I saw the movie on Sunday. It was a real treat to see. The short version, 10/10 Go see it.
Seeing the movie brought to mind the following:
Some of the background was a great touch. Yep, they had Janice Joplin and Timothy Leary at a beach concert and a host of period music in the soundtrack, some of which you will recognize.
The movie was grounded and a blast from the past. Just a few short years after this movie was set was when many people on my mom’s side of the family gave their lives the Christ (1974-1975). I think religious faith was portrayed as a struggle and not an end.
I knew of Chuck Smith and the many music groups that began at his church, but the origin of his youth-oriented church was fun to watch. Talk about the ungrateful death (his congregation) being given life… From what I recall of the 60’s, the counter-culture movement was a bunch of rebels without a clue. After many years of trying stupid stuff (drugs, sex, and rock-n-roll), many finally found what they were looking for, a lively faith to fill the God-shaped vacuum in their soul.
Not everything coming out of the Jesus Revolution was orthodox but some great theologians did come to prominence during this time period. If you can dig up some sermons by David Chilton, on a few recordings, he discusses some of the abuses on the fringes of this movement.
One result of this period is what I call the franchise church: Calvary Chapel, Vineyard, LifePoint, Hillsong, etc.
Another and different version of Christianity coming out of this movement was Jesus People USA. They are still around today. They are a cooperative community—think baptized commune—that specializes in ministering to the poor in urban communities. I don’t know how many locations they are in, but Chicago and Milwaukee were ones that I remember.
Kelsey Grammar was really good as Chuck Smith and Jonathan Roumie did a great job as Lonnie Frisbee. I guess Jonathan plays Jesus in The Chosen; sorry, I’ve never seen the show. There is a line in the movie about him trying really hard to look like Jesus, guess that has more than one meaning.
Final thought, I’d see it again and plan to buy DVD once it goes on sale.
Jorge Riley, a local Sacramento GOP activist, pled guilty last week to charges relating to his storming of the Capital to “Stop the Steal” a couple years ago. In exchange for pleading guilty, he will only have 1 count on his record, the other 4 will be dismissed.
This comeuppance has been a long time coming for Riley, he has been on a destructive path for years. Riley has a rap sheet that makes career criminals jealous. I know of at least 1 DUI, likely more, and a slew of charges related to unpaid child support. I am not sure of the number of kids and how many women they are by. Riley also is a heavy drinker, I refuse to say he has a problem, because he never has a problem finding the bottle.
Riley was arrested a couple months after the “Stop the Steal” rally at the Capital. Not due to anyone ratting him out, he ratted out himself. Riley is a Grade A braggart when it comes to his Facebook and other social media. He posted over 150 messages and videos according to the complaint against him. Worst yet, the man has never had an unspoken thought; his rantings (likely fueled by booze) target minorities, Democrats, women and other groups. His comments are typically vile in nature making even this single male blogger cringe. One may ask why no one tried to stop his behavior…that’s because those around him and in power supported it. I literally saw him countless times at GOP meetings and conventions literally walking around with a backpack filled with vodka that he was drinking through a siphon. He reeked of hard liquor, so much so I could barely tell what brand it was. My understanding is his use of drugs and alcohol was to cope with PTSD or some type of condition he got while in the military. My issue? During a hearing, his attorney admitted Riley has never been outside the US. I’m trying to be sensitive to mental health, but I just think Riley is an addict.
I have a source who claims Riley had numerous outbursts at his initial hearings here in Sacramento at the federal courthouse. So much so he was ordered held on no-bail. Annoying a judge isn’t the best move when that person is likely to sentence you. NOTE: The venue was moved to DC so it will be a different judge who heard the guilty plea and will handle sentencing. Riley was also far from the model prisoner at Sac County jail, having to be moved multiple times due to being a Grade A dickhead. AKA normal behavior for Riley.
Riley is still in a lot of trouble, preliminary reports are a federal lockup of 41-51 months, another report said maximum of around 20 years, a different report had a line about judge Amit Mehta considering “enhancements.” I would bet he is looking at around 6 years in jail, his behavior, plus his bragging and some of his comments online will hang him. The judge is seeing that Riley is not sorry or repentant at all. Problem for Riley is that he is facing federal not state time. The feds typically do not do good time credits for behavior, he will serve his entire sentence. (Riley’s indictment and plea can be found in this article.)
