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Showing posts from February, 2009

Day 22. Weights Only (5.9927)

Saturday, February 28, 2009 Day 22 of 22...You know you're supposed to do A and you end up doing B... Today was a weights day. The third this week. On Tuesday I worked my arms. Thursday was chest. Today was supposed to be back exercises and I knew it but when I got into the gym, I did arm exercises. I was half-way through when I realized I goofed. Oh well, I'll back exercises on Monday.Bicep Curls: 7kg x 25 reps x 3 sets Tricep Presses: 14kg x 25 reps x 3 sets. Stomach Crunches: 25 reps x 6 setsLeg Lunges: 10 reps x 6 sets - Left/RightSquats: 10 reps x 6 sets.Long-term average is now 5.9927.Posted 2009/02/28 at 17h44ET in Exercise.

Hairspray (2007)

Saturday, February 28, 2009 Hairspray. Feature film. (2007, 117 mins) IMDB...When your hair is that big, you probably do need hairspray.... Hairspray is a musical set in the early 1960s in Baltimore, USA when racial segregation existed (thankfully it was finally destroyed). It's a time when music was evolving and TV was growing and popular. A time of B&W TV and only a handful of stations to choose from. Since it's a musical, there are lots and lots of song and dance numbers. That's a given and this film is loaded with them, but unlike the hay-day of musicals with Astaire, Kelly, Minnelli, there are no grand dance numbers. The emphasis is on the songs. There's a campy, in the period style, not big theatrical numbers. The film starts when our hero wakes up at seven in the morning to go to school and she sings and dances through the entire process. Since it's a musical, the chance there is a love story in it is good, and there is, but it's not the centra…

Movies Watched in February 2009

Movies Watched in February 20091. 2009/02/01 The Visitor. Drama. (2007, 104 mins.) ***½
2. 2009/02/02 Vacancy. Fantasy. (2007, 85 mins.) **½
3. 2009/02/02 The Racket. Biographical. (1951, 88 mins.) ***
4. 2009/02/03 We Own The Night. Drama. (2007, 117 mins.) ***½
5. 2009/02/03 Gaslight. Drama. (1944, 114 mins.) ***
6. 2009/02/04 Hello, Dolly!. Musical. (1969, 146 mins.) **
7. 2009/02/05 Hello, Dolly!. Musical. (1969, 146 mins.) **
8. 2009/02/05 World Trade Center. Drama. (2006, 129 mins.) **
9. 2009/02/06 War of the Worlds. Drama. (2005, 116 mins.) **
10. 2009/02/07 The Smallest Show on Earth. Comedy. (1957, 80 mins.) ***
11. 2009/02/07 Message in a Bottle. Drama. (1999, 131 mins.) **
12. 2009/02/08 A Sound of Thunder. Action. (2005, 100 mins.) *
13. 2009/02/08 The Ox-Bow Incident. Drama. (1943, 75 mins.) ****
14. 2009/02/09 You Don't Mess with the Zohan. Comedy. (2008, 113 mins.) ***
15. 2009/02/10 Diminished Capacity. Comedy. (2008, 92 mins.) **
16. 2009/02/10 Becoming Jane. Dra…

Red Eye (2005)

Saturday, February 28, 2009 Red Eye. Feature film. (2005, 85 mins) IMDB...Women as the hero in thrillers seems much more common these days.... Another thriller. This one unique and interesting, for the most part, but a small film and short. Lisa is a hotel manager for a swank establishment in Miami. Rich and important people stay there and she knows them and they love her. Whatever crisis may arise, she knows how to deal with it. Her father lives in a swank house in town and loves her. So, we have our hero. An important US government official is coming to stay at the hotel. A group of bad guys, we never get to know them except for the leader, wants to kill this person. Enter the leader to blackmail our hero and aid in the assassination. This thriller happens on a commercial airplane. Reminders of FLIGHT PLAN and AIR FORCE ONE. Our hero is flying from Dallas to return home in Miami. It's a red-eye flight, hence the title. This fact means her father needs a reason to be …

