Archive for February, 2011

Top 10 Tuesdays 14: For Them Sick People Out There

Posted in 1980's, 1990's, 2000's, Dreamcast (Long Live the...!), Modern, N64, NES, PS2, Retro, Top 10 Tuesdays, Transformers on February 25, 2011 by Divide By Zero

It’s that time of year again.  Everyone at my day job either has been or is now sick.  Same thing goes for the people at my night job, my weekend job, everyone I tutor, and everyone I meet.  Except for me, of course.  My immune system is one of the parts of my body that is actually more awesome than I am.

Therefore, I have taken it upon myself to give you some suggestions as to how to spend the time off you’re inevitably going to take at the slightest tickle in your throat.  Therefore, let’s get right down to brass tax with:

The Top 10 Video Games To Play When You’re Sick

#10.  Virtua Cop  (Sega Saturn)


You’re already in a crappy mood.  You may as well try and play a crappy game on a crappy system.  Playing this game with a normal controller is horrible, and I’m guessing playing with a light gun controller isn’t very much better.  And finding a plot in this game is harder than finding a pulse a palm tree.  But it’s worth checking out.  And I think I got my copy for $1.00 including shipping.

#9.  Bubsy II  (Sega Genesis)


This is a silly, childish, “feel-good” kind of game that most people would consider a “kiddy-game” but it’s still awesome.  I could go on for pages and pages about all the different quirky little things involved with this game that are enjoyable.  But I don’t have time, because this is just a top 10 list.  Consider this one chicken soup for your video game itch.

#8.  Aladdin  (Sega Genesis)


My mom used to really get into this game, so i don’t know how well this one will work for everyone, but for me it’s a comfort game.  So if you miss your mommy, or she isn’t there for one reason or another, to take care of you, this is the game to play.

#7.  Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen  (PS2)


There is never a bad time to play this game.  Optimus Prime’s butt-kicking ability mixed with the other characters special moves that you get to play will have you feeling like you can take on the world again in no time!  Definitely worth checking out.. I think I paid about $6.00 for my copy, and it is well worth the investment!

#6.  Mario 64  (N64)


This is a great overall game that used to take weeks out of our respective schedules to beat.  Now you can get it done if you can manage to get 2, possibly 3 days off from work/school.  Plus it’s good to play this game to the point where you can beat it, if only to have it under your belt.

#5.  Speed Devils  (DC)


You can definitely beat this game if you aren’t sick enough to get more than one day off.  There’s a glitch you can use that will help you out.  The most expensive car is $200,000.  The one next to it in the showroom is $20,000.  Once you save up the 20 grand, look at the car that you can afford with it, then if you switch to the $200,000 car (I think it’s called the Mystere) and hit “A” to purchase it as quickly as possible before the new price shows up on the screen.  If you do it correctly, you buy the $200,000 car for 1/10th the price.  It’s also the fastest car that will ensure you win every race.  Check it out.  With or without the glitch it’s a fun and enjoyable game to play.  I think the Dreamcast in general is that way, and they all are very cheap, and as I’ve mentioned before, the games are practically free.  So considering what you pay for ir, the Dreamcast will probably give any collector the most bang for their buck.

#4.  Kid Chameleon  (Sega Genesis)


This is a really great game.  I think it’s one of the hidden gems in the Sega library.  It’s kind of tricky, and just a little bit weird.  I forget what the plot is, but there is one there.  They call him Kid Chameleon because you can run around and get different suits that change you into different things.  There’s one that turns you into Jason (from the Friday the 13th  movie franchise), there’s a Samurai suit, and my favorite (which you don’t get until about the 6th level) suit that turns you into a tank.  There’s 35 (?) I think different suits in all and there are about 5 different suits in each level.  It’s fun running around and just seeing what the suits can do.  It’s even more fun finding your favorite one and dominating the entire game with it!  It’s an average of $4.00 on eBay, or you can get it for the Nintendo Wii’s Virtual Console for 500 points (or $5.00).

#3.  Cubivore  (Game Cube)


I don’t know where to start with this one.  It’s cute, it’s crafty, it’s enjoyable, and it’s just great.  It’s easy to slip into a game like this and find yourself in a trance, trying to get farther and farther into it.  Look at this video, it’s long but it’ll give you a good feel for the game:

Great, right?  It’s a little different, and you can tell that this is not a cookie-cutter game.  That’s why I like it so much!  For just about every popular or trendy game out there you can name, I can retort with at least 10 games that are at least 90% the same.  How many games have you played like Cubivore?  One… and that’s only if you’ve played Cubivore.  It’s worth checking out, and it’s colorful, and a little complex.  At the very least, it’ll make your NyQuil trip pretty interesting.

