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McBreakfast

Posted on Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

Dave!It's a good time to be a McDonald's fan.

Like me. I loves me the McDonald's!

   

First McFried McPies came back...

DAVETOON: Bad Monkey with a McDonald's Fried Pie.

Now McDonald's is rolling out Mc24-hour McBreakfast starting October 6th...

C2 McDees

   

Can it be that the McVeggie McBurger going nation-wide is next?

NYC McVeggie Deluxe!

   

Oh how I McHope so.

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Induced

Posted on Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015

Dave!I have to be up at 5:00am so I can drive three hours to be at my work-site. It just turned 9:00pm and I have at least three hours of work left to get through... probably closer to four. Add an hour spent trying to fall asleep. Which leaves three hours to actually sleep. Which would only make me too tired to drive. Which means I'll just skip getting any rest tonight.

Looking forward to the day I have time to be put into a medically-induced coma so I can get caught up on all this sleep I've been missing.

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Exhaustion

Posted on Thursday, September 3rd, 2015

Dave!My decision to skip sleeping last night was probably the best decision I could have made. A meager three hours would only have only served to put me in a coma for my three-hour-fifteen-minute commute to work. A coma from which even 5-Hour Energy would not let me escape.

As an insomniac, I never get much sleep anyways. But no sleep makes me very stabby indeed...

Stabby Dave

Driving sleep-free was the least of my worries though.

The reason I always drive to Spokane at night is because driving it in the morning results in about two-and-a-half hours of staring into this...

Total Sun

I-90 runs due-East directly into the rising sun. And on a day like today, it obliterates everything on the road. I really need to get me a sun-shield one day, but until then all I had was some notecards and clothespins hanging from my visor to cut down the glare as much as I could. I also had sunglasses, but they don't really help when it's this bright.

Work was a brisk 50 minutes, at which time I should have turned around and headed back home.

But there was no way I was going to come all this way without having some of the Best Pizza on Earth courtesy of David's Pizza Spokane...

David's Pizza Spokane

Waiting 25 minutes for them to open was torture, as I was totally falling asleep after finding a spot to park. I ended up setting the alarm on my iPhone to wake me up, which was probably the smartest thing I did all day.

David's Da Vinci pizza was amazeballs as always.

Then it was time for the three-hour-fifteen-minute drive back.

Which was awful, but at least I didn't have to spend the majority of it staring at a giant ball of flames on the horizon.

I stopped to pick up some crap at Costco on the way because I'm stupid that way. Then I drove to work because I'm incredibly stupid that way. Eventually I managed to get home... at which point I passed out for two hours.

Since waking up I've been wandering around in a haze, my mind still in a state of exhaustion from serious lack of sleep.

Which is why I decided it's the perfect time to post an entry to Blogography... this time I have an actually excuse as to why my incoherent ramblings are incoherent and rambling.

   

Arthur

Posted on Friday, September 4th, 2015

Dave!NOTE: To start the audio on a Vine video, you have to click on the little icon in the lower-right corner to turn mute off...

Vine Volume

To stop a video from repeating after you've watched it... just click on it.

And then...

I won't be blogging today. I haven't got time because I had a day of power outage followed by a day of driving to Spokane and back followed by whatever the hell this shit is that I've got going on today.

Oh... and also because I'm catching up on the funniest damn thing I've seen on the internet in ages.

It all started when "How British People Shower" popped up on my Tumblr last weekend...

I've been laughing off and on all week just thinking about it.

Turns out the guy's name is Arthur, and he has a Vine channel that's comprised of screaming at traffic and hanging out with his daughter. Among other things. All of it hilariously funny. And usually hugely offensive.

And here's a follow-up to "How British People Shower"...

Genius.

Arthur had a daughter a while ago, and she turns up in a lot of his more recent stuff...

Awwww.

Life lessons need to start early.

Arthur is an expert at childcare...

Arthur is a lorry driver (truck driver) and a lot of his earlier Vines involve being very cross about London traffic...

Very cross indeed...

Everyday life with Arthur is always interesting too...

And Arthur does love his fans...

But not as much as he loves his girlfriend...

Maybe...

And his mum, of course...

So... if you're not easily offended, be sure to check out the rest of Arthur's Vine feed.

You're welcome!

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Disappointing

Posted on Saturday, September 5th, 2015

Dave!Do companies stand behind their products any more?

I'm just asking because lately it's been like pulling teeth to get them to Do The Right Thing and either fix what needs to be fixed, replace what needs to be replaced, or refund when all hope is lost. I've got four such headaches brewing right now, and I'm at my wits end over how much time I've been wasting trying to get things settled. Everybody keeps dragging their heels or going non-responsive.

It's disappointing, to be sure.

But that's true of everything now-a-days, isn't it?

The news was on television while I was working this morning. They were running through all the presidential candidates and as each name was discussed, my disappointment grew. There is not a single candidate in the vast cess pool of presidential wannabes I would want within a hundred feet of the White House.

And it reminded me of that old internet meme "If Stalin ran for president as a Democrat and Hitler ran as a Republican, one of them would be president of the United States of America." And it's true. We have a two-party system which ends up with either the Democrat or Republican candidate in the Big Chair no matter how shitty a president they would make.

And since, in my humble opinion, everybody in the running right now would make a shitty president, well...

Scary.

And so typically disappointing.

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Bullet Sunday 449

Posted on Sunday, September 6th, 2015

Dave!Don't get all worked up...

...because a pre-holiday edition Bullet Sunday starts... now...


• Universal! Nice! Somebody truly deserving of being crowned Mrs. Universe...

Really? People think I'm too political for my first day as Mrs Universe. Did you really think I was going to just sit there and look pretty? Definitely not. I have a title, a platform and a voice to make change and bring awareness to First Nations issues here in Canada. I'm getting all this media attention and I'm going to use it to the best of my ability. I'm not your typical beauty queen. Look out... I have a voice for change and I'm going to use it!

Posted by Ashley Callingbull on Monday, August 31, 2015

   
• Horror! Do as I say, not as I do...

Unless "American" is a bastardized version of "English" where you get to use words improperly, make up your own words, ignore rules of grammar and sanity, and be incomprehensible when speaking. In that case, carry on...

   
• Trash! I wonder if idiots like Kim Davis have any familiarity with historical perspective. I'm guessing not. Because while she THINKS she is going to be looked upon as some kind of "religious liberty crusader" for refusing to follow the law and do her job... she is, in fact, going to be labeled a heinous bigot and massive hypocrite by future generations...

Taco Bell Receipts

What's hilarious is that people defending this piece of shit keep bringing up that all her divorces and adultery happened before she became a Christian, thus are invalid. That's some serious bullshit. In all honesty, I don't care how many times people want to get married... do it until you get it right. But don't deny happiness to others when your past gave you every opportunity to find your happiness. That just makes you a fucking douchebag...

Kim Davis is Trash

But Kim Davis was well on the path to douchebaggery when her dumbass lawyer compared being jailed for not doing your job to being a Jew in Nazi Germany.

   
• Jail? I, for one, welcome our new gay overlords...

Talk about historical perspective... this asshole has it coming in spades. Assuming anybody even cares. He'll be dead soon, and is probably best left forgotten. Even if it does sacrifice some entertainment value.

   
• Fair! Well slap my ass and call me Sally... Taco Bell didn't charge me the usual 50¢ to substitute rice for beef on my Chalupa! Thanks for finally stepping up and doing the right thing, Taco Bell!

Taco Bell Receipts

Hopefully the new "Sub Rice for Beef" button is not just at my local Taco Time, but Nation-wide. It's been a long time coming.

   
• Drums! Questlove vs. Justin Bieber on the drums?!? So great...

Respect to Bieber for even attempting something like this. Even if I were a really good drummer, I'd be scared to face off against Quest, who is god-like with his talent!

   
And... no more bullets for you. Tomorrow's a National Holiday so of course I have to get ready for work...

