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Talent

Posted on Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

Dave!Was Diane Keaton frickin' high on "The Colbert Report" last night?

Because that had to be the single most awkward and embarrassing interviews I've ever seen. Despite numerous efforts by Colbert to get her to talk about her damn book, she just would not stop being a complete jackass. I don't know if she thought she was being funny with her accusations of sexual harassment and general bat-shit hostility or what... but holy crap...

Keaton High on Colbert?

The fact that Colbert managed to keep the interview going... and stay funny under the onslaught of Keaton's insanity... speaks volumes as to his talent...

Colbert Nation!

I really don't know what I'll do once Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart decide to retire. It seems as though The Colbert Report and The Daily Show are the only "news" programs I can stomach now-a-days.

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Rage

Posted on Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

Dave!I've always liked The Hulk, because I think that he's a character everybody can relate to. Many-a-times while reading Incredible Hulk comics I thought about the rage monster inside of every one of us that's barely contained and ready to burst out at a moment's notice.

Then I have to wonder what it would take to push me over the edge and unleash the beast.

Watching FOX "News" and their near-continuous stream of exaggerations, half-truths, and outright lies to push their agenda would come close. Not so much because they do it... they're hardly unique amongst news organizations for that... it's more because they claim to be "fair and balanced" when clearly they're full of shit...

I mean, WTF?!?

Hulk not mad. Hulk confused...

Hulk No Smash Right Now...

A fucking COMEDY CHANNEL is having to fact-check one of the most popular news organizations on the planet?

Something has gone very, very wrong. And that makes Hulk angry...

Hulk Smash!

And you won't like Hulk when he's angry.

UNLESS... you are watching The Avengers movie, which opens nation-wide on Friday! I mean, seriously, with the exception of a few douchebags writing negative reviews so they can get some attention, everybody is LOVING this film!

If only DC Comics could get their shit together. Because, with the exception of an awesome-looking finale to the Batman trilogy with the upcoming Dark Knight Rises, they got nuthin'. To think that they could have built on the success of Batman and unleashed amazing Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, and Flash films... culminating in a frickin' JUSTICE LEAGUE movie... well, it's almost heartbreaking. Green Lantern was lame, and what little I've seen of Man of Steel is looking awful.

Oh well. Between Marvel Comics movies and FOX "News" I guess we've got enough popular fiction to keep us occupied for a while.

   

Tubby

Posted on Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

Dave!Eh oh!

Bad Monkey is Tinky Winky Teletubby

   

Remember back in 1999 when religious leader Jerry Falwell declared that the purple member of The Teletubbies was a homosexual role model for children because he was carrying that red handbag everywhere? Yes, it sounds ridiculous, but he was totally serious about it.

Since that time, other religious leaders and groups have been in an uproar over things they consider to be bad role models for children... and, more often than not, it's because they are gay (e.g. Chris Coffer on Glee) or assumed to be gay (e.g. Tinky Winky and SpongeBob SquarePants)...

SpongeBob Rainbow

Whatever the case, these morons honestly believe that even the mere sight of something they perceive to be gay will causes kids to embrace homosexuality.

And what can parents do when their child has been infected by The Gayness? According to Pastor Sean Harris of the Barean Baptist Church in Fayetteville, N.C., you beat the gay out of them, of course!

"So your little son starts to act a little girlish when he is four years old and instead of squashing that like a cockroach and saying, 'Man up, son, get that dress off you and get outside and dig a ditch, because that is what boys do,' you get out the camera and you start taking pictures of Johnny acting like a female and then you upload it to YouTube and everybody laughs about it and the next thing you know, this dude, this kid is acting out childhood fantasies that should have been squashed."
   
"Can I make it any clearer? Dads, the second you see your son dropping the limp wrist, you walk over there and crack that wrist. Man up. Give him a good punch, okay? You are not going to act like that. You were made by God to be a male and you are going to be a male. And when your daughter starts acting too butch you reign her in. And you say, 'Oh no, sweetheart. You can play sports... play them to the glory of God. But sometimes you are going to act like a girl and walk like a girl and talk like a girl and smell like a girl and that means you are going to be beautiful. You are going to be attractive. You are going to dress yourself up.'"

Who is this sadistic moron?

And we wonder why gay youth are committing suicide in record numbers.

I'm straight, but heaven only knows I'm not the most masculine guy in the world. I most certainly wasn't the most masculine kid in school. And because of that, I should have been abused and beaten just to be sure any non-masculine behavior wasn't a sign that I might be "turning gay?"

When the furor over Pastor Sean's remarks hit earlier this week, I started writing a long rant about how we're quickly becoming a society that is hostile... sometimes fatal... to children who are even a little different than what is considered "normal." But as I was re-reading it, I decided that it would do more harm than good, and tossed it.

Then today I read where Pastor Sean is retracting his statements of persecution and violence, but not really. He still feels totally justified in telling people to beat their kids based on scripture that he obviously doesn't understand.

And now I'm wishing I hadn't tossed out my rant, because I concluded it by calling Pastor Sean "a fucking asshole that should be arrested for child endangerment who then gets the shit beaten out of him in prison so he can fully understand the violence he is advocating."

Some would say that such a wish for violence against Pastor Sean makes me no better than the asshole himself. They would be right.

But then I think back to the child I was. The child who wasn't good at sports, who didn't like hiking or fishing, who wasn't popular with girls, who loved art and music, who wasn't like most of the boys... and I say "fuck it." He would have advocated my getting beaten, so it's only right that he be on the receiving end of the same sentiment. Eye for an eye and all that.

And since I'm pretty sure I read that in The Bible somewhere, it's totally justified, right?

   

Avengers!

