Posted in Quotes



I do take my work seriously and the way to do that is not to take yourself too seriously.   Alan Rickman

Alan Sidney Patrick Rickman (21 February 1946 – 14 January 2016) was an English actor and director known for playing a variety of roles on stage, television and film. Rickman trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London and became a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company, performing in numerous theatre productions of both classical and modern. On stage, Rickman is most known for his role as Le Victomte de Valmont in the 1985 production of Les Liaisons Dangereuses, for which he was nominated for both a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play and a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Play. Rickman was also nominated for a second Tony Award in 2002 for playing the role of Elyot Chase in Noel Coward‘s Private Lives. In 1996, Rickman gained critical recognition for his portrayal of the dark monk Grigori Rasputin in the television film Rasputin: Dark Servant of Destiny winning him a Golden Globe Award, a Primetime Emmy Award, a SAG Award and a Satellite Award all for best actor in a miniseries or television film. Rickman’s most notable roles are through his film work. One of his most famous performances is as the Sheriff of Nottingham in the 1991 film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, which earned him a BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. However, Rickman’s most popular role is as the mysterious Professor Severus Snape in the Harry Potter film franchise.

Posted in My Views On The Real World

2016 Is Over. (and this is what I learned)


  1. Americans are still pretty arrogant and have no long term memory.

Exhibit 1:   In 2016 we lost a bunch of famous people, so what, that is nothing new.  Last year Leonard Nimoy, Wes Craven, Yogi Berra and Maureen O’Hare all passed away.  In 2014 Robin Williams, Shirley Temple, Joe Cocker, Casey Kasem, Harold Ramis and Phillip Seymour Hoffman died.   1977 saw the death  of Elvis Presley, Werner Von Braun, Groucho Marx, Zero Mostel and Charlie Chaplin.  1959 was the last we heard from Ritchie Valens, Buddy Holly, J.P.  “The Big Bopper” Richardson, Cecil B. DeMille, Lou Costello, Frank Lloyd Wright, and the original  “Man of Steel” George Reeves.  Stop acting like 2016 was something special or out of the ordinary.  Every year people die this year was no different than any other year in the history of the world.  Celebrate the achievements and what wonders those people gave us but don’t be so egotistic to believe that 2016 was anything especially tragic.

Exhibit 2:  The whole presidential election, from beginning to now it was a very bad joke and very few people realize that history is going to look back at us and try and guess what drug was in the drinking water.   We had a choice between an arrogant self absorbed, proudly unsophisticated reality star who’s biggest talent seems to be self promotion and an arrogant, power obsessed, out of touch individual, who would not condemn her monster of a spouse even when he abused a powerless subordinate.   Then people were seemingly outraged that another government would try and influence our election but were blind to the knowledge that the American government has been interfering in other countries’ elections  for close to sixty years.

  1. The unexpected or failures are not all bad and can become great.

I did not complete a book this year. I did a lot of work on the next one, Primary Collision but at this point I am not anywhere near completion.  I did write a lot of good stuff this year;  We Need A Monster (which some people loved), A Fire (a piece about sex), Solar Powered Cemetery Lights, Really?, Take Me Out To The Ball Game, and an article about The Bayernhof Museum.

You would not think a day of hard work would be memorable. Throwing hay bales with my brothers to get my younger brother’s ranch set up for the winter was terrific.  My brothers and I baled a lot of hay on an eighty acre farm growing up, working long hot hours behind an old John Deere tractor and bailer.  Throwing hay with them this year , now that are 47 to 51 years old made me feel connected to them like I have not felt in years.  (My family also built a concrete block wall and we put up a fence on his ranch.)

A lady I was dating broke up with me.  That may sound like a bad thing  but I have had more enjoyment telling the story of how she broke up with me then I might have gotten from the actual relationship.  (I will not put the story in writing as it makes her look bad, but if talk to me I will gladly tell it to you, it involves me sending her flowers on Valentine Day. I am such a monster.)

My love life described simply:  After being run over by a very large truck. One of those bemouth tractor trailers with three trailers.  After a long slow recovery  I cautiously approached the road again, I looked left, I looked right, I looked left again then I got clipped by a clown car that was driving on the sidewalk. 

  1. One of the most important things we have in life is the stories we make with the people we love.

Would my story of going to Voodoo Donuts in Denver at midnight on a Tuesday night be as exciting if my daughter was not with me?  She claimed that there was  marijuana in her doughnut  and  it made her paranoid.  (Not true, there was marijuana in my doughnuts that is why I let her drive,  just kidding, Voodoo doughnuts does not sell THC products.)

Or on the same trip my daughter showing off her mad skills of dealing with Disneyland Cast Members  as she wove a  a strings of fibs together so we could go to the front of the line like we had an Fast Pass.

Then there my trip to see my best friend, Scott Beck’s, full ordination as a minister in Methodist Church and my car died. (Looking back I probably should have not taken it as it had two tires in the grave and the other two on black ice.)  I sold the dead car to a junk man in Virginia for $80.00 and my great and wonderful parents drove six hours to pick me up and drive me home on Fathers Day.

