Archive for September, 2007

Geek Elite: Hollywood’s best computer hackers

Posted in 24, computers, hackers, humor, movies, pop culture, TV shows with tags , , , on September 26, 2007 by Paxton

Computer Hacking Skills

Yes, I am a computer geek. It’s what I do for a living, it’s what I do for a hobby. So it’s nice to see a movie that has an entertaining, and skilled, computer hacker amongst it’s characters. It’s also entertaining to see computer hackers that conform to the stereotype we all have; socially inept boobs who live in our parent’s basement and do nothing but play video games and hack into companies’ databases.

With that in mind, I’ve compiled a list of who I think are the best computer hackers ever portrayed in a movie or tv show. My only criteria for choosing was that the geek in question actually exhibit some computer skills by hacking into something while onscreen and be somewhat entertaining. If his exploits are just alluded to or talked about, then no dice. So here is my list of Hollywood’s best computer hackers as seen by me. I’m sure there are a couple you think I’ve missed or neglected, so you can put your vote for your favorite in the comments.

Enjoy!

Lazlo HollyfeldLazlo Hollyfeld (movie, Real Genius) – How do you know you are pretty smart? An entire school of geniuses call you a genius, that’s how. That’s the position of one Lazlo Hollyfeld. After graduating Pacific Tech in the ’70s he retreats to an impressive secret laboratory we have to assume he built in the bowels of the school to…..well, they never actually say what he does down there. He helps some students reprogram the trajectory of a military laser to fire on the house of a professor. How cool is that? He’s become an urban legend around that school and that’s cool enough to put him on this list.

WyattWyatt Donnelly (movie, Weird Science) – He built a chick with his computer and a Barbie doll. I say it again, HE BUILT A CHICK WITH HIS COMPUTER AND A BARBIE DOLL. Move to the front of the line, Wyatt.

Mr UniverseMr. Universe (movie, Serenity) – The ultimate in paranoid genius. This guy holes up in his hidden headquarters spying on everyone else. He has hookups to every government net and news feed in the universe (hence his moniker). He also built a robot as a girlfriend and then married it. I guess genius is a double edged sword.

LutherLuther Stickell (movie, Mission: Impossible) – The Net Ranger. Phineas Phreak. This is the only man alive that has hacked NATO Ghostcom. That’s impressive and I don’t even know what NATO Ghostcom is. Although, as Luther will point out, there was no evidence he had anything to do with that. He’s the Shaft of computer programmers. He’ll hack your computer, steal your identity and bank accounts, then beat you down for looking at him funny. He’s one bad mutha….SHUT YO MOUTH!

MarshallMarshall Flinkman (tv show, Alias) – Mr. Flinkman is a total computer geek. He loves gadgets and he is really good as the head tech at spy shop SD-6. However, he’s not always the most socially adept person in the room. When explaining the gadgets for the current mission he tends to get a little excited and might either a) branch WAY off topic or b) get WAY too technical. He did put his life on the line in several missions so he’s got some spy cred.

ChloeChloe O’Brian (tv show, 24) – Chloe is the only person (let alone a chick) who can backtalk Jack Bauer and not come away with a hole in her leg, kneecap or chest. For that reason alone, she belongs on this list. Oh that and she’s sick with a computer. Need to break an unbreakable encryption in less than 5min? Call Chloe. Need to maneuver government satellites to a new position immediately? Call Chloe. Need to pull data off some electronic device that has been fried, shot up or destroyed? Call Chloe. She can do it all and treat you with complete and utter disdain at the same time. That’s so hot.

StanleyStanley Jobson (movie, Swordfish) – Stanley might be the best looking and most in-shape computer programmer since, well…..me. His interview with Gabriel (John Travolta) in the club is proof that Stanley has got SKILLZ. Why doesn’t this ever happen to me?

LyleLyle (movie, Italian Job) – Lyle roomed with Napster creator Shawn Fanning in college where he claims Fanning stole the idea for Napster from him. Because of this, he will only answer to “The Real Napster”. As the tech brains of the crew, Lyle hacked into LA’s Dept of Transportation in order to change the lighting of the traffic signals to lead their target armored car exactly where they wanted it to go. In the end, all the boy wanted was enough money to buy a set of speakers so loud they blow women’s clothes off. A noble goal, my friend. A noble goal indeed.

