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Fight

Posted on Wednesday, December 1st, 2004

Dave!Today is World AIDS Day. I've known three people with AIDS. I currently know one person with AIDS because the other two died. This does not, of course, include the hundreds of people I know... some of which who may have AIDS, and I just don't know about it. And that's because AIDS is indiscriminate. AIDS doesn't care if you're gay. AIDS doesn't care what color your skin is. AIDS doesn't care how old you are. AIDS doesn't care what god you pray to. Anybody can gets AIDS, and anybody who thinks they are somehow immune from AIDS is deluded.

That's because you don't have to actually have AIDS in order to be affected by it. It's just too huge a crisis to think of as "somebody else's problem."

Join the fight against AIDS. Educate yourself.

Categories: DaveLife 2004Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Security

Posted on Wednesday, December 1st, 2004

Dave!Today was a rather interesting and eventful day. Just when I thought I had a handle on things, something shocking, surprising, or otherwise strange would come along to mess with my head.

The end of my work day was no exception. I get out of a meeting, go back to my office to grab my coat and notice a package sitting on my desk. Ordinarily, this would not be unusual, as I get dozens of packages every week. What made this one unique is the fact that it was plastered with US Customs inspection stickers. What the-?

The return address was partially obscured but I did figure out it was from England, which made me think: "ENGLAND?!? That's odd, I get all my cocaine imported directly from COLUMBIA! (or Taco Bell, via their Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes)." Oh well, I figure if it's cleared from Customs, it must be safe to open. So I open it only to find that an interior envelope had also been inspected...

Customs

Curiouser and curiouser... what could possibly be so astoundingly interesting to US Customs that an X-ray of an envelope could cause such scrutiny? Drugs? Fresh fruit? Animal feces? LIVE KILLER BEES?!? My curiosity gets the best of my and I bravely open the envelope...

Customs

Uhhh... it's postcards, a gift card, and delicious MARS DELIGHTS CANDY BARS!!! Apparently my good friend (and fellow Hard-Rock fanatic) "The Ref" has decided to deter my current addiction to "Fiesta Cheesy Potatoes" by getting me re-addicted to one of the most fabulous candy bars on the planet!

But wait, there's more... Customs opened one of the candy bars as well. Hungry perhaps? Err... no, they didn't take a bite, just verified that chocolatey goodness was indeed inside. And that's when I noticed that the Customs stickers plastered all over everything are actually from Homeland Security.

What the-??

Isn't Homeland Security there to protect us against terrorist threats? What in the heck did they think was in there? I can't even guess. Don't get me wrong, I am incredibly appreciative of Homeland Security's astoundingly difficult fight to protect us from harm, but don't they have scanning equipment and stuff? How do they know that the Weapons of Mass Destruction they're looking for in my candy wrapper weren't chocolate-covered?

Bizarre. Now, if you will excuse me, I'm long overdue for a sugar coma.

Categories: Food 2004Click To It: Permalink  5 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Bald

Posted on Thursday, December 2nd, 2004

Dave!In the summer, I have the excuse of riding my motorcycle to explain the complete mess on top of my head... everybody understands helmet hair, and all is forgiven. But summer is over now. So when I opened up a video chat first thing this morning, I was mortified that I could look this bad with no excuse whatsoever...

Dave Hair

I think I've decided to shave my head for the holidays.

Categories: DaveLife 2004Click To It: Permalink  6 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Dave Approved: Etymotic

Posted on Thursday, December 2nd, 2004

Dave!About a month ago, the cups on my faithful Sony earbuds came off and all my attempts to procure a new pair met with failure. Apparently I was going to need to buy an entirely new set, but never actually got around to ordering them. Instead I used the dreadful Apple earbuds that came with my iPod. Since they are not in-ear, noisy airplanes and airports ruin any enjoyment you might get out of listening to music so, after my last trip, I decided to bite the bullet and get a new set.

But which ones?

I have a friend who is a true audiophile, so I asked him which ones I should get. He instantly said "oh, get a set of Sure E5's... I love them." And so off I went.

Only to find out that they cost $625.

"ARE YOU f#@%ING INSANE?!? WHY WOULD I PAY MORE FOR EARBUDS THAN I DID FOR THE IPOD?!?" I screamed, after calling him back. Well, he had a laundry list of very excellent reasons that $625 was well spent, but I sure as heck wasn't going to spend that much... I was thinking more like $20! This made him laugh out loud for about an hour, after which he informed me that the earphones I use are arguably more important than the iPod itself, particularly for use while traveling on airplanes.

"Well, maybe I would go up to $100 if you are certain that it would be money well spent..." I replied. He said I could probably get a decent pair of "Ety's" for that much and, indeed, they would be well-worth the cost.

So I reluctantly ordered up a pair of Etymotic 6i's, which are specially made for the iPod, and a "bargain" at $149.

And two days later, I have my earphones. Anxious to know how super-terrific all my music is going to sound now, I rip open the package and plug them right in.

And they suck ass. Hard. The sound is tinny, weak, and generally bass-free. So, naturally, I call up my friend to start ragging on his moronic suggestion... only to find out I am the moron. Unlike other earphones, these are meant to be worn like hearing aids, and have to be shoved way into your ear (as shown in the instruction booklet I never bothered to read)...

Etymotic 6i

And oh what a difference a good set of headphones make (when used properly). Suddenly the bass is back in full-force. Sound is so bright and clear that I nearly have an orgasm when Depeche Mode's Enjoy the Silence starts playing. My nether-regions are still tingling.

My only complaint is that the "white" color they use to match the iPod is not "white" at all (more like a dirty cream or something). I seriously don't give a crap what color the cords are on my iPod, but if you're going to advertise them as "a perfect match for the iPod," then you should at least get the color right.

If $150 sounds this amazing... I have to wonder what in the heck do you get for the $625 price tag?

Categories: Dave Approved, Music 2004Click To It: Permalink  6 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

FridayQ: Blogged

Posted on Friday, December 3rd, 2004

Dave!Which entry in your blog is your favorite so far and why is that? It's strange, but I don't really like any of my entries overly-much. I compare them to the genius displayed on other blogs and just kringe, because mine all seem so senseless, useless, and plain silly (why in the heck do people read this stuff?). With that in mind, I guess the ones I don't mind so much are those that use these traits as an advantage. I like Toothpaste a bit, because it was fun to draw. The same goes for Leather Jackets, which I find funny every time I look at it (mainly because it does seem funny as a cartoon, but would be horrifying in real-life!).

Which entry in your blog has gotten you the most attention and why do you think that is? That would be STILL Stop Calling Me. My saga with the ass-hats at Stonebridge Life Insurance and their harassing telemarketing policy has become a kind of repository for Google searchers who have suffered as well. I receive emails and comments on this entry even today. A close second would have to be Credit, where I made a joke about setting a clown's ass on fire. I received over 100 emails from some kind of "Clown Coalition" that was enraged by it (which is odd, because you'd think clowns would have a sense of humor).

Which entry in your blog do you feel was overlooked and why should people have read it? Probably Theme Thursday: Wings. This is the hardest blog entry I've ever done, because it took a lot of luck, planning, begging, and scheming to pull off. But now that the Theme Thursday meme is dead, nobody really sees it anymore to appreciate what I had to go through to make it work (my blog didn't have nearly as many people reading it back then either). I still think it's a cool entry, so go look at it right now!

FQ REVEAL: Which entry in your blog do you think is most indicative of who you are and what makes it so? That's kind of difficult to answer, because none of the most personal details of my life are really shared here. Every once in a while, a little more "me" than usual ends up in an entry when I feel strongly about something... like when I am saddened (The Sad State of Modern Times), bitter (Heart), grateful (Strut the Rooster), etc. If forced to pick just one, I'd have to say The Bears of Berlin shows a side of me that doesn't make it to Blogography very often.

Get blogged at the FridayQ.

Categories: Blogging 2004, Memes 2004Click To It: Permalink  4 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Snow

Posted on Saturday, December 4th, 2004

Dave!White: Snow has finally come, and this time it looks like it may stick around for a while. Hopefully at least long enough that we don't have a drought next summer. It seems that we get less and less snow every year, and it comes later and later. When I was a kid, the snow was so deep here we could tunnel under it. When my mom was young, it was so deep here they could jump off the roof into it. Now we're lucky to get 12 inches. Yes, global warming must be a myth.

