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RUBY!

Posted on Wednesday, July 1st, 2015

Dave!TAKE MY MONEY!

Funko is going to release a series of POP! figures from The Fifth Element. Needless to say, I am beside myself with happiness...

   

"She's... perfect."

Funko POP! Fifth Element Figures

   

"KORBEN DALLAS!!!"

Funko POP! Fifth Element Figures

   

"LEELOO DALLAS MULTIPASS!!!"

Funko POP! Fifth Element Figures

   

"The Diva Plavalaguna!"

Funko POP! Fifth Element Figures

   

"You're a monster, Zorg..."

Funko POP! Fifth Element Figures

   

"We need to find the leader, Mangalores won't fight without the leader."

Funko POP! Fifth Element Figures

   

Now... for the question of the day... WHERE IN THE HELL IS RUBY RHOD?!?

The Fifth Element Ruby Rhod!

The Fifth Element Ruby Rhod!

Ruby is easily one of the most memorable things about The Fifth Element, and it is criminal that he doesn't get a Funko POP! figure! It would have also been nice if Father Vito Cornelius would get one, but Ruby? Essential.

UPDATE: Apparently there IS going to be a Ruby Rhod POP!... they just must be having trouble with the sculpt, because a rendering has been posted (see an image in the comments).

   

Apple Music

Posted on Thursday, July 2nd, 2015

Dave!Well, gee, where do I start.

In summary: Apple Music is a poorly-executed, bug-ridden, embarrassing pile of crap that is sadly typical of the utter shit that permeates anything to do with iTunes. If you've already got Spotify, there is nothing to see here. I'd argue that Apple's execution of a streaming music service is actually worse than Spotify in just about every sense. After the three-month free trial is over, I'll be dumping Apple Music like the steaming turd it is.

Shall we begin?

  1. Apple Music "iCloud Music Library" corrupts your iTunes data. Ever since activating Apple Music, everything has been completely fucked for me. Clicking on one song plays another. Album art is a jumble. Songs are missing. There seems to be no end to the bugs that Apple Music is responsible for. Apple's "fix" for the problem seemed to have worked... but then I started having problems again (even though I turned iCloud Music Library off). It is entirely possible that I have lost some of the CD music rips I entrusted to iTunes Match, and I am very, very pissed about it.
  2. Apple Music has made the iTunes UI even more stupid. iTunes has a user interface which is about as bad as it gets. And then along comes Apple Music to make things far worse. It took me forever to figure out how the fuck to even get to Apple Music, because it's under a tab titled "For You." What the bloody hell "For You" (suggestions for music you might like) has to do with a streaming service I have no idea. But any time you search Apple Music for a song, you pop back into "For You" again, so there it is. Why the fuck Apple calls it "Apple Music" but labels it "For You" is anybody's guess because it's just so damn idiotic.
  3. Apple Music "For You" suggestions are shit. Seriously? Apple has access to every damn song I own, which means they know exactly what I like to listen to. But does their "suggestions" reflect that? Not in the least. It's filled with shit I wouldn't dream of listening to. I mean, Lady Gaga? Really? But here's the real problem... you can "love" a track, but you can't "hate" a track. If you can't "hate" a track, how in the hell is Apple Music ever going to learn what you don't want to hear?
  4. Beats 1 Radio is worse than Clear Channel. I never understood how a "worldwide radio station" could manage to appeal to everyone. Turns out it can't. Either the music being played is the same Top 40 playlist trash you can get off a regular radio... or it's some esoteric crap I have zero interest in. After a day of listening, only rarely was I listening to something I actually enjoyed.
  5. Apple Music Connect is just so lame. After Apple canceled their rather embarrassing social media music experiment "Ping," they seem to have brought it back with less features as "Apple Music Connect." Basically, it allows you to keep in touch with the artists you like. And those you don't like. Connect automatically subscribes you to any artist with an account that happens to be in your library whether you want them to or not. I have a song in my library by Avril LaVigne... don't ask me why... maybe it was free or something, because I don't care for Avril... but that was all it took to have Apple subscribe me to her feed. So now I'm stuck having to waste time UNFOLLOWing Avril and most of the other artist appearing in Connect. Or at least trying to. Clicking UNFOLLOW doesn't work most of the time. Lame.
  6. Apple Music is missing some important music. Want to listen to some Prince? I don't blame you. So go start up some Prince on Apple Music! I'll wait...
  7. Apple Music makes everything more difficult. Seriously unintuitive. Things that are effortless on other services are confusing, complex, and time-consuming with Apple Music. I was so confused at one point that I was Googling for help. That's when I ran across this gem. Just pathetic. Did anybody at Apple actually test this shit?
  8. No Sonos support. Blergh.
  9. All the iTunes bugs are still there. Having to sign in to iCloud over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again? Yep. And what about movies that want to download no matter how many times you delete them? Yep. And being forced to download a movie to watch it instead of just streaming it? Yep. ITunes Store still being brain-dead about movies you've already purchased? Yep. Purchased movies not showing up in your "My Movies" tab? Yep. iTunes Match titles not being available every time you start up the app until you logout then log back in then turn Match back on? Yep. Random crashes? Yep. None... NOT ONE of the many, many bugs that plague this pile of shit have been addressed with the latest "Apple Music" edition. Pathitic.
  10. The new icon is butt-ugly. Well, it is.

I have no clue as to what's happening at Apple these days. More and more they just can't seem to get their shit together. Apple Music is just one more failure in a series of failures, and it's getting tiring.

I shouldn't have to work so hard to be an Apple fan.

   

Back 30

Posted on Friday, July 3rd, 2015

Dave! Thirty years ago today, one of my favorite movies of all time was released... Back to the Future!

I've lost count of the number of times I've seen the film. Probably at least 30 times in the 30 years since release. It's just one of those movies you can watch over and over again and never tire of it. In celebration of this landmark anniversary, I'll be watching it again tonight...

Back To The Future!

Few films have had this kind of impact on me.

Seamlessly blending science fiction and time travel with a genuinely sweet romantic comedy, Back to the Future hits all the right notes, and is pretty much the perfect movie.

And then the sequels came along.

