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Day Seven: Warszawa

Posted on Friday, February 1st, 2008

Dave!It's my last day in Poland!

With only five hours left before I have to leave, there's really not time to do much of anything. A train ride to Kraków would be cool, but out of the question. It makes more sense to wander back through the places from yesterday's tour so I can spend a bit more time looking around when it's not dark out.

Went back to beautiful Old Town Warsaw so I could see everything in daylight...

Old Town Warsaw

Shopped for souvenirs and got scolded by a very angry little bird...

Angry Bird

Walked to the monument for the heroes of the Warsaw Uprising...

Heroes of the Warsaw Uprising

And got a close-up look at the memorial to all the children who fought in the Warsaw Uprising...

Little Insurgent Memorial

I don't understand Polish, so I can only guess that these signs plastered everywhere are messages of support and encouragement for our beloved president...

Protest Bush!

Of course, I don't have to read Polish to know that these signs plastered everywhere are messages of support and encouragement for me...

Poland Loves Dave!

And then, just like that, my time was up. After one last drink at the Hard Rock and saying goodbye to Perry, I caught a taxi to the airport and my adventure in Warsaw was over.

Almost.

When I looked at the reader board to find the terminal/check-in desk for my flight, there wasn't a number... there was an "E". Eventually I figured out from the legend at the bottom that "E" stood for "Etiuda" but that meant nothing to me because I have no idea what an "Etiuda" is. After finding an information desk, I am told the "Etiuda" is "downstairs." When I get there, the sign for "Etidua" points to a restaurant in the corner which leaves me hopelessly confused. I see people walking outside, which is where the sign says the Domestic Terminal is located, so I decided to see if I could find somebody there to help me. I then exit the building and there, about 500 yards past the Domestic Terminal, is Etiuda Terminal.

WTF?

Why couldn't they have the sign for Etiuda Terminal pointing out the fucking door like the Domestic Terminal sign does? Hell, why don't they say that "Etiuda" is, in fact, A SEPARATE TERMINAL? Even if I had perfect Polish language skills, there would be no way for me to figure out what in the hell was going on based on the thoroughly crappy "information" signs they have at the airport. I absolutely hate that. Airports should be dead-simple to navigate... even if you don't know the local language. How hard would it be to have directional arrows painted on the floor next to the reader board so people know where to go? Or how about a simple sign under the board with a map showing the location of all the terminals? How about ANYTHING?

Oh well. After an uneventful flight, I arrive back at Köln-Bonn International... the poster child for excellent airport signage and ease of navigation. As I was making my way to the train station I looked out the window to see an incredible sunset, inadequately captured by this photo...

Cologne Sunset

A few minutes later, and I'm at the cool airport Deutsche Bahn platform for my ride back "home"...

Köln-Bonn Station

Where, of course, the totally evil Disapproving Man is waiting to pitch me some shit...

Disapproving Man

Unfortunately, the bakeries are all closed, so there will be no Spritzringe donut for me tonight.

Waaaah! I wish I could have seen more of Poland.

Maybe next time.

Categories: Travel 2008Click To It: Permalink  9 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Day Eight: Köln

Posted on Saturday, February 2nd, 2008

Dave!Oh my aching head.

Today I met up with my friends from Essen, who came down to visit with me and check out the Kölner Karneval (Cologne Carnival) festivities. Unfortunately, I am leaving tomorrow and won't get to see the big carnival climax with Rosenmontagzügen (Rose-Monday Parade), but there was still plenty going on.

After days of rain and overcast gloom, the party gods decided to smile upon Köln with blue skies, which was nice...

Cologne Cathedral

In preparation for the ensuing craziness of the carnival, businesses are boarding up their storefronts, which is not so nice...

Boarding-Up The Store

When I met my friends at the train station at 11:00am, their first order of business was getting a beer. Fortunately this was not a problem, because there are beer stands every ten feet. Stores that you wouldn't normally associate with selling beer have signs plastered all over their windows advertising it. I didn't check, but would not be surprised to find the LEGO store selling beer. Of course, since this is Köln, the drink of choice is Kölsch, which is a beer unique to the region (and which can only legally be named "Kölsch" if it's brewed here)...

Kölsch!

This is where the trouble started, and it was not because I was attacked by a group of transgender Viking warriors...

Transgender Viking Brigade

I made it very clear to my friends that I would not be getting drunk because I absolutely did not want to take an international flight with a hangover in the morning. My good "friend" Denis told me that I would not get drunk if I were to eat something with every beer I drank, then handed me a Kölsch. "This is good German beer! You will be fine!" he says.

And it was a good theory... at first.

I had Kölsch & a Spritzringe donut. Kölsch & a slice of corn pizza (don't ask). Kölsch & an ice cream cone. Kölsche & potatoes with mayo... WHICH, by the way, is about the most awesome food invention since chocolate pudding...

Mayo Potatoes
Yes, that's my room number written on my hand in case I forget!

But once you drink five Kölscheses, it doesn't matter how much food you've eaten... you're probably going to get drunk. After you've had six, it's guaranteed. Which is why I had seven. And so here I am, drunk at only 8:00pm, praying that I can sleep this off and not be miserable on the flight tomorrow...

Dave Scarf

Dave Scarf

You know I must be drunk, because I'm wearing a clown scarf. Except it's not really a clown scarf but instead the official scarf of the Kölner Karneval which Emma assures me looks totally hot. Though I don't think anybody noticed my new-found hotness, because the crowds were insanely huge...

Köln Street Party

Anyway, Denis tells me that I wouldn't be having this drunkenness problem if I were to stop with my vegetarian nonsense and would have eaten something from the Giant Flaming Wheel of Meat, because that's what he did and he's totally not drunk...

Giant Flaming Wheel of Meat

The very idea of it makes me want to puke, which is probably just what I need right now. And I never thought I'd be saying that about a Giant Flaming Wheel of Meat.

Thus ends my final day in Europe... and what a way to go. It's not every day you see a man in a purple mini skirt and pink bunny ears puking into a trash can while a woman dressed like a cat blows a big plastic horn at his head. Of course, I've never been to Mr. Fab's house, so I could be wrong about that.

Thanks to everybody for tagging along on my trip. Tomorrow we return to our regularly-scheduled blogging...

Categories: Food 2008, Travel 2008Click To It: Permalink  26 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Bullet Sunday 67

Posted on Sunday, February 3rd, 2008

Dave!Gee... what to do with a four hour layover in New Jersey? Guess it must be time for Bullet Sunday!

• Recovery. I will admit to not feeling my best this morning after my drunken exploits yesterday. My head is fine, but my stomach feels as if it could take revenge at any moment... leaping out my throat and strangling me with my esophagus. I'm blaming the corn pizza. Or maybe the guy sitting across from me this morning at the Köln-Bonn Airport picking his nose. And not just a quick flick to remove a stray booger either... this classy bastard was really digging in there. I was increasingly concerned that he would hit brain and lobotomize himself. And when I say "concerned" I actually mean "hopeful." Talk about a stomach-turning sight.

• Approval. Disapproving Man turned out to be more popular than I am on my own blog, so I thought I'd tell the whole story. My hotel is just off a roundabout (or "rotary" to those of you reading in the US Northeast), which means the crosswalk I use several times a day is recessed. So when I cross it, I'm not crossing to a corner, but directly into a hair salon's advertising board with Disapproving Man on it...

Disapproving Man

This means I pass that evil bitch with his condescending smirk both coming (where he watches me the entire way I'm crossing the street) and going...

Disapproving Man

I wonder if the poor bastard realized he'd be abused like this when he was asked to model for professionally disheveled hair? I'm guessing no...

Disapproving Man

• MottoSchal. I am so totally wearing my scarf from the Kölner Karneval right now, and am quite the sexy bitch! Everybody is totally noticing my hotness as they walk by, and I owe it all to Emma.

