2-29-08 (22:48)
  • asked my dad for a list of films everyone should see before they die. he asked me for the same and here's what i came up with. tried to do it off the top of my head.
  • here's the 100 films every american film lover should see before they die:

  • die hard
    citizen kane
    hoop dreams
    paths of glory
    wild bunch
    godfather I and II
    10. man with a movie camera
    seven samurai
    taxi driver
    wizard of oz
    i am a fugitive from a chain gang
    grapes of wrath
    man who shot liberty valance
    far country
    20. shane
    night of the living dead
    evil dead
    princess bride
    north by northwest
    it's a wonderful life
    good, bad, ugly
    it happened one night
    one flew over the cuckoo's nest
    30. duck soup
    modern times
    in the heat of the night
    cool hand luke
    sunset blvd.
    uncle buck
    battleship potemkin
    40. rio bravo
    dr. strangelove
    star wars
    texas chainsaw massacre
    annie hall
    nanook of the north
    taste of cherry
    road warrior
    50. double indemnity
    to have and have not
    big sleep
    planes, trains, automobiles
    la strada
    fog of war
    60. master of the flying guillotine
    battle of algiers
    band of outsiders
    bonnie and clyde
    white heat
    great escape
    day the earth stood still
    70. night of the hunter
    hunchback of notre dame
    on the waterfront
    crimes and misdemeanors
    mr. deeds goes to town
    grave of the fireflies
    pulp fiction
    easy rider
    blair witch project
    80. saving private ryan
    los olvidados
    bloodsucking freaks
    do the right thing
    music man
    schindler's list
    apu trilogy
    das boot
    90. best years of our lives
    willy wonka and the chocolate factory
    a christmas story
    wild strawberries
    dark days
    menace II society
    malcolm x
    imitation of life
    boogie nights
    100. killing
    101. kanto wanderer!

    2-29-08 (15:52)

  • love the picture and the list. haven't seen three of them, they will enter my netlfix queue shortly.

  • Adam Yauch is a founding member of the Beastie Boys. Recently he created a new division of his company Oscilloscope Laboratories called Oscilloscope Pictures (oscilloscopepictures.com) for the sole purpose of distributing films. He even hired two guys from ThinkFilm to come over to his new company. At first we were a little concerned that Adam intended to compete with Criterion, but then we thought it over and, honestly, we have been doing this for a long time and are not threatened by Adamís new company. The groundbreaking DVD The Beastie Boys Video Anthology is currently available from the Criterion Collection. So right there that proves we have the upper hand.

    1. Seven Samurai
    Címon, I gotta tell why this movie is good? You tell me!
    2. Walkabout
    Saw this one when I was in junior high school and it stayed with me. Glad to see it in the collection.
    3. Nights of Cabiria
    I donít know what to write. I just love this movie.
    4. Yojimbo
    I guess you have figured out by now that I am really not going to review any of the films that I picked.
    5. Sanjuro
    But I do like the folks up at the Criterion Collection. Those are my people up in there.
    6. Rushmore
    They are a really great team thatís into some bugged-out, esoteric shit.
    7. And God Created Woman
    Peter is like the bigwig. Heís the head honcho.
    8. The Harder They Come
    Susan has her ear to the street. She always looks for some interesting stuff to put out.
    9. Rashomon
    When I was hanging out up there Heather was working on the audio. But now she switched over to some other department.
    10. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
    Sometimes I get free DVDs from Criterion, but not always. I wanted to get one of each, you know, like the whole collection, but they said, ďNo, Adam, we donít do that.Ē

    2-26-08 (00:33)

  • one of my favorite pastimes is watching crappy infomercials. they're hilarious. they always have the same formula: the woman, who is usually the skeptic, and the high energy man, who is usually the salesman. of course their sales techniques are all the same as well. the infamous "but wait, there's more" line is a classic, but there are the old standbys like "order now and you'll get a flimsy chinese multitool for free (you just pay shipping and handling)" and "you would expect to pay $500 for this wonderful item that, incidentally, will make your life easier while making you look sexy, thin, young, and virile, but with this special tv offer you won't pay $500 or even $400 or even $369, you'll pay just 9 easy payments of $39.95!"
  • of the 80 best picture winners in the history of the academy awards i haven't seen 23, though i've seen at least parts of 3 of those. that'll be this year's goal. shouldn't be that tough.

