Friday, December 29, 2006

Training Montage

I saw Rocky Balboa last night, and it was decent. All I wanted the movie to do was erase Rocky V from my memory, and it successfully accomplished that task. Not the greatest Rocky ever made, but certainly not a terrible movie. I will say that even at age 60, Rocky (Sly Stallone) training to music gets my blood pumping. I love movies with pump up music. As I leave the theater, I find myself convinced I could kick anyone's tail that might give me the slightest bad look.

Feeding off my high from last night, I put my earphones on, tuned my IPOD to the Rocky soundtrack, and returned to my fantasy world as I worked out. Maybe I'm just a goober and love the movies of the 80's and early 90's too much, but still nothing gets me fired like some good Rocky music. When I hear the steady guitar strum of "eye of the tiger, or John Cafferty start into "Hearts on Fire" I start hopping around and throwing shadow punches. I can still remember watching Rocky IV as a child, and then attempting to do hanging situps from a chair.

Here are my 5 most beloved tunes that I pop in when I need to get fired up or beat someone up
1) Eye of the Tiger - Survivor
2) Hearts of Fire - Rocky IV (John Cafferty)
3) Enter Sandman - Metallica
4) Welcome to the Jungle - G N R
5) The Final Game - Hoosiers Soundtrack

Just for good measure, here are two of the greatest pump up scenes of all time. If you are having a bad day at work and need something to get you through, or just feel the need to do some situps....give these two a watch. The first is a great "chill scene" actually can see goosebumps on my arm when Adrian whispers "win."

2. And of course the reason the Cold War finally ended....the Rocky IV training montage. I love when ole Rocky gives the guy and his horse some help. However, the best chill scene in Rocky IV occurse when the announcer screams "The Russian is cut."

In conclusion:
Watching Rocky Balboa shows the viewer the inevitable aging effects on even a physical speciman like Sylvester Stallone. The skin gets leathery, wrinkles begin forming, and the muscles aren't quite as prominent. Don't get me wrong, I don't even look close to that at age 25, but you get my point. The move soberly reminded me that we all have a finite number of beats in our hearts. One day my heart will stop and it will all be over. Creation is in decay and groaning for the return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (Rom. 8). On that day he will redeem our bodies and all of creation. At age 25, I tend to forget that I am groaning for something else. The most important question we can ask ourselves is, "Am I justified before the throne of God and therefore striving to live in obedience out of a gracious, loving heart?" All of our hearts will one day stop, our bodies will break down, and we will realize with Lars Ulrich (another great pump up music artist...drummer for Metallica) that "the last thing that I've been unable to control in my quest to control everything around me is death." But it is there that we must realize it is Jesus Christ who conquered death through death. He paid the penalty of our sin, and by faith we are united to his resurrection....thus securing ours.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

breaking the news

this picture was taken moments after i told my son that Allen Iverson no longer plays for the Philadelphia 76ers. Needless to say, I was in the same state earlier. Brian was inconsolible as well. The picture below was taken after I told him what Donald Trump said concerning Rosie O'Donnell. Let it be known..he's on the right track.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Seinfeld sessions

We call ourselves 'seinfeldian' on this blog, yet we have shamefully not elaborated upon that title. Sure, every tone of sarcasm found here is rooted in Seinfeld's life philosophy--but he is worth several tributes. From time to time we will pay tribute through some reflections on favorite episodes, quotes, characters ect...Just to get things going in this holiday season is just some of the best quotes from his stand up comedy and interviews. Feel free to add to the list and use these while at home with the fam.

• It's amazing that the amount of news that happens in the world every day always just exactly fits the newspaper.
• You know you're getting old when you get that one candle on the cake. It's like, "See if you can blow this out."
• Men want the same thing from their underwear that they want from women: a little bit of support, and a little bit of freedom.
• Dogs are the leaders of the planet. If you see two life forms, one of them's making a poop, the other one's carrying it for him, who would you assume is in charge.
• That's the true spirit of Christmas; people being helped by people other than me
• Sometimes the road less traveled is less traveled for a reason
• The Swiss have an interesting army. Five hundred years without a war. Pretty impressive. Also pretty lucky for them. Ever see that little Swiss Army knife they have to fight with? Not much of a weapon there. Corkscrews. Bottle openers. "Come on, buddy, let's go. You get past me, the guy in back of me, he's got a spoon. Back off. I've got the toe clippers right here."
• Why do they call it a "building"? It looks like they're finished. Why isn't it a "built"?
• People who read the tabloids deserve to be lied to

