AGE OF ULTRON CASTING NEWS! ULTRON ACTOR NAMED!

In a surprise casting move, Marvel has announced the actor that will be portraying the titular villain in the 2015 blockbuster sequel to the record-breaking Avengers film.

According to science fiction website Through the Jumpgate, unconfirmed reports have it that Ultron, the artificial intelligence with an adamantium robotic body, will be portrayed by the star of Seth MacFarlane’s 2012 comedy, “Ted.”  And if you are picturing Mark Wahlberg, think again.

Crude Bear to Crazed Bot

Crude Bear to Crazed Bot

Ted the Bear will reportedly be tackling the role in what might be the most divisive superhero-movie casting choice since Ben Affleck was announced to be taking on the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman in the upcoming sequel to this year’s “Man of Steel.”  Unnamed sources are quoted as saying, “When [Affleck] was announced as the next Batman, the internet caught fire.  And not in the good, hot rumors and theorizing way.  I mean, in the ‘smoke is coming up and things are exploding and demons are screaming in the bowels of hell’ kind of way.  It was really surprising, since aside from a few missteps in his career, Ben is quite a capable actor and director.  But we figured that if everyone was distracted by that news, we could slip this bit of casting out there and people probably wouldn’t even notice.”  Attempts by Through the Jumpgate to reach Ted the Bear for comment were met with a confused voice on the phone saying, “you’re trying to call a fucking bear?  Who is this?”

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The Doctor is in…my phone

Just put together some new wallpapers for the iPhone 5, which can also be found in the image gallery on this blog.  Both images are sized to fit the screen of an iPhone 5 without the need for cropping.  The wallpapers are made under the Creative Commons License.  All images used and composited to create these wallpapers are the property of the original artists, and no copyright infringement is intended.  Please feel free to share this post, and/or the images presented.

Sized for the iPhone5

Sized for the iPhone5

Sized for the iPhone5

Sized for the iPhone5

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Slide

Slide that glass down the bar to me, Tavern Keeper.  My day has been long, as has my week, my year, my marriage, my divorce, my melancholy and life.  Slide that hand-filling vessel of liquid salvation my way, so that it may whisper softly to me that all will be well once I consume it.  It will light a comforting fire in my gullet as it soaks into my body, and caress my mind with satin fog as it soaks into my thoughts.  Slide that glass of surrender and escape to my waiting palm, even though I realize it is merely shackles and sorrow in disguise.  I will hold you blameless for the shame I will wake to, and the disappointment of my loved ones.  Slide me that perfect, precious potion, and look on me no more.  Perhaps if no one is watching, it will wash me away along with my senses, reason, and pain.

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Things I just noticed…

  • Cereals with marshmallows in them are part of a balanced breakfast.  Of course, it’s the unhealthy, sugary part.  Consequently, that’s the best part.  Therefore that’s the saddest part.
  • My smartphone is smarter than I am.  It always knows where it is.  It knows how to multitask.  When it doesn’t have enough energy, it flatly refuses to even wake up.  Fucking smart.
  • Two peas in a pod.  Two peanuts in a shell.  PEAnuts. Did it really take me so long to figure that one out?
  • Dance like no one is watching.  Sing like no one is listening.  Love like you’ve never been hurt, even though you have, and loving like you haven’t is what caused you to get hurt last time, but HEY… you go ahead and try it again because it’s totally gonna work this time for sure.  I mean what’s the worst that could happen?  A broken heart?  Again?  Meh.
  • What’s worse than the cold realization that you need to switch from XXL to 3XL?  Some days, nothing.
  • It’s hard for me to talk about the Panama Canal with a straight face.  Canal is too close to anal, so it becomes “Panama, see Anal.”
  • If anyone remembers the days when the sky was yellow, and clouds were city-sized cockroaches intent on eating the purple sun, they should lay off the acid a bit.s
  • The day I heard the sound of the color orange was the day sanity and I broke up.

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Billy and the World Dominatortron

Billy came home from school on Monday and decided to take over the world. He didn’t like how grownups were always telling him what to do.  Grownups were stupid.  And he didn’t want goulash for dinner anymore.  Goulash was icky.  If he took over the world he could make pizza with peanut butter on it the only supper ever.  Pizza with peanut butter on it was the best.

