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Ethics?

Posted on Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

Dave!"House committee no longer requires public travel disclosure."

Read it. If you dare.

Politicians once again vote themselves accountable to nobody for anything. Exactly what our founding fathers intended for political office, I'm sure!

Yet dumbfuck Americans sit back and let bullshit like this keep happening instead of doing what they should be doing... which is either A) Demanding transparency in who's buying off our elected officials... or B) Lighting their shit on fire.

I hope I'm alive to see our government razed to the fucking ground and rebuilt without all this disgusting corruption that has choked the shit out of the democratically-represented republic we were supposed to be.

To all the traitorous douchebag assholes on the House "Ethics" Committee who made this pile of crap happen... fuck you. Seriously... fuck you, you fucking fucks...

      Susan W. Brooks, (R) Indiana
      Michael E. Capuano, (D) Massachusetts
      Yvette D. Clarke, (D) New York
      K. Michael Conaway, (R) Texas
      Charles W. Dent, (R) Pennsylvania
      Ted Deutch, (D) Florida
      Trey Gowdy, (R) South Carolina
      Patrick Meehan, (R) Pennsylvania
      Pedro R. Pierluisi, (D) Puerto Rico
      Linda T. Sánchez, (D) California

You have all betrayed the public trust so that you can further attempt to betray the public trust. The people whom you pretend to represent... the people who fucking VOTED for you... deserve to know who's PAYING YOU to be their bitch.

So enjoy your lobbyist-sponsored vacations while you can, you unbelievable pieces of shit.

Which will probably be forever, because Americans just don't seem to give a crap.

   

FUD

Posted on Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

Dave!As if it hasn't been obvious, I've been having a really tough time staying positive lately.

After nearly two decades of successfully working to rid my life of fear, uncertainty, and doubt, it feels like I've taken a massive slide backwards. I find myself second-guessing every decision I make. I question every action I take. And this has awakened a fear I haven't felt in years. At times it completely overwhelms me, and I have no idea where it's coming from or why.

If I were a normal human being, I'd undoubtedly seek professional help.

But I just don't think therapy is a good fit for me.

What I really need to do is to move to Antarctica.

Instead I managed to get tickets to see David Sedaris when he's in Seattle this November. If that doesn't fix me up I don't know what will.

Until then, I'm trying to smile a lot.

   

Newcastle

Posted on Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

Dave!My obsession with Elizabeth Hurley is well documented.

Which is why I was chuffed to bits too get a personal non-apology apology from her and Newcastle over the idiotic reaction to their truly funny "If We Had Won" campaign that surfaced when moronic "patriots" couldn't take a fucking joke. I mean, seriously, if obviously tongue-and-cheek ads by a BEER COMPANY from one of this country's strongest allies is offending you, maybe it's time to pull the flag pole out of your ass and just throw yourself off a cliff you miserable bastards.

Or just have a beer and relax maybe.

Anyway, here is Elizabeth Hurley in all her brutally hot glory...

And, in case you hadn't seen the original "terribly offensive ads," here's an example...

ZOMFG! SO OFFENSIVE! BUT NOT AS OFFENSIVE AS THIS!!!...

And, be still my heart, Elizabeth Hurley getting filthy...

The whole campaign can be found here.

Geez. Now I could really use a Newcastle.

If Americans want a real reason to get mad at the Brits, HERE IT IS...

HOW CAN HOT TAMALES MAKE YOU SAD? What a complete wanker!

   

‘MURICA!

Posted on Friday, July 4th, 2014

Dave!O beautiful for spacious skies, For amber waves of grain, For purple mountain majesties Above the fruited plain! America! America! God shed his grace on thee And crown thy good with brotherhood From sea to shining sea! O beautiful for pilgrim feet Whose stern impassioned stress A thoroughfare of freedom beat Across the wilderness! America! America! God mend thine every flaw, Confirm thy soul in self-control, Thy liberty in law! O beautiful for heroes proved In liberating strife. Who more than self their country loved And mercy more than life! America! America! May God thy gold refine Till all success be nobleness And every gain divine! O beautiful for patriot dream That sees beyond the years Thine alabaster cities gleam Undimmed by human tears! America! America! God shed his grace on thee And crown thy good with brotherhood From sea to shining sea!

Dave!

   

Happy birthday, you crazy bastard!

   

Sony KDL40W600B Review

Posted on Saturday, July 5th, 2014

Dave!When my television died a couple years ago, I didn't want to buy a new one because it was rumored that Apple was coming out with an iTV. So I borrowed a television from my brother until iTV was released. Needless to say, I'm still waiting. And then my brother's television blew up in a cloud of smoke (literally) earlier this week, leaving me television-less with no iTV to replace it. Time to buy a new TV, I guess.

I don't have hours to be researching televisions, so I went to Amazon, put in the specs I wanted (1080/60p, 33-43", Wi-Fi internet connectivity, web apps for Netflix and Amazon streaming, 2014 model) and got one result... the Sony KDL40W600B. I've had excellent luck with Sony gear in the past and the price was under my $500 budget, so I bought it...

My New Television

Design & Construction
The screen size is 40' (diagonal) which is a good size for a smaller room like mine. Being Sony, the design is predictably clean and minimalistic. The narrow plastic bezel around the display is just under 5/8" wide, which is nice because the total set size is kept small... but it would be nice if it were a bit thicker as to minimize distraction around the screen while you watch. The metal stand stand is a little clunky-looking (reminds me of a cheap folding table) and a tad wobbly, but it gets the job done. The construction is... average... is the word I guess I'm looking for. It seems a bit cheap, plasticy, and of underwhelming quality for a Sony. Yet given the under $500 price tag it could have been much worse so I'm happy with it. Appearance-wise it doesn't look too cheap, so I guess it's not a big deal. The up-side of the minimal plastic construction is that the entire unit weighs a mere 15 pounds. Amazing, really. The lightweight build makes it ideal for hanging on a wall (and basic mounting hardware is included). SCORE: B-

User Interface & Remote
Proving for the millionth time that Apple is the only company who knows how to build a decent user interface and simplify a remote... Sony's KDL40W600B is pretty crappy in both arenas. The on-screen menus are poorly designed, inconsistent, laggy, and frustrating. Couple that with a shitty remote and using this TV is a near-painful experience. Once you get used to the baffling idiosyncrasies of the menu system they're serviceable, I guess, but the same cannot be said about the remote control. It fails in most every department. It's uncomfortable to hold. The Volume and Channel buttons are inexplicably at the very bottom, so you get thumb-sprain trying to reach them. For some stupid reason, the number keys (which are rarely used) are given a primo spot under the navigation keys. As if that wren't bad enough, the navigation keys are surrounded by six "function" buttons that are all-too-easy to press by accident when moving around the crappy menus. What a piece of shit. SCORE: D+

