Tuesday, October 30, 2007

I would have $25 to donate to the abused animals if I hadn't bought the new Matchbox twenty record last week

The other night I was feeling like my life is a Tie Fighter that got one wing blown off and it's on fire in an asteroid field spinning out of control. Luckily there was a "To Catch a Predator" marathon going on and I felt great because no matter how screwed up I think I am, there's always that 44 year old copier repairman with three kids who was just about to retire but they caught him on TV trying to hook up with a 14 year old girl. As the hours went by I found myself feeling better and better about my life, but then during one break they played a commercial with Rob Thomas, the person I wish I was/person I most hate. Hot damn I had some great self esteem building up and then he had to come on with his wife asking people to donate 25 bucks to a charity that helps abused animals. Just as I had gotten control of my flaming Tie Fighter of self esteem, it crashed into an asteroid shaped like the face of Rob Thomas holding a puppy.

My established procedure for dealing with feelings of inadequacy is not to confront my shortcomings and make positive change, it's retreat into my robot room and tell myself that no matter how many puppies Rob Thomas saves, he still doesn't have the 1985 Optimus Prime lenticular sticker from Canadian Cookie Crisp cereal boxes. I've written at length before about the Cookie Crisp Transformers sticker conspiracy and recently I won some ebays that got me closer to figuring out the truth about how many of these stickers were made. I doubt I'll ever find them all, but I did get a couple that I never knew existed like Optimus, Bumblebee, Laserbeak and Sideswipe. It is rumored that this is the most complete set of 1985 Canadian Cookie Crisp stickers ever assembled by me at my house this year. Also earlier today I stepped on my dog. Eat it, Rob Thomas!

Monday, October 29, 2007

The subtle incorporation of phallic imagery in X-Wings and Variable Fighters OR: Mecha design with an emphasis on cocks

All my life I wondered if it was intentional that the X-Wing fighters from Star Wars look like flying dildos with wings. Nobody in my family ever brought that up at dinner in my house when I was growing up. We just didn't talk about it, but I'm pretty sure it was obvious to everyone that Luke Skywalker was piloting a big flying space dong when he shot his load of proton torpedoes into the Death Star. Lucas has admitted he used mythological motifs in the writing of his stories, allowing him to appeal to people's innate sense of what a good story is. I wonder if with the X-Wing's design he tried to appeal to people's innate sense of what a big flying cock is.

One thing I noticed is that on the most phallic Star Wars spaceship toys there's pictures of proton torpedoes furiously firing off and lots of little text on the box reminding me that the toy (my surrogate penis) needs hand support. Do Star Wars toys encourage masturbation? All I know is I like putting my proton torpedo in a pose that requires hand support just as much as the next guy.

A lot of other Star Wars spacecraft go in wild exciting directions with their designs, like the innovative Slave-1 that's based on an elephant head or the Millenium Falcon that's really a hamburger. When I think about all the possible shapes that a futuristic flying craft could be, I think of flying wings like the B2 bomber (which is flown by the US Air Force) and saucer shaped UFOs (which are flown by Chupacabras). The point is that there's a lot of ideas out there and if you're trying to come up with concepts of what fighter aircraft of the future will look like you don't automatically have to settle on some variant of the giant, tube shaped wiener with wings that everybody thinks about when they think about planes. So why did the X-Wing, the rock star fighter craft of the Star Wars galaxy, have to look like a schlong? And why years later did anime mecha designer Shoji Kawamori also choose flying space dildo looking fighter craft in the Macross japanimation? I'll tell you why-because all men regardless of sexual orientation love looking at giant erect penises. I'll tell you why later.


What I especially love about Kawamori is that the Macross planes by themselves aren't penisy enough for him so he also designs attachable armor in various phallic shapes for extra penis power. If you've seen a super VF-1 or any VF-0 with ghost boosters you know what I mean. It's ridiculous but also fantastic in a way that only men can understand, just as only a man can truly appreciate the concept of a "variable fighter". If the nose and fuselage of the plane (the most phallic parts) are taken to represent a penis then the three transformation modes of the Macross Valkyrie can be taken to represent the various stages of male sexual arousal. You have the battroid (or robot) mode where the nose is pointing down (representing flacidity), the gerwalk mode wherein the nose is partially angled outward (a "soft-on") and then the fighter mode that represents a fully erect penis with the nose aggressively pointing forward and going all fast.


