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Monday, March 12, 2012



Probably the most read column I have done since I started this blog in 2005 is the one from November 2008 dealing with “Kids Growing Up too fast.”  Second place would go to “Dancing with Fred and Ginger” from August 2011.  I don’t have actual numbers but those are the two that keep popping up on the meter the most.  Many of the hits even come from overseas.

What is your favorite movie from 2011?  That’s an easy one for me; it was Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris.”  It contains good acting and no glorifying of the stars in the credits as Allen lists them small and alphabetically.  Allen has been making great “small” films for years and always on a low budget.   The man is a genius in the business.

Does anyone but me feel that Michelle Wie is basically stealing all the money she is being paid by sponsors to be on the Ladies Golf Tour?  She made something like $19 million last year and didn’t do much on the golf course.  She once said she wanted to compete with guys instead of women.  Big mistake!  She better learn to beat the girls first and quit her whining.

Ron Pinkowski, a fellow Plugged-in writer for the Sunday Arizona Republic,  observed recently that with so many people having total dependency on iPhones, who would know how to survive if all those gadgets suddenly disappeared?  His answer was “seniors.”  Good point, most seniors don’t have and don’t need the latest communication technology.  Somehow they survive the “old fashioned way.”

My favorite recent quote comes from New Jersey Republican Governor Chris Christie as he was talking about Warren Buffet:   “He should just write a check (for more taxes) and shut up.  Really…..I’m tired of hearing about it.”  Amen!

What is it with luxury car TV ads today?  Cadillac, BMW, Mercedes, and others are trying to sell cars showing them skidding sideways at high speeds.  To me, it looks ridiculous unless they are trying to entice immature drivers.  But then, are they the ones with enough dough to buy those overpriced heaps?  Just wondering!

Are spring training games in the Phoenix area having attendance problems?  It’s still early but some of the crowds have looked pretty dismal, especially since the weather has been nice.  Recent totals show 2,781 showing up at a Kansas City-San Diego game in a stadium that holds 10,714.  Los Angeles drew 7,038 against the Giants in a 13,000 seat stadium and the normally popular Chicago Cubs had 6,415 show up in a 13,100 seat stadium against the Rockies.  To me spring training is OK but I prefer the Fall League.

Last year in Fountain Hills I really had a lucky break.  I ran a stop sign while turning left off Pueblo Boulevard onto Mohave Road on the Yavapai reservation.  No big deal, right?  Well, maybe if the incident would not have taken place in front of a parked Maricopa County Sheriff’s car!  The only way I can figure he didn’t see me is that he was probably doing some paperwork and wasn’t looking.

(Note:  Since I switched to this format after the demise of Plugged-in Scottsdale, I have received 473 hits and 92 comments (21 per blog).  That's a great turnout and I thank everyone who is still tuning in.....  JM)


sam said...

I rarely watch movies any more, since they started computerizing them. The technical aspects and the details are generally interesting, but I got spoiled on the older directors using camera angles, lens settings, etc. for their special effects...which, for me, tended to add more realism and interest to the special effects and the story line itself.
As to your lucky break on the reservation.....does the Sheriff have any jurisdiction or authority on the reservations? I have been told that they need an invite, or a "continuation" of a chase to make arrests or issue tickets on Indian lands....the reservations. I have never confirmed, and wont research it...not enough interest, actually.....LOL. (sounds better than "too lazy")

Jim McAllister said...

Sam, I should have been more specific as to the location. When I turned off Pueblo, I was still in Fountain Hills. As soon as the left is completed, Mohave is on the reservation. I was lucky; it was a situation where all the way down Pueblo the cross streets had stop signs. At the Mohave turn, Pueblo had the stop sign. I just wasn't paying attention but was lucky. I have a clean MVR and want to keep it that way.

I definitely got away with one that day! LOL

Rick Kepple said...

It sounds like the cop was waiting to get people coming OFF the reservation. Sometimes they are waiting for specific people to serve a warrant. One day, I was cruising down the highway and Missouri got rid of the five mile an hour grace limit beyond the posted speed. Economics, I guess. So I come around a curve, the cop hits his overheads, sees it's me and turns them off. Old guys catch a break, I guess.

Mike Slater said...

I quit watching baseball years ago. I grew up in the 50's and 60's when baseball was great. Once it went to free agency and divsion play I lost interest. The money players make now is obscene.

Growing up a Dodger fan I remember the great pitcher Sandy Koufax earned at most about 125,000 to150,000 thousand a year in the 60's. Today an average player in the majors makes millions.

I don't watch pro basketball or football for the same reason.

My only passion now is college football.

Jim McAllister said...

Rick, That could be but my running of the sign blatantly right in front of him makes me think he must have been doing some paperwork or looking at a book and and wile looking down it made him oblivious to me.

As you say, maybe they give old guys a break and let me get away with one. (not that I am that old!) LOL

Mike, I love baseball and have been following it since 1954 but I have to agree with you that my interest isn't the same as it was. Too many prima donnas wanting ridiculous money.

Now, they are adding another wild card this year in the playoffs. The season is too long already. I would love to see some Series games snowed out. What a bunch of greedy bastards.

