"" bshawise: July 2008

Thursday, July 31, 2008


We have our CHALLLLLLLLONGE Grand Champion of Cool. Game. Set. Match. No one can ever top this man's coolness. Meet my father-in-law, Doctor John Clarke. World's number one dad (as declared on his tshirt). This picture was submitted by his youngest daughter, Emily, a sophomore at The Ohio University. Thanks, Emily. I will award you with a sugar beet and set of ear plugs for this winning submission.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

175 BPM

I used to play drums in 8th grade. I quit the trumpet and viola in grade school so I could focus on the skins. Our little drum corps was a motley crew of derelicts. We played what we wanted when we wanted regardless of what the sheet music called for. I still remember taking my final exam. The questions were all about timing and notes and music stuff. I had no clue. I flunked it. The director gave me a D- for my overall grade and told me not to come back out for band next year. If I only I would've rejected his rejection... this could've been me...

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Pitch

I recently pitched an idea for a music video to one of my favorite music groups, Over the Rhine. I'm friends with their friends. They forwarded an email for me. I don't think it's going to happen. Anyways, I think it's a pretty decent idea that I'm going to copy and paste here....

The election is everywhere. You can't take a pee without hearing or reading about it. Everyone is interested and feels the weight of making the right decision. It's only going to get more intense. This song is the perfect retreat from the madness. It's the waldorf salad in the middle of a seven course meal. It's a clever, idealistic vision of a changed future. For some it might even be a safe, protest song. So my pitch is to add visuals to this brilliant song.

The setting is a 1950ish county fair. Cotton candy booths, ring toss, ferris wheel, stringed lights, striped tents, people everywhere. The overall feel is a warm, retro, nostaligic dream (think Darjeeling Limited meets Big Fish- see pic). There's a political "rally" happening on an elevated stage with an audience gathered to hear the band play. Obama-esque posters are all over for the named musicians. The topics of this election could be tackled in a dreamlike way. For example, maybe next to the cotton candy booth is a guy selling pinwheels to power your mp3 player. So as the kids run around the carnival listening to the incumbent song they wave their pinwheels around as wildly as they spin thru the crowd. Maybe there's a guy who's riding a stationary bike that powers the ferris wheel and the kids give him the headphones which causes him to pedal faster. There could be a booth letting everyone see the jukebox who's going to the moon. A passionate rocket scientist in a lab coat pointing skyward and making hand motions of the sound waves traveling through space.

The whole time the song is being passed from person to person and group to group thru the carnival. this outbreak causes people to share their elephant ears, old folks start to dance/sway with each other, the guy in charge of the ring toss starts giving away the stuffed animal prizes. All the while cutting back and forth to the band on the elevated stage. The warm, nostalgic setting of a carnival, along with combining antique and current technology (mp3 player + pinwheel) captures the idealistic vision of the song in a mutually clever way. I hope...

Friday, July 25, 2008

ChallONNNNNNGE bouts

Geraldine beats her ex-boyfriend, the SharkJumper. When asked about it she said, "I dumped him for Fidel Castro." And after a long pause and awkward display of her technicolor teeth Geraldine said, "Now get out of here." (submitted by Christopher Day)

In a battle of nostalgia, the Fonz jumps Bearded Munster. (submitted by Banjo Boyd)

Bearded Munster beats Akiko (submitted by Steve)

Akiko beats Smokin' Darth.

Smokin' Darth beats Slick Rick.


I am going to copy the geniuses over at theSuperest.com and try a little experiment I'm calling:

A photo battle to determine the Heavy Weight Champion of Cool.

It starts with G-Rizzle down below in yesterday's post. And as Chairman, I declare that the only thing cooler than a bear in a Kangol hat is Slick Rick rocking a crown and eye patch.

