Friday, February 27, 2009

Freakishly Blank

Public Enemies Photo blog

WOW - I had Home Brew Club last night and oddly my brain is freakishly blank. Wha dup!

My newest brew, which I consider one of my best, didn't have the response I was hoping for but I think peoples taste buds were getting tired after seven other styles. It was the first hoppy (only one actually) brew tasted and stood out I THOUGHT!!! Who cares - I love it. It's not a competition.

BTW - I have thought of a way for you to get an assorted case of beer from me (or six packs . . whatever). You know I can not sell it, I can only give it away. But we all know it costs money to give beer away, home brew is for personal consumption. So what you can do is buy the ingredients!! If interested - let me know. This paragraph will disappear in a matter of hours as the Fed close in on me.

Funny thing about my hoppy brews - every time someone tastes one they say "ooooo it tastes like Hopalicious " Well - yea - it has hops in it, totally different kind and flavore but it is hoppy for sure.

Speaking of Hopalicious - did you know Ale Aslyum calls it there PALE ALE??? They have a new IPA coming out - My god if Hopalicious is only a Pale Ale their IPA will be solid hops. OH - and their Grand Cru is just a wonderful beer. I have put a Grand Crew in my pipeline - I must try to make one. I never had a Grand Crew before. A Grand Crew is a Belgian Strong Dark Ale here is a description from Beer advocate.

Belgian Darks offer a massive range of characters. Colors play within the amber to light brown to deep garnet hues, with thick, rocky heads of great retention. Aromas can be anywhere from traces of yeast, spiced, malty, floral and even slightly intoxicating (that's for sure). Flavors from dry and spiced, to sweet and malty. Most have a low level of bitterness.

Geez - that is like saying we are going to get betwen 1 and 9 inches of snow. It can be dry or sweet. Nailed it!!

So the Trailer for PE will be attached to Watchman. DJ and I were planning on going to see it next Thursday but now I find out "Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience" will be out at the same time. What to do, what to so. I hear the opening scene you have our three heros ambushed by a group of squealing girls who surround their car and they are chased through the streets of some city.

AWESOME!!! It don't get no better den dat.

I wish Public Enemies was in 3D, or even 4D smellivision. Did we skip right over 2D? Wait - it was just explained to me 2D is height AND width, so 1D would not be a very good thing to watch. What would be better, height or width. Probebly does not matter. OK - it's the home brew taking hold now - sorry.

OK - putting it to bed.

On this day in history in 1827 a group of masked and costumed students dance through the streets of New Orleans making it the first Mardi Gras which translated is Fatty Tuesday. With that in mind I have decided to call my Scottish Heavy - Gros bâtard. (sorry balderdash, I can not name a beer Dirty Jock).

And of course "DO YOU BELIEVE IN MIRICLES?" happened today in 1960. Weird - I had always thought I was with a bunch of people watching that but I would have been way way young. Seriously . . . I've never realized this before now. WAIT - - - - - - - AHH HAAA the one I'm thinking about was in 1980! WHEW - MAN I was worried there for a second. I was in some very serious confusion.

I better stop right now!! I have important work to do on a 300 million dollar computer system.

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Public Enemies Trailer NEWS

Public Enemies trailer will be released with Watchman next Thursday!!!


I'm all for Digital Photography. My Nikon is digital and I love it but there is a serious drawback. How many of you digital photo people print all of your photos.

Historians in the future will find a serious lack of what the world looked like in the 2000's. So many normal photos will be lost. The ones showing common things, buildings, streets, the fashion's that Joe Public is wearing. And when photos are printed they are on your own color printers and most will only hold their color for a few years.

This comes to mind with the following postcard.

On this day in 1904 a fire started in the State Capitol of Wisconsin. It was a magnificent structure for it's time. As meaningful and spectacular as the one that replaced it. Yet there are very very few photos of the inside, the chambers, the governors office and so forth.

On the bright side of digital photograph is the internet. If you upload a photo to the internet it is there forever. Of course that is one of the bad sides also. Facebook has warned you. A photo uploaded is ALWAYS available, you can never ever erase it. Oh, you can make it invisible to certain people but it never truly goes away. Which for historians is a good thing I guess.

Back to the Cap. (I took this last summer - just sort of brightens up this blog today - sort of a gray day out there).

The Capitol had a state-of-the- art fire fighting system except, I guess, for this one day. A generator was turned off and the only lights visible were two gas jets when a night watchman entered the building and noticed that a recently varnished ceiling was on fire. Being trained in the detection of threats he quickly surmised that ceilings were not suppose to have flames. A second watchman (not THE Watchman from the movie as disaster could have been averted with a couple of super hero's) arrived to help but it seemed the state-of-the- art fire fighting system had no pressure.

Governor Robert Follette telegraphed (I laugh at the thought of someone telegraphing frantically) fire departments in Janesville and Milwaukee for assistance. When finished he ran into the building to get important papers. The fire was extinguished by 10:00 tomorrow 1904. Damage was $1,000,000 which in today's money is $22,800,569.

