Tuesday, October 31, 2006

A TV Meme

Bold all of the following TV shows which you've ever seen 3 or more episodes of in your lifetime. Bold and Italicize a show if you're positive you've seen every episode of it. If you want, add up to 3 additional shows (keep the list in alphabetical order).

60 Minutes
7th Heaven
A Different World
Aeon Flux
Alfred Hitchcock Presents
Allo Allo
American Idol/Pop Idol/Canadian Idol/Australian Idol
America's Next Top Model/Germany's Next Top Model
Aqua Teen Hunger Force
Are You Afraid of the Dark?
Arrested Development
Baa Baa Black Sheep
Babylon 5
Babylon 5: Crusade
Barnaby Jones
Battle of the Planets (ADDED)
Battlestar Galactica (the old one)
Battlestar Galactica (the new one)
Beavis & Butthead
Beverly Hills 90210
Bionic Woman
Bosom Buddies
Boston Legal
Boy Meets World
Buck Rogers (ADDED)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Bug Juice
Captain Planet
Chappelle's Show
Charlie's Angels
Commander in Chief
Cowboy Bebop
Crossing Jordan
CSI: Miami
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Dancing with the Stars
Danny Phantom
Dark Angel
Dark Skies
Davinci's Inquest
Dawson's Creek
Dead Like Me
Deadliest Catch
Degrassi: The Next Generation
Designing Women
Desperate Housewives
Dharma & Greg
Different Strokes
Doctor Who (new Who)
Doctor Who (original)
Due South
Earth 2
Eerie, Indiana
Empty Nest
Everybody Loves Raymond
Facts of Life
Family Guy
Family Matters
Family Ties
Father Knows best
Fawlty Towers
Forensic Files
Full House
Get Smart
Gilligan's Island
Gilmore Girls
Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.
Green Acres
Green Wing
Grey's Anatomy
Growing Pains
Gundam Wing
Happy Days
Hart to Hart
Head of the Class

Hell's Kitchen
Hogan's Heroes
Home Improvement

Homicide: Life on the Street
I Dream of Jeannie
I Love Lucy

Invader Zim
John Doe
Just the 10 of Us
Kate & Allie

Kath and Kim
Kim Possible
Knot's Landing
LA Law
Laverne and Shirley
Little House on the Prairie

Lizzie McGuire
Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman
Lost in Space
Love, American Style
Major Dad
Malcolm in the Middle

Mama's Family
Married... With Children

Melrose Place
Miami Vice
Mission: Impossible
Mork & Mindy
Murphy Brown

Mr. Show with Bob and David
My Family
My Life as a Dog
My Name is Earl
My Secret Identity
My So-Called Life
My Three Sons
My Two Dads

Night Court
Northern Exposure
One Tree Hill
Out of This World
Perry Mason
Picket Fences
Power Rangers
Prison Break
Project Runway
Quantum Leap
Queer As Folk (US)
Queer as Folk (British)
Remington Steele
Rescue Me
Road Rules
Robot Chicken
Saturday Night Live (ADDED)
Saved by the Bell
Scarecrow and Mrs. King
Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?

Sex and the City
Simon & Simon
Six Feet Under
Slings and Arrows
So Weird
South Park
Space Ghost
Spongebob Squarepants
Sports Night
Star Trek
Star Trek: The Next Generation
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Star Trek: Voyager
Star Trek: Enterprise

Stargate Atlantis
Stargate SG-1
Starsky & Hutch
Step By Step

Strange Luck
Teen Titans
That 70's Show
That's So Raven
The 4400
The Addams Family
The Amazing Race
The Andy Griffith Show
The A-Team

The Avengers
The Beverly Hillbillies
The Brady Bunch
The Cosby Show
The Daily Show

The Dead Zone
The Dick Van Dyke Show
The Flintstones
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
The Golden Girls
The Hogan Family
The Honeymooners
The Jeffersons
The Jetsons

The L Word
The Love Boat
The Mary Tyler Moore Show

The Mighty Boosh
The Monkees
The Munsters

The Mythbusters
The O.C.
The Office (UK)
The Office (US)
The Partridge Family
The Pretender
The Real World
The Shield
The Simpsons
The Six Million Dollar Man
The Sopranos

The Suite Life of Zack and Cody
The Tomorrow People
The Twilight Zone
The Waltons

