Friday, November 21, 2008

Week #12 - Not Baiting Fish Here

You know how something that you know better to ignore but it still sets you off for the rest of the day. Well, I knew better to go into the Worldwide Leader’s AFC East blog but I did anyway. The content I usually don’t have a beef with (I’m trying to forget last year’s quest to demonize the Patriots by the gang over at Bristol) but it’s the trolls that frequent the board that always seem to get under my skin.

One such mental giant made this astute observation in a post about how Miami will deal with Randy Moss:

FINSownPATS (11/20/2008 at 12:37 PM)

ha ha ha ha!
Im laughing
because last year all the punk patsy fans were saying that the Tuna cant do nothing for the Fins! We whooped your #### last game and its gona be easier this time around! Sporano is the man, Joey Porter is gona breack Cassle in half, and the Tuna owns Belibitch! Except for the 3 superbowls the Patriots have been an awful franchise and your on your way back! Get the paper bags ready to put on your heads after another blowout! Fins 27 Overated hasbins from boston 10!
Laughable Pre-K spelling aside, this kinda of crap really pissed me off. Obviously, it is misinformed, which should immediately tell me to ignore it. And yet, the whole statement about the Patriots being an awful franchise prior to 2001 is an emotional undercurrent that all members of the Patriot Hater Nation take to heart. I’m sure that if you ask any one of the former Bronco/Steeler players who are “football analysts” and they would say something similar to what Mr. FINSownPATS stated (and all but Sharpe would say it better).

So, I’m making this personal and proving the blowhard Fish fan is as wrong about the Pats organization in comparison to the Miami Dolphins as his grammar teacher was to give up on teaching him the Queen’s English.

And for all of the geniuses out there, I will make only two simple assessments. I will only compare both team’s regular season and post-season records since the last time the Dolphins went deep into the playoffs. That’s right; we’re going back in time start this statistical snapshot on the NFL’s 65th season otherwise known as 1984.

**Disclaimer – All stats were obtained from one of the high meccas of statistical warehousing known as Pro Football Reference.com

During the span of these 24 seasons, Miami won 212 games and lost 171 for a winning percentage of .554 with one season of 1 win (2007) and a season high of 14 wins (1984). By comparison, New England also won 212 games and lost 171 with one season of 1 win (1990) and a season high of 16 wins (2007) during that same timeframe.

Whoa that’s weird, man. And yet based on these stats, not only is Sunday’s game for a possible tie for first place in the AFC East but also it will give the victor one regular game up on the other since the last time the Dolphins went to Super Bowl XIX.

But really, the regular season only tells part of the story. The playoffs are what all teams strive to reach. The Dolphins made the post-season 11 times in 24 years with an astounding record of 9 wins and 11 losses for a .45 winning percentage. The Dolphins were 0-1 in the Super Bowl (1984) and three times, the Fish were one-and-done in the playoffs.

New England made the playoffs 12 times in the same time period with a record of 20 wins against only 9 losses for a winning percentage of .690. The Pats were 3-3 in the Super Bowl (1985, 1996, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2007) and they left the playoffs three times without winning a playoff game.

Okay, so what was really learned here? The Pats and the Fins are basically equal, stats wise, since ’84; much to the dismay of both team fans. But with six appearances in February and winning over twice as many playoff games as they lost, the Pats have statistically proven that they are more than Miami’s match for in regards to franchise accomplishments.

With that exercised out of my subconscious, here’s the battle for win #213…

This Week – Miami Dolphins (6-4; Against AFC East 2-1; Against the Pats 1-0)

Fish On A Roll

Man, I’m beginning to wonder if Coach Belichick and his coaching staff is forgetting to read my column. I mean, he didn’t get my plans to expose the weakness of the Jets’ DBs by using 3WR/1TE or 4WR sets until near the end of the second quarter. I guess someone on his staff must’ve remembered to look here in between the 2-minute warning. Hopefully, with no more Thursday night games, it won’t happen again.

With that in mind, how should the Pats win against the streaking Dolphins, winners of four straight games, Mr. All-Knowing Football Man? If you look at the stats, the trends are there for the reading.

On offense, the Pats need to continue to work on the 3WR/1TE sets from last week to keep the Dolphins nickel and dime DBs on the field. The Fins are 23rd in the NFL for passing yards per game. The Pats also should go deep against the Dolphins as they Fish are 29th in the league in allowing passing plays of 20 yards or more. But since the Fins are in the top 10 in sacks, Cassel needs to get check down or rid of the ball if the deep ball is not there. I do have another plea to have Cassel use the shovel pass up the middle and the WR bubble pass on the sides to tire the D-line and LBs.

With Sammy Morris coming back this week, he might be able to run better on the left side. While I’m not a fan of running at the new Mouth of the South (Porter) and Holliday but prior to Game 3 of the 2008 season getting out of hand early, Morris did have some success on that side of the line and with a relatively healthy line, running the ball is a necessary component to a Pats victory.

On the defensive side of the ball, there will be visions of last week’s Favre check-down mode on the field by the Fish. With Pennington behind center, the Fish are 9th in the league in passing yards. But that doesn’t mean that the Fins won’t try to go long as they are 10th in completions of 20 yards or more. That means in obvious passing situations, the Patriots need to play a Cover 2 scheme with over the top safety help to keep Camarillo and Ginn, Jr in check.

But the real question is how should the Pats defend the high school Wildcat formation? They should do the same thing that they always do for run-heavy teams. They should play a 3-4 alignment. The D-line and LBs must be held responsible for their backfield reads. Staying home and seeing the formation for a second time will definitely limit those explosive runs by Brown and Williams.

