King Arthur Legend of the Sword – Thoughts and Questions


Marty, Tony and I saw King Arthur Legend of the Sword today and I’m glad I went to see it, it was generally entertaining and it gives me the opportunity to share these thoughts and questions with you.

Will movie goers who are attracted to the Myth of King Arthur and their vision of Camelot be attracted to this film or will they feel betrayed?

Is this film a non stop action adventure or are there sufficient moments of down time to let the mind wonder and give thought to a bath room break?

Do the male leads – who dominate this film – Charlie Hunnam (Arthur) and Jude Law (Arthur’s Evil Uncle King Vortigern) raise the level of their craft to the point of creating characters that viewers relate to – love or hate or even care at all?

Is this version of King Arthur too much about The Sword or is The mystery of the sword one of the films more interesting features?

Do the characters – the supporting cast – the fight scenes – the building and destroying of Camelot – the dark and moody cinematography seem real enough or for $175,000,000 did the investors in King Arthur wind up with another digital computer generated world?

What percentage of the movie going public enjoy the cut and paste – jumping from the present to the past and sometimes even to the future style of the film’s Director Guy Ritchie?

What will viewers who see this film rate it on the old school scale of A to F? Tony gave it an A-; Marty was unsure as she thought it was all so “dark” and Uncle Larry gives it a C+.

On balance unless you are an action adventure junkie with time and money on your hands I recommend you wait for home viewing!

Tax Cuts – Fair and Balanced?


I voted for Trump! I have spoken personally with him around 5 times and he has always been very personable with me. I like his Family and we are so glad to be praying for him daily instead of Obama. I support him as our President.

That said can someone please tell me how The President’s Tax Cut Proposal is “fair and balanced?”

From what I can see from reading Fox, WSJ and CNN The President proposes cutting Corporate Taxes by 57% and 62% as follows:

1. The Max Corporate Rate for “C” Corps is 35% and the proposal is to cut it to 15%. Here’s the math: 35 – 15 = 20 / 35 = 57.14%.

2. The Max Corporate Rate for “S” Corps is 39.6% and the proposal is to cut it to 15% – a 62% cut: 39.6 – 15 = 24.6 / 39.6 = 62.12%. S corps are specialty incorporated business where the net income from the business flows directly from the balance sheet to the individual(s) that own the S Corp. Hence the max rate is 39.6%, which is the highest individual tax rate. Some S Corps are small businesses. Some are big businesses structured like President Trumps to avoid paying the C Corp tax and then the Max Personal Tax on the Dividends.

On balance if my math is right this is an approximate 60% tax cut for Corporations! A sixty percent tax cut for corporations! Please let that sink in.

Yet people who are JUST out there in the working class, middle and upper middle income class and retired folks on investment income are going to get a tax cut that seems to average less than 10%. Throw in the loss of property tax deductions and that 10% Tax Cut gets a lot smaller fast!

When I voted for Trump and the topic of taxes came up I was thinking everyone would share equally in the cuts – not equal in money but in the percentage of the cuts. 57% and 62% don’t seem anywhere in the ball park of equal with 10% or even less.

I may be wrong but I haven’t seen anything about doing away with Corporate Deductions – such as ITC, Accelerated Depreciation, etc. However, I do see that I will no longer be able to deduct the taxes I am paying to my Local and State Governments. To quote a friend of mine “this just burns my butt!” When I pay my property tax – and for the people who live in states with state income taxes – we don’t get to keep that money – it is GONE! Eliminating the set aside or Deduction is nothing more than “double taxation.” The Feds under this proposal are going to tax me on money I don’t even have? What kind of sense does that make?

It seems to me the people I see winning big in our President’s Tax Cut Proposal are: C or Regular Corporations and Sub S Corporations (Like our President’s) while the rest of us – including our children and grand children are going to be left picking up the check for the increased deficits these Corporate tax cuts will generate. I read one report from a Republican that for every 10% we cut the corporate tax rate we increase the budget deficit by one Trillion Dollars.

Then again who cares about working, middle and upper middle income workers, retired people and our children and grand children? I desperately hate to say it but I am shocked by this tax proposal coming from President Trump – a person who was elected by the working, middle and upper middle income workers and retired people. Simply stated this seems to me to be a sell out for his base and a buy in for the corporate world.

The Next Big Thing in North Palm Beach County’s Dining Scene


The next big thing on the dining scene in North County is definitely BrickTops and Tiki Hut in Palm Beach Gardens (BT PBG)!