  • 2-25-08 (19:09)
    i didn't take this one. it's called the shoe tree and it's in san diego.

    2-24-08 (21:35)

  • updated my academy awards page again, this time with a recap. i went 17/24 which was better than last year. i'm sure someone could come up with a computer program that compiled the prognostication of the nation's critics and figure out which nominees were most likely to win. you could probably get it good enough to guess all but one or two correctly.
  • found a shitty house (probably in a shitty neighborhood) which has 5 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms and 2,400 sq. feet for under $200k.
  • they should have a version of habitat for humanity that, rather than building new homes for new homeowners, works on refurbishing rundown homes in poor neighborhoods. it would work with community members to refurbish homes with the help of the homeowners in an effort to bring the land values of an entire neighborhood upward. when you drive through bad neighborhoods it's sad that they don't even care enough to take care of their homes. cheap, easy fixes like painting, landscaping, and cleaning go undone because homeowners don't see the point or don't have pride or don't have the expertise. i refuse to believe that easy fixes like these are an issue of money. it's easy enough to split costs with a neighbor on painting supplies, a shovel, a pruner, and a garden hose. a program that goes into the streets to bring tools and expertise to people might be enough to give them the initiative to care more about their community.
  • "some democrats call him the spoiler. will ralph nader's latest run at the white house disrupt this year's presidential campaign?" that was the lead in to the local news tonight at 10. if i taught a poli sci class i'd play that clip and ask the class what was wrong with that question.

  • 2-24-08 (17:52)

  • "paul pierce, 30 points. pierce worked (the) portland (trailblazers) like a part-time job. that jumper - wet." that quote was from some guy doing an update on espn about the celtics/blazers game. what the hell was he saying? "working portland like a part-time job," huh? "that jumper - wet," huh? what do those things mean? espn tries so hard to be hip trendsetters. whatever.
  • updated my academy awards page. saw atonement this afternoon.
  • started looking into buying a house today. not really sure how much money you need, and i probably don't have it anyway, but i figured it wouldn't hurt. even if i had to go into debt a lot i think it would be worth it because of the back end money i'd likely get and the experience it would bring as a contractor. i've come to think that the best way to learn the trade is on your own house where you can do whatever you want without having to have a license to work on the place. you can work on it on your own schedule and any improvements benefit you and no one else.

  • 2-24-08 (10:51)

  • good draft year for running backs. mendenhall, hart, stewart, forsett, rice, etc. could all be good. i don't think much of the overhyped mcfadden, but there are a lot of good, prototypical running backs who should have some good years in the nfl. desean jackson is ranked highly amongst wide receivers. i think he's a good athlete, but when i saw cal play i thought that hawkins was more consistent and had a more nfl-ready body. the combine is fun because everyone gets to be a talent scout.
  • got a new milwaukee hammer drill and impact driver yesterday. pretty happy with the purchase. my other drill had a bad battery and didn't have much power in general. this one also comes with the hammer feature which will come in handy when drilling into masonry.
  • people have said that the presidential race right now is one of the most exciting in years. it really isn't for me because i already know who i'm voting for and none of the horse-race politics appeals to me. nader is running. it's pretty exciting to be able to say that i respect and agree with the person i'm planning on voting for. i have no qualms about his record, on the decisions he's made and the stances he's taken. the whole idea behind democracy is that people get to hold their representatives accountable when they don't reflect their morals, values, etc. unfortunately, people would rather sacrifice their values and vote for a compromise - "the lesser of two evils" or (if you ask me) "the evil of two lessers." nader's right: america voted for the dems to turn the country around after 6 years of bush and they failed us. congress holds the purse strings yet they continued to fund iraq and refused to balance the budget. immunity to corporations that aided gov't wiretapping, tax cuts for the rich, prescription drug programs that don't make sense, a lack of a reasonable energy and environmental policy....the green party is the party of the left, but leftists are afraid to recognize this fact; it's actually rather depressing.

