Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Candy Crushed!

Today I erased "Candy Crush" from my iPad. I had reached level 149 and called it quit. The higher levels require purchases of extra moves and extra power to get to the next level.  I would be cheaper to be a gambler!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


I learned a few of things tonight while watching, "Wolverines 3D".

One: He really isn't anything like a wolverine.

Two:  I don't really care.

Three:  I am tired of super hero movies about nothing but fighting and pain.  A little humor (Iron Man) goes a long way.

Two hours I won't get back.

I give it *1/2 stars.

2013 Movie 32

Friday, July 26, 2013

The Way Way Back

Its called a "coming of age" movie, but it is a slice of life. What the "The Way Way Back" is, is the best summer movie so far. While everyone else is blowing up the world or the White House, this is the story of a 14 year old boy who is alone in a crowd of self absorbed people.  He and his mother go to her boyfriend's summer vacation house by the ocean in New England. The boyfriend (Steve Carell) is a jerk who has a teenage daughter who is also unbearable.  They arrive to spend time with the gang of other summer residents played by Amanda Peet, Rob Corddry, and Allison Jenny. The actors in this movie are great.  The boy, Duncan, played by Liam James is in a shell and is ignored and is bored.  He goes to the nearby water park and gets a job with a zany group of people (Sam Rockwell, Maya Rudolph, and others) and soon discovers life, fun and friends.

This is a very funny and comfortable movie while at the same time in the skin of Duncan, we see the harsh, uncaring world this is around us.  It is delightful and real at the same time.

This won't make many theaters because it is an Indy film but it is great.  Only on theater in T-Town has it and it is worth the drive.  PG13

I give it ****(4) stars. 2013 movie #31
It will make you forget Wolverines.

Little Gems

I have a little book in my library and I can't remember how I came to possess it. It's been around a while and is in excellent shape for having a copyright of 1896 and a cover inscription dated 1912.  It has a small quilted cushioned cover and is titled, "Whittier".  It is the early poems of John Greenleaf Whittier.  Most of his works are long but have very engaging titles including "The Christian Slave", "The New Wife and The Old" and "Song of the Free".

I did find a small poem to share written in 1846:


My heart is heavy, for its trust had been
Abused, its kindness answered with foul wrong;
So, turning gloomily from my fellow-men,
One summer Sabbath day I strolled among
The green mounds of the village burial place;
Where, pondering how all human love and hate
Find one sad level----and how soon or late,
Pass the green threshold of our common grave,
Whither all footsteps tend, when none depart,
Awed for myself, and pitying my race,
Our common sorrow, like a mighty wave,
Swept all my pride away, and trembling I forgave!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Joke's on Me

One of my favorite joke's relating to terminating employment is:

The company owner tells all the staff to line up side by side. He then announces, "Everyone that works here, take one step forward."  " Not so fast Mike!"

I have a client that I have worked for for 19 years. I designed the original building, two additions and a master plan, and two remodels. Last night I attended a meeting with them and found that they were hiring my replacement.  And I am on the Board! ( at my Church!)

Did not see that coming!  

"not so fast Mike!"

Then we get farther down the agenda dealing with a sign project I have been working on and was told it was canceled!

It will teach me to miss a meeting .........that or It will teach me to go to meetings!

Yikes a hooty!

PS. I am very ok about it because I labor by the rule that says: If you don't want what I have to offer,I know who does. The Lord has provided plenty of churches that need my help. Thank You Lord !

Friday, July 19, 2013

A Natural Woman

I am currently listening to Carole King's memoir titled, "A Natural Woman".  This is another intent where listening is superior to reading. Ms King reads the book and where she discusses songs that she wrote, she sings them.  Carole King grew up in the 1950's and was about 5 tears older than I. She was writing songs as a teenager and many of them were rock and roll classics.  Her story is a history of Pop Music. She co-wrote with her husband including "Will you love me tomorrow" sung by the Shirelles (the first black girl group to have a #1); "Take Good Care of My Baby" (Bobby Vee)' Loco-Motion (Little Eva and later Grand Funk Railroad), "Up on the Roof" (Drifters); "Chains" (Beatles); "I'm in to Something Good" (Herman's Hermits); "Pleasant Valley Sunday" (Monkees), and "You Make Me feel Like a Natural Woman" (Aretha Franklin).  She did all that and much more before she was 22!

