Rant of the Week

100 Reasons Why Life is Still Worth Living as of January 13, 2007, 2:30 p.m., in no particular order.

1 Tom Waits
2 Carey Mulligan in "An Education".
3 the possibility of someone smart being elected president in 2008
4 Studio 60
5 Bon Ivor's "Flume"
6 Nikon Digital SLR cameras
7 fried eggs, bacon, and potatoes on Saturday morning
8 movie:  Pan's Labyrinth
9 ratchet sets
10 battery powered drills
11 the stick shift
12 the satisfying resolute click of a key being pressed on a 15-year-old Northgate computer keyboard, or an IBM model "M".
13 the original Minolta 70-210mm f2.8 lens
14 curried chicken and rice
15 the Wendy's spicy chicken sandwich
16 Linux
17 Amy Adams
18 Peter Sellers, especially in "Dr. Strangelove"
19 Ingmar Bergman
20 Hockley Valley in the fall
21 blizzards with clingy snow
22 driving through Hastings, Ontario
23 Algonquin Park
24 Bob Dylan
25 Apple pie a la mode
25 Tiger ice cream
26 the jetcycle
27 community theatre
28 Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall
29 PBS's Frontlilne
30 High Definition and Surround Sound
31 peaches
32 strawberries
33 Keira Knightly not getting breast implants.
34 Director Werner Herzog, his better films, and his wonderful narration of his documentaries.
35 Jon Krakauer, writer.
36 Ozu's films, especially "Late Spring".
37 Greta Gerwig
38 Charlie Chaplin
39 Buster Keaton
40 Pierre Trudeau
41 ice bergs
42 the jetcycle, only available in Newfoundland
43 Stanley Kubrick
44 shelties
45 the drive from Banff, Alberta, to Jasper
46 E.B. White
47 Larry Marshall as Simon Zealotes in "Jesus Christ Superstar"
48 Amadeus
49 Jean Seberg, especially in "Breathless"
50 MySQL databases: efficient, stable, and free
51 Arcade Fire
52 Lea Seydoux
53 Wes Anderson
54 balsamic vinegar salad dressing
55 Lightwave 3D
56 the Minolta 50 mm f1.7 lens, on a Sony Nex 7 camera
57 The Sony VX-2000, in it's day, a terrific video camera
58 the Sony minidisc, in it's day, a terrific audio recorder and I'll be damned if I can believe how long it would run on that tiny little battery.
59 blueberries
60 the massive, belching, bleeping, monstrous "Big-Boy" UP 4023, 4-8-8-4 ALCO Steam Locomotive, or this one, a similar model.
61 The T-34 tank, which helped turn the tide against the Germans in World War II.
62 PBS News Hour
63 PBS Nova: Science is really very interesting
64 Alice Munro's short stories, especially "Who do you Think you are?"
65 oral sex
66 the bikini;  Don't like it?  Don't wear one.
67 The City of San Francisco
68 The Musee Mecanique in San Francisco
69 Actor Robert Duvall
70 Rutger Hauer as the dying android in "Blade Runner", and his beautiful final speech
71 Anchorage by Michelle Shocked
72 "Silence is Golden", weirdly beautiful, by the Tremeloes
73 Bob Dylan doing "Just Like a Woman" in an Italian accent at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto in February 1974, with the Band.
74 The Band, especially "Stage Fright". and "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down", and "Cripple Creek": if there's one thing in the whole wide world/I sure do like to see/It's when that love of mine dips her donut in my tea".
75 The guy who gave Bob Kelly a job after the scandalous reckless prosecution of the Little Rascals Day Care case in North Carolina.
76 Judy Collins doing "Someday Soon".
77 Keith Richard still being alive
78 Ofra Bikel, documentary film-maker
79 The movie "Junebug".
80 Danny Kaye, Lauren Bacall, and Humphrey Bogart standing up to the House Un-American Activities Commission.
81 Woody Allen
82 Joshua Tree National Park, California
83 Baseball pitchers who throw an 0-2 strike.   Hitters who swing at a 3-0 pitch.  Managers who never use the sacrafice bunt.
84 "Total Voetball", the great Netherlands teams of the 1970's.
86 Nadia Comanenci's Performance at the 1976 Olympics
87 Ozzie Smith
88 Real ice cream, like Farquhars on Manitoulin Island.
89 Vermont: no billboards allowed, anywhere on the state highways.
91 "Our Town" by Thorton Wilder
92 Mark Twain's "Huckleberry Finn", except for the last chapters.
93 The session musicians on "Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands" by Bob Dylan going into their big finale on the second verse unaware that there is eight minutes to go in the song (yes, they never rehearsed the whole song before recording it).
94 Jimmy Carter: the only president in recent U.S. history who was a Christian.  The others have all been poseurs.
95 John Sephen Akhwari, who finished the 1968 marathon at the Mexico Olympics inspite of cramping and injuries, a full one hour after the winner, and received a nice ovation from a few thousand polite fans who remained.
96 1967:  Abby Hoffman announcing plans to exorcise demons from and then levitate the Pentagon as a protest against the war, and the generals who announced that they would stop him.  Honorable mention: throwing dollar bills on the floor of the Stock Exchange on August 24, 1967, bringing billions of dollars of trades to a halt.
97 fresh cut home-made french fries
98 The Coastal Highway from San Francisco to Los Angeles.
99 PBS's Frontline: the best public affairs broadcast on TV.
100 Mark Shields and David Brooks, debating politics with the utmost respect and dignity.
101 Wings of Desire, the film, especially the moment when Peter Falk says, "I can't see you but I know you're there".
All contents copyright 2006 Bill Van Dyk