Who will ChallONNNNGE Rick? Any photo of any person is fair game. It's not rap mogul specific. They're simply kicking off the battle. So send your photos of TransAm owners, LumberJacks, etc. It's a wide open field. Submit via email: bshawise@yahoo.com. Sean, don't send me a picture of Hasselhoff or Danny Tanner. This is an amateur competition.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Roll Out

My feelings toward bears may have just changed. I'm not going to make any drastic reconciliatory statements just yet. But for today, I heart this bear. I want to throw a boombox on my shoulder and roll down Vine St. with him.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

T. Boone

T. Boone Pickens is my new hero. I've been reading about his planned attack on our television sets but have yet to see anything. Last night I watched T. Boone on C-SPAN talk to a few Senators about his plan to harness the wind gods. They posed questions, pointed out how hard his plan will be and kind of dared T.B. to convince them it would work. With his visionary drawl, he said over and over in various ways, "I...I think we can do this...it won't be that bad." I love that kind of leadership. He makes me want to put on a bandana and weld me a turbine. Seems like a wind/spirit is blowing back in this country causing people to re-believe that we can make change. If only I had a friend who could teach me to weld. Or plant a Victory Garden.

Monday, July 21, 2008


Stumbled across this photo today of the Wassily Chair. It's a classic. Designed by Marcel Breuer in 1925-26. A chair worth marveling (some museums do) for it's revolutionary materials and manufacturing back in the day. My friends Sydne and Brad own this chair. I saw it in their basement with my own eyes. Their three year old, Will, was using it as a trampoline/step stool to play air hockey. Many goals have been scored with the assist going to Breuer's modernist work of art.

I remember collecting baseball cards as a kid. We'd buy Beckett's guide and figure out what they were worth. We'd dream of one day retiring on the sale of our Ken Griffey Jr. UpperDeck rookie card. I can remember telling my dad my Griffey was up to $45 and him saying, "Only if somebody buys it." That made zero sense to us. Beckett told us how much our cards were worth in black and white. It said nothing of having to find a buyer.

Collectibles are a funny thing. My initial reaction when I saw young Will bouncing barefoot on the Wassily was to snatch him mid-bounce and run off with the chair to the nearest museum so it could be properly admired. But maybe it already was. Maybe Mr. Breuer is happy (if furniture designers can be happy from the grave) that Will is using his chair to get demolished by his older brother, Rob, in air hockey. Happier than if it were sitting empty in a dust-free, art zoo.

I guess collectibles are great if they're enjoyed in the present tense. Sterilizing and preserving things for a future pay day is fine as long you really enjoy the sterilization process. My dad was smart to minimize the monetary "worthiness" of our baseball cards. Kids shouldn't worry about investments. The future is for old people.

Someday, maybe I'll take my kids to the Reds game where an arthritic Junior is being inducted into the hall of fame and I'll brag about how I owned his rookie card when I was a kid. We'll eat cotton candy and laugh about how they could go to college if I knew where that card was. And maybe someday, when Will is grown up, he'll take a young lady to a museum where the Wassily Chair is on display. Perhaps he'll put his arm around her and brag about his reckless air hockey days with that chair. His cool apathy towards material goods will sweep the young lady off her feet and they'll go get their first of many italian ices together.

Saturday, July 19, 2008


So this is the creepiest photo I've seen this week. I hereby vow, and I want to be held accountable to this, that I will never allow my child(ren) to sit on the lap of adults in fuzzy costumes. Think about it.... if you saw a stranger sitting in the mall with a polaroid camera asking for five bucks and the chance for your kid to sit on his lap you'd call the cops. But, if the same stranger puts on fur pants then WHAMMO, you have something worth waiting in line for. Something you want your friends and family to remember on their refrigerators. It's child abuse and I'm against it. My kids will learn to avoid the lap of a furry stranger the same way they'll avoid unmarked vans on a candy outreach. I'll buy them a book on explosives before buying them a lap dance with Peter Rabbit. Bombs trump adults dressed as bunnies every time in the Wise family.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Citizen Kane Got Soul

