Thursday, November 30, 2006

Movie Review: Casino Royale

Last weekend I sneaked out of the house one night to actually go see a movie. Lately a lack of time and trying to stick to a budget has seriously put a crimp in my trips to the local cineplex. I've always been a big fan of James Bond flicks though, so I managed to crack the wallet for the $8.25 it now costs to see a movie in the new theater near our house.

I have to admit, I originally cringed when I heard about the choice of Daniel Craig to be the new bond a while back. Honestly, I had no good reason to dislike him since I had never heard of him at the time, but I went along with the rest of the herd and mooed loudly while complaining that Bond couldn't have blond hair.

I heard some good initial reviews a while back though, so I decided to give it a try. The result was that it was the best Bond movie I've seen since the originals with Sean Connery. I'm pretty sure some of the biggest, geekiest Bond fans won't be happy with it, since it wasn't chocked full of gadgets and misogynistic lines. Q didn't even make an appearance in this one.

Regardless, it was very well done and makes for a fine restart of the series. Go see it whether you're a fan of James Bond films, or not. My only nitpick is that it got slightly slow at times near the end and the ending seemed like it drug on a little long. Oh, and I guess one other nitpick is that the big card game in the film was Texas Hold'em instead of the traditional Baccarat. I won't push this too far though, since I have no idea how to play Baccarat and I'm sure 95% of the movie going audience doesn't either, so it at least made it easier to follow what was going on.

A Hatch Football Post

I haven't really cared much about football recently. I'm admittedly a fair-weather Alabama football fan. If they're doing good like they did last year I'll start watching a few games and keeping up with them, but this year not so much.

Still, I've been reading with interest about the search for a new coach since Mike Shula was let go recently. It's been interesting watching friends and others come to the somewhat disturbing conclusion that the best person for the job is Steve Spurrier. Even I was taken aback when his name was one of the first mentioned.

It's appears that Alabama has finally decided to strike a deal and has Mal Moore standing in the middle of the crossroads at midnight. He's asked official permission to talk to Spurrier. Personally I've come to the decision that it's time to stop fooling around and get a real coach with real experience. Pay Spurrier the price he demands and let's get on with it.

My favorite quote about it is from this blog :

"College football is no place for honorable men. Any profession where Tommy Tubberville thrives is nothing you want your son involved with. So while Mike Shula deserves our respect for accepting a tough job at a tough time, there’s a reason nice guys finish 6-6.

The devil has a name, and he has a price. Someone in Tuscaloosa should visit him in Columbia and ask him what it is."

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The Forgotten Butlik

Looks like Hatch will be able to join the band someday real soon.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

I Voted

I voted. I'm still feeling queasy about it. It was good to see all the nursing home employees getting a break today with all the patients working at the polling station. The kind little old man who was trying to find my name on the computer print out went back and forth over my name 5 times and was about to turn the page before I pointed my name out for him. For some reason they have the names printed in descending order on the page, so you have to scan up the page to find the names.

I got there about 9:00 am and it took me almost 40 minutes to get through the lines. Normally it takes about 5 minutes, so turnout looked to be pretty heavy today. In the end I voted for Ford, but it sounds like Corker is going to win anyway. I could have voted for an independent candidate, but I knew nothing about any of them and I don't want my vote to give some freak hope of winning some day. Of course I did a write-in for Paul Clemmons since I was pressured by the Big Tobacco lobby to do so this year.

In the end it was a tough election, and I've lost a good friend over it apparently, even though he lives in another state and these offices have no bearing on him. Now I just need to go wash this finger a few times and maybe it will eventually feel clean again.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Hatch the Vote

So I have to walk into the polling station tomorrow and force myself to vote once again. I used to look forward to election day. I've only missed one or two of them since I turned 18, and those were minor local elections. So I'm going to attempt to explain my strategy for tomorrow.

Keep in mind that at heart I'm really a Libertarian without all the crazy "gold standard" and "kids should make all of their own decisions" crap. Essentially I'm a fiscal conservative and a liberal on many social issues. It all boils down to the fact that the government should be involved as little as possible with our lives, though. Unfortunately, there are no candidates for me to vote for to that share my beliefs.

My first rule for voting tomorrow is to vote AGAINST all incumbents. Let me state this clearly. If you vote for candidates, especially in Congress, who have already served before, you're just one of the jackasses who is keeping things exactly the way it's been for too long now. It doesn't matter what party they're in, if they've been there before they've been part of the worst and most corrupt Congress we've ever had in this country. Now let me make one exception to this rule.

Tomorrow I have to cast a vote for the Governor of Tennessee. This one is fairly easy for me. Phil Bredesen has done as good a job as anyone else could, so I'll vote for him to have another 4 years. He's mostly harmless I think, so the real deciding factor is to vote against the Republican candidate. Don't get me wrong, I despise both parties, but the Republicans have been in charge lately, and have the most to answer for, so rule #2 is to vote against Republicans when rule #1 doesn't apply.

For U.S. Senator, there is no incumbent. Normally I'd go with voting against the Republican candidate, but the Democratic candidate, Harold Ford, Jr., leaves a lot to be desired as well. His family history is not so great, but the biggest thing is that he reminds me too much of Al Gore in the sense that he didn't really grow up in Tennessee, but in Washington, D.C. I don't really have anything bad to go on with Bob Corker, but he is a Republican, so it's going to be a difficult decision since they're both bad candidates. I still haven't made that decision, and I will probably end up flipping a coin when I'm in the booth tomorrow.

I'm also going to vote NO on Amendment #1. I'm sure all my church friends are going to be shocked, but it has nothing to do with gay rights or protecting the family in my mind. It has to do with letting the government get involved in things it has no business being involved in. Marriage should be viewed as a contract between two people. The state had no business getting involved in marriage in the first place except to record the contract like it would any other legal document.

Of course very few people are going to see this the way I do. The herd is going to moo about "gay rights" or the "sanctity of marriage" while those of us who actually bothered to pay attention in history class know what the consequences of letting the church get in bed with the state are. Everytime something like this passes we take one step closer to being the "bad guys" that our ancestors left Europe to get away from.


Of course I found the wallet. It was in a pair of pants somewhere in the laundry room. I was trying to find a pair of "mostly clean" pants to wear for work last week since we were a little behind on the laundry. Marissa goes in the laundry room and comes out with a pair of pants. When I pick them up I immediately feel the wallet in the back pocket. Bleh.

The only thing I had replaced by that point was the driver's license, which cost me 8 bucks, and the credit cards, which were free. At least my streak of not permanently losing a wallet is still alive.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Happy Birthday Baby!

My beautiful wife Marissa, whom I started dating almost five years ago, is having a birthday today. Our first "real" date was going to the Vince Gill/Amy Grant Christmas concert in December of 2001. It was the only way I could keep her from bringing escorts along since I paid top dollar for seats right next to the stage.

I can't believe it's been 5 years already. We have two beautiful children, and she's turned our house into a home that I'm glad to walk into every evening. Many people, myself included, thought I would never get married, but I managed to find the right woman and I couldn't ask for a better one.

I love you baby!

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday Heff

Somehow, Heff did manage to turn 39 today. Happy birthday dude. I'll always be younger and prettier. Heh. I first met Heff about 25 years ago when we were both in Coach Perkins gymnastic class, although Heff remembers meeting me then and I don't remember meeting him. Apparently I spoke to Heff and his brother Jason about a Silver Surfer shirt one of them was wearing.

Heff and I have been through a lot over the years, including our low points in life when we cleaned floors at night for an outrageously low sum of money. I think I made 20 dollars a night and Heff made 40 because he was the "supervisor."