December 29, 2004

Motley Crue

     Motley Crue is back! It's the original members back again finally! They're touring the US this spring and summer and I wil try to attend. Ticket prices are outrageous for an over-the-hill hair band. There is also a recorded album on the way as well.
     Just heard the new Motley single on the radio. It's only mediocre by hard rock standards. They are trying to sound like newer rock bands like Nickelback, Puddle of Mud, or Limp Bizkit. They should just be themselves and it would work out fine. I'm sure it's because Tommy Lee has a bigger influence on the music these days than does Nikki Sixx. Plus Vince's voice isn't what it used to be.
     They were the final act at the Video Game Awards this year and rocked with the now classic "Girls, Girls, Girls." But their encore of Dr. Feelgood was one of the worst performances I've ever heard. Vince Neil started singing two measures too late, so was off with the rest of the band. The band tried to compensate, but the recorded backing vocals kicked in when they were supposed to, so everything turned into a cluster f-bomb. It was very Ashley Simpson ala SNL like.
     Still, it warms my heart to see my favorite junior high band alive and kicking. See you all on the Wild Side!

For anything more Motley Crue, click here.

December 28, 2004

Best of 2004

Lists lists lists. The world loves to make lists. I'm no different. Here is my list of favorite/best and most hated/worst of everything I can think of to spew out.

Best movie:
Eternal Sunshione of the Spotless Mind
Team America World Police
Worst movie:
House of the Dead
Fahrenheit 9/11

Best book:
The DaVinci Code
Worst book:
I only read two other books this year and they weren't bad

Best album:
William Shatner's "Has Been"
Sun Kil Moon's "Ghosts of the Great Highway"
Worst album:
I don't buy bad music, but I heard enough Jessica Simpson to know it's HORRIBLE!

Best Xbox game:
Halo 2
Worst Xbox game:
The Guy Game

Best PS2 game:
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal
Worst PS2 game:
Under the Skin

Best Gamecube game:
"Metroid Prime 2: Echoes"
Worst Gamecube game:
? Didn't play much

Best PC game:
Half-Life 2
Worst PC game:
Sims 2 - waaay too real, and sucks waaay too much of my time. Otherwise great title!

Best TV show:
The O'Reilly Factor
Worst TV show:
anything concerning "reality"

Best movie theater:
Carmike Cinema in Apple Valley (only screen #9)
AMC Southdale Center 16 (they were the worst last year, they really turned themselves around)
Worst movie theater:
Mall of America

Best news source:
Fox News
Worst News source:

Best looking affordable car:
Hyundai Sante Fe or Volvo S90
Worst looking affordable car:
Scion xB

Best breakfast:
49er flap-jacks at Original Pancake House
Worst breakfast:
anything with gravy

Best store name:
Start to Furnish
Worst store name:
Sox Appeal

Best pro athlete - tie:
Johan Santana & Peyton Manning
Worst pro athlete - tie:
Ron Artest & Michael Olowakandi

Best legal drug:
Pain Away
Worst legal drug:

Best city:
Worst city:

Best affordable restaurant:
Worst affordable restaurant:
Ground Round

Best political figure:
Condoleezza Rice
Worst political figure:
Kofi Annan

Best website:
Worst website:

Coolest TV:
Sony's 70" LCD Widescreen HDTV
Worst TV:
Daewoo 19" shit TV

Best mouthwash:
fake blue listerine
Worst mouthwash:
anything claiming to be fruity or bubblegum flavor

Best clothing store:
The Gap
Worst clothing store:

Best celebrity:
Clint Eastwood (hey, why not?)
Worst celebrity:
shockingly, it's Michael Moore

Best snack food:
Jalapeno Doritos
Worst snack food:
Triscuit "lite"

Best drink:
White Russian, stinger, washington apple, So-Co w/gingerale, beer
Worst drink:
ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

Best election:
USA 2004
Worst election:
Ukraine 2004

Best cereal:
Lucky Charms
Worst cereal:

Best thing about my new apartment:
Worst thing about my new apartment:

Best collection agency:
Worst collection agency:
whoever the bastard is calling me from Wells Fargo

Best car dealership:
Morries Mazda
Worst car dealership:
Walser Ford

Best toy:
Worst toy:
The Star Wars lightsaber that doesn't completely collapse (how dumb!)

Best news story:
Afghan Elections Held
Worst news story:
60 Minutes' Bush military record
Tsunami kills 1000's

Best birdseyereView article:
"Vacation Brochure" (Oct 26, 2004)
Worst birdseyereView article:
"Am I Mising Something?" (Nov 12, 2004)

Best movie trailer:
Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
Worst movie trailer:

Best magazine:
Game Informer
Worst Magazine:
Rolling Stone

Best concert:
Worst concert:

Best pizza:
King Cheetah from Cheetah Pizza
Worst pizza:

Best holiday decoration:
flashing snowflakes
Worst holiday decoration:
icicle lights that only cover half of the awning

Best bumpersticker:
that's an oxy-moron
Worst bumpersticker:
Christians for Kerry/Edwards

Best gas station:
Super America (any)
Worst gas station:
Sinclair (Richfield)

Best Bush-ism:
"Need some wood?"
Worst Bush-ism:
"That's why they're fighting so vociferously."

Best construction job:
Light Rail complete
Worst construction job:
494 still bogged down

Best thing about this list:
It's complete
Worst thing about this list:
I was reaching for ideas towards the end


     Don't buy really expensive 80,000-100,000 mile warranty tires if you live in MN. Generally people here are looking for traction. Cheaper, lower mileage tires are softer and have more traction. They won't last as long, but you'll get more traction in the snow. Higher mileage, more expensive tires are made from a harder material that slips on the ice and snow.
Just a little wisdom from dear old Dad. Happy New Year!

December 27, 2004

Blog for Today

     So much crap going on the last few days, I haven't had time for anything. I have not seen one movie in 2 weeks. It is starting to affect my work. I wanna see these. In no particular order:

The Machinist
Meet The Fockers
Ocean's 12
Flight of the Phoenix
The Life Aquatic
Finding Neverland
A Series of Unfortunate Events
The Aviator

     AAAAAaaargh! So many and so little time! I've been playing Halo 2 a lot, and now I got some new games for Christmas. Baseball, Metroid Prime 2, Phantasy Star Online 2, etc... I also got the illustrated version of the Da Vincci Code that looks really entertaining, so that will take up some time. I'll link to the above movies when I get home. Also, check out my new political reants at The World According to Me.

December 04, 2004

National Treasure

     What a delightful surprise! Although completely unbelieveable, it was an original and great story, with a bunch of little American history lessons along the way. Nicolas Cage plays treasure hunter Ben Franklin, searching for the lost treasure of The Knights Templar. After realizing there is a clue as to its location on the back of the Declaration of Independence, he decides to steal it. From clue to clue, location to location, and bullet to bullet, the adventure that ensues takes off with little predictability, but a lot of fun.
     Although many reviews have compared National Treasure to the likes of Alan Quartermain or Indiana Jones, I found it to be very dissimilar to these stories in many ways; as it takes place mostly in the city, and also in the present. Bad guys and of course the FBI are only a half step behind Franklin.
     Rated PG for I guess intense action (there is little cussing, no nudity or excessive violence), it is a film for all. If you're looking for hip dialogue or realistic drama, look away. But if you're in the mood for fun and adventure, look no further than the back of a hundred dollar bill. Confused? You'll see what I mean if you see National Treasure. Grade A.

Related Links:
Official site
More reviews of National Treasure
Database site - full cast and crew, plus more reviews and trivia

Worst Movie Ever

House of the Dead.

     Horrible. Atrocious. Pukable. Hated it. Bad. Unsettling. Not good. Terrible.

Here's a REVIEW...or actually a rip fest.

