Tuesday, June 30, 2009


If you want something from me, ask.

If you've got a business proposition, lay it all out up front.

Cryptic bullshit and trying to keep your motives and the full scoop a secret only leads to me thinking you're being a totally ungrateful asshole that I want to have nothing to do with.

Now you know...

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Monday, June 29, 2009

If My Math is Correct, We're At ...

This is why I didn't post 10 Things yesterday. Well, this and general laziness that had me more interested in laying on the couch with my dog.

500 posts...

Honestly, if you told me when I started this thing that I would keep churning it out and get to 500 posts, I wouldn't have believed you. There was a point a few months back where I was writing here once or twice a week and now it's an almost everyday thing again and we're at #500.

To the 37 of you who religiously read iBlog - Thank You.

Most people would take their ball and go home if they were averaging 37 views a day for almost two years, but that 37 of you take the time each day to read my yammerings makes me sit back in this chair and write each day. That and I like laughing at my own jokes and ridiculousness.

As a special 500th Post treat, I'm going to let you in on a little something. It's called E. Spencer Kyte, Freelance Writer and can be found at http://espencerkyte.com.

My man Newt has been working on it for me for a while and though it isn't complete, I'm really proud of the way it looks and knowing that in the near future (hopefully), I'll be able to rollout a one-stop shop for all things me.

The plan is to house both the blogs there (how's that coming BTW, Newt?) and have updates of where I'm writing and what's going on in one location, so you don't have to go to each site, then check the Facebook Fan Page and so on and so on to know what's going on.

As always, I love feedback. Lemme know what you think of the site so far...

And thanks again for reading iBlog... all 37 of you!

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Saturday, June 27, 2009

She Wouldn't Be Alone Now

I remember when this really was an accurate representation.

Now, at least 50% of that graduating class would have more than their legs dangling for all to see and it's amazing -slash - ridiculous to me.

Let me clarify my use of the word amazing. I don't mean amazing in a "hell yeah, look at all these sluts! I love sluts!" kind of way. More of a "where in the fuck did all these sluts come from?" fashion.

When I was growing up, my elementary school had exactly one slut. Her name was Tamara. Back then, the definition of slut meant she let you touch her boobs and slide your hand inside her Levis if you were lucky. (Note: I didn't even try to be lucky back then...)

High school wasn't much different either and not just because I was sitting far, far away from the cool kids. There were ninja sluts - girls who only operated as sluts in the shadows, appearing "normal" on the outside - but the number of overt skanks was far less numerous than it is today.

You can't drive down the street without potentially running over at least four or five skanks every per block!

Seriously... where did they all come from?

Did some law get passed that made it illegal to not have your tits hanging out at every possible moment and the only pants females under the age of 25 are allowed to wear are either (1) black stretchy pants or (B) jeans that are just a little small so your underwear and/or ass hangs out for all to see every single time you bend down to get something?

Who's going to buy the cow when they get the milk for free 397 times a day?

And for all those people who are now going to bitch about my making sweeping generalizations and dressing a certain way doesn't mean anything, you like to look nice, blah blah blah blah blah, I say this:

If it looks like a slut, walks like a slut and is surrounded by several other slut-like creatures, chances are she's going to be sucking dick way earlier than her parents would like too...

While it certainly doesn't just stay in the land of the ladies - there are males sluts too; I was once one of them - there are a couple key distinctions that need to be made for all the "this is such a double standard" believers out there:

1) Yes, it's a double standard. Sluts versus Studs. Been that way for a while. Deal with it already.

2) D'you know what happens to guys walking around showing off more skin than is covered up? They get mercilessly ridiculed by every other man on the face of the Earth until they put on more clothes. Why do you think guys who wear Speedos tend to hang out with other guys who wear Speedos? They're the only idiots who think they look good...

3) Conversely, a girl walking around with more flesh than fabric is not only the target of catty comments from skanks and non-skanks alike, but she also draws the attention of Pervy Perverson, the 46-year-old guy who can't look her in the eyes when she's interacting with him at work. Or worse...

And don't even get me started on the Internet. Everyone with a webcam and a heartbeat has some skanked up picture(s) of themselves and the number of "adult dating services" or "chatrooms" combine to outnumber the remaining websites in existence.

Someone needs to do a study on this and figure out where all these sluts came from.

Or at least get them to cover up every once in a while.

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Friday, June 26, 2009

Soundtrack of My Life

Song: Billie Jean
Artist: Michael Jackson
Album: Thriller (1982)

We lost a truly gifted and troubled soul yesterday with the passing of Michael Jackson.

While his life during the last 15 years had become a media spectacle and littered with allegations and inappropriate actions, there is no denying that at his peak, Michael Jackson was without question the greatest entertainer on the planet.

Thriller is still the greatest album ever made and while I single out Billie Jean, there are four or five other tracks on this record that could have easily made the cut.

The title track changed the way people looked at music videos, becoming the first mini-movie and introducing a zombie-filled, highly-choreographed dance routine into the minds of millions.

Beat It ... enough said. Say, Say, Say with Paul McCartney, Pretty Young Thing, Human Nature, You Wanna Be Startin' Something... just awesome.

For all the jokes that have and will be made about him, it's pretty clear that there was something seriously wrong with Michael Jackson, probably in more ways than one and that is a shame.

The man had more musical talent than all the little pop sluts running around today combined and his loss needs to me treated as such - a loss, not the punchline to a string of bad jokes.

Rest in Peace, Michael.

You are and always will be The King of Pop.

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Thursday, June 25, 2009

If You Can't Beat'em...

Join'em and that's exactly what I've done in setting myself up at Bleacher Report.

Let the Shameless Self-Promotion Tour continue!

Bleacher Report is much like all the other places I'm currently plying my trade, except with one great advantage: a bunch of the stuff that gets written over there finds a way onto major sports sites like ESPN, Sports Illustrated and the like and that's the kind of exposure a promising but unknown Mixed Martial Arts writer like myself needs.

I started thinking about taking this step last week when I read a couple pieces over at SI that had been penned at Bleacher Report and contained factual and grammatical errors. While we're all prone to a mistake here and there, it pains me to see people with incorrect information getting published on SI while I research the hell out of some stuff and manage 47 hits.

I'm not even kidding - it drives me insane. I know part of that is my ridiculously inflated sense of self, but it's not called the Shameless Self-Promotion Tour without good reason.

Then earlier today I was chatting with a guy on Facebook about various things MMA. He said he liked my post on Thiago Alves being Georges St-Pierre's toughest test to date and I mentioned the other places I write and told him to check them out.

He said he wrote for Bleacher Report.

A load of other people write MMA for Bleacher Report and seem to get far more readers than little old me, a guy who fancies himself a writer by trade. Seriously, the leading MMA writer is a Registered Nurse. I gots to be able to drum up some attention and followers if an RN is leading the way...

So I joined and will be posting there with reckless abandon moving forward. And by reckless abandon, I mean copying everything I write at Keyboard Kimura onto Bleacher Report.

What? You thought I was going to write new stuff and spend even more time on this bloody computer?

Like Scrooge McDuck always said, "You've got to work smarter, not harder!"

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Dishonor Roll: Hansbrough Haters

Admittedly, when it comes to NCAA basketball, I bleed Tar Heel blue, which means people are sure to call "homer" on this post.

Let them boo and hiss; Tyler Hansbrough is going to be a pretty damn good NBA player and all the doubters need to look beyond the color of his skin and see that.

What? Did I say something wrong? That is why so many people are down on him heading into tonight's NBA Draft right? Because he's white...

