Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Duke is back!

For those still keeping track, the next Duke Nukem game, Duke Nukem Forever, is literally taking forever to get to store shelves. How long is forever? Try a decade. I kid you not.

However, at the recent 3D Realms Christmas party it let "slip" that The Duke ain't dead. At least not yet. The above screen shot was shown. Now, a new "teaser" video has been released.


Stay tuned? Ok... but for how much longer? I'm a big Duke fan, so I'll jump on the bandwagon whenever (if ever) it gets released. But most people probably won't. At least Prey, which also took a decade to make (and which is a 3D Realms game - go figure), turned out pretty damn well. So there is hope.

So do any of you fellow gamers care about this game anymore? Do you even remember Duke Nukem, and if so... will you hop aboard the smart ass one liner bus (that Duke is famous for) when/if it drops?

Monday, December 10, 2007

"If I don't write to empty my mind, I go mad."

That subject title was a quote from Lord Byron, the English poet who lived around the turn of the 19th century.

It's even more appropriate at wintertime, when the cabin fever sets in. At long last winter is upon us here in the Rocky Mountains. Thankfully it's nothing like last year when at this same time we were in the midst of a Nordic freight train of weekly blizzards. So far this year I have yet to shovel a flake of snow. Oh what a difference a year makes!

Which is a good thing since I've been in Hibernation Mode since the middle of October. See, 'bout the fourth quarter of each year (what I call the "beer months": Octobeer, Novembeer, Decembeer), when the leaves have long since abandoned their summer digs and the air has gone from crisp to downright cold, I usually go into hibernation just like a big ole bear. The feeling usually starts sometime in October, before All Hallow's Eve, and tends to last right through to the start of the New Year. Cold weather mixed with good football, endless trays of food and superb seasonal craft beer... ah ya. Good times. This mode is usually associated with less writing, more game playing, and catching up on all the summer movies we missed because it's simply too damn cold outside to do anything else.

Well, I'm still in Hibernation Mode, but things are a lot different this year. First of all it's been 2 months since I lifted a single weight or ran a single lap. Aside from regular vacations, I haven't taken a break from working out like this in forever. Neither has Fran. The great thing about being a a life long Gym Rat though is the knowledge that I'll be back at again (after the first of the year as near as we've figured) and my body (now at the ripe young age of 40, 22 of those years have been spent working out) will thank me for the break.

Secondly, a month ago I was let go by GameDaily due to budget constraints. Granted, I was only a part-time freelancer, but it never feels good to get released from any job. However, I'm not the type of person to sit on my ass bemoaning my poor fate and wishfully hoping for something else to come along. I'm the type who believes that when one door closes, another one opens. And if it doesn't open quick enough for my liking I go kick the @*!#% thing down. So I began pounding on doors hunting down new opportunities.

It worked.

On Friday I started writing for a new start-up website (owned by AOL, and a sister site to the long established and well respected gaming site, Joystiq) dedicated to all things MMOG (Massively Multiplayer Online Games) called Massively.

I've already published two articles, so if you're interested in the MMO City of Heroes (and long time readers of this lil slice o' heaven know of my obsession with this superhero game), check out Drinking it up in the City of Heroes. If you're into Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean than you need to check out the article I wrote about PotC Online (a phenomenally fun free to play MMO by the way) entitled: Yo ho yo ho a Pirate's (of the Caribbean) life for me. This is a lot different than my writing from GameDaily

There's a few other projects and writing gigs I'm trying to line up as well, but these will focus on my other passion: craft beer. Yup, it's a busy time in the ole high country this year! I'll keep ya'll updated as things progress.

Until next time, remember what the legendary Ray Bradbury once said: You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.

Amen, Mr. B.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

The Mad Man Niko Cometh...



I wasn't a fan of the last GTA mainly because I really didn't care for the whole ghetto "thug life" setting. In fact, it more or less repulsed me to the point where I played the first 30 minutes or so and put the game away... forever.

This iteration of GTA however really gets my blog pumping!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Just Brakes? Try... Just Fakes.

An update on the ongoing "investigation" of the nationwide (supposed) brake repair company that refers to themselves as Just Brakes.

Over the last week I've been doing some research on this nationwide company. If you go to Ripoff Reports and type in Just Brakes in their Company Search field you'll find (as of this writing) 383 reports that are eerily similar. Oddly enough, there were only 377 over the weekend when I checked. Here's their modus operandi: they "lure" you into their green hued service bays with their $100 "special" (replace the pads/shoes on all 4 wheels, machine rotor/drums, pack the bearing, inspect break system) then sock you with all kinds of other things that usually adds up to $600 to $800 (or more) extra bones.

Got to talking with one of our employees and the same thing happened to her. She went there to get the special... when they got there they told her all kinds of things were wrong with her brakes and wanted to charge her $800 to fix it all. She didn't have the full eight bills (and who would?), so she had them do only the back breaks. This was a few months ago. Recently she had one of our other employees (who is very handy with vehicle maintenance since he was a mechanic at one time) do some work on something else and he noticed that they did nothing. As they did with our Jeep. Ironically, her vehicle was also a Jeep.

Bottom line: Just Brakes is a scam company. They lure you in and try to hit you up for things that don't have to be done... and then don't even do what they charge you for! I've submitted a BBB report on these scum bags and tend to follow this down the Yellow Brick Road. Maybe even get a class action suit going since this is OBVIOUSLY not an isolated incident.

I'll keep ya'll updated. Until then, boycott the hell out of Just Brakes. Otherwise, you too might end up... just ripped off.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Gaming Madness

As you may know... I'm a gaming geek. I'm also a beer geek, a Star Wars geek, a comic book geek and a sports geek. As a self proclaimed geek of many types, I absolutely love all these wonderful "studies" and other such carefully crafted "research projects."

Much like the gal I wrote about a few weeks ago who did a "study" on how women are discriminated against at coffee shops. Ya know, the type of studies that are so profound that they have the likes of Da Vinci, Socrates, Plato and Captain Kangroo shaking in their graves.

According to Billy Bob and Bubba Joe (aka L. Rowell Huesmann, of the University of Michigan, and his colleague Brad Bushman)... "Exposure to violent electronic media has a larger effect than all but one other well known threat to public health. The only effect slightly larger than the effect of media violence on aggression is that of cigarette smoking on lung cancer."

