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V.I.P.

Posted on Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

Dave!Much the same as everybody else on the planet, I like feeling special.

I like being recognized at shops and restaurants I visit frequently. I like getting discounts for being a loyal customer. I like belonging to clubs and programs that say I'm an elite client. I like getting catalogs with offers for members only. I like getting personal notes from company execs who recognize my value to them. I like knowing that I matter. That I'm valued. That I'm recognized. That I'm... special.

When I was in Chicago last week, one of my big goals was to drop by the LEGO Store so I could pick up a V.I.P. Card for their new rewards program. I don't buy a lot of LEGO anymore, but their shiny new card makes me feel special just the same...

LEGO VIP Logo

It's all an illusion, of course. Absolutely anybody can walk into a LEGO Store and get a V.I.P. Card.

And I realize full well that the minute I stop spending money at a shop they'll drop me off their "elite" list like a hot potato. And if I stop spending money at a restaurant, they'll forget I ever existed. And if I don't spend enough money to make a sales quota, I won't have membership privileges any longer.

Yes, it's all an illusion.

And I know it's an illusion.

But I don't care.

In a day and age where all too many companies just don't seem to give a shit about their customers, even fake recognition is better than no recognition at all.

Or so I keep telling myself...

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Feeler

Posted on Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

Dave!I don't feel much like blogging today.

MonkeytestoutJumptestout

   

I do feel like dancing, however.

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Baseballed

Posted on Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

Dave!So far as baseball fans go... I'm pretty fickle. Sometime during my teenage years I was given an Orioles baseball jersey and started following the team just so I would know what to say when people wanted to talk about them. When I was in college I caught Red Sox Fever (no idea how or why) and became a fan for decades. Once Boston won The Series in 2004, I became disenchanted and switched to my "home" team, the Seattle Mariners. I watch an occasional game, but find it tough to get excited about baseball anymore.

And yet... it's easy to get excited when something remarkable happens.

Like a perfect game.

A perfect game is a formidable accomplishment that has only happened twenty times in the entire history of major league baseball (and a dozen times in my lifetime). Not only can you not allow the opposing team to get any hits... but there can't be any walks or hit-batters either. That's tough.

Last night the Detroit Tigers were playing the Cleveland Indians and Detroit's Armando Galarraga was pitching the game of his career. The PERFECT game of his career. And then it happened. A bad call declared a runner safe when he was very obviously out. Instant replay confirmed it. Even the umpire who blew the call fully admitted that he made a mistake. Galarraga got robbed of his history-making perfect game.

As a casual fan, I really don't have cause to complain... but...

This is so fucking stupid.

Everybody is saying "Well, bad calls are part of the game... that's what makes it baseball." And while this may be true, I also think it's bullshit. How can fans be expected to respect the game when there is no recourse for obviously blown calls? That may be a part of baseball's past, but does it have to be a part of it's future?

Commissioner of Major League Baseball Bud Selig should be fired. He had a golden opportunity here to show the world that baseball can evolve out of this kind of embarrassing crap and have some integrity, but refuses to reverse the call. He could have used this as the perfect excuse to expand instant replay for judgement calls, but instead makes some vague promise to look into the situation.

Way to take the initiative, dumbass.

The pussification of America continues.

And this time we can't blame Canada.

   

Carcassonne!

Posted on Friday, June 4th, 2010

Dave!When I was visiting my sister for a (very) belated birthday celebration this past weekend, I somehow left my car's passenger window part-way down (I don't remember ever lowering it, but whatever). Of course it then decided to rain all night long. By the time I was told about my error the next morning, the floor was all squishy with water. I soaked up as much as I could, then drove back home where the warmer weather managed to dry things out nicely.

Until this morning, when a bottle of Coke got knocked on the passenger floor, which meant I had to once again flood everything with water in an effort to get the syrupy mess out of the carpet.

Can't. Catch. A. Break.

Tonight I'm going to try to get more than four hours sleep and see if that can prevent any further Coke-related accidents in my car. If I have to soak the floor one more time, the carpet is probably going to disintegrate.

Much like the little boy in this statue I photographed in Brooklyn a few weeks ago...

Carcassonne Solitaire

I know. I know. The artist intended to show the kid nuzzled into the folds of the woman's tunic... but unless she's got a gaping hole in her torso AND is missing a good chunk along the left side of her body... OR the kid had half his face and body burned off in a nuclear accident... well... the boy is occupying the same space as the woman here. This means either they are merged like some kind of impossible Siamese twins... or they got fused in some freak teleporter accident like Jeff Goldblum did in The Fly.

No matter what the explanation, I am really creeped out by this statue. I mean, GAH!! THEY ARE TOTALLY MELTED TOGETHER OR SOMETHING!! AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO NOTICES STUFF LIKE THIS?!?

Urgh. Must go to bed and try not to have nightmares of giant freaky mutant melty people.

   
But before I go...

Normally I would save something like this for Bullet Sunday, but I have no idea how long the half-price offer will last, so I'm compelled to add it today.

A really nice strategy game called "Carcassonne" has been converted to the iPhone and released today. The object of the game is to build a board out of tiles, and use your "Meeples" to claim castles, roads, fields, or cloisters. The strategy comes in when you try to figure out the best way to maximize points while keeping your opponents from doing the same. The original game looks like this...

Carcassonne Original Board Game
Photo by Elentin and taken from Wikipedia.

The iPhone version (created by TheCodingMonkeys) is just stunning, and looks like this...

Carcassonne for iPhone

Not only does it look gorgeous and fully-faithful to the original, but the developers went for broke by adding multiplayer via your choice of pass-and-play OR Bluetooth OR Wi-Fi OR email OR internet (with push notifications when it's your turn!). Don't have the number of players you like? Select one of the eight computer AI opponents of various skill levels! Not enough? They added a unique "Solitaire" mode with all-new game-play! Don't know how to play? There's a full manual PLUS a great tutorial complete with voice-over acting! STILL not enough? Carcassonne for iPhone also has in-game chat for network games, online and offline rankings, and a "Solitaire Game of the Week" with a best score competition!

In short, this is one of the best apps I've ever seen on my iPhone. Some people I know don't like Carcassonne, but most people seem to love it. If you love it or even think you'll love it, now is the time to act... it's currently on sale for $4.99! So get it now before they released the FREE iPad compatible version and jack the price up to $9.99! From what I've read, TheCodingMonkeys are planning on keeping the game fresh by adding some of the Carcassonne expansion sets for in-app purchase. You can't ask for more than that...

Carcassonne is Dave Approved!

If you'd like to see more, I've added more screen captures with my comments in an extended entry...

→ Click here to continue reading this entry...

   

2012

Posted on Saturday, June 5th, 2010

Dave!Nobody can see every movie ever released, so when they declare a film to be "the worst movie ever," what they are actually saying is that it's "the worst movie I've ever seen." Still, given the number of movies out there, this is still a pretty bold statement.

