Slam Dunk – How it ends

Posted in anime with tags , , on February 1, 2008 by bradcook

slam dunk After the anime Slam Dunk televised its last episode (which was the conclusion of the practice game between Shohoku and the merged Shoyo-Ryonan team), many were left hanging in the air. A lot of SD fans were asking the questions “did they win the inter-high?”, “how did it end?” or “what happened after that?” Luckily, the Slam Dunk manga continued the story where the anime left off. 

So after the practice game, the inter-high tournament bracketing was finally released, and there were 3 things worth noting: 

1) Shohoku is in Bracket A while Meiho High is in Bracket B, meaning they would have to go all the way to the finals in order for lead character Hanamichi Sakuragi to get his hands on Meiho’s star player, the massive phenomenal center Hiroshi Morishige who single-handedly beat Aiwa Tech, one of the Final Four last year. 

2) Bracket A seems to be a very difficult one to be in, as defending champion Sannoh is inending their bracket, as well as Aiwa Tech, and the most prolific scoring team in Toyotama, who they will be facing first. 

3) Even with the impressive performance on the Kanagawa trials against #2 Shoyo and #1 Kainan, they were regarded as a C-ranked team, which doesn’t sit well with the starters, but as Shohoku Coach Anzai wisely mentioned that this could be a blessing in disguise for the reason that other teams might take them lightly because of the ranking. 

hanamichiThe day has arrived as Shohoku took on A-ranked Toyotama, notorious for their run-and-gun offense, and an extremely rowdy group of followers. Things weren’t going so well for Shohoku from the beginning, as their patented swift offense we’re greatly overpowered by Toyotama’s dynamic run-and-gun, and their opponent’s constant taunting caused them to lose their head in the game even more. 

Then in Anzai’s first risk in the game, the put guard Yasuharu Yasuda, who is more known for riding the bench all the time, into the game to calm everybody else down. And it worked. Slowly but surely, he dictated the pace of the game into a slow, deliberate one which didn’t sit well with Toyotama and it’s fans, but Yasuda was unfazed with the taunting and kept the pace going, mostly giving Takenori Akagi the ball on offense to score inside. 

As the score seemed to be even, an “accident” occured in the 1st half. As Kaede Rukawa broke free from his opponent, he was blindsided by “The Ace Killer”, who threw an elbow in his left eye, knocking him unconscious. With Rukawa out of the game, Shohoku struggled to stay in the game, until Rukawa’s eventual return, although stil hurt. 

The second half featured both teams taking their offense to full throttle, with Hisashi Mitsui and Rukawa taking care of Shohoku’s offense. And eventually, Shohoku defeated Toyotama.

Unfortunately, their next game is the day after they beat Toyotama, and what’s worse, their next opponent is none other than Sannoh, the best high school team in all of Japan.

The Bad Ass Video Game Characters Ever

Posted in video games with tags , , on January 25, 2008 by bradcook

            Action, every man (straight men, at least) love it, and lets face it, the adrenaline-charged males does not like characters who throw flowers all over the place.  They like guys with a tremendously ripped body, a smooth predator who seemingly put enemies away without breaking a sweat, or both.  The video gaming world also had itsDante share of characters who personify the famous quote: “I came, I saw, I kicked your ass”.

The most common of these “bad ass” people are those who not only kick some serious butt, but they also do it in style.  I’m talking about Dante from Devil May Cry, Alucard from Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Vincent and Sephiroth from Final Fantasy 7, Solid Snake from Metal Gear Solid, Duke Nukem, and a lot more.  These guys have no trouble blowing your head off just because they can, but at the same time, trying to maintain their hair and costumes.alucard

Some of them though, are just out there to destroy people, no questions asked.  Guys like Akuma from Street Fighter, Kefka from Final Fantasy 6, Astaroth from Soul Calibur, the main character in Grand Theft Auto and Hitman games, and how can we forget the mariolovable plumber Mario?  The moustache alone is bad ass, and he stomping on everyone is even more.

 Everyone wishes they can be as bad as these characters are, but reality is if you imitate in real life what these bad seeds do on video game, chances are you’re going to jail.  So until then, just idolize.

 After all, it’s just a game.

A 5-minute Routine

Posted in body building with tags , , , on January 11, 2008 by bradcook

Put that unused basketball into use, by just a basketball you now have an equipment to use in getting fit.  You can actually help your abs, back, and hips strengthen by using this 5-minute routine.  Do each exercise for one whole minute in order. 