Back to the Future II very nearly eclipses the original film for me. I absolutely love the movie. The clever way they managed to go back into the original film continues to blow my mind to this day. Yes, it doesn't have the heart that made the original such a special film... but my mind can't separate them, so it's all the same to me. The "future" of The Future remains one of my favorite fictionalized takes on... errr... the future...

Back To The Future!

I wasn't quite so enamored with the third film since it lacked the deep connection to the original the second one had... but still enjoyed it a lot.

And then, just like that, The Future was over.

Except it wasn't.

Thanks to some brilliant minds at Universal Studios, the franchise lived on with Back to the Future: The Ride!

Back To The Future Ride

My favorite theme park attraction of all time, the ride fit flawlessly within the Back to the Future films and was so fantastically realized that it felt as though it were a part of the trilogy from the beginning rather than tacked on for a quick buck. Unfortunately, the ride eventually closed in 2007 when it was replaced with a ride based on The Simpsons. Fortunately, the footage was preserved and is up on YouTube...

Not the same experience you got from being jostled around in a motion-controlled 8-seater DeLorean, but better than nothing!

The end of the ride wasn't the end for Back to the Future though...

Most people don't seem to be aware that the Back to the Future trilogy didn't end with Part III.

TellTale Games released a series of five Back to the Future games back in 2010. Serving as a direct sequel to the original films, they pick up directly after BTTF III...

And here's the surprising part... the games are actually good. Very good. Especially the first three installments. You should check them out!

Even if you don't like video games, you can still enjoy the story that came out of them. There are several postings on YouTube that screen-capped the whole thing. Though, obviously, if you have plans to play the games, watching the following video with utterly ruin them for you...

I don't know if there are plans to make more video games, but the movies live on in all kinds of knick-knacks... puzzles... greeting cards... and the like. Oh... and lest we forget Back to the Future: The Slot Machine!

Back to the Future... THE SLOT MACHINE!

And next up for the future of The Future?

LEGO Dimensions!

We already got a LEGO Back to the Future DeLorean Time Machine set, which is fantastic...

Back To The Future LEGO!

So naturally I am beyond thrilled at the prospect of finally getting a BTTF title out of the amazing LEGO video game franchise.

   
And what's the future of The Future past LEGO Dimensions?

I dunno. Robert Zemeckis refuses to allow a remake while he and co-writer Bob Gale still alive, thank heavens... but given that the original films are still much-loved even today, I wouldn't rule out more Back to the Future in the future. More LEGO? More video games? Comics? Animation? Who knows?

The future is whatever you make it.

So make it a good one.

   

AMERICA!

Posted on Saturday, July 4th, 2015

Dave!In celebration of The United States of America on the occasion of her birthday, I can think of nothing more fitting than quoting the immortal words of a real American and one of the preeminent thinkers of our time... here's Sarah Palin on Paul Revere.

"He who warned... uhhhh... the... the British that they weren’t going to be taking away our arms... uh... by ringing those bells and, um, making sure as he’s riding his horse through town to send those warning shots and bells that we were going to be secure and we were going to be free and we were going to be armed."

DAVETOON: It's Bad Monkey riding that horse so he can warn the British not to take our freedoms away by ringing those bells and making those warning shots!

Fuck yeah.

FUCK. YEAH!

Dave!

Captain America Suit
Truth! Justice! Captain America!

Wonder Woman
You're a Wonder, Wonder Woman!

REAGAN, DAMMIT!
REAGAN, bitches! Trickle-Down America!

Flag BIKINI
Jessiqa Pace... Land That I Love

Flag Undies
Too... Much... America...

I pledge aliegence to the flags...
I Pledge Allegiance to America...

Pam!
AMERICAN PAM!

Stephen Colbert Defender of American Justice!
'MURICA! from USA News First!

America Challenge!
Fuck the Pepsi Challenge... take The America Challenge!

America Challenge!
CHALLENGE ACCEPTED, COMMIES! And God Bless Holly Fisher

America Challenge!
American Jesus (the ONLY Jesus)... Artist Unknown

America Challenge!
America... One Nation Under God by McNaughton

Red Sox Baseball America!!!
BOSTON RED SOX AMERICA!... by Matt West, Boston Herald

America Pie!
AMERICA PIE TASTES LIKE FREEDOM by Max Faulkner, DFW.com

Stephen Colbert Defender of American Justice!
Stephen T. Colbert... The Spirit of America

American Pride with Waffle
"American Pride" (with Waffles the Cat) by Justin Schwab

American Pride with Waffle
Jordan Carver... God Bless America

DAVETOON: Lil' Dave and Bad Monkey waving US flags.

Whew. That's a lot of America right there.

Which brings us back to...

Happy 239th Birthday to the United States of America... the best America ever!

   

Bullet Sunday 440

Posted on Sunday, July 5th, 2015

Dave!Playtime is over and it's time to get down to business, because Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Victory! Congratulations to Carli Lloyd and the US Women's National Soccer Team in winning the World Cup! And yet... there's another victory left to be won...

World Cup Sexist Pay Gap

You're looking at that correctly. The US Men's Team got paid 8 million dollars for getting knocked out of the tournament in the first round... whereas the Women's Team got 2 million for winning the whole enchilada. Now, look, I get it... women's sports don't attract the viewership or ad revenue that the men's sports get. The money isn't going to be as huge as the 35 million dollars Germany got for winning the Men's Cup. It's unfortunate, but that's the sexist world we live in right now. Except... WTF?!?? Being paid 400% more money TO LOSE isn't just a wage gap... it's absolute bat-shit crazy. And that's not even the worst of it. The Women's World Cup was made to be played on artificial turf, which is far hotter and more prone to injuries. The Men's World Cup, of course, plays on natural grass. FIFA, the disgustingly corrupt pile of shit that governs football (soccer) world-wide makes billions of dollars, but can't be bothered to spend a trivial amount of their massive wealth to ensure the safety of their female players? Seriously, Fuck FIFA. The whole organization needs to be completely gutted for this kind of insane bullshit... among other things...

A grotesque organization indeed. I have no clue what it's going to take to get FIFA overhauled, but it needs to happen sooner rather than later.

