Thursday, March 22, 2007

Comm Out

36 jumps in the last five days. Jumped into a Brewers/Padres game yesterday. Rain today, so temporarily online at a Barnes & Noble. Haven't even had phone service at the skydiving camp this year. Cell phones; that's it. So, I'll pick up the blog again in a couple of weeks. Best to all. Doc

Monday, March 12, 2007

Pretty much NO blogging ahead

I'm off to go skydiving. Two solid weeks falling out of "perfectly good" airplanes in the Arizona desert. It's a Spring Break ritual. Dawn to dusk. Five to ten skydives a day, depending on what, exactly, I'm doing. Tandems, video, 4-way training for rookies, you name it. I'll barely be able to walk after the first couple of days, and I'll be in absolute bliss. Even if I do need help tieing my own shoelaces.

Among the jumps will be one into a spring training game in Phoenix and another into Earth Day at the race track in Phoenix. I should be as proficient as I get when I jump into the Preakness in Baltimore in May and a Memorial Day celebration in Oregon. It's been a long winter!!

But any internet access in Arizona will be dial-up. Don't look for me to be posting much.

I'll pick up again in April. I wish you all . . . all three or four of you :-) a wonderful spring break! I'll be racking up the numbers on my way to shedding my "triple-digit-midget" moniker. 733 and counting.

Blue skies,



We saw it Sunday. I tried to post the following review to Fandango, only to be told that I had to keep my review to 1000 characters or less. No character count mind you, so I have no idea how much too long it is. My answer: Screw you Fandango, I'll post it elsewhere:

"Ooh. That was nice."

The quote is from my 15-yr-old, who wanted to know, more or less seriously, "Where did they find that many ripped men in one place."

As a guy, I loved it as a guy movie. But my friend, listening to my daughter made the astute observation, "You know, really it is sort of a chick flick too." I had to agree.

And that's a surprise, since taking my 15-yr-old was a little of a risk in the first place. I tried to explain to her, "This should give you some idea of what testosterone is really all about." "What?" "Never mind. Consider this a warning for what really makes men tick."

She loved it. Never mind that we're all about battle and one-up-manship. I could hear her ooh! every time the Spartans charged the camera. And I have to admit . . . running and tensing your abs at the same time is not the easiest thing in the world.

I loved it though. From a guy's standpoint: keep "Wild Hogs." That's good fare for the Will Farrell crowd. Give me blood and glory any day. Okay, that 's in Wild Hogs too, but I like mine without the silliness.

Go see it. You won't regret it. Unless you think Idiocracy was a better movie than Gladiator. Then, we need to talk.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Red Square

17.5 seconds was my best in five tries. Now I'm going to bed.

Hat tip: JPL

More like tame Guinea Pigs

This is one of those movies that looks as if it was more fun to make than it is to watch. Travolta, Macy, Lawrence and Allen get to show off their motorcycle-riding skills, and those of their stuntmen. They bop around New Mexico on their Harleys — in leathers, often without helmets — and goof around. And Disney paid them for it.

I'm going to try to keep this short. If I obey my mother's maxim, it won't be that hard.

When I read the review above, of which I've quoted only a paragraph, I wasn't the least deterred from seeing the film. I'd been looking forward to it for months. I'd pointed out the poster to my wife, weeks ago, and said, from the poster alone, that I'd bet money John Travolta was the only one of the bunch who really rode a bike. She saw the boys later on Opra and confirmed that intuition. Heck, I'd even garnered a kitchen pass (the married guys will know what that means) to gather a group of my guy friends on opening night for a vicarious road trip followed by some serious male bonding over beer and chips.

It ended up being the night after opening night, and we should have gone straight to the bar.

Not that I didn't laugh. I laughed hard, here and there. But I wasn't expecting quite the slapstick film that I got. The best comedy I can remember from the last ten years remains America's Sweethearts. Why? Because it was side-splittingly hilarious without ever being unbelievable or silly. It was to comedy what the newest Bond was to Bond films (okay, not entirely believable, but not filled with silliness and gadgets either). How can I say this? It's the comedic difference between City Slickers and Anchorman (or any other idiotic Will Farrell film--God bless him, I'm glad my kids love him, he showed promise in Stranger than Fiction, but I could feel myself losing IQ points just watching the previews to his upcoming ice skating movie).

I realize that I'm betraying a lot about my own taste in film here, but that's the point--to allow you to get to know what I like and don't, so that you can value my opinion, or not. Things my children find hilarious now make me worry about their good sense, and they, on the other hand, think I'm losing my sense of humor. I'm not that cerebral either--I can only do Woody Allen if the seat is really comfortable and my head can find a position that precludes snoring. But no Will Farrell, please, and this film was headed in that direction. Not there, mind you, but dangerously close.

So, back to Wild Hogs. I wasn't deterred when I read that review because it sounded to me like jealousy was getting the better of Roger Moore. Who cares if they had fun making the film? If I can have nearly as much fun watching it, then I'm good to go. It's a guy thing. We're used to living vicariously through other guys--especially those of us who have been married for decades but still have die hard single pals. (Watch Rules of Engagement on Monday night for a healthy dose of what I mean. The writers recognize it, so I ought not be letting any cats out of the bag here.) But alas, Roger wasn't being jealous; he was just being honest.

So, bottom line, it's funny, hilarious in places, but it's silly too--too much so for most of us close to that age to seriously project ourselves into those leathers for the vicarious trip we were looking forward to. Which means, I suppose, we'll just have to do it ourselves. And , I'll have to give Roger Moore a little more credit from here on out.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

"Blogger" or "Journalist" or both?

I don't usually even get around to the op-eds in our paper; not unless the headline really intrigues me. This one did, newcomer to blogging that I still consider myself.

JOSH WOLF, the blogger who has spent some six months in prison for refusing to hand over a video he took of a violent July 8, 2005, protest in the Mission District of San Francisco to a federal grand jury, is not a journalist.
. . . . .
Alas, in the Special City, attacking a gay man is a hate crime, while attacking a gay cop can be a cause celebre.

Debra J. Saunders
Josh Wolf -- blogger -- has no press pass
Debra J. Saunders
Tuesday, February 27, 2007