Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Lisa Ward returns to Smackgirl

Smackgirl has announced that Lisa Ward will return on their Nov. 29 Korakuen Hall show. Her opponent in this Flyweight bout will be Misaki Takimoto. Ward's record is 6-2 and she was victorious in her Smackgirl debut on Sept. 15 over MIKU. Takimoto's record is 6-5-3. Her most recent match was a draw against Wakako Sunayama on the Aug. 12 DEEP show. The match is scheduled for two five minute rounds.

Pancrase adds Athena match to Dec. 10 show

Pancrase has added an Athena match to their Dec. 10 Differ Ariake show. It will be a 57kg match with WINDY Tomomi vs Kanako Takeshita. Tomomi is a muay thai kickboxer with an MMA record of 9-6. Her most recent match was a KO victory over Seri on the Sept. 15 Smackgirl show. Takeshita won the 2006 Smackgirl Middleweight Next Cinderella tournament. Her record is 3-0 and her most recent match was over Mamitora on the Oct. 20 G-Shooto show. Takeshita may be new on the scene but her ground game means it won't be an easy match for Tomomi. It's a great striker against a great grappler. A win could be a breakthrough for Takeshita.

DEEP adds womens match to Nov. 19 show

DEEP has added a womens match to their Nov. 19 Toyama show. It will be MIKU vs Seri. This will be MIKU's return to the 48kg class after a couple of fights in a heavier weight class. Her record is 8-3 and most recent match was a loss to Lisa Ward on the Sept. 15 Smackgirl show. She also split a couple of matches with Brazilian Carina Damm. Seri is 9-9 and her most recent match was a KO loss to WINDY Tomomi on that same Sept. 15 Smackgirl show.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Steely Dan


Album:The Definitive Collection

This newly released Definitive Collection is a good example of how record companies repackage classic rock groups unnecessarily in an effort to separate you from your money. The main difference between this comp and previous Steely Dan comps is it includes a couple of songs from Steely Dan's 90s comeback. Fans of the group probably already have something else. I have the 4CD box set Citizen Steely Dan which has all their 70s recordings. Why screw around? Of course Peg is from the 1977 classic Aja. Donald Becker & Walter Fagan used all kinds of session musicians on Aja. Peg includes Jay Graydon on guitar, Chuck Rainey on bass & Rick Marotta on drums. I suppose The Definitive Collection might be OK for beginners with with only 16 tracks, it doesn't seem very definitive to me. The 2000 2CD Showbiz Kids comp is better but Citizen Steely Dan is really definitive.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Elmore James

Song :Coming Home

Album:Blues Masters:The Very Best Of Elmore James

Elmore James was a great innovator of the blues slide guitar. Anyone who has ever played the blues on guitar was influenced by James. He started out as a radio repairman in his native Mississippi. He was a part time musician and experimented with amplifiers. His first big hit was Dust My Broom and eventually took his band The Broomdusters to Chicago. He was a very powerful vocalist too. James was one of the most popular musicians of the 50s. The problem was he recorded for so many different labels and there are so many comps it's hard to know what to get. This Blues Masters comp issued by Rhino in 2000 is OK but an earlier Rhino comp called The Sky Is Crying is a little better. in 2005, Charly released the 4CD box set King Of The Slide Guitar and that looks definitive to me. Unfortunately Elmore James did not reap the benefits of the 60s blues revival. He had a history of heart problems and died of a heart attack on May 24, 1963 at age 45.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Tony Stewart wins at Atlanta

The Chase for the Nextel Cup turned upside down last week at Martinsville when Jeff Burton's engine failure dropped him from the lead to fifth place. Matt Kenseth leads but the race has tightened up considerably. Anything is possible with four races left. Perhaps the Bass Pro Shops 500 at Atlanta Speedway would determine the Nextel Cup champion. Qualifying was rained out and owners points determined the starting order. Matt Kenseth was on the pole.

Kevin Harvick-#29 Reese's Chevy starts with the lead. Kyle Busch-#5 Kellogg's Chevy spins on lap 4 and damages his left front bumper when he touches Brian Vickers-#25 GMAC Chevy. Busch finishes 27th. He's been terrible during the chase. Dale Earnhardt Jr-#8 Budweiser Chevy takes the lead on lap 7. Tony Stewart-#20 Home Depot Chevy takes the lead on lap 27. Earnhardt has a vibration and pits on lap 30 and drops two laps down. It was probably a loose lug nut.

Green flag pit stops begin on lap 49. By lap 61, Dale Earnhardt Jr. is back in the lead. He pitted earlier and is off sequence. He's hoping for a caution or he'll go a lap down again. He gets lucky with a debris caution on lap 81. Meanwhile, Kevin Harvick is battling an ill handling race car. He'd never be able to get a handle on it and finished 31st and dropped to 6th in the points. Jeff Gordon-#24 Nicorette Chevy takes the lead on lap 114.

Green flag pit stops cycle through on lap 146 and Jeff Gordon is still leading. Tony Stewart gets the lead on lap 157 while Gordon is sueezed into the wall by Joe Nemechek-#01 US Army Chevy. Gordon has minor fender damage. On lap 169, Gordon cuts a tire and while trying to get to pit road, he's rammed from behind by Jamie McMurray-#26 Crown Royal Ford and spins out. McMurray says he was blinded by the sun. He's out of the race. Gordon has minor damage and rebounds for a 6th place finish and moves up to 7th in the points.

Tony Stewart & Dale Earnhardt Jr. swap the lead a few times. Earnhardt starts to have handling problems and drops back. Meanwhile, Jimmie Johnson-#48 Lowe's Chevy moves up and takes the lead on lap 238. On lap 248, Kasey Kahne-#9 McDonalds Dodge squeezes David Stremme-#40 Coors Light Dodge into the wall. Kahne finished 38th and drops to 9th in the points. Kahne took the blame for the crash and said he forgot Stremme was outside him.

Tony Stewart returns to the lead on lap 260. Jeff Burton-#31 Cingular Chevy hit the wall and cut a tire on lap 281. He pit and would finish 13th. A debris caution came out on lap 290. Replays showed that the debris was a piece of rollbar padding from Robby Gordon's-#7 Jim Beam Chevy. He would get the free pass but I don't think NASCAR can prove he did it delibrately. Everyone makes what will likely be their final pit stops.

A caution comes out on lap 304 when Martin Truex Jr-#1 Bass Pro Shops Chevy hits the wall. So who will pit? Leader Tony Stewart pits and everyone but Dale Earnhardt Jr. follows. He got faked out but leads on the restart on lap 309. On the restart, Kenny Wallace-#78 Furniture Row Chevy has a flat tire. Jeff Green-#66 Best Buy Chevy tries to check up but sends Sterling Marlin-#14 Ginn's Resorts Chevy into Mark Martin-#6 AAA Ford. Martin finishes 36th and srops to 8th in the points. Stewart gets the lead from Earnhardt on lap 314. Johnson passes Earnhardt for second but Earnhardt holds off Matt Kenseth-#17 DeWalt Tools Ford for third.

Congratulations to Tony Stewart, crew chief Greg Zipadelli and car owner Joe Gibbs on the win. Big top ten finishes for Greg Biffle, Joe Nemechek & Robby Gordon. Matt Kenseth still leads the points over Jimmie Johnson by 26 points. Kenseth is very consistent and is capable of getting a good finish from a mediocre car. He will be very tough to beat. All three NASCAR divisions are in Texas next week. Here's the top ten of the race.


1.20/Tony Stewart/Home Depot/Chevy/Joe Gibbs

2.48/Jimmie Johnson/Lowe's/Chevy/Rick Henderick

3.8/Dale Earnhardt Jr./Budweiser/Chevy/Dale Earnhardt Inc.

4.17/Matt Kenseth/DeWalt Tools/Ford/Jack Roush

5.16/Greg Biffle/National Guard/Ford/Jack Roush

6.24/Jeff Gordon/Nicorette/Chevy/Rick Hendrick

7.99/Carl Edwards/Office Depot/Ford/Jack Roush

8.11/Denny Hamlin/Fed Ex Cup/Chevy/Joe Gibbs

9.01/Joe Nemechek/US Army/Chevy/Bobby Ginn

10.7/Robby Gordon/Jim Beam/Chevy/Robby Gordon

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Karen Clark Sheard

Song:I Won't Let Go

Album:2nd Chance

Of course Karen Clark Sheard is one of the greatest singers today with a legit four octave range. She's from the legendary Clark Sisters. Her mom was a great singer and so is Karen's daughter Kiki. But we almost lost Karen in 2000 when she almost died during a hernia operation. That's what the 2002 comeback album 2nd Chance is all about and Karen is just fantastic. She works with several producers and I Won't Let Go is written & produced by Donald Lawrence, one of Karen's favourite collaborators. The Chicago choir New Direction also appear. The whole album is masterful with producers like Karen's cousin J. Moss, Missy Elliott & Mike City lining up to work with her. Karen is now with Word Records and released a new album in 2006. Her music is well worth seeking out.

Mike Bliss wins Atlanta Craftsman Truck race

The big news in NASCAR this week was Red Bull Racing's announcement that 24 year old CHAMP car star A.J. Allmendinger will drive the #84 Toyota in the 2007 Nextel Cup season. This rumour had been around since April. Allmendinger was supposed to make his Nextel Cup debut at Atlanta this weekend but qualifying was rained out. But he did qualify third for the Easy Care 200 in the Craftsman Truck series. Mike Skinner won the pole and the points battle between Todd Bodine & Johnny Benson continues.