Speaking of lost photos. Can you guess what this is??

OK - it's WWII solders. But they are Germain solders and they are prisoners AND they are at the POW camp in Columbus WI.

Willard talked about German prisoners at the Kurth once and a little thing in my tiny brain said "remember this and look into it" and then I forgot. Damn beer! D'OH

Can anybody tell me where this POW camp was ?????

And a few more oddities you might or might not know.

Poynette. Ever wonder how Poynette got it's name. I haven't until now and if I would have thought about it I figure I would have thought it was an Indian name for "land of virgin woman" or "land of black flies" or something. But no.

It seems hand writing is the cause and the name SHOULD have been Pauquette.

Then there is Rio which was suppose to be Ohio but the "O" and the "h" ran together and it looked like an "R" so . . . Rio.
So I'll be making some laminated bookmarks. I have the logistics down and will be sending them to a printer soon. Both sides are 2x7.5 as it would be hard to make one side larger then the other.

Back (with one minor fix)

The first of the group. It's actually tough to find good photos for a 2x7.5 layout.
I'm finding that writing for the Columbus Pioneer is sort of . . . shall I say . . . non-rewarding. It's not that I don't like writing for them (at an extremely discounted price), it's just that I can't tell if anybody actually READS my words.

When writing here I get comments and people calling me an idiot and that's great. But in a newspaper there is zero feedback. I can't even get people to call me a bozo. sigh! What am I to do. I'll have to drink a home brew tonight and think about this more.

Be careful out there today

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I'm feeling Stimulated.


WOW - talk about polar opposites when it comes to fixing America. I don't think the Democrats and Republicans can be farther apart when it comes to stimulus. But since the Republicans did SO well the last eight years why not give the Democrats a crack at it.

So when it comes to the extra boost in our checks in April of $13 a week ($26 a pay check) I hear people complaining that it's a waste because it's so little. Well, being a poker player and knowing about bankrolls this is a pretty smart way to get money flowing into the economy.

Sure $13 a week sounds small but you ask any restaurant owner and he will tell you that that $13 per person will really help his buisness. It's not like it's being tossed in the garbage. Millions of $13's will slowly creep into the economy every week. It might not help YOU immediately but it will help the economy which in turn will help you in the long run.

If you gave a lump sum to me I would run out and buy some Chinese Electronics. Instead I will go to a restaurant or a movie or buy a DVD or some other small trickling thing.

Like poker - anytime I can save a tiny amount, in the long run those tiny amounts really do add up, you just don't realize it . . . unless you have a graph :-)
Public Enemies.

I'm almost afraid to say this but I have relatively firm information that the Public Enemies trailer COULD be out in a few days. 80% chance my source has mentioned. Plus any rumors of a premiere in Madison are just silly talk. Don't ask me about reshoots (seriously, don't ask and don't get excited as there is nothing to get excited about . . . . . unless things change . . . and we all know Michael Mann never changes anything and is always on time.)

And I'm still trying to digest why this person mentioned September. Could have been a slip or just a brain cramp, a red herring perhaps or just toying with me as he has done for the last 10 months.
Thanks to krisx for sort of coming up with a label idea for my Scottish Heavy. I was always leaning towards Scotty from Star Trek but she came up with Fat Bastard for the label. But taking it a step farther and I will now call the brew Fat Bastard. With Fat Tire, Fat Squirrel, Fat Gary, Big Fat Tuba, Fat Cat, Fat Dog, Fat Freddy, Fat Head, Fat Altbier, it sort of fits. Plus Scottish Ales are rather fat in texture anyway, malty, and smooth.

PLUS - the idea was thought of on FAT TUESDAY!!!

That new breakthrough in flu vaccine sounds exciting. Take it once in your life and never get the flu!!! They say it should be out 3 years. ALTHOUGH - remember Will Smith in that zombi movie? Everybody took a breakthrough vaccine and 10 years later they all died? Or another idea is that aliens invented it and while it cures the flu all of your children are sterile but no one knows it until it's too late and the aliens can them come down to the sterile earth full of old people and take over. Yea - think about it.

Coming soon to a store near you (if you live in Columbus). Beautiful two sided laminated bookmarks - collect the entire set (2), trade them with your friends, put them in the spokes of your bike. And on the back there is a little story (small changes might occur with the finished product, like with the date - I'm making it 3/08 or something, March 2008? hmmmmm).

Nuff said

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Even a Wild Pack of Coyotes Could Not Wake Me.

In this edition
Carbon Monoxide
Columbus Pioneer

Wait a minute, a wild pack of coyotes DID wake me last night.

I was talking to DJ and she was talking to the pilot who had just landed his plane INSIDE the hanger with one engine and I was waiting for my cocoa when I heard this sound (coyotes sounds) and rolled over, opened my eyes and said "WTF is Milo in?"

