progbear: Major-General Progbear (My handlebar)
Self-portrait from the Mel’s Diner on Geary in S.F.:

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Incidentally, the cap is not mine. It belongs to [livejournal.com profile] scottasf, who lent it to me for dinner. We were dining (along with [livejournal.com profile] albadger) after a production of the original play of Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Momma’s Hung You in the Closet and I’m Feeling So Sad. It’s a really messed-up, yet captivating, play. I’d previously only seen the film with Rosalind Russell, Robert Morse, Hugh Jeffries and Barbara Harris, and it (rather predictably) completely misses the point of the original text. Really, it strikes me as an unfilmable play, especially considering fully one-fourth of it consists of an extended monologue.

I also tried on Scott’s straw boater, but it didn’t go with the clothes I was wearing, so it stayed in the car.

Other events this week: [livejournal.com profile] 2ndbanana’s birthday party. A new dining experience: fondue! I copied Fol-de-Rol (weird Sid & Marty Krofft variety special from 1972 with a sort of Renaissance Faire theme) and the aforementioned Goin’ Coconuts for him. Lots of fun was had. It’s a shame that, with my current schedule, I tend to only see him once a year these days.

[livejournal.com profile] albadger and I got together additionally to watch a couple of films. One is my new favourite thing ever, and will be discussed in an adjoining post. The other was Dünyayı kurtaran adam, popularly-known as Turkish Star Wars (on account of stealing tons of footage, and some of its music, from the original Star Wars). In it, a couple of astronauts crash-land on a desert planet run by a tyrant who resembles Rasputin with an empty box of Quaker Oats on his head. They battle his army of carpet monsters using cardboard swords, trampolines and clumsy amateur martial arts. That’s pretty much it. Additional music on loan from Raiders of the Lost Ark, Flash Gordon and The Black Hole.

The bad news: the Toshiba laptop I bought back in September completely bricked. The good news: it’s still under the manufacturer’s warranty, so it’s currently at the Toshiba service center. Hopefully I won’t need to wait too long; someone else told me that his has been “waiting for parts” for three weeks. In the meantime, I have the old Lappytron 2000 (MSI), which I’ve renamed the Craptop, on account of the unwieldy bulk, the broken shift key, the piddly-sized hard drive, the noisy fan, the fact that it gives off lots of heat, the power-cord connection is wonky and sensitive and the battery is circling the drain and won’t retain a charge. It was also filthy from months of neglect. Like I said, I can’t wait for the Toshiba to be back in my possession. I only hope there was no data loss.

I guess things are looking up, though. I found two four-leaf clovers while out hiking today. That has to count for something, right?
progbear: Major-General Progbear (My handlebar)
Self-portrait from the streets of Berkeley:

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The questionable highlight of the past week seems to have been finding a copy of Goin’ Coconuts, Donny & Marie Osmond’s abortive attempt at big screen stardom circa 1978. I wouldn’t have bought it until I realized, after a quick scan of current prices on Amazon Marketplace, I was getting it at an insane bargain price for $2. I haven’t watched it all the way through yet ([livejournal.com profile] 2ndbanana gets first dibs on actually watching it, it seems) but other reviewers calling it “cheesy” and “like a TV movie” seem to be on the mark. It has a pretty impressive support cast, though (Kenneth Mars, Ted Cassidy, Khigh Dhiegh and Harold Sakata among them) and at least seemed to beget those cheesily entertaining Hawaiian Punch ads that kept the siblings employed into the 1980s.

Other than that, just preparing for the seasonal journey down to Big Basin park housing. [livejournal.com profile] albadger just offered me his old microwave, which will be a great boon for cooking this season. Still need a new toaster oven (I had been using [livejournal.com profile] bigjohnsf’s spare, but his just blew a fuse so he needed it back). Considering throwing a “seasonal housewarming party” but it’s tough to get folks to drive that far. I need to make more friends in the Santa Cruz area.
progbear: Major-General Progbear (My handlebar)
Self-portrait from one of my usual haunts, Berkeley Espresso:

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You heard it here first, folks. I start back at Big Basin again on March 1st. I had hoped to work closer to home this season, but I have to say yes to my first offer in case no one else calls. I am still considering other offers, though. Watch this space.

No “bad movie nights” this week, though one morning I put on The Invisible Kid, a trite 80s Komedy about kids who use invisibility powers for peeping, simply because I couldn’t bear to inflict it on other human beings. Positive thing about the film: Karen Black displays actual effort in what is otherwise a thankless, throwaway role (as the protagonist’s mother). Worst thing about the film: the totally implausible bit after the Big Game that all of these films have, in which the entire audience rushes the basketball court and spends something like fifteen straight minutes doing the pogo and shrieking “Go! Bears! Go!” Instead of doing what audiences would normally do; go home and get on with their lives.

