Monthly Archives: December 2012

Nostalgiathon 2012: Real Genius edition!

It’s getting close to the end of the year, so I thought I would toss one more Nostalgiathon 2012 review in!  There’s still time to get in on this action, so check out Misty’s post or Andy’s post for details.  In the meantime, sit back and bask in the memory of REAL GENIUS!

“Would you prepared if gravity reversed itself? The only thing I can’t figure out is how to keep the change in my pockets… I’ve got it! Nudity.”

RGposterReal Genius was one of a string of 80s movies where the theme is simple: geeks will rule.  Weird Science and Revenge of the Nerds could easily be called siblings of Real Genius, but while those two were hilarious in their own right, Real Genius stands above them for many reasons.

First, there’s the story…  Instead of going with the fantastical notion of creating a living doll or the cliche topic of jocks bullying the booksmart, RG tackles something a little more complex by focusing on the pressure placed on people of high intelligence, particularly to produce results.  With wit and silliness, this comedy actually gives the viewer a thorough understanding of just how difficult it can be to be so smart that people judge you by your measurable IQ number.

“Sir, let me take this moment to compliment you on your fashion sense, particularly your slippers.”

Let’s move on to the cast!

RG2Gabriel Jarret plays Mitch Taylor, a 15 year old wiz kid who is recruited to Pacific Tech, a fictional university that resembles Caltech.  His center-part hairstyle, underbite, and consistent “deer-in-headlights” look give us the sense of a former big fish in a small pond entering an ocean.  He seemed to have long ago accepted that other kids really didn’t like him, but now the bullies are the guys who suck up to the professor.

Val Kilmer plays Chris Knight, the top geek who decides to get a cool haircut and stop taking things so seriously, taking Mitch under his wing in an effort to avoid mental breakdowns.  This was Kilmer’s third movie, and to be honest, I think it was his absolute best out of his entire career.  His comedic timing was fantastic, and he got the vast majority of good lines.  His natural good looks and surfer muscles make him less believable as a nerd, but we’ll overlook that for the sake of fun.

William Atherton plays Prof. Jerry Hathaway, and as always, this talented character actor plays the guy you want to punch in the face.  Atherton also played the highly recognizable (and punchable) roles of Walter Peck from Ghostbusters and Richard Thornberg from Die Hard in the 80s.  He was highly believable at the egotistical professor, constantly pushing his students to complete the project he needs to sell to the government.

Jon Gries plays Lazlo Hollyfeld, the genius hermit rumored to have lost his mind; Michelle Meyrink as Jordan, the jittery girl who can’t sleep; Patti D’Arbanville as the Geek Groupie; and Robert Prescott as Kent, the insufferable kiss-ass.

“Moles and trolls, moles and trolls, work, work, work, work, work. We never see the light of day. We plan this thing for weeks and all they want to do is study. I’m disgusted. I’m sorry but it’s not like me, I’m depressed. There was what, no one at the mutant hamster races, we only had one entry into the Madame Curie look-alike contest and he was disqualified later. Why do I bother?”

Finally, the QUOTES…

“I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, who said, “… I drank what?””

Let me start by saying the reason I am doing this Nostalgiathon review at all is because several days ago I came across someone whose name is “Kent” and this led to a Facebook post where I mention this and that I then had difficulty refraining from quoting the movie.  For hours after I posted, my friends and I were trading our favorite lines.

“Would you qualify that as a launch problem or a design problem?”

The lines in this movie are awesome!  Sure, maybe you have a few good ones from Weird Science (I can think of one or two), maybe a couple from Revenge of the Nerds (I can’t think of any), but if you watched this more than twice I guarantee that you’ll have some of them take residence in your brain.

Mitch, there’s something you need to know. Compared to you, most people have the IQ of a carrot.”

If you saw this movie more that 5 times, I also guarantee that you not only recognize all the quotes I’ve posted, but know the characters who said them, the inflection in their voices, and possibly the next few lines!

“Kent: You’re all a bunch of degenerates.
Chris Knight: *We* are? What about that time I found you naked with that bowl of Jell-O?”

I can’t say for sure how many times I watched this movie, but suffice it to say that it was enough to be able to run through Jordan’s introduction on the fly…

“Mitch: [as he helps a hallway sledder up from a crash] Are you okay?
Jordan: [Removing helmet and talking rapidly] No, not emotionally, no I’m not. I’m disappointed, not terribly, but still. It should have gone much further much faster. It’s okay, though, I know what the problem is. It’s obviously the drag coefficient. I’ll just have to redesign the blades. I can do that no problem. I can do that here. But after they’re designed I got to cut them and that takes tools and time. Do you know how long this stuff is supposed to last?”

