HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!

Posted by imelda sovzky on Friday, December 31, 2010

we are now officially in the new year(thats if you are on the east coast and reading this between 12:00-12:59am lol) so hope this is the best year yet and thanks for supporting us and i hope you keep reading in 2011
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Happy New Year 2011

Posted by imelda sovzky

Well, well, well, it's nearly 2011 and I figured I'd give my final post early for all you people who will get to New Year's hours ahead of me.  Can't believe we have come this far in less than six months, starting in July after that damn GameFAQs message board mishap.  We've talked about everything, from Daytona USA to OutRun 2.....from Split/Second to Hydro Thunder.....from Rock Band to CoD: Black Ops.....from GameFAQs to Midway....from Days of Thunder to Field of Dreams.....from Toshihiro Nagoshi to Segata Sanshiro.....from the New Orleans Saints to broken-ass basketball games.....from furries to Chicken McNuggets.  I swear this is the best blog known to mankind and your insight of God's green earth will increase ten-fold by reading this.

Now, about New Year's celebration...well, I don't really care too much.  It doesn't have that Christmas spirit.  Just another day it seems.  You pop some cheapo fireworks and stay up until midnight smelling of smoke.  You take a look back at the year and think "Wow, that was a long time."  Don't really understand how long a year is?  Look at it this way...Take a day of your life; you wake up, eat, do work, go to bed.  Now do that 364 more times.  That's a long-ass amount of time for just a year.  So a number changes on a calendar and we do all these ritualistic things for it.  Not because of some patriotic or religious significance, just because we can...

I really don't know what I'm getting at here, but I hope you at least accrue a sense of self-worth and go out there and do stuff.  Like if writing this blog has any positive effect on your life (albeit a small one), then I've done my job.

And for gratuitous self-promotion, here are the so-called Top 10 Articles I Wrote In 2010...in no particular order and in the end, I'll probably regret this list and will go back and edit it behind your backs so screw it:

1. Top 10 Nitpicks With Daytona USA 2001- Breaking down the game for the world (and Sega) to see.

2. Nagoshi-San and Osaki-San - Why Nagoshi is a bum and Osaki (of AM2) is the true mastermind behind Daytona.

3. Racing Is Scary - Why racing games should be taken more seriously beyond the level of Burnout and Split/Second.

4. Daytona USA Drama: Why I Like This Stuff - Me talking about the music and intangibles of Sega racers which move me this way.  An unofficial Part 2 to the "official" page I posted on the right: Why Sega Racing Games Are So Good.

5. Don't Get All Emo On Me - Longing for that new Daytona game and listening to Lynyrd Skynyrd.

6. The Gloves Are Coming Off - Ripping violent and depressing games a new one!

7. Adventures in FPSes - Winning And Losing - Part one of three of my FPS experience.  Deals with competition and pressure.  There are life lessons to be learned.  Also mentions the difference between an FPS and a violent game.

8. Adventures in Daytona USA - 2000 to 2005 - My beginnings as a Sega racer fan.  Part one of two articles (latter looking into the future).

9. NEW SEGA THEME SONG - Cause I thought it was hilarious and informative and you know it's true.

10. Top 10 Notoriously Bad Driving Games - Just for laughs, check out these terrible driving games.


11 (screw the rules, I can go over 10). Happy Thanksgiving And Dramatic Life Stuff - Close encounters with death and being thankful.

More terrific articles like this on my blog if you search hard and long enough (hint: click on the tags to the right).  Stay fly and have a safe 2011.  Here's to hoping for some REALLY good games this year.  Good night.
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I Hate Racing Games

Posted by imelda sovzky on Thursday, December 30, 2010

For December 30th only, Sonic games only 50% or more off!  Too late I guess

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Ok, well I haven't ripped anything for a while so let's go again.  I talked about Split/Second and Joystiq previously--well guess what, the site's back at it again with this long-winded fanciful narrative about how it's such a great game.  It's also #7 of their Top 10 favorite games of 2010.

http://www.joystiq.com/2010/12/30/best-games-2010-split-second/

Speaking of which, I also watched some YouTube footage of Burnout: Revenge a couple of days ago.  One clip among them stood out to me.  In this clip, a pristine white muscle car (a '69 Camaro or whatever) hit a ramp, flew hundreds of feet, and collided with oncoming traffic, smashing everything to bits.  A $100,000 car trashed in milliseconds as nearby traffic just sits there in awe, apparently.  Oh, and if that wasn't bad enough, a bomb goes off in the car, further decimating nearby traffic.  Honk honk, terrorist attack, drive away!  AND IF THAT WAS BAD ENOUGH, THEN A SECOND BOMB GOES OFF!  That's right, the car EXPLODES TWICE!

So this car's a bomb factory capable of laying waste to everything in its path!  This is Al Qaeda's favorite automobile!  The whole purpose of this mode is to see how much monetary damage you can deal to your environment (apparently, human life has no value seeing as you must've killed at least 20+ people).

You know what, if I wanted to play a game where I destroyed stuff, let's take it to the extreme, shall we?



You know, I'm gonna say this cause the Split/Second article above referred to cars as "attractively molded metal cages."  I'm sick and tired of cars being treated like meat.  Oh this goes WAY back to where I talked about the difference between cars taking damage and being outright demolished.  Like I know Daytona USA 2 is a violent racing game, but in the end, it's you and your baby from start to finish.  You take care of your car!  None of this phony baloney "Look at my instant replay wreck," crap.  This is just dumbing down the racing genre--as if the hyperactive action gamer who plays Halo or God of War needs something he can relate to.

My God, you have no idea how pissed off I get at this stuff.

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Oh, and I'm not done!  I'm back to kicking around Fast and the Furious again.  This is the Cruis'n game for the Wii.  Note that this isn't me talking.  Just speed up to 4:30 for the good part!  I don't know why he says the game is "okay" though, that was my least favorite part.



NEWS FLASH TO ALL ASPIRING GAME DEVELOPERS: If there is a noticeable hangup (i.e. freeze or suspended animation) between changing car colors or music, then odds are your game sucks.  Just look at the statistics--clunky interfaces and very long load times are signs of a BAD GAME.
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My 2011 Nascar Hopes

Posted by imelda sovzky

Actually Written By: Jess4JRNation

Yes, we've heard it a thousand times, Dale Jr didn't have a great year. He hasn't had a good year in a while. But as a proud fan of Jr Nation, I stand by him every year hoping that something good will happen. A win, a chance at the championship, cars that don't fight him all season long, the works. With that said, I'm trying to forget about the bad and yet again pray for the good. HMS helped ALL of Jr Nation with that when they changed crew chiefs and buildings for 3 of their 4 teams.

I'm very hopeful that with this change will come wins for Dale Jr and his #88 team as well as a chance to compete in the championship. His new crew chief has told fans of Jr Nation that he's been working hard with Dale to create a relationship with him that will carry into the 2011 season and I believe him. Besides, something has to give right?

So as I ring in the New Year with friends and family I will also be toasting to Dale Jr. and his entire #88 crew to a new year FULL of wins and championship contentions. Let's get it done in 2011.
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Daytona International Speedway :Joie Chitwood