Chakra Khan

Jul. 7th, 2014 06:51 pm
progbear: Major-General Progbear (My handlebar)
Self-portrait from the streets of Berserkeley:

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Cool discovery this week: my co-worker C____ likes Krautrock! It happened quite accidentally as we were going together in the 1-Ton to clean out one of the campgrounds after lunch. She had her MP3 player and the FM transmitter hooked up, and was flipping through albums looking for something appropriate to play, when I spotted the cover to Can’s Future Days. She was so excited that I even knew what it was! “Most people don’t even know Can!” she said. Later on, I caught her singing along to Amon Düül II. A pity she’s on vacation and I won’t see her again for two weeks. Oh well, I have other cool co-workers, but they’re not “Hydra is laughing, she’s got nine heads” cool.

Oh, and I finally have something I’ve wanted for quite some time: a laserdisc player! It’s a Pioneer, and I forget the model number exactly (CLP...something) but I tested it last night and it does indeed work! (I semi-tested it in my park housing, without the TV, and smelled rubber which was unnerving.) The test disc was Scissors, a campy 1991 psychological thriller starring Sharon Stone. I’ve seen this one before ([livejournal.com profile] albadger and I watched it on Netflix Streaming when it was available there) and have wanted a copy ever since I read about it in Bad Movies We Love. But it’s never been released on DVD, and the VHS copy usually goes for big bucks when it turns up, so I’m quite fortunate to own the laserdisc, and have it in pretty good shape (even on my crappy Zenith CRT television, it looks great).

I finally broke down last week, succumbed to the hype and bought The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. Now a week later, I’m 150 pages in (quite a lot for me) and own the sequel. I guess I liked it. And you can bet I’ll get the third in the trilogy when it comes out. Why couldn’t Game of Thrones have affected me this way? Eh, I’ll take another stab at it when I’m done reading these two.
progbear: Major-General Progbear (My handlebar)
Self-portrait from boring old Wildcat. I wasn’t trying for a “look-alike” series photo, but I’m getting sort of an Avery Schreiber vibe from this photo. Who wants Doritos™?

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The big event since my last post was this morning: a trip up to Petaluma to fill out the paperwork I need to start working out on the island. Now I know how to get state park maps for free: sign up to work for the parks department! Looks like Ranger Steve has a couple of days off, so it seems his assistant Mary Jo will be guiding me through the process. I also made a trip to the shoe store to buy new shoes, black work boots that will go with my new uniform. Also, I needed new shoes badly anyway, considering the lugs were falling off of my old hiking boots.

I finished writing and taping the new Movie Explorer review last week, but I made barely any progress with the editing, mainly because of stupid errors on my part. On Saturday, I made it to the café and was all ready to begin editing...only to realize I had neglected to transfer the video files from my camera to my laptop. And then, on Sunday, I arrived at my destination only to realize I forgot to pack my laptop altogether! D’oh! On the plus side, I found a treasure trove at Amoeba over the weekend; someone had dumped a whole ton of trashy potboiler movies on VHS, most of them out-of-print. Extra Movie Explorer fodder for months to come!

Speaking of Movie Explorer fodder, [livejournal.com profile] albadger and I had our first Bad Movie Night in quite some time; enjoying a Mexican dinner in Dublin before decamping at his place to watch an episode of Electra Woman and Dyna Girl (I have now seen the entire series!) followed by our main feature; 1970’s Toomorrow. In it, a British bubblegum pop band featuring a “tonalizer” (home-made synthesizer) among their instrumentation attracts the attention of space aliens who hear something the audience clearly doesn’t in their vapid marshmallow pop. Maybe it’s the presence of Olivia Newton-John in her first big break. It’s also 1970, so expect clunky attempts at social consciousness via student protests and whatnot. It’s fluffy and inconsequential but harmless and mildly entertaining; this was Don Kirshner’s attempt to follow up The Monkees, UK big screen style. All the songs sound like the sort of thing you’d expect to see performed by animated teens who solved mysteries on the side with their talking pet.
progbear: Major-General Progbear (My handlebar)
This week’s self-portrait from Emeryville again, this time from Black Diamond Café:

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If the photo looks a little different from the ones that came before, it’s because it’s not from my camera but from my new phone. That’s right, I’m with a new provider, and have my first smartphone! This one, to be precise. And I’ve barely used it as a “phone” (i.e.: to make phone calls) in the four days I’ve had it. I’ve ordered a protective case for it, which should be winging its way to my doorstep within the next couple of weeks.

Oh, and I had my first “Damn You Autocorrect!” moment while texting with [livejournal.com profile] albadger. I was trying to type “The Bitch” (referring to this film) and it came out as “The Birch.” I joked that Autocorrect wouldn’t let me swear.

Oh, and I’m on Growlr now, which has a lot in common with other bear networking sites...namely: chasers can’t read! (Or choose not to.) But you knew that already.

The other big event of the past week was getting to meet the wonderfully sweet and handsome [livejournal.com profile] beartalon, who was visiting our fair city on vacation from his native Canada. We dined with [livejournal.com profile] putzmeisterbear, [livejournal.com profile] fogbear and [livejournal.com profile] dhpbear. It’s just a pity we got to spend so little time together.

