Monday, 3 January 2011

Movie Review: North Face

Foreign movies tend to be difficult for Americans to get into.  I watched North Face about a week ago in Germany and came to view it as one of the best German movies of the past decade.  If you have a chance to rent it...even in sub-titles.....do so.

It's based on a true story of two German guys who end up in a mountain-climbing situation....which ultimately involves a rescue situation of two additional climbers.  All of this is based in 1936 Nazi Germany....with plenty of anti-Nazi situations playing in the background.

I believe you'd be throughly entertained by the movie.

Just Another Idiot

As most of you know....I have continual issues with Republican ideals....because they tend to get just as stupid as some Democratic-related ideals.  Over the weekend....Senator Lindsay Graham of South Carolina voiced this idea of starting up permanent US military bases in Afghanistan.

If you went out amongst the US public....you'd find less than ten percent of the population that might approve of such a radical idea.  The problem with this....is that no one really wants this.  Just stand and suggest this....makes you look kind of foolish.

If you went to any GI who'd pulled a tour or two there....they'd likely shake their heads over this and prefer that we just end the mission and leave.

I've come to the point where I'd like to see a limit on idiot Senators speaking on Sunday talk-shows.  If you went to the media and just said that you have a limit on senators or you at least start bringing in senators from Oregon or Hawaii....that folks don't know.....maybe things would improve.  Currently....I think Graham gets around thirty appearances a year on national TV, and you'd think he's some kind of Hollywood star.  In th end, Graham is some talking puppet for the news crew and will blabber just about anything....even bringing Gilligan's Island back to TV or making a law to protect poison ivy.

Flying

I spent almost eleven hours in the air yesterday.  It's something that I've come to hate greatly.  I've made around twenty-five of these trans-Atlantic flights in my life and detest the lengthly trips.

First, there's the security apparatus to enter.  The Germans aren't anything like the TSA guys.  It's real simple and direct.  But you stand there for thirty minutes before you even get to the passport section. It's amazing to notice sixty people in line and only one guy handling passports.

Then you have the waiting area where your two hundred and fifty other associates are waiting.  You tend to notice a dozen folks in some kind of pajama gear and you shake your head.  You've always got the three Iranian guys who you keep wondering if they are ok or issues.  Then you've got some guy who always half-drunk and blabbering away to his wife or girlfriend.  Then you've got the couple who are dragging kids along and boredom has already set in for the kids.

The flight?  The miserability index goes up greatly by the small size of your seat and knee room.  Toss in a video system that reboots every 90 minutes and you keep wondering why they went so cheap.  Then food brought around....is mostly stuff that you wouldn't even feed a dog.  Toss the announcement about halfway through the trip that they need a doctor somewhere on the aircraft.

The bags?  This is what amazes me the most in recent times.  People are dragging 50-pound bags onboard the planes and they can just barely pick it up and shove it into the rack above the seat.

Then comes the arrival at the stateside airport, where your 45-minute adventure waiting on some guy to view your passport occurs.  I can't understand why they could't let you scan the barcode as you enter the room and have the database just deliver the data to the guy....who just waves you through.  It's like they want to delay you an hour without any real reason other than keeping TSA employed.

Then comes the bag pick-up and playing round two with TSA.  Half the time....especially in Atlanta....they want to play big-jerks and view every single bag.

The amazing part comes next.....you have to reenter the airport again....and get scanned or probed yet again.

I had to sit yesterday for about 90 minutes in Philly.....waiting for my flight.....and they had jazz playing.  It would have been great except it was set to pretty high sound levels.  As for food at the airport....this is something that I simply avoid.  You end up spending $18 for something that ought to be $7.  Just a beer can run you $6.....and a bottle of water at least $2.

Given a choice.....I'd really prefer never to fly again.  It is that bad for the negativity you have after finally completing the trip.