Saturday, September 29, 2012

Aging Perception, Movie Reviews

Not a day goes by that I don’t get into some kind of conversation about age and aging.  Fact is it is mostly about my age and aging!  For some reason I am the target of those who have a perception of what someone should look or act like at a certain age.  The remarks are, “you sure do not look your age” or “aging has been nice to you” or “how does it feel to be 73?” or “I bet you whip up on your fellow age groupers when you race!”  My response is fairly simple and honest with thank you for the kind words and I am flattered.  In response to the question how does it feel the answer is great!  But, I do remind them that if they look around them they will see very few things that are 73 and everyone one of my moving parts are that old.  The appliances in the house are not that old, your auto and its’ components are not that old, most of your friends are not that old, and even most of the trees are not that old.  So, I guess that covers it all except for whipping up on my fellow age groupers.  Fact of the matter is I do not whip up on them and the ones that I raced against when we were younger that beat me then, are still beating me now, if they are still seriously racing.   

Now what has motivated me to write about this sordid subject, that just never seems to go away, is an article I read the other day about Tom Osborne, the retiring athletic director at the University of Nebraska.  While he spent his younger days as one of the most successful major college coaches at Nebraska he came back as the athletic director at the age of 70.  The program had gone south due to bad leaderships, etc., so he was ask to come in and work his magic.  This he did and brought the Huskers back to its’ winning ways during his watch.  Now what really drew my attention to the article was what he said as the reason for retiring from this position at 75.  He says, and I quote, “At some point, whether you’re able to function or not, just the perception that you’re getting old can get in the way.” Osborne said, “I don’t want to be one of those guys everybody is walking around wringing their hands trying to figure out what are we going to do with him?”  Funny thing is he has no health issues and considers himself healthier than when he was elected to Congress after his coaching days.  So, here we go again, out to pasture with plenty of energy to graze.  While I have experienced similar feelings and treatment I blame it all on our youth obsessed society and real lack of respect for the Seniors of our country.  When I Googled, “what world countries respected their elders the United States came in last, and the Asian, Native American cultures were first.”  Well here is the deal with me, as long as I can function I am going head on strong into the world.  While I know what I can do and can’t do I will maximize all of my efforts to what I can do.  When I go into that giant triathlon event in the sky I hope everyone says, “man that guy was so busy when he left he must be resting now and I wonder how many projects were left on his desk?”  Go figure!!

Movie Reviews:  

“Lawless”, ***,  This film is about the seemingly indestructible real-life Bondurant brothers who made and bootlegged “white lightening” during the prohibition days of the early 1930’s.  The state was Virginia and the story is based on a true story of these brothers and their successful business.  Shia LaBeouf is the younger Bondurant and he plays the part very well and does a great job.  Guy Pearce as the fastidious federal agent is a dandy dan with a real cruel streak in him.  Rated R for strong bloody violence, language and some sexuality/nudity(not to mention lots of drinking the white lightening).

“Trouble with the Curve,” ****, Clint Eastwood plays an aging(here we go again) professional baseball scout, and despite his efforts to hide it they are not working.  Since his eye sight is going he is having trouble seeing the pitched ball, not to mention driving.   The young guys in the organization are questioning his abilities and his single attorney daughter is coming to visit him and tries to help.  But, there is a long family history here that comes to light in the story line.  Then a young baseball scout comes into the story played by Justin Timberlake.  So, now we have two forms of drama concerning aging and love sparks between the daughter and Timberlake.  An excellent movie and a go see for sure! Rated PG-13 for language, sexual references, some thematic material and smoking.  

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


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Moto Cultures, Movie Reviews

