Monday, October 31, 2005

top left: Dawn's pumpkin at the end of the week. top right Dawn's pumpkin at the begining of the week when the spider still had straight legs. Bottom: DR. kress's totem pole.  Posted by Picasa

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Dawn Marie remains undefeated undisputed pumpkin carving/ decorating champion!

The Animal Clinic of Walla Walla has a pumpkin carving/ decorating contest every year during the week proceeding halloween. The staff bring in their pumpkins and the clients vote on their favorites during the week. For the sixth straight year Dawn won the competition. Dawn's pumpkin decorated to look like a giant spider was able to hold of a spirited challenge from Dr. Kress and his pumpkin totem pole. Dawn Marie was gracious in victory "Dr Kress has a great pumpkin this year, He likely would have one if he had gotten it in on time". Dr. Kress did not get his pumpkin in tell wednesday giving Dawn a two day head start in votes giving her the cushion she needed to retain her championship.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Steve's Mixed Martial Arts FAQ. Part 1 The UFC

I am a big fan of the sport of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA).

What is MMA: I think of MMA as the decathlon of combat sports. It envolves techniques from Boxing, Kickboxing, Greco Roman Wrestling, Judo, Freestyle Wrestling, Brazilian Ju-Jitsu, Russian Sambo and a variety of other martial art including my beloved Karate.

The fighters: These are not just local tough guys who fell off a bar stool. To be successfull in MMA a fighter needs to be skilled at both stand up fighting(boxing/kickboxing) as well as submission grappling. They also have to be tremendous athlete with unbelievable toughness and amazing conditioning.

Why is Steve a fan: What fascinates me about the sport is the variety of techniques that can be used and how one person uses his or her skill set to counteract his opponents

let's say fighter A has a strong background in boxing and frestyle wrestling, fighter B has a strong background in kickboxing and judo.
At the begining of the bout their is usually some stand up action. How will fighter A use his boxing skill to offset fighter B's kickboxing and vice versa. What will happen when they invariably end up in a clinch will the judoka be able to throw or sweep the wrestler to the ground or will the wrestler use his balance to stop the judokas techniques and the employ some sort of wrestling take down. Once the fight hits the ground will the wrestler be able to use his skills to get on top and control the judoka or will the judoka be able to counteract the wrestlers strenghts with judo grappling techniques such as joint locks and chokes.

The main organization in the USA

The Ultimate Fighting Championship(UFC)
owners: Zuffa LLC
Based in: Las Vegas NV

Where do you see the UFC:
The UfC has six Pay Per View shows year on indemand ppv

The UFC also currently has three shows on Spike TV
1. TUF: The Ultimate Fighter reality show (they are currently showing season 2)
2. UFC unleashed: A weekly show that shows classic fights from the UFC archives
3. Ultimate Fight Night: Six live fight specials a year.

The comentators:

Mike Goldberg(no relation to my cousins) is the play by play man. He does a solid job. The WWE recently offered him big money to jump ship and commentate Pro wrestling matches. After some thought Goldberg turned them down.

Joe Rogan is the color comentator. Yes this is the same Joe Rogan of News Radio and Fear Factor fame. Alot of people online don't like Rogan because he gets overly excited at times. I think genuine enthusiasm from a comentator is good. Rogan also does a good job of explaining the intricacies of grappling to the uninitiated.

The champions and top contenders:

Andrei Arvloski:The current heaveyweight champion. Mr. Arvloski is an imposing figure at 6'4 240 lb. He has strong backgrounds in both kickboxing and Sambo(a russian grappling art). He won the title from Tim Sylvia with a big right hand followed by a beautiful ankle lock that forced sylvia to tap out(say uncle). Recently Andrei defended his title with a fifteen second K.O. of top contender Paul Buentello. The key to Andrei's recent success is in his tremendous quickness (along with ample punching power) I don't think Sylvia or Buentello has any concept of how quick Andrei is for his size. He has all the tools to have a very long reign as champion.

Tim Sylvia: The former heavyweight champion. Tim is 6'8 265. He is a big powerfull man who has good technique (he has had excellent coaches). Tim has gotten himself in trouble when he has underestimated his opponents. He got sloppy on the ground with a slick sub fighter in Frank Mir and got caught in a arm bar. Then he fought Andrei (see above). If Tim learns from his mistakes and continues to improve he may be able to regain the title.

Chuck "The Ice Man" Liddel: Liddel is the current 205lb champion and likely the most well known of the UFC fighters. Liddel has a back ground in collegeiate wrestling and pro kickboxing.
Chuck is not the geatest wrestler around but he does have tremendous take down defense .
He is not the greatest technical kickboxer either but he does posses one strike KO power in all four limbs. Liddel uses his strengths very well. Although MMA fighters are becoming incresingly more well rounded, few want to go toe to toe with liddel. Fighters often waste alot of energy trying to take liddel down to the ground and keep him their. By the time guys realize that their take down attempts on liddel are futtile they are usually completely exhusted. At this point liddel's opponents usually wilt under his potent striking power. This leads to a lot of spectacular knockouts.

