Record Cover of the Week

Guckenheimer Sour Kraut Band: Music for Non-Thinkers

“Oompah” music played badly on purpose. Conductor Fritz Guckenheimer was in reality Richard Gump who inherited Gump’s department store in San Francisco from his father. Gump is a fascinating figure – besides being an ersatz German bandleader he was an art dealer, musician, composer, painter, author and lecturer. There’s lots of interesting info about him and the band here.


It’s a treat to be talking about a new thrift store opening instead of one closing. Find: Furnishing Hope is part of a charity that provides furniture to people transitioning out of homelessness. They also sell donated furniture from their store.

The huge space, formerly a grocery store, is filled with furniture.

Aisles and aisles of furniture at very low cost.

This is definitely the place to go when you want to furnish your house in 80s style, or buy IKEA shevles that are already assembled.

Here’s a one-of-a-kind piece.

I don’t think I captured the awesomeness of this 70s stereo (with reel-to-reel tape deck) in this picture. Note the mirrored plinth.

Thomas organ ($50, I think).

Singer sewing machine ($75)

Besides furniture, there are also housewares, books, records, videos, electronics and all the obsolete TVs you could want.

Store hours are limited – it’s only open Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 11 to 5.

This is where the real thrift bargain are this weekend (you can still go. Go! Go now!).

Books, toys, collectibles, clothing, linens, housewares, crafts, Christmas stuff, baking etc. at insane prices!

Can you spot the Anne Geddes “collectible”?

The Art of Belly Painting (“Everything you need to make your pregnancy a masterpiece”) $2.00.

Why are amateur painters so fond of mountains?

Breakfast: homemade lasagna and blueberry pie.

In homage to the great Yard Sale Bloodbath, here’s my trunk shot (though it’s pretty pointless, since everything’s in bags). Here’s what i bought:

A vintage Osterizer blender with steel base (!!) and glass pitcher. $2!!! A Pyrex loaf pan for 50¢!!! A Pyrex pie plate, also 50¢!!! And everything in immaculate condition. Insane!!! Why would anyone buy this stuff retail? (though someone has to so it can supply the thrift food chain).

Fall Film Feast

I’ve mostly recovered from last week’s film festival binge – 23 features and 24 short films in eight days – or about as much filmgoing as I do the rest of the year combined.

My favourite thing about this year’s EIFF was probably the 20 minute walk from my house to the Garneau Theatre through pleasant tree-lined neighborhoods.

The fall weather couldn’t have been nicer.

High Level Bridge trolley.

I’m so happy the Garneau was a venue again. For many years the festival has been exclusively downtown in a soul-crushing mall with limited food & beverage options. The Garneau block and surrounding area offers so many more interesting choices including two Japanese restaurants, several diners, pho, cupcakes, poutine, and no end of places to grab a good cup of coffee.

The Garneau is the last of the single screen movie theatres in town. This is the view from my favourite seat – the first row of the “balcony” (I don’t know if you can really call it a balcony since it doesn’t actually project over the main floor – but close enough in these multiplex times).

I spent the entire first Saturday of the festival here watching five features – even managed to stay awake through the midnight show.

Everything I saw was worthwhile (more or less) but I’m going to single out a couple of short films for kudos:

Manhattan Flyer Deluxe was a charming, stylistically assured little boy-meets-girl story set against a background of bicycle thefts at Emily Carr University. I think director Bernie Yao is still a student there. I look forward to seeing a feature from him one day.

Kudzu Vine is a stunningly beautiful documentary shot in widescreen on b&w 35mm film that was hand-processed by director Josh Gibson in his basement. There’s a 5 minute excerpt on Vimeo

See these films if you get a chance.