Feb 28, 2007

Dreaming Of Chasing Bunnies

Sammy looks very sweet napping on my bed.

Feb 23, 2007

Frozen Fountain

Detwiller Plaza Fountain
Main Street - Hellertown, PA
We found this fountain last week when we went to see Chikara: King Of Trios at the American Legion in Hellertown.  It's in a little park on Main Street that also includes a clock tower.  The clock tower was built in the 1980's, but the fountain dates back to the 40's.  Although it can't be seen in the winter when it's frozen over like this, the fountain is lit with fixtures that were repurposed from General Electric exhibit at the 1939 World's Fair.

Feb 22, 2007

Introducing Sammy

Meet the newest member of the family.  This is Sammy.

Feb 21, 2007

Shopping Through The Snow

Hazleton Shopping Center
Broad Street - Hazleton, PA
Give it a few weeks and the plow pile will be taller than the sign.

Feb 20, 2007

At Least They Spelled Cantonese Right

Brothers Buffet
Fairlane Village Mall - Pottsville, PA
Where else can you get "Mandain", "Amercian" and "Japanaise" food all under one roof?  What are you waiting for?

Feb 18, 2007

The Rise Of Morishima

ROH: Fifth Year Festival - Night Two
PA National Guard Armory - Philadelphia, PA
Ring Of Honor have decided to split up their annual Anniversary Show into six different nights that are scheduled in venues in five cities across two counties from February 16th through March 4th.  This isn't the first time that the company has divided one of their major events across multiple dates.

I'm not really sure why, but I'm slightly annoyed by this.  It kind of feels like a gimmick to sell six DVDs instead of one to the folks who can only afford to buy the big shows while, at the same time, cheapening the live event feeling a little bit.  It's still a great night of professional wrestling, but it's not quite the same to be able to attend 1/6th of the Fifth Anniversary Show.

The second show of what is being called The Fifth Year Festival was held last night at the company's Philadelphia home: the PA National Guard Armory on Southampton Road, and it was a historic night for Ring Of Honor.

After the last show, I mentioned that Gabe Sapolsky had spent the better part of a year booking Homicide as the face of the franchise.  He was built up as the savior who won the war against CZW.  Immediately after that, he was put in the "Stone Cold" Steve Austin role against the evil authority figure, with Jim Cornette serving as the ROH equivalent of Vince McMahon.  Next, he picked up the victory over his longtime rival Steve Corino, and he ended 2006 by defeating Bryan Danielson for the ROH World Championship at Final Battle.  

If 2006 was the rise of Homicide, it looked as if 2007 was going to be the year that he solidified himself as a dominant long-term champion.  Last month, he successfully defended the title against Chris Hero and the man who held the title for longer than anyone in company history, Samoa Joe.  I was in attendance for the latter (Battle Of The Icons), and it was an intense match with a red hot crowd.  On Friday, he successfully defended his title in New York against Jimmy Rave, further solidifying his status as the face of the franchise who took out one of the top heels in the company.

All of that buildup came to a sudden halt at last night's show when Homicide was defeated for the ROH World Championship by Japanese heavyweight Takeshi Morishima from Pro Wrestling Noah.  Morishima is an incredible talent who reminds me a lot of Samoa Joe, but I don't think that anyone in attendance last night expected that they would see a title change.  From what I understood, he isn't moving to the United States to work full time in ROH, but was instead on an American tour; sort of like an extended version of Kenta Kobashi's 2005 visit to the United States, but maybe not.  Whatever the situation is, one thing is is for certain - the ROH World Championship has truly become a global championship in the world of professional wrestling, and it's current holder is Takeshi Morishima.


Feb 17, 2007

Photos From King Of Trios

The Patriot wrestled as a part of Team USA.  This was Tom Brandi, not Del Wilkes.
The ICW Texarkana Television Champion, "Sweet & Sour" Larry Sweeney
This is 20 year old Shiima Xion.  Not long ago, he toured in Japan with DDT
Chikara mainstays Shane Storm (left) and Jigsaw (right).
Kudo from the Kaientai Dojo promotion in Japan.
Yoshiaki Yago from the Kaientai Dojo promotion in Japan.
Miyawaki from the Kaientai Dojo promotion in Japan.

Feb 16, 2007

King Of Trios

Chikara King of Trios: Night One
American Legion Hall - Hellertown, PA
Chikara is a unique company and one of the most fun pro wrestling promotions I have ever been to.  What other show can you go to see luchador ice cream men, a 64 year old wrestler and a patriotic wrestling gorilla?

This show was Night One of what will be a three night tournament of six man tag team matches.  We had a lot of fun and got to meet and talk to a bunch of the wrestlers.  Included on the card were Claudio Castagnoli teaming up with Los Ice Creams, rookie phenom Ricochet and veteran Tom Brandi performing as The Patriot.

Los Ice Creams: El Hijo Del Ice Cream and Ice Cream Jr, joined by a suspicious, tie-wearing Swiss ice cream.
El Hijo Del Ice Cream takes down Crossbones while Ice Cream Jr and Claudio Castagnoli look on.
Team USA (from left to right): Jay Jaillet, US Ape and The Patriot (Tom Brandi).
Ice Cream Jr holds Chuck Taylor up for El Hijo Del Ice Cream to dive off of the top rope.
Claudio Castagnoli was unmasked for his second round match against The Kings of Wrestling.


Feb 7, 2007

The Artwork of Keith Lee

Matador and SeƱora paintings
Keith Lee
These paintings have been hanging in my grandparents parlor for as long as I've been alive.  I think they bought 'em in the late 1960's.  For some reason, my grandmother was going through a bullfighter phase when she was picking out decorations for the house, because she has a ceramic bull statue too.

I never knew much about the artist, and it's not been easy to find information about him, but here's what I was able to find.  His name is Milton Lee, but he signed his work as Keith Lee.  He was born on October 12th, 1927 in Chickasha, Oklahoma.  He died less than four years ago on December 6th, 2003 in Granada Hills, California.  At some point, he had a studio on Forbes Avenue in Granada Hills.

Update: I've found other paintings of his on eBay that I really like.  This pirate ship panting is my favorite so far.  It reminds me of the end of The Goonies.

Feb 6, 2007

Grandpa's 70th Birthday

Happy 70th birthday to the best grandfather in the world.

Feb 4, 2007

Coffee At Wegmans

Market Cafe
Wegmans - Wilkes Barre, PA
My grandparents and I stopped for drinks on the way to the mall.