• Revision. Well, they're either admiring my hotness or wondering why a grown man is wearing a clown scarf... it's hard to tell. I'm banking on the former, because the raw sexiness of my scarf-wearing self is too much for even me to take. This morning I had to finally had remove it while brushing my teeth (YES! I SLEPT IN IT!!) because I was getting myself all excited just looking at me. I think between my Kölner Karneval scarf and my Batman Chuck Taylor sneakers, I'm pretty much going to be an unstoppable man-whore with the ladies from here on out.

• Revision Revision. See, I told you I wasn't feeling well.

• Россия. As I added Warsaw to my Travel Map, I longingly looked over at Moscow and started wondering how difficult it is to get a tourist visa. Russian history absolutely fascinates me, and visiting Moscow and St. Petersburg would be a dream come true. From talking to people who have been there, the word that keeps popping up is "expensive." Apparently the hotels are among the most pricey in the world, and even a simple 5-day Russian tour can cost thousands of dollars. Still, when I go to Flickr and do a search for "Moscow" and see the stunning images that pop up (like the magnificent shot of St. Basil's Cathedral by Ferenc Koltai below), I really, really want to go. Guess I better start saving my pennies rubles...

St. Basil's Cathedral

• Beastly. Just for fun, I sometimes go to my blog stats and click on a few of the sites linking to me so I can see what's happening there. The first one I clicked to was a blog called "Bête de Jour" which caught my attention because I knew that "bête" is French for "beast." Once I got there I saw that the author links to me in their blogroll, titled "People who blog better than me." My first reaction was to think "that's probably true"... not because my ego is so huge (though evidence dictates otherwise)... but because so many of the random blogs I come across are total crap.

Then I started reading it. And could not stop.

By the time I got to the entry entitled "Air Rage," I realized that the very idea of me blogging better than this guy is positively laughable. I'm simply not this clever or smart. La Bête just started writing in December, so click here to read from the beginning and then click on the "Newer Post" links hidden at the bottom of each entry to keep going. You're welcome!

And that's a wrap! I'd add more bullets, but some lovely ladies across the airport are admiring my scarf, so I think it's only fair that I go share a taste of Dave with them.

Or find out that they're making fun of me so I can go to the bathroom and cry. One of those two things.

Categories: Bullet Sunday 2008Click To It: Permalink  12 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Primary

Posted on Monday, February 4th, 2008

Dave!Tomorrow is "Super Tuesday," which is a bloated orgy of political debauchery that paints much of the candidacy landscape in our presidential election years. Nearly half the nation's states will be deciding who they will support at the national convention on this single day. Personally, I loathe the way that Super Tuesday works, because it pretty much ensures that only candidates with massive financial backing can compete... you simply cannot campaign in so many simultaneous states effectively unless you've got money. Lots of money. This basically means that wealthy individuals and cash-heavy companies are deciding what's best for this country, which hasn't been working out that great for us. Wealth and power only seem to ever be interested in obtaining more wealth and power... regardless of what that means for everybody else.

When it comes to the presidency, I've long since given up electing some dream candidate who is going to solve all our problems and fix all the things that have gone terribly wrong with the country.

At this point, I'm just looking for the candidate that's going to do the least amount of damage.

While I'm sure this speaks volumes for my political mindset, I don't think it's an irrational approach given where we're at right now. Just give me a president who isn't going to fuck up our shit worse than it's already been fucked up, and I'll be happy. If they can fix some things along the way, that'd be great.

Ultimately, I'm non-partisan and don't care about a candidates political affiliation (other than realizing that they are tied to their party, and much of their political career will be spent sucking at that life-giving teat). I also don't care about a candidate's race, religion, sex, or preference for pizza toppings. We need somebody willing and able to put their personal issues aside, realize that The United States of America is comprised mostly of people who are different than they are, and govern accordingly. I do care about finding a president who isn't a xenophobic asshole, and realizes that the US is not the entire world. This kind of antiquated thinking is fatal in a time where our standing in the global community is critical to our well-being. Our planet is a much smaller place than it used to be and is shrinking further every day. As a species, humanity needs to come together to ensure our survival... not just in America, but across the globe.

With all that in mind, I figured it's high-time I decide on a presidential candidate. Since the things that are important to me are so diverse, this is a difficult task. Candidates whom I agree with on one issue might be somebody I disagree with vehemently on another. No one person or party is perfectly aligned with my concerns, so it becomes a game of weighing the candidates against what I'm looking for and then positioning them against each other as a whole. To make this easier, I ended up creating a "Don't Fuck It Up!" matrix to help me decide who is the least likely to doom us all...

Blogography Presidential Candidate Matrix

Hmmm... I guess the three times I've read Barack Obama's book The Audacity of Hope had quite an effect on me. While I don't agree with his stance on everything (there are a few areas I think he's a bit deluded and oddly misguided), I do think he has the best chance of not fucking up our shit worse than it's already been fucked up. As I said, this is what I'm looking for most in a candidate, so there you have it.

As for the other candidates, I'm like... whatever. I think Huckabee would be paramount to armageddon, and would rather have four more years of disaster with President Bush than to let him be in the White House for even 15 minutes. I've said repeatedly that I would never vote for MIA-POW betrayer McCain, but he'd get my vote over Huckabee (and only Huckabee) if that were a contest. Clinton has some good ideas (and some inexplicably bad ones), but I find her entirely too polarizing to believe she'd make an effective president. I'm not Hillary's biggest fan, but I would be able to put that aside and work with her for the betterment of the country. The same cannot be said for others, because people who hate her really, really hate her. Mitt Romney's high "Dont' Fuck It Up" score is surprising, because some of the things he supports are borderline reprehensible to me. But the more I look into how Mitt has handled past problems, the more convinced I am that he wouldn't make a half-bad president and would try his best to represent all of its citizens fairly. Ron Paul has some interesting ideas on foreign policy, but so much of what he advocates domestically is just so bat-ass-crazy-radical that he'd never get the support to do even half of what he's promising. Heaven only knows we need radical change, but I honestly don't think Paul realizes what it takes to do the things he wants to do, and that is what scares me.

But that's just me. Everybody should go make their own matrix and find which candidate is least likely to fuck up our shit for them. If what you come up with is different than what I've got, then you've found who should get your vote. That's what makes this place America.

Categories: News - Politics 2008Click To It: Permalink  42 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Broked

Posted on Tuesday, February 5th, 2008

Dave!Something is broked and I can't get today's entry to post. Comments still work just fine, so I have no idea what's going on. Looks like I get to hand-code stuff today, and have a new project for tomorrow morning. Goody.

Blog Broked

This Tuesday has not been so super for me.

Categories: Blogging 2008Click To It: Permalink  15 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Relate

Posted on Wednesday, February 6th, 2008

Dave!Well then... thanks to some help from people far smarter than me, Blogography appears to be up-and-running again. Here's hoping it stays that way for a little while.

Yesterday I was handed a movie meme and, since I had nothing better to blog about, I decided to fill it out. But after a few questions I realized it was just a variation on a half-dozen movie memes I had already done before, so I decided to toss it out and write about unclogging my shower drain instead.

But then, just as I was getting ready to take a photo of the bottle of Liquid Plumr that had saved my day, I noticed one of the movie questions was different. It asked: "Name three characters from the movies you can personally relate to and why." Interesting! That's pretty much an entry all by itself, so I'll blog about my shower drain another day.

And now, three people from the movies I personally relate to and why...


"Mark" from Love Actually (played by Andrew Licoln).

Love Actually is one of those films you either fall in love with immediately... or you despise because it is so contrived, manipulative, and filled with one-dimensional characters. On first viewing, I was firmly in the latter camp. I was disappointed that Richard Curtis would slap together a bunch of short bits from stories we've seen a hundred times before (including his own Notting Hill) and call it a film. The result is a patchwork of fantastic actors doing their best to add depth to characters that are so ill-defined that it's almost impossible to care about them.

