Tuesday, November 27, 2012

To Vape or Not to Vape? Aye, There's the Rub...

Do you smoke?
Do you smoke and have tried quitting and wondered if e-cigs would help you to quit completely?
Have you quit smoking and wondered if those new e-cigs would make it possible for you to go back to the vice you always liked so much, but just didn't want to take the chance on dying of Cancer?

I don't know if e-cigs will help a long-term cigarette smoker to finally quit, and I also don't know if after all this time of smoking if switching over to e-cigs (electronic cigarettes) will keep you from getting Cancer. Hey, if the disease is in your body, it's in your body, right? You're already dead, you just don't know it.

But this isn't about smoking or the evils of smoking or even the possibilities of quitting. This isn't even about cigarettes at all, because I've never been a cigarette smoker. But at one time in my life I was a pipe smoker and that's what this is all about - the e-pipe, which when used in the way it's supposed to be used is called "vaping", not smoking.

Recently I went online and ordered an e-pipe, the electronic equivalent to a pipe the way an e-cig is to a cigarette (DUH!). Since I was a kid and spent enough time around my Uncle Mert (my dad's uncle), who smoked a pipe, I have always loved the smell of pipes. Then, after graduating from high school I joined the Air Force and one day while trolling around San Antonio with friends while on a day pass from text school, I came across a tobacco shop that sold pipes. I went inside, checked out some tobaccos and with the help of a smooth-talking salesman, walked out of the shop with my first-ever pipe and a bag of cherry/vanilla blend tobacco.

I soon learned the ins-and-outs of smoking a pipe and found not only did I like the aroma of pipe tobacco (so much better than the rancid stench of cigarettes), but I enjoyed the taste as well. The tobacco I had selected was basically mellow and smooth and didn't bite the inside of my mouth (so I was assured by the salesman that day and he was actually telling the truth) and I could sit for hours and enjoy blowing smoke rings or simply billows of aromatic smoke into whatever room I happened to be in.

Now, there were two major problems with my smoking a pipe:

1)  I had asthma. I had always had asthma and never had grown out of it the way some people do once they reach a certain age in life. Mine has always been with me and looks like it's pretty much here for the long haul - until death do us part - so to speak. So smoking anything, even though with a pipe I didn't inhale (but some of the smoke always makes its way down into a person's lungs, no matter how conscientiously they try not to inhale), will trigger an asthmatic reaction, which is not pleasant - I assure you.

2)  Cancer ran in my family. My Uncle Mert (yeah, the same one who got me interested in smoking a pipe) died of cancer. My dad (same family, same genetic disposition and DNA as Uncle Mert) eventually died of Cancer. Chances are that eventually I am going to die of Cancer, if something else doesn't kill me first.

Back in 1991 my dad ended up with Cancer in his lower lip and had to have it cut out. That was when he stopped smoking cigarettes and that was also when I wizened up and stopped smoking a pipe. I had a nice little collection at the time, but once I learned of my dad's Cancer I tossed my entire pipe collection in the garbage and dumped my latest bag of tobacco down the toilet. I'm nothing if not committed to whatever notion gets rooted firmly into my noggin.

From then on I was content, but every time I caught a whiff of a nice pipe tobacco or anything that even remotely reminded me of what I used to smoke, I would think about how nice it was to smoke a pipe and wished I could do it without taking the chance of getting Cancer or exacerbating my asthma. Still, I steadfastly refused to revert to smoking a pipe.

Then a few years ago I heard about e-cigs and checked to see if anyone had a pipe that worked on the same principal (cigarettes still held no interest to me). Nothing was on the market at the time, but shortly thereafter someone came up with the first e-pipe, only it was much too expensive for my income. I waited - and waited - and every so often I checked the internet to see how the prices of e-pipes were doing and what do you know? A couple of weeks ago I ran a search on e-pipes and found one that was cheaper than what I had been seeing previously. I hemmed and hawed and mulled it over in my head a bit. I mean, seriously, I had been a good twenty years without smoking a pipe by now - did I really need to start again? Well, yeah, the desire was still there, so I purchased the starter kit for an e-pipe, which promised my pipe would arrive within 21 days. Man, did that ever seem like a long time to wait.

