Thor Ragnarok – One Comic Too Far!


How can 93% of the critics who write for Rotten Tomatoes be wrong? Doesn’t the $500 Million they say its made world wide mean its a great film?

Marty and I went to see “Thor Ragnarok” tonight and I still can’t figure it out. It’s not the plot or the characters I am having trouble with. Its the concept. Is it a spoof on the Avengers films that have gone before? Is it a spoof on the leading characters – especially Thor? What do you say about a friend that started out making some witty comments about his neighbors at a cocktail party and after one too many went more than one comment too far? Is he ready for Comedy Central or should he have packed it in and headed home?

If you saw this film on the blue screen without the computerized special effects you would not last ten minutes in your seat. I know computer graphics are used in most all films and especially in these type of block buster comic book recreations. But is that all there is? What happened to movies that were just good movies? This certainly is not one of them. Every scene – 100% of them take place in a special effects world. Enough already.

Marty gave “Thor Ragnarok” a D. I gave it a C. But would I tell you to spend $12 or more per person to see it in the theater? NO!

Larry

Alexa Echo Plus and Apple’s i8X – Uncle Larry Loves them Both


Just in case you forget my 72nd birthday on the 14th I bought myself two new technology wonders and am happy with them both. Here are my initial thoughts:

Alexa Echo Plus by Amazon – Where has Alexa been all my life? I have never had an entertainment and information device all three of us like as well as Alexa. Though it is a female name when you say it she listens – responds immediately and the range of responses is unbelievable. In short if there is a song or any piece of information anywhere on the internet Alexa will retrieve it for you – and pronto. As amazing as the availability of music and information is – almost equally impressive is the quality of the speaker. The range of the sound for a speaker no taller than 6” and as big around as a soda can is amazing.

Alexa Echo Plus comes with a light bulb that generates different 3 different rings of light on the top depending on her status. How great would it be to find a woman with a multi colored crown that tells you if she’s off – on and ready to receive instruction and or is actively doing something for you:) Then when you are done just say her name and OFF and she is! Amazing!

One last word on Alexa Echo Plus. If you buy one don’t bother to read the instructions. Assuming you have Wifi available at the location where you place Alexa just download the Alexa App on your iPhone and it guides you right through what to do. I made the mistake of trying to set it up using my Mac and that does not work. Download the App on your iPhone and Alexa will be playing music and answering your questions in minutes. Speaking of questions I think Alexa must be the younger sister of Siri. If you are bored just sit around and ask her questions and she is never stumped for an answer. This is bound to become one of America’s favorite drinking games.

Apple iPhone 8X – I just walked into the Verizon Corporate store on PGA and 30 minutes later walked out with Siri in a bigger home. The comments that follow are based on the differences I have seen already between my iPhone 6 and the 8X.

1. The size of the screen significantly increases my ability to read it and use the key board.
2. Siri has really matured since the i6 came out. If you sync it with your contacts there isn’t anything I’ve found yet that she can’t do – and with my tremor that is a real plus. I may be kidding myself but the Siri on the i8 hears me better and gets results quicker.
3. Speaking of hearing you won’t believe the speaker! I automatically put it on max volume and then on my first received call it sounded like they were on speaker phone – when they weren’t. When you put it on speaker phone it is really loud on max volume. I’ve had to turn it down just a touch. Something Marty has been trying to get me to do for years. When listening to music w/o the ear plugs the sound fills up a room. I’d estimate it’s almost twice as loud as my i6.
4. The screen picture quality is much improved – brighter and sharper. Speaking of brighter it has an option that you can choose to activate that automatically dims or raises it’s brightness based on the ambient lighting around you.
5. The battery life could take a Tesla around the block. It’s 3:45 PM as I write this and I’ve used the i8 as much today as before and I still have 91% battery power!
6. All those ios updates I’ve made to my i6 had left it working hard to keep up and the i8 is so much faster.
7. I have only taken one picture so far and it is so much brighter, clearer and sharper than my i6. Verizon encouraged me to go to YouTube and watch the video on all the things the new camera can do – especially in the world of portraits and motion. I’ll get to that later and let you know.
8. Storage – it’s not an issue. I have 650 songs and a bunch of apps and I was always bumping into the 16GB limit on my i6. The base/free storage is 64GB and for a “few dollars more” you can get 250GB. Not even President Trump has that many friends:)
9. Finally, the size and weight has not been an issue. It fits into the front pocket of my pants or shorts just fine.

Well that’s it. If your birthday is this month – or you aren’t sure those who love you the most are going to get you Alexa or Apple’s i8 get out there and treat yourself to these new electronic marvels. After all aren’t you worth it?

Uncle Larry

Three Movie Reviews for the Price of One: Wind River “A” – Atomic Blonde “C” – The Dark Tower “D””


“Wind River” is going to be one of the sleeper movies of the year. I predict that Jeremy Renner will be nominated for a Best Actor Role because of the excellent job he did of getting into and portraying his character – a man with as many failures as success, yet committed to his calling as a legitimate “Good Guy” in this film and in life. He plays the role of a Wyoming Fish and Wildlife “Hunter” of predatory animals. His job description suits him well as a hunter of seriously bad men. Elizabeth Olsen plays a young FBI agent, born in Ft.Lauderdale, stationed in Las Vegas and completely out of her element in the cold and snow of Wyoming. With Jeremy’s help they form a good team tracking the men who raped a young Native American Woman on Tribal Land and were responsible for her death.

