The ongoing prattlings of a lifelong geek and his random luck with love, work, children and rediscovering himself.


MOVIE: Mission Impossible - Ghost Protocol

I have to say that Cruise and Company came up with a great sequel.  This is definitely worth seeing for it's action and technobabble (mixed with a lot of reality, such as the magnetic flotation device they used, which is currently real technology).

I'm tempted to go see this a second time with family members who haven't seen it yet.  I anticipate the series will continue because I can't fathom this one not getting great box office receipts.  Very little that (I think) would be a problem for early teens to see.  Go enjoy it!

MOVIE: The Muppets (2011)

I really can't say much about this movie beyond that it was "okay".  These days, I'm not big on "family friendly" movies like this, I guess.  It seems to be mainly aimed at little kids, despite the inclusion of "Forget You" by Ceelo Green (sung by chickens).  So, it's fine if you have little kids, that's about all I can recommend.


To Blogger Or Not To Blogger

I logged onto Blogger this morning to shut down my Journal here after several years, because I was going to just use Google+ posts for the same purpose.  It now seems that Google has finally integrated Blogger into Google+ as they  had previously advertised they would do.  So... I'm staying with Blogger for now.  Let's see how this works.

Haven't been posting a lot lately, mainly due to a control of information (in a very public way - I find that usually works best) that has to occur thanks to the ex-whore and her family's shenanigans. (aww, did you not think I had any clue?  sorry, "dear")  Funny thing when previous family members pretend to be lawyers and pretend to have my children's best interests in mind while attempting to steal their freedom and control... those children get smarter every day, and I am able to mostly sit back and watch the proper courses of action take place.  A little nudge here or there sometimes.  But mostly, my kids proving they are the intelligent, see-through-the-bullshit awesome people that I always hoped they would be.  :-*

2012 promises to be good based on my current course.  ;-)   Can't WAIT for 2004-30916-FMCI to finally hit.  ;-)  


October of 2011

I know, I know.  I haven't been posting much this year.  There are reasons for that.  But suffice it to say I am extremely content with how every single aspect of my life is going right now, even dealing with the "final stupidity" of days past coming to a head in the coming weeks (with basically no possibility of a negative outcome for me). 

I think the one thing that is bugging me right now is that I have family of the furry-persuasion that will be splitting up among human family members soon.  I do not look forward to that at all.  One has already migrated, while the other two are very clearly reacting to things "they sense" in the household.  I'm talking, of course, about Kosh, Boomer and Six Point One.  Just when I thought the effects of my own children starting their adult lives were finally settled in my heart and mind, now it's happening all over again.  I know what people mean (even the ones most consider crazy for expressing it) when they say their animals are family.  I've always felt that way, but now it's like "kids leaving home" all over again.   It's the one thing that has been depressing me randomly over the past few weeks.  (sigh)    But I guess that makes sense for an overly emotional person who like to bottle it all up inside.

So to Jaime I say "love you baby", to my daughters "can't wait for Horror Nights next week!", to my sons "I'm insanely proud of your contributions to the US Army and totally envy you right now", and to Volusia County "Thanks!  Every single thing I've asked for is happening in perfect order to end the stupidity of days past!"

A special shout out to Eric and Jacob - thanks for your support of my ongoing changes and helping the "final piece of my life-changing puzzle" fall into place.  You literally were the final aspect of things to make it all possible.  :-) 


MOVIE: The Help

There were no surprises in this movie - the commercials and hype surrounding it gave it all away - but it was still an enjoyable story told, acted and directed quite well.  I enjoy seeing the history of racism and related stupidity told from the point of view of those who were oppressed.  :-)


MOVIE: Cowboys And Aliens

A relatively unique storyline (which is not seen very often these days it seems like) played out by some great actors (plus Olivia Wilde, who is on the other end of the spectrum, and who apparently some people think is a "beautiful woman") with some very generic, previously seen (Independence Day, Super 8, name a few more alien movies from the past decade) ends up a "good movie".  I enjoyed the action, the mix of old west, aliens literally lassoing humans (that's irony, folks) and the various interactions (especially those with Harrison Ford's character).  I did not enjoy seeing an alien, with fish-bug eyes, with hands coming out of it's chest, which was physically larger than the humans, which frankly was horrigly NOT unique in an otherwise nice idea for a story.  I also thought that "Last Airbender" boy could have actually shown some real emotion instead of playing young Spock, but oh well.

Go see it.  It's worth it overall.

MOVIE: Captain America - The First Avenger

I completely enjoyed this movie.  Being a lifelong comic collector, I'm of course pretty judgmental of such movies.  But frankly, they did a fantastic job overall with this.  Sure, I could name several things that could have, should have, would have been good (most notably, involving Nick Fury in "the past" and his possible exposure to the S.S.Serum, involvement with the Howling Commandos, etc).  The movie just worked for me.  The catchup with the present worked perfectly.  The post-credits clips of The Avengers coming in 2012 were tantalizing.  GO SEE this movie if you have not yet.  It's loads of fun!


Cable TV = Gone

Got rid of Cable TV a couple weeks ago.  Started using Hulu on the XBox 360, and got last night I turned in all the local channels via "rabbit ears".  Forty-six channels (12 marked as Favorites for daily use).  Not bad, so far.  Will look forward to either my main, or one of the unused, computer(s) in the house moving to the TV, with the old cable tuner card I have somewhere, to give me DVR capabilities, plus full web-video access.


MOVIE: Transformers - Dark Of The Moon

I, of course, enjoyed this movie.  I found myself laughing out loud quite a bit.  I am not sure how much someone who has NOT seen the previous movies would enjoy it simply due to the large amount of backstory on characters that may be needed to understand certain things (since I already know the backstory, it's hard for me to say).

I do have one semi-criticism:   Did we REALLY need to ripoff Star Trek's most infamous quote for Spock just because Leonard Nimoy was voicing the character?  REALLY?   Geez.   Someone call Paramount so they can get that paycheck... because, y'know, the needs of the movie studio outweigh the needs of the self-centered producer of a hit movie...  ;-)

Great flick overall.  I really enjoyed it.


Ceiling, At Rest

May it rest in piece.  It has served the world well for many years.  Now it is at peace.


MOVIE: Green Lantern

2.5 stars out of 5.   That's about all I can say.  It just wasn't that good.   Matinee showing worthy.

MOVIE: Super 8

I was not going to bother seeing this, but JaimeLeigh wanted to see it with her son since we were in his vicinity, and I was pleasantly surprised.  It was not Oscar material, but given that it truly ends up being "E.T. remade like Cloverfield", it was a fun movie to watch.


Orbiter Online... Remotely

October 1994:  Starship Sirius goes online in Central Florida.  A 7 line BBS with internet connectivity.

December 1995:  Upgraded to the name Orbiter Online as we begin our expansion towards 20 phone lines and one ISDN  line.

2001:  Moved to Port Orange and ended up losing dialup access after a series of issues involving no broadband access being available (partly bad planning, partly an inept local phone company);  moved to free non-profit hosting model for local schools and others.

2011:  For the first time, Orbiter and all it's domains are moving "out of the house".  It's both exciting (money savings) and a little sad.  I will still be hosting, but remotely.  All in all, it's just another semi-exciting step forward in the great changes happening in mine and my children's lives.  :-)   Seventeen years hosting and serving local schools and users.  Wow.

Orbiter and it's related BBS / web hosting / domain handling activities continue to be a minor part of my life.  There are even a couple of side projects that maybe I'll start up again that involve comics books, web hosting, and still the long standing dream of a restaurant... who knows what will come next.  I have a future wife and many things to work out first which are definitely more important.  :-)   So, ship's registry NX-40911 is still around, and isn't a museum just yet...


MOVIE: X-Men First Class

I am a comic book collector  (who may possibly be winding down on that front over the next year, but am not sure yet).  I have been with the exception of a few years early in my married life when we were watching money) since around the age of 10 when I first picked up ROM Spaceknight.

X-Men First Class was, in many ways, the near-perfect super hero "origin" movie.

I am not going to spoil ANYTHING about this movie.  I am simply making the above declaration and suggest you go see it, especially if you saw the three X-Men movies, or if you like the X-Men comics.  Well done to all involved!


Adjusting From Selfless To (Slightly) Selfish Mode

It occurred to me last night, as I was reading some unfortunate posts by one of my kids that I'm finally entering the part of my life where I can concentrate on ME for once.  I did this once before to a lesser degree a few years ago, and ended up in a relationship that never should have happened (and in the process, caused some pain to my four kids during that brief and poorly chosen union).  Now after a period of reset, some searching for that special someone complete and a shift from over 12 years in a negative working environment, I am in a relationship with a wonderful woman that I care for deeply, am in a job that is full of positive-thinking co-workers AND management, and can spend each day just about stress-free.  This is a very new concept for me to deal with!