To me, the worst movie ever used to be a Renny Harlin flick called Born American. The tagline on the posters was "Freedom is just a word...until you lose it." It was a Reagan-era flag-waver about three college students vacationing in Finland who decide to cross the Russian border as a joke. Unfortunately for them, they are spotted by the Russian army. They then get captured and tortured as suspected spies... something they consider unjust because they're Americans, dammit! Eventually they escape and, in the process, kill people and destroy a Russian town. The movie was utter shit and made no sense. It was meant to portray Soviet Russia as a nation of monsters, but the only monsters in the film were the Americans. Can you imagine if the situation were reversed and it was the Russians who were caught on American soil blowing up towns and killing people circa 1986? But movie audiences are stupid, so it was easy to cover massive gaps of logic with patriotic "Russia is evil" rhetoric. Born Americans was so bad it made me embarrassed to be American.

But that was then.

Now a new movie has taken its place... Rolland Emmerich's 2012.

2012 Movie Poster

Worst. Movie. Ever. Truly excrement on just about every level. First of all, it's a film made for idiots. This is not necessarily a bad thing, because even intelligent people can have great fun turning off their brain and enjoying a stupid flick. Heck, there are a lot of stupid movies I really like. But 2012 goes so far beneath stupid that it's fucking insane.

Heaven only knows I wasn't expecting much, but I was hopeful. Sure Emmerich unleashed such turds as 10,000 BC and Universal Soldier and The Day After Tomorrow and that shitty Godzilla remake. But he also did Stargate, which I liked quite a lot.

And yet nothing could prepare me for just how awful this film could be.

Yes, the special effects were stunning in places... breathtaking even... but the story and events were positively asinine. Oh noes! The earth's core is heating up and the world is going to end! Let's pile up catastrophic spectacles and wild-ass coincidences and see if anybody notices that it's all window dressing bullshit!

What's truly perplexing is that 2012 managed to attract some real talent... actors like John Cusack, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Amanda Peet, Thandie Newton, Oliver Platt, Danny Glover, and even Dr. Phlox(!). But it doesn't matter. Even the best actors on earth couldn't save this steamer. Events are so contrived and manipulative, that it feels like you're being force-fed a load of bullshit. And while I could give a dozen examples to illustrate this, the most offensive is the cracks that open up as the earth goes into spasm. They always... always crack across that "perfect spot." Like EXACTLY BETWEEN the fingers of God and Adam in Michelangelo's famous painting in the Sistine Chapel ..

Sistine Chapel Stupidity 2012

In some films, this might be interpreted in a number of ways. The original painting has God giving life to man. So maybe this is symbolic of man's abandonment of God, creating a rift between them. Or maybe it's meant to be ironic... the painting depicts God giving life to man, now all mankind is facing extinction. Or perhaps it's allegory for religion in general, illustrating that even God can't help you when the world ends. Etc. Etc.

But attributing such deep thought to anything in 2012 would be absurd.

I know this because earlier in the film, Amanda Peet is shopping with her boyfriend when he says something cheesy and ridiculous like "I don't know honey... I feel like there's something pulling us apart..." just before a crack opens up directly between them...

Supermarket Stupidity in 2012

Yes. This movie is that fucking stupid.

But even that's not the reason I loathe the film so vehemently.

As I said, this film was made for idiots. And because idiots don't have the intelligence to think for themselves or figure things out on their own, filmmakers like Roland Emmerich have to design their films to appeal to the lowest common denominator. They insert obvious clues in order to tell the audience how they should think, feel, and react. More often than not, these clues come in the form of a character. Somebody in the film whose only purpose is to help an audience of idiots know when to laugh, cry, get mad, or be scared. A douchebag moron to spell it all out.

In the case of 2012, we get this piece of shit...

Fucking Douchebag in 2012

First it's the "Oh no, we're doomed!" look. Then the "Hooray, we're saved!" elation. It's so pathetic and absurd that seeing it makes me want to punch somebody in the face. Starting with this asshole...

I hate characters like this. Fucking HATE THEM!

And yet they're becoming more and more common in movies... and more and more blatant in their manipulations. It's getting so bad that pretty soon movie directors will just add subtitles which say things like "THIS IS SAD SO YOU SHOULD CRY NOW" and "THIS SCENE IS WHERE YOU GET ANGRY" and "THIS CHARACTER IS A BAD GUY."

Which is pretty much what 2012 is all about. Telegraphing audience instructions with blatant eye candy and shameless manipulation for no practical purpose... including entertainment.

The Blogography Movie Rating System...

Blogography Movie Rating

Which brings us to...

Dave2 rating for 2012 (2009) — Bomb!Bomb!Bomb!Bomb!Bomb!Bomb!Bomb!

   

Bullet Sunday 186

Posted on Sunday, June 6th, 2010

Dave!Another Bullet Sunday from home! How lucky can I get?

   
• Golden. Naturally, I was very sad to hear that Rue McClanahan has passed away. As the sex-starved Blanche Devereaux from The Golden Girls, she had some very big shoes to fill. Sex-starved shoes formerly filled by Betty White as the sex-starved Sue-Ann Nivens from The Mary Tyler Moore Show. But McClanahan managed to create a character all her own, and Blanche quickly became a television classic beloved the world over. She will be missed...

The Golden Girls win Emmys
Hang in there, Betty!

• Greedo. Coolest. Keychain. Ever. Of course, all LEGO minifig keychains are cool... but this one is frickin' sweet! The character is named "Onaconda Farr" but I prefer to think of him as "Greedo" in a new outfit (HAN SHOT FIRST!)...

Greedo Keychain!

   
• Rated. And so AT&T has changed their rate plans, eliminating unlimited data options for new smartphone customers.

Holy crap.

With each passing minute I loathe AT&T even more than I did the minute before. On top of service that is so shitty I can barely make phone calls sometimes, now they're screwing over Apple by killing one of the things that makes buying an iPhone or iPad so great. AND screwing over customers like me who wanted to purchase a tethering option for my UNLIMITED data plan (which is now impossible, as you have to DOWNGRADE to their shitty LIMITED plans to get tethering!). I sincerely, from the bottom of my heart, hope that Apple can use this as an excuse to break their exclusivity contract and fucking drop AT&T like the pile of crap they have become.

   
• O'Really? Just when I think that Bill O'Reilly couldn't possibly be a bigger asshole than he already is... he proves me wrong. McDonalds France has a new ad campaign called "Come As You Are" which shows how different people from all different walks of life are welcome at their restaurants. Their clever ad for gay customers was recently discussed at FOX News, where Bill O'Reilly asked if McDonalds France had an ad welcoming Al-Qaeda to their restaurants too...

Yes. That's right. Bill O'Reilly feels that if you're going to welcome gays into your restaurant, you might as well be inviting Al-Qaeda as well. That he can say hateful crazy-ass shit like this and still have people wanting to watch his show is just mind-boggling. Humanity FAIL!

   
• C B No. Why is it any time I go to watch videos at CBS, they shove an ad down my throat that plays perfectly... then come up with an error message saying the video is no longer available? Well, dumbasses, I clicked on the firckin' video link from YOUR website, so why in the hell are you advertising content that isn't available?

