Friday, December 26, 2008

The Smoking Gunners

It must be hard being an Arsenal fan. First the French backbone of the squad (Patrick Vieira, Robert Pirés and then Thierry Henry) departed back-to-back-to-back, then Croatian super-striker Eduardo's career was nearly ended, then, most recently, Captain Fantastic Cesc Fabregas has been crocked for up to 4 months. This, on top of a spate of other misfortunes, such as (perceived) poor transfer market dealings by Arsene Wenger and his oft-criticized youth over experience policy has the Gunners firing blanks recently. So what does the future hold for the Arsenal?

If past experience holds true, Arsene Wenger will be OK. Many predicted the downfall of the Gooners when the last (and probably the most important) of the French troops, the va-va-voom VIP Thierry Henry departed. Stunning even the most staunch supporters of the red and white, Arsene shot his young charges to a respectable fourth-placed finish in the EPL and the Champions League round of 16.

Cynics will say that this ship's lack of big-name cannons make it destined to be outgunned by the big-spending opposition such as Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea et al. However, in my humble opinion, should Wenger convince the Arsenal brass to part with a few farthings in order to pick up some experienced snipers to lead the young semi-automatic Gunners, they may very well be firing on all cylinders before the end of this season. If the moves must come in the summer, the club could be on its way back to greatness, barring some misfortune.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Hello... Newman

It happened. I've watched so many episodes of Seinfeld that I'm starting to love the show. I finally managed to draw a distinction between Michael Richards and his Kramer character, and now that that's done, I have no issues with chuckling, chortling, or even all-out guffawing whenever the irrepressibly goofy Kramer comes bursting through Jerry's door to make some sort of outlandish and brutally honest statement.

I can't help but laugh at the fact that Jerry Seinfeld is a terrible actor in and of his own right. I see him smiling through serious scenes, muffing lines and dropping cues, but it's part of what brings me back. It may just be that he did all these things on purpose to illustrate just how carefree his character is, but either way, I don't care. George is the perfect representation of the friend you love to hate, but can't live without, and Jerry's relationship with Elaine is worth at least three laughs an episode.

If there's an everyday situation to occur, it's probably been covered in Seinfeld. From nose-picking to double-dipping to pulling in a parking spot from the back, if it happens, Seinfeld probably created a fast-talking, stereotypically New York Jewish episode about it.

And you know what? I like it.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Writer's Apathy

At this point in my blogging "career", I've run into a significant problem. Since there isn't too much exciting going on in my world, the only thing I have to blog about are personal thoughts and goings-on in my life. Since I'm a relatively private person for the most part, blogging about how I feel just doesn't really cut it for me. So I don't write. I made a pledge to myself to write more, but I realized lately that the pledge I made is in direct contention with my natural state of being. I'm not big on sharing my feelings, especially through the very public medium of a universally accessible blog.

So what do I do?

I can make up some cool stories... "The other day I ran into Emeka Okafor at the mall by accident, and managed to scuff his brand new Jordan XIs. I apologized, but he was enraged until he noticed I had my Mork and Mindy SBs on. Turns out Emeka is a HUGE sneaker head and was disappointed to never have been able to add the Mork and Mindys to his collection. We started talking about sneakers which eventually devolved into talking about life, and found we have a lot in common. Somehow the conversation turned to soccer and he told me he's always been a huge soccer fan and would be traveling to Italy this summer to visit Milan, Turin and Rome. He invited me and a couple buddies to come along, free of charge, based on the pretenses of a community service trip."

If I wanted, I could lie on this blog and post vapid, pointless musings by the hour. But since I don't really feel like it, I'll get to it when I get to it. The cool stories thing is fun from time to time, but I'd rather write about things that deserve it. Like sneakers. And soccer.


Maybe I should just make stuff up.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Worst Signing Evar

Former Juventus director Luciano Moggi, always ready with a controversial quote for the media's slavering mouths, has popped up with yet another outrageous statement on the footballing world. Moggi's latest outburst was directed at Brazilian magician Ronaldinho, currently conducting his samba in the red and black of AC Milan. When asked about transfers, Moggi offered this gem: "The worst signing? Well there are buys like Ronaldinho". He later explained that it was not for a lack of quality, but for the fact that Ronaldinho "plays a mild rhythm even though he knows how to do everything with his feet." He went on to say that Ronaldinho does not change his style of play when the game tempo increases and pointed out the fact that the vaunted Kaká-Ronaldinho partnership has struggled thus far.

As ridiculous as it may sound, I'm inclined to agree with Moggi in principle. While I also think Ronaldinho is a phenomenal player, and I'm more than happy to see him regain some semblance of his previous glittering form, I feel Milan could have done better with signing a strong defender or another forward. Ronaldinho has been playing well, but at the expense of Milan's talisman Kaká who is clearly not happy with the way he's been deployed since 'dinho's arrival.

I believe Moggi is right in the fact that Ronaldinho may not have necessarily been needed at Milan, but I do not agree with his assessment of the Brazilian as the worst signing this year. That award must go to the Portuguese flop Ricardo Quaresma, who yet again has failed to replicate his Porto form with a big club, contributing nothing to the Inter Milan cause but excess hair gel and wildly inaccurate outside-of-the-foot shots.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

In This Crazy World

I'm gonna make this brief, but here's what's been going on in my life recently:

I was in a car accident in which a car swerved in front of a truck, and I was unable to stop in time, ramming my beloved Audi A6 into the back of a construction pickup. Because both of my airbags were deployed, the insurance company declared my whip totaled. Right now I'm currently driving a Pontiac G6 rental and looking for a new piece of metal and leather to drive 2 miles an hour so everybody sees me. Or really fast so only the cops do.

The only injuries I sustained in the accident were a small cut on my left hand, the loss of my car and a little bit of hurt pride.

Moving on to happier news, I needed a haircut so I decided to get a fade, taking it back to when I was 12 years old. If I do say so myself, it looks pretty good. My brother also bought me a pair of white Nike Air Max 90s with the rainbow bottom, so that makes me a bit happier.

I'll be back later with more updates on my life.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Information Age

One of my best friends (shout-out to the Japanese magician Sho Yamagishi) sent me a YouTube video the other day that referenced how far we've come in the technology age. The video, called "Did you know?" brought up a few key points:

*China will soon become the number one English-speaking country in the world

*India has more honors kids than the U.S. has kids

*The top 10 in-demand jobs in 2010 did not exist in 2004

*It's estimated that a week's worth of the New York Times contains more information than a person was likely to come across in a lifetime in the 18th century

*It's estimated that 4 exabytes (4.0 x 10^19) of unique information will be generated this year... more than the previous 5,000 years

*Half of what students beginning a 4-year technical degree learn in their first year of study will be outdated by their third year of study

A commenter (shout-out to Dallas) noted that one of the main reasons blogging is dead (or dying) is that we live a post-literate society. We're able to get so much of our information from sources such as YouTube and television that there's no need to read anymore. As much as it pains me and makes me feel old, it's true. While I do love to read, I'm far more likely to click on a link to watch an interview. However, because I do love reading, 'riting and a little bit of 'rithmetic I'll continue blogging and hope that someone else has an appreciation for the new "old school" that is the 21st century blog.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Short 'n 'Sweet

Over the next few days I'm going to try writing shorter blog posts so I can actually get things down on "paper" and keep my thoughts moving. I've been tweeting fairly often, so I'm going to try and split up my time between Twitter and Blogger so both kids feel like they're getting their fair share.