My hot take: Riley is a clown and piece of work, more so it’s his enablers that made this happen, he was never reigned in. Sue Blake, Terry Mast (RIP), Craig DeLuz, Bill Cardoza and others routinely looked the other way or supported him. In the case of Cardoza, he was even stupid enough to post to Facebook the local CRA chapter giving Riley a lifetime achievement award. DUMB
Riley is going away for a while, but the CRA and other groups should not be left unscathed. Sorry, not sorry. They needed to remove Riley as a member and put pressure on the local group to do the same. Riley is a net negative, not a single redeeming quality about him. Yet several of the members attacked my conservative credentials. Yup they chose a drunken moron over me.
The irony in this whole bit? Riley was a never Trump guy, like most of the rest of the CRA. It’s sad.
Blogger note:At this point I consider myself barely catholic, I have been lied too so much about the Catholic Church priest abuse scandal.
About a week ago I was watching my nightly local news program, I was killing time before bed yet what I saw caused nightmares. A very somber Northern CA Bishop Jaime Soto was giving an interview about how the diocese (ruling group for an area of churches) is out of insurance money to pay liability claims arising from the sex abuse scandal. They will be needing to monetize (sell) assets and liquidate funds to cover costs. This interview was in response to a change in the law regarding the statute of limitations regarding the church sex abuse scandal.
The Statute of Limitations (SOL) has to do with how far back you can go to bring claims against someone/corporation. Typically the time frame is about 3-5 years. This is to prevent lawsuits decades later/after the perpetrator is dead. Note: If any sexual abuse happened to a victim under the age of 18 there is no statute, the suit can be brought forward at any time.
The legislative change to throw out the statute of limitations only applies to the Catholic Church, not the Mormon Church or any other religious order, even though they are having their own sex scandals. This failed to surprise me, this state, and our current governor are hostile to religion, even more so after the overturning of Roe V. Wade. This is his turn to exact revenge. He won. The diocese of Northern California will likely be filing for bankruptcy. I hear San Francisco, and San Diego are even further toward filing BK.
The dirty little secret is the Bishop and his team were all aware of this change, yet failed to alert any of the congregation. (Typically, the bishop instructs the priest, who in turn give a sermon/homily on the subject.) They did nothing, head in the ground ostrich style. I guess they prayed the issue would resolve itself, now the flood gates are open and the lawsuits have been flying. I hear ads on the radio on my way to work, and have heard folks saying there are commercials airing on the tv. You know the ones, “If you have been a victim, call Dewey, Screwum, and Howe…”.
Bigger problem: most of these new lawsuits are against priests who have fled the country, or have passed away. This makes the claims impossible to defend. (Not that you would want to anyway.) I will quote the famous McDonald’s quality control manager Chris Appleton “this number of injuries was insufficient to cause the company to evaluate its practices.” That’s corporate speak for its easier to pay a lawsuit then to change your practice. The Catholic Church is finding out this same lesson. Lawsuits are flying and now the church will be put on trial (figuratively and via the media) about their practices.
What the Catholic Church hierarchy doesn’t want to hear is the truth. They keep whistling past the graveyard. I can tell you the first mistake the church made was “covering up the abuse.” It appears to me the accused were moved to different churches, then shuffled again, and if it got to be too large a problem moved to a different state/diocese entirely. The public school system has a term for this its called “passing the trash”; in essence you trade one set of problems for another in hope the accused never gets formally caught. Another ploy they tried was the “Father so and so will spend the remainder of his life in silent meditation/prayer for his sins to be forgiven. Notice the accused were never fired (defrocked) and still were allowed to preach. This shows a lack of institutional control. When you prove time and again you cannot handle the issue internally, eventually the government takes over. Rarely do they actually help.
The issue continued to grow and gain steam. This was initially blamed on a couple of rogue priests taking advantage of the flock, instead the problem grew exponentially. We were told time and again the issue is small, and resolved. Turns out there are not just priests and bishops, but cardinals also under scrutiny. Meaning the issue goes almost the whole way to the top, it’s a generation of folks looking the other way. SAD!
The dirty little secret is the flock is about to see just how mismanaged the church is, this time at the diocese level. We hear all the time about assets owned by the church, be it buildings, land, schools, money etc, and how it’s protected from certain uses. They call this “restricted money” we will see just how restricted it was/is. It’s all going to come out folks. As Warren Buffett once said “only when the tide goes out do you learn who is swimming naked.” We as Catholics are in for a rude awakening.
My solution? Actually it’s not difficult.
Any priest accused should be turned over to the local authorities, and suspended from clergy immediately. Let the legal process actually play out. The accused can defend themselves, the church may still be on the hook, but it starts a healing process. No more hiding behind the collar. Purge!
Allow priests to marry. They have to keep the family/other issues out of church business, but it is time. The old guard won’t like it, but the secret is the old guard hates that most priests in the USA are English as a second language types.
