Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Finally Past 10

I wonder if I could go for twenty minutes? I'll never know until I get to that point. Why not try for it now? 'Cause I'm takin' it slow. My lungs (and sometimes legs) can barely handle the times I'm achieving now so small steps (in time) suit me fine.

trail time: about 62 minutes

running time -- 10 minutes, 20 seconds (+25 seconds from last run)


Phil Vassar -- self-titled debut album (2000)

Like I Never Loved Before
Somewhere In Between
Lucky As Me
Six-Pack Summer
Joe & Rosalita
Didn't You Know She's Gone
That's When I Love You
Rose Bouquet
Drive Away
Just Another Day In Paradise
Grateful Dawg
Two Soldiers -- Jerry Garcia & David Grisman

Phil Vassar kinda sounds a little bit like Bruce Hornsby. Blasphemy! No, really, he does, in a Nashville kinda way. Reason: they both wail on piano. Actually, I'm not sure Phil Vassar pounds the keys like Hornsby but he does play the piano so the sound if definitely present. And a great thing about Phil Vassar -- he wrote or co-wrote all the songs on his debut album (plus most of the songs on later albums, as well.) Is that saying songs that country artists record but don't write somehow blow? No. Perhaps it just makes Phil Vassar more real or authentic than some who can't write worth a lick.

Ahhh, relief

Every now and then I watch a single movie that makes it okay to watch so much that's so terrible.

The Station Agent (2003)

starring: Peter Dinklage, Bobby Cannavale,
Patricia Clarkson, Michelle Williams, Passaic County (NJ)

What happens when a man leaves Hoboken hoping to find somewhere a little quieter? His life becomes more complicated. Fin is left, in his friend's will, an old run-down train station in rural Newfoundland, New Jersey (about 30 miles west of Hoboken and New York City.) What Fin finds there is a host of characters who are longing for company and/or who have their own problems to deal with. This guy who just wants some peace and quiet, to be left alone, must learn to deal with all of these new people and what they bring to his life. There are no special effects, no plot twists to figure out, no explosive situation to deal with. What's presented is just life.

It's been about a couple years since I first (and last) saw this wonderful film. What a treat it was to watch it again. The Station Agent is not without flaws but it's chockfull o' superb acting and such terrific directing, almost spot on from start to finish. For some reason the characters and their lives completely draw me in and in the end I was left with tears.

Having grown up in northern New Jersey, and having periodic longings to move back there one of these days, the scenery had me captivated. Breathtaking it is not. The Alaska Range or the Rockies? Not quite. Not even close. Yet somehow the Passaic County hillsides and Lake Hopatcong left me in awe.

New Jersey is not a pit of hell as many think. The state is full of beautiful places, quiet and green, not a refinery in sight (or smell.) Every state has peaceful places of stunning beauty, one just has to know where to go to find them.
Alaska is Heaven on Earth . . . or at least a huge slice of Heaven of the United States. But my connection to NJ runs deep and I will stick up for my beloved New Jersey anytime someone wants to put her down. Maybe one day I'll get back to enjoy all there is to really love, all I never appreciated when I grew up there. I hope so. And until that time I can always read a book or turn on a great movie like The Station Agent.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Running with Spoons

With a brilliantly blue sky overhead, and not a cloud to be seen, it was a picture-perfect afternoon for a run.

trail time: about 67 minutes

running time -- 9 minutes, 55 seconds (+8 from last run)

listened to:

Soundgarden . . . a smattering of this & that

She Likes Surprises
Rusty Cage
Blow Up The Outside World
4th of July
Tighter & Tighter
Boot Camp
Burden In My Mind
The Day I Tried To Live
Smokestack Lightning
Fell On Black Days
Black Hole Sun

Whew! Today's music compared to yesterday's is like a Porsche to a Honda -- one's got power, it's fun to drive, gorgeous to look at and definitely won't lull you to sleep . . . and did I mention it's got power?! And the other is, well, like I said yesterday, it's nice.

It's been years since I've listened to Soundgarden and the music just seems to have gotten better with age.

why do i torture myself so?

Scarecrow Gone Wild (2004, straight to video)

There must be something wrong with me. It never ends, this practice of watching some of the absolute worst movies made. To top off the insanity, I viewed this tripe just hours after watching the Academy Awards which celebrates (some of) the very best in motion picture making. The only nomination I would give Scarecrow Gone Wild is for Achievement in Crap. Right at the start I noticed the very same producers names who made the last movie I watched (Alien 51.) Oh joy. I knew I was in for a treat. And what a treat it wasn't -- a scarecrow comes to life and kills unsuspecting college kids. Surprisingly this is, apparently, the third movie in a few years time with this same killer scarecrow. Why?!

½ star out of 5 . . . and that's probably fairly generous.

