Sunday, April 29, 2012

WWE Extreme Rules Review

This is the first WWE offering in 2012 post WrestleMania XXVIII.  This was their chance to redeem themselves.  So did they?  I was feeling hopeful that they would redeem themselves before viewing this latest offering.  With how terrible WrestleMania XXVIII was, they needed to redeem themselves.

The WWE thought they would be clever and have a big feud and big match kick off the event.  Randy Orton and Kane have been embroiled in a feud with has taken the all too overused "personal" angle by involving family or "kayfabe" family.  Although this use of family wasn't well played out.  Paul Bearer has been over used as "bait" when it comes to Kane.  They did this when Kane was feuding with Edge.  You might not have realized that if you don't pay attention to storylines.  The match itself was a Falls Count Anywhere match meaning falls didn't have to take place in the ring even though it did.  I'm a stickler when it comes to Falls Count Anywhere matches as I'd like to see the pin or submission happen not in the ring but somewhere in the arena.  Zach Ryder attacking was oddly placed regardless of their past history.  It was just ill timed.  But that didn't detract from this being the third best match of the event.

Brodus Clay vs. Dolph Ziggler seemed like it wasn't even announced for the card.  The match was what it was.  Just something used for filler purposes.  With Ziggler being as talented as he is, he shouldn't be used for filler purposes.  Jack Swagger on the other hand should be.  But that wasn't the case on this evening.  It's unfortunate that Ziggler had to job to the likes of Clay.  I just find Brodus Clay terrible and he will go nowhere.  They should have left him as a heel instead of this annoying face being stuck wherever the WWE needs him.  This wasn't the right place for him.  Ziggler is much better than this.

Tables matches have found their place in annals of gimmick matches.  Tables matches have been around for years and years, but the Dudley Boys/Team 3D were known for it.  But not so much Big Show and Cody Rhodes.  This is return match from WrestleMania and a Rhodes's rematch.  Going into this match, I thought Big Show had this in the bag.  He dominated Rhodes from the outset of the bell and returning the WWE Intercontinental Championship seemed elementary.  Than the match ended abruptly.  The finish was good and bad.  How is that possible you ask?  It was good because of how clever the Big Show was put through a table.  Big Show climbs over the top rope to get in the ring.  So Rhodes kicked the foot of Big Show causing him to lose balance and put one foot in the table below crushing it.  It was bad because it cut the match short.  More could have been done with the match, but it was what was with Cody Rhodes becoming the two time WWE Intercontinental Championship.

The infamous 18 second lose to Sheamus at WrestleMania XXVIII has been a focal point of the feud between Sheamus and Daniel Bryan.  Bryan issued a great challenge for 2 out of 3 Falls match.  This match type isn't used as much as it used to be.  But this match didn't disappoint.  Great grappling and chain wrestling early on.  Sheamus showed that he is not just a brawler.  Bryan has always been known for his technical ability and he showcased it through out the match.  With him picking apart a part of Sheamus's body.  Playing the part of a heel very well by getting himself disqualified in the first fall.  But he was quick to make Sheamus pass out to the Yes Lock getting the second fall.  Sheamus being the touch Irishman wouldn't go down without a fight which is something we have seen throughout his time in the WWE.  He was able to pull out third fall and retain the World Heavyweight Championship.  I don't get why people hate on Sheamus.  He has proven to me he can wrestle not just brawl.  Up to this point, this match was the best, but by the end of the night it was the second best match.  Very good match!

Whose big idea was it to give jobber time on a pay-per-view and mic time on the pay-per-view?  I get that it was used as filler, but they could have had a vastly better filler match.  They didn't have to have two scrawny bastards lose to Ryback on pay-per-view.  It served no purpose!   There is nothing else to say about this shit break of a match.  So moving on...

