Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for July, 2012

I suppose therefore that all things I see are illusions; I believe that nothing has ever existed of everything my lying memory tells me.  I think I have no senses.  I believe that body, shape, extension, motion, location are functions.  What is there then that can be taken as true?  Perhaps only this one thing, that nothing at all is certain.
  ―    René Descartes
[Originally posted on one of the blogs I follow: Tolerating Mir.  This quote reminds me of the endings of the TV shows “St Elsewhere” and “Newhart“.  The first show ran for several years and at the final series end was shown to be the imaginings of an autistic child.  Needless to say, the writers were lambasted by the folks who had spent many hours of their lives viewing (investing personally in??) the show.  The second show, “Newhart“, ran over half a decade and the twist in this ending was the main character waking up in bed with the wife from a TV series of the prior decade.   Although, the new series was thought to be a bad dream for the characters in the old series, as a nod to his wife in the current series, Bob asks the old series wife to wear more sweaters.  —  KMAB]
.

Read Full Post »

I grew up in a divorced family, living with my mother, older sister and younger brother.  This was back in the early “baby boom” years when it was fairly uncommon to be in a single parent household.  Now, of course, the reverse is true and single parents are the norm, not the exception.  Anyway, I was lucky and had lots of friends with Dad’s to serve as “father figures” at arms length.
The older I got, the more I realized being a father was always a two-sided coin: someone had to earn the food and shelter, but someone also had to be “Dad”.
Two songs from way back when remind me of this duality: how we’d like to be and how we probably end up.  The two songs are: “Cat’s In The Cradle” and “Color Him Father“.  I personally think “Cat’s” reads better lyrically, but “Color” listens better.
As always, read and enjoy the lyrics and then go listen to the songs.  I look forward to your comments on how you remember your own Dad’s…
.

Read Full Post »

Tonight I re-watched “The Fantastic Four” movie/DVD.  The movie came out back in 2005 and was not a particularly big hit.  Back then, I thought it was just okay.  I watched it a couple of times after the DVD came out, but kind of stopped for no particular reason.  I think maybe it was because the sequel was not better than the original – even though I personally really liked the Silver Surfer character when I was a child.
Anyway, like I said, I watched it tonight and was very pleasantly surprised with how the movie seems to have aged well.  I think I actually enjoyed it more with perspective than I did in my initial viewings.  For one thing, the characters seemed more “comic-ie” than I remembered them.  That is, more faithful to the comic books than I remembered.  What can I say?  I enjoyed the movie…
On a bad note, I originally bought both copies in widescreen DVD format.  Somehow, they seemed to have grown feet and walked out of the house.  So….. my daughter picked me up a used copy of the first movie for last Father’s Day.  (Yes, it’s taken me this long to watch it.)  The downer was that it is in full screen instead of widescreen.  After you get into it, you can get used to it, but in the back of my head I’m still thinking, I wonder what else I’m missing because they’ve trimmed off the sides.
Another strange thought is that I kept looking at the actor who plays the Human Torch (Chris Evans) and thinking, “I’m not sure he makes a better Captain America or Torch”.  I think Evans is better as “Cap”, but only because he’s older now.
So, an enjoyable movie, but not great…
.

Read Full Post »

“Hey, Joe.  Looks like I got my work cut out for me.  That kid is back.”
“What kid?”
“That crazy kid who swims under water all the time.  Hey, kid – you bring yer trunk and handcuffs?”
“Surely you’re being facetious, sir.”
“Oh, yeah? How come yer back here?  I can’t teach you anymore underwater routines.  You’ll be wastin’ yer time, kid.”
“Well, you don’t really have to teach me anything.  My parents just want to make sure I get proper exercise here in Swim and Gym.  You see, I don’t get physical education at school anymore.”
“Why not?”
“Because I don’t go to school anymore.  I’m attending Michigan State University.”
“Like I said, Joe…  with this kid I got my work cut out for me…”
  —  Audrey Grost (Mike’s mother)
From her book:  “Genius In Residence
.