But then it grows on you. You see it at the rental store and remember it had some funny bits so you watch it again. And again during the holidays because it's a Christmas film. And again because it happens to be on HBO. And soon you're watching it for no reason at all, when suddenly it dawns on you... the characters don't have to be three-dimensional, because the characters are you. Or your family & friends. Or people you know. You don't need the details of their lives to become invested in them, because you already know them.

This revelation dawned on me as I came upon the scene where Juliet has just discovered that her new husband's best friend is secretly in love with her. Mark is all at once overcome with the heartache, longing, shame, and the crushing disappointment of being in love with somebody he can never have...

Love Actually

Yeah. Definitely been there, done that, and can totally relate. Watching Andrew Licoln's brilliant, wordless interpretation of his character's agony is eerie, because it's as if he reached into my own experience and is expressing it on screen for everybody to see. Unfortunately, the director didn't allow his performance to stand on its own, and felt the need to blast music (Dido's lovely Here With Me) over the top... trying once again to manipulate the viewer unnecessarily... but it's still a scene that strikes me at my core every time I see it.


"Bob and Charlotte" from Lost in Translation (played by Bill Murray & Scarlett Johansson).

There are very few moments in Sophia Coppola's masterwork Lost in Translation which don't resonate with me. She managed to capture with almost supernatural accuracy exactly what it's like to be a foreigner in Japan... Being surrounded by millions of people yet feeling completely alone... The bizarre yet captivating world of Tokyo at night... Seeing your fellow foreigners over and over again because you're all stuck in the same loop... Not being able to sleep... Trying your best to fit into a culture which you will never, ever be able to fit into... The language barrier facing you at every turn... Feeling like an alien because you're so tall and freaky-looking compared to everybody else... It's all here. When I first saw Lost in Translation, I related so closely to Bob and Charlotte that I felt as if the film was speaking just to me. Like it was made just for me. Numerous subsequent viewings haven't changed my mind...

Lost In Translation

Scene after scene I find myself mentally going "that was me!" and the memories of my trips to Japan come flooding back. It's not often that a film so totally enters my psyche and consumes me, but this would definitely be one of them. Many people I know didn't care for this movie at all, and something in the back of my head is always wondering if the only reason I love it so much is because I relate to it so well.

And now, because I feel it's a public service to mention it, the Lost In Translation soundtrack is sublime, and available on iTunes. Each track is an atmospheric piece of magic that haunts you long after the last track has played. Of course, the song that everybody wants from the movie, Fuck the Pain Away by Peaches, is not on the soundtrack, but is also available on iTunes if you're looking for it.


"Joe" from Idiocracy (played by Luke Wilson).

Yeah, like a movie about a guy trapped in a world filled with morons is really that much of a stretch from my life of being trapped in a world filled with morons (present company excepted, of course). While not up to the impossibly high standards set by Mike Judge with his first film, Office Space, the not-so-implausible future depicted in Idiocracy is still brilliantly realized...

Idiocracy

Everything run by dumbass politicians... Corporations taking over the country... Starbucks expanding into the sex trade... Tell me that this is anything but an accurate portrayal of the world of tomorrow! So yeah, seriously I can totally relate.

Brawndo. It's Got Electrolytes. It's What Plants Crave!

Categories: Memes 2006, Movies 2008Click To It: Permalink  23 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Broil

Posted on Thursday, February 7th, 2008

Dave!Rumor has it (from ex Disney-CEO Michael Eisner, no less) that the Hollywood writer's strike is all but over, and this Saturday will pretty much seal the deal once the writers themselves sign on.

I sure hope this is true, because I miss my television.

As I sit here typing this, the first episode of Survivor Season 16 has just ended (the only non-Bravo reality show I watch), and I am caught in the 9:00 void until Eli Stone starts at 10:00. And before everybody starts screaming "OH MY GAWD... YOU DON'T WATCH LOST?!?" The answer is no, I do not watch Lost. After a brilliant first season the show degenerated into total shit, where the writer's idea of being clever is to just keep piling on more "mysterious" crap while resolving nothing. Every time somebody tells me "But it's so much better now!" - I tune in and find out it's just more of the same... introduce even more new mysterious characters, pile on even more mysterious mysteries, and leave me even more mysteriously mystified at just how the fuck this show continues to be popular. Maybe once the whole thing is over and people tell me that the writers did, in fact, manage to wrap everything up in a satisfactory manner... I'll revisit the show on DVD or something. In the meanwhile, I'd rather watch reruns of Hannah Montanna.

In other entertainment news...

Today I got a brilliant email because of an entry where I posted this cartoon:

Flame Broiled Burger King
With a twist of my ring, I flame-broil the Burger King!

The email was not from a concerned parent about the excessive violence depicted at my flame-broiling Burger King (which is what usually happens)... it was from a fan of the restaurant chain who didn't like that I would publicize a bad experience I had there. "Millions of people enjoy eating at Burger King and it would be a shame if your complaining were to keep people from trying it for themselves."

So there you have it. Don't take my word for it... go to your local Burger King for breakfast and see for yourself just how bad it sucks!

Though, I have to add a disclaimer here: My problem with BK is only with their shitty breakfasts. I am compelled to give them credit for having the sack to put a veggie burger on their menu, which I actually quite enjoy. Until McDonalds sees fit to roll out their awesome McVeggie Deluxe burger nation-wide, the BK Veggie is about the only burger I can find most anywhere in the US that I can actually eat.

Sigh. I should have wrote more. There's still forty-five minutes until Eli Stone is on...

   

Rehab

Posted on Friday, February 8th, 2008

Dave!I've started referring to the TiVo remote control as the "BeBoop BeBoop Thingy" which is disturbing on entirely too many levels. Once I start calling my car the "Vroom Vroom Machine," it's probably time to enroll in kindergarten.

Which would probably be a lot more fun than how I spend my time now. It's hard to beat a day of coloring, playing games, taking naps, and acting like an idiot (which is why a career in politics sounds so appealing to me).

Speaking of acting like an idiot, apparently Pat O'Brien has gone back into rehab. Normally I don't like speaking ill of people who are trying to get their lives together, but when it's a total douchebag pervert (NSFW link) like Pat O'Brien who makes his living dishing on other people going back into rehab, it's easy to make an exception...

Pat O'brien

Please Pat, take all the time you need. The longer you spend in rehab, the less risk I have of accidentally seeing your whiny bitch ass while channel surfing. Though, I must admit, your predilection for booze, cocaine, whores, and freaky sex, is far more interesting than your "work" on any of those Hollywood "news" shows. Getting sober is probably paramount towards killing your career.

At least one would hope.

Nobody is going to forget how you were such an asshole to the sweet hotness that is your former co-host Nancy O'Dell...

Nancy O'Dell

Hey! There's a new episode of Psych on tonight! I love that show!

Categories: Television 2008Click To It: Permalink  16 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Cupcake

Posted on Saturday, February 9th, 2008

Dave!DirecTV sent me a notice that my television channel package price was going to increase. Again.

The bastards.

It seems like they raise their prices every year. Or more. Tired of paying such a huge amount of money every month for something I find less and less entertaining, I was trying to figure out how I could switch to a smaller package and yet still get those few channels I really want.

But it's all terribly confusing, because the package I have now doesn't exist anymore, and I don't know how it compares to what they currently offer. And then there's my local channels which were not included in my old package, but seems to be included with the new packages? And my TiVo charge, which is for a device that's no longer really supported now that DirecTV has their own much shittier DVR service.

I have no frickin' clue how to make sense of DirecTV, and am pretty sure they do that intentionally.

Not knowing what else to do, I decided to cancel HBO so I could save money.

