Monday, October 27, 2008

Words, or, is Bigger Better? Movie Reviews

Every industry that I have ever been associated with had their own language, and used certain words to fit their needs. When you first associate with a new industry it takes a little time to adjust to their use of words, almost like if you go to Mexico and start blending in by speaking Spanish, or in Germany the same. Believe it or not the same words, even in English, will mean one thing in one industry and another definition in a completely different industry. This post will be one of the most unusual I have ever done since I will be comparing words of one industry to that of another industry, just to make my point. The funny thing is I will only have to identify one of the industries without mentioning the other. So play along with me and do the guessing game as to the "other" industry I am comparing to. While it may be a useless endeavor to some I think others in the more intellectual fields will find it somewhat amusing or possibly somewhat stupid. But, I really don't care at this point because I could see some kind or originality to this subject and will now head into it with my eyes open and prove my point. As an entree to this discussion I will identify words from the industry that I am associated with and how they correlate with another very famous industry. These words came to me during my attendance at the Permian Basin International Oil Show, located in Odessa, Texas. Not only was it held in the infamous past home of the W man, it is billed as the largest(or biggest) oil show in North America. Now that is big, but does it matter? Back to that question in a few words of wisdom. As I wandered innocently through the many booths and displays I started to pick up on a theme that then prompted me to gather information for this blog. The first word that was prominently put before me was "hole"(meaning of course the hole you make while "drilling" for oil), then it just started flowing, like "in the hole", "drilling", "pulling unit", "pump jack", "completion solutions", "large packer equipment(is bigger better?", "rod design(this is news to me I thought there was only one design)", "direct mount(this one is easy to visualize)", "purge ports", "true bore", "pulsation", "tool pusher", "fluid control", "down hole fluidicy(what the hell is this?)", "stimulation services(probably one of the least understood among mankind)", "quick connect(or maybe times of passion!)", "lubrication systems(is there an application here for the bigger is better theme?)", "performance(why did they have to throw that word in here?) pulsation", "sucker rods(and now I started looking for the marketing question, do your sucker rods swallow?)", "precision measurement", "nipple up service(yes this is how they said it, I did not make this up, I promise!)", "down hole tool(now this is really getting personal!)", "the perfect climax(now for your dirty minded readers out there, it means hitting the bottom of the hole and having oil rise to the top of the hole and enter into the tank batteries, with oil at $100.00 + per barrel the climax is good news)!" It should now be very obvious of the industry that the oil industry correlates with, but you must identify it and keep it to yourself. On the bigger is better question, I am really impressed with the oil industry and enjoyed learning new things about different industries. This show was very big and the more I saw the more I had to write about, so "bigger may really be better, but on the other hand I have always respected the proper placement of certain tools that provide the ultimate results, no matter the size!" The fact is some oil wells produce more oil from the smallest down hole tools, packers, stimulator's, sucker rods, and are very effective with precision measurement, as a result of a direct mount and energetic drilling. Not being bigger is also an asset when the friendly oil driller makes a quick connect without the proper lubrication. Woe is me, think on this one for a while, I am exhausted!!

Movie Reviews: "Max Payne", ***, This is a good movie but not four stars. The film centers on a maverick cop(isn't this theme getting a little old, there is only one Dirty Harry?) played by Mark Wahlberg--a very good actor, determined to track down down all responsible for the murders of his family and partner(always the same theme). As the mystery deepens, Max is forced to battle enemies beyond the natural world(another familiar theme). Very good action movie with lots of violence, plus a possible sequel has to be in the making. Rated: PG-13 for violence including intense shooting sequences, drug content, some sexuality and brief strong language(very big understatements on all accounts).

"W.", ****, Too bad for the real W. man that his presidency hasn't panned out as good as this movie. From everything I have been able to gather about this president and the cabinet it is right on. Oliver Stone, director of "JFK" and "Nixon" does not even wait for President George W. Bush to leave office before exploring his past on the big screen. The movie follows W.'s early struggles and triumphs, the manner in which he found his wife and his faith, and continues until W. decides to send American forces into Iraq. It also covers how he handled his cabinet and he paranoid methods of leadership. Josh Brolin stars of W. and he may be in line for a nomination. He does it well and you think you are watching the real W. at some points of the movie. The cabinet actors are splendid and very accurate. Go see at prime time, it is worth it. Rated: PG-13 for language including sexual references, some alcohol abuse(understatement), smoking(Laura was a heavy smoker until a few years ago) and brief disturbing war images.

