Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year

Keep those resolutions coming.

My 10 favorites for the year +

In no order:
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Slum Dog Millionaire
7 Pounds
The Visitor
Dark Knight
Iron Man
The Savages
Tropic Thunder
Good Movies (Honorable Mention)
Charlie Bartlett
Flash of Genius
Henry Poole is Here
Two that I missed in the Theater that would have been in any list:
Lars and the Real Girl
Things We Lost in the Fire

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Well the year ended on a great note. "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" was even better than I thought it could be. After seeing Marley where we watched the life of a dog from birth, it was a real change of pace to watch someone age backwards. We talk about special effects, but this movie had the best effects ever in taking Brad Pitt from an old man to a teenager in a believable way. The story itself will make you start thinking about your own life after about 20 minutes. I do not need to talk about the movie, because you need to see it. Don't wait for DVD!
I'll give it ***** stars. It could have been ****, but who's counting. it was also interesting how the movie moved against the backdrop of Katrina (Filmed in New Orleans).

Taking the Low Road

I started watching ET (Entertainment Tonight) when it first started because it talked about new movies. It has slowly sunk to a tabloid show that talks about the problems of rich people. It is OJ's fault! On Christmas day they hit rock bottom. Instead of ending the year with tributes to Paul Newman or Tim Russert, they took about ten minutes to show old footage of Anna Nicole Smith (Long dead) and her brother (Longer dead) shopping for a buying a Christmas tree! This is bad on so many levels. 1. She never had any talent or accomplished anything. 2. Her brother committed suicide (three years ago). 3. She's been dead for two years! And 4. I watched it!

I resolve in 2009 to not watch the tabloid stuff of ET, Today Show, etc.

I wonder if that will stick? Focus groups will say NO.

By the Numbers

74 That's the number of movies I saw in theaters this year after tonight. We saved "Benjamin Button" for the Eve.

77 That's the number of movies that I saw last year. (We substituted more concerts)

95 That was our peak year. That won't ever happen again.

45 That's about how many good movies we saw this year.

45 That's about how many good movies we saw the year that we went to 95.

USA Today had a list of the 100 top grossing movies of the year in the paper yesterday. Of the 100, I had seen 50. Of the top 50, I had seen 31. Of the list of 50 that I had seen I counted 27 keepers.

But its my job to go.

There are several very good movies out in the Big Cities that we won't see until January including Frost-Nixon.

As for my ten favorites for 2008, I will wait until after tonight to do it!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Quotes of George W

"But all in all, it's been a fabulous year for Laura and me."

Washington, D.C., December, 2001 (Just after 9-11)

from my desk calendar.

(Place in the category: "Other than that Mrs. Lincoln how was the Play?")

Monday, December 29, 2008

The News

Yesterday I received my first New York Times. I have bought it occasionally at QT and this subscription is not the best of circumstances because they serve Tulsa but not Muskogee. We have it thrown at my son's home and get it later. There is a difference in papers. The Daily Oklahoman (okc) is far right wing republican (think Fox News in print). The Tulsa World is moderate (meaning they side with the owner's friends but have a little bit of objectivity.) Think Chamber newsletter. Then there is the Muskogee Phoenix who just makes it up as they type. (Motto: There's no news like bad news.) I also read the USA Today which is like Time or Newsweek with a short attention spread. The other two papers that I take are The Haskell News (Motto: Its news to us!) and the Tahlequah paper (which actually is a local paper talking about local things!)

The Times motto has always been, "All the News That's Fit to Print". It is on the Mast Head.
If you read the paper cover to cover, you say to yourself: "These people can really write." Each story is crafted not just reported. Sure the editorial content does not match Oklahoma. But what in New York does? Sure they are liberal, but liberal to us is anyone who does not agree with us (meaning me). But they have talent as writers. As you should know they and the Washington Post frame today what the TV news shows will be be talking about tomorrow.