Posted by imelda sovzky

Guest Column By Cathy Elliott


On the day Joie Chitwood III was born in Tampa, Fla., his father was not there. “My dad wasn’t at the hospital; he was driving a race car around Daytona International Speedway,” Chitwood says.
Like the famous sirens of seafaring lore, the call of the race track seems too powerful for the Chitwood family to resist. Joie’s grandfather was a Sprint Car champion who competed in the Indianapolis 500 seven times.
Perhaps a little closer to home for most of us, the senior Chitwood was also the originator of the aptly-named ‘Joie Chitwood Thrill Show,’ a stunt driving extravaganza that traversed the country for over 40 years, giving everyday Americans a taste of just how much fun watching cars could be.
In addition to being a racer himself, Chitwood’s dad, Joie Jr., continued to operate the Thrill Show after Joie Sr.’s retirement, and at the age of 5, Joie III joined the show and officially became part of the racing industry. Thirty-six years later, he’s still there – in August 2010, he was named president of Daytona International Speedway.
“I’m not sure this is ever where I thought I’d end up, but having been born and raised in Florida, having come here to Daytona when I was a teenager to watch the races, I think this job fits for me,” he says. “I get it. I think I understand the heritage and the history. I hope I can be a great caretaker for this property and do a good job. I’m excited every day that I get to come to work.”
While understanding the importance of the Daytona tradition, Chitwood also knows full well the necessity of having a clear vision for moving the track forward. As well he should – he took over his new position smack in the middle of DIS’ first repaving project in more than 30 years.
Construction and development are nothing new for Chitwood, who supervised the building of Chicagoland Speedway from farmland to its first checkered flag.
“I was named the vice president and general manager in April of 1999, the day before we closed on everything. It took us 22 months to build that property, and then I ran it for the first two seasons so I was intimately involved in everything related to Chicago. It was a heck of a learning experience for me,” he says.
That education was put to the test at Daytona, the most famous and revered speedway in the sport. The track’s new surface was probably the most closely-scrutinized asphalt in racing history. The process of pouring and smoothing it was even broadcast live on the Internet. In NASCAR terms, this is some seriously pivotal pavement.
“What we had to do at Daytona was fix something that was broken. There was no choice. We had a really tight window of opportunity to get it done, so there was no room for error,” Chitwood says. “At Chicago we had two years. We had time to make changes and enhancements and deal with issues, so the time stress wasn’t the same. You had room to operate. Here, I got named president, we were in the middle of the project, and a deadline is a deadline, so get it done.”
The project was done on time, but the work was not complete. The proof, you see, was in the pavement, and the final taste test, conducted by Goodyear in December, would determine whether or not the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers found the result pleasing to their competitive palates.
They did; the new surface proved to be fast and smooth, and everyone involved in the tire test predicted a barnburner of a Daytona 500 on Feb. 20.
The new track president, who had been holding his breath since summer, could finally breathe a sigh of relief.
“I cannot tell you how great it was to hear cars on the track. That sound, after four-and-a-half months, it was just like, ‘Yes.We did it,’” Chitwood says. “We still (had) to do GRAND-AM testing and motorcycle testing, but we passed the biggest hurdle. The biggest level of stress has left us. Now we just have to make sure all of the sanctioning bodies get their tire tests in so when they come back in the New Year they can put on a great show for the fans.
“That doesn’t mean we’re not still worried about things. But hearing those cars on the track put a big smile on my face.”
For speedway presidents, overcoming a particular obstacle offers only the briefest opportunity for celebration, because there is always a new challenge to take its place. The weather is unfailingly predictable in its unpredictability. Every hour of a race weekend throws you a curve ball, something you didn’t anticipate but must respond to quickly and correctly.
And in racing, there are no makeup dates. “That to me is always our biggest challenge – being on our game for our biggest day of the year, because we don’t get a do-over. The other ‘stick and ball sports’ have all those home games, so if you screw up an experience for someone, you can make it up to them by giving them tickets for the next game,” Chitwood says.
“That doesn’t work at Daytona. We work all year to make sure when we open our gates, we get this event right, every time. We have to be on our game all the time. We have to make sure we are doing a good job meeting our fans’ expectations, because I can’t wait 12 months to make it up to them. That’s our mantra; we have to make sure we do it right.”
Growing up as a stuntman in a family thrill show may seem an odd preparation for taking over the presidency of NASCAR’s landmark facility, but the two jobs are not so different when you really think about it.
As the Human Battering Ram, young Joie laid on the hood of a car, was driven at high speed toward a fiery wall, and would bust through the boards with his helmet.
As the Aerial Wing Walker, he stood on the side of a car while his dad drove it on two wheels. To prepare for the stunt, he says, he would practice climbing in and out of the window while the car was propped up on blocks, with his grandfather rocking it back and forth to simulate movement.
During one such practice, while young Joie was balanced on top of the car, his grandfather pushed it over on all four wheels, and he was thrown off. “I got up and looked at the chief – that’s what we called him – and said, ‘Hey, Chief, what’s going on with this?’ And he said, ‘You’ve got to learn that, too.”
These early stunt moves -- the willingness to attack a wall until you break through, to survive a trial by fire, to get back up after being knocked down, to find the right balance, and perhaps to be just a little bit hard-headed – gave Chitwood an invaluable start on important life lessons which would ultimately serve him very well.
Being in the motorsports business is not easy. Schedules are not typical so-called ‘business hours,’ because when other people’s entertainment is your job, it requires a lot of work. The caretakers of a venue as legendary as Daytona International Speedway must combine equal parts education, effort and enthusiasm in order to give fans the ultimate racing experience.
Fortunately, Joie Chitwood III not only understands his guests’ love of the sport; he shares it.
“I think it was safer risking my life as a stuntman as what I’m doing now,” he laughs, “but at the end of the day I’m so happy to be where I am. I get to be involved with a special sporting event, a sport people are so passionate about. Absolutely, I am a fan. I think if you would have told me 20 years ago that this was the opportunity I would have, I would have said you were crazy, and that you would have had better odds buying a lottery ticket. But here I am.
“I count myself lucky every day.”





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Stewart Haas Racing: Season Review

Posted by imelda sovzky on Wednesday, December 29, 2010

(please not this article is ALL in my opinion)

From bad to good and back to bad. Both Ryan Newman and Tony Stewart had an alright season but the first year SHR was better than 2010. One problem I saw during the 2010 season was that the pit crew performance was not steady they would have 12.4 second stops one race and then next race there would be problem after problem after problem.

One good thing that i was hoping for this year was for Ryan Newman to win at least one race. That race was won at Phoenix in the spring. In 2009 he came close to winning at Talladega and a few other races.

Stewart is usually known to get wins more in the summer than any other time of the season. But he only won two races compared to his five last year. Stewart could have had a third win but what many people say was "Darian Grubb's" fault for not calling Stewart in to get a splash of fuel resulted in Clint Bower winning the race at New Hampshire.

Ryan Newman was always on the bubble with making the chase which didn't happen. Stewart on the other hand was alright but it seems like after his loss at New Hampshire it just put a stop to things on the #14 team. They still had alright finishes but nothing really came through for Stewart in the cahse.

In my opinion Ryan Newman's team has to do a way better job in every part of the team. From pit stops to car setup they all need improvement. Sometimes I ask myself if Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman switched teams would they perform the same or would Ryan do better with the #14 team and Tony wouldn't  do as good with the #39 team. There is always room for improvement and the whole SHR organization could use improvement.
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"Daytona" Toy Cars And Indy 500 Micro Machines PICS

Posted by imelda sovzky

I was trying out my new camera so I decided to snap some normal shots of some cars I have.  Click to enlarge them.

These regular Hot Wheels-sized cars look like stock cars from Daytona USA...I bought them from Dollar Tree a very, very long time ago...  I actually like the way they look despite not being official NASCAR merchandise.  They look similar to the Hornet in that they resemble old '80-'90's stock cars.  I have them on my desk.  Too bad there's no P6 pink car (purple instead), but you get a silver car as a bonus.


YOU'RE LOOKIN' GOOD!!

And this is the 1996 Indianapolis 500 Starting Grid Micro Machine set I got recently.  I have yet to open it, but I probably will.  Don't really care about collector's items and whatnot...not like it was worth that much in the first place ($55 in the original package).  I may show some more pics of my Micro Machines collection later.


TIME BOWNUS!!

Yes, that's one of my broken RB2 guitars as well as my RB3 keyboard right there, oh yeah.
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Can Letarte lead Dale Jr. back to Victory Lane?

Posted by imelda sovzky

Actually Written By: cruetten

Dale Earnhardt Jr., NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver for eight straight years, hasn’t been to victory lane since Michigan in June of 2008. Why? Some say Jr lacks talent. No talent? Jr. has 18 career victories and has made the Chase three times—that’s talent, folks. Others say Jr. lacks a crew chief that will listen to him and give him what he needs in a racecar. As a fan, I’m inclined to believe the latter.

Earnhardt Jr. finished the 2010 NASCAR season in a dismal 21st place. Throughout the year, and despite reports of “progress” between Jr. and his crew chief, Lance McGrew, it was obvious that the two just weren’t working well together. Why weren’t they working well together? In my opinion, McGrew never really believed in Jr., and McGrew always seemed to think that whatever was going wrong on the track was Jr.’s fault—NEVER the fault of his car. Instead of trying to listen to Jr., McGrew was focused only on doing things his own way. That kind of communication, or lack thereof, never works in any kind of setting; and I’m still astonished that Jr didn’t finish worse in the standings.

