“…those who sin differently…”


A good friend and neighbor used this quote from Elaine Cannon recently. I thought I’d share.

On one occasion a group of us were talking about a person we all knew who had a particularly difficult personality problem. Suddenly Dr. Eyring changed the tone of the talk with his comment, “I hope I will always be tolerant of those who sin differently from me.”
Oh, Dr. Eyring wasn’t talking only about those blatant cardinal wrongdoings we all try to avoid. He was suggesting the importance of keeping the second great commandment and oft-repeated counsel from God to love each other-imperfect though we might be. And that goes for loving our enemies, too “Those who sin differently….” what a revelation into a man’s motivation! What a secret to the implementation for good relationships in our own lives!
But Dr. Eyring didn’t merely tolerate others, remember. He sought to know them better. With knowledge comes understanding, and the miracle of love comes next.

Movie Review – Inception


Inception

I’ve waited until I saw Inception three times and a few weeks to really take it in. I spoke with many friends about the movie and got their takes on it, after I watched it. Going into it, I knew that I was in for a mental whirlwind. Leonardo DiCaprio plays our lead, Cobb. He is joined by his friend and partner, Arthur, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. In this film, these two and several others have developed a way to get into people’s dreams and by doing so, can steal their thoughts and ideas. This is used for corporate espionage and other such crimes. There’s the architect who builds the physical aspect of the dream, it would replicate the victim’s typical environment and provide a platform for the theft to take place. The others are essentially cast members who facilitate and in some cases hamper the progress of the job at hand.

Cobb has one big obstacle: his former wife, Mal. She is played by Marion Cotillard. She was heavily involved in this activity, called extraction. She helped him in many cases. She, in the midst of all the going back and forth began to lose touch with her true reality. In these dreams you can create anything you want to and have a lot of freedom to basically play God. In her loss of her grip on reality, she couldn’t keep track and wanted to return to her reality. In these dreams, to get out of the dream, you have to be killed or woken up. She knew this and when she didn’t believe Cobb telling her that she was in reality, she took her own life. Throughout the movie, she returns in the form of Cobb’s guilty conscience as he blamed himself for her confusion and death (oh yeah, the authorities also believe he killed her). This is very harmful as she is there haunting him and disrupting the plans and turning him in to the victims.

Due to this issue, Cobb cannot build these dreams as he is afraid that if he knows how they are made, she will be there and ruin things. He teams up with Ariadne, played by Ellen Page. She has a masterful imagination and can build mazes that are incredible. After an initial test and then a surprise visit to her dreams, she’s convinced that this is an outstanding way to express her creativity.

While performing an extraction on a corporate executive, Saito, performed by Ken Watanabe, the plan fails. However, Saito hears about another way that invading dreams can be used. Instead of extracting plans and ideas from the victim, they plant an idea into their minds. This is called Inception. It’s very risky and hasn’t been entirely proven successful. Or we think. Saito hires Cobb and crew to plant an idea into Robert Fischer, played by Cillian Murphy, the son of a worldwide power company’s CEO who is nearing death. This idea would say that his father wanted him to break up the company. This would allow competition with Saito’s company and prevent a monopoly.

