Monday, July 28, 2014

Murrow Activity Building

Retire or Re-tire

I have a 2001 Lexus IS300. It has travelled 280,000 miles in its 13+ years. It is currently in the shop since it overheated. It is getting a new radiator, timing belt and having it "head" worked on.  I will get it back before the weekend - ready for new adventures. Some would say that its time for a new car.  A new car would be fun, but I submit that "dislex" (the tag) is probably as good a car as many new ones on the road.  It has held up well against new car styling because Lexus was way ahead of everyone in 2001.  I will get another car. but not yet. And when I do "dislex" we stay in the family.

 After all my 1991 Maxima (m-m-max) is now serving my Mother after 400,000 miles. I bought it new and everyone in the family had a turn.  The transmission lasted 250,000 miles and the first engine 325,000 miles. As it is now it will still run off and hide from most cars on the road, but my Mother sees little need for speed at 93.

I say all this because I have just started a new business.  Someone asked me Sunday about the article in the paper about my new firm and said, "I thought you would retire!"  From what?

From Life?  From something I love?

I have seen some of the new styles (young architects) and they can't keep up!

I know some of my clients may wonder if they need a new one, so it is my aim to show them that miles is not the issue.  Drive is the issue.

Frank Lloyd Wright designed the Robie House when he was 37.

He designed Fallingwater at 68 (considered by architects as America's best design)

and Bartleville's Price Tower at 90!

I am Frank but "I have miles to go before I sleep".

Sunday, July 27, 2014


This year I have started taking the Grandkids out for a day outing: one at a time.  They pick the event.
So far Avery is a movie guy. Addison is the active guy- Go Karts today.  Asher is next and then Kinley if I can figure out how: Fort Worth is different than nearby Tulsa.  During lunch I get them to talk about their world.

Today Addison was telling me about the new football season with practice starting soon and the beginning of school.  He started telling me about his little brother, Asher, starting kindergarten and how big a change will be for him. He said that he explained to Asher that school would be easy and that he would be in the same building.  Addison then said: "Last year Mom gave Asher a hug before class. This year I can do that.  He also has lunch same time as me. We can't  eat together but if he needs a hug at lunch, I will be there."

Great parenting and a great kid.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

A Most Wanted Man, But not by me!

Sounds cruel but I may know why Phillip Seymour Hoffman died.  This was his last movie and well....

"A Most Wanted Man" is based on a novel by John le Carre, the spy thriller writer.  This is another spy story though I was not thrilled.  While the acting was superb, the pace was slow- cruelly slow.
I sometimes talk about how movies for older adults have better dialogue and don't depend on action, sex and chases. Well in this movie watching Hoffman smoke one cigarette after another was the action.  It started good, then bogged down and then had an ending that made me say, "Well Crap!"

I was not proud of his last starring role either.

I give it *1'2 stars.  The critics love this film for some noble reason.

2014 Movie #31


Went to see "Lucy", the new sci-fi movie from Scarlett Johansson and Morgan Freeman.  It is just as the previews show. Escape from the heat movie.  The movie is of course far fetched but when Morgan Freeman explains it- well it must be true.  As silly as the story line becomes, it will hold your attention.  The photography in this movie is fantastic. Although a word of caution:  If you hate the idea of evolution (in any form), you need to avoid this. 

I used only 40% of my brain watching this.

I give it **stars for the movie and *** for the film work.

2014 movie # 30

Friday, July 18, 2014

Historical Movies with long titles

I saw two movies in the last two days.  The first was for much needed movie therapy: dark room with popcorn.  It was "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" or for a quick overview think  "Ape Empire Strikes Back".  Shorter title.  The poster shown shows the Golden Gate Bridge with a giant gap in it.  Not sure why it wasn't like that in the movie. I, though, happen the like Monkeys that ride horses and shoot.  It demonstrates yet again why gun control is so dangerous.  Fun movie.  The apes seem more human than the human actors and have more emotion as well.

I give it **stars. Good Popcorn Movie. The next sequel though may be "unbelievable" though.

The second movie was a treat for the Grandsons: "How to train your Dragon 2" though it should have been "How to Train Your Dragon Too" meaning more of the same.  Spoiler Alert (about to reveal plot).  In true Children's Movie fashion this movie kills off the Dad so that it ranks with Lion King, Bambi, etc.  It did have a Viking Funeral in it so there's that. 

No I would not have gone to this but the boys give it ****stars.

2014 movies 28 & 29.

There is a rule that you must see ALL movies where Apes ride horses and Vikings fly with Dragons.

Gotta Do it.

The History part is the explanation of what went wrong with San Francisco and then answers the question: What happened to Dragons?  answer: Vikings flew them into things.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Begin Again, my worlds collide

Movies about new beginnings are fitting for me at present, but the movie we saw Friday Night was freaky good (no great).  "Begin Again" is a great movie about Music.  Its cast includes: Mark Ruffalo as Dan a washed up music producer who has life crashing around him after loosing his job at the record label he created; Keira Knightley as the songwriter who has been dumped by her boyfriend and fellow writer (Adam Levine), and a great supporting cast including Celo Green.  Great writing, great music, brilliant directing.  I had to drive 40 miles to see it, but that was a good decision for me and for you if you like good stories and good music.