Posted on Friday, May 4th, 2012

Dave!HOLY CRAP WHAT A FRICKIN' AWESOME MOVIE!!

I don't want to spoil it for anybody, so I'm not going to give away anything. Except to say that The Avengers is a comic book lover's dream that even people who don't care for comic books will enjoy.

Which is not to say it's perfect. There are definitely some moments where it dragged a bit. But, unlike the crappy trio of original X-Men films which wimped out in every way possible, The Avengers attempted to show the brutal reality of what it would be like when a super-hero team come to life. And it totally worked...

The Avengers Movie Poster

Writer/Director Joss Whedon just eclipsed every other comic book super-hero film ever made. And I loved, loved, loved it.

With one small exception.

Which I can't talk about without RUINING THE FILM FOR ANYBODY WHO HASN'T SEEN IT.

So absolutely DO NOT read the extended entry until you've seen the movie. Seriously, you just can't go any further if you haven't seen the film. Even if that's going to be on DVD two years from now. Which it shouldn't be, because this movie is screaming to be seen on the big screen.

But before we get to that, time to update my whole "Y2K Super-Hero Comic Book Renaissance" scorecard as follows...

The Avengers... A+
Batman Begins... A
Batman Dark Knight... A+
Blade... B
Blade 2... B
Blade Trinity... B-
Captain America... A+
Catwoman... F
Daredevil... B-
Daredevil (Director's Cut)... B+
Elektra... D
Fantastic Four... C
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer... D
Ghost Rider... C
Green Hornet... D
Green Lantern... C+
Hellboy... A
Hellboy 2: Golden Army... A
Hulk... C-
Incredible Hulk... B
The Incredibles... A+
Iron Man... A+
Iron Man 2... A
Jonah Hex... F
Kick-Ass... B+
Punisher... C+
Punisher War Zone... C
Spider-Man... B+
Spider-Man 2... A
Spider-Man 3... D-
Superman Returns... C+
Thor... B+
Watchmen... B
X-Men... C
X-Men 2: United... D
X-Men 3: Last Stand... F-
X-Men Origins: Wolverine... D
X-Men: First Class... B
→ Click here to continue reading this entry...

   

Videno

Posted on Saturday, May 5th, 2012

Dave!Happy Cinco de Mayo! Happy Super-Moon!

Today when I dropped by YouTube, I got a notification that I had Google Videos that can automatically be transferred over. I think they had mentioned sometime last year that they were shutting down their video services, so the end must be nigh.

I didn't even remember using Google Video, so I clicked through to find that I had just one... my very first vlog entry! Apparently I gave a quiz, and the video was my way of providing the answers. But it's me we're talking about, so I had to take time to be a total nut-job first...

Interestingly enough, my original entry for it had a full transcript, which I don't even remember writing.

Anyway, you might want to check and see if you have any wayward videos hanging around Google before they cut off access completely.

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Bullet Sunday 277

Posted on Sunday, May 6th, 2012

Dave!Put down that margarita, because Cinco de Mayo is over and Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Wonder! Now that Joss Whedon's The Avengers has broken box office records and made $600 MILLION DOLLARS in only twelve days of release (with only three of those days here in the USA), my mind wanders to another project he was attached to a while back... Wonder Woman. Except Warner Bros. screwed him out of the film, which he very much wanted to make. Now, I'm not so deluded to believe that a Whedon Wonder Woman film would do The Avengers box office... far from it. But I do think that Joss could have made it successful if he had just been given a chance...

George Pérez Wonder Woman
Wonder Woman perfectly rendered by the incomparable George Pérez

Whedon has a history of writing amazing female characters (Buffy, anyone?) and his take on Black Window in The Avengers was flawless, so one can only fantasize what he would have done with the most popular female comic book super-hero ever.

If every person at Warner Bros. responsible for fucking up Whedon's Wonder Woman film hasn't gotten their ass kicked and been fired, it needs to happen. Stupid shit like this is the reason that DC Comics' only success with movie adaptations in recent years has been Batman.

   
• Repeat! Speaking of The Avengers, am I the only one who saw it and now all they can think about is seeing it again?

Avengers Agent Coulson Poster

The movie was just so... big... that I know it's going to take at least a dozen viewings before I manage to process everything that happened.

   
• Beastly! Sadly, Adam "MCA" Yauch died on Friday at the much-too-young-age of 47. Like everybody else from my generation, The Beastie Boys were a pretty big musical force in my life. And, apparently, other musicians feel the same, because the tributes are already rolling in. Like this one form Chris Martin and Coldplay at a recent concert...

This rendition of the Beastie Boys' most famous song is completely contrary to the brash "in your face" intent of the original song, but it's so beautifully crafted and heartfelt that it still works. Rest in peace, MCA.

   
• Comedy! I didn't necessarily agree with all the winners at the Second Annual Comedy Central Comedy Awards... but what a frickin' hilarious show. If you missed it, keep a look out. Comedy Central usually reruns their crap fifty times a week, so it should be popping up soon.

   
• Let Us! Why is it whenever I buy a bag of shredded lettuce for tacos and hamburgers that the shit goes bad just one day after opening? Oh... hold a second... the answer is staring me right in the face...

Lettuce Shreds: No Preservatives

So now I'm conflicted. On one hand, I appreciate that my lettuce doesn't have any chemicals on it to make me sick or give it a funky taste. But on the other hand... I'M SICK AND TIRED OF THROWING MONEY IN THE GARBAGE EVERY TIME I BUY A BAG OF LETTUCE! I'd be happy if I could get a bag of salad that would last a full week. Hell, I'd be fucking thrilled to have a bag that last three days. But it doesn't exist, so one of two things needs to happen... 1) Start making multi-packs that divide the bag into smaller servings so unused portions can stay fresh longer. 2) Add the damn preservatives so I can actually afford to have lettuce on my burger. I suppose a third option could be to buy a head of lettuce and chop it down when I need it, but even that doesn't last for shit. Stupid lettuce.

