Friday, December 30, 2005

Fine, You Jackals!

Note: my readers aren't jackals. It just has a nice ring to it.

So, where did I leave off? Oh yes, I was in a virtual relationship with someone. While the cynic in me can barely stop laughing every time I look back on this time in my life, I try and put a positive spin on it. Maybe the other person was looking for someone to talk to, and the virtual aspect allowed her to lose some of her insecurities.

While it never got 'serious' [as serious as these things can get] I did look forward to our chats. I was working through a rough patch in my life, and they provided a little escape. Maybe it was a huge prank on her end, but frankly, it doesn't matter.

If I am guilty of anything, it's these two nuggets of schmaltz. It was during the height of our 'courting' and all I can say is that I was not using all of my critical thinking skills.

Moment 1.

Trying to sound thoughtful and semi-romantic, I wrote that even though we were far apart [I don't believe I ever asked where she was from] at night we could see the same stars in the sky. At the time, I was unaware that I was plagiarizing a track from the An American Tail soundtrack, sung by Linda Ronstadt and James Ingram. To her credit, that particular chat session wasn't posted across the Internet for all to see. Of course, back in the mid-90's the Net had limited experience with massive P2P, unlike today.

Moment 2.

I hate to admit this one, since I've used it several times since, with some success.

When chatting wasn't possible, we would exchange quick emails. I thought a nice touch would be something that was more than a nickname, but less than a pet name. I had a problem thinking of one, until I turned on my CD player.

I'm no music expert, but I think almost everyone has or had a copy of the Best of Simon and Garfunkel. Just about every track on that CD is greatness, and it was during 'Bridge Over Troubled Water' that it hit me.

I started addressing her as SilverGirl. Not wanting to waste our planet's resources, I recycled that bit a few years ago during a chance meeting in an airport. [I believe I've written on this before, but I'm too lazy to look it up.] I have no idea what Simon or Garfunkel meant in using that name, and I don't care.

So there you have it. I'm not sure where this ranks on the embarrassment scale. It has some pretty stiff competition; there's my boxing match with a Roller Derby girl, being wired for sound at a strip club, or throwing oranges at a portly man while reciting free verse.

Mike G.

Monday, December 26, 2005


Sorry for the lateness, just wanted to add my own wishes for a happy and safe holiday season. For my part, I've been playing host to my parents this week. Thanks to my mom, I've discovered what my furniture looks like without a nice undercoating of dust.

Anyways, be sure to hug your loved ones and tell them how important they are.

As for the previous post...

It was a spur of the moment premise that nested in my brain and wouldn't leave until I had committed it to paper [or screen]. Now that it's been indexed by Google and made a permanent part of the Internet, I can get some sleep.

Mike G.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Did You Know?

Aside from being one of the finest professionsal wrestlers in the last 20 years, 'Canadian Crippler' Chris Benoit has a more artistic side.

While documented evidence is hard to come by, several anonymous sources have revealed a strange connection between the professional wrestler and one of the most famous pop singers of the 80's.

Deborah/Debbie Gibson, known for her bubblegum music and later for her pictorial in Playboy, was in a state of crisis. The time was late 1988, and all eyes were on her. The success of her first album[Out of the Blue] led to high hopes for a repeat performance. With two months left until her second album was due, Debbie was still missing that one big MTV/radio single. Things were looking grim.

Before his impressive runs in WWE, WCW and ECW, Chris Benoit competed abroad in New Japan Pro Wrestling. It was there where he honed his skills as the masked wrestler Wild Pegasus. Like most wrestlers, Chris worked various side jobs to make ends meet. One of these jobs was as a freelance writer. Knowing that few publications would hire a professional wrestler, he submitted his articles under the pseudonym Bernard Hengstrom. His articles were published in various titles such as Omni, Wine Spectator, Psychology Weekly, and Model Airplane News.

Two wildly separate lives were about to collide.

Debbie Gibson's management were getting anxious. They had suggested bringing in a songwiter to assist Debbie, but she flatly refused. She had written all of the tracks on her first album[Out of the Blue], and while she insisted that her recent struggles were only temporary, friends would later recall she was in a state of near panic.

With weeks before the album was due to be pressed, a secret plan was set into motion. Over 15 songwriters were contacted by third parties hired by her label. They even scoured the hundreds of unsolicited songs mailed to the office every day. An elaborate cover story was devised to maintain deniability. Once a likely candidate was found, they would then drop subtle hints, hoping that a key phrase or chorus would spark Debbie out of her creative rut.

Two weeks earlier Benoit had penned his first song, the product of a dare. The legendary Jushin 'Thunder' Liger had challenged Benoit to write a pop song after discovering one of his articles in an issue of Delta Sky. Raising the stakes, Liger added a $50 bonus if he sent it to a record company. Confident that his song would go directly into a trash can, Benoit dropped a manila envelope containing 'Electric' into the mailbox.

At this point, the facts become less clear. Sources familiar with Benoit's song insist that 'Electric' is a near copy of 'Electric Youth' with some minor changes. Debbie and her management have never wavered from the position that she personally wrote all her songs. No evidence of Benoit's song has been found, and Chris himself catergorically denies any involvement. However, new WWE wrestlers are told to leave a copy of Debbie's album in Benoit's locker, as a rite of initiation. The retribution is said to be quite painful.

Mike G.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Marvel Movie Madness...

Sony has released some teaser footage of Nicolas Cage in character as Ghost Rider. Churn has previously shown images of his motorcycle, complete with flame effects.

From looking at the footage, I'm fairly impressed so far. I'm guessing one of the problems the film makers are grappling with is what to do about Ghost Rider's eyes. Since he does have a flaming skull, most artists have kept his eye sockets empty. This makes him a very mysterious and ominous figure.

And this is where the worlds of Comics and Movies collide. Just like in the case of Spider-Man having organic web-shooters in the movie, when for almost 40 years they were inventions of his own design, derivations from the source material will be made.

Hollywood is usually very reluctant to hide the eyes of actors. Even in special effects laden projects, they argue that if you can't tell who the actor is under the makeup/latex/CGI, then hiring that 'name' actor is kind of pointless.

While it's hard to tell from those few seconds of film, I would expect there to be some way to tell that Nic Cage is under those digital effects.

Mike G.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Setting The Scene...

Sophomore Year.

Had moved to the single dorms, after deciding that a community bathroom was worth having my own space.

Honestly, I've blocked most of the whole experience out of my mind. I do remember some details though.

I wasn't savvy enough to figure out stuff like IRC clients and IM programs, but had a site that let you chat without installing anything.

I remember not being able to sleep, and thought some inane chatter would help.

I can't even recall her user name, but I do remember that I was impressed that she used proper spelling and punctuation.

And yes, I did grapple with the odds that I was conversing with some other lonely guy, but for the sake of my own sanity, I'm choosing to ignore that possibility.

More later,
Mike G.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Remember When...

Does anyone remember

I'm not talking about the VOIP company that pops up when you enter that address, but the java based chat client that was part of the HotWired Network oh so long ago. [like the mid 90s]

Well, it was there where I made the now-classic Internet mistake, Falling For Someone You've Never Seen Face To Face.

I'll write more about it in a later installment.

Mike G.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Paying It Forward...

A special Churn note of thanks to the very lovely Samantha Burns and her self-titled site. Through some bizarre set of coincidences, Churn showed up on her blog roll and to her credit, she didn't immediately smash her computer and plunge it in a vat of holy water.

Mike G.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Am I Missing Something?

Ok, in the first Back To the Future, Claudia Wells played Marty McFly's girlfriend.

But when parts 2 and 3 rolled around, Ms. Wells was nowhere to be found, and Elizabeth Shue was the girlfriend. I don't think I ever really noticed that before.

Mike G.

Thursday, December 08, 2005


I read where the founder of the vegan movement died today at the ripe old age of 95. Sadly, I was enjoying a foot-long Subway Italian B.M.T at the time, followed by a beef stock chaser.

