Jun 30, 2009

Disney

I went to visit my godchild and her family this weekend to see their new house and visit my old friend. It was a fun time to be had. The weather was beautiful on Whidbey Island and Nic and I enjoyed our beers on the porch and discussed all the projects he had lined up for the new homestead.

It was coming time for bed and I headed upstairs to lay on the couch. My godchild was on another sofa watching the Disney Channel. Being a good godfather I decided to take an interest in what entertainment she enjoys so I started asking her about the programming.

Wow. I now know all about the Jonas Brothers, Miley Cyrus, I Carly, and some kids called Zack and Cody who live in a hotel and bother some manager. As I was listening to the child tell me about the important plot points to follow when watching the pre-teen shows I saw Michael Clark Duncan playing a basketball coach. Good to see he's still working. One of the kids on the show was trying to impress two British cheerleaders, cause why not?

Ciera made sure I understood the plot to a new movie, something called Princess Protection Program or something to that effect. She stated she was waiting for it for three weeks to be broadcast and it fulfilled all her entertainment needs when she finally viewed it. Of course the channel played a commercial for it each and ever break.

Her younger brother Gavin insisted that I sleep there on the couch. I told him I would which he cheered and pulled his mattress to the foot of the sofa and made it clear to anyone listening that he was sleeping next to Uncle Wiwille and apparently there was nothing anyone could do about it. Him and I started talking about books and I asked him if he was interested in history and if so to teach me something about it. The seven year old then told me he knows about Martin Luther King and he was about stopping white people from killing black people. He was shot.

Ciera continued watching her shows and informing me of critical story lines and plot advancements. It was getting late and I think I fell asleep in mid sentence. Poor kid. When I talked with her the next morning she didn't seem to mind when I apologized for crashing out, but she said it was ok and next time I come up we get to watch Twilight.

Twilight. Seriously.

I love that girl, but Twilight? Sigh. I guess I best get prepared for the tween drama.

""Twilight," which combines the plot of HBO's "True Blood" with the intensity level of "Saved by the Bell," is a vampire romance." - Kyle Smith

Jun 27, 2009

Wiwille's movie reviews part 70

It's been a good long while since I've done any movie reviews. For whatever reason the service I use had technical difficulties and I couldn't manage my queue for almost a couple months. Sadly the reviews got put to the side, but now that they finally fixed this bug it's review time.

I wonder whatever the hell happened to Val Kilmer's career. A once promising actor who seemed like one day be a sure Oscar winner has not been faded into obscurity. Regardless the man has starred in some high caliber material and no one will forget his portrayal as Doc Holiday anytime soon.

Early in his career the actor who once played Iceman made a name for himself doing comedies and none seem to have been so memorable as 'Real Genius'. Set in what is likely southern California the films introduces us to Mitch, a 15 year old science prodigy who is under the watchful eye of a physics professor. Given early admission to the academic's college Mitch meets his fellow student Chris, a legend in the field. Both of them are geniuses as the title suggests and tasked to team together to unknowningly create a super laser that's intented to be used as a weapon by the CIA.

Jerry, the professor leading the project, is of course the antagonist as he plots to have the device finished on time which will make himself a millionaire. As with all college movies there's conflict between the authority and it's students and Chris makes no amends about his loathing for his superiors. Although Chris is unconventional as the smart alec prankster his love for science and all it's wonders are unmatched by his peers, save Mitch. The merry Chris attempts to keep his new dorm mate relaxed and to find ways to enjoy his collegiate career, but all the while he's ambitious. Even in his pranks Chris is never subtle.

Although college films such as this have become horribly cliche this film is very clever as it has very funny one-liners and has some endearing characters. It's subtle stabs at the military industrial complex are intriguing although it never delves too much into it, which is actually a blessing. While it's not perfect there's nothing to hate about this story or it's players and at the end of the day it did what few comedies can accomplish nowadays for me, it made me laugh.

Thanks to Kelli for submitting this. Although many of you have submitted films since my last review I may have forgotten about them. Please send a gentle reminder, or a profanity laced comment if you so desire, and I'll do my best to have it done ASAP. Drop me an email or comment and you'll see it soon on Erik's Ramblings. As always rules are posted here.