• The big advantage of a book is it's very easy to rewind. Close it and you're right back at the beginning.
• I have a friend who’s collecting unemployment insurance. This guy has never worked so hard in his life as he has to keep this thing going. He’s down there every week, waiting on the lines and getting interviewed and making up all these lies about looking for jobs. If they had any idea of the effort and energy that he is expending to avoid work, I’m sure they’d give him a raise.
• My parents didn't want to move to Florida, but they turned sixty, and that's the law.
• I will never understand why they cook on TV. I can't smell it. Can't eat it. Can't taste it. The end of the show they hold it up to the camera, "Well, here it is. You can't have any. Thanks for watching. Goodbye."
• Somebody just gave me a shower radio. Thanks a lot. Do you really want music in the shower? I guess there's no better place to dance than a slick surface next to a glass door.
• See, the thing of it is, there's a lot of ugly people out there walking around but they don't know they're ugly because nobody actually tells them.

• You know what I never get with the limo? The tinted windows. Is that so people don't see you? Yeah, what a better way not to have people notice you than taking a thirty foot Cadillac with a TV antenna and a uniformed driver. How discreet. Nobody cares who's in the limo. You see a limo go by, you know it's either some rich jerk or fifty prom kids with $1.75 each.
• I am so busy doing nothing... that the idea of doing anything - which as you know, always leads to something - cuts into the nothing and then forces me to have to drop everything.

• Make no mistake about why these babies are here - they are here to replace us.
• I wonder if illiterate people get the full effect of alphabet soup?'”

• By the way, men go about their daily business for one purpose... to get the attention of women. Like the guy coming out of his space-ship, he's been in orbit for 3 weeks; first woman he sees he'll be like, 'So, did you see me up there?

• I was in front of an ambulance the other day, and I noticed that the word "ambulance" was spelled in reverse print on the hood of the ambulance. And I thought, "Well, isn't that clever." I look in the rear-view mirror, I can read the word "ambulance" behind me. Of course while you're reading, you don't see where you're going, you crash, you need an ambulance. I think they're trying to drum up some business on the way back from lunch.

• Can't we just get rid of wine lists? Do we really have to be reminded every time we go out to a nice restaurant that we have no idea what we are doing? Why don't they just give us a trigonometry quiz with the menu?

• I was the best man at the wedding. If I'm the best man, why is she marrying him?
• What does it take to get a cab driver’s license? I think all you need is a face. And a name with eight consonants in a row.

• I'll tell you what I like about Chinese people. They're hanging in there with the chopsticks,aren't they? You know they've seen the fork

• [On landing on the moon] What the hell were they doin' with a car on the damn moon? You're on the moon already! Isn't that far enough? the way, we have not commented on the Allen Iverson situation because we are still mourning....

Monday, December 18, 2006

"We'll Focus on the NFL"

Please excuse my temporary "hiatus", it's good to be back. Now that College football is pretty much over, and that the BCS whining is over (we are of the strong opinion here that the BCS DID get it right, so much so, it's not even worth a post to defend such--though, we have legit reasons)-- the NFL is what dominates sports center. Despite our SEC bias and CFB prejudice, we have to admit that the NFL is what america is all about. The rest of the country is of the opinion that the NFL is the best sports out there. Not here to debate that, but to ride that opinion with my own thoughts on this years season and what i presume will happen in the post-season.

Prelimiary Comments: Being a good "Van Tillian", I acknowledge these are not facts, but my interpretation of the facts due to prior convictions. This is what I bring into any NFL discussion: I strongly HATE the Seattle Seahawks, Philadelphia Eagles, Carolina Panthers---all these teams are over-hyped by media and would have never made it to the superbowl had they played in the AFC, the media continually talks about these teams in blatent contradiction to their records. Secondly, I know that Tom Brady is whiner who has ridden the coat tails of a great defense and some luck-still i acknowledge he's a winner. Bill Billicheck is the NFL anti-christ, evil and easily despised. I loath the NE patriots. I am a Colts fan and a Titans fan (which is kind of absurd b/c they are in the same division), i have lots of respect for almost every team i don't hate.