Another feud the encompasses a personal element.  Chris Jericho played the heel perfectly during the feud.  Some of his best work in sometime as a heel.  CM Punk played his real-life wrestling adapted personality great like he always does.  Jericho tried at every turn to show CM Punk as falling into the same life as his family their substance abuse problems.  Sure there were points in this feud where I thought it was stupid, but overall, a great feud. Being as the event was held in Chicago, it made sense to have a them battle for the WWE Championship in a Chicago Street Fight.  Great back and forth action with them just kicking each others ass.  Great use of CM Punk's sister as a plant to slap Jericho.  Yes there was a botch by CM Punk, but it happens.  So move on.  The move of the match which got the crowd going was CM Punk landing an elbow drop on Jericho while prone on the Spanish announce table.  Poor Spanish announce table.  Always getting crushed!  Although CM Punk almost botched this.  This hands down was the best match of the night with CM Punk retaining the WWE Championship!

Why do we get a Diva's Championship match as the semi-main event?  For whatever reason, there was one thing I was thinking.  With Beth Phoenix not being medically cleared to wrestle, they had the perfect setup to have Bella Twins face each other because of the whole "mystery" opponent.  But having Layla return was a nice surprise too.  Even though she won the WWE Diva's Championship this quick, at least we don't have to have one of the terrible Bella Twins hold the title.

The final match was an Extreme Rules match between the returning Brock Lesnar and John Cena.  The build up was very well done.  They had Brock Lesnar look so unbeatable and so tough.  This is something we've never seen from Brock Lesnar before in the WWE.  It was great to see him look this way.  It was great to see Cena the way he was being that he was scared.  Blood was shed by both men especially Cena.  Lesnar was dominate throughout the whole match.  What was Lesnar thinking with that leap off part of the ring steps thus crashing into Cena?  That was crazy!  It looked like he tweaked his knee, but just played it off which was great.  Having Cena win seemed to take away from the build up Lesnar was getting during this feud.  I would have liked to have seen Lesnar get the win and see how Cena would react on Raw.  That will never happen.   The ending bit Cena said made me wonder if he was losing his smile or just needs time off.  I'm not a Cena fan by any means, but it is time for him to take time off and not just for an injury.

Even though Extreme Rules was passable, it wasn't a redemption by any means.  Maybe Over the Limit will be the redemption the WWE is looking for.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Tax Time

I got my taxes done this week.  I always procrastinate in getting it done.  I got my T4s and student loan stuff at a good enough time that I said I would get it done.  But I am infamous for procrastinating which is why I got it done this week.  I got a nice size return.  It's expected with what I made last year. 

Now that that is done, what is next?

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Song of the Day #40

I love this version of the song because of the incredible harmonies.  This version shows that great harmonies do still exist.  I caught the end of the song on CBC Deep Roots.

"Wondrous Love" by Blue Highway
YouTube link

Friday, April 20, 2012

Pets - The Loss of a Friend

Losing a pet whether it be through it dying or having to be get rid of the pet for whatever reason is hard on a child.  This time it has to do with getting rid of a pet because of the things it was doing.  My niece knew it was coming.  But she still was emotional over it on the day it happened.  She had a great attachment to Carpathia ( a black pug).  She loved her even when my cousin owned her.  It's hard to get rid of a pet.  It's hard to see them leave.  It's hard to say goodbye.

This is what had to be done and no matter what the feelings are from the child.  The parent had to make the decision regardless.  My niece knew why we had to get rid of the dog, but it didn't make it any less painful.  She has come to terms with the decision, but it doesn't mean she doesn't miss the dog.  Carpathia was a friend and she misses a friend.  I get it.  But it's the way things have to be.

My sister is getting a cocker spaniel for the kids.  Before Carpathia was picked up and taken to her new home, my niece was real keen on the idea at first.  But I feel she is coming around.  Once the puppy is picked up, she will love the dog like she loved Carpathia.  I know she will still miss Carpathia, but it won't be so hard knowing she has another dog to love and care for.

The old adage is that a dog is a man's best friend.  This is a prime example.  I know this first hand as well.  I've lost pets through death and through having them being given to someone else.  It's hard, but you learn to deal with it.  I know that she is dealing with it and the new dog will help with that.