"Like Risky Business, this not only rose above the 1980s teen comedy genre, but stuck it to the Reagan administration as well." - Jeffrey Westhoff

Jun 25, 2009

Mourn

*If you feel any sense of loss regarding the death of Michael Jackson, please stop reading. This post, as most on this blog, is written for myself. You may find some of this content offensive. I'm sorry for your loss.*

I think I'm a bad person.

Seriously.

Earlier today a friend IM'd me informing me that his first crush had passed on. I had already known that she was given last rights the night before, but other than a passing thought I gave it no mind. I never watched 'Charlie's Angels', but I still found it sad that someone had to pass from such a horrible disease.

My IM name states 'St Erik, patron saint of ______." I usually fill the blanks daily with a politician who upset me or any various news story, personal anecdote, or the name of someone famous who has passed on. So I updated it to reflect the passing of Farrah Fawcett, wishing the Angel would rest in peace.

Later this afternoon news broke about the death of Michael Jackson. A friend IM'd me telling me the news and it came as kind of a shock. I hadn't known of any ailment he may have gone through, nor was he that old. It was toward the end of my work day. I gave a quick thought to updating my IM name, but decided against it.

I never was a Michael Jackson fan. Yes everyone believes he was incredibly talented and that his music is the pop equivalent of Mozart, but I, like a fat girl in middle school, missed the party. I didn't have MTV, nor would my parents let me listen to modern music. Every time I tuned the radio to any top 40 station I was soundly told to cease with the devil's music. While I constantly sneaked away to listen to whatever it was I enjoyed at the time Michael Jackson's music never moved me in any way.

I came home and opened my laptop and found my Facebook feed exploding with status updates from many who were willing to share the news that everyone already knew. My phone was going crazy with text messages from people who are well aware that I'm a news junkie.

I had to get away. I wanted to get an update on the situation in Iran or check the market. Each and every news station on TV has decided to devote their programming to the King of Pop. It's okay though. I knew Cash Cab would still be on.

My mixed emotions about the death of Michael Jackson baffles me. On one hand it's a human life that's ended too early, but it's someone I've never met. I don't mean to sound holier than thou or cold. I'm not immune to the culture of celebrity. My best friend called me to inform me of the suicide of Hunter S Thompson. Even though his writing has entertained me like no other I was not the least bit surprised. He wrote about ending his life often and most of his fans, while heartbroken, saw it coming.

The public's reaction to the death of Jackson is different though. I find it odd that in today's culture where parents demand all sorts of ridiculous laws that protect their precious little snowflakes from each and every possible danger, real or imagined, are somehow in mourning over the death of an alleged pedophile. Sure we may never know if he did it or not, but do they feel comfortable with him watching their kids? Do they think OJ is guilty? Bin Laden? The LAPD?

Now I'm watching the Rev Al Sharpton get another excuse to get on the pulpit and be an attention whore while glorifying the King of Pop.

I don't have a black heart. There are many people out there perishing, some for noble causes. An entire country is under siege for the simple right to have their vote heard. Soldiers are dying, children are starving, and strife is happening all over this planet. That's old news though. These events will always happen and it's easy to lose perspective. It's days like these I wish our culture would shed tears for those causes and the people that fight for them.

It's easy for many to associate art with life. Many in my generation have already taken the idea of romanticising their past and Michael's music reminds them of a simpler time, a happier time. I can understand that, but we should quickly get over it and certainly not spend hours of broadcasting time on it.

But if you need your time to mourn over people you've never met, so be it.

I only liked one of his songs and I'll post it here.



"And I remember going to the record studio and there was a park across the street and I'd see all the children playing and I would cry because it would make me sad that I would have to work instead." - Michael Jackson

Thursday Music

Corey and I were hanging out the other day driving along discussing important topics such as what is the best Rocky film. This is the conversation that ensued:

Corey: I like Rocky IV
Me: Damnit man.
Corey: They had that cool song. You know 'you're the best...around...nothing's gonna keep you down'.
Me: ...........
Corey: What?
Me: ...........
Corey: What? It's a cool song. Wait is that not from Rocky IV?
Me: No. It's from Karate Kid part 1.
Corey: Oh. I thought it was that training montage in Rocky IV.
Me: No it's from the tournament scene in Karate Kid. Rocky IV had the 'there's no easy way out. There's no shortcut home'.
Corey: Wow. Still a cool song.
Me: Indeed.