Inputs & Internet
The television comes with four... four... HDMI ports, which is pretty sweet. The down-side is that you only get one component video input. If you have a lot of pre-HDMI gear, that's probably a deal-breaker. Things are rounded out by a single composite video input (for that one piece of old, old gear you've got hanging around). On the audio side, you get a couple analog ports, a sub-woofer port, a headphone port, and a digital audio port). And lastly, for handling audio and video media, you also get two USB ports (v2, alas). Internet connectivity can be via the ethernet port or my must-have feature: WiFi. The WiFi set-up is dead simple because is can be automatically configured via your wireless router's WPS button (my Apple "Time Capsule" doesn't have a WPS button, but the "Connect Wireless Printer" option in the AirPort Utility worked perfectly). SCORE: A

Video
Ultimately, the only thing I really care about is the picture quality. Fortunately, this is where the KDL40W600B's LED LCD panel shines. The display is evenly lit, super-sharp, and gorgeous. The blacks are nice and dark which makes for beautiful contrast in the image. With some tweaking of the manual controls, I got the color just how I want it, and I couldn't be happier with the fidelity. I've seen some LED-based televisions that looked terrible when there was quick motion on the screen, but this Sony model has none of that thanks to a host of proprietary technologies onboard. The only down-side to having such terrific video is that non-HD content looks a bit crappy, but you can't fault Sony for that. I wanted very much to not get a 120hz (or higher) set, because I hate the artificial "look" of it. I thought that would be impossible, but this set was 60hz which was a huge plus for me. SCORE: A-

Audio
Given how thin and compact this set is, there's no room for a good set of speakers. This is just bizarre to me, because it seems like it would be a no-brainer to add 3 or 4 inches to the bottom of the set for a proper audio experience... but, alas, no. And it's not just Sony. A quick glance at other sets shows that they are the same way. It's as if all the manufacturers just decided to put shitty speakers in their televisions so they can sell you a separate soundbar to get the sound you want. And you will want it, because this is pretty pathetic. Overall sound is kind of tinny and weak. Even knowing this going in, I thought I'd be okay because my living room is fairly small. I was wrong. The audio is borderline unpleasant to listen to, so I'll end up getting add-on speakers when I can afford it. SCORE: D

Apps
I already have Apple TV, which I like a lot. But it doesn't have Amazon Prime Streaming, which sucks. There's stuff on there I want to watch while I work. So one of the requirements for my new television was that it be able to stream from Amazon, which the KDL40W600B can. It also streams from Netflix and a few other services. This is great and all, but they feel slow to navigate and a bit klutzy compared to how Apple does things (does Netflix REALLY have to ask me to choose "Netflix" or "Kids" EVERY DAMN TIME I OPEN IT? Put "Kids" in a separate app or something, because I don't give a shit about it and am tired of dealing with it). Apps are on the "Opera Browser" platform, which wouldn't be too bad except it's horribly slow and every time you dump out of them, you get an Opera TV Store advertisement. Check the weather? Opera ad. Look at Instagram? Opera ad. It's stupid and I got so sick of it that I stopped giving a crap about apps after my second day. For a set made in 2014, I'd expect much faster performance, much quicker load times, and a much better interface. Oh well. I can at least watch Amazon Prime Streaming, which is nice. SCORE: C

UltraViolet
Without a doubt one of the shittiest internet services ever created, UltraViolet is a studio-owned digital movie distributor. I fucking hate UltraViolet. It's never worked properly for me no matter what I've tried. Even so, I've got movie content in there... including five movies I got for free when I bought this television. But here's the thing... so far as I can tell, there is NO way to play UltraViolet on the KDL40W600B! They don't have an UltraViolet app. They don't have a CinemaNow app. They don't have a Vudu app. The do have a Flixster app, but I couldn't find a way to access my UltraViolet library from it. This is hilarious, given that Sony is a major player in the shitty UltraViolet consortium. So... if you've got a massive UltraViolet library, I hope you have a secondary device to watch them. SCORE: F- (if you give a crap)

Extras
There are a lot of extras on this set that I either don't understand or have no interest in using. The KDL40W600B is a "PlayStation Now" device, which means you can plug in a DuoShock controller and download games from the PlayStation library to play. It sounds like a cool idea, but I've read that the games are crazy-expensive to play, so I'll take a pass. One feature I thought I might use is that "Social View" overlay. It's supposed to be able to display stuff from your Twitter feed... except mine never did, no matter how many times I verified my Twitter account. Oh well. As for the rest? Meh. I'm sure there's some things that some people will find interesting, but I'm not really interested. SCORE: C

   
SONY KDL40W600B CONCLUSION
If you're looking for a (relatively) inexpensive television backed by Sony quality with terrific image quality, this may be it. Video is beautiful. Audio is pretty bad. Design is a bit on the cheap side, but looks pretty good. The remote is total shit. The user interface is almost as bad. Apps are painfully slow for a 2014 model television, but at least it can stream Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Amazon without issue. There's a lot of extras and crap, but the ones I was interested in using seemed more trouble than they're worth. My reason for buying this set was to watch TV and streaming services, for which it's perfect, so I'm quite happy with my purchase.

If you're wanting more info, here's a link to the Sony KDL40W600B on Amazon.

   

Bullet Sunday 388

Posted on Sunday, July 6th, 2014

Dave!It's a great day to stay inside and surf the internet all day... because Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Drone! Most of the time I am not a fan of the successor to RC helicopters... RC drones. When they're not making an annoying whine as the scream across the sky, they're blowing stuff up. But every once in a while, somebody finds a good use for drones that makes me forget all about the negatives. This viral video of a drone flying through 4th of July fireworks is one of them...

WARNING: It may not be all fun and games, however, as this link will tell you.

   
• Evian! Speaking of viral videos... how in the heck did I miss this one?

Guess this is the inevitable next step from stupid talking baby and talking animal commercials?

