Archive for July, 2007

Jul 30
Cruisin’ Posted by Matt

Monday
KG and I are currently sitting in the cafeteria of the Sun Princess on voyage to Ketchikan, Alaska. We are taking the “inside passage” cruise from Seattle, up through Puget Sound, along coastal Canada and finally into Alaska. We will be visiting Juneau, Ketchikan, and Skagway, Alaska and then finally making a stop in Victoria, British Columbia on our way back. Our trip started with us getting dropped off at Lambert air port, a short flight to Minneapolis, and then a long flight from there to Seattle. Minnesota is aptly named the land of a thousand lakes. Flying in to the city we saw literally hundreds of small lakes. KG was impressed that they had Proactiv acne medicine in vending machines at the airport. I guess the Minnesotans must have serious skin issues, I’ll have to ask Justin about that later. Finally after a long trip we arrived in Seattle and checked into the Embassy suites. This was one of the nicest places I have stayed, and thanks to my Aunt we were able to stay for free. The place was actually a little too nice and we decided against eating in the hotel restaurant. Wearing our “just married” t-shirts we walked down to Wendy’s for a late dinner. Sunday morning we had an amazing free breakfast at the Embassy suites, caught a ride to the docks and boarded our cruise ship. Today is also my 30th birthday; unfortunately I’m not getting any phone reception, so I don’t think I’ll be receiving any Happy Birthday wishes.

Tuesday
We have arrived in Ketchikan this morning. We made our way through the “historic” shopping district, known as Creek Street, and to my delight found a nice little Cybercafe. For $6 an hour I can check my mail, and visit all my favorite websites. Ketchikan is a really neat city, if you can block out all the cruise ships towering over you from behind, the small town charm is very apparent. I keep humming the theme song from Northern Exposure as we walk up and down the sidewalks. The stores range from authentic looking survival stores, discount jewelry chains, and of course the occasional tourist trap. While wandering around the city KG found a great little coffee shop on the edge of the pier. We had bagels and coffee while we checked out their selection of locally brewed coffee. I was instantly drawn to the packaging of the Ravens Brew brand. The art just jumped out at me and after talking to the barista, we found out that the art was by a local Ketchikany named Ray Troll. I ended up buying a t-shirt for Dead Man’s Reach. Later we found a calendar feating Ray’s artwork and we snagged that up as well.

Wednesday
Today the ship was cruising through Tracy’s Arm, a huge fjord carved about by glaciers about 500 years ago. The ship navigated through a very narrow area with tiny icebergs floating on all sides of us, it was pretty dang cool. Later in the day we docked in Juneau, Alaska. We signed up for a Whale watching excursion on Auke Bay. The trip out there was pretty cool, we were aboard a 40-person catamaran that had a real smooth ride. We got free hot chocolate and cookies, which really made KG happy, and smoked salmon on crackers which really made me happy. It didn’t take us long to see our first whale surface, and the crowd roared every time it would do a deep-dive slapping its tail against the surface of the bay. After we left the location of the first whale it took us a bit to find any more. After searching around for an hour we were finally able to locate a small pod of three humpback whales (including a calf), and we spent quite a while watching them swim around and deep-dive. It was pretty neat seeing these huge mammals gliding across the bay. When we got back to Juneau we checked out the famous Red Dog saloon. It’s famous for keeping its Old-West style as apparent by the sawdust on the floor, the double swinging doors on the entrance, the trophy animal heads littering the walls, and Wyatt Earp’s revolver hanging above the bar. The place was a little too expensive for our taste (and too meaty for KG) so we decided to eat back on the ship where it’s free!

Thursday
Today we visited the final Alaskan stop on our cruise - Skagway, Alaska. Skagway is a small frontier town made famous during the gold rush of the late 1800s, and which featured old western looking storefronts surrounded by picturesque snow-covered mountains. There were several neat local-owned stores featuring native artwork, carvings, and jewelry, intermixed with your typical touristy places. For lunch I had a bowl of chili Skagway style, a sweeter blend of sauce and meat over spaghetti noodles.

Saturday
Late Saturday evening the ship stopped in Victoria, British Columbia. I instantly fell in love with the vibrant downtown district, crowded with shopping areas, historic hotels, government buildings, the harbor, and an eclectic mix of people. KG and I got dropped off at the beautiful ivy-covered Empress Hotel and just wandered around Victoria for a while. There were a ton of great stores and upscale bars and restaurants, and they even had a Quicksilver store. Kari had heard good things about Market Square so we decided to try and find it, and in the process we accidently stumbled upon the Victoria Electronic Music Festival. We found ourselves in the midst of a rave, full of young people, brightly colored hair, men in skirts, and wild make-up.

Check out all the pictures from the trip to Alaska.