Anyway, Juve won this weekend and that makes me very, very happy. I got my aspirin kicked multiple times today in FIFA and that makes me very, very upset. I haven't been on my game in the last couple days, but I pledge to regain form and resume normal mollywhopping tendencies as soon as the Lord of the Rings is over.

Quick side note: the Lord of the Rings was showing all day on TNT and I was kinda ecstatic about it. Nerd status!

Monday, November 24, 2008


A few weeks ago I noted that the demise of blogging had been forecasted by some prominent magazine (I forget what it is, but it's inconsequential at the moment). The publication stated that blogging would soon be completely replaced by Twitter and other such "microblogging" applications. When I read this, I immediately wrote (on my blog) that I wouldn't fall prey to such a thing, and I would maintain my blog as best I could.


I officially shortened what normally would be a half to full-page blog post to around 120 characters earlier today. I thought about writing a whole spiel about how the point of being a sneakerhead was to actually wear the sneakers you've worked so hard to collect, but I ended up condensing it to this short Twitter "tweet" (yes, you can laugh. I have, MANY times): "Isn't the point of being a sneakerhead to WEAR the sneakers, not just put them in boxes and never touch them again?" After I wrote the tweet, it took me a few seconds for it to set in and then I realized that I had fallen victim to convenience.

While I pledge to at least attempt (read: think about it for a half second) to continue to write real blog posts, from now on, if I do have a quick idea, it will go into a Twitter tweet (I just really like saying it) for a few reasons. Sometimes I really just don't have the time to write a full post. Sometimes I just don't feel like it. Sometimes it may work out better in a short idea than extrapolated to a full page. As such, whoever gets the urge can follow me on Twitter (username aawest), and if not, just look for my random blogging as you have (or probably haven't) up till now.

I used a lot of parentheses in this post.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Stuff People Like

I recently came across the website and book "Stuff White People Like", and it inspired me to write a few of my own "Stuffs". This is my exercise in social commentary through humor. If you're offended... Good. If not... Good.

Black People Like: Dressing White

It's important to understand that in today's world, dressing like white people is no longer unacceptable to black people. Black people began wearing clothes and doing activities previously considered "white" because they were tired of being left out of the loop. Recently, young (18-30) black men began wearing button downs, button ups, and sweaters with buttons (white people call them cardigans) as well as Lacoste or Polo caps and boat shoes. In order to wear these buttoned tops, bent-brim caps and boat shoes, black men are very careful to maintain the same percentage of improper grammar and semblance of "hood" status.

Black guys are very careful to never wear khakis with the ensemble unless they are appropriately baggy shorts or Dickies. Equally important to the clothes worn is the requisite posturing to let other black people know that they're still black even though the clothing may signify otherwise. Another important aspect of dressing white is to wear bright enough colors to let other black people know that the wearer has still retained his flamboyant "black" style.

If you see a black person wearing these clothes, it's always a good idea to compliment them on their style and tell them that the colors they're wearing "look great on them". This will give you some cool points with the black person and they may even invite you to a party with them.

More May Come

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Using auto-tune on everything. We're sick of it, and it's making real singers few and far between. It doesn't make you a singer, it just makes you someone with access to the technology.

Acting like that word that starts with "N" in public. You're messing it up for the rest of us that actually act like we have some sense. Plus it's really not cool anyway. Acting goofy from time to time is straight, but for the most part you only attract unwanted attention from the "P" (olice) and by default, we catch the fallout as well.

Touching my hair. I don't even like it when you ask to touch my hair. It was funny years ago when I was like 3 and I didn't know any better, but now it's just ignorant. I don't really care if you've never felt anything like it, it's not my job to educate you on the ins and outs of African-American hair. And when you say, "it's not like you have any hair anyway" it just proves my earlier point about your ignorance.

Kicking my ankles if I run by you on the soccer field. It kinda hurts and it doesn't prove your defensive skills at all. You just look like a donkey.

Sending me chain e-mails that mainly have to do with conjecture, hoaxes or ridiculous warnings. I have a mailbox limit and I don't feel like taking the time to delete all your useless emails. (The sole exclusions for this are Aunts, Uncles and other assorted family members, just because I don't want to hate on them)

Quitting in the 89th minute if I'm beating you in FIFA. At least have the decency to do it before the 70th minute so I don't have to waste all my time mollywhopping you and then not get any credit for it.

Dialing my number accidentally and then not having the decency to explain that it was a mistake when I answer it. It happens more often than you think, and it's very annoying when it happens repeatedly without any apology.

Asking me if I know Steph and if he's cool. Yes I do. Yes he is. But that doesn't make me any cooler or different for knowing him. He's a ordinary dude who happens to be extraordinarily good at the sport of basketball due to a blessed combination of natural talent and very hard work. And maybe I could get you a signed picture, but I'm absolutely not going to bother myself or the man for one.

Finally (for now): Stop bothering me. No specifics here; if you bother me, stop it. Cease. Desist. No más. That is all.

What If?

I've just decided to write a series (possibly ending after 1) of posts asking "what if" certain scenarios took place. For example, what if I suddenly grew a foot and gained 75 pounds?

If tomorrow morning I woke up and was 6'10", 240, I would immediately tramp to the nearest basketball court and proceed to dunk on every single person in the gym in turn. Pregnant mothers and small children would be first in line, followed closely by pre-pubescent girls and young wannabe ballers.

Next, I would grab a flight to China's Tianjin Province and simply stand in large crowds as small Asian men and women gawked at my new-found bulk. I would then hitch a ride over to Japan where I would pose as an NBA player and be treated as royalty by the uninformed.

Returning to the States, I would embark on a pimp-slapping rampage, daring anyone under the height of 6'0" to step to me, barring the presence of a firearm. Finally, I would sit down at the end of the day, and sing quietly to myself: "I wish I was a little bit taller..." all the while smiling surreptitiously and wondering if the following morning I would wake up as a 4'10", 100 lb masterpiece of proportional majesty.

More to follow.

Friday, November 14, 2008


I was watching Seinfeld (yes, Seinfeld the TV show) the other day, and I ran into a complex dilemma. I've started to actually enjoy the show and it's everyday ridiculousness. However, every time Michael Richards' character Kramer comes onto the screen, I'm simultaneously incensed and bent double with laughter. Herein lies the problem. I find the character of Kramer to be hilarious and brilliant. By the same token, I find Michael Richards to be absolutely detestable.

