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Carl, thanks for finding some time in you busy schedule to look back on 2011.  We interviewed Josh just a few hours ago and Wow did he blow our festive socks off!

CS –  Thanks, yeah that Josh is one incredible guy and a huge part of the success of Buddhistcatnaps.  Before I forget I hope the fans of Buddhistcatnaps had a wonderful 2011 with big dreams for 2012.

GQ – Anything exciting happen in 2011?

CS – If you call getting engaged, then Married followed up with a new Job (shhh big top secret like the last jobs)  then yeah I guess you can say it was an exciting 2011.

GQ –  Wow Carl, sounds like 2011 was the year of CPS?

CS –  Yeah no complaints, it couldn’t have been any better.  Well that reminds me 2011 was the year of many car accidents.  I’ve never been in an accident but this year was filled with them.  One being my fault (but not really my fault) and the others were minor fender benders.  Looking back the good thing was I learned the insides of the Auto Insurance industry.

GQ –  How so?  Happy with the service or dissatisfied?

CS – Surprisingly very happy, everything went smooth, no lawsuits.  Checks in the mail just days after the accident, it’s a well oiled machine that auto insurance.  Maybe It’s the Auto insurance Company I’m with but no complaints from me.  Again a well oiled machine!

GQ –  That’s great to hear, usually you don’t get that type of perspective from that industry.  Anything else exciting this past year?

CS –  Hmmm let me think…. Oh ofcourse, 2011 was the year of the mushroom.  I became enthralled with Mushrooms so much so I joined a local club and harvested some impressive finds this year.

GQ –  Like hallucinogenic varieties…?

CS –  I came across some but that’s a big part of becoming a mushroom expert is being able to identify all types of mushrooms and to know which ones to avoid.   I’m more interested in finding the medicinal and edible mushrooms.  Found some great Maitakes in New Hampshire this Summer.  Have you ever had Maitake?  Its like Shitake times 100.  Google it!

GQ –  Did you just all of a sudden want to become a mushroom expert?

CS –  I’m far from an expert.  My grandparents were into edible mushrooms.  I remember picking puff balls with my grandmother and frying them in butter.  My friends think I’m nuts but I don’t let that bother me.  It a new hobby.  Let me ask you this would you rather see me sitting infront of the TV playing video games..?!

GQ –  Good point, we don’t write about video games in GQ, we look for things that make men MEN and you and Josh are prime examples.

CS –  Thanks

GQ –  Have you been following the GOP republican candidates?

CS –  I have been, but I don’t openly talk about my political views.

GQ – Not even your favorite or who you think will win?

CS  –  Alright twist my arm.  Ron Paul will win Iowa followed by NH and South Carolina and then becoming President!

GQ –  I thought you were an avid Obama supporter?

CS –  Yes I was, I’ve done a complete 180.  I kind of had this awakening in April 2011 and woke up to the corruptness of Obama.  Am I ashamed that I was such a fan and now back stabbing him…?  Not at all.. proud to admit my mistakes.    I do wish I could get my money back for going to see Obama’s inauguration.

GQ –  Any plans for New Years Eve?

CS –  Keeping it low key but filling the belly.  Having some friends over for some good appetizers, cheese and wine/drinks and then we have dinner plans in Harvard Square at the Russell House Tavern.  Actually I have to go.

GQ –  We understand, well thanks for spending some time with us today.

CS –  My pleasure, I hope the readers enjoy it.  Happy Near Year!

GQ decided to have a final 2011 interview with the bloggers extraordinaire behind Buddhist Catnaps. As both Carl and Josh have separate NYE plans (though they are together in spirit) the interview format is broken into to two parts.  You can also check out the interview in the February edition of GQ.  Happy New Year!

Josh’s interview –

Josh, thank you for joining GQ for our 2011 Review Interview.  I know you are busy being on school vacation, playing with your new dog and planning for a wedding but thank you for taking the time for our meeting.  Also, Happy New Year.

JB – Thanks for having me and Happy New Year to you and all the GQ readers out there.

GQ – My first question is one that I always think of around December 31st – What did you accomplish – and what do you wish you accomplished this year?

JB – Well the obvious accomplishment is that I bamboozled a beautiful, talented, intelligent, compassionate woman to marry me! The major accomplishments after getting engaged I would say were getting a house and a terrific, yet overly hyper, puppy. Now to the tough part – what did I wish I accomplished. Well, I wish that I got more ahead in my teaching – even when you are caught up on lesson planning you can always do more and get ahead. Also, I could have been a little more patient and compassionate – which is actually my New Year’s resolution.

