Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Real Time 24 Recap

Hour “10:00AM-11:00AM” started off with some excitement: Jack hijacked (ha, ha) a helicopter and took it for a quick spin over the blue clear skies of Manhattan. He landed on a roof top and kind of skipped along the skyline of New York until he found some handy fire escapes and blended into the New York City post breakfast-pre lunch hour mob.

Meanwhile, President Woman has another long conversation with Ethan, who had a major heart attack and did not use a PTO day. They both talk about Jack and how he has escaped another perimeter. Then Ethan mentions that President Woman will probably be impeached if the world finds out about the Russian involvement in the death of President Poofy Hair. Ethan didn’t mention impeachment when President Woman said we would deal with a dirty bomb exploding over Manhattan. Anyway, they both agreed that the Peace deal was kaput (a word you never hear on TV now days). President Woman gets all teary eyed because her husband divorced her, her daughter is in jail and the only man on earth likely to give her a smooch has to take nitrates for chest pain.

Then she meets former President Logan, who’s really into FOX AND FRIENDS. They go into this long discussion about how tough it is to be President and how you really need a legacy. President Logan mentions how President Woman could declare the Not That Hot Tech an enemy combated and hold her indefinitely and use ‘enhanced interrogation’ ( old Slim Whitman albums played loud) to get her to spill the beans. He knows this company that could help out and hands President Woman a magnet he keeps on this refrigerator.

Jack is just bopping around New York when he buys a bunch of several phones –but not the chargers or the warranty, just like Clark Howard says. He calls Chloe and she tells him that the President has hired at a firm to torture the Not That Hot Tech and that they are taking her to a ‘safe house’ (with Jack Bauer around-ha!). Jack throws away that phone and calls this new character, a work at home arms dealer.

Chloe comes up with this hair brained scheme to tell Jack the address of the ‘safe house’ but it is really just a fully functional dry cleaner with no employees. She sends Agent Chico which is like sending my cat to the job.

Of course, Jack has already figured this out and manages to out wit everybody and have Agent Chico tie up his ‘unit’ (three stupid guys and one that Jack put into a coma). He urges Agent Chico to come with him. Agent Chico: “But what if you are wrong?” Jack: (yells) “I’m Not!” I don’t think Jack ever studied debate in college.

Of course, after all of this excitement, we have go back to President Woman and her meely-mouth ways. She informs Ethan that she has hired a firm to beat the living fecal matter out of the Not That Hot Tech. Ethan decides to do the honorable thing and resign unlike a certain other Secretary of State whom I’ll call Roland Rowell who when he disagreed with a Presidential decision just picked up the phone and called Bob Woodward.

President Woman and New President Mrs. Poofy Hair hold a joint new conference announcing the Peace Treaty is still on. At the same time, The Not That Tech is carried, with a bag over her head, to a super secret location that happens to be 10 minutes from where Jack is, to be “questioned” by Torture R Us. They begin by water boarding her, which looks more like ‘dropping water on your face with a ladle', but what do I know?

Friday, April 23, 2010

Vegas Vacation Part Three

After gambling away all your money and going to shows featuring musicians that were popular in the Seventies (I wrote this song for you Susan Ford: "This one will never sell…”), you can never go wrong with a day trip to either the Grand Canyon or Hoover Dam.

There are about a billion tours to the Grand Canyon. You can go by bus. You can go by plane. You can go by helicopter. You can go by bus which takes you to a plane that flies you to a helicopter that circles the Grand Canyon. The helicopter pilot then pushes you out (wearing a parachute) and you can visit the Canyon floor.

Coming from Georgia, you usually will pass over The Grand Canyon. As canyons go, it is Grand. In 2006, we flew over it and when we got to Vegas we decided to save the money for the Grand Canyon and spend it on a buffet. This year, we flew in from Houston. I thought we would fly over it again. For some reason we didn’t.

The Grand Canyon tours tend to be on the pricy side so we decided to tour Hoover Dam. Hoover Dam tours are less expensive and take up less time.

