Whatever's cool with me...

Whatever's cool with me...

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

MMS DX Joker official pics.....HOLY TOLEDO!

"The 1/6 world is changing...A New Generation Begins"
...so does the introduction in Hot Toys' official page says. You can read the whole review thing there. No long reviews or whatsoever here. I'll let the pictures (taken from Hot Toys' official page) below do the talking. Release date is expected to be between Q2-Q3 '09. I just hope that this whole 'deluxe' thing does not emulate Enterbay's FoF Bruce Lee pricing scheme. That'll be utter ridiculous in my opinion.......after all, Hot Toys won't want to be seen as milking their customers dry now, would they? Heheh....
Time to save those pennies, people!

Death Star: A Star Wars novel by Michael Reaves & Steve Perry

It's been a while since I last read a full novel/book etc. Especially the ones that run >400 pages. Been pretty tied up lately (well, for the past one year or so I should say!) but when I first saw this latest Star Wars novel in a paperback version (which is by far MUCH cheaper than its' hardcover version!), I knew that my time in 'reading-hiatus-land' had come to an end.
Well, I'm pretty sure that they are literally hundreds of online reviews already done on this particular Expanded Star Wars universe novelized installment. But those who'd want a brief know-how about the book can read on for my opinion and brief review. What intrigued me most about this novel was that it touched on the different lives of the people inside the Death Star up to the point of is destruction. One thing unique about Reaves/Perry's book is that is does not tell the story from any of the good guys' point of view....since all of the characters were more or less 'employed' by the Empire to work (or at least lived amongst them) on the Death Star.
I'm not gonna list down every one of the characters here, that's gonna take a lot of space. But let me just tell you readers that the main characters ranges from a TIE Fighter pilot, an Imperial military Sargeant, a cantina owner & her bodyguard, a convict-slash-architect, an escapee, an archivist-slash-librarian and interestingly enough, the person who pulls the switch everytime the Death Star blows up a designated planet.
The book also cleverly tells us about the morbid love-hate relationship between Darth Vader and Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin. Along the way, we are also presented with the side stories of some of the familiar screen characters such as Admiral Motti and Princess Leia to complement the adventures of the main characters. Although the book leans much towards the off-screen characters, they are briliantly woven with the lives of the more familiar on-screen Star Wars characters, so much that one could swear that the events that took place in this book are good enough to be recognised as deleted scenes from A New Hope!
One thing lead to the other and in the end, their fates intertwined and the lot of them decided that they had served on the wrong side of the war and took matters into their own hands to leave the Death Star....and it couldn't have come at a better time too! Their escape took place minutes before the Rebel's attack on the Death Star......aka Luke Skywalker's 'a-million-to-one' proton torpedo shot into the artificial planet's exhaust vent. Of course, no valiant story is complete without any sacrifices whatsoever, expect some of the defacto Imperial personnel to go down in desperate attempts to let the other deserters save themselves.
This book deserves a read for those who love the original Star Wars trilogy...and especially to those who wants to know what went on inside the giant space station prior to its fateful doom.
My two cents.....nuff' said.

The lighter side of Star Wars.....

Who ever said that the Star Wars universe is solely focusing on the fight between good and evil, Jedi vs Sith hullabaloo, relentless lightsaber fighting and the violent exchange of blaster lasers? If Jay & Silent Bob provided us the comical referencing of Star Wars through their constant nod to Lucas' universe in their movies (i.e. Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy etc.), then the comic/graphic counterpart/equivalent of Star Wars parody should be Tag & Bink.
Tag and Bink are the main characters in a comedic series of Dark Horse Comics' Star Wars spoof comic books. The two first meet when they are found to have Padawan potential and these two supposedly Jedi in training haphazardly/accidently cause all the pivotal events in the Star Wars universe. They are portrayed as deliberately or accidentally influencing the events seen in the first and second film trilogies. Their accidental meddling also give readers some insights of the inconsistent and illogical events of the series. The reviews of their only 3 comic book adventures (so far) are as below, taken off wikipedia's page:
Tag and Bink Are Dead (#1)
Tag and Bink are two soldiers aboard the Rebellion flagship Tantive IV when the Star Destroyer Devastator captures it. After almost being captured, they dress up as stormtroopers and get transported to the Death Star. They try to leave by stealing TIE fighters... twice. Darth Vader realizes his need for two TIE pilots as wingmen for his fight against the Rebel starfighters attacking the space station. As the comic illustrates, it is not the Millennium Falcon's fault that Vader is almost killed in the trenches of the Death Star, but due to Tag and Bink's lousy piloting.

