Friday, September 15, 2006

Tim McGraw/Faith Hill Concert

My sister-in-law got us tickets when Tim and Faith came to Indianapolis a month or maybe even a few months back.

We knew the seats were on the floor, but even though we figured that was very close we didn't know what to expect since we have never been on the floor before. Our tickets were for seat one and two, but you never know which aisle they count from, so we didn't know where we would be possitioned with relation to the stage. The usher told us to go down the stairs. The next usher said to go under this black curtain that appeared to be connected to the stage. I didn't know what to think of that. Did she get some back stage tickets?

It turn out that the stage was in the center and then had I think four runways coming off of it. We were walking under one of the runways. I think it may have also been a passage way for them to get under the stage, since we never saw them enter and they came up through the floor of the stage as they entered.

We continued walking and saw like a fifteen or sixteen on the outside seat. "Okay, so we must be on the inside", we thought for a second. Then we looked across to where we logically thought one and two would be and our eyes met another runway. We walked down the row and sure enough we were leaning right on the runway.

The show was nice. Faith went first and then they did some duets and then Tim and then some more duets. The only problem was the sound quality. Not because of the performers or the equipment, but because of the venue. Conseco Fieldhouse has terrible accoustics. I saw another concert there a while back and the sound bounces off the walls and really distorts it. It reminded me of loud AM radio or maybe even more descriptive would be to say music encoded at 8 kbps.

Faith came down our runway a couple of times and each time she touched everyone's hands. That was interesting to experience. The crowd was a little hysteriacal at times and it felt kind of weird holding up a hand to a performer.

I think Tim came down a couple of times too and that was little more comfortable, at least from the standpoint of having him touch us. I held up a fist and he gave me a knuckle bump. That was nice and it felt more natural. The crowd, on the other hand, was really out of control. He came down in front of the stage at one point to get close to the crowd and I guess one of the woman said or did something inappropriate and he pulled back and shook his head at her telling her whatever she did was a no.

The added hysteria that came with Tim being on stage was that women from behind us we jumping over us and crowding in on us to get to the runway. My wife was closest, so I had to block people out to keep her from being crushed against the runway. I locked hands on the chairs and locked elbows into the hips and checsts of a couple of women that we trying to pile on top of us.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Onekama, Michigan

Okay now I am going to stretch the purpose of this blog just a bit by giving a review of my sister-in-law's boyfriend's cabin.

It is located in Onekama, MI. I have to say that this was much better than the trip we took to Lake Erie a little while ago.

In addition to Lake Michigan there was a little lake called Portage. We only played in Lake Michigan, but we walked on the big cement pier that ran next to the channel connecting the two lakes.

The beach and the section of Lake Michigan that was close to us were very clean. Sister-in-law's boyfriend said it was the zebra muscles. Someone needs to transplant them into Lake Erie.

The cabin was nice. It had a couple of bedrooms upstairs and a couple downstairs along with a bathroom, a family room with a wood store, and a kitchen. The well water smelled like it was right out of the lake, but there was a spring close by where they filled up a big jug of water.

I'm pretty hard to live with, but I enjoyed spending time with them, even just sitting around talking. I know some folks have to doing things, but I am kind of a home body. Driving the 7 1/2 hours there was the hardest part for me, since, as I said, I am a home body, but once we got there I was able to relax.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Sterling State Park Monroe, MI;0&p=G10164

It is Located on the South West side of Lake Erie.

We went in the middle of June 2006. We stayed for two nights.

There was very little shade at the camp ground. We camped at camp site 30. It was by a grove of trees, but they were on the wrong side of the camp site to provide shade for very long during the day. The one thing the trees provided was a skunk. When we first got there we smelled a slight smell, but I figured it was a fluke. We were fine that night, but in the middle of the second night it happened. I was awakened by the intense smell of skunk. This was like when you hit a skunk with your car. My wife slept through it, but it kept me up for an hour or so before it started to dissipate. It didn't spray the tent (I can only imagine what that would've smelled like), but it was somewhere close in that woods.

When we got to camp there were several of these little dragon fly like bugs that some were calling fish flies. At night a cloud of these bugs flew in and attached themselves to everything, especially to things with light. We got up in the middle of the night to go to the restroom and the fish flies were everywhere. They crunched under our feet and were piled up in a heap in front of a pop machine. It possibly had the most heat in the place. The good news was that the fish flies must eat other bugs, because there were very few other bugs. No mosquitoes. The fish flies were everywhere the next day, but there was no more big swarms that came in.

There were also a ton of cotton wood seeds flying around, almost as thick as the fish flies. The cotton wood kept landing in drinks, food, and everything.