Turns out we were both wrong. I was referring to the sequence where Rocky is driving and flashing back to his past. Below is the correct song for the awesome montage sequence where the Italian Stallion is shaping up to later beat down some commie ass:



Yes we know we're dorks. Still I believe the first Rocky to be the superior one, and the only one that's watchable for that matter.

"When I was in junior high school, the teachers voted me the student most likely to end up in the electric chair." - Sylvester Stallone

Jun 24, 2009

Dissent

I'm sure all of you are familiar with the situation in Iran, but I find most people are unmoved by the protests and their ensuing carnage. The theocratic government has pulled all measures ensuring that dissent is silenced by jailing, beating, and even killing all citizens engaged in the discourse. Even Iran's state run media is now blaming the US for encouraging the chaos, which thankfully few in the country even pay attention to or give it any credence.

Now the government has decided to permanently retire the Iranian soccer players who wore green wristbands during a match with South Korea showing their support for those unhappy with the latest election results. The players responded by falling down needlessly, grabbing their ankle and wincing in pain, then jumping up and running in full sprint.

Now I don't enjoy professional soccer, cause I really can't wrap my head around why watching people take dives for a few hours could be fun, but I can't understand why any government would try and anger fans of the sport. I always thought soccer enthusiasts usually riot at the drop of a hat. I'd be angry already if my national sport consisted of pansies faking injuries all the time. Why fuel the fire?

But this is Iran, a young country that hardly displays Jeffersonian democracy. I wish the protestors well in this time of strife and hope somehow they can succeed in bringing forth a more stable government that's not interested in nuking Israel or making a mockery of basic human rights.

"I don't think that Iran with a nuclear capability will be just the problem of the state of Israel. This is a matter that concerns the whole world." - Moshe Katsav

Jun 22, 2009

Travels with Wiwille

I don't understand the appeal of the PT Cruisers. To me they're one of the greatest eye sores on the road. I'm usually indifferent to the type of vehicles people choose to own, but for some reason I look at one and I imagine the person driving it to be the most miserable jackass. I think of them as the kind of person who still wears fanny packs and wakes up their neighbors at all hours of the night blaring the Starlight Vocal Band.

I was driving north bound on 405 when my eyes came across an abomination of motor vehicles. I honestly thought if Henry Ford could time travel into the future and saw this PT Cruiser he would go back and destroy any attempt to create any more cars. It would be his mission in life to ensure the horseless carriage would go the way of the Furby.

This was no ordinary PT Cruiser. It was painted like a cow, white with black spots, and had a rubber utter hanging from the license plate cover. To top it off the car had a vanity plate with the phrase 'Cow 54'.

I'm not kidding.

I know good people who drive PT Cruisers and I understand my prejudice against them is often unfounded, but times like those remind me that stereotypes are often based on truths.

"Ownership of a PT Cruiser is usually a sign of poor brain development." - Uncyclopedia

Jun 17, 2009

Thursday Music

We've all had that moment(s) where we're caught in our own private moment rocking or geeking out. I'm thankful that there was no such thing as the World Wide Web when I was a kid, cause I probably would've been the subject of dubious fame like that poor Star Wars teenage. Not that I would ever wield a toy lightsaber as a youngin pretending to be a Jedi. Nor would I ever do that as an adult. Nope. Never.

Moving on.

I think anyone who operates a motor vehicle has been the subject of an unsolicited spectator while rocking out to the radio. Wednesday evening this even happened to me, but with unexpected results.

I was driving home from the grocery store and was stopped at a stop light. I was tuned into the radio (yes I'm one of the few that still listens to the radio) to what do my ears do hear? The opening percussions of Twisted Sister's 'We're Not Gonna Take It'.

Generations older and younger than mine do not understand that when this song is heard people my age instantly are required to sing along. It's like a sacrament or something. Studies have shown that those who do not participate in joyous rendition of the classic butt rock song will contract genital herpes. True story!

