Sunday, October 30, 2005

Movie Review: Good Night And Good Luck

Once in a great while, a must see movie comes out. Rather than being just the story of Edward R. Murrow, Good Night And Good Luck is about a period and the state of the Nation when television and broadcast journalism beginning to form their roles. Edward R Murrow already known for his work as a radio reporter in World War II, is host of CBS's See It Now, a show that was the forerunner of the present day 60 Minutes. See It Now exposed many injustices during it's run, but the movie focuses on Wisconsin Senator Joe McCarthy and his quest to brand people in the name of searching out Communists. T0 me the movie is espessially relevant to the political climate today. The role of Edward R Murrow was played on target to what I have seen in footage by David Straithairn. George Clooney stars as Producer Fred Friendly. Clooney also directed this picture. I think that they should deserve consideration for Academy Awards. Posted by Picasa

Dinner at our house last September

We hosted the gang on the eave of my Dad's 76th birthday. Posted by Picasa

Where Have I been??

I have been more of a "reader" than a "writer" lately, as I have not entered much material into this forumn during the past week. I got a much needed day off yesterday as I spent a fun day with Deb with lunch andthe movie Prime.
Last night we tried out Maple Valley's newest restaurant BJz Barbeque. Maple Valley itself offers very little in sit down restaurants give or take a pizza joint and a couple of Mexican restaurants. The sign for Bjz was put up last summer but the restaurant did not open until the last couple of weeks due to extensive remodeling. After a long wait for a table (something unheard of in Maple Valley) we enjoyed a delightful if messy dinner. Hopefully, this is a sign that more retail is arriving in this fast growing area.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Apprentice: Trump Fires The Team

This was not one of the better episodes but the results were rather stunning. The Clique on Capital Edge is waiting to see who will come back from the boardroom. They want their Kristi back, but such is not the case as Jennifer walks through the door. The usual fake pleasantries and hugs occur as the scene cuts to the morning telephone call from Rhona. Both teams are pick their project managers and report to the boardroom.
Cut to the boardroom, Carolyn and Bill (sitting in for George) are there but no Donald. Carolyn is in charge in Donald's absence. She even sits in the big chair (you could feel Donald cringe all the way to Seattle on that).
The teams are about to undergo what they call a corporate restructuring, we call "screw your buddy." Both PMs picks 3 players they did not want on their team. The blonde covenant of Capital edge wants to rid itself of Marshawn, Rebecca, and Jennifer. Nothing says win like ridding your team of intelligent and serious competitors, as is the case with Marshawn and Rebecca (still on crutches and occasionally a wheel chair).
Josh is the PM for Excel--he is known for being the vocal spokesman for the team and for his rants about Marcus. He discard to the other team Clay, Adam and of course Marcus. The only surprise is that Marcus was the last pick. By the way Alla was PM for Capital Edge, the first contestant ever to speak with an accent and also recently the one who it recently was revealed that she is an ex-stripper.
This weeks project is to simply design an interactive activity for Dick's Sporting Goods that will boost their sales. Capital Edge is at immediate disadvantage since not one of the guys or girls where in to sports. None the less they had an idea that I thought was the toughest. A golf exhibition. Immediately of course, Alla and Clay have a tiff, Better listen to him Alla, he's been a winner and you have not. Excel's with it's sports enthusiasts come up with a batting cage.
The golf exhibition turns out to be a hit, with the mini-golf course for the kiddies. The batting cage is also a hit except for one thing, there was nothing to the equiptment sell. Added to this Jennifer continued to show her incompetence as she turned out to be a lousy saleperson.
Capital Edge winds up with it's first victory in weeks, and Marcus is spared the inevitable for another week. Trump is angry again as he is once again wearing his tux. He says it is the worst defeat ever for an Apprentice team and he takes the power out of Josh's hands. He excuses Rebecca and Marshawn from the boardroom and they go back to the suite safe for another week. 3 candidates had to go back to the boardroom where Trump did something you would never think he would do. He fired all 4 of them!