Mike G.

Monday, December 05, 2005


For about an hour or two, I was grappling with the possibility that this blog had been swallowed up by the ether.

I suppose it serves me right that I've made no steps toward actually saving this stuff. I realize it might not mean much to anyone else, but I'm selfish that way.

Since I'm no technical wizard, is anyone familar with a way to actually archive this stuff?

Mike G.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Who Knew?

Like a lot of people, I will carry with me stereotypes and assumptions without ever checking them out.

Until about five minutes ago, I had always assumed that Wings' song Jetcontained a lyric where the gender of the 'major' was in question.

Sorry Sir Paul, and thanks Google.

Mike G.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

It's the Commissioner, Old Chum...

Thanks to some public relations drone, I now present my new play-pretty:

Remember folks, the call of Justice, much like the call of nature, is one you can never put on hold.

Mike G.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Keeping it Real Real...

My good pal Big Dick Hunter has the unique ability to get along with almost everyone. During his time at The Ticket, he interviewed people from just about every walk of life, and even if he disagreed with their opinions, he was always polite and respectful. The only thing that really irked him was dishonesty.

Enter Michael Irvin.

Richard has never been a fan of the 'Playmaker', but not because of his actions on or off the field. Rather, it was his penchant for bringing up his past bad behavior as a point of pride. According to Richard, it was like Michael never wanted you to forget that if he wanted to, he could nail every woman in the place.

With Michael's arrest earlier this week, I was wondering how Richard would respond. It didn't take long, as he wrote an article for The Dallas Sports Page, where you can download the issue for free. As a special bonus, Richard's also posted a recording of the time Irvin and Deion Sanders hosted a show on The Ticket, and their confrontation.

After you read the article, jump back to his blog for some secret info the Sports Page editors were afraid to publish.

Mike G.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

In Praise of a Sandwich...

This was to be a post about a wonderful sandwich I enjoyed yesterday.

Instead, I made the mistake of right-clicking 'paste' instead of 'copy'.

Ironically, it was to make sure I wouldn't lose the post.

Mike G.

I'll try and reconstruct it later, after I finish pounding my head against the wall.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

With two more weeks to go in this season of WWE Fantasy, Churn Life is finally back where they belong. As general manager of Churn Life, I'd like to thank everyone on our roster for all their hard work. It's hard to believe that we were once in next-to-last place, but we can't be complacent with two more weeks to go. Courage, Mike G
 Posted by Picasa

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Home Again...

Hope everyone had a good holiday. It was nice to put my own life on hold for a few days and spend time with the family.

I did get volunteered for Black Friday duty, since noone else in the house was willing to brave the crowds at our local supercenter. All I can say is I hope that niece of mine appreciates what I went through so she could have that Cabbage Patch Baby. Of course, she's not even two years old, so she'll probably have as much fun with the box.

The dinner was a real family affair, and even though my pecan pie wasn't a complete success[a rare misfire], my pumpkin pie seemed to make up for it.

On the way home [thank you Southwest] I got to engage in a bit of people-watching, since I usually blend into the background pretty quickly. I got to witness your everyday Abercrombie and Fitch guy use every move at his disposal in an attempt to win over a very pretty young lady across the aisle. I was especially impressed by his tactic of linking 'common friends', when it was pretty clear that he had no clue. Unfortunately for him, the young lady's flight continued on to San Antonio. Best of luck to her and her future modeling plans, and better luck next time to Mr. Fitch.

Mike G.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Weak Signal...

I'll be vacating Churn Central for a short while to celebrate Thanksgiving with the family. I'll try to make updates somehow, probably in the form of audio posts from the wilds of West Texas.

Hope everyone has a great Turkey day, and please be careful as you battle the crowds for that $68 digital camera on Friday.

Mike G.

Friday, November 18, 2005

The Learning Corner...

When roasting potatoes, I've found it's best to use a glass dish, as the potatoes and seasonings will be less likely to stick and burn.

Also, while it may smack of suburbia and laziness, the recipe on the side of the Lipton soup package isn't half bad. [I would take care, as it's easy for the onion pieces to dry out and burn]

Mike G.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Small Triumph...

It's hard to learn anything important from TV, but I saw something that really made me think today.

I don't think I've ever seen a better example of pure joy, vindication, bitterness and braggadocio than I saw on an episode of the Maury Povich Show.

It was one of his sure-to-be-classic 'Who's the Father' episodes where a young lady's previous encounters are tested to see if their DNA matches her [usually]adorable child.

When the young man is proven to not be the father, you would think the man in question scored the winning touchdown in the Super Bowl. While I can understand some show of emotion, I might stop short of doing the Ickey Shuffle.

Just a small observation on a chilly afternoon.

Mike G.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Sad Goodbye...

Reports are coming in that pro wrestler Eddie Guerrero has passed away. Sources are saying he may have died from a heart attack. 411 has a great summary of his career, so I won't try to duplicate it. WWE also has a quick retrospective here.

Eddie could work both sides of the heel/face persona to perfection. Even when he was given less than quality material to work with, he made the best of it. One of my favorite Eddie memories is his win at Wrestlemania 20 where he outsmarted Kurt Angle to retain the WWE Championship. Eddie's celebration with Chris Benoit after he won his first Heavyweight Championship is something special. WWE's been kind enough to post the video of that moment here.

My condolences to Eddie's family. It was known that Eddie had struggled with his share of demons, but he had been clear of them for a while now. So far, the news is that both RAW and SmackDown will be tribute shows.

Mike G.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

The Blogosphere Comes Through...

Special Churn thanks to Tivo Lovers for setting me straight.

I think the point about the extra features cuts both ways though. I don't want my recorder finding stuff for me, and I'm certainly smart enough to figure out when my favorite shows are on. If I want a show on my PC...well, that's what BitTorrent's for. Also, none of the networks can stop me from recording a show or erase the tape after a week. I just don't like how this new technology assumes that you're a moron that needs everything done for them automatically.

I just can't believe that there isn't a market for a simple PVR that doesn't require a monthly fee to use.

Mike G.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Tivo Question...

While doing some Tivo research, I got confused about some of its features, and I was hoping that some of the more technically inclined members of the Churn Family could help.

As I understand it, unless you buy a Tivo with Dual Tuners, you won't be able to record one show while watching another.

That seems to be a huge drawback, since I'm able to do just that with my ancient VCR.

Secondly, since your standard DVR is just a big hard drive with some software attached, why aren't there more alternatives? I know there's 'homegrown' projects like MythTV out there, but I'm wondering why the market hasn't opened up.

Mike G.

No Title Needed...


Keeley Hazell has a 2006 calendar out.

The folks at TeamGSB have been kind enough to post scans.

I really don't want to get anyone fired or sent to HR for a meeting, so just wait till you get home.

For everyone else, enjoy.

To balance that out, here's some cool clothes you can buy. As an added bonus, I get no cut out of any purchases you might make.

Mike G.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

So Far, So Good...

In another edition of my series of Comic Book Movie posts, it's been released all around the net that one of the villians in the next Spider-Man movie will be The Sandman, played by Thomas Haden Church.

For those unfamiliar, Flint Marko was bombarded with radiation after an experimental reactor exploded. He was left with the ability to convert his body to a sand-like material, and can even add to his mass and create weapons out of his own body. Here's a quick pic of the comic version of The Sandman:

And thanks to the fine folks at Sony, here's a promo image with Mr. Church:

The Spider-Man franchise has been the powerhouse for Marvel movie wise, and it looks like everything's on track for another good outing. The rumors are that this time around Spidey will be facing 3 villians, so I expect we'll hear word on them soon.

MIke G.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

A Poor Investment...

Big companies spend millions on research to find people who are likely to buy their products and services. Sometimes they'll spend tons of money to lure these people, treating them like an investment. Over the long run, they figure the money spent now will pay off in the future.

