Sunday, March 23, 2008

Spam, Higher learning, Movie Reviews

To most people spam is not a good word, but at one time it was a god send to our nation. Wonder why? Well hold on to your seats and I will be happy to reveal that little bit of heaven, after I get this wealth of information started. Spam to the tri-geeks is really a big ole bad word and they cringe at the thought of it having the gall to enter their beloved computers and mess up their ever glow of important stuff they hack (another bad word just mentioned in passing here) out while sitting in some dark garage or basement. While to ones spam may be another person’s treasure. For example I like to receive lots of stuff on my e-mail that I guess many would call spam. Since I have had my e-mail name and account with AOL since 1993 I know I go way back into the cavemen days of computer communication and so I receive lots of spam. Plus I make no effort to cut down on the reception of it by buying special “spam protectors, eliminators, etc.,” and just have what is sent with the basic package and generally never have it cleaned. So I imagine if a learned person could pick up my computer and shake all the spam out of it there would be stuff all over the floor. But, the real things is I love to read my spam subject headlines and then decide for myself if this is spam or not. Why leave it up to the computer to decide if this is spam at all, good spam or bad spam? Some of the subjects that I have seen lately are: Build the body you want in only minutes a day(I like this kind and studied it through and through), Enlarge your penis(while no one has ever told me I needed this enlargement I also found it intriguing), Free guideline to a military education(why would I need this since I am retired military?), The US Government is giving away millions—(duh, we all know that, but the problem is they are giving it away to military operations in Iraq and other foreign countries, I live in the USA so am not really eligible), Free restless legs Syndrome(this one had to interest me since I have been called restless, so I assume it originates from my legs or something like that), Enlarge your breasts(well from a male’s point of view I have been known to notice large breasts in the female gender, but I have never looked in the mirror and said, “boy I want to enlarge my breasts!!”), Clean your colon(now this one does interest me, especially after learning that John Wayne died with over 40 lbs. of waste in his colon, no one wants to take the final count with a full colon, so get rid of it NOW!!!), Ophra drinks green tea(and I really don’t care what she drinks, I get so tired of hearing that Ophra is the new prophet of everything, so she is rich doesn’t make her smart!), Condoms on sale for half price(this is not a good thing, to sell these things at price cutting prices means they are using inferior rubber and bad rubbers will make for bad troubles, trust me!). Well this is just a sampling of some of the spam I save and digest, see why I have computer indigestion all the time? Now there is another spam in this world that has been around a long time and that is the kind that comes in little cans and you buy at the grocery store. This kind of spam is a combination of waste material taken from hogs, cows, rabbits, chipmunks, birds, skunks and whatever else road kill you can find around the spam food plants. This stuff is in little cubes put into to metal cans encased in some kind of slime preservative. It is the spam I really don’t like and will not touch with one of Ophra’s dirty finger nails. This stuff is so unhealthy you can enlarge your heart arteries by just inhaling one big sniff, and if you eat it you will mostly certainly die a young unhealthy person. But the other side of the story is that as I mentioned above it was a god send to our nation. During the dark economic depression of the USA and families had very little income and were “poor” they could get spam for their meals very cheaply and it help them sustain some kind of diet. For sure they got their share of fat, carbohydrates, and whatever the slicky slime had in it. Thank God for spam during the depression, but then of course these same people died of heart attacks and strokes. While I do like Vienna sausages (I am told they are made by sister spam processing plants but I don’t believe it), I don’t eat them very often. Just seems like sometimes nothing tastes quite as good as Vienna’s and saltine crackers. So much for the diet segment of this post. Stay healthy and eliminate spam from life, because Ophra said so!!

The Lubbock Avalance Journal had another ironic article about our school of higher learning here in Lubbock. Texas Tech University is now in the midst of trying to replace their current president. Seems as though the current president has resigned but typical of Universities they don’t get rid of them when they resign, they just let them hang on at $300m per year until they find the replacement. I find that kind of stupid since he did resign and wants to go elsewhere. But what really got my eye on this article were the statements made by the search committee made up of numerous factions on the campus to include some current professors. They made the statement that it is important that they believe that the next president should have experience in “ academics.” Duh, does that really make any sense, that a university of higher learning would want a president that had experience in academics? I thought academics were the purpose of the academic world. Why would they hire a president that comes from say the manufacturing of strapless bras, or maybe the world of up-scale pornographic movie production, or maybe from the world of waste disposal, or maybe from the world of bungee jumping? I think they need a real academic war lord and then maybe they can figure out how to keep their accreditation. Just some thoughts for the Raider Land folks. Or maybe they could just scoot the football coach over to president of the university, as maybe an additional duty since he is getting paid $1.65 million. Just a thought and maybe it sounds very stupid and juvenile of me, but what about that search committee that wants academics to come center stage within the experience of the new president. It is an ironic story.