I made the cancellation online while, ironically, I was watching HBO. Much to my surprise, the television went to a black screen almost immediately after I had made the change. DirecTV doesn't mess around.

The bastards.

Here in Washington State, it's time for our presidential caucuses. I voted by mail a week ago, but it's only today that the results are starting to come in. Right now, it looks like Obama is going to take the Democratic slot easily, winning over twice the votes Hillary got.

But it's the Cupcake Caucus at Cupcake Royale that interests me most...

Caucus Cupcakes

Though MY vote would go to my beloved Kate, the best cupcake ever...

Cupcake Royale Kate

Oh great. Now I want a Kate but I can't have one because Cupcake Royale is closed.

And it's not like I can go get one even if they were open, because the mountain passes are also closed.

And I don't have the money for a plane ticket to Seattle because DirecTV is taking it all.

The bastards.

   

Bullet Sunday 68

Posted on Sunday, February 10th, 2008

Dave!Can you believe it was only a week ago that I was Bullet Sunday-ing with a hangover I got the previous night in Germany? I can't. Time seems to be getting away from me. Or my brain has been destroyed by alcohol.

• Licorice. I haven't eaten much licorice since Jenny unintentionally destroyed my taste for it by exposing me to the atrocity known as "Dutch Double Salt Licorice" while we were watching Pirates of the Caribbean 2. I had commented at the time that the Dutch are ingenious for managing to come up with something that tastes saltier than actual salt. Sometimes in the middle of the night I still wake up screaming because I have flashbacks to the agonizing burning of licorice gone terribly wrong. A year later, and I now learn that a friend of mine has a business importing Australian licorice to Europe. Once I get to his booth at the Germany candy show, he fills a bag full of samples and hands me a lifetime supply of licorice treats.

Which I have almost entirely devoured in just a week's time. This stuff is so fantastically delicious that the only word which comes to mind in describing it is "orgasmic"...

Black Opal Licorice

The licorice is yummy soft, but magically doesn't moosh together into a big sticky clump in the bag. The taste is bold, but tempered with just enough sweetness to keep it from being bitter. I am so addicted to the stuff that I may have to start smoking crack in order to wean myself off of it. While it's made in Australia, Black Opal is actually an American company, so I'm hoping I can buy it locally. If not, I see that Licorice International is importing it, so my dream of banishing the memory of Dutch Double Salt Licorice may finally become a reality.

• Microhoo. My opinion? Microsoft + Yahoo! ≠ Google. Save your money.

• Struck. Unless something totally unexpected happens, the Hollywood writer's strike should be over on Tuesday. Good deal? Yes. Great deal? Not really. I maintain that the writers deserve much more than they got, but that's negotiations for you. Of course, I'd be a lot happier for the writers if they hadn't made side-deals which allowed some writers to return to work while everybody else was on the picket line. Oh well... hopefully new television will be coming back soon, and that's what's really important.

• Paula. Yesterday as I was looking for a paperclip that had skittered under the refrigerator, my iPhone rings...

DAVE: "Hello?"
ROBERT: "DUDE! DID YOU RECORD THE SUPERBOWL?!?"
DAVE: "Errr... no."
ROBERT: "Aw, man! Super Deluxe Girlfriend erased mine."
DAVE: "Well, if it helps any, I hear that the Giants won."
ROBERT: "I don't care about the game, I wanted the half-time show."
DAVE: "Ah. Who was it this year?"
ROBERT: "Paula Abdul."
DAVE: "Uhhh... seriously?"
ROBERT: "Yeah, I like that song she did there."
DAVE: "Well, it would be pretty stupid to put a song out for the Superbowl and not release it. Have you checked with iTunes?"
ROBERT: "No."

At which point he hung up on me. But he called back five minutes later...

DAVE: "Hey, did they have it?"
ROBERT: "Yeah," he says dejectedly, followed by dead silence.
DAVE: "Is something wrong?"
ROBERT: "Without the crowd screaming and all the dancing to distract you, the song's not that good. Paula sounds like a robot singing into a bucket."
DAVE: "Oh. Sorry about that."
ROBERT: "That's okay. It's not your fault you ruined my life.

It would be nice to have a normal conversation with Bad Robert just once.

• Aid. One of the sheer joys left in flying (once you ignore the cramped seats, late departures, lost luggage, and your idiotic fellow passengers) is the SkyMall catalog you get on every flight. I have never purchased anything from it, but boy do I love to look. Half of the stuff is genius, half of it is crap, but all of it is interesting. My favorite item this time around is the "Stealth Secret Sound Amplifier"...

"If a conventional hearing aid sounds like an embarrassment to you, try the Stealth Secret Sound Amplifier. It looks just like a cell phone ear adapter and works as a sound enhancer so you can join conversations and even hear soft voices from 50 feet away. Now you can enjoy the best of both worlds: a more youthful appearance and better hearing."

Hey! It's working! You totally look more youthful...

Stealth Hearing Aid

No. No, I lie. You so totally look like a dick...

Bluetooth Dick

Bah! It's 7:00 and I really should take a minute to eat something. A Black Bean Chipotle Burger is calling me...

   

Enlargement

Posted on Monday, February 11th, 2008

Dave!When a fellow employee sees you coming out of the bathroom with a camera and a ruler, how exactly do you explain it?

I only ask, because my initial declaration of "this is not what it looks like" seemed wholly inadequate given the situation. In fact, I think it pretty much confirmed in their mind that it was exactly what it looked like. Even worse, I don't think that I managed to convince myself it wasn't what it looked like.

The truth, of course, was far less exciting than anything the imagination could dream up. I was photographing some machine parts... needed a ruler in the shot to show scale... and sliced my thumb open with a piece of cardboard I was using to block sunlight. I just wanted to wash the dirt out of my cut so I wouldn't get an infection. Since the bathroom was on my way back to my office, I just took the ruler and camera with me. Simple.

Except now everybody around the office is probably thinking that I'm measuring my progress with some penis enlargement pills I bought on the internet...

Dave Measure

And in other news of the day...

Dave Fuck

Guess who got YET ANOTHER JURY SUMMONS in the mail?

Here's a clue...

Dave Me

Yes, that's right! ME!

Last time I was on a trial, it was a colossal waste of time. Everybody on the jury knew the defendant had probably committed the crime, but there was no way we could find the guy guilty. How can you prosecute somebody for drunk driving when there was no breathalyzer test and the officer who pulled him over let him drive home after he was stopped? Oh... and the evidence in the case? The officer said the driver made an "oh shit face" as he rounded the corner and saw his police car sitting there. Yes, THAT'S what was worth wasting an entire day of my time. I was so pissed that this lame shit was ever brought to trial that I very nearly choked the prosecutor to death with my bare hands.

But what's even worse than serving on a trial is wasting two weeks calling in to see if they even need you for a trial.

As I said just two years ago, I don't even have time to take two weeks of vacation each year... yet I'm expected to block out this time for jury duty?

And yet there are people I know who haven't been summoned in over ten years.

Somehow, me and my giant penis are just that fucking lucky.

Categories: DaveLife 2008Click To It: Permalink  37 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Knawlege

Posted on Tuesday, February 12th, 2008

Dave!For a brief period of time that felt like centuries but was actually less that two weeks, I "dated" whom I like to call the "Do You Know" girl. And when I say "dated" I actually mean "followed her around while going bankrupt buying her stuff in the hopes that she might one day sleep with me." It was a very one-sided relationship, but I didn't care and clung to the hope that she would do whatever it took to keep the gravy train rolling before I ran out of money. After that, the money wouldn't matter, because she would fall hopelessly in love with me and we'd be blissfully happy together for the rest of our lives.

I don't think that I'm spoiling anything by revealing that things did not go according to plan.

