Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Heat

Questions:  Did you like "Bridesmaids"?  Did you like the first "Hangover"?

Chances are: You will like "The Heat"!

The Heat is a cop "Buddy Movie" that is fast paced, extremely funny, and you have to pay attention.  Too much is happening to multitask or focus on popcorn.  It is also R because Melissa McCartney's favorite word starts with F.  She is countered by Sandra Bullock who hates foul language and when she tries she is bad at it.   There are so many great moments that I don't know where to start.

I'm not going to say much about this movie except that: I thought it was a hoot and Carol wants to see it again.

I give it ***1/2 stars.   2013 movie 26

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Car Buying in the Land of Nod, part 2

Two Quick stories

1.  I interviewed for a project recently. In the request for submissions they put a priority on being local, having done Community Centers before, and being involved in the Community.  We were the only firm interviewed that had done Community Centers, our office is four blocks from the site, and I serve the city and community on about 5 local boards and commissions including the Chamber Board.

They hired an Out-of -town firm.  One of the selection committee members was a local car dealer.

2. I ran into that dealer today and told him that I took his advice and bought a car out-of-town! I even told him of my experience with NOD (whose dealership is owned by the same one as the committee member).  We were at a reception that was about to begin.  For some reason he left?

Paybacks are HELL!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Car Buying in the Land of NOD

Note: I am sure by now that you have seen the car commercial on TV where the couple wants certain things standard on the prospective car. The salesman keeps moving them to a higher model, but Then the salesman finally says:  "Do you know how selfish you sound?"  I thought that was a stretch. No salesman would say that. Right?

A couple of months ago we started looking at new cars. We finally decided to replace our Prius and went to the local dealer.  We went there at night for a no hassle look see after they closed.  To our surprise they had 3 special order editions with cool wheels, ground effects package and leather interior.

We were not yet ready to get serious but returned this week.  I asked a salesman(call him Mr. B) about the cars.  He acted surprised and pointed at a white one on the lot.  I said, "No, it looks like this." and showed the photo on my phone.

He says:  "Oh, those are our loaner cars."  I said can I see one.  He checks and says that they are "loaned out" and will be back tomorrow.

He calls me today and says that he got one back and they have it ready for me to see.  I go down at lunch look at it. We talk trade in and discount for being a loaner and it all sounds good.  I even talk to the sales manager and we are convinced that a deal can be made, but after the see our car and Carol and I test drive the NEW one.  I make an appointment to come back tonight.

We arrive at the appointed time and Mr. B is busy selling a car and the sales manager hands us to another salesman to go with us on the test drive. So the new guy says, "Well Mr. and Mrs. Morton come this way." We go out to the car and he hands me the key to drive.  The car will not start.  He says to me to tap the brake and push the button.  I tell him that we drive a Prius so I know to do that.  After a while he goes in and gets the correct key.

I ask him questions about the car and he says that he knows nothing about this car.  "I just got here".

As I am backing up I realize: No rear camera.  Then I know that it does not have navigation.

He says: " Just Drive like you own it!" and then "Just don't hurt me!"

When we get back to the dealership, I ask,  "Does the other loaner car have navigation?"  Well we have 2 of them  they might have.  I say, "This is one of them."  He says,  "Maybe it is, maybe not." I say, I have already been told that it is!"  He says, "Maybe so."

I say that I want to look at a Prius with navigation because navigation package has the back up camera, XM radio, better sound system and 4 neat internet apps.

I find one and it is less than the one I was looking at!  He said: "What about this one?"  Wrong color
Him: "We'll paint it."  

I say: What I want is a car that has the neat wheels and leather interior AND the navigation package.

He says:  WHO are you that wants all this stuff?"  I say: "I'm the one buying the car."

I decide to go find the sales manager and we head towards the dealership.  He then says, "Mr Motin may I call you Mike?  And Mrs. Motin what is your first name? She says Carol.

Then he says, My name is NOD. Nod spelled backwards is DON.

I go over the edge and want to see the manager.  He says, "I don't like the manager."  "Just kidding."

"You sure are wanting a lot! I hope you know that will cost more!"

