Tuesday, July 31, 2007

It's all New England, all the time at the Worldwide Leader

With all the crap that was being dredged up like barbaric mongrel fights, gambling scandals, steroids use, and rampant doping, a day like today is what the sports world needed; at least in the New England region of that world. And thankfully, ESPN has covered it all for you. Here's the short list:

  • Jeff Chadiha writes about how Adalius Thomas is the one, not Randy Moss, who will determine the fate of the Patriots' season since the defense lost the AFC Championship last year by giving up a 21-3 lead and Thomas plays a position where the Pats are becoming pretty long in the tooth. Wow, that's very insightful. I bet anyone who watched that same game in January (especially in the fourth quarter) would've never noticed that one. Sorry, you might think that this load of sarcasm is unwarranted but really, who couldn't see that the biggest free agent out there this past off-season would be a key ingredient. I'm sorry but I think that even with my limited writing abilities, I could've written that column.
  • Right before the close of the trading deadline, the Red Sox pick up former stud closer now set-up guy Eric Gagne from the Rangers' fire sale for mere junk. This acquisition comes right on the heels of dumping Joel Pineiro to the Cards for the always used "Minor League Player To Be Named Later". Right now, the Yanks are wondering what it will be like to be home for the bulk of October.
  • And who could forget the biggest trade in history (outside of video games) that involves only one player from one side and five players plus two draft picks from another? Yes, this may be the year that I plunk down the money for a KG jersey. And there is already speculation that a team with the hydra head of Pierce-Allen-Garnett and a bunch of 10-day contracts from the NBADL still might not be enough to win the Eastern Conference championship. Are they for real? If the Cavs could win it with basically just LeBron (finally taking over in most of the games that he plays), the Celtics should borrow an old line from their Yawkey Way brethren and say, "Why Not Us?" And I would agree since Detroit is one year older with an embattled coach, Miami is just old, the Wizards will never play D and Cleveland will suffer a sophomore slump this upcoming year. This lull of power in the Eastern Conference is primed for a Boston renaissance. Mark my words, people.

Sorry fans of in other regions of the nation and the world, today, the sun rises and sets on the six collective states that comprise New England. And as a former Maine townie, this comes from the heart - Go TEAMS!

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Holy sheet! Pottery Barn Kids captured Batman and Superman

Just a quick post - go to KFR to see some pics from the DC Superhero Bedroom Collection from Pottery Barn.

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Free Download of All-Pro Soundtrack Mixcard MP3 by Z-Trip

The new soundtrack for the 2K sports non-NFL licensed video game, All-Star Football, is dropping today and to commemorate this release, 2K Sports has a free download of a Mix e-card (similar to a mixtape with over 30 minutes of highlights from the new CD). If you're interested in one of the premier turntable guys and some of the best rappers in the biz (Rakim, Chali 2NA, Lateef & Slug, Dilated Peoples), click here to get that download.

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Monday, July 30, 2007

Creator of the West Coast Offense passes away

Pro Football Hall of Fame coach Bill Walsh passed away earlier today from leukemia. During his tenure with the 49ers, his teams went 102-63-1 with 6 division titles and won 10 of 14 postseason games and 3 Super Bowls. His coaching tree stretches throughout not only the NFL but the college ranks too. But most notably, over two-thirds of the NFL coaches owe a debt of thanks to the man who made Montana and to a lesser degree, Rice, the legends that they are today.

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It's official - Wolverine's story is going right into the crapper

I was and still am a firm believer behind the idea of Wolverine having his past be a mystery not only to us but to himself as well. Unfortunately, the people who run the show over at Marvel have decided that everything about the man formerly known as Logan should be spoon-fed to the readers like pre-K children. Sure, Wolverine: Origins was a success in the variant cover/ overhyped speculator way but as a story, it was very woeful. What's worse is that if this story couldn't be told in a compelling way; just imagine when a writer who's not in Paul Jenkins' league is tabbed to tell the next piece of the Wolverine mythos puzzle.

