Basketball, Drinks, Love & Hate – Mikey’s Life: June 18th, 2013

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything since my life just hasn’t felt normal in quite a while. I’m still working at the Red Parrot, I’m still watching the Heat in the NBA Finals, I’m still taking care of Maximus Reed Wong, but other then that it seems like my life hasn’t quite moved much lately. 

Almost as if time isn’t passing as it quickly as it should be. 

Let me start off with those subjects I just talked about in further detail before we continue. 

Starting with the dog first, for those of you who are new to my blog, Maximus Reed, aka. Max, Stinky Max, The Rat, is my nearly 1 year old Rat Terrier. He’s the only dog I’ve ever seen that has a bunny tail that wags so hard that his butt wiggles back and forth when he’s excited about something. He’s happy for the most part but just like me seems to be saddened by something missing in his life. He’s gotten a lot bigger in the past several months, most likely because mom and dad have been feeding him rotisserie chicken and cheese (at just the right temperature and shredded to just the right size btw) all the time. We all try to run with him at least once a day, and i’m trying to get my mile time down to under 7. 

A man has dreams to you know? As long as I’m smoking cigarettes (yes I went back to smoking menthol cigarettes) I doubt I’m going to get it down to under 7 without really pushing myself. I really don’t want to put in to much strenuous cardio at the moment since it’s so hot and humid outside. Luckily Max doesn’t really have sweat glands so he doesn’t stink regardless of how long he runs around.

We both enjoy the time together alone.

It gives me time to think, time to remember pain, time to compose myself so that I can spend another day numbing myself and sealing my memories in a compartment. The rest of the time I choose to force myself to appear happy and unaffected, but it’s really hard when everyone around you spent every moment creating physical reminders for every single memory. Max has even had some bad dreams lately where he seems to be crying out or barking at something in his sleep. It’s fairly disturbing to see a dog running on his side while asleep, especially when his claws are up against your back. If only there was something I could do for him. I’ve tried telling him in the past that he wasn’t abandoned, that he was only a casualty of a war between his parents, an innocent bystander hit by shrapnel.

I’m not sure he understands.

As for Miami, they are currently losing to the San Antonio Spurs 3-2, and tonight is game 6, the first of two finals games at home in Miami. I’m not really worried about them tonight since they almost never lose two post season games in a row, That would set up game 7 with the championship on the line, and this is where my nerves start getting to me.

So what’s the problem Miami? 

It’s not like you don’t have the offensive firepower or the current and 4-time MVP on your team, Lebron James. There are good shooters all over the team that can hit 3-pointers (Ray Allen, Mike Miller, LBJ, Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh, etc.), as well as multiple big time players that can penetrate to the basket or make the mid-range jump shot as well (Chris Anderson, Norris Cole, Mario Chalmers, Allen, LBJ, Wade, Bosh, etc.). So why do you look so confused when it comes times to make decisions in your half court offense, especially when your coming off a win? Did you somehow think San Antonio, with most of the star players having been a part of at least 3 of the past 4 championships, was going to just beat themselves with mistakes and give you a freebie? The saddest thing is that even with Wade’s knee injury, this team is supposed to be dominant enough to handle any championship-level team.

Instead they find themselves on the brink of elimination against a much less dangerous Spurs team, one without Tim Duncan playing at an MVP level, where Giniobli was averaging 7.5 points per game up until game 5, and Tony Parker their star point guard has been hampered by a hamstring injury. Imagine if this was the 2003 or 2005 Spurs team that swept Lebron’s Cavaliers or the younger team that massacred the Nets 4 games to 1.

If this Heat team can’t step up their game, focus and concentration for 2 games in a row, at home no less, what makes you think they could beat them when they were at their best? LeBron’s legacy is on the line tonight and on Thursday. Wade has 2 championships and a Finals MVP already next to his name. Bosh isn’t really expected to carry this team to victory. (not to mention he hasn’t had a 30 point game this entire postseason).If he wins, he’s 2 and 2 in championships and can finally exorcise the demons surrounding his postseason play versus San Antonio. If he loses he’s 1-3 all-time and his reputation will take a huge blow. This team was the favorite to the win the championship at the start of the playoffs, he will possibly never have a better chance to win another one than with this team built to win championships. 

All we can do is watch and pray.

So what else is new? 

Not much has happened at the restaurant other then building up our Arlington location, oh and we’ve started our regular/VIP customer program with GetPerka.com. I’ve come up with several new drinks over the past couple weeks, such as a Passion fruit Basil Mojito, a Sweet & Sour frozen Mango Margarita, and several Fruit-infused cold Sakes. Other then that I’ve just been putting in the hours, counting the time until I can get off and go home so I can drown myself in reading materials or watching countless animes/reading mangas. 

My grandmother is back in the hospital again, on my father’s side of the family. They live all the way across the country in Los Angeles, so for us to take an emergency trip would be super expensive at the last moment. We talked to dad’s siblings and other family members that live over there and thought maybe she would be better or at least up to waiting several more days before my entire immediate family takes a flight (and time off) across the US. It doesn’t seem like that’s going to happen now, she’s really weak and hasn’t been eating very much. As long as she continues down that path, she has only a very small possibility of ever fully recovering, so I think it’s time we made that trip. Wonderful, what else does God have in store for me?

I finally realize something that I had locked away for a long time prior to being in my past relationship. I know now why I had stopped caring, why I had treated my ex’s and girls in general like useless garbage, cheating on them and barely acknowledging their or my own feelings. It’s so much easier to stay out of the fray, to look down on people with a cool sense of superiority than to let them into your life. That way no one can hurt you. 

Nobody can tell you they love you, and that they are the only one meant for you and turn around and hurt you worse then anyone before. Nobody can look you right in the eyes and tell you they miss and care about you while secretly calling the police on you and hoping you would die or go to jail. If you can treat your dog this way, what else are you capable of? If your so worried about taking pictures of everything and loading them up on your social media sites, how can you turn off everything and not even wonder what has happened to them?

I’ve went out with several girls over the past month or so and tried to forget the past but it seems that everywhere I go there’s another picture frame hidden behind a desk, on the top of a banister or tucked in a box of forgotten memories. Whenever I focus on what I’m feeling  at the moment, I realize that I currently feel nothing but regret and pain. Wouldn’t it have been better if I had never come to this realization at all?

I think I would rather have been stabbed or shot like some of my other ex’s have done to me then for this particular outcome to happen.It’s as if all the colors of spring and summer have been bleached from my surroundings. White looks like Grey, Yellow looks like dull Orange, and black looks even darker. My hands waved in front of my face move in slow-motion and without any enthusiasm, almost as if I was walking in a nightmare but can’t wake myself up. I want to say something or do something that will restore me to full health, but I cannot even face my demons without the threat of police intervention. 

Have I ever told you how much I hate the police in my county? They are some of the most corrupt officials I’ve ever met. 

I haven’t even picked up a piece of jewelry or read a book about jewelry since I was forcefully removed from my own home. I’m not even going to go into the reasons why, suffice it to say that lies were spoken and trust was betrayed for this to occur.

I’m sure I will eventually move on and find some sort of minor happiness in my life, but I doubt I’ll ever be the same. It pains me to smile. I will never fully trust anyone ever again until I have dealt with these demons of my past, I might never even love anyone outside of my family. If this type of person could be corrupted by whatever reasons into actually hurting me intentionally, what hope is there for any normal women to be what they say they are.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had my share of faults. I’ve lied (rarely), and been lazy, haven’t taken responsibility or been there when I was supposed too, taken care of everything a man should take care of, and yelled and made a big deal out of things when I should have been there to listen. I’ve hurt people and not been aware of their feelings before, especially those who I claimed to love. But there are certain principles and guidelines that can never be stepped across. Once you’ve done certain things, they cannot be taken back. Words are just words until the police get involved, or until someone snaps and gets physically damaged, and we’re not talking about restraining someone. We’re talking about killing someone with your bare hands, or accidentally shooting them with a gun or stabbing them with a knife. You claim that you’ve been hurt, but how much worse were your failed marriages? 

So which one is it, both cannot be true. Either she lied about her past, and made me spend much of the relationship attempting to repair things she overstated/overreacted to OR it’s true and yet somehow it’s conveniently forgotten all the times I spent planning out dates, buying cards/flowers, cooking her dinner, visiting and being humble and polite to her family, or just flat out spending my waking moments with her. 

What about love? You were barren prior to my touch. It’s just that simple. Nobody loved you or your insecurities, nobody kissed the cut on your lip or the scars on your womb. Nobody appreciated you trying to cook them burnt eggs and spam, or took you out on Valentine’s day. 

“I’ll never forget all the things you’ve done for me. I appreciate everything. I’ll show you I do.”

So where is your memory?

I never thought I’d be so gullible. Me? I was untouchable, infallible, I always had an ace up my sleeve (someone I slept with that I could use as ammo when the inevitable break-up occured). 

Maybe it’s better if I just live in fantasy land, reading and watching anime and living vicariously through the stories of others. Maybe with time I will fade away until I become nothing more than a ghost, feeding off the emotions and memories of others and gaining strength from negative emotions like jealously and hate. 

I’ve done it once, so why can’t it happen again.

 

~Mikey

Wong_83@Hotmail.com

Mikey’s Incoherent Guide to Understand the NFL Draft

The NFL Draft usually takes place every year sometime in April, and is held at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.

Each year several hundred players identified to possibly have what it takes to benefit professional football teams. These players were identified through a combination of watching the game tape of their college career, and evaluating performances in the Senior Bowl [ located in Mobile, AL usually ], if they were one of the lucky players invited to play in the Senior Bowl.

The NFL Scouting Combine, which takes place currently in the Indianapolis Colts stadium, gives scouts, general managers, head coaches, basically entire front offices, owners and other people important in the drafting process to watch things in person that might otherwise go unnoticed.

SUPPOSEDLY, you get to see the immeasurables, things like a potential player’s charisma, football IQ, overall intelligence, the way his hips move, quickness in a small space, ability to take directions (AND ability to change directions), composure under pressure, composure when being grilled by people who know the game, blah blah you get the idea. I said supposedly because every year there’s a number of players who should never get drafted, or at least should get drafted much lower that end up going much higher based solely on how they performed at the Combine.

Let me get this straight, if a player has languished around doing absolutely nothing on the football field, eating potato chips and drinking beer, going to frat parties and being a detriment to his team, but then decides he really wants a multi-million dollar contract, he can just work out really hard for a few months with elite personal trainers, score really high at the Combine, or at his college’s Pro Day, or both, he deserves a pick in the first or second round rather than the 7th or going undrafted?

That’s a great way to find people who love football, understand it, and will provide reliable offensive or defensive output for years to come.

Despite some of the more brainless draft picks taken over the years, the NFL Draft is still the most important tool for teams to find continuity and success. There are other ways of getting decent players like buying them for exorbitant amounts of money during Free Agency, signing players from NFL Europe (I’m not sure if this is still around), signing college players who weren’t chosen through the draft, and of course there’s the NFL Supplemental Draft.

