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After Deadline: 10 Oscar picks are pure perfection

Lake Pepin Ice_Sand.jpg
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers workers use an airboat to travel along the Lake Pepin section of the Mississippi River near Wabasha, last week.

After the smoke cleared from Sunday night's Oscars ceremony, 10 ballots entered in the Post-Bulletin's annual Red Carpet Contest were perfect.

That was from 103 entries received through Friday, the contest entry deadline. A few more entries ight trickle in Monday and Tuesday postmarked by the contest deadline. We'll publish the winners Friday. A bunch of free movie passes, popcorn and soda from the local theaters is at stake.

Entries predicted the outcomes in 10 Oscar categories — best picture, director, male and female lead and supporting actors, original screenplay and score, animated feature and foreign language film.

If going 10-for-10 doesn't seem like that big of a deal, consider this: Nobody had a perfect ballot last year. The best anyone got was 9 right, and there were only two of those.

As for the local "experts" whose predictions were published on Feb. 15, the "Med City Movie Guy," Chris Miksanek, had 8 right; critic Ryan Stotts had 6; last year's contest winner, Larry Raadt had 4; and yours truly? Gulp — 1.


Better luck next year?

— Jeff Pieters

A ride to remember

I wrote last week that the Corps of Engineers is beginning its annual monitoring of the ice on Lake Pepin, and it brought back some jaw-jolting memories.

Several years ago, I was allowed to ride with a corps worker as he went from the base of Pepin to around Frontenac to learn how thick the ice was. Commercial navigation companies rely on that information to decide when the ice is weak enough for the first towboat to bang through.

I was outfitted in a too-tight suit that would keep me afloat and a bit warm in case we broke through the ice or our airboat had a problem.

We buzzed up the lake a mile or two; I sat in front, happy to be outside on a nice day.

Then came the ice. The corps worker gunned the engine and we ran up on the ice. As I recall, I later wrote something like "imagine what it would be like driving down a bad road in a car with square concrete wheels."


That's pretty much what it felt like on that first mile or so of ice, which had broken apart and refrozen into jagged lumps.

Each mile, we would stop and the worker would drill a hole, measure the ice and call in the measurement to a man on shore. It wasn't hi-tech stuff, just hard jolting work.

By the time we got to Frontenac, I actually felt sort of sad to get out of the airboat.

— John Weiss

After Deadline is a weekly column of notes, gossip and observations that didn't make it into news stories last week. Got a tip for After Deadline? Send it to news@postbulletin.com.

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