Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Spy Among Us

This is funny. I was surprised to see this announcement in a Prague business journal about this old communist Jan Kubát. When us Canadians lived in Ružomberok, Slovakia back in 1979 this guy moved in next door to us and was appointed as our translator. Of course he was an StB (Communist State Secret Police) plant and was spying on us all the time. We had him figured out and would give him misinformation all the time. He was always hanging around us and we could never get rid of him. Now I see, like most of the other commies after the revolution, he has secured himself a nice cushy little job with a western company. Funny how things go eh?
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Naked Bartender at Bukowski's

I got to the bar at 1 pm on a Saturday afternoon and the door was open. I walked in and nobody was in the bar. I thought "oh fuck, we've been robbed!" First I looked towards the cash box. It was not there, but next to it was the tip jar full of cash. The Ipod was in its dock and the amp was sitting on its shelf. Something wasn't right. I looked in the back room and it was empty. Then I went into the kitchen and this is what I saw. Our bartender entertaining one of our lady guests. Oh and the cash box was just above him on the counter top FULL of cash!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Me and Lamborghini

1983 and I was hitch-hiking with Axel Doerwald from Munich down to the Cote d'Azur. We tried to steal this car but the door was locked. Fuck! We went down to the beach with our baguettes, nutella, 2 liter bottle of wine and watched the naked German chics instead.

JB in Heli

Still can't really figure out how they got old JB into the seat but there he is and ready to fly. Must've fed him a lot of wine. Looks quite happy though eh? And he's got his rohlik firmly wedged in there for the rough ride.

Jo's Bar by Jesse Littell

I think Jesse made this painting of Jo's for Andrea Heberger of Germany. Check out Jesse's site at:

Its a big site with lots of content.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Original Michelob

Michelob Brewery Anton Dreher, signed Saaz (currently ŽATEC in the Czech Republic) 1876

This is around the same time that Adolphous Busch was on his sabbatical around Europe to meet with Brewers and suppliers. This most likely brought him to Saaz to negotiate hops purchase agreements with the Jewish traders.
Dreher owned the Michelob estate (about 9 Km outside of Saaz) with not only the brewery but also thousands of hectares of Saaz hops. He bought up this land for the hops production and Moravian farms for the barley production which he used to supply his three breweries: Schwechat outside Vienna, Michelob in Bohemia and Dreher in Budapest.

Michelob is now called Mecholupy in the Czech Republic. the old brewery is still there as is the Dreher Estate house. Hop fields all around. Best and most expensive hops in the world.

Busch not only stole the name Budweiser from Bohemia but also the name Michelob. I even have an email from AB categorically denying that the name comes from any place, person or thing. Yeah bullshit. Here's the proof! Story in book.

I finally found this document after searching thru archives all over the north west of the Czech Republic. I found a mountain of boxes of personal items of the Dreher family confiscated by the Communists including boxes and boxes of passports, pictures and piles of letters bound in groups. I am surprised that none of the family has ever been up there to claim it back. If you are related, feel free to contact me and I will point you in the right direction.
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Monday, March 23, 2009

The Penny Black

First Ever Postage Stamp. So there it is! Printed by Jacob Perkins, the American who made the first properly uncounterfeitable US dollars (or greenbacks) back in the 1840s. His process involved stainless steel plates instead of the copper ones that were easily copied. He ended up dying in poverty because the English didn't like him.
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Just an aside, this church at Jiřího z Poděbrad was designed by one of my favorite architects Josip Plečnik. Ever been to Ljubljana? His work is everywhere in that city. Cool dude old Plečnik. He was Slovenian but in the early 20th century he was Dean of Architecture at Charle's University and was hired by Masaryk to reconstruct the castle when Czechoslovakia was formed. You can see his signature design elements all over the castle to this day.
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Another Yawn

So what about this photo? I dunno. It looks ok to me. This is the backside of the Tyn church on old town square
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The Little Whale

This is Jason LeGear, the owner and operator of The Little Whale restaurant around the corner from my place on Maltezske nam. His place became internationally famous the other night when Paul Weller (of The Jam and Style Council) got pissed out of his tree there and then got arrested by the cops. Made the front page of the British tabloids. Check it out on youtube. Very funny.
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This is my microcosm as seen thru the eye of my little Lomo
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Sunday, March 22, 2009

Orig vs HDR

Ok so here you can see the two versions. I still don't know how to adjust anthing but will have a go once I get a tutor. I'm such a tech-peasant
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The Original

So this is the original pic taken in Raw digital format and the next is the HDRI format of the same picture. The program has pushed the exposure +1 and -1 and then formed the three together: -1, 0 and +1. Check it out
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Alright, here is one picture that I tried out. I used a trial software so thats why you see the watermark
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Michalska Street

We used to run a bar in this street called Zelezne Dvere. The entrance was in the passageway of the second building on the right. The white building. The first two windows on the first floor was my bedroom. Little Glenn and I rented a 200 square meter flat in that building. It was a huge party flat; we even built a bar in there. We had huge parties with really loud music and the cops could never figure out where it was coming from. Downstairs in the basement was the club. It was great for a while then one night someone got shot and killed down there. Then it was time to close. The full story's in the book. I keep you posted.
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St Nicholas Church, Mala Strana

This image also in Raw format. Will do the plus minus HDR soon with it and then post the new photo.