   
• Proud! During San Francisco Pride, Burger King sold a "Proud Whopper" in one of their restaurants along the parade route. Not surprisingly, I heard about the outcry before I heard about the burger. People were saying things like "I'M NEVER EATING AT BURGER KING AGAIN!" and "STOP CRAMMING HOMOSEXUALITY DOWN MY THOAT!" (ahem). Which is about as fucking stupid as it gets, because this was not a nation-wide project. It was specifically made for a single event in one restaurant in a localized area where the event took place. The only way you'd have "homosexuality crammed down your throat" would be if your were there for San Francisco Pride... and, even then, you could choose to have a plain-old Whopper if you wanted. Burger King never forced you to eat a "Proud Whopper" at all. Putting the usual homophobic idiocy aside, the idea of it all was actually pretty cool. Especially when people found out what a "Proud Whopper" was...

Exactly. Which is why seeing the insane reaction to a completely innocent publicity stunt (which had a positive message for everybody) just reinforces my disgust at what my LGBT friends have to deal with every day. Which I'm guessing is something like this...

The only thing that gives me hope for the future is that people like this will soon be dead and their absurd bigotry will one day be dead with them. Until then, I guess everybody can just "Be Your Way."

   
• Horrible! The movie Horrible Bosses was a complete surprise when I saw it... namely because it didn't suck. I actually really liked it. Well-written, well-acted, and funnier than it had a right to be. Largely thanks to one of Jennifer Anniston's best movie roles ever as a truly horrible boss. I had no idea they were making a sequel, but here it is...

Can't wait! I just hope that it doesn't go all The Hangover on us and do a crappy rehash of the first film in the sequel... then shit the bed in the third one.

   
• Democracy? It will come as no surprise that I'm completely disgusted with the state of government in this country. Politicians are bought and paid for every damn day, which has effectively destroyed any chance of true democracy in this country. It seems an insurmountable problem. But then I saw something that has me intrigued...

Surprisingly, MayDay US reached their $5 million goal. Whether or not it can make any difference against politicians backed by unlimited funds remains to be seen... but it's worth a shot, I suppose.

   
• Shark! After the idiotic crap that tainted Shark Week last year, I was kind of soured on the idea. Then I see this ad...

SHARK EXTREME! Oh Shark Week, how can I quit you?

   
And now I get to go to work! How awesome is that?

   

Super-Green

Posted on Monday, July 7th, 2014

Dave!Well that sucked.

Turns out that this is the only thing that mattered today...


   

   

   

Seriously, that's the only thing.

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Best/Worst 1

Posted on Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

Dave!On days where I do nothing but work, there's never much to blog about.

So I'm starting a new category here at Blogography to make my life easier. Whenever I have nothing to write about, I'll just toss out the best and worst things I've seen that day. Which will usually be YouTue videos I watch while eating lunch at my desk.

Bullet Sunday it ain't... but, eh...

The best thing I saw all day...

Miyazaki-san may have retired from Studio Ghibli, but his fingerprints are still on everything they release. Absolutely beautiful animation.

   
The worst thing I saw all day...

You have to watch it all the way through to appreciate the true horror of it all. Seriously, who wants to listen to this crap? Was the crowd actually digging it? Or were they waving ironically? What has humanity done to deserve this?

   
Now I have to get back to work. At 11:36pm.

I'm pretty sure I know what I did to deserve that.

   

Lifetime

Posted on Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

Dave!I've been fortunate to have seen a big chunk of the world in my life of travels... but it seems there's always somewhere else to go.

HuffPo Travel has assembled The Top 50 Cities to See in Your Lifetime, which is the kind of list I live for... even though these things are usually geographically biased or don't reflect my travel interests. That being said, this one is actually pretty good. I would put Edinburgh, Scotland over a lot of the cities on it, but still... pretty good.

Mostly because I've only been to half of them...

  1. Venice, Italy
  2. Seville, Spain
  3. New York City, USA
  4. Lhasa, China
  5. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  6. London, England
  7. Marrakech, Morocco
  8. Petra, Jordan
  9. Rome, Italy
  10. Varanasi, India
  11. Florence, Italy
  12. Havana, Cuba
  13. Kyoto, Japan
  14. Jerusalem, Israel
  15. Paris, France
  16. Beijing, China
  17. Lalibela, Ethiopia
  18. Granada, Spain
  19. Athens, Greece
  20. Bagan, Myanmar
  21. Kathmandu, Nepal
  22. Vatican City
  23. Lisbon, Portugal
  24. Tokyo, Japan
  25. Istanbul, Turkey
  26. Hội An, Vietnam
  27. Amsterdam, Netherlands
  28. Luxor, Egypt
  29. Berlin, Germany
  30. Jaipur, India
  31. Lyon, France
  32. Oia, Greece
  33. Siem Reap, Cambodia
  34. Vienna, Austria
  35. Cusco, Peru
  36. Cartagena, Colombia
  37. Zanzibar, Tanzania
  38. Mexico City, Mexico
  39. Singapore
  40. Las Vegas, USA
  41. Samarkand, Uzbekistan
  42. Sydney, Australia
  43. San Francisco, California, USA
  44. Mont Saint Michel, France
  45. Dubrovnik, Croatia
  46. Bangkok, Thailand
  47. Buenos Aires, Argentina
  48. Antigua Guatemala, Guatemala
  49. Prague, Czech Republic
  50. Budapest, Hungary

Given that Spain is one of my favorite places to vacation, I'm hoping I get to Seville and Granada eventually. India and Nepal have long been dream destinations, so Kathmandu, Varanasi, and Jaipur would be next on my list.

But Budapest and Vienna have Hard Rock Cafes, so...

I'm nothing if not predictable.

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Throwback Trois

Posted on Thursday, July 10th, 2014

Dave!It's Throwback Thursday!


Dave!

   

   

Ah to be young and posessing a flashy wardrobe again.

   

Combustible

Posted on Friday, July 11th, 2014

Dave!And so... it's fire season again.

Some places have hurricanes. Others have floods.. tornados... earthquakes... name a disaster. Everybody has something. We have wildfires. They got scary close to where I live back in 2004. This time it's a slightly less worrisome 15 miles away near Entiat.

Local photographer Frank Cone has some amazing shots in his Flickr Photostream of the flames...

Frank Cone Fire Photo
Entiat Wildfire Image by Frank Cone ©2014

Frank Cone Fire Photo
Entiat Wildfire Image by Frank Cone ©2014

I feel terrible for all the animals that will die... and those who survive only to be homeless and hungry.