Lars and his Real Girl (2007)

Friday, February 27, 2009 Lars and his Real Girl. Feature film. (2007, 106 mins) IMDB...So glad I watched this film.... I just finished watching this movie. I'm trying to collect my thoughts and they are all over the place. Too many. If you haven't watched the film, stop reading this entry and watch it right now. Don't wait. Even if it's two in the morning and you have to smash the window of a store to steal a copy of the DVD, do it. At your trial, your defence will be simple: watch this film. I don't often watch previews for films but I remember watching one for this film and it stuck. That doesn't happen often. I clearly remembered the premise of the movie but I thought the lead actor was the goof-ball Arquette and the film was a silly romp. It was neither. That tells you how misleading previews can be. Ryan Gosling plays Lars. Yes. Another Canadian, among many, who has a leading role in a Hollywood movie, although this film surely must be classif…

Day 21. Cardio Only (5.9918)

Friday, February 27, 2009 Day 21 of 21...One of those days where I definitely didn't want to go into the gym. It happens.... I dreaded the thought of going to the gym. No particular reason, but I went. It was a cardio day and if I was feeling more determined I might have done 30 minutes on the elliptical machines. Instead I did a slow walk for 30 minutes on the treadmill. I hardly worked up a sweat.One of the easiest workouts in a long time, but it was a workout.Posted 2009/02/27 at 19h14ET in Exercise.

Web site update.

Thursday, February 26, 2009 ...When coding a web site or a program, there's always room for improvement, updates and changes.... To date I've posted fifty-five entries in the category of movie commentary. Until yesterday, if you clicked on the Movie Commentary link you would go to a page listing all 55 entries one after another. The page was obviously too long and too slow to load.The solution? Clink on the same link and see a list of each movie with a link to the individual movie commentary. Now it's most reasonable to view and navigate.I suspect as other categories grow in size, the same procedure will have to be used.In the process of making these changes to the code that underlies the web site, I realized two other things I should change or update. I've added them to the list--a list that keeps growing.Posted 2009/02/26 at 17h27ET in JamesPiper.com.

Day 20. Weights Only (5.9909)

Thursday, February 26, 2009 Day 20 of 20....Weights only day... It'll be three straight weeks tomorrow. 21 days and counting. The average is not 5.9909 and still climbing.Weights only day with leg squats and lunges.Bench Press: 9kg x 25 reps x 3 setsInclined Bench Press: 9kg x 25 reps x 3 setsForgot to use a heavier weight. Next time. Stomach Crunches: 25 reps x 6 setsLeg Lunges: 10 reps x 6 sets - Left/RightSquats: 10 reps x 6 sets.Lots of stretching.Posted 2009/02/26 at 17h53ET in Exercise.

Firewall (2006)

Thursday, February 26, 2009 Firewall. Feature film. (2006, 105 mins) IMDB...It's hard to find a good thriller these days, so much has been done.... Firewall is a thriller wherein robbers use computers to rob a bank of $100 million. Physically it's the only way to rob a bank of that amount of money. Remember GOLDFINGER? Firewall is also a computer term used in computer security. It's a commonplace word yet not fully understood and never explained or used in the movie. Odd given that's the name of the film. Harrison Ford plays the VP of Security at a bank based in Seattle. They didn't do a very good job of setting the location. At the beginning I thought we were in NYC. Later it's obvious it's the west coast and more specifically British Columbia. Constant rain plays a large roll in this movie. That reminds me of an early scene in the movie. It's pizza night. Our hero calls his wife to say he'll be home a bit late. He calls around five in …

