Blogography Logo
spacer

   

Bullet Sunday 114

Posted on Sunday, January 4th, 2009

Dave!My blog is up and running again... just in time for Bullet Sunday!

• Interviewed. I've been interviewed by the new travel blog Sharing Experiences, run by travel writer Andy Hayes. There's kind of an important announcement I make there (especially if you're in the U.K.) so be sure to take a look!

• Better. I don't like 95% of the commercials that show up on television because they are annoying rather than entertaining in the way they sell their wares. A rare exception would be the absolutely brilliant and inspirational ads run by the Foundation for a Better Life. They're magic. This one is a particular favorite, despite the fact that it has bad parents in it who don't know how to watch their kid...

UPDATE! In what I can only describe as one of the stupidest fucking things I've ever seen on the internets, The Foundation for a Better Life no longer allows sharing of their videos. That's right... an organization dedicated to "PASSING IT ON" when it comes to inspirational messages DOESN'T ALLOW YOU TO ACTUALLY PASS IT ON! They develop commercials and pay millions to buy ad space on television, but bypass totally free distribution on the internet? Insane. Truly crazy. Oh well... since the video below won't work any more, you have to go to their website to watch it.

How much better would our world be if this is the way it worked all the time?

• Changed. Why is it that every time somebody changes their product, it turns out to be for the worse? Miracle Whip used to be a favorite sandwich condiment... until the dumbasses at Kraft switched from an oil base to a water base to save money. Now it soaks into bread too fast and falls apart in macaroni salad, which just blows. And don't get me started on the way that Kraft destroyed Boca Burgers when they bought out the company. Boca Burgers used to be my favorite food, now I can barely eat them because they are gag-inducing soggy, waggy, snotty, and shitty. Another tragedy was when General Mills "new and improved" my favorite childhood cereal, Cocoa Puffs. They used to be these deliciously puffy and lightly chocolatey crispy balls... but now they're dense, hard, and so chocolatey that they taste artificial, plastic and crappy. Recently I saw that they had a new cereal called "Cocoa Puffs Combos" and thought I'd give them a try. Imagine my shock when I found out that the Combos HAVE THE ORIGINAL COCOA PUFFS IN THEM! Finally, I can be Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs again!

Dave Cocoa Puffs

• Remade. I've written repeatedly about my love for the best show every to air on television, Cupid starring Jeremy Piven and Paula Marshal. This morning I learned that the remake, which I'm assuming will be total shit, is going to begin airing on March 24th. What kind of fucked-up birthday present is that? Couldn't they at least released the real Cupid on DVD so I have something good to watch while Rob Thomas destroys his own show? Oh well, guess it's time to re-watch my Veronica Mars DVDs for the millionth time.

Jeremy Piven and Paula Marshall in Cupid

• Cupidity. One last rant before I go... even if Sony/Tri-Star doesn't want to go to the expense of producing the original Cupid episodes on DVD... why in the hell don't they put the episodes on the iTunes Store? The only expense is digitizing the show, which can't be much of a road block, after that it's all money in the bank. GAH! Stupid.

Now I'm cold and hungry and don't feel like blogging anymore.

Categories: Bullet Sunday 2009Click To It: Permalink  22 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Bullet Sunday 115

Posted on Sunday, January 11th, 2009

Dave!Wah. I have a headache. And on Bullet Sunday too.

• Arbitrary. There is right and there is wrong and there is that murky gray area in-between. And yet, it is all a matter of perspective. Where lines are drawn and on which side things are placed is entirely dependent upon the person in question. And that's okay. I understand that, I accept that. But when people define their lines in one breath... then move them to suit their situation in the next... I call bullshit. Moral high ground affords a terrific view, but it's lonely up there when nobody will stand by your hypocritical ass.

• Clarification. No, that wasn't about you.

• Foggy. There's a lot of fog out tonight. I do not like fog...

Foggy Town

• Sullified. Thanks to Dan, I now have Sully both at home and at work. My new Sully is very cool because he comes with his own Mike Wazowski...

Sully and Mike Plush

• Experienced. Memes, once the backbones of most every blog on the internet, have been dying a slow death. I did a grand total of six last year, and half of those were in the first quarter. But every once in a while they pop up, so I thought I'd jump on the "Have You Experienced..." meme which I first saw at Badger Meets World, then again at Anyhoo... As always, to spare the meme-haters out there, I've dropped it in an extended entry.

Now back to a very busy week, already in progress...

→ Click here to continue reading this entry...

   

Bullet Sunday 116

Posted on Sunday, January 18th, 2009

Dave!It's back to foggy, freezy, Central Washington for another edition of Bullet Sunday!

• Flying. No, I am not more nervous about flying after the emergency landing by US Airways into the Hudson River. Statistically speaking, flying is still one of the safest ways to travel, and one of the safest activities you can do, period. I am more nervous walking across the street while dumbasses are out there driving while being distracted by their mobile phones. And this is not idle speculation. I've lost count over the number of times somebody has nearly nailed me, my car, or my motorcycle because they were driving without paying attention. I'll take flying any day. Every day.

I'd be remiss if I didn't point out the obvious... everybody on that flight is still alive.

• Player. I don't have a lot of free time. What little free time I do have is spent in Animal Crossing...

Dave Crossing

Apparently I have nothing better to do with my personal life than this...

Dave and Bad Monkey playing Wii

I don't know whether this is something to celebrate or apologize for. I owe myself a lot of apologies lately.

• Polaroid. Even in this age of digital photography... I still shoot film from time to time. There are things that digital cameras simply cannot capture in a way that the chemical reaction of film is able to. And one of the most fun ways of playing with film is the immediate satisfaction of a Polaroid instant film picture. Except Polaroid discontinued making instant film in June of last year. I find it kind of sad that future generations won't know the joy of it all. But, fortunately for everybody, The Impossible Project has come to save us. A group of Polaroid fans have purchased the manufacturing equipment from Polaroid, and signed a lease on an old Polaroid factory in the Netherlands. They anticipate producing new instant film for legacy Polaroid camera equipment starting 2010. I will be first in line to purchase some. If you'd like to show your support for the project, you can sign up for updates at their site.

DAVETOON Polaroid Photo

• Trust. There is no substitute for an impartial, trusted review. None. When I am wanting to buy something, the first thing I do is research it on the internet... and completely disregard any glowing 100% positive reviews left by an untrusted source. This story about Belkin paying for positive reviews is why. It's far better to learn what problems people are having than what they are loving, because that's about the only thing guaranteed to be real. At some point, companies are going to have to fucking learn that you can't manipulate the internet and live to tell about it. In the age of blogs, the truth will prevail. Eventually. And, on that note, let me reiterate for anybody doing a Google search... The Hewlett-Packard B9180 printer is the biggest pile of shit I have ever owned... twice.

• Star Walk. For anybody with an iPod Touch or iPhone who has even a passing interest in stargazing or exploring the universe, you are in for a treat. Vito Technology has created a stunning piece of star map software called Star Walk.

I don't know whether to be more amazed that such a beautiful piece of software runs so amazingly well on my iPhone... or that they're only charging $4.99 to buy it! The zoomable interface is very elegant, and looks like this...

Star Walk Screenshot

And, of course, you can switch to night-mode, which looks like this...

Star Walk Screenshot

When you zoom in using the iPhone's multi-touch screen, details from the built-in celestial database begin to appear over stars, planets, galaxies, and deep space objects of interest (note the cool lens flare from the sun!)...

Star Walk Screenshot

Tapping an object selects it. If you then tap the "info" button, it brings up relevant information in a very cool Star Trek "PADD" kind of interface, complete with nifty beeps and boops! The iPhone mute settings are respected, so sounds can be muted if you wish to explore in silence...

Star Walk Screenshot

It's apps like this that make owning an iPhone so compelling. You can buy it from the iTunes Store here.

If only it wasn't completely overcast out so I could even look at the stars.

Except on my iPhone.

And in Animal Crossing, which is where I'm off to now...

Categories: Bullet Sunday 2009Click To It: Permalink  9 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Bullet Sunday 117

Posted on Sunday, January 25th, 2009

Dave!'Tis once again time to unleash the bullets on this fine Sunday evening!

• Export. It's kind of an annual tradition for me to leave the country for my birthday. It started as a way to escape people wanting to throw me a party, but eventually just became habit (last year I went to Oslo). I had made a decision to skip this year and save the money, but eventually changed my mind. The crappy economy means airfare and hotels can be found cheaper, negating the horrendously shitty value of the US dollar abroad. It's still very expensive, but at least it doesn't require me to sell a kidney. The problem is that I only have a week, which really isn't enough time to explore any of my dream destinations like India or Australia, so where? Perhaps someplace I've been to before so there's no pressure to play tourist and I can just goof around for a few days...

• Dave Britain. And so Davedon and Davenburgh are on for March...

Davedon 2009

Davenburgh 2009

LONDON: I will be in London March 19-23rd & 25th. Since weekends seem to be easier for a blogger-meet, I'm thinking an early dinner on Saturday the 21st would be nice. If you'd rather meet up for lunch or dinner some other time, just let me know!

EDINBURGH: I will be in Edinburgh March 24-25 (UPDATE: This has been changed from the original Sunday date so as not to conflict with "Mothering Sunday" in the UK). I'm thinking we could have a blogger-meet after working hours on Tuesday the 24th.

If meeting up with some bloggers in either city sounds good to you, just drop me an email... my address is in the sidebar on every page!

• Twenty-Five. This weekend is the 25th anniversary of the Apple Macintosh personal computer. I find it sweetly ironic that a fucktard like Michael Dell was trashing Apple publicly only a few years ago, saying that the company should close up shop and give their money back to the stockholders. You can hardly blame him though... with Apple out of the picture, his ugly-ass Dell computer crap wouldn't look so tragic by comparison. But thanks to continuing innovations with Mac OS X and their massive hits with iPods and iPhones, Apple is doing just fine. And trading about $80 higher per share than Dell. Many congratulations to my favorite fruit-themed computer company!

• OBAMA! I had been passing along a link to some hilarious products shots for the Obama Action Figure, and was dismayed to find that they've since been removed. Fortunately, I still have a few of them archived on my MacBook. I'm going to post them here so I won't lose them, because they're pretty bad-ass...

Obama Action Figure: NINJA SWORDS!!
Seriously, wouldn't you feel better about having a president with ninja skills?

Obama Action Figure: PISTOL!!
Obama getting ready to pop a cap in some Congressman's ass for not voting properly.

Obama Action Figure: LIGHT SABER!!
The Force is strong with Obama-Wan Kenobi!

Obama Action Figure: MACHINE GUN!!
A president who isn't afraid of taking care of bidness!

I wants me the Obama doll... but the DID Corporation site doesn't offer much help.

   

And thus concludes another Bullet Sunday. Next week my bullets will be fired from Germany, where hopefully I'll have donuts to blog about...

Categories: Bullet Sunday 2009Click To It: Permalink  24 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Bullet Sunday 118 – Day Two: Cologne

Posted on Sunday, February 1st, 2009

Dave!I'm pretty exhausted, so this Bullet Sunday may or may not make sense.

In other words, it's the same as every other day here at Blogography.

• Approval. If you were reading my blog last year around this time, you might remember Disapproving Man. He lived in a window I passed every time I walk to or from my hotel here in Cologne. On my way to work... he's there. Back from work... he's there. Out to dinner... he's there. He's always there. Always looking at me with that disapproving smirk, mocking me...

Disapproving Man

Well now Disapproving Man has been replaced by Disapproving WOMAN! Just look at her! She has that exact same smirk on her face...

Disapproving Woman says "You could never satisfy me sexually"

What a bastard she is! I don't know how I'm going to survive her glare of judgement first thing every morning!

• Psychotic. You may also remember that last year I got an official Kölner Karneval scarf. I wore it even though there was a clown on the thing because it made me look totally hot...

Dave Scarf

This year the scarf is even more terrifying. The clown isn't just scary, he's psychotic-scary. And not psychotic-scary in a good way either... it's more of a "I eat baby kittens and light things on fire" kind of pedophile psychotic-scary...

Psycho Clown Scarf

• Parenthood. Last Wednesday while I was at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport waiting for my suitcase to arrive, I saw a baby trailing along behind her mother with a bottle in one hand, struggling to keep up. The mother wasn't paying attention because she was busy talking on her mobile phone. The baby wasn't too steady on her feet, and as she tried to move faster and faster to catch up with her mom, she lost her balance and face-planted on the floor. The mother turned around when she heard her baby crying, walked back to where she was, reached down and jerked her up by her arm, snatched the bottle off the floor, then proceeded to scream at the poor thing with "I'M ON THE PHONE!!"

Throughout the entire ordeal the only time she stopped talking on her mobile was to yell at her kid.

I was about as angry as I've ever been, and felt like shouting "SHE'S JUST A BABY AND DOESN'T UNDERSTAND YOUR SCREAMING YOU STUPID BITCH! TRY PAYING ATTENTION TO YOUR KID SO SHE DOESN'T KILL HERSELF TRYING TO KEEP UP WITH YOUR IGNORANT ASS!!!" And then I would have bitch-slapped the fucking idiot so hard her lips would have flown off. Why have a child if you're so self-absorbed that you aren't going to pay attention to it, then punish it for something that's your fault? Seriously. Mother of the year.

Anyway, after work today I wanted pizza, so I walked down Hohe Straße to get a slice from a shop I like there. It's Sunday, so most everything is closed, but I thought I'd walk around a bit anyways just to see what's new.

Once I got to the Lego Store, I turned around to head back, and noticed a man with a small child heading towards me. The little guy was trudging along like a champ as the father pointed out things in the shop windows for him to look at along the way. The man was very patient, taking small steps so the child could walk at a comfortable pace, and holding his hand the entire time.

It was hard not to compare this to my experience at the airport earlier this week, and it brought a smile to my face knowing that there are still parents out there who give a shit...

Parent and Child Walking

It reminds me of a line that Keanu Reaves has in the movie Parenthood which goes something like this... "You need a license to buy a dog or drive a car. Hell, you even need a license to catch a fish. But any asshole can be a parent." How true it is.

• Shitty. I'd just like to state for the record that the SwissCom wireless I'm paying ridiculous money for is sucking copious amounts of ass. The signal completely drops out every 5 to 10 minutes, which is really inconvenient while you're trying to coordinate work with your computer back home. If it were free, I wouldn't have much cause to complain, but it's something like 17 Euros a night, which is over $20 in US money. That's pretty heinous, even when the service is flawless, but the fact that it's complete shit is almost too much to bear.

And, on that note, I'm going to re-connect to the internet (AGAIN) so I can upload this nonsense and get to bed.

Tomorrow, there may be candy...

Categories: Bullet Sunday 2009Click To It: Permalink  23 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Bullet Sunday 119

Posted on Sunday, February 8th, 2009

Dave!This probably won't get posted until Monday given that I'm traveling all day, but oh well.

