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Friday Movies

We have suddenly gotten a life, which causes me to sometimes miss a few posts up here. At any rate here are this weeks movies. Comments will be posted eventually!

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NEW RELEASES THIS WEEK

Disney’s A Christmas Carol

A solid if noisy take on the Dickens classic, enhanced by the ever-improving 3-D Motion capture experience.

The Box

A stranger presents a couple with a mysterious container and a moral dilemma: Press a button on the box, they’ll get $1 million, and someone they don’t know will die.

The Men Who Stare at Goats

Odder-than-odd farce follows a small-town reporter who stumbles across the graduates of an Army “psychic” soldier program.

The Fourth Kind

This is a gimmicky, “Yes, this really happened” alien-abduction horror hooey, a film whose writer-director is so heavily invested in making us buy into it as fact, but it still manages a few good frights.

Skin

True story of Sandra Laing, a girl born with dark skin to two white parents in Apartheid-era South Africa.

(Untitled)

This very funny satire of the art world doesn’t do the easy things that a typical satire might do. It delivers some of the best conversations about art and its function and significance.

Crude

Powerful and powerfully upsetting documentary tracks the devastating effects of pollution on Ecuadorian Indians living along the Amazon and the ongoing civil suit filed on behalf of the Indians against Chevron.

More movie reviews

 

OPENING FRIDAY, NOV. 13 From Guidelive.com

2012: Roland Emmerich gets his apocalyptic mojo working. Among the victims: the Washington Monument.

The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day: The MacManus brothers are back on the hunt in this sequel to the cult favorite.

Pirate Radio: Philip Seymour Hoffman spins tunes in ’60s England.

Precious: Comedian Mo’Nique burns a hole in the screen as the mother from hell, an abusive monster who drives her daughter (excellent newcomer Gabourey Sidibe) to search for a better life.

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Mike Bacon’s Contributor Page – Associated Content

http://www.associatedcontent.comuser/565406/mike_bacon.html

Mike Bacon’s Contributor Page – Associated Content

http://www.associatedcontent.comuser/565406/mike_bacon.html

Freelance Writing.

I have gone back into the business of freelance writing. What am I writing about? I could tell you but then I’d have to kill you.

Just kidding…

I used to write for forum content, which basically means I would get paid to go up on someones forum, and write posts to help gain popularity for the forum owner. The more positing going on would encourage others to go up and post. Face it, if you checked out a forum where no one was posting, you’d probably leave, right?

Now I am writing product reviews. I research products, and write reviews for cash. I know this may sound a bit dishonest, but it’s a form of ghost writing. I also am writing How to articles, on various and sundry topics.

Ghostwriting has been around for centuries. Did you really think Bill Clinton wrote his autobiography himself?  Probably not. People who don’t know how to write or have the time, hire those of us who do. It’s really as simple as that.

I also search the Internet to find other freelance writing jobs. It’s not making me a lot of money at the moment, but it is writing, and I am getting paid for it.

When you call yourself a writer you have to find a way to write. Eventually I will find a job writing what I really want to write, but until then a buck is a buck.

I got a letter today from the Texas Optometry Board, regarding my complaint against Dr. Saied Hashemi. They have “investigated” and determined that there was “insufficient evidence” and closed the complaint.

I am not surprised that they would back this idiot. He responded to my complaint, and lied through his teeth. He made me look like Mike Tyson beating up on a kindergartner! The way he tells it I was a profane madman who upset his staff and patients ( of whom I only saw one) to the point that they feared for their lives. My “violent outburst”  scared a pregnant patient so bad she was supposedly shaken. I might have been a bit loud, but I did not use any profanity, and I did not threaten anyone.

He however got very nasty on the phone when he called me and refused to listen to an apology. He uses just enough of the truth to make himself look like Mother Theresa, and me like Adolph Hitler, Joseph Stalin, and Attila the Hun rolled into one.