David LightmanDavid Lightman (movie, War Games) – One of the original gangsters of computer programming. You see the computer he used and what he did with it? He hacked his school, a computer gaming company and the US government, all with a computer that, today, would be akin to using an abacus to do your taxes. And he hooked up with Ally Sheedy when she was cute.

Kevin FlynnKevin Flynn (movie, Tron) – Mr. Flynn was Neo before there was a Matrix. Flynn was so good his company, ENCOM, stole his video game designs, made millions off them, and then fired him. He has been trying to hack into their system ever since. He got sucked into the world of computers and was treated as a God. That’s gotta do a number on your ego.

Well, those are what, I believe to be, the best hackers ever put to screen. Some people will harp on me not including Neo from the Matrix on this list. My argument is that his hacking skills were really only talked about in the movie. You never really see him hack into anything. He does some vaguely hackerish stuff right before he meets Trinity, but that’s it. I’m more impressed with the gentleman above. Also, all the characters from the 1995 movie Hackers are complete jack-holes, so I refuse to include them here.

That about covers it. Let me know what you think in the comments.

Holley….OUT.

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Saturday morning cartoon spin-offs

Posted in Back to the Future, cartoons, Happy Days, movies, pop culture, TV shows with tags , , , , , on September 21, 2007 by Paxton

Saturday MorningNowadays, when I watch a cartoon, I think, “There’s a 30min commercial for toys…or a video game.” But back when I was a kid, things seemed different. They may not have been different, but it seems to me that I had a larger variety of cartoons to watch. It wasn’t just toy lines and video game sales that seemed to drive the creation of a Saturday morning cartoon, it was how popular the property was. Not just in toy aisles, but on TV or at the movies. The ’70s and ’80s were a boon for TV and movie properties to be translated into cartoon format. Not only that, but popular music groups would be translated into cartoons for kids. Some made the transition naturally, some turned out like, “Wha-huh?”. Regardless of quality, these types of cartoons fascinate me.

Let’s take a look at some of the cartoons that were created from a live-action tv show or movie. This is by no means a comprehensive list, these are just the ones I can remember, but if you have any others that you remember, leave a comment about them.

The DukesThe Dukes – Based on Dukes of Hazard, this cartoon featured the voices of the entire live action show’s cast. In the first season, however, Vance and Coy, two other Duke cousins, were used. Bo and Luke would arrive for the second season (yes, there was a second season). The premise was very similar to Wacky Races in that the Duke Boys were participating in a big car race against their arch foes Boss Hogg and Roscoe P Coltrane for the mortgage on the farm. Check out the intro on YouTube.

Brady KidsThe Brady Kids – Based on the Brady Bunch, this featured the kids (no Mike or Carol) as a touring band a la The Beatles. All the kids lent their voices in season 1 but Barry Williams (Greg) dropped out in season 2. Suprisingly, there was an appearance by Superman, Lois Lane and Wonder Woman in one of the episodes making this series a copyright nightmare for release on DVD.

GilligansGilligan’s Planet – There were actually two Gilligan’s Island cartoons. The first was in 1973, and then this one, in 1982. The Professor managed to build an interstellar rocket that propels our castaways into space to crash land on an uncharted planet. In essence, perpetuating the cycle (Professor, just fix the damn boat!). All the show’s cast lent voices except Tina Louise (Ginger) who was replaced by Dawn Wells (Mary-Ann). Check out the intro on YouTube.

Robonic StoogesThe Robonic Stooges – There was a 3 Stooges cartoon in the ’60s, but the Stooges were re-imagined as bumbling superheroes in this 1978 cartoon. The three stooges all have various bionic enhancements that they use to varying degrees of success to solve crimes. Scripts for this cartoon were written by Moe Howard’s son-in-law.

Super GlobetrottersThe Super Globetrotters – A lot of people know about the Globetrotters’ appearances on Scooby-Doo, and that they had their own show called the Go-Go-Globetrotters. But this beauty debuted in 1979 and was another take on bumbling superheroes like the Robonic Stooges above. Each globetrotter had a weird superpower that helped them solve crimes and rescue people. This was one of my favorites. Check out the intro on YouTube here.