In order to successfully do inception you have to go deep enough into the victim’s subconscious mind. This involves multiple layers of dreams. A dream in a dream in a dream. This poses great risk as dreams at his depth and complexity are very unstable and very risky for the victim and the team. They work out this plan and are ultimately successful at inception. The company is broken up and all is happy for all. In all of this, Ariadne becomes very suspicious of issues Cobb is having and hiding from the others. She sneaks into one of his dreams and finds out about Cobb’s kids and his wife. She pushes and pushes and he describes what her problem is. She also eventually uncovers why Cobb is so guilty of his wife’s death. He knew inception was impossible because he did it to his wife. They were living together for 50 years in this place called limbo. In limbo, you can create your own world. They did and lived happily for years. Cobb knew this wasn’t reality and wanted to get back. Mal, his wife, didn’t. She loved it there and was convinced this was her reality. He planted an idea deep in her mind that had her questioning her reality. He convinced her to get killed with him to return back to real life. They laid down in a train track and we both hit by the train and woke up in reality. This was all fine and dandy but because of the planted idea in her mind, Mal was still not totally convinced they were really in reality. She was very distraught and confused. He tried to convince her and comfort her but it wasn’t working. You find out pretty early that to help them keep track of reality, they fashion a totem. Some object that will do something only they know in reality that it will not do in a dream. For example, Cobb’s totem is a spinning top. In reality, it will spin normally and eventually fall. In a dream, it will continue to spin and spin. You see him using it from time to time in the movie when he needs to know for sure. While Mal and Cobb were in their limbo, you see that Mal, in her decision to not return to reality, hides and locks away her totem. In reality, with Mal’s struggling, she decides she needs to die again so she can truly return to reality. Cobb meets her at their hotel room where they spend their anniversaries. The room is a mess and he looks around to see her sitting out the window on a ledge. She tries to convince Cobb that this is the only way to return to their true reality. He knows better and frantically tries to talk her out of jumping. She is firm and ends up jumping to her final death. She says that she’s already told lawyers that he’s threatened her and her children’s lives and left the hotel room like that to further convince them of his intentions. He escapes and then is away from his home and children and cannot return as he is a fugitive.

As part of the deal with Saito, he offers Cobb a clean record. This is ultimately what motivates him to do the job. The rest of the film follows the crew through the son’s dreams and we see excellent effects filter down from level to level. They meet the son on a plane and initiate the dream with him there. Strong sedative is used and we’re now in the first dream level. It’s a city and they kidnap the son and threatened to kill him if he doesn’t provide his dad’s safe combination. They put him in a big van and put him to sleep. The second level of dreams is in a hotel. When the van from the first level gets into trouble and does a flip, gravity in the hotel is affected and there’s some awesome effects as they have fight scenes and such in the shifting gravity. You see that what happens in the level above affects the level below. In the hotel, they have the son and convince him that he needs to go into a dream to fight off the people that are trying to steal his ideas. Here comes level three. It’s a snowy mountain with a heavily guarded military style base. All of this is very well done and director/writer Christopher Nolan is a master at tugging on your brain cells. Eventually, he gets to his dying father inside the base. His father said instead of just “disappointed”, he clarifies by saying he was disappointed that his son tried to be like him. This is the idea that grows in his mind and finds a pin wheel in the safe that let him know his dad loved him.

At this point, they all wake up through the layers and you see Saito pick up the plane phone and make his call. You then see Cobb walking through customs at the airport with no problems and then to his home and his children. Before he walks out to see them, he starts to spin his top on the table. The camera zooms from him walking to his kids down to the spinning top. It seems like it keeps spinning, it wobbles slightly but recovers. Then the movie suddenly ends. We never know if the top stops spinning. Perfect ending to a very mentally involved and challenging movie.

I saw it three times. Each time was better and more enlightening than the last. Each time I picked up on something different. Each time I spoke with someone who’d seen it, we asked each other questions to see if we noticed something else. I fully plan to try to see it once more on the big screen and then buy the Blu-Ray. I recommend you see this! See it before it leaves the theaters! See it more than once! We took Wyatt and while he wasn’t bored, we had to help keep him on track with the layers and how it was moving. It affected him a bit as for the next couple weeks he would ask questions like if how can we really know we’re in a dream or not. Very cool.

My rating 5 Stars out of 5: *****

The Saga of Lexie – Resolution!


We found our sweet Lexie a new home! She is now keeper of cows and chickens at my Uncle’s farm in Enumclaw, WA. When we decided it was time to find her a new home, we asked several close friends and some family. Most said they couldn’t fit her in with their current situation. I called my Uncle Charlie and asked him, very directly, “Do you want our dog?” The conversation was very simple and I described Lexie and her energetic yet loving nature and he sounded pretty interested. I wasn’t sure how it would end up but had my doubts as the distance and inconvenience was a very real obstacle.

Soon my Uncle’s interest was revealed to be some real excitement as he continued to call me back to suggest ways to get her up there. We discussed flying her up there, meeting halfway, Charlie’s friend who drives a truck and other options. It turns out that my Aunt, who lives here, in Utah, not Charlie’s wife, was very near to passing away from a horrible fight with cancer. I heard the news in the middle of the week that she had indeed passed away. On Friday, I get a call from my Uncle that they were in Idaho and would soon be in Utah for the funeral that weekend. Continue reading “The Saga of Lexie – Resolution!”