Filibuster: I just passed episode 2.17 - The Stackhouse Filibuster - in my continuing marathon of West Wing episodes. I think this is my favorite so far. I don't remember seeing it when it was originally broadcast, so it was an even bigger treat. The look on the senator's face when he was near exhaustion and was asked to yield the floor for a question... well, it was television magic.

Henley: You can't buy any Don Henley on the iTunes Music Store! I find it kind of strange, however, that you can buy a huge chunk of the Eagles' stuff there. What's up with that? Even worse, two of the Eagles collections are dreaded "partial albums" and it gets stranger when you see how they've screwed up The Very Best of the Eagles... they chopped three songs out of "disc 2" (The Long Run, In The City, and Those Shoes) and then smooshed everything else together into two 15-track "discs" so it's impossible for a customer to figure out which tracks they will be missing if they purchase it (unless they are already familiar with the album, as I am). Now, I don't blame Apple, because they don't create the content... that's done by the record companies. But whoever is responsible needs to know that proper track numbering is important to maintain (especially when they've decided to not upload the entire album).

Memory: Earlier today I forgot which Metro station was the stop to visit Notre Dame in Paris. And I really hate it when I forget simple things like that. All I knew was that it started with a "C" and was probably something like "Citrus" or "Citron" or something. To Google it would be cheating, so I decided to forget about it and it would come to me. But it didn't. And so just now I decided to bite the bullet, only to find out that the answer was the "Cité" Metro stop. Argh.

   

Morgan

Posted on Sunday, December 5th, 2004

Dave!I have three layers of protection from spam: I have decoy addresses which I use for open communication. I have a paid service at SpamCop. I have active filtration in my MacOS X Mail program. Putting aside the fact that I am outraged that I am forced to pay in order to have email be useable to me, I am relatively happy that scum-sucking spammer f#@%heads rarely get through my defenses. On those occasions where spam does get through, it's kind of a curiosity to me. Sometimes I open them even when they are obviously spam because, well, that's curiosity for you...

From: dbctaq@lycos.com
Subject: Hey Sugar
Date: December 5, 2004 3:27:28 PM PST
To: dave@????.com
Reply-To: dbctaq@lycos.com

Hey lover man, My name is Morgan. I found your email on the dating site..

My husband is a smuck! , He didn't touch me in months Check out my profile on this site: http://www.????.com/

FOR THE LOVE OF GRAVY! You somehow managed to get a spam through to somebody, and THIS is what you've got to say?!? I don't know what irritates me more, the fact that I get the spam in the first place, or that spammers are illiterate dumbasses who can't be bothered to use spell check when they send out something that they know is going to irritate the shit out of somebody (it's SCHMUCK you BITCH!!). Even if you're not a native English speaker, the very least you can do is have somebody who actually knows the language take a peek.

And here's the rub... since this spam is obviously advertising porn of some kind, for lack of an actual image to let you know what "Morgan" looks like, you are left with only "her words" to paint a mental picture. And right now, I'm envisioning that "Morgan" is some kind of diseased crack-whore so appalling that her own husband doesn't want anything to do with her. And I am supposed to click on this link why?

Do spammers write this shit with the assumption that nobody is actually going to read it? And, if they do, why do they bother to send it? Just when you think spammers couldn't be any more stupid than they are...

Categories: DaveLife 2004Click To It: Permalink  2 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

MoBetty

Posted on Monday, December 6th, 2004

Dave!Anybody who has read this blog for any length of time knows how much I love Betty White. Fortunately for the world at large, Betty shows no sign of slowing down and is making frequent guest appearances on various shows.

This past Friday, Betty was her usual brilliant self on a total crap show that I never watch called Complete Savages (directed by Mel Gibson, of all people... yes, the Mel Gibson). Of course, she totally owned. This time she played a horrible old lady with one leg who lives next door to the Savage family. Leave it to Betty to elevate an unwatchable show to watchability.

It's Betty!

Adding to my Betty high, DVD Talk has posted a short (but no less terrific) interview with her on the release of the first season of Golden Girls on DVD, which you can read here.

Here's some previous Bettylicious posting on Blogography...

We need more Betty.

Categories: Television 2004Click To It: Permalink  5 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Arcade

Posted on Tuesday, December 7th, 2004

Dave!Back in the days when I wasn't using one-word titles for my entries, I would have called this one "Red Wizard Shot the Food!"

I love my GameBoy Advance. Since I spend so much time traveling, it makes a great time-waster while hanging around in airports because of canceled flights, unscheduled delays, and a multitude of other unpleasantries that come with flying. The only problem is that so many of the games now-a-days are hopelessly complex. There are exceptions but, for the most part, modern video games are annoying to play because you have to read a manual 1-inch thick in order to know what's going on.

Fortunately, Nintendo has started releasing "retro-arcade" classics that are pretty much direct ports of the original NES-adapted games. Unfortunately, they are stupidly priced at $24 each (HOLY COW! THESE GAMES ARE DECADES OLD AND REQUIRED NEXT TO NO EFFORT TO RELEASE!). Even more stupid... rather than create an emulator to play a copy of a copy of the original, why not just emulate the original from the arcade? You can't get more authentic than that! I dunno... maybe when these games are in the bargain bin at $9.99 I'll consider it, but over $20? Forget it.

And now we have the new GameBoy Advance DS (dual screen) with even more complicated games and voice/touch input.

Bleh.

I guess I'll continue to play original arcade games on my laptop for free using MAME. This incredible software lets me play all my "old-time favorites" (albeit illegally) and leave the cluttered and complex world of "modern" videogames behind. Back then, graphics were crappy and memory expensive... so you focused on excellent and exciting game play (while the exact opposite seems to be true today).

Take Donkey Kong, for instance...

Donkey Kong

This masterpiece from 1980 (24 years ago!) consumed untold hundreds of hours of my life, and did it in an astounding 60K of memory. That's 60 kilobytes. Not megabytes... not gigabytes... that's measly kilobytes.

And then came the astounding NEXT GENERATION of arcade titles in the latter half of the 80's, giving us 10 times the memory, higher-resolution graphics, voice synthesis, and fantastic games like Gauntlet II...

Gauntlet II

In just 600K, this marvel ate away at my college years with a vengeful fury (probably because you could play with three friends all at once, rather than having to take turns). Sometimes, in the dead of night, I can still hear it speaking to me... "RED WIZARD SHOT THE FOOD!", and "BLUE VALKYRIE NEEDS FOOD BADLY!" (and, since somebody else probably just gobbled the food you needed so badly, your only option was to drop in more quarters so you could continue playing... my mind boggles at how much money these machines must have raked in with four people spending quarters continuously to keep playing).

I guess for now I'll hang on to my GameBoy Advance and hope that the classic games start being released at a classic price. Maybe I'll change my mind when the new Playstation Portable comes out, but somehow I doubt it.

One of these days I need to compile a list of my top-ten favorite arcade classics... but first I'm going to have to figure out just how high Q*Bert would be on a list like that. I totally owned that game.

   

Wednesday

Posted on Wednesday, December 8th, 2004

Dave!Nomaaahh!: Let me get this straight, Nomar just signed a 1-year contract with the Cubs for $8 million, after passing on a $60 million 4-year contract with the Red Sox WORLD CHAMPIONS? Even if the Cubbies pick him up for four years, he's still losing $7 million a year. I cried for a week when Nomar left Boston, now I think I'll laugh for a week at his fine business sense (then cry the week after that because he's still making millions of dollars for playing a game).

Joystick: Continuing my video game blathering from yesterday... not only are the games dumbfoundingly complex, but the controllers are ass. Two thumb-pads, four shoulder buttons, four action buttons, and two function buttons seems to be standard now. This leaves me concentrating more on what button I should be pushing than actually playing the game. On top of that, I don't want some tiny pad for directional movement... I want an actual joystick! I thought it would be simple to go buy one, but I thought wrong. The closest thing I can find to what I am wanting is an X-Arcade Stick, but that's as big as a house and costs $100!! Harsh!