Day 19. Cardio Only (5.99)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009 Day 19 of 19...Oops.... I realized today I made a mistake in my calculations. It's true 30 straight days of exercise will bring me back to a long-term average of 6 days a week. Exactly 6.000 days a week. I'm on day 19. 11 more to go, but when I hit 30 and take off the 31st, I'll be back below 6 again and the streak has to start over. In fact it's not 11 days to go but 30 days from today. Ugh! Since I want to keep my average at 6 or more, I'll do it. I've done it before. The only potential problem. Easter holidays when the gym is closed. Can't go in. Ugh again. But I think I'm okay. Those holidays are some time in April. I think. Seems to me the dates change every year unlike Christmas which is always December 25th.Anyway, since yesterday was a weights day, today was a cardio only day. I did 30 minutes on the elliptical machine and burnt 495 calories. That was a good workout.Posted 2009/02/25 at 19h04ET in Ex…

The Assassination of Jesse James… (2007)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009 The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. Feature film. (2007, 166 mins) IMDB...Why do directors these days they have to make long movies?... Jessie James, an historical figure, is a name I recognize as a Wild West outlaw type, but know nothing beyond that. I imagine many people can relate. How is it he's so famous? I'm sure in my youth I've watched films where he was portrayed but I can't recall. I certainly never read anything about him that would bring about the fame. It has to be films. His name repeated in awe or in fear or both in the way other historical figures are immortalized. Cleopatra. Napoleon. Caesar. In looking briefly at a bio of Jessie James there is nothing to admire. He killed at least seventeen men. Robbed banks and trains. He was a thug, a criminal. He died, as it should be, young--thirty-four years old--yet the name persists. For whatever reason he's famous, but the second name in the…

Day 18. Cardio & Weights (5.989)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009 Day 18 of 18...The StepMill machine is a killer.... For a change of pace and to save time, I did 15 minutes on the StepMill at level 7 for 15 minutes. Sounds easy doesn't it? Try it! Before my injury I in the summer, I was on the machine a couple or more times a week and even then it was tough. Today brought back memories.That was the cardio portion of today's workout. Then there were weights.Bicep Curls: 7kg x 25 reps x 3 sets Tricep Presses: 14kg x 25 reps x 3 sets. Stomach Crunches: 25 reps x 6 setsLeg Lunges: None--see StepMill.Squats: 10 reps x 6 sets. Just part of the routine now.Long-term average is now 5.989. 12 more days to go. It won't be long.Posted 2009/02/24 at 19h27ET in Exercise.

Untraceable (2008)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009 Untraceable. Feature film. (2008, 101 mins) IMDB...How do you stop a serial killer when you can't trace him?... Diane Lane plays an FBI agent working as a cyber-crime specialist in the Portland field office. At the start of the film, she's settled into her cubicle with an array of computer technology in front of her and she tracks down everyday hackers. She's a whiz and makes it look easy. We get to met her team of cyber-sleuths which includes Tom Hanks' son. I was fascinated by the technology and suspect what happens in the movie world happens must faster than in real life and may not be within the capabilities of law enforcement. Call it the Hollywood licence to add sex appeal. With the initial introductions done, the inciting incident arrives in the form of a new web site streaming video of a cat being tortured and killed. When she tries to shut down the offender's site, tries to trace the offender, she can't do it. Her supe…

Day 17. Cardio Only (5.9881)

Monday, February 23, 2009 Day 17 of 17...It doesn't always go as planned... I had planned a cardio and weights day, but changed my mind. Cardio only. 30 mins on the elliptical machine which was a strong workout. Instead of weights on Mon., Wed. & Fri., I switched it to Tue., Thur. & Sat because of time and scheduling issues.My long-term average is now 5.9881. Getting oh close to 5.99 exactly and eventually 6.00.My body doesn't feel the worse for wear with 17 straight days of exercise and workouts.My weight is down to 93.8 KG. Two days at that number so I must be doing something right.Posted 2009/02/23 at 20h12ET in Exercise.

