The Reckoner!

Reckonaut Dan Koch
Dan Koch
Joined On:
Nov. 27, 2011, 11:50 p.m.
Give us the details on how you became a Reckonaut! Who'd play you in The Reckoner movie?

The Reckoner is my baby!  I just get all choked up when I see it walking on its own like this...  For more Reckoner-related content, you can also stop by the Working Dan blog!

Jimmy Cagney, by the way.

The key thing for me is having the iPod Touch.  You're never more than a coffee joint away from internet access and the standard iPhone features, plus you've always got the ordinary phone to keep you connected via voice and text.

So in other words, bah humbug.

I once saw three bulldogs capering around in a dog park.  I mean full-on capering.  That answered this question for me right there.

It's all security theater, for the most part.  But I will say - as someone who has accrued enough frequent flyer miles for six domestic round-trip tickets - that I've been very luck to fly through airports with really friendly TSA guards.  Particularly Minneapolis and Manchester, NH.

So yes, they do exist.  I think it may be a cold weather thing.

Vanilla gets a bum rap.  It's used to describe something that's plain, or mediocre, or ordinary.

Well, I love vanilla.  I love vanilla ice cream, I love vanilla milkshakes, I love vanilla yogurt, and I don't care who knows it.  I'm about a half step short of drinking vanilla extract, a la Tom Hanks as Uncle Ned in that one Family Ties episode.

Chocolate ice cream?  Overrated.  There, I said it.

When Nickelodeon launched that SNICK block in 1992, I felt as if I had suddenly become the CEO of Viacom and had programmed something just for me.

Well, no, I had just turned six, and I don't think I was aware what a CEO was.  Maybe it had something to do with Captain EO.

But I treated those Saturday nights like an event.  I turned down the lights.  I popped popcorn.  I was going to savor every half-second of Roundhouse and I was going to repeat those jokes ad nauseum for the rest of the week, until my family put me out on the curb for the Gypsies to pick up.

TGIF on the other hand... I was six years old and I still thought those Miller-Boyett shows were stupid.  Six.

Aha!  Now that's a solid idea -- Portland (and the Pacific Northwest in general) is definitely on our short list.  We'll see what the whims of the world selects for us via The Reckoner... :)

I think I may have mentioned this, but I stink at buying gifts.  Generally, I rely on suggestions from other family members to skate by, colliding down the perilous ramp of holiday gift-giving like a four-person log down an amusement park log flume.

Generally, the rest of my family is stumped when it comes to my Dad.  That means that I'm stumped.  I mean, I started stumped, but in this case, I stay there.

Yep.  People see different things in money.  I see freedom.  Money, in its varying quantities, represents freedom from something.  Freedom from hunger.  Freedom from want.  Freedom from fear.  Freedom from getting fucked with.  With money, you've always got options, you always have an alternative.

But I left a lot of money on the table to build this website, so I'd say it's somewhat hypocritical to do anything but vote for 'Labor of Love'.

This is why I don't walk into pet stores.  Because I would walk out of them with about 19 puppies stashed in a shopping cart.  Do I actually want 19 puppies slowly turning our rugs into giant rags of dog pee?  No.  But what am I supposed to do, leave them behind!?!

Anyway, I'd take the ugly one, because if you can't pity a puppy, what the hell can you pity?

I'm not ready for this.  I'm not ready to be nostalgic for things I actually experienced.

Dec. 9, 2011, 3:06 p.m.

My instinct was to go deaf, almost immediately.  Well, I mean, I didn't actually go deaf, but I thought about voting that way.

But then I reflected on it a bit -- if I wanted to continue leading a version of the life I'm leading now, then yes, I'd definitely rather be deaf.  But if I went blind, I'd have to live a different life, and I'm curious as to what'd be.  Good question.

I've got a middling record on punctuality, but I definitely feel my steam boiler going into overdrive when I'm waiting 10-15-20-25 minutes for somebody.  I think it's the agony of clock watching, it just makes each of those seconds elapse three times each.

As far as random thugs with hammers go, this one seems very civil and a touch magical.  I'd for the auto repair, even if it costs me double, because man-oh-man do I not like going to the dentist.

Dec. 9, 2011, 11:38 a.m.

You haven't eaten until you've eaten my patented pizza cake.

No, totally, it's pie.  Pie has that delicious fruit filling.  It gives rhubarb a place in the American home.  It soothes us at Thanksgiving, it shines for us at convenience stores.  Totally, pie.

A Charlie Brown Christmas has that Vince Guaraldi soundtrack with the haunting carols and that warm, roasting piano.  That's what it's like to be a kid right there.  I love Great Pumpkin, but I doublepluslove Great Pumpkin.