Thanks to the firefighters who, as always, put their lives and safety on the line doing a dangerous job to protect people and property in harm's way.

   

Poppers

Posted on Saturday, July 12th, 2014

Dave!Today is going to be a little different.

I need you to watch a short 30-second commercial.

Please pay attention, because there will be a test afterwards...

Thanks for watching "Beggin' Party Poppers." Here we go...

  1. How fucking lazy have we humans become when we can't be bothered to toss a dog treat in the air, but instead need a device to do it for us?
  2. Do you think the fine people at Purina who developed this product know that "poppers" is a slang term given to a chemical called alkyl nitrite which is inhaled as an aphrodisiac... primarily by homosexuals to relax the anus and make anal sex more comfortable? Even if there aren't any gay men on the product development team, wouldn't you think there's be at least one of them who had a gay friend that likes to delight in torturing them by doing things like explaining what "poppers" are?
  3. Assuming animals are capable of feeling shame, do you think that the dogs in this commercial should feel more or less embarrassed to be appearing in such a fucking stupid advertisement?
  4. Does this entry make you more or less embarrassed to be a Blogography reader... or have you already hit rock-bottom in that department, so nothing I post here can make things worse?
  5. If you had to guess as to what a "Beggin' Popper" tastes like... what would that be?

Thanks for playing!

   

Bullet Sunday 389

Posted on Sunday, July 13th, 2014

Dave!Smoke is in the air and so are bullets... because Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Spoilers! Since I have no desire to see yet another flaming pile of shit Transformers movie that's not about Transformers, I jumped right on io9's "Spoiler FAQ" for Transformers 4. Sounds just as heinous as I knew it would be. Even if you have no interest in this turd of a film franchise, Rob Bricken's comments are pretty epic. If you want an entertaining read that encapsulates everything that's wrong with modern movies, it's an article absolutely work reading.

   
• Don't Come! But... but... I've already been to Belgium!

Antarctica has been at the top of my travel destination list for years. Now I just don't know. Tourist crowds? In freakin' Antarctica? Blargh.

   
• Murder! I would like to add my outrage to all those people condemning dinosaur hunters for murdering these magnificent creatures...

Steven Spielberg, Dinosaur Hunter
Photo © Universal Pictures

What a bastard! NOT COOL, STEVEN SPIELBERG!

   
• Shawn! Started out my day listening to Jay-Z and found myself Googling him to see what he's up to (besides Beyonce). Ended up watching about 20 Jay-Z interviews on YouTube. He is awesome in all of them. This is probably my favorite. Not many people can out-Letterman Dave Letterman...

It's nice how Jay-Z feels the need to keep reminding us that he's cooler than 99% of the people on earth.

   
• Pepe! Click here for some wisdom from a true leader... President José "Pepe" Mujica....

President José
Photo © The Associated Press

They saved the most telling quote for last on the secret to happiness...
"To live in accordance with how one thinks. Be yourself and don't try to impose your criteria on the rest. I don't expect others to live like me. I want to respect people's freedom, but I defend my freedom. And that comes with the courage to say what you think, even if sometimes others don't share those views."

Sounds oddly familiar... a pity politicians in this country aren't so forward (er, backwards?) thinking when it comes to imposing their criteria (or, more likely, the criteria of the lobbyists who have bought them off) on the people they claim to represent.

   
• Thanks! Have you thanked your parents today?

And, to the woman hosting this video... marry me?

   
Now I suppose I should try to get some rest before The Week From Hell rears its ugly head. Blargh.

   

Anything!

Posted on Monday, July 14th, 2014

Dave!For those who took time to "Ask Me Anything" this week, here are your answers.

As an FYI, I only had to delete one question (because it was about another person and not directed to me). This was unexpected, as I thought going 100% anonymous would have invited a lot of hateful crap. As it were, I only got a few questions by people who thought they were asking hateful crap. Thanks for surprising me in a good way, internet!

  1. What's a travel experience you would love to do, but probably won't ever do? That would have to be this.
  2. What's your biggest regret? Letting fear keep me from taking a shot at something I really wanted.
  3. How can you afford to travel so much? I work non-stop... and a big chunk of it is work-related.
  4. Which meat do you miss most since becoming a vegetarian? NOT bacon. Probably pepperoni.
  5. How many more tattoos do you think you'll get? Seven. But I'm secretly hoping a lot more than that. I love them.
  6. Who do you want for president in 2015? Someone believing in personal freedoms like this guy or like this gal. Everything else is window dressing now-a-days.
  7. If you won a 100 million dollar lottery, would you keep working? Unless it's for charity, fuck no.
  8. What's the battery level on your phone? 47%
  9. When are you going to accept the fact that you're into dudes? Maybe something will change one day to make this true, but right now that's not what I'm attracted to.
  10. Are you as big as an asshole in person as you are online? If put into a situation where I need to be an asshole... absolutely yes, asshole.
  11. Blogging is dying off how much longer will you go? I honestly don't know. Right now I have no plans to stop. Maybe tomorrow I'll feel otherwise and hang it up. Or twenty years from now.
  12. What's the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you? I don't embarrass easily, so this is a tough one. I was pretty embarrassed when I discovered that the ass had been torn out of a pair of shorts I was wearing while drunk (and probably going commando) in the Bahamas.
  13. What's something about you that you haven't told anybody before? I've been blogging for over a decade...I doubt there's much left that qualifies. If I think of anything interesting, I'll let you know.

   

Hotwives

Posted on Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

Dave!Sorry, I'm too busy to blog.

BUSY WATCHING THE HOTWIVES OF ORLANDO!


   
This parody of all those idiotic "Housewives" shows is über brilliant.

Watch the whole series for free on Hulu.

   

Ashes

Posted on Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

Dave!When you step outside into the 106° F (41° C) blast furnace that is my home, the heat is the least of your worries. The air is filled with smoke and ash from the wildfires in the area, which makes breathing a bit of a chore.

The skies sure are pretty though.

Beneath the smoke that's rolling across the horizon, there's a golden glow that kisses the landscape until the sun goes down...

Wildfires

Wildfires

Wildfires

Wildfires

Wildfires

Too hot to sleep.

Too smokey to sleep.

Too sweaty to sleep.

Too tired to sleep.

I could really use some sleep.

   

Lemonade

Posted on Thursday, July 17th, 2014

Dave!I'm a big lemonade fan.

Especially on a warm day when it's made from freshly-squeezed lemons.

