Sunday, January 27, 2013

What If? Movie Reviews

Now that I am of that age that allows wondering “what if?” I explored this question during one of my long runs.  Since I am not able to take notes during a run I must rely on memory banks to write this.  My “what if” concerns the many milestones that I have experienced over my life time and I wonder “what if I had........?” rather than what I actually did.  Now please understand these are life altering things, not something like what if I had worn brown more than blue or black or should I continue to wear a flat top or grow my hair long,  but real solid soul searching events in my life.  So, what if I had actually followed through on what I thought was going to be my career for life, and that was to be a Presbyterian Minister.  Now please before you roll in the floor and split your sides with extreme laughter, please remember I was 17 years old then and very devoted to what I thought would be my career path.  I was raised in the Presbyterian Church and  was greatly influenced by the two ministers I had as a young person.  When I was 11 years old I actually had a whisper in my ear that indicated to me that smoking was wrong and bad for you. 

 So, I never had a question about the divinity of the God head and Jesus seemed(and still does) so real and would be a good friend if he walked up to me right now in the flesh.  I also loved public speaking and made many talks to the Littlefield First Presbyterian Church congregation and was awarded the Boy Scouts of America “God and Country” award.  Other signs came before me also since I was offered a football scholarship to play at one of two Presbyterian schools in the state, Trinity University, San Antonio, TX.  So, the question is not so much as “what if?” but what happened? 

 Well into my senior year my faith didn’t change but my desire to play football at a major university in Texas took control and I accepted a full scholarship to the University of Houston and then after 8 consecutive years of church attendance I didn’t go to a church for a number of years.  For some reason still unknown to me I just decided not to pursue the ministry career path.  I enrolled at the U of H in Industrial Psychology and then finalized my Business Degree later on at the U of Texas-Arlington, then started my career in the business world.  While I have many chapters in my current 74 years of life I think the career path chapter was very influential on everything that I have done from the beginning to the present time.  Possibly my next blog will talk about how I was able to have my cake and eat it to! To be continued!

Movie Reviews: 

“The Impossible”, *****, This was a very well done movie about the tsunami hitting Thailand in 2004.  It was a documentary type movie concerning a family of four that actually survived it.  There was very little dialogue and unbelievable cinematology, but what acting there was would be considered academy award acting, by Naomi Watts. The film will receive some form of statue during the Oscars I am sure.  Rated PG-13 for intense realistic disaster sequences, including disturbing injury images and brief nudity(certainly not in a sexual sense). 

“The Last Stand”, ***, This is Arnold Schwarzenegger’s return to the big screen after politics and it is very entertaining.  He is a small town sheriff in taking life very easy away from the big city pressures.  He was a very successful crime buster in the big city of LA but wanted a simpler life style so settled in a sleepy small town near the Arizona/Mexico border.   Arnold’s time of taking it easy ended when the most wanted drug cartel leader was being escorted to Federal Prison and escaped making a path back to Mexico through Arnold’s town.  Oooops, bad mistake mister bad guy.  So, it turns into a stand off of real bad guy against better real good guy.  Worth a premium ticket!  Rated R for strong bloody violence throughout, and language. 

“Parental Guidance”, ***, For some reason I couldn’t get into this movie until it was half way done.  Since I probably shared some of the guilt felt by Bette Milder and Billy Crystal, who play neglectful grand parents to their only 3 grand children.  I was glad when it finally turned to some kind of parenting comedy.  But, of course it had a moral to the story and in the end lots of great laughs and everyone living happily ever after.  Rated PG for some rude humor(but not potty humor)! 

“Parker”, * ,  One of the worst movies for 2013 and a total waste of money.  While I was looking forward to seeing Jason Statham as the tough guy I really did not realize he was a professional thief that was glamorized by the film as one who only steals from people who can afford it. Kind of a Robin Hood but instead of robbing from the rich and giving to the poor he and his buddies split the booty.  Of course the story revolves around how his fellow crooks turn against him and then his revenge against them, plus he adds J-Lo to his team and she offers very little to the movie.  A story all about how life should not be lived.  While I did stay for the complete movie I was ashamed I didn’t walk out with a large neon sign protesting such a bad movie. Rated R for strong violence, language throughout and brief sexual content/nudity. 

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


Sunday, January 13, 2013

Dog Duties, Movie Review

As I watch my dogs sleep endless hours I have decided to do something about it and put them to better use.  It is really not their fault that they have fallen into this thinkless time spent on their blankets, chair, couch or back yard.  It is time for them to start earning their keep around here and I think I have figured it out.  They will start functioning in a useful way by each having chores or duties around the house based on their strengths and seemingly natural abilities.  Since Buffman is the oldest(12) and has this natural look of authority his duty will be to watch guard over the household and the other dogs.  He has a way about him with his hard looks, gray hair in his eye brows, and loud bark that says, “hey dudes I am in charge here!”  Then there is Squeaky(8) who is designated as the Diva of the neighborhood and must remain on the higher throne by sleeping in the chair, as opposed to the floor blanket in their room.  She has such a look of arrogance and “ I am really not a dog at all but the princess of the neighborhood”  that she demands special handling by all concerned.  Marley(3) also demands special attention since she hails from California and has that far West girl attitude.  She waggles her stub tail a lot and likes to lick on the other dogs.  She is also very bossy so is designated as the “pit boss” of this motley crew.  Then there is Bob(2) who is a toy Boston and is only 8 inches tall, and he has a very different personality from the other three.  He came to us through the animal rescue program so his humble background makes him very self sufficient and easy to please.  His job is to teach the other dogs how to be appreciative of what they have and too keep out of his bowls and special treats.  Now as I look around me I see all four of them are resting up to carry out their duties and was that a snore I heard?  Yep, they will be ready to go again in about four hours I am sure!  A dogs life is not that bad!!

