Posted on Monday, June 1st, 2015
And so the interwebs are ablaze with former Olympic champion Caitlyn Jenner's first public photos as a woman.
And, of course, a lot of people are freaking out over the whole situation... which just goes to show how utterly absurd American society's obsession over things which have -zero- effect on their lives is. If she is happy with her choices, then why should people give a shit? She had the money to get the breast augmentation and face restructuring she felt she needed, she looks great, and she's become a pretty big role model for a lot of transgender people, which is terrific...
Granted, being photographed by Annie Leibovitz goes a long way towards making you look good... but she seems content and happy, which is all that really matters.
So good luck to you, Caitlyn, I wish you only the best in your new life.
Posted on Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015
I just saw my second ranking of all the Marvel Cinematic Universe films, and thought it was about time I make my own. Which is harder than it sounds considering that I pretty much love every one of them!
But rank them I did, and there wasn't anything truly unexpected to come out of it. Except for perhaps a new appreciation of the original Iron Man film.
And away we go...
And there you have it. Next up? Ant Man! Which, unless I am totally taken by surprise, will end up in the middle of the pack. I can't wait.
Posted on Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015
A lot of sports happened tonight.
My beloved Chicago Blackhawks sportsed the best and scored more points than the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Lightning needed to stop the Blackhawks from scoring points while they themselves scored many points, but it didn't happen.
And so game-over, the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup.*
Congratulations to the Blackhawks for having the best strategy of scoring the most points, and best of luck when you return to sports more next season!
*Yes, it's only Game One... but I'm totally calling it!
Posted on Thursday, June 4th, 2015
This post has been a long time coming.
When it comes to book publishers, far and away my favorite is the house of Dorling-Kindersley.
I first became aware of them through their amazing Eyewitness Travel Guides. With the motto "We show you what others only tell you," they raised the bar so impossibly high that once I discovered them, I never purchased another brand of travel guide. And, indeed, once I stopped buying travel guides in favor of web research, I threw out over a hundred books... save for my impressive collection of DK guides, which I still have. They were simply too beautiful to trash...
Back in the day I was so addicted to Eyewitness Guides that I would even buy them after I visited places because they were the best possible souvenir of the region. Many times I ended up buying them for locations I had no intention of visiting because they were the next best thing to actually having been there. The sheer depth of visual information paired with clear, well-written text proved irresistible to my travel-nerd tendencies, and I ended up with close to fifty of them...
Even today if I ever find a DK guide on sale and it's one I don't have yet, I buy it. They are still one of the best resources for travel you can get... even though I rarely look at them to plan my travels.
As you can imagine, once I learned that DK was broadening their focus outside the travel arena, I was thrilled. They've created visual guides for all kinds of topics, and they're every bit as good as their travel books.
Most any topic you can think of, DK has a visual guide for it!
But far and away my very favorite of the DK visual guides? Star Wars. Especially Star Wars LEGO Universe books...
But they have an amazing selection of "regular" Star Wars books as well. I think I own just about all of them, but there are a few standouts. Like the Star Wars: Incredible Cross-sections books...
DK's latest Star Wars book has just been released, and it's pretty great.
The title is ULTIMATE STAR WARS! And they mean it. This book has an extensive guide to the characters & creatures, locations, technology, and vehicles of both the Original Trilogy and the crappy Prequel Trilogy. As if that wasn't enough, it seamlessly blends in the various canon animated series as well...
Most of the information has already been released in previous books, but this "Ultimate" guide attempts (and succeeds!) in blending a variety of updated sources into a kind of narrative you can follow. This is bad news for those wanting a more encyclopedic take on the information... but you get a full index for that, so I wasn't too bothered.
As expected, the quality of the book is amazing. All 320 pages are artfully constructed for both visual appeal and clarity. Major characters and locations get a beautiful double-page spread, while minor characters get space appropriate to their place in the grand scheme of things... Wedge Antilles, for example, gets a half-page... Biggs Darklighter gets a quarter... Jek Prokins gets an eighth. Even the lady shaver "Comlink" is given an eighth, which should tell you just how complete the material in this book is.
Now that new LucasFilm owner Disney has completely jettisoned the "Star Wars Expanded Universe" and redefined what's "canon" when it comes to all things Star Wars. this book presents a streamlined and surprisingly complete look at what's "official" when it comes to a universe far, far away. So if you're looking for a Star Wars companion to prepare you for the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens film coming this December, this is the book to get.
A warning, however... the information provided for all the characters, creatures, locations, technology, and vehicles is limited to only official canon sources... which, apparently, is what we know from the movies, novelizations, and animated series. Anything that was elaborated on in the "Expanded Universe" sources is gone, gone, gone as if it never happened. This is a bit sad for fans of the stories that have now gone missing, but I suppose it's for the best in the grand scheme of things now that Disney is revitalizing the franchise.