You catch a bus at your hotel which goes to other hotels and picks up other tourists and takes everyone to another hotel. From there, you get on another bus which takes you to Hoover Dam.

Your guide is your bus driver. If you ever wondered where Debbie Downer’s father worked, I think know. He was our bus driver/ tour guide.

As we leave the parking lot onto Las Vegas Boulevard, the bus driver proceeds to tell us that the economy is bad (“very weak”) and that fancy new hotel almost went bankrupt before it opened. He mentions most locals don’t go to the strip and he points out all of the foreclosure signs. He tells us, and I’m not making this up, that the town was a lot better when the Mafia was in charge. He sighed a lot. To top it off, he had something between his teeth and you would hear this awful noise in between him pointing how dry it has been.

He decided to let us see some of the dam from the Arizona side. I’ll say this about that part of Arizona and Nevada: it looks the same. I was able to use one of the fashionable outdoor toilets there. After that, I bought a Mountain Dew. That’s my Arizona experience.

One of the good things about going to Hoover Dam is that you get to say ‘dam’ a lot and it is not consider a curse word. I would tell my wife, “I want another dam picture of you” and we would laugh because as good Baptists we can’t use the other damn unless we make a lot of money or play sports.

There is a lot of neat history behind the Hoover Dam. The dam thing was started by Herbert Hoover. It dam near got shelved by the Depression, but that dam Roosevelt kept it going because working on the dam meant you made dam money. The only dam holidays were the Fourth of July and Christmas. The dam town was named Boulder and you could spend your dam money there.

We saw the turbines which create a lot of dam electricity for the Southwest United States. We bought a pretzel as our dam snack and ate it while sitting on the dam picnic table bench. Then we got on the dam bus and went back to Vegas.

On our way back, our bus driver/tour guide still had something in his teeth, but he was still able to show us about where he thought Celine Dion might possible live. He did show us Wayne Newton’s house. Of course, it was the house that is being foreclosed on.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Real Time '24' Recap

Last week, for whom the clock went silent for was Agent Freckles. Despite being a sociopath, she had wicked awesome body, which of course, is all that men really care about. This week’s episode opened with Jack using his mighty Jack staring powers to bring her back to life, but it didn’t work. He cried again, making me think he’s getting all Alan Alda on us.

Then Chloe called. It would have been funny if she asked him, “Are you still crying?”, but no, she tries to offer some sympathy, but since it does not concern computers, she didn’t do a very good job of it. Jack wants to get the guy who did this because, after all, it was the first time he’s had the Honolula Hula since Bush (George Herbert Walker) was President. Chloe tells him it was somebody with the Russian Mob. It an amazing coincidence, the head of the Russian mob is being arraigned downtown in just a few minutes. Lucky for us, the courthouse is just down the street.

Ethan comes in to meet with President Woman. For man that had a heart attack and heart surgery just a few hours ago, he looks remarkable well, although I doubt President Woman will remember that during his annual performance review. (This is in contrast to Major Frank Burns of “M*A*S*H” who told Margaret that he “had a low tolerance for pain, a hemorrhoid puts me in a coma”.)

Ethan asks if President Woman she has spoken with President Milhous Logan yet. She had and sent him on his merry little way to Russian Ambassador who is eating breakfast. President Logan slimes his way into telling the Russian Ambassador that he knows everything and he’s going to tell President Woman. This puts big time fear into the Russian Ambassador and Russia comes back to the table for the “peace treaty”.

Jack arrives at the courthouse and proceeds to scare the head of the Russian mob half to death. The mobster spills the beans that the Not That Hot Tech was a mole for the Russians. Jack leaves the court house to go the ten minutes to CTU so he can beat up the Not That Hot Tech.

President Logan is doing the happy dance that the Russians are coming back to the table for the “peace treaty”. He’s back in the game. Then he hears the two words he hates to hear: Jack Bauer. Several years ago, President Logan was doing the bidding of a group of industrialists that wore Blue Tooths (one was Jack’s brother, who Jack killed). One thing led to another and President Logan somehow killed Former President Allstate. Jack brought this to the public’s attention and President Logan had to resign for office. On top that, his wife, Jean Smart (the cutest of “The Designing Women”) ran off with his Secret Service agent. Oh yeah, she stabbed President Logan. For some reason, President Logan is still bitter about it.

