Saturday, May 31, 2008

Charging for snacks on planes.....

This and That .....
A little history ....I used to really enjoy going to the movies ...I had rules and everything. I still stand by a few of my rules but thanks to my friends I have let many, if not most , go by the wayside. At some point it dawned on me that I was not enjoying going to see movies in the theaters as much .
First ...Movies have became VERY expensive!! It now costs $9.00 dollars to see an evening show at The Rave in Montgomery. To me thats alot ......anyway.
Second...There are too many kids at the theater. LOTS of kids ....young teens. I work with teens and I would rather not be around that at the movies.
Third...I joined Netflix.
I started in 1991 collecting movie stubs.....I have every movie ticket stub since 1991. At some point that morphed into me keeping ANY ticket to anything I went to ....I used to see at least one movie a week. Since January 2008 I have seen four. I have seen three in the last week...and they were all really good movies.
Anyway ....a few movie reviews
WOW....what can I say about this movie ....It surpassed all my expectations. Hell, I did not even want to see it before I read what Mr Lucas had to say about it.
A very good "last" installment to a wonderful movie franchise. Indy is at his best fighting the bad guys.
I have to admit that I have never been a frequent viewer of this show but the times I did watch I really enjoyed it. If you have never seen a single episode on HBO or in reruns then thats ok because the movie does a great job of giving you some background to catch you up some.
If you know me at all then you know that I DONT LIKE A SCARY MOVIE. Ever since this movie tralier started playing I have been wanting to see it. I saw it and WOW it was creepy ...but very enjoyable .

I am currently reading James Frey's latest book, BRIGHT SHINY MORNING. It is a novel set in LA and it is turning into quite the read. I know some of you might say that since he "lied" about his hit book A MILLION LITTLE PIECES. I think he really got the short end of the bad publicity stick on that matter...and then to have Her Highness Oprah eviscerate him on national TV ...BLECH. I mean to be called a liar by Oprah is a big deal ....she said she had a reputation to consider and maintain and that people looked to her as an example....But did she not have President Bush on her show also?? I think its fair to say that he maybe, perhaps, sorta lied also...right ? The presidents lie has cost thousands of lives...both american and iraqis ...I mean James Frey told some lies about his past to pad his story ....David Sederis has done it ....Burroughs has done it ....I am guessing many authors have done it. Anyway , its a good book and I still like A MILLION LITTLE PCS.

It has been announced over the last few weeks that airlines are changing prices, luggage requirements and even charging for snacks in coach.
On NBC, Brian Williams had the best line in regards to the whole matter after reporting this past week ..." in a related story the airlines have decided to leave the seats on the planes ...for now"!!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A few of my Favorite things .....

So ...I am 34.....And glad of it !!!! Another year has come and gone and this Mr Gregg is now 34 years of age ....

I spent Wednesday working as many of us do on our birthdays big deal there except I had committed the youth group to serving supper at church ....and the choir was also singing a special performance ....add those together and you get 150+ people that I had to prepare food for and then sing in the choir ....

Needless to say it was a long day ...but a good one !!!

My good friend Jason came down from Bham to spend the day and help out and with him he brought one of the greatest birthday gifts I have received so far in my 34 years ....THE COMPLETE SEASON OF THE WEST WING BOX SET!!!! Saying that I was suprised would be an understatement .....WOW man what a gift !!! He also brought me the Biltmore Pinot Noir wine and a youth game me the copy of the new Sinatra remastered CD.....these are for sure a few of my favorite things !!!!

My youth were SOOOO great at working the supper perhaps it was the knowledge that there was a special agent from the state watching over things ...LOL....

Anyway ...I got many many birthday greatings from all my great friends, family and youth and for that I am very grateful. I have a blessed life and I could not imagine walking through it without you all ....


Friday, May 23, 2008

It had to be snakes......

In the summer of 1981 my Aunt Pam and Uncle Jim took me to see Raiders of the Lost Ark. They also took my brother and cousin. I will never forget sitting in the Eastdale Mall Cinema 3(yes, there was only 3 at that time) with my aunt covering my eyes during the Well Of the Soul scenes and again at the end when the Ark is opened. Raiders is the first movie I can remember going to see at a theater. My parents took me to see Star Wars in 1977 but at 3 years old I dont recall that movie and I am sure I saw others between 1977 and 1981 but Raiders stands out.....
How many kids around my age went home and relived that movie?? Chased down nazis in our back yards or climbed down into our own Well of Souls.....I know I am a few years older than most of you out there that reads my blog but many of you did just that became Indy.
I know there are one or two of you who went as Indiana Jones for Halloween.