NKOTBNew Kids on the Block – Yes, in 1990, at the height of their popularity, there was a New Kids on the Block cartoon. I remember catching it on tv a few times. Pretty standard stuff. None of the New Kids did the cartoon voices, however they filmed live action intro scenes to be cut into the show. Check out the cheezy ’80s-like intro on YouTube.

Teen WolfTeen Wolf – 1986. This was one of my absolute favorite cartoons while growing up. I loved the original movie this was based on and the cartoon was a lot of fun. None of the movie cast returned for the cartoon but the stories were a lot of fun. It helps that I love almost anything to do with werewolves. Check out the intro on YouTube where Teen Wolf jams to a cassette Walkman!!.

AlfAlf – The voice behind Alf returned for the Animated Series which was a prequel to the tv show. It followed Alf and his friends on Melmac before he would crash land on Earth in the tv series.

BTTFBack to the Future: The Animated Series – 1991. Everyone who reads this blog knows I love Back to the Future. However, I never really could get into this cartoon. I think because the stories/scripts were all over the place made it tough to like. It could also be that I was going to graduate high school right when this came out and I didn’t watch as much cartoons. Christopher Lloyd, Mary Steenburgen and Tom Wilson all returned to their roles of Doc, Clara and Biff, respectively.

BeetlejuiceBeetlejuice – This was actually a very good adaptation of the 1988 Michael Keaton Beetlejuice movie. Premiering in 1989, it followed the many misadventures of Beetlejuice and Lydia Deetz. The premise of the movie was changed slightly as Lydia and Beetlejuice are best friends in the cartoon and the main characters of the Maitlands in the movie don’t even appear. Very funny and very cool character design. Check out the intro on YouTube.

Hulk HoganHulk Hogan’s Rock ‘n Wrestling – Awesome 1985 cartoon featuring many popular WWF wrestling characters. Very good cartoon, with lots of rock, but, ironically, very little (if any) wrestling. None of the wrestlers provided their own voices, but there were live-action segments which featured the real guys. As a matter of fact, Brad Garrett (Robert on Everybody Loves Raymond) would provide the voice for Hulk Hogan. Check out the rockin’ intro with Hulk Hogan walking down the streets of Manhattan.

Brady KidsMr. T – 1983. Seeing Mr. T as the coach of a high school gymnastics team seems perfectly—-wait, Wha-?! See the intro on YouTube.

Brady KidsThe Real Ghostbusters – I talked about this cartoon in an earlier article. Based on the hit 1984 movie, this cartoon, debuting in 1986, would follow the further adventures of the four ghostbusters and would add the help of Slimer, a ghost. None of the movie cast provided voices, however Winston Zedmore was voiced by Arsenio Hall. Going hand-in-hand with this is the Ghost Busters cartoon which was based on the 1960’s tv series.

Did you guys know that, Happy Days, being one of the most popular tv series ever, spun off at least three different shows; Joannie Loves Chachi, Laverne & Shirley and Mork & Mindy. Those are just the live-action shows. It also gave birth to three cartoon shows. Here they are.

The FonzThe Fonz and the Happy Days Gang – 1980. Henry Winkler (Fonz), Ron Howard (Ritchie) and Donny Most (Ralph) all provided their voices for this show. It had a great premise where our 3 heroes were stranded in a time machine with a futuristic chick named Cupcake (really?!) trying to find their way back to 1957. Check out the intro on YouTube.

Laverne & ShirleyLaverne and Shirley in the Army- Penny Marshall and Cindy Williams lended their voices to this 1981 cartoon featuring titular characters Laverne & Shirley and their adventures after having joined the Army. Ron Palillo (Horseshack) provided the voice of their pet pig, Sgt Squealy. They would later be joined by Fonzie and his dog, Mr. Cool, as motor pool mechanics. Check out the intro on YouTube.

Mork and MindyMork & Mindy – In 1982 Robin Williams and Pam Dawber lent their voices to this cartoon about Mork enrolling in high school under orders from Orson.

These are all cartoons I was able to catch on TV a few times while flipping the channels oh those many Saturday mornings ago. Can you imagine studios doing this today? What shows could be made into cartoons? Could 24 or Alias be made into a cartoon? How about Friends or The Office? Seems crazy now, but back then it was commonplace.