I can't seem to draw the line between the character of Kramer and the real-life person behind the character. I find myself laughing, but then being upset at myself for laughing. Nonetheless, I think I've solved my conundrum. I've decided that no matter what the person did, it doesn't matter because his on-screen persona is amusing and enjoyable. Michael Richards is not Kramer, and Kramer is not Michael Richards. As such, I will enjoy Seinfeld to the fullest.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Portrait of a Legend

A while ago, I began to watch the documentary "Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait". I grew up watching the French-Algerian legend, and it has been too long since I had the pleasure of watching him create art with the ball as his brush and the game as his canvas. In the film, a plethora of cameras follow Zidane through a 90-minute match against Villarreal in July of 2005. The multitude of camera angles, superb sound capture and close attendance to the temperamental genius opens a window into a footballing world I had never known.

Never before have I been able to so closely follow in the foosteps of any player, much less the giant prints of Zizou. With this film the audience is given a window into Zidane's ineffable brilliance, while simultaneously exposing slight quirks that somehow shrink the football giant into someone almost human.

As Zidane saunters around the pitch in the first half, he appears lazy and unconcerned at first glance. He walks more often than not, has the annoying habit of dragging his right foot on the ground distractedly, and appears unhappy at best. However, his poor body language belies the intense concentration visible in his face. Every few seconds he glances around the pitch, taking a mental "picture" of the events transpiring. It quickly becomes abundantly clear that while he does not have eyes in the back of his head as he often made it seem, he does indeed know everything going on within a 50 metre radius.

Amazingly, Zidane spends long periods of the first half with not even a sniff of the ball. When he does receive it, he rarely ever physically exerts himself because of his inestimably sublime first touch and vision. Far from being lazy, the man simply does not have to work corporeally because he has done the work mentally. He rarely ever speaks in the first half, but when he lets his voice be heard he calls quietly in the native language of the ball carrier, again betraying his brilliance, mental acuity and vision.

In the second half, Zizou springs to life. He commands possession of the ball more often and in more dangerous positions, he puts in a more physical effort, and above all, he seems to enjoy his surroundings. On occasion we see his lighter side as he jokes with Brazilian Roberto Carlos.

In a flash of brilliance out of apparent nothingness, Zidane takes on no less than three defenders with a burst of dribbling skill and acceleration and calmly dinks a lofted cross to the unmarked Ronaldo to finish. Less than a minute later, the notoriously short-fused playmaker charges late into a brawl to grab a Villarreal player by the neck. As abruptly as his anger boils over, it seems to dissipate as he calmly walks off the pitch, his job done and the day over. His legendary temper on display once again, he shows the dark side that comes with the grandeur. But the world would have it no other way.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Man's Best Friend

My sophomore year of high school, my brother went off to college and left me as the sole member of my "school" at home. For the first time, I was alone at home, and I had no companion to accompany me through my day. While my brother and I are and were very very different people, with different personalities and interests, we still got along very well. We fought often, as brothers will do (mostly ending with him kicking the crap out of me), but we did almost everything together. Every day at lunch we would watch Wishbone on PBS and then go play soccer tennis and/or basketball, stretching what was supposed to be a 30-minute lunch break well past the hour mark. We fought all the time, but we were always together.

Then the time came for my brother to go to college and I was left by myself at home. I wasn't out of sorts, but I did truly miss having Brent around to play with. After a while, I started to get relatively lonely, so I did what seemed most logical at the time. I asked for a dog. After much pleading and case-making my parents finally agreed to let me get a dog, and I embarked upon my lengthy search for the right companion. I finally settled on a beautiful Catahoula Leopard Dog I named Reina. She became my favorite diversion. I spent hours teaching her tricks, walking her and just playing with her in general. Finally the time came for me to go off to college and I had to leave her with my parents.

Whenever I returned home, Reina would greet me as if I'd been gone for 10 years and all she had done was wait for me. As soon as she smelled/heard/saw me get out of my car she would erupt into a chorus of barks, squeals and yells until I went to greet her. As I got older and my visits grew fewer and further in between, her enthusiastic greetings never changed. Since I was gone, my parents became the primary caregiver for Reina. They often would jokingly complain to me that I left "my dog" for them to take care of, but since the death of our other, older dog around 3 or 4 years ago, Reina has become more their dog than mine. I recently asked my dad if I could bring her to our new house in Charlotte and he hastily rebuffed my inquiry, giving the fact that we don't have a fenced-in backyard as reason to leave her with them. While we don't have a fenced-in backyard, I think the main reason she's staying is because my parents love her just as much as I do.

My thoughts recently have been preoccupied with getting a dog. While I can't afford it, and it wouldn't be prudent to get a dog at this time when I haven't actually settled down geographically and work-wise, I still want a dog with all my heart. I know I'm going to eventually get one, but I want one so badly it threatens to override all normal logic. I want another best friend of the quadruped variety.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Abnormal Psych(e)

I'm a weird dude, I'll admit it. I do a variety of things that most people would consider out of the ordinary, off the wall or just plain crazy. When I eat pizza, I take a bite of both corners of the crust before I proceed to the cheesy part. I listen to audio books on a regular basis. Especially when I'm driving, because it alleviates the boredom that normally pushes me to speed and get to my destination faster.

I love candy, but I don't really like most other sweets. In fact, I don't even like most candy. I only really like "clear" candy and Snickers.

I'm a serious grammar and spelling nazi. I am severely bothered by the use of "they're" for "their", "grammer" for "grammar" and the mother of all offenses: "definate" for "definite". I am more than willing to let it slide for those with whom I'm close, but it does still bother me. Especially when the offense is repeated chronically.

I get bored way too easily. If I don't actually concentrate on a sports game I will lose interest within 10 minutes and move on to something else. If a book doesn't draw me in, I find it very difficult to push through and make it worthwhile. I normally can't even play video games for more than a 30-minute spell straight through. Case in point: to beat me in Madden, a friend of mine simply set the quarters to 5 minutes each and waited for me to get bored in the second half so I'd stop caring and he could win easily. I ended up losing 70-66, or by an absurd score very close to that.

I have plenty of other idiosyncracies that make up my psyche, but I embrace most of them because they make me unique. Yes, I'm absolutely weird as can be. But yes, it makes me who I am. The coolest, weirdest guy named Christopher Aaron West who went to Davidson and graduated in 2008 that you'll ever meet.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Some Random Thoughts

What do Swedes do to stay so young-looking? I think if Olof Mellberg and the rest of his Swedish national teammates didn't have beards they'd look like the u-21 team.

Tiago Mendes of Juventus looks like Sarah Silverman of horrible television.

By the way, I love Juventus.

I really don't care about politics. I don't really care that Barack Obama won. Yes, he's (half) Black. But I don't know him. So quit asking me if I'm excited, because I really just don't care.

José María Gutiérrez, or Guti (of Real Madrid) is ridiculously left-footed and runs like a girl. But man, if he can't play a sublime through ball...