No one will come right out and say it; they'll use phrases like "limited upside" and "grittiness," talk about his "determination" and how "hardworking" he is as a player. Players who are far less accomplished in the collegiate ranks will earn praises for what they might develop into and the athleticism they bring to the table, despite having done nothing remotely close to what Hansbrough has done over his four years at North Carolina.

Leadership, integrity and an easily identified passion for the game seemingly don't translate to being highly-regarded the same way that being the second or third best player on your team does, like Arizona's Jordan Hill or Wake Forest's James Johnson.

Experts will point to the difficult transition to the NBA game for fellow "Great White Hopes" Adam Morrisson and JJ Redick, two NCAA poster boys who have fallen on hard-ish times as members of The Association. The problem, of course, is that the comparision is far from apt. Just because all three are white doesn't mean the other two are the best measures of Tyler Hansbrough's ability going forward.

Why not line Hansbrough up next to fellow Tar Heel alum Antawn Jamison? Both are 6'9" and both dominated in the paint and on the glass while extending their game beyond the key each year they put on the UNC uniform. Wouldn't that be a more viable comparison?

After all, both won Naismith and Wooden Awards, and had outstanding career averages, Jamison going for 19 and 10 to Hansbrough's 20 and 9. Much like Jamison, Hansbrough's jersey will soon swing from the rafters at The Dean Dome, right next to the National Championship banner he helped win this past season.

Or what about another fellow Tar Heel, Sean May? Like Hansbrough, May helped hang a National Championship banner in the rafters leading into his draft year. Unlike Hansbrough, May couldn't operate a lick outside of the key and played on a pair of balky knees. The result? 13th overall and the bulk of his career riding the pine in Charlotte, injured or out of shape.

But wait - Hansbrough's white, so we have to compare him to white players only, right?

Ike Diogu was a Top 10 pick. Sheldon Williams went Top 5, though admittedly it was the Atlanta Hawks who took him, so we all know it was a little crazy, but still. Dammit, Drew Gooden went 3rd overall. Drew Gooden!

The difference? Skin color. That's all it really is. Guys like Hansbrough get labeled as hard-working and playing above their true potential because he's white and can't jump out of the gym, while far less accomplished and decorated players who didn't perform nearly as well in college are viewed as projects and seen for what they might be able to do in the future.

Experts project Hansbrough as an "energy guy off the bench" and someone who will give a team "good minutes in reserve." I project him to make a lot of teams wish they had reconsidered their "projects" and guys with "outstanding upside" when they could have taken the kid who won everything in college.

But what can you do? JJ Redick was considered too small and a defensive liability coming out of college, despite an ultra-fast release and storied career at Duke. Stephen Curry? He's going to be a star, even though he's an inch shorter and played against far lesser competition...

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Rundown: While I Wait

I actually did it.

Yesterday afternoon, I sat at this computer and sent off 13 query emails to literary agencies to see if they were interested in being interested in my book. Now, I wait.

If you know me at all, you know that patience isn't one of my virtues. In fact, I think I've written about my ridiculous lack of said virtue here before. That means this next six to eight week stretch is going to be awful trying and I apologize to Sarah in advance for being a neurotic jackass who checks his email 497 additional times a day (for a grand total of 872) just in case someone got back to me.

Clearly, I'm going to need things to occupy my time. I'll run them down after the jump...

Top 5 Distractions to Keep Me From Checking My Email

5. Freecell
I've actually started with this one and have racked up 10 consecutive wins - without "undoing" a bunch of shitty moves to help myself either. I can usually get through four or five games before I am bored and itching to check Hotmail, so this one will be the early morning / late at night distraction.

4. Work
I never thought I would say this, but thankfully I have to be at Kelsey's a great deal over the next month. If I'm there than I can't be here checking my email. Of course, I have my phone synced up to my email account and I can certainly check it there, but hopefully I'll be too busy to remember.

3. Luke
The little tyrant is going to be getting walked and wrestled with more than he had ever imagined in the next couple weeks. A trip out with Cool Hand Luke can last 30 minutes easy and far more if we go for an "off the leash" trek somewhere, while "The Bite Game" is another solid 15 minutes of pre-occupation for the both of us. Any time I'm not in this chair is time I'm not checking my Inbox.

2. Writing
I know - if I'm writing, I'm sitting at the computer and that is like leaving a case of beer in front of an alcoholic. I get that, but I also know that a lot of the time when I sit down to write, I lose myself in what I am doing and nothing else matters. Besides, the more time I spend writing, the more months I can knock off the "Completed manuscript can be submitted within..." section of the proposal and something tells me a quick turnaround will help sell this book.

1. Reading
I can't believe I haven't read a single book since we've been back from the Dominican. Not one. Granted, the only bookstore around seems to carry absolutely nothing of value or interest and I doubt the Kimberley library is packed with titles I'm looking for, but still. I gotta get my hands on Forrest Griffin's Got Fight? and go from there. Anyone interested in helping preserve my sanity who would like to ship it to me, drop me a line and I'll get you the address.

Continue reading ...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I'd Say That Sums Me Up Nicely

Last night, Sarah had to go into work for a CPR course and on the way home, she stopped and picked up the copies of my book proposal that I had done at Staples.

While she was gone, I scoured the Internet looking for literary agents from all across North America who are accepting new authors in my particular genre - humor and relationship non-fiction.

I found a bunch and they are all getting submissions however they have specified later today. There also happened to be one agency who has their submission query built into an online form, so I went ahead and filled it out.

Here is where the picture that leads off this post comes into play.

I only know one way to be when it comes to my work and that is obnoxiously confident, probably verging on annoyingly cocky. This is just how I am when it comes to the things I do; I know I do them exceptionally well and I'm not going to tone myself down when promoting myself and my work.

That doesn't sit well with Sarah.

When I told her that I mentioned on this online submission query that my book is the type of book Oprah, Matt Lauer and the women from The View would love to have me on to discuss and used the "Do you have any questions about this form or process?" section to ask,"Didn't you wish there was someone there warning you about all the annoyances you were going to have to deal with, like family members with 102 ridiculous requests and rogue travel agents who ignored most of what you asked them to do?" she wasn't very impressed. Of course, I thought it was awesome...

Her exact quote was, "You need some of my self-doubt and I need some of your cockiness." While I agree that my wife needs some of elevated levels of self-confidence I have, there is no way in hell that I want to start being one of those people who doubts myself.

Does my over-confidence rub some people the wrong way? Probably, but this is me and it's not going to change. I know this project is outstanding and one that will appeal to a wide range of people. At no time will I lessen my enthusiasm and confidence in the words I have written and the vision that I have for this book to make someone a little more comfortable.

To quote Justin Timberlake - yes, I'm quoting Justin Timberlake - "I know that sounds cocky, but is it really cocky if you know that it's true?"

Answer: No.

I take what I do very seriously, even the silly things I do here from time to time, and being insanely confident about what I do is part of the package. Just because I haven't achieved worldwide acclaim as of yet doesn't mean I shouldn't believe it's possible...

I need to believe in my work and my skills to the point of being cocky because no one else will.

Now somebody get on eBay and find me that belt buckle!

Continue reading ...

Monday, June 22, 2009

Something More Important

Yesterday afternoon, I had this post already written in my head.

Today was going to be a monster bash Brett Favre session, seeing as the twice-retired former great has decided once again that those earlier thoughts on retirement were premature and has inked a new deal with the Minnesota Vikings. Favre will have to wait until tomorrow, if at all. There is something way more important I need to talk to you about.