Read Full Post »

Today’s entry is about a book I read and a movie I watched a couple of weeks ago but haven’t gotten around to reviewing.  The book is: “A Mathematician’s Apology” by G. H. Hardy, 1940©.  The movie is: “Act of Valor“.
Hardy’s “Apology” is a quasi-autobiographic discussion of math, ideas and science.  Hardy has a self-deprecating style which almost reaches the point of false modesty.  During his lifetime, Hardy was considered one of the five most brilliant mathematicians in the world.  His love for his subject – math, not himself – is evident; as is his sense of loss when he realizes he is too old to continue productive work.  As difficult as this may be for some to believe (me for example), most cutting edge mathematics is done by those under 30 years of age.  In fact, it is almost parallel with the life of a world-class athlete – demonstrate early potential (pre-teens), exceed your peers at an early age (pre-20’s), make your mark (pre-30’s), then (if you’re lucky) find others you can mentor and teach (post-30’s).
But what happens when you don’t want to admit you don’t have it any move?  Does it make you bitter, or just sad?  Or maybe, a bit of both.  This seems to be the case with Hardy.  I found this book on the $2.00 rack at my local used-book store.  I opened it and read the last two paragraphs which have been previously quoted, see:  “Life’s Last Question” and “Something Of Value“.  As I don’t personally share Hardy’s value system for evaluating one’s life, it is difficult for me to appreciate the sadness his words seem to relate, but I have enough empathy for him to appreciate his sense of gradual dissolution and fade into the unknown (death).  And, it doesn’t hurt to be getting on in years myself.
The movie: “Act of Valor” is your basic heroic action flick.  It’s claim to fame is that it uses some real-life Navy SEALs in the actors roles.  It is very gung-ho and American patriotic.  If you are into that (and I am), it’s a good action movie with bad acting.  If you can’t get past the “Rah-Rah America”, you’ll have a hard time getting through the bad acting to wait for the next action.  The special effects are just okay.  I liked the movie, but I can easily see why a lot of folks will not.  I got the DVD on the cheap, but I’d say most will wait another couple of months for this to move to TV.  To be honest, I enjoyed “Battle: Los Angeles” a lot more.  Just as much “Rah-Rah”, but much better acting and special effects.  Of course, “B:LA” was SciFi, not “made-up” battling terrorists.  Like I said, wait for it (“AoV”) to come to TV.
.

Read Full Post »

(Dear God: Now I understand about faith.  There are always some things that cannot be answered.)
  —  Audrey Grost (Mike’s mother)
From her book:  “Genius In Residence
.

Read Full Post »

“Do you like art, Mike?”
“Yes, but not as much as I like science.”
“Why?”
“Because it isn’t exact – when you are mentally equipped to absorb the exact sciences, you find the unexactness of art less appealing.”
  —   Audrey Grost (Mike’s mother)
From her book: “Genius In Residence
.

 

Read Full Post »

 

“So you’re Mike Grost?  Your parents like to think you’re a genius, huh?
“No, sir.  My parents prefer to think of me as a natural resource.”
  —   Audrey Grost   (Mike’s mother)
From her book:   “Genius In Residence
.

 

Read Full Post »

 

We know now that freedom is more than the rejection of tyranny, that prosperity is more than an escape from want, that partnership is more than a sharing of power.  These are all, above all, great human adventures.
  —    President John F. Kennedy
.

 

Read Full Post »

 

Without belittling the courage with which men have died, we should not forget those acts of courage with which men have lived.
  —    President John F. Kennedy
[Remember to thank the next firefighter or police officer you see…   —    KMAB]
.

 

Read Full Post »

 

Many people complain about the lack of law enforcement today, but they fail to realize that knowing someone committed a crime is not enough, one must be able to prove it.
  —    KMAB
.

 

Read Full Post »

This may sound utopian, but I have hopes that the colleges will someday refuse to admit any student who cannot read and write.  This would be a truly revolutionary step.  For most colleges, it would immediately cut enrollment by at least half (thus solving the overcrowding problem).  It would force the high schools to teach English properly — and the taxpayers to put up the money for it, if they want their little darlings to get into college.  It would eliminate all those dreary courses in remedial English for undergraduates  —  and for students in law, business, and other postgraduate schools.  It would help a lot to reduce delinquency, since an inadequate grasp of reading and writing is one of the commonest causes for school dropouts.  It would cut unemployment and relief costs, since until a man has acquired the basic skill in using his native tongue he has little chance to learn the other skills necessary to earn a living.
  —   John Fisher
.

Read Full Post »

If we cannot live as people, we will at least try to die like men.
  —  Attica Prisoner Charles Horatio Crowley
.

Read Full Post »

If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be.  Now put foundation under them.
  —    Henry David Thoreau
.

Read Full Post »

I am not contented to know that something is; I must know why it is.
   —    KMAB
.

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: