Sunday, October 31, 2010

"Nolan Ryan - P"

"Proper pitching mechanics improve efficiency, thereby increasing power while decreasing arm strain.  Stride length is consistent and comfortable.  The knee on the pivot leg drops slightly to drive off the rubber.  The throwing elbow, at or above shoulder level, leads the arm.  The arm is relaxed to generate maximum speed.  The throwing hand continues down and through after release.  The pivot leg completes the motion by squaring to the batter." -Pinnacle, 1992*

For the World Series. 

I never watched much baseball growing up.  Thought it was boring.  Since the late 80s I concentrated on Magic & the Lakers, Cunningham & the Eagles and Boxing.  However, I loved to collect cards all of kinds.  From NBA Hoops, Donruss, Skybox, Topps, Upper Deck, Fleer, Score, the Conlon collection, NFL Pro Set, Wild Cards, the Classic College collection, etc. (even the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle trading cards I picked up at Goodtimes during the early 90s).  I kept up with all the players, football, baseball and basketball, often times visiting the local card shop to view the latest Beckett pricing guide.  Many names are embedded in my memory even til' this day.  Names like Wade Boggs, Ryan Sandberg, Lenny Dykstra, Dave Justice, Sandy Alomar, Jr., George Brett, Ozzie Guillen, etc.  I couldn't tell you much about their baseball careers, I just know I had some of their cards. 

As far as playing the game on the street, I use to love stickball.  Often times when summer broke out, a lot of us kids living in Cooperstown would gather up as many of us as we could and get a stickball game going.  Our neighborhood is made up of a bunch of streets and avenues named after hall of fame baseball players. Most of our games went down in the middle of Yogi Berra...the curbs were bases, we used a bat or stick/tennis or racquetball, and the gate surrounding my house was the outfield fence.  When my father was younger, him and his late twin brother were deep into baseball.  They grew up in the Tri-State area and would frequent the Connie Mac Stadium for Phillies games.  They both even had the chance to meet Willie Mays and got his autograph on a baseball glove.  A lot of memorabilia that my father and uncle collected, including trading cards, has since been lost.  Only an old New York Yankees photograph and an autographed baseball/photograph of the Philadelphia Phillies (1966) is what's left.

For some reason, I started watching baseball this year.  Caught the last SF/Phillies game and have been watching the Texas/SF World Series.  I learned that Nolan Ryan was president and co-owner of the Rangers when the camera zoomed in on him and his family.  Along with players like Cal Ripken, Jr., Roger Clemens, Kirby Puckett, Ricky Henderson, Frank Thomas, Ken Griffey, Jr., Bo Jackson... when I found a Nolan Ryan card, I kept it. 

The card above is one of my favorite of Nolan Ryan.

"El Paso and its sister city across the Rio Grande - Ju├írez, Mexico - form the world's largest border town, a valley of sinister warrens and glittering high-rises between two mountain ranges divided by a puny culvert called the Rio Grande.  The Great River.  From the slopes of Mt. Franklin or Mt. Cristo Rey, it doesn't look so great - it looks as though a child could hop it.  As an international boundary, the river is an absurd symbol, though a natural one:  it is the reason for this place, and what happened here.  You can wade it, and for that reason the 1.3 million who live in this poverty-stricken micro citystate have never identified with a common heritage or a negotiated one.  They make it up as they go.  They appear to go in slow motion, a mile a minute, night and day, creating a smoky delirium in which life is at the same time a bit more precious and a bit less.  Some blame a natural tranquilizing agent in the water supply, but others believe it is the attitude of isolation and neglect.  There is an almost comic book somnambulism in the people's indifference to the laws of two nations, and in their attitude to time and place.  But there is a chilling reality to this culture's fidelity to its own code."

-Gary Cartwright, Cinco Puntos Press

"1st Photo Shoot"

Scheduled for Monday, November 1, 2010.  Individual (5 by 7/wallet size/poster) and team shots (11 by 14).  Here is a picture of one of the Thundercats on defense.  Photo linked to the Flag Football gallery.  Shout out to DJ SA and Young B. 

Monday, October 25, 2010

Sony Retires the Cassette Walkman After 30 Years

"After retiring the floppy disk in March, Sony has halted the manufacture and distribution of another now-obsolete technology: the cassette Walkman, the first low-cost, portable music player."

"Bars (1 Pull-Up @ a Time)"


Thursday, October 21, 2010

"Marble Man vs. El Paso"

Contesting a parking citation.  Had 1 minute left and still got a ticket.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

"It's a Scrapbook"

"It's a scrapbook."