The West Wing
The Wonder Years
The X-Files
Third Watch
Three's Company

Top Gear
Twin Peaks
Twitch City
Veronica Mars
Weird Science
Whose Line is it Anyway? (US)
Whose Line is it Anyway? (UK)
Will and Grace

Monday, October 30, 2006

Two mile Turkey Trot

On Thanksgiving, I'm going to run a two mile race called the Turkey Trot. My brother and sister and their kids having been doing it for a few years now. I decided I ought to run two miles at least once before then to see if I was going to embarrass myself or not. So yesterday I ran two miles in almost exactly 16 minutes. Not too bad. I wish I had been faster, but since I hardly ever exercise I suppose I can't be too surprised. If I can find the time in the next few weeks, I'll try to run a few more times to see if I can break 15 minutes.

I did check the results from last year's Turkey Trot and I'm slower than my brother (14:45) and my 15-year-old nephew (15:24) but faster than my sister (22:59), my 11-year-old niece (22:43), and 9-year-old nephew (16:54).

I admit it - I really want to beat my brother. Heh.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Save the cheerleader, save the world

You are watching Heroes, right? I was sure it wasn't going to last very long, but I've been pleasantly surprised. No one is going to win an Emmy for the show, but it's an entertaining show especially if you used to (or still do) collect comic books. It's basically a comic book on TV but without the silly costumes and superhero names to turn off the majority of the population. It has all the comic book conventions - guy comes back from the future with cryptic messages, beserker hero who can't control her powers, most powerful hero is the nerdy guy who knows all geeky references - and I'm enjoying them. The acting is decent, not wonderful, but decent. And the mystery is intriguing. I am really enjoying the indestructable cheerleader character and the cop who can read minds. And, of course, Hiro is the breakout character of the whole season. He was the only reason Sharon was watching it at all.

So are you watching? Why not??

Thursday, October 26, 2006


You should head to Frightmare Forest this weekend and get the beejeebees scared out of you!

Dreamwell folks will be there parking cars and raising money so we can bring you more exciting theater!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

And so it begins...

Rachel, walking to school this morning:

"Donovan says he's my boyfriend, but he's not!"

I said that she gets to decide if she wants someone to be her boyfriend. She said, "Yeah!"


Monday, October 23, 2006


My post about Barack Obama has generated a link to this guy's blog where he attacks the Illinois Senator. First of all, let me just ask that people who comment on my posts actually, you know, comment. A link to your blog feels more like spamming and I'd appreciate the courtesy of some words to go with your link. But that's beside the point. Porkopulis contends that Obama is "a propagandist, bullshit artist and lying politician." He quotes Obama as saying that the new Detainee Bill is the first time Habeas Corpus has ever been eliminated in our country's history. This isn't correct, of course, as Abraham Lincoln suspended it during the Civil War. Porkopolis calls him a liar. Did Obama purposely lie to gain advantage or did he make a mistake? He then quotes Obama as saying the legislation would "not give them that basic hearing in court". Porkopulis goes on to say that "Mr. Obama claims that a "basic hearing in court" would be denied to combatants is a flat out lie". Unfortunately, Porkopulis left off an important word when quoting the quote: "that". Obama is refering to the fact that this legislation doesn't give detainees the Habeas Corpus hearing, not any old hearing in court.

To me, that's part of what is so wrong with political discussion today. We are so quick to believe the worst of everyone. And that goes for Democrats and Republicans (and apparently Libertarians as that's how Porkopulis identifies himself). I'd far prefer to give Obama the benefit of the doubt and believe he made a mistake. Just as I give George W. Bush the benefit of the doubt and believe that he really thinks what he's doing is what's best for our country. And just as I give Porkopulis the benefit of the doubt that he just misread Obama's quote.

That's really just a small part of what I want to write about. This Nation and specifically, the Democrats and Republicans, could have a civilized discussion about their different points of view on this Habeas Corpus issue instead of viciously attacking each other. I can see both sides of this issue. It comes down to this question: Should we treat suspected terrorists the same way we've treated soldiers of enemy countries during wartime?

The Bush position is Yes. And I understand where that thinking comes from. We are at war with these terrorists in the sense that they have declared a desire to destroy our country and our people and our way of life. Holding a enemy combatant until the war is over has precedent. And if the person is proven to be a terrorist, then I have no problem with keeping that person locked up.

