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Month: June 2022

Sympathy for Jesus

It had been a long time since I’d listened to this song. Then it came across my playlist this morning. Don Chaffer of Waterdeep in some strange alter ego called The Khrusty Brothers, with his own perspective on being angry at God…

I came stumbling into church with a hot gun in my hands
I was ready to talk to Jesus to tell him my demands
But Jesus ain’t no fool He’s seen this kinda thing before
And He had a couple angels stop me at the front door
I said “now come on that ain’t fair You should be accessible to all”
He said “everybody gets a secretary even just to take their calls”
“So address me to my face If you think you’ve got the balls
But I ain’t playin’ around  boy, at all”

This was not what I expected, so I stiffened in my stance
And I tried hard to remember every single shitty circumstance
Then I quivered like a victim with his predator in sight
I was ready now to vindicate, I was ready to start a fight
Now you can stand right there and judge me
Shoot, you can send me straight to hell
I know you got the power I know that fact full well
But before you do explain to me
Why suffering and why death?
And why did I pray all those years
And waste all that good breath?

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Well the angels sang it under their breath by the door
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
I give up, I can’t go on like this any more

“Well I appreciate your kind”, he said and then Jesus poured a drink
My face musta looked funny cause he said, “It’s not like you think”
“I’m saddled with the job you know of interpreting my Dad
To a bunch of frightened people, frightened or just mad
And most of ’em think they got it right” (and then he threw some ice cubes in)
“But most of ’em are just dead wrong about life and death and sin
And then I got my fiancée, she’s supposed to speak my mind
But sometimes she’s just chicken and then she messes it up other times…”

Don Chaffer, Sympathy for Jesus

Quick Thoughts after watching Top Gun: Maverick

Mild spoilers ensue.

  • This is basically the most 1980’s war film you could make in the 2020s. All the sunsets and American flags.
  • Owes plenty to Star Wars. Flying the trench to hit a 3-meter target without the use of your targeting system? Enemy fighters wearing faceless black helmets as they piloted their superior craft? Mobbed by jubilant crew members as you exit the fighter after returning victorious? The only thing missing was a princess to hand out medals afterward.
  • There was a little Tom Cruise greeting to moviegoers that played before the movie. Cruise looked much older in that greeting than he did in the film. He’s aging sort of Robert Redford style.
  • Movie relies heavily on slow, lingering golden hour shots of Tom Cruise and/or Jennifer Connelly in a medium shot. I mean, they’re both pretty people, so it’s not all bad.
  • Pretty sure if you took all those lingering shots out the movie length would cut down from 2:10 to something like 1:30. OK, maybe 1:45.
  • In the initial shot where Cruise is shown a roster of pilots he will train, Manny Jacinto’s (Jason Mendoza from The Good Place) face is in the top-left corner. Jacinto is nowhere to be found in the rest of the movie, though. Poor guy got left on the editing floor I guess.
  • I hadn’t realized that Val Kilmer was so ill. His whole plot line was weak – he is introduced as COMPACFLT who brings Maverick in, then his cancer is back but “nobody knows”, even though he’s an invalid and can’t speak, and then he dies and is buried within the next week? Plenty of the movie beggars belief, but that thread was the worst.
  • On the whole it was lightweight fun – worth watching on the big screen, not worth watching a second time.

Geof F. Morris, 1978-2022

Geoffrey Franklin Morris, 43, of Madison, Alabama, died today at Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville. He is survived by his wife Danielle, his parents, his brother Doug, his dog Lucky, and hundreds of friends around the world.

Geof was born in Knoxville, TN in 1978. The younger son in a military family, Geof spent time in San Antonio, Texas and Beavercreek, Ohio before eventually settling in Forest, Mississippi in 1990 after his father retired from the Air Force. He attended high school at The Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science, where his love for engineering and science led him not only to pursue a career focused on outer space, but also led him into the early days of social communities on the internet. Geof attended the University of Alabama Huntsville and graduated with a degree in Aerospace Engineering and an undying love for UAH Chargers ice hockey.

Geof’s career started at Teledyne Brown Engineering (TBE) where he designed equipment and managed projects building science equipment destined for the International Space Station. After a brief hiatus from the aerospace world to work for WordPress, Geof got a job at NASA where he eventually became a flight controller for the ISS. One of Geof’s great joys in life was being on comms with astronauts and walking them through daily procedures.

Geof had an amazing passion for online community. In high school he frequented online bulletin board discussions. He was fond of reminding friends that he had interacted directly with Tom Clancy in bulletin board discussions about Clancy’s novels. Later on, Geof’s love of the band Caedmon’s Call and their tight-knit fan community would prompt him to create and administer an online forum for them. “” (RMFO to its regulars) was an active community for more than a decade in the early 2000s, and continues to this day in nooks and crannies of the social internet. Geof embraced Twitter when it was a new service and had posted over 100,000 tweets before many others were even aware of what Twitter was. He was a prolific blogger who was always looking to support the online communities he benefitted from. His website is full of thoughts on social sharing, technical advice, and concert bootleg recordings.

Geof was just as generous and gregarious in person as he was online. Whether you had known him for years or were just meeting him for the first time, he would put you at ease with his friendly conversation. He seemingly knew everyone, and would quickly introduce and connect you to others who he thought you should know. His meticulously-managed contact list included award-winning musicians, astronauts, internet tech royalty, an NHL goalie, and a whole bunch of normal mundane people. No matter who you were he would pay attention to personal details and important dates; mention your anniversary on Twitter one year and the next year he would wish you a happy anniversary, having captured that info about you the year before.

Along with wanting to work on space projects, Geof not so quietly wanted to fall in love with a pretty girl and get married. If she were a redhead, that would be a bonus. That wish came true for him in 2014 when he met a young red-headed NASA engineer named Danielle. Geof and Danielle married in 2015 and lived happily at their home near Huntsville until his passing.

Geof loved UAH hockey, the Boston Celtics and Bruins, Wilco, Radiohead, Caedmon’s Call, and The Big Lebowski. But mostly Geof loved people. Whether you were an astronaut or a random college kid, Geof treated you with respect and as an equal. He is mourned today by hundreds of friends and communities that are the product of his life-long labors of love.