Randy "The Natural" Couture: Randy Couture is considered an icon in the sport. He is former 2 time UFC heavyweight champion and a 2 time light heavyweight champion(205 division). Couture is a world class Greco Roman Wrestler who has developed solid boxing technique. Three years ago many people had given up on Couture. He had suffered back to back ko loses in the heavyweight division and he was 39 years old. Then he got the chance to fight lidell. At the time liddel had an aura of invinciblity (using the skills I discussed above). No one gave Randy much of a chance. Randy fought a beautiful fight, not wasting any energy trying to take Chuck down instead he used solid boxing technique and repeatedly beat Liddle to the punch. Through much of the fight Liddel stood flat footed waiting for take down attempts that never came, mean while he was loading up trying to land that one big punch or kick(it never landed). As the fight wore on liddle got increasingly frustrated. When liddel was sufficiently hurt and tired Couture closed the distance executed a nifty greco roman throw and finished Chuck Liddel on the ground with strikes.
The rematch almost 2 years later was a completely different story. Lidddel didn't stand flat footed wating for take down attempts and he didn't load up for a one strike ko. Liddel moved latteraly and used a good jab. Liddlel improved technique in the rematch led to Couture charging in off ballanced and being caught with a chopping right hand the ended his evening. Couture and liddle will have their rubber match in february on super bowl sunday weekend.

Rich "Ace" Franklin: (Nicknamed Ace because he looks like a very buff version of Jim Carey) Franklin is the champion in the 185 lb division. He has an undergraduate degree in mathmatics and a masters degree in education. He is a former Cincinnati high school teacher. Rich is a coach on the current season of the ultimate fighter reality show. Franklin represents the new new breed of fighters, these guys are tremendous athletes that are equally comfortable in a stand up fight or a grappling match. Franklin has spent most of his career fighting at the 205 weight limit, but dropped down to 185 this year and won the championship from Evan Tanner. While Franklin seems equally comfortable standing or on the ground he seems to prefer the stand up (much to the promoters delight). Franklin defends his title November 19th against Nate Quarry.

Nate "The Rock" Quarry: Nate Quarry was the most popular fighter on the first season of the ultimate fighter reality show. Nate (who trains in Gresham Oregon) comes across as a genuinely
classy down to earth guy. Quarry like Frankling Is a jack of all trades. He is listed as a Brazilian Ju-jitsu expert(submission grappler) , trains with two world class Greco Roman wrestlers ( Randy Couture and olympic silver medalist Mat Lindland) and has one his last three bouts with his boxing skills. Nate gets his opportunity to fight for the title at 185 lbs on the 19th of November. It should be a very exciting fight.

Matt Hughes: Hughes is the champion in the 170 division. He was an all american wrestler at the university of Iowa. He is also a two time UFC welterweight champion. At the start of his career he was a one dimensional wrestler. This has changed over the last few year. He has improved his striking and has developed an impressive submission grappling repetoir. Hughes can still be dull if he is in with a slick sumission grappler(charuto verrisimo). But if you put Hughes in with some one who takes the fight to him you are almost guaranteed an instant classic. Hughes almost always seem to rise to the challenge often times in spectacular fasion as he showed earlier this year in his match with frank trigg (which has to be seen to be believed).

Joe "The Deisel" Riggs: Riggs started his career as a 280 lb heavyweight and has morphed into a 17o lb welterweight. Riggs is a great athlete a very good wrestler and has tremendous power in his strikes. I have seen Riggs fight twice both times in the 185 division. In one fight he defeated the very talented Joe Doerkeson when he overwelmed him with strikes on the ground in the second round. In the other fight he was manhandeling Ivan Salaverry until he got over exuberant and dove in to throw a punch and caught an up kick in the face then fell into a triangle choke hold that he could not escape from. Riggs surpised many recently when he was able to make the 170 wgt and defeat the very talented Chris Lytle.
The holiday season came early for Riggs as he has been called in as a replacement( judo prodigy Karo Parysian the #1 contender has a severe quadricep injury) to fight for the title on Nov 19th against Matt Hughes. Riggs may not be a better all around fighter then Parysian, but his incredible power and striking prowess are far more dangerous to Hughes then anything Parysian could have thrown at the champ.

