Web Posted September 06, 2003
Updated September 06, 2003
BACK FROM HIGHWAY ONE
Greetings autoduelists. The auto-combat editor that will not die is
still in the arena. Working seven days a week since the beginning of May,
flying to and returning from Maryland this week for a work-related meeting,
and my new hobby (see below) has resulted in this newsletter being pushed
aside. I apologize for the long delay, however submissions have not been
filling up my inbox yet again.
HUNTING SEASON IS OPEN
For my birthday last month, my mother purchased for me a hunting license. I went hunting on the same day I received the license. The feeling of getting close to your target without it noticing you are there was fantastic. I had shivers up and down my spine when my target noticed me but did nothing and did not suspect I was armed.
I pulled my weapon tight, aimed with a steady hand, and squeezed the trigger. Seeing 50 rounds blast into my target was a sight I will never forget. I now know why hunters love to hunt. My satisfaction was broken when I began to feel the impact of my second target slamming into me, using a titanium drill to grind away the armor on my left-side door.
One other reason this issue of CWIN is late is the "hunted has become
the hunter". The hunting license I mentioned above was Spy Hunter and a
Sony PlayStation 2. I have finally experienced the mayhem known as the
Twisted Metal series. Yes, this gasoline-and-guns guru has never played
a Twisted Metal game. Now I have a current console gaming platform (my
previous console acquired was the Nintendo Entertainment System; I still
have that wonderful box with Spy Hunter and Super Spy Hunter), I will begin
giving some news on auto-combat console games in this newsletter.
What is good in life for a BattleBall player? Crush your opponents, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentations of their cheerleaders.
Finally, after 22 years since the sport was mentioned in the Autoduel
Chronology, Combat Football is a reality. Read the description of a new
board game (released only a few weeks ago) below.
Hasbro Press Releases
February 16, 2003
BATTLEBALL Game (Ages: 8 and up; Players: 2 teams of 2 or more players; Approximate Retail Price: $19.99; available: June 2003)
Kids take on the role of coach in this futuristic, battling football
game. In the BATTLEBALL game, kids strategize as they move their team down
the field to be the first to score two touchdowns to win. The game comes
complete with 22 different detailed miniatures (player pieces), each with
different levels of speed and strength as determined by the color on the
base of each player piece. At the start of a play, a player selects
one of his miniatures, rolls the color die that matches the color of the base and moves the number of spaces on the die.
Land on a space adjacent to a player from the other team and a battle
ensues. Players roll the die corresponding to the base of their miniature
and the player who rolls the lowest number wins the tackle and stays in
the game. The other player is injured and removed from the field and doesn't
return until a touchdown is scored. First player to score two touchdowns
Editor's Notes: Games Workshop's Blood Bowl was the first football board game to feature combat. While that game is excellent, it has fantasy-type teams. BattleBall is set closer to 2003 Earth.
The interior of the boardgame gives the Web address of <http://www.playbattleball.com>
as a source of new rules and strategies. The Web site is not yet online
as of this issue going to press.
HIGHWAY 35 LEADS TO HIGHWAY 1?
It appears World Race is headed for Highway One. New vehicles and new
movies in the World Race line are not yet available according to my observations
in Seattle and in Rockville, Maryland. The Toys R' Us stores in those two
cities are selling all of their World Race cars for $1.99 U.S. each, and
the VHS/DVD packs are selling for $4.99 U.S. The vehicles are classified
as "Clearance" items. I highly recommend you pick up World Race vehicles
before they are gone forever.
MICRO MACHINES RETURN
Micro Machines: Massive Action on a Micro Scale
Hasbro Brings 15-Year Miniature Favorite To A New Generation of Kids
Hasbro Press Releases
February 16, 2003
Nearly 15 years ago, the MICRO MACHINES brand ignited a whole new category of miniature scale vehicles with its palm-sized universe of creative adventures. In 2003, Hasbro is introducing it to an entirely new generation of kids. MICRO MACHINES was one of the first brands to combine vehicle play and micro scale world building where kids are in control!
The new line of MICRO MACHINES vehicles and play sets lets kids create and direct their own heroic scenes. The small scale of the MICRO MACHINES brand puts the whole world into a kid's view and enables them to direct all the action with their imagination. Whether you're storming a maximum-security military base or rescuing the city from a raging inferno, the highly detailed realistic vehicles and playsets provide lots of great action play for kids.