I then listened for a little while and they moved on. Then there was a THUD in the basement. Ever have a basement THUD? Your mind takes a virtual walk around trying to figure out what it was?

There were three things that crossed my mind. It could have been a cat making a hard landing on something (go back to sleep), and intruder(to late we're all dead, go back to sleep) or exploding beer (better get up to take a look).

So I get up and Milo the cat (more like a dog really - Blake the dog is sleeping more like a cat) is all perky and follows me to the basement. I wonder around aimlessly and see nothing. I go back to bed and am now wide awake.

I get all comfy and Milo the 12 pounds of muscle cat wraps himself around my neck, literally, pushes his nose into my ear and purrs at about 80 decibels for the next 15 minutes. I can't move because I'm afraid if I do he will get up and CRY all night wanting to go out.

So after a while Milo's purring is now a soft sleepy mew, DJ is sleep breathing softly next to me, Sierra the kitten is purring but softly and Blake is snoring next to the bed. It is a Norman Rockwell audio moment.
So I get to work and once again it's a Carbon Monoxide sort of morning and all windows are open and building maintenance are scratching their heads and I hear one say "at least they are not dead yet." and I feel much better.

Speaking of the dead. While the Columbus Pioneer is getting rave reviews and selling a LOT of newspapers there seems to be resistance when it comes to advertisers. This makes zero sense to me. A paper that is on the stands for 7 days and sells a lot can not get it's fair amount of advertisers? A newspaper is the first place I looked when I was TRYING to find somebody to pour our patio. It would be the first place I would look for remodeling or ANYTHING.

Then I hear the Hospital refuses to advertise in the Pioneer. Why???

Get a subscription - talk it up. It's good for Columbus.

Brewing has been rather slow of late. Winter problems. I have a Scottish Heavy with no label. Just have not had the creative juices for the label. Good beer for sure but no vision or ambition.

HOWEVER - I do have a label for my Amarillo SMaSH a APA (American Pale Ale) - it is WONDERFUL - perhaps the best beer I have produced. Yea - the label is not REAL original but it's better then a colored dot on the bottle cap.

Now the problem is my new rule. I'm trying to get the aging process better and my buddy Elweed has commented all my beers taste better with age. So now I can only drink 4 in the first month, 6 in the second and 8 each in the the next three months. DAMN.

Which means I must make the "A" brews more often. Which also means I have to adjust the pipeline accordingly. What do I brew next???

I was going to attempt a Spotted Cow Clone but now I'm thinking American Amber batch #3 but I also have One Putt Twelve (#2) and the West Coast Blaster (#2) on schedule PLUS a Double Chocolate Stout made with Chocolate Nibs (#2) and I also want to try MY new recipe Grinders Pale Ale, and then there is a Helles Bock.

I have to bottle a Sinking Ship Porter this weekend and Grinders Nut Brown Ale is carbonating and I have not tasted it yet.

And lastly - speaking of Poker.

I have a new post in my poker blog. I wrote it while playing which is a story in itself. It's not often I'll go ALL-IN with a unsuited 52. I'm not even sure how many unsuited 52's I've ever played AND WON. ALL-IN you say? well - the flop was 755 and I did not think the Under The Gun guy had a 5, pocket 7's MAYBE but then he would have slow played me. I never thought he would have 53. Glad that 2 hit the river LOL. Why would UTG do ANYTHING with a 5.

So I asked him - why would you play a 53? and he said "the same reason you played 52." I mentioned I was in the Big Blind and saw it for free. No response.

Have a good day

Monday, February 23, 2009

Public Enemies at the Oscars - LIFT OFF!

Here is the post Oscars PE Clip and for all of you that don't want to look at a video at work - spend 1.5 seconds on the photos below. Total time is 10 seconds. I believe we have Columbus, Oshkosh, Poser House, LA Race Track.

The photos were taken off the TV with a hand held camera at 11:00 at night on the spur of the moment so the quality is rather dubious.

Another good montage was this one.

Anchor Bank Quagmire

We have all seen the empty Anchor Bank sitting next to City Hall but few people know the real story so since I’m the guy that is not afraid to tell the truthiness , he it is as I know it.

A few years ago the Anchor Bank had decided it wanted a new building and were all set to demo the old. But the random people in charge that particular 2 years in the Columbus revolving door policy of Columbus politics thought that would be a sweet building to have next to the City Hall.

The building was needed to store over 400 shovels they had been acquiring over the last few years.

After many meetings Anchor Bank said the City could buy it for a handful of beads and trinkets as long as they moved it off the current site. Just sign this 1000 page document and don’t bother reading all that fine print.

So the City, instead of taking bids from the many surrounding companies decided to move it themselves and save money – would could possible go wrong.

The move went well and as all the proud city fathers looked at their new building and they approached the beautiful brown brink building and they realize something was horribly wrong.

Every time they got close to the door their knees would hurt and they would come up short. They looked and looked and could not see a reason until an outside attorney was hired for $35,000 and after a month he came back with the findings that there were no stairs.

