Archive for Moblog

The Photo Friday Mobile Entry

I intended to shoot some photos at the karate seminar for Photo Friday, but the annual tournament didn’t take place this year and I didn’t have a lot of opportunities for camera time.

Recycle robot is watching you

"I'll swallow your soul! And recycle it."

As a result, you get this lazy entry of a funky recycling can spotted at a rest stop off I-74 west of Indianapolis.

If only it weren’t so dark in the bar around the corner. We found ourselves surrounded by biker dudes and biker chicks and their old ladies. I guess what happens in Fort Wayne stays in Fort Wayne.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Photo Friday: Motorcycle Show

The International Motorcycle Show came to Chicago last weekend, and I took a ride up there with a friend and one of my sons.

Gold Custom

I can't imagine how long it takes to polish this beauty

Things felt a little more crowded this year, making it tougher to get some good photos. We were also bummed to learn Indian didn’t set up a display this year.

However, we still had a good time looking around, and we were pleased to learn Triumph brought some new cruisers to show off:

Triumph Cruiser

The Triumph Thunderbird

The Triumph guys told us the closest dealership could be found in Milwaukee. Given they were priced competitively to similar Harleys, it would be worth the trip to have something a little more unique to ride around on. Assuming I could afford a new bike, that is…

We of course visited the Harley-Davidson display, and as current Honda riders, Steve and I had to drop by to look at their bikes, too. I meant to take a closer look at the Shadow Phantom, but by the time we worked around that direction I’d forgotten about it and only spent a few minutes drooling on the Fury and Stateline choppers.

And for the second year running, the Victory bikes took second place:

Blacked-Out Victory

A blacked-out Victory cruiser

Still an American bike with some great, modern styling on their cruisers, I wouldn’t rule out test-riding a few of these bad boys when it came time for me to get  a new bike. Their matte paints aren’t as sexy as what Harley has been able to pull off, but they make up for it with the sleek look. And the ape hangers on the bike in the photo are just about perfect.

The custom show returned, too. One that really caught the horror writer in me by surprise was a zombie-themed bagger with plenty of skulls:

Zombie Custom - Skulls

A close look at the left side of the bike

It’s a little overdone for everyday riding, but it’s a sweet ride.

You can see a lot more bikes in my motorcycle show set on Flickr. Whether you ride or you’re just a fan of bikes, the International Motorcycle Show is worth the trip if it makes a stop in your area. I just wish they wouldn’t come to Chicago in February when it’s too cold for the attendees to ride to the show!

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

The Sundance Thing

Sundance is both nothing like I expected and everything I expected.

While most of the action is in Park City, Utah, it’s very spread out around town and includes events in Salt Lake City. There’s no central convention hall or meeting space full of people, or booths of movie folks hawking their flicks to fans and studio execs alike. There are a handful of theaters and a whole lot of movies, and it’s difficult to get tickets in most cases. I overheard conversations about actors unable to get into flicks, and I saw people scalping and trading tickets on buses and on the street. Apparently there’s a lottery just for the right to purchase tickets, and you take what you can get and worry about trading or selling later.

It’s also very commercial and touristy. Yes, Park City is gorgeous, but it’s obviously built to attract and everything is expensive. I expected big studio money to be there, but I didn’t expect to see corporate and bank sponsorships on banners and theater marquees. Your stereotypical L.A. type lurks everywhere, and many people are there just to be seen. Fashion trumped common sense as ladies wearing four-inch heels walked down sloped sidewalks covered with snow, ice and slush. Traffic jammed the streets, even in the blizzard that fell upon the city on Saturday.

Southwest Egyptian

Way to kill a marquee, Southwest

That all said, there’s still an energy about the place. No matter their reason for being there, everyone was genuinely excited about movies. We only got to spend one full day at the festival due to our travel schedules and the weather, but I had a great time being out there. If I were to do it again it would probably be for Brian’s next or another friend’s movie premiere (or, with luck, my own), and I would make sure I had more time and moolah to see a few more flicks.

Or am I obligated to say “films” now?

Finally Made It

Most of our Sundance crew: Mary SanGiovanni, Brian Keene, Mark Sylva, Tod & Suzin Clark

We all showed up to catch the premiere of Brian Keene’s Ghoul, as good an excuse as any to get everyone together and hang out. Ghoul screened at the Slamdance film festival, an indie festival which has been crashing Sundance for seventeen years now. Brian had yet to see the final cut himself, and it was cool to sit in there with the cast and crew as the opening credits kicked in.