The Trial (Le Procès) (1962)

Monday, February 23, 2009 The Trial (Le Procès). Feature film. (1962, 116 mins) IMDB...A serious film... Maybe I haven't seen enough movies to truly appreciate this film--at least the narrative, not the film composition. As I watched the film I was frustrated by the set-up. It lacked specifics, but maybe that's the point. There are no specifics about what is accused of, but the lack of specifics made it seem more like a game than a serious threat. Consider THE WRONG MAN--a 1956 film directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Peter Fonda as a family man who is wrongly accused of a series of robberies. In that film we clearly emphasize with the plight of Fonda's character because it's specific and real. We see him in jail, we see his accusers, we see the biased jurors. In short, we see a man in an impossible situation. In THE TRIAL, Perkins is arrested, but never taken to a jail or police station. He's free to wander around the city. I never once related to …

Made of Honor (2008)

Monday, February 23, 2009 Made of Honor. Feature film. (2008, 111 mins) IMDB...Filmmakers keep searching for the new romantic comedy formula.... MADE OF HONOR fits the bill of a romantic comedy. The twist? Our hero is the maid of honour to the woman he loves. Yes, a man is a maid of honour. He wants to marry her but before he can propose, she returns from a trip to Scotland to announce her engagement to a Scot. At the start of the film, he's a rich womanizer with a series of rules about dating women like: never see the same woman twice in a week. Okay, except, he's not terribly likeable as a result and he doesn't deserve the love interest. That's a fatal flaw in a romantic comedy. The filmmakers try to spin it by saying he realizes the error of his ways, but I never bought it. And it's never adequately explained why after 10 years of being friends with this man, our love interest would suddenly be in love with him especially when he knows his reputation of…

Day 16. Swim (5.9872)

Sunday, February 22, 2009 Day 16 of 16...A rare two days in a row in the pool.... Since it's Sunday, it means it's a cardio day. Normally I might do 30 minutes on a cardio machine, but today I decided to swim laps in the pool.The pool was open for lane swimming from 16h to 17h. That's a better time than Saturday or Friday and I may switch to swimming on Sundays. Plus, there was the added advantage of fewer people.Anyway I swam 30 laps. All breaststroke. Easy to do, but a workout.My long-term average is up to 5.9872. I am getting there.Tomorrow is a weights and cardio day. It will be long workout.Posted 2009/02/22 at 18h58ET in Exercise.

The Hawk Is Dying (2006)

Sunday, February 22, 2009 The Hawk Is Dying. Feature film. (2006, 106 mins) IMDB...The film is dying... When I saw Paul Giamatti starred in this film, I had to watch it, which meant I wanted to like it, but couldn't. I've been trying to figure out why and don't have any concrete reasons. Was the narrative arc too weak? Maybe. Whatever it is, something was missing or wrong. I know I didn't like the handheld camera shooting--the sort where the camera shakes in all sorts of directions, even when a character isn't moving. I don't like that style and wish directors would stop using it. But that's not the reason I didn't enjoy the movie. For whatever reason I didn't get into to it. It's possible that our main character played by Giamatti isn't developed enough. We don't get to know enough about him. We learn more about training hawks than we do the character. I didn't mind the heavy-handed exposition on training and caring for haw…

Ying Xiong (2002)

Sunday, February 22, 2009 Ying Xiong. Feature film. (2002, 93 mins) IMDB...Visually stunning, but still a movie to hold a series of fight sequences.... HERO or YING XIONG is a Chinese martial arts film where instead of hands and feet and whatever gadgets or weapons marital arts experts use, the combatants use swords, fly in the air, slow time and otherwise defy the known laws of physics. It's a movie filled with a simple narrative designed to hold a series of fight sequences. It's filled with epic battle scenes and wondrous shots filled with colour and majesty. While the film uses CGI, there are scenes with hundreds of real men in ancient Chinese battle gear with swords, bow & arrow, shields, and the images are spectacular, but it's still a film about a bunch of fight sequences. No ordinary fight sequences, but still lots and lots and lots of fighting. I say a simple narrative because it is. An assassin arrives at what looks like the Forbidden City in Beijing to m…

Day 15. Swim (5.9863)

Saturday, February 21, 2009 Day 15 of 15...I'm liking swimming as an exercise.... I have been keeping the streak alive. 15 days in a row. I'm at the half-way point and I will reach 6.00I did 30 laps in the pool. Most of them the breaststroke. I can do lots and lots of laps with the breaststroke or sidestroke. Not so with the front or back crawl. Those are more like sprints.I tried half-a lap doing the butterfly stroke. That's intense--very intense--but I was getting the hang of it. Still a bit uncoordinated. I had the arm movement down and I was going forward, but I wasn't matching it up with my legs. I'll try again next week.I'm thinking of swimming twice a week because it is a good cardio workout and easier on the joints etc. We shall see.Posted 2009/02/21 at 19h33ET in Exercise.

