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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Oscar Predictions for 2011.

Here are my Academy Awards predictions for the Oscar winners.  Enjoy the awards....

Best Picture:                                             The King's Speech
Best Actor:                                               Colin Firth, The King's Speech
Best Actress:                                            Natalie Portman, Black Swan
Best Supporting Actor:                           Christian Bale, The Fighter
Best Supporting Actress:                        Melissa Leo, The Fighter
Best Director:                                           Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan
Best Animated Feature Film:                    Toy Story

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Random Thoughts

Today, while waiting for the dealer to call that all the recall work was done on the Minivan, I am without a car and homebound.  So I wanted to comment on some recent news.  I would love to hear from you.  Please leave me comment.

1)  Great debut last night from Carmelo Anthony # 7.  Not sure that he is all that the Knicks need but it will be nice to see the Garden used for the playoffs and he has already boosted the television ratings.

2)  Libya -  Will this domino fall?  What does this mean for us?  Oil at $119/ barrel.  Time will tell.  It's a shame the previous administration made some diplomatic moves towards relations with Kahdaffy.  He was responsible for sanctioning PanAm 103 which exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988 killing hundreds.  His time is up. 

3)  Wacky Weather - I saw a report that snow is forecast for San Francisco - the first time since 1976.

4)  Man saved by two priests - An 89 year old man was rescued by two priests after he set himself on fire while lighting candles in the back of Holy Family Church in Hicksville.  It's good that there was a quick response. 

5)  I was a big Howard Stern fan and when he moved to Sirius, I didn't make the move with him. I have been able to listen to him through my IPOD-touch so I had a chance to catch up with him this week.  He interviewed Bill Murray this week and it was very good.  Murray talked about several topics including Ghostbusters 3, Saturday Night Live and his career.  Stern should have been considered to take over for Larry King when CNN pushed him out.

Well that's all folks....for now.

Melo boosts ratings
Oil production
Wacky Weather
Priests save Burning Man
Howard interviews Bill Murray

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Fourth Turning

Today, being President's Day, finds me in a reflective mood and thinking about the Presidents who have held office during my lifetime.  In order they have been:  Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, Bush II, and Obama.  These leaders each come to office with certain expectations and often they have left under some scandalous cloud or under utter disappointment and failure. 

Perhaps the reason for the poor results among the Presidents of my lifetime has something to do with the time they occupy their office.  In the late 90's I read a book called the Fourth Turning written by two historians, Strauss and Howe.  Their thesis was that the history of America has always followed a four part pattern and that the generations living during these times play specific roles which help see the country through a particular time.  The Presidents during my life occupy office during a breakdown in society, or what Strauss and Howe call an unraveling. 

This book was written in the mid to late 90's and I enjoyed it very much.  Remember in the mid to late 90's, our economy was doing well and who would ever envsion the times we are experiencing today.  I do remember that the authors mentioned that during a third turning an unraveling would occur in the country and by the fourth turning all the s**t would hit the fan.  The generations identified by Strauss and Howe include:  The dwindling members of the GI generation, the hereoes of the last fourth turning, the elder memebers of the Silent generation, the Baby Boom generation, The 13th generation (which is my generation) and the Millenial generation.  Each one of these generations has an important role to play during an unraveling and during a Fourth Turning. 

This book was written before 9-11, Bernie Madoff, The Housing Bubble and Bust, The Banking Crisis, The Mortgage Mess, The Iraq/Afghanistan War, The States Pension/Budget crisis and so on. 

With these events and recent events happening in the volitale Middle East, is there any doubt that we are getting close to the Fourth Turning.  Unfortunately, I am not confident that we have a leader in our White House who can rally us during such a moment.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Cinema Date Night.

I was lucky last night to spend some quality time, away from the children, with my wife Aimee.  At her suggestion we decided to go out to dinner and then catch a movie at our local movie theatre.  We don't usually have much success at our local theatres.  The last movie we saw together was a film called "Cyrus" and despite the fact that we arrived to the theatre early, just a minute before the film started, another patron asked my wife to move down so she and another person could take a seat.

Last night was no different.  We agreed to see "The King's Speech" and I'll comment about the film soon.  I had predicted to Aimee that there would be a mature crowd out to see this film.  My predictions were confirmed when we arrived to get into the theatre.  The ticket-taker told us that the theatre was being cleaned and that we would have to wait on line.  At this point there weren't too many people on line yet. 

I was amused at hearing some of the conversations people were having on our line.  One woman was talking to another and saying that another lady on line had met her date on  These women were very firm with several other ladies who later arrived and decided to stand in front of them.  The became very territorial and told them in a "lawn guyland" accent that the line was in the back.  The woman with the date, who was elsewhere in the theatre, was speaking to an older looking man about colleges,  as she had a daughter nearing college age.  The man told her about his son and how he wanted to go to Georgetown and that he ended up at Binghamton and that he is a JAG officer.  He also told her that he worked for Pan-Am and he had been to Egypt, Iran, Europe and Asia.  He mentioned that in these countries it is rich and poor and no middle, as opposed to here where he said it's mostly middle.  Around the world in 80 seconds, wow.

Aimee and I waited patiently for the theatre to be cleaned.  I wondered with this geriatric crowd, how much of a mess could they make in this theatre?  When our time arrived to go inside, I was astounded at the speed  of some of these people.  We staked out our seats on the right side, second to last row.  There would be no one behind us.  Aimee went in first and took the third seat in.  I took the second in.  I wispered to Aimee that we wouldn't be so lucky as the theatre was too small and there still more people coming in.  As the theatre darkened and previews began and the coast was almost clear a woman approached and in a loud voice asked/demanded "Can you move? You don't mind"  I think she was trying a Jedi mind trick with the you don't mind end.  I told her that I do mind, as she didn't say please, but I got up and said "I will move down one as I will be polite.  No sooner did I do that and she was gone.  She then appeared  four rows down and she had eight people get up so she could sit smack dab in the middle of the theatre.  The two seats to my right were taken at the start of the film by two old women, who during the film talked to each other about the characters. 

Despite these entertaining follies, The film was very good.  The King's Speech is the story of King George VI, who as Prince Albert at the beginning of the film has a serious speech stammer which he must overcome as he assumes the throne after his brother renounces the throne to marry a divorced American.  The seriousness of the situation is magnified as he must rally his subjects as Britain enters World War II against Germany.

The performances are very strong with Colin Firth playing Prince Albert/George VI and Geoffrey Rush playing Lionel Logue, the Speech Therapist who worked with the Prince to improve his speaking.  The film has received 12 Academy Award nominations including Best Picture and three acting nominations for its main performers:  Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter. 

It was a good film, but be prepared,  look out for the old folks!!!!