Showing 1 - 7 of 7 posts found matching: owens

In 1977, my father took me to see Star Wars after he had already seen it once. He loved it and wanted me to love it too. I don't remember anything about that experience. I was only 2. However, we did have a VCR — it was huge with faux wood paneling — and I would watch the movie over and over and over again in the years following. We also recorded and rewatched the infamous Holiday Special.

In 1981, my father took me to see Empire Strikes Back in a theater after it had been playing a few weeks. I can't tell you exactly where. All I remember was that it had red walls in the lobby. Though at the time I was disappointed by the cliffhanger ending, I wasn't disappointed enough not to love all the cool new toys. Not long afterwards, my brother accidentally decapitated my original black-vested Han Solo figure, and my parents replaced him with a Han in Hoth gear. What a downgrade. (I retaliated by running over Trey's sensorscope R2-D2 with my bicycle.)

In 1983, my friend Greg Owens saw Return of the Jedi before I did. He complained the movie had too many purple-lipped talking dogs in it. Their catchphrase, Greg said, was "Eat your momma." When I finally saw it (again with my family, again theater unknown though probably in Stone Mountain, GA), his review was borne out. By Christmas, I had all the available Ewok action figures and a Wicket doll.

In 1999, I saw The Phantom Menace at the new Hollywood 24 theater in Atlanta with friends. The movie was fine enough — in fact I think I continue to like it more than many — but I was disappointed by how many people I spoke to seemed to love it for what they put into it, not what it was. Darth Maul, like Boba Fett before him, particularly irked me. Fans decided he was cool because he looked cool. Their love was for a thing they had created in their heads, not a character that had appeared on screen. This realization that fans loved the franchise not for what it was but for what they wanted it to be was the beginning of the end of my love affair with Star Wars. I have a hard time associating with people who worship style over substance.

In 2002, I watched Attack of the Clones at the United Artists Scottsdale Pavilions theater in Arizona with my brother. We both agreed the movie was terrible. Bad acting, worse writing. Between the forced romance and that CGI Artoo video game sequence, this film is almost unwatchable. I distinctly remember saying that the only reason anyone should pay money to see such a thing was to get out of the desert sun.

In 2005, I have no memory of watching Revenge of the Sith. My friend Keith has told me he remembers my laughter at the final reveal of Darth Vader, so I assume I watched it in Atlanta, presumably back at the Hollywood 24. It was awful. How could any so-called fans of the older Star Wars films still love this franchise after old Ben Kenobi was revealed as the kind of man who turned his back on his friends and his responsibilities, "master" Yoda was an isolationist failure, or Vader himself was a tantrum-throwing idiot? Weren't these supposed to be kids movies? Yuck! If this was the Star Wars Universe, I wanted no more part of it.

In 2015, I watched The Force Awakens at some theater on the north side of Atlanta with reserved seating in recliners that kept my feet from touching the ground. I didn't want to see it, but I'd made the mistake of saying I'd watch it if they found a way to bring Han Solo back. They did. I watched. I found it an insulting exercise in nostalgia. (Hey, guys, let's forget all that prequel nonsense. Remember what you liked about Star Wars? Here it is again!) It's now the highest grossing film of all time.

In 2016, I watched Rogue One at Regal Cinemas 11 in Panama City, Florida. It was my father's birthday present. It was a bad present. The movie was yet another excuse for brand reinforcement, a short story intended to fill gaps in the original Star Wars backstory with stereotypical yet well-costumed characters that would make good action figures.

In 2017, Disney released The Last Jedi. A new one already? As if I wasn't burnt out enough. I hear it's different. I hear this one will change everything I've ever thought about Star Wars. I feel like I've heard that before. Maybe I'll see it one day when it comes on television. Maybe. I'm not in any hurry anymore.

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Vacation Day 4: Charleston and Beaufort, SC

By day 4, Brian and I had visited almost everything we knew we wanted to see in Charleston, so we were looking for things a little off the more beaten paths. We decided to start the day by paying a visit to the only thing in Charleston that had lived through the American Revolution.

Not pictured here: its crutches

They estimate at the Angel Oak may be 400 years old. It looks it.