Let’s get this out of the way: Brian Keene’s Ghoul is a good, made-for-TV flick. The studio makes a change fans of the book may question, but it’s true to the spirit of the novel and the director, Gregory Wilson (The Girl Next Door) handles the material with respect. Sure, it’s low budget, but there’s some terrific Ghoul makeup and there are no cheesy CGI effects. The soundtrack is heavy-handed and jarring, and there’s a plot element that goes unresolved, but in all we really enjoyed the movie and it accomplishes more with its limited budget than some big-budget horror flicks manage to do. Fans will be able to catch the movie’s cable debut on Friday, April 13th on Chiller.

Mikey at Slamdance HQ

Mike Huyck at Slamdance HQ, the Treasure Mountain Inn

We spent the rest of the time hanging out and catching up. Mikey and I rescued Mark Sylva from Salt Lake City and the blizzard, and the State Police closed the mountain pass just after we got back up into the canyons where we stayed. We spotted a handful of celebrities, watched paparazzi chase said celebrities, witnessed a studio marketing guy and a publicist try to impress everyone on a shuttle ride as they kissed one another’s asses, and bumped into a handful of interesting people. We hung out with some of Brian’s fans and made new friends, we of course hit a couple of bars, and we had food both good and bad. I learned a candy shop can still make a nasty cup of hot chocolate, and I visited a photographer’s gallery filled with some breathtaking landscape photos.

Oh, and we got accosted by drunks, too. At three in the afternoon. It takes all kinds, I guess.

The Snow Bunnies

Mark and some ladies we chatted with as I finished a cigar. No, they weren't the drunks.

I shot several photos, most of which can be found in my Sundance Flickr set. Jump on over and check them out; they tell the story faster than I could.

In some ways it felt like a convention, just with higher stakes but less pressure. I’d love an opportunity to go back, and I’ll admit to having more than a little envy of Brian’s success and of the things he was able to accomplish over the weekend (which, I hope, he’ll be able to share with his fans soon). Prose is still my first love, but I’m not averse to screenplays any more than I am comics, and I’m confident I can make this happen one way or another.

I just wish I knew about the movie The Raid before I got home, because, damn:

Like I said: next trip, I make more time and bring more money.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

And We’re Back

Back home and back to the grind.

It was a great weekend at the Sundance and Slamdance film festivals, especially the opportunity to catch up with friends. The Twitter posts showed up late on the blog, but as you can see we faced a blizzard and had several adventures while waiting to see the premiere of Brian Keene’s Ghoul.

The Twitter stream on the blog is caught up to my last flight home, so I’ve turned the feature off. I’ll have a separate blog post and some photos up soon. In the meantime, here’s a shot by Mark Sylva:

Brian and I at the Egyptian

Brian and I at the Egyptian Theater at Sundance

Mark has several more photos, which you can check out here.

If you feel you missed out on the opportunity to see Brian Keene’s Ghoul, don’t sweat it: the film will be broadcast on Chiller on Friday, April 13th, at 9PM Eastern. It’s a good flick, and it stays true to the novel despite a change for television. Here’s hoping Chiller keeps the originals coming.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Twitter Shenanigans for 2012-01-24