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Meme Day

Posted on Monday, September 7th, 2015

Dave!Oooh! It's Labor Day, which is "No Labor Day" to most people, but definitely a Day of Labor to me.

Must be time for a meme!


  1. Top 3 ice cream flavors. Chocolate-Almond, Vanilla Bean, Stracciatella (Gelato).
  2. Top 3 Disney Movies. Lilo & Stitch, Aladdin, The Lion King.
  3. Top 3 vacation destinations. Maui, Bali, New Orleans.
  4. Top 3 places to shop. Los Angeles, Rome, Tokyo.
  5. Top 3 subjects of study/classes to take. Geometry, History, Art.
  6. Top 3 make up products. Stila Waterproof Eyeliner, Bobbi Brown Face Touchup Stick, Aveda Botanical Kinetics Hydrating Lotion.
  7. Top 3 music artists. The 1975, Pet Shop Boys, P!NK.
  8. Top 3 spices/herbs. Rosemary, Black Pepper, Sage.
  9. Top 3 drinks. Coke, Lemonade, Jägermester.
  10. Top 3 apps to use. Tripit, Facebook, Camera.
  11. Top 3 months of the year. March, September, October.
  12. Top 3 clothing items. Lucky Brand Blue Jeans, Hard Rock Cafe Classic Logo Shirt, Boston Red Sox Ball Cap.
  13. Top 3 binge perfect tv shows. Veronica Mars, Friends, Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
  14. Top 3 romantic dates. Movies, Beach Restaurant, Maui.
  15. Top 3 kinds of flower. Crocus, California Poppy, Daisy.
  16. Top 3 christmas movies. Love Actually, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Home Alone.
  17. Top 3 OTPs. Veronica & Logan, Spock & Uhura, Rory & Amy.
  18. Top 3 quotes to describe your life. "No matter where you go... there you are."; "Argue for your limitations, and sure enough they're yours."; "Don't eat yellow snow."
  19. Top 3 characteristics you love about yourself. Honest, Loyal, Adventurous.
  20. Top 3 kinds of candy. UNO Bar, Almond M&M's, Skor Bar.
  21. Top 3 ways to exercise/ be active. Walk a city, ride a bike, run for a plane.
  22. Top 3 spirit animals. Bat, Monkey, Cat.
  23. Top 3 petnames. Button, Kitten, Baby.
  24. Top 3 books read outside of school. Noble House by James Clavell, Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach, A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs.
  25. Top 3 most used websites. Google, Facebook, Tumblr.
  26. Top 3 people you last texted. James, Audrey, Jennifer.
  27. Top 3 hashtags you use. #SorryNotSorry, #LifeIsTooShort, #NotAboutYouCouldBeYou.
  28. Top 3 instagram accounts you follow. Dadcation, Jestertunes, MackintoshBraun.
  29. Top 3 guilty pleasures. Television, Blogs, Facebook.
  30. Top 3 summer activities. Travel, Work, Nothing.
  31. Top 3 things to draw/doodle. Monkeys, Flowers, Bats.
  32. Top 3 aesthetics. Simplicity, Zen, Modern.
  33. Top 3 things you'd buy if you gained three million dollars. Home, Airline Tickets, Donation.
  34. Top 3 ways to treat yourself. Vacation, Travel, Sleep.
  35. Top 3 celebrity crushes. Elizabeth Hurley, Danai Gurira, Betty White.
  36. Top 3 books from your childhood. Curious George and the Hospital, The Secret Seven, Half Magic.
  37. Top 3 accents to hear. English, Irish, Scottish.
  38. Top 3 scents. Apple Pie, Vanilla, Cinnamon.
  39. Top 3 "Friends" quotes. "I'm not so good with giving advice... can I interest you in a sarcastic comment?"; "And this from the cry-for-help department: Are you wearing makeup?"; "WE WERE ON A BREAK!"
  40. Top 3 cupcake flavors. Kate, Lemon, Vanilla Cream.
  41. Top 3 fruits. Apple, Banana, Pear.
  42. Top 3 places you've had amazing pizza from. David's in Spokane, WA; Pizza N' More in Wenatchee, WA; Just about anywhere in New York City.
  43. Top 3 sports teams to watch. Boston Red Sox, Chicago Blackhawks, Gonzaga Bulldogs.
  44. Top 3 crayola colors. Periwinkle, Scarlet, Black.
  45. Top 3 things you hope to accomplish in college. Uhhhhh...
  46. Top 3 fanfictions you've read. Uhhhhh...
  47. Top 3 people you miss right now. Howard, Erin, Pat.
  48. Top 3 fears. Clowns, Heights, Not Being There.
  49. Top 3 favorite literary devices. Irony, Epithet, Paradox.
  50. Top 3 pet peeves. Chewing with mouth open, Clipping fingernails in public, Gum-smacking whores.
  51. Top 3 physical things you find attractive. Eyes, Height, Hair.
  52. Top 3 bad habits. Coke, Sugar, Coke.
  53. Top 3 pets you've had/wish to have. Cat, Dog, Fish... Monkey, Ferret, Lizard.
  54. Top 3 types of foreign food. Falafel, Bharta, Nan.
  55. Top 3 things you want to say to someone in your lifetime. "I'm not sorry," "You are a decent human being," "KNEEL BEFORE ZOD!"
  56. Top 3 dog breeds. German Shepard, Collie, Lab.
  57. Top 3 cheesy romance movies. Doc Hollywood, Sweet Home Alabama, Notting Hill.
  58. Top 3 languages you speak/wish to speak. Japanese, Spanish, Italian.
  59. Top 3 series (book, movie, television). James Clavell's "The Asian Saga," Star Trek, Veronica Mars.
  60. Top 3 pizza toppings. Cheese, Pesto, Feta.
  61. Top 3 youtubers you're subscribed to. Daily Grace, SupDaily06, Jenna Marbles.
  62. Top 3 tattoo / piercing ideas. Curious George puzzle piece, Batman logo from bats, computer icons.
  63. Top 3 awards you want to win. Nobel Peace Prize, Congressional Medal of Honor, Medal of Valor.
  64. Top 3 emojis. Poop, Squint, Monkey.
  65. Top 3 cars you dream of owning. Porsche Convertible, BMW Roadster,
  66. Top 3 authors. James Clavell, Richard Back, Edgar Rice Burroughs.
  67. Top 3 historical figures. Steve Jobs, Neil Armstrong, Blaise Pascal.
  68. Top 3 baby names. Ellis, Jake, Ella.
  69. Top 3 DIYs. Cutting Board, Shelving Unit, Shoe Rack.
  70. Top 3 smoothie combos/flavors. Strawberry Banana, Pineapple Orange Guava, Apple Pear.
  71. Top 3 songs of this month. The City, Settle Down, Girls.
  72. Top 3 questions of this post you want to be asked. Uhhhhh...
  73. Top 3 villains. Scar, Ursula, Jaffar.
  74. Top 3 Cities you want to see. Jaipur, Agra, Marrakech.
  75. Top 3 recipes you want to try. Pop-Over Sweet Rolls, Stracciatella Gelato, Almond Bark.
  76. Top 3 dream jobs. Translator, Astronaut, Batman.
  77. Top 3 lucky items. Penny, Underwear, LEGO Keychain.
  78. Top 3 traditions you have. Travel someplace new each year. Drink a new beer each year. Eat a new Pop-Tart flavor each year.
  79. Top 3 things you miss about being a kid. Irresponsibility, Fiscal Indifference, Innocence.
  80. Top 3 harry potter characters. Uhhhhh...
  81. Top 3 lies you were told. Santa, Easter Bunny, You Can Trust the Government.
  82. Top 3 pictures in your camera roll right now. Pizza, Truck Stop, Sunrise.
  83. Top 3 turn ons. Honesty. Adventurous. Exotic.
  84. Top 3 turn offs. Lies. Slothfulness. Hypocrisy.
  85. Top 3 magazines/news papers/journals to read. Thrice Fiction Magazine, Jupiter's Legacy, Sunset.
  86. Top 3 things you wish you had known earlier. Politicians only care about themselves, Guacamole is food of the gods, if you don't love you, nobody else can.
  87. Top 3 spongebob episodes. Dying For Pie, Rock Bottom, Band Geeks.
  88. Top 3 places to be in the world. Edinburgh, Scotland; New Orleans, LA; New York, NY.
  89. Top 3 things you'd do differently. Break up with her months earlier, Take the job, Say how much I really cared.
  90. Top 3 TV shows from your childhood. Emergency, Wonder Woman, Star Trek.
  91. Top 3 meals you love. Fettuccine Alfredo from Alfredo's alla Scrofa, Rome; Banana Macadamia French Toast from Kihei Caffe, Maui; Pasta Salvi from Salvi's Bistro, Columbus, OH.
  92. Top 3 kinds of tea. Black, Oolong, Sleepytime.
  93. Top 3 embarrassing moments. Forgetting dress shoes that one time. Losing those files that one time. Being wrong that one time.
  94. Top 3 holidays to celebrate. Holi, Bodhi Day, Halloween.
  95. Top 3 things to do in the rain. Sleep, Draw, Write.
  96. Top 3 things to do in the snow. Sleep, Draw, Write.
  97. Top 3 items you can't leave the house w/o. iPhone, Red Sox ball cap, Keys.
  98. Top 3 movies you'd like to see. Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Captain America: Civil War, The Martian.
  99. Top 3 art mediums. Watercolor, Acrylic, Collage.
  100. Top 3 museums you've been to. The Vatican Museum, The Louvre, Metropolitan Museum of Art.
  101. Top 3 school memories. Lunch, Recess, Mrs. Jones.
  102. Top 3 things you don't/Won't miss. Liars, Hypocrites, Morons.
  103. Top 3 pick up lines. Uhhhhh...
  104. Top 3 sports to watch. Red Sox Baseball, Pittsburgh Pirates Baseball, Chicago Blackhawks Hockey.
  105. Top 3 taylor swift songs. Uhhhhh...

