Monday, April 29, 2013

Mike is offered almost Free Money

I don't know about you, but the most secure way to borrow money is  to wait until you get a fax like this:

Western Financial just offered pre-approved me $56,715.00.  But wait there is more they included a check list as follows:

No assets
No collateral required
Not reported on your credit
No effect to your debt to income ratio
No application fee
No upfront fees
No late fees
No accrued interest
No Monthly payment 
Funds in 48 hours
24 hour renewal funds
Tax liens OK
No financials
No tax return
Use the advance for any of your needs

What could possibly go wrong?

I get this offers every day by fax and think: Who falls for this?
But if I didn't work, they wouldn't send them.

There are many, many desperate people with no where  to turn and will fall for almost anything.

If you don't believe it read up on the new movie, "Pain & Gain" (a true story)!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Deep and Wide 3

"When people start with the, "Don't preachers only work one day a week?" I have a good comeback. Feel free to use it. I say, "Think for a minute about the most stressful part of your job, the part that is the make-or-break for you financially. Imagine having to do that every week on a stage in front of family, friends, strangers, and people who don't particularly like you.  Imagine not having the option to call in sick or reschedule because you weren't quite ready for the presentation."  End of Conversation."

Andy Stanley

Me: It's the people who don't particularly like you that are your undoing.  They will replace you, rewrite history, and pretend they had no part in your undoing!  I see it in business and in church.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Mike embarks into the 21st Century - one light bulb at a time

Our house was designed using ceiling can down lights. We have probably  30+ in the ceilings and porches and shortly after we moved in I installed six flood lights that wash the front of the house.

The inside and porch lights are 65 watt lamps and the floods are 90 watt.  We replace the outside lights about 3 times a year since they are on timers and the front porch lights about 4 times a year because they are 24/7. That's a lot of watts.

I decided to replace all our lights with the new LED lights.  We have already replaced our lamp bulbs with fluorescent.

Here's the rub.  I can buy 65 watt lamps for about 2 dollars and the 90 watt out floods for about $4.95.

LED lights to replace the 65 watt lamps are $19.00. The Outside Flood LEDs are $32.00 each.

Changing all six floods at once would cost $192.00 and to replace the the rest would be about $600.00

SO-O-O-O-O  I am replacing them one at a time.  As they burn out, in come the new LEDs.

Why you ask?  

The 90 watt existing Floods last 1,500 hours and the LEDs last 25,000 hours and are 23 watts for an equal amount of light.

The 65 watt down lights last about 1,200 hours compared to 25,000 hours for LED and the new light bulbs are 13 watts for equal light.

They pay for themselves very, very fast.  They also cost very, very much.  One at a time.

Friday, April 19, 2013

OUR Great Media! No Its: Is our media great or are they hiding something?

As I have said before:  The News media today does not deliver the news they question the news. 

 "The bombing took place 35 minutes ago. WHY hasn't law enforcement told us who the perpetrators are?  What are they hiding?  Could this be a domestic terrorists and foreign alien bands of terrorists trained in Iraq?  What is Obama hiding? Or could this be the work of Romney for Boston not voting for him?  We will ask the penetrating questions tonight such as DID the NRA create this to show terror without Guns?  You deserve answers and we give you the questions."

Today I was listening to CNN as they interviewed the uncle of the two Boston Bombers.  After they asked him question after question about what caused his nephews to commit these acts. And after he keep saying that he hasn't seen them since 2009, the reporter asked,  "Sir, How do YOU feel about the United States?  Do YOU like living here?

It was then that I hit the off button to keep from damaging my car.  Let me rephrase that:  
Don't you think it best for me to quit listening?  Do I still love my country if I do that?

Stay Tuned: More questions at 10 pm.

Oblivion - tearing up earth again!