For tonight,


Sunday, October 19, 2008

Ironman 2008, El Editor, Pacman, Movie Reviews

Well the prestigious Ironman World Triathlon Championship for 2008 is now history and it turned out to be one of the most challenging races in recent history. Up to race day the days were relatively cool(high of 82 degrees, low 76 degrees) with overcast days, very little sun, and slight wind. The currents looked reasonably peaceful and the swimming was great. So, what happened on race day. Well the currents stayed peaceful and the three Navy seals that dropped in the water after parachuting from a cargo plane got this event started off with a big bang. These guys actually dropped within a quarter of a mile from the swim start, shedded their chutes in the water, then swam to the start to begin the race. The start was on time and started with a literal bang of a loud cannon, after the Hawaiian natives offered chants for a safe racing day and good weather. Then the sun came out with no clouds, and the winds were blowing worse than a West Texas dust storm and the challenges began. The winds at the Hawi turn around on the bike were as bad as I have seen them in my 14 years of watching or competing in this race. As the athletes turned towards Hawi the head winds reduced the speeds to under 10 mph and it got real nasty. For many their personal bests were reduced to just finishing with a respectable time or just finishing period all in the one piece. The sun remained out in full exposure during the run and it continued to prove to the well trained athletes that Pele still was the master of the Island, so just tighten your heart rate monitor strap, drink plenty of whatever was available, gird up your loins and accept the challenge of being an Ironman. After looking at the results of the professionals and comparing them to years past it was evident the day did take it toll on fast times and personal bests. For example, in 1989 Mark Allen won with a time of 8:09 hours while this year Craig Alexander won with a time of 8:17 hours. So, what does this mean exactly? Beats the hell out of me since back in the 80's the equipment was not near as light and fast as it is now, the nutrition knowledge was still very limited and peanut butter crackers and coke were still considered power food, while now Ironman racing has turned into a very scientific athletic event. My theory is a combination of thoughts concerning over use of the bodies with too many long distance races in a year, too much travel, and this is all stimulated by the desire to make more money. Since the average pay of our professional triathletes is just a tad above the poverty lines I can see their point; however, there will be hell to pay when these bodies are over 40 and the wear and tear sets in. Mark Allen said that after he retired he doubted if his body would ever repair from all of the damage he had done to it with the long hours of training and racing he has put it through. Bottom line, the Ironman, Kona is an awesome event and it was a pleasure to be part of it and to watch over the motorcycle support for the officials and see this event from the vantage point of being with a few feet of the riders throughout the 112 mile bike course. Congratulations to all of our friends who were there, we enjoyed rooting for you.

Recently I noticed that Lubbock has another newspaper that I was not aware of, called the El Editor. The headlines read, "Are Hispanics Being Impacted by the Economic Crisis?" Since 38% of our population in Lubbock is now Hispanic I thought this might be a good question, then on the other hand I ask myself(very quietly) why wouldn't they be affected just like all of our citizens? The funny thing is this newspaper is written in English, not Spanish, which I thought was a tad bit weird, even though I like the idea. Now a days it gets on my nerves that when I call some where USA I get this recording that requires me to push button 1 to get English or I just automatically get Spanish. After reading the article I find that Hispanics are as subject to affects of the economic downturn as anyone else, surprise, surprise!! In going deeper into the article I find that some Hispanics were offered the easy mortgage deals as presented by the Clinton administration so when their interest rates automatically jumped they were adversely affected, even though they signed the contract explaining the details. Of course the tone of the article made it clear that they might not have understood what they were signing. The other point made was that Lubbock has been placed in the 20 cities of the USA that is well insulated from recessionary trends of the rest of the USA. This is not anything new since, due to the nature of our local economy and a conservative banking attitude we have always avoided recessions. Also, there was a short article on Pacman Jones of the Dallas Cowboys. This is the guy that had been arrested 6 times, been involved in 12 acts of violence in the past and was suspended by the NFL for one year. He was brought out of his bad boy cages by Jerry Jones to play for the Dallas Cowboys, given some kind of "be kinder" pill, was a near graduate of a anger management class headed up by OJ, then was allowed to play this season. But, of all things in the past few weeks he digressed, went to a party that served adult beverages and then got into a fight with his body guard that had been hired by Jones to watch after him, and is now suspended again. Now get this folks for screwed up priorities on the part of Mr. Jones. This guy is given a huge wad of money to play football, he is provided a personal body guard( actually a nursemaid) to watch over him and he gets into a fight with him and is then suspended. The sad part is there are many great athletes with solid backgrounds that would love to have this opportunity, but will never have the opportunity because the slots are being given to people who just can't seem to appreciate their opportunities.

Movie Reviews: "The Express", *****, This is one of the few five star movies I have seen this year. It is based on a true story about the life of Syracuse University football running back Ernie Davis(played by Rob Frown), the first African-American to win the Heisman Trophy. Dennis Quaid co-stars as the Head Football Coach of Syracuse. This is a very well done movie from story line, to acting, etc. The sad ending is very well done and is right on with the actual facts. Whether you like football or sports in general you will like this story with some great teaching points of life. Rated PG for mild peril and some thematic elements.

