Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Boston Legal #5 - Bronx Tale

I forgot to post Boston Legal #4  (hosted at my house in January 14).  The last three meetings have been supplemented with a TV or Movie (#3 was actually a Boston Legal episode - "Finding Nimmo" - Episode 20 Season 2 #3).   J.P. stayed late and we watched "Seven Days in Utopia".  But on to Boston Legal #5

Boston Legal #5 - Hosted by K.C. with full BBQ and refreshments 6/21/15 the day after Father's Day. I was tasked with bringing some alternative viewing choices to Boston Legal #5 (three choices were offered up).

I was biased and since it was so close to Father's Day the group humored me with the selection of "A Bronx Tale".   Chosen strategically after listening to Peter Kreeft's  Ethics lectures, this movie is very entertaining and thought provoking (Warning - it is rated R because of the language and violence). 

"I can't believe after all this time you don't trust me."  says Calogero to Sonny his surrogate Italian Mafia dad.
"Listen, It's not that I don't trust you.  It's .......  Sonny trails off with no explanation.

"No, I'm not gonna listen"  as Calogero continues to tell Sonny that he should have not jumped to judgment.   "You never thought of that [the alternate possibility] .... did you?"

"No"  as Sonny stares stoically forward.

"Don't you trust anybody?  Calogero inquires

"No"  Sonny replies

"It's a horrible way to live"  Calogero rebuts.

"For me ..... it's the only way"  Sonny declares.

"Not for me .........  Not for me"  Calogero whispers.

This movie has a great sound track and worthy acting with a named star Robert DiNero.  I highly recommend this movie! 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Authors of our Life

"All we ask is to be allowed to remain the writers of our own story.  A story that is ever changing..... Whatever happens, we want to retain the freedom to shape our lives in ways consistent with our character and loyalties"  ("Being Mortal" by Atul Gawande). 

Antul Gawande explores the challenges of assisted living (what Mom just experienced) and the tension between independence and interdependence.  In America we stress freedom in ways of individualism, autonomy, free of coercion and limitation.  Yet all of our lives are interdependent - especially at birth and near death. 

How interesting that he changes the goal of aging from freedom and safety to that of being the authors of our life.  "The battle of being mortal is the battle to maintain the integrity of one's life - to avoid becoming so diminished or dissipated or subjugated that who you are becomes disconnected from who you were or who you want to be."

It's difficult to accept declines in physical and intellectual capacity as we age - but others (including loved ones) need to understand that confining peoples choices (for their "own good") is the same as trying to write their story into your book.

It's your story to write -  and for others to enjoy reading.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Heaven Board #9 - Precious Lord, Take my Hand

Today Mom passed into eternity peacefully.  Her legacy of teaching followed her all the way to the end in this world and will live in others (friends, family, coworkers, and students). 

Derby.  Wisner, Flora Wells, 87, devoted wife, loving mother, and faithful grandmother and great grandmother, has gone to rest in peace.  Private graveside services in Mulhall, Oklahoma, per her request.  She was preceded in death by her parents and brother Maurice Wells.  Survived by husband Don, children D'Lane Wisner, Garen Wisner, and Vana Hartley; five grandchildren, one great-grandchild.  In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established with Wineteer Elementary PTO, 8801 Ent, Wichita KS 67210. Share condolences at Smith Family Mortuaries : Derby, Kansas (KS) : Wichita, (KS)

The list of what Mom taught me is too long to publish.  Thanks to P.H. for suggesting that I write down what Mom meant to me and thankfully I made it to Kansas in time to read her the list.

A teacher then, now and forever.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Values in Smok'in

Rich's May visit this year was packed with activities.  His new Lexus RX350 was once again an example of how he can "out gadget" me.   Clearly it's time for me to get a new car - so we had fun visiting Dealerships to test drive other models (it would be sacrilegious for me to copy a college buddy). 

Rich knew I had no courage to match his gadget challenge when it comes to a car -  but his secondary crowing was about his new Smoker from Home Depot.  That was like "laying down the gauntlet" like the old college days.  SO.... not to be outdone in a lower priced challenge -  Rich and I went out shopping for Smokers. 

Now Rich's Smoker was the traditional charcoal type so I needed my Smoker to be different (naturally).  Originally I had determined propane was the way to "beat" Rich in the gadget category.  Less fuss, Less muss!   I had picked out the propane model and was walking out the store when Rich said .....  "What's this electric one with a remote control?"    That was the ticket -  it was like gadget/technology leapfrogging and I got the Master Built Electric Smoker.

I've had great fun, great times, with friends and family Smok'in Salmon, Ribs, Chicken, and Flank Steak.  I happened to go to MasterBuilt's web site and discovered their Core Values scrolling across the bottom.   WOW -  Simple, to the point, and rich in wisdom - Spoken..... and Smok'in Values!