I’m not really sure how players enter the Supplemental talent pool, but I think it has something to do with players that are dismissed from their teams. Suspensions, criminal charges, taking money from crooked agents, missing a significant amount of time in college, in short, players who for whatever reason weren’t invited to take part in the traditional NFL Draft.

Even with all these other minor talent pools from which the 32 NFL teams get to choose from, the regular draft is where successful franchises are born. There are exceptions to this rule when a team gets really good in a short amount of time, but for continued success take a look around.

The Baltimore Ravens, guided by General Manager Ozzie Newsome, have arguably drafted  better than any other team in the past two decades. The New England Patriots have Bill Belichick and had GM Scott Pioli, the New York Football Giants have Jerry Reese and Tom Coughlin, and the Indianapolis Colts had Bill Polian and Tony Dungy.

In the past 20 years, these 4 teams have combined for 8 Super Bowl wins and 11 appearances. Teams that don’t draft particularly well like the New York Jets under Rex Ryan, can have short-term success but eventually begin to fall apart. After two consecutive appearances in the AFC championship game, they haven’t been to the playoffs since.

Maybe it has something to do with their troubles involving Tim Tebow, Darrelle Revis’s contract dispute, continued offensive struggles, or signing Mark Sanchez to a contract extension (WTF?) but mainly it has to do with not having successful draft classes to replace losses in free agency, and retirement.

The 2013 NFL Draft is finally over, and I can finally relax now that I know that my team (the Ravens) will be able to field a defense this season. I can’t remember the last time our team (or any team) lost that many star players in a single season to free agency and retirement. I tried to tell myself that this happens all the time, but honestly I was starting to lose faith in Ozzie the Wizard.

I know, shame on me.

I felt a little better when we signed OLB Elvis Dumervil from Denver for 5 million less than former-Raven OLB Paul Kruger (HAH!). I don’t want to get into a long conversation about the free agents we signed prior to the draft (I brought this up in a previous article, see State of the Franchise: Baltimore Ravens 3/30), but I really have to say at least one thing about Rolando McClain.

WHAT THE HELL MAN! If for some reason Ozzie and John Harbaugh don’t toss you off the team prior to the regular season, count your lucky stars and don’t go back to Decatur, GA for any reason until you can get your sh*t straight! Stop getting arrested and use that passion for life to show our team, and the entire NFL, that you’re not completely worthless. You were a top-10 draft pick in Oakland, and it’s about damn time you act like it.

There I said it.

This year’s draft class was different from any other I have ever witnessed. Only one QB went in the 1st round, which is crazy since there are a LOT more than 1 teams who need a new starting QB. It wasn’t even one of the quarterbacks we thought were going to be drafted in the 1st round, it was EJ Manuel, QB from Florida State. Nothing wrong with that, except he’s probably going to be asked to step in immediately since he got picked in the 1st round.

I refuse to make fun of this pick, even though it seems a little out there, especially when there were so many other quarterbacks available at the time.

Another quarterback, Geno Smith from West Virginia, went as high as 6th overall in a number of mock drafts, but didn’t get drafted until the 2nd round, 39th overall by the New York Jets. Now this I do have a problem with since the Jets have MANY other needs. They also have 5 other quarterbacks on the roster currently (4 others now that they released Tim Tebow), Mark Sanchez, Greg McElroy (former Alabama QB), David Garrard and Matt Simms (?).

Quarterback is the one position where you do NOT need that much depth.

Very quickly I’ll list some of the other things I took from watching this year’s draft.

Manti Te’o didn’t fall as far as some sports analysts feared he would, and didn’t get taken as high as I thought he would (38 overall by the Chargers). Even though Geno Smith threw a hissy fit for not getting drafted in the 1st round, at least he didn’t fall as far as USC QB Matt Barkley (4th round, 98 overall by the Eagles), or Syracuse’s Ryan Nassib (4th round, 110 overall by the Giants).

Tyrann Mathieu (aka: the Honey Badger), despite getting dismissed from LSU last year for smoking weed, managed to get drafted pretty high (3rd round, 68 overall by the Cardinals) thanks to a vote of confidence from Patrick Peterson.

DJ Hayden’s love for the game and burning determination got him drafted on the first day of the draft (1st round, 12 overall by the Raiders), even after sustaining a life-threatening tear of his IVC (inferior vena cava) 6 months ago. Most people (upwards of 95%) with this injury die before or during the surgical operation. Somehow the University of Houston corner back is back on the field, this time in the National Football League.

No running backs went in the 1st round, not Wisconsin’s Montee Ball (2nd round, 58 by the Broncos) or Alabama’s Eddie Lacy (2nd round, 61 by the Packers), South Carolina’s Marcus Lattimore (4th round, 131 by the 49ers) or anyone else. Lacy and Lattimore both dropped due to injury concerns, but Montee Ball’s only fault, being used a lot in high school and college, was a double-edged sword; Some teams take that to mean he’s reliable and non injury-prone while others look at the mileage on his body due to taking an enormous amount of carries and/or hits.

Two offensive tackles got drafted 1st and 2nd overall for the first time in the draft since the 1970 NFL-AFL merger. Three offensive linemen were grabbed in the top 4 picks, and five in the top 10. That leaves two conclusions on the table.

Either the linemen are that much better than usual this season or the skill position players, especially QB and RB, were just that much worse than usual.

West Virginia’s Tavon Austin (1st round, 8 overall by the Rams) needs recognition as perhaps the biggest play making wide receiver in this year’s draft. No wonder Geno Smith threw for so many touchdowns. Austin is reminiscent of ex-Vikings receiver Percy Harvin, or perhaps Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson. Even though he’s only 5 ft 8 in and 180 lbs soaking wet, he should immediately step in as one of Sam Bradford’s top receiving options, as well as be able to contribute during punt/kick returns, or as a slot receiver.

At least that’s what’s expected of him.

Florida State’s EJ Manuel (1st round, 16 overall by the Bills), I mean what can I say about this pick that hasn’t already been said? Even though the Bills already swapped picks with the Rams (used to acquire Tavon Austin), many people think that he still got drafted too high.

I can’t think of a single mock draft that had him picked ahead of better known quarterbacks such as Barkley, Nassib, or Smith.

EJ obviously has talent, otherwise he wouldn’t have even been a subconscious thought during the first day of the draft. He has prototypical size and height (6 ft 5 in, 237 lbs), can make all the throws required of an NFL-ready quarterback, and solid mobility (think of Andrew Luck or Ben Roethlisberger). Not the type of mobility that makes him a threat to score with his feet every time he touches the ball like Michael Vick or Colin Kaepernick, but the ability to generate 1st downs by scrambling when necessary, or to buy time in the pocket for coverage to ease up.

His flaws are just as obvious, which is the reason he wasn’t even rated as a 1st-round prospect by most football analysts. He lacks sufficient accuracy to hit smaller windows of opportunity at the next level, he has trouble reading through a complete progression, lacks experience playing under center and/or running a pro-style offense. He forces throws into impossible blanket coverage on occasion. He is not so overwhelmingly good that he can create offense without significant help around him, very possible seeing as how he’s probably going to be starting in Buffalo’s defunct offensive system.

To put it in layman’s terms, he doesn’t have enough skill position options, or even sturdy offensive linemen to keep him from getting annihilated 3-6 times a game. I’m sure he would be much more likely to become a dependable starting quarterback if given time to adjust to the speed of pro football, even thought that’s highly unlikely now that Ryan Fitzpatrick is in Tennessee (Didn’t the Bills JUST give him a contract extension last year?).

I’ve read stories about quarterbacks taking years to develop back in the good ol’ days like Pittsburgh’s Terry Bradshaw, Baltimore’s Johnny Unitas or Oakland’s Jim Plunkett. The shelf life of a quarterback, especially one drafted in the 1st round, has lessened to the point where sometimes a single losing season can lead to him being traded/waived/cut, along with the head coach, general manager and more depending on how desperate the owner/front office is.

Nobody is more guilty of having an itchy trigger finger than the Raiders, especially when under the ownership of the late Al Davis. He hired 8 different coaches since 1998, and only 1 coach has been able to last more than one full season since 2006.

FACT: 15 different quarterbacks have started at least 1 game in a Raiders uniform in the past decade (2003+).

Players all across the league are being given less time to situate themselves, and must spend more time learning complex playbooks than ever before. EJ Manuel and Geno Smith, along with pretty much every other draft pick in the 2013 class, are no different; They will most likely be given less than 2 full seasons to make a good impression on their coaches/bosses.

I’m only mentioning quarterbacks separately since no other position deals with as much criticism and publicity. They will always get more credit and more blame than the rest of their teammates, which puts them in an even more precarious spot.

It’s time to sink or swim, put up or shut up. Although I’m not a fan of this ideology, I understand the reasoning behind this mentality to a certain extent. Too many jobs are on the line and too much money involved for a franchise to give much more time than they are currently without something substantial to show for it.

As in wins and losses, butts in the bleachers, TV contracts and PSL season ticket sales.

Good luck to all those lucky players drafted in the 2013 NFL Draft. Here’s one piece of advice you can take to the bank:

**ADVICE**

Don’t get repeatedly arrested or get caught taking drugs or steroids. Put some money away with your financial adviser and exercise restraint when thinking about adding to your exotic car collection. They just aren’t a great investment, but in the back of your mind you already knew that.

Babymommas can get expensive rather quickly. Just think of each illegitimate kid as a few million dollars being stolen out of your bank account. Use simple math when adding up your expenses:

Contract + Bonuses + Endorsements

– Babymommas – Exotic Cars – Strip Club Expenses – Patron/Cristal/Ciroc/Dom Perignon/Moscato – Agent Fees – Rent on 4 Unnecessary Mansions – Charity Costs – TAXES

= Net Income

 

Next up will be my opinion on Baltimore’s 2013 Draft Class, including Matt Elam, Arthur Brown, Brandon Williams, etc.

 

Read my numerous other articles at: http://www.Kyarnboy.Wordpress.com

OR Email me at: Wong_83@Hotmail.Com

 

 

Return of the Honey Badger

 

Tyrann Mathieu Heisman

Better days, prior to dismissal from LSU

 

I couldn’t go anywhere last year without seeing replays of the Honey Badger plastered all over television sets.

Anytime I’m working at one of my restaurants, making drinks or talking to customers, there are TVs running nearly continuously behind my back. I am forever watching ESPN Sportscenter, the NFL channel, local sports programming, or whatever they feel like nationally televising.

And they always televised the games between LSU and Alabama.

I don’t remember all that much about the games between these two teams except they both are in the SEC conference, they both are NFL football factories, and they both play stifling, suffocating, punishing, physical defense (I distinctly remember one game where they combined to score 9 total points).

