Monday, August 25, 2008

I'm 17 years ahead of the world

Liz and I saw Hamlet 2 this weekend, and it was everything I'd hope it would be (among other things in included a sequel to Hamlet involving a time machine and Jesus--sexy Jesus in fact). Watching the clever sequel to the Bard's masterpiece seemed oddly familiar, like deja vu. It took a few moments for it to all make sense, but it wasn't long before it hit me in the face. This notion of a time machine to fix Shakespeare's tragic endings wasn't new, I had thought it up in 8th grade! No it wasn't Hamlet, we didn't have to read it until high school, and to be honest after seeing Kennith Branagh's version in a foolish moment masochism in college, I'd wish them all a horrible death. No need to go back in time to save anyone. Anyway, it was "Romeo and Juliet", which has a similar story to Tromeo and Juliet.

We read the play, watched the movie (yeah the one with the chick with nice hooters), and afterward we had to do some lame creative project. Dioramas, mobiles, scrapbooks, and other shit were heaved upon our teacher. Not being one to be outdone, I decided to fight fire with fire, and do a bit of writing--a new ending to "Romeo and Juliet". Sure it's rather adolescant, but for a good reason. I was like 13 or 14, and I was heavily influenced by what I saw on TV.

One day MacGyver and his boss Pete were out fishing. They caught marlin on MacGyver's homemade line. Pete was sea sick and he had already puked three times on "Phoenix I," the corporate boat, so MacGyver drove him home. MacGyver wasn't tired, so he decided to read the book he got this month. The book was a Shakespearean play, "Romeo and Juliet," to be exact.


