Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A 4-D Experience

Saturdays for those of us in the Havens household have settled into a pattern that plays out in two ways. One of them is a day where Paula and I stay home to relax, do chores or possibly work on some of our on-going "home improvement " projects. 

The other "story line" for Saturday involves spending the majority of the day out with friends or family. It could be going to the movies; out for dinner, shopping, or to see a live entertainment event.

This past weekend we had one of those "day out" Saturdays. 

At the invitation of our son and daughter-in-law, Michael and Heather, we went to the Opry Mills Mall in Nashville. We were headed to the I-Max 3D version of the new Thor movie. 

For it being the opening weekend the 4:15PM showing at the I-Max was not crowded at all. By visual estimate the theater was barely 1/2 full. But that was most likely an anomaly. From the reports I read today the follow up to "The Avengers" was # 1 at the box office for the weekend. Believe it or not it out earned the next 15 movies earnings COMBINED!!! 

The movie comes through with action but the story was a bit difficult for me to follow. Still I got the general idea. I enjoyed it as yet another terrific Marvel film. 

After the movie the four of us walked through the mall to the food court. While Michael and I waited for a table at the Chilli's restaurant; Paula and Heather went shopping for clothes.  

By the time we finished out dinner it was after 8 o'clock; less than an hour until the mall closed. But we wanted to do more shopping. We went to the Disney Outlet store, first. 

Paula bought a new Minnie Mouse cup for Aria and a couple of Christmas gifts for her as well. I found a Goofy figure to add to my Goofy collection. It was "clearance" priced @ $5. As part of the store's weekend sale we got a 25% discount on everything we bought. 

Of course, I can't go to the Opry Mills without going to the Lego store. That was our final stop of the night. I had not planned on getting anything more than their featured bubble pack for the month; a Thanksgiving theme scene. 

But because of a discovery made by Paula, I bought more. She pointed out to me, something that I'm very excited about. It's a brand new Lego version of the Delorean time machine from the movie "Back To The Future." 

Both Michael and I got very excited about this model. We each got one. Although Paula is going to hold mine back to give me as a Christmas present (I promised to act surprised). 

As we finished up in the Lego store the announcement that the mall was closing came over the PA system. We made out way back down the mall's concourse back to the entrance near the movie theater and out to our car. Our day out with the "kids" was over but for the ride home. 

It was great spending time with them; yet another memory made and lot of fun. I continue to be amazed that our children actually enjoy to spending time with us. Days like this are what I live for. 

We talked about a lot of things over the course of the day. The most important discussion for me was about the possibility of the whole family taking Aria to Walt Disney World, for the first time, near the end of next year. But that's still just one of my crazy ideas and no where near for certain. 

There you have my "4-D experience". It was a day that involved a demigod (Thor), a Dinner, a Disney store, and a cool Delorean. 

One of the best and memorable days of 2013. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

"I, Saul" One Of My Favorite Authors

Jerry B. Jenkins

Last night I had the opportunity to hear one of my favorite authors speak at an event sponsored by our local library. 

Jerry B. Jenkins is a best selling Christian fiction author. He's written 181 books including the popular "Left Behind" series. 

Because I have read all 16 "Left Behind" books; I've read more of his books than any other author. Michael Creichton is a distant 2nd. I've read six of his books.  

Mr. Jenkins' latest "I, Saul" is based on the life of the Apostle Paul before his infamous life changing encounter with Christ on the road to Damascus. 

The event was nothing spectacular. It was a group of about 100 people listening to an author discuss the details of his new book. But it was kind of cool to also hear Mr. Jenkins talk about his personal history, career, and favorite titles among those he's written.  

During the subsequent 30 minute Q&A session; I had the opportunity to ask him a question I've wondered about for quite a while. 

I asked him how he came up with the name "Nicolae Carpathia" for the anti-Christ character in "Left Behind." 

I was curious to know if it had anything to do with the ship named "Carpathia" that rescued the survivors of the Titanic disaster in April 1912.

He said the character's first name is a common one in Romania (where the character lives and initially rises to political power) and his last name is the same as a mountain range in that country. 

However, he did bring up the fact that he was very happy to see the name of his "Left Behind" antagonist scrolling across the theater screen on the hull of a ship at the conclusion of the 1997 James Cameron movie. He said,"I thought, 'Hey there's some free publicity for my books.' when I saw it." 

After about an hour the event ended and Mr. Jenkins sat down at a table to start signing books for the guests. I didn't have a book so the night was over for me. 

It was a fun night and a pleasure to meet one of my favorite authors in person.