Sunday, September 20, 2009

Fabric Shortage, Southwest Challenge Series, Movie Reviews

For the past 20 years I have been swimming at the Aquatic Center at Texas Tech University and it has been a really great place to swim. Just before the university entered into the Southwest Conference athletic conference they built this great aquatic center that featured a 50 meter pool for serious competition, then it also had lanes in it for 25 yards and a couple of 30 yard lanes. So, it really just didn’t get any better than that. Funny thing is after entering the conference they discontinued swimming so the pool was then open to the general student population and general public. However, as it is now a days with billion dollar football stadiums and basketball facilities the Red Raiders just had to do something different and create a multi-million dollar outdoor swimming facility that features a lazy river as part of its’ fun in the sun stuff. They do have two 25 yard lap pools, but one of them has volleyball and a basket ball net in it, so that just about eliminates it as a true lap pool. In years past it was a relaxing place to go get some serious lap swimming in and then take a little snooze or just relax. Now that it not the case since you have to battle for a lane and most of the time you have to share a lane. That is fine with the people who can swim without slinging their arms around, but in my case I go to battle with the water in slinging Mike Tyson punches as I swim my work out. So, beware if you have to share a lane with me or you will end up with black eyes and a bloody nose. Now that you have the setting of what we have to go through now to swim I have saved the best or worst for last in this story. After building the lazy river and putting it to use by the co-eds of this great university, I have discovered that there is an apparent fabric shortage in the apparel industry or maybe the lazy river has just brought out in the worst/best in them. They just don’t want to cover their slender, well endowed, brown bodies. I do know that the bikini outfits they are wearing now have less fabric in them than I have ever seen, and I have been watching bikini’s for a long time. It almost seems as though they ran an ad in the Tech Torridor asking for the best looking co-eds of the campus to go buy the most revealing bikini in Lubbock, come to the Tech lazy river pool and float down it with next to nothing on it and see what the men of the pool would be doing. I even went up to one of the life guards and said, “hey you guys should be paying the pool to work here, with having to watch these bodies all day, how good can it get?” He just grinned and gave me the thumbs up sign. It has finally gotten so bad that I have had to check and make sure my sun glasses are dark enough to hide the many movements my eyes have to make to catch all the sites that are out there. That way I can just point my head in one direction and look the other direction where the better sights are. Just to make sure I had this down I practiced it in front of a mirror to make sure I wasn’t that obvious, and did extreme eye movement training to really master this art. Now I am able to walk to the changing room, it just happens to be across the way from the lap pool so I don’t have a choice, right through this maze of bikini clad co-eds and never move my head. It enables me to scope in everything that is going on. I have noticed the other guys doing the same thing, no matter the age. The to put the icing on the cake they put a hot tub right beside the lap pool, so now the bikini’s have to go to the hot tub and submerge themselves in it, then slowly move themselves out of it. Looks just like some kind sleaze warm up scenes to a porn movie. Oh well, I must get my swim work outs in since I am a serious triathlete so I will continue to endure this torture while I train at the lazy river swim bash!! Before you ask, yes you can go with me on a guest pass and/or you can join for the annual rate, but go with an open mind!!

Well the race for the coveted 70-74 age group championship of the Southwest Series has taken on a new meaning for me and has proven that persistence pays off. After doing 13 events and driving 5,990 miles I can still control my own destiny to win the division. The Cotton Country victory this past weekend put me in that position and I am very relieved. The Cotton Country is a cute little race in Levelland, Texas and is just enough challenge to really get the heart rate up there. Since it is as flat as a pancake and the weather was perfect for racing it was really fun to go all out. It was also great to see Balls, Marianna, and Christa. So, we had a perfect day!!! Now I will do the grand finale this coming weekend at the Elephant Man triathlon in Elephant Butte, NM. This will add another 780 miles of driving to my odometer and all I have to do is finish to win the division. While I will not approach it with the idea of backing off or not going hard, I will make sure that I cross that finish line. Last year I came in third at this race and found it to be a very difficult race. So, I will go into it with a little different attitude and respect the course probably a little more than last year. After all we spent some time on the dance floor the night before the event and that is not going to be on the agenda for this year.

