ne of the things I'm enjoying about pulling loads for the 48-states general account is that there is much more variety in the places I go and, probably even more interesting, the types of places that I go. Before, I loaded at the same 4 or 5 plants and then took them to the same sorts of places: moving and storage warehouses, lumber yards, and a mixture of home improvement superstores and mom n' pop retailers. This was what I did for the first three years as a truck driver, which was comforting as a rookie driver to have a routine which varied little, but eventually it became monotonous. Just one of the plethora of reasons why trying something new was appealing to me.
I've been thinking that with all of these neat places I'm getting to see, it'd be fun to start documenting them photographically. These won't be large collections, just a few pictures when and where I'm allowed to be (or can get away with) taking them. Logistically speaking, I've created a miscellaneous album in my photo gallery which will have additional sub-albums of these various facilities rather than their own top-level albums. For the purposes of LiveJournal, I intend to share a photo or two in the text of my daily/weekly entries just for the voyeuristic pleasure of seeing something you might not see every day, with a minimum of fanfare and words. The picture will also serve as a link to the sub-album in question if you care to click-through and see the rest of the photos.
Today for instance, Joe and I made a delivery to a Freightliner Chassis manufacturing plant in Gaffney, South Carolina. The lot was filled with the skeletons of what would eventually become trucks. There were guys driving some of them around, which was really surreal.
Secret Agent (1936)
Featuring a cast which boasts John Geilgud, Robert Young and Peter Lorre, Hitchcock weaves a love story into a tale of international intrigue. Not as visually masterful as some of his other films but oodles more engaging than a similar Hitchcock film made just two years prior (The Man Who Knew Too Much, also featuring Lorre). Young and Geilgud's performances are on the spot, but it's Lorre who steals the show as he usually does. Presented only as The General, a spy of questionable loyalties and an even more dubious ethnicity, Lorre speaks hilariously broken English while traipsing about with a curly perm, moustache, and hoop earring. Secret Agent is not a great enough of a film that you'll remember a lot about it for very long after watching it, but you'll never forget Lorre's performance in it: outstanding.
Kid Dynamite (1943)
Set in Brooklyn during the war era, it is the story of Mugs, a street ruffian and leader of his gang of neighborhood friends. He spends his days trying to one-up his rivals and friends in pool halls, boxing rings, and while jitterbugging on the dance floor while commiting petty crimes to make a living. When his friend costs him the loss of a pool game, a boxing match, and a dance contest and then proposes to his sister, things get out of hand until his sister's fiance joins the ultimate gang, The United States Army. Now untouchable and garnering the sort of respect Mugs has always sought to obtain, he is forced to evaluate his moral choices in life. It's not a horrible film and is often very funny. The over-the-top Brooklyn accents are typical (think Bugs Bunny: girl=goil, turn=toin, etc) of the era as are the social values depicted. The preachy nature of the film about what it means to "be an American" and having a sense of "duty" is a little overbearing at times, but all in all it's an entertaining film from start to finish.
Africa Screams (1949)
Posing as seasoned expeditioners, Abbott and Costello con their way into a safari, which has a nefarious ulterior motive involving diamonds. The film is full of typical plot devices involving humans disguised as animals resulting in a comedic mistaken identity, alligator infested rivers, and of course, cannibals. This is probably the first Abbot and Costello movie I've ever seen in its entirety and I seldom stopped laughing. I look forward to seeing many more.
The Truman Show (1998)
By now everyone knows the premise of this film whether they've seen it or not. Jim Carrey is Truman, a man whose entire life has been televised without his knowledge or consent for the viewing pleasure of millions. His entire life (home, work, marriage, etc) is fabricated and he's the only one who doesn't know it. Slowly he begins to unravel the secret and put the pieces together to discover the truth. It is well written, well acted, cleverly shot, and has great production design making it very entertaining and fun to watch. Yet, I couldn't help feeling that the film tried to tackle too many transcendent themes rather than try to stick with one and go for it good and hard. There were themes about the nature of entertainment, the power of television, man's purpose, the nature of love, God complexes, and on and on and on. In doing so, the film loses an opportunity to impart a moral/caution, or at the very least, to leave the viewer with a powerful question in their minds about how they feel about any of these themes. They weakened the potency of any one of these by watering it down with mini-themes about all of them.
The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie (2004)
Stupid. Funny. Stupid Funny. If you like SpongeBob, you'll love this movie. If you're not a fan of SpongeBob, you won't be converted.
Death Tunnel (2005)
This is probably one of the worst movies I have ever seen, and I've seen a lot of bad movies. I mean, we're talking top ten, maybe top five bad movies. It's SO BAD that I recommend seeing it just to see what a REALLY BAD MOVIE looks like. The star of this film is its set, shot entirely on location at the Waverly Hills Sanatorium in Louisville, Kentucky (a place I'm hoping to visit this year incidentally). To be fair, the directors of this film didn't set-out to make a feature-length horror film, they were there initially to shoot a documentary called Spooked: The Ghosts of Waverly Hills Sanatorium which, to their credit, has been well received. Unfortunately Netflix doesn't carry the film so I guess I'll be reduced to buying it sometime in the near future. Aaaaaanyway, where did this movie go wrong? It has all the markings of what could be quite a fun genre film. First of all, great location. Secondly, it has a tried and true premise: buxom college coeds dared to spend the night in a haunted place for some boneheaded initiation prank... in their lingerie. Genius! Even the photography and editing is above par, in that hip, fast-motion style that is all the rage in modern horror. Considering it was made on a budget of only 2 million dollars, it's an impressive feat. Five girls, Five floors, Five hours. That's the dare. Oh yeah, and the girls are named Devon, Elizabeth, Ashley, Tori and Heather. DEATH! Get it? So what's wrong? The narrative is what's wrong. There is no character development, the story is confusing and dumb, and the ending makes absolutely no sense. In case you're wondering, the film's title refers to a feature of the hospital. Alternately, referred to as the scariest and most haunted place on earth, the Waverly Hills Sanatorium was the site of over 63,000 deaths from tuberculosis in the early 20th century. The tunnel is a 500 foot subterranean passageway which was used to remove the bodies from the premises clandestinely so it wouldn't be a constant source of depression for the hospital's patients. That said, yeah I recommend seeing it, just to see how awful a movie can be.