May 24, 2007

Idol Chatter 14-2007

While it's tempting to say "I told you so", it was not all that surprising for Jordin to claim the top spot based on her vocal talent and good looks. The American Idol producers are breathing a big sigh of relief, as Jordin should be a strong seller like Carrie Underwood or Kelly Clarkson. Blake should also do well in selling albums, but he does not have Jordin's potential (or Melinda Dolittle's for that matter).

I just found out this morning that Jordin Sparks was backed by the Gospel Music Association, and had won the Overall Spotlight Winner at the 2004 GMA Academy (top prize in the Country/Southern Gospel category). She wasn't as "coming out of nowhere" as some (like me) may have thought. Melinda Doolittle was also backed by the GMA.

Another season is in the can, and now I won't have anything to watch on TV. Maybe I can catch up on that reading I keep threatening to do ... or maybe I'll just waste more time on the Net!


- Blake's beatbox number with Doug E. Fresh.

- Carrie Underwood's first song.

- The African Children's Chorus. They should have had them go for a half hour, as it would have been far more entertaining than most of the other numbers.

- Melinda singing with Bebe and Cece Winans. More praise songs please!

- Smokey Robinson and the boys were "just aw-right".

- Bette Midler may not have as strong a voice as she used to have, but it was nice to see her performing.

- The two "buddies" getting the trophy and then finding out a bush-baby has been named after Simon.


- Sanjaya (of course).

- Ruben (he still can't sing all that well).

- Taylor (he may sing a little better than Ruben, but I still don't like the guy).

- The whole Beatle's number thing at the end (it was probably featured since they'll be doing that on the tour this summer). Maybe some psychedelic drugs would have helped when listening to Ruben singing "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds". Uggh.

- Kelly Clarkson and her lack of modesty. I guess she's showing off the "new Kelly".

- Tony Bennett trying to prove that he still has some pipes, but it didn't sound all that good.

- Both duets involving Jordin. While she sounded good in both, it seemed a little "icky" to see her singing love songs to Blake and Ruben.

- The song Green Day performed, while skillfully done, was a drag on the flow of the show.

- Gladys Knight being outsung by both Melinda and LaKisha, and the bangs blinding her yet she never brushed them away.

Posted by MarcV, 2:38 PM link

May 23, 2007

Forgive the stream of consciousness, but I want to get this down now while it's still fresh after the courthouse appearance. I knew the hearing was today to terminate parental rights for the birth mother (BM) of our two foster kids (girl-3, boy-4), and something was said about making an appearance in court. I got the call at 10:30 am that Kristal was heading to court, so I met her there a little after 11.

I was delayed for a few minutes at the entrance of the court, as a small screwdriver I keep in my pocket for working on computers was considered a weapon so I had to have it put in a locker. As I sat down next to Kristal, they were wrapping up testimony on BM's drug use and how her attorney thinks that she's making "progress". We then heard that the longest she's been sober has been about six weeks.

After that was done I got to give my testimony. It was the first time I have ever had to testify in a court room for an actual case. They asked me about the kids and how they were doing in the house. He then asked me how I felt about them and if I loved them. After a pause I said I was working on it, which was truthful but may have not been the best choice of words.
Kristal testified next and I could tell she was nervous (I don't think I was), but she did well, except she tried to get up early before the judge told her she could step down. She told BM that her kids loved her, and it seemed to affect her.

BM's mom (in from NJ) testified how she wanted to keep her grandkids with her, that she really loved them as her fleah-and-blood. She made an off-hand remark about not having to "work" on loving them. BM's attorney also made some remark about me "working" on loving them. DSS did testify that a case study of the Grandma and her house had been made and was rejected for custody.

When I was up on the stand I tried to choose my words carefully yet be truthful. As a foster dad I guard my heart, and I'm reserved to begin with, so it's a long process for me. It felt like I was not being "loving" enough, but part of that may have just been the defense trying to prop up the "lovingness" of BM.

She was the last one to the stand and gave her final testimony. She made a very moving plea for the judge not to terminate her rights, that she was on the road to recovery and the best place for her kids was to be with her. You see stuff on TV shows portraying emotional court scenes, but to be an actual part of it was something else. I'm still feeling a little numb about two hours later, and I'm just a bit player in this.

