Wednesday, December 31, 2008

TV Top Ten

The end of a calendar year, it seems, is a good time to make a list of some of one's favorite things. So here goes. My list of my top 10 favorite TV programs for 2008:

1. The Bill Engvall Show - smartly written, strong male lead and overall good cast. It consistently makes me and Mrs. MM laugh out loud.

2. Big Bang Theory - very funny, great cast. This would probably be number one if not for the fact that it is often not very family-friendly. Often the humor or storyline is overtly sexual in nature, and that doesn't appeal to me.

3. Little People, Big World -- my favorite reality show, though my schedule often causes me to miss it. This is a neat family with unique challenges. And I like how their faith is treated with respect.

4. America's Funniest Home Videos -- It makes my son laugh and that is the greatest feeling in the world. And I laugh, too.

5. House -- Probably the best drama on TV. Hugh Laurie is masterful as the cranky doctor you should hate, but somehow I keep watching him every week.

6. The Bonnie Hunt Show -- my favorite talk show. I am a new fan but Ilove her storytelling and her family-friendly sensibilities.

7. Wipeout -- another reality show that is a favorite in my household. The humor from the hosts is endearing. And the contestants falling off various objects is usually good for a laugh or two as well.

8. Wheel of Fortune -- the best gameshow on TV. Even my 2 year old loves it and can follow along. And I love the banter between Pat and Vanna at the close of the show. I know, I'm a geek.

9. Lost -- the show that always keeps me guessing. And why hasn't Evangeline Lilly won an Emmy? It has a complicated plot, but worth it, if you can keep up.

10. Fox News Sunday -- the best political show on TV. I miss the late Tony Snow as the host, but Chris Wallace is growing on me. The roundtable at the end is the best part of the program.

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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Gunshots fired in MM Family Yard

There's a headline I never thought I'd see. But it happened. The sheriff's deputy just left our home. Thank God we are all safe. 5 gunshots woke us up. Parker slept through the whole thing. When I woke up I immediately looked out the window and saw 2 men running down the street, as if they were fleeing the gunshots. The sheriff's deputy said they believe someone was hit. Again, thank God, it was not someone in our household. Many sheriff cars are blocking off our street. The yellow caution tape was hanging from the tree in our yard. Very surreal. I am having a hard time winding down from it.

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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Parker's Patriotism

We have a cemetery in our neighborhood. A large one, with a strong patriotic feel. Lots of flags flying, and military symbols abound. Whenever we drive by this cemetery, which we do daily, my son always screams from his car seat, "Good job!" My guess it is in response to the American flags that whip in the wind. He hears his mom and dad frequently talk about patriotism, love of country and support for the military. Dad is often writing cards to wounded soldiers. Mom is often moved to tears by stories of military heroism. And Parker absorbs all of that. And in his 2.5 year old mind, his patriotic response is "good job." I couldn't have said it better myself.

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Saturday, December 27, 2008


I took Toddler MM to his first movie in the theaters yesterday. He did pretty well, lasting about 80 minutes before we had to bolt due to his restlessness and noisiness. So daddy didn't get to see how the film ended. But overall it was a fun experience. Bubba laughed at the silliness of the dogs. We even laughed at some of the same scenes. And he sat on dad's lap and enjoyed popcorn the whole time. It's funny. Parker, at age 2.5, unlike most children, has never been interested in animated movies or TV shows. Instead he likes live action programming like Wipeout and NBA basketball. That's why I chose "Beverly Hills Chihuahua" because I thought a live action film with pets in it would hold his attention. And for the most part, it did. He was so cute, yelling "again" after parts of the film that made him laugh. Unfortunately, dad didn't know how to explain to him that the magic of TIVO hasn't come to the movie theater yet. We will add this film to momma's DVD collection when it comes out in March so that we can own Bubba's first film experience, but also so daddy can figure out how the movie ends.

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Friday, December 26, 2008

Parker's Presents

Toddler MM, otherwise known as Parker, still doesn't seem to show much interest in the Christmas tradition of receiving gifts. He still has wrapped presents under the Christmas tree he hasn't opened yet. He likes playing with the toys once they are presented to him. But he hasn't yet grasped the concept of Santa or of unwrapping presents. Maybe next year, at age 3 1/2, he will look forward to Santa Claus bringing him presents.

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Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from the MM family: Mrs. MM, Mr. MM and Toddler MM.

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Saturday, December 20, 2008


Does your home have one of these? It should. Thanks to Mrs. MM, our Nativity scene is prominently displayed in the living room so Parker can grow up seeing and playing with it. She's had the same set for 19 years, ever since her daughter was born. It's still in good shape. So get into the attic, or storage, and dust yours off and put it on display for all to see. Or if you don't have one, find one at a retail store or garage sale, and put the true meaning of Christmas on display in your home. I'd like to think you'll be glad you did.