#2.  Virtual Hydlyde  (Sega Saturn)


This game is friggin’ weird.  It’s perfect for playing while you’re under the weather.  It’s impossible to get bored with.  The map is randomly generated, and it’s so terrible it’s great.  It’s also so great it’s terrible.  You can Youtube some of the game play on this game.. but I won’t dare link it onto this article.  I have not only a moral, but an ethical problem with that.  It’s unspeakably horrible.  Playing this game while you’re ill will be best if you take lots of breaks to puke.  …because you’re sick.  Oh and because the game sucks too.

#1.  Dr. Mario  (NES)


This is a classic, simple, easy, feel-good game.  It’s not considered a “true Mario” game because there are no pipes, no raccoon tails, no fire flowers, no koopas, and no goombas.  It’s a tetris-esque knock off with Mario thrown in to boost the sales numbers.  It’s very worth it, and the best part is it’s beatable even if you’re sick as a dog.

There’s my rundown of how you should spend your sick time.  Anything else is a waste of time.  So instead of heading to the pharmacy aisle of your local grocery store, head to gamestop instead.

See you there.

The Jester.

*All images and videos are property of their respective owners and may be subject to copyright laws.  All images obtained through Google image search. All videos obtained through Youtube search.*

Nerdy Monday 20: Transformers (2007)

Posted in 1980's, 2000's, Family, Modern, movies, Retro, Robots, T.V. shows, Transformers on February 25, 2011 by Divide By Zero

I’ve been thinking about how to set up this nerdy Monday post for a while now.  I batted it around, chewed it up, all that jazz, but I think I’m just going to dive right in.

I’m going to be talking about the first Transformers move directed by Michael Bay.  Before the movie came out in 2007, the only other Transformers movie there was, was the full-length animated 1984 installment entitled Transformers: The Movie.

I remember the opening day of the movie.  I went to the midnight sneak preview of the movie here in town.  And let me just be clear about this, in my small corner of the world, movie theatres are never ever at risk of selling every seat in the house.  But this night, it was a packed house.  I had to get there more than an hour early to get a mediocre seat.  I don’t know how to explain it, but in the theatre that night, the air was electric.  Everyone was dressed up somehow in a Transformer’s tee-shirt, a few of them brought some action figures, one guy had boots on that looked like Optimus Prime’s feet!

I remember vividly the shock and awe, and the uncontrollable yelling and applause when Optimus first came on the screen.  I remember the same thing happening when all the transformers, and the 2 main characters of the movie gathered in that alley and all of the Transformers started changing into their robot-form.  It looked awesome, it looked detailed, and it looked like it could be real.  It could have been happening right in front of us in real life, and we (the audience)  couldn’t be more excited!

As I looked around the room, I noticed that everyone was right around my age.  I was born less than one year after the pilot episode of the Transformers aired.  So I literally grew up with all the characters from that show.  I wish I still had all of the toys, comic books, and VHS tapes I recorded the show onto.  It would be a treasure trove of awesome nostalgic memorabilia.  And we all (I know I was) had been waiting for this movie to be made for a long time.

That same feeling came back to me when that movie was released on DVD/Blu-Ray and put on the Wal-Mart shelves.  Again, I showed up at midnight, and waited eagerly for the stock boy to bring the palate jack out with the Transformers movie display on it.  I waited along side 2 or 3 dozen other people all wearing Transformers shirts.. and the guy with the Optimus boots was there too.  It was odd, I know, but it’s the truth.

Michael Bay is looked down upon by a few critics, but I think he did an awesome job with this movie.  He knew how sentimental the fan base was, and did not disappoint.  I don’t care that everyone says he has too many explosions in his movies.  Or how he has too many jump-cuts to different scenes, or the whole Armageddon fiasco he was made fun of for.  He took the Transformers and made something cool, even cooler.  Bay even received an award from the man who created the Transformers AND the CEO of Hasbro (the company that makes/licenses the Transformer toys) for being humble, noble, and staying true to the morals upheld By the Transformers.  Yes, he was that serious.  [If you bought the special edition DVD with the bonus features on it, you’d know that already].

So not only did this pretty much make Michael Bay a pop culture icon, as well as a household name, it launched Megan Fox’s career.

Thank you Transformers. And Michael Bay.

 

Sure she’s done some crappy movies in between the filming of the Transformers/Bay movie franchise.  Seriously, what was that whole Jennifer’s Body supposed to be?  But no one is watching her for.. well, I think we all know what people watch her movies for.

Shia Lebeouf is also in the movie, he’s the star, or something.  I don’t know, I think the people who did the voices of the robots should have been cast about Shia.  Don’t get me wrong, I like Shia.. I actually watched him back in the day when he was on the Disney Channel show, Even Stevens. I think he’s hilarious!  It just seemed a little off to me when he was cast as Sam Witwicky in Transformers, only because it’s a more dramatic role.  It was different at first, and he did an okay job.  I think he developed his character towards the end of the first movie.  He just seemed more comfortable in the role, and it showed.

