Sherpa’s Movie Review: LIFE

Posted in Uncategorized on March 25, 2017 by roninsherpa

LIFE Magazine changed how the world saw itself.

Ben Stiller worked for LIFE Magazine in The Secret LIFE of Walter Mitty.

LIFE Breakfast cereal taught us that if Mikey could eat it, we could too.

Hasbro’s The Game of LIFE was a board game we had when we were children. It had a spin top in the middle of the board. My sister would always win.

These things all bring fond memories to me. They all make me smile. Which brings us to the movie I saw last night…

SPOILER ALERT: if you don’t want to know about the movie, then stop reading a movie review about it.

LIFE is a movie staring Ryan Reynolds and Jake Gyllenhaal.

The entire movie takes place on the International Space Station with a group of astronauts who are studying soil samples which have been brought back from Mars. A single cell alien life form is discovered in the soil. This alien begins to grow larger and larger and eventually it begins to attack and kill the crew… which is the selling point and why I came to this movie.

You will remember Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool and the Green Lantern: two superhero movies which make up both extremes of the bell curve of quality for superhero movies: total garbage to epic winning. I was hoping his dark edgy humor would shine and bring quippy one liners.

Jake Gyllenhaal has brought us such impactful characters as Donnie Darko and the reporter in Nightcrawler. I was hoping with these guys in the same room and a deadly alien attacking them to be an epic twisting mind-f**k with some dirty humor sprinkled in and some great special effects.

Here are a list of hastags which are appropriate for describing this movie:







The first scene shows Ryan Reynolds being prepped for a space walk. He has to use the CanadArm on the ISS to “catch” a satellite returning to earth from Mars. It did not make any sense for him to make the space walk to use the CanadArm. Why did he have to leave the ISS to catch the satellite? The physics of the ISS “catching” a satellite are nonsensical, but MOVIE. Right? OK. Let’s move on.

The alien comes from the Mars dirt and attacks the black guy. Typical. Ryan Reynolds then goes for a flame thrower. Of course he does. It makes perfect sense to have a flame thrower on the ISS. The alien then crawls into Ryan Reynolds mouth and eats him from the inside. It is the most awesome moment of the movie as he begins to vomit CGI blood and there is no gravity. How would you clean that? How do you mop in zero gravity?

The entire rest of the movie is the other nameless characters, none of which have been set up so that we even care about them, cry about things, then get eaten by CGI Space Herpes. (Ice Pirates reference. Goggle it. The 1980’s were awesome.)

There have been very few movies I have walked out on because they were unwatchable, (Mobsters with Christian Slater was the first) but I came close with this one. It is devoid of any emotion even though quite a few scenes are devoted to people dealing with emotional stuff. There is a scene where they all sit at a table for what seems to be a meal, which makes no sense in a place with no gravity. I was distracted by all of the actors swaying and trying to look like they were floating and the dialogue was lost to me. I kept thinking about the diatribe of endless tasteless one liners Ryan Reynolds must be saying. I wanted to see the blooper reel worse than I wanted to see the rest of this movie. No time was spent establishing characters, so when they each have their overly elaborate death scenes I just didn’t care.

It is frustrating to watch a bad movie. This one just seemed to plug on and on. They end up the ISS is destroyed and the remaining two astronauts have no other choice than one of them luring the alien into the one escape pod and going off into space, and the other astronaut going into the other escape pod and going to Earth. The twist is that the pods get mixed up and the alien gets to earth and we all get space herpes.

I have a popcorn addiction, and I often say I will sit through a bad movie to eat good popcorn. There is no amount of popcorn that could make this a good movie. It is just crap. Bad crap.

I suggest that you rent Alien, Deadpool, Gravity or Ice Pirates instead of watching this movie.


Posted in Uncategorized on March 12, 2017 by roninsherpa

“…(A)nd they may well ask, why climb the highest mountain? Why, 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic? Why does Rice play Texas? We choose to go to the Moon! … We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard; because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win.” – John F. Kennedy

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan

“Because it’s there.” – When asked by a New York Times reporter why he was climbing Mount Everest. – George Mallory

“Because I said so.” – Mom and Dad


Impossible is not impossible. “Accomplishments” are later seen as just stuff someone did. Rodger Banister broke the 4:00 mile in a time when people said the human body could not withstand the rigors of that type of effort. Kathy Switzer ran the Boston Marathon in a time when people KNEW that type of physical effort from a woman would cause her uterus would fall out. I believe in the greatness of people. I reject the entire idea of judging a person based solely on the colour of their skin or who they choose to prey to. Relative to the size of a single human being, our world is vast enough that you can spend your entire life exploring it and never see everything.

Your definition of what is “impossible” is biased to your own experiences. Your complacency lies to you. Your doubt is your undoing.

You can do impossible things. I am not saying you will not fail, because you will. Success is a byproduct of failure.

With the proper motivation you can do those things that you once thought impossible. Think closely about that. It will change your definition of who “friends” really are. Do your friends push you? Support you? Encourage you? Challenge you? If your friends do not ask you to be the best person that you can be, then are they really your friend?

