Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Today's physiotherapy

So today was my last day in outpatient physiotherapy at Lyndhurst. I don't believe I have made very much progress in three months. And I won't miss the travel. Today was just horrible and I was very tired when I got home. It's somewhat of a double edged sword. Lyndhurst is the best place to go because they can spend the time with me. But I hate the travel. I'll take a break and go someplace closer for a while. I already have a clinic I can go to. I'll let the weather warm up a bit first.

Sakura Hirota, master thespian

More fans probably ask me about Sakura Hirota than anyone in the joshi business over the last few years. At the very least she was very good at her costume play comedy shtick and was usually very entertaining even when GAEA sometimes wasn't. A lot of fans want to know what she has been doing since GAEA closed.

It was probably a very good idea for Sakura Hirota to retire from joshi. I guess she wanted fans to remember her fondly for her work in GAEA. It's doubtful she would have fit in anywhere else, even with NEO's bad comedians. She basically became a nurse and released a DVD as well. Now Sakura Hirota is beginning a new chapter in her life.

Sakura Hirota is training to be an actor and will make her stage debut in March. It seems that acting is something she has wanted to do for a long time. Recently she decided to take acting classes at a local theatre company in Tokyo. She will appear in a drama stage play on March 12.

Sakura says that pro wrestling was an expression of her creativity and she is hoping to bring that creativity to the stage. Oh and she still has all her costumes stored in a warehouse. Good luck to Sakura Hirota on her new career.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:B.B. King
Song:The Thrill Is Gone
Album:The Ultimate Collection

I'm not a big B.B. King fan but this collection is worth getting and this is his best known song.

Check out A & E tonight at 10PM for the world TV premiere of the Oscar nominated documentary about wheelchair rugby titled Murderball. It will change how you view the disabled.

Monday, February 27, 2006

WWE drug testing policy

The WWE announced their new drug testing policy at today's RAW/Smackdown taping in Washington, DC. Here's a link to the detailed drug policy. I guess the main thing is they have an outside doctor administering the drug tests and they appear to have a three strikes and you're out policy. This could be a good thing if the WWE doesn't interfere in the administering of the testing or the enforcement of the results. We'll just have to wait and see.


Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:The Beach Boys
Song:God Only Knows
Album:Pet Sounds

If you're only going to get one Beach Boys album, Pet Sounds is the one to get. Brian Wilson may have been ready for a rubber room at the time but it sure didn't affect his musical talent.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Matt Kenseth wins at California

2003 NASCAR Nextel Cup champ Matt Kenseth is known as a poor qualifier who excels in the race. This pattern continued in today's Auto Club 500 at California Speedway in Fontana, CA. The #17 DeWalt Tools Ford started the race in 31st but he came to the front and won the race.

After winning Saturday's Busch Series race, Greg Biffle-#16 Jackson Hewitt Ford was looking for the double. He dominated the race but wasn't around at the end. Tony Stewart-#20 Home Depot Chevy was fast but cut a tire on lap 122 and went down a lap when he had to make a green flag pit stop. His only hope was for green flag pit stops to cycle through and then get a caution.

Stewart finally got back on the lead lap when a debris caution came out at lap 196. That got him back into second place behind Greg Biffle. But Stewart blew an engine on lap 215 and was the first car out of the race. He finished last. The caution came out.

The ensuing pit stops would take fuel mileage out of the equation. Jeff Gordon-#24 Dupont Chevy took two tires to get the lead. Everyone else took four. Kenseth passed Gordon and then another caution came out at lap 219 when Stanton Barrett-#95 Hair Of The Dog Energy Drink Chevy spun out. Biffle passed Gordon when the green came out but there was another caution when Kurt Busch-#2 Miller Lite Dodge spun out.

Biffle radioed his pit and told them the engine was dying. He dropped out after the restart and finished 42nd. This left Kenseth in the lead with Jimmie Johnson-#48 Lowe's Chevy in second. Kenseth was cruising to an easy win when Scott Wimmer-#4 Aero Exhaust Chevy blew an engine on lap 246. This caution set up a green/white/checker finish between Kenseth & Johnson. Kenseth held off Johnson for the win.

Congratulations to Matt Kenseth, crew chief Robbie Reiser and car owner Jack Roush. Johnson's second place finish kept him in the points lead. Carl Edwards rebounded from last week's last place to finish third this week. Also another top ten for Casey Mears and rookie JJ Yeley. The Nextel Cup boys are off next week and will be in Las Vegas in two weeks. Here's the top ten of today's race and the top ten in points.

Auto Club 500 top ten
1.#17/Matt Kenseth/DeWalt Tools/Ford/Jack Roush
2.#48/Jimmie Johnson/Lowe's/Chevy/Rick Hendrick
3.#99/Carl Edwards/Office Depot/Ford/Jack Roush
4.#9/Kasey Kahne/Dodge Dealers-UAW/Dodge/Ray Evernham
5.#31/Jeff Burton/Cingular/Chevy/Richard Childress
6.#26/Jamie McMurray/Crown Royal/Ford/Jack Roush
7.#42/Casey Mears/Texaco Havoline/Dodge/Chip Ganassi
8.#18/JJ Yeley/Interstate Batteries/Chevy/Joe Gibbs
9.#6/Mark Martin/AAA/Ford/Jack Roush
10.#5/Kyle Busch/Kellogg's/Chevy/Rick Hendrick

Top ten in points
1.Jimmie Johnson-355
2.Casey Mears-316
3.Matt Kenseth-308
4.Kasey Kahne-295
5.Dale Earnhardt Jr.-287
6.Mark Martin-275
7.Ryan Newman-273
8.Clint Bowyer-271
9.Brian Vickers-260
10.Elliott Sadler-259

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Sam Cooke
Song:Wonderful World
Album:Greatest Hits

One of the smoothest voices in the history of R & B, Cooke started in gospel and became a huge star in the 60s with hits like Wonderful World. Details of his death have always been sketchy but it has been thought to have been a mob hit.

Last night's NASCAR Busch Series race from California wasn't on TV up here so I won't write about it when I don't get to see the race. Greg Biffle in the #16 Ameriquest Ford won the race when teammate Carl Edwards-#60 Ameriquest Ford made a late race pit stop to get fresh tires. He pitted alone so that didn't work out for him. The Busch Series will be on the road course in Mexico City next week. Paul Tracy will drive the #4 Geico Chevy.

I went on my first shopping trip yesterday. I went to The Bay at Sherway Gardens to buy a new winter coat. They had one on sale. It went pretty well. I got what I wanted. They have elevators there so I can go anywhere in the mall. I also dropped in to the Rogers Wireless store. I've been having a little trouble with my phone. It wasn't ringing. The guy took the battery out and reconnected it and it was OK. He said it was a software problem and if it happens again I should do the same thing.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Feb. 24 G-Shooto results

G-SHOOTO - 2/24/06 - Shinkiba 1st Ring
All bouts scheduled for two five minute rounds.
CLASS C+ STRAWWEIGHT BOUT-Eri Kaneya def. Kanae Fukatsu at 3:35 of round one via armbar
CLASS C+ 46KG BOUT-Youko Yamada def. Mayuko Kasagi at 4:37 of round one via guillotine choke
CLASS C+ 74KG BOUT-Youko Takahashi def. Mika at 47 sec. of round one via TKO
CLASS C+ STRAWWEIGHT BOUT-Maho Muranami def. Yukiko Seki at 57 sec. of round one via armbar
CLASS C+ STRAWWEIGHT BOUT-Kayo Nagayasu def. Akiko Inoue by unanimous decision

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:The Band f/Neil Young
Album:The Last Waltz

A great album and great film that are both worth your time. Plenty of special guests on this farewell to The Band including this Neil Young song.

Mark Martin wins California Craftsman Truck race

It's a good thing Mark Martin isn't running the complete NASCAR Craftsman Truck series this year. But he will be a shoe in when he does join the series full time in 2007. Martin drove the #6 Scott's Miracle Gro Ford to his second straight win in the Racetickets.com 200 at California Speedway in Fontana, CA. His main competition were teammates Todd Bodine-#30 Germain Toyota & Ted Musgrave-#9 ASE Toyota. Bodine was penalized and sent to the back of the field early in the race for jumping a restart. He wasted no time returening to the front. A green/white/checker finish was set up when Mike Wallace-#59 Harris Trucking Dodge crashed on lap 199. Martin led and Bodine & Musgrave at the restart. Bodine said that Martin would have to make a mistake to lose. Well, we're talking about Mark Martin so that didn't happen. Congratulations to Mark Martin on his victory and the competition can relax. He won't run the next race at Atlanta on March 17.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Smokie Norful
Song:Somethin' Somethin'
Album:I Need You Now

Smokie Norful was a pastor in Chicago when he was tapped to sing on the 2000 album by the gospel choir The Tommies called Real. That's the first time I heard him. This performance got Norful a record contract with EMI Gospel. His powerful vocal style has gotten him a strong following since I Need You Now was released in 2002. Norful also plays piano and writes and produces a lot of his own material. He co-wrote/produced Somethin' Somethin' with Derek "DOA" Allen. The entire album is strong so check him out.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Today's physiotherapy

Not much to say. Just that the exercise poops me out. I did some walking with canes today. I'm going back to Lyndhurst on Tuesday and that's it for now. Once again I was talking to some fellow outpatients about getting what you need. The bottom line is you have to bitch & complain or you won't get anything. It's really stupid. Joe says he has an appointment next week to get an assessment to determine whether he can get a power chair. He'll get it if it's approved. He's a nice guy but he's probably a little too nice.