Although the two TIE fighters they appeared to be in were destroyed, the next comic states they were in factin the background when Vader selected two pilots, and that they stole an Imperial landing craft and escaped from the Death Star moments before it exploded.

Tag and Bink Are Dead (#2)
The adventures of Tag and Bink continue as they venture through the events of the Star Wars original trilogy, meeting up with allies such as Lando Calrissian, villains such as Boba Fett, and the evil Emperor Palpatine. Tag and Bink eventually find themselves trapped on the Death Star II dressed as the Emperor's Royal Guards. After the confrontation between Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader, the Rebels manage to destroy the Death Star II, killing Tag and Bink in the process (hence the title). Tag and Bink manage to live on as Force ghosts. Later to realize that they are trapped in purgatory.

Tag and Bink: Revenge of the Clone Menace
This issue is a prequel to the previous Tag and Bink Are Dead issues. Tag and Bink are shown as children, haplessly trying to become Jedi with Master Yoda. They find Anakin Skywalker and Padmé Amidala in a restaurant, as seen in Attack of the Clones, and later secretly gives tips to Anakin on how to keep his relationship with Padmé. Anakin eventually leaves Tag and Bink stranded on Naboo when he goes to Tatooine. It takes them three years to get back to the Jedi Temple, just in time to see clone troopers end the Jedi Order. They are confronted by the newly-formed Darth Vader, who spares them due to their past association, but they are told to give up their Jedi lives and move on. They do so. Tag and Bink Are Dead takes place about 20 years later.

(Copyright 2001 Darkhorse comics)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Hot Toys 'chilling' teaser pic of their upcoming MMS DX Deluxe Joker!

Thanks to fellow blogging buddy, Shaun for this excellent teaser pic. You nailed it perfectly with your Nostradomus-like predictions on this one! Heheh......

I see that many collectors (especially those who'd purchased the 1st version Joker) are already making up their minds not to purchase this one in view of Hot Toys' supposedly 'milking' collectors to continue buying multiple releases of the purple-suit Joker. Well, as Shaun had perfectly put it in his post, this is actually made to cater for those who'd missed the chance to get the 1st version. Gotta agree with him.
To quote Radiohead..."Everything is in its' right place" (or simply put, everything has its' purposes....)...'Nuff said.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Hot Toys MMS DX..."Ultimate Joker" rumour!

By now most 1/6th scale action-figure collector must have heard about Hot Toys' plans to release the Police Officer Joker aka Heath's maniacal clown-persona sans make-up. Released under the MMS DX brand (another division of Hot Toys I supposed), these new lines of 1/6th action-figures are supposed to be 'super-realistic' up to the point where you'd swear they've actually shrunk the respective actors/actresses down instead of making the figures out of plastic/resins! Heheh...anyway, more on that on Hot Toys' newsletter.

But the 'real' buzz on the internet seems to be focusing on the Joker picture seen at the background of the picture of the Cop Joker above. Ok, in case anyones misses it, take a look at this next comparison picture and we'll see why collectors around the world are going bonkers with this sheer unconfirmed rumour....

Thanks to my fellow blogger friend Razman, who's provided me with the link to a forum where collectors actually discussed this yet-to-be confirmed rumour about the re-release of the "Classic" Joker from the 2008 movie. Another fellow blogger, Shaun even calls this the "Ultimate Joker" which is by far, the coolest moniker for this supposedly "last but the best" movie Joker figure to be produced by Hot Toys.
Speculations have been flying all over the internet. Among others.....Will Hot Toys repackage the extra-head (with make-up on) and a revamped purple coat together with the Cop Joker? Will these 2 be packaged separately? Will the new MMS DX line be priced in tandem in Enterbay's FoF Bruce Lee (I can imagine the number of people selling their souls already!)? Is Hot Toys bundling these 2 in a single deluxe box, hence collectors will be forced to pay a 'deluxe' price? Phewww...simply too many. But one thing certain is that Hot Toys had mentioned implicitly that the rumoured Ultimate Joker will definitely make up for those who had missed the first two release (purple-suit Joker and BR Joker).