   
• Extinction! Kill them. Kill them all. Kill them all until poachers are an endangered species. Kill the all until poaching is extinct. And I'm saying that from a place of non-violence and love.

   
• Denali! Ayers Rock is actually Uluru. Victoria Falls is actually Mosi-oa-Tunya. Turns out many famous geological formations that already had names given them by the indigenous people living there were renamed by the people who "discovered" them. Errrr... rediscovered them. Add Mt. McKinley to the list...

Kind of ridiculous, really.

   
• Vaccinate! Meanwhile, in my neck of the woods... In Clallam County, Washington, a woman has died of complications from measles. This is the first U.S. death from measles since 2003.

Jenny Stupid Fucking McCarthy

Another preventable death on the books.

   
• Anchor! While cleaning out some junk, I ran across the first hard drive I ever owned... a massive boat-anchor of a drive that weighs a ton and clocks in at a whopping 10 GB... 8 GB of which is usable space... spread across two jumbo drives...

Ancient Hard Drive

I wonder what's on it? Going to have to figure out how to take a look one of these days.

   
• Owl and the Pussycat! Probably the cutest thing you've seen all week...

Owl and Kitten Pals

Awwwwww!

   
Annnnnd... I'm spent. No more bullets for you!

   

Bright?

Posted on Monday, July 6th, 2015

Dave!Just goes to show... you can't have a debate over the Confederate Flag without dragging marriage equality into the mix!

Any bets on how long it'll be until this asshole is caught with an underage male prostitute in some seedy airport hotel?

Yeah. Definitely overcompensating for something.

Probably hates they idea of gay marriage because it's just so damn tempting to him.

Meanwhile, the rest of the world is waking up to the novel concept that UNLESS YOU'RE IN A SAME-SEX RELATIONSHIP, SAME-SEX MARRIAGE DOESN'T FUCKING AFFECT YOU.

Unless, of course, you want to be happy for all your friends, co-workers, and family who can finally get married the same way every other tax-paying American can.

   

Jared

Posted on Tuesday, July 7th, 2015

Dave!My long-standing loathing and contempt of Jared Fogle, the Subway Sandwich Whore™ is well-documented. I think the way he shills for Subway's shitty sandwiches borders on fraud, and the fact that he's gotten millions of dollars for it makes him a loathsome creature indeed.

"LETS COMPARE A 6-INCH SUBWAY SANDWICH WITH NO CHEESE, NO MAYO, NO FATTY ANYTHING, AND NO FLAVOR TO THIS BIG MAC! AS YOU CAN SEE, SUBWAY IS CLEARLY THE HEALTHY CHOICE!" — Except when it's not, because most people are going to go for the $5 foot-long fully loaded with fat plus the "Meal Deal" upgrade with fatty chips and a toxic cup of soda because that's "getting your money's worth." Turns out when you compare what people actually eat at Subway, the restaurant is no better than McDonalds... and quite possibly even worse. Way worse when you consider that the people ordering that shit have been brainwashed into thinking they've made a healthy choice.

For these reasons and plenty more, I've blasted Jared (and Subway) more times than I can count.

Take, for example, my reaction to Apple's introduction of the MacBook Air. All I could think about was how such a slim laptop would be perfect for decapitating Jared Fogle if you happened to run into him on the street. I even drew a Davetoon to illustrate how that would go...

DAVETOON: Bad Monkey Uses MacBook Air to Decapitate Jared Fogle

Yeah, no love lost there.

So you can imagine my reaction when it was announced that Jared had been suspended from being Subway's spokeswhore after his house was raided during a child pornography investigation.

ZOMFG! NO MORE HAVING TO LOOK AT JARED ON TV COMMERCIALS AND BILLBOARDS!

Except...

Happy as I am about the prospect of Jared Fogle disappearing forever... I would have never wanted it to happen like this. Odds are, the investigation has everything to do with the arrest of the former head of The Jared Foundation... Fogle's charity which is fighting to stop child obesity... and absolutely nothing to do with Jared himself. Indeed, every indication is that Fogle is cooperating fully with the FBI, and he hasn't been charged or arrested for anything.

And I honestly hope he's innocent, because piece of shit sexual predators who prey on children are something we really need less of in this world.

No, if Jared has to go... let it be because people finally wise-up to his disgustingly deceptive ads where he takes millions of dollars for telling people they're eating healthier when, odds are, they're really not.

That would be something to celebrate.

   

Hair

Posted on Wednesday, July 8th, 2015

Dave!Finally.

Something as inexplicably bizarre as Donald Trump himself...


   
Though The Donald should be orange, not yellow.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I am going to go sob quietly in a corner over how somebody like this can be considered a serious contender for President of the United States. If this is where we're going, I'd rather have President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho, (former porn star and five-time Ultimate Smackdown Wrestling Champion) as my leader...

Idiocracy. The gift that keeps on giving.

   

Presidential

Posted on Thursday, July 9th, 2015

Dave!Screw it.

I've got my candidate...


Captain America Suit

   
Might as well. It's not like anybody else that's running is worth a crap.

   

ZIM!

Posted on Friday, July 10th, 2015

Dave!One of my favorite animated series of all time is Invader Zim.

Created by Jhonen Vasquez for Nickelodeon Animation Studio, the show was about as strange as a cartoon could get... with visuals and stories that have to be seen to be believed. Chronicling the never-ending schemes of Irken alien invader Zim (along with his faithful robot sidekick GIR) to conquer the earth, Invader Zim ran for a heartbreakingly short 27 episodes before being cancelled by the complete idiots at Nickelodeon.

But now, thanks to the magic of comic books and a return by Jhonen Vasquez, Zim is back...

Invader Zim No. 1

And it is glorious.

If you are even a passing fan of the cartoon (and how could you not be?) it is well worth picking up at your local comic book shop... or online digitally via Comixology.

   

VS.

Posted on Saturday, July 11th, 2015

Dave!As a massively huge Batman fan, nobody wants Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice to be a great film more than I do.

