Sunday, July 31, 2005

A Small World...

So, I crossed paths with the Dallas Derby Devils again today, but under much nicer circumstances.

I've spoken before about our past meeting [and even included photographic proof] but a few days ago I was contacted by their ringleader, the very personable and charismatic Motor Lisa.

Apparently, my willingness to shoot my mouth off appealed to her somehow. She asked me if there was any way I could get involved with her group. Since it had been almost a decade since I put on a pair of skates, I knew it had to be something besides getting into the rink. Besides, I don't look good in fishnets.

We decided that I might help out in the announce booth. I've always thought I could do something like an emcee or announcer, but I've never had the chance to do anything about it. The only stumbling block is the small fact that I know very little about Roller Derby.

So, Motor invited me to a practice earlier today, so I could introduce myself and get better acquainted with the girls, like June Carter Crash and Pummela Slamderson. To their credit, they seemed to accept me, nerdiness and all.

What struck me was the sense of family and dedication these girls have for the sport. This isn't like joining a softball league at the Y. These girls have to create the infrastructure as well as compete and train. There is no existing governing body to deal with any problems. They have to rent the rink, make sure the place is set up, book halftime entertainment, compete, and sell t-shirts after the bout.

The Devils aren't scheduled in a bout for a while, and that gives me a chance to create a persona. While getting a skull tattoo is a bit out of the question, I'm thinking 70's Sports Broadcaster, with a corduroy blazer. As always, I'll keep you updated.

Courage,
Mike G.

Friday, July 29, 2005

A Sign, That's All I Ask....

I saw this first image in a post from that portal of joy known as
BoingBoing. The worst part is now that image will be stuck in my head for the rest of my days:




That's one of the many fine examples of odd signage available at swanksigns. Apparently, it urges that you make sure all items are safely in an elevator before operating.

I wasn't going to post this until I saw something on the way home from the movies. I went to see The Island, but I considered it research. I'm bracing myself for Michael Bay's treatment of The Transformers. Unless he plans the film to contain anything except CGI and explosions, [which might not be a bad thing] I'm not confident.

On the way home I passed by one of those car stereo places. I think the intent of the sign was to indicate that the work was done at the same location:
ALL WORK
DONE
ON PREMISE


I'm as big a fan of improv as the next guy, but I'd rather have my woofers installed without the workers pretending they were on the Titanic or in a horror movie.

Courage,
Mike G.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Helpful Hints...

I hope this never happens, but if you're ever in a stuck elevator, a heavy traffic jam, or a hostage in a bank robbery gone bad, you'll need something to help the time pass.

So, as a public service, here's some bits of trivia you can share in case you don't have a good book or your Ipod runs out of juice.

After Steve Rogers ingested the Super-Soldier formula and became Captain America, he was given a bulletproof triangular shield. Soon after, he was given the now-familiar round version. Here's some of the history behind it.

American metallurgist Myron MacLain was given the task to create plating for armored fighting vehicles. He took a mixture of steel alloy and Vibranium [a rare metal that can absorb and release energy such as sound waves] and attempted to cast the mixture.

Unbeknownst to MacLain, the mixture was somehow contaminated. That contamination resulted in a one-time casting of a concave disk. MacLain tried again and again to repeat the process, with little success. In fact, it was one of his failures that gave the Marvel Universe adamantium, the same material that composes Wolverine's claws and bones. It's a long held myth that Captain America's shield contains adamantium.

The shield's properties are quite unique. While it weighs only 12 pounds, it is essentially indestructible. It can withstand the force of an enraged Hulk, and even the full-on impact of Thor's enchanted hammer. Cap can also throw the shield with uncanny accuracy, and has such familiarity with it that he can carom it off almost anything and know exactly where it will go.

Cap has been forced to use substitute shields over the years, including pure vibranium and adamantium versions. The spy agency S.H.I.E.L.D[coincidence] tried to upgrade Cap by outfitting him with a photonic energy version. It had a 'flexible containment matrix' that could transform it into a staff or sword weapon.

Tips of the nerd cap to Wikipedia, The Star-Spangled-Site, and The Marvel Directory.

Courage,
Mike G.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

14:59 And Counting, Mr. Hassan...

When the WWE absorbed WCW back in 2001, I assumed that Vince McMahon's personality wouldn't allow him to reference any of WCW's history other than in passing.

But last year he resurrected the Great American Bash, or at least the name for his July PPV.

While the slate of matches for the PPV does look interesting on paper, it's the behind the scenes dealings that have overshadowed any in-ring conflicts.

