Thursday, November 27, 2008
I lost that good ol’ Thanksgiving feeling back in the 1980’s. It was a combination of two things… Working in retail and Turner Broadcasting’s purchase of Jim Crockett Promotions.
Jim Crockett was one of the biggest professional wrestling promoters in the United States. He ran the National Wrestling Alliance in the southern Atlantic states and he had greater vision than the McMahons of the WWF (now the WWE).
When I was a little lad, my father (I’m sure it was against his wishes) took me to my first professional wrestling event on a Thanksgiving night at the Greensboro Coliseum. I was in the neighborhood of 7 and 10... I just can’t remember what year it was.
I started watching pro wrestling at a young age. My mother tried to discourage my interest by saying, “You know that stuff is fake.”
Since I knew Jeannie, Samantha, and Superman weren’t real people… My young mind accepted that most everything on television wasn’t real. My response to her, “Yeah, I know… It’s on TV.”
I loved the showmanship and spectacle of professional wrestling (that should explain my love affair with the rock band KISS). I loved the loud words and I loved the violence, real or not. So when I heard that Andre The Giant (The Eighth Wonder Of The World) was making an appearance on Thanksgiving night at the Greensboro Coliseum, I begged my parents to go. I wanted to personally see Andre wrestle against the heel Big John Studd. I wanted to personally see a man that stood over 7 feet tall and weighing close to 500 lbs.
But I got more than that… I got the show that takes place in the audience during the event. I was amazed that the audience took the show, the wrestling, so very seriously. I remember most the bloody Indian Strap match between Blackjack Mulligan and Wahoo McDaniels where falls counted anywhere in the building. They were tied together with a strap of leather and when they hit each other, you could hear the slap when it met flesh and mat. I remember catching Wahoo cut open his forehead with a gig (blade) on the sly. Blackjack was seemingly losing a lot of blood too, but I didn’t catch him juicing.
The action eventually left the ring and headed up the stairs. Kids and some adults followed. Dad and I sat there listening to the other fans guessing where the combatants would end up. They finally reappeared upstairs and battled on the railing. Wahoo seemed determined to throw Blackjack over the edge and the crowd anxiously screamed while I giggled like a Japanese schoolgirl. I knew it was a show and I was loving every single minute of it.
Wahoo finally closed the deal when they returned to the ring and kept his Indian Strap match record free from defeat.
The Andre match was a bit disappointing. He was too big and lumbered around the ring like a Redwood in a planter. Big props to Big John Studd for juicing so good that it turned his blonde hair red with blood.
I was at the very first wrestling televised pay-per-view called “Starrcade: A Flair For The Gold”. It took place in Greensboro on Thanksgiving. Ric Flair won the NWA World Title by defeating Harley Race in a steel cage. By today’s standard, the match would be considered a little boring. Flair won his first World Title that night and I was there.
And during that match, overzealous fans in the upper deck got into a huge fight. It was crazy! It took a handful of police to break that melee up.
Professional wrestling at the Greensboro Coliseum on Thanksgiving was an annual event. I went many, many times and I took it for granted. I went to every Starrcade until they moved it to The Omni in Atlanta when Turner bought out Jim Crockett Promotions.
It was “The Night Of The Skywalkers” and I hated missing it. I couldn’t even see it on PPV because our cable company couldn’t carry it. I missed The Road Warriors defeat The Midnight Express in a Scaffold match. The action took place on a scaffold high above the ring and you won by throwing your opponents off.
I would have loved to see that in person.
When Turner Broadcasting bought out Jim Crockett promotions, they took my favorite thing about Thanksgiving away. Throw in retail jobs where I had to work the day after Thanksgiving (Black Friday)… The holiday lost all of its appeal to me and I haven’t felt the same since.
I miss it. I long for it. I miss eating all day long, watching a little football, and heading out to the Coliseum to watch men in tights “settle” scores before a sellout crowd. I miss the smoky ambiance and the people that truly believed what they were seeing was as real as their electric bill.
