Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A Poor Craftsman Blames His Tools

Apologies to my regular readers (Hi Mom and Dad!), but this post will be photo and cat heavy.

As part of her continuing education program, my cat has recently learned how to open cabinets in the kitchen.  As fun as it is to hear scratching and doors slamming at all hours of the day, and as much as I love the, "which door will the cat jump out of?" game, I do have some concerns.

These concerns are twofold:  Neko does not reseal the corn chips, causing precious tostitos to become stale when I most need a snack.  And two, the cat can not read.

Hard to believe, but the cat is completely unable to read the safety warnings denoting various poisons underneath the sink.  Perhaps if the manufacturers of bleach had thought to include tiny pictures of vomiting cats I wouldn't need to worry, but until Clorox considers all potential consumers of their product, Professor Meowmers must be prevented from gaining access to the houses cleaning supplies, old grocery bags, sponges, and assorted dirty dishes that Annie and I try to hide from guests.

To this end, I purchased child safe door latches.  Presumably, babies are not any more intelligent than house cats and must be prevented from trapping their tails underneath falling pots and pans.  I picked these latches up at the local hardware store after gazing longingly at the axes and muttering under my breath until asked if I could be helped.  They were the only door latches at the Maple Leaf Tru-Value, so I presume that they are the top of the line in child safety.

Hmm, or maybe not.  Well, it's not like you have to touch these every time you use them... Anyway, I'll just hope that it's only one chemical in the latches that causes cancer, birth defects, and other reproductive harm, and that the side effects will be laser eyes for any future offspring of mine.  Otherwise, if my unborn children or I get cancer, I'm coming for you S-4463 Child Safe Door and Cabinet Latch.  Ok, with those safety concerns out of the way, it's time to install the door latches.  This shouldn't be too hard, with the proper tools.

Not pictured is the bottle opener I needed to get started.  After carefully measuring out the distance for the mounting piece, pre-drilling the holes, swearing as I drilled through the side of the cabinet, more carefully pre-drilling the holes, screwing in the bracket backwards, struggling to find reverse on the drill, screwing in the bracket forwards, and attempting for over an hour to get the latch piece to line up, my work was done.  Yep, it's just that easy.  I also hit upon an alternate solution about 65 minutes in that fits more with the overall aesthetic look of Annie and my apartment.

Friday, September 16, 2011

While I'm Thinking About It...

Why has this franchise not been rebooted?

Are they waiting until they can clone dinosaurs so it looks even more awesome?  That must be it.  There is no other explanation for neglecting dinosaurs being turned into tanks.

Life Imitating Leisure

More Like Bored Games

Film studios seem to be adopting an awful lot of board games into movies these days.  Maybe the intellectual property rights to the Dark Tower series are too difficult to acquire.  Perhaps the supply of comic books has been finally exhausted.  The average theme park ride can only sustain fifteen feature films. And I suppose there's a finite number of Fast and Furious action movies you can crank out over a decade without affecting quality, because that's the only way I can imagine someone daring to pitch a film based on a board game.

I'll concede that basing a motion picture on a board game is not the worst idea in the history of cinema (hello, Triumph of the Will II: Electric Boogaloo).  Clue managed to gain a cult following.  It's probably more tolerable than the game it's based on.  And it's a little known fact that Citizen Kane was based on Monopoly.  But some of the previews I've seen lately have led me to question the sanity of the average green-lighter.


Yes.  Battleship.  The board game, Battleship.  The one where you place tiny plastic ships already riddled with holes on a grid to try to stick them with shells the size of Saturn V rockets.  Well, it's going to be a major motion picture in 2012.  Starring Liam Neeson.  The trailer leads me to believe that aliens invade earth during a naval exercise in an alternate future where the world's battleships have not been mothballed.  And it appears that there's no radar, so the aliens and Liam Neeson don't know where they are, and have to randomly fire shells and wait for the other side to announce if they've been hit.  I can't wait for the scene where humanity cannily hides its patrol boat next to its cruiser, so that the Aliens move on to shelling J12 and F8, never imaging that Admiral Liam Neeson had the balls to put a group of ships so close together.  This movie will be so full of action that it will have to come with a warning from the Surgeon General that your knuckles may explode from the tension of gripping your arm rest as you discover that the aliens looked at America's fleet deployment when America went to the bathroom.  I can't wait.

Two Machines Enter, One Machine Leaves

Let me be clear: it is hard to have a bad movie where robots fight other robots.  If Sex and the City III has a five minute clip in the middle where two robots start wailing on each other in a Roman gladiator arena, I will see that movie.  I would pay fifty bucks to watch  Honda's ASIMO suplex IBM's Deep Blue through a Ms. Pacman table.   Wait, no, I would pay several hundred dollars to see that. So it wasn't entirely distressing to see the trailer for Real Steel, a movie starring Hugh Jackman that looks to be based on Rock 'Em Sock 'Em robots.  I guess in the future, robot boxing has left real boxers with few opportunities to suffer long term brain damage.  So one guy disguises himself as a robot, probably by building some kind of mech suit during a montage.  Or they build a scrappy robot that can take on the rich boys robot during a montage.  And, if they're true to the game, the protagonist and his mechanical opponent will have a dramatic title bout where they flail wildly for forty seconds until one of their heads pops back without having suffered any discernible blow.  Then both of them are sold at a garage sale years later where people try to remember why they thought they seemed fun.  I guess that could be ok.  I hope Michael Bay isn't attached though.  That man knows how to ruin robots fighting.

 Candy Regicide: Life On The Streets

Good heavens!  The kindly King Kandy (Sean Connery) has been kidnapped by the evil Lord Licorice (Gary Oldman).  It's up to a ragtag group of kids to traverse a treacherous path to free him and restore order to Candy Land.  As they travel along through the peppermint forest, they run into the overly stimulated Mr. Mint (Jim Carey), who teaches them to channel the power of the double red card.  They skip on ahead on the rainbow road to the peanut brittle hut of Gramma Nut (Betty White).  After suffering excruciating cut gums, they move on and reach the haunting beauty of the realm of Queen Frostine (Cate Blanchett).  She sees them to the edge of the molasses morass of Gloppy (Seth Rogen), a friendly monster who imparts several messages about the importance of family.  Finally, the children and their companions are able to see the gates of Candy Land.  As they steel themselves to cast down the bonbon usurper they, wait, what?  The Plumpy the Plumpa card!?!  God dammit.  All the way back to the beginning.  God dammit.  What the hell is a plumpa?  I hate this movie.

And here's my best guess at the future of board game based films:

-Settlers of Catan - Hardy frontiersmen seek to carve a sheep empire out of the rough, odly hexagonal island of Catan.  Kurt Russell stars as The Robber.

-Jenga - A documentary on the collapse of Dubai's Wooden Financial Enterprise Center.

-Hi Ho! Cherry O - Obviously, this will be a porno.

-Hungry Hungry Hippos - This project was cancelled in the planning phases when Marlon Brando died.  Advances in digital imaging will allow him to join Orson Welles, Chris Farley, and Eddie Murphy in a comedy about the world of competitive marble eating.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Sharing is caring; caring is the first step to oppressive socialism

You know when you're watching a movie with someone and enjoying a delicious bucket of popcorn, and you both reach for a handful together and your hands meet together in the tub for a tender and buttery embrace? Me neither. Any time you are sharing food, you should be engaged in a zero-sum game of resource and heartburn maximization. If someone else manages to get their hand into the bucket, they'd best emerge with it a bloody stump as you triumphantly scream for more butter.  To do less would be to admit that you cannot marshal and defend resources and would make a poor mate.