Jack returns to CTU to beat the living fecal matter out of the Not That Hot Tech. Chloe tries to dissuade him, but she as effective as the forty other CTU directors who tried to get Jack not to kill somebody.

The Not That Hot Tech does not know Agent Freckles is dead. Just to be fair, Jack tells her that Agent Freckles is “dead, dead” before his slams her face into the table and getting all over her like a cheap suit. I’ll give one thing for the Not That Hot Tech: she can take a punch.

After this beating, we are treated to President Woman, Ethan, and President Logan debating if they should tell New President Miss Poofy-Hair about the Russian involvement in the death of her husband. Ethan’s all moral about it but President Logan hits President Woman in her soft underbelly: it would wreck “the Peace Treaty”. President Woman was willing to sacrifice Manhattan and its residents so it was no surprise when she took the President Logan’s side of this argument. With that, she decided to go to see Jack at CTU.

If I was the head of The Secret Service, CTU would be the last place I would want the President to be. She arrives at the same entrance that was bombed a few hours before. The property management team at CTU rocks, because it was in great condition.

President Woman met with the CTU team and Chloe. She then met with Jack to explain how at one time she was a person with high morals but now she is just another slimy politician. She orders Jack to stand down.

In the real world, when the President of the United States tells you to stand down, you either stand down or you resign. Jack misunderstood. He thought she said, “Steal a helicopter”. Chloe has to contact the Air Force to bring Jack down. Of course, she has to wait on hold. Hears message that says, “The United States Air Force is committed in bringing you the best in Air Force service”. When she gets somebody, it sounds like some in India, but his name is “Travis”. Then she has to explain that Hastings was let go and now she is in charge now.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Real Time 24 Recap

Here’s where we stand 24-wise.

President Poofy-Hair: Dead.

The Not That Hot Tech: Evil

Kayla: Hot

President Woman: Willing to trade the lives of tens of thousands New Yorkers for a “peace treaty”.

Ethan: Should be dead.

Agent Freckles: Hot! Hot!

Last week, the terrorists did not detonate the Dirty Bomb of Doom, but killed President Poofy-Hair instead. This causes Jack to get on the phone and speak with President Woman and apologize for not saving his life for this “peace treaty” which better some kind wicked awesome peace, in my opinion.

It becomes apparent that Jack did not kill the head terrorist. This guy has the same gun shot wounds Jack has and will apparently be able to withstand interrogation in a couple of minutes. However, one of the ENTs is an evil white person who happens to be Russian. This No Goodnik injects something into the head terrorist’s neck when (this might be hard to believe) nobody is looking.

No Goodnik calls the Russian ambassador because he passed Agent Freckles in the hall and recognized her. She didn’t recognize him. He tells the ambassador that he will “keel” her and Jack. Or that he will “keel Moose and Squirrel”—it was hard to understand him.

One of people President Poofy-Hair threw in jail a few hours ago, comes up to President Woman with this great idea: how about having Mrs. Poofy-Hair became President? This way the “Peace Treaty” gets signed and every male in the Small Islamic Republic gets to see Kayla. President Woman likes the idea because she is really into the “Peace Treaty”, as we all know. She approaches Mrs. Poofy-Hair and after a full minute of sympathy gets down to the business of asking Mrs. Poofy-Hair to become the new President because sisters are doing it for themselves.

I know that previous paragraph could in no way convey the griping must-see TV of that scene. But we got even stronger instance of girl power. Chloe was named the head of CTU! She replaces Director Bubba, who for the first time in the day, stood up straight. Her first order of business should be finding out where that smell is coming from because a few hours earlier The Not That Hot Tech killed Bill Dauterive and stuffed him in an out take vent.

