Three guys talking about comic books, sports, movies, TV shows and the numerous other pastimes that make us Gentlemen of Leisure.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!



The Doom O'Lantern* wishes you a happy Halloween. Doom asks that you not smash his pumpkins, for that is the way of rowdy, no-good teens and that cursed Richards!

Happy Halloween everyone: may your pumpkin patch be sincere, and may you receive more than rocks in your trick-or-treat bags.

*Doom O'Lantern appears courtesy of Dave's Long Box.

Friday, October 26, 2007

One Sentence Reviews

Taking a page from Dr. Bitz's book...


3:10 to Yuma (theatrical film): a well made “classic” western-the ending makes sense, after some thought.











The Human Story (book by James Davis): It paints history with broader strokes than I would’ve liked, glossing over some finer points I felt were missing, but it is very readable and engaging-a book I will probably come back to at some point.










Across the Universe (theatrical film): It gave me a greater appreciation for Beatles music.










Runaways volume 3 (hardcover collection of Runaways vol. 2 issues 12-24): Not as engaging as the first two volumes (but I have read some of these issues before); still one of the best books out there.










Simpsons Season 10 (DVD): This season is really a bridge between two eras, not as good as the best stuff, but not as bad as the worst.












The World Series (uh...baseball): The damn Red Sox are going to win this, aren't they?

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Steal a Base, Deal with a Crappy Promotion

Alright, I had a different post all planned out but something happened that...uh...really ground my gears. Last week I received an e-mail from Major League Baseball about this Steal a Base, Steal a Taco promotion. What it said was that if somebody steals a base in the World Series then Taco Bell will give out a free taco to everybody.
Now, Taco Bell is heartless, multinational corporation who is probably about as evil as McDonald's. Yet I somehow find myself going there. It's probably because they have some tasty vegetarian options for me and I can only handle so much Chipotle before my stomach explodes. Now, a taco isn't to my liking but it is to Mrs. Dr. Bitz's. So I decided to investigate this promotion.
My interpretation of the promotion was that if a base was stolen in any of the World Series games then the following day I could get a free taco. After looking more closely at the rules I learned that it's only after the first World Series game that a base is stolen in that you get a free taco, not ANY World Series game a base is stolen in. So maybe I was being greedy. I could handle one free taco during the Series.
Then I noticed that it wasn't the next day, it was the Tuesday after the game that the stolen base occurred in that you could get a free taco. OK, that seemed a bit silly, but hey, beggars can't be choosers, right? I suppose it's fair of Taco Bell to try and drum up business on an off night. Besides, Mrs. Dr. Bitz, Teebore, and I generally play poker with some of our friends on Tuesday nights. Some sort of dinner is usually in order. So I figured we could go to Taco Bell and get some free tacos before hand.
So, I was watching the World Series tonight rooting against Boston. On a side note, aren't we all sick of Boston? I mean, I don't want sound like a communist or anything, but share the wealth, will ya? You're being wicked greedy.
Anyway, I was watching the series and Jacoby "Get a Real First Name" Ellsbury steals a base. So I'm like, next Tuesday Teebore and the Mrs. are getting some tacos. Then they flash the promotion on the screen. It says that Jacoby "My Parents Were Drunk and Accidentally Added a Y to My First Name" Ellsbury just won America a Taco. You can stop by any participating Taco Bell from 2PM to 5PM to get a free taco.

Hmmmmmmmm....

WHO THE HELL GETS TACO BELL OR ANY FAST FOOD FROM 2PM TO 5PM!?!?!?! I mean, I can imagine going to Taco Bell from 11:30AM all the way to 2PM. I can imagine eating Taco Bell from 5PM to 9PM. But only psychos, pedophiles, and Teebore eat meals between 2PM and 5PM. This an obvious ploy to not only drum up business on an off night, but on off hours. And at this point, with all these stupid rules and stipulations to this promotion, what's the point? Just don't even have this lame contest to begin with if 90% of the population won't\can't even take advantage of it.
But I suppose Taco Bell got what they wanted. They got there name out there. I mean I just mentioned the place dozens of times in this one post for the tens of...well...ten people who read this blog. So there's some free advertising right there. So I guess they win.
I could vow never to eat at their restaurant again, but I think we all know that I have neither the drive, nor the follow through, nor the lack of laziness to actually go through with it. Instead I'll simply shake my fist and say, "Curse you Taco Bell!!!!"