   

Nope

Posted on Tuesday, September 8th, 2015

Dave!Why I won't be watching The Late Show with Stephen Colbert...

(Hint: It's the same reason I stopped watching Ellen)


Time Breakdown of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

   
I just don't get it.

I mean, yeah, I get it. It's a live show and you want to remind the television viewers that it's a live show so you have to break in with the studio audience every once in a while... but this is fucking ridiculous. It's almost a full hour of people screaming, yelling, and chanting which completely overwhelms the actual show. Sure it's annoying on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, but at least there it's tolerable. On Colbert it absolutely is not.

And now that The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore is starting up with the stupid-ass name chanting as well ("LARRY! LARRY! LARRY!"), I'll probably stop watching it too. I know his fucking name is "Larry," I don't need the audience fucking screaming it every ten minutes WHEN HIS NAME IS IN THE TITLE OF THE DAMN SHOW!

Next up? Laugh tracks. If you have to tell your audience when to laugh, YOUR SHOW ISN'T FUCKING FUNNY!

   
P.S. Also... YOUR LOGO IS HIDEOUS!

Logo for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

LET'S JUST FUCKING JAM EVERYTHING IN THERE SO IT'S AN UNREADABLE WORD BLOB! THAT'S THE TICKET!

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Pencil

Posted on Wednesday, September 9th, 2015

Dave!Another September, another Apple Event.

This time there were few surprises, as Apple rumor sites have had the skinny on what's coming for months. Actually, with the exception of the Apple Pencil, I don't think there were any surprises. But we'll get to that in a bit.


Apple Watch

  • Until they make it thinner, I just don't give a crap. All the cool new features in the world don't mean a thing unless I actually want to wear it. Holy crap. You're Apple. Figure out a way of moving the battery to the strap or something.

iPhone 6S

  • I covet the new 12MP camera. That also shoots 4K video. Which is amazing (assuming you've got the memory for it).
  • DEEP. TRENCH. ISOLATION.
  • At first I thought that Live Photos was gimmicky... until I looked at the gallery. Photos that come to life like this are pretty cool. Kinda like Vines, I guess. Facebook support is great... hopefully Vine will be supported too.
  • 3D Touch (formerly Force Touch?) with Taptic Engine response and "Peek & Pop" looks wonderfully intuitive and useful. If developers start integrating it in their apps like the video showed, this alone might be worth the cost of an upgrade.
  • Faster-Better-Stronger Touch ID is a welcome upgrade.
  • The new "iPhone Upgrade Program" from Apple is interesting. A new iPhone every year so you've always got the latest. Unlocked for any carrier. AppleCare+ included. $36.58 a month for a 64GB 6S. That's $438.96 a year, which saves you around $200 from the cost of buying a new iPhone outright each year... $300 if you include a new AppleCare+ contract. Still, I don't know if this is something I'm willing to get into unless my mobile carrier will give me a discount on service since I won't be subsidizing a phone with them. I'm guessing that's not going to happen, and so... my 2-year contract with AT&T will undoubtedly be renewed. When is Apple going to create their own mobile network?
  • UPDATE: Shit. No optical image stabilization on the 6S. You still have to go with the "plus" model to get it, which sucks, because I still find the "non-plus" models to be too big.

Apple TV

  • Still no HomeKit. Holy shit is Apple fucking up on this.
  • The new model is not the breakthrough Apple seems to think it is. Others (including Google) had a lot of these new features ages ago.
  • Given how pathetic Apple's menu system is and how hard it is to do anything with the crappy Apple TV interface, slapping Siri on top of everything is appreciated... but doesn't do jack to solve the real problem.
  • The new swipe remote is great. If there is one area Apple excels, it's boiling down complicated remotes to something elegant and simple. Nice.
  • Siri's "What did they say?" feature which automatically jumps back 15 seconds AND temporarily turns on closed captioning is genius. The ability to access Siri info while watching AppleTV without interrupting what your watching is also very nice.
  • The Apps feature, assuming they get some good games, could really put a dent in Wii, Playstation, and Xbox sales. Apple TV certainly has the power to play good games.
  • Where my disappointment comes in is that I honestly thought Apple would be coming out with their own network content offerings, thus allowing everybody to build a cable package of only the channels they want to pay for. I am so sick and fucking tired of paying for an outrageously expensive cable package filled with tons of shit I don't want, but have to pay for. Oh well. It's coming one of these days. It pretty much has to, even if Apple isn't the one to do it.
  • Given how much money I've got invested in iTunes Store media AND the fact that my Apple TV is really old... I'll probably go ahead and spend the $149 come late October (since I won't be playing games (I have consoles for that), the $199 version would be overkill). Blergh.

iPad Pro

Okay. I'm just going to come right out and say it... I want one of these things so very, very bad.

Surprise!

I've been jonesing for a graphics tablet with display for the longest time. Problem is they are incredibly expensive, and the stylus lag coupled with the thick glass above the display on more affordable models is a total boner-killer for me. But here comes Apple with a new "Apple Pencil" that apparently eliminates lag and is coupled with Apple's laminated display which minimizes the amount of glass between you and what you're drawing...

And, oh yeah... it's still an iPad, so it can do everything an iPad can already do on top of being a kick-ass graphics tablet display. Giving you a much bigger bang for your buck than purchasing a graphics tablet display alone.

And about that price...

$799 for a 32GB model (pretty useless if you're doing serious work)
$949 for a 128GB model (more realistic, but I was hoping for at least 256GB)

Add a $99 Apple Pencil and you're over $1000 for the model you want. Which hurts. But that's roughly what a Wacom Cintiq 13" HD Touch runs, and it can only do one thing (though, admittedly, it does it very well). So, assuming iPad Pro and Apple Pencil end up being as good as they look, APPLE! TAKE MY MONEY!

Guess we'll find out come November.

   

All things considered, a worthy Apple Event.

