Friday, July 30, 2010

Schmucks is the wrong title!


The dictionary says that "schmuck" is Yiddish for "jerk". That is not the correct term for the movie, "Dinner For Schmucks". Outrageous is a better term. We went to see it today and loved it. It is the best Steve Carell movie since "Despicable Me"! Actually it is his best! It may be the "Hangover of 2010". It has a great cast, continuous laughter and craziness. As you know it is about businessmen who invite weird people to a dinner and watch them and make fun of them.

It sounds mean spirited, but the movie shows that there is a fine line when deciding who is weird.

It is worth your time. Unlike the "Hangover" and movies like that, "Schmucks is PG13 and profanity is slight. Like all PG13 you get to play Find The F Word.

If you need a laugh, look no further. I give it ***1/2 stars.

2010 Movie #32

Just another day in Paradise


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Another Fork in the Road


I was listening to a friend the other day discuss his recent retirement and all the adjustments and things he is dealing with. He is 50! Yikes-a-hooty! He is considering what to do with his life.

Me? I am in the process of starting a new Company! Our main company is 17 years old and I started it when I was 46. I guess I still have things to do.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Three Slap Hug


I am NOT a Hugger. I tend to keep my hands to myself. I didn't grow up in an affectionate family, but my wife did. We went to a Family Reunion this weekend and there was 68 people there. Everyone hugs everyone, but they usually shake my hand. Some however insist on hugs (I really don't mind!). As a matter of fact I am somewhat a student of the hug. This time a counted.
1. Open your arms.
2. Wrap around.
3. With one hand: slap, slap, slap! (My wife's family sometimes goes up to five slaps)

I was at a meeting at our church with a group of men. After the final prayer, all 10 men started hugging. Slap, Slap, Slap Slap, Slap, Slap. Everyone did three slaps! Only someone like me would notice! It is a burden I carry and my parent's fault.

Now don't get me wrong, I really do appreciate hugs, authentic hugs.

At my church there are many huggers, also. They usually shake my hand.

I think there is a sign on my forehead: Shake not Stir!

FYI: I have learned to hug my family probably not as much as I should but I try.
My mother has even gotten use to it. Almost.

Cleaning Up


New Look. New Layout. Same Ole Crap!

Do you know THE GIRL?



I am reading the three book series by Stieg Larsson beginning with "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo".
I have seen all three books on the New York Times and USA Today best seller lists for a long time and finally decided to join the fray. I raced through the Dragon book and I will finish the Fire book next week. I my opinion the books are as good as broadcast.

I will say again that if you are an OKIE like me, you need the audio books. The stories take place in Sweden and the names of the characters and locations would have been hard for me to navigate. The guy that "reads" the book makes the story vivid and easy to follow. The book is not a travelogue, but it is fun to hear a story taking place in an area that I know little about. I will soon start "The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets Nest."

Oh, you want to know what the books are about! Read them.

Larsson has crafted characters that are not "typical" mystery, spy, or murder stories. Unfortunately the author died before the fourth book was finished. I hope someone does!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

What did you do today?


Let's see, what did I do today?

We went to a family reunion today at Fort Gibson Lake. Hot Dogs, Hamburgers, Ice Cream, Corn on the Cob and 70 people were there. After lunch the grandsons went down to the lake to play, fish and get wet. They came home with us to spend the night and play. We got in the swimming pool and they thought it cool to swim in two different places in one day. I ask Avery what he wanted to do and he said, "Go to the Mall" and:
See "Despicable Me"
Do the Train Ride
Play on the Playground
Play Indoor Miniature Golf
Get "Dippin Dots"
Do the Coin Operated Rides
Visit the Aquarium
And so we did all Except "Dippin Dots" (I don't want to spoil them)

Yes, Despicable Me is as good the second time. This time we saw it in 2D and found that the lower fourth of the movie is missing in 2D! 2010 Movie #31
FYI: This was the first time that we took all three boys to the movie. Carol took the little one out once in the middle of the movie. Not because he was crying, it was because he was talking so loud and directing his thoughts at the screen! When she brought him back in, he was sleeping! It was a success.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Got SALT?




"SALT" is the new secret agent movie. It is like James Bond with a plot. That is a female James Bond. Is she good or evil or a little of both. Angelina Jolie plays the CIA agent whose last name is Salt. (Tom Cruise was originally picked for the part but they had issues.) The action is similar to Bourne movies, but in this you don't know who to cheer for. I did not think there was any way we would still be making USA/Russia secret agent stories. I was wrong.

Good summer movie. I give it **1/2 stars. It shouts sequel but I don't know!

