Tag Archives: movies

Concealed Thoughts

  • Thick as Thieves is a horrible movie.  Don’t waste your money, and even more so don’t waste your time.  I thought with Antonio Banderas and Morgan Freeman, I thought for sure it would be a winner.  Stinker.
  • I reapplied for my concealed weapons permit in mid November.  The wait time is supposed to be at most 90 days.  It’s still not here.
  • The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services runs the Division of Licensing here in Florida.  Apparently there is a backlog in licensing for security, firearms, concealed weapons, and others.
  • When I called a couple weeks ago, they explained that my license application has not even made it through data entry and is currently sitting in a pile of other applications on someone’s desk.
  • That’s funny, they cashed my check (over $100) before they even entered my application in the computer.
  • My pal OB just received his license in the mail and he applied in November as well.  Maybe mine will be here soon.
  • I am rapidly becoming a big fan of the Kel Tec product line.  They produce very unique and affordable firearms.  The two I have my eye set on are the PLR16 and the PF-9.
  • The PF-9 is a super compact ultra thin single stacked 9 mm, 7+1 capacity.  The retail price is $333 for the blue or as much as $390 for the parkerized.  I haven’t shot one, but I have a co worker who owns one and I saw him fire it.  I held one yesterday which I found for $250 used.  I think I may be able to find one just a little more than that new.
  • The PLR16 is a 223 handgun.  It’s the same caliber as the AR-15 that I carry at work, however it has no stock and a very short barrel.  This one starts just under $500, but if you own one you can easily get $1000 for it.  They are next to impossible to find new right now and there is at minimum a 2 month waiting list for them.
  • My Glock 19 is going to be a little uncomfortable to conceal because it’s so thick.  The advantage is the 15 rounds plus one in the chamber that it carries.  And it’s extremely durable, good for the range, and fun to shoot.
  • Dinner last night was pretty good.  I enjoyed a beef and potato stew with flour tortillas and cilantro.  It cost about $2.50 a plate, and that included peach iced tea.
  • It’s amazing how easy making beef and potato stew is.  Brown 3 pounds of cubed beef and a couple of small onions.  Add water and cubed potatoes and two packs of taco seasoning packs.  Turn down to medium low, cover, and stew for an hour stirring occasionally, add more water if you need.  When it thickens, the stew is so good.  Serve with warm tortillas and peach iced tea! 🙂  Sort of a mix between store bought and homemade.
  • I have twice as much left over as Marcela and I had to eat, and we shared some with mom and dad.
  • I’m still waiting for information on the operations job for FPL.  I have some information, but I don’t know if I will or will not get the offer.  As far as I know, I have done what I can do (other than follow up which I am on top of) and now I have to wait.
  • Tomorrow, I will get my paws on The Saturn Project album, Anthems for a Broken World.  The music is great and I want to play it straight through.

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Saturday Top 5: Christmas Activities

For me, Christmas is a time to reflect on the previous year, to be with family, and to think about other people. It really is the most wonderful time of the year to me. I know that for many of you, it is the toughest time of the year because of hurt and loss. Just remember that the true meaning of Christmas is Jesus. He took on a robe of flesh and lived a life filled with temptations, rejection, and physical pain that we could live. These are the top 5 activities at Christmas time.

Honorable Mention
Listening to Music – Regardless of what you may think based on previous posts about bad Christmas songs, I enjoy Christmas music. I like everything from old tunes by Bing Crosby and Nat King Cole to soft Celtic Christmas to rockin Mannheim Steamroller and Trans Siberian Orchestra. I even like country Christmas songs.

#5. Christmas Dinner – We usually do a Thanksgiving redux at Christmas, but sometimes we have something different. The best part of Christmas dinner is just being with family at the table. My mom’s cornbread stuffing is pretty dern good too!

#4. Light Seeing – One of the Christmas traditions is to drive and look at Christmas lights. The Johnson family has several favorite spots that we have been visiting for years. We always take a thermos with spiced apple cider, hot chocolate, or some other tasty hot beverage. Unfortunately, getting cold weather at Christmas is like playing a slot machine. You pull the handle and just settle for whatever you get.