The retail price of the book is $40. Amazon is selling it for $25, which is a heck of a bargain. The problem being that Amazon doesn't give a shit about getting books to you in good condition anymore. They used to shrink-wrap them to cardboard so the cover wrap would stay pristine and the corners don't get banged up. Now they just toss the thing in a box and put a tiny air pillow on top. Your cover-wrap WILL get fucked up. Your corners WILL get dinged. Which is unfortunate, but that's what a $25 price tag gets you now-a-days.
In any event, as a massive Star Wars whore, I really can't help but give the book a coveted Dave Approved seal...
If you're even a passive Star Wars fan, this is $25 well-spent. Go get a copy.
Posted on Friday, June 5th, 2015
What you want and what you need are not always the same thing.
But they can be, and when you're lucky enough to find something that special, you have to have the sense to grab hold of it with both hands and work your ass off to make it happen.
The work rarely being easy, of course, because nothing worthwhile ever is.
For six long months I've been struggling with my Magnificent Want, and I think I'm finally reaching the half-way point. By the end of June I'll have either persevered after too many long days and sleepless nights so the real work can begin... or I will have failed after having given it my best shot.
Whichever way it goes, I'm content with the knowledge that I did everything possible that could be done, and there will be no looking back with regret.
Well, maybe a little regret.
Decisions had to be made which were not without sacrifice, and I'll spend no small amount of time trying to decide if it was all worth it.
I certainly hope so.
Posted on Saturday, June 6th, 2015
Last year The New York Times ran an article about mapping out team loyalty when it comes to baseball. It looked pretty much as you'd expect. So I kinda glanced through it, nodded my head a few times, then moved on.
Which, as it turns out, was a mistake.
I was reading an article this morning where they were discussing how Facebook can be data-mined to ferret out all kinds of cool information. And the first example they gave? The NYT baseball borders map from last year...
And here is what I did not know... the Facebook data that's been mapped out is highly specific. The further you zoom in, the more it gets broken down. Here's a zoom into the county level where I live. And, guess what, THERE I AM...
But that's not all. If you zoom in even further, you can search out your zip code...
For all I know, all eight of those percents is me!
The interactive map is pretty great if you have any interest in baseball... take a look!
Posted on Sunday, June 7th, 2015
Don't let the impending heat of summer get you down... because Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Charity! Before donating your hard-earned money to any organization... no matter how well-known or popular, RESEARCH THEM FIRST! That's what sites like Charity Navigator are for! Given how little charity money is available, it's critical that donations be spent somewhere where they'll be put to the best possible use instead of pissed away by people who either don't know what they're doing... or are corrupt.
• Balls! First of all, congratulations to Serena Williams for her 20th Grand Slam Singles Victory. But it was her sister Venus who was part of the best tennis-related video I saw this week...
So frickin' adorable.
• Aw! And speaking of dogs who steal your heart, pull out the box of tissues...
I admit to being perplexed at the ending... until the real ending appeared. If only all advertising were this moving... and effective.
• Fletch! WHY, LORD? WHY WAS THERE NO "FLETCH 3?" I loved both Fletch films so hard. I purchased them the minute iTunes Store had them in HD. Of course I have them both on DVD (and Fletch on Blu-Ray... I don't think they ever released Fletch Lives on Blu-Ray).
The first Fletch was probably a better film with a more interesting, complex story... but there were so many amazing funny moments in Fletch Lives (including everything by Cleavon Little!) that I ended up liking it equally.
Fletch Lives earned $40 million in box office on an $8 million budget. That's down from the $60 million box office and the same budget for Fletch, but it's still a respectable haul. Especially when you consider that millions more dollars were raked in from home video. So why in the hell was there no Fletch 3?!? I dunno. Maybe Chevy didn't want to make another one? I remember that Kevin Smith was supposed to be filming Fletch Won with Jason Lee a while back (awesome casting), but apparently nothing came of it. With Hollywood remaking everything in existence, I wonder why Fletch isn't making the grade? It's too funny to be stuck in development hell like this.
• Africa! Misconceptions about Africa here in the USA continue to baffle me. Mostly because people keep referring to "Africa" as a "country" instead of a "continent," but there's so much more...
If you are lucky enough to have the opportunity, visit Africa and leave your stereotypes and misconceptions behind.
If you are not so lucky as to visit Africa, for heaven's sake... educate yourself!
• Fields! Many congratulations to Maryam Mirzakhani for her historic win of the Fields Medal... one of the most prestigious honors that mathematicians can have bestowed upon them. She's the first woman to do so, and will hopefully break down a few more barriers for women in mathematics. Mirzakhani credits her brother for getting her interested in science. Unfortunately, many girls don't have such inspiration, and studies have shown over and over again that girls are actively discouraged from pursuing math and science when it comes to their education and career planning. This needs to change.
Annnnnnnd... DONE! See you next week!