Not only did I not get to sleep with her but, with the exception of a couple breezy kisses, the only physical contact I ever had was when she grabbed my ass in the shoe department of Lamonts. At the time, I was convinced true love was imminent. In retrospect, I'm guessing she was just trying to take my wallet.

Anyway... while I was biding my time for a glorious event that would never occur, I had to endure her one fatal flaw... a constant barrage of "Do You Know" questions that were not really questions, but instead thinly-veiled condescending attacks...

  • After asking her if she'd like half of my Twix candy bar... "Do you know how many calories are in that?"
  • After asking if she wanted to catch a movie that night... "Do you know how tired I am after work?"
  • After telling her I was ordering some books... "Do you know you can read those for free at the library?"
  • After coming back to the dinner table after going to the bathroom... "Do you know how many people don't wash their hands after using the toilet?"
  • After showing her my new sunglasses... "Do you know how ridiculous you look in those?"
  • And so on...

It drove me frickin' insane but, as I said, my eye was on the bigger picture.

Ten years later, and I'm on the phone with technical support for almost an hour trying to solve a major problem with my faithful 5-year-old laser printer. Once we've gone through all the usual crap that I had already tried a dozen times before I called, the support guy is at the end of his rope and finally gives up...

"Do you know printers like this should be replaced every three years?"

To which I immediately reply...

"Well, okay, but the sex had better be incredible."

This caused a bit of confusion, so I decided to clear things up...

"Ha, ha... just kidding. Looks like I'm the one who's going to get fucked today."

Do I have to be such a total smart-ass all the time?

Categories: DaveLife 2008Click To It: Permalink  32 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Wings

Posted on Wednesday, February 13th, 2008

Dave!Today as I was leaving work, a woman was standing outside with her daughter as a train passed by with aircraft fuselages strapped to the cars. "What is that?" the little girl asked wide-eyed. "Those are planes" the mother replied. "That's silly. Where are their wings?" the girl said, stomping her tiny foot on the sidewalk.

The first thing that went through my mind was how totally cool it would be if they did leave the wings on when they transported airplanes on trains. The massive amount of damage that would ensue as they cut a swath of death and destruction on their journey would be a crazy-awesome sight to behold.

But then I felt sad because, just like the girl observed, a plane with no wings that can't fly isn't really a plane at all.

Until I realized that the fuselages were on their way over to Seattle, where Boeing would get them all fixed up with wings, landing gear, tiny toilets, a cool paint job, and uncomfortable seats packed too closely together. Then I was happy again.

Well, happy for the planes... not the people who have to sit in those uncomfortable seats...

Tiny Seats

This weekend I am going to Seattle too.

Alas, it's not to get my wings. I've decided it might be nice to stay grounded for a little while.

   

Lovin’

Posted on Thursday, February 14th, 2008

Dave!Today I had to drive into the neighboring "big city" of Wenatchee to run some errands. This immediately put me into a sour mood because the traffic in Wenatchee is notoriously bad. And, unlike a REAL big city, nobody seems to know how to drive in it. By the time I finally got back to work, my brain felt like it was melting from the stress. Until I opened my email.

I'm not really a big fan of VD, but it was nice to get a bunch of Valentine e-cards today. Something tells me I should return the favor, but I'm just too tired. Though I kind of like my Valentine Card to my readers from three years ago, so maybe that'll work...

Dave VD Greetings

Who doesn't totally love Hello Kitty?

In addition to being Valentine's Day, it's also Self Love Day... a holiday that Hilly-Sue came up with that's taken the blogosphere by storm (click here to read about it on her blog). I was going to participate, but Bad Monkey grossly misinterpreted the rules, so that kind of spoiled it for me...

Monkey Self Love

And, on that note, it's time for me to go pack a suitcase...

Categories: DaveLife 2008Click To It: Permalink  22 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Bombed

Posted on Friday, February 15th, 2008

Dave!

Jäger Bomber Recipe

Categories: DaveToons 2008Click To It: Permalink  20 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Wiimbledon

Posted on Saturday, February 16th, 2008

Dave!One of the great things about Jägermeister is that it doesn't seem to give me much of a hangover. One of the bad things about dropping a shot-glass-full of it into Red Bull to create a Jäger Bomb is that Red Bull keeps you awake. And when you have too many Jäger Bombs (as I most certainly did) getting any kind of sleep is not easy. This is a good thing when you want to keep the party going... but not so good when you are trying to get some rest.

Which meant that I spent most of the day in a zombie-like state from total lack of sleep.

Which meant that playing Wii all morning was probably not a good idea.

This was confirmed when I threw my shoulder out while playing Wii Sports Tennis.

Stupid video game...

Emily Mortimer

Fortunately I had some pain pills to fix that right up.

Which was nice, because I was invited to dinner by Spirit of St. Lewis. This allowed me to add another "blogger I've met" to my sidebar, because My 2 Cents was there as well. Later on we were lucky enough to run into fellow blogger Kristin Wood Knits (though we may have to strip her of her blogger cred since she hasn't written there since September!).

Big fun was had by all, so many thanks to Lewis, Blair, Chris, Bryan, and Kristin for letting me tag along!

Now it must be time to catch up on some of that sleep, because I am having a hard time keeping my eyes open here...

Categories: DaveLife 2008Click To It: Permalink  18 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Lazy

Posted on Sunday, February 17th, 2008

Dave!Why should I mess up an entire day of doing nothing by blogging?

Sometimes, lazy is good.


Couchpotato

   

Bullet Sunday 69

Posted on Monday, February 18th, 2008

Dave!Yeah, yeah, yeah... I know it's actually Monday... but it's a holiday Monday, which means it's almost like a Sunday. Kind of.

• Hoff... Managed to watch the new Knight Rider made-for-TV-movie last night. As one of my favorite shows from the 80's, I was both nervous and excited to see how they were going to handle the material. What they got right was not starting over from scratch, but instead making this show a continuation of the original series. I also enjoyed the cast, the cameo by David Hasselhoff, the new and improved abilities of K.I.T.T., and the overall storyline. What they got wrong... very, very, very wrong... was the voice of the car. The original K.I.T.T. (masterfully voiced by William Daniels) was a sarcastic bastard, who let his self-perceived superiority complex drip off of every word. Val Kilmer as the new K.I.T.T. just sounded bored. In all fairness, this might not be his fault... the guy is a talented actor who is probably just reading his lines as directed... but it really killed the show for me. Why the fuck didn't they just bring back Daniels? Oh well. The entire show was just a giant Ford commercial with Ford commercials inside the Ford commercials... so maybe product placement and ad revenue was what the showrunners really cared about...

New K.I.T.T.

• XP... I've run across more than a couple grassroots movements attempting to save Windows XP from being dropped by Microsoft. Given how badly XP's successor, Windows Vista, COMPLETELY AND TOTALLY SUCKS ASS... I am 100% behind this effort. XP may not be pretty, but at least it actually works for those times I need a Windows machine. Here's hoping that Microsoft bothers to listen.

• Heaven... While my friend Perry and I were mucking about in Poland a couple weeks ago, we took a taxi driven by an 80-year-old driver who didn't speak much English. As he was barreling down the streets of Warsaw, a song came blasting on the radio that sounded familiar, but neither Perry or I could place it. Thinking I could look it up later, I jotted down some of the lyrics in my iPhone and promptly forgot about it. Eventually I happened upon my notes and Googled to discover that the song was "(Feels Like) Heaven" by Fiction Factory. Not finding anything on the iTunes Music Store (FOR SHAME!) I downloaded some tracks off BitTorrent and liked what I heard. This led me to order their CD, Throw The Warped Wheel Out, which finally arrived today. Oh how I love rediscovering great 80's music from my past! Just when I think there's no more to be found, something like this happens...

