Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Do Animals Go to Heaven?

As I grew up on a little 'subsistance' farm, we always had a big pile in the far back corner of our property. The rule on our little farm, was that all Bunnies (lots and lots), Cats (whole lots of em'), Chickens (hundreds of them), Dogs (lost count), Birds (countless), or any critter we had that died or was hit or run over on the road or by the milk trucks or the ice trucks, or got caught in the tractors farming machinery. Anything that went the way of the non-living, could have its 'service' or whatever we decided, and was buried there on the mound. When I left the farm, that pile was extremely wide and high. I guess it was our own private animal burial mound. I sold my oldest horse just in time. :>)

After moving away from the farm and starting my own new family in the city, we always did exactly what a lot of people did for their kids critters. One kitten was whacked by a falling board in the garage. My young wife called the neighbor girl for help (I was out working 'on the road') They decided to put it out of it's misery. My wife got out her 38 S&W revolver. The neighbor girl (same age as my young wife) said she would shoot it, telling my wife she knew all about 'guns and animals and stuff'.

She closed her eyes and squeezed the trigger of the heavy caliber revolver, thinking it was like a BB gun. The squeeze of the double action, the heavy recoil and the horrific noise made her miss the cat and grab her ringing ears. She excitedly told my wife, that was the loudest gun she had ever heard in her life. They were afraid to fire that gun again in the quiet city neighborhood, thinking someone would surely report them.

My wife said they then just covered the cat with some shovels of dirt, with a couple of sticks, most likely still breathing? Our oldest son at 7, had a 'service' for it and my wife and the neighbor prayed for it to hurry on it's way to Heaven. My wife then later placed it in the trash when our young son wasn't looking. A couple of days later, He asked her where it was. My wife said, "most likely in heaven by now". Our son said "Well it was sure not completely all in Heaven yet, because something really is 'stinkin' out in the back yard". :>)

We at one point, found out there is a law about burying 'things' in the yards of homes in the city. We have many little 'fluffy's and 'purry's, and 'Cheepy's and Creepys, and Hoppie's and 'Squeakie's, including one Turkey buried all around the back perimeter of our yard. One little old dog was buried in a blue and white sweater that he just loved in his older days.

We watched on TV news, about a yard the city recently dug up completely, looking for evidence of a crime. They held the owners for a while because of all of the bones they found. Eventually turned out to be all pets, but the owners were under suspicion for quite some time, waiting for 'Forensics' to process 'The Evidence'.

If anybody ever digs up our old dog in his blue and white sweater...Oh boy I can't imagine the investigation to follow. :>) We had to put down our big old Chow Sheppard cross when he became paralyzed and could no longer walk. We let the city dispose of him because he weighed over 100 pounds and would surely cause a major problem in burial. Let alone if ever a future owner of our home 'dug him up'. We did say our goodbys and I was with him until the city people gingerly carried him into their back room at the shelter.

It was always a somber occasion with a few words said over each critter we had 'service' for. BTW I hope the Lizards, Alligators and Rattlesnakes are not too prolific in heaven. I think they would far outnumber the humans. They have been on this earth a lot longer than us. :>)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

KITES, Hrithik Roshan, Barbara Mori, Kangana Ranaut

Kites, a Bollywood
  • Indian
  • love story, starring Hrithic Roshan
  • Gallery
  • Barbara Mori
  • Gallery
  • Kangana Ranaut
  • Gallery
  • Film Kraft production co. Produced by Rakesh Roshan
  • the father of Hrithik Roshan. Directed by Anurag Basu
  • This BOLLYWOOD story is of the love between a young man from India and a young woman from Mexico. Fast living, fast cars, smuggling across borders, all of the things that a younger audience wants to see on the big screen. The theme of the scenes, take place on the border with Mexico and the USA. The stolen cars are from the USA of coarse. (My own sons new diesel truck vanished into the real world of New Mexico 'grand theft auto' last year).

    I received a call from Pres, at 11:00pm on the 10th of September. Already in bed, I listened as he described the need for a 'Geezer' to be at the Bonanza Creek Ranch
  • south of Santa Fe
  • New Mexico
  • at 11:00am on the 11th of September. It sounded like a different experience from my latest Western themed background work. I accepted, having been asked to wear grungy older clothes. I told Pres I'd see what I could do. He mentioned bringing jeans and boots just in case. Of course No white, that is reserved for the Stars. My leather hiking boots and multi-pocketed cargo pants, that I wear during frequent hiking in the mountains, was just the ticket apparently, a collarless shirt and my old floppy, jungle 'Boonie' hat with it's little US flag, finished 'the look'.