Yes, their sports page sucks because they are Yankees and do not have sixteen articles about the Big 12. Believe it or not they had NO Sam Bradford mention in Sunday's paper. The Oklahoman gives you his breakfast menu and tells if he has skipped a class today! The Times talks about something called Pro Football?

Anywho I think I will like this. This is part of my mission statement to learn more and more about less and less, until I know everything about nothing.

Old Yeller 2

The first movie that I ever went to see without my parents was "Old Yeller". I was about 9 or 10. My Mother made my oldest brother, Bob, take me to the Ritz Theater in Muskogee to see the Disney movie about a yellow Lab. It followed the dog from a pup until its "death"! I was in shambles. I was not expecting that! I later realized that Disney does that to all the kids. They always kill off the star (from Bambi's Mother all the way to the Lion King). Give the kids someone to love and then kill them off. That's life kids!

Today we went to see Old Yeller 2 better known as "Marley and Me". It is another yellow Lab that is purchased as a pup and we watch it grow. Don't get me wrong it is an enjoyable movie and well made. The movie in my opinion is much better than the Book. I didn't finish the book because it was just my life with one of my dogs except slower. The Movie has a better pace and Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston are good. It IS true to the book (a true story) and a must see for dog owners.

I won't say how this movie ends except to say Disney would be proud.


Sunday, December 28, 2008

Valkyrie or No?

By now you have probably read the reviews that say that Tom Cruise was a lousy choice to play the lead in the Movie, "Valkyrie" ,the WWII story about a plot to kill Hitler. Ever since Tom talked about his religion, talked to Matt Laur on Today and jumped on Opra's couch. Every SERIOUS reviewer has talked about how bad Tom Cruise is. Tom has gone into the same category as Michael Bolton and Kenny G. No matter how good they are, it is not cool to like them! I listened to an interview with the Movie's Director stating that the first bad reviews of the movie issued were from reviewers that had not seen the movie yet! It had not been issued for review. They based Cruise's bad acting on the fact that the press photos showed him in an eye patch, and they thought he looked funny in an eye patch.

Here is the crazy thing: The character he plays looses an eye at the start of the movie.

Second crazy thing: He looks just like the character he plays. (See photo) Tom Hanks is a better actor but..... Will Smith is a better actor but.... Brad Pitt is a better actor but....

Tom Cruise looks like the guy!

We went to see the Movie today and enjoyed it. But I'm silly enough to like Tom Cruise. The story was good and I might add "a true story!" It is about Nazis and all, so it is not a cheery holiday romp, but it is why movies are made. You have to marvel at the guts these people had to try this overthrow. If you like history, it is worth *** stars

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Why I like Christmas

I DOUBT that I have seen a better movie!

We went to see "Doubt" tonight and with all the hype, I was not disappointed. Meryl Streep and Phillip Seymour Hoffman turn in great performances. As you know this is story about a Catholic school and church in the 1960's. The school is run by Streep's character and Hoffman's is the Parish Priest. It is a clash of wills and unproven accusations. It is almost too real to be fiction.

It is not all serious. Some of the snipping at each other is with great wit!

****1/2 stars

If you think it is far fetched, I had an experience similar to this in Tulsa in 1977! A preacher was accused of something that he did not do, but the elders at the church chose to ruin him (even though the truth came out). This movie brought that story flooding back.

Quotes of George W

"Dick Cheney and I do not want this nation to be in a recession. we want anybody who can find work to be able to find work."

60 Minutes II, December 2000

Post Christmas

Santa was good to me this year in spite of myself. This was my "Reading Christmas". I got 6 books altogether. 4 audio, two with pages. Of the books, 2 biographies, 3 fiction, one Frank Lloyd Wright project book. My January is planned.

I also received a really cool gift called "Blurb"which is down loadable software that lets me make my own books. My first project will be in 2007 version of this blog. co-o-o-ol.

Another gift was great revenge. The "Oklahoman" newspaper quit delivering to our corner of the state and cancelled our subscription! Now (thanks to Carol) I will receive the New York Times Sunday paper (which takes a week to read!). Good trade. Not exactly the same editorial content, but then I have never agreed with our "State's newspaper" on much.

