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Stabby

Posted on Monday, January 12th, 2015

Dave!I usually don't buy into the whole "MONDAYS SUCK" scenario, but this particular Monday was full-on absurd in just about every way.

And since I'm feeling particularly stabby about the situation, I'll just spare you an entry today...

Dave Psycho

Hope your Monday was better than mine.

   

Reckoning

Posted on Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

Dave!It would seem the decades spent abusing my body are finally catching up to me.

Turns out that by not eating healthy, avoiding regular exercise, and forgoing critical concepts such as "sleep," I've set myself up for a serious reckoning later in life.

And here we are.

Last week I threw my back out setting my pack on the floor.

Yesterday I spent fifteen minutes trying to remember what I had for lunch when somebody asked three hours later. I still don't know.

Tonight I at a chocolate bar that put me in such gastrointestinal distress that I thought I was going to pass out from the pain.

So it's all downhill from here, I'm guessing.

2015 is not the year I was hoping for, and we're not even out of January yet.

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Swimming

Posted on Wednesday, January 14th, 2015

Dave!


SHARK!

   

   

   

MLK 2015

Posted on Monday, January 19th, 2015

Dave!This morning I started out the same way I begin every Martin Luther King Jr. Day... by listening to his beautiful I Have a Dream speech in its entirety.

And then I went to work.

As I do on every day that ends with a "Y"... holiday or not.

Then I celebrated by watching Animated Batman cartoons.

Yay.

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JC Penney

Posted on Monday, January 26th, 2015

Dave!"No."

"We can't do that."

"There's nothing we can do."

"No."

"We can't help you with that."

   

Reasons I won't shop my local JC Penney ever again.

   

And, believe it or not, this was all while I was trying to PAY THEM MONEY on behalf of somebody who is no longer able to handle their finances for medical reasons. Very sad medical reasons. I even have a Power of Attorney document in my hand which allows me to take care of things like this when needed. Like now. But they don't give a shit. "YOU HAVE CALL THE NUMBER ON THE BACK OF THE CARD!!!"

But I don't have the card. And they won't even go get me the number so I CAN call.

Needless to say, I'm fuming.

What kind of customer service is that? If your damn job is to help customers, then get off your ass and help the customer! Had somebody come to me with a horrible situation like this, I would have done everything I could to help them. Need to pay a bill for somebody who is medically unable? I'm sorry I can't help you with that... but let's go find somebody who can place a call for you. You drove all the way down here, so let's get this taken care of, okay?

But no.

I get sent away with literally nothing.

I tried web-chat at the JC Penney website, but they tell me billing issues must be handled by phone. Okay. At least the chat agent actually GIVES ME THE FRICKIN' PHONE NUMBER.

So then I try to call customer service. But you can't get through to a REAL PERSON without an account number or social security number for the card holder. Well, I don't have any of that, and the automated answering system provides no way to explain the situation. I kept saying "help" and "customer service" and pressing "0"... but the phone robot goes in a loop and insists that I give the information it wants. After eight minutes (I checked!) of trying every option available, I manage to confuse the system enough that an operator finally picked up.

Who treats a customer like this?

JC Penney, apparently.

I managed to keep my cool while explaining the situation to the very nice phone agent, but it's rough. The guy apologizes for all I've been though and seems sincere, so I pay the bill, thank him, then hang up the phone.

How in the hell has customer relations degraded to this sorry state?

I became a JC Penney fan when the company made a big effort to be inclusive in both their philosophy and advertising. Who can say no to Ellen DeGeneres? Not me. I started shopping at Penney's because I support companies who embrace diversity, treat all people with kindness, and want their customers to feel good about supporting them with their hard-earned money.

Now I don't give a shit if the local JC Penney burns to the ground.

Boy, it sure doesn't take much for a company to turn a good customer into a bitter enemy now-a-days, does it?

Oh well. It's not like there aren't other places to spend my money.

   

Evaporated

Posted on Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

Dave!A week-and-a-half ago I was bending over to set my backpack down when something went "boink!" in my back. There was an odd tingling for a split second that was (assumably) some kind of warning that I was twisting wrong, but I wasn't able to twist back fast enough. I ended up pulling a muscle that made everything excruciating for the next five days.

Then my back, though tender, was healed enough that it didn't feel like a knife was lodged there. I aimed to keep it that way, so I started really babying myself for the next several days. Bending with extreme care... keeping twisting to a minimum... not lifting anything heavy... walking with minimal movement... that kind of thing.

It worked. My back got better day by day.

And then I slipped on some ice while walking to my car.

I was so concerned with wrenching my back again that I ended up straining against the fall. Which saved my back as planned... but ended up pulling something in my groin.

For the past four days I've been unable to raise my right leg.

This makes simple chores... like walking and climbing stairs... difficult. Slightly more complicated chores... like putting on clothes... became near impossible. The morning acrobatics required to wear pants necessitated careful planning and a working knowledge of elementary physics.