    Leaving my home in Albuquerque at 10:00am on September 11th, I arrived at the gate of the movie set at 10:45am. Having been on that very same set in June of 2006, it looked somewhat familiar. My first stop was to get OK'd for entrance to the set. After repeating my mission several times to 'the gatekeeper' I was admitted. Driving into our 1800's town used for the Comanche Moon
  • TV mini-series (Val Kilmer), I was dismayed to see the entire town almost unrecognizable.

    We had burned the town beyond repair, during 'The Indian raids' (June 06 post in archives) so the empty ground, where once stood the elegant Capital of Austin Texas and the Governors mansion, now seemed so forlorn. The Bullock House and the livery stable where we spent many days in 'extras holding' was still standing. The corner saloon and hotel are no more, only empty dirt. The remaining board sidewalks standing alone are somewhat intact, but showing signs of decay as well as black burned areas on their boards. The old adobe structure and corral is still standing as well as another stuccoed building we used for the sheriff's and rangers office.
    The very best action scenes we did in Comanche Moon, were never shown, most likely in the name of 'Political Correctness'. (extreme violence, in the excellent historic book by McMurtry) Too bad because we did some really great stuff.

    The filming for Kites is being done in the big old barn used for the interior of the 'governors mansion' set. The same barn, was previously used for the film, Astronaut Farmer
  • with Billy Bob Thorton

  • Meeting Pres right away and Kathy soon after, I was turned over to Pooja. One of two Pooja's, both young women, she approved 'my look' and directed me toward the makeup trailer to get dirtied (no one there). I lost her soon after that. Eventually I wandered over toward where several other people seemed to be gathering near the Chow Trailer. Coffee was waiting along with a few commercially packaged danish rolls. I determined quite quickly that this was a low budget film. The caterer was 'Weekdays' out of Albuquerque. Mathew and Josh greeted me while the chef prepared a tomato and noodle fare for our later afternoon meal.

    I met Shay who worked in some film production herself, and had an extensive background in the silicone valley era of the dot Coms, along with a history of modeling in the past. Roman, a Vietnam vet Huey gunner, was to work with us later. He has been actively working 'on set' for 4 days of 'Kites' so we relied on him for info as to what was going on. For the most part, the crew spoke a common Indian language Hindi
  • very rapidly so it was somewhat confusing for the few of us at times. Luckily most of the production crew also spoke English.

    My first scene involvement was in the big old barn with three stolen new cars, loaded on an auto transport trailer. I apparently was either the driver of the truck pulling the trailer or had delivered a stolen car. The cash was counted out by Roman wearing a black and white leaf print shirt, then handed over to me wearing a patch approved by Pres, over my left eye, while Shay accompanied Roman toward the last car on the trailer. We repeated that scene about five times while Kangana Ranaut, following Hrithic and Barbara, walked along the raised railing along side and entering the 2nd car as a driver.

    When a 'bounced light' effect was needed, a 4 X 8 foot (1.2 X 2.4 M) sheet of white Styrofoam insulation board was placed strategically. In the higher budget films I have worked, a large professional, aluminum framed fabric, 'Ultra Bounce' did the light effect. The Styrofoam boards being used in these films, tend to degrade over multiple use, so little chunks and beads of Styrofoam are often stuck to everything including people nearby. As the boards break and get smaller and smaller, purposely or by accident, they are used in tight closeup scenes to reflect light to the stars faces. The bright 4 K (watts) lights are used sparingly so this may be a, darker than expected, film? No time was wasted with this production. We were kept busy at all times, unlike Union productions here in the USA. The entire crew shared dutys for unmatched efficiency. Maybe more Bollywood films will be shot here?

    Break time, Pres set up coffee and tea for us, while the cameras were repositioned for the next shoot. This was the first time we got to see the Stars up close. Hrithic Roshan
  • wearing weathered jeans with black suspenders hanging down under his soiled shirt, walked along the raised railing, leading Barbara Mori
  • toward the red SUV where another actor opened the back hatch for them to get in. Several other 'background' were loaded into the trunks of the cars. This scene was repeated several times during the next hour, with different reset positions as the progression moved along and the camera angles were changed.

