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Truth

Posted on Thursday, January 9th, 2014

Dave!"Dave 2 will be the first to admit that his blog is mostly crap. But there's some interesting stuff in there if you're willing to dig through all that crap." — StuckyTruth

"Too much work." — Sam R.

If that doesn't sum up Blogography, I don't know what does.

Thanks for putting up with my crap, fearless reader!

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Opinionated

Posted on Saturday, January 11th, 2014

Dave!I have no opinion on ketchup brands. Heinz, Hunts, Del Monte... whatever.

I have a very serious opinion on things that matter. Like taco sauce (La Victoria), cola (Coke), toilet paper (Charmin), and handbags (Dooney & Bourke).

And while having opinions is all well and good, sharing opinions can sometimes get you into trouble. Well, not "trouble" per se... but opinions can certainly get you unwanted drama. Especially if you share those opinions with the entire world on the internet.

This morning I went to approve some comments on my blog. One of them gave me an error, so I clicked through to see what was wrong. My guess is that the comment was too long, as I was having to scroll through pages of it before I got to the end.

Apparently somebody took issue with my opinion that Lost was one of the shittiest television shows ever to air on television because, after a great start, the writers didn't know what they were doing or where the hell they were going with the story. The point of the comment, if I had to guess, is that I am "too stupid" to understand how great Lost is, so my "opinion is invalid."

And so I started dicing up the comment so I could get it to post it over several comments... all so I could type some snarky one-sentence response to their ten-page rant. But then I realized just how much I don't give a crap over this person's opinion of my opinion, and just deleted it. That'll teach you to call me stupid, you stupid-head!

Or probably not. Because internet, and all that.

Just five years ago, I would have not only figured out a way to post that comment, but would have written an equally-long point-by-point response justifying my opinion. I don't know what's changed in me since 2009, but I can't fathom doing that today. I just don't care enough to put in all that effort over a television show that ended ages ago.

Especially a show that ended so badly.

Oops. There I go again.

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Unfriended

Posted on Friday, January 17th, 2014

Dave!My "not-my-day-job" job requires a lot of patience, perseverance, humility, dedication and, above all... flexibility. Most every appointment I make involves my being "squeezed in" to somebody's calnedar, and things often change with only a moment's notice. Most times I will fly into a city a day early and leave two days late because I just don't know when I can get in the door. Often times, the trip itself happens without warning because an opportunity arises. Once I got a call as I was driving home from the airport telling me I had to turn around, go back to the airport, and be on the next flight to Orlando (which left in 90 minutes). Good thing I had a clean pair of underwear left over.

Needless to say, making personal plans while on the job is not easy. Often times it's impossible. Not that this stops me from trying. Fortunately, most of my friends in far away places are very understanding and forgiving when it comes to my having to change or cancel plans. They know it's not my choice that I can't make it to dinner or show up for a movie... it's just part of the game.

But it's not something everybody can handle.

Next week I have to be in San Francisco. Last time I was in the city for work, it was very last-minute, but my appointments were pretty well nailed-down to the daytime. So I made plans to get a tattoo and attend a farewell party during my free evenings... knowing full well that either could be canceled without notice. Lucky for me they weren't, and everything worked out fine. Until I got an email from a friend who was upset that I didn't contact them for a meet-up while I was there. I explained that the trip was a last-minute thing and all my time was booked, but promised I'd let them know the next time I was in San Francisco.

Except when I went to message them on Facebook once my schedule had been tightened up, I found out that I had been unfriended.

Like I said, my wildly erratic work and travel schedule is not something everybody can handle.

Which makes me really appreciate those friends who can put up with me.

Because sometimes it's all I can do to put up with myself.

   

WordPress

Posted on Saturday, February 8th, 2014

Dave!In my earliest days of blogging (back before it was even called "blogging") there wasn't any software to help you out. My first blog, "DaveWorld," was entirely coded by hand. Any time I wanted to add something, I'd have to manually edit the HTML code. This was a cumbersome process that was way too much work, so the blog died a slow death and was eventually deleted. My second effort, "DaveBlog," was created on the Blogger platform. This made things easier... but writing was still a chore. And customizing the look of your blog in any meaningful way was nigh impossible.

Then the husband and wife team of Ben & Mena Trott came up with Movable Type and everything changed.

With Movable Type, all the technical crap required to run a blog vanished. Third-party blogging tools like "Kung-Log" made writing a breeze. And since everything ran on templates using a dead-simple coding language, customizing your blog was a piece of cake.

Blogography was born, and I have Movable Type to thank for it.

Eventually Movable Type was sold. An Open Source version was released (and powers my blog to this day), but the focus of the platform was steered towards "professional" and "enterprise" environments, so development of the "free personal" version stagnated. An effort to create an independent version (called "Melody") died. Third-party support dried up.

Movable Type as a viable platform for small bloggers like was coming to an end.

And now the Open Source version is being suspended.

In order for me to keep using a supported version of Movable Type, I would have to purchase a 5-user "Pro" license for $600.