• Clueless. One of the comments I got when I had blogged about being in Mallorca and mentioned it had rained for a few hours that afternoon went something like this: "HA HA HA HA HOPE YOUR ENJOYING GETTIN DRUNCHED WITH RAIN IN SPAIN HA HA HA HA!" When stuff like this happens, I never know exactly how to interpret it, so I just delete the comment and that's the end of it. Except this time the person kept coming back again and again to leave the same comment, which I kept deleting. Finally I got an email from him saying "I think your comments are broken because mine aren't showing up." Uh huh. How do you email a clue?

• Comforted. For domestic flights, I usually get upgraded to First Class because I fly a lot and am special like that. But they don't upgrade you on international flights, which is where you'd most want to be upgraded because they're so darn long. Ten hours in a tiny seat squished next to another tiny seat is just not fun. Which brings me to my question of the day... exactly how small and unbearable can they make coach seats before they just end up strapping you to a milk crate? After an hour, you're hurting. After ten, you're praying for death. The seats are unbelievable uncomfortable, and should be banned under the Geneva Convention as a device of torture. I would gladly pay $100 extra to have even a small amount of personal space and a decent place to sit. Where is the airline that services the "PLEASE GOD LET THE HORROR OF AIRPLANE TRAVE END!" market?

• Robbed. On the plane-ride back to The States, one of the many movies playing in the entertainment system was The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. This is one of those polarizing films that you either love because it's so beautifully crafted and touching... or hate because it could be considered exploitative and simplistic. I love the film, and watched it again even though I had already seen it twice. Once it was over, I wondered for the thousandth time why the two lead actors, Asa Butterfield as Bruno and Jack Scanlon as Shmuel, were overlooked at the Oscars. Was it because they were kids? I dunno. Because, in all honesty, they easily had the two most powerful performances I've seen in a film all year. The movie was also one of the most beautifully shot, but it wasn't nominated for Best Cinematography either. Typical...

Boy in the Striped Pajamas Promo Shot

Asa Butterfield as Bruno

Jack Scanlon as Shmuel

• Analog. Sorry, but Obama is getting off to a pretty shitty start with me. After our government has already delayed the transition from analog to digital television broadcasting for YEARS, we finally got a four-year deadline of February 17th, 2009 so all the feet-dragging citizens would have an incentive to join the 20th century. But then, thanks to Obama begging Congress to extend the deadline, it's been extended. I am so sick of this stupid shit. Like what... now they're going to set a NEW deadline saying "this time we really mean it" and expect people to take it seriously? Procrastinators are just going to keep ignoring the transition until they're televisions stop working. And that's what it's going to take... whether it's in one week or one year. SO MAKE THEIR FUCKING TELEVISIONS STOP WORKING! These delays are costing us millions and won't make any difference. If this "delay until it goes away" bullshit is indicative of how Obama is going to handle the infinitely more serious problems the USA is facing, we're all fucked. Politics as usual, I see.

And now I wait for my final connecting flight home.

Categories: Bullet Sunday 2009Click To It: Permalink  13 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Bullet Sunday 120

Posted on Sunday, February 15th, 2009

Dave!At long last... Bullet Sunday at home. Imagine that!

&bull Dolly. Okay, I just have to get this out of the way... if the first issue of Joss Whedon's new series is any indication as to what we're in for... Dollhouse is going to suck total ass. This pains me greatly, because I have been looking forward to a new Whedon series forever. After Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and the amazing Firefly, he teased us with Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, which was sheer genius. It was as if he could not fail. But then along comes Dollhouse, which has to be one of the most boring hours of television I've ever suffered through. Eliza Dushku stars as lead "doll" Echo who had her mind wiped so she could be programmed with different personalities and training, which she then uses to undertake missions for a mysterious company. Now the premise... a hot girl who can become anybody to do a job... had definite possibilities. The reality? Boring. Boring. Boring. The most exciting action in the entire episode was when Dushku's character had an asthma attack. What the hell? I was wishing I had a Dollhouse mind-wipe half-way through the show. Things had better improve a lot in the next installment. Eliza is hot, but not hot enough to keep me watching a shitty, boring TV show...

Eliza Dushku cavorting with blank manequins.

• Snowy. It's been snowing all day. I am really, really tired of snow.

• Poopy. While I was in Mallorca, I saw this confusing sign...

Icon photo of a man behind a dog with... something.

I can't decide if he's waiting for something to come OUT of the dog so he can clean it up... or if he's going to put something UP the dog. Like a bottle of Goldschläger...

Goldschlager Bottle

Icon picture of a man with a Goldschlager bottle behind a dog

Poor doggie. That's just wrong.

• Snowy. It's been snowing all day. Have I mentioned that I am really, really tired of snow?

Now, for some inexplicable reason, I'm really tired (that almost never happens!) so I think I'll turn in early for bed.

Categories: Bullet Sunday 2009Click To It: Permalink  18 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Bullet Sunday 121

Posted on Sunday, February 22nd, 2009

Dave!

Bullet Holes

   

Categories: Bullet Sunday 2009Click To It: Permalink  22 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Bullet Sunday 122

Posted on Sunday, March 1st, 2009

Dave!Ever since I got over being sick, I've spent every waking minute getting caught up on work. Because of that, I don't have much for Bullet Sunday except some stuff I saw while I was confined to bed this past week...

• Guy. Just when you think that The Family Guy isn't very funny anymore, they have Peter's obscenely wealthy father-in-law invite Bill Gates to a party...

Family Guy iPod vs. Zune

"Hey Bill, would you help me program my Zune? Oh... wait... I have an iPod, LIKE THE REST OF THE WORLD!"

BWAH HA HA HAAAA! It's so funny because it's true!

• Mode. In preparation for the imminent release of Depeche Mode's new album Sounds of the Universe on April 21st, I've been watching all the production videos posted at their website. In one of them, I was pleasantly surprised to see a NO ON PROP 8 sign in the background...

Depeche Mode in the Studio with a NO ON PROP 8 Sign

I guess when Depeche Mode sings "People Are People" it's more than just words in a song to them...

So we're different colours and were different creeds,
And different people have different needs.
It's obvious you hate me though I've done nothing wrong,
I've never even met you so what could I have done?
I can't understand what makes a man hate another man,
Help me understand.
People are people so why should it be,
You and I should get along so awfully?

• Mode2. In other DM news, the disturbing video for the first single, Wrong, has been released. Since MTV doesn't play music videos anymore, here it is...

• Shop. As if it wasn't enough that Depeche Mode has a new album coming out, The Pet Shop Boys are also releasing a new album, Yes, on March 23rd. A very cool video for their first single, Love, Etc., has also been released...

And, in case you missed their awesome appearance at The Brit Awards with a guest appearance by Brandon Flowers from The Killers, here's that as well...

I have no idea what Chris was thinking with that stupid pink wig, but the performance was brilliant.

• Dollies. Three episodes in, and I am still not much of a fan of Joss Whedon's Dollhouse. It's surprisingly boring. About the only thing that will have me tuning in again next week is the final 15 seconds of the show, which was kind of a WTF? moment. Everything else? Boring. Or infuriating. Mostly because there's one character on the show who drives me bat-shit insane... the tech guy "Topher"...

Topher

I think what Joss was going for was a character like "Xander" from Buffy The Vampire Slayer. He was kind of geeky-nerdy, but in an entertaining and lovable way that complimented the rest of the cast. Overall a great addition to the show...

Xander

But instead what we got was a retread of "Marshall" from Alias. A "genius" who somehow manages to be a complete fucking dumbass at the same time. He acts stupid. He talks stupid. He's a whiny annoyance whose only benefit on the show is to give you somebody to want dead...

Marshall

As if that tired cliche wasn't bad enough, Whedon recycled Agent Fox Mulder from the X-Files to create Agent Paul Ballard. In order to make the character sympathetic to the audience, Ballard is a brilliant lone wolf whose obsession with the Dollhouse makes him an object of ridicule by other FBI agents. But here's the problem... the audience already knows Ballard is right and the Dollhouse exists, so the humiliation of the character is pointless. It doesn't make the character any more sympathetic, it makes the FBI out to be an agency of total morons. Ballard is obviously very good at his job, so where are the agents saying "Hey, Paul, any luck tracking down this Dollhouse thing? Anything I can do to help?" Too logical, I guess. In interviews, Tahmoh Penikett says it takes 5 or 6 episodes for the show to find its footing... I hope the show isn't cancelled before then. Because with Alan Tudyk (Wash!) set to play the rogue Dollhouse killer "Alpha," better days seem to be just around the corner. At least I hope so, because Dollhouse is sucking ass so far.

   

And now... I'm off to finish up re-reading Watchmen for the hundredth time. Because, weather permitting, I'll be seeing the movie this Friday and I want to make sure I have the source material fresh in my head.

Categories: Bullet Sunday 2009Click To It: Permalink  23 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Bullet Sunday 124

Posted on Sunday, March 15th, 2009

Dave!Another Bullet Sunday. Another desperate scramble to get a blog entry written so I can attack another item on my to-do list...

• ACTA. To say that I am disappointed in the Obama Administration for their draconian secrecy surrounding the "Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement" is an understatement. I am thoroughly disgusted. So much for "transparency in government." The potential for misuse of ACTA is truly frightening, and yet nobody seems to care. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Not that I'd expect anything better from a McCain Administration, but Obama is the one who made all those transparency promises.

• United Kingdom. Tomorrow I'll be making lanyards for the meet-ups in London and Edinburgh... so time is running out to get on the list! If you're going to be in London on Saturday, March 21st or Edinburgh on Tuesday, March 24th, please email Dave Spice ASAP! (my email address is in the sidebar)...

DAVETOON: Dave Spice

• Blogiversary. The economy woes are really wrecking havoc with the plans I've got going for my kick-ass Blogiversary VI Celebration coming this April. One company raised their prices substantially mid-way through development. Another company who was working on what would have been my most favorite prize item ever disappeared off the face of the earth this past week. I was concerned when emails and phone calls stopped being returned. I was worried when the phone was disconnected. But I was freaking out when I finally made contact with a neighboring business and was told that the offices had been abandoned. The deposit I made to start the project was relatively small, so losing my money isn't my major concern. No, coming up with something new to replace it is the thing that troubles me. It's crushing to have your dreams dashed by factors outside your control.

• Postcard. Ooh! My postcard from Lynne arrived! And it's got a cool Orang Utan on it...

Malaysia Postcard

• Bailed. Am I the only one who thinks that somebody needs to be shot in the balls every time I hear the word "bailout" and "executive bonuses" in the same sentence? Seriously... shotgun to the fucking testicles (or ovaries, for the XY-challenged).

   

And now it's time to get back to work for a few hours. My time until takeoff to the United Kingdom is rushing by...

   

Bullet Sunday 125

Posted on Sunday, March 29th, 2009

Dave!Let's see how this goes when I'm doped up on Percocet, the miracle drug...

• Drugs. I am totally fascinated how I can be in agony one minute, take a pill, then feel nothing a half-hour later. How does it do that? Well, thanks to the internet, I now know that the ingredients in Percocet both prevent the brain from getting the message that there is pain, AND prevents the pain impulses from forming in the first place. Weird. All this miraculous science, and yet they still don't have a pill to cure stupid.

• McFlurry. As I returned from Edinburgh, I saw that McDonalds had a sign up advertising their new "Cadbury Cream Egg McFlurry." Naturally, I had to try it. The end result wasn't that impressive...

Cadburymcflurry

From the looks of things, they drop in some chocolate flake (which was mostly all stuck together in mine) then squirt in some random dots of yellow goop to make the "yolk" of the egg. At times, you actually get the cream egg taste... but, for the most part, it's just vanilla ice cream with an occasional chocolate bit. A great idea that pretty much fails on execution.

• No. The release date for the Pet Shop Boys' new album, Yes, was March 23rd in the UK... nearly a full month earlier than the USA release date of April 21st. In this day and age of online music sharing, this is profoundly idiotic. Whenever I see stupid crap like this, it makes me wonder if record labels are actively trying to lose money. HELPFUL HINT TO THE RECORDING INDUSTRY: If your customers don't have a way of purchasing what they want, they do have other options... most of which don't involve you getting any money.

• Yes. Since I was in the UK on release day, I was able to buy a copy of the Deluxe 2-CD Edition of Yes from the HMV at Victoria Station...

Petshopyesetc

Yes is a fantastic album that is my favorite Pet Shop Boys releases since 1993's Very. The penultimate track, "The Way It Used To Be", is one of the best songs they've ever released (having that "melancholy yet hopeful" feel to it that the Pet Shop Boys excel at). The only misstep is the final track "Legacy" which is so awful that one has to wonder if they put it on the album as a joke. The second CD of the Deluxe version has mostly remixes, but there's also a new track called "This Used to be The Future" which features additional vocals by Phil Oakey (from the Human League), and is well worth the extra money. If you're a Pet Shop fan, this album is a must-buy. If you're not, you may still want to give it a listen, because it's a pretty amazing pop album.

• Thanks! And lastly, a big thank you to everybody who so generously gave up their valuable time to hang out with me while I was in the UK. It was fantastic to see all of you... Perry, Andre, Penelope, Dutchy, Dave, Bec, Anthony, Paul, and Andy... and hopefully we can meet up again one day soon!

Blargh. Another hour of work, then I need a nap.

Categories: Bullet Sunday 2009Click To It: Permalink  13 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Bullet Sunday 127

Posted on Sunday, April 12th, 2009

Dave!To those who celebrate (or just like bunnies and chocolate) Happy Easter on this fine Bullet Sunday!

• Eggo. For Boiled Egg Day this year, I'm guest-blogging over at Hilly-Sue's place. I'd go there immediately, because it's far more interesting than anything you'll find here (though I've now archived the post in an extended entry).

• Apples. Knowing that Apple can be so good at so many things, it always shocks me at the regularity of their massive failures. Today I wanted to buy a couple of iPhone apps at their iTunes Music Store. But no matter which of my FOUR credit cards I tried, it always tells me that the "Security Code is Incorrect." And, of course, I can't find a phone number to call and get it straightened out. Instead I have to root around their website for twenty minutes until I find an email form. Epic Fail...

iTunes Fuckers!

• Dolls. After waiting through a half-dozen shitastically horrible and altogether boring episodes of Dollhouse I prepared myself for "good" episodes that everybody said would follow. Well, here we are at episode #9 and it's still a boring pile of crap. And that's being generous, because it's also one of the most annoying shows on television... all because of tech-nerd dumbass "Topher" who has to be one of the worst characters ever unleashed on television...

Topher FAIL!

Seriously... I never thought anything could top David Caruso's gag-inducing "Horatio Cane" on CSI: Miami, but here we are. "Topher" has convinced me that genius show-runner Joss Whedon has either A) Completely lost his mind, or B) Is actually a total genius who is intentionally making Topher a whiny, annoying, bumbling tool so he can add a major twist to the show by ultimately revealing that Topher's character is a complete sham, and "Topher" is actually the man behind the entire Dollhouse organization (or something equally shocking). In any case, I spend every minute Topher is on screen wishing that he would die and take this awful excuse for a television show with him. Joss Whedon's speciality is writing deep, fully-realized and complex characters that interact in utterly fascinating group dynamics. Dollhouse features none of these strengths, giving us erasable, shallow, interchangeable characters that don't interact in any way that's even remotely interesting. Perhaps he's planning on eventually getting this show to a place where it's worth watching, but he's taking way to long to get there and I don't feel like being tortured anymore. BRING BACK SERENITY!!!