T-1 president Futami loses his cool

Some pretty crazy stuff went down at Thursday's T-1 GP show at Shinjuku FACE. T-1 president Futami lost his cool in an altercation with Yumiko Hotta and then announced that he was through with the joshi business.

The problems seemed to start during the semi main event between Chikayo Nagashima & Kaori Yoneyama. Futami had invited Emi Tojyo to appear on the show despite her recent appearance in adult videos. Apparently this didn't go over well with the wrestlers. Tojyo didn't show up. So during this match Futami got up on the ring apron and started berating Yoneyama over her performance. Yoneyama told him to get off the ring apron and suggested he was upset Tojyo didn't accept his invitation.

Then things got really out of control during the main event. It was Manami Toyota, Yumiko Hotta & Tsubasa Kuragaki vs Mayumi Ozaki, Megumi Yabushita & Amazing Kong. At one point in the match, Hotta threw Ozaki out of the ring. Hotta had been arguing with Futami during the match. He threatened to enter the ring. Then after Hotta used her pyramid driver on Yabushita to win the match, Futami did enter the ring to confront Hotta. Hotta then grabbed Futami's sunglasses and shattered them. He got on the mic and said that 50,000 yen would be deducted from Hotta's guarantee to pay for the broken sunglasses. The two glared at each other but the refs kept them apart so nothing else happened.

Futami was still angry backstage when he announced that the joshi business isn't worth the aggravation and T-1 will take their money elsewhere. There's embarassment in baseball when you lose but there's nothing like this. T-1 is officially through with joshi.

Now if I had paid money to see this show, I would have been very annoyed that the sponsor was running around disrupting the show because he was upset with some of the wrestlers. No one paid to see Futami go nuts. It was very unprofessional. It's too bad joshi lost a sponsor but I'm not sure this is much of a loss. He had no business going into the ring. Let the wrestlers do their jobs and deal with the personalities afterwards. Here's the results of the show.

T-1 GP - 2/23/06 - Shinjuku FACE
Michiko Ohmukai def. Kyoko Kimura in 11:45
Nozomi Takesako def. Yuna in 8:15
T-1 Mask def. Ayumi Kurihara in 10:07
Chikayo Nagashima def. Kaori Yoneyama in 11:44
Manami Toyota, Yumiko Hotta & Tsubasa Kuragaki def. Megumi Yabushita, Mayumi Ozaki & Amazing Kong (Hotta over Yabushita in 17:59)

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Song:Bout A Thang

Tonex (Anthony Williams III) is a multi talented gospel artist. Singer/writer/producer, you name it, he does it. He's one of those guys who gets criticized by the church as being too secular. But his music does reach young people and that's what he's trying to do. Bout A Thang was a big hit.

BET will air Celebration Of Gospel tonight at 9PM. This is your opportunity to check out some of the great gospel artists if you've never done so. It's hosted by Steve Harvey and is usually a very good show.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

T-1's Futami still upset with Maekawa

T-1 will be having their second joshi show Feb. 23 at Shinjuku FACE. T-1 president announced yesterday that the main event will be Manami Toyota, Yumiko Hotta & Tsubasa Kuragaki vs Megumi Yabushita & Amazing Kong. This was after Futami's wrangling with Kumiko Maekawa and AKINO dropping out due to illness. But Futami is still upset with Maekawa.

He thought Maekawa would work the show. She dropped out when he couldn't tell her who was in the match. When he told her Yumiko Hotta was involved, she still didn't want to do the show. She apologized to fans but she still doesn't want to do the show.

Futami apologized to fans saying that he was in verbal warfare with Kumiko Maekawa and he was unable to convince her to work the show. He thanked Yumiko Hotta for stepping in and helping out.

Speaking of Hotta, there are rumblings afoot that Hotta will use the T-1 show to springboard into her own promotion again. This rumour has been around since Mika Nishio left KO Productions to freelance. Nishio is very loyal to Hotta. There may be something to this as A To Z has quietly booked Korakuen Hall for five dates beginning March 19. It appears Hotta is having second thoughts about the A To Z/JD Star merger and wants to be in charge again. Too bad she was a failure at running her own promotion.

More foolishness with the legendary red belt

So last week we were talking about what will happen to the WWWA Singles Title, known as the legendary red belt. The belt has been in storage since AJW closed last spring. And now of course the final champ Kumiko Maekawa is retiring and she has the belt.

Maekawa defended the title for the first time since AJW closed at the Feb. 19 GIRLS DOOR show against Ayako Hamada. Ayako won the title in 20:36 with the AP Cross. Congratulations to the new champ! Except that after the show there was some discussion and Ayako returned the belt to Maekawa. So what's that all about?

On Tuesday it was announced that Kumiko Maekawa has brought informer AJW chairman Takashi Matsunaga to produce her retirement showon Mar. 26 at Korakuen Hall. It seems that after defending the title against Nanae Takahashi on the retirement show, Maekawa will turn the belt over to Matsunaga and it will be retired. That will be the end of that. Maekawa is doing this out of loyalty to the Matsunagas.

So what was that title change all about? You know how it is. Sometimes promoters take stupid pills. I guess the nostalgia value was supposed to get some publicity for GIRLS DOOR. If something was actually going to be done with the belt in the next month, that would be fine. But phantom title changes are never a good idea as they tend to annoy fans. The whole thing makes no sense, not that it will stop them from doing it. Here's the results of the GIRLS DOOR show.

GIRLS DOOR - 2/19/06 - Shinjuku FACE
Atsuko Emoto def. Ayako Sato in 9:14
GAMI def. Cherry in 10:42
Kaoru Ito & Michiko Ohmukai def. Kyoko Kimura & Bambi (Ito over Kimura in 20:24)
Dynamite Kansai & Manami Toyota def. Aja Kong & Tomoko Watanabe(Toyota over Watanabe in 11:29)
WWWA SINGLES TITLE MATCH:Ayako Hamada def. Kumiko Maekawa in 20:36

Trish Stratus to host Canada Walk Of Fame induction ceremony

Here's a link to Greg Oliver's article on SLAM Wrestling announcing that Trish Stratus will host this year's Canada Walk of Fame induction ceremony on June 8. The inductees will be named on Mar. 8. As many fans are aware, Trish is a Toronto native.


Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Stevie Wonder
Song:You Haven't Done Nothing
Album:Fullfillingness' First Finale

Of course Stevie Wonder is recognized as one of the greats of black music. This is based mostly on his 60s & 70s work. Lately he hasn't been that good. But his 70s music such as this song are definitely worth your time. So I've stayed away from box sets and gone with individual CDs like this one.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Today's physiotherapy

I'm finished with my outpatient physiotherapy next Tuesday. I've basically decided that I will take a rest for a while, get some of my other activities set up and go to a local clinic on Bloor St that I went to previously. If I keep working at it I'll improve slowly. That's the bottom line.

NASCAR suspends Chad Knaus for three more races

NASCAR announced today that Jimmie Johnson's crew chief Chad Knaus has been suspended for three more races and fined $25000 for rule infractions detected after last week's qualifying sessions for the Daytona 500. Strangely enough, there were no points deducted.

Meanwhile, NASCAR has fined Terry Labonte's crew chief Philippe Lopez for an unapproved carburetor discovered after last week's qualifying. They have also penalized Terry Labonte 25 driver points and Hall Of Fame Racing (Troy Aikman & Roger Staubach) 25 owners points. HOF Racing says they will appeal these penalties. They get their engines from Joe Gibbs Racing and this apparently was some sort of supplier error. JD Gibbs has said he will help them with the appeal.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Joann Rosario
Song:More, More, More
Album:Verity Records:The First Decade Vol. 1

Joann Rosario is a latino/black hybrid and a very expressive gospel singer. She's a long time member of Fred Hammond's Radical For Christ. When Hammond started his record label, she was the first artist signed. This is from a various artists CD but Rosario's album More, More, More has some killer Fred Hammond produced grooves. He actually wrote More, More, More a few years back for Yolanda Adams. I like Joann's version better especially since she is fluent in Spanish. A great song beautifully performed.

