Well, hello there. You may have already noticed that the regular posts to Virtual CheeseBlogger are on semi-permanent double-secret hiatus. I’m taking a break to work on other things. If some rip in the space-time continuum happens and somehow blogging resumes, you will be notified on the Virtual Cheeseburger Facebook page, which is also on semi-permanent double-secret hiatus.
Here’s the thing about building your own time machine:
If you plan on changing anything in the past to improve your present (or future), you can’t build your own time machine to do it.
Because making a change to your past… eliminates the reason why you wanted to create a time machine in the first place. It’s a paradox. You will never have created a time machine because you will not have had a need to create a time machine.
Still don’t get it? Let me give you an example:
Let’s say that a year ago you entered a hot dog eating contest and before the big contest, you got hungry and ate a few pizzas, which made you fall 10 hot dogs short of a world record, losing to Joey Chestnut once again.
You decide to build a time machine so you can go back in time and warn the 2012 version of You not to eat the pizzas, so 2012-You can make room for those extra hot dogs and get the world record.
2013-You successfully invent a time machine, but every time you travel back to warn 2012-You not to eat the pizzas, you fail. The laws of time prevent you from changing the outcome because if you do, you will never have had a reason to build the time machine.
We could talk about parallel dimensions, Gallifreyan Astro-Physics, flux capacitors, Springfield Toaster Mechanics, how freaky that Butterfly Effect movie was, and how every possible outcome becomes it’s own reality, but for now let’s stick to the basics and just assume this:
If you have a reason to build your time machine other than observing time, you won’t be able to change anything.
(Well, not on purpose anyway. Accidents can happen.)
HOW DO YOU GET AROUND THIS?
You get around this by stealing someone else’s time machine. Preferably, it will be a time machine that was built by someone who had no desire to change anything in his own past, thus insuring that the time machine would have been built regardless.
HOW DO I FIND SOMEONE WITH A USEABLE TIME MACHINE?
Look for Universities that have lots of money for History and Science. Odds are pretty good that you’ll find some egghead professor or grad student who just thought it would be cool to invent a time machine so he could pop back to the Cretaceous period for a few minutes to see if Dinosaurs have feathers, then zip right back home in time to watch Shark Week on Discovery Channel.
OK. I FOUND AN EGGHEAD WITH A TIME MACHINE. NOW WHAT?
Become his ‘research assistant’ or ‘intern’. You’re bound to end up participating in one of his test runs, along with one of his pets, who he’s likely named after some famous scientist like Albert Einstein, H.G. Wells or Emmet Brown.
It’s best to let someone else make the first trip, just to make sure you’ll be able to return to your own time once you’ve scolded your pizza-eating past-self. You also want to make sure that you have easy access to a time-machine repair kit in case you blow out the flux capacitor or run out of plutonium… and don’t get too close to the radioactive stuff. There’s no point in tweaking your past if you’re not going to live to enjoy the future. Also, you might accidentally erase yourself from existence if you come in direct contact with your past-self, so wear gloves.
Once you’ve successfully changed the thingy that you wanted to change, it’s difficult to say what will happen when you return from the past. Most likely, your memories may have an overlap where you remember the past year’s events happening two different ways, one where you had your time travel adventure and the other where you skipped the pizza and broke a hot dog eating record, and then live happily ever after.
There is, however, a very slight possibility that when you return from the past, there will now be TWO of you. If this happens, you’re going to have to have a long talk with yourself on what to do next. It could be in your advantage to be in two places at once, but be prepared to ‘eliminate the paradox’ if necessary. The other you might not want to share your Cubs bobblehead collection.
So good luck. Be careful. Let us know how it goes. Try not to implode the universe.
Also, if you could pop forward a few years and write down a few winning lottery numbers…
Pączki (actually this is plural; pączek is the singular form)
How do you pronounce the name of this wonderful
jam, jelly, custard or creme filled donut-like pastry?
Here’s the problem: The word is Polish, and has been Americanized, so how you pronounce it really depends on who’s polish grandmother your parents were talking to when they bastardized the word into Chicago-eze. So say it how you want, but to me, it’s a perfect excuse to put Erik Estrada into a funny photo with a donut.
It goes with the photo, so that’s what we’re sticking with.
You know the theme song from that show is now in your head, don’t you?
Top 15 Movies You Should Watch on Netflix Before They Are Gone:
These are MY top 15 movies that you need to watch on Netflix before the end of the year, based on the list of available titles that will be gone on January 1st. Some of these movies are good, others are utter train-wrecks.