In November of this year, it was announced that Lance McGrew would be moving to the #5 team; and Steve Letarte, Jeff Gordon’s crew chief, was named the new crew chief for Jr.’s #88. I’m not the biggest Jeff Gordon fan, so I really didn’t know too much about Letarte. I did know that he and Jeff Gordon were successful together and Gordon always spoke highly of Letarte during interviews. Can Letarte lead Dale Jr. back to victory lane in 2011? I think so. Letarte, unlike McGrew, believes in Jr., and Letarte has already taken steps to build a relationship with Jr. to foster the lines of communication—something Jr. has lacked in a crew chief for some time. Letarte appears ready to give Jr. anything and everything to make the team successful again. While McGrew always seemed to be worried about negative comments from Jr. and others, Letarte has said that NASCAR is a “big boy” sport and communication is a waste of time if people are worried about their feelings.

We’re zero races in and still a couple of months away from Daytona, but I already believe that the #88 team will be one of the teams to beat in 2011.
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My Thoughts On Kasey Kahne In 2011

Posted by imelda sovzky on Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Kasey Kahne left RPM with only five races left in the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series after one bad race at Charlotte RPM released Kahne and Kahne decided to hook up with Red Bull for the final races in 2010 replacing Reed Sorenson(part time driver for Brian Vickers since Vickers got blood clots and couldn't race till 2011)


Now the two red bull cars are the #4 driven by Kasey Kahne(took place of the #82) and the #83 of Brian Vickers. Kahne will only be at red bull for one season as he will go to HMS in 2010 to take place of veteran Mark Martin.


As Kasey Kahne and Brian Vickers get ready for the 2011 NASCAR season I am going to give you my thoughts on where I see Kasey Kahne in 2011.


(NOW MY OPINION I REPEAT MY OPINION ON WHERE I SEE KAHNE IN 2011)

In 2011 I think Kasey will do the same as he did with RPM(that's without all the equipment failures). He will get a good amount of top fives and a lot of top tens. I think he will at least win one race for Red Bull. Now I don't see him getting into the chase because many drivers will do better than him. If Kasey Kahne can prove he can win a race with red bull he will be able to prove he can do a great job at HMS in 2012 but I have to stick to 2011.
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2011 NASCAR Preseason Thunder At Daytona

Posted by imelda sovzky

2011 NASCAR Preseason Thunder At Daytona


* NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Teams To Test January 20-22 At Daytona International Speedway

* NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fest At Daytona Coincides On Jan. 21-22

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Oct. 9, 2010) – Daytona International Speedway’s three-day NASCAR Sprint Cup Series test, known as NASCAR Preseason Thunder, is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 20 through Saturday, Jan. 22. Sunday, Jan. 23 is the rain date.
The 2011 edition of NASCAR Preseason Thunder will help teams acclimate to the new pavement, plus speed their preparation for the 53rd Daytona 500 on Feb. 20 – the series’ traditional season-opener.
The repaving project – only the second in track history and first since 1978 – began immediately after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event on July 3.
"This allows everyone an equal opportunity to work on their setups and get everything in order leading up to Speedweeks and the running of the Daytona 500," said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president of competition. "Additionally, it gives the teams the chance to get accustomed to the new pit road and the added run-off areas on the backstretch. We’re excited about the new surface and believe it will only enhance the racing experience at Daytona."
All NASCAR Preseason Thunder sessions begin at 9 a.m. and end at 5 p.m., weather permitting. Each includes a lunch break from noon until 1 p.m.
Fans seeking to rev up their new year can do so at the NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fest at Daytona – the companion event to the January test. Along with watching NASCAR Preseason Thunder track activity from Daytona’s Sprint FANZONE, fans can enjoy two Fan Fest sessions – from 5-9 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 21 and from 5-7 p.m., on Saturday, Jan. 22.
Driver question-and-answer and autograph sessions are planned. Tickets for the NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fest are $20. Fans also can watch each day’s testing at no cost from a section of the Oldfield Grandstands.
"We’re looking forward to welcoming the stars of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series to our new racing surface in January," said Joie Chitwood, Daytona International Speedway president. "NASCAR Preseason Thunder will be an important test session for all teams as they acquire data from their first laps on the new asphalt at Daytona.
"The test is also going to serve as a great opportunity for fans to interact with their favorite drivers in advance of Speedweeks 2011 and the 53rd annual Daytona 500."
Teams from the NASCAR Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series are expected to receive extra practice time during Speedweeks to get acclimated to the track’s new surface.

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Stuff Devoid Of Substance (GFAQs, Nagoshi, NFL, Black Ops)

Posted by imelda sovzky

Hey, might as well say Happy Kwanzaa to you guys who celebrate it. 

Ok, today's not a good day for talking because I don't have a whole lot of Sega-related material here...  So this is me firing from the hip here.

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Quick, let's talk about the GameFAQs Best Game of the 00's Contest.  Well, guess what--my final score was 283 so I'm in the 97.5648% percentile, but I picked Final Fantasy X to win.  It was Zelda: Majora's Mask that won.  I tell you, if FFX beat Zelda: MM (lost by 200 votes too!!), I swore that it could've beaten Smash Bros: Brawl.  But I screwed up earlier with some of my "gusty" picks like Mario Kart Wii over Pokemon: Gold/Silver, Left 4 Dead over God of War, Grand Theft Auto 3 over Half-Life 2, and Metal Gear Sold 4 over both MGS3 and Shadows of the Colossus.

EDIT: Oh shazbot, I just realized if FFX had beaten Zelda: MM and Brawl, I would've had 379 points which would be 4th place in the current leaderboard!  Maybe higher or lower because the results would change to the FFX voters but WOW, how stupid is that.  I hate GameFAQs, I really do.

Blam this crap, the same junk keeps winning.  I think the worst team in the NFL has a better chance against the best team compared to any game against Final Fantasy/Zelda.  It's the SAME DAMN THING every year that I don't know why they keep doing it.  Only a wave of outside voters could change the norm and they would have to be in the 10,000s or more to do it.

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About the NFL, I didn't talk about it for a while.  Ok, so I'm a Saints fan and last week, they lost to the Ravens in Baltimore.  Fans were deflated but I didn't expect them to win that one from the beginning of the season.  Ravens are a tough team especially at home...the fact we hung in there was fine by me.

And then here's the Falcons.  A game with far greater implications.  So we won 17-14 in the Georgia Dome and secure a playoff spot.  Wow, between turnovers and penalties/bad officiating (don't try me), it felt kind of good.  If the Saints win (vs. Bucs) and the Falcons lose (vs. Panthers) then I assume we get #1 seed.  Probably not happening though since the Panthers are garbage.

Before the game, Roddy White (AKA "Mr. Pushoff") was posting Twitter messages trashing the Saints and New Orleans so it was good we won for that reason.  Although I hear the Saints were taking pics around the Falcons logo...as if they wanted to return the favor.  EDIT: At first, I thought they were rubbing it in, but it was rather harmless. Let the media blow it up, they dislike the Saints...

I also wish Reggie Bush would bust a big play because he's been a classy guy for his tenure in New Orleans, but he's been average thus far.  Kind of depressing.

Hey, at the end of the day, at least I'm not a Giants fan.  Man, that team has crashed to the ground recently...I'd be pissed if I were a fan too.

I don't know why I watch this sport anymore...between the manpower it takes to air a game where some millionaires throw a ball and hit each other...what are we doing here?

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And now for some random gaming news:

Harmonix is saved once again  - Declares independence from Viacom and assures fans it won't stop producing good DLC for Rock Band and Dance Central.  Bought by investment firm Columbus Nova.  YES!!

Hydro Thunder XBLA is only 400 MSP for one day - So if you read this in the next few hours, you can probably make it.  Too late?  Oops, my bad!

Soul Calibur is coming back - I don't even know what to make of this.  Stick a fork in Namco and expect more boob jiggle physics than ever before.

Toshihiro Nagoshi hanging out with more fashion models - Some lady will appear in Yakuza: Of The End (the zombie game) and there's Nagoshi again with the photo-ops.


Nagoshi, you're doing a fine job, I might add.

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And I'm gonna throw this in here too.  Try beating my records on Black Ops Zombies!  28 on Kino der Toten (2 player) and 26 on Five (3 player).  If you beat it, then you win the Phantom Full Force Seal of Approval and will go down in an imaginary Hall of Fame for AGES...