The judge ruled for terminating the rights, and BM didn't cry, make a scene or do much of anything besides whisper to her attorney. I can't imagine what she's going through, nor would I want to. When she talked I could see the 3 y.o. girl's face and voice inflections/pattern in her. It has been 2 years and for whatever reasons BM cannot seem to quit the drugs. I fear after this she will be lost, and I pray that the Lord will give her peace and put her into the right situation to start her life over again without the drugs.

While this clears the way for adoption, it will be many months until we have a better idea on when we can make the adoption final.

Posted by MarcV, 3:53 PM link

May 19, 2007

Welcome Redirected Ones!

Congrats to the hearty few who have made it back to the old digs. I finally figured out how to do a redirect (it's easy once you have an example in front of you). If you keep the link tuned to www.spudlets.com, then it will take you to wherever I happen to be living on the blogosphere. I'm tempted to open up another blog over at Wordpress, as that was what I had been using over at Netfirms, since they want more money in order to run PHP, while Wordpress is free.

Blogger has improved over the years, though I just like Wordpress better. Well, kids are yelling so it's time to take care of the screamin' meemies or whatever term of endearment fits.

Posted by MarcV, 2:16 PM link

May 16, 2007

Idol Chatter 13-2007

Missed commenting on last week due to blog chaos. Work chaos has taken precedence over the blog thang, so progress on the Spudlets site has been slow. Anywhozitz, I wasn't surprised to see LaKisha go, and neither was she. Big chubby women typically do not win popularity contests. It's unfortunate, but that's how the public works. She hit a low spot a few weeks ago, but seemed to have pulled herself up the last week or so, but not enough to avoid the axe.

The final 3 is one of the most awkward weeks of the show, as it literally is a third wheel hanging around, and usually the three are fairly evenly matched talent-wise. I thought Blake blew it with his first song, as a Sting/Police song is very difficult to pull off. Sting has a very distinctive voice and is not on the typical male vocal register. Blake did much better with his final two.

I think the choices for both Melinda and Jordin were not good. Melinda is no Tina Turner, nor a Whitney Houston. Jordin chose some not-so-well-known songs. She sang them OK, but there's the doubt factor of how well she performed them. I'm not quite sure what I would recommend for Melinda to choose.

Jordin missed a chance to sing the "princess" songs from some of the Disney movies. Don't be surprised to see her voice a young black female character for a Disney animated film in a few years (after she's done with Simon Cowell and Fox). I still think she's going to win it all next week.

As to who gets the boot, I thought it would be Blake, but he "wow'd" me during his brief bit with Sir Mix-a-Lot. While Melinda(r) gets Simon's vote, the girls may be splitting votes and allow Blake to get by, especially from the teenie-boppers who think he's cute. They're the ones with the cellphones casting the votes, so who knows?

I predicted this final 3 a few weeks ago, and I also predicted that Melinda would be the next to go, so I'll still stick with that.


Posted by MarcV, 3:35 PM link

April 20, 2007

Is there anybody out there? How many blogs have started like that?! Actually, this blog started 5 years ago, and it looks like I'll be coming back home after a trip at Bravejournal as well as my own domain through Netfirms.

For what I do, Blogger will fill my needs OK. For those who do come by and visit, I'll offer a sincerre thanks. Blogging helps to clear the mind of spurious thoughts and sometimes something coherent comes out. I do appreciate your sharing with me and I hope to continue on my path of ever increasing wisdom, beauty and love. Sounds nice, don't it!?


Posted by MarcV, 12:41 PM link

March 22, 2007

Dan "Southpaw" Smith's parody of "Baby Got Back" as seen on VH1's WebJunk


Dis is da shizzle wizzle wang bang badoodle.

It's funny too.

Posted by MarcV, 11:19 PM link

June 06, 2005

Hello, is this thing still on?

Things sure have changed from a year ago
(well let's hope!).

See posts below for the new site -
maybe something even more newer will be coming this year.