All in all 2016 has been a year, some parts better than others, some parts worse than others.   This year is what I made of it, I have no one else to blame or give credit to if this year was not full and packed with adventures and accomplishments.



Posted in Quotes



I think there should be laughs in everything. Sometimes, it’s a slammed door, a pie in the face or just a recognition of our frailties.  Alan Rickman

Alan Sidney Patrick Rickman (21 February 1946 – 14 January 2016) was an English actor and director known for playing a variety of roles on stage and screen. Rickman trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, and was a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company, performing in modern and classical theatre productions. His first big television part came in 1982, but his big break was as the Vicomte de Valmont in the stage production of Les Liaisons Dangereuses in 1985, for which he was nominated for a Tony Award. Rickman gained wider notice for his film performances as Hans Gruber in Die Hard and Severus Snape in the Harry Potter film series.


When he passed away earlier this year I heard so many loving tributes, telling stories about how much he will be missed.  It seems he was not just a nice guy but a real caring and friendly person.  It was good that he was here.  

Posted in My Views On The Real World

Why The Oscars Don’t Matter, To Me.

oscarOkay the #Oscars So White is a big deal to a lot of people.  Claiming it is a symptom of a larger problem,  maybe it is but I think the overall question is why do the Oscars really matter at all.  It is a bunch of industry insiders, an business that is oversexualized and  hung up on the outward trappings of wealth and power.

Movies can be magical, movies can elevate you to heights you never knew existed.  Films can introduce you to new people, places and ideas that you never cared about and invite you care.  The silver screen can act as transportation to magical and incredible places or sometimes just let you take a few steps in another person’s shoes.

The big screen has the ability to change you both in good and bad ways.  Horror flicks can make you insensitive to others pain and suffering.  Watching westerns sometimes creates an idealistic and/or naive view of American history.  Romantic comedies fabricate an unrealistic view of relationships and sex. Too many science fiction movies can make you unattractive to the opposite sex .  (Kidding of course, it usually comes from a combination of poor hygiene, lack of confidence and the inability to have intelligent conversations without making an obscure pop culture reference which the opposite sex doesn’t get.)

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recognizes on a yearly basis performances by actors, the direction given to those actors, the technical and artistic aspects expended to realize those performances into a coherent product and the writers who dreamed up the entire story.  But the Academy Awards do not truly recognize what a movie means to a person.

One of my favorite movies The Karate Kid, was not anywhere near  a nomination for an Academy Award the year it came out.  (Terms of Endearment won in 1984, with the other films nominated being The Big Chill, The Dresser, The Right Stuff and Tender Mercies.)   The Karate Kid story touches me on so many levels mainly because where I was in my life I was clueless about life and girls (basically the same thing to a teenage boy),  I had studied karate at the time so I could see myself in the movie, and everyone at that age feels like they don’t fit in. karate-kid2

Now the training stuff in that movie was outright crap, you do not learn to block a kick or punch by  waxing a car or painting a fence.  Those chores may increase your muscular strength and endurance but they do not teach you to place you hand in the right place at the right time to stop a blow from landing.  But the heart of good martial arts is there; only use martial arts for  defense, balance, focus, concentration and learning to walk before you fly. karate-kidThe Karate Kid taught me that you can learn something from anyone, whether it is a skill, history or what is important in life.  That friendship has nothing to do with age, background or race but about who stood by your side when you are going thru crap.  That skill and knowledge have nothing to do with the clothes (or belt) you are wearing.  Later on in life I have looked at the same movie and realized that everyone has a backstory:  Mr. Miyagi with the loss of a wife, Aliee not wanting to live up to her parents expectations at their country club, even Johnny trying to change is life by turning down a joint when you first see him then rolling one in the bathroom later on.  Any movie that lasts with you for thirty some years is truly a masterpiece, even if it only means that much to one person.

Another filmmaker that will probably never get an Academy Award is Kevin Smith, his movies are full of juvenile jokes,  childish sight gags and  way too much trivia, but at the heart of his movies is a celebration of friendship, love and life.

clerks  The black and white film Clerks may be about working a minimum wage job but it is also about finding and knowing what is important in life and that there are lot of beautiful girls in the world but not all of them will bring you lasagna.  Dogma may have a crap monster, a sanctified golf club, and the late great Alan Rickman, sans genitilia,  but it is also about believing in yourself and raising questioning about faith, god and religion in irreverent but smart fashion.

alan rickman
An Angel Is Ill-equipped

My favorite filmmaker will probably not be recognized by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.  I love Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Chasing Army, Red State and even Jersey Girl.  I enjoy his movies, I have laughed and seen things a little bit differently, and in seeing things differently I have changed as a person.   Isn’t that what the movies, and art in general, are truly about?   Art is about the important things in life, not how many awards you do on do not win.   We need more art in this world, art that brings us closer together, art that helps us rage against injustices, art that keeps our sense of wonder alive and movies that display love in all its different shapes and forms.