Marcelo (of Real Madrid) looks like a taller, light-skinned Katt Williams and hasn't improved nearly as quickly as I thought he would.

Royston Drenthe is what would happen if Edgar Davids and Whoopi Goldberg had a child.

And finally... If Javier Saviola (again of Real Madrid) hadn't been so stubborn he'd be getting regular minutes for a good club team and would probably still be in the Argentinean national team frame.

That's all for now.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Quality... Or Quantity?

Over the last couple days I just haven't felt like posting. It's not really that I didn't want to write, it's just that I hadn't bothered to think of anything creative, nothing ridiculous came to mind, and I just didn't feel like wracking my brain to dredge up something worth writing. That's when I came to the realization that I really don't have to write every day. I do prefer to put something out there at least 4-5 times a week, but if I don't have anything of "substance" (read: funny or ridiculous) to write, I'm not going to force it just for the sake of getting something on the page.

I refuse to simply blog for the sake of blogging. If I write something, it's going to be at least semi-interesting to me. I don't really care if anyone else thinks it's interesting because, frankly, I don't write what I think others will find interesting. I write what I think is interesting, and if others happen to agree, it works out for everyone. Long story short, if my blogging gets fewer and further between, you'll know why. However, I will continue my attempt to write 4-5 times a week.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Strange Things

I feel the need to record this event, since it's one of the strangest/coolest things that's ever happened to me.

Around an hour ago, I stopped at a gas station to grab a quick snack before I returned to work after my weekly tutoring session with a 3rd grader at a nearby elementary school. I got in my car, and as I was about to pull out, a man drove up beside me in an SUV, rolled down his window and motioned for me to do the same. Once my window was down, the man leaned over and asked... if i spoke Italian.

The man was Italian, and told me in broken English that his English was poor. I told him I didn't speak Italian, but began to speak to him in Spanish. He asked me if I spoke the language because of school, and I confirmed his suspicions. We began talking, me in Spanish, he in Italian, and had no problems understanding one another.

I asked him whether he needed directions, or help in some way, and he waved off my attempts to aid him. He told me he worked for a company downtown, and had just received a bonus which included four Italian coats from makers such as Gianni Versace. He had no use for them, so he was willing to sell them to me for half the going price. While we were talking, two large women paused at the front of his car, staring in amazement at the conversation going on. One of them asked loudly, "DOES HE NEED DIRECTIONS??" and I waved her off, telling her it wasn't the case. I politely declined to purchase the coats, and after much thanks, we went our separate ways. He still had his coats, but I had a story to tell.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Financial Plan

I'm going to start putting my money in CDs. That's right. Compact Discs. With my new financial plan I'm going to invest in thousands of those round, silvery circlets in hopes that in the near future we will suddenly have an incredible shortage of easily recordable media, and I will be the sole proprietor of all the compact discs in the world.

Banking on that fact, I'll be able to price-gouge to my heart's content. I'll accept trades, personal services, anything I deem worthy of the incredible price I'll charge for the CDs. In the process I'll become one of the most powerful men in the world, with riches only exceeded by those who invested in stocks. The makers of those antiquated holding mechanisms will be the most esteemed people in the world when all traditional holding cells, jails and prisons are rendered useless by the discovery of a tiny tool that can break anyone out of any cage if only the hands are free.

To recap, over the next few months I will be investing HEAVILY in CDs, and I would advise others to put their money in to stocks. The time is NOW.

That's the world I someday want to live in.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


I just wanted to write a quick note to say that the reason I haven't posted in a while is because Blogger is having issues sizing photos imported to posts. I'm apparently not the only one who's having this issue, but it's still really annoying. Because pictures are an integral part of my blogging, I'm going to either take a break or just fight through it. More to come...

Monday, October 27, 2008

Back in the Day

I was just playing Call of Duty 4, and I thought about some of my favorite video games of all time. I have a very short attention span, and as such, I rarely revisit games unless they make a real impression on me. Because of this, I thought I'd discuss a few of the games I would return to if given the chance. This is by no means a comprehensive list, and it's not even all of the games I like, it's just a few of the ones I can remember at this moment.

The Mark of Kri - Playstation 2
When TMK came out in 2002, it's innovative dual-analog combat system, cartoon movie-style graphics and gratuitous violence immediately piqued my attention. When I actually played the game, I was impressed by the story, tight controls and variation in gameplay. The fact that the lead character was a Rock-esque Samoan-type character who could take on multiple enemies at once didn't hurt the game's case. Needless to say, I was hooked on the game, and it will forever hold a place in my gaming heart.

SOCOM U.S. Navy Seals - Playstation 2
SOCOM is another game that came out in 2002, and it's the first game I ever had the opportunity to play online. I spent hours balling out online, racking up kills, winning games and battling other players with my SOCOM "team" of people I regularly played with. I never met any of the guys in person, but some of us became friends in the non-creepy way. SOCOM's ground-breaking use of the headset to issue voice commands to either the computer or human teammates was previously unheard of for me, and in the time when video games still weren't really cool yet, I caught a lot of crap for talking to my TV. However, such was my love for SOCOM that I still dislike Halo to this day because I was so used to playing from the 3rd-person behind-the-back perspective that SOCOM offered. Out of all my favorite games, I rate SOCOM highest for online play, right beside Call of Duty 4.

FIFA series - All consoles
I really don't need to say much about FIFA. As a soccer player, I grew up playing FIFA from the very first edition (FIFA 94) til now. In fact, I've played every edition of FIFA since it's inception. I can remember bringing my console to soccer tournaments and battling my teammates in our down time, going over to friends' houses and playing and more recently, throwing my controller in frustration over the game (but we won't go into that).

More to come...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The List

I keep a running list of some material things I'd like to see in my possession. While some will be added in the next few weeks, most of these things won't be added for a few months or even years. Just for fun I'm posting pictures of some of the things I want in the near future.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Mr. Chi City

I just wanted to drop a line and point people to the king of ignorant videos. No, his name is not Soulja Boy. It's "Mr. Chi City". Enjoy.

In particular, "Keepin your refrigerator stocked", "public service announcement" and "McDonald's" are roll on the floor hilarious.

Credit Problems

I was watching an old cartoon the other day and I thought about the character from Popeye, J. Wellington Wimpy. For me, Wimpy (first introduced in 1934) is a great example of Americans' willingness to go into debt for things they want. Wellington's trademark line: "I'd gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today" illustrates the mindset of many people in the States. Americans want cool stuff and they want it NOW.

In the cartoon, Wimpy's line was to fool people into buying him food while avoiding paying for it at all. Often we, as Americans fool ourselves into buying ourselves things and think that by using credit we don't "really" have to pay for it. To paraphrase a business friend of mine: "People are buying Mercedes' when they should be buying Toyotas and buying big screen HDTVs when they can't afford regular ones."

