Monday, January 23, 2012

On Location #14 - The Cele Store

Behold the Cele Store!

It's located in the middle of nowhere in Manor, TX and has been featured in several films like a few of the Texas Chainsaw Massacres although since there have been several sequels and remakes, I'm not particularly sure which ones.

Its rustic exteriors and interiors make it perfect for period pieces like the Clint Eastwood/Kevin Costner film "A Perfect World":

And for the film "Secondhand Lions":

Both films also shot interiors at the store but when I visited it was closed so I couldn't take any inside shots. You'll just have to wait until I make my way out there again. Both films also happen to be very good and have the rarity of getting thumbs up on the EMI blog!

So whenever you have some free time on your hands rent them both and have a Cele Store Double Feature!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Marking Time #19 - Dodd's Creek Bridge

Salado, TX puts a lot of effort into giving off a "quaint" vibe. So much so that even their historic marker is quite quaint. Check out one of the few lenticular truss bridges west of the Mississippi:

The unique bridge was moved to this part of Salado to keep pedestrians safe as they walk through the impressive Salado Arts District.

The marker reads:

One of many patented truss designs developed by American inventors and engineers in the mid- to late-19th century, this 87-foot lenticular truss bridge represents an unusual truss type in the United States. The lenticular design features a curved top and bottom chord which forms a lens shape. The patent, issued to William O. Douglas of Connecticut in 1878, was the only one given for a lenticular truss bridge in the United States. Most were constructed in the New England area and in New York state. Through the efforts of William Payson, a salesman for Douglas' Berlin Iron Bridge Company, Texas acquired at least a dozen truss bridges in the late 19th century.
The Coryell County Commissioners Court contracted with the Berlin Iron Bridge Company to build four lenticular truss bridges for $16,500 in 1889. This bridge originally was located across Cowhouse Creek and later was moved to Dodd's Creek.
In 1990 the Texas Historical Commission and the Texas Department of Transportation identified eight lenticular truss bridges surviving in Texas. Four of the spans were located in San Antonio; the other four were positioned on out-of-service roadways. The only examples of this rare bridge type west of the Mississippi, they are recognized as historically significant engineering structures. The Society for Industrial Archeology and Historic American Engineering Record, a branch of the National Park Service, also have recognized the importance of the Texas lenticular bridges as products of a short-lived but important period of bridge technology in 19th century engineering history. The Dodd's Creek bridge was moved to this site in 1997 to improve the flow of traffic, protect pedestrians and enhance the Salado Historic District. (2000)

Like any good bridge, this one has a troll protecting it as depicted here in the sculpture "Billy Goat Gruff" by Troy Kelley.

The other side of the bridge has a sculpture titled "Lovers" by Aaron Gist.

And after you cross the bridge you are greeted by what can only described as a "Bicycle Fence."

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

On Location #13 - "Whip It" on 6th Street

While we're in Austin we had to visit 6th Street. Our first stop was The Museum of the Weird but now we're going a little farther down the street for some more shooting locations from "Whip It."

At one point in the film there's the standard "love montage" featuring Whip It Girl & Whip It Boy having fun at various places in Austin. Here is looks like they just stopped by Roppolo's Pizza to have a slice and a quick piggy back ride:

Later they went down the street a few feet and took in a movie at The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema (which is one of the greatest movie theaters in the world despite the fact that they've never screened any of our films):

So that's another quick 6th Street visit. We've got at least one more before we leave Austin.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Fossil Hunt at the Museum of the Weird

Mummies and monsters haunt the halls of the chilling, thrilling and confounding manic menagerie known to many as the Museum of the Weird in Austin, TX. From Big Foot to mermaids, the shelves of the museum are filled with the uncommon and the unnatural.

But what do they have for the geo-enthusiast? The rock hound? The fossil junkie? Well, that depends on how strict you are about that "reality vs. fantasy" thing. For example, how about some fossilized faeries?

If you are interested in something a little more grounded in reality (then why would you come here?) then check out the fossilized skull of a Chilotherium, a.k.a. the "Dino Rhino":

The bulk of the rest of the museum pieces seem to be creepy creatures and mangled monsters but another fossilized find can be found in the gift shop. Check out these sweet ammonite earrings:

So there's a quick geo-run down of this unique place. It can easily be qualified as one of the most awesome places in existence so the next time you are partying on 6th Street in Austin, take 10 minutes to go check out the weirdness!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Marking Time #18 - Iron Works BBQ

A barbecue themed blog entry is long overdue so I hope you brought your appetites for today's installment of "Marking Time."