Movie Reviews: “The Time Travelers Wife”, **, While Kerns gave this three stars I just couldn’t agree with him. I do think it is an interesting movie and Eric Bana as Henry, the time traveler, and Rachel McAdams as Claire who fell in love with him when she was 8-9 years old. Even though it is a neat love story there are many gaps in it. Some of the happenings were kind of amusing, especially when he would travel back in time and have to do it in the nude. When he arrived he would have to search out clothing, always having to steal it. To me the big gap was, what did he really do when he went to another time period. It never made that a point of importance and never explained what the purpose of his time travel was. It was revealed that it was some kind of irregular function of his brain, etc., but never explained why he had no control over it. He could be kissing his love, Claire, and then just start to vanish. Probably more entertaining to others than me, but I recommend not spending the full fare on this one and rent the DVD or watch it on cable. Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, brief disturbing images, nudity and sexuality (not really a big deal).

“All About Steve”, **, This is another Sandra Bullock movie that she will probably wish she hadn’t made. It is really weird in some aspects and you wonder at times why you are there. She is a grown woman living with her parents with little hope of finding Mr. Right. While she is very attractive her personality is like plugged into some kind of 500 watt electrical plug at all times. To add more eccentrics to her personality she also writes cross-road puzzles for the local newspaper. She then thinks that she has met Mr. Right, her soul mate played by Thomas Haden Church(a current heart throb showing up in a lot of movies now) who is a roving news reporter . The story gets a little better when she chases him all around the country, and it does have a happy ending. Rated PG-13 for sexual content, including innuendoes (you mean when she attacks him in his SUV and throws him in the back while trying to take his clothes off to have some great sex, even though they just met about 10 minutes prior to this?)


Monday, September 07, 2009

Where the Sun Don't Shine, Honey Milk, SW Challenge Series, Movie Review

My current obsession with winning my age division in the Southwest Challenge Series is interfering with my blog postings, just seems like there is never enough time in the day. Since I like to offer some kind of original thought processes to this site I find it hard to just jump on the keys and type out something that doesn’t make sense. Remember the scent post concerning the cow, horse and pig manure and how you could tell the difference between them. Now that was an original post and I know probably changed the world in some way. Guess my original stuff was just not coming to me but now it has and my writer block has been defeated and now I can enlighten the world with some interesting stuff. Last week I went to a little coastal town called Seaside, Oregon to work a trade show for my newest healthy product, Athletes Honey Milk. But before I get to that let me tell you about my interesting airplane ride to Portland (where the sun doesn’t shine). Prior to boarding the plane I looked around at the folks that would become my flying mates for the next 3 plus hours and came away with the thought process that you can almost figure out where you are going, if you didn’t know this, by just looking at the people who are traveling with you. In this case you could tell you were heading to a spot where the sun just doesn’t shine very often so no one had a tan, plus they wore plaid shirts that didn’t match the pants they had on or the fit right. Since I was in the first group to board I took my seat and watched the rest of the passenger’s board. While watching all of these folks board that looked like they had just been resurrected from a long sleep with no sun this puffy botoxed lipped, artificially endowed, blonde woman takes the seat beside me in the middle seat. Since the window seat was not taken yet it was obvious we would have to do the same thing in a matter of minutes. Sure enough this dude comes in and we move out into the aisle and to let him in I notice the blonde was somewhat frustrated with the whole deal. Well sorry about this inconvenience but you could have let him climb over you and then maybe you would have both been happy. Regardless we finally got settled and I noticed that she had a big wad of gum in her mouth and was smacking it with a lot of enthusiasm. At least she wasn’t popping it like some people can do, even though with the sugarless gum it is harder to pop than it used to be. The dude who took the aisle seat was basically a computer nerd and wasn’t going to be a problem but I could sense that this blonde was going to be trouble. Aside from the popping gum she seemed to think she owned not only the middle seat (I’ll give her that since she paid for it) but both arm rests and any other spare space close to her seat. Somewhere along the way she and I just didn’t have the chemistry and at one point she felt like I was leaning to close to her so she started pushing on my shoulder telling me to move over. Move over hell, I just barely had enough room to sit and using the arm rest on her side was out so I was totally scrunched up on a ball and was very uncomfortable. In addition to her implication that I had somehow molested her with my right elbow she now took out her lunch and began to smack the turkey and ham sandwich. For the life of my I wish I could fly first class so I wouldn’t have to mess with this sort of thing, but it is just too much money. Now I was too the point that I couldn’t even take a nap for the worry that some of my body heat would somehow venture over into her forbidden zone and she would push that button that summons the flight attendant and I would be in cuffs the rest of the way. Much to my delight I was able to lean forward enough to not bother her and we completed the flight with a successful landing and now we were ready to exit the plane. After we stopped and everyone jumps up (worse on long flights, since everyone is ready to get off this submarine of the sky and get some fresh air) there was a guy in the aisle with a rather large butt and he was leaning towards me not knowing it was landing in my face. As this happened I pulled away and God forbid I landed in the forbidden zone of the Botox queen. She immediately grabbed my shoulder and pushed me away, wow two times in one day that I have been rejected, what will my ego do? I just looked at her and said, “Sorry about that, I guess having that big butt in my face caused me to over react.” She didn’t think that was funny at all and gave me one dirty look with the comment, “well I didn’t mean to make you mad.” What a trip and this was just the beginning since I had to make the flight back after my work was over. On the return trip I couldn’t be this unlucky again, but yes I was. I had the middle seat this time in the poor man’s first class commonly called the “emergency exit rows.” These seats have plenty of leg room and all you have to do is agree to help people out of the plane in case it crashes. Crashes??? Most crashes I have seen photos of no one walks away but the guys with the body bags, so I figure I just enjoy the extra leg room and not worry about helping others get out of a crashed airplane. Of course we could crash into one of the many lakes on the way to Dallas and then I could save the day by being a good life guard or something. At any rate the guy to the right of me in the window seat gets on and immediately starts sniffing, and kind of grunting. So, this is not my trip for good flying partners. First the Botox queen and now I have a guy sniffling and apparently he has a head cold. Then I think well maybe he just has an allergy and if he doesn’t sneeze I am alright, so then he sneezes. Next I think well if he doesn’t go to sleep with his head turned to me that will prevent him from breathing on me, but no not my day, he does go to sleep with his head tilted towards me and now I am sunk. So, I lower the tray in front of me and bury my face in my hands while holding my nose and hoping that I don’t get his germs. He is still doing this grunting thing, sneezing, and sleeping so I figure I am doomed for a cold or something. It reminded me of the George Carlin remedy for having the elevator ride all to yourself. He says, “just ask someone for a Kleenex, blow your nose in it, open it up staring at the stuff and then say, WOW! Look at this; it is all green and yellow.” Then show it to the other riders and you will have the elevator ride all to yourself in a short time. Next time I might try that!! To date I am healthy and breathing well, so maybe my preventive measures worked. Now on the other side of me was a Meg Ryan look alike, you know perky, short wild looking blonde hair, nice athletic body and real stuck on herself. Well since I never like to make best friends on an airplane it really didn’t bother me until I had to go to the bathroom and wondered how I was going to get to the aisle with this cold fish beside me. Lo and behold I got lucky (not in the since you are thinking) and she had to go to. So we went back to the back of the plane and since she was there first she got finished and went back to her seat. After I took care of my business I went back to the seat and of all things she had these black binders on so she could sleep and when I said “excuse me” she didn’t hear me. So, when this didn’t work I just decided to take my chances and step over her. Of course if I failed I could see the hand cuffs clicked on my wrists and house arrest would be in order. Due to the big space between the seats I was able to step over her legs and make it to my seat without any kind of incident. My lucky day! Needless to say it was nice to complete this flight and then wait for the flight to Lubbock, which turned out to be very boring since I had no challenges from my seat mates.

