Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Population question, Movie review

When I go into any city, no matter the population I am amazed at how we are covering the planet. Guess it is hard to believe when you drive through portions of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, etc., but we are covering the planet with human flesh, concrete, asphalt, bricks, tall buildings, short buildings, swimming pools, athletic stadiums, freeways, and on and on. So, what is the big deal greerman, God said in the good book to multiply and replenish the earth. That prompted many religions(Mormons, and Catholics to name two)to adopt the practice(believing practice makes perfect) of not restricting the number of children they have. While the Mormons believe in unlimited children for one reason the Catholic probably believe for another reason, but all in the name of God. That way when someone says something to them, they just say, "we do it in the name of God Almight, so shut up." Well all of this reproduction by all of us has caused the concern I have for covering the earth. There is only so much land space, while the rest is water, and this has me bothered even though I will be dead and gone to the next life before we run out of dirt. My next concern and the real reason I got on this subject was the fact that if the human population is growing, and living longer, what is happening to the animal, insect, and other creatures of this earth? Well, the best I can tell it is multiplying also and they know nothing of religion. Just here in Ransom Canyon we have an abundance of raccoons. One neighbor reported 17 in her yard. While we have had some raccoon attacks at our house there was only one and he was after the Powerbars left out on the front porch. But, I am concerned about all of this growth and as we all cover the earth what are we going to do or where are we going to stand, sit, lay, etc.? Maybe you see my point and will feel my concern. Possibly the solution is moving to outer space. The problem I have with that is no one has shown any evidence that the other planets will make a good place to live. The challenge is out there for us to save the planet, quit making all these babies(I'm doing my part)and just enjoy the process(again I'm doing my part)and we will live happily ever after.

Movie review: "Smokin' Aces" ***, the description in the paper says, Rated R, strong bloody violence(understatement, the most bloody violence I have ever seen in a movie), pervasive language(gross understatement, some of the worst I have ever heard), some nudity and drug use(wow, now they have you going, if you call 8 naked/semi-naked, drugged out hookers laying in the floor of the penthouse after an all night sex party, then I guess that is some nudity. The drug use is beyond belief by one of the stars. Now that you have the description with my description guess you can't wait to see it. Since this is all about a mafia snich who is ready to sing, the rest of the mafia says no way, so they put a $1 million out there to have him put to sleep, for good. This brings in all type of sleeze to make the kill. Jeremy Piven stars as the snich, drug snorter and purveyor of beautiful hookers, while Ray Liota and Andy Garcia are on the side of the law. After reading all of this I am sure you will head to the nearest movie house.


Monday, January 29, 2007

Special movie review(warning), Tiger does it again!!

Some learned person said that men don't ask for directions nor do they read instructions. So, what does that have with this special movie review? We went to see "Volver" last night, starring Penelope Cruz(always good to look at, and not a bad actress either). Even though I skimmed the description of the movie what got my attention was Ms. Cruz. The description said, "this movie is a comedy-drama centering on three generations of women." It also is rated R for some sexual content(meaning lots of cleavage from Cruz, incest in the past revealed, incest potential in the future implied, and a useless husband taken to staying drunk and unemployed). Not mentioned in this description is lieing, cheating, stealing, filthy language, and oops I forgot the big one, murder(twice). While it is called a comedy is beside me, but I do admit there was some drama. Now the cruncher comes when we discover that it is in Spanish with caps below for the dialogue. This was not in the description or I would have never been there. This is not how I like to watch a movie, watching the actors speak and act, then looking below them to see what they said is not nor has ever been appealing to me. It actually gives me a headache. My suggestion is to beware, and be guarded on seeing this movie. My rating is **, and you have been warned. I do rate the cleavage shots at ***** and there was even some discussion about this in the dialogue(in Spanish of course).

Tiger Woods wins another golf tournament in taking the Buick Open for the fifth time. This also extends his winning streak to 7 consecutive and on the way to catching Lord Byron Nelson's 11 consecutive. The Tiger is the man!!!!