There are many other live action shows that were turned into cartoons, can you name a few?

Have a good weekend, everyone.

Some sites that were indispensable to me for research were Wikipedia, IMDb, Big Cartoon Database and Toon Tracker. Check them out for some really cool images and history to some really great cartoon shows.

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7-11 and another “Kwik-E” Update

Posted in 7-11, pop culture, Simpsons with tags , , on September 14, 2007 by Paxton

Kwik E Mart SignWell, the remodeled 7-Eleven/Kwik-E-Mart promotion is supposed to be over. There are still some holdouts here and there, and there’s still plenty of Simpsons products within the 7-Elevens themselves, but I think the remodels are coming down. I never got to go to one, but my in-laws and a good friend of mine went to remodeled 7-Elevens in Texas and Nevada for me then sent me pictures and a few other surprises.

What surprises you ask? Well, below you’ll find some of the treasures my mother-in-law sent to my doorstep after I asked her to check out the Dallas Kwik-E-Mart for me. You can click some of the images below to get a bigger version.

Simpsons StuffA big pile of the awesome, awesome stuff that my in-laws sent me from Texas. Cookies, books, comics, etc, etc. Lots of awesome here. Too much awesome, actually. I almost don’t deserve it……I take that back, yes I do.

Squishee CupOn the Simpsons, the Kwik-E-Mart sells their version of the Slushee called a Squishee. For the promotion, 7-11 rebranded their Slushee drinks, Squishee, and offered drinks in these cool collector cups.

Bart CookieBart Simpson cookie. I also got a cookie of Homer Simpson’s head. You can see it in the first picture up top.

DonutsHomer’s favorite food, donuts with pink frosting. I can see why he loves these things. They are like tiny baked circles of Heaven. Instead of the usual glazed donuts that Homer eats, these were actually cake donuts. I think they may have been better than the glazed. They were deeeeeeelicious….uuuuuuummmmmmmmm……………dooooooonuuuuuuuts.

The pictures from here down all come from my good friend Mitzi. She went on a West Coast trip recently and went to the remodeled 7-11 in Nevada. These are my favorite of the pics she sent me. Thanks Mitzi.

Donuts 2Here’s the display for all the pink frosting donuts. Tell me this does not cause your eyes to glaze over (pun intended) and your mouth to drool. Looks. So. Good. Click on this image to see the bigger version then check out to the left of the donut display. You can see a tiny blue and white box of Chocodiles. I didn’t know Hostess still made those. I want one!

SquisheeLike I said earlier, the Slurpee machines were re-branded with the Squishee name. They even added a new flavor, Blue Woo Hoo Vanilla. Nice name.

BuzzThe soda fountain was covered with ads for the Simpsons-only cola, Buzz. It wasn’t in the fountain, but 7-11 was offering cans of Buzz Cola in their coolers. My in-laws got me 2 cans of Buzz Cola. I tried it, and it was awful. Tasted like watered down, bitter RC Cola. Not cool. Although 7-11 did carry Buzz Cola, they did not carry the Simpsons-only beer, Duff Beer. How great would a can of Duff Beer be? Well, if it tasted anything like Buzz Cola, it wouldn’t be great. But, I’d keep the can. I see Duff Beer as the Simpsons equivalent of Miller High Life.

Comic Book GuyOne of my favorite characters on the Simpsons is Comic Book Guy. His snarky comments whenever he is on screen reminds me of a comic shop guy when I was in high school (yes, I collected comics). Some of his best quotes; “Your emotion is out of place here, son.”, “Worst episode EVER.”, “I must hurry back to my comic book store, where I dispense the insults rather than absorb them.” He’s endlessly entertaining and he’ll pop up randomly in episodes.

Stuff2More Simpsons product on sale. You can see the pink donuts on top, the Bart and Homer cookies below that. The Squishee cups are on the bottom (you can see different colors). You can’t see any boxes of Krusty-Os cereal that 7-11 was also selling. These were a hot item and most 7-11s ran out very quickly. Unfortunately the Krusty-Os were all sold out at the Dallas Kwik-E-Mart where my in-laws went, so I didn’t get a box. However, I read that it was pretty much just Fruit Loops. Having the box would be cool, though.

