Saturday, March 31, 2012

mike seeks to be relevant!

Lately, as I go to meetings and interviews, I notice more and more that my clients and fellow board members now carry IPads with them to take notes (and show off). Well, the showing off part was my view. I kept saying to my self that a pen and paper work very well for me. I was impressed with the tablets but resisted. In my idol moments though, I considered the business side of things. As I my the buildings we design, the idea of having all the photos on a clear concise platform would be GREAT. But I still resisted. After all a new version comes out every 6 months!

Then I heard a story about how the coming business leaders are tech savvy & dependent and then the story said, "Mike, as old as you are, you need to do the same or you will become irrelevant!"

Yikes. I want to be relevant.

I now have an IPad! I hope to once again find my place at the table as soon as I figure it out!

Side note: As soon as I bought it realized that I had been hoodwinked. Once you have an IPad which is an big IPhone without the phone, you go: "Why do I have an IPhone? I really don't need both? I need a simple phone and an IPad. Then I go that's not right either because my phone is 4G and my Pad is only WiFi!

Crap! Steve Jobs, you got me again!

Hunger Games- the movie

I did not read the book before I went (I have ordered the 2nd) but I went anyway. I went Tuesday night in OKC and I went again Friday Night. It was still great.

I love anti-hero stories. When I realized the premise of the story, I went: "This seems harsh to take 12-18 year olds for such a thing!" Then I think of the African countries on the six o'clock news that take 12 year olds into their armies and require their first act to be killing their parents. This movie isn't a stretch at all. It mixes American Idol and Government control.

The movie is well acted, well photographed, well everything. While the book was aimed at youth, the story is universal. I liked every frame of the almost 2-1/2 hour run.

It (like the books) will be a classic.

I give it *****stars.

2012 Movies #10 & 11

BTW: The last two movies that I have watched has Woody Harrelson in the cast. Each time his is a TOTALLY different person. He has come along way since Cheers!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

What in the World?

I have been getting two of my daily newspapers digitally. I messed around and let both of them expire. The Tulsa World costs me 15 dollars a month to view it online. SO-O-O I go online to renew my subscription and I can still get it digitally for the same price OR I can get it digitally online and the iPhone and they will deliver the Sunday Paper to my house (sale papers and all) for (Drum roll please) $12.00!

Go figure!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Rampart: the movie

I've seen Woody Harrelson in many things from Cheers to Zombieland , but never like this. "Rampart" is his new movie with a great cast and a hard edge. The title is a police precinct in Los Angeles and Harrelson plays a bad cop with a complex life. He is a 26 year veteran cop and Vietnam veteran as well. The time is 1999 and his patrol is in east L.A. He blackmails a local pharmacy to get prescription drugs, he muscles a hotel to give him free rooms, and he is violent with any one he encounters. He is living with both ex-wives (who are sisters) and his daughters aren't comfortable with him, His nickname is "Date Rape Doug" because he is thought to have killed a guy that he claims was a rapist. Cast includes Sigourney Weaver as his Captain, Ned Beatty as a retired cop friend, and Anne Heche and Cynthia Nixon as the ex-wives. There are other big name actors as well. IT IS NOT A BUDDY MOVIE,

It is an intense story about a guy that I didn't like, but eventually I felt sorry for him.

This is another universe.

I give it ***1/2 stars. FYI :I was the only one in the theater and I texted!

2012 movie #9

Friday, March 23, 2012

Cartoon Fix

360 degree life

In 1979 when my daughter is killed in a school bus accident, a stranger reached out to me because he had been dealt a similar lose six months before. Larry was the School Board President of the district that my daughter, Heather attended. He did not come to me as an official but as a hurting dad, who knew that I would need his time and his words. We would meet and talk over coffee and Diet Cokes and I realized that the time helped him express his feelings, too.

Two weeks ago another father lost his daughter in a auto accident. I reached out to him like I been been taught years ago. This dad was the School Board President of the district that I was currently doing a project. I wrote him a letter but did not know how he would take my comments. Last night he called me and we had a long talk. I hope we can do it again.

I don't know about him but it did me a lot of good.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Dying to get ahead.

Story 1

A little over 30 years ago this week I was attending a Convention of the Church group that I belong when I was pinned in my seat by the words of the Keynote speaker. He surveyed the arena and knew that there were many church leaders present and said, "If lightning struck this group tonight, it would set the Church ahead 20 years!" It shocked the crowd AND it made many leaders irrate. Sadly, it did not happen.

Story 2

About ten years ago I was designing a large church. It was large and had a large price. The church had an "ace in the hole" though. One of its members a quite wealthily man had "ALS " and confined to wheel chair. he sent word that he would give the church $1,000,000 and when he died he would give much more. Everyone thought he would soon pass away. Not only did he not die (he is still alive), he fell in love with his nurse, divorced both his wife and his church. No million! No inheritance! He is alive, but the church is floundering!

