Sunday, December 30, 2007

A plea to Ms. Rowling. Don't! You ended it well.

Pirates Ending

Kathi and I watched the third installment of The Pirates of the Caribbean last night. The only reason I sat through the whole thing was for closure.

The final (hopefully) movie in the series is subtitled At World's End. The subtitle should have been A Long Disconnected Bore. The feeling I got while watching the movie was that the creators were bored doing this series and just wanted it to be done. The first movie was good. You could feel the excitement of the creators wanting to do justice to one of the classic rides at Disneyland. The second movie gave the feeling of a sequel that was forced due to the success of its predecessor. And the third was made only to give finality to the second movie which ended in the middle of a story.

The movie was rated PG-13 and is not for kids. It starts out with the hanging of scores of people, including a child. They show the gallows and necks being put in the noose, the hangman pulling a lever, and then from below the show the legs and feet of the hanged jerk and twitch. This is definitely not for kids. Way to go Disney. They also show a lady being shot in the forehead at point blank range. Was that really necessary? The creators have to know that people are going to bring kids to see these. My kids are mad because we aren't letting them see it. They just don't realize the torture we are saving them from; both the violent scenes and the boring movie.

The story was full of assumptions and missing information for the viewer. You felt like there was something you were missing in the conversations between different characters that were plotting and aligning. They were in on something that you weren't and that you would eventually find out but don't. I am typically pretty good at following these types of plots, maybe it was the late night or the martini early on but I was lost.

It is rare for a movie series to do well into the third installment. There are exceptions like The Lord of the Rings, the original Star Wars and The Bourne series but most peter out and die. One that is still in the works that I am hoping is among the former is The Chronicles of Narnia. The second movie comes out in 2008 and I am looking forward to it.

For now my love for Pirates will stay with the first and only the first movie in the series. The second two I will wipe from my mind and forget.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Weather Outside is Frightful

I know I've written about my feelings in the past about Weather People but here's another short rant.

Yesterday at work everyone got excited about a Heavy Snow Warning in our area. They (when I say 'they' I mean the Weather people) said that we would get 3 - 6 inches on the valley floor and warned drivers to stay home unless absolutely necessary. Yikes! With a warning like that who would get up early to go to work? Me. I woke up at six in the morning a looked out the window at the rain. No Snow. Rain.

My drive to work was uneventful. I checked the forcast again and it said that the warning was still in effect but was delayed until later in the day. Later in the day it still rained. Rain. No snow. All day this went on until I drove home... in the rain.

So here is what I think... God doesn't watch sitcoms, he watches the weather channel and laughs saying "oh, is that what's going to happen... ha! ha! haa! you thing your so smart. just keep trying to figure my creation out."

The best was during my drive home the news actually tried to set aside the missed forecast by saying that sometimes the mixture of cold weather and percipitation doesn't always make for snow. Cold weather? It was 38 degrees. Not cold enough to snow.

So Weather Peeps. Get on it. God isn't going to let you guess that easy so next time go easy on the quick weather warnings and save us all some false hope of a day at home watching the snow fall while the kids giggle and scream for joy.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

What a great day to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior.

It is snowing!

I got an email from and old friend!

I don't have to work!

We are spending the day as a family and with some friends!

Kathi is a great cook!

Thank you Lord for the blessings in our life.

Merry Christmas to you and yours. May the Lord bless and keep you.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Some Nuts Are Hard To Crack

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Fat Guy and a Sub

I don't understand Subway's new ad campaign. A number of years ago they introduced us to Jared, a normal everyday fat guy who used Subway as a weight loss program. For years skinny Jared has been the face of Subway. Now we've got big fat Peter Griffin from the hit series Family Guy. I've seen Family Guy a few times. It is funny but very crass and over the top and definitely not for the family.

So we've got a fat cartoon character from a not so family friendly cartoon series promoting a family friendly healthy alternative for fast food. I just don't understand why Subway decided to go this direction. Homer Simpson promoting donuts, that I get.

Does seeing a fat guy promoting this sandwich make you want to eat one? Not me. They've even changed the kids menu to provide relatively healthy sides like yogurt and apple slices instead of chips. How do you reconcile the two? A fat guy and a "healthy" food. I am at a loss.


First let me say that I've never been a big New Year's Resolution kinda guy. I think this year might be a little different. There are some passions and/or hobbies that I've let go of over the years and I think this year I am going to rekindle those passions.

As a kid I used to draw and create, I don't do much of that anymore. People always told me that I had a natural talent and that I should pursue doing more. Most of them were my family, some of which still egg me on. So this year I am going to start drawing more. I bought a nice set of colored pencils that should help get me started. The one decision on this subject I haven't made is whether or not I will be sharing this art work. I'll let you know.

