Monday, August 31, 2009

Day #21,440

Walk km 2722-2727: Burrard/Georgia/(sky train)/King Edward/Yukon/Wylie/1st/Columbia/2nd/(sky train)/Georgia/Seymour

Solly's bagel shop
aprox km 2725 Yukon @ 7th Ave

Today's Tune: Hey Joe
I had my mp3 player set to "crazy" random this evening while I played online poker. That's when I heard the Crazy Women. Can you get more lo-fi than this? In contrast, we have the ultimate in hi-fi versions: The Jimi Hendrix Experience. For more info on the crazy women, check out WangDangDula. Select "Nordic Scene" then "Nordic Girl Groups of the 60s".

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Day #21,439

Walk km 2715-2722: Smithe/Howe/Helmcken/Homer/Davie/(sky train)/Cambie/50th/Heather/Marine/Logan/70th/Laurel/69th/Heather/Kent/Ash/Marine/(sky train)/Georgia/Burrard

lions guard the gate
aprox km 2718 Heather @ 52nd

sky train pulls into the station
aprox km 2722 Marine St. Station

Today's Tune: Crazy
I'm usually none to happy to be woken up at 3 AM by some numbskull blasting his car stereo. However, one early morning in Toronto, I was quite happy because it was a great tune: "Crazy" by Gnarls Barkley.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Day #21,438

Walk km 2706-2711: Burrard/Georgia/Pacific Centre/Pender/Abbott/Cordova/Gore/Powell/Main/Cordova/Columbus/Keefer/Carrall/Expo/Smithe
Walk km 2711-2715: Robson/Denman/sea walk/Bute/Robson

shack on poles
aprox km 2714 north sea walk

Movie #1072: Attack Of The Giant Leeches (1959, Bernard L Kowalski)

Here we go again. I saw Kowalski's "Night Of The Blood Beast" back on day #21397 and now we have his next epic made the following year. Well, it's no Night Of The Blood Beast but it still delivers the goods. Redneck yokels discover giant leeches out in the swamp that are sucking the blood outta anyone who gets too near the water. Lotsa moonshine swilling and one girl (Yvette Vickers) in very wet clothing. Hey, maybe that guy in Vanishing Point was named after Bernie!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Day #21,437

Walk km 2698-2706: Burrard/Cordova/(sky train)/49th/Alberta/47th/Elgin/47th/Ross/45th/Alberta/43rd/Cambie/(sky train)/Robson/Smithe

a reasonable request
aprox km 2701 47th near Sophia

Movie #1071: Lone Wolf Spy Hunt (1939, Peter Godfrey)

Just a routine waste of 71 minutes except for:
1) Not one but two future stars are appearing here while they wait for their careers to take off. The good girl (Ida Lupino) and bad girl (Rita Hayworth) have the female leads.
2) The Lone Wolf goes to a surrealist party

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Day #21,436

Walk km 2692-2698: Smithe/Burrard/Burrard bridge/6th/Alder Crossing/Lamey's Mill/Charleson park/Ferry Row/sea walk/Olympic Village/Ontario/2nd/Main

boats on the water
aprox km 2694 False Creek

Movie #1070: Nothing Sacred(1937, William A Wellman)

I seem to remember that back in the old days that this movie was considered lost. The version shown on TCM is just 71 minutes long so it probably is not the complete film - some scenes may be lost. But it's still 71 minutes of fun. I think we can thank screenwriter Ben Hecht for this. It's gags-a-plenty as small town girl Carole Lombard heads to New York to spend her last few weeks before dying of radiation poisoning.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Day #21,435

Walk km 2679-2692: Burrard/(sky train)/Science World -> English Bay -> over Burrard Bridge -> south sea walk to Science World (with Meetup group)/(sky train)/Burrard

Meetup walking group
aprox km 2685 English Bay

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Day #21,434

Walk km 2671-2679: Robson/Homer/Beach/Richards/Pacific/(sky train)/41st/Ash/McGuigan/Heather/32nd/Heather/Oakridge shopping mall/Tisdall/49th/(sky train)/Robson/Burrard

unnatural vegetation
aprox km 2675 Ash St.

Book #254: The Red Badge Of Courage (1895, Stephen Crane)

Read most of this over my vacation in fits and starts so that may have hampered the reading experience somewhat. This book is kinda like science fiction: our hero enters another world where nothing resembles the normal world as he knows it. That world is the battlefield where all human interactions are twisted and warped. But there's nothing really pro or anti war here. Our hero enters this war for no good reason. There is nothing in the book about the reason for the war. It's just a description of war.

Movie #1069: Mad Dog Coll (1961, Burt Balaban)

The goofiest movie ever made? I was sure that the lead role was being played by a woman in drag (like "Homicidal" from the same year)! After watching it, I checked it out on IMDB and it turns out that this role was played by a man (and one with a long acting career!). Undoubtedly, the worst job of acting/casting ever. Also, lots of spiffy dialogue and plot missteps that will leave you scratching your head.

