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Sunday, July 29, 2007

Moon on the Moon

Illustration Friday: Moon

I couldn't resist.

I'm sorry I haven't been responding to people's comments lately, or visiting my friends' blogs. I'm running a job in Brooklyn and it's really a drain. All I want to do when I get home is go to bed. I'll try to catch up, though.

Answers to Bonus Questions for the Supreme Geek.
1. Mike & Kim, Craig J. Quack, Knitting Painter Woman, and Janie knew that in Douglas Adams' novel The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything is 42.
2. In 2001, a Space Oddessy, the HAL-9000 computer turned psychotic because while it was programmed not to lie, it was ordered to lie.
3. Craig J. Quack was the only one who knew that the first appearance of Boba Fett was in a cartoon in the wonderfully awful Star Wars Holliday Special. (Janie was shooting for bonus points with the answer "The crown of his head, unless he was breeched," but as every true geek knows, Boba Fett is a clone of Jango Fett and therefore wasn't naturally birthed. Nice try, though.)
4. "Grok," from Heinlein's novel Stranger in a Strange Land, means to drink, or to understand deeply. Good job, Mike & Kim, & Craig.
5. Ubik, (from the novel of the same name by Philip K. Dick) is what you need to return objects to their present states, if you are in fact dead with your body in cold storage & a dead teenager is sucking out your life essence.

Keep on geeking, my friends.
TTFN
-Tony

The Simpsons: Big. Yellow. Pollution.

I'm not going to give an in-depth review here, let's just say The Simpsons Movie was fun and leave it at that. It IS interesting to note, however, that while some elements of the movie were a bit risque, the Itchy & Scratchy short at the beginning was bloodless & much tamer than its television counterparts.

Once again, the useless vomitus masses at AMC Loews Fresh Meadows 7 on Horace Harding Blvd in Queens cut the projector before the credits were over. In fact, they cut it off THE MOMENT THE PIMPLY TEENAGER AT THE END APPEARED ON THE SCREEN & STARTED TALKING. Think about that: a skit at the end of the credits started, and then these friendless bunch of cow stomachs shut off the projector. If you want to save time between shows, cut out the twenty goddamn minutes of commercials before the movie.

TTFN
-Tony

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Dealing with the Worthless People at Verizon (Part 2)

After having to wait yet another entire day for someone from Verizon (8am-6pm is a hell of a window, isn't it?) Jen called Verizon from her cell phone at 5:30 to find out that (supposedly) a technician came out at 3:30, decided "This is an apartment building, I can't get in without someone at their building office letting me in, and they're probably closed" (This is almost verbatim what the lady at Verizon said.) They then said that our basements were "rat infested," (a lie, but how would you know if you couldn't get in?) And whatever is wrong with out phone, (for the second week in a row) it is probably something one of our maintenance people did. Jen furiously told them that she had made arrangements to get the person in to do work, but how could they just (supposedly) come and not even ring the bell? "Well, he tried calling you," the lady at Verizon said. HOW CAN THEY CALL US IF OUR PHONE DOESN'T WORK?

Of course, there's nothing that can be done about it. We just have to wait until tomorrow, and Jen has to waste yet another day sitting around waiting for them to come. No way to make monopolies accountable, no way to ensure this doesn't happen again- or even gets fixed properly.

TTFN
-Tony

Dear Vomitous Masses at Verizon

Dear Vommitus Masses at Verizon.

For the second time in not even two weeks, my phone line & DSL are down (I'm writing this from a library.) The first time, it was out for four days, each day your useless employees telling me that "it will be up by noon." This is the second day of this round without service, and once again, I'm hearing the same pigeon guano come out of your mouths. Kindly get your collective worthless heads out of your fundaments, get over here, fix my phone line, and stop fornicating it up every time you open the service box down the street.

I'd say "thank you" if you'd actually do something
-Tony

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Expelliarmus Vomitus

I think the Harry Potter books are fun and all, but I became a little nauseated when the lady who delivers my mail told me that anyone who messed up the delivery of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows today would lose their jobs.

TTFN
-Tony

Thursday, July 19, 2007

In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Cookie.