Who knew this kid would grow into his nose and be the guy a new generation of Transformer fans would want to be.

Oh and he made out with Megan Fox!

Overall, I am very pleased with the way these movies are unfolding.  And the next one is being filmed in Washington D.C.!  That’s my old stomping grounds!  I was born and raised not too far from there.  It sucks that they had an on set accident with one of the BumbleBee cars:

But with all the money involved in this franchise, I’m sure they have more than one of everything.

This movie is overly satisfying, nostalgic, clever, and just plain old awesome.  It’s funny in the right spots, and very reminiscent of the old cartoons/comics.  The only thing that irked me a little bit, was that GM plugged an entire line of cars to be used for the movies.  I think they could have diversified the line up a little, just to make it more exciting.  But I have to give them credit for making BumbleBee a Camaro, because in the old cartoons he was a VW Beetle.  Or more commonly referred to as “the bug”.  I can see how that’s a cool play on words, but for real, no one today would think of BumbleBee as an intimidating “Guardian” alien robot as a Bug.

Pictured: Definitely not a badass intimidating Guardian alien robot with a heard of gold.

I can’t wait for the next one to come out.

Fun Fact #1:  Did you know the voice of Megatron was the same guy who played Agent Smith in the Matrix movies?

Fun Fact #2:  And the guy who did the voice of Jazz (The Pontiac Solstice) is the guy who played Eddie Winslow (Steve Urkel’s friend) in Family Matters?

That’s it for now, see you in the ticket line for the next installment.

The Jester.

 

*All images and videos are property of their respective owners and may be subject to copyright laws.  All images obtained through Google Search.  All images obtained through Youtube.com Search.*

 

The Outback Chronicles: Part 4

Posted in Alcohol Involved, Bad employment, Downtown Bristol, Local, Modern, Outback Steakhouse, Terrible work on February 24, 2011 by Divide By Zero

This time in my little OS-Lounge mini-saga, I’m going to tell you about the time that guy that got fired for drinking at work in the dish pit.

Let me set the “dish pit” up a little bit first.  I know I’ve mentioned it before, but I haven’t done it justice.  It’s hard to communicate with the other people in the kitchen, it’s hard to see who’s walking by, and more or less, it was like a dungeon.  I guess it really wasn’t that bad, but that’s how you feel about your little corner of hell after a million 13 hour shifts.

It was so weird working in that stuffy little corner that… check this out:

One kid about 19 years old or so, we’ll call him Dusty.  He worked there for about 3 weeks, and then one day while he was on break, he went outside to call someone back who had called his cell earlier in the day.  After his break, he came back in and said “I think I have to go to jail.”  He told Ted about it, and cleared it with everyone he needed to and left.  His story didn’t add up, and no one ever saw him again.  That’s right, the dude faked a jail sentence in order to get out of working there.   It makes more sense now that I said it like that.

Back to the story at hand though; the person who trained the guy with the jail situation, we’ll call him Bruce, was not very professional at all.  He showed up to work every day hungover or buzzed.  Either way, he had the stench of alcohol all over him most of the time.  Granted, most of the kitchen staff was like that too, but they got their job done.  They also didn’t empty their paycheck out at the gas station and liquor store every week, either.  He was borderline, if not a full blown alcoholic.  And he was in charge of training most of the new dishwashers.

Before too long, he had trained one of the busboys’ brothers, and they were in the dish pit together most nights for the next few months.  At least until one fateful night, when everything Bruce was doing outside of work came to a boil at work and exploded all over his face.

The busboys brother, we’re going to call Scruffy.  He had a perpetual 5 o’clock shadow, and that’s the first word that came to my mind. And it’s my story, so I can name him whatever I want.

Anyways, one night, Bruce came in with 2 water bottles.  Not just the standard 12 oz. size water bottle that most people carry.  It was the big, I don’t know, 28 or 32 ounce bottles.  However you want to slice it, those 2 bottles were big enough to hold a fifth of vodka.  And back when I knew him, Bruce drank cheap, cheap vodka.  The kind of cheap vodka that should have eaten straight through anything plastic.  It was gross.

He brought in 2 bottles because he didn’t want to drink alone, so one bottle was for Scruffy, and the other was for Bruce.  I could kind of see the thought process behind Bruce’s thinking, because the dish guys were so disconnected from everyone else, he figured no one would really notice that he was tying one on, while he was on the clock.  Also I think his biggest problem was that he planned on his share of the vodka lasting his entire 10 hour shift.  When in all actuality it lasted about 2 hours before it was gone.. and I don’t think Bruce ever ate anything before he clocked in.