NFC: Nothing creative about this, but the NFC is terrible. I was one though, that strongly laughed at all the ESPN analysts who predicted the Carolina Panthers winning the NFC, I actually called ESPN radio in August and told Sean Salsbury that he was absurd for picking Carolina- he said call back in January and "We'll talk then"...Sean, i have the number on speed dial . I've always thought Jake Delhomme sux - he got lucky 1x. The Seattle Seahawks were the WORST team the NFC has ever sent to the super bowl, Matt Hasselback is not good and Shaun Alexander is soft. The thing about the NFC is that the media refuses to acknowledge the good teams and keeps trying prove why teams like Carolina and Seattle are just about to turn the corner. Chicago is good, New Orleans is good, Dallas is good...there you go.
playoffs - I think Philadelphia and the Giants will get the Wild Card's due to a process of elimination. I'm not sure how the bracket will look, more than likely Dallas will have to play Chicago in the 2nd round. New Orleans will make the NFC championship game b/c they will likely play Seattle or Philadelphia--both are terrible. Tough call, but to me Super bowl team will either be Dallas or Chicago winner--I'll go with Chicago at home. Chicago's D in that Cold weather will be so tough. Dallas has best chance to knock them off in those conditions. Sorry, no New Orleans this year.

AFC: This has been strange, things change like crazy. Earlier in year it seemed Denver and Indy were clearly best teams. Baltimore has come out of nowhere and is not being talked about enough. NE still hangs around, but are not impressive. San Diego is good b/c of steroid pumping Merriman and LT--who is just plain sick! Indy won't make it far with their defense, too much to ask of Manning. NE would maybe win NFC, but whaaawhaaa they won't get teams at home in the snow, so they lose. Cincinatti will make Playoffs, and could make a strong run, though having to play all away games will be difficult. AFC championship game will be Baltimore over San Diego in San Diego, I like Steve McNair's experience and Baltimores D to 'contain' LT, slow him down just enough.

Super Bowl: Baltimore scores a late TD and beats Chicago 17-13. Ed Reed is super bowl MVP

NFL MVP: Ladanian voting will actually be neccessary.

Coach of the Year: Eric Mangieni, NY Jets.

Other thoughts: Philadelphia will find a way to blame their playoff loss on T.O., who will then make his case for MVP. T.O. will then demand he be traded; New England in a perpetual state of whining will sign T.O. for the first ever 1/2 season contract promising payment upon performance. Tom Brady whining about missing the Super Bowl will boast to the media that "At least Indianapolis didn't make it!". Continuing loyalty to theirselves, Billichick will cut T.O. and then Brady, believing that Vinny Testaverde can carry his team all the way while saving him tons of $$.....stranger things have happened eh???

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Nintendo Games Part 2

4) Super Mario Bros. (NES) Coming in at number 4 is the game that started all the craze. Pitfall for Atari was the landmark game, until Mr. Miyamoto created the Mario brothers. The original Super Mario Brothers is an all-time classic. I think I could still play the first 2 boards with my eyes closed, and the music as you head down under on board two is awesome. The only flaw in Super Mario Brothers was how if you played two player, the second player could not begin until the first player died. And for me, that meant waiting the whole game. My brother could beat the game without losing a single man. I always respected him for that achievement.

3) Goldeneye – Let’s just be honest, Halo would not exist without Goldeneye. Goldeneye began the multi-player shooting craze. We would play 2-2 in the facility for hours, and then when we discovered how to detonate remote mines with that AB press….it was all over. Who didn’t enjoy seeing “most deadly” beside their name after a well-played game. I was good, but soon was no match for Belly of the Beast author Gray Hardison. He is the greatest Goldeneye player I’ve ever seen. I wonder how many hours were put into that game. Nothing was more frustrating then people who thought it cool to be odd job, or people who just hung around the body armour.

2) Original Zelda/Ocarina of Time (NES/N64) – It’s a tie. Zelda was an amazing game. Perhaps the first game where one could save his progress. Legendary music and a great combination of action and puzzles. I can still remember having to use the candle to find level 8??? One great memory in childhood of the original Zelda occurred when my next door neighbor called us over. We walked into his room, he had his hands behind his back….he paused and then slowly revealed the GOLDEN CARTRIDGE. We went ballistic.
I put the Ocarina of Time in a tie for second. It was an amazing one player game. I have never been more frustrated with a game than in the water temple. I might have finally cheated (a big no-no in my book) and looked at a players guide. The only thing more frustrating might have been the Goldeneye control room board.

