that title several different ways.  It's either a mean spirited physical attack on people living in a psychiatric facility, a mean spirited physical punishment of sorts, or a poker term indicating that you have the best possible hand....which isn't mean at all...unless you hate good poker hands.

Since filming begins today for Hitting the Nuts, and it's the “true” story of the annual illegal poker championship in Scott County, could reasonably assume it's a poker reference.  It's also in the Cincinnati Enquirer today and was in Variety a few weeks ago.  If you follow that trajectory, my weblog is the next natural write up for this local film.
All this to say, it's great to see my friend Joe live out something that's been bouncing around in his head and on his computer for so many years.  It's fun to be a part of the whole thing and I'm really looking forward to how this thing comes out.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Michael W. Smith

I get  to see a bunch of friends today.  Young Steve will be at the summit sitting next to Paul, Joe & Brad.  I haven't laughed at Brad's expense as much as we did at lunch I'm wishing I could repeat the same today.
I ran into Peter Raber and a few other folks I haven't seen in a long time yesterday.  It's always fun to see old friends you haven't seen in a while.
That's sort of the theme of my evening as well.  I get to see two of my old roomates and another great friend at dinner tonight.  Steve, Rick, Erik and I will eat grilled meat and talk about the old times.  Those guys will ask me tough questions about real life stuff, and I miss that.  I miss seeing those guys all the time.  It's always been too long...
And then we'll head off to the 40th Anniversary of Young Life in Cincinnati.  It's guaranteed to be a great night of seeing people I haven't seen in years or decades.  5 just wish Buddha and the Mrs. would come into town a few days earlier and join us. 

Annie and I always wonder who we're going to see that we didn't expect to see...I'm banking on running into Abe Vigoda.

Thursday, August 06, 2009


I'm headed to the Leadership Summit.  I always have mixed feelings about this conference.  It's sort of like going to a motivational's exciting, but then you look around and wonder - what's changed? 

I've been to a bunch of these and I always enjoy them...but looking around, there isn't much I could point to and say, "We started doing this once we learned about that at the Summit"  I'm sure there are subtle changes in how people do things, and that's probably the most you can expect from a conference.  Expecting radical life change, or great leaps in leadership over two days is a bit much to expect.

Leadership is a funny thing.  Often leaders are made because they've been around the longest, they have the ability to speak publicly, they've sold the most widgets or they started the company or organization.  I don't know that those are bad reasons, and I think anyone can grow into their leadership potential.  The question then becomes, who has the most leadership gifting or potential?  What if that person can't sell widgets or hasn't been around that long, but they're a leader?

I've heard there are "Laws of Leadership" "Rules of Leadership" and some of them are even irrefutable...I've heard.  I just wonder what the test of leadership is ultimately?  Maybe I'll learn today...

Bottom line:  A couple of hours before I get to see what Mr. Greg Ferguson is going to unleash upon the masses...

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

THE movie club

It goes without saying that none of us read a book unless we first see it on Oprah's list.  Here's my problem...
What movies should I go to?  If Oprah can tell us the right books to read, doesn't it stand to reason that she owes it to this nation...this planet to create Oprah's movie club?
Keep in mind that I'm not saying the government should force her to do that.  I'm just saying they should implement an incentive plan a la the beginning of Armageddon (that might even be on  her list).
Maybe she puts in an Oprah scale just to let you know how much she likes a particular film.
-an I LOVEEEEEED IT would be reserved for only the finest films, or movies with her friends
-A Gail would be for a movie she'd go see if she owned the theater or produced the movie...and it was ok
-A Stedman would be something that she could take or leave
-A Letterman would be something you'd want to stay away from
I'm not saying that Oprah should make every decision for us, but with a brain like hers...wouldn't we all be better off?

Tuesday, August 04, 2009


Driving to the gymnasium this morning felt like I was driving into the beginning of Twister (worst voice in all of Hollywood?  Keanu or Bill Paxton?).

As I was heading across Cincinnati-Dayton Road I saw this incredible bolt of lightning seemingly go from the ground up into the heavens...and I was in awe of it's beauty and of it's terror.  When you first see one it's kind of beautiful, and then you're startled by the crack as if someone is right behind you with a bullwhip (takes you back, doesn't it Dan?).
It's both beautiful and terrifying.  That's a rare thing, and that's what I was thinking when I saw down three minutes ago...

Monday, August 03, 2009

Why does Fuller hate poor people?

In our search for a better, faster version of our 2001 Miniature Van, we stopped by a few lots to see what was out there.  We weren't really looking to buy from one, but they're usually a good place to see a bunch of used cars all in one spot...and if there was a great deal out there we'd consider it.
Now keep in mind that we recently took a financial class that mentioned about 437 times that buying a new car is stupid.  I've heard a few of these so called "financial experts" try to claim that buying a car that will depreciate by 10% as soon as you drive it off the lot is a bad idea.  Whatever.  Sure it'll lose 70% of it's value in four years...and you could argue that you could buy a car that still has 80% of it's life left after someone else greatly depreciates the cost for you....and um...I guess maybe buying new isn't that great now that I think of it...

These classes often go to great lengths to show you why financing a car is even worse.  You're paying interest on something that is quickly going down in value.  It's sort of the opposite of what you want financially.
It's generally a bad idea to buy a new car, and as someone in a very low tax's worse for me.
Let's say I'm considered poor according to our United States government.
Should the government push poor people, like me, into buying a new car?  Yes - if they hate poor people and they want to encourage them to make bad decisions.  I had a couple of the car lot guys tell me that because of the cash to clunkers deal, there were less inexpensive cars out there for sale.  Once someone turns one into a car lot, the government is making them junk them.  That means there are less cheap cars for poor people to buy...which drives up the cost of the lower end cars that are still out there...and it seems again like the government hates poor people.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Driving in the future

We bought a miniature van from an auction in Laffayette, Indiana this weekend.  Actually, a friend of ours bought it...and then passed it on to us. It's navy blue, has fancy electric doors and is quite possibly from the future...although it's a 2002.
So now we're stuck with the age old question - what do we name our 2002 Chrysler Town & Country Miniature Van?