Sunday, January 28, 2007

Size does matter, Famous quotes, Movie review

Sometimes in life things are smaller than they seem and then other times they are actually larger than they seem. Now, before all you readers out there(nearly 40,000 hits in 2006, and thank you very much)let your imagination run away with this statement, let me clarify it just a little bit. First, anyone who really knows me will at once jump to conclusions as to what I am referring to and for your dirty minded people out there, chill out. The above mentioned subject is all about a storage building that is sitting in the middle of our back yard. Since our "hobby" triathlon business just seems to be getting larger and larger and not smaller and smaller, we never have enough room for our equipment, t-shirts, awards, lost and found, magazines, etc., etc. You would think with three 10 x 20 indoor storage units, 1 20 x 20 outdoor storage unit, a portion of our home garage, that would be enough. But, no it just seems to continue to grow. So, the next decision was to put a small storage unit in the back yard. For a few weeks I did my due diligence(really called looking for the best deal) which included checking with the City of Ransom Canyon to make sure I didn't violate any city codes. The funny thing about this little burg is that they have stop signs and speed limits, but these are called optional. Yep, you heard it, "optional". They haven't issued a traffic ticket out here since 1994, and they have three Barney Fife type officers driving around in vehicles labeled, "Ransom Canyon Police," and two bullets in their breast pockets. I tell you this simply because when it comes to putting something in your back yard the bells and whistles start blowing and all hell pops loose if you violate a city ordinance. I call the city offices and ask what the deal is for putting a storage building in my back yard. The friendly and courteous answer is, " the square footage must be below 200, and the building must be set 5 feet from the property line, otherwise you must obtain building permits and get God to grant permission to place this storage on your property. With that in mind I found my supplier, Tuff Shed, and started figuring on a shed below 200 feet. Bingo, they had a 12 x 16 for 192 square feet. I put this on order and set up a delivery for the 23rd of January. The fellow from Tuff Shed came out and we picked a spot that met all of the requirements and set the flags. What we didn't figure on was the amount of slope in that portion of the back yard and when the shed was delivered and installed it was just too high off of the ground on one end, after making it level. Another slight problem was the fact it was 1 foot too close to the neighbors property line(the authorities were here within minutes of the delivery, yep, the same guys with two bullets). So, we had to move it right down in the middle of the yard and low and behold it takes up all of our nice,southwest, rustic, scenic, what we like about our backyard "view." All you see when you look out the back windows, and deck is this what we thought was a small, 192 square foot building. The only thing to do now is take some dirt out of the high spot to the far West of where the building is sitting, and move it out of our view. For another $350.00 we are having the yard leveled and the storage building moved within a few days. The conclusion here is we thought 12 x 16 was small, but then when it blocked our view, it turned out much larger than imagined. As I sit back in my chair right now and look at the side of the storage building(which is my view now, but not for long) my advice is, never believe it when someone says, "size doesn't matter."

