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Monday, 30 November 2009
Movie Review 132: Cinderella Man
Mood:  a-ok

This is a true "Rocky Story" about J.J. Braddock who came back from personal injury, negativity and poverty to win the Heavyweight Title of the World.

The despair and desperation of the 1930s were captured accurately in this tale. It wasn't a case of going the distance to earn respect like "Rocky". It was a case of providing for one's family during hard times and paying back debts including "welfare debts".

There were boxing movies that had better fight scenes than Cinderella Man, but few that had the gritty realism and inspirational drama of this one.  

An excellent job was done by director Ron Howard and Russell Crowe/ Rennee Zellweger who gave fine performances as the Braddocks. Four Stars.

More reviews can be found at Rotten Tomatoes.


Posted by qualteam at 3:20 PM EST
Updated: Monday, 30 November 2009 3:47 PM EST
Wednesday, 25 November 2009
Movie Review 131: The New Star Trek Movie

Anyone who reads my blog frequently will know that I'm a big "Star Trek" fan. The last movie review that I did was for "Star Trek: The Final Frontier". Other memorable blogs on the same subject were "Star Trek: Generations"(My favourite ST movie) and "The Science Fiction, Star Trek Portal".

"Star Trek, The Next Generation" is my favourite series followed by Voyager, then the original series. I'm not a fan of "ST Enterprise" or "Deep Space Nine".

The best of Star Trek contains not only great story lines but unique spiritual themes that make you think. This includes virtual reality (the holodeck), alternate universes, sentient androids (i.e. Data) and powerful beings like Q. 

Unfortunately, the new Star Trek isn't in the same group as the best in this series.

While there is much to like about the ST reboot (The Introduction of Kirk and Spock in particular), the story line was burdened by an old Spock who looked uncomfortable and out of place in a new ST Universe. If Spock had died heroically in the past or the future, he could have come to young Kirk and young Spock as a ghost like "Obi-Wan Kenobi". This would be passing of the torch similiar to the "ST Generations" story Line. 

Most of the reviews on Star Trek have been positive. Mine is simply lukewarm. Two and a half stars.


Posted by qualteam at 2:09 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, 25 November 2009 4:52 PM EST
Sunday, 22 November 2009
Walking Away From Poker A Winner

The title of this blog may suggest that I'm giving up Poker, but I'm not. It's hard to walk away from a game I enjoy and that I'm reasonably good at.

Recently, I cashed my first check ($73.53) from Poker Stars for this year. It's really been an uphill battle since June when I was down $70.00. From June to November, I won my money back but I didn't make anymore.

As of today, I have slightly less that $100.00 in my account at Poker Stars. All things considered, November been a good month for me.

All this year, I've improved my poker skills by watching the pros on TV and educational websites like "Poker Tutor" and "EZine Articles".

First a foremost, I'm a winner at poker because the game doesn't control me anymore. I can play one game for the day and win or lose walk away from the online poker website.

There are many poker players who give their winnings to charities like "The African Charity Poker Tournament" pictured above.

I'll let Doyle Brunson give the last words on Poker. He sums up this game very well in the "Poker After Dark Introduction":


Posted by qualteam at 2:25 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, 22 November 2009 2:44 PM EST
Tuesday, 17 November 2009
Making The World A Better Place

I'd like to acknowledge all those who have contributed to making this world a better place. There are millions of unsung heroes around the world who do good deeds in secret and seek no recognition for themselves. Probably, the original St. Nicholas was one of them.

There are human angels today that you may know or not know who do many good works. To begin with, the TV show, "Extreme Makeover, Home Edition"  gives worthy persons a home tailored to their needs and desires.

Big stars, business men and even children have their own foundations for the poor. The late Michael Jackson is one, Oprah Winfrey, is another. The list would also include billionaire, Warren Buffet, Poker Pro, Barry Greenstein, and Hannah Taylor who started "The Lady Bug Foundation" when she was nine years old. 

I also appreciate Mother's Teresa's selfless work with the poor, Muhammad Yunus's microfinancing for impoverished women and Tim Berners-Lee's development of the World Wide Web. Probably, the best tool there is in fighting ignorance and prejudice.

Most of us may not be rich or brilliant, but we can give some time, food and clothing to reputable charity organizations. We can also pray about the evils that afflict mankind and publish those prayers on a website like www.prayway.com.

There are also those who have created positive and inspirational websites. One of them is "Clarissa's Inspirational Pages". Check out the wonderful songs there.


Posted by qualteam at 3:42 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 17 November 2009 11:25 PM EST
Wednesday, 11 November 2009
Lots To Remember On Remembrance Day

My mother, Doreen Barron passed away three years ago on Nov/10/2006. My wife, Irene and I visited the grave at Barrie Union Cemetery earlier this week and we planted four tulips at the foot of the headstone. We left a poppy on the flower bed because my father (Edwin Barron), a World War Two veteran, is also buried there.

The above links have more information on my parents and the cemetery.

The was the first time that I've seen the Remembrance Day Ceremony in Ottawa. It was truly an international multicultural event. Prince Charles was there in a Canadian uniform. Canadian natives and visitors from other countries placed their own wreaths at the cenotaph. None of the commentators spoke during the half hour service. It was very moving with the planes flying overhead, the cannons going off and the children's choir singing in the background. Check it out on YouTube when it gets there.