The Saga of Lexie


A bit more than a year ago we watched “Marley & Me” as a family.  After seeing the movie and drying our tears, we decided that it was time for us to get a dog. We had other reasons. One big reason was that Wyatt was deathly afraid of dogs of any size. He would run screaming and freak out for even the smallest of cute puppies. Another reason was that I grew up with pets. Be it goldfish, cats, dogs or even chickens, we always had pets. I didn’t grow up on a farm mind you. My mom is just an animal lover. I have two people in my immediate family that are horribly allergic to cats and that was proven the one time we had a kitten for about a week. Within that short span of time, Wyatt and Rachel both were having asthma attacks, pink eye and you name it! We were able to find a good owner for the kitty but I was let down. Continue reading “The Saga of Lexie”

Chick-fil-A opening in American Fork!


August 26th at 6:30am, the American Fork, UT branch of Chick-fil-A will open its doors for business. Located almost across the street from the shuttered Chadder’s burger joint, this will be a great place to eat. The official ribbon-cutting ceremony will be at 9:30am. Look at http://www.cfarestaurant.com/americanfork/home for tons of info on the opening and other pertinent info. As part of the opening event, they were handing out free chicken sandwiches on Friday and Saturday. They handed out some 10,000 of them! They had stacks of coolers lined up in their parking lot and folks were driving through or walking up to get a hot, fresh chicken sandwich. They are so good! Continue reading “Chick-fil-A opening in American Fork!”

Movie Review: The Sorcerer’s Apprentice


The Sorcerer's Apprentice
The Sorcerer's Apprentice

Nicolas Cage (Gone in 60 Seconds, National Treasure) and Jay Baruchel (How to Train Your Dragon, Almost Famous) bring to life this classic Disney tale in a fun and exciting film. The basic story of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice follows one of three apprentices of Merlin who is charged with finding his eventual replacement. Balthazar (Cage) searches for centuries for the next Merlin, the Prime Merlinian. He has Merlin’s little dragon and if the person is right, that dragon animates and becomes a ring. Young Dave sends a quick love note on a field trip to see if a pretty girl wants to be friends or more than friends. She answers the note, leaves it on the bench and the wind sweeps it away. He chases it through New York City and it happens to land inside this run-down antiques shop. Balthazar owns this store and tries the dragon on Dave. It becomes the ring.

The movie continues when Dave (Baruchel) is 10 years older and one of the other original apprentices escapes from his own doll. Hovarth (Alfred Molina) wants to free the main villain, Morgana, from her doll. Trapped in this doll along with her are many of her successors and they are layered so several baddies end up getting freed before Morgana herself is released near the end of the movie. To complicate things a bit, Morgana is actually trapped in the third of Merlin’s apprentices, Veronica’s body. Balthazar LOVES Veronica and wishes to destroy Morgana to be able to have Veronica back. Continue reading “Movie Review: The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”

Trip to Spokane


Reagan, Gwyn & Kelsey

First off, I’d like to give a heart-felt thank you to Pete & Sally and Gina for their hospitality and for inviting us! I was emailed a month or more back from my big sister, Gina, to see if we could join them for their second child, Kelsey’s baptism. Rachel and I discussed it and decided that would be fun and we accepted. Rachel’s dad, Pete, lives up there as well and offered to put us up for the weekend. It was a great weekend!

We were able to arrange the time off and packed up the van with our clothes, supplies and Lexie and left around noon on Friday, the 30th. We take I-15 north to where it meets up with I-90, near Butte, Montana. It’s a pretty lengthy drive and it seemed like every few miles there was a 5 mile stretch of construction. Problem was there wasn’t any actual road work going on! Just blocked off sections of the freeway. A couple of sections where they brought north and southbound together on one side. I think there was one section where the road was actually tore up but still no workers present. They lowered the speed limits from 75 to 35. Otherwise, it was a decent trip. We made it in just over 12 hours. Continue reading “Trip to Spokane”