Tuesday, December 16, 2008


This story is so disturbing I don't even know where to begin. I will be donating some money to the church for the rebuilding fund. Simply because I am fond of Gov. Palin and her faith and her politics. It really would not surprise me at all to find out some loony liberal torched the church because Gov. Palin and her family attend services there. So crazy how the media tried to make us believe Gov. Palin was the one with the weird religious ties all the while Sen. Obama was best friends with whack job Rev. Wright. We are soon becoming a country where Christians are going to be persecuted in more aggressive, open ways. This fire may be just one example of that.

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Sunday, December 14, 2008


The signs of Christmas are taking over the Media Matters family household:

1. Amy Grant Christmas music is playing on the stereo.

2. Wrapped packages have mysteriously appeared under the tree.

3. Christmas lights are up and on 24/7 through New Years Day.

4. The Pastor spoke about "Mary Had a Little Lamb."

5. We're waiting on to deliver Christmas orders.

6. Goodie baskets have cluttered the dining room table.

7. Christmas cards have invaded the computer table.

8. Santa and Frosty have set up camp on the front lawn.

9. Daddy is trying to fix the budget so we can buy more presents.

10. Airline tickets have been purchased for family visits for the holiday.



Saturday, December 13, 2008


After I finish reading Karen Hughes' autobiography, I hope that the next book on my reading list is Gov. Mike Huckabee's "Do the Right Thing." I am not sure why I am intrigued by this book. I love Gov. Huckabee for his stand on the social issues. Like me, he is pro-life and against gay marriage. However, Gov. Huckabee is not my favorite Republican presidential contender. I don't consider him to be solid in efforts to lower my taxes. And his foreign policy comments make me fear he would not be aggressive enough in fighting the war on terror and Islamic jihad. That's why I voted for Romney in the 2008 Republican primary. However, I am still interested in his take on the most recent election process. And I have the book on my Christmas list. So we'll see. If I get it, I'll read it. And I'll let you know what I think.

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Thursday, December 11, 2008


I am about 2/3s of the way through Karen Hughes' autobiography, "Ten Minutes from Normal." I am really enjoying it. As a former counselor to President George W. Bush, all the way back to his Texas days, even before he became Governor, she has great insight into his character and decision-making process. She is a spunky lady and a hard worker and it is nice to sense her loyalty to her boss. She's not writing a gossipy, tell-all. She is writing a view of history that is favorable to President Bush. I have always liked the President. I think he is a godly, courageous man. And this book is reminding me of what I've always liked about him. He comes across as friendly, humorous, smart, intuitive, fun-loving and loyal. These are great character traits. He may be unpopular now, but a decade from now the US will be so grateful W. was our President. And books like the one Hughes has written will help inform that transformation.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Soldier's Silent Night

I heard this on the radio yesterday; what I think was the first time and it made me cry. It is one of the most beautiful things I have ever heard. I loved it so much I had to find out more.

'Twas the night before Christmas, he lived all alone,in a one bedroom house made of plaster and stone.
I had come down the chimney with presents to give,and to see just who in this home did live.
I looked all about, a strange sight I did see,no tinsel, no presents, net even a tree.
No stocking by mantle, just boots filled with sand,on the wall hung pictures of far distant lands.
With medals and badges, awards of all kinds,a sober thought came through my mind.
For this house was different, it was dark and dreary,I found the home of a soldier, once I could see clearly.
The soldier lay sleeping, silent, alone,curled up on the floor in this one bedroom home.
The face was so gentle, the room in such disorder,not how I pictured a United States Soldier.
Was this the hero of whom I'd just read?Curled up on a poncho, the floor for a bed?
I realized the families that I saw this night,owed their lives to these soldiers who were willing to fight.
Soon round the world, the children would play,and grownups would celebrate a bright Christmas day.
They all enjoyed freedom each month of the year,because of the soldiers, like the one lying here.
I couldn't help wonder how many lay alone,on a cold Christmas Eve in a land far from home.
The very thought brought a tear to my eye,I dropped to my knees and started to cry.
The soldier awakened and I heard a rough voice,"Santa don't cry, this life is my choice;I fight for freedom, I don't ask for more,my life is my God, my Country, My Corps.
"The soldier rolled over and drifted to sleep,I couldn't control it, I continued to weep.
I kept watch for hours, so silent and stil land we both shivered from the cold night's chill.
I didn't want to leave on that cold, dark night,this guardian of honor so willing to fight.The the soldier rolled over, with a voice soft and pure,whispered, "carry on Santa, it's Christmas day, all is secure."One look at my watch and I knew he was right.Merry Christmas my friend, and to all a good night.

Typing these words here and reading them as I make adjustments to the formating I cry. It is so wonderful. We owe these men and woman of the armed forces respect for their brave and unselfish service to our country.