So one sip of the vodka led to another.  Then one broken plate led to another.  Then one fall led to another.  Larry ended up stepping in when Bruce was taking forever and a day to load dishes onto a tray, and push them through the dishwasher.  Scruffy told me later that he could have smoked an entire cigarette in between each one of the trays that came out of the dishwasher.  For anyone who hasn’t worked a commercial dishwasher, you can usually push about 40 trays through the machine in one minute.  Needless to say it’s super slow when you’re only pushing 1 through every 7 minutes.  Poor Bruce.

To this day I don’t know if Larry stepped in because he didn’t want Bruce to get in trouble, of because Ted & the management told him to.  Larry made Bruce sit on a milk crate in the corner for a bit, to see if he would be able to sober up quickly.  I think that if Bruce would have done as he was told – which was sit and stay like a good boy – he may have been alright, and been able to finish his shift without any help from Larry.  BUT.. as drunk people are prone to not listening to what other people tell them to do, Bruce kept trying to stand up.  He’d fall, then he’d break more dishes.

So Scruffy took it upon himself to take Bruce to the employee bathrooms in the back of the restaurant.  Scruffy basically had to carry Bruce all the way to the bathroom, and sit him down on one of the 5 gallon buckets that littered the floor of the employee bathrooms.  He wanted to keep Bruce there so he could smoke, and also to keep him away from any and all management that happened to be there that night.  Bruce passed out on that 5 gallon bucket, only to wake up 20 minutes later.  Determined as all get out, he tried to work again.  He fell again.  Now the management really knew about what was going on with him and was fed up enough with it (and rightfully so), so Bruce got sent out of the building, so he wouldn’t hurt himself or anyone else.

He was instructed not to drive home.  And before long, he was gone.. so was his car.  We all thought that he drove himself home, and everyone immediately got pissed because he drove home drunk.  Not.  Ever.  Cool.  We all found out later though that he had some people pick him up and take his car back to his house.  Bruce was a good guy, so I believe it.

Some hours later (that same night), Bruce’s mom called the restaurant.  She proceeded to yell at Ted, and then again at Larry.  I don’t know, nor can I imagine what was said over the phone, but I know the guys in the BOH passed the phone around and let Bruce’s mom yell at one another for a while.  The phone finally ended up in the hands of the head waiter/host (I’m not really sure what his official title was), but his name was Kyle.  It’s against any restaurants policy to give out information on their workers, so Kyle wouldn’t answer any of Bruce’s mom’s questions.  I can’t imagine how mad she got after that.

After that happened, Larry smoothed everything over with Bruce’s mom.  He at least got her to hang up the phone.  He went back to work along-side Ted, and Ted was so fed up with the whole situation that he fired Bruce.  It was kind of hasty, but it had to be done.

The next morning, the owner’s husband, Houston, calls Bruce and tells him to “get his ass back to work, no matter how bad his hangover was.”

Everyone goes through hard times, sure.  And I think everyone deserves to be forgiven at work once for something really bad like what happened that night.  They forgave Bruce for that night, and he didn’t let it happen again [that anyone knew of, anyway].

A few months later, the owner came back to work after a period of leave.  Bruce showed up one day on his day off to check the schedule while he was wearing an Outback work shirt.  The owner smelled booze on Bruce (which was typical for him).  After he left, she had a meeting with the other managers and anyone who was connected to the situation.  I don’t know what was said but I know that they either called him that same day, or the next morning to fire him for real.  To my understanding, he has never been back to the OS-Lounge since.

It’s weird how peoples’ moods change and the past is brought back around full circle.  In my opinion Bruce should have been terminated the night he got plastered at work.  That’s what he deserved.  And in any other job he would have been.  But since he worked in a restaurant.. C’est la vie.

See you by table 7.

The Jester.

Top 10 Tuesdays 13: For People With Short Attention Spans

Posted in Top 10 Tuesdays on February 19, 2011 by Divide By Zero

There are some people out there that don’t have the ability to read an entire article I write, or a book, or a newspaper. You know the type, they get the newspaper, go straight to the comics and then maybe skim through a few article titles before they “finish it”. Then they put it away and go find something else to do. People that have this “affliction” more severely than others are labeled as being ADHD. For the rest of those people though, they merely have a shorter than average attention span.

It affects people of all ages, races, religions, genders, political backgrounds, and it doesn’t matter if you a neat freak, kind of a slob, or anywhere in between. If someone you know can’t finish one of my articles, it’s not because I’m a bad writer, or I’m not funny or whatever, (because I’m awesome at writing funny things) it’s because they have an attention span that can only be measured in nanoseconds.

Some people are tolerable, some people you can’t stand to talk to them because you can’t keep up in a conversation with them. It’s crazy right. I’m pretty sure every one of you out there have met at least one person like that. You talk to them for 30 minutes, and you have to go take a nap for 2 hours because your mind is exhausted. Well, those people have been alienated for long enough. If they can’t find anything to do, I took this opportunity to give them something to do. So here we go with:

The Top 10 Video Games to Play When You Have a Short Attention Span!

