Friday, April 29, 2011

mike goes to Bare Bones!

For the movies tonight we went downtown to the "Bare Bones Film Festival" that is in our town. This is a film festival for small independent film makers that was loads of fun. The first hour was short films (three minutes to about 8 minutes) and some were humorous, some were very good messages and a weird one thrown in for good measure. The highlight was the feature, "Don't feed the Trolls", a suspense story about a preacher's wife home alone, working on the church bulletin and being harassed by a computer hacker. It was very "Twilight Zone" and very well done. Good acting, good story and good editing.

A good time was had by all. Go support Indie films. Spielberg started somewhere.

I will rate the evening as ***star and call it 2011 movie #20.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The EGG Hunt

With the constant rain our egg hunts this Easter have all been indoors. Today, we were at my Mother's house (the boy's Great Grandmother). The boys had found all the eggs but one and Carol was giving them hints. There was a girl doll sitting on a small rocking chair with an egg between her legs. When Avery (age 7) spotted the egg, he said, "There it is right in her tenderloin!"

Just reporting, no editorial.

Elephants in the Depression

We went to see "Water for Elephants" today. Who knew it was a circus movie? Not only that but it is a circus movie about circus people in the depression. Sounds like a real feel good movie. Right? It is a well acted movie about an uncommon subject with a love story on the side.

I really did enjoy the movie, but I kept thinking, "How can people live like this?" Looking back on it after the fact, my thoughts go to a favorite song from Todd Snider which has the line, "It's a circus out there Momma, and I've got the side show blues!"

Reese Witherspoon, Robert Pattinson and Christoph Waltz (Inglorious Basterds) star.

It is PG-13 for violence and elephant dung.

I give it **1/2 stars.

2011 movie #19

Saturday, April 23, 2011


We took the grandsons to see "Rio" today. Even though it was a matinee, tickets and concession was $54.18. We made a MAJOR investment. When I have this experience, I realize how times have changed. And the industry wonders why families don't go to the movies as much anymore!

The movie is by the same folks that bring us "Ice Age" and the quality matches. The story was sort of typical Hollywood (duck out of water/ stranger in a strange land) but the fun is in the doing. With the voices of Ann Hathaway, Jesse Eisenberg, George Lopez,, Jamie Fox, Jamie Fox and Tracy Morgan, the story fit the actor's personalities. As usual the graphics were tremendous and this movie infused Salsa music and the feeling of a musical at times.

A lot of fun and even the boys liked it!

I give it ****stars for music and visuals and *** stars as a movie.

2011 movie # 18

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Becoming a Renaissance Man

I am becoming a "Renaissance" man. Not in the classical term. Most everyone that I have ever met that referred to themselves that way were egotistical jerks. I, on the other hand, am a renaissance man because I now work for Renaissance Architects and Engineers. The name is important for some very oblivious reasons. The definition of "Renaissance" is literally to be "reborn". I have been reborn.

Of Course this is not without much, much soul searching, prayer and getting out of the way. But this is a chance for me to continue in my chosen career. And to continue at a very high level.

I will write more later about my former firm which I will deeply miss, but for now I will say that I have always been excited by change. Change is my business.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Let it Go 2

The title of this has a 2, because in my advanced age, I can't remember if I have blogged about this or not. BUT here goes,

Today, I visited my old office for the last time. I have been showing up at that address on the last 12 years, but today I visited an empty office. Yes, I did shed a tear for I am an emotional person, but later in the day I mowed the yard zoning out on my IPOD. I put on Zac Brown Band's latest CD and got more than I bargained for.

The first track is a song that focused on where I am in my journey on the less traveled road.
While I have a tendency to think about "what if" or "remember when" or "if only I had done.....", the song had this chorus:

You keep your heart above your head and you eyes wide open
So this world can't find a way to leave you cold
And know you're not the only ship out on the ocean
Save your strength for things that you can change
Forgive the ones you can"t
You gotta let'em go!

Let it go.