There was a government dumping area in the park surrounded by a fence with a sign that said that the ground inside would not support our weight, even though there were two bulldozers inside. There was a guy that I think was from the dumping ground was digging a whole on the far side of the beach and connecting a pipe to another pipe in the ground. The pipe that was being connected was brought in from the lake. For the most of the morning we saw a couple of tug boats pushing the pipe around. After it was hooked up it floated for a bit and then sank for a while. It then came back up and later went back down. In the process it pulled up a bunch of muck from the bottom. I'm sure the pipe was going down as it filled with whatever they were pumping out and coming back up as it emptied. It looked like it was being pumped from the dumping ground, since we saw a similar pipe just inside the gate aimed at an toward that side of the beach.

There were a lot of dead fish the first day. One every five feet or so. Not enough to scream that there was a problem, but enough that made me feel uneasy. The next day there were a lot less dead fish.

This was our first trip to Lake Erie. I have been to Lake Michigan a few times and it was always freezing. I have been to Superior once and it was cold as well. I was surprised when I stepped into Erie and it was luke warm. The second day it was almost like bath water. As we read one of the information boards around the park we read that Erie is the warmest of the great lakes. This is because it is the shallowest. It sounded like it was especially shallow on the end we were on.

The beach had nice sand and there was a lot of it. The problem was that it was covered with tiny pieces of shells and as you got a bit away from the lake it had many sticks here and there.

There was a cement walkway down at one end of the beach that ran along side the dump fence and the lake. It was nice because it was kind of like being a little ways out into the lake. There was a nice breeze and wave would crash on the big rocks below the walkway. There were breaks in the fence that appeared to be designed to allow people to get onto the rocks to fish or put their feet in the water. I wanted to get down by the water, but again the dump made me a little nervous, so we sat on the edge of the walk. We read some and watched the water.

During our stay we walked around the two and a half mile loop trail. It was not very shady and very typical Midwest ponds, grass, and trees. Not that exciting, but it was good exercise and a good way to do something and talk. There were a couple of benches along the way to sit on.
Along the trail there was also a metal set of steps with a couple of platforms that you could look out over. There wasn't much to see, but it was something to get up high and look out.
There was also a big walking bridge across one of the ponds.

It was a nice little place, but not worth the hours that we have to drive to get there. It would've been nicer to drive a little further and get to the mountains of WV or TN.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Pride and Prejudice: A Latter-Day Comedy (2003)

Scale 0-10 0=none 10=Ultimate
Immodesty = 2
Violence = 1
Language = 1
Sex = 0
Plot = 8
Action = 4
Suspense = 2
Character Development = 5
Plot Development = 5

It was a good movie. Not great, but good.

I'm not sure if they were trying to translate the book into LDS culture like Bride and Prejudice with Indian culture or if they just wanted to do a modern story with LDS characters.

If they wanted to compare and contrast LDS culture with Victorian culture I think they shouldn't have cut out the parts of the book dealing with the pressures family was putting on them to get married.

If they wanted to just show LDS characters in a modern version of the book they could've done more justice to the LDS characters. The only characters to stand by their LDS values were portrayed as geeks. Again, as I said above, they could've done more with the original story.

I'm glad to see more movies being made showing LDS culture. I applaud those who are putting the effort into making LDS culture movies. Hopefully more interest, better distribution option, and more inexpensive production technology will make more of these movies possible and also make it possible to make them better.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Fire Birds

Scale 0-10 0=none 10=Ultimate
Immodesty = 6
Violence = 5
Language = 6
Sex = 5
Plot = 6
Action = 5
Suspense = 5
Character Development = 5
Plot Development = 5

Nicolas Cage, Tommy Lee Jones

This was a good plot and had potential, but was underdeveloped and slow. At under 90 minutes there isn't much you can develop. The acting was good, but the characters didn't gain enough depth.

There was some decent action at the end, but didn't make up.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


Scale 0-10 0=none 10=Ultimate
Immodesty = 1
Violence = 0
Language = 5
Sex = 0
Plot = 6

The sister reminded me of Hilary Clinton, so that was disturbing.

The movie had potential with the idea of making you think a little and maybe even learning a little about math, but it never completely got there. The ending left a lot of things unanswered. There seems to be quite a few movies lately that leave it to you to make your own ending. So far I haven't really liked movie like that.

The movie was directed by John Madden. He is into everything. Monday night Football, video games, and now directing movies. ;-)

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Dark Water

Scale 0-10 0=none 10=Ultimate
Immodesty = 0
Violence = 2
Language = 5
Sex = 0
Plot =5

The movie was very slow and we had trouble finding what the point is. I know some will say that it is a movie and it doesn't have a point. I just couldn't figure out if they were going for a mystery or what.

It was very much the same angry little girl ghost that we have seen elsewhere.

There were many loose ends that felt like they were not tied up.

My wife found it very suspenseful, but she also found it slow.