Saturday, March 8, 2008

Dino Squad

Saturday morning cartoons have changed lots since I was a kid. I'm from the era of Mighty Mouse, Huckleberry Hound, Wily Coyote and Roadrunner, Tweety Bird and the like. This morning I turned on the television and Dino Squad was on the set. I got interested in the story line and watched the program to the end. (It's kind of scary how quickly I became engrossed in the show)

I'm just going to let Wikipedia give you the show premise:
Five teenagers, Rodger, Max, Caruso, Fiona and Buzz, suddenly gain the power to turn into dinosaurs. With the help of their mysterious science teacher, Ms. Moynihan, they learn to use their unique abilities to protect the planet from Victor Veloci. Victor is widely known as the head of company Raptor Dyne, but is actually a 165 million-year-old anthropomorphic velociraptor. His secret identity is unknown to everyone except himself and the audience. His true plan is to turn everyone into dinosaurs and increase the climate to that of the href="">Mesozoic era with the goal of returning the world to how it was when dinosaurs ruled.

There is also a dog character named Rump. He is described as "the world’s second-ugliest dog, and that’s when he’s a dog. When he transforms into a dinosaur he’s even uglier! Part bulldog, part ankylosaurus, Rump can’t decide whether to chase cats, fire engineers or brontosaurs! He was taken in as a stray, but when they learned he was a dino-morpher they wanted to get rid of him. But animal-loving Fiona wouldn’t allow it. Now they struggle to train him and make him a member of the gang. But he’s as dumb as he is ugly, and often more trouble than he’s worth."

The show has been accused of being a Power Ranger rip off. From what I've seen, Power Rangers and Ninja Turtle all have similarities so no rip off fingers should be pointed. All of them show teenager characters trying to do good in the world. I watched Power Rangers with my son and knew the characters, story lines, etc. and enjoyed watching it with him.

Maybe Dino Squad is my new Power Rangers.

Two things I liked about Dino Squad was the emphasis on actions that were considerate to the environmnet and encouraging understanding and being considerate to others. In the program I watched an vine was growing rapidly and taking over the town. When searching for something that would kill the vine, Mrs. Moynihan told Roger that using chemicals would hurt the environment so he used CO2 to freeze out the vine.

I'm not sure that the cartoons of my childhood taught much beyond good wins over evil; not a shabby message but while that message is still taught in cartoons today, there are more lessons going on in today's cartoons. I liked the environmental message in Dino Squad --- plus I just enjoyed watching a child's cartoon for a change!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

He's Not the Messiah

By now everyone who does or doesn't care knows that Bret Favre has retired from the NFL....or more specifically, from the Green Bay Packers. This announcement was made yesterday morning. Central Wisconsin news stations ran, reran, reran the reruns of BF for hours. I do admit it was interesting to watch him age on screen....going from the down South hick to the saavy player he was/is/has been.

But enough already. He is/was a football player -- a $10 million a year quarterback. I knew this was all going to be over the top when a fan visiting Lambeau Field was interviewed after the announcement. The man stated, "Bret Favre is a messiah and Lambeau Field is hallowed ground. Now the messiah is gone." Uh, sorry to repeat an overused cliche but GET A LIFE!!!! We make fun of Trekkies who run around at Star Trek conventions dressed as their favorite character but find it totally acceptable when people gather round in their Packer-wear, complete with cheeseheads. I'm not even a religious person and find it obnoxious to refer to BF as the messiah!

The game will go on people. The green and gold will win some and lose some. Aaron Rogers will be the scapegoat whose mistakes will allow you to reverently breathe the sacred name of Bret Favre and to pray to him for miracles.

Apparantly Governor Doyle has commented on the retirement, and I'm waiting for him to agree to fly the flags at half mast. It will only be a matter of time before President Bush weighs in on it all.


Walking back to my car from Shopko I noticed that the woman in front of me was wearing pink fuzzy slippers. She had on red sweatpants, too. At first my thoughts were catty in nature...."how in God's green earth could someone leave the house in red pants and pink slippers."

But, what popped in my head next was the most delightful idea: maybe this woman had it right. Wouldn't we all be happier if we wore slippers shopping, to work, to concerts, out to eat. Think how comfortable life would be. I bet people would smile more, say hello more, and be in better moods if we wore slippers all day.

And slippers could bring an element of frivolity too often missing in life. The slippers you wear could reflect your mood or personality. There are bunny slippers, Tweety Bird slippers, Scooby Doo slippers, cow slippers, dog slippers, leopard skin (fake, of course) slippers, Ninja Turtle slippers --- just to name a few. Imagine on a gray, damp, gloomy Monday pulling out the yellow Tweety Bird slippers and skipping happily into work. That day is automatically better because of the slippers.