Saturday, April 23, 2011

It's not really about the PRICE of gas anymore. Was it ever?

Look, gas prices rise and fall like the tides. It happens. It has always happened. It will continue to happen. Obama says there is no "magic bullet," and he is right. So, since there is no way to prevent this from happening, why do we keep relying on foreign oil producers?

Switching to American-owned oil reserves needs to happen. Period. I'm not saying it will help lower the price of gas (there are too many investors worried about their dividends for that to happen), but at least the money STAYS HERE.

Mr. Obama, if you really want to help the unemployment situation, help eliminate our need for foreign oil, and actually save yourself a chance at another Presidential term, then make this happen.

Oh, I know, there are people who say we'd run out, it's not enough, blah blah blah. Baloney. It is sitting in the ground doing nothing. What are we "reserving" it for anyway? Right. A crisis. Well by definition, this is not a crisis (because it is certainly not unexpected), but definitely a critical issue. We already have the Nissan Leaf (purely electric for about $15/month in charging) and other non-gasoline vehicles will follow. Yes, we have millions of gas-powered cars on the road now. Eventually, those will die off, reducing the dependence on oil-based fuels. Sure, there will always be car collectors and folks that cannot simply afford to switch. Those folks will prove a much lower demand on oil-based fuels than is currently needed.

It's time to cut our ties to those who want to control our destiny. It is time for us to control our OWN destiny as a country, as a world power. Let us lead the way to showing the oil-producing countries that we do not need them.

No, this may not lower the price of gasoline at the pump, but at least we'd be sending the money into our own economy.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

This... is American Idol - Top 8

Well, with Pia out of the contest, it will be interesting to see how things go this week. I have seen many friends on Facebook saying that they were not going to watch anymore, but they got sucked back into it again. Really, how can you not be? There is still some very good talent left. And, of course, there are those that we wonder how they are still standing up there.


Name-----Dave----Shan----Emily----Tyler--
Paul------N-------N--------Y--------Y----
Lauren----Y-------Y--------LH-------Y----
Stefano---N-------N--------N--------?----
Scotty----?-------Y--------?--------Y----
Casey-----N-------N--------N--------N----
Haley-----N-------?--------LH-------Y----
Jacob-----Y-------Y--------Y--------?----
James-----Y-------N--------Y--------Y----


Paul - Wow not a fan of his version of "Old Time Rock-n-Roll!" UGH.  My kids loved it.

Lauren - She did a very good job!

Stefano - Uh.. No.

Scotty - It's okay, but nothing great.

Casey - "Nature Boy" - Big mistake. Huge. Should have gone with Phil Collins. This is awful. What is this junk? Oh yeah, JUNK. A standing "O"!? There is no freaking way. It's over. Shan asked if they were clapping because he was done?

Haley - "Call Me" - Welcome back once again to the gravely voice. That would be sarcasm. I think she is trying too hard to be... I dunno. Something. Like she is still trying to convince the world she should be there. She's there. Just sing.

Jacob - "Bridge over troubled water" - He can sing. Flat out, giving it soul, giving it everything. He can get after it. Very nicely done.

James - "armbands and fliers" - that was funny! I actually like this a lot. This is some foot-stomping, head-banging tunage here! Of course, if you don't like this kind of music, then you probably aren't liking this. Shan said, "he is probably singing it well, but I don't like this kind of music. I hate the screaming."

Emily gave Lauren and Haley "LH" for "Loved Her!"

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Soul Surfer - Yes, a MUST see

You have to see "Soul Surfer."  Period. 

Sure, I could leave it at that, but then where is the motivation to get you to understand that you MUST see this movie?  First of all, by "see," I mean a some point in your life - in the theater, on DVD, as a digital download, whatever.  The point is that this movie was that good.

Of course, it's based on a true story, so that has a lot to do with it (though I have seen films based on true stories that weren't worth watching).  But, "Soul Surfer" is very well executed even if it weren't true.  Since the viewer knows she loses her arm in a shark attack, the film has to build the suspense as to WHEN the attack happens. Until then, several scenes lull the viewer into that place that exists somewhere between being safe and being scared.  It is that place where the best thrillers thrive.  And when the attack DID happen, it gave the whole audience a jolt.  It was funny in a way.  I mean the reaction, not the scene.  As things unfold, it is far from funny.  And even though we know the outcome from knowing the story, I could not help but sit on the edge of my seat through the intense action.