Ashley Massaro breaks leg

Ashley Massaro broke her ankle during last night's battle royal on RAW. It looks like it happened when she was thrown from the ring. She doesn't need surgery at this time. She will be in a cast for four weeks and will be reevaluated at that time to determine if surgery will be required. The lesson to be learned from this is the WWE should stop using greenhorn women in the ring. Too bad it's a lesson they will never learn.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:John Coltrane
Album:The Classic Quartet:The Complete Impulse! Studio Recordings

This is an 8CD box set of what is commonly known to jazz buffs as the "Classic" John Coltrane Quartet. John Coltrane-sax, McCoy Tyner-piano, Jimmy Garrison-bass, Elvin Jones-drums. A Love Supreme was among the recordings from this group. A must for any jazz fan.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Jimmie Johnson wins Daytona 500

Who needs Chad Knaus? Despite having his crew chief banished from the Daytona 500, Jimmie Johnson won the first race of the NASCAR Nextel Cup season in the #48 Lowe's Chevy. Substitute Darian Grubb won in his very first race as crew chief. There was no big crash in the race but according to NASCAR, there was plenty of rough driving.

Prerace favourites Jeff Gordon-#24 Dupont Chevy & Tony Stewart-#20 Home Depot Chevy both smacked the wall at lap 49. This affected Gordon's car with transmission problems and he finished 27th. It didn't seem to bother Stewart at all and after pitting, he came back to the front. On lap 117. Stewart ran Matt Kenseth-#17 DeWalt Ford off the racetrack into the infield grass. Stewart was penalized for aggressive driving and sent to the back of the field. After pitting, Kenseth was penalized for attempting to send Stewart a receipt. He finished 15th. Then on lap 128, Stewart was penalized for running over the jack on pit road. He was too close to the wall. Again, He was sent to the back of the field. On lap 195, Kyle Busch was penalized for trying to run Stewart off the track. After all this Stewart still salvaged an 5th place finish.

The turning point of the race was after a caution on lap 176 when Travis Kvapii-#32 Tide Ford hit the wall. Everyone pitted but Brian Vickers-#25 GMAC Chevy only took fuel only to get the lead. But he couldn't hold off his teammate Johnson and Johnson took the lead on lap 187. A caution on lap 197 caused by Jamie Mc Murray-#26 Crown Royal Ford & Jeff Burton-#31 Cingular Chevy hitting the wall set up a green/white/checker finish. Johnson is leading with Ryan Newman-#12 Alltell Dodge second, Casey Mears-#42 Texaco Havoline Dodge third and Elliott Sadler-#38 M & M's Ford fourth. Newman & Mears had decided to team up to take the lead from Johnson. That's the only way either of them could win the race. When Newman made his move, Mears had to protect his position from Sadler so he decided not to go with Newman. The race ended just before the finish line when Greg Biffle-#16 National Guard Ford hit the wall. Congratulations to Jimmie Johnson, crew chief Darian Grubb and car owner Rick Hendrick. Here's the top 10 for the Daytona 500. Great runs for Casey Mears, rookie Clint Bowyer and fan favourite Ken Schrader.

1.#48/Jimmie Johnson/Lowe's/Chevy/Rick Hendrick
2.#42/Casey Mears/Texaco Havoline/Dodge/Chip Ganassi
3.#12/Ryan Newman/Alltel/Dodge/Roger Penske
4.#38/Elliott Sadler/M & M's/Ford/Robert Yates
5.#20/Tony Stewart/Home Depot/Chevy/Joe Gibbs
6.#8/Dale Earnhardt Jr./Budweiser/Chevy/Dale Earnhardt Inc.
7.#25/Brian Vickers/GMAC/Chevy/Rick Hendrick
8.#07/Clint Bowyer/Jack Daniels/Chevy/Richard Childress
9.#21/Ken Schrader/Little Debbie's/Ford/Wood Bros.
10.#88/Dale Jarrett/UPS/Ford/Robert Yates

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Freddie Hubbard
Album:The Artist Selects

Freddie Hubbard is one of the all time great jazz trumpeters and has been heavily influenced by Clifford Brown. He became very popular as a member of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers in the late 50s and started recording as a leader for Blue Note in the early 60s. The Artist Selects is a 2005 collection of his Blue Note recordings selected by Hubbard himself. It is probably a very good introduction to his music and is recommended to those who are not familiar with his music.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

MediChair repairs my chair to save the day

I've been having trouble with a loose left front footplate on my power chair when I noticed this morning that it was dragging on the ground. It's a minor repair but it needed to be fixed immediately. I was hoping it would be OK until I go to Lyndhurst on Monday but it wasn't going to work properly. I called the MediChair office and Tracy said that company owner Bruce would call me. He asked me if I thought the footplate was bent and I said that it just seems to be loose. Bruce arrived at my apartment at 1:30PM and fixed the footplate in about ten minutes. He said it didn't have a lock tight device on it and he put one on and I shouldn't have any more trouble with it. I would have had problems going anywhere with the footplate in this condition. So it was a minor thing but I needed it repaired today. Thanks to Bruce & Tracy at MediChair for the quick service and on a Saturday too. I greatly appreciate it. Bruce also showed me that there's a lever on the side that will angle the footplates upward. I may do that for going outside as it will give me more clearance on the bottom and secure my feet better. I don't like it for inside use though. It raises my knees too much.

Tony Stewart wins Daytona Busch Series race

A lot of crazy things happened in the Hershey's Kissables 300 in the NASCAR Busch Series at Daytona but when it was all over, Tony Stewart in the #33 Old Spice Chevy was the winner. The finish was set up when most of the field made four tire pit stops on a debris caution with 30 laps left. But leader Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the #8 Oreo Chevy stayed out. Could Earnhardt hold off the cars with fresher tires? That was answered when Stewart passed Earnhardt for the lead with 13 laps left. When David Reutimann in the #12 Supercuts Dodge cut a tire and hit the wall to bring out a caution with 9 laps left, that set up the big finish. When the green flag came out with 5 laps left, Stewart & Earnhardt ran side by side for the lead. Michael Waltrip in the #99 Aaron's Chevy joined them to make it three wide. Stewart's rookie teammate Burney Lamar in the #77 Dollar General Chevy pushed Stewart to victory. Lamar finished second. There was even a big crash at the finish line triggered by Stacy Compton in the #59 Kingsford Charcoal Ford.

Canadian racer Paul Tracy was doing OK in the #34 Sport Clips Chevy when he was spun out by John Andretti in the #10 Freedom Roads RVs Ford at lap 50. Tracy didn't hit anything but the front valance was damaged when he hit the track apron. He came back out after repairs but the car wasn't handling well and he hit the wall at lap 57. Tracy finished 24th on the lead lap.

NASCAR's response to Tony Stewart's complaints about bump drafting is an attempt to police it by penalizing drivers for aggressive driving. We saw the first implementation of this near the end of today's race when Denny Hamlin in the #20 Rockwell Automation Chevy bump drafted Kyle Busch in the Lowe's/Shop-Vac Chevy into Kasey Kahne in the #9 Ragu Dodge. Hamlin was penalized and was sent to the back of the field for aggressive driving. We'll see what happens with this in tomorrow's Daytona 500.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Louis Armstrong
Song:West End Blues
Album:This Is Jazz #1

Of course even non jazz fans know about Louis Armstrong as one of the most important figures in jazz history. This song is from his groups from the 20s. I have the complete 4CD Hot Fives & Hot Sevens box set.

Latin jazz percussion legend Ray Baretto died yesterday at age 76. Ray started his career with Tito Puente and went on to be one of the great innovators of jazz percussion. Condolences to his family.

Mark Martin wins Daytona Craftsman Truck race

This being Daytona, we didn't get the finish we wanted but Mark Martin in the #6 Scott's Miracle-Gro Ford won the GM Flex Fuel 250 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Daytona last night. After #77 Brendan Gaughan crashed with a few laps left, that left us with a green/white/checker finish. Martin was in the lead with teammates Todd Bodine in the #30 iRacing.com Toyota and Ted Musgrave in the #9 ASE Toyota behind him. Unfortunately, Ron Hornaday in the #33 Chevy crashed just as the leaders were taking the white flag. The race was stopped and the field frozen and Mark Martin was the race winner. Of course they only get one chance at the green/white/checker finish. The Daytona Busch Series race is this afternoon. It's on TNT in the US. I'm not sure if it is on TV in Canada.