2010 Movie #31 OOPs Too many photos! Plenty of Salt!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Sorcerer's Apprentice reborn



The first time Disney did "the Sorcerer's Apprentice" was with Mickey Mouse in "Fantasia" long ago. Disney repeated it in the early 60's with Haley Mills and friends. And they and other's have done other versions. This time around with the world of special effects they Harry Potter-ed it.
SA 2010 stars Nicholas Cage (the resident weird guy of Hollywood) and friends. It is a comedy and very light and summer like. Popcorn goes down easy with this and it is fun. The dancing mops from Mickey's version are back for this version also.

Don't worry about Occult things, it is for fun. Imagine what "Sorcerer's Apprentice 2020" will be like.

I give it **1/2 stars

2010 Movie #30

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Well Worn Sayings: The Check is in the Mail!


We have all used some variation of that statement.

I currently have a client that owes us quite a bit of money.

We were told that the funds would be available July 1.

We were then told that due to the 4th of July holiday, it would be available July 7.

On July 7 i became the 9th.

On the 9th it became the 13th.

Then we were told that the client's attorneys were running behind on their review and it would be available on 16th.

On the 16th I found that they needed to close on the bonds and that would be Tuesday the 20th.

On the 20th they told me that the closed and had to get signatures but it would be available on the 21st (TODAY, YEA!)

Today they told me that the ONLY TWO PEOPLE in the Bank's Trust Department that could sign the check was off work today! I can pick up the check tomorrow.

I hope there are no dogs around. "The Dog ate it" is still available as an excuse.

FYI: This is a public school!


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

So, You think you are covered by auto insurance!


Here is a short story for you consideration:

My son was driving the Lexus IS and he stops at Quik Trip to get gas. The SUV in front of him starts to leave and then stops for a passing car and throws his truck into reverse. His trailer hitch goes "through" the bumper. The driver, a gang banger type, jumps out and questions why the IS is behind him (at the other pump)? He calms down and finally exchanges insurance info. Nate takes a photo of his tag and hitch. The guy then says, "its my word against yours" and leaves. Nate calls our insurance and his insurance and fills out the forms, etc. Our insurance adjuster looks at the car and decides the damage is $998 dollars (the policy is $1,000 deductible). He says not to worry the other guy's liability will pay.

The other guy DOES NOT contact his insurance company even though they have sent him a certified letter. They (AAA) say that they don't have to pay because he never filed! They say, "You will have to sue!"

Today I called the State Insurance Commissioner to find out the law. GUESS WHAT? Even if you turn in a police report, Even if a police officer gives him a ticket and says it is the other guy's fault, In the Great State of Oklahoma the Liability insurance does NOT Have to pay if the guy decides not to participate!
You have to go to court! THAT IS OUR LAW!

Liability insurance is NO GOOD if the other guy does not want to play!

The State Insurance lady invited me to contact my elected reps and the laws are not under the Insurance Department. The loophole is courtesy of the State Department of Public Safety!

FYI: I backed into a car in the parking lot last week and foolishly turned it in to my insurance, because I thought it was the right thing to do! What was I thinking?


Friday, July 16, 2010

Inception- A Movie for Architects and Dreamers




I have been living a crowded existence. i have been super busy and super frazzled. No I'm not as busy as you! Who is? I needed a MAJOR movie. I got it. We went to see "Inception" the Christopher Nolan movie starring Leonardo DeCaprio. If you don't know Nolan wrote and directed "Memento" , the movie that told the story backwards, and "The Dark Knight" the crazy Batman flick. If you have seen the previews to "Inception" you are confused. I thought it was almost too weird to see! But I did and I am glad I did.

The word inception means "an event that is a beginning, a first part or stage of subsequent events. It is a great title for this story.

It is about Architects that design "dream places" that they take people into. It is about people that know how to get into other people's dreams and steal their ideas. It is about a strange world with others to change "things."

It is a movie that requires your complete attention in a dark room. I can not imagine someone setting in their living room and following this movie. There is reality and dreams and you have to figure out where you are along with the actors. When the movie kicks in three layers of dreams are happening. A story inside a story inside a story inside a story! It is also great fun and well acted.

This movie has it all: Great imaginative story, chase scenes, explosions, special effects, fight scenes and Matrix moments. It is PG13 but no profanity or profanity!

It may be too complex for some, but you just might like it. I like the creativity and the story.
I walked out thinking, "Who came up with this?"

I give it ****1/2 stars. The best of the year to date.

2010 movie #29

The BIG Question is: "Did the top stop spinning?"

