Archive for May, 2008

Indiana Jones invades the Supermarket and more!!

Posted in food, Mountain Dew, movies, Pepsi, pop culture, retail, reviews, soda, Supermarket with tags , , , on May 22, 2008 by Paxton

Piggly WigglyWell, the inaugural post to the newly branded Cavalcade of Awesome will be one of my favorite types of posts, a rundown of some cool stuff I found at the Supermaket these past few weeks. You should all know by now that I love perusing retail shops and grocery stores for cool product. I’m a sucker for a cool movie promotion, so I especially enjoy food/snack items that are branded with the promotion of an upcoming movie. This usually only happens with action or comic book movies, but that makes it all the better. Surprisingly, you won’t see a movie like 27 Dresses get its own box of cereal (and that’s a shame). But you will see Indiana Jones get one.

You can check out some of my earlier finds here and here. I also enjoy looking for new flavors of candy, cereal, ice cream and soda. All of these really get me excited, so I’ll show you some of the kick ass stuff I’ve been finding the last few weeks.

You can tell the summer movie season is coming. More specifically you know that Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull opens today, mainly because they have been hyping the crap out of it the last few weeks. And in typical George Lucas fashion, the movie’s images are posted all over products you can find in the store (e.g. Indy Jones cereal above). Indy’s visage has also been slapped all over packages of M&Ms. They even created a new flavor for Indy, Mint Crisp. Here are some of the Indiana Jones M&Ms packages you can currently find on store shelves (click the images to see them larger on my Flickr photostream).

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Blog Title Change!

Posted in blogging with tags on May 18, 2008 by Paxton

Got to thinking about it and I’m changing the title of this blog. What I’m Thinking… worked fine for the first few years and it was okay, but I’m ready for a change. I hope you are.

The new title will be Pax’s Cavalcade of Awesome, or just Cavalcade of Awesome. I think you’ll agree, it’s a very appropriate title for a very awesome blog (in my opinion at least…lol).

The inspiration for the title comes from a Golden Age comic called Comic Cavalcade.
Comic Cavalcade coverComic Cavalcade coverComic Cavalcade cover

It starred Green Lantern, Wonder Woman and The Flash. I enjoyed reading reprints of these comics when I collected comics back in the day. Part of it was that The Flash was my favorite character, part of it was I loved the title. Comics had better titles back in the ’40s, man. They just did. To see some other covers from this series, click the images above. The ’40s also had better comic covers. I mean, how many comics today would have, on the cover, their three super hero stars water skiing, riding a carousel or rollerskating in a circle? The answer is…NONE. And I guarantee you, the stories inside these issues had nothing to do with any of that stuff which makes it all that much more awesome.

Anyway, the URL for this blog (http://blog.paxholley.net) is staying the same, I’m just changing the title. I’ve modified the header above to reflect the new title, however I’ll have a new blog header image ready to go in a few weeks.

Pop Cuture’s Coolest Time Machines

Posted in movies, pop culture, time machine, time travel, TV shows with tags , , , , , , on May 14, 2008 by Paxton

Time Travel

I love time travel. I’ve been fascinated with it as long as I can remember. I’ve read countless books on the subject, including Stephen Hawking’s dense A Brief History of Time (it may be brief, but it isn’t light, I’ll tell you that) because he added chapters on wormholes and time travel in the 10th Anniversary Edition. Just the idea of being able to travel in time is cool to me. It’s what compelled me to see Back to the Future 10 times in the theater in 1985 (I’m not kidding…10 times). It’s what got me to beg my mother to let me stay up late on a school night and watch the final hour of Quantum Leap’s 2 hour debut in March 1989. It’s also what compelled me to go see the revamp of HG Wells’ Time Machine with Guy Pearce in the theater in 2002 (it sucked, btw).

Since I’ve read and watched so much stuff, I thought I’d list some of my favorite time machines in movies and/or tv shows. None of these are perfect, I even discuss their problems and idiosyncrasies, but they are cool nonetheless. So sit back and let’s take a look at some of the coolest time vehicles ever created.

