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Anew

Posted on Friday, January 1st, 2010

Dave!Last year I made five new year resolutions for 2009. I accomplished them all by February 9th.

Perhaps I set my sights too low. More likely I was just trying to be realistic in my goals. But whatever the case, after I fulfilled my resolutions I pretty much coasted for eleven months. Mission accomplished! This year I'm not going to let myself off so easy. Instead of giving myself a list of fixed goals that can be checked off, I'm instead going to commit to more general goals that don't have a finish line I can cross. Things that keep me growing and learning.

Like figuring out how to make the world's best grilled cheese sandwich.

Hey, there's always room for improvement... even when you've got a spectacular recipe already under your belt.

Superior cheeses come along.

Tastier breads.

Improved grilling technology.

All you can really do is create the world's best grilled cheese sandwich for the moment and move on to the next one. Sure that's a lot of cheese, but it's the journey (endless grilled cheese sandwiches)... not the destination (heart failure from high cholesterol levels)... that's important here.

Time to cut the cheese.

   

Meeeep!

Posted on Saturday, January 2nd, 2010

Dave!This morning on the way to work I stopped at the mini-mart to get a bag of cheesey popcorn. As I walked in the door, a child was standing there, screaming at me while he wagged his tongue. He had some kind of plastic tube stuck to his tongue, which made this hugely amusing to him. The hellion's mother(?) was sitting at a table talking to a friend(?)... blissfully ignoring the fact that her son(?) was screaming at people. I just ignored him as I walked by, and said "how charming!" as I headed back to the chips & cracker aisle.

While I was looking for popcorn, I heard the mother(?) screaming "BRIAN! PUT THAT DOWN! and "BRIAN! STOP THAT!" Apparently, she suddenly decided to give a crap when her kid(?) started tearing up the place.

After finding the snacks I wanted, I made my way to the cash register checkout and paid for my stuff. As I turned to leave, I noticed that Brian's mother(?) and her friend(?) were both glaring at me. As I walked to the door, I heard one of them say "how charming" in a high-pitched voice... kind of like Beaker from the Muppets...

It's Beaker!

Riiiiight...

I will never understand how people failing to discipline their kids is somehow my fault. Somehow I'm the bad guy.

I suppose I could have tried asking the bitches how this works, but it seemed a lost cause.

Instead I turned to the kid and said "how embarrassing for you!"

I'm guessing he'll get that a lot in the future.

   

Obliterate

Posted on Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

Dave!Am I the only one who keeps an Anarchy List?

You know... a list of people you will personally kill until they are dead if you're ever diagnosed with six months to live... or find out that the world will explode in four weeks... or aliens invade... or some other world-devastating event? A special list that you will act upon ONLY if going to jail or getting killed won't make much of a difference? A list filled with people, companies, or even places that deserve to be obliterated for the betterment of all society? A list so nasty that you'd be willing to give up your pacifist beliefs for the sweet, sweet taste of revenge?

Yeah, I thought so.

Tonight I added a telephone survey company to my Anarchy List.

Since they're technically not "selling you something," they're not obligated to comply with the National Do Not Call Registry, and can call you whenever they want. I hate them for that, and so they must die. If I'm ever given six months to live, their entire company headquarters will be destroyed and their call center will be wiped off the face of the earth... probably by way of a stolen FIM-92 Stinger missile... or perhaps an incendiary charge strapped to a fuel truck I've borrowed. In any event, VENGEANCE WILL BE MINE!

Ahem.

If only it were this easy...

TeleShoot!

TeleShoot!

TeleShoot!

TeleShoot!

Seriously... who in the hell wants to be bothered at home for an unsolicited survey by some politician or market research company or some other stupid crap? Maybe there are people so bored that they actually live for this bullshit, but I am not one of them. Why isn't there a DO NOT CALL WITH BULLSHIT OR YOU WILL FUCKING DIE registry? I mean, it's as much for their safety as it is for my sanity.

Hmmm...

There really should be a DO NOT CALL WITH BULLSHIT OR YOU WILL FUCKING DIE registry.

Because I care. I really do.

   

Encouragement

Posted on Saturday, January 23rd, 2010

Dave!There's only so many times you can see acts of random aggression, belittlement, and torment before you start thinking that the extinction of the human race wouldn't be such a bad thing.

I guess it's only natural, because it's always easier to destroy something than to build something.

But is it really so damn difficult to offer up words of encouragement every once in a while?

In other news... NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Brad and Angelina are splitting up!

If they can't make it in this world, what chance does anybody else have?

No chance, that's what.

UPDATE: Now rumor has it that Brad and Angelina are NOT breaking up! Yay! I can sleep tonight. And dream of a better tomorrow. A tomorrow where Brad and Angelina are happy together forever!

   

Rover

Posted on Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

Dave!I don't know when it happened, but I'm betting it was after I watched Pixar's WALL-E.

I've started to anamorphize inanimate objects.

I find myself attaching emotions and feelings to things like my iPhone and my television remote control. I dropped my iPhone a while back and have been worried that it hates me for it ever since. I spilled Orange Crush on my television remote and felt it resenting me for days. This is new for electronics, but I've done it for years with living things... which is why I can't bring myself to kill a wayward spider in my home, and instead take him outside...

Dave Spider Shoe

I just don't need that on my conscience.

Unfortunate little spider.

Anyway... today I read that the Mars Rover, "Spirit," has been stuck in sand on the red planet for the past 10 months, and now scientists have given up on ever getting him out. All they can do is try to get him to turn towards the sun so his solar panels can collect enough energy to keep him from freezing in the Martian winter. The hope is that even though he can't move, he can still be useful for scientific research if they can keep him alive.

As you can imagine, I'm pretty upset at the thought of poor little Spirit stuck and freezing up on Mars...

WALL-E Spirit Rover

As if I didn't have enough things to worry about.

I suppose asking NASA to stage a multi-billion-dollar rescue mission is out of the question?

   

Sidewalk

Posted on Saturday, January 30th, 2010

Dave!So there I was, minding my own business as I was walking to the mini-mart, when the woman walking ahead of me unknowingly dropped her vagina on the sidewalk.

This was surprising for a number of reasons... foremost of which was her wearing a mini-skirt in the middle of winter. Granted, the weather has been getting warmer lately, but it's still cold enough that there's snow on the ground. This made the whole mini-skirt thing pretty bizarre. Though, in the woman's defense, she was wearing boots and a jacket.

Neither of which were providing warmth to her crotch, which is why her vagina apparently froze and fell off...

DAVETOON: Bad Monkey finds a vagina on the sidewalk.

I was going to run up and tell her what happened, but I was too embarrassed.

Instead I carefully nudged it to the edge of the sidewalk with my foot so nobody would step in it. I figured eventually she's realize that something important had gone missing, then she'd retrace her steps to find her vagina there waiting for her.

A little colder, but no worse for wear.

   

I MEAN, SERIOUSLY! A MINI-SKIRT IN THE MIDDLE OF WINTER?!?

Though I suppose it could have been her work uniform. Maybe she's required to wear a mini-skirt as part of the dress code.

I wonder what kind of profession requires a mini-skirt dress code?

   

Revelation

Posted on Monday, February 1st, 2010

Dave!Lately I've been striving to look at things in a different light to reveal what I might be missing. I thought that this would be a good thing, because it would help me to better appreciate the things around me. Things that I see every day, but take for granted.

Unfortunately, it's had the exact opposite effect. All I seem to be revealing is that there's a lot of pointless, stupid, and wholly disappointing stuff out there that I tend to ignore. Apparently with good reason.

It's like that favorite restaurant you go to whenever you're drunk and needing some cheap eats to help soak up all that alcohol. Then one day you decide to eat there when you're sober... only to discover that the food is complete crap, and the only way anybody would ever want to eat there would be if they were too inebriated to be able to taste it.

I'm trying not to be too upset about it, but I can't help but be disappointed.

I guess some things just can't hold up to that kind of scrutiny.

Other things, on the other hand, don't require scrutiny to reveal their pointless disappointing stupidity. The revelation comes from the genius way that other people react to it.

This link is sheer brilliance. Which leads me to a sign of my own...

DAVETOON: Dave Hates Gags!
It's totally true! Look it up!

Confronting dumbassery with mockery to highlight just how fucking stupid it is... that's something I think God would appreciate. He invented a sense of humor, after all.

   

Alive

Posted on Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Dave!All I did was work today, and the only remarkable thing that happened was that I lived to tell about it.

Though I suppose I didn't actually "live" through the day so much as I "existed" through it. That's a big difference, and yet I'm pretty sure I'm the only one who noticed. This is either to my credit or my detriment... I can't quite tell which. All I know is that if I think about it too much I'll get depressed.

So I don't think about it.

Instead I remember back to days where I was truly alive.

And know that I'll live again, even if I don't feel that way right now.

   
Maybe it will be tomorrow. You just never know.

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Homecoming

Posted on Monday, February 22nd, 2010

Dave!After an unexpected extra day in Seattle, I'm back home again.

Nuthin'

   

Other than nearly getting run off the road by a car from the opposite direction driving in my lane, that's about it.

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Sicker

Posted on Saturday, February 27th, 2010

Dave!I spent all of Thursday being sick. Friday I woke up feeling terrible, but ended the day feeling okay.

Until I went to bed.

The minute I hit the pillow, things started going terribly wrong. All through the night I was wallowing in misery, trying to get some sleep despite a stabbing headache, leg cramps, and a runny nose. Then things got really interesting when my tongue decided to swell up (thanks to my idiopathic angioedema). So now I couldn't go to sleep, because I had to stand by with my epi-pen in case my tongue got worse and I couldn't breathe through my runny nose. When it rains, it pours.

Fortunately, an overdose of antihistamines arrested the problem with my tongue, a cold pill took care of my nose, and some pain killers and sleeping pills took care of the rest. It was a restless four hours sleep, but at least it was sleep.

After forcing myself to wake up in a daze so I could run an errand, I started whining about how much my life sucks.

Then I ran across THIS astounding bit of genius and realized things could always be worse...

Talk about finding opportunity in the face of adversity.

I'm hoping for a better night tonight.

   

Revolution

Posted on Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

Dave!Yeah, I'm pretty much done with authority now...

DAVETOON: Anarchy Monkey

   

It all ends up being the same, and there's no sign of it ever getting better.

So why pretend?

   

Confrontation

Posted on Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

Dave!For the FIFTH frackin' time now, the company which handles the credit/debit cards for my small local bank had a "security breach" which means I have to get a new bank card. This sucks hard, because every time they issue a new card, you have a brand new PIN to remember. I usually end up forgetting the number, which is inconvenient when you're... ohhhh let's saaayyyy... at a cash machine in a foreign country trying to get some local currency to pay an impatient taxi driver.

Not wanting to go through something like that again, I decided to go to the bank and ask if they can change my PIN to something I remember. Turns out they could, so they did, and so now I'm back to the PIN I had for my very first bank card (which is the only one I can seem to remember). Here's hoping I get to hang on to it for more than six months.

Otherwise, I'm going to have to brutally murder the dumbass who keeps losing his laptop with everybody's bank card info on it.

Just like I almost had to brutally murder an old man in a car who tried to zoom ahead of me as I crossed the street on my way back from the bank. Except he realized he couldn't make it in time, so he slammed on his brakes.

And then proceeded to rev his engine at me while I crossed.

I stopped in the middle of the sidewalk and stared at him while I said "SERIOUSLY?" Because I may not be much of a fighter, but I could have easily broken this geriatric asshole in half with one hand.

Rudeness like this just pisses me off. It's a rage thing I'm working on.

But at least I have perfect color perception, having scored a perfect score of ZERO at the ColorIQ Challenge!

ColorIQ Test Results: Perfect Score!

Apparently 1 out of 255 women and 1 out of 12 men have some form of color vision deficiency. If you want to know if you're color deficient, you can click here to take a free test online.

Hopefully you'll get a perfect score like me!

Hmmm... I guess that means I'm officially perfect at everything then.

   

Yourself

Posted on Thursday, March 11th, 2010

Dave!If there's one behavior I've learned which has proven to be the most useful throughout my life, it would probably be "see for yourself." I know that sounds trite and simple (maybe because it is) but it's also true.

It's following this "golden rule" which has led me to such amazing experiences as visiting the Egyptian Pyramids and walking along The Great Wall of China. But it has also forced me into less literal interpretations, where my mind has been opened to new ways of thinking and finding new truths where I was once ignorant. Like that movie which critics keep telling you sucks, but you go see for yourself and end up liking it.

Today I was catching up with the internet while I was on telephone-hold hell, and ran across a company mentioning how they had been the victim of an unfair verbal attack. I kind of like the company and what they do, so my first reaction was "Yeah. YEAH! THAT ASSWIPE CAN BURN IN HELL!! HOW DARE HE ATTACK THIS COMPANY" But my mind slowly drifted back to my mantra to "see for yourself" and so I started investigating the "asswipe" in question, reading up on things he had written and looking into the things he's done.

Much to my shock and horror, I ended up really liking what I found.

No, I didn't agree with absolutely everything he says and does but, looking at the big picture, he's my kind of person. Smart, funny, opinionated, open, and a little bit caring too. He ended up being just like the people I enjoy having as friends. And once I realized that, I tracked down the actual source where he "attacked" that company I like, and found out that the situation was not quite as simple as I had been led to believe. On the contrary, by the time I had made my way through it all, my mind had changed completely. I was now turned around 180-degrees and agreeing with the "asswipe" guy.

It's not the first time it's happened. I'm sure it won't be the last.

A part of me just hates it when my initial instincts and reactions are wrong, but there's also a kind of perverse satisfaction I get when discovering that I've learned something new... the hard way.

Sometimes you just have to see for yourself.

The reward is often worth the extra effort.

   

Miley

Posted on Thursday, March 18th, 2010

Dave!Tomorrow I'm on vacation for ten days so, naturally, today was packed full of last-minute work projects and a non-stop parade of drama. Work I can handle... but the drama?

Well, the drama has nothing to do with me. Yet people somehow think that it should.

So I'm ignoring the outside world for a while, and focusing on more important things. Like Miley Cyrus using her entire sixteen years of life experience to advise kids as to how they should live their lives...

Miley Says NO INTERNET!!

"I'm telling kids, don't go on the internet. It's dangerous, it's not fun, it wastes your life, and you should be outside playing sports or something. I just think it's kind of lame. I feel like I hang out with my friends and they're so busy taking pictures of what they're doing and putting them on Facebook that they're not really enjoying what they're doing. You're going to look back and have a million pictures, but you're not going to be in any of them. Because you're not having fun, you're too busy clicking away. So I think just enjoy the moment you're in, and stop telling people about it. Just enjoy it."

Wow. Where was this sage advice seven years ago when I started blogging?

