Friday, July 31, 2009

Reaction not a Review

I have been somewhat anticipating the movie, "Funny People". The trailer (that I have watched for 6 months!) is both funny and compelling. I might also remind you that I am not a fan of the Judd Apatow directed recent comedies (40 year old Virgin, etc.). I think comedies should be funny, but what do I know? My idea of comedy is O Brother, Blazing Saddles, Raising Arizona and yes even "Hangover".

So this afternoon we ventured to T-Town to see it. We did not want to see it near home for fear we would watch it with someone we knew. (In case it was raunchy). We were seated early , but just before the movie started, a couple we used to go to church with in Jenks, came in a sat "right" behind us!

The movie (2-1/2 hours worth started and the opening credit scene was humorous. Then it started. For the next 30 minutes we listened to the F-word constantly, all of the jokes these "stand up comedians" were doing was about oral sex, men's appendages, and course sex(in that order as was most of the dialogue in general. There is also nudity which I don't usually mind but this was course stuff). I saw that the story that would eventually get going may be good, BUT

I may be getting old, but one of the benefits is I don't put up with much that bothers me. As a matter of fact in the first 30 minutes I did not see one scene from the previews!

We made it 30 minutes. The thought of two more hours did not seem worth it to me. It may rent the video some time later. It may be the funniest movie you see, but not for me.

The reason I call this blog, "Less Traveled Roads" is I don't necessarily go with the popular flow. This is an example.

This is not a review of the movie. It is a reaction. No stars assigned. PG50

2009 movie #49. It counts because I paid and ate the popcorn.

Dude looks like a Lady!

Last night we went to the ZZ Top/Aerosmith concert. I am a much bigger ZZ fan. We saw them 5 years ago at the Cotton Bowl with Eric Clapton, but i have been a fan from the time they started in 69. 40 years has taken a toll, but you can't tell by looking. Their beards and hat reminds me of George Clooney in "O Brother Where Art Thou". As a matter of fact I couldn't prove they were their. The music sounded the same but the thing that made them cool: The twirling fuzzy guitars and their dancing and showman ship while they play, were not present. I mean they are still cool, but in the background, they were showing their music videos doing the things that I wanted to see.

The sound for ZZ was bad. You could not understand any lyrics. I decided that it was because they were the opening act. The sound must be set for Steven Tyler.

Aerosmith took the stage and the sound was just as bad. The audience did not seem to care though, we and a few other couples were outnumbered about 13,000 to 10 by the beer drinkers.
Mind you the crowd was not rowdy, just constantly needing a bathroom! It was also the first time in several years that the smell of "pot" was in the air.

The light show that they do would probably send people with Migraines to the door.

All in all it was a good night for me but not great. I am more a Bob Seger, Eagles, Eric Clapton, rocker. Arena Rock never really grabbed me.

But "The Dude does look like a Lady!" The photo is how he was dressed last night.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A cry for help!

I am certain that I have killed many brain cells since I got facebook. My I.Q. is down about 20 points, but that's ok because yours is down 20 points for reading this!

I know a lot more about people than I once did, and I am wondering, "WHY?" I sometimes set in my chair watching TV and scrolling for updates about every ten minutes! yikes.

I now know what ice cream I am, what state I should live in, what color I am? There are polls to ask if, "I believe in God", "Is Obama a citizen?", "OU versus OSU"?

If we were really friends, would we have to ASK?

Some of you send me family photos, tell me your bored, wish your kids were normal or glad they are brilliant. Aren't these the people we used to AVOID?

I'm as bad as anyone, except that I need a 12 step facebook program. I'm getting sarcastic about any of the posts: Check my recent "updates". I am trying to quit, but it isn't working.

Mike is _______________

God , Beer, and Crazy People

The #1 country song this week is Billy Curlington's "God is Great, the Beer is Cold, and People are Crazy." It is a cool song. we will see him perform it next month with Sugarland in OKC. It reminds me of the recent news. Obama is going to a have cold beer with the Cop and the Harvard Professor tomorrow. It sounds like a great joke: "The president, a Cop and a Harvard Professor are having beer............" and it is.