Lastly, if the Pats can play a bend-but-don’t-break style, they might be able to hang in the game. The Fins are 24th in the league with a 20.9 scoring average and 26th in the NFL with only 9 TD passes. Keeping people in front of them, limiting the one-on-one exposure in the defensive backfield and wrapping people up will make it a successful night for the Pats and should help the Pats secure the needed win to keep pace in the tight AFC East.

Next team on the docket is the AFC North leader Pittsburgh Steelers, another recently made grudge match. Can the Pats take advantage of a QB who is still trying to get back his groove? Will they be able to withstand the blitzing onslaught that comes with playing the Black and Gold? Tune in next Friday to find out.

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

What's Wrong With Comics - An Opinion

I just read a post by Steve over at KFR concerning the cancellation of Blue Beetle at the same time that the character is being heavily used over at Cartoon Network to promote the new Batman animated series, The Brave & the Bold. His post brought back some of the bile that I've been holding on to for about a year or so. Below is my way to detox my system of this mess:

DC (and Marvel, to a lesser extent) has lost its way as far as delivering compelling, character-driven books that are independent of the latest crossover du jour. It appears that both companies have been seduced by the retail successes of Identity Crisis and Civil War, respectively and are now basing their entire business model on this mode of creating these all-inclusive and ever-encompassing mega series that intertwines the majority of their individual titles under its publishing umbrella. Poor selling books (such as Blue Beetle and Manhunter) who are not vital cogs in this machine are left to fend for themselves and sit back to wait for their appointment on the chopping block. If things stay the same, the comic book industry will be back to the early 90s when multiple variant gimmick covers, millions of #1 issues (with zero possibility of a continuing series in their futures) and readership leaving in droves were the norm.

It's truly sad when you read stuff like Steve's or DJ Coffman stating that people who love comic books need to take back the industry due to the dumbing down of comics based on what creators think that they can sell to Hollywood. Personally, I can see why they're throwing their figurative hands in the air. I know that I have ceased buying new comics as I've become disenfranchised with how the business side of comics is driving what content is being created and how it is delivered to the readers. I definitely won't return unless it's for the purposes of buying collected editions of older comic books. Unfortunately, I have a feeling that I am not the only one.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

"That Metal Show" reviewed at KFR

I posted a review "That Metal Show" for Kung-Fu Rodeo this morning. Here's a teaser below and come on by KFR for the full story:
"That Metal Show" is a new show for old-school metal but does it bring out the old devil horns or makes the viewer bang their respective head against a wall? Britt Schramm breaks it the initial offering and tells you if it is worth your TiVo HD space.

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Friday, November 14, 2008

Hey, my fellow peeps...

I'm trying a new commenting system that's not Blogspot-based. If you have any feelings about me, please vent them here. Believe me now or fear me later, I want to hear from you (at least in the comments section of this post).

-End-of-Line-

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Line 'Em Up Week #11 NY Jets at NE Pats

Line Em UpWeek #11 is the second battle for AFC East supremacy as the New York Jets roll into to Foxboro. This week's column, titled Law, Yer In Love, looks at the recent pickup by the Jets of Ty Law (a former Pat from the the last 3 SB teams), how Law reacted to the signing (more quizzical for the reader than for Law) and what the Pats need to do to win.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Van Pelt Kills on "Mayne Street"

I've been a fan of a one Mr. Scott Van Pelt since I heard him on the Junkies on WJFK and found out how personable he is and how much he is not like most of the SportsCenter anchors (cough, Stu Scott, cough). One more step in proving that Van Pelt will be able to transcend the desk jockey job is his recent appearance in the new web-only series (produced by the World-Wide Leader) "Mayne Street". In this webisode (which runs like an extended "This Is SportsCenter" ad, Mayne and Van Pelt try to get through a show's closing. Hilarity (mostly from Van Pelt's reactions) ensues. Check it out below:

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Friday, November 7, 2008

Line 'Em Up Week #10 is up over at Patriots Daily

Line Em UpWeek #10 brings the first of two division games as co-AFC East leader Buffalo enters the mighty confine of The Razor. This week's column, titled Gettin Up, looks at the aftermath of Pats/Colts and brings out some positives from the loss as well as what should the Pats do to drop Buffalo (at least for one game) from the top AFC East spot.

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Thursday, November 6, 2008

Britt Is Now a Twit-Wit

I'm about as cutting edge as a sledgehammer. So, it should be no surprise that I've finally jumped on the Twitter bandwagon. I created this twitter feed to be more of a microblog for my personal thoughts and comments that wouldn't find a home here. Also, it will be nice to finally make my BlackBerry work for me rather than the other way around. So, I will be placing the image below on the right column for everyone's reference and please feel free to add my Twitter feed to follow my uncensored exploits in today's ever-changing world.


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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Rippded from KFR - Discussion on Q-Tip's "The Renaissance"


Britt: I got the release with the DVD
like I said, I’m an easy mark

Steve: DVD? Is it good?

Britt: Haven’t looked at it. Probably same non-menu crap that studios are putting out

Steve: I really like it.

Britt: Very organic-like

Steve: Listening to it, it struck me again how unimaginative today’s rappers are.Even the good ones.

Britt: Yup
And this has been sitting on a shelf for over 3 years

Steve: Q-Tip managed to create a sound that’s very noticably his and the Native Tongues’ without having the access to samples like they had in their prime.
He put the rest of the current rap industry to shame wth it.

Britt: True. There are samples but not many. He just proved that you need to be skilled not just have the hot producer(s)

Steve: Seriously, if more rappers actually put some thought and care to their craft, I’d be buying and listening to it more.

Britt: Yup

Steve: And that’s not to slight groups like Ugly Duckling or anything - there are good acts out there, but the new Tip album really just kills.

