Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The President just tweeted me

"Air Turkey"

Time OTD
- my time in the Turkey Trot this year, results
That's a 7:30 pace, which was my bogey this year. Huzzah!
It's funny though... ever since then, my 54 year-old body has been a big, whiny baby with a balky knee and tingly, achy feet. Jeez, buck up, boys. It was only 3 miles! Oh well. It was worth it. (smile)

Sixth Sense

Movie: Sixth Sense
Review: 5 bill-stars (out of 5)... best of the best

I re-watched my Sixth Sense DVD last night. The movie is as crisp and gripping as it was 17 years ago. Everything is strong about this movie: script, plot, performances, direction, etc. The scenes related to the daughter videotaping her evil mother are all-time classics.

Sixth Sense is a Top 10 Bill All-time Movie. I don't actually have a Top 10 list, but I am efforting this. Here's a top 100 movie site to wet your beak: www.thetoptens.com/best-movies

I see dead people.
- Cole, Sixth Sense


A nice website. Catchy URL.

Two worthy minutes of Trump describing his transition.
Side note: The next video that youtube rolled into after Trump's transition video: Jon Stewart babbling about how we're all hypocrites.Side note #2: For my leftie brothers and sisters... it might be problematic when your most prominent spokespeople are entertainers, comedians, and clowns.

And finally, the ubiquitous Trump twitter account:

So, I signed up for a twitter account. I don't anticipate tweeting anything, and I'm only following two people: Trump and a very famous, talented, beautiful, wonderful 33 year-old mathematician. (smile)

It's pretty cool, I think. Different. The president-elect communicating directly with the people on something like Twitter. It doesn't appear that there's any filter or PR nabob pushing the Trump buttons. I hope he keeps it up. Why not?!? Trump using Twitter channels Ronald Reagan giving speeches directly to the American people and bypassing the media to get his message across.

Here Trump tells us that he's working hard... even on Thanksgiving. (snort!)

Twitter is a cesspool. You can go to Trump's tweet, scroll down and dip your toe into the leftie hate and hysteria. Yeah, I think I'll pass, but it's right there for you. Twitter itself is stupid and leftie, too. Here's their first impulse recommendations on "who to follow". (he he... no thanks)

Getting Important

This is a long, well-written piece.
Education is so far left, it can’t really see the right

Not even in office yet, but the Trump presidency is getting more important each day.
  • Hysteria - Crooked Hillary's loss hasn't resulted in media introspection. Not even close. The media has doubled-down on the hysteria. This has led to nearly every Trump appointee be branded as a racist or nazi.
  • Courage - The leftie hatred of Trump is white hot. They attack Trump and his deplorable supporters and his wife and even his young son. I admire the courage of the man. I admire that he isn't backing down. Supposedly, Trump's family will continue to live in NYNY. So smart. Speaking of...
  • Smart - With all the bombast, it's easy to forget how smart Trump is. He out-maneuvered and out-worked Crooked Hillary to win the election. He is now using his talent to be a successful president. To win.

So, I think Trump is important. If the politically-correct left can take Trump down, then they can take anyone down. Leftie pols and media have made themselves clear: If your beliefs aren't in line, then you are deplorable and a racist. Defeating Trump empowers this bogus orthodoxy.

But what if Trump perseveres! Trump is largely channeling Reagan here. His message is patriotic, pro-American, and pro-growth. Hopeful. If this message breaks through, then America has a great chance at a resurgence and a long period of real positivity and freedom.
Huzzah to that!
yow, bill

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Ave atque vale!

I really like this one.

"Sparky art shot"

Pronunciation: youtu.be/b-BmfIeKvWc?t=10s

Poem of the day...
Catullus 101 
Carried through many nations and many seas,
I arrive, Brother, at these miserable funeral rites,
So that I might bestow you with the final gift of death
And might speak in vain to the silent ash.
Since Fortune has stolen you yourself from me,
Alas, wretched brother stolen undeservedly from me,
Meanwhile, however, receive these which in the ancient custom of our parents
were handed down as a sad gift for funeral rites,
dripping much with fraternal weeping,
And forever, Brother, hail and farewell.

