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Brad's Blog

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Feb. 1

    Popular sports in town currently  include: shoveling, plowing, digging out cars, getting stuck, and being very cautious at intersections, since you can't see what's coming.
    Since it only snowed a couple inches today, I and a lot of others took to the roof to try to remove some of the 4 feet of snow, before things go snap, crackle and pop.
    I also started up the pottery again, with glazing pots and throwing pots.  It was a sort of retreat from the snow madness.  There was also a lot of paperwork to fall back on, from being gone a couple weeks.
    I'll be needing  a glaze ingredient soon, which I order from Seattle, but I figured I might as well wait until the freeway reopens from the avalanches, which looks to be sometime next week (as no freight is currently moving East West in Washington).  As I drove home yesterday, I frequently saw gates that could be lowered to close the freeway from the winter plains blizzards. They were all open.   The only pass in question was on the Idaho border, and it had been restricted to "emergency travel only" until shortly before I reached there.  Trucks were required to put on chains, but not passenger cars.  I had little trouble, since there was only an inch of slush on the freeway, but right near the top of the pass a truck (I think, without chains) had lost momentum and was blocking a lane.  One way to gauge how bad winter roads are is to count the cars in the ditch.  On my way to Minnesota, I saw about 8.    One day, while there, we saw nearly that many in a five mile stretch on the way to the Twin Cities, and decided to abort the visit to my mother for that day.  On the way home, I saw only that one truck in trouble, till I got within 20 miles of home, where I saw one car in the ditch.

Feb. 2
    Local young people with strong backs are reaping a windfall from the storms, as roofs are being shoveled for around $100 each.  Even if you fell off the roof, you'd likely land in a large pile of snow.  The city has rented at least one large front loader to try to expand the streets to wider than one lane...  We got another couple inches today, and it's snowing again tonight.  I'm firing a couple kilns this weekend, and the waste heat usually clears a good section of roof in the area of the kiln.
    In the "old injuries" department, the index finger I cut several weeks ago still is an issue for playing guitar.  I've started painting it with liquid bandage stuff, which helps it all stay happy, but there's a bump on the end that prohibits my strumming down the strings with my finger, which I apparently do fairly often, judging from how it impacts my playing.  But I will start playing daily, to rebuild my calloses if nothing else.

From today's paper: "The Spokane Fire Department has asked people to stagger where they park on the street to make sure there's room for emergency vehicles to pass."
    I'm not sure what good staggering will do, but there are plenty of volunteers from the local bars...

Today was a blue sky break, after 4 more inches of snow fell overnight, and before the next big storm is expected on Tuesday.  I posted a picture of our pottery shop at the end of the January blog, but here are a couple more:
Big snow
Snow roof high after the roof sheds its load.

front loader
The city rented this large front loader to make the streets wide enough for two lanes.  A lot of mailboxes, cable tv connections, and signs are getting removed as collateral damage. The berms are 10-12 feet high.

Feb. 3
   
    Some early signs of Spring:  A chickadee making its mating call (as in this video).  Our chickens have begun laying eggs again 1 or 2 per day).  The temperature is predicted to go above freezing by the end of the week...

    The kiln which had overfired last month took too long to fire last weekend, so I suspected a burned out heating element.  Because it was in the top, it was easy to replace without tearing the whole kiln apart, which I plan to do in Spring.  I made a note on my kiln firing log so I hopefully won't forget and replace it with the others this Spring.  The bonus from this will be that the new element creates more heat, making a guaranteed hot place for firing the crystalline pots.
      
    Otherwise I mostly made cereal bowls today, including 8 with different slip decorations for the upcoming pottery workshop.

Feb. 4
    As I walked to the store through the 5 inches of fresh snow (with wind) this evening, I was still debating whether to drive 30 miles to participate in the caucus tonight.  The local paper headlines included "It's caucus time!" and "Snow records fall."   In the end I decided not to risk ending in a ditch or dying in order to stand in a gym for 2-3 hours and be a part of the political process.   Since I long ago decided this isn't a political blog, I'm not saying who I would have stood for...
   