November 27, 2004

Halo 2 re-View

     I pre-ordered, I waited in line, I got my copy, I registered for Xbox live, I took a day off work, I then played all night. I was disappointed.
     First off, the campaign mode on Halo 2 is way too short, and not as cool as the first Halo. Sure you don't have to repeat a few levels just going backwards, but there's something just not the same about it. Not to mention, the end sucks. It was a major cliff-hanger, and I was surprised when I got to the end. I couldn't believe it was over already. This is nit-picking though, because the game is still definitely fun. My major complaint is the multi-player on-line mode.
     Until you have a friend base built up, you are forced to be thrown into whatever game mode the computer gives you. Plus, 9 times out of 10, it is a two round, capture the flag match at 3 minutes each. And I don't want to play carry the skull for 2 minutes. I want to sit down with a good bunch of players for a good hour and play one long team slayer frag-fest. This never happens. It is SO dumb. I can't believe this is the best that Bungie could com up with after almost 4 years in development.
     After a few days things started to get better. I started to build a friend base, and was able to create my own matches. The problem is this: it is difficult to find friends that are A) good enough - B) not too good - C) are not complete idiots - and D) happen to be online at the same time you are. There are very few people (out of about 313,000 registered unique players) who meet all of these least for me. So on any given afternoon or evening, I may get lucky and be able to play a fun game of Halo, or I might sit there for 2 hours waiting for cool people to sign-on and/or start something cool.
     Having said all that, Halo 2 kicks ass! The multi-palyer boards are amazingly well designed pieces of excitement. The 2 levels from the original Halo have been tweaked to add that little extra something, and there are more weapons and vehicles than before. Already one new multi-player level has been added for download, and I know more are on the way. There are rumors of more original Halo levels being added soon. The server speed is great. Lag time is minimal. Of course the occasional cut-off happens, but it is rare, and usually short-lived, and you are always placed back into the game right where you left off. The headset is a plus as I am able to conspire with teammates, as well as trash-talk the poor fallen bastards that I have slain.
     You are able to customize the look of your player, and everyone has there own specially designed icon, as to identify them from "far away." Every player is ranked according to his/her accomplishments and skill level.
     One really nice thing I hadn't expected, is the web site. It keeps track of everything for you....EVERYTHING. I recently linked my gamer tag (Drewbacca) to the website, and it now shows me the following stats:
  • every on-line match I've ever played in (so far about 375)
  • board, time of day, type of game
  • kills, deaths, assists, medals, and a lot more for EVERY MATCH!
  • detailed maps of where and who killed me and from which direction and what weapon they used
  • detailed maps of where and who I killed and from which direction and what weapon I used
  • zoom in on certain areas of the map for more info

The list goes on and on of what they keep track of. It's almost kind of scary.

Anyway, I gotta get back to playing now. See you on-line!

relevant links
Xbox's Halo 2 site
Bungie - official home of all that is Halo
Buy all your Halo 2 gear here.
A much better, and more in-depth review than mine.
A cool article on practical applications of video games.

November 23, 2004

Soundtrack to My Life

     My original idea, tonight, was to create my own celebrity playlist. On the iTunes music store, several movie stars and other musical artists create their own mixes for you to purchase. Each of them have different criteria for their playlist, and after spending about 15 minutes working on my own playlist, I realized that this task is next to impossible, and I too must implement some criteria. There are far too many great songs in my life that it would be a complete travesty to exclude a single one. So here are a few constraints I put on myself. Some of them are ridiculous, but I had no choice in order to narrow this list down.

-These are songs from my life. Anything recorded before my birth is off limits.
-I have removed several genres from the list (Jazz, Country, Opera) - which hurts
-I must personally own a copy of the recorded song
-With a couple of exceptions, I have been familiar with these songs or artists for at least 5 years

The first rule will be the hardest to abide by (no Dylan, Beatles, Marley, etc...), but I will do my best. It will be hard not to include any Zep, but a rule's a rule.

This song-list is by no means the best each artist has to offer necesarily. These are songs that mean something to me for one reason or another, they are my favorite, or they just simply rock and make me feel good (or bad or emotional in one way or another). Some are must-haves for all, some are little known gems, and some are what they are. Even with the above constraints, I was forced to make a 2-disc set. This is NOT a Top 10 list! I list the name of the song, then the artist, then album, then a brief explanation. I like to call it the soundtrack to my life.

"In a Daydream"    The Freddy Jones Band (Waiting for the Night) - Almost certainly my favorite song of all time. The vocals are clean, the crisp quick strumming of the rhythm guitar, with a soaring sweet whine in the background. The drum beat is quick and tight, and by far the best part of the song being the amazingly fantastic sound of the guitar solo; the best use of a delay pedal ever. The entire song crescendos at the end with a culmination of all these sounds intertwined like a silk rainbow. As cheesy as it sounds, I can turn up this song, close my eyes, and get goosebumps every time. The adrenaline rushes smoothly, and I almost feel like I'm flying, as evidenced by the slight tear drop.

"My Morning Song"     The Black Crowes (The Southern Harmony & Musical Companion) - arguably my favorite album of all time all comes together at the end with this amazing song of how music can truly set your soul free. Gritty and dirty, this southern rock monster brings the entire album to a crescendo ending. It represents all that is the greatness of The Black Crowes. Just from the breakdown at the 3-minute mark to the end, it stands on its own. From Chris' unique "poetry," to Rich's rough riffs with the slide, to Marc's rockin' the frets, to the "phat" gospel singers for back-up, it's another one that makes me shudder with that oh so fresh feeling.

"Surfin' USA"    The Beach Boys (back then they were released as singles) - OK, I broke my first rule right away, but this is probably the song that got me into popular music. My parents played The Beach Boys all the time, and I absorbed it quickly and easily. Several different sounds in this song; including the boys' thick multi-layered vocals. The rich sound of that opening guitar riff sucks you in immediately, and dreams of the hot California beach fill your head. "Tell the teacher we're surfin' "...great line.

"Round Here"     Counting Crows (August & Everything After) - I remember hearing this one on a rainy afternoon in a van coming home from a camping trip. It's just so pretty that I couldn't help listen to the entire album. Since that day, it has become a staple of rainy day albums and easily in my top 5 of all time. The warm guitar sounds and Adam Duritz' voice is so bad its great. With so many great songs, this is the one that really got me hooked.

"Three Days"    Jane's Addiction (Ritual de lo Habitual) - Dark, mysterious, sad, bordering on creepy; it slowly blends into a melodic little ditty, which with one huge power chord traverses into a hard Jane's signature rock song. At over 10 minutes long, it could be my favorite Jane's song. Not for everyone, but anyone who loves the Addiction knows this is a fan favorite. Barely audible in the background through approximately the first 3 minutes is a strange poem being read by Ferrel. Adds a little extra something.

"Taking Us Home"    The Samples (No Room) - With a little reggae mixed with a beach
boy-esqe fun-in-the-sun attitude, The Samples are one of those truly unique sounding bands. Taking Us Home is the final song of one of two albums that encompassed my senior year of high school. Another track from the album was actually my class' graduation song. It must be heard to be understood and appreciated. An absolute must album for cruising the lakes of Minneapolis in the heat of summer when I was 18. With one of my favorite drummers ever, it's simply just a great tune, and I ended many mixes with "Taking Us Home."

"Pass the Mic"    The Beastie Boys (Check Your Head) - Bringing out a new sound that ultimately became their signature, The Beastie Boys brought down the proverbial house with this kick-ass beat, deep gangsta bass, turnin-the-tables, rhyme scheme. After a successful preceding album, they finally had the money to do what they wanted, without the "rules" from the record company. It shows in this fun album that broke boundaries in the hip-hop world. Just the fact that I generally can't stand the hip-hop genre, and this is the only song on my list from that genre says boatloads about this song, album, and artist. Word!

"Life Loves a Tragedy"     Poison (Flesh & Blood) - If you're done laughing, I had to include a Posion song in this list. Poison got me through junior high. Easily the worst and most difficult time in my life. Everybody's heard the radio hits from Poison; like "Every Rose has its Thorn," "Talk Dirty to Me," etc.. But I wanted to include a lesser known song that is actually really good, and that I can still sit down and enjoy. Another good one is "Ride the Wind" (if you know where to look I'm in the video). But I chose this one because it reminds me of tough times, and how I felt so much better after ingesting a little Poison.

"Pour Some Sugar on Me"     Def Leppard (Hysteria) - Easily the best hair band album of all time that went I don't know how many times platinum. One of those rare albums in which every song is great. Catchy, melodic, flowing, rockin, everything that was the 80's was epitomized in Hysteria, and "Sugar" epitomized the album. Turn it up to 10 and rip the knob off as MTV would say. I could never get enough of this song. It was also the only thing that made "Coyote Ugly" worth seeing (well, almost the only thing). All of this done with only one arm on drums... simply stunning.

"Shot Shot"    Gomez (In Our Gun) - Nothing overly special really. Just a great band that has changed me musically recently. I started listening to these guys about 3 years ago, (rule break #2...sorry) and really got into them within the last year or so after seeing them live. They have easily been my favorite band of the past year, and I have been listening to them constantly. I'm upset that this particular song recently appeared in a car commercial, but hey, we all gotta pay the rent. Fantastic band with a unique and melodic sound of various instruments and electronic usage. Two distinct vocal leaders converge to create UK harmony of the sweetest kind. Check this out if you're tired of the same old same old.

