Thursday, May 31, 2007

Weekly Photo: Going home from work


Our last photo was of a street sweeper in Portland, standing at the top of Forest Avenue where it meets Congress Street. If I'm correct, this corner is not much changed, and until recently housed a leather goods shop.

Here is another photo, courtesy of Abraham Schechter, who runs the Portland Public Library's Portland Room. This time our photo is of another downtown Portland street, this time taken in 1937. Workers are coming off their shift at this old Portland food-producing company, traces of which remain on and in existing buildings even today. Click on the photo for a larger version to inspect details. Can you tell which sloped street this is? Hint: It is not a one-way street, though it crosses one that is.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Bigfoot in Buckfield

Michael Raymond plans to shoot a movie about Bigfoot this summer in Buckfield. Tentative title: "Big Stuff."
Imagine a movie by "Sixth Sense" creator M. Night Shyamalan, only with laughs, he said.

Raymond came up with the idea for his story, set on Buckfield's Streaked Mountain, last year.

He wrote a short screenplay and immediately began imagining whole scenes, using his mountaintop home, barn and fields as the location.

He plans to shoot the film over four days this August or September. [Source]

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Zombie Kickball II Report

Well, I made it to Zombie Kickball this year. And boy, I am soooo glad I did. It was a hoot. Click on any photo here to see a larger version. Here your intrepid reporter finds herself face to face with a terrifying creature clearly wearing a bathrobe and slippers. Imagine my relief that I escaped -- I heard that earlier in the afternoon she had been documented chewing on some of the spectators' dogs, a rare variation of zombie appetite I have never seen before.

When I arrived, there were many people gathered, some zombie, more not, an ice cream truck, and some police. The police were there, it turned out, because some irate Little League parents had called them, fretting that their children would be terrorized. The cops came, surveyed the scene, including the small children who were participating in the zombie kickball teams (who were certainly not scared at all), and came to the very intelligent conclusion that there was no reason for them to do anything to stop the event -- and the fun commenced.

The teams shambled and lurched their way about the playing field. The zombies ran the gamut from not-very-zombie-at-all to terrifying. There was a woman with blue hair, crazy sunglasses and purple boots who "Arrrrrr!!!!"ed ferociously in a very pirate-like manner. There was a ballerina in a wheelchair. There was a fellow with his face all wrapped up and his legs draggling behind him. There was another fellow who was lying facedown at the corner of the chainlink fence outside the field when I arrived. Later he dragged himself onto the playing field, where he lay facedown until after the game, when two attendants hauled him bodily to the site where the group photo was being taken.

Throughout the game, a brave band of the undead rattled along on their instruments alongside each play, with surprising skill.

These are but a few of the marvels that I saw at the second annual Zombie Kickball held here in Portland. Last year's looks like it was pretty amazing too. There is video of it here on YouTube. I can only hope that there will be plenty of footage from this year's, too!

I took a ton of photos, many of which are online here on my Flickr.com site. Thanks, Zombie Kickball, for making this a truly memorable Memorial Day weekend!!!

All photos by Michelle Souliere, (c)2007.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Woman Claims Mutant Beast Was Her Pet

Doreen Madden of St. Petersburg, Florida, says that the Maine Mystery Beast killed by a car in Turner last year was her pet dog Woolfie. Cryptomundo has the scoop.
Madden said she took Woolfie to visit friends in Maine and left her there while she made a quick trip back to Florida. The dog, left with a family at Worthley Pond, northwest of Turner, ran off. Madden was unable to find it when she returned to Maine.

She placed an ad in a newspaper and on Craigslist, hoping to be reunited with her pet. But Woolfie was never found, and Madden returned to Florida.

Later, she heard about the media frenzy back in Maine when the strange animal was found along Route 4. She learned that DNA tests had revealed the animal was a dog, after speculation by some who suggested it might be something more exotic.

“It is without a doubt in my mind my dog,” Madden said. “A friend of mine had seen her picture in the paper and said it was her.” [Source]
One problem: she says her chow was female, but DNA tests showed that the beast was male.

Monday, May 21, 2007

We want... A SHRUBBERY!!!

Are the Knights Who Say "NI!" here in Maine? Either that, or one stingy tree thief made off with a bunch of plants that were destined to be sold to support local educational programming in Farmington. Story from the Lewiston Sun Journal.
Plants, trees disappear from soil, water district
By Ann Bryant , Staff Writer
Friday, May 18, 2007

FARMINGTON - A variety of plants and trees were taken from the Franklin County Soil & Water Conservation District on Park Street sometime Monday night.
...
Thompson inventoried the items Monday night before leaving around 6 p.m., but did not notice anything unusual until Tuesday afternoon, when she thought there should be more plants, she said.

