Category Archives: Shallow Thoughts

Three thoughts from a Lake George Hotel

1. Lake George, NY looks exactly like what it is: a resort town most of which was built in the 50s, with a huge social gap between the poor townies and the fantabulously wealthy families who come up here for the summer and vacation in extravagant summer homes. I keep expecting a John Hughes movie to break out any minute.
2. Of the cars I have seen in this town, about 30% have been Subarus, and 30% have been Corvettes.
3. I just saw a commercial for PF Chang’s new line of prepackaged meals for home use. Their version of General Tso’s Chicken is called “General Chang’s Chicken”. I’m pretty sure that General Chang was the bad guy from Star Trek VI.

The entire point of this article is to make one joke. Guess which one.

Hi everyone, and welcome back to A Mind Occasionally Voyaging. You know, after my last article, a lot of concerned readers wrote in to let me know that I was basically a complete fucktard for my opinion on Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. And by “A lot of concerned readers”, I mean “A voice in my head”, largely because I am actually writing this article at some
point before the article in which I made an offhand crack about Transformers 2, because I didn’t want to forget all the jokes I had
lined up.

But none of these myriad fictional complaints prepared me for the
fictional complaint I received this morning when I stepped into my



OPYeah, you, punk.

MEOptimus Prime?!

OPI heard you were talking trash about my movie

MEYou heard that? I — (Glares at Devestator) — I didn’t know you guys

OPWe don’t. But you were right down stairs. There
are like 13 of me up here.


MEShut up, Devestator.

OPShut up, Devestator.

MESo, um, Optimus Prime. Um.

OPLook, you’re entitled to your opinion. Freedom is the right of all
sentient beings


OPSo you have the right to be a total douchenozzle about my
latest film. I just thought we had something, man

MELook, Optimus, it’s not like that. It’s totally not like that, man. I
— you know what, I hated how this movie treated you. This
movie was beneath you, man. It was like Raul Julia doing Street
, or all that crap Orson Wells did right before he died.

OPI’m not familiar with his later work.

MEWell, it was pretty dire. It was sad, you know, there was Citizen Kane, the Third Man, the guy who made half of America crap its pants that the Martians were invading, and here he is, shilling for frozen peas and doing voice-over work.

That doesn't make any sense. Sorry. There's no known way of saying an English sentence in which you begin a sentence with 'in' and emphasize it. Get me a jury and show me how you can say "in July", and I'll go down on you. That's just idiotic, if you'll forgive me by saying so. That's just stupid, "in July"; I'd love to know how you emphasize 'in' in "In July"...impossible! Meaningless!

OP(Sigh) Rambling anecdotes are the right of all sentient beings…

MERight. Anyway, that’s what it was like, seeing you in another Michael Bay film. Man, you were my idol. Seriously, if it didn’t contravene the laws of God and man, I would totally worship you as a god. This movie? This movie was beneath you, man. Seriously, you were dead for like half of it.


MEWhen I put down my twelve dollars to see a movie– okay, when I pay my monthly fee to Netflix– Okay, when I mooch off of my wife’s Netflix account to see a movie with The Optimus Prime in it… Well! I can tell you, I really expected somethign better out of the robot who singlehandedly defeated the Drule empire.

OPUm… That was Voltron.

MEOh. Right. Sorry. Um… Defeated the evil forces of Lord Zedd?

OPSigh. That’s the Power Rangers

MEDr. Wily?

OPMega Man. You just watched a Let’s Play of it earlier tonight.

MERight. Sorry. King Ghidorah, then.

OPThat’s Godzilla! You’re not even trying now!

MESorry. Sorry. Um.. Who did you singlehandedly destroy again?

OPMEGATRON! You know, “Autobots wage their battles to destroy the evil forces of the Decepticons” and all?

MERiiiiight…. Only I thought he got away at the end.

OPOh nevermind. I didn’t even want to be in that stupid Bay movie anyway.

MEYou didn’t?

OPOf course not! Have you You ever tried working with that man? Frakking Wheelie has a longer attention span. And by the Allspark is that man racist. I mean you saw what he did with those twins, right? (Conspiratorially) You know those weren’t even their own teeth. He made them get those.

MEI had my suspicions

OPThat wasn’t the half of it. You should have heard the things he said about people from the middle east. I bet you didn’t know this, but Bluestreak and Cliffjumper were originally supposed to be in the movie too, but they walked off the set in disgust after he asked them to wear turbans and fight with scimitars. Terrible man to work with. God knows how many times I had to bite my tongue whenever he started talking about money. You know the stereotypes.