"Grace, Too"    The Tragically Hip (Day for Night) - The best thing to ever come down the pipe from Canadasince LaBatts. I can't say enough about the enormity of this band. Gord Downie's vocals are on par with Bono. The lyrics (I usually could care less) could be the equivalent of a bible for a world religion they are so stunning and unique. Straight up power chords, with killer bass riffs and these amazing vocals will astound you. I admit it took me a while to warm up to these guys, but I honestly don't know what took me so long. They almost single handedly burst First Avenue into flames they were so warm. Literally. It was almost 400 degrees kelvin in that place, and everyone was moving. "Grace, Too" would easily be on my top ten list of track #1's.

"Fields of Gold"     Sting (Ten Summoner's Tales) - Soft and smooth. Sting is the man. Everything he sings is easy to picture in your head, and it is all good. Once named sexiest man alive by People magazine, Sting shows why through his music. Great make-out song, but you have to be on a hand-sewn quilt out in a field with the sun slightly down in the horizon. An easy 70 degrees, and small bundles of cotton from the cotton trees are floating around aimlessly, and in the distance, a loon calls from the nearby lake. All of this goes through my mind only from about 10 seconds of this song.

"Thriller"   Michael Jackson (Thriller) - Regardless of how you feel about MJ, this album set the bar for pop music. Still #1 in sales, it is considered to be the greatest album of all time by many people. The video is still easily the best ever, and the song is what it is: a masterpiece. Oow!

"Bouncin' Round the Room"    Phish (Lawn Boy) - Although I originally heard this song on their "A Live One" (obviously live) album, it was what originally got me into the only jam band I still really love...Phish. The name alone demands respect. I chose this song cause it's an earlier tune that showcases all of the bands strengths. The sweet melodies they are capable of, their dynamic sound, and their obvious devotion and creative intuitivness that makes them what they are... astounding. Although I recommend the live version of this song (and all of Phish's songs for that matter), this is a personal favorite, and like I said, it was what originally showed me their sound and appeal.

"November Rain"    Guns n' Roses (Use Your Illusion vol. I) - Though there are so many great GnR songs, I chose this one for it's difference. The true bad boys of rock tone it down a notch to create what I think, is the most beautiful hard rock song ever. Examine: the strangely well done piano work of Rose, the full symphony orchestra highlighted by the flute soloist. A beautiful choir providing back-up. And quite possibly my favorite guitar solo of all time. Slash literally makes his guitar sound as though it is weeping. The tones are so magnificently ear-soothing that I can hardly describe it with words. It is sheer emotion pouring out of my speakers. I can't listen to this song in my car, because I can't help but close my eyes to enjoy the pure energy that I derive from this song. Power chords, an orchestrated score worthy of a Spielberg film, and that devilishly sad and angry ending. Without this song, I doubt the Use Your Illusion albums would have done half as well as they did. Another masterpiece.

"Comfortably Numb"    Pink Floyd (The Wall) - This is my favorite band of all time. There isn't a song I like the most, so I just picked the most obvious. One of the things that I like best about Pink Floyd is the arangement of so many of their songs. They start a tune with darkness, dread, even discombobulation. Just when you think you're not really into the song, and are about to switch CDs or change the radio station, they break loose with this nothing short of amazing, melodic chorus that literally sweeps the crowd off their collective feet. Comfortably Numb is no exception. When those violins kick in, you know you're in for something special. Although "The Wall" is easily one of my favorite albums of all time, I recommend hearing this song on one of their live albums like "Delicate Sound of Thunder" or "Pulse." Did I mention David Gimour's guitar sound? No? Well, let me mention it. David Gilmour's solo in this song is one of his best. I would kiss the man's feet in exchange for the pleasure of hearing only 1 minute of his live performance. P.S. I'd love to include "Echoes," but it's so long, it would take up the whole CD.

"Ants Marching"    Dave Matthews Band (Under the Table and Dreaming) - The DMB is one of my top 5 bands of all time. At their concerts, I was always pissed at the stupid teenie-bopper girls for yelling "play Ants Marching!" We all knew it was their signature song and they would play it at the end, but secretly, I wanted to hear it too. Anyway, I was introduced to these guys my first year at college. The drummer quickly became my hero. If I'm not mistaken, it was the first band that I truly loved that didn't include an electric guitar, but did include a fiddle player. I would play this song four or more times in a row driving back and forth from college to home (to steal food) and sing til my throat hurt. This is only one of two really big bands that I've seen live multiple times. Although there are many great songs by DMB, this is their signature song, and the track I always went to first.

"Mayonaise"     Smashing Pumpkins (Siamese Dream) - Mayonaise shows what The Smashing Pumpkins are all about. Distortion free guitar picking intros, then their awesomely mixed to perfection distortion-laden power chords slammed at you just at the right moment. Possibly the coolest use of feedback ever, and another one of my favorite drummers. I can never pick my favorite song on this album, but Mayonaise is always part of the silent discussion in my head. Again, if you don't own this album, you're sick. But don't worry, just call me and I'll cure you by sending you a copy. I've made back-ups.

"Pride (In the Name of Love)"     U2 (Rattle & Hum) - Uh... it's U2 silly. Of course they're on the list. I can't say much more. Bono rocks. Hear the music we all know in your head and let's remember this piece of greatness:

"One man caught on a barbed wire fence, one man he resists...
One man washed on an empty beach, one man betrayed with a kiss...
In the name of love

Early morning, April four, shot rings out in the Memphis sky...
Free at last! The took your life, they could not take your pride...

In the name of love...."

"Alive"    Pearl Jam (Ten) - The other aforementioned album that helped make my senior year. To hell with over-rated Nirvana. They don't even compare. In my mind, it was Pearl Jam that brought out everyhting that was good about the seattle sound. A truly original sound that helped bring the world up from its knees of the soul-lessness of which we now call hairband rock. I won't prattle, cause everyone knows this song. That's why it's here. It charges me up still, and everyone loves it. If you don't own this album, I don't know you.

"Fade into You"     Mazzy Star (So Tonight that I Might See) - Hauntingly beautiful and soft. Helped me sleep soundly many a cold winter night. Slightly goth without the edge, almost a whisper of a song. Just a strumming acoustic guitar, a tamborine beat, and the occasional sighing slide guitar in the background. The title really emphasizes the feel of the song. It something different that I can listen to curled up in bed at night.

"Eat It"    "Weird" Al Yankovic (In 3-D) - A parody of Michael Jackson's "Beat It," I hesitated to include it in the list, but I own 9 of Al's albums for a reason. The man is simply a genius. He may not be "cool," but he makes more money than anyone reading this blog, and he probably has more fun at his job than you too. Without words, you'd never be able to tell the difference between the original and Al's parodies. The lyrics are hilarious, and only a genius could come up with them. Unbeknownst to many, half of his albums are all original songs that Al wrote himself. His concerts are a full production. Costumes, dancers, even a hearing impaired sign language interpreter. To top it off, he's earned 2 grammy's and 8 nominations (not easy to come by). Notoriously, most geniuses are also insane, and fortunately Al is no exception.

"Scenes From An Italian Restaurant"     Billy Joel (The Stranger) - Arguably the best Billy Joel album, this song showcases Joel's amazing ability on the keys, and gives off an Italian red wine aroma. With the use of an accordian to give it that mama mia sound. Which then gives way for a rag-time romp complete with the trombone and clarinet. The song also tells a great story. Winds down with the same arrangement as the beginning. My favorite song from a living legend. Saw him with Elton John. I was expecting a lot form John, but Billy blew him away. Doing backflips off of a grand-piano at age 50 is pretty impressive.

"Flutes of Chi"    Ween (White Pepper) - This is not for everybody, but the first time I heard Ween I was hooked. This album made my summer that year, and "Flutes of Chi" is one of the best. You either love em or hate em. Even if you love 'em, not all their songs are great. But there are many that are. It's a tough band to explain. Weird, psychodelic, sometimes bright, sometimes nonsensical, sometimes, poppy, sometimes heavy metal, sometimes country, always entertaining.

"For Those About to Rock (We Salute You)"     AC/DC (Who Made Who) - Although they definitely went down-hill after Bon Scott died, this is a band that truly rocks. No friggin make-up. No big hair. Just straight up old-school, raw rock n roll that really kicks large amounts of ass. I actually considered buying some Coors light just because this song was in the commercial. I've recently rekindled my relationship with AC/DC, and I've realized what I've been missing for years. The scratchier, Australian Robert Plant voice adds so much to the lost art of hard-rock ass-kicking. "Stand up and be counted. For what you are about to receive!"