• Cupid. It is well documented here that my favorite show ever to air on television was Cupid, starring Jeremy Piven and Paula Marshall. Thanks to gross mishandling by ABC, the show was never given a chance to find an audience, and it was brutally and unfairly canceled. Sad, yes, but show creator Rob Thomas went on to create Veronica Mars, the second greatest show ever to air on television, so I eventually managed to grieve and move on. Except when it was announced that Rob Thomas was being given a second shot at launching Cupid, but this time without Jeremy Piven and Paula Marshall. Going in, I knew it wouldn't approach the greatness of the original, but I held faith it would at least be good television. It's Rob Thomas, after all. Unfortunately, after suffering through two episodes, I find that the re-imagined copy falls flat. The two leads never even come close to the energetic interplay and chemistry that Paula and Jeremy had. Furthermore, Jeremy Piven infused Trevor with a sense of wonder that made it seem as if he might really BE Roman god of love, Cupid, newly stranded on earth... whereas Bobby Cannavale just seems like a slightly creepy scammer who is pretending to be imagining to be Cupid for some unknown purpose. Sarah Paulson (who was great on Studio 60) seems to be playing Claire completely passionless and emotionally void, which defeats the purpose of her character. Please, please, please, PLEASE won't somebody release the brilliant original series on DVD?!? Or, even if you don't want to go to that kind of expense, could you at LEAST release in on iTunes so people can buy it digitally? The show is entirely too important to be left sitting on a shelf somewhere...

Cupid Cool!

• Cougar. And since I'm on a television kick here... JUST when I think that television can't get any more stupid, here comes a new piece of reality show shit called The Cougar where an older woman gets to weed through a bunch of younger guys "Bachelor-style" until she finds her "true love." I wonder how much these people get paid to whore their lovelife out for television entertainment? And I definitely use the word "entertainment" loosely...

Cougar Whore!

And now I should really do something about my taxes. I think they're due soon.

→ Click here to continue reading this entry...

   

Bullet Sunday 128

Posted on Sunday, April 19th, 2009

Dave!It's a beautiful day this Bullet Sunday... which I spent indoors working my ass off and re-watching Veronica Mars on DVD. Man how I miss that show.

• Follow Me. What am I missing with the whole "FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER" deal? It seems everyone and their dog is whoring themselves out to get more followers in the social media game and I don't understand why. Ashton Kutcher has been all over the place with his march to a million followers, but but seeing an ad for him on a local billboard while I was driving into Wenatchee the other day shocked the hell out of me...

Follow Ashton Billboard

For a Hollywood star with movies to promote and stuff to sell, I get it. You want to be relevant in a whole new realm of influence with the populace. But everyday average people? What do they get out of it? Who cares how many followers you have? Will my life suddenly become more fabulous if I get a thousand followers? Oh well, 95% of the stuff on Twitter is crap or spam anyway. The more the merrier.

&bull Dumbass Quotient. Speaking of Twitter spam... are people so fucking stupid that they are still clicking on links for generic viagra and penis enlargers and other moronic crap? I'd imagine they are, because why else would spammers waste their time of something that doesn't work? It's getting to the point where I can't even blame spammers anymore... they're just trying to make a buck. It's the total dumb-fucks that actually buy stuff from spammers that are the real problem. If people weren't so astronomically brain-dead as to make spamming profitable, we wouldn't have a problem. I just loathe these stupid-ass people who fuck up the internet for the rest of us... they shouldn't even BE on the internet in the first place.

&bull Undead Poultry. LeSombre nominated me for a Zombie Chicken award, which comes with all kinds of rules you have to follow. Since I'm not much of an award guy and didn't follow any of them, I am expecting to be attacked by zombified poultry any minute now...

Zombie Chickens

• On Film. With all the flying I've been doing lately, I've been watching quite a few movies. I even made it to the theater on Friday, which was the second time this year! Monsters vs. Aliens - So good it's good. Crank 2: High Voltage - So bad it's good. The Spirit - So bad it's bad. Twilight - So very bad it's horrendous. The Day The Earth Stood Still (2008) - So far beyond bad that we need to come up with new words to describe just how fucking awful this piece of shit "remake" is. There are some great-looking flicks coming up but, given my luck lately, I'm a little bit afraid to go see them.

• Flame War. In general, I find "humor" sites to be pretty much hit-or-miss. But every once in a while I come across something so incredibly genius that I can't help but link to it. College Humor has a brilliant parody of the Billy Joel song We Didn't Start The Fire called We Didn't Start The Flame War (language makes this one not quite safe for work). Once I got past the hilariousness of the video, I kept watching again and again because of how frickin' beautiful the animation is. All the words come alive as they hit the screen, and somebody put in a lot of time to make that happen. Not bad for a humor video...

We Didn't Start the Flame War

We Didn't Start the Flame War

We Didn't Start the Flame War

But it's the inclusion of the ROFL COPTER that seals the deal...

We Didn't Start the Flame War

And now it's back to work. I should be able to go for another hour before dropping into a coma.

   

Bullet Sunday 130

Posted on Sunday, May 3rd, 2009

Dave!It's a full-blown epidemic edition of Bullet Sunday!

• Mapping. Ooh! I almost forgot that I've got another state checked off my Travel Map! Now there's only North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, and Oklahoma left to go. One of these years I'm going to have to just bite the bullet, fly into Fargo, get a one-way car rental, drive down to Tulsa, then fly home. Allowing for a one-day detour to Mount Rushmore, I could do it in three or four days. One more thing to add to my list.

Dave USA Travel Map

   

• Jacked. The annual Apple Blossom Festival came to town this weekend. And, while I gave up on celebrating the event a long time ago, there's still one Apple Blossom tradition I feel compelled to embrace... CRACKER JACKS!!!

Bag of Cracker Jacks

But something has gone terribly wrong. Right on the front of the bag, it asks you to guess what the surprise might be inside. When I was younger and Cracker Jack had awesome prizes, I might have had a shot at this. Maybe it would be a little plastic truck. Or a magnifying glass. Or even a book of sweet ink tattoos. But TODAY? All the prizes they give out are shit...

Surprise Inside!

Now, please tell me how the fuck could I have ever guessed a "pencil topper" that's nothing but a piece of slotted paper with a crappy drawing of cartoon bees on it? NOTE TO CRACKER JACK COMPANY: A PENCIL TOPPER WOULD GO ON TOP OF THE PENCIL. THIS IS A FUCKING PENCIL SLIDER. Or whatever...

Stupid Pencil "Topper" Pile of Crap

   

• Chuks. My post from Thursday was half-way understood by half the people commenting on it. While it's probably a mistake to try and explain what goes on in my head, I'll give it a shot...

In the cinematic masterpiece, Dune (directed by über-genius David Lynch), there's a big battle at the end where the oppressed Fremen warriors rise up against the Galactic Emperor by riding giant worms into a sneak attack...

Giant Worms of Dune

In addition to mowing down soldiers with their giant worms, the Fremen also have a sound-activated guns called a "weirding modules." When they scream certain sounds, the guns shoot out a pretty blast of light that blows shit up...

Fremen Shooting their Modules

When I saw the film in the theater waaaayyy back in 1984, it was at our shitty local cinema which has horrible sound. Every time the Fremen screamed into their weirding module, I could have sworn that they were saying "INYUK CHUK!" Starting with Rachel, the replicant from Bladerunner...

Chani Shooting her Module

And Captain Jean Luc Picard from Star Trek: The Next Generation...

Gurney Shooting His Module

And, of course, the Cosmic Messiah of the Dune Universe Himself, Muad Dib...

Paul Shooting His Module

Now, as everybody knows, "INYUK CHUK" is the phrase that Apache Chief on the Super Friends uses to grown into a big man and battle crime. Since Muad Dib has super powers, I kept expecting him to grow into a giant and start kicking some ass...

Apache Chief on Dune
Super-sweet Apache Chief custom action figure by Iron Cow.

How frackin' awesome would THAT have been?

   

• Yikes. Speaking of Dune, isn't Alia the freakiest character ever to appear in in a movie?

Alia Getting Her Freak On

Alia Gom Jabbar

   

• Humor. There's a lot of reason to love Star Wars (well, the originals, not the shitty prequels). And one of my favorites is how LucasFilm has no problem poking fun at the franchise. Not only by allowing others to take a shot at Star Wars parody (like the recent brilliance by Family Guy and Robot Chicken)... but the wonderful way they make fun of themselves. If you're a fan, StarWars.com has some beautiful posters for Disney's "Star Wars Weekends" on display. Here's two, but there are many more that are well worth checking out...

Star Wars Poster

Star Wars Poster

   

And now it's time for dinner. I'll be having rice tacos tonight. RICE TACOS WITH CHEESE!

   

Bullet Sunday 132

Posted on Sunday, May 17th, 2009

Dave!It's a heatstroke edition of Bullet Sunday!

• Weather. I wish I handled the heat better. As it is, Summer is a season of misery for me. My only consolation is that I handle the cold of Winter even worse. I'm still searching for a magical place where it's Springtime year 'round.

• EMS. It's National Emergency Medical Services Week this week! Many thanks to those who devote their lives to helping others...

DAVETOON: Lil' Dave EMS Guy

• Hawkes. I'm freakish in that when I hear a song I immediately associate it with any movie or television it might have appeared in. While watching the latest episode of Graham Norton, Chesney Hawkes made a surprise appearance to sing his biggest hit The One and Only (which, so far as I know, was his one and only hit). This immediately made me want to grab my Doc Hollywood DVD off the shelf and watch it for the hundredth time (Chesney plays over the opening credits). I love cinema "comfort food"... those films you've seen so often that you can just melt away in them...

Doc Hollywood Poster

One of the (many) amazing things about this movie (other than seeing Julie Warner naked) is that Michael J. Fox was given his Parkinson's Disease diagnosis shortly before filming. He made the entire film after receiving about the worst news you could get health-wise, and yet you'd never know it. On top of being a good actor, he's a total professional. I wonder how many other Hollywood actors could have done the same?

• Courtesy. A couple months ago my credit card number was stolen and I had to cancel my card. My mobile service at AT&T didn't bother to contact me when they couldn't bill the old card... but they were absolutely kind enough to send me an email notifying me that I'm being turned over to collection when they failed two times in a row. I don't get it. Obviously they have me email address... why not notify me of the problem when they first ran into trouble? Why wait until it's a big mess before they do anything? This is stupid on a level of stupid that transcends stupid. It's almost as if they want their customers to fail to pay their bills. Maybe they like charging late payment fees? I dunno. Sure makes for incredibly shitty customer service though.

And now I'm going to go back to sitting on my air conditioner.

Categories: Bullet Sunday 2009Click To It: Permalink  15 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Bullet Sunday 135

Posted on Sunday, June 7th, 2009

Dave!Sometimes, one is all it takes...

DAVETOON: Lil' Dave is James Bond

   

   

   

Bullet Sunday 136

Posted on Sunday, June 14th, 2009

Dave!Yargh. I have to get ready for my flight back to Seattle, so I suppose this will have to be a quickie Bullet Sunday!

• My Happiest Moments at ConFab... That would be all the people showing me they had the Ask Dave! app installed on their iPhone. Somebody (sorry, I don't remember who!) suggested that I do one of my "Behind the Scenes" entries about the app, which is a great idea. I'll try to find time for that later this week.

Ask Dave! App Ad

   

• My Scariest Moment at ConFab... That would be when Becky whipped a knife out to cut apart the tattoos. Note to self: Becky is totally prepared to cut a bitch for reals, so it is probably best not to piss her off...

Hello Ha Ha Knife

   

• My Ego-Crushing Moment at ConFab... That would be when Hilly-Sue went around dubbing people cool enough to hang out with her. ..

Hilly Dubs Laci Cool Enough

Hilly Dubs John Cool Enough

I was never dubbed cool enough. =sob!= I choose to believe it's because I am so totally awesome that such a thing would be redundant.

   

• My Best Conversation at ConFab... Somebody had remarked that they wanted to use Karl's picture of his ass as their iPhone desktop background because it says "kiss it!," and they could flash it as needed to people who piss them off. Oddly enough, since Karl took the photo with his iPhone, it's perfectly sized...

Karl's Ass as iPhone Wallpaper

Later that evening...

(POLICE CAR SIREN GOES BY)
DAVE: Quick, hide the drugs!
GUY ACROSS THE DECK: We have drugs?
DAVE: I think somebody brought heroin, but they forgot the surgical tubing so nobody got to shoot up.
HILLY-SUE: We could just snort it.
DAVE: But this table has holes in it! (it was wire patio furniture).
HILLY-SUE: Use your iPhone!
DAVE: But then I'd be snorting heroin off of Karl's ass!

The Twitter stream is even better...

Twitter Thread

   

My Coolest Moment at ConFab... That would be watching Mr. Shiny belt out Meredith Brook's "Bitch" during karaoke and totally owning it...

Shiny Bitch

   

• My Most Uncomfortable Moment at ConFab... That would be the massive bathtub in my hotel room at the DoubleTree Suites. I suppose it's cool if you were going to start up the whirlpool bath, but taking a shower in it is a very lonely experience...

Giant Bathtub!

Hmmm... that doesn't really show how huge this thing is. Here's a baby elephant in that same tub...

Giant Bathtub!

And here's the Statue of Liberty...

Giant Bathtub!

   

• My Greatest Thing To Happen That Wasn't at ConFab... That would be this past week when Betty White appeared on Jimmy Fallon and ended up playing beer pong with him. It only confirms that Betty White is one of the coolest people on earth...

   

And now I supposed I should iron a shirt and take a shower or something. Goodbye Kentucky!

   

Bullet Sunday 137

Posted on Monday, June 22nd, 2009

Dave!It's yet another Bullet Sunday on Monday extravaganza! A happy belated Father's Day to everybody.

• Bedridden. Yesterday I finally got around to doing what I should have done when I wrecked my back last week... I stayed in bed all day in an attempt to let it heal up a bit. This was a last resort, because I'm so buried in work that I can't see daylight, but I think it was worth it. I managed to get some sleep, and this morning was the first time I haven't woken up in agony. If only I could get paid for staying in bed all day.

• Finger. While my ankle and head are back to normal, my finger will be messed up for at least two months. According to Google, the only treatment is to keep it in a splint at all times so that it can heal straight. Luckily, the human brain can adapt to new situations fairly quickly. I'm typing at almost full-speed because my middle and pinky fingers have taken over the keys my mangled finger used to type. About the only time I feel handicapped is when I write or draw because the splint gets in the way. I've ordered a "new & improved" splint which is smaller and more hi-tech, so hopefully that will help. I'm tired of people thinking I'm "special" when I try to sign my name.

• Alice. The first images from Tim Burton's live-action adaptation of Alice in Wonderland are burning up the internet, and with good reason... they look amazing. Rich and vibrant with a kind of dark and twisted slant, I can only hope that this is indicative of how Burton is approaching the material, because it's genius...