Movie Reviews: “The Bank Job”, ***, Not real bad, but not real good. Another British bank heist movie. Supposeingly based on a true story it is amazing how dumb the robbers were that actually got multi-millions. They were so stupid they made dirt look like Phi Beta Kappa’s. At the same time the British secret service was just a stupid. The actors were all brits so you wouldn’t recognize them, but it really doesn’t matter anyway. There was also a stupid bit of sex thrown in, but they screwed (pardon the pun) it up like the bank heist. Rating: Rated R for sexual content, nudity, violence and language.

“Never Back Down”, ****, A good story line, lots of action and decent acting made this a good movie to watch, kind of a Rambo in the neighborhoods type movie. The lead is played by Tom Cruise look a like Sean Faris who is a mad at the world teenager moving to up-scale Orlando and automatically gets picked on by the big bully played by Cam Gigandet. Then throw in a good looking blonde to make everyone edgy when she walks in the room with full cleavage, and pulsating lips to even up the testosterone. Djimon Housou plays a teacher of martial arts, who trains good guy Faris to over come his dragons after losing the initial battle to Gigandet. He then comes on strong in the gut busting finale and whups up on the bad guy real bad. The “Never Back Down” theme is personified throughout the film and has some great life as it is teaching points. Rating: mature thematic material involving intense sequences of fighting/violence, some sexuality, partying and language, all involving teens.


Thursday, March 20, 2008

Gravity, Bizarre story, Raider Land, Gasoline prices, Movie reviews

It has been a while since I made a post on fasttwitchmind and for good reason. After the last post I was on a 40 mile bicycle ride and a revelation came bursting through my bones, muscles, blood vessels, and finally the brain cells. It hit me that I wanted to make my next post based on one word. So, I decided that whatever word stood out in my head within the next hour of that original thought, I would just write that word down and then start writing something to see if I could make any sense of it. Well the word that kept coming to mind was, “gravity.” The concept of gravity is a very interesting discovery of science and Isaac Newton was the guy who comes to mind when this word comes up. Basically gravity just means that when an object, of any kind, is dropped or falls off of something it falls down or let’s say it goes south. Things never fall up or north, they always fall down, or south. There is a slight exception to this and that would be if you are in space and or you are lighter than space then you will just sort of float and you will not go south, you go sort of north if you go anywhere. So, since most of the population is not in a space environment we are affected by gravity in a going southward motion. In other words if I am on top of my house fixing the roof and I fall off I will not fall up or north, I will fall down, or south. Now that we have the concept down let’s play some what ifs or what does happen in this gravity controlled world we live in. I venture to say that gravity has been the greatest influence on plastic surgeons making a ton of money doing their thing, i.e. when gravity takes over the women’s breasts then they tend to go south and the only way for them to stay straight is to have a plastic surgeon do his magic and defy gravity. Then the bonus comes in when these dudes are restored to their normal pointed out front self the surgeon can also enlarge them while he is in there. Then you have the same thing with other parts of the body, how about sagging buttocks? They can also be moved from a southward motion to a more northern or normal position. Then you have the proverbial male “beer” gut that definitely goes in a southern direction when it grows to a point that the muscles and skin can no longer hold it upright in the normal position. While some kind of surgery is available for this it has been said that if you keep your colon empty then you will reduce your chance for a “beer” gut. The question comes up; do I still get to drink beer while I am emptying my colon? My uneducated guess would be that, yes you do since you need the nutrients that only beer can give you and only the Lord knows what that is. Since I am going to stick to the human body and its way of illustrating gravity activity in our lives I must mention the potential of the penis to go south, usually when you don’t want it to. The learned medical people of our time have labeled this “erectile dysfunction” while some of my slang brothers call it, “not being able to get it up,” but regardless of what it is called it still proves that gravity is in command at all times in our lives. The other good news is that we can defy gravity in the penis area by simply taking the little “blue” pill that some brilliant medical guy invented. We are told that within a few minutes we can experience a northern movement of the penis that arranges it in such a position that it will be most useful in case the act of sexual intercourse presents itself to two consenting adults. Some of the other areas of the human body that gravity affects s would be in the facial area. I have noticed in approaching my 70th year on God’s green earth that some of my facial areas have gone south. Under my chin the skin has dropped a little, my nose has dropped a little since it has continued to grow (they say when you get older your nose continues to grow while your penis shrinks a little, seems unfair to me but I don’t think this has happened in my case, yea and I have some ocean front property in Arizona for a $1.00 an acre). But the surgeons can also fix all of that if you have the money. Last but not least in this brilliant elaboration of the concept of gravity I have noticed that when I dive off of a diving board I go straight down or south into the pool or lake, I never go up or north. When I am going along on my bicycle and I lose my balance I always do down or south, not up or north. When I act like the smart alec that I am or can be at times on my motorcycle it goes down or south, not up or north. Well in conclusion I think you get my point about gravity. It is a tremendous force that you cannot screw with, treat it nice and it will treat you nice. Treat it bad and you will splatter your butt from here to next Sunday without batting an eye lash. Can’t wait for that next word to pop into my little beady brain, that I am sure has gone south at some point.
Someone told me that the newspapers write to a seventh grade level, surprised the hell out of me since I thought it was around a fourth grade mentality. That is why the W man never reads a newspaper; they are way above his head. But, I did see some interesting stuff the other day under the “bizarre” category. It was a true story of a woman who sat on her boyfriend’s toilet seat for two years and finally her skin grew to the seat. The seat was actually pried with a pry bar and the seat went with her to the hospital. The hospital actually removed the seat from her skin. Now get this, her boyfriend brought her food and drink for two years while she was growing to the seat. The other bizarre tale here is that the authorities are considering pressing charges against the boyfriend. But, the other side of the story is that the boyfriend could actually press charges since he had no where to go to the bathroom for two years. I can’t wait to see the follow up story on this one.