The manager was busy so we head to our car.  Another sales lady comes over for damage repair and asks what we are looking for and says, "Maybe they will send the 13 version of that model."

I say, "You mean that's a 2012?"

NOD tries to say something and I tell him, " I don't like your attitude.  I will not talk to you any longer.  Good Bye."

Needless to say there were many things said that I did not mention.  We were convinced that he was drunk. He was frivolous about every thing he said.  No one offered to find one of their cars that could get the better wheels, etc.

We left the Land of NOD.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Man of Steel in Two Parts

I grew up with Superman. I watched the one on TV in the 1950's while I read my comics and later I liked Superman when he made it to the big screen. I was anxious to see the new  "Man of Steel" and I did today. That movie is so long that it was like watching Part 1 and Part 2.

I loved Part 1 as the writers retold the story of him coming to earth and why. I like the flash backs that told the story with his two dads played by Russell Crowe and Kevin Costner. That was a father's day treat.  The telling of Clark Kent coming of age and becoming Superman is a great re-telling.

Then came Part 2. That wasn't worth a darn! Seems special effects guys want to outdo the guys in Iron Man or Star Trek so lets have the final fight scene to last about 30 minutes doing the same thing over and over as the hero and the villain destroy the city with no regard. You know: When a few 40 story buildings fall or explode it just makes for cool graphics.  And so what about 80,000 people are killed, they will focus on one trapped family or person very ten minutes to show a human side.  And you know how the 2 battling supermen are thrown through buildings, go through exploding gas tankers, and through cars at each other,  if they battle hand to hand one just might break the other's neck?

But Superman gives Lois her first kiss after the battle that killed thousands and then they smile.
Superman help destroy Smallville AND Metropolis.

Not the Superman I knew.

Part 1 gets ***stars.
Part 2 gets *star.

2013 movie 25.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Mike gets aggressive about blogging

This blog is actually just one of three blogs that I have started.

One called "Haskell Stories" is about my hometown. It was started a couple of years ago but has been dormant. My goal is one new post a week. I used to write a column in the "Haskell News", a weekly hometown paper.  I will rewrite some of those and also add some stories that the paper was uncomfortable to publish.

The New blog is called "Mike's Architecture - Imagine Create Inspire". It is a very personal look at the projects that I have designed and managed for the last 40+ years.  It will include weird stories from the projects and photos of work.  It is primarily for my grandkids to discover some day when they ask, "What did PA PA do?"   I am also trying to post once a week there too at ""

This probably sounds egotistical and on some level it is, but the primary function of a blog is for people who need to share. Not for glory or notice but just to explain our existence.


The News is filled with all the questioning about the Idea that the NSA that black side of the Government may be monitoring the average US citizen without our knowledge.  REALLY?

Am I the only person that has been watching the CBS series, "Person of Interest" for the past two years?????

The premise for the series is that the U.S. Government has built a super computer to monitor EVERYTHING to catch terrorists and such. Finch, the main guy, helped develop the massive computer and decided to use it to help random New Yorkers not get murdered.

And we thought it was Fiction.

It does strike me as odd that when an incident happens (i.e Boston), the media wants to know immediately what the Government could have done to stop it.  AND how come this isn't solved in an hour like their TV shows are?  Then when it is found out that we have a system to stop things BEFORE it happens, they get hacked off because someone may be looking at their phone bills.

Go Figure.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Name Droppers

We had our hometown hero's, "The Swon Brothers", from "the Voice" do a concert in our town last week. From the looks of FACEBOOK every one in town is their best friend except me.  When it was decided to surprise them (Swons) with the Rising Star award by the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame, The Exec Committee told us board members not to come since it was only for family and TV.  Then they filled FACEBOOK with so many photos, you would have thought they were a bunch of 6th grade girls.

When we went to see Paul McCartney, a friend said that their tickets were so close that they could touch him.  Only I saw where they actually sat since I was across from them. They were 15 rows back and the rows start about 30 from the stage!  I get it it. It was as close as they had ever been to a Beatle.

We all want to brush up to fame.  We like to tell our friends about their close encounters.  But Facebook is taking us over the line. We are all getting silly.

