Thursday, December 30, 2010

Nix Resolutions, Movie Reviews

The end of any year signals the beginning of a New Year, which is a heavy way of saying, “gear up dudes and dudettes and get set for another one!!” Now there are many ways to do this such as cleaning off your desk of all of the previous years junk, or maybe clearing out your closet of all the clothes your haven’t worn in 5 years(speaking of experience here) or possibly getting your new daytimer ready by transferring all of the old addresses and phone numbers to it(yea I know that is not done now by most since they put this on their smart phones, which is fine if you are smart, but if not then you transfer the hand written stuff over, by hand) or there is always the thought of going to or planning a big party on the night before the new year, which is called New Years Eve. This is of course is the one night of the year that people who like to get drunk, really get drunk. The reason there are so many drunks on New Years is because they are expected to do this by our society and so they do it. We know that the law enforcement expect them to do this because on the freeways they put up signs that say, “Drink and get a DWI(Driving While Intoxicated) or now the term is DUI(Driving Under the Influence), a little more sophisticated term but still is the same on your driving record. I noticed one last night that said, “Drink and Go To Jail,” wow what an invitation. So, obviously with all this signage there are going to be reminders to the drunks to be sure to drink and drive heavily. So, for this one day and night of the old year transitioning into the new year, it is total useless behavior that has never made much sense to me. In addition to the uselessness of this year end behavior I find another empty headed practice of writing New Year’s resolutions. This practice was probably started back in you know when during the time of Moses. I am sure he sat down one New Years eve and wrote out his new resolutions for the coming year with something like: 1. The sea will be parted by my cane, 2. My people will walk to the other side ,3. Then I will clean up my mess by putting the sea back in the right place, 4. Then of all things my people will be free. Now, usually New Year resolutions are a list of at least 10 things but I am going to let Moses off on this one. Moving on to modern times what we usually see now on the resolutions is the good ole stand by called going on a diet to lose 35, 45, or maybe even 55 pounds(seems like a good idea since 68% of the USA population is obese) or maybe starting an exercise program to lose this weight, or maybe take dancing lessons so when I go to the local meat market that ends with R, I can get ask to dance every dance, or maybe someone would want to make a million dollars so they write their New Years resolution to make a million dollars in the first quarter of the New Year. While there are thousands of these type goals out there I contend that this goal setting thing is really old, stupid and generally a huge waste of time and isn’t worth the paper it is written on. So now what I would propose is that this practice be abolished by an act of our Congress and that “goal achievement” be the new term and that it be practiced and strictly enforced on June 1 of each year. Why June 1 you ask(I assume someone is reading this)? Simply because it is in the middle of the summer and the weather is warm through out the USA(right now I am not concerned about Europe, South America, Asia, or any where else, we have to set the example for the rest of the world, then they can follow when they see our dramatic results). One of the reasons there are so many drunks on December 31 is because it is cold weather and they think they will get warm if they drink a lot. Also, June is in the middle of the year and the slump is beginning to set in, so we revive our enthusiasm by

writing new, refreshing “goal achievement” lists and end the year with great things happening in our life. Also during June it would be easier to sweat off all of that excess blubber and replace it with tanned muscle tone. On the business side one could see the half way point more clearly and then gear up their juices and do a “goal achievment” seminar in Hawaii. The good news there is since business people are more bottom line oriented going to Hawaii in the summer would be more economical and there would be no worry on busting the pleasure budget. In conclusion I think everyone gets the jest, yea I know I should have written this on December 29, 2009 but at least it is now the written word and can be practiced June 1, 2011. After all it will take Congress at least that long to get it voted in. Now to finish out the year by writing another blog and missing the parties.

Digest this SH & EA!!


Movie Reviews: “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1”, ****(if you like Harry Potter movies), otherwise if you are like me *(boring). If you are fans you will go and see this as one who is loyal to the movement. The story is all of the former school mates from Hogwarts School must find hidden Horcruxes if Harry is to stand any chance of killing Lord Voldemort(obviously a villian). All’s well that ends well. Rated PG-13 for some sequences of intense action violence, frightening images and brief sensuality(must have slept through all of that).