Cars: Looks like Pixar's follow-up to The Incredibles (titled Cars) has just been pushed back seven months. They say it's so that they can better time their movies (release a feature in Summer, then crank out the DVD version for the holidays), which makes sense from a business standpoint. But many people are speculating that the bigger reason is to give Pixar CEO Steve Jobs more time to decide about renewing a distribution deal with Disney after he finds out who is replacing Michael Eisner (the guy who's been running Disney into the ground for the past decade). A third option, which is my personal guess, is that the movie sucks...

Cars

First of all, it's a freaky concept... a world where the only life-form is cars?? Second of all, it is a complete rip off of the Chevron Cars (a much better rendition of the concept, beautifully animated in clay by Aardman Animation, who is responsible for the brilliant Wallace and Gromit films). And lastly, one of the feature characters is a broken-down hick tow truck? How very cliche of you Pixar. Still, it is being directed by demi-god John Lasseter (who has Toy Story 1 & 2 and A Bug's Life under his belt), so I can only hope I am very, very wrong. I dunno, judge for yourself by watching the Cars trailer and then taking a look at Aardman's Chevron commercial...

Cars

You can then spend the next two hours of your life exploring the rest of the Aardman web site, which showcases numerous examples if their beautiful work in claymation. Dang. Now I want to go watch Wallace and Gromit!

Stockholm: Since Veronica Mars is now in reruns, I was flipping through channels and saw that The Amazing Race 6 was in Stockholm! Furthermore, contestants were hanging out at The Sheraton Stockholm, which is the same hotel I was at. Anyway, while I like the idea of racing around the world, I cannot bring myself to watch the show... it's just too painful to have to watch rude Americans be assholes to natives and complain all the time. As I was turning the channel, contestants were in Africa complaining about everything from how "gross" the taxis are to how stupid they think people are because they can't speak English ("DO YOU SPEAK ENGLISH? I NEED SOMEONE SPEAKING ENGLISH!!!"). Holy crap. Thanks for being such a stellar example, dumbass.

Letterbox: Last night I had to stop by Wal-Mart and noticed that they had The Bourne Supremacy on sale for a staggering $15 (which is cheaper than even DeepDiscountDVD!). Since we are entering rerun season on television, I thought I would grab a copy because I remember it being a pretty good flick. But when I got home and started it up, I noticed it was the STUPID FULL-FRAME VERSION! CRAP! CRAP! CRAP! Why in the heck do they even sell butchered films? When are people going to realize that anytime they buy a film that has "been reformatted to fit their television" that they are missing half the movie? Sure the letterbox format's black bars at the top and bottom of your TV screen are annoying, but it's a small price to pay for getting to see the ENTIRE MOVIE AS IT WAS INTENDED TO BE VIEWED!! Argh.

Sorry to rant, but HOLY SHIT... it's bad enough that Chewbacca didn't get a medal at the end of Star Wars, but if you are watching the lame "Full-Screen" version, he doesn't even get to appear on the screen! The Digital Bits has a good argument for widescreen (letterbox) formatted movies, and excellent examples which you can see by clicking here.

Categories: DaveLife 2004, Movies 2004Click To It: Permalink  8 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

SHHH!

Posted on Thursday, December 9th, 2004

Dave!This morning I awoke to a lot more non-spam email sitting in my "in-box" than usual. There were emails about my Nomar entry yesterday ("His FANS didn't get him where he is, his TALENT did!!! If you're a Nomar fan then start rooting for the Cubs!!"). Email from people upset about my rant against car drivers who run over motorcyclists ("To believe in God is to believe in forgiveness and we must forgive those who trespass against us just as we ask forgiveness for our sins"). Email from friends ("What are you doing for New Years?"). Email from the brilliant zefrank letting his loyal followers know his site has been updated ("Its been a while since the last update: told you I wouldn’t spam you"). And so on.

But my favorite piece of email was from somebody who read my Anonymous Letter #1 entry about rude mobile phone users, and had a link to share with me: Coudal Partners has come up with SHHH! (Society for HandHeld Hushing) to fight back against obnoxious mobile phone users, and even have little cards you can download and pass out...

Shut Up!

My favorite card is "The world is a NOISY PLACE. You aren't helping things" (though all of them are pretty darn clever). A pity I'll probably never have the guts to actually use the cards, but things are getting so bad I may have to risk it in order to save some moron's life.

Because, mark my words, the day some nut-case shoots and kills an obnoxious mobile phone user is coming. There have been shootings over far more stupid reasons, and it's only a matter of time.

UPDATE: And now they have Road Rage Cards that you can hold up to show dipshit drivers exactly how you feel. I think my card would be permanently turned to the "SLOWER TRAFFIC KEEP RIGHT" page (I worry about getting killed from using some of the more -ahem- direct cards). A shame I can't use such a thing while riding my motorcycle (unless I felt like dumping it on the road, that is).

Categories: DaveLife 2004Click To It: Permalink  4 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

FridayQ: Routine

Posted on Friday, December 10th, 2004

Dave!Describe your morning routine on work/school days, from the time you wake up until you leave. Well, since I only sleep 4-5 hours each night, I wake up waaayy early (usually around 3-4am), which gives me plenty of time to kill. Since my apartment is wireless, I usually start out by grabbing my PowerBook and spending the next couple hours checking email, running through my blogroll, reviewing my work schedule, and jotting down ideas for the day's blog entry. If it's a really light day, I may grab a book and read for a while. Regardless, I am always out of bed pretty close to 6am each work day. After I get up and grab some clean clothes, it's off to the shower so I can get washed up. Then, 15 minutes later (after I've put some boxers on), it's time to eat a bowl of cereal, two slices of toast (lightly buttered), and a glass of milk. Next, believe it or not, I try to force myself to take an hour-long nap so I can be fresh for work. After my nap, I wash my face, brush my teeth, get dressed, and am out the door around 8:30am.

Now describe your morning routine on NON-work/school days (weekends, holidays, etc.). It is incredibly rare that I have a day with no work at all, so nothing really changes... I just don't worry about getting out of bed at a specific time, and will probably get caught up with some television off my TiVo while enjoying an extended breakfast. Other than that, it's all the same.

And finally, describe your night-time routine before you go to bed. I hate to be rushed in the morning, so most of my pre-bedtime moments are spent making sure everything is ready to go for the next morning. If it's summer, that means things like making sure my motorcycle helmet and visor are clean, my keys and various work materials are waiting on the table, and a bag of dry Cheerios have been poured out for the next day's work-time snacking. Then it's just a matter of double-checking that all the doors are locked before brushing my teeth. If it's not too late, I might take a quick run through my blogroll. Finally, around 11:00pm, I'm in bed trying to fall asleep.

FQ FANTASY: You've won 100 million (US) dollars in the lottery! Re-write your morning routine one month from now! I rise from yet another excellent night of carefree slumber, being careful not to wake Elizabeth Hurley (who fell in love with me not for my 100 million, but because she found me witty and charming). As I slip out of my hand-carved oak four-post bed, I pull back the window shade to look out over Old Town Edinburgh and yet another beautiful Scottish morning ahead of me. I then leisurely make my way across the bedroom to the spa so I can take a quick shower (not just any shower... The Best Shower on Earth®, imported from Dublin). After that, my morning routine is spent surfing the internet for new and interesting places in the world we can travel to, while Liz iron's my laundry (it's not exactly how you're thinking). But, other than making sweet, sweet love all morning, I spend all my time fulfilling my dream of doing absolutely nothing in the most exotic locations the world has to offer (though I think a bowl of Cheerios will end up in there as well).

Your weekly routine is at the FridayQ.

Categories: Memes 2004Click To It: Permalink  4 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Nookey

Posted on Friday, December 10th, 2004

Dave!In response to Tonya's entry (in the ever-excellent Adventure Journalist blog) about her dogs and their morning wake-up routine for her, I sketched out a cartoon and emailed it off. Now she's posted it to her blog, so you can go take a look if you are so inclined. I'm always amazed at how women can so easily manipulate us men, and figured that it probably extended into the dog-world as well.

Click here for Tonya's original entry. And then here for the cartoon strip I sent.

Dave and Kenya

Hang in there Nanook, my oppressed canine brother!

