Monday, August 27, 2007

Movie review

"Stardust", **, Well I have to go with Kerns(local critic) on this one for two stars. This is called a romantic fantasy comedy. It has witchcraft, and flying boats, etc. It does have a theme, but is hard to figure out at times what the real theme is. With Michelle Pfeiffer, and Robert De Niro in it you would think it would be solid. But, she plays a 300 year old witch, and he plays a pirate and cross dressing gay. Don't let your curiosity get the best of you. Only go see it for the matinee price or free. I really couldn't figure out who this movie would really appeal to. PG-13 rating, for fantasy violence and some risque humor(De Niro in a white girdle type thing).


Sunday, August 26, 2007

Positives and negatives of being an athlete

My earliest memory in my life involved a form of athletics. While doing a life time regression chart I was ask to go back as far as possible and recall my first memory. Well it turned out that my first memory, that I could possible recall, was running through a park in Pampa, Texas when I was 2 years old. My mother confirmed this age and remembered it well, since she said that is all I would do is run, run, run. So, I am sure she became weary of having to contain me or chase me, but regardless she had vivid memories of this. Now as I go through the memory jog of my life I see that some form of athletics has always been in my life, so society puts me in the category of an "athlete." Whether it be team sports, or individual sports I am there and all over it. Being an athlete has given me an opportunity to put my God given talents to use either in competitive team sports or some individual sports that I like. It has been fun to compete in something athletically since I was 10 years old and then to still be competing in something 58 years later. That again would be the beautiful part of the sport of triathlon, in that you can still compete, no matter the age, and be welcomed into the field of competition just like the overall winners. So, with that being said I would say I am thankful to be called an athlete and have enjoyed it for sometime. The many positives of this designation are way too many to mentioned but I must mention a few so I can make my point in this writing. Being an athlete means, generally, that you will put your body to use in the field of competition with it being well trained and conditioned to compete at the highest possible level, no matter the sport. This also means that as an athlete one would put out the maximum effort possible to prepare for the ultimate test of competition. During that preparation, depending on the sport, there maybe pain, injury, sickness, depression, poor weather, poor coaching, poor attitude, etc. But regardless of these negative the athlete pushes on and achieves his/her goal of competing to the utmost. On the positive side the athlete is doing something they enjoy, is being recognized as an athlete and in many societies an actual hero and is whistling along on their merry way enjoying life. In the community the athlete is generally put a notch above the non-athlete(not necessarily an attitude I agree with) and again is considered some kind of hero. On the same token the athlete thing starts acquires that "swagger" that puts them apart from the other slugs in our society. The prime example is the swagger referred to when talking about football quarterbacks. They are also called "field generals" and really have or acquire that special swagger only reserved for them. So, now maybe we have a birds eye view of this thing called an athlete and what makes them feel so special or even over rates their attitude about their position way above where it really should be in life. Now this attitude and appearance turns to a thing called arrogance, cockiness, etc. Then the only thing that can really knock this down is failure to perform, or just not living up to the standards set out their by our loving society and then being abandoned by them. The other major thing that can come along and wake the athlete up is a thing called, diminishing physical abilities caused by natural aging or major illness. When this happens it makes the playing field altogether equal, and now it is time to survive. This is also bringing my writing to the main point of typing today, many times the athlete will use his/her trained mindset to ignore the pain of illness or simply ignore some tale tale symptoms that cannot be ignored and must be addressed. A famous slogan among athletes is, "no pain, no gain." Well what I have learned about accepting the pain thrust upon me by my infamous abscessed tooth and ignoring it for nearly 3 months, is that this pain I endured was getting one step closer to some very serious health problems or even a visit from the grim reaper. So, now I have learned another valuable lesson in life in that by being the tough guy and working through pain, or even ignoring it, is not a good thing. Since this is some form of warning from the body of something being wrong, it should be addressed and taken care of. My plea to all athletes out there in competition land, is wake up and listen because your body maybe trying to tell you something that will be of benefit to your health future. On a daily basis I have someone say, "you sure don't look your age, or you are so healthy, etc." While I am thankful people would say these things I wonder what they would say if I conked over a stupid abscessed tooth. Boy, they would say, "what a waste, all he had to do was go to the dentist and get it removed, guess his athletic ego got in the way and he just wanted to work through the pain and it would go away." Regardless, I hope my loyal readers get my point and now I promise in the future to get back to something with humor in it.