  • The Plank

      Make a pushup position, your hands beneath the shoulders and on hands on top ofplank the basketball.  Make sure to hold your abs tight and hold your body in a straight line position from the heels up to the shoulders. 

  • Knee-to-Elbow Plank

      Here you use the same body position like the plank, but only allowing your back to arch and allow your right knee to touch your right elbow.  Hold it for 30 seconds, and then use your left knee to touch your left elbow, and again hold it for 30 seconds. 

  • Lying Wood chop

      Lie on your back with the knees slightly bent.  Then hold the ball behind the head with your arms slightly bent as well.  Try to maintain this arm angle through out the exercise.  When doing a sit-up, bring the ball to the floor in between your legs, and then return to starting position. 

  • Side-to-side twist

      Do this by sitting and leaning back slightly, with your knees bent and feet of the floor.  Hold the ball in front of the chest by both hands.  Next twist your shoulders from side to side, letting the ball to touch the floor beside the hips. 

  • Over and Under

      Like the figure-8 drill, but this one you do while seated.  Your legs slightly bent and you upper back off the floor.  The ball is moved over and under the legs passing the ball from one hand to the other while you alternate drawing the knees towards you and away from you. 

Do this, this can help you firm your abs, back and hips.

UFC 79: Nemesis Review

Posted in sports with tags , , , , , , , , on January 4, 2008 by bradcook

UFC 79

            The last UFC event of the year was held at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada, it features 2 main events that are just as compelling. On one hand we have the rubber match between Georges St. Pierre, arguably the best athlete in MMA today, going against one of the most dominant champion in MMA history in Matt Hughes. And the other pits the match up everyone’s been waiting for in a very long time, former PRIDE Middlewight Champion Wanderlei Silva pitted against former UFC Light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell. The card was really stacked, and it certainly didn’t disappoint.

             The first match pitted long-time rivals Melvin Guillard and Rich Clementi and the fight did not last long, as “No Love” Clementi secured a rear naked choke that forces Guillard to tap. Fighters usually call truce once the fight was over, but not this one. After the fight, the two are still jarring at each other. This rivalry has not seen its end, at least not yet.

             2nd fight is between 13-0 Lyoto Machida against “The African Assassin” Sokoudjou, notorious for his victories over two top 5 ranked LHWs in the world, both under 2 minutes. This fight has become Machida’s breakout party, as he dominated in every aspect of the fight, and even winning in spectacular fashion via Arm triangle choke.

             Now the first of 2 main events is upon us, the fight between Silva and Liddell is moments away. Both men started very cautious, respecting each other’s striking prowess, but that didn’t last very long as they took their gears to another level. Silva should get everyone’s credit for not giving up even for a second, but its obvious from the beginning that Liddell and his reach advantage was the deciding factor. And it contributed to “The Iceman” winning via unanimous decision.

             Last but not least, it’s the battle between GSP and Hughes for the UFC interim welterweight title, a title unable to be defended by Matt Serra who is nursing a back injury. Right from the get go, GSP showed utter domination of Hughes, and he even beats him at his own game, wrestling. Eventually, Hughes succumbed to a flawlessly executed series of submission transitions. What started as a kimura and a possible triangle choke attempt then transitioned into an armbar that saw Hughes verbally submitting, and once again, GSP tasted UFC gold.

             It certainly was one of the best cards the UFC has offered this year, and no doubt this will be remembered for a long time.

My Precious

Posted in my moment with tags , , , , , , on December 27, 2007 by bradcook

the ring

Are you ready to propose? If you are then you must have the right ring to propose with. One should know the diamond that would best spell FOREVER on her finger. Let me give you some tip on how to get the right ring that she’ll get a hard time to say NO to.

  1. Consider what metal to use

A lot of the rings come in either 14k or 18k, either white or yellow gold. Do not be confused with carat and karat. Karat is referring to gold purity while carat refers to the weight of a diamond. A standard purity usually is 14k, and most of them are set in white gold.

2.   What would be the right design

    Actually this would depend on your personal preference, but bear in mind these components:

    • Consider if it is easy or practical to wear – like if she works in a grocery or wherever, what are the chances of the stone getting caught on some of the items or clothing.
    • Would it be able to withstand your daily activity? – If she is very active then I guess you should get her a stronger and heavier kind.
    • Will the diamond hold securely? – consider getting more prongs to hold the diamond in place, so it won’t fall off easily when it gets caught into something.
    • Will it look good on her? – of course, after going out with her for quite sometime, you should at least know the things she likes and what suits her more. You can also ask for an opinion from her friends and close relatives.
    • Will it look good on the wedding band that you two may pick in the future? – Don’t pick something that would be too hard to pair with a wedding band. It should be the perfect match.