While lip syncing to the song I get that feeling that I'm being watched. Sure enough I was right. The car next to me was occupied by two couples who were eyeballing me as I was making a fool out of myself. I turned to look at them while sporting a look of embarrassment. They laugh to themselves until the driver turned up her stereo.

They were listening to the same song.

The couples joined me in rocking out to the 80s classic. We were singing out loud and enjoying the moment even as the light turned green and we made our way to the next intersection. Sadly all good things come to an end as the last riff of the song was upon us. We shared a bright smile and made a few comments about how awesome that was. Truly it was a great moment.

I sent a text to numerous people describing the event. Most responses were about what you'd expect, but my favorite came from my good friend Corey:

"....At least it wasn't 'Hit Me Baby One More Time'...."

There should be no question as to why he's my best friend.

I seem to be getting caught a lot having geek moments with music, whether it be playing Rockband or wandering through a grocery store. At least it gives me something to blog about.

"I went for an outrageous form of expressing myself." - Dee Snider

Jun 16, 2009

Save your money

After dinner last night I walked my friend to her truck and said goodbye. As I strolled back to my car I noticed two young ladies who seemed to stand out. One was dressed very casually, just jeans and a tank top to compliment the warm weather. She was proudly showing her tramp as her clothing seemed specifically designed to make sure all knew someone put a needle to her lower back.

Her friend stood out a bit more. Dressed in a white mini-skirt with the same colored blouse and shoes, she was a shapely female with pretty long hair, but had a manner about her that screamed to all that she was trashy hot.

But wait a minute. Maybe they were nice girls with manners that rival the blessed Mary. I mean who was I to judge based on outward appearances?

The two started walking behind me. This is the conversation that ensued:

TG1: He does really like you.
TG2: Yeah.
TG1: My guy just gets me drunk and takes me home.
TG2: Yeah.
TG1: And it's always at two in the morning. He never takes me anywhere except a bar.
TG2: Yeah.
TG1: I don't know why he gets me drunk. I already want it.
TG2: Yeah.
TG1: It's not like I'm going to say no.
TG2: Yeah.
TG1: I mean...

I tuned out from then on.

When I was a young lad we used to call girls that like that a six pack and a Blockbuster night. Good to see some things haven't changed.

"Giving birth was easier than having a tattoo." - Nicole Appleton

Jun 15, 2009

Rebel Yell

"Wiwille right?" the bartender asked after I ordered my fourth round of drinks.

"Right," I replied. "Wait. Do I stand out that much?"

"Yeah," he said. "You do."

I guess being the only guy in the venue not wearing all black and no ink it makes sense that I stick out. I used to go places and feel under dressed a lot. Lately I've been feeling overdressed more often than not.

Let me backtrack a little. Okay a lot.

Friday night my play buddy and I decided to go see Showboat. After dinner we decided to get some milkshakes at the local 50s diner to kill time before the show. It was a warm evening and we sat outside sipping on our peanut butter shakes when the staff announced that a troupe was going to entertain us with musical numbers from Grease. The singers consisted of one adult leading a group of ten year olds who belted out the hits from the overrated musical. It was really cute seeing the children get into it, but there was something kind of creepy seeing kids sing 'Summer Nights' and such. Call me a prude.

Saturday night my concert buddy took me to see a show at El Corazone. Her current romantic interest is playing in one of the bands and I got to meet the gent. He's a very nice guy and easily got my seal of approval. Lets hope he follows my rules. His band played a really good set including an awesome cover of 'Rebel Yell' which really ignited the crowd.

My concert buddy is unemployed, so drinks were on me. After making many rounds to the bar and making small talk with the band she told me Powerman 5000 was playing. I had no idea they were still around. We go to the stage and to my surprise they put on an excellent show. Fueled by high energy and great charisma I started getting into it and jumped around like I was 19. I avoided the mosh pit though, cause that just felt too 1996. I was never a big fan of theirs, but their live show was so much better than their albums.

I sat down at a table after the show and some random guy decided to join me. Clutching his mid section he seemed in a bit of pain. When I asked him if he was okay he said he may have cracked a rib or two in the mosh pit. He said it was all right though as he used to be a bare knuckles boxer.