Monday, October 22, 2007

Gecko Poll

Alright, the old poll has ended and my punishment for setting the World Wide Web on fire is that I keep access to the Internet but parental filters will be installed on my computer. Why don't you just gouge my eyes out while you're at it. I won't be needing them anymore anyway. I'm putting all public libraries on official notice. I'm headed your way. You've been warned!!!
Anyway, I was checking my e-mail provider of choice and noticed an interesting advertisement at the top. It looked like this:If you can't read the words, it says "With all that extra cash, a bloke could afford to start a new hobby..." When I hover my mouse over this add the following happens (with a bit more motion):What the hell!?!?! Is that gecko doing what I think it's doing? I think I prefer the cavemen.
If you can figure out what this riddle of an ad wrapped inside of an enigma smothered in a Freudian slip is trying to say then my hat is off to you. Because I have no clue what the hell this ad is all about. So that is the premise of the new poll located to the left of your screen that you are welcome to vote on.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

A Few Thoughts About My Honeymoon

Get yer minds out of the gutters, people...



  • Universal Studios is a lot like a poor man's Disneyworld. Don't get me wrong, we had a blast there, and the rides/attractions are as fun as anything at Disney. Mrs. Teebore's two favorite rides of probably the whole trip were at the Universal Parks: the Mummy ride and the Spider-Man ride. It's just seemed so clear to me that Universal was trying to emulate Disney in everything: their resort, their service, their City Walk area, their version of Fast Pass and meal plans, and coming real close, but just not quite making it.


  • The first night in Florida we ate at Emeril's Tchoup Chop, one of the two "Emeril" brand restaurants at Universal. This one was part of one of the Universal hotels, very quiet and secluded, away from the craziness of City Walk. And we had one of, if not the best, meal of the whole trip there. I had a braised lamb shank with bleu cheese mashed potatoes. I love bleu cheese and am appalled I hadn't thought to put it in my mashed potatoes before. Great service, great food, great wine-a great way to spend our first honeymoon evening.
  • One of the two Universal Parks is Islands of Adventure, a more ride-focused park than its Universal Studios counterpart. Of course, one of the "islands" is the Marvel Universe island, home to the awesome Spider-Man simulator adventure ride and easily my favorite of the different islands. I've been there before, but it always blows me away. Huge cutouts of Marvel characters (all drawn by Adam Kubert), all the buildings are Marvel themed (Murdock and Nelson Law Office, the Baxter Building, etc) and one of the souvenir shops even sells graphic novels and comics. Plus they have Marvel characters roaming the streets. Highlight of the trip for me? Getting my picture taken with Cyclops. That's right, Cyclops. We even pounded fists afterwards.

  • I know that early October is a down time at the parks, but I was amazed at how quiet they were, especially at Universal. We walked right onto many of the rides-the five minute wait times they posted were basically how long it took to walk through all the turnstiles to get to the actual ride. I'd say we never waited more than 30 minutes for a ride, and that was only a half dozen times or so (Jaws, the Mummy ride, the jungle safari at Animal Kingdom, Space Mountain and the Great Movie Ride at MGM). Granted, we passed on the hour long wait for the Aerosmith roller coaster and avoided the hot new ride at Epcot (the test track-because we can drive a car anytime we want to). It was even a little sad, because both Universal and Disney put a lot of effort into entertaining you while you wait in line, and we both expressed sorrow at missing some of that stuff as we whizzed past it. But I'm not complaining too much.



  • It's funny the stuff one watches in a hotel on vacation, the stuff one wouldn't ordinarily watch because at home, there are more channels and more options. One morning I found myself watching billards on ESPN. Not trick billards, just regular billards. Now, I have nothing against billards or even watching it, it's just not the kind of thing I'd watch at home because I could find something better to watch or do. But in a hotel, in the morning, with limited channels, well, that's the best I could find. Beats watching the View...



  • At Epcot, we ate dinner at the Biergarten, in the German area of the World Showcase. It was an "all you care to eat" buffet of German food, and man, they had everything. Schnitzel, Rouladen, Veal, German Pot Roast, several wursts, sauerkrat, red cabbage, tons of salads and sausages and mustards and desserts and dinner rolls that were basically pretzels. I had four platefuls. Plus, a liter of beer for ten bucks. Outside in the parks, ten bucks'd buy you two 8 oz. Budweisers. It was a hell of a dinner.



  • Mrs. Teebore felt that the revisions to the Pirates of the Carribean ride had too much Jack Sparrow added in. I disagreed; they yelled out his name once, he appeared in the background of two more scenes, and then said goodbye to you at the end of the ride. I was just happy they still sang that awesome "Yo Ho" song.



  • I noticed that Disneyworld seems to gloss over a lot of their films from the late 60s-70s-80s (the Michael Eisner years, perhaps, my dad suggested). Throughout the parks, on rides or artwork or achitecture or restaurants, the classics (Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Peter Pan) are well represented, as are the neo-classics from the late 80s/early 90s (Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, Lion King) and some of the newer stuff (Pocahontas, Tarzan, Lilo and Stitch). But that in-between stuff-Robin Hood, 101 Dalmations, The Rescuers, Sword and the Stone, Fox and the Hound, Great Mouse Detective-are more or less absent. You'd be hard pressed to even find a plush toy from one of those movies, and they have a lot of plush toys. (Jungle Book was around, but that was mainly just because it came out on DVD the week we were there).