Driving a car was the worst. Just the act of getting in one was torture. I'd have to lay the seat all the way back in an attempt to keep my leg as straight as possible. "Uncomfortable" doesn't even begin to describe it. After 10 minutes behind the wheel it felt as though something was going to snap.

Fast-forward to tonight as I was sitting in the couch working on my laptop while The Flash was playing on TV. I pushed myself up to get a glass of water when something strange happened... I realized I wasn't in pain. Not even a little bit. Whatever I had done to mess up my leg had disappeared. Evaporated. Vanished as if it had never been.

I don't know what I did to fix it.

Maybe it fixed itself.

But without a trace of residual pain. It feels as if it never happened.

I took my pants off and put them back on just to be sure.

Weird stuff.

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Hump

Posted on Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

Dave!It suddenly occurs to me...

...every day is hump day at the Giza Plateau!


Camels in Egypt

   

Happy Wednesday.

   

Ache

Posted on Thursday, January 29th, 2015

Dave!And... my back went out again, just as it was finally finished aching from last week.

This time not from something as stupid as setting down my backpack.

This time it was from lifting my backpack.

It's fairly obvious I need to get rid of this damn backpack.

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Rage

Posted on Thursday, February 12th, 2015

Dave!My work commute is around five minutes. Five minutes I must drive in a car because I have loads of materials that have to accompany me back and forth.

You'd think that such a short amount of time would eliminate any possibility of drama or excitement.

You would be wrong.

Both coming and going, it's a drive I have begun to loathe with every fiber of my being. For whatever amount of time on the road now-a-days, there are simply too many idiots and assholes out there to escape it... driving is torture.

Will somebody please give me a billion dollars so I can afford to hire a car and driver?

Because the ten minutes I spend on the road is now responsible for over 50% of my rage each day.

Rage that would be much better spent hating the Yankees.

Lil' Dave Loves Red Sox

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Batty

Posted on Thursday, February 26th, 2015

Dave!I love bats.

Watching videos of baby bats can totally make my day.


   

   

   

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Sleeper

Posted on Saturday, February 28th, 2015

Dave!I know somebody.

Who feels better about themselves.

By making others feel worse about themselves.

I don't know how they can sleep at night after causing such suffering, pain, and sadness to their fellow humans.

So today I asked.

Their answer is "Lunesta."

I really need to get me some of that.

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Monday

Posted on Monday, March 2nd, 2015

Dave!Spent most of my day hoping for a breakthrough that never came.


Dave Spock

   

I'm just so tired. Bone-weary tired.

   

   

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Instructional

Posted on Thursday, March 5th, 2015

Dave!It's Photoshop training day!


Baby Dave Anime

   

WHERE IS MY POWERPOINT PRESENTATION?!? HAS ANYBODY SEEN MY POWERPOINT PRESENTATION?!?

   

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Split

Posted on Monday, March 9th, 2015

Dave!JUST SPLIT THE DAMN DIFFERENCE BETWEEN STANDARD TIME AND DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME AND GET RID OF THIS STUPID SHIT!

The Monday after dicking around with the clocks is the worst.


   
I know I complain about this dumbassery every time we mess with the clocks, but come on. HOW IS THIS STILL A THING?

   

FIRE!

Posted on Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

Dave!So I had the brilliant idea of making tacos for dinner tonight.

All the fixin's had been unloaded from the refrigerator. The rice was cooking in the microwave. The cheese and lettuce were grated. All I had to do was fry the taco shells and I was golden. So I fire up the burner and wait for the oil to heat up.

Then I made the mistake of turning on the range hood ventilation.

Something lurched in the fan and came loose. Which caused the vent screen to fall...

...into the hot oil.

Which splashed everywhere.

Including the burner where I had water boiling for potatoes.

Before I knew it, the range-top was engulfed in flames.

I immediately grabbed the box of Arm & Hammer from the refrigerator and doused the fire.

But the damage was done. Smoke was everywhere. Smoke detectors were screaming. Soot coated the entire vicinity of the stove. It smelled like the entire kitchen had burned down.

And so my evening was spent not eating delicious tacos... but airing out every room and scrubbing oil smoke from the kitchen walls.

Typical.

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Thinking

Posted on Monday, March 16th, 2015

Dave!I hated today.

Not because it was a Monday... Mondays have no meaning when you have to work through the weekend... but because it was a day of the week.

I'd elaborate, but I just don't have the energy to deal with the fallout from making a bad day even worse. No matter though. Vague constructs define the world we live in now, so you should be accustomed to having only a minimal amount of information available to you. Nobody wants to know how the sausage is made and all that.

As for me, I try not to think about it.

But I just can't help it. I'm a thinker.

I think about a lot of things throughout the day.

Which only ever seems to lead me into (more) trouble... and so most of what I think about now-a-days is how I can think less.

It's harder than you'd think.

