Awesome Things

Things that are awesome (some of which may have been previously mentioned here) in no particular order:

  • Sushi + beer + sake + friends = AWESOME
  • Live burlesque. Also, The Wife potentially taking burlesque classes. :D
  • Absinthe. I'm digging on Kübler, which is locally available now. Admittedly, I talk more people into not trying absinthe than I talk into trying it. It's not for everyone.
  • Rock Band. I'm pretty useless on anything except the singing, but it's more fun than Karaoke Revolution because the other people are playing along with you. Drumming is unpossible for me.
  • Tiki bars. Especially the Tiki Torch in Edgewater. I know one of the owners, so I'm psyched to give it a shot. I'll be toting The Wife and her mother down this Saturday, I believe. Daddy needs a Mai Tai with a quickness!
  • Anita O'Day. Holy crap! How have I never heard of her until now? Best thing to ever happen to me thanks to Plurk. (If you're not already a Twitter user, you might try Plurk instead.) Also loving Sarah Vaughn these days.
  • The Silent Years. The Globe comes out soon.
  • Going to the doctor to get my first physical in who knows how many years. It seems I'm doing well. (I still have to do blood work, though.)
  • Michael Phelps. Yeah... WOW.
  • The iPhone 3G. Lots of people gripe about various things, but in general I say it's damned amazing.
  • Dark Knight. Saw it on IMAX. It was pretty good.
  • Rumbi fish tacos. I'm stunned, but these are currently my favorite fish tacos.
  • Knowing one of the guys on the next season of The Ultimate Fighter.
  • Fuelly. All the cool kids are doing it.
  • Bumping into an acquaintance and having their first comment be "You look good."

And other stuff, too. That's a pretty good list for now, though.


So, the big push was a fairly resounding success (as much as these things usually are), and I'm happy and relieved. Enough about me, though, really. How have you been?

Some topics for discussion:

  1. Have you seen the Big Picture blog at It's hot -- both in the "that's sexy" way and that all the cool kids are talking about it.
  2. Speaking of cool kids, my buddy and former coworker, Rod, got all internet famous last week with his fake script for Indy 4.
  3. This is totally ghey, but skip to the 3 minute mark and it's a least a little amusing.
  4. Speaking of ... erm... Yeah. Did you guys see the Turkish wrestling spread in ESPN the Magazine? Yeah, neither did I. I hear it's totally macho, though.
  5. More macho is Sasuke -- or as it's called on the G4 network, Ninja Warrior. Holy crap that show is awesome! Makoto Nagano is my hero.
  6. I like plurk a lot. The Interface is light years ahead of Twitter. And if you're into either of those jammies, check out -- right this second "letmeping" should work as a beta code.

Other stuff of note:

  • My darling Ma has teamed up with some cohorts to start a giant dog rescue. We're talking Danes, Newfies, Mastiffs, Wolfies, and so on. Wow.
  • Think I'm gonna ride the motorcycle into work a least a couple days this week. Turn the stress dial back a couple clicks.
  • Oh, I am so getting an iPhone 3G in July. OMG!

G'night, kids.

Long Weekends Should Be Longer

Not that I'm greedy or anything. It just that I once again managed to let a holiday weekend slip by without doing anything worth mentioning. I got back on the exercise horse with short, awful runs on Saturday and Monday and Bowflex action on Sunday, but so what? I dipped to a new low weight for this weight loss effort, too, but bounced back up a pound or so.

My mother had a nice deck party on her brand new deck on Saturday -- that was pretty much the highlight of the weekend. She and her cohorts are now talking about starting a rescue not just for Danes but for all sorts of giant dogs. (I figure that'll make Miracle Ed smile.)

After Ma's I went to check in on my friend David's birthday party, but apparently it had just broken up after BJ Penn beat up Sean Sherk. Since the party (and DJ) were winding down, Erik and I went to his house to throw darts and play a little ping-pong. Yep. We're wild.

Sunday was a failure, as I decided not to ride my motorcycle figuring I would do that on Monday. Well, Monday turned out rainy, so no Bonneville time for me. This bummed me out since Erik had come over last week to help me get the Bonnie running well after a long bit of garage rest.

So it goes, eh?

A couple media notes:

  1. Don't waste your time with Revolver. Gah.
  2. Sweeney Todd, by contrast was good times. On Helena Bonham Carter -- Me: "I wonder what she's like day to day... You never hear much gossip." Wife: "Yeah, I don't know. I was just thinking she's got to be the oldest goth chick around." Me: "Still totally hot, though." Wife: "Well, yeah."
  3. Also, if you're cooler than me (by which, in this case, I mean you own a Blu-ray player), you might be interested in Amazon's Blu-ray sale.