Even more wedding pictures from professional photographer Kristi Foster

Oh yeah… this has got me more than a little pumped. UFC 75 is only a month away!

The new SciFi series Flash Gordon debuts tonight (Friday). Its a reinterpretation of the comic from the 1930’s. In 1980, popularity of Flash Gordon was greatly increased by a cheesy movie featuring Max von Sydow as Ming the Merciless and original theme song by Queen. Flaaaaaaaaash aaaaaaaah aaaaaaaaaah! After watching the original trailer its pretty interesting to see how they used to promote movies and how far special effects improved.

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Jul 23
Got hitched! Posted by Matt

On July 21st I got married to the sweetest girl and most beautiful in the world, Kari Guttman. The ceremony was absolutely perfect, and everything went according to plan. I took lots of pictures with even more to come. You can see the ones from my camera here.

On Friday night after the rehearsal dinner, several of my guy friends came by for an impromptu bachelor party. We went to the Brunswick Zone to bowl a few lanes, and then went back to my place to try out my new Nintendo Wii. I had put the Wii on my Target gift registry simply as a joke, not thinking I’d be lucky enough to actually get it, but the guys came through and now my apartment is even geekier! Special thanks to Joe, Dylan, Aaron, Chris, Steve, Nick, Nate, and Butch for making my video game dreams come true.

My dad showing off his dance moves:

If you like suspenseful space thrillers, then this is the movie for you! Sunshine is the latest work of Trainspotting director Peter Boyle. The crew of the Icarus II are on a mission to re-ignite the Sun after its found to be slowly on the decline. As in any good Sci-Fi suspense movie, not all goes as plan. Boyle brings back Cilian Murphy who played the lead in his zombie epic 28 Days Later.

I’m really in love with Wikipedia. Its like the ultimate source of knowledge on just random topics, a modern day Library of Alexander. I spent most of the morning on Monday reading about the career of “The Nature Boy” Rick Flair. The guy has had a long storied career and could possibly be the greatest professional wrestler of all time.

The big movie next summer will be Marvel’s Iron Man. Swinger’s director John Favreau is at the helm and he has cast Robert Downey Jr. (who is perfect) as Tony Stark. Here is one of the first images of the new Tony Stark. I can’t wait this could be awesome.

In a place where night can last for over a month, the last thing you want to run into is a Vampire. Thats premise behind the 30 Days of Night, the new film based on the graphic novel of the same name. It looks to be a pretty intense movie that might not be suitable for all audiences. This movie looks to take a more psychological approach to the vampire genre, using the environment to help build intrigue as opposed to John Carpenter movies which are just mindless vampire killing.

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Jul 11
E-Three Posted by Matt

Everyone in the video gaming industry is warming up the dog and pony in preparation for the biggest gaming news conference in the world. The frenzied aftermath that follows E3 dominates message boards, news sites, and gaming mags for months after. Microsoft had their press conference last night. No major bombshells from M$, other than the announcement of Resident Evil 5, instead Microsoft decided to focus on games that were coming out this holiday season. With a list that includes Assassin’s Creed, Halo 3, Grand Theft Auto IV, Guitar Hero 3, Rock Band, Bioshock, Blue Dragon, and Project Gotham Racing 4, there is no shortage of things to look forward to.

Other than Guitar Hero and Rock Band which I am desperate to play, the other game that really sticks out in my mind is Assassin’s Creed. After watching the demo for this game last night on G4, I openly wept by the sheer awesomeness of thsi game. Check out the gameplay video from last night’s Microsoft Press Conference featuring Assassin’s Creed.

The list of the top 10 most anticipated games of E3 by GameTrailers.com

\m/ Metallica will be a part of Rock Band. EA announced Metallica’s participation in the game as part of their mega E3 press conference. They also announced that they will feature downloadable content every single week after the game’s release. Now THAT is an ambition promise. As one posted on Joystiq proclaimed: “Exit GH. Enter Rock Bank.. …off to Never-never Land!”

Nintendo announced their new “power pad” today, the Wii Balance Board. Its a new accessory that will come bundled with a WiiFit an interactive aerobics program. The pad will also measure your BMI and other health statistics. Shown at the conference is an interactive soccer game. Nintendo also mentioned a dance game of some kind. Pretty slick.

Apple is releasing a limited edition Yellow iPod with every Beatles song preloaded. Now that is pretty dang cool. Definitely won’t be cheap!

Will it blend? Apprently the Apple iPhone will!

If you liked Napoleon Dynamite or are a fan of Flight of the Conchords then you might like Eagle vs Shark. Its an awkward romantic comedy featuring Jermaine Clement of the Conchords as a nerdy guy who’s trying to find the girl of his dreams and settle a vendetta. Tell him… Justice is waiting!