The only things left stress-wise are related to the long dead relationship with my ex-wife and her father (and their influence that is misleading my children to various degrees).  But I have faith in my children and their ability to make wise decisions as they enter the early years of adulthood (especially as they are now armed with a wide range of information that was never made available by me until this very week).  In some cases it may take months.. possibly years.. but they know that my love and attitude towards them is consistent and lifelong.  :-*

Jaime and I continue to discuss what we want to do, while Chris gets ready to spend a month in California with his brother Anthony who will be visiting from his Army Base in Germany.  Amanda is headed towards marriage in September to her sweetheart Marcus, and Daniella is (apparently) doing well with her work (she is not currently talking to me unless she needs something, but again.. faith..).  Jaime's daughter is finishing up high school (while her son is in college and doing the young adult thing as well).  We've watched six awesome kids grow from babies to where they are now, and I think I can speak for us both to say we're excited more than anything else about all of their long-term prospects.

It amazed me yesterday to realize: "I can think about ME now" which I shared aloud with Amanda as I was dealing with some of the last vestiges of the previously mentioned ex.  Being able to actually consider MY wants and MY future once again without (much) worry for The Mighty Four is unprescedented.  They are surely still ever present in my mind's eye, but I have music, art and other hobbies to spend more time on, plus trips and lifestyle changes already being discussed with my fiance to consider and implement.  My mother is apparently headed toward remarriage (dad died back in 2009) with Merle, and hopefully has found happiness there.  So it truly is... time for Tony to think about Tony.  And Jaime.  :-*


You Do Not GIve A Full Power Of Attorney To Someone Just Because You Are Going Into The Military

When I recently learned that my ex-wife was asking (and successfully got) my youngest son (age 18) to give her Power Of Attorney because he was going into the Army, I immediately had grave concerns.  "Why would she do that," I wondered.  I did some investigation.  This is the result of that investigation, both with several Army veterans (who will remain nameless out of respect for their giving me this information) and spending several hours reading online about the subject.

First, I erroneously talked with the ex's father, who up until this event happened, I had trusted as someone I coudl talk frankly with about things related to my (and her) children.  The same day, I discovered he lied to me repeatedly (proven by one of those same children who verified he personally notarized one of these Powers Of Attorney that he claimed (vehemently, passionately and repeatedly) as having absolutely no knowledge of).

One of the kids suggested also that their Recruiter said they should do this.  This gave me pause, and made me decide I should investigate much further, including asking advice of those who  have served in the military.

Asking Army Veteran "1", I was told he saw absolutely no reason to give a Power Of Attorney to someone, except possibly a LIMITED POA which gave decision rights that would be specifically spelled out in the POA, such as decisions to be made for them if they were incapacitated (in a coma, etc).  This made sense to me.  However, a REGULAR Power Of Attorney (to my knowledge at the time) gives full control of their finances (access to their credit, as if the person with POA were their spouse basically, except perhaps MORE powerful than a marriage as it supercedes any future marriage after-the-fact, meaning the person with POA could trump any decision a fuure spouse could make).   So, this is already clear reason by one veteran with extensive financial and military experience why you would not give a blanket Power Of Attorney to someone "just because you are going in the Army".

Asking Army Veteran "2" (also married to a veteran), I receive very similar informtion.  At first, he debated that "maybe" a "LIMITED Power Of Attorney" might be a good idea for "medical reasons and decision making", but certainly not full financial control (which was verified with one of my kids, that their mother suggested "SHE COULD BUY LAND ON THEIR BEHALF" while they were in the military if a "good deal" came around).  Unfortunately, the rose-colored glasses of a "helpful family member" is seemingly being used to try (and in at least one case, succeed in getting) my sons to give control of their LIVES to someone of a less than trustworthy nature.  This veteran then suggested something that completely slipped my mind as the logical alternative:   A LIVING WILL.  This is EXACTLY what a Living Will is for, is it not?  To allow care for an individual to be dictated by that individual ahead of time and to give power of those decisions to another person if they are incapacitated, without necessarily giving power over their finances or general decision making skills to them?  Interesting.