I'll be going in reverse order of importance, so strap in:

The bWo vs. The Mexicools

For those of you who don't remember, the bWo[Big Stevie Cool, Hollywood Nova and Da Blue Guy] was an ECW parody of WCW's nWo. They made a triumphant comeback at ECW's One Night Stand, and came to SmackDown a few weeks ago with the intent of taking over. Unfortunately, the Mexicools[Super Crazy, Juventud Guerrera, and Psicosis] already announced their intention of world domination. So, we have a match. I think The Mexicools take this match, as I feel that the bWo don't really need the win here. note: The Blue Meanie is married to former porn star Jasmin St. Claire.

MNM vs. Heidenreich and Road Warrior Animal for the WWE Tag Team Championship

MNM have been hounding Heidenreich in his continuing search for friends. But last week an unusual voice answered the call. Well, it's not that unusual if you keep track of WWE's DVD release schedule. So Animal dusted off his super sharp shoulder pads and grabbed his face paint for one more run. If you think about it, Animal is a bit of a jinx. One of his tag-team partners is confined to a wheelchair, and the other died of a heart attack. MNM retain through nefarious methods. Which leads to...

Melina vs. Torrie Wilson [Bra and Panties Match]

So Torrie and Melina will roll around and try to take each other's clothes off. Overseeing the match will be Super Bowl footnote Candice Michelle. The winners? THE FANS. At least those not old enough to surf the net or watch late night cable.

Christian vs. Booker T

Christian has had an elevated profile as of late, and his jump to SmackDown from RAW hasn't dimmed his spotlight. Booker T has achieved what few wrestlers have. That is, involved their significant other without sabotaging their career. This is a bit of a toss-up, but I see Booker T winning here, as Christian will probably move on to a US Title feud.

Eddie Guerrero vs. Rey Mysterio [Reveal The Secret Match]

Since Wrestlemania 21, Eddie has failed to score a pinfall victory over Rey. His inability to defeat Rey has eaten at Eddie, driving him not just evil, but Soap Opera Evil. He claims to have a secret that will shatter not only his family but Rey's as well. If Eddie fails to defeat Rey, the secret will be safe. If not...

[Insert Dramatic Music...]

I think Eddie Cheats To Win, allowing him to tell the Secret, which I assume has something to do with the paternity of Rey's son.

Chris Benoit vs. Orlando Jordan for the United States Championship.

And so begins Chris Benoit's road back to the Title. As SmackDown's first Draft Lottery pick, Chris needs an intermediate title like this to build up his 'cred' while the Heavyweight Championship picture becomes clearer. As a Chris Benoit mark, I have no choice but to pick the Canadian Crippler to make Jordan tap out.

Undertaker vs. Muhammad Hassan[Number One Contender Match]

Now we're talking controversy. Since Muhammad's first appearance on WWE programming, his message has been simple. He feels that he's been unfairly singled out because he's Arab-American. Even though he's announced as being from Detroit, he gets hammered with boos and 'USA!' chants. The kicker is, he's essentially right. In fact, if you look closely, his heelishness is just the same as any other whiny wrestler who thinks they're being screwed.

Hassan kept this up even after being traded to SmackDown, where he somehow attracted the attention of the Undertaker.

Then would follow a perfect storm of bad timing and poor decision making.

On the July 7 episode of SmackDown[taped that Tuesday], Hassan's spokesman/partner Daivari 'sacrificed' himself to the Dead Man in a lopsided victory. After the match wwas over a group of camouflaged masked men swarmed the ring and laid out the Undertaker, and left carrying Daivari on their shoulders.

This aired the same day as the suicide attacks in London. While the Undertaker attack had no similarities to the London attacks, enough people were offended that UPN handed down an edict to WWE that Hassan not appear on the next episode. WWE has tried to continue with the angle, which led to this match at the Bash.

However, the current rumor is that UPN doesn't want Hassan on SmackDown at all, which throws a major wrench into their plans. As I understand it, Randy Orton was to interfere in their match, causing Hassan to win and capture the number one contender's slot. This would lead to a Championship match with Batista at Summerslam, along with Orton/Undertaker.

But now, if Hassan is being forced off of SmackDown, does this mean The Undertaker will get another title shot? And what about Orton's feud with Undertaker? After all, that was one of the reasons he was drafted from RAW. If Hassan is moved back to RAW, then he could really milk the 'persecution' angle.

Of course, even though the WWE loves controversy, there's a good chance that after the Bash, we'll never see him again.

And finally...

Batista vs. JBL for the World Heavyweight Championship

The WWE has kind of painted themselves in a corner here.