The thing that's so odd is that kids pretty much live online now. American teenagers now-a-days haven't really known of a world without the internet. And, thanks to devices like the iPhone, they're beginning to not know of a world without constant access to the internet. They're online Twittering and Facebooking constantly, and when they're not doing that, they're texting each other non-stop. Sure it's excessive, but these are the times we live in, and that's the way society seems to want to interact. So, while I applaud Miley for encouraging kids to step away from the computer once in a while, I think it's unrealistic to tell them "Don't go on the internet." Ever. That's who they are now.

Besides, it would be pretty hard for them to buy tickets at Ticketmaster.com for Miley's concerts... or spend their time hanging around her two websites MileyCyrus.com and MileyWorld.com... or sign up for her email newsletter... or visit her official YouTube Channel... or shop at her official Amazon Shop... or connect with her on her official Facebook fan page... or view her musical endeavors on her official iLike Artist Page... or buy her music from her page at the iTunes Music Store... or even become a friend at her official MySpace Page.

So, basically, Miley tells her fans not to do the internet drug, but then pushes them all kinds of internet crack to feed their habit.

Maybe her millions of dollars puts her in a class above being a hypocritical douchebag, but this is still a disappointment.

Especially to a huge Hannah Montana fan like me...

Isn't it terrible when our media heroes turn out to be sanctimonious wankers after all?

   

Day Eight: Prague to Karlštejn

Posted on Saturday, March 27th, 2010

Dave!Last night I made plans to visit Karlštejn Castle, a popular tourist attraction about 20 miles south of Prague. And since I'd rather be punched in the face than pay $50 to join an organized tour bus group, I decided to go it alone via train.

After walking across the river and making my way down to Smichov Train Station, I bought my $4 round-trip ticket and then tried to find "Track 3" that I was supposed to be on. Except none of the tracks are numbered!! Not only that, but the reader boards only show the one train that's next to go... none of the trains afterwards! So I'm guessing the plan is that you run around from track to track until you find the train you're supposed to be on (hopefully you know the end-of-line city for your journey, or I guess you're fucked).

After finding my track by dumb luck, I thought the day's strangeness was over.

But this is me we're talking about.

And so there I am getting settled in my lower-compartment window seat when this guy comes walking down the aisle. When he gets to my row, he pauses for a second then continues on. The compartment is completely empty, which is nice, because I don't have to worry about a gum-smacking whore sitting near me. But then the guy comes back and sits down... right next to me... IN AN OTHERWISE EMPTY COMPARTMENT!

Not exactly sure how to react, I flash him my "seriously?" look. His response was to say "I am lonely." Not knowing exactly what he means by this, my only reply is "Uhhh... yeah... sorry, but I LIKE to be lonely," and then I headed to the upstairs compartment. On the up-side, he was a young good-looking guy, so it's nice to know what my options are if I should ever change teams.

Karlštejn Castle is quite a hike from the train station, but I didn't mind (hey, it was nothing compared to hiking up to Petřínská Rozhledna last night!). The castle itself is nothing extravagant, but still nice. The most interesting thing about my visit here was the weather. It started out pretty crappy...

Karlštejn Castle

But a half hour later it's an entirely different story...

Karlštejn Castle

No photos were allowed inside, of course.

The castle was founded by King Charles IV of Bohemia, and one of my favorite things about my visit was learning about his patron saint, Saint Catherine. The legends about her vary, but she pretty much kicked ass all around. After converting to Christianity in her teens, she went to the Roman Emperor Maximus to try and get him to stop persecuting Christians. The Emperor refused, but was taken by Catherine's beauty, and decided she should marry his son. After meeting Catherine for the first time, the son converted to Christianity. Upset at this news, Maximus sent his wife to talk Catherine out of her foolish religious ways. But instead, Catherine converted the wife to Christianity too. Outraged, Maximus had both his son and wife sentenced to death, and decided he would marry Catherine himself. In a final effort to have her give up her faith, Maximus sent fifty wise men to Catherine in order to make her see reason. That didn't go so well, as she converted all fifty of them to Christianity too. Maximus was beside himself with rage, and sentenced all fifty wise men to death, and decreed that Catherine would be tortured and killed on a breaking wheel. Except when she touched the wheel, lightning came down from heaven and demolished it. Left with no other option, Maximus eventually beheaded her, making her a martyr and eventual saint.

When I returned to Prague, I decided to hike up to Vyšehrad Castle, which is just south of Old Town. The locals I spoke with recommended the area because it doesn't get nearly the tourist traffic of Old Town. As an added benefit, it has a bitchin' cathedral and the views are pretty sweet...

Vyšehrad Cathedral

Vyšehrad Castle View

But what I liked best was the cemetery and its statues. I took quite a few shots with a wide range of exposures in the hopes that I could make some nice HDR photos from them...

HDR Angel at Vyšehrad

After walking most of today and yesterday, I had blisters on top of blisters and my legs were aching so bad I could barely move. I decided to take a Special Pill and lay down for a couple hours to recuperate a bit. By the time I had dragged myself out of bed and wandered back into Old Town, the rain we had been promised finally arrived. As expected, Prague is every bit as beautiful when wet...

Rainy Prague

The hotel manager suggested a vegetarian restaurant called Lehká Hlava (I think it's supposed to mean "Clear Head"), which is a kind of a Mediterranean/Spanish/Mexican fusion place that was unbelievably good. So good that I would gladly fly to Prague again just to eat here. I had hummus and tortilla chips followed by a quesadilla-type dish that was out of this world...

Lehká Hlava Restaurant in Prague

For dessert, I had to grab me yet another Trdelník. Usually I avoid foods with the word "turd" in the name, but these are so delicious that I just can't help myself. Bread dough is wrapped around a thick stick, baked over hot coals, then dipped in a mixture of sugar, cinnamon, nuts, and toffee bits. You then unroll it to eat, and it's just as delicious as it sounds...

Trdelník Shop

Since it was my final sunset in the city, I decided to take my Trdelník and walk across Charles Bridge one last time. The rain had stopped, but the cobblestone streets were still wet, which always makes for nice photos...

Charles Bridge at Night in Prague

Charles Bridge at Night in Prague

Across Charles Bridge at Night in Prague

And now I suppose it's time to pack my suitcase. Whee.

   

McPie

Posted on Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

Dave!I've been thinking a lot about pie recently.

It all started when I went through the McDonald's drive-thru last week and wanted something to eat with my French fries. As I read through the menu looking for non-meat options, I landed on the McDonald's apple pie and felt my heart sink. McDonalds' apple pie sucks ass. Compared to my grandmother's apple pie, all apple pies suck ass... but McDonald's is a new low in apple pie suckage. Especially since they switched to their awful "baked" pies in 1992. Prior to that, their pies at least had the benefit of a crispy goodness that can only come from deep-fat-frying.

I ended up getting a OREO Cookie McFlurry with my fries because I just couldn't handle the disappointment.

But my longing for deep-fried fast-food pie has lingered.

Mostly because I know that most foreign countries have McDonalds that serve fried pies. I've had fried McPie in Hong Kong, France, Italy, Japan, Ireland, Spain, and other countries too. Never mind that McDonalds was Made in America, foreign countries get the good pie.

Why Americans suffer in silence.

BUT I CAN BE SILENT NO MORE! I WANT FRIED McPIE BACK IN AMERICA!!

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

I don't care about health care reform or tax spending or national debt or any of that long-term crap anymore. All I care about is fried McPies for the American people NOW.

I realize that McDonald's probably started baking their pies out of some kind of misguided attempt to create something healthier to eat... but people don't go to McDonalds to eat healthy, and they certainly don't order pie for the health benefits. So let's cut all the pretentious bullshit and people what they want.

McDonalds owes us that much.

McDonalds owes us fried McPie.

   

Shoes

Posted on Thursday, April 8th, 2010

Dave!When I woke up and looked out the window this morning it was snowing. This was disappointing, because I was hoping to participate in One Day Without Shoes (helping to remind people of kids living in poverty who can't afford footwear). HELPFUL HINT TO ORGANIZERS: Might have been a good idea to pick a date closer to summer so those living in North North America can participate.

And so my day was already off to a bad start with the weather, but that wasn't good enough. Irony had to rear its ugly head. My body decided to have an angioedema attack for the second day in a row, where the bottoms of my feet had swollen so badly that getting my feet into shoes was a painful prospect. So, to sum things up...

  • Didn't want to wear shoes.
  • Had to wear shoes.
  • Couldn't wear shoes.
  • But still really had to wear shoes...

And so I overdosed on antihistamines (again) which ended up giving me an upset stomach, which resulted in me puking my guts out, which meant I ended up having to take more antihistamines, which made me sleepy, which meant I had to drink Red Bull, which caused me to have an upset stomach. And so on.

My entire day ended up being a vicious circle of cause and effect.

And here at the end of my day, it's no different. The never-ending battle to stay healthy enough to work while staying awake enough not to drop into a coma has taken its toll, and I'm pretty much dead. Whether I'm dead enough to get a decent night's sleep remains to be seen. But I'm hopeful.

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Scary

Posted on Friday, April 9th, 2010

Dave!My fear of clowns is well documented.

But apparently I didn't always have the same phobia of these psychotic killing machines that I do now. Because as I continue to scan and catalog pictures from my childhood, I am seeing clowns everywhere.

They're sneaking around in the background...

Scary Clown Blow-Up Chair!

Or placed next to me...

Baby Dave with a Scary-Ass Clown!

Or even sitting on my face...

Scary Clown Halloween Mask

And yet these photos show no sign of the trauma I would surely experience if I were to run across these same clowns today. I can only guess that I was attacked by a murderous clown sometime in my early teens, and have blocked the incident from memory. Now only the fear remains, not the experience which caused it.

Kind of like the George W. Bush presidency. As the days pass, I can barely remember all the horrific details... just the overwhelming feeling of sheer terror and dread that they imprinted on my psyche.

I should probably seek professional help, but I don't think any amount of therapy is going to drive Karl Rove from my head. And I don't suppose it takes a psychological genius to figure out what my worst nightmare would be...

Karl Rove Makes One Scary-Ass Clown

If Karl Rove ever joins the circus, I may never sleep again.

Though Rove did join FOX News, which is pretty much the same thing as the circus... just without the fresh-roasted peanuts, a trapeze, the big top, and somebody with a shovel to scoop up all the shit that the animals keep dropping all over the place.

Great. One more thing to keep me awake at night.

   

Drugs

Posted on Monday, April 12th, 2010

Dave!Despite having worked a big chunk of Saturday and Sunday I was still completely overwhelmed today. This was kind of disheartening, as it made me feel as if I had given up my weekend for nothing.

It's times like this that I am seriously reconsidering my no-drug policy here at Blogography.

Because, let's face it, if anybody is the perfect candidate for drug use it's me. I work under high amounts of stress, I am often alone, and I have a highly addictive personality. I often joke that the only thing that keeps me from doing buckets of cocaine is the cost. But the truth is that I could probably juggle a few things in my budget and be able to free up enough cash for a decent coke habit if I really wanted to.

And days like today, I really want to.

Living in a hallucinatory land of green skies with pink clouds while surrounded with hundreds of imaginary monkeys may seem like a terrible thing, but I assure you it sounds pretty good compared to my non-cocaine-hallucinated reality...

Dave's Dream

So far so good.

But then I look at the legal ramifications of being caught in possession of cocaine, and this rose-colored scenario starts to turn murky. As a first-time offender, I could probably get off with community service and drug counseling. Picking up garbage on the side of the highway wouldn't be too bad, that I could do. But the idea of having to go to meetings with crack-heads, stoners, blazers, and drugged-out nut-bags while some counselor lectures on the joys of a drug-free life... well, that's enough to scare me straight before I even begin. In all honesty, I'd rather go to prison.

So I'm back to square one.

I guess it's time for chocolate pudding and a glass of milk.

Which I'm sure is almost as good as a couple lines of cocaine anyway.

   

Stabbed

Posted on Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

Dave!Yesterday morning I awoke to discover that I had somehow gouged my right eyeball in the middle of the night. The most likely explanation is that my contact lens tore as I removed it, and a small piece got stuck in my eye. It was painful, yet not overbearingly so... a handful of ibuprofen managed to get me through the day.

Then this morning I awoke at 1:00am in searing pain. I'm assuming that I was rubbing my irritated eye in the middle of the night, worsening the injury. This time I took no chancres. I flushed it continuously with saline then looked in every nook and cranny with a flashlight. There was nothing there, but the damage had already been done. I was in agony as I stared at a computer screen while my eye was weeping all day long. It was uncomfortable to the extreme, and seemed to last an eternity.

But eventually I made my way home and took a break from computers for a while. That plus another handful of ibuprofen got the pain under control and I found my desire to live again.

UNTIL I WAS PULLING A STACK OF DVDs OFF THE SHELF JUST NOW AND HAD ONE SLIDE OFF AND STAB ME IN THE FACE... SCRATCHING THAT SAME EYEBALL... AGAIN!

And I thought I was in pain before.

I am fully of the opinion that any time you hurt a part of your body it becomes a frickin' magnet for further injury. Sprain your wrist, and you'll be bumping it all day long. Cut your finger, and you'll be smashing it in the door soon after. Get kicked in the balls and... well... you get the idea. I should have known better and worn my pirate eyepatch today, but I just wasn't that smart.

And so here I am, squinting through the tears trying to write today's blog entry.

Apparently I am in desperate need of dumbass warnings to protect me from myself...

Inserting pencil into eye may cause vision loss!

Cutting off penis with scissors may decrease sex drive!

Lighting farts may cause ass to catch fire!

   
I hate to be a whiner, BUT IT BURNS! IT BURNS SO BAD!

The only thing that could make this any worse would be if my headache came back...

   
   
SON - OF - A - BITCH!

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Movement

Posted on Monday, April 19th, 2010

Dave!About a half-dozen years ago I was at a horrible party filled with the most boring people imaginable. They were remote friends of my sometimes-girlfriend, and I tagged along because I didn't want to get yelled at. This was during the beginnings of the massive push to "go green" and every douchebag at the party was trying to "out-green" everybody else. This resulted in many lengthy conversations about compost, bio-fuels, recycling, and Birkenstocks... or so I would imagine... to be honest, I wasn't paying much attention and spent most of my time trying to get drunk on organic wine and eating my weight in Doritos with tahini dip. At some point there was a yelling argument over toxic-waste, but not a cool kind of argument (such as to who would win in a death-match between a mutant and a zombie).

It was as about as thrilling as a severe case of food poisoning, but without the fun of calling in sick at work (which is what happens when you try to get drunk on organic wine and eat your weight in Doritos with tahini dip).

Over the course of the 147 hours the party lasted, I somehow got involved in a conversation about bowel movements...

HIPPIE #1: The toxins building up in our feces is a leading cause of health problems.
   
HIPPIE #2: Yes, we should learn from the animals... a dog has two to three bowel movements a day!
   
HIPPIE #1: I wonder if there are any health benefits to a human having three bowel movements a day?
   
DAVE: I dunno. That sounds like a lot of crap to me! Ha! Ha! Haaaaa!
   
HIPPIE #2: !?!!
   