   
And now... back to my post-Cinco-de-Mayo reality.

   

Sheeted

Posted on Monday, May 7th, 2012

Dave!For years now I've been buying ridiculously expensive bedsheets under the impression that they were better to sleep on. Egyptian cotton. 1200 thread count. Sateen finish. Etc. Etc.

But last week as I was sweating my balls off during a surprise heatwave, I had an epiphany. Say! These fancy sheets aren't really more comfortable! For one thing, the high thread count and sateen finish seems to trap the heat, making me sweat, which then also becomes trapped. Blech.

Then I remembered back to the sheets I had as a kid. Back then, I didn't give a crap about thread count and finish... the only thing I cared about was what was printed on them. I had Snoopy sheets. Star Wars sheets. Lots of different sheets. They were cheap, shitty, and I slept like a rock...

Dave Sleeping on SHEETS

So when it came time to spend my Shopko gift certificate, I went looking for the crappiest sheets I could fine. They're like... 15 thread count... or whatever. And the finish is rough... almost sandpaper rough. I don't know where the cotton comes from, but it's probably not Egypt. It's probably from like... Trenton, New Jersey or something. Overall, it's like sleeping on steel wool. But they breathe more and feel a bit cooler, which is probably the most important factor for me.

And maybe after a hundred more washings they might just get softer.

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Wild

Posted on Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

Dave! Where the Wild Things Are.

Who read that wonderful book and didn't want to be Max, King of All Wild Things? I'm guessing nobody.

Which is why I was very saddened to learn that creator Maurice Sendak had died today...

Lil' Dave is a Wild Thing
“Oh, please don't go—we'll eat you up—we love you so!”

Remarkably, Mr. Sendak was more than just an enourmously talented author and illustrator... the guy was funny as hell. And, lucky for us, his last interview was with Stephen Colbert. If you haven't seen it, this is something well worth your time...

And part two...

Rest in peace, Mr. Sendak. Your works will be inspiring kids of all ages for generations to come.

   

Equal

Posted on Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

Dave!"I don't hate gay people, I'm just supporting the sanctity of marriage."
   

And so the President of these United States of America finally grew a pair and came out in support of something he already supported back in 1996 (but then pretended he didn't support for presidential political points)... same-sex marriage.

And while I don't think I will ever understand how two people with the same genitals getting married affects anybody else's marriage, I admit to being a bit puzzled that President Obama picks now to come out of the equality closet. While I'd like to think that he's doing it because it's the Right Thing, I harbor no illusions that it's politically motivated in one way or another.

Still... it's a start. And it is the Right Thing.

This video that's been burning up the internet explains why...

And here's where the whole tired excuse of "I don't hate gay people, I'm just supporting the sanctity of marriage" completely falls apart.

  • I can never be convinced that anybody would willingly cause somebody in this much pain any additional suffering if they didn't hate them.
  • I can never be convinced that two consenting adults being able to celebrate their love in marriage destroys the "sanctity" of anything.

Regardless of a person's beliefs (religious or otherwise), the only "attack" on "traditional marriage" that cannot be denied or argued is divorce. Using same-sex marriage as a scapegoat for any matrimonial failures is just an excuse to discriminate.

And a poor one at that.

   

Possessed

Posted on Thursday, May 10th, 2012

Dave!My neighbor seems to spend most of his free time detailing his car. Every time I see him he's washing it... waxing it... buffing it... touching it up... polishing it... or otherwise taking care of it. And it's not like it's a vintage Corvette or anything. It's just a Ford Explorer. But he takes real pride in making sure it's kept in the best shape possible. Even if he doesn't drive it very much.

And then there's my car.

I would just as soon set the piece of shit on fire than wash it.

In fact, I have no idea when the last time I washed it even was. It's been years, I'm sure. The only time it ever gets clean is when it rains. Or it snows and the snow melts. All other times it's dusty and dirty and looks like it's been abandoned. Which it pretty much has.

Oh sure... I think about driving through the car wash every once in a while. Usually after just having seen my neighbor working on his rig. But the thought is fleeting and I've forgotten all about it the minute I turn out of the driveway. What's the point, after all? It's just going to get dirty again.

When it comes down to it, I don't care about my car. I never have. So long as it gets me from place to place, I don't care what it looks like or how it runs or what people think about it. If I believed that material possessions defined me in any way, this would be a major point of embarrassment. But, well, ya know... attachment leads to suffering and all that.

   

And then I saw a review of the 2012 Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabriolet cross my feed reader today...

2012 Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabriolet
Gorgeous photo by Porsche, taken from Motor Trend

Dream car.

Some possessions possess you. I know this one would certainly possess me.

Which is why I'm glad I don't have $108,950 burning a hole in my pocket. There are so many more things I'd rather do with my time than to rub my Porsche with a diaper every waking hour of every day that I wasn't driving it.

Unless, you know, somebody wanted to give me one.

I can buy my own diaper.

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Impatience

Posted on Friday, May 11th, 2012

Dave!There's a family of quail that live along the road where I turn into my place. So every time I round the corner onto that road, I slow way down. You never know if the quail will be wandering around, and I don't want to squish one. In my heart I know it's probably going to happen one day, I just don't want to be the one responsible.

Today when I turned, there were three of them bobbing along the side of the road. As usual, they got all panicky with a giant car heading towards them and started dashing around. One got really lost and turned in front of me, so I stopped and waited for him to find his way back.