CBS Video Sucks

Stupid crap like this happens all the time when trying to view content officially and legally... yet, networks continue to whine over people illegally sharing VIDEO THAT ACTUALLY WORKS. Well guess what? YOU FORCE PEOPLE TO DO IT! Either fix your busted-ass shit or STOP WHINING ABOUT PIRACY!

   
And now I suppose I should go to bed since I have to be up in 4-1/2 hours. I would have gone to bed earlier, but I'm still jazzed from the Blackhawks win, and the MTV Movie Awards were actually entertaining enough to keep me watching this year. Who knew?

   

Zombification

Posted on Monday, June 7th, 2010

Dave!After three restless hours of non-sleep, I got up verrrrry early this morning so I could trek over to Seattle to begin an incredibly chaotic week. While here in the city, I'm literally working on four projects at the same time, all while trying to stay focused on the main task at hand. I've all but given up trying to get caught up on sleep, and have just resolved to become a zombie...

DAVETOON: Walking Zombies

It sucks, but I've had worse.

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Honker

Posted on Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

Dave!I was having such a good day at work today. Until I made the mistake of driving back to my hotel at the end of the day.

Seattle is kind of a unique for a major city (so far as traffic goes) because it is surrounded by water on three sides. To alleviate traffic jams, most cities expand outward and build a ring road or something... but that's an option Seattle just doesn't have. For better or worse, the city is pretty much stuck with what they've got. Sure it presents some challenges and frustrations, but it is what it is, and locals pretty much deal with it the best they can...

Seattle Map
Puget Sound (Elliott Bay) to the West. Lake Washington to the East. Lake Union to the North.

A key part of the Seattle transportation system is the Alaskan Way Viaduct. It runs along Elliott Bay (of Puget Sound) at the Western edge of the city. It's a double-decker affair with southbound traffic on the lower level, and northbound on the upper deck. You can see it on the map above... it's the yellow line to the left of where it says "Seattle."

Driving the viaduct can be tricky business because the lanes are quite narrow. This means drivers are always on high alert since you just never know when a truck is going to come barreling by and drift into your lane.

When you are heading north into the city you exit off a ramp that runs into Seneca Street...

Seneca Stree Exit

At the end of the ramp you have the option of turning left onto 1st Avenue, which is exactly what I wanted to do because that's how I get to my hotel. Today when I exited there was a big Chevy Suburban SUV ahead of me. Because somebody was crossing the street, they had to wait in the intersection. Not wanting to block traffic if the light turned red, I hung back just a little bit so I could wait my turn...

Hwy 99 Ramp Seattle

So far so good.

But then some random asshole comes screaming up behind me and IMMEDIATELY starts laying on his horn...

Asshole Honking Horn At Me!

WHAT THE FUCK?!?

It's not like he couldn't see the fucking huge-ass Suburban blocking me... he HAD to have seen it. With that in mind, what the hell was his reasoning to honk at us? Even if he didn't see the pedestrian in the sidewalk, he should have at least expected that we were waiting for SOMETHING! It's not like we were just sitting there for the fun of it. Besides, WHERE IN THE HELL AM I SUPPOSED TO GO? Am I just supposed to run over a Suburban AND a pedestrian to make this prick happy?

I can only guess that this particular asshole is one of those people who automatically lays on the horn the minute he runs across something blocking his path... whether it's deserved or not.

I fucking HATE these idiots.

In the interest in maintaining a civil society, it should be legal to pull out a gun and just unload on their rude, stupid asses. They have no place... NO PLACE... living amongst sane, rational, well-mannered people... let alone driving amongst us.

And now my day has been ruined.

To make myself feel better, I am going to go drink beer now.

   

STANLEY!!!

Posted on Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

Dave!CONGRATULATIONS BLACKHAWKS ON YOUR STANLEY CUP WIN!!

DAVETOON: Lil' Dave in a Blackhawks Jersey

   

I wish I was in Chicago right now. :-(

   

Dutchin’

Posted on Thursday, June 10th, 2010

Dave!And I'm off...

DAVETOON: Bitchsterdam 2 Poster

   

With company like The Bitch Who is Dutch and The Lady Who is Penelope, everybody pray I survive the weekend!

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Day One: Alkmaar

Posted on Friday, June 11th, 2010

Dave!And so here I am in DutchyLand.

There was a bit of an adventure leading up to this moment, because my airport hotel caught on fire at 11:45pm last night. Except not really... it ended up being a false alarm that caused the entire hotel to be evacuated for 30 minutes. The alarm was a continuous piercing shriek that gave me an instant headache of massive proportions. This made getting any sleep a total impossibility. Which is a lovely thing to have happen before hopping on an airplane for nine hours...

The Hotel is on Fire!

So I haven't slept in two days, and still have a full day ahead of me.

Yay! I'm a zombie! Again!

After landing, The DutchBitch and Lady Penelope picked me up for a trip to the city of Alkmaar, where they have a famous cheese market and cheese museum. As a lover of all things cheese, I had been dying to go for years, and the ladies were nice enough to indulge me.

As were were making our way through Alkmaar Centraal, I started noticing these badges embedded in the street...

No Shit in the Netherlands

This was very confusing to me, because it looked like an invitation for you to let your dog take a shit here. I asked DutchBitch about it, and she said that the red ring indicates that the action within is FORBIDDEN.

Back in the USA, the sign would look like this...

No Shit in the USA

Alkmaar has a serious dog shit problem, so they should put more of these signs up. Perhaps if they switched to the American version, it would help make things more clear?

In any event, I'd think what Alkmaar really needs to worry about is this...

No Human Shit

Because eating too much cheese can definitely have unpleasant effects on a person's digestive system.

The Cheese Market itself is fun. They have a kind of reenactment you can watch with cheese runners and the whole bit...

Alkmaar Cheese Market

Cheese Runners of Alkmaar

Blue Hat Cheese Runners

Behind the festivities is a beautiful Cheese Museum that shows a lot of cheese history and cheese-making stuff. You ever get a view down to the market...

Cheese Museum Entrance

Cheese Museum Fake Cheese

Cheese Market View

Inside the Cheese Museum at Alkmaar

But the most IMPORTANT thing about the Cheese Museum at Alkmaar is that you get a free sample of cheese! Because the cheese is free, it's undoubtedly the cheapest, crappiest cheese Dutch Euros can buy... but it still kicks the shit out of 95% of the cheese you can buy in the USA.

Lunch, of course, consisted of an Old Cheese Sandwich and Patatjes Met. Which is about my favorite lunch on earth when freshly made in the Netherlands...

Perfect Patatjes Met

Hooray for cheese!

   

Day Two: Bitchsterdam

Posted on Saturday, June 12th, 2010

Dave!And so the event I traveled 5000 miles (8000 kilometers) to attend, finally arrived... BITCHSTERDAM 2! As expected, it was well-worth the trip, and everybody had an awesome time. Just another reminder why I love blogger meet-ups so much!