Mike Skinner-#5 Toyota starts in the lead but Mark Martin-#6 Scott's Miracle Gro Ford crashes on lap 2 to bring out a caution. A.J. Allmendinger-#24 Toyota takes the lead on lap 8. Johnny Benson-#23 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota is passing Allmendinger for the lead on lap 11 when Allmendinger spins and crashes into Joe Nemechek-#46 Chevy. Allmendinger finshes 34th. Benson continues to lead until David Reutimann-#17 Toyota passes him on lap 29.

There's something wrong with points leader Todd Bodine-#30 Lumber Liquidators Toyota. They don't know exactly what's wrong but he comes down pit road with a flat tire on lap 35 and goes two laps down. Johnny Benson gets the lead back on lap 47. Mike Bliss-#16 Strutmasters Chevy is second and gets the lead on lap 53. David Reutimann takes second. Chase Miller-#4 Dodge crashes on lap 77. Everyone pits. Jack Sprague-#60 Con-Way Freight Toyota leads on the restart. Bliss drops to ninth after being delayed on pit road by a loose lug nut.

Disaster for Johnny Benson on lap 89. He breaks a driveshaft. Todd Bodine finished 25th and Benson was 29th so things turned out OK for Bodine. Jack Sprague continues to lead until David Reutimann & Bobby Hamilton Jr-#18 Fastenal Dodge make it three wide. Hamilton gets the lead. Sprague would brush the wall and finish 10th. Then Erik Darnell-#99 Northern Tool & Equipment Ford & Terry Cook-#10 Powerstroke Diesel Ford would enter the picture. Darnell took the lead on lap 114.

An Aric Almirola-#75 Spears Manufacturing Chevy blown engine brings out a caution on lap 116. Mike Bliss takes the lead from Erik Darnell on the lap 121 restart. Terry Cook moves into second but is unable to get close enough to challenge Bliss for the lead. Mike Bliss wins at Atlanta. Todd Bodine still leads the points and actually gained seven points on Johnny Benson. Bodine was very lucky today.

Kevin Harvick wins Memphis Busch Series race

The 2006 NASCAR Busch Series season has been the Kevin Harvick show. He's already clinched the drivers championship and was looking to clinch the car owners championship at the Sams Town 250 at Memphis Motorsports Park. The other big story is the NASCAR debut of Juan Pablo Montoya in this race. He qualified third. Johnny Sauter won the pole.

All the Nextel Cup guys flew from practice in Atlanta. Because they didn't qualify the cars themselves, they would all have to go to the back of the starting grid. How long would it take for them to get to the front? Johnny Sauter-#00 Yellow Freight Chevy led the first part of the race. He would lead until the caution came out on lap 84 for a Carlos Contreras-#12 Supercuts Dodge spin. Clint Bowyer-#2 AC Delco Chevy would take the lead on the ensuing pit stops. Kevin Harvick-#21 Coast Guard Chevy was second.

Bowyer leads until a crash with Carlos Contreras, Mike Wallace-#1 Miccosukee Casino Dodge, Casey Atwood-#27 Scott Tissue Ford & Paul Menard-#11 Menards Chevy brings out a caution on lap 138. Most guys pit but Kenny Wallace-#22 Auto Zone Ford stays out to lead followed by four other guys. They won't stay at the front too long with older tires. Juan Pablo Montoya-#42 Texaco Havoline Dodge is running tenth when he spins out on lap 156. The he was penalized for speeding on pit road. He would restart 30th and finish 11th.

Kevin Harvick would take the lead on lap 163. But Carl Edwards-#60 Free Credit Report.com Ford was coming and would take the lead on lap 237. A Steve Wallace-#64 Dodge spin sets up a green/white/checker finish. Harvick taps Edwards to get the win and Bowyer passes Edwards for second. Harvick's win clinches the car owners championship for Richard Childress.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Ibrahim Ferrer

Song:Mil Congojas

Album:Buenos Hermanos

For most of his life, Cuban singer Ibrahim Ferrer sang in obscurity while holding down day jobs. He even retired from music in 1991. That all changed when in 1996 when Juan de Marcos Gonazalez of the Afro-Cuban All Stars convinced Ry Cooder to come to Cuba. Cooder was blown away by Ferrer, guitarist Compay Segundo & pianist Ruben Gonzalez and the Buena Vista Social Club was born. The album and Wim Wenders documentary made Ibrahim Ferrer an international star in his 70s. The 2003 album Buenos Hermanos was Ferrer's second Cooder produced record. It features several Cuban session musicians but also features Ry Cooder on guitar, his son Joachim on drums, Jim Keltner on drums & The Blind Boys Of Alabama. Mil Congojas features a string orchestra and Ibrahim's vocals are wonderful. Ibrahim Ferrer died on Aug. 6, 2005 at age 78. Thank you Ry Cooder for bringing the sublime music of Cuba and this wonderful vocalist to a wider and appreciative audience.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Pro Wrestling SUN announces three matches for Nov. 16 show

Pro Wrestling SUN has announced three matches for their Nov. 16 Shin-kiba 1st Ring show. Saki Maemura will face Veronica Simply. Hikaru will face Atsuko Emoto. Natsuki*Taiyo will face Shuu Shibutani. Since the main event is likely to be Nanae Takahashi vs Aja Kong for the AWA World Womens Title, it doesn't look like SUN is planning to bring over any more gaijins for this show. My guess is they will save most of the gaijins and the really crazy gimmicks for their Korakuen Hall shows. The next Korakuen show will be on Jan. 14. The four girls are kept busy on ZERO-ONE MAX & NEXUS shows.

LLPW announces All Star Strongest Woman tournament lineup

LLPW announced today the results of their fan voting for the All Star Strongest Woman tournament. The ten participants are Aja Kong, Amazing Kong, Eagle Sawai, Mayumi Ozaki, Shinobu Kandori, Meiko Satomura, Dynamite Kansai, Dump Matsumoto, Harley Saito & Yumiko Hotta. Obviously some of wrestlers are going to get a bye in the first round. Here's the announced schedule and brackets.

LLPW All Star Strongest Woman Tournament

Round one - 11/12/06 - Korakuen Hall

A.Yumiko Hotta vs Shinobu Kandori

B.Dynamite Kansai vs Eagle Sawai

Quarter finals - 1/5/07 - Korakuen Hall

C.Amazing Kong vs winner of A

D.Aja Kong vs Dump Matsumoto

E.Meiko Satomura vs Harley Saito

F.Mayumi Ozaki vs winner of B

Semi finals - 2/12/07 - Sumo Hall

Winner of C vs winner of D

Winner of E vs winner of F

The tournament final will be the main event of the big Sumo Hall show.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Dexter Gordon

Song:Three O'Clock In The Morning


In the 50s, jazz sax legend Dexter Gordon spent several years in jail due to drug problems. By 1960, he was out of jail and fully recovered. He signed with Blue Note and recorded Go in 1962. It's one of his best recordings and a must for jazz fans. The musicians are Sonny Clark on piano, Butch Warren on bass & Billy Higgins on drums. This version of the old Paul Whiteman hit Three O'Clock In The Morning is beautifully played by this quartet. Soon after, Dexter Gordon would move to Europe and would continue to make great records until he returned to the US in 1976.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

A funny thing happened...

Last night I was supposed to go see Ward 6 councillor candidate Jem Cain at the Yalla Cafe. But there was a general members meeting of the co-op at 6PM. I was hoping to do both but the members meeting is more important and then it ran longer than expected. There were three main parts of the agenda; approve the audit, approve a bylaw change & elect two interim members to the Board of Directors. The first two are rubber stamps but the third issue got interesting.

There was also quite a bit of discussion about recent changes to the underground parking garage and security issues in general. I've never used the underground parking garage but the main issue is people dumping cars that don't belong. Some people like the changes. Some don't. You're not going to please everyone. The board and building management are figuring it out as they go. The other issue was building security. Maintenance guy Marlon is in charge of that and he spoke at length at the things he is doing. They're trying to deal with these problems.

So the time came for the election. I've only been living here for over a year so I was surprised when one of my tenth floor neighbours nominated me for the Board of Directors. It wasn't something I was seeking but if the other members want me on the board, of course I'll do it. So I said I would run. Three other people were nominated. There was a tie between this black guy Blair and this lady Ruth so we had to vote again to decide that. The result is that Blair & I are now on the co-op Board of Directors. I don't really know what I'm getting into but the first meeting is Nov. 7 and I guess they're going to give me some materials to read. I hate legalese. The one thing I can do is give the disabled members a voice on the board. The other thing I plan to look at is communicating better with the members with newsletters or more likely, a blog. Keeping members informed has been a big issue around here. The interim ends in May so I'll do my best until then. It's gratifying that folks here want me to be on the board. That's what happens when you have a big mouth.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Miles Davis

Song:Autumn Leaves

Album:The Best Of Miles Davis

When most people think of Miles Davis, they think of his recordings on Columbia. That's understandable because he was there for thirty years but he made great music for Prestige, Blue Note & Capitol in the 50s. This comp is a good introduction to his Blue Note recordings. Blue Note is cheating a bit with this beautiful version of Autumn Leaves. It's actually from the 1958 Cannonball Adderley classic Somethin' Else and was recorded long after Miles left Blue Note. Other musicians on the session were Hank Jones on piano, Sam Jones on bass & Art Blakey on drums. Most jazz fans will likely have Somethin' Else already. The Best Of Miles Davis is recommended for beginners only.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The Departed review

Some believe that Martin Scorsese is the greatest film director of his generation. But the Oscar is the one thing that has eluded him through his career. And historically his films have not performed well at the box office. With The Departed, Scorsese has returned to the familiar gritty territory that has earned him acclaim in the past. The Departed is an adaptation of Andy Lau's Hong Kong hit Infernal Affairs. It was originally to star Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Wahlberg, Robert DeNiro & Brad Pitt. DeNiro dropped out to make The Good Shepherd and was replaced by Jack Nicholson. Pitt was replaced by Matt Damon but still gets a producer credit. That's still a very high powered cast.