I liked the previews to the new Tom Cruise movie, "Oblivion".  BUT The trailer sliced the scenes so that things you think are happening are much different in the movie. If you think that I am saying that things are NOT what the seem, you would be correct. However, I wanted a good sci-fi movie and I got one.  We saw it at the IMAC. That way Tom looks a lot larger. Really though this movie is made for the largest possible screen. Waiting for Netflix will be a waste.

Great CGI and great effects. Those of you that run scared of drones, won't feel any better after this. This takes place in 2077 as the last people are leaving earth because nuclear bombs have left most of earth unlivable. Tom Cruise is a Tech that keeps the drones working.  At the start you do not know who the enemy is.  Neither does Tom. He gets his memory erased every 5 years.

BUT he starts to remember and then he meets Morgan Freeman.  Everything always changes when Mr. Freeman is around.

Fun movie although the story has holes. It is amazing how many ways Hollywood can show the ruins of NYC or DC.  The first poster at the top is NOT shown like that in the movie.

Its what I go to the movie for when I want to escape.

BTW the previews showed Fast & Furious 8 or was it 9 (speaking of stories with holes) and the rebirth of Superman all over again.

Any who I give Oblivion, **3/4 stars

2013 Movie #14

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Mind Battles, Part 2

Here is something refreshing.  This was in the bulletin of the Church that I interviewed with today:

Everybody - A New Series Beginning Today

Have you ever wondered how the church got to be such an insider-focused organization?  How did it go from a remarkable and unstoppable force in the first century to a watered-down social club today? Have you ever wanted to get involved but couldn't seem to figure out how or were told you weren't needed?  We'll explore all these questions and more in our three-part series Everybody, beginning today.

Imitate, Invest, Invite

Our purpose is to imitate Jesus Christ, Invest in the lives of others, and invite others to join us for our Sunday Gatherings. You'll notice that the first part of that statement puts emphasis on our own personal relationship with Jesus and not a critical analysis of your relationship with him. We believe that the more focused we are on our own relationship with Christ, the less willing we are to point out the problems of others.  Only Jesus --not church, a preacher, or anything else-- is the solution to the problems we all face every day.

My Mind Battles as a Christian- I don't know who's winning!

Ok, I am reading a book and listening to cd's on another subject, while my world zips by and occasionally  crashes into me.

I was meeting with a Church today about a project. I ask them to tell me about their group and their description surprises me. And thinking I'm the only person engaged in a book at present, I say:  "You might want to read a book by Andy Stanley called "Deep and Wide".   The three men smile and say, "We will sell you a copy.  We have a whole stack of them in the next room.  We are reading it as a church body."  YIKES

I got to the meeting early and was setting in the car reading the Stanley's book.  I'm telling you that I can't read his book without gauging my life and environment.  You see Stanley believes that Jesus came to seek and saved the lost, the needy, and those who have lost there way.  He says that a stranger can walk into the lobby of a church building and tell that:

They are not expecting guests.

That what is going on there is not that important.

That the members expect someone else to pick up after them.

That there is no pride.

He also says that most churches aim at the members (They pay the bills) and give little thought to what the visitor experiences.  Of Course most visitors in our churches are also Christians.

If a minister preaches to the fringe element (unchurched) he gets in trouble in the churches that are for the unchurched.  They want sermons on the Bible and let that be enough. NO contemporary applications.   (Sounds Familiar)

He says, "Face it, David always beats Goliath, and there will always be ten commandments.  the only thing that changes is the presentation."

He says, "I'm not trying to produce Bible scholars. And By the way teaching through the entire Bible doesn't create Bible Scholars.  It creates people who think they are Bible Scholars. And those are some of the meanest, most uncompassionate human beings on the planet. You know who I'm talking about.  You've got 'em in your church too. They will correct you when you make the slightest error. But they aren't about to serve anywhere. Too busy for that. Not only do they believe in a literal hell, you get the impression they are happy about the fact that people are going there."