Front2A picture of the front of the Nevada remodeled 7-11. I love the idea of having life-size simpsons standees all over the place. Really puts you in that world.

Well, much thanks goes to my in-laws, Kathi and Dan, and my friend Mitzi for sending me the awesome pictures and cool Simpsons swag. I really wish I could have gone to the one in Orlando but a 2.5 hour trip one way is tough to justify for a trip to a 7-11. However, I’m going to Orlando in the next few weeks with my wife and friends for our annual trip to the Epcot Food & Wine Festival. We shall see if the 7-11 remodels are still standing. There’s also a giant McDonald’s right off the interstate that I want to get a look at.

FYI…Mitzi is a really good photographer. She has great pics of her West Coast trip up at her Myspace page. Check them out.

Have a good weekend everyone.

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2007-2008 Fall Premier Schedule

Posted in fall tv premier, TV, TV shows with tags on September 10, 2007 by Paxton

NBC DVDWell, the new fall season is upon us. All the summer shows are ending (Closer, Dead Zone, Psych, etc) and all of our favorite fall shows are getting ready to begin again (and new shows getting ready to vie for our attentions). I posted last seasons premier dates at the end of August and they seemed fairly popular so I’m going to do it again. I would have done it before now, but I hadn’t seen a comprehensive listing of dates on any one site. I also was waiting for a definitive start date for Lost Season 4. While there is still no definitive start date for Lost, TVSquad finally came through with a list of premier dates. Below you will find this listing. The brand new shows are in all CAPS and I’ve put the shows I plan on watching in bold. If it’s not in bold, it’s CRAP (j/k, but seriously…it is).

Before we get to that however, I watched 2 of the below premiers. Blockbuster is offering a free rental of an NBC DVD that gives early access to the season premiers of Chuck, Journeyman and Life. NBC did the same thing last year with the premiers of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip and Kidnapped. It must have been successful (even though both those shows were cancelled) that they decided to do it again. Well, I got this DVD the other day and I watched Chuck and Journeyman, the two shows I was really looking forward to. Both are really good. Chuck is about a shy, nerdy guy named Chuck who works for the Nerd Herd at a local retail electronics store. He inadvertently opens an email from his former college roommate and has all of the NSA and CIA secrets embedded into his mind. This causes him to have memories triggered at odd times. An extremely attractive CIA agent joins up with him to use his memories and get them under control. Very funny show that has me interested in seeing where it may go. The other show, Journeyman, is about a guy who starts spontaneously jumping through time. He discovers it’s not random jumping and that he’s following a specific timeline to possibly help specific people. Reminds me somewhat of Quantum Leap. The lead male is likable and the show has a very interesting concept, including a few surprises dropped in during the premier. I’ll definitely be checking both of these shows out come their premier dates.

UPDATE!! 9/14 – I was able to watch the full Bionic Woman pilot last night. Comcast is offering it for free on their High Def On Demand channel. I was really looking forward to this, and it was good, but some of the scripting was a bit contrived. Good action and it’s interesting enough for me to give it another chance, but it’s on a week to week basis. If it doesn’t get any better, there are too many other shows I want to see for me not to expel this from my viewing schedule.

2007-2008 FALL PREMIER DATES

September 6th * Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? (FOX)

September 9th * Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO)

September 8th * Cops (FOX)
* America’s Most Wanted (FOX)

September 11th * The Biggest Loser (NBC)

September 14th * NASHVILLE (FOX)

September 15th * MADtv (FOX)
* Talkshow with Spike Feresten (FOX)

September 17th * Deal or no Deal (NBC)
* Prison Break (FOX)
* K-VILLE (FOX)

September 18th * Beauty and the Geek (CW) — Two hour premiere

September 19th * KID NATION (CBS)
* America’s Next Top Model (CW)
* GOSSIP GIRL (CW)
* BACK TO YOU (FOX)
* Til’ Death (FOX)
* KITCHEN NIGHTMARES (FOX)

September 20th * Survivor:China (CBS)

September 21st * Friday Night Smackdown (CW)

September 23rd * 60 Minutes (CBS)
* Cold Case (CBS)
* Shark (CBS) — New time slot
* The Simpsons (FOX)
* King of the Hill (FOX)
* Family Guy (FOX)
* CW NOW (CW)
* ONLINE NATION (CW)