I have mentioned before that my history with Carole King started with her first solo album "Tapestry" that was released the year I graduated OSU. My Carol and I listened to that record every weekend while I was at Fort Leonard Wood. We weren't the only ones. It sold 25 million copies and was the largest selling album by a female in History until Adelle made "21" last year.

In 1972 "Tapestry" won Grammy Awards for "Album of the Year", "Record of the Year", "Best Female Vocal Performance" and "Best Song" (You've Got a Friend").  NOT TOO SHABBY

I have had the privilege of seeing her in concert and also seeing her with James Taylor in the round in Nashville.  As I said with Paul McCartney, her wrote a key soundtrack for my life.

Great story. If it was a movie I would give it ****stars.


Warning:  The movie being discussed is PG50 which means it contains wit, dialogue, and actors over 40.  Young people should be cautioned.

RED 2 is a fun movie with a great cast,  humor  AND action.  It is always helpful when a comedy doesn't take things seriously.  It is fun from start to finish. Of course there is treats for us older citizens when the stars make the younger foes look well "silly".

It is a sequel and a fine one at that.  John Malkovich can say more with his facial expressions than most say with a speech.  Helen Mirren steals the show but everyone else is close behind.
It is the kind of comedy I needed, just now.

I give it ***stars.   2013 Movie # 30

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Past is still present

I have been traveling to western Oklahoma quite a bit lately.  One of my clients is in Hooker, Oklahoma in Texas County of the Oklahoma Panhandle. I ask for a good place to eat between meetings and the Rexall Drug was recommended.  I thought that I would be going to an old drug store that maybe still had a soda fountain  and  I was correct!  Grey's Rexall is actually a restaurant that once was a drug store. I has everything from burgers to steaks and even milk shakes. I was truly returned to the 1950's.  The food is great and I would highly recommend it next time you're in Hooker.

On the way back home I took a detour to Ames, Oklahoma to the Hajek Motorsports Museum.  Like Hooker, You have to intend to go there.  It is ten miles off Highway 412 just west of Enid.  But if you were a teenager who loved cars and racing in the 60's or 70's or even today (like me) it was a slice of heaven.  On the western plains of Oklahoma is a collection of race cars that blows my mind.  The owner collects race cars (mostly Fords) and as cars that I watched race at Tulsa International Drags, NASCAR, Bonneville, etc.  He has cars a famous drag racers like Gas Ronda, Connie Kallita, Gene Snow, Don Nicholson, and Bob Gliden. He has stock cars that were raced by Dale Earnhart, Fire Ball Roberts, Parnelli Jones, Richard Petty and a favorite of mine from the sixties: Fred Lorenson.  Mr. Hajek also has Mustangs and a Ford F250 that all set Bonneville Salt Flats records, something he still does.

When Ford made 50 special edition Mustang Cobra Jets in 2008, he bought the first 11.  Some are for sale, still wrapped.

If all these names mean little to you, you won't care.  For me, it was like being surrounded by memories  of a teen age boy with big dreams.

And it is all hidden on the western Oklahoma plains.

Friday, July 12, 2013

White House Down or Where's Mr.Bean?

This is what happens when you stray from rules:  I had said that I would no longer go to see marginal movies.  Tonight we sat through "White House Down".   This is the second stupid "taking the White House " movie and it makes "Olympus Has Fallen" seem like  the year's best drama.   The problem is it takes itself seriously.  It starts going downhill when this cop goes to the White House to interview for a Secret Service Job? That's in the first 3 minutes, because you have to have a good reason for the hero to be there when the bad guys come.  I could have enjoyed this if Mr. Bean or Goofy or even Porky Pig had shown up.

I find it almost impossible to believe that the same actor that played Django, played Obama-like!

As it is, this is my review:   This is BAD save your money, save your netflix.

I give it * star because I didn't walk out.

2013 movie 29 sort of    

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


I'm so lazy that tonight when I left the hotel to meet a college friend at a nearby restaurant, I took the room ice bucket with me so I could get ice from the machine down the hall on my way back to the room!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

World War Z or what would happen if Romney won?

I am at a conference alone so I looked at the remaining movies available and went to see "World War Z".  I wondered what would happen if the future had come out differently.  The only thing we as a society has not done yet is the wholesale bitting and chewing by each other to each other.  Just kidding!