While our baseball little leaguer's didn't win the World Series yesterday, they did win the hearts and minds of this community and the other people they came in contact with. They offered some humorous tidbits in their interviews. When ask by ESPN is they thought Coach Knight would win a National Championship in Texas Tech Basketball,one answered, "I think he can, he works them hard enough, and if they don't do what he says,he throws something at them!!"


Friday, August 24, 2007

Movie reviews

"Last Legion", ***, This was an interesting approach to the fall of the Roman Empire. Don't break a leg trying to go see it, but at least go during the matinee prices. Ben Kingsley is very good in it, and Thomas Sangster is very good as the 12 year old Romulus Augustus. Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense action violence, but no sex or even thoughts of sex.

"The Invasion", ***, Always easy on the eyes Nicole Kidman plays a psychiatrist who is part of the world population being attacked by a deadly virus from outer space. It was actually brought to earth by the crash of the space shuttle, stringing this deadly virus all over Gods' green earth. The key to survival was being able to stay awake until a vaccine was developed. Interesting concept, rated Pg-13 for violence, disturbing images and terror.

"Rush Hour 3", *, Absolutely one of the worst movies I have seen in a while. Did give it one star since the popcorn was fresh and I could finally eat it, since my bad tooth problems. Who told Chris Tucker he was funny and it is about time for Jackie Chan to understand you can't do those body slam tricks anymore and look real. Again they are fighting a world crime cartel and do a very bad job of it. The story is stupid, the acting is even worse and the chop chop karate scenes are terrible. Rated PG-13 for sequences of action violence, sexual content(it wasn't worth the wasted time), nudity and language. Wish I had my money back, but did get in on a senior discount.

The promised writing on the positives and negatives of being an athlete will get there this weekend. Still having trouble writing with the old hands, and wrists. Will do triathlon number 298 this weekend in New Mexico, so must rest for the swim.

For today,


Monday, August 13, 2007

Movie reviews

"No Reservations", ****, Catherine Zeta-Jones is actually a very good actress, and nice to look at. She plays a narcissistic master chef in New York City, totally obsessed with her work and fails to see the rest of the world around her. Her world then gets turned up side down when an assistant master chef is hired by her boss, plus her sister is killed in an auto wreck and the will calls for her to raise the niece. So, we have two dynamics going on at the same time, plus she is in therapy and the counseling sessions are very amusing. Aaron Eckhart plays the assistant chef and Abigail Breslin plays the nine year old niece. Very good script and excellent acting. A feel bad, feel good movie. Prime time tickets are justified.

"Hairspray", ****, While our local Kerns gave it five stars I am holding for four. My main motivation was to see Travolta in drag, and that was worth it. Total musical all the way, and no I didn't see the original, and very well done. It was a cause movie, to some degree, exploring prejudice and fighting for integration during the early 60's. Nikki Blonski is a revelation as Tracy, the caring student who stumbles into her first civil rights movement. The singing and dancing scene with Travolta and Blonski is classic. Go see in prime time, it is worth it. But, beware, if you don't like musicals you will not like this. Kind of like my advice on Bourne, if you don't like chase scenes don't go see it.

My next blog will address the perils and curses of being an athlete. It has been on my mind for the past week, but I haven't decided exactly how to address it. But I will get there and by then maybe it will make sense.