September 24th * Dancing With the Stars (ABC) – 90 minute premiere
* The Bachelor (ABC) – 90 minute premiere
* How I Met Your Mother (CBS)
* THE BIG BANG THEORY (CBS)
* Two and a Half Men (CBS)
* Rules of Engagement (CBS)
* CSI:Miami (CBS)
* CHUCK (NBC)
* Heroes (NBC)
* JOURNEYMAN (NBC)

September 25th * Dancing With the Stars (ABC) — Perforance show
* Boston Legal (ABC) — 90-minute premiere
* NCIS (CBS)
* The Unit (CBS)
* Bones (FOX) — New Time
* House (FOX) — With five new cast members!
* CANE (CBS)
* REAPER (CW) — Written/directed by Kevin Smith
* The Singing Bee (NBC)
* Law & Order: SVU (NBC)

September 26th * Dancing With the Stars (ABC) — first results show at ‘special’ day and time
* PRIVATE PRACTICE (ABC)
* DIRTY SEXY MONEY (ABC)
* Criminal Minds (CBS)
* CSI:NY (CBS)
* Deal or no Deal (NBC)
* BIONIC WOMAN (NBC)
* LIFE (NBC)
* Ghost Hunters (SciFi)

September 27th * Ugly Betty (ABC)
* Grey’s Anatomy (ABC)
* BIG SHOTS (ABC)
* CSI (CBS)
* Without a Trace (CBS)
* Smallville (CW)
* My Name is Earl (NBC)
* The Office (NBC) — One hour season premiere, and hour episodes for about a month
* ER (NBC)

September 28th * Ghost Whisperer (CBS)
* MOONLIGHT (CBS)
* Numb3rs (CBS)
* Deal or no Deal (NBC)
* Las Vegas (NBC) — Two hour season premiere; No more James Caan
* Stargate: Atlantis (SciFi)

September 29th * 48 Hours Mysteries (CBS)

September 30th * Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (ABC)
* Desperate Housewives (ABC)
* Brothers & Sisters (ABC)
* American Dad (FOX)

October 1st * Everybody Hates Chris (CW)
* ALIENS IN AMERICA (CW)
* Girlfriends (CW)
* The Game (CW)

October 2nd * CAVEMEN (ABC)
* CARPOOLERS (ABC)
* Dancing With the Stars Results Show (ABC) — Regular time-slot premiere

October 3rd * PUSHING DAISIES

October 4th * Supernatural (CW)
* 30 Rock (NBC)

October 5th * Friday Night Lights (NBC) — New time slot

October 7th * America’s Funniest Home Videos (ABC) — Shouldn’t the show be called America’s Funnites Home DVDs to stay with the times?
* LIFE IS WILD (CW)

October 12th * 20/20 (ABC) — New time slot
* WOMEN’S MURDER CLUB (ABC)
* Men In Trees (ABC) — New time slot

October 15th * Samantha Who? (ABC)

October 18th * VIVA LAUGHLIN (CBS) — Series preview

October 21st * VIVA LAUGHLIN (CBS) — Time slot premiere

October 25th * Scrubs (NBC) — One hour Office shows dominate the schedule through October; hence, the reason for this late season premiere.

November 27th * CASHMERE MAFIA (ABC) — Premieres after Dancing With the Stars finale

December 4th * CASHMERE MAFIA (ABC) — Regular time slot premiere

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Pet Peevin’: Stuff that drives me nuts

Posted in Coca Cola, Pepsi, pet peeves, random, soda with tags , , , on September 6, 2007 by Paxton

Drive Me NutsI missed last week, and I’m sorry. I was sick Thursday and Friday, then the long weekend with the Auburn game (WAR EAGLE, 1-0, BABY!!) led me to being lazy and not posting anything. My bad. Can’t say it won’t happen again as I’m notoriously lazy, but que sera sera.

However, the article you see before you is what I was going to post last week, but I never finished it. It’s about a few things that I’ve been thinking about that drive me crazy or really irritate me….some “pet peeves”, if you will (and I know you will). Maybe you have the same ones, maybe not. I’m just saying these things drive me up the f’n wall, my friends. I’m pretty sure a few of them are ones that not many other people have, but I thought I’d share them anyway. If you do any of these, I’m sorry in advance…but I hate you. Enjoy!