  • 2-22-08 (18:33)

  • people don't fix things anymore, they just replace them. a generalization, of course, but i think it's accurate of our society. if something doesn't work properly or doesn't have a desired feature we throw it away and buy one that does work or does have what we want. barring that, we just deal with it the way it is. usually, though, a little intelligence and effort can solve the problem and you'll feel better about yourself in the process. i'm all about fixing things and manipulating things to fit my needs/wants. from bigger projects like replacing a radiator or building custom furniture to smaller projects like shortening the length of the cord on my hooded sweatshirt (those long strings are always in the way when i'm working). this is one of the great things that separate humans from the rest of the animals - the ability to manipulate our environment. of course, we've taken it too far in many ways, but i think that the core principle is a good one.

  • 2-20-08 (09:21)

  • no work until noon today. good opportunity to catch up on chores.

  • 2-19-08 (21:12)

  • eneloop rechargeable batteries are pretty sweet.
  • wish i was wealthy so i could just work on my house and travel all the time.

  • 2-18-08 (16:44)

  • went on a road trip with meryl this weekend. we visited a bunch of central california towns/cities as well as kings canyon/sequoia national parks. it was a mixed bag overall, but it was a good time.
  • started the trip on saturday morning and drove to stockton. we both thought that the downtown had potential (including some nice, old [mid-1800s] brick buildings), it just needs more development. the university of pacific campus is very nice, but small. much of the rest of the city is on the run down side. at one point we were on the north end of town and we saw two prostitutes on the street corner in front of a motel. it was 11 am.
  • after stockton we went to modesto and merced. modesto is a fine enough city to visit. we went to the mchenry museum which features an array of state and local history exhibits. it was a surprisingly interesting and well-managed place. down the block is the mchenry mansion which was closed at the time, but looking at the exterior was good enough. it's an ornately decorated building which makes you wonder what happened to craftsmanship.
  • merced wasn't much of a stop. the primary reason for visiting the town was to see the newest addition to the UC family. it was underwhelming because of its surprising remoteness and small size. there are currently only 1,871 students and it's evident when you drive up to the campus. it made us wonder about the campus experience because it's such a small school in the middle of nowhere. with time i'm sure that businesses will get closer to the university, but as it stands now, there are only homes and a park nearby. the closest business that we could locate was a 15 minute drive away on backcountry roads.
  • after merced we drove into fresno. we had hoped to visit the underground gardens (it's been a long time since i've gone, and meryl's never been...), but discovered that they were closed until easter. we drove around fresno quite a bit, visiting my grandmother's old home, my dad's high school, and just cruising the town in general. fresno is like a lot of other central california towns: sprawling. all these have potential on some level or another, but it seems that they haven't planned growth very well and they all have poverty probably associated with the labor force that inhabits them: largely immigrant farmers. these towns get derided quite a bit by other californians, and there is certainly fodder for mockery, but i don't think any of them are all that bad.
  • we slept in fresno after watching a couple movies. we slept in the car and were awoken by some asshole kid and his friends who decided to kick the driver's side door, presumably to wake us up. sleeping in the car is never fulfilling, but it was even less so when i had to think about the possibility of drunks coming back to harass us in the middle of the night. we hadn't even found a spot to sleep until 2am (because our campsite fell through and motels were either booked up or too expensive), so any further sleeping problems were even less welcome than usual.
  • after leaving fresno we made our way to sequoia and kings canyon national park. we bought our annual national parks pass and visited the grove of giant sequoias which houses general sherman - the giant sequoia which i've heard is the largest living thing on earth, possibly ever. they say that blue whales are the largest living animals ever, but i don't know if they have any definitive knowledge of ancient trees and their size. at any rate, it's a big tree. in 2006 the tree's largest branch fell, which means that somewhere i have a picture of the tree with the branch and now i have one without it.
  • we visited a couple other small towns along the way back home, including hanford which is home of superior dairy products. it's a 50s style business that specializes in ice cream. their ice cream is good, but not amazing. their menu only has ice cream related dishes and a few sandwiches. if i owned the place i'd install a grill and deep fryer so burgers and fries would be an option.
  • on our way back home we found an interesting spot on the map between coalinga and idria. there's an asbestos hazard area which only has one road that goes near it. looking at another map we noticed that idria was called new idria and the asbestos hazard area wasn't marked. what had happened between the publishing of the two maps? on a whim, we decided to visit it. we set out for idria as best as we could tell from the maps we had. it was dark and it started to get scary because of the mysterious differences in the map and lack of markings on the road. it didn't help, either, that i chose to talk to meryl about texas chainsaw massacre, blair witch project, deliverance, wrong turn, and other applicable horror films. we found a BLM site along the way that referenced the existence of asbestos, but we never found idria, or new idria. it wasn't until today, when we checked it out online, that we got the story. we plan on returning because i liked the BLM site and meryl wants to do her video project on the history of the town.
  • it's interesting to note the senate vote on immunity for corporations who assisted the government in wiretap surveillance. obama didn't want the companies to be immune and clinton didn't want to address the issue - she didn't vote. dodd, kerry, and biden also voted against immunity.