I remember the time Jeff Baker, Jon Sullivan, and myself were witnessing a boring moment when Ric Flair had Greg “The Hammer” Valentine in the dreaded Figure-Four leg lock. The match time limit was 60 minutes and Flair had him in that thing forever. There was a point during that leg lock where the entire crowd had quieted down to the noise level of a funeral and some chick somewhere yelled out, “Break his leg, Ric!”
We laughed our asses off and that became a personal catch-phrase with the three of us. It seemed funny at the time. We were so amused that she thought it was all so real. We pictured her anxiously sitting on the edge of her seat hoping that Ric Flair would retain his World Title belt while the rest of us struggled to remain awake.
I remember attending an event with my Uncle Byrl, Aunt Sherry, Bake, Sullivan, and my father where the main event was a tag-team Steel Cage match. Sgt. Slaughter and Private Don Kermode (heels/bad guys) were defending their World Title straps against fan favorites (face/good guys) Ricky Steamboat and Jay Youngblood.
It was bloody and exciting… Until an old lady a couple of rows in front of us got so excited that she decided to urinate in her seat instead of going to the restroom. The police finally came to escort her wet ass out. It was kind of sad and yet it was funny.
The faces beat the heels and the entire Coliseum erupted with the loudest cheering I had ever heard… While me, Bake, and Sullivan sat there with sheer disappointment on our faces.
We always pulled for the heels because they’re were usually more interesting and funnier than the faces. They still are.
I remember seeing Blackjack Mulligan Jr. (Barry Windam) “win” a Cadillac by ending up as the last man in the ring to end an over-the-top rope Battle Royal match one Thanksgiving night. Windam could’ve been one of the greats, but never fully realized it for reasons unknown.
Now you know why I’m not thrilled about Thanksgiving anymore. Yeah, it’s cool getting together with family, eating, and hearing my nieces and nephews act up with each other… But Thanksgiving just isn’t the same anymore.
I find the holiday more depressing with every passing year. Fond memories of those nights spent with thousands of blood thirsty, drunken strangers with strange odors aren’t being made anymore.
Maybe I should get a dog.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
I do stupid things. I do stupid things all the time. And believe it or not, I’m a smart guy. But a lot of times I just don’t think before doing stupid things. We’re all guilty of that… Aren’t we?
Lets take for example last Friday…
I was all geared up to play some Battletech later that night and I spent most of that morning trying to find anything about the Baja 1000. I couldn’t find any network that was covering the race so I decided to look around on the Internet. There were plenty of sites giving “constant” updates, but I would have gotten better service with carrier pigeons.
I could only find one update on Robby Gordon’s site. I don’t know how accurate it was, because it was taken down faster than Jack Bauer can save Toledo. The update said that Gordon broke a wheel hub and their race was cut short.
The only update now is dated November 19th and says everything is fine and dandy.
I still have no idea how my favorite driver did in the event. Oh well… If you can’t drink the water in Mexico, then I can’t expect timely news or updates.
Here’s a video taste of what Robby Gordon does when the NASCAR season is over and most drivers head out to vacation destinations.
--I gave up looking for updates around 1pm and started craving some coffee. The high temperature for the day was going to remain under 50, so I made a 10 cup pot of coffee and planned on watching some movies on the DVR.
I have a rule about coffee… I love coffee, but I don’t want to become addicted to it like my grandparents who drink it from wakey-wakey to nighty-night. They drink the stuff 18 hours a day in all kinds of weather. Even during heat waves! So I don’t drink it unless the high temperature of the day will be below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Making the coffee and drinking it was not a good idea.
I drank the whole pot and got majorly wired. I didn’t eat breakfast or lunch and every muscle in my body felt like there was a Norelco shaver buzzing around inside it. If that’s the way speed makes someone feel, I cannot see the appeal of amphetamines. I didn’t like it one bit.