Andy says, "I'm partial to hungry, ignorant Christians myself. The kind who are content to love Jesus and the people he died for. I'll take the Christian who doesn't know it all but is committed to doing whatever he or she knows or the Christian who knows it all and that's as far as it goes.  Remember the widow who gave everything she had?  Jesus liked her more than he liked the Pharisees.  She was a doer. Jesus liked doers. I imagine he still does."

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Watches in the 21st Century

I still wear a watch.  I have since high school and that's a long time ago. My first was a simple Timex and I closely moved up the food chain of watches.  A few years ago before "smart phones" I had a Sunto electronic watch that kept my "outlook" schedule, movie times and a few other things that "Apps" replaced. Now a wear a simpler watch a Wenger titanium time piece that has served me well.

BUT I like others keep questioning the sense of keeping a watch. We all have phones and the phones have clocks and the clocks are the "true time".  So why a watch?

My conclusion is based on social acceptance.

Before Cell Phones, if you were in a meeting  and looked at your wrist, you could catch the glare of someone who had decided that your were bored or at the least discourteous.  Today if you keep looking at your phone you will get the same stare.

BUT when I look at my wrist, no one has a clue that I am checking the time, because No one wears watches any more- right!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Accidental Racism

I grew up with racism. I was trained at an early age. I watched it. Heard it talked about and lived out.
It is always under the skin. I renounced it when I got to college and it wasn't church or Christianity that led me passed it.  It was a movie. "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner".  It was the first thing that made me go back and read the Bible for myself.  My church ignored the issue and Christianity got trampled because of racism.  I have watched the gains and I also see the part of out society that refuses to turn loose.   I say all that to bring up the newest selection of songs on Brad Paisley's new CD, "Wheelhouse".  Brad is simply one of the most creative minds in Music.  He reached to point in his career that he could choose safe songs like George Strait or just party songs like the young stars.  He chose to write the song, "Accidental Racist" that he performs with LL Cool J, the actor/rapper.

The story is based on a true event in Brad's life when he walked into a Starbucks wearing a Lynrd Sknyrd tee shirt bearing a confederate flag and then waited on by a black man.  The song is a dialogue between a white man and a black man about racism and the struggle to live with southern pride while tempered by a changing world.
 The song has made waves to say the least. Some of his fans do not like this and are uneasy. Racial "Experts" say the 2+ minute song doesn't go deep enough and is shallow. Brad and LL say it is just what they wanted in the song.  I made us think.  I actually think it is bold.  They are saying what people think without a conclusion.  WE are the conclusion.  It is a song that should be heard, but I doubt Country radio will play it.  By the way it is timely that it was released the same week the movie, "42" came out.  Incidently, Brad says the idea of the song came after seeing "Lincoln" and "Django".   Funny how a good story can change us.

42 and racism

I went to see "42" tonight but first some background.  Jackie Robinson started playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers the year I was born.  As I grew, I learned that for some odd reason my brother, Tom, was a Dodger fan.  So, I was too.  All the kids in Haskell were Yankee fans because of Mickey Mantle, but I was a Dodger fan. (great schooling for when I became an OSU fan, later.)  During the fifties we all collected baseball cards and since my other friends did not like my team, I soon had a large collection of Dodger cards. Later in the 80's my son started collecting ball cards and looking though his Becket book , I realized that a Jackie Robinson card was worth a fortune.  I went to my mother's house and climbed into the attic and found my toy box but the cards were gone, except......over in the corner was Jackie Robinson's 1956 card, had been cut in half.......and I had one half of a very valuable card!

Back to the Movie:  It follows Lincoln with good timing.  It is about the first black man to play professional sports.  The Dodger Owner, Branch Rickey, (played by Harrison Ford)broke the barrier with the signing of Jackie.
This film pulls no punches about the racism that existed in the USA.  It shows the pain he suffered in being the first.  It also laid bare the stupidity that existed AND STILL EXISTS.