I told him he must've been really great to avoid any damage to the nose and had a serious lack of scars on his face and hands. He just looked at me.

I felt really jazzed after the show, but the night was coming to an end and I started to make my way to the car. My vehicle was parked in front of another bar and I weaved my way through the crowd of smokers outside. All of a sudden a girl took me by the hand, pulled me into her, and laid a huge kiss on me. I took a step back and looked at her. Dark hair in pigtails, blue eyes, and dressed in a plaid skirt was she. Wiwille like.

I had no idea who she was as I stared at her. Finally the look on her face made it obvious she was clueless as to my identity as well.

Girl: Oh my god I'm so sorry. I thought you were my boyfriend.
Me: Lucky him.
Girl: I'm sorry. Really I'm so sorry.
Me: You are forgiven.
Girl: Oh god I'm so sorry. You really look just like him.
Me: I'd give a thousand dollars if I were him right now.
Girl: Huh?
Me: Never mind. Have a good night.

I walked away as she gave me a slightly embarrassed, but mostly horrified look. Poor thing. It was kind of nice knowing that someone who looks like me could land someone that hot.

It was a good night.

After going home and singing to my friends (don't ask) it was time for bed. I finished my fast food and laid myself on my bed.

I thought of her, again.

"I can rock out anything. I mean, I can rock out a little 'Time After Time'. I can do a little 'Grease Lightning'. It depends on the mood, but we do go karaoke, my friends and I in Los Angeles, and it's a lot of fun." - Kristen Bell

Jun 12, 2009

Petition to not petition

With the advent of the internet analysts were singing the praises of shared information. What they didn't predict is how the world wide web became less of a resource for scholarly pursuits and more of a resource for the useless. The public embraced the new found technology and quickly started pirating copyrighted material, looking at...art, and writing useless content on blogs..oh wait.

Facebook embraces all things useless on the internet, but still most find it a fun social networking tool. What has bothered me about the site is all the petition requests for important issues, such as domestic violence and world poverty. Now granted I believe in the right to petition, but do folks really believe they're actually making a difference in signing an online document? Will clicking a link silence Rush Limbaugh or save a specific animal species?

The problem I have with online causes which require little more than clicking a link may lead to a false sense of accomplishment. For an apathetic America who can't be bothered to type an email to their Congressman this may give them the idea of making a difference and provide them with an excuse to not do something more, something that matters. I would like to think that most people are reasonable and understand that by being a fan of something on Facebook will do little if anything, but then again most still believe recycling most products actually helps the environment.

Most would argue that by clicking the links it will bring important issues to the attention of others, which is a fair argument; however people who weren't aware that child abuse exists probably will do little to stop it beyond spamming everyone with a Facebook update. Online activism can be as useful as a Chia Pet in a fight.

"I have referred to myself as an accidental activist on more than one occasion." - Joan Blades

Jun 11, 2009

Thursday Music

"We're dancing to 'Girls Just Want to Have Fun.'"

This was a text I received early yesterday morning. I've had Cyndi Lauper stuck in my head ever since.

I'm terrible at figuring out what kind of music will be a huge success with the public. I saw Marilyn Manson open for NIN years ago on their Downward Spiral tour. Back then Manson had one album under his belt and after seeing what he assumed to be a shocking stage performance I felt an overwhelming sense of meh. I watched someone sing mediocre tunes and try and scare the audience with perverse lyrics, and over sized dildo, and his announcement that he was interested in learning the statutory rape laws in the local area. I figured that band was going nowhere.

I would've never lasted in the music industry.

Similarly I assumed Cyndi Lauper would be the winner in the feud with Madonna. She had better songs, stronger vocals, and had range the material girl only wish for. Sadly shameless self exploitation won the day and the public got stuck with an annoying hag who thinks she's British.

Today I bring you back to a simpler time in pop music though, where some music fans once thought that talent would rule all. They were wrong. So here's Cyndi singing about masturbation:



"I'm in the business where you get the business all the time." - Cyndi Lauper

Jun 10, 2009

Sitcoms

Yesterday I was attempting to browse the internet for a little heard of sitcom that may have lasted a season, but sadly I did not have enough details to locate the title, much less any other information. Even after recruiting assistance I could not find anything. I'm not sure if I failed the internet or if it failed me. Probably the former.

