Monday, June 27, 2011

Bad Service, Bad Food

There is a town near by mine that has a great pizza place. The pizza is very, very good. My daughter comes to visit from the Dallas-Ft. Worth area and wants to go there for pizza. The problem is bad service. I get ignored because, apparently, the people who are to work there- don't .

So, tonight, we were in the area and decided to stop at a steak house instead. We got our food 65 minutes after arriving. The appetiser was good. Then 30 minutes later the salad was good. After 45 minutes I asked what the problem was. The waitress said to my wife, "The portabella mushroom that comes with your steak was BAD. So we will be serving it without." The steak arrived and the "medium" petite steak was "rancid", Carol turned it over and a powdery substance (maybe flour) coated the meat. Her vegetables were ice cold! I had brisket which came in four slices. Over half of each piece was pure fat!

Choices, Choices Good Food-Bad Service or Bad Food- No Service

I give this 2 TUMS!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Breathe In, Breathe out, Move On

I thought I owned every Jimmy Buffet song, but the other day I was listening to his XM Radio station and they played a song from his "Take the Weather with You" album" called, "Breathe In, Breathe Out, Move On". It was a super cool song, but I did not find it in my collection. The crazy thing is I have a Jimmy Buffet ball cap that says: "Breathe In, Breathe Out, Move On"! I bought it at his shop in Vegas not knowing that it was a song about what to do after Katrina:

It begins:

"I bought a cheap watch from a crazy man
Floating down the canal
It doesn't use numbers or moving hands
It always just says now
Now you may be thinking that I was just had
But this watch is never wrong
And if I have trouble the warranty said
Breathe In, Breathe Out, Move On

It ends:

According to my watch the time is now
Past is dead and gone
Don't try to shake it just nod your head
Breathe In, Breathe Out, Move On

Don't try to shake just bow your head
Breathe In, Breathe Out, Move On

Friday, June 24, 2011

Well Worn Sayings: Don't kill the Messenger!

I have heard this saying most of my life: "Don't kill the Messenger!" We don't like bad news, but we seem to feed on it now days. I went to "Google" to see where they say the term originated, and almost all sources credit Shakespeare's 's Play "Henry II" where the statement is believed to be used first.

I have been in a study of King David the past few months and can safely say that while the phrase isn't used, the reason for it is clear. David killed the messenger THREE times. Each time the messenger thought they were bringing "Good News". Each Time they were wrong! The first guy brought news that King Saul was dead. After all Saul spent all his time trying to kill David.

The second guy came with news that they had killed Saul's Grandson. Good News! Wrong again.

The third time was when news came that David's son (who wanted David dead) had been killed.

In every case what was thought to be good news, proved to be a BIG mistake. All three messengers were killed on the spot. Read it in 2 Samuel.

"Don't kill the messenger" doesn't work around Kings!

Trouble with Super Heros!

Scratching the surface

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Mrs. Borer's Philadelphia Cook Book, A Manual of Home Economies

Note: Bear with me. I have uncovered about eight old books from my family library and I must share.

This book is a 1914 Cook Book (also called Philadelphia Cook Book). The preface reads:

"To offer to the American Housewives a new cook book may appear to many an unnecessary labor, considering the country is already provided with elaborate works on the subject; but upon referring to many of them, I have often detected an obscurity in directions in recipes which, in the hands of the amateur, would lead to failure, and have in the following recipes endeavored to avoid this by making them so plain, that a beginner may successfully make, with few exceptions, any dish contained herein, and I may add, all these recipes have been prepared over and over again by pupils under my supervision."

NOTE: That was ONE Sentence!

I thought I would give you an idea of the recipes in this compilation.

Under Meats:

Larded and Spiced Tongue
Soused Pig's Feet
It does tell how to prepare about any meat, cut of meat or process (how to cure a ham, etc.)