GQ – What your plans for a New Year’s resolution was going to be my last question but since you brought it up…

JB – My fiancee gave me the Dalai Lama’s The Art of Happiness for Christmas.  I am about 2/3s of the way through it and the insight and positive messages in this book are amazing. I know it is generic and a little cheesy Richard Gere-style to be like ‘oh the Dalai he changed my life’. Well I haven’t converted, however, in between recently teaching my 6th graders about Buddhism and reading this book I have a changed, or at least modified, my outlook on life. Though some of the messages of the Dalai Lama are not that different from Jesus, I have really taken to the idea of being more compassionate and understanding of other people. I believe that I am a fairly compassionate person anyway, but like most, I can get frustrated, be incredibly selfish or take things too personally.  What I have taken so far from the Dalai Lama is that you need to rise above the petty issues that get people wound up. Combine that with limiting your cravings (more cars, bigger houses etc.) and try to curb your fear of the unknown and you will be a happier person. I consider myself lucky and happy but you can always be more of both.

GQ – Why don’t we transition from one touchy subject to another – politics.  Both you and Carl were born in NH, what are your thoughts on the upcoming Republican NH Primary on January 10th?

JB – You know I had a dream about Jon Huntsman the other day?

GQ – Not what I pictured you dream about.

JB – Me neither but it happened. Speaking of Jon Hunstman he seems, to me at least, to be the only reasonable Republican candidate out there. I am not sure why Huntsman isn’t one of the front runners – it is either he has done a poor job campaigning or people just aren’t interested in a moderate Republican. You have to either be a whack job like that Bachwoman or Herman Cain or a total chameleon like Mitt Romney. That man has switched his opinion on issues that most people would never switch on. Then you have Gingrich, who I actually agree with on a number of issues but he is even sketchier than Romney. So to finally answer your question I would say Romney will win and probably win the Republican nomination. But why the establishment and regular Republicans, not the Tea Partiers or the alternative reality Republicans (Obama is a foreign born Muslim-type), are not more behind Huntsman is beyond me.

GQ – Why is that do you think?

JB – Well the whole primary system is set up to allow the fringes, on either side, to dominate the discourse. However, when you get to the general election what independent who is not particularly happy with Obama is going to say ‘oh yeah Perry would be great he gets my vote’? Huntsman appeals to me because he is a reasonable Republican – he admits that climate change is an issue we must deal with, wants to invest in our education system and infrastructure, and gets the highest grade for his tax code reform ideas. It just seems to me that he is someone who an independent would go for – but what do I know.

GQ – Moving on from the depressing subject of American politics lets switch to something much more important – sports. I know you are a big sports fan, what games or events or people stand out for you this year.

JB – Ah sports! What is better?! Well I am a little scared about my beloved Celtics though I am very excited about the NBA being back in action. Besides the Celtics creaky knees and lack of depth lets talk about Kevin Durant. At this point in Durant’s career it reminds me of when I, like every other kid in America, fell in love with Jordan. Durant is so much fun to watch and just so GOOD. Did you see his deep fade away 3-pointer with 1.6 seconds left to beat the Mavericks the other night? I mean anyone can do that but you KNEW that Durant would. He can do just about anything and he just makes it seem so easy so effortless. I am actually really excited about the NBA despite the fading hopes for my C’s. On to the beautiful game -soccer. Well, other than my play on our hometown Matchfield, soccer, for me, has been disappointing lately. The New England Revolution are coming off their worse season ever and Arsenal, my EPL team, were in the relegation zone at one point this year. Red Sox I don’t even want to discuss, especially with them trading Lowrie and Reddick, however how about them Bruins?! I have become a Bruins fan, and hockey fan in general, over the last four or five years. Watching the Bruins, and my beloved alma mater UNH, has been a blast and my appreciation for hockey has greatly increased. Ok. I could go on and on but I am excited about Tiger’s comeback too. Anyway, sorry. Next question…

GQ – Thats ok why don’t we shift to music. Any band particularly catch your ear lately?