#3. Christmas Movies and TV Specials – 3 or 4 times a week for the past several weeks, Marcela and I will sit down to watch a Christmas movie. I don’t really prefer one style over another. I like the serious tear-jerkers, the silly love stories, the family specials, clay-mation or cartoon, and the goofy comedy Christmas movies. They’re all great!

#2. Christmas Plays – Dramatic Christmas presentations, Cantatas, and living Christmas tree type presentations are great fun. The plays by the kids are great as are the more professionally arranged church plays. A really well done Christmas play has a way of transporting you in mind to the birthplace and time of Jesus to view the representations of his humble birth, Mary’s obedience and faithfulness, and Joseph’s loyalty. I really love the nativity scenes best.

#1. Giving – I really do love to make Christmas a time to give both in service to others and in gift giving. It’s so neat to see the look on someone’s face when they receive something that they were not expecting.

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Yule Thoughts

  • Another Christmas movie is under the belt; this time it was Christmas Vacation.
  • So far we have seen Santa Claus is Coming to Town, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, Home Alone, Elf, The Christmas Shoes, and Christmas Story.
  • On our list of “to see” we have Scrooged, Scrooge (A Christmas Carol), It’s a Wonderful Life, and Miracle on 34th Street.
  • I like sappy family Christmas movies, clay-mation and cartoon Christmas movies, and I like goofy Christmas comedies.  I can’t really say that one is more preferred over the other.  It depends on my mood.
  • I have a couple of things I need to pick up today or tomorrow for Christmas gifts, but thanks to my wife I don’t really have much to do.
  • Marcela has purchased and wrapped nearly everyone’s gift already.
  • We do not yet have a full sized Christmas tree.  We have a couple small ones, but not the big one.  I am not sure if we are going to at all.
  • I am still enjoying Christmas music around the clock.  I don’t have the Pandora thing going yet, but I do have my Mannheim Steamroller, Trans Siberian Orchestra, and various other Christmas favorites of mine playing all the time.  I also have a radio set to 93.9 for 24/7 Christmas tunes.
  • I also plan on making our annual trip to the Clot family Christmas house in Pinecrest.  We usually grab some spiced apple cider and walk around looking at the Christmas displays that this kind family puts up every year for the community to enjoy.
  • We have been going to visit the Clot house for so many years that I cannot even remember how long it has been.  Sometime in the very early 90’s if I am not mistaken.
  • Global warming is really kicking up some winter storms, record lows, and snow storms across the US.  One bonehead was quoted as saying that the rapid cooling shows just how much global warming is accelerating.  Huh?
  • I guess my next thoughts will be on Christmas day.  So until then, Merry Christmas!

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Wednesday Quotable

Todays quote is from the movie “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”. When the Griswolds finally locate that perfect tree, in reflecting over the moment with his frozen crew, Clark makes this classic speech.

The most enjoying traditions of the season are best enjoyed in the warm embrace of kith and kin. Thith tree is a thymbol of the thpirit of the Griswold family Chrithmath.