Well fuck that.

So now I am forced into something I should have done a long time ago... changing blogging platforms. I toyed with the idea of switching to Ghost, which looks to be coming along brilliantly, but my only real choice is the 10-ton gorilla of personal blogging: WordPress.

Which is not easy.

My webhosting company, Media Temple, doesn't allow software processes to last long enough to export all my data. So I have to hire a third-party to convert my entries and comments.

And, of course all my templates will have to be converted. The cost to hire somebody for the work is outrageous, so I'm having to do it myself. It's not rocket-science, but it's slow-going. Very slow-going. Everything I learned when building DaveCafe on WordPress has long-since been forgotten. And so I'm starting from scratch.

And so there goes my weekend. But the blog must go on.

Yay.

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Pressed

Posted on Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

Dave!For better or worse, this blog is now running on WordPress.

Migrating was both easier and harder than I thought it would be. I was dreading converting all my templates because Movable Type has a far easier template language to work with. Much to my delight, it took me just under two hours. Much to my horror, the comments display looks like complete shit. And the comment form is wonky. I've spent around SIX HOURS trying to fix everything, but WordPress uses a stupid fucking HTML List Element to output comments, and all attempts to figure out how to style it have failed. I've read dozens of tutorials and read loads of documentation, but nothing works, and I have no idea why. So... something left to do, I guess.

Anyway... for anybody wanting to dump Movable Type and switch to WordPress, I have notes.

DATA
Movable Type's "Export" function has always been incomplete and terrible. They tried to fix this with a "Backup" function, but I was never able to get it to work. Ever. Part of the problem is that my hosting company, Media Temple, has a pathetically small time-out value for their Grid Hosting. If you have more than a couple hundred entries, this means Media Temple will never get to finish the job. So there goes my hopes of spending $49 at TP2WP.com for a quick and dirty conversion of my entries and comments to WordPress. Fortunately, Mihai at Pro-IT-Service has near-miraculous knowledge of all things Movable Type, and I was able to hire him to do the job for me for a reasonable fee (considering I have over 4,000 entries and nearly 52,000 comments!). He did a flawless job. Permalinks were preserved. Extended entries were merged to WP format. Categories were not only preserved, but he provided an .htaccess file update so that referrers to my categories would be redirected to a WordPress-friendly URL. Just like his previous work for me, Mihai totally delivered, and I couldn't be happier.

MIGRATION
My hosting company allows me to host multiple domains on my account. All I have to do is create a folder in my "domains" directory, point my NameServers to their servers, and I'm done. This made it dead-simple to install WordPress in an unused domain, then just rename its folder to "blogography.com" after Mihai migrated my data. All I had to do then was let WordPress know that its domain had changed and I was done. For some reason I thought it would be a lot more difficult.

STATIC
One of the things that I really, really liked about Movable Type was the option to go with statically-generated honest-to-goodness html files. You can do this with WordPress by using a clever plugin, but that adds a lot of overhead when you're working on converting your templates and are making lots of changes. For now, I plan on leaving things dynamic. But the security of having static html files that will still work even if your database craps out is something I'm too paranoid to resist for long. Even so, I am using the W3 Total Cache plugin so WordPress serves up pages more efficiently in the meanwhile.

SECURITY
Something you're forced to learn when switching from Movable Type to WordPress is that securing your site is a big deal. I learned this the hard way when I converted DaveCafe as a WordPress blog... and got hacked in four days. Yes, four days. I installed a bunch of security plugins to help clean up all the malicious code and my database, but was hacked again the following month. Eventually I just locked down WordPress completely by editing my .htaccess file so the back-end is completely inaccessible. Which means in order to work on DaveCafe, I first have to edit my .htaccess file. Then edit it back. Every time. It's a pain, but I only update the site a few times a year, so I can live with it. Obviously, this is not an option for a blog I'm updating every day. Enter the Better WP Security plugin. It seems comprehensive, so I'm hopeful. Then again, I've only been running for one day...

BACKUP
Back when I first began with my web hosting company, Media Temple, they had a backup tool included. But then they switched to their "Grid" service and backup was dropped. I never understood why. This is a BASIC FUCKING FUNCTION that even the cheapest hosting companies offer. Years later Media Temple managed to finally get around to it, but you have to pay for their premium "CloudTech" service to get it. At least you did. I have no idea what the situation is now. In any event, I'm done with dealing with this crap, so I'm using the WordPress Backup to Dropbox plugin to keep my data safe.

COMMENT SPAM
I frickin hate... HATE... CAPTCHAs. Every time I go to comment on a blog and I see I have to interpret some crazy-ass bullshit in order to post, I think twice about whether I want to put in the effort. To avoid this on my Movable Type blog, I used some javascript code called Obfuscator that passed code from the comment form to prove the comment was manually generated instead of a spambot. I haven't yet figured out how to use it with WordPress, so I'm relying on the included "Akismet" plugin to catch spam for me until I do. So far, so good. Akismet has blocked 32 pieces of comment spam in 6 hours. If this keeps up, I won't worry about figuring out Obfuscator after all.

