F 1 D 0 -- 2001 12 31 at 12 30 Q-Tips. We'll get to that. I promise. Mountain Trolls. I've seen Harry Potter, and liked it. I've seen Lord of the Rings, and liked it. Maybe because both stories include these Mountain Trolls. Potter's Troll is a big guy. He's green, of course, with a lot of grey. He carries a big club, and has a penchant for breaking toilets and sinks in the Ladies Room. But in the end, he can't be that tough. There may have been three kids fighting it, but one was Hermione, who wasn't doing much fighting. One was Harry, who wasn't too effective. So the real hero was Ron, who waves a stick and Leviosa, and hits the troll with his own club. Still, let us say Three kids nail One troll. Ok? Frodo's Troll is made of tougher material. He's about the same as Potter's Troll, all things considered. But he's tougher. He carries a big chain, and can break buildings. Or whatever that mine is called from inside. Orcs don't like them. You have a hundred or more orcs, and they're still afraid. They run away screaming. Our nine heroes battle this monster, and have lots of good hits. Arrows hit. Spears hit. Swords hit. This thing is made of tough stuff. Now do you remember the wizards fighting? Where was Gandalf with his electric stick? Maybe I'd better see the movie again, and make better notes. I'm glad I got to Lord of the Rings. They've made all of the people of middle earth from Britain. They should have had Johnny Cash do a song, like "Ring of Fire." We needed to see the middle earth equivalent of Trailer Park Living. Ok, Maybe Not. I guess I'm supposed to read the books, right? But I was wondering about that high tower. The one Gandalf was stranded on for ages. The other wizard goes up there to do Avalanche Magic. Again, I just have to wonder, why Gandalf didn't see the magic in the high places? He could have just stood up and waved his arms hither and thither, and done great things. Like conjured up his electric staff. Staffs play an important role in movies and television. There were a number of Star Trek episodes where you have this long stick with ends on it. Sort of like a big Q-Tip for fighting. There was one where Kirk is fighting with Spock, as he's on Vulcan, and it is part of a mating ritual. There is a special music that goes with the fight. kroykah.mp3 (983k; large file) You see, Jim Carey plays in Cable Guy, and he makes fun of the same stuff. He even starts to sing the music. And then the movie fades to the original Star Trek adventure music. You know, that may have been the best part of Cable Guy. Well, now, instead of hearing Ring of Fire, I'm hearing the Star Trek adventure music as the two wizards battle it out. I can imagine all of this. Can you? On a Star Trek the Next Generation episode, Cmdr William Riker meets his father. They don't get along, really. Uh, not at all, really. What brings them together? Well, there is this strange evolution of martial art. But look! It is the Q-Tip thing again. Oh, they're all dressed up in protective gear. And they have a face mask which COVERS THEIR EYES!, but it is the stick game again. And these sticks are Electric Sticks! Oh, not like the wizards, in Lord of the Rings, but still special. Aim them at someone, and they make a noise. That's special, right? Well, it was the Next Generation Q-Tip fight which prepared me for what happened at The Ex. You see, A few summers ago, I went with Cindy to the exhibition. That is the Canadian National Exhibition, which shows in Toronto each summer from about mid August until Labour Day. We call it "The Ex." The Ex is a large midway. The Ex is a number of theme buildings, getting more commercial all of the time. The Ex is now the Metro Toronto Trade Centre, a huge empty space for Large commercial exhibitions. The Ex is a place for low-end gambling. The Ex is rides for small kids. The Ex is rides for big kids. And for me, The Ex are buildings with interesting things to shop for. I call these things Snake Oil. "It slices, It dices! It helps you keep the nutrition in your meals. It will save you thousands of dollars in your first year. You'll be younger..." For the most part, it is all about spending money on bad junk food, going into the Food Building, and only finding more of it. Or going into the Better Living Centre, and playing pianos on display, seeing saunas and swim pools, low water shower heads. All manner of Snake Oil. Times are tough. They've had trouble filling these exhibit halls. It wouldn't be because they charge the poor vendors so much for them, huh? Well, half of the Better Living Centre was all about exercise. That means vendor selling aerobics shoes. But there were other things too. There was a batting cage, where you could practice baseball hitting. A golf cage where you could try driving. A bicycle area where you could power a lamp with your legs. And there was a small area, where people could battle it out with the Q-Tip sticks. Now that. THAT was the best part of the visit to the Ex that year. I remember spending hours Cindy there. I took Timmy there after that day. It was great. They could take these real swings at me with the Lirpa or whatever T'Pau called these big Q-Tip sticks. They were really able to knock me down. I got a few hits in there too. Tim and I spent hours at that too. That's all I know.