Steel City (2006)

Saturday, February 21, 2009 Steel City. Feature film. (2006, 95 mins) IMDB...Another film set in a rust-bucket town where young uneducated, adults have few choices.... The first ten minutes of this film is so confusing I almost turned it off. Why? It was disorientating. We see a series of cuts (forward and back) with a great number of characters, none of whom we recognize except for John Heard. It was impossible to make sense of anything that was happening. I know what they were trying to do. They tried to evoke interest by setting out a calamitous event, to raise our curiosity and interest, but instead of doing that, they created confusion. Fortunately, the confusion stops as the narrative straightens out and we can begin to recognize all the various characters. The film takes place in any of numerous rust-bucket towns in Ohio or thereabouts. A working class town with few employment options. People aren't educated enough to get very far. There's a father and two sons…

Rushmore (1998)

Saturday, February 21, 2009 Rushmore. Feature film. (1998, 93 mins) IMDB...Not your typical high school with teenagers movie.... I saw this movie ages ago when it first came out and I didn't remember anything about it. Nothing. Not one scene. Not one line of dialogue--although I read that the line "Yeah, I was in the shit." was ranked in a Top 100 list of movie lines. The shit in this instance was Bill Murray's character confirming he was in Vietnam, in battle, in the shit. The title of the film comes from the name of a high school. Rushmore Academy. It's a private school with wood-panelled rooms, carved stone walls, uniforms, all male. It seemed right to me because that's the sort of school I went to. St. Jerome's Private High School. All boys, wore uniforms, almost all the teachers were male. However, my high school was rundown and would close in 1990. The public high school they show, the type often seen in movies and TV seemed alien to me …

Day 14. Weights Day (5.9853)

Friday, February 20, 2009 Day 14 of 14...Putting back weight exercises for the back.... A weights only day. I probably should do some cardio. Maybe in the future I'll do 15 mins on the StepMill machine. That deceptive looking machine is quite a workout.In the past I did vertical and lateral back exercises. Instead of free-weights, I use the machine. I figured I should get them back into my routine and started today. I kept to a light weight--you never want to start hard on a new exercise. It's a good way to get injured and take steps back instead of forward. I can increase the weight later when I've gotten used to it.And the second time I did squats. I'm getting used to it. Don't feel it in my butt at the moment.Lateral Back 20 kg x 25 reps x 3 setsVertical Back 20 kg x 25 reps x 3 setsStomach Crunches: 25 reps x 6 setsLeg Lunges: 10 reps x 6 sets - Left/Right. Squats: 10 reps x 6 sets.Long-term average is now 5.9853. 16 more days to go. I've done t…

War, Inc. (2008)

Friday, February 20, 2009 War, Inc. Feature film. (2008, 107 mins) IMDB...Where do you draw the line when writing a satire?... War, Inc. is a satire of Dick Cheney, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the private companies earning billions in the process. Dan Ackroyd plays the Dick Cheney-type character--former US vice-president, runs a private company making billions on the war. He hires Cusack to kill Omar Sharif (Yes, they used that name), a political leader in a fictional country that has a green zone like Baghdad but people like Afghanis. The leader dresses like the president of Afghanistan. Cusack plays an efficient, but troubled assassin. He used to work with the CIA, but is in the private sector now. Unlike a lone wolf assassin, Cusack goes to the country under a cover. He will run a trade conference that promotes American businesses. There's humour in that setup because the conference makes no sense given the bombings and shootings happening all around. That'…