The thing that I wanted to do next was visit Magnolia Cemetery. Newnan's Oak Hill Cemetery is older, but Magnolia is much, much larger and, though I hate to say it, it's also much, much prettier. (What's with naming cemeteries after trees, anyway?)

Grave of C.S.A. Major Henry Edward Young, Assistant Adjutant General to Robert E. Lee

Magnolia is adjacent to a complex of cemeteries, including St. Lawrence and the Lutheran's Bethany Cemetery filled with tombstones inscribed in German. The area is full of many stunning tributes to the dead.

Grave of Thomas Alford Coffin

Monument to Edward and Laura McDowell

Mausoleum of William Smith, the rightest man in Charleston

Grave of William McLean

Crypt of James Schoolbred Gibbes, founder of the Charleston museum of art

Monument to C.S.A. Brigadier General Micah J. Jenkins

Graves of the daughters of Charles Cotesworth Pinckney

Grave of Benjamin Issac Simmons

Naturally, being a cemetery in Charleston, SC, it is chock full of monuments to dead Confederates. The men who died testing and running the world's first submarine to sink a ship, the H.L. Hunley, are all buried here (the ill-fated ship killed more Confederates than Yankees), as are many other C.S.A. officers, soldiers, and officials. There's even a monument to all the Germans who fought for the South.

As you can see, there are many spectacular monuments here, I couldn't stop snapping pictures. I took nearly 200. (Thank you digital camera technology!) Brian gave up trying to follow me and sat in his car playing with his smart phone. I tell you, kids today! Who'd rather look at digital pixels than fine statuary like these?

Grave of Eliza Barnwell Heyward

Grave of 3-year-old Annie Ker Aiken

This cemetery is so big, there are even duplicate monuments. All three of these angels (watching over Patrick Darcy, Ellen Turner, and Micheal Shanahan respectively) are the same statue!

In a cemetery this size, the statuary is only part of the pleasure. There are a nearly endless variety of entertaining monuments. For example, C.S.A. Captain John C. Mitchell, who died during the Yankee siege of Fort Sumter in 1864, has his last words: "I willingly give my life for South Carolina. Oh! That I could have died for Ireland!" The tombstone for Corporal Allan Jackson explains that he survived being shot at the Battle of Fredericksburg only to die of Typhoid Fever in Richmond. And don't forget such great names as Harry Brotherhood and Dr. B.A. Muckenfuss. But my favorite tombstone of all:

Grave of Leonard Talbert Owens: Be Careful!

After Brian finally dragged me from the cemeteries, we headed into downtown Charleston to visit the Charleston City Hall. Originally built as the Charleston branch of the Bank of the United States, it now houses the mayor's office and an absolutely stunning council chamber containing several original commissions of famous southerners like George Washington, Andrew Jackson, and John C. Calhoun. (Flash photography was prohibited, but I'm sure no pictures could do it justice.)

Looking for one more thing to see before turning in for the night, we drove an hour to Beaufort, SC. We got there just as the sun was setting, and barely had enough time to photograph the Hunting Island Lighthouse before they closed the park gates.

Turn out the light, the party's over

Given how little light there was, I think this picture came out really well.

One more day to document. More to come.

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Did I mention that I no longer have Charter cable? They decided to go "all digital," which for them was just an excuse to require us to pay an additional rental fee (minimum charge: $8) for new set-top boxes for every television we wanted to use. So the CRT television in my room became a large paperweight overnight.

I couldn't stand having no TV in my room while I code, so I bought a new one just for Chromecasting. All I needed was something small with an HDMI input. Sigmac may not be a name brand, but the price was right. I'm happy with everything about the television except for one thing: the picture on the box.

I'm sure this is a licensed image (he said sarcastically).

Maybe I watch too much football, but that is clearly Terrell Owens (#81) stiff-arming Ray Lewis (#52). Given that T.O. was only a hero for the Eagles for one season, this picture must have been created in 2004/2005. (T.O. destroyed his own career with the help of super-agent Drew Rosenhaus the following year.) Maybe I play too many video games, but that makes it obvious that this must have been a promotional image for the ESPN NFL 2K5 video game (which used Terrell Owens as its cover model).

Ray Lewis will stab whoever took this picture.