Like I said, I knew he would lie his ass off. But I figure that this will serve as a warning for people to be very careful in picking out a doctor. All I wanted was to be treated with a little respect. When someone treats me like he did, yes I get angry. I do not swear like a truck driver to people in public like that, and I do not threaten people.

I plan to write back to this so called investigator, and let him know that while I am aware that nothing further is going to happen,  that he should be aware that Hashemi is a bald faced liar.

The first weekend of the month, I attended a Men’s Conference at a retreat called Mo-Ranch Conference Center, near Hunt, Texas.  Located in the Hill Country on the banks of the Guadalupe River in Southeast Texas, the place is beautiful. Mo-Ranch was named for its previous owner, Daniel Moran, who owned the property from1935 until his death in 1948. In 1949, it was sold to the Presbyterian Church. Mo Ranch now encompasses 500 acres.

One of the most salient features of the property is the Manor House, which was built in 1929 by Houston Oilman, O. R. Seagraves. It still contains the distinctive Monterey furniture purchased by Seagraves and included in his sale of the property. Manor House and the adjacent Pilot House have recently been renovated, the 4-bay garage converted into a very nice meeting space, and a deck behind Manor House added in 2008 in memory of Mary Anne Moses, trustee. (http://www.moranch.com/index.php?c=21)

I had never been to Mo Ranch before, although I was supposed to go in 2006. I had paid for the trip and was going to go meet the gentleman I was to ride to Mo with, when we discovered that the apartment complex we lived at then, had towed our car.  We had slopped over the line about 3 inches. Good grief!

With some help from my friends at Trinity Presbyterian, I got to go this year. I took quite a few pictures which can bee seen on my Facebook Page here: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/album.php?aid=22840&id=1061938385&ref=nf

The conference was great. We got there at about 4 pm having left at 10 am. I rode down with my friends, Daniel, and Al. We went down I-35 til we got to Austin, and then took the back roads. We used a GPS, which made the trip a lot easier. I definitely want one of those! We stopped a few times along the way, but still made pretty good time.  We registered, and got our accommodation assignments. We were in a dorm type setting, called Loma Linda. Al mentioned that the beams on the ceiling are made out of oil pipes. You have to look close to tell, as they were painted to look like wood. I have a picture in the album I mentioned before. Look close.

We went to dinner after settling in, and to get there we had to go across the catwalk that runs across one of the lower roads. I later found out that Daniel doesn’t like walking across bridges. It might have something to do with the videos he showed his class about bridge collapses, but that is just my theory. Dinner was excellent. In addition to the main menu, there are ice cream fridges located in a couple spots in the dining hall. You do not go hungry at this place!

After dinner we went to the Main Auditorium, where they had some praise singing, and then the keynote speaker, Dr. Bob Crilley.  He had never done a keynote address, but you wouldn’t know it. He did pretty well, speaking on being men of integrity.

After that, we were pretty much free til the next morning. So we went back to the dorm, and hung out. I met a  guy who does sports on radio in Dallas,Roger Emerich at KRLD and he had some stories about Bo & Jim, the guys that do the morning show I listen to at Lonestar 92.5. He had known them in New Orleans.

The next morning after breakfast, and another address by Dr. Crilley, there were some workshops to choose from, one that interested me was called “The Wired Church”. Daniel and I went, and found it to be rather interesting. Some of the ideas presented we are already doing, such as recording the sermons and having them available online, and as CD’s. Apparently, we are also looking into podcasting. The idea behind the workshop is to bring churches into the 21st century, in order to spread the Gospel. You can’t bring people to Christ, if   you can’t get them into the seats!

I went to another workshop called “Surviving through Faith.” Zoltan “Z” Zsohar presented it. He told the story of his family’s escape from Hungary during WWII. They fled the Russian Army and ended up in Austria as refugees. Eventually they were sponsored by a church in Waxahachie, Texas.  It is an amazing faith journey.