Then last week Inhofe and all sorts of Republicans were quoted as questioning whether Obama was REALLY born in the USA. Then it is actually called to a vote in Congress in a resolution stating that his is an American. AND not a single republican voted No! Crazy

Speaking of voting: FACEBOOK is running one of those surveys: Would you Vote for Obama Again or ever?
As compared to what?

Sarah Palin! (That's a punch line) Take Sarah Palin. Please!

She campaigned as a Maverick, a let's get things done, take no prisoners, gun toting, don't back down Diva. She said she was qualified because she was Mayor of a town the size of Stilwell and the Governor of an important State. Check that: She was Gov. for 2-1/2 years. Actually 1-1/2 years (She spent a year campaigning!) I listened to her quitting speech and now know everyone she hates and that she is still intent in saving America.

The really weird thing is: She will be campaigning for President from now until 2012 and her party WILL LISTEN!

The new theme will be: God is Good, the Beer is Cold, and People are Crazy!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Ethnic Food

The other night we went to eat at "Copeland's of New Orleans" in Tulsa. It was the fourth time to eat there, but it reminded me how much times have changed. We ordered alligator bites and broccoli balls as appetizers. For my meal I had Shrimp Ducky. This is a dish of small strips of duck with shrimp prepared in a mushroom and burgundy sauce on top of linguine. I would not have touched anything remotely like this a few years ago. This meal was delicious! wow!

When I was growing up in the 1950's, the closest thing to ethnic food was tamales from a can. We had a very set diet that included such things as fried potatoes, jacket potatoes,mashed potatoes, gravy, all sorts of spinach, turnip greens, cooked cabbage, kraut (ethnic) and wieners, okra, liver and onions, fried chicken, ham, etc. Fast food did not come to Oklahoma until 1962 (I was there).
At school they made what they claimed was pizza by my senior year (but you couldn't prove by me!). Garrison Keillor in his Lake Wobegon Days stories says that as a kid, we thought that every one in America was eating the same things on the same nights. I understand. Sunday Lunch was either pot roast or fried chicken (Sunday nights as the leftovers made as sandwiches). We ate hamburgers once a week either Friday night or Saturday Night. It was at these meals we had a bottle of Pepsi (10 ounce). We always had tea and kool-aid and milk. A weeknight meal may be something like Fried potatoes, cabbage, cornbread, fresh vegetables and pork steak (thin pork steak). We ate good.

I did not eat pizza until 1962 when Pizza places opened in Muskogee and Tulsa. (Shakey's and Ken's). McDonald's came to Tulsa about then but Muskogee got a Sandy's Hamburgers (Later it became Hardee's.) Other ethnic foods Chinese, Mexican, German, etc. came much later.

It has taken me years to like the various types of food but like them I do. Mexican is a staple. I crave good German food and can't find it. Currently my new favorite is the Mediterranean Grille at Woodland Hills. Last year I went Brazilian-love it and I am now willing to try new stuff anytime (within reason: I prefer seafood to be cooked).

I love this change in my life. It has been several years since we ended a meal by taking the remaining cornbread and putting it in a glass of milk with light salt and eating it with a spoon.

Now that is ethnic!


Saturday at the pool we gave the grandson's goggles (one green and one blue) to wear in the water, because they had been wanting to go "under". Avery and Addison looked them over and Avery says to his little brother, "You can pick any color you want, but I am taking the blue one."