They didn't really say that... did they?!?!?! Lung cancer? LUNG CANCER?! Who's paying these schmucks to say this - Jack Thompson?

But it gets better. They prattle off an assortment of "interesting" statistics (which is mathematicians magical version of alchemy) like: children spend an average of three hours watching television each day... more than 60 percent of TV programs contain some violence, including 40 percent showing extreme violence... Video game units are now present in 83 percent of homes with children..

They proceed to blither and blather on about how "The research clearly shows that exposure to virtual violence increases the risk that both children and adults will behave aggressively."

How much time and money did you spend on this lil study of yours?

Do you know what all that tells me? That parents let the TV and the Wii babysit their kids too much. It tells me that the human race will go out of its way to find an excuse for their behavior. It tells me that we all (well, most of us) are chasing the dragon, looking for something to fault other then ourselves. It tells me that our society is going to hell in a finally handcrafted hand basket from Louie Vuitton.

Who's the geek again?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Braking Up Is Hard To Do

Neil Sedaka turned that song into a hit way back in 1962. Well, he spelled it "breaking." I spell it "braking" for a whole other reason.

A few weeks back we took our Jeep Liberty into a Just Brakes (located at 676 South 8th Street, Colorado Springs) thinking we were likely to pay the $100 service (new pads and machined rotors) that they lure you into their dark, lying maw... er, I mean their stores with.

Silly us.

By the time we left we needed a new hydraulic system, new calipers, pads and rotors... for a grand total of $600.

The other day we took our Jeep to one of the local dealers (name withheld pending future testimonial requirements because I plan on taking Just Brakes to court where it will become Just Eli's Brakes) for some routine preventive maintenance. I mentioned that the vehicle wasn't driving right and that we had taken the beast to JB. The service manager smirked and proceeded to tell us that in the last week he's heard 3 different - yet similar - horror stories regarding this "fine establishment."

So I had the dealership check everything that Just Brakes said they fixed - which was all conveniently listed on the invoice still inside the car. Oh checked they did... and what they found was nothing short of criminal.

The only things new on the car were the pads. At least the rotors had been machined. Everything else JB listed - and charged us for - wasn't even touched. Furthermore, a brake seal on one of the front wheels was leaking "badly" and needed to be replaced (by the dealership).

In the coming weeks I will update you on my crusade to right this most egregious wrong. Along the way you might even read about it in one (or more) of the local newspapers, or maybe see of it on the local television news stations.

The Holy Roman Church had their Crusades... I've got my Just Brakes. And this time, breaking someone up is going to be fun to do.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Hark the Hearald Writer's Strike

We watch us some television. There's nothing like plopping down in front of the ole boob tube and shutting off the brain every now and again.

Well, this year's regularly scheduled television viewing season is coming to and end... right about now. Unless you've been living in a cave (or saving a tree, fighting evil whalers, eating Tofurky, buying a new pair of Birkenstocks, or letting your hair grow long enough to put into a ponytail) you know the writer's down in Hollyweird went on strike a few weeks back. Something about not getting paid enough for their efforts.

Now they're looking for other work. In a recent Variety article written by Marc Graser, writer's are apparently heading to the Webinet, comic books, and the booming video game markets to supplement their income until such time as the Big Wig Studio Heads (some of whom must be related to the gimps and leaders of our Little Village here in Colorado) come to their senses.


While I sympathize with my fellow scribes of the written word, we're walking up a very slippery slope. A slope that I've only recently come to see, thanks to the many drunken debates with my brother and friend(s). I see where the writer's want their piece of the pie. I'd want it, along with my cake, too. Why should actors get payment each and every time their mug is shown, but the truly creative people who wrote the lines for those actors to speak - don't? I get it.

But here's the thing... at what point do you stop dolling out residuals? Does a home builder get payment every time the house he built gets sold? Does a master brewer get a cut of every pint of beer sold? Does the painter get his due each time her framed masterpiece is auctioned off?

What should be doesn't always happen. I mean, how can greedy, corrupt "professional" politicians make more money than teachers? Life isn't fair and the world isn't meant to be easy. So stop your bitching, put down your picket signs. What you do for a living requires zero physical effort. I know, I too am a writer. Mentally demanding? Sure, to some degree. But your place of work consists of an air conditioned room and a comfy leather chair sucking down $4 cups of 'Bucks like water. You could look and be the size of Jabba the fucking Hutt, and hunt-n-peck on your word processor until your fingers turn blue... no one would be the wiser. What you're NOT doing is digging ditches in the South 40, or serving some snot nosed fuck wearing a Rolex who leaves you a 10 cent tip at the local diner... or any one of the innumerable other Dirty Jobs Mike Rowe shows us every week.

Get over it. Cuz if I miss my Battlestar Galactica... someone is gonna pay alright.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

More Political CorrectnASS

It's bad enough that over the last few years "people" (and I use that term very loosely when talking about these schmucks) who are offended by the sun rising in the morning have done their damnedest to take Christ out of "Christmas" in this country. God forbid that we actually continue to celebrate Christmas in this country like we have for decades. We don't want to offend those who have moved to this THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA (legally or illegally) - the spineless jellyfish that they are.

But it's not just morons in this country. I rambled about the "Pussification of America" the other day. Turns out that it's actually the entire global community of humanity that is quickly devolving into a life form devoid of a spine.

Check out this recent effort to further dehumanize us - this time be an Australian temp agency who hires people to play Santa Claus during the HOLIDAYS (not winter festivals, CHRISTMAS - which celebrates the Birth of Jesus Christ). Australia, a beautiful country with beautiful people, a cool accent and some really good beer... but a country that began as a prison colony. That wasn't setting them up for failure from the get go, huh?

This temp agency (Westaff) wants to ban their Santa's from bellowing "Ho Ho Ho." Why? Because it might scare kids. So are we breeding the next generation of spineless freaks that will be afraid of their own shadows now? Our world is doomed.

According to Westaff national operations manager Glen Jansz: "The reason behind that is we find that in some cases the little kids can get a little bit scared of the deep 'ho, ho, hos' and we ask them to be mindful of keeping their voices to a lower level," he said.