The reason there's disagreement is because this is not a traditional war. There is no country to attack. We can't easily tell who is on the other side. And we have no way to know when this war is over. There is no country to make peace with. This war has even changed fundamental terms as another website points out. "The term ‘enemy combatant’ has historically referred to any member of the armed forces of a state with which another state is at war. Enemy combatants in the current conflict are not defined by simple, readily apparent criteria such as citizenship or military uniform, and the power to name a citizen as an 'enemy combatant' is therefore extraordinarily broad." (wikipedia)

So do we treat suspected terrorists as enemy combatants or do we treat them as criminals who would have full access to our legal system? Because this new type of war has made the classification of enemy combatant so broad, there has to be a middle ground between the two choices. Habeas Corpus is simply the right to challenge the legality of detention. If we believe in this right, we should believe in it for all people, not just Americans. It seems to me that if we're to live up to the ideals of this country that we all love we must err on the side of giving more rights rather than limiting those rights. It is critical that we hold fast to the faith that embracing our ideals will lead us to victory. To do otherwise jeopardizes the ends for which we strive.

Have faith in our country. Have faith in our ideals. Have faith in our freedoms. And have faith that by standing firm to what we are as a Nation, we will prevail.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Barack Obama

Every time I've seen Obama speak, I've been impressed. He has that "IT" factor that true leaders possess. Kennedy, Reagan, and Clinton all had it. I watched him on Meet the Press today and again was impressed. He doesn't dance around like so many politicians. You ask a politician what his take on increasing taxes is and he'll say, "Well, when I was a boy, we played a game called Red Rover. Ever hear of it? Well, it was about breaking through a line of people trying to stop you from accomplishing what you want to accomplish. I feel I have to break through a lot of lines, I have broken through a lot in the past, and I'll keep breaking 'em if that's what it takes to fight for the American people."

Right, but what's your take on increasing taxes?

The question never gets answered. With Obama, he answers the questions. Tim Russert played a tape of him from two years ago saying he would not run for President. What happened between then and now, Barack? Obama says that he felt that way at the time, but he's been talking to a lot of people and running is something he is now considering. He changed his mind.

What I think has happened is the Democrats are looking at their possible candidates - Rodham Clinton, Edwards, Feingold - and they see themselves losing to John McCain. So they're trying to find someone who has the charisma, the x-factor, that undefinable something that will capture the hearts of all of America, not just the Democratic party. And that someone is Barack Obama.

This is from his speech at the Democratic National Convention:

"The pundits like to slice-and-dice our country into Red States and Blue States; Red States for Republicans, Blue States for Democrats. But I've got news for them, too. We worship an awesome God in the Blue States, and we don't like federal agents poking around our libraries in the Red States. We coach Little League in the Blue States and have gay friends in the Red States. There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq and patriots who supported it. We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America."

This morning he talked about how the old fights between Democrats and Republicans are outdated. He used big government vs. small government as an example. It's not about either of these two concepts, but rather about smart government. In other words, when it's important for government to take a greater role in an issue, it should. And when it should take a smaller role, it should. Smarter government is what this generation of voters wants. And that's absolutely right.

I plan to read his new book and see if I agree with all of his politics as much I as appreciate his leadership and speaking abilities.

Saturday, October 21, 2006


Kevin Tillman, brother of Pat Tillman, wrote about the war and you really should read it. It was posted on this site.

It is Pat’s birthday on November 6, and elections are the day after. It gets me thinking about a conversation I had with Pat before we joined the military. He spoke about the risks with signing the papers. How once we committed, we were at the mercy of the American leadership and the American people. How we could be thrown in a direction not of our volition. How fighting as a soldier would leave us without a voice… until we get out.

Much has happened since we handed over our voice:

Somehow we were sent to invade a nation because it was a direct threat to the American people, or to the world, or harbored terrorists, or was involved in the September 11 attacks, or received weapons-grade uranium from Niger, or had mobile weapons labs, or WMD, or had a need to be liberated, or we needed to establish a democracy, or stop an insurgency, or stop a civil war we created that can’t be called a civil war even though it is. Something like that.

Somehow America has become a country that projects everything that it is not and condemns everything that it is.

Somehow our elected leaders were subverting international law and humanity by setting up secret prisons around the world, secretly kidnapping people, secretly holding them indefinitely, secretly not charging them with anything, secretly torturing them. Somehow that overt policy of torture became the fault of a few “bad apples” in the military.