My quest to find this obscure program did lead me to sites dedicated to various sitcoms I completley forgot about, and most with good reason. When we normally think of a situation comedy immediatley the great ones spring to mind, such as the Honeymooners, Mash, Cheers, etc. But for every Sports Night there's a dozen or so bad to terrible shows that are sprung on the public by networks who should know better. This post is about some of those sitcoms of which I had the misfortune to lay eyes on.

1. Out of this World - Like many on this list I'm not sure how this became a show. The premise of a girl who has a deadbeat Dad is kind of strange, but in this story the absantee patriarch happens to be an alien. The teenager is gifted with all sorts of powers, such as the ability to freeze time and what not. Still as a youngster I thought she was cute and wanted her abilities, but even when my aesthetics weren't finely tuned I found this tripe to be without any humor.




2. The Charmings - Snow White and Prince Charming find themselves in modern day Southern California for reasons I won't get into. A basic fish out of water premise, this show from the outset seemed to be doomed, but yet it lasted as long as the original Star Trek series. Think about that.




3. Full House - It's hard to think of a show that's less funny than this one, but the admittley cute baby helped make this show a massive hit. Sure it's not offensive or even that insulting, but still it's in no way funny and it helped the career of John Stamos.




4. Small Wonder - An engineer decides to make a robot, but instead of creating a Rosie-like contraption he decided to make a little girl for his family. The monotone, expressionless android sets up situations that are supposed to be filled with hilarity, but sadly it was just creepy. The family wanted to keep her a secret for reasons I can't recall nor wish to.




5. My Two Dads - Two men that were sleeping with the same woman, who sadly passed away, decided to raise her child in an Odd Couple like fashion. Paternity tests are the way of the devil after all.




6. After M*A*S*H - Not all spinoffs are a great success, nor even a good idea. The second spinoff to the long running show about a mobile surgical army in Korea was a flop by all accounts. Lacking the characters and script that made M*A*S*H a classic this attempt to recreate it's predecessors charm failed to reach an audience and was swiftly cancelled.




7. Hey Dude! - Okay I watched it for Christine Taylor. I make no apologies for it.




8. The Nanny - This character rivals Urkel as being one of the most annoying in the history of television.




"Silly sitcoms are designed to attract juveniles of all ages." - John J. O'Connor

Jun 9, 2009

What is it? What is it?

I went to see Up in 3D yesterday which I assumed would be a delightful experience. I did enjoy the movie a lot and seeing it in the third dimension was quite a treat. Pixar did it again providing some great visuals, endearing characters, and a funny as well as touching script. I highly recommend it.

But...

The theatre was fairly empty for a Monday night, but a couple decided to take their two year old and sit in the row behind us. The kid was not used to theatre etiquette and obviously neither were the parents. The child was confused by many of the visuals and kept saying in a nasally, whiny tone 'what is it?' over and over again until the folks answered.

I kept looking back and making comments and others did as well, but the parents didn't feel the need to respond nor even acknowledge our presence. What's worse is that they kept the conversation going at times. They simply didn't care that their little brat was destroying some really touching moments in the movie.

Now this just pissed me off. People who believe that they can be noisy during a film is jackassery of the highest order. The film ended and my friend and I walked out of the theatre discussing the movie. I was thinking about following the couple to their car yelling 'what is it, what is it' over and over again. Once they arrived to their vehicle I would then ask them for twelve dollars.

I'd follow them to dinner and just kneel down at their table screaming 'what is it' until violence ensued.

Then the couple finally walked out of the theatre. The kid was screaming his lungs out unhappy with something. The dad and his troll of a wife were not pleased with their child's vocal ability. My friend and I started laughing while adding a few 'what is it' loud enough for them to hear. They ignored us as they waddled to their mini-van. They took forever getting the kid to calm down as they were attempting to place him in his car seat. My friend and I continued our laughter as they looked so miserable.

And I normally don't believe in karma.

"Familiarity breeds contempt - and children." - Mark Twain

Jun 4, 2009

Wiwille's Justice League

The city brims with terror. Its citizens quiver with fear while the streets engulf the blood of the innocent. Darkness casts it's shadow over the filthy sidewalks. Gutter trash have paralyzed the good citizens of our fair community for too long. Their reign of evil is over. Seattle now has its savior. I am Mr Ravenblade.