I used to like Koufax. he went to Barb's and my old alma mater, U of Cincinnati on a BASKETBALL scholarship in the 50s! He played two years then went to baseball. He and Drysdale were a great pair. I miss them.

I'll watch the NFL although they are getting closer every year to having them wear skirts. The NBA is just a memory; I wouldn't spend one minute watching them.

justcallmelater said...

The movie, "Ronin," is a good spy movie. You can't tell who are the good guys and you can't tell the bad guys until the end. Just like real life. Jim and reservations have me thinking of casinos. It would be cool to go on a tour of casinos and maybe concerts too. I could just take the guitars, amps, bags and go be irresponsible. Maybe Slow To Only Pause through a stop sign or three. Let fate take the wheel ... oh, but what about bed bugs? Seen it in the news. Disabled people like me are the number one crime victim now. FBI report. You're a brave man leaving home, Jim. It's crazy out there. Not like the old days of the Cold War when things made sense.

Allen J. Duffis said...

Hi Jim,

You're right about the seniors being able to function without the gadgetry. Remember the grocery assistant and bagger in the 1940's and 50's? All the adding was done with a pencil on the back of a brown paper bag - and always correctly!


Jim McAllister said...

Rick, "Ronin" was a good movie but it's hard to find a film with Robert DeNiro that isn't good. ("Are you talking to me?" Are you talking to me?") LOL

The casino at Fort McDowell was where I was going when I ran that sign! I forget if I won or not that day but it's a pretty drive there.

Yeah, it's dangerous today. I hear that there are people putting a solution of Drano, water, and other stuff in bottles and leaving them places where people might pick them up. When the do there is an explosion. Go figure why someone would want to hurt innocent strangers.

Allen, That guy made a great comment there; he is a fellow commenter in the Sunday AZ Republic. I don't have an iPhone and if I did I don't know what I would use it for. Certainly not texting as I have no need to text anyone and I can't remember the last time I used a cell phone. We have a lot of people welded to that stuff; they couldn't survive without it. I think it shows insecurity.

If that stuff ever quits working, guys like us will be in demand. We will be a couple of the few people left who can write in cursive, spell correctly, and, as you say, be able to do math on a brown paper bag with a lead pencil. LOL

buzzard said...

My favorite movie of the year was "Moneyball" I loved it

Yeah, I agree about those ridiculous car commercials. I see that Mercedes ad every night, with the car slideing sideways. The driver is sitting there like an idiot with the windows open in a cloud of dust.

Jim McAllister said...

Buzz, I agree on "Moneyball". Pitt was great as was Jonah Hill. When we went to see it, the cameras wouldn't work so they switched us to another theater in the complex and gave us 4 free passes. Helluva deal.

I think that since "Moneyball" had a limited audience, it probably hurt it for Best Picture but those awards don't mean much anyway. I read the book many years ago so I was anxious to see it.

I guess the luxury car companies are after the young and affluent set. With those ads, I have no interest in their product. There is something unappealing to see a beautiful Cadillac or Mercedes skidding sideways. It's like trying to mix oil and water; it just doesn't work for me. However, I am not in the group they are trying to impress. I'll just keeping pouring rice into my Hyundai! LOL

buzzard said...

speaking of Cadillac commercials, remember we discussed this on one of your blogs a while ago. I told you about the Kate Walsh Cadillac ad. Now, that is my kind of ad.

Rick Kepple said...

Sounds like you lost at the casino. Better luck next time. I found an interesting card at Walmart to a "Secret pal," but after watching the 1983 introduction of FM's "Beauty and the Beast" and how the beast is killed with love and deception, I might just burn the card. Maybe trade the church going for casino going. I'll try to avoid running stop signs.

Jim McAllister said...

Buzz, I loved those Kate Walsh Caddy commercials and obviously, like any red blooded American male, also loved Kate Walsh! She was (is) a true member of "babedom" and when I first saw her in those ads in 2008, I went out and bought four Caddys. Now that they are four years old and Cadillac has gone to those skidding ads, I don't know what to buy to replace the 08s.

As the Everly Brothers once sang, "Problems, problems, problems all day long."

Rick, At least avoid RUNNING stop signs. I got away with that one incident but am not likely to do it again.

Casinos are a lot of fun as long as you have the dough to absorb losses since that is usually what happens. I don't advise anyone to bet the house payment on a double down in Blackjack though. Now, loading up on the 6-8 in craps........

justcallmelater said...

I'm having a bad week. The VA claims they don't know what's going on and I don't really care to find out. Jim, I'll bet you're CIA. Can't be pulled over. Can't get a ticket. You're one of those retired spies that I heard about! I know you'll deny it, but I read that's standard procedure. And if you admit it, that's really disclosure wrapped in a blanket of humor. Jim is one of those high White House spies that I read about. He was a cook, but not really. Like Steven Seagal. Real bad ex-Air Force. He'll make a bomb out of baking soda, cat manure and Gummy Bears. Ever been hit with Gummy Bear shrapnel? It ain't pretty.

Jim McAllister said...