As some of you know, I'm a Facebook addict, spending somewhere in the neighbourhood of an hour a day on the social networking megasite. That doesn't sound like much, but think about how quickly you're in and out of Facebook these days...

Anyway, I was on for the umpteenth time last night and saw a status update from an acquaintance named Alyson Woloshyn mentioning she had her blog officially up and running. Being (a) a bit of a Facebook stalker and (b) interested to see what people I know are writing about, I checked it out and now I am encouraging you to do the same.

Alyson is chronicling her journey to being a cancer survivor, having had a 6.5 cm tumor removed from her brain not two months ago. I know - crazy right? Imagine thinking you're going to read about an old friend's travels and everyday life and getting that bit of knowledge...

One of the other things I discovered is that Aly was looking and still is looking for help. While she's in Calgary and that means I can't help with the shuttle service, she needed an Editor for her blog - someone to play Grammar Police - and I've gotten the nod.

What I need all of you to do is be sure to check out her blog - alysonwoloshyn.com - and join the Facebook group The Spectacular Comeback of AW in support of Alyson's journey.

Aly made a huge impact on my life back when I had no idea who I was or what I wanted to be. She helped me discover that the "Life" part of "Student Life" in university is equally important, if not more so from time to time. Of course, I took it to great excess far too often, but still.

Through various involvements with Alyson like planning a couple Frosh Weeks and the UW Superfans, I was able to figure out who I was and what my purpose during those years was and it was only yesterday, after years without much more than a quick wall post on a birthday, that I finally got around to telling her that.

So now she could use my help and I'm certainly going to be there. I really hope you will be too.

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Sunday, June 21, 2009

10 Things I Learned This Week

1. No Point in Complaining
I bitch about a lot of things. I bitch about work, I bitch about the shitty job other people do at work and I bitch about just about anything that makes me mad on a given day. I've come to realize that there is absolutely no point. Nothing changes - work is still just okay, nobody makes the slackers work any harder and the rest of the headaches and frustrations aren't going to change because I want them to. So from here on out, Spencer Kyte is now 50% less bitchy!

2. Off to Staples We Go
The weekly groceries run into Cranbrook will have an additional stop on the itinerary today. I need to hit Staples and get them to print several copies of my book proposal. Yes, I'm done and moving to the next step. I can't actually tell you how nervous -slash - excited this makes me. Think positive thoughts.

3. Clay Guida is My New Favorite Fighter
First, he took a massive headkick and pretty much bounced right back up. Then, he took some nasty elbows while in Diego Sanchez' guard and stayed there. At the end of the fight, dude was bouncing around like he could go two more rounds (which would have been awesome). Add the crazy caveman hair and you have one fun fighter to watch, win or lose.

4. Kobe > Shaq
Yeah, I said it and I challenge anyone who disagrees to a debate on the subject in the comments section. Shaq hasn't won anything without a strong #2; he had Kobe riding shotgun in the City of Angels and Flash leading the way in Miaimi. While Pau Gasol is nice, Kobe did most of this on his own and that puts him ahead of the big fella. One last thing: Kobe is one of the Top 5 ever. EVER.

5. Mainstream Sports Media is Ridiculous
I know you can't always be talking about the tough stuff, but how so much time can be spent discussing steroids in baseball and the US Open while the Donte Stallworth situation got one day of play is beyond me. Yes, we need diversions in life and sports certainly provides that break from the bad, but if you'll talk about Sammy Sosa testing positive six years ago for an entire week, why not address something that actually matters for more than 10 minutes?

6. You Need to See Taken
Watched this during the week with the wife and man was it awesome. All kinds of good here. I loved that Liam Neeson was the lead and not some hulked up, macho doofus and I loved that everything that his character did exactly what you would have expected him to do, right down to... I won't spoil it for you, but lemme just say that it was nice to see a movie that stayed true to the way things would actually go from start to finish.

7. Some People are Awful Defensive
Earlier in the week, I left a message on a friend's Facebook wall reminding her that in comparison to Toronto, Kimberley sucks. A couple of my bosses at work took exception to that and busted my balls about it the next time they saw me, with one telling me to move already if I hate it so much. Scenery and nature are great, but the fact that my shopping choices are WalMart or Superstore is all I need to say. I never thought the day would come when I was dying to go to Old Navy and American Eagle!

8. A Lot of Adult Dating Sites are Twittering!
As I've mentioned before, I tweet and each time I sign on, I check to see who is following me. Generally speaking, if you're following me, I'll follow you, simple as that. The exception to that rule are the countless Adult Dating Sites that pop up in my list for a couple days before the Twitter Police remove their accounts. Nothing like being excited to have another person follow my work only to find out it's some Spam-alicious "find a friend in your town tonight" site...

9. Gotta Love Mothers...
I was talking to mine yesterday and mentioned that I once again have a mohawk. Not a ultra-big, dyed pink, punk rock rules mohawk, more of a faux-hawk really, as I still have hair on both sides and it's maybe an inch when spiked. Anyway, as soon as the words came out of my mouth it was like I was 14 again. "Spencer, what are you doing? Why would you do something like that?" and on and on about making smart choices and all the things parents tell their kids... when they're actually children. That being said, I wouldn't change her for the world!

10. This is Getting Harder and Harder Each Week
Honestly, I don't know if I learn 10 things that are worth writing about every week. Maybe we'll cut it down to seven starting next week... or five... or just do something else entirely... have to see.

Continue reading ...

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Stunts Make Us Look All Look Stupid

Pictured is Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos, one of the Top 3 female Mixed Martial Artists in the world and one dangerous lady. Earlier this week, a clip made it's way around the Internet of Cyborg choking out a male MMA reporter.

In flicking through ESPN earlier today, I came across the clip again, as the reporter was on one of the talk shows on the world wide leader and I was disappointed to hear him say that it was an organized thing meant to draw attention to Cyborg and the sport itself from the mainstream media.

Don't get me wrong: I'm not dumb enough to believe that Cyborg just randomly decided to choke this dude out or that the whole thing wasn't very heavily supervised by medical staff. That part I was clear on.

What I fail to understand is why guys like this still think we need to make some big spectacle sideshow out of Mixed Martial Arts in the first place?

In case you hadn't been paying attention, seven of the ten highest grossing Pay-Per-View events of the year last year where MMA cards. Dana White is a household name, as too are Chuck Liddell, Brock Lesnar and Randy Couture, with Georges St-Pierre added to that list north of the border.

UFC Undisputed is one of the most well-reviewed video games of the year and not just by fight fans and there are more and more people each day walking around sporting fight-inspired clothing lines. Don't believe me? I had a golfer in his mid-40s come into the bar for lunch yesterday with a Triumph United hat and shirt in his hands. Unfortunately, he wouldn't sell them to me...

This is the fastest growing sport in the world with stars emerging from all over the world and gyms opening up in every city imaginable, except Cranbrook, BC of course. There are thousands of MMA blogs and fan sites.

ESPN, Sports Illustrated, Yahoo and AOL all have their own team of MMA writers and experts, while the print media beginning to catch up.

You don't need to force-feed the sport to anyone or do something that has been done before (see Dewey from Yardbarker getting choked out by Frank Shamrock) to bring attention to the sport or Cyborg.

Anyone who cares about the sport knows who she is and those who don't care don't want to know. Having her choke you out only adds to the moronic assumptions people have about the violence and danger of the sport or did you not listen to the lead in the ESPN guy gave your clip?

If we want the mainstream media to pay attention to Mixed Martial Arts - and we do, of course - than the best way to do that is to showcase the brilliance of the sport in every aspect. Write great articles, conduct killer interviews, showcase the best and brightest fighters and with the number of people who follow the sport continuing to grow exponentially, eventually they won't have a choice.