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Contemporary Church

That's almost sounds like a play on words. I go to one. The definition of these churches means first and foremost: "a worship service that while timeless in content is done in a way that speaks to another generation." That is from the Mike concordance and dictionary. WE quit singing songs written before WWII and are now singing songs that were new to us 16 years ago (and probably sound like old hymns to our kids!) We also dress casually now which by the Mike definition means, "If you wear it during the week to work or school, its OK!" Of course now we have adults guys wearing shorts and flip flops to church! So I am wondering just HOW contemporary we want to get. I'm thinking what if we attract life guards and such! We started drinking coffee and donuts between worship and Class time and now people are stopping at the convenience store on the way! I am expecting to smell McDonald's Breakfast Burritos before long! I already hear the cans being opened during prayers. "pop. s-s-s-s-s" How refreshing is that sound! Amen!

Understand, I am not complaining. I don't make the church rules, but I thought God did.
I thought the Bible was clear enough about boundaries, but I guess I was wrong.

I must say though that I got a scare today in church. Last week he talked about Sarah wanting Abraham to have sex with her servant. Today the preacher had one of the teen boys to read the lesson text. It was about Abraham getting circumcised! Yikes! I wondered how far this was going. False alarm. I did get up and go to the bathroom just after he started talking, but when I returned and was relieved to know that there were no "Object lessons"!

Think goodness for Trout fishing! Private Joke!

I may be getting too old for church! I mean for the Contemporary Church singing songs from 1987, eating junk and wearing shorts to please the LORD kind of place. You know me by now! In any other setting this would be a concert. Well, without the Beer! That is only 10 years away.

Another thing while I am ranting: Every one wants to have classes on the evidence that God exists or the evidence that Jesus is who he says he is or evidence that God created the world!

I want a class on the evidence that any of us are paying any attention to what we are actually acting out!

Sorry, something just came over me. I'm sounding like my Mother! Yikes again!

The Ugly Truth about The Ugly Truth

The family's gone and this afternoon we went and viewed The Ugly Truth. As comedies go, it was amusing and fun at times, but it is one of the "New" generation comedies. Three years ago this would have been a PG or PG-13 movie based on story, content, etc. The success of the "40 Year Old Virgin" era movies has changed things. "R" is now the way to make money. No need for female nudity either. A naked guy's backside will do the trick. Just mix the comedy with enough profanity and hard core sex talk and you have a hit! We enjoyed the movie enough, but not enough to see it with anyone we know. Certainly not our Kids and they are married!

I say that because setting in front of us were two mothers with their daughters (who appeared to be about 12!) Oh, they gestured to cover their kid's ears a couple of times but they did not say, "We had better leave". I was uncomfortable about people I didn't even know!

The there were the three black people setting across from us that talked to the screen, and screamed at places and repeated parts of the dialogue. I know that sounds racist, but I have been to way, way too many movies to know that this is NOT a stereotype.

The movie was well acted. The audience was not.

It is about a local market TV show and some of you that have actually been in the business may enjoy it on a different level. You know who you are!

I give it **1/2 stars

2009 movie #48

Editorial: We need to insist that the CARMIKE Cinemas, at least try to meet part of the Health department standards. The carpet is so stained it is a new pattern. The fixtures in the Men's room have been "out of order" for 6 months and has a rank odor. And that is just the beginning!

The Man, part 2

We had the grandsons this weekend along with Lindsey and Jeremy. It was a full family weekend with all the kids, grand kids and grand dogs. We swam and ate. In the midst of all this Addison asks, When are we going to mow the lawn and use the blower? (He knows that my job is to mow and blow, while Carol does the weed-eating (that is with a machine). I finally gave in and Saturday night, he and I mowed for his enjoyment. I had to admit, after we finished, that my Sunday afternoon was now free and he was happy.

Today in church, Addison crawled up on my lap and whispered in my ear, "When is Grandma going to Weed Eat?"

The three year old Man is thorough!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Mike issues a challenge

Brad Paisley  has a new CD out called: "American Saturday Night".  It is one of his best yet.
If you are a Dad who has a Son, I challenge you to listen to the song, "If he's anything like me" and not get choked up.   It gets me every time.  It is a well crafted song that any parent can identify with whether son or daughter.


