Tuesday, November 29, 2005


Now, I’m as big a Ric Flair fan as the next guy, but when I saw this story I couldn’t resist. I can just imagine it now, Ric getting all pissed being behind some asshole driver, and then getting out and punching him, only to then look at the poor fella laying on the ground and yell “Wooooooo, I’m the naicha boy, bitch! Wooooooo!”

Here is the report, as listed on TheSmokingGun.com: Wrestler Ric "The Nature Boy" Flair surrendered to North Carolina cops on misdemeanor charges in November 2005 after being accused of throttling a fellow motorist during a road rage incident. The 56-year-old Flair (real name: Richard Fliehr) was booked by the Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office, where the below mug shot was snapped. Flair, who allegedly grabbed a Charlotte man by the throat and kicked (and dented) the guy's Toyota during the confrontation, posted $1000 bond and was released.

And no, his nose isn't busted because of the guy, Ric just had the hell beat out of him in a match on Sunday night. Yes, wrestling is predetermined, but guys still get hit, and most of the time it hurts, especially when you're almost 60.


Keeping things brief

I'm back from Charleston and busy here at work.
Bebe and I got engaged on Friday, I'll try to get a picture of the ring up as soon as I can. We're having problems taking pictures of it because out camera doesn't have a manual focus and the "smart" focus doesn't seem to be very smart when it comes to taking pictures of small things close up.
Going to be a busy week for me. I'm working long hours this week because I'm taking a half day to go to Orlando for the CUSA Championship game this weekend. However, I'm coming down with a cold, so my plans may be in ruins if I don't get over this quick.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Heading Home for the Holiday

I'm heading to my parents house for Thanksgiving. I plan on getting on the road at around 1:30 or so.
Should be a decent drive from Atlanta to Charleston, I-20 east to I-26 south.
It's a boring drive though. We'll have the dog and Geoff, my bird, along as well, which should just make things all the merrier.
Oh well...
Thirty bucks says I have a barrage of e-mails from the work-a-holics here when I get back on Monday, since I doubt any of them took Friday off. However, that's not my problem, it's theirs.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Sam "Ugly Dog" passes away at age 14

I was sad to see that Sam had passed.

I can only assume that his life was miserable, so maybe it was for the better.

By the looks of him, he appeared to be in pain. If he waasn't in pain, he at least cause many of the people who looked at him to be in pain.

Either way, the world is now rid of what is possible the most vile looking creature I have ever laid eyes on.


Scare on the Ice

I was flipping through the channels last night and browsing the internet for sports scores when I heard about Detroit Red Wings defenseman Jiri Fischer suffering a seizure on the ice during their game.

Being from the greater Detroit metro area originally, I’m a big Red Wings fan and try to catch as many games as I can, so I was very concerned to hear about Jiri. A seizure, so abrupt, and out of no where, is a very scary event for anyone to witness.

It immediately reminded me of the time I was helping one of my favorite wrestlers of all time, Scott Hall, and his two kids try on shoes when I was working at Champ Sports. I remember it very vividly, like it was yesterday, Scott was laughing about how big his kids feet had gotten and he looked up at the TVs in the store. Then, out of no where, I heard him make a weird gasp and fall to the ground. He started to seize severely, hitting his head and cutting it open slightly. After a brief moment, I hurried the kids to the side, moved everything out of the way so he could continue to seize without hitting anything, and immediately called for my store manager to call 911.

Scott was okay, and a bit shaken up, obviously. Fortunately, unlike
Jiri, there was no need to use a defibrillator or any form of CPR. I never found out why Scott had that seizure, nor did I find out if he’s had one since. I do know it was a scary experience for me, and I’m sure one that has stayed with his son and daughter their whole life.

I’m glad to hear Jiri is doing well and expected to make a full recovery. Thanks to the swift actions of the paramedics on the scene, Jiri will be okay.

In light of everything else going on lately, it was nice to get at bit of good news for a change.


Monday, November 21, 2005

Another classic from Engrish.com

Here's a picture from Engrish.com.

Classic. Just classic.

Penetrate on your own time.


Weekend wrap up

Well, Sunday went from bad to worse.
First, Bebe had her purse stolen while she was in the parking lot at Publix yesterday. Fortunately, Bebe is a tough cookie and raced after the guy and managed to get his license plate number. A sheriff's department officer happened to be in the parking lot, and a call was put out immediately. They have already found the man's car and two women's purses, neither of which was Bebe's. They expect to have an arrest on this man sometime today. Bebe is shaken, but otherwise okay. Obviously, she will be a bit nervous when going out over the next few weeks, but she's tough and will be okay. I'll keep you posted.
Second, Tony Stewart won the NASCAR Nextel Cup yesterday. Actually, this isn't THAT bad. T-Stew has driven well this season and deserved it. It is his second championship in five years.
In better news, UCF, my alma matter, won their seventh game in Conference USA Saturday, which secures them the Conference USA East spot in the Conference USA Championship game. What's better, UTEP lost on Saturday which means UCF will have home field advantage over whomever comes out as the top team in Conference USA West. This is really great news for UCF. Coming into this season we were 0-11, with a 17 game losing steak, the longest in the NCAA at the time. Coach George O'Leary has really turned around the team and not only made them bowl eligible with 7 road games this year, but will take them to a conference championship game. That is defiantly Coach of the Year material right there. If we win the CUSA championship game, we will go to the Liberty Bowl in Memphis. I'm not sure who we'll face, but that is just outstanding news for our football program. In addition, UCF got 12 votes to be in the top 25, the most we have ever received.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

And then there was one

For the second Sunday in a row I woke up only to learn about a death. This death was much closer to me than Eddie Guerrero; this was my pet Green Cheek Conure Jayne. When I checked on the birds this morning I found her at the bottom of the cage dead. Based on how she was lying, I believe she got cage fright during the middle of the night, and when spooked fell to the bottom of the cage where she got part of her beak stuck on the grating. It looked at if she was struggling and either passed away by breaking her neck, or of a heart attack due to panic which is common in birds who go through intense trauma. Once I got her free from the bottom of the cage, and examined her body, I found no evidence of a fight between her and Geoff, my other Green Cheek Conure, and have decided it was not the result of “bird foul play.” Death from cage fright is a common occurrence for tropical birds, and not anything you can really prevent.