  • So Fast Pass kind of sucks. At MGM, the wait for the Aerosmith roller coaster was an hour, so we thought, what the hell, lets try this fast pass thing. So we got our passes at 11:15 and were told to return between one and two. Okay, no biggie. We moved on, and tried to catch the 11:30 Indiana Jones stunt show. But it was standing room only (people must like that one earlier in the day-later, we caught the last show around four and it never filled all the way up). Anyways, we figured we'd grab a fast pass for the next show, thinking we'd need it, and then move on to Star Tours and get a fast pass there. Well, it turns out you can only have one fast pass at a time, even if it's for another ride (also turned out we didn't need one for Star Tours-walked right past the animatronic C-3PO and R2-D2 and onto the ride). So until 12:55, we couldn't get another fast pass for anything. Whatever, we moved on. But when the time when we could redeem our fast pass arrived, we were on the opposite side of the park from the Aerosmith roller coaster. So it was either hike across the park or skip it and keep moving along in the route we were on. We decided to skip it. Look, I'm sure some people love fast pass, and I'm sure it can work great. But we just felt like it put too much of a schedule on us, forced us to keep checking our watches, and dictated what we did and when we did it too much for us.


  • Disney has this weird sort of control over everything they do (I know, duh, right?). It's at times both scary and kind of comforting. I mean, those people in costume that wander around the parks for pictures and autographs? They don't wander anymore; now they have scheduled appearances, the better for parents to plan their day and make sure their child doesn't miss their favorite. We even joked that Disney was probably capable of controlling the weather around the parks, and when it rained, it was just because they wanted to spike sales in the gift shops on Disney umbrellas and ponchos (if so, jokes on them-we just waited out the rain!).


  • So the cruise was loads of fun-nice and relaxing, with tons of food. However, the cruise staff (meaning the people onboard who are basically in charge of the entertainment) were really annoying. Whenever they got on a stage, anywhere, they yelled into the mic and told people what to do. A "party" to them meant playing music and having a cruise staff member yell out dance instructions. "Everybody twist! Okay, throw your hands up!" Everyone rock and roll! Who's not rock and rolling!?!" It was all very summer camp-ish, which is fine for events involving the kids, but at eleven at night in the adults only nightclub? Just shut up. We'll dance when we want, how we want, or not at all. Take a chill pill already.


  • Apparently maritime law states that all lifeboats must be orange and white. Except on Disney ships, where the lifeboats are yellow (so as not to clash with the overall color scheme). Also, maritime law says that fireworks cannot be launched from a moving ship. Except a Disney ship (remember what I said above about control?). Now, I'm curious how they pulled that off. I mean, yeah, Disney has the money to pass around some bribes, but that just seems somehow crude, inelegant, for Disney. One theory we had onboard regarding the fireworks was that it's only illegal to launch certain colors of fireworks, and then Disney somehow bought the rights to those exempted colors, making them "Disney colors" so that effectively, only Disney ships could launch fireworks from a moving ship. But I am curious how that arrangement came about.



Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Dr. Bitz's Lesbian Porn Eulogy

Through thick and thin lesbian porn had always been there for me one click away on the internet. And although I'm happily married now, I could still turn to lesbian porn to give me a helping hand if all I had at the time was...well...my hand. I accidentally started a fire on the internet and the lesbian porn did not make it through. This has caused me great pain and a feeling of regret that may never heal. The passing away of lesbian porn is a loss that will be felt by millions of lonely guys and tissue manufacturers alike.
Lesbian porn was built on the backs of failed models/actresses desperate for money whose fathers left them at too early of an age. From such downtrodden souls something truly beautiful was born. It was the beauty of two women enjoying each other's bodies being recorded and distributed for profit. Finally, one could enjoy the nude, female form without that damned money shot getting in the way. I mean, seriously! If I wanted to see some dude climax then I'd be gay. But I digress.
They say that behind every great man there is a great woman. Well I say that behind every happy man there is great porn. And to some, there is no porn greater than that of lesbian porn. The thought of an entire generation of horny, awkward, teenage boys going without lesbian porn is truly heartbreaking. I can only hope that some day lesbian porn will rise again like a phoenix from the ashes.
I have a dream. I dream that some day the nipple-to-nipple titillation of lesbian porn will once again enable sexually frustrated adolescent boys to stand at attention. One day a lesbian tongue kiss will indeed again lead to an all female 69 and the men sitting alone and pantless in a dark room staring at this sight to behold on their computer screen will proclaim, "It is good!"
But until then, it is with a heavy heart that I must say, "RIP Lesbian Porn." From now on I will have to settle for that tongue kissing scene between Sarah Michelle Gellar and Selma Blair in Cruel Intentions...sure it's pretty hot, but it's the only part of that terrible movie worth watching.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Sigh...