Problem is, it's a continuation of the crap-fest that was Zach Snyder's Man of Steel... a movie I hate so much that just typing Man of Steel is enough for me to to start going into an apoplectic fit of rage. Snyder took a gigantic dump all over Superman, and DC Comics didn't seem to care... despite the fact that it took in "only" $668 million (against a budget of $225 million). That may seem like a lot, but it pales in comparison to Nolan's The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises (each earning in excess of 1 billion). And don't even start on The Avengers (1.5 billion). But whatever, it was a bad Superman movie because it wasn't Superman on the screen.

And now Zach Snyder is back at it with the afore-mentioned Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice.

Which looks like utter shit...

Wait... was that... The Comedian?!?

From the trailer it looks like Snyder tried to make a present-day version of Miller's The Dark Knight Returns, but had no concept as to what made that book so great... Frank Miller stayed respectful to the source material.

Oh well. Luckily for everybody, Marvel continues to knock their super-hero films out of the park. Next up? Ant-Man! Which looks amazing, by the way...

What I wouldn't give to have Marvel take over DC's film franchises.

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Bullet Sunday 441

Posted on Sunday, July 12th, 2015

Dave!Don't mind this missing blog post, because Bullet Sunday starts... now...


Five Bullets

   
Happy now?

   

Unfolds

Posted on Monday, July 13th, 2015

Dave!Don't you love a good TV ad?

Given that almost every ad you see is complete shit and totally the interruption it is designed to be... it makes me fall hard for ads that are actually good.

Like this one, which is currently top of the heap for my favorite ad of 2015...

Barely edging out my previous favorite for 2015...

Perhaps I'll be adding it to this one, my favorite from 2014...

And this one, my favorite from 2013...

And 2012...

And 2011...

And, lastly, the 2010 commercial that made me start keeping track of my favorite commercials...

   
It's hard not to love anything that features Betty White.

   

Amcrap

Posted on Tuesday, July 14th, 2015

Dave!Unlike in many other countries, train service in the USA is mostly crap. Partly because people here just loooooove their cars, but mostly because this country is just so big and connecting everything isn't really practical. Sure there are pockets of decent train service... the Northeast Corridor is pretty well-connected and has decent schedules. And, yeah, there are places that have pretty good local/regional train service (like the Chicagoland area). But, for the most part, trains can't be taken seriously.

Take for instance here in my neck of Redneckistan.

To get from Wenatchee to Spokane, there's exactly one train each day. At 8:42pm, arriving 12:45am. Coming back? Again, one train which leaves Spokane at 2:15am, getting back to Wenatchee at 5:25am.

So... pretty useless. Which is why I always end up driving it, high gas prices be damned.

But every once in a while... when the stars align and the conditions are right... that wacky schedule actually works for me.

Like today.

I have been swamped with work. I haven't gotten a good night's sleep in a week. I can't afford to waste six hour on the road to Spokane and back. If I take the train, I can get a sleeper compartment, work until I fall asleep, then wake up in Spokane with time for a few hours more sleep. Perfect. And it's safer than being on the road in my sleep-deprived condition.

Which, of course means that my train is delayed by FIVE HOURS. Thanks, Amtrak!

Which means I'm driving over anyway.

So bring on the Five-Hour-Energy drinks and Coca-Cola, which was the only way I was able to survive the 3-hour drive over.

Which brings us to my hotel, which I originally booked thusly...

DAVE: I need to book a room for the 14th even though I won't be arriving until early on the 15th. So please don't think I'm a no-show and give away my room!
   
RESERVATIONS: We wouldn't do that!
   
DAVE: That's nice. You'd be surprised how often that happens to me. It's no fun looking for a hotel in the early morning. So... assuming I don't get raped and stabbed on the walk from the train station, I'll see you tomorrow at 1:00am.
   
RESERVATIONS: Oh goodness! You won't get raped or stabbed walking from the train station! You should be fine! You might get robbed or something, but you won't be raped and stabbed!
   
DAVE: Ah. Good to know. See you tomorrow.

But then I ended up driving, so no walking from the train station after all.

Except the parking lot was full at my hotel, so I had to risk getting robbed walking two blocks from the overflow parking.

And then risk getting harassed and shoved around as I made my way through Hipster Central on my way to the legendary Spokane institution... the Satellite Lounge. Which serves up deliciously greasy fare at a good price in a strip club atmosphere. But, alas, without the strippers.

Which is a pity, because I really could have done with something nice to look at after staring at the nothingness that is the Columbia Basin at night for three hours.

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David’s Too

Posted on Wednesday, July 15th, 2015

Dave!I have been a lot of places on this planet.

I have eaten a lot of pizza everywhere I go.

My favorite pizza on earth (so far) is the Da Vinci from David's Pizza in Spokane, Washington. It's red sauce, mozzarella, and feta with a swirl of pesto sauce that's topped with fresh tomatoes after baking. It is sublime. The sauce at David's has a rich and robust taste that doesn't rely on toppings to give their pizza it's flavor. The mix of feta and pesto is insanely good. It just doesn't get any better.

Which is why you can understand my utter devastation when I rolled up to David's Pizza to get a slice and was greeted by this...

David's Pizza Bulldozed Over and Dead

The greatest pizza I have ever known was gone.

Sure David's Pizza kinda lived on inside of a bar called "Famous Ed's"... but it was never the same.

Fast forward four long years... and David's is back at a new location, and it's very nice...

All New David's Pizza

All New David's Pizza

All New David's Pizza

The pizza profile seems closer to the original for me... but the crust is more "Famous Ed's" than "Original David's Pizza" in that it's missing a bit of the "snap" it used to have. It's slightly more chewy instead. Not necessarily a bad thing... just not as I remember it...

All New David's Pizza

Still probably the best pizza on earth.

Believe it or not, the second best pizza I've ever had is 20 minutes away from me in Wenatchee at a place called "Third Generation Pizza N More." The sauce is so flavorful that just a plain cheese pizza packs plenty of delicious flavor, and their amazing crust is my favorite.

After that my pizza favorites get a bit murky. Maybe Pizano's Pizza in Chicago... could be Roberta's or Totonno’s or Grimaldi's in Brooklyn... could even be Tony's in San Francisco... the list goes on and on. And it's not limited to the US either... I may not care for Italian pizza, but I've had some pretty great pizza in several places in Europe... and even a couple spots in Japan!