 

All the bullies at school would be the slave people.  They’d cut down the trees and make bricks and stuff, then they’d make buildings with them. And Billy’s friends would all be the Presidents.  They wouldn’t be able to do anything important, though, because he would be Super King President.  But he wasn’t gonna tell them that until after he took over the world.  That’s when his parents, and all the rest of the grownups, would find out that the only thing they get to do is make pizza with peanut butter on it, forever.

 

Billy came home from school on Monday, took off his backpack, and ran upstairs to his room to get the Powertron from under his bed.  A space caterpillar had talked to him on Wednesday and asked for a glass of water.  When Billy asked why, the space caterpillar said his cosmoship used water for fuel, and he had run out of water near Earth. He missed the lake over by the golf course and landed in Billy’s yard instead.  Billy thought that was good, because golf courses were stupid.  The space caterpillar was named HsimreuEck, but Billy said that was a dumb name, and that his new name was Bacon Fart.  Bacon Fart offered to shrink Billy and show him around his cosmoship in trade for some fuel water.  Billy thought that would be awesome, and said yes.  Bacon Fart used his Molecular Compression Pulse Generator to bring Billy down to his size.  Billy didn’t know what that meant, so he called the machine Shrinker.  Bacon Fart brought Billy inside his ship, which had landed under Mom’s lilac bush.  It was a small ship about the size of a soda can, so even after shrinking, Billy felt cramped inside it.  This was annoying to Billy, because he was expecting something like the Enterprise or Galactica.  Instead, he got the escape pod from A New Hope.  Billy asked if he could push some buttons, but Bacon Fart said something about “there isn’t enough power” and “ship will never start again” but Billy had already stopped listening after the word “no.”  This shrinking tour was a total letdown.  When Bacon Fart showed Billy the Powertron, he got excited again.  It was a blue glowing crystal on a strap, to be worn like a headband.  It made it so Bacon Fart could control the cosmoship with his mind.  Speed, steering, weapons, everything did what the pilot wanted, just by thinking about it.  The ship could even change shape, fix damage, and add new parts to itself with the Powertron.  Billy took a big, deep breath and said “I HAVE TO GO POTTY! UNSHRINK ME!”  Bacon Fart got scared when Billy yelled like that, and ran to the Molecular Decom…Unshrinker, to return Billy to his normal size.  He was so scared, in fact, that he didn’t notice Billy putting the Powertron in his pocket.  Once Billy was back to regular boy size, he started running toward the house.

 

As Billy’s foot was descending upon Bacon Fart, the space caterpillar thought; “Oh no!  He doesn’t realize I am under his foot.  My mission to save the solar ostriches of Berricon Theta 7 will go unfinished, and those poor animals will become extinct.  Without them, the Berricon system will be vaporized in the upcoming Hypernova.  And yet, in this moment I can only hope that when Billy realizes his folly, he will someday be able to forgive himself for my death.  In the short moments we knew each other, I had come to value his friendship.”

 

As Billy’s foot was descending upon Bacon Fart, the 8 year old was thinking a variety of thoughts at one time, as young boys often do.  They roughly translated to; “WOO!  I got a Powertron!  Bacon Fart is stupid.  His ship is stupid.  I’m gonna make him die with my shoe.”  Amidst those thoughts, pizza with peanut butter came up several times.

 

 

*   *   *

 

 

Billy pulled the cosmoship out from under the lilac bush and dropped it in a bowl of water.  He put on the Powertron and thought “start working again!”  It worked, and the ship started bubbling and lighting up.  Billy set the bowl on the floor in front of his TV and his video game system, the Y-Bag 180.  The Powertron worked by sensing the intent of the person wearing it and carrying out whatever action was needed to accomplish what the person desired.  That’s how it knew what to do when Billy brain-shouted “Be totally awesome!”

 

The technological abomination created by the fusion of television, game console, cosmoship, and an old Discman Billy found in his dresser, slowly started walking downstairs. Pretty soon it was absorbing the big TV, the cable box, Blu-Ray player, and stereo.  Billy starting jumping up and down when they got to the kitchen.

