Update: Way to go Round Guy! He's back from the Biggest Loser, 51 pounds lighter. Read and see for youself at
but please read the rest of my original post first.
... In random order:
Airline Travel: Thanks a lot terrorists; you've made air travel at best, inconvenient, and at worst, unbearable. Nothing like having your two year old son have to remove his Thomas the Train sneakers to check for a shoe bomb. The latest wrinkle is no liquids. I watched a mother in Orlando have to pour out her baby's formula before going through the security.
Casino Royale: Apparently the Bond people watched the Bourne Identity and took notes. They've reinvigorated the series with a jolt of gritty realism. Bond movies had turned downright silly. Once you've had Denise Richards play a nuclear physicist, who pronounces nuclear like President Bush ("nucular"), you've jumped the shark. Enter Daniel Craig.
Craig is fantastic as Bond. The series makes a brilliant decision to go back to the beginning and show how Bond became Bond. Best line, when asked if he wants his martini shaken or stirred, Bond says, "Do I look like I give a damn?" Craig never winks at the audience, and you will believe this guy has a license to kill, and uses it. Plus, the men who watch this will feel like they need to do pushups after the movie. Craig works out more than Andy Fales. Casino Royale gets an A. A tad long, but the best Bond movie ever.
Drake Dollar Days: Props to the Drake athletic department for doing anything it can to convert Central Iowans into Bulldog fans. This is a good start. Dollar tickets, dollar popcorn, and dollar hot dogs. That's unheard of in this age of runaway spending on college athletics.
Dollar days would be a good deal if the Dogs were playings like, well, dogs, but Dr. Tom Davis has Drake playing its best basketball since he surprised us all by taking the job. Drake stunned Iowa State at Hilton, came from 18 down to snuff out the Anteaters of Cal-Irvine, and rides a five game winning streak into Saturday's showdown with Iowa. Is the year the Bulldogs finally take down the Hawks?
Borat: Still haven't seen it. John Bachman found it a little on the mean-spirited side, while Andy Fales thought it was flat out hilarious. This probably tells you as much about John and Andy as it does Borat. High five.
Best Christmas Pageant Ever: Another crowd pleaser from the always reliable Des Moines Playhouse. My 5 year old, Cade, said it was his favorite play ever.
Ricky Bobby: Speaking of baby Jesus, "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby" is out on DVD. I bought two copies today, just so I have back-up. This ridiculous movie made me laugh like no other this year, although Little Miss Sunshine had the single biggest gut-buster. Ricky Bobby isn't for everyone---Andy thought it was just "okay"---but I loved it. (Warning: It's disturbing how much Will Ferrell looks like Jon Miller in this movie.)
Troy Smith Wins Heisman: I voted for Troy. Everybody voted for Troy. ESPN still had to fill an hour, and with zero suspense, it was nearly unwatchable. Smith deserved the trophy, but I hate the way the Heisman has turned into an offensive MVP award from the best team. Gino Torretta? Jason White? Come on.
By the way, Smith tried to fly back to Ohio with his Heisman, like fellow Buckeye Eddie George did years ago, but Smith couldn't get the trophy through airport security. He had to ship it instead. Did I mention the terrorists suck?
Iowa State - Iowa basketball game: Hawkeyes dominated. Cyclones looked awful. All those turnovers must keep Greg McDermott up at night.
The game had less buzz than any I can remember. I think people cared more about the Iowa-Iowa State wrestling match. Brands and Sanderson jolted that series like Daniel Craig did for 007.
UNI Panthers: Best basketball team in Iowa, and still only ranked as the 4th best in the Missouri Valley. The Valley is a beast. Drake could be much better and still not have the wins to prove it.
Return of the Jedi: My son Cade watches this about three times a week. I remember loving it, but why didn't I notice how silly some of the musical scenes are near the begining when Jabba shows up? Is it just my childhood memory or did George Lucas make these scenes even cheesier when he "updated" the original movie? And don't get me started on the Ewoks. The Empire Strikes Back remains the best of the six, with Stars Wars right behind. I'd rank Revenge of the Sith third, but the series never recovers from losing Hans Solo.
I sound like a dork.
Jill Martin Out for the Season: That's a shame. Drake will lose a lot of games it would have won with Martin in the line-up. Let's hope she gets a medical redshirt.
Heroes: Great show, and a much needed hit for NBC, but Heroes is not for small kids, as I found out the hard way. Cade's nightmares should end in a few months.
Body Hair: I remember watching City Slickers 15 years ago, and wondering what Billy Crystal was talking about when he was turning 39 and warning children about the perils of growing old. Now that I've hit my forties, I am experiencing the absolute horror of the occasional stray hair poking out of previously unchartered patches of skin, like the ears! It's awful. I realize this is a sharing violation, but if you're a man under 40, consider yourself warned. If you're a man over 40, I feel your pain. If you're a woman, I have newfound respect for all that grooming you do.
Best Parenting Advice of the month: I get asked to play golf all the time, and although I'm not good, I love it. However, I agree with Cris Collinsworth: Put the golf clubs up until your last kid leaves for college. You'll have plenty of time after that. The exception, if your kids take a natural interest in golf, it is a great opportunity to talk and bond. John Bachman makes this work with his now grown kids, and his wife, Barb. The guy makes it all work.
Thank you for your patience, and your feedback.
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