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Marvel Movies Round-Up

Over the past few months, we’ve been watching the movies that make up the Marvel Cinematic Universe. We had seen and liked Iron Man when it first came out, but for one reason or another, have never watched the rest of the films.

So, due to me being a big kid and Boo coming to that age where he could watch them, we decided to give them a whirl.

We finished up this morning by watching a matinee of Captain Marvel. Next comes the new Avengers movie at the end of April, then all of the rest that will flow from the great Disney hive mind over the next decade.

In no particular order, here are my impressions of the movies:

  • Iron Man – Rich son of a World War II hero realizes that making weapons is bad when one is used on him. Makes up for it by creating the most advanced weapons system in the history of mankind.
  • Iron Man II – Hero of the last movie turns into even more of a douche, then runs into the son of a man his father had deported back to the Soviet Union for the unforgivable sin of wanting to become rich.
  • Thor – The eponymous God of Thunder gets a little tough love from Father Odin, then meets the girl of his dreams while at the same time learning that violence only solves family issues.
  • Captain America: The First Avenger – A 90 pound weakling, while not posing for the before pictures in Charles Atlas comic book advertisements, is turned into the after picture for Charles Atlas comic book advertisements. Hijinks ensue when he discovers a talent for punching super-Nazis in the face.
  • The Avengers – All of our heroes team up to fight an alien invasion. Said invasion is facilitated by Thor’s brother Loki, thereby proving that if you’re gonna kick your brother’s ass, you better make sure it’s well and truly stomped.
  • Iron Man 3 – Our favorite poor little rich kid is back, this time whining about how he created his own problems by blowing off a disabled genius so that he could nail a hot genius. Tony Stark also learns the meaning of the phrase “Talk shit, get hit” when he challenges the big bad guy on national television and is thus treated to what we used to call the “Apocalypse Now” treatment.
  • Thor: The Dark World – The God of Cream Rinse reunites with his lady love after she forgets the one rule any good D&D player knows: Never put your hand in the red glowy stuff you find in a dark cavern.
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier – Steve Rogers is becoming disillusioned with the world as he found it after unthawing, not unlike every other member of his generation who actually had to live through the flower children, disco, Jimmy Carter, M.C. Hammer, and the Clinton years. An old army buddy resurfaces for a heart-warming reunion, which is marred when everybody wants to murder said buddy, and he’s happy to reciprocate.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy – The most relatable gang of A-holes ever comes together for a really fun heist movie. Between old pop culture references, pretty good music, and sexual innuendo, our heroes find time to save the universe from a threat almost nobody in the universe noticed.
  • Avengers: Age of Ultron – Tony Stark and Bruce Banner unleash a menace upon the earth, mainly because they were bored and needed something to do. In order to destroy said menace, they repeat their experiment and create a new MCU character out of his personal version of SIRI. In between all this, they lay waste to cities on several continents, just going to show what a bunch of Americans can do if they put their minds to it.
  • Captain America: Civil War – Tony Stark is appalled by the amount of destruction his little group can unleash on a long weekend, so quislings his way out of it by getting the UN to step in and put a leash on Captain America. Said Super Soldier goes rogue to save his old Army buddy, leading to one of the most stupendous beat downs I’ve seen in any movie. We are introduced to the new Spiderman and the little nation of Wakanda, a small place which I’m sure will have no important role to play in the rest of the series.
  • Doctor Strange – An arrogant neurosurgeon puts himself through the spin-cycle once or twice, so he has to go to Tibet in order to become an arrogant mystical warrior monk. We learn that there are some things man isn’t meant to know. That is, of course, unless you happen to be an ex-neurosurgeon with a penchant for sneaking into the restricted section of the library after hours.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy, Volume 2 – Those lovable murder hobos are back, this time in a quest to get to know Peter’s dad. We learn the truth behind the hero’s heritage, and why the man who raised him has such a cool hair cut.
  • Spiderman: Homecoming – Our friendly, neighborhood wall crawler is back, again, but at least we don’t have to endure another retelling of the legendary spider bite. This is the movie where I got in trouble for differentiating it from the older generations of Spidey movies by labeling it as “The one where Aunt May is hot”.
  • Thor: Ragnarok – Odin is dead, Thor got left out of the will, and he has to perform in the arena for the mob. Thor also learns a valuable life lesson – If you can’t have your parents’ stuff after they die, hire a guy to burn the whole darned place to the ground.
  • Black Panther – Noble Africans fight less-noble African Americans. Apparently all that technological advancement the Wakandans have never extended to ranged weapons.
  • Avengers: Infinity War – You know, except for that whole universal genocide thing, Thanos is a really reasonable guy. Seriously, I wouldn’t mind having him as a neighbor. Marvel did a really good job of cleaning out the stable so that they can introduce fresh, new characters to make more movies and sell more lunchboxes.
  • Captain Marvel – One of the best two hour recruiting ads I’ve ever seen. This movie has a strong female lead, a strong male lead, and a cat. What more can you ask for? Also, it adds more evidence to my theory that the Air Force has a near-monopoly on attractive women in its ranks.

