Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Other Side

My grandson, Addison, tried to tell a "Why does the chicken cross the road?" joke this weekend, but he did not get it. To him it was about information not a punch line: "Why does the chicken cross the road? "So he could get over there!"

Life in Hell 2

Memorial Weekends, Past and present

About 50 years ago Memorial Day meant the first outing of the summer. My family would journey to eastern Oklahoma to either the Illinois River or the Baron Fork River (which emptied into the Illinois). We would listen to the Indy 500 on the car radio, picnic on Bologna sandwiches and chips (in the car) while we waited for the rain to end. It always rained on that day. It would end and we would get out of the hot, steamy car and head down the bank to the river to swim in the coldest spring-fed water that you can imagine.

Now days (to my constant amazement) my family walks out the back door to the swimming pool after eating a huge lunch and watching the Indy 500 on the big screen. It is a sunny day. No rain in sight. But I am still reminded of the days of my youth because the water is as cold as a spring-fed stream!

My grand kids don't know how good they have it, but I do.

I also know that my life is made possible partly because many gave up there's to give us this freedom.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

That's Life

Car Wash blues

After the recent thunder storms, my truck was no longer black but brown. The dust in the air coated every inch. So I went to the automatic car wash. While I was paying the sun was bright, but alas, by the time I exited the wash tunnel, it was cloudy. The moment I cleaned the dryers, the sky parted and a downpour started. By the time I drove three miles home, the truck was again dry and coated with dust.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Details at 10

Severe weather moved across our state tonight, and EVERYONE was alert. After the devastation in Joplin (to our north about a 100 miles), we were expecting almost anything including large hail the size of____ and tornadoes. Watching TV it appeared that the storms would our city, but about 9:00pm the weather team interviewed a storm chaser who had just entered my home town (about 20 miles away) and said a tornado had hit the south end of town and named a convenience store, a sandwich shop, and a pizza place that were directly hit. He also stated that the surrounding houses were hit and electricity was off all over town. That got my attention!

My mother lives about four blocks from the buildings he described. My mother usually goes to a storm cellar at a neighbor's house, but I imagined heavy damage. We headed out with flashlights, etc. About ten miles from town we reached her on the phone and she was OK and just home from the cellar.

As we approached town from the south, the first intersection is the location described on TV. There were flashing lights everywhere AND there were the buildings STILL STANDING! Yes, there were tree limbs down and a few pieces of canopy trim gone. No houses or businesses were destroyed. My mother's house had no damage and a tree limb was laying in the front yard.

There is enough drama without this kind of reporting!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Pirates of the Who Cares-a-bean

When the third "Pirates of the Caribbean" came out, it was true to my theory of threes. When the third movie sequel is released it will probably be bad. It was. I had no intention of seeing the 4th, but all the stories stated that with a new director, the series has been renewed and is original and fun. Tonight, I said, "what the heck," it may be fun. I enjoyed the first twenty minutes (we still had popcorn). Then a little later I nodded off. Then I revived and watched a bunch of ugly actors (except Penelope Cruz) fight, drink, say stupid things, and search for the "fountain of youth". The movie couldn't decide whether it was an Indiana Jones movie, a Lord of the Rings story or a comedy. So they mixed it all up and out came this flick. If you are an intense fan of Johnny Depp, OK. If you need a good Net Flix, OK. If you are looking for a good comedy, I would just say "Always a Bridesmaid never a Pirate."

Sorry, it was not what I needed. I give it ** stars.

2011 movie #24

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Yeah, there's an app for that!

So my grandson is playing T-ball this afternoon in Jenks, America. His team, the Chiefs, pla at 5:30pm and I can't make it. So-o-o-o-o-o now I can just hit my "GC Live" app and there right with teams like the Yankees, etc is the Berryhill Chiefs! I hit box score and see that Avery is 2 for 2 on hits and 2 rbi's. Unfortunately it also shows that they lost to the best team in our part of the state.

This reminds me of an article in yesterday's USA Today. A study of USA workers shows that 50% waste an hour a day on interruptions. Of that group 60% come from e-mails and electronic devices.

AND it also says that

only 68% of people turn their cell phones off at the movies.

66% will tune out meetings to read e-mails, tweet, and text.

50% leaves their phones on while they sleep.

My little league baseball app seems like one of the more noble uses of my electronic device.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Movie Night

I boldly told my wife yesterday that with the new job, I don't think I need movies for escape like I have in the past. Then----- Monday came-------I NEED A MOVIE! BAD! ---- I EVEN NEED A BAD MOVIE!

So the decision feel to "Bridesmaids". I mean Rotten Tomatoes even gave in a 91% approval. BUT this may be a 500 mile rule movie like "Hangover". I may have to modify my rule to a one time 500 yard rule.

Well Maybe I went and maybe I didn't!

Had I gone I may have laughed as much as I have in a long time. I mean a couple of my favorite SNL actors are in it! But if I didn't it was because no mature adult would go to a naughty comedy. I hear that it should be PG30! But who knows?

If it was as funny as I heard it was, I might have given it ***1/2 stars. And it would have been 2011 movie # 23. Sometimes movies are better than the previews and sometimes some movies are worth the risk. Who knows this may have been one of those.

Saturday, May 14, 2011


I went to my first "retreat" in many years this weekend. In past years I have been to good ones, bad ones, mountaintop experiences and glorious wastes of time. This one was a true mountain top experiences. The Friday and Saturday sessions were led by Randy Harris, a theologian and professor from Abilene, Texas. If I could have filled out a questionnaire and given it to God saying, "This is what I need. Can you help?" The result would have been no different.

