Saturday, October 29, 2011

Rum Diary: Pirates of the Caribbean 1960

I needed a silly movie today after spending the day watching college football. The football was great but the sports guys talk endlessly about everything.

I knew I was in for a great time when the ticket seller asked me for my i.d.! Maybe it was because I looked under 17 for an "R" rated movie or maybe she did not think I should get a "senior" ticket.
I had fun with it.

The Movie is based on a Hunter S. Thompson novel, "The Rum Diary" starring Johnny Depp and a great cast. The story is set in the Caribbean in 1960 and has a host of pirates in the form of ruthless land grabbing, lying wealthy white guys. Depp's character is a journalist who takes a job for a failing newspaper in Puerto Rico. He is a hard drinking fun loving guy who gets into much, much trouble. The movie is "R" for the frequent use of the F-bomb. In some weird way Depp is the only sane person in the show.

I liked it. If you squint you can see a little Jack Sparrow.
I give it **3/4 stars.

2011 Movie #50

Friday, October 28, 2011

Pennies on the sidewalk

Today I stopped at a convenience store for gas (fuel this time) and saw a penny by the pumps. I'm always finding pennies on sidewalks and especially at such stops. I have seen people intentionally throw pennies down. AND, I'm sure many just fall from some one's hand and they won't stoop for one cent. As a kid, I heard about finding a single penny. It's a lucky penny. Some think that it must be heads up to be lucky. When I was in grade school, a penny would buy gum, penny candy (small tootsie roll or peanut log, etc.) or be the start toward a Coke.

Now I guess the thrill has gone.

Question: Do you pick them up? Now don't tell me that you don't because they are dirty. Every coin you receive has been handled by who knows what. Maybe, you are just well off and a penny is beneath you.

My answer: I pick up every one. How many times do you need a penny for change to keep from breaking a dollar? Oh, I see you use a debit card. You pay even more to NOT carry pennies.

I pick them up. Why? It's money! It is a little known fact that you make more money picking up pennies than buying lottery tickets.

Incidentally, I checked google before writing this to see if there was reason to drop them that I didn't know. I read about the good luck stories and stories about young people who make fun of those who would stoop to this.

Know this: Mike Stoops (not the football coach!)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Well Worn Words: Fixing

"Fixing to" is a staple in my neck of the woods. "I'm fixing to go to the mall." In the southern USA the term means "I'm getting ready to go to the mall."

Fixing is a well worn word.

Fixing: The vet was "fixing" their dog. (neutering)

Fixing: The plumber was "fixing" the sinking. (repairing)

Fixing: She was "fixing" her gaze on him. (attaching)

Fixing: She was "fixing" the date. (setting)

Fixing: He was arrested for "fixing" the game. (influencing illegally)

There are others but I'm fixing to stop for now.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Cartoon Fix

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Art of Racing in the Rain

A few months ago I read Malcolm Gladwell's book, "What the Dog Saw". It is a great collections of stories by I gifted writer. Now I am about to finish my latest read, a novel called, "The Art of Racing in the Rain" by Garth Stein.

The title of this book comes from the fact that the dog's owner is a sport car racer who is an expert in what else, racing in the rain. Being a race fan the racing element was great, although not the center of the story. It becomes more of a metaphor for the events that take place.

This novel is about Marriage, Kids, Death, Family Troubles,
Survival, what happens when people wish you ill, and communication. The communication expert is the Dog who is very observant. Having experience with all these subjects, this was a very, very true slice of life. Rarely do I get truly upset at fictional characters. I did this time. Rarely do fictional things make me rethink how I communicate. This story taught me a couple of lessons.
I have even started to look at my dog differently.

This is one of my favorite reads in a while. This is a must to be made into a movie and I have already set the cast.

It is not a long read (listen in my case) but a good one. If you see me driving aimlessly around town tomorrow, I am finishing the book.

If this was a movie, I would give it ***** stars.

Cartoon Fix

Monday, October 17, 2011


I do want to think those that stubble on to this attempt to blog.

Today was another milestone for me. All fifty states and 73 countries have visited this month. Today I will top 100 visits and over 150 page views. For the first month I have had 1,200 visits already. I am not getting the big head, though it is fun, because many come in to get cartoons or look at photos that are posted. I don't think I have a following for the movies, but I have fun doing this. It is cheaper than therapy.

Today for instance besides the USA, the following nations had hits:

United Kingdom, Canada, Netherlands, Australia, Belgium, Croatia, Greece, Ireland and Lebanon.

Old Todd

Today I mowed the yard, listening to my favorite throwback nashville, hippie folk singer on my iPod. Todd Snider will get your attention. He has silly songs, deep thought songs, and songs to incite. I have seen him live and he did not disappoint. In his music I find all kinds of useful things. I am preparing a class for church and revisited his song, "Somebody's Coming" that I will read in one session. No, I won't play it. There are people who would have a stroke! BUT he works as poetry as well.

One song I listened to was called "Easy Money". The chorus goes like this:
"He wants that easy money,
it's sad but it's true.
Everybody wants the most they can possibly get,
for the least they can possibly do.
They want that easy money.
I don't understand.
You scheme and you plan but you can't get your hands
on no easy money."

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Oklahoma Surfers

When I was in college, I played one record album every night when we turned the lights out in our dorm room. It was The Ventures "Surfing". This was at the height of the California Surfing music period when our radios was filled with the Beach Boys, Jan & Dean, Dick Dale and the Ventures. If the sound is on on your computer,
I have my favorite song of the Ventures playing: "Pipeline". Little did I know that while the music was about California Surf the lead guitar player was Bob Bogle of Oklahoma. He was joined in the band by Nokie Edwards (fellow Okie) and others.

