Monday, December 28, 2009

Reader Challenge: Create an alternate title for Hot Tub Time Machine

Like many Americans, I spent part of my Christmas day at the movies. We decided to see Sherlock Holmes. Pretty decent flick, but what really stuck with me after I left the theater was the preview they showed for the upcoming film Hot Tub Time Machine. Yes, that's the actual title of the movie. Amazing! It sounds so outlandish, but it makes perfect sense. The movie is about a group of dudes who use a hot tub to travel back in time. What other name could you possibly give this thing other than Hot Tub Time Machine? I don't know. I don't even know if I love it or hate it. But that, my friends, is your new assignment. Here's the trailer:

Hey isn't that John Cusack? Well, this is clearly our most difficult Reader Challenge to date. I'll throw a few ideas out here just to get the juices flowing.

Hot Tub Time Machine alternate titles:
  1. Jacuzzi Leap
  2. Rub-a-Dub-DOH!
  3. Drawing a Bath to the Future
Now it's your turn. Please post your ideas in the comments section. Whoever provides the winning entry will receive a six-pack of Diet Rite.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Is this really you?

Our friends at Yahoo! have reinvented themselves with a new ad campaign, and apparently a new service that lets you, yes you, control the NET. This is exciting stuff. Well, until you look at the people they chose to represent you. Let's take a closer look at you, through the eyes of Yahoo!

Do you like to skateboard? Shirtless, in swim trunks, after you just finished working out at Muscle Beach? And will you still be kick-flipping at the ripe age of 50? Something tells me this isn't the sk8er boi Avril Lavigne was referring to.

If this truly is you, I think I want to punch you in the face.

What the **** are you wearing? Did you just raid a free bin? I feel embarrassed for your pit bull.

Is this how you react when you check your email? I hate to be the person to tell you this, but you didn't really win a prize from Megafortune Lottery International.

You are giving me plenty of reason not to have kids.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A true story of natural flavor, and other natural flavors

To an outside observer my life might appear perfect, but let me assure you it’s not. You see, I love snacks. Love them. Don’t worry, this isn’t about my weight (I’m as thin and wispy as Slim Jim himself). It has more to do with supply and demand. It seems no matter how many snack items I stock up on there’s never enough finger-food to last the entire work week. That’s why this week I decided to go with Triscuits. Is there any heartier cracker on the face of the earth? No, I don’t think so. Eating a Triscuit is like munching on a tree trunk. These are strong crackers. Of course with all that added stability you’re sacrificing a bit in the way of flavor, or are you

The packaging read “Quattro Formaggio” (that’s Italian for 4-cheese snack cracker). Without hesitation I tossed the box into my reusable grocery sack and moved to the checkout aisle. Could these Triscuits… these baked whole grain wheat crackers possibly satisfy my cravings for a full week? And what of the multiple cheeses? Could this inspired recipe bring forth an explosion of flavor previously unavailable to those who walked similarly wheaty cracker paths? And are Triscuits really made in Italy?

These and other questions clouded my vision as the cashier rang up the sale, but through the haze something caught my eye. There was a note on the box, something I hadn’t noticed before. In all caps, for all the world to see, right there in the center of the package the following words were written: NATURAL FLAVOR WITH OTHER NATURAL FLAVORS.

The message rang loud and clear. There was a combination of flavors at play, to be sure. Yes, the four cheeses of course. But also natural flavor, as well as other natural flavors. I hurried home and went to sleep well before my bedtime, hoping with all hope that the night would race by, bringing me that much closer to the remarkable natural flavors contained within each wondrous Triscuit.

I won’t lie, I had a hard time sleeping that night. But like clockwork, morning did eventually come. To the sweet whistle of a blue bird I hopped out of bed, already in my work clothes, and raced to the bus stop with cracker box in hand. When I arrived at the office the faces of my workmates lit up like fluorescent bulbs. They were happy, not only to see me, but also my Quattro Formaggio Triscuits. Surely with the additional natural flavors packed into these crackers I’d be able to spare one or two, right?...