Today's Tune: Bye Bye Love
Although I don't usually buy CDs anymore (it's MP3s for me), I was looking for some driving music in Winnipeg when I rented a car to drive to Ottawa. IntoTheMusic had two Ditty Bops CDs for just $2 each.... SOLD! Bye Bye Love is from their 2006 CD, Moon Over The Freeway. The other version is the original one from 1957 by The Everly Brothers. You may remember hearing that one on the radio if you're as old as me. Both versions are winners.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Day #21,433

Walk km 2666-2671: Robson/Hornby/Georgia/(sky train)/Cambie/59th/Ash/Marine/(sky train)/Georgia/(bus)/Davie/Thurlow

sky train
aprox km 2667 Canada Line

Movie #1068: The Lower Depths(1957, Akira Kurosawa)

Here's the companion piece to the Jean Renoir move that I watched on day #21,409. Both are versions of the same Maxim Gorky play but the results are quite different. Gone from this version are two rather large sub-plots: the story of the gambling Baron and the attempt to marry off the landlord's sister-in-law. Also missing from this version is the happy ending. The Kurosawa scraps the plot development and instead let's us wallow in the grotesque. And it is wonderfully grotesque - it would be hard to imagine a lower form of human life than the one portrayed here.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Day #21,432

Walk km 2655-2666: Robson/Granville/(sky train)/Cambie @ Marine to Tank @ Ferguson then to Templeton station (with walking Meetup group)/(sky train)/Robson

Meetup walking group
aprox km 2660 Templeton Skytrain Station

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Day #21,431

Walk km 2646-2655: Smithe/Expo/Nelson/Cooperage/Smithe Mews/sea walk/Market Hill/Moberly/park/7th/Granville/Granville bridge/Howe/Smithe/Thurlow/Robson/Thurlow

Song Of The Day: I Forgot To Be Your Lover
I'm back from vacation and since I'm addicted to the internet, I've been browsing through some of my favourite sites that I haven't seen in a while. One of the best music sites is Soul Sides. I'm downloaded a lot of good music from eMusic based on Soul Sides recommendations. Here's a song that wasn't featured on the site but would fit in perfectly on it.
The original was by William Bell. I used to have the Paulette Reaves on vinyl. The other three versions are new to me and all are available on eMusic.
My fave: The Pitifuls.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Day #21,429

Walk km 2639-2643: Woodhaven/Autumnwood/Geisbrecht/Ellice/Westdale/Donald/1st/Friesen/Elmdale/Elm/Hanover/Reimer/Highway 12/Woodhaven

a typical (atypical?) Steinbach house
aprox km 2641 Hanover Street, Steinbach, Canada

Day #21,428

Movie #1067: The Mob (1951, Robert Parrish)

This makes back-to-back winners from Robert Parrish. His first film was Cry Danger (also from 1951) and this is the follow-up. Hard to think of a better first two from any director.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Day #21,425

Walk km 2622-2630: Booth/Willow/Bell/Christie/Bronson/Cooper/Bank/Queen/Lyon/Nepean/Bronson/Somerset/Booth/Gladstone/Bell/Arlington/Bronson/Plymoth/Cambridge/Frederick/Jackson/Dow's Lake park/Booth

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Day #21,424

Walk km 2611-2622 : Booth/Dow's Lake/Rideau Canal/Dow's Lake/Booth/Wellington/Ottawa River/Rideau Canal/Elgin/Somerset/Booth

Movie #1063: Police Story 4/First Strike (1996, Stanley Tong)

Once again child-like Jackie Chan thwarts all evildoers with wide eyed innocence and amazing manipulations of a steel ladder. Fun for all ages.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Day #21,415

Walk km 2588-2591: Robson/Georgia/Bute/Robson

Movie #1060: The Story Of Three Loves (1964, Tian-Lin Wang)

Grace Chang's last movie. A 3 hour and 20 minute boredom fest. No wonder she retired after this one. Even for Grace fans there's not much here. For the first 3 hours all she has to do is either look coy or sad. In the grand finale she has her going insane scene and then her death bed scene. Small compensation for so much time wasted.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Day #21,414

Walk km 2580-2588: Science World over Granville Bridge and return with Tsuki & Glenn

Tsuki & Glenn
aprox km 2584 Granville Bridge

Movie #1059: The Face Of A Fugitive (1959,Paul Wendkos)

People heading out to the pictures in 1959 couldn't have been expecting much if they picked this Fred MacMurray western. Fred was pretty much at the end of the line and ready to be put out to pasture (TV). Well, this may not be "Ride The High Country" but it's not that far off the mark. Back in 1970, Andrew Sarris had Paul Wendkos included in his "newcomers" section of "American Cinema" along with the likes of John Boorman and Francis Ford Coppola. High praise for a guy mostly noted for his Gidget movies. However, it wasn't long before Paul followed Fred and was put out to pasture (television). From the looks of this movie, I think he gave up too soon.