HIPPIE #1: !?!!
   
HIPPIE #2: So... are you thinking laxatives or a high-fiber diet supplemented with coconut or almond oil?

I don't know whether this was better or worse than the Whine People, but it definitely redefined my definition of "torture."

Anyway, flash-forward to today, and I somehow ended up in a conversation where THIS was the topic...

Bristol Stool Scale
Chart Stolen from Wikipedia

   
Of course, my only contribution to the discussion was this...

DAVE: I dunno. That sounds like a lot of crap to me! Ha! Ha! Haaaaa!

Apparently I am the only one who has absolutely no desire to discuss this shit.

...

Ha! Ha! Haaaaa!

   

Bullet Sunday 180

Posted on Sunday, April 25th, 2010

Dave!It's a very special TEQUILACON edition of Bullet Sunday!

   
• ISERT10. It all started on Friday when the TequilaCon Planning Posse met in Seattle for the drive up to this year's host city... VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA! Dubbed the International Shark Extreme Road Trip 2010 (ISERT10), it was a journey filled with wonder, good times, danger, and disappointment. The disappointment came when we realized that the Kentucky Fried Chicken DOUBLE-DOWN is illegal in Canada, and we'd miss our opportunity to feed one to Dustin so we could observe the health-deteriorating effects...

KFC Double Down!

A double-cheese and bacon sandwich with fried chicken as the "bread" could only have come from the USA, and apparently Canada wants to keep it that way. After the thorough interrogation we got when crossing the border, I can't imagine the penalty afforded you if you were to attempt to smuggle a Double-Down into the country. Probably death. Or at least long-term imprisonment. Kind of like Brokedown Palace or Midnight Express... but with chicken.

   
• Apples. Tired from the trip up, we decided to hold off work until Saturday so we could engage in a new TequilaCon Planning Posse tradition... a game of Apples to Apples. This is, after all, how the term SHARK EXTREME was born (because when your word to judge is "Extreme" and you choose "Sharks" over "Hitler" as the most correct answer, you've pretty much laid down the law on extremeness... Jenny has the full story here). This year, I was faced with another Hitler dilemma...

Apples to Apples Juding EXTREME against Bill Gates and Adolf Hitler.

This year I wasn't going to make the same mistake after somebody played The Hitler Card, but Jenny had to go and remind me of Windows Vista, so now we've added BILL GATES UNSCRUPULOUS to SHARK EXTREME in the TequilaCon slang dictionary. And, in a stranger note, Adolf Hitler just can't seem to win at Apples to Apples.

   
• Preparation. Saturday morning was spent prepping for the big event, with button-making being given priority over sightseeing. Sure it's a tough choice, but sometimes sacrifices must be made for the greater good...

Making Buttons!

   
• TEQUILACON! I don't even know what to say about this year's event. It was epic as usual. A truly wonderful bunch of people having massive amounts of fun in a wonderful welcoming atmosphere at a fantastic venue (many thanks to Jet and everybody else at Steamworks Brewing Co. who took such good care of us!). Things could only have been more perfect if Ryan Reynolds showed up with a box of TimBits and Nickelback(!) performed! There's a photo set building up on Flickr where tons of pictures will end up in a day or so, but here's just a few I took...

TequilaConners!

Planning Posse

TequilaCon Jerseys

Jerseys!

   
• SWAG! This year the SWAG (Stuff We All Get) game was elevated to an entirely new level. In addition to the bitchin' name-badge lanyards and souvenir buttons we usually get, Beth (of Copasetic Beth fame) created these amazing hats for all attendees...

TequilaCon 2010 Hats!

Featuring the TequilaCon SHARK EXTREME logo, the hats look just incredible and added all new epicness to an already epic event. Thanks, Beth!

   
• Victoria. It's not really that easy to get to Victoria from Vancouver, even though technically they're pretty close. First you have a half-hour drive to the Tsawwassen Ferry Dock, a half-hour to buy tickets and load up, an hour-and-a-half to cross the Georgia Straight, and an hour bus-ride from the Swartz Bay Ferry Dock to downtown Victoria. With return, that's a seven-hour journey... it's kind of tough for a day-trip, but we decided to give it a shot because Victoria is a beautiful city and worth the effort...

Map Vancouver to Victoria.

It was a short trip, but a nice one...

Jenny on the Ferry

Pub Crawling Victoria

The Empress Hotel

   
And thus ends another TequilaCon. Until next year!

   

Gerechterfreude

Posted on Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

Dave!Schadenfreude, which is often translated in American English to mean "shameful joy," is a delicious German word used to describe a situation where somebody finds pleasure in the misfortune of others. In Buddhism this concept is kind of horrific, which is probably why their word Mudita or "joy" is often seen as Schadenfreude's polar opposite. Mudita is achieved by finding pleasure in the happiness and well-being of others. As somebody who strives to apply Buddhist ideals to everyday life, it's my goal to limit Schadenfreude as much as I can, while striving for Mudita whenever possible.

But sometimes you just can't help it.

Today as I was driving back from Seattle, I turned off I-90 at Cle-Elum so I could connect with Highway 97 and go home. These roads are single-lane, which can be frustrating. Because about ten minutes later, some asshole comes roaring up behind me and was grinding on my bumper even though I was over the speed limit by 5 miles per hour. Had I been under the speed limit, I'd understand his aggressive driving because I'd deserve it. But I wasn't, so his douchebaggery was uncalled for. My first reaction was to slam on my brakes and slow down so he'd back off... but he didn't. This just seemed to make him more anxious. Which just encouraged me to slow down even further, because I can be a total asshole too.

Eventually he got to a spot where he could pass me, and went zooming by at spectacular speed. After fuming with rage for a few minutes, I promptly forgot about the jerkwad because life is too short.

Until I ran across him 20 minutes later skidded off the road.

Bwah ha ha!

I would have stopped to offer help, but somebody with a truck already had. This was too bad, because I'd love to have been the one who pulled up and asked "Are you having some trouble?" And yet... even though in my head I would be laughing my ass off, I don't think that this could be considered the "shameful joy" of Schadenfreude because I really would have helped him out if I could. Maybe that would be considered "righteous joy" or "Gerechterfreude" if you will.

Anyway, not long after that hot mess, an oncoming car flashed their lights at me. This is usually a warning that a police car is up ahead laying a trap, and I should watch my speed. I definitely appreciated the warning (thanks, man!), but I was already fine because I've been trying really hard not to speed excessively. With budget cutbacks and such, the cops have been issuing a staggering number of tickets lately for even tiny infractions. I can only guess that this is to generate income and justify their not being laid off or something.

But it wasn't the police. It was four deer down by the road having lunch!

Deer make regular appearances here, so you always have to be careful, but I have never seen four of them together like that. I slowed down and gave them a wide berth in case one of them suddenly decided to bolt across the road, but they walked off into the bushes as I approached.

And there was my moment of Mudita... feeling joy that the deer wandered away unharmed and happy.

Most likely because karma ran that stupid asshole right off the road before he could come along and plow over them.

"Gerechterfreude" totally needs to be a word.

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Parking

Posted on Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

Dave!What kind of total douchebag do you have to be to park your massive motorhome sideways across SIX individual parking spaces? Before you answer, I am compelled to mention that there is a huge lot with motorhome parking just across the street. But heaven forbid you should have to walk across the street when you can screw over SIX people so you can park wherever the hell you want to.

I know I shouldn't be shocked at the depths people will sink to make their lives more convenient at the expense of others, but this kind of blatant ass-hattery never ceases to amaze me. People just don't care. They don't care about other people, and they certainly don't care about what anybody else thinks of them. I'd imagine this is out of self-preservation, because if they cared about the things other people say when they're being a douche, they'd probably jump off a cliff. Far easier to just be a dickwad and not care, I guess.

And yet these people are undoubtedly the first to have a hissy fit when somebody else inconveniences them.

The maximum levels of hypocrisy, apathy, and overall douchebaggery this world can endure before we reach a tipping point is rapidly approaching. It's only a matter of time before somebody has had enough with people's bullshit, and takes matters into their own hands. They'll see some asshole parked across six parking spaces and just lose it. They'll then take a wad of explosives out of the back of their car that they've been saving for just such an occasion... and explode the ever-loving-shit out of that motorhome pile of crap. And then they'll dance around the smoldering remains while laughing their ass off.

I really hope that person doesn't end up being me.

Unless... isn't that kind of how Batman got started?

   

Losing

Posted on Monday, May 3rd, 2010

Dave!I tossed and turned all night, which I assumed was anxiety from the massive pile of work that awaited me this morning. This was a bit confusing, because every morning begins with a massive pile of work. There was no reason for today to be any different from other days.

And yet it was.

I was busy with a project when the email notification came. Not wanting to be disturbed while I was in the middle of things, I ignored it. Twenty minutes later, the world came crashing down as I finally read the email from a friend who was sharing some terrible news. This seems to be happening far too frequently now-a-days, so you'd think I'd be accustomed to it. People losing their jobs. People losing their homes. People losing their health. People losing their lives.

But of course you can never get used to these kinds of things. Not really. And this time it was particularly sad.

I think I must be at the point where I hurt for friends, family, and loved-ones more than I can hurt for myself. This is both terrifying and liberating to discover, though I don't know what to do with it.

Except more tossing and turning, I'm sure.

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Crazy

Posted on Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

Dave!Every once in a while don't you wish you could say "screw the rules" and do something quasi-insane just to break free from the mundane confines of everyday life? Stop the world and do something a little bit crazy so you can feel alive again? Not care what anybody else thinks and do something odd and disconcerting just for the heck of it? Ignore what you're supposed to do and instead do what you want to do?

Yeah, me neither.

DAVETOON: Lil' Dave in a Pink Bear Hat

   
Well, except for today.

Today that was all I could think about. Guess it's a good thing I'm flying away for the weekend.

   

Want

Posted on Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

Dave!You know when there's something you really want

But you know you can never have it

So you do everything you can to put it out of your head

But deep down you still want it

And the thought of it burns in your brain so you can't think

And the ache of it sits heavy in your heart so you can't feel

And the longing of it crushes your chest so you can't breathe

But there's nothing you can do to make it go away

So it consumes your every waking thought

And it envelopes your every sleeping dream

It becomes your life

But to acknowledge that would destroy you

So you tell yourself that you don't really want it after all

When you know that you really do

But you can't

So you won't

But you do

And so

You allow yourself to hope

And every day you feel a little more lost because the hope keeps slipping away

And one day you wake up and don't know who you are because the hope has gone

And then you find yourself lost, confused, and alone

But still wanting?

   

   

Yeah.

I knew I should have bought that Statue of Liberty Brass Coat Rack when I was in New York.

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Friends

Posted on Friday, May 14th, 2010

Dave!Today would have been one of my best friend's 50th birthday had he not passed away nine years ago. I try to think of what crazy thing I might have done to celebrate the occasion had he lived to see it, but I am drawing a complete blank. Probably because I don't care about a birthday party... I just want him back. People say that you miss a person less and less as time goes on, but that certainly hasn't been the case here. There are just too many reminders.

He loved Dr. Who, so any time an episode airs, he's there. He never got to see any of the "new" series that began in 2005, and so I can't help but wonder what he would think. Enjoying Dr. Who is mostly impossible for me, as it's the most frequent painful reminder that he's gone. But it's not just Dr. Who. As a fellow sci-fi geek, he was often the first person I'd turn to when some new sci-fi television show or movie debuted. The crappy Star Wars prequels were made even worse because my friend wasn't there to laugh with me over the heinousness of it all. It works both ways, I suppose. He was around to experience the sheer brilliance of The Matrix for which I am eternally thankful... but he was spared from the awful sequels which destroyed the franchise for me. Small consolation, to be sure, but when your best friend is gone, I guess you have to cling to whatever small blessings you can find.

And then there's Star Trek.

The wonderful re-imagining by J.J. Abrams last year was truly bittersweet. Yes I loved the movie. But enjoying it was impossible. Both my friend and I were massive fans. We went to at least a dozen Star Trek conventions together over the years. We met all the primary (and many not-so-primary) castmembers of "The Original Series" and "The Next Generation" series and collected their autographs. We talked about the shows for hours. Star Trek was such an hugely important diversion for the both of us that it's unthinkable that I could ever see anything even remotely Trek-related without my best friend haunting me. The sheer number of great memories I have from our wacky adventures at Trek conventions alone could fill a book. I've been so sorely tempted to share some stories from those days on my blog, but I can never bring myself to do it. It would be like giving away a part of him, and I'm entirely too selfish to do that. Memories are all I have now, and they've become like some closely-guarded secret that I never want to share. A part of me hopes I change my mind one day, because there are tales entirely too good not to share. I guess we'll see if I get less selfish in my old age. Somehow I doubt it.

Our shared sci-fi infatuation also treaded into literary diversions. We attended numerous book signings and author readings together for writers such as William Gibson, Neal Stephenson, Neil Gaiman, Clive Barker, Douglas Adams, and many others. This is something for which I owe him a tremendous debt, because I'm certain I would have never attended these on my own. I look back on my life and remember such incredible moments as hearing Douglas Adams read from Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy or Clive Barker discussing the thinking behind his own personal favorite novel, Imajica, and wonder what memories I have that could possible replace them. There aren't any. Those moments... those shared moments... are priceless. And I owe them entirely to my friend.

If there was one area we had =zero= overlap, it would be music. His favorite musical artist was Tori Amos. I've never understood it. Even after he dragged me to one of her concerts I was left unimpressed. No doubt she is a truly gifted songwriter and performer, but her stuff just isn't for me. He, of course, had no interest in my 80's New Wave music addiction. New releases by bands like Depeche Mode and The Thompson Twins that would put me over the moon for weeks were just something for him to laugh at. I remember when Depeche Mode's Ultra was released we were in Seattle, so I picked it up. When we got back to his place, I was so excited to listen to the album that I couldn't hop in my car and drive home to listen to it... I had to listen to it now and popped it into his CD player. The minute Barrel of a Gun started thumping through the speakers, his reaction was to pick up his cat, cover her ears, and say "It's okay... it will all be over soon." Insulting my favorite band like that would have been unforgivable if it weren't so damn funny. Whenever I hear a song from Ultra I just picture his cat looking completely puzzled as my friends hands covered the side of her head. I love the memory almost more than the music.

Television, books, movies, sci-fi, comics, and all the geeky crap that went with them were an integral part of what kept us friends for so long. But they were all incidental to the one thing that brought us together... computers.

My friend ran a local computer bulletin board system (BBS) where other computer geeks could dial in with their telephone modems to send messages to each other and share information. It was a crude (very crude) precursor to equivalent services that would later become commonplace on the internet, but that was all we had. Every once in a while users from the various local BBSs would assemble in Real Life for a "Pizza Bash" where many friendships ended up forming. Including ours. Despite different platforms (I was Atari, he was Amiga) the wild computer frontier was an adventure we shared until the day he died (though it was a lot less "wild" in later years).