    I did hear from a blog reader today who cut their finger on a food processor blade recently.  This is the makings of a class action suit.  Only I'd feel continually stupid listening to the lawyers argue about how clearly the blade was labeled "sharp."  Of course the advantage of a class action suit is you don't have to be in court...  Hmmm.  Nope.
   
Feb. 5

snow
    What an amazing coincidence!  Another day, and it's snowing again as I write.  "Always winter, and never Christmas," as C.S. Lewis says in the first Narnia book.  This is not as depressing as it might be.  The day was sunny and bright.  However, there was a sense of forboding, courtesy of the National Weather Service.
    The scene pictured could be in the Alps, but it's actually just where the road cuts through the rock as it rises up from the Mill Pond.  Most of the snow is untrammeled, since it's too deep for even most snowmobiles to go on.   I think the tracks and snow balls in the photo are actually clumps of snow blown from the trees above, which then rolled down the steep slope.  It wasn't warm enough for them to increase in size as they rolled.
    I've also been taking photos of our icicles, which are over 3 feet long.  With the air temperature hovering below freezing, but with the 100 year old roof of our house leaking heat out, it's an ideal icicle environment.  But this morning I noticed one skinny icicle had an almost invisible thread of ice attaching a slightly wider piece below it. The thread was so thin that the piece below wobbled in the breeze.  A few minutes later it had detached, but it was a marvelous bit of nature.

Feb. 6

    Another day, another 5 inches of snow, with strong winds.  This week marked the start of our second cord of wood for heating the pottery house.  Our main house guzzles too much wood to keep it all warm, so we heat it selectively, including preheating the bed with an electric blanket, which is almost as good as a hot tub at the end of the day.  Anyway, it looks like the second cord should see us through till May, when the heating season mostly ends.
    The day also bumped above freezing, but not enough to cause any major melting, which is the worry once the roofs stop collapsing from the snow.   I read yesterday of a hardware store in a nearby town that collapsed, and a fire station roof in Spokane (with two atop it shoveling when it collapsed, fortunately unharmed).  We have done some shoveling, but I have faith in our construction.  That includes our hundred year old house which has 2 by 4 rafters--the span is so short I'm sure it won't collapse.  The ones collapsing have long spans, and were engineered and built to code.  Our old house was probably built by carpenters that couldn't read a blueprint, but they knew how to build...  

Feb. 8
    Our local pottery organization met today, and we decided to move our annual Christmas sale to the county fairgrounds.  We get a much larger space for less rent, and a well known location as well.  We do lose a bit on atmosphere (I don't think the hall is used for livestock at the Fair), but there's hope the sale will grow, inspite of recurring news of recession.  
    Actually the local newspaper keeps running articles saying our area isn't facing a recession, but we've always followed in the sway of California trends, just lagging a bit.  For instance, when property values in California were booming, some savvy souls sold out and moved to our area where property was much cheaper.  This inevitably led the property values in our area to rise from the demand, but at a slower rate than California.  While it's true our property values haven't dived as much as Southern California, I do think it's just a similar lag time.
    The same thing happens in fashion--lag between the metropolitan and rural areas--although it's less pronounced with the leveling of media and the Internet.  I remember visiting Chicago back around 1969 and buying some bell bottomed pants, and bringing them back to Iowa, where they hadn't hit the stores yet.  It gave me a modicum
factor of coolness  for a while.  A lot of the kids were adding in sections of denim or other materials to the legs of their Levis to get "the look."  It was silly in retrospective, like raccoon coats, baggy pants, zoot suits, and other ephemera of the youth culture.