Monday, August 06, 2007

JD's bar & grill visit, Movie review

Sunday was a great day for people who ride bicycles, love to be out in the sun, and ride motorcycles(especially Hogs). The morning started out with a refreshing 35 mile bike ride and then ended in the back yard to soak us some good rays with the Buffman and Squeaky laying close by. I have never figured out how black dogs enjoy laying out, but they sure do. Then it was time to put the jeans and du wrag on for some serious Hog riding. I headed in to town to collect some things, fill up with gasoline, and then head East to enjoy the Yellowhouse canyons with the goal of enjoying some cold beer at JD's bar and grill in Post, Texas. Remember readers this is that little ole quaint town Southeast of Lubbock that is the major hang out for oil field workers(not owners of oil wells), cowhands(not owners of the ranch), passing through Hog riders, and then whatever dead head wants to hang out in this truly sleazy bar. When you first go in the smoke is so thick they hand you a knife to cut it, and it is so dark it takes 20 minutes for you to figure out exactly where you are and who you are with. When I got my sight back I noticed the sitting dynamics of the crowd and found that JD was actually sitting in the middle seats of the bar with his girl friend/mistress/wife/significant other/local slut/valdictorean of the class of '48/or maybe just a friend. Since I had seen her here many times and after observing her body art I am sure they are real close, so I elected to take a seat at the end of the bar. Actually it was the only one left and two locals offered it to me. So, after getting a frosted mug with some draft Coors light in it I was offered the option to enter into a conversation with the guy to my right. He looked the part of a local either being a cowboy/oil field hand/rancher/truck driver, but none the less very friendly and willing to fill me in on the local stuff. But mostly he wanted to ask questions, like where was I from, and was I headed to Sturgis for the big one. Since JD's is stop over watering hole for those Hog riders heading to the big annual rally in South Dakota they just assume that any one pulling in for a cold one is headed to the promised land. Even though I told him I lived in Ransom Canyon just a few miles(about 45) up the road he was still interested in some conversation. I told him I had been up North to mecca for the past three years but was passing for this year, then I ask him if he had ever ridden up there. Well that turned out to be an interesting question with with a very interesting answer. At this time Jake started telling me about his trip to the North country on his Hog some 18 years ago. He was riding out of South Dakota into Montana at a peaceful riding speed of 100 mph and was hit by a deer. The next thing he remembered a few days from then was waking up in a hospital in Portland, OR. My first question was, "how bad was the bike hurt(this is always the first question on a deal like this, so please excuse the insensitivity)?" He understood where I was coming from and said it was shattered beyond recognition for over a quarter of a mile, and the deer died also. Jake then went into some gory details about having his should replaced, three ribs replaced and both knees, but after a year and a half in the hospital he returned to West Texas a new man. He has never ridden a Hog since, is a cowboy/oil field worker and raises cattle for a living. When I ask if he rode motorcycles at all now he just pointed to his right foot and I noticed he had spurs on and was wearing running shoes. He explained that he couldn't wear cowboy boots any more because the cows and horses had stepped on his feet so many times that his toes and ankles wouldn't take it anymore. So, he had custom made spurs to fit the running shoes(Nike I think, but they were quite dirty) and that worked fine for him. He also wore a baseball cap with Polaris on it, so he was not of the typically dressed cowboys of this neighborhood. One thing for sure is that he was very comfortable in his own skin and really didn't care to look or dress like the typical sterotype cowboy. He raised his cattle, fattened them up and then sold them. With a gross sales of over $200,000.00 per year he was proud of his chosen profession, and if someone didn't like it, then screw you jack!!! Two last tid bits, he also had experienced 5 wives and was currently un-wed. Obviously this added to his list of specialities in life, horses, cattle, motorcycles, and now women, and this was all done in just 48 years(so quite a youngster with lots of experience). What a guy and it was interesting to talk(really listen) with him and I have learned that at JD's you will leave a more informed person and have some interesting things to talk about, especially if you are a blogger. After downing my third brew I decided that I had been enlightened enough, shook his hand and departed JD's. When I hit the road I seemed to be inclined to push the Hog up to 100 mph just to imagine what it would feel like if a deer hit me at that speed. It didn't take long for me to gear it back down to a reasonable speed and enjoy the canyon ride back home. What a day, but only to be completed by a view of the following movie. KEEP LIFE FULL AND INTERESTING!!!