Fiction Factory

• Terminated. Despite myself, I am completely addicted to "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles." The quality of the show on almost every level has been surpassing my expectations more and more with each new episode. The abject despair of the future-humans under domination of SkyNet is almost painful to watch... just as it should be. The clever dance the writers are weaving around the continuity of the first two films is really impressive, and I can't wait to see where they take the story next...

Sarah Connor

• Chicken... Today on the drive back home over the mountains, I stopped off for tacos and did my usual bit of requesting that the beef be replaced with rice. This caused the guy taking my order to ask if this was because I was concerned about the massive meat recall out of California. When I told him no, that I make the substitution because I am a vegetarian, he said that he was thinking of becoming a vegetarian too. The only problem was that he thought he'd get tired of eating chicken all the time. I was going to ask him exactly what kind of vegetable a chicken was, but ultimately decided against it. Maybe he'll get it all figured out when we get an outbreak of Mad Chicken Disease.

And there's my Bullet Sunday on Monday. I hope my brain can shut down tonight so I can get some real sleep. I'm entirely too tired of being tired to keep going without it.

   

Banana

Posted on Tuesday, February 19th, 2008

Dave!

Banana

   

   

Categories: DaveToons 2008Click To It: Permalink  42 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Laundry

Posted on Wednesday, February 20th, 2008

Dave!Weird. Neighborhood dogs are barking at the eclipse and won't stop.

Can't say that I blame them. The lunar eclipse is approaching its zenith, and is starting to reveal the moon as this giant blood-red disc. It's breathtakingly beautiful, and I have a clear-skies view of it all.

Unfortunately, I don't have a camera even remotely capable of capturing the amazing sight out my window. All I get is a fuzzy smear that changes color every time I shoot the moon...

Eclipsed

Anyway...

There's a "meme" of sorts blowing through the blogosphere, where people are making a list of stuff that's irritating the shit out of them. I debated whether or not to participate, but then came the morons at Citibank, with a phone call that went something like this...

CITIBANK: In order to assist you, I'll need your Social Security Number.
   
DAVE: Ummm... I'm calling about a credit card you sent me that I didn't request. I'm not going to give out personal information until you tell me why it was sent.
   
CITIBANK: Then I can't help you.
   
DAVE: Then please connect me to a supervisor.
   
CITIBANK: I cannot connect you to a supervisor until you give me your Social Security Number.
   
DAVE: Are you KIDDING me? I'm not giving you my Social Security Number! How do I know that you're actually Citibank?
   
CITIBANK: YOU called US from a number on the back of the card! Who else would we be?
   
DAVE: No. I called a number from the back of a card that I didn't request that could easily be a forgery in some elaborate attempt at identity theft.
   
CITIBANK: I am NOT able to help you until you give me your Social Security Number!
   
DAVE: Then you WILL put me through to a supervisor... and don't tell me you won't do it without my Social Security Number, because this is a serious situation and I am not taking "no" for an answer. This is a card that YOU sent me that I DID NOT REQUEST!! Don't make this be MY problem.
   
CITIBANK: I'm putting you through to security.

Then I had to go through the shit all over again, until the security guy finally told me that the account had been cancelled. But I'm still enraged that Citibank is so fucking stupid to treat people like this when identity theft is running rampant now-a-days. You would think that they would take something like this very seriously, and be more realistic about the information they require to handle something so critical. If somebody tells you that you've sent a credit card they never requested, you don't need a Social Security Number to investigate the situation. Dumbasses. Citibank's horrendously idiotic policy has me so floored that I am still deciding whether or not to take this up with VISA International.

And now, while I'm at it, here's some blog-related crap that I'm going to get off of my chest. Of course, none of this is about YOU, so don't worry about it. Unless, of course, it really is you...

• Don't Assume I Don't Have Family, Friends, or Relationships...
It's strange how some people believe that just because I choose not to write about something, it doesn't exist. And no matter how many times I try to make it clear that I don't discuss these subjects, it doesn't stop people from telling me that I need a girlfriend... or need to get laid... or that I'm lonely... or whatever. The truth is that they just don't know anything about this stuff unless they know me personally. To imply otherwise is just stupid.

• Don't Be Pissed Because I Won't Tell You About My Work or Personal Life...
Some people think that even though I don't talk about certain subjects in my blog, that I'm perfectly happy to reveal absolutely anything they want to know via email. When I write back and explain that I don't talk about my work or personal life with people who are not my friends or family, they tend to get upset. Apparently, these people feel that if they read Blogography every day, this entitles them access to all aspects of my life... no matter how private. Well, I have news for them, it doesn't.

• Don't Insist I Give A Crap About Your Abusive Ass...
When people email or comment only to be an ass, they might as well not comment at all. Disagreeing with me is fine, I respect the opinions of others and feel that diversity is what makes life interesting. But being an abusive dumbass flamer troll is an annoyance that I'm not willing to deal with (other than to click the delete button).

• Don't Think That I Feel I'm Better Than You...
This is the one that really bothers me. Every once in a while, I'll get an email from somebody who thinks that the reason I blog about my travels and the cool things I get to do is because I'm bragging or something. This is just silly. I blog about the crap that's happening in my life. So if I'm traveling, that's what I'm going to write about. If I were bragging or implying that I was superior because of it, I'd start each entry with "HA HA FUCKERS! GUESS WHERE I AM AT AND YOU'RE NOT?!? SUCKS TO BE YOU, LOSER!!" Believe me, I know how lucky I am that I get to see and do the stuff I get to see and do. But I also work very hard and make a lot of sacrifices to get there, so the last thing I'm going to do is "brag" about it.

And, on that note... HA HA FUCKERS! I'm off to book my flights and hotels for next month.

Categories: Blogging 2008Click To It: Permalink  41 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Quirky

Posted on Thursday, February 21st, 2008

Dave!Today I knocked off work early so I could run into Wenatchee and buy stuff to put in my care package for AnySoldier.com (I've written about this wonderful organization here). While shopping at Target for magazines and snacks, I was reminded that when you do good things, good things come back to you.

Because, OMG... HELLO KITTY GUMMIES!!

They taste totally awesome, even though I didn't get a pink My Melody Bunny in my bag (I would have preferred Kuromi anyway), and all my blue Kitty Bows were a nasty vomit-green color. The good news though? They go great with Little Debbie Chocolate Chip Snack Cakes, and would no doubt perfectly compliment Hello Kitty Pop-Tarts...

Kitty Gummies!

Awww, isn't that sweet?!?

UPDATE: Boy was I wrong... Hello Kitty Gummies, as manufactured by Kelloggs, contains DISGUSTING GELATIN as an ingredient. Why the hell they feel the need to put such unnecessary shit in their product is a mystery to me when alternatives like citrus pectin are available. Shame! SHAME ON KELLOGGS! And shame on me for trusting them and not reading the ingredients.

A meme bopping through the internets anew is the SIX QUIRKY THINGS ABOUT YOU meme. You're supposed to post rules and tag everybody and stuff, but I never really play by the rules and loathe tagging people. So I'm just going to post my quirks and be done with it...