I’ve had Jayne for about a year and a half. She was a good bird, well behaved, and nice. Jayne was never one to be cuddled much, she didn’t like to be scratched or handled as much as Geoff. She was always all too eager to come out of her cage though. Jayne was fearless, and not scared of anything, even our dog. I’m not sure if she ever learned how to talk like Geoff has, although I think I’ve heard her say a few things, most likely imitating Geoff imitating me, as opposed to actually saying what I said.

Jayne was never much of a chewer, and she didn’t partake in playing with bell toys or chew toys in her cage like Geoff did. Instead, Jayne was a dancer, and boy could she dance. Any time I put on music, or just hummed along, she would start bobbing her head to the rhythm. It was truly a sight to behold.

After checking on Geoff, to make sure there wasn’t something I was overlooking, I took him and Jayne’s body downstairs. I placed Geoff on a chair that could overlook the front window, and went and wrapped Jayne’s body in some paper towels. I then went outside and buried Jayne in front of our main window so Geoff could watch.

Bebe and I were upset this morning. I’m not sure how birds deal with death. I know dogs and cats understand loss, as many dogs and cats die soon after their partner. Tropical birds, having around the same level of intelligence as cats and dogs, some seven to eight times higher, probably feel much the same way. Geoff was in the cage with Jayne as she lied dead most of the night and part of the morning. I’m sure he is aware of what happened, or that she is no longer alive. A few times this morning I could hear Geoff making the sound he and Jayne used to whenever I would separate them.

I will have to pay extra special attention to Geoff over the next few days to make sure that something bad doesn’t befall him too. I never thought losing a bird would be this sad, I greatly underestimated the feeling. I feel like crap this morning, absolute crap. I feel like there is something that I should have been able to do, something that I was overlooking. I get angry, blame myself, blame that stupid cage, blame the pet store they let me buy her.

I know it’s not my fault though, it’s not anyone’s fault. Things like that happen. These birds were not intended to be kept like pets like dogs and cats. Dogs and cats picked humans as much as we picked them in nature. Our lives just sort of blend well together, especially when you look at the historical theories on how the first cats and dogs became domesticated, it’s as if dogs and cats were meant to be with humans. Birds are another story altogether. It wasn’t the same bonding like it was with dogs and cats. Birds didn’t pick us, we picked them. Maybe it’s because we want to fly, want to be able to escape it all. Maybe it’s because of their beautiful colors, maybe because of their songs, their feather, all of it. But it’s not the same, not the same as other animals.

Birds were meant to be in the trees, meant to be in the sky, meant to be places other than with people. I can never return Geoff to the wild, back to the forests of Uruguay and Paraguay where he is native. I may never even make it to South America. Instead, I have to make sure that I give him everything he was supposed to get when God, a higher power, nature, or whatever dictated to him when his species came to be.

I loved Jayne and will miss her dearly. It won’t be the same upstairs without her and Geoff screaming along anymore.

Jayne passed away today, she was two years old.


Friday, November 18, 2005

The Housing Market

As I read article after article about the housing market getting ready to pop, or mortgage rates going up again, or people getting nailed by adjustable rate mortgages I realize just how lucky I was when I bought my house.
Bebe and I looked for a while before we decided where to buy. We new that being close to the city was out of the question, it was just too expensive, and that buying resale was going to cost us more than we wanted. If we were going to get a realistic investment that was most likely outside of the housing bubble, we knew that a starter home in a new community was the right choice.
We decided on the KB Homes Rivers Edge development in Cherokee County, north of Atlanta. It was further way from the city than I would have liked, but it was near my work, and Cherokee County is set for a great 15-20 years of growth. The development it really close to the highway, and we've got ample shopping nearby, so it fit us nicely.
Once we decided on the home, we have the Charleston model, we moved on getting the mortgage. This was a pain in the ass, and I'm not looking forward to it again. We held out ground, and with some help from my parents and Bebe's parents, we put together enough money to cover closing and moving expenses. I would have liked to have put some money down, but that was really an option, and the longer we waited, the more the house was going to cost us. We ended up getting a 5.75 fixed 30 yr APR, which is f'ing great. I'm really happy about that. In addition, the base price of our home has went up just over ten grand. By the time the development is completed, the base price of our houses should be right in line for what we paid after getting all our options.
Bebe and I got hardwood floors, and spent most of the other option money in the master bathroom and kitchen, the two places most likely to give us a return on our investment. Other than that, we got a few other minor options like a vaulted ceiling in the master bedroom, and an upgraded light in the dining area.
I like my neighborhood. It's all young couples starting out or older couples who've recently downsized their houses because the kids are all gone, or they are set to retire. There really isn't much in-between, but it adds a nice mix to the neighborhood. The houses are very moderately priced, so I don't think there will be much of an issue with resale, since we'll be selling at a price that is right in line with what a house our size and with the options we have, should go for.
I feel bad for people who waited, or people who purchased houses out of their ranged because of weird mortgages. On the other hand, it's good for me though since most of the foreclosures will start happening right when I'm ready to sell, so I'll probably get a great home at a great price.
Anyway, we're going to start decorating the house for the holidays soon, I'll be sure to put pictures up.
We're going to Charleston to be with my parents for Thanksgiving. It will be fun. My Pops and I have sort of a tradition of putting up the lights the day after Thanksgiving now, so that'll be fun, as long as it's not too cold. It'll be nice to see my brother and my cousin again. Should be good times.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Not feeling social today?

I think this picture is just priceless. It's perfect for those days when, you just don't want anyone touching you.

Hey, stop it!

Don't touch me!

I'm afraid of hurt!

This would be perfect for a t-shirt. It could sweep the nation.


Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Rick Steiner Wins School Board Seat

This article comes courtesy of the AJC.

