Welcome to BlogDogIt Thursday, June 21 2018 @ 10:27 AM EDT

Oh, Bethlehem!

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I'm sure we all have memories of when the "black sheep" of the family took our Holiday celebration off-course, giving us one more reason to continue to look upon them in a less than ideal light. Now imagine a family where every single member is eminently qualified for the "black sheep of the family" designation. If you can do that, then you can begin to imagine Christmas with the Earlys.

Bethlehem (the title derived from the fact that this "dramedy" takes place in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania) brings together several elements - any one of which would point to a dysfunctional family - in what you might think would seem like piling-on for comedic effect but in practice paints the situation as sad and reminds us that behind every house decked-out with Christmas decorations is a story of a family struggling to keep it together in a world more conducive to its falling apart. A cautionary tale of the evils of addiction and poor choices and the enduring patience and strength of the matriarch who - to spite the many shortcomings of this brood of bad-eggs - is hell-bent on hosting this family get together regardless of the inevitable consequences.

There is only one thing that could possibly bring this dysfunctional family together this year and that has to be love. Not the "heart on your sleeve", "god bless us every one", sappy, happy love but that deep, deep, down in your gut, unconditional "family" love that you can never escape no matter how hard you try.

Michael Malone weaves a grungy tapestry of hurt and hormones in the story of this family gone very very wrong. Those of us familiar with the wit and wisdom and the irreverent comedic stylings of Michael Malone have been eagerly anticipating the release of Bethlehem. This is certainly one of the more talked about independent films of the year and with this cast of characters is it any wonder? In addition to writing (along with Joshua Hull) and directing, Michael Malone plays eldest son Michael Early who earns the crown of "most level headed," an honor which is often debatable chiefly due to his penchant for getting stoned.

"Homemaker" and Mother, Carolyn Early is portrayed marvelously by Cindy Maples in a role that stretches from doting, motherly heart-to-hearts to sternly shouted expletives as her character overtly struggles with how little control she actually has over her family beyond extending the invitations to this hopeful event.

The baby of the family is in his late 20s, still living at home and - by all indications, most likely - not still breastfeeding. Bobby Early is played by Mike Dobrzelecki who tries his very best to steal the show by delivering carefully measured aspects of Elvis, Meatloaf, Baby Huey and just enough Karate Kid to win favor with his overtly absent, mistress toting, father Jack (played admirably by Raymond Kester.)

Melissa Revels delivers a delightful portrayal of middle-child Bridgett who could almost qualify as normal, but rest assured this is only what passes for normal in a family where "smoke-screen" seems to be the order of the day.

Uncle Raymond (endearingly characterized by Rich Ragains) lets his flaming love light shine and shows that he takes seriously his obligation to the family that dearly loves him in spite of his taste in sweaters.

JoAnn King White brings the character of Grandma to life as one who happily exists in her own little world and playfully invites all around her to join in the simpler pleasures reserved for those teetering on the verge of dementia. Grandma may well be the only guest in attendance truly happy to be there.

Of course this Christmas gathering would not be complete without their recently released, teardrop-tattooed, ex-con cousin Bryan (a role nailed by actor Derik Zooashkiyani) and his female companion.

The film does a masterful job of introducing the viewer to each member of this gathering, making us feel welcome among the madness. Once we begin to realize the volatile nature of this mixture of personalities the true magic of Christmas rears its ugly head. Just as you can mend a fraying rope by singeing its ends, so too can a family bond together at Christmas time.

This film is humorous without resorting to high-voltage lighting displays or ridiculously lubricated snow sleds. It delivers a profound message of love and family togetherness without resorting to angels getting wings or miracles 4 blocks north of 30th Street. Perhaps the most notable quality of Bethlehem is how relatable this messed up family is likely to be to everyone fortunate enough to watch this film. Destined to become a Christmas classic; one you should only watch with your children after they leave home or reach the age of 18 (whichever comes first.) [Officailly Rated R13 Offensive Language and Sexual Content]

Expertly lensed by David M. Brewer this feature packs amazing, big-time production value; a credit to all involved. Check out the complete list of cast and crew on IMDB and help spread the word about what is surely the unlikeliest connection ever between Bethlehem and Christmas.

Enjoy this Official Trailer with the knowledge it is not safe for work.

Official Trailer: https://youtu.be/P4ky4gNbO0M

 

 

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A GIFed Mad Scientist!

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Big Biting Pig ProductionsBig Biting Pig is set to premier their latest annual horror flick this weekend. And if the trailers are any  indication, it looks like we are all in for a shockingly good time...

Big Biting Pig ProductionsThe film is called "Frances Stein" and (as you can well imagine) it promises to put a feminine spin on a familiar genre. For a look at the official trailers, a peek at the official synopsis, to order the DVD and/or view the streaming video you should visit The Big Biting Pig Productions "Frances Stein" Movie page. While you are there explore the site for many fright inducing opportunities for fun.   