Between tipping and sales tax, there just seems to be something about the US where we don't want to know what we're actually paying for something until we actually get to the cash register.  Then we can say 'oh boy! It's more than I thought!'  Again, they don't have this problem in other countries.

No sweat!  The duplicate vote checker only engages on anonymous votes, since it knows your voting history if you're logged in.

You can never go wrong with money.  Crisp bills, dirty bills, bills folded into origami, even that endangered animal, the check.  They're all good. Because I can exchange them for goods and services at any store which takes money, which is all of them.

Don't bother with gift cards, even.  It's like money, except I can only spend it in one place.

I may be crazy, but I wouldn't want a butler.  First of all, he'd have to sleep on the couch, and that seems cruel.  Beyond that, as nice as it would be to have a domestic servant, it would also be profoundly awkward to have someone who's whole life is predicated on serving you.  How much more than one man is needed to live one man's life?

I'm a softie.  I'd do it.  Begrudgingly, oh God, how begrudgingly.  But I'd let them in.

If I was ever given a check for $150 MM to direct the opening ceremony for the Olympics, I'd give $149,990,000 to Bruce Springsteen, and keep $10,000 for streamers and bunting and other crap like that.

Whaddareya, looking to go on the market or something?

Yeah, I would probably send a note back, again, primarily for pragmatic reasons.  Most people would get the hint eventually -- stretching out the rejection over a full week, which is mean -- but some people wouldn't.  

They'd keep conjuring scenarios where I had been trapped in my garage under a pile of Road & Track magazines, and that I would call them back if I could just get out from under the 1987 Truck Review issue and get... TO... MY... PHONE!!

That means they would keep calling.  No one wants that.

Dec. 8, 2011, 11:54 a.m.

In some ways, having the TV is as much a part of celebrating America as whatever the heck it is we do during Thanksgiving.

Oh wait a sec, I know what we do to celebrate Thanksgiving!  We have our TV on watching football.

Dec. 8, 2011, 11:53 a.m.

This is a tough one.  If Reckonbot was capable of compromise (which it isn't, naturally), it'd suggest combining the two into a big LARP game, where both groups get together to throw a magic missile downfield for 1D6 damage and a first down, and someone attempts to remove another player's Belt of Not Being Tackled.

As it is, I've got to go D&D.  You've got your characters almost rolled, and the most precious time of a campaign is right at the start, when you're feeling out the group and the DM and getting the lay of the land.  The most precious time of flag football is right at the end, when someone forgets about the 'flag' part and waylays someone else's teeth out.

I'm guessing from this answer you can also guess which part of high school I enjoyed most.

D&D in the shower:

Roll for initiative.  You swing Zest at Underarm Grime.  Underarm Grime misses its saving throw.  3d4 damage to Underarm Grime. 

You have gained a level.

This is a brutally tough one.  Just brutal.  People love to bust James Cameron's stones, almost as much as they like to see his movies.  I don't think anyone has ever been able to tell a story through sheer action as well as he does, or at least not within the confines of the traditional Hollywood tentpole.

Scott's career has been much more uneven, but the one-two punch of Alien and Blade Runner... hot damn.  His brother, however, has some crimes to answer for.

In this case, 'business end' implies the side you use to scoop and/or spear things.  Also, if you're using the flat, tapered part to scoop and/or spear things, you're using the wrong end.

Dec. 7, 2011, 3:50 p.m.

like fruit.  I like cake.  I especially like kake, if it's particularly tasty.

Fruitcake is neither of those things.  I refuse to believe it.  I'm fairly confident that a batch of 800 fruitcakes were manufactured in the Pembroke Pines bakery in 1953, and these same 800 cakes have been passed around and regifted across families from generation to generation. Finding one is like finding a wheat penny.  Fundamentally worthless, not a good idea to eat, but a neat curio all the same.

The concept of teleportation as presented in Star Trek has always bothered for this exact reason.  It makes a copy of you at the destination, molecule-for-molecule, and your old self is disintegrated.  Fine.  As far as anyone else is concerned, 'you' got from A to B.  Great.

You are dead.  The you trapped in the six-inches of brain between your ears got vaporized on that teleporter pad.  There's an impostor traipsing around the destination, ordering people around, and everyone thinks he's you, including him.

That's not a good thing.  No sir.  I'll take a shuttle down to Planet-Schlbotnikia-That-Looks-Suspiciously-Like-The-Desert-Outside-of-Los-Angeles.  You run on ahead.  Doesn't matter to me whether I get 'A' you or 'B' you, but that's not a game I'm playing.

That's a great point, Michael -- with a copy, we have a similar concept to genetic twins, except both also happen to share [x] number of years of memories as well.  It'd be curious to see how long it would take for the pair to diverge.