Without so much as a body slam, real estate agent and former professional wrestler Rick Steiner became Cherokee County's newest school board member.
The board voted 4-2 on Nov. 10 to appoint Steiner to the seat vacated by Fred Larsen in September. Steiner will stay in the post until the end of 2006, when the seat is up for re-election.

Steiner, 44, said he has quit wrestling and works for Keller Williams Realty in Woodstock. He spoke to the board before the vote.

"Last time I was in front of a microphone five years ago, I was hollering and screaming and ranting and raving. This is a lot more terrifying," he said.

Steiner praised the district's anti-bullying program and said he would encourage the district to use retired teachers as volunteer tutors. He wants to provide more learning opportunities for teachers and improve technology use in the schools. On the issue of growth, Steiner said more pressure should be put on land developers to donate sites to the school system. He also emphasized his experience as a teacher, fund-raiser and businessman.

Steiner is expected to be sworn in this morning. "I want to focus my attention on what's best for the kids," he said. "I want to be a spoke in the wheel and do whatever I have to do for the kids."

Steiner has three children who attend E.T. Booth Middle and Harvest Baptist School. He said his younger sons will eventually attend Chapman Intermediate School. He enrolled them in the private Christian school because it gives them a moral base, he said.

Steiner earned a bachelor's degree in education from the University of Michigan. His wife, Jamye, is a computer operator and adviser assistant. Steiner also held a teaching certificate for k-12 education and worked as a substitute teacher in Minnesota. He is a member of the Etowah Junior Eagles Touchdown Club and the E.T. Booth PTSA.
In his wrestling career, Steiner was best known as half of the tag team the Steiner Brothers along with his brother Scott.

I can't say I know how I feel about this. However, Rick does look a bit more "polished" in his picture here than when he's in his wrestling garb. Lets hope he doesn't cut a promo on any teachers or PTA members who disagree with him.

Kurt Busch Blood Alcohol levels

As a follow up to the blood alcohol levels of Kurt Busch when he was arrested last week, here is what Jakski.com has found out:

An alcohol test taken by defending Nextel Cup Champion Kurt Busch showed the 27-year-old fell far short of the legal level for intoxication last Friday night near Phoenix International Raceway, the Maricopa County Sheriff's Department said late Monday. Busch was charged with reckless driving near the raceway on Friday evening after he was clocked at 60-mph in a 45-mph zone by a Maricopa County deputy. Busch began fleeing from the deputy by running a stop sign and making erratic lane changes. Busch was pulled over less than three miles from the Phoenix track moments later after a second officer assisted in the pursuit. "Mr. Busch was administered a preliminary breath test at the command post which registered .017," Maricopa Sheriff's Lt. Paul Chagolla said.

In Arizona, a person can be charged with driving under the influence with a blood-alcohol level at .08 or higher. A 170-pound male who consumes two drinks in two hours will have a blood-alcohol content of .01, according to estimates from the Mothers Against Drunk Driving Web site. Chagolla said the decision to have Busch take a second breath alcohol test — this time on an Intoxilyzer 8000 machine — was at the sole discretion of the deputy. "It's all up to the investigating officer," Chagolla said. "He could have made that decision, but this is an experienced deputy sheriff who does many DUI arrests. You have to trust his decisions." Chagolla said Saturday that Busch had performed a preliminary breath alcohol test during Friday evening's roadside stop.

Chagolla admitted Monday night, however, the chronology of events he originally reported was erroneous, and the initial breath alcohol test was conducted at the county's command post at the speedway. "The odor of alcohol, combined with dangerous driving, gave the officer the right to transport Mr. Busch," Chagolla said. Media reports from Chagolla on Saturday said the Intoxilyzer 8000 had failed.

When asked why the .017 reading wasn't made available to the public on Saturday, Chagolla said he was still on a fact-finding mission. "Whatever information I had at the time is what I was going to release," Chagolla said. "And it's important to note that never at any point did the sheriff's office say he was impaired."

Busch was suspended Sunday for the season's final two Cup events. Roush Racing president Geoff Smith defended the decision, saying Busch's actions violated contractual obligations with sponsor Crown Royal, whose parent company is Diageo. "Regardless of whatever level of [alcohol] presence was there while driving, we have some very strict sponsorship rules in place,," Smith told reporters. "We feel very strongly that those rules have been significantly breached." Busch and Roush Racing representatives could not be reached for comment Monday evening.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(11-15-2005)

Looks like Kurt wasn't under the influence, although he had been drinking. Instead, had he not acted like a total dick to police, he wouldn't be in this predicament. However, once an ass, always an ass.


New Info on The Leak Case!

Evidently, Mr. Bob Woodward was privy to the CIA Identity of Valerie Plame well before she was publicly exposed.
He cites a "Senior Bush Administration Official" as his source.
This might make the leak case even more interesting.
I don't think this will impact "Scooter" Libby at all (God, what kind of a tool has the nickname Scooter?). Mainly because he's charges with obstruction and lying, not with leaking the identity.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

MMMM... beefy!

Just what I want to eat! 
Smells like chicken!

