Optimus Prime that transforms on its own

Someone has created an Optimus Prime action figure / toy / collectible that transforms on its own. It even responds to voice commands and you can drive it around via an app. If this interests you in the least, here’s a video showing it off:

I have to admit, that is really cool. It’s great that they used the original transforming sound effect and that they got Peter Cullen to voice the dialogue. So props to the maker of this for doing it right.

It contains over 5000 components, 60 microchips, and 27 servo motors, with more details at the official site. As you might expect, technology this awesome is not cheap. $700 is out of my budget for such things, so I won’t be able to provide a hands-on review. Hopefully in the future it’ll get a lot cheaper, because it would be a great addition to my desk.

The reviewer in the video declares this the coolest toy ever. Of course that’s debatable, but I’m not going to argue with that. It is indeed awesome. Do you know of a toy or toy-like collectible that is more awesome?

2014 National Cheese Dip Competition

cheese dip research, 11-8-12, 2A couple of the Buffet o’ Blog staff attended the National Cheese Dip Competition this year.  Let me just say it was AWESOME!  And let me also add that next time attendance is required for all Buffet o’ Blog staff — just because you don’t want to miss it.

Perhaps I should quantify my opinion.  It wasn’t like a carnival or state fair — there were a few side activities and music, but the primary event was trying lots of different cheese dip recipes.  If that sounds like a good time to you, then you should definitely go.

There were around 15 entries in the competition, including both amateurs and professionals.  Fortunately, there was plenty of cheese dip to go around, at least while we were there.  And all but one of the cheese dips were good.  The one that failed was trying to be healthy — which may not have been the whole problem — but it was both too liquidious (runny) and grainy at the same time, somehow.  Perhaps just that one batch was messed up, because I can’t see them entering that.

I think the amateurs outperformed the professionals in the competition, and I even voted for an amateur group.  When the final results came out, my choice didn’t win, but I don’t think the voting results are necessarily fair.  Each person who attends the competition gets two votes.  However, additional votes can be purchased, which is where I think it’s not fair.  For a restaurant entering, it would be worth investing several hundred dollars for more votes, in the name of advertising.  Being able to display the championship logo and advertising that you won the National Cheese Dip Competition is a big deal!  That will result in more sales, no doubt.  For amateurs, a group with more money can sway the votes in their favor.  So I don’t pay much attention to who won.

Most of the entrants were from around this area, but one group was from San Francisco.  I learned that most people there don’t know what cheese dip is, but a guy from Jacksonville, AR, married a woman from San Francisco, moved out there, and told them they should sell it in their restaurant.  On a related note, all of the entrants were friendly, and it was just non-crowded enough that you could talk for a bit with them, which made the experience more fun.  We enjoyed asking them what made their cheese dip special, or what the secret ingredient was — we received some amusing answers.

Overall, I would give the event 4.5 stars out of 5.  The only real knock against it is that they didn’t have sweet tea.  (Hello, we are in the South here!  Besides, tea is very profitable.)  At least the bottled water and other beverages were affordable.

Speaking of profitable, all proceeds were donated to a group that performs medical services for those who can’t afford it.  That’s admirable.

Also, if you’re wondering why the National Cheese Dip Competition would be located in Little Rock, Arkansas, I’ll explain that in the next post.  🙂

car commercial with Bo & Luke Duke

I realize many people don’t watch TV commercials anymore, or at least try to avoid them.  Many commercials are dumb and annoying.  However, every once in a while someone creates an awesome commercial, and the one below may be the best commercial of all-time.  The premise is AutoTrader helping Bo and Luke Duke find a new car.

If you aren’t familiar with the characters, they’re from The Dukes of Hazzard, which was an awesome TV show of the ’80s that you should check out.  It was much better than the movies.

And there’s no way they’d replace the General Lee, even with a Viper.  Imagine how the Viper would fare after one of those jumps… Admittedly, the original cars didn’t always survive, but they actually did the jumps and landed them.

[Update: Apparently AutoTrader pulled the video because of the confederate flag conspiracy.  What predictable knee-jerk overreaction.  Anyway, the video is updated to another source now.  It’s still a cool commercial.  And I don’t think you can even see a confederate flag in the whole video.  So why was it censored?  Think about it…]

more of The 3 Stooges, please

The staff here at Buffet o’ Blog all recently saw The 3 Stooges movie.  With us being all guys, we thought the movie was awesome.  It could’ve done without the woman dressing immodestly — there was no need for trashiness.  Overall, we thought it was very funny and mostly true to the original series.  However, somehow the movie concluded without there being a food fight. I don’t get it.  Such a scene was all setup at one point, and we all thought it was coming, but it never happened.  Were the directors trying to psyche us out, or did they just forget?

Anyway, this isn’t just a review of the movie.  I got to thinking about a further application of something that happened in the movie.  (Mini-spoiler alert.)  When Moe went to be on the reality TV show Jersey Shore, that was hilarious.  None of us watch Jersey Shore (do I even need to explain why?), but we all joked that it might be worth watching if someone like Moe was actually on the show.  (Well, I still wouldn’t watch that show because of all the immorality, but follow the idea.)  There are many shows that could benefit from the addition of The 3 Stooges.  The most obvious application is a parody movie involving them (or a reasonable facsimile) inserted into scenes reminiscent of other movies and/or TV shows.  But the concept could be expanded to all kinds of television shows.

I realize there are legal complications with this idea, but that’s for lawyers to iron out.  The point is, this idea would make many TV shows and movies more interesting, and you’d get more men to watch, which makes more money, so it’s a win-win situation.  Add The 3 Stooges to a chick flick, and it would become a romantic comedy that’s actually funny.  (Although the idea might not resonate well with women — some women find their brand of humor repulsive.  I don’t understand… wait, I already said that.)  🙂  Regardless of the gender culture gap, this could help many shows.

The next time you watch TV, imagine how the inclusion of The 3 Stooges would impact what you’re watching.  And if you want to take the idea even further, check out our post on how to make any movie awesome.  This idea fits in perfectly with that concept.  In fact, combine both ideas — take any show or movie, add the 3 Stooges, plus ninjas, car chases, wrecks, military-grade weapons, explosions, epic fight scenes, Chuck Norris, Jackie Chan, Mr. T, Buford T. Justice, Rosco P. Coltrane, etc., and it would be awesome beyond description.  (We should definitely be directing movies!)