Feb. 9
    I've added a new Steen for President video.  The campaign was reenergized by Frank Delaney saying he was getting bumper stickers made.  This video represents a new phase in the Steen candidacy--fundraising.  Steen may have promised not to raise any money, in the past, but that was in the past, and who remembers the past?  Anyway, with most of the other candidates running on a "change" platform, Steen will be forced to run on "Everything pretty much the same, only lots better" platform.
    The weather's continued above freezing, with some of the snow sliding off the roof, and some of it melting off.  The icicles are in remission.  But the video was made today, and accurately shows the snow snow snow.
   
   
Feb. 10
    I've been reconnecting with some people I knew a bit in high school and college, thanks to modern social networking software and the Internet in general.  For us boomers, graduation meant sayonara to a lot of our friends (hard to keep track of with address changes, etc.), whereas today you can take your social network with you after college, and still play Scrabble or cards with them daily online.  I just heard from a guy that sold me a Vespa motor scooter around 1974 which I loved using for transportation for 3 or 4 years.  I remember paying him $25, and he remembers my giving him a bowl also, which he's still using.  At that time motor scooters had become rare, after an initial flare of popularity in the late 50's.  I'd hate to hit a pothole with one, and the top speed was 45, making it dangerous on the highway-- being too slow for most traffic. But it worked great on the rural paved roads where I was living in Minnesota after graduating.  I painted it black, with red reflector tape in the shape of a squinty face on the front wind screen.  Being a 2 stroke, you had to add oil to the gas, making it probably a big air polluter, but it got about 60 miles per gallon.

Feb. 11
    These gray and sloggy days, one must invent the means to keep going.  So I've added a webpage for the Steen for President campaign, available as a link off the top or bottom of any of my other webpages.  No new videos on it, but a few other manufactured facts as I deemed appropriate (or inappropriate).  Otherwise it was a gray and sloggy day.  Sloggy, that's sort of sleety and foggy...

Feb. 12
    Last night I could hear sections of the roof sliding, landing with a hard whoomph.  Before the big snow storms of last month, the metal roof had already  been coated with a layer of ice nearly an inch thick, which prevented the roof from sliding as it normally does with metal roofs.  So the warm spell the last couple days loosened things up.  On our house house (as opposed to the pottery house), the previous owners had installed metal roof on a formerly composition (tarpaper with little rocks) shingled roof.  I mention this because it wasn't really designed for shedding 3 feet of snow.  I know this because when the snow went last night, it snapped off a 3 inch PVC vent pipe for one of the bathrooms.
    The real issue is on the side of the roof where the electrical service hooks on.  It's the only part that hasn't slid, and I think it's only the steel pole of the electrical service holding up a ton or more of ice and snow.  With the warmth, the whole fat sheet of ice and snow are migrating in a glacierly fashion down the roof, to arc over the eaves down to the piles of snow on the ground.  We're hoping this slow progression continues, since if it snaps the pole it will yank out the electrical service as well.
    Tune in tomorrow, same time, same place, for another exciting winter adventure from North Idaho...

Feb. 13
    Having been energized by being inundated with letters (2)  in response to the Phil Steen for President fundraising campaign, Phil has leapt to the podium (well, roof actually) with the boldly envisioned:   Phil Steen's Health Plane for America
    Meanwhile, the electrical service pole is still holding up the roof full of snow, so continue holding your breath.

Feb. 14.
    I think if nothing bad has happened to the electrical service pole by now, it's probably safe to breathe...  Local news is more obsessed with the likely Spring floods now anyway.
    I went to Spokane to practice for the bluegrass showcase next month.  We've added an excellent rhythm guitarist--just need to get in rhythm, on the same vibe for the songs.  That's what practices are for...
    The weather has daily ranged between frozen nights and thawed days.  If I were to prune our orchard trees in the morning when the crust is hard, I could probably do it without a ladder, as there's still about 3 feet of snow in the orchard...
   After having a kiln shelf twist while loading today (as a last straw, as some pots broke in the process), I'm ordering some new kiln stilts, to replace some very wobbly ones, some of which are 30 years old.  I prefer 1 1/2 inch square ones--the larger they are, the less wobbly...