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Seahawks Win A Stunner

Seattle Seahawks' defense stepped up when they had to as the Hawks beat the Dallas Cowboys 13-10. This may be the best win in franchise history as the Cowboys shut down our league leading offense and contained Sean Alexander. After knotting the score in the last minute, all Seattle had to do was prevent Dallas from getting within field goal range. They did one better by intercepting a Drew Bledsoe pass and getting good field position. Josh Brown kicked the winning field goal as time ran down. Also deserving special mention on the Seahawk offense was Jehreme Urban, who was one of it's few bright spots with some clutch catches. Posted by Picasa

Book Review: JOHN by Cynthia Lennon

This John Lennon biography provides an inside look at the formation and the extreme popularity of The Beatles. It also provides an outside look, as it is clear that Cyn was not always privy to what was going on in John's life during that period.
I can see similarities of John Lennon's life to John F Kennedy and Bill Clinton. Men who wish to do great things, while making the people arount them miserable.
It was that edge that made John great and famous. By understanding his upbringing, it made many of his actions somewhat understandable. He was abandoned by his parents and that haunted him throughout his life. He was raised by his no nonsense Aunt Mimi. I think that is what attracted him ititially to Yoko Ono, who is also described in that manner. He cut off relations with his first son for many years and seemed to be in the process of healing that at the time of his death.
John and Cynthia's son Julian writes the forward for this book. Posted by Picasa

Friday, October 21, 2005

Classy Move By Local Pol

Politicians need to raise money to run. They need money almost as bad as they need votes and it has caused many to cross lines they would not normally step over. There is one that did something so selfless that it deserves special recognition.
Kathy Huckabay is Mayor of Sammamish, a newly formed city east of Redmond. Kathy is up for reelection this year and since she has identified herself as a Democrat in a swing area, her reelection prospects may be a little more difficult.
According to 5th District Democrat Bob Nelson, Kathy sent back a contribution and asked that it go to help victims of the hurricanes in the gulf coast. She says that her reelection seems trivial compared to their suffering.
In today's political world where Tom Delay smiles in his mugshot to keep it from being used in attack ads, I'm happy to know there are leaders that we can be proud of.

Apprentice: Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead

It was the moment we have all waited for Kristi was fired!! That loud obnoxious arrogant foul mouth Kristi is gone and Capital Edge can start their turnaround.
In this weeks episode the teams have a monumental task. Design a parade float to promote Sony's new motion picture Zathura. Unlike some of the other tasks, this was something that could also be promoted to the viewers as well. Capital Edge continues to lose but this week Trump allowed them to pick a candidate from the men of Excel, who have beaten them three times in a row and four of the last five challenges. They pick Randall, the smooth, even tempered member. The women wanted to bolster their team, while hurting the other.
As Excel begins it's task, it's clear that they have not solved the problem of Marcus, the candidate from outer space or whatever who just cannot seem to fit in. Maybe next week, he'll be banished to Capital Edge and Trump will get the chance to can him.
Both teams work through the night and when it is time to make the presentation it is pretty clear who the winner of the task is. Jennifer shows that while she is not one of the mean girls on Capital Edge, she is one of the more incompetent. One word to Capital Edge (or Capital Sludge as they deserve to be called) WHAT PART OF BRANDING DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND?
Excel is clearly the winner and gets a neat reward. They get to help compose a song from a contemporary artist. They love it and once again the team is drawn back together. The producer for Zathura looked familiar and I remembered he once played Monica's boyfriend on Friends a few years ago.
In the boardroom, Trump is amazingly calm considering the total incompetence of Capital Sludge. Jennifer brings Kristi and even though both should have been fired, he points the finger at Kristi, who goes out with no class and her suitcase of power suits and peroxide while the world breathes a sigh of relief that she will be banished to The Surreal Life or whatever cheap entertainment can milk her for the sake of ratings.

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Tuesday, October 18, 2005

OH NO! Kenny what were you thinking?

The Seahawks easily beat the Houston Texans, who eventually will rise above their ineptness and get their first victory. The Seahawks have been known to lose games like these, They got it done and everything was looking great until......
Ken Hamlin star cornerback is in guarded condition in Harborview. Not because of a catastrophic hit on the gridiron, not by an auto accident but by a bar brawl on the streets of Pioneer Square. How could this happen? The season has been so promising. With Daryl Jackson and Bobby Engram also out, how do we keep the team on an even keel? The next few games will tell us if this is another "wait 'til next year" season.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

So Long Val Limburg!