Posted on Monday, June 8th, 2015
I am starting to get annoyed at frozen food manufacturers who have no smarts when it comes to how people heat their food in the real world. Everybody knows that the ideal way of cooking something frozen is to use the MICROWAVE to mostly thaw the item... then switch to a CONVECTION OVEN to finish cooking the item because cooking it all the way in the microwave usually makes it taste like rubberized crap. So why do manufacturers ONLY give you cooking directions for microwave OR convection?
Fortunately, the answer for many items is to split the difference.
For example, Amy's amazing Mexican Bowls have instructions for 5 minutes in the microwave OR 40 minutes in the convection oven covered in foil followed by 10-15 minutes uncovered to crisp the top. But you can cut the cook time almost in half and still end up with optimal flavor by splitting the difference: 2½ minutes in the microwave followed by 20 minutes in the convection oven covered in foil followed by 10-15 minutes uncovered to crisp the top.
This is the strategy I use for cooking a lot of frozen foods... from veggie burgers to enchiladas. And I'm probably not alone. A lot of people are undoubtedly microwave-thawing then convection-cooking their freezer stuff to save time without ruining it.
Unfortunately, splitting the difference doesn't work for everything, and sometimes there are foods (like pizza, veggie corn dogs, and veggie breakfast sandwiches) which still get rubbery or end up under-cooked. So I end up having to spend a lot of time via trial-and-error attempting to find the right balance... usually cutting microwave time and/or increasing convection time until I get something fully-cooked but not rubberized.
But why should I have to figure all that out? Why aren't frozen food manufacturers doing the hard work for me? Isn't that their job? I can only hope that one of these days one of the big companies will pioneer an effort for providing Best Cooking Practices using BOTH microwaves (to thaw) and convection ovens (to cook) so the rest will follow. Until then... maybe I should start a website where people can post their cooking hacks for frozen food? Or maybe there already is one? With the internet, it's hard to tell sometimes.
And now I'm hungry. Way to go, internet.
Posted on Tuesday, June 9th, 2015
And so yesterday was Apple's Word Wide Developers Conference 2015 Keynote.
I was underwhelmed. Mostly because the One Thing I wanted to hear more about was barely touched upon, and what was covered lacked any kind of "wow factor" for me.
I guess what follows here could be consider "spoilers" if you haven't seen it yet, so click here to watch Apple's Keynote if that's important to you.
On with the show...
A video featuring former SNL funnyman Bill Hader playing WWDC's "director" David LeGary opened the event. It was surprisingly funny. Even if you don't care about anything Apple, it's worth watching the start of the keynote just to see the intro.
Tim Cook Welcome.
Mr. Cook was his usual enthusiastic, entertaining self as he welcomed everybody to The Most Important Developer Conference on Earth. His most entertaining bit was when he brought up the Great Baseball Ransom Note. Last week Cleveland Indians' Brandon Moss hit the 100th home run of his career. The ball ended up landing in the Indian's dugout, which meant it was time for Brandon's teammates to write up a ransom note listing their demands in exchange for the ball. Interestingly enough, everybody's demands ended up being Apple products... iPads, iPhones, MacBooks, Apple watches, and the like...
Tim Cook was amused enough by this to have Apple pick up the tab for the demands, meaning Brandon gets his ball at no charge. Pretty sweet!
Mac OS X El Capitan
Craig Federighi, who has the best hair in tech, started things off by introducing us to the next version of Mac OS X, El Capitan...
Definitely evolutionary instead of revolutionary, El Cap's new features are kind of middle of the road. The new "Split View" feature which allows you to automatically size and position windows in the Finder has been something I've been doing with Moom for ages. OS X Search with "Spotlight" is already a loser to me because it's cluttered with too much shit that gets in the way of me actually finding stuff on my Mac. Well, guess what El Cap does for Spotlight? ADD EVEN MORE SHIT TO GET IN THE WAY! Yay! Craig touted more full-screen app features, but didn't mention THE ONE FUCKING THING THAT FULL-SCREEN APPS NEED... a way of permanently turning on the menu bar so you have access to critical information such as BATTERY LIFE REMAINING and THE TIME OF DAY without having to unhide the menu bar first. Lame! There are some nice new features in mail... but all I care about is if Mail has been made more reliable. Because right now Mail is utter shit, and adding more features doesn't fix shit. Note has been improved, but all I care about is whether or not Notes will sync properly now, which it hasn't done in ages. Safari is getting pinned tabs now, which is nice... but I'd sacrifice this nifty feature for better compatibility in a heartbeat. Maps is getting tansit directions at long last. And, lastly, Apple announced that Metal, their iOS graphics technology which is hugely powerful and efficient is coming to OS X. Oh happy day.