Depp Mad Hatter plus Carter Red Queen

   

• Typographical. Knowing my interest in Scotland, my dad let me borrow his copy of Scotland by Magnus Magnusson. The book itself is a pretty good read, but every time I pick it up I want to toss it in a wood-chipper. Can you guess why?

Scotland Book Cover

It's the idiotic lettering in the book title! This is Magnusson's master work on "SCOTLAND," but the title reads more like "SC O TL  A  ND" because whomever is responsible for the design of the cover doesn't know how to kern type...

Scotland Book Cover

What a shame. Just ten seconds of futzing to even out the spacing gives a much easier read with Scotland AS ONE WORD...

Revised Scotland Book Cover

Tragic disrespect for type is all around us, and it drives me bat-shit insane. The latest travesty is the re-branding of Microsoft's "Live Search" to the even more stupidly-named "bing." Ultimately, I don't give a crap what Microsoft wants to call it... but there's nothing so compelling about their search engine that's going to have me switch from saying "Google That Shit!" to "Bing That Shit!" (or whatever). No... what pisses me off is that whomever designed the logo decided to stretch it out to ridiculous lengths...

Totally Shitty Bing Logo

The grotesque distortion of the letterforms looks absurd. A good take on the horror of it all can be found over at Brand New.

   

Lastly, because everybody needs a boost (but mostly because Brian Papa told me to), I'm passing along a new site to check out called CheerUpNation...

CheerUpNation

And now I suppose I'd better get up so I can get ready for work. Fun and excitement await...

   

Bullet Sunday 138

Posted on Sunday, June 28th, 2009

Dave!Another week. Another Bullet Sunday. And this one seems to be inspired by how the vast information available on the internet seems to cause a chain of events from one thing to another.

• LEGO Chain. This started with me getting the latest LEGO catalog in the mail and seeing that they've come up with a third series of Space Police sets. I've been a fan of LEGO since I was very young, but it was when they released the original Space Police that I became insane over those little plastic bricks. What's so amazing is how LEGO keeps innovating and improving on the concept. This time around they've put a real effort into making the minifigs drive the series. The little alien criminals have to be the cutest LEGOs ever...

Lego Space 3 Aliens
Clockwise: Frenzy, Kranxx, Skull Twin, and Squidman.
Photos taken from the awesome shots at No Onion's Flickr Set

Space Police then led to video games when I saw that the catalog also featured an advertisement for their latest effort, LEGO Battles. It seems to be a Real-Time Strategy game that's geared for a younger gamer. Or a gamer like me who loves LEGO video games so much that they'll buy anything that comes out...

Legobattles

I don't know anything about the game play, but the trailer makes me want to buy it immediately...

LEGO Battles led to me remember that I had bought LEGO Indiana Jones and LEGO Batman games for my Wii months ago, but had never even opened the boxes! The last game I had played was LEGO Star Wars, which was ten shades of awesome, so I decided to rip them open and give them a try. As expected, they were absolutely amazing and a lot of fun. Sadly, I don't have time for games, or I could have spent all day playing...

Lego Indiana Jones

Lego Batman

As a major Batman fan, LEGO Batman is a huge favorite. The puzzles are really good, and some of them quite challenging as you attempt to find all the game's secrets. But they don't stop there... not only do you get to play as all the Bat Heroes (including Batgirl!) you can then replay the levels from the villain's perspective! Sweet! A pity the iPhone version isn't nearly as good.

This then led me to wonder which LEGO property would be getting a video game next. Spider-Man? Superman? Nope. Turns out it's LEGO Harry Potter, Years 1-4 coming in 2010. I don't even like Harry Potter, but the trailer has me wanting it...

This led me to wish that they would expand the games outside of licensed properties and explore some of the LEGO favorites like LEGO Pirates and LEGO Space Police... how awesome would that be? Guess I'll have to settle for LEGO Rock Band...

   

• Hollywood Chain. This all started with a tweet by Kevin Smith...

Kevin Smith Twitter

Since Kevin Smith interviews and Kevin Smith talks are about as entertaining as it gets, this immediately grabbed my attention. I didn't even know Kevin Pollak had an internet chat show.

Which led to Kevin Pollak's site. Where I noticed his previous guest was ILLEANA DOUGLAS!! I love Illeana Douglas! She always manages to pop up just when I least expect it, and usually ends up stealing the show. My favorite character of hers would have to be child star turned prostitute turned Hollywood movie executive Wendy Ward in Action! but she's great in everything...

Illeana Douglas

Her interview wsa very interesting (and very long!) but led me to her latest project which, believe it or not, is a series of shorts for IKEA called Easy to Assemble starring Illeana as "herself"... trying to leave Hollywood behind and lead a "normal life" by working at IKEA...

Easy to Assemble Still with Illeana Douglas

This led me to visiting the IKEA site so I could see if they started making those DVD shelves I like again, but they aren't on the site. This is a major bummer, because I can't even remember the IKEA name of the unit so I can call and ask if the store in Seattle has it. Best. DVD. Shelf. Ever. And I need more.

This led me to wondering when Watchmen was coming out on DVD. Turns out the Blu-Ray Director's Cut will hit on July 25th...

Watchmen Blu-Ray

This led me to remember that the Blog-Her conference is on July 25th in Chicago. This led me to wonder if Chicago television show My Boys had been renewed for a fourth season (according to The Futon Critic it hasn't yet). Which led me to wonder if they had at least released the second season of My Boys on DVD (they haven't). Which led me to wanting my IKEA shelves all over again.

   

• Bloggign Chain. This morning I learned that OBNOXIOUSLY LOUD TV PITCH-MAN BILLY MAYS HAD DIED. This led me to look back at my blog entry about him from back in 2007...

BILLY FUCKING MAYS, DAMMIT!!

This led me to remember that it was Bullet Sunday, and I should probably write my entry for the day. So here I am. REST IN PEACE BILLY MAYS!!!

   

Bullet Sunday 139

Posted on Sunday, July 5th, 2009

Dave!Ooh! I almost forgot about Bullet Sunday!

Monkeysoldiers

   

• Click!

• Click!

• Click!

Meh. It's a holiday weekend. I'm empty and can't find any bullets to shoot. I'll try to reload before next Sunday.

   

Bullet Sunday 140

Posted on Sunday, July 12th, 2009

Dave!In news that surprises even me, my head hasn't totally exploded. That makes Bullet Sunday a bit easier...

• Eventful. In catching up with my mail, I discovered that I was invited to a kind of important event. It's one of those things where I have no idea how my name ever got on the guest list, and am certain that if I showed up that they would realize they made a terrible mistake and kick me out immediately. Fortunately, I won't have to risk having my ego crushed... I can't attend because I'm already scheduled for something else that weekend. Probably just as well. I couldn't really blog about it, so what's the point?

• Phooey. Speaking of pointless... Hong Kong Phooey as a live-action movie? Seriously?!? Nobody could come up with anything better to film than this? I'd say that Hollywood is now officially out of ideas.

• Characters. Speaking of Hollywood, it's kind of odd how small it really is. After a while you notice how the same actors keep popping up over and over again in shows and movies. Two of my favorites are Tim Guinee (from Strange World) and Margaret Colin (from Now and Again). They're everywhere...

Tim and Margaret
Tim Guinee photo from Facebook. Margaret Colin photo from LIFE.

It's shocking that these two have never managed to do a project together. They appear in so many things that I suppose it's inevitable... probably as a Lifetime Television movie or something. Even so, I'd watch that.

• Shock. Speaking of shocking... how is it that I am still discovering 80's music? Groups like Blancmange and China Crisis completely escaped my notice back in the day, and I have no idea how. Oh well. It's kind of cool to be finding them now, because it's music that's all new to me...

• Battles. Speaking of new... I know that all the LEGO video games are made for kids, but I still like them. LEGO Star Wars, LEGO Batman, and LEGO Indiana Jones are all basically the same game with different scenery, but they're still a lot of fun to play. Now LEGO has entered the Real Time Strategy game genre with LEGO Battles for Nintendo DS. It's a drastically simplified version of RTS games like Warcraft and Starcraft, but still has enough going on to be entertaining...

LEGO Battles

The characters change depending on whether you're playing Castle, Pirates, or Space scenarios, but it's basically the same game over and over. Using builders to stock supplies so you can build soldiers to defeat enemies. It gets repetitive but still manages to keep me wanting to move forward to see what's going to happen next. About the only thing that I'd change would be to smarten up the AI that drives the characters. All too often they take wrong turns and get stuck, which means a big chunk of your time is spent herding LEGO mini-figures around. This gets to be really frustrating after a while, and it's so prevalent a problem that it's shocking nobody in development fixed it. Oh well. Until the totally awesome Warlords II FINALLY comes out for DS, I guess this is about as good as it gets.

   

And now I suppose I should go to bed... seeing as how it's midnight and I have to be up in five hours.

I am not fond of Mondays.

   

Bullet Sunday 141

Posted on Sunday, July 19th, 2009

Dave!I didn't get any sleep last night, so this will undoubtably be a barely coherent edition of Bullet Sunday...

• Discriminated. Everybody is discriminated against at some point. And some people definitely get it worse than others. And while I'm sure progress is being made every day, every once in a while I hear something so outrageous that it makes me question if we've not reached a point where that progress is running backwards. Today was one of those days, because I received an email from a friend who filled me in on his recent bout with discrimination. It's all at once disgusting and disappointing, made even more so because he has no recourse. I have faith that eventually the human race can live together without prejudice. We have to, or we perish. But that day keeps getting further and further away to me, and I can't help but feel overwhelming sadness because of it.
   

• Bear TV. I want this...

Bear Television

Awww... It's a television that you can snuggle with after you're done watching him!
   

• Disc. In the continuing effort to convert my analogue life into digital 1's and 0's, I've been having all my old photo negatives and paper pictures scanned. I'm probably 80% there. The problem is that it's going to be a long road to reaching 100%. Some media, in particular 110 Black & White negatives and Kodak's infamously crappy Disc Film, are really expensive to have done right...

Kodak Disc

I don't know why I ever bought into the technology. Probably because the camera was so small and easy to load. Unfortunately, those conveniences necessitated tiny negatives which produced crappy photos. I only used the stupid thing for less than two years, but they were two very important years... Thus my junior year of high school: Disc. My first trip to New Orleans: Disc. My senior year of high school: Disc. Fortunately my parents bought me a 35mm Canon A-1 for graduation so I was set after that. But right now... my past belongs to Disc. Will digital be forever?
   

• Pushed. When I read about a movie that features super-powered psychics battling it out in Hong Kong... well... it's not like I can pass that up. I didn't even bother to look at the reviews over at Rotten Tomatoes, I just add it to my NetFlix queue and watched it when the DVD arrived. Only to discover that it's one of the stupidest, most needlessly incoherent and incomprehensible messes I've ever seen. The entire film was nothing more than a set up for a sequel, but it sucked so horrendously bad that there probably isn't going to be a sequel. That leaves us with a half-finished disaster that's sometimes pretty to look at, but has paper-thin characters and a patchwork story that ends up being a pale imitation of Scanners. When the hell are filmmakers going to understand that you make the best movie you can... THEN worry about a sequel? The sad thing here is that the concept is so cool. But this piece of EPIC FAIL! will undoubtedly kill any hope of a great film of this kind being made for quite a while.

Push Poster SUCK!
   

And that will have to be it for this edition of Bullet Sunday... I don't think I can make it through two nights in a row without sleep.

   

Bullet Sunday 142

Posted on Sunday, July 26th, 2009

Dave!I keep hearing loud explosions... like fireworks... except when I look out my hotel room window I don't see anything. It's very disconcerting. It would be just my luck that Spokane is experiencing a terrorist attack or something.

That would be a Bullet Sunday first.

• Past. For those who didn't believe me during Blogathon, yes, I did have long hair at one time (and this wasn't even the longest it ever got, because it was well past my shoulders at one point)...

Dave with Long Hair

   

• Present. With your help, we Blogathoners over at Therapy in the Making raised $585 for Doctors Without Borders! Thanks so much to all of you who supported us and cheered us on! We even got a shout-out on the front page of the Blogathon site because Colin and I were wearing ridiculous things on our head to get people to donate! Who's the pretty pretty princess blogger now...

Blogathon Headgear

   

• Future. And here are the next three months of my life...

Three Months of Travel

   

And though I have a lot of other bullets I could add, I have to finish up some work before getting up very, very early in the morning. Hopefully I can get a couple hours sleep in-between.

UPDATE: It was fireworks after all. After Googling That Shit, I found out it was the "Royal Fireworks Concert" at the Lilac Bowl. I had a pretty good view from my hotel balcony...

Spokane Royal Fireworks Concert

   

Bullet Sunday 143

Posted on Sunday, August 2nd, 2009

Dave!It's Bullet Sunday from a rain-soaked location somewhere in Central Georgia!

• Heat. I'd rather be too hot than too cold. So you'd think that Georgia in the middle of summer would be like a dream come true for me. But it's not. I am getting really tired of sweating my ass off every time I have to go outside. In that respect, Central Georgia is no different than Central Washington, because we've been breaking 100° on a regular basis there. It's just that when I work here I have to go outside a lot more often than I do back home. Back home I sit in an air-conditioned office all day long and my ass stays intact. Which begs the question... why has nobody invented air-conditioned underwear? I find it sad that we can put a man on the moon, but can't solve the sweaty ass dilemma. Apparently, science is dead.

• Davelanta 3. As I had mentioned last night, the latest installment of the annual Davelanta blogger meet was a lot of fun, and everybody seemed to have a good time. Still can't believe that I get to meet such amazing people everywhere I go...

Davelanta3Badge

Just like I promised, here's a roll call of the fine people who were kind enough to spend their valuable time hanging out with me (taken from my DaveEvents Page)...

I've marked all Davelanta 2008 Alumni with an asterisk. If Mentally Rehearsed hadn't already made plans for the weekend, we would have been at a 100% repeat from last year, which speaks volumes as to how much fun a blogger meet can be. If you ever have the opportunity to go to one, I encourage you to drop everything and do so!

• Magic. Tonight while I was eating dinner, my waiter cleared the table next to mine and was taking a pile of dirty dishes back to the kitchen. As he was walking, a napkin blew off the top of the stack and slowly started to float to the floor behind his back. When the waiter noticed this, he stopped and lifted his left leg up behind him... caught the napkin on his foot... rotated his foot around front with the napkin still sitting on it... reached down and grabbed the napkin... then put his foot back down on the ground and continued walking to the kitchen as if nothing had happened. It was like a magic trick of some kind, and I felt like breaking out in applause after witnessing such beautiful visual poetry in motion. After paying my check and exiting the restaurant, I tripped over my own feet and very nearly came crashing down in the parking lot. Irony... it's what's for dinner.