This church was built by Christoph Dientzenhofer in the late 17th and early 18th, High Baroque.

Will be taking some pics from that tower also soon. My flat is just here on the left where you see the lamp shining.

One time I got into a fight just there at the foot of the church with 4 motherfuckers who had just trashed my bar. I won but it was a hard slog. The one guy must still be walking funny. It was ugly and I lost my Russian watch in the kerfuffle. A good offense is your best defense. Story in the book. I think, I hope, if it isn't I'll send you an email with the details.
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Prague Castle

I had my tripod with me and was shooting in Raw format. I took a bunch of photos and have downloaded some HDRI software to process the files. Still gotta get someone over to show me how. Once I have mastered it then I will be posting some of the results. Fingers crossed.

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Old Town Square

All those years I have lived here and never been up this tower. Cost 70 Kc and there's an elevator all the way up. I was out all day Saturday taking pictures and decided to start visiting all the main towers in town. This is the first one. the Orloj
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U Zaveseneho Kafe

OK. This was in the summer of 94 or 95 and the whole bar had a party up the hill near the castle in U Zaveseneho Kafe (The Hanging Coffee) run by Jakub and Helena. It was a photo exhibit of Matt Pollitz. In this photo is at far left Swiss Jirka, Honza the Terrible in red, Kire of Macedonia in white shirt and suspenders, Mean Steve the boogy woogy piano player from Toronto drinking the beer, Matthew Healey sitting with long hair and purple shirt, Jo-Anne facing him, Peter and Michelle at top of steps and that's about all I can name. Oops, just below Jo-Anne is black-haired David Gross.

Jakub and Helena got run out of this location by some prick in the building and now have a new location a bit lower facing the orchards at the bottom of Uvoz.

If anyone knows any more names then leave a comment. Cheers
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Bobby Herron

Here's an old shot of Bobby up at the castle in Krumlov in 94 or 95. He came over to Prague in 1992 and set up the mexican kitchen at Jo's. He set up the first mexican kitchen in Eastern Europe. We were making quesadillas, burritos and nachos when most other expats were still trying to find out where to buy toilet paper. Now he lives on Vancouver Island and plays music as he always did. Remember the B-Sides?

Here is his website for his new band Big Red Truck
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Lomo Fisheye

I bought myself a little Lomo Fisheye camera the other day. They're not made in St. Petersburg any more. I think they're made now in Austria. On the box it says made by the Lomographic Society International. This is a picture of Wenceslas on his horse with the Museum in the background at the top of Wenceslas square. I shot off two rolls at Jitka's birthday party last night so hopefully tmrw I'll have some gems to put up of drunk silly people.
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Chess Men

Roman Slepica (left) and Honza the Terrible lock horns on a summer day outside Jo's Bar on malostranske nam in 94 or 95
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Saturday, March 21, 2009


Its Billy Conway from Ballymena and Nicole in the background downstairs at Jo's Garaz. 1997?
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Inside Nazi Factory

In the first pic you can see as we we squeeze though the hole in the heavy steel doors. Looks like somebody used some sort of heavy equipment to bend the door back like that because the doors were about 10 inches thick.
In the second pic you see that we have all made it in and now just about to go thru the next broken down barrier into the mine itself.

The last pic is some graffiti in German. It says "Wir sind wieder da!" which means: "We are there again!"
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Repre Club

This must be mid 1994 when we first got the Repre club up and running. Its John-Bruce on the left, Joey Knuckles on the right and Marketa in the middle. Story in book coming soon
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Honza "the Terrible" Král

Here is Prague's infamous Honza the Terrible when he was still sporting the eastern mustachio. He has been an air-traffic controller for thirty years now and not unlike all ATC's I have met, he doesn't half like his drink when he has time off. They called him the Terrible because he had a bad habit of showing young travellers and other unsuspecting innocents how to drink Becherovka. He would make people drink a few until they got super pissed and had to leave or puked or passed out or some combination of all the above. Then he would find another group of travelers and do it all over again. Ultimately he would be the last one standing, would sleep in the back room and then start at 11 am again when we opened. Iain, the Scottish barman once said, "Aye, its Honza the Terrrrible!" And the name stuck.
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