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The Last Olympian Timeline [SPOILERS - DO NOT READ THIS POST IF YOU HAVE NOT READ THE BOOK]

2009 (Year 4 in Riordanverse)
January
• 28th - Nico turns 12 (not stated in book)
~~~~~
July
• 12th - Annabeth turns 16 (not stated in book)
~~~~~
August [TLO BEGINS]
• 12th - sunset = Percy and Rachel on the beach; Beckedorf interrupts; Rachel kisses Percy [>.<] before they leave; night = Percy and Beckendorf sneak on the Princess Andromeda; Percy distracts monsters (one being giant crab) while Beckendorf sets explosives; Percy gets caught and tries to fight Kronos and finds out their mission was a trap; Beckendorf gets caught, then detonates the explosives and Percy jumps in the water to escape explosion and blacks out (Beckendorf doesn’t make it off the boat [cries]); Percy has a dream of Mount Tam and Nico saying he needs to make a decision soon
• 13th - Tyson wakes Percy up underwater and tells him about the boat, Beckendorf, and that he’s at Poseidon’s palace; Percy meets Poseidon’s wife and son, then talks with Poseidon and he says to tell Chiron it’s time to hear the full prophecy; afternoon = Percy returns to camp and brings the bittersweet news of the explosion; Percy and Annabeth go to the attic to get the prophecy [Percy states that he didn’t realize it then, but that would be the last time he ever visited the attic]; at the head counselor meeting, Percy reads the prophecy to everyone, most of them (Percy included) hearing it for the first time; Percy learns of Typhon’s escape; night = Percy has a dream of Rachel and her painting past & future events
• 14th - Percy and Annebeth do cabin inspections; they have burial ceremony for Beckendorf [cries again]; Percy tries and fails to convince Clarisse to fight in the upcoming battle; Percy talks to Juniper and Leneus about Grover missing, then to Nico about the plan to give Percy a fighting chance against Kronos; night = Nico and Percy take Mrs. O’Leary to go visit May Castellan; after their visit they talk with Hestia and then she transports them to Percy’s apartment (Mrs. O’Leary included); Nico and Percy talk with Sally and Paul and get Sally’s blessing for their plan; Percy, Nico, and Mrs. O’Leary shadow travel to Central Park to get to smaller Underworld entrance; they find Grover and tell him he’s been missing for two months; he then opens up the gate to the Underworld
• 15th - early morning = Percy gets tricked by Nico and they talk with Hades; Percy gets locked in the Underworld dungeon; Percy has dream of Rachel on vacation and the gods fighting Typhon; Nico helps Percy escape; Percy bathes in the River Styx; fights Hades’ army and the god himself, but when Percy pins Hades to the ground he fades into nothingness; late afternoon = Percy meets other campers (40 including him, Ares cabin excluded) at the Empire State building; they all go up to Olympus; Hestia greets them, then shows Percy a flashback of when Thalia and Luke met Annabeth, then of them coming up on Luke’s house, then the vision stops; Hermes shows up, and Percy & Annabeth talk to him while everyone else scouts for anyone left on Olympus; they realize that Morpheus has put all of Manhattan to sleep and that the invasion has begun; while they’re planning tunnel blockades, 30 Hunters join the fight; night = Percy makes a deal with the East and Hudson rivers to help them defend the city; on Williamsburg bridge, Percy joins the Apollo cabin and fights the Minotaur and the rest of the army it was leading across
• 16th - early morning = they push them back, but then Kronos joins the fight; Percy and Annabeth fight shoulder to shoulder, then she gets stabbed by Ethan Nakamura protecting Percy’s soft spot; Blackjack gets Annabeth out of there; Percy fights Kronos and destroys the bridge, killing monsters and pushing the army back (Michael Yew didn’t make it of the bridge) [cries yet again]; Percy and Will Solace go to the hotel where they made a base to treat Annabeth’s wound; Jake Mason tells Percy the enemy army retreated at sunrise; Silena leaves to try to convince Clarisse and Ares cabin to join the fight; Percy and Annabeth talk, Percy shows her his Achilles spot, and she tells him about Luke visiting her house the previous year before BOTL; Grover tells Percy he’s rallied most of the nature spirits in the city; Percy, Grover, Thalia, and Jake talk about the spy; Percy goes to rest, and has a dream about Nico learning about his past before the Lotus Casino [totally forgot that Hades had Alecto the Fury wipe their memories in the Lethe before taking them to the Lotus Hotel] and about the curse Hades put on the Oracle; then Percy’s dream changed to show Rachel on the shore and she wrote something in ancient Greek in the sand but Percy only saw his name (Perseus) before it got washed away, and Rachel convincing her father they had to get back to New York immediately in order to get a message to Percy; late afternoon = Thalia wakes Percy up; they go outside to meet Prometheus (a titan), a hyperborean (Morrain), Ethan Nakamura, and an empousa; Prometheus tries to talk Percy into surrendering, then shows him the rest of Luke’s past, continuing from what Hestia showed him; then Prometheus gives Percy Pandora’s Box; when they get back to the hotel, Percy and Thalia talk briefly, then Percy sleeps some more; he has a dream of Tyson and Cyclopes fighting in battle at Poseidon’s palace; dream switched to Ethan and Kronos talking about Annabeth getting stabbed and protecting Percy, then Ethan asks if Luke is still fighting Kronos; dream changed one more time to reveal all that happened to May Castellan when Luke was a baby; evening/night = battle in Central Park; Percy fights Hyperion and creates personal hurricane; they defeat Hyperion, but then Kronos unleashes his surprise: the Clazmonian Sow (giant flying sow); Percy activates lion statues to defeat giant pig; Percy helps Annabeth kill a Hyperborean; late night = they fought and fought until they were backed up a block from the Empire State Building from every direction; they’re about to retreat to the doors when the Party Ponies join the fight
• 17th - very early morning (still dark) - they push back the Titan army, then regroup; Chiron fills Percy and Annabeth in on Typhon’s progress, how Mr. D is missing and Hephaestus is too injured to rejoin; morning = Percy and Annabeth talk for a bit; Percy looks around at all the injured, then is suddenly transported to a “dingy bar”; Percy talks with Mr. D and he warns that if the gods are defeated the entirety of Western Civilization will come undone; then he admits that the Olympians need heroes; Mr. D warns that Kronos’ current form is temporary, and by the next day he will burn away his host (Luke) and his very presence will incinerate anyone who's near him and he will make the other titans more powerful; Mr. D returns Percy (it’s as though he never left) and he sees his mom and Paul asleep in their car; Rachel shows up in a helicopter and Annabeth saves her from crashing after the pilot falls asleep; Percy and Rachel talk about what’s been happening with her (visions and such), and she tells him the message in the sand was “Perseus, you are not the hero”; Rachel and Chiron go and talk while Percy takes a nap; he has a dream about Nico trying to convince Hades (in the presence of Persephone and Demeter) to join and fight in the war; the dream changed to Kronos talking with Ethan and Prometheus and telling them to unleash the drakon immediately; afternoon = Percy wakes up and warns them and they try their best to prepare (down to 16 campers, 15 hunters, and 6 satyrs in fighting shape, and a lot of drunk Party Ponies); Percy and Mrs. O’Leary charge the drakon, and Percy stabs one of its eyes; 30 Ares campers join the fight, with “Clarisse” leading them; the real Clarisse shows up after the fake gets sprayed with poison, then Clarisse defeats the drakon single-handedly; the fake Clarisse is revealed to be Selena Beauregard, and she confesses to being the spy, then dies from her injuries [cries one more time but definitely not the last time]; Clarisse then fights and drives back the enemy with the blessing of Ares; they regroup in Empire State building and Percy sends Mrs. O’Leary on an errand; Percy, Annabeth, and Grover go up to Olympus and into the throne room; Grover and Annabeth leave Percy and Rachel to talk with Hestia; Percy gives Pandora’s Jar and Hope to Hestia; Percy sits on Poseidon’s throne, gets his attention, and convinces Poseidon to come help defend Olympus; evening/night = Thalia comes in and says that the enemy is advancing with Kronos leading them; when they get down there, Chiron and Kronos are having a stare-down, then the two of them fight; Chiron gets thrown into a wall and buried under rubble; as Kronos is about to attack again, Mrs. O’Leary and Nico join the fight, along with an entire undead army, Persephone, Demeter, and Hades himself; Kronos seals himself, the demigods, and the Empire State Building off, collapsing the magic around the rest of Manhattan; all Hades breaks loose [pun intended]; Paul and Sally join the fight; late night = Percy, Annabeth, Thalia, and Grover head into the building and up towards Olympus, following Kronos; Annabeth almost falls to her death (MoA parallel); Thalia gets pinned under Hera statue; Percy fights Kronos and Annabeth and Grover fight Ethan Nakamura; Annabeth gets knocked aside, Percy tries to reason with Ethan, then Ethan attacks Kronos, but he gets injured then falls through a hole in the ground made by Kronos and dies; Percy and Kronos fight more, then Kronos freezes time and shows Percy images of the fight going on and of Typhon approaching; Poseidon and his army join the fight against Typhon and they defeat him
• 18th - Percy turns 16; early morning (probably still dark out) = Annabeth gets through to Luke, Percy gives Luke Annabeth’s dagger, then Luke stabs himself, defeating Kronos; after some final words, Luke dies, shortly after the gods come in and Percy says they need a burial shroud for a son of Hermes; next few hours: the gods repair the throne room, Zeus lights up the Empire State Building blue for Sally, Percy greets those who survived, Nico and Hades were welcomed on Olympus as heroes, Percy talks briefly with Mr. D and Grover, Poseidon’s army comes into the throne room and Tyson tackle Percy; Poseidon congratulates Percy and gives him a hug; Olympian council takes place; they call up Thalia, then Tyson who’s appointed general, Grover who becomes a member of the Council of Cloven Elders, Annabeth who is assigned with redesigning and rebuilding Olympus; then Percy is called up and offered immortality, but he turns it down, requesting instead that: the gods claim *all* their children by age 13, Calypso and other peaceful titan-kind b e pardoned, and that the Big Three oath be undone; Percy talks with Hermes; as he’s leaving, Athena talks briefly with Percy; afternoon = when him and Annaebth reach the lobby, they’re greeted by Sally and Paul, then Nico runs in and says that Rachel took Blackjack to CHB; Annabeth, Percy, and Nico get to camp as Rachel becomes the new Oracle; then Rachel spouts the Prophecy of Seven [Apollo says it may not even be in Percy’s lifetime… HA, how wrong he was, as it takes place not even a full year after]; the rest of the day: campers came back from Manhattan, the dead were given proper funeral rights at the campfire, and dinner was lowkey; night/dark = after dinner and the crowd had lessened, Annabeth sat next to Percy at the Poseidon table and gave him a cupcake (made by herself and Tyson) and wished him happy birthday, and he realized that he hadn’t realized that it had been his birthday; they talk, she kisses him, then they get thrown in the lake and kiss some more
• next two weeks (camp went two weeks longer, leading right up to the school year) - new demigods popped up all over the place, all were claimed and brought to CHB with help of satyrs; new cabins for Hades and minor gods being built
~~~~~
September
• 1st [exactly 2 weeks after Percy’s birthday, but it’s in the middle of the week, so this exact date is unknown] - last day of camp; late afternoon = Percy talks with Poseidon [dude, Poseidon jokes about claiming all his other kids and sending Percy some siblings then he gave Percy one of his inside joke winks and Percy still wasn’t sure if he was serious or not. I know that Rick probably won’t make another Poseidon kid, but you never know]; evening = last night at camp and bead ceremony, the bead having a picture of the Empire State Building and all the names of the fallen campers in Greek
• 2nd [?] - Percy, Annabeth, and Rachel stand at the top of Half-Blood Hill; Rachel says goodbye; Percy and Annabeth talk briefly before racing each other to the road; “And for once, I didn’t look back.”
[TLO ENDS]
• within the next week - Percy starts 10th grade
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TLO / PJO Prophecy
A half-blood of the eldest gods
Shall reach sixteen against all odds,
And see the world in endless sleep,
The hero’s soul, cursed blade shall reap
A single choice shall end his days
Olympus to preserve or raze
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~The Lightning Thief Timeline~
~The Sea of Monsters Timeline~
~The Titan's Curse Timeline~
~The Battle of the Labyrinth Timeline~
~Percy Jackson and the Sword of Hades (Short Story) Timeline/Summary~
~Percy Jackson and the Bronze Dragon (Short Story) Timeline/Summary~
~HOO Timelines (links to TLH)~
submitted by rae_bella to camphalfblood [link] [comments]

Wrestling Observer Rewind ★ Feb. 8, 1988

Going through old issues of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and posting highlights in my own words, continuing in the footsteps of daprice82. For anyone interested, I highly recommend signing up for the actual site at f4wonline and checking out the full archives.
• PREVIOUS •
1987
FUTURE YEARS ARCHIVE:
The Complete Observer Rewind Archive by daprice82
1-4-1988 1-11-1988 1-18-1988 1-25-1988
2-1-1988
  • The wrestling war is, for all intents and purposes, over. The war between the territories, the ongoing collapse of the territory system, and Vince McMahon’s rise is certainly the biggest story in decades, and at this point the war is over and Vince McMahon has won. Sure, the fighting is still ongoing, but even if JCP can recover from their troubles, the gap between them and WWF is there and it’s just going to keep widening.
  • The biggest story of the week is that WWF has announced its ppv schedule for the next year. March 27 (Wrestlemania IV), August 29, November 24 (Survivor Series), and January 15 (Royal Rumble). Four ppvs doesn’t look like a big deal, just capitalization on the market trend. But it’s going to have a major effect on Crockett. Crockett had been planning ppv shows in early April (Crockett Cup), July (Great American Bash), and November 24 (Starrcade). With WWF’s new calendar and the exclusivity clause in their ppv deals requiring no competing wrestling ppv events 60 days before and 21 days after their shows and the success of Survivor Series and Wrestlemania IV (presumed for that one - Dave expects Wrestlemania IV to be the biggest grossing ppv ever to this point), WWF is putting the squeeze to Crockett. And in doing so, they’re killing any chance Crockett can compete and break into the ppv market. Long-term, ppv is going to mean live gates will be completely insignificant (like it already is in boxing - and hey, in 2020 we have seen the prophecy fulfilled). Because of ppv, Dave expects Wrestlemania IV to gross as much as every other American promotion will gross for the entirety of 1988, combined. Hence why the gap is wide and will only get wider, and JCP will never catch up. JCP’s going to try to counter, and the apparent move will be to shift those events to prime-time WTBS live (or very recently filmed, like a Saturday Night’s Main Event) specials all built as major cards. Starrcade probably will not be among those, Dave figures this will help.
  • WWF’s Royal Rumble came out the clear winner against the Bunkhouse Stampede Finals. The Rumble drew an 8.2 rating and was seen in 3.2 million homes, which is twice as many people as when Georgia Championship Wrestling’s show on WTBS was big several years ago when this wrestling war was getting started. It’s the highest rated show in the history of the USA network, and the encore broadcast on Monday drew a 4.8 rating (a regular episode of Prime Time Wrestling in that time slot usually draws a 2.9). All this means that the repeat showing of the Rumble was probably the second highest rated show on cable during the last week.
  • PPV numbers take longer to get, but it’s possible to make some sense of preliminary reports for the Bunkhouse Finals. The show was likely profitable, purely in terms of money, but the reaction was strongly negative. Early reports estimate the buyrate at 4%, which tells us that if given a fair shot at ppv, Crocket could be profitable with a ppv line up. That’s also encouraging for Crockett, since the card wasn’t strong and the show didn’t have the best heat, but those things may be moot now that WWF has a full year’s schedule set up. Big props to the JCP broadcast team for how well they sold the ppv in advance, because ppv and closed-circuit purchases are majority (90%) last minute, as opposed to house show tickets which are typically bought well in advance.
  • Wrestlemania IV is expected to sell out by the time this issue hits you. Yeah, Dave. By 32 years now. Anyway, about 14,000 seats went on sale to the general public on Saturday and all but a few thousand were sold by the end of the day. The highest price was $150. It’s funny to Dave that despite the crowd discrepancy, WWF may make as much off 14,000 tickets for Mania IV as they did selling 90,000 for Mania III (The April 3, 2000 issue is the earliest I can find for when Dave revised his view of the numbers for Wrestlemania 3). Anyway, the Convention Center is home to Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, and Donald Trump is using Wrestlemania as the centerpiece of a weekend-long event designed to attract vacation families to his casinos, including a Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine concert in the adjacent Convention Center ballroom. So I guess we can put Donald Trump down as the innovator of Wrestlemania weekend. WWF claims Wrestlemania will be available in up to 9 million homes on ppv, and if the show gets a similar buyrate to last year’s then we’re talking around $15 million on ppv, $1 million live, and probably $4-5 million at closed-circuit.
Watch: Dave Meltzer talks about Bresloff telling him 78,000
  • The employment status of the Rock & Roll Express, Michael Hayes, and Steve Williams with JCP has significantly cleared up. The Rock & Roll Express were fired at the Bunkhouse Finals. On January 23, they were asked to do a clean job to Warlord and Ivan Koloff in 12 minutes. Koloff’s been a low card guy recently, and they have been main guys for years, so instead they did the job in 12 seconds (Ricky Morton laid down and let Warlord pin him). Then they flew to New York for the finals, and Dusty learned what happened (he was not at the show on the 23rd) and fired them on the spot. They could be heading anywhere, though WWF is doubtful due to their size. Michael Hayes was fired last week following an incident. He was teaming with Jimmy Garvin and feuding with Ric Flair on the most recent tour; those spots have been taken by Ron Garvin and Sting, the latter of whom is having an accelerated push as a result. Hayes is expected back at World Class, though he did send a resume to WWF. As for Steve Williams, he stayed an extra week in Japan and missed the Stampede. He’s in a contract dispute with Crockett over whether the money he makes in Japan counts against his guaranteed minimum pay from Crockett (Crockett says yes, Williams says no, you’re not paying it so it doesn’t count toward the minimum you are paying him - corporations are not your friends). Williams has disconnected his phone and is out of communication.