The poem's author, James M. Schmidt, was a Lance Corporal stationed in Washington, D.C., when he wrote the poem back in 1986. In Corporal Schmidt's own words (December, 2002):
"The true story is that while a Lance Corporal serving as Battalion Counter Sniper at the Marine Barracks 8th & I, Washington, D.C., under Commandant P.X. Kelly and Battalion Commander D.J. Myers (in 1986), I wrote this poem to hang on the door of the gym in the BEQ. When Colonel Myers came upon it, he read it and immediately had copies sent to each department at the Barracks and promptly dismissed the entire Battalion early for Christmas leave. The poem was placed that day in the Marine Corps Gazette, distributed worldwide and later submitted to Leatherneck Magazine."

It was read by and recorded
The Story Behind The Recording of
"A Soldier's Silent Night"
Father Ted Berndt was a priest at Bread of Life Charismatic Episcopal Church in Dousman, Wisconsin, a proud Marine and a WWII Purple Heart recipient and my Dad.
We recorded "A Soldier's Silent Night" two years ago in one take, since Dad was a former radio guy in the '40's. Our project received a national A.I.R. (Achievement in Radio) award from the March of Dimes and was played on radio stations across the United States. This year, radio listeners are hearing our project in Ohio, Chicago, West Palm Beach, Florida, Detroit, Dallas and the Fox Valley in Wisconsin; as well as in Milwaukee!

Please visit this site to actually hear the recording the spoken word by this Father is heart touching.



Tuesday, December 09, 2008


Songs I still need on my MP3 player (which my lovely wife got me for Father's Day):

*Breathless by The Coors

*Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield

*One Step at a Time by Jordin Sparks

*It's Our Favorite Time of Year by Aly & AJ

*Break Away by Kelly Clarkson

These are all just catchy pop songs. One of these days I will get them added to my playlist. The soundtrack of my life, as they say.


Sunday, December 07, 2008


I first wrote this in 2005. A little dated, but still fun.

It seems Rudolph is in a bit of trouble this Christmas season. Word has it, according to the Reindeer Enquirer, that the other 8 reindeer are jealous of the red-nosed wonder. They fear he gets all the attention (and all the female reindeer) because of one body part that just happens to glow. The situation has driven Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen and Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen to take extreme measures. They have complained incessantly to the reindeer media and have demanded that reindeer congressional hearings be held to besmirch his heroic efforts. According to my sources, they've hired the reindeer underworld (think Tony Soprano with horns)to burn out his bright light and stop him from stealing their thunder. Plans are in place to poison his supply of feed just prior to his famous Christmas Eve traditional trip. They have experience at this, with one of the key reindeer involved in a bizarre drowning experience at Reindeer Cod many, many Christmasses ago. The 8 lazier, less ingenious reindeer plan to blame Santa for the seasonal sabotage. With the reindeer reporters and professors on their side, they will repeat their mantra, "Santa lied so Rudolph could fly" in hopes that it will invade the minds of those who already have visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads. But we all know better. Santa is much too smart to let them succeed. And Rudolph's talents and his nose for hard work place him in the Right. And while he may have to endure the constant pettiness and bickering of the 8 reindeer who follow his leadership, eventually he and Santa will prevail and perform another Christmas miracle.


Friday, December 05, 2008


I love sending Christmas cards. Don't get too many in return. Email, cell phones and text messaging have replaced the old, handwritten holiday tradition. Actually, this year, my family is tweaking the holiday tradition a bit, too. Instead of actual cards, we're sending out Christmas letters. My wife designed the layout with lots of flair and color photos. I wrote the text. I think it looks classy. But I still like Christmas cards, too.

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Thursday, December 04, 2008


Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin won the vote in this election cycle. OK, not in the presidential race where she was John McCain's running mate. But in an all important Senate race, Palin's campaign appearances help put conservative Saxby Chambliss comfortably over the top of his Democrat opponent in a Georgia runoff election. Sen. Chambliss had glowing things to say about Gov. Palin and her impact on the campaign.

"Sarah Palin came in on the last day, did a fly-around and, man, she was dynamite. We packed the houses everywhere we went. And it really did allow us to peak and get our base fired up," Chambliss said.

"I mean, I can't overstate the impact she had down here," he continued. "When she walks in a room, folks just explode. And they really did pack the house everywhere we went. She's a dynamic lady, a great administrator, and I think she's got a great future in the Republican Party." (H/T Fox News)

I could not agree with Sen. Chambliss more. Thank God he won this important election. And thank God he knew to get Palin involved in his cause. I will be thrilled if she continues to be the face and the frontrunner for the Republican party.

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Tuesday, December 02, 2008


No time to blog today. We are taking Parker to see "Sesame Street Live." I think I am more excited than he is. He doesn't watch "Sesame Street" so the only character he knows is Elmo, from his talking Elmo toy. But it should still be fun, if we can get our Bubba to sit still and pay attention.