JB – Black Taxi! They are out of Brooklyn and the drummer is my fiancee’s cousin. They are incredible and they are one of these bands, that even though they are rock, they transcend the normal rock genre and are just truly amazing. A great live band and I am hoping that they continue to get even better and ‘make it big’. Besides Black Taxi… well I bought the new Wilco album and just hearing the first three seconds of ‘I Might’ puts a huge smile on my face. I have also enjoyed finding Bonobo and of course Kid Cudi. I can’t say enough about Kid Cudi so I will just say that he has had a big impact on the ole JB.  Honorable mentions include the new albums by the Black Keys,  Cee-lo and Ghostface Killah.

GQ – Sticking with art what about some movies that you liked or recommend. There were certainly some blockbusters this year.

JB – Yes, there were but my favorite is undoubtedly ‘The Adventures of Tintin’. Love Tintin. My paternal grandfather was a geologist so my father lived a few years in Algeria and Turkey and when they moved back to American they brought with them the French versions of Tintin. When we were really little our grandfather would read them to us then my parents got us the English versions. My brothers and I and my cousin fell in love with Tintin and Captain Haddock et al. The cinematic version was incredibly and would have made Herge proud (I can only assume).  Go see it in 3-D at an IMAX theater asap.

GQ – Movies that touch on your youth can be very exciting to see, however, they can be a bit of letdown.

JB – Like Spiderman? Ha! Don’t tell Carl I said that. Yeah I am at a great age for a movie goer. Everything from the X-Men to Transformers to GI Joe is being remade. The majority of them have been good, in fact the new X-Men is incredible – not just a good X-Men movie but a great great film. I enjoyed Thor and I plan on watching Captain America this weekend. It is cool to see the things you watched, played with and dreamt about are now on the big screen. You know what I think would make a kickass movie? Voltron. That would be sweet.

GQ – Forming like Voltron indeed. Speaking of forming you are getting married this summer. Thoughts?

JB – Thoughts? Well it feels good. I think I mentioned some of the characteristics of my fiancee earlier in the interview. I truly feel lucky and blessed. She is a truly magnificent woman and a spectacular ‘catch’. Not sure if I am ready to publicly drop the ‘soulmate’ label but she is definitely the one of a kind and I can’t have found a better woman to marry and spend the rest of my life with. Things have formed quite perfectly for me and I certainly hope and expect them to get even better as time goes along.

GQ – Well we already have your New Year’s resolution any parting thoughts or words of wisdom?

JB – Words of wisdom huh? Well here are some words to live by from two very unique and distinct individuals – Buddha and Bobby Knight. The Buddha’s last words were ‘Strive on diligently’. Great words – Yoda-like (which the Force and Jedis are very Buddhist-like).  And Bobby Knight said ‘Most have the will to win – few have the will to prepare to win’. I think both quotes are great words to live by. The message is do your best, but not only do your best but prepare yourself to be the best. I try to apply these maxims to all aspects of my life but also in terms of my teaching. In fact I had a dream last night that I was teaching a science class and hadn’t prepared any lesson plans. Needless to say I was a little panicked, seeing as I don’t know a lot about science and more importantly not having anything prepared. I am certainly a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of guys on a lot of things. However, as you get older and have more responsibilities you realize that attitude isn’t the one that will always get the best results. I guess another piece of advice is practice compassion and patience. This will go a long way to relieving stress and living a happy life. Oh, and be creative when you can. Perhaps what I love most about teaching is my ability to be creative. I feel like a lot of people don’t have jobs that allow them to be creative. I feel truly blessed to have a job that allows me freedom and creativity. Having an outlet for you thoughts and creativity is essential in life I believe.

GQ – Well thank you very much and best of luck on your marriage and Buddhist Catnaps.

JB – Thank you as well. I really enjoyed it and best of luck to you and yours.

So as y’all know we here at Buddhistcatnaps try to bring you a diverse and creative blog posts in the vast blogosphere. However, as of yet we have not unleashed our most creative blogs – buddhistcatnaps short stories. We hope you enjoy these stories and there will be more, along with some Top 5! and other insightful blogs. Enjoy!

Multipcility – a satire inspired by the X-Factor character Multiple Man and the NH House
by Josh

How many times have you thought to yourself ‘If there were only 2 of me?’ Or if you could just clone yourself how much more you could get accomplished in a day.  One would consider that an incredible blessing.  However, if it is a blessing it is equally a curse.  I know this because I have this blessing and curse.  I have the ability to create unlimited clones of myself at will.  Given this opportunity most people would jump at the chance to have this ability.  However, walking a day in my footsteps (and footsteps and footsteps) might make most rethink their choice.