Eddie's cause of death announced

As reported by WWE.com, Eddie died of "heart failure brought on by past drug and alcohol abuse." It was good to know that he did not die because he had been taking drugs, or that he had drugs in his system.
Eddie's wife, Vicki, went on to report "They found signs of heart disease. She (the examiner) said that the blood vessels were very worn and narrow, and that just showed all the abuse from the scheduling of work and his past. And Eddie just worked out like crazy all the time. It made his heart grow bigger and work harder and the vessels were getting smaller, and that’s what caused the heart failure...As soon as they saw his heart, they saw the lining of his heart already had the heart disease. There was no trauma, and Eddie hadn’t hurt himself in any way." It had been reported he was found collapsed, in the bathroom, toothbrush in hand.
I'm glad they put this out there, to put to rest any claims that he had died because he was hiding his "drug habit" and that he hadn't really "recovered." This will help with Eddie's legacy that he did overcome his demons, and died with honor.
Your actions do have consequences though, and sometimes those consequences can be magnified by other things. One has to wonder about the "It made his heart grow bigger" part. I think this is due to steroids, although I doubt anyone will say that. I don't know about, nor have ever read that, working out causes your heart to grow bigger. Heart muscles are a different type of muscle fiber than regular muscles, such as those found in your arms and legs. They don't grow the same way, and have to be stimulated differently to grow (aka by steroids). In addition, an enlarged heart is not a good condition.
I've been a weight lifter on and off for several years. I go through spurts where I will put on weight, and then lose the weight. I've stayed trim my whole life, never really getting chubby, and am in really good shape right now. Reading that this was caused by "heart related problems" has grabbed my attention. It makes me worried, keeps me up at night.
Last night, for example, I had trouble falling asleep. I could feel my heart beating, I had a few palpitations, and I couldn't relax. I ended up getting up and going upstairs to read a book, that way I wouldn't keep up Bebe. Eddie kept going through my head, maybe because I had just seen his tribute show that night, but I had this feeling that he died because of a problem with his heart. Today, my fears were proved correct.
Heart disease is the number one killer in America today. It has no cure, only preventative measures that one can take. Fortunately, I do not have a history of heart disease in my family. I am not overweight, I quit smoking a few years ago (I only smoked for three years or so, and never more than half a pack a day or so), and do not drink very much anymore. I exercise regularly, do not eat much fatty foods (although I do love me some peanuts), and get plenty of fiber in my diet. I'm confident that I don't have heart disease.
But what else might be causing my problems? Could it be stress? Likely. Could it be something else? Maybe. The point is, I don't know, and there is no way for me to find out. What I do know is that I am concerned...concerned that I've done the right things in my life and yet, something could be wrong with me, something I don't deserve. I'm probably overreacting, but I think my point is valid.
My pops always said "life isn't fair," in all fairness I'm sure my mom said that too, and he's right. You never know when your time might come up, so you've got to be sure that at the end of each day, you'd be happy if it's your last. Don't go to sleep angry. Don't hold grudges. Always tell your significant others you love them. Do things you enjoy doing at night, put the work aside. Don't stop dreaming, ever. And finally, eat desert first.

Not so "New" Poll results

In what seems to be a weekly trend, there are "new" poll results that show Bush at his lowest approval ratings "ever."
Feel like I head this same headline each week, or at least each time a new poll comes out.
Man, 37 percent sucks.

Monday, November 14, 2005

A somber weekend

I still can't believe Eddie is dead. I mean, I was just watching him on the television a few weeks back. It's truly a shame, and it will take a while for me to get used to. He's the first wrestler that I was a big fan off to pass away, and the first wrestling in the middle of his prime to do so in quite some time. The last I can remember was Owen Hart, and that was due to an equipment malfunction, unlike Guerrero who was found dead in his hotel room.
It was also a bummer to hear that Kurt Busch, a NASCAR driver I root for and have on my fantasy team, was pulled over for reckless driving this past Friday night. Evidently, Kurt was under the influence. While he was not charged with DUI, they did press wreckles driving charges against him. I'm not sure of the whole story, so I may have some details wrong, but I'm sure NASCAR.com will have some stuff on it later today. In addition to being under the influence, Kurt was quite belligerent with the police arresting him. This doesn't come as that big of a surprise though, since Kurt has been knowing for being quite an asshole in his tenure driving in NASCAR. Jack Rousch, his current team owner, suspended him for the final two races of the season, an abrupt turn around from his comments earlier in the week when he stated he planned on taking no actions against Kurt. Jack appears to have caved due to pressure from the sponsors of the 97 car, which Kurt races. One of his sponsors is Crown Royal, and being an alcoholic beverage, I'm sure they do not want to be associated with someone accused of driving under the influence. What's even more interesting is that Kurt will be switching teams next year to race the 2 car for Penske. As most of you may, or may not, know, the 2 car, which has been driven by Rusty Wallace since the late 1800s (this is a joke, NASCAR hasn't even been around that long), is sponsored by Miller Lite. It will be interesting to see how Miller handles the situation, especially if it comes to light that Kurt was indeed intoxicated.
TNA had their Genesis PPV last night. Unfortunately, Phil Collins did not make a run in during the main event, which was a bummer. On the other hand, Christian made his TNA debut, cutting one hell of a promo. While I didn't order the PPV this month (I've ordered the last 2 TNA PPVs) I read the play by play on PWInsider.com and read the transcript of Christians promo. Things should start to get REALLY interesting over the next few weeks now that Christian is in the mix.
I rented Fire Emblem for the Gamecube this weekend and have played about 5 or 6 hours worth of it. It's a solid game, and if you're a fan of the strategy RPG like I am (think Final Fantasy Tactics, or Ogre Battle) you'll like this. The graphics are good, the sound is solid, and so far the story is very interesting. It's due back Wednesday, but if I like it enough I may buy it, not sure though.
Other than that, ran a few errands this weekend, bought some shoes and stuff. Still trying to get an cardiologist appointment, I'll make note when I do.

Sunday, November 13, 2005


I remember turning into to watch WCW Saturday Night on TBS and being awe struck by the pure athleticism of one of the wrestlers. His name was Eddie Guerrero, and he was one of the first, in what would be a wave, of amazing Hispanic talents to his the shores of the US.

It’s because of wrestlers like Eddie that I first fell in love with professional wrestling. I never cared for the drama, the storylines, the promos, I loved the matches. I loved the athleticism of the men and women in the ring, and Eddie was a part of revitalizing the athletic aspect of wrestling back in the early to mid 90s.

His career started in Mexico, where he is from the famous Guerrero wrestling family. His father was a former champion in Mexico, and he was destiny to follow in his fathers footsteps. Eddie came to the US and made his name in ECW, wrestling for Paul Heyman. After a short run there, Eddie signed with Eric Bischoff’s WCW, where he stayed for most of the 90s. Eventually, Eddie was signed to Vince McMahon’s WWE. Two years ago, Eddie fulfilled his dream when he won the Heavyweight title by beating Brock Lesnar.

