Month: April 2004

Interviewing Kurt Angle

I had the opportunity to interview Kurt Angle and Dawn Marie today at the Off The Record studios. Both of them were once again the epitome of class and coolness, answering my markish questions without talking down to me.Going into the interview, I had no idea what I was going to ask Dawn Marie, I came up with a couple of questions which I wasn’t entirely happy about, but figured that with any luck, she’d lead me into a couple of other things I could ask her. In the end, I didn’t need to worry, these guys are so awesome that you can just ask them about the weather and they’ll tell you a great story.

I’m pretty proud that I got Kurt to re-iterate his challenge to Bret Hart which he made in September on ABC.com. “My dream is to wrestle you Bret Hart at WrestleMania.” Angle talked about his motives for wanting this match. “I would like to be considered among the best ever, and the only way I’ll be able to do that is if I wrestle Bret Hart.” He finished up by saying “I don’t want to put any pressure on you Bret, but if you’ve got one more in you, I’d be honoured if it was with me.”

I thought that was pretty cool. All in all, both of them were awesome to me, and the new WWE representative, Dawn treated me like gold. A great day.

You can see the interview in all it’s glory at TSN.ca’s wrestling site…or if you’d like, you can just read my recap of it.

Where you at dogg?

Oh I’m around, I’m working on two huge projects right now, one of them will launch on Saturday. The other will launch soon. Saturday’s project will dictate the success of the other one.Keep watching. Change is coming.

Too Many Bookmarks

My bookmarks file has gotten right out of control. It’s currently 85k, and over 450 individual links.Of those, on a daily basis I probably visit 20 (including the 13 in my “Daily Visits” section), and another 50 on a weekly basis, which leaves me with about 380 useless bookmarks.

What I’m going to do over the course of the next few weeks is archive my bookmarks to a hard file (like the one you see now), create a “jump page” of essential links that I can’t leave home without, and then pare my personal bookmarks down to the bare miniumum. If I can get down to 100, I’ll be pretty happy.

Pimping Comics

I don’t often pimp specific titles on my Blog, but I’m gonna go ahead here and pimp not only what I’ve heard is an awesome comic, but an awesome deal as well.My regular store, Comics and More has a deal where if you reserve Sleeper Volume 2, they’ll give you the first two Sleeper trades at 50% off (buy one, get one free), that’s a great deal, and was just enough to get me on the Sleeper bandwagon.

Bamboozled

Well, it finally happened. I’ve conducted probably 60 transactions on E-Bay, I’ve bought and sold well over $3,000.00 worth of goods. I bought my first PDA, a Handspring Visor, my second PDA, a Compaq iPAQ. I bought some cool toys, some hard to find posters, even a few books. I sold my PS2 on E-bay, I’ve sold games, video cards, comic books, you name it.But it finally happened. I finally got scammed by someone. Late last month I bidded on a Looney Tunes Golden Age DVD set, it was $45.00 CDN, about ten bucks cheaper than in the stores. I try to buy most stuff from Canada to avoid duties and extra shipping, and this item was allegedly located in Canada. Bournemouth Canada (which I was thinking sounded like a Nova Scotian city). Well, if I would have looked harder, I probably would have noticed that the dude was registered in the United Kingdom…mind you, he had 7 positive feedback responses, so who was I to argue?

I won, paid with Paypal, and never heard from him again. I’m apparently in good company because eight other people so far have come forward to complain that this person scammed them as well. Duncan Francis seems to be his name according to his Profile, but since he’s such a liar head, that could be false as well. I’ve complained to E-Bay and to Paypal about this, but we’ll see what happens.

I’m seriously bummed about falling victim to my first E-Bay scam though.

Who says I don’t have stones?

Yesterday was an interesting day. I woke up around 7 with a pain in my kidney. Fifteen minutes later the pain got more intense, by 7:30 it was unbelievable. It felt just like the kidney stone pain I had in August of 2002, so I called my mom, who told me to get to the hospital, and I called Char on her cell to tell her I was going, and that I’d call when I knew where I was. I was in so much pain that it was a struggle to pick up the phone, and climbing the stairs to our bedroom almost made me pass out. I kept on having to run to the bathroom because I was feeling nauseous.My next door neighbour Mike was home, so I asked him to drive me (there was no way I was going to negotiate my little stick shifted Accent), and by about 7:40 I was in emergency at Toronto East General.

The triage nurse was concerned about my pulse which was only 45, on a normal day it’s around 50-55, so this was a little low, but nothing to be too concerned about. I guess the concept of someone who looks to be in the shape I’m in being physically fit is strange to these folks. I mean I got a little lovin’ around the middle, but that’s just my rocket fuel!

About an hour later a doctor came by and said that it was probably a kidney stone, and that they’d give me some demerol for the pain. It worked…but zonked me out for the next four hours.

I got out of the hospital around 2 having had a cat scan, blood work, and urine analysis, which all confirmed the classic signs of a kidney stone.

They gave me percocets, but I haven’t taken one since last night because they make me fuzzy brained. The little bugger still hasn’t passed, but the pain seems to have subsided quite a bit.