Here's a secret I'll let everyone in on about male sexuality: lesbian porn really isn't all that hot. The vast majority of straight guys love porn with gigantic hard badoinkers in it, and by extension, so do gay dudes. It's because guys like to live vicariously through the porn star guys on the screen. It helps the fantasy that I'm nailing the hot porn star girl if there's a surrogate wiener up there on the screen I can pretend is mine. George Lucas and Shoji Kawamori knew this. They understood this. Furthermore, they guessed that every guy's ultimate fantasy is if they could strap wings loaded with bombs and lasers to their cock and have it save the universe. And they were right.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

All of my toy robots collecting life has been but a bachelor party leading up to the day I would meet Yamato VF-0S with Ghost Booster toy robot

Back in high school I took night school and summer school classes even though I didn't have to so that I could accumulate enough credits to graduate my junior year. Then having accomplished that I decided it would be more awesome if I filled my unnecessary senior year up with totally retarded stuff like gymnastics and auto body repair. I had simultaneously the gayest and most testoster-iffic senior year schedule in the history of Bel Air high school. One day I'm in auto body class hanging out in the spray booth while one of the other high school guys named Juan is painting his car. As he was spraying the hood I asked, "How do you know when you're done?" To which he replied, "How do you know when you're done taking a shit?" Juan was the mexican Confucius.

So 25 years later here I am and in the mail is a toy robot I ordered from HobbyLink Japan. I wrote about it briefly back in July when I preordered it. The details like the name of it or who makes it or how much it cost or what kind of imaginary airplane it turns into are really unnecessary. All you need to know is this is the greatest thing I've ever bought. I want for nothing else. No other toy robot could ever appeal to me as much as this sexy exciting marvel of roboplasticity does. It's like being engaged. In fact, I am marrying this toy.


tHE GREATEST ROBOPLASTICO EVER
This toy is a life changing event for me. Everything about it is perfect. The jet mode is perfect, the robot is perfect. I no longer need anything else. It has broken me from the bonds of materialism and roboconsumption. It's a strange feeling knowing that I no longer have a justification for working to make money. The only reason I worked was so I could buy toy robots. Liberated from the rat race, I can now fulfill my lifelong dream of leading a wandering hobo Jedi existence, taking my baby son with me to the desert planet of Tatooine and teaching him in the ways of the Force.

I had a Wizard of Oz moment once I realized that thanks to this toy robot I don't need to buy anymore toy robots. In fact I never needed to buy toy robots. Over the last however many decades I've been buying them I could have stopped at any time. It is as if Yamato VF-0S with Ghost Booster was looking at me through its little translucent green visor telling me, "Your robots collection was always complete, you just decided that it wasn't complete enough when you bought something else. The only time your robots collection wasn't complete was when you were in the checkout line at Old Navy or wherever getting another one." I was stunned. I am stunned. But not as stunned as when I looked at VF-0S with Ghost Booster and it said, "Also, right now somewhere in the world someone is eating Taco Bell. Be that guy."

The only thing greater than owning a Macross Zero VF-0S with Ghost Booster is meeting the guy who engineered it to worship him and give him thanks and praise. But unfortunately that is an impossibility even for a wandering Jedi hobo, because even if I did know his name I would not be able to understand it. Because it's in Japanese. Oh who am I kidding, this was probably designed by the wise and wonderful Shoji Kawamori, as are all great life affirming things from Japan. This Yamato VF-0S is so good that if I hadn't already paid for this, I would physically hurt somebody to get one. Kawamori is the Tyler Durden of toy robots design, giving roboplastic form to profound philosophies that change the way I live my life and make me want to punch somebody in the balls. Thanks to Shoji Kawamori and the Macross Zero VF-0S with Ghost Booster toy robot, I finally know I am done. Shoji Kawamori is the Japanese Mexican Confucius.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Four Star Stories OR:Vintage Space Toast Tour Houston-Space Toaster Cowboy Outlaws

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Vacationing in my native state of Texas gave me the opportunity to wrassle some old toy robots newspaper ads. I had some fun times in Florida the week before and I was hoping that luck would continue. But unfortunately, in Houston we had a problem. The main library downtown was undergoing renovations and the microfiche archives were not physically located in the same building as the temporary library. This meant I had to request the reels and then wait for three hours for the staff to go into the old building and bring me what I wanted. Instead of getting a full seven or eight hours of newspaper searching, I only got three and a half because of the delay. But I still found some good stuff and between Florida and Houston there's a couple dozen new ads I may put up at the Vintage Space Toaster Palace.