Asking Army Veteran "3", who had extensive years-long dealings with most of my kids, is a "lifer" in the military and someone whom I'd literally follow the advice of without hesitation out of respect for him and the example he set for them, told me unequivocally that this was not the right decision, and that "he would question" the motives of a person coercing an impressionable young person to give absolute control of their affairs, giving full access to their credit and financial affairs, and that a Living Will sounded like the right idea "to care for and handle the needs" of someone who may be incapacitated.

So I began yet another search online (Google, then other sites) for information about this.  Googling such terms as (in case someone reading this would want to do it themselves - remember to read MORE THAN ONE RESULT when doing so):

"going in the army power of attorney"
"power of attorney versus living will"
and several others

...I read over and over again how a blanket Power Of Attorney was not a good idea.  One of the many results I read through even states that IF YOU ARE GOING to use a Power Of Attorney, you limit it to the things you WANT TO GIVE POWER OVER and that otherwise you are giving FULL CONTROL OF YOUR FINANCES to that person.  CLICK HERE TO READ MORE from a single source of information.  Step FIVE is ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT!

The fact that my son was told "land purchases" could be made "for him" in his absence told me that this is the intent (to perhaps use his credit and financial information "legally" without his consent), not simply "medical concerns".  The fact that at least one (and probably both) of my DAUGHTERS, who are NOT GOING IN THE MILITARY were asked to sign a Power Of Attorney tells that this is the intent.  And the fact that my children, who spent 18 years under the "rule" of parents (mostly myself) that my son, both times discussing this POA with his mother has told me he does not want to discuss it WITH ME, and that his grandfather lied to me repeatedly, and that his mother is someone of a less-than-honest nature unfortunately (accentuated by the fact that I would never ask my children to give me Power Of Attorney and yet one of them suggested that maybe "I was mad that I didn't think of it first," sadly).

So, all I can now do, since they are adults, is give them advice, give them the advice of veterans who know, and give them the benefit of a lifetime spent realizing where honesty lies within our family.  Unfortunately, it is not on the side of the family that DID APPROACH THEM and try to make them sign a Power Of Attorney. It is not on the side of the family that REPEATEDLY LIED (as proven by that same 18 year old son who watched his grandfather notarized the Power Of Attorney) about having any knowledge that this was being done.   It is not with the side of the family that in fact has stolen money from multiple sources, including THESE VERY CHILDREN when they were younger, as well as their FATHER (me), previous EMPLOYERS and the GIRL SCOUTS OF AMERICA (documented by the News-Journal, a public newspaper, stating that criminal wrongdoing was admitted and restitition paid through local law enforcement when it was discovered, investigated and handled).  People make mistakes, certainly (I have stolen petty cash from an employer in my history, which I've shared with my childeren as an object lesson which I have always prayed would help them realize that we are all human and can learn from each other).  However, a pattern of repeated behavior, family members lying to cover the situation, and making sure that the father who raised the kids is kept completely out of the loop is certainly NOT the action of someone trying to "do the right thing" and "protect" someone.

It's the action of someone trying to turn my children into LOTTERY TICKETS.

I pray that they continue to evaluate this situation, and that any of them which has given this Power to their mother gets it REVOKED IMMEDIATELY and instead sets up a Living Will if they are truly concerned about their decision making abilities.  I certainly offer myself to them, but frankly, given the fact that I have to be in this position yet again of being the "bad guy" by outing their mother, I have already told those who I have talked to that they should find a NEUTRAL THIRD PARTY to involve (perhaps an attorney who will simply and without ANY SELF-SERVING involvement handle this professionally and legally).  Their grandfather is not an attorney, despite some limited schooling he supposedly received.

I post this online in an effort to make sure that this information is PUBLIC and (as always) to allow ANYONE who wishes to debate, argue or perhaps BENEFIT from it to see it, comment on it, and most of all, to arm my children against what I "suspect" (by decades of experience) is a manipulation by their mother (and possibly their grandfather).  The day that they discover that their credit was used for her (or their) selfish purposes, and that they GAVE that power to them, I hope and pray they are able to recover from the decision made by a younger self, without the benefit of INDEPENDENT LEGAL COUNSEL.