I got angry quickly and most everything seemed to aggravate me. I couldn’t even sit still. When I was walking around house… I was moving from room to room like Ahmet Zappa jamming with John Tesh.
I ate lunch and that still didn’t take the edge off, so I ate a second helping. Still no good.
I stopped by BoJangle’s on the way to Sean’s to get another meal in my system. I was hungry and felt like throwing more food into the bloodstream would kill off the caffeine.
Nope. Wrong. I was still an insufferable prick. I was snapping at Sean and my Battletech teammates. But the coffee managed to keep my mind sharp until 3am or so… We started the only round we played at 6pm Friday and wrapped it up around 4am Saturday.
Drinking a pot of coffee is something that I don’t think I will ever do again… Unless it’s decaffeinated.
Here are some of the latest Battletech pictures. The poker chips represent rubble from destroyed mechs. We're starting to lose a few here and there because Jonathan and Justin have finally realized that you have to get hit to hit. They play with "retreat" always in their minds.
We'll be playing again on Friday AND I'll be making an update on Turkey Day! I'll be bored and I've got something brewing about Black Friday.
Have a Happy and safe Thanksgiving!
Thursday, November 20, 2008
So I finally got online this morning to check emails and check The Onion for the latest news when a Doors tune started playing on my Zune.
I’ve never been much of a Doors man. I’ve just never cared for them. I never thought Jim Morrison was a genius. When I received my famous Rolling Stone magazine with Morrison on the cover (“He’s Hot, He’s Sexy, He’s Dead”)… I had to read the article to find out who he was (Please keep in mind that I was 13 or so when that issue came out). I wasn’t impressed, so I never fully developed a sense of importance when it came to The Doors.
I only went to see The Doors movie in theaters because it was from one of my favorite film directors, Oliver Stone. Although I liked the film the first time around… During another viewing, I couldn’t find any reason as to why I liked it. I will proudly say that The Doors is one of the worst films ever made. I can clearly understand why the bio-pic spun its development wheels for years before being made. It was crap.
So anyways… I sat down at the computer turned up the volume to hear what my Zune program was playing and it was “Love Hides”.
This particular version comes from The Doors CD ‘Live From Pittsburgh 1970’. It was one of those promos that went from one Rock 92 remote to another. No one ever wanted it for a prize. It was a little dinged up, so I took it out of the rotation and gave it a warm home in my collection. It’s in with all my other cherished and loved CD’s. And from what you’re reading, it’s resides on my Zune.
This live version of “Love Hides” starts immediately with Jim Morrison’s vocals. Being a stickler for interesting lyrics, I couldn’t help busting a gut laughing during the first verse…
“Love hides in the strangest places
Love hides in familiar faces
Love hides in narrow corners
Love hides in molecular structures…”
What?! Molecular structures?!
I looked up the lyrics and it seems that Mr. Morrison was so F’ed up that he got the lyrics wrong on that particular night in Pittsburgh, but my ears were working properly. I did in fact hear another truly stupid lyric from Jim Morrison.
I remember an old girlfriend that really got into “Riders On The Storm”. She thought the song had some of the deepest poetry to ever caress the FM airwaves. She really dug the part…
“There’s a killer on the road
His brain is squirming like a toad…”
For some reason, she thought that metaphor was dead on. “His brain is squirming like a toad… His BRAIN is SQUIRMING like a TOAD!” she yelled at me during that argument.
“When have you ever seen a toad squirm?” I asked. “They jump. Worms squirm. Morrison was a Dr. Suess lyricist! Anything that rhymes works! He was no genius!”
I’ve really tried to find something redeeming about The Doors. It’s just not there for me. Sure… They had some great songs. Maybe they knocked down some barriers. But I just don’t and perhaps never will, get them.
--I have some more pictures from the HUGE Battletech game going on at Casa De Whitley. I’ve had a few people express their feelings about the game. Those few say that I should keep posting the pictures along with the brief recap of the events.