Story 3

A few years ago my University, Oklahoma State University, came up with a swell plan, "Gift of a Lifetime". About 40 alumni donors, who were wealthy and over 65, took out life insurance policies that would pay OSU $10,000,000 upon their deaths. $400,000,000 would go a long way, but five years later and those OSU boosters are still alive. Who knew? The premiums (paid by the school) have risen to $35,000,000.00. AND OSU can no longer pay.

People just won't die when you want them too!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Weird Books from my past

I was at my Mother's house today and she gave me a book that she found in a box. It was one of my children's books from the 1950's (that is now looked on with disdain). She handed the book to me and said with a wry grin, "You will want to read this to your grand kids!" LITTLE BLACK SAMBO!

The story is stupid and silly. The story is also not controversial. What was bad was the title and the way the original additions were illustrated. Of course, the title was used as a racial slur to blacks. While the book had no impact on my life, I did as a child hear many black people referred to as "little black samba's in a way that merely replaced the N-word.

I went into BING to get an image of the book, but BING (for the first time I can remember would instantly change the search to "Little Black Samba".

I need to see if it is worth something on EBay, because it is worth nothing to me!

The Given Day

I just finished a great novel by Dennis Lehanne, "The Given Day". Mr. Lehanne is not known for fluffy stories since his other writing include "Mystic River" and "Shutter Island". Those were made into movies and I hear that this 2008 novel will soon join them on the big screen.

This, like most of his books, is based in Boston, but I was drawn to it because one of the main characters comes to Boston from Tulsa in 1919. The chapters concerning Tulsa's black community are rich in the description of the Greenwood district and "Black Wall Street". And, as far as I can tell was spot on concerning the city, the oil boom, and living conditions.

The book centers of a family of Boston policemen and the ordeals dealing with immigration, terrorists, racial inequality and class warfare in Boston. As I read it I realized that all the issues of 1919 are still alive today. It is a great but intense story. Luther, a black man from Tulsa, joins the family (as a House Boy) and the two stories intermingle. This is a rough read but a good read.

The story that intertwines the larger one is Babe Ruth. The book begins with the 1918 World Series between Boston and Chicago White Sox and their train breaking down. Babe (a Red Sox player) and others from both teams play a black team that includes Luther while the train is being repaired. Babe appears through out the book and as the story ends Babe is traded to the Yankees. This side story is masterfully mixed into the action.

Other real people include a young J. Edgar Hoover and Calvin Coolidge , as the Governor. The novel covers the Police strike, WWI, Prohibition and more.

This is a thought provoking work, superbly written. A **** star book

2012 book #6

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Friends, Kids and Foul Mouths

We went to movies today and saw "Friends with Kids" a sort of new version of "When Harry Met Sally". There's irony there. The stars of this movie weren't born or were kids when the Harry/Sally movie was made. Too Bad because if they were more familiar with the first, they would have noticed that you don't to say the F-word every minute to be funny. BUT being the old fart that I am, I guess I haven't noticed how funny the F-word is. (That's sarcasm!).

The movie is entertaining and even has a few strong points, a very talented cast, and some funny moments.

By the way, in this trendy with it movie, the characters use the F bomb in the normal ways, but as if they conspired against me personally, they even use the F-word when they describe having sex.

They even have kids saying the F-word! This the Movie should have been called: "F***in Friends with F***in Kids.

All this of course to get an "R" rating to make it like "Brides Maids".

I would give a PG13 version of this **3/4. AS IS *1/2 stars.

2012 movie #8

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Friday Night Fix: Mindless Movies

I've had one of those weeks where if I told anyone what was on my mind I would: Loose my job, get kicked out of church and get removed from a board position in a certain organization. Thankfully I kept it in a bottle. Why should I improve those organizations, by leaving!

I went to the movies instead! I have seen most of the good movies, but I needed a special movie. I needed a humorous movie with a crazy plot enjoyable characters and one that is "Mindless".
the definition for "mindless" is "requiring little mental effort". I struck gold.

We went to see "This Means War" with Reese Witherspoon, Chris Pine, Tom Hardy and Chelsea Handler. It is about to CIA spies who are best friends and fall for the same girl. There is know realism to worry about, no intense plot to fret about, and no mix of drama and comedy. It is a fun use of two hour's time. It is not as slick as "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" or even "Knight and Day" but it was fun. Yes, it has guns and car chases but the biggest special effect is the color tinting, this guy, Chris Pine, could not possibly have eyes that blue (and they played it up).

Anywho, I give it **1/2 stars (*** for time spent)

2012 Movie #7