Jeez, you go off to rehab...err...on a honeymoon for two weeks and Dr. Bitz manages to burn down the internet. Well, that's what several bathtubs full of moonshine will do, I suppose. There's a lesson here somewhere kids.

The good news is that I'm back, and I managed to put out the fire. The bad news, I didn't get back soon enough to save the lesbian porn. Way to go, Dr. Bitz. So the internet should be moving a lot faster now, with all that excess "brush" cleared out by the fire. Gotta take the silver linings where we can find them, or something.

More from me soon, with a rundown of the trip, including an ode to a certain pants-less duck and my run in with a celebrity. For now, I'm off to sift through the rubble for, well, you know...

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

FIRE!!!!

Oh crap! First I lost the links, now this. Who'd have thought mixing the smashing of WD-40 with woodchuck wood would cause this? Teebore is going to be PISSED!!!

All right. We all pretty much assumed I'd set the Internet on fire sooner rather than later so I know you all had a contingency plan. Everyone get out of the Internet in a nice, orderly manner. Women and children first. Pushing and shoving will only make things go faster. And for God's sake, would somebody please save the lesbian porn!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

One Sentence Reviews

OK, let's face it. Half of what I write is crap. So I came up with the concept to filter out all that crap and give it to you stright: One Sentence Reviews. It will be a post where I go through different things in the media and review them in one sentence.
For the most part they will be things that either A) I suspect people really don't care about or B) are things I've just seen or read but have been around long enough that doing a full review would feel dated.
For example, let's say I just watched Tomb Raider 2 the movie the other week. Since it's like 4 years old giving it any formal review would seem silly. Instead, I'd give it a one sentence review that would probably look a little something like this: "If I was forced to choose between watching this movie again or firing a bullet through my brain then there would be one less blogger in the world."
(And yes, this intro will be longer than all the reviews combined)
Let's get started:

The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Compilation of 5 Novels by Douglas Adams):
Absolutely hilarious in parts but the ending left a terrible taste in my mouth.

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (Video Game on Wii/Gamecube):
With great sound, graphics, gameplay, and a good storyline it's everything a Zelda game should be.

Howl's Moving Castle (Movie 2004):
Excellently done animated movie that lacks a certain element (action among other things) for me to rank it as high as Princess Mononoke.

52 (Novelization of a DC Graphic Novel/Comic Book by the same name):
If you want a book that you can enjoy in a comic book-y sort of way then I have 52 reasons why you'd like this book, otherwise I have 52 reasons why you wouldn't.

Cavemen (TV Series on ABC):
For a sitcom about cavemen this show is awfully mundane.

Pushing Daisies (TV Series on ABC):
I think this show proves that a television series can in fact be TOO quirky.

Lady in the Water (Movie 2006):
She should have stayed there.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Crap!

Oh no...I lost the links. Nobody move! Everyone check the couch cushions. Crap, where'd I put them? Oh, man. When Teebore gets back from rehab he's going to have me flogged...

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Not Playing by the Rules!

Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress admitted to not knowing the rules of football on Monday, October 1st during his weekly news conference.
"I know yesterday didn't work out well," the coach lamented referring to the Viking's 16-23 loss to their division rival Green Bay Packers, "but I'm just getting acclimated to the real rules of football." After the statement Coach Brad Childress realized what he just said, went red with embarrassment, and quickly stopped talking. After being pressed by various reporters the coach finally gave in and told the entire story.
"Well, everyone knows I didn't actually do anything in Philadelphia." The coach cleared his throat before continuing. "I mean, Andy Reid called all the plays there. I was just used to deflect the scorn from those ravenous Philadelphia fans from Reid to me. Heck, you throw an incomplete pass there and they want to rip your head off. Anyway, I got a call from Zygmund Wilf and he said he wanted me to be the head coach of the Vikings! I figured head coaching couldn't be too hard, right?" A rumbling of disbelief by all those present became audible.
"So I got here," Brad continued, "and I realized that I didn't have an NFL rule book. Well, I figured I could just ask to borrow one from another team. Since Wisconsin is right next door I couldn't see why the Green Bay Packers wouldn't want to help out their neigbor to the west, right?" Now the audible rumblings turned into outright laughter.
"Anyway," Brad Childress tried to bring order back to the room, "after the loss to Kansas City I shook Coach Herm Edwards' hand. I told him that things might have been different if the NFL didn't have that stupid rule about forward passes not exceeding 15 yards."
At this point a Vikings Representative tried to cut the news conference short. Brad shooed him away saying he needed to get this off his chest.
"So Herm Edwards looked at me like I was an idiot and said that there's no rule like that. A pass can be thrown any distance. I checked into it and found out that I had been bamboozled by the Packers. For over a year I've been using a doctored up rule book!"
A lot of media reporters nodded silently to themselves at the news. It seemed to explain a lot.
"But now I got the real rule book and there's going to be some changes. Just today I learned that the offensive line can actually block all players who are rushing the quarterback. I always thought you had to let at least one defender by to have a free shot at the passer." Coach Childress then added excitedly, "Oh! And next year I now know I can sign free agents that people have actually heard of!"
When asked if there are any rules in the real NFL rule book that Brad Childress didn't like the coach came up with a few.
"Well, I really wish they'd get rid of the rule about teams being named after Scandinavian Seafarers not being allowed to score more than 16 offensive points in a game. It seems to be unfairly targetting the Vikings." The audience snickered again. "Oh, and the limit on the number of downs a rookie running back can play is also a bit annoying."
Upon hearing this one reporter asked if the Green Bay Packers also gave Coach Childress this new rule book.
"No way," Head Coach Brad Childress said dismissing the question. "What do I look like, an idiot? I got the new rule book from the Chicago Bears."

