Sunday, June 29, 2014

Jersey Boys the Movie

We went to see Jersey Boys at the movies. I was not prepared to loose brain cells at Transformers yet.  The late 50's and early 60's (pre-Beatles) were on display and the display was highly accurate.  having lived this time of American Bandstand and guy groups, the Four Seasons were at the top.  This is a good story of the behind the scenes lives of the famous group and the demons that they and to deal with.  The language is rough, but the music was spot on.  It is a good look at my early teen years.

Great popcorn movie.

2014 Movie 23

I give it ***stars.  Clint Eastwood directs and Christopher Walken is great as the mob boss.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Changing Lanes

I haven't blogged much lately because of my job change.  I resigned my position with my former firm and started my own firm again. Most people my age are thinking retirement, but I am thinking about what's next. I am not the retiring type.

When I said that I wanted to leave, my employer offered me a $20,000 bonus and to increase my commission percentage.  When I declined that, he came at me with his attorneys, citing a non-compete clause. (Which was outlawed in Oklahoma last year). And then he stated that I owed him $15,000 for over payment of commissions.  Problem is: 1. In the 3 years he never gave me an accounting of earned commissions.  2. The contract stated that commissions would be paid as fees were paid to the firm by the projects.  Since I was not a part of accounting, payroll, or commissions tabulations, I hardly see where I can be held accountable for anything. 3. Since no updates were provided, I kept my own running tabulation which shows that I am still owed $6,000.00.

The next thing that happened:  In my resignation letter I stated that I had removed my person items from the office.  He sent a letter stated that he did not trust me and believed that I took things owned by him.  Then he states: "Please send me a list of everything removed from the office."  WHAT?  Thought he didn't trust me?

ANY WHO,  Martin Design Associates is up and running!  And I am grinning every day.

More later

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Stupid Christians

My grandson returned from "Church Camp" last week filled with anxiety.  Seems the Minister/Elder/Teacher of this camp took it upon himself to explain Heaven to 10 year olds.

Among his keen observations:

You won't know you parents or any of your friends and family.

No , Pets are not in Heaven.

You stand in line to be judged by God and your parents will not be there to help you explain your sins to God.

You stay in the ground until you are called up.

and more....... 

"Hey, Who's up for ice cream?"

My grandson was so shook by this that he came home two days before the end of camp.

Our friendly ultra- right Church of Christ teachers at work.

I will help find a better experience for him next year. The guy should have been whipped. (he would understand that.)

My grandson is very intelligent but he was mentally and emotionally assaulted. 

Love Story 2014 - Fault In Our Stars

I didn't want to see this because I thought it was a "Chic Flick", but I was wrong.  Knowing it dealt with cancer and was being compared to Love Story did not help. BUT.... the acting is superb, the story was well conceived (based on a best selling novel) and it was not the syrupy movie that was "Love Story" in my younger days.  I was blown away by the two lead actors and the real life brought to the table.  I won't give anything away other than I recommend.

"The world is not a wish-granting factory."

2014 Movie #22   I give it ***1/2 stars

Sunday, June 8, 2014


We live in a world that questions everything in every way. We strain things through our values, political views, religious beliefs, prejudices, and which media we believe. Bo Bergdahl has made people furious at Obama (they were already furious at Obama), mad that 5 Taliban were freed (we didn't know who they were) and outraged that the enemy ranks had grown by 5 more.

A lady from Sand Springs wrote a letter to the editor in the Tulsa World (published today) and asked a simple question:  "Would he be important enough to trade for his life if he were your son?"

All of us (including the Sand Springs lady) who have lost children know the correct answer.

Take This Job and .............

Three years ago I embarked on a Grand Adventure.  After being self employed for 19 years, the idea of not being concerned with making payroll every two weeks and putting up with the IRS sounded very appealing. I went to work for an established architectural firm and threw myself into it.  The man that owned the company was a micro-manager type and for 24 months everything was fine.  I even brought many of my clients with me on this journey. However, I have been there 37 months and 24 days. The last 13 months and 24 days have been hard on me and harder on my clients. The question:  "Why don't you quit your crappy job?" first came from my clients. 


I suddenly occurred to me:  "Maybe I shouldn't work for someone who doesn't care about the clients, worships the ground he walks on, and operates is business like the "soup Nazi on a good day".

I better stop before I get negative.

I quit.

Saturday, June 7, 2014


I thought Edge of Tomorrow was about the best movie I had seen this summer and one day later we saw "Chef".

Caution:  If you get to see CHEF eat before you go.

Chef is the story of an L.A. chef who runs a restaurant for the owner (Dustin Hoffman) and thinks he controls the menu.  A famous food critic is visiting and the owner requires him to cook the same menu and don't  try anything new.  Result is bad review, a major Twitter Melt-down, viral videos and the Chef quits.

Then the story unfolds:  The movie is about a guy passionate about his work and his pursuit of freedom to preform his best.  It is gloriously fun with an unbelievable cast. AND it is about FOOD TRUCKS.

The cast includes Jon Favreau (chef), Sofia Vergara (ex-wife), John Leguizamo (cook), Dustin Hoffman, Oliver Platt (critic), Scarlett Johansson (hostess), Amy Sedaris, and Robert Downey Jr. (ex-wife's ex-husband) and the chef's son played by Emjay Anthony (the glue of the story).

The movie is R for many F-bombs, but the movie is too good to let them get in the way.  It is a thrill ride cross country to Miami, New Orleans and Austin.

Easily my favorite movie this year to date.  2014 Movie 21.


Edge of Tomorrow

I had a great birthday this year and it was capped off by seeing Tom cruise and Emily Blunt in "Edge of Tomorrow".  I have grown very weary of Superhero movies and Godzilla type movies that take the same super hero invention from Superman and pits him or her against the super villain while destroying cities and killing thousands along the way.  Then along comes the Edge movie, a sci-fi story of an earth invasion by aliens and  a huge battle by the earth's arm forces for survival. sound hollywood enough, right.  Except the two main characters, Tom Cruise (an Army information officer who does PR and has never seen combat) and Emily Blunt (the face of the US Army at its best).

The military is planning an invasion of France in a very D-Day revival nod.  Tom is forced into battle totally unprepared and meets Emily on the Battlefield.  Sounds normal.   The deal is that something (see the movie) happens and Tom's character gets killed and instantly he is back to the preceding day.
This "Ground Hog Day" element happens over and over and over making him smarter and more trained each time.  it happens to both.  This is filled with both humor and action as we grow with them.  The violence is comic book type but the acting and the story is a treat.

I simply thought it was great and will see it again.

I give it ****stars out of five. It's why I go to the movies.

2014 movie# 20.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014


Some of the best drama is no longer at the movies.  With Hollywood formulas of super heroes, horror movies, R-rated gross out comedies and sequels, the best dramas and comedies are on cabled TV and places like NETFLIX.   My line up consists of Justified (season just completed), House of Cards (ditto),  Breaking Bad, Suits, Arrow, Hell on Wheels,  and more recently FARGO.

Fargo is the tv version of the Cohen Brother's classic movie starring Billy Bob Thornton, Colin Hanks and a superb class of actors.  The writing is razor sharp and the hour flies by.  It is the same dark comedy drama that the Cohen Brothers mastered and its TONIGHT! (Tuesday)