(Will I ever learn?!?)

Sunday, February 25, 2007

just nice

Back in hiking boots. Finally.
An afternoon hike, to sunset, almost 2 hours long.
Unfortunately the music I chose, well, it was nice.

Susan Ashton -- The Ultimate Collection (2006)

Waiting For Your Love To Come Down
No One Knows My Heart
Beyond Justice To Mercy
Love Will Be Our Home
In Amazing Grace Land
Song Of Reconciliation
No Remedy For Love
Down On My Knees
All Kinds Of People
Here In My Heart
A Rose Is A Rose
Hunger And Thirst
Walk On By
Summer Solstice
There Is A Line
Remember Not
Ball And Chain
Grand Canyon
You Move Me
Hide Or Seek
Crooked Man
I Will Follow
Walk On

I listen to such a wide array of music. Usually it's something I know I will like or really love listening to. Nowadays sometimes I choose something that I'm not sure about before I download it. Susan Ashton I wasn't sure about but I gave her a try. Not entirely my cup o' tea. Oh well.

So many of these songs, right up to near the end, well, they were nice. This (mostly) was music to fall asleep to on an airplane. Or perhaps nice to put on if you have your 60-year old pastor and his wife over for dinner. It was soothing and, well, nice. It had no edge. No pop. It did nothing for me. Finally in the last few songs there are a couple tunes that are closer to me really liking than being bored by. Crooked Man, in particular, sounded kind of like Bonnie Raitt. Up until then I was thinking this is probably the last time I'll listen to Susan Ashton. Maybe I'll give this another listen.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Almonds? Cashews? Peanuts!

I think I've forgotten what it feels like to wear my hiking boots! I've been so caught up in running that it feels like weeks since I've gone for a "hike." Of course, being on the trail for 93 minutes means I do a significant amount of hiking . . . but it's in my running shoes vs. lacing up my hiking boots for strictly a hike. Anyway, nice afternoon today. I didn't progress by my usual 20+ seconds 'cause I didn't have ready the playlist that I originally wanted to take. Still I went again a little bit longer, a little bit further. I'm in no rush.

time on the trail: about 93 minutes

running time -- 9 minutes, 47 seconds (+16 seconds this time)

listened to:

* from the album:
Marlo Thomas & Friends: Thanks & Giving All Year Long
(a benefit for the St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital)

* Teeny Meany -- James Earl Jones & Marlo Thomas
* The Little Stuff -- Marlo Thomas
* (I'll Give) Anything But Up! -- Hilary Duff
* Unsung Heroes -- Wayne Brady

Body And Soul -- Billie Holiday
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas -- Frank Sinatra

Wynton Marsalis & Ellis Marsalis -- Joe Cool's Blues

Linus & Lucy
Buggy Ride
Peppermint Patty
On Peanuts Playground
Oh, Good Grief!
Wright Brothers Rag
Charlie Brown
Little Red-Haired Girl
Pebble Beach
Snoopy & Woodstock
Little Birdie
Why, Charlie Brown
Joe Cool's Blues (Snoopy's Return)
and finally
Russian Lullaby -- Jerry Garcia & David Grisman

With this outing I have reached my maximum limit (1) for Hilary Duff songs this decade. (It's actually not a bad song.) My run to Billie & Frank was nice and mellow followed by my first time ever hiking to jazz. Can't go wrong with Wynton Marsalis. Really good music. And once again Jerry to finish up.

I've got so many playlists for hiking ready, plus Dead shows. Maybe tomorrow . . . if I can break free from this temporary addiction for pushing my run times up.

Shoot Me, Please

Alien 51 (straight-to-video, 2004)

starring: Heidi Fleiss: ex-con and former prostitute/madam to the stars

Still twenty minutes later I'm in shock at this atrocity. Wow.
0 stars to 10 -- about a 0.2 . . . it did have a couple of minutes worth of cool music. Everything good about the movie I just stated. Everything else had me practically physically in pain. If I have seen 1,000 movies in the past 5 years, this ranks in the BOTTOM 2 or 3. That's pretty extreme but it's true.

This is the perfect movie to demonstrate that people with no discernable intelligence and/or talent can make a movie that people can see on a nation-wide cable TV channel.

Wow. I'm just truly, so very truly blown away by how un-freakin'-believably terrible this movie is. Great films leave one thinking, with sort of a high, appreciative even. Alien 51 has left me in shock and almost wanting to kill myself for watching it.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Closing in on 10

Uh huh!