My favorite part of the show was closing it out with a great live performance by OneRepublic. My second-favorite was the news that Apple now has an Android app for transitioning from an Android phone to an iPhone. Classic!

Android to iPhone Transfer App

   
As a Certified Apple Whore, I never feel more alive than when Apple releases something new that I want.

   

El Capitan

Posted on Thursday, September 10th, 2015

Dave!And so... I've been using Mac OS X "El Capitan" Public Beta for a full day now.

Not terribly impressed. Some things I've observed in the past 16 hours...


  • First the crap news. Apple STILL hasn't given users an option to have the menu bar persist in full-screen apps. And I just don't get it. I would love to be able to work in full-screen. But I need the information in my menu bar. Like the clock, for instance. Like the battery level, for instance. Like my VPN status, for instance. Like my calendar, for instance. — But here's the weird thing. Apple has added a new feature which does exactly the opposite. You now have the option for hiding the menu bar when not in full-screen! WHAT THE FUCK?!?? WHY?!??
  • Visually, there's very little difference between Yosemite and El Capitan. The Spinning Beach Ball of Death is no longer gum-drop looking, but instead flattened out... and the system font has been changed a bit (for the better)... but that's about all I can see.
  • One of the major things Apple is touting for El Capitan is an overall speed increase. App switching twice as fast... Two times faster display of first message in Mail... Four times faster PDF display... etc. etc. I don't really notice such drastic increases, but I'll take Apple at their word. Unfortunately, this speed bump seems to be coming at a price. The fan on my MacBook Pro keeps coming on. In Yosemite, it rarely did. I don't know if this is a direct result of El Capitan... or perhaps one of my background apps (like anti-virus or DropBox or whatever) not being optimized for El Capitan. Hoping eventually it will get sorted out, because the fan noise is annoying.
  • I have found two incompatible apps so far. Fantastical 2 (download the beta for El Capitan), and SpanSieve (join the beta program to get a compatible version).
  • I am a Spaces super-user. If I ever had to go back to a Mac without virtual desktops, I'd go insane. There has been some changes to both "Spaces" and it's parent app "Mission Control"... that I guess are good moves. I don't like that you no longer see tiny representations of your Spaces any more until you mouse over them... just text saying "Desktop 1," "Desktop 2," etc. but it's not a deal breaker. Just makes it more difficult to remember where you put things.
  • Speaking of Spaces, Apple has now set "Dashboard" (their widget screen) OFF by default. I can only guess this means Dashboard is not long for this world, which fucking sucks. I set up Dashboard in my first Spaces slot and use it constantly.
  • Apple has added the option to do split-screen apps, but it's implementation is total shit. Press and hold on the green "stoplight" control in the menu bar and you can drop the app window on the left or right side of your display. In the case of Mail, the window just gets resized. In the case of Safari, the window is scaled. No, I have no idea why there's a difference. But here's where Apple shits the bed... the apps appear to be considered "full screen" when in their split-screen region. Since the menu bar is now both split AND hidden, things get messy very quickly. Apple apps are consistently screwed up this way, but with NON-Apple apps, it's so much worse. Go split-screen with Acrobat Pro and you lose the menu bar entirely! And the disasters don't stop there. Sometimes you can't get out of split-screen. Sometimes you go from split-screen to full-screen for no reason. Sometimes windows go inactive when in split-screen. And as if ALL THAT wasn't enough... you can't use split-screen across Spaces! The two windows you want to go split-screen have to be in the same Space! Insanity. The hits go on and on. I guess this might be a nice feature once the bugs are ironed out, but I'll probably stick with Moom for Window management.
  • Mail has a bunch of improvements... like tabs for composing multiple emails and gestures taken from iOS, which is nice. Being able to two-finger swipe on an email to rapidly trash a bunch of spam is sweet. But the one thing I really wanted for Mail didn't happen. A previous version of mail took away the user's ability to pick which SMTP server to use to send your message on the fly. This was a critical feature for me when traveling, and I'm pretty desperate to have it back. Nope. I understand wanting to simplify mail for people who don't need things like this... but come on. Give the people who need it the option to turn it on. Removing features like this is a big fuck-you from the "We Know What's Best for You" mentality at Apple. WARNING: For reasons unknown, I lost all my Mail account passwords after installing El Capitan. Luckily, I was able to get them out of Keychain on my office Mac since everything is synced (who remembers passwords anymore?) or else I'd be boned and have to change everything.
  • Apple's system-wide search tool, Spotlight, has always been a pile of shit. In trying to make things simple, Apple just made it harder to use, so I pretty much never use it. With El Capitan, Apple has added a bunch of new capabilities and features to Spotlight... use natural language for requests... get limited info from the internet like weather and sports scores... that kind of stuff. If possible, I hate spotlight even more now. It's just a big fucking mess and a huge distraction. Thank heavens for third-party solutions that actually do search right (EasyFind, Alfred, Tembo, HoudahSpot, etc.).

A lot of things I'd liked fixed/changed, to be sure. But the biggest is my laptop fan going off and on all day long. It just sucks to have to listen to it all the time when I rarely had to with previous OS X versions. If this is the cost for speed bumps I barely notice, then no thanks. Hopefully Apple is on the case.

UPDATE: After futzing around with the CPU monitor, I think that it's Mail that's the culprit. Even when running in the background, it's pegged at 138%+ CPU usage. Quitting Mail lets my laptop run much, much cooler. Guess I might be needing to find a new app for email.

   

Spirit

Posted on Friday, September 11th, 2015

Dave!And so today a sculpture titled The Spirit of America... a tribute to the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks... was commemorated in my tiny home city of Cashmere, Washington.

And I cannot find the words to express how much I hate it.

And given that "hate" is a word that I try to avoid using when at all possible, you can probably guess just how serious I am about the situation here.

From what I understand, the sculpture was originally going to be placed in our State capitol of Olympia, but the city rejected it. Then it was going to Kirkland... then Issaquah... but they both rejected to it as well. For reasons I can't even hope to comprehend, my city said "Okay! We'll take it!" and now here we are...

Cashmere Washington 9/11 Memorial The Spirit of America

Cashmere Washington 9/11 Memorial The Spirit of America

The four people depicted in the sculpture... a fireman, a flight attendant, an office worker and a military guy... are smooth and realistically rendered on their top half. But then, as you pan downward, they char and blacken as if being consumed by flames...

Cashmere Washington 9/11 Memorial The Spirit of America

What the hell?

Seriously, what the hell?

I would hardly call this a "tribute"... it feels more like a grotesque mockery of those victims who lost their lives. With that in mind, I find it detestable and disgusting, and am horrified that it's now a permanent fixture in my home town. Even putting all that aside, could there BE a place that's least affected by the events of 9/11 than a tiny city all the way across the country? I mean, obviously all Americans are affected by 9/11, I would never debate that... but having a monument here feels entirely disrespectful to those who actually lived through 9/11 half-a-world away. Is a Pearl Harbor memorial next?

Now, before people jump all over me for "misinterpreting the art" or start calling me "unAmerican," let me just state for the record that I am sure the artist's intention were good and noble. I have no doubt whatsoever that his heart was in the right place. But I am absolutely certain that I am not the only one who will "misinterpret" the piece as people being burnt in terrorist effigy. To be completely honest, I don't know how else to interpret it. And for that reason I'm pretty broken up over this case of good intentions gone horribly wrong being just minutes from where I live and work.

Outside of actually being at Ground Zero, where a 9/11 memorial is entirely appropriate, it seems the proper way to pay tribute to those who lost their live is to remember them in our heads and hearts.

Whereas here people were thinking with their hearts... but seem to have left their heads behind.

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Vision

Posted on Saturday, September 12th, 2015

Dave!Though I loathed the unnecessary complexity they came up with for the Marvel Cinematic Universe version of The Vision, I have to say that I loves me the LEGO Minifig adaptation.

Out of necessity, LEGO had to simplify him a bit, and the result is so much better. I like him quite a lot, even though his "mind stone" is blue instead of yellow...