Life is too damned short. Do the impossible thing. Stop being a whiny bitch. No one wants to hear it.



Last night’s dream.

Posted in Uncategorized on February 7, 2017 by roninsherpa

I dreamt I was in in a Europe at an event thrown by a social group I was a member of. It was not work related, the feeling I had being around these people was relaxed and joyous. None of us had ever met in person, maybe we were an online group. It seemed we were meeting for a convention of some sort. I’m not sure, it was dream vague. It was late in the day. Chilly. I wore a jacket. We were in a park which looked like it had been designed with fitness obstacles where you would go along the path to the next thing like loops or bars. Our group was 10 or 12 people with other members who had already left. When I remember the dream starting we had come from a lecture and were now wandering in this fitness park. The next obstacle was a maze which was literally cut into a hill. The path descended, with walls on each side, and turned sharply at a few points so you could not see past the next turn. It was open to the sky, but it descended to the point you could not see over the top. The walls were painted yellow in contrast to the green grass. The path was small granite blue pebbles which crunched when people walked on it. At the other end of the maze, things opened up to a small flat green with large leafed plants and large older trees bordering it. Some vandal had taken blue paint and flung it all over the walls, the grass and the large leafed plants. There was graffiti. It brought everyone’s sprit down. There was an unattended information desk which had maps of the park and a chair where the absent attendant were to sit. The rest of the people were turned off by the vandalism and agreed we would leave and find a pub for a pint and some dinner. I was inspecting the paint which had been flung all over the plants, thinking what a shame that they would all die, when I noticed there was only myself and the actor Luke Mitchell who was speaking German on a cell phone. He wore a black turtle neck and a tan corduroy blazer with elbow patches like some cheap villain from a cold war era movie. He was looking at me as he talked. A girl who I knew in the group, had left a written note on a piece of paper under a small stone on the information desk. It was the address were everyone was going. I had my iPhone and was typing it in when a large 1960’s European sedan with four or five menacing people in it drove up to Luke Mitchell. They were gesturing toward me as they all got out of the car. So there I was, on my own in a strange old European fitness park, strewn with vandalism and graffiti, at dusk with German Luke Mitchell and his band of thugs ominously lurking toward me. I knew I was going to be late for that pint.


Alarm goes off.

This true dream occurred this morning, 02/07/2017.


fifteen years…

Posted in Uncategorized on September 16, 2016 by roninsherpa

I was in my truck headed to install an alarm in a house when my cell phone rang. She and I had spent time in New York and she wanted to tell me an airplane had hit the Tower. I remember her saying the word “Cessna.” She also said there was a live shot of it on television. She worked in an office building, managing an entire floor of people in cubicles, so for her to know about something on TV at 9:00am was odd. I thanked her and hung up. At the next intersection there was an old, run down convenience store and I pulled in. I remember that place felt really dirty and grimy. I remember the rebel flag and the taxidermy deer. There were very few windows and the light came from fluorescent bulbs. The walls behind the counter were painted a pale yellow. The entire place was cluttered and messy in a sad run down way. I have no memory of how the person behind the counter looked, only the way they made me feel. They did have a television and I clearly remember the huge wad of aluminum foil on each of the TV’s rabbit ear antenna. I bought a Coke because I wanted to be a paying customer. I remember having to ask the cashier something about either switching on the TV, or changing the channel, but my memory is not clear about which. What I do remember clearly is the World Trade Center burning. I stood there in shock, finally saying to the cashier that I had lived and knew people there. The cashier made openly prejudiced remarks about people from the north, and about his indifference toward what was happening there. The rhetoric went something like “Damn yankees, probably deserved it. Kill’em all.” I remember feeling disgusted about being in there, and felt badly having contributed money toward this person.

The second plane hit the Towers as I stood in the dirty store with the prejudiced cashier.

Fear gripped me and I remember I did not want to waste energy being submersed in the ignorance of that place, so I walked out. I sat in my car in that parking lot for a moment trying to think of a way to get out of installing this alarm, but I went anyway.

He showed me around the old house and we discussed the alarm he wanted. The whole time my mind was on fire with the events I had witnessed, so I was hardly paying attention to him. I remember how old the house was, wooden in construction with peeling wall paper and prevalent water damage. It seemed the cliché setting  for any horror movie. One room had hundreds upon hundreds of newspapers stacked from floor to ceiling except for a path which led to a window. If there were any furniture in this room, it was under this ridiculously massive glut of newspapers. He had a full grown Doberman Pinscher, a ferret, and massive macaw parrot, all of which had free roam of the entire house. The odd bit was that the living room had $100,000 of audio visual equipment. It was like the Space Shuttle in the middle of a swamp. He had the largest TV I had ever seen which was not a projection screen. I understood why he wanted the alarm. He said he was going to leave me in the house to do my work, and he would return later. He warned me to be weary of the macaw. He was right, that damn bird bit me more than once. Before he left, I asked if he would be so kind as to turn on the TV so I could watch what was happening in New York. I remember his saying he didn’t want to pay me to watch TV, but when he turned it on almost immediately they reported that the Pentagon had been hit. We stood there, with the dog, the ferret and the fucking murderous bird, watching our country erupt into chaos.