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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Decision 2008 - Who Will You Vote For?

In case you're just waking up like a literal Rip Van Winkle, today's is the day for all American people who are legally able to exercise their voting rights for many elected official; the most important one is, of course, POTUS.

But say that you have avoided any politcal commentary for the past 2 years and only saw the follow softball interview piece by the Worldwide Leader's Chris Berman during last night's Steelers/Redskins MNF halftime show. Who would you vote for the Preseident of the Free World based on their responses?



Barack Obama


John McCain

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Friday, October 31, 2008

Line 'Em Up Week #9 is up over at Patriots Daily

Line Em UpWeek #9, much like Halloween, could be trick or treat for the Patriots as the 3-4 Colts welcome the Pats for their first game in the recently opened Lucas Oil Stadium. This week's column, titled The Old Gray Mare, She Ain't What She Used To Be, examines a little bit further the comparison between the first years as starting Pats QB for both Brady and Cassel as well as how the Pats should attack the Colts in order for them to secure the win.

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The C's Ring In An Opening Night Victory


The first game of the 2008-09 NBA season for the Celts started off somewhat like the end of the 2007-08 season - once defence was on lockdown, there was no way the C's were going to loseas the Celts beat their second round opponents from last year, the Cleveland Cavaliers, 90-85. The Truth, Paul Pierce, was on point with 27 pts (2 of 4 from the 3-pt arc) and got some timely help from Rajon Rondo (14 pts, 6 assists, 3 steals, 2 TOs) Tony Allen (11 pts) and Leon Powe (13 pts) to help overcome a sluggish first half.

But there were definitely things to work on. While the D forced 21 TOs by the Cavs, the Cavs outrebounded the Celts (41-36) and shot better from the FT line (72.7%-61.8%). If LeBron made those late game FTs, the Cavs may have stolen the game out from under the home team. This game is one of those that you'll breathe a little easier knowing that you basically played one half and still came away with a W.

Below is Pierce's and KG's reactions from Game One of 82:

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Rough Day for NBA Offspring

In a couple of moves that really shocked no one who watches the games, Coby Karl (son of George Karl, current coach of Denver Nuggets) and Patrick Ewing, Jr. (son of you know) both were shown the door as NBA teams made their mandatory cuts to the roster limit of 15.

I never understood why Karl had a roster spot on the Lakers to begin with other than his connection. 6'5" guards that have a hard time playing the point are right now a dime a dozen and most of them aren't a potential source for inter-conference melodrama.

I do have a feeling that Ewing Jr will be signed by another team and sent to the NBDL due to his swingman size (6'8") and potential upside based on his preseason play. Unfortunately, this year's incarnation of the New York Knickerbockers is a team in transition with a need for proven players and can't take a chance on developing/refining Ewing Jr's skills. When you factor the anchor of Starbury around their figurative neck by his contract and taking a roster spot, the choice was a non-issue.

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Monday, October 27, 2008

A Garden Party Fit For a Champion on Tuesday

The season opener for the Celts tomorrow will feature new kicks (for KG) and new threads (for the team) for this special night, according to the Celtics Blog over at boston.com. Here is the breakdown:

Kevin Garnett will wear a special edition Adidas shoe for Tuesday's season opener; only 17 pairs were made, to commemorate the Celtics' 17 championships. Each pair will be signed by Garnett and auctioned off online to raise money for the Celtics Shamrock Fund. The Celtics will also wear a special edition white, gold, and green jersey on opening night that features a championship patch, as well as gold detailing on the front and back.
Here's the pic of the shoe:
Pretty sweet; especially with the auto on the pair. I'll be on the lookout for the auction (to see if it is online) and post the link, if one becomes available. I hope that the jerseys will become available like the St. Patty's ones.

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Friday, October 24, 2008

All Me, All The Time

In keeping with todays' self-pub motif, here are a couple of articles from your humble host that are on the Interweb which may be of some interest to you:



Guns N' Roses : Chinese Democracy (single) review - Kung-Fu Rodeo

One Reason to be Greatful for Being a Nerd Dad - Nerd Dads

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Line 'Em Up Week #8 is up

Line Em UpWeek #8 is almost at the halfway point in the NFL season and the Patriots, finding a renewed sense of self, welcomes the team that they beat for their first Super Bowl victory, the St. Louis Rams. This week's column, titled Building Blocks, highlights the need to evaluated the defensive backfield after Rodney Harrison's season-ending injury and looks at what the Pats need to do to beat the Rams.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

In case you didn't know, that PC guy is funny

Who would've thought that when the first of the MAC/PC TV spots were run, they would be responsible for launching the entertainment careers of both stars?

Justin Long is a burgeoning and possibly bankable character movie actor with several ensemble movies coming out in the next few months (most notably for this writer, Zack and Miri Make a Porno) while John Hodgman has become a national humorist and best-selling author.

TED.com (always a great site for thought-provoking and entertaining lectures) goes for the latter performer by bringing its viewers a great 16+ minute story by Hodgman titled A Brief Digression on Matters of Lost Time. I think that he even works in a toss-away reference to Star Trek IV. Truly, he's a great storyteller and I just wish I could tell a tale a well as he can.

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Friday, October 17, 2008

Line 'Em Up Week 7 Is Up

Line Em UpNFL Week #7 is a classic MNF battle that brings the Broncos to play at the Razor. This week's column is titled Buckin' the Urge to Panic where I make my case for the possible future of a certain New England running back and show which team the Patriots should model themselves after in order to gain that all important W.

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Read Me! Read Me! Read Me!