Mandy's latest bit of cuteness is referring to Cookie Monster as "Cookie Spirit." We can't figure out why, but we're rolling with it.

TTFN
-Tony

Sunday, July 15, 2007

On the Subject of Geekiness...

Tonight Joe & I watched Star Trek VI together. "Dad," Joe asked, "How come they all have red shirts?"

"Because," I answered, "that's the color the costume people decided to make their uniforms."

Joe scrunched his face up for a moment. "I thought you said that on Star Trek, wearing red shirt means you're going to die!" he said.

NOW IN ALL MY YEARS OF GEEKINESS, HOW COME I NEVER THOUGHT OF THAT?

-TTFN
Tony

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Dis Cover, Dat Cover, Who Cares?

Illustration Friday: Discovery

I don't know who these guys are, but they're out to discover something.

I fully admit that I did no research or use any reference photos. It's sort of a mish-mash of what I think an ancient ship discovering strange new countries would look like.

GEEK QUIZ ANSWERS
1) The Transformers were invented by the Quintessons. This, of course, was not in the Michael Bay film, as it actually would involve a bit of creative science fiction & story telling.
2) Schrödinger's Cat simultaneously exists in the states of being alive and dead- until someone opens the box. Kudos to Aravis & Ian T.
3) On Doctor Who, the first incarnation of The Doctor had a granddaughter, Susan. Good job again Ian T.
4) The U.S.S. Enterprise's insignia is NCC-1701. Good job Elena (aka French Toast Girl) & Loni Edwards.
5) In NetHack, as in regular Hack, eating a floating eye gives you clairvoyance (you can see other creatures anywhere in the level when you are blind.) Again, nice work Elena.
6) In the book 2001 & the film & book 2010, David Bowman's last words as a human were "My God- it's full of stars!"
7) e is the constant for the inverse of the natural logarithm. Say that three times fast.
8) In Dune, a Crysknife is made from the tooth of a giant worm. Elena once again lets her geekiness shine.
9) Wookies come from Kashyyyk, that place with all the tree forts in Revenge of the Sith.
10) The Knights Who Say "Ni" cannot abide the word "it." "Suffice to say, it is one of the words the Knights of Ni cannot hear!... No, it's not 'is,' you can't get very far in life not saying 'is!'" Good job Aravis, Elena, and Ian.

Bonus Questions for the supreme geek!
1) What is the meaning of life? (If you're a true geek, you'll know the answer I'm looking for immediately.)
2) Why did the HAL9000 murder the crew of the Discovery?
3) What was the first appearance of Boba Fett?
4) Define "Grok."
5) What does Ubik fix?

TTFN
-Tony

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

No Offense to Drag Queens, But...

Dear Piers, Shannon, & David:

How could you pass up something brilliant like The Redneck Tenors for a no-talent fat-jiggling female impersonator like Boy Shakira? Seriously! (Note: I have nothing against transvestites- to each their own- I just don't think that being a transvestite in and of itself is a bankable talent.)

TTFN
-Tony

Thoughts for the day

Is childhood religious instruction based on the fact that if you waited until a person was a thinking, reasoning adult BEFORE you tried telling them they have to believe in a church's dogma, they'd probably laugh themselves silly?

"if you have power problems, please report them online at www.ConEd.com." Well, I WOULD but my computer doesn't work when the power is out...

Dear Elton John: About the song, "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me." Wouldn't that burn? (Drum fill)

What the hell is the deal with face & body piercing? Honesty? I know it's their own bodies & their own choices, but I go buggy when I see beautiful women with a nose or eyebrow ring. If it was a giant zit on the side of her nose, the lady would probably go ape-shit, but since it's a cubic zirconia, it's chic. Is it because we live in a society that hates perfection, so these women feel they have to mar themselves in some way to be accepted? When I see a lady with a halter-top & belly ring, the first thing that comes to mind is that it's really the tab for a giant zipper, & there's an alien inside. I know it's nothing to do with me, but if any women out there with studs or loops in their noses want to clue me in, I'd be eternally grateful.

TTFN
Tony.

Monday, July 09, 2007

PEEP SHOW- ONLY 25 CENTS!