As it was a beautiful day in the Netherlands, we decided to head into Amsterdam early and play tourist (even though The DutchBitch is a native and Lady Penelope and I have been here many times). It's such a beautiful city with so many things to do, that it would be a crime not to spend some time exploring. Eventually decided on a canal boat tour...

Amsterdam Canal Boat Tour

Amsterdam Canal Boat Tour

Amsterdam Canal Boat Tour

Amsterdam Canal Boat Tour

Since the Lady Penelope had never been to the Red Light District, we wandered through the neighborhood for a while. I've only ever seen it at night, and it was an entirely different experience in the daytime...

Red Light Sex Shop

Red Light Moulin Rouge

Red Light Sex Show

Red Light Casa Rosso

Along the canal in the Red Light District is actually quite beautiful in the daylight, as all the seedier elements are not so noticeable...

Red Light District in Daylight

Throughout the Netherlands everybody has World Cup fever. It's a bit difficult to explain to Americans, except to equate it to the Super Bowl (if the Super Bowl took place once every four years and the entire world was competing for a spot to play in it)...

Holland World Cup Fever

England was expected to wipe the floor with the USA in today's match, and the English were having a big laugh at the anticipated beating they were most certainly going to dish out to us. Unfortunately, things didn't go as planned, and the Americans managed to hold England to a tie game of 1-1. Many tears of agony were shed in Blighty, I'm sure. A really good recap to explain it all is over at the BBC.

After goofing about Amsterdam for a few hours, we headed to the Hard Rock Cafe early so we could have a few drinks while waiting for Bitchsterdam to ensue. The scenery at Max Euweplein was... interesting... to say the least...

Borat Wedding

I'll leave the Bitchsterdam recap and photos to DutchBitch but, suffice to say, we all had a lot of fun. Many Euros were spent to make sure of it...

Bitchsterdam Euro Celebration

A big shout-out to Blogography reader Erik who was kind enough to come over and say "hello." He was sitting at the next table with his friends, and somehow managed to recognize me in my drunken state!

After Bitchsterdam had ended, we were walking back to the car park when we saw a drunken barefoot man kicking his shoe across the street. A motorcycle police officer was keeping a careful eye out, and went to question the man, who replied "What the fuck do you want?!?" Much to his credit, the police officer let the man go on his way... even when he shoved his shoe down the storm drain...

Drunken Shoe Battle

Police Shoe Battle in Amsterdam!

But then the drunk man decided to do some property damage by trying to tear out a street sign. This was something the the police officer could not ignore, and the result was obvious to everybody except the drunk guy...

Police Take-Down in Amsterdam!

Backup forces arrived in the form of two beautiful lady cops in a squad car, who were apparently signing autographs while the drunk guy got hauled off in a van...

Police Takedown!

Bravo to the Amsterdam Police, who were incredibly calm, cool, collected, and reserved in trying to keep everybody safe! And bravo to drunk guy for giving us some post-Bitchsterdam entertainment!

And bravo to DutchBitch for an awesome day!

   

Bullet Sunday 187

Posted on Sunday, June 13th, 2010

Dave!It's Bullet Sunday from Berlin! I have to get up early tomorrow for work, so I'll post today's adventures in Deutschland tomorrow. In the meanwhile... on with the bullets...

   
• Presidential! As always, I'm fascinated by foreign Americana I find when traveling abroad. Even though most of it is critical, it's almost always entertaining. Like this drawing of Presidents Reagan, Clinton, and Bush...

US Presidents Grafitti on a German Wall

Each is captured perfectly, but it's the bulge in Clinton's pants that makes it art.

   
• Dieter! Damn. If only I could get back to Berlin at the end of August for what is sure to be THE concert event of the year! I bet Dieter gets all the chicks. Just look at this über-hot bastard...

Dieter Plays Berlin!

I haven't seen a music personality this impressive since Gunther!

   
• Sweet! Finally... FINALLY... I found a Double Fahrt photo for my ongoing Fahrt Collection...

Double Fahrt Signs!

Here's hoping a Triple Fahrt is in my future sometime soon.

   
• Video! I'm beginning to wonder how long it will be before it's impossible to avoid being under video surveillance in public areas...

Video Surveillance Sign

What's astounding to me is that even though signs like this are everywhere, so are signs of vandalism and crime. I wouldn't mind having people watching me all the time if it were doing something to make us all safer, but I never get the feeling it is.

   
• Service? AT&T likes to brag about their awesome world-wide coverage but, from what I've recently experienced, they're full of shit. Many times I could not use data services... even at important places like Berlin's main train station. Nothing quite like relying on your phone to get at your hotel reservation and a map of how to get there, only to find out you can't get to either. In the countryside of the Netherlands and Germany, I was lucky to get any kind of service at all (even when the Dutch and Germans were happily chatting away on their phones). This sucks even worse. FAIL!...

iPhone International FAIL!

This probably has something to do with AT&T not having established roaming partnerships with companies providing service at these places, which means absolutely nothing to customers expecting to make phone calls there. Sure I am grateful for the amazing technology that makes personal global communication a reality, but this is bullshit.

   
• Spotted! Gowalla recently added "Event Spots" which allow you to create temporary check-in Spots for weddings, conferences, parties, birthdays... and even blogger meet-ups, like the one we created for Bitchsterdam 2...

Gowalla Event Spot for Bitchsterdam!

The cool thing about this is that you can post photos and notes so you have an online record of your event that people can check out. Unfortunately, however, the photos must be shot and uploaded live. You can't post saved or transferred images. Given that my iPhone 3GS doesn't have a flash, this makes it almost impossible to post anything decent. Hopefully as mobile phone cameras continue to get better, this will be a much more useful feature.

   
And that brings yet another Bullet Sunday to a close. Tomorrow it's back to Amsterdam. The day after that it's back home.

It seems like I just got here.

   

Day Four: Berlin

Posted on Monday, June 14th, 2010

Dave!Since I knew I'd be busy this morning, I did most of my exploring when I got into the city yesterday evening. I've been to Berlin three times before, but really only played tourist the first time. Unfortunately, most of my photos from that visit have disappeared, so I my main goal was to revisit the places I had been previously and snap some pictures to retroactively fill in the blanks. This included such spots as the Kaiser-Wilhelm Memorial Church, Brandenburg Gate, St. Hedwig Cathedral, Gendarmenmarkt, Checkpoint Charlie, etcetera etcetera...

Kaiser-Wilhelm Memorial

Brandberger Tor Backside

Brandenberger Gate

St. Hedwig's Cathedral

The German Cathedral at Gendarmenmarkt

Checkpoint Charlie

I also added the Holocaust Memorial, which I hadn't seen before...

Holocaust Memorial Berlin

Another new sight in the city... iPad advertisements. I am not exaggerating when I say that it is impossible to walk anywhere in Berlin and not have iPad staring at you. The ad-buy must have been hugely expensive, but there's no denying the effectiveness of covering every available space on streets, train stations, bus stops, and even multiple buildings with iPad...

iPad Advert on a Building

And, of course, I had to make time for the new Hard Rock Cafe, which has been moved to a much better location right on the Kurfürstendamm. Despite being one of the newer-style "lacking-in-memorabilia-hipster-lounge-type" properties, I have to admit it's very nice. Not to say it couldn't use a bunch more cool pieces of memorabilia to make it a real Hard Rock... it definitely could... but so far as restaurants go, it's pretty sweet...