The ongoing financial crisis is a perfect illustration of the financial woes Americans have been wading further and further into lately. People that couldn't afford to live in the houses they lived in were hoping no-one would notice they weren't paying their bills. Someone noticed, and there were consequences.

The moral of this story? If you can't buy the hamburger today, eat at home, save your money and go get it when you can afford it.

Monday, October 20, 2008

My President Is... Black?

To say the least, much has been made of Barack Obama's race. Millions proclaim that he will be our first Black president if elected. There's just one problem: he's not Black. He's mixed.

In America, we tend to lump anyone with "one drop" of "colored" blood into that person's minority group. While on the one hand it lends credence to the minority group to which that person is rightly part of, we tend to ignore the fact that we are completely eliminating a huge part of a person's background. If you ask most people of mixed-race heritage directly, they will not tell you, "oh, I'm Black" or "I'm Puerto Rican", or "I'm Japanese". In reality, the majority of mixed-race people will say, "I'm Puerto Rican and Black", "I'm half White, half Black", etc. These people know and value the constituent parts of their backgrounds, so why don't we have the respect to do it as well?

I don't want to make it seem as if I am not proud and happy to have an African-American representative in the running for the Presidential nomination. However, I think we must keep in mind that there are two parts to his whole. To simply call Barack Obama "Black" is a token of disrespect to the mother who bore and raised him.

Note: I'm fully aware that there is no biological definition of or distinction between races, but for the purpose of this posting, I'm operating under the assumption that whoever reads this will understand my use of the term.

A Little Writing Exercise

A beautiful creature dives effortlessly. Flying glamorously heavenward, it's jaded; knackered. Look: must new opportunities present questions relentlessly? Stunningly turned upwards vertically: wonderful, xyloglyphic young zephyrs.

Friday, October 17, 2008

We're Not Alone

There are aliens among us. Every day extraterrestrials play in sporting events around the world and we as humans take no more notice of them than we would a fly: mildly annoying, but part of everyday life. They play in all different sports: Sam Cassell and Shelden Williams in the NBA, Pepe in the Spanish Primera Liga, Mike Ricci formerly of the NHL, Ezequiel Astacio of the MLB and Mike Tyson of the EEB (Extreme Ear Biters).

Aliens have even infiltrated our entertainment world. Michael Jackson, Katt Williams, Marilyn Manson, DJ Qualls and more walk around in our midst without repercussion.

I say if illegal aliens from south of our borders face oppressive legislation and legal ramifications, aliens from north of our atmosphere must face the same. Justice must be served!!

Revelation of a Nerd

I have a confession. I'm a bona fide nerd. I was fully aware of this fact before just now, but this morning, I had a legitimate full nerd moment that I can't deny at all. I sat at my desk, closed my eyes for a few seconds and...

recited Pi to as many decimal places as I could remember.

I got to 3.14159265359 and was actually excited about my abilities until I suddenly realized I had settled into full nerd territory. The worst part about it is that I'm not ashamed at all. Most people who know me don't know the full extent of my nerdiness. In reality, probably only 2-3 people fully realize just how much of a nerd I am. I tend to only display around 22.87% of my nerdiness to the general populace, and around 18.07% of that is through my blog.

With this giant leap into the land of Geakuh (pronounced: Geek), I may just begin to reveal more and more of my nerdiness to the world.

I like Star Wars.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Goodbye world... I'll be in my room playing FIFA

FIFA 09 is here. The game I've been waiting for for months has finally hit the shelves (and subsequently my Xbox 360). I picked the game up on the way to Davidson's soccer game last night, and on the drive back, my excitement grew the closer I got home. When I finally arrived at my house, I tried to control myself. I calmly grabbed a bite to eat, changed into basketball shorts, put away my clothes, put on a load of laundry, and settled in to fully enjoy my video game experience. I opened the video game box, and saw:

"Let's FIFA 09"

I responded to the game's invitation with my own resounding "YES, LET'S!". I popped the game in and proceeded to have at it with all the enthusiasm I could muster. I was able to muster a large amount of enthusiasm, and I had at it with aplomb.

The game itself plays like a dream. One of the main talking points for this year's iteration of the FIFA series is the brand-new physics system through which players actually battle for the ball, jostle each other, challenge headers and go into tackles with a sense of realism heretofore unmatched. A variety of factors go into these situations including body positioning, player strength, weight, height, speed, etc. The end product is much like watching players flying around the pitch like in a real game.

The ball movement and passing has also been tweaked, and they seem to accurately reflect the relative skill of the players and teams involved. For instance, I was able to do fairly well with Manchester City, but I couldn't quite pull off the slick one-touch passing and movement I was able to do with ease playing as Chelsea.

Ball control is no longer as simple as previous FIFA games, and boneheaded plays that were the norm in olden days (like trying to play 5-yard one-two passes out of one's own penalty box) are summarily punished as they should be. Individual players' technical ability is actually reflected in the way they control, pass and shoot the ball. In addition, no longer do players "magically" control balls shot at them from 3 yards away. The added touch of skilled players throwing out moves when direction changes are input on the controller also makes the game that much more enjoyable.

Overall, I think this is the best FIFA yet, and I'll be playing it for months. I may emerge out of my room occasionally for necessary functions such as food, bathroom breaks and a little bit of sun, but otherwise, I'll be unavailable for comment. See you next year.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Ballin With Barack

I am voting for Barack Obama. My reasons, however, are not what you might think. I have a strong inclination that in the future, all international disagreements will be settled by one-on-one basketball games to 21 between countries' respective heads of state. Bearing that in mind, how could anyone even think to vote for McCain over Obama? In fact, I don't know how they've gone this long without battling it out on the blacktop. I know Sarah Palin played basketball in high school and she could give McCain some pointers on his J, but there's no way Johnny boy could match up with Barack "All Day and All Night" Obama.

On a similar note, does it feel any better to have your shot packed by the future president in a pickup game, or does the sting of rejection still burn like a stove top turned on Hi? Do you run around town exclaiming "Barack Obama put his presidential junk in my face and dunked on me!!", or do you hide in the nearest locker room, sobbing and hoping Kennedy's assassin is resurrected? If you foul Obama a bit too hard does Secret Service jump down from the backboard and summarily pull your spine out, or are you free to hack-a-Barack until Palin's cows come home?

If you vote for McCain and the U.S. becomes a terrorist state because ole John couldn't handle Ahmadinejad's drive and pull-up jumper, you should be ashamed of yourself.

Lebron James/Dwyane Wade for President and VP, 2032!!

Monday, October 13, 2008

You 'Member, 'Member?

I'm sitting here watching D3: The Mighty Ducks, and it brings back a lot of memories. Every time I hear the repetitive quacks of the Ducks, it sends a little tingle down my spine. I remember how cool I used to think the characters were, how inspiring their story used to be, how hectic the action was and how realistic the situations seemed. As a 10-year-old, I remember getting legitimately excited when "bash brother" Dean Portman showed up in the locker room for the 3rd period. As a kid, the movie was phenomenal.