BTW:  Did I tell you about the time I talked to Darius Rucker in a Men's Store in Vegas? About 15 minutes.  We were buying jackets. The computer was down. I think it was a treat for him. Don't you?
Should have taken photos.  My Bad.

Friday, June 7, 2013

The Internship

The Internship is the new Owen Wilson/Vince Vaughn movie that opened today.  The play two watch salesmen who loose their sales jobs as everyone turns to phones for the time.  They become interns at GOOGLE in hopes of a full time job.  Yes, It is a "duck out of water" story and the young not relating the old type of story, but they make it fun. The movie compares Youth with talent but no experience versus Middle age Guys with  limited talent and many life experiences.

The GOOGLE campus is very cool.  It is also a constant commercial for GOOGLE.  They must have loved this. I felt a little guilty when I used "BING" to capture the images for this post.

If you like OWEN and VINCE you will like this. If not you won't.  PG13

I give it **1/2 star. 2013 movie 24

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Sapphires - a birthday treat!

I took the day off and slept in.  I almost always see a movie for my Bday but the choices for first run Hollywood movies was slim and none. Yes, there was "Hangover 3" and "Fast & Furious 6" but I won't pay money for that.

There was this independent film at the Circle Theater that we had seen the preview of called: "The Sapphires".  It is the true story of four Aboriginal Australian girls who audition for a chance to train the U.S. troops during the Vietnam war.  They were raised on Country Music and quickly learned Soul Music to get the job.

This story touches on the segregation of Australia, the United States and the troops.  This all happened during my college days and the visuals and news reel footage was spot on as are the fashions, etc.

I don't know how younger viewers would like this movie although it is filled with good music and great acting.

It may be my best movie of the year so far.  It is a comedy but with a bite.

I give it ****1/2 stars  2013 movie 23

The originals below (after the war)

Those dates you remember

I was in the kitchen of a friend at the age of 12 when the radio over the refrigerator announced that Buddy Holly had died.

I was in study hall in High School my junior year when the Principal came in and announced that JFK had been shot.

The first week of 1968 was a whirl wind for me.  On June 1 we were married and went to Dallas for a Honeymoon. We had to be back in Stillwater for Summer School at OSU starting that week. Wednesday like today was my Birthday(turning 21) and that night I set up watching the California Democratic primary results on our TV.  This was important to us college kids in 1968 because of Vietnam, where many of our futures lay.  I had always had an interest in Politics and was raised in a staunch Eisenhower Republican family (back when most everyone in Oklahoma were Democrats).

I was on the fence. Nixon talked well. Wallace scared me. and RFK made the most sense.

Our little black and white TV had no sound but I could get Channel 6 in Tulsa on our FM Radio and watch Channel 9 in Oklahoma City!  I was setting there watching Kennedy give his acceptance speech thinking:  This is going to be good for the USA.   I was about ready to call it a night when the shots came and the commotion and then the announcement that Robert F. Kennedy had been shot.

That shot changed many college kids including me.  No, I voted for Nixon, but my thoughts kept coming back to WHAT IF?

I don't remember where I was when King was shot, or when Elvis died.

My next big day of remembrance came in November of 1979.  

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Now You See Me or maybe you won't

Seems like I am dwelling on a theme right now. We went to see "Now You See Me" the movie about magicians how pull crazy heists while performing in front of live audiences.  It has a great cast and fun dialogue and a story that kept me interested from beginning to end.  So what's the problem!

The critics have hammered this movie for not "Being Plausible or  Logical"(USA Today), for "having impossible tricks" (Leonard Maltin), etc.  I wonder what these guys think when they  review Iron Man 3. Well Mr. Maltin talks about the movie like Iron Man really exists. I guess he thinks that stuff is Plausible and possible.

If you want plausible and possible and logical, see 42 or MUD.

If you want a fun movie see Now You See Me.  By the way all the way through the movie you are told that magic is not real and "The closer you look, the less you see." FYI: Hardly any profanity.

 I think they were talking about the reviewers.

I give it ***stars. 2013 movie 22