Glen is probably a "man" (and I use that term very loosely) who is the exact opposite of my main man Ted Nugent - meaning "Super la Femme." Glen... get a $#@ing clue. Thankfully not everyone over there has been bitched slapped too many times by a kangaroo. Family Council of Victoria spokesman Bill Muehlenberg described the ban as "nonsensical." Bravo Bill!

-----

More from the Kangaroo Playground:

Staff members of the Aussie airline QANTAS were booed by passengers at Brisbane Airport after leaving their check-in counters to help an 80-year-old woman who collapsed and died in one of the long terminal lines.

Wow... nice. Is that what they used to do back in the day when your country was a prison?

Glad to see that Americans aren't the only cold, callous, bitches the world seems to think we are.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Ted Nugent = Real American



From one Mad Man to another... kudos! I couldn't have said it better myself.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Pussification of America

My buddy Steven, who is now a resident of the Mile High State, and I were discussing some disturbing things flashing across the Webinet:

Girl, 13, gets detention for hugging two friends


The crux of the issue? A 13 year old eighth-grade girl served two periods of detention for hugging her friends goodbye for the weekend. According to school officials she violated a policy banning public displays of affection. Here's a portion of that policy:
Displays of affection should not occur on the school campus at any time. It is in poor taste, reflects poor judgment, and brings discredit to the school and to the persons involved.

Poor judgment? Discredits the school? Are you #@!* kidding me? Who came up with that garbage? So hugging people is now considered poor judgment? And how the hell does it discredit the school?

Here's that same School Policy translated through my patented Real World Bull Shit Detector:

We are so spineless and so afraid that we will offend someone, or that some sue happy scum bag parent will take us to court that we must ban anything that might offend anyone, anywhere at anytime. Always. Forever. Banned. You. Stop. Breathing. It might upset someone.

This is not unlike taking the Pledge of Allegiance and Praying out of AMERICAN schools. Two things integral to THIS country. You know, just take it out - to vanialize everyone in our so called "Melting Pot" so we don't piss off anyone. Hey, I know... why don't we just rename this country from THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA to "The Melting Pot of the World." So no one has an ethnic identity anymore. Or an opinion. Oh, and while we're at it... why don't we just do away with schools altogether. Everyone seems to know everything and they're just turning into breeding grounds for lawsuits (who then feed the bottom dwelling scum of the earth lawyers). Hell, most Americans are content to sit on their lazy fat asses watching TV 24/7 anyway. We get all the "edumacation" we need from TV. The current Hollywood writer's strike is sure to doom us all.

And thus the Pussification of America steam rolls on, and our slide towards the abyss continues unabated.

Alas, that isn't the only inane thing going on. Check out this little bit of jovial java news...

Ladies First? A Field Study of Discrimination in Coffee Shops

(insert hearty laugh of disgust)

Ya, that's exactly what I did too. Feel free to skim (badabing) over this so called "research" as your sucking down your morning "Cup o' Joe." If you don't feel like doing so (and I don't blame you for not wanting to waste your time with this inane drivel) let me boil (badabing!) it down for you: Men get their coffee all of 20 whole seconds faster than women.

Wow.

So the #@!* what? That's supposed to prove something? Especially something as important as discrimination? Twenty meaningless seconds is now the mark by which discrimination can be determined, huh?

Oh, but it gets better. Believe it or not this woman's (gee, imagine that) paper (as it appears to be a student paper for an Economics class in Vermont) also provides "evidence" showing blacks wait longer than whites, young folks wait longer than the old (as well they should), and the Ugly Ben and Betty's of the world wait longer than the gorgeous. Here's the kicker: the results were just as statistically ridiculous.

People really think this stuff up, act on it and worse - believe in it. Thankfully, I'm not the only one who believes this great country is filled with spineless, Politically Correct (to the point where they're too afraid to actually live their life with MEANING), selfish, overweight, lazy, "I deserve to have a life spoon fed to me," mindless sheep. Check this out in response to the whole coffee BS.

Yes, the Pussification of America continues folks.

And yes... the Mad Man is back.


* Thanks for the heads up on these stories, Steven!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

But where's the Mad Man?

Ya ya... I'm still alive. Been in a bit of a non-writing funk of late, but I'm still around. I'll get back into the swing of things shortly though.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Tosches is Back!

Rich Tosches is back in the Springs!

Kinda. See, he never really left... he still lives in Colorado Springs. But for the last 2 years he has worked for the Denver Post. When the Post restructured things recently they put the "Rocky Mountain Ranger" out to pasture. Thankfully, The Independent wrangled him back into their stable.

Starting today Ranger Rich is back. Ooooh how he's back! Check out his first diatribe with The Independent by clicking this link... and read all about! Here's a peak: "Pastor Ted sure liked Peter." GET OUT! He did NOT just say that!?

HELL YES HE DID!

Glad your back man! We... OK - I - missed your colorful railings of the monkeys who live in our "little village."

Damn, now I have to go and change my blog's header/intro rant. Ah, who cares... RICH IS BACK! WOOOHOOOO!!!!!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Broken Halo 3

For the last week fanbooooiiis (Halo, Microsoft, et al) around the globe (that includes you TnT) have been dreaming (when they're actually sleeping) of being the one, the only - Master Chef. Er, I mean Master Chief. Savior of the Universe. King of the Impossible. (queue up the totally cheesy but exceedingly awesome Flash Gordon theme performed by Queen below for a trip back to the past).

What's with the name "Master Chief" anyway? They couldn't come up with a better name, so they had to go the Department of Redundant Redundancies? Ugh.



Ah, good times.

Anywho... Broken Halo 3 is nothing more then a recycled, rehashed, glossified expansion pack for Broken Halo 2. Which is a recycled, rehashed, not-nearly-enough-gloss expansion pack for the wondrously original Halo. The second and third iterations of this now wholly unoriginal shooter have sold more copies then the Bible (joke). Actually, Broken Halo 3 made more money then the movie Spider-Man 3 in its first 24 hours of release so it speaks to the mainstreamyness of video games. In particular the wretched hive of scum and villainy that is console (or as I like to call it - k0nz013) gaming.