After reading the play, MacGyver dozed off. He was saddened by the tragic ending. He wished he could do something. "WAIT," he thought, "Maybe I could build a time machine." He thought about what he would need.
He decided to call Dr. Bruce Banner a buddy of his; the good doctor was an expert on many time traveling theories. The doctor could warn him of any dangers. The doctor was not as smart as MacGyver; nobody is.
MacGyver knew he needed to travel to modern day Verona so he called the "A-Team." They could get him a plane and help fly it. The A-Team could build anything, but not with as few resources as MacGyver. MacGyver needed their help due to the little amount of time in a 60 minute episode.
Face, Murdock, B.A., Hannibal, and Bruce arrived. MacGyver acquainted them of his plan. The "A-Team," will build the plane and MacGyver will build the time machine.
B.A. quickly pulled the van up to the garage. Hannibal told Face and Murdock to unload the welding equipment. They did so. B.A. congregated the spare sheet-metal and steel tubing that MacGyver has lying around. Face detached the engine from MacGyver's truck. Murdock went up to MacGyver's attic to get the excess carbon fiber MacGyver has up there. B.A. welded a large frame. Face bent the sheet metal to form a fuel tank. Murdock modified MacGyver's truck's engine. He made it into a jet engine. Hannibal and B.A. weaved the carbon fiber around the frame B.A. made. Face took the glass from MacGyver's truck to form a windscreen for the plane. Murdock took the gauges from MacGyver's truck and put them in the plane. B.A. welded the engine on. Face welded on the fuel tank. Murdock connected the fuel tank to the engine. Hannibal cut a door in the plane's body.
MacGyver gathered ten coathangers, a potato, and a touch-tone phone. First he stretched out all the coathangers. Second he tied all of them together forming a loop. Next he separated one connection, putting the potato between the ends. Finally he wired the phone up to the potato. The machine would get its power from the potato. The date would be entered into the phone's keypad. The coathanger loop would be the gate between now and then. Bruce warned MacGyver of the ramifications of altering history. The group went out to the plane.
B.A. said "Good-bye," to the others. B.A. got into the van. Before he could start the van, face gave B.A. a shot that put B.A. to sleep. They boarded the plane. Murdock moved into the pilot's seat. B.A. was dumped on the floor. The plane whizzed down the street. Eventually it became airborne. The plane would just barely make to Italy.
During the flight MacGyver sewed some period appropriate clothing. The plane made it to Italy, but the plane did not make it to Verona. They had to ditch the plane in the middle of an open field. They did not know that Rambo IV was be filmed on that location. Explosions were occurring to the plane's right. B.A. woke up. Then Rambo came running towards them. He did not know that the plane was not supposed to be there. He sprayed lead into the plane. Fortunately all of Rambo's bullets were blanks.
"Cut," said the director, "I said cut dammit." Rambo ceased fire. The director approached the plane. MacGyver went to Rambo, while Hannibal tried to make up an excuse for the director.
"We have supplies for the Pope," said Hannibal.
"The Pope you say; what supplies do you have," said the director.
"Parts for the Popemobile," replied Hannibal. Meanwhile MacGyver persuaded Rambo to divert the director while the A-team fixes the plane.
"YO, Direcduh," said Rambo. The director went to Rambo. The A-team took all that was worth keeping. All was loaded on three Jeeps. The A-team, the doctor, and MacGyver boarded the Jeeps. Rambo jumped in one of the Jeeps. MacGyver grudgingly let Rambo come along. After three tense hours they arrived in modern day Verona.
MacGyver set up the time machine. Dr. Banner warned MacGyver once again. B.A. did not want to have anything to do with a time machine, so he suggested that he stay back, I mean forward, to guard the machine. Murdock called B.A. a coward. B.A. decided to go along. The group walked into the loop. Upon arriving in the past, they noticed that their hair was standing up. B.A. was not affected, as his hair stands up anyway. They were 100 ft. from the gates to the city. As expected, they arrived on Thursday, Juliet's second wedding day. MacGyver suggested that they all wait by the gateway, while he went to Friar Lawrence's cell.
Rambo had another idea; he grabbed as many weapons as he could. He raided the gates of the city. He sprayed lead into the guards that tried to stop him. He then ran into the first building he saw, and then he set a bomb to blow up five minutes from then. He ran out of the building carelessly mowing down anyone he could find, enjoying it. Meanwhile, Dr. Banner could not stand the violence. He got bigger, greener, and meaner. He became the "Incredible Hulk." He ran into the city randomly taking care of anyone Rambo hasn't killed. Rambo stormed the Montegue's home. He did not shoot anyone; he instead pulled out his trusty survival knife. He began gashing people with it. He cut into people, then pulled up with all of his strength. One by on he killed all the Montegues, but one, Romeo. He then pulled out three grenades, and then ran out of the house throwing the grenades on his way out.
B.A. encouraged the A-team to do the same. Hannibal instructed B.A. to retrieve a cart. B.A. did so. Hannibal told Murdock and face to gather wood. They did so. Within ten minutes the cart and the wood became a wooden tank. Hannibal retrieved a nearby horse and hitched it up to the cart-tank. The A-team boarded the tank. Murdock controlled the horses. The tank stormed the town.
Meanwhile, Hulk stormed the Home of Paris. He sought out anyone. First he picked up a servant, then he threw him 20 feet. Next he saw Paris; he then picked him up and crushed him. Hulk continued.
Concurrently, MacGyver arrived at Friar Lawrence's cell. He told him that Romeo will not be informed of the Friar's plan. At first the Friar did not believe MacGyver, but finally MacGyver convinced him. The Friar then went immediately to Capulet's tomb. MacGyver, believing his job was done, returned to the porthole.
As this was going on, Rambo stormed Capulet's place. He did not know that the A-team was attacking from the back of Capulet's place. The A-team fired at servants, and at Rambo. Rambo was hit by a bullet.
He turned and ran into the building spraying lead all over the place. Rambo had lost touch with reality. He no longer had full control of his body; primal instincts took over. He became the ultimate killing machine. He shot and killed all the A-team. He killed Capulet, Lady Capulet, Nurse, and anyone else he could see. He set bombs all over the complex. He stormed out of there. He ran into neighboring homes doing the same. He no longer knew why he was killing, he just knew he liked it.
Rambo saw Hulk; he immediately shot twenty, thirty, forty times. Hulk did not fall; he attacked Rambo. They fought hand to hand for minutes. Then Rambo pulled out his knife and stabbed Hulk with inconceivable power. He drove the knife upward. Hulk had a twelve inch gash stretching from his lower chest to his neck. Hulk then bit into Rambo with his last strength. Hulk fell.
Rambo, wounded, stopped for a minute. He stuck his knife in the hole from the bullet. He cleaned out the wound by twisting the knife. He then pulled out the bullet and the knife. He opened a bullet. He poured the powder in the wound. He then lit it. The ferocious heat sealed his flesh shut.
While this was going on, MacGyver arrived at the porthole. Only Colonel Decker and his merry men were there. "Where's Smith and the A-team?" asked Decker.
"Good question," returned MacGyver.
"Cut the crap kid, where is Smith?" yelled Decker irately.
"Colonel, I brought them here, and then they left. They refused to listen to me. Good luck finding them," said MacGyver.
"Put Mr. Angus MacGyver in cuffs," yelled Decker violently. "Damn you Smith," whispered Decker. "C'mon boys lets go after them," cried Decker. The group spread and searched for the A-team. MacGyver stayed behind handcuffed to a tree.
Rambo began his onslaught again. He attacked people, animals, even trees. He threw grenades everywhere. After destroying every building in town, he returned to the porthole. On the way he ran into a few of Decker's men. He slaughtered them with rapid bullet fire.
Back at the porthole, MacGyver used some lint in his pocket to unlock his handcuffs. He then waited for the rest to return. MacGyver saw Balthesar. He ran to him rapidly. "Balthesar! wait!" he yelled. "Juliet is still alive," he blared.
"What be you sayith," responds Balthesar. "I saw the fair Juliet put in her final resting place, she be as dead as Elvis," he replied angrily. "Do you hath say my dear eyes lie to thy?" questioned Balthesar.
"No, and you are right Juliet is as dead as Elvis," MacGyver stated with authority. MacGyver explained what happened to Juliet. Balthesar finally understood it all. MacGyver sent Balthesar on his way. Rambo returned. Upon seeing a familiar face Rambo got back in touch with reality. MacGyver and Rambo exited the past and entered the present.
Romeo talked with Balthesar. He then returned to what was Verona. The town and its residents were gone; only corpses remained. The only people left were Romeo, Balthesar, Friar Lawrence, and Juliet. Together with new residents, new town was built. Romeo ruled the town. Everyone who lived, lived happily ever after.