Categories: DaveToons 2004Click To It: Permalink  3 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Shuffle

Posted on Saturday, December 11th, 2004

Dave!It's another meme from Neil! And this one has a potential embarrassment factor of 9.9! What could it be? Why, it's the Music Shuffle Meme!

The rules are rather straightforward, kind of scary, and basically ask you to put iTunes (or whatever music software you use) on shuffle, then reveal the first ten songs that show up... without skipping any of them! I have some hugely humiliating music lurking in the 4667 songs I've got on my PowerBook, so this could be devastating (though, about 1000 of them have only 1 star and won't be played). To add some fun and excitement to the meme, I am going to just hit "play" and write about each of the titles as it plays...

  1. Fernando by ABBA. And of course the first song is potentially the most embarrassing (but hey, there's nine left to go!). Actually, I kind of like ABBA, though Fernando is probably one of my least favorite songs just because it's kind of sappy. The Name of the Game, Supertrooper, and (of course) Dancing Queen are all classics.
  2. Freek-A-Leek by Petey Pablo. Holy crap! This is what I get when I let my nephew buy songs off of the iTunes Music Store? Bust this: "Sniff a little coke, take a little X, smoke a little weed, drink a little bit. I need a girl that I can freak wit, and wanna try shit, and ain't scared of a big dick. And love to get her p#$$& licked, by another bitch, cus I ain't drunk enough to do that." In Petey's defense, the beat is slammin' tight on this track! "Tell me what you want, do you want it missionary with your feet crammed into the headboard?"
  3. All She Wants Is by Duran Duran. I have to admit, Duran Duran is a guilty pleasure of mine, and this song is one of their better ones because it's not so obviously bubble-gum pop. My favorite D2 album would have to be their self-titled 1993 release (more commonly referred to as "The Wedding Album"), which has Ordinary World, None of the Above, and the beautiful Come Undone.
  4. You Are the Voice (live) by Heart. Oooh... I was at this concert in Seattle (Heart's home town!) where this song was recorded from their 1990 "Brigade" tour. In retrospect, this track isn't that great but, whenever I hear it, I remember being there and it's all good. The audience participation, while weak in the recording, was deafeningly cool in person.
  5. Home and Dry by The Pet Shop Boys. I am a huge Pet Shop fan and not ashamed to admit it because I find many of their lyrics to be brilliant and enlightening. This track happens to be one that I like but, of the 158 Pet Shop Boys songs I own, I will say that there are about half I'm not overly fond of.
  6. Walking in My Shoes by Depeche Mode. YES! I would have been gravely disappointed if my favorite band didn't make an appearance, and here they are with a killer track! I actually look at Depeche Mode as two bands... there's the synth-pop Depeche Mode from the 80's, and then there's the grittier Depeche Mode from the 90's... both equally amazing, but in different ways. The best way to hear the band is live, as they sound even more amazing in concert (which leaves me hoping that they tour for the new album their working on next January).
  7. I Love N.Y.E. by Badly Drawn Boy. An achingly beautiful musical interlude from the amazing About a Boy movie soundtrack. I remember leaving the theater after having watched the movie and immediately going to the music store to purchase this CD. It is absolute magic, and highly recommended whether you liked the movie or not (but, seriously, how could you not like this film?). This particular track (short for "I Love New Year's Eve") is from when Hugh Grant's character was falling in love with the beautiful Rachel Weisz's character, and literally made you feel what love is like when it played. If you have access to the iTunes Music Store, go listen to this song preview immediately, then buy the album because you love it so much.
  8. Robert De Niro's Waiting by Bananarama. Oog. Well that's a bit embarrassing isn't it? Bananarama actually has a few good songs in their catalog, but I'm not sure this is one of them. A bit catchy though.
  9. Back Here by BBMak. Oh my. And here I thought that ABBA and Bananarama were about as humiliating as it was going to get. Sadly, I really do like this piece of poorly rendered pop trash.
  10. Take a Picture by Filter. At least I am (somewhat) redeemed by the last song on the list. I purchased this rather excellent CD after this song had been played at a party I attended. I remember almost nothing about the party, but this song sticks vividly in my mind for some reason.

And there you have it, for better or worse (and yes, it could have been much worse). This was a pretty great idea for a meme I must say!

Categories: Music 2004Click To It: Permalink  1 Comment: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Fart

Posted on Saturday, December 11th, 2004

Dave!Unable to sleep even a little bit, I decided to take a quick look through my email inbox and have a rather odd one awaiting me. The writer said that he had heard about a "fart quiz" and was wondering where he could take it. I then had to explain that there was no "fart quiz" and I had just made up some fake results because I think all those blog quizzes are kind of lame. Then, just 15 minutes later, I get another email wanting to know where to find the nonexistent "fart quiz."

A quick look at my blog stats and I notice that "fart" has overtaken "boobie" on my list of referral search terms! The source seems to be some kind of post forum, but since it is "members only," I can't confirm anything. Digging a little further, I see that Google's Image Search has been hitting with "fart quiz" quite a bit. In fact, it's currently the #1 hit for the term (we'll save how freaked I am that there are 72 results for "fart quiz" another time)...

Fart Quiz - SQUEAKER

So, for anybody coming here wanting to take the "fart quiz," here's the deal... there is no quiz. You can read about it on my "lame quizzes" entry (and also see nonexistent quizzes for "Which Deadly Strain of Virus Are You?" and "Which of the Bodily Fluids Are You?").

Hmmm... maybe there really should be a "What Type of Fart Are You" quiz?

Categories: Blogging 2004Click To It: Permalink  5 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Wahh!

Posted on Sunday, December 12th, 2004

Dave!The last time I had ridden my motorcycle was September 12th. I didn't know at the time that it would be my last ride of the season, all I knew was that I was off to Korea in two days, and needed to put it into storage while I was gone. When I returned, I was swamped with work and had several additional trips to take. Then, before I knew it, snow had come and my motorcycle was in storage to stay.

Until today yesterday (oops look, it's already tomorrow!).

By some miracle, the sun came out and the snow was melted off the roads! Woohoo! Time for a ride! One last ride before the snows are here to stay...

Bye Bye Bike

I had already accepted that I wouldn't get to ride again until Spring... but now I have to start accepting it all over again.

Winter sucks ass!

Categories: MotorcyclesClick To It: Permalink  5 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Eerie

Posted on Sunday, December 12th, 2004

Dave!Oooh. While cleaning crap off of my PowerBook's hard drive, I ran across this strange photo that I don't even remember taking...

Cloudy City

I believe that this is Milwaukee from my last flight, glowing under the cloud cover. The low-light made the photo pretty grainy, but I think it looks kind of cool that way.

Categories: Photography 2004Click To It: Permalink  3 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Surrender

Posted on Monday, December 13th, 2004

Dave!Alright. ALRIGHT. ALRIGHT!! I give up... you can stop emailing me, because I've now taken my fake "What Kind of Fart Are You?" quiz and made it into a real, actual quiz. So now everybody who is just dying to know which fart best fits their personality can finally sleep at night. I've never created a quiz before, and find it only marginally more painful than taking a quiz. But I digress... click here to take the Fart Quiz.

Just as an F.Y.I., there are a total of five results the quiz can return. The first is below, the remaining four are in an extended entry...

Silent But Deadly!

→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Categories: Blogging 2004Click To It: Permalink  16 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Autocomplete

Posted on Tuesday, December 14th, 2004

Dave!I had started this meme back when I saw it at Lost Pilgrim (which I read religiously, especially on Friday, so I can see how Richard has brilliantly perverted the FridayQ that week... I mean just look at it!). But something happened for one reason or another and I forgot about it.

Until Kazza did it, and now I feel I feel compelled to finish it (so you have her to blame!).

Basically, the idea is to open up your web browser of choice, then type in each of the letters of the alphabet to see what is "autocompleted" in the URL field. Kind of a nifty idea for a meme, I must say! To spare those of you who don't want to view 26 of my bookmarks, the list is in an extended entry. Though, I must say, a few of the links are worth a look if you don't already know about them...

→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Categories: Blogging 2004Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Hot!