Of course these people are the ones taking part in the game.
I don’t really think that Too Dangerous For Daylight readers care about it. So I’m leaving it up to you… Vote “yea” or “nay” in the comments.
Keep in mind... If you'd like to play or check it out sometime... Give me a holler.
Monday, November 17, 2008
If you’re checking back and looking for an update… Well you’re in luck.
Welcome to my update!
I’m glad that you haven’t written me off and have decided to check in on me.
It’s true that I haven’t really had anything exciting to write about in the last few months since joining the large ranks of the unemployed, but I do my best to find the weirder moments in life to share with you. Truth is… If you’re not out and about every day, you tend to miss those odd moments.
And last week, I spent most of my days preparing for Geekfest 2008!
What am I talking about?
The largest Battletech game that I’ve ever been involved with!
Sean Whitley and I played a large game about 6 years ago after I lost a full-time job and a fiancée. We did this with a 4’x 8’ piece of particle board, ten Battletech maps, and my bottle of Smirnoff Vanilla Vodka. We unloaded almost every mech we had in our arsenal for our geeky endeavor. There had to be about 200 mechs in play and it took about 3 months to finish the game. We started the game at 10 in the morning and played until midnight on the first day. That’s when I finally started to feel the effects of the Smirnoff and passed out on Sean’s couch.
Over the 3 month period, Sean triumphed easily over me and my bad rolls. I say that because my tactics are sound, but when the fire rounds and piloting rolls are determined by a pair of dice I get mainly low (bad) rolls. That means I have difficulty in hitting the targets and my mechs fall because of the low rolls. Falling mechs sustain damage and are left prone for the enemy to come in like the LAPD to pound them without mercy.
The new game started last Friday night and I had a limited amount of days to get my mechs painted and ready for game play. So that’s why I didn’t take the time for an update last week. I was too busy gluing, priming, and painting my mechs.
Sean and I headed up the two teams. Sean had his sister Mandy and I had Jonathan along with Mandy’s boyfriend Justin.
We started about 7pm and got in 4 rounds before we called it a night at 2:30 Saturday morning.
We didn’t take a head count on the mechs, but we estimate just over 300 of them are on the table. So this game could take months to play without taking Sean’s retail schedule (Christmas time’s a comin’) into consideration.
I got my digital camera out for this and here are the pictures we took. The first one is from my team’s side of the table. We have all of our mechs lined up and ready for action while Mandy (pictured on the left) decided her placement.
The next picture is after 2 rounds of play and as you can see, we’ve all started to meet in the middle to exchange fire, punches, and kicks (all determined by dice rolls). At this point, the faster mechs have met in the center and the jump capable mechs on our side have started to find the high ground surrounded by a moat.
This picture is after the third round from Sean’s end of the table. Sean and Mandy have left the high ground to join in the melee in the center.
Here’s another shot from Sean’s end of the table. If you look close enough at the top, you can see me giving Jonathan (who took that picture) a message.
This picture shows a “kill”. My Raven mech was slaughtered and the blue poker chip represents the rubble left behind. If you go over the rubble, you will have to make a piloting roll to remain upright and on your feet. To the left of that poker chip, you can see my Fireball (yellow mech) standing in a large stream between the two lakes. I blew the piloting roll to get out of the stream and fell. It was quickly blown up while my Dart (the red mech lying down next to it) fell trying to get through the stream.
I’m telling ya… I have no luck when it comes to navigating waterways… I seem to blow it almost every time. I had to roll a 5 or better on two six-siders and managed to screw the pooch with 2 out of 3 mechs crossing the water. Much laughter follows every time one of my mechs fall in the water.
This last picture shows a mech’s eye view of the playing field.
We may get in another round tomorrow and/or Wednesday, but most definitely we’re going for it on Friday night again.
So there you have it. The reason I was so quiet updating last week. I will continue to take some pictures to share with you, but I won’t bore you with the details. Chances are good that our team will lose because Sean took the lowest battle point values for each mech. Loosely translated: He will have many more than we will and he should crush us.