Though The Departed was shot mostly in New York City, it's set in the Irish criminal underworld of Boston. Why Boston? Screenwriter William Monahan (Kingdom of Heaven) is from Boston. The story centers around Boston crime kingpin Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson) and the efforts of the Massachusetts State Police to put him behind bars. Costello has been around a long time and he's not very subtle so why is it taking them so long? Well, it's a common plot device in crime stories to make the police incredibly stupid and this one is no different. The guys in charge played by Alec Baldwin & Martin Sheen are idiots. I guess there's no movie if you make them smart. The police plant undercover detective Billy Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio) in Costello's gang. Costigan tips his bosses that Costello plans to sell stolen computer chips to Chinese buyers. This is their big chance to get Costello. But they screw it up, partially because of incompetence but mostly because team member Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon) is working for Costello. There's plenty of gunplay and even an explosion or two. But the main strength of The Departed is the dialogue and the interaction between the various characters. I suspect a lot of the dialogue was improvised on the set. Also, cellphones are very important to this story.

The Departed is an action packed film and doesn't seem two and a half hours long. Scorsese gets strong performances from all his actors. Nicholson is hilariously evil. He said he took the role because he was tired of doing comedies. Other than Damon & Wahlberg, who are from Boston, none of the other actors can do a Boston accent. Wait until you hear DiCaprio try a South African accent in Blood Diamond. Scorsese's direction is very tight but a lot of credit should go to his longtime collaborators editor Thelma Schoonmaker & cinematographer Michael Ballhaus. And Howard Shore's score works well and Scorsese's use of music is perfect as usual. The Departed will satisfy longtime Scorsese fans longing for him to return to his roots. And fans of the various actors will enjoy it as well. It's too early to tell if The Departed will earn Scorsese that long awaited Oscar but with Dreamgirls looming, it's doubtful that he will get it. The film has done the best at the box office of any of Scorsese's films.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:The Bar-Kays

Song:Deliver Us

Album:The Best of Bar-Kays

The Bar-Kays started out as a second house band for Stax Records in Memphis. They were on the way up with the hit Soul Finger when four members of the band were killed in the same plane crash that killed Otis Redding on Dec. 10, 1967. The band was able to regroup and had added vocals by the early 70s. They signed with Mercury in 1976 and became one of the most popular funk groups of the 70s. Deliver Us is from their 1980 album As One and is probably a little more R& B based then most of their music. The Bar-Kays continued to record in the 80s but ran out of steam and split up in 1988. Mercury has released a couple of comps including this one. The Bar-Kays are a must for funk fans.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Rahsaan Roland Kirk


Album:Here Comes The Whistleman

Blind jazz sax player Rahsaan Roland Kirk was known for playing multiple instruments on stage but he was a very powerful musician and that was overlooked sometimes. He was known for playing saxophone offshoots like the manzillo & stritch and he rigged them up so he could play all his instruments simultaneously. He started playing professionally at age 15 and after touring with Charles Mingus in 1961, he formed his own band. Here Comes The Whistleman was recorded live at Atlantic Studios in New York on March 14, 1965 and the opener Roots displays Kirk's R & B jump style. The musicians are Jaki Byard on piano, Major Holley on bass and Charles Crosby on drums. The album was rereleased on CD by Label M in 2001 with two added unreleased tracks. Water Records reissued it in 2004 minus those tracks. Rahsaan Roland Kirk became somewhat of an activist in the early 70s with the Jazz & People's Movement. He suffered a stroke in 1975 and died on Dec. 7, 1977 at age 41. Rahsaan Roland Kirk was an eccentric just like a lot of other great jazz musicians.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Sumie Sakai makes MMA debut in Boise, Idaho

Of course joshi puroresu fans know all about Sumie Sakai. Like her pal Megumi Yabushita, Sumie had extensive judo training before both were recruited to pro wrestling and trained by the legendary Jaguar Yokota. Sumie moved permantently to the US in 2003 and lives in Philadelphia. She works for various indy wrestling companies mostly in the Northeast US. Recently Yabushita visited the US and appeared on an MMA show in Atlantic City. So when I heard that Sumie was planning to make her MMA debut for the Primal Tribe Fighting Club in Boise, Idaho, it was obvious where she got the idea. Of course I wondered if Sumie knows where Idaho is. Just kidding.

So the match did happen on October 14 at the Qwest Arena in Boise. It was called Xtreme Fighting Series II and is promoted by the Primal Tribe Fighting Club. Sumie's opponent was local fighter Amy Davis. She is a muay thai kickboxer in her first MMA match. The bout was scheduled for three three minute rounds.

With her judo training, Sumie's strength is her ground work. She got Davis in an armbar and it appeared the ringside officials thought she tapped out as round one ended. This caused a lot of confusion and then the ref said Davis hurt her arm and couldn't continue. The match was ruled a no contest. It seems the timekeeper is used to five minute rounds and forgot to ring the bell at three minutes. The XFS apologized for the mistake and promised that Sumie Sakai will return on their next show. Sumie did very well in her MMA debut.

Smackgirl F-2006 results

The idea behind the Oct. 20 Smackgirl show at Nishi-chofu Arena was to have their annual amateur tournament called the Grappling Princess League. But they didn't get enough entries so they had to add some other matches to fill out the card. This included a special exhibition match featuring Yuka Tsuji. Don't get too excited about that. Her match with Edge was just that so I'll move on to other things.

The last time we saw masked fighter Berry 15 she was being carried from the ring after being knocked out by Hisae Watanabe. She's back but she's not wearing the mask anymore. Her opponent in this main event was rising star Eri Kaneya. She did very well in the recent grappling tournament. Kaneya was very aggressive in this match but Berry 15 came back and scored her own points. Kaneya won a split decision. In a Middleweight bout, Mizuho Sato won a unanimous decision over Benkei. Both were part of the recent Next Cinderella tournament. In another Middleweight bout, Hiromi Obata defeated Harumi by unanimous decision.

The Smackgirl Grappling Princess League only had three entries so they did it round robin style, I think. SACHI won a unanimous decision over Ayumi Funakoshi. Then Asami Kodera dominated SACHI 14-0. The final had Asami Kodera defeat Ayumi Funakoshi by arm bar at 3:27 of round one. It looks like Kodera is very well trained. Smackgirl also announced that their next show will be Nov. 29 at Korakuen Hall. A Flyweight match between Bisa Takimoto & US figher Lisa Ward has been announced.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Charlie Parker


Album:The Washington Concerts

Jazz fans do go a little batty when newly discovered recordings from long deceased jazz legends are releleased. And who's a bigger legend than Charlie Parker? These Washington concerts were originally released by Elektra Musician in the 80s. When producer Bruce Lundvall went to Blue Note, he decided to repackage these recordings with some previously unreleased 1953 Washington concert recordings he had found including this tour de force version of Anthropology. If you like Bird, you'll want to hear this. And jazz fans go batty.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Jimmie Johnson wins at Martinsville

Sunday's Subway 500 NASCAR Nextel Cup race at Martinsville demonstrated how quickly things can change in The Chase for the Nextel Cup. Everyone talks about Talladega being the wild card but the half mile Martinsville short track tightened up the points race considerably. Kurt Busch won the pole.

Points leader Jeff Burton-#31 Cingular Chevy started 28th and he paid for that starting spot on lap 3 when Kyle Petty-#45 Wells Fargo Dodge spun out. While checking up, Martin Truex Jr-#1 Bass Pro Shops Chevy ran into Reed Sorenson-#41 Target Dodge and Jeff Burton hit Joe Nemechek-#01 US Army Chevy. The damage to Burton's car seemed minor ar first but by lap 40 he found he was missing two hood pins.

Meanwhile Jeff Gordon-#24 Dupont Chevy leads. Jeff Burton's crew tapes up the loose hood but he's starting to overheat. Burton goes down a lap on lap 106. Jimmie Johnson-#48 Lowe's Chevy takes the lead on lap 153. Burton tells his crew the engine is dying. Owner Richard Childress tells him to stay out as long as he can. Burton says if he doesn't come in the engine will blow up. The engine quits anyway and Burton finishes 42nd and drops to fifth in the points.

Johnson continues to lead. A caution comes out on lap 242 when Tony Raines-#96 DLP Chevy cuts a tire when clipped by David Ragan-#06 Ford. Travis Kvapil-#32 Tide Chevy hits the wall. Johnson & Dale Earnhardt Jr-#8 Budweiser Chevy pit but Jeff Gordon stays out to lead. Denny Hamlin-#11 FedEx Chevy takes the lead on lap 256. A Matt Kenseth-#17 R & L Carriers Ford spin brings out a caution on lap 279. Johnson & Earnhardt stay out to run first and second.