The Vision LEGO MiniFig

At least I did until I saw a rendering of The Vision that is much closer to his original design (minus the "sun jewel" on his head)...

The Vision LEGO MiniFig by Concore
Image by Concore at DeviantArt.

Man, even the LEGO version is vastly superior when they stick to what works!

Why Why Why Why did Marvel and Joss Whedon mess with the sublime perfection of the source material?

Oh well. Maybe The Vision will get an upgrade in Captain America: Civil War... because, damn... that ratty patchwork cape looks like something that belongs on Ragman, not The Vision...

The Vision LEGO MiniFig

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Bullet Sunday 450

Posted on Sunday, September 13th, 2015

Dave!Get ready to bask in the City of Roses... because a Bullet Sunday from Portland, Oregon starts... now...

• PDX! How many airports do you know that have carpeting so famous that they have a Wikipedia page devoted to it? I have no idea. But if there's a list, Portland International (PDX) would be on it (seriously, here's the Wikipedia page). For years now, you can always count on seeing people photographing themselves standing on it. Like me today...

PDX Carpet Feet

The pattern apparently represents the intersection of PDX runway lights as seen at night or something. In any event, it's a beautiful design and everybody seems to love it. Which is why the Port of Portland decided to replace it with a new design rather than a reprint of the old design?...

PDX Carpet Feet

It's a nice enough pattern, I guess, but I don't understand why they didn't replace the worn out carpet with the same design, which didn't really need updating. Especially given how popular it is. A very sad day for PDX fans...

PDX Carpet Feet

Including me. The next time I fly into Portland, all remnants of the classic PDX carpeting will be gone.

• Hooking! Is it just me, or does this advertisement from Alaska Airlines' inflight magazine look like some guy just hired a very expensive hooker?

Hookers be Hooking

Turns out it's an ad for a casino, but wow...

Hookers be Hooking

Enjoy your hooker victory, sir.

• Congrats! The reason I flew to Portland today was so I could see two of my long-time blogging friends, Oh Sarah Joy and Iron Fist get married...

Wedding on a Boat!

Congrats to Sarah and Vahid!

• To Go! And speaking of weddings... this is not a real ad for Tide To-Go Pens, but it should be because it's really clever...

The ad may be fake, but that's the real Miss Yvonne from Pee-Wee's Playhouse!

• SuBullets!

   
And... my flight will be taking me back home any minute now, so no more bullets for you...

PDX Sunset!

   

Fresh!

Posted on Monday, September 14th, 2015

Dave!I know that Subway is trying to reinvent their image with their latest round of commercials, but all I can think about each time their stinky sandwiches appear on my television is YOU WERE TOLD BACK IN 2008 THAT JARED WAS A PIECE OF SHIT CHILD-TROLLING PERVERT AND DID NOTHING. NOTHING, BECAUSE IT WAS FINANCIALLY LUCRATIVE TO DO NOTHING. NOTHING AT ALL! N-O-T-H-I-N-G-!!! CHILD-RAPE-ENABLING ASSHOLES!

PDX Carpet Feet
Photo by Getty Images (??? Couldn't find a photo credit, but the filename had "Getty" in it)

FUCK SUBWAY AND THEIR SHITTY SANDWICHES!

   

WAR!

Posted on Tuesday, September 15th, 2015

Dave!Essential viewing.

I'm so sick of this bullshit I could just vomit.

   
Entirely too many people have FOX "News" as their primary "news" source.

   

Debater

Posted on Wednesday, September 16th, 2015

Dave!I know I shouldn't be shocked about how utterly horrific the second Republican Presidential Debate turned out to be... but it's kind of hard not to be. There was a serious amount of stupid on that stage, and the notion that one of these assholes could very well end up being President of the United States of America fills me with a depression usually reserved for when my favorite TV shows get canceled. But then I remember I'm leaning towards becoming an anarchist, and the sooner we get somebody into office who will finish wrecking this country so badly that people will have no choice but to burn it to the ground and start over... well, not such a bad debate after all.

Surprising nobody, Trump dominated the debate. Again. But we'll get to that in a minute.

Hands-down my favorite moment in this debate (and probably any debate ever) is when Carly Fiorina whipped out this jewel after Jeb! Bush admitted to smoking pot...

"I know that the marijuana kids are smoking today is not the same marijuana that Jeb! Bush smoked 40 years ago."

Because of that moment... and her answers to a few other questions (including the "What woman would you put on the $10 bill"), I give the debate win to Carly Fiorina. Too bad she would be an awful, awful president. Her time running Hewlett-Packard was so disastrous that I'm shocked the company is still around. She was truly bad at her job, making such horrible decisions that it's amazing she's able to keep a straight face when talking about how her business experience makes her the best candidate. Especially given that HP had no choice but to fire her incompetent ass. As if that weren't enough, she sets women's rights back a couple decades just by walking in the room. God only knows I would love a woman in the White House, but not this one (nor Hillary, if you were wondering).

The loser of the debate was Mike Huckabee. I don't care how much spin you put on every word that comes out of his mouth, you can't camouflage stupid. I swear, not one single answer he gave at the debate didn't have me wondering how his brain has enough power to keep him breathing... let alone be a presidential candidate. It is the height of irony that he thinks that "religious liberty" means cramming his bigoted version of Christianity down people's throats and forcing them to live under his religious law, all the while condemning Sharia law... which is the same fucking deal. I fucking hate Huckabee. Fuck Huckabee.

When it comes to Jeb! Bush, I remain shocked that he continues to do so shitty at these things. He's horrible at debate... often appearing flustered and unprepared, with his answers seeming to be more forced and canned than the usual kind of forced, canned answers we get at these things. When he announced, I thought for sure it would be Bush vs. Clinton for Commander in Chief. Now I have serious doubts. Eventually Trump is going to come crashing down, so maybe Jeb! still has a shot... but not if things keep going like this.

Ted Cruz panders to the Conservative base like no other. But he's fucking annoying as hell and couldn't inspire a dog to fart, let alone Republicans to get off their ass and vote. In a debate with somebody like Hillary Clinton or even Bernie Sanders, Cruz would fold like a wet paper towel and everybody knows it.

Chris Christie remains a festering pile of shit. He had no problem going against the wishes of his State as governor for political gain. There is no reason to believe he won't do the same as president. He's a petty, vindictive asshole who doesn't give two shits about the people he serves. There is no way he can fool people enough to get near the candidacy, and his time at the debate only confirmed it.

Marco Rubio is hard to figure out. I loathe him, but he's not speaking to people like me. And yet... when I try to put myself into the mindset of who he is talking to, he always falls short, despite having a compelling personal narative. Do I think Rubio is electable? Sure. But he desperately needs to excite people, and he seems incapable of doing so. Even when he's at his best... hammering away with Conservative talking points like he means it... he comes across as insincere to me. Though, to be honest, I think he's being nothing but sincere. Maybe it's his speaking cadence... he seems to forget what he's going to say off-and-on. Or maybe not. I dunno. Maybe it's just because he's so massively full of shit and I can't get past it.

Scott Walker's performance was abysmal. It's like he's in a hole and can't help but keep shoveling dirt on his own head. At this point I think he's gone so obscure that people might mistake him for John Kasich. Quite a decline from earlier days... and an earlier dabate... where he fared much better.

And speaking of John Kasich... assuming he can get people to know who he is, Kasich is probably the most electable candidate right now. He seems to be deftly sidestepping the crazy fringe of the hardcore Right, but projects Conservative values. He doesn't engage in personal attacks, but has no problem standing his ground. He seems smart, educated, and informed. But, as we saw with Jon Huntsman, that doesn't get you candidacy. It gets you utterly eviscerated by the Republican party. They want crazy-ass candidates much more than they want to win an election, apparently.