Great pizza's all, but David's is on the top of my list. And I am oh so happy they're back in Spokane again.

The trip home was pretty awful, despite having a nice day for a drive...

Driving Home from Spokane Sunset

The problem was that I was so tired by the time I got home that my brain was numb. Thanks again to Amtrak for their five hour delay that resulted in my having to make the drive in the first place.

And now... my last two slices of leftover Da Vinci are calling...

   

Get

Posted on Thursday, July 16th, 2015

Dave!Every have one of those days you just want to pack up your shit and get the fuck out?

I usually don't. I get away to interesting places often enough that I'm content to be where I'm at... even on the bad days.

But today?

Yeah. I want to pack up my shit and get the fuck out in the worst possible way.

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Categories: DaveLife 2015Click To It: Permalink  1 Comment: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Planet

Posted on Friday, July 17th, 2015

Dave!So...

NASA...

Money well-spent, again, I think.


The Planet Pluto

The Moon Charon

Pluto. Charon, and the Moon

   
The planet Pluto. Pluto's moon Charon. A size comparison of Pluto and Charon vs. the Earth.

Cool.

And worth every penny...

Instead of cutting their budget even further, we should give NASA billions more dollars and see what cool stuff they come up with to spend it.

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Cost

Posted on Saturday, July 18th, 2015

Dave!And now, following up on yesterday's post...


The Planet Pluto

   

Obviously, our priorities are completely fucked.

   

Bullet Sunday 442

Posted on Sunday, July 19th, 2015

Dave!Time to get all cinematic with your fine self, because a special MOVIE edition of Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Terminated! When James Cameron released a statement saying that Terminator: Genisys was a fantastic film, I remember being relieved that finally... finally we were getting a Terminator sequel that was a worthy follow-up to T1 and T2. The trailer certainly made it look like we were getting a good film...

Sadly, nothing could be further from the truth. This horrible mess of a movie actually had me fondly remembering Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (which I didn't much care for), and the epic McG directed disaster that was Terminator: Salvation (which I hated). First of all, nothing makes sense. The plot is complete shit and ruthlessly eviscerates any hope for future Terminator films. Arnold was at his absolute worst, which was surprising given his recent work in Maggie. Emilia Clarke, though a good actress, was woefully miscast as Sarah Connor. But the worst offense was casting Jai Courtney as Kyle Reese, who was just awful... as in film-destroying, franchise-ending awful. I mean, I guess he kind of worked for that crappy Die Hard film, but here he is so lifeless... so horribly lacking in the charm needed to pull off this iconic role... that any other flaw in Genysis is rendered moot. Even the mind-bogglingly stupid storyline which involves Sarah Connor using a 1984 time machine(?) to go FORWARD in time to stop Skynet. Yes, FORWARD. The entire film is asinine, but the leap of logic needed to get over this idea is just too much to bear. Oh well. Maybe it's time that the Terminator films just die already. Because this one... like the two that preceded it, is seriously not worth your time. Possibly even on video. Holy crap what a disappointment.
DAVE RATING: ★☆☆☆☆

   
• Teddy! Seth McFarlane's follow-up to his shockingly rude and oh-so-good good Teddy Bear film, Ted (★★★★★) disappointed in the worst way. Partly because I was looking forward to a sequel so badly and any film would have had a hard time living up to the hype... but mostly because, in an effort to top himself, McFarlane shit the bed. First of all, Mila Kunis... arguably the true heart of Ted, has been jettisoned. I don't care if she was pregnant, they should have waited until she was available, because a big part of what made Ted work so damn well was Lori and her relationship with both Johnny and Ted. By having her vanish from the storyline, they were just setting up the movie to fail. And it mostly did, despite having some funny moments...

The biggest sin for Ted 2 is that it didn't have enough funny moments. There was an attempt to go ruder, cruder, and more outrageous, but it pretty much backfired. This made the film seem too long and too humorless compared to the original. And when a comedy that's hit-or-miss in the funny dept. feels like it mostly misses... well... let's just say I had hoped for much more.
DAVE RATING: ★★★☆☆

   
• Joy! I'm going to be completely honest... the concept for Pixar's Inside Out! didn't appeal to me at all, and I was seriously thinking that it was going to be a Cars 2 level disaster. The trailer did little to change my mind...

And then I saw it and it was kinda wonderful and a little magical and oh so beautiful and just about everything a Pixar film should be. Yes, it drags enough in places to lose a star, but overall a solid flick. And now I'm looking forward to seeing it on home video because I want to see it again. Can't ask for much more of an endorsement than that.
DAVE RATING: ★★★★☆

   
• Minions! And then there's Minions... a prequel of sort to Despicable Me. I fully admit to looking forward to this film, as the little yellow terrors are easily my favorite thing about both Despicable Me and it's lackluster sequel...

Problem is... it just doesn't work. Minions are cute when they're taken in small doses, but an entire film devoted to them turns out to be borderline annoying. Hopefully Despicable Me 3 will get back to what made the original movie such a success and allow me to love minions again, because this film didn't do it.
DAVE RATING: ★★☆☆☆

   
• Fury! Mad Max: Fury Road is dangerously close to being my favorite film of 2015 so far. It was brilliantly cast, amazingly written, and beautifully crafted. As if that weren't enough, it's got balls-out action that's wrapped around a George Romero love letter to Charlize Theron and feminism. Such a good film. And just when I think that it couldn't get any better, THIS comes along...

I am not a huge fan of black-and-white films that are black-and-white for art's sake... but this? Gorgeous. I would pay to see this in the theater in a heartbeat. Sadly, while it was once promised for home video release, now it looks as though the project is dead. Very sad about that. Still, even in glorious color, Mad Max: Fury Road is well worth your valuable time. Preferably seen in a theater on a big screen.
DAVE RATING: ★★★★★

   
Next up? Definitely Ant Man. And hopefully Trainwreck, which looks like it's entertaining enough for a theater visit...

Gotta love Amy Schumer.