[Note: the following would have been really funny if I were not a deacon and a high school Sunday School teacher at a large Baptist Church]

As we all know, Jack and Agent Freckles have been making goo-goo eyes at each other for a long time now. Agent Freckles loved the way Jack could shoot people in the just the right spot on the thigh and how he could take a knife. Jack admired the way Agent Freckles could saw off the thumb of a bad guy and take a shovel full of dirt in the face (from last year). Also, she is not built like his last girlfriend, the Catatonic Audrey who had figure like an ironing board.

Jack and Agent Freckles were back at his place. Ladies, if you hear the phrase from Jack, “I have coffee here somewhere”, that means he has taken his medicine, if you catch my drift. Soon Jack and Agent Freckles are smooching big time.

In the midst of all of this, President Woman informs the Russian ambassador that Mrs. Poofy-Hair will be the President. This does not impress the ambassador. President Woman goes to see Ethan, who is remarkable fit and talk-y considering he had a heart attack two hours ago. Ethan says President Woman needs to utilize President Milhous Logan.

It is amazing to me that after all these years, we still find time to kick Nixon around, but I must give it the actor who plays Logan. You can see the slime ooze out of his pours, and you don’t need HDTV. This guy has a great ability to convey that his thoughts without speaking (thought: I am slimey). Anyway, Logan says has contacts, President Woman brings up the “trampling the Constitution, blah, blah, blah" (bold talk from a President when confronted with the certain deaths of tens of thousands of New Yorkers said “we will deal with it”). After a lot of talk, President Woman lets Logan do what he wants, because, she needs this “Peace Treaty”.

No Goodnik followed the two love birds to their love nest and like any good sniper, watched Jack and Agents Freckles download a schematic. After they are done with a good five minutes of passion, Jack announces he wants some water, which in eight years of the show, is the first time he’s ever been thirsty. Chloe calls Jack’s cell to tell him that the Head Terrorist died after being injected with something only fifty minutes before. But Agent Freckles answers. Shots are fired, all of them hitting Agent Freckles and none them hitting Jack. Jack takes her to the hospital, which is only two minutes away. Too late. Silent clock. Again. Jack cries. Every time he gets a girl, she dies or goes to Seattle to work on “Grey’s Anatomy”.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Vegas Vacation Part Two

As you may have heard, there are several things to do in Las Vegas.

One is to walk up and down Las Vegas Blvd so you can get massive blisters on your toes. That and dodging the Naked Lady Baseball Card People.

The Naked Lady Baseball Card People are what appears to be, to put it gently, people new to this country, if you catch my drift, amigo. In their hands are stacks of cards promoting, um, “escort services”.

It is Marketing 101: Have a card with a naked woman on it and give it to a man. However, 99% of men are walking with either their wife/and or girl friend and even if they were in the market (ha, ha) for that sort of thing, they wouldn’t accept it. In 2006, before the economy went south, The Naked Lady Baseball Card People would leave you alone if you were walking with your wife. In 2010, they don’t care. They will do almost anything to give you a card. If they had a roll of Scotch tape, they would tape it to your back.

Of course, what happens is that the sidewalks are littered with Naked Lady Baseball cards. Don’t say nobody ever warned you.

We encountered the worst of The Naked Lady Baseball Card People on our way to see “The Fab Four”, a fake Beatles band. We had tickets to see Frank Caliendo.

Frank Caliendo is this generation’s Rich Little. He’s the guy that imitates John Madden and does a great Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. The ticket prices for his show, by Vegas Standards, are reasonable. On top of that, he usually does a meet and greet with the audience after the show. But, he and the other comedians in town decided to take the week off and he cancelled the show we bought tickets for.

We really wanted to see a show. Last time we were in Vegas, we saw “Gregory Popovich Comedy Pet Theatre”. It was a circus act that featured dogs and cats doing tricks. Since we have a cat, we wanted to see what kind trick a cat would do because our cat does nothing. He had cats pushing shopping carts and sitting. He told the audience the secret of training cats: “Let the cat do what it wants”. The man is a genius.

We wanted to see something else this time. No offense, Gregory. The problem was we didn’t want to spend an arm and a leg to see a show. That’s where “ The Fab Four” came in.

