Online accountability partners..

So it occurred to me today that perhaps i should voice some of my intentions on here (nothing too drastic just books i intend to read or events i intend to attend etc.) This would mean that if (and when) i return the book to the library two months later with the first chapter barely read or i sit on the sofa and skip the lecture, you guys can call me out.

I hope this may also lead to discussions and recommendations. And if anyone out there would like me to keep an eye on any of there intentions coming to fruition, i will be glad to check in on you, unexpectedly and with damning criticism in the event of failure.


Get it together!

So i look and see that 6 months ago i considered coming back to blog. Well now for the past couple of days i thought ok this is it – but i dont like my blog name, i am not sure about the way it looks bla di bla. Today i decided that is all just a distraction from the actual dicipline and hopeful enjoyment of blogging. SO i am just going to get back to it. Its really for me, my mind, and some kind of creative outlet. But i like people and if any happen to come by and make some comments, well that would be just fine.


Too Long..

I know i am extremely erratic with this blogging melarky. I am feeling a wave inspiration or perhaps just a small inkling to come back and get this thing rolling a little more often. So this is just a note of intent.


Disconnect the Dots – coming to a theatre near you!

So last weekend myself and my film making compardes under the guise of our (Myself, Motke Dapp and Bobby Marko) Fighting With Forks production, took part in the Nashville 48 Hour Film Festival For those of you not familiar with the concept a brief rundown: Teams are given a genre, a line of dialogue, a character and a prop at 7pm Friday we then make a movie from start to finish and hand it in Sunday at 7pm. I can assure even though this sounds difficult it is even harder than that.

Paul Armstrong

Photo: David Bean Poster Edit: Paul Armstrong

(Flash back) Friday night 6pm calm before the storm

Motke, Paul and I are enjoying a beer and some hot dogs everything seems peaceful and the mood is high, we are about to get the team arriving and we are feeling good.  640pm and we get the genre “Drama!” (the back story to this is that i had a great idea in the back of my head when i though i had Dave Beans photo studio as a location – when i was in this dilusionary state i thought what i really wanted was drama as a genre – if only this wish had not passed through my mind) As the group sat in a circle hears the news we all look at first pleased we did not get musical/western and some of the other far worse possibles. However it quickly becomes evident that to achieve real drama and emotion is such a short time (the movies must be 4-7 minutes) Is VERY difficult. We passed around ideas ranging from a movie in peril killing off the main actor for publicity, to a sparse scene of couples strife and turmoil over hearing news of a miscarriage, then group tension rose as i mentioned a scene of pacifism being tested. As the night went on we knew we still did not have the final piece we all wanted. It was now 1230 and the clock loomed at us, we needed to have a script! Somehow my idea of a man suffering from memory loss / mental issues stretches his relationship with his wife and family seemed to resonate with the group and we all saw the potential in it. It was decided, the pizza in the oven was ready and i was making headway on a bottle of wine. It was time for Paul, Motke, Josh and myself to sit down and write the script. Bobby sat by figuring out how to shoot this masterpiece (ha) 445am roles in we have lost Josh and Bobby a little earlier (we needed to conserve Bobbys energy for the editing) We have something that looks like a script but what we really know is that we have a 8 am call time and we will get 2 hrs sleep.

7am – alarm clock. I ask my wife if i can pull out. She says no.

730 am – Motke Paul and I in a state of exhaustion fuled only by adrenaline swang by the office to print scripts and then headed to a awesome location offered up by our sound man John at the last minute (turned out to be perfect for this story – brownie points for John) We arrived on set and the magic began immdiatly – Actors getting dressed and running lines, camera and lighting being set up and tested. From then on we went full speed working a short respite for lunch provided by the wonderful wives of Bobby and I (thanks Wesley & Susan !!)  We worked on through the day, everyone working their tails off and with smiles on their faces. Looking back i can not believe how great a team we had!! Amazing. I want to go through and mention each one but that may be too time consuming and unless you were there; boring! But siffice to say they were all top kats!

So the evening rolls in and in the last rays of sunshine we hit our final scene in the pool. A huge sense of relief waves over me. Dinner and now to some parts with Paul – indoors – wait indoors?? no we have a outdoors scene and the darkness is our nemesis – we do all we can to get the shot – we finally manage something and it looks great. Now indoors, we had to lose our main actress who has given us an amazing performance and left us with a gap to fill. Samantha Bean steps up to the part and plays some great ankle/calf shots and passes wonderfully in a blur to pass as Ellen. Motke and I look at each other at this point with a sense of relief – we may have pulled this off. 1030 wrap.

Now begins the epic journey to take the 3 1/2 hours of footage and turn it into 7 mins or under of movie gold. Bobby Motke Paul and I return to the office to begin the task. The footage is being pulled down i take a much needed cat nap. I wake and the guys are making headway Bobby is in his element. As i return to the fray Paul retreats for rest (Paul and I know one of us has to be there to keep and eye on these jokers- ha) At this point Motke is nodding off every ten seconds in the chair besides me – Bobby and I press on with the next part – sonic breakfast – Bobby is making the magic and we are standing around offering our opinions (mostly not wanted but given anyway) The day looms on – there is so much to do – we have amazing music by the talented John Marshall, its just not hear yet, we dont have a title for the film and we dont have the paper work we needed filled out. Bobby is left alone while we get all the above done. So a long story short the final edit comes out at 630pm we watch it – there is a problem a big chunk of dead air has found its way in there and the credits are urm unviewable – no time left – Motke and Paul head to the drop off with this copy and i wait behind for a the new version that bobby is working on. Somehow we make it in time and the movie is safely in the hands of the judges.