Iron Works BBQ is in downtown Austin and serves up heaping plates of smoked goodness with a side of history. The restaurant's site was the location for an actual family run iron works.

Their historical marker reads:

"Ironsmith Fortunat Weigl (1884-1973) migrated to Austin in 1913 from Germany with his wife Anna and sons F. Lee and Herbert. Work was scarce until 1917, when Weigl was commissioned by the noted local woodcarver Peter Mansbendel, who supplied a forge and tools. In 1922 Weigl established his own ornamental iron works, which he moved to this site in 1935. With the help of his sons, he produced original works, entirely hand wrought, for many significant Austin homes, the State Capitol, and buildings of the Universities of Texas and Texas A & M. His firm remained in operation until 1977."

So grab some lunch on your next history hunt. And if you need more convincing I'll leave you with this shot:

Thursday, January 12, 2012


In case you haven't heard the sad news about the results of the Dublin Dr Pepper lawsuit you can read about it HERE or HERE. The bottom line is that there will be no more Pure Cane Sugar Dublin Dr Pepper.

To give you some background on the whole Dublin Dr Pepper phenomenon here is some video we shot awhile back:

Cool, huh? Well, forget about it. While they'll still be bottling soda the old fashioned way, none of that soda will be the sweet, sweet Dr Pepper that we've all grown to love.

Need comforting? Me too. Let's head to the Twitterverse for reaction:

Food Network's Science-Food God Alton Brown had this to say:

The Artisan Baking Company is circulating an online petition:

Mega-soda mecca "Pops" on Route 66 in Arcadia, OK offered their condolences (and some short term solace):

Laura Seay found some good ol' American capitalism in the face of tragedy (see also eBay):

And finally, e.lugo recognizes that this and other recent events must be harbingers of the end times:

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

On Location #12 - "Whip It" in Austin

"Whip It" is what you must do when a problem comes along. It is also the name of a movie about roller derby chicks and whatnot and it brings us to today's "On Location."

Here's a scene where Juno/Kitty Pryde/Whip It Girl gets off a bus in Austin. The location is on South Congress Avenue near Elizabeth Street and has some of the the Wacky Austin Shops™ in the background.

The most recognizable shop is Lucy in Disguise With Diamonds costume shop/clothing store/Wacky Austin Shop™. As you may have noticed, it has a great big Carmen Miranda Zebra on the roof.

You can see downtown Austin in the background. Apparently a giant skyscraper was built after the filming of the movie but the rest of the skyline is relatively the same. You can see the Capitol Building in the middle.

Austin and the surrounding area have had plenty of films shot there (like Office Space) so hopefully I'll stumble across a few more while I'm down here.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Marking Time #17 - The Hippos of Hutto

When you visit the town of Hutto, TX (about 30 miles north of Austin) you can't help but notice the multitude of hippo statues. What gives? Well the town also has a Historic Marker which will hopefully shed some light on the situation.

The marker reads:

"Located near Shiloh, one of the earliest villages in Williamson County, this area was settled in 1855 by J. E. Hutto (1824-1914) and Adam Orgain, a former slave. Hutto sold land for this townsite to the International & Great Northern Railroad in 1876. A post office was established in 1877 with Hutto as postmaster. By 1882, the town had a school and a Baptist church. By 1898, there were six churches, a Masonic lodge, newspaper, hotel, bank, two gins, and several stores. Hutto grew rapidly after Swedish immigrants turned nearby farms to cotton production. The town was incorporated in 1911."

Ok, that really didn't help so here's the short version of the story: in 1915 a hippo escaped from a circus train and went about the business of hippo hi-jinks until the townspeople and animal trainers were finally able to catch him and return him to the train. Ever since then the town has had Hippo Fever!

The school even adopted the hippo as the official mascot and the town is riddled with hippo statues. Some say there are hundreds but I don't think anyone has ever done an official count.

Friday, January 6, 2012

On Location #11 - Office Space

We're going to move a little farther south for today's "On Location"...all the way to Austin, TX, the home of beloved businesses like Initech & Chotskies!

You may remember the exterior of the soul crushing company from the move "Office Space." The offices look vacant today and there are some "For Lease" signs up if you'd like to spend some dough to recreate your favorite scenes.

The location of Chotskies Restaurant has definitely lost its's now a bank. And a bank that doesn't seem to like it when people show up to takes pictures, no less!

It was hard to try and copy the angle from the film to get the picture but you can still see the background building behind the trees that have grown up.

There's still a few more locations from this film I need to track down but right now I need to get back to work on those TPS Reports.