Friday, February 17, 2006

JJ Yeley wins Daytona Busch Series pole

The trend in the NASCAR Busch Series these days is to take young Nextel Cup drivers and run them full time in the Busch Series to get them seat time. JJ Yeley is a Nextel Cup rookie and protege of Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Tony Stewart. Yeley won the pole for the Hershey's Kissables 300 in the #18 Vigoro/Home Depot Chevy. The big surprise in the front row is Aaron Fike in the #43 Cay Clubs Dodge. Fike wasn't even in the top 30 in points last year. Of interst to Canadian fans is that Paul Tracy is running is first NASCAR race in the #34 Sport Clips Chevy. He will start 37th. The #34 finished in the top 30 in owners points last year so Tracy was locked in. He will run five races for this team and Todd Bodine will drive the car for the remainder of the schedule. The Hershey's Kissable 300 will run tomorrow afternoon.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Marvin Gaye
Song:Mercy Mercy Mercy (The Ecology)
Album:What's Goin' On

When you talk about concept albums, Marvin Gaye's What's Goin' On goes straight to the head of the class. A true classic in every sense of the word. Motown released a 2CD expanded version of What's Goin' On a while back that features live recordings. That's what I would recommend.

Mark Martin wins Daytona Craftsman Truck pole

When Mark Martin announced his retirement from Nextel Cup, he said he planned to drive in the Craftsman Truck series mostly for fun. Though Jack Roush convinced Martin to drive in Nextel Cup for 2006, Craftsman Truck series competitors got an idea what things will be like when Martin runs full time in 2007. He won the pole in the #6 Scott's Miracle-Gro Ford. Martin plans to run 7 Craftsman Truck races this year with David Ragan driving the rest of the schedule. Bill Lester in the #22 Checkers Toyota will join Martin in the front row. For those who don't know, Lester is currently the only black driver in NASCAR. He tends to qualify well but doesn't do well in the race. I hope that can change for him. Last year's champ Ted Musgrave in the #9 ASE Toyota qualified 17th. The race will be on SPEED tonight at 8PM.

Elliott Sadler, Jeff Gordon win Twin 150s

Jeff Burton & Jeff Gordon will still be in the front row of the Daytona 500. The point of Thursday's Gatorade Twin 150s was to set the rest of the field. Elliott Sadler in the #38 M & M's Ford won the first race and Jeff Gordon in the #24 Dupont Chevy won the second race. But the big news was that veteran field filler Kirk Shelmerdine in the #27 Chevy made the Daytona 500 and Scott Riggs in the #10 Valvoline Dodge did not. Shelmerdine's car is unsponsored and though I don't expect Riggs to drive the car because it's a Chevy, it's likely that Valvoline & Ray Evernham will sponsor the #27 for the race. Shelmerdine said his lawyer is in Daytona and potential sponsors are welcome to talk to her.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Today's physiotherapy

The weather was pretty crappy today. It was slushy when I went out this morning. Then later on we got freezing rain or something. Yuck. A couple of my patient friends have returned to Lyndhurst as in patients for a month. The main reason to do this is to take advantage of daily physiotherapy. I don't know if I would do that if I was asked. It's a double edged sword for me. My progress lately has been so slow I'm not sure I could justify going back in there full time. I really like being in my own place. I worked hard to get here and I don't want to change that even for a short time. I have my doubts that going back there would help much. I'm going to see Dr. Oshidari on Monday and may discuss this with him. Things are winding down on my outpatient physio. I have to decide what I want to do afterwards. But I will take my time.

I went to see Bev Jenkins at the Canadian Physiotherapy Association about doing some writing for them. I'd like to look at the corporate accessibility policies of some of the big restaurant chains. I believe that many of the chains have no policy and it's something that has to change. It should be a priority but probably isn't. I'm hoping to get some anecdotes from folks and Bev is going to look into getting me some specific interviews. I will do some research as well. I have to write a little differently from my usual rant but I'm not concerned about that. It's all about changing attitudes and that's what I want to do.

Hotta to replace Maekawa at T-1 show

T-1 held a press conference on Feb. 16 to announce the main event of their Feb. 23 Shinjuku FACE show. T-1 president Futami was at the Sportsnavi office earlier in the week to complain about Kumiko Maekawa's behaviour. Of course she was nowhere to be seen at the press conference.

Unfortuately, there was more bad news for the T-1 show. Futami announced that AKINO has had to drop out of the show due to acute appendicitis. He said that Manami Toyota & Tsubasa Kuragaki will appear and he will find a replacement for AKINO.

Then an intruder arrives. It's Yumiko Hotta. Everyone looks surprised to see her. Hotta says she is there to be in the main event. After some discussion, Hotta's participation is confirmed. Futami also announces that Emi Tojyo will be on the show despite her recent appearances in adult videos.

Futami doesn't know who will replace AKINO. Right now the main event is Mayumi Ozaki, Amazing Kong & Tsubasa Kuragaki vs Manami Toyota, Yumiko Hotta and a partner to be named. Hopefully we'll know who that is before the show.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Bessie Smith
Song:St. Louis Blues
Album:Careless Love

Known as The Empress of The Blues, Bessie Smith was one of the greatest singers of all time and very influential on those who came after her. I actually have The Essential Bessie Smith 2CD collection from Columbia. A must for any jazz & blues fan.

So I was rolling down Lakeshore yesterday and I noticed that the Lucky Dice restaurant at Lakeshore & 5th now has a makeshift wooden ramp at the front. Too bad they didn't have that a couple of weeks ago. I didn't know at the time that McDonalds gives a free newspaper to customers. Added value gets my business. It snowed a bit last night. I'll see what the streets are like.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Amanda Buckner wins Smackgirl Open Weight Title

US fighter Amanda Buckner won the Smackgirl Open Weight Title from Megumi Yabushita in the main event of the Feb. 15 Smackgirl show at Korakuen Hall. Buckner won with a guillotine choke hold at 3:45 of round one. The end came when Buckner turned a failed Yabushita judo throw into the choke hold and Yabushita tapped out. So this belt goes home to the US with Buckner. Yabushita says she wants to go to the US at her own expense to challenge Buckner for the title. Well, she'll have to find someone to promote it first.

The semi main event was a flyweight bout with kickboxer and rising MMA star Hisae Watanabe dominating her masked opponent 15. After beating up 15 in the first round with kicks, Watanabe knocked her out with a straight right at 31 seconds of round two. Watanabe proceeded to unmask her fallen opponent. Then 15 was put on a stretcher and taken to the hospital. No, this isn't pro wrestling. Clearly, Watanabe is very tough but needs better opponents.

In other matches, Hitomi Akano defeated US fighter Debi Purcell by unanimous decision. Akano knocked Purcell down in the second round and also concentrated on attacking Purcell's arm. Windy Tomomi dominated her Korean opponent Cha Seong Jin and the bout was stopped at 3:47 of round one after a left hook. Like Hisae Watanabe, Tomomi is a kickboxer but she is training with Pancrase these days. After the match, Windy Tomomi said she is setting her sights on The Sambo Queen Megumi Fujii, one of the toughest fighters anywhere. Negotiations are ongoing to make that match happen possibly in Pancrase. Here's the results of the show. All matches were for two five minute rounds.

SMACKGIRL - 2/15/06 - Korakuen Hall
FLYWEIGHT BOUT-KM-MAKI def. Mizuho Kawasaki by unanimous decision
MIDDLEWEIGHT BOUT-Miki Morifuji def. Yumiko Sugimoto by unanimous decision
55KG BOUT-Seri def. Akiko Naito by unanimous decision
60KG BOUT-Takayo Hashi def. Kazuna Moroboshi by unanimous decision
OPEN WEIGHT BOUT-Tama Chan def. Lee Hee Jin by TKO at 1:48 of round 2
56KG BOUT-Windy Tomomi def. Cha Seong Jin by TKO at 3:47 of round 1
61.5KG BOUT-Hitomi Akano def. Debi Purcell by unanimous decision
FLYWEIGHT BOUT-Hisae Watanabe def. 15 by KO at 31 sec. of round 2
SMACKGIRL OPEN WEIGHT TITLE BOUT-Amanda Buckner def. Megumi Yabushita by submission at 3:45 of round 1

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Ann Nesby f/Al Green
Song:Put It On Paper
Album:Put It On Paper

Ann Nesby is a tremendous gospel singer from Minneapolis and is the former lead singer of the gospel choir Sounds Of Blackness. She writes and produces a lot of her own material with her husband. This song has the bonus of a great performance by the legendary Al Green. This is a wonderful duet. Ann is very underrated and you should check her out. She also appeared in the film The Fighting Temptations.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Kumiko Maekawa and the legendary red belt

As many joshi fans are already aware, veteran All Japan Women wrestler Kumiko Maekawa is retiring on March 26. Maekawa was the WWWA Singles Champ when AJW closed last May and now it appears that the fate of the legendary red belt rests in her hands.