#10. Tetris (system varies)

I know this game comes up a lot, but hear me out! Tetris has been proven to be visually stimulating, help develop problem solving skills as well as boost independence in Japanese youths. Yes, there were actually a team of scientists back around 2001 that studied what traits Tetris would strengthen in little kids. And the parents got paid something like the equivalent of $500 a week to make their kid play Tetris for 2 hours a day. Overall that study included 50 (or so) children. Three of them went on to be Tetris Grandmasters. Which apparently is a huge deal over in Japan.

That’s beside the point though. Tetris requires input from the player constantly, and almost immediately after the last input. It’s perfect for helping you sharpen your focus skills because you can win or lose in the blink of an eye.

#9. Rocket Knight Adventures (Genesis)

I may have mentioned this game once or twice before, but it really is a great game. It’s a little off the beaten path, and has great continuity when it comes to controls, and in game enjoyment. It makes you wonder what’s going to happen next for a split second, and then bam! You’re in a jam and you have to figure out how to get out of it. Great for my ADD/ADHD friends who forgot to take their meds that day. I’ve tried plopping them down in front of this game, and it usually works for about 45 minutes to an hour. Which, if you know people with attention spans about half an inch long, you know that’s a God-send.

 

#8. Call of Duty Black Ops (PS3)

I’m not talking about the entire game. Specifically, I’m talking about the Nazi Zombies part. I’ve recently been playing this part of this game, and it’s so entrancing that you get sucked in to it quite quickly. And seriously… all it is, is killing a bunch of undead fascists. I hate Nazis, and I’m not particularly fond of zombies.. it’s a win-win for me. Even if you don’t have a miniscule span of attention, this game makes you focus quick. Each round is a little bit longer than the last. That’s what happens, you have rounds you go through, each with more and more zombies. Supposedly there is no end to the number of rounds you can reach because the programmers reached a point in the game where they put in an infinite loop. The game is fairly new though, so that has yet to be proven. I don’t spend time on game forums either, therefore I have no idea what the record is right now. I can get to round 9.

 

#7. Galaga (NES/System varies)

This game became popular with its debut on the 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System. But I say “System varies” because they ported this game via another game called “Namco Museum” It’s on the Sega Dreamcast, the PS1, the Game Boy Advanced SP, PS2, and I believe the Nintendo DS as well. This game is great because again, I think the levels are infinite, but I’m probably wrong on that one. I know if you sit down and play for an hour straight you won’t beat the game. It kind of goes along with the same theme of Tetris, you constantly need to input controls, and you have to bring your A-Game for this one. It’s a space style shoot’em up where you play as one ship against a billion different insect-looking other ships that come out in different formations. If they shoot you, you die, if they hit into you, you die, they can capture you and if you shoot your own ship, you die. Die 3 times, and it’s back to the beginning without passing “Go” or collecting your 200 dollars. If your attention span is really tiny, you’re not even reading this far into the paragraph, and you’ve found something else to do. Hopefully it’s play Galaga.

 

The Winner, and #1 this week: Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood (PS3)

Let’s be honest now. I was catering this article to those of you with short attention spans. There is absolutely no way that you would sit and read another 5 mini-reviews before skipping ahead, and scrolling down to #1. I know that, and you know that. Anyways, everything you need to know about this game, can be found here . It’s the review I did a few weeks back on why this game is awesome. There are so many things to do in this game, you couldn’t possibly focus on anything else. You don’t have time to think about anything else when you play ACB.

 

*All images are property of their respective owners and may be subject to copyright laws.  All images obtained through Google Image Search.*

Nerdy Monday 19: My Tribute to Canadian Comedy

Posted in 2000's, Alcohol Involved, Canada, Drugs, Modern, Odd Job Jack, T.V. shows, Trailer Park Boys on February 18, 2011 by Divide By Zero

Yes, for those of you out there that are wondering.  I used the words “tribute”, “to”, “Canadian”, and “comedy” in that order, in the same sentence.  I know a lot of people who look down to Canada/Canadians.  Sometimes the way they pronounce the word “about” as “a-boat”, or the way they say “Zed” instead of “Zee” [like the letter], or the influence the French have over them is kind of funny to us Americans.  That’s it, there’s no rebuttal here for that.

And the Canadians take it all in stride, as they are prone to do.  But you have to hand it to them… some of their sitcoms and “mature cartoons” are far superior to the kind of comedy we have stateside.

The two examples that jump out at me right off the bat are: The Trailer Park Boys, and Odd Job Jack.  We’ll take them one at a time.