After lunch, I spent the afternoon wandering the property, taking pictures. Somehow I managed to forget that the place is on the Guadalupe River. I did not get any river pictures! Oh well, next year.  We had a barbecue at the river for our dinner, and then heard a last address by Dr. Crilley.

Sunday morning, we met at a large cross that overlooks the valley on the property for morning service, and afterwards we went to breakfast.

At breakfast, an elderly gent sat down at our table. We all wore nametags while we were there, and first names were printed larger than last names, so all I noticed was that his name was Steve, and that he was from Carrollton. I commented that I used to go to a church in Carrollton. He replied that he had been the pastor of a church in Carrollton. I realized that I had met this gentleman a few years before. When I was a member of Covenant Presbyterian, we had a 50th anniversary celebration at the church. Dr. Steve Dixon had been the pastor who had been at the church before the current Pastor. Small world.

After breakfast, we took off. We stopped at a place about 5 minutes away from the main gate of Mo Ranch, called Stonehenge II. It is a replica of Stonehenge in Salisbury, England. I have included some pictures on my Facebook page.

When I got home, after I brought in my stuff, I was taking my shoes off in the foyer, and I saw a banner on the wall in front of me that said “Happy Birthday”! There were also some balloons up there. I looked at Sue, who was standing in the living room with a grin on her face. As I looked pate her into the living room, I spotted more birthday banners, and balloons. She had banners and balloons up on the mantle, the bookcases, the TV, my computer monitor.

My Birthday is in December, and on my last one, I turned 50. I finally asked her whose birthday was she preparing for? Actually, a friend of Sue and ours had been planning a birthday party for me since last December, but one thing after another prevented getting together for it, so our friend told Sue to go ahead without her. So Sue set everything up while I was gone! She even made me a chocolate cake with “Happy BD” spelled out in M & M’s!

That was a wonderful welcome home after being gone for the weekend. I guess I will have to go away more often!

Anyway, I had a great time, but coming home is always the best!

Optometrist from Hell!

Recently, Sue and I both decided to get contact lenses.  Our last trip to an eye doctor was at least 3 years ago, and it was time to get a new prescription. Sue had been starting to get headaches, so she definitely needed to get something.

We were both tired of eyeglasses, so we decided to go to the Wal-Mart vision center near our house, and get contact lenses prescribed. We had gone to another Wal-Mart Vison Center for our eyeglasses three years ago, and were both happy with the Doctor, and the service at that time. It turned out that the Optometrist that we had seen then was no longer in business at Wal-Mart. Would that we had been able to find her again.

We saw a Dr. Said Hashemi. On the visit where we got fitted for the contacts, he seemed personable, and pleasant. That was a facade, as I found out a few days later. We had been fitted with temporary lenses, and were to come back in a week to find out if everything was okay.

Because of the degree of Astigmatism, I had to have reading glasses on top of the contacts. I went next door to the Wal-Mart Vision center, and ordered them. The following Tuesday I got a call that they were ready. That is when all hell broke loose.

The following is a copy of the complaint I have filed agianst Dr. Hasemi with the Texas Optometry Board:

I received a call from Wal Mart Optical that my reading glasses were in that had been prescribed by Dr. Hashemi, the previous Thursday, 3/19/2009. I had been told by Dr. Hashemi that these reading glasses were to be worn over my contact lenses. I tried the glasses and found I could not see, everything was blurred. Obviously there had been some kind of a mistake. The folks at the optical department, suggested I speak to Dr. Hashemi to find out what had gone wrong. So I went next door to his office. I was a little upset by this time, as I cannot see to do any work while wearing the contacts without proper reading glasses. While I was waiting to see the doctor, I called my wife on my cell phone. Within a few moments, someone from the optical center came over and asked me to wait there. I left the doctor’s office, and asked what the problem was. No one would explain. I explained to the staff at the optical center that I had a deadline to complete some schoolwork, and that I simply needed an explanation. An optical center employee went back to Dr. Hashemis’ office to ask how long it might be. I was told about 30 minutes, or I could make an appointment. I decided to make an appointment. While I was trying to get this accomplished, I will admit that I was a bit angry, and may have been a little loud, explaining that I had a deadline to complete some schoolwork but I did not use foul language or swear at anyone. Dr. Hashemi came out and gruffly told me to just sit down and he would see me when he could, I asked if this would be soon, he said no. I said then I will get an appointment and come back. All this time Hashemi was yelling at me.