On Wednesday of this week the fourth, and possibly last, installment of the Indiana Jones movies hit theaters across the nation. If you are a fan or just want to see a really good move then I have to recommend this one.
Its got everything you could want from Indy. Great references to past movies....Lots of loose strings are tied up but the main thing is its great to see an older Indy still doing what he does best ....Kick bad guys and girls asses !!!
It's a big jarring to hear Elvis Presley singing in an Indy movie since we are so used to him being in the 1930's but .....Its still a great movie.
Go see it ....Tomorrow ....Today ....Right now maybe ....

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Eleanor Roosevelt went flying with Chief Anderson....

So the other day Stephanie wrote a short blog that mentioned Marion Anderson and how she was denied the right to sing at Constitution Hall in DC because it was segregated in the late 1930's. Eleanor Roosevelt arranged for her to sing from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and the world was awed by Mrs Andersons singing ability.

Eleanor Roosevelt was always trying to get her husband,Franklin D Rooselvelt, to be more aggressive towards civil rights. She was in favor of full intergration many many years before most people were comfortable with the idea.....

This brings me to the topic of my blog and Eleanor Roosevelt's weird connection to my family

In the late 1930s it was a common belief among many that blacks could not be taught to fly planes for the military. There were many "Negro Flight Schools" around the country but none gave out credentials that allowed the men to then fly in the military....

Letters were sent out to the White House asking that President Rooselvelt come down to Tuskegee Alabama and see first hand that not only could black men fly ...they could fly like white men . FDR decided against going but sent Eleanor Roosevelt instead...She went and flew with Chief Anderson(no relation to Marion Anderson). After she returned to DC she told her husband that he had to allow these men to fly in the army air corps and as a result the first military school to teach black men to fly fighter planes was established in Tuskegee Alabama .

In 1940 the school opened to its first cadets.

My grandfather was born and raised in rural Watauga County in North Carolina. He went to school in Boone and never had any real drive to move away. Then he needed a job.

He joined the army in the early fall of 1941 and since he had trained to be a pilot with his cousin the sent him into the Army Air Corps.

He was assigned to Macon Field in Tuskegee Alabama and spent the entire time of World War 2 in Tuskegee. He helped train the men who became known as THE BLACK AIRMEN. THE REDTAILS.

In the summer of 1942 he met Maude Godfrey they fell in love and were married in October of 1942. My Dad was born in 1945. bear with me ....but in some weird far out way... I am here today because of The Roosevelts. Eleanor to be exact.....If she had not come to Tuskegee,the flight school might never have happened, my grandad would not have moved here and met my grandmother, my dad would not have been born......etc etc etc ...
Not to mention that ER helped pave the way for future generations of men and women to be in the military.
Pretty cool I think ....

Friday, May 16, 2008

A Shared blueberry bagel........

It has been a nice day .......
First of all Nick and Laura's beautiful twin girls are doing really good and everyone is pleased with where they are right now ....Continue with the prayers ! Laura will be home soon and they can continue to get the house ready for those two little ones in a couple of weeks....

The day started early with breakfast at Panera bread.....I had a chance to have coffee and bagels with Nick, Brian, Stephanie and Asher. Of course I see Nick all the time and keep up with the others through Stephanies blog but it was so nice to actually sit at a table and see them in person. These are people I wish I had a chance to see more of....and a thanks to Stephanie for sharing the blueberry bagel!!

My day continued with me going to buy a new pair of flip flops. Question: Do you call them sandals or flip flops? I have always called them flip flops but others call them sandals....Anyway...
I went to The Shoe Dept and used my 20% off coupon to get a new pair of Rainbow flip flops....I wore them the rest of the day and MAN ARE THEY COMFORTABLE!!

My day continued from there with me getting a quick lunch at ChikFilA and then heading by the church for a little work. After that I went home,took a nap and ended my day by going to see the LAMP baseball team play for the state championship. They lost, but it was two really good games and LAMP will have a great team coming back next year.......and let me add that Paterson Field downtown is a DUMP.....WOW I was really suprised at the condition of the stadium. I was also suprised to see that there are only two bathrooms in the whole place for men!?!?!
Riverwalk Stadium puts this place to shame.....

Two Great Things .....
On Saturday May 17 an elderly member of my church will be travelling to Washington DC to visit the National World War 2 Memorial on the Mall. He is going with about 90 other men from across Alabama. They all fought overseas in WWII ,and for everyone this will be their first chance to see the memorial that was constructed to say THANK YOU for what they did in helping to save the world from oppression. These men are going for free. They have not paid one dime to board the plane and head to DC. The money was raised my school children and civic groups so that these folks could see the memorial. One 5th grade class in Prattville raised $11,000.00 by selling tshirts. I think this is a great thing being done and I wish every one well as they travel to DC.

