Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Touching Story of Brenden Foster/with Video

In a world that is not bereft of negativity comes a story that I find to be incredibly moving: the dying wish of 11-year-old Brenden Foster.

Foster, a Seattle resident, died of leukemia last week, but his dying wish is being fulfilled in his hometown and around the country and that is to feed the homeless. The story goes that one day when he was coming back from a doctor's appointment he saw some homeless people and told his mom that he would like to help them. This inspired people in Seattle to start food drives.

The channel I was watching last night also said that Brenden's mother, Wendy, remembered her son saying to her, "When I get to heaven, I'm going to ask God why it had to be so soon, because I had so much more I wanted to do."

The above video says it all!

Rest in Peace, Brenden.

Blogger Note: Unfortunately, CNN spelled Brenden's name with an 'a' at the beginning of the video and with an 'e' at the end. However, the correct spelling is with an 'e.'

Must-Watch Video: Brock Lesnar vs. Kurt Angle Revisited

If Kurt Angle ever does make good on his repeated statements that he is going to get involved with mixed martial arts before too long, then there is one match that I’m sure everyone would love to see: Kurt Angle vs. Brock Lesnar. I can just hear some ominous voice in the promos saying, “This time it’s for real!”

The two did have a good feud going a few years ago in the W.W.E. and I have decided to post this very cool video which features a background of the Lesnar-Angle program, highlights of their epic Wrestlemania XIX battle at Safeco Field in Seattle and the very real ramifications as a result of the brutal matchup.

Wow and there are people who laugh at wrestling? Not if they watch this video.

Warning: Some graphic scenes.

New John Cena, Not The Same As Old John Cena

They say that change is inevitable and the W.W.E. has been ripped for a while now for not changing their formula. However, why should they change when last year was their best in terms of revenue and since they don’t have a viable competitor breathing down their neck?

Yet, one thing that has changed is John Cena. I didn’t watch this week's Monday Night Raw, but I did tune in to E.C.W. last night and saw a replay of the John Cena-Chris Jericho confrontation that ended in Cena ripping Jericho apart. This new, intense, no-nonsense attitude of Cena is really good. In some ways it reminds me of how the Road Warriors were; brute force and incredibly dominant all with a take-no-prisoners type of attitude – no surprise then that current Ohio State and future NFL linebacker James Laurinaitis is the son of Road Warrior Animal. Anyway, the Warriors were just too good not to like. The same may happen for Cena. We’ll see.

The John Cena character is never stagnant, evidenced by the fact that he is the new World Champion, with perhaps a new persona to go along with the championship, whle additionally, his return has led to a ratings bounce for Monday Night Raw as reported by the Baltimore Sun's Kevin Eck here.

Speaking of E.C.W...

The show has become a must-watch for me. I’m really high on this Jack Swagger character and although I’m not going to go so far as to say that he is as good as either one of these guys, but to me, he is a cross between former Olympic gold medalist Kurt Angle and UFC Champ Brock Lesnar.

Dos Caras Jr. Joins WWE

Debuting at January's Royal Rumble pay-per-view will be the man in the accompanying video; Mexico's Dos Caras Jr.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Dubinsky Gets A Gordie Howe Hat-Trick

Brandon Dubinsky fought the much more rugged and battle-tested Daniel Carcillo of the Phoenix Coyotes as part of his "Gordie Howe Hat-trick" last night. The Rangers bounced back from some sloppy play of late and a two-game losing streak to beat Wayne Gretzky's Coyotes at MSG 4-1.

For those that don't know, a "Gordie Howe hat-trick" is a fight, an assist and a goal. An expression which is derived from the legendary play of the former Detroit Red Wing.

Odds & Sods

So what’s new in the world? The country elected the first black president; pirates surprise some, but not all; the economy is predicted to get worse, not better; the Jets/Giants roll along; and more...

Barack Obama ran a very good campaign and continued to build on the use of technology to get his message out. I hope he does well for the sake of the country.

Somali pirates have become more brazen by now taking over oil tankers and the like. Funny how some people claim they didn’t see this coming, but the story of Somali pirates has been out there for the last couple of years, however, only recently have they become more ambitious. Some say they are al-Qaeda-backed while others think that they built their own cache of high-tech weaponry on their own. I’m going to bet that they are indeed backed by Qaeda, who claimed among other things in this article at the beginning of the month that they now control a major part of the lawless country of Somalia.

I have heard some experts on the news shows saying that the economy will continue to get worse before it starts to rebound. Glad to see that Citigroup will, thus, take the taxpayers money and pay for naming rights at the Mets' new stadium. Click here for more.

Alan Colmes and Sean Hannity will be going solo on the Fox News Channel. I will most definitely miss the Colmes-Hannity tag team. I always found them to have great chemistry.

The Giants have been rolling all season, but after the Jets beat the previously undefeated Tennessee Titans, New York media types are now talking Super Bowl. We’ll see…it’s a long way before the “big game.”

Anne Rice has announced on her Website that she is going to be penning a new series of books. Click me for the story. You can bet I am eagerly awaiting Rice's new works as they never, ever disappoint.