Well, that was an easy fix so there was an emergency meeting of the City Council and it was decided that stairs would be needed to enter the building.

But there was a problem. As they enter talks with Anchor Bank that small print that was missed stated that the original stairs were an additional $100,000. That was ridicules, Steve Black of Red Bud Home Services could make stairs for half that price.

After more deliberation they approached Black who said he would make stairs for $50,000 IF the City provided the lumber. Well, now there was a problem as where would they buy lumber?

And there would be even more of a problem which would put this entire project in limbo for years.

A group of prominent yet secretive citizens came forward saying Mr. Black could NOT make stairs because they would not be the original. To keep the historic integrity of downtown Columbus they MUST use the original stairs.

For the past six years there have been votes and half the City Council votes "original" and the other half vote "new". Recently they voted on whether to have the citizens of Columbus vote and if there is a vote they will then vote to see if they will follow the citizen vote or go against the vote.

MEANWHILE the website TruthinessInColumbusPolitics dot com has reported that Nancy Osterhaus is refusing to donate her stairs from her house to help the city.

Now with no place to store the 400 shovels the entire Fire Department has been fired and replaced with the 4th Grade Safety Patrol. One anonymous insider was heard saying "Those little tikes can really get into small places and we don't have to pay them people very much, it is a good business move and that is what Columbus needs, better business sense. "DO THE RIGHT THING!" It is also rumored that City Hall will be replaced with a call center from India. It just makes better business sense and will save tax payers money in the long run.

So there the building sits, in limbo.

Perhaps next time I'll dig up the real truth about that big gray wood building that used to be NEXT to city hall but again, was moved at great expense to the OTHER corner of the block.

OK - I'll have more later today. Taking DJ to get some stitches out this morning.



Friday, February 20, 2009

Half-TruthsInColumbusPolitics - Responds! PE Rumor Alert


So yesterday I took a day off work to kick-off my speaking tour about this blog and why in the past year 350,000 pages have been read. And I mentioned that with the filming having finished I still have 2500 unique readers a week . . . reading about Columbus. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

When I was asked to give a short speech or whatever at the Columbus Businessmen Roundtable (I actually did not see a roundtable which sort of disconcerted me and I feel it should be called The Columbus Businessmen Range as I felt I should be cooking something when behind the stove.)

So where was I.

I was asked and I agreed knowing that I would wake up from the dream and all would be well and no real talking would be involved. Thursday morning still in my dream state I walk into Red Bud Home Services and the place is packed and Steve Sobiek is telling me this is the most people they have ever had (this was more due to Lynnette Scharf's amazing bakery goods).

So Nancy Osterhaus the current and former Mayor comes up and says "Rod you look really nervous here is a tip . . . make sure you breath out" which I wasn't nervous until just that moment when she said it. It was at that point when I started to realize I actually might have to say something.

Introductions were done including a representatives from Enterprise Rent a Car More then our Logo is Green, Rent Green Today who looks like they will be moving into Columbus and a rep from Frank Porth Chevrolet-Buick Inc Good People to Turn To! who sounded like she watches a little to much NASCAR (a little advertising mixed in the introduction . . . not that that is a bad thing and I think I'll have to incorporate something like that in my introduction).

And then it comes to me. I stand up and I quickly realize I have been breathing out for the last 10 minutes without breathing in at all. My lungs have totally collapsed and I can only mouth my first three sentences, and those were all of my intro jokes to loosen up the tough looking crowd.

Once I start taking breaths all that I can remember are squeaks, whistles and pops coming out of my mouth and I feel I'm losing the crowd. Relax Relax breath IN.

So I started talking about how I started blogging and it all started in kindergarten (which is a German word meaning Children's Garden - did you know that Friedrich Fröbel opened the first kindergarten on 28 June 1840 to mark the four hundredth anniversary of Gutenberg's invention of movable type. Yea- YOU connect the dots on that one).


I worked my way up to Junior High and I mentioned that I made money by selling cinnamon laced toothpicks and all of a sudden I see prominent business people including the City Administrator Boyd Kraemer nodding their heads like they knew what I was talking about. I suddenly realized I had hit the dark underbelly side of Columbus and the TruthInColumbusPolitics, who were in the crowd, would be writing all of this down and taking notes for their next email smearing campaign.

Of course as soon as I realized TCIP was in attendance I also realized my new campaign was in trouble as they had already called my blog a bunch of "mumble jumble" and that the Public Enemies Columbus blog was in "buffoon territory" (I'm not seeing THAT connection at all and I don't know what they are talking about. Everything I do is serious).

So I went on and on and I started seeing people nodding off and looking at their watches and the questions coming my way were all How much longer are you going to talk and can you pass some of those donuts around. So I wrapped it up and people came forward thanking me for stopping and shaking my hand.

It was fun.

