Lightsabers, Lightsabers, LIGHTSABERS!!!

When I was but a young lad, I dreamed of owning a lightsaber.

And then the wheel of time turned ever-onward. I grew older and taller and hairier and started noticing young ladies. And I dreamed of owning a lightsaber.

Then I became a man. I put childish ways behind me, put on a suit and tie, and hit the job trail. I built my resume, interviewed at accomplished institutions, and worked diligently to support myself. And I dreamed of owning a lightsaber.

Sure, there were those cheap, plastic ones with the segmented blades that we played with as kids. They broke a lot and stopped working after a few years. But we all knew those weren’t “real” lightsabers and longed for the day we could hold the real thing on our hands and feel like true Jedi.

 

Well, no longer.

Thanks to the folks at Ultrasabers, my roommates and I now possess a genuine, fully-functional, Yoda-worthy lightsabers!

I wouldn’t know, but I imagine this is what the day your child is born feels like. And no, Ultrasabers isn’t sponsoring me to write this post. The sabers are just that awesome.

They’re made of a super-strong, lightweight material that can endure all kinds of punishment. It allows you to engage in full-contact duels and pull off some pretty swanky spinny-moves without damaging your saber or your arms.

Lightsaber dueling is fantastic exercise. If you’re like me and you hate most forms of exercise more than Han Solo hates carbonite, you’ve no doubt morphed into a plump, doughy form over the years. Lightsaber battles are just the thing to bring our your inner ten-year-old and get you moving.

One of the best things about Ultrasabers is the price. People have been able to buy combat-worthy lightsabers for some time, but they’ve had to spend a few hundred bucks. With Ultrasabers, the lightsabers start at around $55, and you can spend as much as you want on them. Sound and a fancy hilt will run up the price tag a bit. Still, you can get a pretty awesome saber with basic sound for around $165.

The sabers also come in just about every color you can imagine: red, green, guardian blue, arctic blue, purple, orange, turquoise, and Aegean silver (or “white” to those of us not enrolled in art school.) The website also sells color discs, which can be used with the white saber to produce a wider variety of colors. I’ve used the discs with my Aegean silver blade to make yellow, emerald green, lime green, puce, light turquoise, silver, gold, “New Hope” blue, and even pink.

However, if really want to engage in some series duels with these things, there are a few facts you’ll want to keep in mind:

  1. The fancier, more expensive hilts, like my “scorpion” handle, contain more metal, which makes the saber heavier. It certainly doesn’t make the saber hard to use, but it will cause your arms to get tired after awhile.
  2. Ultrasabers eat batteries like a sarlacc eats Boba Fetts. When buying your saber, you’ll have a lot of options to adjust before the purchase is complete. You can either get a blade that uses triple-A batteries or some new-age, lithium ion garbage that’s impossible to find. Go with the triple-As. Also, keep in mind that sabers with multiple blades (double-bladed sabers or longsword-style, Kylo Ren-looking sabers) drain the batteries much more quickly.
  3. If you buy a lightsaber with sound (I mean, why wouldn’t you?), you’ll have several different sound options, which increase the cost of the saber exponentially. The basic sound option works great; you don’t need to spend extra money on a fancy-shmancy speaker system.
  4. You can perform basic maintenance on your saber using a tiny alan wrench, which you can buy from Ultrasabers for $1 at checkout. As soon as it arrives, go to a hardware store and buy a few more wrenches of the same size. They’ll inevitably get lost.
  5. The biggest injury risk from lightsaber battles is whacked fingers. A bloody knuckle or black-and-blue thumb will bring your night of fun to an end pretty fast. Unfortunately, there aren’t really any protective gloves designed for lightsaber fighting, so you’ll have to improvise.
  • We’ve found that the best solution is UFC fighting gloves, which have padding above the knuckles  and on the upper part of the fingers. The smooth fabric on the palm can make the saber difficult to grip, but cutting the palm out entirely or adding Velcro (just the soft part) solves that problem pretty effectively.

 

  • The gloves still leave your thumb and the lower part of your fingers exposed, but we’re working on a solution.

Apart from ferret proctology, I’ve never felt something as exhilarating than battling with legitimate lightsabers. If you want to earn a few cool points, get some aerobic exercise, and feel like a Jedi, head over to Ultrasabers and make a purchase. Regret it you will not.

Note: That last sentence made me realize that Microsoft Word’s grammar check doesn’t see anything wrong with Yoda-speak. Depending on how you look at it, that’s either awful or awesome.

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Bob and the Cyber-Llama at Western Welcome Week

I have yet another piece of poodle-roastingtly exciting news: I’m going to have a booth at the Western Welcome Week festival in downtown Littleton on August 19!

The Western Welcome Week festival has taken place once a year for almost a hundred years. It’s a huge community celebration in downtown Littleton, Colorado. Events take place from 8am to 5pm on most days from Friday, August 11 through Sunday, August 20.

The real action takes place on Saturday, the 19th. There’s a huge parade, a bunch of vendors selling books, food, entertainment, and other goodies, an obstacle course, gryphon rides, orca-eating contests, and giant robot battles. Or at least, some of those things.

I’ll be sharing a booth with Curt Fulster of C. Fulsty Books, who’s also donating his August profits to charity.

As I mentioned in my last post, I’ll be donating all of the money I make in August to CURE Childhood Cancer and Canines for Disabled Kids. This includes all of my Western Welcome Week sales, so be sure to stop by and support a good cause.

Stay tuned for details on my booth location!

Subway: Subliminal Mind Control in Action

http://www.subway.com/en-us

Who wants to read another post about fast food?