Speaking of the Conchords check out their Letterman performance from a month ago.

More exciting than any of that above crap, however, is the fact that I’m getting married in just a few days…July 21st!  I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with my wonderful KG!

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Jul 05
Autobots Rollout! Posted by Matt

I saw Transformers yesterday with my friend Billingsly. If you are reading this now and haven’t seen the movie, stop what you’re doing, grab your wallet/purse and RUN to the theater. This movie is so awesome that I would have to create a new language in order to write a review that would do this movie justice. I was a little nervous seeing this being a such huge fan, but this far exceeded my expectations. Growing up I had a a plethora of Transformer toys, proudly wore the T-shirt, and watched every single cartoon including the movie. Basically this live action version is a celebration of my childhood. Now if we can only get that GI Joe movie, Thundercats, and He-Man movie, I could die a happy person. I was so pumped after seeing the movie, that we loaded up the truck and went to Target to see what kind of Transformer toys they had. I ended up choosing Barricade, whats scarier than an evil police car than can transform into a killer robot?

While at Target yesterday looking for toys, Billingsly noticed they had four Nintendo Wiis in stock. This is a uncommon sight for most places, because of the low supply (Nintendo insists on shipping by sea), and high demand (they’re so much fun!). Nate had asked me earlier in the week to find him one, so after calling him on my cell, he had me grab one. Later we walked by the same cabinet that had previously housed four consoles, in the span of 10 minutes they were now down to one.

Killer Barricade wallpaper.

Joystiq has a HUGE hands-on preview of Rockband.  It includes the announcement we’ve all been waiting for: “They’ve added some rhythm functions to the microphone as well, and you basically whack your hand on the top of it to do things like shake a tambourine or in the song we played, play more cowbell. That’s right, the Blue Oyster Cult hit “Don’t Fear the Reaper” is in the game, and you can provide as much cowbell as you want.”  I need MORE cowbell RIGHT NOW! I cannot wait until November to play this game.

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Jul 03
Flight of the Conchords Posted by Matt

HBO has a new show called Flight of the Conchords, a musical comedy based on a New Zealand band of the same name. The show stars the band as themselves and blurs the lines of reality and scripted comedy. The show starts with the Conchords moving to New York to try increase their fan base. They use the term fan base literally since they currently only have one fan. Occasionally the band will break into musical numbers and bounce around musical genres from Hip-hop to folk to death metal, but all the songs are done tongue-in-cheek. If you look hard enough you can find a few episodes on You Tube. Here is a clip of one of their stand-up performances to help you get a feel for their work: Hiphopopotamus vs Rhymenoceros.

The UFC has another STACKED fight card this weekend. The match ups are so good that the UFC has actually labeled the event UFC 73: Stacked. The headlining bout features Tito Ortiz vs undefeated Rashad Evans. Tito also known as the Huntington Beach Bad Boy is one of the more colorful and exciting fighters in the sport. His interviews and pre-hype antics are more fitting pro-wrestling, but maybe thats why people seem to either really love him or really hate him. There is also two championship fights that seem to be very competitive on paper, but unfortunately don’t have quite the drama circulating around them that the Ortiz/Evans fight has been building. The event also features the UFC debut of one of the top 5 heavyweight fighters in the world Minatauro Nogueria. All this adds up to a great night of MMA. I can’t wait!

A classic moment from Return of the King is when Sam explains potatoes to Gollum. Whats taters, precious? Besides boiling, baking them, and putting them into stew, here are a few other great recipes for the world’s greatest starch.

The IFL has a new section on their website called Dear Don. Former Pride and UFC fighter Don Frye answers reader questions ranging from MMA to dating. Its a pretty funny read, especially if you have ever seen a Don Fry interview. Don may look like Tom Selleck’s retarded cousin, but he sounds like he gurgles gravel. When you factor in all of that and combine it with his no bull crap philosophy, it make for entertaining interviews. Don Frye on getting married (while he cleans an assault rifle).

Lets cut the bull, Soundwave is the coolest Transformer ever. The dude can turn into a freaking boom box, complete with casette tape that turns into a panther! Here’s a classic video of my favorite Transformer breaking out a funky dance.

More information surrounding the Chris Benoit case has come to light. The DEA has reported Benoit was actively receiving 10-month doses of anabolic steroids every 3-4 weeks. Benoit’s doctor is currently facing a seven indictments and could be looking a long time in the slammer.

I’m not sure if this footage is legit or not, but its claiming to be live footage of four people playing Rock Band.  I do know for sure that it is video footage of the game play, because it looks identical to the screen shots from latest Game Informer. If it IS real it looks incredible, but maybe a bit crowded around the TV.

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