Day 13. Cardio Only (5.9844)

Thursday, February 19, 2009 Day 13 of 13 ...Cardio only day. Let the muscles from weight training rest.... Thirteen days in a row now. 17 days to go. The long-term average is 5.9844.I wasn't in the best mood for going and forced myself to go otherwise I might have easily skipped going. When you start that you end up missing more and more days. You have to be disciplined in you want to lose weight and stay in shape.Today was a cardio only day. 30 minutes on the elliptical machine. RPM 75. Burnt 485 calories. A good workout. Lots of sweat.Tomorrow will be a weights and on Saturday swiming.Posted 2009/02/19 at 17h17ET in Exercise.

Wah-wah (2005)

Thursday, February 19, 2009 Wah-Wah. Feature film. (2005, 97 mins) IMDB...What the wah-wah?... Another British film loaded with character actors. You've seen them all before even if you can't put a name to them or even remember what movie you saw them in. It's just the way it is. It's 1969 in Swaziland--way down in the southern end of Africa. It's still controlled by Britain, but by the end of the movie Princess Margaret will have arrived to preside over its independence. Unlike say A DRY WHITE SEASON, this film doesn't focus on blacks. It's about the English living in this foreign country. How they bring their pretensions and funny language (e.g., toodaloo). Wah-wah is a general mimicry in a derogatory of this pretentious language and the class ranks in which it exists. There is a father (Byrne) who is a respected British gentleman and a drunk. A drunk who can't remember his violent and outrageous behaviour from the night before. In the morn…

Proceeds on Life Insurance

Thursday, February 19, 2009 ...What is your proceeds of disposition on a life insurance policy?... The following circumstances result in proceeds of disposition for a policyholder and therefore a potential capital gain: (a) full or partial surrender of the policy, (b) a policy loan, (c) policy dividends, and (d) certain transfers of ownership of the policy.The full surrender of a life insurance policy results in a capital gain equal to the policy's cash surrender value (CSV) less its adjusted cost base (ACB). Where there is a partial surrender, there is a pro-rated capital gain if the total CSV exceeds the ACB.Loan amounts received from the insurer under the terms of the policy are included as proceeds. Loans and debts with third-parties are not included, nor is the assignment of the policy as collateral for a loan or debt.Policy dividends are included as proceeds; however, where the dividend is used to pay premiums, the amount is not included.With certain exceptions, the transfe…

Day 12. Weights Day (5.9835)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009 Day 12 of 12...Trying new exercise gives new feelings to muscles.... No cardio today. Weights only, but the leg lunges and squats are a bit of cardio. It gets the blood pumping.Someone suggested I should do leg squats. Similar to leg lunges, but with a different motion. I don't use any weights. Not at the moment. So I did six sets with 10 reps. I can feel it and I'm sure I'll feel it even more tomorrow morning. I imagine my legs and butt will feel a bit sore and stiff and well I've been there before with leg lunges. Same deal. Once I get to the third workout with them, it won't be an issue.Bicep Curls: 7kg x 25 reps x 3 sets (One 7kg dumbbell for each hand) Tricep Presses: 14kg x 25 reps x 3 sets. Stomach Crunches: 25 reps x 6 setsLeg Lunges: 10 reps x 6 sets - Left/Right. Squats: 10 reps x 6 sets. Yep, I can feel it.Long-term average is now 5.9835. 18 more days to go. I've done 12 in a row so far.Posted 2009/02/18 at 1…

It's a Free World (2007)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009 It's A Free World. Feature film. (2007, 97 mins) IMDB...Add another anti-hero to the list of anti-heroes, but unlike Newman or Nicholson or Brandon, we don't like her one bit.... Angela is no angel. At the start of the movie she works for a temp agency that goes to Eastern Europe to find people who want to work in England. The recruits pay money, get terrible transportation and roach-infested rooming, crappy jobs and eventually go back home the worse for the ordeal. Meanwhile the recruiters have pocketed substantial income. It's a modern day slave trade. Angela worked at this agency until shortly into this film she is fired. The inciting incident. Since she's good at this job, she realizes she can start her own agency and with the help of roommate she does just that. Over night The Angie and Rose Agency is created. She talks with immigrant workers about working. She talks with businesses about hiring them and before you know it, th…

