Sunday, February 27, 2022

Oscar 2022 Movie Nominations and Impressions of Those We Have Watched So Far

The nominations came out for the Oscars on February 8. Carrie and I are going through and watching the movies. We have seen four movies so far, so playing some catch up when we can to watch the nominated movies. We were hoping that AMC Theaters would once again be doing their best picture showcase, but with how things the way they are, it is once again view on our own. Some theaters are showing some of the movies, so we might have to do that for some of them. But it will not be an all day viewing as we have done in the past.

Watched Movies

Nightmare Alley is an interesting movie with manipulations and danger take the viewer through an intense story. We watched this movie through rental at our home. Overall, I enjoyed the film although I do not believe it is the Oscar winner for this year.

Don't Look Up we rented at home one evening prior to knowing it was an Oscar nominee or possible nominee. A story about two astronomers attempting to warn the world of impeding doom, but no one will listen. I enjoyed how the story went along and world watch out of touch with what was happening.

CODA (known as Child of Deaf Adults) is a movie we recently watched. We were able to watch this movie on HBO Max. We loved the movie! The story looks at a girl who is the only hearing person in her family and it looks at the struggles she faces with family and love of music. Needless to say, Carrie and I were both shedding tears for this movie... but in a good way. I am not sure it will win, but I thought it was a great movie and as my dad used to say, if it makes you feel good when the movie ends, that is a good movie.

The Power of the Dog certainly sounded interesting. We watched this movie Friday night. It was interesting, kind of slow, and had to really pay attention to know what was happening. Subtle scenes or comments throughout the movie to know what was happening. I did not care for this movie although Carrie read where other movie goers recommend watching it a second time and it is better. No thanks, I think I am good with one viewing and use my time doing other things.

Not Watched Yet

Dune is a name I recall from when I was growing up (1984) but as typical Hollywood, they love to remake movies. I had heard good things about this movie in 2021 after it was released and my friends saw the movie telling me it was better than the original. I do not recall much about the original film, so I am looking forward to seeing this film.

Drive My Car is a foreign film and so far we have not been able to find a place to watch this film. I believe we might have a chance coming up in March to watch it at a theater, so we are keeping a watch on whether that will happen. The film looks to tell the stories that the main character finds of his wife.

Belfast follows a young boy in the late 1960s. I do not know much about this movie, but I look forward to watching it. I believe this is another movie we have not been able to find where we can watch it easily, so hoping it shows up in a theater so we can see it. 

Licorice Pizza is yet another movie I do not know much about. I know it is based off of first love for a couple. More later once we have a chance to watch this film.

West Side Story original was in 1961 and I have seen the story a few times on stage performances. This is another film I have heard good things about. Carrie is not too interested in watching this re-make, so it might just be watching this movie.

King Richard caught my attention when I first saw the previews. Tracks how tennis stars came to being who they are today based on their father. The story looks interesting and I enjoy the cast, so I am interested to see this film. I believe this is another movie on HBO Max.

In Summary

Unlike last year, the nominated movies are not covered in stories based on real stories. I have enjoyed the movies we have watched so far. I really enjoy CODA, but I am afraid it will not be the winner. It is possible my views will change as we finish up the other movies we have not watched as of today. The Oscars are March 27 at 7 pm CDT, so we should be able to finish up the remaining movies without too much trouble. I will do a follow up once I finish the other movies and post my favorite.

Enjoy the movie watching and I might see you in the theater...

Sunday, February 20, 2022

Lanebreak from Peloton Announced on February 17 and My Experience with Lanebreak

Earlier this week, Peloton announced Lanebreak which is a new game mode that Peloton has offered to create a game mode for when doing bike ride. I tried the new Lanebreak on Thursday evening for my ride. It was a fun ride using the resistance knob to change lanes, it is a fairly easy process and allows for gathering points by changing the resistance knob to hit certain markers in the game. Turning to the left (less resistance) takes you to the left and turning the resistance knob to the right takes you to the right. Easy enough to follow and do the game. 

I started off on the easy mode to see how it would work. The first thing I noticed and later read on a 9to5Mac article was that Apple Watch could not be used for Lanebreak. The 9to5Mac article went on to say how silently Apple Watch had been removed from many of the workouts on Peloton except for those that are bike riding. As I mentioned, I went on a span of a few months where I was not using Peloton at all and then the past few months I have only done bike riding. Thus, I had not noticed that the Apple Watch had disappeared from weight lifting, meditation, jogging, etc. It seems like an odd thing to do especially when Peloton is struggling and there are discussions of being bought out by another company (i.e. AppleAmazonNike, etc.). Especially for Peloton to remove the option quietly without any notice of the feature disappearing. 