Today's post is all about me shamelessly promoting my stuff on other sites. Click below to read the sweet goodness that comes from my huge noggin:

Virgin Comics existing in an Amazonian afterlife - KFR

Here We Go Again - “Chinese Democracy” Gets A New Release Date - KFR

Criminals Beware, it’s Spatman! - Nerddads

And don't forget - new Line 'Em Up tomorrow, kids!

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

New Website - nerd dads


Just to make sure that I have occupy all of my free time doing stuff on the Internets, I have joined up with fellow my KFR cronies Steve and Andrew to blog about being a dad in a pop-culture world. The site is called (as if the logo and this post's title were not clear enough) nerd dad.

The site should reflect the thoughts and ideas of a group of dads who are deep into geek culture and how it's passed on/tolerated by their offspring. Nerddads.com will have frequent posts and will cover the gambit for dads on the possible cutting edge - from new tech for dads to kiddie-based nerd items to mold the youngster into the nerd of tomorrow to the prerequisite cute kid pics.

As you may or may not have noticed, I have included the link to Nerddads over on the right under the More BS bullet for ease of accessiblity. So, stop by and watch as I perpetually embarrass my kids for years to come which will result in pricey therapy sessions in less than 10 years time.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

How To Get Free MP3s Part 4: "The Party for Change Mix" - DJ Z-Trip

DJ Z-Trip has been one of my favorite DJs since I first heard Uneasy Listening Vol. 1, a CD that I bought from Food One (artist Jim Mahfood) way back in the beginning part of this millennium. I've followed his career track, whether it was on the Scratch doc, his remix of a Jackson Five's "I Want You Back" for the Motown Remixed disc or his latest release, a soundtrack for the 2K Sports' All-Pro Football 2K8 Video Game.

Z-Trip has been backing Barrack Obama during this presidential campaign and has performed a couple times using a mix aptly titled "The Party for Change Mix". And I just received word this morning that Z-Trip is offering that jam free for the public. Here's Z-Trip's comments about the mix and the free offering:

This one is pretty massive and I'm stoked with how it came out.

I hope you all dig it and pass the link along to everyone you think should hear it. It's an important message to get out and we're running out of time.

Speaking of which, the deadline to register is coming up for most states (some have already passed), so if you aren't registered yet, I really think you should take the opportunity to do so. Regardless of whom you vote for, make your voice heard!

This year is becoming apparent that every vote will count for either side. But no matter who you think should win, free music is a movement that I think that we all can get behind. Click on the image below to get your free tunes.

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Monday, October 13, 2008

For $1.6 mil, you too can live like a Radio God

Got this alert from Google but held on to posting it since I thought that it might be pulled. Why the precaution? Because the house pictured above is the former Northern Virginia residence of one Don Geronimo, DJ extraordinaire now retired, and it is for sale. I know of the neighborhood since that area is an old haunt of mine and the price is a fair one for the size of the land (over 3 acres) and the house itself (all of amenities including the much-talked about cave) are very nice. I hope that the area's decline market won't affect the sale but I do have a feeling that it is one of the reasons behind the marketing push that trades on Doni's name. Stalkers, beware; he lives in the OC now and will not be availble for capturing, Rupert Pupkin-style.

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Friday, October 10, 2008

Line 'Em Up Week 6 Is Up

Line Em UpNFL Week #6 brings the New England Patriots down the PCH and drops them off at San Diego for a Sunday night affair. This week's column is titled No Merry Men in San Diego and covers my beef with the whole Cris Carter rant on New England fans and how porous the San Diego defensive backfield has become in the '08 season.

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Thursday, October 9, 2008

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

What can you do with a Wii Remote?

My friend Kathy (late of The Fangirl Adventures) got me hooked on videos from TED.com. For those of you who may not be familiar with it, here's a brief write-up from the site:

TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from those three worlds. Since then its scope has become ever broader. The annual conference, held in Long Beach, now brings together the world's most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives (in 18 minutes).
TED.com has a ton of videos on their site; all available for download in MP4/AVI format, streaming at their site or for embedding on your own site (as is the case here).

The video selection below is from the February 2008 conference. Johnny Lee, formerly a student at Carnegie Mellon now at Microsoft Applied Sciences, demos a couple of his cool mods to the Wii Remote (or as I call it - the Wiimote).



To learn more about these mods, you can find out more at Johnny's dedicated page.

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Friday, October 3, 2008

Line 'Em Up Week #5 is up

Line Em UpNFL Week #5 has the New England Patriots comng off the bye week to play the once mighty San Francisco 49ers. This week's column is titled "Dressed to the Niners". Topics of interest include if Al Davis is truly part of the undead, the youth movement in San Fran and what Patrick Willis has in common with Chuck Norris and Kiefer Sutherland.

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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Olsson's Bookstores closes its doors for good



I just learned that the local Washington DC last great bookstore, Olsson's Books and Records, has closed its doors forever and petitioned to change their bankruptcy filing from Chapter 11 (re-organization) to Chapter 7 (liquidate assets).

As a Metro DC expatriate, I have some great memories with Olsson's of G-Town. Finding some great indy CDs and taking a chance on a book based one of my favorite recommending employees (whose name escapes me 15 years later). Stores like Olsson's are becoming similar to the old Five and Dime stores of the 40s and 50s - regional stores run by locals who catered their clientele and had an appreciation for their neighborhood.

With Olsson's closing its door, the experience of going to a local bookstore has grown that much colder.

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Friday, September 26, 2008

Looking Forward to The Secret Saturdays


Next Friday evening will be the debut of this great monster movie/Johnny Quest mash-up called The Secret Saturdays on Cartoon Network. The show is the creation of Jay Stephens, a guy who has come up with comic books Jetcat and The Land of Nod then went on to make the animated series Tutenstien.