The Poetry of Catullus is a favorite of Calvin Sidey, the main character in "As Good As Gone" by Larry Watson. Read on.

As Good As Gone

Book: As Good As Gone by Larry Watson
Review: 3 bill-stars (out of 5)... good
Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/review/show/1815267943

I enjoyed As Good As Gone. I like this setup: ordinary people in regular, old small towns, where things get a little out of hand. It's done really well here.

First, there are so many bad book titles out there. This book title is perfect. Calvin Sidey is the main character, and he is a cranky, loner grandfather charged with watching his grandkids for a few days. What could go wrong? Ha!

She steps close to him. "God damn you." She folds her arms tightly to make certain she doesn't give in to a temptation to strike him. "You say something like that? To me? About my son?" 
But as Calvin Sidey has said about himself, he has been away from civilization for a long time, so long in fact there might be a reason other than the obvious one that will make a woman stand close to a man. 
Calvin reaches out and tenderly but determinedly pulls her close to him. He performs this action with one arm, as if, like his granddaughter, he has a partial disability. And because Beverly knows the incapacity is not in his arm but in his soul, she relents and allows herself to be held.
- As Good As Gone, by Larry Watson
I would go 3 1/2 stars... as if such a thing as half a star even existed. (ha!) Everything is well-executed: writing style, deep characters, plot, etc. With a little better ending this is a 4 star book. The relationships between all the characters gets extra attention from the author, and this is the best part of the book. The ending is rushed. I wonder if that's on purpose, a metaphor. Calvin Sidey is in a rush to be "gone", to the dissatisfaction of those around him. Maybe.

Calvin likes to read Catullus, a latin book of poems. "Ave atque vale" means "Hail and farewell!"
A good read.

The Comet Seekers

Book: The Comet Seekers by Helen Sedgwick
Review: 1 bill-stars (out of 5)... DNF
Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/review/show/1819664423

Did. Not. Finish. Page 120. Dop.

I'm a little queasy hitting this book with 1 bill-star. It's not terrible writing or a bogus effort or anything like that. It's just not for me. The writing style is so florid, it almost feels like a romance novel. Each chapter skips through time, hundreds of years, which is tough to follow if you're not engrossed by what's happening in the first place. There are many characters, none with which I connected. And I find the basic premise of comets and ghosts to be uninteresting and  not compelling.

I always imagine meeting an author and having to explain my review to him/her. I think it's because I respect the profession, the art, so much. If I could write, I think I would. Anywho, I guess I'd tell Helen Sedgwick: "I know 1 bill-star is harsh, but I'm not saying you're a bad author or that other people won't enjoy your book. I'm saying that it wasn't for me at all."

Did not finish. Not a good read.

Americans Get Heavier

This is a pre-Thanksgiving classic.

The average American woman weighs 166.2 pounds...almost exactly as much as the average American man weighed in the early 1960s.
The average American woman now weighs as much as the average 1960s man

And from the other end of the spectrum... here's a good 2 minute video on meditation from Master of the Universe, Ray Dalio:
That's some positivity. And it costs just 10 minutes a day.
peace... yow, bill

Thursday, November 17, 2016

The Marching Band post

Marching band highlight from the ISU competition...

"Oak Park marching band beginning: funeral"

Marching band

It was a gorgeous day, and I got to see a lot of bands at the ISU marching band competition this year. The Oak Park River Forest High show was the best I saw. They started with a funeral. Band members carried a casket while other marchers wailed. (ha!) They reached the sideline, put the casket down, and started dancing around and playing a raucous Dixieland jazz tune. It was fantastic!

