Monday, November 30, 2009

Day #21,530

Walk km 3370-3376: Thurlow/Alberni/Burrard/(skytrain)/24th/Kamloops/22nd/Boyd/21st/Nanaimo/18th/Garden/17th/John Hendry park/Lakewood/10th/N Grandview/Broadway/(skytrain)/Burrard

aprox km 3373 John Hendry Park

Diet: -4 (46 to go) Going on vacation today so won't have access to a bathroom scale for the next 12 days.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Day #21,529

Walk km 3358-3365: Smithe/Howe/Nelson/Homer/Pacific/Davie/(skytrain)/King Edward/Carolina/15th/Windsor/7th/Glem/Great Western Way/(skytrain)/Robson
Walk km 3365-3370: Robson/Howe/Georgia/(skytrain)/Cambie/22nd/Columbia/6th/(skytrain)/Georgia/Howe/Robson

coffee shop
aprox km 3368 Cambie Street

Diet: -2 1/2 (47 1/2 to go) bathroom scale obviously malfunctioning

Movie #1145: Angel On My Shoulder(1946,Archie Mayo)

Pleasant hokum as Paul Muni comes back to earth after a short trip to hell. In his previous liife he'd been a gangster but on this trip he learns what a swell life it is to be a square john. Like I said: hokum, but Paul Muni and Claude Rains make it fun.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Day #21,528

Walk km 3353-3355: Robson/Nicola/Nelson/Bidwell/Davie
Walk km 3355-3358: out to eat & to the library

central library
aprox km 3356 Homer Street

Diet: -3 1/2 (46 1/2 to go) only a short walk this morning

Book #263: Prosecution Of George W Bush For Murder(2008,Vincent Bugliosi)

Well, I hate mass-murderer George Bush just as much as the next guy but this Bugliosi guy just ain't much of a writer. First off, he repeats himself endlessly - this could have easily been compressed down to half as many pages without losing any information. And nobody likes a fellow who toots his own horn - there's a lot of tooting going on here.
Information error: it wasn't just Americans who died on 9/11. There were citizens of many different nations in the World Trade Center that day.
Moral problem: he commends the American military early in the book even when quotes he furnishes show that these soldiers went to war to earn money. Killing people for a monetary reward in not morally correct. Also, once it was confirmed that George Bush had lied and there was no reason to be fighting the Iraqis, the armed forces should have dropped their weapons and apologized for what they had done. To continue killing Iraqis after you know that the only reason to do it is because George Bush wants you to is morally wrong.
There is an interesting fact in this book: 90% of the miltary still believed that Iraq was connected to 9/11 even after the news came out that George Bush was lying. Are military personnel that stupid or is news censored in the U.S. armed forces? Mr Bugliosi doesn't say.
Later in the book Mr Bugliosi turns against some of the armed forces (the ones who said that killing Iraqis was fun). For reasons why all U.S. armed forces should be condemned, please see "Universal Soldier" by Buffy Ste-Marie.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Day #21,527

Walk km 3339-3342: going out to eat & run errands
Walk km 3342-3353: Science World to english Bay (and return) with meetup group

Vancouver's very own BOOK*OFF store
(for picture of Tokyo BOOK*OFF see day #21,319)
aprox km 3341 Hornby Street

Diet: -4 (46 to go)

Movie #1144: Psychomania(1973, Don Sharp)

An English take on the biker flick. They add a bunch of hocus pocus including witchcraft, spells, fog machines, graveyards etc that undermine any attempt by this movie to be shocking like its American cousins. However, there is a bit of humour here as the living dead bikers kill people and mess with thir shopping.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Day #21,526

Walk km 3329-3336: Smithe/Mainland/(skytrain)/49th/Tisdall/51st/Tisdall/52nd/E Blvd/57th/Angus/E Blvd/64th/French/72nd/Granville
Walk km 3336-3339: going out to eat

a tree
aprox km 3332 52nd Ave

Diet: -4 (46 to go)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Day #21,525

Walk km 3321-3327: Robson/(skytrain)/49th/Manitoba/37th/Mackie/39th/Columbia/46th/Fraser/49th
Walk km 3327-3329: out to eat

at Tim Horton's
aprox km 3328 Alberni Street

Diet: -3 (47 to go) huh?