After that my memories blur…


I remember Dan Rather getting choked up on David Letterman’s first show back on the air.

I remember President Bush throwing out the first pitch a Yankee Stadium.


Fifteen years.


The Premier! The Polar A360 strapless HRM’s

Posted in Uncategorized on December 15, 2015 by roninsherpa

The Premier! The Polar A360! 


As you know, I am a Polar Brand Ambassador. A select few of us scruffy looking, nerf hearders, have been granted special permission to give the new A360 unit a unique, once in a lifetime test! I will be wearing this unit during the premier of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, along with my Polar V800! I will be posting my own personal heart rate as I visit my life long friends R2D2, C3PO, Han, Luke and Leia along with all the new faces like Rey, Fin and the new Dark Lord Kylo Ren! It will show you the difference between the accuracy of the two units, and the data each collects. That way you can see Polar’s flagship: the ultra advanced, highly accurate V800, and the new strapless A360! I have already been given tickets to the IMAX 3D show on Thursday night, so the whole world can see just how nerdy I am and how badly I flip out seeing the Millennium Falcon! (It did the Kessel Run in under 12 parsecs, you know…)

I assure you that while my posts will show where all the excitement is in the movie, they will be spoiler free! I welcome the entire world into my Nerddom and Geekness. May the Force be with you!

“Put the A360 in the cargo hold.”


That time I broke a bone on a vegetable…

Posted in Uncategorized on November 25, 2015 by roninsherpa

I’ve cracked a rib.

How did it happen?

I would love to say I was scaling El Capitan, free style and slipped…

OR that when base jumping my parachute failed to open and I careened off of a glass skyscraper falling into the top of an ice cream truck…

OR as I was saving the orphans, nuns and pet rescue dogs, part of the burning building collapsed on me…

But no…

None of that happened.


I was putting away the groceries and trying to organize the frozen veggies into a stack in the freezer. I was holding two or three in the crook of my right arm while stacking them in the freezer using my left. I smashed them against the door frame of the freezer to break up the ice and make them stack a little easier. So now I was standing there with the last package of California Blend Veggies pinned between my right arm and my chest, while I was breaking the ice on another one with my left hand. I could see there was a perfect place for the last one, but the large ball of ice/veggies needed to be broken to fit. I squeezed my right arm against my chest trying to crunch it when suddenly POW! I physically recoiled, stepping away from the freezer. It felt like I had been shot! It took my breath away.

It took a second, but I realized what had happened. I cracked a rib.


Just below my right pec there is an area the size of a dime where when I take a deep breath it lights up. There is nothing a doctor can do for a broken rib, you just have to take it easy and let it heal. It just sucks for a while.

So no shit, there I was, no burning orphanage, no attacking Martians, and no skydiving accident…

I broke a bone on a vegetable.


Happy Thanksgiving.

“100 Things” or “The Bucket List”

Posted in Uncategorized on January 7, 2015 by roninsherpa

Welcome to my updated list of:


100 Things to do before I die

This list is not in order of importance.

I recognize some of these are well outside my grasp but complacency is the mother of death.

Some are frugal while others are quite indulgent. Some are outright silly, but a man has to be able to laugh at himself. I encourage you to write your own list, and keep it in a place which can been seen daily. A goal is a dream with a timeline and ‘someday’ never comes unless you change today. You are worth big dreams.

1. Big Feet

2. Qualify for the Boston Marathon

3. Run all 5 Space Coast Marathons in the “Big Bang” Series, earning the 7 available medals

4. Run a marathon in all 50 states.

5. Run a marathon on all 7 continents

6. Badwater 135

7.  Marathon des Sables

8. Norseman

9. Ironman World Championships in Kona

10. See the Worlds Largest Frying Pan. It is in Wilmington, Del.

11. Buy a new car

12. Drive a Ferrari

13. Convince Congress to pass legislation to control electronic cigarettes as cigarettes and mandate displays be put behind the counter

14. 6 pack abs

15. Get over my anger and disappointment toward Lance Armstrong

16. Own a Range Rover with a winch

17. Restore a 1969 Mustang fastback painted red with a black hood

18. Visit Easter Island

19. Bora bora

20. Ride a bicycle in France

21. Organize a long weekend getaway with my girlfriend which she knows nothing about until I drive her to the airport

22. Own an Armani suit

23. Learn to speak French

24. Help pass legislation where electronic cigarettes are treated like cigarettes

25. Learn to cook 100 different meals

26. Own a condo

27. Visit the Sengaku-ji shrine in Shinagawa, Japan

28. Snowboard Aspin

29. Be a father

30. Learn to speak Danish

31. Fill my passport with stamps

32. Write a book

33. Know true love

34. Be in a movie or TV show

35. Meet Col. Chris Hadfield (astronaut)

36. Build my business

37. Sell my business

39. Earn someone’s complete trust

40. Play my sax in front of others with no fear

45. Learn to play “Lisa” “Pick up the pieces” and “Chicago Song”