This weekend I was saddened to learn that WSU proffessor Val Limburg had passed away. Val was my advisor at WSU as well as the faculty advisor to KUGR, the radio station on campus. He was also my Com 101 instructor. It was through his class that I obtained a real knowledge of the industry and it's history.
The sad irony is that he probably did not get a chance to see the Edward R Murrow biographical movie that opened this week. Murrow was a graduate of WSU and the Communications department there is named after him.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Apprentice 4:Toral Dooms Her Team

This week's Apprentice was another marketing task as The men of Excel and the Woman of Capital Edge were charged with the task of coming up with a character to Promote Dairy Queen's blizzard. The show was really a soap involving the team's dislike of Toral who barely escaped the axe last week. Toral is very smart but has absolutely no social skills. The snooty women of Capital Edge cannot stand her and the feeling is mutual. I almost think the team took a dive to settle the matter.
Excel won the task with Clay, the no-holds barred Project Manager. His tough tactics worked as team was victorious. Whether the team won because of him or in spite of him remains to be seen, but inspite of their complaints, the team voted him immunity for the next task. The results of their work are above. The reward challenge involved playing baseball with the New York Mets, who Trump proclaimed as "winners", the show was film many months ago since we know that this past season, the Mets finished last in their division, while have a humongous payroll. The good news is that nobody got hurt.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Remember When?

From 1984 My Dad and Uncle Arny with Grandmother Barer Posted by Picasa

Sunday, October 09, 2005

It was down to the wire, but the Seattle Seahawks outlasted the St Louis Rams 37-31. The Seahawks did it without their 2 main receivers Bobby Engram and Daryl Jackson and with some curious play calling at the end. The Seahawks were sitting on a slim lead when they got the ball back, but instead of running down the clock, they attempted 2 passes. Holmgren must read the columnists who accuse him of being too conservative. Fortunately the Rams fumbled the punt and the Hawks left St Louis as winners. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, October 08, 2005

The Miss Madison--subject of the movie. Posted by Picasa

Madison (the DVD)

A few years ago, I more or less promised myself that I would stop watching sports movies because they all have the same premise. However when I heard about that the movie Madison was about Hydroplanes, I knew this was one that I had to see.
When I moved to Seattle for the first time in 1982, the world stopped during Seafair. Everybody in town talked about Hydroplanes. It was not hard to wonder why Seattle is a sea town and Boeing was the only big show in town. The thunder boats were the perfect marriage of jet engines and water. Now that more people living in the area are from somewhere else and we have Microsoft, Starbucks and the Mariners are fairly successful or at least have been in the past, the boats have totally lost their stanglehold.
Anyway the film is not about Seattle but about Madison Indiana, a small town that hosts the Madison Regatta and sponsors the Miss Madison boat. The boat is the laughing stock of the circuit and the town is dying. However former driver Jim McCormick stumbles on some luck when Madison gets drawn to host the Gold Cup. What follows next is a series of misteps, bad luck as Jim has to sell both the town on the race, and the circuit on the town. It's sort of fitting now that the circuit seems to be in the same shape that Madison was in that movie.

The Apprentice (Episode 3)

The show picks up with Markus coming back from the boardroom to his suite all by himself to the teammates on Excel who wanted him to get fired so badly. His teamates decide to give him a fresh start and things pick up from there. For the girls of Capital Edge, Rebecca arrives back from the hospital, you may remember that she was injured in the reward challenge playing hockey. This is crucial to this installment as she is befriended by Toral, who goes to the hospital with her and becomes her close friend. This presents a problem though as no one can stand Toral and the two more or less become the outcasts.
We find out that Rebecca has broken her ankle and is on crutches. Rather than quitting, she decides to become the project manager in the upcoming task.
Both teams are to go to an assisted living facillity with the charge of teaching the residents how to use new technology in their lives.
Marcus is already arguing with his team but this team everyone has the give and with this task he seems to fit right in. Possibly this is the right task for a geek. The Men of Excel are slamming and jamming and the residents are humming right along.
Meanwhile, the women of Capital Edge do not seem to have anything happening. No signs, A cake with Techno Expo spelled wrong, and seemingly, no enthusiasm. Toral is totally awful as she does not know anything about working her big screen TV. The only enthusiasm they can drum up is when beauty queen Jennifer M does push ups. Shades of Apprentice on the first run a year and a half ago when the women won every task by selling sex.
In the boardroom the men are the clear winners and get a reward of donating their technology to a children's hospital.
The women come to the boardroom and finger Toral as one of the reasons that they lost. Indeed she was a disaster and it is up to Rebecca to chose two girls to bring in to the boardroom. She winds up picking the two Jennifers, while Toral is allowed to return with the other girls to the suite.
Noone could argue choosing Jennifer W, except of course, Jennifer W. She was supposed to be the winning edge for the team. The events planner. Well JW did not come through and became a mess of sobs. The choice of Jennifer M was rather curious as Trump seemed to think that she was alright. We all now by now that Trump has a soft spot for beauty queens. We also know that he does not care much for candidates who protect their friends. Trump starts off by telling Jennifer M that she is safe unless of course she says something stupid. He tells Rebecca that he would have fired Toral had she been there. The spotlight is on Rebecca who does an excellent job of defending her choise as well as herself. The Trump finger of fate points to Jennifer W who wilts under pressure and Trump says the dreaded 2 word "Your Fired!"