Movie #1143: Middle Of The Night(Delbert Mann, 1959)

I used to like movies that "moved", not the ones where people just sat around blabbering about god knows what. Now, that's all changed. Give me a nice ensemble cast chewin' the fat any day. That's what we've got here. The entire cast seems to have severe emotional problems and they spend the whole time just spilling their guts out to one another. Neat. Especially liked Fredric March whom I never did like in his 1930s movies but add a bunch of wrinkles and remove some of his hair and he can really chew up the scenery.

Today's Music: the new soul/funk, better than the old soul/funk?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Day #21,524

Walk km 3311-3319: Smithe/Granville/Davie/(skytrain)/49th/Churchill/Conneault/Alexandra/29th/Maple/Nanton
Walk km 3319-3321: going out to eat

Christmas decorations already
aprox km 3320 Nelson @ Bute

Diet: -4 (46 to go) That's better!

Movie #1142: Tear Gas Squad (1940,Terry Morse)

Totally useless movie. The bad news is that the lead was Dennis Morgan who is very annoying. The good news is that this thing clocks in at only 55 minutes.

Today's Music: Ladies and their Organs
Thanks to PCL Linkdump for bringing Cherry Wainer to our attention. The greatest facial expressions in all of music? Watch "The Happy Organ" and you decide. That was PCL Linkdump's chosen video and I've added "Peter Gunn".
I've also included old faves Rhoda Scott playing "Moanin'" and Ethel Smith favouring us with "Tico Tico".
Which prings us to Qi Zhang playing Prokofiev. At first I thought that she had an orchestra playing with her, but no, all the sounds are coming from the organ. Now I know what I want for Christmas. I'm sending off a note to the North Pole right away and asking for a Yamaha Electone Stagea.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Day #21,523

Walk km 3303-3311: Smithe/Howe/Nelson/Richards/Davie/(skytrain)/Cambie/48th/Fraser/55th/St George/57th/Ontario/60th/Manitoba/64th/Columbia/Marine/(skytrain)/Robson/Burrard

a hole in the ground with mud & water
aprox km 3304 Richards Street

Diet: -2 1/2 (47 1/2 pounds to go) OK, no more Mr Nice Guy: I'm banning all food from this apartment!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Day #21,522

Walk km 3295-3303: Robson/Howe/Georgia/(skytrain)/Cambie/45th/Tisdall/46th/Granville/47th/Laburnum/48th/Yew/47th/Elm/43rd/Balaclava/41st/Blenheim/42nd/Dunbar/(bus+skytrain)/Georgia/Howe/Robson/Burrard

a house
aprox km 3299 47th Avenue

Diet: -3 (47 pounds to go)

Movie #1141: Trouble In Texas(1937, Robert N Bradbury)

Tex Ritter with his leading lady, Rita Hayworth

Another Tex Ritter. This time the leading lady is Rita Hayworth so he takes Rita along at the end of the movie when he rides off into the sunset. Also one good song in "The Cowboy's Lament". This was played on the Internet so the picture quality was quite low.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Day #21.521

Walk km 3285-3289: Robson/Haro/Broughton/Nelson/Denman/(bus)/Robson
Walk km 3289-3295: Robson/Howe/Georgia/(skytrain)/King Edward/Ash/30th/Cambie/29th/Dinmont/Manitoba/16th/Alberta/2nd/(skytrain)/Georgia/Howe/Robson/Burrard

skating rink
aprox km 3295 underneath Robson Street

Diet: -3 (47 pounds to go) so far so good

Movie #1140: Age Of Consent(1932, Gregory LaCava)

Soap opera concerning college students who get themselves into all kinds of trouble due to the fact that they're having a hard time keeping their pants on. Within a year, the Hays Code would come into affect and these sort of subjects would be taboo in Hollywood.
Pictured is Arline Judge who is caught at 4AM with a male companion even though she hadn't yet reached this film's title.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Day #21,520

Walk km 3277-3285: Robson/Howe/Georgia/(skytrain)/Cambie/39th/Willow/38th/Oak/41st/Osler/40th/Hudson/38th/Granville/Connaught/37th/Margeurite/38th/Angus/39th/Maple/41st/W Blvd/40th/Yew/39th/Dunbar/(bus+skytrain)/Georgia/Howe/Robson/Burrard

Welcome To Kerrisdale sign
aprox km 3281 41st between E Blvd & W Blvd

painting in a window
aprox km 3281 41st @ Maple

Diet: -2 (48 pounds to go) holding steady

Movie #1138: The Landlord (1970, Hal Ashby)