Oh and one more thing. Tyrann Mathieu, instantly recognizable from the stripe of bright blond dyed hair, aka: the Honey Badger, is a P-L-A-Y-M-A-K-E-R. With a capital P. If you love football, college or professional, then you should at least admire his awe-inspiring football instincts and ability to lay bigger, stronger, faster players out cold.

If you don’t believe me or need a refresher course, check out this highlight reel:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8KBPaoS6odk

Yes that really happened, and No he doesn’t have a stunt double.

If they paid college players based solely on the number of big plays they made, the Honey Badger would be a millionaire before he got to the NFL. He’s just that much better than the next player.

It’s not everyday that a consensus All-American, Heisman finalist as a defensive player and winner of the Chuck Bednarik award gets dismissed from his team. I don’t think that’s ever happened to someone as highly decorated as him.

Fast forward to August 10th, 2012, and that’s exactly what happened.

I was looking through articles on NFL.com and Bleacher Report when a little box on the right side of my screen said something about him getting dismissed from the LSU football program. I clicked on the link and for some reason my brain refused to acknowledge this as reality.

Could one of the best defensive players in the country, on a team that came this close to winning last season’s NCAA National Championship game, really be getting the boot from Les Miles team? I read every single word on that page. Still in denial. I went to the NCAA.com page, searched for Tyrann Mathieu on Google, Yahoo, random sports blogs. I desperately needed to find something that could refute this statement.

Evidently he has a problem with drugs. ‘Technically’ the Tigers team released him for unconfirmed violations of team rules but I’m assuming, along with pretty much everyone else, that he got tossed for testing positive for marijuana on his blood and urine tests.

Here’s where it gets personal. For people on the outside of this world, living in an innocence bubble, it’s just too easy to point fingers and shake your head at others for having substance abuse problems.

Even people who are in the substance abuse-rehabilitation programs are nearly as bad. Doctors, therapists, counselors, program managers, teachers, these are people who think all kids are cured the same.

Kind of like a one size fits all program, a step-by-step program to curing the want or need for whatever substance their clients are stuck on.

You take a kid who has been hanging out with the wrong people for  a very long time, listening to them, using them as role models and aspiring to become the same type of person. Sometimes there are problems at home, domestic verbal, mental, or physical abuse. Sometimes these problems are genetically linked to the parents, or grandparents, such as documented cases of familial alcoholism.

I can’t speak for him personally, but I know that I have dealt with substance abuse issues for a long time, and no program, no speeches, no campfire atmosphere filled with drug addicts and people with mental issues is going to permanently change your way of thinking in a matter of days or months.

What it really takes to change, in my opinion, is to create an outlet, somewhere you can run to and take solace whenever the stress and fear becomes overwhelming. Drugs and alcohol offer something that nothing else can compete with, a way to forget and erase bad memories and suffering.

Friends and family members can only support you by giving you a reason to continue to live, a better option.

Personally, everyone I knew and everyone I spent any time with made it seem like it was normal behavior to go out and smoke weed, drink alcohol, do drugs. It’s not even a debate about whether my actions were right or wrong, because I figured anyone outside of my circle of friends had no idea what we were going through… what I was going through personally.

Every time I wanted someone to talk to and listen to me I was given a stern lecture about how I should know better, how it could be harmful to my body and my life. Well that’s the pont isn’t it? I never thought I would live past adulthood so that point doesn’t even make a difference. When I woke up one day, having suddenly aged into my mid twenties, I was shocked and confused that my heart was still beating and my body was still in relatively good working order.

To be perfectly honest, I was actually pretty mad at myself. I couldn’t even do a good job of destroying myself. Once again I was a failure at whatever I was trying to do, even if what I was trying to do was to kill myself before I turned 21.

I’ve given casual thought to the merits of whether drowning myself in drugs and alcohol was the same as pointing a gun to my head through one ear, blowing my brains out through the other. If the end result of both is death, and the procedure or journey doesn’t matter, then there’s no difference between them.

I’m not a psychologist, and through the use of drugs/alcohol, I’ve numbed myself to the point that I don’t possess either the required intelligence or want to give myself a definitive answer.

As for the Honey Badger, I’m not as quick to criticize him for a handful of positive drug tests as many people out there are. I don’t think he was trying to derail his blossoming career in football, I just think he didn’t really know any better. Yeah I’m sure he said all the right things when the LSU football program told him that drugs were forbidden but he probably thought he could just do it in private while covering it up with detoxification drinks or masking agents.

Luckily, he and I both found a reason to continue to battle on.

It must have been quite a wake-up call when he found himself without a job, without an education, pretty much living at home, surrounded by a number of beautiful trophies that he would never have the chance to add to. If only someone who give him a chance. Someone who would take him under his wing, give him a positive male role model without asking for anything in return. There was only a slim possibility that he would ever be able to play football competitively ever again, I mean just look at what happened to Marcus Vick.

For anyone who doesn’t know who I’m talking about, Marcus Vick is the younger brother of Michael Vick, the currently on the hot seat Philadelphia Eagles starting QB. Marcus was supposedly as gifted, if not more gifted, then his brother. He played QB just like his brother, and even starred at the same school, Virginia Tech.

His career path careened off a cliff during the last game of his college career, when he stomped on an opposing player’s hand/arm with his cleats in the nationally televised Gator Bowl. Then he got into a lot of trouble, including possession and gun charges, driving on a suspended license and finally went to jail.

Sounds familiar for anyone who has dealt with substance abuse issues, doesn’t it?

Instead of getting drafted in the top 10 like most of the media thought he would, Marcus ended up as an undrafted free-agent to the Miami Dolphins. They didn’t even bring him in as a QB, despite his game tape or prodigious skill. He got signed to the team as a wide receiver, for almost no money. Not surprisingly, he didn’t make it through one season before his once promising football career was over.

In no way, shape or form is Tyrann Mathieu as bad as Marcus Vick was. He doesn’t have a string of criminal charges attached to his resume, forcing potential employers to weigh those against any potential benefit he might add to the team. He might have gone down that path too if not for several players taking time out of their busy schedules to talk to him, to act as a big brother to a troubled yet undeniably talented youth.

Arizona corner back Patrick Peterson, and famous former All-World cornerback Deion Sanders have both taken an interest in helping Tyrann find his way back to the light. For months, they have been tutoring him, talking to him, and most importantly, listening to his problems, relating to him in a way that doesn’t push him into a corner.

For all the problems he has caused, and all the people he negatively impacted by getting himself kicked off his former team, he remains one of the most exciting and interesting players I have ever seen in at least the past decade. Because he is so short (5’8″) and so small (185 lbs), and just so captivating as a character on the football field, it seems that I’m not the only one in his corner.

It’s exactly because he’s so normal in stature that I want to see him do well in the NFL.

As of yesterday or the day before, the Honey Badger was drafted in the 2nd round, 69th overall by, of all teams, the Arizona Cardinals. The same team that Patrick Peterson plays for.

The return of the Honey Badger to prime time television is good for the sport, good for us, the viewers at home, and good for him, his friends and his family. His personality and penchant for making big plays at the most opportune times will make any game he’s in more exciting.

The doors of opportunity opened slightly once again, all he has to do is not mess up and end up like Rolando McClain.

http://www.baltimoreravens.com/news/article-1/Newsome-Rolando-McClain-Still-Part-Of-Football-Team/646ecc31-8826-47fa-8331-29337b3695ab

Rolando McClain

Rolando McClain 3

Kyarnboy.Wordpress.Com

Wong_83@Hotmail.Com

 

Naruto 627 Manga – Review and Questions

It's Time to Go to WAR!

It’s Time To Go To War

After reading chapter 627, the latest chapter of the Naruto Shippuden Manga, this is all I have to say:

God damnit, why the hell do I have to wait a whole week for the continuation of this chapter?!

That’s 7 days from now at the bare minimum, and that’s if they don’t put in some ridiculous filler chapter or another long character developing back story.

I’m not kidding when I say I’m gonna spend several days typing different combinations of the words Naruto, Manga, and 628 into the Google search box in a pitiful attempt to find any website that can offer any details, or hopefully even the latest chapter.

It’s sad what trying to find this amazing manga/anime prior to 12:00 AM EST on Wednesday can do to an otherwise rational, fully grown man.

When we last left off, Orochimaru, Suigetsu, Jugo and Sasuke Uchiha were still listening to Hashirama Senju’s chapters-long character development story of Madara Uchiha and his own relationship.

After hearing everything that happened, all the sacrifices made to maintain Konoha’s continuity and relative peace, Sasuke is left speechless and confused.

When this conversation began, right after Orochimaru absorbed the Zetsu clones and used Edo Tensei to reanimate the four previous Hokage, it looked like it would once again be Clan Uchiha against the world.

Instead it turns out that Tobirama was just exercising caution, mediating and keeping an eye out for all dangerous, powerful clans that might cause the village harm, rather than just the Uchiha like I had previously thought.

Sasuke comes to the realization that everything the Hokages did, everything his brother and Shishui sacrificed, they did for the benefit all those who call the village a safe haven.

They sacrificed everything, including their lives, to save the future, aka: the children of Konoha village.

Rather then having his hand forced by the village elders, Itachi realized that everything the village stands for was placed in jeopardy when his clansmen began plotting to overthrow the democratically-elected leadership.

Most importantly, Sasuke finally reaches the mental decision that he has a responsibility to help the village endure, just like Itachi, Shishui, the 4 previous Hokages, and Kagami Uchiha all did.

**I have been saying this for a LOOOONG time, Sasuke needs to grow up and mature. His abilities including the Eternal Mangekyo Sharingan he got by taking Itachi’s eyes makes him one of the most powerful shinobi in the Naruto universe, something that he has squandered and used only to settle personal vendettas so far. His family getting slaughtered is nothing out of the ordinary among the ninja villages.

Some names off the top of my head that had it just as bad as him are: Orochimaru (who never knew his parents), Kabuto (orphan), Naruto (has never seen his parents outside of alternate dimensions, genjutsu and sealed in a fuinjutsu), Kimimaro (watched his whole clan get slaughtered), Gaara (father/uncle attempted to assassinate him repeatedly, killed uncle unknowingly), pretty much every other jinchuriki, Kakashi (dad commited suicide), etc.**

Anyways, after much soul-searching involving everything he could remember about his relationship with his older brother, Sasuke finally comes to a decision.

He will not let his brother, and the Leaf, to be wasted over petty quarrels and such a small notion as revenge.

I could hardly believe that he came to this decision after one short conversation with the Hokages, where was the years of depression, rage, anger, and sadness?

Remember that only a few months ago, during and after the 5 Kage summit meeting, he had spoken to Gaara, and then Team 7, over where his destiny was headed.

He even tried to assassinate Sakura, perhaps the only person in the world that was still able to overlook his numerous crimes. Besides Naruto and his boy love of course.