If, like me you are tired of seeing computer generated scenes that only exist in the mind of a computer genius you will enjoy the grand movie-scape and panorama of Wyoming in the middle of winter. The long shots of white capped mountains – the use of long snow covered valleys as the movie’s stage and the drama of the mid mountain ever green forests frame this classic battle of good versus evil. Unlike the old time Westerns about as many of the good guys die as do the bad ones but the ending is very satisfying.

We recommend you see Wind River on the big screen for the grandeur of Wyoming in Winter that may be minimized in home viewing. Finally, this movie isn’t R for no reason. There is bad language, rape, close quarter hand to hand fighting that leads to death, an excellent and realistic close range shoot out between good and bad guys and some seriously fine shooting with his long rifle by Jeremy’s character.

That is the good news! Now for the less good!

What does it say about two movies when you saw them three weeks ago and you can’t work up the energy to review them. Hey, nobody is paying me for this so what does it matter?

Atomic Blonde with Charlize Theron and The Dark Tower with Matthew McConaughey and some guy from Star Trek I don’t know were both a waste of our time. Fortunately each of us got a short to medium nap during each of these dark and over acted films. I recommend you wait until these two come out on FREE premium channel. But hey that’s just me. Some of you may enjoy seeing Charlize with her equally beautiful female lover.

What the heck – 1 out of 3 will earn you $25 Million a year in Major League Baseball. Talk about snoozers!

Fine Mexican Dining in Juno Beach


Tony prepared a Mexican inspired dinner last night that was rich, flavorful and had wonderful mouth feel. The warm soft tacos were moist and filled with beef, pork, diced red peppers and mild diced green chilies. He reduced a combination of Mexican Blanca, Monterrey Jack and Cheddar cheese for the sauce that was smooth, rich and decadently flavorful. Tonight we enjoyed the left over beef and cheese in a shredded lettuce salad. We are living high on the dining hog here in Juno De Mexico!

War For The Planet of The Apes – Who are the Good Guys and Why Does it Take two hours and twenty minutes to figure it out?


If you are a fan of this Franchise you will really like this movie so don’t read any more of this review!

If you are new to the Planet of the Apes films plan on it being slow to develop which gives you plenty of time to think. The questions that came to my mind while waiting to be entertained are: Without God, who are the good guys anyway? Without God does it matter? How does a movie with this much bloody killing and beating of Apes and people get a PG-13 Rating? Don’t take your child to see this flick if you ever plan on taking him to the zoo again. When will Woody Harrelson show his acting chops again? How could it take 140 minutes for this script? Did they not have an Editor? How much of the mood and “coloring” can one Film “borrow” from The Apocalypse Now and not give Marlon Brando credit?

The best thing about this movie is the Poster with Caesar – the lead ape not the Roman Emperor – riding right towards you in the snow with a little girl on the back of his horse. For me I wish I would have just looked at the poster for a few minutes and skipped the movie. Marty on the other gave it a B-.

A Declaration Paid For In Blood


On July 2, 1776 the US Congress voted for Independence from England. It wasn’t, however, until two days later that Washington read aloud the Declaration of Independence that we celebrate this week.

As great as that document was and is the real sacrifice came in the blood and lives of the men who signed it and those who fought and died to make it happen.

I read that five percent – 1 in 20 – of every white, free males living in America died in the War of Independence. Twice that number were wounded so statistically 1 out of every 6.4 American families either lost their Husband/Father or he came home wounded and maimed. This number does not include slaves and other persons of color – which would only raise the total dead and wounded.

In addition to the wounded, maimed and dead directly related to the war there was approximately the same total number of men, women and children that died during that period due to disease.

If you think things are tough today – imagine how the populace must have felt during the Revolutionary War Period with approximately one third – 1 out of every three households either lost a family member due to death and or lived with their physical wounds and disabilities.

Those were some indescribably tough times and each and every American living today owes that generation of Original Americans a debt of gratitude we can never repay.

Wonder Woman – Marty and I enjoyed this film and give it a B+ and recommend it for theater viewing!


Somewhere Lynda Carter is Proud! If you are of a “certain age” that you remember reading DC Comics version of Wonder Woman and or were a fan of the TV show those memories will tide you over during the first 15 minutes of the movie – which set up the background of the Magical Island which was the home of the tall and good looking Amazon Women. The first and greatest Amazon Warrior you meet is Robin Wright and for about 5 minutes I kept looking for President Frank Underwood to appear in a thong and robe but I had to settle for the lovely and physically gifted Gal Gadot as our Female Leading Lady.

It took the movie a bit to settle into its rhythm and while some may feel that the Good Guy – played by Chris Pine – had too large a role in the film Marty and I thought the interaction between the two was very good. Speaking of interaction, other than the average amount of violence shown every night in Prime Time TV there wasn’t anything in this film a 12 year old can’t see.

We enjoyed how the Director – Patty Jenkins – allowed Wonder Woman to grow into the role. She grew physically and emotionally and came to grip with her mythical role and her calling. I won’t say more because I don’t want to give away any “spoilers.”

Unlike most films this one started slow and the pace picked up and it finished strong – setting up a Multi-Film Franchise movie deal for Gal Gadot. Along the way there were computer graphic scenes but they seemed natural and I was not put off by them as I usually am during these types of movies.

The last thirty minutes of the movie were the best with several “surprises” – two really bad guys and a good and satisfying ending. Lest I prattle on let me say that Saint Marty had a great time. She liked Wonder Woman and was the first to give it a B+.

If you are an occasional movie goer put this on your list to go and see.

Uncle Larry

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.

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