Win or lose, it’s fun as hell!
Friday, November 07, 2008
Thank any and all deities around the globe, the election is over. No more breaks during Jeopardy or reruns of Everyone Loves Raymond filled with backbiting political commercials. Oh sure, they make for a good drinking game, but we’d all be in Rat Pack Heaven along with John Bonham, Bon Scott, and Keith Whitley sipping on spirits if we played in any such contest. It was just too much.
Am I surprised by the election outcome?
Do I really care?
Although I am amazed that everyone happy with the Presidential election outcome seems to think that we all have swallowed a magical pill. They seem to think that the time-released active ingredient will kick in about mid-January and every problem will be solved, dogs will talk, and everyone will be able to bend steel.
I tend to stay away from political ramblings because there’s enough of that out there already. I’ll admit that my blog doesn’t really have anything that “matters” within its bowels. It’s because there’s enough of that kind of crap out there. I would rather write about losing a silly football bet with Beaverhausen where I had to walk around all day Tuesday with “Go Steelers” written across my forehead after my Redskins lost on the night before than spit out my opinions on politics… Or homelessness… Or health care… Or whatever.
Here’s a picture of me fulfilling my bet with Beaverhausen the past Tuesday…
Another great thing about the Presidential election being over?
Obama supporters can now shut the F up and get ready for the finger-pointing in their direction. The economy is screwed up and the ones that screwed the pooch want us, the taxpayers, to bail them out. Wall Street, car manufacturers, and home lenders are jumping on a wagon where the shock absorbers are you and me. We’ll see just how long Barack can ride his white horse into town before someone has to put that beast out of its misery.
Obama Win Causes Obsessive Supporters To Realize How Empty Their Lives Are
--Who likes porn?
--I’m out for the weekend, kids. I’m visiting a club that I’ve been curious about for years… The Country Corral in King, NC.
I’ve been imagining a place like the redneck bar in The Blues Brothers movie. I know there’s a mechanical bull and I’m expecting chicken wire in front of the band. We shall see.
I’ve been told to pack a pocketknife, but I think breaking a bottle on the edge of a table for a quick shank will look much cooler.
I’ll try to snap some interesting pictures for you.
Have a great weekend!
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
My love affair with the television show Heroes is over.
I was watching last week’s episode and I found myself confused. I just didn’t care about what was happening. They’ve added too many new characters with various subplots going on in the present and future. I’m just not “geek-boy” enough to keep up with it all. Too many characters were getting superpowers. Too many characters were getting new superpowers. Superpowers were being revealed by old characters. Too much going back and forth in time. I was losing interest with every new episode.
The first season was great. We all wanted them to save the cheerleader and the World. Season two was getting bogged down with time travel and by what I like to refer to as “extra-unnecessary-crap”. The whole storyline with Hiro and the samurai bored me to tears, but I managed to finish season two.
During this current season, I found myself not caring about watching the show when I was watching it. I would find myself playing Hexic on my Zune or cleaning between my toes when it was on. So last week, I pulled the plug. Heroes is off my viewing list.
I felt like I needed a chart to keep up with what was going on. Who has the time for that?
I may be unemployed, but I have rules about how I waste my time when it comes to entertainment.
--The Shield is really going out with a bang! The last couple of episodes have put me on the edge of my seat. Everything is going FUBAR and its causing me to giggle like a Japanese school girl. I am SO digging the final season!
I came on late during the second season and have been hooked ever since.
I didn’t watch the first season because FOX was heralding it as the grittiest and best cop show ever during NASCAR races. They didn’t just plug it every so often… They plugged the show during the races and there was a promo for every commercial break. I got so tired of seeing the commercials that I avoided the show on sheer principal.
--Here’s a daily breakdown of my viewing habits:
Monday: Chuck, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (which I watch online because of the conflict with Chuck), and My Own Worst Enemy.
