February 28, 2011

The Sunset Limited

I just watched this on HBO. These two actors are amazing. This movie is an hour and a half of these two talking about life and death and God. It was intense. The movie only had 2 characters in one scene in a one bedroom apartment. Tommy Lee Jones and Samuel L. Jackson are talented actors who, without action or special effects or a long list of supprting roles, kept me entertained and intrigued for the full hour and a half.

Sent from my iPhone (which I found very hard to use to write a decent review)

February 21, 2011

Paul Gives Up His Rights...Disciplines His Body

There are so many rhetorical questions in chapter 9 of 1 Corinthians. It's almost like Paul wants to say, "Duh" to the church at Corith. What he is doing is pointing out the things he is giving up in his life or disciplining himself from so that he is a better witness for the gospel. He is making it clear that, although some of the things he gives up are not sinful to partake in, he abstains from such things to be set apart and free from guilt.  Just like in chapter 8, where he explains he is free to eat or drink whatever he desires, he does not eat or drink certain things in certain situations so he does not cause someone else to stumble or judge him wrongly.  Now in chapter 9 is goes further to explain the freedoms he gives up to better serve God.

Really, this is too short an explanation to do this passage justice, but to break down each statement would take me too long with my limited time to write.  Basically, we need to look at the things in our lives that are not necessarily wrong to be involved in but that might cause others to stumble or question our faith.  We need to be able to use our freedoms to further the kingdom of God and allow us to more easily share the gospel.  Just as Paul says in 9:22 "...I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some," our freedoms allow us to present to gospel to all types of people.  But we must, "discipline (our) body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others (we) should be disqualified."

February 20, 2011

My Review of Virgil's Zero Cream Soda and Zero Root Beer by Reed's Inc.

This was a hard review to write, as I am not a diet soda drinker. Virgil's Zero Root Beer and Zero Cream Soda are just that, and it is not going to be easy to review them fairly...or will it be?

I am a huge Reed's Inc. fan because of their amazing products. Reed's Ginger Brew lines and Virgil's Root Beer and Cream Sodas are on the short list of my favorite soft drinks. I've talked about Reed's Inc. before in November of 2009 and in December of 2009. But this is going to be a different and difficult review because I am a soda fan, not a diet soda fan. I've always said that diet sodas shouldn't even be made. Why? Because they taste nothing like the original beverage they are supposed to be similar to (except for Diet Dr. Pepper). In fact, most people that like Coca-Cola tell me they like Diet Pepsi better than Diet Coke. And the same for Pepsi fans; they usually say they drink Diet Coke first.

Virgil's Root Beer is one of the best root beers out there. It's brewed by Reed's Inc. using natural ingredients from around the world, and it IS "So Rich and Creamy You’ll Swear it was Made in Heaven", as their slogan goes. Virgil's Zero line of sodas are made naturally too, just like the regular line, but with zero sugar and zero calories.  Because my wife recently put us on a low sugar, low carbohydrate diet, I've been looking for alternatives to sugar based foods and drinks. This so-called "life style change" she has us on only allows for only 15 grams of sugar a day and 6 servings of carbs (a serving is considered 5-20 grams of carbs).  Enter Virgil's Zero Root Beer and Zero Cream Soda.  These all natural diet sodas are made with natural stevia, a sweetener with no calories.  It is a decent alternative sweetener because it is natural, not a chemical like sucralose, saccharin, and aspartame.   Just like all alternative sweeteners, however, stevia does not taste like sugar and has an aftertaste. So on to the review.

Virgil's Zero Root Beer
Like the original, Virgil's Zero Root Beer is creamy, with a vanilla and Birch root bite.  Its initial smell and taste are that of a fine root beer, similar to the original.  But, once I swallowed the root beer and the sweetness of the soda on my tongue was able to react with the air in my mouth, the familiar aftertaste that all alternative, diet sweeteners leave.  It was disappointing.  And because I've been on this low sugar diet for almost two weeks now, I'm more use to the stevia aftertaste.  But it was not a nice finish to the Virgil's Zero Root Beer.  Now, diet soda drinkers will probably think it's something they can deal with, after all, they drink other diets with the aftertaste issue and other harmful chemical issues too.  At least with stevia there are not health concerns. But for a true soda fan, it was not the finish I was hoping to have from a soda company like Reed's.

Virgil's Zero Cream Soda
Again, like the original, Virgil's Zero Cream Soda has a nice cream, vanilla, and caramel, start, with a sweet aroma and hints of other spices.  It first hits your mouth just like the original Virgil's Cream Soda.  But once the soda is swallowed, the aftertaste from the stevia ruins the finish.  I'm not really sure what to say here.  What is the point of a diet soda that tastes bad?  I'm talking all diets, not just these two.  Why do we have to gain weight for something as wonderful as sugar?  How do diet soda drinkers handle that lousy aftertaste that non-sugar sweeteners leave?  Is there not a way to make a sweet tasting cream soda with no calories and no chemicals?  Is there not a way for us to enjoy a beverage, without the sugar content causing us to gain massive amounts of weight?  I was so hopeful and now I feel like giving up on the diet thing.  It's not worth not enjoying my favorite beverages.