Rick, Gummy Bear schrapnel? Oh, the Horror!!

Joe Finnerty said...

Pitter patter.

I saw “The Artist” and approved its Oscar award as the best picture.

I like Michelle Wie. She can play in my foursome anytime. Beer’s on me. She needs every penny she earns to pay Stanford’s tuition.

Seniors survive without high tech devices, but those who lack iPhones become noticeably crankier and more constipated over time compared to their savvy peers, according to a recent medical research study in Budapest or Bucharest or Brooklyn, someplace far away.

Automobiles have been advertised as winged chariots, flying up into the clouds, ever since the mid ‘20s. That’s what we dreamed of doing, leaving everyone and everything behind as we crawled along on the roads.

Can’t speak for all the stadiums, but the crowds at Talking Stick to see the D’Backs/Rockies are sizeable. So is the traffic. No flying cars in sight, just some Caddie’s itching to skid for entertainment.

I ran a red light today, at Rainwater and the 101. Yellow light lasted only a fraction of the time I thought it would. This time, I got away with it. My wife’s tongue-lashing was worse than a ticket.

Jim McAllister said...

Joe, I love your wit. I wish you were still doing your blog.

You're right about the D-Backs and Talking Stick. I don't know if it is because of them being the home town team or not. In recent years I have heard of all the sellouts in the Cactus League but the figures don't look so good this year. Only two weeks to go and they go north so they need to pick it up. I suspect the economy has something to do with it.

Remember those old Cadillac ads with the big 4 door caddy pulling up to the country club and the valet opening the door? Those guys have died off and now they want the younger set I guess. I can't blame them for trying but all the sideways skidding seems a bit silly.

Tell your wife I'm on your side. That is a short yellow at that corner!

midnightsstaff said...

Yeah.. I went through a yello-red light the other day... I was coming down hill out of here and cross the 85 four lane, doing a legal speed but after taking a quick peek both ways as I always do on crossing an intersection I looked up too late.. they set you up with a quick yellow- it should be at least five or eight seconds... but is normally about three.
there is a reason.
I object to paying as much for a pre season seat as a season game and it seems spring training has turned into a scene rather than a sporting event.
Love to see the young Indian cheerleaders with a nice burn in the stores around the park, I wish I could go back in time just to stay out of the sun when I was young and stupid- I imagine they will wish the same thing in a few decades once they find out what a Dermatologist is all about.

Jim McAllister said...

Middy, I know what you mean on the sunburn and the visits to the dermatologist. I've had three skin cancers removed in the last two years. They say the cause can be from excessive sun when I was a kid and I sure got burned plenty in those days. I never thought anything about it then; I do now. Fortunately, nothing is severe in my case; some aren't as lucky. They just cut or scrape them off and I am on my way. Not everyone is that lucky. I'm sure you agree that everyone over a certain age for sure should have a periodic skin check. I go every 6 months.

Spring training: It's fine for those who come down for the month in March to thaw out in an AZ spring atmosphere but I don't go to the games anymore. I much prefer the Fall League.

The last time I went to a spring training game was about 10 years ago. Even then it was 16 bucks each to get in (but we had great seats) and we had to watch stuff like Garth Brooks bat for Kansas City (He pinch hit and walked). I remember that I paid $20 for two hot dogs and two beers and the dogs were colder than the beer! Bummer!

Rick Kepple said...

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Remember, green beer still looks green when it's coming back up!

justcallmelater said...

Something is seriously wrong folks. I think my theories are right and I wish that SN had talked to me. I'm gonna go hang out at the music studio today and also go in town and talk to some influential people. I dare you to try commenting on that Muslim writer's posts. You can't. Your computer will lock up. What's that even mean?

CJinPhoenix said...

I agree with the choice of "The Artist" as the best movie of this past year. It was an entertaining, refreshing change of pace & it had a positive message. Not sure I would enjoy it so much as a steady diet but it sure was a welcome change.

Jim McAllister said...

Rick, Happy St. Patrick's to you too. There is something psychological about green beer that I can't bring myself to drink it. My St. Pat drinking days are pretty much over anyway but had a few wild ones in the past. (Does it really come back up green?)


I haven't seen "The Artist", only the previews. I don't go to the show much anymore. Most of the stuff that comes out doesn't look too good.

I think theaters are going to eventually become a thing of the past with the technology becoming available for home use. When we do go, it is in the morning so we don't have to listen to people crunching popcorn and slurping gigantic drinks.

CJinPhoenix said...

Jim, More often than not, I pay more attention to the movie than to what people around me are eating & drinking. You're in luck, though: since "The Artist" was so recognized by the academy awards & such, it will likely make it to DVD. As a real throw-back to old style movies, it is really worth watching (the style even pre-dates you, I think). Many very good movies do not receive much popular attention though. That is why I tend to go to the Camelview. And I know that you know that place ...

Jim McAllister said...


Everyone raves about "The Artist" and your opinion reinforces that. I have to see it; it must be really good to get so many accolades. For some reason, I never got around to seeing it.

I'm sure it will show up somewhere even if i have to go to a budget theater.

Thanks for the heads up on that.