Somehow, I was pegged as ripe for the picking by the fine folks at Nordstrom. I'll be honest, the closest I've ever been to a Nordstrom is the GameStop two doors down. But there was something about the invite that really caught my eye.

...Complimentary meal in our bistro.

So I figure I'll have a free sandwich, look around, and be on my way. I decided I would dress up a bit for the occasion. By 'dress up' I mean jeans instead of shorts, and a long sleeve shirt. And no hat.

My first clue that I may have miscalculated was seeing the valet station. Seeing the actual 'bistro' was the second. It was about 4 times nicer than any place I've eaten for the past few years. I'm no hick, I'm just not that fancy. Also, I was a bit younger than the rest of the folks who were there.

I will say that everyone there was incredibly nice. I guess they must have thought I was some nouveau riche.

Some quick observations:

  1. There is really no subtle way to ask the question, "Is this meal free?"
  2. Upon receiving the answer to said question, it takes a bit of finesse to order a steak.[medium well, please]

After the meal[I felt ordering dessert would be taking advantage], we were invited to browse the store. I don't want to bore you kind folks any more with my ramblings, so I'll skip to the punchline...

I was unable to tell the difference between the 50 dollar T-Shirt and the 20 dollar T-shirt. I guess it's back to Old Navy for me, where if you're smart you can buy clothes by the pound.

Bottom line, I got to live way outside my means for a night. Special thanks to the marketing firm that picked my name out, and I hope someone else takes up the slack shopping wise, since the odds are pretty steep I'll be back without some sort of bribe.

Finally, I'd like to thank everyone for visiting Churn, and adding the feed to your various readers and aggregators. You can also sign up for Feedblitz and get the latest Churnings via email. It's located right at the bottom of the ad column, which has surpassed all my expectations by netting me a cool one dollar and fifty-seven cents.


Mike G.

Look, WAY Up in the Sky...

Thanks to Newsarama for the info.

A few years ago, some IMAX theaters would show traditional 35mm films. They would be a bit on the grainy side, but still look pretty cool. But now they've developed a process to re-master the film to take advantage of the unique IMAX setup.

If you're able, I highly recommend seeing a film in the IMAX format. When Attack of the Clones came out, I had to see Yoda jumping and flipping about on a multi-story screen. Was worth it.

Mike G.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Martha Crush Puny Humans!!!

I managed to recover from last night's debauchery at the Roller Derby bout [thank you Dayquil]. Again, big congratulations to all involved. We'll be back next year, bigger and better than ever.

Now on to the daily grind.

I know that Martha Stewart is an easy target for a lot of different people, whether it's her financial 'wizardry', her domestic perfection, or her general attitude.

But when she says stuff like this, you have to wonder if she's even a tiny bit self aware.

In an interview with Fortune Magazine, she talks of her plans to buy Kmart [the plan was referred to as Kmartha], and how she had planned to fire Donald Trump on her own reality show.

But the best stuff comes at the end, where once again my comic book geekiness gives me added insight.

After serving five months in jail for lying about a 2001 stock sale, which was followed by nearly six months of house arrest, the lifestyle guru says she feels resilient.

"I have learned that I really cannot be destroyed."

Ok, this is something that Dr. Doom or the Red Skull says. Or at the very least, you can't say something like this unless you have a volcano headquarters complete with death ray.


Mike G.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Halloween Alternative...

If you feel like you've grown beyond the traditional Trick-or-Treating, I'd like to extend an invitation to the final Dallas Derby Devils bout of 2005.

The lethal ladies of The Wrecking Crew will take on the scurvy wenches of the High Seas Hotties in a battle to the death.

There'll be performances by the bands Sidekick Mafia and Slick 57, and two different costume contests for the kids and grown ups.

I'll be repeating my role as a member of the broadcast crew giving the fans all of the action. As an added bonus, I've nearly learned all the rules.

See you there.

Mike G.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Oh My...

I'll leave it to more experienced people to discuss the latest indictments and their consequences.

The story that surprised me today caught me completely off guard.

Apparently, Sulu has been boldly going where few men go.

It probably took a lot of courage for him to come out, and I hope the Star Trek Community continues to hold him in high esteem.

Live Long, and Prosper,
Mike G.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


There's a site out there called The Truth Laid Bear. I guess you could call it a clearinghouse of current events blogging.

What makes it stand out is its unique ranking system that tries to mimic the ecosystem. If I understand it, your status depends on the number of inbound and outbound links. You start out as a microbe and strive to reach the position of Higher Being.

I was enjoyng life as a Flippery Fish, but I guess I haven't been doing my job, as I have defied logic and science by reverting to a Lowly Insect.

So please folks, add a Churn link to your site.

Don't make Charles Darwin a liar.

Mike G.

Monday, October 24, 2005

I Love The Times...

If you're a fan of the 'Odd News Story' you've probably seen a few involving possible overcharging by strip clubs.

I've had very few strip club experiences[and the ones I have had were subsidized] but I sort of understand the battle going on in your average strip club patron's head.

In a way, it's no contest. There is no greater sales person than a half-naked woman in a day-glo thong. Add some overpriced alcohol and an ATM machine that can make cash advances, and that's all she wrote.

But I'm not the only one commenting on this.

A former stripper penned a guest editorial for the New York Times, which you can read here.

Yup, 'All the News Fit To Print'.

Tips are always appreciated. Let her know how much you love her folks.

Mike G.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

More Lessons Learned...

If you own a webcam without a flash, it's not a smart idea to bring it to a party where the combined light output is less than a 60 watt bulb.

Thought you'd like to know.

Mike G.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Game Over, Man!

I don't play chess, but this set might make me change my mind...

Available soon from your local house of Geekery.

Mike G.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Annoyance At The Speed Of Email...

Hi Folks.

In Churn's never-ending effort to make it easy for the reader to be disappointed with my writing, I've enabled Feedblitz on this blog. Feedblitz monitors RSS feeds, and sends you an email when they've been updated. It's great for those of you who don't have RSS readers or aren't online 23 hours a day.

Just look for the box at the bottom of the left-hand column. Enter you email address, and every night the system will check for new content, and send you a message if there is. No new content? No email. The really cool part is that since it's an email, you can get it on devices like smart phones and handhelds.

I'll be attempting to do some mobile blogging this weekend at the Wild Ass Wake.

Mike G.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


Here's a quandary...

I'm not a fan of horror movies, but I really dig the behind-the-scenes stuff, like Fangoria. I'll read all about SAW 2, but you couldn't drag me to the theater.

With the recent spate of zombie movies, I've been thinking about the different types of zombies you may come across, and how best to deal with them. There's the 'old school' Romero shamblers and the Rage-infected victims of 28 Days Later.

Do the zombies need simply the flesh of the living to survive, or do they need brain matter?

But this guy has me beat 5 ways to Sunday. From glancing through his book though, the prognosis is a bit grim. The sad fact is when dealing with zombies, the numbers just don't add up in our[non-dead] favor.

One final hint? Don't bother with using fire as a weapon. Not only will you still have zombies, but now they'll be on fire.

Mike G.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Words To Heed...

So I read that making potato pancakes is a good way to use leftover mashed potatoes.

I think I may have missed the part when they advised against using instant mashed potato flakes.

It wasn't a total loss, but then again my cooking skills have left me with the inability to differentiate between 'blackened' and 'burnt'.

Mike G.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Just The Thing...

To chill your soul.

Sources tell me this is from the Family Guy direct-to-video movie.

Click at your peril.

I guess times have changed.

Mike G.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Wearing Black is Suggested....

We've been in a semi-state of mourning here at Churn for the demise of the Wild Ass Circus.

What especially stung was the fact that the show was cancelled mere days before the third anniversary, which was to be a star studded affair with former guests of the show gathering to share memories.