Siri is getting more better smarter, which is nice. Apple's getting more serious about publishing with their News app, which has me interested in seeing if it can be applied to THRICE Fiction. The Notes app is getting more powerful, which seems a little pointless considering that third-party apps have this space fairly well filled. Maps is getting improvements (including public transportation planning in some cities), which should be a no-brainer, but Apple has been dragging their heels for some reason. Wallet is replacing Passbook to better reflect where Apple is going with the app... the centerpiece being Apple Pay, which is the greatest thing since sliced bread, so that makes me happy.And, lastly, the iPad is getting multitasking, which is pretty smart considering Windows Surface has been eating Apple's lunch on this since they launched. The best news of all, however, is that iOS9 will run on every iPhone and iPad that iOS8 did, so nobody is getting left behind this time around.
The biggest news of the day did not end up being what I thought it would be... Apple hung that on their new streaming music service... Apple Music. It really isn't much different than Spotify or any other service, except that it looks better and appears to navigate easier. Apple is trying to up the ante by rolling in some features from their now-deceased Ping service in Connect, which allows artists to keep their fans up to date with what's going on. And then there's the new worldwide net-radio "experience" Beats 1, which seems insane to me... too many people have too many different musical tastes, so how can you plan a WORLDWIDE station that appeals to everyone? MTV (back when they actually played music) had to break up into pieces and have localized channels in different parts of the world... even that didn't work. Personally, none of this stuff appeals to me. I like to own the music I love. If I buy a digital track, it's mine to play forever. With streaming services, the music stops when the money runs out. Stop paying, stop playing. But, hey, Apple Music is going to have a free three-month trial, so who knows.
The main thing I was looking forward to at this conference was big news about Apple's HomeKit home automation technology which is (apparently) going to revolve around AppleTV. It was announced a year ago and has basically gone nowhere, so now was the time, right? All the WWDC propaganda had the AppleTV shape and the words "The Epicenter of Change" plastered on it, so what other conclusion could be drawn except finally HomeKit was getting its due?
And yet it didn't happen.
Maybe they were never planning on it. Maybe something changed. Maybe it wasn't ready. Who knows.
All I know is that nobody is better at shitting on Apple technologies than Apple themselves. Yes, new devices are being released for HomeKit. Yes, Apple took a whole minute of the WWDC keynote to tell us that HomeKit will be adding support for more than just lights and locks. But that's it. All that teasing for nothing.
And I just don't get it.
The longer Apple waits to stake their claim in the exploding home automation market, the less impact they're going to have. They need to be out there now!
I never thought I'd be saying this, but Apple needs to break apart as a company. Sure it's great to have everything under one roof, but when you can't focus enough to get shit done, maybe it's not the best fit. The slow death of HomeKit before its even released is a big wakeup call.
But oh well.
Maybe Apple will get their shit together and do a HomeKit "Special Event" by the end of the year and prove me wrong.
Otherwise, why did they even bother coming up with it?
Posted on Wednesday, June 10th, 2015
I was sad to learn that Christopher Lee had died. He's had some great roles, and has elevated a number of films with his talents... including playing Saruman in The Lord of the Rings and Count Dooku / Darth Tyranus in the shitty Star Wars prequels (seriously one of the few good things to come out of the pre-trilogy trilogy... who else could make a character called "Count Dooku be this cool?)...
He's had many, many other roles, of course. He actually made it into the Guinness Book of World Records, he's played so many parts.
Which brings me to something I've known for a while.
Fuck that Dos Equis guy, Christopher Lee is truly The Most Interesting Man in the World.
If you don't believe me, first of all he has two LEGO minifigs modeled after him...
And then, as if that weren't enough, there's something amazing you should read.
Posted on Thursday, June 11th, 2015
And so the hype machine is starting to ramp up for Ant-Man.
Nice to know that Marvel Studios isn't losing their touch...
"I think our first move should be calling The Avengers" — Ha!
Nice to know the film will be buying into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It's only fitting considering that in the comic books Ant-Man was a founding member...
Now I'm more excited for this movie than I thought I would be.
Posted on Friday, June 12th, 2015
The Daily Show was on fire last night, opening with something that was clearly trying to be more educational than funny, but ended up being pretty funny as well.
Though where a piece of shit like Donald Rumsfeld is involved, you're pretty much assured of having a joke built right in...
Of course somebody like Rumsfeld isn't going to learn anything from past mistakes... learning is for elitist liberal fags, not patriotic REAL Americans.
It's utterly fascinating to me how this country is a democracy in name only, and has been that way for quite a while now. Control in the United States of America rests in the hands of precious few, and their interests are always self-serving. Everyday citizens never enter into the picture, and we're just pawns for keeping wealth and power in the hands of the wealthy and powerful.
But so long as we are content to keep the status quo, we get what we deserve.
Posted on Saturday, June 13th, 2015
Today I went to see Spy starring Melissa McCarthy, Jason Statham, Rose Byrne, and Jude Law. Since McCarthy films can be a bit hit-or-miss (Identity Thief and Tammy were pretty awful... whereas Paul Feig's Bridesmaids and The Heat were pretty great), I was planning on waiting until it hit video, but the jaw-dropping 95% score at Rotten Tomatoes and another outing with writer/director Paul Feig convinced me it might be theater-worthy.