Under Poultry and Game:

Pigeon Pie
Salami of Wild Duck
Wild Turkey
Bear Meat
Fricassee of Rabbit

There are tips on preparing Buffalo, Opossum, Raccoons and Skunks!

This book has sauces, soups, vegetables, desserts, breads, etc.

Here is one example of her advice:

Wild Pigeons

"Wild pigeons may be prepared and cooked the same as tame ones. Roasted or baked, they make a very nice garnish for a wild turkey. After the turkey is dished, arrange six or eight pigeons around it; fill the vacant spaces with curly parsley. This makes a very sightly dish."

563 pages

Eat, Drink and Be Merry!

PS: There is an add in the back of the book for "KC Baking Powder - 25 ounces for 25 cents - in continuous use since July 1890"

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Manual Training: The Past is Future

NOTE: This is Post 2 read ReSAW first.

This is the second book that I found. It is titled: "Manual Training For Common Schools" by Eldred G. Allen

It is copyright 1910. Mr. Allen was an instructor in Wood-Working in the Manual Training High School, Indianapolis, Indiana.

I would try to right about the past and how much has changed since this book, but I want the author to speak directly to you. The following is the opening paragraph of the Introduction.

"The child is both physical and spiritual, and education must, therefore, consider both body and soul. Grace and beauty in form, strength and health of body, and skill in execution, are all matters that must be provided for in the course of study. The aesthetic and hygienie phases of child life have been recognized, and when the practical side receives the attention which it merits, head, hand, and heart will become allies in education. Every child must be taught to work, and to the degree in which the home neglects this part of his education, the school must, whether it would or not, take up this phase of his training and carry it to completion. The course of study of the future will provide a complete system of manual training through the grades and high school."

Later in the Introduction was this statement of the times in 1910:

"The problem of education is industrial as well as academic. Of the 32,000,000 bread-winners in this country, some thirty million must work with their hands. Education must, therefore, exalt the dignity of labor; it must teach habits of industry; it must give ability to apply one's self to the problem in hand; it must meet the demand for accurate skillful work. The school work must be more practical for the army of children in the grades, four-fifths of whom will never reach the high school."


PS: The third photo is the inside cover of my Dad's text book. I had never seen sketches or drawings by my Dad! This was a super cool moment for me.

Sorry the introduction page came out upside down!

RESAWS, Shop Work and you think we have progressed!

I was going through some old books at my Mother's House and found this gem. It is one of my Dad's high school text books titled, "Shop Work, Joinery, Cabinet Making & Carpentry" by Herman F. Rusch. The copyright is dated 1918. My dad went to school through the 1oth grade. So since he was born in 1917, he probably used this book in 1932. This is a Shop Class book for Wood Work and probably a first edition. It is good shape but that is not the story.

There was a page between the Preface and the Table of Contents that is simply titled: RESAWS

Here is what it says:

It is easier to criticise than to create.
Courtesy costs little and buys much.

Confidence is the companion of success.

Many a man shortens his days by
lengthening his nights.

To be successful, you must plan the start
as well as the finish.

The devil tempts all men, but the idle man
tempts the devil.

If you resent authority, you stand small
chance of assuming it.

Inspiration is more liable to strike a busy man
than an idle one.

Failure is not the worst thing in the world;
the very worst is not to try.

It is a little farther around the corners
of a square deal, but the road is better.

A bold front is a good thing only
when anchored to a stiff backbone.

Bad luck ruins one man in a hundred,
good luck ruins the other ninety-nine.

The man of good judgement is like a pin,
his head prevents his going too far.

The man who thinks ahead of his work is a
sure winner over the one who works ahead of his think.

True efficiency will come only to the man
whose heart is in his work, and will never come with discontent.

This is what they taught kids at THE START OF SHOP CLASS!

WOW! I was blown away.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Green Lantern!

Okay, I knew that I would see this movie even though the critics hated it. I also knew that, unless they really messed with it, I would like it.