Oh and this is some coolio secrets in Kino der Toten...hidden film reels!  I love little secrets like these.  We saw them in Der Riese back in CoD:WaW but this is new:

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Notebook: Todd Gordon named Keselowski’s Nationwide crew chief

Posted by imelda sovzky on Monday, December 27, 2010

Notebook: Todd Gordon named Keselowski’s Nationwide crew chief

Special to the Sporting News NASCAR Service

Penske Racing has named former CJM Racing and Baker Curb Racing crew chief Todd Gordon as its crew chief for defending Nationwide Series champion Brad Keselowski.
Gordon replaces Paul Wolfe, who will be Keselowski’s crew chief in Sprint Cup next year.
Gordon most recently served as race engineer for Diamond-Waltrip Racing in the Nationwide Series, which had Trevor Bayne, Martin Truex Jr. and Ryan Truex behind the wheel in 2010.
Keselowski is coming off a championship season that consisted of six wins, five poles and a series single-season record 26 top-five finishes.
“The chance to join Penske Racing and lead the championship-winning team with Brad next season is the opportunity of a lifetime,” Gordon said. “The No. 22 Dodge team had a special year in 2010, and I’m looking forward to coming on board and hopefully building on that level of success as we move forward.”

Mayfield will appeal drug case
Suspended driver Jeremy Mayfield, as expected, will appeal a judge’s decision that ruled in favor of NASCAR in his lawsuit over a May 1, 2009, drug test that he says was a false positive for methamphetamines.
Mayfield filed the notice of appeal last Thursday in federal court and has 40 days to file the actual argument for his appeal. Depending on how quickly briefs are filed in the case, a hearing could come in May in Richmond, Va., but more than likely it will come no earlier than September.
Mayfield has denied using methamphetamines and contends that the drug-test findings that prompted his suspension resulted from a combination of the prescription drug Adderall, which is used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and over-the-counter Claritin-D allergy medicine.
U.S. District Court Judge Graham Mullen ruled Mayfield had given up his right to sue through various waivers he had signed to compete in NASCAR and questioned whether Mayfield had the evidence to support his claims that NASCAR erred in ruling he tested positive for methamphetamines.
Mayfield asked for the court to reopen the case in June because he intended to introduce new evidence, and Mullen denied that request in August. Mayfield then asked again in September for Mullen to reconsider his ruling in light of NASCAR chairman Bran France’s former in-laws stating they had heard France order Mayfield to be black-flagged in the 2006 race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. France denied those claims and produced travel records that France said showed he wasn’t even with his former in-laws on the day of the race.
Mayfield was indefinitely suspended from NASCAR on May 9, 2009. He sued NASCAR for breach of contract, discrimination and defamation in an attempt to return to racing and for financial damages. He won an injunction to participate in NASCAR in July 2009 but never returned to competition.
The injunction was later stayed, pending appeal, and Mayfield eventually asked the court to drop the injunction so the case could proceed more quickly toward trial.



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Rock Band 3 Keyboards! Part 2: Welcome To Hell

Posted by imelda sovzky

Ok, now the Christmas fallout is over.  I got a digital camera, a new desktop computer (one that can hopefully run HL Source games), a bunch of polo t-shirts, and a set of 1996 Indianapolis 500 Micro Machines.  I might add I love Micro Machines and any small toy cars (Hot Wheels can bite me), but I'll get to that someday.

But most of all, I picked up the Rock Band 3 Clavier Keyboard with stand...alright, I'm super pumped!  So that's the first present I opened up.

Now I've already talked about RB3 Keyboards before.  My initial reactions were slightly off (ex. you can't play Guitar and Keys in the same song) but regardless, you have the option to play Pro Keys.  That spans the entire length of 25 keys.  On the contrary, normal Keys is just 5 notes--C, D, E, F, G.  You have the option of holding the keyboard like a guitar (sling it over your shoulder), but I'd rather do like everyone else and lay the thing down on a surface.

But I said that everyone thought that Pro Keys on Hard/Expert was really hard and I thought I could take it, but no, it's THAT HARD.  And this is coming from someone with over five years of piano lessons.  There's four reasons why:

1. You usually have no idea where your hands are.  So you'll see a note and go for it and you completely whiff it.  Yes, you may say "I'll keep my hands here and remember from now on," but then you have to jump around, especially with the black keys which throw you off.  The game tries to make it easy by color-coding the lanes, but it only helps a little.

2. You get hit in the face with a chord and no matter how slow it comes, your brain misfires and you miss it.

3. Fat fingers--you go for a note but accidentally hit another one too.  Bam, miss the note.  Even if you know which notes to hit, it can be hard to keep a combo going at first.

4. I wouldn't say this is a difficulty concern, but on some songs, you spend a lot of time idle waiting for notes to pop up.  I just finished playing Radar Love and you have to sit there for a minute, play some hard chords, wait, play hard chords, repeat.  Makes going for high scores more aggravating.

NOTE: One egregious offender is Rock Lobster.  Once the guy goes "It's a giant clam!  Down, down..." after those two-note repeated chords, just get up and walk away.  Or party on the beach.  Or beat your head against the keyboard.  No more notes for the rest of the song.  Hey, at least it was an easy FC for me!

And about the "whammy bar" touch pad and the Overdrive button--that's on the left side of the keyboard.  So in theory, you're supposed to play the entire chart one-handed, but that doesn't stop people from using both.  Like this:



Hardest Pro Keys song in the game.  Now this guy deploys a good strategy--place the keyboard near the screen so you can see both at a time.  I haven't tried it, but you can better see where your hands are.

Now unlike regular Guitar/Bass/Drums/Keys, you need to practice beforehand.  Unless you're some sort of prodigy like Mozart, Liszt, or Danny (AKA GHPhenom), then you probably can't do it.  Like throw up any moderate song--I'm not like the lady at church who plays any hymn on the piano or organ like that--no, not at all.  Yes, you can turn No Fail on and still submit scores to the Leaderboards, but unless you feel like flailing around, then practice or play on Easy/Medium difficulty.  The game does try to make it easy by offering you some training lessons for each song--specifically practice the hard bits over and over again until you get it.  Unfortunately, these segments don't cover every hard part of the song which kind of sucks.

I just finished 5-starring all the Warmup Pro-Keys songs on Expert and even though it's not much, it still feels good.  Just being able to get a combo going on something easy is tedious.  Crap like Oh My God and Radar Love seem easy, but it's a few big chords and you can't afford to break your combo or miss that many Overdrive segments to have a chance.  The only reasons these songs are labeled as easy is because with so few notes, it's hard to fail.

You have to fight your battles one at a time.  If you don't know how to do something, start on easy then move up as you go along.  Like a tube of toothpaste--roll it up from the back to front.  I don't know how long I'll take this Pro Keys stuff seriously since it's so damn tedious.  I'll probably go back to Guitar soon which I'm much better at.

So anyway, that's enough of the rant.  If you like pianos, give it a shot.  You've got to put practice into it though.  UPDATE: I've gotten a lot better at Pro Keys (it's May 2011 and I've already 5-starred many Tier 5 thru 7 songs), I'll get back to you later about that.
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NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES: TOP PERFORMANCES 2010

Posted by imelda sovzky on Sunday, December 26, 2010

There certainly were some outstanding performances – both from a competition and racing standpoint – that took place during the recently completed 2010 NASCAR season. In fact, from a statistical standpoint, the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season goes down as the most competitive in the history of NASCAR. The following is a look back at some of those standout performers and memorable races, as selected from discussions with the national series director, competition department and NASCAR PR managers.

Top Drivers (in alphabetical order)
· Denny Hamlin – Finished a career-best second in the point standings and was the championship points leader heading into the season finale at Homestead-Miami … Posted a series-high eight victories on the season, including seven that came after early season knee surgery … Had 14 top-five and 18 top-10 finishes.

· Kevin Harvick – Turned in a resurgent season to finish a career-best third in the point standings after missing the Chase in 2009 … Was the points leader for 20 weeks … Won three times on the year … Had a series-best 26 top-10 finishes, which included 16 top fives … His average finish of 8.7 was the best in the series.

· Jimmie Johnson – Won an unprecedented fifth straight NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship in come-from-behind fashion, overcoming a 15-point deficit heading into the season finale … Relied upon a solid second-place finish at Homestead-Miami to win the title by 39 points over Denny Hamlin … Was a six-time winner on the season … Posted 23 top-10 and a series-best 17 top-five finishes … Led a series-high 1,315 laps and also tallied a series-best 107.7 Driver Rating … His five championships now trail only NASCAR Hall of Famers Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt – both of whom won seven titles.