Today (okay, yesterday, seeing as how late it is right now) I checked my mail and discovered a package which I knew immediately was my e-pipe and it had been actually only slightly more than a week since I had ordered it. Not bad; not bad at all. I took my package (along with the rest of my mail, which was of absolutely NO consequence in comparison) inside and opened it to find the pipe I had been waiting for along with five vials of the stuff used to provide the flavor (and nicotine, if you wanted it, which I didn't and had ordered only non-nicotine vials), and extra pipe stem, two batteries and a battery charger.

I pulled out the instruction booklet and quickly discerned that whoever had written the instructions, English was not their primary language. Mostly the instructions were understandable, but they were not written in the precise English language I have come to know and respect after all these years (but then, I get online all the time and get emails from people who prove to me on a daily basis that hardly anyone else besides me uses the proper English I have come to know so well, either). I deciphered the instructions and attempted to remove the cap off the bowl of my e-pipe. The cap finally (with much effort) moved slightly counter-clockwise (if you don't know what that means you may as well place a gun to your temple and pull the trigger now, cause, baby, your life is already wasted), but it not only would not move any further, it took a lot of effort to move it back in the opposite (clockwise) direction. I twisted it every which way possible. I tried to pull the cap off. Since there was a tiny hole on one side that looked as though possibly (I emphasize the word POSSIBLY) the cap could be pried off, I used the tine of a fork and tried to pry it off. That didn't work, so I tried the point of a sharp knife and the point broke off (and is still down in there where I can't locate it). I tried some more to twist the cap and went back-and-forth in twisting it for more than half-an-hour (I am nothing if not determined). Yes, I know Einstein said that, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results", but I had nothing else available at the time, so I continued in twisting the cap in the two directions possible until finally the cap twisted a bit more in the counter-clockwise direction. I worked at it some more and eventually the cap came off.

About forty-five minutes had elapsed by then and I had long ago thought to insert one of the two batteries into the charger, figuring that most batteries didn't come fully charged. The light had been red when I plugged the charger into the wall outlet, so I figured I had been correct in this assumption.

I looked the pipe over, now that I had it opened, and made it ready so that once the battery was charged I would be able to give it a try. A couple of hours passed (I wasn't really watching the time, but it was approximately that much time) and the light had turned to green, so I inserted a battery, placed the cap back on and - yes, I twisted it in place, although I was fairly certain I might never get it off again.

I placed the tip of the stem to my lips and sucked in. The taste was slightly sweeter than I preferred, but it was pleasant enough. I removed the pipe and exhaled, blowing the "smoke" (actually vapor) out and it billowed rather nicely. The second puff was even better and thereafter I began to resume the "natural" rhythm I had long been used to when relaxing while smoking a pipe, only what I was doing at this point wasn't actually "smoking", since there was no smoke involved. The e-pipe (or e-cig) does not produce heat and does not work off anything burning, so there is no smoke, only a nice vapor-type mist that somewhat effects the smoking style. At this time I had the lights off while watching television and by the light of the TV I could see a decent cloud of vapor gathering up above in my living room. Everything I had ever read about e-products claimed there was no heavy "smoke' effect, so I wondered why this was producing something that to me looked an awful lot like what I had been used to when I smoked a regular pipe that worked off tobacco?

I turned on my light and continued puffing and realized there was no longer any "smoke" effect gathering about my living room. Turning off the light and using only the illumination from the TV once more produced the same smoking effect, thus allowing me to conclude that there is indeed a mist that gathers, but by the regular lighting we all normally use it is not visible; only by the dim lighting of something such as a TV will the effect be noticeable. Not that it matters to me. I was becoming used to the affectation I had long believed lost to me. I held my pipe in my hand while watching TV and puffed on my pipe - all while sipping from my favorite whiskey. Life was once more good to me. I had hit the Trifecta - Jameson Whiskey, a thick-cut slice of Pepper Jack cheese, and a mellow, flavorful pipe I could once more puff on at my leisure.

Life is good again. Life is very good. Heh

* * *

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Welcome to the U.S.E.

Welcome to the United Soviet Emirates.