Which is when a car rounded the corner behind me and screeched to a halt.

I couldn't see the little quail yet, so I didn't budge.

It couldn't have been more than 10 seconds, but the car behind me hit the gas and swerved around me, horn blaring.

This caused the little quail to run back to the bushes on the side of the road, so I continued on.

And then spent the next half-hour trying to figure out how one would go about convincing quail to relocate to a new, less dangerous, home.

My life would be so much easier if I didn't mind grinding a few quail into the pavement from time to time.

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Red

Posted on Saturday, May 12th, 2012

Dave!Ever feel like you've been singled out for a special destiny?

Like you've been marked for a fate that you just can't escape?

And not in a good way?

Star Trek Lil' Dave in a Red Shirt

   
Yeah. Me too. I knew I should have never subscribed to InStyle Magazine. But 12 issues was just a dollar, yo, so what choice did I have?

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Bullet Sunday 278

Posted on Sunday, May 13th, 2012

Dave!Happy Mother's Day! And word to your mother, because Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Bank! The Avengers just blew past ONE BILLION DOLLARS at the worldwide box office. Not bad for a movie built for comic book geeks. The only way things could get much better would be if Marvel could get some cooperation between the various movie studios that have the rights to their characters. It can only benefit everybody involved. A cameo appearance by Spider-Man in an Avengers flick would only raise interest in Spider-Man's movie, for example...

Avengers Assembled

But the meeting I most want? X-Men vs. Avengers. Not the cheesy, shitty X-Men from the crappy original trilogy... but the real X-Men we saw in the X-Men: First Class movie. Because the current Avengers vs. X-Men comic book is killing it, and that would make for one incredible flick. But nobody ever accused movie studios of being very smart, so it's probably never going to happen. Such a shame.

   
• CS6! And so Adobe Creative Suite 6 was unleashed this week. So far... I'm kind of digging it. As somebody who shoots a lot of wide-angle photos, the new "Adaptive Wide Angle" correction filter in Photoshop is worth the upgrade alone. Illustrator gets variable-width strokes and some really nice gradient tools. InDesign gets some really cool layout tools. And everything seems to be a bit snappier thanks to their new "Mercury" graphics engine. I also like the "pro" interface overhaul (even though it doesn't utilize the "full-screen" feature of OS X, which is just stoopid). Overall, a pretty decent upgrade.

Except for the cost. I bypassed Adobe's insulting and absurd CS5.5, so all my pricing is for upgrading "CS5 Design Premium." Except there is no "Design Premium" any more, so I have to get "Design & Web Premium" to get everything I previously had. Price? $749. Bullshit. In 2010 it was only $599. So I guess I skip "Premium" and get "Design Standard" for $549. It only has Photoshop (NOT Extended), Illustrator, InDesign, and Acrobat... which is lame bullshit.

Adobe Creative Cloud Graphic

The high prices are meant to push people to join Adobe's "Creative Cloud" offering, which gets you everything they make for $50 a month. This would be a bargain if I actually used everything they make. As a previous customer I get a year at $30 a month (introductory price), which is still too pricey for what I end up using, but it will give me time to figure out what I'll eventually end up buying. Hopefully Adobe will realize that people don't want to pay for what they don't use and offer an option without the video production tools at a more reasonable cost. As it is, "Creative Cloud" is more a rip-off than anything else.

   
• Iconic! I've written before about the carousel of progress that's been the evolution of Adobe Creative Suite icons. It went from an inexplicable WTF? in CS2... to a nice white on tone in CS3... to a very classy black on tone in CS4... to a pleasing tone-on-tone in CS5. And now in CS6? I don't even have an opinion...

Adobe CS Icon Evolution

Except to say that they feel clunky, amateurish, and look like shit in my Dock...

Adobe CS6 Icon Mismatch

Not even color coordinated? Really? Pathetic. And the document icons are even worse. I'd be embarrassed for Adobe, but it's not like they'd give a crap. They're the only game in town now and they know it.

   
• DVR! Back when I had satellite television, I had a TiVo DVR. It was heaven. The best possible way to watch television. But I had to give up satellite for cable because my location wouldn't let me get HD channels by satellite. Unfortunately, Charter Cable doesn't have TiVo. I was stuck with a HEINOUS PIECE OF SHIT called a "Moxi" DVR. It was a poorly-designed, constantly-over-heating, featureless, stuttering pile of FAIL! It had to be replaced twice. Then the third one died this past week. So Charter gave me a generic Motorola DVR that's a heck of a lot better than MOXI, but still a featureless piece of shit (you can't even hide channels you don't get!).

Which begs the question... Why is TiVo the only company who can make a DVR that's worth a damn?

Charter Cable has been promising TiVo to their customers for ages. It was supposed to arrive next month. Now the rollout has been delayed. Who the hell knows if it will ever be released. What I do know is that I am sick and tired of the sub-standard DVR bullshit they keep shoving down my throat. Maybe it's time to ditch cable altogether and buy all the stuff I want to watch with AppleTV?

   
• Hooray! From the television up-fronts we now know that Person of Interest, Revenge, Castle, Suburgatory, Happy Endings, Scandal, Raising Hope, and Grim have all been renewed for another season. In somewhat good news, Community, 30 Rock, Parks & Recreation, and Fringe got partial final season orders for them to finish up their shows. While better than a flat-out cancellation, this still sucks pretty hard. Community is essential television viewing.