"Yeah.  I'm going to let you look at it, Lonnie," he said.  "I don't want you to say nothing to nobody about it, you understand?"

"I ain't mouthy," I said.  "You don't want nobody to know about your scrapbook, ain't nobody going to know."

"You're right about one thing," he said.  "It is scrap.  That's my life you got there in your hands.  Scraps.  Pieces of things stuck in an old book that nobody knows about."

I opened the book, and it was like one of those old black-and-white movies you see on television sometime.  The pictures were almost all cut from newspapers, and were turning yellow.  They were all about basketball games.

"This you?"  I asked.  "Spider Jones?"

(p. 57)

"Three (3) Photographs"

Got the chance to check out an exhibit @ UTEP.  Snapped several shots of specific sections in each of the photographs.  A photo of a photo.  In this image, there are three cameras involved.  The image is linked to the exhibit online.

"Sun Rises in the East"

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Saturday, October 09, 2010

"Banana Clip Instrumentals"

A classic collection of beats and cool memory of working radio and discovering new music every week.  Our station recieved a few Algorithm & Dave Ghetto vinyl/cds from Counter Flow Recordings.  The sounds create a clear picture of the time.  The Algorithm records were one of the most creative and dope I'd heard.  Volume 1 & 2?     

Friday, October 08, 2010

"1988 (12')"

Microphones to big screens.  Is Will Smith the most acclaimed rapper/actor?  I'd say yes.  The record above is this week's find.  When my father got back from his Army duties out  at the U.A.E. he brought back a ton of cassettes, several of DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

"NBA 2K11 Review"

Remember Double Dribble on NES? 5 on 5 and automated dunk scenes? Simple fun. When NBA Live (Sega Genesis) hit, I can’t remember thinking about expectations beyond that. I recall spending most game time on NBA Live and EA Sports Coach K College Basketball. Classics.

Consoles have changed quick ever since. From the Genesis to Sega Saturn (for me), then PS1, PS2, PS3 and if you Google… coming soon PS4. Each upgrade distributing its own impressive titles. Since the era of Sega Genesis, I stayed a fan of EA Sports with a disappointing exception every now and then.

Fast forward to October 2010, three years after picking up NBA Live (PS3) titles like clockwork. October 5th was the release date, with a new name, NBA Elite and the addition of a new NBA Jam. NBA Jam was the first basketball game I owned when I first bought a Genesis, inspired by Arcade time. October 5th though, I discover NBA Elite gets pushed back to spring 2011! Half way into the NBA season?! A clerk confirmed today that the shelf life is April. Crazy.

Expecting the worst, I figured I’d do some searches online and go with basketball’s next best. Google directed all traffic to NBA 2K11, with much hype. Some reviewers considered it the best b-ball game ever. And with Air Jordan on the cover the press is a match made in NBA hell.

My review of NBA 2K11 starts now. And I’ll keep it short. I couldn’t bother playing past the opening, a Chicago Bulls throwback. Afterwards I tried a versus option (Boston & L.A.) against my brother that lasted 2 quarters. The game play doesn’t hold an X button to Live ’10. Each and every player is awkwardly blocked, reminiscent of NBA Konami before Y2K. The controls slide players up the court and during zoom-ins most player expressions are lifeless zombie stares into multiple dynasty modes.

EA Sports, what happened?

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

"Soul Brothers"

With some musicians, I became a fan of their music by way of film.  As mentioned in a previous post for example, my discovery of Sam Cooke through the song "A Change is Gonna Come" in Malcolm X.  With the Isley Brothers, it was a scene from the Hughes Brothers film Menace II Society that started my Isley collection (prior to hearing the "Between the Sheets" sample for B.I.G.'s debut).  The scene where Caine confronts Chauncy for messing with his girl Ronnie played by Jada Pinkett Smith ("For the Love of You" playing in the background).  As I made my way through the Isley Brothers' catalogue over the years, I found certain songs that I was able to trace back to other scenes and Hip Hop samples that would inadvertently lead me towards what I would like most about their soulful sound.

Not too long ago I visited a Sams Store to purchase a few things and made my way to the photography counter to avoid the long lines.  As the clerk rang up my items, I could hear the Isley Brother's on the television behind me, a live version of "Who's that Lady" on Soul Train.  I asked, "...Is this on tv?"  Turned out, a DVD of 3 discs were being sold, stacked next to the big screen.  The DVDs included Soul Train performances from Marvin Gaye, Bill Withers, Aretha Franklin, The Jackson 5, Stevie Wonder, The Isley Brothers and many others.

I picked up a copy.