Monday, November 29, 2010
I saw these (left) stickers on a beat up volkswagen today and I felt the need to follow up on my car-decal rant from last week.
So anyway, here we have fake bullet-holes. As I passed the aforementioned volkswagen and noticed the 30 or so of these stickers that made the car look as if it had been riddled a la Sonny Corleone on the causeway, I tried to imagine the state of mind, the rationale, if you will, that would lead one to placing these stickers on their car.
Perhaps it IS an homage to the Tattaglia clan, or maybe the old A-team ("See? I got shot at thirty times by an automatic weapon and not only am I alive, so's my ride!")
Or maybe it's something else.
Maybe it is an attempt to appear "gangsta." Maybe it's an attempt to relate and conform to a criminal lifestyle that, for some reason, has become the ideal. You know, the same ideal that causes professional athletes and musicians to illegally carry weapons despite that fact their fortunes would allow for a security detail on par with the Secret Service.
Or maybe it's me. Maybe I'm at the end of Youth and as I turn the corner to Middle-Age, I'm naturally adopting contempt for those just entering their youth. Maybe I'm becoming a grumpy old man shaking my fist at the TV and saying things like "Kids these days..." or "Get off my lawn!" while cracking open a can of Ensure. (The chocolate flavor's yummy.)
Nah. Screw that. Bullet-hole stickers are f#$%ed up. And I'm sorry, but the sticker hasn't been invented yet that will make you more "Gangsta."
Now REAL bullet-holes...
Friday, November 26, 2010
It's not the slip of the tongue that is disconcerting. It's the entire inane, vapid, rambling response devoid of meaning or purpose that caught my ear.
Came across this this week. Warning: Blue Language.....
Two priceless moments. The first at about :05, the sheer look of despair in our would be pervert. The second, at :17, our little spitfire gives what may be the greatest glare in the history of eyeballs, giving the perve no doubt as to the outcome of this little comedy.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Monday, November 22, 2010
I've recently noticed a proliferation of these "In Loving Memory" car decals, generally in the rear window. Apparently, the owners of these cars have suffered a recent loss and are intent on letting everyone behind them know. Obviously death is a sad and sometimes tragic occurrence, but informing complete strangers in traffic strikes me as an odd way to mourn or remember a loved one. Isn't that what funerals and photo albums are for?
How did cars become mobile tombstones? I wonder who the first person was who said "Grandma's dead! I wish to commemorate that sweet woman's passing by plastering her name, birth and death dates on a surface that is essentially a target for bird feces."
Car decals of different types are all the rage. Take these god-forsaken things...
Who is the sadist who came up with this?
Why must I learn everything there is to know about you while I'm stopped behind you at a red light? Must I know that you have three kids and love Disney? Must I know that you "heart" your collie or that your kid is autistic? Do I need to know your alma mater or that there's a baby on board?
I don't care what sport your daughter plays or that you want to keep the Christ in Christmas. I don't care that you despise Ford vehicles so much that you need to display Calvin peeing on the brand name. I am not interested in knowing that you fish or hunt.
Why does your car now have to resemble your Facebook page?
Get a hold of yourselves, people. Your lives and preferences aren't all that important. The only people who need to know all of these things about you know them without looking at your car.
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Robot: Lt. Commander Data from the television series, "Star Trek the Next Generation"
Overview: Designed and built by Doctor Noonien Soong, Data is a sentient android who serves as the second officer and chief operations officer aboard the starships USS Enterprise-D and USS Enterprise E. His positronic brain allows him impressive computational capabilities while his android body is many times stronger and faster than a human body, making Data capable of some amazing physical feats.
Pros: Data's amazing capabilities are in stark contrast to his naiveté regarding the nuances of simple human reaction. Data's search for understanding on matters such as humor, friendship, family and love make for very enjoyable storytelling.
Cons: The damn "emotion chip." Every time Data slaps that bad boy in he becomes immediately unlikeable.
Reality Check: Data is a compelling character and utterly believable as a prediction of robot/android technology a few centuries hence, albeit a bit optimistic. See: Cyberdyne Systems T-800.
Rating: 9 out of 10.
Bonus Feature: One of my favorite scenes; Data playing poker with some of the greatest physicist of the past...
Thursday, November 18, 2010
I made it a point to attend a college at least four hours from home. I don't know why, really. It just seemed important. I opened a map of NY on my bed and circled every state school that was at least 200 miles from home.
I attended a school that was exactly 241 miles from home. It was one of the few goals I achieved in the four years between orientation and graduation.
I learned little in college. I learned that cliques transcend high school. I learned that liquor and beer, imbibed in any order, will make one sick. I learned that the person you knew as freshman was not necessarily the person you walked past with nary a glance as a senior. I learned that the theory of relativity applied to the human condition.
