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:

Sphere: Related Content

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

Sphere: Related Content

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.

Sphere: Related Content

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.

Sphere: Related Content

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. *

Sphere: Related Content

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Great American Review Week -

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.

Sphere: Related Content

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Great American Review Week - "Tradeables" by Fathead

The Great American Review Week

If you may remember last month, I reviewed the new product by Fathead called Tradeables. I was not all that glowing in my review mostly due to the fact that I received three of the same Tradeable (Larry Johnson of the Kansas City Chiefs). Well, the good folks at Fathead decided that they wanted another chance here at TTFL by sending me an entire pack of Tradeables for review.

The standard pack (pictured above) contains five Tradeables broken down like this (according to the website):

  • 1 Team Helmet (All 32 Teams available)
  • 1-2 Authentics (25 Players available)
  • 2-3 Game Time (125 players available)
To help differentiate between the Authentics and Game Time Tradeables, I'll offer a quick description. Authentics card not only offers a Player Fathead but also contains a small team logo Fathead and a second smaller Fathead of the same player in a circle shield-like design with the team and player's name in script in the circle. The Game Time card contains a single Fathead featuring the player in an action pose. Here's what I received:
  • Green Bay Packers Helmet
  • Tom Brady (Authentics)
  • Eli Manning (Authentics)
  • Clinton Portis (Game Time)
  • Maurice Jones-Drew (Game Time)
Now, that I've had a chance to test and pour over the whole package, my opinion has definitely changed concerning the Tradeable product. I like the protection that is offered by the Fathead-stamped clear cellophane envelope that encases the new card sheets. The difference between the two types of Player Fatheads are pronounced and make either inherently more collectible.

Like before, the ability to move the cling from card sheet to new surface is still the same without any tearing whatsoever. Also, the only remaining drawback is the lack of associated player/team stats on the back of each card sheet. But that is really minor when you consider that the majority of purchasers will discard the sheet once the Fathead is removed.

One thing that I did not review which is included with the Tradeable purchase is the "Top Secret Code" which can be redeemed at for Games and prizes. So, round out the entire experience, I went to the website to redeem the code.

After an initially complicated username login creation (due to the fact that the site uses the same Fathead customer database that is used for ordering products online), I entered my 12 Alpha-Numeric code and here's the first screen that I received:

The "Locker Room" site itself is basically a portal environment with individual widgets that you can move around on the page (although my browser never seems to let me but I have IE configuration issues). With the three column look, it's like an homage to the old Sport Pages of the last century. The game that I unlocked was Save The Cheerleader, an old-school 8-bit game while being simplistic, did make the old gamer in me laugh. Obviously, the point of the site to make you go back to unlock more games and other Fathead-associated stuff and based on my experience, I'll definitely go back.

Initially, I was leery of the $15 price point but when you include the differences between the card sheets and the online content, I would definitely recommend picking up one for the sports fan in your life.

Sphere: Related Content

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Great American Review Week - "Too Cool To Be Forgotten" by Alex Robinson (Top Shelf)

Too Cool To Be Forgotten is the latest original graphic novel from one of my all-time favorite creators, Alex Robinson (Box Office Poison, Tricked). The story is about a guy named Andrew Wicks who allows himself to go under hypnosis in order to quit his addictive nicotine habit. While in his hyopnotic state, Wicks "travels" back to 1985 and his junior year in high school so he can stop himself from taking his first drag on a cigarette butt. But as the former Rosanne Arnold can tell you, there are some things that hypnosis uncovers that you may not want to remember. Thank goodness this book does not go down that same abusive road.

Robinson does a great job of mixing the all-too-familiar feelings of social awkwardness and poignant pain that comes with being a teenager. Characters are more than just stereotypes and the dialogue steers clear of using the dated pop-culture references or teenage-speak cliches. the pace of the book was quick and even at a shade under 130 pages, it was a relatively quick read.

The art is Robinson's forte. For those who only read the superhero books, Robinson's style may be considered odd. All of the characters look different (in a good way) and there are some layouts that could only be in the comic book medium. The splash pages are non-existant and the flow of the art from panel to panel and page to page makes reading the book almost effortless. A big plus is the cover of this hardcover, which is a sweet design marriage of the very familiar cigarrette soft pack of Kools and the overly trite yearbook signing phrase 2 Cool 2 B Forgotten.

If you're new to comics, a veteran of multiple Earth crisises or somewhere inbetween, you should read this book. Too Cool To Be Forgotten is an ideal piece of comic fiction with its compelling story and easy-to-follow layout Capes and tights stories can take a hike when compared to this book.