I remain, and will always be, the proud father to the Mighty Four, who has had the unenviable job of having to defend,  protect and advise my awesome kids against the inappropriate behavior of their own mother.  I do not apologize for this.  I am done giving the "benefit of a doubt" to her (or her father, now).

To my children:   I am "sorry" that I yet again have to be the cold, hard bearer of facts, but I also LOVE YOU WITHOUT FAIL and have ALWAYS had your best intenntions at heart.  I will NEVER allow you to be damaged, within whatever means I have or can take, you have my promise on that, as you always have.  Love you!!!!!


Salesforce and Excel Connector

I am now a Salesforce Admin who barely ever goes into Salesforce... unless forced to for some user request that I can't handle in Excel.

All hail Excel.


Sabotaging What Used To Be Your Family

Where is the logic in sabotaging the chilren you gave birth to?  In you helping turn them against each other?  In your standing back and allowing it to happen without acting to help them?  In never being a mother and trying to be a piggybank to them when they desperately need... no, CRAVE... guidance and love?

Apparently it is the desired result for some people.  When this happens, others have to take matters into their own hands.. especially after too long standing on the sidelines (for which I apologize profusely to my beautiful, awesome young adult men and women I call "kids" - I, apparently, have been standing back too long as well).  I hope you forgive me for waiting so long to act, which I am now going to do whatever I can.  :-* 


It Was The Best Of Times, It Was...

It's really frustrating how a week can be so insanely excellent in so many ways, and then reverse itself so quickly.  And then a $5 fan made it that much worse.  So off to Best Buy I go to rectify at least one problem.  (sigh)


Catchup - Love

I'm in love.  Her name is Jaimeleigh!  There, it's said and clear to everyone now.  :-) 

Summarizing my "love life" to date... there was high school (2 dates), post high school (very few dates), then I met someone who unfortunately did not end up my life-mate - I will always be thankful to her for my children, but she and I ultimately were not compatible.  We divorced many years ago, I continued raising my children, and after a couple years of waiting for the my mind to reset, I went on a couple single dates, then met someone who was on the wrong end of the totem pole compared to where I had already been.  I entered a second relationship which ended very badly (especially for my youngest son who was emotionally hurt by it, but I believe he and I are stronger overall in the end, despite her stupidity and attempt to cause harm), and then went about waiting for the right time again, "resetting my system".   In mid-2010, I began dating again.  A couple single dates, a couple short-term "relationships" that expanded my horizons in ways I never thought I'd be exposed to (including a transgendered individual), so yeah.  After a lifetime feeling like I'd been on the short end of the "dating knowledge" scale, I feel that I'm... knowledgeable enough to be really dangerous.   (ROFL!)

Okay... on to the GOOD part!  The best part EVER!

Jaimeleigh (for the phonetically impaired, that's jay-mee-LEE) has stolen my heart.  What's interesting is that she did it by the end of our first date.  We both felt this insane connection that was unreal and very scary to us both.  Scary, exciting, teenager-like feelings (in my words).

We've spent our time together since then discovering just how similar we are mentally, emotionally, and how compatible we are in many ways.  There is a literal chemical connection between us.  We touch, we kiss, and the sensations for me are like nothing I've ever experienced before.  It's akin to putting a 9-volt battery on your tongue.  No joke, no exaggeration.  She is electric to me.

Now for the thing that I've not told many people yet.   

We're engaged!!  

We talked about it at length, and we have many possible plans for how we're going to do things, but one thing's for sure.  We've agreed on a long engagement, both for our own comfort, as well as being sure about things, and also so that my daughter's wedding in September is the focal point of attention this year.  We have no dates, but it would appear we are looking at sometime in 2012.  We'll see.

I am so in love with my beautiful fiance, and am so excited that we're completely open in our communication, show complete respect for each other, and have no hidden agendas or insanity waiting to jump out at a moment's notice.  She completes me (thank you, Jerry McGuire) and I get the distinct impression that I do so for her as well.   :-) 

I'm in love and it's AWESOME!  I'm happy to tell the world, and excited that we are of like minds to be careful, take our time, and strengthen what we have while planning carefully for our future.

I love you, baby!!   :-* 

Catchup - Family

So, sticking with the birth order mechanism I frequently use, because it's 'safe' and no one can (hopefully) accuse me of showing any favoritism (which I feel I have avoided successfully most of the time)...