Instead of running off and getting yourself choked out to get 15 minutes of fame, you could have done an in-depth interview with one of the best in the business leading up to one of the biggest and most influential fights in the history of the sport.

But you wanted to be on TV and had to pull some silly stunt.

Patience, young Jedi... we'll make it there on own soon enough and we won't need to get choked out to do it.

Here's the entire piece for your viewing enjoyment... thanks ESPN.

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Friday, June 19, 2009

Soundtrack of My Life

Song: Grindin'
Artist: Clipse
Album: Lord Willin' (2001)

Easily the best single word description of what it is I'm out here doing everyday trying to make a living...


In the film Rounders, they described a grinders as a guy who never goes after the big play; instead, he makes money where he can and as he needs. It's not about hitting it rich, it's about paying bills. That's me and that's this song.

Now, Malice and Pusha T certainly aren't talking about serving drinks to drunk golfers or hammering away on as many websites as possible trying to make a living, but the meaning is still the same - we do what we do because we have to.

What makes my connection and love of this song even stronger are some of the lyrical gems that get delivered, whether they continue to reiterate the main reason behind the grind (My grind's 'bout family, never been about fame), paying respect to forgotten basketball legends (The jewels is flirtin', be damned if I'm hurtin', legend in two games like I'm Pee Wee Kirkland) or providing the best description of my personality that I didn't come up with (cocky something that I just can't help).

Clipse kind of went AWOL for a while after this album; arguments with their record label let to a life on the mixtape circuit and eventual change in scenery. Regardless of their lesser profile and failure to fully follow up on the success of this album, Grindin' has been a mixtape staple in my collection from the get-go and will continue to be.

Now if you'll excuse me, I got more work to do.

"I'm just grindin' man, y'all never mind me..."

Continue reading ...

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Someone Tell Me How This Makes Sense?

This has nothing to do with my being an Atlanta Falcons fan or the owner of a Michael Vick jersey and everything to do with how mangled the justice system of the United States of America - and the ridiculous acceptance levels of the general public - have become.

On the left, of course, is Michael Vick, the former NFL superstar who was recently released from United States Penitentiary- Leavenworth after serving 18 months for operating a dog fighting ring on his property in Virginia.

On the right is Donte Stallworth, a wide receiver with the Cleveland Browns. Just a few days ago, Stallworth was sentenced to 30 days in jail, 8 years probation and 2 years of house arrest for DUI Manslaughter in the death of Mario Reyes.

Let me give you those numbers again: Vick served 18 months in the prison that one held "Machine Gun" Kelly and is the current home of King Tone, the leader of the Latin Kings gang, while Stallworth will serve 30 days in a South Beach jail.

How is this right?

Now, Stallworth took ownership of the situation right away, while Vick denied everything until he was cornered and that counts for something. But could it really count for that much?

Yes, what Michael Vick did was a heinous act of cruelty and certainly deserved to be punished. That being said - and as much as Cool Hand Luke is one of my best friends in the entire world - he killed dogs. Dogs, not people.

Stallworth, on the other hand, struck a pedestrian between the hours of 7:00 and 8:00 AM with a blood alcohol level of 0.12. While admitting to officers that you had been drinking the night before and being cooperative should count for something, if you blow 0.12 in the morning, you were either drinking fairly recently or were still pretty damn drunk when you decided to cruise down a busy street.

Again, allow me to repeat: Stallworth was drunk behind the wheel sometime before 8:00 AM and hit another human being with his car.

I don't care that the deceased was running outside of the crosswalk; he was trying to catch a bus after a long night at work. The fact that Stallworth flicked his lights only goes to show me that he knew the situation could potentially be dangerous.

What makes all this worse, in my eyes, is how quick some members of the media and society in general have been willing to accept the punishment handed out to Donte Stallworth. Many of these same people were aghast when the revelations about Michael Vick's dogfighting ring came to light, yet news of Stallworth's 30 day sentence and sundry other penalties has been met with a feeling of "that's fair" and "if everyone agreed to it, it's okay by me."

Neither action - Vick's dogfighting or Stallworth's DUI - are acceptable, but let me be brutally honest: how do we place stiffer punishments on a man who was responsible for the murder of a family pet greater than a man who killed a father and husband?

Have we become so desensitized to the murder - and make no mistake, that is true crime committed by Stallworth, regardless of what the charges laid against him read - that we offer up no resistance when a human life is exchanged for 30 days in a county jail, yet seek the harshest penalties imaginable when animals are hurt and killed?

Donte Stallworth knew he was intoxicated when he got behind the wheel of his Bentley and took another man's life. If you or I were in the same position, we would be facing an extended stay in prison.

There is absolutely nothing anyone can tell me - factual or stipulated - that will make this right for me.

Sadly, this is the world we live in; a world where the life of a dog is placed at a higher value than that of a father and husband.

Continue reading ...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Rundown: Can't Miss Movies

Every year there are loads of movies that get hyped up beyond belief that I have no interest in seeing. A few of them from this summer season have already came and went without getting a penny from me.

Terminator Salvation and Land of the Lost come to mind off the top of my head, and while everyone tells me Star Trek is awesome, I'm not paying to see it. That's just me.

That being said, we're midway through June and there are a number of Summer movies still set to roll into theatres that could make me part with a few of my hard earned - well, earned - dollars. I'll run them down for you after the jump...

Top 5 Must-See Summer Movies

5. Transformers: Rise of the Fallen
What can I say? I want to see what bad-ass creations Michael Bay & Co. have come up with for the second time around. The story is bound to be a little lame and Megan Fox will surely be little more than eye candy for fanboys everywhere, but the new Autobots and Decepticons are worth a couple bucks in my books.

4. Public Enemies
The story of John Dillinger with Johnny Depp playing the man himself. Need I say more?

3. Funny People
I've been looking forward to this one for a while and see it as a chance for Adam Sandler to redeem himself in my books. Playing an actual human after stupidity like The Zohan, Sandler leads a great comedic cast in this Judd Apatow flick centered around a stand-up comedian (Sandler) who finds out he has a year to live. It'll be nice to see Apatow do more grown up funny for the first time.

2. G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra
This is where I get my fanboy on! As a kid, I had 4,386 G.I. Joe figures and played with them religiously, in the backyard, in the living room, in the bathtub, everywhere. Seeing my favorite Real American Hero come to life on screen - and starring my boys Channing Tatum and Joseph Gordon Levitt no less - is definitely worth spending some tip money.

1. The Hurt Locker
I just saw the trailer for this a couple nights back and I'm enthralled. Normally, I'm not a big Iraq war movie guy - they all seem too heavy-handed for me - but this one looks too good to miss. I'm a huge fan of Jeremy Renner, the lead actor who played the bad guy in SWAT and kills it on The Unusuals and while reviews can often be horribly wrong, too many bright people have called this film remarkable for me to miss it.

What flicks are you looking forward to? Drop your Must-See Movies in the comments section...

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Take a Hint Already, Balsillie

For those who don't know, the man pictured above is Jim Balsillie, Co-CEO of Research in Motion, makers of the Blackberry. To put it quite simply, homeboy is crazy rich. He's also a massive hockey fan.

Over the last couple of years, Balsillie has tried and failed on three separate occasions to purchase fledgling NHL franchises and move them to Southern Ontario, specifically Hamilton. On three separate occasions, Balsillie has failed to secure a team.

We here at iBlog think it's time that Jim Balsillie take a hint.