Oh yeah, and Ann Coulter is back with a new book. Here's the story courtesy of the Drudge Report. I’m sure she’s laughing all the way to the bank...

Life is certainly an "Amazing Journey" with some "Sparks" thrown in!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Good New$ For W.W.E.: John Cena Is Coming Home

This Sunday John Cena returns from injury to the squared circle in his hometown of Boston, where he will undoubtedly beat Chris Jericho to become World Heavyweight Champion at the Survivor Series.

Cena is one of the most polarizing figures I have ever seen in pro wrestling. There are some that absolutely love the guy and there are those who – inexplicably – despise the man. I’m not really sure where I sit with Cena, but I know one thing, the guy means money to the W.W.E.

They’ve done a good job over the last few months of turning Chris Jericho into a mean-spirited heel, but he doesn’t necessarily transcend the “sport,” despite his reality t.v show, Redemption Song.

John Cena can.

He’s got the all-American look and is extremely well-spoken. He has also shown to be a good interview on Larry King, as well as someone that can yuck it up with the guys on The Best Damn Sports Show Period. He’s thrown out first pitches at Red Sox games and has appeared on Nickelodeon’s Kids Choice Awards Show. Add in the enormous amount of charity work he does and the W.W.E. has an all-around winner in Cena.

He also has a passion for the business, which means he won’t run off to Hollywood and leave W.W.E. hanging.

Sunday night, the W.W.E. and half of their fan base will be very happy.

John Cena is coming home.

W.W.E. Thoughts: Remember This Name: Jack Swagger

The W.W.E. has done many things wrong over the last couple of months, however, bringing up Jack Swagger (real name Jake Hager) from their developmental league in Florida to the E.C.W. roster was one of their better moves.

If everyone plays their cards right, Swagger should someday become the face of the promotion. Swagger is 6'4", 265 and was an outstanding amature wrestler at the University of Oklahoma (home of other standouts such as the legendary Danny Hodge and Steve"Dr. Death"Williams).

He also seems to be a good talker, which is a rarity these days in the world of professional wrestling. Swagger is in many ways similar to Brock Lesnar without the "juiced" look. The only match I paid any attention to last night on E.C.W. was Swagger against Tommy Dreamer in a Greco-Roman style bout, which the former won.

The W.W.E. would be wise to take their time with this guy and not burn him out like they have done with so many others. With any luck, they've got a future star on their hands.

Bruce Springsteen "The Wrestler"

The above video contains the song "The Wrestler" by Bruce Springsteen and is off of his forthcoming album, Working On A Dream. The song will serve as the closing tune to Mickey Rourke's film that is scheduled to come out next month; The Wrestler has gotten rave reviews so far and is being touted as Rourke's comeback movie. The Boss and Rourke reportedly are buds.

Be forewarned, the sound quality isn't great in the above YouTube video.

Heart's "Barracuda" Is About What?

I've heard this song being used more and more ever since Sarah Palin spoke at the Republican National Convention. The problem is that the various talk radio hosts and the like should really check out what the lyrics of the song are about before they end up making themselves look more foolish than some of them already are.

The story goes that an understandably angry Ann Wilson wrote "Barracuda" in response to rumors she was having a love affair with her sister and bandmate, Nancy. The slanderous tale was started by, of all people, Heart's record company, Mushroom Records. Ouch!

It probably was not appropriate for the convention and equally so for radio talkies that play it either in praise of or in their constant derision of Mrs. Palin.

Good song, though.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

007 was Just OK

I saw Quantum of Solace this weekend and thought the movie was just OK. It's not really my thing; there are just too many unbelievable points in the movie. I get that it is entertainment and not meant to be taken seriously, but when you are able to elude a fighter jet, fall out of the plane and land safely with a parachute that came from out of nowhere, that's a bit much for my taste. But to each his own.

I did, however, enjoy the opening theme music to the movie, which is done by Alicia Keys and Jack White (White Stripes, The Raconteurs). The official - whatever that means - video for "Another Way to Die" is above.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Thanks Anne Rice!

Believe me when I tell you it was a great thrill for me to see that Anne Rice had a link on her homepage to my review of her latest book, Called Out of Darkness: A Spiritual Confession. The link is here and you just have to scroll down a bit to see my name. Additionally, at the top of her home page is a crawl with the various reviewers rolling across, such as the New York Times, L.A. Times and holy smokes, me!

I also received a nice email from Anne Rice in regards to my review, which is quite an honor for me since I so greatly admire her work.

Rice's readership is a pretty wide-ranging audience and her books have sold 100 million copies to date.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Fans at Rangers-Devils Game Get Into It

The above video shows some rowdy Rangers fans getting kicked out last night of the Prudential Center. Too bad they missed the Blueshirts 5-2 victory over the Devils.

Barack Obama and The Media Bias

Recent studies have shown that the media was overwhelmingly in the corner of Barack Obama in their reporting throughout the run-up to the election.

