Monday, February 27, 2012

The Car That Drives Itself

        I was reading an article last week about new technologies being put into cars, and what I saw was astounding. Simply astounding.
        Front mounted video cameras for improved parallel parking. Dashboard controls manipulated with hand gestures so you can focus more on driving. Sensors to measure if you're swerving, which triggers the car to pull back into its lane.
        Isn't it incredible? I mean... who NEEDS this bullshit?
        See, I already have a front-mounted camera for improved parallel parking. It's called eyeballs. Also, I'm not Italian. I don't need to control everything with hand gestures. Personally, I think that if you can't reach over and change the radio station without slamming into another car, you shouldn't be driving. Same thing goes for staying in your lane. If you can't do that, what you need isn't new technology, it's a trip to driving school (and possibly a stop off at AA on the way).
        So if this is the future of car technology, I thought of some new ideas for comforts we very well could be putting into our cars within the next 10 years.

1. Forget heated seats and cooled seats. How inconvenient is it to stop off at a gas station to go to the bathroom? Because of that, I give you the toilet seat. The seat itself has a hole in it, which allows you to do your business, and when you're done, it just shoots out the exhaust. Works double duty (ha, I said doody) if you're being followed by someone you hate!

I bet someone's wishing he'd upgraded to leather! I mean really, cloth seats? What is this, Ethiopia?

2. It's late at night. You're starting to drift off, and even worse, you're starting to drift into other lanes. You've just become a danger to the road. Thankfully, your new car is equipped with the immediate warnings of the digital backseat driver.

Watch out, Siri! This bitch means business! And unlike traditional cars, its the lower quality models that are the most over protective (errr, insecure)! "No, honey, I'd NEVER trade you for a Maserati. I LOVE driving a Kia."

3. You want to control your lights, your radio, and your heater without taking your eyes off the road. You're also a child of the 90's and like gimmicky products. What about the clapper? Clap once, and your lights come on! Clap twice, and your radio changes stations! Clap three times and the car sets your cruise control! What's the worst that could happen?

Actually, this isn't the first time that watching Friends has made someone want to drive off the side of a cliff.

4. Ford introduced the self parking car, but there's so much more than parking that I don't want to do. Like getting out of the car. And going inside a store to buy my latte. So how about a car that does all of THAT for you?

"Make mine a venti, please! And a tall caramel macchiato for the woman whose child I just crushed!"

Unfortunately, none of these products exist. So until these things become available to the general public, I guess we'll have to just keep stopping at rest stops, and buying our own lattes, and piloting our cars ourselves.