And speaking of crazy-ass candidates... here comes Trump. He got a lot of screen time at the debate, but most of it seemed to be fending off attacks from other candidates. I think people are starting to realize that his empty promises of being the guy to make everything perfect are, in fact, empty. Who knows how he's going to "make America great again"... you're just supposed to take his word for it. And I get it. When he was on Colbert, I found myself falling for his sticht, but it won't last forever. It can't. At some point there has to be some substance behind the talk.

While I rather like Ben Carson, I just don't see him getting any kind of support from the people running the Republican party regardless of where his poll numbers are. He's intelligent, respectful, and seems genuinely caring and kind... all the kiss of death for GOP candidates. But his worst sin is that he's boring. He should have nailed Trump to the wall over vaccinations, but took way-too-high a road and came across milk toast, which is par for the course. To win the ticket, you need to excite voters... on both sides... you can't just dance around issues and hope people elect you for being the nice guy.
UPDATE: Well, it would seem Carson has decided the way to excite voters is to go full-on racist bigot by declaring Muslims unfit for the presidency. Apparently he doesn't seem to think they can distance themselves from their religion enough to make decisions in the best interest of Americans. AND YET HE HAS NO PROBLEM WITH CHRISTIANS DOING EXACTLY THAT?!? This constant double standard when it comes to religion drives me insane. YOUR RELIGION DOESN'T GIVE YOU THE MORAL HIGH GROUND JUST BECAUSE YOU PUT YOUR FAITH IN IT!

Rand Paul remains a pathetic whiny baby and a complete embarrassment. He speaks with conviction about things which have no basis in reality. A weak candidate that couldn't even hope to take on Hillary or Bernie in a fight. Thankfully, the faux-libertarian will never get the chance. Out of all the people on the stage tonight, he seems to have the biggest potential to embarrass the country... and that's saying a lot considering who is standing up there with him.

   
And there you have it. A bunch of people I want nowhere near the White House.

Coming soon, a handful of Democrats I want nowhere near the White House.

   

Defender

Posted on Thursday, September 17th, 2015

Dave!I swear, whenever John Oliver brings to light the fucked up shit that serves as our "justice system" I want to vomit (that's two times in three days, for those keeping count).

I wish there was a site where volunteers could monitor courthouses for people who face getting fucked over by the courts because they can't afford a minor fee so that people could donate on their behalf and see SOME semblance of justice will happen...

Disgusting. Just disgusting.

What happened to this country?

   

Dessert

Posted on Friday, September 18th, 2015

Dave!I didn't feel like cooking dinner tonight.

So I stopped by the grocery store to pick up a personal vegetable tray, some deli potato salad, Hawaiian sweet rolls, and Dibs ice cream snacks for dessert.

I started with dessert first...

DAVETOON: Lil' Dave Eats Dibs!

And never made it to anything else.

Being an adult has its perks.

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Scale

Posted on Saturday, September 19th, 2015

Dave!I have to get up at 3:00am again tomorrow.

That's just six hours and twenty minutes from now, and I still have to pack and overnight bag.

The reason I'm not packing right now is because of this...

Dude! No Pluto?

Traitor.

I understand the massive scale of our solar system, but it's still mindblowing to see it all laid out like this.

Though, to be honest, it was mindblowing just seeing the distance from the earth to the moon in scale.

   

Bullet Sunday 451

Posted on Sunday, September 20th, 2015

Dave!Every little thing the reflex does leaves you answered with a question mark, because Bullet Sunday starts... now...

• Red! "Attend a live concert by a band I love at Red Rocks Amphitheater" has been on my bucket list for a very, very long time. So long, in fact, that I was ready to compromise and go see ANY live concert at Red Rocks the next time I was in Denver. "Even Nickelback?" you may be thinking. Yes. Even Nickelback. Fortunately, long-time blogging friend Howard let me know that Duran Duran was going to be playing tonight, so I got to fulfill my original bucket list item the way it was meant to be fulfilled.

• Rocks! And let me tell you, Red Rocks is a frickin' amazing place to see a concert. I only had my iPhone, so any photos I post can't really do it justice, but here you go...

Red Rocks Amphitheater!

Red Rocks Amphitheater!

Red Rocks Amphitheater!

Red Rocks Amphitheater!

Red Rocks Amphitheater!

Red Rocks Amphitheater!

Red Rocks Amphitheater!

Red Rocks Amphitheater!

For much, much better images of this breathtaking venue, a Google search is a good place to start...

• Clean! The first opening act was Clean Bandit, a group I've never heard of before...

Not bad at all.

• Chic! The second opening act was Nile Rodgers and Chic. This could have been a bit of a snooze, but Nile Rogers pulled from the unfathomably huge stable of artists he's worked with to unleash a truly amazing set. I'm Coming Out, Upside Down, We Are Family, and even a brilliant rendition of David Bowie's Let's Dance were all there and just amazing. They even did Daft Punk's Get Lucky! Wrapping up with La Freak and Rapper's Delight didn't hurt. Fantastic performance.

• Durans! And then it was time for Duran Duran and they were amazing. Simon Le Bon has lost absolutely nothing over the years, and the show was everything you could hope for... including a setlist that had them playing a great mix of new stuff along with the hits everybody wanted to hear...

  1. Paper Gods. Title track off their latest album.
  2. Hungry Like the Wolf. One of their most well-known songs.
  3. A View to a Kill. The band's James Bond effort from the movie of the same name (and one of my favorite D2 songs).
  4. The Reflex. A long-time popular cut for live shows that works perfectly every time.
  5. Come Undone. The first track of three taken from "The Wedding Album" and one of my favorite songs... not just for Duran Duran, but ever.
  6. Last Night in the City. Not the strongest track from Paper Gods, but it was well-received.
  7. What Are the Chances? A beautiful, haunting song off Paper Gods that I was very happy to hear, as I thought for sure it wouldn't make the cut. If only we could have gotten Butterfly Girl and Face for Today. as well.
  8. Notorious. Not one of my favorites, but it always plays really well live.
  9. Pressure Off. My favorite track off of their latest album.
  10. Planet Earth. One of their first hits and best songs.
  11. Ordinary World. One of the incredible tracks off "The Wedding Album" that rejuvenated the band for the masses.
  12. (Reach Up for the) Sunrise. A lone contribution from Astronaut, a seriously underrated album.
  13. The Wild Boys. Classic song for sing-along that I'd just as soon have them skip in favor of another song, but there's not denying it was a fun addition to the set.
  14. Danceophobia. An okay track off Paper Gods, but no guest appearance by Lindsay Lohan, sadly.
  15. Too Much Information. Another wonderful track off "The Wedding Album" that killed it live.
  16. Girls on Film. My favorite of their earliest work.
  17. White Lines (Don't Don't Do It). Goes over really well live thanks to a good crowd participation hook.
  18. Save a Prayer. Another sing-along favorite that was very well received.
  19. Rio. Arguable the most popular song from "classic" era Duran Duran, it was a really nice close to the show...

Red Rocks Amphitheater!

All in all, and amazing night by one of my favorite bands!

• Off! If you haven't run out and purchased Paper Gods yet, it's an album well worth your time. Half the tracks I love, and the remainder aren't terrible. My favorite track, Pressure Off, is now stuck in my head...

So, yeah... if you have the chance to see Duran Duran live in concert, I'd definitely do that.

• Blergh! All was not perfect at Red Rocks, however. The sound, which was awesome for Clean Bandit and Chic, kept muffling in and out throughout Duran Duran's entire set. It was very frustrating given just how amazing Simon Le Bon was belting out the tracks.

And, oh yeah... whomever designed the lighting for Duran Duran's stage show should be shot. Half of their set was spent staring not at the band... but at a huge fucking bank of lights that blinded everybody trying to see the show. THIS is what I was staring at for way too long...

Red Rocks Amphitheater!

Incredibly annoying, and I wish bands would be more mindful of BLINDING THE FUCKING AUDIENCE, because this is not the first time this has happened to me.

   
And... that's a wrap!