The 2003 MICRO MACHINES line will deliver over 100 new vehicles and several new play sets throughout the year, giving kids lots of new big adventures on a micro-scale. All playsets, roadways and parts are connectible and interchangeable as part of the MICRO WORLD SYSTEM, giving kids the ability to build seamless adventure worlds.
So Remember: If it's not MICRO MACHINES its not the real thing!
Just like years past, kids will want to collect all the new MICRO MACHINES toys, including the following which are expected to be available in August:
SUPER STUNT CITY PLAYSET (Approximate retail price: $29.99) This styling fuel tanker opens up to reveal an awesome action packed city filled with daring stunts -- where YOU control the action! Launch MICRO MACHINES cars or treacherous rides through gravity-defying drops, loops, jumps and ramps!
DELUXE PLAYSETS (Approximate retail price: $19.99) The adventures continue into even greater real-life action scenarios. Choose between the COVERT MILITARY DOUBLE BASE or THE RAGING INFERNO CITY playsets.
RAGING INFERNO CITY: Terrible car crashes have set two buildings on fire! Use your fire fighting vehicles to come to the rescue. Check out the damage from the fire, then rebuild the building as good as new -- until the next fiery catastrophe.
COVERT MILITARY DOUBLE BASE: Let the battle begin! Attach the headquarters and the mountain fortress together to create one military base or separate them to make two warring enemies. Defend the base with powerful missiles, or launch a full-scale assault with multiple vehicles. Discover the secret headquarters hidden deep inside the base.
BASIC PLAYSETS (Approximate retail price: $9.99) The adventures begin with realistic action packed playsets. Choose from the CHEMICAL CLEAN-UP, MISSION TANK TERRAIN, MISSION AIR ASSAULT, or the UNDERCOVER JAIL BREAK playsets.
CHEMICAL CLEAN-UP: The chemical plant is leaking hideous sludge and "toxic" ooze is spilling out of every section of the building and spreading fast! The bulldozer plows into the chemical goo to clean up the mess before it contaminates everything around it!
UNDERCOVER JAIL BREAK: Restore order to the city by capturing the escaped convicts and putting them behind bars where they belong. But watch out -- there are lots of hidden doors and bending jail bars!
MISSION TANK TERRAIN: Pull back the tank and let it roll through the menacing battlefield! Dangers are everywhere -- try to avoid the rocket-firing launcher, hidden traps and an "exploding" minefield! Arrange the terrain new ways for all kinds of exciting and intense battlegrounds!
MISSION: AIR ASSAULT: Comes complete with a very innovative mechanism that lets you launch the MICRO MACHINE vehicles around your MICRO WORLD. Lots of action in this playset!
Micro Stunt Playsets (Approximate retail price: $4.99) Practice your favorite stunts any time, any place. Whether you want to attempt the EXTREME REVOLUTION, TRAILER TRUCK TROUBLE, MOVIE SET MADNESS, or any of the challenging jumps -- these playsets are sure to provide lots of action for those stunt enthusiasts.
Single Vehicles (Approximate retail price: $0.99) Great way for kids can get their collection started or build up their collection of MICRO MACHINES.
Vehicle 5 packs (Approximate retail price: $3.99) The possibilities
are many for daring rescues with the adventure-themed starter packs. Each
pack contains 5 vehicles to give kids a full "cast" to direct their own
A.C.E. IS COMING
In August 2003, the face of auto-combat gaming will change forever.
The SWAT and WADA Web sites will be updated in a week. I am flying to Oakland during the last week of July, but I expect the August issue of CWIN to be sent out on time. The July issue will be released in a week after this one.
-- Michael P. "Lab Rat" Owen
IF GUNS WERE TREATED LIKE CARS
Montgomery Citizens for a Safer Maryland
1. You could get a simple license from the State for a nominal fee and only have to take a test that any idiot could pass. You'd only have to renew it every 10 years for 40 years and maybe retake the test if you move out of state.
2. You could kill and injure people with your gun while drunk and still have your lawyer get your gun back because you need it for work.
3. You'd have half the tax burden of the county and State dedicated to improving the shooting ranges and facilities. The public agrees this is never good enough to suit them and with all the gunowners from California moving in, the range capacity will never catch up. Lines at the range are always shown on TV with the newsies deploring the crowding.
4. You could carry in any State at any time because carry and possession of your gun is honored nationwide and is considered a basic American civil right.
5. You would see commercials on TV pushing the newest, latest guns which you could lease for just $25 per month subject to the fine print.
6. You could finance a fancier gun than you can really afford by taking a 5-year loan with approved credit.
7. You would have a gun safe built into every house. In the upscale houses you would have 3 gun safes. Inexpensive houses and mobile homes would just have a gunrack by the door.