I have had this ability since I was a teenager and have never told anyone other than a few close friends and family members.  When I first discovered my ability, as you can imagine, I took total advantage and sent my clones to school, did my chores, listened to my parents lectures etc. while I lounged around went for hikes the mall hung with friends etc. As I got older though, however, there became some issues. My clones began to rebel. They didn’t see why I got to watch Star Wars while they did Calculus.  Have you ever seen the Island with Ewan McGregor and the gorgeous Scarlett Johansson were they have been told they are survivors on this island but are actually clones that are sequestered in this underground silo and are owned by the people who they are clones of ? Well Ewan becomes cognizant that they are just a living in a factory farm for their sponsors who will use their kidneys or lungs or whatever their sponsor need if they get in an accident or sick.  Well my clones have now realized that they have the power to say no and are no longer going to take being told what to do.  In fact they have refused to do anything I tell them to do unless it involves partying or relaxing.   Oh, one thing I haven’t mentioned, when I no longer need my clones I just reabsorb them into my being.  However, my clones now longer will come back to me, they have gone AWOL. As you can imagine this has caused some serious issues for me.  In fact it has caused 2 issues: one they are messing around  by doing things that will make people realize that I have this ability – which I do NOT want to have people find out.  And 2 they have begun to unionize.  They are making demands wanting more say in what they have to do, compensation, even benefits!

As you can imagine I am facing an uncomfortable metaphysical debate with myself (literally and figuratively).  I am the one that has created them and given them a life, do they have the right to band together to ask me for money, rights etc.? What would you do? Do my clones deserve to be compensated for the work they do and have the same benefits that I do? A quagmire indeed.

Corpus Crossing

by Carl

I awoke one morning on a small tropical island puzzled as to how I arrived here.  Everything in sight was so real and spectacular with the high Eastern Sun hitting my skin.  I could see people hanging out at the beach just relaxing to the sounds of the waves and the friendship that surrounded them.   Still puzzled as to how I got to this island I suddenly could feel this source of Energy pulling me to the other side of the island, “what is this that I’m feeling, it’s so amazing!”.  I had to explore and see what this “pull” was all about.

I reached the other side of the island and walked to the beach with this great intense turquoise colored water.  I peered out and could see another island not far away and about the same size as the current island I was on. I sat on soft white sand staring and then all of a sudden a huge purple bird comes flying my direction and drops a pair of binoculars near my feet.  I’ve never seen anything like that before let alone having a bird deliver me some binoculars was pretty bizarre.  I picked up the binoculars with no fear or hesitation and looked through them towards the other island.  I could see things but I could not make out what they were.  Colors seemed strange and I could not make out any of the distant objects.  I jolted up and ran to the water so I could get a closer look.  I peered through my new found binoculars and raised my chin moving my head left to right.  I could now see things moving around over there.  I saw creatures flying around, humans flying in the sky with arms extended.  There were some very large frogs sitting on pedestals painting as great as Dali and Picaso’s paintings.  I was so excited I had to get to that island quickly!

I ran the entire length of the beach looking for a bridge or road.  All I could find was a very narrow path of land connecting the two islands about 1 foot wide.  Plenty of space for me to run to the other side but that “pull” from earlier was directing me to make that path bigger.  I looked around and turned to my right and up on the hill could see a shovel and wheel barrow, “great not the best tools but they will do”.  I run up the hill to retrieve the wheel barrow and shovel and brought them back down to the path.  I began to shovel dirt into the wheel barrow and bringing it down to the path.  On my seventh load I had just completed only a small fraction of the path.  I was able to increase the width of the path from 1 foot to 8 feet but for only 1/4 of the path.  I was now sweating, dehydrated and tired.  The sun was beginning to set and I felt I was running out of time.  I closed my eyes and brought my attention towards the “pull” and internally said “please please help me complete this path PLEASE”.  I opened my eyes and the path was totally complete to the other island.  A huge sigh of relief rolled over me as the new Corpus Callosum was now complete.

I returned the wheel barrow and shovel to the top of the hill and sat there and watched as the creatures and frogs and all strangeness began to cross the path from the other island and humans and ordinary life as I know it crossed in the other direction.   There was no confrontation or even eye contact as they crossed paths, in all of its oddities that I was just experiencing it was beautiful sight to see.