70 minutes out on the trail

running time -- 9 minutes, 31 seconds (+21 seconds)

for my enjoyment:

Claire Lynch -- completely random mix of any ol' tunes

Between The Two Of Them
God Spoke His Name
Paul And Peter Walked
Go And Do The Same
He Leadeth Me
Somewhere Above
Your Presence Is My Favorite Gift
There Is A Fountain
Friends For A Lifetime
Who Do You Know?
My Name Is Judas
After The Storm
Lead Me On
Out Among The Stars
David Cullen
If I Had The World To Give
Casey Jones

Claire Lynch -- Country music? Or Bluegrass?
Seems to me to be about Country-Bluegrass.
And most of the songs I picked had a Biblical story or message so, while it's not Contemporary Christian Music by any stretch of the imagination, I kind of see it as Country-Bluegrass-Christian.

I had no idea if I'd like Claire Lynch, hadn't even listened to a single song before leaving the house. How beautiful it was!! I was sooo pleased with this and am completely looking forward to downloading her again soon!

Popcorn. Halle! Eliza!

Finally a movie. It's been far too long. I love movies but I've been in a dry spell. In the first 54 days of the year, if I was to count, I'd only be around 20 movies, maybe 25 but that would be pushing it. Not many. Oh well.

Race The Sun (1996)

Halle Berry, Casey Affleck, Eliza Dushku, James Belushi, the Australian Outback

Based on a True Story, Race The Sun is about a group of kids in Hawai'i who join together for their high school science project -- a solar-powered car. If they win the Hawai'i regional solar car race, it's off to the World Solar Challenge from Darwin, on the northern coast of Australia, across the Outback to Adelaide on the southern coast, a race of over 2,000 kilometers.

It's a shame that much of the story seems to have been pieced together without a lot done by the writer and director to give us some real attachment to these characters. All we get is a swift moving chain of events with very little background. Predictable it surely is but the ride is worth it because in the end it's a feel good story that worked well enough for me to shed a few tears of joy.

One song in the soundtrack -- Send Me On My Way by Rusted Root -- gave me a smile so bright, ya know I coulda been a candle . . . it had me dancing in my seat, as well. It's been many years since I last heard the great album that that song is on so an extra treat it was to hear it. It brought me back to some really good times when I first heard it in 1995 in Sperryville, Virginia.

I was spending a few days there, picking up a friend whom I was driving out west with. There was a Super Bowl party at someone's old farm house and the next day we were southbound. Two brief stops included Columbia, South Carolina and New Orleans, each place to see some friends of hers. The wintertime miles cruised along -- Earth (Texas) and Albuquerque and a hostel one night in Flagstaff before breaking down in the one blinking stoplight-at-midnight, podunk, Mojave Desert town of Four Corners, California. After a 98 mile tow to Bakersfield, my old '67 bus was stranded there for a few days getting a new head put in. A cracked head? Oi, headache. During our first day there, Summer decided to go ahead to Sacramento via Greyhound. I'd meet her at her new place in nearby Fair Oaks in a few days. Seventy-two hours stranded in a dusty city in the desert where I had absolutely nothing to do was not my idea of fun so what a relief it was to get out of there. Finally I was cruisin' myself on up to Northern Cali.

It was a great few days there with Summer and her roommate and a Deadhead she met on the bus, a dude from Berlin who was backpacking around the U.S. hoping to get to Salt Lake City for the Dead's first three shows of the year. Hey, that's where I was headin'!

Before we left Fair Oaks, we spun a few shows including a copy of that Rusted Root CD then eastward on I-80 Matthias and I went, across the Sierra Nevadas and the Nevada desert onward to my best friend Chris' house back in a city I had once called home.

After three fun shows at the Delta Center that included bust-outs of Alabama Getaway and Visions of Johanna plus the first ever GD singing of Salt Lake City, twas time to head back westward, back across the desert to the Sacto area once again. I'm fairy sure it was between SLC and the upcoming Oakland Mardi Gras shows that Jerry was scheduled for 3 at the Warfield . . . three which were cancelled. I had gotten tix and driven down, parked near Market and Dang It, No Shows. That was sad but Oh Well. So there was more time in and around Fair Oaks complete with seeing some cool ska bands up in Auburn.

The days passed and soon enough it was time to head yet again back on down to the Bay Area for the first three Cali shows of the year -- Mardi Gras! Each night afterwards we headed to someone's house in the small funky Marin County town of Fairfax, right near San Anselmo. Apparently in Fairfax, a long time ago, there was a baseball game played at a downtown public field between two teams who just happened to be the Grateful Dead vs. the Jefferson Airplane. Such a cool town Fairfax was to me then. I hope today it still has that charm that it did twelve years ago.