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Before I get into a couple of the ads I found, let me say that Canon 800 series microfilm scanner at the downtown Houston library was the most technologically advanced scanner I have ever worked with. The 800 series have widescreen displays, all sorts of crazy illuminated buttons that allowed me to manipulate the on screen images and the ability to capture and send images digitally through USB ports. You could take the most underexposed, blurry roll of newspapers on microfilm and it could be manipulated to look fantastic when viewed in that machine. I was able to get better copies of many ads I already had thanks to the power of the Canon 800 scanner. It was so advanced I suspect it was some sort of droid. In fact it made R2D2 noises when I operated it. It was truly the Omega Supreme of microfiche machines.

I was surprised to find out how strongly pharmacy stores like Eckerd were pushing Transformer knockoffs in their ads. These rogue toys are the outlaws of the wild west toy robots world. There were lots of blatant KOs that used the only slightly altered Transformer toy molds back in the 80s and they were featured prominently in the weekly circulars of little independent drug stores. "Transistor Robots" was one line of these Transformer knockoffs made by a company called Four Star and among their most infamous KOs is the heavily remolded Constructicon Devastator wannabe named "Hard Hat". This Gray Drug ad from December 1st 1985 shows the Hard Hat giftset, which retailed for about three-quarters of what the official Devastator giftset cost back then. Hard Hat had a Jetfire head and other bizarre mold modifications that made it a wonder to behold. You can behold it yourself in more detail at Fred's Workshop or the Super Toy Archive.

Another pretty blatant Transformer knockoff robot from the Four Star line was the Phantom F-15 fighter jet. This Eckerd drug store ad from December 24 1985 shows how they originally retailed for about six bucks. I've seen a lot of ads for the Four Star Phantom so I'm sure a lot of them were out there, yet they're hard for collectors to find nowadays. It's hard for me to believe there are collectors that want to find these in the first place. But honestly this company did a whole lot more than just ripoff the existing toys and give them different colors. The Four Star KOs are some of the most inventive and original in terms of toy robot knockoffs. If you want to check one out what one of these Phantoms looked like still in the box you can see that at the Super Toy Archive. I've also found ads for the Four Star Dinobots and Four Star Insecticons plus some other Transistor Robots that I didn't recognize as Transformers. Those will go up eventually at the VSTP. If you'd like to see more Four Star figures you can do so at Kidk0rrupt's bootlegs page or just google something like "four star transformers".

Here's another Transformerish robot in a drug store ad. This time it's the Shockwave mold that gets pimped in this Eckerd drug store ad from December 2nd 1984. I'm not sure that calling this a bootleg would be correct since the mold seems pretty dead on and ToyCo (the company that made the Shockwave mold) did license it out to more than just Hasbro. The "Galactic Man" Radio Shack version is a ToyCo licensed figure as is their own "AstroMagnum". Eckerd also ran a lot of Transistor robots ads but I doubt this was a Four Star Shockwave because the mold seems different from the Four Star version. You can see pictures of a Four Star Shockwave here at Kidk0rrupt's page. The quality of the ad image isn't good enough for me to definitively determine if this was possibly a Four Star Shockwave with a variant gun barrel but the box isn't pictured so I can't say for sure. I'd guess this is an ad for AstroMagnum.

With all the bootleg varmints I rounded up in Houston and Florida, I've got enough to start my own corral of outlaw toy ads at the Space Toaster Palace. I'd really like to promise here that I'll have it up by a certain date, but you know how big I am on chronological irrelevance.

Monday, October 22, 2007

What I really wanted to say to them was, "Give Cancer a chance, bitches! What did that constellation ever do to you?"

There's a little mountain range in Antarctica that's one of the best places in the world for scientists to collect meteorites. This is because the ice shelf is constantly moving, albeit slowly, towards a small valley between the mountains. The combination of the moving ice and the small valley acts as a funnel that moves all the meteorites that have fallen over a large area into one easy to survey concentrated icy area of space rocks. The other day I was at Wal-Mart in Florida and I saw a similar phenomenon in operation as two women were positioned squarely in the center of the exit doors asking people to donate money for the fight against cancer. They even had pretentious little peppermints to give out for donations. God I hate those people.