SUPPORT
Going from a fringe product like Movable Type that few personal bloggers are using anymore... to a 10-ton gorilla like WordPress that everybody is using... well, it's quite an adjustment to make. I'm simply not used to having such a huge community available with instant answers to even my most bizarre problems. But the best part of WordPress is ACTUALLY DOCUMENTATION! Movable Type always had shit for documentation, and it's wonderful to not have to worry about putting up with outdated, shitty docs any more.

DEVELOPMENT
Another reason I'm ecstatic to finally be rid of Movable Type? WordPress has an active development community. Plugins are plentiful and current. You can extend functionality in just about every conceivable way. Finding new themes for you site design is easy... whether you want something free... or to pay for something more. And the apps! WordPress is well-supported because so many people are using it. My third-party blogging software, MarsEdit, barely supports Movable Type. Subcategories never worked right. A lot of features weren't supported. But with WordPress? An entirely different story. Everything works flawlessly. I can use categories again!

PAGES
WordPress has an irritating schema that omits the ".html" extension on Pages. I have no idea why since they have no problems appending it to Posts, but there it is. It isn't too big of a problem... slapping some 301 redirects in my .htaccess file fixed the problem nicely. Which is a good thing, since Google's Custom Search refuses to work without it.

TEMPLATES
And now we've come full-circle to WordPress template-building. As I said, Movable Type has the upper hand here in a big way because they use simple tags. WordPress uses PHP code snippets. Which makes getting anything out of WordPress a bit more difficult (and, in the case of formatting comments, a hell of a lot more difficult). Still, once you get the hang of it, it's not too bad. Just not as easy as it could be.

LINKS
When you've been blogging for 11 years, you're bound to accumulate a few broken links. Thanks to a plugin called Broken Link Checker, I now know I have 1,214 of them. Most are from people who left comments linking to their blog... which no longer exists. Kind of sad to see so many sites having died. I remain amazed mine isn't one of them.

CONCLUSION
Ultimately, I'm happy with the move. If the plugins I'm using will keep spammers and hackers at bay, I'll be very happy. My only regret is that I didn't do this much sooner. If you have a solution for migrating your data from Movable Type to WordPress, this isn't a difficult decision to make. The resources, tools, and activity benefits are pretty much a no-brainer.

   
And now I should probably work on getting my Archives page running, my comments formatted, and my comment form working... but it's past midnight and I'm all WordPressed out for the night.

P.S. Originally, I had coded big purple X's before all my posts on the WordPress blog so I could easily tell which site I was working on. After a couple hours, I actually grew to like them there (especially when scrolling through a long list of posts) so I think I'll keep 'em!

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Bullet Sunday 368

Posted on Sunday, February 16th, 2014

Dave!Time to put House of Cards on pause, because an all-new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Random! Sometimes when I'm stuck on a phone call, I'll fire up Wikipedia and click on the Random Article link for a while (WARNING: no telling where that link takes you). It never ceases to amaze me what pops up. Yes, there's a lot of random stubs that flash by... but there's always a few articles of substance that will teach you something. Today my articles were... HUMAN TOOTH SHARPENING!... CERATONYKUS!... FRISKNEY!... and the HOUSTON THUNDERBEARS! — But be careful. If you click too fast, you could skip by something interesting (like NEW KOREAN ORTHOGRAPHY!) and not be able to get back to it (your browser's back button won't work). And who knows what knowledge tomorrow will bring? (perhaps the BARCELONA INTERNATIONAL EROTIC FILM FESTIVAL!).

   
• Ellen! Even without her personal announcement, Ellen Page's speech for the Human Rights Campaign this week was powerful, inspiring, and well worth watching...

I hope Ellen Page knows just how much her words mean to a lot of kids struggling with acceptance... not only with their sexuality, but with all the challenges they face because they're different... or merely perceived to be different. The more people keep speaking out for treating people with decency and respect, the more attitudes will change. And the more kids will feel less alone as they struggle to figure out their path in life.

   
• Please! Oh please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please let this happen.

   
• Bloop! Because I just can't help it, I now present The LEGO Movie blooper reel...

Awww! Is there anything cuter than LEGO minifigs?

   
• Search! For years, I've been integrating Google Custom Search into Blogography. But it's grown increasingly unreliable, and I'm tired of having it fail when I go to use it. So when I switched to WordPress, I decided to dump it. Only to find that WordPress search sucks. It sucks so bad. And so I found my way to the Relevanssi plugin. It's an order of magnitude better than what comes with WP, for which I'm grateful. I just wish it had pictures like Google does. Everybody loves search that comes with pictures! Bummer. I do like how it highlights the search terms though.

   
• Archive! And while I'm on the never-ending subject of my migration to WordPress, I am compelled to bring up how crappy their archiving is compared to what I was using with Movable Type. Hopefully one day you'll be able to navigate between monthly archives without a plugin, but not today. Hopefully one day you'll be able to navigate subcategories within a category without hard-coding IDs in an array, but not today. Both of these are not revolutionary features by any means, and it mystifies me as to why they aren't included. Luckily WordPress is ever a work in progress. So maybe one day.