Back to my experience on the Lanebreak feature. I did enjoy my ride and I had a good workout. It was fun because using the resistance knob to change lanes on the track, it took away that I was increasing or decreasing resistance. I was riding and realized I was going 115 with resistance at 45 or 50 and because I was playing a game, I did not realize I had it set so high or going so fast. There is a heads up display as shown on the Lanebreak blog site showing your resistance, speed, etc., but when playing the game the focus is not on those items and instead focusing on get points. Obviously, that is the point of the game.

I do enjoy using the bike with my Apple Watch, so I know that Lanebreak is in test mode as it said on the screen there might be bugs that I had to agree to before using Lanebreak. I am hopeful that at some point Apple Watch will be included in this new feature. For now, Lanebreak will likely be something I try once or twice a month, but for my regular workouts, I will continue to do “normal” bike rides on my Peloton.

March Madness 2022 ESPN Tournament Challenge

ESPN Tournament Challenge Picture

It might seem a little early to create your bracket for the tournament, but it will be here before you know it. So, go ahead and create your entry now. No, you will not be able to make your selections until Selection Sunday on March 13, 2022. Get your entry created now so you can focus on making your picks come Selection Sunday. 

March Madness Hopefuls group is free to play and you can enter up to three entries. There is no password on the group, so hoping it will be an easy process to join your entries, encourage your family and friends to join, and be sure to come back after Selection Sunday to make your entries. 

The directions for joining remain the same from last year. After receiving the reminder from ESPN yesterday (February 18), I figured why not go ahead and create it now. Get the group created and start getting the word out on joining the group. The more people in the group the more fun it is to make your selections. 
  1. Visit ESPN which will take you directly to the March Madness Hopefuls.
  2. If you are already signed into the ESPN web site, you can immediately create your bracket. If not, sign into the site and then you will be taken to the March Madness Hopefuls group or you can search for March Madness Hopefuls to join.
  3. Join the group.
  4. Repeat the above process to create additional brackets. In the March Madness Hopefuls bracket, you can have three entries.
Be sure to submit your entries by 10:00 am CST Thursday, March 17. This will make sure you get your entries submitted and have time to get them submitted. First game tips at 11:15 am on Thursday March 17.

If you have any questions or problems, please post a comment to this post.

Good luck and enjoy March Madness!

Monday, February 14, 2022

Happy Valentine's Day 2022!

Happy Valetine's Day 2022

Happy Valentine’s Day to my wife, Carrie, family, and friends. Have a wonderful day! Last year to celebrate Valentine’s Day, Carrie and I had a fire going in our fireplace and watched a movie.

I hope you have an enjoyable day!

Sunday, February 13, 2022

Progress Report for January 2022 Working Out... Dipped a Little with Holidays... Reading and Biking

Days Worked out in January

A pat on my back... I have been sticking to my regular workouts the past few weeks. In fact, in January, I worked out every week for my three workouts as I had planned. I did have to adjust days, but I was able to stick to my days and get the workouts done. I have no issue moving my workout days, so it worked out well. So far in February, I am off to a great start for this month.

I worked out a total of 13 days during January. I am feeling good on the bike and can ride for almost an hour without any discomfort. As the weather begins to change, I do intend to start walking/jogging at least once a week too. Hoping to start this new process in March or April. I really enjoyed jogging when I was doing so much of it not too many years ago. It felt good and I enjoyed the process. My dog, Oliver, enjoyed it too as he knew that the days I would run, he would get a walk. 

Monthly Achievements for Best Output
My best workout for January was a "Ally with Love" Feel Good Ride on January 23. I achieved my best output during the ride. I felt good throughout and did another workout following the 30 minute ride. The Sunday rides are almost always live rides for me while the other two days that I ride are typically recorded, scenic, or just ride sessions. I look forward to the live rides on Sunday and rode in the largest live group I have been a member of in early February with almost 10,000 people in the ride. It was fun and a lot of high fives throughout the ride to me and from me as I did my ride. It was fun!

You will usually find me on the bike on Sunday mornings at 11 am doing my live ride. Almost always with Ally Love although sometimes another instructor does the 11 am session, it usually is Ally Love. So fun and she keeps the energy of the workout, so it makes the whole process fun.

Monthly Stats Breakout from January 2022
A further look at my monthly stats from January see I did a total of 22 workouts during January. I worked out for a total of 391 minutes in January for an average of 17.78 minute workout of my 22 workouts. Typically following a ride, I will do a five minute cool down, so the average is skewed a little with those extra workouts. If I take the days I worked out (13) and the 391, that comes out to an average of 30 minutes each workout... which is correct. As I have started February workouts, I have started to extend my workouts to 45 - 60 minutes although this sometimes depends on time or when I start the ride.

I like the total miles traveled of 98.3 and calories burned of 5,395 during January. I use my Apple Watch to monitor heart rate, so I think the calories burned are as accurate as possible. I feel good looking back on my stats from January and feel confident in my progress eleven days into February.