   
• Crap! The Finder and Awake... two of my favorite shows were canceled. Awake I kinda get. The show was a bit esoteric and didn't have a huge amount of mainstream appeal with the whole "two worlds" concept. People aren't that smart. But The Finder?!? Such a frickin' amazing and entertaining show. I simply do not understand how it failed to build a huge audience. To add insult to injury, they ended the season with a massive multi-character cliffhanger. I can only hope that Hart Hanson will use a couple episodes of his other show, Bones, to wrap things up. Damn. Fucked by FOX again.

   
And now? I should probably back-up my laptop now that I've added a bunch of crap. That's a good Sunday project.

   

Frustration

Posted on Monday, May 14th, 2012

Dave!If it weren't for the one good thing that happened today, I'd be a complete wreck.

Because there's only so long you can beat your head against the wall and scream in frustration over all the bullshit that piles up over the course of a day. In other words... it's a Monday.

And that's the Big Picture, isn't it?

Nothing happens over the weekend, so everything that could possibly go wrong will come to a head on Monday. Perhaps the problem might have been spotted last Friday, but nobody wants to think about anything on Fridays except the upcoming weekend, so Fridays might as well not exist. Which brings us back to Monday. Again.

And Mondays always get me thinking about those awful Garfield cartoons that I loved at first... but eventually grew to loathe because they got so repetitive, lazy, and boring. Garfield the cat has thousands of reasons to hate Mondays, and the people writing and drawing Garfield for Jim Davis have reiterated this a billion times in a zillion different ways...

Garfeeld Mundays

And every damn time they came up with yet another stupid-ass "Garfield Hates Mondays" joke I wanted to scream at the newspaper "YOU'RE A FUCKING CAT, BITCH! HOW IN THE HELL IS MONDAY DIFFERENT FROM EVERY OTHER DAY OF THE WEEK THAT YOU DO NOTHING BUT EAT, SLEEP, AND SHIT ALL DAY LONG?!?"

Which, I suppose, is the genius of Garfield, because releasing that kind of frustration is exactly what comic strips are supposed to do.

Irony can be so ironic sometimes.

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Hummus!

Posted on Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

Dave!I overheard something yesterday that made my head explode.

After I calmed down I thought "Well, at least I have something to blog about tomorrow!" and moved on. Except writing about the situation has proven impossible, so now I don't know what I'll do. Probably sleep on it for a while and see how I feel next week. Perhaps time will provide the proper perspective I need to express my thoughts without going into a profanity-laden meltdown.

Or not.

Right now it's difficult to think clearly.

So I guess I'll just wish everybody a Happy Hummus Day and move on...

DAVETOON: Lil' Dave Loves Hummus

And, speaking of hummus, did you know that Shiny and Faiqa have started up with NEW episodes of Hey That's My Hummus? Totally worth your time to take a listen.

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Moo!

Posted on Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

Dave!Ooh! You can WIN FREE STUFF in this entry! Read on, fair reader...

Since starting this blog, I've refused at least a hundred offers to review crap, promote crap, or sell crap. So when a guy from Moo Printing emailed me with an offer of free business cards,. I was going to say no. But then he also offered to let me GIVE AWAY free business cards if I'd review my Moo experience. So I said "okay!" because I love my readers more than I love not lying.

And because I had a good experience with Moo in the past for my clothing tags, I figured there was a good chance I wouldn't have to say anything nasty in my review. That would be really awkward.

So I'll skip to the good part first. I LOVE MY NEW BLOGGER CARDS!

Dave Moo Cards!

Moo makes it ridiculously easy to create great-looking cards, stickers, postcards, and other cool stuff.

Once you've selected what you want to print, all you have to do is decide what you want for a design. I created new DaveToons to upload, but you can easily import images or graphics from Flickr, Picassa, SmugMug, Facebook, and even Etsy...

Moo Design Screen

And here's the thing that makes Moo so frickin' awesome... you can have a separate design for the front of EACH individual piece! Ordering 100 business cards? All 100 can have a different photo on them! If you use less images than the number of pieces you're ordering, Moo will attempt to evenly divide the cards between the designs.

What's cool about this is that I was able to make cards for both my blogs in the same box to save money over ordering two different cards separately. I made Bad Monkey cards in four different colors for Blogography, then made Lil' Dave card for DaveCafe (which I uploaded twice so I would have extra...

Moo Design Screen

Then you turn the card over to design the back. You can select colors, type what you want, then have Moo do the rest... or you can design something from scratch like I did...

Moo Design Center

And that's all there is to it, really. The whole process is dead-simple, and Moo lets you see what your finished cards are going to look like before you place your order. Once you're happy with things, all you have to do is checkout and wait.

When my cards finally arrived, I prepared myself for disappointment. Because the colors never seem to turn out like what you wanted... especially with the crazy, unprintable bright colors I used. But, surprise surprise, the printing was pretty darn good. The shading on Lil' Dave's face usually comes out all banded when printed, but the Moo printing had gradients that were smooth as butter. My "impossible to print" colors turned out much brighter than I was expecting (though not quite as bright as this photo from my iPhone shows)...

Dave's Moo Cards!

What really great is the paper stock Moo uses. The "Classic" paper I selected is a really nice 16pt thick stock with a satin finish that's soft to the touch. They also have a "Green" (as in eco-friendly, not color) stock that runs a bit higher. They "feel" good in the hand, and are sure to make an impression when you hand them out.

As shown in the first photo, Moo packs your cards in a classy but sturdy black box. It has tabbed dividers for "MINE" and "THEIRS" so you can even use it as a case if you want.

About the only complaint I had was that the cards were not centered in the cutting die very well when they were punched out. They're a couple millimeters offset. This doesn't seem like a big deal but, on something as small as a business card, you definitely notice it. I would think that Moo would be a little more careful given their high-quality standards, but there you have it...