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Steakhouses with Horns


Monday was Carol's birthday and I asked her where she wanted to go for dinner. She had remembered a good fillet at one of the chain steakhouses that we had been to in Tulsa. We started to go through the list. There was "Lone Star", "Outback", "Logan's" and "Texas Roadhouse" along the strip. We decided that it was either Logan's or Texas Roadhouse because we thought they were near each other. I decided to pull into which ever we arrived at first.

We parked and went in and after we were seated, we commented that the interior had changed since our last visit. Our Waiter arrived and said, "Welcome to Longhorn Steakhouse. Is this your first visit?" We looked at each other and grinned and my answer surprised him. "We're not too sure."

In my defense I only saw the Longhorn. Texas Roadhouse, Lone Star, Longhorn, all this can be confusing.

I will say it was a pleasant mistake. I had the juiciest rib eye and Carol liked her fillet. We will return. On purpose.

Side note: I seems that no OU wearing people go to these? I guess they are at Billy Sims Barbecue.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Despicable in a Delightful Way




We went to the movies tonight, still looking for an animated movies that is really good. I know that some of you liked Toy Story 3 and Shrek 3, but "Despicable Me 3D" sets itself apart from the beginning. The graphics are off the charts, the story is fun with slices of life mixed with great characters. It has pranks that remind me of Roadrunner cartoons, It has the little Minion guys that keep stealing the movie like the squirrel character in Ice Age and it has great fart jokes. It also maybe my favorite Steve Carell character. I can EASILY recommend this movie to all ages. It has humor that only adults will get mixed with pranks by the Minions that my grandsons will enjoy (along with the fart jokes). Which means that I may get to see it again, if I have the chance to take them.

It was also the first movie in a while that the audience got so involved that they audibly reacted to scenes in a neat way.

I will see this again. I give it ****stars and maybe more after I think about it.

2010 Movie #28

Thursday, July 8, 2010

One Nation.......


I don't know if you caught the news article last week about the atheist group who put up a bill board that said, "One Nation Indivisible". Of course leaving out "Under God" got people HOT in a hurry. Well let me tell you a ten year old story.

In 2000 our architectural firm was renovating the four story county courthouse. We gutted the 1924 structure and rebuilt it from inside out. We also changed out the windows and power washed the lime stone. During construction I got a call from one of the County Commissioners.
He says, "Mike, I got a call from one of my supporters who just drove by the building and he says you took from "Under God" from the pledge of Allegiance on the wall out front. We can't have that." I set there a minute waiting for the punch line, but realized he was serious. I say, "Do you understand that the quotes is CARVED into the limestone? How could I pull out two "Carved words" and move the other carved words?' Then I added, "You may want to check your history. This building was built in 1924. "Under God wasn't added to the Pledge until 1956. I was in the third grade when it happened."

The phone went very silent.

YOU CAN"T MAKE THIS STUFF UP!

This says it all


Monday, July 5, 2010

Please Give or Not!




I have been craving an adult movie. No check that! A movie for adults is what I mean. I don't mean the "Grown Ups" movie. Been There Done That. We went to see the independent movie, "Please Give" starring a seasoned cast (Catherine Keener, Amanda Peet, and Oliver Platt) and I complex story. I would like to say that I enjoyed this movie, but I can say I appreciated it. I will be processing this for a while. Why you ask?

Well for starters it is about a couple in New York City who resell furniture from recently deceased people. They also have bought the apartment from a 91 year old lady next door so that they can expand their home, but have to wait for her to die. The old lady has two grand daughters who take care of her and one of them wants her to die as well. The couple has a teen age daughter who has acne problems and well there are other plots as well.

At times the movie is so real I felt like I was eavesdropping. The movie is about "self esteem". Every character in the movie has self esteem problems. The movie isn't depressing but it is not up lifting either.

The title is derived from the Couple's tendency to give to street people.

It is probably a little less than ***stars. 2010 Movie #27

I see them so you don't have to!


Friday, July 2, 2010

Channeling Dad


Last Christmas one of my Mother's gifts to the family was two bound volumes of my Dad's writings. One book is his hand written and typed Sunday School lessons and church bulletin articles. The other is a hand written Crossword puzzle dictionary that he made over the years.
(At night when he read the newspaper after work, he worked the crossword puzzle. When he retired he made this dictionary.) I saw an immediate use in his Bible lessons, but didn't know what to do with the crosswords book.

The other night I was struggling with my "Words with Friends" app and a light came on, The Crossword Dictionary book. It is a big help. I'm still losing, but I'm learning.

Thanks for the book, Dad.

4th of July