Sunday, August 31, 2008

Old favorite joke

A man walks into his Therapist's office and says, "Doc, No one will pay any attention to me!"

Doc says, "Next!"

A new favorite joke

An old cowboy in west Texas was out working fences. He cut his leg on the barbed wire, but just toughed it out. Days later the pain was so great, that we rode into town to a small community hospital ER. The doctor on call examined the leg a said to the Cowboy, "You waited way too late to have this checked, Gangrene has set in! We will have to remove the leg!"

Hours later in the recovery room the doctor again attends the cowboy and says, "Well I have good news and bad news."

The Cowboy says, "I'm tough. Give me the Bad news first!"

The Doctor say, "Well, as you know, this place is not to Mayo Clinic. We took off the wrong leg!"

"Then what is the good news?"

"We think we can save the other leg!"

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Alaskan VP

Let me get this straight: The new VP candidate is a conservative Governor from an oil state with no foreign policy experience, but is an NRA, sports fan, conservative Christian. HEY, THAT'S BUSH! So what that she's only been governor for 2 years and before that Mayor of a town the size of Tahlequah. Bush was president of the Texas Rangers baseball team before being in charge of the Republic of Texas. Alaska is bigger than Texas, and the Ranger's Stadium is smaller than Wasilla, Alaska. Match Sarah Palin with Karl Rove and there would be no learning curve.

John McCain is the Cheney except this time the experienced guy gets the bigger office. I just hope he stays healthy.

Remember it is the third anniversary of that famous Bush statement:
"Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job!" (September 2, 2005)

History is indeed repeating itself!

Friday, August 29, 2008

It was 40 years ago today.

Last Night Carol and I had a date with our past. 40 years ago the Beatles album "Sargent Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band" ruled the charts. It has been deemed by many as being the greatest rock album. Last night an all star band performed the album in its entirety at the Brady in Tulsa. This is significant because the Beatles never performed these songs live! If you are not familiar, this collection included very diverse songs both simple like "When I'm 64" or "All We Need is Love" and complex like "A Day in the Life". a 17 piece band including violins, organ, Cello, Harp, Sachs and Clarinet joined the Rock band and the vocals were by Todd Rundgren, Lou Gramm (of Foreigner), Christopher Cross ("Sailing"), Bo Bice & Danny Lane (of Moody Blues & Wings). These guys rock!

The first set was of their own individual hits and the second set was the Beatles. It was a walk through Rock history. It was a concert worthy of an Arena but there were less than a thousand in attendance. It was a shame that more music lovers were not present, but it instantly moved toward the top of the concerts I have witnessed. Funny thing is, it was not on my concert calendar (see list on this page)! I happened to hear a spot on the radio. Tulsa was one of only 8 cities to get this.

Listening again to the Beatles in this format makes me see the true artistry of their music. It transcended Rock (although I did not know that in 1968) and cannot be classified as a "type".
If you listen to "Shes leaving Home", you find a simple story of a father and mother finding a note from their daughter that she has left home. I connect to that song very differently as a parent than as the kid, but the depth of the telling with the music is masterful especially when witnessed with strings, harp, etc.

A great night.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

mike goes to the movies times 2

Last week I saw "Swing Vote" for the second time. This is the first movie of 2008 that I have seen twice. Its not that it was the only one that needed to be witnessed again, but I am glad I did. I picked up on several things that I missed the first time (it happens a lot with comedies).
Swing Vote is the Kevin Costner movie about how much our vote counts, and to what lengths the political machines will go to get it. There is much truth in the way the movie unfolds. I would like to say that the Costner's part is a stereotype, but alas it is not. The media, campaign advisers and the candidates are roasted in great fashion and fun.

With the Conventions this week and next, the timing is good for the thoughts and laughs presented. The movie reminded me of John McCain. I have been a big McCain fan for years and I liked his statements of belief even when it was not the popular thing in his party. It cost him in 2000, but it is sad to see him give in to the advisers to be "more electable". (the Kelsey Grammer role in the movie).

The movie is worth your time be ye Demo or Repub. I give it ***1/2.