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Strangelove

Posted on Monday, July 20th, 2015

Dave!Can't even attempt to sum up what a complete cluster-fuck my day was today.

If I were to try, it would probably go something like this...


   
I need a vacation.

   

Return

Posted on Tuesday, July 21st, 2015

Dave!Another difficult day.

Most of which was thinking about how I would give anything... anything... to be back in Africa just now. It's the travel experience that just won't leave me. And my new go-to place any time I dream of escaping life.

Not hard to see why when my memories are filled with this...

Hwange Lion Cubs

Elephants in the Zambezi

Lions in the Shade

Hwange Giraffe

Hwange Sunset

   
Here's hoping for a better tomorrow.

   

Footlong

Posted on Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015

Dave!I was desperate enough, hungry enough, and lacking time enough to grab a decent dinner... so I made the huge mistake of eating at Subway tonight.

Thank heavens I just bought toilet paper...


The Planet Pluto

   
Nothing quite like having to blog while on the toilet because of early onset diarrhea from a footlong cheese sandwich.

Eat Fresh, everybody.

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Sandra Bland

Posted on Thursday, July 23rd, 2015

Dave!I've written/deleted/rewritten a post about Sandra Bland a half dozen times since I saw her bullshit arrest video. I just can't wrap my head around it.

Yes, if she were nicer, the cop might have let her off with a warning for her traffic violation. But I am getting sick and tired of this notion that everybody should have to tiptoe around the police because you never know if the officer your dealing with is a psychotic asshole on a power trip that's going to escalate a minor infraction into an arrest just because he can.

Absolutely nothing Sandra Bland said made her deserving of the treatment she got. NOTHING. She was asked a question. She answered it. But even if she had told the officer to go blow himself, his only response should have been to either give her the damn ticket or let her go. There was no reason whatsoever for him to threaten to "light her up" or order her to extinguish her cigarette or even order her out of her car in the first place. If he's got a tiny penis and needs to aggressively order people around to feel like a big man, that's his fucking problem and he should leave that shit at home instead of forcing it on the people he's supposed to be serving and protecting.

Ugh.

I'm getting ready to explode all over again because of this never-ending cycle of out-of-control police brutality. But rather than erase yet another post, I'm just going to let Larry Wilmore take it from here...

Yes, yes, I know... most cops are good. Only a few cops are bad. Yadda yadda yadda.

But what does it matter when crap like this is even possible?

Make whatever excuse you want. Put all the blame on her you want. But ultimately Sandra Bland was jailed for three days and counting because she didn't kiss a police officer's ass enough.

And now she's dead because of it.

Where were those sworn to protect and serve her while she was in their care?

   

Transcend

Posted on Friday, July 24th, 2015

Dave!It's been reported that North Korea's dictator and fearless leader Kim Jong Un didn't like the design of his new Pyongyang International Airport so he had the architect executed.

It seems a bit extreme, to be certain, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't understand the sentiment.

Case in point...

When it comes to portable storage, the only brand I trust is Transcend's StorJet line of "Military Grade Shock Resistant" 2.5-inch hard drives. They're tough enough to travel the world with me, fairly speedy, and last forever. I am still using the very first drive I bought ages ago while other brands have long-since died.

So... great product. Well done, Transcend!

Since I'm hitting the road soon, I decided to pick up a new 1TB StorJet since all my current projects won't fit on the 750GB drive I'm using. I keep hoping that Transcend will add the option for a Thunderbolt or Lightning connector since you don't have to worry about which way you plug the cord into them, but all that's available is USB 3. I hate USB with a passion because I always seem to have the plugged turned the wrong way... but at least on the drive-side I know which way the plug goes in, which is half the battle.

At least it was half the battle...

Sadistic Transcend Engineers

   
On the left is my new drive. On the right is my old drive. Note that the USB plug is now upside-down from what it was.

Who is the sadistic fuck at Transcend that made THIS happen?

The years of conditioning I have as to which way the plug goes in the drive has just been sabotaged. And since it's so automatic that I don't even think about it, I have the plug backwards Every. Damn. Time. And it always takes a second before I realize what's wrong because my brain hasn't reached the point that I know to flip the plug.

I absolutely hate stupid crap like this.

They may make great portable drives, but they obviously don't give two shits about the small details that keep customers happy. It's like the assholes at LaCie who keep changing the power adapter plug on their Porsche drives every six months. After two years I ended up with seven drives and THREE different adapters to keep track of. It finally got so frustrating that I trashed all my LaCie drives and switched to Western Digital.

And now I'm seriously considering taking a look at other portable storage manufacturers so I can avoid the flip-flopping sadists at Transcend.

Now, I'm not saying that I want the engineer executed who made this dick move, but I will say that it's probably a good thing I'm not North America's dictator and fearless leader...

   

Saga

Posted on Saturday, July 25th, 2015

Dave!Dave!Dave!I honestly thought that yesterday's struggle with my new travel portable hard drive's reversed USB 3 port would be the worst thing that happened before I leave for my work trip on Monday.

I was wrong.

So very, very wrong.

Last night before leaving work I compiled all my work file folders into a new folder hierarchy so it would be easier to copy what I need for work on the road. Instead of having to sync dozens of folders, I would now only need to sync one. Pretty sweet, right?

Yeah. Not so much.

Before leaving I set ChronoSync to copy my new "master folder" to my new up-side-down portable drive.

This morning I come back to work only to find that ChronoSync reported a total transfer time of 2 seconds with zero files copied.

What the-?!?

Turns out my new "master folder" was completely empty. All my files from the past two decades were nowhere to be found. Thinking that Mac OS X was just playing silly buggers with the "visibility" of my files, I ran Disk Warrior, which usually fixes things right up.

That didn't work so I ran Disk Warrior in "scavenger" mode.

That didn't work so I used the directory backup in TechTool Pro to see if I could recover my files.

That didn't work so I fired up Data Rescue 4 to see if that might work.

Nothing. Nothing. Nothing Nothing. Nothing worked. For reasons completely unknown, all my files had been completely wiped from the drive with no option for recovery. And for the life of me, I have no idea why. The free space on my drive is huge because the files are truly missing. No diagnostic will reveal any clue as to what's gone wrong. It's as if everything I've ever worked on never existed.