Ken Schrader-#21 Little Debbie's Ford crashes hard when tapped by David Ragan on lap 331. Everyone pits and Kurt Busch-#2 Miller Lite Dodge leads. Jimmie Johnson gets the lead back on lap 353. Kurt Busch its the inside wall on lap 363. Jeff Gordon pits knowing that everyone else may pit later and he'll get the lead. A Jamie McMurray-#26 Irwin Industrial Tools spin brings out a caution on lap 399. Everyone pits but Bobby Labonte-#43 Cheerios Dodge, Casey Mears-#42 Texaco Havoline Dodge made their final pit stops earlier and lead.

With his fresher tires, Jimmie Johnson takes the lead on lap 444. Mark Martin-#6 AAA Ford has no water pressure. He pits for water and finishes 24th. Dale Earnhardt Jr. spins on lap 476 and finishes 22nd. Denny Hamlin gets around Bobby Labonte for second on lap 484. A Kenny Wallace-#78 Furniture Row Chevy spin brings out a caution on lap 489 and gives Hamlin one last chance for the win. He gets beside Johnson but is unable to pass him and Johnson gets the win.

Congratulations to Jimmie Johnson, crew chief Chad Knaus & car owner Rick Hendrick on the win. It was an emotional win as it was two years ago that a Hendrick plane crashed en route to Martinsville and killed ten people including Rick Hendrick's brother John and his son Ricky. Big top ten finishes for Bobby Labonte, Casey Mears, Jeff Green & Kyle Petty. Matt Kenseth finishes 11th and leads 9th place Kevin Harvick by 36 points. The championship is now a tossup again. Next week is Atlanta. Here's the top ten of the race.


1.48/Jimmie Johnson/Lowe's/Chevy/Rick Hendrick

2.11/Denny Hamlin/FedEx/Chevy/Joe Gibbs

3.43/Bobby Labonte/Cheerios/Dodge/Petty Enterprises

4.20/Tony Stewart/Home Depot/Chevy/Joe Gibbs

5.24/Jeff Gordon/Dupont/Chevy/Rick Hendrick

6.42/Casey Mears/Texaco Havoline/Dodge/Chip Ganassi

7.9/Kasey Kahne/UAW-Dodge Dealers/Dodge/Ray Evernham

8.66/Jeff Green/Haas Automation/Chevy/Gene Haas

9.29/Kevin Harvick/GM Goodwrench/Chevy/Richard Childress

10.45/Kyle Petty/Wells Fargo/Dodge/Petty Enterprises

LLPW postpones 20th Anniversary show until Feb. 12

LLPW has announced that their planned 20th Anniversary show on Nov. 21 at Sumo Hall has been postponed until February 12, 2007. Nikkan Sports reports that Shinobu Kandori has said that her recent appointment to the House Of Councillors has made her too busy to prepare properly for the show. Ditto for the comedian Toshino. Rumi Kazama posts on her blog that the first round tournament matches will still be held on the Nov. 12 Korakuen Hall show. The semi finals will be on Jan. 5 and the final will be on Feb. 12. They still haven't announced the wrestlers for this tournament as they are doing a fan vote on their website. I guess the original plan was to have the semi finals & final on Nov. 21. This gives LLPW time to come to their senses and have the 20th Anniversary show in a smaller hall, we hope.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Dr. John

Song: Iko Iko

Album:Mos' Scocious:Anthology

New Orleans native Mac Rebennack started out as a sideman for New Orleans recording artists like the legendary Roy "Professor Longhair" Byrd. He moved to Los Angeles in the mid 60s and came up with his Dr. John The Night Tripper persona. Dressing up in full Mardi Gras regalia on stage got him a lot of attention. The psychedelic overtones helped too. He signed with Atco Records and Jerry Wexler produced this rousing version of Iko Iko on the 1972 album Gumbo. Dr. John would have his biggest chart success in 1973 with the Allen Toussaint produced Right Place Wrong Time. This 2CD comp from Rhino covers that entire period and and includes some of his pre-Atco recordings. Rebennack still records as Dr. John for Blue Note. His records are OK but it doesn't look like he'll ever be able to recreate the magic of his early recordings.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Takako Inoue named as Kansai's partner for Nov. 3 NEO show

NEO annouced today that Takako Inoue will be the surprise partner for Dynamite Kansai in the special tag team match on their Nov. 3 Korakuen Hall show. Their opponents will be 15 year old debuting rookie Nagisa Nozaki teaming with Kyoko Inoue. 36 year old Takako Inoue is one of the great heels of joshi puroresu and very popular with fans. The rookie is in big trouble. The announcement is a bit of a surprise as Takako has been in semi-retirement the last couple of years and works mostly on LLPW's monthly shows. She would be very busy if she wanted to work a full schedule. She even closed her long running website though she opened one for her yoga studio. NEO also announced that Amazing Kong & Kyoko Kimura will defend their NEO Tag Team Titles against Misae Genki & Haruka Matsuo. Yoshiko Tamura's defense of her NEO Singles & NWA Pacific Titles against Mariko Yoshida was previously announced.

Jack Sprague wins Martinsville Craftsman Truck race

After racing at NASCAR's largest track Talladega, the NASCAR Craftsman Truck series returned to Martinsville, NASCAR's smallest track. Aerodynamics don't matter on this half mile short track and Saturday's Kroger 200 was very typical of Martinsville, plenty of cautions and with the race being 200 laps, it was a possibility that someone would try to run without a pit stop because it's difficult to pass. Jack Sprague won the pole.

Jack Sprague-#60 Con-Way Freight Toyota leads the first part of the race and Ted Musgrave-#9 ASE Toyota settles into second. David Ragan-#06 Ford cuts a tire and spins out on lap 31 to bring out the caution. Everyone pits except Musgrave & Mike Bliss-#16 Strutmasters Chevy. It appears that Musgrave doesn't intend to pit.

Ted Musgrave continues to lead but Jack Sprague has moved up to second. The general thinking is that Musgrave can't make it on fuel. Kerry Earnhardt-#13 Chevy blows his engine on lap 129 to bring out a caution. On the lap 138 restart, Musgrave is black flagged for jumping the restart. The replay showed that he brake checked Sprague before the restart. He slowed down so Sprague would have to slow down and then Musgrave immediately accelerated to get a good jump on the restart. NASCAR had warned Musgrave about brake checking when he did it on a previous restart so when he did it again, he was penalized. Erin Crocker-#98 Cheerios Dodge spins on lap 139 to bring out the caution so Musgrave's penalty was to go to the back of the longest line. He finished 15th.

Jack Sprague leads with Erik Darnell-#99 Northern Tool & Equipment Ford second and David Star-#11 Toyota Forklift Toyota third. Starr gets around Darnell for second but no one has anything for Sprague and he wins the race. Points leader Todd Bodine-#30 Lumber Liquidators Toyota has a flat tire and finishes 14th. Second place Johnny Benson-#23 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota finishes fifth and cuts Bodine's lead to 79 points. Next week the Craftsman Trucks are in Atlanta.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Charles Mingus

Song:Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting

Album:Blues & Roots

Charles Mingus is one of jazz's greatest composers and the greatest bassist in jazz history. But this was somewhat overshadowed by his viloent temper and turbulent personal life. He was known to punch guys out on the bandstand. I guess that contributes to the power of his music. Many times critics would take Mingus to task for experimenting with the boundaries of jazz. So 1959's Blues & Roots is sort of a return to his roots just to silence the critics. Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting is a classic and it even swings. Musicians include John Handy & Jackie McLean on alto sax, Booker Ervin on tenor sax, Pepper Adams on baritone sax, Willie Dennis & Jimmie Knepper on trombone, Horace Parlan & Mal Waldron on piano and Dannie Richmond on drums. Blues & Roots is well worth checking out. Charles Mingus died of Lou Gehrig's Disease on Jan. 5, 1979 at age 56.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Donny Hathaway

Song:The Ghetto

Album:These Songs For You, LIVE!

Donny Hathaway is one of the most phenomenal performers in the history of pop music. Unfortunately he's probably best known for his tragic suicide on Jan. 13, 1979 at age 33. R & B fans still love and respect Donny. So when Rhino released These Songs For You, LIVE! in 2004, it was a real blast from a glorious past. Two Hathaway live albums had been previously released. Live in 1972 & In Performance in 1980. Compilation producers Dave Nathan & Barry Benson combined those two albums, added some unreleased live tracks and the result is one of the most dynamic performers ever at his peak. The Ghetto is one of his greatest songs and closes the album with a twelve minute extended jam. The audience goes nuts. Atlantic has also released The Donny Hathaway Collection comp of his studio recordings but These Songs For You, LIVE! is essential for R & B fans and justifies Donny's well deserved legendary status.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Ward 6 all candidates meeting

As I mentioned briefly yesterday, the Toronto municipal election is on Nov. 13. Last night there was an all candidates meeting in Ward 6, known as Etobicoke Lakeshore. This was at The Assembly Hall at Kipling & Lakeshore, just a short roll from my apartment. If I'm going to vote, I want to know who's running. There are nine candidates. There are hot button issues in this riding such as the "brownfields" (don't ask), hookers & drug dealers, a recent skateboard park controversy and industry in a residential area. These are not my issues. Public transit is an issue but accessible transit and accessibility as a whole is sweeped under the rug. I'm there to make sure that doesn't happen as I was the only wheelchair in attendance. CITY-TV was there so I might make it to air on tonight's news. Just look for a power chair in the front row and if there's any video I'll send it later.