They Got Some "Splainin" to DO

This was the heading of the Sunday New York Times Op-Ed page.  I want to talk about it because I have dwelt on it for several days.  I will admit that I (among other things) am a News Junkie. I read three papers a day not counting online. On the weekends I read 4 (Muskogee, Tulsa, OKC, New York).  You know that all these have a different take.  Tulsa is sort of Middle of the Road, Muskogee doesn't care.  OKC is so far right, it is in the ditch.  I was always told that the Times is that far to the left.   The thing that separates the Times from the others is that these people can write! (talent wise)  I don't agree with everything they say, but they make me think.  The others just want to tell me what to think. I have never been a good follower in that way.

The Times Op-Ed referred to Senator Coburn's attempt at humor when he told Sonomayor that, "You'll have lots of "splainin" to do!"  (His reference to the famous Ricky Ricardo statement to Lucy.)  Ricky you'll remember was Latino.  We Okies didn't mind his comment.  It passed right over us.  It was not local news. It was "Normal".   Well our politically correct USA doesn't like it.  They compared it to his out-of touch objection of showing "Schindler's List" because of nudity when the movie was a stirring Holocaust epic.  Saying he doesn't understand Jews or Latinos.   Ok!  Everybody has an opinion.  Had I stopped there, it would not have meant as much.  I kept reading.  The story then lumped him with Lindsey Graham (R-SC) who is also on the Judicial Committee.

Both Coburn and Graham came into Congress in 1994 as part of the Gingrich revolution.  When they took Congress from Clinton's group stating that they wanted, " a Congress that respects the values and shares the faith of the American Family."

How are they doing?  Of the guys that Newt brought in Mr. Haywood and Ney of the House were part of the Abramoff scandal (Ney went to prison).  Misters Sanford, Ensign, and Foley had affairs while voting to impeach Clinton.  As did Gingrich.  Lindsey Graham served as manager of the prosecution against Clinton.   

Here is what is interesting:  When the South Carolina Governor went south (Literally!), with his affair after lying to everyone about his trip, Graham thought the people of SC should give him another chance and hoped the Gov and his wife could work things out.  Not quite what he said about Clinton!  He also did not protest the Nevada  Senator Ensign's affair with a staff member.  Coburn also gave "Deacon" advice to the Senator that reportedly included a payoff to the staff member's family.  Coburn used Deacon immunity so that he did not have to answer questions.  Neither wanted him to be impeached!

You and I, in our Christian theory, believe in the GOD of the second chance, forgiveness, etc.  What kills Christianity in our society is how selective we practice it!  Political enemies have no mercy, no forgiveness!

Locally, Congressman Sullivan is treated as a good Christian for going to Betty Ford by the same group that have persecuted every Democrat that did the same!    You still think that Bill Clinton is a dog!  No proof he still does it but Letterman says he does.  I watched Rick Warren discuss this with Bill for an hour one night, but we don't believe him, why?  He is not as moral as Newt and Ney and Ensign and Foley who said that they would set a higher moral standard!

These are the same guys who believed in term limits too (back in 94)!  They changed their mind on that TOO!

You are not comfortable reading this.  Me neither!

This bothers me and confirms to me why being Democrat or Republican is NOT the answer.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Moon Landing

It was 40 years ago tonight that Carol and I  went over to another couple's mobile home in Stillwater to watch the Moon Landing on a Black and White TV.  This was a major thing for me. I had been following the space program since  my grade school "Weekly Reader" days.  I read everything I could.  I watched "Tomorrowland" on Walt Disney's Disneyland show on TV where they showed space ships, rockets, and space stations that would be common place by 2000.  When I was a boy, we all knew that we would make it to Mars by 1980.  The moon was just the first step.  So during my college days we watched the trips to the moon and dreamed about the future.

Fast forward 40 years.  My kids and many of you have been born since we visited the moon.  It is one of the disappointments  of my life.  Then the USA just pulled a "Palin"(Quit)!   We should have several hundred people at a base on the Moon  and several trips to Mars under our belt.