I heard people say that this was a fast moving and tense movie, but I was totally unprepared.  I only like comedy Zombie movies like "Warm Bodies" etc.   But wow! I kept asking myself:  "You are watching this for fun.  This  movie is rated PG13 for language.  Come to find out, Zombies don't use profanity.  The regular humans don't use profanity. BUT the audience sure does!

Holy Crap!

Brad Pitt was great and the story was intriguing and  unlike, "White House Down" the president gets killed in this one. They just walk in the room and say, "the President is dead and the vice-president is missing." 

I'm telling you that this is a cautionary tale.

I give it ** 3/4 stars out of five.  2013 movie 28

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Lone Ranger rides again

If you read the reviews, you won't see the "Lone Ranger" (or as I used to say as a kid: The Long Ranger).

I grew up with the TV version of this western character. LR and Tonto were favorites.  I hated it when Tonto would have to sneak into town  to check things out and not be hanged for being an "indian".

This movie decided to change things with Tonto being the lead or almost.  You will read that it is a long movie (2-1/2 hours) and silly (It is in the fashion of Pirates of the C.).  If you are a 60-something kid, it is a fun western about our first hero.  AND the first one that refused to kill people just like the original TV Superman.   We were nicer back then.

It is full of CGI and other effects. It even has a horse (Silver) who can get on the roof of two story buildings and the top of moving trains.  IT is explained that the horse is a SPIRIT horse.  We all know that Spirit Horses can do magic. So what's the problem?  THIS IS A MOVIE!

I REALLY HAD FUN.  I give the movie ***stars out of 5.

2013 movie 27

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Despicable Me too

The grandsons today celebrated the 4th by swimming three times, popping fireworks and seeing Despicable Me 2, too.

The boys liked it and I liked it. It is one of the few movie franchises that consistently makes the story for both kids and adults. I must say though that the "Minions" are my favorites.  The movie is just over an hour and a half. It is perfect for kids with short attention spans.  Like I say: If you liked the first, you will like this one.  It is appropriate for all.

I give it ***stars. 2013 Movie 27

Getting it wrong on the 4th: the tail wagging the dog

I noticed today that many on Facebook treated Independence Day as if it were Memorial Day.  They paid homage to our Troops in Combat and our First Responders. Not that that gesture is bad because we probably don't think of them enough. The 4th of July, however, is to honor those men AND women who laid it on the line by facing down the King of England: Not with weapons but the pen. Signing the declaration was the ultimate measure of the new Patriots.

You see, we turn to honoring soldiers because they are the only group that all of us support!  As Jimmy Buffett sings:

"The rockets in the air and people everywhere
  Put away their differences for a while"

July 5 arrives as James Robbins said in today's USA Today:

"America's 237th birthday arrives with the country deeply divided. Whether over politics, policies, or lifestyles, Americans see to be gravitating into distinct and irreconcilable camps. In Washington, partisanship in the halls of Congress has grown to levels not seen since the Civil War. Public confidence in national institutions such as the government, the news media, big business and big labor is at an historic low. Civility is in short supply.  The country is hanging together, but who knows for how long."


"The Constitution put compromise at the center of every aspect of government."

If you have read the story of John Adams, Thomas Jefferson or George Washington, you know the give and take, the compromise necessary to create our country.  What is even more amazing was the the citizens BACKED them!

Today we honor our soldiers but not our leaders.  The soldiers volunteered and the leaders?

Monday, July 1, 2013

Buying a Car

When I bought my first car in 1963, it was a 1955 Ford Crown Victoria. I paid $450.00. To start using that car I needed insurance and that 's all.

We bought a new car last week. I also needed to get insurance AND:

1. Change the Pikepass over to the new car and get the sticker.
2. Drop XM from the old car and start XM on the new one.
3  Register online for Toyota Entune so that we can get "bing", "pandora", I
"I heart radio", "open table" and "movie" , fuel guide, traffiic, and weather in the car besides the navigation.
4 then I had to register for all those apps! 
5. Then it was time to set up "Homelink" ( the automatic garage door opener).  We found out that in recent years the garage door opener that came with the garage is missing. Carol had to drive to Tulsa today to get an opener so that we could sync it with Homelink.


I would not want to go back though. It was just an AM radio, roll down the window if your hot, and stop and ask directions if you were lost.  We didn't have Pike Pass because we didn't have PIKES.

Gas was only 30 cents a gallon, but 30 cents was just as hard to get as 3 dollars.

I'll take my AC and XM.  Thank you very much.