Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Tubman, Movie Reviews

Just when I thought all the fans for Texas Tech football had the bad goods on the new football coach Tuberville he pulls a fast one and wins against the Colorado Buffalos. While the first half gave the neatest mascot of all time, Ralphie the live Buffalo, the right to really strut around the second half turned out very different. After watching Tech get beat bad by Oklahoma State the previous week it was becoming obvious that the do dads in charge of hiring and firing at Tech had made a huge mistake in firing the former head pirate Mike Leach, and then hiring Tommy Tuberville, a re-tread former coach from Auburn. On top of winning the game in Boulder Coach Tub becomes the first head football coach at Tech to ever win a game in the confines of that cozy little stadium that sits on the Colorado Boulder campus with a capacity of 50,000. For this game 47,000 fans showed up to see Colorado out play Tech real bad in the first half, then during the half time Coach Tub put some fire into the bellies of his padded beasts and they won the game. In last weeks game Coach Tub had all kinds of excuses, such as: “We couldn’t throw the ball in the fourth quarter because of the wind blowing!!” Well I got news for you dude, West Texas invented the wind and is very proud of it. If you don’t want to play in the wind then go back to Auburn and play in the humidity. Then the offensive coordinator said that Tech couldn’t get their offense going because the opposing team was “faking” injuries and stopping their momentum. This had to be the most lame excuse I have ever heard a coach make, kind of like saying the artificial turf slowed them down because it had grown during the week. It just didn’t make sense and then saying it wasn’t an excuse was also lame, either it is or it isn’t. Now Tech has a very important victory with a season record(4-3) and to be bowl eligible they must win at least six games. The way they have played this year the only bowl they would go to is the insignificant bowl played in no-where USA. With over 30 bowl games out there they could scrape up something just to say they continued their streak of 11 straight years of playing in bowl games. Raider Nation, the un-official group that still loves fired Coach Leach and hates present Coach Tuberville, hopes they don’t go so that will prove to the Tech administration that they made a real booboo in firing their favorite pirate of the gridiron. Got news for you Raider Nation honorable members, Leach is not coming back and is history. Put that in your Red & Black pipe and understand that Leach is suing Tech for millions while he blew his multi-million contract by being both arrogant and insubordinate. Yes, Coach Almighty, even though you won some games here you do not own the university or call the Chancellor and cuss him out!! So Raider Nation please go away and spend your energy on supporting the new coach and the team that does the job on the field. Wreck ‘em Tech!!

Movie Reviews: “Red”, ****, This is a very good movie with a star line up you just normally don’t see. Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren, and John Malkovich play retired CIA agents who all of sudden become the potential hit victim of their former employer. Karl Urban plays the part of the CIA’s hit artist who is to take them out, especially Willis. Mary-Louise Parker plays a government secretary who befriends Willis over their long distance phone conversations, driving him to the point of wanting to be with her and live a normal life. Well of course the CIA has other ideas and it becomes a very good story with lots of action. With Academy Award winners playing fun roles they really do their stuff. Helen Mirren does a great job and is fun to watch. Ernest Borgnine even has a small part to add to the star power. Rated PG-13 for sequences of violence and action throughout.

“The Social Network”, * for the way the movie makes you feel, **** for the acting, presentation, etc. This movie is already being billed as a shoo-in by many to become one of the 10 Oscar nominees for Best Picture of 2010. The drama focuses on the evolution of Internet social site Facebook from its creation in a Harvard University dorm room in 2003 by social outcast, arrogant, computer programming genius Mark Zuckerberg. It builds to over 200 million members and after this movie will probably double again. While there may be some Hollywood stuff in this presentation of Harvard in general it appeared that the students exhibited the epitome of intellectual arrogance. For me, it was a total waste of my time and I only stayed until the end so I could prepare this review. If my readers go see the movie anyway then it is on their shoulders, not mine. Oooops, will this be on my Facebook wall, page, or rest room walls or whatever?? Rated PG-13 for sexual content, drug and alcohol use and language.