That it why us boomers hold "Star Wars" and  "Star Trek"  in such high esteem.  Star Trek was on TV during my college days as well.  We took for granted that things would go that way.

Of course, we also thought that cars would be driven by computer without any of us at the wheel by 2000 also.

Today is sad for me.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Potter 2

Yes, I went to see Harry Potter again today. Carol did not get to see it Friday with the office staff.
Still the same!

2009 Movie #46

The World is Coming to an End: News at 11

Just finished watching "Meteor" on TV tonight.  Well, I watched it like some of you watch "Wipeout".  In my case making fun of the bad acting made it bearable.   It is the first of "many end of the world" stories (not counting the republican account of what will happen if Sotomayor becomes judge!).  Lately at the movies half the previews shows a dismal future.  One movie coming out this fall has pinpointed December 21, 2012 as our last day, but until then they have a story to tell you.  This also includes G.I. Joe which will be more positive because they will have toys to sell.  I'm not sure why recession and depression makes us want to watch this stuff.  I guess we are looking for some reason to say:  Well, compared to that, things aren't so bad!"

Come to think of it isn't that what the show "Wipeout" is about also?

FYI:  As Meteor ended their was a commercial for the movie for next week: another disaster movie!

Friday, July 17, 2009

You've Got Junk

One thing about having an IPhone, I now get junk e-mail 24/7! My phone dings all day. I am currently getting about 20 "you have an e-greeting card" or 123greeting card a day. Then there is the fact that EBAY needs to talk to me about my "Nonexistent" account (4 times a day). Then of course "Sun Bank" or what ever needing to up date my account (3 times a day). Then the helpful people at UPS (about a zillion different people assigned to my "Account". They are all telling me that they have a package for me that was sent March 15 and need me to respond.

Then there are the junk mail that I apparently sent myself, since the sender is my email address. Finally every one's favorite, all those multitude of folks that are concerned about my sex life. Bless their hearts!

Harry Grows Up

We went to the movies today. While it was an afternoon movie, their were several people including a guy who talks to the screen (He must have been under a spell!). "Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince" is the 6th installment. It had been a while since I read the book, and did not remember some of it, but of course it was good. These movies are based on long books, meaning long movies. This runs about 2 and a half hours not counting the commercials and coming attractions (another 30 minutes). I thought after the movie that this was the most expensive movie that I ever paid for! Tickets for 8 people + 3 hours time each puts it the other side of $1,000.00! I didn't pay for popcorn though or it would have been expensive. Speaking of concessions, you are going to be there a while so load up.

Of course I'm not going to tell about the movie. If you read or have seen previous HP stuff, you will want to see it. If you don't like HP, well --well, well. This is HARRY AND FRIENDS grow up. It also sets up the last two movies.
If witchcraft offends don't go, but if Harry can grow up, so should you!

I give it ***stars.
2009 movie 45

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Yes, I saw Asia

Tonight we got back into the concert mode and went to see the 80's rock groups, Asia and Yes.
It would be hard for me to just rattle off their hits, but listening to classic rock stations, you would smile at each song when played.  Both bands have guys older than me playing as good as when they started.  Asia's keyboard player played 9 keyboards!  He stood in a "U' shaped set up with 3 tiers of keyboards and in some songs it looked like he used all of them!

Yes is almost Rock Opera type of sounds and lavish intros and riffs.  They play very, very long versions of the 3-1/2 minute radio stuff.

It was cool though and looking at the tour shirts, it seemed weird to read the stops:  Las Vegas, San Francisco, Philadelphia, New York, Fort Worth, Muskogee....

Company Culture

Several years ago as our architectural firm was getting started, most of the staff commuted. (Come to think of it they still do!)  I was already into audio books and I had just finished the first Harry Potter book.  I talked it up and soon our "lending library" began.  As I finished Potter 1, it would go though the office and soon everyone was hooked.  By the third book Hollywood got on board and made the 1st Harry Potter movie.