Ring Of Fire 31: Undisputed

We went to another live Ring of Fire mixed martial arts event at the Broomfield Event Center last night. Here are a few notes:

  • We were part of the posse for the wife of the main event title holder, Eliot "The Fire" Marshall, by way of a friend-of-a-friend relationship. This turned out to be both awesome and stressful. Can't beat the seats.
  • Bossman and I made $1 bets on each bout with the loser picking the next fight. I lost $4-5. :(
  • There were three female fights on this card. They were scrappers, too. I think the "Karate Hottie" should have to change her name since she lost.
  • Most of the fights didn't make it past the first round. One that went the full distance ended up 29-27, 27-29, 28-28. In Colorado, though, the 28-28 judge has to actually pick a winner... Weird.
  • I'm still tickled that Brothers BBQ caters the "VIP" tables. They also do a pork sandwich toss (in which the ring sluts and some Brothers folks literally throw pork sandwiches in paper bags into the audience). Awesome.

So the main event was the main reason we were there. Bossman's wife works with Eliot's wife, so we all turned out to support him. He had looked really good the first time we'd seen him in one of these ROF events, so we weren't too worried event though the competition, Rob "Maximus" MacDonald was definitely a step up for him. The rest of the people in the "Fire" posse were great folks, too, it should be said. It really was a nice night out except for the idea of the nice lady down the row from you, whom you've just met, watching her husband getting beat up in the cage.

Which is unfortunately what happened. When MacDonald came into the cage I noticed that his shorts were branded with the Gym Jones logo. I immediately leaned over to The Wife and Bossman to whisper "Oh shit... Gym Jones is super badass." This proved to be prophetic as MacDonald tied Eliot up at will and slammed him to the mat like a rag doll over and over. After round one, Bossman's wife asked me "What's your take?" to which I arched my brows and said flat out "Really bad for Eliot!" It got to be hard to watch. The dude just seemed so much stronger than Eliot.

The commentary on the Gym Jones site sums it up well:

Rob won (referee stoppage in the second round). He was fierce, and shockingly strong; able to take Marshall down seemingly at will. Eliot showed great class and respect both before and after the fight. It was a privilege to see them do battle.

The fight was stopped in the second as MacDonald had Eliot mounted and was pounding him with a full-bore ground & pound. Eliot's wife didn't react well, needless to say (though it probably wasn't what you're thinking). When I got the chance to talk to him at the Foundry afterwards, Eliot admitted that his head just wasn't in it. I realize that you'll have that in this kind of game, but I do wonder how big of a set-back this will prove. He was the ROF light heavyweight champion and seemingly on his way up to the next level -- and certainly a great guy, but he failed at his first defense of the title... I'm curious what will be next for him.

A Burning Ring of Fire

This past Saturday, I had the pleasure of taking in the Ring of Fire 29: Aftershock mixed martial arts fighting event at the Broomfield Events Center. As I mentioned before, this followed after taking my company founder (I'm not supposed to treat him like "the boss"...) out to roller derby last month. As it turns out, his wife is friends with the wife of the local fighter who was the main event of the night. This fact would turn out add both interest and stress to the night for her. I don't have the wherewithal to run down all of my observations from the night, but the fights leading up to the two big fights were enjoyable. The results are available for those who care. A few highlights:

  • There was one premature stoppage. Dude got clocked but was defending himself "intelligently" by the time he landed on his back.
  • One of the referees looked like The Wife's brother in a couple decades. No worries, he was a handsome devil.
  • The crowd was... Wow. Now that I think about it, it should have been what I expected.

Which brings me to the two big fights of the night, both in the 205lb weight class.

First we had Big Mike Nickels the Denver-based tattoo shop owner who had a short stint on the Spike "reality" show, The Ultimate Fighter. He was fighting a guy named Carpaccio (yeah, that's what we thought) who is Army Airborne. Seven second knockout by Big Mike. Wow. Afterwards, they gave the mic to Carpaccio, who is a great guy, obviously. He apologized for not putting on a better show and then proceeded to tell us that he's shipping out to Iraq, like immediately and asked that "even if you don't support the war, please support your troops". This generated a lot of "Awww, bummer." and even more patriotic applause.

Then Nickels got on the mic... He started off well, letting us know that his next fight may be against Stefan Bonner in the UFC. Then he went completely off track. He was trying to say something nice about his opponent, but it came out as something like "I don't believe in murdering women and babies" at which point the ring announcer snatched the microphone and said "LET'S HEAR IT FOR OUR TROOPS!"