Sphere: Related Content

Monday, August 18, 2008

The New Lara Croft Vaults Into the Foreground

Hello Gorgeous! The latest person to take up the Lara Croft mantle is not an actor or a model by trade. In these Olympic times that we're currently live in, it should only be fair to have an athlete - to be specific, a gymnast from England - step into the form fitting archaeologist suit. Her name is Alison Carrol and you can find out more on her leap into the world of make-believe at Yahoo!

Sphere: Related Content

The Great American Review Week

This week here at TTLF, you're in for a real treat. To help me get off my ass and review stuff that I have be so graciously been given to review, I am throwing down the gauntlet and making a personal challenge to only post fanatical reviews for the week. The reviews will run the gambit from comics to books to CDs to other stuff. And the real winner from all of this is... YOU! Stay tuned..

Sphere: Related Content

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Return of the Friday Favorite - "Blind Man" by Black Stone Cherry

Here's something to get your feet tappin' and your body rockin'. BSC will be releasing their new CD, Folklore & Superstition, this upcoming Tuesday. Their sound is like a mix of Southern Fried Rock and 70s Classic Rawk. Judge for yourselves - here's the first single, Blind Man:

Sphere: Related Content

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Viral Video - Olympic Snap

I saw this last night via my brother on LiveLeak but it has been taken down due to NBC copyright infringement. But luckily, Deadspin has an embedded video of the live stream of this stomach-turning incident.

Obviously, the injury is pretty brutal. But you gotta love a couple of things with this video. First, the fact that it was replayed as many times as when Theismann became a half-foot shorter in one leg thanks to the infamous LT sack. And that there are a team of five or six workers that are responsible for shielding the injured participant (and that those workers move strangely like riot police).

The only thing that is missing from this video that I liked on the LiveLeak version was the Aussie commentators voicing their disgust about replaying the injury over and over again.

Sphere: Related Content

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Gamer Pride - Madden 20th Anniversary Reebok Recline PHs

In honor of the Madden/EA Franchise hitting 20 years, Reebok has put all of the game covers on a Recline PH shoe for w hat I'm sure is a limited release. I can't find any other word on the shoe as far as release date or price point but if you want 'em, you gotta imagine that they'll cost about three times what this year's Madden release for the XBox 360 costs. Not bad for 20 years of service.

Pics from (Top - obviously) and Deadspin (Bottom - from the Maddenpalooza Party in LA)

Sphere: Related Content

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Hey - Wha Happened?

Of all of the weeks to take a short vacation from the keyboard. August is supposed to be the boring or "dead" month of Summer before Falls begins but this past couple of days seems to bring tons of news from all corners of the Pop Culture world. Think of when the last time these events happened in the span of a couple of days:
  • The death of two highly visiable Hollywood entertainers (Issac Hayes and Bernie Mac)

  • The death of so many Olympic and World Records in Beijing

  • The death (and possible resurrection) of Wolfmother, an up-and-coming band that contributed to the reimmergence of rock in American music
When you count that today is Madden 09 Day and that Metallica not only announced the completion of Death Magnetic but also tour dates for the first leg of their North American tour, August has become very newsworthy.

Sphere: Related Content

Thursday, August 7, 2008

New BS In The News

Just a quick note while I'm on a little min-eye vacation...

I'm back in the column writing business but with a new twist. The good folks at Patriots Daily have done the unthinkable and have given me valuable writing space on their site to offer not only my take on the Pats and their next opponents but that of pro columnists, forum posters and other cyber "analysts" (you know, the ones who use IMO in almost every sentence uttered). Here's what the site's editor had to say this morning (and yes, this is pure ego-stroking):

Britt Schramm will be our go-to guy for a new Friday morning feature that will be focused on the coming weekend’s opponent. Britt will look beyond the Globe and Herald scouting reports to see what’s really been happening with the next team on the Pats schedule. Britt’s another experienced, articulate blogger who’s devoted to the Pats, and I feel like we’ve been lucky to attract people like him, Tyler and Chris to the PD masthead this season. I can’t wait to get rolling.

The column name is still to be determined. But I can tell you that I am looking forward to working with Scott and the rest of the PD staff. I have a feeling that this is a start of a beautiful relationship. You can read the rest of Scott's post right here.

Sphere: Related Content

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

A Very Refreshing and Fun What If...

One of my favorite all-time reads (in this decade or any other) are the "What If..." comics from Marvel. Just imagine being a kid and seeing Spider-Man become part of the Fantastic Four on a cover or reading Frank Miller warm up his Dark Knight Returns series by doing the same thing to Daredevil and Elektra. Or if Power Man and Iron Fist had their genders changed? Those things messed with my mind just by turning the status quo on its ear.