Followers of BlogDogIt will remember that I created animated GIF files for each of the BBPP releases to date (shortly after the release of last year's monster hit "The Caretakers.") In case you missed them, be sure to check out "The Complete BBPP GIFs Collection" for my tribute to the Big Biting Pig Horror Collection.

Continuing in that tradition, I present the following GIF creations built with frames extracted from the official trailers - These are offered in the spirit of "fan-art" and in no way are these efforts endorsed by PJ Woodside, Steve Hudgens, or Pig Biting Pig Productions (but I hope they like them.)

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

Frances Stein

Maintain Composure...

"Frances Stein" (2015) - Big Biting Pig Productions

 

 

 

Frances Stein

Subjection...

"Frances Stein" (2015) - Big Biting Pig Productions

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Bitchkoemer and Friends Go to Fano

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25ste Internationaal Vlieger FestivalThe Dig project continues slowly but surely. Collecting the various bookmarks for the alphabetical highlight pages is a lot of fun but I especially  enjoy uncovering something that demands to be shared in the form of a post. The website I am sharing here is a Dutch language tribute to the 2009 Fanoe Kite Festival and features the adventures of three daring Belgian thrill seekers. 

You should probably brush-up on your Dutch or fire-up the translator before visiting their website but you are sure to enjoy the video below (created by Michel "Bitchkoemer" De Meester) which clearly speaks the universal language of friendship and fun!

Kite Buggy

DenmarkEen weekje Fano 2008
A week of Fano 2008
        from Michel De Meester

Eind juni 2008 trokken we met de motorhome een weekje naar Fano.
In late June 2008, we went with the motor home for a week to Fanoe.

Uitsluitend om te buggiën en een beetje te genieten van het vliegerfestival.
Mostly for buggying and a bit to enjoy the kite festival.

Hier ziet u een korte samenvatting van onze "uitspattingen" aldaar.
Here is a brief summary of our "excesses" there.

Groetjes
Greetings

Bitchkoemer (B1084)

 

 The Video: https://vimeo.com/1564977

 

Wie zijn wij?
Who are we?

Soms noemen we ons "Tree of a Kite", een woordspeling van de bekende poker term "Three of a Kind".
Sometimes we call ourselves "Tree of a Kite," a pun of the famous poker term "Three of a Kind."


We zijn inderdaad "Three of a Kind", we zijn met drie, we kennen elkaar al jaren en hebben samen al heel wat woelige watertjes doorzwommen, kortom drie goede vrienden, ieder met een eigen persoonlijkheid maar door onze vriendschap zijn we, net als broers, meestal wel in elkaars buurt te vinden.
We are indeed "Three of a Kind", we are three, we've known each other for years and have been together for quite some turbulent lessons learned. In short, three good friends, each with their own personality but through our friendship we, as brothers, are typically found together.


"Tree" verwijst enerzijds naar "drie" , maar ook naar het dorp waar we alle drie wonen: "Boom" (tussen Antwerpen en Brussel), "Kite" spreekt voor zich, we zijn alle drie met de vliegersport bezig.
"Tree" on the one hand refers to "three", but also to the village where we all three live: "Boom" (between Antwerp and Brussels) [boom means "tree"], "Kite" Obviously, we are all involved with the sport kite.


Michel De Meester
De oudste (en dus ook de slimste :-)
The oldest (and therefore the smartest :-)

Michel De Meester, in de vliegerwereld beter bekend als Bitchkoemer (B1084), houdt zich voornamelijk bezig met buggiën, maar ook af en toe een éénlijnertje onder de naaimachine duwen lukt hem wel.
Michel De Meester, in the kite world known as Bitchkoemer (B1084) mainly engages in buggying, but also occasionally pushing a tow-kite through a sewing machine with successful results. [?]


Rudy Belis
De middelste
The middle
 

Rudy Belis, de buggy collega's kennen hem als FamGaga (B1158), hij rijdt ondertussen iets meer dan een jaartje en begint zich aardig uit de slag te trekken in zijn karreke.
Rudy Belis, the buggy colleagues know him as FamGaga (B1158), meanwhile he runs a little over a year and begins to withdraw from the battle in his nice karreke. [?]



Peter Bastaens
De jongste (en ook de lelijkste)
The youngest (and the ugliest)

Peter Bastaens AKA Viper, zal af en toe wel enkele rakjes rijden maar houdt zich voornamelijk bezig met onze technische ondersteuning, ook de catering valt meestal onder zijn bevoegdheid (lees pintjes halen voor de rijders :-)
Peter Bastaens AKA Viper, will occasionally do some buggy driving but is mainly concerned with technical support, also catering usually falls under its jurisdiction (read: fetch beers for the drivers :-) [?]


Do you feel called to participate in the organization?
Do you feel called to sponsor us with "beverage and food?"

...please do not hesitate to send an email to someone of "Tree of a Kite!"

 

Michel
aka
Bitchkoemer (B1084)

 

Rudy
aka
FamGaga (B1158)

 

 

Peter
aka
Viper

 

 

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Pareidolia - Let's Face It...

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pareidolia
par·ei·do·lia (păr′Ä«-dō′lÄ“-É™) n.

The perception of a recognizable image or meaningful pattern where none exists or is intended, as the perception of a face in the surface features of the moon.

Images from the interwebs.

Pareidolia

 Click On The Image For Source Page

Be sure to follow http://www.reddit.com/r/Pareidolia

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The Truth Comes Home

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World Premier - Ezekiel's Landing - At The Irving

Indie in IndyWhile the rest of geekdom was shedding a happy tear over the announcement of a new installment in the the Star Wars franchise - Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens - this nerd was beside himself over the fact that the world premiere of the long awaited, much ballyhooed, indie sci-fi, horror, action, thriller Ezekiel's Landing was about to occur and in my own back yard (so to speak.) Now don't get me wrong I am a big fan of Star Wars and take pride that I was among the first in line for the premiere screening of Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope in Indianapolis at the luxurious Eastwood Theater in 1977.

Writer/Director James Treakle

 

Irving Theater - not as plush as the infamous Eastwood but with a far more colorful history - was the "happening" place-to-be in Indianapolis for die hard fans of independent films of the sci-fi persuasion. On April 24 the world premier of Eziekiel's Landing was featured "At The Irving."

On first inspection one might find the Irving better suited to a random Rave than a world premier, motion picture unveiling but what it lacked in bolted-to-the-floor seating, carpeting and ceiling tiles it more than made up for in warm, friendly fans of creativity rubbing elbows with the craftspeople who came together to make the night even possible and ultimately enjoyable.

Stage LeftExecutive Producer Kate Chaplin took to the microphone as a pleasantly enthusiastic Master of Ceremony sharing the spotlight with Writer/Director James Treakle who set the stage for a respectable crowd of eager theater goers. The 85 minute film, included the briefest of intermissions 3/4 of the way through by some very needy anti-virus software on the projectors source MacBook - that's free anti-virus for you.[smiley:;)]

Stage RightFollowing the featured presentation was a very informative Q&A session that had all cast and crew in attendance standing in the front of the hall. After taking several questions a suggestion was made that perhaps the wireless microphone should be passed down the line so that each member in attendance might declare their favorite scene and share one of their fondest memories of the production. This was priceless entertainment that can never be equaled. I am thankful to social media for keeping me in the loop so that I could attend this once in a lifetime event.

I encourage you, dear reader, to support the independent filmmaker in whatever genre suits your taste and discover right there, in your own "back yard," what it is that makes the movie industry so magical: the blood, sweat and tears of those individuals with the vision and drive to love, create and share in pursuit of what can only be called a really good movie.

In an effort to show my support for these folks I offer the following review of the film Ezekiel's Landing - originally posted to IMDB:

[ Continue Reading ]

 

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Doing Something About It...

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The BlogDogIt spotlight shines today into my own corner of the world. I have recently undertaken to update and manage the website of Mt. Zion General Baptist Church (my "church home" since the days of my youth.) It is a Wordpress website so I finally get a chance to see what all my cyber friends are always on about [smiley::D]

As anyone who has followed the BlogDogIt Spotlight Series will tell you - I would not draw your attention to a site that I did not think you would all enjoy. This one is no different.

The featured post encourages members to invite someone to Church - I would like to officially invite anyone in the world-wide audience of BlogDogIt.com to "Come to Church" (even if only virtually...)

So don't be shy; listen to the featured "podcast" - the very one that prompted me to create this post - or browse the sermon audio archives (linked below.) Get to know Pastor Mike - this guy is awesome! [smiley:thumbup]

 Mt Zion Indy - Building Relationships That Lead to Jesus

Pastor Michael Stephens    Enlightening and Entertaining, Pastor Mike Stephens delivers insightful and edifying messages that motivate, educate and inspire on a variety of topics important to the Christian and Pre-Christian alike. [smiley:;)]

Mount Zion General Baptist Church

    Have you ever invited someone you know to church? If not, why not? Did you know that most people, if asked, would go to church with you? Most likely, someone asked you, so why not “pay it forward” and ask someone else? Pastor Mike discusses this and many other ideas in this weeks sermon called,

"Do Something About It!"