I saw a dying man today. I see this man maybe once or twice a month in the course of my work.
During college the thing I dreaded most about returning home for a holiday or vacation was the inevitable comments about how much weight I had gained or lost during the last visit home followed by the sharing of theories as to my current mass.
"We sent him too much money!" should I be deemed overweight.
"Look at him. Send him more money, dammit!" should I be deemed malnourished.
I saw a dying man today. I see him once or twice a month in the course of my work. He's been sick for some time, cancer from what I've been able to glean.
I would invariably retreat to a bathroom to inspect myself. Turning this way and that, I couldn't begin to see what the family saw. It was the same reflection as yesterday and it would be the same reflection I would see tomorrow. Crazy people. Though they all seemed to get a bit older, fatter or thinner each time I saw them...
I saw a dying man today. I see him once or twice a month in the course of my work. He's been sick for some time, cancer from what I've been able to glean. With each visit, he seems a bit more gaunt, a little slower, thinner, more tired.
It's a question of perspective. It's a question of being a boy in a train tossing a ball in the air as opposed to a boy at the station watching the train go by. Does the ball simply go up and down or does it bounce along as if it thrown. It's a question of perspective.
I saw a dying man today. I see him once or twice a month in the course of my work. He's been sick for some time, cancer from what I've been able to glean. With each visit, he seems a bit more gaunt, a little slower, thinner, more tired. He knows the reality of his situation, but I wonder, after seeing the pain I tried to conceal as I looked at him, if he went into the bathroom to ponder his reflection. I expect that, as he turned this way and that, he felt that he didn't seem all that different.
As rational beings, we all know our realities, but it occurred to me that our own perspective is a gift. It occurred to me that to be the boy on the train isn't about where you are going but where you are, where ignorance is bliss.
Robot: GERTY from the 2009 movie "Moon" starring Sam Rockwell.
Overview: "Moon" is about a man, Sam Bell, who experiences a personal crisis as he nears the end of a three-year solitary stint mining helium-3 on the far side of the Earth's moon. GERTY, a robotic, artificial intelligence, is Sam's sole companion and is responsible for the everyday operation of the moonbase, including caring for Sam.
Pros: Haircuts, food prep, laundry, medical treatment...you name it, GERTY does it with a smile. The "emoticons " that reveal GERTY's emotional state at any given time are a bit much, but they grow on you, and actually make for some poignant moments later in the film.
Cons: I'm thinking...
Reality Check: At the end of the day GERTY is a distinctly believable notion of a robotic, artificial intelligence in terms of structure and function, but with a slight twist. Without giving too much away regarding a great movie, think of GERTY as a HAL-9000 with a conscience.
Rating: 9.5 out of 10.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Robot: Bomb #20 from the John Carpenter classic, "Dark Star"
Overview: In the middle of the 22nd century, humankind has reached a point in its technological advances to enable colonization of the far reaches of the universe. Armed with intelligent "Exponential Thermostellar Bombs", the scout ship Dark Star and its apathetic crew have been in space alone for twenty years on a mission to destroy "unstable planets" which might threaten future colonization. For whatever reason, Bomb#20 malfunctions, and fun ensues.
Pros: Besides packing quite a punch, Bomb# 20 is equipped with an artificial intelligence which allows for a reasoning process that would do Socrates proud. Spoiler Alert! Click HERE to see what I mean.
Cons: The bombs voice, which is an amalgamation of the Hal9000 and Linus from "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" detracts a bit from the above-mentioned philosophical discussion.
Reality Check: It's hard to fathom why, exactly, these bombs were equipped with artificial intelligence and that Bomb#20 would so quickly acquire a God complex. It isn't hard to fathom humanity bulldozing it's way through space.
Rating: 3.5 out of 10. If only for the Bomb philosophy lesson.
Friday, November 12, 2010
Robot: Maximillian, as seen in Disney's The Black Hole.
Overview: Killer robot who's sole purpose was to kill whomever uncovered the secret of the USS Cygnus. Confused? Don't worry, and please don't see the movie. If you must, check out the Wikipedia synopsis.
Pros: Never has so much intimidation been packed into so small a mechanism. Retractable, whirling blades of death and a perpetual scowl make Max no pushover. He floats (literally) through his scenes oozing a palpable aura of dread. And that paint job is the bomb, sick Cold-War red for the antagonist.
Cons: He gets taken out by this:
Reality Check: Again, I'm a sucker for an indiscernible propulsion system. Could Max serve as a effective bodyguard/heavy a few years hence? Hellz yes.
Rating: 5 out of 10. He's a victim of circumstance/crappy movie.