Face it, Slick - the NHL doesn't want your brand of gung-ho, website-creating ownership, regardless of the fact that you're worth an estimated $3.5 billion and care more about the sport than many current NHL owners.

As much as this might sound blasphemous to some, I can't blame them.

Having all kinds of money and a love of the game is one thing, but have a little business savvy while you're at it, Jim. How many times to you have to try and fail using the same business model before you realize it's flawed?

Don't go into the activity of buying a team with websites dedicated to bringing the team to Canada and announcing grand refurbishment plans for Copps Coliseum. I mean, at least this time you didn't start selling tickets already or anything, but shit, slow down and let the process run it's course for chrissakes.

Just because you have a whack of cash and a desire to bring a team to a market that is clearly better than Phoenix, Atlanta and Nashville combined doesn't make it a done deal. Buffalo, for one, has no interest in you plunking a team down in their prime territory of border-crossing fans. You've got to play the game and most importantly, you've got to follow the rules of said game.

The interesting thing about all this is that Balsillie could own one of the most storied franchises in sports history - and their rink - for probably less than he would spend on the Phoenix Coyotes, as the Montreal Canadiens and the Bell Centre are up for sale as well. Why not buy them?

Simply put, it'd never happen because Balsillie is hell-bent on bringing whatever team he buys to Southern Ontario, even though you, me and everyone without a vested interest in the situation can see that it won't happen under Gary Bettman's watch, though the continued employment of Bettman is another topic for another day.

If you're so dire to be an NHL owner, buy a team, period. No talk of relocation, no water colour paintings of changes to old arenas, no logos on your Blackberry when you're mugging for the television cameras.

Stay put in the city you're already in, operate the team and show that you're biggest interest is in furthering the game and making the NHL better. Put your politics and ideologies about the game in your back pocket and show the NHL you care about more than bringing another team to Canada.

We both know that hockey in Phoenix is never going to fly, no matter how good the Coyotes ever become. Ride out a year, maybe two, with empty seats, losing a couple million dollars. What's a couple million dollars to you, right?

Tow the line, play the game and do what you have to do to appease the NHL. It's the only way you're ever going to get what you want.

Let me put that in a way that is easier to understand ...

Stop being a douchebag!

You want a team? Buy one, just stop all this Make It Seven relocation bullshit already...

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Monday, June 15, 2009

10 Things I Learned This Week

1. Volunteering Sucks
I know this is a horrible thing to say, but hear me out. I don't actually mind volunteering myself - after all, I do more "volunteer" work than most people I know - but for a lot of people, volunteer means work until you're ready to leave, not until the job is done. Three hours of taking down Relay for Life later, my back is mangled.

2. Flat When It Mattered Most
Congratulations to Sid the Kid and the rest of the Pittsburgh Penguins. The better team truly did win. Watching Game 7, I couldn't believe my veteran Red Wings came out so flat and lethargic when it mattered most. Runner-up isn't that bad ...

3. For an MMA Writer, I Sure Don't Watch Much MMA
Once again, a UFC pay-per-view took place over the weekend and I was not in front of a television screaming for one of my picks to start performing better. The last card I actually sat and watched "live" was UFC 94 when GSP clobbered BJ Penn. That being said, I'm not missing UFC 100.

4. What's Shaq Going to Rap About Now?
Kobe got his ring without the assistance of The Big Diesel, so now what? Nothing, probably, except maybe a trade to Cleveland for Shaq which would make all the basketball writers in the world start talking about a Lakers - Cavs / Kobe - Shaq & LeBron final for the next 365 days.

5. Relocation Update
So I think we're staying here for the time being. Leaving any time soon just doesn't make financial sense and I mean, why not enjoy our summer as opposed to slugging freight across Canada once again? We're still looking, but just not as intently right now.

6. Happy 55th Battle Axe!
Not that she reads iBlog, but yesterday was my mom's 55th birthday. Yes, I called her Battle Axe. I call her many things. The one I call her most - though not when she's in earshot - is best friend. She annoys the shit out of me sometimes, but ol' Faye (yes, another nickname) is pretty great. Don't tell her I said that.

7. Busy, Busy, Busy
Five shifts at Kelsey's including a couple "Clopens" - close one night, open the next morning, grand total of about 10 hours between the two - along with four sites to write for as much as possible, a great article / feature to prep and, oh right, the book to finish prepping and get sent out. That doesn't even take into account the state of disrepair this house is currently in either...

8. Television Sucks
Maybe the more appropriate thing to say is Summer television sucks. There is nothing that I want to watch. All my favs (House, Grey's, Law & Order, SVU) are all in repeats and the summer programming is brutal. I've even grown sick of Iron Chef America re-runs and House Hunters International. Maybe I should go to the library and get some books to read?

9. Speaking of Libraries...
It's pronounced library, not libary and it frustrates me when people say otherwise. No, not fustrates - frustrates. Bad grammar and pronunciation drives me mental and there has been a whole lot of it around me in the last seven days.

10. The Head-Shaving Has Stopped
After more than a year of continuously not having hair for more than 10 days at a time, I've stopped shaving my head... sort of. The mohawk is back, baby and better than ever!

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Sunday, June 14, 2009

Come Back Tomorrow ...

18 hours at Relay for Life have me ready to do one thing and one thing only...


10 Things I Learned This Week will be back in full force tomorrow, just so everyone gets their weekly Albert fix.

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Friday, June 12, 2009

How Is The NBA Age Limit to Blame Here?

I read an opinion piece today written by Washington Wizards center Brendan Haywood about this whole OJ Mayo / USC situation that has led to SC coach Tim Floyd resigning.

For those without prior knowledge, it goes like this: Mayo was a high school superstar who went to USC because of the NBA age limit stipulation. Reports indicate that Floyd, or someone connected with the program, paid Mayo to become a Trojan, which is a serious no-no.

As far as I remember, OJ Mayo and his people looking to put dollars in their pockets for him to play anywhere isn't the NBA's doing. People will argue that he could have been making bank in The Association if not for the Age Limit, but he's there now and making his money, so was one year really too long to wait?

I can't fathom how people who are opposed to the NBA age limit view the situation, like going to college is such a horrible thing. You can't equate Memphis disregarding invalid SAT scores for guys like Derrick Rose and Robert Dozier as the NBA's responsibility. David Stern didn't tell Calipari to accept them into his program...

Do I understand that some of these kids - and they are kids - have the talent to move to the NBA right away? Absolutely, but the truth is that for every LeBron James that comes along, there are five Korleone Youngs, a prep star who played as many NBA minutes as I have after coming straight to the pros out of high school.

You can't even point at Kobe Bryant or Tracy McGrady as examples of prep-to-pros success either, because while they are stars now, they each struggled early in their career, both to earn minutes and handle the NBA game. You can't tell me that both wouldn't have been better served spending a year or two in college honing their skills than riding the pine in Los Angeles and Toronto respectively. And if you want to try, call Jermaine O'Neal and ask him how the splinters in Portland felt.

To me, this whole situation and the opposition to the NBA Age Limit speaks more about the condition of our society than anything else. Opponents want to lament Brandon Jennings "being forced" to go play in Italy instead of being able to go straight to the NBA, except that Jennings could have played at Arizona had he passed his SATs one of the three times he took them.

The whole thing breaks down to people's sense of entitlement; that these kids - and they are kids - are entitled to make millions whenever they feel their ready. If you're that good, the NBA will be their 365 days later. Could an injury happen during that one year? Sure, but so far, we haven't seen it. For every kid who gets hurt and misses his chance at millions, I'll show you five who became better players by spending that one year in college.