A Sign of the Times

Netflix, iTunes, Redbox, Gamefly, the Internet, etc. has made video stores that rent movies and video games increasingly irrelevant and slowly making major chains obsolete.  Blockbuster has shut down locations in Canada and Rogers is shutting down locations across Canada as well.  A lot of movie rental companies are turning to mail or online rental services if they haven't done so.  Plus with the services you can get on your cable or satellite to watch movies, why would you need to go to a video store to rent a movie?  Or with mail or online services, why would you need to go to a video store to rent a video game?

The change in the way we do things has made the need for an actual location nil.  I remember growing, that renting movies or video games was a time I looked forward too.  Picking out a new release or classic movie or game wanting to experience it for the first time or experience it again.  Just something about doing that was a great part of my childhood.  Nowadays, we have the convenience of these services at our fingertips that the whole wanting to go to rent something is not the same as it used to be.

The days of renting at an actual location is quickly becoming a thing of the past.  For nostalgia reasons, it's sad.  There are only a handful of businesses that rent movies as it's not the big business it used to be.  I admit that I rarely rent movies unlike I used to.  There is no need to with all these other services.  I guess this is just a sign of the times.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Long Blessed Weekend

This past weekend was a long one as I went back home to Prince Albert.  I went back because on Saturday, it was my Grandma Sheldon's 80th come and go tea.  Even though her birthday is in March, this is the only time we could get a hall booked, but it was a great day nonetheless.  The sheer amount of people that blessed my Grandma's day with unbelievable.  Family, friends, neighbours from when she lived on the farm, and people from the church were all there.  There were a lot of people who I haven't seen in a long time.  It was great to see them again.  In total, nearly 200 people were there to celebrate her special day.  I thank everyone who came from near and far to join us.

If you know my family, than you'll know that we won't leave you feeling hungry as there was lots of food.  2 pm was a little program where my Auntie Merle was the MC of it.  Also, we modeled various items my Grandma knitted and sewed over the years.  I showed off my afghan blanket.  In fact, I was the only one who wasn't modeling something that couldn't be worn like mitts or a dress.  I ate supper at the hall with family.  Even though it was a great day, it was long.  But it was a blessed day.

On Sunday, my cousin Jeff and his wife Tania got his two week old daughter Johanna baptized at St. Anglican Church.  It was great to worship Anglican style.  That is something I don't get to do very often.  I give Norbert credit for playing off my nephew walking up the aisle and making noise during the sermon.  More food was had after the service.  More fellowship and a blessed time was had.

The weekend was a long and blessed one.  But it was worth it.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Caine's Arcade

This is something I seen on Facebook.  It is pretty bad ass.  Here is the synopsis of the short film.

"A 9 year-old boy who built an elaborate cardboard arcade in his dad's used auto parts store is about to have the best day of his life."

YouTube link

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Jumping On This Particular Bandwagon

John Cena and Justin Bieber, what do they have in common?  Just that it's popular to jump on the bandwagon that hates them.  Here is the thing, I hated on John Cena about seven years.  Now I'm just indifferent to the point that I don't care.  I hated on Justin Bieber about two years ago.  As with Bieber, I'm just indifferent to the point that I don't care.

I've noticed it's a trend that people jump on said bandwagon long after I've gotten off and moved on to not liking or hating something else.  I'm not saying that I'm some prophet or someone who foresees future trends of this manner or any manner.   I've just been ahead of the masses when it comes to some things.  I'm not trying to blow smoke up my own ass or anything, but it's just how I see it.

When I tell people that I've hated on these two said people years before they did, I get the usual reaction.  It's not my fault I was ahead of the curve in this respect.  It just sometimes happens.  I wonder what the next big thing people will hate on next?  It seems like since the advent of the Internet, hating on something is the cool thing to do.  At least I do it before the masses do.

Monday, April 09, 2012

Lent 2012: This Is The End

Even though Lent officially ended on April 5, I decided to extend it to April 9 which was Easter Monday.  What's four extra days?  Four extra days abstain from what I gave up.  Four extra days on a journey that I value each and every year.