While there are many who are victims of war, there are also those who are victims of disease, famine and ignorance.  In remembrance of these "other wars", I placed this prayer on Prayway.com:

"On this day, I not only remember those who have given their lives for their country during wartime, but the many victims of disease, famine and ignorance.

We have fought and are fighting many wars against the evils of mankind on many fronts. I ask you to help physical and spiritual warriors who are attempting to end the scourges on humanity.

In particular, I would like to see advances against cancer that would lead to its eradication.

I would like to see job growth in the U.S. and other countries and meaningful advances in using green technology.

I would like to see the rich assist those less fortunate themselves with educational grants, green start up companies and needed health and food products."


 


Posted by qualteam at 1:30 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, 11 November 2009 10:54 PM EST
Wednesday, 4 November 2009
"V" Returns To The Small Screen

 

"V" is probably the most realistic of alien invasion stories because it relates to alien encounters that aductees and mystics have experienced. You can checkout some of this material under Reptilians, Grays and Marcabs.

Unfortunately, "The 2009 V Series" is simply a remake of the 1983-84 TV series. I was a bit disappointed because I had hoped there would be sequel.

The original "Vs" were like friendly Nazis from outer space and most viewers just loved to hate them.

I loved the orange uniforms and the sunglasses. Those reptiles were cool.

The present "Vs" look like religious cultists with all the answers. This is ok.  Many viewers seemed to like this approach. The first episode got great ratings.

I love finding science fiction that strikes close to home. The original series I give four stars. The remake three stars.


Posted by qualteam at 9:52 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, 4 November 2009 10:06 PM EST
Thursday, 29 October 2009
Fun Jobs In The Afterlife

A few year ago, I created a list called "The Top Ten Things You Could Do After You're Dead". I've expanded this list with the websites below that might challenge your imagination:

Perhaps, you could be a resident spook on a paranormal TV show like "Ghost Hunters", "Paranormal State" or "Rescue Mediums". Every week you would impersonate a local entity or lost soul. Having established yourself, you would move up to your own "Haunted Funhouse" in Niagara Falls or California.

You could also opened up a human exorcism company like in the movie Beetlejuice.

A very creative spirit could haunt places like  "golf courses" and mysterious government projects like "Area 53". 

Maybe, you could protect earth from deceptive aliens or do good deeds as a guardian angel.

In meantime, have a safe, happy Halloween.

 


Posted by qualteam at 10:06 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 29 October 2009 11:07 PM EDT
Saturday, 24 October 2009
More On Our Haliburton Vacation

Above is a view of Lake Kashagawigamog where we stayed at Wigamog Inn. This is God's Country, lots of rain forest and wildlife.

We were fortunate to capture three white tail deer on video tape eating grass outside our kitchen window.

Last week we visited "The Ethel Curry Gallery" and "Rail's End Gallery" in Haliburton. I was surprised at the quantity and quality of the artwork in the region. My personal favourites were miniature woodcarvings by local artist, Keith Rydberg.

It's an interestingfact, but the old Haliburton-Linsay railway line is a now a bike path. You can find more about it and other bike trails at www.jaggedpath.com.

If you get a chance to discover the rugged beauty of Northern and Central Ontario, please do it. This includes Ontario ghost towns as well.

 


Posted by qualteam at 12:09 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 25 October 2009 3:28 PM EDT
Sunday, 18 October 2009
Our Vacation In Haliburton, Ontario

It's great when you can take a unique vacation in your own country and province. This is especially true when you live in Ontario with its many lakes and scenic wilderness.

Last week we journeyed to Haliburton and Minden in Central Ontario just below Algonquin Park.

We stayed at Haliburton Heights on Lake Kashagawigamog about 10 miles from Haliburton. The surrounding forest was overwhelming with its reds, yellows, oranges and greens. October is the best month to catch Ontario in its finest colours.

Many of the businesses in Haliburton had fall displays in front their of their stores. We were fortunate to get these on video tape.

On October the fifteenth, we went to Minden where we talked to Sharon Lawrence about her husband's (RD Lawrence)  work as a naturalist and author. Their museum has many pictures of the wild animals they helped and the causes they fought for.

One of our vacation highlights was a mural by Robert Van Nood. You really have to see it on Minden's beer store wall to appreciate it fully. Part of it is reproduced below:

We plan to check out the Haliburton Museum and art gallery, this week.

The Great White North is for everybody to enjoy not just Canadians.

 


Posted by qualteam at 3:04 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, 19 October 2009 1:03 AM EDT
Monday, 12 October 2009
A Health Program Should Include Saunas

Recently, I've started taking a sauna after my gym exercise program. Saunas not only get rid of excessive water in the body, but also reduce toxins that accumulate in the fat cells.

You may not know this, but saunas are used frequently by diverse parts of humanity. These include Finns, Native Americans, and Scientologists.

Of course, it's important to important to eat lots of veggies and super foods like pomegranate, but don't neglect intense physical exercise and hot saunas.

The road to optimal physical and spiritual health is not an easy one. It requires discipline and dedication to achieve a healthy body and mind in a substandard environment.

 


Posted by qualteam at 3:19 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, 12 October 2009 3:43 PM EDT

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