The UfC's Ultimate fighter season 2 finale will air Saturday Nov 5th at 9:00 live on Spike TV

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Why we root for certain college teams

Washington St: where Mike and I went to school

University of Washington: Dads school as well as both of my uncles

UCLA: Danny school, which happens to be undefeated this season

San Jose St: My moms school

Oklahoma: where my grandmother was born

Alabama: Where my mom was born

Tennesse: the college that produced mike's lovely wife Debra

Syracuse: Grandfathers favorite school

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

welcome once again to the game that never ends

I got home at about 5:30 last night and they were just throwing out the first pitch of game three of the world series. I really wasn't watching the game. At seven I went over to Dawn's
and the game was on the fourth inning and houston was leading 4-0. An hour later I went over to see grandfather (who, seems to be doing very well ) and we decided to turn on the the game was in the 7th and the white sox led 5-4. We watched the game untill 9:00
when the game went into extra inning. I left did some shopping andwent home and logged onto the computer. I did'nt even check on the game figuring it had to be over. At about 10:45 I stopped by Dawn's (she was still up watching a movie with her daughter) . Just for the heck of it I switched the channel to the game as I joked it might still be on. Much to my amazment is was still in in the 13th inning. The game continued on into the fourteenth inning lasting almost 6 hours.
It reminded me of a tennis match where John Mcenroe played mats willander and when the match started I was in Walla Walla and five hours latter I arrived in Seattle BY car and the match was still going in the fifth set.

Sunday, October 23, 2005


This in and of it's self is not news. The hawks when have won lots of games in the last 15 years. Most of these wins have been againt week teams in boring games where the seahawks managed to fuster cluck their way to victory.

It's not the curse of the bambino (the boston red sox) or the curse of shooless Joe (the white sox) but hawk fans are long suffering.

Season after season of high expectations have turned to mediocrity and ineptness.
First round draft picks have been spent on quarterbacks (stoufer, mcguire) who have had a cup
of coffee in the leauge and disapeared into obscurity. Big money has been spent on wide receivers who new how to get open but never quite figured how to catch the darn football.
Everytime the hawks have drawn in the fans and made them start to care. The Hawks have either pulled defeat from the jaws of vitory or simply gotten their tucchuses kick.

Today the seahwks came through for once. In front of a enthusaistic crowd at qwest feild (including Dan our UPS guy). The seahawks defense did a wonderfull job keeping the team in the game. The offense came through at the end scoring a late game tying touchdown. Then the hawks recieved an early christmas/hannukah/qwanza present as our friend Drew Bledsoe did what cougars are prone to do (He coug it) throwing an interception that set up a game winning hawk field goal on the last play of the game.

Will this change the hawks (and their fans) luck. Or is this another case of the team raising the fans hopes only to leave them feeling like they have been kicked in the solarplexus ( or slightly lower)?
This is the cover art for the 1998 Rose Rowl parade program. I have seen the official game program that was sold at the stadium and it's cover is nowhere near as cool as this portrait. Posted by Picasa

Friday, October 21, 2005

top: In the summer of 1980 dad went with Mike and Danny to San Diego mean while mom and I went to Hawaii. Here I am standing next to the crater of kilauea volcanoe. Bottom: sitting in my high chair wondering if Ali would win the title back from Joe Frazier.  Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The top picture is my sisters birthday in 1972 This is one of the rare pictures that has all six of us in it. The bottom picture was taken at ice harbor dam in 1969 and features my brother Mike and sister Teri Posted by Picasa

Sunday, October 16, 2005

You just can't have to many "Superfly" Jimmy Snuka pictures on your blog

When I was between the ages of 5 and 7 years old their were sports heroes and then their was Jimmy Snuka. Jimmy Snuka performed on the North West wrestling circuit from 1972-78. what I find amazing is that Snuka was still around in 77-78. Snuka had a star quality that few have. He certainly payed his dues performing in front of a few hundred people a night in national guard armories in towns like Prosser and Pendleton.Within in a year of leaving the NW Snuka became main eventer all over the east coast performing in front of 10 to 15 thousand people a night in venues like the Omni in Atlanta, Madison Square Garden, and the Philadelphia Spectrum. This picture is from his days in the NW. Thank you Posted by Picasa

Whooops I lost my links.

I didn't realize you lost your links when you changed your template. I promise I will have them back up shortly.

why we love sports

Yesterday was a great example of why we enjoy watching sports.

USC and Notre Dame played one of the greatest games in college football history yesterday. Two colleges with great traditions, they have had a storied rivalry through the years.
More importantly in 2005 these are two well coached and extremely talented football teams who played their hearts out for sixty minutes. Along the way they brought out the best in each other. Throw in the fact they were playing in a magical atmosphere at Notre Dames home in South Bend Indiana and the fact that the game came down to the very last play. This game transformed a regular fall Saturday afternoon into something special. For three hours you could forget all your problems and just sit back and lose yourself in a game. A game fans will remember for along time. This is why we love sports