Well, that rooster has come home to roost; although he came with a very solid writer in tow. TheXAxis.com has given Loeb the verbal beatdown with the release of Wolverine (3rd Series) #55 which is the conclusion of the "Evolution" story line. Here are some choice snippets from the review:

"...Failed comics come in many types. Some are the result of catastrophic miscommunications between writer and editor. Some are due to deadline crashes or last-minute changes of plan. Some are basically good ideas marred by inept execution. And then there are stories like these - stories that fail on every level, from the basic concept through to the plot, the research, and the details of the script. Stories where the pacing is shot to hell, and even the dumb entertainment value is almost entirely absent. Stories with nothing to recommend them whatsoever. It is genuinely surprising to see a writer as experienced as Jeph Loeb producing a story quite this poor.

...I mean, where do you start? It's not a story. It's just a string of random events in no logical sequence that happens to lead to a big revelation that we're supposed to care about. Why are we supposed to care about it? Because it's a revelation. Characters wander onto the page and off again without ever having a good reason to be there. It's disjointed, it lacks pacing, it lacks tension, and frankly, it would disgrace a novice fanfic writer."

And then he pays a compliment to Chuck Austen, of all people. This comic has to be really bad for that compliment to be paid. I won't include any real spoilers from the issue other than Wolverine should not be evolved from a line of Wolf-men. He should be just an under-evolved man with very aggressive animalistic tendencies. If I want to read about wolf-men, I would pick up Kirkman's Amazing Wolf-man series at Image.

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I cannot tell a lie..

It appears that the Patriots are coming to close to the "America's Team" moniker if this image from DirecTV's NFL Sunday Ticket ad is any indication:

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Sunday, July 29, 2007

San Diego Comic-Con Exclusive Iron Man Clip Reel

Hey, just a quick update to say that over at KFR, I've posted some screen caps from a link to the SDCC clip reel on the new Iron Man movie starring Robert Downey, JR and directed by Jon Favreau. Here's a free preview to whet the appetite:

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The Starchild suffers heart problems but Kiss goes on playing

Paul Stanley suffered from an accelerated heart beat and went to the hospital before the last stop on Kiss' "Hit & Run"tour. But the rest of the band performed throughout the night as a trio and in tribute to their sidelined singer. Here's a message from Stanley on Kissonline.com:

During sound check yesterday, my heart spontaneously jumped to 190 plus beats per minute where it stayed for over an hour necessitating paramedics to start an IV and give me a shot to momentarily stop my heart and get it into a normal pattern. Not knowing if this episode was life threatening made it even more exhausting. After consulting with both the paramedics and a cardiologist at Cedar Sinai, they confirmed my worst fear. They said that I would put myself at risk if I tried to do the show.

I’m very proud of Gene, Tommy and Eric for carrying on without me. I apologize to anyone I disappointed and I’ll make it up to you when I see you again.


Luckily, Kiss does have a catalog of music that allows Gene Simmons to sing most of the songs. Case in point, here's the set list for Kiss from the Soboba Casino in San Jacinto, California:

01. Deuce
02. Cold Gin
03. Calling Dr. Love
04. Christine Sixteen
05. Nothin' to Lose (Eric on vocals)
06. I Love it Loud
07. Goin' Blind
08. Watchin' You
09. She
10. Parasite
11. God of Thunder
12. Let Me Go, Rock 'n Roll
13. Black Diamond (Eric on vocals)
14. Rock and Roll All Night

Here's to hoping for a speedy recovery from one of the guys who brought the showmanship back into Rock and Roll.

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Saturday, July 28, 2007

Help Me Help You

Obviously, I'm not Stuart Smalley or anything closely resembling someone like that. But I want to know how my initial foray into this type of blogging is being received. So, I decided to draw up an informal poll (noted on the right sidebar) to see if my vision is what the readers of this blog would like to see. This poll will be up until the end of August so please give me your input. This blog is incomplete without you. God, that sounds so needy.

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Friday, July 27, 2007

New Finds in Toyland

A new Target opened in my area which, of course, I had to check out. And no trip to Target is complete without making a run through the Toy area. So, while I was letting the kids run wild with their selections to viwe in the car, I found two expcetional finds; at least for me.

The first one was a Batman figure from the first wave of the DC Superfriends line (pictured below):

Obviously, by the look of them, these figures are similar in form and style to those Spider-Man and Friends pre-school characters that are all over the place. I posted a review of the figure on KFR.