Another bizarre story pertains to our university of higher learning, Texas Tech University. Seems as though the communications department at Raider land, is just not functioning very well. So, they got rid of the old director and hired a new one at $150,000.00 per year. Of course the current staff members are concerned that they will lose their jobs when the new director comes in. The only thing that the Chancellor said of this new hiring is that the university needs to get “the word out.” Wonder exactly what that means, get what word out? But rest assured that this will happen since the new director comes from a previous job as the marketing director for Petro Stopping Centers, a chain of truck stops. Of course before going there he was with big oil, ExxonMobil, so again big oil and money speaks. Guess there is a lot in common with Texas Tech and Petro Truck stops. Go figure!

In the latter 70’s to early 80’s a group of my business friends and I started an oil exploration business. We ended up drilling some successful wells and sold our oil for $42.00 per barrel. The word throughout the nation by the most learned economists of our time was simply this, “if oil prices EVER go above $50.00 per barrel the United States economy will collapse. This week sweet crude is $105.00 per barrel and futures are showing $110.91 per barrel. With at the pump gasoline approaching $4.00 and diesel .30 per gallon higher, what is the plan Mr. Bushman! Of course since he doesn’t read the newspapers and didn’t know gasoline has approached $3.30 per gallon, how would he possibly know what to do? Go figure on this one while you’re meditating.

Movie Reviews: “Penelope”, ***, definitely a girlie movie but a very well presented movie. Penelope is played by Christina Ricci, and she has been afflicted by a secret family curse (a pig’s nose) that can only be broken when she is loved by one of her own kind. The movie presents her despair and then her happiness, so you could say she and they live happily ever after. Reese Witherspoon does a great job in being the only friend Penelope has. Rated PG: for thematic elements, some innuendo and language.

“Definitely, Maybe”, ***, another girlie movie staring Ryan Reynolds who is in the midst of a divorce. His daughter, played by Abigail Breslin, decides she wants to know everything about his life and how he met her mother. It is well done and the acting is very good. It makes you wonder how such a great looking; boyishly handsome guy has all the troubles with women. I noticed that I was the only male in the movie house, so be prepared for a true girlie movie. No Rambo stuff here. Rated PG-13 for sexual content, including some frank dialogue, language and smoking.


Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Experience for the Presidency, Bowling, Movie Reviews