I'm looking forward to this show as from what I have read and seen, it looks like a show that has parts of shows like the aforementioned Quest show and bits of Scooby-Doo along with the great parts of classic monster movies and a smidge of superheroics. Without giving too much away, it is the story of a family of three scientific adventures who are fighting against an evil, egocentric villain while trying to discover more about a species called Cryptids.

To find out more and to play a great online 2-d scroller game, go to the Cartoon Network website. The Secret Saturdays will premeire October 3rd at 8PM EST.

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Thursday, September 25, 2008

2008 Baltimore Comic-Con Exclusives

Sometimes, I do wish that I was back living in Northern Virginia; expecially when I receive something as simple as a PR from Marc Nathan announcing some recent additions to this weekend's Baltimore Comic-Con exclusive swag list (which are pictured above).

All of them look great but the gotta have item has to be the Jim Lee-drawn Batman tumbler from Popfun. If anyone is in the neighborhood and wants to do me a solid, I promise that I'll hook ya up.

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

New 2-Disc set for "Superman: Doomsday" in November

Shocker, Warner Brothers/DC decided to do the same crap that all of the other movie houses are doing and issue amopre extensive version of a previously released DVD. This one is for Superman: Doomsday which was released over a year agoto fair reviews.

This new version includes a second disc with all sorts of extras and docs. there will be a Blu-Ray format release to coincide with this new 2-Disc set. Both versions will be released on November 25th. More info can be had at Worldfinestonline.com.

Shown below is the front and back cover to the 2-Disc release:



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Monday, September 22, 2008

Free Mp3 from The Mighty Underdogs

Saw this news on the old MySpace and decided that it was worth the bandwidth for the DL. With guests like Chali 2na and Aion plus regulars Lateef the Truthspeaker and the Gift of Gab, I knew that War Walk would be a good joint. If you are a fan of true old-school rap/hip-hop, you should really get this one. Just click here or the image below to get up on it.

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Friday, September 19, 2008

Line 'Em Up Week 3 is Up

Line Em Up Week #3 brings a very familiar opponent, the Miami Dolphins, and this week's column is titled "Playing with a Porpoise". Topics of interest include the the common thread in the two Dolphins losses, the lack of any positive numbers in Miami and a look around the fan-based media in regards to this game.

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Aisle Seat's Mason Channels His Inner Howard Beale

Comicswaitingroom.com Edior-In-Chief Marc Mason posted a very raw and somewhat confusing essay for his Aisle Seat column titled "Comics Are For Kids?" Without reposting the entire thing, here's an excerpt from the last half which I think properly summarize the entire idea behind the column:

Then 2000 rolled around and it all went to shit. A stolen election. The next year, the worst terrorist act in history perpetrated against us. A phony war followed, thousands of my fellow citizens dead, hundreds of thousands of civilians in graves next to them. More election fraud loomed with Diebold. Our culture has devolved to the point of making stars out of the mediocre and talentless, while greatness flounders on the fringes, unable to find a toehold in the collective consciousness. A hurricane destroyed one of our greatest cities. A tsunami damned near wiped out an entire country. The global environment continues to rebel against our human presence as even more hurricanes have taken paths of super-destruction this very year. And now we have another election, featuring the senator from my state, who has already been relegated to second-class citizen on his own ticket because of the VP choice forced on him, and the first black man to have a chance to win the highest
office in the land.

And while I have no problem telling you that I am obviously a Democrat, I will also tell you this: I no longer contain the slightest bit of certainty that anything will ever be okay again. No matter who wins this election. I think human society, and the planet we live on, have become so fragile and broken, that we are past the point of no return on putting things back on the right path. Not without a MEGA reboot. Is that cynical? You bet your sweet ass.

So are comics for kids? No. They present such a warped picture of the world that they may just be as destructive as Wertham tried to tell the world, but for an entirely different reason. Why should we offer our children false hopes?

Now, I have worked alongside Mr. Mason back in the Movie Poop Shoot days but I do not know the man directly. After reading this missive, I discussed it with a few of the guys from KFR and here's what I wrote:
I understand things are getting rough for millions of people - especially lately. But if he took the tact that there are few quality All-ages superhero comics to allow guilt-free escapism like there were during the other rough patches in American history, I could totally get behind his cause. But to say that comics are bad for kids because they perpetuate the myth that good wins over evil (by whoever's definition) sounds not only obtuse but uninformed as well.
As you may or may not know, I am a parent of two grade-school kids and I feed them superheroic adventures in various forms by the bucketful. Right now, DVDs of Superfriends and Justice League Unlimited, TiVo'd airings of Spectacular Spider-Man and TMNT as well as action figures of JLU and animated Spidey rule their world.

Although, finding such material in print to supplement the cartoons is not the easiest. Marvel, for some strange and maddening reason, does not have a companion piece for its TV show. DC does have a good line of comics but as their TV shows die off, their print versions will do the same. But it doesn't stop there. Hobby stores (at least in my area) have little to none All-Ages capes-and-tights stuff. The only place that I can find a monthly mag is at a book superstore.

To me, all of these signs exhibit a complete deviation from what a business should do - expand and grow their customerbase. If tobacco companies had the same business sense as the Big Two that run the comic book industry, they would've been out of business years ago.

As humans find more and more ways to cover the world in a millions shades of gray, I've decided that grounding my kids in a Black and White world where superheroes do exist is the first building block in nurturing their ability to further their imagination while helping them make sound rational decisions. I know it sounds like I'm selling my kids a false bill of goods but when the alternative is to give them the world as it is now, I'll take my chances with the likes of Spidey versus Green Goblin every time.