   
And now, if you'll excuse me, another episode of House of Cards awaits...

   

Kaply

Posted on Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

Dave!I had some work calls to make during my lunch hour, so I decided to catch up on Facebook while I was making small-talk. Despite current bullshit studies by managers with too much time on their hands who say multitasking is counterproductive, I can't fathom wasting my time by not doing multiple things at once.

And so there I was discussing ink limits for printing on plasticized board... when I lose my ability to speak. I somehow manage to end the call as my heart starts crushing my chest.

Long-time blogging friend, Tracy Lynn "Kap" Kaply, is gone.

It's impossible to reduce Kaply down to words. She was hysterically funny, yes. She was exceedingly kind, sure. She was delightfully raunchy, indeed. She was keenly observant, absolutely. She was craftily opinionated, no doubt. But to keep piling adjectives on her seems somehow a disservice when no amount of words will ever paint the whole picture of who she was. You had to know her to love her and, even though I didn't know her exceedingly well, I came to love her just the same. Your life was far more entertaining with Kaply in it than out of it, and I just don't know what higher praise I can offer than that...

Kaply Try Evil

You will note that she is wearing one of my "Try Evil" T-shirts. When looking for photos of her, it was almost impossible to find a recent image where she wasn't wearing one. She'd wear them until they were falling apart, then ask me to send her another one. And I always did. She told me that the T-shirt said everything about her that she wanted people passing her on the street to know. Adjective-free, of course.

I think the first time I met Kaply in person was back in 2007 at the first Daveattle blogger meet, but we had known each other online for years before that...

Daveattle ONE!

I'm pretty sure she introduced herself with "Yeah, I'm Kaply. Try not to fall down at my feet or anything embarrassing like that." Which is oddly typical of the Kap I would come to know.

It's more than a little sad to see that Kaply is the second person in this photo to leave us. Rick Leonard, another wonderful human being, passed on a while back.

People wonder why I act like a two-year-old most of the time. It's because growing up means your friends start to leave you.

And Kaply is somebody I just don't want to say goodbye to.

So I won't.

I'll just say that I will miss her.

   
Now if I could just figure out to do with all these fucking "Try Evil" T-shirts I had custom-printed in her size. It figures that Kap would go and die on me before she had worn them all. So typical. It's just like her to be sure that I had something hanging around to remember her by.

As if I could ever forget.

   

The VCR

Posted on Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

Dave!The video was recorded on an old VHS tape which had been in service far past the point it should have been discarded. Carter's annoyance with the badly degraded image caused his right eye to twitch, but nobody in the room seemed to notice.

"Look! Look at this!" Carter said as his finger punched the rewind button yet again. Then, for what seemed like the fiftieth time, he pressed play.

The VCR lurched into action with a heavy "clunk" as the tiny television came to life.

A nondescript convenience store materialized out of a wash of video noise. The image was so bleached of color that it might as well have been black and white. The camera was focused on the service counter where a young man was ringing up purchases into a cash register. His customer, a middle-aged man in a full business suit, stood waiting with his wallet open.

There was no sound, but everybody's imagination was filling in the blanks. A 2-liter bottle of Coke. Beep Beep Beep. A bag of OREO cookies. Beep Beep Beep. A roll of mints. Beep Beep.

The image began to shudder as a blast of jagged white lines started rolling through the picture. Then, just as suddenly as it had been obscured, the image cleared again. The store clerk had finished ringing up the man's purchases and was dumping everything into a plastic bag. The customer tossed a wad of bills on the counter as a woman appeared behind him holding a six-pack of beer in her left hand.

"Here it comes!" Carter whispered.

The woman, who had very dark skin, closely-cropped hair, and was wearing a magenta mini-skirt that burst out of the muted display like a signal flare, was talking to the man now. It was impossible to know what she was saying, but the man appeared calm and relaxed.

At least he was until she pulled a gun out of the breast pocket of her heavy black leather jacket and shot him twice in the heart.

Carter laughed with a high-pitched squeal and started rewinding the tape again. "Just look at you there with your big gun and stiletto heels! What a mess you made!"

"I know, I was there."

The woman from the video sat bound to a high-back chair. Her jacket was now splattered with blood that had dried to a dark carmine color. One of her eyes was swollen and her lip had been split. This time the blood was fresh and glistened a bright crimson.

"Yes. Yes... you... were," Carter said with a grumble as he pressed play for what seemed like the fifty-first time. The woman's eyes rolled back in her head as the scene started yet again.

"Tell me, Monica, because I truly am curious... who got to you? Who convinced you that betraying me was in your best interest? Who was it that deluded you into believing this was survivable?"

On the display, a store clerk was ringing up a 2-liter bottle of Coke. Now, in the recorded past, he's reaching for a bag of OREOs.