Monday, October 11, 2010

Barney and Goober

While I have been doing a lot of traveling lately I am inspired to write about a recent trip to what I call Barney and Goober land. Yes, the same Barney and Goober of Andy of Mayberry fame from the old black and white television days. You know good ole boy sheriff Andy and his trusty side kick Barney Fife. Then later they had a guy that wore this simple looking little round beanie cap and his name was Goober. Between Barney and Goober you had the simplest form of everyday life that anyone could imagine. Goober must have had an IQ of somewhere between 10-98 and Barney was smart but real emotional and straight line in his thinking. His claim to fame was the two bullets that Sheriff Andy would allow him to carry in his front breast pocket. He was allowed to put the bullets in his pistol for fear he might accidentally shoot someone by mistake. Goober on the other hand had no real speciality except to do dumb things for no real reason. Between these two guys a big day for them was to get into an argument over who won the marbles contest or who could shoot pool without chalking their stick. What sparked my memory on all of this is I recently had to fly into Florence, South Carolina to make a connection to my ultimate destination, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. While my flight into Florence didn’t render any real memories of Mayberry I could feel something different about this airport. While it was called a Regional Airport I wondered what Region really meant. This was prompted by my return to Florence for my trip back and as I entered the airport at 8:00 a.m. I noticed that there was no one in the airport. There was no agent at the American Airlines or Delta counter, no rental car agents, no TSA agents that like to frisk you to see what kind of bomb you are bringing in and no kind of vendor or food area. It was like I was in a time zone where everyone was taken from Mayberry, ooops I mean Florence, and sent off to the near by Florida swamps. But they did have a row of desks, plugs for computers, and reading lamps. It again reminded me of Mayberry where the town drunk use to lock himself in the jail cell when he got plastered. It was also like I was in charge of the airport since I was the only one there. After about an hour I noticed that the guard was changing a little bit and some employees were starting to arrive. When the airlines folks strolled in I ask them what I was supposed to do and they said, nothing right then, just be cool and we will contact you when you can check in. At this stage of the game I wondered if I was going to have to guide the plane into the gate area, unload the baggage, re-fuel, and just basically take charge of this situation. Turns out people started coming out of the wood work and finally at 12:40 noon the first flight would be leaving. Now I started to take my computer apart and place it in my brief case while feeling a little better about Florence. Since my first commercial flights date back to the early sixties I guess this is the first airport I have come into that was deserted upon my morning arrival. Moral to the story is if you fly into Florence, SC don’t expect a lot out of the airport but you will enjoy their business center since it is first class, and Barney & Goober will not bother you at all.

How is that SH? Remind you of the Mid-South travel days into Greenville, and Memphis?


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Six Packs, Movie Review

If a person was ever going to be intimidated by the hard bodies of sport then I would suggest that they not come to the Big Island of Hawaii to spend their hard earned egg money, especially during Ironman week. This time is set aside for Ironman triathletes through out the world to converge on the island and remind it that they will conquer the 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride and then top a fun day off with a 26.2 mile run. No folks this is not done over a 7 day period but is done within the confines of the 17 hour maximum cutoff. In the early days they had not formal cut off and the record slowest time is owned by Walk Stack at 27 hours. Of course it is never mentioned that he drank a case of beer and ate burgers and fries during his venture. While his stories are legendary and probably have as much fiction as truth, it is amusing to hear them and be part of this endurance extravaganza. In the early days it was really a laid back affair and the original race director made the comment that this was really a bunch of crazies and she couldn’t figure out why anyone would do such a stupid thing. But it continued to grow into world wide popularity and actually started from a semi drunken discussion between some armed forces(Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard) officers and enlisted men. The discussion turned argumentative relative to who was the best athlete, the swimmer, bicyclist or runner. It was decided by the 12th beer that they would just do all three and whoever finished it would be declared an Ironman(no women allowed at the time). So, that is how it all started and now has been going on for over 30 years. The first time I competed in it I was sure I would never finish it, but just to start it and go as far as possible would be a great thing. Turned out I did finish it within the cutoff and now see why we are called an “Ironman.” What I have noticed over the years is that the athletes have become better trained and their body shape is closer to a gazelle than a man. Their upper body is shaped and molded like a big accordion and their stomaches are not identifiable since the rippled six packs gather all the attention. To add insult to injury these guys and gals have extremely heavily defined muscle groups with the blood veins popping out all over them. Since I have been doing triathlon for the past 27 years I have noticed some similarity to the gazelle bodies; however, I have also noticed that my love handles have moved more forward to the front of my body and have the joined the six packs who have really been reduced, with time, to two packs. So, I have two love handles and two six packs fighting for attention on the front of my body and it is really disturbing. If they would just settle down and enjoy each other it would be much better; however, I notice when I run that they are almost battling each other for position and this affects my running. While I am swimming and biking there is no problem since blubber floats and I am bending over on the bike squashing the dudes flat. While I know it is a noble thing to grow older and the wisdom gained is one to cherish, I just wish that these body parts would go back to their youth and not bother me. I have even gotten to the point that I will probably enlist a strength coach to take charge of these guys and show me how to exercise them back into their normal place on my body. Funny thing is that I am really not intimidated by these hard bodies as much as I don’t like to look in the mirror and see a two pack and two love handles equal a real odd couple. I have been told that there is a remedy for all of this mental pain and torture so I am sure my ego will get around to enlisting this magic muscle worker as soon as I return to the main land. I will also eat more Subway sandwiches since I know after watching their commercials that you can lose lots of weight and add more muscle while eating a 6” sub with whole wheat, turkey, ham, beef, ranch dressing, tomato, onions, peppers, with their side kick potato chips and 12 oz Coke. Yummy, I can see those six packs and love handles doing the two step as they dance off of my stomach.