Over the last couple of weeks I have noticed some famous quotes, so here goes: From Presidential humor: "Thank God she doesn't have to be confirmed by the Senate." (Herbert Hoover referring to his newborn granddaughter), "If you can't convince them, confuse them." (Harry S. Truman), "It is a great pleasure--and a great honor--to be at the Yale Law School's Sesquicentennial Convocation. And I defy anyone to say that and chew gum at the same time." (Gerald R. Ford), "I've given my aides instructions that if trouble breaks out in any of the world's hot spots, they should wake me up immediately, even if I am in a cabinet meeting."(Ronald Reagan). "It was absolutely involuntary. They sank my boat." John Kennedy, when asked about his wartime heroics.) After knocking off the number 5 and 6 teams in the nation Coach Knight was ask what the rest of the season looked like for the Raiders. His reply, "hell I don't know, we may lose the rest of the 11 games remaining!" They did start this losing streak by going down bad to Missouri on Saturday. It didn't even look like the same team that won so big the week before. Key injuries did affect this game, but he didn't use that as an excuse. The General also said: "Victory has never been a particularly satisfying thing to me. It's really hard for me to say, "Well, we won."(for a guy who has won 884 games, seems like a small statement). His comments on sportswriters, " It was fun having you here. I'll tell you what it's like. It's like reading Shakespeare all your life, then suddenly being confronted with Donald Duck." " All of us learn to write in the second grade ...most of us go on to greater things." "I honestly don't think a lot of people in your business or mine care about athletics." "I'm impressed with people when they stand up to me. When they don't, I have very little respect for them. Particularly when they're right and I'm wrong. Sometimes I know I'm wrong and they're right, and I challenge them just because I'm interested in seeing what they'll do." Kinky Friedman(remember him?)"God said the chicken fried steak was good." The Texas commandments: "Thou shalt own as many guns as thou dog hast fleas." "Thou shalt hold no other state or country above Texas." Thou shalt consume no other carbonated beverage but Dr. Pepper." "Thou shalt not covet they neighbor's mud flaps or pick up truck." From George Carlin: " I'm curious, what precisely is Zsa Zsa Gabor's job title?" You know what's fun? Go to a German restaurant and insist on using chopsticks." In the expression, topsy-turvy, what exactly is meant by turvy?" Sometimes they say the winds are calm. Well, if they're calm, they're not really winds, are they?" From Greerman: "Last week I told my bowling team(I am the captain) that I didn't care whether we won or not just so we had the most pins." "Another motivational thing I keep telling them is that if they knock down all of the pins, each time they bowl, they will always have a higher score." "We have resolved that our team will not drink as much beer as the opposing team, the only problem is that doesn't always work, and then we have wasted some beer drinking time, never to be realized again." My choice in shots when I am bowling is the strike, from there it is all down hill." "Sometimes when I am bowling the pins seemed to look at me and smile or smirk, when they are left standing. But I always have the last laugh, I give them the bird and grab another sip of beer." "What a dismal life it must be, being a bowling pin, just standing there waiting to get your butt smacked by a 16 pound ball, coming down the lane at 50 mph." "It appears they have a speed limit on my lanes, my ball will only go 25 mph." "When I get a spare I am thankful for it, even though it is not the coveted strike, but it is better than the gutter ball." "My team looks up to me, I am 5'9.5" tall and the rest of the team is shorter." "Let me explain my position as captain of the team. I was not there the night they did the captain thing and they stuck me with it. It means I have to sign the score card at the end of the bowling night competition and that they pay for the nights bowling, it is an awesome responsibility." "I have always wondered if bowlers and golfers were athletes, seems as though anything you can do while drinking beer and smoking cigrarettes would not qualify." "When I die I want my blue bowling ball packed along with my other toys, but not the green ball, it sucks!!" "The good news about doing various sports is that when my bowling sucks I tell everyone I am a triathlete and I don't have time to practice, then when I suck as a triathlete I tell everyone I am a golfer and must practice, then on and on, I think you get the idea." "Also, I have found I can always wear any type of shirt, jacket, sweater, with the word Ironman on it and it stirs up interest and questions, i.e. did you do the Ironman, what is the Ironman, how did it feel to do the Ironman, you must be crazy, do Ironman finishers do it longer? These questions now lead to other questions and by that time it is time for another beer." "My infamous last quote to my team is this, I promise that if you knock down all of the pins you will shot a perfect 300 game." How can anyone argue with that?

Movie review: Since this movie has been reviewed before, what the hell am I thinking? Well here goes, this is the DVD version of "The Guardian" and it offered an alternative ending as to the one that was viewed in the big movie houses. Remember this was what I called a cause movie with a old/young hero story line. The cause being to educate us exactly on what the mission of the US Coast Guard is. It did that for me since I thought all they did was ride up and down the coast water skiing and watching good looking girls. Turns out they guard our coast lines and rescue people who do stupid things on the open seas. When a person or persons get in trouble and are in the midst of drowning the US Coast guard comes to their rescue. The old hero is played by Kevin Costner and the young hero is played by Ashton Kutcher(this guy is the young stud married to Demi Moore and that really makes him my hero). Typical story, old hero is nearly over the hill, young hero comes in to prove it, so a battle goes on between them to make sure we get the point. The only thing left out of this one is these two heroes will usually battle for the girl to. This doesn't happen in this one, they are content to see which one is the most macho and who can save the most lives. Of course Hollywood does throw in a little love stuff in that the 20 + years marriage of the old hero is on the rocks, not because he found another younger women(usually this is the case), but simply because his mistress is being dedicated to saving lives in his Coast Guard calling. No matter the time of day or night he is there for it. His lovely wife of 20+ years just gets tired of it and always having to play second fiddle, notwithstanding the fact old hero could die during one of these rescue missions. Melissa Sagemiller, an excellent actress and good to look at, usually seen in character actress rolls does a great job of crying, moping, nagging,and putting the old hero on guilt trips. She moves out, he goes to the bar, has a few straight whisky's, beats up some US Navy guys(they call him a sissy since he is in the Coast Guard and they are big Navy studs). But since it is a cause movie he beats the hell out of two of these fish grabbers(Navy slang made up by greerman)and moves the US Coast Guard veteran to the head of the hero class(at least for this movie anyway). All the while the young hero is trying to make his mark as a Coast Guard hero and unseat the old hero. I have left out some details, but you get the idea. The alternative ending is interesting, but predictable, and I prefer the original ending. "Code Name: Cleaner," *, with Cedric the Entertainer, very terrible movie, I can't tell you the ending since I went to sleep during it. The only reason it got one star is because it only cost $2.00, the popcorn/coke was cheap, total cost was $6.50 for the whole package. Don't waste your time in any form or fashion on this one.

