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,



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