    Lunch call brought it to a halt, the crew went forward first. We followed to the catering trailer and some tables set up nearby. The fare was a fried Tillapia and also marinated chicken with a rice base and corn, along with the tomato and noodle mix well seasoned in Curry. This is a 'Bollywood' film and crew, Curry is expected. Pretty tasty chow, so I enjoyed it. A salad tray on the trailer, also contained artichoke hearts marinated with oil and spices. A fudge brownie, a banana pudding and nut toppings along with the nice Medool dates often present in the middle eastern style fare. Of course lots of coffee and tea bags available.

    While waiting for the next scene, I met Tom. As we talked, he mentioned also working on Comanche Moon as an Indian rider coming over the hills bareback. He worked several scenes with the Blackfeet Indians from Montana. Tom, also a Vietnam vet, was retired from the BIA and grew up on the Navajo Reservation along the northwestern border of NM, with Arizona. This 'Blogengeezer' also worked the Res for many years as a Tech. We both recalled the 'old ways' of the tribal people.

    After lunch, a truck with stake body side rails, and a lift gate, was prepared for several of us. Loaded into position with the cameraman forward in the corner and his assistants around him, we were finally joined by Hrithic and Barbara. She wore a terry cloth towel outfit while waiting for the scene to shoot. Taking it off revealed a very thin, tight body with long slender legs and a flat stomach as you would expect a star to have.

    Hrithic Roshan and Barbara Mori, sat just opposite me in the back of the truck bed. I watched intently as they positioned themselves with our feet intertwined. Hrithic Roshan wore a slightly soiled white shirt, opened to reveal his chest, and jeans that looked as if they had not been washed in months. The wrinkles in the denim behind his knees, were pressed into a faded pattern, giving an appearance of accordion pleats. His legs and waist were slender and his arms were 'pumped' from 'resistance' training. He is broad shouldered, tall and has the mouth and lip structure of a young, thin Sylvestor Stallone from the 'Rambo' films of years back. Hrithic is not anywhere nearly as muscle bound as 'Rambo' though.

    Barbara, sitting between Hrithic's legs and facing me, wore a small white gause arm bandage with a dot of red on her left bicep. Her tight 'very' shorts, revealed her slender legs. She was wearing a contoured tight white blouse, opened down to the middle buttons, not quite as soiled as Hrithic. We all were slightly soiled of course. This life of smuggling and of stealing cars for export is dirty and dangerous. Hrithic and Barbara both, had Hazel colored eyes and long eyelashes befitting a pair of film stars.

    Three small children were sitting in the back of the truck with us. Barbara kept them interested in the scene with steady dialog between her and the youngest one, 'Boaz' not quite five? She held him standing close to her for most of the 'takes'. A little bit older girl and boy sat nearby. The scene starts with a quick drive around the entrance road. The camera rolls while the dialog between Barbara and the other passengers begins. We do this scene at a faster and faster pace, each pass with the truck bumping along roughly and the dust rolling out behind. A smaller piece of that Styrofoam was held by us, under the chins of Hrithic and Barbara to catch the reflected natural light. After about six passes we stop, climb out of the back of the truck and wait near the truck while the camera is reset onto a boom crane positioned near the road we had been racing along.

    Reloading only those of us that were 'Background', into the truck, it raced around the road several more times until the dusty road scene was what the director wanted. After we finished that last scene, the call came, 'It's a wrap' or whatever they say in Hindi. As Pres directed, we walked to the back of Kathy's SUV for our vouchers accounting for the minimum 8 hours worked. The 45 minute drive back to Albuquerque was in 'Santa Fe rush hour' traffic but not as bad as it sometimes can be. Soon the 'Rail Runner' train that runs in the center media of Hwy I-25, will be in service. Maybe the traffic will be less hectic after that.

    As I thought back about this day, I was happy to participate in a far different cultural environment than I normally work. It is a learning experience to see how things are done in another country. We definitely take things in the USA for granted. Our "One Nation Under God" is an amazing movie set in itself. Welcome to America, Bollywood. I hope to work with you again some time.
  • Sunday, September 07, 2008

    Sarah Palin Rocks ABQ NM

    John McCain
  • Sarah Palin
  • Now that brings terror to the black hearts of the leftist Liberal faction of the Democratic Party, which they 'Hijacked' years ago from all of the innocent hard working Democrats like my own parents and Grandparents.