Hard Rock Cafe Berlin Outside

Hard Rock Cafe Berlin Inside

Just as in the Netherlands, World Cup Fever is crazy-serious in Berlin. Most of the Germany supporters restrain themselves to face-paint, hats, flags, and the occasional horn-blowing. Those supporting teams outside of Germany are an entirely different animal. They drive through the streets screaming their heads off and honking their horns continuously. I understand team-spirit, but it's fucking annoying to be subjected to this crap. The biggest offender seemed to be Ghana (who ended up winning their game 1-0, so maybe being annoying works)...

Soccer Hooligans

Germany won their match 4-0 against Australia, so there were many happy celebrations in the streets of Berlin. Somehow, I still managed to get a good night's sleep.

After finishing work this morning, I wanted to go to the Gemäldegalerie Museum (housing many amazing works of art from the European Masters), but it's closed on Monday. Instead I wandered back to Brandenberger Tor to see if I could get a better photo of the Quadriga sculpture that sits on top...

Brandenberger Tor

Brandenberger Quadriga

Mission accomplished. All that was left was to head back to Berlin Hauptbahnhof (Main Train Station) for my trip back to Amsterdam. The beautiful glass and steel structure makes it hard to take a bad photo of the place...

Hauptbahnhof

One of the best parts of being in Germany is eating Spritzringe donuts (of which I am a big fan). It doesn't get much better than that!

Or does it? Because this time I happened across MINI-SPRITZRINGE!!!...

Mini-Spritzringe Donuts!

Cutest. Donut. Ever.

Four days in Europe hardly seems adequate, but that's all she wrote for me this time.

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Downer

Posted on Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

Dave!That's okay... I didn't really feel like blogging tonight anyway...

Blogography is Down... AGAIN!

   

Every fucking time my site goes down, Media Temple has some new excuse as to why it's happening. Then they mark the issue "resolved" even though I know damn well another outage is just around the corner. This has been happening for YEARS, ever since they moved their shared-hosting accounts to a "(gs) Grid Server" architecture. And even though the "Grid Server" has been a massive, catastrophic bucket of FAIL! since day one, they continue to cling to it like some miracle is going to happen any day now, and it's suddenly going to be the stable, reliable hosting platform they promise in their advertising...

Media Temple Promise

RELIABILITY? SERIOUSLY?!? It's this kind of delusional bullcrap that drives me bat-shit insane... even more so than the outages themselves. HELPFUL HINT: GRID SERVER DOES NOT WORK! IT NEVER HAS! Even when it's running, it's still slow as shit... sometimes to the point of being unusable. And lest we forget that Media Temple offers NO BACKUP SERVICE. That option was removed from my control panel when I was moved to the "Grid Server" and has never returned (it was promised for a while, but now this critical service which even the cheapest web hosting companies offer as standard equipment has been forgotten). So on top of being unstable, unreliable, and unresponsive, Media Temple hosting is also unsafe.

It's everything you dream of in a web hosting company!

I am so sick and fucking tired of Media Temple treating every new incident as an individual problem that can be checked off as "fixed" when the Big Picture is that their "Grid Server" hosting sucks ass and will likely NEVER be fixed. On the contrary, things just keep getting worse and worse as the problems become more and more frequent.

I have just over six months of my contract before I can walk away from Media Temple's busted-ass bullshit hosting. I am literally counting the days...

Hopefully I can last this long so I don't end up losing all the money I put into my contract.

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Vanishing

Posted on Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

Dave!Usually I take the direct Amsterdam to Seattle flight at 10:15am, arriving 11:25am. But since I didn't know my schedule in Berlin when I bought my plane tickets, I opted for a later flight via Minneapolis that leaves Amsterdam at 1:25pm and arrives in Seattle at a gut-wrenching 7:19pm... a full five hours of extra travel time.

At which point I have to drive 2-1/2 hours to get home.

Usually the drive is no big deal, but yesterday it became one by the time I left the airport at 8:00pm completely exhausted. Things were further drawn out when I stopped 45 minutes outside of Seattle in North Bend at the Mt. Si Shell Station (pronounced "Mount Sigh") to fuel up.

I only mention this because the gas station is across the street from the Mt. Si Chevron Station, which is the place that Sandra Bullock disappeared without a trace in the Jeff Bridges/Kiefer Sutherland thriller The Vanishing. This was a crappy remake of a pretty good Dutch movie called Spoorloos, but with the customary Hollywood "happy ending" slapped on to ruin the film. Well, it was actually ruined before the ending, but that's what I remember disappointing me most...

Spoorloos vs. The Vanishing

   
Speaking of movies, I rather liked the film The Young Victoria that was playing on-demand during my flight home...

The Young Victoria Poster

This was surprising to me, because usually I can't stand weepy period romance films. But this was something entirely different, with politics and power playing a bigger role than romance. If that wasn't enough, the production values and performances were all top-notch. Emily Blunt has come a long way since The Devil Wears Prada... which is kind of incredible when you consider the movies were only two years apart!

And now I suppose I should get back to work. I seem to be buried again.

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Withdrawals

Posted on Thursday, June 17th, 2010

Dave!I'm suffering from Patatjes Met withdrawals (which, for the uninitiated, is Dutch fries with mayo). And, since I won't be returning to the Netherlands until September, it's going to be a loooooooong three months.

In the meanwhile, I'm eating a lot of toast. Delicious toast with butter. It doesn't work.

So I've tried waffles. Freshly baked waffles with whipped cream. It's not helping.

Even my favorite, chocolate pudding, has failed to fill the void left by Patatjes Met...

DAVETOON: Dave and his Patatjes Met

I suppose this is how cocaine addiction starts...

   
P.S. If you love Dutch-style mayo too, there's a FaceBook Fan Page you can join!

   

Hunger

Posted on Friday, June 18th, 2010

Dave!Irony. It can be so ironic sometimes.

Yesterday I waxed poetic about suffering withdrawals from my beloved Patatjes Met (Dutch Fries with Mayo) and my never-ending quest to find something to satisfy the cravings now that I can't have them anymore.

Then today I was forwarded a positively reprehensible rant on how hungry children should just just eat from a dumpster, and had to seriously restrain my rage to keep from typing "FUCK YOU, RUSH LIMBAUGH, YOU VILE PIECE OF SHIT!" in huge letters on a blog post and clicking "publish." Which would have been bad because I accept he represents a point of view for a large segment of the American population, and has a right to spew his crazy-ass shit just as much as the next guy...

Except... not this time.

I am extremely fortunate that I've never had to go hungry. It's something I try to be thankful for every day. But I have worked with an organization that helps people who do go hungry, and it's from this perspective that I can say Rush Limbaugh doesn't know what the fuck he is talking about. He is so far beyond stupid... beyond ignorant... beyond crazy... that my mind just boggles that anybody could be this depraved when it comes to children.