Lent 2012 started off with me breaking it.  I drank some pop and ate some candy on the first day.  The first bit of candy was meant for the evening before, but due to falling asleep, that never happened.  The rest on that day was due to not thinking or wanting something and getting that by mistake.  With the first bit of candy, I thought I would be clever and not officially start Lent till later in the day, but I didn't bother.  I felt bad in a round about way for breaking Lent.  I've never broken Lent before.  I didn't beat myself up about or dwell on it.  I just "dusted myself off" and moved on from it.  Dwelling on it would be quite pointless, wouldn't you think?

The rest of Lent was smooth sailing.  It was quite uneventful for the most part except for week six when I politely refused a can of pop I was offered.  Doing the weekly updates of Lent is good and all, but it seems like something big is supposed to happen.  Something worth reading is supposed to happen.  Something to effect that I had a major meltdown and cheated on Lent big time.  But if you've kept up with my postings, than you'd know that I didn't even come close to something like that.  For the most part, Lent went off without a hitch.

The journey is something I appreciate because it is a walk with Jesus during the time he was making his way towards Jerusalem where he ultimately died.  Just as he was making a sacrifice, you were making a sacrifice during Lent by abstaining and fasting from something.  The journey that Jesus did was hard for him and it was probably hard for you.  But Jesus knew this is something he had to do.  With what I abstained and fasted from, I knew I had to do it even though I've done it before.  Even though I cheated on Lent, Jesus died so the mistakes I've made in my journey can be forgiven.  For that, I'm truly blessed and thankful for his sacrifice.  Not a lot of people, even though are believers, realize how truly blessed and thankful they are because of such a sacrifice.

That's the end of Lent for me.  Thank you for keeping up with my Lenten posts for 2012 and I hope it was blessed one for you as it was for me during my journey.  See you for Lent 2013.  God bless!

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Ascrbing The Term "Godly" or "Godlike"

Reading comments on various websites like YouTube, Facebook, and whatnot, you come across people ascribing people, musicians especially, with the term of "godly" or "godlike."  They put on this pedestal because of this level of talent they find "godly."  Here is the problem, nobody is "godly" in terms of their talent.  As good as they may be, they are certainly not "godly."  Sure their are people out there that are egotistical enough to think they are "godly" because they think they are just that good.  But the fact still remains that ascribing such a label is so unrealistic.

There are people out there that can't handle such a label.  It's too much pressure for them.  They may feel like they have to be at a certain level because of the fear of being a failure.  Is it really worth to have someone possibly feel this way just because you think they are at such a level?  It's pretty high praise considering you are just a mere fan.  Instead of ascribing a label of "godly" or "godlike," you can just bask in their talent and be n complete awe of what they are able to do.  It's all about being humble.

The term "godly" or "godlike" does not lend itself to humility or humbleness.  There is an adage that is, "be humble in all you do."  You need to be humble and have humility in all you do regardless of how good you are at whatever you do. Myself, if I get a compliment of any kind, I feel humbled that someone would think enough of what I do musically to render a compliment towards me.  I understand that not everyone will think what I do is good and that's their right to do so, but I take great humility in such compliments.

People need to stop ascribing this label because as I said, it's unrealistic.  Nobody is "godly" or "godlike."  They need to realize that they are just very talented humans who developed their natural talent or got that talent by practicing.  They didn't just pick up an instrument and automatically play some intricate piece.  Even the naturally talented musicians, artists, and whatnot have perfect their craft over years of work.  Sure their are prodigies, but even they need grooming to harness their potential.

Friday, April 06, 2012

Travis Barker Gets A Bad Rap

Everybody likes to shit on Travis Barker.  They call him overrated.  They slam him saying, "he plays too hard," "playing hard and fast doesn't make you good," and other such things.  But let me ask you this, can you play as good he can?  In the age of the Internet, you have these people who bitch and bitch like they are some elitest and can do better.  Yet, when called out, they continue to hide behind their computer screens and continue to talk out of their ass.