Recruit folks from here. I know it sounds bad or racist, but when you recruit folks from war torn/drug infested/crime ridden area’s, you get what you get. Sadly that’s a lot of folks who flee just for an opportunity.
I bought a nice laptop that will end up going to college with my son.
Here are a few of the features of the Alienware m17 R5 AMD:
CPU: AMD Ryzen (TM) 9 6900HX (8-Core /16 Thread, 20MB Cache, up to 4.9 GHz max boost)
RAM: 32 GB (2) 16 GB DIMM, DDR5
Video: AMD Radeon (TM) RX 6850M XT 12 GB GDDR6
Hard Drive: 1TB M.2 PCIe NVMe Solid State Drive
The specifications are good except for the Hard Drive which is puny by today’s standards. I decided to upgrade it. The laptop motherboard supports the 4th generation NVMe type hard drives. These little guys are smaller than a stick of Wrigley’s chewing gum, measuring about three inches long by one inch wide and about as thick as a nickel.
They are 48 times as fast as a standard mechanical hard drive. What’s the old saying about dynamite and small packages?
Anyway, what I discovered is that the laptop will support two hard drives; however, the documentation says that drive one can be up to 4 TB while the second drive can only be 2 TB. As a result, I opted to get a 4 TB drive by Western Digital. I bought it on Amazon before I got too mad at them for not refunding the money I had spent on my electric razor—which by the way has still not been refunded yet.
WD_BLACK 4TB SN850X NVMe Internal Gaming SSD Solid State Drive – Gen4 PCIe, M.2 2280, Up to 7,300 MB/s – WDS400T2X0E
M.2 is the slot size on the motherboard and 2280 is the size of the hard drive circuit board.
These drives cost over $1,200 from Dell but are $399.99 from Amazon and Newegg and similar places.
What I am slowly learning is buy lower specifications from Dell and then upgrade them to your heart’s delight. At least with their Alienware computers, upgrading them yourself does not void the manufacturer warrant.
One purpose of this blog is to document a few things missing in many of the instructions-written or on video—that are necessary to do this upgrade.
One reason to get the Western Digital drive is for the software. Which I will start to explain now.
Before upgrading the drive, it needs to be cloned otherwise you will need to do a full install of Windows and all other software. Alienware software is a royal pain to install.
Western Digital provides a free copy of Acronis software, the caveat of course is that it can detect at least one Western Digital drive in the computer. As a result, you need an enclosure to house your M.2 drive so it can be cloned. The one I bought connects via USB-C. There just so happens to be a USB-C port on the back of the Alienware PC. Once attached, you must partition or initialize the drive and/or format it.
Then install the Acronis software and clone the drive. In my case, this took about 8 minutes to clone the 1 TB drive. (Please note that my drive was not full so your mileage may vary.) Then shut off the computer.
One of the unique things about this laptop is that it never truly shuts off. Furthermore, the battery is not removable.
In the old days, you typically just opened a small cover on the bottom of a laptop to upgrade RAM or hard drives. These designs often had a quick release to remove the battery. Neither is the case with the Alienware laptop. No, you have to remove the entire bottom of the laptop.
Please note when doing this that many of the screws remain attached to the bottom cover and are not fully removed from the cover.
Second, the cover will not willingly come off once screws are removed.
When working on the laptop, I had the vented area at the bottom and the area near the touch pad at the top. There are eight screws that must be loosened. Four across the top, two in the middle, and two on the bottom. Circled in red in my photos.
Screws 1, 4, 5, and 6 will loosen but not be removed from the cover while screws 2, 3, 7, and 8 will come completely out.
At this point the cover will still not come loose. This next step is not shown on videos or in written instructions. You need a small flat head or standard jeweler sized screw driver. You must gently separate the cover from the rest of the laptop.
Be gentle or you will scratch the plastic cover. Start on the sides near the openings for USB or HDMI cables. Once these begin to separate work in both directions until cover is loose. Again, be gentle. You only need the halves to separate slightly. Once you have worked all the way around the outside edges of the cover, pull and it should come apart.
Once cover is off, gentle disconnect the battery from the motherboard. This connector (labelled MB) is circled in green. It slides toward battery to remove. Failure to do this step may result in destroying the hard drive or other components in the computer.
Oh, another undocumented thing is that both M.2 slots come with their own heatsink. So don’t fret about buying one either with the drive (only available for 2 TB model) or from a third party vendor.
The drive slot on the right is the C Drive. Again, the new drive can be up to 4 TB.
Remove the cloned drive from the enclosure and replace the factory drive with your new one.
Due to the heatsink, you must remove two screws instead of the customary one on the NVMe M.2 drive. Seat the drive and replace the screws.