The other item that piqued my interest was a 2005 Ford Mustang GT Die-Cas car with a DeWalt #17 repaint (pictured below):

Since the other NASCAR fans in the house like the #48 car and also I'm as curious as the Man in the Yellow Hat's little friend, I did a little (very little) searching on the web. Turns out that these 1 Badd Ride cars are exclusive to Target for a time and there could be others possibly in future waves. Here's what the board admin (quite possible an owner but could not verify at the time of posting) from the manufacturer of these cars (Professional Collectibles Ltd.):

Hi everyone,

Yes we are launching a new line of NASCAR 1 BADD RIDE diecast in 1:24 and 1:64 scale. You can find them currently in Target and soon to be in more retailers. The first series of 1:64 includes six drivers # 01 Mark Martin Army Vette, # 17 Matt Kenseth DeWALT Mustang, # 99 office Depot Carl Edwards Ford GT, # 26 Jamie Mcmurray IRWIN Ford GT, # 6 David Ragan AAA Mustang, # 16 Greg Biffle
Ameriquest 67' Shelby GT 500

1:24 NASCAR first series has # 01 Mark Martin Army Vette, # 17 Matt Kenseth DeWALT Mustang, # 99 office Depot Carl Edwards 67' Shelby GT 500. These cars came out looking great. We are excited to be working with NASCAR and look forward to being able to grow our business and bring all of you fans new vehicle castings in the future. Did you see the sneek peak of the new Challenger? Thanks to everyone for your continued support.


Hopefully, that means a Jimmy Johnson repaint on a Corvette will be produced to the eager anticipation of fans everywhere, including my house.

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The Patriots have Randy Moss' Number

According to Mike Reiss of the Globe, Randy Moss will suit up this season with the number 81. This may be an allusion to turning his career around as his number from Oaktown was 18. Hmm, it's always good to have a reminder of how bad a football season could get by looking down to the number on your chest.

As far as I can tell, NEP jersey #81 is going to the top of the NFLShop.com sales charts since all of the rappers, wannabes gangstas and bottom-feeding homeslices of the world will be buying it up like Lindsay at last call; especially when Goodall blocks the sale of the number 7 from the ATL. Maybe this jersey will act as a some sort of twisted peace offering between the Bloods and Crips. Yeah, right. I'll predict that DeMarcus Russell's jersey will be the next "hot" Thug4Life clothing staple jersey. Congrats, rook. Wear that label with pride.

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Thursday, July 26, 2007

Spartans squeak in at #55 in ESPN Top 119 Pigskin

Not exactly a banner assessment but sometimes the truth hurts. Here's the Worldwide Leader's review of Michigan State:

#55 - Michigan State
W/L: 61-58
Win %: .513
Titles: 0
Bowl Record: 2-2

Perennially the Big Ten's most underachieving program, MSU constantly shot itself in the foot in the John L. Smith era. Penalties and late-season collapses became MSU trademarks. There was a lot of talent but little productivity to show for it in the standings. The past 10 years, MSU was 19-37 against the rest of the Big Ten. On the positive side, the Spartans did rank No. 21 in the nation last season in attendance. That said, coach Mark Dantonio's discipline figures to be a welcome addition.

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My Name Is Earl Season 2 cover art is released

Just a quick hitter today...

FOX Home Entertainment has announced that My Name Is Earl Season 2 will be available for purchase on September 25th. They also released the cover art for the DVD (pictured below):

While you come to expect some bonus features like the traditional Deleted Scenes when buying a season set, the Commentary Tracks will probably make this set one to watch over and over. For this season, some of the commentators are the standard fare like the lead actor (Jason Lee), the co-star (Ethan Suplee), and the show creator (Greg Garcia).

But then you get people like Giovanni Ribisi, Amy Sedaris, Tim Stack, Beau Bridges and even a couple of fans of the show to lay down some voice work about the shows. That's making the package a whole lot sweeter. Plus, it's a very subtle way to get people like me who will watch these shows once they're syndicated to buy the DVDs when they're relased. Also, this season really brought the funny with the COPS episode, the Foreign Exchange Student episode, and of course the bittersweet season ender, The Trial. Seems like September 25th will on come fast enough.