So - speaking about the TruthsInColumbusPolitics site. I contacted them a few days ago and asked if they were going to go after the new Mayor as I hoped they would. It would only be the fair thing to do right? After all politics does not stop once Nancy Osterhaus has left the building. My words were

"SO, do you have a real website that will watch the new people or are you only anti Nancy Osterhaus. I PRAY XXXX will not win - the guy scares a lot of people - XXXX will be ok. XXXX is a step backward into buffoon territory."

Perhaps I had let my emotions sneak in and I apologize for that. But the debate, strangely, was put on by the anti Nancy website. So inquiring minds wanted to know what the truth really was.

I seemed to have struck a nerve with the people afraid to show themselves (yet everyone knows who they are - why hide, seems childish doesn't it???). There response was


Looks to us like XXXX XXXX must have scared ### people to vote for him! He must be doing something right! One might say your blog is like a step backward into buffoon territory, or is that your home brew talking? (WHAT? MY HOME BREW CAN TALK???) You know your blog and politics don't mix at all, you should just stick to the public enemies mumble jumble. Of 971 votes Osterhaus only mustered up 108! Maybe you should think about that for awhile instead of worrying about our website.

TICP Webmaster

hmmmmmm - shiver me timbers on that one. Don't worry about hurting my feelings as my feelings actually regenerate at twice the speed of the typical Columbus resident. I'm thinking they are saying I could be voted off the Island. They are using the Rod Blagojevich defense "I've done nothing wrong - history will prove it" defense.

All I can say is that if they go after the new Mayor I will apologize. But it's odd how they have sort of packed up the site the day after their guy wins. I guess they are no longer concerned with Columbus Politics. Weird ain't it.

Perhaps I'll try to grab their domain name on July 26th if they are no longer using it.
OK - enough of that stirring the pot. You would think they would have a greater sense of humor. They manipulated and they won. Well done.

NOTE - Lips has commented that I should not put a lot of stock in what I just wrote. So - - read it and weep.

This just in 3:00

conspiracy theorists are speculating that the we may be able to see the first ‘Public Enemies‘ footage during the upcoming Oscar telecast.

To spice things up and combat declining ratings, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced an end to a long-standing ban on playing movie advertisements during their Oscar night. Producers of the awards show recently asked the studios and others to provide scenes from future films. Supposedly, the plan is for host Hugh Jackman to sign off the broadcast with never-before-seen 10-second clips of two dozen new movies that will run on a split screen with the end credits.

Some are thinking that ’Public Enemies‘ could be one of those films, but only time will tell. Looks like some of us may have more than just the red carpet fashions to look forward to on awards night.
old stuff that "lips" has discounted.

Public Enemies. The rumors are adding up and as one person in contact with me says he has raised the Rumor to Real percent up to 38%.

A few things. Remember when we discovered the thousands of photos of all the locations in Wisconsin that Universal was looking at? Many of them were labeled "publicenemies1".

Then in Oshkosh one of the "B" actors signed an autograph blah blah PE2. When asked about the "2" he laughed and off offhandedly mumbled "for the sequel." I first mentioned this April 13 2008.

Now remember "lips are Sealed" has mentioned twice about BIG news and now I have a report that BIG news = sequel. This would have to be something in the Karpis-Baker Gang area. Again - I REPEAT - just putting pieces of the puzzle together. Still missing 970 of the 1000 pieces though.

Just something to think about. I hope the new Mayor is not closed minded and will allow Universal to film here again if needed.

Well - enough for today.

Have a snowy and cold weekend - I think Melanie of the Cowgirl Column in the Pioneer will be happy (she is a snow person).


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Blog for a busy Thursday

I might have something later today - it was PRETTY exciting driving home yesterday, it's not often you can actually witness 4 spinoff's. DJ and I were going WHOA look at that one and Watch out Whoo hoo!!!

I'm a little busy today so here are a couple tidbits of random stuff to clog your brain on a Thursday.

On this day in 1920 the Janesville city Council voted to allow billiards halls and bowling alleys to be open for a limited time on Sundays. If you stay open longer you would be fined $15 which is the equivalent of $154 in today's money.

And in a bring you down moment on this day three days ago in 1943 Mildred Harnack was guillotined in Berlin. She was born in Milwaukee and a founding member of the Red Orchestra, a German resistance group which assisted German Jews and political dissidents, circulated illegal literature, met secretly with prisoners of war, and worked to document Nazi atrocities in Europe and most importantly informed the Soviets of the upcoming Operation Barbarossa.

Mildred fell in love with Arvid Harnack, a German exchange scholar majoring in economics in Madison in 1925 and married. The two shared a love of Germany and hatred for social injustice. Two years later Arvid returned to Germany and Mildred followed him to her husband's homeland.

Mildred is the only female American executed inside the German Reich for opposing Hitler.

Her last words were "Und ich hatte Deutschland so geliebt" ("And I had loved Germany so much").

nuff said

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The best Public Enemies pre-screening yet

Public Enemies Photo blog

You would not believe what it smells like here at work - EXHAUST. People are getting sort of sick and no one can see where it's coming from. I think it is part of Doyle's Master Plan. At least I'm leaving in 45 minutes for the Doctor (non-life threatening appointment).