Friday, October 07, 2005

The Sun is Setting for Spokane Mayor

On December 6th, Spokane voters get a chance to vote on whether Mayor Jim West should continue to be the mayor of Washington's 2nd largest city. Mayor West you recall was caught red handed in an expose of offering city jobs for sexual favors. He is under fire from both sides of the fence. Now some may say that I am a hypocrite for wanting West to leave office when I supported President Clinton during his sexual escapades, that may be so. West's malfeasant was uncovered by the local "rah rah" paper The Spokesman Review. These charges are much more serious in the fact that he abused public trust not only in politics, but as a scoutmaster, a sheriff's deputy and it looks like the deeper you look, the more trouble you find. This is from a die hard Conservative who stood for discrimination of Gays and groups who would not dream of committing the crimes that he is accused of. According to the Seattle Times,
there is a court hearing on whether more internet information will be released.
Jim West is a man with no support from either party and should step down from his position before he is forced to leave, as he will be on December 6th.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Inspite of an exciting finish, the Hawks could not get it done today as they lost in overtime to the Washington Redskins 20-17. Daryl Jackson tied the score with a touchdown in the closing minutes. After kicking off to the Redskins, Kelly Herndon intercepted a pass deep in Redskin territory setting up a field goal that would win the game and really give us momentum for the season. The kick was wide left though and the Hawks never saw the ball in the sudden death overtime.  Posted by Picasa

The Apprentice Lamborghini Campaign.

On the next challenge on The apprentice, The candidates had a very exciting and relevant task. Excel (the men) and Capital Edge (the women) would each create a TV and Print ad for Lamborghini of America. They would have a couple of the exclusive cars and a nominal amount of cash at their disposal. Both teams were excited because Lamborghini is seen as the mark of luxury and class.
The men were excited because they thought that it was right up their alley (you know the guy car thing). What they did not count on was that they had 3 things going against them. Clueless Markus who is just off the wall, Randall who shows great potential but had to endure the death of his Grandmother, and their own stupidity. Their Project Manager Chris was well versed in advertising or so it seemed, but they made some curious blunders. They wanted a theme of "Rebirth Of Italian Intimidation" but to make it fit, they decided to make the I in Italian lower case. How sheltered are you to think that would not offend the very group you are trying to please? The next move for their print ad, they showed a green Lambo with the phrase "Green with Envy" What? Markus spoke up against it, but he talks so much that noone listened to him.
When the teams made their presentation, the men had a big suprise, the women showed up in black and used props that suggested speed and prestige. The men's presentation went over like lamb chops at a PETA meeting. Advertising CEO Linda Kaplan Thayer said "Men say it. Women feel it." I think that is a ridiculous statement, but it plays well on TV.
In a rather silly reward challenge, the women got to play hockey with the New York Islanders. One of the candidates sprains her ankle and their is some drama as to whether she will return.
In the boardroom Chris makes it clear he want Markus fired, but Trump suprises everyone by firing Chris. I don't think anyone will cheer when Markus goes back to the suite.

Elephant Sticks His Trunk In His Mouth

William Bennett presents himself as a no-nonsense "school of hard knocks" kind of guy, When he was President Reagan's Education Secretary he said that college was possible for the disadvantaged if they would sell their stereos and fancy cars. That is common for Republicans to paint everything with one broad stroke. They call it "telling it like it is" I call it shallow and simplistic thinking. Before my Liberal readers start gloating, we are guilty of generalizations ourselves.
You could say that Bill Bennett pushed the envelope recently on his radio show, Morning IN America. He said something ignorant, cruel and offensive. Bennett said "It's true that if you wanted to reduce crime, you could - if that were your sole purpose, you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down. That would be an impossible, ridiculous and morally reprehensible thing to do, but your crime rate would go down." The Republican party has talked about attracting diversity to their party. Bennett who has served in two administrations is considered by most, a mainstream Republican.
The Republicans now rule every facet of government. It is not healthy to have one party in charge as it goes against the system of checks and balances. Republicans have become so powerful that they have been dropping their guard and saying and doing whatever they want.