Further details about this release can be found at TVShowsonDVD.com

You can pre-order My Name Is Earl, Season 2 from our good friends at Amazon.com

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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

A New Preachin' from the Longbox is up at QSE

For those of you who don't know, I used to write a regular column at Movie Poop Shoot.com (now renamed Quick Stop Entertainment.com) called "Preachin' from the Longbox". It dealt with my view of the comic book scene and every once in a while, do a review. Well after almost four years of churning out columns of 2,000 word plus, I was becoming burned out on the whole thing. It had nothing to do with the change in management or in website name but it had everything to do with my feelings toward the industry. It has become so entrenched in this mentality of over-the-top crossovers and multi-year "Everything You Know Will Change" event comics that it had taken the fun out of reading them; much less writing about them.

But, even I was saying that I was fried golden brown, I still had an itch to scratch when it came to having my say about comics. So, when the mood strikes me (and when there's something that I want to say), I'll whip up a column and luckily for you, there's one that was posted today. It's titled "We Don't Need Another Hero". Go check it out and let me know what you think. For a little tease, it concerns a certain reality show that involves comic books, which plays right into my wheelhouse.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

What I Miss - A Decent Comic Book Store

** The names have been changed since I don't want to remember them. **
** Plus, I don't want to give them any business based on my actions. **

As far as retail buying goes, the days of the local Mom & Pop stores are going the way of the cassette tape. It's a slow death and we, the consumers, are paying for it. Most of the times, it's not in the wallet that we get hit but in human terms. Those small stores were a part of the community where the owner never screwed over his customers for fear of retribution since everyone knew where he lived. Neighborhood shops were a great anchor for the community to gather around.

Now, big business has a toehold in most neighborhoods with their grocery stores, CD outlets and even pharmacies. And it's not just brick-and-mortar stores either. The escalating use of the Internet for shopping is changing where people shop. The sense of community as a purchasing identity has been replaced by individual households going towards the smell of saving the almighty dollar, and if you've looked at gas prices recently, that mindset is very understandable.

But the place where this spirit of community still thrives is in your local comic book store. The majority of them are small business owners and they have a vested interest in not only the products that they are selling but also in the reading habits of people who come into their store. A good experience in a comic book store will almost guarantee a return visit with the likelihood of a good size purchase. But what does a bad or even so-so experience return? Here's what happened to me in the past month.

A couple of months ago, I moved away from my neighborhood comic book store. I do not hide the fact that I am rather biased towards Big Planet Comics since I did work some weekends there for the past eight years. But I thought that there would be something equivalent in my new town.

So, after settling into my new house and job, I took a trip to one of the three local stores in the area, which I'll call "Android's Dungeon". As I walked into the store, I noticed that comics we lined up in bookshelves along the perimeter of the store space. They had a decent inventory of all forms of comics from manga to superhero hardcover collections. There was also a good selection of longboxes full of back issues. And there were small pockets of action figures interspersed between the trades. Not bad, so far.

Here's where it turns brutal. The back issues were located under these tables that were being used by customers who were sitting on the attached benches and were either painting their models or playing a card game like Magic: The Gathering while listening to the soft hits of the 70s, 80s, 90s and today.

I was confused. How did the owner expect someone (more than likely a new customer) to go through those longboxes looking to complete a series with a row of smelly kicks in their face? And plus, who would want those books after seeing the condition of those shoes other than someone with a very strong foot fetish? Also, it was almost impossible to browse the trades that were lined along the walls without knocking over the people sitting in these tables and benches based on the space that they took up.

This wasn't a comic book store; it was a gaming store in comic book store's clothing. Obviously, this was a bad trip and I didn't drop a dime on anything. So, after seeing what it actually was, I immediately decided that a return trip to "Android's Dungeon" was not in the cards, so to speak.

To wash that bad taste in my mouth, I decided to make a trip to one of the other two comic book store, which I will call "Three-D Comics".This store was packed with comic books. In fact, the store was setup with rows and rows of back issues with floor-to-ceiling bookcases of hardcovers, trades, and manga digests along the wall. There were even a couple rows for action figures. The selection for all of them was splendid. I was thinking that this may be the one. Then, I delved a little further. If it was going to win my cash for comic book purchases, it had to be a perfect fit.