ACB Of Life Insurance

Wednesday, February 18, 2009 ...What is the ACB of a life insurance policy?... Most people consider permanent life insurance a tax-free investment vehicle with a death benefit. In many cases that is true; however, there are instances where a taxpayer receives, or is deemed to have received, proceeds of disposition (POD). The result is a capital gain if the proceeds exceeds the adjusted cost base (ACB) and any selling expenses.The ACB of a life insurance policy is defined in subsection 148(9) of the Income Tax Act.While there are a number of factors that go into determining the ACB of a life insurance policy, the two main factors are: premiums paid and something known as the Net Cost of Pure Insurance (NCPI).The premiums paid under the policy increase the ACB and over the life of the policy this amount grows. Where the policyholder receives a dividend from the policy and apply it as a premium, that premium is not added to the ACB.The NCPI is the amount at risk for the insurer times a…

Day 11. Cardio Only (5.9825)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009 Day 11 of 11...A cardio only day.... Isn't take long for the days to add up. Eleven days in a row now. Nineteen more to go. The long-term average is 5.9825.Today was a cardio only day. 30 minutes on the elliptical machine. RPM 75. Burnt 490 calories. A good workout. Lots of sweat.Posted 2009/02/17 at 17h58ET in Exercise.

Trouble in Paradise (1932)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009 Trouble in Paradise. Feature film. (1932, 83 mins) IMDB...There certainly is trouble in paradise... A must see film. If the same film was made today, shot for shot, you would enjoy it and not know it was from 1932. It stands up even if the film stock could use a restoration. It's the dialogue. The romance. The acting. The compositions. The film is a tour de force. And did I mention it was made in 1932? It's hard to image how it could have been improved. There is a three-act structure to the story which is crisp and lean. The film shows how images can set a scene quickly and completely. It is an example of what film can do. The story is straightforward. A suave and charming crook is in Venice. He robs a fellow of his wallet and cash right in the man's hotel room. He pretends to be a baron and is in love with a woman who pretends to be a countess, but like him, she's a crook. In a hotel scene where they are to have a romantic dinn…

Exempt Policy Status

Tuesday, February 17, 2009 ...Thinking of buying permanent insurance?... There are, broadly speaking, two forms of life insurance: term and permanent. With permanent insurance, sometimes called whole life insurance and other variations, the premiums paid to the insurer create an investment fund for the policyholder. The fund earns investment income and is generally not subject to federal or provincial income tax provided the policy qualifies as an "exempt policy" under the Income Tax Act.The rules on what is or isn't an exempt policy are complex and best left to the insurer; however, before signing a policy be sure the agreement specifies the insurer will monitor your policy's status and they will ensure it maintains its exempt status.Why do this? If your policy loses its exempt status it will be subject to income tax and would therefore create a significant tax problem.Posted 2009/02/17 at 12h06ET in Estate Planning.

Day 10. Weights (5.9816)

Monday, February 16, 2009 Day 10 of 10....Another weights day... Today was Family Day in Ontario. A holiday. Many people didn't have to go to school or work and hundreds of them came to the gym today.I like going in the middle of the afternoon because that's when the place is the least busy. It's busy in the morning as people do their workout before going off to work. Many mothers and non-working women come in the morning. There's usually lots of mothers and their toddlers. Then there's the lunch crowd. And the big load is just after work starting around 16h30. Nope. The best time is between 14h and 16h. Except today. I went at 13h. As I drove up I saw the parking lot was jammed full of cars--not a good sign. Then when I stepped into the lobby, I thought I was entering an airport terminal on the busy day of the year. Then when I got to the exercise room, the long row of elliptical machines were in use--except one. It was a different model than the one…