The Trailer Park Boys are pretty much national treasures in Canada.  They go on tour, had a successful 7 season run with their show, and have even gathered a pretty decent sized cult following in the U.S.  I even read somewhere that they had the choice to shoot the show in Hollywood, but they had to give up some of the creative control and censor themselves for American television.

They opted to keep the show based in Canada due to that reason.  Let me tell you up front, that there is a lot of foul language involved.  There is also excessive drug references, and alcohol use (abuse?).

Obviously the show takes place in a trailer park.  It revolves around the exploits and misadventures of the 3 main characters: Julian, Ricky, and Bubbles.  There are a lot of running jokes throughout the show, but it’s also just so off the wall and randomly hilarious that you don’t have to watch the episodes in order.  You can just jump right in and start laughing at the crazy dialogue, the wacky antics, and the overall persona of each character, no matter how major or minor they are.  Check out a few of these “Best Of” clips, just to get the gist of the show:

The Best of Bubbles Part 1:

The Best of bubbles Part 2 (He’s my personal favorite character):

The Best of Ricky:

And check out this clip entitled “Best Police Chase Ever”:

It’s one of the guilty pleasures I have.  Maybe it’s not for everyone.  Maybe it wouldn’t have been as popular if it were shot in America.  Maybe it’s a little rude, crude, and raunchy.  That’s it, there’s no rebuttal here, either.  It’s funny, it’s unique, it’s clever, and it’s Canadian.

Odd Job Jack is a cleaner version of the cutthroat style comedy the Trailer Park boys gives off.  It’s a mature cartoon based in Canada, that’s comparable to The Simpson’s, Family Guy, American Dad, and the like.  I found it while stumbling through Hulu one night, after I drank too much coffee and was forced to stay up way too late.

It revolves around the main character, Jack, who doesn’t have a steady job and is forced to work at a temp agency.  I think we’ve all been there at one point in our life!  Okay, I have, at least..  But this isn’t about me, it’s about Jack.  Jack is a 20-something that lives with his pretty normal mother, his hippy-esque sister, and his pot smoking grandmother.  He has an asian friend who helps run a family owned convenience store, and another friend who is a genius, but is also agoraphobic.  You don’t have to look that one up, it means that he is scared of open spaces.. basically the opposite of claustrophobic, which means that he hates leaving his apartment.

So every episode Jack goes to the temp agency and is handed a different job.  There’s quirky dialogue, awkward flashbacks, and the character of Jack himself is just goofy.  It’s much more family friendly than the Trailer Park Boys (that goes without saying, I think), and it’s just a very enjoyable show to watch.  It’s not as raunchy as some of the mature American cartoons, and it doesn’t rely on a lot of pop culture references the way Family Guy does.  Or maybe it does, I just don’t know that much (if anything) about Canadian pop culture.  Either way, it’s hysterical.  Again, like the Trailer Park boys, it’s a series that doesn’t make you have to watch the beginning episodes to think the later ones are funny.  I highly recommend watching a few episodes.  It’s something fresh, and exciting.  Something that probably not a lot of Americans have heard about, and if you’re reading this and you have heard about it, then good for you.. go get yourself some cookies.  Check out a few of the clips below, and feel free to pass it along to your friends.

Those are two of my favorite episodes, anyways.  If you have to sign up for a Hulu account, please do it.  This is a very underrated cartoon that deserves more attention.  I would love to own the DVDs so I can watch them anytime I want.  If anyone feels like donating a set to me, e-mail!

It’s a maple leaf on their flag, not something else.. potheads.

The Jester.

 

*All videos are property of their owners and may be subject to copyright laws.  All videos obtained through either Youtube search or Hulu search.”

Another “Things You Learn When…”

Posted in 2000's, Downtown Bristol, Family, Gourmet, Grocery Stores, Local, Modern on February 17, 2011 by Divide By Zero

A lot of the things I do for money are part-time.  One of those jobs is working in the seafood department of a grocery store.  There are a lot of things you pick up that they don’t tell you in orientation.  As with any job, some of the things you learn are good to know, and will help you become a better salesperson because you’re getting to know your customer base.  Other things you learn are completely useless.  Here are some of those things:

Things you learn while working in a grocery store in Southwest Virginia:

