Monday, July 18, 2016

Move along, move along

This blog is currently quiet because nothing is going on here worth sharing.  No writing, no reading, very little movie watching, not even any walking, but that latter's only because Silver has hit six months and went in to get neutered last week, poor baby.  So, I'm not allowed to take him out and about until the stitches come out next week.  Having a young hyper dog is interesting when you can't wear them out with a couple walks a day.  However, we've had a spat of off-leash dogs -- pit bulls no less -- running around the neighborhood, so maybe the break will get those guys off the street so I can take my dog for a peaceful walk without stressing out about what we'll run into.  We've already been attacked once, really don't need that in our lives.

The Cone of Shame (and pink tongue)

Saturday, June 25, 2016

A bird in the tree

We have lots of wild green parrots in Southern California.  I've seen big flocks of them flying over in Whittier.  We don't have many out my way, but last year, we had a single green parrot in our neighborhood.  He was beautiful... and he was lonely.  He cried.  Let me tell you, it was heartbreaking.  He would cry and cry and cry, and we felt so badly for him.  (That's an audio cry, not a tears-from-eyes cry. LOL)  He consoled himself by hanging out with a flock of pigeons.  Where they went, he went, but he cried and cried.  And my family made sad faces at each other every time we heard him.  He was very loud, very distinctive, and very forlorn.

Well, earlier this year, he got a girlfriend!  Or just a pal.  I don't know enough about wild green parrots to know male from female yet.  But he stopped crying, and the two are inseparable.  It's still just the two of them, but they can be seen all over our neighborhood.

Including in my apple tree!

Silver and I spooked them the other day when we were coming back from our morning walk.  And this morning, they came after we were back in the house, and I got to watch them.  I took some monumentally lousy pictures with my cell phone through the window, but it was the best I could do without going outside and spooking them.  My sister was leaving for work at the same time, so I quickly called her and she was able to see them from her car, so she took an equally lousy picture from the other direction.  Still, they're way cool.

They perch on their right leg, pick an apple with their left talon, then hold it up so they can eat it.  It explains all the half-eaten apples I have out there!

Click to make the pictures bigger.

My pic from inside the house... let's play can you find the green parrots on the green tree??
This is the pic my sister took, with only one of the parrots in it.
Amazingly enough, the trees are nearly devoid of apples now, though it make look like there's still a lot.  They're at the end of their run.  I'm happy to let the parrots get some fresh fruit.  I know they love fruit.

And an extra Silver pic, just because.

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Silver in June

Not a puppy anymore!  (With his three favorite toys: Hedgehog, Blue Rabbit, and Red Dragon)
He still thinks he's a lapdog, though.
And just because Huskies are big dorks sometimes...

Monday, May 30, 2016

WWII movie scores

Here are selections from five of my favorite WWII scores. Not my top five, just five of my many favorites. If I did just my top favorite five, I'm afraid the list would be dominated by Goldsmith, but there's plenty of other scores I love and listen to frequently.

1. The Blue Max - Jerry Goldsmith

2. Patton - Jerry Goldsmith

3. In Harm's Way - Jerry Goldsmith

4. The Bridge at Remagen - Elmer Bernstein

5. The Dirty Dozen - Frank De Vol

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Memorial Day weekend

It's nearly June, and Silver continues to grow. He's up to 30 lbs now.  He's had all his vaccinations and we're now out walking the neighborhood daily, sometimes in the evening as well as the morning.  Depends how much energy he has and what the outside temperature is.  It's still nice out right now, but that's going to change as we head into summer.

I received a copy of a newspaper article from Feb 2nd 1945.  It's about my great grandmother receiving the news that two of her sons had died in WWII within 10 days of each other (one in Belgium, one over the Atlantic).  My dad has always told me the story of my great-uncles, but the article had dates and specifics and reactions.  I'm glad this was saved by family to be passed down.