  1. I don't drink coffee. Given my proximity to Seattle, many people think this is the quirkiest thing about me.
  2. I hate train whistles to the point of insanity. I live in a small town that has a train running right through the middle. Since there are two road crossings, one at each end of town, there is no place in the city that you can't hear the f#@%ing train whistle every time they blow through town. I have to listen to train whistles all day at work and all night at home and it drives me nuts. Even when I am riding a train, every time the whistle blows I want to beat something with a hammer.
  3. I'll go anywhere on earth at a moment's notice if the mood strikes me. As an example, I once flew to Denmark just to attend a friend's 30th birthday party. Two full days of travel for just 9 hours in Copenhagen that I booked the day before I left. This seems perfectly natural to me, but I can see how people might think this kind of thing is "quirky" behavior.
  4. I watch The View. Well, to be more accurate, I fast-forward through The View each night. It all started when Bill O'Reilly was on while Rosie O'Donnell was still hosting and I was compelled to watch. It's been stuck on my TiVo ever since. But the reason I still watch it is because these bitches are crazy. Barbara Walters and Sheri Shepherd are particularly bat-ass insane, which has high entertainment value. Whoopi is always smart entertainment whenever she plays herself. Joy Behar represents the Liberal end of the spectrum with insightful commentary that communicates her opinions with humor and wit. Unfortunately her counterpart, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, woefully under-represents The Right by doing nothing more than regurgitating popular Conservative propaganda which she passes off as "opinion." If only they would fire her ass and hire a smart Conservative (that leaves Ann Coulter out) with actual opinions, The View might be a good forum for political debate. As it is, however, the show is just a train wreck I can't seem to give up.
  5. I am afraid of clowns. People always think that I'm joking when I say this, but it's no exaggeration... clowns positively terrify me. If I'm taken by surprise by a clown, I will freak out. It would be cool if I could tie my coulrophobia to something interesting, like a Stephen King novel, but I hated clowns from long before I learned how to read. If I had the power to eradicate Ronald McDonald from the face of the earth for the benefit of all humanity, I would do it in a heartbeat.
  6. I'm obsessed with Hello Kitty, for heavens sake. That pretty much says it all.

Eh, that's not so quirky. We'll have to save that for later.

Categories: Food 2008, Memes 2007+Click To It: Permalink  32 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Sculpey

Posted on Friday, February 22nd, 2008

Dave!Blaaaaaaaargh.

I spent all night trying to post a guest-entry over at Mr. Fab's blog, Pointless Drivel (probably Not Safe For Work... or anything else, for that matter), but nothing I tried would work.

Stupid WordPress.

Oh well. Assuming that somebody can help me get it posted tomorrow, there's big fun with Sculpey modeling clay over there...

Sculpey Lil' Dave

I've never played with Sculpey before, and was shocked at how difficult it is to make stuff out of it. Everything I tried to build just ended up looking like a big ol' mess.

Guess I'll be sticking with my computer from here on out...

UPDATE... Thanks to Shelli and her kick-ass admin privileges, my post is now up...

   

Tossed

Posted on Saturday, February 23rd, 2008

Dave!A good chunk of my day was spent sorting through boxes of junk in an attempt to toss out crap I no longer need. The problem is that I just can't find stuff I want to get rid of. Old concert T-shirts I'll never wear again... old magazines I'll never read again... even old VHS tapes that I can't even play anymore.

But the biggest offense is antiquated electronics I'll never use.

I have stuff that I barely even remember owning. Like my Atari Lynx (the very first color portable gaming system), my Apple Newton, my Atari 2600, and loads of other stuff that should have been tossed out ages ago...

Old Electronics

But I just can't bring myself to throw them away or sell them. Who knows... one day I might have this overwhelming urge to play "Mr. Do" on my ColecoVision. If I had tossed it out, then where would I be?

Hopefully I'll be able to let go of this crap eventually but, until then, I'll just have to continue to live with a closet that has no room for clothes in it.

Categories: DaveLife 2008Click To It: Permalink  25 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Bullet Sunday 70

Posted on Sunday, February 24th, 2008

Dave!It's Oscar Sunday! Which would probably be a lot more exciting for me if I actually gave a crap about the Oscars. Oh well. I got my taxes done, AND it's Steve Jobs' birthday today, so that's pretty exciting.

• Portlandia... I am working in Portland, Oregon later this week, and am staying an extra day to goof around the city. If anybody in the area wants to meet for dinner on Saturday, just let me know!

• Oscars... Of the movies I've seen in 2007, my favorites (in order) are... Juno, 300, Waitress, Hot Fuzz, Curse of the Golden Flower, Paprika, The Man From Earth, Ratatouille, The Bourne Ultimatum, Once, Music & Lyrics, and Blades of Glory. I have not yet seen Michael Clayton, Lives of Others, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Persepolis, and Hannah Montana: Best of Both Worlds, but expect they will make the list as well...

Dave & Oscar

• Boyfriend... The latest meme crawling through the blogosphere is "Who Is My TV Boyfriend?" Since I love television, I was compelled to try it...

My TV Boyfriend...

What the bloody heck? I can't STAND that whiny bitch Chuck Bartowski! I am very close to erasing Chuck off my TiVo's Season Pass list, because I am so sick of his bumbling idiocy. Why oh why couldn't I have gotten kick-ass Jack Bauer from 24 or Eli from Eli Stone? Jonny Lee Miller is ever so dreamy! Click here to find out who is YOUR ideal TV boyfriend. I couldn't find a "who is your ideal TV girlfriend, but I already know it would be the sweet hotness of Veronica Mars herself, Kristen Bell (who is now on Gossip Girl and Heroes, but will always be Veronica to me).

• Gelatinous... I was dismayed and disgusted to find out that the Hello Kitty Gummies I was raving about two days ago have yucky GELATIN in them. Gross! Shame on Kellogg's for putting that vile crap in their product when there are far better alternatives available (like citrus pectin). And shame on Sanrio for allowing Hello Kitty's reputation to suffer by licensing her to a company that would put dead animal cartilage in her gummies! This sucks ass.

• Ilusional... Found this sweet tutorial for an optical illusion which makes a black & white photo turn into a color photo (may not work in a feed-reader, you'll have to click through to see it). Just stare at the dot for 30 seconds, then mouse over the image without taking your eyes off that dot (it may help to put the mouse pointer next to the image so you can do the mouseover without having to look!). After you've seen the color photo, look away for ten seconds, then come back and look again...

Hah! It's black & white! Sweet! That's a photo I took of Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany.

• Iron... I'm mainly a "DC Comics guy" because I'm into Batman and such, but there's one super-hero at Marvel of which I'm a major fan: Iron Man. I've been following the Iron Man movie updates over at Geeks of Doom with growing interest (Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark is genius casting!), and now see that somebody has new poster art and a description of the movie trailer from WonderCon. It sounds as through director Jon Favreau has totally nailed it, and I am really looking forward to the debut on May 2nd. Given my huge disappointment in the X-Men film franchise, it will be nice to have a good comic-to-movie flick from Marvel this time...

Iron Man Movie Promo

And there's another Bullet Sunday down the tubes. Time to wash clothes so I have something to wear to work in the morning.

Where did my weekend go?

Categories: Bullet Sunday 2008Click To It: Permalink  31 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Archival

Posted on Monday, February 25th, 2008

Dave!Has the internets been painfully slow for everybody tonight... or is it just me?

This morning I stopped by the mini mart on the way to work to pick up some chocolate milk so I could face the day. As I was pulling into the parking lot, I noticed somebody I don't like at the gas pump and immediately turned around and drove off. The last thing I need is to deal with this crap first thing on a Monday morning. Unfortunately fate had other plans, and I ran across that same person later in the day. Everybody is karma's bitch from time to time.

Fortunately I managed to escape unscathed, because things stayed relatively civil. They didn't badmouth my friends and I didn't have to bitch-slap their stupid ass back into last week.

And now it's time for Current Events!

Cool Fool Drool

  • Ben Affleck & Jimmy Kimmel... funny-ass cool. I'm f#@%ing Ben Affleck!
  • Ralph Nader... crazy-ass fool. I'm saving the world! If I drop out of the media spotlight, the earth will explode.
  • Tina Fey... sexy-ass drool. People call her a bitch. Hillary IS a bitch. Bitches get stuff DONE!
  • George W. Bush... scary-ass tool. I understand the mentality of the American people! Because I spy on them.
  • Ann Rice... freaky-ass ghoul. I've found God and will never write another vampire novel. And I'm a hypocrite.

GIT archive library

But before I go, I feel compelled to share some old news that's new news to me... and may be of interest to you if you are a comic book fan.