Even with the cancelled JGB shows, what a great few weeks that was! Rusted Root was played at least a dozen times during all those great days of Trader Joes, Nag Champa, and the American River. Six Dead shows topped it all off. What a tremendous time and hearing that one song in Race The Sun brought all that back for me. Hallelujah!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Slowly Improvin'

Yet another fantastic run! Going only somewhat more than a mile at what some might consider a snail's pace is, for me, a great run. Improving I am! Only about 3½-4 hours away from a Marathon!

total time out: about 72 minutes

running time -- 9 minutes, 10 seconds (up 20 seconds from my last run)


just a little mix . . .

The Metro (Acoustic)
Sex (I'm A...)

7 Year Bitch
It's Too Late
Whoopie Cat
Rest My Head
Crying Shame

No More Words
Take My Breath Away
The Metro
Sex (I'm A...) (Rosetta Stone Extended Mix)
Walkin' Boss & Rockin' Chair -- Jerry Garcia & David Grisman

raindrops weren't falling on my head

Coulda gone out in the rain. A run was out of the question but my hiking boots with Gore-Tex ain't afraid of a little mud. Twasn't poring, twas just a light rain all day. So why'd I not go out? WHY?!?!?!?? Sleep. Not all day but quite an extended naptime I had. I blew a day. [sigh . . .]

Listened to some blah music, though. Second time I've listened to this in about six weeks and it's all now deleted, more than likely to never be listened to ever again. Prog-rock just isn't my cup o' tea, thank ya very little. Genesis I like. Old Genesis -- no, thanks.

Genesis -- Nursery Cryme (1971)

The Musical Box
For Absent Friends
The Return of the Giant Hogweed
Seven Stones
Harold the Barrel
The Fountain of Salmacis

music note find it @ Rapid Library music note

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


Back on the trail again! And today's run it appears I may have reached a milestone, sort of. Prior to officially keeping track of runs, I might've had five or six and with those, right through to a couple days ago, immediately following each run, right after I stop moving, I'd stop dead in my tracks, half bend over with hands on knees, half dead and deeply breathing and so, so thankful my jog had come to its end. In that position I'd stay for only two or three seconds, not long, but it was always a needed thing in order to help recover from the semi-torture I had just put myself through.

But this evening I had no moment like that. Nothing. When I ended my run I kept moving, walking slowly down the trail. No need to stop! I noticed it instantly. Excelling I am.

But if only I knew how far I run. Definitely, probably, I'm feelin' about 97-99% sure it's over a mile. Perhaps a mile and a half? That might be wishful thinking there. To drive a car along the route to check on the odometer is something that just can't be done. Ain't about to buy a pedometer that won't be accurate. I suppose I just won't know and that's okay for now because I'm running on a trail in the woods and not a roadway or paved footpath. I wouldn't have it any other way!

total time out: about 72 minutes

running time -- 8 minutes, 50 seconds (another 22 seconds up from previous run)


Pretenders -- self-titled debut album (1980)

Up The Neck
The Wait
Lovers Of Today
Tattooed Love Boys
Private Life
Space Invader
The Phone Call
Stop Your Sobbing
Mystery Achievement
Brass In Pocket
Walking Blues -- Bonnie Raitt
Cold Rain & Snow -- Henry Kaiser
I Know You Rider, Going Down The Road Feeling Bad -- David Cullen
Touch of Grey --
Grateful Dead
(undated live version from Brent era . . .
off the album San Francisco for a Sustainable Future a.k.a. For Young People)

The debut album from the Pretenders has got to be one of the best albums ever! Five or ten best? Top 25? No way but Top 100 or perhaps Top 250. Almost perfection. Shed a song or two and then what a tremendous collection of post-punk/new wave/rock & roll. Excellent stuff!

to heal thy hammy

Spending another day (yesterday, George Washington's Birthday) without any significant physical activity was not very pleasant. My left hamstring had been feeling a bit strained so basically I wanted to try to heal up any exisiting problem and not have it become any worse.

On the 0 to 10 Scale -- 0 being no pain whatsoever, 9 being "Please just CUT MY LEG OFF!!!" and 10 being "JUST FRIGGIN' KILL ME AND END THIS PAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" -- the condition, at its worst, may have only reached a 5 or so with spiking to 6-ish. When I went out to buy a heating pad, I was mostly fine, maybe only a 2.5 or so . . . but I just didn't wanna go for another run or a two hour hike and possibly make it worse.

A lot of hours were spent just sitting and watching el stupido television. Feels like I got nothing productive done. Could have read. Didn't. Could have studied my Turkish or French or Russian. Nope. Shoulda listened to a sermon. Sorry, God. I suppose laughing at inane comedies was semi-productive, kinda, sorta. Laughing's good for the soul! Plus I healed my hamstring up. At least I believe I did, for the most part.