Gaming has come a very long way since the 80's, when it was considered nothing more then a pastime for womenless, unwashed geeks and freaks. Today, you can find gamers of every age, race, sex, creed, religion and economic status. But that might be part of the problem. As gaming has grown into the juggernaut it is today, it's become more and more diluted. Games don't have to be original in order to amass piles of cash that would make Solomon blush. They just have to appeal to the lowest common denominator. And we all know what that usually entails. In fact, original, creative games are often shunned by publishers for being too risky and not worth the investment. If it can't outsell (as determined by some Nimrod sitting in his office who never actually plays the game to see if it's any good) the number of mocha-java-half-caff-double-espressos Starbucks sells in day (or the number of mixed drinks consumed by Lohan, Hilton and Spears)... why bother?

But I digress... back to Broken Halo 3 and the horde of garish fanboy reviews it's gotten. Here's a fresh and honest review of the above mentioned game. Enjoy!


Friday, September 21, 2007

Hey... YOU!

Ya, I'm talking you to you Mr. Conservative Head Up my Arse Coloradoan.





















* Thanks for the image Steven!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Manscaping?

There was an article in Tuesday's Gazette entitled, "Manly Men Get Waxed" that, for many reasons, I take serious offense with. Gee, imagine that.

First off... I haven't seen too many burly, macho men IN Colorado Springs. Sorry, ponytails (which seems to be the fashion of choice for men's hairstyles in Colorado) do NOT make one burly or macho. The guy in the picture to the left? No offense to the guy... NOT burly or macho. Sorry.

Secondly, the whole concept that men should have to traipse into a spa (which according to Man Law immediately revokes your Man Card) to get "manscaped" is absurd. Between this whole ungodly "metrosexual" movement (i.e., Nivea for Men Double Action Face Wash... WTF?! What happened to good ole soap and water you panty waists?!?!) and everything else our society is trying to do to erode our manhood... no thanks! You don't see me going around saying, "Hey lady, why don't you go get those saggy boobs fixed?" or "Wow, those crow's feet at the corner of your eyes sure are hideous, why don't you have them erased?" or "Hey, you might wanna call in the landscapers to do something about your mustache. And the forest growing on your legs."

That's society telling you to do that. A society that is absolutely obsessed with requiring people to look like Roman gods of yore. And these so called spas and product whores are sucking it up like Lindsay Lohan sucks up alcohol.

Like the Miller Lite commercials proclaim: men should act like men! Not some dainty, petite little waif that has to have his back waxed or his digits manicured. What would your sword wielding ancestors think of you now!?

Flawless skin? As long as their isn't a gaping, oozing hole in my face that makes me look like the Elephant Man this guy ain't gettin' no foo-foo face treatment with stuff that should be on a salad.

It's bad enough that we have the term metrosexual (defined as: a heterosexual male who has a strong aesthetic sense and inordinate interest in appearance and style, similar to that of homosexual males) at all - and tons of "men" who actually embrace this lifestyle with a passion, but I will not abide “manscaping,” which Melissa Cassutt (author of the article) defines as: the art of transforming men’s hairy bodies into something manageable.

Sorry ladies... if you don't like the genetic disposition that God gave us - TOO DAMN BAD! Hey, I'm all for looking clean cut and having a respectable appearance... no one should go around looking like some damn homeless bum, but this whole manscaping thing is a complete joke. I've had my back waxed! Twice! A very long time ago (I had to earn my Man Card back because of it too!). It will never ever happen again. How painful was it? Watch the clip below from the hilarious movie 40 Year Old Virgin. That's EXACTLY what having your hair ripped out en mass by its roots feels like.



Manscape this!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Mexican 300

As you all know I'm a huge fan of the movie 300. Well... as awesome as that movie was, this one looks better. And a whole lot funnier!



BWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

* Thanks for passing that on, Larry! Dude... it's hilarious!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Spelling Bee Drop Out

On our way to work this morning, taking our usual route southbound on I-25 through Colorado Springs, Fran and I noticed that the electronic road signs were proclaiming the following warning to motorists: "Caution: Uneven payment."

Uneven payment, huh?

Wondering what drunken baboon was at the controls of the verbiage on the signs I got to work and immediately Googled the term to make sure I was in fact right about the baboon. I was. There is no such construction term as "uneven payment." It's UNEVEN PAVEMENT you friggin' retarded monkey! And we actually pay these people money?

Or... could this be a message from a disgruntled employee perhaps refering to uneven payments by the city to the construction company? Hmmmm... the saga deepens.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

A Sporting Diatribe

Is anyone else sick and tired of hearing pro golfers bitch about how tough it is to play a recreational activity that most normal people do to relax from work? Come on! I've said it before... golf is not a sport. I'm not saying it's not hard, it's just not a sport in any way shape or form. Speaking of shapes: John Daly. When this guy can be called an athlete with a straight face you know things are out of whack. Take a gander at this physical specimen. He drinks, smokes, eats like a glutton, and has a gambling habit. He's an athlete? Not only that, but look at how he's dressed! That is not a uniform people. It's an outfit you can wear into a 5 star restaurant. GOLF IS NOT A SPORT!

Thus, Tiger Woods can kiss my 9 iron when he says how tough it is to play in consecutive weeks. Dude, you're not even carrying your own clubs! You're married to a Swedish bikini model, own your own island and have more money then God. Your "job" is to hit a little ball with a little stick and then leisurely walk to it. You do this over and over until it goes into a little hole. Give me a break. How about you go and dig a ditch with a shovel 8 hours a day, 5 days a week so you can get back in touch with reality. Tough? You don't know tough. You're not an athlete and you don't play a sport.

Next... baseball (actually all of sports in general), and the ever expanding performance enhancement scandal. All you people who have been hypocritically railing Barry Bonds (and I'm calling out more than one - you and you in particular - of the so called "sports columnists" at the Gazette on this one) as the only player partaking of "flaxseed oil" - how's it feel to have a face full of pie? All you morons who thought Barry (who has YET to be factually linked or fail a test) was the only one taking performance enhancing drugs have apparently been living most of your lives with your head buried in the sand. The numbers we've been hearing over the last few years from the likes of Jose Canseco in regards to the number of players taking something is panning out to be true. Hell, I bet it's even higher then that; I bet it's MOST professional athletes in ALL sports.