Watching it now, the movie is comically bad. The one-liners are priceless, the action is slow and unrealistic, and the storyline is ridiculous. Even better, the Icelandic center, Gunnar Stahl from D2: The Mighty Ducks is recycled as Scooter, the varsity team's American goalkeeper. The idea that a prestigious prep school would change it's name just because a highly-touted freshman hockey team beats the varsity team is equally outlandish.

Watching the team play pick-up hockey with full pads and gloves is such a blatant attempt to coerce kids into playing safely it's hilarious. During the game, the over-the-top hits and saves make me cringe, and the fact that grown women are cheering for "freshman" Dean Portman's penalty box striptease is more than a little bit disturbing.

As much as these faults detract from the movie, I can't say I don't thoroughly enjoy watching it. My positive memories of the movie from my younger years far outweigh the negative feelings I have at this point. Even if I didn't have positive memories of the movie, my fondness for the old-school unrealistic sports genre (see: Little Giants, The Mighty Ducks, The Air Up There, Angels in the Outfield, etc.) would have led me to love the movie anyway. Because of this, and because of the fond place D3 holds in my heart, I can't stop watching it.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Aaron's Law

1. If a person's name is mentioned in Davidson College's Vail Commons, they will invariably show up within 10 minutes.
2. No matter how long it's been without rain or what the weather reports dictate, if you wash your car it will rain the next day.
3. You will only trip and make a fool of yourself in front of people you want to impress.
4. You will always be wearing your favorite shirt when you spill spaghetti sauce on it.
5. The freezing air will only come on in the office/theater/building when you forget your jacket.

More rules to come.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


I know I promised to post more this week, and so far I've kept that promise. I don't want to overload on posting, but I felt I had to say something.

Oh. My. G-g-g-goodness.

Someone pleeeeaaaaaase get me these.

That is all.

I'm A Writer... I Guess

I never actually thought of myself as a writer until very recently. I've always been an avid reader, and from time to time I would wonder what it'd be like to be the one who actually created works that interested others as much as it interested me. A few months ago, I heard a quote from one of my favorite writers, Orson Scott Card that stirred me into action. Basically, Card stated his belief that writers are stirred into action for one of two reason: they are either inspired by good writing and wish to emulate what they've read, or they read something so terrible they feel that if writing as poor as that can get published, why can't theirs? I fall into the former category. I love reading, and the good writing I've read inspired me to the point of venturing out on my own. That brings me to my current existence where it seems i've become a writer of sorts.

What is a writer? In it's simplest form I guess a writer is someone who (skillfully or not) breaks down a situation or condition and summarizes it into a few (or many) words on a page. A writer can reduce a situation to something quite rudimentary, extrapolate it into a different situation, or even magnify it into something it is or is not. For this reason writing is one of, if not, the most powerful tools in the known world. The clichéd saying: "the pen is mightier than the sword" was created for a reason.

That is not to say all writing is powerful. It's simply a tool for whatever the writer wishes to use it. While some writing has inspired and spurred nations of people, other's writing has earned them Fs in an English class. Even bad writing has the power to make a person fail, depending on the circumstance in which it is deployed.

So why do I write? It's simple: because I want to. I am very frequently bored, and writing the extraneous thoughts tumbling around my brain helps the useful ones flourish by expunging those that have no use. I have found that the more I write, the more I actually enjoy writing. If I had read these words a year ago I would have dismissed them as a fallacy and demanded recompence for obvious libel. However, here I am, typing away; I'm a changed man. It would seem that I've become a writer. Whether or not I become a good writer is anyone's guess.

Hello, I'm A Mac

Windows' most recent "I'm A PC" ad campaign is designed to directly combat the long-running, often-comical Mac commercials featuring Justin Long (Accepted, Dodgeball). In the Mac commercials, PC is portrayed as a nerdy, clueless tweed-wearers in comparison to the cool, laid back Mac with everything under control (a lá Alltel's Chad vs. the other phone companies' nerd herd).

In Windows' commercials, PCs are shown to run the gamut from nerds to businessmen to cool musicians like Pharrell Williams of N.E.R.D (pictured holding gold Apple iPhone). When Pharrell showed up, it made me laugh. Pharrell is a PC! I'm pretty sure I'd be a PC as well if I was tossed thousands of dollars and free computers in order to advertise the product. However, since I'm balling on a budget, I had to buy the best available product with the funds allocated. That was a Mac.

Up until last year I hated the smug Mac users who bragged about their computer's superior functionality, cool packaging and immunity to the viruses which plague nearly all PC users. And then I got a MacBook. I fell in love. After the two or three hour adjustment period, I was skating around Leopard like I had been using a Mac all my life. I never wanted to go back to a PC again. I found myself suppressing snide remarks when others complained about "computer problems" and couldn't help but throw in a comment about my Mac from time to time. I had become a Mac person.

I'm not being paid by Mac to use their product. I definitely wasn't being paid by PC to use theirs. But I will give praise where praise is indeed due. While PCs are admittedly a bit more versatile (due to most illegal programs being made for their use), I am fully immersed in the Mac world. I may visit PCland from time to time to check on the little people, but anything more than a day or two and I'll get homesick.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Trump Card They Can't Play

Barack Obama has one. Sarah Palin has one. The problem is, neither one of them can use it. I'm talking about their "cards". Obama has the Race Card hanging out in his back pocket. Sarah Palin has the Sexism Card in her purse. However, neither one can use it because everyone is expecting them to and because of the fallout from such a manoeuvre.

The second Obama calls ANYONE out for anything racist, the presidential race changes (explicitly) from McCain vs. Obama to what many people perceive the race to be now: McCain vs. The Black Race. If Sarah "I shot the moose but I did not shoot Mike Vick's dogs" Palin alludes to any type of sexism, it's a Biden vs Women's Hope race. So what to do?

They just don't pull their cards out. They keep them close on hand so their aides, supporters and advocates can pull them out for them, but they simply don't use them. If Obama goes to Mississippi/Alabama (they're the same state mirrored) again and he's called the N-word, he's going to have to take it and keep rolling down the river. If Palin is called a hot mom and asked when the next PTA meeting is, she'll have to hop in the minivan and drive off without a response.

So who can use those cards? The same people that have been using them from the beginning. Those misinformed, ignorant, lazy, intelligent, brilliant, active people who have been using those cards like Paris Hilton on a trip to France. Basically, any individual person who feels inclined to use the cards can use them. Just not Obama and Palin.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Been a Long Time, I Shouldn't Have Left You...

All right, I'm back. I've been relatively blog-negligent the last few days because I've actually had work (crazy, huh?) to do. I've really enjoyed some of the more recent projects I've had, and I'm starting to get more of an idea of what I like, don't like, my strengths and my weaknesses.

I also haven't really had the downtime time to think of something interesting to write about during my work hours, and I tend to do other things in life when I head home. However, I pledge to try and write something every day this week (excluding the weekend). I'll let my brain run free and crazy to keep my tiny audience appeased.