I don't have a single computer-related memory worth remembering that doesn't have my friend in it. Even when I didn't know who he was, and a "personal computer" was just something freaky and new at the high school library to goof around with, he was there. And, as he was six years ahead of me in school, that's quite a feat. Turns out he helped the local computer shop install/maintain/repair the school computers from time to time. And so he was there from the beginning for me (he was also there when we got to meet Kiki Stockhammer and Wil Wheaton during a NewTek Video Toaster workshop, but that's another story).

The great equalizer between us in the computer platform wars was the Macintosh. I bought a Mac so I could use Photoshop with the pricy scanner I had just purchased. I was instantly smitten, and my loyalty to Atari computers vanished overnight (an Apple Whore was born!). My friend remained a steadfast Amiga user, despite my constant pressure for him to switch.

Until Myst.

Myst was a revolutionary (for the time) graphical adventure game released in late 1993. More than a game, it was an all-absorbing work of art. There was nothing else really like it, and it ran only on Macintosh computers with a CD-ROM. I bought the game because somebody had recommended it to me, but never actually played it until weeks later. The minute I finally started the game, I called my friend at work and told him "YOU HAVE TO COME SEE THIS!!" So he ditched work and came over... then spent the next ten hours hunched over the computer with me playing it until the wee hours. He bought a Mac for himself the next day. That's a bond which can't be broken.

After he had become a Mac convert, my friend dragged out this awesome Macintosh "Picasso Logo" promo-light he had gotten from a local computer shop that was tossing it out. The light was absolutely beautiful and very rare. Mac Whore that I am, I of course wanted it. I coveted that thing every single time I saw it and joked with him once about stealing it. He just laughed that laugh of his and said "Well, you can have it when I'm dead!" For years after, I would joke about plotting his demise so the light would be mine at last. "It's worth risking a manslaughter prison term, you know," I'd say...

Mac Picasso Logo Promo Light
Photo taken from RedLightRunner

For the past nine years it's been agony every time some cool new technology is released and my friend isn't here to share it with me. Mac OS X was released the day before he died. The iPod came seven months later. When the iPhone was released I was depressed for days because it was Star Trek come to life and the first call I wanted to make on it was to my friend. How can I miss him less and less over the years when technology is all about being more and more? There's always something new coming out. He's always the person I want to talk about it with (Myst is available on the iPhone now, for heavens sake!). And that never fades. It never goes away.

March 24th, 2001 I was in Seattle celebrating my birthday with my sister and friends in Seattle. The next day as I was recovering from the drunken debauchery of the previous night, I got a phone call from my mother telling me I needed to call my friend's wife. But I didn't need to call. It's one of those moments you "just know" something terrible has happened and you're about to make a call that changes everything. But I did call his wife. And it did change everything. My best friend of the past sixteen years was gone.

After the funeral, my friend's wife and mother generously invited me over to see if there was anything I wanted to have as a reminder of him. And while there was a lot of stuff of his I'd have loved to own, there wasn't a single bit of it that I wanted. No "thing" could ever take his place. No piece of "stuff" would make me miss my friend any less.

So I politely refused.

After I took the Macintosh Picasso Logo Light, of course.

The bastard would have been furious with me if I hadn't.

Happy 50th birthday, Howard. I love and miss you every day.

   

Lobotomized

Posted on Saturday, May 15th, 2010

Dave!My burrito just asploded in the microwave.

It seems like a good enough reason to reevaluate my life.

And so I'm sitting here trying to type up self-analytical prose while eating my blowed-up burrito dinner and watching The Godfather: Part II on television (NO, FREDO! DON'T GO OUT ON THE LAKE!). I'd say it's an illuminating experience, but that would be a lie. There's only so much enlightenment you can get out of a burrito, and I've seen the Godfather trilogy so many times that nothing new is coming out of there unless I get a lobotomy...

DAVETOON: Lil' Dave gets a lobotomy from Bad Monkey!

   
Which would be great, because how awesome would it be to get to watch The Godfather for the first time again?

And now... dessert!

Tonight's dessert will consist of a giant spoonful of Betty Crocker vanilla frosting...

Frosting Can!

Delicious!

Needless to say, I'm giving me high marks on my life reevaluation.

   

Opportunity

Posted on Monday, May 17th, 2010

Dave!Last night I got a call from an old girlfriend that I had dated briefly sometime during the Clinton years. She opened the conversation by first telling me I was a difficult guy to track down, then secondly telling me that she's getting married. This was bizarre for two reasons... 1) I am living at the same place and working at the same job and am pretty sure I have the same mobile phone number as I did back when we were dating... and 2) It makes no sense that she'd be calling a guy she dated for five minutes a decade ago to share wedding plans.

Unless...

      Yeah. She wants me to photograph her wedding AND design her invitations. As a friend.

i.e. FREE.

I thanked her for the lovely opportunity, then explained that... 1) I'm not a professional photographer so I wouldn't be comfortable with the responsibility of documenting her wedding... and 2) I don't have time to design anything right now because my work schedule is packed for the next six months.

Anyway...

This was not something I had planned to blog about, but I've spent most of my day questioning the whole conversation and just don't give a crap who sees this. Because I really gotta know...

      Am I the only one who thinks that this is the tackiest phone call ever?

It's like "HEY! I KNOW I HAVEN'T SPOKEN TO YOU IN TEN YEARS AND BARELY KNOW YOU AND WE'RE NOT REALLY FRIENDS... BUT I AM GOING TO ASK YOU FOR A HUGE FAVOR AS A "FRIEND" ANYWAY BECAUSE I DON'T FEEL I SHOULD HAVE TO PAY FOR SOMETHING THAT I CAN GET YOU TO DO FOR FREE, HA HA HA HA HA!"

Because, honestly, I just don't get it.

As a guy, I've been taken advantage of by women all my life. But usually it's because there's a faint hope that there will be something in it for me. But in THIS case... SHE'S GETTING MARRIED!

TO A GUY THAT'S NOT ME!!!

What's in it for me this time? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! I guess I'm just supposed to do all this out of the goodness of my own heart for old-time's sake? For somebody I barely remember? Really?

I guess I'm just an insensitive bastard.

Or sane.

One or the other.

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Sainthood

Posted on Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

Dave!Thirty years ago, Mt. St. Helens erupted, spewing ash all over the Pacific Northwest. And even though there's a mountain range and 200 miles between the eruption site and where I live, we still got blasted. I remember the eruption in the news quite well. I remember scooping ash out of the yard. I remember rain making a big ol' pasty mess on the lawn. But what do I remember most of all?

The Doomsday Clock.

At the time of the ash-plosion, some wacky scientist guy went on television to warn the world that the eruption of Mt. St. Helens was a mere warm-up to other eruptions far more disastrous. Including the Yellowstone Caldera SUPERVOLCANO!

Well, they didn't actually use the term "supervolcano" back then, but the concept is the same...

Sitting under Yellowstone National Park is a mind-bogglingly massive lake of magma that's under enormous pressure. Many geologists say that it is now overdue to erupt. And once it does, there will be devastation unlike the world has seen in hundreds of thousands of years. In addition to the vast amounts of ash released, the lava dome will collapse into itself, spewing lava for hundreds of miles and initiating killer eartquakes that would ravage the Western United States. Anybody within 200 miles of the caldera would die immediately. Those within 600 miles would be suffocated to death by the ash plume.

But it gets worse.

The amount of material released into the atmosphere by a supervolcano would cause a "volcanic winter" that would affect the entire world. Scientists generously estimate that 90% of the human race would not survive it. And those that do will have an unimaginably difficult existence plagued by famine and disease. I feel "lucky" that I'm living in the kill zone, because sudden death seems the best-case scenario here.

Hence "The Doomsday Clock," because it's not a matter of if but when Yellowstone blows.

Granted, that might not be for a 100,000 years yet, but it was so much more dramatic for the wacky scientist guy on television to insinuate that it was just around the corner.

Which it could be.

Or not.

Anyway... Happy anniversary Mt. St. Helens!!

   

Friday

Posted on Friday, May 28th, 2010

Dave!A good start to the weekend...

DAVETOON: Darts, Jaëger, Cards, Jaëger, Wii, Jaëger.

   

   

V.I.P.

Posted on Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

Dave!Much the same as everybody else on the planet, I like feeling special.

I like being recognized at shops and restaurants I visit frequently. I like getting discounts for being a loyal customer. I like belonging to clubs and programs that say I'm an elite client. I like getting catalogs with offers for members only. I like getting personal notes from company execs who recognize my value to them. I like knowing that I matter. That I'm valued. That I'm recognized. That I'm... special.

When I was in Chicago last week, one of my big goals was to drop by the LEGO Store so I could pick up a V.I.P. Card for their new rewards program. I don't buy a lot of LEGO anymore, but their shiny new card makes me feel special just the same...

LEGO VIP Logo

It's all an illusion, of course. Absolutely anybody can walk into a LEGO Store and get a V.I.P. Card.

And I realize full well that the minute I stop spending money at a shop they'll drop me off their "elite" list like a hot potato. And if I stop spending money at a restaurant, they'll forget I ever existed. And if I don't spend enough money to make a sales quota, I won't have membership privileges any longer.

Yes, it's all an illusion.

And I know it's an illusion.

But I don't care.

In a day and age where all too many companies just don't seem to give a shit about their customers, even fake recognition is better than no recognition at all.

Or so I keep telling myself...

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Carcassonne!

Posted on Friday, June 4th, 2010

Dave!When I was visiting my sister for a (very) belated birthday celebration this past weekend, I somehow left my car's passenger window part-way down (I don't remember ever lowering it, but whatever). Of course it then decided to rain all night long. By the time I was told about my error the next morning, the floor was all squishy with water. I soaked up as much as I could, then drove back home where the warmer weather managed to dry things out nicely.

Until this morning, when a bottle of Coke got knocked on the passenger floor, which meant I had to once again flood everything with water in an effort to get the syrupy mess out of the carpet.

Can't. Catch. A. Break.

Tonight I'm going to try to get more than four hours sleep and see if that can prevent any further Coke-related accidents in my car. If I have to soak the floor one more time, the carpet is probably going to disintegrate.

Much like the little boy in this statue I photographed in Brooklyn a few weeks ago...

Carcassonne Solitaire

I know. I know. The artist intended to show the kid nuzzled into the folds of the woman's tunic... but unless she's got a gaping hole in her torso AND is missing a good chunk along the left side of her body... OR the kid had half his face and body burned off in a nuclear accident... well... the boy is occupying the same space as the woman here. This means either they are merged like some kind of impossible Siamese twins... or they got fused in some freak teleporter accident like Jeff Goldblum did in The Fly.

No matter what the explanation, I am really creeped out by this statue. I mean, GAH!! THEY ARE TOTALLY MELTED TOGETHER OR SOMETHING!! AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO NOTICES STUFF LIKE THIS?!?

Urgh. Must go to bed and try not to have nightmares of giant freaky mutant melty people.

   
But before I go...

Normally I would save something like this for Bullet Sunday, but I have no idea how long the half-price offer will last, so I'm compelled to add it today.

A really nice strategy game called "Carcassonne" has been converted to the iPhone and released today. The object of the game is to build a board out of tiles, and use your "Meeples" to claim castles, roads, fields, or cloisters. The strategy comes in when you try to figure out the best way to maximize points while keeping your opponents from doing the same. The original game looks like this...

Carcassonne Original Board Game
Photo by Elentin and taken from Wikipedia.

The iPhone version (created by TheCodingMonkeys) is just stunning, and looks like this...

Carcassonne for iPhone

Not only does it look gorgeous and fully-faithful to the original, but the developers went for broke by adding multiplayer via your choice of pass-and-play OR Bluetooth OR Wi-Fi OR email OR internet (with push notifications when it's your turn!). Don't have the number of players you like? Select one of the eight computer AI opponents of various skill levels! Not enough? They added a unique "Solitaire" mode with all-new game-play! Don't know how to play? There's a full manual PLUS a great tutorial complete with voice-over acting! STILL not enough? Carcassonne for iPhone also has in-game chat for network games, online and offline rankings, and a "Solitaire Game of the Week" with a best score competition!

In short, this is one of the best apps I've ever seen on my iPhone. Some people I know don't like Carcassonne, but most people seem to love it. If you love it or even think you'll love it, now is the time to act... it's currently on sale for $4.99! So get it now before they released the FREE iPad compatible version and jack the price up to $9.99! From what I've read, TheCodingMonkeys are planning on keeping the game fresh by adding some of the Carcassonne expansion sets for in-app purchase. You can't ask for more than that...

Carcassonne is Dave Approved!

If you'd like to see more, I've added more screen captures with my comments in an extended entry...

→ Click here to continue reading this entry...

   

Zombification

Posted on Monday, June 7th, 2010

Dave!After three restless hours of non-sleep, I got up verrrrry early this morning so I could trek over to Seattle to begin an incredibly chaotic week. While here in the city, I'm literally working on four projects at the same time, all while trying to stay focused on the main task at hand. I've all but given up trying to get caught up on sleep, and have just resolved to become a zombie...

DAVETOON: Walking Zombies

It sucks, but I've had worse.

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Honker

Posted on Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

Dave!I was having such a good day at work today. Until I made the mistake of driving back to my hotel at the end of the day.

Seattle is kind of a unique for a major city (so far as traffic goes) because it is surrounded by water on three sides. To alleviate traffic jams, most cities expand outward and build a ring road or something... but that's an option Seattle just doesn't have. For better or worse, the city is pretty much stuck with what they've got. Sure it presents some challenges and frustrations, but it is what it is, and locals pretty much deal with it the best they can...

Seattle Map
Puget Sound (Elliott Bay) to the West. Lake Washington to the East. Lake Union to the North.

A key part of the Seattle transportation system is the Alaskan Way Viaduct. It runs along Elliott Bay (of Puget Sound) at the Western edge of the city. It's a double-decker affair with southbound traffic on the lower level, and northbound on the upper deck. You can see it on the map above... it's the yellow line to the left of where it says "Seattle."

Driving the viaduct can be tricky business because the lanes are quite narrow. This means drivers are always on high alert since you just never know when a truck is going to come barreling by and drift into your lane.

When you are heading north into the city you exit off a ramp that runs into Seneca Street...

Seneca Stree Exit

At the end of the ramp you have the option of turning left onto 1st Avenue, which is exactly what I wanted to do because that's how I get to my hotel. Today when I exited there was a big Chevy Suburban SUV ahead of me. Because somebody was crossing the street, they had to wait in the intersection. Not wanting to block traffic if the light turned red, I hung back just a little bit so I could wait my turn...

Hwy 99 Ramp Seattle

So far so good.

But then some random asshole comes screaming up behind me and IMMEDIATELY starts laying on his horn...

Asshole Honking Horn At Me!

WHAT THE FUCK?!?

