Sunday, October 26, 2008

Movies for this 'holiday' season

Here is a Halloween guide to finding some good scary movies. Now, I will say that this list, for the most part, is not for the faint of heart and you are not allowed to judge me based on these movies that I could watch at any time, any where.

Shaun of the Dead--Seriously, this movie is genius. It is called a RoComZom movie, which stands for 'Romantic Comedy Zombie' flick. That says it all. It is set in London and about how zombies are taking over the city and a group of friends try to save themselves from becoming zombies. It stars Simon Pegg (Hott Fuzz, Run Fatboy Run, british tv show 'Spaced) and it is terribly entertaining. There are many f-bombs dropped, but it is said with a british accent, so it actually sounds refined.

Aliens--If this show is on any channel, at any time, anywhere...Brodi will be watching. Because of her ability to track down every and all showings of Alienns, I have seen enough bits of pieces of this show from walking in on her watching it, that I have probably seen it 10 times. This is a classic build up the suspense movie and it is terrific.

28 Days Later and 28 Weeks Later--For 28 Days, it was just for the emptiness of seeing a deserted London, that was creepy enough. I loved, loved the first 45 minutes of the movie. I liked the next 20 minutes. I didn't care much for the final 25 minutes. But overall, still worth the viewing. For 28 Weeks Later, the first 10 minutes are absolutely fantastic.

Watcher in the Woods--I still harbor ill feelings toward my parents for letting me watch this 'wet your pants 'cause your so stinkin' freaked out' movie. I was under the age of 10 and this flick just gave me the chills. I haven't seen it since and I refuse to watch it again.

Scream--This really changed the horror genre. Much more clever than a lot of the other movies that were out there at the time. Pretty intense as well. The way that the movie used Drew Barrymore was fantastic and it reignited her career and made it a much talked about way to handle big names in a movie.

The Hitcher--Not the 2007 crapfest, but the early 1990s genius Rutger Hauer version. This movie was simply about a kid that picked up the wrong hitchhiker. Watching this movie will GUARANTEE that you will never pick up a creepy trenchcoat wearing mid-40s guy late on rainy night. Rutger spends the entire movie killing and terrorizing people and especially the guy that picked him up. The ending is intense and inappropriate.

So, there you go...there is the list. If you have any to add, let me know.

Friday, October 24, 2008

If they played a basketball game and nobody was there...

We took the kids up to the Ute scrimmage this past Thursday. Every year they have a 'meet the team' night where the players usually scrimmage, they usually do a three-point contest and a dunk contest. This year was different. They got rid of all of that and just played a scrimmage. It was actually quite a bit of fun. There were not a whole lot of fans there (probably around 1500 or so), but it was fun to check out the latest version of the Utes. The team has a great schedule (they play LSU, Gonzaga, Oregon, Cal, Oklahoma) so it should be a tough year but the Utes could be solid.

Not to go all sports geek on everyone, but I like the rotation. They have some very nice size in Nevill and Tillie (could truly have a breakout year this year) and Green. They have some nice talent in the swing guards with Drca, Bohra and Carlon Brown. It will be interesting to see if Kepkay can do anyting this year at the point. We'll see how the season goes.

Carter and Beckham had a great time. Carter ran all the way around the arena, 6 times. Yes, 6 times. He would run for a few sections, stop and look for us, then wave and then continue his run all the way around. Beckham was just busy putting the seats up and down, drinking his bottle, chasing Carter for a while and just sitting there clapping.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

50 SmurfTastic years

50 years ago today, the Smurfs were created. Now if you don't know who the smurfs are, shame on you! I remember waking up early on Saturday mornings, usually around 5:30am, and rushing to the tv room in the basement. I would turn it on and it would be finishing some awesome 1950s Western which usually involved white man winning a gun battle with the indians. At 6am sharp, the Smurfs came on. I loved the Smurfs. You had all of the creative names for the various smurfs:

  • Papa Smurf
  • Baby Smurf
  • Brainy Smurf
  • Greedy Smurf
  • The list goes on and on. I would later learn that there were 100 adult male surfs, 1 female surf (the very beautiful Smurfette) and 1 baby smurf.
This would start my Saturday morning ritual of the Smurfs, the Snorks, Scooby Doo and Dungeons and Dragons. Life was good and simple back then.

Anyway, happy birthday to the Smurfs. There are rumors of an new upcoming cartoon series starring the Smurfs as well as a movie coming on...could it get any more exciting? Yeah, I know it can get more exciting than that. And yes, I too am shocked that I just did an entire post on the Smurfs. I think I have some issues.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

A 10 day trip and some thoughts

I just got back from a good trip to Pakistan. Hardest part was being away from the family for 10 days though Brodi ran the household with no problem.

Driving In Pakistan--It is fascinating. The roads are 3 lanes and they have 4 lanes of cars crowding in to fit along with a lane or two of bicycles, motorcycles, rickshaws and people and animals. It is highly entertaining and I have to say that Pakistanis may quite possibly be the best drivers in the world for merely staying out of accidents. You get to see very decorated trucks (the drivers add jewels, drawings and just about anything else on their truck so that it stands can see the picture on the left).

Easiest way to fly to Pakistan? Fly from NYC to Dubai and then to Pakistan or Houston to Dubai and then to Pakistan. The US flight to Dubai is 14 hours. It is brutal if the plane is crowded...merely terrible if the flight is empty. I did watch 3 movies, 4 tv episodes of Arrested Development and listened to 4 complete albums of music though. Emirates Airlines is very nice.

This is part of the time reviewing land and as you can tell, I am wearing the traditional Pakistani clothing. I was truly styling.