Let's break it down, shall we?

RUSH LIMBAUGH:
A companion story from AOL News: "Record Number of US Kids Facing Summer of Hunger. With the sc-rewl (school?) year ending in communities across America, more than 16 million children face a summer of hunger." Now, Michelle Obama told us they're all so fat and out of shape and overweight that a summer off from government eating might be just the ticket.

Kids are fat and overweight because A) Society has transitioned to a sedentary lifestyle of video games and other "activities" which lack physical exercise, and B) Healthy foods are hideously expensive, but government subsidies make shitty unhealthy food cheap, so this is what people buy. But this is neither here nor there, because there are kids in poverty who don't even get the shitty unhealthy food to eat.

But, even if this weren't the case, this is still a horrible thing to say. Kids... WHETHER THEY ARE FAT OR NOT... should not have to go hungry in the wealthiest nation on earth. Put on a healthier diet? Sure! Taught to exercise? Absolutely! That's what Michelle Obama was talking about. But starve? Are you fucking kidding me? Jeez what an asshole.

RUSH LIMBAUGH:
This, of course, takes into no account that the parents, I guess, just can sit around and let their kids starve. Why if the kids don't do it, they're gonna starve -- if the schools don't do it, the kids are going to starve.
   
RUSH LIMBAUGH:
God, this is just -- we can't escape these people. We just can't escape them. They live in the utter deniability of basic human nature. They actually have it in their heads somehow that parents are so rotten that they will let their kids go hungry and starve, unless the schools take care of it.

And here is where Rush Limbaugh proves he's a fucking moron. THERE ARE INDEED PARENTS WHO SIT AROUND AND LET THEIR KIDS STARVE! Perhaps they are drug addicts or alcoholics in no condition to realize or care their kids are hungry... or maybe they're never around to notice... or maybe they are just so poor that they can only afford one meal a day, and that school lunch is what keeps their children from going hungry. Regardless, whether by design or choice, parents are letting their kids starve every day. I've seen it. And even if Rush can't get off his bloated, self-righteous ass and see for himself, he can certainly do some research at child shelters, talk to child welfare workers at our schools, or ring up some children's charities to get his fucking facts straight. But experience has taught him that he doesn't have to. His listeners will believe his fucked-up bullshit whether it's true or not, so why bother with actual facts? Fiction is more inflammatory anyway.

RUSH LIMBAUGH:
I think, you know what we're going to do here, we're going to start a feature on this program: "Where to find food." For young demographics, where to find food. Now that school is out, where to find food. We can have a daily feature on this. And this will take us all the way through the summer. Where to find food. And, of course, the first will be: "Try your house." It's a thing called the refrigerator. You probably already know about it. Try looking there. There are also things in what's called the kitchen of your house called cupboards. And in those cupboards, most likely you're going to find Ding-Dongs, Twinkies, Lays ridgy potato chips, all kinds of dips and maybe a can of corn that you don't want, but it will be there.

Except when it isn't there. Because your parent or guardian is out getting stoned or drunk (or whatever) and hasn't bothered to buy food in a month and you've already eaten everything... everything... you manage to find in the house (assuming you still have a house because nobody's around to pay the rent). And since school is out and there's no lunch for you, the one meal you get is now gone. And since you're just a kid, what options do you have but to beg a neighbor (or even strangers) for something to eat? Or try to steal food. Or just go hungry because you don't know what else to do. You're a kid, after all. But even in houses where the parents are around, poverty can result in food being scarce at times... even with food stamps and government assistance. The reality is that hunger is all around us. Maybe the windows in Mr. Limbaugh's limousine are tinted so dark that he can't see families living in hunger on the street, but they exist... whether he chooses to acknowledge it or not.

RUSH LIMBAUGH:
If that doesn't work, try a Happy Meal at McDonald's. You know where McDonald's is. There's the Dollar Menu at McDonald's and if they don't have Chicken McNuggets, dial 911 and ask for Obama.

And if you don't have a dollar... how the fuck can you buy something off the dollar menu? Again, THESE ARE KIDS WE'RE TALKING ABOUT! And the parting shot at Obama? Hey, at least he's trying to do something to help hungry kids... what the fuck are you doing, you worthless piece of shit excuse for a human being? Where's your solution?

RUSH LIMBAUGH:
There's another place if none of these options work to find food; there's always the neighborhood dumpster. Now, you might find competition with homeless people there, but there are videos that have been produced to show you how to healthfully dine and how to dumpster dive and survive until school kicks back up in August. Can you imagine the benefit we would provide people?

So... hungry kids should just eat out of dumpsters. Got it.

You know, I try very hard not to allow hatred into my life, and my entire belief system is based on doing no harm or wishing no harm upon others. But Rush Limbaugh can just fuck off and die. And I mean literally die. Have another heart attack and just DIE. Slowly. With as much pain as possible. Somebody so hateful that they have no pity for a hungry child has no place on this earth, and I just don't care how that sounds.

Because people like Rush Limbaugh simply cannot win.

They just can't.

If the most innocent of us... the children... have no consideration by the adults who dictate how they are forced to live their lives, then we all lose. Because kids are victims of circumstance. They don't have any choice whether or not their parents are poor... or drug addicts... or don't care for them. And if the best the United States of America has to offer these kids is eating out of a dumpster when they have no food, then we don't deserve the many riches we are blessed with. We don't deserve anything at all... except the cold future that uncaring, heartless, reprehensible assholes like Rush Limbaugh are building for us.

Heaven help us all.

   

Furs

Posted on Saturday, June 19th, 2010

Dave!In my never-ending quest to see all my favorite 80's bands in concert, I headed over to Seattle this morning so my sister and I could see The Psychedelic Furs playing at the Showbox SoDo. The Furs were responsible for transitioning me out of my "punk" phase, and led me to a life-long love of the new wave music scene which has lasted until this day.

As expected, the show was phenomenal, even though they didn't play my favorite song (Until She Comes) and the Showbox SoDo is not one of my least favorite venues. Still, with 30+ years of material to draw from, Richard Butler tore through their setlist with an energy and enthusiasm that was contagious, and belied his 54 years...

Psychedelic Furs Album Covers

Probably best-known for their hit Pretty in Pink, The Furs have a fantastic catalog of music that's well-worth checking out if that's the only song you know them by. Their 2001 "Greatest Hits" album is a good place to start (iTunes Link), and at $7.99 for 17 tracks, it's quite a bargain.

   

Bullet Sunday 188

Posted on Sunday, June 20th, 2010

Dave!Blergh.

After an incredibly exhausting and frustrating drive home from Seattle, I arrived to find that I had developed a splitting headache. The only bullets I feel like using today would be on myself, but here's twp shots anyway...

   
• Sunday. Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there, including mine...