Posted on Tuesday, December 14th, 2004

Dave!As anybody who attempts to link to an image on Blogography has found out, I have enabled hotlink protection for my site. I pretty much had to after some dumbass linked to a photo here (without asking) on a SlashDotted entry and ran my bandwidth allotment into the ground. I figure that if somebody is going to be using my images without permission, they might as well copy it to their own server instead of forcing me to host my content for them. It's not that I really care that people are taking my stuff (though giving credit to me when they do is always nice), it just seems lame for me to be expected to pay for it as well.

Since I was in an ass-drawing mood after creating my "fart quiz" yesterday, I went ahead and re-designed the image people see if they link to anything without asking first...

PWNED!

So yes, in effect, I am telling people who try and steal my bandwidth that they can kiss my ass. Still, it's pretty tame when you think about it. I could have used a photo of an actual ass (or something far, far worse). There are exceptions... a girl was making a site for a school project and wrote me a polite email asking if she could use the photo of a teddy bear I had posted... so natually I said "yes" and added her site to my list of allowed links. It's not a big deal really, I would probably be glad to do this for most anybody if they had a good enough reason for wanting me to do so.

And then I received an email from some ass-clown this morning ripping me to pieces because they were humiliated when they linked to one of my images in a Christian fellowship forum (a photo of a cool cherub statue at the Vatican). "You've destroyed my reputation and I should sue!"

Yeah, I thought that was pretty funny too, so I replied:

"Let me get this straight. You steal an image from me without asking permission, fail to give me credit for said image, and then threaten to sue me because you're not a very clever thief? Just exactly how big of a dumbass are you?"

To say that this did not go over very well is an understatement, because they wrote back and apparently I am now going to hell.

Whatever. I must have read the Christian Bible wrong, because I'm pretty sure there's something in there along the lines of "thou shalt not steal thy neighbor's bandwidth" (I could be wrong though, I'm a Buddhist after all).

   

Layout

Posted on Wednesday, December 15th, 2004

Dave!I had the afternoon off so I decided to catch up with my sleep, catch up with my laundry, and catch up with dozens of little things I've been putting off... like updating the layout for my blog. Nothing drastic, mind you, just a few changes to separate the content a little better. It's always bugged me that everything here isn't really contained, but floating all over the place. I also wanted a new header that could have swappable graphics (this time with cartoons!).

And then, fifteen minutes later, I've got it roughed out (thanks to the glory of CSS). Naturally, it looks fine in Safari and Firefox on my Mac (it usually does) but, the problem is always, always getting it to render properly in that bug-ridden pile of crap known as "Microsoft Windows Internet Explorer." It never fails... it takes just fifteen minutes to get what I want, and then I'll end up spending hours trying to make it work in Windows. Well, it's late, and I just don't have the heart to see how bad it looks in IE, so I guess that will have to wait until the weekend.

New Blogography

And, speaking of catching up, I also managed to watch yet another amazing episode of Veronica Mars from last night ("Annoy tiny blonde one! Annoy like the wind!!"). This show is simply too good for television. Seriously, broadcast television doesn't deserve a show this perfect. Veronica Mars is deliciously complex, cleverly written, brilliantly acted, and shockingly addictive. I think it just might be my favorite show currently on television...

Veronica Mars Cast

I can't imagine how they are going to manage to keep the intricate web of character relationships going for the entire season but, since Rob Thomas (of "Cupid" fame) is involved, I suppose I needn't worry about it. All I can do now is curse myself for not having saved every episode on my TiVo, and then wait patiently for new episodes to air next year.

   

Kill

Posted on Thursday, December 16th, 2004

Dave!I've developed an aversion to killing in recent years. I'd like to think that this is due to spiritual growth that has come from studying Buddhist teachings, but it only seems to apply to innocent creatures... there are still plenty of people I would like to kill (if you drive slow in the passing lane, this means you). Anyway, one day I just decided that killing is the "easy way out" in life, and it is much more commendable to preserve life wherever you find it.

For the most part this means not killing bugs that wander into my apartment, but instead capturing the little critters and then releasing them outside. After all, they don't really know any better, and can hardly be blamed for trespassing where they are unwanted. Sure it's a lot more trouble than just squashing them with a swatter, but there's a certain satisfaction which comes from knowing that the infinite power you possess over such a small and unassuming life can be used for something other than death and destruction.

Anyway, Sarah over at the most excellent "One Before" blog has written a heartwarming short entry (titled "How Wetas Become My Friends") which reaffirms my thinking on the matter... "just because you can do a thing, doesn't mean you should do it."

There are too many people in this world who are in desperate need of reflecting on that. Especially those who seem to look at human beings as nothing more than bugs to be squashed.

Categories: DaveLife 2004Click To It: Permalink  2 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

FridayQ: Strange

Posted on Friday, December 17th, 2004

Dave!What's the strangest thing you've ever eaten? Unquestionably, without a doubt, no contest - natto. This traditional Japanese food is strange even among strange foods. They say it's made of fermented soybeans... but this heinously foul-smelling, sticky abomination more likely comes from some grotesque alien planet, as mere humans should not be eating it. My Japanese friends tell me that natto is an acquired taste, and I just haven't eaten enough of it to appreciate how yummy it is. They are, of course, insane. I still dream of one day getting revenge upon the "friend" of mine who tricked me into eating this blasphemy of all things food-like. Does this stuff seriously look like something you should be putting in your mouth? (photo copyrighted by Matt Wegener, from his terrific Japan photos page, which is well worth a visit!)...

Natto.jpg

What's the strangest thing you've ever read? I'm tempted to say any travel book written by Rick Steves (seriously, I travel a lot and am a huge fan of travel books... but Rick Steves' stuff is so laughably bad that I find it strange they are so popular). But, even stranger, would have to be the disclaimer on my disembarkation card before landing in Singapore: It basically said that anyone caught smuggling drugs in or out of the country would be put to death, and by entering the country you accede to this law with the understanding that any appeal made to your government would do you no good at all. I found it strange they should tell you this after you've already boarded the plane! I mean, I didn't have any intention of smuggling drugs, but became terrified that somebody would stash their drugs in my suitcase or something. I was paranoid the entire trip.

What's the strangest thing you've ever seen? Excluding the ending of the movie 2001, those stupid-ass television commercials with Jared's Subway Diet, and the Yayoi Kusama exhibit at MOMA in New York? I'd have to say the strangest thing I've ever seen would be a child beauty pageant in New Orleans. I didn't actually go out of my way to see it mind you... the event was taking place at my hotel. This bizarre activity has obsessive parents dressing up their little girls to look and act like whores, then parading them in front of a freaky group of people who actually find entertainment in such a thing. I've seen a whole lotta freaky in my travels, but that was the strangest of all.

FQ YOU: What's the strangest thing you've ever done? Putting parts of my life in a blog for the entire world to see would rank right near the top, but I'd have to say skydiving is #1. Back when I first tried it (tandem) and then went on to take classes, it was just something fun to do. But now, I find it strange that anybody would choose to jump out of a plane when they weren't forced to do so.

Everything's strange at the FridayQ.

Categories: Memes 2004Click To It: Permalink  4 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Memeless

Posted on Saturday, December 18th, 2004

Dave!Earlier today I had written a long and very involved entry for my blog that included such topics as "How much I loathed the movie Spanglish" along with "the horrors of using pixel-height type in my blog re-design" and "the dangers of venturing out during last-minute holiday-shopper frenzy." But, after re-reading it, I decided to toss it out as a public service.

But then I had a problem. What to write about for Saturday? A meme perhaps?

And now there's a bigger problem... most of the memes are dying off. "Something for Saturday" hasn't been updated since September. "Pieces of You" has been dead for a month. "Meeting of the Minds" dead since March. "Fragment" gone. "Saturday Slant" stalled at week 33. Even "Witches Weekly" is now two weeks overdue. I suppose I could take a crack at "Sexy Saturday" but it's also overdue (and the last question was about AIDS testing?).

... ten minutes later... and I've found Saturday-8!