What is an emirate? It is the area of land or territory ruled by an emir. An emir is a ruler, commander or chief in an Islamic country. Today, November 6th, 2012, the nation I reside in held its latest Presidential Election and the outcome was that Barack Hussein Obama was re-elected as President of the United States over Mitt Romney, the governor who ran against him. Obama has proven through his own words this past year especially that he is NOT an American, but a Soviet and one who is religiously a Muslim or Islamist in the very core of his being. If you think otherwise, stop being the total idiot you are and run a search on YOUR president, because he sure the fuck is NOT my President and you will see the truth about this soviet who has nothing less at his core being than to see the United States of America torn asunder and delivered into the hands of his cronies and religious buddies, those who are the worst of the worst of the Islamic terrorists who want to not only destroy the People of America, but to wage a jihad, or "holy war", as if such a thing could ever be "holy", against those of us who have lived our lives in the most free country this world has ever seen. Barrack Hussein Obama is the elected Emir of the United Socialist Emirates.

How did such a travesty happen? It came about because this Traitor president, Barack Hussein Obama, decreased the ability of many Americans to earn a living. At the same time he made it easier for these same people to receive Welfare benefits so that eventually they would become dependent upon him for their very livelihood. Once these teaming masses of Welfare recipients were hooked on receiving free benefits from their "savior", Barack Hussein Obama, they had no choice but to vote him into office for a second term. To do otherwise, to elect a true American as President would mean that their benefits would decrease and eventually cease, and that these Welfare Whores simply could not do.

It came about because across this once and no longer great nation the "Liberal Element" were blinded by their own greed and stupidity to the fact that this man who was not even a true American and had no true birth certificate or reason to even be called an American, had been a thriving socialist from his childhood to the present. Barack Hussein Obama was so eager to follow in the footsteps of the father, who provided the sperm for his incarnation, but who could not even stick around long enough to see his whelp grow to boyhood, let along manhood, that he dove into the political leaning of Socialism and adhered to the whore-mongering, woman-defaming tenants of being a Muslim so that he could prove to the father who never cared about him that he was even more of a Socialist and murdering Muslim than his "deadbeat dad" father ever was.

And still these liberals swooned in the wake of their "chosen one".

I know that in the Bible, the One and Only True Word of the All Father, known as "God" to most, though that is not His name, has said that in the End Times everything will grown worse and worse until the end will come, but that does not mean that the righteous should stand back and allow the unrighteous to take over this Earth. I and many others fought our hardest to see that the Whoremonger Obama would not be re-elected, but those who desire whoredom fought harder, for there are more of them than there are of us and eventually won. Again, my Lord's own Word of Scripture says that in the end it will grow  worse and worse until the End will come, and so it now is.

Still, as I listened to night to the mouthings of this Prick among Pricks who has deceived and continues to deceive mankind with his deceit and lies, I burned with a righteous anger, knowing there was nothing physically I could do to stop this from happening. But mark my words that I and many like me will survive from this moment onward to see the end of those who played the harlot with this great representative of the Great Whore of Babylon and elected him to office once more. We will see the heavens open and the Lord descend upon this Earth and then the dead in our Lord shall rise first and we who are alive and remain will be caught up to meet Him in the air, and thus we shall be with Him for all eternity.

But for those of you who voted against righteousness and truth and all that is Holy, you will be burnt with a righteous fire that will never end forever and ever and ever, for tonight - you made it happen and tonight - I saw the death of the United States of America and the birth of the United Socialist Emirates. I hope you traitors to the USA enjoy watching your Islamic Masters as they enslave your daughters and use them as sex toys and take the sword to the rest of you who bowed the neck to the Enemy and opened the door for him to enter in, for it is a certainty that this will happen and that these, your Masters, will not even recognize you as those who gave them their power, for you are to them merely part of the Great Satan, all those who are not of Islam, and therefore deserving of nothing more than to be slaughtered. And they are right.

Welcome to the United Soviet Emirates.

* * *

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Today We the People Remember

Today is September 11, 2012. For many of you that means nothing. To me it means an awful lot. Eleven years ago this morning I woke and went to my computer. I checked my email and there was a message from a friend on the east coast asking me if I was seeing what was happening on TV. I had no idea what he was talking about and sent him an email. He replied right back for me to turn on my TV. At this particular time in my life I did not have TV and so I turned on my radio. All that was on the channels where I usually listened to music were announcers and commentators reporting the fact that one of the Twin Towers in New York City had just been attacked and was crumbling. As I listened to these people, wondering just what the hell was going on over there in New York (I am in Washington State on the west coast) the second tower was attacked even as I listened.