Regardless of how it happened it still happened, and I’m assuming that Sasuke has given up on taking revenge against the entire Ninja world for forcing his brother to give up his career as a genius Konoha ninja, to live life as a hated missing-nin in the employment of Pain and Tobi’s brotherhood of exceptionally evil men, the Akatsuki.

Everyone currently at the Naka shrine is as shocked as I am at this turn of events, and in the case of the 4 Hokages, delighted.

Even Orochimaru, who previously led the Sand & Sound in a combined attack on Konoha, AND who actually caused the 3rd Hokage‘s death, appears to at least accept the need to go to war against Madara & Obito.

That’s pretty much it, if you don’t count a little grandstanding on the part of the Hokage’s using their Hiraishin (Flying Thunder God) technique to each stand on top of their respective stone faces.

Oh, somehow Karin escapes Konoha prison, miraculously, just in time to kick an escaping Suigetsu in the face.

How this happens is a complete mystery to me since she is technically a prisoner of war, under the care of numerous high ranking Leaf ninjas.

Not to mention the fact that the village was previously wiped out by the Ten Tail’s massive tailed beast ball, something that had taken out the allied shinobi forces headquarters, killed countless other ninjas but somehow left one not very strong female ninja alive.

I don’t know.

She immediately tackles Sasuke in a loving embrace, to his very obvious discomfort.

I would feel awkward and uncomfortable as well if I had previously shot the girl through the chest with a Chidori spike, just like Sasuke did.

Oh well.

Other then that seemingly meaningless comic relief moment, this is huge news for Naruto fans around the world.

Sasuke, Orochimaru, the 4 Hokages, and to a lesser extent, Suigetsu, Jugo and Karin are going to war!

As previously stated, I can’t wait for the next chapter to come out.

Hopefully Naruto doesn’t take a week off unexpectedly.

The 4 Hokages 02

~Kyarnboy

Wong_83@Hotmail.com

Tricare’s Lies, Greed, Autism Awareness and You

Autistic ChildrenI’ve been told several times to not bring this subject up, as if speaking out against a major corporation is hazardous to my health. Maybe it is, but I’ve never been the type of person to back down from a fight. Not a fight in which I might be at fault, such as when I was a teenager, and certainly not when I know I’m right. I’m pretty sure I’m in the right this time around, but why don’t you be the judge after hearing what I have to say.

I’ve posted at least one personal, highly opinionated article on the subject of TRICARE (The Bloated Conglomerate Insurance Company responsible for nearly everyone working in, for, and with the US Military)  in the past, and received a tremendous amount of support in response from my blog followers, several writers and even a couple of reporters. This far exceeded my wildest expectations. More importantly, it seems like TRICARE itself noticed.

At least for a few weeks.

To refresh your memory, here is a general summary of what my problem with TRICARE was and still is about. My fiancée, who I hope to marry sometime this year, has worked as a developmental disabilities teacher for about a decade. She has battled against overwhelming odds to help children with Autism and other learning disorders become self-sufficient, capable individuals. TRICARE makes it out to seem like it’s doing everything it can to help those responsible for giving these kids a better life, but in reality is doing everything it POSSIBLY can to deny those hopes and dreams. Here’s why.

If you want the 1% of children age 3-17 in the United States, or somewhere between 1 and 1.5 million people, to live a complete and reasonably satisfying life, you definitely don’t sneak around behind the backs of the extremely specialized workforce involved in the ABA process (That’s short for Applied Behavior Analysis), cutting funding here and there, refusing to pay for treatment, and otherwise making earning a living near-impossible for them. That’s just plain fucked up and wrong, especially when you claim to do the opposite.

Many people don’t know this but many of these ABA therapists are being run out of the business in recent years. This when many high-ranking officials in the military and/or just in general are working hand in hand with numerous charities and benefits to raise money to increase “Autism Awareness.” I can only speak from personal experience but the friends and family members of everyone I’ve talked to who work in the field can all vouch for one thing:

TRICARE is refusing payment for ABA therapy, for whatever reason.

Currently, TRICARE owes my fiancée several months of payment. The case manager, some fat, lazy PoS bitch named LaTrice (spelling? I’m not sure) has repeatedly messed up some authorization letters (putting in the wrong authorization dates, delay in putting out the authorization letter, putting in the wrong CPT code) and since there is really nobody above her, she can basically tell our family to kick rocks. There is nobody making sure those intentional “mistakes” were not reoccuring and no one is making sure that Tricare pays us anything, and because of this we have went several weeks at a time without ANY paycheck at all. Oh, and then when a paycheck finally does come in the mail, it’s for some random piddling amount, as if $300 is going to make everything alright when just our rent and utilities come out to $2000!? Pretty frustrating for anyone, don’t you think?

So after calling different departments over at TRICARE repeatedly for many months, we finally get an answer. According to some corporate PR representative, “Changes have been made, effective a long f_ _ king time ago.” I say this with the utmost snarling sarcasm. BTW, this is without any statement in the mail, or phone call letting us know what changes or when. No emails, effective immediately. According to my fiancée, there has been a change in CPT codes accepted so all of her previous claims are denied. Months of claims have to be resubmitted with another CPT code. It’s just TriCare’s tactic to refuse and/or delay payments to the therapists. Also, BCaBAs (bachelor degree board certified therapists) aren’t even getting paid, PERIOD! However, BCBAs (Master’s level board certified therapists) have not been cut yet. Why would BCaBAs been cut from the program if they are board certified? We can understand that non board certified therapists are not covered. For those like her who have worked their tails off to do something they think will make the world even a little better, people who put all their eggs in the therapy basket, there is nothing we can do but hope and wait that maybe with a ton of prayer, the insurance company might gift her with a paycheck this week.

But enough about the past. Let’s talk about the future of Autism Awareness.

Does anyone feel like the men and women who fight for our country, both at home and abroad, deserve for their disabled children to have treatment denied just because TRICARE is dealing with a lawsuit worth several billion dollars and now just doesn’t feel like it? It’s not our fault that you didn’t take better care of personal information.  It may seem like not a big deal to you, but for us normal Americans with normal jobs, waiting for $10,000 in claims to get paid out can mean the difference between being able to take care of our child and struggling to not max out our credit cards in the meanwhile.

This is where I formally put in a request for help. Neither of us has the time or experience to settle things with TRICARE through filing a lawsuit. We’ve tried calling and emailing any number of officials and corporate employees and it doesn’t seem like anything is getting through. The thing that infuriates me the most, however, is their public stance on therapy:

http://tricare.mil/CoveredServices/BenefitUpdates/Archives/AutismDemo.aspx

Just by reading that, it would seem like everything is hunky dory over here, when in reality nothing could be farther from the truth. How can you claim your furthering the cause of Autism Awareness, or any other learning disability research when even the insurance company of our armed forces is directly and indirectly responsible for numerous “paraprofessionals” exiting the industry? I’ll give you an example so you can better understand the hypocrisy:

The NBA is responsible for paying professional basketball players. If all of a sudden they refused to pay their players, most of them would be forced to quit and do something else for a living instead. When players can no longer make a living by playing basketball, people who would otherwise be learning to play basketball as a child or a teenager with dreams of going pro will decide to go into some other field, perhaps playing football in the NFL or hockey in the NHL.

This is EXACTLY what TRICARE is doing to the highly specialized field of ABA therapy. Nobody is going to get into a field where their star players (board-certified therapists) are treated badly. Would you want to play in the NBA if you couldn’t even pay your rent or put food on the table? Definitely not. The same kids who could grow up to find the cure for Autism, Asperger Syndrome, or Dyslexia if given the right motivation will almost certainly find something else to do that will pay the bills. Hopefully you understand my long-winded example.

If only there was somebody who could understand the gravitas of my situation, like say, Joe Mantegna, aka. Agent Rossi.

I know there is a high probability that someone as important as Mr. Mantegna will never see this article. Even if he were to see this little rant, or if someone mentioned it to him, I have little hope that he would ever respond. Regardless, if he ever were to read this or give me the chance to explain my situation to him, this is what I would say:

“Dear Mr. Mantegna,

I’m a big fan of your character on Criminal Minds, relative and important to me since it might be the only show my mom and I watch at the same time. The other day while I was partially watching an episode while at the same time reading a magazine, I heard your voice and thought it sounded almost like the funny cartoon mob boss on the Simpsons. Anyways, I saw one of your commercials the other day. This one:

At the beginning of your commercial, you say something compelling and instantly relatable. “In order to reach their full potential, children with special needs such as Down’s Syndrome, Autism, Cerebral Palsy, and other developmental disabilities need love, attention, and an education.. just like everyone else.” This sentence stood out to me since I’m currently struggling to understand why my fiancée continues to help military children. I’ve personally seen the good that ABA can do, but don’t know how we can continue if we don’t figure out a way to deal with TRICARE. If the teachers, researchers, therapists, and other educators don’t get paid, pretty soon they will leave the field. Hopefully someone like yourself could raise awareness to the situation, before it becomes untenable. It would be a shame if she could no longer do what she loves to do, working with special needs children, purely for financial reasons. I know that you have a personal interest in the Autism Awareness campaign and hope that you met plenty of wonderful teachers who helped your daughter Mia.

Thanks for taking the time to listen to my self-righteous speech. I know it only affects me indirectly, but I’d like to think I’m the type of person who can use my writing skills to help others. Even if my perspective’s colored, I feel like something needs to be said and/or done to help all the BCBAs and BCABAs affected.”

I gladly await all responses, especially one in particular.

~Michael

reach me at Wong_83@Hotmail.com OR leave a comment at Kyarnboy.Wordpress.com 

Naruto Chapter 625 Update: Comments & Insights

 

final valley - uchiha senju

Madara: I can’t trust you unless you kill your brother or yourself. Why does your brother have white hair anyways? Isn’t he like 13?

Tobirama: FUCK YOU! 

Hashirama: Uhhh…what do you mean? We were at, like, at WAR?? DUH! Get over yourself. And his hair is white because of extreme levels of stress. Also, he’s so very wise. I dunno.

Madara: You have to kill me now or I’ll get you back. Eventually. You know I can do it too, what with my ETERNAL MANGEKYO SHARINGAN! (But somehow can’t manage to skip rocks at the age of 10+, something even non-ninja kids can do around 7-8 years old)

Hashirama: What happened to the peace we both talked about as kids? Don’t you still want that? Can’t you see that this would be best for both of our clans, and for the Ninja world as a whole? Can you please not act like a little bitch???

Madara: Whine, Whine, Whine!! *STOMPS IMPOTENTLY, KICKS DIRT* Like, WHATEVER! Even though we were at war when you killed my brother Izuna, I still can’t accept it, life has no meaning now. Even if the entire world is destroyed because of our petty squabbling.

Hashirama: If you had killed my brother instead, I would still want to make peace. Besides, didn’t you have a bunch of other brothers who were killed before Izuna got killed? Why didn’t you go crazy and act like this after they died?