Reconnect the battery and then close the cover.
When booting the new drive, I was taken to the BIOS program and asked to set the time before it would boot. After that it should behave normally.
Lastly, Western Digital also has another program (Western Digital Dashboard) that you can install to help with the drive once it is running. I recommend installing that.
I guess it’s natural that once you get to the top of the heap that you lose your edge. Amazon has really lost their edge in the last year or so. They have more warehouses in more locations but their service is becoming subpar. Often utilizing their competitors, I can match or beat their price, and sometimes their deliver schedule.
Even when they have a good price on something, their delivery is terrible or nonexistent. Here’s some recent examples.
I don’t appreciate buying a $700 lens for my camera and having it sent to me in a plastic bag. Yeah, no packing material or box, just a plastic bag with a note printed on it that they are saving the environment. Sorry guys, first, I don’t give a crap about the environment and second, if I spend that kind of money, I think I deserve the respect of having something I worked hard to purchase packaged well enough to have a reasonable expectation to arrive safely.
I bought an electric razor on Amazon on February 20th. It scanned out of a warehouse in Maryland and then disappeared. OK, first why does it ship from Maryland? Does nobody this side of the Rockies shave? Second, how did they lose it? Third, where’s my refund? My wife is not a fan of facial hair and Amazon is causing me disruptions in my marital bliss with there incompetence.
Some prices of stuff that I buy regularly for my family have literally doubled in the last six months. Sometimes its cheaper in the grocery store than on Amazon but some things that we purchase aren’t carried by the local grocery stores any more. Covid wiped a lot of items from grocery store shelves that we may never see again. Thus, we are often forced to buy grocery items online.
Amazon’s delivery is also taking much longer that it used to. Many types of items that used to be next day are taking up to two weeks between ordering and delivery and as mentioned earlier, they are selling at much higher prices.
The bottom line is that Amazon is forcing me to shop elsewhere to get the price and service that they used to offer. I have a much longer mental list of things I won’t ever buy from them anymore. Amazon is moving to become my last resort to buy something instead of my “go to” retailer.
However, I have found at least one exception to the above complaints and that is a shop vac that I recently bought at Lowe’s. The shop vac needs vacuum bags when fine dust such as that from drywall is cleaned. The manufacturer has a “marketplace” on Amazon and their Amazon prices are less than buying the exact same item on the manufacturer website. I think thy would rather let Amazon take care of all the paperwork than having their own list of customers. My recollection is that the shipping was significantly less from Amazon for the same item.
In conclusion, a decline in Amazon’s service is an opportunity for other enterprising folks to exploit. I’m just surprised that Amazon is making it easy to let others be competitive.
I know that I haven’t written in a while and this brief blog is proof that I do feel some guilt about that.
My wife and I are getting the house ready to move and also overseeing the building of the new place. Our new house is nearing the completion of sheetrocking and will soon be ready for painting. Hopefully the tile guy will be ready to go soon so we can finally bathe in our place instead of trekking to the local church a few times a week for a real shower.
As one would expect, our utilities at the new place are a fraction of the rates in California. Our heater has been on nonstop since October. It was set to about 60 degrees up until January, when we upped it to 70. Even when the temperature outside was negative, the house stayed really warm—insulation is such a blessing. Anyway, it costs us about $65 for natural gas there while in warmer California, our bills from PG&E are running almost $300 per month—they gotta pay for those fires somehow.
During our visits to the new house, we were living off of one electrical outlet but this last trip saw us get five more outlets. What a blessing not to have extension cords running all over the place and having to unplug everything when using the circular saw. Also, I was able the get the Nest thermostat running along with a Nest “drone unit” in the crawl space. The crawl space (more like a basement) is now somewhat insulated and considered part of the inside envelope of the house. I wanted to see how that area is doing. It’s been a steady 58 degrees for most of the winter.
The upstairs is mostly painted and ready for other work but the downstairs will need a coat of sealer and a finish coat of paint. Then we plan to tackle the ceiling which is slated for tongue and groove pine. If I plan the work then this ought to go well in much of the house—the known tricky spots are upstairs.
The wife and I are selling things we once considered treasures on eBay and will soon have the mother of all garage sales. Anything not sold will probably go to a charity not named Goodwill.
Parting with large pieces of furniture is also on the list of things to do. Not having control of when friends and relations will actually take custody of stuff is somewhat frustrating.
I have much that I wish I would blog about but will get to it as time permits and the Spirit moves me.
A portion of our blog staff will remain in Elk Grove, and I can begin covering North Idaho once we get settled. The contrast will be fun to compare.