  • Old people shop between 7am and 9pm.
  • You [obviously] sell more seafood and milk [for some reason] during Lent than any other time of the year.  Aside from Christmas.
  • In this part of the country when you’re nice to a customer, (shockingly!) they are nice to you back.
  • A lot of people prefer “krab meat” as opposed to crab meat.  For those that don’t work in a seafood department, when “crab” is spelled with a “k”, that means it’s imitation.  And the  customers will argue with you when you tell them “it’s actually a fish”.
  • I think there may be a mathematical relationship between a persons favorite NASCAR driver, and what kind of fish they buy most often.
  • Some people want to complain because they are bitter people.  EXAMPLE 1:  There is a brand of egg rolls called “Chung’s” it’s made in the U.S.A. and distributed in the Mid-West.  There are customers that won’t buy it because they think it’s from China, and won’t change their mind.  Example 2:  People will complain about the price of salmon (or   whatever fish they want) going up and up and up!  Even if it has been the same for months on end.
  • There are customers out there that actually try to hurt employees feelings/make it their fault that they don’t like a particular type of fish.
  • It doesn’t matter how good or bad your uniform looks–how subtle or flamboyant it is–people will still ask “Do you work here?” before they ask you the question they want to ask.
  • A lot of customers come in regularly because let’s face it, people need groceries a lot.  Some of them are good, and a pleasure to talk to, and you remember them.  There are also some customers that are a pain in the ass.  You remember them too.
  • People will come up to you and ask where something is, and get upset when you don’t know.
  • You might be buying shrimp and imitation krab meat, but chances are you’re paying the all shrimp price.
  • There are more kinds of paper towels than you can imagine.
  • For grocery store employees, there is one size extension cord they can use should they need it.  It’s 150 feet.  It doesn’t matter if you need it for 8 inches, you get 150 feet.
  • Customers who have their hair dyed radical colors (blue, purple, green, etc.) are generally more fun and interesting to talk to.
  • Pepsi delivery men seem to be happier, and more cooperative than their Coca-Cola counterparts.
  • Men with mustaches generally shop later than everyone else.  The bigger/longer the mustache, the later they shop!
  • After about 10:30pm, just about any and every teenager in the store is inebriated in some way, shape, or form.
  • [This is the way it should be everywhere] At a grocery store, if you’re on time, you’re late.  If you’re early, you’re on time.
  • Little kids don’t care where they vomit, or who is watching them.
  • The amount of catfish a grocery store sells is directly related to how far south of the Mason-Dixon line that particular store is located.
  • Apparently craw fish are the same deal, and they are sold in “even 17.5 lb. bags.”
  • After a few days, you can tell what people do for a living by what kind of clothes they wear [e.g. painter, drywaller, manager, computer programmer]
  • In that same vein, there is no shame in wearing a tool belt to go grocery shopping.
  • If you work in an older building almost none of your freezer/cooler case thermometers work.  Always trust your temperature gun!
  • Also, if you work in an older building, you won’t have hot water after about 6:00 pm.  It doesn’t matter if you close your department at 9.
  • Male employees are supposed to shave every day.  No matter what the customer base  looks like.
  • None of the clocks, not even your cell phone, are right.  None of them except the time clock.
  • Working with seafood, it’s possible to burn yourself at the exact moment you cut yourself.
  • Two things parents should never be allowed to do:
  1. Buy their annoying 4 year old kid a harmonica.
  2. Let that kid run around a grocery store unsupervised with said harmonica.
  • For grocery store employees:  Every customer thinks that every employee knows where every item on every shelf is.  No matter what department you work in.
  • People get their food stamps at midnight on the first of the month.  Grocery stores know this and stay open until 2am on those days, because by 11:50pm [read: 10 minutes before they get their stamps] they are loading up their carts to spend all of their food stamps by 12:15am.
  • On Saturdays, tweens/teens buy out all solo cups and tang.
  • It’s estimated that 83% of all grocery store employees are part-time.
  • There is more drama between grocery store employees than there was in my middle school.
  • One good thing about working in a meat/seafood department is that it’s like working in a restaurant, without ever hitting a dinner rush.
  • I would be willing to bet good money that at least 90% of all the customers that ask a minimum of 15 questions to a clerk–walk away without buying the product at the end of their questionnaire.
  • I would also bet that at least half of all people who partake in free samples, wait until the employee giving them out turns their back , so they can take more without the employee noticing.  Why?  I don’t know.
  • There’s always one customer that comes around about once or twice a month just to poke their finger through anything shrink wrapped.
  • Cleanliness really is next to Godliness.
  • Common sense is next to impossible to find.

That’s about it.  That’s what I’ve learned in my few short months of working at a grocery store.  I don’t know if it’s the same all over the country, but that’s how it goes down here.  For better or for worse, that’s how it goes down here.

See you from behind the counter.

The jester.

Top 10 Tuesdays 12: Vids to play instead of watching Twilight

Posted in 2000's, Cinemassacre/James Rolfe, Dreamcast (Long Live the...!), Fan Mail, Modern, movies, Twilight on February 10, 2011 by Divide By Zero

This is my first official fan suggested Top 10 Tuesday!  Thank you goes out to Ashleigh  from Ft. Lauderdale.  I know right!  It’s awesome to think that the only girl on the face of the planet that doesn’t like that God-awful saga, is a “humongus [sic] fan of [my] site :):):):):):)!!!”  Very awesome to know.  Work on your spelling and grammar, and calm down a little bit on the emoticons a tad bit, Ashleigh, and I might let you come back more often.