Every vote is a Swing Vote!

Sunday, August 24, 2008


I have been watching the closing ceremonies of the Olympics in all its glory. I almost expect the Tulsa Union Band and Steppers to do that for half time at next year's games!

Free Eagles Tickets

As our firm was preparing for our display at the State School Board Association Convention in OKC, we had been told that many of the booths had give-aways as inducements for people to stop and view the displays. Inducements such as free yardsticks, register for a 15 inch flat-screen tv, pencils, note pads, register for gift certificates or dinners for 2 were the common fare.

I had the great idea: Give away 2 tickets to the sold out Eagles Concert in Tulsa! I mentioned this to a few friends and the remarks were all the same: Cool idea but give them to me! I knew this was a good idea.

We had large signs saying: Register for 2 tickets to THE EAGLES in concert at the BOk Arena in Tulsa September 6.

Friday at the Conference one of the common questions was: Which Eagles? I had not realized that at a school event they were thinking of the Eagles as a TEAM name!

Many did not know who they were! We would name song titles, "Hotel California", "Life in the Fast Lane", "Desperado", "One of These Nights"! Oh them! I don't know? Tulsa is a long way from my home!

It made me wonder if these educators weren't just a little behind their computer savvy students. The term EBay comes to mind.

Of course, there were some that knew all about the concert and were eager to sign.

Saturday was a different crowd. A fair crowd! We could have been giving away a virus and many would have signed up. These people (most without convention badges) never even looked at our displays!

Overall it was a great event. The person that won the tickets really wanted to see the Eagles.
We had a great time, and time was well spent.

But next year:

If I could get 2 tickets to the OU/Texas game to give away, I could rule the world!

The 18 Dollar Steak Protocol

Last Friday our architectural firm had a booth at the State School Board Association Meeting in Oklahoma City. There were four of us at the convention and at the end of the day, I wanted to treat everyone to a good dinner. We went to Bricktown and settled on Mickey Mantle's Steakhouse which was reputed to be a great venue for steak. After we were seated and the menus where distributed, Michael posed a question concerning the prices. The cheapest steak on the menu was about $24 and rose to $49 not counting such things as potato, bread, etc. You see Mickey's group think they are great too! Back to the question: What do we order because of the Mike $18 dollar steak rule? It caught me by surprise because I never think about it, but evidently my fellow staff members do. Dinner does not fall in this unwritten but infamous, "sort of " rule.

The story of the $18 steak

It is a tradition at our firm that the entire office goes to lunch together to celebrate each person's birthday. The office pays and later in the afternoon, we have cake at the office.
The birthday person picks the place to eat. One day the honoree picked Red Lobster (a place not known for fast service (lunch is 12 to 1), but we went and everyone ordered from the Lunch Menu. Everyone, but one! One staff person who was setting next to me ordered, when it came his turn, a T-bone Steak! A well done T-Bone steak. An $18 dollar T-Bone Steak. A T-bone Steak that took so long to prepare that we were 30 minutes late getting back to work. I was so shocked that I was speechless. The rest of us ordered our popcorn shrimp, or soup & salad or catfish or hamburger. He ordered a T-Bone. He was not as speechless as I was because after a few bites he proudly announced that this was one of the best steaks he had ever eaten! He made a few other similar boasts while he dined and the rest watched.

As far as I know it may still be the best steak he ever ate! He left our employment shortly thereafter.

By the way: It wasn't his birthday!

Now you know why the question was asked at Mickey's place.

Protocol according to Webster: a code prescribing strict adherence to correct etiquette and precedence.

Lunch Protocol: somewhere south of $18.00

Thursday, August 21, 2008

mike goes to the movies: PG40

Tonight we went to see: "Henry Poole is here". It is rated PG40 (no one under 40 will get it without guardian to explain) Well maybe PG30. Luke Wilson stars as a depressed guy that buys a new house with a bad stucco job. His Catholic neighbor thinks she sees the face of Jesus in the stained wall of his home and rallys to make it a shrine. I won't tell any more except it is a movie about hope, belief, faith, facing the trials of life, and even "Living inspite of circumstance".
It is not preachy, It is just good. I give it *** stars.
The irony is that after the movie (I'm in OKC for a convention), I picked up the Gazette, a local entertainment paper. The reviewer gave it an F saying nobody likes movies like this. His quote:
"Why would someone pay money to be reminded of life's ebony underside and our inevitable date with the End?"
Well my 20something friend, people over 40 (who have experienced a few things) would be my guess!