8. You'd have gun storage lockers at the shopping mall in which to store your rifle while shopping. This in order to free your arms for packages. The convenience of the shopper is paramount.
9. You could buy ammunition at the 7-11. Full-service station means they'll reload your magazines for you.
10. The news would stop reporting gun accidents unless more than 10 children were killed at one time. Onesy-twosey would only be notable in small towns or if Princess Di's bodyguard shot her while aiming at paparazzi.
11. If the price of ammunition rose 20% the Federal Government would release war reserves of ammo to bring the price back down to the consumer's comfort level. Ammo would carry a 50% tax to finance public shooting ranges. Teapot Dome scandal would have been about a lead mine.
12. We'd teach gunsmithing in vocational-education programs.
13. Every 16-year-old would be looking forward to the day when he could take the family revolver to school. The rich kids would get a high-capacity semi-auto pistol on their 16th birthday and endanger everyone when they learn to use it in public.
14. High schools would have large gun lockers to store student's arms while they attend classes. Administrators would try to charge for the service to discourage teen-age gun carrying to school.
15. Schools would have shooter's education classes to make sure the kids could pass the test. They would show gory films of gunshot wounds. The squeamish would throw up.
16. Old people who can hardly see would still be permitted to shoot in public because to disarm them would be to damage their self-esteem. Families would wring their hands over holes in the walls and ceiling. Occasionally an oldster would fire into a schoolyard when they mistake the trigger for the safety. Legislators would refrain from criticizing because of the AARP's influence.
17. Congress would be debating alternative weapons systems for people who can't afford their own guns.
18. There would be such a thing as "public weapons" for the masses.
19. Congress would be subsidizing weapons for people too limited in means to afford their own.
20. Congress would be willing to float a loan to Colt's in order to ensure the survival of an American company against unfair foreign competition (Think "Chrysler").
21. We, except for Ralph Nader, would dismiss 40,000 deaths and 500,000 injuries per year as "the price of freedom."
22. You would have MADS, Mothers Against Drunk Shooters (instead of HCI). MADS would conduct a campaign of public education instead of trying to use the force of government to prohibit irresponsible drinking and shooting.
23. You could rent a gun at any airport if you are over 25 and have a credit card.
24. You would have the fringe-greenies advocating bows and arrows because they think gunsmoke is damaging the environment. Al Gore would write a book about the damaging effects of gunsmoke. Al Gore would also claim to have been a handloader before his sister died in a powder fire.
25. You'd have huge outcry in the Press and Congress over our dependence on cheap, imported, foreign ammunition.
26. Ted Kennedy would have shot Mary Jo Kopekne instead. Ted would be a few thousand dollars richer ($0.25 bullet vs. $3,000 car). Ted would stop carrying his own gun and instead, hire bodyguards to carry fully-automatic weapons under their coats for him.
27. You'd have businesses like "Jiffy Gun-Clean" to make life convenient. But you'd always worry that they might not have gotten the magazine fully seated afterwards.
28. You'd have "Classic Gun Events" with parades on public roads as everyone with such a classic carries it for all the public to see.
29. You'd have huge eyesores where piles of guns are left to rust in the open at "Gun Junk Yards". They would charge you outrageous prices to go out back and pick off a hammer or sear which is probably also worn out like the one you want to replace.
30. There would be a booming business and debate about substituting non-OEM parts in the gun repair business.
31. You'd have TV news crews going under cover with hidden cameras to ferret out "unscrupulous gunsmiths." This story would be "old reliable" and works every year.
32. The Japanese would be trying , and succeeding at taking over the market for efficient, reliable high-quality guns. The Koreans would be trying to sneak in at the low end of the market. The Germans would be selling premium brands based on better workmanship, longer life, and brand cachet. But their guns would require you to take it to a gunsmith every 3 months for a complete tear-down and dimensional inspection at outrageous labor rates. The Italians would paint their guns flaming red and they would have a reputation for being finicky. The State Department would be applying pressure to get Japan to allow more US-built guns into their country. The Japanese would resist the U.S. by saying that Japanese shooters have extra-special safety requirements that only Japanese manufacturers can meet.
33. You'd have an entire section of the Saturday Coloradoan devoted to ads for new and used guns.
34. You'd have a pair of fun-loving gunsmiths on Public Radio doing a show on gun problems. They'd be named "Tap and Rack".
35. There would have been a terrible TV show back in the black-and-white days named "My Mother: The Gun". It starred Jerry Van Dyke and ran just one season.