Also - to avoid being a hypocrite, I typically eat alone inside a cast-iron, soundproof booth.

Dec. 7, 2011, 10:29 a.m.

I imagine the voting for this question is going to break down along the same lines as the infamous battle of the thermostat.  

What can I say?  Some folks have iron in their blood and ice water in their veins (presumably in a separate circulatory system from their iron-filled blood).  Some folks prefer to take a schvitz wherever they go.  Some people live in San Francisco and get to do it in the same day.

Dec. 7, 2011, 12:48 a.m.

Google seems to be launching a universal and devastatingly effective attempt to en-blanden all of their interfaces.  There seems to be a law of conservation of joy going on, as if in order to make festive Google logos for the front page, they need to somehow borrow that joy from all of the other interfaces of Google products.

No need.  I'm writing a check to Google for 1,500 joybars right from my personal joy account.  Don't cash that check until Wednesday, Google.

Gotta make the bed.  Your brain knows.  If your body gets out of bed, and you don't make it, your brain is still in it, sleeping.  

It says, what?  I'm sleeping here! It looked so damn comfortable!  Go on, corporeal form, go do whatever bullshit you were going to do today.  You're just going to end up right back here where us metaphors were smart enough to stay all along.

I did stay up until 5:30 AM last night.  Why do you ask?

I'm in my mid-20s myself, so it's a bit early to judge, but I think my tastes will drag along with the times.  This does not necessarily mean much from someone who has Fred Waring & His Pennsylvanians twice in his Spotify playlist.  Dry Bones is such a good song!  You've seen The Singing Detective, right?  Oh, hear the word of the Lord!

But yeah, just so long as Weird Al keeps putting out records, I'll think I'll be alright.

Early returns suggest a rout.  We've seen this pattern before -- but the question is, can this be turned around?

I've contacted the President of the Shakespeare Oxford Society, as well as the Secretary and Web Editor of the De Vere Society, and made them aware of this question.  The ball is in their court -- we'll see if they rally their organizations to fight for what they believe in.

I dunno why monitors went wide.  For laptops, alright, I acknowledge you have to fit a keyboard on there so there are some horizontal size constraints you're dealing with.  But pretty much everything I do on the web is vertical, so all of this luxurious horizontal space feels wasted.

The Reckoner is 960px wide!  That means you can fit two Reckoners side by side on your 1920x1200 monitor!  Which is, frankly, how I believe everything is viewing The Reckoner.

I'm generally more predisposed to hate California jocks than random Japanese kids, and -- ah -- I haven't actually seen The Karate Kid Part II -- so I went with what I know.  And what I know is that all Johnny really needs is some advice to not lead with his face when Daniel-san does his karate-master crane kick.  

You'd think that this would seem to be an intuitive conclusion, but Rocky led with his face for six movies and the conclusion that was drawn was "ain't so bad".

I lean towards this one


It says -- I'm judging you in my coonskin cap.

You know, it just occurred to me that John G. Avildsen is the one-and-the-same as the one who directed Rocky.  Which explains why legs are so easily swept and faces so easily kicked.

I'm generally nostalgic for ass-kicking in all of its forms.  I think what the Twilight movies could use is an unintelligible, mountain-man grumbling Kris Kristofferson.  Selling weapons.  And again, kicking ass.  

Instead, we get Michael Sheen playing a vampire version of his Wesley Snipes character from 30 Rock. That's not the vampire Wesley Snipes to which I am accustomed.

Forget morality, honesty is usually the best policy from a pragmatic standpoint.  

Yes, yes, for men it usually takes about six microseconds for our brains to read that question and immediately leap to a woman asking if a pair of jeans make her butt look big.  Standup comedy has conditioned us this way.  But you don't have to lie.  Just say it doesn't, or that her butt is never big and those jeans are a cruel trick planted by secret operatives dispatched from the Old Navy in front of the second floor food court.  You don't really know if that isn't true.

But Dan, you may be asking, what if her butt really is big.

It isn't.

How do you know?

Because it is impossible for your wife's butt to be big.  Whatever size it is, 'big' is defined as at least one size bigger than that.  QED.

Did I do that?

Yes, I just did.  Urkel in '11.  

Jaleel White also did the voice of Sonic The Hedgehog. The IMDb also reports that he played Tenant #2 in Puff, Puff, Pass.  What range that man had!

Dec. 5, 2011, 6:43 p.m.

Had to vote this one down, because I just couldn't bear to live in a world where Roland Emmerich was right about anything.  

If aliens were in the process of destoying the White House, and Jeff Goldblum's Macintosh PowerBook was the only thing that could stop them, I'd still root against him because that meant that Roland Emmerich was right about something.