Moo Card Front/Back

Does it "ruin" the card? Not really. I stayed within the "safety margin" I was given, so nothing got cut off. Most people probably won't even notice. But to an anal-retentive designer like myself, it's kind of a bummer. And yet... they're still the best business cards I've ever had.

And now for the good part...

Moo has generously offered to let me give away a box of 100 "Classic" business cards (a $39.98 value) plus free domestic shipping (a $7.75 value). If you want extras like "Green" paper... or the nifty rounded corners I have on my cards... or rush shipping... or international delivery... or whatever... you'll have to pay the difference yourself.

To enter in the drawing, just leave a comment telling me your favorite sandwich. I'll draw a name at random from all the commenters in one week on May 23rd (so get your comment posted by May 22nd!). Be sure to leave a valid email address so I can contact you if you win (it won't be shown). GOOD LUCK! And thanks to Moo for not only my beautiful business cards, but for thinking of my readers too!

Wanna Moo too? Here's a direct link to their business cards page!

   

Postmortem

Posted on Thursday, May 17th, 2012

Dave!Okay... Okay... Okay... THREE EPISODES of Community tonight?!?

The first of the three was my favorite episode to date, which is really saying something considering the slew of frickin' amazing episodes that came previously. Not only did they faithfully represent the Age of 8-Bit Video Games perfectly, the characterization of each cast member in pixels was flawless...

Community Video Game Episode

Community Video Game Episode

The fact that the show is only getting a paltry 13 episode order next season is a travesty. But I suppose they have to make room for what ever shitty reality television crap they've bought to stink up the airwaves come Fall. I know that television is a business, and ratings and ad revenue are the only factors that really matter... but come on. Given the quality, critical acclaim, and rabid fan base of the show, NBC owes it to humanity to at least get Community up to 65 episodes so it can be syndicated.

But the network seems intent on killing it off.

And speaking of premature deaths...

This morning I got an email from somebody who stumbled across my blog from a Google search and wanted to thank me for writing about whatever it was they were looking for. It was a really nice note, and it's good to know that this blog has useful content squeezed in-between all the stupid crap I usually write about.

The interesting bit came at the end of the email when they said "I hope you've made arrangements to keep you blog around after you're dead because it would be a shame for it to disappear."

To which I replied "Nope. My guess is that Blogography will die shortly after I do, but thanks for the kind words!"

Then I got to thinking about how I really should be more distraught that nine years of my life will soon evaporate if I get hit by a bus tomorrow. But I'm not. Not really. I've toyed with the idea of deleting my blog a half-dozen times in the past, so why should I care if it happens after I'm dead? I suppose it's a little depressing to think that a domain scalper will undoubtedly come along and grab "blogography.com" so they can use it to link to a bunch of websites selling "generic viagra" or something. But that's life... and death... on the internet for you.

Eventually I'll be gone and forgotten just like 99.9% of everybody else on earth, and that's probably how it should be.

Unless somebody wants to finance that monument to my greatness I so totally deserve...

   

Pinpoint

Posted on Friday, May 18th, 2012

Dave!I've become a little obsessive-compulsive trying to pinpoint that exact moment where things started to go horribly wrong. You'd think that having a blog would make this easy but, since I never write about the more personal aspects of my life, it really doesn't. The blog entries are a terrific walk down memory lane, yet woefully incomplete. Superficial ramblings rarely provide any clues as to what was going on below the surface, and that's where the answer lies.

But then I spotted a picture of myself when I was in Portland on August 29th, 2008.

This triggered something in my head, but the image was too small to figure it out. So I spent a little time going through backup archives and tracked down the original photo.

Sure enough, after looking into my own eyes, I was able to put the pieces together and figure out exactly where the turning point was...

Dave Kinda Healthy

It was three days before this picture was taken. Even if I didn't realize it at the time.

And now?

Time to let go of the past and move on.

Yay.

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Groceries

Posted on Saturday, May 19th, 2012

Dave!I've been craving Oreo cookies all day long.

Which is tough when you don't have any Oreos in the house. I had hoped the craving would go away, but it never did. So at 9:00pm I drove to the grocery store for a bag of cookies. When I got there the place was pretty much empty. This made shopping so nice that I ended up spending $50 on food I didn't even need*. Good thing I have room in my freezer.

Anyway...

I ended up eating a half-bag of Oreos, so this is me now...

Lil' Dave Tosses His Cookies

At least my cookie craving is gone.

   
*A pity I didn't bring my shopping list so I could have bought the food I actually do need.

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Bullet Sunday 279

Posted on Sunday, May 20th, 2012

Dave!Put down those eclipse specs, because Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Goodbye. I was sad to learn that Robin Gibb passed away. Make fun of me all you want, but I always thought The BeeGees were musical geniuses. So many of their unique songs couldn't have been made by anybody else, and it's a testament to this talent that they were so successful for so long. And as if the idea of not getting any more BeeGees music wasn't bad enough, I'm betting we won't be seeing any more Barry Gibb Talk Show skits on Saturday Night Live either...

Barry Gibb Talk Show!

Rest in peace, Mr. Gibb, and thanks for the music.

   
• SNL. Surprisingly, Mick Jagger made for a funny guest-host on the season finale of Saturday Night Live. The episode itself was a farewell to Kristen Wiig and her seven seasons with the show. I had read somewhere that Andy Samberg and Jason Sudeikis were also leaving, but you'd never know it, because it wasn't even hinted at. What's most disappointing is that we didn't get a final "Two A-Holes..." sketch with Wiig and Sudeikis, which I was absolutely expecting. As close as we got was them dancing together while everybody sang their goodbyes...