"Someone took their time doing it as it did not seem to be a random grab or vandalism," Thompson said. "Pear trees were rearranged and moved around very neatly so that it wouldn't be noticed and whomever took the plants did it in a proportionate way as only certain amounts of different items were taken," Thompson added.

The total items taken, she said, included 20 blueberry bushes, 50-plus high-bush cranberry bushes, three Bartlett pear trees, 23 gray dogwood and a small pot of chives.

"There is a security light in the area," she said, "and the odd part is there is a utility pole across from the office that has been run into very recently and has a fresh wound. Someone may have damaged their vehicle while they were taking the plants," she said.
...
[click here to read full article: Source]

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Double Dipstick Prize

The Bangor Daily News had a real piece of genius on display. This guy doesn't know when to quit. Text in italics is my emphasis.
Alleged burglar nabbed twice in 24 hours
The Associated Press
Monday, May 14, 2007

BANGOR, Maine (AP) A 23-year-old man was arrested for burglary Friday night just 15 hours following his release from jail for two other burglaries, police said.

Edward Turner of Hermon and his roommate, Donald Searway, were arrested late Thursday after police found firearms and jewelry in their car and home that were reported stolen from homes in Levant earlier in the day, according to Maine State Police.
Turner was released on bail Friday morning, but it wasn't long before he was back in hot water.

Bangor police arrested Turner at 8:45 that night when he was spotted with a backpack that contained numerous pieces of jewelry that still had price tags on them and were attached to jewelry display boards.

Turner was charged with smashing a store window at Downeast Coins and Collectibles and snatching the jewelry from a display window. He is also accused of breaking a window at a pawn shop across the street, but police say he couldn't get into the store.
[Source]

Zombie Kickball Returns from the Dead!

Yeah, you thought it might never happen again. You glared into your mirror, pulling your hair out and grimacing, thinking to yourself, "God, how could I have missed it?! What is WRONG with me?!!" And then the unimaginable happens. The once in a lifetime event RETURNS. You, my dear friend and lover of all things zombie, are given a SECOND CHANCE.
Zombie Kickball II - Details (READ THIS!)

Eastern Prom Kickball Field.
Portland, Maine
Be in costume or be consumed!

OK, imagine it . . . Memorial Day Weekend on the Eastern Prom, sailboats criss-crossing Casco Bay . . . young lovers, lazing on the grass . . . the smell of backyard BBQ's . . . the sound of children frolicking on the playground . . . and several dozen shambling, undead converging on the Prom for a knockdown, drag-out game of Zombie Kickball!
What better way to celebrate the unofficial beginning of summer?

Sunday, May 27th, 1:00pm sharp, on the Eastern Prom kickball field!

If you don't feel like playing k-ball, you can still help fill the Zombie Bleachers. Last year we had about 30 folks show up, this year we're shootin' for 100. Sky's the limit, Zombie Cheerleaders, Zombie Drum Line, Zombie Hot Dog Vendor . . . bring it!
Now, forward this to anyone you know who might participate, the more zombies, the better ZKII will be.

Need inspiration? Read these tales of other recent Zombie gatherings around the continent:
• Zombies Mob Posh Vancouver Mall: http://flickr.com/groups/vancouver_zombiewalk_2005/
• San Fran Zombie Flash Mob: http://flickr.com/photos/ioerror/sets/685972/
• Zombies attack Austin Americal Idol auditions: http://www.tvsquad.com/2005/08/30/zombies-crash-american-idol-auditions/
• Zombies vs. D&D kids in Montreal: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pumpkin/sets/538104/

Need Zombie makeup help? Try here (or rent a George Romero movie):
http://zombies.tomwalsham.com/costume.html
http://www.zombiepubcrawl.com/makeup.php
http://www.terror4fun.com
If you missed it last year's fun, you can see some of it online: Zombie Kickball 2006 on YouTube, or take a peek at Jeff Boulet's photos on Flickr.

Lurch your way on out, it's bound to be fun.

Photo by Jeff Boulet.

USPS Not Going to the Dogs in Maine

Well, the results are in, and Maine has the 4th fewest postal carriers bitten by dogs each year. Who knew? This article in the SeasoastOnline newspaper from New Hamphire explains...
Letter carriers' risk of dog bites lower in Maine
By Associated Press
May 17, 2007 6:00 AM

WASHINGTON — For a mail carrier looking to escape dog bites, New York City is the place to go, and Maine isn't so bad, either. California, however, is the place to avoid.