Eddie’s career was filled with highs and lows. He has battled drug addition and alcohol addition most of his life. The life of a wrestler is hard, harder than most realize. They are on the road 250-300 days a year, being able to spend two to three days, at most, a week with their families. Living in hotels, motels, busses, and other places leads many men and women to use drugs and alcohol as a form of escape. Eddie was no exception. However, he fought back from his demons, as chronicled in his biography “Cheating Death: The Eddie Guerrero Story.”

I always liked Eddie, because he always just had solid matches. His promos on camera were great, he had a fun character, both when he was a good guy and a bad guy, and you always knew than when Eddie was in a match you were going to get your monies worth. His series of matches with Kurt Angle will always be looked at as one of the best under card feuds ever in wrestling, or at least in this decade.

Eddie had come a long way in his life, overcome many obstacles, and was truly a role model for any who doubt that drugs and alcohol can truly be beaten. The ring will be a little less special now with him gone, and that’s a real shame. Eddie will live on however, his matches chronicled on DVD and video so that everyone will be able to look back and see how one of the best in the business took care of things in the ring.

Eddie Guerrero died today, he was on 38.


Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Wrestling News

The breaking news in the wrestling world is that Jay "Christian" Reso has signed with TNA. I think this is huge. WWE really missed the boat on him and when he left, I had hoped it was so he could go to TNA and become the heavyweight champ he should be. I will be looking forward seeing what sort of impact Christian has on TNA.
A picture of Jay "Christian" Reso
In other news, WWE Smackdown Heavyweight Champ Batista went down with a serious muscle injury in his back. I like big Dave, and think he's been coming along nicely as a champ. This will cause a serious problem to the Smackdown storylines and long term booking. I wish Big Dave Batista a speedy recovery.
A picture of WWE Smackdown Champ Dave Batista

Monday, November 07, 2005

Halo the Movie

I don't usually post whole movie reviews, but reading this thing is like a wet dream.

Evidently, LatinoReview.com got the scoop on the Halo movie script and it was a real solid lead.

Here, in it's entirety, is the post from the site:

Yes folks, we at Latinoreview got ourselves the multimillion-dollar script of Halo by Alex Garland! I had to pull some Sam Fisher Splinter Cell moves to get it – but we got it. Let’s see, they paid Alex Garland $1 million bucks to write it, they sold it to Universal and Fox for $5 million bucks plus 10 percent of the gross. And they gave a seven-figure deal to both Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh to exec produce the movie. A $10 million dollar script – at least. Wow. The question: Is the script any good? My answer?

Hell yeah, baby! This script rocks man. The script is so damn good and entertaining that I read it more than once. A tour de force. The clowns at the other studios who passed on this are gonna lose their jobs when this movie comes out and opens huge. Whoever at the other studios thought that this script wasn’t up to snuff can kiss my ass. Idiots. You think Peter Jackson is going to get involved with a property if the script royally sucked?! I think not.

Halo is a balls to the wall unapologetic, ruthlessly ultra-violent war movie – and it’s cool as hell, man. How violent is it? It’s the Saving Private Ryan of video game movies. We got headshots, bodies being cut in half by the swords of the Stealth Elite. We see what kind of damage plasma grenades can do and yes we get to see the horror of flood infection vessels – heads snapping back and torsos exploding.

The fact that Bungie and Microsoft, developed the idea for the movie in-house and paid their own writer to come up with the draft is reason alone why Halo will stand out among all the other video game movies. This is the sci-fi movie that has James Cameron directing written all over it. That is my pick on who should direct this. Talk all you want about Silent Hill, Hitman, Postal, BloodRayne and all those other lame Uwe Boll adaptations - those other video game movies were licensed to the studios where lame development and creative execs developed them with writers without the game creators having any creative input or say. No way, not with Halo. Halo will be the mother of all video game movies and a kick ass science fiction picture to boost. The people behind Halo who live this game and breathe it were in the development process all the way and were calling the shots like the way it should be. Hats off to Mircosoft and Bungie for having Hollywood do their movie on their terms! Way to go! Having Peter Jackson as an exec produce will also ensure that this movie will be done right and will be of high quality. I can’t wait to see what Weta’s interpretation of Master Chief looks like. The right people are making this movie. For an excellent recap of Halo’s journey to the screen check out the Great Hollywood Journey Parts 1, 2, and 3 written by Bungie’s Joseph Statten HERE, HERE, and HERE.

I also want to give a shout out to the excellent fan site because it took me two weeks to do the research on this script for the review and this site was a big help. You see, I never played the Halo games (Kellvin finished both Halo games), hell I don’t even own an Xbox. But after reading Splinter Cell and Halo, I want to go out and get one. I’m a PC gamer into the RTS games like the awesome Command and Conquer series and Starcraft. The only console game I really love is the Metal Gear series, which is screaming to be made into a movie. I used to be snobbish and believe that the first person shooters were better on the PC’s because of better gaming hardware and in doing the research for Halo I discovered that it is not necessarily so. The Halo series has a rich mythology and universe and extends beyond the games into novels and all sorts of cool stuff. It is amazing how big the Halo fan base is out there. I was amazed. Then again both games have made over half a billion bucks. I haven’t been a hardcore gamer like I used to prior to my move to LA in November 2002 – but I am going to get back into it now because after reading both Splinter Cell and Halo scripts that alone makes me want to get back into gaming. I can’t believe what I have been missing out on. The Halo movie is written for the hardcore fan and for the science fiction movie fan. Like me, you don’t have to be a fan of the game to enjoy this movie. The script is relentless; Master Chief gets in and out of one jam after another.

Lets take a look at Act 1.

Halo opens with a series of scorched snapshots. Fragments. As memory. This is MASTER CHIEF’S DREAM.

We open on a SPARTAN HELMET, and a REFLECTION in its visor.

In the reflection, we see buildings. The design and architecture of the buildings tell us this is not Earth. The suns are low in the sky, and bathing the landscape blood red.

We snap back to show the full figure of the SPARTAN and folks we are introduced to MASTER CHIEF (MC for short for the rest of this review). Seven foot tall, clad head to toe in MJOLNIR armor, holding a MA5B ASSAULT rifle.