I was able to avoid them on the way in but I knew they would have me on the way out. I started to think about all the possible ways I could tell them no without looking like a heartless asshole. But then I figured, hell, I'm here on vacation and I'll probably never see those women again in my life! Why should I worry about how I'm going to tell them no? Then I started thinking of mean ways to say no to cancer research. I came up with about five as I walked aimlessly around the store:

1.) What did you guys do with the dollar I donated last year? There's still cancer!
2.) I don't care about cancer. Only Kryptonite hurts me.
3.) I don't care about cancer. Only the Autobot Matrix of Leadership hurts me.
4.) Give cancer a chance. You may like it!
5.) Who cares about constellations? You should try fighting something worthwhile like diseases!

None of them were very good so I punked out and used another charity avoidance technique I have perfected over time. I walked beside an older-than-me lady, effectively making us both one target for the cancer beggars. This way if we look like a mother and son couple or maybe a hot old lady and her young virile pool boy sex slave, they'll usually pick her as the easier mark and ignore me. I have a 50/50 chance of being asked when I do it that way instead of being a guaranteed target walking alone. Depending on the charity I am trying to avoid I adopt different techniques. I have a nuclear option available to me that is so karmicly horrible I don't usually employ it for fear of being struck by lightning or meteorites, smitten by an angry God in various ways depending on the weather. But hey, I was on vacation and Florida's a great place to die.

So I was at the maximum allowable distance that would indicate to unknowing onlookers that we may be together and yet still not make the older-than-me lady uncomfortable. Then just as we walked out the door and were dead in the sights of the cancer panhandlers, the older lady bumped into me accidentally and said, "Oh, I'm sorry!" The gig was up! We were obviously not a couple and the cancer extortionists knew they could ask us both for money independently! Then in my moment of ultimate brilliance, before they could ask me anything, I went with the nuclear option and said, "Hi, I already have cancer and I wanted to say you're doing a great job!" Then I took a peppermint from them and winked and gave them a thumbs up. I ran off feeling lucky to be alive in the absence of rocks or electricity from heaven. I guess even the Antractic scientists miss a meteorite every now and then.

In the 25th century mankind will create horny robots, unfortunately in the 25th century mankind will not be wearing pants

Sunday, October 21, 2007

____HOLICS accept ____US __RI__ as their lord and savior (Answers below!)

When I was a little kid my dad would make me go to church with him and one thing that struck me as odd was how Catholic mass begins right off the bat with a prayer called the Confiteor about how I was such a big loser. So enormous was my suckitude that this prayer had me invoking not just the help of Jesus and Baby Jesus, but also heaven's middle management and other lesser wing-ed employees.

The Confiteor was a huge downer and it isn't exactly one of the selling points my dad mentioned when he was trying to get me to go to church. I didn't have to be reminded I was letting god down on a daily basis-I was well aware of that. But I guess having to say how much I suck as a person out loud to Jesus and Baby Jesus helped me feel better about how I would masturbate to Winnie from the Wonder Years and other miscellaneous bad stuff I did.

So now that my vacation is over I look back on these last three fun filled weeks and I'm suddenly aware that I forgot to observe several Holy Days of Obligation in the robot nerd religion. There was the release of the score to the Transformers movie and the release of the Transformers movie on DVD. It turns out I didn't go out and get them immediately like a good Roboholic would. It is not enough to buy Transformers DVD-it must be bought within seconds of when the stockboys put it on the shelves at the local Super Consumption MegaMart or else my toy robot nerd cred goes out the window. I did eventually buy Transformers DVD last night, six days after release, which is equivalent to celebrating Christmas on December 31st. Oh forgive me, Megatrons! I find myself feeling like I dissapointed yet another group of imaginary heores from outer space, just like I did when I was a little Catholic boy.

The Catholic Church and the Transformers both do a good job of making me feel monetarily indebted to the cheif protagonists of their respective fictions. After Optimus Prime went through all that trouble to save Earth the least I could to show my gratitude is buy his DVD, his voice changer helmet and his Mister Potato Head. Yup, not getting the Transformers movie DVD in all its multiple incarnations on the day of its release makes me feel pretty deficient as a fan of toy robots and more importantly-as a human being. In an even more flagrant sin against Roboholisism, I didn't buy the super special Best Buy exclusive premium edition metallic finish Megatron toy robot although I had numerous chances to do so. Honestly I was saving that 20 bucks in the hopes that Best Buy would have a DVD of the Wonder Years.