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Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Weekend Video - Metallica "The Day That Never Comes"

To celebrate the return to relevancy, here's the first video from Death Magnetic titled The Day That Never Comes:

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Friday, September 12, 2008

Line 'Em Up Week 2 Is Up

Line Em Up
This week's column is about this week's opponent, the NY Jets, and is titled "Melodrama in the Meadowlands". Topics of interest include the predominant formation that the Jets will run against the Pats, a change in the Jets' Special Teams and a look around the media in regards to this game.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

"Best of Both" programming is announced by merged Sirius XM

FMBQ reported yesterday on Sirius XM's PR about the new programming available on the merged networks. Best of Both package will offer both former XM-only and Sirius-only subscribers a few channels from the other service. Here's the breakdown:



The Press Release also gave some more description on what the package will entail:

Included on the "Best of" XM on SIRIUS will be such shows as Basketball and Beyond, hosted by Duke and Olympic basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski; Andretti Green, with driver Danica Patrick; 60/20, a sports magazine show by Luke Russert and James Carville; Indy Racing League car races; and games from the top college conferences, including the PAC 10, SEC, Big 10, Big 12, Big East and ACC.
To me, the XM owners got the best deal in the Best of Both package. They not only get the man who made Sirius, Howard Stern, and his secondary channel, scoring the two sports that lend itself to radio (the NFL play-by-play for all 32 teams and NASCAR) that they didn't have before plus Playboy Radio while still keeping the excellent Boneyard and it only costs an additional $17? I'm this close to being finally sold on the satellite radio experiment come October 6th when this package, new programming and a la carte ordering will be offered.

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Monday, September 8, 2008

My Take on the Brady Injury at Patriots Daily


Of course, everyone will have a reaction to the almost confirmed serious injury to the NFL's reigning MVP and I am no exception. So, I wrote about a 900-word missive to Patriots Daily and what came out was Grinding Those Lemons. Here's the intro to the piece by the site's EIC:

Editors Note - As you might imagine, the PD staff has been on high alert since the startling loss of the Patriots’ best player yesterday, just moments after a new season began. We’re all trying to figure out where the Pats players and coaches - and yes, their fans too - go from here. Britt Schramm, author of our weekly Line ‘Em Up feature, offers these early thoughts (SB).
Click the image above or this link here to read more from the Head of the Pats Bunker in Hurricane Alley.

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Seinfeld brings "nothing" to Microsoft's new ad


The Associated Press is reporting that the new Microsoft commercial featuring Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld is bombing with viewers. The Baltimore Sun's pro-Mac columnist David Zeiler is claiming the reasons why the commercial doesn't do what Apple's PC versus Mac ads do is because there are no real benefits for using a PC running Vista over a Leopard-fueled Mac. Excuse why I file this under non-objective journalist run amok on keyboard.

Granted, Vista is not the greatest OS around; hell, it's probably dead last. But the point is that the commercial is not about Vista; it's really supposed to be about nothing computer-related at all. The idea behind these commercials is to show that Microsoft has become so integral with the world at large that their OS-helmed processes are running behind the scenes which allows for two people to talk about absolutely nothing and still get things accomplished.

You've got Seinfeld, who is not in full-on shill mode (like the one for AmEx with Superman while he was still shooting his sitcom or the one for HP to plug the theatrical release of his Bee Movie). And Gates has already left the company but is still the face of Microsoft. So, if the overall plan is to reveal how big Microsoft has become, why not go for the quirky slow burn at the beginning of the series of commercials? With the players involved, it makes sense not to hit the viewers over the head with blatant mugging to pimp Vista and go a more sublime route.

Here's the clip below. Am I wrong? If so, please nlighten me.

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Friday, September 5, 2008

The New Patriots Daily Column Is Up

Line Em Up
This week's game versus the Kansas City Chiefs is titled "Hitting The Reset Button". Topics of interest include the youth of the Chiefs, the reliability of Nick Novak and what other web commentators are saying about the Chiefs. Give it a chance and Lemme Know what you think of it.

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Thursday, September 4, 2008

Wowio Update And Prize Whore News

It appears that there is more fallout from Wowio's slow payment news that includes its parent company, Paltinum Studios. Hero By Night creator and erstwhile Platinum employee DJ Coffman has taken issue with some of the comments that were posted on a financial message board by the COO of the company, Brian Altounian.

While Coffman does have some vitriol towards Platinum in regards to their business deal that went south after some lengthy non-payment problems, his words are not without merit. Altounian comes off as a minor league ambulance chaser trying to discredit anyone and everyone who doesn't substantiate his claim that the slow payment to Wowio creators is a mere bump in the Platinum's road to Hollywood gold.

Also, if I was the CFO of this company, I would be pissed that my COO has nothing better to do than post his views on a message board; especially one that is searchable by a Google crawlbot. There is a reason why there's a Public Relations division in most competent companies that handle this type of stuff in an official and diplomatic fashion. To me, this type of stuff are just further signs that Platinum is not meant to last longer than a year, tops.

In better news, I have made no effort to hide that I am a prize whore. And I would've posted more on this when it was first announced but I was a big winnah of a indie movie poster from the good folks over at NewsAskew.com. And while you may think that it would involve a Kevin Smith production, you would be wrong.

It's a poster for the direct-to-DVD movie Brutal Massacre, a spoof in the Spinal Tap vein of Slasher movies. it stars David Naughton (of American Werewolf in London and TV's Making It fame) and Brian O'Halloran (Dante and various other Hicks family characters in the View Askew movies).