 

“Keep getting awesomer!” Billy thought-yelled at the machine.  As it went to work on the dishwasher, he had a way cool idea.  By the time the microwave, toaster, and coffeemaker were swept into the beast, Billy had removed the racks and was nestled snugly inside the oven.  He had figured out what to do.  He would use the Powertron to build a World Dominatortron.  And once he had a World Dominatortron, it would be pizza with peanut butter on it from here on out.  The World Dominatortron, or SweetBot, installed the oven as a chest and body, making it larger and converting the inside into a cockpit for Billy.  In order to factor in the last appliance, the refrigerator, SweetBot needed more room.  Billy did this by telling SweetBot to knock down the kitchen wall.  Once the dust and debris settled, Billy looked through the hole in the wall and saw what Mom always called “Daddy’s attempt to be a teenager again.”  Daddy called it “The Hummer.”  After several seconds of speechless, ecstatic shaking, Billy shouted out loud, “AW SHIT, DUDE!”  Then, after covering his mouth and looking around to see if anyone was nearby to hear that, he scrunched down in his ovenpit and whispered intensely, “…..aaawww shit, dude”

 

Two weeks later, after Billy had replaced the oven with the front half of a stealth bomber, the feet made of Hummers with feet made of train cars, and using two 83-inch TVs for SweetBot’s eyes, the World Dominatortron was standing in front of the White House.  Billy had made his friends Presidents of all the other continents, and used the Powertron to turn all the army vehicles and bombs and guns that people attacked them with to build smaller Dominatortrons, called CoolBots.  Each CoolBot had pizza-making machines and pizza ovens built into them.  All the ingredients, plus the peanut butter, were brought to the CoolBots and SweetBot by the slave bullies, everyday.  Billy’s friend, President Carl, didn’t like peanut butter on his pizza.  He liked pickles on it instead.  But President Carl was stupid.  That’s why he was President of Antarctica.  Antarctica is stupid.

 

When Billy died at age 11 of a massive heart attack due to a diet consisting of nothing but pizza and Vanilla Coke, he thought about the day he murdered that little space caterpillar, Bacon Fart, in order to steal the technology that allowed him to take over the world.  His last words; “SO worth it.”

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Technology, Social Networking, and the Old Man

Trying to link up all my various social networking tools is making me feel my age.  I have become the guy who wishes for the simpler days when a BBS was considered cutting-edge.  It’s hard to keep up sometimes, but every so often I achieve a small victory that makes me feel as though there is still hope for me.

 

If this works, the post I am writing will hop across my various online identities, to be seen by as many people as I can manage.  If it fails, I am going to eat a cookie and go to sleep.  Honestly though, I’ll do that if it works too.

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Confusing things I saw at the toy store.

I had some time to kill while my car was being worked on, so I walked down the road a piece to wander the local “video game bicycle clothing board game action figure Barbie Lego electronics movie diaper” store [hereafter referred to as “toy store”] and see what is being offered to the young’uns these days.  Because I don’t want to point fingers, we will call this toy store “Things U Buy.”  There, now nobody has any clue which chain of stores we are talking about.

I wanna grow up.  I'm a Things U Buy adult.

I wanna grow up. I’m a Things U Buy adult.

As I wandered through the aisles I found myself marveling at how nonsensical some of the items seemed to be.  Within two minutes I began snapping pictures of the items that stuck out to me the most.  Some struck me as poorly thought out.  Some struck me as shamelessly greedy (like, more shamelesslyer than normal for toy companies.)  Some just struck me as unnecessary, or even inappropriate.  Now, I wish to share them with you.  It all started in the board game section, where you can find games adapted from the most unexpected of sources.

Let's hope it comes with Scratch 'N Sniff cards!

Let’s hope it comes with Scratch ‘N Sniff cards!

Or perhaps some nearly-understandable adaptations that almost certainly fail to live up to their original incarnations.  Like the merger of a popular game, a popular sci-fi franchise, and a…..maybe kinda popular party game?

Smartphone game + TV/Film property + tabletop game?  OK, Words With Friends + Wheel of Fortune + Scrabble.  Nailed it!

Smartphone game + TV/Film property + tabletop game? OK, Words With Friends + Wheel of Fortune + Scrabble. Nailed it!

But that pales in comparison to this “real life” version of a game based on brutal violence against fresh produce.  I assure you, this is a real thing.

The kid wanted to show me his ninja skills, so I threw a watermelon at him.  His Mom disapproved of my tactics.