As if that weren't bad enough, I've been particularly lax in keeping up with my local backups. My most current drive copy is five months old.

I'd be contemplating sticking my head in the over right now if not for the fact that I have everything continuously backed up into the Cloud with a service called BackBlaze. For $189, they'll ship me a new hard drive filled with all my missing files. I started using BackBlaze when Apple's Time Machine backups kept getting corrupted, and thank heavens.

So... no harm no foul... I guess.

One thing's for sure, I need a better local backup strategy.

=sigh= Something new to worry about.

   

Bullet Sunday 443

Posted on Sunday, July 26th, 2015

Dave!And... I have no internet. And... I'll be traveling for a week. So this very special HEAVILY DELAYED edition of Bullet Sunday starts... eventually...

   
• Sisko! I have been totally addicted to the feral rescue project from TinyKittens.com. They've taken in a young feral kitteh named Sisko whom is very, very pregnant. Feral kittehs are a particular challenge in that they have no trust in humans whatsoever and have to be handled delicately. When they're pregnant, it's doubly so. You can drop by and watch her live here. Or relive past videos like this one...

Not a very comfortable-looking momma, that's for sure.

   
• Asshole! Just in case you need lessons...

I meet at least a half-dozen professional asshole drivers every day!

   
• Biblical! A very interesting look at "Your Deeply Held Religious Beliefs."

   
• Electra Woman! This is really happening...

Flawless casting.

   
• Pointless. Can I be honest with you? When celebrities completely miss the point on something and go all sanctimonious with their bullshit, it drives me crazy...

Harry Connick Jr. Doesn't Get It

Harry Connick Jr. Doesn't Get It

Harry Connick Jr. Doesn't Get It

Harry Connick Jr. Doesn't Get It

Harry Connick Jr. Doesn't Get It

Harry Connick Jr. Doesn't Get It

Listen, Harry Connick Jr., that's not what people are saying at all. When somebody says "better get a shotgun" because your daughter is of dating age... this has absolutely nothing to do with your daughter, her self-esteem, or her judgement. It has everything to do with the fact that horny teenage boys are going to be busting down your door trying to plan and scheme to date your daughter... or, more likely, have sex with your daughter. Your misunderstanding here is that only guys "of a certain caliber" are going to be attracted to her when, in fact, every heterosexual boy on earth is going to be attracted to her. Especially in today's highly-sexualized society. The metaphorical shotgun is so that you can fend off the bastards so your daughter has the opportunity to attract the guys of the caliber she deserves. So climb off your high horse and calm down before your inane rant makes you look like an idiot or something.

   
And, I'm out. Here's hoping this gets posted before next Bullet Sunday comes around...

   

GO?

Posted on Monday, July 27th, 2015

Dave!Okay. I haven't traveled in a couple months, so I know I've been out of the loop for a while, but...

FORTY FREAKIN' DOLLARS FOR INTERNET?!??

Wasn't it just $20 a few minutes ago?

San Diego Zoo Hippo

And here's the thing... it's shitty forty dollar internet. I barely had a connection the entire time. Pages would rarely load completely... it's worse than dial-up used to be!

Guess this is what happens when you let a corrupt pile of shit company have a monopoly in the in-air internet game! Highway robbery! Errr... well... in the air. SKYWAY ROBBERY!!! I could get blown for this kind of bank!

Oh well.

I'll just try and appreciate that I can have internet while flying at all.

BUT FORTY DOLLARS?!??

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THE ANT-MAN!

Posted on Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

Dave!ZOMG! ANT-MAN WAS AWESOME!

Terrific movie. A Marvel Studios film in every sense of the word... albeit on a smaller scale. Which was part of what made it so much fun to watch...


Ant-Man UK Poster

   
And I do mean fun.

While it has serious moments, this is by far the lightest of the Marvel Studios Universe stable of films (and, yes, I'm including the wonderful Guardians of the Galaxy).

I admit that I was pretty shaken up when former helmer Edgar Wright left the project, but it turns out the movie was in good hands. Peyton Reed put together a super-hero heist flick that was firing on all cylinders and ended up better than it had a right to be.

Master burglar Scott Lang (a flawlessly cast Paul Rudd) gets out of prison only to find that life ain't easy for an ex-con. He can't hold a job and is having a tough time trying to stay involved in his daughter's life now that his ex-wife is engaged to be married. But everything changes when he meets legendary inventor Hank Pym, whose revolutionary shrinking technology is threatening to destroy the world if Scott can't harness the power of The Ant-Man.

The story was very good, albeit a bit formulaic in spots. Probably because super-hero origin tales all seem to blend together after a while. Luckily, they took advantage of the one thing that makes Ant-Man so unique... his diminutive size. Oh... and his ability to talk to ants. In both regards, the special effects were pretty darn impressive. Not an easy thing to accomplish when you've got a tiny, tiny man riding a flying ant.

Casting was excellent. In addition to Paul Rudd, we also get the legendary Michael Douglas in perfect form as Hank Pym, Evangeline Lilly as his daughter Hope, Corey Stoll playing bad-guy Darren Cross, and a scene-stealing Michael Peña as Scott Lang's partner in crime, Luis (holy cats do I hope he makes future appearances in Marvel films).

From a comic book geek standpoint, it's hard to be disappointed in Ant-Man. If forced to try, I'd have to say not getting an appearance by The Wasp was somewhat disappointing. Sure, this is Ant-Man's story, but Hope Van Dyne not getting a slice of the super-hero spotlight this time around seems unfair given that Marvel's movie slate is so full that another Ant-Man movie is probably far off. If we ever get a sequel at all. My guess is that she'll be suited up for the next two The Avengers flicks once "The Infinity War" is in full force... but The Wasp getting any major screen time in stories already overflowing with super-heroes seems unlikely.

Ultimately, Ant-Man is well worth your valuable time on the big screen. I really liked it and actually do hope we end up getting a sequel. RATING: A.

   

Time to update my "Y2K Super-Hero Comic Book Renaissance" scorecard...