Davy and Dad

   
• Four. My pocket camera has died, and so I'm in the market for a new one. Except... I am growing increasingly disenchanted with the idea of carrying another gadget with me all the time. Enter iPhone 4, which seems to be finally bring a decent camera to iPhone. At least the sample images sure look compelling. The problem is that the new & improved camera is about the only feature that would make me want it. So now I'm conflicted... because if I upgrade my phone, I'm locked into another two-year contract with AT&T's increasingly shitty service. On the other hand, what a pretty phone it is...

iPhone4

I remain unconvinced that switching to Verizon or Sprint or T-Mobile would benefit me enough to abandon iPhone, as they all have issues, so I'll probably end up upgrading eventually. Apple really should create their own mobile network and eliminate this bullshit once and for all.

   
From what I can tell, I am home for exactly one month before having to travel again. Wouldn't it be awesome if this actually ends up being true? My aching head remains optimistic despite past history dictating otherwise.

   

Memoriam

Posted on Monday, June 21st, 2010

Dave!

   

   

   

NYC Watchdog and Puppy Monster

   

   

   

   

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01/20: MIRROR

Posted on Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

Dave!Uh oh...

The next two weeks are going to be nothing but work, which presents a problem for this blog. With nothing interesting going on that I can write about, what happens to Blogography? I could go on hiatus, but odds are I'd never come back. I suppose I could scour the internets for YouTube videos and other crap to post, but that's not really me. So what to do?

Looks like it's going to be the TWENTY/TWENTY meme! Every day for twenty days you get a word, and it's up to you to post something related to the word. It's not the most imaginative way to blog, but at least it's a starting point at a time when I don't have anything.

Today's word is MIRROR!

For which I'm going to post a picture I took of myself when I was in Reykjavik, Stockholm on September 25th, 2003. I had been traveling and working for five solid days, and was looking a total mess (I nearly had to check those bags under my eyes at the airport). I took this photo so I could show my girlfriend what she wasn't missing...

Dave in the Mirror

Little did I know, things would get even worse the next night in Stockholm when I would cut my chin open in a tragic karaoke accident. Can't. Catch. A. Break.

   
In other news, I installed iOS version 4 on my iPhone. I can't say that it makes a lot of difference since I've got an older iPhone 3GS, but the ability to combine apps into folders makes it well worth the time to upgrade. I feel at least 223% more organized now. What more could you want in a phone? Well, except to be able to make phone calls, of course.

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02/20: ANCIENT

Posted on Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

Dave!Today's word in the TWENTY/TWENTY meme is ANCIENT!

This is kind of cool, because I'm a bit obsessed with seeing the "Seven Wonders of the Ancient World"... which is mostly impossible, because many of them don't exist any more. In an attempt to rectify this, they came up with the "Seven Wonders of the Medieval World," which is kind of crazy because some sites (like Stonehenge) vastly predate structures in the "ancient" list (like The Great Wall of China). But oh well.

Of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, I've been to the Pyramids at Giza and the site of the Statue of Zeus at Olympia (now just ruins)...

Sphinx in Egypt

Olympia Ruins in Greece

Of the Seven Wonders of the Medieval World, I've been to Stonehenge, The Great Wall of China, The Colosseum, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and The Hagia Sophia...

Stonehenge HDR

The Great Wall of China

Colosseo in Rome

Leaning Tower of Pisa

Hagia Sophia in Istanbul

I don't know exactly where The Taj Mahal and Machu Picchu fit into the scheme of things on these lists, but they would be my next choices to visit.

   
In other news, one of my favorite television shows, Tales of the Gold Monkey, was released on DVD two weeks ago and I finally got around to watching it. The good news is that it totally holds up nearly twenty years later. In fact, with the exception of rubber monkey suits in the two-hour pilot, I'd say it's just as fresh and entertaining as it was back in 1982...

Gold Monkey DVD Box

Tales of the Gold Monkey is set in the South Pacific in the days prior to World War II circa 1938. The show stars Stephen Collins as "Jake Cutter," an ex-Flying Tiger who has become a cargo pilot based on the fictitious island of Bora Gora. Plenty of intrigue, espionage, and adventure ensues, and it's a lot of fun. Highly recommended.

   

03/20: ILLUMINATED

Posted on Thursday, June 24th, 2010

Dave!I have plenty of great night shots of illuminated objects, but the first thing which came to mind when I saw today's word for the TWENTY/TWENTY meme is the Apple Store Fifth Avenue in New York City. It is beautiful in photographs, but positively captivating in person... a beacon of light and hope to Mac Whores (like me!) from around the world...

Apple Store NYC at Night

Apple Store NYC at Night

   
In other news, my internet has been horribly slow and choppy all night. At first I thought it was my internet connection because, let's face it, Charter Cable Internet pretty much sucks off-and-on... but investigating the problem led me to believe that it's my wireless network. When I first moved to the neighborhood, I was the only person with WiFi. Now there are eight of us broadcasting in the area. Manually choosing an empty channel, enabling "interference robustness," and restricting access by MAC address seems to have helped... but for who knows how long?

   

04/20: SPY

Posted on Friday, June 25th, 2010

Dave!Today's word in the TWENTY/TWENTY meme is "Spy."

I had to really wrack my brain on this one, because it's not like I know a lot of spies to take their photographs. Eventually I decided to find something vaguely James Bond-ish in my photo library and make it work. Then, just as I was starting to look, I remembered that I had a photo that was totally James Bond... namely, my visit to "James Bond Island" in Phang Nga, Thailand...

View from James Bond Island, Ko Khao Phing Kan

The real name of the island is "Ko Khao Phing Kan" and the skinny rock there where the evil Bond villain, Scaramanga, mounted his Solex weapon is actually called "Ko Tapu" or "Nail Island." My brother and I took a boat there while visiting Phuket in South Thailand. It was a very cool trip, because the scenery was pretty incredible...

Phang Nga

Wow. I really need to go back one of these days.

   
In other news, I had pancakes for dinner. They were crazy-delicious.

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05/20: CLOSURE

Posted on Saturday, June 26th, 2010

Dave!Dinner break! Today's word in the TWENTY/TWENTY meme is "closure."

Though my heart has always been with the Hard Rock Cafe when it comes to obsessive-compulsive behavior in a restaurant, I do make an effort to visit the other "theme cafes" when I run across them... places like "Planet Hollywood" and "Fashion Cafe" and "Harley Davidson Cafe" and "All-Star Cafe" and the like. It's more a habit than something I actually seek out, but it doesn't happen much anymore because most of them have closed.

With that in mind, I decided I'd go through all my old photos and make a collage of all the closed theme restaurants I've been to for today's meme.

I didn't get very far, because I came across this...

Back To The Future Ride

My favorite theme park ride ever, Back to the Future: The Ride, was closed in 2007 and replaced by a ride for The Simpsons.

This still upsets me to this day.

The ride was pure genius. It integrated into the Back to the Future movie trilogy flawlessly, and even expanded upon the story a bit... kind of like a sequel. If that wasn't enough, it was a lot of fun. I rode both the Florida and California locations dozens of times, and never got tired of it. When I found out the attraction was closing, I even made a final trip to Universal Studios Orlando for one last ride.