I recall essentially the same media, particularly the New York Times, after the fact, belaboring that they did not ask enough questions prior to the Iraq War. In both cases, the elite media show incompetence and yet they wonder why newspaper sales are falling. Yes, the accessibility of the Internet is a factor but I also believe that people are tired of the continual bias of newspapers.

Additionally, I will never understand why liberals are so afraid of talk radio and Fox News. The rest of the media slants left, however, in some instances they are almost paranoid about Fox and talk show hosts such as Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, which is why they want to resurrect the 'fairness doctrine' - an oxymoron if there ever was one.

From where I sit, I think the media will prove to be the biggest losers coming out of the election as a result of their proven bias.

I have heard Democrats saying how they want everyone to throw their support behind the new president, yet did they get behind George W. Bush? Absolutely not! There were those in the media and more importantly in Congress, that never accepted Bush's 2000 election victory as legit and thus treated him as an illegitimate president, which hurt our country.

As far as the Sarah Palin haters out there, I hope that they pointed out all of the gaffes made along the campaign trail by Joe Biden and Barack Obama with the same fervor as they have in regards to Mrs. Palin.

Probably not, so that's why I have decided to include one above.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Book Review of Mark Wilkerson's Who Are You: The Life of Pete Townshend

Who Are You: The Life of Pete Townshend
by Mark Wilkerson

This was a well-written and extensively researched book. I didn't think there was much more for me to learn about Pete Townshend, but thanks to what must have been author Mark Wilkerson's tireless work, I came away knowing so many interesting things about PT after finishing this book.

I think this book is great for any fan of classic rock and is a must for Pete Townshend's fans. I have always had the utmost respect for Townshend's work, but now understand the depths of it even more so. Wilkerson's fairness provides an extremely objective view of PT; warts and all.

Book Review of Anne Rice's Called Out of Darkness: A Spiritual Confession

Called Out of Darkness: A Spiritual Confession
by Anne Rice

Incredible! Once again Anne Rice draws me in as a reader and won't allow me to put the book down. I read Called Out of Darkness in a couple of days; for one, because I was sick and was home from work, but secondly, I just didn't want to stop reading this inspirational memoir.

Rice talks of her Catholic upbringing and describes a world that is sadly no longer in existence. Her stories of the past reminds me of how my mom or my late father would describe the Catholic Church and all of the Church's great traditions. Rice then goes on to discuss her life as an atheist and the daily struggle which that presents for someone who is at heart, "a seeker."

The book concludes with her return to the Church and why her faith is so strong despite some of the controversies that surround modern day Catholicism.

In my opinion, Anne Rice is the best writer alive. I have never been disappointed with any of her works; Called Out of Darkness is no exception.

Marty of The Sean Hannity Show: A Great American Remembered

I searched and searched until finally I came across this item remembering Marty from the Sean Hannity show. He passed away last Monday. The story comes courtesy of

Marty Kenney, known best for being a frequent caller to the Sean Hannity radio show, has died. Born May 3, 1918 in Manhattan, Marty grew up in the Bronx and went to Fordham Prep. He had 4 children 3 sons and one daughter. Later he moved to New Jersey in 1958 and worked for Nabisco for over 35 years. Marty was 90 years old. Marty Kenney started calling Hannity in 1996 when he was doing local night time programming on WABC-New York.

The Sean Hannity Show launched into syndication on September 10, 2001, one day before 9/11, but Marty continued to call the national program and soon became a permanent fixture and important member of the Hannity Team. A World War II veteran from New Jersey who stormed the beaches of Normandy, Marty grew 'near and dear' to the hearts of Hannity's 13 million listeners.

The Hannity Show often closes with a segment entitled, "Trash the Lines," where calls are taken unscreened, and listeners are given approximately five seconds to say whatever is on their minds. Whenever the segment was done, the final caller was almost always "Marty."

The Who News

Michael J. Fox recently rocked out with The Who during a charity fundraiser. For more on the story, click this.

Meanwhile, has this item about the pending release of The Who at Kilburn 1977. I got to see snippets of the show on PBS recently and although the usually difficult-to-please Pete Townshend predictably thought the band was awful, I thought that they did a very good job.

Monday, November 03, 2008


My friends (I sound like John McCain with that one) over at posted an excerpt and a link from my review of The Who concert at the IZOD Center. Click this for more.

Anne Rice's Change In Writing

Author Anne Rice has gone from writing about vampires to Jesus; now that's a real change (sorry Barack for stealing your talking point). Here is an interesting piece on how Rice's writing has evolved as a result of her personal life.

I haven't read her memoir yet, but plan to do so. Thus, I will reserve comment on the book. However, as someone that has read 19 of her books, including, all of the Vampire Chronicles, I can honestly say that I have no problem with her abandoning that genre as I believe she had gone as far as she could with it.

Nonetheless, there are those who think otherwise.

Great Political Video Package

I was recently asked to do a "man on the street" interview for a Greenburgh High School student's project on the Presidential Election and was pleasantly surprised to see the finished product. Not only was the video, entitled "Vote 2008," extremely professional in terms of editing and such, but I found it to be fair in terms of giving varying opinions on the candidates. Click this to watch.