Oh well. I suppose it could happen upon Kristen Wiig's inevitable return hosting engagement. Until then, I guess there's always Hulu clips...

   
• TED. Despite being almost painfully obvious, I've never heard this argument presented in such a compelling way...

Apparently there was some controversy over this clip. TED originally thought it too partisan to unleash upon an unsuspecting world... or something like that... but I'm not seeing it. Furthermore, how can you hope to solve a problem without approaching it from every conceivable angle? Even if Hanauer's belief is entirely wrong, discussing it may lead to worthwhile conversation. When you're desperate, nothing should be off the table, and I hope to see more of this kind of talk from all sides in the future.

   
• Avengers. I had purchased The Art of Marvel's Thor after seeing the movie. Production design on the Asgard sets and costumes were really well done, and I wanted to see how they were developed. The book was pretty amazing, which made me regret that I hadn't purchased the two Iron Man books. They were out of print and cost a fortune on the secondary market, so I gave up on getting them. Fast forward to the The Avengers, which was production design on an entirely new level, and I simply had to own The Art of Marvel's The Avengers. It did not disappoint. The book is a stunning chronicle of bringing the comic book to the big screen. Then I discovered something very cool... Marvel had assembled books for the previous four Avengers movies (Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Captain America, and Thor) in a boxed set... The Art of Marvel Studios. SCORE! All the books are fantastic...

Art of Marvel Studios

If you wanna take a look inside, JamesTalkALot has a video on YouTube for the Art of Marvel Studios set. He also has a separate video for The Art of Marvel's The Avengers. If you have even a passing interest in these movies, all the books are highly recommended.

   
Annnnnd... I'm spent. Did I black out some time this weekend? Because it doesn't really feel like I got a weekend at all. Such a bummer. I should probably get my crap together so I can go to work in the morning. If there's any justice, I'll black out again through the entire work week so I can have a real weekend.

   

A-Hole

Posted on Monday, May 21st, 2012

Dave!Some people...

Bad Monkey in a Hole

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Interesting!

Posted on Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

Dave!Because I like learning new and interesting things, one of my favorite blogs in my feed reader is Today I Found Out. Every day they've got something cool or weird to share, but today's entry is beyond bizarre because it's packed with fascinating facts about... ants. These are some freaky-ass critters, yo, so prepare to get your mind blown and click on over.

And speaking of interesting facts... here's just another example of why scum-sucking record labels need to die a violent death. Thanks to Wikipedia I found out that the Beatles missed their chance to be immortalized on the two Voyager spacecraft...

Astronomer and science popularizer Carl Sagan had wanted Here Comes the Sun to be included on the Voyager Golden Record, copies of which were attached to both spacecraft of the Voyager program to provide any entity that recovered them a representative sample of human civilization. Although The Beatles favoured the idea, EMI refused to release the rights and when the probes were launched in 1977 the song was not included.

I can't help but think that V'ger wouldn't have been such a bastard in that Star Trek movie if he had Here Comes the Sun in his programming...

The USS Enterprise Enters V'Ger!

But, alas, V'Ger could not merge with The Creator of Here Comes the Sun because EMI didn't want to give up their song rights... IN FUCKING OUTER SPACE!

The stupid. It burns.

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Winner!

Posted on Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

Dave!Congratulations to Foo at Foodiddy! She just won my drawing for a pack of awesome business cards from Moo!

But don't despair if you didn't win... you can still get 10% off your first order at Moo by following this link!

I apologize for not posting this earlier, but technical difficulties got in the way when I tried to upload a video of me drawing the winner's name like I usually do (format error?!?). Rather than wasting another day trying to figure it out, I just snapped some screen captures from the movie...

Moo Winner Drawing

Thanks to everybody who entered!

Moo Entries!

Well that was fun! Kind of gets me psyched for my TEN YEAR BLOGIVERSARY CELEBRATION next April... it'll be crazy-delicious!

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Astigmatism

Posted on Thursday, May 24th, 2012

Dave!"Astigmatism is an optical defect in which vision is blurred due to the inability of the optics of the eye to focus a point object into a sharp focused image on the retina. This may be due to an irregular or toric curvature of the cornea or lens."
Wikipedia

I know that 40 is just a number but, when it comes to how old you are, it's a pretty important number. Because that's the age most people notice things starting to go wrong. I've been luckier than most... except when it comes to eyesight. My eyes went very bad very quickly in my teens and then just kind of stuck there. My prescription has been the same for decades.

And then I hit 40 and astigmatism struck.

Well, not really... it had been happening for years... but it was 40 when it started to be a problem. Things were blurry and I couldn't focus well. Straight lines weren't quite straight. And it was all because my cornea was no longer shaped to focus properly, instead scattering the light on my retina...

Eyeballs!

And so it was finally time to do something about it.

Long story short? I'm wearing glasses more often than contact lenses now. In addition, through trial-and-error I've found a contact lens I like for those times I don't want to wear glasses. If you're dealing with astigmatism and care about the details, I've put my notes in an extended entry.

Otherwise... try to avoid turning 40, if you can manage it.

→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
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Slappy

Posted on Friday, May 25th, 2012

Dave!Gotta have priorities, yo.

I'm too tired to blog, Batman! SLAP! Next time blog BEFORE you play Angry Birds!

   

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Daily

Posted on Saturday, May 26th, 2012

Dave!Sometimes I regret that I'm a "daily blogger."

The reason I write daily is because I know my blog would die a long, slow death if I started skipping days. First I'd skip once or twice a month... then skip once or twice a week... and then, before I even realize it, I'm struggling to write two entries a month. At which point Blogography is dead. I've seen it happen with other blogs many times before. And so I continue to post something every single day, even if I don't have anything to write about or I'm going through something that can't be blogged.