  • Cable ratings for wrestling in the fourth quarter of 1987 dropped from the the third quarter. The World Championship Wrestling show dropped from second to eighth overall, and WWF’s All-American Wrestling surpassed it at seventh. Prime Time Wrestling, formerly ranked third, fell to tenth, while the Sunday WTBS show dropped from tenth to twentieth. AWA on ESPN dropped out of the top 20 (it was number 19 in the third quarter). Some of the drop probably comes from the change in how ratings are gathered (enter the Nielsen box, or “people-meter” as it’s known at this point). There’s controversy about this whole way of gathering ratings, as detractors believe that the boxes ensure shows that appeal to women will receive higher ratings than they would get otherwise. Regardless, wrestling shows across the board dropped about 10% in the ratings in the fourth quarter.
  • New Japan’s “Martial Arts Olympic” event in the Tokyo Dome has some hoping it will surpass Wrestlemania 3 for biggest live gate ever. They’ve sold tickets at as much as $220 for ringside and sold out those events, so there’s a chance they could if they price right and sell out. Dave’s been told that Inoki vs. Koji Kitao has the potential to double the gate of Inoki’s matches with Leon Spinks and Masa Saito (each over $700,000). If they can get Taue, that’s probably the best opponent they can get for Inoki to ensure a big draw. I think last week he may have written All Japan, but he's very clear this is an Inoki idea this week.
  • Speaking of Inoki, New Japan recently did a tour in Italy. The big show was January 24 in Rome and drew 8,000 fans. New Japan actually airs on tv in Italy, and Inoki was the big draw, and he pinned Badnews Allen in the main event. Shane Douglas won a battle royal on the show too. These are the first “western-style” pro wrestling matches in Italy since WWF did a show in Milan back in October.
  • Jake Roberts was on Ellery Queen mystery magazine’s cover this month, and Muscular Development did a cover story on Jesse Ventura. The Ventura article is excellent, but mostly about his life and training regimen, and not to do with wrestling.
Jake Roberts on the cover of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine
  • Genichiro Tenryu won all the major awards in Japan. Tokyo Sports named in MVP of wrestling, and Gong Magazine and Weekly Pro Wrestling gave him the equivalent. He beat Riki Choshu in Gong’s annual popularity poll as the most popular Japanese wrestler (Maeda came in second, so pressure there for New Japan to bring him back). Chigusa Nagayo placed 9th, the first time a woman has cracked the top ten of Gong’s poll.
  • Dave went to the WWF show at the Cow Palace on January 30. It’s his first live show since Japan, and the show drew pretty well, but not as well as you’d expect from a show with a battle royal in the area. The big news of the show were four no-shows: the British Bulldogs (Dave’s heard one of them collapsed at the airport and the other went to the hospital with him), Billy Jack Haynes (his health’s really bad and he’s missed a lot of bookings lately and folks are speculating his career is done), and Bam Bam Bigelow (scheduled to face Ted DiBiase, but he had knee surgery so no clue when he’ll be back). Due to the no-shows, the athletic commission ordered WWF to offer refunds to anyone who wanted them before the end of the second match. He runs down the card: Ron Bass pinned JYD, Ultimate Warrior pinned Harley Race. Warrior’s over big, but still sucks. Ted DiBiase beat George Steele by DQ and Dave alludes to last week’s decision to no longer call matches “abortions” and says “The only word to describe this match is one that has been banned from my vocabulary.” Don Muraco pinned Butch Reed in an okay match. The Jumping Bomb Angels beat the Glamour Girls to retain their tag titles in the only good match on the card (Dave gives it three stars). Noriyo Tateno pinned one of the Girls, Dave doesn’t identify her, saying “you know how it is with those people, they all look alike to me,” which is a pretty solid skewering of people who say that about the Angels and other Asian wrestlers, imo. Ted DiBiase won the bunkhouse battle royal to moderate heat. Hercules pinned Hillbilly Jim. Jim Duggan and Ken Patera beat Demolition and Mr. Fuji by pinning Fuji. Jake Roberts and One Man Gang went to a double countout.
  • By the way, the California state assembly voted 60-7 to reclassify pro wrestling as entertainment and not a sport. So that means once the bill passes the state senate, athletic commissions will have no power over pro wrestling in California, and wrestlers will not need wrestling licenses to work in the state (which was already a joke of a requirement - Dave got a print-out once of all 60 wrestlers licensed in California and major guys like Hogan and Steamboat weren’t on the list).
  • The lineup for AWA’s February 4 show, the last at the Minneapolis Auditorium before it’s demolished, has been announced. Curt Hennig defends the AWA Title against Greg Gagne in a cage match. The Midnight Rockers defend the tag titles against a mystery team (the latest announcement was Nick Kiniski and Kevin Kelly, but Kiniski was let go this week and they’re building to a face turn for Kelly). The rest of the card has Dick the Bruiser vs. Adnan al-Kaissey, Billy Robinson vs. Tom Zenk (particularly interesting since Robinson is in for a one-off but has a reputation as a shooter, as well as competing against Verne as a promoter sometimes, so there’s a chance he may go into business for himself), Wahoo McDaniel and Baron Von Raschke vs. The Nasty Boys, and Billy Jack Strong vs. Soldat Ustinov.
  • Adrian Adonis broke his ankle at the AWA tv tapings in Minot, North Dakota.He was getting whipped into the turnbuckle and stepped into a hole in the ring. He won’t be back for at least two months. Adonis has about 4 months left before he dies.
  • AWA released a song called “Superstars of the AWA.” Jerry Lawler and Jeff Jarrett were in it due to the increased swapping of talent between Memphis and AWA. I could not find the song.
  • Something Dave forgot to mention about the WWF battle royal in San Francisco. Technically there were 19 guys, but only 18 actually worked the match. George Steele came out about a minute late, walked around the ring for a few minutes without getting inside, and then just walked to the back with JYD when JYD was eliminated (JYD was the second out of the match). Dave guesses at George’s age he didn’t want to take the bump or something. Dave recalls a story he heard about an unnamed WWF “neanderthal character” who stalled outside the ring for a complete match, and when one fan yelled to “Get in the ring, you lazy bum” he retorted (despite his character not being able to speak English): “What do you think this is, the NWA?”
  • WWF Superstars tapings were held on January 26 in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Barry Horowitz and Steve Lombardi beat Lanny Poffo and Scott Casey, which set up the main event for the second hour of the taping where the Killer Bees beat Horowitz and Lombardi. Rick Rude and Ricky Steamboat had a match that ended in a big brawl that got Hercules, Harley Race, Jim Duggan, and Ultimate Warrior involved. The main event of the live show was not taped for tv, but had Hogan and Bigelow going over Andre and DiBiase (Hogan pinned DiBiase). Andre’s contribution to the match was one minute (of nine total for the match) in the ring, and a body slam to Hogan before almost collapsing. Commentary for this taping was not done live, but rather will be done in post-production due to the fact that they’re waiting for The Main Event first, since these will all air after that sets up the angles.
  • Dave hears that the decision on what to do with Hogan/Andre at The Main Event will be decided this week once his filming schedule is determined. If he’s available for weekends, he’ll stay champion through the summer. If not, then a title change will happen and DiBiase is the likely beneficiary.
  • [Stampede] Badnews Allen and Jason the Terrible were fined $200 and $300, respectively, by Calgary City Hall. This is in relation to their brawl in the audience on December 18 that led to a woman in the audience suffering a concussion.
  • Oregon will be holding a special show on February 16 as a Frank Bonema Memorial show. Bonema was the tv announcer from Portland who passed away in 1982 or 1983. They haven’t announced any matches yet, but Curt Hennig is supposed to defend the AWA Title against their Northwest Title holder at the time, and there are plans for a tag title match, a strap match, and a cage match.
  • The February 12 card will be the last card by Continental in Knoxville before Ron Fuller’s new promotion takes over the area from them. The situation with Alabama’s territory continues to confuse me.
  • Nobuhiko Takada beat Owen Hart on January 13 in one of the highlights of New Japan’s jr. heavyweight tournament. As of January 26, here’s the status of the tournament: Koshinaka leads with 34 points (7-1 record), Takada has 31 points (6-1-1 record), Hart at 29 points (6-2 record), Hase also has 29 points. Yamazaki has 24 points (5-2 record), and Yamada is 4-2-1 with 21 points. Kobayashi has 24 (5-1), Saito at 19 (4-4), and everyone else is negligible at the moment. The finals will be on February 7.
  • All Japan is pushing a big show for March 9 featuring Hansen vs. Tenryu. That will be a double title match, as Tenryu puts up the United National Title against Hansen’s PWF Title (Dave expects a double countout. Other matches will include Jumbo Tsuruta vs. Tiger Mask II, Baba and Wajima vs. Kimura and Tsurumi, and others.
  • Giant Baba’s been negotiating with the Funks and David Manning about getting All Japan on tv in the U.S. All part of his angling to help the promotions outside the NWA and WWF against the juggernauts.
  • AJW is building a big match for February 25, Dump Matsumoto’s retirement show. Dump and Yukari Omori (also retiring that night) will face the Crush Gals in a tag match. Also on the card will be a battle royal and Yumiko Hotta/Mitsuko Nishiwaki vs. Bull Nakano/Condor Saito for the vacant tag team titles.
  • AJW’s annual rookie auditions took place on January 17 in Tokyo. 1500 girls showed up, and seven were picked based on their performance in various athletic and endurance drills. Dave says this is one of the main reasons it’s ridiculous to attempt to compare joshi wrestling to any American promotion. Only the top half a percent in terms of athletic ability are chosen for training in the first place, and then “they train them like spartans from the age of 15-17 and by the time they are around 22, if they’ve even survived, they are better workers than virtually all the men.” And with the retirement age of 26, nobody stays on so long they feel stale. Then again, that level of training sounds kind of easy to become mega abusive from a 2020 standpoint.
  • Lots of rumor that NWA’s recent firings aren’t due to discipline issues but due to the company having financial issues. That’s the story those being fired have given. Michael Hayes in particular claims that he and Crockett agreed to a two year deal for $150k per year, but Crockett never signed it and when he pressured Crockett to sign (he wasn’t making money with the contract unsigned), and so he got fired for missing the January 23 show in Cincinnati. Even as Crockett’s financial issues become more and more apparent, they do seem to be recovering at the gate a little.
  • Unlike WWF, NWA’s weightlifting competition used legit weights. All four guys did 460 pound bench presses easy, then Paul Ellering called to move the bar to 600. Animal failed first, and they threw chalk in his eyes and he bled and was “taken to the hospital” and the whole thing came across well.
  • The road to Barry Windham joining the Horsemen (not that Dave suspects anything yet) continues as he and Luger are being pushed as a tag team. Meanwhile, Flair and Sting are set to feud.
  • Dave once again clarifies about Hawk’s line (because apparently he’s still saying it). It’s Neo Maxi Zoom Dweebies, not Neo Nazi Zoom Dweebies.
  • Crockett referee Jeff Goldberg writes in to correct the record on something. In the January 18 issue, a reader wrote in about the December 26 show in Philadelphia and said it looked like the referee screwed up the finish. Goldberg says he acted as instructed, and Flair would not have congratulated him later on if he had screwed up. He also says readers often blame referees for screwing up finishes, but that’s usually the wrestlers who screw up (or the finish is in fact supposed to look screwed up). Referees can be green just like wrestlers, but he’s proud not to be one of them.
  • Another reader tells us that his cable company had Bunkhouse Stampede, but Crockett did a LOLNWA. Crockett announced that Sammons cable would have the show on January 23 (day before the ppv). Except they didn’t air the announcement until 2 pm that day, had given no announcement ahead of that time, and Sammons closed their company office for the weekend at noon on the 23rd.
  • The longest letter this week is all about how Bret Hart deserves a bigger push. Brief version: Vince is making a big mistake by not pushing Bret as a singles star. Even the casual fans buy into him. He’s got promo ability, the ability to make a bad wrestler look good (very important in WWF), and he’d make a great opponent for Randy Savage after an Intercontinental Title change. Give it a few years, Jeff. You’ll get your wish and then some.
  • Crockett’s apparently going to keep two offices open. The Dallas office will be for tv production, and the Charlotte office will remain as the base for talent.
  • Mike Rotunda won the NWA TV Title from Nikita Koloff on January 26, then gave the Florida Title to Rick Steiner. Interestingly, Dusty did a promo referencing the Hogan/Andre/DiBiase title situation and said that in the NWA you can’t buy a title. Well, Dave points out, DiBiase offered $1 million to Hogan for the title, so that seems to be the going rate for the WWF championship for a year. Meanwhile, Rick Steiner got the Florida Title for free, which pretty accurately reflects the worth of that title.
  • World Class drew a crowd of 80 in Houston on January 26. No, you didn’t read that number wrong.
THURSDAY: Hogan drops the WWF Title (really the only big story next week)
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Wrestling Observer Rewind ★ Feb. 1, 1988

Going through old issues of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and posting highlights in my own words, continuing in the footsteps of daprice82. For anyone interested, I highly recommend signing up for the actual site at f4wonline and checking out the full archives.
• PREVIOUS •
1987
FUTURE YEARS ARCHIVE:
The Complete Observer Rewind Archive by daprice82
1-4-1988 1-11-1988 1-18-1988 1-25-1988
  • The Bunkhouse Stampede Finals and Royal Rumble are in the books, and as a head-to-head it’s best described as a stalemate. Neither show is what Dave would consider among the best cards he’s ever seen, and from the perspective of a tv viewer they were about what you’d expect. No strong overall lineup for either, and what was delivered wasn’t spectacular either. WWF had the edge in glitz, but not as much as usual because of the live factor meaning they couldn’t rely on post-production editing tricks. Here’s a sentence that describes a typical Raw today: “The three-hour show had too many replays and looked like it may have dragged in spots if you were there live.” Dave’s gotten some word from people who were there for the Bunkhouse finals live, and all rated it terribly as a live experience. From the tv viewer perspective, though, it was better than Starrcade despite some major issues (Dave says they owe the audience an explanation for why the Rock & Roll Express and Steve Williams were absent, as well as for the lack of Mike Rotunda vs. Sting which was pushed on WTBS half an hour before the show).
  • Dave’s tired of writing a lot of the same complaints about NWA, but they do seem to be responding to fans. They’re going to start showing the finishes to matches that go off the air on the following week’s show and have made changes to the announce desk. Jim Ross did a great job on ppv and toned back on calling every match an all-time classic like he did at Starrcade. But there were eight no-shows among the wrestlers and on Thursday night they had a terrible show in Los Angeles. Most of the no-shows were guys they pulled from the card to save money on flights. The Bunkhouse Finals were advertised with a 7 pm start time, but many of the tickets had 8 pm printed on them, and the show itself actually started at 6:35. Pm and ended at 9 pm, so those arriving at 8 missed most of the show. Not all the no-shows can be blamed on the promotion (Mighty Wilbur got injured, Rock & Roll Express appear to have up and quit), but some kind of explanation needs to be made for the fans. Between all that, getting chants of “Refund” after the Stampede and Dusty getting booed (which fans watching on tv heard) when he won the finals, NWA has significantly hurt its position in two of the biggest markets in the country in LA and New York. They’re making changes, slowly, but some changes need to be made or they’re going to sink. NWA fans come for action, but you can’t get the kind of action the fans want with the schedule they’re running (contrast to WWF which can get by with less action because their guys are seen as stars and the fans want to see the stars). Doing cross-country double shots on weekends is killing NWA, and they need to make new stars. Turning Flair face, since he’s more popular than almost anyone else, isn’t even something to do right now because Luger’s turn is in full throttle and they don’t have a heel to take up the slack. They could turn Dusty heel and have him feud with the Road Warriors, but they won’t.
  • In the past few weeks, NWA has managed to lose several guys they really shouldn’t have. Terry Taylor is gone apparently because the office had it in for him because of when he left the promotion in 1985. Big Bubba Rogers had become a good worker and had a great gimmick going, but WWF poached him. Rock and Roll Express apparently quit because they were unhappy about their push (though Dave thinks despite their ability and work, they’ve been on borrowed time for nine months now). Dave gives Steve Williams 50/50 odds of coming back and just kind of gestures to UWF as explanation. Sean Royal quit, and Chris Champion, Eddie Gilbert, and Brad Armstrong are all but disappeared. And more are looking to get out. Dave hates writing all this stuff about what Crockett’s doing wrong on the front page, especially when he’s been talking about it for months, and especially because he’s a fan of the NWA. He wouldn’t classify himself as a fan of WWF, but they’ve earned his respect with what they’ve done to take the business to another level and in the next two months he expects them to blow the whole wrestling business wide open. But WWF’s success isn’t the reason for NWA’s problems. WWF doing counterprogramming has made Crockett earn less money than he would have unopposed, and Dusty probably books himself the way he does because he knows WWF won’t steal him (spoilers: WWF gets Dusty in just over a year) and it’s hard to leave the limelight, but WWF isn’t the reason for most of Crockett’s issues.
  • According to the newspapers this morning, Wrestlemania IV will take place in Atlantic City’s Convention Center. Capacity is 16,000. There were rumblings of Vince being close to a deal in Vegas for either UNLV Gym or Caesar’s Palace, so Atlantic City’s a surprise. Wrestlemania is going to be more focused on ppv than closed-circuit this year, apparently. But most of the audience can’t get ppv, so they’ll still need closed-circuit in major cities.
  • Two weeks after Wrestlemania will be the Crockett Cup. Place is to be announced, and Dave thinks it’s high time Crockett re-establishes working relationships with at least one or two other North American promotions in order to help make the Cup a big event. They just don’t have the talent roster this year to get away with doing otherwise.
  • A correction on Starrcade: Dave reported a 6.6 percent buy-rate, but the reality was a 3.3 percent buy-rate. Dave heard they got 20,000 buys and just assumed it was of the 300,000 homes available on cable, but forgot to factor in the 300,000 homes it was also available in via satellite. Dave’s received reports that there were 6 million potential homes for the Bunkhouse finals, but that seems high to him. Even matching the buyrate of Starrcade at that number would mean over $3 million in gross revenue, and Dave doesn’t think they were remotely close to that.