Madara: I DON’T CARE! Just you wait, you better kill me or I’m going to figure out a way to become immortal, steal your DNA, and come back as an Edo Tensei Zombie with the powers of both Uchiha and Senju!!!

Hashirama: …FML.

Kishimoto has been writing a whole bunch of filler for the past month or so, ever since Sasuke restored Orochimaru to nearly full strength and somehow bypassed years upon years of storyline in a few brief chapters. Even so, the building up of these pivotal characters (Hashirama, Tobirama, Madara, Izuna and their families, Uchiha & Senju) continues to add depth and development, something that sets this anime apart from it’s contemporaries. The latest chapters have more than a little fan speculation (what if _____ happens?), satisfying many of my brethren by giving them the thing that they desperately wanted; a revival of the four great Hokage.

In my limited wisdom, I’m not sure if this would have happened naturally during the course of the writer’s storyline, or if it happened just to appease fans who were unhappy with the way things turned out. For me personally, it seems to have cleared up a few things, while at the same time leaving me with a bunch of new questions.

Here’s a short list for you guys to run through. Feel free to respond and let me know if you happen to have ideas, suggestions, or any reasonable (or ridiculous) answers.

Izuna Coffin

1. Why is Izuna’s death the moment where everything changes for Madara, his morals, view of the world, reasoning and partial insanity, etc. I know he supposedly loves his brother more than life itself, but doesn’t he have (or had) a number of other siblings? He mentions it briefly as a single sad comment during one of Hashirama/Madara’s first encounters, but doesn’t continue or give us any other reasons to believe that this should have caused everything they  had discussed to be tossed out the window. No peace treaty, no cease-fire, no deal. For a snarky explaination of my beliefs, refer to the dialogue in italics at the beginning of this article.

Orochimaru Resurrected

2. Why is Orochimaru suddenly even more powerful than during his fight against the 3rd Hokage? The vast majority of his power, aka: his “soul,” was absorbed during the mental/genjutsu battle w/ Sasuke. That part of his soul was not sealed by the Death Reaper’s Seal, like all the Hokage’s souls + his ninjutsu were. That portion was sealed by Itachi‘s Susanoo wielding the Sword of Totsuka. Even when it later showed a tiny white snake slithering away from the Sasuke/Itachi battle, Amateratsu then touches the snake, destroying it. He somehow absorbs the Senjutsu energy Kabuto Yakushi gets from training at the Ryuchi Cave with the White Snake Sage. From the events of the “Chikara” series, Kabuto/Orochi’s Edo Tensei gets significantly stronger. That being said, at minimum, his artifact, the Kusanagi Sword, should be sealed, along with his Giant Hydra technique, and most of his chakra reserves.

Another thing that’s been bothering me is when Orochi tells Sasuke he’s been watching things unfold from inside Anko Mitarashi’s curse seal. Somehow his consciousness, as well as potentially a completely new Orochimaru, is aware of everything that has happened recently, way too convenient in my opinion. First off, does this mean Anko’s curse seal was somehow special and/or different from all the others in the world of Naruto? Could the Sound Four, or any of the countless test subjects in Orochi’s secret laboratories use their curse marks to bring back a conscious and dangerous Orochimaru? When Sasuke added Karin, Jugo and Suigetsu Hozuki to Hebi, he had to fight through numerous nameless cronies, each with the ability to use a cursed seal. Even though many of you probably think I’m nitpicking on a rather unimportant detail, this doesn’t make sense to me. It should have taken a lot more than a chunk of Kabuto’s flesh, Anko’s curse seal, a quick trip to Konahagakure, and finding a simple mask at the Uzumaki mask shrine for him to become more powerful than ever before.

(Note: The most irritating thing about Orochi camping out in Anko’s curse seal is that she was only laying there since Kabuto had already drained the remaining power out of her curse seal. Kabuto told Obito (Tobi) that rather than killing her, he was going to take whatever he could from her seal to strengthen his own Orochi-based techniques, such as Edo Tensei. If he had already taken out whatever energy was in her, how is is that he could still be hiding in the curse seal, conscious and waiting for someone like Sasuke to release him? Strange right?}

edo tensei 01

3. Raise your hand if you think Edo Tensei is simply TOO powerful and unrealistic? Unlike the 3 Great Dojutsu (eye techniques), Edo Tensei isn’t a Kekkai Genkai (bloodline limit, or DNA-related ability), and doesn’t even have much of a development or history. First developed by the 2nd Hokage, Tobirama Senju, and further enhanced to greater heights by Orochimaru and later Kabuto, anyone who uses this technique instantly becomes one of the most powerful ninjas in the Naruto world. The ability to make immortal zombie ninjas would be awesome enough without adding the ability to fully control them and all of their abilities in life. I’ll give you an example:

Both Itachi and Nagato had their eyes removed sometime after death, so that their Dojutsu could be claimed by Sasuke and Obito respectively. So how come when they come back to life as an undead zombie, they suddenly have access to all of their ocular abilities again? As for Madara, the need for an ultimate villain trumps having the storyline make sense since there should be no way he should be able to switch between his own Eternal Mangekyo Sharingan AND the Rinnegan, without even adding Hashirama Senju’s DNA to make the ultimate ninja. How do you even add DNA or eyes to an undead corpse covered in ash to begin with?

Anyways, according to the storyline anyone with sufficient intelligence to decipher the past research of the 2nd Hokage, Orochimaru or Kabuto could theoretically figure out how to use Edo Tensei. Actually, anyone with access to a Sharingan could technically copy any non-Kekkai Genkai jutsu, including Edo Tensei. So why don’t more people use an ability that could instantly turn them into a match for even entire regiments of jonin-level ninja? I’m just sayin’.

Signed #1 Naruto Fan,

Mikey

Contact me @ Wong_83@Hotmail.com OR just message me at Kyarnboy.Wordpress.com

Making Sense of the 2012 Presidential Election(MY Perspective)

“I’m not spinning this opinion, that’s just what I think.” ~Governor John Kasick of Ohio.

Excuse me? So you’re not spinning or changing the way your interpreting the pre-election polls but that’s just in YOUR opinion? That’s a bunch of bullshit, please excuse my language. How can you get on CBS News, and say that line with a straight face when you know that sometimes actual intelligent people(from time to time) watching this program.

Well here’s my opinion on the matter. I’m not usually a big fan of political opinions, I think most of the advertising and commercials you see on TV, or even news correspondence shows, are about as skewed as my view on capital punishment. I think anyone who’s been proven guilty of murder, meaning they got caught red-handed with real physical evidence, should be hung, electrocuted, given lethal injection or burned at the stake for their crimes. What’s wrong with an eye for an eye? If it’s good enough for the Bible, it’s good enough for me.

So you can see how biased I am when it comes to the topic of capital punishment. That’s exactly what I feel’s going on every time I see another anonymous face in a bad suit get in front of the camera. I don’t believe 99% of what’s said. I try to be less pessimistic, to look at what’s being said with an open-mind, but I find it increasingly hard to swallow each side’s warped views on subjects such as the national economy.

It seems like everyone has their own personal agenda when it comes to telling their version of the truth.

In terms of what has happened to the economy, I don’t need to watch television to know how it impacts my family and community. Some of my friends have lost their jobs while others still have their job but are getting paid a lot less. What I want to know is why both sides are spending hundreds of millions of dollars on advertising and campaigning, instead of giving that money back to the community. If you really cared about the people without jobs, starving on the street, why don’t you donate that money to a charity or relief fund, instead of making another terrible commercial? Trust me, if my wife ever comes back from the mailbox with a check from the government in hand, whoever’s in office at the time is getting my vote. Period.  Don’t think of this as a bribe, just in case your new to the business of getting or giving bribes. Just earmark it as reparations, money paid out to my family in return for my ancestors getting forced to build railroads so that chefs and homosexuals can live in San Francisco today.

I like to consider myself as a relatively conservative Democrat. Some people might categorize me slightly on the other side but you get the point. I’m pretty close to being right in the middle. This gives me a  fairly unique perspective on many of the main topics of battle between both sides. I’m all for gun-control but also believe that every US “citizen” has a right to protect their home. With an automatic weapon.  I’m pro-choice, I’m against increasing government regulation, I think we do need a strong military but less police at home. Not that I’m against having police, if you think human rights are bad in the US, I dare you to commit crimes in China.

If you’ve ever watched the show ,”Locked-up Abroad,” you know exactly what I’m talking about. People get shot in the back of the head, or just flat-out disappear in China. I know this because some of my family members are card-carrying Triad members while others have just spent time in a Chinese jail. Due process, right to representation, regular visitation, these are just a few things that do not exist in many other countries. Sometimes we take these things for granted, especially when we’re too busy worrying about the economy, unemployment or real-estate value across the US.

Mitt Romney would have us believe the economy was just fine before Barack Obama came to office. Unemployment did not exist, Wall-street and US Auto didn’t need government assistance, and rainbows come from a Leprechaun’s pot of gold. I’m not a lawyer, lobbyist or politician, meaning I don’t know left from right when it comes to making government policies. I’m certainly not an expert when it comes to pointing fingers at whether Republicans or Democrats are to blame for most of the countries woes. What I do know is that these problems were not created by the current residents of the White House. If I had to guess where most of these problems began, I would have to say President George W. Bush is the first thing that comes to mind.

The last time I can honestly say I thought things were going well in this country was during the Clinton Administration. The major defining moment of his two terms in office is definitely not what he did with Monica Lewinsky. I don’t really care if he’s involved in extracurricular activities, as long as he was looking out for the rest of the country. Which he did admirably. His two terms in office were some of the best from an economic standpoint in US history. Bill Clinton balanced the national budget so well that instead of cutting the deficit, we actually had a surplus. We were a world leader in technology and education, the stock market reached an all-time high and real-estate values were never better. Overall things were trending upwards.

What most people are forgetting is that between the Clinton years, usually considered good, and Obama’s presidency, so-so at best, there was only one other president! President George Bush the 2nd was the cause and reason for many of the problems we see today. During his two terms in office we went to war twice, the economy went into the tank, and the US experienced one of the deadliest terrorist attacks in history. Bush was a Republican, just like Mitt Romney, even though both blame all the problems we face today on…

You guessed it, the Democrats.

Even though things aren’t going as well as I want, I think equal blame can and be applied to Congress and the Senate. Currently the floors of Congress and the Senate are mostly Republicans while President Obama’s a Democrat. Every time the legislative branch and executive branches of government are controlled by opposing political parties, they usually deny the goals and laws of their opponents. Even though this’s meant to keep any branch of government from becoming too powerful, in reality it usually just keeps all of them from doing ANYTHING. If you want to blame anyone for keeping Obama’s measures, either right or wrong, from happening, blame them.

