About J Norman

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Norm Kreuz. A Full and Loving Life.

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Tony Walker Post

We lost a dear friend in Norm Kreuz the other day after a great life and a long illness [with Ellie by his side through every lasting moment].  

I use to love to get Norm talking.  Whether it was about old haunts on Niagara Falls Blvd, his childhood before life on the farm, fixing the disposal, falling in love with Ellie, moving the family from Ohio to Buffalo [with the oft-told road-kill story], or just the vast repertoire of remembrances from raising 6 kids – Norm always shared his zest for life with whoever would listen.

Norm was the consummate salesman.  He was old-school, and he was the best of a dying breed.  I haven’t met a ‘Norm’ in years.  Today’s salespeople are all about metrics and Tony Robbins’ hype.  Norm had the charm to go along with the facts.  He knew his customers, and they knew him.  But…

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7 Days In Hell Review

So I kept seeing the promos for it and I figured I’d give it a shot.  HBO produced a fictional documentary focusing on the two best tennis players of the generation, played by Kit Harington and Andy Samberg, battling their personal differences as well as their tennis ones, in the longest tennis match in the history of the game.  The film had cameo appearances from big wigs like Serena Williams, John McEnroe, Lena Dunham, David Copperfield and more.  It was especially appealing because I enjoy when an actor who is generally type-casted as a drama-style actor (Kit Harington) takes up comedy.  His performance was fine, but the character that was written for him just didn’t do it for me.  I got what they were trying to do, but it just wasn’t enough.

Andy Samberg’s character was entertaining in bits, but overall I wasn’t his biggest fan.  I think they tried a bit too hard with his character and felt they needed to push the envelope to a whole new level.  SPOILER, there is a scene where he has sex on the court, with a woman at first, then a man, and then both of them.  I get the humor in it, it is definitely a modern day humor, so those with that old school mentality will most certainly hate it.

I’d have to give this short film a 4.0 rating out of 10.  The story line had potential, yet the characters were not written well.  It could have been something hysterical, but instead it was less than mediocre.  I love HBO and will continue to watch what they produce, but this one just wasn’t for me.  I wouldn’t recommend it but if you have the desire, or have seen it, please give me your thoughts.

Wayward Pines Review

I’m usually not a fan of network television, especially network dramatic television, however, Wayward Pines has me taking a second glance. This Fox drama series, starring Matthew Dillion is unlike most other dramas in a sense that it has been consistently entertaining, it pushes the envelope, and it lacks that almost necessary corniness that most other network (drama) shows contain.

Think Lost, meets Twin Peaks, meets Twilight Zone.

I had only seen television commercials of the show and not the actual trailer.  Based on the information the TV promos displayed, my general assumption of what the show were to be was this: Matthew Dillon’s character was in a horrific car crash which seemingly kills him.  He is then brought to a town called Wayward Pines, which he is told is located in Idaho, where things are not what they seem.  The people there act in strange behaviors and are enforced by law, yet we are unaware of who professes this law.  However, we know that the consequences of disobeying the law lead to extreme consequences including public execution.

My original premise of the show was that Matthew’s character, a special agent of the law, had been killed in his accident, and then sent to a symbolic form of purgatory, in Wayward Pines.  People are not able to escape this town, and are seemingly kept prisoner.  Some try and escape, while others accept their new and unique lifestyle.

Though I am only 6 episodes into the first season of this ten episode show, I am confident that it will continue to impress and entertain.  However, I see this as a show that may run out of steam after 2 or 3 seasons and will have nowhere to go but down.  That remains to be seen.  I will continue to watch and update, but as for now, I give the show a review of 8.5 out of 10 stars and feel as though I may be rounding down.  

Character development has been enjoyable and plot twists have been plenty.  I see a persistent trend in these and believe they will continue to lead up to a twist we do not see coming.  With Executive Producer, M. Night Shaymalan, you can only expect some sort of wild turn of events that may make or break the show.  So far, well done!

Trying Something New

I moved to Los Angeles to pursue my passion for film, amongst many other things.  As of lately I have found myself critiquing TV shows and movies amongst my friends and others and feel as though I could provide credible reviews for new movies, shows, etc.

Over the next few weeks I will be posting a daily review on shows and movies I have watched, and hope to give credible feedback to all interested parties.

Probably the Best Way to Conserve Water

Since moving to California, my inner hippie has emerged a bit. From my wardrobe, to my attitude, to my overall lifestyle, I am becoming a California hippie/surfer. One thing that comes along with that stereotype, is awareness for the environment.

Since I am now living in Los Angeles, California, where we are having a state-wide drought, I find myself constantly trying to preserve water as much as I can.  I participated in the usual ways that everyone is aware of such as not flushing the toilet after you pee, only run the dishwasher when it is completely full, or not letting water run unnecessarily ever (brushing teeth, washing hands, etc.). All of these are helpful, yet I feel like my most recent solution can be of major impact, and I hope that this post and/or this idea can be shared all over.

The water conserving will take place while showering.  Before the idea, let me state that showering less is the number 1 solution before this, but when you do decide to wash your stench away, here is my solution:

Most people have a very specific routine when they shower.  On days I shampoo, I will first wash my hair, then condition.  While leaving the conditioner in, I then wash my body with some sort of liquid body wash.  Here is where my solution comes into play:

While washing your body, you do not need the water to be running.  Let’s say on average it takes everyone 30 seconds to wash their body. Whether liquid soap or a bar of soap, that’s 30 seconds of unnecessary running water.  You do not need the water to be hitting your body when you are washing it.  You wouldn’t run water on your hands while applying the soap.  You put the soap on, rub it and properly spread it, and then wash.  The same should be done with the shower.  Before you begin to apply your soap, turn the water off.  Then wash and scrub your body the way you normally would.  Once you are done, then turn the water back on ad rinse appropriately.  Even though there are several moments while showering that this act could be effectively used, if you do it just once, during the time where you wash your body, and save that average 30 seconds of water, you could make a huge difference. 

My shower has very strong water pressure, so saving 30 seconds worth of water saved every time I shower adds up.

We take advantage of the luxuries we have. We need to leave this place better for our kids, grandchildren, and further future of generations.  Here’s one small step.  Coming from a newly transformed California hippie.

Something Needs to Be Done…

I know I seem like a hippie for posting something like this, but I am with John Oliver and these people.  Receiving parking tickets and seeing that your car has been towed can be some of the most frustrating things that happen in your day to day lives.  To me, parking ticket meter attendants/distributors are the lowest of the low in our country’s community.  If my Dad worked as a parking ticket administrator I would whoop his ass.  I mean it.  I’d rather people collect unemployment than watch these idiots get paid to drink beer and take out their anger by dishing out tickets for unworthy offenses.