If you look closely at the box, you might notice that Sigmac has erased the "ESPN," "Riddell," and NFL team names, but they didn't really do anything about the "Sega" logo, the "Wilson" logo on the ball, or the NFL shield on the jerseys. Did anyone approve the use of this image? If skipping out on licensing fees is what kept the price so low, I guess won't tell anyone.

(Footnote: 2005 was the last year that Sega produced its NFL 2K5 game. The game was a huge hit, both critically and financially. Some say that Sega cancelled the franchise because competitor Electronic Arts signed an exclusive contract for naming rights with the NFL, but most of us know that the real reason was Terrell Owens' appearance on the game's cover. So in one season, Terrell Owens managed to scuttle his own career, the Eagles chances of returning to the Super Bowl, and an entire video game franchise. That's an impressive hat trick.)

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Prior to this post, I have used 628 distinct keywords here on wriphe.com. That seems like way too many, until I realize that I've been blogging for nearly 9 years. That's almost 70 unique keywords a year! I didn't know that I had that much to say. (I suspect that several of you reading this plan to tell me that you already knew that I talk too much. Well, fuck you.)

Of those keywords, 392 have been used exactly once. Those include some words that I'll eventually use again, like "bizarro," "owens," and "posts I could probably get sued for" and some words that I probably won't, like "fushigi," "pat boone," and "superman returns totally sucks."

I could just tell you what the top 10 keywords used by wriphe.com are, but isn't it more fun to guess? Just type your answers into the box below, and click submit to see if you're right. Capitalization doesn't count, but spelling does. I'll give you one hint: "poodles" didn't make the list.

1. (110) ________
2. (100) ________
3. (85) ________
4. (73) ________
5. (67) ________
6. (tied, 62) ________
6. (tied, 62) ________
6. (tied, 62) ________
9. (59) ________
10. (54) ________

Now I'll just tag this blog entry with the unique keyword "keywords," just so that when I revisit this topic in 2020, you'll be sure to see something new.

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This season, Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Terrell Owens is calling himself "Batman" and his new pal Chad Ochocinco "Robin." Owens gave himself this moniker during an interview earlier this year, fully expecting Ochocinco to willingly accept the role of Robin. Word to the wise, people: no one who thinks that they could be Batman will ever settle for the role of sidekick. (In fact, according to ESPN.com, Ochocinco flatly refused to dress as Robin for the Cincinnati Enquirer 2010 football supplement, forcing the editors to try a secondary approach and get the two to pose beside a Chuck Barris batmobile.) This can't end well.

Last week, before the Bengals lost their season opener in a blowout loss to New England, USA Today reported that the Dynamic Duo have taken to nicknaming their quarterback, Carson Palmer, "Alfred," as in Bruce Wayne's butler. That's a little demeaning, isn't it? This won't end well.

And yes, I know that Batman and Football Month is already half over and this is the first post to mention Batman. (And it still combines him with football!) What can I say? 2010 has been a bad year for Batman fans. At least the year is mostly over. All's well that ends.

Footnote: Over on the NFL.com fantasy blogs, Adam Rank wrote, "remember that one episode of Batman when Robin saved the Caped Crusader? Yeah, me neither." I'm not going to get into disproving the fallacy of that statement because I think it makes my point pretty well. Better get used to second-string status, Ochocinco. You're now at the mercy of people who think Batman is cool but have never read a comic book. I'm sure that somewhere someone is already making "Batman and Robin are gay" jokes at your expense. How well can you take that in the end?

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Following my last post which revealed that the rainbow ends in disappointment, I present the two inevitabilities in life: death and poodles.

The grim reaper is a lot furrier than most people would suspect. (Though the dog breath is no surprise.)

July looks very jaunty in this image, no? I think perhaps I need to start taking pictures of July in front of other bleak subjects and see if she can't liven them up a bit. House fires and auto accidents, here we come.

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You know that I'm a fan of the Miami Dolphins. I have been since I first took an interest in the game of football back in the late 1980s. My favorite wide receiver of all time is a relative unknown named Orande Gadsden who played only 4 years exclusively for the Dolphins (and who, by the way, was the last man to catch a pass in the NFL by Dan Marino). I can tell you every quarterback who has started for the team since Marino retired. (Hmm, let's see; there's Huard, Fiedler, Griese, Lucas, Rosenfels, Feeley, Frerotte, Culpepper, Harrington, and now Lemon. Get ready, Packers fans, it will be worse than you think, trust me.) And we've been slightly above mediocre for most of that time. Hell, we've only had 4 losing seasons since joining the NFL! But if there's one aspect of the game that we've totally failed to grasp in the past two decades, it's coaching.