Fun Fact: The movie was renamed in the Soviet Union, because 'black hole' is an obscene term in Russian.
What is the deal with San Francisco? First, the city attempts (successfully, for now, pending a mayoral veto) to ban toys from Micky-Dee Happy Meals. Now, there is an attempt to place a ban on circumcisions on an upcoming ballot.
A San Francisco man is trying to get an initiative on an upcoming city ballot that would ban male circumcision, officials said.No word on what would drive Lloyd to take up the mantle of the "No-Circumcision Movement." I mean, it's an odd thing to rail against, considering the myriad ills of the world.
The proposed measure for the November 2011 ballot would amend the city's police code "to make it a misdemeanor to circumcise, excise, cut or mutilate the foreskin, testicle or penis of another person who has not attained the age of 18," The (San Francisco) Examiner reported.
Under the proposed measure submitted to the Department of Elections, doing so would result in a fine of up to $1,000 and up to one year in jail.
The initiative, which would require the collection of 7,168 valid signatures by April 26, 2011, was submitted by San Francisco resident Lloyd Schofield, who argues it is genital mutilation.
"You shouldn't be performing cosmetic surgery for other people," said Schofield, who points out that female circumcision is banned.
"Tattooing a child is banned as a felony and circumcision is more harmful than a tattoo," said Schofield, who believes religious traditions should change.
"People can practice whatever religion they want, but your religious practice ends with someone else's body," Schofield told CBS news. "It's a man's body and … his body doesn't belong to his culture, his government, his religion or even his parents. It's his decision."
So, with that in mind, is it more reasonable to say that;
A: Lloyd feels strongly on the issue of an individual's right to choose, and feels that said right should preempt a traditionally parental decision,
B: Lloyd has a preference.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Robot: Training remote, as seen in Star Wars Episode IV,
Overview: The training remote was a simple type of training droid most often employed as a means of schooling whiney hillbillies in the Jedi arts.
Pros: Now we're talking! Quick, unpredictable, and unpretentious. This little doohickey had a job to do and it did it.
Cons: Little electric jolts fired from the training-remote eyes will slap your ass worse than a locker room towel, blast shields be damned.
Reality Check: The training remote jumps about with no obvious signs of how, exactly, it's jumping about. It's the future, baby!
Rating: 6 out of 10. Sometimes less is more.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Last night I started thinking about different robots as portrayed on film and TV, and began to judge them. I judged them in terms of whether or not they were believable, then and now. I asked my non-drowsy self; Was the robot a good idea at the time of its inception? Does the robot still stand up today? What are the "Pros" and "Cons" of said robot?
I rated said robots on a scale of 1-10, 1 being lame, 10 being Nostradamus-like. Now, by "robot" I mean any sort of artificial intelligence. We are not prejudiced here at Annoying Joe. We accept all artificial lifeforms, ambulatory or not. Anyway, I thought I would begin to present each robot one at a time over the next few weeks, in no particular order. Great filler material.
So, without further ado, let us Rate the Robots!
Robot: Dr. Theopolis from the Buck Rogers TV program, circa 1978.
Overview: Theopolis, or Theo for short, was an intelligent computer who was part of Earth's Computer Council. He was assigned with the process of assimilating Captain William "Buck" Rogers when he first arrived on Earth.
Pros: Lightweight. Please note hook-shaped ears for easy carrying. And how hot was Erin Gray?
Cons: Forget what I said about not being ambulatory-biased. Really, it's the 25th century and your being carried around by a leather strap?
Reality Check: Sorry Theo, I'll take Google over your seizure-inducing face anyday.
Rating: 1 out of 10. Only because Erin Gray is hot.
Fun Fact: Mel Blanc was the voice of Twiki, Theo's annoying steed.
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
I'm not quite middle-aged, yet I'm not quite young. As such, I can remember the horrible days of years gone by. I remember the days of square TV's and getting up to change the channel. I remember ovens as the primary medium of reheating. I remember walking as a means of getting from A to B. I remember answering a phone without knowing who it was that was calling. Damn it, I remember pay phones!
Worst of all, I remember the days of personal responsibility. I know, right? Makes you just shudder to think about it. Thank heavens for Bloomberg the First, and his crusade to create a city in his image. From WPIX.com...
After taking on smoking and sugary soft drinks,Mayor Michael Blomberg is now targeting one of America's favorite condiments: salt.Next, His Omnipotence will be targeting women with the "Front to Back" campaign. Brought to you by you.
As part of his latest health campaign, Bloomberg is urging New Yorkers to cut their salt intake and start comparing labels on their favorite foods.
The anti-salt campaign will head to the subway in new city ads for the next two months, the city's Health Department announced Tuesday.