Then of course, he got accosted by the two supposed Marines sitting in front of us. (I say "supposed" because they looked like overweight frat boys, not the type of Marine I know.) It was good drama, if you're into that sort of thing. I just hope Dana White doesn't pull the plug on his big fight because he decides he doesn't want any anti-war hippies in his league...

Then we had the main even, featuring the afore-mentioned friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend, Eliot "Fire" Marshall. His opposition had such a classic "heel" entrance I had to laugh. Hailing from Las Vegas, Marcus Sursa came out strutting and posing and tossing autographed play money and photos into the crowd. Fantastic. Everyone hated him instantly. The fight itself was good. Marcus made a strong go at it at first, applying good pressure with his striking game, but he just couldn't hang with Eliot on the ground. Eliot finished him off with one of many chokes in the second round of what I would consider a fun fight. Eliot's wife and the boss's wife didn't seem to have a whole lot of fun, however.

Fighting sports might not be the best thing for family participation...

Prairie Doggin'

There's plenty going on these days, but that's all I can think of to share at the moment.

Joe Mesi Sneaks in the Front Door

Judge allows Mesi to return to the ring

Heavyweight Joe Mesi, sidelined since suffering bleeding on the brain after a 2004 bout, won a chance Monday to return to the ring when a state judge ruled his medical suspension expired when his Nevada boxing licence expired.

Wha-huh?! I have stated previously that I had high hopes for Joe Mesi and that I wished he'd be healthy enough to return to boxing, but getting to come back by way of a loophole the size of a Mack truck... Well... I just hope his brain holds up is all I'm going to say.

The Resurgence of Chuck

Chuck Norris. I'm sure many of you figured he had faded into a halcyon semi-retirement of Total Gym hucksterism, anti-drug campaigning, and... um... praying after the demise of his Walker, Texas Ranger series. I'm doubly sure you all had figured Chuck had strayed far, far away from his Lone Wolf McQuade martial arts badassedness of yore.

Well, I'm here to set you straight, boys and girls.

Chuck Norris' return to glory was first hinted at when he became the subject of one of the most entertaining internet memes of the past ten minutes:

To prove it isn't that big of a deal to beat cancer. Chuck Norris smoked 15 cartons of cigarettes a day for 2 years and aquired 7 different kinds of cancer only to rid them from his body by flexing for 30 minutes. Beat that, Lance Armstrong.

That was just the beginning, though. Now it has come to light that Chuck Norris is the driving force behind an all new form of ass kicking for entertainment known as the World Combat League:

There is currently no full-contact martial arts team sport in the United States. The WCL will be the only venue to offer the public full-contact martial arts fighting. There is literally no competition for the services and products the WCL will offer to the public. There is a huge demand for martial arts in the United states and the WCL will be the first sports league to offer the excitement and unpredictability of full-contact martial arts fighting.

Sure, Chuck is only a "suit" at the top of the WCL ladder. And yeah, it looks like the fighting is just glorified kick boxing -- hands and feet only (stick to the UFC if you enjoy elbows, Muy Thai knees, and grappling). But they have women on the teams (WCL is a "team sport"... kind of like Davis Cup tennis...?), and the whole contest is supposedly set up to encourage action. In fact, there are penalties for being too passive or stalling.

Might be worth checking out.

One is only left to wonder if all of this is happening because of the fact that Chuck Norris is Dubya's favoritest actor in, like, ever!

Return of "The Contender"

"The Contender" to begin second season on ESPN

"The Contender" is an unscripted drama about the lives of 16 professional boxers as they compete for the chance to change their lives. The show will air as part of ESPN Original Entertainment (EOE) programming and be executive produced by "Survivor" creator Mark Burnett, Jeffrey Katzenberg and Sylvester Stallone. Casting and production on the series, which will air in primetime beginning April 2006, will begin immediately.

Ecellent! I really enjoyed the first season — much more than I expected, in fact — so I'm happy to hear it will be coming back. As an added plus, I'll probably be able to TiVo the show in the middle of the night, since ESPN tends to show everything half a dozen times.

Links on Parade

  • Endangered Condors Soar Over Grand Canyon

    On some days, as many as 25 to 30 condors soar over the canyon area — more birds than were in existence a generation ago when officials decided to capture and breed them.

  • Agent: We'll see what options are out there

    Peter Forsberg wants to return to the Colorado Avalanche if a proposed salary cap doesn't make him too expensive for the club, his agent says.

    Well, it's been nice having him around...

  • In three fights recently, boxers have just quit. Is this a trend? Is it a self-preservation thing? Might be smart in the long run, though I really question Kostya Tszyu's choice in particular.
  • I don't care how much you love animals, don't go out in the highway!