Look at last year, when Shawne Merri-roid-man (he of the astounding sack and tackle totals) of the San Diego Charges was fully BUSTED for taking steroids. Dude gets a 4 game ban and NO ONE says anything? What happened to the Yankees first basemen Jason Giambi? He admitted to taking them, implicated others, and he vanishes into the background? Now we have Rick Ankiel (seen left) - the feel good story of the year, and Troy Glaus, two of the "cleanest" cut players in baseball factually linked to taking HGH! And why the hell isn't anyone questioning the integrity of Alex Rodriguez (a.k.a. by me as A-Roid)? Dude all but breaks his ankle, has an MRI and then goes out and hits 2 home runs a few hours later? Compare his size when he came into the league to his girth today. He, along with the likes of Miguel Cabrera (of the Florida Marlins) - he of the tripling body mass in a few short years (sound familiar?) - need to be seriously questioned about what kind of supplementation they are on.

Point is... if you're gonna rail Barry, you need to rail all of baseball (and all of sports really, since doping is prevalent in track and field, cycling, football, etc.). You might start with Bud Selig, who knew all of this was going on but turned a blind eye because he needed all those dingers (remember the world famous home run chase between McGwire and Sosa?) to bring baseball back to the masses after the strike. "The Steroid-Era" has been going on since the late 80's people. This is not a new phenomena. And bonds most certainly was not the only one doing it.

You blind-eyed-as-Selig detractors out there realize what steroids do, right? Oh sure, we can look at the professional wrestlers and marvel at their enhanced (through chemistry) physique, but aside from putting on mass, do you know what the REAL benefit is? Fast recovery time. Now, I wonder what type of baseball player would benefit most from a fast recovery time. Hmmm... pitchers maybe? Pitchers, who contort their arm in positions that it was never meant to be in. Hmmm... imagine that.

While we're on the subject of Barry bashing the homer record... here's something I found to be rather interesting. As every knowledgeable baseball fan knows, the right handed batter Hank Aaron (and I'm not taking ANYTHING away from the man as he is one of the best baseball players of all time) started his career in 1954 with the Milwaukee Braves (who played at Milwaukee County Stadium). Did you know that the dimensions at this ballpark changed considerably during his tenure there? In 1954 the left field dimensions (which is where Hammerin' Hank would naturally hit most of his homers because he's was a right handed batter) ranged from 320 at the foul pole to 410 in dead center. In 1960 portions of the left field wall changed (left field went out 9 feet), while left center and dead center moved in by 5 feet and 8 feet respectively. Bonds has also benefited from an era where shrinking ball parks are the norm. All I'm saying is, it started much further back then most realize.

Then there's the topic of the "juiced" ball in the last 20 years. When the likes of NONAME PLAYER hits double digit homers when he never hit more then single digits... come on. Back in January a news report broke (and was basically swept under the rug) that proved the balls used during McGwire and Sosa's home run tear were in fact "juiced."

Now let's talk about Babe Ruth (again, not taking anything away from the man as he too is one of the greatest of all time). But let's put a few things into perspective. Back when he played there were far fewer players in baseball. Meaning, there were FAR fewer pitchers tossing the ball. Not only that, but there was no such thing as middle relievers, lefty one-hitter specialists, or closers. Ruth, who was also a pitcher of great renown during his time, would have seen the same pitchers (who pitched 9 full innings multiple times a week) ALL THE TIME. It is a fact that the more you see the same pitcher (especially one gets tired much quicker by throwing all 9 innings multiple times a week) will be less difficult to hit then seeing the hundreds of pitchers (lefty specialists, middle relievers, etc.) players must face today. Fact.

So basically... all you bigoted, hypocritical Bonds haters - get over yourself. Get over your homeresque emotions and tendencies and consider ALL the facts, not just the ones you want to believe. You're as bad for the game (and all of sports) as Bud Selig.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

A Man's Best Friend

I'm a huge fantasy football freak, and in preparing for the multitude of drafts I have coming up this weekend (a number of my team's will be called "Vick's Pets" this year) I stumbled across this blurb over on the Fox Sports site:

Michael Vick (Atl - QB)
An NAACP leader said Vick should be allowed to return to the NFL, preferably the Atlanta Falcons, after serving his sentence for his role in a dogfighting operation.

Impact: White said the Falcons quarterback made a mistake and should be allowed to prove he has learned from that mistake. White said the Atlanta chapter supports Vick's decision to accept a plea bargain if it's in his best interest, but he questioned the credibility of Vick's co-defendants, saying an admission of guilt might be more about cutting losses than the truth.

Um... bullshit. And this is yet another reason why our society is so screwed up. Micheal Vick "made a mistake"? A mistake?!? Are you $!@*ing kidding me? A mistake is, oh... I don't know, not giving the correct change back, or grabbing the wrong tampons for your gal, or fumbling the football on the snap. This worthless scum bag KILLED multiple dogs - man's best friend mind you - by electrocution, strangling and drowning because they didn't "perform" up to the level expected in illegal dog fighting matches! That he gambled on. Across state lines. That's as cold blooded as it gets people! What he did was not - I repeat - NOT a mistake. It was an illegal, heartless, cold blooded, cowardly act that needs to be severally punished.

The ONLY reason he even admitted to any guilt was because his "homies" - his dawgs - rolled over on him and the Feds had overwhelming evidence against him. He lied to his mother, to his friends, to his team, and to the commissioner of the NFL when he denied, denied, denied that he had anything to do with this horrific and despicable act. The sack of flotsam should 1) have done unto him what he did to those dogs (since he too has not "performed" up to the level of a good QB since entering the NFL - because he SUCKS), and 2) be banned from the NFL for life.

Oh ya, the NAACP is teaching some really enlightened morales.

Honor, and not only holding people accountable for their actions but being human enough to accept responsibility for those actions... has long since vanished from the landscape. It's a damn shame. And it's going to be the very thing that dooms us all.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Speaking of Roads...

Let's ponder the genius of the construction company working on the I-25 COSMIX project here in Colorado Springs for a moment. This past Tuesday morning, amidst the very week (the very day for some) school starts back up... the boneheads in charge of the project decide it's a good idea to change the "flow" of southbound I-25 near Fillmore. With a twist.

First off, let me preface this by saying... what exactly are you all working on that has now taken over a month to fix a 2 foot wide strip of concrete running across the entire freeway? What is it that you DIDN'T do right the first time (as this is a new stretch of freeway) that you have to already fix?!?!?