This year we will honor both with induction into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame. Okie Surfer Music at its best. I was shocked to learn of the Oklahoma influence.

It's time to "Hang Ten" on the Arkansas River!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Big Year

I was worn out from football today so we went to the movies and saw, "The Big Year". It is rated PG50. Young Adults won't understand it. The humor is subtle but good. The life lesson is strong.
But bird watching won't beat chases, fights and sex for some. There is sex in this movie, but its Eagle sex.

The movie is about a true event. Which "Birder" will see the most species of birds in 365 days in the USA. It is the honor system but those that do it travel thousands of miles. The three stars represent a rich guy who wants to retire (Steve Martin), the defending champ and contractor, (Owen Wilson) and a young guy who hates his job, divorced, etc. (Jack Black). The rich guy's firm needs him and he is about to be a grandfather. The Contractor's wife is trying to get pregnant through fertility procedures, and the young guy is out money and his Dad is having medical problems.

This is a story about doing what YOU want to do at the expense of family, business and again FAMILY. This is about "Birding" but it could have been about golf, fishing/hunting, racing, sports or Architecture!

There are strong statements in this about giving up part of your life to pursue a dream. Reminds me of the last statement of my post about Steve Jobs. I also reminds me of selfish parts of my life.

The movie is well acted and has a world class supporting cast. It is PG.

I give it ***1/2 stars. This is a Big Year of good movies.

2011 Movie # 49 (I do this WITH my wife)

Henry Ford, Thomas Edison & Steve

I just finished reading the latest Time magazine with Steve Jobs on the cover. He was one fascinating guy. I thank him for my IMac, my IPhone, my iPod, Pixar Movies, My ITunes and even the IPad. All This was not about computers but lifestyle.

Here are some of the great quotes in the Time articles:

Jobs: "Victory in our industry is spelled survival. They way we're going to survive is to innovate out way out of this." (2001)

Jobs (at a Stanford commencement in 2005): "Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life."

"Don't be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary."

One article was by Walter Isaacson, who is writing an authorized biography of Jobs, who has been a very private guy. Why before he died did he want the bio? "I wanted my kids to know me," he said. "I wasn't always there for them, and I wanted them to know why and to understand what I did."

Even visionaries have regrets!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Mike Pavlov's Dog

Old Ivan Pavlov may have been on to something with that "conditional reflexes" thing.

Our dog, Zoe, has become quite conditioned. She wants a belly rub before I leave for work.

When I get home she wants her treats. She doesn't become comfortable or know that we are settling in until the TV is turned on. Next, she waits for me to put ice in my glass. Then she is suddenly at ease.

At the end of the day she will not go to bed until the TV is turned off. I reminds me my current read, "The Art of Racing in the Rain", that tells a story from the dog's point of view (a dog who watches TV all day.)

Of course, Dogs can not be conditioned without owners that are also conditioned!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Real Steel, Real Battle Bots

When I saw the preview of "Real Steel", I knew it would be a fun non-deep movie. It was. Although Hugh Jackman is the star, the boy is the real star. He is an eleven year old and watching him made me think of my grandson, Addison. By the time Addison is 11, he also may be managing a fighting robot.

The movie is a little bit "Rocky" and a little bit "Transformers ".

I know when a boxing movie is effective when I am moving with the boxers in the big scenes.

Great popcorn movie: I give it **1/2 stars.

2011 Movie #48

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Cartoon Fix

Friday, October 7, 2011

Beware: The Ides of March

George Clooney has directed a wickedly good movie about the underbelly of politics. It is fairly easy to talk about what's wrong with politics today, but the very title reminds me that this has ben going on since Caesar. "The Ides of March" has as good a cast as can be assembled. The only way it could have been better is to have James Carvelle to play himself. As it is it has Ryan Gosling, Paul Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti, Marisa Torme, Evan Rachel Woods and George himself. He even through in Gregory Itzin, who played the evil President in "24".

This is a movie about moral compromise and the lengths we will go to win. This is about politics and Presidential primary campaigns, but it could be about trying to get a project, a contract or a girl friend. It is about leaving our ideals and moving to "well if that's what it takes" and "do unto others BEFORE they do it to you."

This is an uncomfortably good story. I wish it were a fairy tale, but alas it is probably mind compared to some actual events.

As you can see, I'm not telling much. I will say that its about Democrats (so my Republican friends might go), but the movie is not kind to any political party. It is R because to my surprise Politicians actually CUSS when not in front of a camera! Who knew!

Must see movie to get ready for the remainder of the race to the White House!

I give it ***1/2 stars.

2011 movie #47

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

a little bragging !

Well I have to tell someone! Today I hit a new milestone. Visitors to this blog now represent every U.S. state and territory and 65 countries!

Go Figure!

Monday, October 3, 2011

an attic full of memories and melodies

I'm needing to clean out the attic. It is my look back at my music collection. I may have about 300 vinyl LP records dating back the the Chuck Berry album (shown). I started collecting in the 1960s and quit buying LPs in the early 80's. That's when I started buying cassettes. I have 8 boxes and each bode has about 80 each covering the 80s and early 90s (640+/-).

I have many of these on CD (about 800) now as well as digital (500+ albums).

I am researching EBAY, etc. to decide what to do with them. Most of all: What to do with me?

I don't turn loose easily. Even when I should.