Daniella:   Dani's been in her apartment for a few months now, and recently she's told me she has a roommate joining her soon.  I don't want to reveal too much since it's not my place to do so.  She's doing well at work from what I'm told, and is also looking at continuing her CNA training, though possible advancement at her long time job might alter those plans.   She seems to be on top of things and doing well, and I'm extremely happy for this!

Amanda:   Mandi came back home after being with her grandfather and mother in their family business on the west coast for a few months.  She's in full steam ahead mode for her wedding on September 10 (9-10-11) to Marcus.  Despite some bizarre decisions and ongoing stupidity from former family members, she's happily making things tick, getting ready to start her life with her future husband, and I support her, love her fiance, and think that all will be great in the end.

Anthony:   Anthony has been in Afghanistan for the past few months with the US Army, and just spent 2 weeks back home visiting with family and friends, spending hard earned money (bought his brother motorcycle!) and decompressing from the reality that is a war zone where he "works".  He's seen, and been in, some situations that most of us can never fathom, but thankfully will be out of there and in Germany for the remainder of his time with the Army in about 45 days.  I'm excited to know that.  He will be able to travel to any European country by basically hopping a train during his weekends off.  I'm jealous.  I'm very proud of him and so was Jaimeleigh, who commented to me on things she saw that just made me even more proud.

Christopher:   Chris is finishing up his final year of high school, and currently works part time, and has graduated from his scooter to his motorcycle given to him by his brother.  He's in California visiting his mom for Spring Break at this moment, and is looking forward to a certain graduation gift that I've agreed to give him early so he can enjoy it before he enters Army Boot Camp, where he'll then move into his Military Police training.  He's still with his girlfriend Kimi, and is looking forward to getting even more buff (makes me sick, y'know?  I was never built as well as either of my sons, though I ran better than either of them - Chris will deny this, but oh well).

Kosh:  Can't forget the pussy-kitties!   Kosh turns 18 this year, and is bouncy and happy as ever.  He has turned into girl's-lap kitty for some odd reason (goes off on his own all day, but insists on lap-time with whatever female enters the house).

Boomer:   Boomer is several years old now, and is pretty mellow, though he and Kosh still get into chase-antics around the house.  He still sheds a little too much (being the white cat from a black mother and all black siblings) but is very lovable (even when he's acting like the RCA Dog from those ancient logos, and sits and stares you down).

Me:   Wow.  Months of unemployment in 2010, followed by a new job a little further away, learning new software that is used at a wide variety of companies worldwide (including now my former employer - ha ha).  My experience base continues to grow, my life begins to head towards some major changes (all children being on their own, an empty home... temporarily...).   But more on me in the "Changes - Love" post.  :-)

Catchup - Movies

I've been to quite a few movies in the past few months that I've not posted my thoughts on.  I will not remember them all at this point, so I can only make comments where memory serves.  *Spoilers Galore*  This list goes in roughly reverse date order, newest to oldest.

I Am Number Four:  I have ended up seeing this movie three times.  It wasn't necessarily because it was the greatest movie ever.  It was a good flick, which followed a very standard WB-tv network formula (insert scenes where modern pop music is played by barely known bands and have everyone get dramatic or walk in slo-mo).  I saw this with three different sets of people, all of who enjoyed it it.  It's made by the people who make Smallville for The WB, which shows why it follows this familiar formula... and it worked for me.  Good show.

Black Swan:  I heard a lot of hype about this movie, and mention of some special effects that were not the primary drive of the movie, so I figured I'd give it a view.  I'm not clear what the big deal was about the movie, because frankly, it was like watching borderline kiddie-porn (because I'm sorry, but no matter how old Natalie Portman gets, she still looks about 16-17 years old to me, and since her part in this movie basically involved her masturbating, having a brief lesbian fling, and being fondled by her teacher to prove a point, I really didn't see whatever it was people were ooh-ing and aah-ing about).  It was an "okay" movie.  I saw nothing award worthy (and she won Best Actress for this thing).  Oh well.