The good news is that the ride is still running at Universal Studios Japan.

I don't think I'll be able to get full closure until I've seen it.

Hopefully before it's gone too.

   
In other news, there is a parade going by my office window. Since most major cities are having "Gay Pride Parades" in support of Pride Month, I was a little taken back at the idea that my small redneck city was progressive enough to have such a thing... until I remembered that it's actually a "founders' festival" that happens every year.

Oh well. Back to the future... and work.

   

06/20: PANIC + Bullet Sunday 189

Posted on Sunday, June 27th, 2010

Dave!In celebration of Pride Month for all my GLBT friends, welcome to an all-gay edition of Bullet Sunday!

   
• Icky. Former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee is being more stupid and intolerant than usual, which shouldn't surprise me... but somehow does. Because just when you think there's a limit as to how ignorant somebody could possibly get, they come along with something new to prove you wrong. In an interview in The New Yorker today, Huckabee unleashed such gems as "Male and female are biologically compatible to have a relationship. We can get into the ick factor, but the fact is two men in a relationship, two women in a relationship, biologically, that doesn’t work the same." — And yet, against all odds and despite their "biological incompatibility," gays manage to have lasting, meaningful, committed relationships just fine. Which leaves us with the real reason Huckabee opposes homosexuality... it's "icky." Well you stupid fucking tool, I feel that eating meat is "icky" so does that give me justification for forcing my personal vegetarian beliefs on the entire country? So much for the Land of the Free... where you're free just so long as Mike Huckabee doesn't feel the freedoms you choose to enjoy are icky.

   
• NOH8. I am happy to see that the NOH8 Campaign shows no signs of slowing down, and has released a beautiful new advertisement which shows that support for marriage equality is universal...

I couldn't agree more...

DAVETOON: NO H8

I hope I live to see a day where people are afforded the right to be who they are and love who they choose. The inhumanity of consenting adults being told their love is worthless and undeserving of marriage is a disgusting violation of personal liberty that sickens me to my very core.

   
• Platform. Heaven only knows I love Texas, but the latest turd crapped out of the ass of the Texas Republican Party has laid a stench over the entire state. It's a stunning 25-page platform summary which advocates everything from rescinding the USA's membership in The United Nations and opposing a worldwide currency, to eliminating hate-crime legislation and banning legalization of sodomy (i.e. no marriage for you, gay blasphemers!). It's a largely entertaining (if not outright hysterical) read... that totally scares the crap out of me. Given the massive anti-gay stance of the Texas Republican Party, I am fully expecting a massive number of homosexual scandals to rock the organization any minute now, as history has thus far shown.

   
• 20/20. Today's word in the TWENTY/TWENTY meme is "panic." Fortunately, this is an easy word to work into today's gay-themed Bullet Sunday, because it encapsulates so nicely the opposition to gay rights...

Gay Protest at Philly Pride 2008

Gay Protest at Philly Pride 2008

These people are so terrified of anybody who is different from them... so horrified at the existence of anything which is contrary to their beliefs... so frightened of that which challenges their weak faith... that they live in a constant state of panic. Unfortunately, it's a panic they are unwilling to keep to themselves, as these photos from Philly Pride 2008 so readily show.

   
• Fight. When it comes to equality, there isn't much more for me to say above what I've already said...

DAVETOON: Lil' Dave with the Pride Flag

...except keep fighting the good fight, my friends!

   
And now I suppose I had better get to bed since I have another bone-crushing 18-hour day ahead of me again tomorrow.

   

07/20: PRAYER

Posted on Monday, June 28th, 2010

Dave!Today's word in the TWENTY/TWENTY meme is "prayer."

It would be easy to comb through my photographs for one of the dozens of amazing cathedrals and churches I've visited in my travels, but that would be cheating a bit, because those are buildings where people pray... not really a prayer. But what is a prayer? According to the dictionary on my MacBook, it's "a solemn request for help or expression of thanks addressed to God or an object of worship." And since most people think of God as being an omni-present being looking down on us from heaven, I ran outside and snapped this photo...

Blue Sky Heaven

It was a beautiful day today... definitely one worth a prayer of thanks!

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08/20: HEAVEN

Posted on Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

Dave!Today's word in the TWENTY/TWENTY meme is "heaven."

Which is easy, because I've been there...

Field of Dreams

Field of Dreams

Field of Dreams

   
"Is this... is this heaven?"

"It's Iowa."

"Iowa? I could have sworn this was heaven."

"Is there a heaven?"

"Oh yeah. It's the place where dreams come true."

   

"Maybe this is heaven.""

   

09/20: ROCK

Posted on Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

Dave!Today's word in the TWENTY/TWENTY meme is "rock."

And it's kind of strange exactly how many ways that this word can be interpreted for a photo meme like this. It's music. It's a stone. It's a motion. It's an assault of the senses. It's a lot of things.

But the first thing that came to mind was when @CopaseticBeth and @HoustonsProblem were nice enough to take me to Stone Mountain, which happens to be the biggest rock on earth. It's indescribably massively huge... and yet most of it is buried, so you're not even seeing all of it. As you look down from the cable car, people are like ants on the thing...

Stone Mountain View

Stone Mountain People Ants

   
What probably should be first in my mind is the Hard Rock Cafe, seeing as how I've been to 128 of them around the world...

Dave Hard Rock Cafe Visits

   
In other news... something which doesn't rock today would be Wonder Woman's new costume. Writer Michael J. Straczynski apparently desired a tougher more modern look, and wanted to address fan outrage over Princess Diana not having pockets. So what do we get? Wonder Woman as a biker chick, complete with retro 80's mini jacket, throat choker, and latex pants. It's apparently a more feminist approach to the character's look, but I'd argue that with her tits hanging out of that jacket and all those prominent ass shots, it's a giant step backwards for woman-super-hero-kind...

New Wonder Woman Costume

New Wonder Woman Costume

New Wonder Woman Costume

New Wonder Woman Costume

Wonder Woman is one of the most powerful heroes in the DC Comics Universe. She's a frickin' AMAZON WARRIOR! She's the equivalent of Marvel Comics' Thor, for heaven sakes. She is not a biker chick! Want to make her tougher? Just add armor and big-ass weapons to the iconic costume she already wears, like George Pérez did...

Wonder Woman Armor

And then there's that giant battle-axe she carries. Would you fuck with somebody who was packing THIS...?

Wonder Woman Axe

It doesn't get much tougher than that!

I admit that I am interested in what Straczynski has planned for the character, but don't feel the costume is that great. It's neither memorable nor iconic... and is a complete disservice to Wonder Woman's roots as an American hero. George Pérez did a masterful job of reinventing Princess Diana of Themyscira back in the 80's, but this time it smells of desperation, looking kind of cheap and sad... like she's wearing Black Canary's 80's era hand-me-downs or something.

Oh well. Something tells me it will not last...

   

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Thrice Fiction Magazine - March, 2011 - THE END
I'm co-founder of Thrice Fiction magazine. Come check us out!
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