Maekawa hasn't used the belt since AJW closed but it looks like she is bringing it out of mothballs just in time for her retirement. It appears that the plan is to keep the belt active after her retirement. First GIRLS DOOR announced that Maekawa will defend the belt against Ayako Hamada on their Feb. 19 show. Then EXCITING BOX announced that Maekawa would appear in two matches on their March 19 show. A title match hasn't been announced yet. Now Sanspo Sports is reporting that Maekawa will defend the WWWA Singles Title against Nanae Takahashi on Maekawa's retirement show. Maekawa & Takahashi dislike each other for real. So will Maekawa put the good of the business ahead of her own ego and drop the belt to Takahashi? Remember Takahashi had to drop the belt only because of a serious knee injury. This should be very interesting.

Meanwhile T-1 mobile phone company president Futami is very upset with Kumiko Maekawa. T-1 put on a joshi show last August. They're doing another joshi show on Feb. 23 at Shinjuku FACE. When he announced the show, Futami hoped that he would be able to have Maekawa defend the red belt on the show though the two had a dispute at the first show and do not see eye to eye.

Futami visited the Sportsnavi office and said that he couldn't get Kumiko Maekawa to defend the red belt but she did agree to appear in the six girl tag match main event. She had agreed to appear at a Feb. 16 press conference to announce this. Apparently the participants of this match had not been determined and Maekawa wanted to know who they would be before the press conference. When Futami couldn't tell her, she dropped out of the show.

Futami believes that Maekawa dropped out of the show because of the dispute at the August show. He told Sportsnavi that the main event will be announced at the press conference regardless and she is still welcome to appear at the press conference and on the show. He thinks she left him in the lurch for personal reasons but it's not like he didn't know Maekawa was going to be difficult to deal with. It's probably for the best that she isn't on the show and she's retiring so he won't have to deal with her again. There's certainly a lot of backstage drama going on in the joshi business these days.

Ayako Hamada to team with Dump Matsumoto

GIRLS DOOR has announced their first regional tour will be in the Sandai region of Japan. There will be four shows from Mar. 2-5. Wrestlers to appear on the tour include Ayako Sato, Ayumi Kurihara, Bullfight Sora, Hiroyo Muto, Kaoru Ito, Kumiko Maekawa, Michiko Ohmukai, Ranmaru, Tojuki Leon & Tomoko Watanabe. But the big news is that Dump Matsumoto and Ayako Hamada will team up in a new version of Dump's 80s heel faction The Atrocious Alliance. Of course it's twenty years later. Does anyone want to see Dump in the ring anymore? Sometimes promoters come up with such screwy ideas.

Interview with Megumi Yabushita & Debi Purcell

Fighters appearing on the Feb. 15 Smackgirl show appeared at a signing ceremony at a restaurant in Tokyo. Smackgirl Open Weight Champ Megumi Yabushita & US fighter Debi Purcell were both interviewed by Sportsnavi.

Megumi Yabushita said it's been a long time since she won the Open Weight Title but she is looking forward to her first title defense against Amanda Buckner. She says she is very happy to be back under Smackgirl rules after a tough jiu jitsu rules loss to Keiko Hattori a couple of weeks ago. She wasn't familiar with that style of match and she wants to show her strength under SGS rules. Amanda Buckner has been to Japan once previously and Megumi says she is familiar with her style. Yabushita says she has been working on improving her judo throw technique and submission holds. She is hoping for an exciting match and is confident of victory.

Veteran US fighter Debi Purcell will finally make her long awaited Japanese debut. She was supposed to appear on the World Remix Tournament in November 2004 but had to cancel due to injury. Her opponent will be Hitomi Akano. Purcell is considered a leader in the US womens MMA scene. Japanese fans have wanted to see her since her appearance at King Of The Cage. Debi says she is very excited to make her long overdue Japanese debut. She has watched tapes of her opponent Akano and says she moves fast and is a very good fighter. Of course Debi wants to win and she wants to win by KO.

Tomorrow's Smackgirl card now complete

Smackgirl has added two more matches to tomorrow's Smackgirl show including a match with veteran kickboxer Windy Tomomi. Windy has been working a lot lately with Pancrase. Smackgirl veteran Tama Chan has also been added and Korean fighters will be the opponents for both fighters. This show is loaded and could be the biggest womens MMA show to date.

SMACKGIRL - 2/15/06 - Korakuen Hall
OPEN WEIGHT BOUT-Tama Chan vs Lee Hee Jin-new
56KG BOUT-Windy Tomomi vs Cha Seong Jin-new
55KG BOUT-Seri vs Akiko Naito
MIDDLEWEIGHT BOUT-Yumiko Sugimoto vs Miki Morifuji
61.5KG BOUT-Debi Purcell vs Hitomi Akano
60KG BOUT-Takayo Hashi vs Kazuna Moroboshi
FLYWEIGHT BOUT-Hisae Watanabe vs Ichigo
SMACKGIRL OPEN WEIGHT TITLE BOUT-Megumi Yabushita (champ) vs Amanda Buckner

Video of womens tag match from Korea

Here's a link to a video of that tag match from Korea I'm sure you all heard about. It's Gail Kim & Josseline vs Mayumi Ozaki & Miss Janeth. Ozaki doesn't do much. I hope she was well paid. Josseline & Miss Janeth are veteran luchadoras who have worked for AAA in Mexico for years. For me, a little lucha goes a long way. Of course Gail gets all her trademark spots in. She is a big deal in Korea and should be featured. And there is a little surprise after the match. Enjoy!


Special Valentine's Day wrestling story...awww

Here's a link to a very special Valentine's Day story courtesy of Corey Lacroix of SLAM Wrestling. It's the real life love story of Eastern Ontario indy workers Michael Von Payton & Misty Haven. It's a great story and I thought you would all enjoy reading it on Valentine's Day.


Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:James Brown
Song:Papa's Got A Brand New Bag
Album:20 Greatest Hits

Known as The Hardest Working Man in Show Business, Brown has been a big influence on today's hip hop musicians. They're constantly sampling his music. His personal behaviour in recent years makes me think he's gone nuts but that doesn't change the power and scope of his musical influence. I have the 4CD Star Time box set but this collection is pretty good too.

William is ill today so physiotherapy is cancelled. I may have time to do other things that I was going to postpone until tomorrow.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Johnson's crew chief ejected from Daytona

This afternoon NASCAR ejected Jimmie Johnson's crew chief Chad Knaus from the Daytona 500. This was the result of the #48 Lowe's Chevy failing post qualifying inspection yesterday. It seems that the rear window was rigged to alter after passing pre qualifying inspection to improve the aerodynamics. Lead engineer Darian Grubb will replace Knaus as Johnson's crew chief at this Sunday's Daytona 500. NASCAR will announce further penalties next week. Expect Knaus to be suspended for a few races.

Johnson, Terry Labonte qualifying runs disqualified

The qualifying runs for Jimmie Johnson-#48 Lowe's Chevy and Terry Labonte-#96 DLP Chevy were disqualified in post qualifying inspection. Johnson's car had an illegal side window modification and Labonte's car had an illegal carburetor modification. Both guys will go to the back of the field in the Twin 150s on Thursday but they're still locked in to the Daytona 500 so it doesn't mean much. Expect the crew chiefs to be fined.

Rookie Denny Hamlin wins Bud Shootout

There was a big upset in yesterday's Bud Shootout exhibition race. Rookie Denny Hamlin in the #11 FedEx Chevy was pushed to the front by Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Tony Stewart and won the race. Dale Earnhrdt Jr. was second and Tony Stewart was third.

After the race, Tony Stewart voiced his concern to the media and NASCAR about aggressive bump drafting at Daytona. The front and rear bumpers are heavily beefed up. Stewart wants NASCAR to do something about it before someone gets killed. John Darby of NASCAR said they are aware of the problem but NASCAR has to take the safety of the cars into consideration before doing anything. Dale Earnhardt Jr. said the short length of the Bud Shootout had a lot to do with the aggressive bump drafting and it won't be as bad in the Daytona 500.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Todd Rundgren
Song:Hello It's Me
Album:Singer/Songwriters Vol. 1

Rundgren is better known as a producer and also for pushing the music industry technology envelope in the 80s but this song was a huge hit for Rundgren as a singer back in the 70s. The album appears to be some sort of various artists thing. The song actually appeared on Todd's Something/Anything album and that is well worth seeking out.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Jeff Burton wins Daytona 500 pole

The convoluted nonsense that is Daytona 500 qualifying in the NASCAR Nextel Cup series started today. The race is next Sunday. The surprise pole sitter is Jeff Burton in the #31 Cingular Chevy. Second is Jeff Gordon in the #24 Dupont Chevy. Those two are locked in to the front row.