Over the next few hours everything became more clear as pieces of this abhorrent puzzle came together and we as Americans and also the rest of the world discovered that our nation had been attacked by Islamic terrorists who had hijacked two commercial airliners and forced the pilots to fly the planes into the World Trade Center's Twin Towers. That day Americans all over this nation wept in horror, sorrow and anger that something like this could actually happen in a period when the world was claiming to be so highly enlightened. Many more raised their fists in anger and called for retaliation against these Muslim forces that would dare to so callously and ruthlessly murder many thousands of innocent lives, using as their weapons machines that carried even more innocent lives.

Once more war was declared by the United States of America against a foreign enemy that attacked, seemingly without provocation.

Since then much more has happened as US soldiers were sent overseas and have given their lives for a nation under attack by Islamic fundamentalists. Since then America itself has come under even further attack by its own elected president, who is himself affiliated with Muslims and Islam, if not outright an avowed worshipper of Mohammed, the false prophet of Allah, a false god in a pantheon of many false gods, worshipped by those who care nothing about the one true Deity that exists for all to worship. This president has gone overseas to foreign lands and made speeches telling foreigners how ashamed he is of America. He as welcomed into the United States, and the Democratic Party, Islamists who have as their world goal the utter destruction of everything America stands for. This president and his Muslim cohorts seek to take everything Real Americans remember and weep for today, eleven years after the fact of what we commonly call "9/11" and shame us for honoring our fallen loved ones, the fallen heroes of firemen, police and medical workers who gave their lives in the effort to save others. This president says we should move on as a nation and forget these fallen, embrace those who murdered them and allow these terrorists to assume command of the nation they sought to destroy eleven years ago today.

I say Real Americans need to fight back. I say Real Americans need to call for the removal of this Muslim supporter, if not through impeachment, then at least at the polls this November. I say Real Americans, regardless of how you might feel about the alternative candidate running against the sitting president in this upcoming election, have the duty, the responsibility and the obligation to vote Obama OUT of the White House.

I have never been much for politics. For many years I did not even register to vote. Now, however, I am moved to take a stand and encourage all Real Americans to register - vote - and let the world know that We the People will not stand idly by and watch as Islamic fundamentalists seize control of the America our fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, cousins, grandfathers and friends fought and died for in more than one war in the last century and this. If you do not vote Obama out of office this November, you are casting your vote for the destruction of America and whatever befalls you as you sit and watch it unfold on TV or read about it on social networks you will deserve. The rest of us - the Real Americans will be in the streets defending our families, our homes, our neighborhoods from the foreign nations sending their armed forces against it, as will surely happen if the sitting president is re-elected for one last term.

Don't be stupid. Open your eyes and see. Open your ears and listen. Use your power and VOTE this November and make sure Islam does NOT come to a neighborhood near you.

We are Real Americans and WE REMEMBER.

* * *

Monday, September 3, 2012

Obama's Ideal for America and Americans

Poster art for "2016 Obama's America."

As most of you who read my blog know I enjoy entertainment. Whether I get my entertainment from books, eBooks, movies or TV shows, I enjoy being entertained. I hate turning on a show or going into a movie and discovering it's not entertainment, but someone attempting to foist their ideals, their political, social or religious views upon me, thinly disguising it as entertainment. Because of this whenever I find a TV show or an author that continuously uses their venue to cram a message down my throat I have no desire to read that author or watch that show again.

I went against that long-held, well established position tonight by venturing out to my favorite movie theater not to watch mindless, frivolous, action-packed sequences designed to let me veg-out, but to sit through one hour and twenty-seven minutes of scripted dialogue from the man in America who has spent the past few years getting to know Barack Hussein Obama better than anyone else. Why would I state this man - Dinesh D'Souza knows Obama better than anyone else? Because he has spent the time since Obama was elected President of the United States tracking down Obama's roots, running down relatives, friends, associates and professors of Barack Obama in order to analyze this man who made claims of making America better, so he could understand why Obama has systematically not accomplished any of the promises he made to the American people during his campaign for the Presidency.