But I digress...

We're all trucking along and - BAM! - brake lights appear, brakes squeal and car rear ends pop up a good quarter to half mile further back then normal. Turns out that the COSMIX Dunderheads changed lanes without bothering to warn anyone. No signs, no indications that anything had been changed. Now, it wouldn't have been so bad if it weren't for the fact that these changes were obviously created and carried out by people fully engulfed in an LSD acid trip. This was without question the most abstract lane weaving I've ever seen in my life.

I know it's not just me because KILO (the rock station I listen to when I'm not listing to Bob & Tom on KKFM in the mornings) and the police were getting bombarded with phone calls from angry drivers, many of whom were either forced off the road and obliterated the big orange caution barrels or were so confused as to where to go that they ended up driving into a closed off lane which dead-ended in construction. Usually I'd harass the horrific drivers in this great state (more on this - and the FUBARed story in the Springs Gazette earlier this week- later), but not this time. This was square on the shoulders of the COSMIX Nimrods.

Funnier still was the cluster of orange vested COSMIX Ignoramuses standing around on the side of the freeway as cars piled on top of each other in what had to be a Larry, Moe and Curly moment. Shoulders shrugging, looking at each other like deers caught in headlights, all mopping around going, "Wasn't my fault. (Larry pulls Moe's hair) Who did this? (Moe boinks Larry in the eyes with his fingers) I don't know. (Curly smashes Larry's head with a piece of rebar)" Idiots.

Now on to the story from the Gazette I mentioned earlier, one entitled: Howdy, Newbies: Colorado welcomes Texans, Californians - But we're pretty sure we know what you're like.

Oh you do?

I could go on a major tirade about this, but frankly I'm all tiraded out at the moment. Read the article, then read the moronic comments from some of the more addle-brained "natives" of this great state just below the article.

I'm about sick of this whole "Welcome to Colorado, Now go Home" mentality. You know what we're like, eh? So you know we're like... smarter then you, right? THAT'S why you hate out-of-staters. That's fine. I can live with that. So step aside (or pull your car off onto the shoulder since you native Coloradans love to STOP on the ONRAMPS of freeways) so we can pull this state into the 21st Century.

ADDENDUM: Harsh? No more so then the lovely "Now go Home" mentality. My "smarter then you" comment obviously (to most with common sense, but then there seems to be an abject lack of common sense these days) does not pertain to ALL Colorado "natives." Making a blanket statement about any race, creed, job, people, religion, etc. is pure foolishness. And what is the basis for my comment? Unlike some people who never venture much beyond their front porch, I'm from California by way of Indiana and Arizona. I'm also a Plant Manager for an inter-state company. I had to get a satellite production facility off the ground here in the Springs from ground zero. The nincompoops I had to deal with in order to accomplish that task - MOST (not all) of them being Colorado "natives" - has more then once made me question their mental ability to get up in the morning, let alone actually perform their so called job. Thus I coined a phrase: "Coloradans are the nicest people on the planet, but they're as dumb as rocks." Being slandered ("Welcome to Colorado, Now go Home") doesn't feel too good... does it?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

A New Road

Just stumbled across what could be a very good miniseries. Tin Man, A SciFi Original set to debut in December, is the re-imagining - a modern, updated retelling if you will - of the classic movie, The Wizard of Oz.

Before you scream in horror at the audacity of someone to attempt such a thing, let alone the SciFi Channel (which usually fills the airwaves with complete and utter crap)... take a look at this teaser.



Now go here, and take a look at a much longer clip. And yes, that is Richard Dreyfuss as the Wizard. I gotta say... it looks spectacular!

This brings up an interesting question though: should such a historical epic such as "The O.Z." be allowed to be "re-imagined" at all? What do you think?

Saturday, July 28, 2007

A Snakey Situation!

You might have seen these photos making the rounds in your Email box, but if not...

A guy in
St. Louis was driving to work on Hwy 144 when he heard a 'pop'! -- He thought it sounded like a flat tire, though his ride wasn't affected.

After pulling over, checking the tires and finding them intact, he opened the hood to look at the motor. Before the hood was even all the way open he jumped back in shock and knocked his head on the partially opened hood, unable to believe what his eyes were seeing! Nobody was going to believe this!


You sure wouldn't have either! Fortunately, a coworker with a camera recognized him along side the road and stopped to see
if he could help.

Check out the attachment phot
os to witness for yourself the source of his amazement. Now, this has to be right up there at the top of the list of unusual but verified 'Reasons I was late for work'!


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Monday, July 23, 2007

Thriller

The following video was done by 1,500 plus inmates at the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center in Cebu, Philippines! Pretty incredible when ya think about it.



Thursday, July 19, 2007

This says it all...
















Thanks for sending this to me Mark and Heather! ;)

ELI: The Movie

I'm not kidding.

Check out the official website here.

Sure, it's only 16 minutes long... but it's a start.

So... who wants an autograph before I become all big and famous and forget about the little people?! ;)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Green Monster turns 38!

Peter Moore's sudden and unexpected departure as the public face of Microsoft (to EA Sports no less) made a splash yesterday. As a PC gamer and bonafide console despiser ('cept for the Wii - more on that later)... big deal. Most of the doublespeak the dude spewed about Vista and Games for Windows was all a bunch of marketing rhetoric that added up to huge piles of cow dung.

I found this tidbit of info far more exciting: The studio formerly known as Green Monster Games, founded by Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling, Spawn creator Todd McFarlane and sci-fi/fantasy author R.A. Salvatore has announced a name change to 38 Studios, as well as further hinted at its first title, a McFarlane-art directed MMO.

The studio has said it will be "introducing the company, senior staff, and artistic and storytelling visionaries McFarlane and Salvatore" at this year's San Diego Comic-Con 2007.

The developer has also said that one of the forthcoming titles that will "explore the new intellectual property being developed by 38 Studios" will be an MMO that will feature the art and vision of McFarlane as well as the storytelling of Salvatore.

Said Schilling of the studio, "The combined passion of the dev team and commitment of every member of this company means we'll reach our goals and surpass our expectations because the individuals have already 'been there and done that'. Our goal to redefine conventional interactive entertainment will be reached through the team's commitment and strategic partnerships." - Taken from GamaSutra

Monday, July 16, 2007

Croatia in the hooooouuuuuse!