After all of this, working the trade show was a breeze and we handed out 7,800 cartons of Athletes Honey Milk, (to be covered in full on to the 17,400 finishers of the Hood to Coast 197 mile marathon event, in Seaside, OR. The product was well received and the twelve hours spent handing this out was well worth it. This is a tremendous recovery drink and is going to be very successful in the future.

The challenge to win my age group in the Southwest Challenge series has become quite a chore and is becoming like hard work. For the month of September there will be an event every weekend to compete in and I must go to all of them to maintain my slim lead. This past weekend we did two events, one on Saturday in White Sands (I got a first) and then on Sunday in El Paso (give me a second with awfully tired legs). My lead is still very slim, but now I have another event this weekend in Rio Rancho and then Levelland the following weekend. If it is needed I will go to Elephant Butte on the last week end to wind up the year with 17 triathlon events completed. Hopefully I can manage to have the most points but my competition is very fast and can over take me if I am not out there doing my best. Will report back!!

Movie Review: “Inglourious Basterds”, ****, This is one weird movie, a true black comedy concerning the goal to kill all of the Nazi’s during WW II. While Brad Pitt is the name star and the leader of a pack of mean killers (think Dirty Dozen here), Christoph Waltz, playing a Nazi Colonel dubbed a Jew Hunter, really does a great acting job. While the writer of the movie, Quentin Tarantino (known for “Pulp Fiction” and “Kill Bill” fame) wanted Basterds to equal these two I am not quite sure it got there. But it is interesting to see how he put this all together and the ending has his trademarks on it for sure. Rated R for strong graphic violence (under statement), language and brief sexuality.