The woman tried to shift her position to something more comfortable, but the tubing that tied her to the chair was too tight. She tried twisting her torso to loosen her bonds, but was defeated. With nothing better to do, she began to speak. Carter stopped the tape and tossed the VCR remote on a nearby table.

"Your interdimensional friends, of course," Monica said, her voice eerily flat and expressionless. "They told me everything. They spoke to me from a beam of sunlight and told me that you were going to destroy the world."

If Carter was surprised, he didn't show it.

"But you're wrong about one thing. They never told me this was survivable. I have no delusions."

Now something changed on Carter's face. Fear?

The woman began to speak again, but her voice was drowned out by a high-pitched squeal. Carter and his assortment of hired killers were all covering their ears. Monica would have covered hers if she could, but she was tied to a chair and couldn't move. It didn't matter. The sound was growing louder, and nothing was going to stop it.

Despite the deafening audio assault hammering into her skull and the brilliant white glow clawing its way out of her chest, the woman smiled. She had sacrificed herself so that the whole world might live. She had atoned for her many sins and, if there were a heaven, she was guaranteed entry. After a decade of despair, she finally had something to smile about. She finally understood.

And then Monica exploded in ball of light, taking six city blocks with her.

Carter died wondering how things had gone so terribly wrong.

Sixteen dimensions away, a sunbeam quivers in amusement. Tomorrow he will shift back through the time stream and find something new to play with. But today? This refraction is over, and he's hungry. He wonders what frequency of photons will be served for dinner. There are no shadows in his world.

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DAY TWELVE: Fools

Posted on Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

Dave!I really hate having to leave the Netherlands.

Almost as much as I hate stupid "April Fools Day" pranks that get unleashed everywhere. And since there's always somebody who believes people's outrageous shit, the fools-pranking will never end.

At least Google puts some effort into their pranks each year...

The really cool thing about this year's gag is that this is something that will probably actually happen one day. It's only a matter of time before augmented reality games are this good.

The Virgin America & Nest prank was pretty funny too...

And since YouTube is where most of the pranks live, they decided to get in on the act themselves...

But my favorite? SelfieBot!

And now I guess it's time to climb in a metal tube for ten hours. Then drive in a car for two-and-a-half hours. Then go to the clinic for my smashed ribs for an hour.

Ha! April Fools! You can never get out of the walk-in clinic in under five hours!

See you across the pond.

   

Urpdate

Posted on Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

Dave!For the first time... ever(?)... I had to take down a blog post.

Yesterday I said "If you don't hear from me again, I'm probably dead. After writhing in agony for hours." Right after posting that, I noticed there was a software update for my blog, so I installed it. After a few minutes I was all updated and good to go.

Until I sat down to write today's entry and noticed that the entry editor is... errr... "missing" for lack of a better word...

No Edit Window.

Uhhh... where do I type?

Well that's darn inconvenient! And since I am flying out early, early tomorrow morning it's not like I can fix it now.

So it's probably best that I take down yesterday's post telling people that if they don't hear from me I'm probably dead.

Now wouldn't it be ironic if I died right after removing it?

Almost as ironic as if my blog stays permanently dead and I never get to post this entry about my blog being temporarily dead.

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Pandemic

Posted on Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

Dave!"It's not like anybody is blogging any more."

"I still blog every day."

"Good lord, why?"

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Pyotr

Posted on Saturday, June 21st, 2014

Dave!"Don't grow old, Pyotr, nothing but pain and disappointment wait for you there."

"I will try, grandfather! Truly I will."

"Promise?"

"I promise, grandfather!"

"Good!" said grandfather with a cackle that quickly collapsed into a fit of dry, hacking coughs.

Seven hundred and forty-six years later "Peter," as he was now known, thought back on his promise and cursed his grandfather roundly. Turns out it's not growing old that leads to pain and disappointment, it's existing.

Though, to be honest, that may have been seven hundred and forty-six years trapped in the body of a six-year-old boy talking.

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Wall

Posted on Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

Dave!There comes a point when you just can't function any longer.

I worked last night until 1:00am... woke up at 4:30am to work some more... took a quick nap from 7:30-8:00am... got cleaned up and went to work at 9:00am... came back home to work at 5:30pm... now it's 9:30pm and I've hit a wall. My brain just won't work any more.

Which is unfortunate, because I'm not even half-way through all the things I really needed to get done.

I either need to clone myself or seek a medically-induced coma.

The good news is that I had grape Kool-Aid and a cheese sandwich for dinner. I had been dreaming about them all day long. And now... it's just five hours until 4:30am rolls around again. It would be nice if I could sleep for most of that but, well, you know...

Luckily, I don't require my brain to blog.

   

Anything!

Posted on Monday, July 14th, 2014

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

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

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

   

Retroinsertion

Posted on Saturday, August 23rd, 2014

Dave!And so it begins.

For years now, I've been debating whether or not I should pull entries from my first two blogs (DaveWorld/DaveSpot and DaveBlog) and fold them into my third (and current) blog... Blogography. There's also a chunk of entries I saved from the first go-round of Blogography before it got rebooted in April 2003.