Top Team Owners (in alphabetical order)

· Richard Childress – The owner of Richard Childress Racing saw all three of his drivers – Clint Bowyer, Jeff Burton and Kevin Harvick – advance to the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup after being shut out of the playoff competition in 2009 … Harvick may have been the series’ most consistent performer on the season, notching 16 top-five and 26 top-10 finishes … Harvick was the points leader for 20 weeks, compiled three wins and finished a career-best third in the final standings … Bowyer finished 10th, while winning twice, and Burton finished 12th.

· Rick Hendrick – The leader of Hendrick Motorsports continued his assault on the NASCAR record books and further reinforced the fact that his organization is one of the most dominant and successful in all of sports … Johnson’s fifth straight NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship gives Hendrick Motorsports a record 13th national series owner title and a record 10th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series owner crown … The No. 48 team’s recent dominance in the sport can be likened to the great dynasties of the New York Yankees, Green Bay Packers and Boston Celtics.

Raybestos Rookie of the Year
· Kevin Conway – In 28 starts, he finished 35th in the point standings … His best finish was 14th at the July race at Daytona International Speedway.

Top Breakthrough Performer
· Jamie McMurray – After being out of a ride following the 2009 season, McMurray made the most of his opportunity driving for Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing in 2010 … His three wins included two of the sport’s most prestigious races – the Daytona 500 and the Brickyard 400 … His third victory came at the October Charlotte race … McMurray finished 14th in points and posted nine top-five and 12 top-10 finishes to go along with his three victories.
Read more »
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All I Want For Christmas Is...

Posted by imelda sovzky on Saturday, December 25, 2010

To Be THUNDERSTRUCK!!!



More crazy music to wreck your car to!















I'll get back to stupid stuff in 2 seconds.
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The Best Daytona 500 Finishes:Controversial 1959 Finish Perfect Jump-Start For New Event, Ambitious Facility

Posted by imelda sovzky

Controversial 1959 Finish Perfect Jump-Start For New Event, Ambitious Facility


Note: This is the final installment in a five-part series on some of the best Daytona 500 finishes in the history of “The Great American Race.” Finishes were chosen based on the drama they created — and the historical value that resulted.

Today, we take a look at the inevitable No. 1 in the countdown: Lee Petty’s photo-finish victory over Johnny Beauchamp in 1959.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 12, 2010) – When choosing the best finish in Daytona 500 history, it is to hard look further than the race’s first year.
That’s because the whole thing transpired script-like. For the first Daytona 500 to end with a finish that took several days to sort out is hard to imagine, even 51 years after the fact.
But it’s also downright appropriate, because the fact that Daytona International Speedway even got built is hard to imagine, all these years later.
Lee Petty won that first 500 but only after NASCAR founder and president Bill France Sr. took several days perusing both film and photos of Petty and Johnny Beauchamp crossing the finish line simultaneously, a process made tougher by the fact that the lap-down car of Joe Weatherly was also in some of the images, on the outside of the two contenders.
When the race ended on the afternoon noon of Feb. 22, 1959, Beauchamp at first though he had won and so did many others. In fact, Beauchamp was even presented the trophy in Victory Lane. France soon got the trophy back, however, pending further review. When the review was complete, Petty was declared the winner.
Daytona was off and running, with the first 500’s theatre capping several preceding years of drama as France pieced together funding to finance construction of what would be the world’s largest stock-car facility. The construction process itself was complicated by the 31-degree banking in the turns, designed to enable stock cars to race at faster-than-ever speeds. The banking was devised through the re-purposing of “transition spiral” techniques first used by the nation’s railroad systems to create banked tracks.
The banking would serve two purposes: enable outlandish speeds, and enable spectators to see most of the action, thanks to a finished tri-oval that would create a 2.5-mile “cereal bowl” effect.
Acerbating the project further was the simple, fundamental challenges of the land the facility was being built upon. Part muck, part sand and shell, it required extensive preparation throughout the speedway’s construction.
Bill France Sr.’s dream of building a superspeedway in his adopted home town was not realized easily.
The finish of the first Daytona 500 was only following that template.
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Merry Christmas For Real

Posted by imelda sovzky

You know what, enough of Santa Claus, the reindeer, the presents, etc.  Let's cut to the chase of why this holiday is as big as it is:


Luke 2:1-20:

In those days Caesar Augustus declared that everyone throughout the empire should be enrolled in the tax lists. This first enrollment occurred when Quirinius governed Syria. Everyone went to their own cities to be enrolled. Since Joseph belonged to David’s house and family line, he went up from the city of Nazareth in Galilee to David’s city, called Bethlehem, in Judea. He went to be enrolled together with Mary, who was promised to him in marriage and who was pregnant. While they were there, the time came for Mary to have her baby. She gave birth to her firstborn child, a son, wrapped him snugly, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the guestroom.

Nearby shepherds were living in the fields, guarding their sheep at night. The Lord’s angel stood before them, the Lord’s glory shone around them, and they were terrified.

The angel said, “Don’t be afraid! Look! I bring good news to you–wonderful, joyous news for all people. Your savior is born today in David’s city. He is Christ the Lord. This is a sign for you: you will find a newborn baby wrapped snugly and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great assembly of the heavenly forces was with the angel praising God. They said, “Glory to God in heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors.”

When the angels returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go right now to Bethlehem and see what’s happened. Let’s confirm what the Lord has revealed to us.” They went quickly and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. When they saw this, they reported what they had been told about this child. Everyone who heard it was amazed at what the shepherds told them. Mary committed these things to memory and considered them carefully. The shepherds returned home, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. Everything happened just as they had been told.


Starts out kind of lame, but it's Peanuts so yeah

And Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night...

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Also, not to steal from Jesus (that would be bad), but I also found this when looking for nativity pics:



There's a Sonic picture for everything, I'm fairly sure.
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Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!!!

Posted by imelda sovzky on Friday, December 24, 2010

since I don't have much to say right now. I will say this. MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY HOLIDAYS from Racing To The Checkered. I look forward to writing more in 2011 and cant wait to do that
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HANS device tested for astronauts

Posted by imelda sovzky

HANS device tested for astronauts: What do HANS device inventor Dr. Robert Hubbard, NASA and NASCAR have in common? All three are collaborating in an effort to improve crash restraints for astronauts. The first series of crash sled tests was recently undertaken at Wright Patterson Air Force Base using a dummy fitted with a prototype restraint for use during NASA launches and landings. Dustin Gohmert of the Crew and Thermal Systems Division of NASA directed the tests. The new head restraint resulted from a collaboration first undertaken in 2008 at Texas Motor Speedway, where officials from NASA's Johnson Space Center and Hubbard met with NASCAR officials to discuss the use of the sanctioning body's data base for assessing crash injury dynamics. NASCAR subsequently provided data taken from recorders in race vehicles, which facilitates the development of injury criteria for astronauts by using computer modeling in conjunction with the real world experience from NASCAR competition. The prototype HANS-type head restraint for astronauts is comprised of a round collar and yoke made from carbon fiber. The helmet and neck ring of the space suit fit to the round collar and yoke, a single unit to be held in place by an astronaut's shoulder belts.(NASCAR)(12-24-2010)




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Victory Road -- Free Daytona USA/Virtua Racing Indie Game

Posted by imelda sovzky


This most certainly isn't new, but if you have the time, check out this game.  I didn't make it, someone else did back in 2003.  It's free and it's not that bad for an entry-level video game design project...

http://www.victory-road.co.uk/

Click the link, then Get VR on the left, then the blue text that says "DOWNLOAD FULL GAME NOW!"  If you're using Vista/Win7, download the .dll patch too and extract it to your base folder.  Game works fine for me so I assume you can handle it.  Not that hard to install...I hope.

As for the game itself, it uses plenty of Daytona USA stuff, such as the car and the music.  The handling is similar to Virtua Racing in that turning causes you to drift, plus it uses the checkpoint music as well (TIME BOWNUS! *doodooteedoo*).  The Advanced and Expert courses are completely original and they're not that bad-looking...too bad you have to unlock them though (just win a race on the easiest difficulty, I think).

Oh yeah, you can also run over people and you hear this *blop* noise, lol it's stupid and incredibly non-violent.