When I got home I took out my contacts and discovered that the glasses had been made to be worn without contact lenses, and contacted the optical shop and explained that this was the problem, and that someone had made a mistake, and that I was not sure if the prescription had been specific.

A short time later I got a call from Dr. Hashemi, and as soon as I answered, I attempted to apologize for being upset, and he screamed at me telling me I had upset a pregnant patient, and that he could not have that, etc. I attempted several more times to apologize, but Hashemi continued to scream at me, and threatened to have me arrested if I ever set foot in his office again, he informed me that he had taken our prescriptions next door. He refused to let me speak, and then hung up on me. We were supposed to have a follow up visit when our permanent contact lenses came in, but he refuses to see either my wife or me. This is certainly his right, but to call a patient and scream at them, and refuse to even listen to them, and make threats is, in my opinion, very unprofessional, and I feel he has a hair trigger. I would like to register this complaint.

I have no doubt that Dr. Hashemi will spin this to make it look like he was the injured party. If he did not want me back as a patient, fine, this is his right. I do not feel that he has the right to call me on the telephone, and scream at me however.

At this point I have recieved a response from the Texas Optometry Board, essentially that the complaint had been recieved, and that they would investigate. I will revieve a copy of Dr. Hashemi’s response to my filing. I will publish that response here.

I bought a Suit!

Okay, I bought a suit the other day. Big freaking deal, right? Well to hear Sue tell it, it is. I am one of these guys that does not usually buy stuff for himself. I have no problem spending money on Sue, or the kids (when the opportunity has presented itself) but I generally tend to avoid buying anything for myself.

 

I usually feel guilty about spending money on me. I guess it makes me feel egotistical to buy something for myself. What can I say? I would rather buy something for other people. I will hem and haw about getting anything for me, even when I need something, like new clothes. Sue is a bit put out with me, and for years has had to practically twist my arm to get me to buy clothes for myself.

 

Years ago, before Sue and I got married, I won a $50.00 gift certificate from Sears at work. Sue and I were friends at the time, and she gave me a ride to the mall to spend the certificate. I was married to Robin, Sandy’s mom at the time. I kept looking at stuff for Robin, or Sandy, but not anything for me. Sue kept asking me why I wasn’t spending the certificate on myself. She finally talked me into looking at things I could use. I finally got myself an electric razor I had wanted, but couldn’t afford. As I recall Robin was ticked that I didn’t buy anything for her with the gift certificate… Oh well!

 

Tonight, Sue and I are going to a Valentine’s Day Dinner/Dance at church. Sue decided to buy herself a new dress to get herself all gussied up. I thought that maybe it would be a good time to get myself a suit. At this point, all I own for dressing up purposes are several pairs of dress slacks, and two sport coats. It occurred to me, that if I didn’t wear a decent suit to this dinner, next to Sue, I would look like a poor relation.

 

So, suit shopping I went! I found a decent grey pinstriped suit at Target, for a reasonable price. I will admit that Sue thinks I dress up nice, so now I don’t have to be ashamed of how I look with a gorgeous wife on my arm.

 

Of course, it will probably be another 11 years before I go out clothes shopping for myself again!

No I am not going to reprint the Clement Moore poem here. However it is the night before Christmas, and I thought it might be a good idea to say hello to all you out there in blogville tonight.