Wrong! I devoured the entire box within minutes of my arrival. They tasted pretty much like ordinary Triscuits, but I was really hungry.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

James Cameron is sending the U.S. military on a very questionable mission

Has anyone seen the preview for this new movie Avatar? I am so confused! First of all, how can you spend $300 million on a movie and use Papyrus as the official font for all your titles, logos and marketing materials? Papyrus comes free with Microsoft Word, and it's the font that everyone uses when they think they're choosing something that looks cool, when in fact they're doing the complete opposite (see the wedding invitations your sister designed for you). In the off chance you're not sure what Papyrus looks like, here's a sampling:

Here's the same font, Papyrus, used in the logo for James Cameron's Avatar:

...and again in the teaser:

What in the name of Pandora is going on here? Can James Cameron not afford to buy the font of his choosing? Why go with the freebie? I know we're in a recession, but there are other ways he could have cut corners in this film without sacrificing the dignity of the designers.

Which leads us to the actual movie. Here's the trailer for Avatar:

Jigga waaaaa? Why is James Cameron sending the U.S. military on some wild crusade to kill off a bunch of innocent fairies and pixies? We're already fighting two wars. We don't need to take on another. Imagine the billions of dollars it will take just to get our troops out to their planet. Apparently they have some amazing natural resource out there. But we haven't even fully committed to our own renewable resources yet. I'm talking about the wind, the water, and the sun, my god the almighty sun. I thought we were trying to reduce our dependency on foreign oil. It doesn't get much more foreign than this Pandora planet.

I don't know what else to say. I'm exhausted. Maybe James Cameron will explain himself in the feature-length film, but I have serious doubts that this war is gonna turn out well for anybody involved.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Cheeze N Cracker Crisp - The cereal made with real Wisconsin cheese!

Editor's note: This is the second installment in a 12-part series on sandwich cookies and other assorted sandwich-like snack items.

Remember Cookie Crisp? How 'bout Oreo O's? These were cereals founded on the seemingly delicious premise of cookies floating in milk. Yes, it sounds like a good idea, but I was never all that into it. Probably because I don't have much of a sweet tooth. I'm the type of person who would rather have my birthday candles stuck in meatloaf than sheet cake. I guess you could say I pitch my tent in the savory camp.

So when the time came for me to create my own cereal for home consumption, I thought long and hard about what's missing in the modern cereal aisle. Believe you me, there are a lot of cereals out there. Which makes it all the more remarkable that no one else beat me to this idea. Are you ready? No? How 'bout now? OK, here it is... Cheeze N Cracker Crisp, yes, made with real Wisconsin cheese.

350% calcium daily value per serving.

You know that feeling after you eat some cheese and crackers and all you want is a tall glass of milk to wash it down? It's like you can't have one without the other. And that's what makes Cheeze N Cracker Crisp so perfect. It's what you've always wanted in a cereal. You just didn't know it until now.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

It looks like a jack-o-lantern but tastes like a pizza!

I don't know how this flew under my radar, but for the past week, Papa Murphy's has been offering a take-and-bake pizza specially decorated to look just like a jack-o-lantern! Imagine the deliciousness. This is no ordinary pie. With a unique combination of artfully placed pepperonis and black olives, the pizza's mouth-watering face is the spitting image of a carved pumpkin. The resemblance is so remarkable, if I plopped one of these pies on my doorstep I can guarantee the teenage hooligans who live down the street would smash it to pieces. But we don't want that. We want to eat this thing!

Now you better act fast because Papa Murphy's Jack-O-Lantern Pizza Special ends tonight! I'm sorry for the late notice. Hopefully you read this blog in time, because if you miss this opportunity it will be another year before you're able to eat a pizza where the pepperonis are positioned in this exact shape. And believe me, you can taste the difference. Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The not-so-mysterious demise of Hydrox sandwich cookies

Editor's note: This is the first installment in a 12-part series on sandwich cookies and other assorted sandwich-like snack items.

I often think about what I would do if I owned a functioning time machine. And I'm pretty sure my very first mission would involve traveling back to 1908 to convince the geniuses at Sunshine Biscuits that "HYDROX" is an awful name for a sandwich cookie. Surely you remember Hydrox. They're like Oreos, only better. But sadly, thanks to a name that conjures up images of laundry rooms and Mr. Yuck stickers, Hydrox never stood a chance against it's hotshot rival.

How easy was it for Oreo to waltz in and steal the sandwich cookie crown? Think about it. It's the early 1900s. You're stuffing your face with Hydrox cookies, each bite more delicious than the last, when you realize, "wait a minute, if I could create a sandwich cookie half as tasty as this, but with a catchy name that doesn't sound like something that will burn my skin upon contact, I'd be rich!"