As I sat on the hill with the sun setting I found a piece of paper in the sand wrapped tightly with a piece of thin rope.  I opened it and inscribed on the paper said these words:

“You have discovered your true self, your purpose has been fulfilled and thank you for expanding the universal corpus callosum in life.  The joining and greater expansion of the left side island of logical thought and preconceived perception and right side island of imagination and creativity has now started a universal movement.”

Hey y’all! We here at Buddhist Catnaps have finally emerged from our long and rejuvenating winter long catnap.   Fuzzy cat tongue out with a long high stretch.  Much like the great grizzly bear we are out of hibernation and ready to get back at our writing. We have been ruminating on many topics, and there has been plenty to discuss, and we will be coming up with several new insightful and brilliant pieces very soon. Welcome back!

Cars. What an American obsession and essential part of Americana. We here at Buddhist Catnaps (Josh and Carl) have owned some pretty incredible cars. Our cars have ranged from boats to bullets, station wagons to sports cars, gas guzzlers to hybrids. Our cars have become a small part of our image and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Carl’s Cars

  • 1978 Dodge Aspen (years 1995-1997)

The 78 Dodge Aspen, slant six or inline six engine, vinyl baby blue bench seats.  This thing was a screamer!  This car treated me so well during my senior year of high school and my freshman year of college.   The car was named “the love machine” out of simple high school immaturity.   I’m not sure why my dad and I decided to paint it black with tractor paint and then I completely ruined it by trying to wax it (such an idiot) you don’t wax if there is no clear coat!!!    I then foolishly bought some white rims and totally turned a nice blue car into a clown car.  Oh well it was a great car that only cost $1 dollar from a family friend.  No shame driving that beast 6 hours to Rochester NY either on the NY thruway.

  • 1987 Jeep Cherokee (years 1997-2001)

The dark grey Jeep Cherokee with maroon interior was purchased because the aspens rear gear box was going.  Purchased on the side of the road as you are exiting Claremont NH heading up the steep hill towards Newport.  I think is was $4600 maybe less with 82K miles I believe.  Body was good and my dad is a huge fan of Jeeps.  He currently is running two Jeeps now.  The 87 Jeep Cherokee worked out great during these years because I was always moving around because of school or co-op.  It made many trips to Rochester’s 6 hour drive one way and twice to Charlotte North Carolina for two different co-ops with IBM.  I recall my jeep packed full of things on one of my trips to North Carolina and I ended up getting a flat tire in CT.  The Jeep was so jammed packed that I couldn’t get to my jack and wrench which is under the rear bench seat.  Ask me about 4 wheeling in North Carolina one day.

  • 1998 Volvo S70 T5 (years 2001-2004)

Summer of 2001 the Jeep did not like the stop and go traffic of MA.  It would constantly stall and ruining our once perfect relationship.  I had to let the Jeep go and gave it to my father who continued to drive it for many years in NH.  The Jeep loved the NH roads and driving conditions and did not cause him the same heartaches that I experienced in MA.  I was looking for an upgrade and went with the 98 Volvo S70 T5, black with tan interior.  This was the nicest car I had ever owned.  Sun roof, Lots of Turbo being the t5, stick shift, lots of horse power, comfortable seats.  The S70 started to move away from the boxy look of the 950’s you see on the road.    I enjoyed my time with the Volvo but started to get worried that major things were going to go wrong so I sold it after changing the clutch.  Looking back I think that guy got a great deal at 112,000 miles.  Also this guy worked with a high school friend of mine which was totally random so it was comforting to know my Volvo was going in good hands.

  • 1990 Nissan Sentra (years 2004-2007)

While selling the Volvo I found this great deal on craigslist for a 1990 Nissan Sentra two door.  This was a no thrills vehicle, small, looking outdated and incredibly only had 32k miles.  I had to buy this car because of the low miles and low price of $1800 I think.  The Nissan turned out to be a GLC or Great little Car!  My friend I think April coined it the “Tuna Can” and so it stayed as the Tuna Can.  14 inch tires, great in the snow, a four speed stick.  Light blue interior.  No car payment was now the luxury… I was now saving for better things to come.

  • 2001 Audi TT            (2006-present)

I had decided probably in 2005 that I wanted a Audi TT and always liked the car from the first day I saw it on the road.   I kept searching for one until I found it.  The Audi TT had 32k miles when I bought it.  At the time I really wanted black on black but opted for the silver with black interior.  I had looked at a black one with a few more miles but the engine was not as clean running as the one I ended up buying.  Audi makes great cars!  Its given me minor problems but also given me the confidence to buy another Audi.  I’m at 102,000 miles and I’m looking to drive this car as long as possible.