- Anyway, Dave goes through the Bunkhouse finals. An estimated 7,000 were in the arena, and the dark match was Sting and Jimmy Garvin beating the Sheepherders by DQ. Nikita Koloff retained the NWA TV title against Bobby Eaton in a 20 minute draw. -2 stars. Larry Zbyszko beat Barry Windham for the Western States Title, with the match starting slow and getting very good in the last ten minutes. 3.5 stars. Road Warrior Hawk beat Ric Flair by DQ in the NWA World Title match. 3.75 stars. Dusty Rhodes won the Bunkhouse Stampede finals. Lots of blood, a lot of guys going the distance you wouldn’t expect to have the stamina to do so (the match was 26 minutes long), and it was exactly what was promised and was good stuff. 3 stars.

Watch: a brief clip of the bunkhouse finals

- As for the Royal Rumble, the crowd appeared to be nearly sold out with almost 18,000 in attendance. Ricky Steamboat beat Rick Rude by DQ. Heavy with rest holds and stalling before the final two minutes had them trading near falls constantly and getting good heat from it. 2 stars. The Jumping Bomb Angels won the WWF Women’s Tag Titles from the Glamour Girls in a 2/3 falls match. They started behind with Judy Martin getting the first fall, then the Angels won two straight falls with each Angel pinning Judy Martin (sunset flip and double missile dropkicks, respectively). It was a good match, but not great - the Angels missed a lot of moves and seemed to be out of shape. 3 stars. Jum Duggan won the Royal Rumble, last eliminating One Man Gang. The match was much better than Dave anticipated, and the match went on roughly at the same time as the Bunkhouse finals match. Better camera work in it, and Dave notes that WWF seems to have fudged the two minute intervals after a bit. 3.5 stars. The Islanders beat the Young Stallions (Paul Roma and Jim Powers; Dave’s nickname for them is The Barbie Dolls) in two straight falls. He makes a weird joke about a submission actually working on a pushed guy (Haku submitted Roma with a Boston crab) making him go out for “Oriental food” afterwards because it was so surprising. I’m too confused to even know what to make of the line. 2.5 stars.

Watch: the finish to the 1988 Royal Rumble match
  • Outside the matches, Royal Rumble had some other stuff. Andre and Hogan had a contract signing for the Main Event, where Andre slammed Hogan’s head into the table and pushed the table onto him. Dave’s amazed people buy Hogan as a face, because there’s just something naturally dislikable about people who act the way Hogan does and he thinks Vince could probably get Lee Harvey Oswald over as a face. Dino Bravo attempted to set a world bench press record. Of course, the weights were as legit as the half a million dollars Dusty supposedly won, but Bravo’s supposedly able to bench over 600 lbs legit. Jesse Ventura helped him with “715 lbs” and then claimed he didn’t help at all (the Road Warriors are scheduled to bench on the 30th and were originally planned to use legit weights, but they’ll have to use bogus weights to keep from looking weak next to WWF’s monsters now). Anyway, now they’ll bill Bravo as unofficial bench record holder, and that should get him heat because of the obvious cheating.
  • Next up then for WWF is The Main Event on February 5. Dave’s told not to worry about Andre, because his back is in much better shape than last year. He and Hogan are practicing daily and have worked out the gist of the match. Dave says you can be sure to expect Ted DiBiase to interfere somehow on the 5th.
  • Stampede is continuing to do good business and nearly selling out all their big shows. Chris Benoit and Great Gama get 4 stars (from Trent Walters, who I guess submitted the reports for the matches in Edmonton) for their Commonwealth Title match from January 9 in Edmonton.
  • [Stampede] Jason the Terrible has been made an “honorary member” of Bad Company, Bruce Hart and Brian Pillman’s tag team. So now in addition to the hockey mask he’s also got sunglasses over the hockey mask and a bandana and a black leather jacket. The whole getup is hilarious.
  • Do you remember Central States? Mike George won the WWA World Title tournament on January 23. They had 800 fans. Match ended on blood stoppage.
  • Speaking of blood, Keiji Mutoh is headed to Puerto Rico.
  • Tatsumi Fujinami and Kengo Kimura won the IWGP World Tag Titles from Yoshiaki Fujiwara and Kazuo Yamazaki on January 18. Riki Choshu and Super Strong Machine were originally slated to face the tag champs, but Choshu injured his knee and had to miss the match. Dave expects Choshu and Machine to face Fujinami and Kimura on February 7. He then goes on about how bad Choshu’s luck has been lately. Dave thinks he was supposed to win the tournament, except the Maeda shoot happened, and he was definitely supposed to win the tag titles (the match was scheduled for his hometown and New Japan actually does nice things for wrestlers in front of their home audiences). And with all the work they’ve put into getting Choshu on tv, it’s surprising they’ve phased him down the card so much from where he was.
  • Lots of stuff about Vader’s look in New Japan. On December 27 he wore long tights and had Road Warrior Hawk’s hair, and it didn’t get him over at all. On January 4 he had a mask and full bodysuit to hide his size. January 11 saw him ditch the bodysuit and keep the mask. The evolution of a mastodon, I guess.
  • Antonio Inoki began negotiations with Fuji TV after TV Asahi scheduled NJPW tv to move to midnight Mondays, and TV Asahi caved. They’ll now be on a 5 pm Saturday time slot. It’s not as good as their old Monday evening slot, but it’s not a death slot like midnight Monday.
  • Akira Maeda turned down NJPW’s plan to have him go to the U.S. Also, he and NJPW are fighting over his contract. They offered him a new contract for 1988 with a 15% pay cut and he’s not willing to sign it.
  • There are rumors that Inoki will wrestle Koji Kitao (the sumo wrestler mentioned a few weeks back) at the Tokyo Dome in April. Kitao is 24 years old and 6’5.5”, weighing 345 lbs. The story of his exit from Sumo is he apparently lost his temper and started kicking one of his sponsors (who is 92 years old) and the knocked his stable master’s wife through a sliding door. Dave’s been told if this match does happen, it could draw very big. Kitao is denying he’s going into wrestling (nope). Kitao was made a yokozuna in 1986, just before he turned 23, because the sumo hierarchy felt they needed a new young star to create interest in the younger generation of fans. But Kitao liked the party lifestyle and didn’t care for tradition, and sumo does not tolerate that. But you can’t demote a yokozuna, and that made him controversial (it would turn out that most of this was made up because Kitao’s stablemaster didn’t like him and felt he was underperforming and wanted him out - more on Kitao’s sumo years here if you want to read it). Turns out sumo is kind of worked too, though not as much as pro wrestling.
  • All Japan is promoting a “Martial Arts Olympic” show on April 2 at Sumo Hall, to feature all kinds of stuff. Tiger Mask II and Giant Baba will team against some foreigners, Japan Women’s Pro Wrestling (the group running against AJW) will have two matches on the show (Miss A vs. Harley Saito and Rumi Kazama vs. Xochitl Hamada). There will be boxing, kick boxing, the original Tiger Mask Satoru Sayama’s “shooting” sport he invented, shoot boxing (boxing + wrestling with gloves), and more. The whole show is being billed as a memorial service to Ikki Kajiwara, who created the Tiger Mask cartoon and comic.
  • When baseball season starts, All Japan’s tv will be moved to 10:30-11:30 pm Sunday nights. Usually they get moved to Saturday afternoon during baseball season, and this shift will lose Baba lots of money and viewers.
  • While Crockett and McMahon ran big shows on January 24, Giant Baba met with their rivals in Las Vegas. Baba’s plan in the U.S. is to send his guys, as well as Bruiser Brody, Abdullah the Butcher, Jimmy Snuka, Stan Hansen, and Terry Gordy to smaller promotions to help them fight against the big two.
  • Dave finally saw Hennig vs. Tiger Mask II. Not terrible, but no heat and little action, he thinks. Meanwhile, John Tenta’s improving well, and Baba seems high on Akira Taue, though he’s so new it’s hard to guess what kind of future he has.
  • [AJW] Yukai Omori’s retirement show will be on February 15. This was announced after her January 15 world title match with Chigusa Nagayo, where she said if she couldn’t win the title she was ending her career. They went 32 minutes to a double count out in the ring after both collapsed.
  • [Memphis] Lawler vs. Hennig for the AWA Title on January 18 had Lawler’s ring on the line as well. Hennig promised to give his dad the ring if he won, and Larry Hennig was there. The Axe helped Curt win, and Curt gave him the ring, but Lalwer stole it back.
  • Memphis local prelim wrestler Jerry Bryant has been diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease.
  • Global Wrestling in Florida somehow turned what was an awful live show on January 22 into a good tv show. They taped on Friday night and by Sunday had it polished up into a good looking product. The miracles of post-production. Issues with the live show included starting 30 minutes late, long delays between matches, the ring mic not working, and bad wrestlers. What they lack in wrestling talent, though, they make up for in knowing how to make a tv show that’s on the level of World Class and better than Crockett or AWA.
  • Continental (Alabama) did a bench press contest between Lord Humongous (not Sid, but Gary Nation) and Doug Furnas. They fudged the weights here, as Humongous did 645 lbs and then Furnas did it twice (his best in competition has been 600) before Humongous pushed the bar down on Furnas and “injured his ribs.”
  • Apparently the Observer was mentioned positively in the Detroit News by Justice B. Hill in the January 17 issue.
  • Since Dave started writing this issue, he’s been flooded with fans writing about the Bunkhouse finals. The reaction he’s gotten has largely been negative, with those there live being extra negative about it. Crockett really needs to reserve three hours for the next time they do ppv - going too short pisses the fans off, and ppv viewers expected the show to last past 9 pm. Another difference between WWF and NWA is that WWF always gets their hottest acts on the mic at some point during ppvs and big live specials (twice in the case of Hogan and DiBiase at Royal Rumble), while at Starrcade they didn’t have Flair, Dusty, or Cornette talk once. Instead Jim Garvin gave the worst promo of his career, Michael Hayes was quiet for the first time ever, and they shoved Steve Williams and Nikita Koloff on the mic for some reason. At the Bunkhouse Finals they had no interviews, and getting mic time for Flair or Dusty or Luger while they set up the cage would have been a big help. More of Dave wondering when Crockett will realize they’ve killed the credibility of their world champion and thus killed the drawing power of the belt.
  • Michael Hayes has apparently quit Crockett and everyone expects him to go back to World Class. And if Steve Williams doesn’t come back, they’ll probably just forget about the UWF Title entirely rather than doing a unification match.
  • A couple letters this week requesting that Dave keep up the coverage of wrestling in Japan. Another couple letters praising how good Stampede has been lately. Canada and Japan, bringing us the best in wrestling.
  • Another letter writer asks Dave to realize how offensive it is to refer to a wrestling match as “a total abortion” and to consider that he’s probably offended many female readers of the newsletter. Dave apologizes and says he’ll stop using the term, before doing a “well, actually” bit. It’s a kind of weird response. Judge it for yourselves.
I apologize for that one and will quit using the term. Actually the term abortion for a bad match is a business term just like jobber, mark, babyface and the rest. But there are a few business terms (mainly for ethnic wrestlers and ethnic fans) which are in bad taste that I don’t use, so I’ll add that one to the list.
  • Tickets for Wrestlemania IV go on sale January 30. The best 2000 seats in the Convention Center are being reserved as freebies for casino high rollers. And as a heads up, this is the location it does take place at. They called it Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino during the show, but it’s the same building. More on that as we get to Wrestlemania.
  • If Dave can find the space next week, he’s going to talk about whether or not “30 minute matches which ‘tell a story’” work for today’s fans. He really enjoyed the Windham/Blanchard match on tv but there was no crowd reaction, so he’s beginning to wonder if this is even a style that resonates anymore.
  • Everyone’s asking Dave for predictions about Hogan vs. Andre. So here’s his prediction (and he is way off on many parts of this):
DiBiase will interfere and Andre will pin Hogan on 2/5, however Jack Tunney will prove he can’t be bought and hold the title up so Ted doesn’t get the title, and order a rematch in a cage at WM4 so Ted can’t interfere (and also so Andre can lose without doing a job). Hulk will win on a fluke, and they’ll run Hulk vs. Andre over the summer in your local cities after Hulk gets back from playing Hulk Hogan in the movies.
  • ”There was a clip in Detroit about Hogan, saying that ‘he’s nice[r] than Kirk Gibson, but not by much.’” Gibson’s reputation is of being a total asshole to fans, especially kids.
  • Crockett is billing FlaiAnderson vs. LugeWindham on Feb. 6 as the first time Flair goes against Lex anywhere. It’s forgivable to forget Lex’s Florida days, but they’ve got FlaiBlanchard vs. LugeRhodes booked for February 2.
  • Apparently Road Warrior Hawk’s neo-nazi line is just a quote from The Breakfast Club. Okay. So I guess the first letter writer was mishearing him and he’s saying “Neo-maxi-zoom dweebie”? TVtropes gives us this, from the October 3, 1987 episode of NWA World Championship Wrestling: HAWK: "WELL, Tony Schiavone, There Are Two Kinds Of People, as far as me and Animal are concerned. Clamheads and Neo-Maxi Zoom Dweebies." (the Road Warriors consider themselves the latter). And corroborating with the WWE Network, yeah, the line comes through pretty clear. Network 4 minutes in, and yeah, he’s not calling himself a neo-nazi. Definitely an error by that letter writer, and what a weird line for Hawk of all people to utter.
THURSDAY: WWF’s Big Four are born; The Main Event; Rock & Roll Express, Michael Hayes, and Steve Williams update; Tenryu wins all the awards in Japan; and more
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OBLIGATORY FILLER MATERIAL – Just take a hard left at Daeseong-dong…9

Continuing...
“I say that you’re way the fuck out of line, Chuckles. Are you an educated, experienced, fully licensed and internationally renowned master blaster?” I asked.
“No, but…” he tried to continue.
“But nothing, Scooter.” I said, “What, other than your insane xenophobia and nationalism, causes you to come to such unfounded, not to say stupid, conclusions?”
He looked down at the deck. Evidently, he was not used to being challenged in such a manner. He realized he walked face-first into a metaphorical wood chipper.
“I’m waiting for your answer, pally.” I continued.
Still nothing. He was either deep in thought or ill at ease from newly soggy undergarments.
“Want to know why I chose what I did? Fine, meet back here in 15 damn minutes.”
He looks at me with a most perplexed, and ignorant, look on his face.
“Dax, Cliff? I need you.” I say.
We go back to the weapons locker and I explain my idea.
“Let’s load a case of typical, TYPICAL Chinese-made dynamite. Then let’s load a case of American C-4. Be very careful with that leaky Chinese shit. Wait one. I’ll do it if you want and you can handle the C-4.” I say.
“Ah, Rock; yeah. We’d appreciate it. You being the Pro from Dover, after all.” Cliff agrees.
“No worries”, I say, “I got this. You make me up a nice, tightly packed case of C-4. For demonstration purposes.”
I find a near-empty case of dynamite and begin to judiciously fill the thing with random samples of shitty and leaky Chinese manufactured and Korean not-too-well-cared-for dynamite.
This stuff was so incredibly shitty and poorly manufactured that even when leaking and nasty, it was nowhere near as dangerous as its Western counterpart. It was loaded with so much and many interstitials, like sawdust, diatomaceous earth, literal horseshit, and shredded newspaper, the nitro denatured itself to some degree as it oozed out.
Plus, in the non-climate controlled weapons locker; the high humidity, salt air, and poor circulation from the small open grate facing the sea, the nitro had desensitized somewhat and evaporated. It left only sticky, thin, fly-ridden films rather than the usual ‘waiting for a good reason to explode’ puddles.
It was in no way as twitchy as that locker back in Nevada. Oh, but be assured, it was still a shit show.
If I really wanted to, I could blow myself, this boat and all occupants into the next dimension rather easily, but it was nothing like that old locker back in that disused Nevada mine. I still needed to be scrupulously careful as there could potentially be puddles of the pale yellow, viscous liquid explody stuff, instead of the thin films I was mostly finding.
Either way, it required caution and judiciousness.
Nitro’s twitchy as fuck and the last thing I need is a dropped nail, blasting cap, or hunk of the rotten box falling into an errant nitro wet patch…
Extra attention was exercised.
Dax and Cliff are halfway through, and I’m still picking through the leaky, smelly bundles.
“Next time”, I mused to myself, “I‘m writing in a ‘Handling fucked-up explosives”-clause in my contract. No matter how much I’m being paid for this, it ain’t enough…”
We find a couple of expendable, dry-rotted ‘life preserver’ floaty-rings, upon which we secure both cases of explosives. They’re tethered with a rope and primed with a number of blasting caps.
I let the head local Korean crank examine both to ensure that I’m not trying to pull a fast one.
He did not notice the 3-pound bag of Tannerite (an impact-actuated explosive) I snuck in the middle of the box of Chinese TNT.
“Now. Satisfied that they’re equal?” I asked. “Nothing fishy here. Just dynamite in bundles, with caps. Then, over here, C-4 blocks with cap. OK?”
He was satisfied; but only after letting a couple of the shiny suit squad check as well.
“Well”, I smirked,” So much for your ‘covert observation’, asshole.” This guy was DPRK secret service or equivalent.
“Holy cold-pack cheese-food product fuck”, I cogitate, “They are so goddamned suspicious”.
I ask Dax to go over to the pilothouse and borrow the mauled AK-47 I saw hanging on the bulkhead there. They keep it for run-ins with cranky sharks, walruses, and lovesick blue-footed boobies evidently.
“OK, here’s what we’ll do. We’ll float each out, and I‘ll trail with demolition wire. Once we’re a few hundred meters out, you can press the big, shiny, green button and detonate your dynamite. I even used 6 blasting caps, to give each bundle its own. You saw that. We green?” I ask.
He was, although suspicious of what I had in mind. He agreed although he refused to use my terminology, the stodgy prick.
So float away the dynamite case we did.
The case of Chinese dynamite floated out and away from the boat, leaving an oily slick in its wake. As it got to around 200-225 meters or so, I requested a rendition of the Korean version of the Safety Dance, as it was just too fucking hilarious to watch.