What makes me the prize whore that I am is that I haven't seen the movie and really have no plans to actually view it (may Netflix if it's a slow week) but I still threw my name and address in the hopper for a chance to get the free stuff. Man, am I clinical or what? The poster is pictured below in case you're interested.

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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Wowio Starts Its Death Knell By Stiffing Creators

A couple of weeks ago, I reviewed the website Wowio.com not less than glowing review. Well, it appears that their business model is not working out for Platinum Studios like they may have hoped when they purchased the flagging website this past July.

CBR has posted an insightful piece about how the page rates have changed for the company, how those changes have affected the creators and some creators are getting payments late. In case you are new to the whole comic book industry, the recognition of late payments to creators is usually one of the first signs that a publisher is headed for the comic book graveyard much like former mid-level players like CrossGen and Speakeasy.

This article also gives another black eye to Platinum Studios. There were rumors and gossip that the publisher was having problems with paying creators. These rumors became full-blown facts when its late payments and contract squabbles with DJ Coffman and his creation, Hero By Night. And although the Coffman incident has somewhat subsided, the company is not viewed with a very positive light, which can't be good for sales.

So, while the eventual demise of Wowio.com may not affect the overall health of Platinum Studios in the short term, they may not be long for this earthly plane. And I do find it ironic that the faux sunrise that Wowio uses for their logo may actually be the headlight of an oncoming train for its creators and its parent company.

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Tuesday, September 2, 2008

RIP Bandit's Snowman aka Jerry Reed

I love that first Smokey movie and a big part of it was the connection between Reynolds and Reed. Just two good old boys trying to beat the Man. Unfortunately, Cletus Snow aka the Snowman has driven off the mortal highway. I'm sure he was hitting the gas singing East Bound and Down rather than When You're Hot, You're Hot.

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Real-life Jerry Maguire



Give the above video a watch. It seems that Kirkman stayed up for 48 hours creating his Comics manifesto. Not that his ideas aren't without merit but I swear that if Jerry Maguire was filmed in this century, he would've done his missive via YouTube instead of Kinko's.

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Monday, September 1, 2008

Killer Exclusive Indy and Iron Man DVD Sets at Best Buy

I know that last week I just noticed that Iron Man was being released at the end of this month but now, I've not only stumbled upon the Best Buy exclusive for Marvel's latest blockbuster but also one for the fourth installment of the Indiana Jones flick (Kingdom of the Crystal Skull).

Both sets feature mini-busts created by Sideshow Collectibles, a recent player in the statue and bust arena. Their work has been lauded for its details and quality so I'm sure that both bust will look great. But for my money, I like the more traditional Crystal Skull one instead of the garish ID plaque that they used for Iron Man.

Both $50 retail sets include the 2-disc DVD version of the movie, the mini-bust and a $50 gift cert for Sideshow Collectibles.com.

(Photo used above was provided by Filmschoolrejects.com)

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Friday, August 29, 2008

The Friday Favorite - "Rock N Roll Train" by AC/DC


Kinda twist on the old Friday Favorite today. It's not a video per se but it is a first listen of "Rock N Roll Train", the new single from AC/DC's Black Ice CD (which is slated for an October 18th release date). Unfortunately, I can't seem to find an embedded player but I can provide links to the song on two sites:


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Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Debut of My New Column Over at Patriots Daily


Writing a football column during the last preseason game (SNF - Scrubs Night Football) was a tough assignment; especially when the column involves dissecting the opposing team. So, I tried to wordsmith some words using an old crutch of mine - using a song titled as the theme. It came out okay but it's not my strongest work whatsoever although the editor seemed to like it well enough to post it. Here's his intro to whet your appetite:
Editors Note: This morning I’m happy to introduce you to our newest PD staffer Britt Schramm, who will write “Line ‘Em Up”, our weekly preview of the Patriots’ next opponent. In his initial post, Britt looks at some of the issues facing the World Champion Giants as they wrap up their pre-season with a final exhibition game with the Pats tonight. Welcome aboard, Britt (SB).
Well, what are you waiting for? Click on the column image above or the text link below to read more of this goodness. Any comments/complaints/grievances are welcomed either here or at Patriots Daily.

The End Is the Beginning Is The End

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Iron Chef America: Supreme Cuisine for Wii/DS - When Will It be Out?



A nice surprise that I received in my inbox was a short message from the Wife. While receiving messages from her are always a treat, this one was especially nice since it had a URL for the aforementioned Iron Chef America: Supreme Cuisine for the Wii. A press release from the developers (Destineer Studios) and its synication partners (United Media) was sent out in early March of this year and somehow I missed it. This is nothing new for long-time readers but this game should have been on my Pop Culture radar as it would definitely be something that I would be interested in picking up being a big fan of the Cooking Mama series.

Although, after viewing the trailer and doing some quick research, I do have a few doubts about the actual viability of the game. First, the release date was supposed to be this summer, which ends in less than one week for those of you who use the Mayan Calendar. Second, the trailer has zero demo screens or even game play screen shots - not a good sign for a game to be released in less than six months. Third, the trailer used the old Wii box design - another knock on the possible timeliness of the release. And more important, the site hasn't been updated since the press release.

Individually, these factors might not seem too bad but all together, it spells not only a slight delay but a very lengthy one. As everyone kows, nothing kills the gamer buzz on a game if the developers fail to deliver on the expected release date and that even includes the non-hardcore Wii gamers. Unless the game blatantly rips off the Cooking Mama gaming engine or goes for the $19.99 el cheapo route, I would be more than surprised if the game is actually released prior to Christmas 2008.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Things I Learned While Surfing on Amazon - Iron Man Ultimate 2-Disc DVD Edition and Amerie's latest

I don't know how I came into discovering this info but I found out two things over the weekend that I did not know previously while spending some of my birthday money over at Amazon. So, I thought that I would pass this info on to you gentle persons:



Being a casual fan of Amerie, I was wondering when her next release would be (knowing that some musicians take over 4 years to work on a single CD - I'm still waiting longer than that for Q-Tip's next CD to drop). Imagine to my surprise that not only did her label release her new disc named Because I Love It, but that they only released it overseas thus jacking the price over $20 for an import for her homeland fans.