  • My phone battery quit at 3pm, so I didn't get to tell much about the rest of the #sundance experience today. #
  • We did see @BrianKeene's GHOUL, though. True to the spirit of the book! The rest of you will get to see it Friday, April 13th, on Chiller. #
  • Slamdance! http://t.co/ntLoOhIp #
  • Rockin' #Slamdance at #Sundance earlier today. http://t.co/gFfB8JFO #
  • Occupy Provo at #Sundance http://t.co/6KP2RVzy #
  • Now @Nukegumby is telling us all about the bored-on. #
  • What a horseshit rationalization: Piracy Is Not Theft – Demotivational Poster http://t.co/lyUcU3Qr #
  • Stumbling through the condo zombie style. It's been a great weekend at #Sundance and #Slamdance but I'm ready to get back to the family. #
  • I need to go home and write my balls off. That way, next time I get to do Sundance, I don't have to worry about going back to the day job. #
  • Then again, I'd probably miss my balls. #
  • Today's @BrianKeene and @Nukegumby serenade features The Moody Blues. #
  • I am going to miss this view. http://t.co/97KXOgHC #
  • Mountains trump the Illinois pancake http://t.co/8DixKGCh #
  • Colorful characters at gate, including an ex-Marine, 2 Mormon missionaries, and an Air Force officer with a lot of fruit salad on his chest. #
  • The missionaries are apparently headed to Mozambique. Yeah, good luck with that. #
  • Awesome. I'm sitting next to a guy twice my size for this three-hour flight. #
  • Stewardess is frustrated because they're out of room for carry-ons. Maybe if they didn't charge bag fees, this wouldn't happen. Idiots. #
  • If I wrote full-time, I could have made this a road trip and avoid this hassle. Take extra driving time, see sights, visit friends. #
  • Greetings from 10,000 feet up in the magic sky tube. I'm online because I have business to conduct. #
  • Having to type on the split-screen keyboard because our shoulders are way too broad to do it right. #
  • Between flights, I have been assaulted with problems from the day job. Welcome home, asshole. #
  • Wow, wish I'd known about THE RAID while I was at #Sundance this weekend: http://t.co/3xwGEIno Looks awesome. #
  • Orbitz texted me about a gate change. One would think the goddamn airline would say something, no? #
  • 64 degrees in Dallas. I could ride my motorcycle in that, easy. Maybe I will stay put and have my family come to me. #
  • While reading on the flight, I've been really digging @DocNoir's ALL THE YOUNG WARRIORS. Great read. #
  • Three old people at gate comparing weather in Nebraska and Peoria. One-upping each other. Couldn't flee that conversation fast enough. #
  • Solo window seat for flight home. Sweet relief. Shoulder still juts into aisle, but a solid elbow keeps pinheads in check. #
  • Now the steward has to deal with dumbasses looking at seat numbers on the wrong tickets, and who are then scared they're on the wrong plane. #
  • THIS IS NOT ROCKET SCIENCE, PEOPLE! READ YOUR TICKET, SIT THE FUCK DOWN, SHUT THE FUCK UP! #
  • Still, these people beat the PR and marketing douches we ran into at #Sundance #

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Twitter Shenanigans for 2012-01-23

  • Roadblock! They just want to make sure our awesome truck is awesome. http://t.co/98bkzX4V #
  • Past the road block. Cruising along now. Libations pending. #
  • Pass. http://t.co/yCvb358T #
  • Libations! http://t.co/pSfZBYYc #
  • We may not be doing #Sundance due to the weather, but it's very cool just chilling with friends at the lodge. Sushi, whisky… good times. #
  • I think my doctor would just shoot me if he saw all this stuff. #
  • Today's view, following the blizzard http://t.co/BdtmOIFn #
  • Looking back at last night's pics, I'm thinking something seems wrong about #Sundance being sponsored by HP. Or anyone else, really. #
  • I wonder if we'll have to listen to a douchebag publicist and a WB marketing jerkoff give each other handies on the shuttle again today. #
  • Help a brother out: RT @cullenbunn: I have my e-mail inbox cleared down to 5 messages. I need some hate mail, people! #
  • Dominic Purcell just walked by. No, I didn't accost him. #Sundance #
  • The Egyptian #sundance Sponsored by Southwest http://t.co/q77OC4H5 #
  • I should know better than to buy Italian sausage in Utah. #
  • The Sundance Channel HQ is serving the worst hot chocolate I've ever tasted. #
  • Cell service has gone to crap. Trying to send a PC from outside #Slamdance HQ. 2 hours until @BrianKeene's Ghoul premiere. #
  • Just smoked a cigar with two gorgeous girls, watched Occupy Provo protest, and got accosted by Cactus Jack's drunk girlfriend. #sundance #
  • At #Sundance fashion trumps snow, ice, and slush. #

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Twitter Shenanigans for 2012-01-22

