National Chocolate Day


Ron's Blog

Chocolate Rose Chocolate Rose

The list of U.S. federal holidays seems a rather odd assortment. It appears to be mostly about finding a politically correct excuse for a day off with pay. The list is as follows: New Years Day, Martin Luther King Junior Day, Washington’s Birthday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas. The first one and the last two seem to be the only legitimate holidays to my way of thinking.

As a kid, I used to look forward to the start of the “holiday season.” In my mind, the first big holiday was Halloween, followed about a month later by Thanksgiving, and then a month after that was Christmas. It was a glorious stretch of freedom from school, combined with presents, combined with all sorts of sweet things for the tummy. By the time New Year’s Day rolled around we actually looked forward…

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How To Interpret Dreams


Crystal Ball

Crystal Ball

Did they have pepperoni pizza in ancient Egypt? Was Pharaoh’s dream about the seven fat cows and the seven skinny cows the result of a late night snack, or something more meaningful? Joseph’s take on it was that “interpretations belong to God.” (Genesis 40:8).

We spend a third of our life in slumber. A good part of that time we spend in dreamland. Westerners have a habit of approaching life from a scientific, analytical viewpoint; we’re naturally suspicious of mystic mumbo-jumbo. In contrast, other cultures have no problem jumping in with both feet.

For the sake of balance, let’s just take the position that dreams are interesting… weird, but interesting. Here are some steps you can follow if you want to do your own dream study.

Step 1

Get a notebook and put it by your bed. This is going to be your dream diary. Since we’ve already agreed that dreams are weird, you should take whatever steps necessary to protect your privacy. Enough said.

Step 2

Before going to sleep, you should write down a summary of the day’s events. You should also write down anything you’d like to “work on” during the night. You know – string theory, world peace – stuff like that. Or maybe you just need a seven letter word for “rash.”

Step 3

If you wake up in the middle of the night, note the time and what you were dreaming. You might also like to make a note to fix that leaky faucet.

Step 4

When you wake in the morning write down everything you can remember about any dreams you may have had. Then call the plumber.

Step 5

Don’t rush into dream interpretation just yet. You’ll need to get used to this routine and collect sufficient “data.” (Even though I’m taking a light-hearted tone, I think this is actually pretty important stuff.)

Step 6

There’s a scientific principle that states you cannot observe anything in nature without changing it. In this case, that’s a good thing. You should start to remember more and more of your dream life.

Step 7

Once you’ve collected a couple of weeks worth of data, it’s time for phase two. Read over what you’ve written. Look for patterns, insights and connections between your dream time and your awake time.

Although there’s a wealth of material available on the subject of dream interpretation, steer clear of it at this point. The question is “what do YOU think your dreams are trying to tell you?”

Step 8

As much as possible, share your experiences with those who are closest to you. Ask them for ideas. And yes, it’s okay now to go to the Internet, library and (if you must) your local psychic. If you’re really concerned, make an appointment with your doctor.

Tips and warnings

Most of us probably don’t get the quantity or quality of sleep we need. Now is the time to do something about it. Clean your bedroom, put fresh sheets on your bed, flip the mattress. (Not necessarily in that order.)

How much caffeine do you consume in a day? If you think it may be too much, cut it out altogether for a short period and see if that affects your sleep or your dreams.

Diet and exercise have a profound effect on sleep and dreams. I guess you knew that already, huh?

This is enough for one article, so good luck with your study and, of course, sweet dreams!

Got Hot Pot?


Hot Pot is especially popular in China during the winter months.

China Bride Blog

Tsingtao Beer Tsingtao Beer

The other day I was reading something called a “book.” While reading this book, I stumbled across an interesting factoid. (All I have time for anymore-just the factoids, ma’am.) The author was of the opinion that Peking Man was the first hominid to use fire. We know this because we have his left molar in a box somewhere.

Which got me to thinking. If there is a Peking Man, shouldn’t there also be a Peking Woman? I wonder what kind of recipes she has to share? I’m pretty sure Peking Man was too busy at the hunting and gathering office to actually cook.

So I got a copy of the Chinese Telephone Book and started looking. It took a long time as you can well imagine. I did find a listing for Peking Tom, but the number was disconnected.