   

Hackers

Posted on Monday, September 21st, 2015

Dave!This morning I went to send a Bullet Sunday dedicated to the concert last night and it wouldn't post. I tried to login to Wordpress to see what's going on and couldn't. My guess is that one of the security plugins I'm running has once again gone off the rails, which means I have to go through a bunch of files and deactivate stuff until I figure out what the problem is.

Which is a pain in the ass, but if the alternative is having my blog hacked every week, I guess I'll take it.

Hasn't anybody told the spammers and hackers that blogging is dead? They're just wasting their time.

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Real

Posted on Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015

Dave!Yesterday as I was waiting at the airport to fly home from Denver, I was trying to decide which movie I wanted on my iPad. I had a number of new films waiting on iTunes, but was so tired I decided to download a comfort movie I've seen a hundred times so I wouldn't feel bad if I fell asleep.

Real Genius, if you're curious.

The movie never gets old...

The Vision LEGO MiniFig

Where are films this funny, smart, and witty now-a-days?

I was wondering the same thing last week when Ruthless People was on.

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Panther

Posted on Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015

Dave!The explosion of diversity in comic books lately has been amazing, but it's only been half-hearted. While there have been CHARACTERS coming along that are non-White, non-straight, non-Christian... the writers and artists BEHIND the characters haven't necessarily followed suit. But that's starting to change, and it's a great time for comic book fans because of it. By embracing diversity behind the scenes, there's going to be an even better mix of stories to read instead of the same old take over and over again.

DC Comics' Batman is my favorite comic book character. His equivalent on the Marvel side is Black Panther, also a favorite. In some ways, Black Panther is even MORE interesting than Bruce Wayne, as T'Challa is the ruler of the entire country of Wakanda, one of the wealthiest and most technologically advanced nations on earth, and the sole producer of the rare metal vibranium...

Marvel Comics Black Panther!

And now Black Panther is going to be written by Ta-Nehisi Coates! I cannot wait to see where he takes the character, and am hopeful that it will be something new, different, authentic, and exciting!

All this and a movie too. A good time to be a Black Panther fan!

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Aurora

Posted on Thursday, September 24th, 2015

Dave!Earlier today there was a horrible accident on the Aurora Bridge in Seattle.

Having driven this route several times, I can't think of many places that could be a worse spot for a traffic accident. And now four people are dead and two in critical condition because of exactly that.

My head and heart go out to everybody affected by this horrific turn of events.

Drive safe out there, everybody.

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Brave

Posted on Friday, September 25th, 2015

Dave!Worth your valuable time...


   

   

   

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Vaguely

Posted on Saturday, September 26th, 2015

Dave!Something pretty great is going on in my life right now, but I can't talk about it.

Which is kinda frustrating because I don't really have anything else to blog about.

Oh... except to say that I just spent an hour figuring out what went wrong with my blog, so I can actually post all the stuff that I've been sitting on all week.

I guess that's something.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to try and figure out what Apple has done with the "Secure Empty Trash" command in the MacOS X El Capitan beta...

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Bullet Sunday 452

Posted on Sunday, September 27th, 2015

Dave!THE END OF THE WORLD IS UPON US, because a blood-soaked super-moon edition of Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Blood! As usual when anything cool is happening in the heavens, Redneckistan is having none of it. Apparently we've still got fires raging, because tonight's Super Blood Moon Eclipse was obscured as it crested the horizon. It wasn't until it climbed out of the haze that the moon was sharp enough to photograph. Unfortunately, the eclipse was retreating by then...

SUPER BLOOD MOON ECLIPSE!

SUPER BLOOD MOON ECLIPSE!

It was pretty tough to photograph because the exposed moon is so bright... but oh well. Better than nothing, I guess.

   
• Pope! My favorite Pope was John Paul II (whom I actually got to see... kinda... back in 2000)... but this new Pope is growing on me. His address to Congress was terrific, yes... but this is the story of his visit I like best.

   
• Jafar! So good...

   
• Fuckabee! Anybody thinking that Donald Trump is the biggest fucking douche to ever run for president is not paying attention. It would be fantastic if, after losing his bid for the presidency, we would never hear from fucking Mike Huckabee ever again... but assholes this big never truly go away, do they?

   
• Jimpire! If you are a fan of Empire, then this parody by Jimmy Fallon and Company is a must-see...

Higgy... Higgy... stop!

   
• Biker! And, before we go, a story to warm your heart...

Biker Cat
Photo from Pat Doody

   
Annnnd... no more super-moon for you!

   

Dimensions

Posted on Monday, September 28th, 2015

Dave!And the moment I've been waiting for has finally arrived... my copy of LEGO Dimensions was delivered today.

For those not in the know, Dimensions integrates many of the LEGO franchises into a single video game. You start out with characters from LEGO Batman, LEGO Lord of the Rings, and The LEGO Movie in the starter set, but can then add other "worlds" like Scooby Doo, The Simpsons, Ghostbusters, Dr. Who, Back to the Future, The Wizard of Oz, (and so on) with add-on packs...

LEGO Dimensions Game

If you've played any of the other LEGO video games, you already know how things work. You run your little LEGO mini-figure around solving puzzles and breaking stuff to collect LEGO studs so you can buy in-game upgrades with them.

I love, love, love all the various LEGO games, and having them all come together in a giant mash-up is amazing. And really fun to play.

The difference from previous games being the addition of the LEGO Dimensions portal pad peripheral (built from LEGO, natch) which allows you to interact with the mini-figs in the game...

LEGO Dimensions Game

A lot of your time will be spent moving characters and their vehicles around on this thing. Wicked Witch of the West have your character trapped? Simply remove them from one area of the portal pad and place them on another to escape. Need a character who can fly to solve a particular puzzle? Swap out WyldStyle for Wonder Woman and you're good to go. Need a vehicle to get past some obstacle? Place the Batmobile on the portal pad and it instantly appears in-game.

As if that weren't enough, building with LEGO is an integral part of the game experience. The Wonder Woman add-on pack, for example, tells you how to build Wonder Woman so you can add her to the portal pad and get her in that game. But you also get a bag of bricks for her Invisible Plane that comes with no instructions whatsoever. When you add Wonder Woman to the game, then the game itself instructs you how to build her plane and add it as well. Even better? Some in-game builds have to be re-built in order to turn it into something new that progresses the story. That's a key element of playing with LEGO bricks, and the way they've integrated it into the game is pretty darn amazing. Dimensions truly is a melding of on-screen gaming with physical LEGO sets, which is what makes it so much more interesting to me than the toy/game hybrid competition.

With that in mind, it's this physical interaction from toy to video game that makes LEGO Dimensions so compelling... and so frustrating.

Compelling because you can mix-and match characters until your heart's content. Want to have Homer Simpson, Scooby Doo, and Dr. Who all playable in the same game? Drop them on the portal pad and they're yours. Want to have Batman driving The Mystery Machine? Easy. Hobbits in Gotham City? No problem. Scooby Doo in Jurassic Park? You got it. You can choose whatever characters you have available and add or subtract them from the game worlds at will.

Frustrating because you can't play with Marty McFly unless you run out and buy the Back to the Future add-on pack. Further frustrating because certain areas of the game are locked off unless you run out and buy the appropriate character pack. Want to explore Springfield? Well, unless you go buy an add-on pack with a Simpsons character in it, you're out of luck. Want to collect that Gold Brick guarded by a Spinjitsu Gate? If you don't have a Ninjago character to unlock it, no dice. It goes on and on. Sometimes there are alternative characters you can use, sometimes not. At least not yet.

And I have to admit, I'm a little disappointed in this. I didn't buy any of the Chima sets or Ninjago sets because I'm not interested in them. And if that means I can't play in the Chima or Ninjago worlds, I'm perfectly okay with that. What I didn't expect is that skipping a few sets would lead me to miss out on part of the main game. Being told you can't access a part of the story unless you have the Peter Venkman mini-fig (who won't be released until January 2016) is also a little harsh... but also a little exciting because I will absolutely buy that set, and now have something to look forward to. That will keep the game fresh. But what if I wasn't a Ghostbusters fan? Buy it anyway? That adds up to spending a serious chunk of cash for something you'd just as soon do without, just because you want to finish the game. Not cool.