But Richard, never one to give up on a good idea has decided to soldier on with the party, turning it into the Wild Ass Wake:

You can see the full size version at my Flickr Page. Everyone's invited, and we hope to see you there.

Mike G.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

The Reality Sinks In...

So Bro. Mike, Richard and I were watching No Mercy earlier tonight when it hits me: we don't have a place to discuss this PPV on the air anymore.

I felt bad, not just because my only media outlet is gone[which does suck], but the fact that each month there was at least one person who maybe didn't like wrestling, but appreciated the way we discussed it in a completely serious manner.

Speaking of wrestling, there's still time for you to join our WWE Fantasy Wrestling League. Just click here and sign up before Monday Night RAW. Once you have a team, click on the Create/Join League link and enter WildAssCircus to join our league.

Mike G.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

You Gotta To Eat...

A small dining suggestion for the Dallas audience.

Depending on where you live, finding a locally owned restaraunt can be difficult. Finding one that serves good food at a decent price is almost impossible.

Enter Highlands Cafe. I had lunch there today, and thought it was great. I had their 1/3 lb. hamburger [no tomato, no lettuce] with some of the best french fries I've ever had. Crispy on the outside, and steaming on the inside.

I've yet to sample the desserts, but give me time.

Of course, I don't expect you to take my word for it, so here's what the Dallas Morning News says. For those who shy away from 'corporate media', the alternative weekly paper Dallas Observer liked it enough to name it in their yearly Best Of issue.

Mike G.

Oh, for those wondering, the lovely lady featured below is Motor Lisa, captain of the Suicide Shifters. She's usually in a much sunnier mood.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Revolutions Are Expensive...

From "Volunteers" by Jefferson Airplane:

Look what’s happening out in the streets
Got a revolution got to revolution
Hey I’m dancing down the streets
Got a revolution got to revolution
Ain’t it amazing all the people I meet
Got a revolution got to revolution
One generation got old
One generation got soul
This generation got no destination to hold
Pick up the cry
Hey now it’s time for you and me
Got a revolution got to revolution
Come on now we’re marching to the sea
Got a revolution got to revolution
Who will take it from you
We will and who are we
We are volunteers of america

Now please click here if you will. I'll wait for you to come back.

All right.


How exactly does a song with words like Revolution and 'marching to the sea' put someone in the mood to buy a $60 fleece pullover?

Mike G.

Friday, September 30, 2005


So it looks like the Wild Ass Circus, my favorite radio show, has been canceled. That sucks in just about every way.

The WAC accepted me and my quirks with open arms, and thanks to Richard and the crew, I've got memories that will last me a lifetime. I've interviewed people from all walks of life and been places I've only read about, all the while doing my best impression of a radio semi-professional. Of course, I won't be able to forget some of those moments, since I've foolishly posted the pictures.

It was a good three years, and I hope that a smart station realizes that a golden opportunity has just appeared.

Mike G.

What Color Are Their Hands Now?

Yes, that line was stolen from The Great Muppet Caper, but there's a good reason.

The Post Office has released a series of Muppet stamps. I wish Rizzo the rat was included, but it's a fantastic set nevertheless.

If the set takes off, what about these choices for series 2?

Digit [from the Jim Henson Hour]

Johnny Fiama and Sal [Muppets Tonight]

Bobo The Bear [Muppets Tonight]

Crazy Harry [Muppet Show]

Lew Zealand [Muppet Show]

Waldo C. Graphic [Jim Henson Hour & Muppetvision 3-D]

Mike G.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Dallas Stars.jpg

Dallas Stars.jpg
Originally uploaded by thesporq.


I saw a review on another site RE: Serenity and I thought I should say something.

I said that people who were big fans of Firefly would love this film.


Things happen in this movie. Things that, for a long while now, don't usually happen in these types of movies. Joss took some risks with this picture, when he could essentially shoot a double-length Firefly episode and just watch the adulation roll in.

It's a ballsy move, to be sure. Fandom is incredibly fickle. Today's Independent Voice can be tomorrow's Sell-Out.

It'll be interesting to watch.

Mike G.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Aimin' To Misbehave...


This post was made possible by the good folks at Talking Points Memo. While most of their work involves politics and current affairs, today they played the Hollywood card.

They offered readers of their site and fellow bloggers to an advance screening of Serenity. I sent in my name, and lo and behold I got a press pass. So amidst a sea of fellow nerds and confessed follower Scott Kurtz, we settled in for the show.

I freely admit that I've only watched a few minutes of Firefly. That said, I really liked this movie. Joss Whedon has a particular talent for adding in a gag to punctuate moments of tension. I also like the idea that the future isn't all chrome and streamlined. There's still guns and bullets, and a very brute force sense of design.

There are some things that gave me a bit of pause, but they weren't big concerns. I guess the future is dominated by the Chinese, since there's enough kanji symbols to fill up a dozen strip clubs. Also, I guess the civil war hinted at in the movie is a big deal, but it gets a very quick once-over.

Oh, Jewel Staite is pretty cute.

Bottom line: If you're a fan of the show, you've probably already seen it, or stolen a work print online. Everyone else? It's a pleasant surprise that's worth the ticket price.

Finding it it very difficult to stop the signal,
Mike G.

Cushioning The Blow...

So to speak.

To counteract the shameless begging of the post below, Here's a pic of another Page 3 Girl, the lovely Miss Lucy Pinder:

Also, Fun in the Locker Room. Many Churn thanks to the upstanding folks at Double Viking.

For some reason, I feel like I should be apologizing to someone.

Mike G.


I know a long time ago I asked for help to get free stuff.

I'd pretty much given up on the whole thing, but I figured one last try couldn't hurt.

At this point, I just need one person to click on this link and try an offer.

To help whichever kind soul decides to participate, this site rates the trial offers.

I fully understand if noone wants to participate. I'll still keep CHURNing out the same quality[?] material on a less-than-weekly basis.

Mike G.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Many Thanks...

To Brother Mike, who helped me out of a jam last night.

Not everyone would take time out of their lives to help someone else, and I'm very grateful.


I gues this means I'll have to eat the deposit and cancel his 'dentist appointment' I had arranged for next month.

Mike G.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Geek Levels... Rising!

They finally did it.

Part of me can't believe it, and the other part is wondering why it didn't happen sooner.

Simply put, Star Wars meets Transformers.

Here's a quick taste:

I guess I better check to see if they're still buying plasma...

Mike G.

Friday, September 23, 2005

A Chairshot Earns You 3 Points...

I'm speaking to a small segment of the Churn audience right now, but I'll get back to my regular hi-jinks soon.

This is an open invitation to all readers to join the P1 Wild Ass Circus in season 5 of WWE Fantasy. For those unaware, WWE Fantasy combines the number-crunching strategy of fantasy football with the crazy world of professional wrestling.

The game is fairly simple, and works like your standard salary cap game. Each week, you're given 30 million dollars with which to assemble a roster of WWE superstars from both RAW and Smackdown. They earn points based on their on-screen antics. For example, a TV appearance earns you 3 points, while participating in a match gets you 5. If your Superstar wins that match, they earn another 7 points.

The trick to successfully playing this game is to not only keep your roster balanced with wrestlers from both shows, but to also keep your eyes on the schedule. If there's a PPV during the week, it's a smart idea to load your roster with wrestlers due to appear on that show, since the point values are higher.

So, what's in it for me, you may be asking?

Well, not only will the overall point leader of Season 5 win a 2006 Royal Rumble trip, but weekly leaders will earn prizes too. As far as the P1WAC goes, the league leader will not only get bragging rights, but they will win this:

A genuine Kid's WWE Heavyweight Championship Belt, complete with velcro closures. We'll even make a custom label so you can personalize it.

I'm sure dozens of you are raring to sign up after a pitch like that. All you have to do is click here to sign up. Once you do, log in to your account and click on your team name. Then, click on the Create/Join League button. Type in WildAssCircus [make sure you type it like that] in the 'Find a League' box and hit enter, and then click Join.