Posted by MarcV, 6:22 PM link

May 17, 2004

Yes, this site is still alive and accessible. Just wanted to see how new the service looks. If I can get photo posting capabilites I may just sneak back here. For now you still should head to bravejournal site:

New and slightly improved Spudlets
for posts coming out of the dirt of the TaterBed.

Posted by MarcV, 9:17 AM link

March 16, 2004


Well, the link for the latest taters from Spud has been changed. Please direct your link for Spudlets to:


Posted by MarcV, 8:08 AM link

March 15, 2004


For those of you who thought that they would see a link for a new blog, soon I hope. I reviewed some options and started building a page this weekend, but hit some snags. I have found something where I will be able to post a picture with an entry, as well as comments built in (for free!). There is one thing in the layout that I'm trying to fix. I may just post it "as is", though once you are used to having things a certain way you want that for the future. Hopefully this cryptic spouting will make more sense if and when the new site is open for business.

Posted by MarcV, 11:38 AM link

Passion II

Took my sister and brother-in-law to see TPoTC yesterday, but did a poor job of talking about it afterwards. They are not saved, and if you do not discuss the movie just after seeing it, the effect as well as the opportunity can be lost. It's bad salesmanship when you don't close the deal ...

Seeing it the second time was much better for me. As a student of the Bible and a stickler for details, my first viewing was "marred" by my nitpicking over details and trying to determine how well the story agreed with the Gospel. I was also caught up with the scourging the first time to the point of "numbness" (if that makes any sense). For the second viewing I let the story unfold, caught some things that I missed the first time and was not worried about one man's interpretation taking away the impact of the story as a whole.

I am still in awe of how Mary, Jesus' mother, was portrayed and how someone watching the movie can take her place in the story. Particularly as a parent, she goes places and experiences things that you pray will never happen to you. As a dad I could identify with her when she says "Flesh of my flesh, heart of my heart" to Jesus on the cross. You also find yourself wanting these same actors to play out the rest of the Gospel in a sequel.

I came to a better understanding of my frustration after the first viewing, that I needed to sing praises to Jesus after going through that experience. Instead you just shuffle out of the theater, not wanting to make eye contact because you have been crying, then out into the bright sun trying to figure out the usual things (what will I eat, where will I go, etc.). I hope that for my third viewing I will be able to arrange a praise and worship service afterwards. There's nothing we can do or say to adequately thank Jesus for the sacrifice He made for us, but I want to do something!

Posted by MarcV, 11:37 AM link

March 12, 2004

Oh My Achin' Blog

Changes may be afoot, and if I'm BRAVE enough, you may see something new next week. Going without comments has been rough. Unlike other more popular sites, I did not get many comments. When I did get them, it was like getting e-mails: you click on it not knowing what to expect, with an air of anticipation as if it was a gift. Comments on posts are like a gift when you don't get many of them. Before I go any further, I would like to thank the folks who dropped me an e-mail for help with comments and the blog.

Anywhoozitz, the loss of comments here in the TaterBed has made checking my blog rather mundane, and I fear that it may be the same for the few brave souls who wade into the site known as Spudlets. I write because I like to, and it hasn't bothered me that my hit counter is relatively low. I do appreciate the few times someone is kind enough to comment. I can remember other blog buddies who held out putting comments on their site. Once they got comments capability, they seem to enjoy them (for the most part) and would not want to go back.

Besides the desire for improving the comments section, there are other things that could be improved. I'm not happy with the "readability" of the font/background color, and think it could be a little sharper. I also would like to be able to post images, since they can add some "zing" to a post. Not too many, though, or the load time would be excessive. It has to be cheap too, since the great thing about the Internet is the lack of investment for the average user.

To sum it up: change needed, comments good, cheap better, God bless.

Posted by MarcV, 3:23 PM link

I can't believe it's already ACC Tournament and Selection Sunday! Where has the year gone? I don't see any sure bets for someone winning the whole thing, so this may truly be March Madness.

Posted by MarcV, 3:22 PM link


The complete first season of Johnny Quest scheduled for release on May 11 for $45. Now we can enjoy uncut Jonny in DVD quality. I'll be curious to see what kind of extras they throw in. The music for the show was great, so hopefully they can have some type of soundtrack CD included. Here is a link for the cover - cool!

Posted by MarcV, 3:20 PM link

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