There's a "bad guy" as in any good story, and this time, it is a rival surfer.  That's another thing that makes this such a great film.  It shows the struggles that Bethany goes through adapting to her new way of life and how she handles the complete lack of compassion from her rival.  The viewer is taken on a roller coaster of emotions from some of the lowest pits to the heights of soaring beyond anyone's expectations.   You cry because of the pain and you cry because of the joy.  Yes, I cried. There, I said it.  It was that good.

I don't know about other people who see it, but I actually forgot it was a true story.  What I mean is that the "truth" of it didn't matter - I was being entertained. And, THAT did matter.

Whether you are Christian or not, a sports fan or not, a "true life" movie fan or not, I believe you are going to LOVE this movie.  Having said that, I have to wonder how anyone watching it (especially the credits at the end) can walk away saying, "There is no God."  What happened to Bethany was nothing short of a miracle - not just surviving the attack but also her transformation from seeing only herself and her surfing to someone who sees much, much more in the world (especially in her trip to Phuket after the disaster).  It was her faith that kept her alive, kept her going - even when there seemed to be no answers to her questions. 

I am not exaggerating when I say that "Soul Surfer" has moved into my Top Ten list.  Yes, it was that good.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

And then there were eight - American Idol

SPOILER ALERT!!

Here we are on Thursday night and it is time for the American Idol results.  Michelle, last year, asked that I let her know ahead of time that my post was going to reveal telling information.  So, this is the Spoiler Alert warning.  Hopefully, I will write enough filler here that the results will not appear in the blurb that fits within a Facebook post.  If it shows anything, sorry 'Chelle!

The Ford commercial was very cute and funny.  Nice little twist on things.  Constantine from a previous Idol year sang, and though I didn't care to watch him sing, the photo of his new baby was absolutely precious!!

Gwen Stefani was the fashion consultant this time.  Okay, whatever.  Iggy Pop special singer on Idol.  Okay, really?  Wow, I am guessing everyone else is off hiding from TMZ?  Does he even remember the words to his own song?  Like Shan said, if he were a contestant, they would have sent him home. 

Here are Thursday's results:

Stefano - Bottom 3
Lauren - SAFE!
Casey - SAFE!
Paul - SAFE!
Pia - Bottom 3 - SAY WHAT!?!?
Scotty - SAFE!
Jacob - Bottom 3 - WHAT!?
Haley - SAFE!
James - SAFE!

Okay, this is too wild!  How on Earth are Jacob and Pia in there!?  Stefano, sure. But the other two!? Wow, that is a shocker to me!

Jacob - SAFE!  Whew!  Ryan pulled a fast one there.  What a doof.
Stefano - SAFE???
Pia - Voted off!? 

Wow, talk about every vote counting.  I can only assume everyone assumed she would get votes, so they didn't vote.  Pia should have won the whole thing.  This is unbelievable.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

American Idol Top 9

This week, the singers grabbed songs from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  Some of them kicked serious Idol booty.  Others, just meh.  Here are our picks and pans (and a whole lotta question marks):

Name-----Dave---Shan---Emily
Jacob-----Y------Y-------Y--
Haley-----N------N-------Y--
Casey-----?------Y-------N--
Lauren----Y------Y-------Y--
James-----N------?-------N--
Scotty----Y------Y-------Y--
Pia-------?------?-------?--
Stefan----N------N-------N--
Paul------Y------Y-------?--



Jacob - Man in the Mirror - Holy smokes! Now THAT is how to start off the show. This was great! Way to stand up for what you believe in - change the song when it doesn't feel right. Excellent!

Haley - Take a little piece of my heart - I am not a big fan of hers. This was okay in places, but she is too "all over the place" for my liking - growling then some little kid voice, then talking, then growl again. Nah. Emily, on the other hand, LOVES Haley. Emily was NOT happy that we said no. She said, "You people are weird!"

Casey - Have you ever seen the rain - I sorta like this, sorta not. I dunno, it's mellow enough but it is a bit reggae or something. He can play, though. No doubt there.

Lauren - Natural Woman - This is well done. Not out-of-the-park, but still nice and smooth.

James - My guitar gently weeps - Seriously? The rocker guy does a ballad? Wow, bad choice. Sorry. BBZZTT. Wrong answer.

Scotty - That's all right mama - Very nice! Great job.

Pia - Not really the best Pia moment. Like Shan said, "Can she sing it? Sure! but..." I have to agree.

Stefan - When a man loves a woman - I am not a Stefan fan. This falsetto thing is not working. This is Vegas Show Time. I'll take a pass.

Paul - Folsom Prison Blues - I like the upbeat take on this, but not sure it is the right song for him. Not bad overall.