Download the mp3

 

Mt Zion Sermon Audio ArchiveA Podcast With A Purpose -  Please browse our burgeoning Audio Archive featuring sermons preached by Pastor Michael Stephens, Pastor Billy Davidson and even the occasional guest speaker. Listen to one, listen to all. Free to download and share or enjoy with our handy on-site player! (Click Link on Right)

 

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About This "Rockin' 4 God" Video

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Rockin' 4 God 2014Steadi(ish)CamIt is often said that the Lord works in mysterious ways. His ability to have me create a video documenting the "Rockin' 4 God 2014" event is ample evidence supporting that old maxim.

I am no documentary filmmaker (by any stretch of the imagination) but I have been looking for ways to exercise my video making muscles and this opportunity just struck me as just too good to pass up. It was an opportunity to photograph a rock concert with an all access pass. A day long event featuring four bands, a clown act and a sermon thrown in for good measure. Just the sort of volunteer work that would appeal to this old-school hippie photog.

Going into it, I was not exactly sure how I would go about completing the project. My video camera is little more than a toy - 640 X 480 pixel resolution with a fixed focal length lens - but I resolved to view this as an artistic endeavor and give it my best shot - as it were. The name "Rockin' 4 God" suggested to me that the video should be "high energy" (whatever that means) so a tripod in the corner was out of the question. I was going to have to go at this with a hand held camera to get in on the action.

I think it is safe to say that I am certainly no DevinSupertramp - but what I couldn't do with a rig like his? Since a GlideCam exists only in my covetous mind I decided to visit my freelance hardware store (a.k.a. garage) and see what I could come up with in the way of constructing my own Stedi(ish)Cam device. The internet is chocked full of ideas on this subject but seeing that my garage was gimbal free, I opted to go for a weighted pendulum style device that many claim to be a step above a purely hand-held camera - and I will give them that. 

If you can scrounge-up 46-1/2 minutes you should check out
"Rockin' 4 God"
The Video Project.

The actual job of recording the event presented many challenges but that is the name of the game and honestly what makes it so fun to do. I took along my Canon 5-MP rangefinder camera to - at least - get some quality stills and realized midway through the shoot that I would be combining stills and video clips for this video project. The little video camera uses SanDisk memory and I felt confident that the 4 Gigabyte chip would be ample for the day but took along two more 1 GB disks as a precaution - good thing too because for some odd reason the 4 GB disk refused to hold more than about 500 MB. It took every bit of those other 2 Gigs to get-r-done. When it became obvious that I should now use the video camera sparingly I started relying more and more on the still camera to document the event.

That was working fine until about two thirds of the way through the day when the Canon's battery went belly-up and I found myself regretting not tearing the house apart looking for the spare pack when I was gearing up for the day. Thankfully the video camera has the ability - as do most video cameras - to take still images. I finished the day bouncing back and forth between still and video modes adding one more layer of "what am I doing" to the task at hand.

[ Please Continue Reading ]

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Freeviewing the Internet - 3D Adventures Await

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No Stereoscope RequiredStereoscopic vision is one of those miracles of the human condition that is all too often taken for granted. If you are fortunate enough to have two functioning eyes then you posses the ability to view the world in three dimensions and thereby have the tools required for depth perception.

When you look at a single object with two eyes you are actually presenting your brain with two separate images that it must meld into one. The average difference in eyeball separation is only 2-1/2" to 3" but that is all it takes to discern depth in three dimensional space.

The Holmes StereoscopeNot very long after the invention of photography it was realized that if two photographs were taken of a single object with the same separation as the human eyes, these two images could be used to relay a three dimensional view to an individual via the use of a device known as a stereo-graph or stereoscope. The stereoscope would accept precisely mounted images (or view cards) on one end and the user of the device would peer through a couple of magnifying lenses (one for each eye) and would be treated to a picture set that would trick the mind into melding and interpreting as if the viewer were standing at the original camera location. The result was so awe inspiring and entertaining that "Stereopticons" (as these viewers were sometimes called) became a sensation. As a result of their popularity a grand industry arose whereby anything worth photographing was photographed in stereo and marketed to the connoisseurs of this fascinating pastime.

To this day there continues a very active community of Stereoview enthusiast. An internet image search using the word "stereoview" will send you into an incredible World of 3D photography to an extent that borders on the unbelievable.

Bunny, Goat and Baby

To those of us that have mastered the art of freeviewing stereo pairs the internet now offers the ability to see back in time and far away places. You too can enjoy this hidden treasure trove by learning the technique known as freeviewing, which is the ability to render stereo pairs in glorious 3D in your minds eye without the use of a stereo-graph device of any sort.

It is the purpose of this article to help impart the skill of freeviewing to the uninitiated in the hopes that you too will use this simple technique and enjoy this remarkable pastime - this window on the world of long ago - this time machine available at your fingertips.

So what's the secret?  [Continue]

 

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