Looks like the ultimate Joker is going to be equipped with bombs to emulate the Mob meeting scene at the beginning of the TDK movie. That's pretty sweet as the previous 1st version of the Joker came rather plain with only his pocket knife. Whatever it may come with, this is one helluva figure and I'm sure pre-order quotas will be snapped up the moment Hot Toys drop any slightest hint that this particular figure is a 'go'. So stay alert and stay tuned.....

I always knew I missed the chance to get the 1st Joker for a reason... :p

Monday, March 23, 2009

In the aftermath of the 1-2 loss to Fulham: Fergie's at it again.....

Well, let me just start off this brief entry by saying that Sir Alex has been a good sport by mentioning....or rather admitting (finally....good grief!) that his Man Utd team was just not good enough in their 1-2 shcok loss to Fulham over the weekend. Whatever the reason was, Fulham deserved all the credit for their relentless hard work and for constantly pressuring the United backline throughout the game.
On the other hand, Fergie has lived up to his normal behaviour (as expected by millions of football fans) and criticized both red cards which were directed at his players. Two things Sir Alex.....firstly, a 'childish behaviour' does not warrant a place on the field during play. Rooney's immature temper led to him throwing the ball wildly towards Phil Dowd (the match referee) while the latter ordered a free kick to be taken from a specified spot. For God's sake, he's the referee...not a ball-boy, Wayne! So, Rooney's red card is justified.
Secondly, Schole's handball was nevertheless was a 'no-brainer'......come on....a ball destined to go into the net, and he HAD to scoop it away with his hands. Hmmm.....seems to me that even Schole-sy's red card is unquestionable. Not much valid points for Fergie to argue on both occasions.
Truthfully speaking, Utd's performance was already down the drain prior to Schole's dismissal......lack of confidence and loss of alertness eventually led them being outplayed by Fulham. They never recovered from this lack of match momentum and were made to pay the price. That's all to it.
Maybe (or eventually) Sir Alex will start giving credits to teams which could beat his team in the future......because I don't see anything that sounds like a praise/giving credit to Fulham...let alone Liverpool (in their 4-1 victory againts Utd in Old Trafford a fortnight ago) for that matter.
'Nuff said....

Sunday, March 22, 2009

World War II US Airborne Paratrooper

About 8 years (or so) ago in 2001, we were presented with an excellent war-drama/series on HBO called Band of Brothers ("BoB"). The TV series, which were jointly-produced by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg was more or less an implicit continuation (or in parallel I should say!) from the movie Saving Private Ryan (1998) in which Hanks acted in himself as well.

BoB is a ten-part television World War II miniseries based on the book of the same title written by historian Stephen Ambrose. The episodes initially aired in 2001 on HBO and currently still enjoys constant screen time on various TV networks all over the globe. The main focus of the series was on the experiences of E Company ("Easy Company") of the 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment assigned to the 101st Airborne Division, from Easy's basic training at Toccoa, Georgia, through the American airborne landings in Normandy, Operation Market Garden, the Battle of Bastogne and on to the end of the war. Because of their eagle insignia (located at their upper arm patch) Easy Company were often referred to as "Screaming Eagle".

All of the events portrayed in the series are based on Ambrose's research and recorded interviews with the Easy Company surviving alumnis. All of the characters portrayed are based on actual members of Easy Company; some of them can be seen in prerecorded interviews as a prelude to each episode (their identities, however, were revealed only at the close of the finale).

The BoB miniseries details (albeit some exaggerated and simplified version of re-telling) the real-life exploits of Easy Company during the Second World War over the course of ten episodes, starting with their basic training at the Currahee training site in Toccoa, Georgia and ending with the capture/liberation of Germany. The experiences of Major Richard Winters (1918–) are made to be the backbone of the series, as he strives to keep his men together and safe. While the series stars a large ensemble of cast, each of the episodes generally feature one character prominently, following their particular individual actions during certain events (for example, the Siege of Bastogne & Operation Market Garden).