I sometimes find myself eating at restaurants not because of the food they serve... but because they serve up a great lemonade... Hot Dog on a Stick comes to mind.

In the summer I buy lots of lemonade... mostly the quality brands that are made with real sugar instead of shitty high fructose corn syrup. My favorite brands in my neck of the woods are Simply Lemonade and Newman's Own Lemonade. Though I usually add a little water to them because they're a bit too strong. If you can find it, one of my all-time favorites is Hubert's Lemonade. It's fantastic, but I can only seem to get it when I'm in California...

Wildfires

Sometimes when I'm feeling really ambitious, I'll buy lemons and make my own lemonade...

DAVE2'S DELICIOUS LEMONADE RECIPE

  • 5-7 Lemons
  • 1 cup of Pure Cane White Sugar

Juice the lemons until you have 1-1/4 cups of juice. They will squeeze easier if you roll them roughly on your countertop for a while before cutting them open. Dissolve the 1 cup of sugar in 1 cup of hot-hot water (if your tap water doesn't get hot enough, you may have to use your stovetop... I microwave until boiling then dissolve the sugar in it). In a glass pitcher, combine the sugar-water and lemon juice. Add 5 cups of chilled water (if you like stronger lemonade, cut back on the water). Serve over ice or chill and serve cold.

The problem is that homemade lemonade is a pain in the ass to make.

So when I saw a product called Minute Maid DROPS that will make regular old water taste like lemonade, I was all over it...

Wildfires

BAAAARRRRRRRRRFFFFF!

ZOMG YOU GUYS! THIS IS ONE OF THE MOST DISGUSTING THINGS I'VE EVER TASTED! It makes a glass of water taste like lemon-scented toxic waste! I think it has to do with the vomit-inducing sweetener they've got going on... "stevia and sucralose." I have no idea how they're made, but I'm guessing it involves invoking the devil.

Anyway... whatever this stuff is, it's NOT lemonade. Legally it shouldn't even be allowed to be labeled "lemonade."

And now I'm sad, because it will be years before I can erase the memory of this horrific shit and not have it taint future lemonade experiences.

Hopefully I'll find a use for this crap so I'm not out $4.79... maybe it's good for cleaning the toilet or something.

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Flames

Posted on Friday, July 18th, 2014

Dave!The wildfire situation here is quite dire. Again.

Around a hundred people lost their homes in the Pateros region of Washington State. Highways are closing down all over the place. Local businesses are losing loads of tourism dollars during their busiest time of year.

And with more lightning strikes in the forecast, there doesn't seem to be an end in sight.

The flames aren't landing on my doorstep... yet... but the air is so full of smoke and ash that you don't want to leave the house without a mask on. Which seems like such a petty thing to complain about when houses are falling like dominoes... but it's miserable. There's only so long you can live in smoke before it drives you a little crazy.

Wildfire Smoke

I don't know how the firefighters manage it day after day.

But bless them for doing so.

Here's hoping some relief comes soon.

   

Detective

Posted on Saturday, July 19th, 2014

Dave!Because travel is so heinously expensive now-a-days, I am costing out every single job to make sure that I don't end up losing money. So, for example, if an offer comes up in Tokyo that I can squeeze into my schedule, I don't immediately say "yes" as I used to. I say "maybe" then start researching expenses. Especially with a city like Tokyo which tends to be massively pricey anyway.

First stop is my email confirmations from past trips for hotels, transportation, and such to get a general idea of what I've paid before. Which, in this case, ended up being a waste of time. Turns out the last time I was in Tokyo was in 2003, and I didn't start archiving confirmation emails until 2004. This was more than a little shocking, because I could have sworn I was in Tokyo sooner than that... five years, tops.

Naturally, I can barely remember details from a trip that happened over a decade ago, so questions begin to pop up. "What was the name of that hotel I always stay at?" Hell if I know. I think my co-workers called it "Pajama Hotel" because it had pink and white stripes like pajamas. But Googling that doesn't seem to produce a name.

But it does get me a photo from Flickr...

Pajama Hotel Tomyo
Photo © Jean-Michel Volat, from his Flickr stream.

Yep. That's the place. Time to play detective.

The photo is tagged with a location of Kojimachi 1 Chome. But the minute I call up that neighborhood in Google Maps, I know it's wrong...

Wildfire Smoke

The hotel was nowhere near the Tokyo Inner Loop, and I know the train stop wasn't Hanzomon. On top of that, I knew there were a pair of small streets across from the hotel where I'd go to eat, and they weren't there.

Thinking the GPS was off, I zoom out a bit and... BINGO! The name "Akasaka Hotel Tokyu" sounds really familiar...

Wildfire Smoke

Jumping to Google Street View so I can wander around and... there it is...

Pajama Hotel Akasaka Tokyu Hotel

Pajama Hotel Akasaka Tokyu Hotel

Five minutes to find the answer to a rather strange question. Thank you, internet.

Much to my surprise, the hotel I like is reasonably priced. Unfortunately, the airfare is absurd. Crazy absurd. So I have no idea if I'll be going to Tokyo or not.

Oh well. I've got a pile of clothes I should probably wash instad of jetting across the Pacific Ocean anyway.

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Bullet Sunday 390

Posted on Sunday, July 20th, 2014

Dave!Time to get weird... because a Very Special Weird Al Yankovic edition of Bullet Sunday starts... now...

Unless you've been hiding from the internet and all known media this week, you've undoubtedly heard that Weird Al has a new album out called Mandatory Fun. And to promote his latest release, Al is releasing one new video each day for eight days. As usual, they are absolutely brilliant. And it got me wanting to take a look back at my all-time favorites. Not an easy task when most every video the man makes is great, but here's my Top 12 in order of release...

   
• I Lost on Jeopardy (1983). I laugh every single time I see the video for I Lost on Jeopardy, which is amazing considering I was not a fan of the Greg Kihn original that it is parodying. It doesn't hurt that Don Pardo pops up at the end... and Greg Kihn himself closes out the video...

   
• Like a Surgeon (1985). Weird Al parodying Madonna's Like a Virgin had huge potential to go terribly wrong, but ended up being the video that confirmed Weird Al's early brilliance. Like a Surgeon was smart, funny, and came from an idea suggested by Madonna herself...

   
• Christmas at Ground Zero (1986). This non-parody track is just too funny... telling the ultimate horror story, but in the peppiest way possible. I especially love the video for Christmas at Ground Zero because it went all retro with a nifty throwback to Cold War paranoia...