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The Best Daytona 500 Finishes:1976: Heavyweight Showdown Resulted In KO Win For Pearson

Posted by imelda sovzky on Thursday, December 23, 2010

1976: Heavyweight Showdown Resulted In KO Win For Pearson


(Note: This is the fourth installment in a five-part series on some of the best Daytona 500 finishes in the history of “The Great American Race.” Finishes were chosen based on the drama they created — and the historical value that resulted.

Today, we take a look at No. 2 in the countdown: David Pearson’s victory over Richard Petty in 1976.)

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 11, 2010) — Most NASCAR fans, when asked to name the greatest driver in the sport’s history, likely would choose either Richard Petty or Dale Earnhardt, who each won seven NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championships in their career.
Petty himself always leaned toward David Pearson, when assigning best-ever status. Pearson, he said, was the best “pure” driver. Petty considered himself a better “racer.”
Driving, racing, bumping-and-banging, Petty and Pearson — it all came together on Feb. 15, 1976 in the Daytona 500, with one of the most thrilling finishes in the event’s history.
It also resulted in one of the weirder record book entries:
Margin of Victory: 50 yards.
But that was indeed about the best way to describe the finish to what fans saw that day, when a last-lap, Turn 4 clinch between the two heavyweights sent both of their cars slamming into the outside wall as they approached the start-finish line. The cars had touched as Petty was trying to complete an inside pass of Pearson.
“I’m not sure what happened,” Pearson said.
“We didn’t have spotters back then so I didn’t know I wasn’t clear,” Petty said.
The rest is NASCAR lore.
Petty’s No. 43 STP Dodge was headed toward the stripe but stalled out and rolled off the banking into the infield grass, coming to a frustrating halt.
Pearson’s No. 21 Purolator Mercury spun after slamming the wall, rumbling toward pit road, hitting another car on the way.
Pearson kept his car running — the story goes that he had the presence of mind to keep the clutch engaged throughout the incident, keeping the engine fired — and after getting straightened out, motored through the infield grass, past Petty, and cross the finish line at a snail’s pace to win the Dayton 500 for the very first time. Petty sputtered across not long afterward to finish second.
Pearson never won the 500 again, although he did win 16 other events to finish his career with 105 victories, the second-best total all-time behind Petty’s 200.
Petty would win the 500 two more times to establish another record — seven victories in NASCAR’s biggest race.
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On NASCAR: The Power And The Story Of 2010

Posted by imelda sovzky

On NASCAR: The Power And The Story Of 2010


December  2010

Guest Column By Cathy Elliott

Mass media is fun to watch and listen to this time of year, as everyone you can imagine weighs in on who wore it, said it, sang it, played it or just generally did it the best – or the worst – during the preceding 12 months.
Basically, if you have a pulse and an opinion, you are A, a self-proclaimed expert; and B, laboring under the invariably misguided notion that anyone cares what you think.
looking at their watches when I open my mouth leads me to believe they aren’t exactly hanging on the words coming out of it.
But my pulse seems to be holding steady, and I do have an opinion on the subject of NASCAR 2010, so I guess you’ve already figured out what’s coming next.
My writer cohorts have already done a great job of recapping the highlights of the 2010 season, discussing the biggest stories, the best finishes, the hottest controversies, and the most impactful moments of the racing year gone by. There is no need for me to parrot their words, for they have said it better than I ever could.
Instead, I would like to share a couple of my personal perceptions of this season, the things that affected me most and that I will remember best.
Like most avid baseball fans, I have a keen interest in stats and numbers. This year, two numbers were particularly noteworthy. Kyle Busch won races in all three of NASCAR’s top series in a single weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway and – you may have heard about this one already – Jimmie Johnson won his fifth consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship. Neither of these things has ever been done before.
Although some people may not be fans of these two drivers for whatever reason, their talent is unquestionable and their accomplishments undeniable. I happen to like them both, not that it matters. What does matter is the fact that history is rarely made, and the important thing is the ability and the willingness to set our personal feelings aside and have the good sense to recognize something significant while it is actually happening.
Somewhere down the road when we’re watching ESPN Classic with our grandchildren, and they are rebroadcasting the race at Homestead-Miami Speedway where Johnson came from behind to clinch that fifth title, we can say, “I remember that. I watched it happen.” To feel you are a part of a groundbreaking achievement, however peripherally, is special. Not to mention pretty darned cool.
NASCAR celebrities seem to live such charmed lives that we sometimes forget they are human. That perceived immunity to the things that affect us ordinary mortals was alarmingly put to the test in May, when Red Bull Racing announced that its popular young driver, Brian Vickers, had been diagnosed with blood clots in his legs and around his lungs.
Vickers, still only in his 20s, was sidelined for the rest of the season as he underwent a rigorous treatment schedule and waited to learn what his future would hold. I couldn’t help but wonder about the other drivers’ reaction to this news. Although the cause of Vickers’s condition was undetermined, blood clots are often associated with altitude, and these guys are in airplanes on an almost-daily basis. The realization that your career and even your health can be snatched away in an instant is sobering, to put it mildly. Whether you are a superstar stock car driver or an average Joe, we are all just human when you get right down to it.
We lost some good friends in 2010, including Ed Shull, who smilingly kept us educated on our electrolytes for so many years through his work with Gatorade; Beth Tuschak, who originated this column and kept us interested in reading it; and NASCAR Vice President of Corporate Communications Jim Hunter, who kept us grounded, informed and entertained for decades.
But when we look around the garage in 2011 we will see some fresh, new faces changing the landscape -- Genevieve Johnson and Leo Gordon, Brooklyn Newman and Carter McMurray, Manuela Montoya and Wyatt Sadler are just a few of the babies who joined the racing ranks in 2010, and who will probably be competing in televised Trike Series races on SPEED in a year or two.
The NASCAR family continues to grow. Those who are gone can never be replaced, but it is comforting to watch the sport regenerate, filling up some of those empty spaces, and it will be fascinating to watch each of these new family members find the spot that fits them just right.
NASCAR 2011 is already looking like one for the record books, but 2010 gave us a lot. This season will be remembered for the most competitive and exciting competition we have seen in many a decade. We can remember the pride we felt in being a part of history as it happened. This was the year we realized the folly of ever taking good fortune for granted, and when we witnessed the delicate balance between loss and new beginnings, the past and future.
It was a special year indeed, not for the things we will remember, but for the ones we will never forget.





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Paul Menard in 2011

Posted by imelda sovzky

The driver in 2011 that is going to be catching my eye is Paul Menard. Paul Menard will be driving the #27 Menards Chevy impala. Menards contract expired and he signed with RCR for a multi-year partnership.

Menard will be at the top of my list for getting his first ever career win in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2011. But one thing Menard needs to improve is his performance he needs to have streaks of top 5 and top 10 finishes or he will never make the chase.

In 2010 he finished 23rd in the points with only 1 top 5 and 6 top 10's. In 2011 I see him winning at least one race. I'm not sure about the chase though because i think it is going to be close for Menard. But with Richard Childress Racings power he will have good runs and will be a contender in some races.
One thing that might hit Menard the most is that RCR is now a four team operation. We saw RCR go to a four team organisation in 2009 and it did not work for them at all. They picked up at the end of the 2009 season. Then they went back to three car operation in 2010 and they did AWESOME!! RCR won six of the thirty-six races in 2010 with Kevin Harvick winning four and Clint Bowyer winning 2. So that means we have no idea how RCR's four car operation will run in 2011.
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Rockin Around The Christmas Tree

Posted by imelda sovzky

Alright, enough with the video game rants for a little while.  This one's about Christmas.  So we only have two days left.  So far, it's been rather uneventful.  Haven't really seen many Christmas lights.  The cold weather (which I actually like...I'd move up north if I ever got out of here) has gone.  Like you'd expect to see Christmas carolers, snow, shoppers with bags, Santa Claus imposters, candy canes, manger scenes, etc. but...not a whole lot going on.  Maybe because we're in a recession, people are less likely to go do stuff so I don't know.

So I decide to go run some errands which basically means spend a lot of money for myself.  Alright, we're at the mall again and there's quite a few people there, but I don't see traffic jams or congested parking lots, it's cool as usual.  So I take the time to play Crazy Taxi again and I only get two tries.  I up my best score to $7,700 with Gena which is good but I can do much better.  Just like Daytona USA 2, I have to play the heck out of it to learn the subtleties of it.  It's another self-taught thing.  You know what--I bet that the Crazy Taxi game will be taken away soon, just a hunch.  Not like I see anyone playing it, but since it's a lone cabinet off in the corner somewhere, they probably won't think of it.