And so for this special Sunday edition of PSMR I have come up with a coping mechanism in the form of a prayer to help me deal with the guilt I have for not only not tithing 10 percent of my money to toy robots, but not doing it in a timely fashion. Here is the Roboholic Confeitor:

I confess to Optimus Prime, and to C-3P0 and Twiki from Buck Rogers,
that I have sinned through my own lack of buying toy robots,
and by not thinking of toy robots every second,
and not talking about toy robots to everyone I meet.
And by not buying multiple versions of the toy robots movie the day it came out on DVD,
and by repeatedly failing to buy enough toy robots.
And I ask blessed Sam Witwicky, ever virgin,
all the Autobots and Decepticons,
and you, my fellow Roboholics,
to pray for me to the Lord Darth Vader.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

VINTAGE SPACE TOAST TOUR 2007 or:My hobby has less to do with buying toy robots and more to do with spending hours in front of microfiche machines

Although I am in Florida on vacation, it is impossible for me to spend any length of time in a city without going to their main library and looking for space toaster ads. My hobby has less to do with the accumulation of toy robots as it does with spending hours in front of microfiche machines at libraries. Somebody needs to invent me a job where I have to visit cities looking at thier newspaper archives for robots ads. I would be employee of the decade, as evidenced by the seven hour marathon I did yesterday at the main library in Fort Lauderdale. Technically it's named the Broward County main library, but from this point forward I will be referring to it as "Fortlibrarius Maximus".

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Holy crap is their library big! Although its origins are lost in the mysterious swrils of time, the leading hypothesis is that Superman created the Fort Lauderdale main library as his summer vacation home. Once I got inside "the Fortress of Solitude: Florida division", there were all sorts of crazy things that I would never expect to find in a library. Crazy things like palm trees, waterfalls and gift shops. Apparently this library is so big that they fit Hawaii in here, too. I wondered, who buys someone a gift from a library gift shop? Or the better question is, who looks forward to someone getting a gift from a library gift shop? It all seemed rather nerdy to me. Then I realized I had no place judging the nerdiness of others when I saw their rows and rows of microfiche archives and I started running around the third floor pumping my fists and screaming like I hit the winning home run in the super bowl.

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In order to understand the enormity of awesome that is the Fort Lauderdale main library you must realize that the newspaper archives of mere mortal libraries are about as physically large as ten Optimus Prime robots toys stacked side by side. Fortlibrarius Maximus has a newspaper archive as big as every Optimus Prime roboplastico ever made stacked side by side, plus Peter Cullen riding a horse. So I got to work. Thanks to a Florida native guy named Adam (who I've met through secret internet email communications about Lionel Playworld) I knew I could narrow my search down to just the South Florida Sun Sentinel. This helped immensely considering I had to look through about every newspaper created since south Florida cavemen discovered the printing press. Although I had nearly unlimited newspapers, I didn't have unlimited time. I was wiling to blow eight hours and I knew that was only able to get me through about two months worth of papers. I loaded up my machine with weeks of newspapers from the golden age of vintage toy robots ads-the Christmas shopping seasons of 1984-1986. To understand just how I built the Vintage Space Toaster Palace, you have to imagine doing the following for about ten billion hours:

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I do it at that speed, too. The Queen of Macrocrania says a strange look comes over me as I'm scanning the papers with Ninja Warrior like speed and endurance. I think it has something to do with the way my eyeballs nearly pop out of my head like hyper ricocheting tennis balls.

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Three hours into it my eyes got stuck on automatic hyper tennis ball mode and when I tried looking away from the machine I couldn't focus on anything because my eyeballs kept going back and forth and I almost threw up. After seven hours of scrolling newspaper ads I was questioning not only why I was doing this but why I existed at all. Then I remembered the reason I participate in my personal library vomit challenge is the best reason for doing anything-that reason is so I could put pictures like this on the internet-pictures of the greatest shirt ever made:

Friday, October 05, 2007

Bots on the Road part 2:Freed from South Dakota like Han from Carbonite

I'm in Houston now visiting my in-laws and this past week has been a total blast. Just enjoying the basic human necessities like 7-Elevens, IMAX theaters and comic book stores that are open on Sunday has me realizing how much I miss living in the big city. It's rather bittersweet because it reminds me of what I'm missing out on living in Rapid City. It's not like I'm not aware of how fantastic the rest of the world is-I constantly dwell on that thanks to the internet. In fact, much of my life over the past ten years has consisted of me living out in various middles of nowhere and reading the blogs of beautiful people doing wonderful things. I think geographic isolation makes me idolize anyone living in a city with over 50,000 people and more than one Wal-Mart. It's partly the reason I feel like their blogs are genuinely interesting tales of adventure and my blog is depressing stories about collecting toy robots 20 years ago and lessons I learned from Star Wars.