I liked it.

Warning: This movie has no car chases, secret agents, super heroes, or crude humor!

I am beginning to think Luke Wilson is a better actor than his brother Owen.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

"Everybody looks good at the starting line."

I did jump and shout each time Michael Phelps won. They were magic moments. I remember when Mark Spitz won in 1972, I had just moved to Fort Smith , Arkansas (one year out of college). This (2008) was much bigger because we have such great access to the Games and they are bigger than back then. That said: My favorite in the games this year is Dara Torres.
If you watched how she interacted with her competitors, the officials and the media, you saw a unique person. Her spirit, her attitude and all was out of sight. She is one confident and comfortable person. She finished well!

Michael won a gold by .01 of a second. She lost Gold by .01 of a second. Both are winners.

Rick Warren

Rick Warren, the Pastor of Saddleback Church and author of Purpose Driven Life, was on the cover of Time Magazine this week. He also held the political forum at his church interviewing both Obama and McClain. Rick Warren showed again this week why he is the foremost leader in Christianity today (my opinion). He had actual, meaningful dialogue with the candidates and I felt that I got to compare them without being told what to think by the media. His leadership in this and his leadership of his church's work in Rwanda and other parts of the world blows me away. Guys like James Dobson come across as the real politicians when compared to him. The saying practice what you preach is lived out in Warren. All this and he says he will not push either candidate. Go Rick!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

New List

I added a new list on the side: books Iam reading and things planned. I don't just go to movies!
My mind gets constantly filled with things I'll never use, but it is FUN.

Quotes of George W.

I have two:

"My administration has been calling upon all the leaders in the--- in the Middle East to do everything they can to stop the violence, to tell the different parties involved that peace will never happen." Crawford Texas 2001

"I have a different vision of leadership. A leadership is someone who brings people together."
Bartlett, Tennessee, August 18, 2000

from my desk calendar

The Future

I am leading a class tomorrow morning on the subject of Fads, Trends, & Principles. My guru on things present and future is David Zach (pronounced like sock). He is a futurist ( and not like anything that word makes you think). His web site is with links to his blog.
I was in a workshop that he gave last year and it was the best use of my brain time in many years. Here is the contents of a poster that I am sharing with the class:

Modern Times

Nothing can wait,
nothing can last,
nothing can satisfy.

No one can be happy,
no one can be judged,
no one can be trusted.

Nothing is hidden,
nothing is certain,
nothing is forbidden.

Everything is a need,
everything is a choice,
everything is possible.

Children take the messages from the world today and
will reflect them back in words, deeds and beliefs.
Children are the message we send to the future.
What have we been trying to say?

David Zach

Thursday, August 14, 2008

mike goes to the movies & then to confession

Editor's Note: In a previous blog I stated that there should be a PG-50 rating on the new movies like the Seth Rogen & Will Ferrell movies that are full of crude profane dialogue, shocking scenes and sex dialogue. People over 50 do not find these movies funny. I still basically believe that but then tonight, I went to see TROPIC THUNDER!

Bless me Father for I have sinned. I went to an r-rated, crude, profane, shocking movie and had great fun!

Let me list the sins: It makes fun of Mental illness. It actually makes fun of movies about mental illness. It makes fun of war movies (i.e. Platoon, Deer Hunter, etc.). It makes fun of blacks ( actually the way blacks are portrayed in movies.) It makes fun of drugs and those that use it. It makes fun of gays. It makes fun of Brokeback Mountain. It makes fun of Hollywood at every level. It makes fun of great method actors like Deniro and Pacino. One of the actors is named Alpha Chino! It makes fun of actors of many sequels like Eddie Murphy and Stalone. It makes fun of movie actors adopting foreign children. It makes fun of Rap Singers. It makes fun of Movie trailers. It makes fun of Oscars. It makes fun of you and me. IT MAKES FUN!