It's not like he couldn't see the fucking huge-ass Suburban blocking me... he HAD to have seen it. With that in mind, what the hell was his reasoning to honk at us? Even if he didn't see the pedestrian in the sidewalk, he should have at least expected that we were waiting for SOMETHING! It's not like we were just sitting there for the fun of it. Besides, WHERE IN THE HELL AM I SUPPOSED TO GO? Am I just supposed to run over a Suburban AND a pedestrian to make this prick happy?

I can only guess that this particular asshole is one of those people who automatically lays on the horn the minute he runs across something blocking his path... whether it's deserved or not.

I fucking HATE these idiots.

In the interest in maintaining a civil society, it should be legal to pull out a gun and just unload on their rude, stupid asses. They have no place... NO PLACE... living amongst sane, rational, well-mannered people... let alone driving amongst us.

And now my day has been ruined.

To make myself feel better, I am going to go drink beer now.

   

11/20: CONCERN

Posted on Friday, July 2nd, 2010

Dave!Today's word in the TWENTY/TWENTY meme is "concern."

Right now, my main concern is that I will collapse of exhaustion before my projects are completed. There's only so many 18-hour days you can work before your brain starts to rebel. This afternoon I forgot how to double-click with my mouse. I'm pretty sure that hallucinations are just around the corner. This is a darn shame, because I've got another week of this torture before I can even think about getting back to my usual 12-hour work days.

But this is an image meme, so a run through my photos turned up this...

Dave Feels Stabby

Which only elevates my concern that a lack of decent sleep will make me stabby.

And this would be very bad week for that...

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Decidedly

Posted on Thursday, July 15th, 2010

Dave!Today I had a very difficult decision to make and, even though I believe I made the correct one, it's been haunting me all through my day. And, I'm guessing, my night. Don't get me wrong, I'm not one to shy away from the tough decisions, but sometimes living with the consequences isn't easy, even when you're right. Especially when you're right. Because then somebody else is wrong.

And there's always another side. There's always another story. There's always another shoe on the other foot.

You just have to hope it doesn't come back to kick you in the ass.

Especially if the other shoe is a steel-toed work boot.

In any event, somebody's life is going to get easier. Somebody else's life is going to get considerably more difficult. MY life has decided to not think about it and go get chocolate-almond ice cream...

DAVETOON: Lil' Dave Eating Ice Cream

Well, I'll go tomorrow. Who eats ice cream at 11:00 at night?!?

Oh... that's right...

   

DAY SIX: Deer

Posted on Monday, July 26th, 2010

Dave!When captured by the enemy, soldiers are advised to sleep and eat whenever they can because they never know when either (or both) might be denied them.

While I would never compare my job to being a prisoner of war, the above advice has come in handy from time to time with my work (See? Graphic designers have it rough, people!). Well, not the food part, but definitely the sleep deprivation. I don't sleep that much to begin with, but when you're on-call for 31 hours straight and are guaranteed to be called to the job site several times... well, even a little sleep is hard to come by. So I grab an hour here and 20 minutes there, and try to be sane and somewhat comprehensible when reporting for duty.

But the real trick is getting rested enough that you feel comfortable driving. It's one thing to be sleep-walking on the job... it's quite another to be sleep-driving in a car.

Especially when you're in rural Georgia where wild deer love prancing around the roadways.

Last night on the way to Waffle House for a midnight dinner, a deer was standing in the middle of a dark country road with a 55 MPH speed limit. Even though I was driving just under 50 MPH because it was so dark, this still necessitated my slamming on the brakes to avoid getting a venison hood ornament. The deer, however, wasn't impressed and wandered off at a leisurely pace (Darwinism takes a vacation!).

On the way back, I had slowed to 45 MPH "just in case" and nearly hit TWO deer crossing that same road. Quick braking and a hard swerve avoided tragedy, but left me with an adrenaline rush which made getting any kind of sleep impossible for the next several hours.

But don't worry. When my job finally ended this afternoon, I managed to get three whole hours sleep before hacking together this blog entry, so I guess I'm back to normal again. Or as normal as a person can be who is an insomniac that craves human blood.

I should totally be a vampire.

Or, more appropriately, a zombie vampire!

A zombie vampire that eats deer who stand in the road!

DAVETOON: Zombie Dave Eats Deer!

Guess I should pack my suitcase now, seeing as how I'm leaving early tomorrow morning and all...

   

Pornographica

Posted on Monday, August 2nd, 2010

Dave!All I wanted was a White iPhone 4.

But Apple keeps delaying the shit over and over and over again, so I finally just bit the bullet and went down to the AT&T Store to place my order for a Black iPhone 4. I need it to replace my rapidly dying pocket camera (which is currently being held together with rubber bands), and the idea of having one less thing to carry is very appealing to me.

While I was there, I stood next to another customer who brought forth a very interesting scenario.

Let's say you are upgrading your phone. Let's further speculate that you ask the cell phone store employee to transfer all your ringtones and photos and whatnot to the new phone so you don't have to mess with it.

Now let's say that amongst the photos from your phone's camera there are a number of pornographic shots.

How do you handle that??

I would die immediately. Struck dead right on the spot... not so much from embarrassment, but from the realization that I was stupid enough to leave nasty photos on a camera I handed over to a stranger.

But today I learned there's a way other than death in five easy steps...

  1. SHOCK! "Oh... those were supposed to be deleted!"
  2. DENIAL! "Those photos aren't mine!"
  3. INNOCENCE! "I don't know where they came from!"
  4. BLAME! "Somebody's playing a trick on me!"
  5. ACCEPTANCE! "Well that's embarrassing. How do I get those photos off of there?

Apparently lying solves everything. Even when the lies contradict each other.

You really do learn something new every day.

   

Godliness

Posted on Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

Dave!Reading back through my blog entries these past couple weeks, I'm reminded just how unlucky a traveler I am. Anything that could possibly go wrong, usually does go wrong. Delayed flights? Check. Missed flights? Check. Cancelled flights? Check. Lost luggage? Check. Vomiting co-passengers? Check. Whatever horrible thing you can think of? Check. Been there, done that. Many times.

Why me?

But through all the pain and suffering, at least I could take solace in the knowledge that those two crazy kids Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston finally got back together and will be married at last!

Bristol Palin and Levi Johnson on US Magazine

But then... BLAM! Just minutes later, they're separated again and the wedding has been called off!

Why me?

Oh well. At least I still have the marriage of Herpes Simplex One and Herpes Simplex Two to reignite my faith in humanity and maintain my peace and happiness in the face of adversity!

Spencer (Herpes Simplex One) and Heidi (Herpes Simplex Two)

What? What's that?

Son of a bitch! Not Spencer and Heidi too?!?

Why me?

What have I done to deserve this?

After my non-stop battle with misfortune, I have come to the only possible conclusion: God is totally messing with me...

DAVETOON: God Says

I wish He would unleash His "Divine Love" on somebody else for a while.

P.S. Any resemblance between myself and The Almighty is purely intentional.

   
In other non-theological news... why is it that every company seems to have shitty customer service anymore?

For reasons unknown, I started receiving paper bills in the mail from Charter Cable a couple months ago. It's a mystery because I set up automated payments and paperless billing. Usually, I just ignore the statements when they arrive, but thought I'd open the one that wasn't as thick as a usual bill. Turns out it's a past due notice. So I call to find out what the hell is going wrong, and am told that they don't know... sometimes automated payments don't go through. But they verify my account is correct and volunteer to credit the late fee on my next bill (apparently they can't credit on the bill they fucked up on)... but only IF I pay my late balance immediately.

Except I can't pay for their screw-up with the service rep I'm already on the phone with unless I pay $1.99 fee.

Yes, that's right. THEY fuck up and I have to pay for it.

Except I'd rather never watch television again than pay for their bullshit, so I use their crappy automated system.

I'd use their website, but it won't let me login.

I'm guessing God has a part-time job on the web development team at Charter Cable.

What other possible conclusion could there be?

   

GoodBad

Posted on Thursday, August 12th, 2010

Dave!Today was a good-news/slash/bad-news kind of day.

Fortunately, the good news slightly outweighs the bad, so I'm just going to run with that.

DAVETOON: Lil' Dave says

   

I supose somebody has to...

   

Supreme

Posted on Saturday, August 14th, 2010

Dave!Here we go again.

If you can't handle profanity or are too young to find the entertainment value in a psychotic rant, please don't go any further. Otherwise, you've been warned...

This entry Rated R

I am sick.

Really sick.

I somehow, out of nowhere, caught a head-cold last night and it keeps triggered my angioedema. This makes for a miserable existence where sleep is almost impossible. I spent all of last night and most of today hopped up on cold pills, antihistamines, pain-killers, and rage. Most of my waking moments are spent wishing I would just die already.

So, you can imagine my happiness when I finally manage to balance out all the pills and find a mix that allows me to get some sleep. Which is what finally happened around 1:00 today.

Until the phone rings.

Turns out it's an automated message on behalf this fucker...

Washington State Supreme Court Justice Jim Johnson is a fucking douchebag asshole.

His name is Jim Johnson and he's running for a second term in Washington State's Supreme Court.

And some piece of shit dickwad feels that it's critical to interrupt my weekend with a scare tactics telemarketer message to get him re-elected. Thus destroying any chance of getting some rest so I can recover from all that ails me.

So right now I don't care if Jim Johnson gets re-elected.

I don't care who endorses him. I don't give a crap what his politics are. I don't give a shit if he's a liberal or a conservative. I don't even give a flying fuck if he's offering free blow-jobs at the Playboy Mansion with every vote.

He will NEVER get my vote.

Any asshole politician who has followers willing to terrorize people with random cold-calls on his behalf... endorsed by the candidate or not... is just fucking garbage.

So fuck you Jim Johnson.

Since, technically, the automated dialing equipment wasn't trying to sell me anything, they're not in violation of Washington State Law RCW 80.36.400... but they fucking should be. And any candidate for Washington State Supreme Court should be committed to protecting citizens from bullshit like this instead of being the cause of it.

Now whom am I voting for? Whoever the fuck is NOT Jim Johnson.

And to whoever is responsible for ruining my day... congratulations.

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Heat

Posted on Thursday, August 19th, 2010

Dave!I've said many times that I'd rather be too warm than too cool. Probably because I've been miserable more often from cold than from heat. Getting frostbite when I was young didn't help.

Except now I'm ready to change my mind. The temperature this past week has been outrageously hot. Not Sahara Desert hot, but hot. Not Phoenix hot, but hot. So hot that my air conditioner can't keep up.

Stupid air conditioner.

My previous place had Central Air, which I now realize is the most amazing thing in the universe. With Central Air, the sweet, cool, air conditioning reaches every room. With a regular air conditioner, this is not the case. My living room and kitchen are comfortable. But by the time the air reached my bedroom it's all warm again. Which means I now refer to my bedroom as Disco Inferno... but not in a good way.

I worry that I may burst into flame at any moment...

DAVETOON: Lil' Dave on Fire!

   
Now is probably not the best time to worry whether or not my underpants are flame retardant.

   

Tootsie

Posted on Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

Dave!Today was an incredibly challenging day, as all the things I need to do my job ended up failing... internet... fax... voicemail... pudding... everything... it was disastrous.

Especially the pudding. I took a tub of my beloved Snack-Pack Chocolate for my traditional afternoon treat only to find that it wasn't sealed properly. So my pudding was all dried out and totally un-pudding-like. I thought about stabbing it with a pencil and licking it like a Tootsie-Pop to get my fix, but I didn't want to get some kind of stale-pudding-related-disease, so I reluctantly threw it out.

Ultimate Snack-Pack FAIL!

I suppose I shouldn't be surprised.

There's a lot of FAIL! going around now-a-days.

With every passing day, I detest FOX News more and more. It's not because their "news" is so heavily biased and filled with exaggeration and lies... it seems like all mainstream media "news" today is tainted in one way or another. It's because they consistently and constantly claim to be fair and balanced while they're pushing their obvious political agenda... THAT is was pisses me off. But what's even worse is that their viewers actually believe it.

At least once a week here in redneck rural America I either overhear or am drawn into a conversation because of some outlandish shit that FOX News has unleashed. This past weekend, it was the outrage over possibilities of terrorist funds being used to build the Islamic community center and mosque planned two blocks away from Ground Zero on private property. Maybe it's true. If it is true, I don't like the idea of terrorist money infiltrating American lives any more than anybody at FOX News does... but the heavy bias at FOX leaves a lasting impression that this is typical of Islamic endeavors and all Muslims are secret terrorists, which is total bullshit, of course.

So imagine my non-shock when I watched The Daily Show last night, only to learn that FOX News itself has been funded by THE SAME SOURCE they're so pissed off about with the "not-so-Ground-Zero-mosque"...

I'd hold my breath waiting for FOX News to get all "fair and balanced" and explode with outrage that FOX News has terrorist ties, but I don't fancy the idea of suffocating to death.

The Daily Show's inescapable conclusion that FOX News is either EVIL or STUPID seems solid.

I am embracing the very real possibility that they're both.

I don't care if people watch FOX News. If that's where they choose to get their "news" because it best aligns with their needs, more power to them. I just wish more of the people devoted to the station would question what they learn there rather than accept everything as the "fair and balanced" reporting they're being sold. Like ANY news source, nothing should be taken as gospel.

Especially when the people providing the information which shapes your viewpoint are evil and/or stupid.

   

Sleeper

Posted on Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

Dave!I woke up at 4:30 this morning because I had work that needed to get done. It was an unavoidable consequence of all the technical difficulties that plagued me yesterday. Needless to say, it made for a very long day today.

Now that it's over and it's pushing midnight, all I want to do is sleep.

Or maybe write a blog entry.

Nah, I wanna sleep...

DAVETOON: Lil' Dave Sleeping Pills

So if you will excuse me, I am going to crawl into a box of Advil PM and pass out now.

   

Countdown

Posted on Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

Dave!I have been pretty much killing myself day and night so I can get caught up with work before I go on vacation. There's entirely too much to be done and not nearly enough time to do it. The problem is that such a harsh schedule is starting to take its toll. Today I got confused and somehow managed to merge two separate projects into a single task. Never mind that they are unrelated in most every way, my exhausted mind is starting to hallucinate or something.

The only thing that keeps me going is the thought that soon it will all end... one way or another.

DAVETOON: Vacation Countdown

The only question is whether or not I'll be dead by then...

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Go!

Posted on Friday, September 3rd, 2010

Dave!

Vacation Countdown One Day Left!

   
National Lampoon's Vacation Movie Poster

   
Go-Go's Album Cover Vacation

Vacation Magazine

Curious George Vacation Video

   

   

   

Flash

Posted on Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

Dave!Today as I was driving home from work, I was very nearly broadsided by somebody in a hurry to leave a parking lot.

As my life was flashing before my eyes, I was temporarily blinded by the awesomeness of all my earthly endeavors. Being blinded while driving caused my life to flash before my eyes... again... as I very nearly ran off the road into a bin of apples. Not the coolest way to die, but I do like apples so there's that.

