Sunday, November 21, 2010

Alarm Clock, Movie Reviews, Book Reviews

One of my simple goals in life is to wake up before the alarm goes off. Since I am an early riser by nature I normally do not set the alarm for everyday wake up. My main goal for that wake up is to shoot for around 5:30-6:00 a.m. and beat the shiftless, good for nothing time of 7:00 a.m. The reason for that is when I was a kid my dad would tell me that anyone that slept till 7:00 a.m. or later would never be worth anything and would turn out to be a “shiftless, good for nothing” human being. He was so adamant about it that it stuck in my sub-conscious never to leave or be erased. So, I always wake up prior to that forbidding time and go about my day. The other day I had a 5:50 a.m. flight out of Lubbock so I needed to wake up 4:15 a.m. I set the alarm the night before for 4:15 a.m. but was determined to beat it to the punch since alarms are basically very obnoxious things in the early morning. At 4:00 a.m. I was awake staring at the alarm making sure that I did not have to listen to it growl. At 4:10 a.m. I reached over and turned it off and then got up, with victory over the clock. Sometimes this is not a good practice since it is possible to go back to sleep, but the alarm guru’s figured this out by putting a “snooze” feature on it so you can hit it and then grab a couple of minutes more. When I am staying in a hotel and need to get up without fail for a meeting or something I just call the front desk and ask for a wake up call. Of course now with all the new modern hi tech stuff some have phones that require a computer programer to set the alarm. I stayed in one last night that was cordless but really didn’t work, so I called the front desk with my cell phone to tell them that my room phone didn’t work. Now, you hi tech freaks are saying, “why not use the alarm feature on your brilliant I Phone?” Well that is a real strange question since I don’t know how to set it and further more do not want to learn how to set it. The hotel was very accommodating since they promised they would send someone to my room to knock on my door. Well it turns out I slept every 15 minutes so I really didn’t need the wake up after all since I was already awake. I did set the alarm that was furnished in the room but when it went off I could barely hear it, so if I had been asleep I would not have heard it. Now, to wrap up this drama I did wake up in time and the hotel did send the messenger to knock on my door, BUT!!!!, he was 15 minutes later than my wake up call. At any rate I made my flight, took a nap on the plane and answered my wake up when the pilot says, “buckle up we are now landing”!!! WOW, this hi-tech world!!!

Movie Review: “Secretariat”, ****, No doubt a four star true story movie about one of America’s greatest athletes: A horse named Big Red, as he was called by his owners, but Secretariat as he was known in the horse racing world, who took his enlarged heart and desire to win and not only won the triple crown, but completely dominated it. The real story is how he got there and the people who helped him make it happen. There was the jockey, Ron Turcotte, the trainer Lucien Lauren(played by John Malkovich) and of course the owner Penny Chenery, played by Diane Lane. She fights just about every challenge you can imagine to make the dream of winning the triple crown happen. From financial challenges to the male chauvenists who really did not want “just” a housewife to be the owner of a winning horse. So, the real story is the getting there that makes this such a great movie. Please stay for the credits at the end since it tells you where the real people are now. Rated PG for brief mild language.

“Due Date”, *, While this really is not even a one star movie and without a doubt one of the worst movies I have seen this year I gave it one star since it did have two good actors in it. While it is apparent Todd Phillips, the director of this mess, thought he could imitate “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” , he didn’t even come close. That was a funny movie and Due Date doesn’t even come close. The story revolves around Peter Highman played by Robert Downey Jr.(a very good actor) as an expectant first-time father whose wife’s due date is only five days away. As he hurries to catch a flight home from Atlanta to be at her side for the birth, his best intentions go awry when a chance encounter with aspiring actor Ethan Tremblay(Zach Galifianakis--funny man from Hang Over) forces Peter to hitch a ride with Ethan on what turns out to be a cross-country road trip(Planes, Trains and Automobiles style, but not funny) that destroy’s several cars, numerous friendships, has a human/dog masturbation scene that was not funny and should have been left out, and just does not make any sense. The co-star’s Michelle Monaghan, Jamie Foxx and Juliette Lews were also wasted in this useless piece of cinema. Now if you go see this it is your own fault. Rated R for language, drug use and sexual content(you mean when Galifianakis and his pet dog masturbate in harmony?)

Book Review: “Tears of A Clown--Glenn Beck and The Tea Bagging of America”, Author Dana Milbank. *, This is really a weird book in that it makes no sense and if you can figure out what the point is please let me know. Supposingly Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank prsents a fair and balance look at multimillionaire real American Glenn Beck. Beck is the very popular Fox News host who boasts 3 million daily viewers. It intrigued me, before I read it, since I knew nothing of Beck and thought it might enlighten me. Again, useless and missed the point in my opinion. Save your money, I sure didn’t.

Current Reading: “Decision Point-George W. Bush”, half way through and this is an excellent book. Will have final review within a few days.

How about this Ms. SH??


Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Tubman/Leach, Movie Reviews, Book Refiews

Most of the time when I blog I have a central point that I want to make or talk about. Usually it is about something that went on during the week or weeks previous to the post and I just thought about it for a while. Many times this is motivated by my frustrations over the subject or see some humor in it. Like for example, our past football coach at Texas Tech that I labeled, Coach Brilliance in his early days heading up the football program, then I changed it to spelling his name Leech rather than Leach, simply because the things he said about his contract reminded me of leeches. Those little slimy things that live in the water and blood suck on you till you finally die, I guess. Then he introduced the concept of Pirates to the university, team, and city and it became a cool thing to own some kind of Pirate stuff. This became so bad you began to wonder if the mascot and team name would be changed from the Red Raider to Pirate, and we were going to be required to wear an eye patch to the games. It all became history when he was fired for insubordination and right before their 2009 bowl game. Just because he called up the Chancellor and literally cussed him out with words that cannot be printed on my blog, and did the same to a few of the Board of Regents. Well the real story is he was insubordinate the whole time he was at Tech and in the first two years rumor had it that his adult bar visits were more frequent than his being on time for a team meeting. Now we have that problem all solved since he was fired and Coach Tuberville has taken over a very successful, winning football team(winning record last 10 years, bowl appearances for past 10 years and highest graduation rates of all the Big 12 schools) and coached it down(as opposed to up) to a 4 win 4 loss season so far. Yesterday they lost to old rival, the Texas A & M(Aggies) and now with some strong teams left on the remaining schedule they could finish at best 6 wins 6 losses, but I would predict right now 5 wins 7 losses. This of course would make them not eligible for a bowl game(must have 6 wins for that), which will only get them in the insignificant bowl at best. So, how does all this happen in just a mere few months. Well these new coaches have more excuses than I have ever seen but I do know one thing for sure, SouthEast coaches always come to Tech with the attitude that Big 12 football is not up to par with the SE and they always leave with more losses than wins and wonder what happened. So, Coach Tuberville please gear up your britches and start to get ready for 2011. Your coaching credentials are great but you need a better supporting caste of assistants and quit scrimmaging all through the season. The reason you have so many injuries is a 12 game season, starting with two a days in August, just invites more injuries especially if you have contact work during the regular season. With the degree of hard hitting that is going on, the artificial turfs that make it much harder to land on without injury, and the fact that these little darlings are pampered all their life, they need some rest from contact during the week. Now you ask, how do you know this you ole man that still scoots around with the swim, bike and run sport of triathlon. Well I spent 13 years playing that game of football and have experienced just about everything you can imagine on the field of play, i.e. winning lots of games, earning a college scholarship, injuries, lots of scrimmaging and contact work in workouts, being chewed out by coaches, being praised by coaches, etc., etc. So, listen to me on this and lightened up a little bit and see what happens. Right now your offensive coordinator is in way over his head and just doesn’t make the right decisions for the offensive plays when they are really needed. And that fake signal stuff that goes on during the game at the Raider bench is a waste of energy and seems to be confusing the team even more, plus the fact that making stupid excuses is even more ridiculous. And you Mr. defensive coordinator, you have a way about you in using that big mouth that just doesn’t seem to get your point across. Oh yes I am sure they hear you, as the rest of the world does, however I can’t see how it it equating to success on the field of play(where everything is measured). The bottom line here is that you can salvage a bowl eligible season, but not likely, if you buckle it up and follow my suggestions. Otherwise, you can hang them up after the Houston Cougar game and start getting ready for 2011. It is going to be a long off season and no amount of public relation speeches around town will make the city forget this season, until of course you go 12-0 in 11. Go for it Coach!!!

Movie Review: “Hereafter”, ****, This is a Clint Eastwood directed movie and is excellent. This story does not resemble anything else he has ever done and is so far from Dirty Harry that it really makes you appreciate the depth that Eastwood brings to this cinema industry. His exploration of death, or rather what happens afterward, is not what we walk in expecting from a man in his 80’s. Rather the movie is quiet often subtle, actually a little slow to start with except for the tsunami’s arrival at an Indonesian beach. Star newswoman Cecile de France is among the thousands killed, but while she has the opportunity to see life in the hereafter she returns to life, but then is haunted by this knowledge. Her story is the first of three separate story threads. Matt Damon plays the part of a rare legitimate psychic, also haunted by his “gifts” since he goes through life with strong misgiving about them and even labels them “curses” at times. The other story involves the death of a twin brother in England and how the survivor seeks out the real psychic to get answers on life “hereafter” and asks for his help in explaining where his brother is and why this happened, the twins are 10 years old. Rated PG-13 for mature thematic elements including disturbing disaster and accident images, and for brief strong language.

Book Reviews: “Laura Bush-Spoken From The Heart”, ****, This is an excellent book written by the former first lady of the President George W. Bush. It starts with her childhood and goes through the years in the White House. Very articulate and full of details about her service as the First Lady, subtle justification for the decisions(but not dwelled on) made by “George” as he served in the Presidency. Her attention to details from the time she was a youngster up until the final days in the White House are interesting to read and would make this book an asset to your book shelf(after reading of course).

“Tiger-The Real Story”, ***, This is the second book written about Tiger since his fall from grace in the golf and business world. It is written by Steve Helling and he does a good job with the facts and definitely wrote it with no restrictions by the Tiger, but also was done with some taste and respect. Probably it would only be an interest to those who like golf or who have followed Tiger since he was a kid. His father use to say that “he would be more well known for what he did off of the golf course than what he did on it.” Well I am sure he was right but I am also sure that what he is now known for off of the golf course is not what he father meant.

How are you Ms. SH!! Hope you enjoy!!