Tardis from Dr WhoThe Tardis from Doctor Who – I’ve never really watched Dr Who…EVER, but I’ve always liked the look of his flying time machine/phone booth. This police box is more than just a time machine, it also serves as a base of operations and a space ship. It has the cool feature of being much larger on the inside than you would expect on the outside. They can also change shape to blend in with their surroundings. Apparently, though, Dr Who’s vessel is an outdated model that has a faulty chameleon circuit that is stuck in the police box form. It also is unreliable in it’s time travel because it’s an older model and prone to breakdowns. Sounds like something Han Solo and Chewie would piece together with spit, duct tape and a prayer.

Bill and TedThe phone booth from Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure – This was a cool idea, and I like the gimmick of it, but in practice it leaves a lot to be desired. There’s not much room on the inside, and other than travelling to the 20th and 21st centuries, the vehicle itself might seem out of place and draw attention. I don’t imagine our forefathers would take kindly to a phone booth popping up in the middle of the White House lawn. However having a “time book” to tell you how to go wherever you want to go would be nice. But, again, Bill & Ted proved it’s pretty easy to be stuck in time when their antenna was damaged. But, again-again, they fixed it pretty easy with some discarded metal canisters. Time travel must not be too hard if Bill and Ted can service a broken time booth. Also, I never liked this movie’s rule that the clock in San Dimas is always ticking. Meaning when Bill and Ted left on their time trip, if they spent 24 hours searching for historical persons, when they return it had to be 24 hours later. That makes no sense. You are in a time machine, you should be able to go back to 1 minute after you left. That’s somewhat the point of time travel, no?

Quantum AcceleratorThe quantum accelerator from Quantum Leap – This is a cool way to travel as you become someone else and interact with the people around you as that other person. The downside, you have no control over where you are going or if you will ever be able to return home. And you can’t take back souvenirs because your body jumps away into the next situation. So, actually, this time machine sucks. Nevermind.

TimeCopTime vehicle from Time Cop – This is another cool time transport device. Controlled by rooms of supercomputers, you can pinpoint exactly where you are traveling in time. However, you can’t travel to the future, only to the past and back to your original point in time. Take a look at the picture; the time machine is an angular, wedge shaped vehicle that travels forward on a set of tracks at an extreme velocity towards a brick wall surrounded by some weird, stone circle structure. When it reaches a certain point on the track it pierces the fabric of the time barrier and disappears. Interestingly, the movie alludes to the fact that the vehicle sometimes doesn’t work properly and crashes into the aforementioned brick wall at the far end killing the passengers. My question? Why did they build a wall at the end of the track in the first place? Why didn’t they leave the room open at one end with no wall/giant circle structure to crash into, then when the ship doesn’t pierce the time barrier, it just glides to a stop. Nobody has to die. At the very least they could put some pillows or a giant net at the end to catch the ship. I mean, COME ON, I have three or four better ideas than a deadly brick wall to kill my passengers and I’m not even a futuristic scientist building a time machine. After the ship breaks the time barrier and disappears, the time passengers are dropped into the past…sans vehicle. Where does the giant car-sized machine go as it is not seen in the past at all and magically appears back on the tracks later in the movie?

Delorean from Back to the Future – This is the quinessential time machine. Cool car, acurate time circuits. And at the end of the movie when it gets fitted with Mr Fusion and no longer needs Plutonium to power the time circuits (and it gets the hover conversion), it becomes the easiest and funnest to use. Who wouldn’t want to drive a flying Delorean into the past and/or future? I know I would. Back to the Future made the Delorean cool again.