Okay back to reality.

I was hanging with a friend last night who asked me how my day went. I told her I think I found the identity of a Real Life Super Hero who patrols the Puget Sound. She stared blankly at me for a while.

Yesterday a coworker sent me a link. Whenever I get a link from him I'm prepared to say 'damnit', for the sites he provides usually entail the bizarre. This article did not disappoint. It was a CNN report on Real Life Super Heroes, people who dress in costume and fight crime just like the fictional characters in comic books, sans the supernatural, unrealistic muscle tones, and cleavage so large you could hide a Volkeswagon in there.

The article chronicles a few RLSHs and gives them a chance to explain their mission statements. After reading it and browsing their registry site I found most of them seem harmless. Many just like doing charity work and being involved in community watch. I can't find fault in that. What worries me is vigilance can be dangerous. While stopping an immediate violent crime, which Mr Ravenblade claims to have done, is a good thing some jackass, who may harbor delusions of being qualified to prevent any law breaking, might make things worse by infringing on an officer's duty. Not having the appropriate training can get themselves or the citizens they're attempting to save hurt. This is why we have...wait for it...cops.

Still I was curious about Mr Ravenblade's identity. He made sure the reporters keep his a secret so that made it all the more interesting. I sent the article to a friend who shared in my interest. He found Mr Ravenblade's website and after performing some super secret ninja like internet ability found all relevant information regarding the hosting of it. Name, phone number, physical location, and email address were all provided.

Oh it's on.

His email address appears to be a Windows Live ID. I pass this information to coworkers and other friends who decided to reach out and make contact with the owner of the site politely asking him if he was the infamous super hero. Sadly none said "reveal yourself by 4pm PST or the hot nurse dies in a vat of boiling oil." He gave them all similar answers stating something to the effect of having no idea what's going on or why each has been 'the third person' contacting him about this. After all my friends and colleuges kindly thanked him for his time he kept the conversations going. What's interesting is that he later admitted to hosting Mr Ravenblade's site and being aware of this fact.

Hmm...

I go to site for his hosting company and find some revealing information. The design is the same as Mr Ravenblade's including fonts and background. Plus the grammar is almost identical from inappropriate use of asterisks to run on sentences with similar language. The theme of this site even parallels Mr Ravenblade's giving mission statements such as doing good and protecting the innocent.

What's most fascinating is that the hosting site gives free services to Real Life Super Heroes.

While this person can deny it we believe it's definitely him. My friends helped reveal the identity of a costumed crusader. Bruce Wayne this man is not.

Folks, this is why I love the internet.

I called a friend late last night and told her about this. She was highly annoyed by someone calling themselves hero. She said I should be his arch-nemesis and that I should challenge him to a duel. After looking at a picture of Mr Ravenblade on the CNN article, which has him garbed in a black leather trench coat, body armor, and a variety of non-lethal weapons, I believe a fight with him would not be wise. I don't carry any weapons of any sort, cause I'm all man, so he immediately has an advantage. If he agreed to lose the tasers and mace that would be another matter.

Best I could come up with is annoying him to the best of my ability such as writing graffiti all over town saying things like "Mr Ravenblade cries while he masturbates."

Villainy is not one of my strong suits and honestly I think people who engage in this kind of activity are best left alone. So far he's done no harm to the community and if he has done heroic deeds then I wish him godspeed. I want Seattle to be a safe and comfortable place to live as many do and if he assists that in any way then good for him.

If he does make the leap from hero to villain in any manner then I'll have no problem exposing him and his jackassery. Consider it a check and balance on the vigilante set. Someone just told me my super villain name would be Dark Sphincter.

God I'm a dork.

"I am a RLSH operating in the Seattle metro area, who seeks to organize and participate in charity events, fight crime whenever possible, and above all make my community a better place to live. I am actively interested in making the world a better place, and want to make sure my efforts have an impact while fostering good relations in the community. I also perform safety patrols both by myself and with other RLSH." - Mr Ravenblade

Thursday Music

I remember watching an old Bergman film years ago that was all but completely devoid of a soundtrack. Seriously there was no music to be found. It was up to a director to ensure the drama was delivered without any assistance from a symphony, which be our standards seems ridiculous.