Monday, October 1, 2007

"10 Character" Meme



OK, this is a meme, blah blah, you already read about it below. However, I did things a bit differently than Teebore. I decided to pick 25 characters (all of whom had to be different than Teebore's picks) and then had Mrs. Dr. Bitz pick 10 random numbers which would correspond to a character.

All the characters were from shows or stories that I am or at least once was interested in. My group ended up being rather eclectic...

1. Cloud Strife (Final Fantasy VII)
2. Vash the Stampede (Trigun)
3. Papa Smurf (The Smurfs)
4. Lion-O (Thundercats)
5. Max Sterling (Robotech)
6. Sailor Moon (Sailor Moon)
7. Princess Monoke [San] (Princess Mononoke)
8. Robin [Dick Grayson] (Batman)
9. Rodimus Prime (The Transformers)
10. Lala-Ru (Now and Then, Here and There)

1. Divide the list up by even and odd. Which group of five would make a better Five Man Band (like a Power Rangers team)? Who would you slot in each position: Leader, Lancer (second-in-command), Big Guy, Smart Guy, The Chick? If you think the team would be improved by swapping one character between the even and odd groups, which ones would you switch?

Team A: Cloud Strife, Papa Smurf, Max Sterling, Princess Monoke, Rodimus Prime
Team B: Vash the Stampede, Lion-O, Sailor Moon, Robin, Lala-Ru

Team A Roster:
Leader --- Papa Smurf (Listen, you can take your Optimus Primes, your Commander Siskos, your Lion-Os, your Supermans, your Cyclops, your Professor Xs, your Ronald McDonalds, take any leader you can think of and they're nothing compared to the leadership abilities of Papa Smurf. Here's a guy who leads over a community consisting of like a hundred males and one female and he has somehow managed to keep that one female from getting raped like five times a night. Let's face it, that's nothing short of a miracle. Papa Smurf should be canonized in my eyes.)

Lancer --- Rodimus Prime (I had to put him somewhere. Basically it came down to who was stronger, Rodimus or Cloud, and I get more in depth below. But let's face it, if something happens to Papa Smurf and Rodimus becomes the leader than the team is screwed. All someone has to do is mention how much better things would be if Optimus Prime were around and Rodimus won't come out of his room for a week.)

Big Guy --- Cloud Strife (Yeah, I gotta say Cloud could take Rodimus. I mean, sure, Cloud may not be a giant robot, but he can summon the Kremlin which then turns into a giant robot. That's pretty sweet. Besides, look at that big ass sword he carries. He can put magic stones into that sword that allows him to do all sorts of magic. I'd think his lightning spells could wreak havoc on Rodimus. You could argue, especially later in the game, that Cloud would be a good leader. But he's no Papa Smurf. Besides, Cloud's emotionally fragile at best. Just ask him about his childhood and he'll probably crawl into the fetal position and bawl and babble about what number he is. It would go on like that until someone slaps him across the face and reminds him that no matter how weak he was he's a complete badass now so he best start acting like one. He probably wouldn't listen, though.)

Smart Guy --- Max Sterling (I dunno, he seems the smartest of this bunch. He's a tech head, he's the ace pilot of the United Earth Forces, and he's known throughout the universe as the deadliest Robotech pilot ever. He also seems to be the type of guy that knows something about everything.)