Woke up way too late today but on the ol' 0 to 10 Scale, I'm way, way down to maybe a 1 or less. Lookin' forward to a run later on just before dusk!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

500 Miles (but not for me!)

Yee-Hawwww, Race Day!!! Daytoner fy-hunderd. Go Casey Jones! Wait . . . that's supposed to be Kasey Kahne? Right, right, Casey Jones is the train engineer, right? And he has a monkey for a co-pilot. I think I want Richard Petty to win today. Or, no -- Danica Patrick! Yeah, she's hot, I want her to win. She's not in this race? Hmm, well, I guess she won't win then. I know, I know, Ricky Bobby . . . there we go, there's a racer. Either Ricky Bobby or perhaps Stroker Ace? Cole Trickle! Or maybe Cole's brother, Dick, Dick Trickle.

time on trail: about 65 minutes

running time -- 8 minutes, 28 seconds (+22 seconds jump up from yesterday)

music o' the day:

Kelly Willis -- just a mix of stuff

Easy (As Falling Apart)
Not What I Had In Mind
I Don't Want To Love You (But I Do)
You Can't Take It With You
Fading Fast
Heaven's Just A Sin Away
Baby Take A Piece Of My Heart
Whatever Way The Wind Blows
River Of Love
Hidden Things
I'll Try Again
Reason To Believe
Little Honey
Cradle Of Love
Friend Of The Devil -- Counting Crows
Ripple -- Jane's Addiction
Werewolves of London -- Adam Sandler

Just another great run! I think my actual time was just over 8½ minutes considering inbetween each of these songs there seems to be 2-3 seconds of gap time. I suppose in the long run (no pun intended) it doesn't make much of a difference.

Unfortunately I ran with a strained left hamstring and, while that gave me no trouble during my hike & run, it's noticeably (mildly) hurting since I got back. Might have to take a rest day tomorrow. If that's the case then that completely bites but perhaps it'll be for the best.

What I definitely won't give a rest to is Adam Sandler's cover of Werewolves of London. I probably prefer Jerry Garcia singing it but aside from Jerry, I probably prefer Sandler over Zevon any day. Very good version of that and the Counting Crows surprised me with their FOTD. Actually not bad!

Overall a great hour of music and an awesome run. I'll be hitting 10 minutes in no time!

Time to watch the end of the race.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Beech Run

Halle-freakin'-lujah!!! What a great run in the sun to some totally awesome tunes! Having a subsciption mp3 service has opened me up to a new world of music that I would never have heard before. Buying CDs is something I, for the most part, stopped doing. Never did I download for free. Basically I, again, for the most part, just stopped acquiring new music. Since I got my Mp3 player in early December I have listened to more new albums of tunes than I did in the past like 5 to 10 years! Without all this new music, on my runs and hikes, I'd still be carrying an old tape with me in a five dollar walkman-type piece-of-junk portable cassette player. I'd rolling through my collection over and over. Those days are gone!

time on trail: about 67 minutes

running time -- 8 minutes, 6 seconds (another +19 from yesterday)

music o' the day:

Vicky Beeching -- Yesterday, Today and Forever

There's No One Like Our God
Stronger Than The Storm
Yesterday, Today and Forever
Call To Worship
Nothing Is Impossible
Extravagant Worship
Majesty and Mystery
Above All Else
Search Me
Turn Your Eyes
The Thrill Is Gone
Grateful Dawg -- Jerry Garcia & David Grisman

Great tunes! Why doesn't Vicky Beeching get more airplay on Christian radio? Hmmm, well, she didn't prior to December when I stopped listening. Since then I've been too caught up in other stuff to listen to radio. It was actually right after Thanksgiving when the station I listened to stopped playing regular music and started a run of EVERY SONG A CHRISTMAS SONG. Well, I turned that off and the On switch hasn't been pressed since. Every song a Christmas song for a month? No, thanks!

Anyway, her album Yesterday, Today and Forever came out (sometime) in 2005 and it wasn't until just a few weeks ago that I found out about her. Such a tremendous album!!! I just don't understand why nothing on it got airplay, at least not that I know of on the station I listened to.

In any case, this is going on my short list of Stuff To Listen To Again Soon and an artist to keep an eye out for new material!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Running to Pluto

There aren't many better ways to spend an hour of the afternoon. Makes me feel sorry for all the people who run on roads or paved paths or concrete sidewalks. On a trail along side a creek, (mostly) through the woods, with wildlife here and there is without a doubt the best!

time on trail: about 56 minutes

running time -- 7 minutes, 47 seconds (+19 seconds from yesterday)


Plumb -- self-titled debut

Willow Tree
Sobering (Don't Turn Around)
Who Am I?
Send Angels
Terrapin Station -- Lore Constantine
Brokedown Palace -- Adrienne Young and Little Sadie

It's easy to see how Amy Lee of Evanescence has mentioned Tiffany Arbuckle Lee (no relation) -- a.k.a. Plumb -- as an inspiration. I look forward to downloading more of Plumb's music in the future.