A friend and his Partners have re-opened the old River House restaurant and done it absolutely and fantastically well. If they keep the food quality the same as opening night (tonight) and improve on it some it will be the Palm Beach Grill of North County and there will be no need to drive south for a wonderful dining room – a well balanced and outstanding menu – great service – a large and attractive indoor bar – “The Patio” just off the water with an Intracoastal View and for the “meet and greet” scene the new and super enlarged Tiki Hut bar right along the waters edge.

BT PBG has it all: Food, Ambience, Water Front View, Friendly Folks and a great place to meet your friends!

The parking is the same as the River House but this valet company moves the cars in and out fast! Marty and I will be back soon and will report to you more about our food favorites. Tonight we were with our friends Chris and Barry and he is a Sushi Guru. He declared his Sushi appetizer “top grade Sushi.” I give you his professional opinion because Marty and I like our food cooked. That said, I loved the Tuna Carpaccio – layered with fresh corn. All our entrees were good and we loved the Hot Fudge Sundae and the Carrot Cake. They were out of Joe’s famous Kee Lime Pie by the time we got to dessert but I’m sure more is on the way.

I will update you soon but I can’t encourage you enough to be one of the first to enjoy what is destined to become the “it place” with true food quality, service and ambience in North County.

By the way they ARE taking reservations. Their number is 561-530-4313. Their website is: http://bricktops.com/palm-beach-gardens/ – where you can check out the menu for yourself.

Uncle Larry

XM25 Counter Defilade Target Engagement (CGTE)


For those who speak only Civilian What does “Defilade” mean. Heck, I don’t really know but I think it loosely translates to blow the “defication” out of your enemy – even when they are hiding behind a solid line of defense like trees, cement or event steel barricades.

Why am I sending you so many websites on this new and exciting weapon? It is a fantastic and almost unbelievable attack weapon that can kill our enemies and save American Lives. What more do you need to know? Caution!!! If you voted for Hillary you should probably stop reading and delete this e mail immediately.

When I was in RVN each platoon had one infantryman who carried a “side arm” and an “M80” Grenade launcher. I’m sure you have seen them in movies – looking like a sawed off 20mm shotgun – not 20 gauge but 20mm – meaning a very, very huge bullet or a small grenade. The M80 Round fired with a “thump” and would not “arm” until it was 25 meters out – preventing an accidental explosion that would kill the good guys. When it hit it’s target it was like a modest sized hand grenade exploding and killing everything within 10 feet of the impact zone.

For illustrative purposes only – my Platoon was moving through the Central Highlands just East of Cambodia one day and we settled in for the night just outside a local village. This turned out to be a bad call for SS and we took mortar fire through out the night from the “friendly Villagers.” WE sustained one life threatening injury and the next day after he was medivaced we eliminated what we decided were the bad guys in this village and proceeded to rest up, taste the local “rice wine” and use their watering hole for a low level shower.

After the first shower I had enjoyed in weeks – combined with several shared “sips” through a four foot long bamboo straw in the 20 gallon rice wine jug I became some what irritated with the Village’s one and only Water Buffalo (WB). I called for the M80 and hit the WB right between the eyes on his skull plate at about 10 meters. Thankfully some scientist somewhere saved my life and the others as well by not allowing the M80 Grenade to detonate at 10 meters.

Now you would think I would show grace and calmness and thankfulness to the designer for sparing not only the WB but 8 or 10 of us as well. Angered by the shot that bounced off his skull he began to charge the water hole. On of my men pitched me a locked and loaded M16 and I emptied it on him in just a few seconds. Relative to the bull fighting you may have seen in Mexico or on TV a full clip of M16 rounds is far more effective than a red cape and a sword.

What does this have to do with the XM25 you ask? Visualize if you can some SOB Viet Cong or Radical Islamic ISIS sniper hiding behind a concrete wall in a modestly destroyed building.

Rather than sending in American Troops to flank the sniper and endanger more lives the operator of the XM25 simply goes through the steps he has learned in training – setting the XM25 to the appropriate settings and the 25mm – yes for those of you who are paying attention the round has been increased from 20mm to 25mm – and this magic bullet grenade goes up and over the wall and explodes “in air” and kills the target.

This Weapon is so smart it can not only get around the enemies cover but it can explode at the precise distance of the enemy without making any contact! At this point I am tempted to say something like “unbelievably _______ amazing.”

On the battle field this is a true game changer and more importantly a real life saver for American Troops. I don’t care if the rounds cost a thousand dollars apiece because successfully deployed no Platoon Sergeant will be calling for a Medivac in the morning.

See the sites below for full details.

SS

https://www.orbitalatk.com/defense-systems/armament-systems/cdte/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XM25_CDTE

How Was Your Day Today?