“How Do You Know”, ***, A new contemporary romantic comedy co-starring Reese Witherspoon, Paul Rudd, Owen Wilson and Jack Nicholson. Witherspoon and Rudd, cast as Matty and George, meet for their first date on a the worst night of their entire lives. Matty, a devoted athlete, has just been cut from her team and has begun a fling with major league baseball player(Wilson). Then the fun begins. George’s father is played by Jack Nicholson and their drama makes the movie interesting. Go see with the idea this is not an award winning movie, but entertaining. Rated PG-13 for sexual content and some strong language.

“Little Fockers”, ***, The test of wills between Jack Byrnes(Robert Ne Niro) and son-in-law Greg Focker(Ben Stiller) escalates to new comic heights in this third Fockers movie. This is an all star cast with Barbra Streisand, Dustin Hoffman, and Owen Wilson. All kinds of funny drama goes on while former CIA investigator Jack suspects Greg of foul play with other women, etc. Some funny scenes and harmless. Rated: PG-13 for mature sexual humor throughout, language and some drug content.

“True Grit”, ****, This is really a marginal four star but got to give them credit for challenging the sacred grounds of John Wayne. I am not sure he is rolling in his grave over this one but is probably proud of the way it is presented. The story is the same as the orginal with 14 year old Mattie Ross seeing her dad murdered. She then hires Roster Cogburn(Jeff Bridges does a great in playing this part) to track the killer down and bring him to justice. They also find a Texas Ranger played by Matt Damon(this was played by Glenn Campbell in the first film and he was terrible, Damon is not much better) to help them capture this murdering outlaw. Lots of action and Bridges plays Rooster real well, very enjoyable movie. Go see it for sure. Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of western violence, including disturbing images.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Tough Being Number One, Movie Reviews, Book Review

For the past six weeks my bowling team has been in first place in league play and now the pressure is beginning to mount. Since this is a two person team league my team consists of me, one other and a substitute. So when we have rah rah get togethers, which amounts to a bucket of bottle beer prior to bowling, plus maybe some popcorn or pizza as the pre-game meal, and then the 15 minute warm up, the crowd is quite small. We practice our high fives but no fist bumps(bowling is the only sport where the fist bump is not a good thing, since it means you rolled an open frame and did not strike or spare, consequently you do not mark, which is a bad thing). Since most of us don’t actually practice or even see the bowling alley between bowling night(Wednesday in our case) this precious 15 minutes is very critical and offers the competitors the time to get their mark down and make adjustments. My adjustments usually depend on what kind of swim, bike and run work out I have done prior to bowling. Some times a long bicycle ride or run can affect my approach since my legs may be a little stiff, or if I swim then my arms tend to get a little tired and I have trouble controlling the ball. So, as anyone can see this bowling is not as easy as one might think. But then again when you reach the top of the league as my team has we find that staying number one is much harder than the journey to get there. In the first place no one figured a team made up of an old man(me) and a fellow who has had many health problems over the years, but probably 20 years younger than me, could possibly muster up enough marks to be in the lead at the halfway point. But with consistency and tenacity we have carved away some niches for ourselves and have a nice lead going into the holidays. The big problem now is the teams that think they should be in the lead really try to take it out on us and won’t even speak to us during the three game series. Fact is if this was football it would be like helmet tackles to the head, gouging the eyeballs, and kicking you in the privates. Yes folks this game of bowling can be a real tough form of exercise and competition. One thing they did this past week is throw one of their baseball caps out into the lane while I was starting my approach. Man, that is real dirty stuff and then when they get a big laugh when you don’t mark and they do it becomes almost unbearable. But, my partner and I just keep on bowling and winning, winning and then winning some more. We took lessons from Brett Favre and just continue to roll those balls down the lane and knock over those obnoxious fat bottomed pins. After the three games this past Wednesday our opponents never high fived us, never said great game or great strike or anything of those things that are called good sportsmanship. In spite of this we came away with our victories and remained in first place. The guys were sure they were going to blow our balls(pardon the pun) out of the building, but we maintained our cool and sent them home still in third place. Next week we will be bowling another team that will treat us the same way so on Christmas week we will have to put our most focused game face on and beat their butts. Some times we draw a female only team and they are usually nicer than the men, that is if they are winning. If they aren’t winning they can become very hostile and say real bad things, like “you have a real old looking butt, or your aging has really been noticeable since your birthday last week, or maybe your bowling really sucks most of the time, or “ladies first” so get out of our way, or if they are so endowed they will do the cleavage thing to screw up our concentration, or if they happen to have a nice butt they will wear extra, extra tight jeans that looks like they were born in them, or some other kind of uncanny, catty type thing. As I mentioned in the beginning, “being number one is a bitch, much easier to get there than stay there”, but I promise my partner and I will bowl as hard as we can and knock as many pins down as possible(the results being a higher score) and hopefully walk away with the number one trophy in the spring. The last time I won a first place bowling trophy was in 1964 and I was a 24 year old 2nd Lt. in the active US Army. Now I am heading towards my second first place trophy as a 72 year old, retired Lt. Col. 48 years later. Go figure!!