  • mchenry mansion

    UC merced

    sequoia national park

    2-10-08 (13:10)
  • busy as usual.
  • the bug isn't idling all that well. it wants to die if i don't give it gas. probably a tuning or carb issue. it does need a new carb so i'll probably just deal with it until that purchase is made. there's always something with that car.
  • went to the kings/warriors basketball game yesterday. good game overall, but didn't like the outcome. kings lost by 3. artest had a chance to tie it with a last second 3-pointer that clanked off the rim. john salmons looked real good. brad miller looked slow and inept. they should trade him and bibby. bibby's good and tough to replace, but he has good trade value. could get a first round pick and a solid bench player for him for the upcoming rebuilding.
  • there should be a forced turnovers stat in basketball. i'm sure that some stat group keeps track of this in some way, but it's not one of the established stats and it should be. a combination of steals, blocks, and tip aways that lead to turnovers would be a better indication of defensive ability than any of those individual stats taken separately.

  • 2-8-08 (21:42)

  • there's an eastern european adage that explains the difference between being rich and being poor: the rich man earns $1 and spends $.99. the poor man earns $1 and spends $1.01.

  • 2-6-08 (19:42)

  • something is wrong with the sports media when they have television coverage of high school sports and extensive coverage of high school recruiting. today a bunch of high schoolers signed their letter of intent for college football and that was televised as well. the whole thing is ridiculous. give them space and don't start the widespread hype until college. guys are always going to have hype at a young age on the neighborhood level, but making it national, systemic, and profitable crosses the line in my opinion. i also have to wonder about schools like alabama and florida state that get all these top recruits despite not being all that great. it's usually attributed to the coach and that's who should get the credit, but not in a positive way. guys like saban and bowden stink of corruption if you ask me. they're the kind of guys who probably arrange blowjobs for recruits and let their top players drive their hummer.
  • working early early tomorrow. blah.
  • cough still lingers. going to the doctor would set me back at least a week's salary so i won't go down that road unless this thing sticks around for more than a couple weeks.
  • will work on my academy award predictions this weekend.
  • next weekend we have a trip planned.

  • 2-4-08 (18:15)

  • there's not much in the world as good as a great, well-built tool. a pair of solid channellocks, for example, is positively inspiring. in a world full of cheap shit made in china, it's nice to have a good pair of craftsman linesman pliers or a purdy paint brush or a milwaukee sawzall.
  • the cold is still sticking around, pretty lame. i'm functional, but the cough lingers.

  • the super bowl was a classic. it just proves that nothing is ever as good or as bad as people think. i still think that offense was one of the best ever, but they got away from the run and they met a defense that learned from playing them before. a defense that attacked and had probably the best front four in the league. winning the battle up front gives you a lot of options and leverage. i wanted to see the perfect season for a few reasons, but i'm not too broken up about the outcome. seeing another manning with another super bowl was kind of like seeing another clinton win the presidency. blah.