JBL, through sheer force of will, made himself a hated heel through his character and his long title reign. He's even gone as far as made his victory speech days before the actual match.

Batista has transformed himself into a credible champion. It's been a long time since his days as a deacon and more recently, Evolution's hired muscle.

When both shows switched their champions in the Draft lottery, it was a given that JBL and DAVE! would meet in the ring.

But given the current situation, the chance of a shock ending are slim.

Batista retains.

Of course, myself, Brother Mike, and Richard discuss it on the air soon after the final bell. Stay tuned for details.

Courage,
Mike G.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Up In The Sky...

Warner Brothers has released the official Superman shield logo that will be hitting screens about a year from now:


Click here for a larger version.

While the purists may have some problems with the design [a bit too rounded at the top] I like it fine. It's also a bit darker than I expected too. Here's a quick comparison with the shield logo used in the current comics:




I think the biggest problem that the producers had is the simple fact that Superman has had a fairly consistent design for about 75 years. Unlike what was done with the X-Men, you can't put Superman in black leather. Here's a publicity shot of Brandon Routh in the new costume:

Courage,
Mike G.
p.s tune in tomorrow for Great American Bash Preview talk.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Hitting The Fan...

Remember when I said I'd keep you guys posted on the whole GTA "Hot Coffee" scandal?

Well, the ESRB [Entertainment Software Rating Board] decided to change the game's rating from M [Mature] to AO [Adults Only]. Gamespot also has a summary of the events. The immediate impact is that most retail stores like Wal-Mart will refuse to carry it.

For its part, Rockstar Games says it will cease production of the game and release a new version with the questionable content removed.

Actually, this is a relative slap on the wrist when you consider that Rockstar could have been heavily fined, or even forced to recall all copies of the game.

While I'd love to heap scorn and criticism on opportunistic people who fail to understand that the game was rated MA in the first place, the fact that Rockstar misrepresented themselves takes a lot of steam out of that argument.

Also, if you subscribe to the 'no such thing as bad publicity' theory, publishing a game that 'THEY don't want you to have' has a certain appeal.

Here's a quick experiment: have a contest with your friends to see if it's easier to buy a high-powered rifle or GTA: San Andreas.

Courage,
Mike G.

Saying Goodbye...

to two different people who had quite an impact on my life...

First, a fond farewell to James Doohan, TV's Montgomery Scott. Here's
Reuters' quick take, and IMDB has a complete filmography. One of my favorite episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation was 'Relics', when the Enterprise discoverd that Scotty was alive and well 75 years after it was thought his ship was lost. He then has a conversation with the curreent chief engineer Geordi LaForge:

Scotty: "Starfleet captains are like children. They want everything right now and they want it their way. But the secret is to give them only what they need, not what they want."
LaForge: "Yeah, well, I told the captain I'd have this analysis done in an hour."
Scotty: "How long will it really take?"
LaForge: "An hour."
Scotty: "You didn't tell him now long it would really take, did you?"
LaForge: "Of course I did."
Scotty: "Laddie, you got a lot to learn if you want people to think of you as a miracle worker!"
Essentially, the secret to Scotty's magic was to multiply every estimate by at least a factor of four, and emerge a genius.

The second loss isn't all that public, but still important. Gerry Thomas lost a long-running battle with cancer on Monday. If you've ever been single, or left alone at home when you wer a kid, you're familiar with his work. Forbes has a quick story on him, but to summarize, in 1954 he came up with the idea of the TV Dinner. While the idea of a precooked dinner was unique, it was the 'TV' concept that really made the product stand out. TV was coming into its own, and somehow the two concepts were joined as one.

So join me as I dig into some Salisbury Steak and watch some Star Trek reruns.

Courage,
Mike G.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Second Childhood...

Remember when we were younger and play 'army'? We'd go out with our plastic guns [which had no bright orange endcaps] and depending on where you lived, your gun would have a unique audio signature:

"Eh-Eh-Eh-Eh-Eh"

"Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch"

"P-Chow! P-Chow!"

"Pyew! Pyew" [someone would always cheat and shoot lasers]

Well, thanks to the Telegraph newspaper, we're finding out that the British Army is reliving their childhoods.

Courage,

Mike G.

Tact During Armageddon...

Most of you have been forwarded the occasional news story that makes you shudder and weep for the future of mankind. But what about the people that have to report that news?

I mean, what are the journalistic guidelines that one needs to follow when police discover a farm used as a hot bed of bestiality?

Editor and Publisher has a story on that very subject.

From that story, I now present the Quote of the Day...