A friend of mine once smuggled two Wendy's Classic Triples with fries into a theater.  That's one and a half pounds of pre-cooked beef.  I'd look up the nutritional information on that meal, but I'm afraid I'd contract atherosclerosis from the digits on my monitor.

The movie? XXX starring Vin Diesel.  I can't think of any better way to watch that movie.

Ha!  I had forgotten about that one!  It's a shame that Herman Cain is out of the nomination race, because it'd be great to get some "Godfather's Pizza Pants Down" hits from Google.

This question has made me think of what Tom Hanks did with that volleyball when he got particularly lonely on that island.  It was marginally more attractive with Harold Bloom, so, ah, well, I think they may have cut that scene.

Dammit, this is a tough one.  It's very hard to get The New Yorker or The Utne Reader delivered to an abandoned desert island, so I'd be worried that eventually, good-conversationalist-be-damned, we'd go crazy and try to murder each other after a few weeks.  

But you're a lot more likely to build a magic tree fort with monkey butlers if you've got a smart companion than if you have a dumb, attractive one (if anything because of the... distraction... they'd present).  So that's the way I'm going.

Gerald Ford liked Homer Simpson, and who doesn't like Gerald Ford?  I mean, besides 50.1% of the electorate in 1976?

Gotta give it to Homer -- crayon-in-the-brain -- and all.  At the very least, because you could potentially hold a conversation with him without having three flashbacks to The Osmond Show or Mr. Belvedere before the commercial break.

Let me put it this way, his first act upon his one man assault on the dinosaur and giant spider infested island is to walk across a one-foot wide platform across a 600 foot chasm--

Sally, peering over Dan's shoulder, interrupts:

Wait... you wouldn't walk across a one-foot-wide platform over a 600 foot chasm to save me from a giant gorilla!?

Dan, backpedaling:

Well, I mean, if it's JUST the chasm and the gorilla...

Dec. 5, 2011, 10:50 a.m.

Pearl Jam has had a great career and all, but before Smells Like Teen Spirit came along, every rock band looked like Poison, and after Smells Like Teen Spirit came along, every rock band looked like... Nirvana.

So I'm putting peak value here above career value.  Especially since it seems that Pearl Jam has hung around for a while to pick up counting stats for the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame, Craig Biggio-style.

Holy smokes! Ved for life! This is turning into a rout!

I tried tracking down the ongoing Nirvana community to see if there's a group willing to fight on their behalf.  Turns out that there really isn't one -- at least if my hunt for a healthy online community is to be believed.

That, I think, speaks pretty positively to this turn of events.

I see the rumblings of a comeback beginning to form.  You can hear the whispers.  Warren Moon just threw an interception.

I generally don't want to piss off all of the people who celebrate Festivus this time of year, so I'm a 'Happy Holidays' kind of guy.  Certainly since the 2002 'Airing of Grievances' at my house.

Dec. 4, 2011, 8:43 p.m.

For the folks at home, this is a summary of how this whole debate got started.

Apprently they sell these things in Japan, and they're a hit, if Thompson-Reuters is to be believed.  So it looks like Kramer and Frank Costanza were onto something big all along.

But yes, Manzier all the way.  I could definitely see the Manzier advertised in the back of a 1960s stag magazine, somewhere behind the article about the Nazi spy hunter who dared free the Seven Secret Slave Mistresses of the SS.  The cover would have a guy with a gun in one hand, a dame in the other, and he would be shooting a Nazi with a monocle.

Never go against Lando.  Never.  That's how I've lived my life, and it's never let me down.

Wow -- that's a tough one.  You definitely don't want to stick the server with the bill, because that's just lousy -- but if it's off of the check, then it's probably not in the computer, which means there's no real record of the dish ever being served in the first place.

So what the hey, you got an impromptu discount.  I'd tip as if I had been charged for it, but otherwise I'd pay the bill I was given.  If they found a pebble in lobster mac-and-cheese and they pulled it out before serving it to you, you'd probably never find out about it then either, so these things probably even out.

I think Reckonbot confused its Indiana Jones movies here -- it's actually the guy at the end of The Last Crusade who does the rapid aging thing.

That didn't look too pleasant to me, and the prospect of living forever is a booby prize if you ask me, so I think I'd turn it down.  Ask me again in 10 years, or another 10 years after that.

It takes a lot of talent to do what boy bands do -- it's just not musical talent.  Most of their talent lies more in dancing, acting, and modeling than actual musicianship. Anybody could sing these songs given modern studio technology, but it's the charisma and dancing ability of the boy band members when performing that differentiate the good ones from the rest (if you grant that there is such a thing as a 'good' boy band).

So short answer is: no -- I don't think Boy Band members are legitimate musicians.  That doesn't mean they're not talented, but that isn't what the question is asking.

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