More than anything else, I think the most important characteristic of a Presidential candidate is his or her conviction. To stand for something is more important than pandering to get you elected into office. Even if you don’t like the current president, if you think his opinion is full of crap, it’s important to know that he will stand behind his beliefs. Mitt Romney has gained my everlasting enmity for changing his opinion throughout his campaign. I don’t know exactly what either candidate will do, therefore all I have to go by his word. How can we put our trust in anyone who’s so deceptive, lies and manipulations flowing from his mouth like poisoned honey?

Would you rather sign an agreement with someone who promises to give you 100 dollars and does exactly that or someone who promises to give you a 1000 dollars and changes their mind at the last moment? Which person sets a better example for our children? What if that same person told you he would actually give you 2000 dollars as long as you waited another 6 months and later told you he had only promised you 500? Do you feel like that person should represent our entire nation for at least the next four years?

I know I wouldn’t. I’m choosing to vote for Obama specifically for that reason. Given two bad choices, one bad and one worse, I’ve decided to vote for the one that will cause the least damage in the long run. I think both candidates could, in a perfect situation, make this country better than it seems now. The problem is that the perfect situation will never happen.

Our country has a  number of serious problems to face every day. Either candidate will be climbing into the cockpit of a 747 passenger plane running low on fuel and with one engine down due to malfunction. He will have to make some tough decisions in the near future in order to safely get everyone on board to their destination. More than anything else, the most important thing on the line is a better standard of living for our children.

I’ve got two daughters, one blood-related and one that’s adopted. I hope for a number of things in the future. First, I hope the environment is still a beautiful place that they can enjoy when they have children. This will not happen if we continue to warm the planet or kill off hundreds of species each year. I’ve always had a love for sharks, fish and sea mammals, hopefully the Japanese and Chinese do not kill them all off by dumping radiation in the water or massive overpopulation. Secondly, I want to give them some money to spend through sound investments and a home they can either live in or sell. If our economy and real-estate situations continue to deteriorate, pretty soon nobody will have the money to buy a home in the country. Third, I don’t want them to get killed by a suicide bomber or religious fanatics. This will only happen if we make education a priority. Not just science, math or biology ,but religious cooperation. There will never be an understanding between Christians and Muslims if we don’t stop telling everyone they’re going to hell. Just because they do things differently does not mean they are working for the devil or threatening to corrupt your children. Personally, I don’t care what other people are doing, as long as it doesn’t affect my wife or kids.

Finally, I hope that the US continues to survive as a land of the free. Free to read and write whatever I want. Free to marry whoever I want, and free to live my life however I want. This goes back to my view on the police. As long as what I’m doing isn’t threatening or harming anyone else, I really don’t see how it’s anyone else’s business. Freedom and equality are the things that make the United States different from any other country in the world. There are no robed men with their faces covered telling me how my wife can dress. I’m a big fan of her being able to show off her beautiful figure. There are no men wearing dresses and machine guns pressuring me to sift through mud for diamonds, or killing my family for speaking out against the government. As long as I pay for it, my children can go to almost any school they choose, regardless of the fact that they’re Chinese and eat duck feet.

Hopefully in the future, my children can enjoy these things as well.

 

Michael, Wong_83@Hotmail.Com

 

Bear Grylls: Rugged Hero of Masculinity

Like I said, Bear Grylls is my f&$king Hero.

If anyone would be my role model, a father-figure/brother, it would be the host of Man vs. Wild. If you haven’t seen this show, it’s very entertaining, what with the eating bugs, climbing steep cliffs, jumping out of airplanes, and doing push-ups naked in the Arctic!! He’s a cross between James Bond, Joe Rogan and Hercules. If he were even a bit more masculine, he would start making Terminator movies, become the Governator of California, and cheat on Maria Shriver with a fat, ugly Mexican maid.

But I’m getting off topic(Editor’s Note: Author thinks Schwarzenegger is masculine). Here is a premise of every/any episode of Man vs. Wild:

1. Bear appears on-screen.

2. Bear does backflip out of helicopter, with or without a parachute.

3. Bear lands on the ground/in a lake and immediately starts chopping at rotten stumps, looking for the nastiest insects he can find.

4. Bear proceeds to eat said insects, you can hear the crunching and see legs and pincers poking out of his mouth.

5. Bear says with an English accent, “Taste haarible, but this will give me loads of protein.”

6. Bear says, “Let’s move on then.”  Bear proceeds to randomly pick the hardest route possible, usually including jagged icy cliffs, eighty-foot waterfalls, dangerous class-5 rapids, and jumping over a ravine into a ten-story pine tree. (Note to self, do not do ANY of this if I want to survive. Instead, I should eat tons of fucking coconuts, clams, oysters, plant roots; Basically be lazy as shit like Survivorman.)

7. Bear lights signal fire near his newest shelter. He then immediately dives back into the jungle before anyone has a chance to spot the signal fire. What’s the point of the fire???

8. Bear finds random snake. Bear clubs snake with random stick.

8. Sky opens up and dumps torrential rain on Bear, since that’s what happens in tropical rain-forest. No need to worry because Bear can light a fire anywhere, anytime. Dry firewood and fluffy fire-starter can conveniently be found anywhere in the world if your name is Bear Grylls.

9. Bear puts snake on fire, skin still attached. He says it’s for the nutrients but I don’t believe him. I think he likes eating terrible, rubbery snake-meat. He then proceeds to bite right into the snake, skin, spine and all. He says it tastes terrible but he needs all the calories he can get. In actuality, Bear has no taste buds. At least that’s what I think.

10. Bear puts out campfire and jumps over towering

8. Bear does some Parkour, randomly jumping, flipping, sliding and running through loose and dangerous conditions. He then warns viewers that in a ‘survival situation,’ you must be careful. A sprained/broken ankle or other injury is even more serious than usual in a hostile environment. If that’s true, why are you doing Parkour off the edge of a cliff?

9. At some point, Bear comes along a rapidly flowing river. He tells us not to underestimate fast-flowing jungle/glacial rivers and shortly thereafter jumps into the dangerous river. Sometimes he makes a raft out of tin cans, plastic jugs, rusty sheet metal and shoelaces/jungle vines. Inevitably the raft sinks after a short interlude, leaving him flying through some whitewater rapids… filled with rocky outcroppings.

10. He miraculously survives, regardless of what predicament he is in. Towards the end of the show, regardless of what vast uninhabited area of the world he’s in, Bear suddenly spots a Boat/Plane/Helicopter. He makes another signal fire and gets spotted miraculously, all in a few short minutes.

11. Sometimes he doesn’t get picked up, but instead ends his newest adventure by doing something incredibly dangerous, such as outrunning a train and then jumping on the moving train. Another time he makes a raft, rowing his way across arctic waters, regardless of the fact that his raft is leaking, AND he doesn’t know when or where he might be rescued. Again he’s saved in the nick of time.

If this isn’t crazy enough, on top of everything, on various occasions our valiant host puts himself in needless and exceedingly dangerous situations, just to show the viewers what to do, just in case. Just in case of WHAT?! Do you really need to jump out of an airplane and cut off your parachute, thousands of feet in the air, just so you can show us what to do in case? How about jumping butt naked into a frozen lake, swimming under the ice to another hole while struggling to keep his body from freezing to death.

I know it’s television but I’m pretty sure that in any survival situation, I wont be diving into any deep caves looking for bats & bugs to eat. I’m not paddling through shark infested waters on a flimsy bamboo raft, nor am i going to explore a tiny crack in a glacier that might crush or trap me. I’m not going to rappel down the side of a cliff, hanging from a rock that might fall apart at any second. I’m not doing anything dangerous for that matter.

This is my idea of surviving the wild.

I’m sitting my ass down in the first place I deem relatively safe, with access to food and water. I’m setting up a gigantic signal fire, burning down the entire forest while tossing plastic, rubber, and anything else that’s harmful to the ozone. This will create black smoke that will be seen a few hundred miles away. No trees? I’m melting the polar ice caps, creating a massive rock-slide in the mountains… whatever it takes to get myself noticed, even if it means destroying the environment on a global scale.

Oh and as for the wildlife, I’ll look for something edible from the remains of some pristine rain-forest. All those worms, grasshoppers, beetles and snakes charred well-done, killing off any bacteria that might have caused me to vomit or have diarrhea. If that doesn’t work, I’m finding a large branch, turning it into a spear and killing off anything that moves. This includes any possible endangered species that might be living nearby. If this doesn’t get me noticed by the scientific community, I don’t know what will.

If I was an action hero, I might do things differently. I’m not and neither is the average person watching Man vs. Wild.  Recently, there was a fan special episode called Fans vs. Wild. Two fans were randomly chosen, joining Bear on a trip to the Canadian North. One guy was from New York. The other was Minnesota. They were scared to death and only barely completed a few of the easier tasks Bear does on a weekly basis.If the things he does regularly were necessary, it seems like the fans would have died within a few days at most.

Now that’s masculinity at it’s best. Crazy, reckless but so entertaining to watch.

Now I’d be more like Les Stroud from the show Survivorman. Sometimes he eats bugs and does dangerous things, but usually he just sits around a campfire, sleeping a lot and cooking whatever supplies are easy to find. Those vegetable roots and leaves seem a lot more palatable than live scorpions or tarantulas. Instead, Les just plays his harmonica and a tiny guitar on occasion. He probably wouldn’t be able to self-rescue but who the hell cares? His chances of dying of hypothermia, starvation, drowning, getting stung by dangerous insects, injected with venom or falling off the side of a mountain are greatly reduced. Isn’t that more important than looking cool in the wild?

I sure think so.

Here’s my solution, listen carefully. Don’t go to dangerous places by yourself. Make sure you have a guide if you go to the rain-forest. If you have to go somewhere dangerous, alone, make sure you bring plenty of supplies. This includes a very sharp knife, a FEW full water bottles. When packing what you believe is necessary, double it. Add things you can easily carry that you might even think aren’t necessary. Bring lots of non-perishable food like granola bars, peanut butter and spam. Bring something to start fires and even a cheap sleeping bag. This may seem like overkill but trust me, little things like this are the difference between life and death in the wilderness. Even a pint of liquor or a bag of candy can revitalize your morale/spirits.

Actually, just don’t go into the wild. I’d rather watch it on television at home where I’m relatively safe from harm. If I ever feel the need to go camping in the wild, I’ll set up a tent in the backyard. With s’mores.

MSW, Wong_83@hotmail.com

Andy Roddick is BACK in the ’09 Wimbledon Finals

Do you have any idea how long I have been waiting for Andy Roddick to make it to the Wimbledon Finals?

Do you have any idea how many times he has disappointed me? Probably not I suppose but just try to look at it from my point of view…

My infatuation with Andy Roddick began back in my high-school days, way back when Brontosaurus and Tyrannosaurus-Rex were roaming the Earth. I had been playing tennis, both for pleasure and in competition, since the 3rd grade. I guess it has at least a little to do with the fact that I was born Asian, we just happen to love the game of tennis.

At least in America we do.