Furthermore, everyone thinks they're NBA-ready. Every year, you hear about three or four kids from high school who have NBA bodies and could make the leap to the pros if not for the Age Limit. But come the following season, how many of them actually become instant stars? How many of them really are NBA-ready? Not very many.

They don't have the strength to battle grown men for rebounds or the endurance to make it through the grind of an NBA season. And don't get me started on defense. Most of these kids were offensive stars in high school, dominating far weaker competition and paying little mind on the defensive end of the court. The NBA is so drastically different from that life, but no one wants to acknowledge that.

What made the piece even more frustrating to me is that Haywood himself benefited greatly from his time at North Carolina, where he played for four years after being name Mr. Basketball in the basketball-rich state of North Carolina during his senior year of high school.

To me it makes no sense. The NBA didn't make OJ Mayo ask for a reported $1,000,000 to play at USC and waiting one or two years to chase your dream isn't that great a request. If you want the dream that bad, you'll do what you have to do, even if it means going to college.

And really, college ain't that bad. Ask Asher Roth - that dude loves college!

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Soundtrack of My Life

Song: Never Too Late
Artist: Three Days Grace
Album: One-X (2006)

I absolutely love Three Days Grace and don't care what anyone thinks about that.

A good portion of that love comes from frontman Adam Gontier's openness about his struggles with addiction prior to recording and releasing this album. While so many musicians and actors and "celebrities" flippantly dismiss their problems and have repeated trips to rehab, by all accounts Gontier has remained sober following his stint for addiction of OxyContin. What made me like him and the band even more was their tour of rehab facilities following his recovery and the release of this album.

Musically, this song has a lot of the things I look for in a great rock track. I'm a sucker for an alternating soft verse / hard chorus setup, the acoustic guitar elements throughout never hurt and lyrically it's a winner too.

Sure, it's about suicidal thoughts and feelings of hopelessness, but at one point or another, those thoughts have run through all our heads. We've all felt like things couldn't possibly get worse and it's okay to admit that.

What I like is that this song acknowledges that life often fails to turn out the way we expect - shit happens, things suck, "this world will never be what I expected" - but there is always time to change things and make it better. I'm not ashamed to admit I understand that feeling and sentiment completely, as well as being at a point know where things are better.

Music is a connectivity thing to me - you like what you relate to and what you connect with - and I connect with this song and this band... and not just because they're Canadian either.

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Most Meaningless Word in the World: Celebrity

To be a celebrity used to mean something. A certain status, a certain level of success, a little cache if you please. Celebrity meant you were a star, a somebody and recognizable figure that people wanted to see.

The word as lost all it's meaning though, and there is no better proof of that than "I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!"

When the most "celebrity" contestants of your celebrity contestants are John Salley and Torrie Wilson, you've got issues and you can consider the word itself dead and buried. Let's look at the rest of the cast:

Sanjaya Malakar
Lou Diamond Phillips
Stephen Baldwin
Daniel Baldwin
Janice Dickinson
Patricia Blagojevich
Holly Montag

The biggest celebrities that were on the show were that super-douche Spencer Pratt and his wife Heidi, but the jungle was too much for them, so they split. In their place, Heidi's sister Holly, someone I've never heard of in my life.

Same goes for Patricia Blagojevich. How does your husband trying to sell President Barack Obama's Illinois Senate seat make you a celebrity? Just because you're standing there when all the cameras are going off doesn't mean people are taking your picture. Sorry sweetie, you're background filler.

And don't even get me started on washed up actors that I used to enjoy. Stephen Baldwin was great in Threesome and The Usual Suspects, while Lou Diamond Phillips will always be Ritchie Valens to me, but neither has been relevant for years, not to mention Daniel Baldwin.

While I clearly wasn't around for them, I miss the old days, when movie stars were movie stars and celebrities actually did something to earn their place on pedestals and magazine covers. Now, all you've got to do is be a former supermodel or the longest lasting bad contestant in American Idol history and poof you're a celebrity.

Then again, you get the same treatment if you pop out eight kids too, whether they're all at once or two followed by six.

Celebrity (noun): anyone who has ever had 15 minutes of fame and been on the glossy pages of InTouch, Us Weekly or OK! Magazine. Talent not required.

Shoot me now ...

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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Unintentional Foul

While I generally take pride in pushing people's buttons and spurring on heated debates, things I do occasionally bring anger in my direction even when I'm not actively in the market.

Take today's post at Keyboard Kimura or, more correctly, the picture that used to go with today's post.

Like 99% of bloggers out there, I'm what you would call a photo poacher. I hit up my search engine of choice, enter what I'm looking for and slap it up on these here pages. Not exactly the way business is supposed to be done, but I ain't the first and I won't be the last.

Today, I was contacted by Martin McNeil, an exceptional photographer who does a lot of work in Mixed Martial Arts. As it turns out, the image that originally accompanied my preview of this weekend's Dan Hardy vs. Marcus Davis fight was one of his and he wasn't very happy to see it on my site.

Just so happens that a previous picture - also since removed - served as the visual introduction to something I wrote earlier, which led Mr. McNeil to inform me I am currently sitting with a two strike count.

I hopes of not striking out - or getting sued for the $13.00 I have to my name - I'm trying to get in touch with Mr. McNeil to look into future licensing / authorization to use his photos as they are unquestionably the best in the business. Check out his Flickr page and see for yourself.

As a writer - and one who has been stiffed on paychecks on more than one occasion - I can understand the frustrations with seeing your work being used without compensation and I sincerely apologize.

I'd normally launch into some diatribe here about the ridiculousness of this potential situation, but my attorney has advised me to shut the hell up ... and stop using pictures with all my blog posts.

Happy reading - go get your visual stimulation elsewhere.

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For Love of the Game ... And Other Reasons

A day after channeling Jerry Maguire, I'm back in the sports movie business becoming Billy Chapel, Kevin Costner's aging pitcher in the horrible For Love of the Game, minus the perfect game.

While I would most certainly still accept cash payment from just about anyone for doing what I do, yesterday yielded three new opportunities and I've taken up each offer despite the fact that they pay a grand total of zero dollars and zero cents annually.

Mostly, I'm doing it because I absolutely love spending my days pounding these keys talking about Mixed Martial Arts. Mostly ...

Added to the resume yesterday were dedicated MMA sites Watch Kalib Run and MMA Ratings, as well as my man Goldie's site The Other Fifteen. All three will give me the opportunity to rant and rave about the sport I love to a wider target audience than I currently have at Keyboard Kimura. That being said, K2 isn't going anywhere.

While the majority of my decision to take on these offers pro bono was made out of my sheer passion for writing, especially about MMA, there certainly was a part of the decision made for selfish reasons. After all, what better way to carry on The Shameless Self-Promotion Tour than by adding three more venues to the itinerary?

The only way to get noticed is to put yourself out there and expressing my opinions and insights on all things MMA on four sites is far better than one. The fact that other people want to have me penning my points for their sites has to account for something, right? Maybe there is a complete lack of writers willing to work for pocket lint or maybe these guys actually think what I'm doing has merit.

Who knows, one of these opportunities could lead to something bigger, like say, I dunno, becoming TSN's voice on MMA (they're getting a letter this week ...) or maybe they just become further outlets for my opinions and outbursts.

Either way, I get to do what I love more frequently than I was and more people will have the opportunity to get to know me as a writer.

Outside of a little cash, I couldn't ask for anything more ...