There are absolutely no problems with Travis Barker.  Sure he hits his drums hard and shreds the kit.  That is his style which he is good at.  He is noted as one of the best punk rock drummers. Not only that, but he has transitioned into other genres like rap rock, rap metal, hip hop, country, among others.  You might think that it's nothing special to cross into other genres, but his style of drumming has transitioned well in those genres especially the rap and hip hop based ones.  People don't give him enough credit for this.  All they like to do is bitch about his technique and yet it's baseless.  If they bothered to study his style, than they'd know that he is as overrated as they like to say.  Barker can phenomenal things on a pretty small kit setup.  He doesn't a huge kit setup like Neal Peart, Mike Portnoy, or Mike Mangini for instance.  He does what he does and does it amazingly well with a small kit setup.

I find his rolls, rudiments, and high hat work to be insanely good.  His fills are sick and I only wish I could be able to do my fills half as good him.  The same goes for my rolls, rudiments, and high hat work.  He brings something different to drumming and people are too ignorant to see that.

It's easy to bag on someone you don't like.  They'd rather bitch about everything about him and everybody who ascribes the label of him being a "god."  They'd rather point out stuff about him and just say he sucks because of that.  People need to learn how to critique him properly and not come off as ass clowns that think they are better than him.

I find nothing wrong him and think he is a very good drummer.  Yes, he barely missed making my top ten and after watching the following solos/warm ups, he will be in my top ten without a doubt.  I don't ascribe him as "godly."  I don't ascribe anyone as "godly" or "godlike."  I just marvel at their talent and ability.  That is what I do with Travis Barker as well.  Enjoy this video!

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Lent 2012: The Six Sense

Once again I forgot to post an update for Lent. But there is nothing much to report.  When I took a co-worker home last Friday, he invited me up to see his place.  He is from Bangladesh and is new to Canada.  He offered me a can pop, but I explained that I was on Lent and was giving up something.  So I politely said thank you for you the offer.  Other than that nothing happened.

Lent is quickly coming to a close.  I will be giving my overall thoughts on this year's Lent.

Top Ten Favourite Drummers Currently

Here is a list I've never sat down and took time to actually figure out. I took time to figure out this list.  It was a challenging list to make, but it was great to go through the drum solos and view them.  Awe inspiring.

10. Dave Grohl

9.  Gavin Harrison of Porcupine Tree

8. Sheila E. - Female drummers don't get enough recognition!  This particular solo is awesome as she is in heels.  How many guys could do that?

7. Stewart Copeland of The Police

6. Mike Mangini of Dream Theater

5. Phil Collins - It's unfortunate that he can't play anymore due to an injury he sustained.

4. Alex Van Halen of Van Halen

3. Buddy Rich

2. Mike Portnoy of Adrenaline Mob and formerly of Dream Theater, Avenged Sevenfold, Liquid Tension Experiment,Transatlantic

1. Neil Peart of Rush

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

WrestleMania 28 Review

WrestleMania is touted as the "showcase of the immortals," "where legends are born," "the Super Bowl of professional wrestling," etc..  Ever since WrestleMania was first started, wrestlers ever since have wanted their chance to perform on the "grandest stage of them all."  But only a few ever get that chance each year to perform and showcase their abilities for the millions and millions around the world and the tens of thousands in attendance.

I watched WrestleMania at my neighbour's place.  Thanks Earl!  He orders the pay-per-views each month.  It would be an experience to be at a WrestleMania live.  To experience it once would be awesome.

This particular WrestleMania had potential to be a great one.  Although it didn't start out that way.  With the Irish "albino" Sheamus taking on the amazingly gifted and talented World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan.  It's no wonder they put this match first because they made Bryan do the job in 18 secs which is a WrestleMania record.  Both Sheamus and Bryan have ability and talent, yet they'd rather have some mockery of a match cloud what could have been a great start to WrestleMania.  But that would be the right thing to do on the part of the WWE and actually give the fans their monies worth.