1) Drumroll please…Mario 64 (N64) – It might come as a surprise, but I consider Mario 64 to be one of the most revolutionary games of all-time. With 360 degree gameplay, Miyamoto’s genius, and unprecedented graphics, it was amazing. It’s the only game I know of where people came over and were utterly content to just “watch.” Not only was the game challenging to beat, but even after beating the game, one could go back and try to gather all the stars.

Honorable Mentions – Mike Tyson’s punch-out – some of the most memorable characters *** Glass Joe, Sandman, etc. Super Smash Brothers – a great multi-player game which always seemed to surface during exam time in college.

Thanks again for walking down memory lane. May your Christmas enjoy a Nintendo WII this year.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

A Walk Down Memory Lane with Nintendo

As a child, when it came to presents, my Christmas loot was ranked according to the number of Nintendo games acquired. If we received a game from my parents, we would claw open the box and play the new game until time to head to my grandparents. My grandmother has always been a great gift giver, and so on the way to my grandparents, Mark and I would sit in the back seat discussing what game we hoped Mamaw would give us. Then, amidst the chaos of present opening, I would catch a glimpse of Mark out of the corner of my eye. He would raise his eyebrows, and proudly display the latest sports game from EA Sports. A grin would come on each of our faces as we contemplated the number of hours we would put into the game in the coming weeks.

Thanks for walking with me down memory lane, as I remember the good ole days of anticipating the newest Nintendo games. I figured it would be in the holiday spirit to rank the greatest Nintendo Games of all time. Before you chuckle at my efforts, let me tell you my credentials. 1) My brother and I have been a Nintendo Loyalist since the beginning. We’ve never given into the Sega imitation, the X-Box craze, or the Sony Playstation. No, we are men of conviction and solidly support Nintendo with our time and money. From the original 8-bit system to the gamecube (hopefully the WII as well) we’ve had em all. Secondly as embarrassing as it might be to admit, my brother and I were subscribers to Nintendo Power from issue 1-100. I remember receiving a gift in the mail one day from Nintendo that said “thanks for being with us from day one.” Thirdly, not to brag, but Mark and I both were blessed with a natural ability to play video games. You know how there are just some people that no matter what the game, they catch on quickly…well that was Mark and Brian. You might call us naturals. Fourthly, our Nintendo playing was so intense, there is no doubt, it was the cause of most of our childhood fights. Of course the ultimate cause was my indwelling sin, but nothing like a “he’s on fire” in NBA JAM would light up my temper. Do I need to explain my accolades anymore?

The 10 greatest games of all time in descending order!

10) Street Fighter 2 Turbo Edition (Super Nintendo) – It might not be on everyone’s top 10, but let’s face it, Street Fighter 2 began the side-to-side fighting craze. Mortal Combat simply followed in Street Fighter’s wake. The turbo edition allowed one to up the tempo of the game and be the big bosses like M. Bison. Want proof it’s a top 10 game, go into public and scream “SHY UIKENI”…somebody will know you are imitating Ryu. In the Sorgenfrei house, there was nothing quite as intense as a Ken vs. Ryu showdown. I never actually knew if Street Fighter 1 existed, but Street Fighter 2 was revolutionary.

9) Ken Griffey Jr. Baseball (Super Nintendo) – By far the best baseball game ever made. Some might protest and scream “RBI Baseball.” The graphics and the gameplay were unmatched at the time. I believe it was the first game to give the player the ability to play a season with a team and the system would keep up with people’s batting averages etc. For some reason I remember Ron Gant being incredible in Ken Griffey Jr. baseball.

8) Super Mario 3 (NES) – It could be higher in ranking, but it rests at 8. Super Mario 3 had the first flying Mario, and was always on the receiving end of the greatest marketing ploy in video game history. Before the release of the game, “The Wizard” came out in theaters. “The Wizard” was a movie about some video game phenom who went to the Nintendo Championship and played Mario 3 for the first time. I always thought I could have given the Wizard a run for his money had we played Street Fighter 2, but he was impressive. Anyway, great game, especially considering the poor efforts of Mario 2.

7) NBA Live 95 (Super Nintendo) – The best basketball game ever made. You could form all-star teams, play seasons, and have great head to head play. It had a unique camera angle that helped out the game play. We had many, many fights over how ridiculous Dale Ellis was (always on Mark’s team).