One for the best this year:  It gets *****stars from me.  It is as good as I have seen in a few years that is not based on history, etc.

2014 movie 27

 "Your only as strong as your next move."

You can lead 'em to Sunday School but you can't make 'em think

A dialogue:

"I wrote these people off 50 years ago."

Me: "What people?"

"These Rescue Mission people."


"50 years ago I called down here and told them that I had 40 rabbits that I had killed. I told them that if they had someone to skin them, I would let them have them.  They said that no one here could do that. Can you believe that?"

"Well there is the health code to consider. There are several reasons possible."

"Not 50 years ago!  People would eat things with dirt in it 50 years ago."

"You are talking about the late 60s or early 70s. There were health code rules then too."

"No, these people were just too lazy to work. A person couldn't even give them things without preparing it for them. I even called once and offered a mesh of fish to them if they would clean the fish. They said no to that too.  I wrote them off."

I leave before I say something really bad.

Snowpiercer- a movie

In this summer of movies telling you that vehicles are really aliens here to take over, or the time when  apes take over, or Zombies, or giant lizards and what not, occasionally a movie of the sic-fi genre gets made with actual human interaction and thought provoking dialogue.  Consider "Snowpiercer"  a movie that you won't see about events in our not to distant future.  The plot- Global Warming is real and gets worse. The earth scientist come up with a chemical treatment to put in the atmosphere to control things.  Instead of helping it causes conditions to become unlivable in that the planet cools and everything and everyone freezes.  Instead of an escape rocket, a train with a perpetual engine is created and parts of everything good is on board and it circles the earth until things can be solved or get better.  
That is the start of the movie.  And like most survival stories from Lord of the Flies to now.  There are haves and have nots, people in control  versus people who want control.  It is a multi-layered story with an international cast. It is R for language and violence.
I give  it ***1/2 stars. 2014 movie 26

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Test Driving a Baptistry

I have designed several baptistries over the years in the churches that I work for.  I have only got to "test drive" two of them.  They happen to be the two that were developed after much thought, study and reflection.  The First was the Garnett Church of Christ baptistry (soon to be demolished).  It was my attempt to make baptisms last longer and be more meaningful.  From the point of entry into the water one had to walk about 25 feet in the water to the baptismal pool.  The auditorium was in the round so this was a major focal point.  Many great things came from that idea.  The greatest though was the day I baptized my son, Nate.  It all fades away when one of your own is baptized.  I remember it well.  It was not during a service.  We went just as a family with a few friends.

The Second was the baptistry at the Jenks Church.  It is in the large lobby/concourse of the building and the pool is under the church's tower.  The idea behind the location and design was to not hide one of the most important symbols of christianity behind a curtain and make it the central idea.  We come into communion and into a worship relationship with Christ through Baptism.  Also Baptism is no longer primarily a place in normal worship as in the past.  But all fails when I got the opportunity to Baptize my oldest grandson, Avery.  The family gathered around and we went down into the water.
It is a high point of my life to know that another generation is embracing Jesus and letting the Spirit come as a comforter.

As much as I hated that Nate did not baptize Avery, I loved the opportunity.  Thanks Nate and Avery.

Baptistries are  just pools of water without the presence of GOD.   He was glorified yesterday.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

The Wrecking Crew

Our town was very fortunate this week to see a screening of the documentary, "The Wrecking Crew".
This is the name of the group of session musicians that played on virtually ALL top records and albums made in California. Some of the group of twenty included Hal Blaine, Tommy Tedesco, Glen Campbell, Billy Strange, Leon Russell, and  others.

Whether you listened to Frank Sinatra, the Monkees, Mamas and Papas or the Beach Boys, all the music was made by these guys.  It is wild to know that the Beach Boys never played on their albums (only sang).  I never could figure out my brush with this idea. In the late 60's about the time Glen Campbell had his first hit "Gentle on My Mind", he toured with the Beach Boys replacing Dennis Wilson. We saw them at their Tulsa stop.  What was a folk singer doing in the band?  Well he was the guitar player on all their albums.  He knew the songs better than them.

This was a great story of the "behind the scenes" stars of the music.

It will be on Net Flicks at some point. See it.

2014 Movie 25  I give it *****stars.

July 4

July 4


For the record we did go to Broken Arrow to see Tammy.  I needed a "40 mile rule" for this because I did not know what to expect.  I was surprised in a good way.  The critics tore this movie up, but it is Melissa McCarthy being what her fans like: a walking disaster zone.  She is channeling Chris Farley or John Candy though and we know how they ended.   The Bad: profanity (it is "R"). The Good: It is a good summer popcorn movie with many sight gags.  She will simply do things that most people won't. Outrageous in a simple, clueless way.

It was a good choice for us. And it also takes place on July 4th.
2014 Movie 24  I give it ***stars

Techno guy

I bought a new large format printer for the business and instantly entered the wireless age in another way.  I can now print from the iPhone, iPad, or computer "slicker than snot" as we used to say in Haskell. The joys of the new world.