When you join, please leave me a comment and tell me the name of your team. I run Churn Life, my fellow wrestling correspondent Brother Mike named his team after himself, and Season 5's winner Richard Hunter helms the Lance Stormtroopers.

Once the season is under way, I'll provide status reports from time to time.

I hope you'll consider my invitation.

Mike G.

Combo Platter...

First, Boing Boing has a post about one guy's Katrina story. I know it doesn't compare to people who have lost much more, but as a fellow collector, I can understand his situation.

Here at home, Rita has made people nervous about gas, causing longer lines at the pump. I've only lived here for a few years, but I'm fairly certain the Dallas levies aren't going to collapse.

Phone companies usually charge you when you call them for directory assistance. This company is offering it for free. Of course, it might not last long, but it's worth a shot.

Hey Linds. Hope the stress levels are lowering.

Someone please buy me this.

Some pics of SOTA Toys' Johnny Cash figure. No word on whether or not he transforms into a F-15.

Congrats to Devin, who somehow convinced a lovely young lady to marry him. Not to be cynical, but I suspect she's got her eye's on Dev's extensive land holdings in Asia Minor.

Stay tuned for some big Churn news in the coming days.

Mike G.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

After Careful Consideration...

I have concluded that Frozen Custard is good. If you can avail yourself of some, I highly recommend it. For those unfamiliar with the concept, it's very dense, smooth, and by law must contain more than 10% milkfat. It's also made with egg yolks, giving it a very creamy texture. I guess you could say it's a more glamourous version of the familiar soft-serve.

Here in Dallas, I found there's quite a few places to indulge. Local places include Wild About Harry's, Sheridan's, and Culvers.

Mike G.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

No Time To Repent...

Since it's time for your WWE Unforgiven preview...

This is a RAW brand PPV, and I hate to say it, but it looks like it might be pretty good.

Here we go in no particular order:

Shelton Benjamin vs. Kerwin White

This is a study of characters at a crossroads. Shelton Benjamin was once a mighty Intercontinental Champion with aspirations to become Heavyweight Champion. Since those heady days, he's been relegated to the midcard. Chavo Guerrero used to ride a stick horse to the ring, and now the former protege' to Eddie Guerrero has decided to trade in his name and ethnicity for a shiny white version in Kerwin White.

This match is more about the loser, rather than the winner. Both of these wrestlers need a high profile win, and whoever comes up short will be in a bad place. I think WWE should stick by Shelton and reintroduce Chavo/Kerwin to his heritage.

Trish Stratus & Ashley vs. Torrie Wilson & Victoria

This match pretty much encapsulates the state of female wrestling in the WWE. Trish [the returning champion, by the way] and Victoria are legitimate wrestlers who can also fill the 'eye candy' role of the standard valet/manager. Torrie and Ashley are very pretty models with scant wrestling ability. Also, both of them have been photographed by Playboy [do a Google Search to find a pre-Diva Search Ashley]

So who wins? I'd have to say whoever Tivos this match and plays it back in slo-mo.

Big Show vs. Snitsky

Two words come to mind when discussing this match: Holding pattern. Snitsky has taken his baby-killing 'accident' about as far as anyone could have forseen, and after his stint as Edge's muscle, he needs something new. As for Big Show, all signs had him pegged as the one to win the MasterLock Challenge, but thatwent away fairly quickly. This will be a standard Big Man Match, and I see Show coming out on top.

The Hurricane & Rosey vs. Cade & Murdoch for the World Tag Team Championship

Sadly, one of my favorite wrestlers has become linked with a tragedy. This in and of itself has little to do with the match, but it doesn't help. Cade and Murdoch have been getting a fair amount of exposure, and I think a title change is in the cards. But given how shabby the Tag Team situation is on RAW, it might not make a difference.

Edge vs. Matt Hardy in a Steel Cage

Back in my Summerslam preview, I said the match then was a month late. at this point, I can't tell if WWE is punishing Edge or Matt with this clunker of a storyline. Whatever excitement Matt brought with his return is long gone. And not to bring up old stuff, but Edge still has the Money In The Bank contract. Matt loses again, but gets the Moral Victory. Lita tries to express an emotion, but the strain causes her to pass out.

Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Masters

This match is pretty straightforward; Cocky upstart calls out the cagey veteran. For some reason, WWE is very high on Mr. Masters. Unfortunately for him, Shawn Michaels is due some payback.

After having to job to Hogan at Summerslam, I can't see him doing it again for a rookie like Masters. I see HBK powering his way out of the MasterLock and shutting him down with Sweet Chin Music.

Ric Flair vs. Carlito for the Intercontinental Championship

I'm actually looking forward to this one, even if it is like watching your grandpa wrestle. Carlito has become a very entertaining heel, earning extra points for having the IC title without ever defending it. Expect a lot of "WOOO!" and cheating, but Carlito retains the belt.

And finally:

John Cena vs. Kurt Angle for the WWE Championship

The WWE has tried to make this a story of a rebel fighting against a stacked deck, but what I'm noticing is the power of Evil Kurt. In his mind, he is the best wrestler on Earth and the title is his by divine right. Along with this attitude is a more intense style that I've noticed for a while now. But, with RAW's move back to USA later this month, along with the advertising featuring Cena, I don't see Kurt winning this one.

Later next week, we'll be discussing the results on the P1WAC.

Mike G.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Quick Apology...

For those with whom I've lost IM contact with the past few days.

Yahoo Messenger[my IM program of choice] has been acting up and refuses to cooperate.

Rest assured, I'm not trying to ignore anyone.

Mike G.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

See What Happens...

when you leave your giraffe out in the sun? According to National Geographic, you get an 80's flashback; faded giraffe.

Mike G.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

We're All Screaming...

This might be too late for today depending on where you live, but I just found out that Baskin-Robbins is offering dollar scoops on Tuesday nights.

It's like Dollar beer night for the Non-Drinking set.

However, I would like to see someone stumble into the place with a paycheck, demanding the scooper not to stop till he hits the bottom of the Very Berry Strawberry.

Mike G.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Stop Thinking...

So I'm getting some lunch the other day, and as I'm waiting for my order I find myself listening to the Muzak.

It's rare that I pay attention to stuff like that since years of dining alone have taught me to have a book or magazine with me when I go out, or my Rio Karma.

Anyways, the Ringo Starr cover of Johnny Burnette's "You're Sixteen" came on. you can click here for the lyrics in case you're not familiar with the song.

Maybe it's a sign of the times, but isn't that song just a bit creepy? And in about 18 or so states, it's also almost celebrating comitting a felony.

Mike G.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Wake Up The Echoes...?

I usually don't get too sportsy here[I like to leave that stuff in more capable hands like The Sturminator's or T-Walk's.] I'm still not too sure why people come to this site, but I think I can rule out my vast sports knowledge as a reason.

That said, it was with a bit of glee that I saw the Notre Dame Fighting Irish defeat Michigan 17-10. For more details, I bring you a variety of choices:

CBS Sportsline

The NY Times

Canada's TSN

NBC's Notre Dame Central

I'm trying not to be too pleased, because I still remember what happened a few years ago with Tyrone Willingham.

Well, that should do it for the sports stuff. If I can get motivated for it, I'll write up something about my WWE Fantasy season, and how I got blindsided in the final weeks.

Mike G.

"Stranded?" or "I Found A New Toy"

Originally uploaded by thesporq.

Thanks to the unholy necromancers at Flickr, I now can post pictures from my phone. Actually, I probably could have done it ages ago. Also, I doubt there are any Necromancers at Flickr.

The bottom line is that now I can bring Churn Nation audio and visual content without being near a computer. Yup, I've finally stepped into the 20th century here.