Once completed, I handed Doubting Korean Thomas the detonator.
“Your turn, Tweedles”, I said, “Hit the button to spark off your “much-better-than-the-West’s” Oriental dynamite.”
He grabbed the detonator, gnashed a tooth in my direction, and mashed down on the big, shiny, green button with a vengeance.
PFftt! PAH-foof! fuff
There was a cheery little pop, a puff of acrid smoke, and not much else.
Let it be said from the onset that I just selected examples of the Oriental manufactured dynamite at random. I didn’t look for the worst or leakiest. Though truthfully I really didn’t have much too choice in the matter.
“You! You swindled me! You knew the dynamite wouldn’t explode! Somehow you knew it!!” he swore in my general direction.
“Try it again”, I said after retrieving the detonator and doing a quick re-wire to another bank of blasting caps.
Gumeong-e bul!” [“Fire in the hole!”].
MASH goes the big, shiny, green button anew.
Pfffft!” *Pop. Poooof! Piffle. Blerp.
Nothing but a cute little pop, a poof, and a few acrid puffs of smoke.
He was crestfallen.
He had taken on the Motherfucking Pro from Dover in a necessarily explosive subject, with inevitably disastrous results.
I asked if anyone here was weapons trained. A couple of Coasties raised their hands.
“And you are? “ I asked the closest one.
“Lt. P'an Tae-Hyun, Sir”, as he snaps a snappy salute.
“Groovy.”, I reply and retrieve the AK from Dax.
“Can you squeeze off a couple of shots and hit that floating box of dynamite?” I asked.
“Yes, sir!” he replied, smiling.
“OK then”, I replied and turned to the crowd.
“Dynamite is usually pretty stable stuff and won’t detonate without a blasting cap or impulse source. A bullet will most certainly not detonate it. However, I’ve stuck in 3 pounds, imperial, of Tannerite, which is a type of binary explosive used for targeting. Tannerite will most definitely and energetically explode when impacted by a high-velocity bullet. I think we can agree that an AK-47 round is high-velocity?” I asked.
There were nods and a buzz of general agreement.
“Now, there’s the better part of a case of unexploded dynamite out there. That’s what we in the business call very, very fucking dangerous. Now those three pounds of Tannerite should vaporize everything within a 10-meter radius if it detonates as designed. Agreed?” I asked.
Again, there were nods and a buzz of general agreement.
“Lieutenant P'an?” I asked, “At your discretion. Fire at will. Or the dynamite case, as it were.”
He nodded. He walked over to the furthest point on the stern, checked to see everyone was back and out of harm’s way, as he was a consummate professional. He futzed around with the old AK for a bit and took a shot.
It was low and outside.
“Ball one”, I snickered.
“Sights are off. Not any problems.” He remarked.
The next round found its mark. The Tannerite exploded adeptly.
It threw sticks of unexploded Chinese dynamite over a 20-meter radius. They each sank into the briny deep leaving only an oily spot to mark their entry and eventual watery grave.
The top of the case of dynamite was blown off, but the floaty ring remained. We reeled it back in to find a few more scorched, but unexploded, sticks of fine Oriental manufacture explosive on the bottom of the case.
These were motherfuckingly dangerous. Cantankerous dynamite has no place on a ship.
I remarked, however, that this would be no problem. Dax and Cliff brought up the case of C-4, which I had wired with one single blasting cap and booster.
We had Korean Doubting Thomas and his shiny suit buddies give it the once over to ensure I wasn’t trying to pull a fast one.
He agreed, it was nothing but C-4 as advertised.
One of the more expendable Coasties jumped down on the stern transom-rack which is just above the waterline on the back of the boat. He wired the two rings together and set them adrift, tethered by a good nylon rope with my nasty, silky demolition wires trailing.
Dax was working the rope and I was handling the spool of demolition wire. I had a good 350 meters of the stuff on the spool and wasn’t about to return a single centimeter.
Old habits and all.
As they floated away, Mr. Kwan asked if we’d like a bit of refreshment, as, gosh, it sure was dusty out here today.
Of course, we agreed in unison.
Good old Mr. Kwan.
So, we’re unspooling our lines slowly, drinking our end of the day refreshers, smoking cigars, and watching our Oriental colleagues getting antsier every minute.
I knew what a case of C-4 was going to do when detonated. It would be one hell of a show.
I was so confident with my design I had Lt. P’ay return the AK to the pilothouse. Wouldn’t work here anyways if the C-4 failed to detonate.
But that’s not going to happen.
Dr. Pro from Dover Rocknocker has spoken.
Finally, I’m almost out of demolition wire, and Dax has tied off the tether.
I motion over to Herr Doubting Thomas and hand him the detonator.
“For ye of little faith”, I smiled, recalling the entreaty that even Satan quotes the Bible for his own nefarious uses.
But first, an encore of the Korean Safety Dance. They're guaranteed to raise a smile.
I look to the character fumbling with the detonator.
“At your convenience, good sir”, I say, dripping insincerity.
Gumeong-e bul!” [“Fire in the hole!”]. Mash goes the big, shiny, green button.
KA-MOTHERING-FUCKINGLY-HUGE-BOOM!
Even over 300 meters away, every one of us not only saw but felt that shock wave. It was like a solid Savate kick to the chest. The boat even rocked a bit in appreciation.
I smile, retrieved the detonator, safe it, and reply: “And that is the singular reason why I used good old American manufacture C-4 as a sonic seismic source rather than shitty, leaky Oriental dynamite. Any further questions?”
He shook his head in agreement, bowed slightly in my direction, slunk away, and that was the very last we ever saw of Mr. Korean Doubting Thomas.
The Captain saw and felt the detonation. He put the boat in park, actually, he handed it over to the sub-pilot for station keeping and came back to the fantail.
He wanted to know if we were now officially finished with our project.
We maintained that we were and it had come off very, very successfully; in no small degree because of his boat handling abilities.
He came over to me and shanghaied one of the translators.
“Doctor Stone?” he asked.
“Hrmph. Close enough.” I smiled.
“May I be first to congratulate your team. In eight sorties, you and your teams are the first to fulfill mission parameters. I am pleased to say that this will go on all our permanent records. It will mean bonuses for all present. I salute you.” And does with a naval flourish.
“No shit? Well, thanks, Cap”, I reply, “But I’m just the den mother for this special education class. Without them, and all their hard work, it’d never have happened.”
“I knew you would say this”, he smiled, “You are leader of men. We see that. You are teacher, but also not afraid to work. You should do this more often. Use your education and experience to train and teach others.” He says, shaking my hand.
Now it’s time for me to wonder. Did he hear of my offer back home? I don’t think he did, I’ve been playing those cards very close to the vest, as it were. I am now officially confused and bebothered.
But, since I don’t believe in anything, much less coincidence, I’m going to chalk it up to happenstance and just gratefully consider the source.
He asks that we wait here and he’ll return forthwith.
“On a boat this size, there are not too many places we can sneak off to…” I chuckle.
He returns with a very, very old bottle of something quite unidentifiable since it appears to be lacking a label. He yells something in official Korean and suddenly, a tray with little, itty-bitty demitasse-style glasses appear along with some smoked fish, I think, nibbles of some kind.
He pours a dram for all present. No one dares take as much as a preemptory sniff until he’s finished with the ceremony.
Everyone thusly charged, he begins a toast.
“Shoo-buddy”, I think, “I’ve been down this road before.”
It was quick, succinct, brief, and laudatory.
According to him, we had ‘hung the moon’.
I liked this style of toasting. Left more time to drink and for camaraderie.
The project thus finished, as we were running out of potables, especially freshwater, victuals, and toilet paper; we were headed back to base. That is, back to the hotel to see what our comrades who chose to stay onshore had developed.
But, that was going to be for another day. First, we needed to chug our way back to port, both literally and figuratively.
Ahem.
Before which, though, there were some housekeeping and paperwork chores. Dax, Cliff, and I did a quick reconnaissance of the explosives locker and created a ‘used’ manifest; which all three of us signed.
They may be officious, they may be obtrusive, but damn, they certainly love their goddamned paperwork over here.
We gave copies to the head shiny suit, one for the Captain, and we retained copies for our records. Along with notes that we expended two rounds from the pilothouse AK, as we were trying to out-officious these officious paper-pushers.
We made certain the keys were returned and logged in the proper logbooks and the explosives locker was locked securely, solidly, and soundly. Before which, we policed up the weapons locker and actually offered to the gods of the briny deep, quite the quantity of unsafe, leaky dynamite, and other ordinance that was more a disaster waiting to happen rather than inventory.
Seawater would neutralize the nasties and in the case of anything metallic, it’d be gone within a fortnight. and the phosphates might provide some nice fertilizer for some lucky passing Cnidarians. We were in water of near 45 fathoms. This stuff would never hurt another living thing.
The Captain was very pleased that we had taken that task upon ourselves. He wasn’t allowed to do anything about what was in the locker, but he was responsible for it and keeping the wrong people out of it. I commented that was a fairly stupid way of handling things, and he mentioned that he’d appreciate it if I made an official note of it to the powers that be once we go feet-dry, i.e., get back to shore.
I assured him we most certainly would.
From then on, all we had to do was putt-putt our way back to port.
It was going to take some hours and we’d end up berthing during the wee hours. This would not be a problem as our bus and driver would be waiting for us no matter what the time. He would briskly and without fanfare, return us to our hotel.
That we were actually looking forward to bunking back in the old hotel sort of gave one an idea of the Spartan arrangements we had endured for the last three days.
Most of the Westerners groused and complained in a humorous manner. Hell, it was only three bloody days. Some of our Oriental friends were so totally aghast they vowed to lodge formal complaints once they returned to dry land.
Landlubbers.
Odd that once we hit the beach, they all scattered to the four winds and not a single letter nor either a peep of protest was ever forthcoming.
Yes, this is an intensely weird place.
We wandered down the gangplank, cigars a-fume, and drinks recently and for one last time, refreshed by Mr. Kwan. The shiny suit squad was supervising the offloaded of the seismic data we had collected and had seen it soundly sealed and concealed in the very living bowels of the bus. It was to return with us to the hotel, where we’d demand a receipt. Then it would be off to the ‘Technological Center” on Scientific Street for processing.
They assured us that they’d handle that themselves. Evidently we were good enough to acquire the data, but not good enough to see the finished product.
Ack, Volna, and Ivan chuckled.
“OK, you pirates. What did you do?” I asked
“They can try with all their might. But without the decryption key, they’ll spend years processing encoded compressed nonsense.” They snickered. “We did offer to come and help set up the decryption for the decompression of the raw data, but they said they could handle it themselves. Oh, well. We tried. Seriously, we did.” Ack and Volna snickered.
“Well, keep it handy in case they come to their senses before we get out of here,” I said.
“Always our intention, Herr Denmother”, Volna chuckles.
“Oh, you heard that?” I snickered quietly.
Back at the hotel, the majority of us sent our sea-gear to our rooms via the on-site laundry. That being settled, the majority of us retired to the catacombs of the basement.
We needed strong drink, decent, non-tinned food, and seats that didn’t slop around every time you sat down.
Well, with the acquisition of our sea legs, two out of three wasn’t bad.
Since the hour was much too late, I decide that tomorrow, well, later today, would be a day of R&R for everyone.
Moreover, I was informed that tomorrow would be the “Day of the Sun” celebration, the insanely earnest celebration birth anniversary of Kim Il-sung, founder and Eternal President of North Korea. It’s supposed to be some sort of big, hairy nationwide deal. But aside from a couple of small posters, we heard little and knew less about the holiday and its celebration.
Everyone’s being even more uncharacteristically low key. It’s odd like there’s something weird going on here.
“What? Something weird and covert and sneaky going on in Best Korea? Pshaw, you old fart. You’re letting the paranoids get to you!”, I mused to myself.
This place will do that to you after a while.
I asked the front desk to place a note that made the rest of today a day of R&R in everyone’s mailbox. After another cigar, some decent prawn stir-fry, and a couple-twelve really stiff drinks, we were all ready to invade the land of Nod for a few hours.
I went downstairs for a drink, a nosh, and a smoke. I ran out of NK won as we tend to use them in Western Expat high-stakes poker games, so I needed to trade some of my weird Middle Eastern currency for weird Best Korea currency.
I was used to the 900:1 won:US dollar (equivalent) trade-off, but after cashing in the equivalent of US$500 in Middle Eastern dinero, I walked off with 650,000 won, not 450,000.
“Pardon me, Ms. Cashier”, I said to the nice little local woman behind the bird-cage security wires, “I do think you gave me too much.”
She took my stack, re-counted it, and proclaimed it correct.
“I thought the exchange rate was 900 to the dollar?” I asked.
“No”, she remarked, “Now 1,336.”
“Any idea what’s causing the fluctuations?” I asked.
She just smiled and shook her head ‘no’. I smiled back and tipped her 50 UAE dirhams for the information.
“Weird. Now what?” I mused.
Little did I know…
The next morning dawned dim and early as there some sort of something going on outside.
Oh, yes, it was ‘The Day of the Sun’ celebration. I discovered it was is an annual public holiday in North Korea celebrating the birth anniversary of Kim Il-sung, founder, and Eternal President and local Poobah-in-Charge of North Korea. It is the most important national holiday in the country, and is considered to be the North Korean pseudo-secular equivalent of Christmas.
“Well,” I thought to myself, “I picked a damn good day to call for an R&R break.”
Then I found out, why no one told us about any of this is still unknown, that the next two days after the holiday would also be considered a holiday.
Come to find out, there are all sorts of intrusive, inconvenient, and wholly unnecessary nonsense that accompany these high holy days here in Best Korea. There are exhibitions, fireworks, song and dance events, athletics competitions, idea seminars: “Think about it!”, and visits to places connected with Kim Il-sung's life, including his birthplace in Mangyongdae.
Shops close, the hotel televisions block any other ‘programming’ and show only ‘special’ movies. Either ridiculously fake documentaries on the life of the also ever so ronrey Kim Il-sung or movies he especially enjoyed. People parade to his statue on Mansu Hill to deposit flowers; later in the day, it resembled a pollinated glacier.
There’s general obviously forced elation, all of which is extraordinarily strained and appears fake. People are trucked by the groaning busload to the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun where the dead maniac lies in state.
“Fuck this”, I said in the exact spirit of international amity, “I’m going to the bar.”
I go downstairs to the basement bar, and even though it’s a high holy day, it’s open early. It didn’t used to be open until the afternoon, but since we’ve arrived, they have adjusted their hours for us.
They have also doubled their daily receipts. So they’ve got that going for them, which is nice.
One of my favorite barkeeps was station keeping that morning. I greeted him in the usual style and expressed to Mr. Ho Gun the best holiday wishes.
“Hi! Ho!”, I said, “Annyeonghaseyo”, which comes out ‘Annie young eez-yo!’ in my Baja Canuckian dialect.
Mr. Ho laughs at my attempt at Korean, but he does appreciate the effort.
“Doctor Rock”, he says, “Dawn greetings. You will drink what?”
Nice and direct, I like that.
“Ye’ ken Greenland Coffee, me ol’ mucker?” I asked in a swirl of different dizzying dialects.
Koran confounds me, so I thought I’d return the favor.
“No, but I’m sure it’s coffee with some of your usual high-proof liquors, correct?” he smiles as I hand him a nice, oily Oscuro cigar.
“For Best Most Happy Returns: Day of the Sun”, I said, waggling the stogie, as I hand it over.
“However, you are correct. Normally, ‘authentic’ Greenland Coffee is a paltry 1/3rd ounce each of Whiskey, Kahlua, and Grand Marnier with excess coffee. Well, I don’t cotton to those liquors or measures. So my Greenland Coffee recipe, really from Greenland, by the way, is Siku Vodka, or any other high-octane vodka, as long as it’s premium. Then Immiak, which is Greenland’s version of Jagermeister, so let’s just go with Jager. Then finish it off with a shot of Tia Maria or Kahlua, if available. Oh, yes, then hot coffee. Silly me, almost forgot…” I conclude.
“And measures?” Mr. Ho asked.
“Whatever fills the cup”, I replied, in a bastardization of an old Russian toast.
“OK, how about a 35 mils (~1 ounce) stiff shot each booze, then hot coffee to fill your mug? With a chilled vodka chaser, as per usual?” He asks.
“Make it so, Mr. Ho,” I say. “No whipped cream or crème liqueurs, please. I’m lactose intolerant, and, well, no one wants to hear that…”
He laughs and whips together a very nice morning sunriser.
It’s a real day off.
In a very, very weird land.
It’s Festival outside and I stayed up most of the night calling people back in the world, creating and updating dossiers, doing explosives-tracking paperwork, worrying over logistics, and how and when the fuck we’re going to eventually get out of here.
Fuck it, double front. I’m doing my ‘people watch’, perched high on Mahogany Ridge. I’m taking, for the first time since, hell, I left the Middle East, some real downtime.
I figured I deserved it.
I was the only one at the bar, but after a short time, there were festival-goers who infiltrated down into the hotel's subterranean catacombs. They didn’t know of the bar’s recently expanded hours and when they saw me sitting high up on Mahogany Ridge, smoking my ubiquitous cigar, they rejoiced.
Obligatory Festival and alcohol! Better than beer and power tools.
In the Baja Canada time-honored tradition, I have a pile of the local currency sitting on the bar. At the new exchange rate of 1,386 won to the dollar, I’m making out like a bandit.
Drinks here are cheap, really cheap, to begin with. With this fluctuation in exchange rates, which I figured reflected the holiday, I was flush. In the chips. Well-heeled. I've got a lot of what it takes to get along.
So, I was feeling magnanimous. I was tipping people very well.
“Paper?” one local asked.
“Sure. How much for a week-old English version of the Daily Worker’s Manifest and Pork Belly Futures Digest? 100 won? Here’s 1,000. Keep the change.”
Not wanting to become over-caffeinated, I switched from Greenland Coffees after a couple to my usual potato juice and citrus concoction. Each one came in a tall, frosted gimlet glass, a very nice touch, and was expertly made my Mr. Ho after I showed him once when we first arrived.