I moved to the big city in 1970 and I went to see almost every movie that came to town (the exception would be those 3 for $1 shows up on Main Steet - but I saw a bunch of those too). Around that time there were an awful lot of movies just like The Landlord. Off-kilter Hollywood fare aimed at the new adults who grew up during the summer of love. The only difference between all of those and this one is that (as I remember it) they all starred Elliott Gould.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Day #21,519

Walk 3272-3277: Burrard/Georgia/(skytrain)/Cambie/24th/Sophia/King Edward/St George/23rd/Sophia/Kingsway/(bus+skytrain)/Burrard

Seicho-No-Ie sign
aprox km 3274 16th & Sophia

Diet: -2 (48 pounds to go) OK, that's better

Movie #1136: Sing Cowboy Sing (1937, Robert N Bradbury)

I used to watch these old westerns when I was a kid. I don't remember the plots being this stupid. Looks like they didn't even try to make sense of this one. You would think they could with all the practice they had. If I remember correctly, every plot concerns our hero riding into town just as a black hatted no-good varmit (who always hangs out at the saloon) trys to steal the property of some damsel in distress. Our hero thwarts his plans and wins the admiration of the no-longer distressed damsel as our hero's sidekick performs some sort of comedy routine. Then they ride off into the sunset (the hero and the sidekick that is, the hero has no time for courtin' women).
Tex is in fine form here vocally but the quality of the songs is lacking the pizazz that was to come later (in the 40s) when Tex signed up with Capitol Records.

Movie #1137: Quicksand(1950, Irving Pichel)

Fine noir that has just one problem: Mickey Rooney. It's just hard to picture Mickey as a thief, murderer and ladies man.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Day #21,518

Walk km 3261-3266: Burrard/Georgia/(skytrain)/King Edward/Yukon/Nigel/Dinmont/Peveril/29th/Aubrey/29th/Prince Albert/30th/Harriet/28th/Ste Catherines/22nd/Windsor/(bus+skytrain)/Burrard
Walk km 3266-3272: Robson/Howe/Georgia/(skytrain)/Cambie/27th/Laurel/6th/(skytrain)/Georgia/Howe/Robson

Volvo 122S
aprox km 3264 Prince Albert Street

autumn leaves
aprox km 3263 29th Avenue

Diet: -1 (49 pounds to go) Don't you just hate it when the bathroom scale becomes disoriented and starts going in the wrong direction?

Movie #1135: Rhythm & Blues Revue(1955, Leonard Kohn)

So, I got my wish. A musical with no plot at all. A few years back this would have been a treasure trove. We have performances by Count Basie, Sarah Vaughn, Faye Adams, Big Joe Turner, Cab Calloway etc. However, in 2009, I'll bet you that all of this stuff can be found on YouTube. My faves: Ruth Brown, Big Joe Turner and Lionel Hampton. Thumbs down: all those deadly dull comedy routines.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Day #21,517

Walk km 3253-3258: Burrard/Georgia/(skytrain)/King Edward/Columbia/21st/(bus)/Main/Cordova/Gore/Powell/Carrall
Walk km 3258-3261: to Denny's via Jervis and return

Buick Century
aprox km 3257 21st Avenue

Diet: -2 (48 pounds to go) Taking a walk before "weigh in" gives the false impression of weight loss.

Movie #1133: Murder With Music(1941, George P Quigly)

This is #3 of the Millcreek musicals. This is more like it: amateur hour again. I imagine that this is what you would get if you let a bunch of high school kids loose with a movie camera and told them to make a movie. The screenplay and acting is right down there at the "Plan 9" level. Lots of fun.
But there is one part of this movie that does display talent: the music. A huge step up from last night's "Minstrel Man". I looked over the music credits but no names ring a bell. Skippy Williams? Nellie Hill?

Movie #1134: Too Bad She's Bad (1954, Alessandro Blasetti)

Pleasant affair as frustrated taxi cab driver Marcello Mastroianni has to put up with charming Sophia Loren who just happens to be a thief. And a liar. In fact, her whole family is made up of nothing but thieves and liars. But quite charming thieves and liars.
Only one thing wrong with the plot: these thieves are supposed to be inconspicuous and blend into the background so nobody will notice them as they go about their business of lifting other people's property. Do you know what Sophia Loren looked like in 1954? I can assure you that every pair of eyes would be on her wherever she went. Half due to lust, half due to envy.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Day #21,516

Walk km 3245-3247: To HoHo's Yummy Food and return
Walk km 3247-3253: Smithe/Beatty/Nelson/Cambie Bridge/6th/Charleson/Lamey's Mill/6th/Granville/Howe/Smithe

boats in the harbour
aprox km 3251 between the seawalk & Granville Island

Diet: 0 (50 pounds left) Holding steady!