Does your car have one of those “FOBs?” Can I ask you what the heck is a “FOB” anyway? Is that like “LOL” – which I am still confused about. Does it mean “laugh out loud” or “lots of love?”

I often get replies from my insane e mails or texts with “LOL” and I flinch and think to myself did I say something inappropriate to that person to let them believe I love them? Is it something like the issue we now face of which bathroom to use? My choice is primarily based on how fast I have to go based on my continuing case of Amoebic Dysentery that I got in RVN!

Personally I blame the whole darn thing on Al Gore! When he “invented the internet” he should have come out with a glossary of terms!

OK, back to my real life drama! My friends at Christ Fellowship asked us to visit a 99 year old gentleman who is under home “Hospice” care. We jump in Marty’s car – which has the magical FOB – and we visit him and God really uses the time and he verbalizes the principles of Romans 10: 9 & 10.

We Praise God and get in Marty’s car and my iPhone beeps to let me know Christ Fellowship is asking me if we can visit another gentleman in Hospice at Gardens Hospital.

Of course I text back yes and I press the “button” to start the car. NOTHING HAPPENS. I put my foot on the break pedal firmly and press the button again and nothing happens. I repeat this process three more times and nothing happens. I now scream at the car and curse it for not starting. Is there any chance for me maturing or subduing my anger issues?

Then on the fifth attempt to start the car I NOTICE that when I have my foot on the break I am pressing ON THE RADIO ON AND OFF BUTTON! I press on the START button and of course it starts.

I ask you – who is smarter or mature? The Car or Me?

Larry

PS I dropped Marty off at home and when I got to Hospice at Gardens Hospital the wonderful, loving, kind and Saintly women who perform an act of service and grace there greeted me kindly but said I missed him by an hour and his Family had all gone home. I figure it was either God’s Will or I blame it on the Car – it can’t be my fault!

City Tap – Spoiler Alert – It’s Not Bar Food


Marty and I enjoyed dinner last night at the relatively new City Tap in City Place. City Tap (CT) is located at the top of the escalator looking down on the fountain. They have indoor and outdoor bars and dining. When we walked inside we were impressed with the quality of the build out, the size of the room, the U shaped bar and the number and size of the TVs. In addition to the bar seats and surrounding high tops CT has three other seating areas: inside in the main dining room – a separate yet covered room that is open to the walkway and the fountain – as well as a private dining room.

If you enjoy “Craft” beers CT has sixty on tap for you to choose from. Yes that’s 60 and from the sampling tray we tasted they were all COLD – the kegs are all kept in a super cold storage locker out of sight but close to the bar.

I’m pleased to say that CT also features “Craft” food. Marty and I feasted on three excellent appetizers: Corn and Crab Hush Puppies with both a Remoulade Sauce and a small serving pot of Honey Thyme Butter – Blended cold Foie Gras with mustard beads and sweet thinly sliced onions with big toast points – and Tuna Carpaccio. The Hush Puppies brushed in the Honey Thyme Butter were addictive – like fresh potato chips or popcorn, you can’t eat just one.

For our entree we shared the Wednesday Night Special – which is a most unusual and delicious Berkshire Pork Arancini. It looks like a large open sided ravioli – whose top and bottom is a square of thin, crisp and tasty pork filled with pulled pork in a delightful sauce. It is as good as it is unique. Each day of the week they have a different special which is listed on the menu.

In addition to a sampling of Craft Beers we had an enjoyable Margarita and one of “Rebecca’s Special Home Brewed Tea.” The menu says if you can guess the ingredients they will give you a second one.

We ate at the Bar and the service was friendly, prompt and courteous. If you want to see a game or just watch sports on TV you are surrounded by GIANT sized TV screens with virtually unlimited sight lines. On the other hand if you are with a date, a four top or a big party there are a variety of seating options available to you.

City Tap – Craft Beer and Craft Food.

The Breaker’s “ReNewed” Seafood Bar


If you have been fortunate enough to visit The Breakers on Palm Beach you know what a first class Property it is – really without peer in the region. You may have had the opportunity to enjoy the Seafood Bar in times past. Be sure to put a visit for lunch or dinner to the just opened and incredibly well renovated, expanded and beautiful old/new Seafood Bar on your lunch or dinner to do list.

“Millions and millions” of dollars were spent and no holds barred to make this classic dining room with a direct ocean view a visual treat to match the menu. The new Seafood Bar appears to be twice the size of the old room – with a very open feeling and a view from every where of the spacious kitchen and the world’s largest aquarium bar – complete with new windows for more ocean front viewing. The Bar is triple the length of the original aquarium bar and was crafted for The Breakers in Nevada and shipped in one piece. The aquarium is also deeper, enhancing your view and giving the fish more room to swim. If the fish swim all the way from one end to the other they will be in great shape.

