Clear Lake Kite Festival 2020

Color the Wind Kite Festival

It was great weather as far as that goes. Nice sunlight for photos. Lots of kids and dogs enjoying the day. The really fun years are when the temperature is about -5 degrees, heavy overcast and about a 30 mph wind, you feel like you’re at the North Pole. So many people were there it was about impossible to get a cup of hot chocolate. My favorite restaurant the Backyard Deli was closed down. I don’t know what happened there. I’d first discovered it back in 2008 when I was up there for a film festival. As with so many small restaurants, they’d rather close then sell. I don’t get it.

Speaking of which, we’d have people tell us flat out they really didn’t want the Film Festival in Clear Lake, and I wouldn’t be too surprised if that is a  lot of the reason it moved down US Hwy 218 to Mason City. A number of people up there haven’t come to grips with the fact they’re a tourist town. The only “restaurant” on main street was ‘closed till March‘, seems odd you’d close the busiest Saturday of the winter. There were 2 bars that served food and a coffee shop that served bagels and scones. We ate in the car from the grocery store. The pizza shop maintained its 5 pm opening rather than take advantage of a great lunch crowd. “Iowa nice” doesn’t exactly apply to Clear Lake.

all photos DME

What happened?

Steve McQueen – that object hanging out of his mouth is what we called a “cigarette”. It contained “tobacco” which we would light with a match and inhale. Don’t ask me why.

Saturday morning I’m up early and I see Steve McQueen in a movie looking rather rough, and yes it was the prison flick (flique since it was a French movie) Papillon. Like Brando and Bogart I never appreciated him until I was older. So I watched the final 90 minutes or so (its a 157 minutes I believe). Its a true story about Frenchman Henri Charrière wrongly convicted of murder in 1931. He spends the next 14 years in the French penal colony of Guiana and ‘Devil’s Island’. Needless to say the corruption of French prison authorities was legendary. Money or cooperation could purchase you a much easier sentence. A fascinating story. Reviewers say as good as the movie was it didn’t fully capture the hardship Charrière faced in real life.

It was a very good movie. They went on location with a couple of good actors. They took along a great story. Went past the 2 hour “barrier” and made a memorable story. According to IMDB they had a $12,000,000 dollar budget. By comparison another McQueen movie Bullitt, had a budget of $5,500,000. Thousands of books get published around the world every year. Of those there are hundreds of wonderful stories. Does Hollywood look to expand the art and make movies of any of those? Oh hell no.

To make my point, when looking up facts for the movie, I see they remade Papillon in 2017. I’m not kidding. They must be though. You think you’re going to top the original? Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman? You’re delusional. Just staggering the crap  that comes out of Hollywood. The amount of inspirational stories that are never told is mind-blowing. The thought provoking, the heartfelt, stories of wonder that will never see the light of day. Truly sad. Instead they’ll continue to remake Star Wars for another 40 years. The first 40 years of merchandising evidently wasn’t enough. We live in a sad and mediocre world. “Reach for the middle!

That scraping sound is the bottom

WHO 1040 am radio seems to have hit bottom, they were doing a half hour long infomercial from scammer Dr Michael Pinkus! If it can be ground up, boiled and powdered, Pinkus will sell it as a “supplement”. The people who make money off a scammer are no better than the scammer. When you’re playing infomercials, that screams lazy program director to me. KPSZ Praise 940 has been playing this guy for at least 25 years. They just have it scheduled into their 11:30 am time slot, just as if it was a show.

Trying to figure out what this bizarre early morning movie was on TCM I went to their website to find out (‘Papillion’, 1973). Up pops their little ad, “I want to invite you to join TCM Backlot!” shouts the little Ben Mankiewicz icon. Not a chance in hell Benny boy, I saw you on election night 2016 on the Young Turks Show. You were sitting there dissing half of America and the greatest president this country will ever see. True colors, I saw them.

[What’s funniest about WHO is they run a disclaimer before their Christian shows on Sunday morning, but they don’t before they run the scam artist.]



What Is the Difference Between Piebald and Skewbald?