The New York metropolitan area recorded no dog bites of letter carriers last year.

At the other end of the scale, the Santa Ana, Calif., area led the nation with 96 bitten carriers, and three of the top five spots for carriers to get bitten were in the Golden State.
...
"Every animal needs to be protective, but its up to the customers to keep them trained," he added. "Here in California they just seem not to do it."

Some customers try to introduce their dogs to the regular carrier, but that still leaves the substitute carrier vulnerable, he noted.

Carriers are trained in how to defend themselves, he said, and are discouraged from petting or getting close to dogs.
...
In 2006 some 3,184 letter carriers were bitten by dogs, the agency said, down slightly from 3,273 the year before.

After the New York metro area, next safest was Alaska with 2 bites, followed by Honolulu, 3 and Maine and Montana with 9 each.

Following Santa Ana's 96 bites were Houston, 94; Sacramento, 82; Los Angeles, 77 and South Florida, 71.

[for full article click here: Source]

Weekly Photo: Cleanin' the Streets


Our last photo was of an organ grinder on Sherman Street in Portland, entertaining some of the local children. Here is another photo, courtesy of Abraham Schechter, who runs the Portland Public Library's Portland Room.

This time our photo is of another downtown Portland street, this time right on Congress Street, taken in 1942, the year in which German U-boats of WWII began harassing shipping boats on our East Coast. Click on the photo for a larger version to inspect details. Can you tell which highly-trafficked street corner he is stopped at?

Friday, May 11, 2007

King Philip of the Bird Manure

Some excitement occurred in San Francisco earlier this week, and it all goes back to Maine! Thanks to Telstar Logistics for highlighting this item:
----------------------
Ghost Ship Surfaces on San Francisco Beach

This week in San Francisco, residents were shocked to see a long-lost shipwreck re-emerge from its watery tomb.

During a low tide on Monday, the wooden skeleton of the sunken ship mysteriously appeared above the waterline on San Francisco's Ocean Beach, not far from the city's zoo. Tourists and beachcombers were befuddled by the sight, but government officials were hot on the case. According to the San Francisco Chronicle:
A historian for the Golden Gate National Recreation Area said the wreckage was surely that of the three-masted clipper ship King Philip, which was built in Maine in 1856. According to the records, which are frequently less romantic than the speculation, the ship spent much of its career carrying bird manure fertilizer around the world. In its last years, it carried lumber from the Pacific Northwest to San Francisco.

On Jan. 25, 1878, it was towed by a tug through the Golden Gate, then laid anchor to allow the tug to assist a nearby vessel in distress, according to historian Stephen Haller. The anchor didn't hold, however, and the King Philip drifted onto the sand at Ocean Beach, where it foundered.

Fortunately, everyone got off safely, which could be why the King Philip never got the fuss made over it as did a certain other vessel that hit an iceberg 34 years later.

The King Philip made a brief appearance in 1980, Haller said, when El NiƱo currents washed away an unusually large amount of sand. But no one had seen the ship since.
Until now.

(Above: The wreck of the King Philip emerges from Ocean Beach. Photo by David Gallagher)
-----------------
I found a little bit more about the wreck here, again in a San Francisco Chronicle article:
The King Philip -- named for the Indian chief who was involved in King Philip's war in 1675 -- was not as fast as the fastest clipper. It was launched in 1856, in Alna, Maine, and was advertised as "a strictly first-class clipper ship with quick dispatch.''

However the King Philip was advertised, it seemed to have been a hard-luck ship. There were at least two mutinies -- one in Honolulu in 1869 and one off Annapolis, Md, five years later. In both cases, the mutinous sailors set the ship on fire, seriously damaging it twice.

Where's the Monkey?!

Our last photo was of the installation of cobblestones on Cross Street in Portland, where they remain to this very day, one of the few streets in Portland's Old Port area that has not been paved over with asphalt. Here is another photo, courtesy of Abraham Schechter, who runs the Portland Public Library's Portland Room.

This time our photo is of another downtown Portland street, this time in the Parkside neighborhood, taken in 1942, the year in which German U-boats of WWII began harassing shipping boats on our East Coast. Click on the photo for a larger version to inspect details.