Speaking of teaching old dogs new tricks, I would like to mention my trip to Dallas to get some new training tips for triathlon from the Play Tri performance center.  For all these years of training and competing in this great sport I have always had a real challenge in the swim portion.  It is not that I can’t swim well it is simply I can’t propel my lead feeling body through the water in a very speedy way.  They other point that bothers me is that my position in the water has a tendency to tire me out.  So, when I come out of the water I am behind my fellow competitors and since my position is so bad I am also tired.  And to think I still have the bike and run to go before I finish this multi-sport.  So, I went to these specialists in swim, bike and running to get some new state of the art pointers for putting more ease in my swimming.  What I found is a technique that keeps my body in the flat horizontal mode and this is accomplished by flutter kicking within an imaginary 8 inch box as opposed to the long flutter kick that I have been using.  So, now I am back at my pool putting this new training to use and hoping for some kind of positive response from my old dog body.  Now I have done two workouts and find that it does work but I must get to the pool more often to possibly see good results for the Ironman Texas triathlon in May, this year.  How I have completed over 340 triathlons and 7 Ironman races in the past 29 years amazes me, especially when I swim like a tugboat and then struggle through the bike and run.  Since this is a new concept it is not like it was there for me and I didn’t go for it.  I used the methods that were taught me at the time and with no natural feel for the water from my body I struggled for all these years.  So, maybe this ole dog can learn some new tricks!!

Movie Review:   “The Hobbit:  An Unexpected Journey”, ****, This is a well done movie for the type of movie it is.  Normally I don’t enjoy the “Lord of the Rings” type but this one was very entertaining and well done.  This adventure finds Bilbo(Martin Freeman) joining a quest by 13 dwarfs to reclaim the Kingdom of Erebor, their homeland having been conquered in violent fashion by the new sleeping dragon.  This is only the beginning since they do find the new homeland while sequels 2 and 3 will arrive in December of 2013, and 2014.  That is what I call job security for all concerned in this new theme of dragons, short people, tall people and mystery.  Rated PG-13 for extended sequences of intense fantasy action violence, and frightening images(dragons and other creatures). 

EA(see you in COS), SH..........!


Wednesday, January 02, 2013

New Year, Movie Review

Now that 2012 is done and out of the way, the new year looks very promising and on its’ way to many successes.  In a not too typical way I spent the New Years eve on the dance floor from 9-1:00 p.m., so ushered in the new year as I two stepped to a great band from Floydada called “Rampage.”  They weren’t country, rock, blues, but really a combination of all, so my style of non-lesson oriented two stepping fit great to their beat.    The good news about this crowd was the fact there were no rude cell phone usages texting, e-mailing, etc.  It is almost like the silent message was delivered, “no cell phones allowed!!” The New Years day morning had me out on a 10 mile run and it was perfect running weather.  This will be great preparation for the Cowtown Marathon in February, hoping to finish higher than last year in my age group.  In looking over the 2012 calendar I find it is filling up real fast with with trips to Dallas, Colorado Springs, Washington, D.C., Odessa, Amarillo, Roswell, NM,  already on the January schedule. The second and third quarters are looking like San Diego, Spokane, WA, El Paso, Ft. Worth, then back to Dallas, and The Woodlands in May for participation in the Ironman Texas.  In looking at our event production business it will grow from 11 events in 2012 to 14 or maybe 15 for 2013, so I guess this hobby has turned into a real business.  Now I wonder why people ask me if I am retired!  The good news about having a full agenda is that I am continually having to think just to figure out where I am or where I should be.  We have a new organizational meeting for the Ironman Triathlon Club for Lubbock and it kicks off on January 3rd right here in Ransom Canyon. When the warmer days hit the Hog is begging for a ride to the canyons, so must watch the temperature closely!! Anything close to 70 will require the roar of the engine!   Another point of being busy maybe I will stay out of trouble!!  :) 

Movie Review:  “This Is 40”, *-, Well I can’t say I wasn’t warned about how bad and crude this movie is, but I was tired of football games and headed out by myself to watch this mess.  This is supposingly a comedy that is a quasisequel to the 2007 movie “Knocked Up.”  While it wasn’t a classic either or even that good the stars of the 07 movie are now grown ups with two daughters, now facing turning 40.  Pete(played by Paul Rudd) and Debbie(Leslie Mann) were seen as a married couple in “Knocked UP” and this film reveals where their marriage stands.  While Leslie Mann is a great looking blonde she talks in a whine tone all the time and it drives me crazy.  No matter how good she looks her voice is a master turn off.  Rudd does a good job of acting in this useless movie.  Some viewers may remember “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles” where in one scene Steve Martin said the F...bomb 22 straight times.  Well in 40 they used this word in nearly every scene with 22 being conservative.  Rated R for sexual content, crude humor, pervasive language and some drug material.  

EA, SH........!