First, the store is only open on Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 11-7. Not too bad but what if I get a jones for a new trade on Monday? I've gotta wait until Thursday? Based on my impulse shopping habits, that's not going to happen. Then, I looked at the prices of the back issues. They were jacked up even higher than the Wizard pricing guide, which say all sorts of things that I do not even want to know about.

Finally, I talked to the fifty-ish woman who was jockeying the counter. I came to find out that she was the wife of the owner and she was not at all knowledgeable about comics at all. Not even a cursory interest. Huh? How can she recommend anything without even a smidge of comic book insight? As another customer tried to pay for something, she informed him that they only accepted cash and checks not plastic. What? Is this the 50's? How can anyone do business without accepting credit cards; especially when the items can get quite pricey? I just couldn't wrap my brain around that last one. So, another one bites the dust.

Based on these two stores, I'm not even going to that last store. Call it being gun-shy, if you will. I'm just no in the mood to have my heart broken again. Recently, I heard Tom Keifer sing so painfully that "You don't know what'cha got 'til it's gone." After going to these last two comic book stores, I finally came to the realization that I didn't know how good I really had it.

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Monday, July 23, 2007

A Fanatic Medley - July 23, 2007

Rather than do one long ass post, I've decided to mash-up a "Fanatic Medley" of the news items that caught my eye over the past weekend and something that is upcoming this week:

  • Boston won the Battle of the Soxes as the Red ones swept the White ones from Chicago. That certainly makes up for the stumbling that they did against the lowly Royals. The downside to this three game win streak (if there is such a thing) is the Yanks practically destroyed the Rays and kept pace with the surging Sox. This AL East pennant isn't going to come easily. Tonight, Jon Lester, 11 months removed from being treated for anaplastic large cell lymphoma, is on the mound and if there a dry eye in Fenway, they're a heartless bastard. Not everyone needs to be a Red Sox fan but for tonight, everybody should be a Jon Lester fan.
  • On the DVD front, The Secrets of Isis - The Complete Series comes out tomorrow and from what I hear, the transfer from the film to DVD was not cleaned up and unfortunately shows its age. Normally, the idea of a grainy or poppy transfer would scare the hell out of me but since this old Filmation classic is finally seeing a DVD release, I'm not going to hesitate buying this one.
  • One of the more recent additions to the DC Comics library has been the releasing of Showcase trades. These books offer a huge value for consumers with a list price of around $17 for over 500 pages of classic black and white content. One of these Showcase books that was released at the beginning of the month was Showcase Presents: Batgirl, Vol. 1. Heidi over at Comics Fairplay gave it a glowing review stating "The Showcase Presents: Batgirl collection is a perfect addition to any collection. If you catch it on your retailer’s shelf grab a copy. It is worth the price of admission to relive the glory days of one of the most daring heroines in DC’s annals."

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Saturday, July 21, 2007

What I'm Buying - Nike Air Max Moto 5 Plus

Since I've gotten back into the exercise, nothing is better than a pair of new running shoes. And after preparing for and finishing a biathlon last month, my old reliable kicks were no longer giving me the needed finishing kick during my runs. So yesterday I picked up the newest model in the Air Max Moto line (Pictured below):

These lace-ups are so solid. They've got a wide tread base and feel very stable. The mesh is nice and breathable. They are somewhat flashy with the light blue and silver highlights around the shoe so if you want low key performance, this one may not be for you. I'm not sure if I underpronate or overpronate but these shoes give me the confidence to run a half marathon. If you are looking for a very shiny but dependable pair of running shoes, you can't go wrong with the Nike Air Max Moto 5+.

These shoes, like the previous model, have the cutout in the sole of the left shoe for the Nike+ unit. I do not have either the iPod Nano or the Nike+ chipset but my wife swears by it and since there are multiple Nike shoes with this feature, I have a feeling that it may be around long enough for me to get it for my birthday in late August.