Chick --- Princess Mononoke (Well, she's got the XX required for this category. Although if Peter Patrelli made the list he'd totally be the chick. Princess Mononoke has many traits that I believe embody a chick. Generally, the first words any chick says to me when I first meet them is "Go away." So she's consistent in that aspect.)

Team B Roster:
Leader --- Lion-O (Lion-O's like me, he's a 12-year-old boy trapped in an adult's body. Why his suspension pod allowed his body to age while Wiley Kit and Wiley Kat still stayed kids is beyond me. Lion-O matured though, and by the end of the series he was definitely a capable leader. Even if he always had to resort to calling his friends over to help him out of a jam. Still, he's a better leader than anyone else on this team. Vash may come close, but he's too much of a loner.)

Lancer --- Sailor Moon (She could be the chick, but the way I see it, Sailor Moon is more of a "guy's chick". I mean, she loves comic books, video games, goofing off, eating junk food, and you know she's totally easy. She can get a bit annoying and she complains about being fat despite looking slightly anorexic. So I think she's best placed in the Lancer position and the team can just hope she doesn't break anything.)

Big Guy --- Vash the Stampede (Vash kicks all forms of ass. He can also take a licking but keeps on ticking. If I needed some threat neutralized then Vash would definitely be the guy on this team I'd go to. Provided, you know, it wouldn't involve any killing.)

Smart Guy --- Robin (I'm not sure what it says when the Dick Grayson Robin is the smartest guy on your team. I'm sure Batman has taught him a thing or two and probably put Robin through all sorts of grueling mental tasks. So I figure he's gotta be pretty smart.)

Chick --- LaLa-Ru (Ah, Lala-Ru, now this is definitely a chick. You never know what this girl is thinking and she'll be damned if she's going to tell you. You can be mean to her and she'll just turn her head and stare into the middle distance. If you're nice to her she just stares at you seemingly asking you why the hell you wasted your time. Lala-Ru's shoulder can near absolute zero. When Lala-Ru eventually does say something, you best be listening, because she won't repeat it. And make sure you have your Lala-Ru decoder ring handy so you can figure out what she's REALLY trying to say. Lala-Ru truly embodies the enigma that is 'chick.')

The teams look fairly even to me. At first blush, you'd think any team with Cloud Strife, a transformer, and Max Sterling with his transforming Varitek fighter, would have the edge. But simply question Rodimus' leadership by saying Optimus would do things differently and Rodimus' confidence would shatter. In fact, both these teams Lancers' are placed in that position simply in hopes that they don't screw anything up.

If these team fought I think it would come down to which team would be more ruthless.
If Team A was after me, I'd definitely be crying like a baby. This is a team that could kick some serious ass and would have no qualms about killing. Max and Cloud don't have a problem with killing if its warranted. Neither does Princess Mononoke, as long as doesn't involve killing animals or trees. Rodimus isn't big on killing, but just tell him that Optimus would do it and he'd go along with anything. And don't underestimate the depths Papa Smurf would go to to ensure peace among his people. If keeping things in order meant killing a few people, he'd do it.

Team B are the goody two shoes. While Sailor Moon kills monsters, I think she'd be a bit queasy about killing humans. Robin has inherited a no killing policy from Batman, Lion-O ain't no murderer, and we all no Vash's peace-nik views. In fact, I think the entire team would spend a lot of energy trying to prevent Lala-Ru from drowning half the population.

So if it came down to a straight up fight, I think Team A has it.

2. Gender-swap 2 (Vash), 8 (Robin) & 10 (Lala-Ru). Which character would have the most change in their story arc? Which the least? Would any of these characters have to have a complete personality change to be believable as the opposite sex?

The most change would probably be Lala-Ru. I mean, while they kept the relationship between Lala-Ru and Shu completely platonic, you would have to wonder if Shu would go to all this trouble for some dude. Maybe. But a guy can handle getting the cold shoulder from a woman, but what if it was some guy treating Shu like Lala-Ru did? You'd have to think it would end up in a fist fight, no matter how good natured Shu is.

A female Vash I could see. Why can't a female kick ass without killing? Sure, a female Vash's constant flirting and love story would be a bit more...lesbianic...but that makes it all the more awesome.

I can't see Dick Grayson being a female changing many things either. I mean, look at him. He's an effeminate boy in tights. Put a little rouge on him and tuck his sack back and he's already a female. I suppose the perceived homosexual overtones that offended the masses in the 1950s would be replaced with strictly heterosexual pedophilia overtones. That would probably be an easier pill for society to swallow.
When Robin grew up he went out on his own and became Night Wing. Which could happen if he was female but she'd probably have a different name since female heroes seem to love alerting the world to the fact that they're female. She'd probably be named Night Angel, or Dark Misstress, or the C-Cup Avenger, or something to that effect. But really, why deal in hypotheticals? There already was a female Robin. We all know how that turned out...