Somehow back at home, support for the soldiers meant having a five-year-old kindergartener scribble a picture with crayons and send it overseas, or slapping stickers on cars, or lobbying Congress for an extra pad in a helmet. It’s interesting that a soldier on his third or fourth tour should care about a drawing from a five-year-old; or a faded sticker on a car as his friends die around him; or an extra pad in a helmet, as if it will protect him when an IED throws his vehicle 50 feet into the air as his body comes apart and his skin melts to the seat.

Somehow the more soldiers that die, the more legitimate the illegal invasion becomes.

Somehow American leadership, whose only credit is lying to its people and illegally invading a nation, has been allowed to steal the courage, virtue and honor of its soldiers on the ground.

Somehow those afraid to fight an illegal invasion decades ago are allowed to send soldiers to die for an illegal invasion they started.

Somehow faking character, virtue and strength is tolerated.

Somehow profiting from tragedy and horror is tolerated.

Somehow the death of tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of people is tolerated.

Somehow subversion of the Bill of Rights and The Constitution is tolerated.

Somehow suspension of Habeas Corpus is supposed to keep this country safe.

Somehow torture is tolerated.

Somehow lying is tolerated.

Somehow reason is being discarded for faith, dogma, and nonsense.

Somehow American leadership managed to create a more dangerous world.

Somehow a narrative is more important than reality.

Somehow America has become a country that projects everything that it is not and condemns everything that it is.

Somehow the most reasonable, trusted and respected country in the world has become one of the most irrational, belligerent, feared, and distrusted countries in the world.

Somehow being politically informed, diligent, and skeptical has been replaced by apathy through active ignorance.

Somehow the same incompetent, narcissistic, virtueless, vacuous, malicious criminals are still in charge of this country.

Somehow this is tolerated.

Somehow nobody is accountable for this.

In a democracy, the policy of the leaders is the policy of the people. So don’t be shocked when our grandkids bury much of this generation as traitors to the nation, to the world and to humanity. Most likely, they will come to know that “somehow” was nurtured by fear, insecurity and indifference, leaving the country vulnerable to unchecked, unchallenged parasites.

Luckily this country is still a democracy. People still have a voice. People still can take action. It can start after Pat’s birthday.

Brother and Friend of Pat Tillman,

Kevin Tillman

The Radloff's Random Midnight Thoughts

Just discovered this blog because the author commented on my blog. His most recent post has a rather accurate statement about why the Republican's traditional supporters ought to be wary of the current administration. It's in the middle of that post I linked to under the heading of "Bullies".

And his wife's name is Dagmar. Cool, huh?

Thursday, October 19, 2006

We're not dead yet...but we're going to Hell!

It's been almost three quarters of a year since we last performed in Iowa City, but that's going to change in just six weeks. Yes, Dreamwell is back with a new show! And no we haven't found a permanent home, but you know what? We gotta put on a show anyway. We're getting bored having meetings every month and not doing, well, theater! And people keep asking if we're ever coming back. So yeah, we are returning to the stage with our first ever holiday show.


Holiday show?

Um, this is Dreamwell we're talking about, right?

Now come on, you don't think we're going to do It's a Wonderful Life or the stage version of Tim Allen's Santa Clause movies, do you? It's still Dreamwell. And our holiday show is a little bit... different.

For instance, it begins in Hell. And there's a demon in the show. Okay, now it sounds more like Dreamwell, right?

It's Dickens' Christmas Carol story from Jacob Marley's point of view. You remember Marley, don't you? He was Scrooge's partner who died and came back to haunt the old miser before those three ghosts showed up. Turns out there's a lot more to this story that we just never knew. The show was first done at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago as a one-man show. We're doing the four actor version. This is real storyteller theater unlike anything we've down before.

So get ready for Jacob Marley's Christmas Carol starring Chuck Dufano, Karl Gronwall, Josh Sazon, and me! Ably directed by Madonna Smith, this is the one "holiday" show you just can't miss.

Oh yeah, we're doing at Old Brick because they are wonderfully kind and supportive of the arts over there. And you gotta bring a foodstuff for one of their community programs to get in. Cause it's the holidays, you know. We want to help those less fortunate than we are even if we're going to Hell.