The remainder of the Daytona 500 field will be set at Thursday's Gatorade Twin 150s. The odd numbered qualifiers will be in one race. The even numbered in the other race. The top 35 in 2005 Nextel Cup owner's points are locked in. the remainder of the 43 car field will be filled by those outside the top 35. There were 58 cars qualifying so that leaves 8 spots among 23 cars.

The top two finishers in the qualifying races outside the top 35 will earn spots in the Daytona 500. The other four spots will be determined by the fastest speeds in today's qualifying. But today's qualifying locked in the four fastest qualifiers outside the top 35. Terry Labonte in the #96 DLP Chevy is locked in with a past champion provisional. The other three locked in today are Bill Elliott in the #36 Ginn's Resorts Chevy, Travis Kvapil in the #32 Tide Chevy & Hermie Sadler in the #00 Aaron's Chevy. If any of those guys earn spots in the qualifying races, the next fastest qualifying speeds will be used. This is very confusing.

This also means that some big budget full time teams may miss the Daytona 500. That kills the whole season. The most notable is Scott Riggs in the #10 Valvoline Dodge. They're a new team and don't have any points to fall back on. He broke a gear on his second qualifying lap. So if he doesn't have a good finish on Thursday, he will miss the race. Robby Gordon in the #7 Jim Beam Chevy could miss the Daytona 500 for the second year in a row. A lot of the other guys who will miss the race aren't fast enough anyway.

Qualifying during the rest of the season is very straight forward. Only the Daytona 500 has this screwy system mainly so NASCAR can have a couple of extra races this week. It helps to be a rocket scientist to figure it out.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Darwin Hobbs
Song:The Thank You Song

Darwin Hobbs is a very good gospel singer from Nashville. This is one of his funkier efforts and it was produced by singer/songwriter/producer Tommy Sims. He's one of the better producers around and works a lot with CeCe Winans and other Nashville gospel artists.

Last night's Bud Shootout was postponed due to rain. It will happen this afternoon and TSN will show it on tape delay at Midnight.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Mary Mary

The only thing I hate about Mary Mary is the name of the group. Prople always want to know which one is Mary. They are actually gospel singing/songrwiting sisters Erica & Tina Atkins from Inglewood, CA. Their mom was the church choir director. Add Erica's producer husband Warryn "Babydub" Campbell to the mix and you have one of the hottest gospel acts around. Thankful produced a huge crossover hit in Shackles and their music is hot. The Atkins sisters also wrote the hit Yeah for Yolanda Adams.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Two more matches added to Smackgirl show

Two more matches have been added to round out the Feb. 15 Smackgirl show at Korakuen Hall.

SMACKGIRL - 2/15/06 - Korakuen Hall
55KG BOUT-Seri vs Akiko Naito-new
MIDDLEWEIGHT BOUT-Yumiko Sugimoto vs Miki Morifuji-new
61.5KG BOUT-Debi Purcell vs Hitomi Akano
60KG BOUT-Takayo Hashi vs Kazuna Moroboshi
FLYWEIGHT BOUT-Hisae Watanabe vs Ichigo
SMACKGIRL OPEN WEIGHT TITLE BOUT-Megumi Yabushita (champ) vs Amanda Buckner

Schrader wins Bud Shootout pole

It's time for the NASCAR season to rev up with the Daytona 500 happening on Feb. 19. It all starts tomorrow with the Bud Shootout exhibition race. Qualifying was yesterday and Ken Schrader won the pole in his new ride #21 Little Debbie's Ford owned by the Wood Bros. The qualifying will be on NBC at Noon tomorrow and the Bud Shootout will be tomorrow night on TNT & TSN. Qualifying for the Daytona 500 is somewhat convoluted but the initial sessions will be on Sunday. In depth coverage of all the Daytona events will begin today on Speed at 2PM. You can be sure I'll be watching.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Clifford Brown
Album:The Best of Clifford Brown:The Blue Note Years

Classic song from one of the all time great jazz trumpeters. Unfortunately, Brown died at age 25 in a car accident but his music is still fresh 50 years later.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Today's physiotherapy & a new friend

William did an assessment today. Basically there has been a marginal improvement but it's obviously not enough of an improvement for my liking. I told him to write "Very cranky" in bold letters at the top of the page. Like they don't already know that I'm cranky. So I did a little walking and I got tired and now I'm at home and I feel better. I haven't decided yet what I will do at the end of this month. I'll probably take a break until the weather gets a little warmer. It also depends on my other activities.

This morning on my way home from McDonalds, I came across a guy in a manual wheelchair. He had to turn his chair around to get up the curb at Lakeshore & Islington. So I asked him why he doesn't have a power chair. It seems he had a stroke a few years ago. While he was in hospital, the physiotherapist decided that it was too dangerous for him to have a power chair. I guess he was running into things. That's not very unusual when first learning to operate these things. Guys tend to drive them too fast. It was a very poor decision because he can't use his right arm and it's very difficult for him to get around in a manual chair. So now when he goes to his social worker he is told that it will cost $100 to get an assessment by a physiotherapist. And that's just the first step.

So I asked around when I was at Lyndhurst today and the chances are good he would be reimbursed the $100 and if he's on ODSP, they would pay for it. Now I understand why he doesn't want to spend the money but if I was faced with that, I would spend the money because the end result would greatly outweigh the $100.

There are two lessons to be learned from this. First, if you ever wind up in a hospital like we did, you need to direct your own care. Maybe he wasn't in a position to do that at that time. But if a physiotherapist tried to pull something like that on me, he wouldn't be my physiotherapist anymore. It was a very cruel thing to do and this guy is paying for it now. You can't put up with that stuff. It's my life and I make the decisions.

Second, not all social workers are created equal. Some of them will try and avoid paperwork at all costs. They think you're too much trouble. If that happens, get a new social worker. I have been very fortunate to deal with two great social workers at Lyndhurst who really helped me out a lot. Of course my assertiveness is probably helpful to them. You can't be wishy washy. In fact I was speaking to my social worker briefly today just to get a few tips on some things I should do in the near future. She also said to call her if I have any further questions. It's a good relationship because she knows I want to accomplish certain things and I know if I ask a question, I'll get a straight answer. That's the way things should be. She helps me help myself. They should all be like her. Aggressiveness has its virtues. You have to do for yourself because no one is going to do it for you.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Harry Nilsson
Song:Without You
Album:All Time Greatest Hits

Harry Nilsson was one of the more enigmatic figures to become a pop star. He became popular because John Lennon was a big fan. And though Nilsson was a good songwriter, his biggest hits were written by others. As a writer, he had a huge hit with One for Three Dog Night. This weepy ballad Without You was huge but was written by Ham & Evans from Beatles clone group Badfinger. His other hit from Nilsson Schmilsson, Coconut, was a lot more representative of Nilsson's material. He's pretty much forgotten now because Harry went and died on us and his later albums weren't very good anyway. This is a good collection but I believe BMG has issued a box set too.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Tuesday's physiotherapy & today's doctor visit

I wasn't very good at physiotherapy yesterday. My left knee was really bad and I could barely walk with the canes. My outpatient time is coming to an end soon so I'm not sure what I will do after that. I went to see Dr. Matthews today mainly to get my prescriptions updated. She didn't have any other ideas about physio so I'll probably go back to the clinic on Bloor St. I went to for a while. The only thing is I might wait for the weather to warm up a bit. I haven't decided yet. I do want to continue physio though I think recent progress has been too slow. I try and do some exercises at home but they're not as effective as they should be. I'm very impatient. So sue me. I did get some good news today. I'll finally start getting government disability benefits next week. Back to Lyndhurst tomorrow.


The EXCITING BOX promotion run by former JWP president Masatoshi Yamamoto, former AJW ring announcer Imai and former FMW star Megumi Kudo made its debut Feb. 4 at Shinjuku FACE. Most shows run five matches so EXCITING BOX is taking a big chance by running four matches. And one of them was a boxing match. As a result the opening match was a twenty minute draw and the main event went thirty minutes. They need to be careful about that. Some of these wrestlers shouldn't be in matches that long. They got 310 fans so attendance was OK. We'll see if they all come back for the next EXCITING BOX show on Mar. 16 at Shinjuku FACE. That is a week before Kumiko Maekawa's retirement and she will be in two matches on that show. Here's the results of the show.

EXCITING BOX - 2/4/06 - Shinjuku FACE
Saki Maemura - 20 min. draw - Kyoko Kimura
Ayumi Kurihara def. Yuna in 15:05
Kumiko Maekawa & Ayako Hamada def. Nanae Takahashi & Hikaru (Maekawa over Takahashi in 30:59)

Hikari Fukuoka appears on Feb. 3 The Woman show

GAMI's The Woman promotion held its second show on Feb. 3 at Shin-kiba 1st Ring. GAMI named GAEA veteran Toshie Uematsu as associate supervisor. She's assisting GAMI with the booking. The usual wrestlers were on the show with the exception of a special appearance by retired JWP wrestler Hikari Fukuoka. Can't argue with that. I'd go a long way to watch her too.