For some reason, just like Soccer, Cricket and Rugby, Tennis is a sport that’s a huge deal for just about every other country besides the United States. The Russians absolutely SWEAR by tennis, especially their women, which can be seen in such famous players as Martina Navratilova, Anna Kournikova and  Maria Sharapova. I only mentioned the latter two because they are smoking hot and their influence extends beyond just the sport they play. As for Martina, well, she’s just one of the best women to have ever played the game, hand’s down.

The majority of Asia, Europe and even the Middle East/Africa play tennis at a high level as well, tennis games are a big deal throughout the year in these countries, rather then just when the grand-slam tournaments are on.

In America, sure there are a lot of players, especially in high-school or at rich, uppity country clubs, but for the most part America has not consistently ranked very high at the professional level…with only a few exceptions. The major difference is that when you look at the top 25 players in the world, both men and women, over the past couple decades it seems to have been primarily comprised of Russian and Eastern European names.

So basically, since a very young age, I had very few American role-models to look up too in terms of Tennis.I can basically count all of them on one hand and I’m talking both sexes combined.

The Williams sisters, who I believe are monstrous, brutal and perhaps the perfect specimens from which elite tennis playing females should be cloned. Have you seen their sheer muscle definition or the power in their serves? This duo of destruction has rampaged through the professional tennis-scene for over a decade now.

John McEnroe, who probably wouldn’t be a role-model for most other people but because of my own short fuse and natural god-given talent for tennis, was the first professional tennis player I ever heard of. He’s also one of the most evil people on the planet in my opinion and as far as I’m concerned, a great man.

Andre Agassi, with or without hair, had the most will-power and heart I have ever seen in tennis, at any playing level. He won sets and tournaments that he probably had no right to win, against players in their prime much younger and stronger then him. Throughout the ’90s and even past the turn of the century, Agassi proved that wisdom and heart will always be a match for strength and speed. Oh yeah, he was also married to one of the most beautiful white women I have ever seen…Brooke Shields.

Well, when she was younger at least. Now she had all that plastic surgery and her head is bigger and her features all blunt and blocky…Blechkkk.

Pete Sampras, classic and distinguished throughout his career, he foiled my other favorite player, Andre Agassi, on numerous occasions. Until Roger Federer, the Swiss tennis player currently ranked number one, overtakes him, Sampras is the holder of the record for most majors won in men’s singles with 14. It’s only coincidental that this article is being written at the same time that Federer is attempting to win his 15th major…Against Andy Roddick.

Fnally there’s Andy Roddick. Lean, muscular, American as can be and the owner of the most powerful first serve ever to be clocked in Tennis, at around 155mph. He’s not quite as old as my other favorite American players, nor has he won as many tournaments. He’s currently ranked number six on the ATP list and is the highest ranked American player(yay!). In the past, he has been ranked number one in the world.

The reasons I have always rooted for the sometimes-underdog are pretty simple. He plays fast, aggressive and has a punishing serve. He was born and raised in the heartland of America (Omaha, Nebraska) so basically he bleeds red, white and blue. He is known as the “other A-Rod” and unlike a lot of other pro athletes, he doesn’t splurge and go out to bars and clubs excessively. Also, he’s married to the pretty ridiculous Sports Illustrated model, Brooklyn Decker.

Even though he has made it to 27 career finals matches, he is still often considered an underdog for one unfair and obvious reason: He has a career head-to-head record of 2-18 when facing Roger Federer. Now personally, I don’t think that’s so bad in and of itself. Federer is not a typical professional Tennis player. He is pretty much a lock to make it into the Tennis Hall of Fame and arguably THE BEST MALE TENNIS PLAYER OF ALL TIME. For Roddick to have even been ranked in the top 3, during a time-period that includes both Raphael Nadal AND Federer is remarkable.

Luckily, this year’s edition of Wimbledon did not feature Nadal- the Spanish defending champion made a surprising withdraw due to a case of tendonitis in his knee-leaving the playing field at the All England Club a little easier then it typically would have been. Early this morning, #2 Roger Federer defeated #24 Tommy Haas and #6 Andy Roddick defeated #3  Andy Murray in the semifinals.

So I guess what it comes down to is the Twenty First showdown between Roddick and Federer that is set to take place over the next couple days. This is the third time they will battle in the finals on the lush grass of Centre Court. Andy is better coached, better versed, stronger and more versatile than he has been in years…hopefully that and a good bit of luck will help swing things his way this time. Federer will always remain a dangerous opponent but this time I believe, I must believe, that Roddick has the confidence and stamina necessary to keep the sets close, jump the net and neutralize and respond to Federer’s potent offense.

Mikey, Wong_83@hotmail.com

RIP The Late, Great Billy Mays…and Others!

11:47AM: Can’t believe Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, Ed McMahon and BILLY MAYS all died so suddenly! What is going on, is something in the water or what?! I mean this is just ridiculous. I know it could just be coincidence…but I don’t really believe in coincidences.

Anyways, Billy Mays especially was my favorite out of all of the celebrities mentioned above, with the only possible exception being the younger, black edition of Michael Jackson.

Q: How do you know it’s bedtime at Neverland Ranch?
A: When the big hand touches the little hand…

A little too early?

Probably. It’s just that I know that MJ was totally fantastic and his music to this day still touches me(non-sexually). It’s just that I am in such disbelief that he went above and beyond to destroy his looks, his reputation and his eternal soul. Regardless, he will be missed.

As for the legendary pitchman Billy Mays and his TV-series on the Discovery Channel, “Pitchmen,” I can not express the true feelings of disappointment and sadness brought about due to the sudden ending of his life and career. His rugged beard will be missed, as will his constant use of shouting all the time. *sniff*

Pitchmen is a very good and interesting show for very good reasons. If you get the Discovery Channel and have the chance to watch an episode or two, I suggest you take a peek. Its basically a show about the life of Billy Mays, his family and his partner/friend/fellow pitchman Sully.

OK, to be totally honest in my opinion of the show, I have to say this. Most of the products they see from private inventors, like 95% of them, are completely bogus and utter trash. People seem to want to spend tens of thousands of dollars or more on the worst most half-assed ideas I have ever seen in my life! I don’t even know how that’s possible. I couldn’t spend 10,000 dollars on an invention if my life depended on it. I mean, don’t you think you should really put some thought and planning behind an idea before you decide to go and dump your family’s entire life savings on it?

Evidently not for these people.

As for the few really good ideas I saw, Billy and Sully actually are very good at figuring out what items have selling potential and in what they should do to maximize the advertisement potential. I think they are so good at their jobs becaise they know how to relate to the common man, just looking for a solution to life’s little problems.

Just to name a few of the coolest things I saw over the course of a Pitchmen marathon, there was this crazy-looking circular saw, safe enough for home-use while still having the cutting power to chop a mid-sized sedan in half!!!

The secret to his design was using two circular saw blades instead of one, which spin in opposite directions. This means that even though the saw-teeth are smaller then ones in a traditional circular saw blade, as long as they spin exactly at the same speed they are infinitely safer and are still bad-ass.

Who doesn’t want one of those? The saw was so good that within the first week of the TV-ad coming out, the inventor had already made over 250,000 dollars! With an entire year of advertising, this dude was well on his way to making millions of dollars, settling all the debt he had accrued over years of dumping his savings into this project and most importantly, taking care of his parents. ❤

I think that’s what most people really want, even beyond juat making money. Personally, I know thats what I wold do if I ever made, patented and sold one of my own wacky ideas. It’s gotta be genetic or inherent in our morale code for most people to want to look out for their parents. Unless your a murderer and hacked up your parents for hamburgers…

Back to the subject of Pitchmen and Billy Mays, besides all the normal and good inventions, it was also good to see that Billy really cared about some of the “inventors” he worked with. In one episode, Billy worked with this young man who was working on patenting a vacuum-powered cleaner. This cleaner was kinda like Oxyclean in that you put a liquid on stains and smells but is slightly different in that there’s this hand-pump that you use to suck the liquid back out after it’s finished cleaning the material.

When Billy met up with the young man, he decided that instead of just pitching the product himself, he would help him to become a pitchman while setting up appointments for him at some conventions and on television. Finally at the end of the episode, after seeing the guy progress and show a great deal of potential, Billy personally gave him a private check for 5000 dolllars. This was very different then the way he usually deals with potential clients and shows how great Billy Mays really is.

In summary, Billy Mays may have been rich and enjoyed the luxuries of having a successful career but in no way acted like most people in his tax-bracket. He was a strong-willed, loud, sometimes annoying but always kind-hearted man who still remains a hero to the common people of the US…and perhaps the world. He used his success to help other people manufacture, pitch and sell their ideas/inventions, hopefully making their lives better in the long run.

Most people don’t know how hard it really is for inventions and ideas to get recognized, let alone make any money off even the best products available on the market. It takes true brand-recognition, a trustworthy face, a good sales campaign, years of planning, and most of all a great deal of luck to earn even a single dollar off a pair of mopping slippers. Or a circular saw. Or a vertical grill.

Thanks Billy, for everything you’ve done, and for everyone you inspired to go into sales, marketing or inventing. I will forever remember your Quick Chop, OxyClean, Mighty Putty and Shammy commercials. Hopefully wherever you end up, there will be idiots like myself for you to sell crappy products too. 😀

Mikey, Wong_83@hotmail.com

Meerkat Manor: Are you kidding me? This isn’t PG!

Ok, a lot of you know that I watch a ton of random Discovery/Animal Planet production TV shows.
I’ve watched all of the first season of Whale Wars, African Expedition, Extreme & Deadly, Planet Earth, Deadliest Catch, River Monsters, Top 10, and numerous other random shows to count.

So it wasn’t out of the ordinary for me to flip on Animal Planet this morning, and low and behold, a few episodes of Meerkat Manor were playing.

I was fully expecting this show to be some PG version of a Zoo-show or animal family-type show…Especially given that the show is on Animal Planet! I mean seriously, this show is pretty much all geared towards children and young adults.

Very few of my older friends and/or their parents have ever watched or even heard of Meerkat Manor. The only time they ever even watch these type of series is, you guessed it, when they come over to my house to hang-out or visit.

So anyways, this show is basically centered on a couple different rival factions of Meerkats, basically small rodent-like animals that live out in the middle of the African plains. They are kinda cute, striped and they make these weird noises that their pack can understand to mean either danger, food or following orders.

As the show progressed, it increasingly became apparent that this wasn’t going to be your average animal show. There are a bunch of reasons why I don’t think really young children to see this but I’ll just list a couple that really were kind of stunning.

1. Cannibalism: WTF. I think it really just speaks for itself. Basically the gist of it was that the Whiskers family of Meerkats has a dominant female. Another female was trying to become the dominant female and had a litter of babies.While she was out feeding the day after giving birth to her litter, the current dominant female decided to sneak home while everyone was away and eat all the babies.

The only thing left of the litter, which the mother found while crying out for help for hours, was a single long shredded baby Meerkat paw.

