Peter Staack's Ramblings, Survival Stuff, And Testimonials
Below are the 10 most recent journal entries recorded in the "Peter Staack" journal:
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Long Time Wrestling Fan - What I'm Watching Now|
I'm a long-time fan of pro wrestling, including puroresu (プロレス) and lucha libre. As a kid, I watched wrestling all the time on TV, and would hit live shows when I could - including AWA, WWF, WCW, and local shows around the Midwest. My mom worked as a personal assistant for several of the biggest Japanese puroresu pioneers, and I've always been big into trading tapes with other fans. Heck, I've even been slapped in the face by Antonio Inoki, when I was 7 or 8. Mexican lucha libre had always been a little harder to come by, for me, as a kid. For a while, I could occasionally catch an hour of CMLL on the local Spanish-language station, but it was often months old and never consistent. Eventually, I started finding more folks with tapes, and then WCW started adding more luchadores to it's roster. Today, thanks to various internet video sites, I can keep reasonably up-to-date on all the various wrestling programs.
I've always had mixed feelings with WWF/WWE, as they rarely promote the guys I'm most interested in watching, with rare exception. Sure, every so often a guy like Eddie Guerrero, Booker T, Rey Mysterio Jr., Chris Jericho, or Edge would find a way to break ahead of the pack - but it always seemed like the exception. I'm a little more optimistic these days, as I think they've got some great potential in Cody Rhodes, Dolph Ziggler, Sheamus, Drew McIntyre, Miz, R Truth, Alberto Del Rio, CM Punk, and other guys who might not have had a shot years ago. TNA is largely unwatchable, especially compared to the programs they used to put on. I feel like I'm watching the final painful years of WCW all over again, as TNA overbooks their shows and undermines all their top talent in favor of guys well past their prime. As such, I find myself watching a lot more international wrestling and smaller indy shows. Personally, I think the best shows are either women's wrestling and lucha libre. SHIMMER Women Athletes
never seems to disappoint. They have pretty much THE ultimate roster of female wrestling talent, in any of the markets I watch, including Madison Eagles, Cheerleader Melissa, Ayako Hamada, Mercedes Martinez, Sara Del Rey, MsChif, Serena Deeb, Daizee Haze, Nikki Roxx and hosts more (who might also be doing double-duty in TNA or overseas). I don't get to see them live as often as I would like, but I get their DVDs all the time, and I've never felt like I didn't get the bargain of the year. They have A++ match after A++ match, the likes of which I used to only see in compilation tapes spanning years. Their storytelling is very good, as well, considering their format and lack of a weekly program. I'm not going to pretend I don't think many of the talent are super-hot, but that's just the icing on the cake. If SHIMMER were to get a TV program, they have tremendous potential to blow away everyone's preconceptions of what women's wrestling - even pro wrestling as a whole - can be.
When it comes to lucha libre, CMLL
are the biggest shows available to me. I'm a long-time viewer of CMLL, but I find that AAA has the overall-better matches. Fortunately, I can catch AAA Sin Límite on TV every weekend, and most of their shows are on YouTube as well. I still watch CMLL, but just not as often, since most of my favorite stars are AAA (many were part of the Los Perros del Mal invasion).
Dr. Wagner Jr., Silver Cain, L.A. Park, Lizmark Jr., Octagon, Último Gladiador, Konnan, Electroshock, Chessman, Heavy Metal, El Zorro, Cibernético, El Mesías, Charly Manson, Damian 666, Halloween, Aero Star, Extreme Tiger, and so many more. And then there are the minis, and then there are the exoticos, and then there are the luchadoras... I simply don't have enough room to list all of my favorite stars in AAA, right now.
It's a toss-up as to whether I like SHIMMER or AAA more, right now. Really, I could truthfully answer either one, at different points during the day, for any of a number of reasons. WWE Smackdown usually comes in at my #3 spot, but lately it's been in jeopardy since the 2nd season of Lucha Libre USA: Masked Warriors
started airing. It's still a pretty tiny roster, but they've managed to snag some pretty awesome talent. It's booked like a giant cartoon, and is totally entertaining if you don't take it too seriously. El Oriental (one of my all-time favorites as a kid), Tinieblas Jr., Lizmark Jr., Charly Malice (Charly Manson), Pequeño Halloween, Octagoncito 1 and Mascarita Dorada help give some lucha libre credibility, and the rest of their roster - including many young future-stars and veterans - manage to put on entertaining shows, week after week. ROH is ROH... I've previously gone into great length about what I like about Ring of Honor, so it'll have to suffice to say they're still very entertaining, and still among my top favorite programs. I don't get to see CHIKARA and Dragon Gate USA all too frequently, but they've never failed to entertain me.