Tron Legacy:  Being a child of the 80's, a computer geek, and a lover of the original Tron, I of course looked forward to this movie.  I was not exactly thrilled with it in hindsight.  There were plot holes, unexplained things (was that Clu 2.0 from the first movie, or was Clu "brought back from oblivion, for instance).  It COULD be they were holding certain facts back (why was Tron's face obscured at all times?) for future sequels, but frankly, it was only a decent movie overall.  Nice to have the sequel, but the whole idea of a life coming out of the grid (versus one of us going in) was also severely underplayed (unless, again, they had planned more revelations for sequels).  The animated series coming to TV soon looks really good, but at this moment, there is supposedly no plans for another sequel.  Fail.   :-/

Little Fockers:  Amusing.  I only half-heartedly ever see these "Fockers" movies.  It was amusing, that's about all I can say.  (yawn)

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 1:  (big yawn)  They shouldn't have split this into two parts.  First 45 minutes was exciting.  Last 2 hours should have taken 45 minutes or less to tell.  They're blatantly milking the Potter franchise.  It's too bad.  Also too bad that it's grossing more than any other Potter movie.  Just proves once again that there are a bunch  of LEMMINGS out there that will spend money on something just because it's from some franchise they like.  Hundreds of millions of dollars.  It wasn't worth it.  It really wasn't.  :-P

Justin Bieber:  Just kidding.

The Social Network:  I was surprised by this movie, because I knew it would be over the top in the acting and the storyline generally speaking, but I still really enjoyed it.  You can't accept it as anything approaching the real truth about "what happened" in Facebook's history, just a vaguely similar story with a lot of exaggeration and drama added... but for the purpose of a movie, it was good.  I wanted to be Facebook's founder at many points of the movie (I loved his attitude and self-righteous no-care attitude that others didn't like what he may say, because "he was right", end of story).  ;-)   Before I relate too closely to this guy, I better end this review.  I really enjoyed this movie.

Megamind:  This was only okay, to me.  Good guy gets tired of being the good guy, bad guy ends up becoming the new good guy, whatever.  *shrug*

Red:  Really great action flick that was well edited, directed, acted... the whole package.  The action of a Die Hard movie with the fun and attitude of Watchmen or The Matrix.  I could see this again, actually.

Jackass 3D:  Silly.  Amusing.  Was worth seeing in a $1 theater, that's about it.

Despicable Me:  Better than I thought it would be, but ultimately slow moving, not a great story, much more childish than I thought.  Watch it with your 9 year old, but expect them to enjoy it.  You may not.

Unstoppable:  I can only say... that I was making out during 75% of this movie.  I only got the basic story line.  It wasn't rocket science.  They had to stop an out of control train from crashing.  They did.  The making out was really fun.  The movie was passable.  Worth a buck, not sure about full price.  Unless you are going to make out in the back of the theater.  Then maybe.

Easy A:  A very good movie, in my opinion!  Emma Stone is cute, and has that dry humor that can be enjoyed in the right arena, and this was it.  I could easily watch this again.  No award material here, but fun to watch.

Skyline:  A neat little scifi/invasion flick.  Looks like it was done on a budget, but it took full advantage of that budget.  Decent story line.  But the surprise ending was really awesome.  Literally, the last scenes (which take place during the credits actually).  Cool stuff.

The Town:  I didn't get why a lot of people thought this was some kind of fantastic movie, fantastic acting job, or whatever.  It was "okay".  It wasn't something to "write home about".  It had a decent story line.  That was about it.  No special effects, just a decent story, decently acted.  *shrug*   A comparable movie, that was much better in most ways, would be "City Island".

Saw 3D:  It was a Saw movie.  Nothing amazing here.  Not the best in the series, that's for sure.

Toy Story 3:  Very touching, very well written, extremely fun, and a great ending to the series, which could also server as a launch pad for a "next generation" of sequels.  By far the best of the series!

Devil:  A good M.Night Sham-al-whatever movie.  Since his movies are like 67% miss and 33% hit, it was nice that this one is (what I consider to be) one of his hits (unlike things like the "Lady In Lake" or *ugh* "Air Bender" movies).  It was a well assembled mix of story, acting, lighting and suspense.  Worth a ticket price.

Alpha and Omega:   Who thought this would be appropriate for children?  Who thought this would be a good story?  Who thought this was worth making?!  Good Lord.  A total waste and NOT something to take your children to!

Resident Evil - Afterlife:  A good installment in the Resident Evil series. Nothing spectacular, not the best episode, but good.

Lottery Ticket:  Pretty funny, though an obvious "african american" aimed movie.  I enjoyed it.