In my first firm in Tulsa, I once took the entire staff to see "The Empire Strikes Back" and mentioned that one day to the SDA staff. The idea was borne and the whole staff went to see the first Harry Potter movie.  There have been 5 such movies and our firm has gone to all of them.

Tomorrow (Friday) we see the sixth! 

We have a different staff now than when we started (only 3 of us has been to all!).  I didn't know if this group would want to so I gave them the choice of getting off early tomorrow or going to the movie.  They picked the movie!  So the tradition continues and their are two more Potter movies to come.

I did tell them that if this had been a Star Wars movie, attendance would have been mandatory (for creative reasons)!  Harry Potter is close.

Fantasy and architecture share much!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

It's Not Easy Being Green!

We had an electrical problem at our house with one of our light switches.  I had the electricians to come out and replace the weird condition.  Come to find out all those fluorescent lights that I put in our house (being green) and all the flood lights outside (fluorescent) have to be taken out.

On the package the fluorescent flood lights say that they replace R30 lamps (incandescent).  On the LAMPS (light bulbs) they say that they are not to be used in wet locations (outside) or in enclosed fixtures (down lights, etc.)  R30 lamps are designed for these locations?  

So we have about 30 lamps if anybody needs them!  By the way keeping them where I had them can cause electrical shock or fire.  Otherwise they are ok.

It's Hot!

Our AC at the office has been on the fritz for several days but they have promised. The promise has not cooled us yet!

It's so hot that Sarah Palin quit as Governor, so she could fish and be President. In the heat she explained that she was doing what any good "point guard in basketball" would do. She got out front, knew when to pass the ball, and then quit the team! Yea Team!

It's Hot!

Obama update

Yes, I have previously admitted that I voted for him (knowing that I might go straight to hell).

I have liked most of his direction except maybe the "Stimulus". Some of the money is going to things that wasn't thought through! At the Music Hall of Fame we were offered a free employee to paint, clean, and whatever. While he has been a good worker, we were alarmed when he announced that he was a paroled felon from the West Coast for home invasion, assaulting an officer, and grand larceny. Nobody told us that! Our firm was also offered a "free" Stimulus employee who was interested in going into Architecture. We bit and after 2 days we realized that she was not a high school student considering a career, but someone out of school for 4 years looking for something to do! WE declined the offer. I know a lot of school and civic projects that could be built for the money wasted on this stuff!

However, today I realized that Obama and his wife are very smart and cultured. Last month they had a jazz concert at the White House. Next month they are having a classical concert at the White House. But next on their agenda is a concert featuring Brad Paisley and Allison Kraus. Way Cool!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Man

Most three year old boys would want to swim in the pool when they get to Grandma's house. Or, they may want ice cream or to play games.  The little guy in this photo, Addison, talked ALL the way from Tulsa about "Mowing the yard and using the Blower to clean the driveway."  It is 103 outside I thought.  Maybe I could go over other possibilities! Nope, did not work!  So we mowed the yard  and he watched every blade!  I have a John Deere tractor with a double bagger so there is no chance for lawn mower mishaps.  He set on my knee the whole time and was as intense as me at a NASCAR race.  His only complaint:  "Papa, Your leg is wet!"

I don't think he sweated either!  When I got the leaf blower out, He followed me with his Toy one. (He brings a toy blwoer and weed eater when he visits!)  He pointed out a few things I missed but all in all, I passed.

He also works side by side with Carol when she plants flowers or waters.  It is his thing.

I wonder though where this came from.  His Dad never liked any yard work.  When we lived in Bixby, I paid him $20 to mow the yard.  A little later I found out he was paying his friend $10 to mow most of it! (Why he's in sales!)

I don't know how Addison will focus in later years, but the kid thinks work is play. he is not afraid to get his hands dirty and he is pushing me now.

FYI:  The shirt he is wearing in the picture is a "BOB the Builder" that says:  YES WE CAN!

I live for moments like this!