As the series is based on real-life events, characters share the same fate as their real world counterparts. Many of the characters either die or sustain severe injuries, some of which lead to them being sent home or escaping from the hospital to rejoin their comrades at the battlefront. The experiences and the moral, mental, and physical hurdles are the main focal of the stories as each soldiers try to overcome their own personal inner demons as the war progresses.

As far as accuracy were concerned, additional research and fact-finding were done by Spielberg and Hanks in support of the facts provided by the book by Ambrose. Dale Dye, a retired Marine Corps captain and consultant on Saving Private Ryan, as well as most of the surviving Easy Company veterans, such as Richard Winters, Carwood Lipton, Bill Guarnere, Ed Heffron, and Amos Tayler, were asked for input and opinion.

Similarly, there was a great aesthethic attention for details on weapons and original costume replicas. Simon Atherton, the weapons master, corresponded with veterans to match weapons and to scenes and assistant costume designer Joe Hobbs extensively used photos and veteran accounts. As a final accuracy check, the veterans/surviving former members of Easy Company saw previews of the series and approved the episodes before they were aired.
Now on to the geeky part of this entry..... :p
There is actually a 1/6th scale action figure of a US paratrooper from DiD which many would believe is loosely based on the BoB mini series, and the figure is supposedly to be a rough representation of one of the lead character, Capt. Lewis Nixon. In order not to infringe any copyright/trademark issues, these facts however, were not presented on the box/sleeves of the packaging. Instead, many collectors began comparing the likeness themselves and assumed that DiD were not given (or were not willing to pay the cost for) the rights to acquire the actor's likeness for the action figure.
I initially wanted a WWII airborne figure which was produced earlier in the early 2000s (post-BoB mini series) but I didn't have enough funds back then being a cash-strapped student and all. I'm glad i waited all these years and got myself this excellent DiD version instead. My search for this 2007 figure took me all the way up to Penang (northern state of Malaysia) where I accidently found the figure at a relatively small collector shop through my relentless browsing of the net (just when I wanted to give up hope of finding it!).
Anyway, I'm not gonna give a complete review of this figure. You can google that in the net if you want to. I rather let the pictures below do the talking for me...heheh. Geek rules!
(Pictures originally taken from my flickr page.)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

What's up with the 'Rebel' moniker/nickname/screen name?

I do get questions every now and then from friends and colleagues alike. Why 'rebel'? Why does everything has got to do with being rebellious? Why would you rebel with so many causes? Who made you so rebellious in the first place that you've decided to adopt the rebel nickname? The list goes on. Well, partly inspired by my fellow blogger Joshua's entry, where he pursued to explain his reasons for naming his blog as it is now, I find it fitting now to do the same, as too many inquiries (and speculations!) have been floating around concerning my blog's choice of name.

Firstly, as far as the name goes, this blog's name is kind of a nod to my wife's e-mail address (which also has a hint of James Dean in it!) so I thought of doing the same to honour the great actor who also acted in a movie called Rebel With A Cause. Secondly, as far as attitude/persona goes, yes....it does reflect my real life perceptions toward certain things that seem to have bugged me along the way in life. Heheh....

Seriously, I am a firm believer of doing things my way and I often avoid being a 'yes-man' simply because I am somehow obliged to follow the masses....or simply because everybody else is doing it. Having said that, I was never a person who would strive unnecessarily to be in certain people's favourite persons list. Heck, if some people can't accept me for what I am, then why should I bother changing their rigid views on me. Heh. Some even speculated that my choice of screen name actually reflected my anti-establishment political views........this is of course a load of bullc***. Hahaha.......mostly it's just about the retaliation towards certain group of people that I've encountered around me.... :p
Coincidently, my choice of moniker is also in tandem with my interest towards the Star Wars universe i.e. rebelscum, rebel alliance, rebel fleet etc. So that's actually not a bad thing after all! I even started my collection of toys because of Star Wars...so I guess by adopting the 'rebel' name, I'd sort of giving ol' George a nod for kick-starting (again) my life-long passion to collect (and hopefully this 2nd time around I'll take extra care of 'em!) action-figures and all sorts of other collector items/movie memorabilias.

Lastly, I think that I've been somehow influenced by David Bowie's song, 'Rebel Rebel' quite a bit. I'm a bit of a guitar player myself and the jangling riffs of the song seem to be embedded in my head ever since I started listening to it years ago. Dang, the guitar hook is infectious and I'm already humming to it as I type this! Hahah.......