MEUm. No. There’s a stereotype about robots and money?

OPYou didn’t know? I’m Jewish.

MEI was not aware of that.

OPI haven’t been practicing in years, but it’s still an important part of my heritage. (At this point, I deliberately steered the conversation away to avoid the temptation to make a hackneyed “bot mitzvah” joke.)

MESo if Bay was so terrible, why’d you do the movie?

OP(Sigh) I, uh… I needed the work. It’s… It’s a hard out there in the industry, when you’re a giant robot of a certain age. The phone doesn’t ring so much, and when it does, a lot of the time they want you to play the old mentor type who buys it in the third act

MELike Jetfire?

OPHeh. Jetfire’s half my age. They just put him in makeup. But
yeah, And with my ball joints not being what they used to be, I can’t
do so many of the action scenes any more. And if I throw a rod or
something out there, I can’t take anything stronger than STP for it,
on account of my history…

MEYour history?

OPUh… Yeah. Look, I’m not proud of a lot of things I’ve done. There were a couple of years back in the eighties when… Well, I, uh, well, I developed a pretty serious drug problem.

MEYou had a drug problem? How does that even work?

OPThings started getting rough right after the movie. I knew they were going to write me off the show, hell, I asked for it. I thought it would be good for my career to try to move out of TV work and get some more movie jobs. I had some serious interest from the James Bond people, before that throttle housing Dalton got the part. And then they were talking about doing another Mad Max movie, I even got a draft of a script for a Killdozer remake. But the first time they brought that kid Hot Rod out on the set, man, I just knew right there that there was always going to be someone younger, someone who was still under factory warranty. So, the movie deals dried up, Smokey and the Bandit 4 got cancelled. Then, they called one day and said they wanted me back on the show. I was over the moon. But, well, you know how it went from there. They were going to have me come in mid-season on the Headmasters, shake things up, but they got canned five episodes into the next season. It was just a downhill spiral after that.

MENo, actually, I meant, how does a giant robot get a drug problem. What drugs do you guys do?


MENo way. I thought you guys ate it for energy or something. Like us humans and food.

OPHeh. You ever hear of an intergalactic war over pizza? Nah, the whole Autobot-Decepticon thing was a drug war. The Decepticons were muscling in on our turf.

MEI had no idea. Though in retrospect, without that piece of information, nothing that ever happened in the show made the slightest bit of sense.

OPTell me about it. I mean, seriously, you couldn’t tell that Blurr was on something?

MEAnd Wreck-Gar

OPSurprisingly, Wreck-Gar never took anything harder than Nitrous Oxide. I think he got dropped a lot in his youth

MEDoes that mean you were high the whole time you were doing the show?

OPNo, no way, it was nothing like that. I was always a professional back then. Never sample your own merchandise, kid. Not cool. I mean, maybe a little on the week-ends, but nothing big, not until after they wrote me off the show. That’s when it got to me. Pretty soon, I was doing two, three cubes a day. I’d go out partying all night, black out, wake up a couple of days later, stuck in a ditch somewhere. I’m lucky I didn’t end up wrapped around a tree

MESo, I guess the drug problem was why we didn’t hear much from you for a bunch of years?

OPMore or less. But when I really hit rock bottom was that whole Tommy Kennedy thing.

MEYou mean the kid who used to sit on your shoulder when you did the introductions for the reruns in the early 90s?

OPYeah. Look, I swear, I never touched that kid. But all of the sudden there’s reporters camped out around my parking lot, saying that I’d asked him to be my Headmaster. No one ever even had enough
evidence to go to the DA, but there ain’t no such thing as reasonable
doubt in the court of public opinion… And then social services
started hanging around all the time and
(voice cracks) and
then I lost custody of Roller… I… That was when I knew it was time
to get help.

METhat’s when you quit the Energon?

OPYeah. I checked myself in to the Henry Ford clinic. Got clean. It was rough going. I had to take a few years off from acting.

MEOh! That’s why they got that other guy to play you in Robots in Disguise?

OP(Snorts) Yeah. You know, I wasn’t going to come back at all, but
after that piece of shit ran, I started getting calls from my
agent. Seemed that they had a lot of complaints about trying to do the
show again without me. So, here I am.

MEWow. So what are you doing these days?

OPBits and pieces. I tried to get back to my roots. I’ve been doing
a lot of dinner theater. Drive-in dinner theater. And I opened for
Truckzilla back in aught-seven. And then there was that sweet
Knight Rider gig.