But because Washington is one of 17 states that does not outlaw bestiality, having sex with a horse is not a crime and his death will not be investigated...Police are still making sure that sex was not forced on the smaller, weaker animals, thus constituting animal cruelty (which is a crime).



Courage,

Mike G.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Some Bitter "Hot Coffee"...

As someone who at least tries to keep tabs on the Religious Right[being a fan of wrestling and video games will do that], I've been following the whole 'Grand Theft Auto' sex game story.

The basic story is this: Someone [or a group of someones] released a mod called Hot Coffee for the PC version of GTA: San Andreas. The mod, or modification allowed the player to engage in a button-pressing game to satisfy his girlfriend.

Rockstar Games, the creators of the GTA franchise replied that the modification was created...
"In violation of the software user agreement, hackers created the 'Hot
Coffee' modification by disassembling and then combining, recompiling and
altering the game's source code."
This made some sense, since many PC games come with tools so users can create new scenarios, missions and in some cases entirely new games.

But Rockstar's claims seem to fly in the face of recent news. Gamespot and others have discovers that with a few minor tweaks, the PS2 version of San Andreas contains the same scenes. You can find how they did it here.

While the game is nowhere near as explicit as the video-game crusaders claim, it's cold comfort as it looks like Rockstar deliberately lied.

If you don't like others telling you what you can and can't buy, it would serve you well to watch where this story goes. I'll make sure to update when events warrant.

Courage,
Mike G.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

A Half-Full Glass...or Rink, I Guess.

While it's great that Hockey looks to be back, I hope that people don't forget about the minor leagues that have been running before, during and after all these labor/management troubles.

I had a soft spot for the late, great IHL [Go Dragons!], but my allegiences now lie with the Odessa Jackalopes of the Central Hockey League. Chances are, there's a team somewhere near you. While some NHL teams look to be lowering prices to woo fans back, don't forget these guys.

On a slightly related note:

I'm a big fan of logo design, especially sports team logos. Some enterprising soul has collected logos from all over the sports world. Click here and enjoy.

Courage,

Mike G.

Appreciation...

A quick word of thanks to everyone visiting this lil' blog from Richard's site. Hopefully, you'll find something to keep you coming back, even when I'm not getting beat up by a girl when I'm in spandex.

Courage,

Mike G.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Guess What?

Sorry, no stories of personal humiliation right now.

Instead, I wanted to point you folks to some funny Internet radio.

I've met these guys from my previous adventures with the P1WAC, and even though I've mentioned it before, it was always with the assumption that they would get tired of it, and end it all in some odd murder/suicide pact.

They've just celebrated their 50th episode, and I'm proud to say they're almost funny.

Their site is located here, so please feel free to give them a listen.

Courage,
Mike G.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Time Out...

I know I don't exactly have the authority, but I'd like to kindly ask the hundreds of news reporters across the land to please resist the temptation to put the word "Menace" anywhere near any sort of discussion of Hurricane Dennis.

We get it.

Courage,

Mike G.

Friday, July 08, 2005

My Political Aspirations...

Are now down the toilet, thanks to a series of photographs.


Enjoy the show.

Now I need to go find a gas oven, as the one in my apartment is electric, and sticking my head in it wasn't working.

Courage,
Mike G.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Repercussions And Concussions...

So I just got back from the weigh-in/face-off. Soon you'll be able to see pics from the event at Richard's site.

You know how you have a favorite spot that you come back to time and time again? I've got one of those too.

It's called Well Enough Alone, and I can't seem to leave it, no matter how hard I try.

My opponent, the lovely Razen kane arrived with a group of her fellow Derby Devils. I had my good pal Bro. Mike by my side to serve as backup.

It didn't go well at first.

As near as I can tell, the Derby Devils were under the impression that their opponent was going to be some sort of misogynist he-man, and presented themselves accordingly. They were dead serious about kicking some ass.

Then they met me, pretty much the opposite of those things.

Like any good self-deprecating passive aggressive, I took their needling with a smile. I openly confessed my total lack of fight experience, and predicted my defeat. Near the end of the show, I felt that I hadn't made the best case for myself, even though my chances for success are slim.

So I decided to take a page from my book of wrestling knowledge, and play the role of The Cowardly Heel. This occurs when the bad guy, or heel waits for his opponent to leave or be distracted. He then strikes, either verbally or physically. If he's discovered or confronted with his crimes, he denies any involvement and tries to escape any comeuppance.

So with a few minutes left in the show, I decided to let fly some caustic comments, including one in which I stated my doubts that Miss Kane might have more than the standard number of chromosomes. I also questioned whether Roller Derby was a legitimate sport.

This would have gone according to plan, except for the fact that the Derby Devils had not actually left the building.