This news makes me jump at the current center of all news, real or imagined - Wikipedia. On her page, there is a non-footnoted entry stating that she split from her old label and has now hooked up with Def Jam/Island and is working with LA Reid, which points to all things good for fans of the late 80s-early 90s R&B vibe. Plus, I'll post anything about her if it gives me an excuse for posting anything with her beautiful visage.



Secondly, did you know that the release date for Iron Man on DVD is at the end of next month (September 30th, to be exact)? Yeah, I didn't either. Again, this discovery begs me to find out more details about the "Ultimate" two-disc set. After some basic googling, here's what is to be included in the two-disc extravaganza:

Disc 1 (Movie):
* Feature film
* Deleted/Extended Scenes

Disc 2 (Bonus Features):
* I Am Iron Man
* The Journey Begins
* The Suit that makes the Iron Man
* The Walk of Destruction
* Grounded In Reality
* Beneath the Armor
* It's All in the Details
* A Good Story, Well Told
* The Invincible Iron Man
* Origins
* Friends & Foes
* The Definitive Iron Man
* Demon in a Bottle
* Extremis and Beyond
* Ultimate Iron Man
* Wired: The Visual Effects of Iron Man
* Robert Downey Jr. Screen Test
* The Actor's Process (scene rehearsal with cast)
* The Onion "Wildly Popular Iron Man Trailer to be Adapted into Full Length Film"
* Image Galleries

The movie was great and the extras which not only has the traditional "Behind The Scenes" featurettes package but adding a six-part retrospective on the creation and history of the Iron Man character makes this set a Must Have for '08. Below is the image for the two-disc DVD set with a nice surprise included if you move the mouse a certain way.



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Monday, August 25, 2008

Happy Birthday To Me and These Cool Kats..

Here it is - the last of my thirties. Burgers were grilled, cake was had and presents were opened. Nothing really more to say other than that I am celebrating the day of my birth with other August 25th babes (including a former 007, a magician's former muse and a former Batman director whose art is pictured above):

The OC's Rachel Bilson - 27
Former model and former David Copperfield squeeze, Claudia Schiffer - 38
Foodie and Talk Show's junior Oprah, Rachael Ray - 40
Hannah Montana's dad, Dancing With the Stars cast-off and former owner of a killer mullet, Billy Ray Cyrus - 47
One-and-done speaking part as a Video Director on Singles and the former Two-time Batman director, Tim Burton - 50
Alison and Veronica warbler, Elvis Costello - 54
Reality show monarch and Rock's greatest pitchman for his own group, Gene Simmons - 59
Fireman and handlebar mustache wearer, Rollie Fingers - 62
Notre Dame apologist and suffer of the beast named Kathy Lee, Regis Philbin - 75
The first to take the Bond moniker and the one that turned Catherine Zeta Jones on to old people, Sean Connery - 78
The original neighborhood Dealer, Monty Hall - 85

* Ed. Note - I know that I used the Burton image last year. And before you ask, I will continue to use it until I find a better one. Get used to it. *

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Friday, August 22, 2008

The Great American Review Week - Wowio.com

The Great American Review Week


Within the past year or so, the ability to read regular print comics in a digital format has tried to go legit from its BitTorrent incarnation. Back in '06, I wrote about my inability to read comics on the computer and that digital comics is not going to kill the print format in an old column at Movie Poop Shoot (Dreams In Digital).

But, that hasn't stop the Internet from trying to find a successful business model for the delivery of digital comics. One site called Wowio is one of those sites. When it first debuted, all of the comics were free online with the ability to download a max of three free books per day. Sure, the majority of the books were real small press but there were some gems (Lone Star Press for example). So, I joined and started re-reading the colored version of Pantheon (a great mini-series, by the way).

But suddenly in mid July, Platinum Studios bought the site, images and interface included, and brought the site down for about a month then relaunched last week. And my reaction was mixed to say the least.

On the good side, my queue of comics to download was pulled over from the old regime, which was nice. And there was an offer of a free $0.99 comic download in the form of a gift which was courtesy of one of the site's sponsors. But that's about it.

One major complaint is that the site is the same as it was before. That may not sound like a gripe but when you consider that all the new owners added was their books and started charging for PDF downloads, it's a dead breaker for me. I don't know how much the percentage of the sales are going to the actual creators. But if you just look at the surface, it seems like the new charges for the books are just going directly to the coffers of Platinum, which is very uncool.

Another problem that I see is that you can save/download the individual comic pages via jpegs to your hard drive when reading the book online. So, what do you think users will do when they learn that news? It just means less money that goes to the creators of these books; another check mark in the uncool column.

Lastly, the search engine on Wowio has issues. Like I said previously, I'm a fan of Lone Star Press and Pantheon, in specific. So, I decided to search for all of the books under that imprint. The results that I received were less than stellar as not one book was returned. The only way that I could find the books is to go directly to the Comic Books & Graphic Novels sub-directory and seeing a rotating ad for LSP, which means that any trust in the results from the engine is lost.

Overall, while all existing users still have their data exported from the old site and that you might get a free comic every once in a while, to pay for download that was free a couple of months ago at the same site with no realized added benefit to the user with a terrible search engine just doesn't add up. Wowio doesn't wow me at all.

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