Time permitting, I'd really love to watch a lot more. I also enjoy watching some of the dwarf wrestling leagues, since they've gained some mainstream exposure on TV. Half Pint Brawlers
and Micro Championship Wrestling
are both very entertaining, and have good upside potential. On a personal level, I have a lot of friends who are little people
and I've been involved in the Little People of America (LPA)
for years, so I'm definitely rooting for these shows as they kick their way into the mainstream wrestling media.
It's not all good news, as far as wrestling goes, these days. WWE RAW is very random, sometimes putting on good shows, and sometimes putting me to sleep - literally. Averaged out, over the year, I'd say RAW has generally been a little more entertaining than not in 2011. However, it's close... Really, if it weren't for CM Punk, The Miz, R Truth and Alberto Del Rio, I would have simply stopped watching RAW all-together. Just like how I've pretty much stopped watching TNA. I'll still catch some of the weekly reviews, but these days I just can't stay awake past the first 40 minutes. It's definitely not the worst program I've watched. Heck, it's often no worse than most RAWs. But, when you consider how deep their talent roster runs, and how good their programming used to be, it makes the current program so hard to watch. As I stated before, it's like watching the agonizing death of WCW, all over again. I sincerely hope TNA either rights the ship, or dies mercifully, as quickly as possible.
Writer's Block: Crime pays|
Do you think that criminals should be able to profit from selling their memoirs, after serving jail time?
How else are they supposed to pay damages to the victims, and/or victims' families?
Tags: writer's block
Writer's Block: Play it again, e-reader|
Which book do you find yourself regularly rereading, and why?
I'm always digging around first aid books, backwoods medical journals, herbal medicine journals, and wilderness living books. They're a wealth of information, which are still very relevant in modern metropolitan lives. I have both digital and print copies of Carla Emery's The Encyclopedia of Country Living
, which I tend to read more than any other book. However, of all media, I dip into the archives of Backwoods Home Magazine
the most. Most of the knowledge in these books, make for great contingency plans, when things go wrong or something important needs to get done. That why I'm usually the go-to guy
, in any group.
Tags: writer's block
Writer's Block: On the menu|
What is the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten? Was it any good?
is relative. By United States standards, I'd say insects are the most unconventional things I've eaten. In many other countries, in certain regions, insects are a big part of peoples' diets. They're a good source of nutrients, are easy to farm or capture with limited resources, and can be pretty tasty if prepared right. Crickets were probably my favorite, and made a nice accent to other dishes as they tended to absorb the flavor of anything you cooked it in. For the squeamish, it's easy to mix chopped crickets into just about anything, and you wouldn't likely even know they were there. By metropolitan standards, squirrel, brown rat (farm raised), and guinea pig are also "weird"
... but tasty!
Tags: writer's block
Writer's Block: A novel idea|
Which book would you want to see turned into a videogame?
Judy Blume's Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing
, and Double Fudge
... That way I can beat the friggin discipline into that hyperactive little bastard, which his liberal douchebag parents refused to instill in him. Yea, even as a kid, I hated that animal-killing abusive brat, Fudge
. Even his nickname irritated me. For many years, I felt he was a strong candidate to grow into being a serial killer, and imagined Peter having to eventually hunt him down and kill him after Fudge framed him for his murders. Perhaps I read a few too many mysteries and thrillers as a kid, but still - to this day - I think Fudge would grow up to be a terrible human being.
BTW, someone made a cute little NES/Famicom-style game of Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby
which you can play for free
Tags: writer's block
Don't Waste Your Time Spamming My LiveJournal|
Heya, FYI... I get instant notification when someone posts on my LiveJournal, so I pretty much delete spam within minutes of getting it.
I also report spammed links to Web-Of-Trust, Spamhaus, OpenDNS, Norton Antivirus, and the host ISP of the site. I'm crazy like that.
Writer's Block: It's cold outside|
I live in Minnesota, so it's funny to hear people in places like California complaining about the cold. What temperature is too cold for you?
