Friday, Mar. 12th, 2010
Thursday, Mar. 11th, 2010

Robert De Niro to coach the Packers

Saw this over on As Seen In – apparently, the “You talkin’ to me?” guy is going to play Sir Vince Lombardi in a movie to be appropriately titled “Lombardi” and released in 2012, a week before the Super Bowl that year.

De Niro’s Lombardi film will chronicle the years in which he “transformed the Green Bay Packers from the NFL's worst team to league champions.” Eric Roth is the screenwriter (he wrote “Forrest Gump”). It’ll be produced by ESPN Films, which says:

  • The story's narrative arc spans from 1959 when Lombardi was given his first opportunity to be an NFL head coach, taking over the small-town Packers, then the worst team in the NFL, and runs through his transformation of a group of young, talented but undisciplined losers into five-time NFL champions. Also, the story highlights the long-standing rivalry that existed between Lombardi and legendary Dallas Cowboys coach Tom Landry, both of whom were assistants on the New York Giants team that lost the 1958 NFL Championship game.

Through some additional interneting, I see that Packer owner president(!) Mark Murphy says some of the movie will probably be shot in Green Bay. Sans awesome film incentives, of course.

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Wednesday, Mar. 10th, 2010

Show Review: Decadent Cabaret
(Night 2)

This was the 31st year of Decadent Cabaret, but my first time to attend. The show bills itself as "A tradition of fishnet stockings and notoriously memorable musical performances", to which I would agree on both counts. It is close to musical overload, eleven bands in one long night. And, there were two other nights I didn't attend. It was a variety of music, starting more mellow early in the evening and spanning to blasting, roaring heavy metal by the end. What made it personally very cool for me, was not only my first experience at the Decadent Cabaret, but also, with the exception of Excellent Adventure, it was all new bands to me.

We arrived a touch late. The Wife had misplaced THE fishnet stockings. You know the ones. They were the fishnet stockings that tied the whole outfit together. Not THOSE fishnet stockings, or even THE OTHER fishnet stockings. She had to have THE fishnet stockings, which were finally found about the time we should have been standing in the audience. They had fallen in behind the dresser drawer. We walked in just at the end of Excellent Adventure.

Our first full band was Meridene, who played a fantastic, too short, one song, Meat Loaf set of I Would Do Anything For Love. Note perfect, vocally perfect, sadly lead singer Trevor even looked a little like Meat Loaf, but if you can get by that point, they were great. Meridene is on my must see again list.


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Water Street, police nix beach launch in favor of lookout deck

The Water Street Business Improvement District has replaced their plan for a 5th Avenue Beach Launch (for tubin' and such) with a 5th Avenue River Lookout. After heeding advice from the city police and fire departments, this new development plan will exclude a pathway to the water. “The plan didn’t really mix with the typical activities of Water Street – the excessive drinking, especially,” says Lisa Aspenson, BID member. “You can still get down to the water, but the idea is that, without stairs, we’re not inviting them to.” BID is planning on raising funds to build a deck-like structure with a railing and seating attached to serve as a scenic river lookout point for bicyclists on the trail. To further improve the look of the area, BID hopes to surround the structure with some new plantings – replacing trees that are of little value with nicer (possibly native) varieties. While they have yet to get approval from the police department, Aspenson says they’re confident that law enforcement will endorse the plan as a safe alternative. The plan will come before the city’s Parks & Waterways Commission on March 26, and based on their reaction could immediately move to the city council, and start construction in early summer.

A lookout sounds like a really cool idea, but so did a beach launch. As for the safety/drunk-idiot-in-the-river factor of either structure, we'll leave it to you.

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Tuesday, Mar. 9th, 2010

Fancy pants new cameras to help you drive better!

Hey, the city’s about to add more traffic cameras, but not the kind that capture evil people running red lights in their fancy imported sports cars. The cameras will monitor cars and control the redness and greenness of the lights, increasing safety and hopefully improving the Awesome Traffic Flow Efficiency Equation (ATFEE). This, by itself, is both boring and uninteresting news.

But, as the Leader-Telegram points out, it marks a new direction in the city’s traffic sensor technology, and I gotta be honest, the old tech sounds really damn cool. Most of the city’s lights are controlled by underground wire coils that produce a magnetic field. When your car/scooter/hovercraft enters the magnetic field, the street knows you are there, and the lights change accordingly. Sure, these new cameras are more effective and less prone to environmental damage, but .... underground magnetic field-producing coils! Very retro-future-ish.

But hey, safety counts for something, I guess. One of the intersections to get the new cameras (this summer) is Washington Avenue and South Farwell Street. The plan is to make the intersection more pedestrian/bicycle friendly because it sucks pretty bad right now. The L-T interviewed Aaron Ellringer from Just Local Foods (located on that corner), and he said, "People can't send their kids to the store to get eggs because of the traffic at this corner."

The city also plans to remove the concrete island on that intersection, ending the “right turn no stop” freedom of cars turning from Washington onto Farwell.

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