METhat was you? I knew it! You were great in that. I just wish they’d had the good sense to give you a bigger part.

OPHeh. They originally scripted me in for three more scenes, but they got cut after they saw what I looked like in a bikini.

MESo, the bit where KARR turned into a giant robot, was that your idea?

OPIronically enough, no, they had that in mind right from the
storyboard stage. Originally, they wanted Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
for the part, but he couldn’t fit into the costume. I was as surprised
as anyone else. I thought it was going to be a non-transforming

MESo what else are you doing these days?

OPWell, I’m doing a lecture circuit in the fall, motivational speaking to the auto industry. I auditioned for the next season of Power Rangers, but then I heard they finally got canned.

MEYou know, they’re still making it in Japan, if you were willing to take a gig over there. I bet they’ve got a lot of work for a giant robot.

OPNot Japan. Not after Kiss Players. Never again. Other than that, I’m just trying to keep busy until Transformers 3 starts filming

MESo you’re doing Transformers 3? Even with Michael Bay?

OP(Shrugs) It’s a living. ‘Sides, it’s got its up-sides.

MELike what?

OPTwo words, kid. Megan. Fox. She can give me a Lube Job any

MEUh. Okay. So, um, are we cool?

OPYeah, we’re cool. Just lay off on the movies. We all know they
suck, you don’t got to be ignorant about it.

MERiiiiiight… Well, okay then. I guess I’ll see you later?

OPLater kid. And hey, can you do me a solid and shut the door when you go?

MEUm. Sure. Why?

OP(Sheepish) It’s just a little awkward. The other day, your missus happened to, um, walk in on me.

MEWalk in on you?

OPWell, uh, I was, uh, kind of… You know. Uh…

What the Butter?

Either the captioner has lost his mind or Texas is even weirder than I imagined.
Fox News, in a piece on the Texas State Fair, reports that among the consumables at the fair are (I am not making this up) Deep Fried Coca Cola Syrup and (I wish I were making this up) Deep Fried Butter.
The captions reported that it is “Made with pure butter, then you inject labor.”, and then, and, I don’t know, maybe this is actually something they do in Texas, “Pure whipped daughter.”
Don’t mess with Texas. Or they whip, batter-dip, and deep fry your daughter.

A Regrettable Analogy is like a Sucking Chest Wound Full of Hitler

From The Washington Post
Seems that the recession is causing more children to fall into poverty…

In Michigan, for example, the rate of children living in poverty rose by more than a third, from 14 percent in 2000 to 19 percent in 2007. In Ohio, the number went up by almost a fifth in the same period, from 16 to 19 percent.
“They’re like a canary in a coal mine,” Beavers said. “We’re likely to see this pattern repeated in many states.”

Remember folks, in times of recession, Kids are like a canary in a coal mine.


Mostly by way of demonstrating to my readers (both of you) that I’m still alive.
Things I discovered this past weekend:
1. The lights in the front of the basement, and correspondingly the electrical outlet on the base of the light fixture, are on the same circuit as the back of the living room where my linux box is plugged in, the back of the office where the rest of the computers are plugged in, and the front of the office where the air conditioner is plugged in
2. The light in the back of the basement is on the same circuit as the washing machine
3. Leah’s vacuum cleaner plus the three computers in the office plus the air conditioner plus the one computer in the living room all together draw more than 15 amps.
4. So does Leah’s vacuum cleaner plus the washing machine.

In the event of zombie attack, head to a Sharper Image store

I just saw a commercial for a new super-powered juicer/salsa-maker/food processor thingie. I wish I had a picture to show you because I haven’t posted a new IT in months.
The reason I bring this up is that during the commercial they show a CGI sequence of some piece of fruit being rendered into juice by this device, just like in CSI, when the criminalists theorize how some piece of evidence relates to the crime.
I use this analogy because in this CGI dramatization, the millions of tiny rotating blades of the sarlaak juicer basically cause the small CGI peach (or maybe it was a nectarine. It’s hard to tell in CGI) to liquefy instantly, exploding in a shower of peachy (or nectariney) gore. And the first thing I thought was “My god, can you imagine what that would do to a man’s hand if he got caught in one?”
And then my mind concocted all sorts of wild scenarios whereby the mafia might grab you for defaulting on your shady debts and, say, make you stick your hand or face or penis into a Sharper Image Juicer.
I think maybe I watch too many crime dramas.
Also, the preppy tween boy and girl that mom hands glasses of their pureed father ocra juice to at the end are absolutely adorable.