We all need to slow down and rethink every now and then. God wants us to do it regularly, but we don't listen. When I slow down and reflect, I see that the things that bother me are small in this big world. The the things that consume me are even small in my world.

Randy Harris talked to us about "Being in the presence of God"; "The importance of following", "the different levels of prayer", and the idea of God wanting to help us "if we would just give him something to work with." (our time")

Everything thing he said helped me advance in my retreat. I could have used another couple of days but I cherish what I received.

I won't tell you what I learned so you can watch and see if I change any.

One thing he did say was, "You can't do anything that will make God love you any more than he already does."

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


I found myself gripping about my boss today and gave myself a good talking to.

After 18 years as the guy in charge and several other years as a key decision maker, I can tell you one thing that is true. When you don't like how things are going, you can bet that your boss doesn't either. He or she (the boss) was seeing the problem about a week before you did!

I was amazed for years the lack of thought that most employees put in to what makes a business work. I was concerned about every pay day, every invoice, every payable and many other things that the staff knew little of. I can say that in 18 years the staff never missed a pay day, I missed many. The staff were paid their expense reports, I went without many times. I never told an employee that they couldn't take time off when requested, even when they should have worked.

I really thought they were more in tune with things. When trouble came and the slow down started, they turned on me in a startling way. I know (I read the e-mails!). I quit being invited to lunch and became the subject of lunch. It became "us and them" and that is fatal. People called in sick and stayed home to "work". They were still getting paid (I wasn't!). I did make a Large mistake with their 401K and got behind. I should have communicated, but had too much on my plate. It broke their trust even though I repaid it all. AND I lost all trust in the staff, as well.

They either had "no clue" or "No Care".

We are all where we deserve to be, APART!

I just know that in my new job, I have no idea what the management is dealing with and to second guess is as silly as it is futile. My new job is to support the firm and make it better with my contributions. Sure, I have good ideas, but I am not going to presume that I understand.

So, Mike, straighten up!

The LORD is in charge anyhow.

Monday, May 9, 2011

I'm THOR, but I'm getting better!

Well we needed a movie break and went to see "THOR". It is a fun movie and if you can believe that Superman came from Krypton, THOR could have come from another universe with a magic hammer. There is also enough humor to get you through it. We saw the 3D version for added flash, even though I am still irritated that we can't bring our own glasses! This buying glasses every movie is the ultimate rip off.

I will say though that super heroes don't have it that great. They are ALWAYS misunderstood, constantly have to fight giant things, and get thrown around a lot!

And more heroes are coming "Captain America" (before me), "Green Lantern" (my favorite as a boy) and more "X men", etc.

THOR is a great popcorn movie and an easy paycheck for Anthony Hopkins. Natalie Portman was on loan from Star Wars.

I give it **3/4 stars. 2011 movie #22

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

saving money?

We are under new management at work so we now order supplies on line and have them shipped.
We ordered a case of copy paper which came to a few cents under $50.00. However, the order needs to be at least $50,00 for free shipping! So-o-o-o-o we ordered "one box" of paper clips (100 clips)and received free shipping. Smart huh? Imagine our surprise when the delivery came: One case of paper and in a TOTALLY different shipment, different package and postage and in a cushioned envelop came the box of clips! We saved money and they spent extra money?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Suspension of Disbelief 5

I saw "Fast and Furious" when I came out at the movies. I even saw "Fast and Furious 2". But I said enough is enough and I skipped "FF3" and "FF4". It was just too silly. So imagine my surprise when critics (who hate macho car chase movies) loved "Fast 5"! I was even more surprised when it made $83,000,000.00 its opening weekend. So-o-o-o-o-o-o I said this one must be fun. After the animated "Rio" was fun and this movie was also made in Rio too!

So we went. The two movies share a lot. There are the aerial shots of Christ of the Andes and there is the animation. Both movies were based on a good computer. Animation and CGI at its best. Both movies are fun!

Movies depend on suspension of disbelief. If for a short time you believe that animals can speak English like humans and have hands, etc., well its a short jump to 2 Dodge Chargers pulling a 20,000 pound safe by cables through downtown Rio at high speeds while knocking out concrete walls, cars, buildings and such and the cars never slow down and never get a scratch! Yes, it is like James Bond. I do think a new record for destroying police vehicles may have been witnessed. There was also so much testosterone on the screen that even the women had mustaches! Again the movie is fun and full of joker side kicks that lighten the mood. It is an eye candy show. It is not a movie to dwell on. It is also a giant Dodge commercial. The Dodge Chargers made Ram trucks look tame. I mean a Ram Truck can pull 10,000 pound trailers (with wheels).

If you like car chases, car crashes, and macho fights and machine gun fights, here it is.

If you like movies that make you think, not so much.

Cool Cars and lots of shaved heads.

I give it **1/4 stars for a popcorn movie.

2011 movie #21

Monday, May 2, 2011

Life as a spectator sport 2

And that was just last Sunday!

Life as a spectator sport 1

OK, Let's make a list:

American Idol
The Voice
NBA Playoffs
Avery's Coach Pitch games
The Movies
Dancing with the Stars
Celebrity Apprentice
America's Next Restaurant
The News

Those are the things I observe this week that have judges, critics and referees.

Things aren't simple when we are schooled daily in how to be critical:
"You're Fired!",
"I give you a 6!",
"It was pitchy, dog!",
"You're out!"
"I will not be investing in that!",
"You're not bringing you're "A" game!"
"I don't believe you're one of us. Show me proof!"
"Two Thumbs Down!",

Those are the comments we hear constantly! At ANY of these spectator sports!

Ask me for the alternative punch line. If I put it here I'll get in trouble by the Blog police.