I searched and searched. But alas, could not find…

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Thar Be Mermaids!


Untitled Screenplay

Untitled Screenplay

Last week I handed in the first draft of my screenplay to Gold Valley Films. It’s a musical animation feature with pirates, mermaids, ogres and a cast of talking creatures. It will be released in Chinese theaters in the spring of 2015. That’s all I can tell you at this point. Stay tuned for more…

Throwback Thursday: The Sin City Singers!


The Sin City Singers - 1970

The Sin City Singers – 1970

My high school folk group from left to right: Dan Judd, Kevin Stephens, Wes Winn, Ron Hendricks and Jasper Winn. In 1971, Kevin and Jasper had gone off to college, so we were joined by Gary Knox. Here we all are in a photo from 2004 at the dedication concert for the Jack Williams Auditorium. Dan, Gary, Ron, Jasper, Kevin and Wes!

Sin City Singers 2004

Sin City Singers – 2004

Mr. Williams was our beloved Mac-Hi Choir Director, Counselor and Teacher.

Benjamin Franklin, Time Traveler


 

That probably isn’t Ben Franklin in the video, but it makes for a great headline for my post. On the other hand, it could be him. I’ve heard rumors of his, uh, cross-dressing. Anyway, as a screenwriter I claim first dibs on the movie title.

I’ve been thinking a lot about time lately. As luck would have it, I stumbled upon a wonderful movie last night called About Time. If you are growing weary of big-budget, story-less blockbusters of late, this little movie is a delightful change of pace.

Even before last night’s movie, however, I was pondering the curious nature of time. For example, wouldn’t it be great if time were like a roll of toilet paper? You could pull off exactly what you need and then roll back the rest for future use. Guess where I came up with that idea.

They say that “time and tide wait for no man.” And while this may be true, at least tide gets a chance to retrace it’s path. Now wouldn’t it be cool if we could do that? While we are on the subject of water, there are actually a lot of time and water metaphors. Here’s a good one:

“Time is a sort of river of passing events, and strong is its current; no sooner is a thing brought to sight than it is swept by and another takes its place, and this too will be swept away.”

Marcus Aurelius

By the way, did you know the world’s largest river once flowed in the opposite direction? Nice segue, huh? My point is that if something can alter the direction of the mighty Amazon, perhaps the inexorability of time is, well, exorable.

Of course, far greater minds have grappled, and are still grappling with the theoretical possibility of time travel. And, just to make things interesting, there are those that argue that time may not exist at all!

I am starting to get a headache, so I think I will end pretty much as I began by talking about movies. If you haven’t seen it already, I highly recommend Edge of Tomorrow starring Tom Cruise. When I first started to watch it I almost turned it off. I thought the story was headed in a stupid direction. I was wrong.

How to Find a Chinese Bride


China Bride Blog

She's Out of My League She’s Out of My League

Dear China Bride Blog,

I just finished watching a movie called She’s Out of  My League. In the movie a guy who is a 5 or a 6 gets the girl who is a 10. Do you think this is possible? I consider myself to be a 5, but if I shower and stuff I could probably be a 6.5 or possibly a 7. The problem is I always go for 10’s. What’s your advice?

Loveless in Lake Wobegon

Dear Loveless,

Dude, it’s a movie! However, you might want to read the following article…

How to Find a Chinese Bride

Step 1
Be serious. Chinese women do not like players either. Their culture is intensely marriage and family oriented.

Step 2
Be stable. You don’t have to be rich (although it helps), but most Chinese women want to know if you own a house…

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A History of ‘Real’ Zombies : Discovery News


Zombies are all the rage these days — on television, in movies, books and in the news. Of course zombies aren’t new — they were co-opted decades ago by pop culture, especially in George Romero’s 1968 classic zombie film Night of the Living Dead.

Though many people treat the current “zombie apocalypse” as a fun pop culture meme, it’s important to realize that some people believe zombies are very real. Haitian culture — like many African cultures — is heavily steeped in belief in magic and witchcraft. Belief in zombies is related to the Voodoo religion, and has been widespread throughout Haiti for decades. The existence of zombies is not questioned, though believers would not recognize the sensational, Hollywood brain-eating version that most Americans are familiar with. (more…)