So, believe me when I say that there was something that made me feel the same way in last Sunday's Boston Globe. Charles Pierce crafted a thing of beauty by mixing his interview with the 1988 Democratic Nominee for President with a look of what might have been. I heartily recommend reading it if only for the way he weaves the newsmakers of today into this hilarious and thought-provoking tale of What If, which only hammers home the fact that the roads diverged lead to some strange but wonderful tales.

Click my very sad attempt at a homemade image to read more...

Sphere: Related Content

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Rockin' Soul Show is Off The Air - But For How Long?

First reported by then confirmed by FMBQ, Don Geronimo has left the radio airwaves once again yesterday. Here's what DCRTV reported yesterday:

Geronimo "Fired" From WOCM - 8/4 - A DCRTVer tells us: From the lady who answered the business line at WOCM, Ocean City, "Don Geronimo (right) is no longer with Ocean 98." Earlier, we reported that the DC area radio veteran and former WJFK-FM afternooner did not do his oldies show at 1 PM today. Says the mysterious Mr. Sorce: "They fired me for talking too much and adlibbing during live reads. Oh, and I wanted more than $10 an hour. All true, gotta love radio... Next move maybe sooner before later... but I did have fun for a month." WOCM Program Director Skip Dixxon will now extend his midday shift from 10 AM to 3 PM. Geronimo is rumored to be heading to Sirius XM. Stay tuned.....

It's too bad that the PD at WOCM was oblivious to what he was getting when he hired DJ Doni G for that shift. If he had heard anything recently by Geronimo, Dixxon would've known that the guy likes to talk, not only inbetween the records as well as the live commercials. That's part of his shtick. But this "firing" could also be construed as the usual MO that Geronimo uses when he torches a on-air gig before taking a new one somewhere else (as he has repeatedly mentioned on the air). It's too bad he couldn't use his "Already Gone" song when leaving.

So, for fans of a quality radio entertainment program, it's back to March 14th all over again waiting for a radio dial that has Doni G. talking on it.

Sphere: Related Content

One-Sentence Review: “In This Life” - Jet Black Stare

Sphere: Related Content

Friday, August 1, 2008

We're One Step Closer to Living In a George Lucas Universe

Coming AT-AT 'cha is the BigDog robot made by the good folks at Boston Dynamics. The demo video on the link provided (no embedding - sorry folks) does a pretty good job of selling the stability and manuverability of this gas-powered mechanical mule. But the cool part of the vid is the opening part where if you squint your eyes, you can almost see the Planet of Endor with this big AT-AT traversing the land.

PS - I know that it was a two legged version of the AT-AT called the AT-ST but to think that Lucas' ideas are not just pure fantasy is still pretty cool.

Sphere: Related Content

Chavez Ravine has become "Mannyland"

Image courtesy of

The original Red Sox Christmas present has just walked out the door; taking with him two others in a three-way trade with the Dodgers and the Pirates. the guy in return - Pirates OF Jason Bay. Not a big name but a solid occasional All-Star who's been in the NL all of his career. I had to let this whole idea of this trade sink in before commenting on it.

At first, I thought that the Sox gave up too much. Moss has shown brief flashes of being a solid player for years to come. Hansen, though, has gone from closer savior to 8th inning setup man with closer-quality to a BP pitcher. And while Manny was not hitting his usual .340, 30+, 70+, he was still a feared hitter and great protection for Big Papi. At best, they come away a wash on the deal; at worse, there are now bigger holes in both the batting order, less options from the bench and a dire lack of arms in the 'pen.

But after sleeping on it and reading some organizational insight from The Globe's Nick Carfaldo, it was apparent that this move was for the future good of the team. Manny definitely wanted out of Boston (based on his numerous quotables) and decided to hold his breath until he got his way. At least Bay is on the hook for one more year and is a total and direct opposite of a malcontent. In terms of fielding and base-running, Bay will be a solid upgrade; albeit not as adventurous or lackadaisical as the once patroller of The Wall's front lawn.

It's very hard to see a future 1st ballot HOF go to the Red Sox - Left Coast Division but it was obvious it will be the best for all in involved. The Sox can now concentrate on completing in the very tough AL playoff race, The Pirates start their perpetual Building for the Future (which they been doing since 1993) and the Dodgers get a solid clean-up hitter with so many quirks that the only place he could fit in is one where fantasy and reality are in constant flux.

Sphere: Related Content