We pull back some more to reveal behind MC, another fifty SPARTAN WARRIORS. All the Spartans have their gaze directed at the skies where a vast shadow or cloud is eclipsing the twin suns.

Only this shadow turns out to be literally thousands of Covenants drop ships! (I can’t wait for these WETA toys!) We cut to a battlefield across the wasteland where the Spartans and the Covenant are locked in ferocious combat. The Spartans are super-warriors. Combat machines – except that beneath their armor is genetically refined human flesh and blood. Despite their physical size, they are fast. We watch them turn-aim-fire, the speed of their reaction is unnatural. They seem fuelled by nitrous oxide and amphetamines. There is something hypnotic about the way they fight. Amidst the chaos, there are patterns. Across the battlefield, we can see precise movements echoed from Spartan to Spartan. The same motion in the way a weapon is raised, the leap and roll to avoid an explosion. The Spartan Warrior training is embedded deep within them.

The Covenant provides a contrast. Among the various species that make up the alien ranks, we can see the tall and regal ELITES, the massive HUNTERS, the gorilla-sized GRUNTS, and the thin and feral JACKALS. Cool, huh? They fight with their own brand of specialized ultra violence. Less controlled than their human enemy, they are zealots, rabid. They roar as they charge, plasma blazing from their weaponry. In close quarters, they tear and rip and claw. Many more of the alien warriors are falling and dying. In comparison to the Spartans, the Covenant is far, far greater in number. As we watch the scene unfold, something becomes very clear. The tide of the battle is turning inexorably against the humans. We cut to MC maintaining a barrage of fire as the Spartans to the left and right of him are lacerated by plasma fire. We cut to another Spartan as a plasma grenade sticks to his chest. He double sup to protect his brothers then flies apart as the grenade explodes. We cut to another Spartan walking: dazed, blackened, blood-smeared, half his armor blown from his body, half his arm hanging useless at his side. We cut to a group of three Spartan driving a WARTHOG VEHICLE – one driving, one on shotgun, one on the rear canon – as hey break ranks to charge the enemy then skid, roll and die under a rain of fire. Here, and throughout, the combat feels real. Hard, bloody, and brutal. We cut to the city burning, then to the twin suns blazing, and then to black and silence. The year is 2552. A coalition of alien species, the Covenant, is waging a genocidal holy war against mankind and mankind is losing.

Now that is what I call an opening folks. We cut to Outer Space to a gas-giant planet and orbiting the planet, there is what appears to be a vast metal ring: the circumference of a small moon rotating slowly. We can just make out a strange feature of the metallic band. The interior is a wrap-around landscape, made up of the same foliage-greens, water-blues and dust-yellows we know from views of our planet. It is as if someone has cut a strip from Earth and lined the inside of this artificial world. HALO. A rip in space occurs and out of the fissure, a human built battle cruiser appears – THE PILLAR OF AUTUMN.

Hulking, grey, massive – a great block of a space ship, as solid as a concrete bomb-shelter, designed purely for war. On the underside of its snub nose, a portal, behind which is the bridge where a man stands, gazing out. The commander of this vessel: CAPTAIN KEYES. He looks out at the planet and its ring moon. Behind him, the bridge crew is at their posts, manning the flight decks. He surveys the scene and calls out for CORTANA. Only none of the bridge crew responds. Instead, he is replied by a female voice – the voice of the Pillar of Autumn’s artificial intelligence. He asks Cortana two questions, where the hell are they, and did we lose them. Cortana responds that they made a blind jump. She scans the constellations to get a fix on their position, as for whether they lost them…Captain Keyes sees for himself as we see multiple slip space fissures, similar to the one from which the Pillar of Autumn appeared. Through each fissure, COVENANT CAPITAL SHIPS appear. Cortana is like at least we’ve drawn them away from Earth. But in ninety seconds, the Covenant will be all over them. Keyes issues combat alert alpha. Cortana orders all hands to combat posts and to prepare to repel boarders. On the lower deck, Engineers and Medics scramble to position. Marines grab hardware from weapon racks, pulling on helmets and flak jackets. One group of soldiers stands as a contrast to the adrenaline and commotion. An oasis of calm. This is MAJOR SILVA and his men the HELLJUMPERS – the special-forces unit stationed on the Pillar of Autumn. Major Silva tells the Helljumpers that a shit storm is coming. He smiles and tells his men, “let’s spill blood.” Fighter craft spill from the flight bays to intercept the incoming Covenant craft. Captain Keyes looks out as the stream of tiny fighter craft, dwarfed in both size and number by the approaching enemy vessels. The first of them are already being engaged by Covenant fighters. The battle has begun but Captain Keyes is looking beyond it to Halo. He wants to know more about it. Cortana responds unknown, artificial, it’s not a space station and not occupied by Covenant. It’s nitrogen and oxygen rich. Life supporting. That is all Keyes needs to hear. Keyes orders Cortana to get in close. They are on approach vector now and Keyes tells Cortana that it is time to wake their war dog!

We cut back to MC’s dream and we are back under the blood-red twin suns and close quarters combat with the Covenant. MC seems to be alone in this fight. The last of the Spartans. He fires into faces and chests of the Covenant troops at near point blank range. He is completed surrounded by the aliens. Under his feet are tangled carpets of bodies. The image whites out and fades back in to the Cyro-Storage chamber. MC wakes up. Two Cyro engineers are in awe of him. One of them is like Holy Christ, would you look at the size of it. His buddy tells him there’s a man in there. The door to the Cyro-Storage chamber cracks its seal, and then rises open. The Spartan lunges forwards, reflexively, snapped into consciousness. The two engineers jump back. MC reaches out to place a hand either side of the Cyro-Chamber, then steps out. He takes a moment as he surveys his surroundings. Looks to the left, then his right. Then down at the two men. He towers over them and they seem to shrink under the blank gaze of his visor as he speaks his first words on page 10 of this script. “What are my orders?” Now that is dialogue. That is cool. You don’t even have to be a fan of the game to know that in movie talk, those 4 words speak volumes about his character and what he does. A guy who gets the job done. That is the dialogue of a shit kicker who does what he does and the following is an example.