And boy was it. As much as I liked The Heat, I'm thinking this is her best film yet.
Susan Cooper (McCarthy) is CIA ops assistant who sits at a desk all day providing support for super-agent Bradley Fine (Law) in the field. But when a suitcase-sized nuclear weapon falls into the hands of Rayna Boyanov (Byrne) the daughter of one of the world's most dangerous criminals, Cooper gets to put her CIA training to the test in the real world. Along the way she's "helped" by rogue agent Rick Ford (Statham)... and her boss Director Crocker (Alison Janey) and fellow CIA assistant Nancy (Miranda Hart).
Except this is not just a comedy movie with espionage elements slapped on top... it's actually a really good spy movie that happens to be funny. And I think that's why I liked it so much. Melissa McCarthy isn't playing some bumbling idiot who does stupid crap for comedic effect, she's playing a highly capable agent that gets herself into situations that are funny. And, in a surprising twist, McCarthy's weight isn't written into the film as a comedic prop either. No idiotic bullshit like her not being able to fit through a door... or her breaking a chair when she sits on it... the tired old stereotypes are entirely unneeded here and joyously omitted. McCarthy's action scenes show her as a brutally effective spy in every way. As if that weren't enough, they let McCarthy be beautiful! She's a very pretty woman and, though she does go through some funny disguises, she also gets to be glamorous and sexy, which is almost unheard of for a woman her size in Hollywood movies. So thank you Paul Feig for making a film that's not only highly entertaining... but also showing the world that being heavy doesn't have to mean frumpy when it comes to the cinema.
So... all-in-all, a terrific summer movie. I'm really hoping it gets a sequel, because it would be cool to see Susan Cooper again. And since we wouldn't have to have the meek & mild character intro again, we'd be getting the all-out spy action/comedy film she deserves.
And before I go... a promo site for the movie let's you create your own Spy-Dentity...
Getting your own Spy-Dentity is just a click away...
Posted on Sunday, June 14th, 2015
Your life just got a little bit more complicated... because Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Married! I'm a huge fan of Murad Osmann and Natalia Zakharova's Instagram artistry. Osmann's series of photos featuring his girlfriend leading him all around the world is captivating...
And now they've gotten married!
There's plenty more of these amazing shots over at Instagram.
Congratulations to you both! I look forward to where you'll be taking us next.
• Dingbats! I was saddened to learn that Hermann Zapf, world-famous German typographer had died. He created some of the most beautiful typefaces ever crafted, and left a body of work that will be admired as long as we still communicate with letterforms. As noted in the article above, Zapf's favorite typeface he created is "Optima," which is one of my favorites as well. Most people probably know him best for Palatino and Zapf Dingbats, which are fonts that have been installed on a lot of computers over the years. Your artistry will be missed.
• Two Bits! Refusing to let a gay man to cut your hair is like refusing to let a Michelin Three Star Chef make you a sandwich. Sublimely stupid. But nobody can accuse homophobic bigots of being smart.
• Robertson! What a dumb fucking asshole...
With that logic, how can Pat Robertson be against abortion? Maybe abortion doctors are just an instrument of God who wants to stop the next Hitler from happening. Just die already, you heartless, vile, hypocritical, disgusting turd.
• GAH! Guess I'm going to be getting Alzheimer's any minute now: Poor sleep might be the mechanism that triggers Alzheimer’s memory loss.
• Moose! Probably the best thing I saw all week...
Hopefully more Alaskans will show some kindness for animals caught in the middle of record high temperatures.
So long, bullets.
Posted on Monday, June 15th, 2015
THE BLACKHAWKS WIN THE STANLEY CUP! THE BLACKHAWKS WIN THE STANLEY CUP!
CHICAGOOOOOOO! Yeah. Pretty happy about that.
Posted on Tuesday, June 16th, 2015
A disclaimer before we get down to it... I'm a big fan of Michael Jackson's music.
I have all his albums. His musical talent continues to amaze me even today. When The Way You Make Me Feel comes on my iTunes, I come very, very close to dancing. And I don't dance. He was The King of Pop and I think he earned that title a half-dozen times over.
And now about that Rachel Dolezal thing.
For anybody who's been living under a rock lately, Rachel Dolezal is a white woman who has been pretending to be Black in Spokane, Washington, three hours away from where I live. This alone wouldn't be anything out of the ordinary... a whole generation of white youth has been pretending to be Black ever since Rap & Hip-Hop took over the music industry. What makes Rachel Dolezal so unique is that she actually lied about being Black. Something she did so effectively that she became the NAACP Chapter President of Spokane.
To me, this is a clear case of appropriation, and all efforts to equate it to being transgender (as I keep seeing over and over) is categorically absurd.
I could write about this crazy-ass mess for days, but entirely too many people have already done that. One of my favorites being Larry Wilmore, who devoted an entire show to the topic...
No, the reason I am bringing this up at all is because I got sucked into a comment thread yesterday where somebody was claiming that Michael Jackson "dyeing his skin white" was no different than Rachel Dolezal lying about being Black.