Well, that's it. I love feedback, but ripping me apart would suck because these kinds of things are very difficult to put together. It's all opinion anyway. Again, there are so many songs that are "better" than many of these, but many of these are situational in nature and depend on mood. When I'm not so tired, I will provide links to download these songs later.

Keep on rockin' in the free world!

November 22, 2004

State of the NBA

Here's my three cents:

     Dammit Ron! Now I have to find another #2 forward for my fantasy basketball team. Thanks for nothing! You already cost me one week's victory for sitting down because you're too tired after those grueling four games of 35 minutes each. Not to mention you're fantastic CD that is coming out must really keep you busy. Now I have to rely on Rasheed Wallace as my #2 forward. If I had money to buy some beer, I would drink it first, then pee in the empty cup, then throw it at you.

November 17, 2004

A New Precedent Has Been Set!

     From now on, this blog will ONLY be about movies and entertainment, or maybe the occasional random thing. I've said this before, but this time I mean it! My new blog on Politics and world views can be found at the following address...bookmark it today!!

Kudos Where Kudos Are Due

     I can't believe it! Ed Schultz of Scaire America radio actually defended and stood behind the soldier who was captured on video shooting an "unarmed" Iraqi insurgent. [By the way, what's with this "insurgent" business? Let's call them what they are - terrorists.] Anyway, I was stunned that a ultra-liberal radio talk show host would not use this latest story as ammo against a war he doesn't believe in. Unlike CBS news, Ed reported the story, then pointed out that supposedly injured or dead terrorists in recent days have suddenly exploded just as American troops approached to medi-vac them out of the area. He also pointed out that terrorists wave a white flag then open fire on our soldiers walking towards them to apprehend them. Now, this story needs further investigation, but I applaud Schultz for realizing what kind of "people" we are fighting and that this soldier may very well have done the right thing in exterminating the wounded man on sight.
     Support of our troops is a must. For or against this war, our young men and women are risking, and in some cases sacrificing, their lives for this war. I think most sane people do support them, but many are attacking this young man who did the same thing many of us would have done in the same situatiuon. Understanding what is going on over there is the first step in standing behind these brave people, who are doing something I'm sure I would not have the balls to be doing.
Not to mention, Margaret Hassan was shot in the head yesterday or the day before, and many people ignore this story and verbally attack our soldier, not the animals who shot this good woman in the head. Crazy liberals actually defend these men by saying that they are just doing the same thing we are doing, but on a much smaller scale. Comparing our troops to terrorists makes me angry and ill, and I think we should send the hosts of "Unfiltered" of Scaire America radio to Mosul, and see if we're doing the same thing the terrorists are.

November 16, 2004

Quote of the Week

     "You can't.....expect people that have jobs and have to go to class and have kids, to be at the polls. You know, we can go, but they can't be waiting on line for ten hours, six- I mean, that's crazy! It should be a day off, you know. It should on the weekend." [crowd applauds]
           -Susan Sarandon on "Real Time with Bill Maher" (episode 43)

     I know many people with kids and have to work or go to school. They all managed to vote if they wanted to. It is illegal for a job to keep you away from the polls, and most people know this. Stop whining Susan! You got the voter turn-out that you wanted. You're just surprised and disappointed that those voters didn't agree with you.

November 12, 2004

Am I Missing Something?

     Media outlets last night were breathlessly covering Yasser Arafat's death and funeral. Wasn't yesterday Veteran's Day? Shouldn't we have been talking about the sacrfices our veterans have made for us in the past and presently? No. Instead we cover the terrorist...oops I mean Palestinian leader's funeral with tears in our eyes. If I'm wrong about this, drop me a line; but I'm pretty sure Arafat was a known terrorist or at the very least aided and encouraged terrorism throughout his reign of power. We can't air "Saving Private Ryan" because it's too brutal and too realistic of what great Americans had to go through in the fight for freedom, but we can clebrate the life and times of Yasser Arafat? In the words of Forrest Gump: "That's all I have to say about that."

November 08, 2004

You Have Got to Be Kidding

     First Bill Maher makes a few jokes about it, then I hear Maureen Dowd (of NYT fame) seriously suggest that California and New York, and some other "blue" states secede from the United States to form their own democratic country. Fox News shows a cartoon of all the blue states (which by the way were almost completely red except for the one big city) merging with Canada and calling themselves the United Canadian States, while the red states "new" country would be called Land of Jesus. Last night some political analyst (I was too pissed to remember his name) on CNN also suggested the "very real possibility" of some states seceding from our union. I looked this up on the "internets" and found others who share this thought, including Llewelly Rockwell of World Net Daily and I realize that Maher was just joking, but these other examples of people speaking of succession are dead serious. has announced that on an average day, the Canadian immigration website gets an average of about 30,000 hits per day. On Wednesday, November 3rd, they got close to 120,000. So, people are at least toying with the notion of leaving for Canada.
     First off, I would say this. Of course succesion by a state probably will never happen. These are whackos who just happen to have the power to speak their minds within the national media. Also, the interviewer in both these cases jumped on the people very condecendingly, asking if they were serious. Second, Buck up surfer dudes! Is the country really that bad? Then I got to thinking about it. Would it really be that bad if California left this great nation?
     Well, it would suck to lose Hollywood and lots of movies that help keep our economy going and entertain me mucho. But other than that, think about it. If California was gone, we wouldn't have to worry about their major pollution problems. Rolling blackouts would be a thing of the past. The constant forest fires would no longer take a toll on our emergency services. The cost of fighting these fires are enormous. Ooo ooo....earthquakes! No more earthquakes! Hooray! Let's see, oh yes, the official number of immigrants working illegally in this country would drop by about 90%. The social security issue would almost be a non-existant problem anymore. All the billions of dollars Californians have paid into social security would not have to be paid to them now. It would all go to us! So as I look back on things, my first response is to get pissed that someone would actually want to leave our great country, but then I realized...Hey! More for me if you leave, so good riddance California!

November 06, 2004


     I probably won't have much time to do any blogging in the near future. As of Tuesday, I will be far too busy playing

My copy of Halo 2 has already been reserved, paid for, and I am set-up on-line for multi-player. Check out the following site for great previews and walkthroughs, interviews, and explanations:
Aftre you get to the site, scroll down past the screenshots to get to the videos. Trust me, if you're a Halo fan, you'll love it. Just enough to quench your thirst until Tuesday (or Monday at midnight).

November 05, 2004

I'm So Sick of Kandi

     For the life of me, I can't figure out why Michael Olowakandi is in the NBA. He is nothing but a disease that corrodes everything good Kevin Garnet does for us, and is slowly infecting the rest of the team. I thought that maybe Phil Saunders would have this figured out based on last season's (especially the play-offs) performance; appartently not. Everytime Kandi's hands touch the ball, they leave a stain of dispair. He tries to be KG and winds up playing like me.
     He bobbles dribbles almost everytime he puts the ball on the floor. When this happens, about 50% of the time he turns the ball over. He misses his hook shot everytime, and his fouls are so light, that I swear they actually help the offense put the ball in the bucket for an "and one" play. On the court, he has about as much enthusiasm as an anteater in a bubble gum factory. PLEASE coach Saunders...I beg of you, have mercy on the fans... start someone else. Keep Olowakandi off the court at all costs! Watch Madsen's ferocity on the court! Are you blind!? He has heart, he has hussle, and best of all he is not Michael Olowakandi!!!!

Related Links:
Im not linking to anything cause to do so would give your computer a virus.
His stats are very misleading. Watch him play, it will make you physically ill.

November 04, 2004

The Fat Lady Has Sung...