With proper gear, I can survive pretty well anywhere in North America, between the 35th northern parallel and the 55th northern parallel, in winter. Well, except some of the oceanic Alaskan and Newfoundland islands or mountain tops. I'd have to invest in more-expensive polar gear if I want to survive in anything below -20°F / -29°C or very wet or windy conditions. Most of my best winter gear is rated only only as low as -10°F / -23°C, individually. But layered, I've gone ice fishing in -18°F / -28°C, with just a small pop-up tent shelter and a coffee can wood burning stove. I've been wanting genuine Inuit or Yupik reindeer or sealskin kamiit, which are good at even -30°F / -34°C, but they've been too costly and I don't have any plans on venturing that far north any time soon. If I get more free time, I hope to try some solo mushing (at most I've only gone tandem mushing or skijoring with one or two dogs), at which time I might start investing in better winter gear.
Tags: writer's block
Starting To Enjoy Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds|
I initially enjoyed Marvel vs. Capcom 2
when it came out in the arcades and again on Dreamcast... But I always felt it was terribly broken and unbalanced, to the point that with almost 60 characters, you only stood a chance of surviving with 5 or 6 of them. If someone in MVC2
picked Cable, Magneto and Iron Man - just walk away. Unless you love flashing colored lights, you're just not going to enjoy yourself. And it was these clowns that pretty much turned me offa MVC2
a few weeks after it came out.
When Marvel vs. Capcom 3
was announced, near 10 years after the second, I was cautiously optimistic. Street Fighter IV
and then Super Street Fighter IV
were spectacular - blowing away my expectations (even if I never got beyond an amateur ranking). As more and more reports starting coming out about how well balanced
and less spammy
the game was, I became more interested - but still a little skeptical. My roommate and her viking picked up MVC3
on PS3 just the other day, and I've had about 3 ~ 4 hours to play it... and it turns out, I'm pretty happy with it!
Since I've changed my career from game design to marketing & IT, I've become less and less an ardent gamer. I just don't have the time or the willingness to devote countless hours to perfecting gameplay technique. But I managed to get into MVC3
pretty easily, since it takes much of the basic principles of the latest refined fighting games and the arcade originals, while making sure to balance out the characters so no one character or team totally dominates the game. I've managed to play with roughly 2/3rd the roster in training mode, and I've gotten used to several teams in arcade mode. While it's sure to change, I seem to enjoy having one character I'm comfortable with do a lot of the work from medium to close range and build up the special bar (C. Viper and Felicia), one character that's decent up close and also fills up the bar quickly (Ryu, Dante & Morrigan), and one longer-range character with specials that land pretty easily that's also good at launching opponents (Iron Man, Cap and Taskmaster). I'll continue experimenting with teams and tag attacks, and I'm hoping to become better with at least one or two more characters (I'm warming up to X-23, Spidey, and Morrigan) and different styles of characters (I wanna try out Doom, Haggar, Tron Bonne, Super Skrull, and Amaterasu). One of the only consistent things I have noticed about my play style - I tag a LOT. Since I'm still not particularly good, this has been saving my butt, as my team members end up regenerating a lot of energy.
I have no real intention to become that good at MVC3
, but it's cool that I'm enjoying it and that I at least stand a modest chance in a match. It seems Capcom probably spent most of their development time in balancing out the characters, which makes sense if they hope to capture more than just the arcade expert market. My impression of MVC2
started high, and steadily went downhill, because of how slanted it was (the hairy 70's porno music didn't help). With MVC3
, it's been the opposite... My expectations started low-to-moderate, but my opinion of it keeps going up the more I play it. I'm glad I have another fighting game that I can enjoy, even if I don't devote my entire life to learning how to exploit it.
Tags: video games
Food & Water Storage - Uline Food Grade Buckets, Liners & Lids.|
My regular supplier of 5 gallon FDA & USDA food grade BPA-free HDPE storage buckets has moved out of Illinois, after Pat Quinn was re-elected (he made planes even before Quinn announced huge tax hikes). Smart move, but it left me looking for another local supplier, and drawing a blank. No stores and shops had any, as their suppliers were taking them back. One supplier had buckets, but they were all dyed, and I didn't want to risk ruining food in the event that the dye causes some kind of reaction. ULINE
has been my trusted supplier of shipping and warehousing materials for years, and has 90 mil. 5-gallon FDA/USDA food grade buckets at reasonable prices
, and since I couldn't find a walk-in supplier, they were the cheapest supplier to have the buckets shipped from. Since they ship from Waukegan, IL, it's not too expensive for me. Mileage will vary for others.