I won't spoil the movie for you by reiterating everything Dinesh D'Souza said in his documentary. That would be pointless, since D'Souza can do a much better job of getting his points across than I can. What I will say is that I already knew from the news in the media and the news that wasn't in the media, but which was already mostly common knowledge, anyway, that Barack Obama has been treading down a path not for the betterment of America and its citizens, but one that was pushing - not guiding - Americans toward a vastly worse society that would make the worst parts of George Orwell's 1984 seem like cheery little fairy tales in comparison. When I left the theater tonight it was with a sense of foreboding, of feeling as though we, the American people, are on the brink of the most disastrous blunder we could ever make if we elect Barack Hussein Obama into the White House for a second term. This man - who is not my President and never will be - has set himself on a course to destroy everything America has stood for since winning its independence from the British more than two hundred years ago. He despises the foundation of what America has been built upon and stands upon and can't wait to see it all crumble beneath this hideous and vile monster that Obama believes America and the American people to be.

Don't take my word for it - go see this movie for yourself. It's showing somewhere across America at a theater near you and you owe it to yourself, your children and your children's children to learn the truth, the history and the facts about Barack Obama so you may make up your own mind and decide who you will vote for on Election Day 2012.

Am I a staunch supporter of Mitt Romney or Paul Ryan? No. I know as little about them as I once knew about Obama. There are things about Romney I don't like anymore than any other professional politician I have seen in the decades since I became old enough to vote here in America, but I would rather see Romney in this nation's top elected office than to see someone who avidly desires the downfall of this country and my fellow Americans.

There is a slogan making its way through the political sphere that goes, "If you voted for Obama in 2008 to prove you weren't a bigot, you'll have to vote for someone else in 2012 to prove you aren't an idiot." As trite as that may sound to many of you, it is an absolute truth and fact as of right now. But again, don't take my word for it - go to  http://www.2016themovie.com/  and see for yourself. Check the theater listings at: http://www.2016themovie.com/theaters/ and find a theater near you where you and those who are like-minded with you can go to see what the facts are that have been dug up and presented by Dinesh D'Souza and decide if this man is telling the truth. If he isn't you have wasted little of your precious time. If he is, you owe it to your countrymen and yourself to vote Obama OUT of office in November 2012.

* * * * *

Saturday, August 25, 2012

A couple of weeks ago two movies came out at the theaters. One was a so-called remake of an old Arnold Schwarzenegger film, called Total Recall and the other was the fourth in the series of CIA thrillers called The Bourne Legacy. Opening weekend of Total Recall was down, because it seemed as some reviewers put it, that movie-goers would rather see a new movie than a remake of an old one. I waited a bit before seeing either one, just because I was busy and I wanted to wait until the crowds died down a bit before seeing these movies. Here's what I came away with once I finally went to see both movies, just yesterday:

Total Recall
While certainly there was a movie in 1990 with the same name, it really has no similarity to the new version, other than the name and some of the basic plot. The original was a slack-jawed attempt at helping to make Arnie a bigger star than he already was and in my honest opinion, failed miserably. I have watched that movie exactly once in my life and hope to never see it again. The new version, starring Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Biel is a great sci-fi action thriller that builds a world of the future with such magnificent full-scale cities that any serious sci-fi aficionado will thrill to sit in the seats of the theater and watch the breath-taking scenes that unfold rapidly minute-by-minute and never stop for a second until the movie ends. This is a great action-packed fun film that everyone should treat themselves to, ignoring what has gone before and just center on the fact that this is Colin Farrell's first movie in quite awhile to bring us back to the reason we love this actor in the first place.

The Bourne Legacy
Not many people exist who have seen the first three installments of this franchise and would say they weren't all great action thrillers deserving to be watched over and over again. While this latest, the fourth in the franchise, is also deserving of acclaim, I state that it wasn't nearly as provocative or exciting as the trio with Matt Damon. Sure, this is a decent thriller that once more trashes the CIA and makes them (deservedly) the bad guys, and certainly Jeremy Renner is excellent in the lead role this time, but honestly, it had pretty much nothing to do with Bourne and should have simply been made as another CIA thriller. Yes, Bourne was loosely tied into this movie, but consider that Jason Bourne had no drugs he was taking or was dependent upon as Renner's character was, so obviously this had nothing to do with the same program to create hyper-sensed operatives, the way the film tries to make us believe. It would have been better served as a stand-alone movie, but of course, those in the franchise wanted to capitalize upon the success of the first three, and so it was decided to make this a continuation.