Or maybe especially if we're going to Hell.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The Race

Well, we did it! It was a drizzly, cold morning, but the excitement in the air just cut right through that. So many families were at the starting line ready to run. Rachel and I moved into the big glob of people, trying to inch our way kind of near the front. Ready, set, go! We starting running as fast as she could. Eventually, she wanted to hold hands as we ran. She saw a number of other kids doing that. So we ran linked together, passing some people, getting passed by others. She just kept pushing with this look on her face of pure determination. I told her before we began that it didn't matter if we won or not... our goal was to keep running the whole time and finish the race. At one point, she asked if we could walk and we slowed down to a fast walk, but that didn't last more than five steps before she was jogging again. The last bit of the race was marked with cones and I told Rachel I was going to let go of her hand at that point and I wanted her to run as fast as she could to the finish line. (I couldn't run through the finish line because I wasn't actually signed up for the race. I was her moral support.) We hit the cones and she snatched her hand away and ran as fast as she could.

Being a parent isn't easy. If things don't go well for your kid, even the little things, it hurts you as much as it hurts them. Their failures are yours. If they break a leg, it hurts you, too. But of course, the other side is true. Their successes are yours, too.

Watching Rachel reach that finish line filled me with joy. Just pure joy for her and her accomplishment. That's why being a parent is the best job in the world.


Rachel, after the race:
That was a half mile?


That was pretty short.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Run for the Schools!

Every year, they have a Road Race to benefit the Iowa City area schools. This year my daughter Rachel informed us she wants to run the half mile race. She is, of course, in kindergarten. I wasn't sure she was really up to it, so I insisted we train for it. The first day we ran most of the way to her school (which is over a mile) and she did really well. Today I signed her up. If you'd like to support my plucky little kindergartner, go this website and donate a little bit. Doesn't have to be a lot - anything will be much appreciated!

Rachel on her first day of Kindergarten

Thursday, October 05, 2006

There was this debate, see...

On Monday, I went to my first gubernatorial debate. It was taking place at Kirkwood just an hour after I got off work, so I figured what the heck. Besides I hadn't made up mind about the candidates. Bruce Aune and a couple of reporters from the Gazette asked the questions, which I thought covered a lot of ground. I was struck by how big Chet Culver is and how small Jim Nussle looked in comparison. However, Nussle had more poise and definitely spoke better. Culver kept taking a handkerchief out of his pocket and mopping his face. I flashed back to the Nixon-Kennedy debates. (Well, okay I flashed back to footage I've seen of the Nixon-Kennedy debates.) Culver looked very uncomfortable just like Nixon did. And Nussle was calm, funny, and pointed in his remarks.

Still, in listening to the content rather than the delivery, I guess I come down on Culver's side. Assuming he can deliver what he promises. The main thrust of his message was making Iowa the first state independent on foreign oil. He wants to make us the center of the alternative fuel boom and compared it to the creation of Silicon Valley in the 1990s. Can he do it? I don't really know, but the idea sounds good.

I did get a little tired of Culver blaming Nussle for taking a record surplus and turning it into a record deficit. I mean, come on, he's one representative - it's not all his fault. A lot of what Culver did was attack Nussle, bringing up the Foley scandal, which has nothing to do with Nussle at all other than the fact that Foley is also a Republican.

Nussle's stance on social issues was disappointing, but not surprising. He goes too far on abortion even for me, a pro-lifer. He doesn't like the anti-bullying legislation because it makes gays a "protected class", whatever the hell that's supposed to mean.

Honestly, when all is said and done, I'm not excited about either candidate. Which is pretty normal for me.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Mmmm.... cookies.

Wanna know what love is?

Love is when you really want chocolate cookies and your wife, who can’t eat the darn things because they’re full of gluten, graciously helps you make cookies from scratch at 10:15 pm.

That’s love.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Heard in the car today

"Daddy, I want a little brother so then I can start liking boys."

"Daddy, you can't make a baby. You have to wish for one." She then demonstrates wishing by clasping hands together and looking up at the sky with a pleading expression on her face.

There really wasn't much I could say to that. I didn't think the two minute drive to school was the best time to explain about making babies.

My Survivor blog has the latest news and speculation as well as some spoiling about the show.
About Me

Name: Matt
Location: Coralville, IA
I am a Dad and a Husband. An Actor. An Administrator. A Hiker. A Writer. Probably a bunch of other things too. Read my blog and you'll find out more.
Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance by Barack Obama

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