For a couple of years now, I've been an avid collector of GIT Corp's wonderful CD/DVD-ROM archives of Marvel comic books. Each tome collects hundreds of comics in PDF format, giving collectors the ultimate affordable resource for reading books that are hard to find or too expensive to own. There's something magical about being able to read 44 years of The Fantastic Four while stuck on a long airplane ride. I've bought every volume GIT has released, and was anxiously awaiting the release of their forthcoming Thor and Daredevil DVD-ROMS.

Except that's never going to happen now because Marvel refused to renew their license with GIT.

I'm sure this is because Marvel feels they can make more money by selling access to their comics online, but I have some major problems with that...

  • Marvel's Digital Comics Online collection is woefully inadequate. GIT provided complete runs of comics. Marvel currently has only bits and pieces of runs available. This makes it hard to follow continuity and establish the history of the characters.
  • Marvel's Digital Comics Online is incomplete. GIT scanned in every single page of a comic... including the ads and letter pages. Marvel doesn't.
  • Marvel's Digital Comics Online requires an internet connection. How the heck am I supposed to read the comic archives on an airplane now? GIT released the books in standard PDFs that could be copied to your hard drive and kept or printed for future reference. Marvel's offering can only be viewed if you have internet access, and cannot be saved or printed.
  • Marvel's Digital Comics Online "reader" software sucks. Since GIT uses regular-old PDFs, reading their archives is quick and easy. Marvel's online reader is slow, buggy, and skips over dialogue balloons when you use their preferred "Smart Panels" mode.

GIT says since they no longer have a license that once the existing products are gone, they're gone. So if you have even a passing interest in Marvel Comics, this is probably your last chance to pick up these archives. I buy most of mine from Tales of Wonder, which sells them all at discount, but good bargains can also be found at Amazon.

And now, since work is over and blogging is done, I think I'll go to bed and re-read George Perez's awesome run on The Avengers from the 1970's.

Boy how I will miss GIT's comics archives. If only DC Comics would give them a license for their books...

Categories: Books, DaveLife 2008Click To It: Permalink  18 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Dongle

Posted on Tuesday, February 26th, 2008

Dave!With every fiber of my being, I LOATHE software that requires a hardware "key" (known as a "dongle") to operate.

Because I am forever losing the damn thing.

Today I had a critical project that I couldn't complete because I lost the dongle I needed for the program to work. This meant I had to rip apart my office, my car, my apartment, and everything I own in an attempt to find it. For three hours I was tearing my hair out in a feeble attempt to find a tiny piece of plastic that had no intention of revealing itself. Eventually I gave up, slightly more insane than when I started...

Dave Missing

Once I got home from work, I finally managed to find the stupid thing in one of my suitcases. It was hidden in a back-pocket where I missed it the first time I looked. I was so happy that you'd have thought I'd found the freakin' Holy Grail or something...

Dave Dongle

So now I've got my dongle back and all is well in the world.

But not really.

My web hosting service is down, AGAIN, which means that I can't tell the world about my troubles.

Stupid internets.

Could be worse though. I could have been Hillary Clinton in tonight's Democratic debate. It's as if she suddenly decided that she wanted to confirm all the negative things people say about her. And then there was Obama... rising above it all to give us his calm, cool demeanor that was so presidential I could almost feel him as our nation's leader. If anybody watching it was on the fence as to who they were voting for, they're in Obama's camp now.

Argh. Time to go play with my dongle.

   

Stool

Posted on Wednesday, February 27th, 2008

Dave!This morning when I left for work, my crazy old neighbors were outside screaming at each other again. I'm long past the point of finding their fights amusing... now I just find them embarrassing and annoying. Their arguments never gets physical (they're just too old for that kind of nonsense) but they can sure dish out the verbal abuse like nobody's business.

Except they yell so loudly that it's actually everybody's business.

At first I heard them screaming about what sounded like a screen door problem of some kind, but the topic changed as I made my way across the parking lot...

OLD WOMAN: ... and I was not put on this earth to clean up after you!
   
OLD MAN: I don't know what you're talking about! I clean up after myself!
   
OLD WOMAN: NOT WHEN YOU DON'T FLUSH THE TOILET!!
   
OLD MAN: I FLUSH THE GAWD-DAMN TOILET!!
   
OLD WOMAN: WELL, THERE'S CRAP IN THE STOOL, AND IT AIN'T MINE!!
   
OLD MAN: I FLUSH THE TOILET!!
   
OLD WOMAN: IF YOU FLUSHED THE TOILET, I WOULDN'T BE LOOKING AT YOUR CRAP IN THE STOOL!! I DON'T WANT TO SEE THAT WHEN I GO TO THE BATHROOM!!
   
OLD MAN: THEN WHY DON'T YOU FLUSH THE GAWD-DAMN TOILET AND YOU WON'T HAVE TO LOOK AT IT!!

Awwwww! Old people can be so cute sometimes!

I'm dying to know how long they've been married. If it's anything less than 50 years, I'm going to be gravely disappointed.

And speaking of crap...

Yesterday I tore my home apart looking for my dongle. In the process, I seem to have now lost my camera's battery charger. I guess this means I'll be tearing everything apart AGAIN so I can try to find it in the morning.

That aught to put me in a good mood for the day.

Categories: DaveLife 2008Click To It: Permalink  26 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Cow

Posted on Thursday, February 28th, 2008

Dave!Well today sucked.

It seems as though life just keeps getting faster and faster, there's always more and more to do, and you have less and less time to do it. Most days I don't care, but today it all wore me down to the point of wanting to give up.

It's days like this I want to trade in my life, buy a cow, and go live on a farm in the middle of nowhere...

Dave Farmer

But instead I'm flying off to Portland for the weekend.

I'm kind of happy about that.

And now, from the Not-So-Sweet Irony Department...

PCWorld has an article on Yahoo! News where Michael Barrett, chief information security officer of PayPal, is telling their customers that Apple's Safari web browser isn't safe for online shopping...

"Apple, unfortunately, is lagging behind what they need to do, to protect their customers," Barrett said in an interview. "Our recommendation at this point, to our customers, is use Internet Explorer 7 or 8 when it comes out, or Firefox 2 or Firefox 3, or indeed Opera."

Oh really? Well here's what I have to say to Michael Barrett, chief information security officer of PayPal...

Fuck you.

Seriously, fuck you.

Because here's the thing... PayPal doesn't give a shit about their customers.

I used to use PayPal to run my online store... I was a PayPal customer. But one day PayPal reversed a transaction, and took my money. I contacted the person who owned the credit card to find out if they made a fraud complaint against me or something, but they didn't know why the charge was reversed. They got their T-shirts and were totally happy. I made several calls to PayPal for an explanation but, for "security reasons," they wouldn't tell me, nor would they tell me the name of the bank who made the request (if, indeed there ever was one). According to their service contract, they don't have to tell you shit. And, since they aren't a real bank, you have no recourse if they steal from you.

So, basically, PayPal will take your money at any time with no explanation. And yet they have the balls to warn people about getting ripped-off when using stuff from another company? What a bunch of hypocritical jerks.

On my farm, I won't need crap like PayPal... I'll just trade fresh milk and eggs for what I want to buy.

Though I'd imagine the quality of hooker you can get for a dozen eggs and a glass of milk is probably pretty questionable.

Categories: DaveLife 2008Click To It: Permalink  28 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Jump!

Posted on Friday, February 29th, 2008

Dave!Everybody jump! It's Leap Day today!

I plan on celebrating by wearing a fedora and drinking copious amounts of alcohol tonight.

And perhaps jumping on a couch or two...


Oprahcouch

Since I'm not married to Katie Holmes, the alcohol is essential to my couch-jumping technique...

Categories: DaveLife 2008Click To It: Permalink  16 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

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