      Hail to the Chief is what the fat lady is singing. This post will be very very short. I promise. Those of you who read this site regularly know where I stand on most issues, and although I could easily write over 50 pages on my feelings and opinions of the events of the last year leading up to yesterday, I won't. Instead, I'll sum it all up by saying this:


October 31, 2004

Scare Tactics

      By now you've probably become privy to the term scare tactics. Most likely from democrats who accuse republicans of scaring people into voting for them. For instance talking about a terrorist threat or that the republicans are trying to scare minorities into not voting or whatever. Well, I'd like to address this issue, and maybe turn the tables a little.
      First off, regarding the two examples I cited above, the terrorist threat is not a tactic, it's a reality. If you don't think so, then you were either not yet born on Sept. 11, 2001, or you slept through it. It was a terrorist attack on our country. Not the first one either; it was just the big one that finally got our (well, some of us) attention. It baffles me when someone tells me there is no terrorist threat, when we have been atacked again and again and again over the last 30 years. It is the most ludicrous statement one can make these days. Whether or not it is the U.S.'s fault is another issue. The point is, terrorism is real, not a scare tactic.
      Regarding the second example I gave above about suppressing the minority vote. There are so many rumors and accusations going around, that I honestly don't know what to make of it all. I do know that the Republicans called my girlfriend (a minority), and reminded her to go vote on Nov. 2nd. They DID NOT say go vote for Bush. They just told her to vote. They then asked if she knew where her local polling place was, and if she had any questions on the process. How is this scaring minorities? I don't know what's going on in Florida, I don't live there. I just know that around here, voting is easy. I've never seen suppression or intimidation, and everywhere I look I am encouraged to vote.
      Now for the meat of this article: scare tactics by the Kerry campaign are just as rampant. If you don't believe me, let's go over a few examples.
(1) The Draft. Liberals continually try to scare voters into thinking that Bush has this secret plan to bring back the draft. Absolutely false. The truth is, the reinstatment of the draft has been proposed in both congress, and the senate. The bill, proposed by democrats (Charles Rangel of New York, and Ernest Hollings of South Carolina) was defeated 402-2 and died there. In fact, Rangel actually voted against this bill after he helped draw it up. It is obvious to this narrator, that the bill was proposed merely to stir up voters and have them believe the Bush administration is considering a return of the draft. By the way, a president cannot initiate a draft without passing a vote of congress. Bush understands that a good army is an all volunteer army. He has stated time and time again: "there will be no draft!" As has the secretary of defense, and various other leaders within the armed forces. And as we all know, Bush stands behind, and does what he says...yes, even if it is wrong. To be fair, Kerry also opposes the draft bill, but that does not stop him and his supporters of accusing Bush of supporting it.
      And while we're on the subject of the draft, let's look at who implemented the last few drafts this country has had. I researched the topic, and found that other than Lincoln, it has been all democrats who have implemented the draft. Nixon (a republican) finally put an end to the draft, only to have selective service registration started again by Jimmy Carter in response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. That selective service registration is still in effect today, and young men are required to register for selective service when they come of age. I am in no way trying to accuse or criticize any president for his decision, I am only stating the facts regarding selective service of the military. To find out more I direct you to the Selective Service System website.
(2) Stem-cell research. John Edwards recently was quoted as saying, "If we do the work that we can do in this country, the work that we will do when John Kerry is president, people like Christopher Reeve will get up out of that wheelchair and walk again." Essentially accusing the Bush administration for Reeve's death and lack of medical progress. This is also in fact incorrect. The President has in fact devoted millions of dollars in federal funds to existing embryonic stem-cell research, of which there are thousands already available. THERE IS NO CURRENT BAN ON STEM CELL RESEARCH! I challenge anyone to show me a law that states otherwise. Bush does however oppose creating new embryos, but there are plenty right now to "go around" for private research.
      Currently, because abortion is a social and ethical issue, there is no federal funding for that practice. Likewise, there is no federal funding (except that already authorized by President Bush) for further embryos to be harvested for stem-cell research, because it is a social and ethical issue. However, private funding and spending is happening all the time in the fight for knowledge. Secondly, as near as I can understand, adult stem-cells show just as, if not more, promise in helping to cure medical problems through stem-cells. Besides all of these facts, although science in this area is progressing, it is progressing slowly, and for Kerry/Edwards to say Reeve and others like him will walk if they are in the White House is absolute rubbish, and in my opinion disgraceful to use Reeve's death to mislead the public for political gain. Which brings me to my next liberal scare tactic...
(3) Legalization of rape. Because this is a delicate issue, I don't want to state my position on abortion or be misunderstood. I only want to speak the truth. Rock the vote, MTV (owned by Viacom which owns CBS and Dan Rather) and other liberal go-getters have stated that not voting, is a not a vote for change, and therefore a vote for the legalization of rape. I can only assume that when Cameron Diaz and others say something like this, they are speaking of Bush's bill for the ban on late-term abortions. Let's get one thing straight. Whether you are pro-choice or pro-life is of no consequence. If a woman is raped and becomes pregnant, she currently has the option of aborting that baby (see Roe vs. Wade decision) right away. Bush has not proposed any law prohibiting this. Waiting until the last three months of pregnancy however, when the fetus now has eyes, a heart, a brain, internal organs, can hear, has fingerprints, basically a small person (that can live outside the womb in almost all cases) is irresponsible. Removing the living baby through the birth canal completely except for the head, then ramming a "scissors" into its brain IS NOT HUMANE. You could make the argument that if the mother's health or life is in danger, this must be done. Most doctors would argue back, that if a mother's health is at stake, the baby can be born via a cesarian section procedure, and the baby has a very good chance of living within three months of due date. Whether you are pro-life or support a woman's right to choose, abortion can be performed much earlier in the pregnancy; and to say that because Bush is against partial birth abortion, he supports rape, is again, a lie, a scare tactic, and not to mention absolutly ridiculous and foolish. It should insult your intelligence when something like that is said by anybody. And I'm surprised Oprah would allow something that stupid to be said on her show.
(4) The Patriot Act. "The Patriot Act is scary, and it takes away tremendous amounts of your privacy." A statemnet I've heard from a lot of people. Now, I'm not going to sit here and tell you that I know all the ins and outs of The Patriot Act. Its about a million pages long, and I won't pretend to know everything. But in a nutshell, this is what the Patriot Act does...

The Patriot Act in a nutshell.

John Kerry wants to undo a lot of what was voted for almost unanimously in the senate (which would include Senators Kerry and Edwards), and overwhelmingly in the house.

The Patriot Act facilitated information sharing and cooperation among government agencies so that they can better “connect the dots.”
As Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) said about the Patriot Act, “we simply cannot prevail in the battle against terrorism if the right hand of our government has no idea what the left hand is doing.” (Press release, 10/26/01)

      I don't find the Patriot Act scary, and I have not personally known anyone who has lost any freedoms directly because of The Patriot Act. I think it is part of the very necessary changes to the intelligence community that both political parties have been complaining about. I do know, that because of this legislation, we have captured many of those with ties to terror, and have subverted possible catastrophic action, such as the destruction of the Brooklyn Bridge, that we would probably otherwise would not have been able to do.

(5) Social Security Cuts. If you vote for Bush, seniors will take a 50% cut in their SS checks. Well guess what? They said this in 2000, and seniors are still getting their checks, and they will continue to get their least for the next four years they will.

(6) Personal attacks. I grow more and more resolute in my vote decision everyday. Because of a recent "discussion," I am even stronger in my convictions. I was ridiculed, called an "idiot," a "retard," and that "I don't know the issues." These words were said to me by friends; and I am none of these things. I didn't even start a political conversation. I simply mentioned that I liked the new remodeling job at the local basketball arena (at the time, it was widely known that a political rally had taken place there that day, so it became clear I had attended). From there it became a political discussion which soon turned into a verbal attack job against me. At one point, I literally had 3 people inches from my face all shouting at once. That is not an exaggeration. This happened. I realize that this is the "heated" season, and that times are emotional, and probably most importantly, there was alcohol involved. Of course these people are still my friends and always will be, but it shows me something about the mind of a liberal.
     I have never ridiculed or called someone stupid for their decsion on who to vote for. In fact, just the opposite. I try to get people just to get out and vote regardless of their political stance. But if you're a liberal, it's personal, and these attacking remarks happen all the time. Cars being trashed with Bush stickers, lawn signs being stolen, wrecked or defaced with Nazi overtones, vandalism of homes whose owners are republican (I want to make it VERY CLEAR that this last sentence of course IS NOT an accusation of, or reflect the actions of anyone I know - my friends are passionate about their political beliefs, not thugs & monsters). Of course these things happen to Kerry supporters as well, but not on the same scale, and there is plenty of evidence to back that up, including a chat I personally had with a local police officer.
      To sum it all up, these are the real scare tactics. You can read all day and learn about the "lies" of the Bush administration, or you can look at the facts, do some independent research, read about the decisions, votes, and records of both candidates and make an educated decision on who to vote for. The records of both Senator Kerry and President Bush are available on "real" non-partisan web-sites, and at the local library for all to see. The real truth about the candidates is not found in the media or in political ads, or even in the debates. It is found in their record. After looking at a candidates record, one can make a truly educated vote for either candidate on November 2nd. I am not disputing the fact that Bush probably does utilize fear in his campaign, but no more than Senator Kerry and Senator Edwards do, and at least Bush's remarks are based on facts and real events, whereas Scary Kerry's remarks are untrue statements that should truly frighten you this Halloween season....BOO!