A Conversation while driving down 38th street on Saturday:

Joe: What's a Peep Show?
Me: What?
Joe: There's a sign: "Peep Show, only twenty-five cents!"
Jen: Oh God...
Me: Well... you know what Peeps are?
Joe: No...
Me: You know, those yellow marshmallow chickens you get at Easter?
Joe: The ones you tried to roast on a stick but they just melted?
Me: That's them! Well... they make puppets... of giant Peeps. And they... put on a show.
Joe: What kind of show?
Jen: Yeah, what kind of show?
Me: You know- singing, dancing- it's like The Muppet Show. But with Peeps.
Joe: I want to go!
Me: I don't have twenty-five cents.
Joe: Mommy, what's so funny?
Jen: Nothing!
Me: Besides, we can't stop, we're going to Tom & Rachel's
Joe: Some other time, then.
Me: ...Yeeeah.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

"...and if there's one thing lower than a sideshow freak/ It's a grit eating, scum sucking, pencil necked geek!"

Illustration Friday: Geeky

Tony's Ultimate Geek Test

1) According to the original television show, what race created the Transformers?
2) In Quantum Physics, what two simultaneous states does Schrödinger's cat exist in?
3) On the show Doctor Who, who is the only relative of the Doctor's ever shown in the series?
4) What has the insignia NCC-1701?
5) In NetHack, what will eating a floating eye's corpse do for you?
6) What were David Bowman's last words before entering the stargate?
7) In algebra, what does the letter e (lower case) stand for?
8) How do you make a Crysknife?
9) What planet do Wookies come from?
10) What word do the Knights Who Say "Ni" fear most?

Feel free to add your own.

TTFN
-Tony

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Dream a Little Dream of Me

I don't know what Jen put in the steak Marinade last night, but whatever it was, it gave me some really odd ones:

Dream 1:
My family & I were at my (maternal) grandparents old house in Brooklyn. It was late at night. Instead of windows in the kitchen, there was a sliding door that led to an Olympic length indoor swimming pool. Suddenly in shorts, I sat at the edge & dipped my feet in the water. It was heated. My cousins' kids were playing in the water. At the center of the pool was a scaffold with halogen lamps on stands and a baby goat chained to it. A long series of extension cords- which sometimes sagged into the water- powered the lights, which were barely above water. I waded to the scaffold and unplugged the cord. The end fell apart and began to unravel in my hands. I began to panic, terrified that the children & I would be electrocuted. I blew on the stranded wires & they glowed as if they were on fire. I lay them on the goat, hoping his fur would insulate him. It worked. I woke up.

Dream 2:
I was invited to an eleven-year-old's birthday party. Realizing I didn't have a gift, I grabbed a small flower pot on the way out. The kid's mother (who looked just like Patricia Heaton) raised her eyebrow & pointed to an identical flower pot alongside her driveway . I dream-remembered that I had gotten that for the kid last year. I made up some story about forgetting the rest of the present- some sort of botanical junior science kit- at home. She pretended to accept this. Instead of going inside, I was captivated by their brick driveway, which was carved with runes. I looked closer and saw that instead of bricks, they were really making up the marble roof of an ancient, buried building. I marked the block I had been examining with a Sharpie. I woke up.

Dream 3:
I was about to take part in some kind of battle. We were all given night-vision helmets that looked like Princess Leia's mask when she's pretending to be a bounty hunter in Return of the Jedi. My lenses weren't lining up correctly. My fellow soldiers were very relaxed & helpful.

Dream 4:
I was going to go to the firing range with my friend Chris' father. I didn't have a weapon, just pockets full of old bullets I didn't think would really work.

Any ideas?

TTFN
-Tony

I Feel So Safe Now.

According to the New York Daily News, a man was caught videotaping the new Transformers movie in a seven-plainclothes-officer sting. I'm glad that our city's crime rate is so low that that amount of manpower can be spent on something so important.

TTFN
-Tony

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Tony's Movie Reviews: Transformers



Let me start by saying that this is not really a Transformers movie. It's more like Godzilla vs. King Kong with robots. (Optimus Prime doesn't appear until halfway through the movie, Megatron isn't even moving until the last act.) Having said that, it's a great, action-packed movie & lots of fun. It was just a little sad that the Transformers themselves are secondary to the plot.