-Clark W. Griswold

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Fair Thoughts

  • As of last Friday, it is Christmas season.  I always consider the Christmas season starting as soon as Thanksgiving day is over.
  • Marcela has already packaged and wrapped presents and put up a couple Christmas trees.  Max even had a Santa hat on last night.  He didn’t like it very much.
  • I finished the last of the leftover Thanksgiving turkey today.  I made turkey salad and in the words of cousin Eddy, “it was gooo-ooood.”
  • We watched Rudolph the Red-Nosed Raindeer clay-mation show two nights ago.  We plan on watching Santa Claus is Coming to Town this weekend.  Those are two of my favorite Christmas specials.
  • My all time favorite Christmas movies are:
  1. It’s a Wonderful Life
  2. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
  3. A Christmas Story (what kid wouldn’t want a Red Rider BB Gun?)
  4. Home Alone
  • Sean Avery of the NHL’s Dallas Stars was suspended indefinitely for calling his ex-girlfriend Elisha Cuthbert of 24 his “sloppy seconds” because she is now dating another NHL player.  Many people are crying “FREE SPEECH VIOLATION!”  For those who are constitutionally challenged, this is no 1st Amendment violation.
  • While I do not agree with a harsh suspension due to the lack of even-handedness across the NHL to players who have said much worse, it is the discretion of the NHL to determine what language reflects poorly on them concerning his player conduct clause in his $15.5 million 4-year contract.  The Standard Player Contract he signed specifically states that his conduct reflects on the NHL on and off the rink and “must be held to the highest standard of honesty, morality, fair play, and sportsmanship, and to refrain from conduct detrimental to the best interest of the Club, the League or professional hockey.”
  • My disagreement is not that the NHL does not have the right to do such, but that they are coming down hard on this idiot for insulting his Ex while they have done little more than a slap on the wrist for some players who have made racist comments, physically attacked players on the ice unprovoked, and have committed felonies off the rink.  The NHL got this one wrong, but so did Avery.  Maybe he will learn to keep his mouth shut.
  • I got my Curve in the mail yesterday.  It is set up and running smoothly.  My old BlackBerry has been spotty, signal was degrading, camera stopped working, and battery was fading.  I had about 5 days left on my Warranty when I called to see about a new phone.  That saved me hundreds of dollars.
  • Originally, I had the charcoal colored Curve, and they sent me the red Curve in the mail.  I like the red one better!
  • Our fantasy football league is winding down with one more regular season game followed by the two game playoffs.  Right now, Mark Similey and I are the only two who have wrapped up our playoff spot.  Ritz, after starting 6-1 has lost 4 of his last 5 and really needs to win his last game to make the playoffs.  Jesse who also started 6-1 has lost 4 of his last 5 and needs to win this week to ensure that he makes the playoffs.
  • This has been a super competitive league.  3 teams are stilly vying for 2 playoff spots in the final week.  No teams had clinched until the second to last week of the season.  I have never seen a league with so much parity.  I have also only been in a league one other time with Trav when he did not make the playoffs.  That was the year that the commish cheated and we both set the earth on fire before being kicked out of the league.
  • Marcela and I purchased bicycles on Black Friday.  I got a cool little mountain bike for all the mountains here in FL, and Marcela got a multi-speed hybrid.
  • I have to go, Max just did something bad!

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Friday Bottom 3: Actors

These are the three worst mainstream male movie and TV stars of the last 20 years, according to me.

Dis-Honorable Mention:
David Hasselhoff – He needed Kit’s help to learn how to act.

#3. Jean-Claude Van Damme – He was a good actor in slow motion only.

#2. Steven Seagal – Another martial arts expert trying to act. Don’t get me wrong; I do like some of his movies. But his skills as an actor are nowhere close to his chops, karate chops that is.

#1. Ben Affleck – Watch the movie Pearl Harbor or Dare Devil and then try to argue with me that he was anything but horrible as an actor. How did this guy make it so big?

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Speculative Thoughts

-I had a tough time sleeping last night. Every time I started drifting off to sleep, I woke up immediately as if I was startled. After about 4 times falling asleep and suddenly waking, and about 1 hour gone, I finally fell asleep and stayed asleep.

-Today is Marcela’s birthday. Happy birthday to Marcela!

-The election is only 1 month away and we have our first reports of voter fraud. Senator Obama’s jewel ACORN, which has numerous convictions in the past for fraud and vote buying, has been reportedly involved with taking homeless from one location to another registering them to vote and having them vote that same day. BTW, early voting has already begun in Ohio.

-A new federal law (HAVA – Help America Vote Act) allows same day voter registration/voting. That is a recipe for fraud. According to the law, a picture ID is not necessary to vote, and your name does not have to appear on the roster to vote. If you claim to be a legal voter, the law requires that location to issue you a provisional ballot which may or may not be counted based on an investigation 7 days after the polling location closes. That is another ingredient in the vote fraud recipe.

-The Hurricanes face the Seminoles this weekend at Dolphin Stadium. I have been a skeptic and pessimist generally with regard to the Hurricanes. But in this case, I believe the Canes will win. We definitely have more talent, but they have the experience and maturity on their side. Look for a highly motivated and energetic Hurricane team. The question remains whether Miami can finish the game. We have been notorious for starting hot and going lax in the second half. In the last 3 games, we have scored 7 total points in the 4th quarter. That’s not good!

-Tonight’s debate is widely anticipated. Unfortunately, the odds are stacked against the governor of Alaska. Gwen Ifill who has a book which features Barack Obama scheduled for release on inauguration day will be moderating the debate. That means she has a financial stake in Obama winning the election. That is a conflict of interest. She did not disclose that prior to her being selected and agreed on by both candidates. She should do the honorable thing and recuse herself.