The opening match was strange because it was more suitable for a main event. It was Azumi Hyuga & Ayako Hamada vs GAMI & Toshie Uematsu. Hamada pinned GAMI after a uraken. Afterwards, GAMI joked about Ayako flying in from Mexico and suffering jet lag. Then GANI & Uematsu discussed who their next opponents should be. Uematsu said she wasn't sure because The Bloody & Fang Suzuki have retired. The next match had Manami Toyota vs Cherry which is a waste of Toyota's talent.

Hikari Fukuoka hosted a talk show segment. I'm a huge Fukuoka mark so I'm a little biased but Hikari is still drop dead gorgeous today. And she's married with a five year old son. She rarely appears in a joshi ring. I believe the last time was at the Sumie Sakai Farewell Show in 2002. Hikari says she still works out regularly and she and her husband are planning to open their own gym.

Back to the wrestling. Next was a rookie three way match with Fuuka, Yuna & Haruhi. You can't expect much from these three. Fuuka won.The main event had Kumiko Maekawa & Michiko Ohmukai vs Dynamite Kansai & Mika Nishio. This was Nishio's first match since leaving KO Productions to freelance. Maekawa pinned Nishio with an axe kick. Nishio proceeded to post on her blog that it was a poor match. After the show, GAMI says she is already planning the next The Woman show on March 10 and she wants Maekawa just before her retirement. She then threw out a bunch of names she would like to get for the show including Commando Bolshoi & Nanae Takahashi. Who ever thought those two would be big names in the joshi business? That's what things are like in 2006. Here's the results of the show.

THE WOMAN - 2/3/06 - Shin-kiba 1st Ring
Ayako Hamada & Azumi Hyuga def. GAMI & Toshie Uematsu (Hamada over GAMI)
Manami Toyota def. Cherry
Mai Ichii def. Ayumi Kurihara in 9:50
THREE WAY MATCH:Fuuka def. Yuna & Haruhi in 7:07
Kumiko Maekawa & Michiko Ohmukai def. Dynamite Kansai & Mika Nishio (Maekawa over Nishio in 17:32)

Sumo fans back ban on women in ring

I don't normally talk about Sumo around here but the following has been picked up by Associated Press and I thought it would be of interest.

Sumo Fans Back Ban on Women in Ring
2 hours, 1 minute ago

TOKYO - A majority of Japanese sumo fans support a tradition which bans women from stepping on the raised dirt wrestling mound, according to a survey released by the Japan Sumo Association on Wednesday.

The association conducted the survey, distributing 350 questionnaires at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan on Sept. 12 for a response rate of 51 percent, Kyodo News Agency said. Fifty-four percent said the ban should be maintained, and 46 percent said the prohibition should be scrapped.

A similar survey in 2004 also showed a majority opposed to lifting the ban.

JSA officials were not immediately available for comment.

The 2,000-year-old national sport has always banned women from the ring, though the origins of the ruling remain unclear. It was believed to be based on beliefs in Shinto, Japan's native region, that women are impure.

The eligibility of women to enter the sumo ring became controversial in recent years when the female governor of Osaka repeatedly requested she be allowed on the mound to present a prize to the winning wrestler, as her male predecessors had done.

Since her election in 2000, Ota has been banned from presenting the prize to the tournament winner by the JSA, which has cited the sport's traditions. A male vice governor has presented the award for the last five years.

It was not until 1778 that women were permitted to watch bouts, and then only on the final day of tournaments. A century later, women were allowed to watch entire tournaments, but not permitted to climb on the ring. The sport has since gained many female fans, but few women are asking to compete in the sport.


On the Net:

Japan Sumo Association: http://www.sumo.or.jp/eng/index.html

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Eric Benet f/Tamia
Song:Spend My Life With You
Album:A Day In The Life

Eric Benet is a very good R & B artist who got into trouble because of his behaviour during his marriage to Halle Berry. This great song was a huge hit a while back. Benet did a very smart thing in showcasing Canadian R & B singer Tamia Washington in the video. She is gorgeous and a great singer. Grant Hill is one lucky guy. So I really like this song and Tamia is really good in it. Benet is OK too. I could have done without his remake of Dust In The Wind.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:The Jimi Hendrix Experience
Song:Voodoo Child
Album:Electric Ladyland

Jimi Hendrix was a guitar god. It's unfortunate that he couldn't stay off drugs and died young. He would have been an even bigger influence if he had lived. He's the reason I got interested in jazz and was going in that direction when he died. Of course I'll never forgive Hulk Hogan for using Voodoo Child as his NWO theme. Just kidding. That probably got Hendrix some new fans.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Shirley Caesar
Song:Patiently Waiting
Album:Shirley Caesar Live! He Will Come

Shirley Caesar is known as the queen of gospel music. She has been around since the 60s but is still very popular today. She is a tremendous performer & storyteller and brings great energy to her live performances. This album is from 1995 and is very typical of her music.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
Song:I Second That Emotion
Album:The Ultimate Collection

Of course this is a great Motown classic from the early 60s written & produced by Smokey Robinson.

Nanae Takahashi & Hikaru going to Brazil

Sportsnavi is reporting that Nanae Takahashi & Hikaru are going to Brazil in April to work out at what was called the Carlos Gracie Jr. gym. Apparently there is some sort of business relationship between the owners of Exciting Box & Gracie.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Marvin Sapp
Song:Do You Know Him
Album:Be Exalted

Marvin Sapp is a gospel artist from Grand Rapids, MI. He started as a member of the group Commissioned and like Fred Hammond, became a very successful solo artists. He's had record company issues in the past but this is from his latest CD on Verity and it looks like things are going well for him. He's a strong performer and worth checking out.

Riptide seriously injured at DWOW show

The following was posted on the Glory message board by Missy Sampson. Angel "Riptide" Orsini was seriously injured during a TLC match vs Sumie Sakai at Thursday's DWOW show in Philly.

The update as it stands on Angel's condition is that she broke the heels on both of her feet. Her right heel is so badly shattered that it will require surgery and could possibly put Angel out of the ring for 3 months. Angel appears to be in good spirits and is trying to think of the best. She wants to thank everyone who has wished her well. She is still in the hospital and will remain there until at least tomorrow. They are going to release her and have her come back for the surgery once the swelling goes down in her ankle. I personally wish her the best and will try and keep everyone up to date on her condition.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Jiu jitsu girls get the upper hand at FF2 show

It looks like the jiu jitsu girls got the upper hand at Friday's FF2 show at Kitazawa Town Hall. The show was a joint presentation of Gi-Feminino & Smackgirl. In the main event, Jiu jitsu specialist Keiko Hattori defeated Megumi Yabushita by TKO at 5:18. Yabushita's training partner Youko Takahashi lost her match to Naoko Sekiguchi. Yuka Tsuji also appeared on the show in an exhibition match. Here's the results of the show. The MMA matches (SGS rules) wre two five minute rounds. The jiu jitsu matches were one 7 minute round unless otherwise noted.

FF2 - 2/3/06 - Kitazawa Town Hall
60KG. BOUT-Mizuho Sato def. Harumi by submission at 57 sec. of round 1
BRAZILIAN JIU JITSU MATCH-BLUE BELT-one 6 min. round-Shinobu Kobayashi def. Meguni Iwamoto by points (5-0)
MIDDLEWEIGHT BOUT-Tachiwaki Yui def. Kinuka Sasaki by TKO at 2.30 of round 2
BRAZILIAN JIU JITSU MATCH-PURPLE BELT-Aiko Hattori def. Ikumi Fujishiro by points (13-0)
SPECIAL EXHIBITION BOUT-1st round jiu jitsu/2nd round MMA-Yuka Tsuji - draw - Yasuko Mogi
FLYWEIGHT BOUT - Masako Yoshida def. Ayumi "Edge" Saito by split decision
BRAZILIAN JIU JITSU MATCH-PURPLE BELT-Naoko Sekiguchi def. Youko Takahashi by points (6-4)
BRAZILIAN JIU JITSU MATCH-BLACK/BROWN BELT-Keiko Hattori def. Megumi Yabushita by TKO at 5:18

Nothing is simple for the disabled

One of the reasons I started this blog was for people to know what it's like to be an independent living disabled person living in the real world. I'm not bitching because I know plenty of people a lot worse off than me but if someone is going to want to do what I'm doing, you had better be prepared to physically, mentally & emotionally jump hurdles every step of the way. A lot of folks can't do that so they don't get the equipment they need or other things required to improve their quality of life. Certainly a lot of this is due to government bureaucracy & stupid insurance companies but some people just give up. You can't do that. You have to be persistent and be a pest. Be prepared for people to call you difficult. I ought to know not that I care. They can't hurt my feelings. I have too much to accomplish.