Oh, about the picture. During the trip back to Dallas from Richard's brothel wedding, we got held up a for a few hours due to snow and ice on the road. For more random images, please check my Flickr page. I hope to get more pictures uploaded in the future, so please be patient.

Mike G.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Branching Out....

In a very poor attempt to reach out to as wide an audience as I can, Churn is attempting to spread to other communities. For example...

Myspace Space

Yahoo 360

AOL Journals

MSN Spaces

But fear not Churn Nation, I'll always come back to you. [shades of an abusive relationship, I know]

Mike G.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

I'm Washing My Hair That Day...

So rumor has it that Michael Jackson has penned a new song to raise money for Katrina Relief, and he's currently making the rounds to recruit artists. Apparently he's trying to re-create "We Are The World" for a new generation.

So the big question is: if you're a singer or celebrity, what do you do when you get that phone call?

On the one hand, it's a wholly deserving cause. When each of us wonders what we can do to help, entertainers have an enviable position. Friday, the major networks and many cable channels will be airing a special to raise funds, much like the one aired in the days after the September 11 attacks.

But on the other hand, you've got a bleached man-child with a face composed of 56% wood putty. By the way, he dangles his baby over window ledges. And before I forget, he might have a thing for little boys.

So would you just let the machine get it?

Just curious.

Mike G.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Post-Mortem Continued...

I would have written this earlier, but I started playing Chuzzle, and got distracted. It's no Bookworm, but it's pretty fun.

So when I last left you, preparations were well under way. The rink was being lined with light cords to mark the boundaries, chairs had been set up, and the girls were preparing for battle.

As the crowd started to file in, it started to dawn on me that people were actually going to see[and hear] me speak. I've been on the radio before, but it's easier when you don't have to see the people you're talking to.

As the band After Earth finished up the set, the lights were lowered and Meatpie [the aforementioned pirate]and I headed to the middle of the rink to do the introductions.

Meatpie did the honors for the High Seas Hotties and was very well received. As their theme music died down, I turned on my microphone and...

presenting the suicide shifters!

Then the sound of crickets filled the air.

As I was contemplating hanging myself from the giant spinning disco ball, Meatpie handed me the other mic. I took a deep breath, and to my great shock, it worked. I made my way through the Shifters' roster and even got a bit of applause.

And then the bout began. Meatpie and I began to fall into a sort of rhythm; he would give more of a play-by-play account explaining the rules and penalties to the crowd, and I would offer scoring updates and chime in on specific plays.

After Halftime, I began to feel a bit more confident, and would offer up more commentary. I even upheld the long-standing tradition of secretly inserting TicketShtick into everyday life by invoking some Robot Greggo.

As the bout drew to a close I felt that all in all, I had done my best. That's not to say I won't try harder next time though.

I just can't thank the Derby Devils enough for letting me be a small part of their crew. Of course, my ultimate plan involves the girls acting as a sexy squad of lethal commandos loyal only to me.

Just a thought.

Mike G.


This'll just cover some of the highlights...

I first want to give all of the Derby Devils huge thank yous for letting me into their dysfunctional happy family.

It's crazy when you think that just about two months ago to the day, I was in a boxing ring ready to take on one of the girls[Razen Kane] in a grudge match.

Flash forward to me preparing to do color commentary for tonight's bout, which featured the Suicide Shifters squaring off against the High Seas Hotties.

Special thanks to Deadly Belladonna of the Shifters, for acquiring my outfit/costume. We were going for 'tacky news anchor' and Belladonna performed a bad taste miracle, outfitting me in a fire-engine red coat with a pale yellow shirt. Topping off the ensemble was a black and tan tie criss-crossed with rows of dots. but this looked tame compared to my broadcast partner, who dressed as a pirate.

More tomorrow...

Mike G.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Spot The Hidden Reference...

Regular readers of this blog will know that I've aligned myself with the alluring ladies of the Dallas Derby Devils. On Sunday, the Devils will unveil the three teams for the 2005 season in an exhibition bout. [all details on their site]

This week, The Sports Page, a Dallas weekly paper, features a piece on the Devils written by my close friend/media doorway, Richard Hunter.

And now a title explanation.

I'm not named directly in the article, but Richard used his trusty shoehorn to make sure I would be mentioned. If you want, you can download the PDF and play along.

Mike G.

Even Master Chief Wants To Help...

The magic pixies behind Halo and Halo 2 are selling a Fight the Flood T-Shirt to raise money for the American Red Cross. I'll be looking for unique ways to help out, and I'll post what I find.

Mike G.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

When Is The Time?

I like to consider myself somewhat informed, and I'm not afraid of saying, "I don't know".

That said, I've tried to stay away from TV news for the past few days, and I'm trying to not read every article about Katrina's aftermath online. Story ofter story of absolute suffering, and it will get worse.

This leads to another question.

In a situation like this, the primary concern should be to save as many lives as possible, and then see to shelter, food, clothing and other needs.

But somewhere in that list of priorities should be a concerted effort to discover WHY this happened the way it did. We're starting to see reports of levees being breached rather than overtopped, and conflicting stories of slashed or diverted funds for their repair. There's National Guardsmen and equipment that's overseas, even though we're being told we have enough.

The question is, when is the right time to ask these sorts of questions? The popular liberal/progressive blog Daily Kos weighs in, and in response James Wolcott fires back:

I don't mean to pick on Armando, but has he learned nothing under Bush? There is
no "next week" when it comes to getting answers and fixing accountability for
failure under this president. Next week never comes.

Look at 9/11. There were tough questions about the breakdown of communications at Ground Zero, the lateness in scrambling fighter jets once the hijacked planes were heading toward NY and DC, Bush's strange behavior on that day, etc., and in the aftermath those questions were considered inappropriate, "divisive." We needed to grieve first, heal; and then the tough questions could be raised.

But they weren't. As months passed, the focus was on overthrowing the Taliban and avenging 9/11, and tough questions were taken off the table as the drumbeat was about the Nation Moving Forward. The media fell into zombie lockstep behind the invigorated Bush agenda. It took the 9/11 widows and esp the "Jersey Girls" to push and shame the Congress, the media, and the administration into launching a proper
investigation, otherwise it would have all slid into the memory hole apart from
the iconic images of the smoking towers before their collapse.

I don't know who's right here. This administration has done such a masterful job of turning all criticism back onto the critic, even the most rational and reasoned argument can be deflected. On the other hand, unless these questions are asked soon, history shows us they can fade away.

Politics aside, there are people in dire need of help out there. Please keep a good thought or prayer for them, and maybe kick in a few bucks to the agencies I've linked to below. Fans of PayPal can make a donation to the United Way by visiting this page.

Mike G

More testing....

I've got some audio that can be accessed here. Can it be picked up by people who have podcast technology?

Please let me know.

Mike G.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

The Cold Hard Math...

I wish I had something funnier to post, but after seeing this on Boing Boing, I thought it needed to be spread around.

About the first section; I think that in any emergency, you have to focus on saving as many people as you can. It may not be possible to save everyone. Did social standing or race played a part in New Orleans' evacuation plans? We'll probably never know for sure, but the question will last long after the waters recede.

As for the attributed email, I shudder to think of the devastation the relief workers are seeing first hand. I've seen images of rooftops on a brown background, and reports of levees failing. I'm trying to wrap my head around it, especially the fact that I'm less than 12 hours away, typing on my computer and enjoying a soda.

Small words, I'm sure.

Mike G.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005


To everyone affected by Katrina. I hope any readers from the disaster area were able to get out in time, and that those who have family there hear from them soon.

For everyone else, here's a short list of people with a big job ahead of them. Please help them, so they can help others...

The American Red Cross

Catholic Charities

The Salvation Army

Mike G.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Blog Kryptonite...

That might be exaggerating.

If this is your first time here, welcome. If the recent logs are to be believed, the odds are good you came here in search of a buxom British model. The info is either down below this post, or in the archives to your right.