To end my hike, the piano version of Terrapin was pretty cool but Brokedown Palace by Adrienne Young has got to be the most incredible cover version I have ever heard of any Dead song . . . ever. I'll have to look into more of her music but most definitely I'm gonna keep that Brokedown as filler to include on other hikes/jogs. Why, oh why, did Jerry never play a beautiful acoustic version like this?

early mornin' movie

a B-western in Color!

Out California Way (1946)

starring: Monte Hale, murderer Robert Blake (at 12 yrs old),
and a cameo by Roy Rogers, Dale Evans & Trigger!

Sometimes a B-western isn't really a western like when it takes place in Hollywood. This movie is primarily about the filming of a western picture called Out California Way. Monte Hale's character is a rookie in the movie business. He and young Bobby Blake's horse become a huge success but not without a few troubles because of a jealous veteran actor out to see Monte never becomes a star.

Unfortunately, this isn't very exciting and is without tremendous drama. I was actually a little bored. Twas neat to see Roy Rogers and the fact this was filmed in color made it intriguing.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

If you see Juanita down in Biloxi . . .

Without any real exercise yesterday, I was anxious today to get moving in the form of either a hike or a run (or both which is what happens when I go for a run when the weather's not too cold.) I simply do not like taking a day off. I thought I was going to be able to get out but no such luck. And then today I felt a little lower back pain. Not good. I tried to mask it as best as possible with Tylenol and hit the trail anyway.

Shortly into my run my attention was diverted completely off my back (no pain felt whatsoever) to my shins which almost felt as if they were on fire. So close. While I monitored that situation, I kept a smaller focus on my breathing which felt just fine and dandy. For once I hadn't entertained a single thought about how nice it would have been to stop running before achieving my goal time. No worries at all! Two songs worth of music just glided by! By the time my run came to its end I was feeling GREAT! Thank God for a beautiful day and the ability to get out there to get my body movin'!

time on trail: 53 minutes
temperature: way cold!!! About 12 (F)

running time -- 7 minutes, 28 seconds (+22 seconds from last time!)

la musica:

Jack Ingram -- Hey You

Feel Like I'm Falling In Love
Anymore Good Loving
Barbie Doll
Inna From Mexico
Talk About
Hey You
Work This Out
Mustang Burn
I Would

Mountains of the Moon -- Lore Constantine
& Box of Rain -- Mick Overman

Pretty darn nice album of music there from Jack Ingram. I sort of recall reading something about him being from Texas and his music as hillbilly country kinda rockabilly or something like that . . . but it wasn't at all. That's sort of too bad but still it was a nice blend of rockin' numbers and a little slower tunes. Would have been nice if the sound was a little less polished. Really felt that's what he was goin' for but in order to make a name for yourself with your debut album, producers want polished, super fan-friendly material. Seems like he met them a little more than half way on that. Overall, I'm glad I found out about this guy. Not bad stuff! Will most definitely listen again and look for new material from him in the future.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Romancing Roy

Well, I probably would have watched this movie eventually but isn't it appropriate that it's on this day? And what day is it? Today's the day for people who need greedy corporate America and the media to steer them to be romantic. And today is a day of pure selfishness, when people want for themselves while so many have nothing, while so many suffer, while so many die. Women want chocolate, flowers, jewelry, anything romantic that was paid for with money. I truly could go on and on and write thesis about this digusting and so very sad topic but this year I shall not. Perhaps next.
Anyway . . .

early morning movie:

Romance on the Range (1942)

starring: Roy Rogers

When it comes to movies, it doesn't get much better than old westerns. Roy Rogers has thankfully given us quite a few. While it may have a cheesy title, one shouldn't judge on title alone. Complete with bad guys, horses, and gunfights, just like so many westerns from the same time period, Romance on the Range is almost another run-of-the-mill movie in this genre. Thanks to better-than-average production, this stands above so many and was fun to watch.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Warehouse Run

Great run this morning! Added a whopping 20 seconds. Warehouse was my running song and seemed to be the perfect speed and the perfect time for me today. Four minutes after ending my short run I felt like running again. I'm already lookin' forward to tomorrow and jogging a 3rd day in a row. That's what my body needs! Weighed myself after my post-run shower and I'm at 199. I'm actually kinda happy with that . . . I know I'm on my way down to a healthier weight. That's what this runnin's all about!

running time -- 7 minutes, 6 seconds

tunes of the day:

Dave Matthews Band -- Under the Table and Dreaming
Jimi Thing
Dancing Nancies
Rhyme and Reasom
The Best Of What's Around
Pay For What You Get
What Would You Say
Typical Situation
Lover Lay Down
Ants Marching
+ Waste -- Dave Matthews solo

Under the Table and Dreaming is such a spectacular album. This is one I listen to at least once or twice a year. Not a bad song on it! Two or three times on the trail it had me dancin' as I was hikin' back. With the addition of Phish's song Waste, my block of music came to an end just as I was opening my front door, a semi-miraculous first ever for that happening!