Each one, with the current exchange rate, was about 500 won; an exorbitant sum for any local. It was about US$0.40 for me. I bought several for people who bellied up to the bar and tried to engage me in conversation.
I was used to handing out business cards, hell, one never knew where contacts could lead; and not receiving one in return.
Today, I collected four new business cards; two from various European ex-pats, and two from locals.
I guess Festival! time brings out the best and least paranoid in people.
It’s only 1000 hours in the AM and people here are already seriously lubricated.
This will be a fun few days.
I decided to get a rather tall drink in one of my 100-ounce Kum-n-Go travel cups. With all the hoo-ha going on around here, I haven’t seen a handler, translator, or guide since we got off the boat. I decide with all the shenanigans and goings-on around the place on this festival day, no one would give me nor my wardrobe a second look if I were to venture outdoors for a walkabout.
Besides, we’re on a bloody island. It’s not like I can go too damned far.
So, quicker than a bunny fucks, I get my drink, fire up a cigar, and walk around the lobby of the hotel. There are the usual comings and goings of tourists, local workers, the security forces, and all that allied tat.
I wait until a tour bus pulls up and all eyes are somewhere besides me.
Pfft! And I’m standing outside the hotel, looking at all the sights.
Which, truth be told, weren’t much.
Yanggak Island is a slovenly-manicured island with shrubberies, tracks, trails, and assorted support buildings. The river is basically hidden behind stunted shrubs and nevergreens, and the remains of the defunct golf course. There’s a stadium on the island, which was thronging with festival-goers today. I don’t know what sport, if any, they play there, and didn’t care enough to ask anyone.
There was a cinema hall, which was currently empty and looking in need of some dire repair. There’s some sort of Chinese health complex in the process of being built or torn down, it was hard to tell which. Needless to say, the scenery paled almost immediately.
I did, after a concerted effort, find a small platform that overlooked the Taedong River. It was a very nice little observation platform with a couple of new-Tudor-esque electrical replica gas lights and two concrete benches where a weary traveler could sit and just watch the river.
So I did.
I was interested in the fish of the river, and wondered if any of the locals did any fishing; or if it was forbidden, as are so many ‘proletariat’ activities are in town.
I did see a few locals, huddled out of plain sight, down by the shores of the river fishing with long, 10 meter, reel-less poles. In Britain, they would call this type of fishing ‘noodling’.
I didn’t see them catch anything, but in the bar later, I spoke with a local who told me that they catch various species of fish here. These include Asian Aroana, Blue Guppy, Catfish, Crab, Eel, Halibut, Hucho Perryi, Octopus, Orange Guppy, Pacific Flying Squid, Rainbow Trout, Salmon, and Tuna.
I’m not saying my informant was lying or embroidering the tale, but from the nasty condition of the river, I think Coney Island Whitefish, Cotton River Horse, Dumpster Trout, and Bugle-Mouthed Salmon would be the more common species.
I had enough perambulation and even though I wasn’t given the least look, I felt a bit uncomfortable out here. That unfiltered sun and equally unfiltered air. After that, I wandered back to the hotel and went to enter to go to my room.
“HALT! Who goes there?” some door guard yelled at me.
“An American tourista who was out on a walk”, I replied.
“Impossible!”, he replied, “Tourists are not allowed out without their guides.”
“Look, Herr Mac”, I said, “I’m Dr. Rocknocker, and I am an invited Western Petroleum Scientist with the UN special-invited group here to evaluate the country’s oil and gas potential.”
“You are not allowed.” He replied loudly.
“My good man”, I replied, equally loudly, "Not allowed? Not allowed? I’m a geologist, I’m allowed everywhere.”
With that, I grab the handle of the ornate door, take a slurp out of my drink, and sally forth into the hotel.
Of course, he goes non-linear. He follows me and is making all sorts of bad noise. He is almost literally dancing around me, pointing, and exclaiming that I’m not allowed.
Then, he made a bit of a mistake.
He grabbed my arm.
Really, really poor career move.
I switched my drink to my left hand and executed a pretty spiffy opposite-side wrist grab on the noisy little nerf herder.
He was so shocked by this turn of events, he went slightly white and was rendered mute for a short time.
I frog marched the little irritant up to the front desk and asked the head clerk there to explain to my captive audience who I was and why I was here.
The clerk smiled and gave the character whom I was dragging around a quick background on the guy who was currently holding him captive. When I heard “닥터 락 노커” [dagteo lag nokeo, “Dr. Rocknocker”], I dropped this guy’s hand and just took a few steps back.
After a minute or two, he comes over, very, very abashed. He apologizes as he wasn’t told that any Americans were allowed outside the hotel.
I told him ‘No problem’, as I really didn’t have any special permission and didn’t want to get the guy into any trouble. I offered him a cigar, which he refused, but he readily accepted the half-pack of Sobranie pastel cigarettes I had in the pocket of my Hawaiian shirt.
I decided from that point to just stay inside the hotel to smoke, drink, and avoid any further Imperial entanglements.
I wandered on down to the casino because I was bored and it was unusually quiet. Too hepped-up to sleep, too tired to work, it was that odd interarea between “should I be giving a fuck” and “who the fuck cares?”
Leaving the basement, I wandered around the ground floor, just taking in the sights, and looking at the “Festival Specials” at the hotel shops.
I found an empty, unlocked conference room that looked inviting. About two dozen chairs, a large wooden table, TV monitors, and a southern view of the city from slightly above ground level.
I walked in like I owned the place, as it is always monumentally easier to get forgiveness than permission, sat down at the head of the table, propped my feet up, found an ashtray, and began playing with the remote to see what was available.
Evidently, these rooms were available for rent by various factions, cadres, and other sorts of like-minded individuals. However, whoever was here last forgot to re-set the filters on the satellite television.
There was real the BBC, real-time. There was German TV, Russian TV, Japanese TV, and even some American TV; all the best of the absolutely prohibited hit parade.
I shut it down and left immediately. I went to find my comrades. They simply had to see this.
I located Dax first, as he was losing won at a rapid rate down at the basement casino. He said he’d spread the word to any of the team members down in the tunnels and we’d meet at Conference Room #1.
I had taken the precaution before leaving to move the “Occupied/Unoccupied” placard to indicate it was in use and that if you hadn’t reserved the room, you’d do best to stay the fuck out.
I waited the obligatory 20 minutes for the elevator and went up to ‘our’ floor.
I knocked on all the doors where I knew they were occupied by our occupants. I found a few of our team and informed them that if they were so inclined, there would be an unannounced, impromptu, and wholly illicit meeting down in Conference room number 1; complete with refreshments and real, uncensored television. They all agreed and said they’d rouse the rest of our team on the floor.
I was feeling so brazen, that when I went down to the ground floor, I stopped at the front desk and ordered lunch and drinks for my team in Conference Room #1.
“Oh, sir”, the desk clerk responded, “We don’t have any reservations today for Conference Room #1.”
“Well”, I replied, “We are in there and if it wasn’t reserved, how would that have happened? The room would have been marked as unavailable, which it clearly was not; as it was open and available and we are now occupying it. Therefore, it wasn’t marked unavailable so it must have been available; not unavailable as you postulate. It’s almost a simple example of the single equation theory of universal containment. So we are meeting there now and requiring refreshments. It’s simply a logical progression of the facts of the matter.”
“You are, of course, correct”, she immediately responded, distracted by all the Festival goings-on in the hotel, “Now, you said you’d like to order 4 dozen assorted meat and cheese sandwiches, two cases of beer, and a mixed case of bottled liquor?”
“Yes”, I replied, “You see, it’s only going to be a brief meeting. I’ll also need ice, carbonated and non-carbonated mixers, sliced citrus fruit, and an on-call bartender if you have one available.”
“Oh, yes sir,”, she replied, “That will be immediately arranged. Anything else?”
“Yes”, I replied, “I’ll need about a dozen ashtrays, of the larger variety. Also, I am going to leave explicit instructions with you to disseminate to hotel staff that we are not to be disturbed. This is a very high-level meeting of the scientists of the IUPG. We will be discussing, umm, ‘sensitive information’”.
I used the international ‘don’t-even-think-of-bothering-us’ buzzword to let her know were being very serious indeed.
“Oh, yes sir”, she stiffened.
“Marvelous”, I said and slipped her 1000 won for her troubles. All sighs of nervousness instantly disappeared.
“Excellent. Excellent service.”, I said, rubbing both hands together most Mr. Burnsly.
I go over to the conference room and see that our order has begun to already arrive. Have to hand it to them, you call for room service and you get room service. Especially if you’re well known around the hotel to be free with imported cigars, pastel cigarettes, and lavish tips.
One by one, my teammates filtered in. There was everyone from out earlier pleasure cruise, and most of the force that remained back in the hotel to prepare the paperwork for our ground assault.
Cigars, cigarettes, and pipes were lit. Sandwiches consumed and drinks were downed. After everyone had a chance to see their home-town, or at least home-county, version of the news, I decided that it would indeed be a good time to have a bit of a meeting. It was going nuts outside with the Festival, and as long as we were in here, we were being left alone.
After the obligatory facilities break, I returned from a 40-minute round trip to my room to get a couple of my field notebooks. I wanted a record of the proceedings, no matter how spur-of-the-moment.
When I returned, I thought the room looked a bit spare. I did a quick headcount and I noted we were missing someone. I glanced through my notes and saw that our Bulgarian geomechanic, Dr. Iskren Dragomirov Dinev, or ‘Iskren’ was not present.
“Hey, guys”, I asked aloud, “Anyone seen Iskren lately?”
There was a brief conclave and the answer was a solid negative.
I called the front desk and got his room number. I asked them to ring his room for me. His room phone rang and rang and rang, but no answer.
“Who last saw Iskren?” I asked the assembled crew.
The Finnish PT, Joon, recalls drinking with him at the casino the night before last. He seemed normally jovial as was normal for him.
“Anyone else? Or since?” I asked.
Again, the answer was negative.
“Something’s not right”, I thought, my rock sense was tingling. “Dax, Cliff, you’re with me.”
We all left, stopped by the front desk, and asked for medical assistance. We explained where we were going and the sudden absence of our Bulgarian friend. We expressed deep concern.
25 minutes later, Dax, Cliff, me, the hotel security chief, and hotel doctor were standing outside Iskren’s room. We had pounded on the door for a good 3 minutes. He certainly wasn’t in the shower.
No answer.
“Fuck this. Open it”, I said.
“Under whose authority?” the chief of hotel security asked.
“Mine. Dr. Rocknocker. I’m the team leader of the IUPG crew. Do it.” I said.
The door was laboriously opened, as both door bolt locks had to be breached. The room was dark, silent, and entirely unnerving. In the gloom, it appeared that there was a human form, unmoving, on the bed.
“I’m a rock Doctor. I think we need a medical doctor here.” I said to the hotel sawbones.
The hotel doctor went in without switching on the lights nor touching anything. He examined the mound on the bed. Apparently, it wasn’t a pile of dirty laundry.
“Was the occupant of this room a large Caucasian male, approximately 60-65 years of age?” He asked.
“Yes”, we all answered together.
“I’m afraid he’s dead.” The doctor replied.
Dax looked at Cliff who looked at me. In unison, all that was heard was a tripartite:
“Oh…fuck.”
To be continued...
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OBLIGATORY FILLER MATERIAL – Just take a hard left at Daeseong-dong…5

Continuing
“Hey, Viv!”, I say, as we’re all being shuttled onto the bus which will take us to our hotel, “Toss me one of those miniatures, if you please. Yeah. Of course, Vodka’ll do. It’s bloody dusty round these parts.”
Viv chuckles and asks if anyone else wants anything. He’s a consummate scrounger and somehow sweet-talked a demure and pulchritudinous female Air China cabin attendant out of her phone number, Email address, and a case of 100 airline liquor miniatures.
That he looks like a marginally graying version of Robert Mitchum in his heyday and speaks fluent Dutch, French, and Italian might explain his success. I mean, a guy with four ex-wives can’t be all wrong, right?
He’s a definite outlier in this crowd. We could be characterized as a batch of aging natural geoscientists who collectively, sans Viv, add up to an approximate eight on the “Looker” scale. Besides the years, the mileage, the climatic, and industrial ravages, it’s a good thing we all have expansive personalities, as most of us are dreadful enough to make a buzzard barf.
But, save for Viv, no one presently here is on the make. Oh, sure; we’ll all sweet talk some fair nubile into a free drink or a double when we really ordered a regular drink, but we’re all married, most terminally, that is, over 35 years and counting. The odd thing is that save and except for Viv, none of us married folk had ever been divorced.
That is strange, considering that the global divorce rate hovers around 50%, and we are often called to be apart from kith and kin for prolonged periods. However, we are always faithful and committed to our marital units and those vows we spoke all those many long decades ago.
But, hey, we’re all seriously male and not anywhere near dead; and there’s no penalty for just looking, right?
Continuing.
We’re all loaded on a pre-war, not certain which war, by the way, bus which stank of fish, kimchee, and diesel fuel. We really don’t care even a tiny, iotic amount. It’s free transport, we’re tired of traveling, and not keen on walking any further than we absolutely have to.
Viv has been passing out boozy little liquor miniatures, and I’ve been handing out cigars since I bought a metric shitload back in Dubai Duty-Free and somehow got them all through customs.
We didn’t light up, as there was neither a driver nor handler present. So, we figured we’d all just wait on the cigars, and concentrate on having a little ground-level “Welcome to Best Korea” party until the powers that be got their collective shit together and provided drivers, herders, and handlers.
We sat there for 15 long minutes. Being the international ambassadors of amity and insobriety, we started making noises like “Hey! Where’s our fucking driver?” and “I am Doctor Academician! Of All State Russian Geological Survey! How dare you make me wait?
Suddenly, a couple of characters in ill-fitting gray suits and fake Rays Bans are outside the bus having a collective meltdown. Somehow, someone fucked up and put us on a ‘regular’ bus and not the ‘VIP’ bus. In other words, we got to see what the locals really got to ride around Pyongyang on instead of our supposed to be impressed by the bus that wasn’t there; but was now just arriving.
A spanking new purple-and-chrome Mercedes long-haul bus shows up. It even has our group name emblazoned above the placard that normally tells where the bus is headed or who it is for: “’국제 석유 지질 과학 연합’ [Gugje Seog-yu Jijil Gwahag Yeonhab] or ‘International Union of Petroleum Geological Sciences’”.
We are brusquely ordered off our present bus and into the opulent, obviously bespoke, bright yellow faux-leather interior Mercedes-Benz Tourismo RH M. It’s so new and so obviously a ploy to get us to think that all things here are so new and opulent, it even smells of that new car, ah, bus, aroma.
“Well, we’ll take care of that soon enough”, I muse, as the bus is equipped with ashtrays and we’re going on the scenic route to our hotel, which is only 25 or so kilometers from the airport. However, it was announced that it’ll take us about 2 hours to get to our hotel since we need to see the city in its best light and get a feeling for the town if we should ever find ourselves lost and alone.
We all know what’s going on. They’re getting our rooms ‘ready’ for our arrival and need some extra time to make sure everything’s all wired in and transmitting properly.
“Guys”, I muse to our new handlers, “I’ve been to the Soviet Union, pre-wall fall. I stayed in places where I was definitely among the first westerners ever to grace their porticos. We’re a busload of natural scientists, of eight different nationalities, covering the economic spectrum from staunch capitalism to sociable socialism to hard-core communism. You even think for a second we’re going to spill any beans about anything you’d find interesting or useful? Think again.”
In fact, it would become a running joke between us all to see what sort of fake bombshells we could drop into the normal conversation what would give the listener’s the greatest case of the jibblies.
But for now, our bags were all loaded into the cargo compartment of this very, very nice, I must admit, mode of conveyance. Our handlers: ‘Yuk’, ‘No’, ‘Man’, and ‘Kong’, are all seated upfront and please with their latest tally of bodies. We have a couple of shady fellow travelers with the knock-off Ray-Bans and shiny gray suits that just appeared out of the woodwork in the back, seated by the loo, watching over all of us, and we’re going on a fucking city tour, whether we like it or not.
We’re all present and accounted for. Let’s keep our camera in our bags for the time being as the drinking and smoking lights had just been lit as the bus fired up its new German-engineered and machined precision diesel engine.
The bus rumbled to life and after a moment or two of checking that all dials, gauges, and indicators were where they were supposed to be; without so much as a cursory glance, we pulled out into traffic.
Except there was none.
Not another bus, pushbike, tap-tap, scooter, car, truck, hover-board, or motorcycle in sight.
Nothing.
Seems we were a big deal. They shut down the main drag so we wouldn’t be encumbered by such proletariat things like traffic jams or people-things cluttering the roadway, clambering for a look at the Western scientific cadre.
So, away we whizzed, sans traffic and into the very belly of the beast, and onward; eventually, towards our hotel.
Our handlers were very kind to point out passing scenes of interest.
“Look, look! There’s the Potong River. Notice all the lovely birds, ‘eh what? See the Norwegian Blue? Beautiful plumage!”
“See here, look. Here’s the Taedong River. Many forms of fish in the river. Maybe we’ll see some fishermen. If you like, we can stop, and ask them about today’s catch.”
We all declined, as we were certain that the fish the ‘random fisherman’ we’d talk to was flown in fresh from elsewhere earlier in the day.
Besides, we were comfortable. We had our drinks, our cigars, and we were leaving the driving to someone else.
After being driven around the city and seeing all the wonderful monuments, like the faux Arch of Triumph, which looks exactly unlike its namesake Arc de Triomphe de l'Étoile in Paris.
The Arch of Reunification, a monument to the goal of a reunified Korea, which, by necessity, is unfinished. Then there’s the Tomb of King Tongmyŏng, where people are lining up, just dying’ to get in.
Finally, we all called for our hotel, the Yanggakdo, after yet another mausoleum, the Kumsusan Memorial Palace of the Sun.
Arches or tombs. Such a stunning array of monuments and places of less than moderate interest.
We were interested in Mirae Scientists street (Future Scientists street). It is a street in a newly developed area in Pyongyang to house scientific institutions of the Kim Chaek University of Technology and its employees. But we were told that it was too late, there was not much there to see, we needed to express written permission to visit, and we’d be going there tomorrow or next week.
