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12/01/2004 Archived Entry: "Off the Grid"
Posted by CKL @ 12:25 PM PST

Oh, it's nice to have Internet access again.

Just got back from Thanksgiving in Meridian, Idaho (just west of Boise) with DeeAnn's mother and her live-in boyfriend. Aside from the cold (it snowed one day), carcinogens (they both smoke), and total lack of connectivity (they don't even have a computer), it wasn't bad. We played lots of games, I read one complete novel, watched the first three episodes of Alias on DVD, and finally saw The Big Lebowski. Speaking of which, loved the dream sequence set to the song "Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)"-- by Kenny Rogers, of all people. Who knew?

And yes, I'll admit I didn't give Alias a fair shake the first time around. Based on the early hype, I had been hoping for something a little more serious, more John Le Carre than Ian Fleming, but now that I'm more attuned to the comic-book style (and also digging J.J. Abrams' new series, Lost), I have to say it's pretty cool. The pilot introduced and described characters as part of the story, not just clunky exposition, and the plot moves along briskly. Never a dull moment, as they say, although some of the situations do strain credibility at times. Favorite character? Marshall. As if you couldn't have guessed that.

Perhaps as a synthesis of all those various inputs, here's an idea for fictional nanotechnology: repair robots in your bloodstream which detect and destroy any foreign bodies introduced therein. They'd protect you from any weird chemicals which might be injected-- poisons, truth serums, knockout drugs-- and could also unclog your blood vessels of cholesterol or other things that might stick to the walls. The only problems are finding somewhere to take all that garbage where it can be safely and efficiently excreted, and making sure the nanobots don't remove any substances that might be beneficial, like oxygen. It'd also be a great hangover cure-- drink as much as you want, then just press a button on your keychain remote to start up the blood-bots. Wait a few minutes for your blood alcohol to come down to legal levels and drive home. Just make sure you leave the 'bots off while you're drinking, otherwise you're making your liver work for nothing.

Also, we saw National Treasure Monday night, and I laugh at Roger Ebert's complaint:

"The central weakness of the story is the absurdity of the clues, which are so difficult that no sane forefather could have conceivably believed that anyone could actually follow them."

Not that the movie was any great shakes, but the clues were not difficult to solve by any stretch of a Gamer's imagination. I mean, they weren't even Game hard, they were treasure-hunt junior level, mostly single-layer riddles. IMHO, the only implausibility was that anyone would use Yahoo! search instead of Google when they're racing against time to find the answer to a riddle.

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