  1. if you celebrate christmas, do you have your tree up yet? if not, what's your excuse? I don't really celebrate Christmas because I study Buddhism (which doesn't have a Christmas).
  2. christmas is in a week ... do you have you holiday shopping done? I do like to buy holiday gifts for my friends and family who celebrate Christmas, but will worry about it next week.
  3. do you take time off during the holidays, or do you work straight through? The last couple of years I've worked on Christmas day because it's quiet and I can get caught up.
  4. do you take a winter vacation to go skiing or do the iditarod? I think the Iditarod is kind of cruel to the dogs (many of which die during training) and I don't ski. Since winter is when my never-ending travel seems to slow a bit, I'd rather just stay home.
  5. in your neighbourhood, are there a lot of holiday lights up? Not really.
  6. do YOU put holiday lights up? if so, are yours up this year? if not, why don't you do it? No. As for why... see Question #1.
  7. describe the most gaudy/tacky/cheap holiday display you've seen. where was it? Aren't they all when you think about it?
  8. for this holiday, mr. laura is gutting my dining room and adding on a computer room, so my house will be full of drywall dust instead of holiday house trimmings. have you had a year in which you didn't or weren't able to decorate your house for the holidays? I leave the decorating to everybody else.

Another bit of fun... Who Links Here

Categories: Memes 2006Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Fogged

Posted on Sunday, December 19th, 2004

Dave!It is a bit strange, but I think this year may actually be the first in my life-time memory that we will not be having a white Christmas. The bit of snow we received in late November has long-since vanished, and the temperature never seems to get very cold. I'm kind of regretting now that I put my motorcycle away for the season, but it was really impossible for me to believe that I would be able to ride it in mid-December. I suppose everybody will have to settle for a foggy holiday, since that's all we seem to get...

Foggy

And, speaking of holiday, I'd like to take this opportunity to send out a big bucket of Christmas cheer to the presumptuous ass-clown who emailed me with the thoughtful observation that I am a "G-dless heathen" for not celebrating Christmas. Since it is my mission in life to make everybody happy, I guess I'll just have to go sacrifice a tree and worship Santa Claus so I can fit in with the masses.

Categories: DaveLife 2004Click To It: Permalink  12 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Sinful

Posted on Monday, December 20th, 2004

Dave!Well crap! Showtime has cancelled Dead Like Me, which is easily one of the more inventive shows on television. I guess that means I can dump the channel, since the only reason I bought it in the first place was to watch this one show. It really pisses me off that they don't at least allow the creators of the show to wrap up all the loose ends, and Dead Like Me had more than most. It must really suck to be Bryan Fuller. This is the second utterly brilliant show of his to be cancelled (the other being the amazing Wonderfalls). I wonder if he'll just give up trying to create intelligent, thought-provoking shows and start creating crappy reality shows like everybody else.

In movie news, there's finally a trailer up for the adaptation of Frank Miller's Sin City... and does it ever look delicious! It would seem that they went for a literal adaptation of the comic's visual style, and I'm quite happy about that. Almost as happy as I am about the sweet hoteness that Miller & Rodriguez have lined up for the female cast (including a disturbingly sexy Alexis Bledel... Rory from Gilmore Girls is hot?!? Who knew?). Yowza! Sin City indeed...

Sin Babes

Oh yeah, they've got some other guys in it you might have heard of before... Mickey Rourke, Clive Owen, Michael Madsen, Bruce Willis, Benicio Del Toro, and Elijah Wood. My gut tells me the film will be fabulous, but I can't help but be pessimistic about the film's chance at commercial success.

It really is too bad that the American population at large is so stupid when it comes to entertainment. It really would be nice to have decent shows on television and movies in our theaters.

   

Blue

Posted on Tuesday, December 21st, 2004

Dave!Will somebody please remind me why it was I put my ride away for the winter? I dare say that the weather now is perfect motorcycle-riding weather. Crisp, fresh, invigorating... cool but not cold. The kind of day that makes you glad to be alive. The kind of day that offers a chance to squint at a sky so blue that it hurts your eyes just to look at it...

Blue

Blue

Seriously, something is very, very wrong here. Twenty years ago, we'd be ass-deep in snow in the middle of December. Five years ago we'd at least be ankle-deep. Today it's so warm that you don't even need a jacket?

Thank heavens that global warming is "just a myth" or I would be starting to get very worried.

Categories: MotorcyclesClick To It: Permalink  5 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Icon

Posted on Wednesday, December 22nd, 2004

Dave!This is a long, drawn-out entry which will probably not appeal to very many people (though, there are pretty pictures, so maybe that will entertain some?). In the text that follows, I feebly analyze icon images and come to the conclusion that Adobe sucks ass when it comes to crafting an icon that's worth a crap (I could say the same about their bug-ridden applications, but we'll save that for another time). I am not a computer interface expert. I am not a human useability analyst. I am not even remotely knowledgeable about how the human brain associated an image with an item. But lack of credentials has never stopped me from stating my opinion in the past, and I'm certainly not going to let it stop me now.

You've been warned. To continue reading, click on the link below...

Apple Icons

→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Categories: Apple Stuff 2004Click To It: Permalink  30 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Kitten

Posted on Thursday, December 23rd, 2004

Dave!I'm truly sorry, but I feel I must get serious for a moment because I have something serious to tell you. It is news that may surprise you, scare you, and shock you to the very core of your being. It may even cause you to question your faith in a higher power, or deny the fragile reality of our existence in this universe. There is something horrible going on. And, even though you may be blissfully ignorant of it as I was, it has been going on for some time now... eating at the very fabric of our society.

I am telling you this as a warning. If you would rather not be made aware of this heinous truth... if you would rather deny the sad inevitability of the horrors I would say to you... then do not scroll down this page!! Turn away now. Go no further. Leave this place of tragedy and ill omen! Just look at the picture of a cute kitten and abandon this blog thinking happy thoughts. Do not read past the kitten unless you are ready to be forever changed...

Kitten

Are you still here? Are you sure you want to be here?

Okay then, here it is...

Tony Danza has a talk show.

I know. I know. I could not believe it either. My TiVo has this wonderful feature that let's you punch in a keyword and have it then record all television programs which contain that keyword in either the title or show description. One of the keyword sets on my list is "Teri Hatcher." Ever since rediscovering her sweet hotness on Desperate Housewives I've kind of had a thing for Ms. Hatcher's fine self and want to see more than what I can get Sunday nights from 9:00-10:00pm. Can you blame me?

Super Teri

Wet Teri

Oooh... got kind of a Teri "fire and ice" thing going on there! Anyway, this morning as I was leaving for work, I noticed that TiVo was recording something. Curious to know what it might be, I turned on my television and there he was... Tony Danza with his own talk show.

You read that right... somebody is actually paying Tony Danza for intelligent conversation and witty banter. At first I was in denial. It couldn't be true. It must be some kind of horrible, horrible holiday prank. But oh no, a quick trip to The Futon Critic, and I see that the show is very real and has been since September. The Tony Danza Show is a frightening actual television program.

At first I clung to the hope that the idiotic characters he plays in shows like Taxi and Who's the Boss? was some kind of elaborate acting job. Surely to get his own talk show he must be a brilliant man with a savy intelligence and witty repertoire? So I washed the blood from my eyes caused by my brain starting to explode and proceeded to watch. But hope springs eternal, and Danza is just as unconvincing hosting an interview as he ever was as an actor. Even the delicious Teri Hatcher could not save him, and that's saying a lot. It's worse than you can possibly imagine... so much worse.

Oh well. I'm sure he's laughing himself to the bank... making more money an hour than I make in a year. I just continue to be dumbfounded that good shows Dead Like Me and Wonderfalls keep getting cancelled so we can put shit like Tony Danza on the air. WTF?!?

Categories: Television 2004Click To It: Permalink  8 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

FridayQ: Gifted

Posted on Thursday, December 23rd, 2004

Dave!What's an impressive gift ($50 US or less) on your wish list? I think there's a bundle deal where you can get a one-year subscription to National Geographic and National Geographic Traveler for under $50. That would be a terrific gift.

What's an expensive gift ($500 US or less) on your wish list? I already own an iPod, but the new iPod Photo is cream. I'd prefer the 60gig version, but since it is $599, I suppose I'd have to "settle" for the smaller 40gig version at $499.

What's an extravagant gift ($5000 US or less) on your wish list? A tricked out Apple Macintosh Dual 2.5GHz Power Mac G5 desktop computer with all the trimmings nets out at $4,953.00 (shipping is free). I actually don't need a new computer, but if somebody were to give me one, I wouldn't have the slightest objection. From playing with this monster at the Apple Store a few weeks ago, I can say that MacOS X is an entirely new experience with such outlandish speed and power running behind it.