Movie #1131:
Minstrel Man(1944, Joseph H Lewis)

This is the 2nd of the 50 Millcreek musicals. Picked this one because Gladys George was in it. It turns out that this is a PRC (Producer's Releasing Corporation) skid row production directed by non other than the fabulous Joseph H Lewis. But, it's still a musical and this music sucks.

Movie #1132:
Mr & Mrs Smith(1941, Alfred Hitchcock)

Hmmmm..... an Alfred Hitchcock movie but not a single dead body in sight. Very peculiar. Robert Montgomery and Carole Lombard are both quite charming in this light and breezy comedy. But not a single murder....... how odd.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Day #21,515

Walk km 3241-3243: to the library and back
Walk km 3243-3245: Smithe/Seymour/Robson

cell phone shop
aprox km 3245 Robson Street

Movie #1130: A Matter Of Life And Death (1947, Michael Powell)

Well, it was a great idea: a dead guy argues that he should be allowed to live because when he died heaven missed him in the fog. And since he has affected the living after his death, he has to continue living so as not to inconvience the living. Neat. However, the argument (pro and con) tends to ramble on and on without ever getting to the point.
Note: it appears that Led Zepplin was right, there really is a "stairway to heaven".

Diet: started today - must lose 50 pounds by 2010.07.12 (same day that the 5000 km must be completed). By entering the results here, I plan to shame myself into doing it.

Today's Music: the CHAMBERS family

1931.09.26 George Chambers born in Lee County, Mississippi, USA
1938.03.03 Willie Chambers born in Lee County, Mississippi, USA
1940.04.13 Lester Chambers born in Lee County, Mississippi, USA
1942.08.22 Joe Chambers born in Lee County, Mississippi, USA
The Chambers family moved to Los Angeles in the 1950s.
At that time George, Willie, Lester & Joe formed the Chambers Brothers group.
They recorded with Barbara Dane in 1966.
"People Get Ready" was from their first Columbia LP in 1968.
"Time Has Come Today" was a hit for them in 1968.
"Reflections" is from 1971.
The Lester Chambers solo tune is from 2008.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Day #21,514

Walk km 3235-3241: McDonald/17th/Trafulgar/16th/Granville/Balfour/22nd/Cambie/(skytrain)/Georgia/Howe/Robson

a house
aprox km 3237 Balfour Ave

Movie #1128: Reet Petite And Gone(1947, William Forest Crouch)

I don't like musicals but maybe I just need to watch crappier musicals so that they match my taste in music. So, I bought a 50 pack of musicals from Millcreek. First up is Louis Jordan in Reet Petite And Gone. It's the usual crappy plot that's just there to lead from one song to another - so why do they bother with a plot in musicals at all? I have no idea.
The music here is definately a plus as Louis Jordan is a lot of fun. There isn't any "Saturday Night Fish Fry" but there aren't any clunkers either. Interesting to see a scene where the leading lady is sitting around in her skimpies. This is 1947. What gives? I assume that Hollywood was willing to look the other way since only coloured folk would be seeing this movie. And who was that woman on the piano that Louis sings too? That woman shoulda had the female lead. The actual lead didn't actually do anything - who's relative was she?

Movie #1129: The Petty Girl(1950,Henry Levin)

This one was kinda interesting. It's fluff. Total fluff. OK for maybe 10 minutes but it gets very tiring after that. But then comes the grand finale: they appear to be trying to glorify studidity so that the viewer who is enjoying the movie will feel good about themselves for liking this garbage. I'm afraid I can't agree: there's nothing wrong with being stupid but it's nothing to be proud of either.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Day #21,513

Walk km 3230-3233: running errands
Walk km 3233-3235: Smithe/Seymour/Cordova/Hornby/Robson

Book #262: The Return (1995,Hakan Nesser)

Yet another Swede writing crime fiction. A nice array of quirky characters but too much emphasis on the whodunit aspect. Whodunit went out with Agatha Christie.

Movie #1126: Back From Eternity (1956, John Farrow)

I liked this one. Of course I also liked it in 1939 when it was called "Five Came Back". I guess doing remakes made sense in 1956: they hadn't invented TCM or DVDs yet so it's safe to assume that everyone who went to see this movie whould never have seen (and would never get the chance to see) "Five Came Back". Forcing a group of strangers to interact with one another is one of my favourite plot devices. Kept my interest throughout even though I knew what was going to happen.