Ant-Man... A
The Avengers... A+
Avengers: Age of Ultron... A
Batman Begins... A
Batman Dark Knight... A+
Batman Dark Knight Rises... A
Big Hero Six... A+
Blade... B
Blade 2... B
Blade Trinity... B-
Captain America... A+
Captain America: The Winter Soldier... A+
Catwoman... F
Daredevil... B-
Daredevil (Director's Cut)... B+
Elektra... D
Fantastic Four... C
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer... D
Guardians of the Galaxy... A+
Ghost Rider... C
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance... D
Green Hornet... D
Green Lantern... C+
Hellboy... A
Hellboy 2: Golden Army... A
Hulk... C-
Incredible Hulk... B
The Incredibles... A+
Iron Man... A+
Iron Man 2... A-
Iron Man 3... A+
Jonah Hex... F
Kick-Ass... B+
Kick-Ass 2... B-
Man of Steel... F-
Punisher... C+
Punisher War Zone... C
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World... C
Spider-Man... B+
Spider-Man 2... A
Spider-Man 3... D-
Amazing Spider-Man... B
Amazing Spider-Man 2... B-
Superman Returns... C+
Thor... B+
Thor: The Dark World... A
Watchmen... B
The Wolverine... B
X-Men... C
X-Men 2: United... D
X-Men 3: Last Stand... F-
X-Men Origins: Wolverine... D
X-Men: Days of Future Past... B-
X-Men: First Class... B

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Hallucinogen

Posted on Wednesday, July 29th, 2015

Dave!I am so tired that I can barely function.

Work has been brutal, and it looks like I may break some kind of record for number of hours worked straight.

Luckily I have the memory of my delicious Maine Wild Blueberry Poundcake from yesterday to keep my hallucinations delicious...

Ant-Man UK Poster

   
Also... something I found out while chasing down an expense receipt for the HEINOUSLY EXPENSIVE INFLIGHT INTERNET I bought on Monday? You can pre-purchase internet directly from GoGo at LESS THAN HALF the cost! Just $16.00! So... if you're traveling and am going to be on a flight that has internet you'll want to be using, be sure to buy before you fly.

Hopefully that wasn't a hallucination, because... FORTY FRICKIN' DOLLARS?!??

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Death-Defying

Posted on Thursday, July 30th, 2015

Dave!Tonight I came the closest to death I've ever been.

Work was delayed ten hours and didn't start until around 11:30pm on Tuesday. I then worked all through Wednesday right up until Thursday until 10:30pm. So, basically, a 47-hour workday with only a three-hour nap in there somewhere.

And a six-pack of 5-Hour Energy.

To say I was tired and not looking forward to the 2-1/2 hour drive back to Boston this evening was an understatement. I considered grabbing a local hotel for a few hours, but have learned the hard way that I need to power through. So I picked up two bottles of Mountain Dew and away I went.

I was beyond exhausted, but the caffeinated fizzy water and constant stops at toll booths kept me going.

And then it happened.

At three minutes until midnight just before crossing the border from New Hampshire to Massachusetts... a car facing the wrong way, stopped dead in the middle of the highway. No lights. No blinkers. Just a dark automobile angled across the road, centered in the middle lane.

In my lane.

And here I am going 70 miles per hour under the cover of darkness.

In a Prius.

A Prius which would have been utterly destroyed if it had hit the car at that speed... probably taking me with it.

Fortunately, the full moon illuminated just enough of the car before my lights reached it that I saw... something. It was just enough warning to give me time to brake and swerve out of my lane... hard.

It felt like the Prius went up on two wheels.

I thought I was going to tip over.

I struggled to keep control of the car as I started skidding off the road. After what seemed like an eternity, I gained control and managed to stay on the highway.

My wits, however, went out the window back in New Hampshire.

   
Needless to say, I had no problem staying awake for the remained of my drive into Boston. The adrenaline rush was a bigger wake-up call than all the Mountain Dew on planet earth.
   

What if there hadn't been a full moon?

What if I was glancing at Google Maps on my phone instead of focusing on the road?

What if there was a car next to me and I couldn't get out of my lane?

The list goes on and on.

My guess is that somebody from the opposite direction fell asleep at the wheel, then tore through the median until they came to a stop on the opposite bank of oncoming lanes. So crazy.

And now I sit here in my hotel room where I had hoped to get four hours sleep before flying back home. Except, obviously, sleep is impossible now. Despite being so tired that my brain feels mooshy and I want to pass out, I won't be getting any sleep tonight.

So I ordered a sandwich from a local restaurant that delivers until 2:00am.

I went with the highly risky choice of egg salad, which I would usually avoid like the plague because nothing good can come from a delivery egg-salad sandwich at this hour. At least health-wise.

But clearly I am indestructible, so why not?

Boy I hope nobody behind me crashed into that car. I saw police cars headed to the scene, so hopefully everything will be alright.

   

NOTE: I have blog entries I've been writing all week... but I couldn't get them to send from the work site so I'll post them when I get back. None will be even remotely as exciting as this one, however.

UPDATE: Well, that was disgusting. If I don't end up with a scorching case of diarrhea, I will be very surprised. And now my hotel room smells like the entire city of Boston farted in here. Not one of my smarter moves, that egg salad monstrosity.

   

Fleet

Posted on Friday, July 31st, 2015

Dave!I'm mostly-dead right now. Fortunately my flight home was less eventful than my drive back to Boston last night.

And I didn't even get to the best part of the evening.

After coming closer to death than I'd ever planned on, I pulled into Boston in an attempt to find my airport hotel. But first... I wanted to fill up the rental car with gas so I wouldn't have to worry about it early this morning. Lucky for me, there was a gas station just one block from the Wyndham, and I pulled in to fuel up...

...only to find every pump occupied by police cars.

Seriously, an entire fleet waiting for me.

And since the last thing I wanted to do was to walk amongst the cops while wired on 5-Hour Energy and an adrenaline rush from almost dying, I immediately turned around and left.

Fully expecting that they would chase me down for my odd behavior and beat the shit out of me.

But, alas, I escaped with my life, made my flight, got home safely, and all is well.

I live to fly another day.

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