On Thursday the Supreme Court of California decided that it was ok for two men or two women to get married in the state of California. This is the biggest state by far to decide that people, regardless of who they are, are entitled to equal protection under the law. Is that not what we all want ? To love who we want and have the chance to show that love by standing before family and friends and saying that yes we love each other and now FINALLY its legal. How much longer before the rest of USA gets on board with this.......

I am now off my Liberal soapbox ......Night

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

2 hours at IKEA ........

I always have a hard time deciding what to name each blog .....I dont think I am in the minority either when it comes to this. Perhaps others out there sit back and try to think of witty titles to place at the top of the page of their newest blogs...perhaps you go back an forth on names.....sometimes the title of our blogs take on a life all to themselves....I dont know but I usually find the title after I get to writing the blog itself.

For the past couple of months I have taken the approach of writing THEN naming my blog. I find a sentance or a phrase and place that at the top. If you are a fan of the West Wing ( if you are not then SHAME ON YOU) you will notice that during the run of the series they would often name each an episode after something said or mentioned during the show itself.

I like this idea ....and I have started doing the same ....anyway on with the show

I am back after a fairly long break from blogging and to be honest I am still not real sure what I want to talk about .....Lots going on in my life and the world but nothing that would warrent a long rambling blog.

Can Obama Win in November?

I would like to sit here and say HECK YES he can win question about it . I really do think he has a great chance to be our next president. My concern is the pattern of how he has won during the primaries. In some states he has won by a HUGE margin and thats great but many of these states have high african-american populations. In other states where there is a huge white majority he has won but he has not carried the states like people would like to see him .

Hillary has made the observation that she has carried the big states like Pennsylvania,New York,California and New Jersey. She has also stated that in many states with higher concentrations of middle class/blue collar voters she has won and won big. Take West Virginia the other night .....she won BIG.

Is it a Black and White thing? I think that it's a part of it .....I was talking to a friend of mine in Georgia last weekend and he said he did not see Obama as a black man ....but I do. This does not make me racist it just makes me human and honest. I also see Hillary as a women and John McCain as an older white guy.

I think many people still see Obama as the black guy running for office and that being black is a good reason NOT to vote for him.
I am not voting for Obama because he is black , I am voting for him because he is the best choice in my eyes. But he is still a black man......and Hillary is a women ....I think you see the point.

Hillary will be the Veep I think .....Obama needs her on the ticket .

Of course I wish the candidates would annouce earlier who they want as a running mate ....

My buddy in Georgia also said that he rememberd hearing Jon Stewart saying something to the effect "he wants a President to be smarter than him ...not be his buddy and his pal" I agree with that ....

Speaking in friends in Georgia .....
I got to spend last weekend in Georgia and had a chance to see a good friend,Ryan. It was nice seeing Ryan and his friend Rick. We talked politics and had dinner then watched a movie.....It was a very realaxing evening.
I then got to go see my Nana on Saturday. To my suprise she is doing pretty damn good.....She is very thin but her mind is sharp and it was really nice to sit and talk.
My Nana is the reason I am a democrat. I used to sit and listen to her talk about politics and as a kid I learned alot about her ....She was happy to hear that I am voting for Obama!!
I then made a stop in Atlanta and spent 2 hours at the IKEA store.....WOW I really dig that store.

Talking Politics
Why is it hard to talk about politics with people? I mean, I can mention certain things around people and you can sense them tense up.....I LOVE talking politics with folks...
Whether you are a Repulican or Democrat....I dig talking. I dont like to argue but I love to talk.....I wish others were like this

Wednesday marked the 10 anniversary of the death of Francis Albert Sinatra. If you know me then you know I am a HUGE fan of Sinatra. He was not the best singer of his time but he was the best at making a song his own.....His phrasing and timing was unmatched. People are still trying to copy him. Michael Buble even has used the same arrangements of certain songs on his recent albums.
Sinatra also had incredible style...he gave millions to folks in need and never once did he ask for anything in return. He has his down side of course but ...Man what a talent!!

If you are one to pray then please keep Nick and Laura in your prayers as they continue to deal with being in the hospital and all the stuff that comes with being there.....I have a huge phobia of hospitals and this prevents me from being a good person about visiting folks who are sick. I went last week to see Laura and I had to leave being nervous was not a good thing for her and the babies. BLECH ....
Also keep Luke and Jackie in your prayers as they travel to England and Wales for a vacation.

Nothing much else from me .....Maybe more tomorrow night