Being John Malkovich (do not watch this movie if you dislike John Malkovich or John Cusack)
Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo (sequel to Breakin’ – duh)
Half-Baked (stoner flick)
War Games (Matthew Broderick uses a Radio Shack computer to hack into SkyNet)
Top Gun (Tom Cruise flies fighter planes and hits on his flight instructor)
The Secret of Nimh (Animated kids movie about mutant non-ninja mice and rats)
Flashdance (Jennifer Beals dances and welds stuff to 80’s music)
Man on the Moon (nutty comedian movie acted by another nutty comedian)
As Good as It Gets (Jack Nicholson)
What Dreams May Come (Robin Williams gets freaked out by incredible surreal stuff)
Desperado (sequel/reboot to El Mariachi, but this time with Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek)
The Great Train Robbery (it’s a classic movie about… well, you know)
I’m Gonna Git You Sucka (Wayans family blaxploitation comedy)
Remo Williams (fun and campy 80’s action/spy flick)
Back to School (Rodney Dangerfield’s finest acting and diving role)
Some would call it ‘Abomination’. I call it DELICIOUS! My relatives call it…
The Fudgeamel – A Somewhat Expected Journey
My first encounter with Fudgeamel actually started as a batch of old fashioned fudge that did not set properly. My remedy was to melt it down again, add more sugar, milk, etc, and re-boil the mixture to 236 degrees F, which those in the candy making industry call the ‘soft ball’ stage, (AKA the temperature that you need to make fudge).
So What is The Deal with the Tootsie Rolls?
Well, after my fudge re-boiled and I let it cool, the results definitely looked like fudge, but the texture was slightly chewy, almost like caramel, and it tasted a bit like Tootsie Rolls.
I wonder if the original Tootsie Roll was actually just a bad batch of fudge. Anyway, I don’t usually plan to make a batch of Fudgeamel, mostly because I prefer Fudge, but also because my brother, who coined the phrase ‘Fudgeamel’, teases me every time I make a fresh batch of normal fudge, by asking me if I’m making Fudgeamel. Every time, I must remind him that FUDGE is the goal.
The Fudgeamel – PART TWO: The Desolation of the Tootsie Rolls
This time around, I had a “$H!T TON” (technical term) of semi-stale Tootsie Rolls lying around. I don’t like to waste stuff, and knew that since they’re mostly just sugar and cocoa, they’d probably melt down pretty easily. I used my previous experience with Fudgeamel Version Zero to attempt a candy resuscitation, knowing the end result was probably going to still taste like Tootsie Rolls, but would be be a substantial improvement to the nearly jaw-breaking state in which the Tootsie Rolls currently consisted. I expected that this would be another Fudgeamel. I was a bit surprised at how well this worked, but not shocked at how close this was to my earlier fudge re-boil.
Here’s how I did it:
I unwrapped and added 50 tootsie rolls (the skinny 3 inch ones twisted in wax paper – one of those is approximately 4 midgees) , along with a cup and a half of sugar, about a cup of half and half, and two blocks (2 oz) of unsweetened Baker’s Chocolate, to a double boiler – use a metal pot, not a bowl for the top part of the boiler.
If you’re familiar with traditional candy making, or know how to make old fashioned fudge, it’s basically the same process:
Slowly, AND I DO MEAN SLOWLY, melt down the ingredients, occasionally stirring with a wooden spoon, until all the candy has dissolved. You don’t need to use a double-boiler for this first part, but it does help prevent or reduce scorching during the melting process.
Then, once everything is melted, (and you used the double boiler method) you can move the top pot out of the boiler and directly over medium/medium-high heat until the mixture starts a slow boil. Lower the heat if necessary to maintain the slow boil.
Clamp on your candy thermometer and cook to 236 degrees F (don’t go past 240!). Remove from heat, drop a couple tablespoons of butter on the top of the mixture and let the whole thing cool to about 110 degrees F . This will take more than an hour. I can’t tell you exactly how long. Don’t mix, don’t shake, don’t touch until this “chocolate napalm” cools down!
Then, add some vanilla extract and stir the mixture in the pot until your arm falls off, then stir some more. Then stir some more. Keep stirring. Did I say stop? No. Keep stirring. You’ll know when to stop when the shiny stuff starts turning a little less shiny. Then get it out of the pot and spread into a greased baking dish lined with wax paper, which also is greased (with cooking spray or butter). If it doesn’t set completely, give it more time to set up. Fudgeamel should be more forgiving than traditional fudge, which is notorious for seizing up into a solid mass before you get it out of the pot.
When the fudgeamel is set, you can use the wax paper to pull it out of the baking dish so you can more easily cut it into squares. Plastic knives work much better than metal. If it isn’t devoured immediately, you can store it in any airtight container.
If your fudgeamel starts to dry out , you can chop it up into “fudge dust”, keep it in a ziplock bag or airtight container, and use it to make hot cocoa.
Just put a couple tablespoons of ‘fudge dust’ into a large mug, pour hot milk over it and stir until the dust dissolves. BOOM! Hot Cocoa!
The Fudgeamel – Part Three: Fudge and Back Again
Here’s a video of ‘The Boiling’ (AKA Yule Log for Chocolate Lovers) : If you click on the full-screen icon, it is in 720p HD.