As MC makes his way through a route corridor, a handful of Marines are crouched behind a makeshift barricade, in an intense firefight with the invading Covenant. MC assesses the situation and takes a Sergeant’s assault rifle and two grenades from the Sergeant’s belt clip and steps up to the barricade. Beneath him, a Marine Corporal crouches holding an M6D pistol in hand. The Corporal’s nametag reads JENKINS. MC chucks the two grenades into the shadows. He empties his clip. After the double detonation of the grenades, a GRUNT appears. The foot soldier of the Covenant army. Normally – stocky, broad, and powerful. But this Grunt is dazed and badly wounded. Blue blood is splashing from his torso. MC reaches down and takes the Corporal’s M6D pistol. He glances at the handgun – and sees that the Corporal has customized it. Carved into the metal are the words: NOTHING PERSONAL. MC raises the pistol and puts a single round through the head of the wounded Grunt. The awestuck Jenkins lets MC keep his handgun. MC enters the bridge and reports to Keyes who gets MC up to speed and tells him they’re in the shit. Keyes tells MC that he is going to get Cortana off this ship and keep her safe from the enemy. The Pillar of Autumn is going down and Cortana is not going down with it. Destruction or capture of the shipboard AI is not an option. If the Covenant captures her, they’ll learn everything. Force deployment, system schematics, weapons research. Not to mention the location of planet Earth.

Meanwhile, on the lower deck Major Silva and the Helljumpers are locked in their own savage firefight. Keyes gives the order over the ship wide intercom to abandon ship and to take lifeboats, drop-ships, any means of escape available. Regroup on the ring. Back on the bridge, MC stands with Keyes who uses his fingerprint to unlock and open a section of the central bridge console. MC takes the Cortana chip and inserts it into a dock in his mjolnir armor – positioned in the back of his neck, the brain stem. MC leaves and makes his way down a narrow service tunnel towards the main corridor to the lifeboats. A covenant soldier stands in his way, an ELITE – tall, armored, athletic, in a sense the alien equivalent of the Spartan. A cobra strike – a classic game move, MC strikes with the butt of his assault rifle, taking out Elite’s shields and empties a clip into the alien’s torso. Thirty rounds fly through the gun in two seconds. MC then takes out 4 other grunts. Cortana is in good hands. She can talk to MC through his suit, which is hardwired into his neural network, and she is hardwired into his suit. An Elite, three jackals and four grunts get dropped and shredded with rounds as we see what it is like to be on the receiving end of a Spartan attack. MC makes it to the Lifeboat with some wounded marines. A female Lieutenant pilots the craft towards Halo. We follow the lifeboat as it enters Halo’s interior curve. We see other lifeboats from the Pillar of Autumn, following the same downward path, like a miniature meteor shower. The lifeboat crashes on Halo and only MC survives. MC steps out and watches the Pillar of Autumn crash land on Halo’s surface. MC hides and watches as some grunts and Blue and Black Elite search for survivors from the lifeboat crash. They see a foot print of MC and go after MC in GHOSTS – lightweight-scouting vehicles, each piloted by a single Elite, armed with two plasma canons. MC takes them out – won’t spoil it here but a cool sequence. MC pilots one of hijacked ghosts and plasma canons a firefight between surviving Marines from another lifeboat and the Covenant.

And that is just Act 1 or the first 30 pages of this tour de force 128 page script!

Here is a sneak peek of some key scenes in the beginning of Act 2, which starts with MC talking to the Sergeant and tells him he needs to regroup with the other survivors who must be scattered all over. The Sergeant made contact with a Pelican drop ship pilot who survived, name of Carol Rawley. Call-sign- FOEHAMMER. Apparently, Foehammer and MC go back.

At the crash Pillar of Autumn crash site – the Covenant swarm above it excited and triumphant at the destruction of the enemy vessel. Inside, Captain Keyes and some flight deck crewmembers survived the crash in the bridge. A cluster of Plasma grenades blows the barricade to the bridge apart. The Covenant forces swarm over the destroyed barricade and pour into the bridge. We meet the JACKAL: the slender, hunched, bird-like Covenant. The Jackal advances with its comrades like a roman centurion, firing from and crouching behind the distorting window of an energy shield. They slaughter the survivors and swarm over Captain Keyes.

The survivors of the Pillar of Autumn manage to make a base camp.

MC sustained an injury with his tussle with the Ghost – MC removes the breastplate of his armor. Beneath is a black body suit made of flexible material, and on this body suit, we can see various lacerations around his torso. Through these lacerations, MC’s torso is partially revealed, and we catch our first glimpse of his actual flesh. His skin is colored an abnormal sunless snow-white.

MC dreams again and Cortana appears in her purplish blue light form in the form of a hot chick. MC removes his helmet – his skin is bleached white and his head his shaved to the scalp. The dream is of Planet Reach where one hundred and sixty four men, women, and children died. The Spartans failed to defend it. MC is the last of the Spartan who was airlifted out of there by Foehammer. For the fans that must know, we don’t really ever see MC’s face. Later on in the movie towards the end, on an extreme close-up on MC’s Face we occupy the same space he does, inside his suit. We see a series of flash cuts: his skin, his mouth, and his eyes. The face is marked with a fine mesh of scars, suggesting past injuries, or surgical procedures, or even experiments. His skin is a map of past conflict. To me it appears that MC is albino.

Anyway, at the base camp Major Silva and his boys interrogate a captured Elite. We find out that Keyes let himself be taken alive. The Covenant has him on board their orbiting battle cruiser: Truth and Reconciliation. Cortana finally appears to everybody and tells Silva that they are going in there because it is an opportunity for an AI to access the Covenant computer system. If they could get Cortana to any kind of control panel, they could learn everything about the Covenant – their weaknesses, their plans. It’s the kind of breakthrough that could turn the path of this war.

MC, Major Silva and the Helljumpers manage to sneak onto the loading bay of the Covenant ship Truth and Reconciliation. They run into HUNTERS: Twelve foot tall, six foot wide, covered head to toe in blue armor, a Fuel-Rod canon integrated into the right arm – which glows green as it is charging up to fire – and a shield integrated into its left arm.