It is offensive. It is profane. There is descriptive sex talk. (No one under 20 or over 61 should see this. You have been warned!) It will offend you in the same way as BORAT offended you. (That is of you admit seeing or renting BORAT.)

I can not honestly tell you that you should see it. We found it crazy good. If you see me in public and this movie is mentioned, I will not make eye contact with you.

This is a crazy story written and directed by Ben Stiller and stars Ben, Robert Downey Jr., Jack Black, Nick Noltie, Bill Hader, Matthew McConaughey, and the wildest acting job by Tom Cruise ever witnessed.

I can not defend this movie but a good time was had. The sound track is great classic rock.
After all I've said, there is NO nudity! But you will feel a little naked after it.

This is parody of the fashion of Borat and Something about Mary.

I will not give it a rating. I will just say for a movie loving, pop corn eating person, it made for a fun night. I was glad few people go to the movies on Thursday night, but I am glad I did.

How is that for an honest but evasive review?

Tropic Thunder? Is there a movie by that name?

Alpha Chino

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The question: Part 2

My wife ask: What about Bath Room? That is an adequate term for a room at home. However:
What about a room called a Half Bath? When clients have asked for a half bath, I have wanted to ask if that room is a toilet with a wet soapy rag on a nail. Maybe a half bath room should be called a "sponge bath room". Then there is the 3/4 bath which is a toilet that has room for a shower. Our Master bath has both a tub and a shower so that means we have a 1-3/4 bath room. The reality is that in the 10 years that we have lived in our house, I have yet to use the tub. I, therefore, admit 10 years of 3/4 baths so keep your distance!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

800 Pound Jesus

I have posted a Paul Thorn song at the bottom of the blog. Scroll through the songs to the bottom. He wrote it because his dad had a giant concrete statue of Jesus in his yard.


I will get off this Paul Thorn kick. eventually

Olympics: The starting line

My new found singer, Paul Thorn has a song titled: "Everybody looks good at the starting line!"
I thought about that after the French swim team boasted of how they would crush the USA team in the relay. They looked like the could. The experts predicted they would. I was influenced to think they could. Then the gun sounded.

"Get on your mark! Get ready! But you better keep this in mind.
You can hit the ground runnin like you're shot from a gun
but going the distance is the hard part, son.
Everybody looks good at the starting line!"

Ask Michael Phelps!

Question of the Day

Names we call things: The Public calls them Rest Rooms. Architects call them Toilets.
Do you rest in the Rest Room or Toil in the Toilet? No one admits going to the pee place!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

August 9

Today is the birthday of our first child, Heather. Her life ended on earth at the age of 6 in 1979. Today is her 35th birthday. I was driving to Stillwater today to meet with a client group and just as I pulled into town I was listening to the new Paul Thorn cd (Previously mentioned) and a song called, "Angel Too Soon" came on (and caught me completely off guard). It is the story of a little girl who died and in the song said the preacher said she was in a better place but the singer says, "she was an angel too soon!" The song goes on to say that TODAY is her birthday and her mother baked a cake............. Needless to say, I had a good cry. BUT I like the song very much and will play it many times in the future.

Heather is an Angel TOO soon. But she is doing fine. Happy Birthday to Little Sunshine.

Paul Thorn - A new favorite singer/songwriter

I was driving along the other day listening to the Bob Edwards show on XM Radio. If you don't know, Bob is possibly the best interviewer I have ever listened to. This day he was replaying one of his favorite shows (Vacation filler) and the guest was a singer named Paul Thorn from Mississippi. His music is gospel influenced country rock. He is a great story teller. he has worked in a chair factory and McDonald's. He was a boxer and once went 8 rounds with Roberto Duran. His dad is a Pentecostal preacher and he performed with his dad in tent meetings and revivals since he was 3. He lived a sheltered life and could not go to movies, dances, etc. So when he left home at 18, he played his music in pizza places. The FIRST concert he ever attended was to OPEN for Sting in Hollywood before 30,000 people. Since then he has opened for Sting, Jeff Beck, Mark Knopfler, and is now touring with Huey Lewis. Since hearing the show Friday, I have purchased 4 cds and downloaded the Bob Edwards interview from I tunes. If you do downloads try it YOU WILL LIKE IT! He also has a My Space page with YOU TUBE videos.