FQ GREED: Money is no object! What's the most outrageous gift money can buy on your dream list? A private Caribbean island from which to plan my bid for world domination would be pretty sweet (it would have to include a pirate ship and secret volcano lair as well).

Give the gift of FridayQ.

Categories: Memes 2004Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Autreblog

Posted on Friday, December 24th, 2004

Dave!Thanks to miraculous technology advancements in blog syndication (and my inability to sleep more than 4-5 hours each night), I read an awful lot of blogs... 112 at current count. Fortunately, many of my favorites don't post every day, so I can actually have a life outside of reading them. If you have a good feed reader, you can easily organize people into groups, which makes me happy because I just love to categorize people. For instance, here is my group of "Blogs Written by People So Insane That Their Psychological Impediments Make for High Entertainment Value..."

Blog Feeds

If your in that list, I'm just kidding... this is actually my list of "Coolest People on Earth" (and if you're not on the list, then rest assured, it really is "Blogs Written by People So Insane That Their Psychological Impediments Make for High Entertainment Value").

Anway, since I don't have to be to work for an hour, let's take a look at a slice of my own personal Blogosphere shall we?

  • Annette over at More Than Words has unlocked the secrets to the universe. In a twist of cosmic karma, the last comment on my blog was written by this self-proclaimed "Queen of Stupid" (which is really odd because I didn't even know she knew I existed... unless this is a BlogExplosion drive-by). For a dose of funny, read this.
  • Tonya at the ever-excellent Adventure Journalist is dreaming of organizing a cruise to Alaska (or an adventure to the produce section of the local grocery store for those of us who can't afford it).
  • Karen at Kazza The Blank One is waxing poetic over strange videos running late-night, and has found a Depeche Mode tune just for me!
  • Kirkkitsch over at My So-Called Strife is taking a ride on the Bi-Polar Express(!) and pondering all things holiday.
  • Oooh... Scott Andrew LePera is promising to play more live shows in his semi-new home city of Seattle, which means I may actually get to see him perform next year. Now that's something I am going to look forward to, so thanks Scott!
  • Jim O'Connell of Wirefarm fame asks "How Many Places Have You Lived?" Since most of my moving around took place when I was very young and my dad was in the Navy, I'm not exactly sure what the answer would be. I'll have to flag this entry and go back and comment once I've got it figured out.
  • Bow. James Bow. is driving to Des Moines for the holidays, and then goes on to explain that the reason we have warm weather and no snow here in my home town of Cashmere is because Ontario has borrowed our weather!
  • Awww, look... Neil just updated his blog and is wishing everybody a Merry Christmas.
  • Brandon over at DOWN WITH PANTS! is relieved his Pho Shizzle joke is still intact and then goes on to write about the perils of looking like Fred Durst. All I can say is that I'd rather be mistaken for Fred Durst than an even bigger no-talent assclown known as Kid Rock. About the only "famous" person I've ever been mistaken for is "Crack Addict #2" from the movie Trainspotting which was a bit depressing until I realized that it could have been worse... I could have been mistaken for "Crack Ho #2."
  • Patrick at Strang's Blog looks to be prepared for a happy holiday indeed!
  • Mr. Jerz reveals his bias against all things Canada, which appears to stem from a deep hatred of Canadian-Rules football. I comment that I have a senseless bias myself against lame-ass "Painter of Light" Thomas Kinkade. His insipid "works of art" which are devoid of even minimal levels of artistic merit. It really frosts my cake that he's so popular, and I don't know why.
  • Jeff over at Geekable posts a disturbing story of one ignorant bitch's crusade to ban a book she's never even read. Classy indeed!
  • e-Dennis mourns the passing of the most excellent Dead Like Me but then rejoices in the news that the next Harry Potter book has gone to press.
  • Most enticing post topic of the day has to go to Jessie Sarah at One Before for "Leto's Bilocating Padre Pio."
  • And lastly, for a while I thought Kirk was kidnapped, but then surfaced to post a bizarre story of somebody dying from a tooth extraction and has disappeared again. One can only hope he hasn't been taken hostage, been brainwashed by a cult, or killed by a rabid Koala Bear.

And with that, I now have 10 minutes to get to work!

Categories: Blogging 2004Click To It: Permalink  11 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Lit

Posted on Saturday, December 25th, 2004

Dave!Mom's Christmas Tree as I see it without my contact lenses...

Blurry Lights

Categories: Photography 2004Click To It: Permalink  1 Comment: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Snowful

Posted on Sunday, December 26th, 2004

Dave!When I woke up this morning and grabbed my laptop off the night-stand, I knew that it was going to be a sad day before I even opened it up. You don't have the most powerful earthquake in 40 years strike without any ramifications. Sure enough, the news coming out of Asia is horrendous, with the resulting tidal waves ravaging coastal cities in six countries. I think of the time I was walking along the beach in Phuket, Thailand and realize full-well that it could have been me being swept out to sea.

Setting aside the world to get a slice of toast and hot cocoa for breakfast, I notice that something good has happened when I look out my window to watch the sunrise...

Snow Day

Snow Day

Snow Day

Snow has finally come!

Categories: Photography 2004Click To It: Permalink  2 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Dave Approved: Jones Blue Bubble Gum

Posted on Monday, December 27th, 2004

Dave!Lazy: I've managed to get a lot of work done, but most of it was accomplished while sitting in front of the television eating potato chips (Ruffles brand, of course) with dip (cream cheese, mayo, lemon juice, and garlic salt), drinking Jones Blue Bubble Gum Soda (now in cans to save you money!), and watching Series 1-3 of the brilliant BBC comedy Coupling (the ORIGINAL show, not the embarrassingly crappy Americanized version that was immediately cancelled). How sad for me.

Blue: Speaking of Jones Blue Bubble Gum Soda in cans: wickedly delicious, bad for you, and very very blue...

Bubble Gum Soda

Election: The ongoing saga of the Washington State Governor's election continues. First Republican Rossi wins, then thousands of missing ballots show up and Democrat Gregoire wins. Now Republicans are stupidly claiming Democrats stole the election, while Democrats stupidly claim the Republicans are sore losers. Everybody is blaming everybody else, when what they should be doing is blaming this crap system we've got that would allow this stupidity in the first place. Personally, I don't give a crap who wins, as the horrid campaign run by each side was reprehensible. They should both be dumped and we start over with new candidates, which would probably be cheaper than trying to get all this crap sorted out.

Tsunami: The death toll continues to rise, with news sources now reporting 22,000 casualties. The best source for info I've found seems to be an entry at Wikipedia, where they are claiming over double that number, with 46,000+ killed (please let that be a mis-print). Still no news on Jet Li and his family, who were vacationing in the Maldives. UPDATE: Apparently Jet Li is okay, sustaining only a minor leg injury rescuing his daughter from the flood waters.

Alias: Nine days until Jennifer Garner is back for the new season of Alias. Nine days after that, Jennifer Garner debuts in her new movie Elektra. Nine. Nine. Nine. Nine.

Categories: Dave ApprovedClick To It: Permalink  3 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

E.O.Y.Q.

Posted on Tuesday, December 28th, 2004

Dave!Whenever I am at a loss as to what to blog about, Neil always seems to have another meme handy. This time, it's the "End of Year Quiz"... much like a "year in review" in forty questions I'd imagine. Anyway, I've put my answers in an extended entry so those completely uninterested in my accomplishments (or lack thereof) this year can easily skip it. Now that I think about it, how much cooler would it have been to have regular readers of my blog fill this out for me! I wonder if the answers would be very different? Probably.

→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Categories: Blogging 2004Click To It: Permalink  6 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Republic

Posted on Wednesday, December 29th, 2004

Dave!I went to bed last night early at 10:00pm and, since I seem incapable of sleeping more than 4-5 hours each night, woke up at 2:30am this morning. The blogosphere was relatively quiet (with the sad exception of even more catastrophic death tolls from the tsunamis) and I didn't have a book to read, so I was left with nothing to do. I'd like to get some work done, but I'm useless for anything requiring much thought this early, so that's not going to happen. After surfing a list of new Mac software, I came across "World of Where" which is a program to help learn all the various countries of the world and their capitals (also available for you Window sufferers). It costs $10 to get an unlock key, but Europe is free, so I thought "time to prove how smart I am" and downloaded it.