My Opinion
Total Recall starts off at a fast pace and keeps the roller coaster ride moving continuously until the end where we are left wanting to ride it again. The Bourne Legacy begins at a snail's pace and crawls along far too long before anything exciting happens to catch our attention and truly hold it. Then it spins progressively along following the same obvious line as the first three films and leaves us thinking, "That's it? That's all we get? What?" If you can only see one movie this week and have yet to see either of these films, my bet is on Total Recall. You won't regret it.

* * * * *

Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Amazing Spider-Man

If you enjoy any portion of the superhero trend in movies of the last fifteen years or so (Has it been that long? I don't know...) then you know that recently the Spider-Man franchise has been rebooted from the trilogy made with Toby McGuire and recast with Andrew Garfield as everyone's favorite wall crawler. I have to say that when I first heard (Read?) the news a couple of years back or so that an actor who was considered as a teen "heart-throb" was going to be playing the precocious Peter Parker as well as my favorite Marvelite Hero, I wanted to bang my head against the wall and scream, "Parker is NOT a heart-throb! He's the geekiest damn science nerd who ever crawled out of the high school of obscurity and made people believe that superheroes were actually real human beings!" Okay, maybe I did scream that, but it was in the privacy of my own living room, which doubles as my office, since I am a full-time fiction writer, but there was no one around other than my two cats and all they ever do during one of my rants is yawn, stretch and roll over into a new position on the couch, carpet, dining room table, kitchen counter, my keyboard or wherever else they happen to be laying at the moment.

Still, I puffed out my cheeks, exhaled a whole damn bunch of times and shook my head vigorously before deciding to just wait it out and see how it went with this new actor.

Today I ventured alone, since my son was busy at home with his two kids and his girlfriend's daughter and a bunch of stuff he needed to do and couldn't go with me, although I know he wanted to. I decided that if the movie was any good and worthwhile I would take my son and grandkids to see Spidey later on and shell out the extra bucks for me to see it again, just because that's the way I am with these superhero flicks if I like them.

Naturally I was over an hour early and bought my ticket, then wandered about the mall a bit until I was still nearly an hour early and the previous showing had yet to finish so those within could vacate the theater. When the janitors completed their sweep-through of the aisles I took my place (Some say it's more like I am assuming my throne, since I always take the same seats at the position I consider to be the very best seats in the house and the reason why I get there so early) in my seat and waited through the preliminary features the movie theaters make us slog through these days. I mean, seriously, I DVR all the TV shows I like just so I don't have to watch commercials and have the ability to fast-forward through them and then I pay big bucks at the theater to see those same commercials all the way through. Sheesh. Gimme a break.

The movie finally began and the similarity between Peter Parker and this new, younger actor was immediately obvious. This kid might be a heart-throb to certain teenage girls (Those that are perhaps twelve years old?), but to me he personified the geeky science nerd that is Peter Parker. Okay, one hurdle out of the way, but what about...

As the movie played on the changes were obvious. Gone was the iconic scene where Parker, dressed in his make-shift "Human Spider" costume ventures to the arena so he can make the money to buy himself a car as a wrestler. In its place was...Well, you'll have to watch the movie to know how they went about this area of Spidey's history in order to get Uncle Ben to that place where he is killed by the guy Peter refused to stop for committing a crime. Obviously they wanted this movie to be completely different while still retaining the flavor of the origin story for Spidey and in my opinion, it worked very well and was more up-to-date than using a wrestling sequence.

Once Peter put himself through the paces and Spider-Man was born I nodded my head and decided that yes, this kid was every bit as good in the role of Spider-Man as he was in the role of his secret identity. Two hurdles out of the way.

The actress chosen to portray Gwen Stacey (Emma Stone) would not have been my choice, since her eyes were slightly too far apart for my taste and her mouth a bit wide as well, and then she spoke and her voice, which was a bit too raspy, grated slightly on my nerves and eardrums. But throughout the movie she proved she has the ability to act well enough to make herself believable as Peter's first girlfriend, according to the comics, not the old movie franchise, where I always wondered why they had Petey with MJ instead of Gwen, who was his girlfriend in the comics until she was killed by the Green Goblin. There was even a scene toward the very end where everything is getting all dramatic that her portrayal actually made my eyes tears up. I think it was more something getting in my eye at that moment than the story-line, yeah, that must be it.