Among the ads, one features a half-opened can of soup with a geyser of salt spewing from the top and forming a heap around the can with a startling message: "Excessive sodium can lead to heart attack and stroke."
The citywide campaign costs $370,000 partly paid by taxpayers and the federal government, a spokesperson for the department said.
Whipped up this little diddy for the better-half. She was pa-leased.
And since sharing is caring.....
Pork Chops in Beer recipe
4 large pork chops
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 (12-ounce) can beer
½ cup sliced onions
Daddy threw in a little basil and jalapeno from the garden , but thats just me.
Season both sides of the pork chops with salt and pepper.
Heat oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Add chops and brown on both sides, 6 to 8 minutes total.
Add beer and onions and reduce heat to low. Cover and cook until chops are no longer pink and sauce is reduced, 25 to 30 minutes. Serve.
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Saturday, November 6, 2010
If you would, click here for the lowdown on the little spacecraft that could, and the nerds that love it. Now, if you were a nerd, wouldn't you much rather have a comet named after you than a video-game character?
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Sweet ride, and he looks so nice and white. Why didn't they ever talk about THIS in mass? Jesus looks ready to kick some ass. Who wants to get saved, bitches! It's a surprise the Roman's ever get within 20 feet. Wonder if you can get a stegosaurus-sidecar upgrade...
Red Shirt Guy: Update
Remember King o' the Nerds, Red Shirt Guy. Well the good folks over at Blizzard, the makers of World of Warcraft have decided to do Red Shirt Guy a real solid and repay him for doing his due diligence, not to mention providing mucho free publicity (video over 3 million hits.)
So what can a multi-million dollar company do for a 17 year old. Some money for college? A new laptop for homework? A set of encyclopedias? Ho no. Behold!
Yeah, that's right, they made a character based on him! Wildhammer Fact Checker, kickin' it with the very character that was the subject of Red Shirt Guy's beef.
And so Red Shirt Guy is forever immortalized in the game that he holds so dear. One could say that Red Shirt Guy has risen up to the nerdy heavens to join the great pantheon of nerds. All without ever having ridden a dinosaur.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
A the eyes, ears and Blackberry's of a nation focus on Election Night, I thought it prudent to take a look at some of the hot-button issues being decided by the people. Actually, just one hot-button issue.
So we turn our attention to the "Centennial State," Colorado....(from ABC yest.)
When Denver voters head to the polls tomorrow, they won't just have a chance to vote for a new senator or representatives. They'll have a chance to cast their ballots for E.T.
On the ballot this year is an initiative that would charge the city with creating a seven-person panel to study unidentified flying objects and extraterrestrial life.
Jeff Peckman, the Denver entrepreneur spearheading the campaign, said Denver's Initiative 300 would establish an Extraterrestrial Affairs Commission responsible for collecting and sharing evidence that extraterrestrials are visiting Earth and for assessing the risks and benefits of making contact with those aliens."The reason it's important is that this needs to start somewhere. It's not starting anywhere, at the federal level or state level or any other level of government," Peckman said. "In this country we believe this could very well be a citizen's task."
I wonder if the creation of such a commission would be in direct conflict with any state or federal immigration laws. Let's leave that for whatever misguided legal challenges seek to derail this worthy initiative. For now, forward, Colorado! Shine on you crazy diamond.
Monday, November 1, 2010
Election Day is upon us, and I'm having mixed emotions. For one, it would be nice to put a stop to the endless background noise of political rhetoric. It would be nice to have the nightly news go back to good old fashion fear-mongering. It would be nice to be able to see commercials for products that keep middle-aged women "regular" or middle-aged men "at attention," and not political ad after political ad in which the smiling protagonist sits around with the nuclear family while likening their opponent to the Anti-Christ.
On the other hand, what theater! It's been witches and kicks to the groin and political rally beat-downs. We've met Aqua Buddha and men dressed as Nazis, potheads and former Black Panthers, a madame and a UPS driver.
There has been so many moments. How does one mention them all? It would be nigh impossible. Faced with this, how can one then find a singular piece of evidence that could serve as a microcosm for the entire campaign, something that encapsulates every absurd piece of theater that has been presented to us? A daunting task but....
From California's U.S. Senate campaign, I give you, "Demon Sheep."
And so tomorrow I will fulfill my responsibility and vote. Wednesday, I will get up and go to work. Regardless of the election outcome, I don't expect that I or anything will feel different. I don't expect that my life will change in any significant way. A new set of elected officials will clamor away in a far-off land, pushing and pulling, strutting and fretting their hour upon the stage while accomplishing little, just subtle shifts between ideologies. Over the next two or four or twelve years, the sands of public opinion will be swept up by emotion and selfishness, only to settle upon the one adage that has stood the test of time, "Throw the Bums Out!"