   
• You Don't Love Me Anymore (1992). Okay... this is hands-down one of my favorite Weird Al songs. That he managed to come up with such a great video for You Don't Love Me Anymore (itself a parody of Extreme's video for More Than Words) is just too good. Adding a cameo by Robert Goulet is beyond good...

   
• Jurassic Park (1993). I never knew that I needed a Claymation parody of MacArthur Park in my life... but then Al came up with the amazing Jurassic Park and I wondered how I ever lived without it. This song is particularly great in how it manages to reach a sympathetic note while still being funny...

   
• It's All About the Pentiums (1999). I'm a bit surprised that Puff Daddy allowed a parody of It's All About the Benjamins but, much to his credit, he did. This resulted in a computer geek's dream anthem, It's All About the Pentiums, which proves without a doubt that there's no subject Al can't sing about...

   
• Close But No Cigar (2006). The song is clever but not a favorite. Until Al got John K. to animate Close But No Cigar, at which point it became genius...

   
• White & Nerdy (2006). A love letter to geeks everywhere, White and Nerdy pretty much sums up my life from high school onward. As if that weren't enough, it's a really good parody of Chamillionaire and Krayzie Bone's Ridin'...

   
• Perform This Way (2011). A scathing parody of not only the hit song Born This Way... but the absurdity of its creator, Lady Gaga. On both counts, it's dead-on. So much so that it pretty much transcends "parody" to become art in its own right.

   
• Party in the CIA (2011). I rather liked Miley Cyrus' Party in the USA, and was happy that Weird Al parodied it with Party in the CIA. I was even happier when I saw the gorgeously animated video he released for it...

   
• Word Crimes (2014). Robin Thicke ruled the summer last year with his misogynistic song Blurred Lines which glamorizes rape culture. How Weird Al thought to turn it into a genius commentary on bad grammar with Word Crimes I'll never know. But he did, and I love it. My favorite track off of Mandatory Fun...

   
• Foil (2014). This catchy parody of Lorde's Royals starts out as amusing but mundane... then takes a genius left turn off the deep end by diving into government conspiracies and the Illuminati. I only wish the song were longer, as it seems to cut short at the end...

   
And... that's a wrap! You can tell that Weird Al has a darn good videography when some of his most popular videos (Eat It, Gump, Fat, Amish Paradise, Smells Like Teen Spirit, etc.) didn't make my list.

   

Pimpin’…

Posted on Monday, July 21st, 2014
Dave!... it ain't easy.  

Lil' Dave Pimpin'

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FML

Posted on Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

Dave!No. Just no.


   

Dave Bang Your Head

   

   

   

FML, The Sequel

Posted on Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

Dave!Second verse, same as the first.


   

Dave Bang Your Head

   

   

   

FML, The Threequel

Posted on Thursday, July 24th, 2014

Dave!Third time's a charm.


   

Dave Bang Your Head

   

   

   

Age

Posted on Friday, July 25th, 2014

Dave!After what I can only describe as "The Week I Wish Never Happened," I was more than a little thrilled to be getting the heck out of Dodge.

So this morning I packed up my crap for a drive over the mountins to catch a flight out of Seattle for Knoxville, Tennessee. This is a city I have driven by four or five times, but have never actually spent any time in. Hopefully there will be a little time for that tomorrow, but right now I am so tired I can barely even think about it.

The trip wasn't bad at all. Even my layover in Detroit was fairly painless. Mostly because I had loads of news coming out of ComicCon in San Diego all day long to distract me. Now-a-days it's more about comic book movies than actual comic books, which is fine by me. Especially all the amazing stuff coming out of The House of Marvel, which has been one amazing cinematic feat after another since the first Iron Man movie.

And they're really upping the game with the next Avengers movie... Age of Ultron... which looks epic...

Avengers: Age of Ultron Poster

If I die before this film is released in May of next year, I will be very disappointed.

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Pigeon Forge

Posted on Saturday, July 26th, 2014

Dave! And so here I am in Knoxville, which is pretty much just a landing point for my real destination: Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. The city is kind of a resort area that built up around Dolly Parton's theme park, Dollywood, and there's all kinds of interesting things to see and do.

But I'm not here for the attractions. The Hard Rock Cafe in Gatlinburg (one of my favorites) closed up shop and moved up the road to Pigeon Forge, so I decided to check it out with some friends who came from Chattanooga. From the outside, it's nothing special. They painted it purple, but it's still incredibly boring. No giant guitar. No unique Tennessee-inspired architecture. Nothing very special at all...

Hard Rock Cafe Pigeon Forge

As expected, the interior is inspired by the newer-style Hard Rock "hipster lounge" design aesthetic I loathe. The good news is that they toned it down a bit so it's not quite so douchey. No giant flowing curtains and other crap obscuring the joint. Inexplicably, there's a lot of ropes hanging above the bar. If this were a port city, that might make sense... but Pigeon Forge is about as land-locked as you can get, so I guess it's some kind of S&M-inspired tribute to Fifty Shades of Grey or something...

Hard Rock Cafe Pigeon Forge

Holy crap do I miss the "old-style" cafes that were packed to the rafters with rock memorabilia! These newer cafes are style over substance, and all you get are a few scattered pieces of clothing... a few guitars... maybe some hand-penned lyrics or something. It's as if the people designing for the chain now have no fucking clue what the Hard Rock is supposed to be about...

Hard Rock Cafe Pigeon Forge

Case in point... they had one of Dolly Parton's dresses hanging on the wall. And while they do have a plaque below the piece explaining its history, there's no photo of Dolly wearing it... or note from Dolly about it... which is what you'd likely find in an old-style cafe where they were more interested in the memorabilia telling a story instead of a merely using it as a design accessory...

Hard Rock Cafe Pigeon Forge

Sad, really.

But anyway...

After parting ways with my friends, I decided to wander down the street to The Titanic Museum. I was curious to see how it stacked up to the "Titanic Experience" I visited in Orlando.

It certainly looks really impressive...

Titanic Museum Pigeon Forge

Titanic Museum Pigeon Forge

But then, tragedy struck.

I noticed a sign saying "no photos or video"...

Titanic Museum Pigeon Forge

Disappointing, but not a deal-breaker. Yet. Before buying a ticket, I head to the gift shop to see if they have a souvenir guide to the museum. If I can't take pictures, a book will have to do.