Feb. 15
    It's snowing again this evening for the first time in a week.  But this is a wet snow, and the tide has clearly turned in the battle against winter.  I spent part of the day getting organized for the Clay workshop tomorrow.  Birrion won the prize for rail skiing at Silver Mountain tonight-- $200 or so.  This is the most financial gains he's gotten from his sport, which generally yields T shirts  and goggles as prizes.  Last Friday night he was doing it (with many others)  at a local Mardi Gras celebration at the county fair ground, and it followed a professional trampoline act with a light show, and the audience dwindled to zero steadily as they performed.  The things they do are quite amazing, but are hard to translate to the flat ground what they usually do on mountain slopes...

Feb. 16
    The snow last night was minor everywhere except here, where it was about 6 inches.  In Spokane today, there were just patches of snow around, while we've got the huge piles...
    Anyway, the pottery decorating workshop went well--I held their attention with demonstrations for an hour, then they tried some of the stuff for another hour or so, and finally the few remaining people and I had some pizza to cap it off.  
    I stayed in town for the Bluegrass Thang, which was also enjoyable, and helped me get a feeling for which songs to include for next month's program.  The auditorium was packed tonight, as it has tended to be this year...

Feb. 17
    I went to see the new library in Coeur D'Alene today.  Libraries are evolving, like everything else...  In some ways they do hearken to the  Carnegie libraries built in the 1800's that had lots of Greek columns.  But the name inside the doorway is now Paul Allen, Microsoft cofounder.   It is still a showplace, and a community center, and it has books.  It's just that books aren't the focus anymore.  There are lots of computer terminals in the library, even in the children's area.  When our kids were little, we weren't geeky enough to have a computer, so we'd go to the library and fill a backpack with picture and story books.  I'd read every night, originally for a few minutes, gradually growing to a half hour or more, as we started reading juvenile novels.  At first we all slept in the same loft, but later when they had separate bedrooms, I'd sit in the hall so they could all hear.  When they began reading on their own, we'd get shopping bags of books from the library for them to read, but the nightly out loud reading continued until my youngest was high school age, because it gave us a good sense of community experience.
    A book shared can do that.  So can a computer if you're communicating with it, but not so well as being there, reading, in person.  The librarians still do story time for preschoolers....  Harry Potter helped ensure that one more generation would look to books as one form of entertainment.  I haven't seen the stats, but I'm sure that overall readership is down, with the many forms of entertainment tugging at people's spare time.  Even though I'm emotionally linked to books, I'm willing to concede that the Internet is much quicker and more up to date for locating information.  Amazon.com is pushing an electronic book that you can hold in your arms and load book texts onto, which isn't a new concept, but none have succeeded to capture the market place so far.  Eventually it will be good that millions of trees don't have to die to make the latest best seller.  But while we've still got 'em, read 'em.  Books.

Feb. 18
    Today's excitement was provided by the glacier slowly moving down the east side roof of our house.  I mentioned a while ago the inch or so of ice on the bottom of the snowpile which helps it to be a congealed mass...  We've been worrying about the power line weatherhead getting taken out, but the victim turned out to be the patio roof.  It was added by previous owners, and appeared to be attached by not much at first glance, when we discovered it had sagged a couple feet on one end.  In point of fact it had been secured with pairs of deck screws at regular intervals.  I love deck screws, and use them in lots of ways, but the problem with them for structural support is they are brittle and snap, which is what these did.  Nails very seldom snap, being made of a more bendable steel.  In this case I'm not sure if nails would have even helped.  But rather than crashing to the floor, perhaps breaking the sliding glass door, so far it has just sagged in one corner, so we secured it with a lot of 2 X 4 props,  and tried to remove some of the overburden.  To date the inch of ice on the bottom of the glacier is holding up the 2 feet of snow (in an arch) instead of collapsing down on the semi-collapsed roof.  It's getting to be a long winter.