6) Tecmo Super Bowl (NES) – With 8 play options instead of 4, it was unprecedented at the time. The zig zag run never failed to fool the computer, and the “real life” graphics after a touchdown were awesome. I can still hear the ‘hut hut hut hut hut” sound of the quarterback awaiting the snap. Christian Okoye anyone?

5) Mario Kart 64 (N64) – Probably the second greatest multi-player game of all time. It was one of the very few games that females would actually join in and play. Usually they sat around and watched us play, but Mario Kart looked harmless enough. Granted, they never fared very well, but it was a great game. There was nothing like having a big group playing Mario Kart where only the winner stays. Nothing got the adrenaline going like trying to cross the finish line before a red shell popped you.

Hold your breath, we will continue tomorrow with the 4 greatest Nintendo games of all time. Feel free to share some of your own walks down memory lane.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Congratulations to Patrick Willis

A Manly Award Indeed

Patrick Willis received the Butkus Award last night. He's only the second linebacker from the SEC to ever win the award. The only other winner was Derek Thomas from Alabama. Congratulations to Patrick, winning the Butkus award on a 4 win team is impressive.
All this from a guy that couldn't break the starting rotation during the Cutcliffe era. I guess that is understandable considering we had Butkus award winners playing ahead of him...oh wait, no we didn't

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Manly Achievement of the week

For those of you who don't live in Mississippi, this post might be uninteresting. However, I nominate the South Panola Tigers of Batesville, Mississippi for the manly achievement of the week. South Panola just won its 4th consecutive MHSAA football title. Say what you will about much of Mississippi, football talent is one thing that is almost unparalleled per capita in any other state. Knowing that makes South Panola's streak even more impressive. In a state where football rules the weekend and much of the rest of a persons week, South Panola has now won 60....let me say that again....60 straight games. In the largest division of Mississippi high school football, this years seniors have not even lost a game in their whole career. (And yes, 4-5 of those players have already committed to Ole Miss). For the 60 game, 4 title achievement, sweet emotion salutes you. That is a record to brag about, that is a record to still talk about when you are 45 and overweight. You can sit in the stands, watch a game, nudge your neighbor and say, "Back when i played, the game was much tougher, and even in spite of that...we won 60 straight games." You can also stare your son in the face one day and in all sincerity say "boy, don't believe that garbage they are telling you, everyone doesn't have to lose some day....I never lost a game in my high school career."

Also if you live in Jackson, Mississippi, Armed Robbery is up 80.2% this year. Ok back to my studies

Friday, December 01, 2006

News of the day

I can't find the article on the internet, but today I heard some depressing news. As an introduction, let me say that Liza and I have a rule. If Liza beats me at a game, then we no longer play that sport. I don't think I need to give any further explanation. For that reason, I can no longer bowl, play putt-putt, croquet, or connect 4. Of course I still do play the sports/games occasionally, but it's a good rule to make for all you married guys.

I don't know whether to be ashamed or just amazed at the story I heard today. My best bowling night ever resulted in a 196 (thank you very much). However, apparently yesterday, an 84 year old woman bowled a 248! Oh, and one small detail about her....she is BLIND. A blind, 84 year old woman destroyed my best bowling score. I think I'll chalk this one up to simply an amazing feat. I will say bowling is one of the most unmanly sports. Absolutely no contact, shiny shoes involved, and your finishing form involves you crossing your legs behind you with your arm extended. Well, I call the sport unmanly to at least make myself feel better about this story. Other unmanly sports: putt putt, croquet, and connect 4.

A man yesterday was rescued from the grips of a 12 foot alligator. We won't even discuss why the man was lying naked in a lake at noon when the alligator attacked. I'm no policeman, but I'm guessing it has something to do with the fact that he was "high on crack."

The 911 call is unbelievable. A man calls 911 because he hears a guy screaming at the lake.
The 911 call taker tells the guy to ask the man what's wrong. The naked man's response "A gator's got me." You then hear the 911 call taker say "oh crap." And then she proceeds to give perhaps some of the manliest advice ever. "Tell him to punch it in the nose." The 911 caller proceeds to yell to the victim "try punching it in the nose." The response.."it's too big."

Again, I wasn't in the situation, but I would think the 911 caller might go try to offer some assistance himself instead of just screaming "hey buddy, help is on the way." Anyway, glad he is ok, but the 911 call is worth listening to....hard to believe.