Carol and I had a trip to Tulsa to get the Grandsons on our agenda.  They are spending the night with us.  We decided to travel through Haskell and see my Mother on the way.  Just before we left, I called her and asked if their was anything that we could bring her when we came.  She jokingly said:  "You can stop at Tumble Inn and buy me a dryer!" (Her's gave up about two weeks ago and attempts to repair it was for nought.  She probably only got 30 years out of that one.)

So we get to her house and I hand her a piece of paper.  She asks, "What's this?"  

 "It's a receipt for a dryer.  Tumble Inn is delivering it next week!"  I smiled.

These are rare opportunities, and they are worth taking.  Sure she complained and said she was kidding and she could buy her own and she was going to call and cancel, but in the end,  IT WAS  SUPER COOL!   At 88 she doesn't have that many  Mother's Days left.   Seize the Day!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Those Summer Movies about Graduation

The classic movie of this type is "American Graffiti".  "I Love You Beth Cooper" has the same setting, but it is about the nerd Valedictorian who in his speech shouts out, "I love you Beth Cooper.  She, of course, is the Head Cheerleader who has never spoken to him in four years of school.  It sounds like standard summer movie stuff and while that may be true, there is real humor and they have added a certain amount of depth to the right characters.  The night is a little like Ferris Beueller.  You know these people. you went to school with them.  It is PG13 (fully) meaning the F word is used the allowable once and almost nudity!

I enjoyed it and it reminded me of my summers in Haskell as a teen.  There are things in the movie that are very familiar.

I give it ***stars.

You've got a lot of rules about peeing!

That is one of my favorite lines from the movie, "The End".  Burt Reynolds does not want Dom Deluise to watch him use the bath room.  

We all know that you should not pee in the pool, but my goodness, being in the water messes with the mind.  When the Grandsons come over to swim, they have urges too.  I showed them a favorite spot by the bushes and the trellis that is both secluded from the neighbors and convenient.  It is not secluded from the pool.  The other day when their parents were here, Lori was surprised when they did their business without skipping a beat.

There is also a place on our porch where no one can see by the porch, that I have been known to frequent as well (Just when it is the two of us!).  It had to quit, though, when Carol finally figured out what was killing her plants!

Lest you think I am weird, Meredith Vera (Today Show) was on the Tonight show the other night and told how HER WHOLE FAMILY (including Her) uses a spot in their yard!  See it's not so weird!

Getting ready for Friday Night

click on photo to enlarge

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

New Yorker Cartoon fix

Reflections of a weird week or so

Michael Jackson week lasted about two weeks.  No matter how much I tried to avoid it, it just kept coming.  Let me just say that I did like his music.  I never bought any Jackson Five stuff, but it was okay.  I was more a Temptations, Sam & Dave, Al Green, etc.   I never bought any Supremes either come to think of it.  When "Thriller" came out I, like the rest of the world, bought it and liked it.  I liked all the albums that Quincy Jones produced for him.  When he listened to Quincy, he was the best.  When he got too big and no longer "Needed" the Q, I quit buying his stuff.  Now it was much later that I realized that Quincy Jones was in charge of the things of MJ that I liked. I guess that meant that I liked Quincy more than MJ! Now QJ did not teach MJ to "moon walk" but that period of dance was during Quincy's time as well.

I guess if Elvis had died during a time of 24 hour news, Iphones, and FACEBOOK,  all this stuff would have probably lasted a month! With John Lennon I think not.  His fans were different, and the other Beatles would not be quick to get on the TODAY show.

I have been thinking about all that happened this week and have been comparing the spectacle with my heroes.  Paul Newman could have used more time discussing his life, but he never wanted to gloat about his work or life.   Johnny Cash was as big in his world as MJ, but again he was too cool to have a circus and his faith clashes with such things.

I know people say it is because MJ spans several decades.  Johnny Cash went from 1950's and Elvis to 2005 and Nine Inch Nails.  It is not the person.  It is the industry.