Even when Orson gets a little behind he seems to always catch up. It's a rhythm and blues mirrrrrrrrrrrrrracle. (it's pathetic how many times this has made me laugh out loud)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Digital Candy

So there's new treats available to install on your touchable iPods and iPhones. I paid $1.99 for a solitaire game that remains undefeated. 52 gang members teaming up against me every time. I bought another one for $.99 that is a digital zen garden. You drag your fingers around in digital sand. I read the reviews and fellow dorks said how relaxing it was to draw in the sand. Someone wrote, "It's like playing in the dirt." The review I didn't think much of until just now was a guy who said, "Is it me, or is this really dumb? Wouldn't it be better to go outside and actually play in the dirt/sand?"

We're trying hard to never leave our cushioned chairs. I expect iPods to start going to the bathroom for us soon. I recently saw WALL-E. It's really great. But really convicting. They paint the picture of future humans being fat, regressed blobs who spend their entire lives in comfy chairs staring at digital gadgetry. I don't want to become that. I want to be more like the guy who realizes digital zen gardens are dumb. But jerks like Steve Jobs are making it hard by continually churning out digital candy for us all to sit around and munch on. And that was the ironic thing about WALL-E. It was kind of biting the iPod-wielding hand that feeds it. Steve is saying, "buy this sexy, pocket machine-it's the future." And his Pixar peeps are saying, "your future is chair-bound fatness, pork-rinder. how another game of solitaire?"

(cue debbie downer music)

Monday, July 14, 2008

Sweet Ohio ad #2

I hope this makes you proud, Jane. I hope it makes all Fremonters proud.

Sweet Ohio ad #1

Here's the first installment of our Sweet Ohio Ad Campaign. I hope this will inspire you to share what you love about Ohio in our little experiment. Check the post down below if you don't know what I speak of...

Sunday, July 13, 2008


My brother's wedding this past Friday (7/11) was probably the most fun I've had since my wedding weekend. I am left overwhelmed by how much I love my friends and family. Makes me think that the small towns and villages around the earthplanet that are filled with families and friends who never move away and make a life together have something figured out. After the reception we grilled tubed-meats, shared cheese puffs and carbonated beverages, illegally swam in the heavily chlorinated pool and just talked until the wee small hours of the morning. The whole weekend was magic.

We showed the following video at the reception as surprise for Lindsey. Her reaction was exactly what we hoped for. We shot the video at the bachelor party. Pay attention to the tallest of the background dancers. He will appear to be deaf. He is not. He's just really drunk. And one of the worst dancers this world has ever seen. After it played the biggest question we got (surprisingly to me) was "how did you get matching suits?" They are $5 goodwill specials. Brent bought them all a month ago and since then Lindsey has been asking him how in the world he spent $40 at goodwill. As the video played Brent finally answered her.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Sweet Ohio

Ok, I have another experiment. We mock up some advertisements for this fine state a la the Pure Michigan ads. You in? Alright, here's the idea. You send me your favorite thing/place/aspect/etc. about Ohio along with three descriptors.

Bean Fields

Then...I'll whip together a SWEET OHIO ad. Then... stay with me now... once we have a good body of work we get a famous Ohioan (Paul Newman- Cleveland) to narrate. Eat it Tim Allen. Then we all get rich by selling them to Governor Strickland. And then... here comes the pay off.... we move to Michigan.

(I'll be at my brother's wedding until Saturday. That gives you plenty of time to send me your list. Also, I'd recommend watching a few Pure ads before generating your list (aka- love letter). It'll help get the romantic propaganda juices flowing.)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Who are the ad wizards?

Michigan. I really hate that word. Hate typing it. Hate saying it. Hate their dumb helmets. Hate their devil rat mascot. As an Ohioan it's my duty. I grew up singing we don't give a damn for the whole state of Michigan. Why you ask? What's the basis? Simple. We're from O-HI-0.