Movie #1127: Experiment Perilous(1944, Jacques Tourneur)

Suspense drama set amongst the upper crust of New York society. Ho hum. It does have a beautiful look to it but I was unable to care about any of the characters.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Day #21,512

Walk km 3222-3230: Robson/Howe/Georgia/(skytrain)/Cambie/42nd/Alberta/37th/Main/14th/Oak/(bus)/Robson

volkswagen in a showroom
aprox km 3226 Main street

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Day #21,511

Walk km 3212-3222: Science World to English Bay (and return) with Glen from the meetup group

km 3222 Granville station

Movie #1125: Best Of The Badmen(1951, William D Russell)

A great cast of Robert Ryan, Claire Trevor and Walter Brennan wasted in bland retelling of Clanton/James/Younger story.

Today's Music: the WILSON family
brothers Brian, Carl & Dennis and cousin Mike Love were members of the Beach Boys
the Beach Boys' manager was their father Murry
Carnie & Wendy were members of Wilson-Phillips
Marilyn Rovell was a member of the Honeys
1917.07.02 Murry Wilson born in Hutchinson, Kansas, USA
1941.03.15 Mike Love born in Los Angeles, California, USA
1942.06.20 Brian Wilson born in Los Angeles, California, USA
1944.12.04 Dennis Wilson born in Los Angeles, California, USA
1946.12.21 Carl Wilson born in Los Angeles, California, USA
1948.02.06 Marilyn Rovell (Brian's wife) born in Chicago, Illinois, USA
1964.12.07 Brian Wilson marries Marilyn Rovell
1968.04.29 Carnie Wilson (Brian & Marilyn's daughter) born in Los Angeles, California, USA
1969.10.16 Wendy Wilson (Brian & Marilyn's daughter) born in Los Angeles, California, USA

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Day #21,510

Walk km 3204-3212: Burrard/(skytrain)/29th/Slocan/33rd/Victoria/34th/Dumfries/33rd/Midlothian/29th/Cambie/(skytrain)/Georgia/Howe/Robson

Movie #1124: Pier 5 Havana (Edward L Cahn, 1959)

A real curiosity: a pro-communist Hollywood movie. It's pretty low budget but it looks like they used what little budget they had wisely: they used it on Alison Hayes' wardrobe. No matter how crappy this movie gets (and it gets mighty crappy) I never lost interest as long as Ms Hayes was on screen. Special mention must go to Cameron Mitchell who delivers one of the most inept performances ever in a leading role. So, except for Ms Hayes, a real stinker.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Day #21,509

Walk km 3201-3204: Robson/Granville/Cordova/seawalk/Bute/Hastings/Thurlow

street scene 2am
aprox km 3203 Cordova Street

Today's Music: The LEWIS family
Carl, Jimmy, Jerry Lee and Mickey are all cousins. I could find no info on which parents were involved but since they all had different surnames, maybe their mothers were all sisters?
1931.01.03 Carl McVoy born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, USA
1935.03.15 Jimmy Swaggart born in Ferriday, Louisiana, USA
1935.09.29 Jerry Lee Lewis born in Ferriday, Louisiana, USA
1936.03.09 Mickey Gilley born in Natchez, Mississippi, USA
1947.07.18 Linda Gail Lewis (Jerry Lee's sister) born in Ferriday, Louisiana, USA
Linda Gail's daughter Mary Jean also records but I could not track any recordings down (her videos are on YouTube).

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Day #21,508

Walk km 3193-3201: Robson/Howe/Georgia/(skytrain)/Cambie/42nd/Ontario Pl/Main/69th/Manitoba/70th/Manitoba/Kent/Cambie/(skytrain)/Georgia/Thurlow

big truck in the dark
aprox km 3199 69th Ave

Today's Music: the MARTEL family
1925.02.01 Marcel Martel born in Dover, New Hamphire, USA
1926.12.25 Noella Therrien born in Drummondville, Quebec, Canada
1946.09.07 Marcel & Noella married in Drummondville
1947.06.26 their daughter Renée born in Drummondville
1954 Noella records "J'Aime Être Cowgirl"
1957 Marcel records "Mon Amour Du Rock'N Roll" (based on "Hound Dog")
1967 Renée records "Liverpool"