For you today SH from paradise,


Movie Review: “Wall Street-Money Never Sleeps”, ****, Well you remember the original where Gordon Gekko, played by Michael Douglas, puts his “greed is good” theme to work and ends up in prison for 8 years. His only sin was he illegally manipulated the Wall Street dudes out of millions of dollars, got caught, was convicted and sent to prison. This new movie starts with his release from prison and his quest to make up for lost time. However, there are other things he wants to take care of, including being reunited with his daughter, but he also finds that Wall Street has changed a lot since spending time in the slammer. While the movie is directed by Oliver Stone I found that the previews of the movie did a great job of misleading us on how the actual movie was going to go. However, it did finally get to the vengeance and new found greed of Gekko and was supported by fine acting from Shia LaBeouf(future son in law Jake, maybe, and current Wall Street young stud), Carey Mulligan(girl friend of Jake, and daughter of Gekko), with a cameo from Charlie Sheen. While Douglas received an Oscar for the original I don’t feel this movie is strong enough for that to happen this go around. It is an entertaining movie and the photography by Oliver Stone movies are always innovative and of the highest quality.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Southwest, Movie Review

The first time I flew on Southwest Airlines they had three airplanes and the flight attendants wore shorts so short and tight you wondered how they got them on and off. The pilots wore black leather jackets with a little facial hair and looked like they had just climbed off of a big black noisy Hog. The attendants were all cheerleader good looking and led Dallas Cowboy cheers before take off and immediately when the wheels hit the ground. On one trip they were doing the infamous 20 minute turn around that made them completely different from the other airlines. They could land the plane, herd the passengers off, tidy up the plane, herd new passengers on the plane, leave the gate and take off within 20 minutes. It contrast it takes American 20 minutes to just open the front door, another 20 minutes to allow you to stand up and another 20 minutes to get you on the walkway. On one of my early trips on Southwest we pulled into Houston Hobby airport, open the doors, herded the passenger off the plane, herded the new group onto the plane, backed the plane onto the run way, and oooops the plane made a u-turn back into the gate with no announcement as to what was going on. After opening the doors 4 passengers left the plane, the doors shut and then we proceeded to get the flight on the way. After reaching cruising altitude the captain came on the intercom thanking us for our patience(I love it when they do that since you really have no other choice at 30,000 feet) and that in their quest to make the 20 minute turn around they actually boarded too many passengers and had to return them to the gate. There sense of urgency got the best of them that day, and as I have watched them grow to hundreds of airplanes in their fleet I am amazed as to how they have maintained this continuity of great service and great prices. But on the other hand Southwest Airlines has completely spoiled the traveling public with low prices, great service, both on the ground and in the skies. They continue to set the pace for the airline industry and do it with a sense of humor, and great looking flight attendants. So, when you have to fly the other airlines it is really a bummer, even if the flights are free as a result of mileage points are for any other reason. Today I am flying back to Lubbock from Birmingham on American Airlines and I am longing for the comforts of the 737 Southwest jets. But more than anything I am missing the convenience they offer in flight availability in and out of Lubbock and the pricing structure that is still very good. When we checked into the counter to fly out the first thing we had to pay for was our bags, exactly $25.00 extra. What a rip off, while on Southwest there is no extra charge. When you travel it is customary to take your luggage as part of the trip. So, they gotcha coming and going on American. The tickets prices are twice as much, unless you are traveling on free tickets from mileage like we are today, and the service is questionable. Then to put a crowning blow and the prime example of not caring about the customer we landed in Dallas with a 3 hours lay over for our scheduled flight but noticed that there was a much earlier flight to Lubbock. While this flight was not available when the original reservations were made not only is it available but it will get us into Lubbock 3 hours earlier. Now for the rest of the story. We walk up to the gate counter and ask if they have two seats on this flight to Lubbock, and the answer was yes. But, now the kicker, we were told that it would be another $100.00 for us to take these two seats even though they are sitting there empty and no one is taking them. Think of it, these two lonely seats are now flying back to Lubbock with no one in them and I am sitting here in DFW writing this blog emphasizing that service is dead in the big airlines and has been for quite some time, while on the other hand the breath of fresh air in air travel is Southwest. I’ll lead the next cheer on my Southwest Flight!!

Movie Review: “The Town”, ****, Think “Gangs of New York” and you will feel the brutality that goes on in this movie. Ben Affleck is the lead actor and also doubles as the director. This is his second outing in the director role and could be the heir apparent to Clint Eastwood. He does a great job in both roles and really keeps you on the edge of your seat with the story, action and great acting. Doug MacRay played by Affleck is the unrepentant leader of a small group of ruthless bank robbers who take what they want and never look back. Then ole kind hearted Doug falls for the former hostage of one of their Turns out this part of Boston is famous for bank robber crimes, while this is not a true story it does resemble real life crime in that city. The guys who play Affleck’s partners in crime are like back up singers, they are good but you really don’t recognize them for their past acting credits. Rated R for strong violence(under statement), pervasive language(under statement), some sexuality(soft porn), and drug use.

Good day to SH, thanks for reading!!