Movie Reviews: “The Fighter”, ****, This is a true story about boxer Mickey Ward who struggled with mediocracy and then became the World Boxing Champion. Mickey is played by Mark Wahlberg and his older half brother Dicky Ward is played by Christian Bale. Dicky(Bale’s) is a former boxing legend himself who squandered his talents and one shot of greatness. He became a crack addick very young in life and was obcessed with this addiction. He was also the trainer for Mickey but couldn’t leave the crack alone long enough to really train his brother. Then all hell pops loose within the family and Mickey’s new girl friend played by Amy Adams helps him see the light that if they don’t seek better managing Mickey will never win the championship. Against all odds they did come together and win. Very good movie, if the Oscars are looking closely I am sure Christian Bale will be nominated. Rated R for language through out(record number of f... bombs), drug content, some violence and sexuality.

“The Tourist”, ***, This is a good movie with an interesting twist. Anyone who likes to look at Angelia Jolie(and who doesn’t?) will most certainly not miss this movie. Since it is a criminal mystery it starts out that way and then tests your who done it and why they done it abilities through out. With the backdrop of Paris and Venice it provides a tremendous atmosphere. Johnny Depp plays the part of Angelia’s stranger(or is he?) boyfriend and they strike up some very good chemistry. It does turn out to be a deadly game of cat and mouse and someone must die. So, there are villians and good guys and guess who dies? Go see, well worth the ticket and popcorn. Rated PG-13 for violence and brief strong language. NOTE: No nudity, Angelia keeps all of her garments on during this one, SHUCKS!!

Book Review: “George W. Bush--Decision Points,” *****, Just finished this book on my last trip and I can say it is a very good book. It really opened my eyes to a lot of “decision points” concerning this eight year presidency. It also opens up some interesting points considering the many aspects of making presidential decisions. Without a doubt the details and explanations of how major decisions were made is outstanding. The former president does not shy away from his mistakes, or his successes. Whether you have any desire to read about former presidents or this one in particular, I believe it would be enjoyed by all, especially people that are interested in presidential history.

Okay SH, what you think?


Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Gropeless, Movie Reviews, Book Review