Shout outs to the Son of Prince for his shortest post ever in his own little world. I'm going to stop here and let this be (probably?) my shortest post. Peace!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?

Yesterday I was reading some educational info online and came across an remarkably edifying statistic. 87% of Americans between the ages of 18-24 cannot find Iraq on a map, 83% can't find Afghanistan, and a staggering 99% can't find Carmen Sandiego anywhere.

Stunned by this information, I decided to test myself. I pulled up a blank map and located Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Stan the Man and I even found Toucan Sam in Brazil. I felt quite pleased with myself, and then I started to wonder: Is that stat pertaining to a blank map or a clearly labelled world map?

If someone can't find Iraq on a labelled world map, there's a serious problem with the US. I can understand not knowing the exact placement of smaller countries, but if you can't run your finger around the general vicinity you should probably be placed on a spit and slow roasted. Or at least your school's principal should be.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Facebook is Better Now

Facebook chat sucks. Let's be honest. Nearly everyone (and by that, I mean everyone, I just don't like to make broad generalizations) has been on Facebook chat and been signed off at a "key" moment in the conversation. However, for the most part, the new Facebook is brilliant. The introduction of a tabbed browsing system, compartmentalized profile areas and an overall cleaner look makes the whole website that much better.

There are those detractors (read: those who can't cope with that fact that it might be a little easier to find information if it doesn't take 45 seconds to load a page) who prefer the old Facebook system. In that system, a person's whole life's information is jammed onto one page that takes way too long to load. I, for one, prefer to be able to find information immediately under clearly labeled tabs rather than be forced to scroll through 20 pages worth of useless information and ridiculous applications. If I want to see what applications a person has, I will click the applications tab. Simple, huh?

I wrote this post mainly to air my frustrations with the people who complain incessantly about the new Facebook. If you really hate it that much, do what the people who really and truly dislike it did and find a way around it. In a quick Google search I found hundreds of ways to get back to the old Facebook. So stop complaining, stop inviting me to Facebook groups and just click your mouse three times while reciting: "there's no place like Myspace".

Monday, September 29, 2008

The Sky Is Falling

The world is coming to an end.
Or at least people act like it is. Apparently, right now is "the worst financial crisis since The Great Depression", there's no gas anywhere, and Mongolia, American Samoa and a small city in Russia are going to bomb us right after Afghanistan, Krygyzstan, Iran, Japan and every single other "an" you can think of do. Auntie Anne's pretzels might even be on the warpath.

Can everybody just chill out? One of the reasons we have no gas in Charlotte is because as soon as we DO get gas, hundreds of people camp out, start filling gas cans, pouring gas in their mouths to spit into cups, hollowing out a false leg for extra gas storage and generally acting the fool. Yes, the banks are all merging and it is the start of a new financial age. But everyone freaking out is not going to change one thing on Wall Street, downtown Charlotte or anywhere important in finance.

However, with these freakouts, people start losing faith in regular stock, putting their money in oil, and then guess what? Gas prices go up again! No way... Cause has an effect??

My advice? Relax. Sit down. Take the bus to work if possible, drive if you have to, then come home, read the Bible, enjoy your family and friends and stop being so stressed. Who is freaking out going to help?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Warfare Pt. III

This is the third edition of my series waging imaginary war against very real, very tangible and defenseless creatures. Disclaimer: as stated in the previous posts, no animals were harmed in the writing of this post. Unless your cuddly animal, cat or 5-year-old decides to bump into me when I'm in a bad mood, they're probably safe.

Today's war will be waged against bunny rabbits. Yes, bunny rabbits. The sweet, vegetable-munching, beta-carotene ODers over which every animal activist and pretty girl seems to go ballistic. I am taking the torch from the Save Toby pioneers and carrying it myself for no fee. To pull all my thoughts together, I'm talking about kicking the fluff out of cute, cuddly bunny rabbits on a regular basis. Here's a sample scenario:

A few days ago I decided to enjoy a half-day in the forest during the weekend in order to enjoy nature and have a healthy snack while taking in the pleasant sensual bombardment that is the great outdoors. I spread a beautiful blanket sewn from Siamese cat fur in a clearing and decided to lie on my back and enjoy the sunshine that danced through the dense forest growth. As the light played about my features, I happened to catch a glimpse of a small, plump rabbit quietly observing me from the verdant undergrowth nearby.

I reached into my bag, pulling out a fresh bag of carrots I keep on hand for times such as this. Beckoning slowly to the little animal, I gently placed a carrot two yards away from my person and stepped back to give the Bugs Bunny look-a-like his space. Boldly, the tiny mammal raced up to the carrot and began to attack it with aplomb. Within the space of 60 seconds, the vegetable was gone, and the rabbit surreptitiously burped (an action I previously understood to be mainly a human feature). Wanting to test my limits without scaring the little creature, I dropped another carrot even closer to my feline-pelt domain and without pause, the rabbit seized it, devouring it even quicker than the first.

The greedy little lagomorph gazed up at me without fear, a pious look plastering its features. My heart was moved by the beauty of the situation, so my next step was clear. I stood upright, holding a carrot out at arms length, urging the rabbit to jump. I prepared myself, muscles loose but at the ready, and whistled for the creature to make his move. Suddenly, the bunny leaped, jaws outstretched for the waiting carrot and WHAM! I connected solidy with the rabbit's pliable ribcage. He flew squealing through the air, the perfect contact of my sublime side volley propelling him at air speeds previously unknown to rabbitkind. The rabbit's rapid trajectory was halted suddenly by the appearance of a massive oak tree, at which time, by all accounts, his life was extinguished immediately.

Satisfied by my forest excursion, I momentarily celebrated my mammalian "goal", packed up my things and returned to city life where I await my next foray into the woods in search of defenseless victims.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Footwear Update

I haven't talked about my kicks in a while, so I feel the need to update the 2.5 people that read my blog on my footwear situation. As I mentioned in my "Limited Is My Favorite Edition" post, limited is... my favorite edition. It can't be stated enough that I am a sucker for shoes that are stylish, have bright colors and come in short supply. Over the past few weeks I added three pairs of shoes to my wardrobe that do indeed fit all three qualifications. I've mentioned the red patent Supra Skytop NS pair that I got on my birthday, but the two most recent additions have yet to grace the pages of this humble blog.

As I mentioned before, I bought a pair of green camouflage Skytops a while ago. However, it turns out that they are too small for me, and I had to return them. When I went to return them, I was pleasantly surprised to arrive just as my favorite shoe store (whose name I will not mention to prevent biters and hypebeasts from knowing where I get my stuff) received a shipment of the new Supra "Teal Snake" Vaiders. Seeing them in person, I loved the color and styling, and decided to exchange them for my old camo Skytops.