-Last night, Marcela and I enjoyed watching “The Lion King“. I am not completely sure what it is, but that’s one of my favorite movies. The first 5 minutes are top quality with “The Circle of Life” and the introduction of Simba. It was the first time I saw it with my Bravia home theater system. Incredible.

-I am itching to go see “Apaloosa“. I’m sure it’s a lot of hype, but they are really pushing this western as being similar to one of my favorite movies, “Unforgiven”. We will see if it lives up to that hype.

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Friday Bottom 3: The Movie Sequel

Don’t you love my Top 5 and Bottom 3 lists having to do with movies? It’s like a sequel. You know it’s going to stink, but you have to go see it anyway. These are the worst sequels/prequels ever made. In order for a movie to qualify for my list, the original at least had to be entertaining. There will be some discussion about a movie or two that should have been included in the list, but I don’t believe anyone will argue that these should have been left off because of their quality. In fact, if you disagree with these selections, you are wrong and should face a civil penalty.

Dishonorable Mention

Next Karate Kid – Truly only the first movie in this series was good. Wax this one off, please.

Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd – Some may disagree that the original was good. Personally, I believe the original Dumb and Dumber to be a quality film which touches on everyone’s inner desire and ambition to succeed, and stirs an emotion not easily described. Well, it could also be the hilarious ex-lax and toilet scene that makes the original great, so I could be wrong. But, the lack of talent and thought in writing part two left you with just a silly mash up of horrible jokes and stupid humor.

Jaws: The Revenge – This one was so close to making the bottom three. It’s saving grace was that the Jaws 3-D sequel before was almost as bad, so this one could hardly be much worse. Both were plain awful, but this one was as big a stinker as Mount Trashmore.

Drum roll please….

#3 Rocky V – I am very grateful that Sylvester Stallone redeemed himself in the last installment. In Rocky V, they tried to do something different. Rocky was not fighting for money this time. He was retired, and he had developed a talented fighter. His protege (sorry I couldn’t find the accents) turns against him, and a caricatured Don King waving a flag and saying “Only In America” watches in the background as grandpa Rocky kicks some Tommy Morrison tail! It’s really much better to picture it in your head than to watch it on a movie screen.

#2 Speed 2: Cruise Control – I liked the first Speed flick. It was fun, fast-paced, with some action, and a nasty villain. The second was just an attempt to capitalize off the success of the first. The acting and storyline were so laughable! Did Sandra Bullock’s career ever fully recover?

#1 Batman and Robin – Holy Stinker, Batman! There has to be a purpose in a movie with good material like the Batman and Robin comic heroes turning out to be more like a Broadway show. Someone was trying to bankrupt Warner Bros. Pictures. The villains were not scary, the good guys were not likable, and the plot seemed like it had been written by a 13 year old. That is a bad combination for a movie with a budget the size of most countries’ GDP. I think they spent all their money on the almost A-list cast and uniforms and forgot to pay for a story, special effects, or sets. Arnold Schwarzenegger, George Clooney, Uma Thurman, Chris O’Donnell, Alicia Silverstone (who was actually a big name at the time), Vivica Fox, and Elle McPherson were all cast in this joke without the Joker. This may be the worst movie ever made, unless you are a pothead in which case you may have actually enjoyed it.

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Saturday Top 5: Movie Remakes

The Bottom 3 from yesterday featured the worst remade movies. Today, I will be looking at my 5 favorite remade movies.

Honorable Mention:

Shaft 2000 – I can’t say that when it comes to “Blacksploitation”, I am a purist. Shaft took a pretty good action film from 1971 with some great music and modernized it a bit. But, it was a good thing they left the music in it! It was definitely worth the time and effort needed to make a movie.

#5. Dawn of the Dead 2004 – I enjoy a good zombie flick occasionally. This movie took a classic horror film from 1978, modernized it a bit, and brought a little life and action. Either version is watchable, but in this case, the remake is actually a better film and stands on its own.