36. Dean Jones would have made a series of stupid movies starring Herbie the Love-Gun. Herbie was an adorable anthropomorphized cheap German Saturday Night Special. Dean Jones would never show his face in public again after these movies.
37. Competition would be carried on TV all day on Saturdays. The Daytona 500 would be round-count instead of miles. There would be speed contests, endurance contests, and off-range marksmanship events. NASGUN would create big heroes in the South and extravagant marketing opportunities.
38. High-schools would paint up a gun in the colors of the opposition and charge $0.25 for you to swing a sledge hammer at that gun during pep rallies.
39. John Elway would own half the gunstores in the Denver Metro area.
40. Wellington Webb's wife would be carrying the finest English Double shotgun money can buy while Wellington has body guards to carry his semi-auto pistols for him.
41. Back in the 1970s during the ammo crisis, Congress would have set a maximum cyclic rate for autos and semi-autos in order to conserve ammo.
42. After Iraq was pushed out of Kuwait, the national cyclic rate was raised to something all semi-autos can be comfortable with.
43. The Coloradoan would be publishing the locations of range repair work every week to be sure no one would be inconvenienced.
44. The Beach Boys would have released some songs about guns:
"Spring little Cobray gettin' ready to strike . . . Spring little Cobray with all your might . . . "
"She's real fine my Wonder Nine, she's real fine my Won-der Nine."
"Fun, fun, fun 'til Daddy takes her Kel-Tec away . . . "
45. Letters to editors would be written decrying that all those Soccer Moms are lugging 0.50-caliber machine guns around town, wasting ammo and getting in everybody's way.
46. Letters to editors would be written responding that putting one's beginning driver son or daughter behind a 0.50-caliber would mean that the writer's offspring would survive any conflict with lesser armed individuals.
47. Al Gore would claim he invented the 0.50-caliber cartridge and say he was sorry.
48. Cities would be experimenting with electric guns but would be surprised to find that people would step in front of them at the range because they were too quiet so no one knew the electric gun was there.
49. President Clinton would demand that electric gun manufacturers put a cowbell on each one to prevent senseless accidents.
50. The National Rifle Association would be reduced to selling travel
insurance for your guns because the rest of society will have seen to it
that there would be no chance that firearms would ever be banned.
BRITISH BUNNY GIVEN PARKING TICKET
Reuters News Service and CNN
Sunday, May 25, 2003
Posted: 6:14 PM EDT (2214 GMT)
MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) -- A lop-eared rabbit from northwest England
has picked up a parking ticket that is well beyond its means,
pet shop owner Cliff Chamberlain said.
Chamberlain said he drove off before a traffic officer could slap the ticket on his van outside the shop. The frustrated official then stuck the ticket to the rabbit's cage on the pavement.
Chamberlain said zealous traffic officers made loading and unloading animals from his pet shop extremely difficult.
"Somebody makes up all these rules and they have messed up," he told Reuters.
A parking official said tickets were only valid if they were handed straight to the driver or stuck to the vehicle.
The bunny's sudden fame has encouraged a number of potential buyers
but Chamberlain insists it is not for sale.
CALIF. GOVERNMENT TO NIX SUV PURCHASES?
Reuters News Service and CNN
Saturday, June 14, 2003
Posted: 11:45 AM EDT (1545 GMT)
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) -- Two senior California officials, flanked
by environmental lobbyists and "Seinfeld" star Julia Louis-Dreyfus,
proposed a law this week that would bar most state agencies from buying gas guzzling sport utility vehicles.
The bill, spearheaded by Senate President Pro Tem John Burton and State Treasurer Phil Angelides, who are both Democrats, would exempt state police and emergency services but force other agencies to justify an SUV purchase because of concerns over safety, cost and the environment.
"We're going to drive the state to a new policy," Angelides told reporters in San Francisco, arguing that cash-strapped California would save money with smaller cars.
California's car fleet numbers about 73,000. An estimated 7.5 percent to 10 percent of state vehicles are SUVs, which account for up to 25 percent of total U.S. vehicle sales.
The bill, expected to face a tough fight in the state's legislature, was another blow to the image of SUVs, which critics have seized on as a symbol of environmental excess.
Louis-Dreyfus, who turned up at the Thursday press conference to show support for the measure, said most state agencies do not need large vehicles.
Laurie David, a trustee of the Natural Resources Defense Council environmental group, noted the proposed law would apply to the state Legislature.
Many California lawmakers, including some Democrats who last year approved tough standards designed to cut greenhouse gas emissions, have come under fire for driving taxpayer-provided, low-mileage SUVs.