I challenged myself with the following:  Name 5 current entertainers, who if suddenly taken away, would capture the media for two weeks?  While it was easy for me to think of 5, I could not imagine any getting such media craziness.

My 5 in Music:  Eric Clapton, Willie Nelson, Bono, Paul McCartney, Elton John

Something to think about.  Beside all the other stuff Paul Newman raised 400 Million for charity, while Michael played at Neverland!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


For Christmas, Nate and Lori gave me a gift certificate to blurb.  Blurb is an online company that allows you to write and publish "a Book".  Tonight I uploaded all of my 2008 blogs of "Less Traveled Roads" into a book!  All 228 pages, full color photos, hard bound, just like John Gresham.   It was fun to do.  I waited along time to do this because in the beginning "blogger" was not one of the blog sites they served.  I edited the book, chose the cover, size, and then the software "slurped" my blog into their system.  This was sort of a test run.  While I will continue to do yearbooks of my blog, I have ideas for three real books that I want to write.  This will be fun!

Just another stop on less traveled roads.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Ice Age 3, 3-D, Theory of Threes

Well, the Holiday is over, and not just for this weekend.  We went to see "Ice Age 3" as an alternative to "all Michael TV".  The good thing is the 3-D.  The story has run out of steam.  What once was a story that adults and even children could enjoy, has become a story only children can enjoy.  Even the squirrel-like character is getting dull.   

This goes along with my theory of 3's for comic book and cartoon characters.  The First is inventive and original.  The second takes the story deeper.  The third is more of the same.
I feel this way about Spiderman, Hulk, and Ice Age.  Of course their are exceptions. They reinvented Batman.  (I interrupt this blog with this news flash:  MJ is still dead!")

I had mowed the yard today and in this movie I actually "nodded off".  If you like the other Ice Age movies, you will probably want to see this any who.  Just not my thing.

I give it **stars.

2009 movie #43.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

July 4, 2009 Day 8 for the guy that sung, "Ben"

There are many people today that are celebrating this important day.  That would be all of the news outlets.  It is Day 8 of the death of two guys named Michael Jackson.  The importance of today is that it is time for the promoters to get part of the pie. It is time for the presale!  Go online and register for the lottery chance to be at the Two Michael's Celebration bash at the Staples Center in LA.  Lucky winners get an arm band and a chance to go, but for the rest watch it on MTV.  I predict that this show will win an Emmy and the soundtrack will go platinum.  the show will be shown on DAY 11.

Of the two guys, my favorite was black Michael.  He seemed the more talented.  He introduced "moon walking", Theatrical  music videos, and albums like "Thriller".  White Michael gave me the creeps!  Everything he did, had terms like "alleged" attached.  He was maybe "misunderstood" by us, regular Michaels, but he was miserable in his world. 

I haven't thought of Black Michael in several years, but I will miss his music.  The other one not so much!

Michael's last act was to give the South Carolina Governor a break, but another Governor named Palin wants her action now!  I think she sees a void that has been left by White Michael!
I hope Matt Lauer has the exclusive! " Today" has changed its name to "Entertainment Today"!

There is some irony with Black Michael.  When he was young, he had a hit about a rat that was misunderstood and died!  No disrepect for Black Michael intended.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Pirate versus Batman, Public Enemies

Thursday became Friday, this Holiday weekend, so we went to the movies. "Public Enemies" was the flick. Johnny Depp (Pirates of the Caribbean) plays John Dillinger and Christian Bale (Batman) plays FBI's Melvin Purvis. It is a well made movie and very realistic. The special effects while there do not get in the way. Every thing looks like the 1930's. I thought the movie had a Godfather feel though not quite the Godfather quality. Don't get me wrong, I liked the movie. In his younger days I could have seen Paul Newman play Dillinger.

There is some guns, some profanity (not as much by current standards) and a good look at life in the 30's. One thing that remains consistent in every movie or book that I have read or seen, J. Edgar Hoover was a jerk.
I give it *** stars.

2009 Movie # 43