As we sat at our table yesterday we had the feeling we were sitting in a classic 1920’s wooden ship – so unique and comfortable. If you liked the old menu you will be happy because 75% of their favorites are back. We always loved the Seafood Club and it was great to have it again with their unbelievably rich Truffle Fries. In addition there were a few new treats we really enjoyed. Several of their appetizers and light items are being served tasting style on three small but connected plates. Marty and I were there yesterday with our friend Rebecca and ordering several of these items was perfect for sharing.

We strongly recommend the Tuna Tartar and the Filet sliders. They were great. Speaking of great – don’t forget to start with an order of their freshly baked and buttered Yeast Rolls. I could have eaten ten of them they were so light and tasty. We threw caution to the wind and ordered a few fresh oysters, a side of Gorgonzola/Truffle fries and finished up splitting their rich and delicious Tres’ Leches with fresh pressed coffee.

As you can guess our attentive server had to help us get up after all that great food and the good news is we were at The Breakers and are free to walk off lunch and enjoy their grand interior and exterior views. As always The Breakers welcomes “the local poor” like Marty and I and valet parking is complimentary when you get your parking stub stamped in any of their restaurants, bars and shops.

It’s amazing what “millions and millions” of dollars will get you these days!

Star Wars – Rogue One – Great Fun and Very Entertaining


We had family and friends out today for Star Wars, Rogue One and it was a lot of fun and very entertaining. Our gang of seven ranged in age between seven and “seventyish” and we were all pumped up coming out of the theater. At our showing very few people got up from their seats when the movie was over but the seventy one year old needed a potty stop.

I did not recognize any of the new cast but we bonded with them immediately. Those of us who have now seen all eight Star Wars were impressed with their attention to detail and being certain Rogue One fit in sequence just before Episode V, The Empire Strikes Back – which was the Original Star Wars Film in 1980. The young woman who played the lead (in my opinion) was likeable, believable and her role was an integral part in tying this Star Wars adventure to the Empire Strikes Back. A modest spoiler alert here – she is not Princess Lea but keep your eyes open towards the end!

Not that this was the best Star Wars ever, but it may be the leader in the club house with great lines that elicited laughter from the audience. Four or five times we were laughing out loud in our row.

If you are not a “hater” you will want to see Rogue One in the theater. The special effects and battle scenes will not be nearly as impressive in home viewing. If you have any toys from the original 1980 film stashed away in the basement dig them out – wrap them up and you will be the bomb with who ever gets them for Christmas – as they are featured in Rogue One.

Marty, Tony, Jenna and our friends Chris, Krista and Joah all give Star Wars – Rogue One a very big “Thumbs Up!”

The Chronological Christmas Story


Have you ever wanted to have an easy to read Chronological Order of the Christmas Story? One that you could read for yourself and something you could share with your family and friends at Christmas without having to jump back and forth from Luke to Matthew and then back to Luke again and so on. Here is Uncle Larry’s attempt to give you this tool, all taken from the NIV Translation of God’s Word given to us by St. Luke and St. Matthew.

The Birth Of Jesus Foretold
In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”

“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. For no word from God will ever fail.” “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her. Luke 1: 26-38

Mary Visits Elizabeth
At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.
In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!” Luke 1: 39-45

The Magnificat: Mary’s Song of Praise
“My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me – holy is his name.
His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation. He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; He has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful to Abraham and his descendants forever, just as he promised our ancestors.” Luke 1: 46-55

Mary Returns to Nazareth
Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home. Luke 1:56

Joseph – Mary’s Faithful Fiancée
This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).
When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. Matthew 1: 19-25

The Birth of Jesus
In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. Luke 2: 1-7

The Shepherds and an Angel and The Host of Angels
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.

The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. Luke 2: 8-20

Wise Men from the East
After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written: “But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.”
Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”
After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route. Matthew 2: 1-12

The Escape to Egypt
When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.” So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”

When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. Matthew 2: 13-16

The Return to Nazareth
After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child’s life are dead.” So he got up, took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee, and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets, that he would be called a Nazarene. Matthew 2: 19-23

So ends this Chronological Review of the The Christmas Story – otherwise known as the introduction of the Messiah – the One who was fully God and fully man.

Speaking of the time from Eternity past St. John writes his brief overview of the coming of the God-man:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1: 1-5; 14