They said they just turned off our air and I'm having problems hanging on to my chair. The guy across from me is floating near the ceiling. HAL HAL OPEN THE POD BAY DOORS! I'm sorry Rod, I'm afraid I can't do that. Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer do.

I'm not even going to talk about the elections and how disappointed I am in Columbus people. I can see voting for Kaland but Link? The guy who is anti-historical buildings?

Anybody watch American Idol???? Tatiana you are freaking me out. Anybody know how to play Pocket Jacks (the glass hammer) on a loose chasing table? I have issues.

Thursday I will not have a blog at all as I'll be giving a little talk on something or other to some people in the morning - I don't know what it is but perhaps I'll wake up before I actually have to say anything to anybody. My gut feeling is they want other people to recognize me in order to stay away from me Thursday night when I'll be getting a recognition award (thus the reason they want people to recognize me in the first place). I'm just hoping there will be no test afterwords.

I can't believe they are having me bring the beer again.

I had this sent to me and I believe if came from Johnny Depp Reads but I'm not sure. It is written by Ginger who does a fantastic job

SEMI-SPOILER ALERT!!! just a semi - nothing major.

No opening or closing credits…just straight into the action. I know the movie was 2 ½ hours but it really didn’t seem like that long. It never dragged. I’ve read the book so I was familiar with the story. The movie just focuses on Dillinger’s story. It would’ve been way too much to try to bring in the Barker Gang and all the other players in the book. The cinematography was really beautiful and the MUSIC really fit. You’re totally transported back to Chicago and the Midwest.

For some reason, I didn’t really notice the costumes….they were all completely authentic, and I think I would’ve noticed if a particular outfit was NOT right…the hairstyles and especially the glasses they wore were just spot on. I thought Johnny played Dillinger pretty hardcore. When it came to robbing those banks, he was dead serious, mean-faced, and focused. But he also put a lot of humanity in the character – his relationships with his friends and the hostages and the bystanders in the banks.

And of course the love story with Billie was, IMHO, made more prominent than it was in the book. You could see how much he truly cared about her. It was a really beautiful balance to offset the violence. And all those car scenes with the Tommy guns blazing were just great to watch. Man, those guys just blasted away & kept driving!
As far as the R rating, I think that’s probably appropriate, because there’s a lot of death by machine gun fire. But it’s essential to the story – that’s what those guys did. And they didn’t go overboard on the blood & guts. You never wanted to turn away & go “ew”. But it’s not a movie for kids just because of the subject matter. And no sex scenes to speak of -- just enough to show that JD & Billie were totally connected. (Sorry ladies….I would’ve liked a scene or two, it wasn’t really necessary to the story.)

We filled out a front & back questionnaire afterwards, and I stayed for the Focus Group. They wanted a sampling of people who rated the movie “excellent”, and they really just elaborated on the questionnaire. They were looking at how to market the film and what the audience saw as the overall story line. They also recorded our comments.
Michael Mann and the producers were sitting a few rows behind the group, and needless to say, listening intently to what we thought!

Some samples of what questions were asked: What would you tell people that this movie is about? Was this film about Dillinger’s war with the world, Dillinger’s war with the banks, a love story between Dillinger & Billie, the story of the FBI, or all of the above? What parts did you think moved too slow or too fast, and why? What did you think about Billie’s character? Why do you think she went with Dillinger? What do you think she felt when she opened the box he gave her? Were there any parts that were confusing and why? What were your favorite scenes? What did you think of the music? Did you think the violence was appropriate? What would you tell people when they ask how the film ended? What did you think of the ending?

Most of us said that the film was about several things – not just one of the choices. Everyone seemed to like the love story, but they wanted a little more character development with Billie.
They really liked the scene at the coat check counter a lot aAdd Imagend how Dillinger just completely charmed Billie into going back to the hotel with him. (And yeah, I think we ALL would’ve gone with him – he was that charming!) And he gave her a gift – which Billie probably felt she didn’t deserve, but it was symbolic of how he wanted to protect her. And when they capture her, she protects him. Really nice theme going throughout.

I have to say that the scene when they do capture Billie and take her away is just gutwrenching. To watch Johnny’s face go through all the emotions he’s feeling is just incredible.
Everyone thought of the movie as a period piece and truly a piece of history, and we all felt like we were really THERE. And the machine gun action pulled you in – sometimes the guns were firing directly at the camera.

There was a little discussion about the hand-held camera bit. At times it was distracting, but on the other hand, it put you right in the middle of the action. The Little Bohemia shootout is spectacular.
The beginning was a little confusing for a lot of people – couldn’t quite figure out why he was going into prison. But I guess they’re counting on people knowing who Dillinger was, so let’s not spend time on setting the scene.