The Central High marching band made the Finals for the first time in TY's 4 years, and they finished 9th overall. They had a very good show with lots of Dvorak New World Symphony in there and played great!
ISU link: finearts.illinoisstate.edu/band-day/ 
ISU results link: www.ilmarching.com/festivals_detail.php?FestivalID=745&archive=0

It was a special year in marching band. First off, TY is a senior. Second, TY had a solo to start the marching band show. He did a wonderful job, and it was a thrill to watch him every single time.

This pic below is special to me. I took it at a band practice after school. They were preparing to march at the BOA competition in Indy that I didn't attend. So the deal: this was probably the last time I'll ever see TY in marching band. (sniff) And yes, I love the goofy blonde hair... many of the band seniors dyed their hair to celebrate their ISU performance. Great memories, all of it!

Coinstar kudos

My crappy bank won't take coins any more. My initial reaction: ripoff!
But I was wrong. Not a ripoff... opportunity!

First the setup. Going to Chase Bank is my worst consumer experience, which is saying something. I don't know what means of advanced interrogation Chase uses on their employees, but the fear and nervousness is palpable when you walk in the door. Almost every transaction at the bank is accompanied by an uncomfortable pitch for more Chase bank services. Ugh. Brutal.

So, I headed into the Jew-el with my coins. It took a minute to figure out, but it was cool. I could turn my coins in for dollars, and Coinstar would charge me a fee. Or, if I took my funds as Amazon dollars, then Coinstar counts my pennies for free. Shoot, aren't Amazon dollars more stable and valuable than US dollars now, anyway. (snark!)

Here's my tally. Almost $300. And I was lugging around 2,600 coins. Yow!

So, bottom line: Coinstar is great, www.coinstar.com.
And... so are these Star Trek hoodies. And they're half off... in the clearance bin. Impossible! (ha)


Eye in the Sky

Movie: Eye in the Sky
Review: 1 bill-star (out of 5)... bad
Letterboxd: letterboxd.com/williamt777/film/eye-in-the-sky-2015

Ugh, this is a bad movie. It's a drama about the politics and bureaucracy (I don't think I've ever spelled bureaucracy (copy-paste, ha) correctly without looking it up) behind bombing a terrorist hideout in Kenya. There is little action. It's slow, and it's not smart.

Halfway through the movie a subplot develops that a young Kenyan girl is possibly within the blast zone and may be collateral damage if they drop a bomb on the terrorists who are making suicide vests. Much of the rest of the movie deals with overwrought army guys wailing about potentially harming this one girl. Whatev.

Not a good movie.

CY Young formula

Rick Porcello won the 2016 AL Cy Young Award. Justin Verlander came in 2nd place. (yawn)
Much more exciting... the reaction of Verlander's girlfriend Kate Upton.

Hey MLB. I though I was the only person allowed to fuck Justin Verlander?!
- Kate Upton tweet, twitter.com/KateUpton/status/799038283674161152

Let's look at what Verlander's girlfriend is upset about. The Cy Young voting and formula are kind of interesting. Porcello only received 8 first-place votes, compared to Verlander's 14.

So what's the dang Cy Young formula? Oh, here it is.
The formula is: Score = 7F + 4S + 3T + 2FO + 1 FI, where F is the number of first place votes, S is second place votes, T is third place votes, FO is fourth place votes and FI is fifth place votes.

So, the formula actually over-weights first place votes. Then how did Porcello win?!? You had 14 first place votes for Verlander, but then he only had 2 votes for 2nd place. Porcello had a total of 26 votes for 1st or 2nd place, 10 more than Verlander.

Cy Young or no... I think Verlander and girlfriend Kate Upton will be OK. Hey now!

ha... yow, bill

PS - Here's the ending of the Oak Park show... the band walking off, carrying their hats, singing When The Saints Go Marching In. The band received the only standing ovation of the day as much of the crowd sang along with the band. Fantastico!

"Oak Park marching band ending: singing"