if you spill coffee, jump in a nearby fountain quick

Otherwise—to the shock of friends and embarrassment of yourself—you might just turn into a car. This happened in an 80s cartoon that I cannot remember the name of.

For months, I would get up at 6am, burn the toast, watch the Saturday cartoons, and always missed the compulsory introduction that explained that yes, indeed, this guy had been in a freak accident involving a lightning strike, his red convertible, and a secret science lab. And yes, heat—usually spilt coffee—would transform him into said convertible whilst cold—usually a fountain, there was always a fountain, or an inlet, or a fjord—would restore his manliness.

So a car would drive into a barn and a guy would walk out. Did I twig? Not until I finally got up early enough to see the explanation. Boy did I feel silly that day. It did explain why he always ran off in a hurry when he spilt coffee though. I just thought he was clumsy. Does anyone remember the name of this show?

Casyn asked about cartoon recollections and that was the one that jumped out at me. I too enjoyed Transformers, Voltron and the other toons listed in that post, but c’mon Casyn, what about Astroboy—we have just started the dvds, awesome— Star Blazers, Robotech, Thundercats, Paw Paw Bears and The Mysterious Cities of Gold? Now I need to go dig up links for all those awesome shows!


more than meets the eye

Yesterday I picked up Transformers Collection 2.1. For those that don’t know, I’m something of a transfan, having been in the key demographic when the toys and cartoons where first shown here in 1985/84. This DVD boxset is the first half of the second season.

Now I was a little worried. We have some of the original episodes on video, but those are the so-called G2 which is the old episodes edited and cut together using the horrible cybernetic space cube. That link will tell you something of it, but essentially it involves painful editing touches with whirring and CGI graphics flipping about (it’s horrible to watch!). So it was with some trepidation that I finally succumbed to picking up the original episodes on DVD.

But they are great! The timeless tale of conflict between the Autoboobs and Decepticreeps. Oh man, this show cracks me up. It is full of property destruction (when you’re a giant robot, why use doors when you can walk through walls?), dodgy insults (deceptibums), laser battles, hilarious lines (“What’s a test, without a guinea-pig-atron?”), and possibly more use of the word torque than any other show. The baddies—the Decepticons—scheme and plot and laugh evilly, show callous disregard for the environment as they tell their plans to steal energy (sorry, ultimate power) from the sun / river / mine / crystals / power-plant / volcano / universe to any who will listen and routinely knock each other down when one whines too often. The Autobots have a human friend named Spike—not a vampire—who helps them learn about Earth and believes they truly mean to protect our little planet. I think it is only an excuse for causing their own mayhem and destruction.

And such great lines—check out the voice talent—like this from Megatron: “What supreme irony—turning their friend, into their foe.” *evil laugh* But the joke is on him. Later, Megatron transforms himself into a gun—yes, companies like Hasbro could slip guns into their toy lineup in the 1980s—and has Spike use him to fight the Autobots. Naturally, Spike realises this is wrong and begins blasting decepticrumbs. “You fool, you’ve turned my power against my own warriors! We have been betrayed, retreat!” Now, that is supreme irony!

I doubt I’ve convinced anyone to watch this show who’s not already a fan. But you may be interested to know the latest version of Windows Media Player can sit on the taskbar and play in a little window whilst you work. Yep, I’m watching the show right now. The Autobots are currently blasting trees to make a road to the Decepticon base. Hooray!

Watching Transformers on the Windows Media Player toolbar

hooray for Chemistry

Daniel found a crayon this morning, and added some racing stripes to our wall. I am guessing he thought the decor needed a lift. Perhaps it is only because he found a crayon, and a blank canvas, and put the two together. In another time and place, such thinking would be heralded as “great”.

In another time and place, the distraught parents could have gone to their tribal elders. “We have tried to remove crayon from our wall and failed. Please favour us with your wisdom.” And the elders would have consulted the gods and returned with, “What is a crayon?”

In yet another time and place, when families lived together and people did know what crayons were, I am certain you could get good advice. In today’s radioactive families [that’s nuclear families] it is harder to get such advice. [What, too lazy to SMS your mum? Geez.] You could perhaps try asking a neighbour, but they will only tell you they don’t want to buy what you’re selling. [Will they???]

But there is a solution for today’s modern parents. First, you have to realise the question is not how, but ehow. Then the answer becomes clear. And the answer is in good old fashioned chemistry, NaHCO, otherwise known as bicarb soda.

Useful stuff. But not as good as potassium ethoxide. Potassium ethoxide rulez. C2H5OK!

letter to Activision

Jedi Knight Jedi Academy. Just purchased it. Just spent two hours unable to install it. Nine times out of Ten the CD is not recognised. It made it to 98% installed one time before finally crashing. Meanwhile my CDROM drive has been spinning alarmingly and errors have been popping up all the time about corrupted files, files that can be read, incomplete stuff. Rubbish.

If I can’t install a legitimately purchased game, well, what can I do? Return it for a full refund and never purchase products by Activision again. Done.

PS: your website gives a warning to upgrade to Internet Explorer. Don’t you know how to build an accessible website that works in all browsers? I guess I should not expect much from a company that cannot manufacture a CDROM disc that can be read by CDROM drive.

Very disappointed.