By Jennifer Mueller

“Piebald and skewbald are British terms for particular color combinations on horses’ coats. These terms describe the horse’s coloration and external markings only, not its breed or genetic makeup. In addition to coloration, registration authorities also recognize particular patterns of markings. According to the British Skewbald and Piebald Association, a horse registered as piebald or skewbald ideally has a 50-50 distribution of two colors.”

“Piebald horses have large, irregular patches of black and white on their coats. Skewbald horses, on the other hand, have a combination of white and any other color — typically brown, chestnut or bay… ” [the article goes on for quite a bit about these beautiful horses]


They have a saying in New Hampshire, “TGFI” (Thank God For Iowa). They know as long as we go first in the Presidential voting system, they’ll look like Einstein. Iowa sets the bar so low the pressure is off for them. This year especially the mood was high. When it took Iowa a week to tally a 2 hour result, they were absolutely giddy. Staffers at Election Headquarters in Manchester were doing ‘High Fives’ with loud exclamations of “Yes!” when they saw how easy it was going to be for them. It would be like falling off a ballot box thanks to the Tall Corn State. Sounds of “Happy Days Are Here Again” filled the hallways.

They saw they could go “full Iowan” and not get the election results in until 1 am and still look like geniuses compared to Iowa. For some reason New Hampshire has always been so good at the whole ‘counting thing’ (rumor has it they don’t even have to take their shoes off). Them and their fancy counting tricks, they probably have special school funding that turns out these math whiz’s. Just because their knuckles are smooth and not scarred up, they think they’re so smart. Hell, I hear the horses there can count to 10. That NH Governor better be sending flowers to Gov Kim Reynolds after the gift we gave them. Hell, they could take until 2 am and CNN would be blowing them kisses.

[Just to rub it in those bastards already have results pouring in from 3 small New Hampshire towns. Dixville Notch, Millsfield and Hart. And its not even daylight yet! On Tuesday, let alone midnight! Witchcraft.]

Gun grabbin’ Mel Crippen

My gawd you can’t even turn on the radio anymore without hearing some idiot spouting off. While the rest of America’s amplitude modulated radio went conservative, Ames, Iowa’s KASI 1430 stayed commie. Morning host and gun grabber Mel Crippen had Ames Mayor John Haila on telling us what a fine job city plow crews are doing on the streets. An honest person would have broke out laughing. There’s not a bigger bunch of overpaid / underworked employees in the country. If you don’t live on Lincoln Way, Duff, Grand or a bus route, your streets are shit.

But putting a clown like Crippen on the air is KASI’s choice, isn’t it? As far as I know they are a private concern . Also in Ames (or used to be) is the NPR affiliate WOI 640 am. They’re even more commie. The problem is they’re tax funded (yes I know they also receive donations). I saw a meme online the other day from Mark Levine asking, “Why does NPR still exist?” Republicans let stand a taxpayer funded entity that wants to destroy them. If there’s any logic in that I don’t see it. So what we’re left with is radio that is funded by everyone’s tax dollars, but only provides programming for half the country.

So that’s the deal, I don’t have to pay for KASI, I do for WOI.

[KASI has been gobbled up by Clear Channel or iHeart or whatever it is that company that owns all of radio is calling itself now. Its not good when 95% of all media is owned by 6 corporations. Oh! Oh! Oh! I almost forgot. If there wasn’t enough commie radio in Ames, a few years ago a group formed an actual independent radio station called KHOI 89.1. I’m surprised they allow Trumpers to live in the same town!] 


Ames’ secret snow removal plan: Spring

5th Friday in a row with snow and without snow removal. I took a walk down at Carr Park on east 13th yesterday. Every inch of the bike path was plowed even back to the most out of the way areas. The loop drive that only goes to the soccer field was plowed. The city streets? Not so much. Well if they don’t need plowed because the snowfall was under 2″, why do the bike paths need plowed? Why do parking lots for ball diamonds that won’t be used for 3 months need plowed? If 2″ is a problem there, why isn’t it on the city streets?