Movie review: "The Bourne Ultimatum", ****, Boy if you like chase movies this has got to be the supreme chase movies of all times. It starts with a chase and ends with a chase. Matt Damon playing Jason Bourne is chased by little ole ladies, dogs/cats, prairie dogs, old men, young men, some women, good guys(simply because they don't really know Bourne is a good guy), bad guys, sluts, cars, trains, motorcycles, boats, horses, cattle, and on and on!! Get ready folks this is one helluva chase movie. It got so bad at one point your head is going back and forth, like in watching a tennis match. But all in all it is a very good movie, well done, and very good acting. Matt Damon appears to have a role for life, since the ending gives it an obvious sequel. While he didn't have time for any love scenes there is a possiblity with a young thing in the next sequel. She has the eyes for him, and when he wasn't being chased he had the potential for eyes for her, but then he started running again. Poor guy, all the other leading guys get the girl at least once during the movie(with Bond having a steady diet of beautiful women while still saving the world). The plot is that he is still trying to figure out who he is and where he came from, and what was he doing before he forgot what he was doing. Then his added mission is to reveal and put away the current evil doers within the CIA(this is done in between chases) and hopefully live happily ever after. This movie is rated PG-13, with intense violence and intense chase scenes(did I mention that this is a chase movie?), but no nudity or sex scenes or even suggested sex scenes. GO SEE, YOU WILL ENJOY!!


Friday, August 03, 2007

Testosterone's influence, Some things from Iacocca, Movie reviews

The influence of testosterone is simply amazing and enables men to jump over large buildings, seduce beautiful women, lift more, run faster, ripple more and eat fire spitting dragons raw!! On the other hand it also makes man totally stupid and really brings out the real kid in a supposingly grownup man. Let me illustrate with an actual true life story of two grown men acting like 15 year old kids and you will see what I mean. A few weekends ago I was heading to the Lubbock Renegades Area2 football game and I realize that doesn't sound real exciting but here is the rest of the story. I decided that since I was going to see a macho sport I would make the trip into town for the game on my Hog. So, after making a few stops and working my way through the traffic in Lubbock I pulled up to one of the busy intersections called 50th and Indiana. I was heading North on Indiana and as I approached 50th the signal light changed to red. So, being one who likes to stop at red lights as opposed to getting my butt knocked off by some big pick up truck I stopped as I should. I was in the left straight through lane and as I pulled up to the intersection I noticed to the right of me a very bright red, Porshe(model number unkown to me, but it was one of those real sporty two door models). The guy driving was probably in his early 50's with a good looking babe beside him, probably in her 30's. The Porshe was beyond shiny, it was also well manicured with not a speckle of dust, dirt, bugs, road grim or anything at all on it. The guy had a good tan, all hair in place, some gold and diamonds on and he was real cool. I also noticed that he was playing some hands with his female companion and they were very into each other, until I pulled up beside them on the Hog. Of course it was very loud and obnoxious to them and I am sure my black leathers and cool sunglasses bugged them a little. Upon coming to a full stop I gave a slight look out of the corner of my eyes to gather as much information as I could about my lane companion to the right. As I did I allowed the Hog to give a gentle roar to make sure they understood I was there and that the bright red Porshe was not intimidating either of us. This also emphasized who was the bossman around here and no foreign piece of machinary was going to push us around. As we sat through the series of events that go on with being caught and what seemed like a long time, it was apparent that the Hog and the Porshe were being tempted to challenge each other the minute the light changed. Fact is the more I sat there and watched the testestrone flow out into the streets the more I knew this was going to happen. Sure enough the second the lights started changing the roar of the motors started happening. It was like drag night at the OK corrall and it was apparent that these two pieces of machinary were going to put red against black and everyone else beware. The second the light turned green the two monster egos roared out of the starting block and for about a full block the medal was to the pedal with the final outcome being determined by the ahead traffic that put this little race back to the posted speed limit. From there on to the next light it was cat and mouse, and at one point the Hog was able to put the big roar thing on this dainty red Porshe then release the back blast right into the drivers side. This was irritating to the suave, cool 50 something guy who was trying to impress the 30 something good looking babe, but he had no recourse and had to take it like a man. There is just no possible macho match for the big Hog attack and don't even try big boy. With that small victory for Hog machoism, black leather, and smart ass attitude it was off to the football game. But, in one last parting communication with the red Porshe I noticed his personalized license plate didn't say TEXAS 4536xl, it had the gall to say, "IS FUN". Maybe he is laughing all the way to the bank on that one, but it was fun to feel the testestorone flow and have a little fun feeling these two machines par a little with each other. The Renegades then lost the game, and I road away into the dark of night to Ransom Canyon to put the Hog to bed, pet the Buffman & Squeaky dogs, hang up the leathers and get a good nights sleep.