When I attempted to explain that Michael Jackson never lied about being white, and the reason his skin appeared white is because he had a pigmentation-destroying disease called vitiligo which he concealed using makeup, I was told to "shut the fuck up" because I "don't know anything about it"... at which point the conversation went down a spiral of how Michael Jackson should have been using Black makeup instead of white makeup so he wouldn't be lying about his race.
Which is when I dropped out of the conversation.
Because, in fact, I actually know a hell of a lot about vitiligo.
The reason being that I have vitiligo, and didn't feel like battling it out with an asshole who clearly doesn't give a shit about the truth.
And, yes, I understand your disbelief. Mainly because if you've ever heard of the disease, you're picturing this...
Photo by James Heilman, taken from Wikimedia Commons
Which isn't me.
Vitiligo for me is a very different story because of two reasons...
Which is to say, if you were to meet me in person, it is extremely doubtful you would realize I have vitiligo even if you were staring right at it.
But I really do have it, and over the past three years it's started appearing on my hands too. It isn't terribly prominent yet but, if it follows the same progression as other parts of my body, eventually it will be more visible. But for now? It appears as white splotches on my fingers above the knuckle...
If I had a black light, you'd be able to really see it. But since I don't, all I can do is up the contrast on the above photo...
As I said, you probably wouldn't notice it if you were to see me in person (unless you were seeing me naked for some reason)... but there it is.
And, let me tell you, even if it doesn't show up on your skin very easily, you are still going to research the shit out of vitiligo when the splotches of white start appearing on you. So don't tell me I don't know anything about vitiligo when I assure you I've learned absolutely everything I can know about it.
Needless to say, my limited experience with the disease has fostered no small amount of sympathy for people who have a very different experience from mine. Yes, I have vitiligo, but it showed up very late in life and is (for now) so negligible on my appearance you could say it's not even a factor. For most people dealing with it, that's not the case at all...
In his early years, Michael Jackson had more Black skin than white, so he actually did use Black makeup to conceal his vitiligo. But eventually his case was so severe that he ended up with more white skin than Black, and it was easier to switch to white makeup than paint his entire body Black. And that's it.
So, yeah... vitiligo is not even remotely in the same fucking ballpark as some crazypants white lady lying about her race... for whatever reason she's been doing it.
And while there may be some room for debate on how to view Rachel Dolezal's appropriation (and other aspects of Michael Jackson's life)... you have fuck-none justification if you are stupid enough to drag how Michael Jackson dealt with his disease into the conversation.
That holds true whether you are a big fan of his music or not.
Posted on Wednesday, June 17th, 2015
THE CAKE IS REAL!
I REPEAT, THE CAKE IS REAL!!!
It's like my entire life has been leading to this moment...
SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY! TAKE ALL MY MONEY!!!
Posted on Thursday, June 18th, 2015
Sometimes things just come together as if by magic.
Or divine intervention.
You've probably seen this viral sensation of Dutch punk singer David Achter de Molen (from the band John Coffey) catching a beer in mid-air while crowd-walking...
But you might not have seen the video interview with the guy who hurled the beer, which is almost as good...
Buy that man a drink.
UPDATE: It's science, bitch!
Posted on Friday, June 19th, 2015
“The confederate flag flies over South Carolina. And the roads are named for confederate generals. And the white guy is the one who feels like his country is being taken away from him? We’re bringing it on ourselves. And that’s the thing... al Qaeda, ISIS, they’re not shit compared to the damage we can do to ourselves on a regular basis.”
Posted on Saturday, June 20th, 2015
Why yes, we don't want an animal defending individuals from The Police State! That would be against our own best interests!
"All three times (he bit people), he was on his own property protecting his home and his owner," she said. "There were never any warrants for anyone to enter my home. It just seems unfair and stupid on these people's parts."
So... let me get this straight... somebody enters your property without permission, gets bit by your dog, and the dog gets put to death because somehow this is the DOG'S fault?!? What a complete load of shit.
I hope the government releases a list of State Approved Pets soon so I know what animals I'm allowed to have.
Posted on Sunday, June 21st, 2015
Time to make that annual call to daddy... because Bullet Sunday on Father's Day starts... now...
• Dad! Oh yeah... happy Father's Day to all the dads out there!
I love a clever ad campaign.
• Hobbes! I live for stories like this.
And now I am missing Calvin and Hobbes. Again. Still.
• JEB!, MUTHAFUCKER! And so Jeb! Bush unveiled the logo for his 2016 presidential campaign...
What kills me here... other than the fact that this is a shitty, shitty logo... is the lengths good ol' Jeb! is going to distance himself from his Bush legacy. Like everybody is going to forget that he's a Bush when they go to the voting booth and see John Ellis "Jeb" Bush on the ballot. But, hey, what do I know? People are so stupid that it just might work! In which case Hillary Clinton should have done this...