It was nice I didn't die, because Betty White was guest-starring on Community tonight. AND SHE WAS TOTALLY AWESOME AS USUAL!

Of course, my Betty joy was short-lived once I had tuned into the two new shows of the evening...

S#*! My Dad Says. Truly, gut-wrenchingly awful. About as funny as having diarrhea while getting a root canal after totaling your car. So not-funny that I started laughing at the commercials because they were hilarious by comparison. I love William Shatner more than cantaloupe, but he is given nothing here worth anybody's time. His Priceline Negotiator commercials have more substance than this show. And are a hell of a lot funnier. How the bloody fuck did this show ever get greenlit?

Outsourced. This television show totally gutted a rather charming movie I liked of the same name... with absolutely no payoff. The film had an exotic feel of foreign lands and performances that drew you into the story. The television show has none of that and just feels petty, small, and even a little offensive. I don't like the lead character, hate the amateurish and unfunny digs on Indians and their culture, and everything just falls apart from there. When I see messes like this, I can't help but think of all the amazing shows which were canceled so that total shit like Outsourced has room to air. Even more tragic? Parks and Recreation was moved to mid-season so this show could have a time slot. Blergh.

So... the scorecard for this new television season so far is looking pretty grim. Only one show so far is in my "love it" column (Raising Hope), a mere handful in my "maybe" column (Undercovers, Lone Star, Running Wilde), a few in the "last chance" column (The Event, Hawaii Five-0, Better With You), and everything else in the "abort" column. With only a few shows left to debut, it's looking like slim pickings. After inevitable cancellations, I'll probably only be left with one or two shows to carry over.

Oh well... I watch entirely too much television anyway.

   

Smiths

Posted on Friday, September 24th, 2010

Dave!"We Hate It When Our Friends Become Successful" —Morrissey

As I was exiting from high school in 1984, I thought that all the wisdom in the world could be found in lyrics of songs by The Smiths. When their second album, Meat is Murder, was released, I was sure of it. I found disturbing truths in their music and, even though they sang from a perspective of being British, the underlying messages were universal and transcended any single nationality...

The Smiths

Back in those heady post-punk movement days, there was a growing concern over teen suicide as the music they listened to grew darker and darker. I remember an episode of some teen-based drama television show (probably 21 Jump Street) had a storyline specifically saying that listening to music by The Smiths was a warning sign that your kid could be suicidal. I had a good laugh over it at the time, because I was of the opposite opinion. I was firmly in the "truth will set you free" camp, thinking that the revelations in their music were a beacon of light in the darkness. But I was young, stupid, and drunk most of the time so what did I know?

In 1987, The Smiths broke up. At the time, it felt like my world was ending. But the tragedy was short-lived, because lead singer Morrissey released a solo album (the magnificient Viva Hate) just months later. Far from "going commercial" and dumbing down his music for the sake of selling records, Morrissey instead turned things up a notch. And continued to turn things up a notch in his follow-up albums like Kill Uncle, Your Arsenal, and Vauxhall and I).

Morrissey is still alive, kicking, and making music... his latest album, Years of Refusal, was released just last year. But, even though he's just as brilliant and relevant as he's always been, it's his past efforts that have had the most impact on my life.

And continues to do so.

This morning I was privy to an email conversation where somebody was bemoaning the fact that one of their best friends has gone on to be successful while they've been mired in failure within the same profession. It started as an observation but, as things progressed, became a rant of not-so-veiled jealousy. You see this type of thing all the time. And whenever I do, I can't help to be taken back to 1992 when Morrissey's Your Arsenal dropped with the insightful track We Hate It When Our Friends Become Successful...

We hate it when our friends become successful.
And if they're northern, that makes it even worse.
And if we can destroy them, you bet your life we will destroy them.
If we can hurt them well, we might as well, it's really laughable.

You see, it should've been me.
It could have been me.

Everybody knows...
Everybody says so.

Pretty much what everybody thinks in those kind of situations, but rarely says. At least not out aloud. And yet Morrissey does. Because he can. And because it's the true.

When I first started studying Buddhism back in 1998, one of the first things you learn is how wishing bad things upon others only ever harms yourself. I honestly believe this to be true. Which is why I really don't hate it when my friends (or even enemies) become successful*. And yet experience has taught me that this kind of thinking will offer little comfort to most people.

Which is why, thanks to Morrissey, I know exactly how to respond when the occasion arises...

"They must be destroyed, of course. It should have been you."

   

*Unless they become successful at my expense, of course.

   

Golden

Posted on Thursday, September 30th, 2010

Dave!For all the dumbfucks out there who obviously have no concept of what The Golden Rule is, let me spell it out for you... TREAT OTHERS AS YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE TREATED. If you're Christian, you might better recognize this as "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you" from Matthew 7:12. If you study Buddhism like me, it's "Treat not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful" from The Udanavarga 5.18. If you're a Jew or a Muslim or a Hindu or just about any other religion, this probably still sounds familiar because The Golden Rule is a universal concept for all humanity. It kind of has to be in order for people to be considered "human."

In fact, Scarboro Missions has an excellent poster you can get which illustrates this beautifully (click on the image to make bigger)...

Golden Rule Poster

The reason I bring this up is because I am sick and fucking tired of a horrific personal tragedy occurring only to have the person responsible say "I'm sorry! I never thought this would happen!"

I'm sure that's the justification the bullies who tormented 13-year-old Seth Walsh will use. After being deliberately and systematically bullied because he was gay, this poor kid couldn't take it any more and hung himself. Now everybody is all shocked and horrified and "sorry" even though they stood around and watched it happen (or actually made it happen). Well, too little too late, a life described as "loving and kind" is gone. Destroyed by hateful morons too fucking stupid to understand that people don't like to be tormented by bullying day in and day out, and this is the only way they could find to escape it.

I hear about crap like this and go insane. It's pretty much my worst nightmare.

And as if that wasn't tragic enough, now there's been another suicide when Rutger's University freshman Tyler Clementi jumped off a bridge because his roommate streamed video of him having sex to the internet. And I'm sure that the dumbfuck responsible will be all "sorry" because they didn't realize people don't like to be tormented by having their personal sex life broadcast on the internet, and this is the only way they could find to escape it.

I mean, seriously. Did any of these assholes take ten seconds to ask themselves "Would I like to be treated this way?"

Did those responsible for driving Seth Walsh to kill himself even once think "Gee, I'd sure hate to be victimized every waking hour of every day... perhaps this poor kid I'm tormenting doesn't like it either?" Did Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei who are responsible for driving Tyler Clementi to kill himself ever think for just one second "Wow, I'd sure hate to be humiliated by having my personal sex life broadcast on the internet... maybe this poor guy wouldn't like it either?"

I'm guessing they didn't, because if they DID consider The Golden Rule, and then went ahead and did it anyway... well, that would make them monsters. Inhuman, evil, devious, vile, disgusting monsters. People so abhorrent that they have no place in society, let alone humanity.

And what about me? Did I ever think for a moment "Hmmm... if I ever made the horrible mistake of tormenting someone so badly that they ended up killing themselves, would I want somebody on the internet calling me an evil dumbass inhuman monster?"

Yes. Yes I did. And I seriously don't give a fuck.

Which makes me the biggest evil dumbass inhuman monster of them all.

Somehow, I'm totally okay with that.

   

Politicrap

Posted on Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

Dave!I hate this time of year.

This is the time when 90% of the ads on television are political attack ads set on an infinite loop. And they all suck. I am so sick and tired of the political bullshit polluting my entertainment that I'm about ready to put my foot through the TV. Or put my foot up the asses of these dumbass politicians who are so busy talking about what the other guy is doing wrong that they don't bother to say how they're going to fix anything. Probably because they don't know what they're going to do. Far easier to just trash the other candidate and get the job with no expectations.

By far the worst ads here in Washington State come from the battle that's airing between incumbent Democrat dumbass Senator Patty Murray and challenger Republican dumbass Dino Rossi. I voted for Rossi last time because Democrats historically shit all over Eastern Washington (where I live) since it's mostly inhabited by Republicans that don't vote for them. They're far too busy throwing State money at their voter base over on the coast so they can get reelected next term.

But this year Dino Rossi has made it impossible... IMPOSSIBLE... for me to vote for the piece of shit because his ads are so reprehensible that I wouldn't be able to sleep at night if I did.

But, to his credit, he at least looks into the camera when he delivers his "I'm Dino Rossi and I approve this ad" stupidity.

In Patty Murray's latest ad she's NOT looking into the camera... but instead "discussing important business" with somebody while she looks AWAY from the camera and reluctantly drones on with her "I'm Patty Murrary and I approve this ad" idiocy IN VOICEOVER! And she delivers it with such agony that you can practically feel her begging you to forgive her for being "forced" to air this horrible commercial. Well, Senator, if you can't even look into the camera when you tell people that you approve your own bullshit, then you have no fucking business airing the ad in the first place. Not that I blame you, if I was shoveling that shit to people while I asked for their vote, I wouldn't be able to look them in the eye while I said it either. But don't for one second think that you're fooling anybody... it's insulting to all of us. You're a US Senator for heavens sake.

Needless to say, I'm not voting for that pathetic joke of a candidate either.

So it looks like my ballot will be without a vote in the Senate box. I do not reward this kind of childish, unproductive, and generally shitty behavior.

I'm used to political candidates being dumbasses. I'm even used to casting my vote based on who's the lesser douchebag. But when you've got two candidates so disgusting that the thought of voting for either one makes you sick to your stomach... all you can do vote your conscience.

Even if that means not voting at all.

   

Celebration

Posted on Saturday, October 9th, 2010

Dave!And a good time was had by all.

Dave New Suit

   
   

P.S. I looked completely awesome tonight.

   

Ballot

Posted on Friday, October 15th, 2010

Dave!My Washington State Voter's Ballot arrived today!

So I spent my evening carefully researching the issues and candidates... right after I got back from yelling at an old lady. But don't worry, she totally deserved it. I was at the grocery store getting something for my grandmother and had to call my mom to make sure I was getting the right thing. A woman shopping near me was compelled to say "ALL THESE DAMN PEOPLE WITH THEIR DAMN CELLPHONES EVERYWHERE!" To which I instantly replied "ALL THESE BITTER OLD HAGS WITH THEIR FOUL MOUTHS EVERYWHERE!"

Most of the time I like having a smart mouth, but I probably should have let that one lay.

Oh well. Back to voting.

Here's my choices in the Washington State Senator race...

Patty Murray and Dino Rossi are DUMBASSES!

Of course, "choices" doesn't mean shit, because all I get to "choose" from are dumbass Democrat incumbent Patty Murray and dumbass Republican challenger Dino Rossi. And what can they do for my home state? What are their plans to help Washingtonians? Why should they get my vote? Who the fuck knows! All their ads are attacking each other with absolutely NO indication of how they're going to deal with the challenges facing Washington State. Ugly, disgusting, stupid fucking attack ads running day and night that tell me nothing. And yet, also telling me everything I need to know.

Fuck you both you stupid assholes. Neither one of you deserve my vote.

But Becky commented that I need to vote for somebody... and so I've decided to write-in Linnea Hirst...

Linnea Hirst Vote

Linnea Hirst is the president of the Washington State League of Women Voters. This awesome organization has a terrific mission statement: "The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy."

If, by association, Linnea Hirst has the same mission statement for her own political agenda, I can think of nobody I'd rather have as my Senator. Except Steve Jobs. But I think his California residency disqualifies him. Or maybe Elizabeth Hurley, but I think her lack of US citizenship disqualifies her.

Anyway...

I won't bore everybody with a rundown of how I'm voting on all the issues, but I will make one final comment concerning Initiative 1107...

I am 100% unequivocally in support of passing I-1107. It will repeal HOUSE BILL 2388 (the so-called "candy tax"), which I feel is hands-down one of the stupidest fucking pieces of legislation in Washington State history.

And this has absolutely nothing to do with my being opposed to tax on candy. It has everything to do with how asinine the bill's arbitrary language is, and how astoundingly stupid the people behind it are for ever ramming this crap down our throats...

Dumbass Politician Assholes

Looky! It's Representatives Jim Moeller along with his pack of dumbfucks Chase, Pedersen, Appleton, Kagi, Cody, Seaquist, Ormsby, and Roberts! Let's take a look at how they decided to balance the budget with their brilliant new tax...

Reeses Peanut Butter Cups vs. Reeses Sticks

Here's two Reese's candy bars: Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and Reese's Sticks. Since candy is taxed in Washington State, both of these items are taxable. Except one of them isn't. The Reese's Sticks candy bar has flour as an ingredient, so it's not considered candy and is exempt.

Here's another one...

Almonds!

That's not candy, it's almonds! Except when you roast them in honey, because that makes them candies after all. So the can of almonds on the left is not taxed, but the can of candy on the right is taxed.

One more...

Twizzlers vs. PowerBar

Twizzlers Strawberry Twists candy, TAXABLE! PowerBar Creamy Citrus Energy Bar, EXEMPT! Oh no... wait a second, I got that backwards... Twizzlers Strawberry Twists Candy is not really candy at all, so it's EXEMPT (even though it says "candy" RIGHT ON THE FUCKING PACKAGE! WTF?!?). But the PowerBar Creamy Citrus Energy Bar is classified as a candy bar and TAXED!

So. Fucking. Stupid.

Nobody likes paying taxes. But they are a necessary evil because they fund programs that (mostly) make life better for all of us, and so we pay them. But I have to draw the line when the taxes don't make sense. All nine of the dumbfuck politicians behind 2388 should be punched in the face and fired. All they knew was that they needed more money for their shit... and devised some idiotic scheme to tax arbitrary crap to pay for it. All because they were too damn stupid to come up with something that's not an inexplicable pile of FAIL!

Well fuck that.

Is it any wonder I hate politics, loathe politicians, and want a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup?

   

Vehicular

Posted on Friday, October 22nd, 2010

Dave!I am thinking that I have somehow acquired the power of invisibility.

Here is a series of tweets that I sent out YESTERDAY...

ASSHOLES! It's a SIMPLE CONCEPT... Pedestrian crossings are CLEARLY MARKED. SLOW DOWN AND LOOK before gunning through a crosswalk! So STUPID! I'm going to start carrying a gun. The next time somebody tries to run me down in a crosswalk, I'll fuck their shit up seriously.

I was joking about buying a gun, Buddhist precepts forbid me from owning one, but now I'm wishing I had bought the damn thing. Because today as I was crossing the street, I was actually hit while crossing at a crosswalk with a full-on WALK signal giving me the right of way. This is the SECOND time that I've been dropped while crossing the street (the first time was Chicago, which I wrote about here).

Thanks to my previous incident, I don't charge out into the street when the light turns to WALK... I wait a second to be sure nobody is running a light, THEN start walking. But it didn't matter, I still got nailed. And I never saw the car coming. I think they ran a red light, because I don't recall a car exiting the parking lot beside me... but they very well could have zoomed out and I didn't notice. I was a good three steps into the street when the Honda Element suddenly appeared in front of me. I'm thinking the passenger-side mirror grazed me, then I twisted so that the left-side of my upper body hit the car. I then tried to twist away from the vehicle, but my foot was planted, so all I did was end up twisting my ankle and pulling muscles in my leg and back.