Mark Grimes is the current councillor in Ward 6. Typically, he has a target on his back. But there is only one candidate that I am considering as an alternative. The incumbent has a huge advantage and he will win anyway because most people don't take the time to inform themselves and will vote for him out of ignorance. People are going to bitch regardless even if he's done a good job. Nothing happens overnight. So I like him and he's been in office for three years and knows the ropes. Anyone new would have to learn the ropes just like he did.

Let's start with the candidates I eliminated immediately. One guy didn't show up. Danuta Markewicz seems like a very earnest woman. Her major concern is the "brownfields". But she speaks in a very thick Polish accent and everything she said was scripted. That's not acceptable. You have to be able to think on your feet or you'll get eaten alive. She should invest in a public speaking course. Walter Melnyk kept talking about a Bill Of Rights he printed but he couldn't seem to verbalize it. He made some vague comments about taxes and didn't really participate in the Q & A. He would also benefit from a public speaking course. Greg Wowchuk claims to be an experienced politician but he made the fatal mistake of concentrating on negative attacks on Mark Grimes. What's he gonna do? He's a perennial candidate but has he ever won an election? He also tried to say that the Islington subway staion is accessible and it isn't.

We also had two candidates come up with concepts that they think will be attractive to voters but aren't realistic. They will never get elected and even if they do city council will never do either of these things. And this is what they're hanging their hats on. Rosalie Chalmers' main topic is to build a Lakeshore Village Town Hall to rejuvenate the area. Who's going to pay for that? Besides, The Assembly Hall is performing that function. Matthew Day wants to build a Lakeshore local express train that would run from Long Branch station to Union Station downtown using existing train tracks that aren't being used. He wants to relieve traffic congestion and improve transit service. Sounds like a good idea? But the current streetcars running on Lakeshore aren't accessible and until the TTC is completely accessible, this doesn't make sense. How is he going to sell this concept to a guy sitting in a power chair? It's not something he wanted to address. And I did speak to him afterwards. He's a nice guy but no thanks.

Like Greg Wowchuk, George Kash is a perennial candidate for this position. George is a local character and entertainer. He has no chance of winning but I think he runs to keep the other candidates honest. As a result, his ideas are somewhat vague. I wonder what he would do if he won. I spoke to George afterwards and we were discussing the state of sidewalk curbs. He's a nice guy and wouldn't mind hanging around with him or even work on projects to benefit the disabled with him but I'm not voting for him. Sorry, George. Don't take it personally. I'll throw him a bone. Here's a link to his website. http://www.georgekash.com/

Jem Cain is the one candidate I am considering voting for. She is very well spoken and can think on her feet. She's a local activist who was instrumental in preventing a concrete plant from being constructed in a residential area. She uses personal experience to illustrate her campaign issues. That's a good sign. I am concerned if she is assertive enough for Toronto city council. Sometimes you can't be nice. When the lions bite, you have to bite back. I spoke to Jem afterwards and she voiced a specific concern about Wheeltrans. Well Jem, if you're reading this, I have a solution to that concern. We can discuss it at the meet & greet next Wednesday at my favourite neighbourhood fellafel place The Yalla Cafe. That will help me decide where my vote goes. Stay tuned.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Ornette Coleman

Song:The Legend Of Bebop

Artist:The Art Of The Improvisers

Just when bebop was starting to be accepted in the late 50s, sax player Ornette Coleman turned things upside down with his Free Jazz quartet with trumpeter Don Cherry, bassist Charlie Haden & drummer Ed Blackwell. It was very controversial at the time even among jazz buffs but songs like The Legend Of Bebop from this 1959 album still hold up very well. Coleman has continued to stretch the boundaries of jazz through his entire career. He's not always successful but he's never boring. And Ornette Coleman is still doing it at age 76. His new CD Sound Grammar was released last month. But I don't recommend his music for beginners.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Hotta runs reckless in JD Star

JD Star held one of their rare out of town shows at the Ishinomaki City Gym on Oct. 14. The main event featured a special appearance by Yumiko Hotta & Michiko Ohmukai and Shuu Shibutani got her butt kicked by a veteran.

The opener had Hotta's pal Scahie Abe playing hooky from JWP to wrestle rookie Yasusato Nakajima. Abe won with her Majistral cardle finisher at 11:15. Next was a tag match featuring four Kaoru Ito trainees. It was Ayako Sato & Ikuko Taguchi vs Mai Ichii & Hiroyo Matsumoto. The match was described as basic AJW style. Ichii won over Sato with a comet kick at 9:32. JD Star messed up on the writeup of the next match so I only have the result. AKINO & Bullfight Sora defeated Caribbean Kim & Caribbean Rum in 11:29. These two are wrestlers based on Pirates of the Caribbean. One is masked and the other wears a pink wig.

Once again, JD Star messed up on the writeup but Azumi Hyuga took Shuu Shibutani to school and won in 11:03. Shibutani was carried out. The main event was Yuiko Hotta & Michiko Ohmukai over Fuuka & Ayumi Kurihara in 10:49 with a heel drop. Hotta dominated the match and the youngsters could do nothing to stop her. Double teaming didn't help. Afterwards, Hotta wrapped the two of them in a chain backstage. Some things never change.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Sonny Rollins

Song:East Broadway Run Down

Album:The Impulse Story:Sonny Rollins

It speaks to legendary sax player Sonny Rollins' status that this recently released Impulse Story comp is based on three records he made for Impulse. The album East Broadway Run Down was recorded in 1966 and this epic twenty minute track is the centerpiece. The musicians are Freddie Hubbard on trumpet, Jimmy Garrison on bass & Elvin Jones on drums. Rollins & Hubbard are going in different directions but but that's the nature of improvisation and it turned out very well anyway. Rollins' RCA & Riverside recordings are more important so that's where you want to start.

We have a municipal election coming up on Nov. 13 and there's a city councillor all candidates meeting tonight at The Assembly Hall. I'm going to check that out and see if any of these people are worth a vote. The mayor's race is kind of a joke. I hate David Miller but no one worthwhile is running against him.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Simply Luscious to work for Pro Wrestling SUN

Pro Wrestling SUN announced today that the wrestler known in the US as Simply Luscious will work the Nov. 16 Shin-kiba 1st Ring show. She will also work as a ref on the previous week's ZERO-ONE MAX shows. It looks like they're planning to call her Veronica Simply. Veronica has been to Japan on a couple of occasions. She worked the Sumie Sakai/ Megumi Yabushita 7th anniversary show in May 2004 and has worked as a ref for ZERO-ONE MAX in March 2005. She has worked a lot for the LLF in Mexico for the last year as she is latina and lives in Mexico. SUN also announced they have postponed the Dec. 21 Shinjuku FACE show for two weeks and moved it to Korakuen Hall. So it will be their New Year's show.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Out Of Eden

Song:Rolling Stone

Album:The Hits

Usually when a recording artist releases a greatest hits CD, that's a sign that they're probably leaving the label. I'm not sure if this newly released comp means that Nashville based gospel singing sisters Lisa, Andrea & Danielle Kimmey are leaving longtime label Gotee but it would not be surprising as they have always had difficulty marketing Out Of Eden to a black audience. As the girls' career progressed, oldest sister Lisa Kimmey really stepped up her writing and producing and has shown real talent. She normally sings lead and is a tremendous singer. Rolling Stone is from their 2002 CD This Is Your Life and is very typical of Lisa's material. Buy this comp to check them out and lets see what Out Of Eden does next.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Stan Getz

Song:Jumpin' With Symphony Sid

Album:The Complete Roost Recordings

Stan Getz was a great tenor sax player who could have gone mainstream when he had several bossa nova hits in the early 60s but chose to stay true to jazz instead. His music still sounds great. This 3CD box set issued by Roulette is everything he recorded for Roost records in the early 50s. Lester Young was a big influence on Getz so it's not surprising that he would tackle Young's Jumpin' With Symphony Sid. Musicians include Jimmy Raney on guitar, Al Haig on piano, Teddy Kotick on bass & Tiny Kahn on drums. It was recorded live at Storyville in Sweden Oct. 28, 1951 and still sounds great. He has plenty of other great records too. Stan Getz died on June 6, 1991 at age 64.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Kasey Kahne wins at Charlotte

The Chase For The Nextel Cup continued at Saturday's Bank Of America 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte. Points leader Jeff Burton has a target on his back but he is a very smart guy and I would not be surprised if he won the Nextel Cup. NASCAR still has the cars using the smaller 14 gallon fuel cell so there would be plenty of pit stops. NASCAR announced after the race that they would return to using a 21 gallon fuel cell at Charlotte next year. Scott Riggs won the pole.