Well, that's it from me. I hope that this entry will more or less shade some light over the raging curiosities of some of you who's been wanting to know the reason behind my blog's choice of name.

Behringer FX600 'multi-effect' guitar pedal: A value for money 6-in-1 effect stompbox!

This time around I'm gonna deviate from my usual rants on toys, football or any geeky discussions/topics. Instead, I will give a mini review of my latest 'toy' which I have acquired a few days ago from a seller up north in Malaysia. This seller it seems, according to many, is an authorised distributor of this particular brand of 'toy'. The toy I'm talking about here is a guitar pedal/effect/stompbox. Apart from my usual obsession with collector toys, comics and football, the guitar is another passion of mine and acquiring these pedals to enrich my guitar sound has been quite a thrill as well!
Well, for the benefit of the masses, the most famous guitar pedals according to many, would definitely be from BOSS since many well-known guitarist/musicians uses the brand relentlessly throughout the years. As the years progress, many 'copy' brands have cropped up to constantly rival the products manufactured by BOSS, but nevertheless without compromising on the quality if the guitar pedals itselves. But wait, just what is a guitar pedal? And what does it do? I know this is the most basic question there is about these well-known musical devices but again for the benefit of those not knowing yet, these wonderful effects are used to manipulate the sound of the guitar to be....errr, modified. I find that wiki's explanation on guitar pedal is by far the most 'people-friendly' in terms of simple explanation to the layman lot.
Anyway, on to the review. There are many other brands that are deemed to rival BOSS in terms of product offerings. These brands range from Dunlop, Digitech, Line 6, Electro Harmonix, Danelectro, VOX, Voodoo, Ibanez, Lazer, Gator, Behringer....there are simply too many to list here. Traditionally most musicians would most probably go for the already established brand i.e. BOSS, but until recently many of these so-called copycats have excelled in bringing their offerings up to the par of the ones produced by the famous brand. I am not saying this simply because I've bought a non-BOSS guitar pedal! By all means, I already have 2 pedals from BOSS and I thought that it is only fitting that I give other brands a chance to showcase their capabilities as well.

The Behringer multi-effect pedal aka FX600 is truly a wonderful creation of technology. I'm not gonna dwell into the technical stuffs, those you can read here or here. To cut things short, here are my short/simple/non-technical but straight to the core reviews of the various (six of 'em to be exact!) effects that come in this little package:
Pitch shifter - This effect will somehow 'de-tune' your guitar sound. With the effect on, the amplifier will produce a 'double-guitar' sound while you play. Cool effect to say the least but only works well during solos I reckon. Tad bit confusing if you play normal strumming chords and especially when you try to sing along with it.
Tremolo - The tremolo bar/whammy bar sound is recreated here. In my opinion, it works well to give you that 'reverb-y' sound as well. Simply effective if you want that 'warbly/waterry' effect from your sound.
Delay - It gives you a.....errr, delayed sound (duh!). While some reviewers gave a 'not-so-positive' reviews on this pedal, but most will agree that the delay function is the bright point of the pedal! Sounds sweet enough to make me forget that I've actually paid a fraction to get this pedal/effect if compared to the real deal. Real top notch yet simple control gives users complete control over the time and rate of their desired delay effect.
Phaser - Hmmm, wish i could say more regarding this particular effect, but it simply does not cut it for me. I was expecting a solid phaser sound (refer Led Zep's 'Kashmir Song' for references) but instead all I've got was a messed warbled-up sound undistinguishable from the flanger sound. I could just be me, but that's what I think I've heard...hehe.
Flanger - Gives an acceptable flangery/waterry/double-signalled guitar sound. Acceptable....but I already have a separate flanger pedal which has managed to give me a better sound than this one, so I can afford to overlook this flaw.
Chorus - Same review as the flanger above. Again, since I already have a separate super chorus pedal, i can afford to skip this altogether.
To sum it all up.....
Pros - Lightweight, cheap, affordable and represents a 'real' value-for-money investment.
Cons - A few of the effects simply doesn't come up to par with the predecessor aka the 'real deal'. I was a bit disappointed that the delay function does not come with the '4th knob indefinite hold function' like the one available on the BOSS DD-3 pedal.
Well, despite of all things being said and reviewed and albeit many negative/unpopular views on the FX600, I truly feel that it represents an excellent value-for-money purchase for me. A 6-in-1 effect pedal for a price of roughly USD 35, who can argue about it being overpriced or expensive? To the FX600, welcome to my family of guitar pedals! :D

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Henkei Ratchet & Ironhide: 'Anatomically-correct' Transformers!