• Classy. Language evolves. As an example, "awful" used to mean "full of awe" and was used much like how we use the word "awesome" in modern times. But the word evolved until it now means "something bad or unpleasant." In other words, "awful" currently has the exact opposite meaning that it used to have. This is a rather drastic example, but you get the point. ANYWAY... the word "classy" used to mean "wealthy and educated." Over time it came to mean "stylish in looks." Then it evolved further until it could also meant "stylish in behavior." In other words, you no longer need to be wealthy or educated in order to be considered "classy." And while I am sure that being wealthy makes it easier to be classy, it's certainly no guarantee. From my experience, it's just the opposite. My favorite example is flying First Class, which is filled with self-important, self-entitled, embarrassingly abusive assholes who have zero class... vs. flying Coach, which is less comfortable, but filled with a better class of people (probably because you're all bonding over mutual suffering?). I don't really have a point here, it's just something I felt like blathering on about as I confirmed my First Class upgrade for my flight home on Tuesday.

And, on that happy note, I think I will try to take a power-nap so I will have the strength to go back to work in an hour. Staying up for 20 hours straight after four hours sleep has done nothing for my mental health.

   

Bullet Sunday 144

Posted on Sunday, August 9th, 2009

Dave!After two weeks of non-stop travel torture, I'd like nothing better than to take a handful of pills and sleep all day. But we can't have that... it's Bullet Sunday!

• Violence. I was deeply saddened to hear of the bomb attacks on the wonderful island of Mallorca. Having fallen in love with the place earlier this year, it's a nasty reality check... much like the Bali bombings of 2002. I gave up a long time ago trying to understand what motivates somebody to harm innocent people, but that doesn't help quell the frustration I feel every time something like this happens. I'm wondering exactly what kind of global disaster is going to have to occur before mankind can put this kind of self-destruction behind them and move forward together. Hopefully it will be a disaster that's survivable, because there's too many beautiful things here worth being appreciated...

Looking towards the Palma Cathedral at night

   

• Dreaming. Unlike most people, my dreams are no fun. That's because, unlike most people, I can never get lost in a dream like it's some kind of fantasy world I'm inhabiting. Oh no. When I dream, I know I'm dreaming. It's hard to explain, but it's like I'm looking AT a movie of myself rather than actually being IN the movie. So, for me anyway, dreams are not an escape... but instead badly-written entertainment. But lately my dreams have become something... different. I still know I'm dreaming, but I'm inside the dream rather than merely an observer. While not as much fun as most people's dreams, it's definitely a step in the right direction. And what am I dreaming of lately? Alpamayo Mountain. And I have no idea why. I've never been there. I barely know it exists. And yet, there it is, night after night...

Alpamayo Mountain
Astounding photograph by Brad Mering.

Maybe I'm supposed to go there? Or maybe I just enjoy the scenery? I dunno, but it is a lovely mountain.

   

• Noble House. My favorite novel of all time is Noble House by James Clavell. I have read it several times, and enjoy it more with each reading. I own four editions of the book, and see that there's a new over-sized paperback edition that's been released, so I'll be owning a fifth soon. There's just something about the numerous sub-plots that combine to create an epic, lengthy, brilliant masterpiece that I can't get enough of...

Noble House Book Cover

MEANWHILE... somebody read my Hundred Things where I mention that Noble House is my favorite book, and decided to write and tell me that if this was my favorite then I was "stupid." I was then given a list of other books which, in his not-so-humble opinion, were vastly superior. Including such classics as Catcher in the Rye, The Grapes of Wrath, and anything by Hemingway. Usually, I just delete stupid-ass emails like this without a second thought, but instead decided to write back and ask what it was about Noble House that he didn't like. Was it too long? Did he think it was too complex? Did he not like the Asian setting? What? He wrote back the next day and said that he hadn't read Noble House and that he didn't need to read it to know that it was not deserving to be anybody's favorite book when there were such obvious better choices out there.

Yes. I'm the stupid one in this scenario.

   

• Kitty. Tim Burton movies are pretty much hit-or-miss with me. The quirkiness that he infuses into his projects make them unique, but sometimes he goes too far and I can't get into the film. His latest movie Alice in Wonderland, however, seems to be a perfect outlet for his talents. There's plenty of crazy stuff in the original Lewis Carroll tale for him to build upon in his "sequelesque" story. And just seeing his treatment of the Cheshire Cat is enough to make me want to see it...

Cheshirecat

If nothing else, it's going to provide a whole new level of stupid LOLCat jokes.

   

And that's all she wrote this Sunday, because now it's time for The Comedy Central Roast of Joan Rivers! It's not that I think the roasting itself is going to be that much of a challenge... Joan Rivers is an easy target... but hearing Joan fire back at her roasters at the end should be great fun.

   

Bullet Sunday 145

Posted on Sunday, August 16th, 2009

Dave!After a great night of drinking, games, and some truly inexplicable crap going on in the Twitterverse, I managed to postpone a hangover long enough for another edition of Bullet Sunday!

• Denver! A venue hasn't been chosen yet, but the Denver blogger meet is THIS SATURDAY, August 22nd, 2009, in the Mile High City! If you haven't emailed me yet and want to come, please get back to me by Thursday so I can add you to the list and let you know where we're going to eat! My email address is in the sidebar of every page...

DAVETOON: Daveorado August 22nd

   

• Salt Lake City! And if you want to meet up with myself, Marty and his lovely wife Reba, we'll be getting together for dinner on the following Monday night, August 24th, 2009! Please email me by Thursday if you'd like to come so I can add you to the list and send you the details...

Dave Lake City August 24 2009

   

• Shake It The "new and improved" iPhone camera is still kind of crappy so far as cameras go... but I love having it handy wherever I go, and use it quite often. Fortunately, there are some great photo tool apps being released to help get the most out of the images, because some of the ones I get out of the iPhone are almost unusable without adjustment. And now we're starting to get some sweet photo toy apps as well, my favorite being "ShakeItPhoto," which allows you to take photos as if your iPhone was a Polaroid... or transform old photos to make them look as if they were. The results are just fantastic, creating small pieces of funky photo art in seconds...

ShakeItPhoto Sample One

ShakeItPhoto Sample Two

ShakeItPhoto Sample Three

ShakeItPhoto Sample Four

You even get to shake the iPhone in order to make it "develop" faster, which is kind of fun. Well worth the 99¢ price tag, and if you've got an iPhone you can pick it up at the iTunes Music Store here.

   

And that's all she wrote for Bullet Sunday. Time to kick back and relax for a little bit before facing the week ahead.

   

Bullet Sunday 147

Posted on Sunday, August 30th, 2009

Dave!Ooh! I'm actually home for this edition of Bullet Sunday!

• Garbage. Having a blog with nearly six years of material makes me an easy target for haters, since I'm bound to have written about something they disagree with. Most of the time I don't care. Either the person trashing me is so incredibly stupid that their garbage is impossible to take seriously, or they are criticizing me for something I never even said in the first place. I have no problem with healthy debate and welcome other people's respectful opinions... but that almost never happens. They're called "haters" for a reason, and are best just forgotten. Except sometimes they just won't go away. The anonymity of the internet makes them impervious to civilized behavior. I wonder if they realize that nobody is ever truly anonymous online? Something to think about, anyway.

   

• Hurt Locker. I have little to no interest in the whole "war movie" genre. That's because they usually fall into one of three categories: 1) Political statement against war. 2) Political statement for war. 3) Glorification of war and/or war propaganda. The last category is the worst. All those old movies where war is depicted as an entirely one-sided affair, with the horrors nicely sanitized (e.g. the ridiculous "Oh you got me, you dirty Nazi! while the guy grabs his chest and slumps over). But every once in a while there's a film with no obvious political agenda which tries to tell a very human story that just happens to take place during a war (Clint Eastwood's amazing Letters from Iwo Jima comes immediately to mind).

And now we get The Hurt Locker by the always amazing director Kathryn Bigelow...

The Hurt Locker Poster

Any attempt for me to explain the film would be a grave disservice to it. In simplest terms, it's about a three-man team of bomb disposal experts called "Bravo Company" in Iraq circa 2004, and their efforts to dispose of a never-ending supply of explosive weaponry that shows up in a variety of scenarios. After the death of their team leader, a new guy, Staff Sergeant William James, assumes command of the team and things get very interesting. You never really know if James is a reckless maverick who risks lives unnecessarily... or an absolute genius who is so great at his job that it only appears that way. All you do know is that Bravo company has just 38 days left in their tour, and the odds of them surviving long enough to return home grows dimmer with each new encounter. This is a film about guys in a very dangerous job, and there's no political bullshit or anti-war bias to get in the way of telling their story. Miracles do happen.

One of the very best movies of 2009 (I'd place it at #4, after Inglourious Basterds, District 9, and Star Trek), The Hurt Locker is where I'd put all my Oscar votes. Jeremy Renner as Sgt. James is one of the strongest performances I've seen in a film all year, and is backed up by an army of talent and some spectacular cameo role appearances (which it would be a shame to spoil here). Suspenseful, gritty, and very human, The Hurt Locker is actually worth your valuable time to see.

   

• Iconic. Every since installing Mac OS X Snow Leopard, I've been transfixed with the ability to view application icons at 512-pixel resolution. It's an entirely new ballgame at such a large size, and reveals surprising details that you would never even know existed at their original size... sometimes for better, sometimes for worse. Let's take these three icons as an example...

Snow Leopard Tiny Icons

Transmit, which has always been a nifty little icon, is revealed to be a stunning piece of artwork when you get to see it at full size. The attention to detail is nothing short of amazing, and now people can actually see it...

Transmit's little truck icon at full-size

Twitterific, on the other hand, is exactly the opposite. It looks cute and friendly when seen small, but blow it up to full size and it transforms into something vaguely scary. I don't know if the bird is molting... sweating... or has some kind of disease... or what. His beak doesn't even appear to be part of him, but instead bursting through his head, like there's a bird trapped in a bird suit and he's just now breaking out. Granted, this isn't really the designer's fault. This is what happens when you are forced to exaggerate details so they will show up when reduced to a tiny size. Otherwise, it would just look like a little blue blob...

Twitterific's little bird icon at full-size

But those issues pale in comparison to the scariness of Apple's own "Mail" icon. It makes absolutely no sense now. The drop shadow makes it appear that the stamp is floating above the surface... but the cancellation mark looks flat, like it's a projection of some kind. Furthermore, the cancellation mark doesn't even look like it's been printed. The gray ink looks like it's actual ink on the white parts of the icon... but mystically transforms into blue ink when it is on the blue parts of the icon. At giant-size, it all looks like some kind of bad Photoshop overlay trick, because it doesn't act like any cancellation mark I've ever seen...

Mail's little stamp icon at full-size

Icons, which have historically had to communicate information at very small sizes, are now having to stand on their own as artwork when presented at larger sizes. This is an incredible challenge for icon designers, because it's not easy trying to create one piece of art which works perfectly for two entirely different uses. I suppose the big worry is that designers won't even try, and we'll get icons that suck at any size.

   

And now I get to go back to work so I can (hopefully) get caught up before I leave again. Life, she is a bitch.

   

Bullet Sunday 148

Posted on Sunday, September 6th, 2009

Dave!Tonight it's a very special Las Vegas edition of Bullet Sunday!

It's special since there's only one bullet. And that's because it's such an incredibly awesome bullet that you would totally forget any other bullets that might appear afterwards.

• ELVIS! The Official Planning Meeting for TequilaCon 2010 ended with a bang when the entire committee decided to attend the Legends show at Harrah's. The acts performing tonight were Britney Spears, James Brown, David Bowie, The Temptations, and (of course) ELVIS!

Here's photos of Jenny collecting an autograph (and some sweat off of Elvis's chest!)...

Jenny and Elvis

Jenny and Elvis

Jenny and Elvis

Jenny and Elvis

Such shameless flirting! I think she's totally found herself a new boyfriend.

And here's a crummy picture I took of our photo with my pocket camera...

TequilaCon 2010 Planning Committee with Elvis

IMPORTANT NOTE: Just to be clear, that is the cuff of Brandon's shirt... NOT Elvis's penis popping out of his pants. Such genius that you'd almost swear that Brandon planned it that way. Which he probably did.

Elivis signed it "To TequilaCon Forever"...

Elvis Autograph

And thus ends what is probably the most perfect Bullet Sunday in the history of Bullet Sunday.

   

Bullet Sunday 149

Posted on Sunday, September 20th, 2009

Dave!Last week I skipped Bullet Sunday because I was traveling but, lucky for me, Hilly-Sue was kind enough to pick up my slack! This week the bullets are back in Seattle, and so am I...

• Finale! Now that it's all over, I have to say that the cruise to Alaska was pretty darn special. Despite some dreary weather in spots, things couldn't have gone better, and the shore excursions were all beyond amazing experiences. If you're looking for a little adventure in your life, you could do a lot worse than exploring the Inside Passage. I booked through Jester's new company, Cruise Avenue, and am grateful for all his advice in getting me the perfect vacation. Might want to see those glaciers now while you still can...

   

• Pandemonium! Just got back from the Pet Shop Boys' "Pandemonium" tour stop in Seattle. It seems like it was just yesterday I went to their first-ever concert here in the city, and now they're back for round two! As expected, the show was amazing. I really like their new album, Yes, and they did a good job of mixing the new material with their classic hits...

Pet Shop Boys Pandemonium Tour Poster

For my fellow Pet Shop fans, the set-list went something like this... Heart, Did You See Me Coming?, Pandemonium/Can You Forgive Her?, Love Etc., Integral/Building a Wall, Go West, Two Divided By Zero/Why Don't We Live Together?, Always On My Mind, New York City Boy, Closer to heaven/Left to my Own Devices, Do I Have To?, King's Cross, The Way It Used To Be, Jealousy, Suburbia, All Over The World, Se A Vida É (That's The Way Life Is), Discoteca/Domino Dancing/Viva La Vida (COLDPLAY?!?), It's A Sin, Being Boring (encore), West End Girls (encore). A pretty sweet set... despite the sound at The Moore Theater being really uneven, and the sound-mix for the show being pretty bad in parts (Neil's vocals during King's Cross were obliterated). Still... well worth attending!

   

• Pet Shop Pics! I was too busy enjoying the show to be much of a photographer, but still managed to grab a few shots when I thought of it. From the looks of things, Neil and Chris have taken the "Cubism" theme of their previous tour and amped it up to the n-th degree, appearing as cube-heads with cube-head dancers and backup singers. As always, it was a pretty impressive production... even when restrained to the small stage of The Moore...

Pet Shop Boys with Cube-Heads!

Dancing Buildings on Stage!

Silver Confetti Finale!

   

• Dee-Jay? I have been to clubs where very talented individuals have crafted amazing mixes of a wide variety of music in clever and interesting ways. These DJ's deserve their title, and work hard to craft an exciting experience for their audience. On the OTHER end of the spectrum, you have people who just take a string of dance remixes with the EXACT SAME throbbing disco beat... smash them together one after another... and call themselves a DJ. Now, it's probably me... I'm just somebody who doesn't "get" it... but who the fuck cares? Apparently, the Pet Shop Boys do, because THAT'S who they had as their opening act... a disco DJ with one throbbing beat after another. I honestly couldn't tell where one song starts and the other begins. It's just a blur of bass and synthesizers (but mostly bass). Yeah, I'm sure this "music" is just awesome to somebody who can appreciate it (or is high on crystal meth)... but I thought it sucked copious amounts of ass. After 45 minutes of this redundant shit, I was ready to jump off the balcony. The only thing I can think of to explain it is that the Pet Shop Boys wanted to bore the shit out of people before they take the stage so they appear that much better. Which is crazy. They don't need it. Things don't get much better than the Pet Shop Boys live.