When you sit on a Hog for a long period of time, say to Sturgis and back(around 2,000 miles) your mind goes bonkers!!  While it is one of the best feelings you can have(if you like riding motorcycles) your mind does jump around a lot.  Maybe it is the freedom feeling of the wind in your face, or maybe the splatter of that extra big bug on your face mask or maybe the smell of cow manure or maybe just the loud sounds that only a Hog can make.  At any rate I came up with this thought process coming back from the North country that approaches near brilliance.  My mind wondered over into what I call the “culture zone” of the motorcycle riding world. My mind says that there are basically four obvious cultures when it comes to the people who ride motorcycles.  Always taking the lead is what has been called the “one per centers.”  These guys and gals are the real tough guys and nasty women who are not beyond committing every crime and sin possible to mankind.  They created the real bad person image of the motorcycle riders with their wild parties that involved everything from scratching their butt while savoring their most favorite drug or alcohol cocktail.  Throw in a sex party or two and you got this crowd pegged!!  Now a days many of these originals are dead since they lived life hard with no regard for their long term health and complete oblivion to living to collect medicare.  Then there is the second culture that would be a reformed member of the first group who did wise up to considering that they would like to cash in on social security and medicare and while they still have the tats covering their body, still smoke Camels, and drink light beer, they are living a healthier life and still riding the highways.  Now we come to the third culture that may have a small percent of the second group hanging on but for the most part they ride the motorcycle just for the sake of riding and may have been riding since they were kids.  Their focus is on the road and not the side ventures of alcohol, tobacco, drugs, wild sex and gang membership.  They are just happy feeling the wind and hearing the sound of the moto as they cruise down the pavement. It also gives them a feeling of living out their alter ego that would reveal they enjoy feeling like a bad boy/girl, and looking the part of a “one per center.”  The fourth culture is the group that has made Harley Davidson a billion dollar company(the one per centers nearly broke it!).  They are the professionals(lawyers, engineers, doctors,CEO’s, nurses, librarians, and hair dressers) that buy a motorcycle to not just ride but to be as much like the first three cultures mentioned above and feel like they are real moto riders.  Now whether they are or not doesn’t really matter since that is their business; however, when they send their motos to Sturgis on a trailer and then fly into the Black Hill country to ride a few miles around the area you wonder what are they thinking.  Some where snuggled into these four groups or possibly they make up a fifth culture would be the “crotch rocket” riders.  These guys ride like there is no tomorrow and I am sure they are retired kamikaze pilots.  They just want to defy any type of safe riding and when they go down they splatter big time.  Recently I saw one doing wheelies on I-27 as he entered Amarillo at 80 mph.   Go figure!!  Now for a good ride this weekend, can’t hardly wait to feel the late season bugs hitting the face mask!!

Movie Reviews:

2016: Obama’s America, *****,-DISCLAIMER-I have never been or plan to be a Democrat or Republican, I vote for the man I feel best fits the bill for the President of the United States.  I have been a student of the United States of America presidents from George Washington up to the present for the past 8 years.  I have my opinions about each of these presidents along with my own rating system; however, it must always be understood that the rating of presidents only comes to realization after they have been out of office at least 10 years(my opinion). Plus, the overall world conditions must be considered while rating the president(again my opinion). There exists a panel of 238 presidential historians who use 20 categories to rate the ex-presidents of the USA.  They must have completed their terms and be out of office before they are ranked.  As the the succession takes place the new rankings are calculated and published.  Now for the movie review(possibly my thoughts on this subject should be published in future blogs about the rankings, etc.):  This movie is a documentary created by conservative author Dinesh D’Souza and is very well done.  While I have never heard of this person before in my lifetime, I was very impressed with his background(a native of India but educated in the USA) and his presentation in the movie, 2016.  His purpose was to demonstrate the dire consequences of a second term by President Barack Obama.  The movie is presented in a low key presentation that challenges the viewer to establish their own opinions and search for the truth relative to the performance of the current president.  He uses a lot of his information from the books written by Obama relative to the influence of his father on his philosophies and beliefs.  D’Souza makes a case that the president’s dream for this country is not in line with what many consider the American dream. I promise that some of the facts as to how our country is being “neutralized” by the actions of the president will give you chill bumps. One friend of mine who saw the movie said he didn’t sleep well for two nights. I challenge my readers to purchase a matinee ticket, get some fresh popcorn, watch the movie and decide for yourself.  

“Hope Springs”, ****, This is a very entertaining movie with excellent acting and a very true to life story(even though this movie is not a true story).  It stars Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones as husband and wife for 30 years.  They are empty nesters and have slipped into a real rut in their marriage.  Streep decides she has had enough and enrolls them in a marriage revival week with counselor Steve Carrell.  The points that are missing in the marriage are: no sex, no fun, no thoughts off of the every day set pattern, etc.  Very well done and enjoyable to watch with a great ending. 

“The Words”, *****, This is an excellent movie and worthy of cinema awards recognition, at the end of the year.  Rory Jansen(played by Bradley Cooper) is a struggling novelist.  While rifling through his old belongings he finds a manuscript in an old briefcase he bought in Paris.  He reads it and decides to plagiarize it.  It becomes a huge success and makes the best selling list.  He is given many awards, money and recognition in the publishing industry and then the Old Man(played by Jeremy Irons), the true author of the manuscript comes into his life. This story was written by the Old Man about his own life.  A must see!

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