But I hope you'll leave with a small appreciation of one of my favorite artists ever. Weird Al's parodies and original music just connect with me; in this age of 'free' music, I've still gone into the store to buy all his albums.

For everyone else, I'm sorry.

Mike G.

Farewell Old Friend...

They were one of the first, but they couldn't withstand the Power of the Pod.

The company behind the Rio brand of digital audio players announced today they would stop making products under the Rio name.

Most people aren't aware that Rio released one of the first ever MP3 players, and was involved in a court case brought against them by the RIAA.

I've been a proud owner of a Rio Karma for months now. Sure, it doesn't have the style of the Ipod, but it does everything I need it to, and for about a hundred bucks. Granted, it's hard to do the silhouetted poses since my Karma's shaped differently, but I'll survive.

Mike G.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Things You Ask Yourself...

So I'm watching the A-Ha video[it should be part of the rotation; just drag the slider to the end to see the next video] and it hits me:

When the evil racers are chasing the girl and lead singer, the rest of the band doesn't even look up from their instruments. I guess they're a bit jealous of the guy, but band mates should have each other's back at least.

Mike G.

P.S. Family Guy did a mini-tribute of their own on this video.

Monday, August 22, 2005

On The Heels...

Of a fairly successful Summerslam PPV, I along with Bro. Mike will give our thoughts on the P1WAC.

As a special bonus, I'll be giving a review of a movie that really spoke to me.

Please tune in.

Mike G.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

The Dog Days of Summerslam...

Welcome all to your exclusive Summerslam Preview.

Just a reminder, this preview will also be on my blog, located at

This preview is based off the most current match listing at

WWE Champion John Cena vs. Chris Jericho

Sadly, this match has almost become a battle of Rap versus Rock and Roll. What makes it sadder is when you stop to think of the participants. John Cena is, let's face it, a white guy out of West Newbury, and Jericho's band Fozzy was originally some sort of inside joke where he and the lead singer 'Mongoose McQueen' were two different people.

As far as the storyling goes, the odds are against the anti-establishment Cena, who won't kowtow to Eric Bischoff. Jericho feels that Cena isn't worthy of being the WWE champ, based on the fact that he felt Fozzy was a better musical act.

Cena retains the belt by perservering through staggering odds, and his CD inches ever so closely to the remainder bin.

Shawn Michaels vs. Hulk Hogan

The tagline for this match is, "Immortality has its price".

This match will not be a technical showcase, but it will be an interesting look into how and why the wrestling fan reacts to things.

Hogan has been a perennial face, even in his NwO persona. HBK has been able to play both roles fairly well, his last big heel turn back during his feud with Stone Cold.

The angle with this match has been essentially this; HBK feels that Hogan's never deserved his accolades, and that he's basically coasted on what he did decades ago. Hogan's answered back that he never turned his back on the fans like Shawn did. Recent crowds [except for Montreal] have taken to cheer HBK, which is never a good thing for the writers.

Hogan has a reality show and very little wrestling ability. HBK is basically a part-timer who will still put it on the line in the ring. Non-wrestling logic says HBK wins in a walk, but Hogan still draws, even though he and Norm shop at the same hip store. HBK wins, but Hulk gets the last word.

World Heavyweight Champion Batista vs. JBL

The Animal goes up against the former Acolyte in a No Holds Barred Match for the Big Gold Belt. The first time around, Batista disqualified himself, but kept the belt, a gutless maneuver that should never be on PPV. With the NHB stipulation, there should be a clear cut winner. We've seen both of these men in brawl-type matches[JBL in an I Quit Match, Batista in the Hell in the Cell] so we know they're willing to bleed and take risks. JBL has been a good heel champ, but the fans support Batista way too much for him to lose the strap right now. Batista retains in a violent brawl.

Edge vs. Matt Hardy

In a clash of storyline, reality and worked shoots, the only thing missing from this match is a time machine, because it probably should have happened a month ago. Now we've got basically another mid-card match. Remember when Edge was on top of the WWE, complete with a title shot whenever he wanted? And remember when Matt Hardy was screwed over by his girl, best friend, and his company over something he had no control of? Some see this as WWE's big experiment into some new way of storytelling.

In this case, if there is a clean finish, it spells death for both characters. See how I contradict myself in less than a paragraph? I see possibly some sort of DQ, perhaps involving Lita. Heck, this might be a good way to bring back the Money In The Bank title shot in the storyline.

Randy Orton vs. Undertaker

And so the Rebuilding of Randy begins. The WWE seems to want to try again with young Randall, who was once pushed to the limit and even given a title reign. His shoulder has kept him out of the ring for months, except for an ill-advised RAW appearance, where even Vince McMahon commented on the fact that he's missed a few cycles of Raffysterone.

So now he's back to finish what he started, and take out the Dead Man.

Previous readers of this newsletter know that this match is a partial byproduct of what happened at the Great American Bash. Orton was to have interfered in the Hassan/Undertaker match, resulting in Batista/Hassan for the title. Instead, Hassan is working an armory somewhere.

Randy goes over, as payment for laying down for Taker at Wrestlemania and keeping his record intact. If he can stay healthy, expect for Orton to be Batista's next victim.

Eugene vs. Kurt Angle

A bitter Olympian seeks to regain his 'precious' from Wrestling's Rain Man in a no time limit match for his Gold Medal.

While Eugene has mainly been used as a comedy act, I've read that he has some real wrestling ability. This match will probably the most traditional, 'wrestling' wise. Angle, even with a neck made of Legos, can make almost anyone look good in the ring.

I see Angle cheating to win back his medal, only to find to his horror that Eugene has replaced it with one made of chocolate. Matt Striker [the fired New York Teacher] makes a surprise appearance.

Eddie Guerrero vs. Rey Mysterio

Kramer vs. Kramer this isn't. Instead of a boring judge in a stuffy courtroom, Eddie and Rey have decided to hang young Dominick's custody papers above the ring and have a ladder match to decide who's best fit to take care of him. I'm wondering if there'll be some crazy district judge in the south who will think this is a good idea. I also predict that more than a few kids will ask their parents if they would face their former spouse in the squared circle for sole custody.

This whole mess is a textbook case against involving your family in an angle. Dominick is the most convincing actor here, but that's mostly because he hasn't spoken yet.

I expect the match itself to be very good though. As long as Rey wears one of his good masks and is able to keep from adjusting it, this will be a treat. Eddie has yet to defeat Rey, so expect plenty of cheating on his part. Look for Rey to attempt suicide by ladder.

I say Rey and son are reunited. But I won't rule out even more wacky soap-opera hi-jinx, like Dominick turining on Rey and becoming Eddie Jr.

United States Champion Orlando Jordan vs. Chris Benoit

In keeping with my unwavering support for Benoit, all I'll say is that he makes Jordan submit and wins the title. Thus the groundwork is laid for his eventual rise back to WWE Champion.

Matches not on the card [as of this writing] :

Intercontinental Championship [Carlito]
Women's Championship [Trish, who has worked recent house shows]
World Tag Team Championship [The Hurricane and Rosey]

Cruiserweight Championship [Nunzio]
WWE Tag Team Championship [The New New Legion of Doom]

I'd expect one of these matches on Heat before the show.

Thanks everyone for reading, and feel free to pass this along to any of your fellow wrestling fans.

Mike G.

Friday, August 19, 2005

The Churn Train...

Keeps on chugging along the tracks.

Tonight I and fellow blogger Brother Mike will be talking with Hardcore Legend and best-selling author Mick Foley, who will be talking about his new book, "Scooter".

Please tune in if you're able, 8-11pm Central. See if we can make it through the whole segment without bringing up the Hell In The Cell Match from 1998.

Also, I've gotten some feedback about the video box. I'll be changing the lineup pretty soon, and I'm looking into finding a way to mute or pause for those trapped in a cubicle farm who want to enjoy Churn without drawing attention to themselves.

Mike G.