Except they don't have a guide book.

Fuck. That. There's the deal-breaker.

I am sick and tired of museums who don't allow you any way to re-visit your visit. Don't want me taking photos? Fine. But sell a fucking guide book so fifteen years from now when I want to remember my visit I have something to actually remind me. I visit a ton of museums, and it's not like I can remember every damn thing I've ever seen in them.

So screw the Titanic Museum. I am done supporting this kind of crap.

My friends recommended that I visit the Pigeon Forge Gem Mine before I left, which sounded interesting...

Mine Your Own Gemstones

What you do is buy a bucket of dirt that has a random assortment of gemstones and other goodies hidden in it. There are al kins of choices, depending on what you're interested in, and the prices range from $15 to $200...

Mine Your Own Gemstones

I bought a more modest bucket that was like $20 or something...

Mine Your Own Gemstones

Once you've paid for your dirt, you take a seat at a water trough where you can start mining for your treasure...

Mine Your Own Gemstones

After dumping a couple scoopfuls into your screen box, you shift it in the trough so that the dirt washes away...

Mine Your Own Gemstones

That leaves you with gemstones, agates, fossils, and other interesting stuff...

Mine Your Own Gemstones

Once you've finished your bucket, you can go inside to have them evaluate your haul. This can take a while. There was only one "assayer" on duty, and she spent twenty minutes with one person who must have been mining for days because she had bags and bags of rocks...

Mine Your Own Gemstones

Luckily, I was in no hurry, so I visited the... uhhh... "Gem Museum" they had...

Mine Your Own Gemstones

Eventually my name was called and I got to learn what all I had. Which was nothing too spectacular, really. I rather like the nice piece of amethyst I found though (the purple-ish thing at the top)...

Mine Your Own Gemstones

I also got some nifty minerals, a couple fossils, and a really cool agate (on the far left).

Mine Your Own Gemstones

If you want, the shop will clean up your pieces, polish them into something pretty, and make it into some jewelry for you in 24 hours. I wasn't interested in spending any more money, so I took my bag of rocks and left.

Overall, the Pigeon Forge Gem Mine was a pretty cool experience, and a good waste of time (I was there for just over an hour). Some people were spending hundreds of dollars on bucket after bucket, so you could probably make a day out of it if you wanted to.

But don't be there too long, or you'll miss out on the many dinner theaters going on. There's musical theater. There's church theater. There's Hatfields vs. McCoys theater. There's all kinds of dinner theaters. There's even Lumberjack Feud theater, which looks like it would be a total bloodbath...

ZOMFG! LUMBERJACK FEUD!!!

I wasn't sticking around for dinner theater, but I did want to stop at the souvenir shop where Jesus saves...

Jesus Saves Incredible Bargains!

It's a junk-lovers dream come true, as they've got every kind of crap you can think of...

Jesus Saves Incredible Bargains!

But I didn't have time for shopping (or paying $3.50 to see the live bears they keep out back), so I headed back to Knoxville... where I finally decided to venture into the city, which is quite nice...

It's Knoxville!

The highlight of my visit was the Mast General Store, which was a lot of fun...

It's Knoxville!

It's Knoxville!

I ended up finding some really nice shirts on sale, so I bought a bunch to take home...

It's Knoxville!

I could have bought a lot of things, but I only have one small suitcase, so I had to pass. I did grab a bag of bulk candies, however...

It's Knoxville!

And there you have it. My one day in Tennessee. In a few minutes I'll be off to the movies and then calling it a night so I can pack up for my flight out tomorrow.

After I've eaten all my candy, obviously.

   

Bullet Sunday 391

Posted on Sunday, July 27th, 2014

Dave!It's lobstah time... because a Very Special Bullet Sunday from Maine starts... now...

   
• Jet. You might find it interesting to know that Portland, Maine doesn't have an airport... they have a jetport! So I guess if you have an old-style prop plane, you're just going to have to land somewhere else. Only jets get the privilege of landing in Portland!

   
• Waterfront. Unlike so many fishing waterfronts that have been reimagined as tourist attractions or shopping destinations... Portland's waterfront is still in use by the fishing industry. This affords some excellent photographic opportunities which, alas, were lost on my because I didn't pack my camera. iPhone to the rescue!

Waterfront in Portland, Maine

Waterfront in Portland, Maine

Waterfront in Portland, Maine

Waterfront in Portland, Maine

Waterfront in Portland, Maine

It's a cool place to explore... assuming the smell of rotting fish doesn't offend you.

   
• Flatbread. For dinner I decided to stop at Flatbread Company, which was recommended by my hotel. This ended up being a fantastic choice, as I loved absolutely everything about the place. Exceptional service. Amazing food featuring local organic ingredients. And a very good beer selection...

Flatbread Company in Portland, Maine

Flatbread Company in Portland, Maine

I had a flatbread with zucchini, summer squash, maple glaze, and a bunch of other stuff I don't remember. Dessert was a Maine blueberry crisp with vanilla ice cream and maple-sweetened cream.

Flatbread Company in Portland, Maine

Flatbread Company in Portland, Maine

Flatbread Company in Portland, Maine

If you're ever in Portland, Flatbread Company gets my highest recommendation.

   
• Cobble. Old Downtown Portland is a really nice place. Some of the streets are still in cobblestones, and there's a wide variety of shops and eateries to visit...

Downtown Old Town Portland, Maine

Downtown Old Town Portland, Maine

Downtown Old Town Portland, Maine

Downtown Old Town Portland, Maine

Downtown Old Town Portland, Maine

Downtown Old Town Portland, Maine

Downtown Old Town Portland, Maine

If you're an ice cream lover, Portland has you covered. There are a lot of shops here selling it (I only ate at two of them, swear)....

Downtown Old Town Portland, Maine

Turns out "The Other Portland" (if you're a west-coaster) is worth a trip. Can't believe I haven't been here sooner.

   
• BatMaine? Gotta love any city that's selling a decal like this one...

Batman Symbol with MAINE inside!

   
• Lucy. I am a huge fan of filmmaker Luc Besson. I am a huge fan of Scarlett Johansson and Morgan Freeman. So a movie combining all three of those things should be amazing, right? Enter Lucy...