And that's exactly what happened in 1912, when Nabisco introduced the Oreo, a vastly inferior product that remains incredibly popular to this day, almost a full century later. Where's Hydrox? The cookie no longer exists, but if you're ever in the Home & Garden section of Sears, ask for it by name and they'll supply you with a bottle of something sure to keep the slugs off your heirloom tomatoes.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

What ever happened to moats?

Remember back in the day when all it took to protect your property was a nice deep moat? Why don’t we use those things anymore? Forget alarms and security cameras. If you really want to safeguard your home, nothing’s more effective than a moat. Trust me, I actually work in the security industry. I know what I’m talking about.

Why, just the other day I was thumbing through the online news when I stumbled upon this remarkable story out of Beijing: “Scrap collector drowns in moat after being chased by community wardens.” Believe it. Moats work. And it seems the folks over in China are already one step ahead of me in bringing them back into vogue.

The thing about moats is, anybody can have one. You just have to be able to dig a ditch. That’s a skill we’re all born with. And if you’re too lazy to dig one yourself, you can always find someone on Craigslist to do it for you.

There’s really no excuse for not having a moat. Think about your home, your family, your candle sticks. Do you want to give intruders free access to walk right in as if they own the place? Nobody’s gonna want to rob you if they know their clothes’ll get wet in the process. These guys may be crooks but they’re not stupid. One look at that moat and they’ll move on down the cul-de-sac to your neighbor’s house, the one that’s not surrounded by a ditch filled with murky water.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Starting to wonder if Thelma & Louise had second thoughts

I don't typically use this space for ranting, and some might argue I don't use this space for much of anything (considering my last post was in May), but please allow me to vent for a moment. It's the ending of Thelma & Louise. It really, really bugs me.

I always felt they should have thought things through a little more before they drove off the cliff. There's a lesson to be learned here, and that is: If you want to be wild and adventurous go skydiving or bungee jumping, or test your luck with Taco Bell's new Volcano Box. Don't grab a friend and say "Hey let's nosedive into the Grand Canyon today."

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Introducing the Apple iDetector

Curious where I’ve been hiding the past few months? Turns out I’ve been holed up in the shop working on my latest groundbreaking invention. It’s called the iDetector and it’s scheduled for release in Q3 2009, just in time for summer!

If you haven’t already figured it out from the name, the iDetector combines two of man’s favorite pastimes – listening to music and detecting metal – into one remarkable device. Yeah, it’s a metal detector and an MP3 player. Pretty cool huh?

Now when you’re combing the beach for old bottle caps and hotel room keys you can bust a move to the latest hit singles from Black Eyed Peas and The Decemberists. Best of all, the iDetector comes bundled with a free download of the next U2 album which the band is writing specifically for the iDetector release. Oh hold on, I’m detecting something else here… it’s… ANOTHER GRAMMY for the boys from Dublin!

I know what you’re thinking. All this music is going to distract you from actually detecting any of that precious, precious metal. But don’t worry. While the iDetector can play up to 30,000 continuous songs in shuffle mode, the music drops out in favor of a piercing beep any time you come across potential metallic treasure.

Happy detecting! And, you’re welcome.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Take solace, we have a winner!

It feels like ages since we launched our second Erasable Pen Readers Challenge. Why has it taken so long to announce a winner? Well, we usually like to hand all of our awards to loyal reader Brian Woznicki, but this time his response was way inappropriate. You might remember the challenge was to use the James Bond title "Quantum of Solace" in a plain old everyday sentence. Brian's response, "Is that a Quantum of Solace in your pocket or are you just experiencing an erection?" was completely tasteless. We're not going to condone such behavior by giving Brian any more ink than he deserves, so I won't even mention him in our list of winners this time.

Instead, let's take a look at the people who truly stepped up their game:

In third place we have a voice from the past, Ben Keefe, with... "The test results came back, and as we suspected, it's a quantum of solace."

Finishing in second place is Brad with... "My brother barged into the bathroom and interrupted my quantum of solace."

And the champion? Concrete Tomato with... "擬開賭籌錢 ‧歐犯太歲 好在占運勢
‧翠普賓州小鎮燒出緊急狀態 ‧14州
Quantum of Solace 梅莉史
‧經濟指標大利空山雨欲來 ‧演員工會
‧教宗加恩4主教 掀波"

I think we can all agree this contest wasn't even close. Congratualtions Concrete Tomato! You've won yourself two quantums of solace and that wonderful living room set from SEARS, plus the respect and admiration of Erasable Pen readers around the globe. Way to go!