I am still working on my favorite movie list and am very frustrated. For the first time in a long time, no movie Christmas night and no movie day after Christmas. I am approaching melt down! I have about eight movies to see!
But to top all that I found out on Christmas Eve that I will be a "PaPa" for the third time come September. The two Grandsons are bringing reinforcements!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas

I hope this Christmas you find Santa has treated you well.

Don't shoot your eye out!

Slumdog Millionaire

It is an interesting title for a movie. It could have been the title of a documentary on the Wall Street guy that swindled the 50 Billion. But no.

If you have heard anything about this movie, you have heard that it is about a kid from the slums in India that gets a chance at the Hindu version of "Who wants to be a Millionaire". You may have heard that it has a hint of "Rocky" in it. I heard those things too and was not intrigued in the least. Sounded hokey to me. The thing that keep catching my attention is why all the magazines, newspapers, and TV shows keep mentioning it as one of the 10 best movies of the year. USA Today says it is the best. Rolling Stone has it is #2. And me, well I have been thinking about making a list of my 10 favorites of the year. Tonight, we drove to Tulsa to see "Slumdog." Before the movie had been running 10 minutes, I realized that I am not ready to make such a list, I obviously have not seen the best movies yet.

Any list that I may make will have this at or near the top. It is a splendid movie. I almost need to call this a "Film". It is worth your time. You will see how India has changed. You will see what is takes to survive the slums of India. You will see why we and the people of India have much in common yet many differences. I am not going to tell about this movie either except to say if you wait for the DVD, it is your loss. It is worth the trip.

No, there are no Hollywood stars. These are from Bollywood. It is crafted with great care and a hint: Stay and watch the credits at the end!

Note: No profanity or nudity. There is violence but not graphic. It is a good story for most all.

By the way *****stars (5)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Well Traveled Roads

Most of the times that I have cried at Christmas, I mean overcome with raw emotions, had to do with putting together toys for Lindsey and Nate. I can remember the last bike that I bought for Lindsey like it was yesterday. To finish it correctly I would have finished yesterday! As it ended, I gave up a 4:00 am on Christmas Morning, knowing that she would have a bike with hand brakes that looked right but would not work. (I got professional help later.)

I was so happy when they graduated to "no assembly required".

When Nate started having little boys, I smiled at myself. PAY-BACK TIME.

Guess what I just finished doing? Besides eating my words!

Yes, Once again I became an elf. I just finished this marvel of modern toys. I must say directions and parts are so-o-o-o-o much improved since the good old days!

I liked every minute and didn't cry once.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Seven Pounds and a Few Ounces

The "for real" Christmas Movie Season kicked off this weekend and I went to see Seven Pounds. It is a story of a man dealing with his demons and trying to find resolution to the events of his life. It is a very good story. It is believable. It is emotional. I would strongly recommend this movie. It is not the kind of movie that Hollywood gives awards to because it has heart. Seven Pounds! I will not say anything else because you should discover it for yourself. I give it ***1/2 stars.

Note to Dana: The subject of family abuse is mentioned in a very minor way, but is dealt with only in a positive way. No events.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

We Have Rules!

Yesterday, we were riding in the truck with our grandsons, Avery and Addison. Avery was acting like his finger was a gun, and he was shooting at Addison. Addison shouted for him to quit, and Avery responded by saying, "Its not a real gun, I'm using my imagination." Addison responded, "No magination in the truck, Avery!"

Friday, December 19, 2008

Inflatable World

We took our grandsons to see the inflatables at The Castle. It is the world's largest collection of inflatable Christmas stuff. It takes about 30 minutes, bumper to bumper to drive thru the park saying "Holy Crap!" under your breath. It is a marvel and is spectacular. It is even a bigger deal when you consider that one guy assembled this display (there are hundreds!). he used to have them in his yard! I am glad we have it for the kids to see, but I'm just saying, "What was he thinking when he first started buying them?" and a close second, "WHY?, WHY?, WHY?"