Their show, which is about an hour long, features four musicians that sort of look like the Beatles if you had your glasses off. One of them, the Fake George Harrison, looked a lot like George Harrison. Fake John and Fake Paul, kinda of sorta looked like Real John and Real Paul. Fake Ringo didn’t look like Ringo or anybody else in the British Invasion.

But,"The Fab Four” play all of their instruments and they sound very, very close to The Beatles. I was expecting all kinds of cheese, and it was cheesy, but it was good cheese. Afterwards, my wife (who loved this show) and I went up to the cast. In a moment of brilliance I told Fake George Harrison that he really looked like George Harrison.

Las Vegas Boulevard during the weekends is packed. Tons of people. We saw a group of guys wearing “Dumb and Dumber” tuxedos. Lots of young women wearing next to nothing on. Lots of people drinking lots of booze.

The best time to see Las Vegas Boulevard, in my opinion, is early in the morning, around 7:00 to 7:30. To my body, it is 10:00 when it is 7:00 there. You get up and go downstairs. In the lobby, you pass the people that have stayed out all night. It doesn’t seem so glamorous then. There are people at the slot machines that have been there several nights. You hit the sidewalk. It is empty, except for a few joggers. You can take in the Strip without having to wade through the riff raff. It is an amazing town and the hotels are incredible to see. Then you meet your old friend. Denny’s. Reasonably priced breakfast. Over hear a couple of Minn-a-sota, talking to their daughter, don’cha know. See the group of kids that stay out all night. Of course, one of the girls does something inappropriate. They leave and they are replaced by a family from Boston that found the place so wicked awesome.

Next time: A Dam Trip

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Real Time 24 Recap

Last week, Mrs. Recap and I were in Las Vegas, so we’ve missed an important episode of 24. Here it is in a nutshell. Jack may or may not have broken ribs to go with his stab wound and fried little Jack. The A-rabs want President Poofyhair in exchange for not setting off a dirty bomb in Manhattan (near the Ed Sullivan theatre, I might add) and killing tens of thousands of people and making it nearly impossible for David Letterman to do his show. Of course, President Woman is against this because of the “peace treaty”. It was really comforting to hear her say that if the dirty bomb went off, “we would deal with it”. Whoa, Presidential leadership on display. The only thing we have to fear is fear itself and we can deal with it. Fourscore and seven years ago, our forefathers decided to deal with it.

President Woman’s Chief of Staff, Rahm Emmanuel and a newly introduced evil white man concoct a scheme to kipnap the President Poofyhair and give him over to the terrorists. Ethan, President Woman’s true love, gets wind of this and has a heart attack.

The rogue operatives attack Jack, Agent Freckles, President Poofyhair, Mrs. Poofyhair, and the Hot Kayla. They are no match for Jack.

In a super duper two hour episode of 24, President Poofyhair learns that if he turns himself over to the terrroists, he can save the lives of thousands of people and maybe even Paul Schaffer. He knocks Jack out and has the only operative Jack didn’t kills take him to where Tarin is waiting with the ticking bomb of Certain Doom. Except since the terrorists learned of President Poofyhair’s bravery, they ordered an abort of the bombing with only 7 seconds left.

Meanwhile, back at Leadership Central, President Woman is waiting for the bomb to go off so she can deal with it. Jack calls and informs her that Rahm Emmanuel and that other guy secretly conducted a rogue operation to save the lives of hundreds of thousands of fellow Americans, which of course, makes her mad. She busts into Rahm Emmanuel’s office where he and the other guy are staring at Ethan trying to make him better. President Woman slaps Rahm, when she probably should have given him a medal. Then she launches into a rant about treason (which this wasn’t) and that he could get the death penalty (which he wouldn’t—President of a small Arab country is alive but-- half of million New Yorkers are dead and the most valuable real estate on Earth is uninhabitable—good luck with the jury).

Back at CTU, the Not That Hot Tech is acting like a real mole. She tries to go and mess up the computers, but Arlo is there to prevent it by staring at her chest. CTU informs Jack of the whereabouts of Tarin and President Poofyhair. In a first for television, Jack steals a Hyundai. (I guess no scooter was available). Jack chases Tarin’s SUV into a garage and somehow makes Tarin drive off of the top of the garage, killing Tarin. But….President Poofyhair is no where to be found.