The Expendables:  A bunch of old actors who wanted to look macho one last time, I guess.   The testosterone was dripping off the movie screen.  Enjoyable in the "Rambo" sense of the word, I guess.

The Sorcerer's Apprentice:   A cute adaptation of the classic Disney animation from so long ago.  It "worked" overall.   I wouldn't bother seeing it again, but it was fun to watch generally speaking.

Inception:  Worthy of all the praise it received.  Effects, acting, suspense, surprises, tricks and treats throughout.   A well made movie that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Dinner For Schmucks:   This wasn't that good at all.  It was like watching someone who had never made a movie in their life try to make a comedy about an awkward subject, and failed.  This movie, along with another that starred Steve Carrell, makes me wonder how he ever got past the fun he added to "Bruce Almighty" and "The Forty Year Old Virgin".  And what's that "Office" thing he does?  Is it really any good?  Never watched it, have no desire to.  Oh well.

Grown Ups:   Funny stuff, but had 2x the number of comedy actors that it needed.  It should have just had Sandler and James in it - the others were overkill.  Good movie overall despite this.

Scott Pilgrim vs The World:   This movie rocked!   It did poorly at the box office, but frankly, I'm sure that's because it was an odd mix of teenage angst, young adult humor, and a comic-book themed "graphic overlay" system that (like the Watchmen) probably confused many, turned some away as being too childish, and really just was "too busy" for many people.  I loved it, I love it, and I still play it occasionally when I'm bored.  It, along with "Kick Ass", were misunderstood movies that just didn't get enough exposure to the public, I think.

Kick Ass:  (see Scott Pilgrim above)  Another great flick, based on a great "realistic comic series" by the same name.  Loved it, enjoyed it, look forward to (hopefully) the sequel.

The Karate Kid:   Will Smith's son is cast into the "remake" of the original Karate Kid movie with Ralph Macchio.  Unfortunately, it had too may "ripped off" pieces from the original movie.  It didn't work well for me.  I could have lived without having seen it, or seeing it only at a $1 theater.  Oh well.

Knight & Day:   Tom Cruise tries to cash in on the (pardon the phrase) MILF factor.   Mission Impossible meets How Stella Got Her Groove Back maybe?   Eh.  Nothing special.

Salt:   Not bad, not great.  Angelina as a programmed foreign agent.  It just didn't hit me as "great".  I enjoyed it, but could have waited for a dollar-theater showing.

Prince Of Persia:   A fun flick, like watching the first 1990's "Mummy" flick when it first came out.

The Last Airbender:  Fail.  Epic fail.   No sequels.  Please.

The A-Team:  A good reinvention of the classic 80's TV series.   It worked overall.  I understand that it is not (currently) set to have a sequel.  That's unfortunate.

Killers:   I think someone told Ashton Kutcher that Tom Cruise was making "Knight & Day" and Ashton wanted to upstage Tom so they rushed this movie out.  It was only worth seeing in a dollar theater in my mind.  Like a poor man's "Mr and Mrs Smith" but kinder and gentler.  :-P

Date Night:   I think this woman is "pretty hot" but this movie was not.  Oh, Steve Carrell again.  Explained.  Done.

Jonah Hex:  A decent comic-book turned movie, though I obviously am not up on my "Hex" lore because some aspects of the movie confused the comic-collector in me.

I can't really go much further than that.  There are several more movies, but at this point, it would be vague memories.   Wow, that's a long list.


Catchup - Preview

Time to catchup.  Going to post topics in separate posts to keep things orderly... in no particular order, movies, entertainment, love, family and more.  Took a break from keeping my Journal up to date to concentrate on what's important.  Thought about giving up the Journal after over 11 years, but figured it made more sense to just let it evolve as it has since 2000.

Here goes... starting with a pic of me with the woman I adore, cherish.. loveJaimeleigh!

JLM + AMM  =  <3


Daughter Amanda Turns 21

My second child, Amanda, turns 21 in a few hours.  We had dinner at my mother's home, then went to see the movie "Skyline" (good flick!) at the theater.  A nice, simple evening celebrating another child hitting "legal adulthood".  Wow.

She's engaged to be married later this year.  She's back at the Chick-fil-A she "helped open" here in Port Orange years ago after a brief stay in California with other family - now she's back home (cool beans) until the big event.  We're happy to have her back, of course.

Hard to believe two of my four kids are 21+ now.  (sigh)