A big crash on lap 2 started when Todd Bodine-#4 Lucas Oil Chevy got loose and spun out Robby Gordon-#7 Menards Chevy. Denny Hamlin#11 FedEx Kinko's Chevy slowed down to avoid the crash but was rammed from behind by Mike Bliss-#49 What's Online.com Dodge and took out Mike Skinner-#72 Dutch Quality Stone Chevy. Hamlin's car was heavily damaged but his crew got him back on the track. He finished 28th and dropped to sixth in the points. Temmates Kasey Kahne-#9 MOPAR Dodge & Scott Riggs-#10 Stanley Tools Dodge lead early in the race. Dave Blaney-#22 Caterpillar Dodge spins on lap 16 to bring out a caution. Most guys pit but Tony Raines-#96 DPL Chevy stays out to lead. Riggs gets the lead back on lap 30.

Todd Kleuver-#06 3M Ford spins and takes out Ken Schrader-#21 Motorcraft Ford on lap 46 to bring out a caution. Most guys pit but Dale Earnhardt Jr-#8 Budweiser Chevy stays out to lead. After green flag pit stops, Kasey Kahne gets the lead back on lap 96. Reed Sorenson-#41 Target Dodge crashes on lap 115 to bring out a caution. Most guys pit for fuel but Elliott Sadler-#19 UAW-Dodge Dealers Dodge stays out to lead. He would have engine failure on lap 125 and Tony Raines led again. Kahne got the lead on lap 137.

After green flag pit stops, David Gilliland-#38 M&M's/Sam's Club Ford hits the inside wall on lap 163 to bring out a caution. Most guys pit but Sterling Marlin-#14 Ginn's Resorts Chevy stays out to lead. Jimmie Johnson-#48 Lowe's Chevy takes the lead on lap 168. After green flag pit stops, Kasey Kahne leads but is passed by Johnson on lap 210. More green flag stops and Kevin Harvick-#29 GM Goodwrench Chevy is penalized for speeding. His transmission isn't working properly. Jeff Burton-#31 Cingular Chevy stalls on pit road and goes down a lap. While J.J. Yeley-#18 Interstate Batteries Chevy is trying to get to pit road on lap 242, He tangles with Mark Martin-#6 AAA Ford and Martin's car is destroyed. Martin finishes 30th and drops to fourth in the points.

After pit stops, Carl Edwards-#99 Office Depot Ford has the lead but Kasey Kahne passes him on lap 256. A debris caution on lap 276 leaves 11 cars on the lead lap. Jeff Gordon-#24 Dupont Chevy blows an engine on lap 301. He finishes 24th and drops to tenth in the points. Jimmie Johnson takes fuel only to take the lead on lap 305 but Kasey Kahne takes the lead on lap 308 to win the race. Kahne moves up to eighth in the points.

Congratulations to Kasey Kahne, crew chief Kenny Francis and car owner Ray Evernham. Big top ten finishes for Bobby Labonte, Tony Raines & Joe Nemechek. Jeff Burton finished third and now leads Matt Kenseth by 45 points. It's looking good for Burton but next week's race at Martinsville should be interesting. Here's the top ten of the race.


1.9/Kasey Kahne/MOPAR/Dodge/Ray Evernham

2.48/Jimmie Johnson/Lowe's/Chevy/Rick Hendrick

3.31/Jeff Burton/Cingular/Chevy/Richard Childress

4.8/Dale Earnhardt Jr./Budweiser/Chevy/Dale Earnhardt Inc.

5.43/Bobby Labonte/Bugles/Dodge/Petty Enterprises

6.5/Kyle Busch/Delphi/Chevy/Rick Hendrick

7.96/Tony Raines/DLP/Chevy/Troy Aikman & Roger Staubach

8.99/Carl Edwards/Office Depot/Ford/Jack Roush

9.01/Joe Nemechek/Centrix Financial/Chevy/Bobby Ginn

10.25/Brian Vickers/GMAC/Chevy/Rick Hendrick

NEO makes three big announcements

NEO held a press conference on Saturday to announce two big matches for their Nov. 3 Korakuen Hall show. They also made a third announcement of a New Year's Eve show that probably won't draw any yen. I guess the new strategy is to try and make themselves seem important so the Japanese media will cover them. It worked because Sportsnavi covered NEO for the first time in years. But I think spending some time on a new updated website makes more sense. NEO doesn't have that.

NEO president Tetsuyo Koda announced that the main event of their Nov. 3 Korakuen Hall show will have Yoshiko Tamura defend her NEO Singles/NWA Pacific Titles against Mariko Yoshida. It looks like this is the first time these two have ever faced each other in a singles match. And the last time they were in the same match was in a tag match in AJW when Tamura was a rookie nine years ago. Koda made noises about NEO's decision that Yoshida is a strong challenger. Do you think? Tamura said she has wanted to face Yoshida for a long time and is looking forward to facing her. The match has the potential to be good if Tamura brings her A game. But that's not a sure thing. I would be surprised if Yoshida won the titles as she's a freelancer and doesn't have the time to devote to NEO.

NEO also announced 15 year old trainee Nagisa Nozaki will make her debut on the Nov. 3 Korakuen Hall in a high profile match. On the Oct. 8 show, Mayumi Ozaki suggested that the rookie should face Dynamite Kansai in her debut. Kyoko Inoue said no but after speaking to Nozaki and finding she is willing decided to turn it into a tag team match. So Kyoko will team with Nozaki against Dynamite Kansai and a partner to be announced. I wonder who that might be. Obviously sticking a teen in there with grizzled vets is not the best idea but a 15 year old girl making her debut is what got them the media coverage. Will she live up to the hype?

Once again this year there will be an Indy Summit featuring a lot of the Japanese indy feds. This will be start on Dec. 13 and conclude on New Year's Eve evening at Korakuen Hall. Tetsuyo Koda announced that NEO would hold what he called a Women's Professional Wrestling Summit on New Year's Eve afternoon at Korakuen Hall. He says they plan to book wrestlers from all the different joshi feds. He says they don't want to overshadow the Indy Summit but joshi should have its own spotlight. He has nothing to worry about. New Year's Eve is a very busy day in Japanese wrestling & MMA. This ain't gonna draw flies.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Oleta Adams

Song:Get Here

Album:The Very Best Of Oleta Adams

Oleta Adams is a tremendous singer/writer/pianist who grew up in church in the tradition of Aretha Franklin. She has a very rich deep soulful voice. The story goes that the British pop group Tears For Fears was touring the US in 1985. TFF frontman Roland Orzabal walked into a Kansas City hotel bar where Oleta was performing and asked her to appear on their next record. This resulted in her appearance on their hit Women In Chains. TFF record label Fontana signed her and Orzabal & TFF producer Dave Bascombe produced her debut album Circle Of One in 1990. Oleta had heard the Brenda Russell song Get Here on Brenda's record and did a better version that reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100. Oleta was never able to duplicate that success though her records are very good. Fontana dropped her and Oleta released the gospel album Come Walk With Me in 1997. She's still around and released a Christmas album this year on KOCH Records. This comp is OK. You can get Get Here on tons of various artists comps.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Archie Shepp

Song:Mama Too Tight

Album:The Impulse Story:Archie Shepp

Jazz sax player Archie Shepp has an interesting background for a jazz musician. He earned a degree in dramatic literature at Goddard College in 1959. He started out in piano legend Cecil Taylor's band but by 1963 was making his own records for Impulse. Many of his recordings from that period included poetry readings usually of a political nature. This comp is probably a very good introduction to his music. 1966's Mama Too Tight has an exuberant R & B feel. Musicians include frequent collaborator trombonist Roswell Rudd, trombonist Grachan Moncur III, Perry Robinson on clarinet, Tommy Turrentine on trumpet, Howard Johnson on tuba, Charlie Haden on bass & Beaver Harris on drums. Shepp would become an associate professor at the University of Massachusetts in 1978. He still tours and records occasionally but his 60s Impulse recordings are his best and a good place to start.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Tim Horton's new breakfast sandwich

As regular readers will be aware, I usually go to McDonalds for breakfast mainly just to get out of the apartment. I like the sausage & egg McMuffin. So sue me. Today I went to the local medical lab to have blood taken and that's in the other direction. There's a Tim Horton's in that area and they recently introduced a breakfast sandwich to compete with McDonalds. So I thought I'd go and try it out.

The sandwich is actually pretty good. It's got a sausage patty, egg & cheese on an oversized tea biscuit for $2.49. The tea biscuit is a nice touch. But I'm going to keep going to McDonalds. The breakfast is good, I get a free Toronto Star and McDonalds is a big restaurant and they have automatic doors. The Tim Horton's I went to was very small and they don't have automatic doors. The place was packed when I was there and there wasn't much room. McDonalds is just more comfortable and I never would have thought much about that before I started using this chair. That's the way it is now. So the Tim Horton's breakfast sandwich was good, the ambience was not so good. Hope the picture I posted doesn't make you hungry.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Billie Holiday

Song:One For My Baby

Album:The Complete Billie Holiday On Verve 1945-1959

Billie Holiday had the looks to be a standard big band singer in the 1930s but she was bored by the standard big band approach and decided to associate herself with great jazz musicians like Lester Young. She made her voice a musical instrument when it was not the thing to do. That's why her recordings still sound great today. That her personal life was riddled with abusive relationships and the drug abuse that killed her in 1959 has added to her mystique over the years. This wonderful version of the Johnny Mercer/Harold Arlen song One For My Baby is from this massive 10CD box set that literally includes everything she recorded for Verve Records from 1945 to 1959. It's probably a bit much for most listeners and the 6CD box set The Verve Master Takes is a better choice. Completists will love it though and Billie Holiday's music is still very fresh today.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Motocross champ Ricky Carmichael coming to NASCAR

MB2 Motorsports announced today that 26 year old motocross champ Ricky Carmichael has signed to race stock cars in 2007. Carmichael is a 15 time AMA champ and holds a record 144 career wins in supercross & motocross. MB2 CEO & general manager Jay Frye said that in 2007 Carmichael will run a combination of late model, ARCA & NASCAR Craftsman Truck races. His schedule will be accelerated in 2008. MB2 has veteran drivers Mark Martin, Sterling Marlin & Joe Nemechek in Nextel Cup in 2007. Carmichael has been added to young drivers Regan Smith & Kraig Kinser. It's been rumoured for a couple of years that Carmichael is interested in NASCAR. He has nothing left to accomplish on a motorcycle.

