Category: Amuses Me

Top 7 Fictional Hans

7. Hans and Franz – Saturday Night Live

Hans and Franz, like much of what is on SNL is so so much worse than you remembered at the time. What I remembered as classic skits with a hilarious pair of characters is really just really dumb upon recent review. You can access all of them on NBC’s website to judge for yourself.

6. Prince Hans – Frozen

Number 6 on this list, but number 1 on the list of “twist villains named Hans.”

5. Hans Blix – Team America, World Police

While brilliantly played as the dry dry dry UN bureaucrat he dropped a spot given he is based on a real person and therefore has the worst claim to fictionality of anyone on this list.

4. Hans Zarkov – Flash Gordon

Hans Zarkov is the perfect mad scientist and the best one of the group of heros in that movie. The titular Flash is super generic. Timothy Dalton as Prince Barin is boring and the leader of the Hawkmen Prince Vultan while hilarious, was a little too over the top.

Notable mention, he is also number 2 on the list of “Hans with goatees”

3. Hans Gruber – Die Hard

Hans Gruber rounds out the perfect ensemble that is Die Hard. He is the quintessential greasy European that we all immediately hate. He is menacing and is smart and stays ahead of the cops the entire time. The perfect villain.

Notable mention, he is number 1 on the list of “Hans with goatees”

2. Hans Moleman – The Simpsons

Often played as the butt of the joke, he was a bit character brought out as the most pitiful person on the receiving end of some horrible situation. Comedy gold.

1. Han Solo – Star Wars

While technically not a “Hans,” he is singular “Han” – which makes a good fit for number one! And to be clear, we are talking about the 1977 scoundrel who was not afraid to kill another miscreant in cold blood. Han shot first, end of story.

Stayin’ Alive – no, that’s not a COVID reference… nor black lives matter…

I’m taking my third break from the news in as many months.

The first was in March, the news was 24×7 COVID COVID COVID and yet we still knew nothing… all the stats were contradictory, our learnings evolving and any real test/vaccine/development was months off – nothing advanced my understanding of anything. Nothing really mattered. So I stopped watching.

In late April, I got in the car for a grocery run and turned on the radio… it was the 24th and literally the first news that I had heard in a month was Trump telling us that he thinks we should inject bleach to kill the Corona virus. I turned off the radio, confident in my decision to withdraw from the news. Nothing still mattered.

The past couple of weeks have not afforded such luxury of ignorance. However, the level of craziness and tragedy had become too much to take so I went searching for a brief respite and happened upon the 1977 video for Stayin’ Alive by the Bee Gees: Continue reading

Japanese doesn’t translate well (or Japanese people are weird)

For some reason, the 6 year old got a pack of Japanese Pokemon cards and was anxious to know their names. Like any well meaning father who doesn’t speak Japanese, I lied to the child and just started making up names… for example, this guy was Starlord:

However, as my names got more outlandish (Destructo, Pinky Pie, Super Red Rocketman), he started catching on that maybe I am not being completely truthful (either he’s getting smarter or I’m becoming a worse liar).

To get back on the right side of truth, I uses Google translate to get me what the actual names are. Starlord here offered up am incontrovertible truth tho – Japanese does NOT translate well Continue reading

Vicente for Presidente

Most people (Donald Trump excluded), once they reach a certain level of respectability, try to behave, you know, respectably. Thank god Vicente Fox, president of Mexico until 2006, got sick of that and started speaking his true mind.

If you want to see him trying to make a reasoned argument you can, but this sampling of off the rail rants are fantastic…



Jimmy Carter, step down. Vicente Fox, you are now officially my favorite former world leader and you have my vote!


The child was learning about haikus in school (a haiku is a 3 line poem with 5 syllables on the first line, 7 on the second and 5 on the third)… I forgot how much fun it is to talk about the world in Haiku form! 🙂

On the older child’s soccer practice
A rite of passage
Happens to all in soccer
Got beaned in the head

On coaching the younger child’s soccer team for the first time
Team of 6 year olds
Kids run in all directions
What’s his name again?

On the weather
The thunder is loud
Sky is dark, outside is wet
Soccer is canceled

Listening to 9 year olds talk among themselves
So embarrassing
No longer can go outside
My mom just said “rad”

On Trump
Is no collusion
The Russia probe is a hoax
He said covfefe

On life
Sink is filling up
Dishes dishes everywhere
Dishwasher broken

The only things I say to my kids
Ok I heard you
Don’t make me come over there
Turn off your iPad

I just saw Cars 3, A.K.A. Pixar does Rocky

My son is a huuge fan of the Cars movies. He doesn’t leave the house unless he is wearing Lightning McQueen and owns more than his fair share of Cars toys. As such, it was a foregone conclusion that we would be seeing Cars 3 on opening weekend. Having just returned from this, I was initially struck by the incredbile similarity with the single most awesome Rocky movie ever, Rocky IV. However, upon further examination, I am realizing more and more similarities with the significantly more terrible (but still oh, so awesome) Rocky III.

Let’s delve into this in a little more detail…

Theme from Cars 3 Rocky III Rocky IV Notes
Bad guy’s name is an obvious play on the good guy’s name Come on, Lightning/Storm, Rocky/Clubber
Hero is motivated by the death of a coach Rocky sure had a lot of coaches die. Seriously, the worst job in the world is a redshirt on the USS Enterprise and second is being a trainer for Rocky
Bad guy making inappropriate advances to the hero’s lady partner Well, as inappropriate as can get in a Pixar movie
Hero has to recover confidence after being soundly defeated by a black man
Training montage Honestly, Rocky 3 may have had one, but the montage in 4 really sets the bar for all time
Bad guy is a product of technology while the hero is all heart
Bad guy trains in a super modern facility while hero roughs it
Running on the beach as training
Babe who leers menacingly at the hero Granted the statician babe car is no Bridgette Fonda, but you get the idea
Hero finally beating his trainer proving he’s ready to finally do battle with the bad guy Nice play on this in Cars
Conquering age to be the champ again Fine, this didn’t actually happen in either of these Rockys. However, considering they made at least 3 more Rocky movies (Rocky V, Rocky Balboa and Creed) after Stallone turned 80, I have to think that this theme must have been touched on at some point
Competition at the end between coach and student with outcome uncertain

Verdict: Clearly, the more memorable Rocky IV should not overshadow the influence that the terrible (but oh so awesome) Rocky III had on this movie.

This is why I love Austin 

In a word, diversity. This town brings out all sorts. And I’m not just talking about your regular left wing hippies or your run of the mill fringe right wing extremists… I’m talking about those who are all of the above. 

Like this guy…

Smart car with bumper stickers

On one hand he wears his fringe-right credentials proudly being a fan of and wanting to end the Fed. But on the other hand, he cares about the environment, he wants to reduce his impact and drives a car that only those to the left of Ralph Nader would, a Smart car (I think that weird thing hanging from his mirror is what he uses to feed the hamster that runs on the spinning wheel powering his engine).

Look what the cat dragged in

The play Cats came to Austin last year and the presenting sponsor was… wait for it… “Purina Cat Chow!”. I still can’t decide if this was brilliant product placement, a bizarre juxtaposition of unrelated items or just so groan inducing-ly awkward, so eye-rollingly obvious, so on the nose that I am embarrassed for the marketer who made that decision.

…am leaning towards #3.

Cat Chow sponsoring Cats