   

• Progress? They keep plugging away at Seattle's Hard Rock Cafe. Now they've got actual signs up to let people know what's coming (but who knows when?)...

Hard Rock Cafe Seattle

   

• Blue! Man, what a beautiful day in Seattle I came back to from rainy Alaska!

City Fish Market Sign in a Blue, Blue Sky!

   

And thus ends my week of vacation big happy fun time. Back to the daily grind...

   

Bullet Sunday 150

Posted on Sunday, September 27th, 2009

Dave!Sweet! It's the 150th edition of Bullet Sunday!

• AT&T FAIL! I am quickly becoming disenamoured with the AT&T mobile service for my iPhone. At first, everything was swell and I found the service to be on-par with Verizon, my previous mobile provider. But as more and more people jump on the iPhone bandwagon, AT&T's service keeps getting progressively worse. When I was in Las Vegas, I tried to place a call to Jenny across town (who also has an iPhone). We could not get a call to connect for more than a few seconds no matter how many times we tried. Then when I was in Alaska, I was barely able to make phone calls or use data over Edge in any port. I can only guess that the service is overwhelmed whenever cruise ships pull into port (which must really suck if you're a local). You'd think AT&T would build more capacity for these obviously high-use areas, but no. They don't even have 3G. It's as if AT&T is totally shocked over the massive success of the iPhone, and never bothered to prepare otherwise. Dumbasses. If Apple is smart, they'll choose NOT to renew their exclusive contract with AT&T and spread the congestion around on other networks. Which is where I'll be if AT&T doesn't get their shit together.

   
• Ghosts! I like Halloween for a lot of reasons, bit the biggest? THE CANDY! In addition to Candy Corn, which is one of my favorite sweets, I like all the "fun-sized" versions of my old favorites. Even better is the "special edition" items that are released just for the holiday. Like GHOST DOTS! It's one of the best candies ever...

Ghost Dots Boxes

Dots Ghosties!

Awwww... cute! And delicious! Even though the pieces all look the same, they are actually flavored just like the original DOTS candies. The package says "Which Flavor? Which Ghost? IT'S A MYSTERY!" which just makes a fun candy even better!

   
• Bears! After going through the 317 photos that were worth keeping from my trip to Alaska, I've come to the conclusion that I love bears. Of all the images I took, the pictures with bears are far-and-away my favorites...

Tree Bear

Another Bear in a Tree

Lazy Bear

Hello Lazy Bear!

Lazy Bear Walks Away

One day I've got to plan a vacation that revolves around bear-watching. That would have to be one of the best trips for a photographer ever.

   
• Search Me! Today is Google's 11th birthday! Amazing how in all these years that no other search engine has come along which can touch it. I had hopes that Microsoft's "Bing!" would at least pose a challenge and up the search game, but so far I've been unimpressed. Here's wishing Google more innovation (and a little luck!) for another 11 years.

Goog11e Graphic

   
And now I suppose I really should finish unpacking so I can start re-packing for next week. Life. She is a viscious circle, no?

   

Bullet Sunday 151

Posted on Sunday, October 4th, 2009

Dave!It's Bullet Sunday from my last day in the Netherlands! And what a beautiful one it is... with blue skies everywhere you look. A nice change from the past three days. The weather came just in time, because tomorrow I'm back to Schiphol for my flight home.

• Beach. The Lady Penelope didn't have to fly out until late afternoon, so The DutchBitch was kind enough to take us to Noordwijk aan Zee so we could see the beach (and eat more potatoes with mayo). It was a nice day out, though the wind was blowing pretty fierce. This was great for the chute-surfers out on the water...

Chute Surfers on the Ocean

Blue Sign in a Blue Sky

Bicycle Tire Stuck in the Sand

Dutch Lighthouse

A Scenic Look Towards the Beach

• Blue. After saying goodbye to Lady P. at the airport, we headed back into Amsterdam because I had forgotten my sunglasses at dinner last night. Thats when I saw something pretty amazing... blue sky behind the Hard Rock Cafe! In the half-dozen photos I have from previous visits, none of them have blue sky. But there it was...

Hard Rock Cafe Amsterdam

• Big. In the USA, the restaurant portions are always massive, which means I can't ever eat it all and food goes to waste. Outside the USA, restaurant portions are usually of a more reasonable size, which is nice because I can actually finish everything on my plate without bursting. But when it comes to drinks, it's just the opposite. Order a Coke and they bring you a tiny bottle that costs at least double the price you'd pay in the States. Tonight Dutchy and I decided on Italian for dinner, and I was thrilled to see that they had both "regular" (i.e. tiny) glasses... AND "big" (i.e. "American regular") glasses on the menu. The down-side? I had to pay $7.88 (5,40€) for the privilege of ordering one...

$7.88 Glass of Coke

• Parade. Just because I can't get enough of the painted elephants public arts project in Amsterdam...

Elephants in the Park

• Funny. Last night, Dutchy treated us to some comedy DVDs featuring Irish comedian Dara Ó Briain. The guy is hysterically funny, and positively brilliant in his ability to interact with the audience. I had heard of the guy before because he hosts Mock of the Week from British television, but his stand-up was something entirely new to me. I pulled up Amazon so I could order his DVDs for myself... only to find out they aren't available for sale in Region 1. Nor could I buy them on iTunes. This is a load of bollocks. In the age of digital distribution, it's absolutely stupid that I can't buy a copy anywhere in the world. With DVDs I get it... they cost money to make. But a digital file on iTunes? It doesn't cost anything but a short time to convert the video (which has probably already been done for the UK store!). Like music, the concept of global digital distribution is completely lost on the video distributors. Oh well... until I can actually purchase a copy in my country, I guess there's always BitTorrent. How incredibly stupid that, for all our modern technology, idiotic stuff like this continues to happen.

Dara Ó Briain Live

YouTube has some funny bits and pieces from Dara's stand-up, and a good one is here.

And that's all she wrote for a fantastic visit to DutchyLand.

   

Bullet Sunday 152

Posted on Sunday, October 11th, 2009

Dave!I've misplaced some photo negatives and have spent days trying to find them. All to no avail. They're gone, and I have no clue what happened to them. Needless to say, I'm not in the happiest of moods this Bullet Sunday.

• Translate! For a long, long time I've wanted to provide some kind of translation service on my blog for my non-English reading visitors. But all the options I've found have been kind of cheesy, and didn't work very well. Until now. The lovely people at Google have come up with a brilliant "overlay gadget" that can translate a page into dozens of languages easily. I've added it to my sidebar and it's pretty sweet. If you're interested in adding it to your own site, you can grab the code here.

• Obama! I am sharing a WTF?!? moment with people around the globe now that President Obama has won the Nobel Peace Prize. I think it's laughable considering that Obama hasn't really done anything to deserve it and, like many people, feel that it was awarded based not on deed but on intent. Or maybe it was awarded solely for entertainment value. The Nobel Council could have felt that giving Obama the prize would completely freak out Right-Wing America (it's just so easy now-a-days), and wanted a good laugh at their expense. Naturally, total dumbass douchebags like Rush Limbaugh are so fucking stupid that they took the bait hook, line, and sinker... but, much to my shock, one of the more radical Conservatives was smarter about it...

Now, I hate Bill O'Reilly with the fiery passion of a thousand suns... he is an opportunist douchebag who exaggerates, lies, and gleefully divides this nation (all while professing to love it) on a daily basis. He's inflammatory and destructive for no other reason but to keep people angry so he can make a lot of money. I find O'Reilly reprehensible in a way I find ALL political extremists reprehensible... on both the Right and the Left. But, for reasons I cannot fathom, O'Reilly took the high road this time and is basically saying "I don't agree that President Obama deserves this award, but having a US President honored with a peace prize is good for America."

Seriously, I couldn't have said it better myself.

Because I am tired of the Extreme Right's constant need for Obama to fail. They would rather see this country go down in flames than for Obama to gain even the smallest amount of political ground. Case in point: The Olympics. When Chicago lost it's bid to host the games, the Extreme Right was nearly orgasmic with joy because Obama had been promoting his home city. They saw it as a "major loss" for Obama, and were celebrating his "failure." Which is about the most astoundingly fucking stupid thing I've ever heard. Obama didn't lose anything... he's still the president. It's not like he got his salary cut because Brazil won the prize. It was Chicago that lost. Illinois lost. America lost. Jobs were lost. We all lost. But the Neocons don't care about any of that, they'd rather Chicago explode than for anything even remotely associated with President Obama to win anything.

To say I don't understand this kind of self-defeating schadenfreude thinking is putting it mildly. Even though I despised President Bush's policies, I never once wished for him to fail (well, except for his second-term election). When he invaded Iraq, it's not like I was thinking "I hope he fails in Iraq!" On the contrary, even though I vehemently disagreed with the war and felt it would be a total failure, I wished Bush nothing but success for the sake of our troops and our country. I felt the same way about Hurricane Katrina. It's not like I was happy Bush's administration was so pathetically incompetent in dealing with the situation... I was mortified. I would have been much, much happier had Bush's people handled the situation so well that the entire country was rallying to congratulate the President on a job well done. Regardless of who is in office, I want these United States of America to do well because I am an American and this is my country.

But, alas, this kind of rational thought here in the USA seems to be over. For eight long years I had hard-core Conservatives telling me that I should "love it or leave it" when I disagreed with President Bush. Now that the shoe is on the other foot, these same people can't take their own advice. Now they consider it "patriotic" not only to disagree with President Obama, but to hope and pray that he fails in everything he does (then laugh their asses off when they perceive even a hint failure on his part). "United we stand, divided we fall" is no longer a rallying cry to seek commonality amongst diversity... it's become a sad harbinger of the future of this nation. We are indeed falling, and I can only hope that we come to our senses before we hit bottom. Watching Bill O'Reilly have a moment of sanity gives me hope.

• Kitty! My adventures with Kitty Spangles Solitaire are well-documented. It's the best solitaire game for the Mac, which is why I was intrigued when Swoop Software announced Kitty Spangles Sudoku. I'm not much of a Sudoku fan, but have to admit they've done a pretty good job of making it work...

It's Kitty Spangles!

Kitty Spangles Sudoku

If you've got a Mac and like Sudoku, you can download a demo directly from Swoop!

   
Blargh. I should probably try and get some sleep tonight since I have a very long day tomorrow...

   

Bullet Sunday 153

Posted on Sunday, October 18th, 2009

Dave!It's Bullet Sunday from sunny Orlando, Florida!

• Jinkies! Hilly's new cat, Jinkies, is really amazing. She's friendly, personable, independent, fun, and a little bit crazy... all the qualities you want in a kitteh. Except when you are trying to blog, in which case you want the exact opposite qualities. No matter what I did or where I moved my laptop, Jinkies made a point of going there to join me...

Kitty on My Laptop

And ten minutes later...

Hilly's Cat Sitting on My Laptop's Keyboard While I Try to Type!

And fifteen minutes after that...

Yet Another Attempt to Blog

Even trying to dump her off the keyboard fifteen minutes after that resulted in Jinks hanging on for dear life...

Jinkies Scrambling Up My Keyboard

Longest. Time. To. Write. A. Blog. Post. Ever.

   
• Whore! You know when you're on an airplane? And you know that space against the wall next to the windows? That gap above your arm rest like this...

Arm Rest Gap!

As I was sitting in my seat after takeoff yesterday, I felt something nudge my arm. Looking down, I saw that the woman behind me HAD PUT HER FEET THROUGH THE GAP AND SET THEM ON MY ARMREST!! What the hell? How big a bitch do you have to be to put your stinky feet on SOMEBODY ELSE'S ARMREST? Seriously? I was scared to even look at what freaky shit the whore might be doing back there, so I decided to take immediate action. My first instinct was to grab my metal brick of a MacBook Pro and smash her fucking feet so hard that I broke every bone inside. But I really don't need any incidents on my TSA Permanent Record, so I decided to use a magazine and gently nudge her feet off my seat instead. And it worked. For about an hour. Then they were back. So I ended up rolling up my jacket and stuffing it in the gap. That worked for about another hour until she weasled her feet under my jacket. Finally I jammed my elbow back there and left it so she couldn't invade my space again. She ended up sticking her feet in her window well above my head instead. Yes, I know... I have terrible luck with travel. But WTF?!?

   
• Sunset! I also have pretty good luck when I travel. The view out my window at sunset was pretty amazing. And pink...

Pink Sunset!

   
• Nuts! In what seems to be a growing trend amongst airlines, I was served warmed nuts after takeoff. First with Northwest, then with Delta, and now with Alaska Airlines...

Dish of Warmed Nuts

At first I thought it was just a novelty, but now I'm kind of used to it. Even worse, the airlines have spoiled me, and now I'm going to have to go buy me a nut-warmer appliance of some kind. Once you've had your nuts warmed, you really don't want to serve them any other way.

   
• Dive! In other airplane-type news... I was going through my last batch of negative scans when I ran across photos from my very first skydiving adventure. In the first shot, I'm in the plane on the way up and looking like I'm regretting the idea of it all (but am actually just making sure my contact lenses are lubed up). The second is a shot of me on the way down that my friend took. I haven't jumped out of a plane in over a decade now, and am kind of missing it...

Dave Riding up for Skydiving

Diving!

Yep, jumping out of a plane sounds pretty good! ESPECIALLY WHEN SOME BITCH IS STICKING HER SKANKY FEET ON MY ARMREST!!

   
• Twittered! I'm really liking Tweetie 2.0 for iPhone, and one of my favorite features is the "Near Me" view where you can see Twitterers in your area on a map...

Tweetie Two Screenshot

Pretty slick! At the airport it's particularly cool because you can listen to OTHER people bitch about THEIR travel problems!

And now it's time to kick back and watch some television. Tomorrow is a big day...

   

Bullet Sunday 154

Posted on Sunday, October 25th, 2009

Dave!Or, probably more like "Bullet Monday" since I refuse to pay the outrageous fees that some airports charge for internet access so I can post this on time.


• Why I love Avitaween: Reason #87. It may sound insane to fly across the country for a Halloween Party, but if you've ever experienced Halloween with The Avitables, you'd know it's actually one of the easiest decisions I can make. It's more of an event than a party, and the work that goes into making it so special is positively mind-boggling. My camera battery died, so I don't have any photos myself, but there are plenty showing up on the Avitaween Flickr Group. Thanks so much to Adam & Amy for yet another fantastic evening, and I'm already looking forward to next year!

Aliens Invade!


• Why I love pussy: Reason #1240 This past week staying at Casa de Hilly, I had grown accustomed to her cat being anywhere and everywhere I go. Brushing my teeth? Pussy in the sink. Going to bed? Pussy on the pillow. Writing in my blog? Pussy on my laptop. Any time we were home, Jinkies was a constant presence...