I ordered a bunch of buckets and lids (I already had Mylar/boPET storage bags) for a pretty good price. A little more than what I used to pay my local supplier, but there's the added convenience of not having pick them up myself. They're good buckets and lids - very solid, ribbed where needed, good handles, the SBR rubber gaskets look and feel fresh, they sealed up nice and tight, and they stack perfectly (previously, I'd get odd lots of varying quality, and would rarely stack up well due to varying bottom diameters or lid indentations). They came in nice and clean, with no dust, grime, and only very faint smell of plastic. A great thing about ULINE is that they move so much product, nothing ever seems to sit around very long in their warehouses.
I sealed up some fresh water, and some food, without any problems. Each of the lids went on with a satisfying popping feel, and sealed up airtight (I did a light-pressure dry ice
test on one). I sat all of the water buckets on their side, for a few minutes each, without any leaks. The handles held up quite well, which is nice since each full bucket of water is around 43 lbs., and I need all the the help I can get when carrying them down stairs and into storage. And I was pleased that, since they're a matching lot, they stacked up nicely. I might eventually invest in a few Gamma Seal screw-on lids
, in the future.
Since water is vital for survival, and many modern conveniences, I always like to have plenty on hand for drinking and hygiene. While it's rare for utilities to be down, where I live, it's always good to be prepared. To store drinking water in FDA buckets, thoroughly wash the buckets clean, and them fill 'em up to about an inch from the top. Add about 3/8 to 1/2 of a teaspoon of unscented chlorine bleach, depending on the quality of your tap water (where I live, I only need 3/8th of a teaspoon to achieve 3ppm of chlorine), to keep dangerous microbes from growing in the water.
Food should always be packed in a bag first, before put into a bucket. To help keep it fresh, I pack it in, shake it up so it settles, I usually add a desiccant packet, and then place a little dry ice on top so the CO2 will fill up the bucket and displace all any oxygen. Packing this way helps keep the food fresh, reduces any plastic taste from leaching into the food, and helps eliminate pests from destroying your food. Excellent foods to store are rice
. When packed right, they'll stay fresh for years - maybe even decades. They're both very easy to prepare, as is, and are very nutritious. Rice is a good source of energy-providing carbohydrates, protein, fiber, are often enriched with other nutrients, and is filling. It can be ground up into a useful flour, and is easily seasoned. Lentils are even more jam-packed with protein, carbs, and nutrients - and can also be ground up for other uses. They're still pretty affordable in large quantities, so they're great foods to store away in case you ever need 'em. Even when there isn't an emergency, most people's diets would really benefit from rice and lentils. If you have pets, don't forget to store some dry and canned food for them, as well.
When municipal utilities stop running, a bucket with some liner bags can become a good makeshift toilet. Pine sawdust, shavings or pellets improve sanitation, and is the basis of most mulching toilets. There are also chemical additives for camp toilets you can use. They sell toilet seats that snap right onto a 5-gallon bucket
. Remember, poop still happens when "poop happens."
Tags: business, food, survival, testimonial
Writer's Block: What is the best new TV series of 2010?|
What is the best new TV series of 2010?
I've gotta say I'm mighty impressed with Fox's Human Target
. I only barely remember Christopher Chance from DC comics, because of a crossover with Batman. It's a great concept, and the writers, cast and editors execute it well. It has a fun and adventurous vibe to it, reminding me of a hybrid of Knight Rider, Burn Notice, Mission: Impossible, and a touch of MacGyver.
Synopsis: The series follows the life of San Francisco-based Christopher Chance (Mark Valley), a unique private contractor, bodyguard and security expert hired to protect his clients. Rather than taking on the target's identity himself (as in the comic book version), he protects his clients by completely integrating himself into their lives, to become a "human target". Chance is accompanied by his business partner Winston (Chi McBride) and hired gun Guerrero (Jackie Earle Haley). Former client Ilsa Pucci (Indira Varma) becomes Chance's benefactor, while experienced thief Ames (Janet Montgomery) joins the team to seek redemption. Chance puts himself on the line to find the truth behind the mission. Even his own business partner Winston doesn't know what drove him towards this life.
I was shocked that it received a 2nd season, as Fox is the king of prematurely killing good projects before they can hit their stride. I'm crossing my fingers it maintains viewership, doesn't fall victim to another regime change at Fox, and has a long run.
Tags: writer's block
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