Which is only slightly less offensive than her actual logo.
Oh gawd... this is really happening...
Originally spotted at Meme Generator.
= bursts into tears =
• Gotcha! This New York Times Magazine story... all over the place. Answer the damn question, say you don't have an opinion, say you don't understand the question, say you need time to get an answer together, say you just don't know... whatever... just stop blaming the journalist because they are doing their job by asking the questions people want answers to. Escaping to "gotcha-land" is the last refuge of an idiot and a coward.
Illustration by Javier Jaén. Child: Michael Svoboda/iStock. Microphones: Picsfive/Shutterstock.
Though, in their defense, idiots and cowards seem to constitute the bulk of the political landscape. We're ass-deep in idiots and cowards.
• Kit? Apple shit the bed so hard with HomeKit that there's a gaping hole in their mattress where common sense once rested. This story is just nuts. HomeKit went from being a shining beacon of what home automation should be... to an incomprehensible nightmare for everybody involved. This is amateur hour at best. At least we know why HomeKit was dropped from the WWDC keynote... it's a confusing pile of crap that (technically) doesn't work yet, and even Apple developers don't know where the technology is going. Pathetic. GET IT TOGETHER, APPLE!
• Preach? Holy crap... who listens to these people?
no. don't do it. stop.
• And Speaking of Urine Stains... 93.7% of men pee like this...
So now you know.
Now I'm off to enjoy what's left of my Sunday... by going to work.
Posted on Monday, June 22nd, 2015
I'd write something today, but I'm entirely too obsessed with this video that was sent to me...
This is what the internet was made for.
Posted on Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015
The biggest drawback of watching Apple's latest wankfest of all the "insanely great" technologies they've got coming down the pipe is me sitting in front of the computer screaming "WHY DON'T YOU FUCKING FIX THE SHIT THAT'S BROKEN BEFORE ADDING MORE PROBLEMS FOR YOUR USERS?"
Because more and more, Apple's myriad of bugs and busted shit in OS X is giving me Microsoft Windows flashbacks. What's worse is that Apple seems to have little interest in fixing stuff. No response in the forums. No fixes in the updates. No acknowledgement of anything wrong, despite many, many users reporting the same problems.
Take for instance iTunes.
The program is utter crap. It has been for years. I could go on for ages about how stupid it is that you can't stream movies you buy, but are forced to download them. I could rage for days on how utterly insane it is that the iTunes Store doesn't let you know which movies you're already bought. Or how your movie purchases never show up in the "My Movies" tab unless you've downloaded all of them. It's just such a steaming load of bullshit. Yet it's been going on for years. And Apple doesn't care. And the way you can tell they don't care is that they never fix this moronic crap. But what's worse than helpful features being omitted are the legions of bugs that make using iTunes such a horrendous experience.
iTunes Match is FOREVER fucking up. Every damn time I fire up iTunes expecting to be able to play the music I purchased "in the cloud," iTunes just sits there spinning it's wheels. It doesn't matter which computer I'm on. It doesn't matter if I disabled all virus protection. It doesn't matter if I clear caches. It doesn't matter if I try all the idiotic work-arounds people come up with. It doesn't even matter where I'm at around the world. Sometimes, after 20 minutes or so, it will tell you there's a problem and tell you to logout and login again... which does work... but should I have to do that every fucking time I start iTunes? It's become almost automatic for me now, which is fucking bananas. Because, of course, if you logout you end up having to re-start Match which takes ages to get going again.
And I can't tell you how many times a day I have problems with iCloud. I'm consistently and constantly seeing this on my screen...
This is so stupid on so many levels. First of all, my Macs are all password protected. If I've got them password protected, nobody is accessing them but me... so why in the hell is iCloud logging me out? Even if I were to accept that this is a valid security concern, "periodically" to Apple means SEVERAL FUCKING TIMES A DAY. I have to login to iCloud to use iTunes. I have to login to iCloud to use iMessage. I have to login to iCloud to FaceTime. I have to login to iCloud to scratch my nuts. Once a month would be fine. But I am sick to fucking death of this CONSTANT need to have me login over and over and over and over AND OVER again. Shit... if I logout of iTunes to try and access my Match music, I'm forced to login to iCloud THREE GODDAMN TIMES before the nonsense stops. That alone causes me to go ballistic. Add in all the other times I have to deal with this shit and I'm in thermonuclear meltdown over Apple idiocy daily.
Who the fuck is in charge of fixing busted shit? ANYBODY?
But that's old news.
The latest boatload of crap coming out of Cupertino? This...
I click "Always Allow" of course.
But Apple must not know what the fuck "ALWAYS" means, because I keep getting this damn dialog box popping up all the time. Sometimes at random. Always when clearing my browser history. Does Apple give a shit? Of course not! NO response to those sick and tired of having to deal with whatever the fuck "PluginProcess" is. No patch to fix the problem. No acknowledgement a problem even exists, because if it goes unacknowledged, the problem isn't real to Apple! It's all in your imagination!