Time Egg from Green Futures of Tycho – I read this book when I was in 7th or 8th grade. Great story. It’s considered Children’s Literature but the story is pretty dark. Young Tycho finds a silver egg in his backyard. After playing around with it he discovers that it’s actually a time device. He can set some dials on the bottom and press a button on the top and be taken to any destination in time that he so desires. He decides to alter some unpleasant incidents in the past but he soon finds out they have major repercussions on his present…and his future. The time egg is great because it’s small, portable enough to fit in your pocket, and can go both forward and backward in time. It’s instantaneous too, so if you get in trouble, reach in your pocket, flip the dials and press the button for a quick escape. No running back to the time machine or having to start the motor. Very convenient.

How about a few of the worst time machines ever?

Time ChasersCessna plane from Time Chasers – One of the worst movies ever, but one of the greatest episodes of Mystery Science Theater ever. Science geek Nick Miller builds a time machine out of a Cessna airplane and an Apple II computer. Very cost efficient using a small AIRPLANE to power your time machine…WTF?! Did the scientist think it would just be easier to travel in time with a plane? That’s crazy. Besides, how did this guy afford to pay for a damn PLANE?!  He sure as hell wasn’t borrowing it cause I don’t know anyone that would loan some dorky researcher guy a plane just because he asked.  Dude must have taken out like 200 payday loans to pay for the plane.  How’d he have any money left to buy the computer equipment?  You know the plane bankrupted the guy because later in the movie, he takes a reporter lady in the time machine on a date to the future and they eat at an Orange Julius. But you know it’s an Orange Julius in the future because everyone is wearing one piece shiny silver suits and weird head gear. If you watch this, be prepared…or just watch the MST3K version.

Uncle Rico’s time machine – Obviously not a real time machine, but I think it’s the funniest. I laugh just thinking about it. “If only coach would have put me in the game back in ’85. We would have won State.”

Have a good weekend everybody!

Related articles:
7 Time Machines that would suck if they existed in the real world

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Defending the Galaxy: Reviewing the video game bible of 1981 Part I

Posted in 80s, books, humor, pop culture, reviews, video games with tags , , , , , on May 7, 2008 by Paxton

Cavalcade Arcade

As some of you will recall, I went to the Jacksonville Book Fair a while ago and found a bunch of really cool books, all for about 50 cents each. One of these finds was my favorite. it was a video game book from the early ’80s called Defending the Galaxy: The Complete Handbook of VideoGaming.

Defending the Galaxy front coverDefending the Galaxy back cover

This book, according to the cover, lets the readers in on how to “blend in” and “look like” an elite video gamer. Seriously, it’s written with the assumption that the reader is not currently in the video game crowd, but let’s them in on the secrets of looking and acting like a top tier gamer. Needless to say, the book is funny. Ridiculously so. The book’s assumption that non-gamer folk even want to be “in” with the gamer folk is very presumptuous, but it leads to some really funny “tips and tricks”. What is a non-gamer supposed to do once they’ve assimilated themselves amongst the video game crowd? Study them? Learn their habits? Is this a National Geographic special? What if, while posing as a gamer, the non-gamer is asked to play a 2 player game of Defender? How do they fake their way through that? The answer is, there’s no faking your way through a game of Defender as it’s widely considered one of the hardest games ever created. You’ll have your backside handed to you by the real gamer and then be ostracized by the gaming community. So teaching you to look like a gamer when you aren’t is also teaching you to be a poseur. But, if you follow the instructions in this book, the road to becoming a poseur is awesome.

I was 8 when this book was released. At that time I was a huge video gamer and loved to go to the arcade and play whenever my parents would let me. Any trip to the local mall meant I got to play at Aladdin’s Castle. I could play Donkey Kong or Asteroids at Dino’s Hot Dogs. There was a stand alone video arcade named Wizard’s Palace that I rarely got to visit. We’d go to Six Flags on a family vacation and I’d want to spend a few hours in the video arcade instead of going on rides. My dad kept saying that he didn’t spend 40 bucks to get me in the park to play games I can find in the mall at home. That’s how much I loved video games. In my defense, there were several games in that Six Flags video arcade that I never saw at my local arcade including Super Punch Out!, Return of the Jedi and Mad Dog McCree.

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