Someone made a comment that we were never told where the scenes were throughout the movie. We know he roamed all over the Midwest, and obviously you can tell when they’re in Florida, but otherwise, you just don’t know. Don’t know that it really matters…
You don’t see a lot of story development on the relationship between Hoover & Purvis. But you completely get that Purvis was driven to capture Dillinger.

At any cost --no matter how many other lives were sacrificed. I wanted a little more transition about Dillinger going back to Ana Sage. After Billie is captured, suddenly he’s back with Ana and some blond lady and it seemed kind of abrupt. And after all, Ana Sage was the one who helped the FBI get him. It was very clear why she did it, and also very clear that Dillinger knew his time was up.
We talked about how this movie is so timely. It’s going to play very well, because right now people in the US are not too happy with the banks here. The banks have all the money and we’d sure like to have some of it!

The ending was a beautiful surprise – didn’t expect that last scene, and we all thought it was a great way to end the movie. I won’t give it away! Again, it was such a nice balance to the death scene. And yeah, they shot Dillinger outside the Biograph and it was in slow motion, but that’s the only way to shoot something like that. Miroux & I were talking about how it was like watching an accident happen -- everything shifts into slow motion and you can see what each of the characters is experiencing. And Dillinger’s death was a huge deal – it needs to be more than a “bang bang you’re dead, we got him” scene.

There are so many memorable scenes throughout the movie – I don’t want to give them away! It’s the kind of movie where you’ll see so much more each time you watch it. There’s just so much action that you miss things the first time. I thought we had some really good opinions at the Focus Group. It was hard to come up with instant comments when you haven’t had time to process what you’ve just seen. And it was late and we were tired – we’d been standing in line for 3 hours with no food, no water and no time for bathroom breaks! And then another 3 hours watching the movie and answering questions! But it was just such a privilege to be part of it all and know that the director and producers would seriously consider our comments.


Rod - I'm getting sleepy


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Fashion Week - Columbus - Wonderhorse Reunion


Public Enemies Photo blog


I went to the debate with an open and blank mind (not that hard for me) and gave everybody a chance. I will not say who I'm voting for because this is a spam free blog but I hope she wins. She was not angry, did not have Senators whispering in her ears and never mentioned the all important leaf debacle which as the entire town on edge.

In other news I have been instructed to see if there is any interested in a Public Enemies Co-ed softball team. I THINK there is a rule about having to live in Columbus so if Johnny Depp or Christian Bale want to play - sorry -you will have to go somewhere else. HOWEVER, it would be interesting to see Christian Bale argue with an umpire. I believe we could get Left Hand Louie to fill in for Mr. Bale.

OH - I do NOT want to be the manager.

ALSO - there is a meeting tonight for all interested in Public Enemies stuff this summer - Julies Java House at 5:30ish.
We all know that Creed in The Office was one of the original members of the Grass Roots. Well that has nothing to do with anything but I thought I would mention it.

This is a post from August 2007 and I dug it up because back then Facebook was just a vague thought and since then I have been in contact with one of the origional members of a long lost band Wonderhorse. So here is our story.

In other news Van Halen is having a reunion tour but the real news is that there has been no word about a Wonderhorse reunion tour. You remember Wonderhorse. That brilliant band from the early 70's that flamed out after one year because their parents would not let them go out of state?

Yea - I thought you would remember. This AliceCooper/Spooky Tooth/ Skid Row rock fusion band toured southern Wisconsin and made it so big they were able to print calling cards for handing out to perspective talent agencies and close friends.

They were the opening act for a puppet show . . . . no wait - that was the Rutles, nevermind. They were the main act for a Whitewater High School event (or was it Jefferson) and the Fort Atkinson Junior High dance and many more prestigious events.

It all came to a crashing end when they had used up all of the in-state venues and were preparing for an extensive out of state tour to Illinois when their parents decided that this locomotive of talent needed to be reined in before they became TOO famous.

Where are they now? The last I knew I was in Madison (now Columbus WI) and our keyboardist is in Fort Atkinson designing buildings, making MUCH less then he would have if the band was able to continue it's meteorite rise to fame.

There are not many photos of this band so if any you find in any in a flea market they are worth their weight!

Being the photographer I am not in the photos.

A few things about the lost photos

That top one is Rick and I think he is getting shocked or something or maybe that chic behind him is goosing him probebly a groupie (oh yea - we had groupies). His claim to fame was when he would play with his organ on stage (which he called Leslie) . . . .wait - perhaps I should reword that. His organ was always hooked up to Leslie which was a speaker system, a specially constructed amplifier/loudspeaker used to create special audio effects utilizing the Doppler effect. Named after its inventor, Donald Leslie. It was sweet The black cone things on top would twirl around and looked uber cool. His was actually better. (no photographs have been found of Leslie).

Mike our percussionist is seen utilizing timpani that were loaned by the Fort Atkinson High school Orchestra and when I say loaned well, we just sort of took them when we needed them and brought them back before anybody found out. I believe the statute of limitations is up right?