With the advent of multiple tracks in film, directors rarely give a minute or two without music playing in the background, even when it's not appropriate at all. It's even becoming more apparent in television and video games. You can't even walk into a store and not find some horrifying top forty song bombarding your senses.

Still movie soundtracks have produced some great pieces from the likes of Williams and Horner and numerous others we'll never hear of. I was watching one of the trailers for the new Star Trek film and really enjoyed the music they chose for it. Sadly the same piece was never used in the movie. So today my good readers, who floss daily, I bring you Freedom Fighter's 'Two Steps from Hell':



"How do I stay so healthy and boyishly handsome? It's simple. I drink the blood of young runaways." - William Shatner

Jun 3, 2009

Wiwille does the unthinkable

In the wake of the senseless murder of Dr George Tiller many have attempted to lay blame for the actions of the mentally ill shooter who took his life. Like any horrific event that may cause the public to live in fear of their fellow humans some try to pass extremists off as a splinter group while others cower at the idea that their neighbor may do them and their loved ones bodily harm.

Given the circumstances of Tiller's death, which makes it all the more horrifying that it happened in a church, one can't wrap their head around what was going on through the mind of the killer. One shouldn't bother. The shooter is clearly a sick individual who obviously cared nothing about the sanctity of life no matter how much he would claim his actions proved otherwise.

Now the pundits are starting to lay blame for the killer's actions at the feet of those they most disdain, their colleagues and peers. Olberman has put a lot of the blame on O'Reilly, a man who criticized Tiller for his partial birth abortion procedures as well as his alleged law breaking, for creating the climate that influenced the shooter take action.

A television channel is somehow responsible for the mentally ill. I'll do something no one ever thought was possible. I will defend O'Reilly. Yes I've disliked the man for a long time, but to try and silence debate on the actions of some deranged lunatic is sad. I doubt anyone who makes public their loathing of Dick Cheney would or should take blame if someone caused him harm. Should the rhetoric be toned down? Maybe, but I'm hard pressed to find where he or anyone on Fox News was engaging in a conspiracy for Tiller's death. I dislike Fox as much as a lot of news viewers, but it's in no way responsible for the tragic slaying of Dr Tiller.

"Americans will respect your beliefs if you just keep them private." - Bill O'Reilly

Jun 2, 2009

Child care with Wiwille

My nephew's birthday was yesterday so I got to spend some time playing with the him and his brother. After a meal at the sometimes obnoxious Rainforrest Cafe we took a trek to the Family Fun Center, a happy little place with video games, lazer tag, go-karts, etc. The boys were immediatley excited upon entering the establishment.

Gabe, the oldest, was wandering around wondering which game he should play. Some random girl asked him to play air hockey with him. He got a big smile on his face and was happy to oblige her.

My nephew grabbed the device and was ready to play a game. He served the puck to the girl, who immediatley responded with a much quicker strike. It was evident that she had a better arm than Gabe. I watch them play as I see the girl make point after point. He really needs to work on his coordination for that little one schooled him 7-1.

Even after I reminded him that he lost to a girl he seemed to take it well. I think he was just happy about the attention he got from a female. She kept trash talking him in elementary fashion throughout the game, but he didn't really respond. The boy needs some verbal as well as coordination practice. It was cute though.

We got wet on the bumper boats, played some mini-golf (no one got injured this time), and played some skee ball. They have this light rifle shooting gallery that the boys were excited to play as was I. I held the rifle and started shooting the targets. Each had their own animatronic display for each succesful shot, but they had one catch. I aimed at a crow on top of a pizzeria and fired. The crow shot water at me.

Corban then shot at an ice cream truck which in turn rewarded him with some water. He wasn't happy about this, so I as the ever so mature adult decided to shoot it. It sprayed him again. I spent the rest of my rounds on that target.

After the gifts and spending a small fortune at this place my nephew decided it was the 'bestest birthday ever'. Good times were had by all.

"A diplomat is a man who always remembers a woman's birthday but never remembers her age." - Robert Frost