Monday, October 31, 2011

Friday Night Lights, Part II

After looking at the Friday Night Lights part I, I noticed I left a few very important bits of information out. While I mentioned the fence watching of the game I failed to mention that in the olden days there use to be fights break out amongst the fanatic fans. After all this is the old West and this type of thing use to be settled with a six shooter. But, they became a little more grown up and just beat the crap out of each other with their bare fists. Of course the area was dry country so they had to buy their hootch from the local bootlegger, but rest assured they did. Now we just walk up and down with our hands in our pockets and swear at the refs for bad calls! The other point I failed to comment on was the price of the food at the concession stands. Now in this time of high prices where everything is over priced I was able to buy me a frito pie for $2.00 and a hot chocolate for $1.00. So for three bucks I had great tasting(the chili was home made) food and a hot chocolate to take off the chill of the night. Then I discovered I was still hungry(please understand that fence watching works up an appetite) so I got me a hot dog and bottle of water for another $3.00. Wow, except for the Cats losing the game I had a great night while being treated to a great game, tasty cheap food, and no one slugged me for yelling for the Cats(the concession stand was on the Miules side). It just doesn’t get any better than this!!

EA, SH......:),


Sunday, October 30, 2011

Friday Night Lights, Movie Reviews

Friday night lights in West Texas means only one thing, FOOTBALL! Yes, that friendly sport where 22 high school age young men enter the field of battle with protection body gear that makes them look like they are heading for a jousting contest before the King! The term Friday Night lights(also became a popular TV show not long ago)came from the early beginning of the small West Texas towns illuminating a football playing field made up of dirt, dust, cuckle burrs and tumble weeds that would play host to these 22 athletes banging into each other until one team wins or loses. The other ingredients for Friday Night lights is that the town basically closes down at high noon and rather than going to the OK corral the citizens go to the stadium for excitement of watching the game, the cheeleaders, and the marching band at half time. The other good thing about the “lights” is that when you approach the town from any direction the flat West Texas terrain allows you to see the stadium so you do not have to ask for directions. Of course men don’t like to ask anyway so this makes it perfect for the male chauvenist football fan.

This past Friday night I attended one of the most exciting Friday Night games I have ever seen or played in. The Muleshoe Mules were playing the Littlefield Wildcats for first place in their district and had the home field advantage. Since the Cats are my old home town and former team I went directly to their side of the field. While they had ample stands to sit in I decided to walk the side lines behind the fence to watch the game. This is an older tradition done in the old stadiums before they had fences and other barriers to keep you off the immediate sidelines. But, the devoted sideline watchers were able to make it work and it put us closer to the action and real sounds of football coming from the pads hitting each other, the grunts, groans, and commands from the coaches and game officials. This is real hard ass football only played on Friday Nights in West Texas. It is like heaven on earth to an old bunch of West Texas football players.

Now as I look at this field I don’t see dirt, dust, cuckle burrs and tumble weeds. What I see is beautiful green artificial grass, perfect field markings, very bright lights and modern comfortable stands and rest rooms with more than one urinal! Wow, this wasn’t like the field I played on 55 years ago! What a change but you know the football played on this field this night represented all of the great things that happen during an exciting game played by teams that are well coached and have talented, tough players. Never say die was the name of this game ending in a score of 49-42 with the Mules kicking the Cats for the victory. The sad part is that both teams deserved to win but that is not the way it ends, as one team must leave the field with a victory. My congrats go out to the great scoring, hitting, and tough football that was played in this game. Plus the sportsmanship was beyond reproach, I commend the coaches and players for this and it made me proud. Go Cats and Mules watch out if we meet again in the play offs!

Movie Reviews: “The Rum Diary”, ***, Johnny Depp portrays news reporter Paul Kemp, who leaves New York City for the Island of Puerto Rico and a job with the San Juan Star, a near bankrupt local newspaper. All the staff are Americans and mostly down and out, or they wouldn’t be working here to start with. It is a real seedy atmosphere and for sure a black comedy. The mystery and often times lazy subtle sub plots make it interesting but still not above three stars. There is a little sex and lots of rum. Go for the matinee price. Rated R for language, brief drug use and sexuality(you mean when they have naked sex hanging on the side of a boat?)

“Footloose”, ****, This is a remake of the 1984 version with the same name. Only the actors have changed and the story is a bit more spicey. There is a distinct presentation of why they town banned dancing, staying out past 10 p.m., drinking alcohol, in their town. They used a firey head on collision in the opening scenes that killed five high school teenagers, including the son of the local preacher. So, now we have a yankee moving into this small Georgia town and enrolls in the local high school. When he finds out he can’t dance and party like he wants to he starts out by going after the preachers daughter, writes a resolution to change the city ordiances and causes some mayhem with his loud sound systems for his old Beetle. But, this movie is very entertaining with lots of dancing and good music to go with it. It is a feel good, smiling when you leave flick, go see! Rated PG-13 for some teen drug and alcolhol use, sexual content, violence and language.