Today's Tune:
The New Girl In School
Nice try virus! A got a rootkit virus the other day and had to reset my hard drive to it's original state. But, thanks to backups I didn't lose a single crappy tune.

Today's Tune II: Bucket T
While I'm at it I might as well add this other tune from Jan & Dean's "Dead Man's Curve/New Girl In School" LP that used to be a fave of mine during the vinyl era and has now been restored to my stereo thanks to Hodad Heaven.

Today's Tune III: Linda
OK, one more from that LP. This was a big hit for Buddy Clark back in 1946 and as all trivia buffs know the subject of the song was Linda Eastman/McCartney.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Day #21,413

Walk 2574-2580: Robson/Georgia/Main/Terminal/sea walk/Spyglass/Commodore/Moberley/Sawyer's/park/7th/Oak/Broadway

trail in park
aprox km 2578 west of Sawyer's Lane

Monday, August 3, 2009

Day #21,412

Walk km 2568-2574: Smithe/Hornby/Drake/Howe/Granville Bridge/5th/Hemlock/Broadway/Cambie

Movie #1054: Caddyshack (1980, Harold Ramis)

Well, this sure blows the auteur theory to hell. Last year I watched Ramis' "Groundhog Day" and today......."Caddyshack". These two movies were made by the same guy? Caddyshack is pure crap. And it's not even obnoxious crap. It's just plain old boring crap. Well, OK, I did like Rodney Dangerfield's wardrobe.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Day #21,411

Walk km 2563-2565: Thurlow/Alberni/Nicola/Haro
Walk km 2565-2568: Burrard/Georgia/Bute/Pendrell/Jervis/Davie/Thurlow/Nelson/Burrard

community bulletin board
aprox km 2565 Bute @ Haro

Movie #1053: Vanishing Point (1971, Richard C Sarafien)

This one is an old time favourite but this is the first time I've seen it on DVD. The previous three times most of the scenes with the nude biker were cut out. That is restored for the DVD and it sure makes a person think that that poor woman must have gotten a terrible sunburn. What is also added for the DVD is Richard C Sarafien's commentary and sure enough that woman did get a terrible sunburn from her scenes. The commentary is excellent and definately worth the price of the DVD: $5.
Overall, the movie is excellent except for the flashbacks which don't seem to blend in well and the music that "SuperSoul" played. I would have expected something a bit more funky from a DJ named SuperSoul. The best music is played during an early montage of him driving in Colorado which if I'm reading the credits right was played by Jerry Reed.

Book #253: DeKok And The Dead Harlequin (1967, A C Baantjer)

Nothing special here. Just a whodunit. However, I wonder about the translation. This book was first published in 1967 but the monetary unit is said to be euros. The police are able to get a complete rap sheet right at their fingertips by using their desktop computer. The police inspector passes a park that hippies used to frequent "back in the sixties". Why change the timeline of the story? If the translator didn't make these changes then this must have been a sci-fi whodunit. An an amazing one - how could he have predicated that the Dutch currency would be called a "euro"? Amazing! Also, why did the translator change the policeman's name? In 1967 it was "De Cock" but now it's "DeKok". And he even has the policeman spell it out to everyone he meets: kay-oh-kay. This could not have been in the original because that's not how his name was spelled. I'm afraid these liberties by the translator so annoyed me that I was unable to follow the plot and had to wait for the policeman's explanation at the end of the book to find out "whodunit".

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Day #21,410

Walk km 2559-2563: Smithe/Howe/Nelson/Seymour/Nelson/Richards/Robson/Cambie/Pacific/Davie/Howe/Nelson/Granville/Smithe

Loose Moose (with dumpsters)
aprox km 2562 Nelson near Granville

Book #252: The Triumph Of Ignorance And Bliss (2008, James Polk)

A rant against all that is wrong with the U.S. of A. And he keeps it down to just 300 pages! Nothing new about what is wrong now but Mr Polk does add historical background analysis to show us the road taken to get to today's miserable state of affairs. This book came out just before Obama was elected president. Has this improved things? It looks like Obama is trying but he's using a non-confrontational style. He's not telling it "like it is" because he must figure that America cannot accept the truth. But, can he affect meaningful change this way? I believe that Mr Polk would say no. I'm no expert so I'll wait and see.

Today's Tune: Jailhouse Rock
This morning I went for a little stroll through blogland and I found a recording that I think everyone would enjoy hearing: Jailhouse Rock by Boguslaw Wyrobek. This track is from the fine Berlin Beatet Bestes blog. Then I checked my files and found a breathless Mexican version by Los Teen Tops. One more? OK, I went over to eMusic to see what they had: how about one by Elvis Costello's dad? Sure.