Green Lantern takes me back to the 1950's. It is after school in about 1958, I am walking home and I have a quarter, burning a hole in my pocket. I stop in at Walker's Drug Store. They have a full soda fountain. Coke and Cherry Cokes are 10 cents, Root beer in a frosty mug is only a nickel (and twice as large!). I get a root beer and go over to the comic book rack and grab "Superman" and "Sargent Rock" or "Gunner and Sarge" or "Batman". I set down at one of the round tables in the center of the store and read them while I drink my pop. At least I do if Mr. Walker stays at the back in the pharmacy. Otherwise NO Reading for free. When I finish with my Root Beer, I still have 20 cents left. I buy a Mr. Goodbar for a nickel and a "Green Lantern" comic for a dime. My rule was: You read Superman for free, but you take "Green Lantern" home.

Why he appealed to me, I am not sure. Green was my favorite color; I liked that he was fearless, but I guess it was his overall attitude. He had attitude. Superman was too serious and Batman was always in a bad mood. I just liked the Green man even though the lantern thing was weird.

Seeing the movie tonight, I couldn't remember if I ever knew his origin. I did like that Ryan Reynolds played him with fun. Yes, I liked this story. No it didn't make sense but IT IS ABOUT SUPER HEROS, It's not supposed to make sense. It makes more sense than 80 % of the so called "Reality Shows" on the TV.

One cool thing about Green Lantern: 1. All Superman has to do is take off his glasses and put on his tights and Lois Lane for all her investigative ability can't figure out that he is Clark Kent. Green Lantern's girlfriend thinks he is stupid for wearing a little mask, because she can tell who he is easily.

It is interesting that the Villain feeds off FEAR, but Green Lantern gets his power through WILL POWER.

Good summer movie IF you get in the mood. Drink a Root Beer and eat a Mr. Goodbar and a new world comes before you.

I give it ***stars, because I grew up with him.

2011 movie #30.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Books and Movies: My worlds collide

Tonight, I went to see the Woody Allen movie, "Midnight in Paris". I can safely say that I did not know the story. To my fascination the story dealt in part with the famous artists, writers, and musicians (many Americans) who went to Paris to live for a time for inspiration, intense living and relationships with other creative people. The movie deals with the early 1900's.

The book that I am currently reading is "The Greater Journey" by David McCullough (John Adams). It is the journey to quote the overview, " It is the enthralling, inspiring and untold story of the adventurous American artists, writers, doctors, etc. who set off for Paris in the years from 1830 and 1900. It is about people like P.T. Barnum, Samuel Morse, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Emerson, Hawthorne, Twain and others who come to Paris to hone their craft, to study, to escape, and in some cases- to discover who they are.

Between the Movie and the book, my attitude toward "The City of Lights" changed greatly.

For example Samuel Morse went to Paris to become a serious artist. While in Paris, he comes up with an idea that stays dormant until he returns to the States and does not excel as a painter as planned. He quits his art and plays with his "Code" and the idea of "telegraph". His failure at one dream, gave space to revolutionize the world's communication.

I recommend both works as a way to expand your brain.

FYI: The title refers to the idea that traveling across the ocean was considered a great journey, taking up to six weeks in ships not built for passengers. The Greater Journey is the experience waiting for the travelers of this "less traveled road."

Midnight in Paris

To end the work week I needed a good movie. I'll probably see "Green Lantern", but I wanted a VERY good movie. No, I don't mean Jim Carey and animals. So I tried the new Woody Allen Film, "Midnight in Paris". Yeah, I know what you are thinking, "Woody Allen? Not Woody Allen!" I've seen good Woody and bad Woody and I can say that for me, This is one of his best.