Monday, February 12, 2007

A Hippie-Era Country Run

on the indoor running track: 6 minutes - 46 seconds


Lynn Anderson -- 16 Biggest Hits

Flattery Will Get You Everywhere
How Can I Unlove You
Keep Me In Mind
Big Girls Don't Cry
Fool Me
Ride, Ride, Ride
If I Kiss You (Will You Go Away)
Promises, Promises
No Another Time
That's A No No
Stay There Till I Get There
You're My Man
What A Man My Man Is
Top Of The World
Rose Garden

+ New Speedway Boogie --
Catherine Russell
& Fire On The Mountain -- Meat Puppets

First time I've ever heard Lynn Anderson. Not bad.
Country tunes from the mid-60's to early 70's are something I just about never listen to. I might give her another listen again someday.

Today was my first run since Thursday maybe. I'm still fat. Didn't weigh myself today but about 200 pounds, give or take a couple. I know I topped out last week at 202. Completely not happy with my weight. Not happy at all.

My run wasn't too difficult. Felt dead immediately upon stopping but could have gone a little longer. After a few minutes of "recovery" walking I felt pretty darn good and was already looking forward to running again tomorrow.

My intention is to add about 15-20 seconds to each run time. That's so not a lot but it will add up over time. Slowly but surely I will work my way back up past ten minutes (I was just over ten minutes when I was running a lot last summer) and hopefully onward and upward towards 20 and 30 minutes.

In no time at all I'll be ready for a marathon! (HAAA!)

Yay, Figure Skating

Ice Princess (2005)

starring: Michelle Trachtenberg, Hayden Panettiere, Kim Cattrall, Joan Cusack

Single adult male watches figure skating movie made primarily for 12 year old girls? Alright, stereotypes 1 & 2 (homosexual, pedophile) do not apply so the correct answer is C: just a fan of movies, usually regardless of the story or theme, etc, plus it was the only movie on the channels that was starting & ending during the time of the morning when I wanted to watch a movie.

Now that we're past that, I've gotta say this wasn't too bad (even though it was about figure skating. There's really nothing wrong with figure skating unless you're a man then really it's better to be rebuilding a carburetor or grilling steaks or watching football . . . or all three at the same time!) Anyway, Ice Princess is a decent movie, most certainly especially good for families and young girls (or families with young girls because boys just might go "blahhh.")

Right from the beginning I knew this would be just about as predictable as pie. Wherever they filmed this was quite a beautiful setting but Connecticut (where the movie is mainly supposed to take place) is almost never so wintery beautiful as it was portrayed here. Sometimes directors/cinematographers just have no clue. Also, including gay former figure skater brian boitano was a huge negative. Thankfully he wasn't shown until near the very end but there wasn't even a need for him. On the positive side there was some decent acting from the main characters not to mention some nice (and unexpected) relationships along the way. Sometimes a cool soundtrack helps a movie along and it did here.

What I really liked most was a message in the movie, a message to kids (or to anyone) saying -- follow your dreams!!! Despite what mommy might want for your life, follow
your dreams and chase down what YOU wanna do!!! God's chosen a path for you but you've gotta find it yourself, make your choices, have misery in and learn from your own mistakes, and rejoice in your own successes.

Overall I give this movie. It was actually alright. Would I ever watch it again? It's not high on that list but ya never know, someday I just might.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

some '67

Hike at dawn. About an hour and a half.

Grateful Dead:

possibly 2-12-67 Fillmore Auditorium, San Francisco
Smokestack Lightning ->
King Bee

11-14-67 American Studios, North Hollyweird
Born Cross-Eyed
Dark Star

9-15-67 Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles
Bill Graham Presents "The San Francisco Scene in Los Angeles"
Viola Lee Blues
Cold Rain & Snow
Beat It On Down The Line
Good Morning Little Schoolgirl
Morning Dew
Alligator ->
Caution (Do Not Stop On The Tracks) ->
Vaudeville Chorus

It's awesome to be expanding my live GD listening thanks to various downloading websites plus my Mp3 player. Why I waited so long I just don't know. Unfortunately, all that is in circulation for the Hollywood Bowl date is a mildly bad Audience recording. Nice little show but the quality is lacking.

Nice hike, though!

Here's what I wrote for the show at Archive.org (which apparently hasn't been posted):

I have always been on the liberal side of grading shows, never nitpicking on this & that regarding sound quality. Often what's considered a pitiful Audience copy, I can get into.