For those of you new to this site, I’ve spoken about most of the elements of fast-foodery, from the hostage negotiation-type scenario that is asking for ketchup to the predatory war of the Yum! Brands franchises. I’ve gone on and on about McDonalds and Taco Bell and Wendy’s and any other fast food franchises you can think of. But I have yet to talk about Subway.

Because Subway scares me.

Subway twists and molds the human mind in a way yet to be understood by the world’s most advanced hypnotists and psychologists. I suspect the whole thing to be an underground experiment in human psychology instigated by a race of underground pink ferret people as preparation for the coming invasion. But that’s just me.

Each Subway establishment houses two employees, who are separated by an invisible wall, what I call the “Iron Condiment.” The employee on the right handles bread, meat, and cheese, while the fellow on the left is in charge of herding the unruly condiments onto the bread. And a strange, psychic phenomenon occurs every time a Subway employee passes through the Iron Condiment.

While an employee is in the bread sector, their short term memory is reduced to a fraction of a second. My typical interaction with a meat quadrant worker is as follows:

Me: Hi, can I please have a chicken bacon ranch sandwich with provolone cheese on Italian herbs and cheese bread?

Employee: What kind of bread?

Me: Italian herbs and cheese. And I’d like a chicken bacon ranch, please.

Employee [after slicing the bread]: What kind of sandwich, again?

Me: Chicken bacon ranch. With provolone cheese.

Employee [after putting the meat on my sandwich]: What kind of cheese?

Me: The kind I just mentioned half a second ago!

But this isn’t simply a case of a bored employee not paying attention. The instant you pass through the Iron Condiment, you’re in an entirely different world: the free world. When you begin speaking to an employee on this side of the invisible partition, something shifts in their brains and they transform from a grunting neanderthal into Rain Man. No matter how many condiments you list, all of them will be placed on your sandwich, in order, without fail. It goes something like this:

Me: Hey, can I have lettuce, tomatoes, olives, green peppers, banana peppers, onions, carrots, avocados, Sasquatch hair, jalapenos, pickles, spinach, a tiny break-dancing Yugoslavian man, and cucumbers?

Employee [proceeding to put each condiment on my sandwich in perfect order]: Sure.

It’s like the employees go through about twenty years of secondary education and brain exercises by moving six inches. The entire thing just creeps me out. I’ll stick to the Quarter Pounders. At least they’re just trying to mess with my arteries.

Rejected Hannah Barbara Cartoons

image source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3QPS6As0tqY

You may not know this, but my first foray into writing didn’t involve this website or the Bob and the Cyber-Llama series. When I was a young lad living in the mountains of Tibet, I had dreams of employing my writing skills to aid in mankind’s greatest venture: Hannah Barbara cartoons.

Unfortunately, every one of my ideas was rejected as “disturbing” or “not appropriate for children.” But that doesn’t mean I can’t share them with you here:

 

The Flatulent Wilma Flintstone

This was my take on the classic modern, stone-age family. The entire show was nothing more than a series of reruns from the original Flintstones series…with a brilliant twist!

In the middle of each of her dialogue scenes, Wilma Flintstone would pause, squint her eyes a little, grit her teeth, and rip a massive fart. Your average dialogue scene would play out something like this:

Fred: Wilma, where’s my dinner?

Wilma: It’s not ready yet, Fred.

Fred: “It’s not ready…” Darn it, Wilma! When a man gets home from a hard day of work, he expects his dinner to be prepared!

Wilma: Fred, I was at the grocery store all day looking for those dino eggs that you insisted I…[Wilma stops speaking. Her lower lip quivers and she bites it determinedly. Clenching her eyes shut, she puts a fist in the air and raises one of her legs. A juicy blast erupts from her sphincter like the bursting of a dam. Her skirt billows like a flag atop Everest. Then, the hurricane of flatulence over, she stands erect once again.]

Wilma: Those dino eggs that you insisted I buy for the casserole.

 

Scooby Doo: A New Perspective

My second series was a new take on Scooby Doo.  Instead of focusing on the perspective of the Scooby gang, the series would let viewers see the mysteries through the eyes of the other characters. Because let’s face it: the Scooby Doo gang was high. Like, all of the time. And I’m sure that skewed their perspective a bit.

I imagined the average scene playing out like this:

Police Officer: Hey, uh…are you kids alright?

Velma [stumbling around incoherently]: Dude…there’s like…a guy in the amusement park over there.

Police Officer: A guy?

Fred: Yeah…and he’s dressed like an eighteenth-century pirate so he can scare people away from the ferris wheel and protect his Spanish doubloons!

Police Officer: I see. I think you should come back to the station with me.

Daphne: And I think we should split up, gang. Shaggy and Scooby, you go find the pirate’s ghost and lead him to the fun house.

Police Officer: That’s a hobo and a dead chihuahua, ma’am.

 

George Jetson’s 1984

In this dystopian future, the Jetsons have left their skyscraper cities behind and exchanged them for identical gray suits and an undying loyalty to “the Party.” Rosie, no longer the whimsical, smart-talking robot maid, has had cameras installed in her eyes and watches the Jetson family scrupulously.

We watch the slow indoctrination of Elroy as he learns how to discern whether or not his parents are defectors, the words “War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Tom is Jerry” inscribed on his schoolhouse. And we slowly see George begin to question the system as he sees the higher standard of living enjoyed by the Party’s officials.

By the end of season one, we see that George’s entire family has “disappeared” thanks to the higher ups and George sits in a cell. He is confronted by his former boss Mr. Slate, who yells “Jetson! Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four!”

If only Jane could, in fact, stop this crazy thing.

 

Amazingly, Hannah Barbara didn’t want to pursue any of my ideas. But such is life, I suppose. Anyway, it gives me more time to work on my magnum opus: Citizen Snagglepuss.