His songs are about life, some humorous, some with much much food for thought. If I can load his songs on my music list below, I will. THIS GUY IS GOOD!

One of his fun songs is The Mission Temple Fire Works Stand which opens like this

"I saw a black man with a Bible and a sparkler in his hand.
He was holding a tent revival and running a fireworks stand.
He said the end of the world is coming, you better get on your knees.
Today bottle rockets are two for one, but the salvation is free!"

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

This Just in!

With precincts reporting in from Asheville, NC; O'Hare in Chicago;DFW Airport and Gatlinburg, Tenn, I officially have the best grandkids in America. This is very objective! Every where we went including the airline and airport disasters, people complimented and commented about how well behaved and happy our grandson's were. I is a treat for a grand parent to hear such great stuff and even more enjoyable to witness it. While we would like take credit as PaPa and Grandma, Avery and Addison have very, very, very caring parents who do a great job. This is what made for a good time inspite of the problems. The boys were happy watching planes and playing in the pool. They don't sweat the big stuff, but they do ask questions.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Adventures with American Airlines Part 2

Coming Home: We left Tennessee this morning at 7:ooam (6:oo Okie Time) and flew to Chicago. At 8:00 am, we are making our approach into O'Hare, I mean heading for the ground. If you have landed there you know what I'm saying. It is windy and raining. The pilot pulls the plane back up and says that conditions have caused the airport to shut DOWN. The "ground stop" caused us to fly down state to Bloomington where we landed and stayed until 10:30. They reopened Chicago and we take the short trip back and land. By now half the flights leaving O'hare are cancelled, except our flight to Tulsa which left before we arrived. Those already there got all the remaining flights south before we landed from our field trip to South Illinois farmland. SOOOOOOO. We are now scheduled to leave Chicago at 10:25 am TOMORROW!
Of course our luggage has already left!

We have had so far 5 days away from home. Two of those days were in airports. The ratio is not good. I have visited 5-1/2 airports so far. Ohare-2-1/2 times. Tomorrow makes 3-1/2!

Have I told you how gracious and helpful the folks at American Airlines are? I didn't think so!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Adventures with American Airlines

We left on vacation Thursday morning. Our scheduled trip was a 6:00 am flight from Tulsa to Dallas, followed by a 8:05 am flight to Knoxville, Tennessee for a few days in the Great Smokies & Asheville, North Carolina. So much for plans. We boarded the American Spirit flight in Dallas as planned only to find on taking our seats that there was no Air Conditioning. We sat a sweating while they worked on it. Then they decided to return to the terminal. After setting a while, they cancelled the flight. We had 8 in our party. They sent 2 (My daughter, Lindsey and her husband) on a flight to Cincinnati with connection to Knoxville. The rest of us were booked on a 1:00 pm flight to Chicago O'Hara. We got on our plane at 1:30 PM. We were supposed to be in Knoxville at 11:30 AM. We boarded this flight only to be delayed 1 more hour because of mechanical problems. Those were fixed and then learned that Chicago was closed because of Thunder storms. We landed in Chi-town at 4:00 pm. 5 of us got on a flight at 6:30pm and my son Nate got a 8:00 pm flight. When we reached our condo after 10:30 pm. 11 hours late. All of our journeys dealt with broken planes, late crews, and delays. Setting in the American Terminal in Chicago, flights cancelled or delayed were the rule.

The best line heard all day was the following: "Passengers on the flight to Omaha should note that the lavatories on the plane are out of service. If you need to go to the facilities, you should do so at once. We start boarding in one minute!" There was a mad rush of the people around us to the toilet. While they were gone, the flight was cancelled!

A trip to Knoxville from Tulsa takes 18 hours by car or 16 hours by American Airlines.