films (10)

On the Road Again – NYC

Just landed in Newark. I got a business class ticket with United frequent flier miles. So this is how the rich and mighty travel. Boy! Priority check in, Boeing 757, seat that reclines to flat position. So comfortable.

I watched “The Post,” about the Pentagon Papers, the stories in the New York Times and Washington Post in 1971 that revealed the lies of the Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon/Kissinger administrations about the Vietnam war.

The press prevailed when the Supreme Court voted 6-3 in favor of freedom of the press. I felt great sadness thinking that the good guys prevailed back then, and that we are in the midst of this horrible nightmare right now with just about every decent thing bering unravelled by this corrupt, bigoted administration. I try to stay away from politics in this blog, but every once in a while, it comes bubbling up. Believe me, I refrain a lot; I bite my tongue. I dread reading the paper each morning.

Onward: Then I watched “Bending it for Beckham,” a happy, feel-good film, which ended just as we touched down (and just after this sunrise).

I come to NYC once a year, partially for Book Expo America and maybe largely because I love the city. This was the red-eye flight, landing at 5:30 AM. I can never sleep on airplanes, and my M.O. is to not nap, stay up until nighttime east coast time. That plus some vigorous walking (or running) eliminates jet lag. Today being Memorial Day, I’ll drop off my luggage (Super Shuttle $25) get some coffee in the Village, and head out to Brooklyn for the King’s County Memorial day Parade in Bay Ridge (in its i51st year). I do love parades.

Stay tuned for the adventures of the west coast boy in the east coast metropolis. I am excited!

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From “Modern Times,” a B&W masterpiece by Charlie Chaplin.

Paulette Goddard, Charlie’s beautiful waif girlfriend has found them a house. “It’s not Buckingham Palace,” she says. Charlie walks in and a beam falls on his head.

One of the funniest movies of all time. It’s a silent film, but made when sound was available. Charlie apparently felt that the Little Tramp wouldn’t work with sound, so this is silent. In the end the Little Tramp and Paulette walk off into the sunset, and this was the end of this character.

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The Dude!

This is Paul Meredith, owner of Buzzard’s Bar and Grill near San José del Cabo. It took me 3 days to figure out who he reminded me of. As of in The Great Lebowski…

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Cool Tools- My Favorite Website

As I’ve said before, this is the 21st century online Whole Earth Catalog. Same M.O.: People like us writing reviews of cool stuff for other people like us. It’s embarrassing how many things I’ve obtained after reading about them here. These aren’t frivolous purchases; all the stuff is useful to me, stuff I’d never have known about otherwise.

I must point out I have a massive conflict of interest here. I’ve written a lot of CT reviews, and these guys are good friends.

That said, I periodically want to turn people onto this rich source of ad-free advice. It’s just madly useful. Take a look: https://kk.org/cooltools

Write a review and they’ll send you an email of new tools weekly.

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Friday Fish Fry

Dry dry dry. Day after day of no rain. I think the driest in history.

Saw Inside LLewyn Davis last night. Disappointing. I wanted to like it, because the concert put on in NYC in September by the musicians recruited by musical director TBone Burnett was terrific, and I have a lot of respect for the Coen brothers and their witty and fresh approach to film making. But this was just a bore. John Goodman’s character was overblown and weird, say like Jack Nicholson in one of his rare misfires as the Joker in the 1st Batman film, or Johnny Depp’s characters in the Tim Burton movies—sorry, I’m not buyin it…I don’t understand all the adulation for Llewyn. Music not even that good. Very little humor. Best picture of year, puhleeeze.


I cut down a 35-year old Weeping Santa Rosa Plum, the other day, was rotting from the inside. Interesting to see what was a pretty big (and productive) garden presence reduced to a couple of piles of kindling and to-be-split firewood

Yesterday we went to Flora Grubb, a large nursery specializing in palm trees and succulents in San Francisco. Great place, down near the produce market, with a Ritual Coffee stand inside. I shot a lot of pictures, we’ll post more when I get time. https://floragrubb.com

All Hail by The Devil Makes Three on Grooveshark

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Fog/Afternoon Sun/Me & Victor Mature Getting Our Strength Back

After a lot of Spring and early Summer wind, the fog bank has settled in these days. Almost feels tropical of late. Went paddling last night, the lagoon was warm, over 60°. I’m back to 85% shoulder strength. After 6 months of no upper body activity, I can feel the strength coming back — such a rush.

    Funny, it puts me in mind of the epic film (1949), Samson and Delilah, where Delilah learns that the secret to Samson’s strength is his hair. She gets him drunk, cuts off his hair, and he is blinded. (Samson is played by he of the agonized grimaces, Victor Mature.)

   A few years later, he is in the temple, being tormented by his captors. They don’t notice that his hair has grown back. He is standing between the two main pillars of the temple and he starts pushing, the crowd jeering at him. Suddenly there is a crack –great sound effects — and the crowd falls silent. More cracking and the temple collapses.

   A bit dramatic, I know, but I’m elated to have some strength back…

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Ray Harryhausen (1920 – 2013)

The four and a half minute compliation of every Ray Harryhausen animated creature in feature films, presented in chronological order.

Posted an hour ago by Mark Frauenfelder on Boing Boing.

Also on Boing Boing today, posted by Xeni Jordan, “Charles Ramsey interview, rescuer of Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus…”:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axCn04iXkB

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Lately (Ugh!) Around Here

Jeez, has this been a shitty week. And jeez, am I a big baby. Yes. Any body part goes wrong and I’m devastated. I look at friends like Sherm in his wheelchair, can’t move a muscle or talk these days and he perseveres, and gets a twinkle in his eye when I give him shit. Or a bunch of my high school friends, who I saw recently at a 60th reunion. I should not complain.

  I had surgery to repair a rotator cuff repair a week ago,and it was only arthroscopic, for christsake, you know, “…minimally invasive.” Well I’ll tell you, my body does not like any kind of invasion. My arm’s been strapped to my side,with the bladder for an ice machine inside the bandage, all week. Can’t tie own shoes. Can barely sleep, have never slept on my back. After 3 days of the pain pills (oxy), I felt so groggy and shitty, I quit them. I don’t understand people taking oxy “recreationally”). Makes me feel like I’m in a hazy, fuzzy tunnel. I’ll deal with some pain in exchange for some mental clarity.

   Anyway, just started getting into gear last night. I had given Lucky Peach magazine several hundred of my photos to do a story in their next issue, which is on “the apocalypse.” The angle on me being homemade shelter, gardening, foraging, stuff you can do for yrslf in tough times. They let me comment on the 6-page layout (turned out great, they used about 50 of my photos), and I went through it with them yesterday (Sunday), and this got me back into the communication groove. Issue will be out mid-Feb.

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