The picture on the right is a memorial tree planted in my name at our dairy. You know you have reached the big time when you get my own tree. I have asked for monthly pictures to make sure that nobody has killed it.

Power issues: The power goes out. A lot. A lot. I am talking about 10-15 times a day for 5-15 seconds at a time. You can be in a great hotel...a nice business office or wherever, the power goes out although a generator often kicks in shortly after.

You see the rich and you see the poor. As we drove along their freeway, you could see places that people called home and you could see the poverty (picture on the right shows some rundown homes along a busier freeway). The picture on the left is actually a masonry plant. They make bricks. You can see the chimney rise up and a few people work inside making bricks. All along the perimeter of this business is thousands of bricks. I can't imagine how hot it gets when they are making bricks and it is 120 degrees outside. Along a 60 mile road, I saw probably 3-4 of these places.

October is still hot. I played tennis with a local pro for an hour at 8am. It was 80 degrees and 70% humidity. I was not a pretty sight at the end of that workout.

The hotel that I stayed out is very nice. Great security. Very good food and always friendly. You tip everyone who helps you (though the tips can be minimal). They have television in the rooms with an HBO feed though it is like it goes through a cleanflicks program as questionable material is often cut out. They have a tennis court, swimming pool, mini track and some gardens on the grounds of the hotel. It is always a comfortable stay.

Brain Masala--I love Pakistani food (if you haven't had Pakistani food, think again--it is very similar to Indian food). I can eat it for nearly every meal even when I am not in Pakistan. With that said, I was not too excited to try Brain Masala. It is sheep/lamb brains and I can truly say--I probably won't be having it again. Think chicken tikka masala and take out the chicken and add brains (which tasted like scrambled eggs). Voila.

It is a remarkable country. I don't get over there enough but when I do, I always enjoy it. Brodi can't wait to get over that and I am excited for her to be there as well.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Utah football, Pakistan famous

So, I wake up this morning and I open up the Pakistan Daily Times (a Pakistani national newspaper)...well, I check out the Sports page and who is on the front page? Aiona Key of the Utah Utes diving into the endzone. Yes, a University of Utah football player is on the front page of the Pakistani sports front page. Who woulda thunk it? Go Utes!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Pets and our House

It appears that we will be a pet-less family for many years to come. Our latest effort was to avoid allergies, hopefully, by getting a hairless cat. Cute little Smokey. We loved Smokey...but we had to get rid of him due to Brodi and myself becoming overcome with watery itchy eyes and stuffed up noses. Oh well.

With that said, our boys love dogs and cats. Beckham, in particular, cannot get enough of Hank, Renan and Amy's dog from across the street. He wants to chase him. He wants to pull his tail. He wants to climb on top and ride Hank like a horse. What is funny is that Beckham is allergic to close to just about everything imaginable...except for dogs and cats. Who woulda thunk that? Anyway, the picture at the left is of Beckham with Hank and Zoe.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Protecting you from yourself

So its late at night and you are just about to send an email from your gmail account. There may be a problem though:
  • It is so late and you are so tired, that you are just plain goofy right now.
  • You have been up with the kids and can't think straight.
  • You are loaded up on so much caffeine that you are jittery and speaking jibberish.
  • You are so drunk on Near-beer that you are just a mess
So, what do you do? You have composed this email in your goofy state and it is an email that you just should not send because you are not coherent. Well, Google with its Gmail has the answer. Now, you can protect yourself from sending embarrassing emails in a state of craziness.

You can set your gmail account at a specific time (every Friday night from 11pm to Saturday morning at 3am) so if you ever try and send an email during that timeframe, a 'test' comes on your screen. You now have to pass the test and answer that you are really ready to send that email off. Gmail is protecting you from being an idiot. Maybe this will protect me from all of the HILLARIOUS email forwards that I send off every Saturday morning at 1am. Life just become good again and gmail just saved me from my idiot-ness.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Brodi the writer

As most of you know, I have a pretty amazing wife. She is extremely talented at all that she does. She likes to try different things and challenge herself in different ways. I know that I have probably mentioned this in the past, but over the 10 years of marriage, she has done the following:
  • Was the Youngest (only 24 years old) television producer in the Salt Lake City market when she handled the morning ABC news program.
  • Was a Reporter, Anchor and a Weather Bunny at various times for the NBC affiliate up in Pocatello/Idaho Falls/Jackson Hole market.
  • Was a Marketing executive for IHC.
  • Was accepted to Medical School.
  • Was accepted to the London School of Economics for her Masters, which she received in International Relations (where she became an expert on War and the Middle East)
  • Worked for a NonProfit on marketing and support in keeping the internet safe for kids.
  • Was a realtor in the Salt Lake market for 2 years.

Her latest work has been as a writer. Over a year ago, Brodi decided to write a young adult fiction novel. First off, writing a novel is obviously not an easy task...but Brodi went after it, wrote it, re-wrote it and kept at it. When she felt like her book was ready, she decided to go after an agent. Finding a high profile agent is not an easy task. Agents often avoid new writers because they do not already have a built-in audience and the agents' job becomes very difficult to find a publishing house. Most first time writers struggle for years to find an agent and end up settling for below average agents or they can't even find an agent

Brodi found an agent. One of the better ones in New York City. He likes her book a lot and has signed her to a contract. It is just another step in the whole process but it is a vital and important and difficult step which she has accomplished. I am so proud of her. Now, her and her agent take the book to the next step of finding a publishing house. Whatever happens, it has been a great ride and it will be fun to see where it takes her.