That's a great crowd of little kids! Look at the outfits and hats (again!)... they don't seem to mind that the hurdy gurdy man doesn't have a monkey.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Casting Call: MONSTER IN THE WOODS

For all of you who've been following the saga of Emptyhouse Films' zombie film, "2," (see preview online now here at YouTube) and who are interested in taking part in their next endeavor, here's your chance to work with a great bunch of folks doing really exciting things right here in Maine! And unlike the below-mentioned movie, "Lake Placid" (a personal favorite of mine), this film WILL actually be filmed here in the state it claims to be taking place in.

CASTING CALL

Motion Media, John Lane Films and Emptyhouse Film are in the process of casting for their fifth feature-length film. The film, tentatively titled MONSTER IN THE WOODS, is a horror/comedy in the tradition of GHOSTBUSTERS, EVOLUTION and LAKE PLACID.

A casting session will be held on Monday, May 14th in Freeport Maine. Interested parties should email a headshot and resume to emptyhousefilm[at]gmail.com. At this time, we are asking that only non-union actors send their headshots to us.

Actors will need to provide their own travel, but food and lodging will be provided. LEAD and STARRING actors will receive payment, at this time there is no money for all other parts.

MONSTER IN THE WOODS is expected to begin shooting around June 10th with a 14 day shooting schedule. If you fit the part, we will email you on or before Friday, May 11th with sides and audition location.

PARTS AVAILABLE:

ARNOLD BRIER- 50-60 MALE "GRIZZLED" FEATURED ROLE

GARY- 20-25 "NERDISH" MALE

CARRIE- 30-40 FEMALE- "GRACEFUL"

KLINE-25-30 MALE- "SARCASTIC" LEAD ROLE

ANNA-20-30 FEMALE- "INTROVERTED" LEAD ROLE

LIONEL- 40-60 MALE- "HARDENED" FEATURED ROLE

REPORTER 1-MALE- STUDIO REPORTER

REPORTER 2- FEMALE- ON THE SCENE REPORTER- FEATURED ROLE

FARMER BUSHILL- "HILLBILLY" 45-60 MALE

BIOLOGY TEACHER- "EGGHEAD" 35-60 MALE

BILLY BOB- "HILLBILLY" 35-45 MALE

MAIL MAN- "HILLBILLY" 20-60 MALE

OLD TIMER- "HILLBILLY" 50-80 MALE

HORACE- "HILLBILLY" 30-70 MALE

JEB- "HILLBILLY" 30-60 MALE

NED- "HILLBILLY" 30-60 MALE

SHERIFF PATTERSON- "HARDENED" 40-55 MALE- STARRING ROLE

MAURA LAPANNE- 7-11 "CREEPY" FEMALE- STARRING ROLE

MAURA'S MOTHER- 25-45 "SINGLE MOM" FEMALE- FEATURED ROLE

ALAN- "HILLBILLY" 35-55 MALE

JACK KILLINGTON- "FULL OF HIMSELF" 30-50 MALE- STARRING ROLE

Please send your headshot and resume to emptyhousefilm@gmail.com please put the name of the character in the subject line.

We are looking forward to hearing from you all. Thank you for your consideration.

Andy, Olin, John

For more information about our projects, please visit www.emptyhousefilm.com

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Paranormal & Psychic Fair at Fort Knox

WHEN: July 21st and 22nd, Saturday and Sunday, 9:00am to Sunset (normal operating hours)
WHAT: Paranormal and Psychic Faire
WHO: Meet with people who believe in things unusual. This unique event features renowned crytozoologist and author, Loren Coleman, psychics, ghost hunters and dowsers.

Check out what happened at last year's fair. Sounds like a good time for seekers after the odd and uncanny.

Fort Knox's FAQ, including info about admission prices and a handy e-mail address for questions, can be found here: http://fortknox.maineguide.com/faq.html. You can also call them at (207)469-6553. As I have been unable to find a detailed listing of the event schedule online, you may want to give them a buzz if you want any further info.

For directions to the Fort, click here. (Courtesy of the Maine Office of Tourism)

Painting: Fort Knox, Maine by Seth Eastman

Laying Cobblestones in Portland

Our last photo was of the installation of sewer pipes on Forest Avenue in Portland, with the camera facing towards Woodfords Street. Here is another photo, courtesy of Abraham Schechter, who runs the Portland Public Library's Portland Room.

This time our photo is of another Portland street, again estimated to have been taken circa 1900-1910. We return from the suburbs to the downtown area for this photo. Another of the city's urban improvements of the new century was the installation of cobblestone streets, instead of the dusty unpaved roads that drivers had to contend with up to that point. This short street is down towards the waterfront, and is still a full cobblestone street today, unlike many of its brothers who have been paved over with asphalt. Click on the photo for a larger version to inspect details.