The problem is two-fold.

1) All my entries from "back in the day" were written at a time when I never even considered strangers wanting to read my crap. Entries were created for my friends and family only, and contained a lot of personal information I wouldn't dream of putting on the internet today. Obviously anything I re-post now would have to either be heavily edited or rewritten.

2) For the longest time I couldn't get it out of my head that posting old entries to my current blog was "cheating." I'm the first to admit that doesn't make much sense... but George Lucas fucking around with the Star Wars films over the years has freaked me out on the idea of mucking with the past. HAN SHOT FIRSTBLOGOGRAPHY BEGAN IN APRIL 2003!

But now, thanks to some encouragement from y'all, I'm over it.

The first entry I've decided to retro-post is from December 2000 when I visited Rome for the first time. It pretty much had to be re-written from scratch, because a lot of the original text was written through the perspective of a recent break-up with my then-ex-girlfriend. It was not a happy time, and the trip to Italy was a fortunately-timed escape from heartache.

You can read the entry by clicking here.

After all is said and done, I'm liking the idea of retro-posting more and more. I'll definitely be doing more as time permits.

   

Blogging

Posted on Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

Dave!   
I posted here yesterday. Isn't that enough for you people?

Tags:
Categories: Blogging 2014Click To It: Permalink  3 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Stats

Posted on Monday, November 10th, 2014

Dave!Any time I need a reason to keep blogging when most everybody else has quit, all I have to do is look at my visitor stats. For reasons completely unknown, people keep reading. Yes, the death of Google Reader had a big impact on my visitor counts... but the number of "unique visitors" stopping by keeps inching upward.

In short? Lot's of people visit here.

The bulk of my traffic has always come from Google searches but, in the past, those people never stuck around much. They'd get what they came for and move on. Now-a-days, however, a surprising number of people do stick around and keep reading. I'm not exactly sure why. Most of the time it's via tag links. Somebody arrives because a search led them here, they like (or hate?) what I have to say, then click through so they can read more posts on the same topic. And those topics can generally be ranked into a "Top 5" like this...

  1. Travel/Photography.
  2. Television/Movies.
  3. Apple/iPhone/Mac.
  4. Hard Rock Cafe (includes traffic at DaveCafe).
  5. News/Politics.

The first four categories are not that shocking. They encompass 75% of what I blog about (the remainder being day-to-day "DaveLife" crap).

The last one, however, is a bit surprising because I don't often write about politics. And yet, when I do, it usually ends up getting linked to from... somewhere... whether it's somebody agreeing or disagreeing. Writing about Rick "Piece of Shit" Santorum, for example, always result in linkbait because I'm so passionate about loathing the asshole, and people who also loathe him just love to share. That being said, posts that Conservatives could latch onto are the ones that seem to get the most attention. For example...

  • Republicans. After Mitt Romney's failed bid for the White House, this entry got a lot of traffic... and most all of it was from a Conservative blogger forum. It set off a debate amongst members because there was a lot of Republican in-fighting as to whether the future of their party is embracing more moderate ideals... or clinging to the things that their party has historically been known for. At one point some guy called me an "arrogant asshole who doesn't know shit!" which was pretty great.
  • Violence. After the horrific shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, I wrote a post kinda defending Sarah Palin for her "Don't Retreat, Reload" rhetoric that many people were using to pass blame for the tragedy. The twist is that I can't fucking stand the woman. Pretty much hate her and her stupidity on every level. It was for this reason that the entry was popular with Conservatives because they could hold it up and say "See? He hates her and still says it wasn't her fault! Which was a gross simplification of what I actually said, but there you have it.
  • Bullet Sunday 276. A reader wrote to tell me that a mashup I made of President Obama and The Punisher got posted to Breitbart or FOX or some other far-Right site. They (of course) never linked back to Blogography, so I didn't get any traffic from it.
  • Cliff. I made a DaveToon commenting on the absurdity of the "Fiscal Cliff" deal that got passed around quite a bit. Which always bugged me, because what I really had to say about the issue was in the words around the cartoon. Still, the popularity of the thing led me to allow hotlinking to images on my blog again (after having blocked it a decade prior). And while Democrats and Republicans alike seemed to like the cartoon, it was the Republicans that were linking to it most... though probably for the wrong reasons.
  • Divided. Very rarely do I write something in the hopes that lots of people will read it. This post was one of those times, because it brilliantly (if I do say so myself) illustrated the difference between the two halves of Washington State and how they view each other. I had thought that I presented both halves equally, but Conservatives thought it painted them the winners so I got a lot of links out of it. INTERESTING FACT: There were already a few maps of "United States of Canada" vs. "Jesusland" in existence when I wrote my entry, but I thought they were all ugly, so I re-drew it using a map that had been open-sourced. It continues to get links to this day.
  • Chew. This entry got a bit of traction when a Conservative blogger linked to it as an example of "Obama voter remorse." That she missed the point of my entry entirely was not surprising. What was surprising is that she added Blogography to her blogroll (at least until she quit blogging years ago).

