May 22nd, 2013
I find it hard to believe that I used to be such a fan of Stephen King. 11.22.63, the book about traveling in time to go back and save President John F. Kennedy was a decent read, but what blew me away was what a bitter old rich guy King has become.
I’m sorry that I will be doing very little reviewing of the actual book in this post, but sometimes you just have to say something. There are a few things that rubbed me the wrong way.
- King obviously has never been to Texas. The way he slanders the citizens and paints us all as gun-toting, hate-mongering hillbillies is just amateur on his part. Time and again, King takes the opportunity to slam Texas and Texans for no other reason than to further some liberal East Coast rich-guy guilt agenda.
- He didn’t do any research for a “historical fiction” piece. He talks about the “Don’t Mess With Texas” anti-litter campaign that his lead character comes across in the 1960, when that wasn’t created until the 80′s. I would probably let it slide except he uses it as an example of what “hard asses” Texans are. If you are going to slam someone – at least get the facts right.
- His understanding of Texas high school football was typical stereotypical fare. It reads like he didn’t even bother to do any actual research.
Mr. King, I invite you to Texas. I invite you to spend a week with my and my family. I invite you to meet real Texas citizens. I invite you to attend a Texas high school football game with me. I invite you to apologize for the very close-mindedness you are accusing Texans of. Get the facts.
And in reference to the Texas braggadocio… “it ain’t bragging if its true!”
Read the book if you like Stephen King’s style. Read the book if you like the idea and paradoxes of time travel. Read the book if you want to escape reality for a bit. Ignore the political asides and weak historical information and you will be happy.
by Chris Doelle
May 15th, 2013
Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us by Michael Moss is an eye-opening and important book. It is an entertaining, yet horribly frightening look at the food industry’s practice of manipulating the amounts of salt, sugar and fat in processed foods to entice us to eat (and purchase) more and more of these addictive foods.
It is not just the foods you suspect like candy and chips… it is everything. The levels food manufacturers go to manipulate what we buy are scary but not surprising. They are in business – the business of selling their “foods.” I use the term loosely because while this bit of reporting doesn’t touch on the whole Frankenfood genetically modified stuff in the grocery store, it does chronicle the billions spent researching things like “mouth feel” and “bliss point.” That, combined with the move from processing food to creating food in the laboratory, is told in this three-part tale.
While the book does repeat itself in some areas, it does so that Moss can focus on the triumvirate by itself.
Read this book.
by Chris Doelle
May 13th, 2013
I saw The Great Gatsby this weekend with Dawn and Dallin and was expecting a lot of BIG dramatic scenes. (The previews are full of grand sweeping shots with heroic and/or dramatic poses and facial expressions – you know, typical Baz Luhrmann stuff.
It had all of that. It had all the grandeur you would expect and quite the touching story (I had never read the book or even seen the Robert Redford version.) The cinematography, set designs, costumes and special effects played a huge role in that grandeur.
Leonardo DiCaprio was solid as expected and Carey Mulligan is maturing as an actress. Tobey Maguire did a fine job although he is going to have to start aging at some point if he is to be believed as anything other than a teenager.
Overall, I enjoyed the film and really can’t blame anyone other than F. Scott Fitzgerald for the negative turn the story takes. See it for the over-the-top production. See it for the sweeping vistas. See it for the excellent acting. See it for the fun soundtrack. Don’t see it to be uplifted.
May 6th, 2013
Dawn took this picture the other day and showed it to me. It is of a “cloud rainbow” that her and the kids saw. I’d never heard of a cloud rainbow and certainly never seen one before and she too was seeing her first one. When she pointed it out to they kids, they were like, “duh, we’ve seen these before.” Where have we been?
I just wanted to know how many of you out there have seen these. Was I too busy living my life and not looking up to notice something as common as the kids made it sound?
I even did some research online and found tons of images. The other term I have seen is “fire rainbow.” I’ve also heard some interesting lore that when you see one, it will almost certainly rain within 24hrs – even some instances of people having seen them just before major catastrophic weather events like tornadoes, earthquakes, tsunamis etc.
Anyway… I think they’re cool and just wanted to share.
May 2nd, 2013
When Bruno Mars hit the music scene, I was an instant fan. This guy rocks! He has a range from modern day hip-hop to old school Motown. His first album, Doo – Wops & Hooligans (below) is an absolute blast. He is a consummate entertainer whose live performances outdo the studio stuff. Songs like “Grenade” are a bit silly, but fun in this album that effortlessly mixes modern hip hop with classic Motown. “The Lazy Song”, “Marry You”, “Just the Way You Are” – these are excellent songs and some of the reasons why this is one of my favorite albums from 2012.
So why am I disappointed?
His new album Unorthodox Jukebox is just a bunch of trash. It’s like he was corrupted by his own success. Sure, the first album had innuendo, but in this one it is full on trash talk. His Sophomore Slump is in full swing here. Maybe he will reverse his immaturity in the next one as I still believe he is an amazing entertainer… he is so talented that he doesn’t need the gimmicky sleaze. He will be fine long-term with a little maturity.
Buy the first album – enjoy it – play it over and over until you are dancing out of control and smiling from ear to ear… but forget the new one.
April 30th, 2013
It all makes perfect sense to me.
April 29th, 2013
This little fella was cruising across the deck.
Hey, how many snail puns are there? I go with what I got!
April 8th, 2013
I have to say, there is just something about apples and peanut butter that I really like. It’s healthy, it’s tasty, heck… its even fun cutting it up. Good times.