#4. The Man Who Knew too Much 1956 – In 1934 Alfred Hitchcock directed “The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934)”. Though it was not a bad film, it suffered from budget issues, writing, and a lack of talent on the acting side. In 1956, Al got a second chance at this movie and turned it from a good movie (1934) to a classic gem. The biggest differences were Hitchcock’s experience and expanded knowledge base, but most importantly, the talent. Doris Day and James Stewart brought this movie and the story to life. The 1956 version is still very watchable.

#3. The Wizard of Oz 1939 – This classic movie was remade from the 1925 version which had some plot differences and was actually a remake from a 1910 encarnation which was a silent film version of a stage musical from 1902. Of course, nobody really knows much about the silent film, but at the time it was apparently pretty big. The classic we all know was very expensive to film, the largest budget of its time. It was huge. To this day, it is watchable. But, there is something about it. When you watch it, it comes across as a little dark and mysterious.

#2 King Kong 2005 – This remake, I believe, was actually needed. The sound and visual CGI effects have advanced to the point where it’s actually difficult to tell the difference between what is real and what is computer generated. Ignoring the 76 remake which make the bottom 3, this movie improved on the original in bringing Kong to a more personable and almost human quality. You actually start to like this creature. Also, the added comedic elements were enjoyable. The action scenes, for the most part, were well thought out and thrilling. As for the dramatic points, you definitely had time to get to know the characters including the heroine and the villain, so the movie was more than a visual experience.

#1. The Dark Knight (Batman) – This total reworking of the Batman movie from 1989 starring Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson was excellent. It had a couple snags, but overall it accomplished what it set out to accomplish. The movie was dark, the acting was superb and it transformed the characters from cartoonish to gritty and human. It had some very heavy moments that were not in the 1989 film, and the Joker was cast in a more evil, cold-hearted, and murderous role than the 1989 version. Of course, the Joker stole the show this time around. The effects and action far surpassed the movie from less than 20 years ago. Also, due to Batman Begins, and the amount of time spent on character development, you really came to know all the characters involved. As an action movie, it was almost perfect. As a comic hero movie, it WAS perfect. As a remake, it took a good movie and made it great.

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Thought bearing lobster

  • I woke up this morning at 5:50 AM on my day off: the phone was ringing. My work was calling to find out if I wanted to come in to work. Not today!
  • I was expecting the call to be from Dave to make sure I was up and ready to go for a day of lobstering. Dave called at 6:30 AM to let me know he was heading out of the plant.
  • I was glad that Dave would take the time to go out there with me, since Trav ditched me to visit the family in Louisiana. 🙂
  • We loaded up the car, grabbed a couple of Jolt Ultra’s and a cooler of ice, and headed to Card Sound road.
  • We had a great time, but after about 2 1/2 hours in the water, we caught only 1 lobster (short) and found about 5 large lobster carcasses. We did see one stone crab, quite a few large snook, some mangrove and schoolmaster snapper, a couple shark, and even some drum. No keeper lobster though.
  • A couple of guys in a nice Angler 204 with fishing rods came over to see how we were doing, and they ID’d themselves as FWC. I guess they were undercover. They couldn’t believe we were not from a boat, considering that we were quite a way from the bridge. After they saw that we had our flag, our gages, and we were in the legal side, they wished us good luck and went on their way.
  • Dave is a maniac, the guy was climbing up in the mangrove roots. I kept getting tangled in the dive flag line and my legs got a little itchy from what I think were jellyfish. I will go back in a few days to do some snapper fishing and try again for some lobster (August 6 is the regular season opener).
  • Due to my wheeling and dealing at work, I now have to work 4 straight to make up for my miniseason time off.
  • Tonight, Dave and his family are coming over for some chicken and burgers on the Q. I think we will play the Wii too.
  • I spent some good times this week watching movies and going to the mall with Marcela. I still didn’t get to see Hancock yet. Maybe Tuesday.
  • The blogroll/links section of the blog have been updated. Also, I have created a “Top 5” page to make it easier to find all of my Top 5 lists.
  • Tomorrow, I will unveil a new weekly feature.  It will be a fun one.
  • On a different note, the economy grew at 1.9% in the last quarter, oil prices are dropping faster than ever in history, and faster than they grew. But if you watch the news, you would swear we are in a recession.
  • The violence against our troops is at an all time low in Iraq, but you hear absolutely nothing positive in the news. Apparently the mainstream news outlets do not report good things, especially if they reflect positively on Bush administration or the Republican party.

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