Oh, and this is quite interesting.  I told you about the Help Wanted sign I saw before.  I was thinking about getting a job there just to make some extra money in a comfortable environment since I've got plenty of time on my hands now.  On this sign was a phone number to call to get information, presumably the owner's home phone number.  That sign has been up for a week and I've called that number ten times and left two messages with not a single reply.  Now the sign's gone.  What a bunch of idiots.  There's also a Help Wanted sign in Office Depot...giddy up folks.

Back on topic, the only Christmas-y thing that I've done so far is prod my family into taking a drive around some nearby neighborhood with all these Christmas lights.  There were some good houses with lots of stuff.  I also counted about ten inflatable snowball Santas...take a while ball and put the hat, face, arms, and beard on it.

Also, my younger brother knows some rather wealthy friends from his school and he got invited to a Christmas party...just kind of sucks that I haven't gone to any social events either.

So, uh, I enjoy this time of year since you don't have to go to school and you get to to crazy stuff.  I wish I could put off Christmas for some time, but no.  I expect to get a few gifts like the Rock Band Keyboard and a digital camera, but that stuff's not too important to me.  I want my family to be happy.

I also thought about giving you guys something...not sure what I can do though I may have something fortunate for those who read my blog.

Anyway, hope you guys have a good one for now.

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Super Terrific Bonanza: This is two years old.  In case you don't know, I live in southeast Louisiana.  It never snows here, but when it does, all hell breaks loose.  This was back in December 11, 2008 which is the day of that infamous Louisiana snowstorm.  I was driving to school to take an exam, but then it snowed on the way there and I started to take some shots on my cell phone.  Hey, I was stuck in traffic...I had time.  Check it out:





One of the best days of my life!
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A Festivus For The Rest Of Us

Posted by imelda sovzky

If you know me, I'm a huge Seinfeld fan.  December 23 may be Christmas Eve's Eve, but no--it is indeed Festivus.  See here; too bad it's an abridged version:



"The Strike" Season 9 Ep. 10, first aired December 18, 1997.

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Now for my personal Airing of GrievancesI'm exaggerating here BTW so don't cry about it:

Sega, you didn't make that new Daytona USA game and I'm pissed!  As a matter of fact, you've done little more than piss on our childhood dreams!  All you do is publish games and take credit for it--you don't develop them!  Stop making games about urinals!  Also, try to build upon your old Dreamcast games rather than release they hackneyed ports that disintegrate in the bowels of Xbox Live Marketplace!

Toshihiro Nagoshi, you bum, stop hitting up the bars and tanning booths and make some good old Sega games from the old days!  No more of this Yakuza or Binary Domain crap, give me something Daytona-related!

Sonic Team, thanks for stabbing the Sonic franchise with a rusty shank all this time!

Nintendo, you're overrated and no one has the guts to say it so I will!  The Wii is a shovelware receptacle hinging entirely on the likes of Zelda, Smash Bros., Mario Kart, and miscellaneous motion control games!  Also, I will never forgive you for making the bikes overpowered in Mario Kart Wii!

Microsoft, the Kinect is a piece of crap!  Also, your little Xbox Live Avatars are incredibly ugly and seeing them makes me want to puke!

GameFAQs, your site is a good source of user-submitted guides, cheat codes, and reviews, but the message boards stink!  Your moderators are crazy and so are your little user-contests!  The Best Game contests are also lousy cause I can't take this Final Fantasy or Zelda crap anymore!  I also don't like in that "Rate The Song" contest on the Rock Band 3 board you posters gave Werewolves of London, I Can See For Miles, Foolin', Good Vibrations, and Rock Lobster (yes) crap scores while you gave Beast and the Harlot a good score (click here)!

Kotaku, you're turning into the G4TV of gaming blogs!  Stop pissing me off with your mis-representation of racing games, the miscellaneous science stories, dumb random crap, and all those anime chick pinups!

G4TV and Spike, congratulations on making me feel embarrassed to be a gamer!  X-Play is trash, Attack of the Show is lame, and Code Monkeys is the kind of crap my obnoxious WoW-obsessed Mountain Dew-drinking "accomplice" would like!

Game Informer, I'll never forgive you for that old OutRun 2 review where you gave it a 6.5!  Your magazine sucks and I hope you fail!

Activision, you are an embarrassment to the gaming community!  The way you slash and burn game companies--you do not allow any room for creativity or innovation!  It's all about the money, isn't it?

Namco Arcade in the mall, I'll never forgive you for taking away that Daytona USA 2 cabinet, regardless of the logistics behind it!

Forza 3 and Turn 10, I'm pissed at how the PI ratings are so screwed up that I can't play it anymore!  Perfectly good game goes to waste and now I can't play it anymore!

World of Warcraft, you ruined gaming as we know it with its grinding gameplay, crap graphics in which all the characters look the same, and turning everyone I know into zombies who use nerdy lingo and don't shower!

Midway and Raw Thrills, you suck, end of story.

All you people who don't read my blog, you don't know what you're missing so shame on you!

...I lost my train of thought, that's the end for me, I'm through.
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Motorstorm: Apocalype, Lawyers, Lots Of Stuff, I'm Cryin'

Posted by imelda sovzky on Tuesday, December 21, 2010

First, I'd like to say that I feel somewhat distraught by making quite a few negative posts lately, especially one aimed at Daytona USA 2001.  I don't know if anyone's interested in this stuff--I get very little feedback.  For one thing, it's more "fun" to write negative material than positive, hence why you have people like Angry Video Game Nerd and Maddox the Pirate who constantly rip things a new a-hole.

But the main reason I brought up Daytona USA is because I genuinely care about the franchise...I could treat it like Blur or Split/Second and just gash it and go away, but I really want it to be good so I tell whoever what can be done to make it better.  Like if you ever have children, you want to correct and discipline them because you care and want them to be good.  I guess I criticize the state of racing games for that very reason.  I just hate how so much energy is put into so much junk and whatnot...

That concludes this message.

------------

I talked about Motorstorm: Apocalypse a while back in my violent/depressing video game rant and well, it rears its ugly head again.  You want me to come on here and criticize it--well, let's take a look at this six minute video:



Found the video from this Joystiq article.

Ok, so you can drive monster trucks, dune buggies, muscle cars, sports cars, ATVs, chopper bikes, whatever.  You and your gang has fun driving around an abandoned city as you dodge falling buildings, derailed trains, and pits of boiling lava (I made up that last one).  So it's like the last Motorstorm--just drive around, don't die, take multiple paths to the exit.  Oh yeah, and there's a few military contractors in the city trying to mow you down.  So not only do you get to crash and burn but you also get to run over people.  Sounds great!

I can't help but think I'm watching Michael Bay: The Racing Game.  It's Split/Second's bastard child.  Yes, it's obvious that these people put a lot of time and effort into making sure the game's good, but I think they missed the point...

See, most every racing game is on some extreme.  You got games that are "boring old sim racers," like Gran Turismo, Forza, Test Drive Unlimited, iRacing, etc.  Then on the other spectrum, you've got "OCD-blow-up stuff-in-your-face-crap" like Burnout, Split/Second, Motorstorm...  It's like there's very few games in that medium.  That's where the good Sega racers are--not too over the top, but not boring.  They're professionally-made games.  I think Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit may fit in this category too, but since that was made by Criterion, I'm not too certain it what's I'm looking for.

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When in doubt, sue someone:

Harmonix (Rock Band dev) sues Viacom (ex-Rock Band publisher).
Infinity Ward sues Activision who sues Electronic Arts over Medal of Honor/Call of Duty.

I don't know about you, but I sure as hell wouldn't touch a big company like Activision or Viacom and expect to come out alive.  Hey, check this out.  New Call of Duty for 2011 announced.  This one's not by Infinity Ward (they're dead, remember?), it's by this new studio called Sledgehammer Games.  Who the hell is that?  Anyway, I really like Call of Duty, but it's going to get run into the ground eventually (if it hasn't already).  I'm really worried.  That and between Activision's habit of gashing game studios like that, I'd be afraid to work at Treyarch.  BTW, Black Ops just made $1 billion, so no, I don't think Activision will cut back in the slightest.  At leat the $15 DLC map packs will have four MP maps as opposed to three (including the obligatory zombie map).

