The Redouters Guide to Holiday Travel Survival.

November 30, 2006

I don’t know about you, but there is nothing more draining than traveling cross-country during the holiday season.  I decided to share with you some tricks and tips to prepare for this big holiday season.  Unfortunately I have no advice to help out with getting cheap airfare, if you don’t like the price of flight, there is always the bus, or the conference call on xmas morning to all your loved ones.

1.    Always bring a scarf and hat with you.  Always expect the unexpected.  If you need a pillow in a pinch, you can always create one from the scarf stuffed into your hat.  The scarf also makes a great blindfold if the cabin of your aircraft gets to sunny.

2.    If you get stuck in the first row of coach, and you don’t want to part with your carry on luggage; you can always hide the bag between your legs and throw your jacket over our knees to conceal your precious cargo.

3.    If you are a smoker, look for the nearest FOX Sports bar and grill at your terminal.  For some reason, they have become the only in terminal smoking area in most major airports.   They only allow smoking if you are seated at the bar, if they catch you standing, they will tell you to put it out.

4.    If you plan on traveling with your laptop, and have that latest and greatest dvd to watch on the plane, I suggest that you rip that dvd to a file (like divx, or mpeg4).  You can even just copy over the video ts folders from the disc to your hard drive and manually open the file through your dvd player.

5.    If you plan on buying food to bring onto the plane, don’t bring fast food with you.  That big mac and fries may smell good at first, but once you get the green light from the flight attendant to chow down, it will be a cold and start to smell like garbage.  That smell will not go away for the duration of the flight.

6.    Bring headphones, even if you don’t own anything to plug them in to.  This can get you out of awkward conversations with people you really do not want to make small talk with.  You can also plug them into the seats of most aircraft and listen to the free music.

7.    If you have an isle seat and plan on sleeping during your flight, just tell the flight attendant that you wish to not be disturbed.  I know I hate being poked awake for my free can of coke.

I wish I had a cure for kids kicking your seat, and the other uncontrolled inconveniences for your trip, but sometimes you just have to take it.  Deep breathing and counting are still the best remedy for air rage.


The Fountain – a review

November 28, 2006

Welcome back, everyone! It was refreshing to see everyone at SHSIBAE take a well deserved 10-12+ day vacation. Normally our offices here on the 39th floor here at Rockefeller Center in New York City are teeming with people hard at work from sunrise to well after dark.

I saw The Fountain.  You may remember our two big picks not only for this year but for the next several decades (The Fountain and Pan’s Labyrinth). We had extremely high expectations for Darren’s newest offering. How could the maker of Pi let me down?

Well, he didn’t necessarily let me down, but he didn’t really blow me away either. I am actually not sure what I saw. The movie wasn’t as complex as expected–in fact it was fairly straight forward. The visuals were stunning, and no one doubted that. Rachel’s acting was excellent. Hugh’s character was largely annoying, but that isn’t what did the movie in.

Like I said, it didn’t fail. The NYTimes has a review which says it best, which mirrors the thoughts of our own theredouter, perhaps this will be a movie that will have a small cult following in the future, a small group of people who either forgive the shortcomings or think the entire movie is brilliant. What do I think? I’m not sure. And that’s the problem. I think I enjoyed the movie, but he didn’t set out to make a movie I would enjoy while on vacation. He set out to make a sci-fi epic. He set out to blow me away.  I guess I’ll have to go back and watch Pi again to get that effect.

We still have high hopes for Pan’s Labyrinth.

Buy a Wii. Or die.

November 17, 2006

We at SHSIBAE have been talking about the recent PS3 assassination attempts and have been talking about possible root causes for this new pandemic. It has become clear to us that the Wii is simply the cheaper, safer alternative and officially endorse the Wii in its bid to become one of only two game consoles in 2007. Sony, we appreciate your achievements in video gaming over the years and hope your company does not go fully bankrupt in its doomed efforts to produce and sell the PS3. However, the signs of your inevitable failure are obvious, including but not limited to a hefty price tag, unrealistic hardware requirements, dependency on a dubious and uncertain digital video technology, and probably most important, the fact that trying to buy one at your local store will cost you a few bullets in your ass.

We salute you, Wii. We really do.

MS Paint your picture: Democratic House & Senate

November 15, 2006

Perhaps this will turn into a series, perhaps not.  Nevertheless, I have made this picture in MS Paint of what I predict could/might happen with the democrats in charge of the house and senate.  Feel free to post yours!