Sue and I just got home from our Church’s Candlelight Service. We took part in a short sketch about a guy who wants to read “The Night Before Christmas” to his family who really doesn’t want much to do with the idea. I played his brother in law, a religious man who takes great umbrage at the focus of Christmas being on Santa, instead of Jesus.

My character also manages to out Santa as a fraud, to the eight year old nephew in a major “whoops!”

The end of the sketch has the boy asking his exasperated father ( the would be reader of “The Night Before Christmas”) what Christmas is all about anyway. Sadly Dad responds, “You know Son, I’m not really sure any more!”

Sadly many of us seem to have fogotten what Christmas means.It doesn’t mean to spend every dime on useless crap to give to people who then feel obligated to go out and get you more worthless crap so that they are not “one upped”

It doesn’t mean to wish people to have a “Happy Holiday” afraid to even utter the word “Christmas” for fear of political incorrectness. It’s doesn’t mean beat the hell out of the guy who stole your parking place at the mall while you are out buying the worthless crap! It’s doesn’t mean getting sloshed at the office “Holiday” Party and telling your boss he/she is a moron.

It does mean to spend time with your family. Even if not all of your family is able to get together. Maybe you have a blended family and some  or all the kids are somewhere else. Christmas can mean being glad to share it with someone, anyone. It does mean to bring a smile to someone who may not have a reason to smile right now. It does mean to forgive those who have hurt you, and may not even be aware of it. Or maybe they are aware, and don’t care. Forgive them anyway. It does mean to celebrate the Birth of a little baby 2000 years ago who came to live, die, and be resurrected so that we all might live forever.

The saying;  “Jesus is the Reason for the Season”  is more than just a clever turn of phrase. He really is the reason for the season! He came here to give His life for us. He is the only way to the Father.

So when you are opening up the useless crap tomorrow morning, remember He who gave you life, and gave His Son so that our lives might mean something.

And wish each other a Merry Christmas, not a Happy Holiday. Christmas is not a dirty word!

Merry Christmas all.

Colin Powell endorses Obama

On NBC’s “Meet the Press” this morning, General Colin Powell, former Secretary of State under the first George W. Bush Administration, and one of the proponents that led this country into the Iraq war, publicly endorsed Illinois Senator Barack Obama for President.

And the racists came crawling out from under their rocks.

I have seen dozens of comments about this endorsement that cry that Powell only endorsed Obama because they are both black, or both African Americans. Either way the assumption is dead wrong. First, Obama is only half black, his mother was white. Powell’s forebears were from Jamaica.

Powell is a Republican and as mentioned before Secretary of State under Shrub’s first four years in office. Anybody remember the multimedia show that Powell gave the UN Security Council in the lead up to the war?

Remember the charts and graphics that showed that Saddam had those Weapons of Mass Destruction we kept hearing about?

Powell admitted that he had been misled by faulty intelligence, and eventually left the post of Secretary of State.  He has been probably about the only honest man from Shrubs inner circle. He admitted he was wrong, and that the war was a colossal mistake.

In endorsing Obama, he said that he is a “transformational figure” and that he was ready to be president. Powell also criticized both the Republican Party for it’s leaning more to the right, than he is comfortable with, and John McCain for running a negative campaign. “I think we need a transformational figure. I think we need a president who is a generational change and that’s why I’m supporting Barack Obama, not out of any lack of respect or admiration for Sen. John McCain.”

It amazes me, but doesn’t surprise me that people seem to feel that race is an issue in Powell’s endorsement of Obama. Do all black politicians stick together? Is there a law stating this must be the case? Of course not. It is ridiculous and racist to assume that Powell has come out for Obama because they share melanin.

Blacks tend to vote for Democrats according to most statistics I have found. SO it is unusual for a black Republican to vote Democrat.

In conclusion I think we have to vote for whomever we think is right for the job. Frankly I feel that man is Barack Obama. McCain is too stuck in the Bush years, to be an effective president. Plus if the worse happened, Sarah “Barracuda” Palin would be president. I think that idea scares me more than Shrub!