Shopping CartPeople not returning their carts to the cart corral. OMG this absolutely drives me nuts. Supermarkets, Wal-Mart, Target, you name it, and people will leave their carts in the middle of a parking spot. I’ve actually returned 5 or 6 abandoned carts to the corral before even walking into the store. I’ve seen abandoned carts in parking spots that actually sit RIGHT NEXT to the cart corral. That’s just f’n lazy, people. God forbid you walk your cart 10-15 ft to the nearest cart corral. Yes, I have been in the situation where the nearest cart return is on another aisle (usually when you park close to the front of the store). In that case, I take the cart back to the store. It’s a cop-out to say they have people to put the carts away. Yeah, nevermind the fact that it makes the parking lot an obstacle course when you are trying to park with all of these abandoned shopping carts littering the landscape like dead bodies. RETURN YOUR CARTS PEOPLE!!!

concession standLeaving your movie seat looking like a popcorn/soda bomb exploded. Goes along with the first one. It’s a cop-out to say they have people to clean it up. How hard is it to take the leftover bag and cup and drop it in the trashcan on the way out of the movie? I’m not saying you have to sweep up, but damn, people, throw away your trash.

I was in Taco Bell the other day (that itch you have to scratch every once in a while) and this lady came in carrying her 4 or 5 year old son by the waist. Not only was she carrying him by the waist, but the kid had no shirt or shoes on. I’m sitting there trying to eat my taco-y lunch and this kid starts running around half naked. I don’t know about you, but that completely spoils my appetite. WTF?! Lady, this ain’t your living room, dress your kids!!!

If you read this blog, you know I love sodas. Well, the next few have to do mainly with sodas.

Coke vs PepsiWhy when you go to restaurants can you only get Coke or Pepsi? When you order a beer, can you only get Budweiser? How about wine? Can you only buy Robert Mondavi’s labels? It’s absurd. I’m mainly a Pepsi drinker, so when I go to a restaurant and they only have Coke products, I’m screwed. The only Coke drink I like is Coke Zero, which is usually never available (another pet peeve). And the only diet drink they usually offer is Diet Coke, which I hate with a fiery passion. For me, it’s really hard to justify the 150 calories you’ll be drinking if you get regular non-diet sodas. Why must soda companies divide their markets like this? It’s so unbelievably frustrating. This also happens in fast food joints and movie theaters. It’s either Coke or Pepsi, but never both. WHY?!

Coke SelectionsThe lack of diet soda options in soda machines and/or restaurants. I prefer mostly Diet Pepsi, Diet Mountain Dew or Diet Dr. Pepper. If I’m lucky, I can get one of these, rarely two, but NEVER all three. And if the place only sells Coke, my choice is Diet Coke and that’s it. I HATE DIET COKE. The soda machines here at work have Coke and Pepsi. My diet options? Diet Pepsi or Diet Coke. There are at least 20 soda options between the Coke and Pepsi machine and I have TWO diet options. WTF?! That’s right, I get no Diet Mountain Dew, Diet Dr Pepper, Sprite Zero or Coke Zero? If I want those, I’m SOL. Do people really drink that much full strength Pepsi and Coke products? Yikes. I go to Subway right by work for lunch. Subway is a fairly good, healthy place (in comparison to others) and they offer only Diet Coke as a diet soda option. Every once in a while, they stock Sprite Zero 20oz bottles in the cooler, but you pay extra for that. Hell, I would pay extra for a Coke Zero, but they don’t even stock THAT!! The fountain? Diet Coke only. That’s just sorry, and it drives me bananas.

Coke ZeroCoke Zero. I really like Coke Zero. However, why doesn’t Coke offer it anywhere? Restaurants and movie theaters that carry Coke have yet to stock Coke Zero in the fountain (a few have, but not many) and most soda machines do not have it. Steph and I went to the movies Monday afternoon and saw an ad for Coke Zero before the movie. Intersting considering AMC does not serve Coke Zero. I personally think Diet Coke should be retired and fed to the dogs and Coke Zero should replace it……for good. But that’s just me. Coke, you have these great ads for Coke Zero, how about offering it up at more places than the local gas station?

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