Friday, March 28, 2008

San Jose Showdown

Even though the Shamrock vs. Cung Le Strikeforce event has suffered some setbacks - Jake Shields injured, Nick Diaz preemptively banned because of his preference for marijuana "over Ritalin or anti-depressants" - I am still pretty stoked to watch the main fight tomorrow in San Jose.
It's an intriguing fight, pitting the two most notable fighters of the areas, two guys who have in common a following of both rabid fans and fervent haters. It's also an interesting fight, because both bring very clear strength to the ring, as well as huge question marks.

Frank Shamrock is an early days Fedor Emilianenko of sorts. He has a stellar career, and in his heyday, he was arguably the first ever complete fighter. The issue is, after a hiatus of nearly a decade, his come-back has not been exactly conclusive. Taken down at will by Renzo Gracie, winning gassed out against Baroni, winning a meaningless victory against a newbie in Cesar Gracie, his last outings have not provided any clear answer as to whether the Shamrock of today could be as dominant as he used to be.
By contrast, Cung Le has made a name for himself on the San Shou circuit, with an unquestionable striking game. The question is, how good is his ground game? While better prepared than most strikers transitioning to mma, because of the throws incorporated in San Shou, critics have pointed that his mma opponents so far have been handpicked to make him look good. Cung Le is known to be a hard worker, and has no doubt developed his ground, but no one has seen it really tested yet in action. Will that be sufficient to tackle an opponent known for his submissions?
On paper, I would tend to expect Shamrock to win, through experience, power, and his superior ground game; but what makes this fight tough to call is its unknowns - the extent of each of these guys' known weaknesses. Has Frank Shamrock passed his prime? Is Cung Le also able to win when taken to the ground? I can't wait to get the answer, and I expect a good fight, because so much is at stake in this fight, and both guys always come motivated. Regardless of the outcome, I also expect the boards to go into wild discussion mode afterwards, as whoever wins will likely receive no credit, but rather be criticized for defeating an opponent with known shortcomings...

Labels: , ,

Friday, March 21, 2008

The End

This is the resolution of the unbearable suspense of the "urban strip" decorating the sidewalks of 18th street; this one is located at the intersection of 18th and Valencia, on the north - east corner.

He gets a delicious churro but it fails to fill his existential hollow.

Back to previous episode

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


On Howard street, close to 8th I believe, there is a building which catches my eyes every time. If Salvador Dali and M.C. Escher had a child who went into architecture and crack, this is probably what he would build. I didn't have enough time to check what the deal is; having a giant clocks or pieces of furniture crawling on the walls certainly does give lots of cachet to the place, but living with the windows permanently open to provide them with an escape route can't be that convenient to conduct business or live in...

Labels: , , ,

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Urban strip

One thing I like about my neighborhood is that there are stencils everywhere; decorative or political, on the walls or the sidewalk. The one I like most is a series on 18th street. It is a series narrating a story with multiple choices; the ink has been fading away, which adds to the mystery.
The segment below is at 18th and Valencia, and is the penultimate of the plot. Unfortunately, when I followed the mouse down towards Dolores, I could not find any follow-up, but I saw a spot which looked like it had been whitewashed... I hope this isn't it...

A white mouse peeks its head out of the sewer grates and gives him an inquisitive glance. He swears the mouse winks before it scurries on 18th.
a. Intrigued, he follows the mouse.
b. Dismissive, he shrugs it off.

To be continued...
[Note: if you know of other stencils that are part of this series, please let me know!]

Labels: , , ,