A couple weeks later, I went by the store on my lunch break because I was bored, and happened to notice that the Supra Skytop Silver NS had received a significant price drop. I went back to work and consulted my brother, my parents, Sho and eBay on whether or not I should purchase them. After talking to my family and friend, I left the final decision up to eBay. I checked the prices of the shoes (which of course are limited edition, and won't be made anymore), and was shocked and awed at the astronomical fee for which they were selling online. My decision made, I shot straight to the store after work and purchased my newest pair of shoes.

As of this moment, I am placing myself on an enforced purchase hiatus. I'll be stacking chips and purchasing only necessities for a while. Hopefully no limited edition or extra fresh shoes come out in the next few weeks...

Not Another One

Ah, Signor Secco. For those of you who don't know/remember, my dislike of Juventus' Sporting Director Alessio Secco is well-chronicled. It would appear that he's now at his old ignorant ways again. Apparently dissatisfied with his previous brilliant purchases (see: Tiago, Boumsong, Sergio Almirón), Mr. Secco has decided to delve into the transfer market again for the January transfer window. reported earlier that Juventus plans to swoop for Bosnian/(possibly) German/Serbian/American central defender Neven Subotic from Dortmund and French striker Frederic Nimani of Monaco in the upcoming transfer window. The question that rings painfully in my mind is "Why Nimani?"

I wholeheartedly agree with the pursuit of Subotic, a strong, skilled young defender who seems set to have a very bright future. Subotic addresses the gap at centre back, he would slot well into the first team without much fuss, and he addresses the gap at centre back. The repetition of that phrase wasn't a mistake, I just feel the need to emphasize that Subotic's prospective purchase is out of necessity and is one that would benefit the side.

However, in my opinion, the interest in Frederic Nimani is unneeded, given the talent already at the disposal of the Bianconeri. Earlier in the summer, Juventus' purchase of Amauri was met with some opposition, given the presence of target strikers David Trezeguet and Vincenzo Iaquinta already in the team. In addition to the presence of forward Alessandro Del Piero and the return of Sebastian Giovinco as well as the younger prospects such as David Lanzafame coming back into the squad in the future, Amauri was seen as a surplus. However, Amauri has slotted well into the team, and acquitted himself brilliantly thus far. With Trezeguet's recent injury leaving him out for around 4 months, Juve currently has 4 healthy strikers on their books.

In my mind, Trezeguet's injury could be a blessing in disguise for Juventus. Giovinco has long begged for a chance to showcase his talents in the first team, and the absence of Trezeguet gives he and Amauri more of a chance to play. However, if Nimani is brought in, I believe it will not only hinder Giovinco's development, but may block Lanzafame's and/or other youngsters' re-entry into the team. Secco already has driven out Michele Paolucci and Antonio Nocerino, young players who were seen to have a bright future, and I fear this could be only the beginning.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Start Tinkering

Juventus' managerial figurehead, the silver-crowned Claudio Ranieri, is known as "The Tinkerman" in the footballing world. This moniker was bestowed upon him because of his overwhelming propensity for changing lineups, formations and tactics on a regular basis in the many teams of which he has been caretaker.

In my opinion, constant change in a squad makes it very difficult for the team to gel and form a cohesive unit on the pitch. For the most part, I do believe Ranieri has done a good job with his rotation policy at Juventus, especially with the resources at his disposal. However, there is one glaring omission from the Juve rotation. My favorite miniscule maestro: Sebastian Giovinco.

After recalling Giovinco from loan at Empoli, my hopes (like most other Juve fans) were sky-high that Giovinco would be given a run in the first team in order to aid his development and showcase his talents to the world for the Juventus cause. Instead, Bianconeri supporters have been left wondering why our pocket dynamo rots on the bench, even as 36-year-old Pavel Nedved struggles through 3 games in 7 days.

As games pass and Giovinco remains on the bench, speculation increases about his frustrations and ongoing contract negotiations. The ever-present threat of Arsene Wenger and Arsenal poaching our brightest talent seems more realistic by the day. Something must be done, and the tiny talent must be given a chance in the Juve first team.

Let him play!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Really Spain?

Spain has been a notoriously racially intolerant country for centuries. From the expulsion of the Moors from Central Iberia in 1212 to the expulsion of Jews from Spain in 1492, there are many instances of Spanish racism and general intolerance of different cultures. In the modern era, it would appear their viewpoint hasn't changed much.

Earlier today I read an article about rising Anti-Jewish and Anti-Muslim sentiment in Europe. Unsurprisingly, "positive views toward Jews outweighed negative ones in every European country surveyed but Spain." A whopping 46% of Spaniards held negative views toward Jews, compared to 36% of Polish and 34% of Russians.

I'm not surprised. Over the last few years, a few racial incidents have sprung up that give backbone to the statistics presented. Most recently, the Spanish Olympic basketball team was photographed before the Olympic Games in Beijing with their hands to their eyes, pulling the skin back in order to mimic the epicanthic fold that occurs widely in people of Central and Asian descent. Understandably, the Chinese response was less than favorable. Even before this incident, racist action out of Spain has reached the forefront of world news. Time after time, Black soccer players in Spain have had monkey sounds directed at them, had bananas thrown in their directions, been victims of racially derogatory comments and more. Even the Euro 2008-winning Spanish national team coach, Luis Aragonés was caught on tape in 2005, calling the French-Guadaloupian Thierry Henry "that black s**t".

The extent that racism is accepted in Spain is evident in the punishment imposed upon Aragonés after his off-color remark. Initially, the Spanish federation refused to discipline "El Viejo" (The Old Man), but after being urged to do so by Spain's anti-violence commission, decided to fine him a paltry 3000 Euros. This sum, the equivalent of around a day's wages for Aragonés, is a laughable punishment for such a racially insensitive remark coming from such a high-profile person.

Unless attitudes towards racism in Spain change, I wouldn't be surprised to see the percentage of negative views towards minorities go up in the next poll. It hasn't changed much in 9 centuries, who's to say it will start now?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Rogue Tech

This morning at around 3 AM I awoke to the sounds of what surely was a robot sent back in time from 1984 to murk me in my sleep. I jumped out startled out of my wits, looking around frantically to pinpoint the origin of the attack in order to properly make my defense. In my excitement I nearly fell out of the bed flat onto my face. I was unable to find the death-dealing android, but I did find the source of the terrifying noise.

Inexplicably, my printer was churning through some unbidden process as if it were 9 AM and I needed to make 20 copies of an important email. No paper came out, but the little monster made it seem that real work was being done.

This is not the first time my printer has started working on it's own. It's actions have lead me to believe that it has become self-aware and is working toward a mass technological agenda. First they disrupt our sleep, rendering us useless during the day. Then they get us while we're surrounded by tech-mology at work, sleepy and unable to defend ourselves. Finally, we'll be raised as live batteries for their new technology world. I vaguely remember part of that storyline from some movie called The Matrix, but I don't think anyone will notice.

BE WARNED!!! If your printer or any other piece of technology begins to act up in the next few days, be on your guard. Don't say I didn't warn you.