“Moneyball”, *****, This is a very good true baseball movie. Much more about the front office actions of a poor down trodden team than it is of action on the field. This movie has a great baseball backdrop that will make even those who do not care for baseball, at least for two hours, care about Billy Beane and the 2002 Oakland Athletics. Based on truth, the script allows Brad Pitt(as Beane) to rebuild an under capitalized major league baseball team into a winner by using a statistical theory by Ivy Leaguer Jonah Hill. His theory is based on unwanted players who “get on base and score runs.” There are flashbacks to Beane’s days as a player that add some spice to the story. Rated PG-13 for strong language.

EA(go see Moneyball), SH.....:),


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

On and Off, Kona, Movie Reviews

Some times it is the little things that bug me the most, like has anyone but me noticed that the buttons to make things go “on and off” never say “on and off” any more. They always have some kind of weird looking symbol that you have to guess and try before you really know for sure. To shut down my computer there is no on or off, just a stupid looking symbol that you push out of trial and error. Then there are the new public rest room signs that use to say “men” and “women.” Wow have these changed, especially in the Mexican food restaurants. I went in one the other night and I wasn’t sure it was for men or not until I saw the urinals lined up like little soldiers, that was a dead giveaway I had the right place. There is is also the door that says “pull” and I always “push” instead. Rental cars are really becoming difficult to drive away in. Since they use different brands and models they each have different meanings on their dash and sometimes the key holds the secrets to how you start it, keep it running and prevent the emergency honking to start or stop. The past week I had one of those cars and I never did figure out what brand it was. But I know it took a few days to figure everything out and it had an emergency honking device that activated itself at will(its’ will). The real challenge on these new wheels are finding the hood release and the gas tank cover release. Makes you feel almost mentally impaired! As Andy Rooney use to say, “take these gadgets and stuff it!!”

Well the annual trip to Kona is said and done and after 18 years of flying to the Big Island I must say it becomes more like Idalou every day. Now for you readers who know where Idalou is you know where I am coming from, but if you are from far away to West Texas look on the Texas map near Lubbock and you will see it. Yes, I think I have made too many trips to paradise and it just seems, ho hum! One thing is that it never changes, still warm, still sunny, still green and lush, still romantic, still beautiful Hawaiin girls twisting their butts like no other place on the planet, still beautiful sunsets, still great to go on early morning runs, and still great layout sun! So, what the hell is my beef? Well now that I put it this way I can say it is really a very neat place to go but some of the other islands need to be visited and then my attitude will change. Okay Idalou folks don’t get all riled up you won two State Championships last year so you are real special, just not Kona special! A short race report for the annual Ironman World Championship will reveal that Craig Alexander(Aussie) won the men’s event with a record breaking 8 hrs and 3 minutes will Chrissie Wellington(Brit) won the women’s side with an 8 hrs and 55 minutes. Ironically Craig was sponsored by Honey Milk and Chrissie by Muscle Milk! How weird does that get?

Movie Reviews:

“Killer Elite”, **, This movie should have been at least a three star but I just couldn’t budge another star. Jason Statham plays a self imposed retired(they all do this for some reason) assasin who comes out of retirement to rescue his old friend, played by Robert DeNiro. DeNiro stumbles around for most of the movie looking older without a solid script or purpose and they try to cover all this up with weapons, noise and dumb narrative. He finally beats the crap out of the bad guy later in the movie just to show he still has it!! Some good action but it also gets a little boring. Rated R for strong violence, language and some sexuality/nudity.

“Ides of March”, ***, Since George Clooney wrote and directed this movie you might expect more of him(Clint Eastwood is always front and center in his own movies, afterall), however, he just pops in and out of the scenes when his obvious presence is needed. Ryan Gosling plays a young up and coming campaign press secretary who finds himself involved in a political scandal that threatens to upend his candidate’s shot at the presidency. That candidate is Gov. Mike Morris(Clooney), who wants the Democratic nomination. Great work is done by Paul Giamatti who represents the opponet to Morris and Phillip Seymour Hoffman who plays Goslings boss. Ultimately what makes this film work is Gosling’s portrayal of a loss of innocence and what it says about American politics in the process. None of that will be a surprise based on real life politicians. Rated R for pervasive language, and mild sex scenes.

EA(go see Ides, a must for you), SH..........:)