Speaking of Carr Park,  this will be the 3rd summer 1/3rd of the park will be unusable. They closed it off in spring of 2018 to do some work on the dam. All they did was move in materials for a couple of weeks in May of 2018. No work was done again until 2 weeks at the first of August in 2019. So far its been closed all of 2 years, with only 4 weeks of actual work being done. Ames Parks and Recreation sees no problem with this. Writing incredibly lackadaisical contracts so that taxpayer assets sit idle for years.

I swear I’m going to go door to door with an advisory sheet for Ames City Council elections to bring accountability back to city government. I’ll call it my: “Fire City Manager Steve Schainker” campaign.


“What the hell is it?”

An inanimate carbon rod! (aluminum or magnesium actually)

Consumers get ripped off so bad. And what’s doubly funny, the same government that worries about lightbulbs and the size of your toilet tank, doesn’t give a lick about a huge environmental throw away, your water heater. They last about 10 years if you do nothing to them, 30 or more if you do simple maintenance! Drain a gallon a month from the bottom spigot, and put in a $25 anode rod every couple of years. See all that rust and mineral buildup on the old rod? That’s what will eat out the bottom of your heater if you don’t change it. But plumbers want that $1,000 every 10 years to put in a new heater. And the government is too stupid to see the environmental impact.

And guess what? There are 2 other environmental disasters that don’t have to happen. There are asphalt roof shingle coatings that easily double the life of your roof. And there is a metal coating called Rust Reformer that when sprayed to the underside of your car makes it impervious to rust. Can there be any bigger harm to the environment than throwing away a 2,500 pound car every 10 years? And your roof every 20?

FYI manufacturer Bradford White in an extreme case of bullshitery puts their anode rod internal to the input pipe, therefore making it impossible for the homeowner to change, and guaranteeing failure at 10 years. Drain Tech sells Bradford White.


Ode to the ‘Bullet’ Bra

Rarely have I seen someone’s post and been so moved. Several sites have these exact same photos so it is impossible to give credit to the original writer and compiler of photos. This is the site I found it on while looking up info on one of the ladies featured, Gloria Talbott. I had seen Gloria in a wonderful Rock Hudson movie, ‘All that Heaven Allows‘ (1955). She played Jane Wyman’s college age daughter in the film and I had noticed how well she wore a sweater. It turns out there’s a whole genre of fine sweater wearers from the 40s and 50s! They call them “sweater girls” and the magnificent bra they wear the “bullet” bra. Simply put one of the finest inventions of the 20th century.

Yes, yes you have the sexual titillation aspect of these photos, but my gawd there are two other outstanding aspects of these photos: the obvious physical fitness of most of the models with their thin waistlines, and the artistic beauty created by the sharp and pleasing lines contrasted with the curves. And frankly the pride that shows on the face of every model. Simply beautiful. My only regret is that I didn’t live during that period. The only other period that comes close to this era, was that roughly 10 year period from 1966 – 1976, the era of the mini skirt and other fashion items of the day like the bell-bottom blue jeans, short-shorts and the halter top.

I have purposely left out many photos so the admirer can search out and discover new joys of this type. I have left out the celebs of the day like Marilyn Monroe, Jane Russel, Jayne Mansfield, Janet Leigh, Elizabeth Taylor and other well knowns. These are for the most part average (?) women of the day, if you can possibly refer to such incredible women as “average”. And yes this will no doubt engender a few hits to my humble site, but mostly this is just to share one of the most absolutely beautiful collection of photos I have ever seen. My only regret is that these unknown women cannot be thanked for their contribution to the world of art.

[A few thoughts. A photographer signature I saw several times was of a Ray Barret I believe. The 4th photo from the bottom is actress Dorothy Malone, right above her is Gloria Talbott. The rest of the stupendous photos were of I assume anonymous treasures, long since gone. Traditional artists could never create anything as beautiful as these women. The photographers for the most part did a wonderful job. I can’t imagine what it must have been like back in the day. The top photo is just an amazing image from any perspective.  As I said earlier the pride on each their faces is so neat to see. And the effort it took to look like that. Little did they know men would be appreciating them 60, 70 and 80 years later. These simple B&W images. God outdid Himself with this bunch. Engineering marvels.]