Note:  If you want to post your own rendition, the only real guideline is that you MUST use MS paint.  I have blatantly copied and pasted one of H.R. Giger’s aliens a few times, so you can do the same.  Just no Photoshop, please.

Also, your picture doesn’t have to be in the House of Representatives, it could be a picture of anything that could/might happen with a democratic house and senate.

Segway into a Segway, segway segway segway.

November 14, 2006

4 AM. Most people are dreaming of sugar plumbs or about getting a back rub by their long dead grandmother (what? Don’t tell me I am the only one who has theses dreams). Our great editor decides to call me with my next assignment, “Hey, I think it would be cool if you write something about the Segway. Ok, Bye!”

Just a personal note, I loathe the Segway. Maybe it’s because I have never had the opportunity to Segway joust, or the smug look on peoples faces when they cruise around seattle on one.

Not knowing much about the system, I went to the website. My eyes were drawn to the build your own Segway button. I clicked, and clicked some more, outfitting my puny accessory free Segway into an Off road Police Segway, with police lights and siren, a hard case, comfort mats, side cargo sports kit, and an off-board charger (whatever the hell that is) all for a total of $7,454.65!

A little bit of saliva dripped from my mouth when a vision of me riding my Segway down the streets of Seattle blasting Danger Zone from Top Gun danced around in my overactive imaginationtron 6000. I would have to paint teeth on it, and custom build a cow catcher for the front, and if I had enough time attach a harpoon gun to the side cargo sports kit to make it a true deathwagon, but according to the U.N. any vehicle operated by the Redouter will automatically be named (you guessed it) “Deathwagon 1”.

My next question is, “how fast do these motherfuckers go?”

Page 21 on their .PDF file states that I can get this puppy up to 12.5 Miles Per Hour, that’s 20 KPH for those of you who are living in a more civilized culture. That’s right, you can match the speed of someone running by simply leaning forward. I would have to figure out a way to add nitrus to the fucker and enter the Underground Segway Drag Racing Circuit.

The batteries will have to be upgraded as well, 24 miles per charge aint going to do shit, when I am chasing down evildoers and occasional prostitute down the street.

After all is said and done, I think my dreamway will cost around $15,000 and ten souls of Mormon babies. I’m sorry, but Plucky wont ride in anything that is not baptized in the tears and blood of Mormon babies. What Plucky wants, plucky gets.

All right already! You want a post? I’ll give you a goddamned post.

November 14, 2006

Ok.  Let me just finish off the last of my coffee and then wash that down with one pint of piss and another pint of vinegar and then I will get to my assignment, you slave driving bastard of an editor, you.

Frank Miller has recently announced that his nearing completion of his 200 page batman graphic novel epic, Batman vs. Osama.  Super heroes fighting the foes of America has been an old tradition, but for some reason The Dark Knight vs. a 65-year-old man seems pretty ridiculous.

What tools will the Batman use to find Osama that the U.S. government hasn’t already implemented?  Will he fight him face to face or will he drop a Bat Bunker Buster?  Will Osama be beefed up with some sort of supernatural abilities provided to him by Allah himself?  Will it be interesting enough to fill the rumored 200 pages of content?

The title of the graphic novel is to be “Holy Terror, Batman!” according to the New York Post.  I guess the story takes place in Gotham City, which has been overrun with al-Qaeda soldiers.  I hope that it goes beyond Gotham, that he takes the fight to Afghanistan (Afghanistwhere?  Didn’t we done blowns it up with our freedom bombs?), and that Osama is really the Joker or better yet the Penguin (quack quack).

Will I buy it?  Yes.  I am a sucker for this kind of shit, and I loved the Dark Knight graphic novel.  Will I buy the story?  Probably, since it is a work of fiction and it is using the war on terror to sell copies of it.  Might as well make money off it, everyone else is.

-the redouter.

T-Shirt for sale! NOT!

November 14, 2006

My colleague here at SHSIBAE has just sent me a link to a t-shirt for sale at Sak’s Fifth Avenue that really presents one of the underlying problems the advent of metrosexuality and is by extension a social critique on the current state of American Culture. Yes, all rolled into one t-shirt. One $175US t-shirt.

Here’s a simple, new rule:  If you want to wear a video game t-shirt, maybe try to at least play the game first, or be familiar with it. And also, maybe don’t spend more than $30 on it. You can spend a lot less, but I understand if you want something nice, maybe something fitted and American made.
For shits and giggles, I was going to find another Mario t-shirt, one that someone with an actual brain, albeit less cash, would purchase. But nay! Here’s a hooded sweatshirt you can have, for only $20!