Speaking of Activision, look at Guitar Hero (I'm jumping around a lot here).  Guess what--Guitar Hero is officially dead.  So while Rock Band gets gobs of DLC on a weekly basis, Guitar Hero gets like two or three songs a month.  And this month, Guitar Hero gets three Kiss songs, two that are playable in Rock Band (Detroit Rock City and Calling Dr. Love) and one in GH: Smash Hits (Rock and Roll All Nite).  So what's the point?  Combine that this year's GH: Warriors of Rock abysmal first month sales of 86,000 and there, it's dead.  Once again, Guitar Hero fanboys should thank Activision very much.

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I want to end this now, so I'm going to throw in three more quick links:

Gran Tursimo 5 Gets a 600mb Patch  - Adds some new features for online play such as stat tracking among others.  Hey, sounds great...waited all that time and they still need to fix it...doesn't sound good for Polyphony Digital.

Gears of War 3 Maps Will Be "Brighter" - Article goes on to say that the most popular GoW2 maps were the brightest and most colorful.  Hmm?  So people are getting tired of the grey, brown, and crimson red?  Now there is no 100% way to confirm that the color is the sole reason those maps are the most popular (it could be because those maps have better layouts, etc.) but still...cut the crap people.  We don't want to play this depressing garbage anymore.

Some Guy Talking About Sega Racing Classic - Old and nothing really new, but if you know little about this, read it.  Old Daytona USA cabinets needed to be repaired, some needing parts that aren't made anymore.  Daytona license costs too much.

The end.
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Avid fans are turning to digital media to connect with NASCAR

Posted by imelda sovzky

Avid fans are turning to digital media to connect with NASCAR


By Tripp Mickle
Special to the Sporting News NASCAR Service

Avid NASCAR fans increasingly turn to digital and social media for news, information and interaction around their favorite drivers, according to research conducted by marketing and public relations firm Taylor.
The study, which is based on a survey by Greenfield Online of 1,500 self-proclaimed avid fans, showed the share of avid fans seeking news about drivers from mainstream outlets like newspapers and TV stations declined from 43 percent to 35 percent between 2009 and 2010.
More than a third of respondents said they visit NASCAR-related websites for information, and only one in five NASCAR fans younger than 24 prefers receiving information on drivers through traditional media outlets.
Taylor, which is advising NASCAR on its new communications strategy, paid for the survey. It was conducted in September and shared with the firm’s brand clients, which include Diageo, Gillette and other NASCAR sponsors.
Taylor executives pointed to the pervasiveness of online content and decline of traditional media as the primary driver for the change in the way NASCAR fans consume news, and they say sponsors should consider it as they make activation plans to reach NASCAR fans.
“It’s a perfect storm, and the key takeaway is: Are brands that are involved in the sport reacting fast enough?” said Brett Jewkes, managing partner in Taylor’s Chicago office.

The survey also revealed:
-- Dale Earnhardt Jr. continues to be fans’ favorite driver, and Jeff Gordon remains the second favorite.
-- Kyle Busch is surging in popularity. When asked to name “all the drivers you cheer for” in 2009, fans in two of 12 demographics named Busch. But this year fans in seven of 12 demographics put him among their top five drivers.
-- Sprint and Kobalt made major strides in brand recognition. Sprint joined Budweiser, Coca-Cola, Home Depot and Lowe’s as the fifth-most-recognizable brand in the sport in 2010. The telecommunications giant and title sponsor of NASCAR’s top series was ninth on the list in 2009. Similarly, Kobalt, a Lowe’s hardware brand that appears on the No. 48 car driven by Jimmie Johnson, went from not appearing on the list in 2009 to being sixth on the list this year.
“What I think data like this and other research is calling for is a rebalance for how sponsors spend,” Jewkes said. “There are some real actionable nuggets that come out of this that we believe all marketers can use to hone their programs.”

Tripp Mickle is a reporter with SportsBusiness Journal.

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Million Dollar Garbage Drop

Posted by imelda sovzky

Pardon me--Million Dollar Money Drop.  EDIT: AKA, The Greatest Show on TV, now that I've seen the light...



I was just looking around on TV and this show came on.  Okay, another slick, revolutionary million-dollar game show?  What are we, dumbasses?  We've already been through Millionaire, Greed, Weakest Link, 1 vs. 100, Deal or No Deal, Set For Life, 20Q, The Moment of Truth, The Chair, Russian Roulette, Unan1mous (Dear Lord)...  I miss 70's game shows, I really do.

Anyway, the premise is that two contestants start with $1,000,000 and have to endure seven multiple choice questions.  That money amount can only stay the same or drop over time as you must spread it among the answers as if you were playing Roulette.  Any money not on the correct answer falls into a furnace, apparently.  Since you're going from the top of the pyramid down, dealing with a million in the first question can be taxing to say the least.  Gamble it all on one answer or spread it around to be safe?  There's a catch--you can't put money on every single choice so there's always a risk of instant death.  And to compound to this, the number of possible answers in later questions drops from 4 to 3 to 2, therefore by the end, you HAVE to risk it all regardless.  Red or black?

Questions are rather vague and based on polls or arbitrary statistics, like "What's the most popular breakfast cereal?" or "Which athlete is the tallest?"  Stuff that you can never really "study"--you just have to know it.  No intellectual lifelines like Phone a Friend or whatever--just one free "timeout" to give you extra time to correct your answer.  Although before each question, you can pick from two different categories so you're less likely get stuck with something you don't know, such as "Cosmetics and Perfumes."

Well anyway, the purpose for talking about this show is one reason--complete wacky entertainment.  It's funny to see these go up on stage and shuffle money between the answers only to have them go boohoo when it drops.  Pointing at the pile of money, telling it not to drop as if they can persuade the machine via telekinesis.  Really, why else do you watch these kind of shows?  For intellectual value?  Not saying I wish these people would fail, but eh...I don't shed any tears when they do.



Now you know why I'll never go on any game show because I'll look like a dumbass if I do.  Yes, that kind of money can cause people to act different, but still...between the extreme stress, taxes, waiting to get the check, and possibility of becoming YouTube fodder, it ain't happening.  EDIT: I'm not picking on these people, I'm sorry.

The best thing about this show is that the contestants get to actually touch the money, just to tease them.  "This money is officially yours!...for five seconds...  (Go on, take the money in run?  YeaYEAHWoohoohoo!)"  No checks or briefcases with numbers in it, instead you get cold hard cash.

FYI, I did watch the two hour premiere and I didn't watch a single commercial.  I got up and walked away in the meantime.  I felt it was necessary to do so.

BTW, let me spoil the first two episodes.  No one wins anything.  Not even a dime.  Great, right?  At least in Millionaire, $1,000 was easy to attain and in Deal or No Deal, you could get at least a penny.  But here?  Nothing.

Black couple (the ones you see above) gets up to Question 5: "Which of the following was invented first?  Mac Computer; Sony Walkman; Post-It Notes."  Put most on Post-It Notes, which is wrong, it's Sony Walkman.  I knew that one (thanks to a question asked previously on the Greed show).  Only have $80K left.  Question 6: "What is most corn grown in the US used for?  Corn Syrup; Ethanol; Animal Feed."  Put $60K on Ethanol, $20K on Animals.  Well, guess what, it's animals so only $20K left!  Final question: "According to Time Magazine, who's the most credible news anchor?  Brian Williams or Jon Leibowitz--I mean, Stewart."  Put the $20K on Williams, WRONG!!!  Game over, 0 dollars won.

White couple has a couple of close calls.  First question: "Who's the tallest athelete?"  Put the $1 mil on Lebron James among Peyton Manning and Michael Phelps and they're right...wow, that's close.  Question 4: "Which type of fireworks causes the most injuries per year?"  Husband puts all $1 mil on Sparklers as opposed to Bottle Rockets, right again!  Question 6: "What is the most common computer password?  password; 123456; iloveyou."  They only have $560k at that point so they put it all on Password...and it's wrong, it's 123456.  So they leave with 0 dollars as well.

Oh, by the way, it's worth mentioning that there's already a British version of this show...it's called "Million Pound Drop."  Way to go copying another TV show from across the pond, guys...

That's it man, that's all I can say about Million Dollar Money Drop.  Show's padded to all hell--it takes the entire hour to go through the seven questions...oh well.  Let's see how long the show lasts.  I kind of like it.  Still not too bad--better than 1 vs. 100 and LEAGUES AHEAD of The Moment of Truth, Sweet Maria...:



Click here for a list of more "terrible" game shows.
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