So now I get to be one of the beautiful people doing wonderful things for at least a little while as I vacation in Houston and next week in Florida. It's funny because I feel like I'm totally blowing the opportunity. While I'm totally overjoyed, it is dawning on me that the wonderful things I'm doing are probably not so wonderful to the normal residents of any given metropolis or even Charlie Brown. I've gone to my favorite Houston comic book store a couple times and I've seen Transformers in IMAX. That's it. That's the extent of my wonderful adventures. Even worse, I fear I may have missed out on some mexican wrestling that happened here last weekend. It is dawning on me that I may have forgotten how to be truly wonderful.

I've always suspected that living in harsh, desolate hellholes of nature like Antarctica, a Turkish air base, or Rapid City, South Dakota can take a toll on you. My current isolation from normal pop culture consumerist civilization makes me Han Solo living in the figurative carbonite that is South Dakota. Now my inability to exploit all the rich cultural resources of Houston (like mexican wrestling) has me wondering if I've been living with the penguins and cowboys too long. If you think about it, Han Solo never really did anything all that great after he got out of the carbonite. He used to be awesome in the first two movies but then anything he did in Return of the Jedi after he got unfrozen could have been done by any anonymous rebel soldier or even C-3PO. It's like whether you're frozen in Carbonite or South Dakota, it affects you and makes you a dud.

Just as Han suffered from hibernation sickness and was all blind, I'm worried that I'm becoming unable to appreciate different places. Honestly after constantly moving every few years, visiting relatives all over the place and going to the occasional Botcons, everywhere I go seems like one big blur. Everywhere may as well be anywhere because it´s all lost its vacation appeal. About the only thing that changes from one city to the next is some stores I like go out of business or they move and are no longer there when I visit them. That happened this week when I found out one comic book store moved a couple blocks only after I showed up to the empty shopping mall where it used to be. That was annoying. It's like each city I've lived in is a room in my house and the stores are the furniture. So if Houston is my living room I'm a bit mad that they moved the sofa. I'm feeling pretty bad because if Antarctica is my backyard I haven´t gone outside in ages.

Well now I´m off to a certain Houstonian comic book store that is only open Friday through Sunday. To me that is still pretty special and something I can definitely appreciate. Even if it may not be all that fantastic in the larger scheme of things, it beats blogging from the carbonite.

Bots on the Road part 1: Decoding the universal meaning behind the Houstonian civilization's giant space cow

The Drake Equation is a formula some guy came up with to estimate the chances of there being space aliens in outer space that would actually be interesting people we would want to hang out with. It´s pretty complicated but one of the variables in the formula is how many civilizations there are that would be crazy enough to let the universe know they exist by sending signals into space, which is the intergalactic equivalent of getting a MySpace page for your planet. I totally understand why smart aliens wouldn´t want to let anyone know they exist because everytime I put my personal email on the internet I get deluged by assloads of spam. If there are intelligences out there, we don´t know about it because they're keeping to themselves, which is the intergalactic equivalent of spam blocker.

When I am out on vacation I have my own version of the Drake Equation whereby I asses the likelihood that I will have a good time in whatever city I have landed. My equation only depends one variable-the existence of Unusually Fruity Objects at the airport. In my travels I have been found that the best assesment of the attitude of a city can be made by evaluating whatever sculptures they have in their airports. Unusually fruity sculptures tend to exist in insanely awesome, batshit wacky cities. Earlier in the year I spent a week in Pittsburgh and when I saw they had a Tyrannosaurus skeleton in their airport I figured they were either big dinosaur fans or they were sending a warning to any visitng Tyrannosauruses who might want to cause trouble. Here in Houston the airport has a 20 foot tall scultpure of an astronaut cow waving the Texas flag and holding a camcorder. I suspect Houston is telling me that at some point during my visit I will be abducted by space cows and they will be posting videos of my abduction on YouTube.
 

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Evil King Macrocranios was voted king by the evil peoples of the Kingdom of Macrocrania. They listen to Iron Maiden all day and try to take pictures of ghosts with their webcams.