Croatia has been getting pimped quite a lot lately. I'm not sure if I've mentioned it before, but Croatia is where my Grandfather (dad's side) was born. The birthplace of my crazy last name!

Apparently Croatia is THE new international hot spot. The May/June issue of Draft Magazine listed Croatia at #1 in their regular bi-monthly column, Top Ten Places to Drink a Beer.

As I was doing some research on the all high-definition Channel INHD (now called Mojo) about a show called Beer Nutz (a show about beer), I found a show called Three Sheets with Zane Lamprey, which is being advertised as "The World's Biggest Pub Crawl." Now that's something I can relate to! Lucky bastard. Anywho, this Zane dude is currently in Croatia!

Here are a few tidbits I picked up off their site about my homeland. Go here to check it all out!

  • The Croatian term zivjeli means "to life" and is often used as a toast.
  • Croatia is regarded as one of Europe's hottest tourist destinations.
  • The tie was invented in Croatia.
  • The dalmatian dog originated from Dalmatian coast of Croatia.
  • The term "domestic" is derived from Domus, meaning home.
With all this publicity... I might just have to go visit the ole homeland soon and track down some of my kin so I can have some homemade grappa and maraska!

Zivjeli!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Grand Theft Voiceover!

Are you a fan of the Grand Theft Auto series? Love the music and the radio DJ chatter? Do you listen to (and call into) late not talk show stations dealing with aliens and conspiracies?

Rockstar wants the masses to call into the Liberty City radio station and make their voices heard! That's right, WKTT Talk Radio is now accepting real-world phone calls! Gamers can now give their opinion about what's wrong with Liberty City and/or America. The best ones will actually get used on the upcoming GTA IV soundtrack.

What the heck ya waiting for? Call now!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Podcasting the E3-ject!

Sorry, can't take credit for the word "E3-ject." That goes to Robin Yang, GameDaily's very own intern, who, like myself, is not attending this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo (aka E3).

Aside from most of the GameDaily staff attending the all new and hopefully improved video game industry convention this year, my good buddy Terry Terrones (and his ever faithful sidekick - aka his wife) will also be there. Terry and his brother Phil do a weekly podcast about gaming, movies, sports and whatever British stuff pops into their noggins. Last night I was honored to be their first official guest to the show. If you're inclined to give a listen, go here and give Episode 8 a whirl. Or you can pop over to Terry's blog and listen to it via the applet on the right hand column. We talk about E3, the movies “Once” and “Transformers”, competitive eating, and I got to participate in their weekly feature - Choose Your Poison. Phil asked me 5 brain busting questions that I had to answer on the spot. I had a great time and would love to come back!

Speaking of E3... the best place on the Web to get all your live blogging and conference feeds from this year's invite only E3 is GameDaily's Live E3 Coverage Page. Why should you care? Unless your an industry person, you can't get in. Period. That's right.. no more basement dwelling, foul smelling, brother's mother's third cousin's friend of the 30-something dork who works at the local GameStop store allowed this year. Finally. My one horrific visit to E3, which should have been like a pilgrimage to Mecca, was more like a visit to Dante's third level of Hell.

I'm very curious to see how the new E3 - an event now focused back on gaming industry journalists - plays out this year. I might consider going again. Might.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Beer... it does a body good.

Since (all things) beer has started to become a bigger part of my ramblings (and with any luck a bigger part of my life in the future - oooh aaah, so cryptic!)... I decided to create a wholly separate blog just for that delicious passion of mine.

With that said I have taken all the fun beer components from "Ramblings of a Mad Man" and moved them over to the new blog ... Confessions of a Beer Geek.

Go. Now. What are you waiting for!?!

Monday, June 25, 2007

A Bilingual Country?!?!

If you haven't noticed I've added a new feature to the blog - "Poll o' the Day." So, to break it in I have a question for ya'll, and I'd like some feedback... it's about a rather touchy subject.

Do you think that immigrants (legal or illegal) should speak the language of the country they go to in order to live/work? For instance, should the horde of Mexicans that flood across the border on a daily basis learn English if they are going to work and live here?

I say: "Hell yes!"

Now here's a follow up question: Does saying "yes" to the first question make that person a racist? If you think so - I want to know exactly why and how? I want details that prove and justify that stance. Don't come back with anger, emotion or "Just Because." That don't work.

Because here's how I see things... English is the one and only official language of the United States of America. I'm all for multi- culturalism, but this is not the United States of the World. It's the US of A. Last I checked this great country wasn't run by a United Nations styled organization. Yes, immigrants made (and still make) this country what it is - I realize that. Hell, my grandfather was born in Croatia and came over here when he was 2 years old. But here's the big difference between then and now: they had respect. They (had it tougher then anyone today could ever possibly imagine) spoke their native tongues while also learning the language of their new home - English.

Not learning the native tongue of the country you have voluntarily (legally or illegally) decided to move lock, stock and barrel to is outright disrespect for that country and its people. If I were to move to Mexico (Germany, Belgium, France, etc.) where English was not the native tongue - I would expect myself to learn their language. I would not be so arrogant as to make the people of that country learn MY language.

That's not being racist.... that's being patriotic to your country while being respectful of others.

Now, I speak not exclusively of Mexicans either. I know first hand of a company that employees a large number of Cuban born people. This company offered, free of charge AND on company time, to send them to learn English. Let me reiterate that... they were going to be paid to learn English.

Only one (of the few dozen who in fact work there) showed up. Oh, but it gets worse. They actually organized what amounted to a mini-rebellion by saying: "We don't have to learn their language, they have to learn ours."

Oh, hell no! That isn't gonna fly! Not now... not ever! With that kind of attitude they can all get on the next flotation device heading south. Hasta la vista, baby.

This is the United States of America, land of the free and home of the brave. We welcome any all - as this country has done from its inception - as long as they play by the rules which we the people have voted on from day one. Because as we all know, people - ALL people - need rules. Otherwise, there would be anarchy.

Maybe it's just me, but a brazen "fuck you" attitude like the one I described above will lead us all to a very bad place... one that no one wants to get to.

Not now... not ever.