I’ve heard about critics panning My Own Worst Enemy, but I’m digging it.
Tuesday: The Shield
Wednesday: I watch nothing.
Thursday: My Name Is Earl (started painfully slow this season), Supernatural (gets better and better all the time), The Office (watch online because of the conflict with Supernatural).
I tried two episodes of Kath and Kim, but I kept finding myself picking lint out of my navel during the show. I dropped it.
Friday, Saturday, and Sunday have nothing to offer to me. But if I have nothing else to watch, it’s the best reality show of all time… Cops.
Tell us about your viewing habits by leaving a comment. I’m interested to see how many of you watch reality shows religiously.
Sunday, November 02, 2008
I did something last week that I haven’t done in at least a dozen years… I changed the oil in my truck. Seinfeld was cranking out new episodes and Buddy Ebsen was still alive the last time I changed the oil in my vehicle.
Technically… I didn’t do the hard work. But I did get my hands dirty and I dislike soiling hands.
Roxy (my truck) was overdue for an oil change and I thought I would save money by doing it myself. Times are tough, I’m unemployed, and money is a tighter than Neil Peart’s snare drum.
I don’t know why Fords have a tendency of really sucking onto an oil filter. I have never been able to twist off an old filter from a Ford’s engine.
I once had an Escort EXP and those filters sucked on so tight that I once had to drive a long screwdriver through the darn thing to twist it off. It was a messy affair that would make any murder scene look like Felix Unger’s kitchen.
You can hand-tighten a filter on a Ford, but that bastard will cling to the engine like Ted Kennedy holds onto a bottle when it comes time to change it.
I tried twisting that joker off Roxy’s engine and it wasn’t budging. My father decided that a “man” should do it. He crawled under, grunted a lot, shook the entire vehicle trying to twist the filter off, and got a busted knuckle for his efforts.
We couldn’t use the old screwdriver through the filter trick because of the tricky placement designed by the evil geniuses at Ford to keep mechanics in business. I came up with the idea of using a C-clamp, but there was no room to get that mofo in there. So we ended up going to a parts store to purchase some kind of filter-wrench.
I don’t like going to any auto parts store anymore. The last time I went to this particular place to purchase 2 quarts of motor oil; I stood in line for 20 minutes before sitting them on the counter, cutting loose an expletive, and walking out. I later picked up those 2 quarts at a convenience store in 2 minutes and 40 cents cheaper.
We tested the fit with a filter like mine before leaving. It was a perfect match. Purchasing the filter-wrench took only 13 minutes. There were only 2 guys working the counter and 6 customers. Three of us had what we needed and were ready to check out, but we had to wait our turn. Flies go through a full lifecycle when it comes to waiting your turn at an auto parts store.
I miss the old days when Western Auto was in business. There were employees working the floor to help if you needed it and when it was time to checkout… There were checkout lines. I would be in and out of Western Auto with oil and a filter in single digit minutes.
Those wonderful days are long gone and now we’re all prisoners to waiting until someone is freed up from a customer.
I wiggled back under my truck with the filter-wrench and the necessary tools to take care of business. Since I don’t know how most tools actually work, my father once again took over. He knows how sockets and extenders work. I was having problems and getting my hands even dirtier. I just let him take over because I know that deep down inside he feels that I’m just a damsel in distress when it comes to things mechanical.
He’s right and I’m okay with that. I gave it my best shot and felt cool giving in after 3 rounds. I poured in the new oil and replaced the cap so my man card wouldn’t be revoked.
The whole thing ended up costing me $19 and two hours. I ended up saving $8, but I lost an hour and fifteen minutes.
And to top it all off… The filter-wrench fit my old filter fine, fit one at the store just fine, but it doesn’t fit the new one that we put on. It looks as if I’ll be purchasing another filter-wrench in the near future.
So you can see why mechanical things tend to frustrate me to an Empire State Building’s height.