MacGyver woke up. He looked around. He realized that he was dreaming and that none of this really happened. He still felt dejected by the tragic ending.

Ok, the ending is a cop out. Throw out everything after that last "LATER", and it's so much better than the real thing. Still tragic, but kinda happy--right? The Tivo of life is 17 years behind me. Time to fast forward through commercials!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

High School was a bunch of crap

Today I couldn't help but think back to a day back in high school. I sat in economics class, hearing some liberal propaganda about how we should be guilt as Americans, as capitalists, for the plight of workers in developing nations who made our shoes, who sew our clothes, who allow us to lead the life of luxury we enjoy. Before long, the bell rang, and I walked to Recreation Class.

Yeah that's right, I took a class in recreation. We "studied" volleyball, badminton, tether ball, and ping pong. Anyway, I suppose I should have felt guilty that as Americans we not only have such luxuries and time to enjoy them, but also that folks in China slave away just to make those toys for us. Whatever, I didn't care, and I enjoyed the fruits of their labor and kicked ass in badminton.

Why do I think about this day back in high school? Well today I saw the Chinese win gold and silver in badminton, watching the winner drop to her knees in tears afterward. Yesterday I saw the Chinese dominate in ping pong, in the only purpose built ping pong stadium. The day before--you guessed it volleyball. Damn! What a load of crap, they're not slaving away. They're just sitting around playing recreation sports. Is Napoleon Dynamite's tether ball prowess all that's left for America to be proud of? Time to get out the croquet set!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Tom Jones, Niel Diamond, and Magnus

Ever wonder what it's like being Tom Jones' tour manager or maybe Niel Diamond's roadie? Whew, I though I was the odd one. Anyway, besides being trampled by over exuberant ladies and maybe some confused dudes, I'm sure it's got its charms. You never get bored or are at a loss for good people watching. The closest any mortal will ever get to this insanity is taking Magnus out in public, as like the lure of Mr Jones and Mr Diamond, he's irresistible. Actually, his draw is much much stronger.