Today’s Earworm

With apologies to the Beach Boys and the non-geeks out there.

The hardware was made by HP
The OS, by Torvolds and me
Old SourceForge, we did comb
Patching all night
It wouldn’t boot right
Well, I need some coffee
I wanna go $HOME

So, boot up the VMS box
See how the kernel rocks
Call for the NOC to test
Let me go home, SYS$HOME
Where’d I leave my coffee?
I wanna go $HOME

The DBA, he got drunk
Deleted data using trunc
Data Protection had to restore it all from tape
By the eyes of Torvalds,
Why is this subnet firewalled?
Oh, no.
Have you seen my coffee?
I wanna go  $HOME

So, boot up the Solaris box
See how the kernel rocks
Call for the NOC to test
Let me go home,SYS$HOME
Who poured out my coffee?
I wanna go $HOME

The Windows box, it caught a worm
Wouldn’t answer to PowerTerm
Then the AIX, it came crashing down
Let me go $HOME
Why can’t I get to SYS$HOME?
Oh, this is the worst shift, I’ve ever been on.

So, boot up the HP box
See how the kernel rocks
Call for the NOC to test
Let me go home, SYS$HOME
Well, we’re out of coffee
I wanna go $HOME

Olympic Origins

Like a lot of folks, I’ve been watching the Winter Olympics a lot lately.  OK, more than a lot.  As I’ve enjoyed the different events, I’ve wondered how they came to be, and I thought I’d share my research with y’all.

  • Cross-Country Skiing – Wow, it’s really snowy, and I’ve got to get over there as quickly as possible.
  • Biathlon – Wow, it’s really snowy, and there’s a bunch of people over there that need to be shot.
  • Downhill Skiing – I’m at the top of the mountain, and I really need to be at the bottom of the mountain in a few minutes.
  • Slalom – Trees!  Trees!  Trees on the mountain!
  • Ski Jump – Two Norwegians, a mountain, and a keg of beer all contributed to the inception of this activity, I just know it.
  • Snowboarding – Well, there’s too much snow for skateboarding.  What’re we gonna do now, dude?
  • Speed Skating – Well, the lake’s frozen, and I really need to be over there then get back here as quickly as possible.
  • Short Track Speed Skating – Go fast, lean left.
  • Short Track Relay – Go fast, lean left, push on my butt so I can go faster!
  • Figure Skating – I feel pretty, oh so pretty!
  • Ice Dancing – All the funny clothes of figure skating, without all the grace and jumps
  • Bobsled – We’ve got a sled, a steep hill, gravity, and a lot of ice.  Punch it!
  • Luge – Bobsled? Wimps.
  • Skeleton – Pffft!
  • Curling – I really have no idea how this got into the Olympics, but I’m glad it did.  I never realized how hypnotizing this game was when I was little and curling was what people who were too old for hockey did on a Friday night.
  • Hockey – Soccer pitch is frozen over.  Well, might as well make the best of it.

Interplanetary Playlist

After the successful launch of the SpaceX heavy rocket yesterday, we all watched as a red Tesla Roadster convertible, complete with a spacesuit in the driver’s seat headed out toward Mars and the asteroid belt.  As OldNFO reported, the car is playing music to the stars.

So, of course, I’m wondering what music Elon Musk and his intrepid crew programmed into their monument to “Hold my beer and watch this”.  Here are a few suggestions:

First, of course, we have some David Bowie, although it’s not the song they chose for the launch.

Then, we have some Peter Schilling.

And who can do a space-based playlist without Sir Elton John?

Of course, we will need Valentine Michael Smith’s favorite song.

We’ll need some encouragement for anyone who travels out beyond the Roadster’s orbit.

And finally, just in case there are any visitors who might have hostile intentions toward our little blue planet, we need to have something that’ll let them know who they’re messing with.

Have suggestions for the playlist?  Leave them in comments!

Irish Woman Word for the Day

Gun Hickie – The bruise you can get on your shoulder the day after a good, long day at the range.

Follow-Up

Yesterday, I reviewed the new movie, Dunkirk.  Reader mrgarabaldi pointed out that there has been a kerfuffle due to the relative lack of non-white and/or female characters.  Well, I’ve done a bit of digging, and found out that Mr. Nolan had to cut out a lot of content to make the movie fit into his allotted length.

I have spent zero time literally hours combing through this additional content, and I am happy to report that if you see the super-duper expanded director’s second-cousin’s cut, you will get to see the following characters who aren’t white or male:

Warning, major spoilers ahead!