I'll have more Wonderhorse stories once I consult my lawyers.
OK - Columbus Fashion Week(CFW) - Perhaps we can tie in CFW with 4th of July and the Columbus Film Festival. I have been watching the comings and goings in New York and their Fashion Week and I keep hearing how with our current economic meltdown things have been scaled back.

I have to agree - what woman would not want to wear this on a cold winter day in Columbus. Perfect for going to the Antique Mall.

The new baby doll look is hot this year.

And us guys will look pretty hot for the ladies in the 4th of July Parade.

Hats are in this year. This is from a new designer, Shitoke.

But in Russia they do things a little differently on the runway.
Not as serious over there. It's HammerTime.

Nuff said.

OH - I'm not in Survivor this year but I know someone who is - well - I know someone that knows someone who is. The friend of my friends cousins girlfriend - we're pretty close.


talk at ya tomorrow

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Columbus Film Festival

Public Enemies Photo blog

My Lasagna Garden Blog

Can you picture this at Fireman's Park?
more on this later.

Talking heads are telling ups 3-8 inches Tuesday Night into Wednesday. I'm not so sure as I believe the BIG storm will form to the east of Wisconsin and clobber the east coast. We should get the very beginning of the storm and I'm thinking we should be on the lower end of the scales.
Does anyone know where Wisconsin is?

A few months ago I think Vanity Fair or some big magazine was mentioning Columbus and described us as a small community WEST of Madison. hmmmmmm. Today MSNBC is talking about Matt Kenseth winning the Daytona 500 and coming from Cambridge, a small town 20 north of Madison.

Does anyone know how to read a map? I mean seriously - using google it took me less then 5 seconds to see that Cambridge is 20 miles WEST of Madison.

While I'm on the subject of Public Enemies (and more way below). It got a lot of bad press this weekend as law makers were whining that Wisconsin taxpayers paid for Michael Mann salary and housing and Johnny Depps hair-do.

What did they think the money would go for - buying film from The Camera Company? And Wisconsin only made $500,000 on the deal. geez - yea - let's cancel THAT!! The one thing critics do not mention is the tourism that MIGHT be created in small towns once the movie hits the market (see below idea). Sure it needs tweaking but you should never judge something the first time it's used.
I hope everybody is ready for the Digital revolution happening tomorrow. That's right - it's finally here. The day all Madison stations switch to digital. I'm going to record the event on my BETA player so I can show my grand kids the day TV went dark.
Financial thoughts.

I remember reading about the Stock Market crash of 1929 and how people were jumping out of buildings and so forth. I wonder if children will be reading in their history books about the same thing happening when reading about the psychopath Bernard Madoff who stole 50 Billion dollars from Americans. Stealing money from charities, public institutions, prominent and sophisticated investor networks worldwide and just wreaking havoc. There have been a number of suicides lately.

I wonder what history books will say about the 2000's. FUBR. Who the hell was in charge, you can not blame one man as many people want to. As I say to the poker screen on my computer MORON!
Columbus and Marfa Texas.

Ever hear of Marfa Texas? Movie buffs have. Marfa is a town of 2300 that is supported by ranching and tourism. You see the movie Giant was filmed there in 1956, and recently No Country for Old Men and There Will be Blood were filmed in the area. Being a small town they have no theater but in 2008 they had their first Marfa Film Festival.

They put up a giant inflatable screen and once a year (or that is the plan) they have a film festival. Along with the movie they have Texas Style Bar BBQ and margertias provided by the main sponser Patron (can we insert Capiton Brewery there? get what I'm hinting at?)

One writer said "The Alamo Drafthouse Rolling Roadshow in Austin trucked in their fabulous pop-up screen, sound system, and projection equipment. It was a spectacular start to the festival, watching Anderson’s magnificent drama played out under thousands of stars on a clear, cool night."

Can you imagine something like that in Columbus? It would take a lot of work but it's something to think about.

I must insert here that the current Mayor Nancy O has been working on something like this and I have been a little against it because I want to see the movie the FIRST time with great audio (I have heard the audio is amazing). However - Nancy O - let's expand on your original thoughts a little here. OF course I know what she will say - Rod - GREAT idea - you are in charge LOL.

The thing that makes The Marfa Film Festival a success is that it is surrounded by lots of other events. We COULD tie this all into the Fourth of July celebration. Or make it it's own event but have lots of other things going on. I was thinking of the Carnival already being in town that weekend and fireworks are already bringing people so why not add a Film Festival. The logistics would be tricky but doable. The real trick would be to have something downtown also because people would want to visit where scenes were shot.

Actually the REAL trick would be getting the city to pay for the big screen (and my salary for working 40 hours a week on this) and so forth PLUS - getting enough OTHER people involved.

Just tossing ideas out there.

Side note - I see Richard Sheard is sending SPAM to everyone. Thanks for becoming PART of the internet problem Richard. Appreciate it.

OH - almost forgot - Happy Presidents day

Behind Mount Rushmore