All for today,


Sunday, January 21, 2007

Coach Knight(again), Weather/Grocery shopping, Movie review, Misc.

Yesterday was another big day in the Lubbock sporting world. The Texas Tech Red Raider Men's basketball team beat the number 5 ranked Kanas Jayhawks. Since it was a perfect day(6 inches of snow on the ground) to be indoors I decided to partake of this fun. While I have never really been a big basketball fan or even one who played the game I really enjoy watching the coaching of Bob Knight and am in awe of basketball players in general. When I was first exposed to real basketball players at the University of Houston I decided then that they are awesome athletes and can do just about any form of athletics they chose to do. They have hand to eye coordination, strength, speed, agility, coordination and the ability to react very quickly. Kind of like hockey players but they don't skate or hit people with a long stick. They also play in an atmosphere that puts them close to the fans and noise(good and bad, depending on whether you are at home or not), so their performance is close at hand and mistakes are magnified. So, these athletes are a pleasure to watch, for me. Back to Coach Knight, it has been said that he gets the most out of really average basketball players and then makes the good ones even greater. But the most important thing is that he teaches the true fundamentals of basketball and creates a true team atmosphere. He enjoys the teaching atomosphere of college basketball and has never considered going to the pros. When ask one time if he would coach in the pros, he gave a classic Coach Knight response: "Hell, I don't even watch the pros. If the NBA was on Channel 5 and a bunch of frogs making love were on Channel 4, I'd watch the frogs-even if they came in fuzzy." Now to the game with the Jayhawks. It appeared that after initial tip off that the Raiders were as cold as the outside temperature, falling behind by 10 points within the first 4 minutes. They were so cold on the shooting they could have built a snowman in the arena, without any snow. But, they didn't lose their poise and by half time they went to the dressing room with a 3 point lead. It was amazing to watch them overcome the deficit, move ahead and then protect their lead. The other neat thing was that the Jayhawks had this look about them that they were going home with a run away victory and all would be in their favor at the final buzzer. Since I just don't get the real mechanics of basketball, like I do football, I couldn't tell if they would be able to keep up this good work or if it would be to knaught in the second half. But, they came out of the dressing room ready to play and even put up a 12 point lead with about 10 minutes to go in the game. It looked like they would hold on to this lead if they continued to play in this fashion. Then I reached down to pick up my coke and take a drink of it, and it seemed that Jayhawks scored three 3 pointers and the lead was to 3, then it rocked back and forth and in the final seconds the Raiders took the victory, 69-64. They scored two 2 point buckets(am I getting good on this bb jargon or what?) in the closing 21 seconds and the fans went beserk. When the game was over the student body, numbering over 4,100(total crowd 11,000+) went to the floor and created a chant of "Bob, Bob, Bob!!"(note: The General does not like to be called Bob or Bobby unless you are the Joint Chief of Staff, or the King of England, you must say, Coach Bob Knight, but evidently the students hadn't read his book, so they got away with it). This mob scene was something to see and convinced me that if there was ever a need for a "mob" fight or street warfare, like in "Gangs of New York", I would want these Raider students on my side. The one thing that I have seen since the arrival of Coach Knight is the student body support of his tenure. They come out to games and they love him. He has done a lot for the overall spirit of the university and West Texas is proud to have him as a citizen. Texas Tech has really built some winning traditions in their athletic department over the years, with football, baseball, basketball(men and women's), track, golf,tennis, etc. An article in the paper this morning pointed out that the success of one sport also breeds success in the other sports. The football team made history in the Insight Bowl by making up the largest deficit in their comeback victory over Minnesota and then Coach Knight broke the all time winning record of Coach Dean Smith. So, this increases the pride of the university and spreads through out the city. It even motivates Marti and I to improve on the Buffalo Springs Ironman 70.3 and work hard to match all the achievements at Raiderland. Funny thing is, I was offered a full footall scholarship at Tech back in the stone ages and made the choice to go off to that far away land of Houston(better deal and more money, ooops can't believe I said that, but it was true). Of course Marti wasn't even born yet, so she knew nothing of Raiderland at that time. Now to see how the General and the team do for the rest of the Big 12 season.