A gentleman in line behind me at Walmart last week had served in the Korean war.  I thanked him for his service and he seemed greatly pleased to be recognized.  He said how cold it had been while he was there. I had to get home to Silver, but I wish I'd been forward enough to ask him if I could take him for coffee and he could tell me any stories he wished to pass on.  I regret not asking him that.

To all our veterans and servicemen and women, past and present, thank you.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Silver in April

Ack, look how fast he's growing.  19 pounds this morning. 19!!!  He almost doesn't look like a puppy anymore, but has graduated to "young dog."

I've been taking him to "puppy play time," which Petco offers free several times a week to let puppies socialize with other puppies in a safe environment, with a trainer to help correct behavior and keep an eye on everything.  He loves it, and it's always interesting how if there's another Husky pup there, the two will gravitate right to each other.  My sister came with me to the last session, and she said Silver was both the handsomest puppy there, and the most regal.  He stands very proudly, in that classic show-dog stance.  I thought those dogs had to be taught that, but maybe some stand that way naturally?

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

What Did You Do in the War, Daddy? (1966)

I was in the mood for some wackiness this past weekend, and that's exactly what this movie is:  wacky.  It's a light-hearted, quite zany WWII movie, with a cast I love:  James Coburn, Aldo Ray, Sergio Fantoni, and Dick Shawn.

The plot concerns an uptight by-the-book Captain Cash (Dick Shawn), ordered to take the remains of an exhausted company and capture the village of Valerno.  (This is set in 1943, in Sicily.)  The Italian soldiers there, under the command of Captain Oppo (Sergio Fantoni) are more than willing to surrender -- as long as they're allowed to have a festival that night first.  Naturally, Cash strenuously objects to this, but the offer of a peaceful surrender wins him over.  A gigantic village-wide wild party ensues that night.  The Italians get ready to surrender in the morning as promised, but things start going awry.  Things really go wrong with the Germans show up unexpectedly and capture the entire town.  Then the Italians and Americans have to work together before they're all executed at dawn.  This being a comedy, there's no doubt of the outcome, but it's how they beat the Germans that's so funny.

This movie isn't perfect.  The humor style isn't going to work for everyone.  And the festival drags and drags (though it's not without its moments).  On re-watches, I admit, I tend to skip right over that part. The section right after it, with everyone hung over and trying to deal with the aftermath and Major Pott and creating a fake battle is probably my favorite section, but I also love the whole end once the Germans occupy the town.  I mean you get Dick Shawn in drag, as just about the ugliest woman imaginable.  Makes me laugh and laugh.

James Coburn and Aldo Ray are, of course, my favorite parts of this movies.  They play Lt. Christian and Sgt. Rizzo, respectively.  They are hilarious without being outright silly, like some of the rest of the movie.  Aldo Ray gets to speak a bunch of Italian, which is awesome.  He spends a good portion of the movie in an Italian uniform that is too small for him (it'll stretch!), and that alone cracks me up.  I'm also extremely fond of Sergio Fantoni, who I know mostly as Captain Oriani from Von Ryan's Express.  He was one of my favorite characters in that movie, and I love him here too.  He's the perfect relaxed foil for uptight Captain Cash.

I spend a lot of this movie imagining some of this company hooking up in a couple years with Lt. Hanley and Sgt. Saunders in France.  Particularly as William Bryant is in this movie, as well as Kurt Kruger, and Horst Ebersberg, and Jay Novello.  It's hard not to think Combat! while watching this, as there's so many common denominators.

It also has an absolutely fabulous catchy main theme by Henry Mancini that I never tire of hearing:

Favorite parts:

The main title music
Lt. Christian translating Oppo's gesture.
The entire village brawl
The fake battle, particularly where Oppo shoots Christian and he refuses to fall down.
Capt. Cash in drag
Aldo Ray kidnapping Major Pott
When Major Pott flips his wig and starts spouting the most odd things

Friday, April 08, 2016

Sprinkler fun


Looks like Silver is far more interested in water than my previous Husky, who really never wanted to see water, ever.  This video was a couple days ago when it soared up over 90 degrees here.  The following day, it dropped to the 60's and was raining.  He was out playing in the rain, running back and forth repeatedly beneath the drips coming off the garage roof.  Think I'll pick him up a little wading pool for summer.