The movie stars Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Kathy Bates and many more. It is the story of an engaged couple who go to Paris with her parents. On the trip they meet an overbearing couple (her friends) from the states who dominate the trip. The Owen Wilson character (a struggling novelist) slips away for a night walk on the streets of Paris and ends up the the 1930's! He meets such F. Scott Fitzgerald, Picasso, Hemingway, Gertrud Stern, and others. As the story progresses he goes back and forth from the present to the past. It is good comedy, but even better dialogue. Yes, it is a thinking person's movie. It is PG13, but no cursing, no sex, no violence, no chases, just great story, great acting and great settings.

I don't want to say much more except that I give it ***** stars. FIVE out of Five.

2011 Movie 29

Father's Day

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

June 14

Today is Flag Day. June 14 means something different to me though. In 1993 on June 14 I went to work that Monday morning and found that I had lost my job. Also on that day, by default, I started a new business. It started in my living room and over 18 years grew into something much larger with as many as 11 staff members and offices in Tulsa and Muskogee on two different occasions. That run ended on April 1, 2011, but June 14 will always be special for me.

I faced a very uncertain future, 18 years ago, but it wasn't long before I came to know that I WILL ALWAYS FACE AN UNCERTAIN FUTURE.

As I write this, I know that I could again loose my job tomorrow. As the saying goes, "I was looking for a job when I found this one." I really believe that it is the uncertainty of life that makes it so thrilling. Yes, I want stability. More than that I want stability for my family.
The problem is that stability is not a promise or a fact. Ask the people in Joplin.

But I celebrate today and believe that June 14, 2012 will be a great day as well.

As one of my favorite sayings goes, "I'm like the Farmer's duck. If it doesn't rain I'll just walk home."

Monday, June 13, 2011

Super, Super 8

Forget all the Super hero movies (except Green Lantern). Forget the cheesy animated movies with Pandas. Forget the end of the world movies. I just saw a perfect summer movie like the ones that Spielberg used to make. "Super 8" is a Spielberg movie and a J.J. Abrams("Lost") movie. Think "E.T." but with more action and the alien is not as cute. It is well crafted. It has humor. It has flashbacks to the late 70's. It is very, very well done.

It is about some kids with great imaginations who are trying to make a zombie movie to enter into an area film festival. They while filmimg witness a horrific train crash. Then the story begins.

It is PG13 (the stoner dude says, "What the F-word!" once near the end.). It is a slice of life story when we used super 8 home movie cameras, cassette tapes, etc. There is a cool scene when the convenience store clerk is trying to explain, the new "Walkman" to an adult.

If you know anything about Steven Spielberg, he started into movies by making is own with home movie cameras when he was a kid. Much late he paid a young J.J. Abrams $300.00 to convert these movies into to digital. That's how they met.

Any who, This movie is worth your time.

I give it **** stars out of five.

Ps: Stay for the credits. The movie the kids were making is shown at the end.

2011 movie 28

Friday, June 10, 2011

Mike gets Kung Fu'ed at the movies

I took Avery and Addison to an afternoon matinee to see Kung Fu Panda 2. Tickets for 2 kids and a "senior" was $24.o0 with the 3-d glasses. At the beginning of the year we bought one of those popcorn buckets that we can bring back to each movie and get a refill for $2.50. It helps when you remember to bring it!
I got a large popcorn, one large Diet Coke, two 6 oz Sprites ($4.20 each) and three candies. The Tab was $29.00. Total price for animated fun was $53.00. The theater was also animated: a guy setting a few rows back got to snoring so loud, I could hear him over the movie track.

The movie? The boys liked it. Although Avery said once that their was a lot of action and that he may have nightmares!

I thought it was just OK. I am not a Jack Black fan! And it is embarrassing to hear Dustin Hoffman voice a Kung Fu mouse.
It was interesting that the story dealt with adoption though. Well- that - and defending China from being overthrown by an evil Peacock!

I give it ** stars. 2011 movie #27

PS The final scene hinted at the story for Kung Fu Panda 3, but sad to say I'm busy that day.