      3.   Window Shop

      Don’t dwell on the first ring you see. Try to check other stores that offer rings. Who knows you might find something nicer than the first one you saw and might even be a cheaper one too.

      4.   Know the 4 C’s

        The diamonds value is actually based on their clarity, color, carat, and cut.

        • Clarity – it is the size and number of inclusions within a diamond. What you want is the ones that they call clean stones, because larger inclusions makes the diamond less sparkly and of course less precious.
        • Color – There are variations of colors in a diamond. They have a color grade that starts from D and all through the alphabet. What you want is the colorless stone, which is graded D, valuable and very rare.
        • Carat – All I can say is the larger the diamond, the rarer it is and more costly.
        • Cut – A good and nice cut could bring a clean, white and sizeable stone.

        5.   Set a Budget

        It would be much easier for you and the jeweler. If you set a certain budget then the jeweler could give you options that are on your reasonable price. Also indicate if you rather would have a larger stone than other factors.

        6.   Know how much you should spend

          Be reasonable enough to know your limits. Do not go beyond something that is very unaffordable for you. Okay you love her and you want to give her something that she would appreciate forever but would she still appreciate if you get bankrupt because of it?

          7.   Know her ring size

            When you are out shopping, be observant of the size of ring she is trying on. And from there you will get a hint what size of stone would fit her better and what metal it would go with.

            8.   Where to get a ring

              Go somewhere with reputable and respectable stores. These merchants would help you pick the right ring without reaping you off.

              9.   Consider different shapes of diamonds

                There are a lot of shapes when it comes to diamonds. Just think what would suit her best and something that she would love and do “Whoa!” to.

                10.   Want the Best

                  Be sure to buy a certified good stone.

                  You might ask me, how the hell I know most of this stuff, well, I just recently proposed to my girl and guess what, she said YES. All the hard work and research that I did just to find the right ring for the right person for me.

                  “Do I Still Belong?”

                  Posted in my moment with tags , , on December 27, 2007 by bradcook

                             outcast

                              As most of you who read my past blogs, you already have an idea that I will be getting married soon.  And I get to thinking that once I get married do I still belong to the same group I have right now?

                               Most of my friends are still single and would be staying single for a couple of years.  And I keep wondering if I will have my family, would they still be my friends?  I don’t think that they will still be inviting me to go out and have fun like we used to.  Like going to the bars, getting drunk and wasted, and meeting up girls.  Or am I going to belong to those few friends I have that hangs out with their families, getting together for a picnic and letting their kids run around and play?  I had experienced that a friend of mine from way back got married a little bit early and then suddenly he stopped seeing us.  It was like he never existed.  Then I bumped into him one time and asked him why he never contacted us or gone out with the guys.  He just answered, “Men, I have my family to be with.  It is a busy life, and I wanted to spend most of my time with my family as long as I could.”  So now I kept thinking, would that be me after a few years?  Would I still be able to have friends outside of the family?  Or will I still be me after getting married?

                  A Juror Pressured

                  Posted in news with tags , , , on December 26, 2007 by bradcook

                             cicciaro family after white's conviction

                               John White was convicted of a second-degree manslaughter for the shooting of a 17-year-old Daniel Cicciaro Jr.  The juror who helped convict white, came out and said that he felt pressured to change his vote to guilty after enduring a psychological tactics on him and other jurors who changed their votes as well.  Because of the upcoming holidays, he felt like he was pressured to vote guilty so that he and the other jurors can have the holidays with their families.  If he didn’t change his vote then they would have to go back on a Sunday to deliberate that was according to Judge Barbara Khan.  But it was not worth it in the end, said Juror Francois Larche (cnn.com).

                               In my opinion, yes it would suck not to spend holidays with your love ones, but think about the families of the victim and the man convicted.  Would you think that it would be fair for them to put away a wrong person?  Of course not, you would only be giving suffering to other people if you convicted a person just because you wanted to get it over with.  I’d rather wait for a few days to decide whether he is guilty or not.  What is a few more days, when you already spent so much time deciding which is right or which is wrong, then just throw it all away because of the pressure from other people?  Then you would be taking away a lot of holidays from the person you convicted if he didn’t do the crime at all.