When current owner Wayne Huizenga bought the team in the early 90s, Don Shula was our coach. Shula was, in all regards, a great coach, one of the best in history. However, when Shula decided to retire 10 years ago, Huizenga chose to go with a proven wash-out at couch, replaced Shula with Jimmy Johnson, a Floridian who had great success with the Dallas Cowboys. Expectations were high. I thought we'd be great again, perhaps even Super Bowl bound. But the team went nowhere. This was likely because of a conflict between Marino, our aging superstar who naturally preferred the passing game, and Johnson, who would have preferred to restart the team from scratch with a focus on the run. In any event, after 3 years of exhausting turmoil, both Johnson and Marino were out.

In comes Dave Wannstedt, Johnson's protege who is fresh off several mediocre seasons with the Bears. Again I had high hopes. Wannstedt looked pretty good at times with the Bears, getting by with a team with less-than-stellar talent. Turns out that the talent problems were probably Wannstedt's fault. In Miami, he always looked lost, like a babysitter who doesn't know what to do when the tweens he's supervising get into the coffee ice cream and start bouncing off the walls. Wannstedt championed an ivy league quarterback with extremely limited passing skills, and he brought in Ricky Williams, who was the player voted "Most Likely To Destroy His Own Team" before the rise of Terrell Owens. We tanked. Wannstedt was fired in the middle of his fourth season, less than a year after receiving a contract extension from Huizenga as a reward for consistent under-performance.

Shut up, Dan.

Though I pulled for Wannstedt's temporary replacement, Jim Bates, to be the new coach, no one listened to me. Wannstedt's players had come together for Jim Bates, winning out at the end of the season. Instead of rewarding Bates, Huizenga traded competency for a "name" coach, LSU's head coach Nick Saban. Like a fool, I jumped on the bandwagon and agreed that he'd take us to the heights of the NFL again. But like Wannstedt, Saban soon proved that he couldn't control professional athletes or evaluate talent. Sure, he ditched Fiedler, but he replaced him with Culpepper. (True story: at Dan Marino's Hall of Fame induction ceremony, my brother and I noticed that Culpepper's numbers were comparable to some of the all-time greats. I remember my brother commenting that someone was going to look at those numbers and mistakenly think that he was actually good. Apparently, that someone was Nick Saban.) At least Saban fooled more than just me. He tricked professional sportswriters into thinking we'd reach the Super Bowl in 2007. Instead we had a 6-10 record, the third worst in the AFC. And then, like a kick in the crotch after a punch in the gut, Saban jumped ship earlier this week to head back to the relative safety (and economic goldmine) of college coaching.

Now it's back to the drawing board to select a new coach. I've lost my faith. I'd hope that Huizenga could find someone qualified, but I know now that he's just going to grab a big name. In fact, I heard today that he's already planning to interview other washed-out ex-NFL coaches, including Dom Capers (a confused mess who couldn't manage a winning season in 5 years with the Houston Texans), Mike Mularkey (purportedly an "offensive genius," though he couldn't settle a quarterback controversy between the clueless J.P. Losman and mediocre Kelly Holcolmb for two years with the Buffalo Bills), Chan Gailey (an Dallas Cowboys head coach who fled criticism to Georgia Tech, where he can't get his students to play a complete 4 quarters or manage a game clock), and Jim Mora, Jr. (known to Atlanta Falcons' fans as "the man who ruined Michael Vick," he's every bit as bad as his father but without the entertaining press conferences).

So now the Dolphins have 2 or 3 more rebuilding years ahead, where the sputtering offense will have an ineffective overhaul as the aging defense falls apart under it's own weight. I'm starting to understand how Raiders fans feel.

Comments (0) | Leave a Comment | Tags: coaches dan marino daunte culpepper dave wannstedt dolphins don shula football jim bates jimmy johnson nfl nick saban orande gadsden rant ricky williams the greatest quarterback ever to play the game of football trivia wayne huizenga

To be continued...

 

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