  • If you’re looking for African-American characters, have no fear.  Nolan used black actors for all of the German aircrews.  The bomber crews, of course, were female.
  • The u-boat captain, whose deleted scenes run to almost three hours, is a woman of south Asian and Filipino heritage.  You’ll know her by the black swastika embedded in her ruby nose ring.
  • Her first mate may look like he just ran naked through a bleach factory, but rest assured that he is Russian of Tatar extraction.  You can tell by looking closely at his eyes while he’s peering through the periscope.
  • The crew of the Swedish battleship includes your standard blonde, pasty-white Scandinavians, but Nolan added a bridge crew that includes Syrians, Libyans, Somalis, and a couple Japanese observers.  Japanese count as people of color, don’t they?
  • Unfortunately, due to contractual disputes, Samuel L. Jackson’s portrayal of the commander of the H.M.S. Mother****** was cut out of the finished product.  Thankfully, a battle royale that included agents, lawyers, SAG enforcers, and several rabid dogs has brought about an agreement that will bring his performance to the extra-special BlueRay release just in time for Christmas.

No matter how much we prize historical accuracy about the bravery of our forefathers, there’s no reason we can’t check all the correct demographic blocks in our entertainment.

What a time to be alive.

 

Overheard in the Kitchen

Irish Woman – It’s a wonder your people ever progressed at all.

Me – Oh, yeah?  Well, it took all of the potatoes dying to get your people off their island!

Irish Woman –  Oh, yeah?  Well, what got your people moving?

Me, turning on my smoldering gaze and dropping my voice into a sultry whisper – Irish women. <wink>

Her, pointing to door – Get out of my kitchen.

Quote of the Day

“Honey, do you hear thunder, or is it just me?” — Sextus Aemilius Nero, Pompei, AD 79

The Voter and the Politician

The Voter, dressed from head to toe in black, crept up the Cliffs of Despair.  He had been making good progress for a while, but the evil Puppet Master had cut the rope, hoping to dump him down onto the Rocks of Disillusionment.  Luckily, the Voter had been able to grab onto the Cliffs’ craggy surface, and had labored ever since to reach the top and the ballot box waiting for him there.

The Puppet Master had gathered up two of his minions, the first a manlike creature with oddly colored orange skin and small hands, and the other a woman with a grating voice and a look as if someone had shoved something disgusting under her nose, and made for the hills beyond the cliffs.  He left behind the Politician, whom he was glad to be shut of.  He muttered under his breath about people with scruples as he raced to catch up with his toadies.

The Politician practiced a few of his favorite rhetorical flourishes as he waited, first parrying a criticism this way, then thrusting out a well-briefed opinion that way.  Finally, he peeked over the side of the cliff, seeing the Voter climbing over a particularly steep outcropping.

“I don’t suppose there is any way you could vote for me, is there?” the Politician called down. “I’d like to know how you plan to vote.”

The Voter looked up in disdain.  “Look, this isn’t particularly easy, so I’d appreciate it if you could either be quiet or do something useful, like throwing down a rope.”

The Politician looked around and saw the length of rope the Puppet Master had left behind.

“I could get you free stuff!” he exclaimed excitedly. “Let you stare at your navel in college for a few more years!  I could shut down the border if that’s what you want?”

“And I’m supposed to believe you?” the Voter retorted, pulling himself up onto a narrow ledge.  “No, I’m afraid you’ll just have to wait until after the election to see how I vote.”

“I could swear on my honor as a Politician that I would follow through,” the Politician suggested.

“No good!” the Voter said with a grunt.  He was pulling himself up onto a rock only a few feet from the top.  “I’ve known too many politicians.”

The Politician considered that for a moment, then got a somber look on his face.

“I swear that if you vote for me, I will rescind each and every executive order issued since 2008,” he said, his powerful, earnest voice carrying on the wind.

The Voter, who had just poked his head above the top of the cliff and was hoisting himself up, looked up at him.  With a smile, he said gently, “Give me my ballot.”

Thoughts on Coffee

  • I recently heard someone talking about wanting the government to regulate or outlaw caffeine, because drugs.
    • We all know how well alcohol prohibition worked, and that was for something that most people used to relax and have a good time in their off hours.  Can you imagine what it would look like if Uncle Sugar decided to outlaw something a lot of people use to get going and accomplish something?
    • You can make alcohol from pretty much anything that has carbohydrates.  For reference, look up moonshining, home beer and wine making, and bathtub gin.
    • You have to import coffee into most of the United States.  The Mexican drug cartels will pale in comparison to the hardbitten heroes who will smuggle in the finest beans for this nation.

 

First they came for the drinkers and I said nothing because I didn’t drink.  Well, not much, anyway.

Then they came for the gamblers, and I said nothing because I hate casinos.

Then they came for the smokers, and I said nothing because I don’t like the smell of cigarettes.

Then they came for my coffee, and here I sit atop a pyramid of severed heads.

 

I arrived at our campsite this weekend to find that I had not only forgotten my coffee cup, but also had no styrofoam cups from which to drink the black blood of my enemies.  Luckily for me, I had my old canteen cup in the truck (don’t ask).  I was then able to boil the water, mix the coffee, and sip it in a most outdoorsy fashion.  Only got a few weird looks from the neighbors.

 

It is good that I have a coffee pot that I can prepare in the evening so that it can start brewing at 5:30 AM, for there are few things I can do with accuracy while looking at the world through one blood-shot eye.

 

Look, don’t touch my guns, my woman, my money, or my coffee, and we’ll be fine, OK?

 

 

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