So far, he's been gaining about two pounds a week.  Yikes!  Growing fast.

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Silver update

Silver is fascinated by the television.  I watched Randolph Scott Westerns all weekend, and Silver watched them with me. (Extra points for guessing which movie we're watching in this pic!)

My Rosie cat loves Silver and will rub on him and clean his head.  He's slowly learning to be gentle, as who can not be nice to a mama cat giving you love?  He's now licking her back, though he still wants to play, of course.  Puppy.  Also, when I brought him home, he was smaller than the cats.  He's now bigger.

Friday, March 25, 2016

100 Favorite Movies

Okay, so here's the list of my 100 favorite movies as of March 2016.  This list is grouped in five sections, with the top section being the can't-live-without-them movies, and the favorites-but-I-don't-need-to-watch-constantly at the bottom.  The movies are alphabetically listed within each section, cuz trying to rank them any other way was impossible.

1. 13th Warrior, The (1999)
2. 20,000 Leagues under the Sea (1954)
3. Aliens (1986)
4. Avatar (2009
5. Avengers, The (2012)
6. Battle of the Five Armies, The (2014)
7. Big Jake (1971)
8. Dirty Dozen, The (1967)
9. Empire Strikes Back, The (1980)
10. Fellowship of the Ring, The (2001)
11. Flight of the Phoenix, The (1965)
12. Force Awakens, The (2015)
13. Full Monty, The (1997)
14. Galaxy Quest (1999)
15. How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014)
16. Hunt for Red October, The (1990)
17. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)
18. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
19. Lone Ranger, The (2013)
20. Lonely are the Brave (1962)
21. Mask of Zorro, The (1998)
22. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
23. Untouchables, The (1987)
24. Wild Bunch, The (1969)
25. Wind and The Lion, The (1975)

26. 3:10 to Yuma (1957)
27. Adventures of Tin-Tin, The (2011)
28. Ben-Hur (1959)
29. Big Hero 6 (2014)
30. Casino Royale (2006)
31. Cat Ballou (1965)
32. Cowboys and Aliens (2011)
33. Crossed Swords (1977)
34. Dead Again (1991)
35. Desolation of Smaug, The (2013)
36. Diamonds are Forever (1971)
37. Die Hard (1988)
38. Epic (2013)
39. Fifth Element, The (1997)
40. For Greater Glory (2012)
41. Great Escape, The (1963)
42. It's a Mad Mad  Mad Mad World (1963)
43. Man from UNCLE, The (2015)
44. Postman (1997)
45. Rango (2011)
46. Shadow, The (1994)
47. Skyfall (2012)
48. Sons of Katie Elder, The (1965)
49. South Pacific (1958)
50. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)

51. Dances with Wolves (1990)
52. Frisco Kid, The (1979)
53. Hercules (2014)
54. Horse Soldiers, The (1959)
55. Hour of the Gun (1967)
56. Island at the Top of the World (1974)
57. Kiss Me Deadly (1955)
58. LA Confidential (1997)
59. Open Range (2003)
60. Our Man Flint (1966)
61. Paint Your Wagon (1969)
62. Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)
63. Thunderball (1965)
64. Time After Time (1979)
65. Wyatt Earp (1994)