I give this movie 5 out of 5 liquid nitrogen/dry ice coins!

Product Review: Omega Paw Self-Cleaning Litter Box

Yes, I am reviewing a litter box!  I feel silly reviewing a litter box, but this one actually deserves it!

Top to bottom:  Loki, Asia and Meep.  I fear they are plotting my demise.

Top to bottom: Loki, Asia and Meep. I fear they are plotting my demise.

I am a cat person.  I adore my cats and I get the impression they tolerate me just fine.  We pamper them with good food and fun places to sit.  Notice the “Taj Meh-Hall” (“meh” is the sound Loki makes) – we built that for them, and they seem to enjoy being up high away from the dog.

We recently brought Meep into our little family.  She was a feral kitten that roamed near our place, and when we noticed that the cats were starving, we decided to trap them and bring them to the shelter in hopes of rehabilitating them and giving them a shot at a home.  Of the five we trapped, Meep was the only one adoptable, and we decided we would be the ones to bring her home.

She stayed in my daughter’s room with a small litter box, food and water, but she soon grew adventurous and it seemed silly to keep her trapped in the one room.  The problem was that the dog was discovering the joy of what’s left in litter boxes, so we couldn’t just leave the door open, and the other two cats use a box in the basement.  Since we have so many things in the basement that Meep could potentially get trapped in (that the older cats are completely indifferent to), I didn’t want her down there.  So we needed to find a solution.

OPsclbAfter poking around a bit, I discovered the Omega Paw Roll and Clean self-cleaning litter box.  Amazon calls it the Omega Paw Self-Cleaning Litter Box, but it’s kind of misleading… it doesn’t clean itself automatically like the electric cleaners.  The design is pretty simple, though.  Cat enters on the one side and uses it like any other covered litter box.  To clean the waste, you literally roll the litter box gently clockwise until it’s upside-down, then gently roll back to the original position.  The unused litter sifts through a grate, while the waste falls into the tray, which can be removed and dumped into a trash bin.  When I saw that it got very high marks and over 2500 reviews, I figured that many people couldn’t be wrong.

I got the larger version, since that’s what most people recommended for multiple or large cats.  I think we COULD have gotten away with the regular size, but I don’t regret getting the larger one.  I also got a clumping litter that a reviewer had recommended and I back up their positive review of it – Dr. Elsey’s Ultra Precious Cat Litter for multiple cats works very well.

I set up the box, which was a bit of a chore initally.  If you can see, there is one clip in the front (right next to the opening), two on the left side, and one in the back.  They are molded plastic clips, and you have to slide them until you feel them lock into place.  Once that was done, we let the cats know it was available and waited to see how it would work out.

Surprisingly, the box lives up to the reviews.  It is very easy to roll the box over and the tray indeed catches all the waste and makes it easy to dispose of.  I roll it once or twice daily (I try to keep it as clean as possible because the dog will stick his head in there looking for goodies – yuck!).  Because it’s so easy to clean, there is no cat box smell, although I admit we take the kitchen trash out a little quicker than we used to.

boltwingBut I do take issue with the clips.  The negative parts of reviews I read all seem to center around the same weak point – those plastic clips.  They are difficult to lock into place, and I quickly found that the clip in the front just refused to stay locked.  Whenever I rolled the litter box, there was enough pressure to pop the clip out of the locking position and cause the top and bottom to separate a little.  Because the clean litter was trapped in the grated section, it didn’t mean it was a disaster, but some loose particles did end up on the floor.  I contacted the manufacturer about the issue, and they offered to send me a couple of replacement clips.  I appreciate it, but I strongly recommended that they look into replacing those clips with the wingnuts and bolts commonly found on animal carriers.  It got so irritating that you can see I replaced it with a 5/16 wingnut and bolt.  The bolt is 3/4″ long, I probably could have used a 1/2″ long bolt.  This appears to have solved the problem I had with the plastic clip, so I really hope the manufacturer considers this for future models.

Overall I give this litter box a 4.7 rating out of 5, most of what was taken off was the issue with the one front clip.  The other thing to remember is that when you roll the box back to the original position, you might want to tilt it further to the left to get more of the clean litter out of the grate.  Aside from that, this box is great, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone with multiple cats!

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