We are all sick of the movie at this point. But it is in and the idea that food and rest is so close is obvious on our minds and faces. We retreat to beer and burgers followed by some insomniac wii. Then sleep.

The movie is made in 48 hrs and of that we are all proud. Of course there are things we would have changed but i loved the making of this film and i enjoy watching it. Nothing else would have improved the time. The movie will be posted in a couple of weeks after the judging has happened. Sorry thems the rules.

Bigger Stronger Faster

So last night i went to see a documentary called Bigger Stronger Faster which is based around the story of three brothers struggle with steroids to become like their great American heroes. This is one of the best if not the best documentary i have seen. The reason i found it to be so successful was it was firstly not even a topic i was that passionate about but yet all the way through i was interested, questioning and becoming internally motivated about some of the issues. It is shot in a very clean, classic documentary style, there is no film trickery or wizardry to make me enjoy it; visually it was as a documentary should be: simple and real so as not to distract or compete with the story.

For me the most interesting elements was the social commentary on society’s image of the body and how it has changed, it is also always interesting to compare almost any drug issue that becomes prominent with the legal drugs like smoking and alcohol. There is always a phenomenal amount of death and destruction revolving around those and it is almost hard to compare or care what the steroid users are doing. I think at one point the mentioned that more people got to the emergency room for vitamin C then for steroids. So again a clear sign that we are easily riled up about issues that the media tells us to be. Of course the real broad emotional tug here was not the medical danger but the unfair advantage gained by taking steroids. The arguments come from all sides and it proves to be a incredibly well rounded and constantly interesting and surprising film. We were the only two people in the theater which was fun but also sad that really great film was being ignored and there were probably still hoards of folks watching Indiana Jones being massacred and squeezed dry. So if your looking for a good flick this week head to green hills to see this!

check out the film @ Bigger Stronger Faster the movie

Five Bagger! (ugh)

Well this may turn out to look something like a little story of self praise (which it is) but there are some issues of continuity and news to go with it. Last night i took my previous high score in bowling (184) and savaged it with a 214! I am pretty pleased with it, nothing magical in the scheme of things but hey i was a happy bunny. During this record breaking run (and by record breaking i mean my record) I got five strikes in a row, i was pretty sad to learn during this that after the three strike “turkey” you start to become and “bagger” a term i am not comfortable with. So on my fourth strike in a row i here supportive cheers from my wife and good friends the Beans which was fun, then as i hear the laughs at the term “four bagger!” I almost dread getting another but yet fate made it so and i was then termed “five bagger!” and i could not go on any further. So i now enjoy a new high score and a horrid nickname (if only short term it is still unwanted) “five bagger McGowan” will press on to eliviate this term through a six in a row striking frenzie (which i believe is a double turkey) hopefully relinquishing the “bagger” tag i have been labeled with.

I would like to add that this does seem to support my bowling mustache theory as the lip growth is continuing and my bowling score is increasing. Only time will prove the power it has on the lanes.

Good day all

Five Bagger

The Beard

So as many of you will know i recently took part in the facial hair phenomenon called whiskerino. The curator, creator and inspirator Michael Eades aka Mackle has at the 8 month point decided to steadily deconstruct the continuous growth that he has been cultivating. I think we can all appreciate this massive mass of hair and see it for all its glory. Here is the final piece before the first step of reduction.

RIP “The Beard” Nov 2007- June 2008

On a side not he also happens to have one of the most interesting blogs in town. Go check him out and say hi at Yewknee


I dont know if everyone is aware of the fact that in almost every town through the forum of Yahoo groups you can be part of a group of free cyclers. The basic PURPOSE: It’s not what you get for free, but what you keep out of landfills! So basically if your about to throw something out and it is not your general house rubbish you can be sure that someone out there has a use for it. Now you can also put out requests for things you need ans yes everything is free BUT like the purpose says it is about recycling and not about what you can get for free. So get out there and join your local freecyclers in doing what we can to reduce our waste.

Kudos Freecycle!

Guns don’t kill people…

Men with Mustaches do! So as i was unable to attend the Mustache May festivities this year (for those of you who do not know about the gang of facial hair growing fellers who take part in odd periods of specific hair growth competitions look here and here ) Now your up to date i shall continue… I have decided for reasons which are three fold that i should take part in my only little Mus-tash June My reasons being:

1. My wife told me i “was not allowed” to take part in May due to my going to England for most of it and she did not want all my holiday pics to have a silly mustache in them. This is a fair point as she already put up with all my first picture with our new baby boy Kairo. However my being a typical man got hung up on the original “your not allowed” and ignoring all the good and frankly correct reasoning behind it this is my subconscious yet now very conscious attempt at rebelling and wearing the pants. I am deluded i know.

2. I am becoming a keen bowler and it is quite obvious that all great bowlers have mustaches. This leads me to believe that there is some kind of pin exploding power in the mustache! I will be sure to update you all with my ever increasing high score the bigger this lip hair becomes

3. Thirdly i guess i just have never had a mustache and i like to try things out. Lets see how this goes shall we..

Top ten places to live

So started this morning off with finding out where i should be living – according to someone. link to the BBC article here or if you just want the hit list here it is:

I know i love Melbourne, Sydney and Geneva as for the others – well i am just going to have to go find out!