You can hear the aftermath by subscribing to the P1WAC-Cast. I don't really get going till about the 18th minute.

The fight will be tomorrow night. Please tune in. Like I said, I'll probably lose and lose big. I do hope that the Devils will see beyond my pettiness, and that we can all be friends.

After I get my ass kicked.

Also, my statement about creating my own Roller Derby League with a pair of skates and some plywood was incredibly inaccurate. I should have referred to it as a flat track. I would need some bricks to make a banked track. I regret the error.

Courage,
Mike G.

The Heads Are Rolling...

In an attempt to feel better about my impending doom, Here's some people who are also experiencing some hard times.

In anticipation of their move to USA Network from SpikeTV, the WWE released some of their performers. The reasoning goes that since the WWE won't have the ad rights during their shows, they stand to lose a good 10 percent of Total Revenue.

Here's the latest list of cuts with some commentary thrown in.

Joy Giovanni - One of the interchangeable Divas. As hot as she was, her only real TV time was spent locked in a trunk. She was originally meant to be Big Show's girlfriend, but the visual picture that caused is just...ew.

Kenzo Suzuki - Talented cruiserweight, but made little or no impact.

Matt Morgan - Seemed to show potential as Carlito's backup, his fate was sealed when he made the jump to RAW.

Charlie Haas - Another guy that could have made it, but just didn't. At least he found his true love...

Jackie Gayda - A product of MTV's Tough Enough, she dated Charlie on and off camera, and they recently married.

Marty Jannetty - Not unexpected. Marty was brought in for a quick cameo a while ago, but surprised everyone when he showed he still had something. A case of riding the gravy train to it's eventual end.

Dawn Marie - Was cast to be a villainess against the other Divas, which wasn't that much of a stretch from her role in ECW. During her stay in the WWE, she seduced and married Al Wilson, father of Torrie, and killed him during a night of passion.

Mark Jindrak - A case of the manager surpassing the wrestler. Teddy Long touted him as the 'reflection of perfection'. I hope they let him keep the mirror.

Maven - The first winner of Tough Enough. Had some early fame as a rookie. Reduced recently to being running buddies with Simon Dean.

Shannon Moore - Yet Another Cruiserweight; was once the only follower of Matt Hardy Version 1.

James Yun (Akio) - Yes, Another Cruiserweight.

David Heath (Gangrel) - Had just about the coolest entrance in all of pro wrestling. Even though his vampire teeth, puffy shirt and chalice full of red corn syrup scream 'Goth Kid', it worked. Hard to fathom that Edge and Christian were brought in to support his persona and shtick.

Billy Kidman - This is one of the most startling cuts. A perennial Cruiserweight Champ, Kidman has always been a strong performer in and out of the ring. And when you find out that he's married to Torrie Wilson, you'd think that his spot was ironclad.

Kevin Fertig - Was known as Mordecai. You will be forgiven if you have no idea who this was.

Spike Dudley - Another shocker. The 'runt of the litter' could always be counted on to take a crazy bump.

In related news, the WWE also said they will not be renewing the contracts of The Dudley Boyz. Ever since their days in ECW, they've been a dominant force in the tag-team division. As I understand it, they were kept off of TV in the months prior to One Night Stand to give their appearance a special feel. I guess having it be your last is pretty special.

I might have to write another post about how this impacts my Fantasy Wrestling roster.

Or not.

Courage,
Mike G.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

2 Days Left...

I invite all members of the blogosphere and conventional media to bear witness to the weigh-in and face-to-face confrontation between I and Razen Kane. The weigh-in will be tomorrow night, but we'll be facing off in the ring Thursday night for The Ticket's Fight Night. In addition to the radio and Internet broadcast, you should also be able to see a plausibly live slideshow.

If you won't be able to listen to the fight, please come back to the blog Thursday night for a quick audio recap.

Hopefully, everything will go well, but in case she decides to re-create the end of Million Dollar Baby, it's been fun.

Courage,

Mike G.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Details...

So, for those outside The Ticket's signal, it looks like this Thursday I'll be stepping into the squared circle with a member of the Dallas Derby Devils for the previously mentioned Ticket Fight Night. Never mind that I've never actually been in any sort of fight. Ignore the fact that I would have to work out to be out of shape.

I have an edge.

I will be in a [not yet determined] Superhero outfit.

Frankly, I really can't win. First, there's the requisite shame of getting beat by a girl. Second[and this is a stretch], if I win I can't very well celebrate that fact.

I think a face-to-face encounter is being planned, and as always I'll post the details.

Courage,

Mike G.