It is a "Believe it or Not" moment.

Nothing Like a Comedy

Thursday night we were having movie withdrawal and went to see the Holiday "Comedy" called "Nothing like the Holidays". If you saw the previews of this flick, you, like me, would have considered it a movie like "4 Christmases". You, like me, would have been wrong! It does have several funny or amusing moments, but it is more serious than it is humorous. Don't get me wrong, we thoroughly enjoyed it. It is about a Porto Rican Family in Chicago at Christmas with the kids coming come for the holidays. One is coming from Iraq. One is coming from Hollywood. One is now an attorney with a Jewish wife and coming from New York. The parents aren't getting along. It is time to stir the stew. It is well acted and stars John Leguizamo and Debra Messing. It has substance and some challenging family issues. ***stars

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

New Read

A few years ago the Williams Sonoma stores started selling a new concept product, a "bread maker". When people saw it they asked themselves, "Do I need a bread maker?" and thought, "These things are expensive!" As a result sales were dismal. Williams Sonoma got with their consultants to see what could be done to save this idea. The result was to start offering a more expensive version of the bread maker! When this arrived at the stores, the original bread maker began flying off the shelves. Why? Consumers had nothing with which to compare it.

The new book is Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely. This book is in the same vane as Blink and Sway. Mr. Ariely is a professor of Behavioral Economics at MIT and discusses the hidden forces that shape our decisions. It is a fascinating read. He shows why stores always advertise three versions of the same item (ex: TVs) and know which one you and I will pick. He tells (like Williams Sonoma) why restaurants why very expensive entrees on the menu even though they don't expect you to order them. This book is really about how our mind processes things and how our brains are imprinted by first impressions.

Good stuff!

Monday, December 15, 2008


Well, I've been blogging now for a few months. I didn't know anything about blogging other than the few I had read. I certainly did not fancy myself as having anything important to share. This is not the Mike Report. I have always liked writing ever since the days when I had to write "Themes" in Mrs. Sim's English class in Haskell. In 1993-94 I wrote a column in the weekly hometown paper, "The Haskell News". The column was "Haskell Stories" a collection of short remembrances from my years growing up around town. I have even written 1-1/2 novels that you will never read. I find writing therapeutic and have a need to for such an outlet. I have in the past taught a class a church as a way of getting a handle on my thoughts, but that is about to play out.

I never really thought thru the audience side of this part rant, part diary, part opinion thing I do. Naturally, everyone who blogs has a need to share.

And I guess I would like for you to agree with me most the time, but I don't expect it. If I did I would have named this Blog: "Heavily Travelled Roads". I was even told this weekend that my rant about the election e-mail upset some of my friends at church! Ouch! I upset people for being offended. I apologize. I am not trying to cause collateral damage. I am sharing my thoughts and sorting through things. It is how I did my class at church. I don't attempt to teach people anything, but I have always believed in challenging thought. Life is not in "arriving". It is in the search.

Sounds like I should keep many of my concerns to myself. As Zig Ziglar once said, "Don't tell others your problems. 80% don't care and the other 20% are glad your having problems."

I'll try to be better, but can't promise. I am not only on a "less traveled road", I haven't learned yet how to use my GPS!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Mike witnesses "The Day the Movie Stood Still"

We went to see "The Day the Earth Stood Still" tonight and it all stood still at the same time: the Earth, the movie, and time itself. For the record the acting was great. Keanu Reeves can play an alien better than anyone (When he was the dude in Matrix, he played the same way.) Kathy Bates made a great Donald Rumsfeld but less feminine. The movie itself lasted almost two hours, but when it stands still it really stands still! Will Smith's son plays the little boy who won't mind. I think Will should spank him. Check that: I thank Will should be spanked for letting him do it. Of course this is about the third or fourth time this movie has been made, and I continue to be amazed that with all the new technology we can now make bad movies in a real slick way.

I should have been spanked for wanting to go. You might like it, but I thought the new Star Trek trailer was better than this movie. *1/2 stars (special effects get the half star, especially when they make Keanu's lips move!)