Here's an update on other open wheel drivers coming to NASCAR:

Of course Formula One driver and former CART & Indy 500 champ Juan Pablo Montoya has signed to drive the #42 Texaco Havoline Dodge for Chip Ganassi in the 2007 Nextel Cup season. Montoya finished third in Friday's ARCA race at Talladega. He has tested at Iowa Speedway and will run that ARCA race next week. He tested a Nextel Cup car at Homestead Miami Speedway and could run the Nextel Cup season finale. He's also supposed to run some Busch Series races.

It was reported last week by an Italian newspaper that former Formula One champ Jacques Villeneuve signed with Roush Racing. He hasn't signed but he has been talking to them. Roush president Geoff Smith said Villeneuve is looking for a full time Nextel Cup ride. They don't have one as today they named David Ragan driver of the #6 AAA Ford for 2007. There are reports that Villeneuve is also talking to Robert Yates.

CHAMP car star A.J. Allmendinger finished fifth in Saturday's Craftsman Truck series race at Talladega. It's been speculated for a while now that Red Bull Racing is interested in Allmendinger to drive a Toyota in Nextel Cup in 2007. Forsythe Racing has offered him a multi year CHAMP contract. So A.J. has a decision to make.

Former CHAMP & IRL star Patrick Carpentier has posted on his website that he has secured a Busch Series ride for 2007. No announcement has been made.

There are a few others but those are the most interesting ones.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Ben E. King

Song:Spanish Harlem


Ben E. King was born Benjamin Earl Nelson in 1938 in Henderson, NC. His family moved to New York City in 1947. He was a member of the doo wop group The Five Crowns in 1958 when Drifters manager George Treadwell fired the group and The Five Crowns assumed the Drifters name. That's the music business for you. Nelson sang lead on the Drifters hit There Goes My Baby (a song he co-wrote) but left he Drifters over money in 1960. He took the name Ben E. King and the Jerry Lieber/Phil Spector song Spanish Harlem was his first top ten hit in 1961. He had several hits including the classic Stand By Me. The 2CD Anthology is the definitive Ben E. King collection. King continued to record for Atco/Atlantic in the 70s but was dropped in 1981. He continues to tour and record today. He had a new record out this year. Ben E. King is a great singer and his music still holds up very well today.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Today's TTC Wheeltrans ACAT seminar

I was at City Hall today for the TTC Wheeltrans Advisory Committee for Accessible Transportation seminar. But first, I wanted to talk about today's weather. It was raining on and off all day and if I wasn't going to this meeting, I would have normally stayed home. It was raining a bit when I went out this morning but it was pouring on my way back. Fortunately, I was wearing my rain suit so I stayed dry but the chair got wet. That's one of the most common questions people ask. "Aren't you afraid the chair will rust?" Uh, no. These power chairs are very durable and I don't expect any problems like that. People who see me rolling down the street in that kind of weather must think I'm nuts. Wait until the snow comes.

My ride was a little late but the driver did a very good job of avoiding an accident on the Gardiner Expressway so I got there in plenty of time. I got a back bacon on a bun for lunch outside City Hall (Canadian bacon to you Yankees) and took the elevator upstairs to the committee room. The Advisory Committee for Accessible Transportation is a citizen based group that advises the TTC on accessibility issues. It's not only about Wheeltrans but accessibility within the transit system as a whole. They have monthly meetings and several sub-committees that have their own meetings. It's a three year term and you get a free Metropass too. They give out applications only to people who attend the seminar. They want to make sure people are serious. The applications need to be in by the end of the month. I suspect a lot of people don't apply when they are aware of the time commitment. I filled mine out while I was there. They will call six people for interviews and select three to be on the committee starting in January 2007.

I'd like to get involved in it. For one thing, it will give me something to write about but my background in marketing & call center customer service is something that could be very useful. I understand they're making some changes in their call center. Of course it's another way to advocate disabled issues too. I'll let you all know if I hear from them.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Cannonball Adderley

Song:Work Song

Album:Cannonball In Europe

Of course Julian "Cannonball" Adderley is one of the best jazz alto sax players ever. This version of his classic Work Song was recorded live at the International Jazz Festival in Comblain-La-Tour, Belgium on Aug. 5, 1962. Musicians include Cannonball's brother Nat Adderley on cornet, Yusuf Lateef on tenor sax, Joe Zawinul on piano, Sam Jones on bass & Louis Hayes on drums. There's nothing like great jazz musicians playing live. Cannonball In Europe was originally released on Riverside but it was one of the masters Adderley took with him when he left the label. It was reissued on Landmark and Capitol released it on CD for the first time in 2005. Cannonball Adderley died on Aug. 8, 1975 of a stroke at age 46.

I'm going to that TTC meeting at City Hall today...if Wheeltrans shows up. They've been really bad lately. It's raining so that won't help.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Rahsaan Patterson

Song:Soul Free

Album:Rahsaan Patterson

R & B singer songwriter Rahsaan Patterson started out as a child in the 80s TV show Kids Incorporated. He's not the only one. Stacy "Fergie" Ferguson was on that show too. As Rahsaan grew up, he started to get a reputation as a songwriter & vocalist in the Los Angeles R & B scene. This got him a contract at MCA and resulted in this CD in 1997. American Idol's Randy Jackson was executive producer. He was head of A & R at MCA at the time. Patterson's music is very much influenced by 70s Stevie Wonder and that's a good thing. There are none of the gimmicks that turn up on most R & B records these days. He was dumped by MCA after two records that didn't sell. I don't think he ever did a video and videos are important. Patterson continued to work as a vocal arranger when he signed with the British label Dome in 2004. His album After Hours was released by Artistry Records in 2005. It just goes to show that it takes more than talent to be a successful recording artist these days.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Grateful Dead

Song:Casey Jones

Album:Skeletons From The Closet:The Best Of The Grateful Dead

The Grateful Dead was one of the most popular and enduring groups of the 60s to the point where they had fans called Deadheads following them around to all their shows. Their status as a live band is legendary. The group was started as The Warlocks by Jerry Garcia & Robert Hunter. They brought in Bob Weir, Ron "Pigpen" McKiernan, Phil Lesh and drummer Bill Kreutzman. A second drummer Mickey Hart was brought in later. Casey Jones was a big hit with it's obvious drug references and is from the classic 1970 Workingman's Dead album that went back to Garcia's folk & jug band roots. Skeletons From The Closet is a basic comp of their Warners recordings that's been around since 1974. The 2003 The Very Best Of The Grateful Dead is probably a little better as it includes some of their recordings on United Artists & Arista after they left Warner Bros. It's kind of surprising that there is no definitive Grateful Dead box set. Some of their live recordings are worthwhile too. The Grateful Dead continued to record and tour into the 90s until Jerry Garcia died of a heart attack at age 53 on Aug. 9, 1995. Garcia, Weir, Hunter & Hart have all recorded worthwhile solo projects too.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Brian Vickers wins at Talladega

Like Saturday's Craftsman Truck race, we had one crazy finish at the UAW-Ford 500 NASCAR Nextel Cup race at Talladega. The track was newly paved and the cars were so fast in Friday's practice that NASCAR gave everyone new carburetor restrictor plates on Saturday to slow them down a bit. They still ran in one big pack and everyone was worried about how the dreaded Big One would affect the Nextel Cup Championship race. But the fans love it. The drivers? Not so much though the new asphalt left the track very smooth. Rookie David Gilliland won the pole. At least he gets to run in the Bud Shootout in Daytona in February.

The nature of Talladega is that the draft causes guys at the front to go to the back and vice versa so there are way too many lead changes and a lot of them don't mean much untill the end. Also, the fuel cells are smaller than normal so there are more pit stops and more opportunities to make mistakes on pit road. This is supposed to break up the pack which seems like a good idea but doesn't work. Because of the new pavement, there was no tire wear so there would be a lot of fuel only pit stops. Jeff Gordon-#24 Dupont Chevy, Jamie McMurray-#26 Crown Royal Ford & Greg Biffle-#16 National Guard Ford led a lot early but they were shuffled to the back too. Matt Kenseth-#17 DeWalt Tools Ford was leading after the second set of green flag pit stops when a Dave Blaney-#22 Caterpillar Dodge flat tire brought out the first caution on lap 72. Everyone pits but Biffle, Carl Edwards-#99 Office Depot Ford & Sterling Marlin-#14 Waste Management Chevy stay out to run up front. That doesn't make sense at Talladega.