There were big headlines in the paper on Thursday that said that they city would receive up to 16 inches of snow, in the next 2 days. So, what this does is create a panic atmosphere to go and buy groceries. It just so happens that I needed some staples to get me over the weekend, like milk, etc., so I just went by the store not thinking of this panic mode that was going on. I was not there because of the headline, I was there because I like to have milk for my dry cereal and we were out. When I entered the store I couldn't believe my eyes, line after line of people wanting to check out. So, I go around the store and get my few items(numbered less than 10 but the express lane was not being honored today, so it did me no good) and then head to one of the many lines, that really did not seem to be moving. Everyone seemed to be pretty calm and secure with their baskets, but we were not getting anywhere. I then decided to enlighten myself by picking up the "People" magazine, afterall I hadn't been informed about Jolie/Brad, Britney/Paris, Simpson, etc., in a few days so it gave me a chance to catch up on these beautiful people(not). For the life of me I don't get it, why is the world so fascinated by these type people? You say, "well the world isn't and doesn't really care." The argument from me on that would be "someone" is buying these magazines and they must want to read this trivia trash or they wouldn't sell. But, it did make my standing in line go shorter or seem shorter and I didn't buy the magazine I just gazed at it and put it back. Does that make it a used magazine or what? The shopping experience was excellent since I knew where everything was that I wanted and I didn't have a list. This made is easier since I went to the area I knew I would find the milk and along the way I saw some other things that I wanted or needed. Four things I do not like to run out of, saltine crackers, dill pickles, radishes, and cherry tomatoes. I can make a meal out of these four items and grin all the way to the fridge.

Funny thing happened with the snow, they actually closed the theaters so there was no movie watching this weekend, except for DVD movies. I decided to watch "XXX" with Vin Diesel, while riding the bike trainer. Dude, this is a very good movie, not academy award good, but real entertaining and this Diesel guy is a great bad/good/cool/tough/energetic action hero. I have to give it a **** rating, just for the action scenes. The plot is even good to. I didn't get to finish it, but I will today. This guy gets the bad guys like no other and also gets the girl whenever he wants to. Go rent it or buy it, it can't be too expensive and is great to watch during a treadmill or bike trainer workout.

Now to watch some football!!


Wednesday, January 17, 2007

USAT Conference, BYOP(funny story, I think), Coach Bob Knight, Movie review

We just returned from the annual USAT Race Directors Conference in Colorado Springs. Also included in this little travel package was the USAT National Board Meeting. The RD Conference also included the Race Directors Certification program. Both of these meetings were well done and well worth the time spent. The last time I attended a board meeting, as a member of the board, was 1994 so it was interesting to see what has changed. It turns out, very little has changed and it is the still the same silly stuff. It is my feeling that we take it much too serious and the end results is we get upset, argue, and want to pick up our marbles and go home. I am just as guilty as the next, so I am not throwing stones at any one else. My resolve now is to not take it so seriously, enjoy my year on the board and offer as much experience and knowledge as I can. Whether I run again will be determined on how the rest of the year goes. It is time for new fresh ideas to come to the board and while I still have it, I just don't want to go through the political aspects of the sport. It is time consuming, emotionally draining and basically a useless endeavor. I am tired of hearing how passionate we are for the sport and then using that as an excuse for being rude and ruthless at the same time towards our fellow members. My resolve is not to do that anymore and be happy(probably go see "Happy Feet" again).