Back Stories

If you have seen the movie "Australia", you know that one of the back stories is about an aborigines boy who the authorities is trying to remove from his Mother to an orphanage.
I learned today what this story was about in reading my book "In a Sunburn Country".

Until the 20th Century it was not against the law to kill Aboriginal people! From about 1916 until the 1960s, the government could (and did) take any child away from Aboriginal parents "for any reason." They did not have to explain anything to the parents. The powers that be had decided that the parents would forget about them in a short time and it was better to separate the children so that the "Breed" would dissolve. At 18 the government simply released the children out on the street!

How's that for humanity?

Christmas Cartoon 4

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Christmas Guilt

Growing up I think my dad owned about four extension cords. He had a shop out back where as a second job, he made camper shells for pickups, had a saw sharpening business, and worked on the family cars. He used these cords constantly, year round. When one got cut, he repaired it. When the plug went bad he bought another plug end and spliced it in.

I just finished putting up our outside lights. So you can imagine how it affects me when I use about 10 extension cords (25' to 50') just to put up lights. These are packed with the lights because they are green or white. When I finish, I walk in the garage and see another five 25' cords that I use the rest of the time. You can imagine my thoughts. My dad would think that this is crazy and I have a tinge of guilt.

I can count my blessings by the number of extension cords I possess.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Quotes of Warren B

"The fact that people are full of greed, fear, or folly is predictable. The sequence is not predictable."

(thinking of the Governor of Illinois)

Quotes of George W

"In other words, I don't think people ought to be compelled to make the decision which they think is best for their family."

Washington, D.C., December 11, 2002----regarding smallpox vaccinations

from my desk calendar

40 days left!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Wine Country

Each year I attend the American Institute of Architects Convention. It is a good way to get the required Learning Units to keep my license. I need 12 a year and I can get most of them at the convention through classes and two years ago i realized that tours count too. This year's convention will be in May in San Francisco and today I received an e-mail that registration was open. Understand, there is 20,000 people at this event and I always rush to register before the good tours and such are sold out. (I approach this like I do concerts!) So out of 20,000 I was registrant #230. The first tour I booked was a day long tour for Carol and myself of wine country in Sonoma county. It sounded like a California thing to do and I get credit.

It was ironic because as you know I am reading a Bill Bryson book about Australia. Today he commented about the weird "yuppy" ritual of going to vineyards to see how wine is made. He said it made about as much since to go watch cotton grow, watch it picked, and see how it is made into sports wear.

We do have some weird rituals. I do not know much about wine and would be satisfied with a glass of Welch's. I do like the idea of wine, the pace of life like in the movies where people go to Italy and relax with good food,a good bottle of wine, and look out to the vista in the valley below.

OR I could go to Tahlequah, get a pizza at Sam and Ella's, a good diet Coke and look out at the vista of the street beyond.

Either works for me.

How the Real Meaning changes

I grew up in the 50's (yikes!) and was taught some very basic principles at church:

1. We were the only ones going to Heaven. Check that: We were the only ones with the hope of Heaven. Check that: We hoped that we had time to say a prayer of forgiveness just before we died so that we could hope to go to Heaven.

2. When you pray you said, "In Jesus Name" otherwise God would not think the message was for him. Check that: God would know that it was a Christian calling.

3. We could not prove in the Bible that Jesus was born in December so why make a Big Deal out of his birth once a year, when we can do it for three minutes once a week. After all December had yet to be invented and the Shepherds were tending sheep in the hills. If it had been December they would have had them in the barns because of the long snowy Palestine winters.

Armed with that information, I started school.

We said the Lord's Prayer at the start of the day, but I doubted that it cleared our classroom ceiling because we didn't end the prayer correctly. When we went to football games, my parents would grip on the way home because the person that led the pre-game prayer wasn't our kind of Christian. Leaving me to realize that God didn't help us win that night.