A great movie for baseball fans and a great movie for history buffs.

I give it 4 stars.

2013 movie #13

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Baby Boomer Boy's first crush

Sad to hear that Annette Funicello died.  As a 50's kid Mickey Mouse Club was the first afternoon TV show made just for my age group. There were several kid actors on the show like Cubby, Darla, etc.  A broad cross section of white kids that were just like us. Except for Annette.  I had girl friends at school and all in "grade school" only because everyone played that game (not really knowing what it was about- speaking for the boys).  MMC had us though as we watched episodes of "Spin and Marty" and "the Hardy Boys" and skits and songs. But something weird started happening before our eyes.  Annette was growing BOOBS!  But that word hadn't yet been mentioned to us.  I stared at her and before long I was only waiting to see her.  As I aged along with her, I began to look around and to my surprise BOOBS were everywhere.

I soon graduated from Mickey to American Bandstand as I became a teen ager.  Then here she came again.  The Beach Party Movies were launched with her and Frankie Avalon as the stars-  the popular kids. This time I was disappointed.  I wanted to see her in a Bikini but in the first movie, she was the only one wearing a one-piece while every other girl had a two piece. Then when they changed to Bikinis, Annette moved to a granny two-piece.  I was certain she had Church of Christ parents.

But as she faded from the screen, ole worldly 15 year old Mike searched for new BOOBS.

She was still my first crush.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

This really did happen!

I was meeting with a client this week about putting an addition on to his building.  I have worked with him several times.  I told him that fire code would require him to put a fire sprinkler system in the addition. He said, "Ok, but we will have to bring to fire line from the last building you did."  I looked up at the ceiling of the room we were in and saw the sprinkler heads spaced out as usual and said,  "It would be easier to tie in to this building.""No," he said smiling,  "This building isn't sprinkled."  I pointed again at the heads.  He and his associates grinned and said, "These are not real!"

I was speechless. 

Evil Empire

My grandson plays for the Berryhill Chiefs in under 10 years old baseball league.  Yes, I know it is probably not good that the  team has a negative Native American team name. They got it from the School of the same name.  The thing is they were playing a team from my city whose name was the "Evil Empire" and their shirts were emblazoned with King Cobra heads and their helmets had a skull and crossbones!  Under 10 little leagues

The Evil Empire won but later in the day the two teams seemed destined to play again in the championship game of they tournament. I guess there is a rule concerning how many pitches a little league pitcher can throw.  The Chiefs won their last game 8-2, but the Evil Empire saw that our pitcher had thrown 1pitch more than allowed.  The Chiefs had to forfeit the game and could not play the Championship game.

"Evil Empire" seems very fitting.  

The day played out like American History!

Olympus 2

"Olympus Has Fallen" had another story line worth mentioning:  The bad guys were from North Korea!  Yikes-a-hooty.!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Olympus Dies Hard

Funny thing about Hollywood, if someone comes up with an idea, they milk it to death. Some do better than others.  TV has several series like "Revolution" where the good old USA has been destroyed.  While watching coming attractions, the showed another Cable series getting ready to launch about the USA struggling after something that wipes them out.  Then the previews already started with Tom Cruise visiting earth again after disaster and now Will Smith has one coming out about about the same thing. He crashes on Earth 1000 years after some cosmic disaster.

Next up is attacks on the president.  I guess they know their audience. All the people wanting the press to suffer!  The next Iron Man has Air Force One attacked with the President on board. 

Today, we decided to hold off seeing Dinosaurs in 3D thinking we didn't need something that tense SO we went to see "Olympus Has Fallen".  "Jurassic Park 3D" seems like the "Smurfs" compared to this.  The body count in this story is high and deep.  It is also tense.

As for the story, actor Gerald Butler plays the Bruce Willis part. The plot is "Die Hard at the White House" but it will still keep you from relaxing.

A popcorn movie. I give it **1/2 stars.

2013 Movie 12