The kid wanted to show me his ninja skills, so I threw a watermelon at him. His Mom disapproved of my tactics.

As I moved on to the section geared to young boys, I was faced with dozens of weapons designed to hurl soft projectiles at other young boys who all wish they could look as cool and intimidating as the boys on the packaging.  Near these items we find the modern equivalent of what was known as SpyTech when I was a kid.  Plastic items intended to make children feel like James Bond, without the copious amounts of poon that being James Bond entails.  In addition to “spy” gear, we also get junior versions of special forces equipment.  Stealth combat daggers, utility belts, and this;

Hey kid, don't forget to write "Low Profile" on the back of your shirt is neon green paint.

Hey kid, don’t forget to write “Low Profile” on the back of your shirt is neon green paint.

Pro Tip:  When you write COVERT on your covert mission gear, you are no longer covert.

Pro Tip 2:  When you replace your black armored suit with shiny, shiny gold armor, you are also no longer covert.

After creating that suit, Bruce Wayne was forced to file for bankruptcy.

After creating that suit, Bruce Wayne was forced to file for bankruptcy.

Now, without fail, anytime I browse current toy selections, I am reminded that I am getting older.  Sometimes this feeling comes from seeing how modern and sleek so many of the toys look nowadays.  But other times, it is due to seeing how many toys from my childhood are returning to shelves, riding on the nostalgia wave.  They are even joining forces with other toys, old and new, to make crazy toy bastards.  Here I found a combination that simultaneously screamed to me “why didn’t I think of this sooner?” and “WTF?”

Why not add Failed Reality TV Stars to the mix?  I want Teela vs Tila Tequila!

Why not add Failed Reality TV Stars to the mix? I want Teela vs Tila Tequila!

Many of you may have already taken note of the strange softening of certain entertainment characters, in order to make even the most intense and dark pop culture fixtures safe enough for children.  This is arguably most evident in the form of an adorable incarnation of the murder-blood-berserker-rage-slaughter-kill machine known as Wolverine.

Where is the Super Hero Squad version of Wolverine as Weapon X?  Y'know, where a computer covering his swimsuit-area is all he wears?

Where is the Super Hero Squad version of Wolverine as Weapon X? Y’know, where a computer covering his swimsuit-area is all he wears?

You might say that this particular toy line makes sense, as it makes young adult characters accesible to smaller children.  Perhaps your logic is sound.  But no logic will make the following item acceptable.  Why?  Because SUPERMAN CAN FLY FASTER THAN A MOTORCYCLE CAN DRIVE!

With a custom paint job?  You realize that General Zod is slaughtering thousands of humans, right?  We don't have time for these aesthetics!

With a custom paint job? You realize that General Zod is slaughtering thousands of humans, right? We don’t have time for these aesthetics!

And if that wasn’t enough preposterousness from the Man of Steel marketing machine, just take a look at the toy that clearly was inspired by the deleted scene showing us Superman with huge mutated hands borrowing a rejected Iron Man suit to swing a ridiculous axe at Made-Up Robot Monster.

Superman: "Hey, weren't you in that Judge Dredd movie from 1994?" Robot: ""

Superman: “Hey, weren’t you in that Judge Dredd movie from 1994?”
Robot: “…sigh…”

Okay, sarcasm aside…….these guys are pretty damn adorable.

The Force is...sickeningly cute.

The Force is…sickeningly cute.

This guy, however is not.  Honestly, would you want this staring at you while you sleep?

"Touch you naughty, I will."

“Touch you naughty, I will.”

This next item is a different flavor of inappropriate.  Robot killing machines on an utterly relentless mission to terminate [kill] every human on earth is now, apparently, wholesome fun for all the kiddies.

Landscape of tiny, tiny skulls not included.

Landscape of tiny, tiny skulls not included.

And last, but certainly not least, we have a “toy” that is clearly inspired by what may be the most questionable source for children’s merchandise.  The rapper who gave us the lyrics:

Baby let me rope you up
Tie you down
Do it right
No matter how hard you buck
Gonna get wild all night

If anyone is confused, he’s totally talking about fucking.  Ladies and gentlemen, I give you…

Well done Toys R.... Of course, I mean Things U Buy.

Well done Toys R….
Of course, I mean Things U Buy.

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