When Christmas came around, we did not sing Christmas Carols at our church. We were stronger than that. Those songs were in our hymnal and every once and a while (in June), the song leader would lead us in "Silent Night" just to make a point. The preacher on the Sunday closest to Christmas would lambast the visitors for coming to church only twice a year (They got it again at Easter!). He would say, "Don't you know that we should celebrate Jesus' birth all the time and not just once a year?" It made me wonder though, why people were only in a good mood at church about once a year and not every Sunday.

So here it is 50 years later (yikes). The same group of people wants "Prayer in School" and wants everyone to remember "The Reason for the Season"! Our worship leader will talk about the "Real meaning of Christmas" and sing Christmas Songs! We will even have a giant Christmas tree in the Building! When I was in high school our preacher, refused to have a tree in his home. He would not allow his kids to have gifts or anything! I'm glad someone changed the Bible. (Remember the thing about the King James Version was that it was just King James's version.)

It is a wonder that I made it through all this. The sad part is that most of my peers that grew up with me, could not run the maze and now goes the church "Twice a year".

Christmas Cartoon 3

With apologies to those of higher moral fiber than me!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Quotes of George W.

"And so during these holiday seasons, we thank our blessings...."

Fort Belvoir, Virginia, December 2004

from my desk calendar

Saturday, December 6, 2008

i phone therefore i am

Carol and I got our Christmas gifts yesterday. We got i phones. My time is being spent figuring this out. I have already used 10 gigs putting all my music in it. Some things transferred from my i tunes that I did not want (pod casts and an audio book). Now i have to figure out how to delete it. I now have more of what I don't need than ever before.

Click on cartoon to enlarge.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Current Read

I am re-reading (listening) "In A Sunburned Country" by Bill Bryson. It is about his tour of Australia in 1998. While the book is 10 years old, it is a great read. He has the best wit for a writer and his observations of his travels are fantastic. I have been laughing constantly for the last three days. He also reminds me of meaningful things. I just finished a chapter where he tells of visiting small towns in the Outback that seemed to be stuck in 1958. He mentioned about driving two lane roads with the windows down (no air conditioning) and following a chicken truck. He could not pass so he kept back from the truck to avoid the smell. He said that this venture caused him to actually take in the surroundings. He compared it with our Interstate Highways where we drive fast and spend our time trying to pass the driver in front and keeping the driver behind at bay, while we miss the world around us!

I was listening to this on the way back from Morris on Tuesday and slowed down. I saw houses and ranches that I had ignored in my previous trips. It was an immediate object lesson.

Note to self: In 2009, slow down. After all I am on Mike's Slow Road. As the song that is playing now says: "Don't Blink".

Greeting Cards

One of my past-times is going to the "Snow Goose" shop in Utica Square and reading the greeting cards. This store specializes in gifts (indulgences) that you don't need. It has everything from fads to crazy gifts. It also sells some of the funniest cards around. Over the years I have scoped out most of the cards shops (don't think Hallmark). They come and go. The current king is Snow Goose. Last year Carol and I was in there and Ronnie Dunn (Brooks & Dunn) was there looking as well. I have a warped sense of humor and over the years have collected a box full of cards that I can't send to anyone! I bought five the other day. Four I will share during December as "Christmas Cheer". Sorry, if you are not amused.

Here are the first two:

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Big Brother is still watching

Last night I blogged about the Four Freshmen. Tonight, I went into to order a couple of books and the first thing that popped up on the screen was the Four Freshmen album cover that I used in the Blog. Amazon wanted to know if I wanted to but it and some of the other Four Freshmen albums. FYI: I didn't get the cover art from Amazon! It also had a list of products that I may want since I had looked at similar items of other web sites!

I need a laugh

God makes jerks.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Mike sees 4 Freshmen, Maybe?

December 1 We went to Northeastern State to see the Four Freshman Christmas Concert. The Four Freshmen have been around since 1948. I was one. I actually can remember in the 50's seeing this group on shows like Ed Sullivan, Perry Como and such. They came out of the Big Band era and were known for 4 part harmonies and jazz sound. Watching them tonight reminded me of an old Marvin Phillips story about a guy in Virginia who claimed to own the axe that George Washington used to chop down the cherry tree. When asked why the axe looked so new. He said that over the years with continued use he had replaced the handle three times and the axe head twice, but it was still George's axe!