Uhhhh....well...let's move on...

3. Compare the matchups of 1 (Cloud) & 8 (Robin) and 5(Max Sterling) & 9 (Rodimus Prime). (Ignore canon sexual preferences for the moment.) Which couple would be more compatible? Which couple would be more plausible to people from either principal's home culture?

I don't think it could really work out between Cloud and Robin. I mean, you can ask Cloud what his name is and he'll start to panic. He'll wonder if Cloud really is his real name? Are his memories his own? Perhaps he's a clone and all his memories are a lie? Perhaps he only thinks he's strong but he's actually still weak? Who could ever love a weakling like him? You get the picture.
As far as Robin is concerned, you know those late nights when Bruce Wayne would stumble down the hall reeking of cheep booze pounding on Dick's bedroom door demanding to teach him the way the world really works have probably left him with some deep emotional scarring. I just don't think these two guys would be mentally capable of having a lasting, meaningful relationship with each other. But the sex would be bitchin'. If you were into that...you know...cause I'm not...unless you are.

In what could be seen as a giant coincidence or divine fate, Rodimus Prime ended up in exactly the same position as Optimus Prime did for Teebore. Which begs the question again, we can ignore ‘canon sexual preferences’ for a moment, but what about simple biology? Would Max Sterling knock boots with a giant robot? I think we all know the answer to this is unequivocally YES! I think Max making it with a giant robot would probably be the highlight of his life. Greater than marrying his alien wife and greater than the birth his half alien children. Getting to mate with something as technology advanced as Rodimus Prime would be Max Sterling's holy grail.
Now you may ask if Rodimus would be willing to get with Max? You all see it coming, right? All Max would have to do is tell Rodimus that Optimus would go for it and Rodimus is puddy in Max's hands.

4. Your team is 3(Papa Smurf), 4(Lion-O) & 9(Rodimus Prime). The mission consists of a social challenge, a mental challenge and a physical challenge. Which team member do you assign to each challenge?

Social: Definitely Papa Smurf. I mean, you've heard what I said about his leadership abilities. And he's practically a SOCIAList. It's in the name.

Mental: By default this goes to Lion-O. I recall he had to undergo some trials for his 24th birthday or something. And I think he had to do a mental challenge. If I remember correctly, he did alright.

Physical: Despite Rodimus Prime's numerous shortcomings, he's still a giant freakin' robot. He can handle a physical challenge featuring Marc Summers. Just don't mention the O-word around Rodimus. But, unlike Optimus, the Social and Mental challenges would probably prove to be too much.

5. 7 (Princess Monoke) becomes 1's (Cloud Strife) boss for a week in some plausible fashion. How's their working relationship?

Cloud's not much for taking orders, but he's usually more receptive to it if it's from a female in hopes that he could get into her pants. So I think it would work out. I mean, Cloud seemed to have no problem being an environmental terrorist against the evil Shinra corporation that was raping the world of precious Mako Energy. He'd probably agree to do whatever morally ambiguous, environmentally friendly task Princess Mononoke would send him on.

6. 2 (Vash) finds him/her/itself inserted into 6's (Sailor Moon) continuity. As far as anyone other than 2 or 6 is concerned, they've always been there. What role would 2 be presumed to have had in 6's story, and could they fit in without going wonky?

Well, I figure Vash would be the owner of a donut shop in Tokyo. Sailor Moon would of course down about a billion donuts in a sitting and then complain about being fat while not showing any actual weight gain. Meanwhile, Vash would hit on all the Sailor Scouts, even Sailor Mercury, making her feel more secure in her breast size.
I figure at some point some magical meanie would infiltrate the donut shop and curse the donuts so that the hunger of the children who eat the pastries would be transformed into dark energy that would power a crystal designed to destroy all joy and make-up in the world.
Or something.
After discovering this evil plot, Vash would team up with the Sailor Scouts to take out the meanie. While the Sailor Scouts wasted time announcing their attacks before actually attacking, Vash would merely fight the monster.
There'd be a lot of destruction and Tokyo Tower would probably go crashing down but Vash would make sure their were no fatalities. In the end, Vash would ricochet a bullet of a light post, off the pavement, and hit the magical monster in the back of the leg immobilizing it.
At this point the five Sailor Scouts would show up and all prepare their special attack du jour and try to take out the monster once and for all. Then Vash would dash out in front of the monster and take the full brunt of the Sailor Scouts' attacks.
Vash would fall to one knee as blood trickled down the corner of his mouth. He'd then give a big speech about how we have no right to take the life of anything, including monsters that want to rid the world of all joy and make-up.
Then Tuxedo Mask would appear out of no where and do what he always does. Throw a rose. Luckily, a rose tossed by Tuxedo Mask can pretty much do whatever is needed at that time. So in this case it would send Vash into complete paralysis giving the Sailor Scouts the opportunity to dust the monster. After watching the monster die right before his eyes, Vash would sulk for weeks.