On the driving return trip from the Springs we had something kind of funny happen. We pulled into Rotan to get gas at the Shell station we normally use on this trip. I like this particular station because the restrooms are clean, the gasoline is competitive, and there are choices in the food mart(I always get the Hagen Daiz vanilla/almonds ice cream bar). My routine is to put the gas pump into the slot and let it run while I go into the store, then I am ready to go when I come out. Since Marti was with me on this trip I was a little out of routine. We had agreed that I would drive to Rotan, we would fill up, then Marti would drive. So, I take care of business inside, get the ice cream bar, take my seat in the shot gun side, Marti cranks up the engine and we speed away. I was now trying to get comfortable and take a nap, after about 5 or 6 miles and all of sudden Marti started complaining about this car behind us blinking their lights, honking, etc. While we were in a 45 mph construction zone and we were going 55 mph, it seemed strange that they would be wanting pass etc. Well this persisted for 3 or 4 more miles and now we were both getting real upset that this auto would continue to harass us with their honking, lights blinking and sticking their head out the window screaming something at us. My comment was, "what the hell do they want and what is wrong with going the speed limit?" Finally Marti looks in the door rear view mirror and God forbid we had driven off with the gasoline pump still in the nozzle and these good people were trying to tell us that. Not only did the pump take the trip with us, but the hose pulled away from the gas pump and was trailing along on the highway. We then pulled over to the side of the road, thanked the people for telling us, loaded the pump/hose up and returned it to the station. When I walked in with it the attendants just looked at me like I was real stupid(well Forrest did say, "stupid is as stupid does") and I guess it did kind of fall into that category. I just said, "sorry about that, handed it to them and walked out." They seemed a little put out that I had brought it back and they had to do something with it. Their was really no serious damage done to anything, except our pride. We had both left with the pump in our tank and would have probably not noticed it until the next fillup, if not for these concerned people driving behind us. We laughed about this the rest of the trip, saying, "we come very prepared for our trips, since we carry our own pumps for fillups, or BYOP."

Sport Illustrated just did their first interview with Coach Bob Knight after 10 years. Some of the writers for SI had made him angry back then, so he refused to talk to them. Since breaking the all time winningest basketball coach record he has mellowed somewhat towards SI and agreed to an interview. He still does not like some of their writers, but did agree to talk with William Reed, for this interview. While I am not going to put the entire interview in this writing I will include one particular question and answer. Since it had to do with West Texas and his feeling of this area, so I wanted to include it in this blog. SI: You had a special relationship with the fans in Indiana, especially the rural ones. You seemed to reflect their old-fashioned value. KNIGHT: I would hope that's true. It's also true here. When (Tech A.D.)Gerald Myers called me, (Knight's wife) Karen said, "Well I tell you one thing: The people of West Texas will feel very comfortable with you, and you will feel comfortable with them." She was right. This is a great place to live and work. The people are really good. They have an independent streak in 'em that you really have to like. GREERMAN: We do appreciate this opinion and he is right, we do have an independent streak to us and we like to tell it like it is. Coach Knight can relate to that himself. We are glad to have him as a citizen of our city. After he wears out two pairs of jeans he will be considered a native.

Movie review: "Children of Men" *, Probably one of the most depressing movies I have ever seen, with very little reason to go see it. Usually I can say good actors, or good acting, or good story, or something, but Clive Owen is a good actor but totally wasted. This is about the world in 2027 and the oldest person in the world dies and he is only 18. Because of mass infertility problems in the population their are no babies anymore, but alas one woman does get pregnant(somehow)so the movie centers around the birth of the baby and survival. Since the world is in a state of mass terrorism there is continual fighting and killing going on(kind of like Bagdad, you know the "Mission Accomplished" place). Julianne Moore(one of my favorites) is totally wasted and her role was a bust. Owen was the lead actor and was in most scenes, but he role in life was never clear(to me anyway). I would not recommend this movie for any reason, even if it was free, with fresh buttered popcorn, cold coke, and M & M 's. This one doesn't deserve a star, but I am a weakling for Julianne.

Off to ride the trainer,


Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Favorite running spots, marathons and triathlons, Movie reviews, Misc

My favorite spots around the the USA for running: Monterey, CA, Huntsville, AL(historic downtown or by the creek), Mackenzie Park, Lubbock, Tx, White Rock Lake, Dallas, TX, Memorial Park, Houston, TX, Bangor, PA(not to be confused with Maine), Virginia Beach, VA(home of the Edgar Cayce foundation), Chicago, ILL(Lakeshore Dr.), Russellville, ARK, Tulsa, OK(by the river), Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN, Redding, CA, Indianapolis, IND, Colorado Springs, CO, Yellowhouse Canyons, Ransom Canyon, TX, Seattle, WA, Ft. Davis, TX. For triathlons: Milkman Triathlon, Dexter, NM, Wool Capital, San Angelo, TX, Colombia Triathlon, MD, San Diego International, CA, Las Vegas, NM, Boulder Peak Triathlon, CO, Thousand Trails, TX, Ransom Canyon, TX, Great Floridian, FL, Ultra Max, MO, Ironman, Kona, HI, Ft. Davis, TX. For marathons: White Rock Lake, The Rock, Dallas, TX, Tenneco Houston(old course, Greerman PR 3:35), Houston, TX, Tulsa, OK, Cowtown, Ft. Worth, TX, Deseret News, Salt Lake City, Utah, Pittsburgh, PA, Mark Garland Inv., Lubbock, TX. Marathons I have always wanted to do, and will some day: Big Sur, CA, Marine Corps, DC, Chicago, ILL, Grandma's, MN, San Antonio, TX.