The first year after I graduated from college I learned how to shoot. Not pictures but guns. Oh boy are they fun. Don't jump up and get all "guns-kill" on my butt. I kill paper targets. Kill 'em dead. My hard and fast rule is if I can't gut, clean and section it I can't kill it. So I don't hunt. Blood and guts are not my thing. The paper targets I shoot don't have feelings, blood, or guts so I shoot away. The other nice thing is that they don't shoot back. Shooting is a challenge and harder than most people might think. So this year I am going to make a bigger effort to get to the range and practice shooting.

The other kind of shooting is another thing I'd like to do more of. Yes, the picture kind of shooting. Right now I have a small digital camera that does not lend to much creative manipulation so I may start saving for a digital SLR. In high school and college I used to do quite a bit and now really only take snapshots of the family. Like many of the hobbies I've had over the years this one isn't free. The start up for me will be about $2K to get the camera I like.

The last thing isn't really a hobby or passion but more a necessity for longevity. Exercise. Kathi and I are thinking of joining a gym again. If we do I will be giving up a little of one of my favorite things, sleep. Going to the gym will require very early mornings. Back in the day I used to get up at 5 and head down for an hours workout before work. We are waiting to see what specials the local gyms throw at us for the new year.

So this year is a new year (duh). We'll see how it goes. This past year threw a lot at us and we survived. As with all new things there is a sense of hope and promise. I just pray that I am disciplined enough to persevere.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Is It Over Yet?

Some days are better than others. Yesterday was a sucky day at work and today is adding up to be just as sucky.

One of the things I don't like about my job is that so much of my stress is caused by others not getting things done and there isn't much I can do about it. I am not a control freak by any means but there are times when I feel like it is just easier to do it all myself. All of it! The problem is I can't do it all. I just can't. As much as I'd like to it ain't gunna happen.

One of two trucks is pulling out of our lot now after sitting here for almost 24 hours. They were supposed to be loaded yesterday and on the road to Seattle to get loaded onto a ship heading to the UK. I've been fielding phone calls from everyone and their brother that has to do with the truck, ship, brokerage, customer, mother, brother, & kitchen sink. Now I'm tired. Is it Saturday yet? Oh wait. I've still got one more fire to watch. There is a good chance I'll be at work on Saturday to load a truck to Canada.

Will I ever look back and say "I miss those days of craziness"? The chance of that is about the same as the media leaving Jamie Lynn Spears alone for the next nine months.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Christmas is Near

So Christmas is near. We've been barraged by ads and displays since Halloween but the real deal is almost here.

This year I've been called a Scrooge and a Grinch and probably deserved to some degree. Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas, I just don't love all the crap that goes along with it. So to get out of a Scrinchy mood I'd like to celebrate one aspect of Christmas that I do enjoy in small doses. Music.

In celebration of Christmas I am posting my favorite Christmas related songs. Here they are in no particular order:

  • Silent Night
  • O Come Emmanuel
  • White Christmas (only Bings version)
  • Gloria in Excelsis Deo
  • Christmas in Hollis
  • That Spirit of Christmas
Go forth, listen, & enjoy.

You gotta fave?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Ka-Razy Day

Today was a crazy day. Work was filled with bad news after bad news. Things just weren't going well. Then comes noon time. Just before lunch four police officers show up. Thankfully not for me. They speak with the HR lady and then head outside. I saw them standing to the side of the door that leads to our shop and I hear the receptionist page one of the shop guys to the front office. I asked the HR lady what is going on and she says that they are here to get a guy on murder charges. What the!!! Murder??? So seeing that the cops are waiting by the door that the guy will have to come through to go to the office I run upstairs for a front row view. A few minutes go by and nothing. They are still standing there. A few more minutes go by... Then finally HR lady goes out and gets him in the shop. As soon as she and murderer (alleged) are by the door the cops swoop in and grab him. He doesn't fight them. He's cuffed and searched and read his rights and is taken away.

The story I got was that (all of this is alleged - to be politically correct) ten years ago he killed his cousin by putting a chain around his neck which was tied to some heavy blocks and tossed him in the Willamette River. He then fled to Mexico and wasn't caught until today. He was caught because he used a variation of his real name and his aunt found out he was around and turned him in. Since the statute of limitations for murder never ends they grabbed him.

So for the past few months I have been working with an alleged murderer in my midst. Just goes to show that you never know about some people. I would have never pinned this guy for a psyco-cousin-killer. He was nice and polite. I know it sounds cliché but it's true.

Friday, December 07, 2007

JSmall This Ones For You

This is one of the best bass players I have ever heard. Her name is Tal Wilkenfeld and I believe she is about 21 years young. If you don't think girls can play bass just watch these.

And with Jeff Beck @ Crossroads...