I suppose it makes sense, animal attraction to of all things an animal, but Magnus is so much more than an animal. I imagine maybe the Dalai Llama or some other quasi deity strolling through Tibet may get as much attention as our dear Magnus, maybe on a good day, but I doubt it. You don't believe me? Mom's abandon babies in shopping carts, cashiers leave their tills, and grown men become as sappy as a little girl with their first little pony. Even people used to being around puppies are compulsed to touch him, to dote over him, to merely be near him. Other dogs feel the lure too. Everyone wants to be near the Magnus, though ironically enough, Magnus just wants to lie by my (or Liz') feet and lay low.

I suppose he's a bit like a fluffy (1980s) Michael Jackson. Gosh, I hope his fur doesn't turn all white. He does has a high pitched bark, and I've seen him playing with my gloves. Hmmmm

Intervention time!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Emulation is the sincerest form of flattery

Well if that's the case, our Wii has really boosted the self esteem of old NES, Genesis, SNES, and even Saturn consoles that line landfills across the world. What the hell is Shane blabbering about this time? We'll get there.

You know how guys facing various facets of aging take on long forgotten aspects of their youth such as buying that sports car (or pimped out minivan) of his childhood dreams or reliving the memories of scoring four touchdowns in a game playing for Polk High School. For me, its more geeky. Since I've been banned from watching Jeopardy, I've taken on other pursuits. Yesterday I liberated our Wii, itself a flashback to a mispent youth. Now I can take on Bionic Commando, Pro Wrestling, and even Contra! That's right:

"Congratulations! You've destroyed the vile Red Falcon and saved the universe. Consider yourself a hero."

How's that for a pat on the back! Plus all those years where I remembered ↑ ↑ ↓ ↓ ← → ← → B A and was led to believe those brain cells had a greater purpose, well look who's typing now---byatch! It's great to be alive!

Monday, August 04, 2008

The End is Near

On Sunday August 3rd 2008, the Advantium became self aware.

Liz and I both like to cook, but we love kitchen gadgets. You name it, we've owned it, and with no one holding us back for sanity's sake, its a miracle we're not smothered in gadgets. With a solid household income, Amazon Prime, and infomercials, it's really only space that's holding us back. It really was an issue when her gadget collection united with mine, and until recently we were hovering at that rather restrictive ceiling.

We decided to kick things up a notch by building a new wall of cabinets to house gadgets plus a counter top to display our prized possessions. Out came the breadmaker and the blender, Cuisinart, and KitchenAid had proper homes. We really shouldn't get more, lest we go back to shuttling stuff to/from the garage, but there just had to be a better option. We need more stuff!!!

Like most folks, we have a microwave (two actually), and I'm not sure if this is normal, but we NEVER used it--err either of them. Our solution? Get a new (third) microwave. A cry for help? Not really, as this one can go over the stove. We needed a new vent anyway, and this hardly cost much more, and it's a gadget!

Oh boy, is it a gadget. You see it's a microwave, a vent, and a light ... but wait there's more: it's also a convection oven! But if you order in the next 20 minutes, we'll throw in the ability to cook with halogen lights! Geesh, how could we resist (especially on clearance). We couldn't, and the next thing you know, we're tearing out cabinets, running wires through walls, and rebuilding cabinets to make room for ... The Advantium.

The geniuses at GE (the company that brought us Lexan, Borazon, and ALF!) created this triumverate of cooking, and the halogen bulbs are the real advancement (seems a lot like a heat lamp at Mickie D's to me). The real kicker is how the thing thinks. It knows what you want to do, and then outsmarts you. It's more human than human, and all to scary. The end is near.

Now I just need to figure it out.