Movie reviews: "The Holiday" ****, a romantic comedy, good story, good ending, lots of emotion that makes sense, very good acting, Jude Law, Kate Winslet, Cameron Diaz, Jack Black(he actually acts). Enjoyable, worth the money. "We Are Marshall" ****, The true story of the U of Marshall airplane crash that killed 75 people including most of the team(3 exceptions that did not travel to the game), coaches and administrators. New coach, Jack Lengyel, played by Matthew MConaughey, recruits and coaches the team to competition the next year after the crash. Very good football scenes, with good acting all around the campus. "Wolf" ****, an older movie shown on Showtime last night, Jack Nicholson, Michelle Pheifer, publisher is bitten by a wolf, later turns to a werewolf and spreads the good news around by stalking the streets at night and infecting those who get in his way. With Nicholson's eyes he is perfect for the role. Entertaining and interesting ending.

If we are what we eat, then our mind must be what we read. After looking around my office I find the following: The Standard Works(King James Version of the Bible, The Book of Mormon, The Doctine and Covenants, The Pearl of Great Price), Story of Karma, Edgar Cayce, Quotable General-Bobby Knight, Telephone book, Team of Rivals, Lincoln Quotes, Cowboy Logic, Kinky Friedman, Presidential Ratings, John Daly-Inside and outside the Rough, Harley Davison parts manual, Lies At The Alter, Dictionary, Boston Terrier's, Roberts Rules of Order-For Dummies, USAT By-Laws, The Zig Ziggler Difference, Inside Triathlon, Sports Illustrated, Red Gold, Mind Management, 31 Steps to Success, and on and on!! Wow, now I know where I am coming from!!! Where???


Thursday, January 04, 2007

Trip to Alabama, Holidays are over, Mr. 880, Do you ever wonder?Movie reviews!

While I really do not like traveling during the "Holidays" I found myself doing just that for the Christmas week. Since Buffman & Squeaky insisted that they go with us to Huntsville, AL, it was an 1100 mile drive, to and from(why would it be any shorter coming home?)and was not a bad drive. It is Interstate all the way, so very convenient to let B & F get out of the vehicle, stretch their legs, bark at the other dogs, take a leak, with Buffman marking everything in site. Not only that, he does this thing of scratching his paws, raising the hair on his back, in a real macho tough way. He does this immediately after he has marked something, got to go to the dog psychology books and find out what the real meaning is of this act. Squeaky, being the dainty female that she is, takes a different approach. She just kind of squats, does her business, then kind of smiles and that is it. No growling, no strutting her stuff with her paws, just grins and goes on. We decided to stay in a hotel in Huntsville and stayed in the historic downtown area of the city. The Holiday Inn was pet friendly so B & F enjoyed their stay and morning runs. This city of around 200,000 people is quite a place to visit. I never imagined how historical the city really is, so I took some notes, i.e.: First town/city in Alabama to be incorporated, 1811, First Masonic Lodge organized 1812, First Bank in Alabama to be incorporated, 1816, lst State Constitution Drafted, 1819, lst Governor inaugurated, 1819, lst Session of State Legislature, 1819, lst Cotton mill(gin) erected, 1824. Not only that Huntsville, has an excellent running community and hosts a marathon in early December. We are committed to this event this year. Running in this city is on my best of 10 places to run in the USA list(to be mentioned in a later blog)and hosted the only double ironman race in the USA for years. Dr. Gills, the owner of the World Triathlon Corporation is the only man to complete this double event, 6 times. If you are ever in this part of the country, in the state of Alabama, go to Huntsville, you will not be disappointed.