Feb. 19
Birrion air
The blue sky and warm temperatures beckoned me to go skiing for the first time this winter.  I spent the morning carving my own trails, and part of the afternoon following son Birrion as he practiced his jumps.  Here he's got his skis crossed on purpose, reaching to grab one of them, while rotating up to 3 times and landing without crashing.  To make it more difficult, he often starts and lands the jumps backwards.  I like the spray of snow created when he popped off the lip of the jump.  I took many pictures that had only blue sky in it, in order to get a few like this...  The sun was so bright I could hardly see the image in the camera, even through the view finder.
    Going skiing was lots better than brooding about broken porches...

Feb. 20
    My mother is back in her house (as of yesterday), able to get around well enough to be there alone (with lots of visits).  It's below zero in Minnesota again, cold enough that she was complaining of the squirrels getting in her "squirrel-proof" bird feeder because the mechanism is frozen...
    Meanwhile Idaho is bouncing between cold nights and warm days, with the small  open spot on the Millpond by the bridge smaller than ever from the cold nights...
The display shelves are filling up, so I have to start imagining which pots will sell the most this summer, and make extras of those.  I unloaded two glaze kilns today, and loaded one bisque, then made some plates and bowls (including bowls for the "empty bowl" charity project).  I've decide to use the bowls to try out new glaze combinations...  

Feb. 21
    It was another glorious blue sky day.  I walked towards the lake, taking a snowmobile path along the railroad grade, as many deer had also done.  Snowmobiles provide great trails for wildlife in the deep snow...  I took some photos of pine trees against the blue sky.  When looking at them later, I deleted them as I realized they could be taken any day of the year with a blue sky.  This led me to understand that what I liked was blue skies and green trees, and no snow showing...  It's a February sort of thing...

Feb. 22
    Guns have been in the news quite a bit lately. School shootings and whatnot.   In Idaho, I think they're lobbying to allow college students to carry guns but not campus security (probably an insurance issue--it's not likely they want to give the students superior firepower)...  So  I asked Phil Steen for his position on gun control, and he was deliriously happy to comply.  Phil Steen "Everyone should have a gun"
 Phil is pretty spry on the dance part, but it looks like he could lose some weight...  I think he sort of plagiarized the tune from "I'm in the mood for love," but Jimmy McHugh might have been a good friend of his and wouldn't have minded.
    
Feb. 23
    After 24 hours, Phil's latest video effort has received about 25 views.  I guess everyone's too busy watching the "national" candidates decompose...  Fortunately Phil's got nothing to hide--he admits to a certain amount of craziness, even to the point of speaking about himself in the third person occasionally (even Bob Dole used to do that).
    The temperatures remain fluctuating within 10 degrees of the freezing point, but today was overcast for variety...  I spent the afternoon sorting lumber in our flood-prone garage, and storing it up on 2 X 4's laid flat in case we're hit with a sudden thaw any time in the next 3 months.  This time of year is boring enough that I almost enjoyed the tedium involved...

Feb. 24
An article
in the Coeur D'Alene Press today on invasive fresh water mussels called quagga said:  Idaho state Rep. Eric Anderson, R-Priest Lake, estimated damage mitigating costs at $50 million a year. He noted that milfoil, an invasive plant he's worked to eradicate, can be treated with pesticides. Quagga is a comparative Goliath, he added. "Once you get quagga, you can't use pesticides," he said. Pesticides kill invertebrates. "We're invertebrates."
I say, "Speak for yourself, you spineless state representative (R-Priest Lake)."  For the record, these mussels haven't reached Idaho yet.  The reason I'm posting the quote is it looks like both the spokesperson quoted, the journalist, and the editor made the mistake of identifying us as invertebrates.  Well, really I'd hope that all of them would be aware that we have backbones, which makes us vertebrates.  But science is clearly not everyone's strong suit...  Anyway mussels do lack backbones, so I'm not sure what we do have in common with them.  Pesticides are not my favorite solution to most problems.  And some of my best friends are invertebrates...   