For the past three months I have been on a real travel by air marathon, fact is these months of travel have been the most intense since I was a young stud sales manager traveling the USA. Since September my trips have been to Myrtle Beach, SC, Kona, HI, Clearwater, FL, Denver, CO, Colorado Springs, CO, Washington DC, Tuscaloosa, AL, Birmingham, AL, Phoenix, AZ. This time frame doesn’t include the trips by automobile that include Dallas, TX, Boulder, CO, Amarillo, TX, Midland, TX, Rio Rancho, NM, etc., etc. So, needless to say I have seen some country, done a little business and also competed in a few triathlons. So, out of all this it may sound a little boring however my trip to the Nations capital probably offered the most comical. Since the air trips involved 32 different segments of getting off and on the plane(a segment being from one airport to another, i.e. Lubbock to Dallas, get off and then fly to the final destination) I went through the security areas so often the TSA guys and gals got to know me by sight, not just by my photo ID. After awhile it all becomes a haze and one trip runs into another, on one segment I woke up from my tidy little nap and couldn’t figure out where I was or where I was going, but the good news is that the pilot and navigator did, so I went back to sleep. The one trip that does stand out has to be the DC-Dulles Airport trip. It was an early trip out of Lubbock to Houston, so I get there plenty early and get all situated at the check in but decide to carry my bag on rather than check it. So, I step up to the blue uniformed(they just changed the colors late in 2009) TSA official to show my ID and board pass and all of a sudden I thought I had left my cell phone in the car. So, after going through the security check point I had to drop out of line to go after the almighty cell phone. Alas, I had actually put it in the corner pocket of my brief case and so I was okay, now back in line. So, the TSA guy gets a good grin as I pass through again. Now I go through the complete line, you know stripping down to something more comfortable for these blue suited lust filled eyes and take my bag(remember I am not checking my bag this time) through the camera area. Lo and behold the blue suiter takes out my shaving kit and says that most of the things in it are “over sized” and have too many ounces. So, I could throw them all away or go back to the ticket counter and check them, then return back to security for the third time. I took the second option and checked the bags. Now, I come through the check point for the third time and the blue suiter really got a laugh. We almost became best friends, but I can say the third time was the charm, I was now able to enter the aircraft, take my nap and wake up wondering where I was. Now for the trip back I go to the Dulles airport plent early, make it through the security check point but then discover that I have left my George W. Bush book in the hotel room. Thankfully I was staying at the airport Marriott and they have a continual shuttle running to and fro from the hotel to the airport. I then proceeded to go out to hotel pick up at curbside and go back to the hotel. As I walked in I got some grins then got my old key to my old room and found the book sitting right where I had left it. So, back to the airport and now through the security check point AGAIN!!! This time there was more of a line but I did make it through without a hitch. Now for the kicker in this story! I went through the security checkpoints 5 times on this trip and never once got rubbed, felt of, groped, fondled, searched, or felt intimidated by a gorgeous big breasted, great cleavaged blonde TSA blue shirted official. After all I had been reading about how the passengers are being searched by these wicked hands of the blue suiters I was expecting this and had planned on enjoying myself during the search. Sorry, not to be, these guys and gals are very professional and never once touched me in such a way that would excite any of my body parts. Good work TSA team, keep up the good work and keep the “friendly skys” even more friendly. A couple of rules I now have established after this trip, one, never do the carry on bag thing, two, always double check the cell phone location before entering the line, three, always check the room before leaving just to make sure you have everything(I always do this but failed to this one time), four, always wear something that is easy to put on and take off, you never know what might come up during the trip, then you are prepared at all times. Now to pack for the next trip, yep, this Friday to Colorado Springs, CO. Love the Springs!!!!

Movie Review: “Faster”, *, This time I agree with the local critic and matched his stars. This is a very violent movie and really not that good. The mystery unfolds in far too predictable fashion, and all that leaves us with is serial revenge killings by a big brother who, for reasons unknown to us, may feel most at home behind the wheel of a speeding automobile. There is a gaping hole in the film as the character know as Driver, played by Dwayne Johnson(a good actor actually), walks out of prison to the tune of threats from other inmates, saying he will be a walking dead man on the outside. Once outside he starts killing those that responsible for his brothers murder. Funny thing is he rides around the country side walking into public places blowing peoples brains out and never gets caught. He also gets shot in the back of the head but is saved because the last time he got shot in the back of the head they put a steel plate in his head that saved him from the second shot to the back of the head(figure that one out). Billy Bob Thorton is a corrupt detective that shoots up(drugs), and of course is on the take. Driver realizes his ultimate goal is shooting Billy Bob in the back of the head. Yes folks this is one useless piece of cinema that doesn’t really deserve more than a star. Don’t waste your money on this one. Rated R for strong violence, some drug use(you mean when Billy Bob shoots up with the scene showing the needle going in his arm) and language.

“Morning Glory”, ***, This movie is set in the dysfunctional world of morning television news shows. It would be considered a romantic comedy, and also a little satire thrown in for the morning show crowd. Some really neat cameo appearances by popular TV news commentators. The story is around television producer Becky Fuller(played very well by Rachel McAdams). After being fired from her current job and in dire need of a job she apllies for and gets the producers job for a last place rated national morning show called “Daybreak.” Her goal is to revitalize the show by uniting legendary TV anchor Mike Pomeroy(Harrison Ford), but he refuses to cover fluff features alongside co-anchor Colleen Peck(Diane Keaton), a former beauty queen and veteran morning show personality. The two clash, first behind-the-scenes and then on the air. Becky also develops a neat love affair and the guy understands her desire to be successful, so this offers a side dish of a story. Enjoyable movie, well worth the money but will not win any awards. Rated PG-13 for some sexual content including dialogue, language and brief drug references.

Book Review: “Decision Points-George W. Bush”, 80% done on this great book. It gets better as I get close to the last pages. My problem is when I am reading a very good book I have a tendency to not read it as much, when I get close to the last pages since I do not want it to end. So, I am dragging a little but will have it finished this weekend.

How are you Ms. SH, lots to read this time!!