The Holidays(I can't decide if I am going to get in trouble for using this term, there are so many causes out there and no matter what we say nowadays it seems to offend someone, but I am sticking to it) are officially over and we can get back to whatever is normal. The last two weeks of the year are basically useless, unless you are in retail or happen to be harvesting cotton. I have never liked this time of year simply because you just can't get anyone to make a decision or everyone is so stressed out over the "Holidays." The Christmas side of the holidays is way too stressful with the shopping, going into debt, not offending someone by not buying them a present, not getting the right things, and on and on. My solution to this has grown very simple over the years. I buy one present, wrap it myself, the week before Christmas and that is it. Now for some I will have sent a simple check to be spent any way they see fit(sometimes I don't send it till March and that way it means more), and let them do the hassle of the present thing. Since today is January 4th we are well into the New Year. So Happy Holidays to everyone and let's get with it for 2007. Since I never write New Year's resolutions I do go back to the previous daytimer and see what I wrote down to do and see what didn't get done. Then I revise what I need to do and try to get it done the following year. One of my disappointments in 2006 was that I didn't get my new book, "Moving Out of the Comfort Zone" finished and to the printer. By writing this in my blog site, now I will get it done. Simply because my loyal readers will want a copy of it and will bug me for it. I promise, I will get it done now.

January 1st was not just the first day of the new year in Lubbock, but was also the day Coach Bobby Knight's team won his 880th career win. His career started over 40 years ago at West Point, then to Indiana, now at Texas Tech(the eastern media who don't like him, say he was exiled to this disgusting outpost, called Lubbock and West Texas) and is still winning. We are proud to have him here, respect what he has done and he has recipricated back more than once that he loves West Texas and West Texans. The saying goes that if you come here and wear out two pairs of jeans you will never leave. Since I have not seen Coach Knight in jeans I don't know where he is on this. But I do know we are proud to have him here. Funny thing is that his priorities in coaching are to teach and coach the game of basketball with the idea of making men out of these giant boys. He also demands that they respect their education and get their degree. His graduation results are way above any major coach and after all, isn't that what it is supposed to be about. He also is a great contributor to the library programs no matter where he is. So, thanks General, we are glad you are here and please wear out those two pairs of jeans.

This morning in the Lubbock AJ there was an article about the cost of Hurricane Katrina and a recap of the billions of dollars of costs, plus the enormous amount of fraud associated with this disaster. It also talked about how much more work was to the done and how people were still homeless. Did you ever wonder how the leaders of that city were able to raise and spend $302 million so soon after the disaster, to rebuild the Superdome so the New Orleans Saints could play their football games in it. Seems almost like overnight this was done, while there are neigborhoods still not rebuilt and people have still not been able to return to their homes. Folks, our priorities are way out of wack in this country. Paying a college coach, $30 million(Saban to Alabama)to coach college football, while teachers are being paid $40m per year. Something is wrong with this picture. T.O. is getting $25 million to disrupt team harmony, and further himself to the public is obscene. But, if the owners of this mess called professional football continue to deal out their money, then idiots like T.O. will continue to prosper.

Movies: "Night At the Museum"-**.5, Sorry about that but just couldn't go any higher on this one. It started out real cute and different but just really never went anywhere and continued on with no substance. It never really made the point of what was to be gained by these animals coming to life, and the main character was a dead beat dad, trying to get a job(anything) to look good for his son. Then when he did get this job it really never made the point with the son. Again, cute, Robin Williams and Ben Stiller were good, but not good enough to move it to 3 stars. "Rocky"-*****, yept you got it 5 stars. This was an excellent movie, while the fight scene was Rocky brutal, the rest of the movie was exellent. It was well done, with a great story. Don't go thinking it is all about the fight of a 50 year old against a 30 year old. It went much deeper than that. Go see it for yourself! "The Good Shepherd"-***, extremely boring and confusing. The flashbacks were done like a documentary, but when they went from 1961 back to 1939 the lead actor, Matt Damon, didn't change one bit. So, when they went to 1958 or 48 he still didn't change. His dialogue was maybe 200 words through the whole, long movie. Since this was supposed to be the story of the birth of the CIA, it could have been interesting. DeNiro was the big cheese in the production and direction of this movie, even making a bit appearance(more than cameo). There was a lot of low whispering also, which made it difficult to hear. I missed a lot, since I didn't wear my hearing aide. Oh well, I will try it again when it hits our TV movie screen, and will turn up my hearing aide.

Off to secure sponsors for Buffalo Springs,