I continue to read while I bike which has been enjoyable. The main point is that I can read for 30 - 60 minutes and the riding of the bike while reading keeps me awake so I do not fall asleep while I ride. Reading while I bike has been a new task I started back in early January and I really enjoy the process. I typically read on the Tuesday/Thursday workout days leaving the live ride to focus on the instructor instructions.

On a side note, if you have not been watching the news, the Peloton brand is struggling. The brand has been struggling the past few months and it looks like they will be purchased by another company. So far the companies in the hunt of buying Peloton include Apple, Amazon, and Nike. It will be interesting to where Peloton is at in another few months. Peloton has a large following of customers and fans, so I do not think the brand will be broken but hopefully if it is purchased it will include new features or benefits.

Keep riding and see you in the bike routes...

Sunday, February 06, 2022

Watched “The Day After” from 1983 and No Wonder Warnings for Children Not to Watch When I was Little

I was reminded recently of a made for TV movie The Day After. You can watch the full movie via YouTube. Carrie and I watched the movie as I was not sure I had ever seen it. When it came out back in 1983, I remember I was in grade school and my parents would not let me watch the made for television movie. I believe it re-aired a few times in past years, but either forgot about it or did not know it was being aired. A friend at work reminded me that the grocery store in the first half of the movie was the IGA store at 9th and Iowa (now the The Merc), so I had to find the film so I could finally watch it and see the IGA store. 

I worked at the IGA store at 9th and Iowa for a few years. Different store than what it was back in 1983, but still an IGA store. When I worked at the store, it was in the 1990’s and it was called Alvin’s IGA. I loved working in the grocery store. I loved the constant change being part of the grocery business. I worked in various positions at the store starting as a stocker and working my way up through the years. I think I worked for Alvin’s IGA for about four years and when I finally left the store, I was managing frozen food and dairy as well as manager at night. I had so much fun and great memories working at Alvin’s IGA. I wish I was able to keep in touch with many of my co-workers from the store, but we have since lost touch and do not connect with them via social media either. Working in the grocery store was so great that I could see myself when I retire that I go back to work in a grocery store. 

Anyway, my friend, Erik, at work told me that the IGA store at the time in 1984 was in the The Day After movie. So, Carrie and I watched the movie. It started off with nice stories of a girl getting married, a scientist at KU, and a few other stories. Then the bombs hit Kansas City and all hell broke out. Sure enough, in the first hour I saw the IGA store where I would eventually work. The store was being ransacked as people were in panic mode with the bombs. I did not take notes, so I am thinking now it was people were in crisis mode as they knew the bombs were on their way to Kansas City as the United States had launched our bombs and thirty minutes later the bombs would strike, so people were emptying shelves and in full panic mode. Still, it was cool to see the front of the IGA store at 9th and Iowa where I used to work.

Carrie reminded me that back in 1983 when the movie was going to be released that schools sent home notices parents warning not to let children watch the film. So, I missed out on watching it back in 1983 and then I had not watched the whole film until 2022. I can see why there was a warning not to let children watch the movie. It was scary to watch the bombs hitting Kansas City and the effects of those bombs. In the ending of the movie, it warned that the effects of a nuclear strike would be much worse, but the movie got the point across and it was frightening to watch.

I remember my parents talking about the fear of nuclear attack from the 1960s and how frightening it was to think that it could happen at any time. School children practicing taking cover by putting their heads under books or their desks. The fear that the strike could happen at anytime and that there was not really any way to avoid the threat. No, hiding under desks or putting books over your head is not going to save you from a nuclear attack, so the thought of the threat happening at any time was a fear. I can also understand why the local school districts back in 1983 sent home warnings to parents about not watching the movie. After all, the parents of many of the children from 1983 would have gone through the fear of the 1960s prior to their children being born and could relate to the fears of the time. Again, good reason not to allow children at the time to watch the movie. It was frightening to watch and think about what we would do in that situation.

The Day After is one of those movies that when talk to friends and people claim they were in the movie. The movie was made in Lawrence, KS and the Kansas City area, so I remember casting calls in and around Lawrence, KS. I recall one girl from my school (Sunset Hill Elementary) was in the movie. Sure enough, when watching the film I recognized Joleen from the movie. The actress being Ellen Anthony from Lawrence, KS. Ellen was a grade ahead of me I believe, but I remember her from school. 

I have friends who said they were in the movie, but there were so many scenes of devastation where people were in Allen Field House, the banks of the Kansas River, or other areas of the state in despair following the attach that many people can claim they were in the movie. While it was frightening to see the movie and effects it had on the community from the movie, it was fun to see downtown Lawrence, Allen Field House, and many other recognizable places in Lawrence, KS.