    Last week, we stopped by the MC headquarters and picked up tickets early for the Albuquerque Convention Center
  • the 6th of September. The computers went down so not enough tickets were available at the distribution points. Rules changed and no tickets were neccessary after that. Friends picked us up at a Smith's food store for the trip downtown. Last rally, we drove the Motor Home to the 2004 Convention for 'George W Bush'. I already see the angry stink eye from the leftist Liberals when I type his full name. My wife and I also celebrated our 40th anniversary on this day along with John McCain and Sarah Palin's Rally introduction to Albuquerque New Mexico.

    We arrived early at 3:40 pm, to an almost filled parking garage top floor. A quick elevator ride to the ground level, a short walk to where everyone pointed as the 'end of the line', and began our wait. After a lot of time in the sun, we sent our wives to the shade of a tree lined wall. Slowly the line all swung over to get in the shade. Our wives motioned us to cross over to their, now popular, shady trees.

    Across the street were the usual sign waving leftists. About a couple of dozen of them, including a 'set up' couple from VA, which their 'news media' described as about 100, as also usual for the media.

    Eventually the line that had reformed around us started to move forward. Great thing, no hot sun and a lot closer to the entrance. We got in the door about 5:15 pm. Nice and cool. Passed quickly through security because we brought a minimum of personal items and the wives sat on some risers while my friend and I walked over to the floor area around a podium of sorts. Great move because it was where the microphones were located.

    The crowd began to increase until a police dept friend estimated 8,000 plus people were in the Convention hall that he helps provide security for often. The security checks were fast and thourough. Wands were waved around us while we handheld our personal belongings like binoculars and cameras. No video camcorders allowed but cell phones were OK. No bottles of liquid allowed to be carried beyond the door, but were available inside. Signs had to be left and checked before being passed in the doors later.

    About 6:00pm the first quick speaker was Steve Pierce, our State Representative now running for a seat in the US Senate against T. Udall, whom I mentioned in the prior post, comments. Steve Pierce was one of the founding members of the Prayer group for the US Congress. Steve led the 'Invocation' Prayer this night as well, praying for our Great Nation as it goes through it's time honored tradition of electing our new leader. Who happens to be by default, the leader of the Free World as well. Heather Wilson, the present US representative, defeated in the primaries by Steve Pierce when she ran for the Senate seat being vacated by Pete Dominici, the long running US Senator(Health reasons). Heather understandably gave a 'thumbs up' to McCain Pallin.

    Darrin White, 82nd Airborne, NM State police officer, and head of the NM department of Public Safety, then our Bernallillo County Sheriff for the last 6 years is now running for Heathers vacated seat in The US House of Representatives. A lifetime devoted to Public Service, most everybody likes Darrin...the bad guys sure don't.

    following that lineup was Robert Duval
  • the Hollywood actor making a film here in NM.
    You may recall him from the hit TV mini-series Lonesome Dove
  • His wife accompanied him onstage. This is her first year to be allowed to vote as a citizen.

    The music started with a local High School band. Competition winning local Cheer leaders, Boy Scout Honor Guard, young soloist singing Star Spangled Banner as the crowd joined in, and as the tempo picked up with louder recorded music from the hit metal/rock group 'Van Halen' and others. The excitement began to rise in the crowd. The huge US flag which was drapped from the ceiling, was raised and exposed a lighted 40 foot (12m)diesel motor home coach, 'The Straight Talk Express', parked in the hall and adorned with a banner of McCain-Palin.

    As the doors of the coach opened, the din was unimaginable in the Convention hall. A crescendo of cheers rose from the wild enthusiastic crowd, and flags started to wave along with McCain-Palin signs. Some were even from Alaska and New Jersey. 'Democrats for McCain' signs were waving in a section of the surrounding seat risers. The families of McCain and Palin walked onto the stage runway pausing to reach out to the crowd along the rail. It took several minutes for the wildly exuberant crowd to settle down.

    John walked to the microphone and announced Sarah's name and a few quick facts about her tough working man, husband Todd Palin
  • The commercial fisherman ('Deadliest Catch'?)
  • Actually I think he likes Salmon better. His Steel Worker Union history, His 'Snow Machine' racing exploits in the Alaskan 2000 mile Iron Dog
  • (3,218km) race, four time winner. The crowd went hyper wild at their mention. Sarah Palin, the present Governor of Alaska
  • (just across the Bering Strait from Russia
  • Siberia
  • then strode confidently forward and started to speak, identifying her husband Todd and her family of 'Real Americans'. (not the elitist type that 'Flyover' most of the country because they are in total disdain of it). Sarah's tough hard working family appeals to "White collar, Blue Collar and most of all 'Ring Around the Collar" which includes myself and our entire family.