"Nights in Rodanthe", ****, This is a great romantic story about two people played by Diane Lane and Richard Gere who have escaped to the tiny coastal town of Rodanthe, N.C. to get away from the stress of some major things going on bad in their lives. They meet unexpectedly and the sparks begin to fly. Enough said, you need to go see this for yourselves. Please be prepared for a surprise ending. Very well done and a movie you will think about for a few days. Rated PG-13 for some sensuality.


Monday, October 06, 2008

3 disciplines of moto rally's, women part II, elephant butte philosophy session

In the past I have observed that moto rally's and triathlon's have a similar business model and both have three disciplines. In triathlon we all know that triathletes normally swim, bike and run. Whereas moto riders(no matter the make) ride, eat and drink beer. Okay, maybe this is not a fair comparison and is somewhat stupid, but after spending another weekend at a moto rally I saw the three disciplines practiced with lots of enthusiasm. In the same light I spent last weekend at a triathlon and I witnessed the three disciplines with great abundance. Now, what I do see in this comparison is both groups have one thing in common, most like to sip a beer at some time during or after the events. So, should we have a combination moto rally and triathlon, then rather that have a chili cook off, have a beer drinking contest. I think this has potential but we are totally stressed on the events we put on, so someone else is going to have to do it. Let's all think this over and see what can be done for 2009!!

This women thing continues to be there and I like it very much. I just watched the SNL presentation of Ms. Fey impersonating Ms. Palin again. It was very good and will get some good votes for McCain/Palin. On top of that it was actually humorous! Speaking of humor, Will Rogers once said, "there are 2 theories to arguing with a woman, neither works." I have been married to 3 of them and I can testify that I know more about life because of them, and I mean in a positive nature. So, there you got my take on women for tonight.

During the post race Elephant Butte triathlon philosophy session with Balls and Marianna, we all agreed that we had just been through a very tough triathlon. Now we were ready to sip some suds and expand on philosophical viewpoints of the day. We all decided that the country was in a financial mess and it was all brought on by greed, and then more greed. The people of the USA are no longer disciplined and want the easy way out and money is everything. So, let's tighten our belts and get through this stupidity. We all decided that the real problem is that the people who caused the problems are the ones trying to solve the problems! How stupid is that? These guys reminds me of another Will Rogers saying, "there are three kinds of men: the ones that learn by reading, the few who learn by observation, and the rest of them have to pee on the electric fence and find out for themselves." The third group are running the country now. We also decided that the all of the high tech stuff that is going on today, especially the cell phone, is detrimental to "adventure." Balls pointed out that there is very little adventure left in life because we have the cell phone to keep us in constant touch with everyone and everything. So, there is no creative thinking going on, just push the little buttons and your problems are solved. What a day, and how enjoyable to be with our two great friends. The only problem is that we are not together enough and live too far apart.

Off to Kona for the 30th running of the Ironman Triathlon World Championship, October 11. It should be interesting to see how it goes with the new owners of this historic race.

Will report back,


Thursday, October 02, 2008

Movie Review, Women---The Rib, Tough Triathlon

Very seldom do I start my messages with the movie review, they are usually saved for last as kind of the desert. However, after seeing the movie "The Women" it just opened up too many possible subjects and literary possibilities. This movie is all and only about women, with no men in the background, no men at the urinals, no men telling dirty jokes, no men playing golf, no men directing, no men in the cast, no men looking up the "women's" dresses, no men looking at the cleveage, no men standing at the water cooler at work talking about their last "lay", no men talking about all the money they make, no men talking about how they completely beat all the "women" in the last triathlon they just completed, no men PERIOD!! While you think I am stretching things a bit, I promise there were no men in this movie. Seems impossible but it is true and I think that you could call that part of the message. Women don't really need men according to this movie; however, the funny thing is that the theme and story really revolves around a man(one we never see or hear during the complete movie), and his infidelity in his marriage to perky, puffy lipped, frizzy long haired Meg Ryan. They have been married 13 years and now Mr. Man(yea, the one you never see) falls for the perfume lady in Sachs, and Ms. Perky finds out about it through the manicurist at Sachs. So, Ms. Perky goes to her friends(all women) and her mother, played by Candice Bergen) Annette Bening, Jada Pinkett Smith, Debra Messing while the villian home wrecker is played by Eva Mendes in her best swinging the butt tradition and cleavage galore! The rest of the supporting cast is Mette Midler, Cloris Leachman, Carrie Fisher, Lynn Whitfield and Debi Mazar. You notice they are all women, and remember there are no men in this movie!! So, the story is Ms. Perky has to figure out what she is going to do about this cad she is married to and had no clue there was anything wrong in their marriage. She also has to have the help of her friends and mother to get her through this in her best GET ALONG LITTLE DOGGY attitude. She goes to her father, who we don't ever see since there are no men in this movie, and he fires her from her plush family business job and informs her she really doesn't have as much talent in fashion and everyone thought. She then decides to do her on thing and in typical New York City based movies she has plenty of money to do a start up fashion business and has no trouble renting a plush loft business location, then hires a large design staff and then of all things has a fashion show that includes the head buyer from Sachs. So, she is a hit, finds herself, but does not find an outside love interest, nor is she really interested in the husband who was such a cad but now wants to come back. We know this because he sends a note basically asking for her to forgive and take him back, of course we don't see him do this since there are no men in this movie. Then the movie concluded with one of her friends having her fifth child and all of the women friends were with her in the delivery room and guess what gender the baby was, yep you guessed it "a BOY!!" So, we did see one male in this whole movie who was 5 minutes old and that's it folks!! Go see this *** rated movie if all of my narration didn't drive you away from it. It is rated PG-13 for sex-related material, language, some drug use and brief smoking.