One more step into the crosswalk and I would have been seriously injured.

Or dead.

I stood in the middle of the street and screamed at her to stop, but she didn't stop.

I then hobbled across the street and ran down the sidewalk to catch up to her as she came to a stop at another light. First I took a photo of her license plate (SURPRISE! It was a vanity plate!), then I started screaming at her again while waving my arms. She never even looked at me. I have no idea if she saw me or was just ignoring me, but she drove off the minute that light turned green...

The Honda Element that hit me!

I don't get it.

Whether she broke the law and ran a red light to nail me or not... it just doesn't matter. She wasn't fucking paying attention. She's speeding along in a 3500-pound death-mobile and didn't even check to see if there was somebody in the crosswalk as she barreled through. I don't think she was texting on a mobile phone, but she was definitely distracted by something.

Whatever. if somebody can't focus well enough while driving... or if they just don't give a fuck... they have no business being on the road in the first place. Did I mention that I could have ended up dead?

So I reported her to the police. First I emailed the photo. Then I went to the station and filed a verbal report. Then I sent a follow-up email to the officer in charge of my case with a written statement, photos, and a map. In the past I've just screamed and posted some profanity-laden tweets when somebody tries to perform vehicular manslaughter on my ass. But not this time. Because this is getting insane. I mean, seriously, TWICE IN TWO DAYS?!? It's no longer safe to be a pedestrian on the street! It doesn't matter how careful you are or whether you use crosswalks and follow signal lights. It just doesn't matter. Every time you're near a street without a vehicle protecting you, you're nothing more than a moving target waiting to be hit...

DAVETOON: Lil' Dave with a target on his shirt.

This is not rocket science. Operating a motor vehicle requires your total attention. If you're not willing to devote that kind of energy into being safe on the road, then DON'T FUCKING DRIVE! Otherwise, it's only a matter of time before you kill or seriously injure somebody.

And it will probably be me.

   

Reflection

Posted on Monday, October 25th, 2010

Dave!I really should have flown back last night. My friends had gone home in the afternoon, I'd seen the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Albuquerque, and I had to be to work today. But when I made my reservations, I thought it would be nice to have a full day in-between flights so, instead of traveling last night, I took the first flight I could get this morning. Which meant waking up at 3:30am. And as I sit here bleary-eyed at the airport wanting to sleep, I'm feeling pretty stupid about the whole ordeal. NOTE TO SELF: Never book an early flight unless you absolutely have to.

Despite the short length of this trip, I got to see some wacky wonderful things. I was reflecting on them as I rode the shuttle to the airport, and this is what I came up with...

   
• Rock You Queen Video Slot Machine. Arguably the most amazing slots game I've ever seen, Rock You Queen Slots is so entertaining that you don't even care that it's taking all your money. I hit the Bonus Round on my fourth or fifth spin, then spent all my winnings PLUS $20 trying to hit it again because it was so awesome. I never saw it again, but fortunately, somebody put it on YouTube...

What you are not seeing here is that ABOVE the play screen there's a video screen with the "Radio Ga Ga" video playing and lights going off. Truly impressive!

   
• A woman playing slots while wearing oxygen... and smoking. I can only hope that the oxygen was turned off at the time. I would have told her that oxygen is extremely flammable, and her face could explode, but instead got my ass as far away from her as possible.

   
• A man crying after (apparently) losing his last dollar at video poker. Ordinarily, I'd find this sad, as he obviously has a problem. But Culture Club's rediculously happy song "I'll Tumble 4 Ya" was blasting through the casino, which just made the situation funny as hell. I had to stifle a guffaw and run away so I didn't end up laughing in the poor guy's face.

   
• A woman punching a Kitty Glitter slot machine. In yet another senseless slots-related tragedy, one of my friends was playing "Maltese Puppy Slots" next to a woman who was playing "Kitty Glitter Slots" who all of a sudden screamed "I HAD THAT! I HAD THAT!" and started punching the video kitties. The three of us just kind of scooted away and waited for security to show up, but the crazy woman ran off still screaming "I HAD THAT!" before anybody could get there. Something tells me she really didn't have that.

   
• Cougarlicious Slots. Need I say more?

Cougarlicious Slots

   
• The Ladies of Hard Rock. There's a section of table games called "Baby Dolls" where brutally hot women dressed in pink corsets and fishnet stockings deal cards to hopelessly distracted guys wanting more for their entertainment dollar than you can get from Blackjack alone. I mentioned this yesterday, but didn't mention the uniforms for the waitresses at Lucha's where I had dinner last night... a black bustier, black short skirt, black fishnet stalkings, and... wait for it... fur-topped Ugg boots! Also brutally hot, but in a much weirder way. Say what you like about the place, but you never get tired of the scenery.

   
• HDR Pro App for iPhone. Apple may have introduced "High Dynamic Range imaging" as a standard feature for their built-in camera, but the stuff I get out of the HDR Pro App is in a league all its own. And sometimes not because of the reason you'd expect. I keep getting happy accidents and funky surprises that make me never want to shoot with any other camera app...

HDR Pro Rooftop Sunset

HDR Pro Cars at Sunset

   
• Airport Crazy. What's the first thing I see as I exit the Hard Rock Shuttle at Albuquerque International this morning? A crazy woman in the no-parking zone picking a fight with airport security! At least I'm assuming she's wacked out of her gourd... who in there right mind would mix it up with airport security now-a-days? My problem is that I can't be content with such simple amusements. My first instinct is always to "improve" the situation. Do you know how badly I wanted to scream "SHE'S GOT A GUN!" or even offer helpful advice like "I think you should cuff her, officer!"?? Fortunately, I was the model of restraint. I didn't even make goofy faces at the crazy lady as I passed. I wish I knew why I feel the need to be an unbelievable bastard all the time. Either I truly am evil to the core, or I just can't resist a good laugh. Problem is, I'm usually the only one who finds it funny.

   
• Unhappy Kitteh. A woman in a wheelchair pushing a cart was just pushed by me. On top of the cart is a kitty carrier with a very unhappy cat inside. Very. It's screeching "MEOW" every three seconds. This is surprising, because I always assumed that animals are drugged before flying. I rarely see people with pets going nuts like this, and have always wondered why kids can't be tranquilized too. Well, kids and old people who like to complain a lot. And loud talkers. And people who pull on your seat-back every ten minutes. And people with Windows laptops who have the volume on full so you get blasted with that hideous fucking Windows startup sound. And idiots who annoy me. Which is pretty much everybody. Heck, let's just tranquilize the entire plane. Including me. The cats can meow all they like.

   
And my laptop battery is dying. I guess my time to reflect is over, and I should publish this thing already.

Who knows what new amazing things will happen on the way home?

   

Reflex

Posted on Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

Dave!reflex |ˈrēˌfleks| noun.
An action that is performed as a response to a stimulus and without conscious thought.

There are times I feel as if all the life has been beaten out of me and I'm nothing more than a zombie on auto-pilot. Anything familiar gets dealt with using minimal effort. Everything else gets overlooked or ignored. There's no energy available to think or feel about anything. So I don't. Every day I'm just going through the motions and acting on reflex...

Zombie Dave
Attacking Jared The Subway Sandwich Whore would totally be reflex.

   
And the longer it goes on, the harder it is to escape.

The longer it goes on, the more you don't want to escape. But then something comes along to delight you, and the zombie fog is lifted. In this case, it was something totally unexpected. But very welcome.

I just wish I could get the taste of brains out of my mouth.

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Psycho

Posted on Saturday, October 30th, 2010

Dave!Today is why I ask people to keep me away from sharp objects...

DAVETOON: Lil' Dave Psycho

   

   

A few more like this and it won't be a matter of if I end up on a psychopathic rampage, but when.

   

Enervate

Posted on Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

Dave!I'm entirely too exhausted to drive the three hours home, so I'm crashing at my sister's place. Again. It's only a matter of time before she makes me start paying rent.

The vast majority of my day was spent working with highly competent, creative, and enthusiastic people, which is a a very good thing in every way but one... I have to be at the top of my game to best take advantage of such a unique environment. That's not easy to do when you've barely slept in three days and most of your brain is occupied trying to find a way to stay awake which don't involve cocaine and Red Bull.

And yet somehow I managed to make it through okay, as always...

Cleo The Cat works on my laptop

...thanks to my new assistant.

Which wasn't quite as helpful as I had hoped.

But, in her defense, it is pretty difficult to type with paws.

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Daylight

Posted on Monday, November 8th, 2010

Dave!Daylight Saving Time is such a crock of shit.

I left work at 5:30pm. It was pitch black. WHERE'S MY FUCKING DAYLIGHT NOW? Gone, thanks to it being Not-Daylight-Savings-Time.

I have to say... even though I have given up all hope of President Obama being able to get any shit done now that he's going to have to spend every waking hour of every fucking day battling the Republican-dominated House of Representatives to solve this country's problems... I would forgive everything if he would just abolish this fucked up shit of having to dick with our clocks twice a year. Surely this is a bipartisan issue if there ever was one? Everywhere I go, people are bitching about how stupid Daylight Saving Time is. You'd think every fucking House Representative and every fucking Senator and every fucking douchebag politician in the entire fucking country would be onboard. It's about the only thing they can do now which would be embraced by the majority of the fucking population who's out there in the dark AT FIVE-O-CLOCK...

DAVETOON: Lil' Dave and Bad Monkey at Solstice... in pitch blackness with only their eyes showing.

I'm in a really bad mood, so I probably should stop this entry before things really get out of hand.

Except...

I've just read a very disturbing article over at Ars where they're talking about the new mandatory procedures for airport security. People still have the option of skipping the "backscatter" and "millimeter wave" scanners at airports if they're too modest for that kind of exposure. If you don't know what one of those scans looks like, I transferred my last scan to a USB Memory Stick and smuggled it out of airport security...

Backscatter scanner image.

Of course I was wearing my MC Hammer Pants at the time (they're so comfortable for traveling!), so I had a certain amount of embarrassment built-in, but still... I don't want to go through THAT again.

So I think that I'll opt for the new-and-improved "Crotch-Invasive-Super-Pat-Down" instead...

DAVETOON: Lil' Dave getting patted down.

Nothing like a free hand-job to relax you before a long flight. Thank you Transportation Security Administration!

   

Korg

Posted on Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

Dave!Today was a heaping bowl of suck.

Then it started snowing, and my bowl of suck was suddenly topped with shit sprinkles. But that's okay, because I'm kind of getting used to it. Lately it seems as thought most everything in life comes with shit sprinkles on it. I think it all started when I noticed that the waistbands in my three-month-old Jockey boxers has already started to give out. Meanwhile, I've still got pairs of Joe Boxers that are three years old and still going strong. Nothing to get too depressed over, but it seems as though nothing is built to last any more. Nothing. And I can't help but be sad about that.

So I've decided to take a couple sleeping pills, go to bed, and not think about it.

   
If you're not into music synthesizers, you'll want to skip the rest of this entry.

Otherwise...

...there's a frickin' AMAZING app that just dropped for the iPad. It's the KORG iMS-20 emulator! Here's a description from the iTunes product page...

iMS-20 is a complete music production app for iPad, consisting of a complete recreation of the legendary Korg MS-20 analog synth with patching capability, a 16-step analog sequencer based on Korg's SQ-10, a six-part drum machine with dedicated pads, and a seven-channel mixer with 14 types of effects.

It's about the coolest thing I've seen on the iPad yet...

Korg iMS-20 for iPad Keyboard

It's all here, and you can zoom in on a section and swipe between them as you mix...

Korg iMS-20 for iPad Mixer

This video shows the Korg iMS-20 for iPad in action...

You can, of course, export your creations as high-quality .WAV files by "bouncing" them through iTunes. You can also share your creations via "SoundCloud," which makes collaborating with other iMS-20 users a snap. The sound seems like it would be good enough to incorporate into a live performance, and if they update the app to use Apple's forthcoming "AirPlay" technology, you would even be able to do so wirelessly! I don't know why, but being able to play in a band while sitting in the audience seems pretty funny to me.

Using the Korg app is fairly straightforward if you have any previous experience with synths. I was composing loops after goofing around for just 30 minutes. The only area that was a little rough for me was tapping out notes on the keyboard. The iPad's multi-touch screen makes chords possible, but I just can't get the hang of playing without actual keys. Zooming in helps, but it's going to be a while before I'm comfortable (or competent) enough to play actual music with it. There's an alternative, however, in the form of "Dual Kaoss Pads" where you can play the instrument by running your finger across them. It's kind of fun for free-form creation, but gimmicky if you've got a specific composition in mind. I'll just keep hoping somebody makes an iPad MIDI adapter so I can plug in a cheap physical keyboard.

The Korg iMS-20 app for iPad is so complete... so brilliant... so utterly killer... that it has me seriously wondering if there's anything you can't you do with an iPad given the right software. If you have any interest in composing on a synthesizer, buying this app is a no-brainer. The half-price sale price of just $15.99 is the icing on the cake (good until the end of the year). Highest possible recommendation. Click here to see it at the iTunes Store.

   
UPDATE: Holy crap. It just keeps getting better. ReBirth has just been released for iPad!

Amazing. Just amazing.

   

Creativity

Posted on Friday, November 12th, 2010

Dave!I've been mulling over a creative project for months, and this morning I woke up and finally decided to do something about it. The result was an emotional moment, but not in the way I expected. I felt relief more than anything else... relief to finally get it off my chest and out of my brain. Who knows if anything will become of it, but at least I'm not being tortured any more.

For the longest time I've been telling myself that my work and my blog were all the creative outlets I needed, and it was stupid to add yet another log to the bonfire that is my life. But in the back of my head there's always been that nagging thought that something is missing. Some part of my life which hasn't been explored. Some ideas which are rotting in my head and killing everything around them as they die.

For creative people, this is no way to live.

It used to be that music was the missing piece. I love composing music, and it's an incredible feeling to craft a multitude of sounds into something that communicates in a single voice. It was for this reason that I got into video editing... it allowed me to score the projects I worked on and unleash my inner musician. While I was never terribly talented at making music, I was good enough to satisfy the creative urge that burned inside me. It lasted for about four years, and then I moved on to the next Big Thing. Sure there are times I miss it (and all these awesome new iPad music apps are just making things worse!), but I've been there and done that, so even if I never compose another note I'm okay with that.

And now it's something new.

As with most things, I'll just have to see where it leads me.

Hopefully to somewhere interesting.

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Thankless

Posted on Thursday, November 25th, 2010

Dave!I'm thankful for a lot of things. Today I'm most thankful that I'm not a turkey...

DAVETOON: Bad Monkey kills a turkey.