Only to find out I am not quite so smart as I thought I was.

I started out doing well, zipping through countries with ease (though I always seem to mix up Estonia and Latvia, which is really stupid considering the Estonia-Latvia-Lithuania trio is in alphabetical order). Yes, everything was going swimmingly until...

San Marino?

What the heck is a San Marino? That's a country?!? I've never heard of it before. It sounds like an island, so I start clicking like mad off the coasts of Italy and Spain, all to no avail. WTF? How can there be a country I've never heard of before? Is this new? Did they make up a country while I wasn't looking? And that's when I notice a small area within Italy that, at first glance, I ridiculously assumed was Vatican City (only to realize it's completely in the wrong place, as it's nowhere even remotely near Rome). Could it be?? Sure enough. And once I had finished filling in the map, this small country stood out like a beacon of my ignorance, mocking me...

Dave San Marino

Obsessed with all things San Marino, I head over to Wikipedia and learn a few things:

  • San Marino is not new. In fact, it's the oldest republic still in existence, having been founded in A.D. 301.
  • San Marino's official title is "The Most Serene Republic of San Marino."
  • San Marino was in a state of war with Sweden for 348 years, that only just ended in 1996. Yes, you read that right, Sweden. Never mind that there are a half-dozen countries and thousands of miles between the two, they somehow found something to fight about (apparently having to do with San Marino not signing the Westfalian peace treaty).
  • San Marino is not officially a member state of the EU, but uses the Euro as its currency (including the minting of it's own design on the national-side of Euro coins!).
  • San Marino is the third-smallest country in Europe (after Vatican City and Monaco).
  • San Marino gets 50% of it's economic production from tourism.
  • San Marino issues postage stamps that are only valid within the country and, for this reason, they are mostly designed for and sold to stamp collectors (thus providing another source of income).
  • San Marino does have a military (voluntary) which is primarily ceremonial in nature (though I'd imagine protecting the country from Swedish invasion is part of the job).
  • San Marino is a full member of both the United Nations and the World Health Organization.
  • San Marino, much to my shock, has an Olympics committee and regularly enters into the Olympic Games (from what I can tell, they have not won a medal yet, however). They also take part in the "Games of the Small Countries of Europe" (which also includes Andorra, Cyprus, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, and Monaco), an event taking place every two years.
  • San Marino has its own top-level domain on the internet: .sm

I am still reeling from the fact that I was so blissfully unaware that an entire country existed. Certainly I must have heard of it before, but perhaps I just thought it was a city or something? How many other countries are out there that I am ignorant of? I guess I'm going to have to register "World of Where" so I can find out.

Bleh. Just when you think you know everything...

Categories: News - Politics 2004Click To It: Permalink  18 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Donate

Posted on Wednesday, December 29th, 2004

Dave!For anybody wanting to do something to assist the recovery efforts in Asia just now, there are several charitable organizations who would be glad to take your money. If you were a reader of my old blog, you know that one of my favorites is "Doctors Without Borders" (or "Médecins Sans Frontières" as it is originally known). I had named them my "real-life" heroes in a Friday Five entry back in April...

Who is your favorite "real-life" hero? There are many amazing heroes throughout history, but if forced to pick just one, I'd have to say anybody who is a part of the Doctors Without Borders group. These amazing people boldly go where angels fear to tread to offer medical assistance to people who otherwise wouldn't get any. A quote from their site... "Médecins Sans Frontières (also known as Doctors Without Borders or MSF) delivers emergency aid to victims of armed conflict, epidemics, and natural and man-made disasters, and to others who lack health care due to social or geographical isolation." How amazing is that?

You can read more about the bravest people on earth and, if it's in your heart to do so, make a donation to their remarkable efforts in humanitarian aid. They are currently airlifting more than 60 tons of medical, surgical, and water-and-sanitation equipment to be sent to Sri Lanka and Indonesia, and MSF teams are on the ground in India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Thailand.

Categories: News - Politics 2004Click To It: Permalink  1 Comment: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Biggest

Posted on Thursday, December 30th, 2004

Dave!As an "end-of-year" wrap up, I thought I'd expand upon the "End of Year Quiz" I took just a few days ago...

Biggest annoyance. Other than crappy lip-syncing music acts topping the charts and an over-abundance of stupid reality shows on television, I'd have to say my deaf neighbors. The apartment complex I live in is rented almost entirely to elderly people, most of which have horrible hearing problems. Rather than getting hearing aids, they would instead prefer to scream at each other at all hours, slam every door every time, play their televisions at full-volume, and say "WHAT WAS THAT?" over and over and over again. I moved here because I wanted peace and quite, but it ends up that these people are noisier than a 24-7 party at a frat house. Annoying doesn't even begin to cover it.

Biggest disappointment. Too many things stayed the same or got worse in 2004.

Biggest encouragement. In the past year, traffic to my blog has steadily increased. This has encouraged me to keep blogging, even when I've considered dropping it. I thought that my visitor counts were amazing at the beginning of the year, but it was nothing compared to how the year would end (in fact, it even graphs as nothing!)...

Stats 2004

Biggest shock. That would be a tie between President Bush actually winning re-election and the current crisis in Asia.

Biggest jerk. Whoever is responsible for canceling Wonderfalls at Fox Television.

Biggest bitch. With Martha in prison and Dr. Laura shoved to insignificance, I'm left choosing between f#@%ing freak Judge Judy, f#@%ing insane Anne Coulter, and - oh - wait a second... no need to go further, It's Ann Coulter alright. Somebody needs to slap that stupid bitch. Hard.

Biggest bastard. There's a number of jerks, idiots, and asshats that are in contention for this spot, and - oh - wait a second... I'm pretty sure it's got to be Ann Coulter. Somebody needs to slap that stupid bastard. Hard.

Biggest idiot. I tried to ma-- oh, who am I kidding... it's Ann Coulter again. Somebody needs to slap that stupid idiot. Hard.

Biggest fun. Finally hitting my 100th Hard Rock!

Biggest discovery. I picked up the DVD set for the first season of Roswell (which aired on WB and UPN before I had WB and UPN) simply because it was cheap. $14 for 22 hours of television? Sign me up! I had heard good buzz about it, but thought it was some kind of stupid teen angst show with lame sci-fi elements tossed in. Imagine my surprise to find that it's actually a really good series.

Biggest surprise. I managed to keep this blog going for the entire year! We'll see what 2005 will bring.

Categories: Blogging 2004Click To It: Permalink  10 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

FridayQ: Hopeful

Posted on Friday, December 31st, 2004

Dave!What do you hope will be the big technology breakthrough in 2005? Getting together some kind of early warning system that works for earthquake-induced tsunamis is a much-needed breakthrough, but I'm not sure how close they are to figuring out something like that. So I guess it would be Apple finding a way to put a PowerPC G5 chip into a PowerBook laptop (preferably in such a way that the fan doesn't have to keep running all the time).

What do you hope will be the big medical breakthrough in 2005? Gee, there's too many things that kill too many people to make this an easy choice. Realistically, I guess I'd have to say help for kids with Juvenile Diabetes, since it's my understanding that they are getting pretty close to figuring that one out.

What do you hope will be the big entertainment breakthrough in 2005? Depeche Mode touring in support of their new album (which I believe they'll be starting to work on any day now).

FQ FUTURE: It's one year from now! What was your greatest accomplishment in 2005? Finding time to spend two weeks this past summer touring on my motorcycle down the Pacific Coast (it's a long shot, but a boy can dream can't he?).

Keep hope alive at the FridayQ.

Categories: Memes 2004Click To It: Permalink  2 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

New

Posted on Friday, December 31st, 2004

Dave!My annual drive over to the Seattle-side of the state for New Years celebrations was fairly uneventful because the roads were bare. This is quite a change from last year where idiots were sliding all over the pavement and cars were piling up everywhere. Even so, the mountains were cloaked in snow and fog which made for a pretty sweet view on the way up the pass...

Snowy

Snowy

Everybody have a happy (and safe) New Year.

Categories: Travel 2004Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

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