Well I just finished the Iacocca book and what a great one. This should be read by every person I know or don't know. The "W" man could really use a good dose of this book, but since you have to know how to read it would probably not work for him. While I encourage you to get the book I will go ahead and reveal the 9 C's of leadership as designed by Mr. Iacocca: Curiosity, Creative, Communicate, Character, Courage, Conviction, Charisma, Competent, Common Sense. It is very interesting to see how he applies these C's to the current leadership in our country and how he applies them to the current candidates that will be the next leadership of our country. Of course it should be pointed out that these 9 C's apply to all leadership, no matter the size of the organization that is being led. His thoughts on true globalization as illustrated by the untimely death of Princess Diana. His answer to how this tradgedy illustrates globalization-"An English princess with an Egyptian boyfriend crashes in a French tunnel, driving a German car with a Dutch engine, driven by a Belgian who was drunk on Scotch whiskey, followed closely by Italian Paparazzi, on Japanese motorcycles, treated by an American doctor, using Brazilian medicines. This is posted by an American, using Bill Gates' technology, and you're probably reading this on a computer that uses Taiwanese chips and a Korean monitor, assembled by Bangladeshi workers in a Singapore plant, transported by Indian lorry-drivers, hijacked by Indonesians, unloaded by Sicilian longshoremen, and trucked to you by Mexican illegals. That, my friend is Globalization!"

Movie reviews: "I Know Who Killed Me" **, For the life of me I don't get how Lindsay Lohan has become so popular and considered a movie star. She basically plays herself, yep, slut-bitch-whore-druggie-boozer(take your choice), reveal a little of her average put together body with dirty finger nails, and still gets star billing. Her real life resembles her screen life, so the script writers just wait for her next episode with one of the above then make another movies. Of course the current movie she had to be delayed since she was again in jail on dui, etc. Now this movies may have a little twist compare to her real life, but still has some similarities. It does have some serial killer things in it, a twin that she didn't know she had, and of course some loving parents who don't understand her. Go see this only if, one, you are a Lohan lover, two, you get discounted tickets or free, three, the popcorn is real fresh, four, you just don't have anything else to do.(since I am a self proclaimed critic I have to go, he, he!!)

"I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry" ***, Only for those opened minded about gay life style and the feeling that the bureaucratic red tape of the government is bs. Kenny James and Adam Sandler do a great job as New York City Firemen, who of course end up getting married to beat the red tape associated with the death of Larry's(played by Kenny James) wife, and his two children. Enjoyable, but go in with an open mind. Not as forward as "Brokeback" was, but still not your ordinary theme.

Off to Midland to do the Tall City Triathlon,