The one seriously jarring note for me was the way the Lizard looked. Perhaps they were basing his appearance on the most recent Marvel characterization of this scientist-turned-villain, I don't know, since I haven't read the comics since about 1979, but I was used to how Dr. Curtis Connors' reptilian "giant gecko" villain looked in the comics and this grinning gargoyle with the hideous, deep, stupid-sounding voice was not it. There were redeeming qualities to this villain, but his face was not one of them and I am someone who has been waiting for the appearance of the Lizard ever since the very first time I saw Dr. Connors presented as Peter's science professor in college in the earlier franchise.

Okay, I lied; one last thing I did not like about the movie was the ease with which Parker was able to come up with a rubberized Spidey costume. I mean, seriously...in the comics he sews his own costume out of regular cloth and his sewing is shown in the movie as well, but really? Where did this kid even get this rubberized material in webbing pattern, let alone the ability to sew it seamlessly and make it actually work for him without splitting at the seams? And his rubberized booties instead of the socks used in the comics, because, naturally, as every comics geek knows, Spidey has to have a thin material on his feet so his wall-crawling powers will work, right? How does this work when he's wearing two-inch thick soles? Aaarrrgghh! Okay, settle down and just go with the flow, bub, go with the flow...

All-in-all I came out of the theater (The first person in and the last person out, as usual) with the feeling that as much as I had enjoyed Toby McGuire's Spider-Man acting ability, in my mind Andrew Garfield is the new Amazing Spider-Man. I look forward to seeing what he can do in future movies of Ole Webhead.

* * *

Friday, July 6, 2012

Delicious Food and Great Service

Over this past Fourth of July holiday my wife and I went out to the Pacific Ocean (Ocean Shores off the southwest coast of Washington State) for two days. We booked our room at the Quality Inn and although the rates were good (senior citizen/AARP discount applied) and the service was good, the bed was atrocious. We both spent two nights of tossing and turning and being grumpy in the morning and my wife is the type who can sleep anywhere easily. Not here she wasn't. I'm a light sleeper, but once I get to sleep I sleep well and soundly. I never found much in the way of slumber these two nights at this place.

In contrast to our sleeping arrangements, we ate at several restaurants and I have to say that the Home Port restaurant was excellent in every detail. Both times we ate there, for lunch the first time and a late breakfast the second time, we had the same server, Beverly, who was a fun, fireball of a lady with a louder than loud voice, but fun to quip back and forth with and did an excellent job in providing our meals for us.

For lunch the first day my wife ordered the crab sandwich (Of course, as she is a huge crab fan and will eat crab anywhere, anytime if it is available). She had a crab sandwich at another restaurant the previous day and wasn't nearly as pleased with that which she was served at Home Port. She ate every bite and enjoyed it all.

I ordered the Reuben sandwich, which is something I thoroughly enjoy, but often am disappointed with. It seems not everyone knows how to make a Reuben the way it should be made. The Home Port not only makes a great Reuben, but excels in this particular sandwich. I ate every bite as well and licked my fingers clean.

The next morning, once we had everything packed up and in our car and had checked out of the "Restless Sleep Inn" we headed back to the Home Port, hoping to get breakfast. We made it barely in time, as it seems they quit serving breakfast at 11:30 am and it was 11:26 when we walked in. Surprisingly, we had Beverly as our server once more and she remembered us (A plus in a server) and treated us appropriately, which means she insulted me and let me know she tried to have us seated elsewhere, but what she could she really do about it, eh? My kind of server.

This time my wife had the crab omelet (told you, didn't I?) and I had the biscuits and gravy with two eggs (over easy) and sausage links. Once again my wife was working hard to finish off her omelet, not wanting to leave any of that delicious concoction on her plate, though she was overly full when she finished and couldn't even stop for a latte afterward. I hummed and practically sang as I chomped on every bite of my breakfast and really should have remembered to ask to have my eggs placed on top of the biscuits and gravy, as this is how I like them best. The flavor was delicious, the thickness of the gravy was perfect (not soup-thin and not so thick it was brick mortar) and flavorful and the sausages were two short, but thick little fatties that were packed with deliciousness.

Everything was great at the Home Port restaurant, so if you are ever in the Ocean Shore's area of Washington State, stop in and say hi to Beverly while you discover how truly great their food is.

Mmm - mmmm, good!

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