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Malik (12/29/08)

I have been limited on posting as I deal with stresses (family members in town and my brother's wedding...congrats Rob and Amber) and the joys of massive snow and vacation.  Anyway, this limited schedule should continue for only one more week as I enjoy my final week of vacation.

The NFL season is over.  At least it is for all I really care since the Seahawks are done for 2008.  Holmgren has coached his final Seattle game and it was only fitting that the Seahawks faced one more defeat.  At least the season did see some high points.

The Seahawks finally have a tight end that will help us forget about the shame of Jeremy Stevens.  I'm talking about the impressive rookie Carlson.  Now this is something the Seahawks have's just too bad that we don't have a blocker for the rush yet, but maybe 2009 will see that situation change.

This year also saw some impressive plays from a few surprising faces.  Koren Robinson helped to redeem his past by making a few awesome plays (like the single longest scoring play in Seattle history).  We also some some amazing defensive player, especially in Josh Wilson (and his abilities to both intercept and to fill in for Burleson on return duty).  Even Branch was pretty amazing...when he was actually healthy.  Most of all, Seneca Wallace showed that he could step in at QB when the shit hit the fan.  If only he had an offensive line to protect him, he could have been amazing.

Sadly, the season had one big problem that out weighed all the good; injuries.  The year started with all starting receivers injured.  Engram and Branch did return, eventually, but we never could find a return for Burleson or Obamanu.  Then we saw the defense collapse as Tatupu fought a knee problem for the start of the season, and the unstoppable Kearney was shut down with a return of an old problem.  There was also the glass status of Hasselbeck being focused on as the offensive line collapsed.  In fact, we ended with some receivers active, but without our starting QB or offensive line.  Yes, the entire starting O-line was gone by the end of the season.  The only bright side of that was that Wahle (the master of penalties) was removed before he could do anymore damage.

Yes, the season was a low point for both Holmgren's career and for the legacy that Seattle was forming as the best of the weak NFC West.  This is a season that will, hopefully, remain an anomaly as players come back in with health in 2009.  Hopefully 2009 will also see some less predictable coaching and play calling as Jim Mora works his (supposed) magic on showcasing what the boys in blue can do best; win.

Anyway, this post will need to end now.  Too much to do and not enough time...nothing like chores and responsibilities...especially on my own birthday.  Happy birthday to do some work.  Blah!


Malik (12/31/08)

It's finally time for this unusual year to end.  I say my only regret in 2008 was not knowing that three more songs came out for Rock Band than actually did.  I had no idea that the 3 holiday songs came out from The Pretenders (awesome cover of Blue Christmas), Barenaked Ladies (boring as hell on guitar), and Billy Squire (not a bad song on guitar, but not the best either).

Luckily, I found these songs while downloading the new stuff for this week.  Keeping in mind that I'm playing only on expert guitar, these are mostly good songs.  The sole exception is the Snow Patrol song.  While I like having new artists on Rock Band, Snow Patrol is giving too much of a chord-fest.  I'm talking about like PDA, but worse.  If you like slowly coming chords, than this is a song for you.  If you like quality or variety, then just walk away now.

The other three songs are far better, in both guitar and in overall sound.  I mean we are talking about three classics of classic rock.  The James Gang song is fun and frantic, with a non-stop feel that keeps you strumming like a mad man.  Jethro Tull offers some speed and changing progressions with a great sound.  The only down side is that it does get repetitive.  Lastly, Deep Purple is always awesome...but Space Truckin is a song for the vocals and drums more than anything else.  Bass comes in a close third, with guitar being almost and after-thought.  The only exception is the fast and crazy part a bit before the solo...and it is fast and crazy.  Think of the verses in Almost Easy, but faster and more frantic.

Still, all of the classic rock songs are three dots on guitar.  So, it's nothing overly complex or crazy.  However, there is still plenty of room for fun, even if you are a fan of only playing the hardest of the hard songs.

I would wrap up this post with some review of 2008.  I would.  However, how is my best game of 2008 all that important.  I mean X-Play called Fable 2 the best of 2008, and while I love that game I would call Rock Band 2 the best.  Meanwhile, some have said Fallout 3, and others have looked to LittleBigPlanet (which is an awesome game).  There is even GTA4 in the mix.  How do you call a game the best of the year without sounding like some ass who is imposing your thoughts as absolute?  You can't.  So, I'll just say all of those games mentioned in this paragraph to be awesome.  Try them and whatever else you want.  It's your own sense of fun that matters.

As for 2009, I see more of the same coming.  There will be four Guitar Hero games (my guess...counting GH: Metallica and GHWT2).  I also see nothing that will capture imaginations like LittleBigPlanet or Fallout 3.  2009 will be good...but nothing nearly as amazing as 2008 was.  I also see no new Rock Band game, not counting the non-RB Beatles game.  I do see about three or so new genres for RB DLC, however, and quite a few new bands (and probably more Barenaked Ladies to go with their holiday song.  I also hope to see some more ska...but that's me and my love of ska.  Last of all, I see a crazy year for myself as I contemplate a site overhaul (the layout is starting to get to me about now) and as I deal with home repairs after blizzards striking in the last few weeks.  However, in the end, I see 2009 starting good (with me drunk...before the inevitable hangover) and going pretty good (if not a bit low key) before ending much like 2008 did; with no new hardware, but some good games and good fun.


Malik (1/2/09)

Time for my first post of 2009.  To start the new year on the wrong vibe, it's a short one.

Rock Band DLC for next week is a Roy Orbison six pack.  I'm happy to have more artists come to RB, so this is cool to me.  However, I can just picture the forums in the magical interweb exploding in talk of "OMG, this is teh rOck BAnd, not old person band".  Well, I guess it sucks to be close minded about music.  While I don't know much of his work by name, Pretty Woman is enough to make me happy since it has such a great old school feel to it.


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