Friday, December 12, 2014

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Stephen Brent Dredge, 63, of Boise, passed away in his home from cardiac arrest on Monday October 20th, 2014. Stephen was born on August 23rd, 1951 in Wendell, Idaho to Nathan Edward, and Helen Margret Ivie Dredge. Stephen  grew up mostly in Pocatello and had three brothers and three sisters. He graduated from Pocatello High School in 1970, and then served an LDS mission in the states of Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio from 1971-1973. Upon returning from his mission Stephen attended votech school in microchip layout design at ISU, he would go on to work in the industry for the next four decades. In 1974 he married Janile Christensen of Santa Clara, California, they had three children, Nathaniel, Colin and Autumn. In 1980 the Dredges moved from California to Utah and then in 1987 to Boise, Idaho where Stephen worked for Micron Technology for the next 27 years.

Stephen was an exceedingly kind and genuine human being. He was loyal and generous by nature and always willing to lend a hand to those in need. He was friendly with everybody, even if he just meet you he was genuinely interested in having a conversation with you and being your friend. He loved babies and had a special rapport with them, if he was in a room with a baby it wouldn't be long before he held that baby content in his arms. Stephen put his whole self into everything he did, he earned the love and respect of others by just being himself, he was sometimes a tease but always good hearted. He will be greatly missed by many.

Stephen was preceded in death by his parents Nathan and Helen and by his son Colin Wray Dredge. He is survived by his wife Janile, son Nathaniel, daughter Autumn, daughter-in-law Sarah Bryant, and grandchildren Ethan Bryant, and Brinna and Jaxon Dredge, all of Boise. Stephen also leaves behind his six siblings and their families, Anita and Daryl Bingham of Saint George, Utah, brother Andrew Dredge of Pocatello, Cheryl and Frank Hardway of Russellville, Arkansas,  Terrance Dredge of Pocatello, sister Mary and Daryl Cook also of Pocatello, and Wilford and Val Dredge of Farmington Utah, along with numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.

A viewing will be held at the Relyea Funeral Chapel, 318 N Latah, Boise, Idaho 83705, on Monday 10/27 from 6-8pm.
A second viewing will be on Tuesday 10/28 from 10-11am at the LDS Chapel at 6032 N Five Mile Rd Boise, ID 83713, this will be followed  immediately by the main funeral service at 11. Internment at Dry Creek Cemetery will follow that service.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Book Challenge

Okay you (Jackson) Irish punk, I see your challenge, and it's late afternoon and I'm tired of being productive so I'll do it. Here are 10 books that I myself consider to be eye-opening, memorable and/or influential upon my thinking.

1. A History of God - by Karen Armstrong; The long, difficult, conflict riddled, and frustratingly non-straightforward history of Abrahamic monotheism turned out to be not what I thought it was when I first read this around 2003. Mind opening.

2. The Name Above The Title- by Frank Capra; Autobiography by a man who is still one of my favorite directors, covers Hollywood from the silent era to the 1970's, at times self serving, but full of great stories.

3. In the Beauty of the Lilies- by John Updike; My favorite novel, follows four generations of the Wilmot family from 1910 until around 1990, I see a little of myself in each of the protagonists. Teddy and Emily forever.

4. On Chesil Beach- by Ian McEwan; My favorite living novelist who is still writing novels, one of the things I love about McEwan is you never know if things are going to turn out all right for his characters or not, so this was a memorably frustrating, often upsetting read, one of the few times I can honestly say that I threw a book down in anger while reading it.

5. The Plot Against America- by Philip Roth; My favorite living novelist who is no longer writing novels. Roth covers many of the same themes over and over again, but this was the first book of his that I read so I'm having it represent him on this list. It's a kind of alternate history where Roth casts himself ages say 7-10 as the lead. I'd say he might have offended some of his real relatives with this book, but then I read other things he wrote and figure his family must have gotten used to it.

6. Specimen Days- by Michael Cunningham; My favorite living American novelist who is still writing novels. Really three novellas of vastly different genera types, all tied together through references to Walt Whitman and an ornamental bowl. Cunningham is a master of subtly weaving themes, images, and names around but never spelling out how they are suppose to fit together, dreamlike and eerie.

7. David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism- by Gregory A. Prince and William Robert Wright; I needed to include at least one book about Mormonism in this list, and this is a fascinating behind the scenes look at the McKay Presidency (1951-1970) taken largely from the extensive records kept by McKay's private secretary. Covers a very important transitional era for the Church, and one of my favorite Church presidents.

8. A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again: Essays and Arguments- by David Foster Wallace; A complication from the authors witty non-fiction writing, his lengthy recounting of his first experience on a cruse ship is honestly one of the funniest things I've ever read.

9. The Death of the Liberal Class- by Christopher Hedges; A very sharp mind looks at how the American people routinely shoot themselves in the foot, and who loads the gun for them.

10. To Kill a Mockingbird- by Harper Lee; Because its just awesome. Ms. Lee said everything she needed to say in just one book and will be forever remembered for it, one of the rarest of accomplishments. If I ever have a son, his middle name will be Atticus.

I call out anyone whose interested to participate in this challenge.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Magician (1926)

Not to be confused with the 1973-1974 Bill Bixby TV series, this The Magician is a silent film based on a 1908 novel of the same name by W. Somerset Maugham.

" Nearly fifty years after the publication of The Magician, the author, Maugham, commented on his book in A Fragment of Autobiography. He writes that by then he had almost completely forgotten the book, and, on rereading it, found the writing "lush and turgid", using more adverbs and adjectives than he would at that later date, and notes that he must have been trying to emulate the "écriture artiste" (artistic writing) of the French writers of the time."-From the Wikipedia Entry on Maugham's novel.

The film adaption of the novel was directed by a rather interesting man Rex Ingram (not to be confused with the black character actor of the same name). This Ingram was born in Ireland the son of a clergyman, came to the United States to study sculpting and eventually feel into film making. At one point in his career Ingram ranked with Griffith and DeMille as one of the leading artistic directors of his time, he lost interest in the medium however shortly after the introduction of sound, went back to sculpting, and later converted to Islam, dying of a cerebral hemorrhage in 1950 at the age of 58.

Ingram cast his second wife, actress Alice Terry as the films female lead, Margaret Dauncey, an art student (specializing in sculpture) at a French school (this film was shot in France) who becomes the object of desire of Oliver Haddo (Paul Wegener) a medical student obsessed with the dark arts. The character of Haddo is based loosely on that of famed poet and occultist Aleister Crowley, who due to declassified documents we now know worked as a British spy in America just before World War II. Interestingly the actor who played Haddo, Paul Wegener, was a German who became an "actor of the state" during the 1930's and 40's but  secretly donated money to resistance groups and  hid vulnerable people in his apartment.

All of this seeming tangential information is to say that the stories surrounding this film and the people that made it are perhaps more interesting then the movie its self. This is actually a good movie though, better able to keep a 21st Century viewers interest them most movies from its period, its straight forwardish tale of two men vying for the same woman, one evil (Haddo) and the other good Dr. Arthur Burdon (Serbian actor Ivan Petrovich). There are some nice artistic flourishes like the vision of the fantasy dream state Haddo puts Margaret into which is reminiscent of some of the work of director Benjamin Christensen in Häxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages (1922). On the whole, this was an interesting curio.