66. Alamo, The (1960)
67. Alvarez Kelly (1966)
68. Black Rain (1989)
69. Brassed Off (1996)
70. Dragonslayer (1981)
71. How to Train Your Dragon (2010)
72. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)
73. Jungle Book (1994)
74. Jurassic Park (1993)
75. Ladyhawke (1985)
76. Lockout (2012)
77. Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)
78. Return of the Jedi (1983)
79. Revenge of the Sith (2005)
80. Ride Lonesome (1959)
81. Road to Bali, The (1952)
82. Road to Rio, The (1947)
83. Rocketeer, The (1991)
84. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954)
85. Seven Percent Solution, The (1976)
86. Silverado (1985)
87. Star Wars (1977)
88. Vikings, The (1958)
89. Von Ryan's Express (1965)
90. Where Eagles Dare (1968)

91. Evita (1996)
92. Expendables 3 (2014)
93. Journey to the Center of the Earth (1959)
94. San Francisco (1936)
95. Singin' in the Rain (1952)
96. Sunshine (2007)
97. Terminator (1984)
98. Time Machine (1960)
99. Titanic (1997)
100. Without a Clue (1988)

Thursday, March 24, 2016

100 Favorite Movies - breakdown

So, after Hamlette posted her list (s) and breakdown of her 100 favorite movies, I thought I'd copycat.  Between work and puppy there's not time for much else right now.

I had created a 100 favorite movie list in 2014.  So, I sat down last week and, without looking at the old list, wrote down a new one.  Then I compared the two.  70 movies were the same on both lists, so obviously, those went on the new 2016 list.  Then I had basically 60 other movie choices from both lists to review and see which ones would make the final list for this year.  It wasn't easy, because every one of these films is in the I Love This Movie category.  I love the 30 I left off the list as much as the 30 that made it on the list.  The only difference is mood.  If I wasn't in the mood to watch the movie Right This Second, I left it off.  Probably not the best way to do it, but I needed some extra criteria to fall back on, and that was easiest.  I've read through my list multiple times, and at the moment, it stands.

I'm going to post the breakdowns first, then post the list of movies tomorrow.

Actors with the most movies on my list:

10 - Harrison Ford
6 - Kevin Costner
4 - Andy Garcia
4 - Daniel Craig
4 - James Coburn
4 - John Wayne
4 - Orlando Bloom
3 - Antonio Banderas
3 - Johnny Depp
3 - Kirk Douglas
3 - Lee Marvin
3 - Sam Neill
3 - Sean Connery
3 - William Holden

No surprise that Harrison Ford tops the list.  Between the Star Wars and Indiana Jones movies alone, he'd make top spot, but he's also made other movies I love.  Also no shock that Kevin Costner is so high up either, because I love Costner, and he has a particularly good set of movies he's made.  I was a wee bit surprised to see James Coburn up there.  But that surprise only lasted about 30 seconds, because he's also one of my favorite actors, though he tends to get taken for granted like all the actors who have been part of my movie-going experience since day one, and he's been in some great movies.  He actually had 5 movies here for awhile, but I sadly had to drop one off.

23 Action
8 Comedy
15 Drama
10 Fantasy
5 Musical
15 SciFi
4 War
20 Western

This breakdown seems right on par with what I like.  Deciding on a genre is a bit arbitrary, particularly as fantasy, SciFi, War, and Western are really all action films. (I did not put animated movies in an "animated" category, by the way, but ranked them in a genre as if they were a live action movie.)

Movies by Decade
2 from the 1930s
1 from the 1940s
12 from the 1950s
18 from the 1960s
9 from the 1970s
15 from the 1980s
18 from the 1990s
7 from the 2000s
18 from the 2010s

This is probably the most surprising breakdown, because there are sooooooo many movies from the '40s that I love... but they're just not on my current radar, so I had to drop them off the list for now.  Yes, my favorites are fickle  It's all dependent on my mood!  I'm also a bit surprised how many films I have from just the last 5 years.  Wow.  And I know the 2000s were the doldrums, but so interesting to see how that reflects in favorite movies.

And since Hamlette had the movie MPAA ratings, here's how that rolls out:

23 NR (not rated)
6 G
28 PG
28 PG-13
15 R