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Monday, June 8, 2009

Channeling Jerry Maguire

As great a compliment as it is to have people tell me they like my work and would love for me to write for their site, I gotta break out the Tom Cruise as Jerry Maguire here and deliver an emphatic, "SHOW ME THE MONEY!"

I'm not even talking about enough money to pay the rent or even my alarmingly high cellphone bill, just a little somethin' somethin' to help buy the Starbucks every once in a while would do. But that ain't ever the case in the blogging business.

Everyone loves your work.

Everyone thinks you could be doing so much more than just writing your own blog on a homemade Blogger site.

The sales pitch always follows. "We'd love to have you write for us," or something along those lines, citing the size of their site and stronger following as selling points. Most utilize the "a bunch of people writing together in one place is better than being scattered everywhere" angle too.

But when you get down to brass tax, nobody's got a dime with your name on it. And if they do, it ain't for long.

I have to give serious love and respect to my man Jesse from Bugs & Cranks here, because from Day One, homeboy made sure his writers were getting paid. While it was never anything mind-blowing for me, people were making okay cash month-to-month from the very beginning and that is a beautiful thing. Epic Carnival offered some cash too. Why did I leave these places?

While increased exposure is certainly a strong selling point, increased exposure with five bucks for my pocket is an even better one, but no one is making those kind of offers, leaving me to think about what to do.

Roll the dice and see what kind of exposure adding another site to my writing resume does for the career or keep rocking as a solo artist and driving the bus on The Shameless Self-Promotion Tour and see if I can't make something happen by myself?

What do you think?

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Sunday, June 7, 2009

10 Things I Learned this Week

Breaking out a brand new Albert this week. Why? Why not? Let's get to it ...

1. 'Net Working
Over these last seven days, I've really learned the power of working the social networking scene on my computer to the best of my advantage. The Shameless Self-Promotion Tour is still in full force and has thus far yielded a great interview, a couple solid links and a handful of opportunities for the future.

2. My Work Analogy
Saturday night I had no interest in dealing with 95% of the people I work with. I get like that some times. In thinking about it, I came up with the most apt analogy of the situation: work is like high school and I'm the new artsy kid who doesn't really know anyone. I've got a few friends, but for the most part, I don't know the people you're bitching about and I don't care to, so we stay out of each others' way.

3. Too Close?
I've been spending more time than ever before immersed in the world of Mixed Martial Arts and I think my prediction skills are suffering because of it. Saturday night's Strikeforce card yielded a 4-7 record and while I'm doing well tonight with the WEC fights (5-3 with 2 to go), I'm still way under .500 on Keyboard Kimura and that is horrible.

4. Booking My Ticket to Stardom
This week, I'm sending out my book proposal. It's done, as is the query letter and I'm not wasting any time. As many agents as I can possibly find who are accepting the type of manuscript that I'm hawking will be receiving the 22-page offering for their consideration. The more the merrier... and more likely to find someone willing to make like ABBA and take a chance on me.

5. It's Been Seven Months...
So why should it surprise anyone that we're investigating another move? This is what we do. Actually, we're looking because Sarah's job isn't as rewarding or enjoyable as she'd hoped - being 50% over capacity every shift can do that to you - and we know we don't want to spend forever in Kimberley. That means moving sooner rather than later makes the most sense. Feel free to submit your "Move Here" requests in the comments. Or your "Don't Move Here" alerts as well.

6. One More Win
A win tomorrow night and my Detroit Red Wings are once again Stanley Cup Champions. Man, that has a nice ring to it. To the fans of everyone else in the NHL: Suck It!

7. Speaking of the NHL
Listening to Gary Bettman talk about trying to ensure the Phoenix Coyotes remain in Phoenix is so frustrating. You can't cling to a "we don't want to abandon markets" argument when you have a track record of doing it. Winnipeg, Quebec City and Minnesota all got ditched, in part, just because. Fan support was far better in each of those cities than it is in several US markets right now and nothing prevented the Jets from flying to the desert, Les Nordiques from heading to Denver and the North Stars heading to south to Dallas. I'd respect him more if he just admitted it was about money.

8. Been a Great Food Week
Sarah's been off all week, so we've had time to make some serious meals around here and I must say how rewarding and enjoyable they've been. Neither of us are gourmets by any stretch, but even just having some homemade BBQ burgers yesterday was far better than anything Kelseys or the fast food joints could offer, not to mention 3000 times healthier. What makes it more satisfying is that it really doesn't take any longer to make something great and fresh like we've done all week than it does to open a box or order a pizza. I never would have said these things two years ago ...

9. Three Words: Bud Light Lime
I know the naysayers will lobby that it's simply a light beer infused with lime, something you can do to every bottle of beer you ever open. I get that. But I also like something light and refreshing in the summer that I can drink by the case and this hits the spot. To me, it's a higher quality Corona; better beer, hint of lime already there and none of the dangerous Mexican contaminants of los cervezas. I don't care if you think it's stupid - I love it.

10. Working Sucks
To prove this isn't just sour grapes from a guy making no money slinging drinks and piling plates, I've made $300 in the last 24 hours at the restaurant, so no, it isn't about money. It's about being sick of the bitching and the bass-ackwards approach always taken to doing business. Bars shouldn't run out of draft beer, especially not Canadian and you certainly shouldn't be putting the overstocked something else on the that line and calling it Canadian. Don't cut everyone before people have even had a chance to come into and eat; you just end up leaving someone fucked every time. Want to keep labor costs low? Don't have 14 people in the kitchen and keep a couple front of house staff. I can't keep doing this; I'm going insane. Cross those fingers for a book deal people.

See you next Sunday!

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Saturday, June 6, 2009


Fruits and vegetables are organic.

Chemistry can be organic.

Chickens raised without hormones, drugs or synthetic chemicals are organic.

Acting is not organic.

I know this may seem like an odd thing to get grumpy about, but this is me after all. A lot of stupid things drive me insane and this is one of them.

You hear it all the time. Someone asks an actor how they come up with their character and they something horribly cliche and ridiculous like, "It's an organic process for me."

What? You don't use any drugs, hormones or synthetic chemicals when you're creating your character?

While organic means " Of, relating to, or derived from living organisms," character creation does not fall into that category to me, just as writing most certainly doesn't either, though I've heard countless authors use it as well.

What I think all these "organic beings" are trying to say is that what they do is natural or comes naturally; they don't force anything and they go with instinct over process and pattern. I can get behind a statement like that.

But organic? Stop it already...

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Friday, June 5, 2009

Soundtrack of My Life

Song: Firecracker
Artist: Ryan Adams
Album: Gold (2001)

Dude is a little off his rocker and that's okay by me. In fact, it might be the reason Ryan Adams is such a talented musician and someone I really like listening to. Sometimes brilliance comes from the crazy fuckers.

I got into this album off the strength of the debut single, "New York, New York," a real catchy, ode to how awesome NYC has always been. Hearing that tune and reading a great review of the album in Blender sent me across the street to Music World to get this disc. "New York, New York" bats lead-off, but it's the two hole song Firecracker that still plays in heavy rotation on the computer and makes an appearance here today.

Adams roots are called alt-country, but whatever you want to call it, I call it catchy and cool, at least on this album and this song. Same as a lot of tracks that have made it to the Soundtrack over the years, "Firecracker" is a fairly simplistic song; acoustic guitars, harmonica, some drums for a back beat and that's about it. It's easy, but it works really well.

What really hooked me about this song was, well, the hook:

Well everybody wants to go forever
I just wanna burn out hard and bright
I just wanna be your firecracker
And maybe be your baby tonight

I actually used that opening pair as my MSN quote for ages before my mom, thinking I was speaking of my own demise, insisted I change it or never hear from her again. Obviously I changed the message; can't go without talking to Faye...

