Monday, May 11, 2009

"Greener Grass" - Triathlon - Movie Reivews

As I leave Ransom Canyon to drive into the big city of Lubbock the road out requires me to pass by a 40 acre fenced in pasture that has four horses in it. They are generally grazing in the pasture with their heads down just eating the grass to their hearts content. But the other day I noticed one of them was doing something that reminded me of an old saying, as I watched him stick his head through the barbed wire fence, and stretch his head to the utmost to eat the grass outside the 40 acre pasture of green grass. Yep, you guessed it the old saying, “the grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence.” As I watched him stretch to eat this grass outside the pasture I noticed that the grass in the pasture was exactly the same grass, the same color and in the same volume, so why would he stick his neck through this barbed wire to eat the same grass he could eat right in front of him. Then I went into all kinds of philosophical manipulations to try and understand why mankind does the same thing, i.e. men look at other women and decide the grass is greener on the other side so they leave the comfortable pasture of marriage they are in to pursue the “greener” grass. But then to the contrary they find that it is not only not greener, but it is actually has a hidden brown tint to it, or is possibly rotten to the roots. Not at all what it appears but once he is in tight with it the real color comes through. Then there is the same thing in careers, use to a person would find their career or profession; pursue a company to work with and then stay with it for a number of years. Now days the grass always looks greener on the other side and no one seems to be loyal to their employers as they once were. So, why do we do this and what would be a way to prevent it from happening, or better still how does one know when the grass really is greener on the other side? The reality of life is that there are times when the grass not only looks greener, but it is actually greener and much better than the current harvest before you. So, to really evaluate this one must be real honest with themselves as to how green their existing grass is and does the grass across the fence really fit the bill or could it even be worse? The other way to evaluate it is to consider why you decided on the current choice of green grass in the first place. In the case of the horses they don’t have much of a choice since the owners put them in the fenced in pasture and they are stuck with it, except for sticking their heads through the barbed wire to harvest the grass outside the fence grass with their tongue and teeth. On the other hand we humans have our options set out there for us and we must decide what is the best choice of grass. While this topic has gotten a little more deeper than I had expected I suggest that anyone looking at the greener grass on the other side of the fence, before making a rash decisions they should just take out a pen and paper and list the 10 reasons for staying with the existing grass and 10 reasons to go for the grass across the fence. See which 10 are the strongest, and remember to use honesty in jotting these 20 items down. When I quit smoking two packs of cigarettes per day 45 years ago on October 31, 1964 at 5:45 a.m. in the morning (I remember these details because this habit is a hard one to really quit), I made a list of 10 reasons why I wanted to quit and kept the list close by so that every time I wanted a cigarette I would just take the list out and read it. The reality of smoking is that you really only have the urge to smoke for a matter of 30-45 seconds, so by the time I read the 10 item list I was past the craving. Then I memorized them and each time I wanted to smoke I just went to the mental list. So, now when you see some “greener grass” take a few minutes to determine is it really greener or does it just have an “appearance” of being greener? Good question!!

This past weekend I did the Ransom Canyon Triathlon for the fifth time and even though there was no one in my age group I was able to trim 6 minutes off of my time from last year. So, that was really my victory and the enjoyment of doing the race was accomplishing this feat. I knew going in that there was no one in my age group so my goal was to trim some time off. We had perfect race day weather, with mid 60 degree, overcast skies, slight wind from the NE and at times a light mist. The water was 66 degrees, so a little chilly for swimming. But the wetsuits and polar caps kept us warm and the race was on. This race is one of the more challenging sprint courses, simply because of the Canyon hills and the fact that the bike is a little longer than most sprints. With nearly 150 athletes competing it was a very enjoyable event. The burgers were excellent and the awards ceremony went off like a ticking clock. Then with Balls and Marianna, and new friend Matt present at the house afterwards we exchanged some philosophical viewpoints on luck and numbers. We are always glad to see our friends from the Republic of El Paso and so are the dogs, since they bark and sniff the whole time they are here. Buffman really did the barking scene this time and must have been thinking it was the Buffman & Squeaky tri coming up on the 17th.

Movie Reviews: “State of Play”, *** (Same as my local critic, but agree I just couldn’t come up with the fourth star) Russell Crowe is terrific as an investigative reporter in D.C. working for one of the major newspapers. This is a murder mystery involving a Senator, who was Crowe’s room mate in college. The motive includes sex, lust, greed, bribery, scam, murder, etc., meaning it is a real to life story of politics in our nation’s capital. It is also a story concerning the desperate times faced by many newspapers trying to stay afloat (with no bail out package from the Big O packagers). The movie is fast paced, has a good ending, good acting, and is worth going to see. Save some dough and go to the matinee. Rated PG-13 for some violence (you mean murder is violent?), language including sexual references, and brief drug content.
“Crank 2: High Voltage”, ----, this movie is terrible starring Jason Statham as the adrenaline junkie Chev Chelios. Chelios has such a strong heart that his enemies have a heart surgeon take out his heart in the opening scenes, replace it with a batter-powered ticker that requires regular jolts of electricity to keep it working(they want to save his life so they can harvest other vital organs from him). So, for the rest of the movie he is pursuing the bad guys who have his heart in a beer cooler and along the way he has to have jolts of electricity to stay alive. Man I can’t believe I actually sat completely through this. Rated R for frenetic strong bloody violence throughout, crude and graphic sexual content (you mean sexual intercourse between our hero and his girl friend in front of 10,000 race track fans?)
“17 Again”, ***, This was a much better movie than I thought it would be. The older Mike (played by Matthew Perry) is given a chance to go back in life to being 17 again. He is given a chance to re-capture some of his best years but comes to the reality that his current life wasn’t that bad after all. Rated PG-13 for language, some sexual material and teen partying.

“Ghosts of Girlfriends Past”, **, A very stupid and boring movie starring Matthew McConaughey as a committed bachelor who mocks romance on a daily basis. He is warned to expect visits from the ghosts of former jilted girlfriends, who escort him on a revealing funny odyssey through his failed relationships. Jennifer Garner and Michael Douglas co-star. Rated PG-13 for sexual content throughout, some language and a drug reference.
“X-Men Origins: Wolverine”, ****, Excellent movie starring Hugh Jackman. A prequel to the original X-Men, this film tells the story of Wolverine’s violent and romantic past, his complex relationship with Victor Creed and the ominous Weapon X program. Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action and violence, and some partial nudity (you mean when Jackman runs through the open fields into a barn naked?)


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