Well, then I started hearing these Pure Michigan ads on the radio. They're unbelievable. They have caused me to repent and give more than a damn about the state. Michigan sounds magical. Dare I say wonderful. These spots are perfectly written. Honestly, I'd pay dollars for an alarm clock with this narrator's voice reading me something in the morning. Something about sunshine and fresh water.

Do not watch this if you want to maintain your Michigan hatred.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Sometimes it's the little things...

Running car w/ cape....cool. Add a little Motorhead....way cool

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

What would yours' be?

Kind of an interesting question. I'm obviously biased. But here's an experiment...email me your metaphor (something that describes or could represent you in an iconic way) and I'll whip up a quick graphic for you and post it below.) So say Harrison Ford emails me, I'd whip up a literal whip. Get it? And.....go.

Craig and Sara just emailed theirs: EXPLORERS. Leah and I went to their wedding two weeks ago and instead of a wedding cake they had an ice cream truck and everyone got to take tickets outside to the refrigerated dreammaker and pick an ice cream. Brilliant! They explored the boundaries of nuptial desserts.

mat milthaler chose FUTURISTIC. I can attest to his futureness. He's always a few steps ahead. Always strategizing. Before the Raygunner was born Mat had two playlists on his iPod ready for when he popped out. One if it was a girl one if it was a boy. And probably a third if it was a tiny meatloaf.

Banjo Boyd chose REBEL PILGRIM. I believe there was a whole separate boat for the rebel pilgrims. Banjo would've been on that one telling stories in fresh new ways and leading counter cultural revolutions. And in the wee small hours he'd be trying to convince everyone that Taylor Hicks is good.

Little Brenty chose STEADY. This is a good word for this soon to be groom. I'm sure he developed this trait during his high school football days. He was an all state quarterback who threw lots of touchdowns. And lots of interceptions. Through it all he was as cool as Ralph Macchio. I'm sure his steadiness has been his greatest ally through all this wedding planning madness.

Tyler chose MONSTER. I actually don't remember 100% how this nickname started. I think it was originally Monster Face. He's been called many things. All related to his unbridled strength and courage. Or his craggy face. He's a mix between Nick Lachey and Daniel Craig (new James Bond).

Jessica asked that I choose a word for her. I choose AUTHENTICITY. Jessica is who she is all the time regardless of the setting and company. She's one cool chick. Always. (I should note: I tried to find an image of a window thinking that could illustrate authenticity. Then I found a window with the word on it. It seemed too serendipitous to pass up.)

Ring of Magnets

Have you read about the CERN Large Hadron Collider (code name: LHC)? It's $531 million ring of supercooled magnets 17 miles in circumference straddling the French and Swiss border 330 feet underground. The ring is attached to huge barrel-shaped detectors (essentially gigantic digital cameras weighing thousands of tons each that can take millions of snapshots a second. Each year the detectors will generate 15 petabytes of data, the equivalent of a stack of CDs 12 miles tall. What happens in this ring of magnets you ask? Beams of protons whip around the 17 mile track 11,000 times a second in opposite directions. And SMASH into each other. What happens then? Depends which scientists you ask. The ones in the video below believe we'll discover the secrets of the universe, invisible matter, new dimensions. Other legitimate scientists think it'll spawn a black hole that will swallow the earth. They'll admit it's a long shot, one in 50 million chance, but argue it's the same odds as winning the lottery. Which...happens. I believe we'll discover Tang 2.0.

I am intrigued to see what happens. But even more so, it makes me wonder how we have the ability to build a machine that not-crazy scientists believe has the power to suck us all into an invisible hole YET, we can't build a car that runs on anything besides gas. Or a device that can replace my pancreas. Or a better way to apply sunscreen. We're a month from creating tiny black holes and entering new dimensions but years from seemingly simple breakthroughs that could actually change a lot of peoples' lives. What a crazy world we live in.