My Uncle’s Weight Problem

Most of us have struggled with our weight at one time or another.  The diet industry is big business in the US and most of the world stereotypes Americans as fat.

I love my uncle.

In 2000, he was about 50 lbs overweight but he carried it well.  It caused a few aches and pains, but no serious health issues.

Unfortunately, he continued to pack on the pounds…

In 2013, he’s almost 160 lbs overweight and there’s a lot of things he just can’t do any longer.

And it looks like he’s going to continue to add at least another 10 lbs every year.

He insists that he doesn’t eat too much – that he just needs a little exercise.

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My Uncle Sam:

Fat Uncle sam

Cartoon via http://www.adamzyglis.com/images/cartoon25.jpg

10 lbs = $1,000,000,000,000.00 or about $3,300 per person living in the US.

 

January 9, 2013 at 10:07 pm

Happy New Year 2013!

fireworks

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind ?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and auld lang syne* ?

CHORUS:
For auld lang syne, my jo,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

And surely ye’ll be your pint-stowp !
and surely I’ll be mine !
And we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

CHORUS

We twa hae run about the braes,
and pu’d the gowans fine ;
But we’ve wander’d mony a weary fit,
sin auld lang syne.

CHORUS

We twa hae paidl’d i’ the burn,
frae morning sun till dine ;
But seas between us braid hae roar’d
sin auld lang syne.

CHORUS

And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere !
and gie’s a hand o’ thine !
And we’ll tak a right gude-willy waught,
for auld lang syne.

CHORUS:
For auld lang syne, my jo,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

January 1, 2013 at 1:23 am

Movie Review: The Hobbit – An Unexpected Journey (4 of 5)

 

 

Quick Update:  I just saw The Hobbit for the second time and enjoyed it immensely.  I stand by my original criticism of the movie, but did not find it nearly as bothersome during the second viewing (I still don’t expect/want an extended edition of this movie).

The-Hobbit-An-Unexpected-Journey-poster-230912

For once I am glad that I only have a few dozen visitors per day.  I can be honest without being tracked down and boiled alive for posting this review.  I plan to address generalities and avoid specific spoilers.

I adore The Lord of the Rings.  I am not a fanboy that complains about the changes that Jackson made to bring LOTR to the screen.  Tom Bombadil is still there in the books whenever I want to visit with him and Liv Tyler did a fine job with the expanded role that Arwen played.  I was a bit miffed with Giimli being made the butt of many jokes, but not so much when Jackson did the same with Merry and Pip.  After all, the changes also allowed Pip to redeem himself by persuading Treebeard to go to war when that wasn’t in the book.

But this review is for The Hobbit (part 1 of 3).  As many others, I was happy to hear that Jackson was going to split the book into 2 movies, but grew concerned when he announced it to be a trilogy.  There is a wealth of material in Tolkien’s other writings to embellish the story, but sequels to successful movies tend to attempt bigger and more impressive than the originals, usually resulting in outrageous silliness.

The Hobbit suffers from sequelitis.  Almost everything was turned up to 11.

Not to say the movie is bad or unwatchable.  I took the family to last night’s midnight premiere and we enjoyed it (except my wife who slept through part of it – she is not a night owl).  The cinematography was lush and beautiful, the acting was splendid (Martin Freeman is perfectly natural in everything I’ve seen him in), and the special effects are dazzling.  When the LOTR was released, each movie left us wanting more, and a multitude of fans spent a sizable chunk of change purchasing the extended versions.  I don’t expect that to be the case with The Hobbit (at least, not part 1).

The movie starts with the elderly Bilbo (Ian Holm) that we all know, just as he begins to write the book detailing his adventures.  Elijah Wood is back briefly, and the pair ease us into the story.  It’s nicely done and gently brings us back home to Middle Earth.   LOTR began with a prologue introducing us to Sauron and the Ring.  In the Hobbit, Bilbo tells us about the Dwarf kingdom and the dragon, Smaug.

And then, the story begins with Martin Freeman as Bilbo, Ian McKellen as Gandalf and a host of dwarfs.  The movie follows the book fairly well, but not religiously.  We get a flashback of Thorin Oakenshield for character development and it introduces my first complaint, but the problem isn’t that the scene wasn’t in the book.

In LOTR, the treachery of Saruman included the creation of the Uruk-Kai, an orc hybrid that is stronger and able to withstand direct sunlight.  They are presented as something new and uniquely dangerous.  But in Thorin’s flashback we see a giant albino orc that’s the size of a troll.  Not to mention the CGI wasn’t as convincing as Gollum in the original trilogy.  Later in the film is another giant orc, though that CGI was better.

Orcs cannot abide direct sunlight, except for when they can.  At one point, Gandalf actually states that they need to move into sunlight to escape from the orcs even though they had previously been attacked in broad daylight.  Another thing; I’ve only seen it once, but it seemed like the movie went from day to night and back again as the plot dictated.

Geography was also confusing.  At one point, the company is on a plain of rolling hills with a few mounds of rocks.  They descend into a cave below one of the mounds – about 20 feet below the surface.  In the back of the cave is a tunnel that they follow and the camera pulls back to watch them pass single file through a chasm that is at least 50 feet deep and then exit into a mountain pass.

Do you remember the WTF moment in The Two Towers where Legolas uses a shield to surf down a set of stone steps?  It was a very over-the-top moment that broke the spell and pulled you out of the movie.  There are about a dozen similar scenes in The Hobbit.

Rotten Tomatoes is currently giving The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey a 66% critic / 81% audience rating.  As you can see, I feel about the same.

Recommended, but keep your expectations modest.

I told my family where I thought Jackson would end the first movie and I was exactly right.

December 14, 2012 at 1:51 pm 2 comments

30 Year Old Songs

Over at JayG’s site Marooned, I learned that Michael Jackson’s Thriller is 30 years old.  JayG was amazed that his 9 year old daughter knew all of the words to a 30 year old song and stated that he wouldn’t have known the words to a 30 year old song when he was 9 (in 1980).

I used my Google-Fu to find out that Gene Autry’s Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer came out in 1950.  I’m sure JayG’s little girl knows that song even better than Thriller.

So I decided to check on what songs were 30 years old when I was 9 (1973) – yes, I am older than JayG.

Hits of 1943:

As Time Goes By by Rudy Vallee

Paper Doll by the Mills Brothers

That Old Black Magic by Glenn Miller

Stormy Weather by Lena Horne

 

November 30, 2012 at 9:03 pm 1 comment

I Might Be A Gun Nut

I took my wife to see Skyfall last night (Minor Spoiler).

During a scene where Bond and his companions assess their stock of weapons just before being attacked by the bad guys, we see one rifle, one shotgun, one pistol and one hunting knife.

My wife (who doesn’t like guns) leans over and whispers into my ear:

“They should have come to our house.”

November 10, 2012 at 9:13 am

Si vis pacem, para bellum

“If you wish for peace, prepare for war”

I almost missed it, but Happy Parabellum Day ! ! !

9 x 19

 

Hey, I figure that if March 14th can be Pi Day, then September 19th must celebrate the 9mm Parabellum.  Just don’t shoot them up into the air to celebrate.

September 19, 2012 at 10:40 pm

Federal Government Announces New C.A.L.E. Standards

The Federal Government announced today that the new Citizen Average Life Expectancy (C.A.L.E.) standards will require that the U.S. Healthcare Industry (doctors, hospitals and pharmaceutical companies) will increase the average life expectancy of U.S. citizens to 150 years of age by the year 2025 or suffer severe financial penalties.

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Hey, if it works for cars – why not?

August 29, 2012 at 7:27 pm

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