And speaking of expensive...

LEGO Dimensions Packs

LEGO Dimensions is as addictive as crack and almost as pricey.

In summary... I LOVE THIS GAME! If you've enjoyed all the other LEGO video games, you probably will enjoy this one too. Just make sure you know the financial burden you're buying into before you start.

PROS...

  • The attention to detail in all the various "worlds" is amazing. Just when I think I've seen it all, along comes something special that makes me fall in love with the Dimensions concept all over again. The way that the various worlds combine and collide is absolutely fascinating... and it all totally works. And often times there's humorous touches that even transcend the source material. I'd love to go into detail about all the amazing things I've seen, but I just can't spoil it for anybody else. It's just too good.
  • Did I mention it's funny?
  • The gameplay is generally well-thought-out and fun. With only two minor exceptions (see below) this is one of the best LEGO video games yet.
  • They've finally done a better job with the flying controls. No more trying to descend by controlling a fall. On the Wii U, the right joystick allows you to control up and down with good accuracy.
  • In my humble opinion, Dimensions is better than Skylanders and Disney Infinity, two other toy-in-game systems. The interactivity that comes from building and re-building in-game items is just nifty.
  • All the add-on packs have been great. But the Portal 2 pack? If you are a Portal fan, you will just die. It's that good.

CONS...

  • Vehicle control, which is horrible in just about every LEGO video game ever released, actually seems worse in Dimensions. Why in the hell they can't EVER get this right is just beyond me. Parts of the game would be a lot more fun (and a hell of a lot less frustrating) if they'd just come up with a control system that actually has good control of the vehicles.
  • The camera system is inexplicably bad from time to time... but epsecially if your character gets stuck. Many times the camera will zoom in way too close... and get stuck there... forcing you to switch characters so you can see what's going on. Most of the time it's just annoying. But when you're under attack? No fun at all. Even though you can't really "die" in LEGO games, it's nevertheless frustrating.
  • Some of the best franchises in LEGO are LEGO Indiana Jones, LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean, and (of course) LEGO Star Wars. To have them in Dimensions would be crazy-amazing. But... they're all owned by Disney. And Disney has their own toy-game in Disney Infinity, so it's not going to happen. That's pretty shitty. I mean, I know Disney is just trying to keep the most profit from their investment for themselves... but think of your fans. Charge a huge licensing fee and let it happen. Then your fans can decide who has the better game. Because, honestly, this seems as though you have no confidence in Infinity, which is kind of sad.
  • I'm guessing the way that the game is able expand with each new pack is because it downloads new stuff from the LEGO Dimensions servers when you start the game. This adds time to the process but, oddly enough, is skippable. So I'm not sure what's going on there.
  • As I mentioned, parts of the game are locked off unless you buy the appropriate add-on sets to unlock them. I don't want to buy Ninjago or Chima... why force me to do that so I can complete the main game? The extra worlds, sure. Fine. But the primary game I bought? Come on.
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Fall Schedule

Posted on Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

Dave!Too. Much. Television.

I really don't have time for this shit but, as I do every year, I try to watch every show that debuts just in case I end up not being able to live without it.

Here's the new crop so far...

The Great...

Quantico. Kind of taking elements from How to Get Away with Murder and The Blacklist... yet not managing to screw it up as I fully expected they would. Keep the twists and turns coming, and this should be an interesting ride.

Blindspot. Hello, Jamie Alexander! I did not anticipate liking this show as much as I did. I just hope that they don't drag out the mystery of who Jane Doe is for so long that it becomes irrelevant. Get it wrapped up in the first season and move on to an even BIGGER mystery, and I'm yours.

The Good...

The Grinder. Surprisingly good. Mostly due to Rob Lowe, who is charming as hell in just about every role he plays. Including this one. Fred Savage always seems like he's trying too hard, which can be annoying, but kind of works for his character.

Limitless. I held out zero hope for this show... but somehow they managed to enjoy it even though I wasn't very impressed with the movie it's based on. Dragging the FBI oversight into the game felt like it was going to be a bone-headed move... but now that I have a taste of how it could work, I totally get it. Now it's a concept that's sustainable. On a side note... I'm really glad that Jake McDorman got another shot at a show after the terrible Manhattan Love Story.

The Muppets. Not the Muppets I grew up with, but totally the Muppets I grew up with... if that makes any sense. I'm just glad to see them on TV again, even though the split between Kermit and Miss Piggy is very disturbing.

Scream Queens. I really don't know what to make of this show. It can be darn funny. It's fairly well-written and has a good cast. But it utterly fails as horror, which makes it come up short for me. Maybe a true "comedy horror" just isn't possible, but I can't say that they really even tried here. Still I like the whole serial murder mystery aspect, so I guess I'll keep watching.

The Okay...

Grandfathered. If it were anybody besides John Stamos in the lead, I'd probably drop this in "The Bad" column because it's such stale material. How can a baby joke be funny when you've heard it over and over again in every movie and television show ever? Still, Stamos delivers an easy charm as he usually does, so I guess I'll watch for a while.

Minority Report. I loved the original Ton Cruise movie and was curious to see how they could maintain a television show adaptation with a smaller budget and the pressure to write new stories in that universe week after week. Well... the smaller budget looks to be put to good use, but the stories? Not feeling it so far. I mean, mind-controlled pigeons? Really?

Life in Pieces. Unexpectedly fresh and funny. But, then again, I'd be entertained by a show where Diane Wiest reads the phonebook, so there's that.

Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris. Best time? Barely a good time. Despite their best efforts to keep things exciting, the show is one big snooze-fest to me.

Public Morals. Probably would have liked it better if my expectations for Ed Burns weren't so high. Looks beautiful, but everything else is a bit muted. Ultimately worth watching, but I can't get excited about it.

The Bad...

Rosewood. It's an interesting idea (Quincy, M.E. gone rogue!) but the implementation is just so bad. The lead character is borderline unlikeable with his cocky arrogance and the supporting cast drives me insane. Was really hoping to get a great new Miami-based show after Burn Notice left us. This isn't it.

The Player. How can you get Wesley Snipes into a network television show and it end up like this? The plot is nonsensical in the worst possible way. The writing seems recycled from shows you've seen a hundred times before. And I seriously don't get how the illuminati-like plot device is sustainable. Maybe there's a huge game-changing shake-up in the first couple of episodes that snaps everything into place but, if not, this is just a big ol' mess.

Blood & Oil. Yeah. Yeah. I knew going in that this would  probably  be crap.

Utter Shit...

Heroes Reborn. The show Heroes was a shitty effort with bland characters and no budget to make a show about super-heroes actually have super-heroics. I thought now that The Flash was nailing the special effects needed for a show like this that maybe Heroes Reborn would at least get that much right. Nope. Yet another shitty show where they do everything they can to avoid showing super-powers. As if that weren't enough, the story is a boring, convoluted crap-fest as well.

   

If past precedence holds, I'll be dropping half of the Great/Good/Okay shows by the end of October. Half of the remainder will be cancelled or dropped by the end of the year. If I'm lucky, I'll only be watching four of these in the new year. I don't need any more television in my life.

Still to come? Supergirl, Dr. Ken, Code Black, Truth Be Told, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Angel from Hell, Chicago Med, Jessica Jones, The Expanse, Ash vs. Evil Dead, and Wicked City.

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Setbacks

Posted on Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

Dave!My workload is so massive that I haven't had much chance to do what I really want to do.

Namely... sleep... and play LEGO Dimensions.

Add to that the setbacks dragging on my personal life and I can't imagine how I'm staying sober. Probably because I'm too busy working to be out drinking. Which is a darn shame, because getting wasted on a fifth of Jägermeister is exactly what I need right now...

DAVETOON: Lil' Dave Buys Bulk Jager

Of course, lately that's something I could be saying every day.

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