Yesterday I met a guy on Wheeltrans named Joe. We picked him up at Weston & Eglinton and we were both going to Lyndhurst. He's been in a manual chair for four years. It was obvious to me that he would benefit from a power chair as he has trouble with his hands. I asked him why he hasn't applied to get one and he admitted that he probably hasn't been persistent enough with social workers etc. and he's let it slide. There comes a point where if you want and need something to improve your quality of life, you have to stop being a nice guy. That's what Joe has to do. He needs to be organized and he needs to get pissed off and rattle some cages.

Just to illustrate how nothing is simple for the disabled no matter how simple it seems, here's something I had to do this week. I like to go out for breakfast mainly to get out of the apartment. I don't want to be housebound. Since I moved here in September I've eaten breakfast at the Olympia at Lakeshore & 10th. It was two minutes from the apartment, very convenient. Well, the restaurant closed on Monday after 30 years in business. I had to find someplace new. This is no problem for an able bodied person. You just walk to a new place. I have to be sure I can get in the new place. So on Tuesday I went to Di & Gabby's at Lakeshore & 6th St. It was OK but they open at 9AM, a little late for me. The Lucky Dice is one block over. It has a step. I can't get in.

On the way home, I stopped at my favourite dollar store Golden Toonie and the owner suggested The Greek Texan near Humber College so I checked it out on Wednesday. No luck. I can't get in there either. And across the street is Oliver's. They open at 10AM. Forget it. I tried Subway. I didn't like it. Thursday I went a little farther west. Other than Tim Horton's there was nothing. I ate a bagel there but it's too far and I'm not a big Tim fan anyway.

There's a McDonalds near 3rd St. I was going to go there Saturday anyway as I have to stop somewhere else. But I have a couple of coupons so I went there today. It took ten minutes to get there. That's where I will go. I'd like to go someplace closer but McDonalds breakfast is pretty good and they have automatic doors and lots of room. There's a Coffee Time near McDonalds that has automatic doors too but I prefer McDonalds.

In my previous life, this decision would have been made in five minutes. Now everything is a big production mostly because of hurdles placed in front of the disabled especially if one wants independence. There is no excuse for stores to not be wheelchair accessible anymore. The city will pay for modifications. It's not just small stores either. There's a Pizza Pizza on Lakeshore that has two big steps at the entrance. They're not thinking. Greater accessibility equals more business. This is just an example of what I have to go through to do anything but I do it. I guess I'm going to have to continue to be a pest to get things for myself and other disabled people.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:John Coltrane
Song:Softly As In A Morning Sunrise
Album:Complete 1961 Village Vanguard Recordings

This 4CD box set features the classic John Coltrane quartet live at the Village Vanguard in New York. The classic quartet is John Coltrane-sax, McCoy Tyner-piano, Jimmy Garrison-bass, Elvin Jones-drums. A must for coltrane fans.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Today's physiotherapy

Welcome to the tired & cranky hour. It wasn't so much the physiotherapy which did poop me out (I have no stamina) but the trip home which took way longer than usual. This is because of poor scheduling by Wheeltrans. Normally I get picked up at Lyndhurst. The van stops at Sunnybrook to pick up two ladies, takes one of them home, then takes me home usually by 6:30. Tonight they had him doing an additional pickup and delivery and I got home at 7PM. That's a long trip. We did more walking in physio today. It pooped me out very quickly. It also looks like there may be something wrong with the wheelchair battery. It doesn't have as much juice as the battery in the loaner. We're going to get anchor rings on the chair so Rich says we'll look at the battery at that time. Back to Lyndhurst on Tuesday.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Kim Burrell
Song:I'll Keep Holding On
Album:Everlasting Love

Gospel artist Kim Burrel is unknown to the general public but she is one of the premier singer/songwriters in gospel and has a big following among R & B singers. She even turned up with Carson Daly on MTV because of all the singers citing her as an influence. One of the best kept secrets in the music business but her new CD on Sony could change that.

My latest Joshi Dreams column is now up at http://www.pwinsiderxtra.com/

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Another match added to G-Shooto show

Another match has been added to the Feb. 24 G-Shooto show at Shin-kiba 1st Ring. Believe it or not, Youko Yamada is an arm wrestler. The card so far.

CLASS C+ STRAWWEIGHT BOUT-Maho Muranami vs Yukiko Seki
CLASS C+ STRAWWEIGHT BOUT-Kayo Nagayasu vs Akiko Inoue
CLASS C+ 46KG Bout-Youko Yamada vs Mayuko Masagi

Big upset at Sunday's Ibuki show

One of the problems with joshi wrestlers owning promotions is they have a bad habit of treating it like a hobby instead of a business and doing things on the show that don't make any sense. Mariko Yoshida's Ibuki promotion is no different. That being said, a full house of 415 came to Sunday's Ibuki show at Shinjuku FACE. This is being credited to Ibuki getting more media coverage than most joshi shows especially at Livedoor Sports.

The main event of Sunday's show had Yoshida teaming up with her pal Akiko Nakni. Nakni isn't a pro wrestler but a former amateur wrestler and a wrestling instructor at Gold's Kids Gym. This was her second appearance on an Ibuki show. The show also included a major upset for a younger wrestler over a seasoned veteran. Does it mean anything? Let's see.

The opening match had a couple of virtual rookies. It was Kaoru Ito trainee Ayako Sato vs former DDT trainee Cherry. Sato is a rookie and Cherry has been around since 2004 but still wrestles like a rookie. She's been hanging around Yoshida's Gym since November so maybe she'll improve with time. Sato is actually a pretty good rookie and used suplexes and a missile dropkick to win at 9:31. Ayumi Kurihara & Tomoka Nakagawa were the rookies in the second match. Kurihara won with a cross arm breaker at 7:42.

NEO veteran Yuka Shiina was supposed to be in the third match but injured her neck last week. She was replaced by Sakura Emi teaming with Natsuki*Head vs Bambi from K-Dojo & Leon wearing a goofy mask and calling herself Tojuki Leon. Bambi is another greenhorn who has been training at Yoshida's Gym lately. It was a fast paced 20 minute draw. Bambi cried afterwards because she wanted to win. She usually loses.

Kyoko Kimura recently left JWP to freelance. She's another one who has been spending a lot of time at Yoshida's Gym. Her most significant physical trait is the largest afro I've seen since 1970s Blaxploitation flicks. The girl needs a serious haircut. She's nothing special as a wrestler and is a major underdog in this match against veteran Kaoru Ito. Kimura took a beating from Ito for over fifteen minutes including several of Ito's trademark footstomps. Kimura won with one of those reversal flash pins that tends to irritate me because it looks like a fluke. After Ito got over the shock of losing, she helped Kimura celebrate her victory. Does it mean anything? The upset got some media coverage so that was okay. It remains to be seen if it does anything to elevate Kimura significantly. We may find out at the next Ibuki show on March 19.

The main event was a 2 of 3 fall match with Mariko Yoshida & Akiko Nakni vs Shuu Shibutani & Atsuko Emoto. So what's the deal with Nakni? She's 38 years old and a mother of three kids. She is a legend of amateur wrestling in Japan but what's she doing in a pro ring? It looks like she's just having fun and if you're a wrestler, Yoshida is a good person to have fun with. And I think Yoshida is trying to show the younger wrestlers that Nakni knows everything and they know nothing. Yoshida & Nakni won the match in two straight falls. Nakni over Shibutani with a sleeper hold in 12:35 then Yoshida over Emoto with the Air Raid Crash (Fit Finlay stole it from her) in 8:03. Nakni said afterwards she was just happy not to embarass herself. Yoshida said The Coach is a role model to the younger wrestlers. Nakni has already earned their respect. Here's the results of the show and if you go to Yoshida's website http://yoshidamariko.jp/ she's posted some pics of the show.

IBUKI - 1/29/06 - Shinjuku FACE
Ayako Sato def. Cherry in 9:31
Ayumi Kurihara def. Tomoka Nakagawa in 7:42
Sakura Emi & Natsuki*Head - 20 min. draw - Tojuki Leon & Bambi
Kyoko Kimura def. Kaoru Ito in 16:30
Mariko Yoshida & Akiko Nakni def. Shuu Shibutani & Atsuko Emoto 2 falls straight (Nakni over Shibutani in 12:35, Yoshida over Emoto in 8:03)

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Cannonball Adderley
Song:Love For Sale
Album:Somethin' Else

This version of the Cole Porter standard is the epitome of jazz and is from one of the all time classic albums with one of the best bands ever assembled. Cannonball Adderley-sax, Miles Davis-trumpet, Hank Jones-piano, Sam Jones-bass, Art Blakey-drums. It doesn't get much better than that.