We wheel into the parking lot of the Yanggakdo Hotel and are immediately unimpressed by the pseudo-Baroque concrete fiasco that appears to stand, wobbly, before us. It’s a page right out of the Soviet Construction-For-The-Masses Handbook. A cold, gray concrete edifice with multitudes of seemingly little, tiny windows. A perfect metaphor for our travels thus far; look at the expansiveness of Best Korean wonders, through this pinhole.
However, we judged too soon. We were told to go inside and check-in, whilst our luggage would be de-bussed for us and handled by the expertly efficient hotel staff. The lobby was opulent, tastefully laid out in earth tones of facades of veneers of marble, granite, some garnet-mica schist, if my hand lens doesn’t lie, some Prepaleozoic anatectic migmatite, displaying intricate and intense plication, xenoliths, and graphic delineation of minerals by segregation through melting points. There was a gigantic well-appointed and well kept up aquarium, complete with snuffling sharks and nuclear-submarine sized groupers.
Very handsome indeed. Impressions increasing slightly.
Then we see that there’s a bloody casino on the bottom floor of the hotel, several bars interspersed throughout the hotel, and karaoke, of which I’m not terribly fond, but some of my European counterparts almost swooned at the prospect. There are a large pool and weight rooms/gymnasia, saunas and places to relax outside of one’s room, but still under the watchful eye of the thousands of ill-concealed video cameras at every turn.
“Covert surveillance” may be a thing in Best Korea, but it’s a practice still leaves a lot to be desired. The Eastern Siberian Russians back before the wall fell were more covert with their obvious button audio microphones woven into the fabric covering the headboard of your Intourist bed than the Best Koreans here. Their cameras were ‘disguised’ as flower arrangements, overhead lights, and speakers inexplicably placed into things like standing ashtrays, refuse bins, and randomly placed holes in the wall.
The floors were all covered with exquisite what looked to be hand-woven rugs of most vibrant crimson and gold; the usual Communistic colors. Always with some sort of floral pattern or pattern that’s supposed to be reflective of nature, as I was told. Evidently, for workers to remember what nature was as they don’t get out much with 14 to 16 hours workdays here in the Worker’s Paradise.
Enough of the travelogue; we all wander up to the front desk, and each with their own passport in hand, request our reserved rooms. We supposed that we would all have rooms on different floors as the reservations were made, expired, re-made, juggled, rebooked, allowed to expire, re-jiggered, and finally formalized a scant week before we left the UK.
Nope. No such luck. We were all on the 39th floor. The place boasts 47 floors, of which, the top floor is a revolving restaurant. Evidently, food tastes better when you’re rotating.
However, it won’t spin unless you first buy a drink.
We had that thing whirling like a NASA centrifuge after its discovery the second night.
Yeah, all 12 of us are bivouacked on the 39th floor. A floor with approximately 30 rooms.
I guess we could have played “Room Roulette” and see who got which room and who’s luggage. Or we could switch every day or two to drive our handlers nuts. Or, we could just take our assigned rooms, which were conveniently located one empty room apart.
Meaning, no one had adjoining rooms. Why? Fuck if I know. We didn’t spend much time in our rooms, and that time was either sleeping or showering. We’d all meet at the bar, casino, restaurant, karaoke, bowling alley (all three lanes) or actual meeting rooms every once in a while when we thought we should get together and compare notes. It was the most inexplicable situation.
Plus, we spent an inordinate amount of time waiting on the fucking elevators to take us to our room. These elevators, and if you think you’re going to get a batch of aging senior scientists to schlep it up 39 floor’s worth of stairs, think again; are the slowest elevators in the civilized world. And that was the consensus of scientists representing not only Europe and North America, but Russia as well. 15-25 minutes added to each journey, up or down; stopping on every floor, except 5, on the way down..
Jesus Q. Fuck, dudes. If you can’t construct a bleedin’ elevator that works better than those at the Sozvezdie Medveditsy Guest House in Lesosibirsk, Eastern Siberia; then I suggest you seriously rethink your plans for world domination and new world order.
Grako and Erwin once, while waiting for the fucking elevator, figured out that we were earning some US$25 each just to wait for the lift to arrive and take us to our rooms. Every day. Sometimes several times per day.
With that, we all agreed to toss our “waiting time” funds into a kitty and on our last day of captivity here, blow it all in the hotel casino. Whatever became of that would be donated to the Koreans we thought most deserving of our largesse.
Would it be our handlers? How about the Korean Scientists we’d be meeting? The affable and most accommodating concierge? Or that plucky little Korean charwoman who was always on our floor and kept everything spotless, right down to our freshly laundered and pressed field clothes and newly polished field boots; done without our requesting or knowledge?
Only time would tell.
It could be a fortune or it could be bupkiss. Just like our expectations of the Heavenly Kingdom where we were currently sequestered.
As it was, with our official protestations, they kept only photocopies of our passports as we roundly refused and threatened a full-scale karaoke battle right here in the lobby if they didn’t relinquish our passports immediately. I had broken out my nastiest cigar and was primed to offend.
With that, we all had our keys and trooped over to the elevators for our first, of many, inexplicable waits. We made many uncharitable and potentially nasty remarks about the Anti-Western posters that made up some of the wall décor. Once we finally made it to our floor, we all fanned out to find our rooms. Viv found his first and was quite pleased to report to the rest of us that there was a “Welcome” basket in his room.
We all hoped that we would be receiving one a well.
I was in room 3914; which I considered a close call, but later only wondered as there was no 3913. Upon entering, I saw it was 1980s Hotel 6 opulent, but with an excellent over-city view. True it was late, dark, and the city was only somewhat lit up; I was looking forward to the view of the town in full daylight.
The room had a ‘king’ bed; that is if the king in question was Tutankhamen, the stubby, Egyptian boy king. The bed had no mattress pad and no box spring but it was hard enough for my liking. Many of my compatriots didn’t agree and complained bitterly. They eventually received thin mattress pads for all their kvetching.
There was an ancient Japanese color television, which only had 2 English language channels - Al Jazeera and the BBC, which was on a dated news loop. Watching the local channel is amusing though; the ads for ‘personal enhancements’ were hilarious, even without understanding a word of the language.
There were a couple of chairs and a low table, built-in dresser drawers for our clothes, a rusty and probably unusable room safe with corroded batteries, a small table built out of the wall that would serve as my travel office, and would-you-believe, a rotary telephone; how’s that for nostalgia?
There was an old-model radio built into the nightstand next to the bed. I was very surprised to find it not only received AM, FM but shortwave as well. I had brought along a pair of Bose headphones and during some rainy down days, spent many fun-filled, and I mean that sincerely, hours DXing from the comfort of my ‘enormous’ king bed.
Beyond that, the room was very nondescript. Like any other of the millions of rooms in hotels around the world that unlike here, aren’t claiming a 5-star rating. I mean, it was clean, if not a little long in the tooth. But didn’t smell too terrible, even after I took care of that with my Camacho offerings. It was utilitarian, everything worked, even the water pressure, which surprisingly could strip off layers of one’s skin if you weren’t careful.
The bathroom, though no Jacuzzi, had a large enough bathtub for the occasional soaking period. Western accouterments in the bathroom were also welcome additions. My knees can’t handle the traditional squat-holes any longer.
There were an electric teapot and several brands of tea, but no coffee. A quick “Gee! I sure wish I had some coffee!” to the four walls and damned if 30 minutes later, a porter didn’t arrive to replenish my tea and courtesy in-room coffee…
There was a small Japanese brand in-room refrigerator which I thought might house a mini-bar. Oh, no! It was actually a complimentary larder stocked with all sorts of Best Korean goodies. Multiple cans of Taedonggang beer. Several bottles of Pyongyang Soju, in various flavors ranging anywhere from 16.8 to 53 percent alcohol by volume. My fridge was skewed towards the right-hand side of the bell curve; the more heavy-duty boozy side.
Evidently, my reputation had preceded me again.
There was a selection of German-style wheat beers from the Taedonggang Brewery and the more familiar ales, steam beers, and lagers. There were some imported beers like Heineken, Bavaria, Pils, a couple of Japanese brands: Asahi and Kirin, and something called ‘Hello Beer’ from Singapore.
There were also ‘sampler’ bottles of Apricot Pit wine, and a couple of high-alcohol fruity liquors made from constituents such as apple or pear, and mushrooms. There were also special medicinal liquors like ‘Rason’s Seal Penis Liquor’.
That is going home with me unopened.
There were a couple of bottles of local sake, called Chonju. Finally, there was a couple ‘samplers’ of homemade alcohol known as Makkoli. Plus there was something called ‘Corn Grotto’, which for the life of me, looks and tastes much like a very passable Kentucky Sippin’ Bourbon.
I put our concierge on instant danger money the very next day. He’s yet to source me more than a fifth of the stuff so far.
I found that there is a popular drink here which mirrors the Yorsch of Mother Russia. Beer and soju can be mixed to create *somaek’; a foamy, frothy, funky drink of many flavors, depending on the soju chosen.
Is ethnoimbibology at thing? The science of how different cultures drink and the effects of drinking culture on different societies. If not, now I have another Ph.D. to pursue after I endow a chair at some likely Asian university.
Anyways, in everyone’s room was a “welcome” basket, just chock full of Best Korean goodies. Postcards, stamps, ads for coin sets, stamp proofs and other goodies that could be purchased at the hotel. There was a field notebook, which I thought was a very nice addition, newspapers, cookies, crackers, biscuits, candies, fruit drinks, and some fresh fruit; although tamarind chewies and durian chips aren’t on my list of personal favorites.
There were a couple of tour books, just chock full of staged photos. These were very nice as well, as so far, we haven’t had much time for shopping outside of government stores or smaller family-run shops in town or out in the boonies.
A few of us were hungry and decided to see what the hotel had to offer room service-wise.
Bupkiss.
But, they did have a selection of restaurants. There is a Chinese restaurant, a European restaurant, and a Korean restaurant on site but they all serve the same food...a Best Korean attempt at western food. And it was weird being the only ones in the restaurant even though it was fully staffed.
We grazed lightly and decided to do some late-night perambulations around our hotel. Our handlers admonished us to stay within the confines of the hotel, or see them if it was absolutely necessary to go walkabout. In the hotel, we were on our own.
We found that there were tunnels in the hotel’s basement. The basement tunnels were a real bonus. There’s a bar with pool tables, a karaoke room, bowling, and a massage parlor, where I was beaten and pummeled into submission by tiny, diminutive, little Korean lassies fully 1/5th my size.
It was wonderful.
There was a hairdresser’s, who were completely befuddled by my shoulder-length silver-gray locks and full gray Grizzly Adams beard. They did provide a lovely shampoo/cranial massage though for the equivalent of US$2.
There were a couple of shops selling Chinese goods rather than local stuff, which was sort of disappointing, a cold noodle bar, and another casino. No shops selling Korean Communist propaganda posters, as I wanted to augment my Soviet-era collection. Perhaps I’ll find something in-country later on.
We were shocked to find that the casino had WiFi that was uncensored and we were able to access; after a fee of liquor miniatures and a cigar or two. We were supposed to have access to the global internet, not local intranet, from the universities that we would be visiting. However, all of that was under the heavily squinting eyes of handlers and guys in shiny suits wearing fake Ray-Bans.
I still had my secret satellite internet lash-up available, but that was iffy, a pain in the ass to set up, and ridiculously expensive. However, it did work on the 39th floor and the times I used it instead of wandering down to the tunnels, no one appeared to be the wiser. Thus far.
So typically, we’d just head to the basement casino with our laptops, iPads, and phones. Bam! Robert’s your Sister’s Husband, we could connect more-or-less free with the outside world; hence how you are reading this now.
Herro! “Yes, I’d sure like another beer. This time a porter, if you please.”
The more they overthink the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the drain. Or the more they put into locks, the easier they are to pick.
Besides, we were told we’d have access to unfettered and free internet. OK, so we just found it for ourselves. Whaddya expect? We’re scientists, motherfucker, back off.
Ahem.
Back to reality.
The breakfast buffet the next morning had a wide choice of Asian and Western food, although the choices seemed to be the same every day. The main event was to beat the Chinese tourists to the egg station every morning. Breakfast always included fried eggs, a limited selection of pork, kippered fish, potatoes, rice, fruit, and a very Titanium-dioxide-white white bread
After a while, I took to going to the small market behind the lobby, buying some imported Chinese or Japanese nibbly bits and heading to the tunnels for a few breakfast beers before the long hard day’s work. It took almost a week, but I gained the trust of some of the workers in the tunnels and they showed me the on-site microbrewery at the hotel. It produced very passable, and very, very cheap beers of several varieties.
Liquid bread. Beer. Is there nothing it can’t do?
After breakfast our first day at the hotel, we were told to meet in the Conference Room “Il-sung” as we were going to have a ‘Welcome foreign imperialist scientists’ introduction and indoctrination.
Besides our handlers and the shiny-suit squad, there were several Korean folks we didn’t recognize. These were students, scientists, and scholars from the Kim Chaek University of Technology, Kim Il-sung University, the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology; all hailing from Pyongyang, and the University of Geology from North Hwanghae Province.
“Oh, marvelous”, Erlen remarked, “It’s going to be a bloody Chautauqua. We’ll be here all day.”
“Well”, I replied, “It could be worse. We could be on a bus headed off on another unscheduled road trip.”
As we found our seats, our Korean counterparts were busily setting up portable screens, like the ones your grandfather had for showing his 2.1 Googleplex worth of travel slides every Christmas or Thanksgiving get-together. They had a couple of ancient Chinese brand laptops that could have doubled for body armor, they were so thick and heavy.
While they fiddled with running cords for the overhead projectors and 16mm film projector; yes, it was going to be movie time as well, the hotel’s restaurant folks wheeled in carts laden with scones, cupcakes, and other sweet sorts of bakery. Another cart was wheeled in with pump-pots of hot water, tea, and coffee. Usual scientific meeting fare.
There was one final cart that made the day bearable. It held a pony keg of hotel micro-brewed beer on ice, with several dozen frosty mugs available for all who wanted to partake.
There were instantly 12 mugs that were spoken for.
I grabbed a cold beer and wandered around the conference room, sipping beer, chewing on an unlit cigar, and just trying to be pleasant to our hosts and their scientific guests. I was surprised when one North Korean professor, who spoke amazingly British-tinged English, offered me a light for my cigar.
“Is smoking allowed here?” I asked.
“Allowed?” he laughed heartily, “My good man, it’s practically a prerequisite.”
“Here then”, I said, offering him a nice, unctuous Camacho, “Try one of mine.”
Dr. P'ung Kwang-Seon of the North Korean University of Geology became my instant and lifelong friend at that moment.
We had a very nice chat, much to the chagrin of the gray suit cadre, who could hear what we were talking about, but probably didn’t understand anything beyond every 8th word.
After a while, we were asked to take our seats, after refreshing our drinks, and introduced to the group of Korean geoscientists we’d be interacting with during our stay here in Best Korea.
I tried to record every name, but between the students, other scholars, and professors from the various universities, I decided I’d ask for a list of participants once the day had worn on. After all, they had all our names, references, and resumes if the thick folio they kept referring to was any indication.
There were a couple of hours of introductions, as every one of the Korean geoscientists there introduced themselves, mostly through translators, told of their personal area of specialty, and their latest work.
Most were what would be considered geoscientists, but oddly enough, not one that you would consider a petroleum geoscientist, however tangentially.
There were geomorphologists, structural geologists, petrologists, mineralogists, marine geologists, engineering geologists, and seismologists. However, there were no stratigraphers, sedimentologists, paleontologists, or geochemists. We were all geoscientists, but apart from the obvious Korean:English disparity, it was as if we spoke different scientific languages as well.
That would be our first hurdle to overcome.
They had no oil industry here; none whatsoever, therefore why one would bother with the geosciences that fed directly into petroleum? That, in and of itself, would make it difficult to explore for oil in the country. Couple that with the fact that they’re so insular, think their version of ‘science’ is the best, at least that’s the official line, and think all other’s ‘science’ is capitalistic, substandard, and inferior doesn’t bode well for your country discovering anything either oily or gassy.
We were having another conclave around the beer keg, ack, err…a ‘coffee break’ and I mentioned this fact to my scientific colleagues.
“Guys”, I need input here, “We’re going to get precisely nowhere if they won’t even acknowledge that they have major problems from the start.”
Ivan replies, “Very true. I’ve seen this before back home. You get a group so entrenched in their own little corner of science, they can’t even accept or acknowledge that others exist. Not only exist but actually know more about a certain problem than do you.”
Dax joins the fray, “Sure, that’s very true, but who’s going to tell them this unfortunate fact? They could take that as a personal, national, and global insult. Imagine you’re at an international conference and a bunch of foreigners walk in just to tell you you’ve been doing it all wrong for the last 75 years.”
I add, “Remember, though. These characters are scientists as well. I think it’ll be a good measure of seeing what sort of science and scientist we’re dealing with here. If they are truly researchers, they’ll listen to and evaluate what we say as for veracity and accuracy. If they’re just a bunch of Commie goons; no offense, Comrade Academician Ivan, they’ll get all pissed off, kick us out, and we get to go home and enjoy our triple Force Majeure pay.”
Ivan walks over and deliberately steps on the toes of my newly polished field boots.
“In Soviet Russia, field boots walk on YOU.” He laughs in his heavily inflected, and scary, Soviet-era speech…
“Yes, I agree”, Joon adds, “But who is going to address this issue with our hosts? Perhaps one of our Russian comrades, as they are, or were, more politically aligned with our Korean friends and perhaps best understand the issue?”
Ack speaks up, grinning maniacally, “No, I disagree. We should have the one person here who so encapsulates the ideologies and political leanings that they love to hate here so much. You know; the quiet, diminutive, and soft-spoken North American…”
Dax recoils, “Oh, no! I’m not going out in front of this mob of ornery Orientals…”
I smile wanly and tell Dax to cool out.
“Relax, Dax. They’re talking about me.”