Feb 25
    It's a little early for reruns, but when I went down to work in the garage again today, water was starting to creep in the door.  It was slushy enough  that some of the 3 feet of snow we have left melted and started heading to our garage.  So with a grain shovel, a splitting maul, and a squeegee, I hacked an alternate pathway through the snow along the side of the garage back to the downslope--about 40 feet.  We had a little wet snow overnight last night, but this was nothing like a real thaw yet.  It looks like we're in for months of flood vigilance...

Feb. 26
This was one of those rare days, where, like when little waves on the beach suddenly converge to make a large wave, well, nothing that dramatic happened really.  I just fired two bisque kilns today, which means I'll be firing 3 or more glaze kilns in a row starting tomorrow, which significantly more than average...
I also put up a gutter to improve drainage at the cottage with the major drainage problems...  Meanwhile the snow continues slowly abating, without any sign of flooding today.
    This evening we arranged to get a free electric stove (located on Craigslist) for the same cottage, which we'll get tomorrow evening, for a bit of excitement and potential backstrain...

Feb. 27
    Getting the stove went very smoothly--the guy giving it away had a couple late teenage sons show up just when it was time to get the stove up the stairs...   He inherited it with the house when he bought it, thought it probably worked but didn't know for sure, so that's still the question.  The stove is a Litton Radar Range--has microwave built into the oven.  I'm not sure if that was a winning concept...
    In the end we gave the guy a bowl in thanks...  That probably puts it into the gray area of barter, except it wasn't negotiated...  The "Free" listing of Craigslist defies categorization for tax purposes...

Feb. 28
    There's a Cary Grant movie (His Girl Friday, a remake of The Front Page), in which a murder defendant is given a potential insanity defense of "Production for use," in that he found the gun in his hand, and since guns were made to shoot, that's what he did.  All this might tie in to the Phil Steen Gun Control video, but the reason I  mention it is because the new garage which is constantly in danger of flooding has an assortment of tools leftover from the previous owner.  One of these, I noticed  the other day, was an electric hair clippers, like the one I used to get butch haircuts from my mother as a child.  "Production for use" argued that I should use this tool, and since my beard and mustache were in need of trimming, I tried it out.

    This was the result, as close to beardless as I've been since 1975.  I've always kind of wondered what I looked like without a beard.  Since I don't own a razor, I'm not likely to go the rest of the way.
    The main roads are clear to the pavement now, but the sidestreets in town are both awash with water and with ice and snow potholes.  As a result I could bicycle down to the lake today and along the lake road.  I noticed a flicker (woodpecker) on a mound and stopped to try to photograph it (they're nervous types and it flew away).  The mound proved to be one of our Idaho ants nests (like this)
    The flicker had been chowing down on the ants, which on sunny days (such as this) tend to emerge and cover the top of the nest, making for easy pickings.  I've never seen any predators at the nests in summer, which makes me think their defenses are sufficient to put off flickers and such when other meals for them are more available.

Feb. 29
    We tried pruning the fruit trees today, since it froze up overnight.  But I'm heavy enough to break through the two feet of snow, so I stood on pieces of plywood while pruning...  Only the 12 foot tops were unaccessible.
    The kiln I was firing yesterday never reached final temperature.  Partway through I noticed the pilot light (indicating the kiln is on) was out.  That's happened before, and the least bad possibility is just that the wire to the pilot light burned out.  I think this time the wire to the upper third of the kiln burned out, which includes the pilot light.  I decided to wait till tomorrow to deal with it...  
    Instead I added  a Youtube  video today-- I have decided to follow Jesus (Spiritual song).   It's very unLutheran, since it talks about deciding to follow Jesus, whereas Lutheran theology prefers God's grace as the determining factor rather than our own actions...  I mostly like it for the tune...  A young woman emailed an interest in my version of Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring to use for her wedding.   So I worked on a nice quality version of that today also, but didn't Youtube it...