Down to business!  As Ashleigh and I can attest, there’s not too many situations worse than watching any of the Twilight movies.  Well there are, let me see if I can think of some…

Being forced to watch one of those movies.  The bubonic plague was pretty bad, I’m pretty sure watching Twilight is worse than that though.  Having a friend who is all over everything about Twilight.. you just know those kids are going to grow up wrong, in some way/shape/form.  Seriously.. teams?!  There are flocks of girls that chose sides of the movie.  They want to be Bella, and they either want to hook up with a vampire or a werewolf.  Hmm, necrophilia or beastiality.. which one should I pick?  Get outta here with that!  NOT ON MY BLOG!  NOT TODAY PEOPLE!

That brings us to…

The Top 10 Video Games to Play Instead of watching Twilight

I don’t even know why I’m making a “top 10” about this.  I should just say.. All of them.  Every video game ever created, thought of, or fan-made.  Playing any video game is better than suffering through any of those 2 hour (+/-) let-downs.  BUT.  Since this is Top 10 Tuesday, here we go…

#10.  Top Gun  (NES)

Ah yes, this old jewel.  The horrible game based off of a pretty bad movie.  Who else saw this movie and thought that the only good part of it was the very last scene, right before Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer looked like they were about to make out?  And in this game… try landing your plane on that air craft carrier.  You almost have to be a pilot in real life to get that right.  Horrible game.  Better than Twilight.

#9.  Shaq-Fu  (SNES/Genesis)

How do you capitalize on a mediocre basketball franchise name?  With a disappointing game kids will yell and scream for, and then after they get home, they will yell and scream because of the terribleness they just experienced.  This game is so terrible, there was actually a website dedicated to finding and destroying every copy of this game in existence.  Terrible game.  Still better than watching Twilight.

#8.  ANY game released on the Nintendo Virtual Boy  (VB)

It’s hanging it’s head in shame. It knows how bad it is.

This system is the epitome of a flop in the video game world.  It was so bad, it was discontinued (AKA killed) in less than a year after it’s release.  The entire library of video games can be held in one hand.  I think there are only 11 or 12 games total, and they’re about the size of original game boy games.  Almost without exception, there is NO virtual reality involved with any of the games.  The name of the system is Virtual Boy.  And there’s no virtual reality.  Here is a picture of me after that sinks in:

My mind was blown. Is what I'm saying.

Crap-tastic.  Even so! Better than Twilight.

#7.  Rambo  (NES)

You know that feeling you get when you pick your nose, and you slowly pull out that one big juicy booger that’s hooked into your fingernail?  You know what I’m talking about… the one booger that’s really long and feels like it’s suction-cupped to the base of your brain?  This game is a playable version of that feeling.  It makes you cringe, your eyes water, and the only way to describe it is just… agony.  Unnecessary agony.  Kind of like Twilight.  Except it’s a lot better than Twilight.

#6.  Little Red Hood  (NES)

I can’t even begin to explain how unfortunate and appalling this game is.  Let me let a professional explain this one.

http://screwattack.com/videos/AVGN-Little-Red-Hood

That video is definitely worth a watch or three.  Check out how atrocious it is (*whispers* still better than Twilight).

#5.  Seaman  (Dreamcast)

What is going on here?  Piss-poor, NEXT!  Twilight is actually starting to look pretty good.  Wait, what did I just say?  Maybe this list is getting too long.  Ugh, let’s see what else is scraping the bottom of the crap bucket.

#4, #3, #2, #1, and the WINNER!  Everything on the Atari Jaguar.

In my opinion, this system is worse than the virtual boy.  In fact, I’d take the eye strain and potential seizures the virtual boy induces over the masterpiece of God-awfulness this thing puts on the screen.  I’ve actually wanted to own one of these systems just for novelty-sake, and I can’t bring myself to spend around $120 on a system that was only on the market for a day and a half, or whatever.  It was released and the entire program was shut down in half as much time as the virtual boy.  Every game on here is rotten to the core.  They’re hideous beyond belief.  They are obnoxious, dreadful, abhorrent abominations that need to be burned, buried, pee’d on, and forgotten.  With that being said, I will STILL take 2 hours of Cybermorph over sitting through an entire loathesome installment of the Twilight saga.

Whew, that was a lot.  But, it needed to be said.  I’m glad I was the one to say it.

The Jester.

[Please send all hate mail or bashing of my post to delorganization@gmail.com.  I will promptly ignore it.  Good day.]

*All images are property of their respective owners and may be subject to copyright laws.  All images obtained through Google Image Search.  Also, thank you to James Rolfe/the AVGN/cinemassacre.com for the great content.*