    An Illinois woman who stopped to help a family of ducks cross Interstate 90/39 on Wednesday morning ended up in the hospital after she was hit by a car and thrown 60 feet.

  • German police can't catch record-breaking speeder

    A motorcyclist captured on film by German police racing at 251 km per hour (155 mph) on a road near Berlin has set a new unofficial national record for speeding, Bild newspaper reported on Monday.

    He'd better watch out for ducks at that speed!

  • Naked Bike Ride shocks London — Warning: British body parts in full view. ;) See also (if you dare!)
  • So the Senate can't manage to pass a bill outlawing lynching, but they can probably agree to apologize for that fact...?!
  • Smooth move: If you're the President of a nation, it's best not to publish your cell phone number. Jackass.

The Ultimate Fighter Finale

First let me say I was never a big fan of mixed martial arts fighting. I've loved boxing since I was tiny, watching Sugar Ray and Marvelous Marvin pound each other with Howard Cossell going nuts down by the apron. I've also been a long-time martial arts fan – I got a black belt in Karate when I was a kid in Tennessee. Even taking all that into account, when MMA and Ultimate Fighting first came on the scene, it seemed like little more than barroom cage fights, and I carried that opinion with me until very recently. The change was precipitated by The Ultimate Fighter on Spike. Don't get me wrong, this isn't great television. In fact, I usually describe it as "The Real World, except people settle their drama by punching each other in the face." Nevertheless, I got sucked into the show and developed affinity for some fighters and dislike for others. At that point it's a lot like professional wrestling: it's a lot easier to get into when there's a baby face fighting a heel.

Tonight was the big climax of the series' first season. Two finalists from each of the two weight classes on the show would fight for "six-figure contracts" with the UFC. After that, a UFC legend would take on a young rising star to cap off a triple-header for the first live UFC broadcast on cable television. The Spike production did a great job of building excitement for the show, I have to admit.

The first bout featured New Mexico's Diego Sanchez taking on Boston's Kenny Florian in a middleweight bout. Kenny belongs in a lower weight class and it showed. The fight started with the two men circling the octagon, very tentative. This went on long enough for the crowd to start booing. Once they eventually met, though Diego was too big, too powerful, and too mean for Kenny to handle. Diego effectively illustrated the technique referred to as "Ground & Pound" as he mounted Florian and pounded his head until they stopped the fight. Best moment of this fight: Sanchez's girlfriend in the crowd yelling "Fuck him up!" as Diego went to town on Kenny's face.

The second fight, a light-heavyweight contest between Georgian funny guy Forrest Griffin and Chicago's "American Psycho" Stephan Bonnar was a completely different story. These fellows came out swinging for the fences and never stopped. Both fighters got their bells rung several times, but they just kept swinging. I gave teh first round to Forrest based on his solid jab and right hook landing several times each, though Bonnar came on strong later in the round. The second round went to Stephan on my card. He had the advantage in the striking while Griffin had a slight edge in the grappling. My first note for the third round: "HOLY SHIT!" Both men took a pounding, with Griffin scoring more points early until Bonnar got his rythm and started countering well. Throughout the fight, Forrest faired better when they were in the Muy Thai clench. He scored a lot with his knees then. I gave the third to Forrest, but just barely. The judges gave the win to Griffin, too, but the UFC made an incredibly classy move by giving both fighters contracts. This was one of the most exciting fights of any kind I've seen in a long, long time.

The "real" fight was a bit of an anti-climax, with relative newcomer Rich Franklin taking out legend Ken Shamrock in short order after Shamrock slipped trying to kick Franklin in the head. Both fighters were very classy afterwards, though.

So, I guess I'm a fan of the UFC now. (I refuse to buy fights on PPV, though, so I doubt I'll become much of a follower. Oh, well.) I certainly look forward to the next season of The Ultimate Fighter.

I enjoyed this stuff so much, I've renamed my "Boxeo" category to a more general "Fight! Fight!"

The Great White Hope

Mesi to Submit Further Medical Tests; Hearing on Hold

Mesi (29-0) was the WBC's top-ranked contender before falling out of the ratings entirely in October. The suburban Buffalo native has been suspended indefinitely, pending a review of his medical records, since winning a unanimous decision over Vassiliy Jirov in Las Vegas last March.

Mesi hung on for the win, knocked down three times in the final two rounds, and sustained a subdural hematoma - bleeding on the brain.

I enjoyed the one Mesi fight I've seen (don't remember if it was the Jirov contest, but you'd assume so). He's the first heavyweight in a while to really pique my interest.

Ooh! Regarding the title, Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson is a fantastic show.