All the Right Wing love is nice, but I don't think I'll be signing up for the Tea Party just yet.

DAVETOON: The flag sticking in the pile of shit is an ELECT SANTORUM 2012 flag.

Anyway...

Guess I should send out a big "thank you" to Google for keeping people reading my bullshit.

Though I suppose having nearly 12 years of content to search through plays a part as well. When you've been blogging as long as I have, you've pretty much discussed just about everything there is.

Well, except Taylor Lautner. There are some topics beneath even me.

UPDATE: Shit!

   

FridayQ

Posted on Saturday, November 15th, 2014

Dave!Back in the olden days there was an activity called blogging. This was where people wanting to share their experiences, knowledge, and observations would create a website and, using a content management system, would post such experiences, knowledge, and observations for all the world to see.

Blogging was not always easy. Especially if you were a blogger that blogged every day. Because, unless you're an astronaut or Hugh Hefner, eventually you run out of blog-worthy things to blog about.

Enter memes.

In order to generate ideas for blog content, bloggers started developing quizzes, challenges, questionnaires, and all kinds of other idea-generating material to blog about. Not everybody appreciated memes... many people downright abhorred them... but when it's 11:55pm and you're desperate for something to blog about, memes could be your best friend.

One of the most popular meme generators on the internet back in the day was The Friday 5. Every Friday they would post five questions for you to answer in a blog post, which was an easy way to get it over with and move on to your weekend. Unfortunately The Friday Five was eventually discontinued, and there were many sad pandas across the blogosphere.

And so I decided to do something about it.

I created a new Friday meme generator and called it FridayQ.

It ran a little over a year from June 4th, 2004 until I got tired of doing it and shut it down on July 22, 2005.

For years after it died, the FridayQ lived on as hand-coded pages here at Blogography. I never deleted them because I had a lot of blog posts that referenced FridayQ and I didn't want to go back and have to change 52+ entries. Alas, when I converted my blog to WordPress back in February all the FridayQ pages were lost and, for reasons unknown, were never backed up. After 8 years, 6 months, and 22 days, the FridayQ was finally dead for good.

Until...

Yesterday I was updating the web code for my blog stats and noticed that somebody was trying to reach FridayQ. This got me curious as to how many other searches it was getting, so I checked. Turns out there were dozens of them throughout the year. Mostly from my own blog, but there were other surviving blogs out there still linking to the site as well.

Maybe I should look into restoring FridayQ then?

And so this morning I did just that.

I visited the Internet Archive Wayback Machine to see what I could recover. None of the graphics were there, but all of the pages had been saved. Sure, the archives were out of date by a few months, but that was an easy fix. All I had to do was go through my Blogography archives and copy the original questions. Easy.

But what about the missing graphics?

Time to pull all my old hard drives out of storage.

Surprisingly, every drive I tried actually worked. And I found a backup of the FridayQ images on my fifth drive...

Sleepy Dave Teddy

   

Good thing I'm a packrat who doesn't throw old tech away, huh?

I uploaded the pages to Blogography, updated all the links, and voilĂ ... FridayQ is served!

Sleepy Dave Teddy

You can visit them for yourself by clicking here.

If you want to read all my crazy answers, you can check out my "meme" archive for 2004 and 2005. They're solid gold, people. Solid gold.

And now I just need to decide what to do with this box of old hard drives. They're probably not going to stay working forever. Hell, half of them require a FireWire port which doesn't even exist anymore (thankfully I have a FireWire to Thunderbolt converter!). Two of them are SCSI drives that would require pulling one of my old Macs with a SCSI interface out of storage to read. Hmmm... perhaps I should back them up to the cloud or transfer them to modern hard drives or something? They're all ridiculously small by today's storage standards... I could probably fit all of them on a single terabyte external drive no problem.

Blergh. One more thing added to my list that I don't have time for.

Like blogging every day. =sigh=

   

9-10-11-12-13-14

Posted on Saturday, December 13th, 2014

Dave!This post is scheduled to publish at 9:10:11 12/13/14.

Since that ain't gonna happen again for a thousand years, I felt obligated to play along.

Tags:
Categories: Blogging 2014Click To It: Permalink  1 Comment: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Dave14

Posted on Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

Dave!For those who only read one of my posts each year... or anybody wanting a recap of the past year here at Blogography... this post is for you! As usual, I've jettisoned loads of the usual junk so this entry is "mostly crap" instead of the "total crap" they usually are.

This year presented me with some harsh struggles, unwelcome challenges, and a lot of bad news. But there were some good moments in there that kept 2014 from being a complete disappointment, so here we go...

   


JANUARY

• Explained why I'm in favor of legalizing marijuana even though I don't use marijuana...

Yes on Washington 502

   

• Jester and I visited the Walt Disney Family Museum at long last, then saw the amazing Betty Who in concert...

Betty Who in San Francisco!

   

• Made time to add another section to my forearm tattoo.

   


FEBRUARY

Got angry.

   

Everything is awesome.