7. 3 (Papa Smurf) and 5 (Max Sterling) get three wishes. The catch is that they have to agree on all three wishes before they get the benefits of any of them. What three wishes would they make?

1. I think they would first agree to universal peace. Max would like no more interstellar wars and I'm sure Papa Smurf would rather not have Gargamel trying to eat his entire village.
2. Next would be the ability for inter-species mating to work out. I mean, Papa Smurf knows the complications it would cause in his village if he got with Smurfette, so he has to look outside his own species. And Max wants to marry an alien...and most probably wants to do a giant robot too.
3. To have Blue by Eiffel 65 be declared the greatest song in the history of history and have radio stations all over the universe play nothing but that song. Max has got blue hair and Papa Smurf is, well, a smurf.

8. 1 (Cloud) and 2 (Vash) are brainwashed by a one-time artifact that works even on people immune to mind control to attack and kill 4 (Lion-O). They keep their normal personality, skills and competence level, except any Code vs. Killing has been turned off. Can 4 (Link) survive? How?

It's tough to think of a more formidable combo than Cloud and Vash. Especially if Vash has no pacifism code to enforce. I mean, Lion-O's powerful with the Sword of Omens and the Eye of Thundara. But Cloud can create giant meteors that will crash into the Earth, or summon giant Arthurian Knights to do his bidding, or simply do an Omnislash in which he slices you up like 255 times with his giant badass sword. Those are some powerful moves.
Lion-O could take Cloud out of the equation by asking him if Aeris had an itch on her back only Sephiroth could scratch. This would cause Cloud to crawl under a rock and suck his thumb.
But even with Cloud out of the equation, Lion-O would still have to deal with Vash the Stampede. Who, with no moral code inhibiting him, could simply turn his arm into a giant cannon and blow open a crater 10 miles wide where Lion-O was standing. Sorry Lion-O, I don't like your chances.

9. 6 (Sailor Moon), 7 (Princess Monoke), 9 (Rodimus Prime) & 10 (Lala Ru) must help an orphanage full of small and depressed children have a merry Christmas. Who does what, knowing that at the very least the kids will be expecting a visit from Santa?

I'm going to have to be honest. The orphanage is screwed.
First of all, Princess Monooke was an orphan herself and she was raised by giant wolves. She never got presents from Santa. I wouldn't expect much pity from her. And as soon as she saw one of the kids throw a plastic bottle into the garbage instead of the recycling bin she'd wash her hands of the whole affair.
Lala-Ru wouldn't be much better. She'd find the childrens' depression pitiful. What do these kids know of suffering? Lala-Ru has suffered through millenia of watching people waste the precious natural resource she provides time and time again. The kids would be lucky that she doesn't just drown their asses.
Rodimus Prime would probably try to make the kids happy by dressing up as Santa Claus. Of course upon donning the garb Rodimus would feel the pressure of following in the lofty footsteps of the original Santa Claus. The burden would prove too much for Rodimus to bare and he'd simply cower in a corner.
This would leave Sailor Moon to do the job. She may decide to cook for the orphans. The orphans would simply have to pray that she doesn't burn down the entire orphanage in the process. Of course, the orphans might actually prefer that to having to eat her food. One taste of her overcooked sweet buns and the kids would be longing for the gruel made out of the ground bones of their fallen, syphillus layden brethren which they normally eat for dinner.
The kids would maybe rather Sailor Moon just go out and buy them presents. She of course would buy them at the newest, hottest toy store in all of Tokyo. This toy store is of course run by some monster in disguise who put a curse on the toys. When the kids open the toys on Christmas morning their hearts would be stolen for some nefarious plot to steal all love from the world. Sailor Moon would defeat the monster (with the help of Tuxedo Mask, of course) but would then completely forget that the Orphans would enjoy some non-cursed toys.
But all of this may actually teach kids the true meaning of Christmas when, after the holiday season, they're simply happy to be alive.

10. 3 (Papa Smurf) and 8 (Robin) are challenged to circumnavigate the Earth in eighty days or less, using only forms of transportation invented before 1900. Can they do it, or will they be fatally distracted by sidequests or their own personality conflicts?

I dunno, without his utility belt and other various bat gadgets Robin would be pretty lost. But one step by Robin is equivelent to, like, 300 steps by Papa Smurf. That's a nice advantage. And you'd think Gargamel would be hot on Papa Smurf's heals trying to make him into a stew.
I think Robin could hitch a ride across most of the oceans. His purdy mouth and the way he fills out his tights would probably endere himself to the sailors spending long months out at sea. So I suppose my money's on Robin.