The Good:
Great story, excitement, believable characters. Amazingly, the U.S. Army were cast as the good guys (which has actually caused some dissent on weblogs.) The Transformers- what little we saw of them- were absolutely as they should be. Kudos for the return of Peter Cullen as Prime.

The Bad:
Although the military were not villains (for once,) the Big Bad U.S. Government took the form of a secret branch of the FBI. I know, I know, this is a Hollywood movie after all. So, Michael Bay, maybe you want to explain to my nine year old son why his country would torture Bumblebee (a good Autobot, for those who are not initiated.) It upset him a lot. The best I could come up with was that you wanted to make sure you were still invited to parties in L.A.
I also could have done without the ten-minute comedy relief scene of the Autobots destroying Sam's yard while tip-toeing around it & trying not to let his parents see them. That was just dreadful.
Far too little actual Transformers in the damn thing! (For the almost 2 & 1/2 hours of running time, there are maybe twenty minutes of actual Transformers in it.)

The Ridiculous:
How many other construction workers muttered a "yeah, right!" when the girl decapitates a Decepticon with one swipe of a Sawzall? If you've ever had a blade fold like cardboard when you hit an unexpected nail while cutting a sheetrock wall, you know what I'm talking about.
Oh, and I'm so so glad that the filmmakers ditched veteran voice actor Frank Welker (the original) for Hugo Weaving to voice of Megatron. Those eight lines or so that he had really added an extra star onto the reviews. (Insert sarcasm here.)

Summary:
If you want to see a movie that's full of fun, action, and excitement, go see this movie. You won't be disappointed. However, if you want to see a creative anime film that's actually about Transformers fighting across the galaxy, rent the original 1986 Transformers: The Movie. I promise you won't be disappointed either.

Side Note:
Did anything happen at the end of the credits? (Not the corny scenes with Sam's Parents.) The anal wipes at AMC Loews Fresh Meadows 7 on Horace Harding Blvd in Queens cut the projector about 2/3 of the way into the credits, despite the angry protests of the twenty or so of us who were still watching. Also, their speakers kept cracking throughout the film. If I have to sit through ten minutes of television commercials after paying to see a movie, I better get my full money's worth!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Because I'm a Glutton for Punishment...

Because I'm a glutton for punishment, I decided to try another Myspace page. The new one is here, and as before, can be found to the right. Feel free to ask me to be your friend (unless you're a spammer, in which case please stick your genitalia in boiling marmalade.)

Here is an example of dealing with Myspace's technical support:

From: Tony LaRocca
To: Myspace
6/26/2007

Why did you delete my account? You didn't send me any sort of notification. I did not violate any terms of service. Any copyrighted material on my site was my own. Please tell me if there is any way of rectifying this.


From: Myspace
To: Tony LaRocca
7/3/2007 (Notice this is a week later.)

Hello,

Thanks for contacting Customer Support at MySpace.com.
We were working on making things better on the site and you might have had some problems signing on. But try logging on now!
However, if you are still having problems signing in, please provide the following information:
Email/Log in address:
Password or Salute:
- For identification purpose, we require your password or a salute. A salute is a current photo of your self holding a hand written sign with your Friend ID or URL.
- The Friend ID is located on the web address bar above your profile after “friendID=”. You might have to go to a friend’s profile to look for yourself.
Link/url:
- Many times, the email address was entered wrong. We need a link or Friend ID to locate your account.

Thank you,
MySpace.com


Obviously, they just have some sort of automatic mail filter that picks out key words and sends what it considers is the best automated reply. I'm trying to set up my new page now (which will be extremely spartan- it's just a good way of keeping in touch with people) and every other time I click on something to set up my profile, I get a "sorry, an error has occurred." Message. Sorry, I have a life. Maybe tomorrow.

TTFN
-Tony

Monday, July 02, 2007

Let's Twist Again Like We Did Last Summer

Illustration Friday: Twist

Bob learns the hard way that you should always check your chiropractor's credentials before you visit his office.

(My chiropractor is very good, actually.)

TTFN
-Tony