  • His first twat, at long last: RT @Nukegumby: Testing…tweeting on nuclear power! #
  • Success! SOPA is dead http://t.co/cgUdVQyM #
  • Chill time. http://t.co/uoldViOR #
  • View from our Olympic Village condo. #sundance http://t.co/pEeeNnrK #
  • Listening to @BrianKeene discuss his plans to conquer Hollywood. #
  • We have thundersnow up in the mountains. #
  • Touché, asshole. RT @BrianKeene: Listening to @MikeOliveri discuss his plans to conquer breakfast. #
  • I'm told the thunder is actually cannons that knock down avalanches on the ski slopes. Probably not as cool as it sounds. #
  • Now @BrianKeene and @Nukegumby are assailing @marysangiovanni and I with their a capella rendition of Rush's 2112. #
  • The tub drain is clogged. Swell. I think @marysangiovanni's tub is messed up, too. @BrianKeene is attempting to help her. #
  • Now @BrianKeene is attempting to help her. From the sound of things, it's a very stubborn clog. #
  • The snow is accumulating. I hope @TodClark's thin Texas blood is not turning to ice. If necessary, we shall thaw him with Maker's Mark. #
  • (Because that's what he brought. I wonder how hard it is to find Jameson in LDS land?) #
  • I don't know what this is, but it's weird. Looks like balls. http://t.co/8fbA6crW #
  • On a shuttle down to Sundance, listening to the most vapid, Valley Girl conversation I've ever heard. #
  • Main Street in Park City is jam packed. Not a whole lot to see with all the snow. #
  • A movie — oh, sorry, a FILM — must have just ended. People are suddenly streaming into the sushi bar & grill we're chilling at. #
  • While @BrianKeene fulfills a Hollywood obligation, we are stuffing our faces with sushi and Kobe beef. #
  • Mr @BrianKeene has returned a conquering hero. #
  • If this asshole says "literally" one more time, I will literally punch him in the face. #
  • It's funny listening to all these LA types bitch and moan about the snow. #sundance #
  • Subtitle: A Manual for Douchebags http://t.co/TjA3ecme #
  • Roads are closed to anything but 4WD vehicles, but @Nukegumby has us covered. We're on the way to rescue @MarkSylva. #
  • Rolling along behind snow plows and spreaders. It will take longer, but we'll be safe. #
  • The plows have forsaken us. We forge ahead. #
  • We have retrieved @MarkSylva from a SLC Burger King. Now back up the mountain pass. I need a badass truck like @Nukegumby's. #

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Sundance: Time to Roll

20120121-115541.jpg

I see my Twitter feed is actually showing up on the blog this time, even if it is very late. Excellent. Later today we’ll get into Park City and I should have some more interesting, actual Sundance-related things to show you. Yesterday was all about getting everyone here despite the weather, catching up with friends, and resting up for the weekend.

The photo attached to this post was taken from the balcony of our condo. Nice place. The snow’s falling and accumulating, but not fast enough to deter us. Besides, Mikey’s 4×4 pickup should climb over the snow as easily as it did the Porsche that got in our way last night.

Today we do our gawking.

Tomorrow we see Brian’s Ghoul premiere.

In between? Well, we’ll see what the day brings us.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Twitter Shenanigans for 2012-01-21

  • Going to feel naked at Sundance/Slamdance without my knife and Zippo, but I'm not checking baggage or chancing TSA confiscation. #
  • Yep. Doing laundry at 1AM because you have nothing for the trip ROCKS. #
  • At the airport with a half hour to spare, and will still get right through security with time to spare. Love these tiny regional airports. #
  • One of the TSA agents this morning is also one of the better cashiers at our Barnes & Noble. Good start to the trip! #
  • And I had a pleasant conversation with the grandmother sitting next to me on the flight. Bonus! I usually get crabby commuters. #
  • Wow. Verizon sucks balls in Dallas. #
  • A plain white t-shirt and a pink scarf? Really, hipster douchebag? #
  • "Hipsters to the left of me, douchebags to the right and here I am, stuck in the middle with you." #
  • Now if only the TSA would let me pack a straight razor. #
  • Hey, Karen Allen is in my flight. Marion rules. #
  • Pro: This flight has wifi. Con: I'm in a row with no tray table because I'm behind the galley. Going to be difficult to write with no tray. #
  • Right next to the engine, too! Bonus deafness for the win! This flight is looking to be the polar opposite of the last. #
  • "Your honor, I'm just a caveman. Your flying metal tube frightens and confuses me. But I have Twitter in it!" #
  • Sat on the runway for about thirty minutes, but I have a tray table after all. Friendly sky lady pulled it out of my seat like Houdini. #
  • While I'm at Sundance, you should read a free novel from @Docnoir: PSYCHOSOMATIC FREE ON SATURDAY & SUNDAY http://t.co/tmdNr0jE #
  • 30 minutes of free wifi is up on my iPad, but not my iPod touch! Suck it, Gogo! Now to see what's up with @BrianKeene's flight… #
  • The Cascades, as seen from Seat 31A http://t.co/Lqx1K2do #
  • It's weird seeing mountains. Used to flat ol' Illinois. #
  • Mikey just drove us past the Mormon Magic Kingdom. Next time I will have to have my camera ready. #
  • Circled behind it, got a picture after all. http://t.co/6aFOMn5w #
  • Gurkha Assassin Dagger. @TodClark and I waste no time. http://t.co/L7gxjpta #
  • Finally have the whole crew together. Now to dump our luggage in Park City and find some chow. #
  • We got a sweet condo for this thing. Movie people know how to roll. #