A Sierra Club spokesman at the press conference said the environmental group this weekend would run newspaper advertisements hammering Ford Motor Co., maker of the Explorer SUV, one the best selling U.S. vehicles.
"Nearly a century ago, Ford's Model T got 25 miles to the gallon," a copy of the ad provided to Reuters says. "Today, Ford's cars and trucks average 22.6 miles per gallon, and the Explorer gets just 16 miles per gallon. That's not progress."
Speaking at Detroit-area assembly plant, Ford Chairman and Chief Executive
Bill Ford Jr. said Thursday that "some people would rather garner headlines
than to work with us to achieve results."
THE NAME'S MOORE, SIR ROGER MOORE
The Associated Press and CNN
Saturday, June 14, 2003
Posted: 8:31 AM EDT (1231 GMT)
LONDON, England (AP) -- Celluloid spy hero Roger Moore became real-life Sir Roger on Queen Elizabeth II's birthday honors list, saluted for his charity work along with scores of artists, scientists and less-celebrated Britons.
The honors, officially published on Saturday, are bestowed by Queen Elizabeth II but largely selected by the government. Many people are nominated by the public.
In descending order, the honors are knighthoods, Commander of the British Empire, Member of the Order of British Empire and Officer of the British Empire. Those who are awarded CBEs, MBEs and OBEs have no title but can put the letters after their names.
Moore, who succeeded Sir Sean Connery as James Bond, played the hero in seven films. But his knighthood was bestowed for his work for UNICEF and the Kiwanis International children's charity.
"I am so proud to be the recipient of this great honor," the 75-year-old
Moore said. "I am doubly proud because this is an acknowledgment
of UNICEF, the United Nations Children's Fund, an organization I am honored
to work for as an international goodwill ambassador."
From: Matt Taylor
To: CWIN: Michael P. Owen <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: CWIN and Hot Wheels.
Date: Mon, 19 May 2003 13:47:35 +0000
Hey, man! I always appreciate your CWIN articles, and feel a little guilty for never writing to say thanks . . . Thanks!
I was very interested when you mentioned the Hot Wheels World Race series, since I have become an avid collector for the last few years, and especially like the world race series in particular. It started by just buying cars for 3X scale, but I started picking up more and more "just cool" cars that I had no plans for customizing. Now I have too many cars to count!
Anyway, I noticed that you ommited a very cool link while plugging Hot Wheels.
Planet Hot Wheels <http://www.planethotwheels.com> is an amazing Flash-oriented game site where you can get a very close to "Car Wars" video game fix (plenty of oil slicks, mines, guns of different varieties, but sadly, they only temporarily knock you off the course and set you back a few seconds.)
Mattel just recently (yesterday) added the virtual Highway 35 race tracks and cars to the game, and let me tell you, I am utterly amazed at the graphics job they have done with this very simple Flash game. You can only race on the new Highway 35 tracks with the new Highway 35 cars, which it will take you a little time to earn the credits to buy. (Credits are won by getting first place in the multi-player races, or in the single- player games. They are used to purchase various weapons and defensive stuff, too.)
As good as all this sounds, try not to cast any opinion until you have taken a Highway 35 car out on the new tracks.
Lastly, as a self-dubbed Hot Wheels and Highway 35 World Race fanatic, I can tell you that the series will not be cut short, and in fact, it might get difficult to find them once the commercials and rumored cartoons hit.
If you ever see "Old Redliner" in the game, give a wave but watch my front firing arc.
-- Matt Taylor
THE RUNNING MAN 2
The Running Man 2 (2004?)
Sequel Coming Soon
Stephen King News
First off, a big thank you to Lilja's Library (www.Liljas-Library.com) who provided all of this news! Thanks, Lilja!
Involtra Sports Magazine says basketballer Dennis Rodman is in talks to star in a sequel to the 1987 Schwarzenegger film The Running Man. In the movie, Rodman would play Carter Riley, a star athlete, who when wrongly charged of murdering a fellow teammate, is sent to a game show where the prize is death.
Production is set to begin in Vancouver in August with a fourth quarter
theatrical release slated next year.
BANDITS: PHOENIX RISING
MARTIAN DESIGN: COMBAT RACING LEAGUE
WICKED WITCH SOFTWARE: CAR WARS
HOT WHEELS WORLD RACE
NEW OMAHA VEHICULAR ASSOCIATION
Arena Watch: Moscow Race-o-Rama
Supplements: Metropolitan Motors