“Oh, yes”, a collective group of voices replies, “Yes. Let out fearless Team Leader break the bad news to our Eastern Colleagues. That way we can gauge their reactions to being bounced around scientifically by a member of the Evil Capitalist Cartel.”
“OK”, I reply, “I’ll do it. But be forewarned, my fine feathered fiends. I get stuck on a topic that’s not precisely my bailiwick, I’m going to throw your ass to the wolves. Remember, we’re all in this together.”
Whoops, and catcalls were reduced to mumbles and ‘Aw, fucks.’.
Chautauqua resumption was called and I asked for the floor.
It was a bit off the agenda, but since they’ve been chewing the air for the last several hours, they understood it would be appropriate for us to at least try and get a word in edgewise.
I downed my beer, and grabbed a fresh one as what I was going to say was going to be harsh, cut-and-dried, and rather pointed. But delivered in a pleasant manner.
I hoped.
This all had to be filtered through a series of translators, one for general conversational Korean and another for the more technical and scientific transliterations. I realized I was going to be up here for a while. So, I brought a cigar.
One way or another, I was going to deliver our pronouncements and hell, I may as well be comfortable while doing it.
.
“Greetings and felicitations, my Eastern Colleagues. Let me first say how nice it is to be here in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea as part of the ….”
I’m going to fast-forward through all the flowery bullshit and introductory happiness; I’ll going to just cut to the guts of the matter.
“…Now, you do know why there has been virtually no oil, gas nor any other hydrocarbon related deposit discovered here in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea?” I asked by way of a rhetorical question.
I sipped my beer and lit my cigar. In for a chon, in for a won.
I let the buzzing subside on the side of our eastern counterparts.
“Because, and please do not take this as insulting or derogatory, but as a statement of irrefutable fact, no one with the proper training nor experience has been looking. You’re historically guilty of applying the science incorrectly and letting dogma and politics guide your search, instead of the scientific method and the facts. Geology, like all natural science, is just as truth based on the facts for a capitalist as it is for a communist. Reality is not influenced by your beliefs, be they scientific or political, secular or spiritual, ‘trusted’ rather than ‘thought’; any more than by your wish that it wouldn’t rain today during a raging thunderstorm.”
Little Boy over Hiroshima was dropped with less effect.
Our Democratic People's Republic of Korea colleagues erupted into a chaotic mixture of stuttering, internecine yelling, accusations, and sputtering.
Calling for decorum, I figured that since I was this far gone, I may as well push the plunger all the way to the bottom.
“Gentlemen, I do not denigrate the science of geology as taught and practiced here in Best Korea.” I actually said that, sort of a slip of the tongue. Continuing, “However, one would not fish for Bluefin tuna from a rowboat in a pond with a fly rod. One does not hunt bear in the city with a slingshot. Just as one doesn’t search for oil and gas with mining engineers, geomorphologists, and seismologists.”
I let that sink in and after the translation, they calmed a bit and wanted to hear the rest of what I had to say. I could sense a couple was less than thrilled with what I had to say, but forging onward…
“One fishes for Bluefin tuna in the deep ocean with huge rods, reels and a specialist boat captained by someone with deep experience in hunting the elusive fish. One hunts bear in the proper environment, the taiga or forest, with the proper tools and guided by one with the education, learnedness, and experience to know how to make the hunt come out successful.”
Hit them with some analogies they can relate to and digest. Now, go for the carotid.
“Just like one does not hunt oil and gas without stratigraphers, sedimentologists, geophysicists, petrophysicists, and other oil and gas experts who have the education, experience, and knowledge to know where to look. Knowing which environment looks most conductive to hide your quarry, if you’ll pardon the pun, and how best to find them, the guys who know how to corral and de-risk them once you find them, and the engineers and technologists who know how to bring them to the surface so they can be utilized.”
They had stopped being irritated and were listening in rapt attention.
“My colleagues and I have spent the last few days going over, in detail the geology of your country. There is nothing we can see that would preclude the development, entrapment, and preservation of economic quantities of oil and gas. Ture, the geology is quite complex as is the structural history of the entire peninsula. That’s one other thing you will have to accept. Geology doesn’t give the tiniest shit about political boundaries. One must look at the big picture, and that doesn’t stop at some man-made borders. Ignore that fact at your peril, because if you continue to view the geology here as not existing across political boundaries, you are preadapting yourself for failure.”
Drs. Ivan, Volna, and Morse make certain that everyone sees the ex-Soviets agreeing with the bushy-bearded, cigar-chomping American capitalist.
“So,” I said, hoping to bring this little spit-balling session to a fortuitous close, “If we can have an agreement; scientific agreement, on these points, then I am certain we can find a way forward with not only this discussion but the program we can devise for the best Korean (notice phase shift?) geologists to take the project forward both scientifically soundly and economically successful.”
My North Korean counterpart gets up from his seat in the conference room, goes to the keg, taps a couple of beers and walks up to the podium where I was standing.
“Thank you, Dr. Rocknocker, for saying what needed to be said”, he spoke in perfect English as he handed me a beer.
I grinned and gratefully accepted the beer.
“Why, Dr. Chang Kwang-Su”, I said, as that was his name, “You old fraud. You do speak English; and very well, I must add.”
“Yes, almost all of us do”, he relayed, “But, as you said, we are most reserved. We were more or less under orders of the ‘most illustrious’, to play coy, and act as if we spoke no English.”
“I see.” I said, “I’ve worked in several FSU countries as well as Russia and saw that there as well. I guess old habits die hard.”
“That they do, Doctor.”, he replied, “But, we must now tell you the truth. We knew exactly what you said is true, and we agree. We are not as totally insulated from the outside world as some suspect.”
“Well, I was going on what your superiors related to us. Like the police that had all their toilets stolen, I had nothing else to go on.” I replied.
“Ah, ha! Quite!”, he chuckled, “We had long suspected that we were lacking in certain areas of scholarship. What you said cements that fact as it was an independent conclusion. We can now present that to our superiors with the caveat that unless we bolster work and training in these areas, the hunt of hydrocarbon resources here will be for naught.”
“I am relieved”, I said, truthfully. “I was slightly concerned that some might take umbrage to being told their science is not up to specifications. I tried to be the bearer of that bad news but deliver it gently. Here, I find you need that to use that as a truncheon to smack one’s boss upside the head and tell him that an upgrade is required. And fast.”
“Ah, so”, he replies, “We are in total agreement. Now that is out of the way, we would appreciate it if you’d help in designing a course of study for up and coming local geoscientists. Then, we can go forward with a great plan to search for oil and gas here in…Korea. Correct?”
“Absolutely”, I remarked, “You’ve got over 400 man-years of science and exploration expertise here in this room alone. Let’s shoot for the moon, so to speak. Let’s get you up to speed on scientific journals and articles that are available out there in all of academia and industry. Let’s get you communicating on a global basis. Let’s prove that you can talk science with global scientists and still not have it affect your political or nationalistic aspirations one little bit. Let’s see if we can drag you, figuratively speaking, kicking and screaming, into the 21st century.”
“Doctor”, Dr. Chang remarked, “You are the embodiment of what we were always told what Americans are. Brash, loud, confident, and evil. Except for evil, you are American as we were led to believe.”
“Hey, I take that as a compliment”, I exclaim. “You think that’s bad, I’ve got a bunch of earnest Europeans, raucous Russians, and a couple of cagey Canadians on my side as well. Before we’re finished here, we’ll have you ordering hachee, dining on Caldo Verde, snacking on salmiakki, drinking Russkaya vodka with Pabst Blue Ribbon beer, eating poutine, and rooting for the Packers.”
“Doctor, I don’t know what half of that means, but I hope it comes to pass. It sounds most fascinating.” Dr. Chang chuckles.
The rest of the day was spent with various groups crystallizing and breaking off from the main crowd; then reforming as different groups. This was good, as it showed an interest across not only national borders but across ideologies and scientific specialties.
Most everyone here spoke English with some degree of fluency, so the translators were called in only occasionally.
I made certain they were included in everything that transpired that day. I want everyone to feel ‘part of the team’. How better to show the classlessness of Western science to include everyone in on both sides of every discussion and activity?
To be continued…
submitted by Rocknocker to Rocknocker [link] [comments]

I see a lot of LP collections posted here. Does anyone appreciate a well organized digital collection?

1965 Jokers Wild (Dave Gilmour)(320)
1966 Tonite Let's All Make Love in London
1967 Arnold Layne
1967 Relics
1971 Pink Floyd - Relics (Remaster AU 1987 CDAX 701290)
1967 Scream Thy Last Scream
1967 See Emily Play & Scarecrow EP (Remaster UK 2007 Bonus CDM 40th ADEd. 50999 5 03919 2 9)
1967 The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn (UK Stereo First Pressing 24bit-96khz)
1968 A Saucerful of Secrets
1968 Pink Floyd - A Saucerful Of Secrets (Remaster Japan 1988 CP32-5272)
1968 It Would Be So Nice
1968 Point Me at the Sky
1969 OST More (Remaster Japan 1987 CDP 7 46386 2)
1969 Soundtrack From The Film More
1969 Ummagumma
1969 Zabriskie Point e Ultimate Z. P
1969 Ultimate Zabriskie Point [FLAC]
1970 370 Roman Yards 1970 (The Lost Zabriskie Point Album) [MP3]
1970 Pink Floyd - Atom Heart Mother (Remaster US 1994 UDCD 595)
1970 Pink Floyd - Atom Heart Mother (UK LP EMI Harvest SHVL 781 24bit-96khz)
1970 Roger Waters - Music From The Body (Soundtrack)(320)
1970 Syd Barrett - Barrett
1970 Syd Barrett - The Madcap Laughs
1971 Pink Floyd - Meddle (Remaster Japan 1988 UDCD 518)
1971 Meddle - 24-96 Vinyl Rip (FLAC)
1971 One Of These Days Single Vinyl 7 (Italy 1971 EMR-20388)
1972 Pink Floyd - Obscured By Clouds (Remaster US 1987 CDP 7 46385 2)
1973 Money Vinyl 12 (Remaster Netherlands 1981 Vinyl 12 1A K052Z - 78068)
1973 The Dark Side of the Moon - (Vinyl LP 24-96 UK Remaster 30 Harvest SHVL 804 24Bit 96kHz) - 200g Vinyl Rip (FLAC) - Audiophile MFSL Pressing VINYL {FR1 Cartridge SYBORG} - Unreleased Tracks
1975 Wish You Were Here
1975 Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here (Remaster UK 1984 CDP 7 46035 2) & Unreleased Tracks
1977 Animals- (2016 Master) VINYL {FR1 Mk3 Cart} - (2016 Master) VINYL {Stanton 881 Cart} - (Remaster US 1985 CK 34474) - (Vinyl LP 24-96 US Columbia First Pressing JC 34474 24Bit 96kHz)
1978 David Gilmour - David Gilmour
1978 Rick Wright - Wet Dream
1979 The Wall - (Remaster Germany 2007 2xCD CDS 7 46036 8) - (Remaster US 1989 2xCD UDCD 2-537) - US UltraDisc 2CD- (UK Vinyl 2xLP 24-96 SHDW 411 24Bit 96kHz) - The Wall Work In Progress
1981 Nick Mason's - Fictitious Sports
1983 Not Now John Vinyl 7 (UK 1983 HAR 5224)
1983 The Final Cut (Remaster EU 2007 Oh By The Way Boxset CD14 50999 511267 2 8, 511 2672)
1983 The Final Cut (US 1983 QC 38243)
1984 David Gilmour - About Face
1984 Rick Wright - Zee Identity
1984 Roger Waters - The Pros And Cons Of Hitch Hiking
1986 Roger Waters - When The Wind Blows
1987 A Momentary Lapse Of Reason - [1987] [FLAC] - [2019] Remix
1987 Roger Waters - Radio K.A.O.S. (320)
1992 Roger Waters - Amused To Death
1994 High Hopes & Keep Talking (France 1994 CDM 881 777 2)
1994 Take It Back (Netherlands 1994 CDM 7243 8 81278 2 0)
1994 The Division Bell - (2014) [HD Tracks] 24.96 - (Japan 1994 SRCS 7324) - [UK 1994 Vinyl 24-96 EMD 1055]
1996 Rick Wright - Broken China
2002 Roger Waters - Flickering Flame
2004 Roger Waters - To Kill The Child & Leaving Beirut (Single)(320)
2005 Roger Waters - Ca Ira
2006 David Gilmour - Arnold Layne EP
2006 David Gilmour - On An Island
2006 Smile (1-Track EU Promo CD Single)(320)
2006 Smile (2-Track EU CD Single)(320)
2007 Roger Waters - Hello (I Love You)(Single)(192-320)
2010 The Orb and David Gilmour - Metallic Spheres
2014 The Endless River
1967-03-18 My Uncle Is Sick Because The Highway Is Green
1967-09-13 Starclub, Copenhagen
1967-09-25 BBC Playhouse Theater, London (BBC Sessions)
1967-10-30 Games for May - England
1967-11-13 Ahoy, Rotterdam, NL
1968-02-24 Bouton Rouge
1968-05-06 First European International Pop Festival, Piper Club, Rome
1968-05-23 Paradiso, Amsterdam (Late Show)
1968-07-27 Shrine Exposition Hall, Los Angeles
1968-12-28 Margriethal, Jaarbeurs, Utrecht
1968-12-28 Owed To Syd Barrett
1969-03-27 Saint James Hall, Chesterfield, England
1969-04-14 Royal Festival Hall, London
1969-04-27 Careful With These Tracks
1969-05-09 University Of Southampton, Hampshire, England
1969-06-22 Free Trade Hall, Manchester, England
1969-06-26 Royal Albert Hall, London
1969-08-08 The Journey Through the Past
1969-08-09 The Paradiso, Amsterdam - Celestial Instruments
1969-09-17 Amsterdam '69 (TSP-CD-052) 1990 [VBR]
1969-09-17 Complete Concertgebouw
1969-10-11 Song Days Festival, Essen
1969-10-19 Around the Mystic - London
1969-10-25 Interstellar Zappadrive - Mont de L'Enclus, Amougies, Belgium
1969-11-21 Montreux Switzerland
1969-12-06 Afan Lido Sports Center, Port Talbot, Wales
1969-71 Echoes Of Atom Heart Mother
1969-73 Rare & Live Tracks - 3cds
1970 - 1971 Eclipse (2001)
1970 Fat Old Gigs 4cd
1970 Pepperland In The West
1970-01-18 Fairfield Hall, Croydon, Surrey
1970-01-23 Hotel de Champs-Elysees a Paris, Paris
1970-02-11 Town Hall, Birmingham
1970-02-28 Refectory Hall, Leeds University, Leeds, Yorkshire
1970-03-12 A Trick of the Light
1970-03-13 The Injustice of a Kaleidoscope Sound
1970-03-14 Meistersinger Halle, Nuremberg
1970-03-15 Niedersachsenhalle, Hannover
1970-03-20 Akademiske Foreningens Store Sal, Lund, Sweden
1970-04-11 Gymnasium, SUNY, Stony Brook, NY
1970-04-22 Capitol Theater, Port Chester, NY
1970-04-29 [HRVCDR016] Interstellar Fillmore - San Francisco, CA
1970-04-30 [HRVCDR034] - KQED
1970-05-01 Civic Auditorium, Santa Monica, CA
1970-06-27 Bath Festival Of Blues And Progressive, Shepton Mallet, Bath
1970-06-28 Holland Pop Festival, Kralingen, Rotterdam (JFE remaster)
1970-07-12 Open Air Pop Festival Aachen, Aachen Soerser Stadium
1970-07-16 Focus - Paris Theater, Regent Street, London, England - BBC FM
1970-07-16 Libest Spacement Monitor (TSP-CD-027 1989)
1970-07-16 Mooed Music - BBC Session Live, Paris Cinema, London
1970-07-18 Hyde Park, London
1970-08-08 Les Nuits Musicales, Saint Tropez (Pop 2 TV Show)
1970-09 & 1971-03 - Eclipse - APE
1970-09-12 Parc De Vincennes, Paris
1970-09-16 Pink Is The Pig (Live In London)
1970-09-16 Pink Floyd - Focus 1971 [FM]
1970-09-16 Playhouse Theatre, London
1970-09-16 Rhapsody In Pink (Italy 1990 LLRCD 044)
1970-09-26 Electric Factory, Philadelphia, PA
1970-09-27 Fillmore East, New York City, NY (Early Show)
1970-10-17 Pepperland Auditorium, San Rafael, CA
1970-10-23 Creatures Of The Deep Disc 1-3
1970-10-23 Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, Santa Monica, CA
1970-11-06 Mind Your Throats
1970-11-07 Grote Zaal, De Doelen, Rotterdam
1970-11-11 Conserthuset, Gothenburg
1970-11-12 Falkoner Centret, Fredriksberg, Copenhagen
1970-11-13 Vejlby Risskovhallen, Aarhus
1970-11-14 Ernst-Merck-Halle, Hamburg
1970-11-21 Smokin' Blues (Montreux Casino, Montreux )
1970-11-22 Altes Casino, Montreux - Swiss Made
1970-11-25 Fridrich Ebert Halle, Ebertpark, Ludwigshafen
1970-11-26 Messehallen, Stuttgart
1970-11-29 Circus Krone, Munich
1970-12-22 City Hall, Sheffield
1971 Atom Heart Mother Goes On The Road
1971-02-12 Lecture Theatre, University Of Essex, Colchester
1971-02-13 Students Union Bar, Technical College, Farnborough
1971-02-25 Grosser Saal, Musikhalle, Hamburg
1971-02-26 Stadthalle, Offenbach
1971-04-03 Oude Ahoy, Rotterdam
1971-05-15 Crystal Palace Garden Party, London
1971-05-18 Pathfoot Building Refectory, Stirling University
1971-06-04 Philips Veranstal Tungshalle, Dusseldorf
1971-06-05 Echoes - The Return of the Son of Nothing (West Berlin)
1971-06-05 Sportspallast, Berlin - Mauerspechte
1971-06-05 Vierundzwanzig Teile von Nichts (HRV-CDR-029)
1971-06-12 Palais Des Sports, Lyon
1971-06-19 Palazzo Delle Manifestazioni Artistiche, Brescia
1971-06-20 Palaeur, Rome
1971-06-26 Amstel Free Concert, Amsterdamse Bos, Amsterdam
1971-07-01 Ossiach Festival Stitschoff, Ossiach
1971-08-06 Hakone Aphrodite, Hakone, Japan
1971-08-09 Festival Hall, Osaka
1971-08-13 Festival Hall, Melbourne
1971-09-18 Live in Montreux
1971-09-23 KB Hallen, Copenhagen
1971-09-30 Meddled
1971-09-30 Meddler
1971-09-30 One Of These Days (TSP-CD-034 1989)
1971-09-30 Paris Cinema, London
1971-10-04 HRVCDR010 - Pompeii Rev B
1971-10-04 Live at Pompeii - Remains
1971-10-04 Pompeii (Remaster Netherlands PFP-A0118)
1971-10-04 to 07 In The Shadow Vesuvius - Italia
1971-10-04 Volcanic Destruction
1971-10-07 Live At Pompeii
1971-10-10 Great Hall, Bradford University, Bradford, Yorkshire
1971-10-16 The Eye of Agamotto - Civic Auditorium, Santa Monica
1971-10-17 Convention Hall, Community Concourse, San Diego
1971-10-17 From Oblivion
1971-10-17 Wind And Seabirds - Convention Hall, San Diego
1971-10-27 Auditorium Theatre, Chicago, IL
1971-10-28 Hill Auditorium, Ann Harbor, MI
1971-10-31 Fieldhouse University Of Toledo
1971-11-05 Hunter College - New York City, NY
1971-11-06 Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
1971-11-10 Labyrinths - Pavillion De La Jeunesse, Quebec
1971-11-12 Irvine Auditorium, State University, Philadelphia, PA
1971-11-16 Something from Nothing
1971-11-16 The Return of the Sons of Nothing
1971-11-20 Embryonic Madness
1971-11-20 One Of Those Days
1971-11-20 Taft Auditorium, Cincinnati, OH
1971-11-20 Taft Auditorium, Cincinnati, OH (2-source blend)
1972-01-20 The Darkside Rehearsals - Brighton Dome, Brighton, England
1972-01-21 The Guildhall, Portsmouth
1972-01-22 Eclipse Of The Dark Side - Winter Gardens, Bournemouth (Recorder 2)
1972-01-22 The Dark Side Winter Gardens - Bournemouth (Recorder 1)
1972-01-23 Gathering On The Moon - The Guildhall, Southampton
1972-01-27 Waiting for The Moon - City Hall, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne
1972-01-28 You Are Number Six - Refectory Hall, Leeds University, Leeds
1972-02-17 - Rainbow Tapes Day 1
1972-02-18 - Rainbow Tapes Day 2
1972-02-19 - Rainbow Tapes Day 3
1972-02-20 - Rainbow Tapes Day 4
1972-02-19 Finsbury Park - Disc 1
1972-02-20 Finsbury Park - Disc 1
1972-02-20 The Best Of Tour 72 (TSP-CD-049 1990) [VBR]
1972-03-06 Acid Moon - Taiikukan, Tokyo, Japan
1972-03-08 Natural Dark In Osaka. Japan
1972-03-09 Echoes From Osaka
1972-03-13 The Dark Side Of The Ice - Saporro, Japan
1972-03-13 The Great Gig On The Moon
1972-04-28 Chicago
1972-05-21 2nd British Rock Meeting - Germersheim, Germany
1972-06-28 Eclipsed By The Dome - Brighton [MP3]
1972-09-22 Hollywood Bowl, Hollywood, CA
1972-09-22 Staying Home To Watch The Rain[VBR]
1972-10-21 The Oxfam Concert - London [MP3]
1972-11-15 Echoes Of The Past, Sporthalle Böblingen, Stuttgart, Germany
1972-11-15 The Great Gig In Böblingen
1972-12-01 Harsh Realities [Stereo Tweaked]
1972-12-09 - In a Neutral Land - Zurich - Suiça (FLAC)
1972-12-12 Across The Swiss Border
1972-73 Nebulosity
1972-73 The Great Gig In The Sky (UK Unofficial SSR 41925)
1973-03-06 The Valley Of The Kings
1973-03-11 Yeeshkul!