Apple used to have a motto of "It just works."
That hasn't been true in fucking ages.
Macintosh isn't superior to Windows any more. Sure it looks better and is more logical but, in the grand scheme of things, it's not better.
If you're not going to aspire to be better than your competition, just fucking close it down and concentrate on your iPhone or iPad or Apple Watch or Apple Music or whatever the fuck is your flavor of the moment. Anything less is just wasting everybody's damn time.
Posted on Wednesday, June 24th, 2015
Any day now...
Posted on Thursday, June 25th, 2015
Posted on Friday, June 26th, 2015
To my many friends who have waited so long... I look forward to your fabulous weddings...
Posted on Saturday, June 27th, 2015
So... marriage equality nation-wide then.
The decision handed down from the Supreme Court was both surprising (there is so much crazy sitting on that bench) and unsurprising at the same time. Unsurprising because marriage is not a religious institution in this country. You can get married by a Justice of the Peace in a completely non-religious ceremony if you want, so government has no fucking business banning it for two consenting adults with the same genitals just because some churches don't like that. Marriage predates Christianity and only has religious connotations if you want it to, so all religious-based arguments are invalid. Which means keeping marriage from an entire class of tax-paying citizens is discrimination plain and simple.
But, make no mistake, if it hadn't been for ever-escalating public support, the SCOTUS decision probably would have gone the other way. The people actually running this country do love the status quo, after all.
So how did we get here?
A couple years ago while I was working in Anaheim, the answer became abundantly clear to me. During a dinner break, one of my co-workers was talking about how she attended a conference where she noticed the elderly man working the coat-check line was wearing a button with the newly-minted Human Rights Campaign's marriage equality symbol on it. After she told him that she liked his button, someone behind her asked "Do you even know what that button means?" — as if they just liked it for the color or something. Before she could answer, the gentleman replied "It means that maybe one day my grandson can get married."
End of story.
Despite spending his formative years in a society conditioned to revile all things gay and growing up in a time where the very idea of same-sex marriage was taboo... perhaps even dangerous... this man loves and supports his grandson.
And that's the ticket, isn't it? Now-a-days most everybody has somebody they care about who's gay. And if you care about someone, you want them to have the same rights as everybody else. That means your family... your neighbors... your co-workers... your friends.
Which is why I have never shied away from voicing my support for marriage equality loudly and often, both here on Blogography and in Real Life. I couldn't look my friends in the face if I didn't. And after realizing how much society's acceptance can mean to kids who are struggling with their sexuality, I couldn't look myself in the face if I didn't.
And I'm not unique that way. In surprisingly short order, the majority of people in this country have come to support marriage equality. The majority of The Supreme Court among them.
So love wins.
As it should.
One big step in the right direction.
With many more left to follow.
Posted on Sunday, June 28th, 2015
And so summer has arrived... along with the fires...
Best of luck to friends and family here in the Wenatchee Valley... stay safe.
Posted on Monday, June 29th, 2015
No, your calendar doesn't deceive you... because Bullet Sunday on Monday starts... now...
• Heat! On top of the fires that have been raging here in Central Washington, we've got this crazy heat wave assaulting us like a blast furnace. The outdoors are practically inhospitable at 110°, but at least this bear has found a way to beat the heat...
That's one happy bear.
• Beard! As I am not swimming in a box of women, clearly my beard is entirely inadequate. But a solution is at hand...
Of course, compared to this guy, ALL BEARDS ARE INADEQUATE, even with god-like beard oil in them, so I guess I shouldn't feel too bad.
• Station Agent! A moment of silence for Tama-chan...
Photo by Toru Yamanaka/AFP/Getty Images
One of many feel-good cat stories... you will be missed, Tama!
• CANADA! "UGH! GAY MARRIAGE IS LEGAL NOW? I'M MOVING TO CANADA!" — If that's you, there's probably something you should know...
• WAAAH!!! And, speaking of sour grapes... Mike Huckabee Set the Bar Really High for the Worst Reaction to the Same-Sex Marriage Ruling. What an asshole.
• Travel! I updated my travel map and was happy to learn that I've finally reached my goal of seeing 25% of the countries on this planet...
At one time I thought I'd strive for 50%, but it took over half my life just to get this far. so unless somebody has a couple million dollars for me so I can quit work and travel the world... I guess this will have to do.
And... back to this unrelenting heat wave...
Posted on Tuesday, June 30th, 2015
FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE, MARVEL... JUST GIVE BLACK WIDOW HER OWN MOVIE ALREADY!
The Marvel Cinematic Universe is expanding in all kinds of awesome directions... but no real "spy thriller" has hit yet. This is categorically absurd given that Black Widow and Nick Fury are freakin' made for this kind of movie. Build up some kind of amazing Mission: Impossible scenario, drop them in the middle of it, then watch them go.
Tell me people wouldn't pay good money to see that.