Pussy in the Bed
Pussy in the Bed...

Pussy on the Computer
Pussy on the Computer...

Pussy in the Sink
Pussy in the Sink...

Pussy Attack Under the Door
Pussy Attacking Under the Door...

Now that I'm home and pussy-free, I admit that it's a little bit depressing to not have that kind of constant attention. One of these days I guess I need to get a pussy of my own.


• Why I loathe John McCain: Reason #2368. It is no secret that I despise John McCain on every possible level. Most of it has to do with his betrayal of POW/MIAs (as I documented in a previous entry), but there is a laundry list of other reasons I wish he would disappear off the face of the earth... not one of them having to do with his political affiliation (as I've said before, I did vote for some Republicans in the last election, mostly on local races). Every single day I'm eternally grateful such a raging asshole never became President of The United States of America. Any disappointments I've had over President Obama's broken promises and meandering around on the issues that got him elected are immediately offset when I think of how fucked this country would be if McCain got elected. And now there's yet another reason... he is so busy suckling from the teat of the Telecom Lobby that even National Security falls by the wayside. I will be the first to admit this conclusion is a bit of a stretch, but it does make a valid point of showing how McCain is more than happy to speak out on issues he knows absolutely nothing about... so long as the money is right. Just politics as usual in the USA, I guess.


• Why I am nearing a breakdown: Reason #642346 After three flights and a car-drive home, I'll have just over eight hours to work, sleep, eat, and re-pack before heading back to the airport for a flight returning me to the East Coast. It sounds bad, but I've had much worse. The problem is that the weather is starting to change, which makes flying a hit-and-miss game of "will they or won't they cancel my flight?" The weather forecast is calling for SNOW back home starting next week, which is an added level of travel horror I'm not really ready to deal with just yet. It seems like only yesterday that a quick 3-day trip turned into an 8-day adventure when snow caused the airports to shut down (but it was actually last December). Fun. Fun. Fun.


And thus ends another travel edition of Bullet Sunday, this time written from somewhere over North Dakota (I think).

   

Bullet Sunday 155

Posted on Sunday, November 1st, 2009

Dave!I'M SICK! Well, sick as usual. I've been feeling poorly since I got back from Amsterdam. I'm sure it's just fatigue from non-stop-travel and working all hours of the night and day... but it's getting old. I'm tired of feeling crappy. I have a feeling that this will be a shorter than usual Bullet Sunday.

   
• Vote! Just a reminder to my fellow Washingtonians, there's precious little time left to get your votes in to APPROVE Referendum 71. All ballots are due by November 3rd, so if you haven't mailed your ballot and believe that everybody should have equal rights under the law, be sure to take care of it ASAP! I know I've posted this video before, and I realize it was made for the state of Maine, but it really applies everywhere, and is worth your valuable time to watch...

   
• Buttah! The latest commercial for "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" is pretty cool...

The Buttertons Commercial

Except it looks strangely familiar...

Butter

Who do I talk to about getting paid for them using my idea?

   
• Saints! Guess what's opening this week?

Aequita Veritas!

That's right! After nearly a decade of waiting, the sequel to Boondock Saints is nigh!

The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day

The original Boondock Saints is one of those odd "guilty pleasure" movies that there's no reason on earth I should like... but I do. I've seen it a dozen times, and scare myself with how much of the dialogue I can quote from the film. I can only hope that the long wait for more Boondocks won't be met with disappointment. The crappy Star Wars prequels are still fresh in my mind.

   
Annnnd... I'm spent.

   

Bullet Sunday 156

Posted on Sunday, November 8th, 2009

Dave!It's Bullet Sunday once again... this time with two scoops of raisins for superior raisin bran taste! And a list of stuff to buy.

   
• XBox 360 Arcade. Yesterday I took Amazon up on their "Gold Box Lightning Deal" to get an XBox 360 Arcade for $198 WITH a $100 Amazon Credit... which, basically, means I'm getting an XBox 360 for $98. It's not that I really want an XBox 360 again (I gave my old one away)... heck, I can't even find time to play with my Nintendo Wii. But what I DO want is a (relatively) inexpensive way of streaming NetFlix "Watch It Now" stuff to my television. To do this, I could buy a $100 Netflix DV Player, or I could buy this $100 XBox 360. Since the cost is the same, I might as well get something that's capable of doing extra stuff.

Like playing Final Fantasy XIII when it's released next Spring...

Final Fantasy XIII

Amazing, isn't it? Games are just like playing movies now-a-days.

   
• Mr. Squiggles. This morning I found out that a mishap involving a really angry woman at Toys-R-Us a while back inadvertently ended up with me owning this year's hottest toy... Zhu Zhu Hamster Mr. Squiggles...

Mr. Squiggles Zhu Zhu Hamster

I just bought him because a foul-mouthed bitch who couldn't read signs threw him on the floor. And he was only $10. And he looked cool. And who wouldn't want a battery-operated hamster? I showed him off and let him run around for a while until his batteries ran out, then stuck him somewhere I can't remember. Then this morning I found out from Beth's Twitter feed that everybody wants Zhu Zhu Hamsters, and they're going for a small fortune on eBay. I wish I could find mine. I wish I had kept his box. I wish somebody would find Mr. Squiggles and his box then pay me $100 for him. Because, yeah... while he was great for five minutes, I can't fathom him being worth more than the $10 I paid. Apparently a lot of people disagree, and now the asshole toy scalpers are making a fortune. What a sick way to make extra cash.

   
• Give Me Liberty. In the world of comic books, the two hottest titles of all time are The Dark Knight Returns, a grim imagining of Batman's future by Frank Miller... and Watchmen, the groundbreaking reality super-heroes book by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. Both of these amazing comic series debuted in 1986, and were a revelation to me (and most everybody else) at the time. After the Dark Knight & Watchmen furor blew over, the question on everybody's mind was "what's the next big thing?" For Frank Miller and Dave Gibbons, the answer was a vastly under-appreciated gem in 1990 called Give Me Liberty: An American Dream, the story of a woman named Martha Washington. Born in the slums of Chicago in 1995, she escaped her terrible life by joining PAX (the Military Peace Corps) and went on to numerous (and often very violent) adventures. I loved the book, and was desperate for more after the four brief issues in the series flew by. Fortunately, another series and a number of one-shot books followed... furthering Martha's adventures right up until her death. Now, at long last, this remarkable story has been collected in one massive volume: The Life and Times of Martha Washington in the Twenty-First Century...

Book Cover... The Life and Times of Martha Washington in the Twenty-First Century

And it is glorious. It's a massive tome totaling 600 pages and weighing in at over 10 pounds. Dark Horse Comics used the oversize "Absolute" format that DC Comics has been using for their releases, and it's a fantastic format to appreciate Dave Gibbons' incredible artwork...

Martha Washington Artwork

As if that wasn't enough, the book also features new introductions to each story by Gibbons and 40 pages of development sketches and promotional material.

The Life and Times of Martha Washington in the Twenty-First Century retails for $99, but I shopped around and found it on special for $65 including tax and shipping. It's worth every penny and is highly recommended.

   
• The High Cost of Living. And, while I'm waxing poetic about brilliant comic book compilations, I would be remiss in not mentioning DC Comic's stunning Absolute Death book. Featuring one of my favorite comic characters of all time, Death, by Neil Gaiman and Chris Bachalo...

Absolute Death Book Cover

Death Drawn by Chris Bachalo

She's cute, smart, funny, and just happens to be there when you die... and, for reasons that are not entirely clear... when you're born. Absolute Death collects a few of her appearances from The Sandman along with her two solo mini-series Death: The High Cost of Living and Death: The Time of Your Life plus a wealth of supplemental material including a Death illustration gallery and a sketchbook by Bachalo. It retails for $99.99 and would be a bargain at twice the price... but can be purchased at discount for around $65 plus shipping.

   
• The Best Things. Now that I don't have any money left because I bought a bunch of stuff I didn't need and can't afford, I thought I'd mention that there was a beautiful view outside my window this evening and I got to look at it for free.

   
Now I'm tired from working all weekend, so I think I'll take my broke ass to bed and read a book.

   

Bullet Sunday 157

Posted on Sunday, November 15th, 2009

Dave!Oh boy! It's Bullet Sunday once again! This will have to be a quick one, because I have got a lot to do before I fly out again on Friday.

   
• iTunez! I have a laundry list of things I hate about Apple's "iTunes Music Store" (particularly after the last shitty upgrade they forced on us)... but dealing with App Store update insanity is currently the thing pissing me off most. It's just so damn irritating the way that the process never... NEVER... makes things easy on you. You're constantly being interrupted with bullshit alert messages that are so astoundingly stupid that you have to wonder if Apple is being staffed by morons. Take, for example, the "You Are Downloading Age-Restricted Materials" alert...

iTunes MORON ALERT!

Yes, I know. And the reason I know is that I get this dumbass alert EVERY TIME I UPDATE MY APPS! Can't iTunes REMEMBER that I'm an adult so I don't have to go through this shit each time? And what's truly asinine is that the apps themselves are not adult-oriented... it's just that they access the internet where adult-oriented stuff might pop up. And it's not like underage kids are going to see this and go "Oh, I'm only 16, so I guess I'd better stop the update" either. I feel safer already!

And what about mystical crap like the "You Have Already Purchased This Item" alert...

iTunes STUPIDITY ALERT!

Yes, you stupid pile of FAIL!, I want to download the shit I've purchased! Why WOULDN'T I want to download it. ESPECIALLY IF IT'S AN UPDATE TO SOMETHING I ALREADY PURCHASED?!?! I mean, SERIOUSLY?

And then there's my FAVORITE message. It's the "The Item You Tried to Download is No Longer Available" alert...

More idiotic iTunes Alerts!

If it's no longer available, then why try to download it? But the biggest problem? THEY DON'T TELL YOU WHICH FUCKING APP IS THE CULPRIT! The error appears again and again and again until you manually download each app until you figure out which one is no longer available so you can manually delete it from the session. It's about the stupidest damn thing I've ever seen out of Apple. IF IT'S NOT AVAILABLE, THEN STOP TRYING TO DOWNLOAD IT YOU WORTHLESS PILE OF CRAP!! Can't you just eliminate it from the update session AND STOP BOTHERING ME?!? Completely stupid. BEYOND completely stupid. This is a bug of epic Microsoft proportions, and a total embarrassment to Apple.

The iTunes Music Store is so hopelessly idiotic now that it begs the question... DOES APPLE EVEN BOTHER BETA-TESTING SHIT ANYMORE? EVER?!? This is amateur hour stuff, and it's starting to really piss me off.

   
• Gleek! After listening to the non-stop raves from practically everybody, I finally broke down and watched the latest episode of Glee on Hulu entitled Wheels. Before I get into the horrors I was subjected to, I should preface this review(?) by saying that I can't stand musicals. It freaks me out when people suddenly break into song and dance for no particular reason, and the ... unreality... of it all drives me bat-shit insane. From what I understood, Glee was different because it was about kids in glee club, so there's context for all the singing and dancing crap. Except... the first thing I see? Some guy in a wheelchair starts mangling Billy Idol's Dancing With Myself then, you guessed it, starts wheeling around his school where nobody seems to notice that he's singing his guts out the whole time. Nobody says a damn thing...

Glee kid wheeling around singing unnoticed.
It's not at all freaky that nobody notices I'm singing!

Guy in the wheelchair kind of set the tone for the "Breakfast Club" theory of random casting, except they took it to the next level. Handicapped Kid, CHECK... Jock Kid, CHECK... Gay Kid, CHECK... Bad Boy Outsider Kid, CHECK... Black Kid, CHECK... Asian Kid, CHECK... Spoiled Jewish Princess Kid, CHECK... Stupid Blonde Kid, CHECK... Pregnant Kid, CHECK... Down Syndrome Kid, CHECK... it goes on and on and on. It's as if they told the casting director "Give me one of everything!" so it would make the writing as easy as possible. Which makes sense when you start noticing that everybody gets double-duty BONUS FEATURES!! Pregnant Kid, for example, is also Slutty Bitch Popular Christian Kid, who is terrorizing her current boyfriend to pay her for pregnancy support when she knows that the real father is actually (drumroll of un-shock) Bad Boy Outsider Kid! And don't forget the teachers! Lawful-Good Glee Club Teacher simply must have his stereotypical nemesis with Chaotic-Evil P.E. Teacher...

The Bitches of Glee
We're the stereotypical bitches of Glee!

The only part of the show that was remotely interesting to me was Down Syndrome Girl, which may seem a little too "Corky" from Life Goes On, but actually kind of works. Too bad they had to go and spoil it by building a hokey mystery as to why Chaotic-Evil P.E. Teacher could possibly want to put her on the cheerleading squad (especially when the predictable answer is a retread plot device that has been used in a billion other television shows for faux-drama heartstring pulling)...

More stereotypes for Glee!
ZOMFG! Why is the Chaotic-Evil P.E. Teacher being so nice? Yep! Exactly why you'd think she is.

And, of course, what would the show be without the big musical number finale? We'll never know, because the writers are just that predictable. But to be EXTRA tacky and manipulative, lets take the Featured-Kid-Of-The-Week cliche (Wheelchair Boy) and build a musical number of love and acceptance... by making everybody sing Proud Mary in... you guessed it... WHEELCHAIRS! Wheee...

Glee kids in wheelchairs!

Uhhh... yeah. Really, really, didn't like Glee. Didn't "get" it at all. Though, to be fair, I am not a part of its target audience of musical-lovers. Except... even without the musical numbers... the stereotypes, cliches, predictability, and gag-inducingly obvious emotional manipulation would kill it for me. Oh well. It's perfectly okay that everybody doesn't like the same things. On the contrary, in this case it's critical for maintaining my sanity.

   
And that will have to do it until next week...

   

Bullet Sunday 158

Posted on Sunday, November 22nd, 2009

Dave!It's Bullet Sunday from a surprisingly cold and unexpectedly rainy section of rural Georgia!

• Bring on The Hate. Just like Friday night, Saturday evening was a non-stop party on the 11th floor of the Hilton Atlanta Hartsfield Airport. No less than six people were laughing it up in the room to the right of me. People were having sex in the room above me (at least I hope that's what it was). The hallway was filled with drunken douchebags until 2:00am. And doors kept slamming into the early morning down the corridor. Sleep was next to impossible, so I begged the front desk to give me a late check-out of 2:30 so I could (maybe) take a nap and not spend my first day of work as a zombie. I then spent my evening listening to my iPod at full volume. It's at times like this I really hate people.

   
• As God Intended. I had read about Google's wonderful gift of Free WiFi at major airports across the USA, and was happy to discover that Seattle was among them when I flew out this past Friday. What I was not prepared for was that this was going to be a gift that keeps on giving...

Free WiFi Forever at Sea-Tac!

That's right... apparently Google is going to continue the free internet at Seattle-Tacoma International INDEFINITELY! This is fantastic news, because I stopped paying for internet access at airports once I got my iPhone, but miss being able to use my laptop. Thanks, Google!