Probably the most talked about attribute of our current presidential candidate choices center around the word—experience. Recently Time magazine did a fairly comprehensive study on this aspect of the presidency of the United States and it revealed some interesting stuff. While I personally had never felt it really mattered how much experience the candidates had in politics I have always felt that their willingness to service the people who elect them and their understanding of the presidency itself mattered the most. Since the minimum age to run for the presidency puts people in a somewhat of a mature age bracket I would assume real life experiences at that point would play a major role in their ability to lead and direct the many facets of our government. Now I am sounding a little Pollyanna but I still think that concept has some merit. In the study by Time they designed a graph that illustrated the amount of political experience each of the previous 42 presidents has had, without regard to their outside profession before becoming president. This experience ranged throughout their service in local, state, regional and National service. It is interesting that 10 of our presidents were generals in the armed forces and 3 of those had no political experience before being elected to the presidency. While two of these generals (Jackson and Eisenhower) were rated in the near great list of presidents, in one survey, most were rated in the above average to below average, with none in the failure category. Another interesting observation is that 11 of our presidents served as vice-president before becoming president. The one VP who served the shortest tenure, but became one of the great presidents was Harry S. Truman. Before taking the VP seat he had served 18 years in local government and had a haberdashery business (it failed). When it comes to serving as VP you would think that this would be the ultimate experience influence on being a good president. In some cases it has but in others it has not. Richard Nixon was a vice president but ended up resigning from office and is now rated in the below average, as president, category. He actually did a lot of good things, but his paranoia with the press and the slight of hand dishonesty finally got him. The real irony to all of this experience evaluation of the previous presidents is that the one president who had more experience in public service politics was James Buchanan, with 35 years experience, and he is continually rated the worst president of all time. He even admitted when leaving office that he was a dismal failure and hated the office of the presidency. Now, where does this leave us for the next presidential election when it comes to evaluating the experience of the likely candidates we will have to vote for? For sure we will not be too short changed on the experience side, but does that make them good choices? It appears at this time that we will have the choice of John McCain with 25 years experience, plus he was a prisoner of war for 7 years in Vietnam. Now why that experience is significant I really don’t know, except it does mean that he was willing to serve the country and was a survivor. So, that must mean something. But, I feel that his age when taking office, 72, is really just too much. I am close to the age and I know that my ability to handle the stresses of the most powerful job in the world would be quite a challenge for me. We saw what happened with President Reagan in the latter years of his presidency, he just wasn’t there mentally at times. Mr. Obama considered the spring chicken and least experienced, brings 10 years of public service to the table. On the other hand Hillary Clinton brings 15 years to the table except 8 of those were as the first lady. This will be another first for the country if she receives the nomination and then is elected. Does being the former first lady give her any clout? Depends on how much Mr. Bill confided in her and vice versa. In conclusion, I don’t really think this experience thing means as much as the ability to serve the people, work with the congress and take care of the foreign policy issues of the day. I also feel that having the understanding of the office (as President Truman had) is very important and I am convinced that has been lost by most. Now a days it is the ability to get elected through how much money you can spend on the election and your ability to sway the voters with sometimes useless dialogue. The choices for me in the election are going to be very hard since my guy, Mitt Romney, did not make it. So, good luck and happy voting!!

As I have mentioned in other posts bowling can really suck some time and then some times it really is fun. It just so happens that the past few weeks it has really sucked. Last week we lost to a young couple that turned out to be the weirdest bowling team I have seen to date. The lady of the team was extremely over weight and when she sent the ball down the lane she just walked up to the line and dropped the ball hoping it would stay in the lane and knock some pins down. Most of the time it didn’t do either, it just guttered and she would end up with a 70 or 80 score. On the other hand her husband was good enough to hit 7 strikes in a row and would always pull them out. Long story, we lost 3 of 4. To add insult to injury they did these massive, passionate, deep tongue thrust kisses between each throw of the ball. I am certainly no prude on this subject, but give me a break here. So, on top of kicking our butts they were doing this little sucky face thing right in front of a very conservative bowling group. Then this week we got beat 4 of 4 by our friends who usually don’t bowl that well. However, my partner had a bad ankle and was not on his game. The good news is that we still have two months to pull it out and finish in the top 3.

Movie Reviews: “Witless Protection”, *, This movie is terrible, but I give it one star since the popcorn was fresh and let’s give Larry the Cable Guy a slight break. He was way in over his head and while he is funny on stage with his other red neck friends telling stupid red neck jokes, he just can’t carry a real movie. There were a couple of times that I did laugh at his jokes, but I suggest saving your money or watching it on cable when it comes around. Rated PG-13 for crude and sex-related humor.

“Vantage Point”, *, Man, what a waste of good acting talent(Dennis Quaid, Forest Whitaker, William Hurt, etc.) and money spent on the production of this movie. It had a great plot, assassination of an American president is always a good one, but this movie failed to make its’ point. In the first place they used a play back of scenes type format that drove you crazy. They played the same scene back and forth 8 times, while it had different aspects of what happened during that sequence it still drove you nuts. It finally got so bad for me that I went to sleep and missed the final 30 minutes. I was told by those that stayed awake that I missed nothing and they envied me for getting some shut eye during a boring movie. If you chose to go see it after this review, Good luck and Good night, since you will probably catch some shut eye. Rated PG-13 for violence, disturbing images and strong language.