The Future – I’ve got an itch for a sport wagon.  Most likely the Audi A4 Avant.  Would love the TDI version to come to the A4 line.

Josh’s Cars

  • The Silver Bullet (1993-2000)

You never forget your first. I loved the Silver Bullet with all my heart. A beautiful Toyota Corolla station wagon. Great mileage. Countless adventures and trysts. This baby was a 1989 piece of beauty. I learned to drive on it and eventually became mine once my parents no longer needed it. The Silver Bullet outraced a local thug, brought a beer die table to SJC, transported me and my friends to countless practices, parties, runs to Diamond etc. etc. A true Classic.

  • The Black Lightning (1993-2001)

Another Beer family classic. Another automobile that saw its fair share of road trips, trysts, adventures, out racing of local thugs etc. A black beauty, this Mazda MVP had unlimited storage for teenagers or pumpkins, brought the Beer family to FL and back and everywhere around New England. And yeah a tree fell on top of it and it still kept on kicking. They don’t make ’em like that anymore.

  • 1994 Volkswagen Passat (2000-2002)

This was a short-lived affair but it got the job done. Keeping with my love of station wagons this black VW got me to and from Cali on two incredible cross country trips. Utilitarian to its last.

  • 1996 Toyota Corolla Sedan (2002-2010)

Gets the job done. 234,000 miles. Highly reliant. Minimal money invested in repairs. Great mileage. Always dirty and never enough room. A few phrases to descrbie this great servant to the JB. This beige automobile got me to Cali and back, multiple trips to DC and NYC, a zillion trips from ME and UNH to home and back. Would never win any awards for “Most Aesthetically Pleasing” but a true blessing and it will be missed.

  • 2005 Honda Civic Hybrid (2010-Present)

With the death of my old Corolla I was able to luck into Grammy Beer’s 2005 Honda Hybrid. Things couldn’t have worked out better. Though we are in the honeymoon stage of our relationship things are great (49.5 MPGs for my first tank of gas) and I look forward to a bright future for me and the Hybrid.

The Future- Undoubtedly back to a station wagon. My true passion.

What red-blooded American kid didn’t love getting up and watching cartoons every Saturday morning? Below are the favorites of the two little kids of Buddhist Catnaps. Enjoy!

Carl’s Top 5!

  • Smurfs Smurfs were fun!  Little blue smurfs, all sorts of names from Gargamel (not a smurf), Azreal (his cat.. also not a smurf) to smurfette, papa smurf, grandpa smurf … You get the idea.  They lived in houses made from mushrooms.  The other day I saw the trailer for the Smurf Movie.  I don’t think I’ll be running out to see this film but it did make me laugh seeing grandpa smurf hitching a ride in a taxi cab. Sing this, la la … la la la la… la la la la laaaaaa.
  • Land of the lost –  Sometimes Josh and I cheat and go beyond our planned title post.  Land of the lost was not a cartoon but did play on Saturday mornings.  It was a fantastic show of mystery, sci-fi and dinosaurs.   This father, son and daughter fall between the cracks of the earth while on a river into this alternate universe.  Each show was an adventure of caveman like people to lizard human people.  Recently there was a Will Farrell Movie about this show but just like the Smurfs its not a movie I’m running out to see.

  • He-Man –  I don’t recall if He-man was a Saturday morning cartoon or not.  Damn He-Man was the cats meow!  A prince, the most powerful man in the universe, a lover of big cats, rode cats, rocked the mullet .  He-man was the epitome of every boys dream.  No seriously it was the best cartoon and no cartoon today can live up to He-Man..  So many quality quality characters all with special powers.  Watch the opening theme and tell me that doesn’t hit a weak spot in your heart.

Voltron Defender of the Universe – Five machines that resemble lions and then combine to form one kick ass defender of the universe.  Man I’d pay to see Voltron vs He-man, screw this Alien vs Predator baloney.  I always loved how creative this cartoon was and how they could take five separate characters each with their own well oiled lion machine and then when need be join together (literally) to form Voltron.  I still have my Voltron toy at my parents house… man that is so 40 year old virgin like.

Shazzan –  I don’t recall too much about this cartoon but I do remember the genie would appear when the guy and girl put their rings together to call upon Shazzan.  It was a circular ring that was split in two with the word Shazzan on it.  I do remember the fist bump to interlock the two rings.  Classic!