Books read this month, and films of note:
Changeling by A.E. Van Vogt.  Early Sci Fi (1942) .  Van Vogt wrote by the seat of his pants--no outline, with some brilliant turns.  This one was just puzzling.  Even the descriptors on the outside of the paperback had it wrong.  It had something to do with a president wanting the blood from a blood type matched immortal, and a group of the immortals working to better themselves.  Maybe I'll read it again sometime for enhanced understanding, as I now own the book.

Bad Business by Robert Parker.  Arch and deft are the words to describe Parker's detective books with a wise cracking super sleuth and page turning plots.  Parker even finished an unfinished novel of Raymond Chandler, and fits well in my personal American crime pantheon of  Dashiell Hammett, Ross MacDonald, Gregory McDonald, and Raymond Chandler.
   
A World out of Time by Larry Niven.  This book was another take on The Time Machine by H. G. Wells, imagining what our world might be like in a million years or so.  It was very slow on plot for the first half--a guy, his spaceship, and his computer--and a bit silly on the million years forward part.   Not grade A Sci Fi...

Fall of the White Ship Avatar by Brian Daley.  This is the conclusion of a fun SF series written in the mid 1980's recreating dime novel heroes in the distant future, with constant cliff jumping escapes and evil nemeses, and he's not above self parodying. Daley was best known for some early Star Wars novelizations and writing the NPR radio version of Star Wars.

TV series: The Darling Buds of May Granada Television, based on the books of H.E. Bates.  I'd read the namesake book some years ago,  sort of a funny version of Tobacco Road set in Britain, with an eccentric rural family holding their own against polite society.  The series is worth watching just for the lissome Catherine Zeta Jones in an early role.  Although the family offends many of the conventional mores, it still gathers compassion  as it rolls along.

Film: Breathless by Jean Luc Goddard, 1960, French.  I'm not an expert on cinema history--the cover of the DVD talked about this being an important film of  the "New Wave."  Besides the sometimes handheld camera technique, this film seemed to fit the conventional "nice girl gets involved  with a crook" genre (even focusing on movie advertisements for Bogart and other Hollywood tough guys). About Jean-Paul Belmondo
, you learn enough not to like him, but might have better been served by having more character development to gain sympathy for him... Jean Seberg, whether playing Joan of Arc or a slightly dissolute New Yorker (as here), always seemed to radiate wholesomeness (I also loved her in The Mouse that Roared from 1959--while researching for this at IMDB I was sad to learn of her tragic life and death) ...  
Overall it reminded me in tone of Kubrick's The Killing, from a few years previous, on a similar realist noir theme.

Film: American Madness (1932)--Frank Capra.  My son gave me a collection of 5 Capra films for Christmas--this one I'd never seen before, about a bank having a run as a result of a burglary.  Like a lot of Capra's films, it comes off a bit preachy, about the value of faith in the common man, and it was more drama than comedy.  I still liked it.  It seemed to echo sentiments probably needed to restore economic growth--recession is partially a self fulfilling prophecy, as people start to not spend because they fear a recession, which feeds the down cycle.

Film: It Happened One Night--Frank Capra.  Clark Cable playing a cornball newspaper writer comes off a bit hoky.  Claudette Colbert as spoiled rich waif on the run is probably a better fit.  Still this is one of the classic romantic comedies of the era...

Film: Thoroughly Modern Millie   I finally got around to seeing this for the first time...  In spite the delightful lead performances of Julie Andrews, Mary Tyler Moore, and Carol Channing,  you have to wonder, "what were they thinking?"  to combine a fluffy romantic  musical with a subplot of young women getting kidnapped into "white slavery."  But then again, there's Sweeney Todd...


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