2.  Rape: Ok, there is a very large amount of rape that occurs in the rest of the animal kingdom. That’s a give-in. However, how many tv shows do you know, especially geared towards children’s curiosity, that show long clips of lone animals trekking the vast plains in order to sneak up and rape female members of another Meerkat family?

Zero.

I mean really. I could see this on HBO one day.

😀

3. Death in general: Death, Death and more death. Animals being killed, animals being eaten, babies dying, babies being eaten, Infection & disease-related death are just a few of the different things I saw, in HD no less, over the course of just 3 episodes.

I know that death is a natural part of the circle of life, I also know that people in general have been desensitized to death as whole in our society.

Either way, I guarantee that some kid that happens upon this show, complete with a cute theme song and catchy name, will be crying to his parents about why Mozart the female Meerkat just had her babies eaten by a member of her own family.

-Mikey, Wong_83@hotmail.com

Whale Wars might possibly be my new favorite show!

Has anyone else seen Whale Wars yet?

If you haven’t yet, there are a couple of ways you can watch this crazy new show on Animal Planet.

1. You can download the series illegally, like a number of people I know like to do, off a torrent-server, off a number of clip-websites, etc. etc.

2. You can watch it when new episodes come out, I’m not exactly sure when that is but I think it’s Fridays at 9PM EST. It’s kind of an iffy time-slot since I’m sure most of you probably have better things to do on a friday night…

3. You can do what I do and just wait until the new episodes come out on their On-Demand selections. I find that typically, new series episodes come out anywhere from a week to a month after their original airing. Since Animal Planet works hand in hand with the Discovery and National Geographic , they even offer the series in HD!!!

I mean seriously, even if you don’t give a damn about whether or not Whales are killed in the Antarctic Southern Whale Sanctuary, this show at the very minimum offers some of the most breathtaking HD scenery and landscapes in the entire world.

In just a few episodes, you see a number of different creatures, from whales to seals, penguins and even sea turtles. The icebergs and glaciers are amazing in both size and brilliant coloring.

Now the basic premise of this series, from what I can gather, is basically the recently renamed marine ship, the MV Steve Irwin, is basically run by the controversial conservation group, Sea Shepherd.

Some quick reading and scanning through some of the web-content available, including the Sea Shepherd-website, enlightened me to their cause.

To make a long story short, one of the co-founding members of the famous conservation group Greenpeace, was kicked out for being just a little bit dangerous and direct in how he approached his goals.

His name is “Captain” Paul Watson. He’s a Canadian(…), he’s big and chubby and just a few steps away from jumping off the iceberg. He values marine life as much as he values any human life, including his own. Or at least that’s what he claims.

Sea Shepherd’s direct goals include stopping the poaching of whales, the exploitation of seal products by the Canadian government, the exploitation of the Galapagos islands by sharkfin-hunters and a number of other causes that involve the ‘murder’ of marine life.

Now personally I don’t care if animals die. I know that as part of the natural cycle of life, animals will need to die in order for humans to continue to live.

As Anthony Bourdain often says, ‘I could never be a Vegan, I love eating meat too much.’

I think that in all honesty, going Vegan and abhorring all killing of animals is just way too far on the opposite side of the moon.

Now people are going to read this the wrong way and think that I hate ALL animals and cheer everytime one of the bloodthirsty butchers slaughters another creature. This is not true. I just enjoy the taste of meat.

But we’re getting off subject. This series, Whale Wars, is basically a televised on-going documentary about the battles going on near Antarctica between Japanese commercial whalers, who claim they are just killing whales for “research”  and the Sea Shephard vessel MW Steve Irwin.

I turned on the first episode out of curiosity a few days ago. I saw one of their commercials, which have been aired all over a number of different channels, in which a directable harpoon is pointed around a ship’s deck until it finally spots a whale in the distance.

It then proceeds to aim and fire, blasting the harpoon through the air, the sea and finally watching as it punches through the side of the marine mammal. At this point, you don’t see blood and guts, you see one of the letters to the words ‘Whale Wars’.

Pretty good huh? I definitely thought so. It got my attention pretty quickly.

So what is so amazing about this show? It’s exciting, it’s refreshing and it taps into humanity’s basic need for visceral, tangible images. From the very first episode, Watson and his crew tell the world they are basically willing to do WHATEVER to save the whales from the Japanese.

On a related matter, look. I’ll level with you I’m of Asian-American descent. I have traveled to good bit of the asian world. I live in a Chinese household where crazy crazy food like chicken feet and pig intestines, as well as sharkfin soup is normal.

I know and you know that the Japanese ain’t killing these damn whales for any research or development. They were banned from killing whales by the International Whaling Commision in 1986 and since then they started to do research?

Please. You might be able to lie to some of the less educated inhabitants of your tiny little islands but you certainly aren’t going to fool anyone into thinking you need to kill, not collect tissue or blood samples but kill, over ONE THOUSAND whales EVERY year just in the name of science?

I mean come on! This is ridiculous. Somehow, since they aren’t legally allowed to ‘waste’ any of the animal, they get to sell every part of the animal, minus anything they take for their bullshit research, to the fish markets and private vendors.

For anywhere from 250,000 dollars to over a MILLION dollars! EACH!!!

Out of a sense of fairness, before I go more into the Whale War series, let’s take this moment to go over the statistics.

1. Whales allowed for ‘research’ each year: 950 minke whales, 50 fin whales

2. Average value per whale: $250,000 – $1,250,000

3.  Minimum size and weight of adult whales: Minke (23 ft, 11000 lbs)

Fin (60 ft, 150,000 lbs)

4. Estimated minimum value of total catch:  285,000,000 + 45,000,000 = $330,000,000.00 (@ 300k x 950 + 900k x 50)

I don’t know if you’ve ever worked with any tissue or blood samples before but either way, do you really need 950 x 11000 lbs worth of Minke whale-meat and viscera and 50 x 150,000 lbs worth of Fin whale-meat and viscera? That’s over 17 MILLION POUNDS of whale…FOR RESEARCH?!

I have seen articles in the news and Japanese food blogs that all claim that the government and other powerful entities in Japan are all trying to influence the masses into enjoying food made from whale-meat that ranges from “hamburgers” to fried meat on sticks to whale sushi/tataki.

In what way does that show the government is only interested in culling these animals in the name of science and are just selling the “excess” in order to not waste any parts of the animal?

I really don’t know. Maybe people are just plain stupid and/or just don’t care that the Japanese people are once again lying through their teeth while they find their way out through another loophole.

Anyways, let’s get back to the main subject.

So because of this so-called ‘slaughtering of intelligent marine mammals,’ the MV Steve Irwin uses a variety of different tactics throughout the series to bombarb, harass and even board the Japanese vessels.

In the past, he has even used his ‘observer’ boats to CRASH into enemy ships!!! Are you kidding me? That is exciting and amazing to the fullest extent. I mean seriously, who doesn’t like large ships smashing into each other like marine bumper-cars???

Even though they say they don’t condone violence of any sort, I think this is more a plan to gain public sympathy and support then anything else. They fly a pirate flag that happens to show a human skull, a shepherd’s staff and a TRIDENT. I think the trident speaks for itself when dealing with a ‘violent’ approach.

In my personal view ‘Captain’ Paul Watson, the head of the entire Sea Shepherd organization, is crazy, talented and very devoted to his cause. Even if the ends don’t always justify the means, it’s people like him that can change the world. Bless his pirate soul.

So if you haven’t seen the show Whale Wars yet, do so whenever you get the chance. I may like the taste of certain animals but anything that can be done to stop the Japanese from parading the words ‘RESEARCH’ and ‘SCIENCE’ while they kill thousands of whales is good enough for me.

Regardless of your standing on whether it’s cruel or not to kill sentient animals, it certainly isn’t right that the Japanese whalers believe they can do whatever they want, including killing thousands of endangered creatures right in the middle of a MARINE SANCTUARY.

If there was anything I could do to help besides write this blog of support, I would. Well…not anything. But a lot. I might even crash a ship into a poaching vessel to save some seals or whales.

-Michael

Wong_83@hotmail.com

Man vs Wild: Survival or a Total Crock of ()$#!

Let me begin by saying I absolutely love watching both Survivorman AND Man vs Wild, with the edge going to Man vs Wild because the show’s host’s name is Bear Grylls.

Bear Grylls? Awesome name, Awesome english or welsh accent, who doesn’t like a show host with those attributes? There is only one exception to a TV host with a similar accent.

His name is Simon from the hit show, American Idol. What a total douchebag! He has been proven wrong time and time again and what makes it worse-he continues to be the complete snotbag he’s always been.

Back to Bear and Man vs Wild.

If you don’t know the premise of the show, Man vs Wild is supposedly a semi-realistic TV show based on Bear being sent to insane and mostly death-assured, remote places on planet earth.

During these adventures, Bear and usually a single camera-man use natural resources to replicate and show numerous ways that a person, stranded in a variety of wildernesses, could survive and even perhaps reach civilization and therefore be rescued.

During these replications, Bear often has to forage and/or hunt a variety of animals, insects and vegetation, sometimes having to choose whether or not to eat said object(s).

Now I do not have any objection in the least to who or what he chooses to eat. What really got on my nerves happened during Episode 2, Season 9, the Dominican Republic.

In this show, Bear and his camera-man came across a wild fowl, some stinking remnant brought to the Dominican Republic by thoughtless, disease-ridden European explorers.

Bear finds some random heavy stick out of the foliage and proceeds to sneak up on the unsuspecting creature, finally managing to ‘stun’ or ‘crush’ it after multiple attempts.

He proceeds to hand clean the bird, ripping feathers, entrails and what not. His field dressing is just fine and in no way strays from the expected actions of what someone in his situation SHOULD do.

He then does the unthinkable, pulls his field knife out and tears out the breast of the bird, tossing the rest of the carcass to the ground.

I guess some hungry animal would have a very excellent meal.

Are you kidding me?! Why, in a survival situation, would you tear out and cook/eat ONLY the breast, the leanest and least-nutritious portion of the carcass?

The legs, the organ-meat, the brain, any of the fatty portions and even the belly/ribcage meat would have made a much more fundamentally correct meal to eat given the horrid and nearly-impossible survival situation Bear is supposed to be in.

It doesn’t stop at that.

In other episodes he takes a bite of organ-meat, particular a sheep’s heart in Ireland, and then takes only the most delicious part of the corpse to cook later over his -survival- camp-fire, the tenderloin.

I know it’s probably just to make good television, but in my opinion, from the view of someone who has watched and enjoyed just about every show ever made on survival or people attempting to portray the correct way to survive in hostile situations, WHY oh why wouldn’t you just eat the whole bird or eat the whole sheep’s heart.

All I know is this.

If I were in a horrible situation in which I had almost no chance to live, I would have eaten just about every bit of that damn bird/sheep.

At least the bits that wouldn’t make me sick and/or were rotten.

-Kyarnboy, wong_83@hotmail.com