Josh’s Top 5!

  • Star Blazers – I absolutely loved this show. It was about this group of Star Blazers who leave Earth to find another planet to live on and encounter various dangers and enemies. One of the first anime shows to come the US. I wanted to be the hunky young stud pilot. I was really concerned about what happened to them on Earth, why they had to leave etc.  In fact this, along with a below mentioned cartoon, are the first signs of me wondering and questions people’s history, where they came from and how it affected them today. Needless to say I was quite the little historian at age 7.
  • Gummibears – Much like Star Blazers this show was somewhat unknown and definitely unappreciated. The story follows these ‘Gummis’ who have been forced out of their realm and live in this Medieval Forrest glen. They had Gummiberry Juice that gave them special powers. Also, much like Star Blazers these were exiled peoples trying to make their way in a new world, and I was also enthralled with their history and where they came from and what forced them out of their home.
  • GI Joe- You ever notice how Cobra tank drivers, jet pilots, and submarine commanders always were able to jump out of their respective vessel seconds before a missile strikes. Anyway I loved GI Joe, I played GI Joe’s until about age 13 and was sorely dissapointed in the movie. Also, did anyone ever have your custome made GI Joe? Yep at one point and time you could collect enough Proof of Purchase thingys send them in and then you could fill out all this cool stuff about what combat training they had. Oh yeah, my guy’s name was Pulverizer. Awesome.
  • Transformers – Another classic. Loved watching Transformers loved playing Transformers. I remember senior year of high school I would get dropped off at Hurlburt’s and they would play ‘Transformers the New Generation’ or something lame like that. In fact it was so lame that it was actually the old Transformers with this new lame transition between scenes so it made it look like it was new. Anyway the new Transformers movie were awesome.
  • Hanna-Barabera Laff-A-Olympics- This was like a Hanna-Barbera greatest hits with three different teams competing in a hilarious Olympics knock-off. One of my all-time cartoon faves, which makes honorable mention for this list (along with Smurfs and Voltron which Carl has already covered) is Hong Kong Phoeey.

A reader wrote in asking for our top 5 Summer Songs.  Since both Josh and Carl are musically gifted music listeners they have come up with their top 5 Summer Songs during this Sweaty sultry sensational summer.

Carl’s Top 5 Summer Songs!

This should be pretty easy to come up with 5 songs that put me in a summertime mood or make me think of summertime.  Jane Says and Tahitian Moon both sung by Perry Farrell are two of my classic go to summer songs.  The Steel Drum and singing about the tahitian moon hypnotize me into summertime.  Good Day Sunshine by the Beatles is pure sunshine.  I’ve ended my list with two fast paced testosterone driven songs by Velvet Revolver and Bush.   Nothing beats listening to Sucker Train Blues with the windows down in your car.  I think Machinehead brings me back to high school soccer and training in the hot summer sun.

  • Jane’s AddictionJane Says
  • Porno for PyrosTahitian Moon

  • BeatlesGood Day Sunshine
  • Velvet Revolver – Sucker Train Blues
  • Bush – Machinehead

Josh’s Top 5 Summer Songs!

Carl mentioned that this should be an easy process but I am definitely having some difficulty. I like Carl’s mention of songs about getting ready for soccer season. In fact as soon as the calendar turns to August I swear the outside just smells like preseason soccer (minus all the sweating dudes). But those songs like Vasoline by STP remind me more of Fall (sounds like we might have a new Top 5! coming soon). However, these five songs are some personal faves of summers past and are intertwined with some great memories so without further ado here are my Top 5!

  • D’yer Mak’er – Led Zeppelin

Greatest band ever. Greatest summer song ever.

  • Rather go fishing – Strangefolk

You have to search for this classic but it reminds me of when we were really into Strangefolk (the original version) and reminds me of some great times at good ole Sand Pond.

  • Nuthin’ but a G thang

Ah, Jack Hosking you were ahead of your time by getting this classic album before sophomore year at FMRHS. Good times to this song, and cruisin in Jack’s old Renault.

  • 3 is the magic number – Blind Melon

Carl and I both love this song. In fact it reminds me of the summer before sophomore year of college. In fact, now that I think about it, wasn’t that the 1st Summer of Josh?

  • We speak no Americano – Yolanda be cool and Dcup

This song was played constantly in Germany (and I am sure all of Europe). Me, Zach and Craig were loving this song. I hope you do too.