Related Links:
The entire
Patriot Act
Partial birth abortion
diagrams - **maybe a little disturbing to some**
More on
Stem-cell research
Recent local article on campaign

October 29, 2004

The History of Iraq

      Here are a couple of really fascinating articles describing the history of Iraq. It really showcases the cultural history and contributions Iraq has given to the world.
      The first article describes ancient Iraq up to about the late 70's. It describes how this area was the setting for great stories like Sinbad, and Aladdin. This area was also the birthplace of such great inventions as the wheel and plow, among others. It also includes Saddam Hussein's birth and how he came to be in power.
      The second article discusses the more recent history of Iraq starting with the presidency of Jimmy Carter; with in depth analysis of the Iran-Iraq conflict, international sanctions, and the Kuwaiti war.
     I like these articles because not only are they interesting, but they also appear to have been written before the current invasion began, and are devoid of a little "softening." They show Saddam for the man that he is, not the sweet non-terrorist that some want us to believe. But, it also shows how the U.S. and other imperialistic governments have really helped to create Saddam, and made Iraq what it became. Check these out, they will definitely be worth the time spent reading. It changed my mind about a few ideals I had. Fascinating.

Crescent of Crisis, part 1: A History of Iraq
In earlier epochs, the territory now called Iraq was the center of the greatest powers of the day. At other times it was conquered by Alexander the Great, ravaged by the Mongols and dominated by empires based in Persia, Turkey and Britain.

Crescent of Crisis, part 2: 24 Years of Saddam
Since Saddam Hussein gained power 24 years ago, there have been only three years when Iraq was neither at war nor under crippling international sanctions. The United States, currently Saddam's greatest enemy, was his silent partner during most of the first half of his rule.

- both articles written by Eric Black, Star Tribune columnist

October 28, 2004


     You will no longer see Rolling Stone magazine resting calmly on my coffee table again. Not that you likely saw it a first time, but from now on, it will not be in my home for you to see, should you ever decide to drop by. I am tired of the pages and pages of political editorials. Once in a while is fine, but it's week after week after week. Maybe it has always been this way, and I've just never noticed, or maybe it is because we are in the midst of the most heated and important Presidential campaign in our lifetime. Whatever the reason, it doesn't matter to me. I've been bothered by it lately, and when my current subscription runs out, I will not be renewing.
     I want to read about Ashley Simpson or Elvis Costello. I don't want to read 8 pages on how great it will be if John Kerry is elected president. I don't need to hear about the shocking unveiling of truths within "Fahrenheit 9/11." Not to mention a major hit-piece on my boy, Bill O'Reilly. Check it out...5 of the last 8 covers on Rolling Stone have pictured:

John Kerry (a scary close-up)
The Rock for Change squadron
A Doonesbury cartoon of American troops bleeding and dying in Iraq
(2) of Michael Moore's fat ass
Jon Stewart
+ Howard Dean on the May issue

It's not just the covers either. The second cover story on the other 3 issues without a political image:
"Bush Must Go"
"The Secret Files of Abu Ghraib" &
"The Baghdad Follies"

     Are we seeing a pattern here? Now, do I respect SOME of these people and imagery? Yes. Is politics an important issue? Of course. Is it Rolling Stone's responsibility to tell me about it? Sure, if that's what they want to do with their "music/entertainment" periodical. But do I have to pay for and read it? No I do not.

     This is certainly Rolling Stone's right, and some would argue responsibility, to "get the word out," but it is not just college kids and democrats reading their magazine. Here are the results of a recent poll conducted by Rolling Stone itself, on its readers, which is in the Nov. 11th issue.
FYI: 75% of respondants are 39 years of age or lower. Here are examples of just 3 of the questions. To see complete list of questions and results go here.

Question A
"How would you rate President Bush's job performance?"
Excellent: 5.2%
Good: 12.8%
Fair: 20.5%
Poor: 61.5&

Question B
"If the election were held today, who would you vote for?"
Bush: 17.7%
Kerry: 74.0%
Other: 2.9%
Undecided: 4.0%
Not voting: 1.5%

Question C (edited here for space)
"Will you definitely vote that way, or might you change your mind?"
Definitely voting for candidate: 82.7%

Probably voting for candidate: 7.6%
Could change mind: 6.5%
Not sure: 3.2%

     So, we know that RS readers are Kerry backers. Fine; so are the readers of New York Times' Magazine. But what else do these numbers tell us? Well, they tell us that RS consistently, week by week, alienates at least 16% of their readers. How do I get this number? It is 90.3% of the 17.7% of readers who say they will probably or definitly be voting for Bush. Now, how many people is 16% of readers? According to one website, RS has 11.7 million subscribers. Not including how many millions of news stand buyers there are. So, at the very least, RS alienates at least 1.85 million of its readers! 1.85 million readers translates in to a boatload of $$ for the company. And I'm not giving any more money to them.

     Now, I admit that I maybe wouldn't feel as strongly about this issue if it were stories backing Bush, or the war. I can admit that; but I guess my point is this: I have read and enjoyed this magazine for stories of interest and entertainment. I have relied on their top-notch reviews of music shows, albums, and artists' stories for years. But over the past year, I've grown weary of having to thumb through pages and pages AND PAGES of liberal propaganda to get to the small number of music review pages.

     The most recent issue of Rolling Stone had 120 pages. Here comes the breakdown.*
63 pages were ads
19 pages of liberal political commentary
15 pages of "other" entertainment news stories
14 pages of music stories, reviews etc...
4 pages of movies
6 pages in the "other" category (table of contents, letters to the editor, etc...)

     The ad number is huge, but I don't care about that; all magazines have too many ads. However, many of these ads were for Fahrenheit 9/11, The Daily Show, Clinton's book, etc. The real number shocker here is that only 18 pages were regarding music and movies (which is what I thought Rolling Stone was all about), compared to 19 pages of liberal political propaganda.

     I wanna finish up here and go to bed, but let me finish with this. Rolling Stone magazine is liberal political literature. THIS IS FINE. I want my critics to realize, that I don't care if they do this. I'm not screaming liberal bnias in the media or anything. I'm just publicly stating that I don't like it, and I won't continue to put my money into liberal propaganda. I also feel bad about it, because I respect their ideas, stories, interviews and reviews of music...all 14 out of 120 pages of it.

     One letter to the editor of Rolling Stone I wanted to copy for all to see:
"I am Counting Crows' bass player. I believethat you're cheating your readers by offering a one-sided argument regarding the upcoming election. George W. Bush is one of the greatest presidents in our country's history. After 9/11, he knew that America had to show the world that nobody should have tolerance for fanatacism and evil. You should present the facts with balance."
-Matt Malley, Sherman Oaks, CA

Is he really who he says he is? Maybe not, and I don't necessarily agree with all he wrote, but I do agree with this media outlet only offering one side of the story.

*I realized that my numbers don't ad up to 120, but I didn't feel like going through the whole mag again, but I did re-check the music/movie pages, and the political commentary pages, and those numbers are right.

Related Links:
Rolling Stone home page
The complete Rolling Stone November covers

October 27, 2004

"I Heart Huckabees"

     Not really sure about this one, so this will be a short review. I think I really need to see this one a second time to give it an honest review. There was definitely some top-notch acting; especially by Jason Schwartzman and Mark Wahlberg. Seeing this one on my day off on a Monday morning was maybe a bad decision. A little bit deeper thinking than I had originally thought it would be. A guy played by Jason Schwartzman hires two existential detectives to follow him around and try and help him make sense of his shambled life. Silliness ensues and convolution abounds. The overall style of the film is comic yet sad; deep yet childish; simple yet complicated, and in a word: weird.
     I can't recommend this film to a broad audience. I think a select few will really enjoy this film and maybe consider one of the best of the year. Others will miss the point and go home scratching their heads. I walked away with a sense of well-being throughout, and got some laughs, and some introspective on myself and the world, but I would not give it a thumbs up. I will see it again soon, and concoct a new analysis. But if you're in it just for the tremendous acting, you'll love it. The full cast can be viewed here.