The main verse says:

Looking back now on my life I can't say I regret it
And all the places that I ended up not the way Ma would a had it
But you have only one chance at life to leave your mark upon it
And when a pony it comes riding by
You better put your sweet ass on it!

A little blunt, but I need blunt about now.

Thanks ZAC .

By the way the title of the CD is a message in its self!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Working for the Man, a life lesson

Note: Much of what is going on in my life is being influenced by my current study of the life of King David.

As I have stated, after almost 20 years of being self-employed, I have taken a job with another architectural firm. Sunday I was talking to a friend who is also self-employed about my changes. he asked if I thought I could do it. This is sort of my response:

"Well, I have been making all my own decisions and din't have to ask permission to do anything. Now, I work for someone who wants to be involved in everything. he is a work -a-holic. The company is his creation and his baby. He cares about all decisions and I have to get permission for most things. He wants to be copied on all correspondence. Sort of Micro-management. He even stated that he isn't bothered by mistakes, but he doesn't tolerate things being hidden from him or not telling him the truth."

"Wow!" he said. "Sounds tough!"

I walked away from my friend and then it hit me. I had described the God of David. My God!

God is interested in everything I do. HE wants me to talk to him about everything because HE cares. He micro-manages. HE has even counted the hairs on my head. HE says to check with HIM about everything. HE wants constant correspondence. HE will forgive my mistakes, but doesn't tolerate being ignored. HE wants the truth because HE IS the truth.

David lived under these same rules and made it quite well. It is the least I can do.

Which begs the question: "Had I worked for God instead of myself for 18 years, I would have had a lot better decision making and much better leadership.

If you working for a good read, try I Samuel or II Samuel in the Old Testament.

Working for the MAN, is not so bad.

"The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." !Samuel 16:7

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Another Fork in the Road 2: The Move

Life has taken me to another fork in the road. I have been self-employed for almost 18 years, owning an Architectural firm. The firm (Spaces, Design & Architecture Inc.) officially ends its run today. But First Things First: The move.

My old firm had two offices, one in Muskogee and one in Tulsa. Last Friday we moved the Old Tulsa office stuff into the NEW Muskogee Office. Then we moved some of the Old Muskogee stuff into the NEW Muskogee office. Friday we will move some of the other Old Muskogee stuff into the New Muskogee Office and the rest to a warehouse (that is being loaned to me buy a close friend). The problem is that in the move from Tulsa to the New office, some stuff got moved that needs to go to the warehouse. SO I am moving stuff from the NEW office to the old office so that the movers can move it to the warehouse. I also have stuff stored in the basement of the old Muskogee office that it need to move back into the old office so it too can go to the warehouse. Same goes for some stuff in my garage at home. It will go to the office so it can go to the warehouse.

Next month, whatever is in the warehouse will probably go to Oklahoma City. With any luck SOMEONE else will move it.

Oh yes, My old firm has been acquired by another firm. I am now an employee. I am moved by the experience!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Hanna, a new hero is Bourne

I needed a good escapist movie tonight and I got it. I liked what I saw in the previews of "Hanna" and Hanna Montana it is not. Think of it as a sort of Bourne type story about a teenage girl who is trained from birth to kill and survive. The story grabs you early and keeps your interest. It is not a clone, it stands on its on and is ripe for future stories. Good Cast, Good story, Good Cinema.

I give it *** stars. 2011 movie#17

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Source Code

I am on the great streak at the movies. They are actually still making a few movies for people who like to think. "King's Speech", "Adjustment Bureau" and now this. We went to see "Source Code". I was intrigued by the preview and the reviews were good AS IS THE MOVIE.

We know by the preview that a guy is sent (time and time again) inside a train that will blow up in eight minutes. His job is to look for clues. Simple right?

You already know it has a "Groundhog Day" feeling. Take that add "Memento", throw in a little "Sixth Sense" and blend with "24". MOVIE!

If you like any of those stories you will like this. It is well acted and the editing is even better. You will forget to eat your popcorn and you will not even want to go to the restroom.

The movie is for thinkers and people who like puzzles.

I give it ***1/2 stars.

2011 movie # 16

PS: This movie is strangely uplifting.