A New Discovery...

I discovered a brand new place to eat today, and since I have a blog, I really had no choice but to tell you about it.

Since I'll probably won't be up north anytime soon, I've had to make do with the frozen version of White Castle. I know some people can't stand them, but I think they're great. I figured that would be as close as I would get to the real thing without moving.

But due to a wrong turn and my inability to read a map, I found something that might do in a pinch.

It's called Krystal, and in addition to being a fine name for a stripper or porn star, it's also a pretty good place to eat.

Apparently, it's been around since 1932, and is sort of like a southern version of White Castle. I'll grant that their menus are similar, even litigiously so. I think the fact that the two chains have mostly stayed out of each other's way has kept the lawyers at bay.

As for the food? The burgers could stand a bit more spice, but the chicken sandwiches are surprisingly good, as well as the fries. They also serve some sort of grits-egg-sausage-cheese layered parfait sort of thing for breakfast, but I'll let someone else try it.

Mike G.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Lawsuits Are Fun...

Burger King, the current masters of the bizzare marketing campaign have found themselves in a lil' legal mess.

Their current series of commercials features the band Coq Roq shilling their newest concoction, Chicken Fries.

But instead of just shaking their heads and switching the channel, the heavy metal band Slipknot decided to call their lawyer.

Many thanks to The Smoking Gun for publishing the court documents.

My biggest concern has nothing to do with the commercials or any legal action. I'm wondering what sort of drug-induced fever dream made someone think of chicken in fry form.

Mike G.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Taking a Negative...

And turning it into a positive. Please turn your attention to the following picture:

The masters of sculpture at Bowen Designs will be releasing this statue very soon. I'm an ardent supporter of these guys, having over a dozen of their mini-busts scattered across the apartment.

Anyways, the reason I'm posting this is to delve in the history behind this piece. For the non comic-book fans, this is the Scarlet Spider. While he looks remarkably similar to Spider-Man, his story is a long and unusual one.

In the over 40-year history of Spider-Man, there have been countless stories told about the web-slinger. Most good, some strange and a few downright bad. But few have raised the ire more than a tale known as:

The Clone Saga

While I'd love to run down all the details of this storyline, thankfully someone else already has. A tip of the cap to Eric Gillette for his excellent timeline.

Someone at Brandeis has taken the time to actually scan the relevant pages and post them online.

Finally, here's the Wikipedia entry on the whole thing.

To sum up, this is a good example of how you can salvage something cool from a train wreck.

Mike G.

All Videos, All the Time...

Or until I get bored, or someone gets sued.

As you can see, I've carved out some real estate on the right here to show the odd music video. I've had to play around with the size a bit, but I'm fairly happy with how it turned out. First up a collaboration between hip-hop mogul Jay-Z and modern rockers Linkin Park. Enjoy.

Mike G.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Crap, It Worked!

The video just below this post is One Thing, by Finger Eleven. I'll leave it there for a while until I figure out a place to have a rotating playlist or something. FYI, their song Slow Chemical is also used by WWE wrestler Kane.

Tip of the hat to the HotCodez folk, even as I'm wondering the legal issues involved. Oh well.

Mike G.


There was once a video playing in this space, but it's been removed while I figure out a better way to show them.

Mike G.


Just a small question before I pass out from the weekend's debauchery...[Lord of the Rings extended trilogy AND the Star Wars original trilogy]

Am I wrong, or is printer ink so expensive that I might as well buy a whole new printer with ink included?

I'm not doing professional documents here folks. Even if I go for the remanufactured/generic refills, two cartridges still almost add up to the $30-something I paid for the printer.

Should I go for Option C, and sneak into an office building every time I need a Quizno's coupon or print a story out of The Onion?

Just wondering.

Mike G.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Answered Prayers...

I know, I know.

You've all been clamoring for collectible figures based on the characters of that 1988 action movie Die Hard.

Well, your dreams of owning a 2.5 inch Bonnie Bedelia are about to come true, thanks to the folks at Palisades Toys.

Mike G.

P.S. I'll be on the air tonight. Please tune in if you're able.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005


Or just someone else with the same crazy idea.

A few days ago, I helped out my favorite Canadian Linds with her contribution to the Blogathon. I was kind of stuck for something to write about, until I decided that it was a good time to ask some questions that had weighing on my mind.

I suppose you could mark it up to sheer coincidence, but check out what made it to The New York Times Opinion Page.

Oh, in case you can't access the article, hop over to Bug Me Not.

I'm glad that the topic is being raised, at least.

Mike G.

Yay! Something Happened!

So it looks like it happened this morning around 7:30 my time.

Visitor Number 10,000.

I know that's a drop in the bucket when you look at other sites, but for someone like me, it's a big deal.

I assume it means that people like to read my stuff, or that they're gluttons for punishment[it's the net, who knows].

Thanks to everyone who's ever visited, commented, or linked to Churn.

Especially Richard, Bro. Mike, Linds, The Miscom Boys, Motor Lisa and the Gals, Devin, and anyone else I might have missed.

I write for a lot of reasons. To document the random twists and turns in my life, to share stuff that I love with others who hopefully feel the same, but mostly I write because I like it. I know it's not real writing [I could never do it in school]. It's just neat knowing that your words are being launched around the world, and that some people actually like it.

Mike G.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

I Need A Nap...

Who would have thought not doing something would be so tiring. Even though I wasn't an actual participant in this year's Blogathon, I offered to pitch in for two of my good friends, Linds and Devin.

I wound up doing emergency duty for Dev when his laptop left this plane of existence, and I might have torqued off the entire foodservice industry with my post for Linds.

All in all, a good night.

As far as hits go, I may break the 10,000 barrier very shortly. Unless they're counting the times I visit, and then it's somewhere around 79. Thanks to all the visitors and especially those who come back. I'll do my best to give you a reason to find your way back here again.

Mike G.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Be Careful What You Wish For...

Well, I hope all the folks from Bracknell Forest, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Utah, and a myriad of other places enjoyed the pictures of Miss Hazell.

Thanks for visiting Churn, and I hope you come back, even when I don't upload confections like her.

Also, It looks like I'll be pitching in to help a good friend.

My pal Devin is participating in Blogathon 2005. Simply, people will pledge money to different charities, and the bloggers will make a post every 30 minutes for 24 hours straight. It combines the endurance of a marathon and the geekiness of the Internet, without the...actual running...of a marathon.

I'm not sure exactly what I'll be writing about. My biggest fear is that my post will be such a beating that people will actually de-pledge, causing Devin's charity to lose money.

And now, here's some stuff to bring Churn back onto a more familiar road...

The folks at Entertainment Earth will be offering two exclusive sets of astromech droids at the end of the year. Here's a look at the two sets:

I know it's not a smoking 18-year-old in a wet bikini, but that's what the other 98.9% of the internet is for.

Mike G.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

The Elitist Burrito...

Attention all members of Churn Nation in the Dallas area:

KERA, the local PBS station is holding a fundraiser tonight at the downtown Dallas location of Chipotle. At the very least, you'll be saving over 50% if you were buying the food and the book seperately.

Besides, anytime you can help out the folks who came up with Sesame Street...

Mike G.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

In The End...

Remember, if a cultural event doesn't inspire a T-Shirt, then it wasn't all that important to begin with. Also, it'll look great at the impending Congressional hearings.

By the way, ThinkGeek will gladly take your money in exchange for a shirt.

Mike G.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Going Default...

Unfortunately, my chosen entry for tonight's Churn was lost to the Internet ether.

While I fear the consequences, I figure it's my duty to give the Churn Nation something... Meet Miss Keeley Hazell.

Apparently she's 18 years old and becoming quite popular across the pond. You can see other mostly Safe For Work pictures [depending if you live in a Red or Blue State] here and here.

Wow, I feel just like a network executive!

Mike G.

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.

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:

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.

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.

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.

Mike G.