Where To Buy:
Most places are this thing of plastic, mesh and of course, Nike Max Air for the retail price of $90. However, that doesn't mean that you have to pay full price. If you have a Shoe Station in your vicinity, you can have these shoes for $79.99. I usually wait for a bigger sale but since my last pair lasted about five years, I figure that the life of the shoe will outweigh the initial cost.

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Thursday, July 19, 2007

If guilty, Ron Mexico might be looking at getting more STDs

It made news today that Michael Vick cited as "Ron Mexico" during his infamous herpes trouble now known on the legal briefs as "Ookie" has been indicted by a Federal Grand Jury of "conspiracy" and violations of the "Travel Act" in regards to his involvement with a dog-fighting ring ensconced in his Virginia mansion. Lester Munson of the Worldwide Leader writes that

Vick is in real trouble. He is up against the might and majesty of the U.S.
government with all of its agents, all of its investigative techniques and all
of its skilled prosecutors. If he has any doubts about the power and skill of
the forces arrayed against him, he can call Scooter Libby, former chief of staff
to vice president Dick Cheney, or he can call Lord Conrad Black, the disgraced
media mogul facing time in a federal penitentiary. If he still isn't convinced,
he can call Jeff Skilling, the zillionaire former Enron CEO who is residing in a
federal pen. All three of them hired brilliant (and expensive) lawyers. All
three thought they could explain their way out from under federal charges. And
all three were convicted. Vick can, and probably will, hire some of America's
best defense lawyers, but they will face a serious battle.

Based on the people he associates with (part of them are his relatives) as well as his brother's past actions, is it hard to believe that Vick is, in fact, guilty of more than these charges? Not really. Will he be convicted in court? Still hard to tell but this case will be a true test of how much preferential treatment that celebrity and professional athletics are given in today's judicial system. One thing is for sure, in the court of public and press opinion, Vick is already guilty of extremely bad judgment.

(Dog pictured above is one that was rescued by the Humane Society from the Vick compound.)

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Monday, July 16, 2007

What You Should Buy - DVD

Before Cartoon Network made him into a talk show buffoon, Space Ghost was a bad mofo with a mean-on for vigilante justice against the alien criminal element. His adventures in galactic crime fighting with the super-hero complimentary sidekicks (Jan and Jase) along with the comedic relief monkey, Blip, were a classic hodgepodge of sci-fi monsters and kid-friendly Hanna-Barbera animation that were always wrapped up within ten to fifteen minutes.

Packaged with Space Ghost is another H-B series called "Dino Boy". I can't speak to the type of show it is but based on the work of Space Ghost on its own merits, I can wholeheartedly recommend the $20 bucks for this one.

Where to Buy:
The cheapest price on the 'Net (without S&H) that I've seen this set is $17.99 at SuperDuperClub.com with DeepDiscount coming in a close second at $18.77 with no shipping charges. In the Brick-and-Mortar stores, Best Buy and Circuit City both have it on sale for $19.99. But if none of those choices work for you, you can click the Amazon link below.

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Sunday, July 15, 2007

Summer Tune In - Sunday, July 15, 2007

If you had a list of exes like Pamela Anderson, Nicole Eggert, Denise Richards and Heather Locklear, would you question your ability to remain in a relationship longer than your acting career? Well, Scott Baio is doing that same thing via his new reality series on VH-1 as part of their ever-expanding "Celebreality" banner. From what I've seen, this is not some egomanical attempt at grabbing the fading spotlight (aka a Bonnaduce). It's appears to be a somewhat honest attempt at delving into the reasons why some people can't stay in a long-term relationship by going back to the exes and finding out what exactly went wrong. And I'll admit it - the guy is probably the most unassuming and low key former "Can't Miss" TV star turned into Reality TV star around. So I'm pulling for great things with the show. And if some of those ex-girlfriends show up, all the better.

To read a "Chachi"-nated interview about this show, click here or to check the series' home page, click the logo below.


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Saturday, July 14, 2007

welcome one and all!

This right here is the new home to my rants on all things to do with the worlds of TV, music, movies, sports and the repellent of single women everywhere, comic books. Please bookmark this site and come back on the coming days for more zaniness from those topics' foremost mind with the most free time.

Seriously, thanks for taking making your way here and I hope that you stick around.


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