Like today.

I got nuthin'...

Nuthin'

Fortunately, I can totally blog about nuthin'. You're welcome!

   

Bullet Sunday 280

Posted on Sunday, May 27th, 2012

Dave!Put down that barbecue fork, because Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Fresh. Three Bullet Sundays ago I was lamenting how crappy it is that the bagged lettuce I buy goes bad after just one day. Abigail then left a comment telling me about the "Salad in a Jar Method" of keeping salad fresh (using a hand-food-vacuum). It looked like a good plan, so I ordered me a FrashSaver handheld Vacuum. And, since it comes with a deli container, I didn't even have to buy a jar topper. It arrived a couple weeks ago and I've been trying it out not just with salad, but Oreos, crackers, cheese, and all kids of stuff. Miracles of miracles, the thing actually works...

FoodSaver FreshSaver is Dave Approved!

It worked so well that I ended up buying more deli containers! Two complaints though... 1) The deli containers are kind of tough to close... and 2) You have to use an attachment to turn the round vacuum head into an oval vacuum head in order for the unit to be able to suck the air out of the deli containers, which is fucking stupid. Why not just make the valve on the deli containers round? With the attachment on, you can't fit the unit into the charger, and I can see the stupid thing getting lost eventually. Stupid, stupid, STUPID.

   
• Innocence. Back in April the New York blogosphere was blowing up because the police tracked down the "well-dressed guy" who was groping women on the subway...

Guilty While Innocent

Except they didn't.

The guy was completely innocent. Karl Vanderwoude had alibis for when gropings were taking place. Which means the vague resemblance he had to some security footage as well as being picked out of a lineup didn't meant shit. An innocent man was hauled off in handcuffs.

But that wasn't even the worst part. The worst part would be having his photo plastered all over the internet with headlines like "Finance creep arrested for groping women in Manhattan!" and "Cops Say Finance Worker Karl Vanderwoude Is 'Well-Dressed' Groper!" And, naturally, those stories aren't updated or revised or amended to explain he was totally innocent... nope, they will live on forever and haunt him until the day he dies. Somebody years in the future could Google his name, click on an outdated story, and easily be led to believe he was the perpetrator. EXCEPT HE WASN'T!

This is equal parts horrifying and disgusting. The first thought that runs through my head is "Holy crap, could I be next?" followed by "How in the hell could this happen?"

He had alibis, for heaven sakes! But nobody gave a shit until his attorney bothered to ask the guy where he was when the incidents took place! I'm no police detective... but should that be JOB ONE before you fucking arrest somebody? Especially knowing that arresting an innocent man WILL RUIN HIS LIFE?

I feel so horribly bad for this poor guy that my mind can't even grasp what he went through. Surely I can't be the only one? Surely all the people who wrote the headlines that crucified Karl Vanderwoude on the internet feel bad for him too?

Apparently not. None of these "journalists" seem to be rushing to update their original stories... they just print a new story and forget about the old one. But the internet never forgets, those old stories are still there. Innocent Karl Vanderwoude may be, but in all those online archives he's guilty for eternity. He deserves better than that... we all do.

   
• Prohibition? Thanks to Marty for letting me know that my home town was in the New York Times today! Washington State is in the process of switching from government-regulated alcohol distribution to private company distribution, and this has created a booze shortage throughout the State as government shops try to clear out their inventory. Not a popular situation with Memorial Day Weekend partiers. And apparently my small city was the perfect way to dramatize this point to NYT readers. Heh.

DAVETOON: Bad Monkey and Jäger passed out on the floor.

Oh well. If there's one thing we love here in Redneckistan, it's our alcohol, so it's not like I can get upset about it.

   
   
And... it's been a long day. I suppose I should at least try to get some rest before an even tougher day hits in the morning. I'd tell y'all to be good and obey the law during the holiday tomorrow, but Karl Vanderwoude has shown us that this doesn't necessarily guarantee a clean criminal record now-a-days, so I don't know what to say now.

Except "good night."

   

Decoration

Posted on Monday, May 28th, 2012

Dave!Memorial Day used to be called Decoration Day.

Our local cemetery certainly lives up to history every year...

Memorial Day Flags

Memorial Day Flags

Thank you from a grateful nation.

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Addiction

Posted on Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

Dave!The bad news is that my entire weekend was completely packed, so I didn't have any time to spend on the internet.

The good news is that my entire weekend was completely packed, so I didn't have any time to spend on the internet.

It's times like this that make me realize how much of my day I spend online. It's really getting out of hand, and I can't help but wonder what I've been missing in Real Life. Not that I want to give up the internet altogether... a big part of my life is here... but maybe I should be less obsessed with keeping constantly connected to it.

Internet addiction is a hell of a drug.

Which is a pretty deep thought considering I'm not even supposed to be here today. I'm guest-posting over at Christopher's blog...

Lil' Dave and Bad Monkey on Gaming Dice!

This blog entry could self-destruct at any minute, so go check it out!

   

Exhaustion

Posted on Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

Dave!I've been working pretty much constantly for four days now. My brain feels fuzzy and I think it stopped working properly around 6:30am this morning. This was confirmed 90 minutes later when I arrived at work and didn't remember how I got there... despite the fact that I was sitting in my car.

And now, fifteen hours after that, my brain is starting to melt. So I figured I should probably write a blog entry while I still have a few neurons left.

Sooo... if somebody can tell me how to work this toaster, I can get started on this here broccoli Cadillac.

Taco rhapsody.

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Smiley

Posted on Thursday, May 31st, 2012

Dave!

Bad Monkey Paints a Smile

   

   

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