Jeff Gordon continues to run up front. Dale Earnhardt Jr-#8 Budweiser Chevy has a flat tire on lap 103 and goes a lap down. Brian Vickers-#25 GMAC Chevy leads after green flag pit stops. A debris caution comes out after lap 129. Clint Bowyer-#07 DIRECTV Chevy leads after pit stops. Matt Kenseth takes the lead on lap 135. Then the dreaded Big One came on lap 137. It looks like Joe Nemechek-#01 US Army Chevy checked up. That caused Carl Edwards to get loose and turn Casey Mears-#42 Texaco Havoline Dodge around and ten cars were damaged. This is because they're running so close together. Jeff Gordon's car is badly damaged and he finishes 36th. Kevin Harvick-#29 GM Goodwrench Chevy & Denny Hamlin-#11 FedEx Chevy are not as bad. Greg Biffle, Jamie McMurray & Sterling Marlin are all out.

Reed Sorenson-#41 Target Dodge blows an engine on lap 148. Everyone pits. With 38 laps remaining, it's right at the fuel window and some guys might try and get to the end without another pit stop. But if more cautions come out, it probably won't be an issue. Jimmy Johnson-#48 Lowe's Chevy & Dale Earnhardt Jr. come to the front. On lap 173, David Stremme-#40 Coors Light Dodge bumps J.J. Yeley-#18 Interstate Batteries Chevy into the wall. The other Joe Gibbs cars, Tony Stewart-#20 Home Depot Chevy & Denny Hamlin is involved in his secons crash and finishes 21st. Fuel mileage is no longer an issue.

When the green flag comes out on lap 178, Dale Earnhardt Jr. is leading followed by teammates Jimmie Johnso0n & Brian Vickers. Together they can probably pass Earnhardt and Johnson should get the win. Points leader Jeff Burton-#31 Cingular Chevy comes to pit road with a flat tire and finishes 27th. The white flag comes out. Johnson & Vickers finally make their move but Vickers clips Johnson's bumper and spins out Johnson & Earnhardt. Brian Vickers wins his first Nextel Cup race. Earnhardt is 23rd & Johnson is 24th. Vickers is booed unmercifully. He's going to hear boos for a while.

Congratulations to Brian Vickers, crew chief Lance McGrew and car owner Rick Hendrick on the win. Big top ten finishes for Martin Truex Jr., Jeff Green & Bobby Labonte. Jeff Burton still leads the points after his flat tire. Matt Kenseth is 6 points back and Mark Martin is 10 points back. Next week is Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte. Here's the top ten of the race.


1.25/BrianVickers/GMAC/Chevy/Rick Hendrick

2.9/Kasey Kahne/UAW-Dodge Dealers/Dodge/Ray Evernham

3.2/Kurt Busch/Miller Lite/Dodge/Roger Penske

4.17/Matt Kenseth/DeWalt Tools/Ford/Jack Roush

5.1/Martin Truex Jr/Bass Pro Shops/Chevy/Dale Earnhardt Inc.

6.29/Kevin Harvick/GM Goodwrench/Chevy/Richard Childress

7.66/Jeff Green/Microsoft Windows Live/Chevy/Gene Haas

8.6/Mark Martin/AAA/Ford/Jack Roush

9.99/Carl Edwards/Office Depot/Ford/'Jack Roush

10.43/Bobby Labonte/Cheerios/Dodge/Petty Enterprises

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Duke Ellington

Song:Mood Indigo

Album:Priceless Jazz Collection

Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington is the most important jazz composer in history. In particular, his big band is the pinnacle of that genre. This particular budget comp covers a few records he made for Impulse in the early 60s. Mood Indigo is from the 1962 Duke Ellington Meets Coleman Hawkins and includes some of his regular band members like Johnny Hodges & Harry Carney on sax, Lawrence Brown on trombone, Ray Nance on violin & cornet, Aaron Bell on bass & Sam Woodyard on drums. It's a very good recording but it only scratches the surface. This comp also has some tracks from Duke Ellington & John Coltrane. I don't know if I'd even recommend it for beginners. Get the original albums. I'll talk about Duke again in the future.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Mark Martin wins Talladega Craftsman Truck race

The NASCAR Craftsman Truck series came to Talladega for the first time Saturday for the John Deere 250. It was a great race with a crazy finish. Mark Martin won the pole.

Mark Martin-#6 Scott's Miracle Gro Ford led the first few laps but he was overheating and had to pit to have a piece of trash removed from his grille on lap 11. Johnny Benson-#23 Exide Batteries Toyota led for a while but eventually Martin would get his lap back and the lead.

At Talladega & Daytona, drivers aren't allowed to pass on the apron because it is considered unsafe. Todd Bodine-#30 Lumber Liquidators Toyota & teammate Ted Musgrave-#9 ASE Toyota pass Mark Martin for the lead on lap 85 but Bodine is penalized for passing on the apron. Fortunately, a Boston Reid-#25 Dodge spin brings out a caution and Bodine is 27th. Martin leads with Mike Wallace-#09 Geico Chevy second and Mike Skinner-#5 Toyota third. Bodine comes up through the field. As the white flag comes out, Skinner spins out Wallace and Bodine spins out Derrike Cope-#40 Chevy. Both guys hit the wall. The caution ends the race. Martin wins, Skinner is second, Musgrave is third and Bodine is fourth. Johnny Benson is 9th and Bodine pads his point lead a bit.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:The Temptations

Song:Ain't Too Proud To Beg

Album:20th Century Masters-The Millenium Collection:The Best Of The Temptations Vol. 1

Ain't Too Proud To Beg was a huge hit for The Temptations in 1966. It was produced & written by Norman Whitfield and features a great lead vocal from David Ruffin. Ruffin was a great singer whose temperment and drug problems caused him to be fired from The Temptations in 1968. He had some solo success in the late 60s but left Motown in 1977 and went nowhere. He had a brief renaissance in the 80s when Hall & Oates toured with Ruffin & Eddie Kendricks. David Ruffin died of a drug overdose June 1, 1991 at age 50. This budget comp is OK for beginners but the 5CD Emperors Of Soul box set is for serious fans.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Mark Martin to leave Roush Racing

NASCAR Nextel Cup veteran driver Mark Martin has been with Roush Racing for 19 years. So it was a big shocker today when MB2 Racing announced that Martin will drive the #01 US Army Chevy in 2007. Martin will drive 20 races and Regan Smith will drive the other 16 races. Smith will also run the complete Busch Series schedule. He currently drives the #35 McDonalds Ford in the Busch Series for Team Rensi Racing. Sterling Marlin will continue to drive the #14 and Joe Nemechek will move to a third MB2 team #13. Martin's plan to drive full time in the Craftsman Truck series in 2007 for Roush won't happen now. So how did this happen?

At the start of the 2005 season, Mark Martin announced his intention to leave Nextel Cup at the end of the season. He wants to spend more time with his family and wanted to run the lighter schedule of the Craftsman Truck series. Jack Roush convinced Martin to stay in the #6 for the full 2006 season. The plan is to put Busch Series driver Todd Kleuver in the #6 in 2007. As the 2006 season progressed, it became obvious that Martin didn't really want to leave Nextel Cup. He just doesn't want to run the full schedule. Because there are now restrictions in how many teams can be owned by a Nextel Cup owner, Roush was unable to accomodate Martin. They tried to work something out with the #60 No Fear Racing team but weren't able to get sponsorship. So Martin started talking to other teams and signed with MB2.

So who will drive the #6 in 2007? The original plan was Todd Kleuver but Roush has been looking at David Ragan, Danny O'Quinn & Erik Darnell and doesn't seem satisfied with any of them. He announced today that Darnell will run the complete 2007 Craftsman Truck series. Roush has been very fortunate that young drivers like Matt Kenseth, Kurt Busch & Carl Edwards have been successful in Nextel Cup. But all those guys won races before coming to Nextel Cup. None of the current crop of drivers have won races yet. So he could try and find a veteran driver like Ricky Rudd, Ward Burton or Bill Elliott to run a partial schedule with a younger driver. So why didn't he do that with Martin? Maybe sponsor AAA doesn't want that. The other possibility is it was reported this week that Roush has been talking to former Formula One champ Jacques Villeneuve. Nothing has been signed and Roush Racing president Geoff Smith said Villeneuve wants a Nextel Cup ride a la Juan Pablo Montoya. But his lack of stock car experience means Roush is reluctant to give him that. But he's a talented driver and that can't be overlooked. It's an interesting alternative and Roush has to make a decision in the next couple of weeks. It may depend on who sponsor AAA wants to drive.

Co-op unveils new wheelchair taxis

One of the big issues for the disabled in Toronto is you have to plan trips in advance if you want to go anywhere. TTC Wheeltrans is economical but the service leaves a lot to be desired. So yesterday Co-op Taxis introduced an accessible taxi that can be flagged down like any other cab. CITY-TV reporter David Onley, who uses a scooter, did a story on it. So far there are only four cabs so it's probably a good idea to book them in advance but it is a start. You can see the video at http://www.citynews.ca/ There are times when this would be worth using and the vans look great.

Of course I use TTC Wheeltrans all the time so on Wednesday I will be at a meeting at City Hall to participate in the Toronto Transit Commission Advisory Committee for Accessible Transportation. Who better than yours truly to tell the TTC what kind of hoops we have to jump through to get a ride that shows up on time. It should be interesting.