Kane vs. Randy Orton would have been much better, but the lack of time they were given left more to be desired.  Just like Big Show vs. Cody Rhodes.  It left more to be desired.  Although Rhodes getting crotched with a spear that was effectively botched in a round about way was totally hilarious.  They gave Big Show the win because they wanted to give him his WrestleMania moment.  Yeah, we get it, have a feel good ending to that match.  The divas tag team match which saw Kelly Kelly and Maria Menounos taking on the WWE Divas Champion Beth Phoenix and Eve didn't have a feel good ending. The only thing good about it was the fact that the match ended.  Beth Phoenix being the only one worth watching in the match still didn't make the rest of match worth anything.  How sad.

The Hell in a Cell match was touted as the "End of an Era."  Undertaker vs. Triple H with Shawn Michaels as the guest ref.  Michaels was conflicted to call the match down the middle remaining impartial or help his long time friend Triple H.  The match was back and forth with Triple H beating down the Undertaker in the early going of the match.  With multiple chair shots, a sledgehammer shot, and even some Sweet Chin Music courtesy of "Heartbreak Kid," it still wasn't enough to put away the legendary "Deadman" or "Phenom."  Undertaker battled back like his always does to give Triple H his own beat down. Shawn Michaels throughout the match showed emotion wanting to stop the match, but neither Triple H nor Undertaker wanted to stop the match.  Michaels reluctantly counted the three which gave the Undertaker the win and kept his WrestleMania streak at 20-0.  Shawn and Undertaker helping Triple H to the back is something that will never be seen again.  It was just an amazing sight.  That much respect between them to do that is awe inspiring.

Team Johnny vs. Team Teddy was a 12 man tag team match.  If John Laurinaitis or Teddy Long's team won, they would be the general manager of both Raw and SmackDown.  Nothing I could say would make this match sound interesting or good.  Not even mentioning midgets being thrown around and tall freaks landing heaps chops would do this match justice.  Team Cancer Voice (inside joke with my friend Mark) won thus becoming the general manager of the Raw and SmackDown.  The whole thing with Eve was lame.  She is a terrible heel and added to this shit that was this match.

The semi main event seen the straightedged superstar CM Punk defending the WWE Championship against the Winnipeg-raised Chris Jericho.  A match I was looking forward to.  This matched rooted in being personal thanks to Jericho taking shots at CM Punk's family and their addictions.  This lead to John Laurinaitis making the stipulation that if CM Punk lost his temper and get disqualified that the WWE Championship would change hands.  In a type championship match, that wouldn't happen.  In the early going, it looked CM Punk may have gotten disqualified, but he used the ref's five count to his advantage.  But as the battle raged on, the two combatants went back and forth.  But CM Punk was able to pull out the victory and retain the WWE Championship in the second best match of the night.

Finally it was time for the main event.  "The Once in a Lifetime" match.  An overhyped piece of shit.  The Rock vs. John Cena.  The fans were up The Rock's ass way to much and it was bad.  They booed John Cena because he was facing The Rock.  Anybody else and they'd most likely cheer him... Than again maybe not.  This was a match I didn't care about and as the match progressed, it proved why.  Both didn't put their full effort into this match.  They probably thought they'd get by on the hype alone.  The match didn't live up to the hype.  It was a long and drawn out.  Too long for the lack of quality it was.  The Rock showed he still can't do the Sharpshooter right and he's been doing that move for years.  This match was so lackluster and terrible that nothing they'd do would help it be remotely good.  The ending of the match was so bad that they had the Rock get up, hit the Rock Bottom, and win.  Most people loved the fact that The Rock won, but they thought John Cena was going to win.  Regardless of who won, it was a terrible match.  The Rock winning means nothing because he is going to be gone back to Hollywood to make another movie which will flop and bomb big time.

Overall, WrestleMania was terrible.  Nothing you could say will convince me otherwise.  This WrestleMania had potential, but it was a huge let down.  Thanks WWE, you need to build upon that potential and actually make it good.  Can you do that?  I'm not asking for much.