That’s because he was switched and put into a Honda which drives off. Using his analytical skills, Jack finds Tarin’s phone (wouldn’t be cool if Tarin’s ring tone was something like the Theme for “Scoobie Do, Where Are You?”) and concludes that there must be a mole in CTU.

Of course, they realize it is the Not That Hot Tech and this makes Agent Chico mad because, he killed a redneck for her. She tries to bolt from CTU, but an actual perimeter (that works!) keeps her from escaping. She demands to talk to Jack.

Jack comes in and she demands immunity, which of course, President Woman grants because it makes no sense. She gives CTU the skinny and Jack and Agent Freckles run out to find President Poofyhair before it is too late.

To make a long story short, it was too late. President Poofyhair is killed by the terrorists, whom Jack kills. First silent clock of the year (which is big deal in 24 land)

Next week, the return of the President you thought was killed by a designing woman.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Vegas Vacation

The wife and I decided to go back to Vegas this year for our vacation. For one reason: it is cheap to go there. It cost less to fly to Vegas and stay in a four star hotel than it would for us to go to Panama City. Honestly. You have to check and plan (and not go, say, like next week), but the bargains are there.

We left early on Saturday morning on a Contential Express. This is a small jet. No problems. Great staff. Flew into Houston.

The Houston Airport is a mass of circles and I found it confusing. It also has a statue of George H.W. Bush (the airport is named after him). Houston was playing host to the “Elite Eight” basketball tournament and the stores had a sale on college t-shirts, two for $12.00, which is a spirit wear bargain.

After a few minutes in Houston, we were off to Las Vegas. The in-flight movie was “The Blind Side” about a wealthy Ole Miss booster taking in a huge homeless teenager. Sandra Bullock won an Oscar for this role which is unusual because the character was a white Evangelical that carried a pistol. While I thought it was an enjoyable movie, I didn’t think it was great.

The Wynn

We stayed at Wynn Las Vegas. It put the fancy in the fancy-smancy. It was probably the best hotel I’ve ever stayed at. The help was great—what you expect when you go out on vacation. The room was large and plush. The bathroom was large with a soaker tub and a shower. You didn’t have to wait for the water to warm. It was great.

There are flowers and waterfalls everywhere. The casino is in the middle of the hotel and it is not the first thing you see when you enter. In fact, when you drive up to the front of Wynn Las Vegas, you would have no idea that gaming goes on inside.

There are two downsides to Wynn Las Vegas. One and this is not unique to the Wynn, they stock your room with water and drinks, but if you drink the water, it goes on your bill. Bottled water: $5. No thank you. In fact, at the front desk they tell you that if you pick up the bottle water, you have thirty seconds to put it down before they bill you. George Orwell meet Steve Wynn.

The second downside is that there is really no affordable place to eat in the Wynn itself. Again, this is not unique to the Wynn, but the dinner buffet is $35.00 each. The rest of the restaurants are chef driven and you could easily drop a $100 without batting an eye.

One other thing about Wynn Las Vegas that has hit the internet (particular on guy’s sites like ESPN). The swimming pool is long and shallow (about three feet in depth) and it is probably one of the better pools I have ever seen. The pool help is incredible from the towel kids to the life guards to the folks that will get you a diet coke on the house at pool side. However, supposedly European sunbathing is allowed at the Wynn. This is college talk for women tanning without their tops on allowing you to see their breasts. It was explained to me in college that Europe doesn’t have this ‘hang up’ about women and their breasts and they don’t see the big deal about nudity. From my encounters with Europeans, they also do not have a ‘hang up’ about bathing and deodorant and what it means to wait in line.

When we went to the pool, everybody was doing American sunbathing. It is probably one of those urban myths guys tell each other. “Yeah I was at The Wynn and suddenly every woman was naked and they were all nine and half’s and tens.”

On the next report: Fake Beatles and the best time of day in Las Vegas.