After some ridiculous circumstances involving a new synthetic drug end up giving Scarlett super-human abilities, she decides to make the best of the situation by passing her massive knowledge about life, the universe, and everything on to all mankind. An evil drug lord is having none of it, however, and decides to pursue her so he can have the drug for himself. Along the way there are some terrific action sequences... mostly involving Scarlett being awesome with her newfound abilities. It's all a bit cheesy, sure, but it's fun. And then things start to fall apart in the third act. Badly. Instead of escalating the cool super-human action to a grand finale, the film takes a massive detour into some kind of metaphysical artistic statement that is really unsatisfying and senseless. Lucy was ultimately disappointed to me because the ending sabotaged the whole movie.

So... it turns out that all the best stuff from Lucy is in the trailer. The movie might still be worth a rental, but I don't know I'd recommending paying the money to see it in a theater.

   
And... bullets begone! Seeyou next Sunday.

   

Maine

Posted on Monday, July 28th, 2014

Dave!I've been to Maine before. But not really. I crossed the border back in 2005 just so I could say that I've been here, but a quick hop to Kittery doesn't really qualify me to say that "I've seen Maine." So when my travel plans went as scheduled and I ended up with a free day, I figured I might as well jot out to the coast to see a few lighthouses and stuff.

Except I awoke to find that all of Maine was pouring rain and fog. I scoured the internet for lighthouse webcams, but all of them pretty much looked like this...

Hard Rock Cafe Pigeon Forge

The radar weather map looked a bit cleaner up north, so I started combing every webcam I could find up the Maine coast to see if there was anywhere with decent weather. After a long time of having no luck, I happened across a camera for "Pemaquid Point Light" (they don't call them "lighthouses" here). It was rainy, but not overly foggy. It was an hour-and-a-half drive through a torrential downpour, but oh well. Off I went.

The entire trip was pouring rain... right up until I got to the road that led down to the lighthouse...

But then... a miracle. As I was turning into the park, the rain just stopped. Still a bit overcast, but kinda clear. No need to wear a garbage bag after all!

Pemaquid Point Lighthouse Maine

Behind the lighthouse is a cool rock formation that funnels out to the ocean...

Pemaquid Point Lighthouse Maine

Pemaquid Point Lighthouse Maine

Pemaquid Point Lighthouse Maine

Pemaquid Point Lighthouse Maine

What's cool about this particular lighthouse is that you can climb up in it...

Pemaquid Point Lighthouse Maine

Pemaquid Point Lighthouse Maine

Pemaquid Point Lighthouse Maine

Inside the lightkeeper's house is a small museum...

Pemaquid Point Lighthouse Maine

Pemaquid Point Lighthouse Maine

By the time I was ready to leave, blue skies were starting to appear...

Pemaquid Point Lighthouse Maine

After asking for some advice as to another lighthouse I might try, I was told that a lot of people seem to head off to Marshall Point Light from here, so off I went. Surprise surprise, it started to rain again...

Rainy Maine Road Drive

It took a lot longer than I thought (Pemaquid Point and Marshall Point look so close on the map!), but it was a nice drive. Lucky me... the rain started to let up just as I pulled into the parking lot. Again...

Marshall Point Lighthouse, Maine

Marshall Point Lighthouse, Maine

Wanting to buy a post card, I stepped into the gift shop for a minute. When I went back outside, the blue skies had followed me!

Marshall Point Lighthouse, Maine

Marshall Point Lighthouse, Maine

The rocks here are really cool to look at...

Marshall Point Lighthouse, Maine

Overall, a very nice lighthouse with some beautiful scenery surrounding...

Marshall Point Lighthouse, Maine
Click the panorama to enbiggen.

While in the gift shop, I saw a map that showed another lighthouse that's publicly accessible not too far away. So off I went to Owl's Head Lighthouse... this drive in much nicer weather...

Owl's Head Lighthouse, Maine

Owl's Head Lighthouse, Maine

Owl's Head Lighthouse, Maine

Owl's Head Lighthouse, Maine

Poor Spot!

Owl's Head Lighthouse, Maine

And thus ended my exploration of Maine's coastal roads and lighthouses.

Interesting to note that the geography here makes everything much farther away than you'd think. Pemaquid Point and Marshall Point are not very far away from each other as the crow flies (about 13 miles). But to navigate there in a car is just over 50 miles and a 1 hour, 15 minute drive...

Google Map
Map courtesy of... who else... Google Maps!

Dinner was back in Portland at Flatbread Company, because I just couldn't help myself. The blueberry desserts are just too incredible. This time? Blueberry-Topped Poundcake...

Blueberry Poundcake

Hopefully tomorrow I'll get the chance to explore a bit more... but it's a work day, so fingers crossed.

   

Popham

Posted on Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

Dave!I had a scary amount of work piled up today, so exploring Maine wasn't really in the cards.

I did take a quick run out to Popham Beach State Park after lunch to clear my head, however. I had wanted to visit yesterday, but the unrelenting rain made that a dreary proposition.

Luckily today was a different story...

Popham Beach State Park Maine

The southern section of the beach is a beachcomber's delight...

Popham Beach State Park Maine

Popham Beach State Park Maine
Click image to embiggen.

One of the cool things about Popham Beach is that there are islands off the coast which you can walk to during low tide...

Popham Beach State Park Maine

Popham Beach State Park Maine

Popham Beach State Park Maine

And now it's time to gear up for a 30-hour work day.

   

Shift

Posted on Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

Dave!26 hours straight on 3 hours sleep.

That's gotta be some kind of record... even for me.

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Light

Posted on Thursday, July 31st, 2014

Dave!And... time to head home.

But not before I see one last lighthouse... and perhaps the most famous in Maine due to its proximity to Portland... Portland Head Light State Park.

All things considered, it's a nice lighthouse. Albeit a little more crowded than the others I visited this trip...

Portland Head Light State Park

Portland Head Light State Park

Portland Head Light State Park

I was once again astounded at the photo quality I was getting from my iPhone... and it's a 5, not even the 5S. The detail it manages to pull out of a scene is nothing short of amazing considering it's coming out of a frickin' phone...

Portland Head Light State Park

Portland Head Light State Park

Inside there's a small museum ($2 entry) that has an interesting look at the history of the lighthouse. And how it works...

Portland Head Light State Park

Portland Head Light State Park

Time for a mad dash to the airport jetport so I can make my flight. While waiting for my plane to board, I noticed there were displays of Maine's famous products on display... some of which I never associated with the state. Well, except "Tom's of Maine" which I kinda had figured out...

Tom's of Maine Product Display

And away I go...

   

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