   

   

I drew this three years ago, and it still pretty much sums up how I feel about the holiday. While I am a vegetarian, I am not a militant vegetarian who tells people not to eat meat, because I feel it's a personal choice everyone has to make for themselves. But meat is just so dang easy now-a-days, and I don't think people truly appreciate the creature that gave up its life for their meal. I wonder if people had to kill the poor turkey with their own two hands how many of them would still feel like serving one up for Thanksgiving dinner?

Anyway... I hope everybody has a happy Thanksgiving! And I hope everybody is just a little thankful for that slice of turkey on their plate. After all, he was a happy little bird at one time...

Baby Turkey Photo by Kristie Gianopulos
Baby turkey photo from Wikimedia Commons by Kristie Gianopulos.

And now I get to be thankful that I've got a suitcase to unpack.

Which I definitely am because the alternative is packing a suitcase and, with all the snow and ice that's landed, I'd just as soon stay home for a while.

   

Rocket

Posted on Saturday, November 27th, 2010

Dave!For some reason I thought that I had already written in my blog today, but couldn't for the life of me remember what it was I had written about. So you can imagine my surprise when I clicked through to Blogography and found that the reason I couldn't remember was because I hadn't written anything.

Well crap.

It's not as if anything blog-worthy happened, as I spent my entire day working. This means I'll either have to dredge up something from my past, bitch about something going on in the news, or bow out gracefully with a monkey cartoon.

I'll choose door number one. Because, let's face it, a rant about all the bullshit that's filling the news now-a-days could take pages. And Bad Monkey is still recovering from his run-in with the TSA.

Young Dave2 with his Valentine Love Rocket

The above photo is of me and my Valentine Love Rocket. At this point in my life, I still had delusions of becoming an astronaut, so most of my time was spent thinking about escaping my earthly confines and going into space. Even when it came to making a Valentine card box for school. Surprisingly, I remember most everything about this scary craft project, which is odd considering I can't explain why I'm wearing that headache-inducing shirt. Nor can I explain why my hairstyle was stolen from Mr. Spock.

I remember that the body of the rocket is made from ice cream tubs. The top capsule is made from a small coffee can (I think it was Folgers, but I remember it being green, so that's probably not right). The rockets on the bottom are plastic cups that should have been spray-painted silver, but I ran out of time (then, as now, I tended to procrastinate until the last possible moment).

Not that I want to critique my younger self, but that "rocket" is pretty much crap, isn't it? No wonder I couldn't ever get into NASA.

   

Well that was fun. Tune in tomorrow as I procrastinate Bullet Sunday.

   

Monday

Posted on Monday, November 29th, 2010

Dave!This was not the best day.

Usually Mondays are no different than any other day for me. Probably because I work seven days a week. But the drama which other people attribute to Mondays can definitely fuck up my day. Kind of like The Black Death fucked up the 14th century, but on a much larger scale. Well, larger to me, since I'm the one who had to deal with it. To the best of my knowledge I wasn't alive during the 14th century, so it's not like The Black Death was any skin off of my nose.

Things started off bad when my electronic key fob wouldn't unlock my car. This is really embarrassing, because it means having to unlock the door with my actual key (how quaint!) and possibly setting off the alarm. An alarm which will blast the horn for two full minutes. Which doesn't sound like a long time, but when all your neighbors are staring at you with death in their eyes, it's an eternity. The trick is to get the key into the ignition very, very quickly so you can use some off/on trickery to deactivate the alarm manually. Fortunately, I managed to get the sequence right and avoid being assaulted by an angry mob... but still.

A minor victory, but things just went down hill from there.

The good news is that it's almost midnight and tomorrow is another day.

Hopefully a better day.

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Crackers

Posted on Thursday, December 9th, 2010

Dave!I am not offended by foul language. If you've read my blog, met me in person, heard me interviewed on web radio, or listened to my live comedy album, you probably already knew this.

Even so, I try to be very careful about not using curse words in mixed company. Just because I have no problem swearing like a drunken ten-year-old doesn't mean I want to force my potty-mouth on innocent people. I'm a fucking saint that way.

So... when a public conversation calls for a profanity-laden explicative, what to do?

DAVETOON: Bad Monkey swearing

Well, if you're me you wing it.

Unfortunately, I'm not good at "winging" anything, so my improvisational cursing never goes well.

Today in a rushed search for a replacement word for "crap" I somehow came up with "crackers." Yes, crackers. And that's not even my worst offense. A couple of weeks ago I managed "frog" for "fuck."

Clearly this is a big frogging problem.

Isn't there a translation dictionary for stuff like this so I can faux-swear properly? If not, there really should be.

   

Movement

Posted on Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

Dave!Ever feel like all you ever do is move side to side... never forward?

DAVETOON: Lil' Dave is a foosball man... moving side to side, but never forward...

   

Yeah, that's me lately. Or forever. I get those mixed up.

   

Eclipsed

Posted on Monday, December 20th, 2010

Dave!Yay! It's a lunar eclipse!

Boo! I live in shitty Central Washington where it's overcast and snowy.

So when I run outside to look at the fabulousness occurring, this is what I see...

Pretty much a black sky...

Which sucks, because THIS is what everybody else gets to look at...

A beautiful lunar eclipse

   
It reminds me of the "super spectacular" total solar eclipse that happened when I was in Middle School... probably, oh I dunno... 1979 or 1980. Our school didn't have fancy tinted plastic viewers so you actually got to LOOK at the sun being eclipsed. Oh no... we got to poke a small hole in a piece of paper and hold it up to the sun so a beam of eclipsing light shined on a piece of paper. This is how I got to see the awesomeness of the "once in a lifetime big event"...

Pinhole viewing of the solar eclipse.

Which sucks, because THIS is what everybody else got to look at (right before they got super-powers)...

A spectacular fucking view of a full solar eclipse!

   
It's like I'm in Middle School all over again.

Middle School so totally sucks.

   
UPDATE: For anybody who missed it like me, there's a fantastic video over at Vimeo!

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Downhill

Posted on Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

Dave!And so I was craving a cheese sandwich.

But I didn't have any bread or cheese at home, which meant a trip to the grocery store after work. This was a huge mistake for oh so many reasons. It was crappy outside because it snowed today... Then the roads were crowded because it was 5:00... Then the store was packed because everybody was off work...

Then I got in the wrong checkout lane.

And I mean seriously the wrong lane. And things only went downhill from there.

  • The elderly couple ahead of me didn't understand the concept of "buy two get one free" which resulted in a lengthy argument. This does not mean that buying ONE can of carrots gets you 1/3 off the price. Hence the "buy two" part of the offer.
  • They also didn't understand the concept of "sale limit four" which resulted in an even bigger argument because they saw no reason why they shouldn't be able to get six cases of Pepsi since there were two of them. In fact, they thought they were being less than greedy because they were entitled to EIGHT cases.
  • This argument was solved by each of them buying three cases separately.
  • Which they wanted to pay for with a single check.
  • The store offers a 5¢ rebate for each recyclable "green" shopping bag you bring back to re-use. But the elderly couple ahead of me had forgotten their bags in the car. So the entire lane of impatient people had to wait while the old man ran to the car to retrieve their bags so they could get their 20¢ rebate.
  • And when I say "ran" I don't mean "ran quickly" because, well, you know...
  • As I was waiting for the old man to get back with his bags, the woman behind me thought it would speed things up if she rammed her shopping cart into me. When I turned around to ask what the fuck her problem was, she glared at me and said "Can we hurry this up?"
  • I wanted to say "You think this is MY fault? I'm not even to the register yet!" but I was feeling the spirit of the holidays so I said "fuck you."
  • No... wait a second... I got that backwards. I didn't say "fuck you" to her.
  • I said "fuck you" to the douchebag in the parking lot that honked his horn at me as I was trying to skirt around a vast reservoir of water and slushy ice that had formed in front of the store.
  • I then had to follow somebody going 20MPH in a 35MPH zone driving home.

All in all, a pretty shitty day for Dave2.

The cheese sandwich was awesome though.

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Lucidity

Posted on Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

Dave!What the deuce?

As anybody who has read Blogography for any amount of time already knows, I positively loathe Pat Robertson. The bastard is bat-shit crazy, and regularly says stuff so outrageous that you have to question his sanity. Except I don't question anything. I know he's insane.

He's so insane that I put him at the very top of my "Are You Insane?" self-diagnosis chart back in 2006...

Are you insane?

And "crazy" is the least of his sins. In January of this year, I wrote "It's not just that Pat Robertson is a stupid, hypocritical, uncaring, opportunistic, lying piece of shit, it's that he's just plain evil." This was in response to him saying the Haitian people made a pact with the devil in order to end French colonization, and that's why God decided to devastate the country with an earthquake. Like I said, evil. He's right up there with Nancy Grace and Ann Coulter...

Compasionless

Then today something astounding happened.

Pat Robertson took a time out from being an evil lunatic, and actually had a moment of lucidity...

Like I said, what the deuce?

Much like Pat Robertson, I don't condone drug use. I honestly think it leads to more problems than it will ever solve for the vast majority of the population. But, so long as people don't abuse it by driving while high... and so long as they smoke their marijuana in the privacy of their own home where I don't have to inhale it... who gives a shit? Should we really be spending billions of dollars to incarcerate those who would rather get high off pot than drunk off alcohol? If people want to get high and aren't harming anybody else, then they should be able to do that. It's called "freedom."

And who knows? Not only might the legalization of marijuana save us on prison costs... it might also save us tons of money in the "war on drugs." Maybe if people can get legally high, they won't have a need to turn to harsher drugs that are harmful. That would be swell.

And let me tell you... if pot were legal, I'd be buying some right now.

That's about the only way I can deal with the fact that I am actually agreeing with something that Pat Robertson said.

   

Dave10

Posted on Friday, December 31st, 2010

Dave!2010 -> AUDIO -> VIDEO -> DAVE

And now, at long last, comes that one entry for people who are curious as to what I've been up to, but only like to read one blog post a year. All-in-all, it was not a terrible end to the decade. Picking and choosing all the good stuff that happened in 2010 (out of a blog that is already picking and choosing all the good stuff) kind of makes me think it was a great year. Alas, I know better, as there were boatloads of crap I had to deal with that never end up at Blogography. Oh well. It's okay to pretend, isn't it?


JANUARY

• Realized the right tool for the job won't actually get me a free date with Elizabeth Hurley.

• Opened my big mouth and got the entire wine-connoisseur world pissed at me.

DAVETOON: Lil' Dave and Bad Monkey drink entirely too much wine.

• AND NOW, FROM THE BLOGGER WHO BROUGHT YOU PENIS SALAD...

• Found out that somebody stole my monkey.

Copycat Monkey!

Found a vagina on the sidewalk.


FEBRUARY

• Discovered that Canadians are responsible for the pussification of America, and showed them how REAL AMERICANS GET SHIT DONE!!

• Seattle FINALLY got a Hard Rock Cafe, and I got my 125th visit.

• Released my medical findings on a cure for the common cold to Twitter (and so much more).

Tweet01.gif


MARCH

• That Crasher Squirrel has been showing up everywhere...

Crasher Squirrel in Inglourious Basterds

• Just like Lindsay Lohan's cootchie...

Lohan Coochie

• Took my annual Birthday Vacation and ended up in Dutchyland, and Brussels, and Bucharest, and Transylvania, and Prague.

Prague at Night


APRIL

• Explained why Roger Ebert is WRONG about video games not being art.

Talked shit... LITERALLY.

• Attended THE blogging event of the year... TEQUILACON 2010 VANCOUVER!

Planning Posse


MAY

• Went to New York for a-ha's farewell tour and to hang out with awesome people while Betty White made her Emmy-winning SNL appearance.

Remembered a friend.

Got the tackiest phone call ever.

Took a dump on Lost and then went out for pizza with RW, which ended up having far-reaching consequences you'll find out about later this year.

• Summed up my position on the BP oil spill.

DAVETOON: Bad Monkey covers Lil' Dave in Oil


JUNE

• Saw the Worst. Movie. Ever.

• WAY TO GO BLACKHAWKS!!

DAVETOON: Lil' Dave in a Blackhawks Jersey

• Had more fun than should legally be allowed at Bitchsterdam 2!

Bitchsterdam Euro Celebration

Rush Limbaugh is a vile piece of shit.


JULY

Saw one of the best episodes of television ever (thank you Steven Moffat, The BBC, and Dr. Who!). I can honestly say that I think this is the only time I cried in all of 2010.

Van Gogh Meets Dr. Who!

Sarah Palin is a fucking idiot.

• Went on a tour of the USA with stops in Hollywood, San Diego for Comic Con, and Atlanta for Watermelon Beer, and Tulsa, and Kansas, and Chicago.


AUGUST

• Explained to haters who don't like being referred to as a hater that they kind are.

Paid a visit to mah Hilly-Sue and FooDiddy in Sacramento.

Got a visit from Muskrat and Whit in Seattle.

• Was inspired beyond my ability to express by the final words of a legend.

Satoshi Kon


SEPTEMBER

• Took a Mediterranean vacation and saw such remarkable places as Barcelona, and Malta, and Tunisia, and The Amalfi Coast, and Rome, and Portofino, and Corsica, and Monaco. As if all that wasn't enough, I got to have breakfast with Mickey Mouse!

Dave2 and Mickey!

• Remembered The Golden Rule and became the biggest evil dumbass inhuman monster of them all.


OCTOBER

Nearly crapped myself watching a television show.

DAVETOON: Oh Shit! Oh Shit! Oh Shit!

Partied down in rural Wisconsin... a good place to be!

Put Your Hands Up!

Got all poitical for a minute.

Wore purple for a very important cause...

DAVETOON: Lil' Dave and Bad Monkey in Purple

• Went to Albuquerque to gamble away my money at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino there.

• Found out my iPhone can take some pretty decent photos if I bother to stop and look around because there's an app for that...

Wenatchee River Fall Colors


NOVEMBER

• Went back to Atlanta, this time for Pumpkin Beer and good friends... then a tour of THE WALKING DEAD!

• Took a look at porn and handjobs in the interest of airport security.

DAVETOON: TSA says okay! You're good to go!


DECEMBER

Got into the CALM Act...

DAVETOON: Lil' Dave getting blasted with a hemorrhoid commercial

• Want to know where to go on vacation? Here are some of my suggestions!.

"Take your stupid war and go fuck yourself with it."

Took some pictures in the snow.

Snowy Cemetery at Night

• Took on stupid bitches and the law, and went ape-shit over net-neutrality, and was shocked as hell by a moment of lucidity from Pat Robertson.


   
And that was pretty much what happened with me in 2010. How about you?

Hope your 2011 is a good one, and thanks for reading!

   

Thankfully

Posted on Thursday, November 24th, 2011

Dave!I have entirely too many things I take for granted that I really should be more thankful for. It's just too darn easy to lose sight of the myriad of blessings that surround us every day.

Today, however, I am thankful that I'm not a turkey...

DAVETOON: Bad Monkey kills a turkey.

Hope everybody has a good one!

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