That being said, the quality of 9-15-67 at the Hollywood Bowl is truly borderline horrible. Just because it's '67, that doesn't automatically make it an enjoyable listen. I had a difficult time enjoying this because of hiss and dropouts and what, at times, sounded like a bathroom renovation that the mics were patched into.

On a beautifully quiet and peaceful hike I took this show . . . but instead of really getting into the tunes, it merely became decent background music to deeper thoughts like -- what would life be like if the Earth was made of marshmallow? And terrorists, rather than kill people with explosives, what if they just made people listen to Clay Aiken?

It's heartbreaking enough to read over and over "None in Circulation" regarding '67 shows . . . rather than make the pain in my heart any better, this terrible copy of a show just seems to throw salt into the wound. What a shame.

4 stars for the music
1.5 to 2 stars for quality of recording


Last Man Standing (1996)

starring: Jeff Wincott, Jillian McWhirter

What a year, 1996! Two, count 'em, two movies called Last Man Standing! Oh, joy!! The one with Bruce Willis ain't too bad, but what about this one? With something like this my expectations are always low. But low and behold, it wasn't all bad. Mostly bad, but not all.

There were some exciting chase scenes (filmed in Long Beach) and much of the movie was shot in Los Angeles as well as M*A*S*H-land a.k.a. the hills above Malibu. The fight scenes were lame, acting so-so, but the ridiculousness of the whole thing was just laughable. Why I watch such tripe, I am not sure.

All I got from this movie is a desire to visit L.A. again. I've been there, seen the Dead there, loved everything about the city (except the traffic) . . . but nowadays I can't find a legitimate reason to visit. Just visit for the heck of it? Noooo. I'd need a good reason. So until I can find one I just won't intentionally watch many movies filmed in and around L.A. or else I'll just get that overwhelming feeling again. Yada yada yada. Done.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Not Quite Concrete Blonde (But Almost)

90 (or so) minute hike at dawn.


Johnette Napolitano -- Sketchbook

Giants Gongs & Backwards Guitars
Why Not Stand Down
Sweat In The Saddle
Mississippi George
Freaky Dreaming
Difficult Woman
When I'm Gone
Full Moon Mix
Summer Rain
Like a Cloud
Mood Music
+ Cheap Tequila -- Buzz Gamble & Johnette Napolitano

Some cool music. Definitely for a late-night drive, after midnight, wintertime, across a cold and barren Texas landscape . . . no, maybe across Wyoming . . . or perhaps the California desert. I don't advocate utilizing America's (mostly) boring Interstate highways (vs. backroads) but this music would work well when a western highway is almost all yours during the early A.M. hours. Every song from Sketchbook has a mellow, kind of eerie feeling to it. You don't wanna be tired listening to this -- wide awake, laid back, in no rush to get to where you're goin'. Yeah. That's some great drivin' music!

Hmmm, interestingly she maintains a MySpace page
and now lives in Joshua Tree.

That's-a Really Bad Spaghetti!

Roy Colt e Winchester Jack (1970)

starring: it doesn't really matter

My 19th movie watched in 2007. The worst so far. If I was a bettin' man I'd be willing to lay down a ton o' bucks that this will be the worst I watch all year.

This Italian produced (Spaghetti) Western was apparently filmed in English but dubbed into Italian for viewing in Italy. For us gringos it then had English subtitles. The director, Mario Bava, has done some interesting movies in Italy but there's no reason to watch this one. Every facet of the production is just horrible.

Throughout each year, I watch a lot of lame movies but few of those are such bombs that truly make me want 90 minutes of my life back. This was one of those. For some reason it's a shock that it happened so soon. Perhaps it's good that it happened so soon because most of the random stuff I choose to watch won't be nearly as terrible. [fingers crossed!]

Friday, February 9, 2007

Earth vs. The Flying Saucers (1956)

[watched before i started this website so no commentary]

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Stephen King's Sleepwalkers (1992)

[watched this year but before i started this website so no commentary]

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Venom (2005)

[watched this in 2007 before i started this website so no commentary.]

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior

2006 Made-for-TV (The Disney Channel)

[watched this in 2007 before i started this website so no commentary except to say, no, i'm not embarrassed to watch movies from The Disney Channel. They've actually made some that are very worthwhile!]

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Hollywood Flies

1994 Made-for-TV

[watched this year before i started this website so no commentary]

Thursday, February 1, 2007

TEST PAGE... there's no "first post" within this blog 'splainin' how this all started.

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read my lips, there's almost no point to this post at this juncture.
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October Trail Time: 1 hr 39 min

Weight Loss Goal: 21 pounds

Achieved So Far: 1 pound

one says one number and the other another
but they were set at the same time. Hmmm...

Calvin and Hobbes in the snow -- animated