The LEGO Movie Poster

   

• With much sadness, I had to say goodbye to a friend.

   

Penis! Vegina!

   


MARCH

How I read.

   

• Flew to the Netherlands for PATATJES MET!

Patatjes Met!

   

Visited Glasgow, Scotland for Hard Rock No. 153...

Hard Rock Cafe Glasgow

   

• Revisited Florence, Italy for Hard Rock visit No. 154...

Hard Rock Cafe Florence

   

• Then went onward to Nice, France for Hard Rock visit No. 155 and nearly got killed in the process...

Hard Rock Cafe Nice

   

Visited Friesland, the land of my forefathers, with The Dutch Bitch... then continued to the resort island of Schiermonnikoog.

   


APRIL

• Back to San Francisco for work and the same old routine, which means... MINI DONUTS!

BAG-O-DONUTS!

   

• Can't go to San Francisco without another tattoo...

Om Mani Padme Hum

   


MAY

• Visited the new Palm Springs Hard Rock Hotel, which is No. 156 for me...

Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs

   

• Discovered the best damn veggie burger ever while in Chicago...

GAH! IT'S SO DELICIOUS!!!

   

• And so... Apple is definitely broken.

   

TILTED WITH HOT COFFEE GIRL... ZOMG!

TILT! at Hancock Center

   

Finally saw Morrissey in concert on a trip to Tampa... AND HE DIDN'T CANCEL! WOO-HOO!

Morrissey Concert Interlude

   

• Ate the world's best potato salad with Certifiable Princess then explored Ybor City where we found... THE BAD MONKEY BAR!!!

Bad Monkey Bar

   


JUNE

• Once again flew to the amazing city of Pittsburgh and got to spend time with HelloHaHaNarf Becky, one of my most favorite people on earth... LET'S GO BUCS!

Becky and Dave2
That's right... bask in our adorableness!

   

Becky and I drove to Ohio so I could visit the Northfield Park Hard Rock Casino (No. 157) and Hard Rock Cafe (No. 158)...

Hard Rock Northfield Park

   

• Thanks to my sister, I got to watch a Mariners game with field-level seats!

Dave!

   

It's over.

   


JULY

Fuck you, you fucking fucks.

   

• Managed to live through another fire seasons in Central Washington...

Wildfires

   

• Visited Pigeon Forge, Tennessee so I could check off Hard Rock No. 159...

Hard Rock Cafe Pigeon Forge

   

Visited some lighthouses in Maine and ate the best blueberry crumble I have ever had in my life...

Marshall Point Lighthouse, Maine

   


AUGUST

• Saw my favorite movie of 2014... Guardians of the Galaxy.

   

If you've never suffered from severe depression... if you've never stood by helplessly as somebody you care about battles depression... if you've never made an effort to understand what depression is or what it does to you... then please, for the love of God, shut the fuck up about it.

   

• Bought a new camera lens... my first telephoto glass in many years.

   


SEPTEMBER

• Flew to Salt Lake City and got to meet one of my childhood fantasies... ERIN GRAY!

Me and Erin Gray

   

• Went to the Retro Futura Tour with Marty from Banal Leakage to see TOM BAILEY OF THE THOMPSON TWINS LIVE IN CONCERT!

Tom Bailey Retro Futura Tour 2014

   

• Added Hard Rock visit No. 160 to my list in Johannesburg, South Africa...

Hard Rock Cafe Johannesburg

   

• Fulfilled a lifelong dream to visit Africa and go on safari with a trip to Mana Pools in Zimbabwe...

Lions in the Shade

Elephants in the Zambezi

   

• Photographed lions while visiting Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe...

Hwange Lioness

Hwange Lion Cubs

   

• Accidentally discovered a love for astral photography...

Zimbabwe Night Sky Milky Way

   

• Flew to Victoria Falls to see the largest falls by volume on the face of the earth...

Victoria Falls

   

THINGS I LEARNED ABOUT A SAFARI VACATION IN AFRICA!

   


OCTOBER

What's in my camera bag?

   

• Took a short vacation from my vacation with a trip to New Orleans... and tattoo No. 6...

No matter where you go... there you are.

   


NOVEMBER

   

• Had the extreme pleasure of attending a reading by my favorite living author, David Sedaris...

Sedaris Autograph

   

A look at blog stats.

   

God bless America? If this is what we've come to, I sincerely doubt it.

   


DECEMBER

Try showing a little class...

   

• Took some time to do some night photography while I was in Portland, Maine...

Portland's Harbor Fish Market.

   

• Stopped by Minneapolis to meet up with some blogger friends and visit the Hard Rock Cafe Mall of America, which would be No. 161 for me...

Hard Rock Cafe Mall of America at Minneapolis.

   

• Flew to Sioux Falls so I could drive down to Sioux City and see my last Hard Rock of the year... a hotel and casino No. 162...

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sioux City

   

• Closed out my travel year with a stop at the World Famous Corn Palace.

   


And that was my adventures in 2014.

Here's wishing everybody a terrific 2015!

   

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