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Twitter Shenanigans for 2012-01-21

  • Going to feel naked at Sundance/Slamdance without my knife and Zippo, but I’m not checking baggage or chancing TSA confiscation. #
  • Yep. Doing laundry at 1AM because you have nothing for the trip ROCKS. #
  • At the airport with a half hour to spare, and will still get right through security with time to spare. Love these tiny regional airports. #
  • One of the TSA agents this morning is also one of the better cashiers at our Barnes & Noble. Good start to the trip! #
  • And I had a pleasant conversation with the grandmother sitting next to me on the flight. Bonus! I usually get crabby commuters. #
  • Wow. Verizon sucks balls in Dallas. #
  • A plain white t-shirt and a pink scarf? Really, hipster douchebag? #
  • “Hipsters to the left of me, douchebags to the right and here I am, stuck in the middle with you.” #
  • Now if only the TSA would let me pack a straight razor. #
  • Hey, Karen Allen is in my flight. Marion rules. #
  • Pro: This flight has wifi. Con: I’m in a row with no tray table because I’m behind the galley. Going to be difficult to write with no tray. #
  • Right next to the engine, too! Bonus deafness for the win! This flight is looking to be the polar opposite of the last. #
  • “Your honor, I’m just a caveman. Your flying metal tube frightens and confuses me. But I have Twitter in it!” #
  • Sat on the runway for about thirty minutes, but I have a tray table after all. Friendly sky lady pulled it out of my seat like Houdini. #
  • While I’m at Sundance, you should read a free novel from @Docnoir: PSYCHOSOMATIC FREE ON SATURDAY & SUNDAY http://t.co/tmdNr0jE #
  • 30 minutes of free wifi is up on my iPad, but not my iPod touch! Suck it, Gogo! Now to see what’s up with @BrianKeene‘s flight… #
  • The Cascades, as seen from Seat 31A http://t.co/Lqx1K2do #
  • It’s weird seeing mountains. Used to flat ol’ Illinois. #
  • Mikey just drove us past the Mormon Magic Kingdom. Next time I will have to have my camera ready. #
  • Circled behind it, got a picture after all. http://t.co/6aFOMn5w #
  • Gurkha Assassin Dagger. @TodClark and I waste no time. http://t.co/L7gxjpta #
  • Finally have the whole crew together. Now to dump our luggage in Park City and find some chow. #
  • We got a sweet condo for this thing. Movie people know how to roll. #

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

The Rockies

20120120-144731.jpg

Rocky Mountain National Park as seen from seat 31A.

Now landed in Salt Lake City, chilling with Mike Huyck as we wait for Brian Keene, Mary SanGiovanni, and the Clarks to land.

(The pilot called them the Cascade Mountains, but as a friend from Washington pointed out, that’s not possible given our flight path.)

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Travel Mode

In just a few hours, I’ll be heading out to the airport to catch a flight to Utah, where I’ll be visiting the Sundance and Slamdance film festivals to catch the premier of Brian Keene’s Ghoul. I’ve never been out there before, so I’m looking forward to an exciting weekend.

I’ll be putting the blog into travel mode. I may or may not blog from the road, I will probably post a few mobile pics, and if all works properly this time, my Twitter timeline will go onto the blog around 10pm central daily. The plugin which handles this hasn’t worked in the past, but maybe it will surprise me following the various updates to both Twitter Tools and WordPress over the last several months.

I should be sleeping right now. Instead I’m up doing laundry. I’m going to attempt to write on the plane, but I suspect I’ll end up passing out instead. Our group will probably all be worn out tomorrow night anyway, but that gives us all day Saturday and Sunday to cause chaos at the festival.

I’m also practicing my ninja packing skills. I’m not paying bag fees, so everything goes into a carry-on or it doesn’t go. The TSA says my knife and my Zippo stay home, which is going to feel weird. My workout clothing may be the first to go, because who am I kidding? I’m going to be too busy hanging out with my buds to get a workout in. I’m better off packing an extra sweatshirt for the cold.

Less than four hours of sleep before the trip. Yeah, that sounds about typical for my con trips. Tomorrow’s going to be rough, but the weekend will make up for it.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.