1973-03-14 Live Music Hall - Boston, MA
1973-03-15 Dark Soundboard of Philadelphia
1973-03-17 Dark Side of Radio City
1973-05-19 Supine in the Sunshine
1973-06-17 On Stage Saratoga NY
1973-06-20 Breaking Bottles In The Hall
1973-06-20 Merryweather Post Pavillion, Columbia, MD
1973-06-29 When You're In...Tampa
1973-10-13 Set The Controls... - Vienna [MP3]
1973-11-04 Obscured At The Rainbow [VBR]
1974-06-24 Shine On Paris
1974-11-15 Black Holes In The Sky
1974-11-15 Work in Progress
1974-11-16 BBC Archives (HRV CDR 033)
1974-11-16 No Room Upon The Hill
1974-11-16 Time In London
1974-11-16 Wembley MTX-V2
1974-11-16 Wembley Pre FM-Master
1974-11-16 Wembley Wizards
1974-11-17 Getting Better All The Time
1974-11-28 Empire Theatre
1974-12-09 Manchester Day '74
1974-12-14 Stairstep To Abandon - Bristol, England [Vinyl]
1975-04-08 Azimuth Coordinator Pt. 1
1975-04-13 Riding The Cow.Cow Palace,California,USA
1975-04-26 Cruel But Fair
1975-04-26 Dogs And Sheep
1975-04-27 Hogs in Smog
1975-04-27 Los Angeles, CA master
1975-06-15 Faster Jersey
1975-06-15 Jersey Not Mother
1975-06-16 Random Precision
1975-06-18 Boston Garden Matrix Version
1975-06-18 Boston Gardens
1975-06-18 Crazy Diamonds [VBR]
1975-06-18 Echoes In The Gardens
1975-06-22 Heavy Rain
1975-06-28 Master Reel - Ontario (RTR-DAT-Source 2) (flac)
1975-80 - Azimuth Coordinator 1975 a 1980 (6CD box 1998)
1977-01-05 Iron Pigs On Fire - Fort Worth, Texas
1977-01-23 - If Pigs Could Fly
1977-01-23 Bugger's Eyes
1977-01-29 Desk Pig In Berlin
1977-01-30 Absolut Floyd
1977-01-30 Hunting Animals - Berlin, Germany
1977-02-01 Test Flight - Vienna, Austria
1977-02-20 Animals In Belgium - Antwerpen [FLAC]
1977-02-20 Ducks On The Wall
1977-02-20 Thirteen
1977-02-22 Dragged Down By The Stone
1977-02-22 Pavillion de Pigs
1977-02-27 Animals On The Wing
1977-04-22 Hurricane Floyd Hits - Miami FL
1977-05-01 Iron Pigs On Fire
1977-05-09 Animal Instincts
1977-05-09 Mr Pig - Oakland [MP3]
1977-06-19 Chicago '77
1977-06-19 Soldier Field, Chicago, IL (1st gen Charly C.'s tape - source 1)
1977-06-27 Boredom and Pain (Boston Gardens)
1977-06-27 Boston Garden, Boston, MA - The Perfect Day (FLAC)
1977-06-27 Boston Garden, Boston, MA (Lampinski)
1977-06-27 Pink Floyd 1977-06-27
1977-07-01 Live at Madson Square Garden
1977-07-02 In the Grassland Away
1977-07-02 Live at Madson Square Garden
1977-07-02 Prog King - Madison Square Garden
1977-07-02 Welcome To The Machine
1977-07-03 Madson Square Garden - New York
1977-07-03 Pigs Might Fly
1977-07-04 Sheep Independence Day (FLAC)
1977-07-06 Azimuth Coordinator Pt. 2 - Last Animals
1977-07-06 Fire Works Show In The Canadian Walls
1977-07-06 Montreal
1977-07-06 Who Was Trained Not To Spit On The Fan
1980-01-01 The Wall Rehearsals 1980
1980-02-07 Azimuth Coordinator Pt. 3 - flac16
1980-02-08 Little Black Book With My Poems In
1980-02-27 The Wall Live In Nassau
1980-02-28 Nassau - Coliseum - NY
1980-08-09 Soundboard on the Wall - Earls Court, London, England
1980-1981 Is There Anybody Out There The Wall Live
1981-02-19 Tear Down The Wall
1981-02-20 The Sixth German Show-Westfalenhalle, Dortmund
1981-02-20 Westfallenhalle,Dortmund, Germany
1981-06-16 Earl's Court, London (Watching The World Upon The Wall)
1984-04-30 (Gilmour) Live At The Hammersmith Odeon (London )(320)
1984-05-22 (Gilmour) Beacon Theater - New York City-NY
1984-06-16&17 (Waters w. Clapton) Sidewinder (Stockholm)
1984-06-29 (Gilmour) New Game - Berkeley [FLAC]
1984-07-12 (Gilmour and Friends) In Floyd We Trust (320)
1984-07-12 (Gilmour) Westwood One Concert (48kHz)(320)
1984-07-18 (Waters) Eric the Player, Roger the Singer
1985-03-20 (Waters) Live Radio City Music Hall, NYC [FM]
1985-03-28 (Waters) Complete Hitch Hiking Perfomance
1987-09-16 Echoes By The Lake Disc 1-3
1987-09-19 Prism
1987-11-01 Live at the Orange Bowl, Miami
1987-11-07 (Waters) Goodbye Mr. Pink Floyd (Remaster)
1987-11-30 MONEY GOES WEST - (The Sports Arena - Los Angeles, California)
1988 Delicate Sound Of Thunder (UK 7914802)
1988-02-19 Live in Melbourne (SOUNDBOARD)
1988-02-19 Melbourne - Soundboard Recording
1988-02-19 Tennis Center, Melbourne
1988-07-08 Nothing Is Changed (Modena, Italy) [VBR]
1989-06-12 Globe Arena, Stockholm
1989-06-13 Globe Arena, Stockholm
1989-06-14 Globe Arena, Stockholm
1989-07-01 Palais Omnisport de Paris Bercy, Paris, France
1989-07-15 Live In Venice 1989 {FLAC]
1989-07-15 Venice, Grand Canal
1990 (Waters) The Wall - Live In Berlin
1990-06-30 Of Promises Broken
1990-06-30 The Knebworth Tales
1994-03-30 Miami - The Live Bell
1994-04-16 Your Favorite Disease
1994-04-21 Pigs Over The San Francisco Bay
1994-04-21 They're Blowin Me Away - Oakland Master DAT
1994-05-31 3 Pigs At 3 Rivers
1994-06-11 The Bell Gets Louder
1994-07-18 By The Light Of The Silvery Moon
1994-08-13 The Sound Surrounds
1994-09-04 Softly Spoken Magic Spells - Feyenoord [MP3]
1994-09-13 A Night In Italy
1994-09-13 A Passage Of Time
1994-09-15 Udine - Italy
1994-09-19 - The Nights Of Wonder
1995 Pulse
1995 Wish You Were Here Live (CDM 7243 8 82207 2 9)
2000 (Waters) In The Flesh (Live)
2001-06 2002-01 David Gilmour in Concert (320)
2002-03-05 (Waters) The Happiest Night of Our Lives - National Stadium, Santiago
2005-07-02 Live 8 Reunion
2006-03-07 (Gilmour) Mermaid Theatre - London
2006-03-19 (Gilmour) Regathering Our Senses - Heineken Music Hall, Amsterdam [FA025]
2006-05 (Gilmour) 2007 - Remember That Night
2006-07-29 Happy Birthday Dear Richard (Archive Konigsplatz Munich rec 4)
2006-08-26 (Gilmour) Live In Gdansk
2006-12-07 (Waters) Milan, Italy FM
2007 (Gilmour) 4 Tracks Live From Abbey Road (US Promo CD Single)(320)
2007-03-14 (Waters) 50000 Lunatics on The Grass Chile '07
2007-07-07 (Waters) Live Earth 2007
2008-06-15 (Gilmour) Ron's Psychedelic Supper Vol.2
2010-07-10 (Waters & Gilmour) The Hoping Foundation (320)
2010-09-15 (Waters) The Wall Live - Air Canada Centre, Toronto, ON
2010-09-16 (Waters) The Wall Live - Air Canada Centre, Toronto, ON
2010-09-18 (Waters) The Wall Live - Air Canada Centre, Toronto, ON
2010-09-20 - Roger Waters - The Wall - Chicago [MP3]
2010-12-18 (Waters) Flickering Flames On The Wall - Palacio De Los Deportes, Mexico D.F
2010-12-19 (Waters) Flickering Flames On The Wall - Palacio De Los Deportes, Mexico D.F
2010-12-21 (Waters) Flickering Flames On The Wall - Palacio De Los Deportes, Mexico D.F
2011-03-25 (Waters) Madrid - Experimento
2011-05-15 (Waters) Live At O2 Arena, London, England
2017 Live at Pompeii [FLAC]
David_Gilmour - Live Tracks - MP3
1965 - Syd Barrett - Lucy Leave and Other Rarities [FLAC,Tracks]
1965-95 - Pinkie Milkie - Rarities Compilation
1966-67 London '66 - '67 (UK 1995 CDM SFMDP 3)
1966-67 Psychedelic Games for May
1966-71 Sophisticated Colours
1966-94 Early Flights Disc 1-10
1967 Reaction In G
1967-69 Music For Architectural Students
1967-71 Antiques- A Rare Collection of Oddities
1967-71 Antiques And Curios
1967-87 A CD Full Of Secrets
1968 Tonite Let's All Make Love in London OST
1968-69 The Embryo (TSP-CD-020 1989) [VBR]
1968-70 - Old Symphonies 1968-1970 - FM
1968-70 Ultra Rare Trax Vol. 1-3
1968-71 Spiral
1968-74 From Underground To The Moon
1969 - High Time
1969 - The Complete Zabriskie Point Sessions
1969-70 Omay Yad
1969-99 - Roger Waters - Rarities Vol 1-3
1970-71 - Syd Barrett - The Radio One Sessions
1971-72 Studio Outtakes & Demos
1972-06 From the Other Side (DSOTM Outtakes)
1975 - Tour Comic book
1975-76 Abbey Road to Britannia Row The Extraction Tapes (2014)
1978 The Wall- Under Construction
1978-79 Building The Wall
1979 Every Brick In The Wall (outtakes)
1980 - The Wall - Original Film Sessions 1980
1980 The Wall (Demos)
1982 The Final Cutting
1987 A Momentary Lapse of Reason Live Official Tour CD (Demonstration Not For Sale)
1987 One Slip CDM (UK 1987 CDEM 52)
1988 - A Momentary Lapse Of Reason (Official Tour CD)_flac
1990-05-02 - Roger Waters - The London Rehearsals 1990
1994 - Just Warmin Up - The Rehearsals in Tampa - 1994
Pink Floyd - Just Warming Up (Tampa 1994 )
1996 Pink Floyd & Friends - Interstellar Overdrive (Canada 1996 PS-NEMS 1001-2)
2001 Pink Underground
2005...A Desperate Attempt of Perfection
2010 - Roger Waters - Is It The Fifth
A Tree Full Of Secrets (18xCD Box Rarities)
Have You Got It Yet
2008 Have You Got It Yet v2
HYGIY v2.0 Vol. 1
Live Anthology
Roger Waters - Rarities Vol 1-3
Secret Rarities (2014
Star Profile - audio documentary
Variations on a Theme of Absence 8-CD
1965-72 The Early Years Limited Edition 10CD [FLAC]
1967 The First 3 Singles (Remaster UK 1997 7243 8 59895 2 0)
1967 The Syd Barrett Tapes
1967-11-17 The First Singles
1967-1973 - Anthology II [HL 325-326]
1967-68 Masters of Rock
1967-68 The Early Singles (EU 1992 0777 7 80572 2 2)
1967-71 The Complete BBC Sessions
1967-93 - Total Eclipse - A Retrospective 1967-1993 - Italy
1981 A Collection Of Great Dance Songs (Remaster Japan 2001 TOCP-65744)
1983 Works (US 1983 CDP 7 46478 2)
1988 - Syd Barrett - Opel
1992 - La Carrera Panamericana
1992 - Syd Barrett - Octopus
1995 - Greatest Hits 3 - Post Pink - 1995 - MP3.320kbps
1999 - Legendary Rock Stars - Greatest Hits
2001 - Echoes The Best Of Pink Floyd (US 2001 2xCD CDP 7243 5 36111 2 5)
2003 - Roger Waters - Flickering Flame (320)
2007 - David Gilmour - Take a Best (Bootleg)(320)
2007 - Greatest Hits - Star Mark - 320Kbps
2010 - Syd Barrett - An Introduction to Syd Barrett (2010)
2011 - CD Sampler - 2011
Syd Barrett - Wouldn't You Miss Me -The Best of Syd Barrett
1994 Dark Side Of The Moon -[Trance]
1994 Wish You Were Here [Trance]
1995 Meddle (Trance Remix)
1998 A Momentary Lapse Of Reason (Trance)
2000 Welcome to the Remix
2003 Easy Star All Stars - Dub Side of the Moon
2003-01-01 - The Floydian Propulsion Project
2004 Out There
2005 The Dark Side Of A Dream [320]
2006 DJ Fish Remixes
2006 Pink Floyd & Eric Prydz - Proper Education
2010 DSotM - Moon8 - 8 bits
1995 The London Philharmonic Orchestra - The Music Of Pink Floyd
2002 Pigs and Pyramids An Allstar Lineup Performing the Songs of Pink Floyd
2005 The Piano Tribute To Pink Floyd
2006 Rockabye Baby! Lullaby Renditions of Pink Floyd
1988 - Audio Documentario - Star Profile
2002 - Wish Youd Been Here - The Pink Floyd Story - Radio BBC
1974 - Tour Comic - 1974
1976 - Songbook
1987 - Songbook (VictorF)
2000 - Guitar Tab Anthology
submitted by pslickhead to pinkfloyd [link] [comments]

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