    Sarah spoke about John McCain and his dedication to service of the US citizens for all of his life, including his amazing miracle survival at the hands of the North Koreans in a little tiny POW cell. She said "They wanted to kill him but he wouldn't let them".
    The crowd roared in approval. Sarah mentioned that the (Leftist Liberal) media refered to her as a small town mayor (which she once was) of Wasilla Alaska
  • rather than the Governor of Alaska. Sarah Palin, in her Barracuda style she is well known for, then said bluntly that Democratic Vice Presidential hopeful, "Biden's Delaware is smaller than a few city parks in Alaska". Sarah shoud know, she flies over them in her families classic Piper Cub PA 18
  • with floats often enough as a member of the AOPA

  • 'Sarah Barracuda, Go Get em', was on a big hand made sign, held up by people in front of us. 'Drill Now', was on many signs waved. Robert Duval even took one from a supporter and waved it in front of the camera. 'Read My Lipstick' was another sign and of course the difference between a hockey Mom and a Bulldog 'The Lipstick'. 'We love Sarah', was everywhere of course with a big red heart pasted in the middle.

    As the Republican presidential candidate, John McCain took his place at the microphone, Sarah stepped back. John told of his plans for the presidency, which everyone knows by now. Some of which I do not approve of. Of course a perfect world would be one with only my wishes and desires being fulfilled. Not gonna happen that way of course. The main thing is that I do not want OB as my Commander In Chief. I also have known about Biden for a long time and I want to keep my guns, thank you. Maybe Delaware would even change it's mind if it were a Mexican Border State?

    We have heard all of the pro's and con's of both candidates by now. Sarah and Todd's NRA
  • membership is a big YES for me and a 'no-no' to the Leftists Liberals. (they don't want an armed populace when they strangle the citizens of the USA) The election will be interesting to say the least. As a younger working man, I was always too busy to pay much attention to the elections taking place. Now that I know what can happen when the wrong candidate gets into the highest office in the land, I view them a little differently.

    Jimmy Carter, our 1970's Democrat President, "Bless His Heart", caused my young family a serious setback. We drove cars with over 100,000 miles (161,000km) and they were our 'new' cars. I sold one when it reached 150,000 miles (241,400km). I bought a (new to us) replacement with 100,000 miles (161,000km) for our neccessary use. I could not afford anything else with double digit interest rates and inflation running at the same pace each of his disasterous years in office. That taught me a lesson in economics that I will never forget. Tax the Goose that lays the 'Golden Eggs' and guess who pays the tax.

    After the short lively speeches, the candidates walked along the railing edge of the slightly raised stage, shaking hands and touching as many outstretched hands as possible. It reminded me of NBC's 'Jay Leno'. I could get no closer than about 12 feet (3.6m) to them. Todd Palin had the biggest smile that I ever saw. What a man, you can see it in his enthusiasm for his wife and her new career choice. I do not think he will like Washington DC
  • though. I'm sure he will spend more time in Alaska where he can at least trust a Grizzly Bear
  • to do exactly what it is naturally known to do.

    Sarah Palin knew about her candidacy in Febuary and kept it all to herself, for the exact time to be released to the public. Finally someone who knows how to keep a secret from the packs of Wolves always circling our political figures, looking for any slight weakness, so they may be cut from the herd and used as 'meat' for the pack. Now I wonder how long 'the Pack' will stand by waiting for 'old man Biden' to suddenly announce his heretofor unforeseen 'Health Issues', forcing his resignation so Hilly and Billy can slither back in to help neophyte BHO to 'lead' the Democratic party to total control of the USA and universe?

    As we left the Convention hall and worked our way back up to the car parked on the top floor of the garage, the numbers of people were realized. Many were recognised from our own church. Looking out over the city from our top floor, the traffic extended away in all directions. We had to wait a half hour for an opening to get out.

    We were going out to dine for our 40th anniversery, but the late hour presented us with little choice, We decided to stop at 'Dion's, a little local pizza place we frequent at times and order a couple of small salads, sharing our evening anniversary meal with our friends.

    Now that is a quiet way to celebrate 40 years of marriage and raising a great family. At least I did run to the store and get a bouquet of flowers for my wife, before we went to the Convention Hall. She still seems to like me in spite of my 'ways'. We share one thing, and that is the belief in Jesus Christ as our own personal Lord and Saviour. Nothing else is of any great importance on this earth, in this greatest Nation ever known, The United States of America, "One Nation Under God"