Finally these two were given the 'rightful' treatment. Henkei's version is spot-on (pic above) and captured that G1 'cartoon look' perfectly IMHO. For over 25 years, fans of the original G1 cartoon series were left wondering what went wrong with the designs of the original robot-figures of both Ratchet & Ironhide released in the early 80s.

Why all the fuss you may ask? Read on.....

These 2 characters were released (under Takara TOMY) during the height of the G1 frenzy in the early 80s (circa 1983-1984), and now since re-released as 'ENCORE' figures, maintaining the classic original designs that most of us still recall. The funny thing is.....those figures did not have proper heads!!! NOW I remembered why I profusedly resisted me' dad's offer way back in the mid-80s to buy me those 2 G1 characters...heheh!
Just compare these 2 G1/ENCORE figures with the ones Henkei released (pic above) and you'll see what I mean... :p

Not only these figures do not possess any visible head (I always beckoned that the 'windshield' substituted for their heads!)...their body proportion is totally out! Heck, I can't even make out which is which....are there any legs to go with that body? All I know is, there is a pair of arms....heheh. Yeah, I'm pretty sure that a lot of collectors will probably bash/criticise me for the lack of appreciation towards these vintage designs, but hey.....I'm someone who likes to get hold of a 'definitive version' of something, action figures/robots alike. And looks like my 25-odd years of waiting for the definitive versions for Ratchet and Ironhide paid off.....bless those designer-guys at TAKARA/TOMY!
While these newer versions (Henkei's) have its own critiscms i.e the most prominent one is that in vehicle mode, both 'Ratch and 'Hide converts into a SUV rather than the traditional 'flat-fronted' van. Heck, even Optimus had his make-over man......he's no longer a squar-ish lorry nowadays (refer to the 2008 movie!). PLUS, in robot mode, they're WAYYYYY cooler than their predecessors (need I stress more on the essence of this current posting of mine...heheh).
Anyway, collectors having the original/G1/ENCORE figures are more on a nostalgic agenda nowadays, rather than to rue on the lack of anatomical accuracy of the figures once they get their hands on them. Modern collectors today are ever so lucky that technological advancements have enabled those cool uber-geek designers at TAKARA/TOMY to come up with the sleek, updated and most importantly; accurate robot-mode designs for the Transformers characters.
So, which are the ones that catches your fancy? Not wrong to have both versions. But like I said, my 25-odd years of waiting for the perfect/definitive SUV buddies has been worth it...
'Nuff said.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Alex Ferguson: The Master of the "Dog-ate-my-homework" analogy!

Well, I have no intention to give a 'rub-it-in-your-face' review on the recent Liverpool 4-1 victory over Manyoo recently. That's already been said in abundance throughout the whole cyber space (just google 'liverpool 4-1 man utd' and you'll see what I mean!).
But just let me start this rant by saying that even though I am not a Liverpool supporter, I feel that the team doesn't receive enough acknowledgment and credits for their recent grand of a form. Their 4-0 victory over Real was quickly dismissed as being lucky and some as far as saying that Real had an 'off' day performance...*sigh*, never the skills and technical competency of the winning team.....and ALWAYS the pitfall of the losing one! Rafa Benitez (that's Liverpool manager for those in the dark) went and said that he doesn't get enough respect as much as the media/press is giving to Alex Ferguson (Manyoo's manager) or Arsene Wenger (Arse's....errr, Arsenal's manager) for that matter. Well, the drubbing of Manyoo certainly gave him all the respect he deserves (and longingly craves).

What bewilder me most was that Ferguson is still the same whiner as he was 10 or 15 years ago (in the early glory days of the EPL). At times I felt that Wenger was a bigger whiner (i.e "ze pitch was not even", "my players were not given enough rest to recover from midweek's game", "the ref wasn't on top of his game today" etc. etc.), but fresh from the aftermath of Manyoo's drubbing by Liverpool, this man manages to impress me more and more by giving out silly press statements...or as I would like to coin out as the 'Dog-ate-my-homework" analogy. So commonly heard again and again but relentlessly being repeated by the great manager.