The group finds Captain Keyes in one of the torture cells. He is strapped to an intricate machine, organic in design, crackling with energy. From the machine, around his bare arms and torso, are literally thousands of tiny barbed segmented needle – like insect legs. They are buried in his flesh.

The midpoint of the script takes place at base camp where Cortana, holographicly manifested, debriefs Captain Keyes, Major Silva, Master Chief, Foehammer, and a handful of marine officers. The orbital was constructed by an ancient race, known by the Covenant as the “Forerunners.” It seems that they left ruins and artifacts all over the galaxy. Some of those artifacts are the technology that the Covenant employs. And another of those artifacts is this ring they call Halo. The Covenant decided, for reasons best known to themselves, that humankind was an object of blasphemy, requiring extinction. In Halo, we now appear to have found an object of worship. Halo is their church, and the Forerunners are their Gods. According to the Covenant message traffic, Halo is a weapon. What kind of weapon isn’t clear, the Covenant themselves don’t know but they repeatedly describe the destructive power as ‘unimaginable.’ When the Pillar of Autumn crashed, the Covenant believes it disrupted something under the ring surface. The mission is clear. If Halo is a weapon, then the Covenant must be prevented from being able to use it. The Covenant refers to a location called “The Silent Cartographer”. It seems to be a map room, which reveals the position of Halo’s control center. Obviously, that control center is the best bet of shutting the system down.

Usually the midpoint act break is where I end my script reviews but to those entire Halo fanatic out there who must know what else happens and what else is in it –

- There is a Beach attack sequence between the Marines and the Covenant. MC pilots the warthog – the multi terrain four-wheel vehicle and we get to see MC driving ability. We see the Grunts use the needlers in this sequence too.

- Inside Halo, the Marines are ambushed by the Stealth Elite who brandish their energy swords and literally cut their enemies in half. Cool sequence.

- Later we see the FLOOD INFECTION FORMS – each the size of a football, bloated, propelled by a seething carpet of small tentacles on the underside on the underside of its main form. We also see the horror and goriness of the Flood infection vessels upon the infected marines and Covenant.

We meet the monitor of Zero Four – 343 Guilty Spark who annoys MC.

There are some other twists and turns and I am not going to spoil the end but it’s huge! Hardcore fans of the series won’t be disappointed because the ending is from the game. I won’t say which one though. Wait until 2007 to find out.

There ya have it folks. A look at one of the big upcoming films of 2007 and Peter Jackson’s next project.

Come back next week when we have yet another script review.

Hasta el proximo capitulo…


Sunday, November 06, 2005

Tis the season?

It was a busy weekend. Bebe has decided that we need a new mattress because her back hurts. I don’t know if the mattress is the reason her back hurts or not, but how can I argue? So, we looked at some mattresses at a couple of places. We saw some we liked, some we didn’t like, but what got me the most was how freaking expensive they are. Jesus, to get a good one you’ve got to spend a month’s salary.

I know I said I would put up some pictures of the house this weekend, and I am. But just one picture and it’s a taste of things to come this holiday season.

While out looking for mattresses Bebe and I made the rounds at the nearby chambers of commerce, otherwise known as the mall. We went to Sears and Macy’s and looked at all sort of Christmas stuff. We made it into Kohls, where I bought a new sweater and some great slacks that were on sale, and checked out some of the Christmas stuff there too.

I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting older or not, but I think I get the whole Christmas thing now. It’s not the presents I got as a kid that stay with me now, but the memories of being at my Grandma Pryor’s house Christmas Eve and listening to my Aunt Cindy’s stories. I remember sitting at the little kid’s table, well into my early adult years, at my Grandma Brown’s house. Watching my cousin Nick race into the house, and abruptly excuse himself to go throw up. It’s not the presents but the family, the fun, the stories, the music, the feeling, all of it, that’s what I remember. Not the presents, although they are nice.

Before I end, I want to just say something about this amazing ornament that I saw at Kohls today. Everyone who has seen A Christmas Story knows about the wooden box that “the major award” came in. Well, the ornament is that box, with the word Fragile and everything written on it. When you open the box you can see the leg inside and everything. The best part is that each time you open it a sound clip from that one or two minute scene plays. I plan on buying this ornament as soon as I get a tree, it really was priceless and captures, to me, one of my most precious memories of Christmas, enjoying watching A Christmas Story time and time and time again with my family.


Friday, November 04, 2005

I've seen some weird shit in my life

...but this takes the cake.

It really gives a new meaning to the phrase "kicking back."

This baby has "championship soccer player" written all over it.

I'd provide a link to where I got this but it was some blog in Spanish, so I'll refrain.


Funny t-Shirt

Courtesy of t-shirthell.com.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Oh my, suudsu!! It's pure genius!

Laying the smackdown to the Cherokee County School Board!

I found this little gem today courtesy of PWIsider.com and the AJC.com.
Evidently, Rich Steiner, of the famed wrestling tag team the Steiner Brothers, is running for school board.
Here's some pictures of Rick, also known as the Dog Faced Gremlin.
I can't say I know how I feel about this.
While I've loved watching Rick and his brother Scott wrestle for all of these years, nothing that's come out of Rick's mouth has been what I'd call, intelligent. Now, don't get me wrong, Rick and Scott are from Michigan, so actually they sound just like me when they talk. Both of them wrestled for University of Michigan, and both were all American in wrestling. Rick's a tough SOB who could kick the ass of most people I know, have ever met, or seen on TV. That still doesn't get me past the fact this guy isn't the smartest rose on the bush. Who knows.
It would be interesting if they had a debate and Rick cut a promo on all of his competition! Oh man, that'd be just classic.

Doctor follow up

Not too much to report right now.
Went to the doctor today for a follow up and to discuss my test results.
He wants me to go to a cardiologist and they set me up at a good place.
I'll be making the appointment with them tomorrow. I was told I have to wait 24 hours.
I think I'll put some pictures of the house up this weekend.