Shooting the new Aural Report episode is in the can, I just need to finish editing. Found some very rare and cool video footage with regards to the subject matter this time, so it should prove a very interesting episode.
progbear: King Gorice XII of Witchland (Gorice XII)
Going with the embedded image link, that seemed to work well last time:

a.k.a. B.J. Lang Presents

Abandon hope all ye who enter here. It’s psychedelic hash, probably based on an avant-garde theater piece, starring Mickey Rooney. Saints preserve us!
progbear: Major-General Progbear (My handlebar)
If I can’t embed Blip videos, LJ, can I at least fake it with a clickable image link?

Che! (1969)


The Movie Explorer reviews Che!, 20th Century Fox’s 1969 epic based on the popular T-shirt.
progbear: Major-General Progbear (My handlebar)
Jeez, so sorry for the delay in the weekly post!

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I guess the big achievement this past week was reconnecting with [livejournal.com profile] sideburnedbear after a lengthy absence. We wound up watching Godmonster of Indian Flats at his place and going out for Indian food. As for GOIF...on my God, what a bizarre film. synopsis behind the cut )

New Movie Explorer review still in the process of being written. I hope to get it taped this week and up by sometime next week.
progbear: Major-General Progbear (My handlebar)


Direct link in case the above embed doesn’t work (highly likely, considering LJ’s usual encoding).

A Very Special Movie Explorer Christmas Episode, featuring a (sort of) Christmas-themed film from north of the border. Featuring an extry-special guest star!

I’m thinking we ought to have a Movie Explorer drinking game. Any time you see Explorer’s hearing aid, take a drink. Any time you see a particularly dodgy bit of Photoshop, take a drink.
progbear: Major-General Progbear (Default)
Direct link because blah blah Blip embeds incompatible with LJ markup blah.

Bert I. Gordon’s contribution to the Sunday kiddie matinée (well, this and The Magic Sword as seen on Mystery Science Theater 3000). Come for Bert’s inept rear-projection effects and the awful acting of his daughter Susan, stay for the cringeworthy dialogue and Blackbeard’s incomprehensible accent.
progbear: Major-General Progbear (Default)
Direct link, because LJ still hates blip.tv

The Movie Explorer goes dipping from the Pia Zadora well a second time with this Harold Robbins adaptation (“the Showgirls of the 80s”) that redefines the word “trashy.”
progbear: Major-General Progbear (Default)
Direct link because stupid Blip changed their embed formatting and stupid LJ can’t display it correctly.

60s anti-comedy about the Fountain of Youth drags Jayne Mansfield and Phyllis Diller down with it. Groan. I hope my review makes this at least slightly bearable.
progbear: Major-General Progbear (Default)
The latest Movie Explorer review now available for viewing. It’s for the 1974 movie The Second Coming of Suzanne:



It’s based on the song by Leonard Cohen. But not really. And it stars Richard Dreyfuss. But not really.
progbear: Major-General Progbear (Default)


Gay Shame Month concludes with the first ever gay biker film. I...can’t help but be a bit disappointed.

Check out the cameo by our own [livejournal.com profile] broduke2000
progbear: Major-General Progbear (Default)
Self-portrait from Point Pinole, at roughly the same location as this photo.

By the silver waterside


[livejournal.com profile] albadger, [livejournal.com profile] bigjohnsf and I watched the infamous 1980 film Windows this week. From the era when a murder suspect is a murder suspect because she’s a lesbian; fortunately this sort of film would become unacceptable a few years after. A definite three-act structure: Act 1=distasteful, Act 2=boring, Act 3=ridiculous. Elizabeth Ashley did the Bette Davis Beyond the Forest thing and gave this horrible thriller the silly performance it deserves. Eliciting protests in its day, nowadays it’s pretty much justly forgotten.

Saturday was the church service for my dad, at Our Lady of Mercy in Point Richmond. Got the chance to catch up with family.

Apart from some extraneous noise (which disappointed/annoyed the hell out of me), the new Movie Explorer episode is coming along fairly well. I expect it’ll be up within the week.
progbear: Major-General Progbear (Default)
The new Movie Explorer review is up. Gay Shame Month 2 of 3:



It’s for the 1969 Komedy movie The Gay Deceivers. Enjoy!
progbear: Major-General Progbear (Default)


[Courtesy link, in case the embed doesn’t work.]

What do you get when you mix hippies, LSD and Lana Turner?

You get a Lana Turner movie with hippies and LSD in it. Duh!
progbear: Major-General Progbear (Default)
The Movie Explorer reviews the infamous 1934 movie Maniac. From the dawn of exploitation comes this insane movie about insanity, courtesy of the man who taught Ed Wood everything he knew, Dwain Esper.



Direct link

Youtube link pending.
progbear: Major-General Progbear (Default)


The Movie Explorer reviews the campy 1974 psychodrama The Driver’s Seat. Elizabeth Taylor, in arguably her most humiliating role, plays a crazy woman who travels to Rome looking for her perfect man...only it's not love or sex she’s after. Also features Ian Bannen, Mona Washbourne and, of all people, Andy Warhol. Based, with fists of ham, on the novella by Muriel Spark.

Youtube link.

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