StockStock

Wired.com has a cool story up about StockStock, the Stock Footage Festival. It’s a really cool concept. Take old time stock footage (which is provided for you), and piece together a little movie, no longer than 3 minutes in length.You can do whatever you’d like to the actual footage, you can add titles, and sound, but that’s it. No new footage, just existing footage.

That sounds like a cool little contest. I just might have to get involved.

What I’m doing lately

I’m working a lot on HeadsDown stuff right now, trying to get a couple of big deals on the go, plus I’m putting together my class for this summer…and finally…hacking the crap out of my TiVo! I’ve got an extra 40 Gig HD in it (giving me 70 hours of recording time), and I’ve added Steve Jenkins’ TiVo Networking stuff, a Turbonet card in it, and next I’ll be hacking in TiVo Canada guides!Album Du Jour: Nelly Furtado’s Folklore

DVD of the week: Coupling, the Complete Second Series The original BBC version, not the abortion which was the US version. The UK version was hilarious, but there’s no way they could have gotten away with half the stuff in the ‘States. The Janet Jackson incident looks like Sesame Street compred to Coupling.

Movie of the week: Hellboy was amazing. Kill Bill V2 looks even better.

Game of the week: NHL Rivals 2004 – Hooked up to Live. I’m ranked about 1 millionth right now, but give me time. Once I master the cheap assed tactics that others use (see wrap around goals, one-timers on one side of the rink, and the ultimate in cheese…the spin-orama), I will be king.

Website of the week: Kaliber10000 so many cool sites, so little time.

Comic of the Week: Supreme Power #9 I’m reading the original Squadron Supreme right now, it’s amazing and so ahead of its time.

Stupid music industry

Okay, this is a fact, with Windows Media Audio files, you can embed anything you want, such as a website URL of a band for example, directly into the stream. I’ve seen video files of current TV shows on Kaazaa do this, where after starting to play the latest episode of The Clone Wars, a window opens up in the background taking me to the guy who ripped the episode’s website. Cool.Why isn’t the recording industry doing this? We know for a fact that they are hijacking P2P networks, putting up audio files with 5 or 10 seconds of music followed by high pitched wails, why not do something constructive about this? Why not put up a few legit files in .wma format with an embedded link to the artist’s website, or a website where you can buy the album?

Wouldn’t that make sense? Use P2P files as a marketing tool?

How about this one, why doesn’t the record industry focus some of the virtrol that they’ve directed at P2P sharers on organized crime, which is currently making an estimated $4.6 billion a year from pirated hard-copy CD sales? That’s a hard number by the way, meaning that around a billion $5.00 pirate cd’s are sold a year. This isn’t some epherial number like “We lost $12 bajillion dollars to P2P sharers last year”, which is figured out by taking the 12 bajillion files that are traded on P2P networks and multiplying it by $1.00 each…not taking into account that 11.5 bajillion of those files would never, under any circumstances, be bought or played because some people are only interested in accumulating, not actually listening to, mp3 files.

The Australian music industry recorded a record year, despite, or some thing, because of internet file sharing. The BBC says that the music industry in Europe reported a 7% increase in sales.

Why doesn’t the recording industry just smarten the hell up and buy a clue?

More fools (or how our April Fool’s joke came about)

Kelvin and Daan approached me a couple of weeks ago, telling me that for April Fool’s this year, I was going to be hired by WWE. I loved the idea, especially considering our history of April Fool’s jokes. There’s been various sightings of “Sid Drake” (an anagram for “Darkside”), two years ago we wrote about Goldberg being signed by WWE, last year we were going to do a story about Sable, Chyna and The Kat returning, but that night Sable actually showed up on WWE programming! This year we knew we had to do something that “smelled real” but wasn’t. We’ve learned from previous years not to push it too far, so at the end of the article, we came out and said that it was all an April Fool’s joke.For my regular Wednesday article, I was going to do a DVD review, but I realized that an article I had in the pipe about Triple H not being selfish, just doing what he thinks is good for business (an opinion I really do believe) would set things up a little for the next day’s announcement. The article could be construed as a political move if taken in the right context, and sure enough, one of the “Your Caller’s” actually asked if WWE was paying me to say this.

I wrote up the quotes for my “hiring announcement” and e-mailed them to Kelvin, who fleshed the story out with some awesome details such as where I would be, and the names of people I would be working with. In my quotes I gave specifics of people I would be working with, but was vague and secretive about what my plans were…looking at it again, it’s pretty funny how little we said with so many words.

It worked. Not only did Ryan fall for it at first, but a bunch of the Your Caller’s fell for it too. That’s good stuff.

Luckily TSN.ca isn’t alone. Google posted a job opportunity for their new Lunar Hosting and Research Center, BMW offers a new way to cook. Thinkgeek, who have come up with the USB George Forman Grill, and the Caffinated Meatloaf, have introduced this year’s hoax, the “Gastron Remote Controlled Hunger Eliminator“. The Atlantic Tunnel is on its way as well, with a high speed train that will transport passengers from New Jersey to Swansea in 8 hours and 20 minutes!