I really don't want to say anything more.  As a fan of the company and their regular sugar based soft drinks, it is hard to say something that feels harmful or hurtful.  They make amazing drinks.  And these diet drinks are probably great in comparison to other diet soft drinks, but I can not endorse them.  I can not say that the Zero line is good.  I think it is something that could be a work in progress; maybe with some adjustments to the stevia levels the drink would turn out better (reduce, less may be more).  But the current formula did not work for me.  And again, I'm not, never have been, nor ever see myself becoming, a diet soda fan.  Maybe that makes my review unfair, but I had high hopes for this and it didn't live up to those dreams.

Sorry Reed's, Inc.  I am still a huge fan of the regular sugar line of soft drinks.  You make a premium line of sodas and I love them.  I've talked about wanting to work for you, own your stock, and promote your products.  I hope this review doesn't hurt too bad, as I did not expect this when I promised my readers a review.

February 14, 2011

Federal Spending Explained Visually

I don't actually know if the figures in these videos are correct, but I have no reason not to believe...mainly because, as the first video will point out, we are not so good at understanding big numbers.

Thanks for the link Ben.

2011 Dodge Charger...Why Does It Have To Be A Chrysler Product?

I've said before that I want a Charger, and the 2011 Dodge Charger looks even tougher than the previous model.  These two commercials make me want one more.  Too bad Chrysler is owned by the government and Fiat.  Oh yeah, and that they've filed for bankruptcy more than once.  This car seems awesome, and these commercials help.

Mary Jane...a.k.a. Marijuana, Pot, or The Weed

I know there are more names for Marijuana than I put in my title, Green Bud is another quick one, but this is a quick post about the bags of nature I got off a trio yesterday.  A friend of mine is a police officer in a nearby city and I went on a ride-a-long with him yesterday.  I needed to be out there and feel the rush again.  It was fun.  We made an arrest for, what seemed like a ton of marijuna.  In actuality, we got just over a pound off the suspects.
I got to pretend I was a correctional officer a bit too, running jail cell doors and helping fill out property forms back at the PD.  We had other contacts too.  I "help" a guy we contacted make the right decision to not run, by getting out of the car just as (what I perceived was) the thought of doing so was forming in his head.  I also laughed when another guy thought it was okay to ride his motorcycle with a sawzall on his lap.

There are definitely parts of the job I miss.  And there are definitely parts of the job I do not miss.  The arrest of the marijuana suspects was around 4:00pm and was pretty exciting.  But we didn't finish the paperwork portion for 2 hours.  Plus, they needed to be transported to jail after that.  Sure, the overtime would be nice, but the unpredictability of the end of a work day is hard with a family.

But mainly, I wanted to show off the weed.

February 12, 2011

VW's "The Force" Commercial With Extras

This was one of my favorite commercials from the Super Bowl, and now here is an extended version with deleted scenes and extras.

Dodge Looking Good

The blog is really suffering from my lack of time to post.  This is a post I would probably not normally put up, but with the huge hole in entries I thought I would.  Besides, Dodge has been building good looking vehicles for the past few years.  The Charger and Challenger top the list of sexy Dodge cars, the new Ram is tough and all truck to me, and the new Durango looks mean and lean.  Check out this funny commercial where Dodge all-wheel drive shows us that snow is just snow with the right equipment.

February 6, 2011

My Super Bowl Tweets and Favorite Commercial Pick

See all my Super Bowl Commercial Coverage on Twitter.  I rated many of the commercials.  Here is my favorite.

And here is the runner up.

February 3, 2011

The Ford Raptor Is AWESOME!

Ford is really doing things right.  I've talked a lot about the company and how impressed I am with many of their vehicles.  But this is a crazy cool video of what the Ford F-150 Raptor is capable of:

Star Wars and VW Together

Two things I love are coming together, Star Wars and Volkswagen.

February 1, 2011

Love God. Love Others. Watch What/When/Where You Eat?

1 Corinthians 8:1-13 is a long passage to say something that isn't really that big of an issue for people I'm around and for most of our society. Maybe I'm missing something, but, there aren't foods that are offered to idols, or foods that cause fellow believers to stumble. I have heard this passage used to say it's okay to drink alcohol, as long as you do it where believers who don't agree with the drinking of alcohol are not going to see you and be tempted by it; meaning even though they think it's wrong in their mind, they drink in spite of that. This would be sin for them, not because it is wrong to drink, but because they think it's wrong and still do it. It's like a sin against their own conscience and a decision to choose sin over what is right.

But I just read this passage twice, and I didn't really have much to apply to myself. I drink the occasional glass of wine or beer. I eat pretty well, for the most part. I think the biggest thing I'm going to take away from this passage is to be aware of who is watching and listening to you, in all situations. There are things people are observing in us that would lead them to make judgments against our faith. We are all sinners, and we all fail to reach heaven on our own. But it is so important to try and live a life that glorifies God and shows those around us that we are set apart for Him. Christ saved us from eternal death. Now we need to live a life of love. "If anyone loves God, he is known by God." Show God love by glorifying Him with all we do. I know, it's hard. At least for me it is.