Stay classy, friends,

Music: The Kooks
Beer: Bohemia

Thursday, February 23, 2012

King Barfer and The Quest for the Holy Ale

It was a dreary, booze-soaked night, and I sat hunched over the sticky ledge of the local tavern’s bar. The overhead lights were dim, glowing stained-glass orbs. The stool beneath me threatened my ass with splinters every time I shifted. But comfort was of little concern to me. I was on a mission. I leaned forward and slammed my pint glass down on cherry wood. 
“Barkeep, your King is dissatisfied!” I roared.
The bartender, a portly fellow with the jowls of a leprous bulldog, approached me slowly. “What did you say, dude?”
I pointed a finger at his bulbous nose. “As King, I should remind you that his Highness prefers to be referred to as Sire, or at the very least, King Brandon. But alas, I am in a hurry and have not the time to chastise a fat man in a sweater vest. I have already told you that I am on a holy quest, for an ale most righteous. I must find it this evening. And you, you must help me.”
I paused here to hiccup, and fought back the regurgitative tide.
“Good gods, man. Do not just stand there, gaping, like an inbred walrus. Bring your liege a better ale! No, a dozen better ales!”
“Alright, dickhead. I’ve had about enough of you. Hey, Donny!” At this, the fellow motioned for the doorman and I soon felt the rough hands of a commoner take me by the shoulders. I attempted to struggle free, but the lummox had taken me by surprise, and I found it near impossible to find my balance.
“Unhand me, fiend! I am your King and am on a mission from God himself to find the Holy Ale!”
The barnlike brute laughed as he tossed me into the gutter. “Congratulations, man. You just got 86’ed from an Applebee’s.”
My thoughts were muddled with liquor and rage, but I knew better than to challenge the beastly doorkeeper to a duel. Even though I wanted nothing more than to lop off his head, I was in no fit state for combat. Also, it appeared that I had forgotten my sword back at the castle.
I stumbled backward, and a passing carriage zoomed by, honking its horn.
“Get outta the street, you drunk idiot!”
I did not understand his garbled shouts, but I believe the carriage driver had saluted me. I found it odd that he should use only one finger, but nonetheless I offered a regal nod of recognition. Without casting another look back at that horse piss-serving hellhole, I continued down the busy street, determined to continue my quest. I passed a beggar man in tattered rags who reeked of either cheap wine or urine. I can never discern the difference. I shook my head and offered the destitute fellow a piece of silver.
“Hey thanks, buddy.”
My city was awash with the glow of street lamps and billboards, and I ambled along though the crowds, looking for a worthy knight. A man called out to me from the shadows.
“Coke, you want some coke? Maybe a little weed, man? I got what you need.”
He was an enterprising youth, with a strong build and a square jaw. I lifted a hand.
“You, good sir. I am enlisting you as my knight in the search for the Holy Ale. Together, we shall have great adventures and seek out that elusive elixir that is fit to be the Almighty’s mouthwash. ” I stretched out my hand to the young man. “I shall call you Sir Galaheezy.”
“Are you outta your damn mind, fool? Unless you got money to spend, you best keep steppin.’ There’s a liquor store right next door, you crazy ass cracker.”
I cast a woozy stare past the sidewalk entrepreneur and felt my heart alight with joy. There, indeed, stood Mr. Kim’s Liquors, shining like a neon beacon of hope.
Once inside the shop, I knew the task of locating the holiest of holies would not be simple. There, under abrasive halogen lights, the icy coolers were packed with a hundred false options, including everything from Mexican lager to Irish stout. How was I ever to find the Holy Ale? Before despair could lay its hooks in me, an idea was supplied to me by the heavens. The Holiest of all Spirits would undoubtedly be protected, and indestructible. Therefore, I needed only to weed out the imposters. And so I pulled shelf upon shelf out of the cooler cases, as unworthy brews shattered all about my feet. I tried not to weep for the lost nectar, but could not help it.
Mr. Kim, undoubtedly still loyal to the Emperor of his heathen lands, threatened me with a musket, and his raggedy looking Rottweiller. I was forced to retreat inside the freezer case. Once inside the frozen box, however, I found myself awash in golden light, reflected down from the perfectly painted cardboard box. There, at last, my journey had ended. My quest was fulfilled.
I had reached the Holy Ale. Its radiant red and blue glow transfixed my stare like the bountiful bosoms of the most voluptuous angel.
“Blessed art thou!” I cried, tearing open the box that concealed those bottles of deep amber glory. I wrenched off a cap with my teeth, and just before the rim of the bottle reached my lips, the constables kicked down the door and punched me in the kidneys. Apparently that flashing red and blue glow had been coming from them.
The bottle smashed to pieces, and I felt my heart break along with it as I was dragged away.
“No, goddammit!” I shouted. “Let go of me! This is bullshit! I didn’t even take my pants off this time!”

(Don't look at me. You read it.)



Beer: 312 (Goose Island)
Music: The Fratellis

Monday, February 20, 2012

Doomsday Preppers

Bryan and I recently discovered the National Geographic TV series called Doomsday Preppers. It's an intimate glimpse into the lives of those lovable US citizens who truly believe the world's end is nigh and that, because of their preventative obsession, they will somehow be able to survive the ensuing holocaust. Before we get started, here's a particularly enlightening clip just to familiarize you...

Economic meltdown? Mayan prophecy meltdown? Return of prodigal Jesus meltdown? There are so many legitimate imminent threats out there that Bryan and I decided we'd better get on the bandwagon and prepare ourselves for the coming apocalypse. Because we all know what the real threat is: zombies. So, we decided to hire a professional prepper. Meet Richard Wrangler.

The man may look like a diabetic Road Warrior extra, but he's the world's most famous "preparedness" guru. And he was nice enough to give us some pointers.

Let's see any zombies get through THIS beer-filled fortress.

How would you 'prep' for the end of the world?

Cheers and stay classy, friends,


Music: Rise Against
Beer: La Fin du Monde