   
• TripIt Social. I think I've mentioned a couple of times how my frequent travels are made much, much easier now that I use TripIt to manage all my travel plans. I simply forward all my confirmation emails to TripIt, and the free service automatically builds my itinerary and keep all my information together in one place. It's brilliant, and has quickly become an indispensable tool. Things got even better when they launched a free iPhone companion app. And I was in heaven when they launched a "TripIt Pro" version which adds flight monitoring and other goodies for a nominal annual fee. Genius!

As I have become hopelessly reliant on TripIt, you can imagine my horror when I found the latest update to their iPhone app crashed every time I launched it. I wouldn't have minded so much if I was using the free version, but I am a paid TripIt Pro member, and expect better. I then Tweeted my frustration thusly...

TripIt on Twitter

Not ten minutes later, somebody at TripIt had seen my Tweet, tracked down my email address, and emailed me a solution to the problem (delete it off my iPhone and reinstall it). Things worked perfectly after that, and then I noticed that there was another update at the iTunes Store to solve the problem. Odds are that TripIt fixed the problem immediately, but Apple's hideously slow draconian "approval" process meant there was a long delay before iPhone users could actually get their hands on it. In any event, way to go, TripIt! it's nice to know that companies are starting to make use of social media for GOOD instead of the EVIL bullshit I've become accustomed to (oh how I hate Twitter spam!).

   
• Dungeon Master Revisited. One of my all-time favorite games is Dungeon Master, which I played constantly on my old Atari ST computer. It was fantasy role playing at its best, and did an incredible job (for the time) of immersing you in another world for hours of adventure. I spent years trying to find a worthy successor, but none came. As computers got faster and graphics got better, flashy animation and complex battle mechanics seemed to take precedence over gameplay. This wasn't nearly as much fun for me, as I preferred the elegant simplicity of the original. So while I can appreciate terrific games like Dragon Age, nothing that has come out since has been able to recapture those heady days and nights I spent engrossed in Dungeon Master back in the late 1980's.

Until now. Enter Undercroft for the iPhone...

Undercroft for iPhone Dungeon Exploring

Undercroft for iPhone White Wolves Attack!

It's so similar to Dungeon Master as to be spooky, but definitely manages to strike out in a direction all its own. I am having more fun with Undercroft than I've had with a video game for ages, and the fact it fits in my pocket is just icing on the cake. About the only thing I don't like about it is the idea that it's eventually going to end. I can only hope that the developer, Rake In Grass, is game for a sequel. If you've got an iPhone or iPod Touch, you can get a taste of the fun for FREE with the Undercroft Lite Demo.

   
And now it's time to get my caffeine on so that I can stay awake all night long for work. Hopefully my brain will not turn to moosh before the job is done tomorrow morning.

   

Bullet Sunday 159

Posted on Sunday, November 29th, 2009

Dave!I've been working since 4:00am. I will undoubtedly be up working until midnight. This is becoming a daily thing during this time of year, and I haven't had a chance to even think about bullets on this Bullet Sunday.

Except that's not quite true. I have been thinking of practically nothing but bullets today... it's just that they're not bullet points. Instead I've been agonizing over the senseless killing of four Lakewood police officers in the outskirts of Seattle this morning. They were gunned down while at a cafe in what appears to be a robbery gone violently wrong.

Tonight their names were released, which is difficult because names give them families and friends and people who care about them and everything else that people with names have. But they're names you don't know, so you can still be saddened yet mercifully detached. Even when you read that they all have children.

And then their photos were released, which is even more difficult because now you can put a face to the name and they become real to you... even though they're strangers. Strangers who put their lives on the line to protect and serve people who were mostly strangers to them.

I look at these photos and I am profoundly sad. Who can say how many lives they've touched? Who can say how many additional lives they might have touched if given the opportunity? Not just as police officers, but as human beings? These are the questions that will keep me awake at night. These are the faces that will haunt me with the sorrow of so many possibilities left unanswered...

Officer Mark Renninger

Officer Tina Griswold

Officer Ronald Owens

Officer Greg Richards

I'd cry in the hope that it would take away my sadness, but once I started how could I stop?

The horrors of this world seem never-ending.

It's terrible when anybody's life ends in violence. But when it's somebody whose life was dedicated to protecting people they don't even know... well, I look at these photos and I am profoundly sad.

Categories: Bullet Sunday 2009Click To It: Permalink  15 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Bullet Sunday 160

Posted on Sunday, December 6th, 2009

Dave!Home for Bullet Sunday! Home for an entire month! Of course, now that I've said that, I'm sure I'll end up flying out somewhere tomorrow.

• Holidays. I got an email from Laurel reminding me that the deadline for sending holiday cards to the troops via the Red Cross's "Holiday Mail for Heroes" program is MONDAY. That's TOMORROW if you're reading this on Sunday... TODAY if you're reading on Monday. If you'd like to make a serviceman or servicewoman's day when they're far from home, here's your opportunity...

Also... just a quick reminder that one of my favorite organizations, AnySoldier.com is a great way to show your appreciation for the troops any time of year. If you'd like to know what kind of stuff to send, I've written about that here.

   
• Woodie. Many congratulations to one of my favorite bands, Matt & Kim, on winning a Best Video Woodie for their awesome Lessons Learned video. I've written about my love for all things Matt & Kim here, and you can watch their video below...

   
• Killer. The question "what's your favorite app for the iPhone" is something I get quite often. Right now the honest truth would be Undercroft. But apps come and go and, once I've finished playing Undercroft, I'm sure some other toy will take its place. But once you remove the distractions, a few apps remain which I find indispensable. For travel, I wouldn't want to live without Flight Update Pro. For photos, I can't imagine not having ShakeItPhoto. And, of course, there's always the most important app ever created, Ask Dave!

But if I were forced to choose just one killer app I can't live without, it would be Jaadu VNC that gets my vote. For those unfamiliar, Virtual Network Computing (VNC) is a remote access system that allows you to control a computer over the internet. It's always somewhat problematic because of the screen update lag, but it works. And, thanks to Jaadu VNC, it works beautifully on my iPhone...

Jaadu VNC Screenshot
This is full-screen view, but you can also zoom in with auto-panning.

In fact, it works better than the VNC clients for my MacBook, and I often-times end up using Jaadu to do things that go sideways with other clients. Being able to access my work computer from practically anywhere is a game-changer. There's nothing quite like being able to handle a work emergency while standing in line at Splash Mountain. Jaadu makes this kind of thing easy. But the app has some other tricks up its sleeve as well... such as being able to switch to a numeric keypad or even a media remote...

Jaadu Remote Control Schreenshot

It costs something like $25, but the value it provides is priceless if you're away from your computer but need access to it.

   
• Copter. I am reeeeeally looking forward to seeing James Cameron's new film, Avatar. The preview images and video footage look amazing. And since it's James Cameron (Terminator, Aliens, Titanic) you just know it's going to be something special. What I find curious is the dual-fan helicopters featured in the material...

Dual-Fan Copters from Avatar

Dual-Fan Copters from Avatar

They instantly reminded me of the dual-fan helicopters from Disney/Pixar's brilliant animated film The Incredibles...

Dual-Fan Copters from The Incredibles

Very cool! And further proof that The Incredibles was operating at a level far above your typical cartoon feature. The design on it was...well... incredible. And it only makes me want to watch the movie all over again.

   
And that's a wrap. I really should get back to work now...

   

Bullet Sunday 161

Posted on Sunday, December 13th, 2009

Dave!It's time for yet another Bullet Sunday from the freezing cold Pacific Northwest!

   
• Come One Come All... If there's one thing I've learned over the past six years and eight months I've been writing in this iteration of Blogography, it's that you can never underestimate just how big the assholes are on the internet. And putting yourself out there with a blog is like setting out a giant welcome mat for them to drop by and stink up the place. Thank heavens for the delete key.

   
• I Wasn't Nervous Until Now... Downloadable content for Xbox 360 just keeps getting weirder and weirder. The latest genius from the Live Marketplace? "Don't B Nervous Talking 2 Girls"...

Girl on Game Screen Says

Yikes. Now I really AM nervous talking to girls!

The good news is that I was able to buy a pet monkey for Pooferflargen, my Xbox Avatar!

Pooferflargen's New Monkey!

Pooferflargen's New Monkey!

He's not a very smart monkey, but he does know how to dance.

   
• A Cafe By Any Other Name... This weekend I started poking around the code for DaveCafe, my Hard Rock Cafe fan site. I had redesigned the thing ages ago, but never had time to actually do anything with it. Yesterday while I was waiting for my work computer to run a backup, I decided to take a look. The data is mostly missing, and some of the templates are incomplete, but it's sorta kinda working in non-stupid web browsers. Surprisingly, there's only a couple of gap spacing errors in Internet Explorer 6, which is shocking as hell. Usually that pile of shit browser has a lot bigger problems...

IE 6 Browser Error Screenshot

Internet Explorer 7 and 8 are pretty shitty too, but they at least seem to be able to render my sites okay. Usually, I would spend the next two hours trying to find out what in the hell IE6 doesn't like, but I don't have time. A big part of me doesn't want to give a crap, but 8% of my visitors are inexplicably still using IE6. Probably because their workplace forces them to or they don't understand they have a problem. So what to do? My solution is to totally ignore the issue. If somebody using a 9-year-old browser expects modern websites to render properly, there's nothing I really can do. Except perhaps this.

   
I've been warned that a severe winter storm warning has been issued for tomorrow afternoon, which is sure to make my Monday even more buckets of fun than usual. I wonder if I can just forget all about it when I go to bed tonight and be pleasantly surprised?

I need better drugs.

   

Bullet Sunday 162

Posted on Sunday, December 20th, 2009

Dave!It's Bullet Sunday on the second-shortest day of the year!

   
• Weekly. I know it's not a special number or anything... but I've done A HUNDRED AND SIXTY-TWO of these things? Holy crap, WHY? Surely I have better things to do on a Sunday? Okay, I probably don't... but I really should. Shouldn't I?

   
• Sadly. Brittany Murphy died today. I know that she was made fun of quite a lot... they even had a parody of her on SNL... but I liked Brittany. She had a character type she was good at playing, and she played it very well. I loved her as "Tai" in Clueless. I really loved her as "Luanne" in King of the Hill.

Brittany Murphy

I find it sad that she wasn't appreciated a little more as an actress while she was alive. She had some great roles. And yet the only press she could get recently was rumor-mongering about her getting fired from a movie. And few people seem to remember that she was also a singer who had a hit single with Paul Oakenfold...

Of course, much of the stuff I've heard from Oakenfold sounds exactly the same, but I think she did okay with her part.

I wish she would have stuck around and done more. Rest in peace.

   
• Slowly. Why won't this douchebag just die already? Slowly. In an agony equal to that which he has inflicted on an unwilling populace. I know I'm only furthering his cause here, but holy shit! Exactly how much of this joke can we be expected to take? When Chelsea Lately christened the wanker and his equally ridiculous wife "Herpes Simplex One" and "Herpes Simplex Two" I thought it was a funny gag. But Chelsea totally nailed it. They never go away. They just keep hanging around and infecting people with their stupid antics. And now he's got an album coming out?

Douchebag

It's incomprehensible how anybody could still be giving a shit about morons like this.

Myself included.

   
• Barely. It didn't snow today like it was supposed to. In fact, I think it drizzled rained more than it snowed, and there was barely any precipitation at all. I think that New England took it all instead. While I'm sorry for everybody who's having to shovel their way out this afternoon, I am grateful it's not me this time.

   
Annnnnnnd... I'm spent.

   

Bullet Sunday 163

Posted on Sunday, December 27th, 2009

Dave!w00t! It's the last Bullet Sunday of 2009!

• TQ 2010. The moment we've all been waiting for has come. Jenny has announced the venue for TequilaCon 2010...

TequilaCon 2010 VANCOUVER Announcement!

I am sooooo looking forward to another awesome TequilaCon event!

You can read my wrap-ups for TequilaCon 2009 here... TequilaCon 2008 here... and TequilaCon 2007 here.

   
• Kindle 2. I bought my mother a "Kindle 2" electronic book from Amazon. I was waiting on Barnes & Noble's "Nook" because it looked a little niftier in pictures, but the reviews were less than stellar so I went back to the Kindle. The device itself is pretty sweet, and a lot easier read from than I had expected. Sure it would be nice if the "e-ink" display had whiter whites for better contrast with the "type" but if you have decent light, it's not bad at all. Bumping up the type size seems to help. In any event, my mother likes it quite a lot, which is all that really matters...

Kindle 2 by Amazon

You can buy new books directly from Kindle easy enough (assuming you have a 3G signal... shopping over EDGE is painfully slow). The good news is that new e-books are released at the same time as the hardcover, but cheaper. As an example, the latest James Patterson release "I, Alex Cross" retails for $27.99, can be bought on Amazon for $18.33 (including tax & shipping), or delivered to your Kindle instantly for $10.79 (including tax). But the best news is that you can get free sample chapters of most books to decide if you want to buy them or not, which makes shopping for Kindle more like shopping at a book store. Overall, I'm impressed. Like most electronic devices, I wish Apple would overhaul the user interface to something more intuitive, but it's all good.

   
• Totino's. I left work at 3:00 because I was tired and hungry and couldn't stand the thought of sitting at my desk one more minute. Despite a rumbling tummy, nothing really sounded good... EXCEPT A CHEAP-ASS 99¢ PIZZA FROM TOTINO'S!

Totino's Cheese Pizza

So few foods can give you 46% of your daily fat content, 36% of your saturated fat, 6% of your cholesterol, 24% of you carbs, and a whopping 56% of your daily cholesterol requirements... all in one convenient box! Genius!

   
Annnd... I'm spent. Assuming I don't die from my poor nutritional choices in food, I suppose I'll be back tomorrow.

   

  Home  

spacer
Welcome:
Blogography is a place to learn and grow by exposing yourself to the mind of David Simmer II, a brilliant commentator on world events and popular culture (or so he claims).
Dave FAQ:
Frequently Asked Questions
Dave Flickr Gallery:
Dave Contact:
dave@blogography.com
Blogography Webfeeds:
Entries Feed
Comments Feed
Dave Social:
Blogography Tumblr
Blogography Instagram
Blogography on Pinterest
translate me
lost & found
Search Blogography:
thrice fiction
Thrice Fiction Magazine - March, 2011 - THE END
I'm co-founder of Thrice Fiction magazine. Come check us out!
free iphone app
Ask Dave iPhone App
Put Dave in your pocket with this FREE app for iPhone and iPod Touch. All life's answers await you with the Ask Dave app!
dave tweets
hard rock moment
Visit DaveCafe for my Hard Rock Cafe travel journal!
travel picto-gram
Visit my travel map to see where I have been in this world!
mobile photos
Visit my Flickr Page
Subscribe to my Mobile Feed
badgemania
Blogography Badge
Atom Syndicate Badge
Comments Syndicate Badge
Apple Safari Badge
Pirate's Booty Badge
Macintosh Badge
license
All content copyright ©2003-2014
by David Simmer II
   
Creative Commons License
This weblog is licensed under
a Creative Commons License.