I bring this up because the oldest member of this 60 year old group has been with them for 15 years! They are good with harmony, they played instruments (drum, bass, guitar and trumpet).

Carol mentioned that we had seen another group that sings 4 part harmony recently (the Four Eagles!) The only thing these two groups have in common is guys that sing and play drums at the same time.

I had many thoughts during the concert including:

1. Once they they harmonized, I thought: I need to listen to some Beach Boys. The originals (not the current Beach Boys who only have one original member!)

2. Next week, 1964 The Tribute, a Beatles tribute band is playing in Muskogee. We saw them in Tulsa several years ago and they play the Beatles just like the Beatles. Why weren't the guys tonight called: The Four Freshman Tribute Band? 1964 has been doing the Beatles longer than these guys have been doing Four Freshman!

3. Listening to their 40s/50s pop jazz made me think: I'll bet this is why Rock and Roll was invented.

4. If this was billed as the Four Freshmen Christmas Show why did they only do about three Christmas songs?

5. I can appreciate this kind of music, but I still don't like it.

6. When they were on Ed Sullivan, he would have them sing something like, "Let it Snow, Let it Snow, etc." and leave the stage. I now know why.

I wished that had happened tonight!

Photos: guess who the originals are!

How OU fans are created

Yesterday, my Grandson , Avery wanted to play "college football" in the backyard. As we were donning our coats, he said, "I will be OU and you will be OSU like last night." I said, " Good because I would want to be OSU." Avery said, "I knew that." Then he went over the rules. Since it was his ball, he got to have the ball whenever he wanted and that whoever had the ball got to score. The game started with each taking turns and getting 7 points for each touchdown. He went first and when the score got to 21-14 his favor, he decided that only he should get the ball from then on. I asked him how would we determine a winner and he smiled and said, "When I get to 100!" Final score 105 to 14.

He is already schooled in Sooner game theory.

Later, he went with me to my office and told me that he wanted to be an architect and work with me when he grew up.

It's a great plan, but I didn't have the heart to tell him that I could offer him a sweet deal someday (unless he was a Sooner!)

Friday, November 28, 2008

Bedlam Series

The OSU/OU sports series is called the Bedlam Series. I guess that is appropriate. There is a common thread that runs thru the OU side of things that us OSU fans have to put up with namely:

Boomer Sooner, Barry Switzer, Billy Sims, and now Bob Stoops. The Bedlam Series

We sure have to put up with a lot of B. S.!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

mike gives thanks for the movies

We went to our traditional Thanksgiving eve and Thanksgiving afternoon movies. It's what you can do without kids at home! And the movie offerings were traditional as well. There is usually one holiday movie in the style of the "Trains, Planes, & Automobiles" where things go wrong. Then there's the big movie with big sets, big actors, and big story. Both were present this year. They are not academy award movies but they weren't planned to be.

The first was "Four Christmases". It is a fun movie with a great cast from the leads to all that play the families. It is fun. Tim McGraw, the country singer, will surprise with his role. But Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon are good together. I give it **1/2 stars.

The second was "Australia". (Kidney alert: 2 hours and 35 minutes not counting trailers and adds) This stars Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman. It is long enough to be three movies. The first part is fairy tale with comedy. The second part is western. The third part is action/adventure. It has one part "Indiana Jones", one part "Quigly Down Under", one part "every western that you've seen" and one part "Pearl Harbor". Oh yes: One part chick flick.
It has something for everyone and then they even say the "F-word" one time (out of the blue)just to get a PG13. I will say that I am not a Nicole Kidman fan (I think she really is high maintenance!) Here is why I say chick flick. I give it ** maybe **1/2 stars, but Carol gave it an enthusiastic ****1/2 stars.

They are good practice movies. The biggies are on the horizon.