Now, why can't he just accept that Liverpool was the more superior side on that fateful Saturday afternoon? We've witnessed most of the managers being sporting and giving credits to the winning side during post-match interviews, but I guess a loss (against a bitter rival at that!) translates into a bitter pill to swallow for Ferguson. His latest complaint/excuse was that he believed that the 12.45pm (UK time) kick-off time on Saturday has given the Merseyside team an unfair advantage, hence caused the downfall of the Devils. What the h***? The list gets more and more ridiculous every season. To cap it all off, Sir Alex even gave a press statement saying that "It is a hard one to take because I felt that we WERE the better team." Right Sir Alex........the 'better' team ONLY conceded 4 goals and managed to retaliate with one.

That is why, as a neutral fan (a supporter of neither of the so-called big 4 teams) it's always fun to experience the aftermath of any great match aka the war of words between managers....and to be amazed by how these great tacticians find world class excuses to go with each defeat! :p

'Nuff said....

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Geeky nerd talk #2: The intriguing wonders of Clone Troopers...

Yup, the title says it all. I'm gonna talk about Star Wars' clone troopers or clonies for short. Not going too detailed though, you can read more on wiki's page. Wookiepedia has a better page for it even.
A brief recap for those already in the know (or a brief introduction to those who's been living in a cave for the past 30-odd years or so....since the first hint on these clones was mentioned by 'old Ben' way back in the 1977 movie!):

Clone troopers are soldiers in the fictional Star Wars universe, cloned from Jango Fett, a Mandalorian bounty hunter. They first appeared in Star Wars Episode II (Attack of The Clones), and returned in Star Wars Episode III (Revenge of The Sith) where they played a pivotal role in initiating the Clone Wars and later in the eradication of the Jedi order/the set-up of the Galactic Empire. These clone troopers comprised the bulk of the Grand Army of the Republic during the war where they fought and often served under the Jedi knights of the old Republic.
After the Clone Wars, them clonies served as the core nucleus for the armed forces of the Galactic Empire. In Attack of the Clones, it was revealed that the genetic template of the clone troopers was the bounty hunter Jango Fett, one of the most feared in the Galaxy. In exchange for huge payment and an unaltered clone "son", Boba Fett, Jango provided his genetic material and his Mandalorian battle training to the cloners of Kamino. The clone troopers were outfitted with armor styled after Mandalorian battle armor (notably the helmet and its T-shaped visor) and armed with weapons and vehicles produced in secret by Kuat Drive Yards, Rendili Stardrive, and Sienar Fleet Systems.

The Battle of Geonosis marked the first deployment of the clone troopers as well as the beginning of the Clone Wars. After Geonosis, clone trooper armies were led by Jedi generals, who were in turn accompanied by Clone Commanders. The clone troopers eventually carried out Order 66 at the whims of Chancellor Palpatine, turning on their Jedi generals. This marked the end of the Clone Wars, as well as the death of the Old Republic.
After the war and the birth of the Galactic Empire, the clone trooper army was reorganised into the Imperial Stormtrooper Corps. The surviving clone troopers were fitted with new armor and weapons, and became the Imperial Stormtrooper Corps of the Empire led by the self-appointed dictator Palpatine. Because of their tendency to manipulation by the Kaminoans (who led a revolt against the Empire), Jango Fett clones throughout the force were slowly replaced by non-clone recruits. One of the few stormtrooper legions to remain "pure" (completely composed of Fett clones) throughout the era of the Empire was the fictional 501st Legion, which was named in honor of a real-world fan group called the 501st Legion.
My recent re-discovered/re-newed interest towards these clonies even prompted me to get myself the Republic Gunship which I had intially refused to get since I prefered Stormies rather than Clonies before (think of all the photo-shoot opportunities! Heheh...nerd alert!); from a fellow collector/toy-seller friend. Them gunship pictures will have to wait.....but in the meantime, enjoy these pictures, taken directly off my flickr page (a friend of mine was telling me he has little time to 're-direct' himself to flickr, so I guess this posting has served its purpose!). Rest assured, many more will come soon. Excelsior!