Related Links:

Official Page
View the trailer

Rotten Tomatoes review of the film.
Roeper & Ebert's take on I Heart Huckabees

Celebrity Campaigning

     I'd like to extend a big thank you to Bill O'Reilly for giving some poll results that show many people are persuaded to vote for a specific candidate, after hearing a celebrity campaigning for the competing candidate. In one example, the poll showed that Michael Moore's film "Fahrenheit 9/11," actually persuaded 26% of respondants to vote for Bush, while only persuading 6% to vote against Bush. It also worked the other way in favor of Kerry in regards to Charlton Heston. There were other examples in the poll as well.
     I have taken much flak by some, for stating why my vote will go the way it will, partly because of stupid celebrity endorsements that insult my intelligence. I'm glad to see many others feel the same way I do. I do not want to associate with any political party or TV show that tells me that a vote for X, is a vote for the legalization of rape (an actual statement made by a very prominent Hollywood celebrity on a VERY highly watched television program).
     When I get a hold of the polling results regarding this issue, I will post them here, and we can see just how many people think like me (scary).

Highly Explosive!

     Had to give this one a quick go around. I just saw the Kerry ad accusing the Bush administration of negligence regarding the missing weapons cache in Iraq. Although I do think it is an important issue, I thought I might add my viewpoint for all (1) of you to see.

1) 380 tons of explosives? According to John Kerry and Juan Williams of NPR and many others, this is a huge amount that could be used for "blowing up airplanes," detonating nuclear devices," and other "terorist activities." Wait a minute; I thought Saddam Hussein was "not a threat," and had no ties to terrorism. Iraq was a peaceful country where kids flew kites and people sat down every morning for a cappuccino before going off to their fantastic jobs according to Michael Moore. Yet there are 380 tons of missing explosives that are used for detonating nuclear devices? Not to mention, the coalition has captured or destoryed 100's of thousands of tons of explosives and weapons since the invasion began. hmmm.

2) The explosives were already gone before the U.S.A. even got there! The IAEA tagged the location sometime in March of 2003, and when the liberators (us) got there in May of '03, they were already gone! How is that Bush's fault!? There may be facts yet to come, until then.... Maybe we should have gone to war sooner to make sure we retained these weapons of....well, destruction.

3) It is very interesting that the NEW YORK TIMES broke this story 7 days before the election, and 60 Minutes, a highly reliable news organization, (remember the Dan Rather lying) has plans to air this huge story on (this) the Sunday before election day. Not to mention, Kerry's TV ad came out this morning, mere hours after the story broke. Wow. That was quick!

Conspiracy: noun
An agreement to perform together a wrongful, or subversive act; joining or acting together, as if by sinister design

October 26, 2004

Vacation Brochure

note: My first blog with swearing in it. An historic moment!

     Enjoy a lovely stay in Sudan! Women raped daily! Bring the kids! Overweight? Sudan's dry arid climate is just the place for no food to grow, hence you'll lose those pesky extra 100 pounds in just days. Stay in our posh make-shift huts of string and torn grain sacks. Looking for some adventure? You'll have all the fun you can handle running through the forests and desert plains while being chased by the evil Janjaweed. Equipped with only your wits, you'll have to escape these government hired mercenaries who are armed with knives, whips, and fully-automatic 40mm guns mounted to pick-up trucks! Just for fun, we'll make sure you have to run with your 3 year old daughter in your arms because she is unable to walk due to typhoid and pneumonia!
     The best part of all this excitement is, you never have to worry about it ever stopping! The United Nations won't do anything to save you, so you'll be on your own. You'd think maybe The President of the United States could do something to end your lovely vacation, but nobody will listen. Members of the U.N. are too busy being paid by the Sudanese government in oil bonds to give a rat's ass! They will vote time and time again over a period of months to do nothing. Kofi Anan has too many other important things to do; like smoke fat cigars and make sure arabs are spared the humiliation of having to honor Saddam's oil vouchers to the French, Germans, Russians, and Chinese. If it looks like the killing is getting "out of hand," the U.N. has decided to get together and discuss the "possibility" of placing sanctions on the Sudan government.
     So, instead of heading to Disney World this winter, why not lose those post election blues by bringing the whole family down to sunny Sudan. Tired of worrying about which rich guy to place in the most powerful position in the world? Or which fast food restaurant to stuff your face with again tonight? Did the damn kids use all $50 of gas in the Escalade again? Or worse, did the dog shit on the rug once more? Well, good news! You can bring Rover along too, and watch as the arab-muslim faction slices his tail off just to watch him bleed to death next all of the other livestock in the burning crop fields that would've otherwise fed you and your family for a month. You never know when, but rest assured, one night while you sleep soundly in the dirt and rocks of your hut with a fabulous view of the night sky, the terrorists WILL invade your camp with guns blazing to torture and kill as many men and boys as possible before raping and killing all the women and girls.
     Whether man or woman, adult or child, all can enjoy the excitement of being penetrated in some form or another while the corpse of closest family members lie within feet of your violation. Oh yeah, and if you're lucky enough to be pregnant at the time, they may let you go with nothing but a slice of the tendons behind your knee so that you know you belong to them. All of this and much much more await you in beautiful Darfur, Sudan! And you thought you wouldn't have any fun this winter...shame on you!

Author's note:
This is not an attempt to make light of a horrible situation. It is just my way of trying to write sarcastically about a situation that really PISSES ME OFF! What the hell is happening in this world when genocide is happening right under our proverbial noses, and nothing is being done about it!? I knew this was happening, but I didn't realize to what extent...until today. Where is the media on this? I've heard it mentioned lightly a few times, but this should be almost as big of an issue as the Iraq war. I haven't heard anything about it in any of the debates or in the campaigning. I want to know what will be done about this NOW! We can't not do anything! We are Team America: World Police for God's sake!
Let me end with the words of Howard Dean, "AAAAAaaaargh!"

October 24, 2004

Shot in the Foot

      Vikings win again. Although today not by unbelievable starts from Culpepper and Moss. Today Tennessee beat themselves. With 3 interceptions by Volek, and a ton of penalty yards, the Titans shot themselves in the proverbial foot on their way to 20-3 loss at The Metrodome. This ensures that the Minnesota Vikings stay on top of the leader board in the NFC North. It's looking good's looking good.
      When asked about the Vikings in the play-offs, my magic 8-ball reports "all signs point to yes." I have learned from past experience (about 24 years) however, to keep my enthusiasm to a minimum, as the Vikings are sure to disappoint again this year and send us into the off-season sans a Super Bowl berth. But, I try to remain cautiously optimistic. Until next week, we can celebrate a 4th consecutive victory, and so far, still on top in the division. Happiness now ensues....

Related links:

Game Stats
Vikings Home
Division Standings
Further Commentary
Moss injures himself further

October 23, 2004

God, I'm a Loser

     There are so many games coming out this November that look fantastic, I scarcely know where to start. There are simply not enough hours in the week (or dollars in the account) to play all these games. For me personally, I can't recall anytime in the past where more great games have been released in the same month. It truly is ridiculous. I don't know what to do. I was so excited for Halo 2 to come out, but now I don't know how much Halo I will be playing with all of these other great choices being released as well. All of the following games are being released in November (or within a week or 2 of November). Most of them are sequels, but unlike Hollywood, sequels in video gamedom are usually better than their predecessor. Here's the run-down in no particular order:

Halo 2 (Xbox) - The most anticipated game of the year. Now with on-line multi-player. A must have.

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (PS2) - The biggest video game franchise of all time releases their newest, biggest, and most complex edition yet. Tons of side games, open-ended story line, control other thugs, enter buildings, and on and on and on and on and on.... If you've never played a GTA game, you have not lived a truly happy life.

Metroid Prime 2: Echoes (NGC) - The sequel to arguably Nintendo Game Cube's best game. Stays very true to the original metroid we all new and loved on the original NES, but 1000X better.

Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal (PS2) - One of the biggests surprises to me was how much I loved the previous Ratchet & Clank game. Probably not in my top 10 of all time, but definitely in my top 20, and also in my top 5 of last years games. This new title was recently achived a rating of 10 (and given honor of Game of the Month) by Game Informer (which is almost never accomplished). The last installment was truly flawless, and supposedly the new one has been tweaked even more. I can't wait.

GoldenEye: Rogue Agent (Xbox, PS2, GC) - I'm just throwing this one out there cuz I guess it is supposed to be kind of a throwback to the original Goldeneye, which in my opinion, is the top 1st person shooter of all time.

Myst IV: Revelation (PC) - More of the same, which is not a bad thing. Either you like Myst or you don't. I love it, and will have hours of fun solving this latest installment.

Gran Turismo 4 (PS2) - Have you seen the screen shots for this game? Holy crap does it look real! Although I'm kind of over these realistic car racing games, I will for sure be renting this one just for the graphics. It's insane!

Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic: The Sith Lords (Xbox, PC) - Um...duh, its Star Wars. The previous game was the best RPG I've ever played, and the story actually enthralled me, and threw me for a loop at the end (Sixth Sense-style). Apparently this game will not disappoint in any feature of the previous game.

Viewtiful Joe 2 (NGC) - Never got around to playing the first one, although I did look at it in the store. I thought it looked original and fun. Every review of this game was positive, and everyone who played it, loved it. A throw-back to 2D side-scrollers (ala Super Mario Brothers) but with a 3D twist to it. I will rent it one day to see what the fuss is about.

Prince of Persia: Warrior Within (Xbox, PS2, NBC, PC) - Again, never played the original, but it got amazing reviews. It'll be a while til I get around to this one.

The Sims 2 (PC) - Yeah I know this one already came out, but I don't own it...yet. Now that I have a computer strong enough to power it, I will pick this up eventually. I'll wait for it to get a little cheaper before I let it exponentially devour hours from my free-time.

also this November: Metal of Honor & Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater

Maybe I'll actually be able to talk to you in 2006 when I'm finished with all of these. Later!

Related links:
Game Informer Magazine online - great reviews great reviews great reviews
Game Stop - buy your games here...or not.

October 20, 2004

Tiger Woods 2005

     Oh yeah. It's that time of year again. The trees change color, NBA season is upon us, major league baseball is winding down, and the annual release of "EA Sports' Tiger Woods" video game hits shelves. I picked up my copy last week (Xbox version, but available on all platforms), and let me tell you, it is easily the best TW game so far.
     The game face creator let's you create players that look almost exactly like anyone you want. You can spend hours just creating your charcter's looks....seriously, hours! Although I didn't count 'em, there's like 20 licensed courses plus a couple fantasy courses. Here's some other info bits I came up with, but to get the real scoop go to the official site. I highly recommend this game to everyone who likes gaming. It's easy to learn, but difficult to master, and there is SO MUCH TO DO! Just last night I unlocked Justin Timberlake and kicked his a**!

- Buy hundreds of each type of apparel items (shirts pants, shorts, hats, shoes, socks, etc..)
- Purchase equipment from drivers to putters to balls to type of grip - plus more!
- Customize your players reactions, swing style, and celebrations, and tantraums
- Buy and create your very own courses and personalize each hole in a variety of ways; from color (including purple and pink and blue and lots more) to fairway width, green length, bunker depth, undulation, sky color, etc. etc. ETC!!!
- Challenge many real pro-golfers and some new fictional ones
- Sign endorsements to make more money for using or wearing their equipment
- Multi-player battle golf, skill zone, scenario editor, or just a fun afternoon at Pebble Beach
- Keeps track of everything for you...birdies, eagles, money....about 50 other stats too (crazy!).
- Real time calendar of events to participate in and win special unlockables
- Unlock legends like Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, The "Shark," and many more!
- Oh yeah...and on-line play...
- Use the new Tiger vision: you can only use this 3 times per round. You can see exactly where to putt the ball to guarantee it goes in the hole the first time (this feature can be toggled off).
- Probably a lot more I'm not thinking of, but again, check out theofficial web site....or better yet, just go and buy the game now!!

October 18, 2004

So Much Blog, So Little Time

     Lots has happened since last we spoke, so I'll just cram a bunch of tid bits into one post.

     I saw "Team America: World Police" this past weekend. It was great. If you're in the silly mood, and feel like possibly being offended, check this one out. The entire cast is made up solely of marionettes, including their clearly visible strings. Watching these puppets attempt to destroy each other with various weapons and even martial arts is a sight to behold. Not to mention the gratuitous sex scene. Fantastic! Which reminds me, this movie is NOT FOR KIDS! It is rated R. Lots of swearing. Politically, it attacks both sides of the war issue. Team America "cowboys" around the world destroying everything (including half of Egypt, and most of Paris) in its path, in the name of hunting down terrorists. Meanwhile, the ultra-liberals, members of the Film Actors Guild (F.A.G.) like Alec Baldwin, Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Matt Damon, and many others are doing their best to stop Team America while unwittingly helping Kim Jong-Ill's master plan to annihilate the world. It was so refreshing to see Janeane Garofalo get her "head" blown off, or Michael Moore blown into a million pieces. Remember, these were puppets, although they added some very cheap looking gore. I highly recommend this film. It's something new with the cheap puppets, more to shock you, and all the better to make you laugh my dear.

related link:
Imdb site
Official site

What else?

     Oh yeah...The 3rd debate happened. Hooray. It was a draw. More of the same. Both candidates stated their position....again. Both told some untruths and both had...moments. Enough said.

     Which reminds me, based not necessarily on the debates, I have made my decision on who to vote for...but I'm not tellin! I'll give you a hint though: it's not Nader. As long as YOU vote on Nov 2nd...that's all I care about.

     Um, the Twins lost to the damn Yankees, but Mauer and Santana will be back next year, and we'll show them who's boss! But hey, look at the bright side, for those of you who got World Series ticks, you'll get your grand back now.

     By the way, I heard a rumor on how the new season tickets will be sold. You can now buy packs of 40 vouchers that you can use at any time and as many as you want at one time. In other words, you could buy the vouchers (which come in multiples of 40 only) then go with 39 of your friends on day 1, or you could go by yourself to any 40 games of your choosing, or you could give them away as presents or whatever. Sounds cool to me. Prices depend on which section you buy your vouchers for. Also, my sister tells me that the family section will be moving further towards right field next year. Good.

Alright. Lastly,

     My hero may have stumbled. Allegations of sexual misconduct have surfaced by a former employee of Fox News. Bill may (and probably will) beat her down, but he's going to take a hit in the ratings I think. The woman claims to have tapes, but until I hear them, I'm sticking behind my guy. The fact that she asked for $60 million in hush money shows her integrity, and possibly her sincerity, or honesty. The problem is, even if half the allegations are true (which DO NOT include anything physical), Bill just wrote a book for kids, which discusses morals regarding choices in life - drugs, parents, school, politics and yes, sex. He often lectures guests and others on morals and traditional standards, and I hope Bill is not the hypocrite that the allegations suggest. I'm not sure that I discredit the woman completely, so I hope O'Reilly has got some good lawyers. Like I said, I'm sticking by him, but it's not looking good right now, and I have removed his likeness from my desktop wallpaper at work...**sniffle**
Say it ain't so Bill!!

related links:
Bill O'Reilly officail site
Recent article regarding case.
Complete 22 page suit filed by Andrea Mackris

     In brighter news...The VIKINGS are kicking ass! Daunte is on pace to destroy the record for most TDs in a season, he just became the first QB to have 5 or more TDs in 3 consecutive game, along with setting at least 4 other club records. He's been the NFC offensive player of the week 4 times this year! He is absolutely rocking! As long as Moss can keep making those catches (he's got a pulled hammy, but he'll be back soon I'm certain), I'll lose my bet, and the Vikings will actually go far in the play-offs. I hope I lose! GO VIKES!!

later y'all!

coming soon...

reviews for:
some new music for the soul

plus movie reviews of:
"I Heart Huckabees"
"The Grudge"...great website!! Check this out!

October 06, 2004

The Empire Strikes Back

     First off, who the hell is Kubel? Where was Lew Ford? Last time I checked, he was one of our best hitters, but apparently Gardy did not feel we needed him against the tough Yankess. Maybe he has some kind of nagging injury I'm not aware of, but I don't think so.
Headline: Gardenhire Loses Game 2 for The Twins Wednesday Night. He left Joe Nathan in for one too many innings (the second longest stint in his career); and though it was plainly obvious to us at home that Nathan was tired and had had enough, Gardy left him in there anyway.
     After Torii Hunter graces us with a home run to put The Twins up on The Yankees by one in the 11th inning, we watched as Joe Nathan walked the first batter, then walked another batter on four pitches. Take him out? No, not Gardy. Give him another chance. What happens? BOOM! Ground rule double to bring in the tying run. Okay, now we'll take him out after loading the bases. Too late. Matsui hits a sharp single, and the game is over. I am mad as hell at Gardenhire, and he should take the brunt of the blame for losing this one. Now we have to win the next two at the Dome, or be forced to win a decisive game 5 back in NY should we split at home. I am pissed, and Gardy may have lost the season for The Twins!

Enough said, I am going to bed.

check out:

Bat Girl's take on the situation.
Minnesota Twinshome page for more recap and stats.