For me, it's about people who want to hang on well beyond their prime and force things that clearly aren't working and I get that. While everyone else wants to make their 15 minutes last 15 years, how's about I just rock this 15 minutes and we have a little cuddle while we're at it?

Personally, I never want to be that guy who is hanging on for dear life, in anything. I want to have my fun and have my time and move on accordingly. The earrings will come out the minute they look stupid. The wardrobe will change with age. And things like The Shameless Self-Promotion Tour will one day wrap up when this writing thing has run it's course, probably before.

While I'm here and while I'm doing this, I'm going to do it full out. Then one day, I'm going to fade into the background, never to be heard from again.

That's the way it should be, at least in my books. Ryan Adams' too apparently.

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Thursday, June 4, 2009

Cool Hand Luke: Bear Hunter

So we're out walking the loop at the Nordic Trails yesterday evening with the dog. It's a great place because it's an even surface for everyone to walk on and the scenery is great.

Plus, we can let the little mongrel off the leash so he can do some running and get some needed exercise.

About five minutes into our walk, Luke perks up like he does whenever he's noticed something in the woods. Something usually means an animal, be it deer, squirrel, gopher, bird or whatever and he's generally wise smart enough to know that (a) he's seen one of those before so it's no big deal and (b) I really shouldn't chase after that because the parents tend to get angry-slash-scared.

Not this time though. This time it was something new and needed to be investigated.

So off went our dog, darting through some fallen trees chasing after an animal that Sarah and I had yet to see and identify.

Twelve seconds later, the yelling started, pleaded with our pug to come back. He was chasing a brown bear.

Now, this wasn't a full-grown adult bear, but even this cub could have mauled our dog and that is all that went through our heads as we heard and watched our dog working his way towards his new friend. Then the strangest thing happened...

The bear started running away. From Luke. Who wasn't even barking or anything.

Realizing the fear in our voices and having watched the bear scamper away faster than he could manage, Luke returned to us with new found confidence and energy. It was as if he knew that he had just chased off a bear, something that really shouldn't have happened. I mean, since when are bears or any kind afraid of yappy little pug dogs?

The rest of the trip was uneventful - in part because we didn't see any more bears (or animals at all for that matter), but also because the canine explorer and bear hunter was secured to his leash.

It's been almost 24 hours since this happened and I still can't stop laughing about it.

My stupid dog chased after a brown bear in the bear's natural surroundings and the bear took off like a bat outta hell.

No wonder he thinks he's indestructible.

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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

I've Just Been Handed An Urgent Announcement...

No, not cannonball... just that The Rundown has been preempted today for something different.

Don't fret: your favorite Wednesday blog post will be back stronger than ever this time next week, I'm just not feeling it today.

Instead, we're sticking to the theme from yesterday with a little more insight into what makes me tick as a writer right now.

As much as I'm loving the blogging both here and at Kimura, the biggest project around right now is my book proposal. Yes, after years of speculation and telling myself and anyone who would listen that I'm going to write a book, I've actually gotten down to business and am starting to get somewhere.

In case I haven't ever mentioned it fully - and a little for legal reasons so that if someone steals the idea along the way I have legions of followers who can attest to the concept being mine ages ago - let me tell you a little about the book.

The Rules of Engagement: A Guys Guide to Getting Married is a guidebook for everyday guys and the girls who love them as they walk down the aisle. Think it's all hearts and flowers? Think again...

Drawing from my own experiences going through the process from getting engaged to saying "I do," this book will offer up real-life examples of the good, the bad and the ugly and answer the questions that no guy is willing to ask his drinking buddies, as well as shed a little light things you've never thought would come along with getting engaged.

300-some odd pages of self-deprecating, laughter-inducing truth from a guy who has gone down this road and lived to tell about it.

Who would you rather take advice from: some relationship guru with a wall full of degrees and nothing in common with you or the guy at the other end of the bar who was once in the same place you are?

Hopefully, a whole shitload of people pick the latter...

* * * * * * *

So that's the idea. What do you think?

I think it's a winner - but I'm the guy writing the book, so I have to believe in it.

What makes me even more in love with this idea is that no one has to pay me a red cent to write this book. Mind you, I'm going to turn down an advance or anything like that, but regardless of what comes from the proposal process, this book will be written within a year and that is killer to me.

Besides, The Shack was printed at Staples for a few friends and family members and now it's sold over 2 million copies... sometimes, you just never know what is going to happen.

All I can do is write the book and roll the dice.

So that's what I'm going to do.

Continue reading ...

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Why I Do What I Do

As your notification button on Facebook can attest, I've been pounding the keys a great deal lately and a few people have commented on how impressed they are with the dedication and drive I seem to be showing towards my craft.

I certainly appreciate the comments - we all know I love attention - but there is a much simply truth to why I do what I do every day.


I don't want to be the guy who never chased his dreams. When I get old, I don't want to have to tell my kids about the tattoo on my wrist - the one that says "Freelance" - using the words, "I wanted to be a writer," only to have them respond, "But Daddy, you're a used car salesmen?"

There are too many people that I know who go through life hating their jobs and hating where they are and I can't be one of those people. At least not yet. Not without going balls to the wall with this writing thing for the next couple years, before those perplexed children above come along and I get into my mid-30s and realize I've been chasing the dream for far too long without results.

So I hammer away. I pepper your inbox with new blog posts from both sites, publish links of all the articles I've dropped on MMA sites and become friends with everyone I can on Facebook who may have some small way to help me get my foot in the door somewhere. And I write the book.

My friend and pseudo-editor Smitty said to me today that I'm one of the only people he knows who chases his dreams of writing with such vigor. He didn't use those exact words, but you know what I mean.

The real truth is that I'm tired.

I'm tired of talking about my ideas and my dreams.

I'm tired of working shitty jobs that don't pay anything.

I'm tired of writing for sites that don't pay me and putting in work that goes unnoticed.

Most of all, I'm tired of being afraid that all this is never going to amount to anything of consequence and have been a big waste of ten years.

So I write.

I write every day and I write with a renewed motivation and inspiration, in hopes of making a better life for me, my wife and those confused children that will certainly come along one of these days.

And for everyone who laughs when I pepper your inboxes and add "friends" I don't even truly know: check out Keyboard Kimura on Friday when I roll out my interview with light heavyweight prospect Cody "Donnybrook" Donovan...

He's one of those "friends" I just happened to make on The Shameless Self-Promotion Tour and now he's also my first official Mixed Martial Arts interview.

Chase your dreams while you can kids ...

Continue reading ...

Monday, June 1, 2009

No Time to Talk...

I've got improvements to make at Keyboard Kimura.

Without exaggeration, I've spent the last two hours sitting here at this desk, reading Blogger Help files on how to change all kinds of wonderful elements of my Mixed Martial Arts playground and I want to go play some more.

Of course, I also didn't want to keep your daily dose of information from the Wonderful World of Me from you, so here you go.

Totally unrelated piece of information maybe only I find interesting:

I check my Google Analytics each day to see how many hits and views I'm getting on these pages. Over the last month, I've noticed a strange trend.

Monday through Thursday are pretty solid - averaging over 100 views last week - but Friday, Saturday and Sunday plummet into the crapper.

My guess - a lot of you are wasting time at work checking in with iBlog and have far more important things to do on the weekend than see what I'm rambling about.

And now I have more important things to do too, so we'll talk again tomorrow...

Continue reading ...