After seeing this movie I started noticing that every time I turned around there was something about WOMEN in front of me, beside me, above me, etc. Possiby it is the Sara Palin factor that has been placed before us in all of the news media presentations. I noticed on a local eyeglass estabishment they advertised, "Sara Palin eyeglasses now in stock." Wow, and I had just bought some new glasses a few weeks ago and I missed out on this offer. Oh well, since I am a man I guess they wouldn't fit me anyway. Then I go to the airport and there is the current Newsweek with a white back ground for the cover with the statement, What Women Want(written in red lipstick). Also on the cover there were teaser statements luring you to buy this $4.95 magazine, which said, "The Puzzling Politics of Gender", and "Put Palin On the Supreme Court." Then I got the Sunday newspaper and on the cover was the Olympic Champion, 41 year old Dara Torres and a headline that inside there you would find a special Women's health report, plus on the third page was an ad for Desperate Housewives on ABC and billed as even "juicier" for the new television year. Jucier?? What the hell does that mean? Go figure!! Then of all things I went to the good book to see what the big guy above had to say about all of this. Well you don't have to go far(about 3 chapters in Genesis) and you get the idea on where all of this woman nonsense is coming from. The first mistake was the making of woman from the rib of man, how disgusting can that be? Why not just make her out of original ingrediants and not re-invent the wheel or stur up the original recipe. All he had to do was just make the genital adjustments from man to woman and create the accessaries that separate men from women and we would have been home free. But, no he has to go and put them in the garden and God forbid he ask the woman not to do something or something very bad would happen. So, what did she did, you got it, exactly what she was not supposed to do. We all know the rest of the story about the "now" naked bodies that before was no big deal, and then the temptation, then the making of the first brothers who ended up starting the first war in the Middle East(and they are still fighting, either us or themselves), etc., etc. Now, before we go any further here I want to make it clear that I love women and without them the world would really be screwed up. So, I welcome all of this new insight to "What Women Are All About" and I look forward in seeing how Ms. Palin holds up to the pressures of running for National Office and I wish her well. I'll even change glasses if she wins. Can't wait to see the next Time or Newseek!

This past weekend we competed in the Elephant Butte(torture) Triathlon in Elephant Butte, NM. This little Olympic distance triathlon was one of the toughest triathlons I have ever done for that distance. The swim was in a great swimming lake but the start was dead into the sun, which made for tough navigation. But, after a long 46 minutes I was out of the water and not(DAL) or dead ass last. The bike was 26 miles of rolling hills, steep climbs and a slight wind to our face going out, the returning last 10 miles was somewhat easier but after the first 16 your legs were dead meat. We were required to go over 6 cattle guards and on the first one I forgot to stand up while going over them and the vibration to my privates was very painful, but I did learn to stand at attention on the next 5. Funny thing is the vibration sensation seemed to make all of the "WOMEN" competitors smile(some even giggled) as they went over the vibrating affect. Wonder what that was all about?? The run started out even worse with 3/4 of a mile in deep sand with some up and down, then we went across two large dams, and through some hill climbs, etc. It was and out and back run, so the last 3/4 of a mile was in the deep sand. TOUGH!!! Yes, did I mention a triathlon from hell? After finishing I resolved never to do this race again, even though it was a very organized well run race. I would recommend anyone go do the race but beware, it is a tough one.

We are off to a motorcycle rally in Snyder, Texas this weekend. From triathlon to motorcycle rally is like being a cross dresser. Oh well, don't tell anyone I said that.