Editorial: The whole idea of 3D glasses for $4.00 is the biggest deception in entertainment.
They ask you to be "green" and recycle after the movie. They WILL NOT let you use them at the next movie. Why not set a 3D movie price and then let you bring your own glasses or buy theirs. I don't mind them making money, but this is not about being environmentally correct. So I say: I like 2D just fine!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

It's that silly

Heh, heh, heh, He showed his wiener!

No He is a Wiener!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Next Big Thing

I went to a meeting the other night where we talked about the future of things. I had just returned from a very challenging meeting that gave me much to think about, as I move forward.
On the agenda was a new idea that seemed to run in the opposite direction from what I had heard at the retreat. I thought, "Wow, some people just care about "the next big thing."

Sunday, June 5, 2011

A poem from my past

For Those Who Fail
by Bret Harte

All honor to him who shall win the prize,
The world has said for a thousand years;
But him who tries, and who fails and dies,
I give great honor and glory and tears;

Give glory and honor and pitiful tears
To all who fail in their deeds sublime;
Their ghosts are many in the van of years,
They were born with Time, in advance of their Time.

Oh, great is the hero who wins a name,
But greater many and many a time
Some pale-faced fellow who dies in shame,
And lets God finish the thought sublime.

And great is the man with a sword undrawn,
And good is the man who refrains from wine;
But the man who fails and yet still fights on,
Lo, he is the twin-born brother of mine.

Soundtrack's of life

Today is my birthday! It is an age that I've thought about since college since it was at that time when the Beatles produced "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" (One of the best albums ever!). On that disk was the song "When I'm Sixty Four". Of course, in 1967 I was just 20! 64 seemed for ever away. It must have been for them as well because one verse says,

"If I'm out to a quarter to three, would you lock the door?
Will you still need me? Will you still feed me?
When I'm Sixty-four."

Who at 64 stays out until 2:45am, on purpose?

Well I welcome this song because the Beatles have always been the soundtrack of my youth and when I want to think young!

They also recorded the best birthday song ever on the "White Album":

"They say its your birthday. Happy Birthday to you!"

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Super Heroes meet James Bond!

Today we went to Avery's Little League Tournament and set in the breezy 98 degree weather. After the game we decided to cool off and go to the weekend movie. Not knowing how "ripe" we may be, we set off to ourselves and watched "X Men, First Class". This is a prequel to the first movie and a very good one at that. The setting for most of the story was 1962 when times were easy and all we feared was nuclear bombs raining down on us from Russia. Meaning at least we could find our enemies. The villains in the movie were very "James Bond" and the pace of the movie also reminded me of 007 because of the training scenes, the silly government people scenes, band the save the Planet finale. Kevin Bacon makes a grand bad guy.

Half way through the movie a light came on and I realized why nerds like comics. The females always wear the most suggestive (But Functional) clothes (Just like in James Bond!).

The movie is PG-13 but only because midway through the movie their is a 20 second scene in a bar where Hugh Jackman (Wolverine) tells the stars to "F off!". If is not only the only F Bomb, but maybe the only swear word in the movie, but it achieved the beloved "PG13".

I give the movie *** to ***1/2 stars. Fun Summer flick.

2011 movie #26

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

43 years, the sequel

43 years ago I got married. We were to spend our Honeymoon in Dallas. We had car trouble on the way and spent two long, long hours at an all-night truck stop while our car battery was being re-charged.

Tonight was the sequel. We went to Tulsa and had dinner and then to a movie. We spent two long, long hours at a bad, bad movie.

I am not saying we saw Hangover 2, the sequel. Maybe we did and maybe we didn't! What we saw was a lazy, repeat of a classic story that was more disgusting than funny. A few grins but no laughs. Not for adults over 40 or kids under 18. If I knew now what I didn't know then, I wouldn't even rent it.

Spoiler Alert: It is the same story, different place, less funny.

I give it *star. I'm too old for F-bomb humor!

2011 Movie # 25

No posters. Not worth it.

Day ended well though.