Friday, June 22, 2007

The 10 Commandments of Lawncare

In keeping with the absurdity of the Vatican's 10 Commandments for Driving, my buddy Steven just riffed this list off. It is one funny piece of literature!

The 10 Commandments of Lawncare

  • 1. Thou shalt not let thine lawn grow more than 4 inches before thine runs a mower over it.
  • 2. When thine canine defecates in the lawn of another, be courteous and pick up the offending odoriferous log.
  • 3. If thine leaves from thine tree, or the cuttings from thine mower blow into the yards of thine neighbor, do the righteous thing and sweep them into thine bin.
  • 4. Thine trees will not hang into thine neighbor’s airspace.
  • 5. A weed taller than thou is no longer a weed, but a monument to thine laziness.
  • 6. Waste not the water from thine hose - wash thine horseless carriage in your yard and kill two birds with one stone.
  • 7. Procreate, for every child thine has means less time working the lawns thine self.
  • 8. Start early, finish early, so thine days feel longer, but do not use motorized leaf blowers before 10:30 AM.
  • 9. Plant not more than thine family can consume, thine neighbors really don't want 5 more bags of tomatoes.
  • 10. Do not covet the fruits and vegetables of thine gardens. Carrots and cucumbers are meant to be eaten, not used in a fashion of debauchery.

TGIF - Mad Man Style!

I'm going to start a new "feature" entitled "Rants from the Asylum." It'll be a Thank God Its Friday style collection that appears on Fridays about things that I've stock piled during the week that I can't (or don't want to) devout an entire column to, but still have something to say about. Like...

By now you know I have a mini-obsession with the massive multiplayer online video game, City of Heroes (and its bad brother City of Villains). Well, it turns out that the producer for the upcoming movie Transformers (which I think will be the summer blockbuster) - Tom DeSanto - has apparently secured the rights to NCsoft and Cryptic Studio's popular superhero/villain game. The plan is to adapt it into a live-action feature and then transition it to television in some form. Sweet mutha! WOOOHOOOO!

Fran and I drove (a mere 4-hours) up to Snowmass a few weekends ago for the 4th annual Chili Pepper & Beer Festival. We had a helluva great time. In fact, we had so much fun we're going back next year. We've done the Beaver Creek Blues and Brews Fest three years in a row, and we've been up to the Telluride Blues & Brews, but this was off the hook fun. We had some great new beers (cheers to the light amber lager from Trinidad Brewing Company, and it was a shock to see Stone Brewing all the way from San Diego there!), and listened to some phenomenal tunes. Spencer Durham and his group were fantastic, but listening to Ziggy Marley singin' his dad's tunes... almost a religious experience.

If you're a big fan of the NBC show Heroes, and are suffering from withdraws - like many of us are, maybe it's time to give City of Heroes a whirl! Check out this article for more ideas on how to quell the addiction.

Speaking of video games, this just in: PricewaterhouseCoopers issued a report yesterday predicting significant growth for the video game industry over the next several years (global gaming market to approach $50 BILLION by 2011 - how's that for vid games being for kids?!?!). Click here to read the entire article over at GameDaily Biz - THE industry source for video game professionals.

I want to give a shout out to my graveyard shift working amigo down at Ft. Huachuca, Arizona (where I was born) - congrats on the 50" DLP Mikey! Between that and the new grill... "life is good!" Sorry that it's 110 friggin-hot-as-hell degrees down there though. Well, you like it... and Fran would too, but not me. Hey, at least it's a "dry" heat, right?! Oh, and call me at a normal hour ya illegal alien vampire stalker! ;)

Lastly... my friend Larry sent me the following little ditty. Hilarious stuff!

"Wrong Bitch" - The train was quite crowded, so a U. S. Marine walked the entire length looking for a seat, but the only seat left was taken by a well dressed, middle-aged Frenchwoman's poodle. The war-weary Marine asked, "Ma'am, may I have this seat?" The Frenchwoman sniffed and said "Americans are so rude. My little Fifi is using that seat." The Marine walked the entire train again, but the only seat left was under that dog. "Please, ma'am. May I sit down? I'm very tired."She snorted, "Not only are you Americans rude, you are also arrogant!" This time the Marine didn't say a word; he just picked up the dog, tossed it out the window and sat down.The woman shrieked, "Someone must defend my honour! Put this American in his place!" An Englishman nearby spoke up, " Sir, you Americans have a penchant for doing the wrong thing. You hold the fork in the wrong hand. You drive your autos on the wrong side of the road. And now, sir, you seem to have thrown the wrong bitch out the window!"

Thursday, June 21, 2007

The 10 Commandments of Driving

So you've heard that the Cardinals and Bishops and such over in the Vatican actually sat down and banged out a "10 Commandments For Driving" list right? (seriously)

If not, here they are:
  • 1. You shall not kill.
  • 2. The road shall be for you a means of communion between people and not of mortal harm.
  • 3. Courtesy, uprightness and prudence will help you deal with unforeseen events.
  • 4. Be charitable and help your neighbor in need, especially victims of accidents.
  • 5. Cars shall not be for you an expression of power and domination, and an occasion of sin.
  • 6. Charitably convince the young and not-so-young not to drive when they are not in a fit condition to do so.
  • 7. Support the families of accident victims.
  • 8. Bring guilty motorists and their victims together, at the appropriate time, so that they can undergo the liberating experience of forgiveness.
  • 9. On the road, protect the more vulnerable party.
  • 10. Feel responsible towards others.
So let me get this straight... all is right in the world at the moment, huh? There's no war, famine, pestilence, global warming, crime, murder, overpopulation, so on and so forth.

And the Pope, along with the rest of his clergy, had nothing better to do so they decided to kill some free time by sitting around and hammering out some holy driving guidelines? Alrighty then...

Will these be included on the next DMV test?

ADDITION: This last week or two driving north on I-25 has been pure hell. Someone at Cosmix needs to redo the North Nevada on ramp getting on to I-25 (around Rockrimmon and Woodmen), and whoever originally designed it needs to be fired. Pronto. That bottle neck causes stop-n-go traffic - each and evry day - all the way past Fillmore. It's insane! Oh, and another thing... people in this state have NO clue how to merge onto a freeway. GET A CLUE PEOPLE!