Certainly harder than what I thought.

And so here we are.

Hating Monday and such.

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Freezing

Posted on Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

Dave!I am well aware of the atrocities going on in this sick, sad world.

And though I do my small part, I have no illusions that I am going to save the planet.

But that doesn't mean I'm going to give up on trying to help the person standing in front of me...

This is absolutely devastating. What is WRONG with people? There is no way... NO way... that I could walk by a freezing kid like this. TWO HOURS before somebody offered him a jacket or checked to make sure he's okay? I just don't get it.

I don't claim to be a saint or anything... far from it... but sainthood isn't required to buy gloves and a cheap sweatshirt or jacket or something before calling the police to get social services involved. I never thought it was a big deal to buy a hungry person some food or a cold person some clothing... but now I see that it's totally a huge deal because nobody else is doing it.

Well, not "nobody"... but not enough, certainly.

   

ཨོཾ་མ་ཎི་པདྨེ་ཧཱུྂ

Posted on Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

Dave!Back in February I wrote about my 5-minute commute to work and how it is responsible for half of my rage each day because people are stupid. It just doesn't seem possible that such a tiny span of travel time could deal so much damage, but it's true.

And it's getting worse.

Most every day it seems as though nobody is paying attention and nobody is using their turn signals and nobody is going the speed limit and nobody knows how to frickin' drive.

So I've started chanting whenever I'm in the car now.

It's the only thing that keeps me from going insane...

Chanting While Driving

   

And now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to work.

Wish me luck I don't light anything on fire.

   

McLemonade

Posted on Monday, April 13th, 2015

Dave!Must. Not. Kill.

Everywhere you shop, eat, or visit now-a-days is filled with employees who have no desire whatsoever to actually provide any customer service, and I'm rapidly approaching my limit.

Take this recent visit to the McDonald's drive-up...

Do you have lemonade?

Yes.

I'll have a large lemonade and an apple pie please.

FOUR MINUTES LATER...

Here's your order and here's drink.

I ordered a lemonade, what's this?

We ONLY serve frozen strawberry lemonade.

I can't at least get one without strawberry syrup?

No.

Well fuck me sideways.

Nacho Soup

And if you visit the McDonald,s website, it's true... they only have Strawberry Lemonade on the menu. And apparently they are required by McThreat of McDeath to put strawberry syrup in it.

The only thing more disturbing is the marketing for this McAbomination...

Nacho Soup

McCreepy!

Interesting that McDonald's sells Coke products but specifically omits Minute Maid Lemonade from their machines. Probably because they don't want competition for their pricier "McCafe" frozen lemonade crap.

Typical.

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Whatevs

Posted on Wednesday, April 15th, 2015

Dave!Yes.

By all means.

Talk to me like I'm a child in the most condescending tone possible over something that was your problem not mine and a complete misrepresentation of events that transpired.

That always goes over well with me.

Especially when I've just gotten home from work.

   

I really need to get the hell out of here.

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Pieces

Posted on Friday, April 17th, 2015

Dave!This morning I couldn't find that little green piece of string you pull to open a roll of Butter Rum LifeSavers and realized that there hasn't been a little green piece of string to open the package in a long time. I've been using my thumbnail for ages. At some point in the past, the people who made Life Savers decided to eliminate it. Probably because it rarely worked. Most times you'd pull on it and it would either break or not tear the packaging where it needed to be torn. Nevertheless I'd always give it a shot. On those days it would actually open the roll, it would give me a lucky feeling that would last all day.

And what about the little red closure-tie that they used to put on a package of saltine crackers? Somewhere in the murky past Premium Brand decided to get rid of it. But since it was actually useful and worked as intended, I'm guessing it was a financial decision instead of a functionality decision? Oh well. Now-a-days I just twist the end of the package and hope it stays closed enough that my crackers stay somewhat fresh.

And then there's Grandma's Brand cookies. They used to be huge. You'd get two big cookies in a package and it was a hearty enough snack that you'd be filled up enough to get through the day until it was dinner time. But now? They're so small. They kept shrinking and shrinking and shrinking until one day you buy a package of cookies and realize you're getting half of what you used to get. At some point Frito Lay decided that it would be better to trim the size of Grandma's cookies instead of raising prices... destroying the reason you bought them in the first place... their large, satisfying size. Now that they're no bigger than regular cookies, I just buy a package of Chips Ahoy and pop a few of them in a baggie. Grandma's Brand is dead to me.

Every day little pieces of our lives are being diminished or taken away completely.

We rarely seem to notice.

Until one day we look at where we've landed and realize there's nothing left. No string-pull on our LifeSavers. No closure-tie on our crackers. Not enough cookie in our cookies.

Meanwhile, in all too many places in the world, somebody is starving and couldn't give a shit about my lament over the decline of snack-food convenience in America.

I should probably feel much worse about writing blog entries like this than I actually do.

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Eyeful

Posted on Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

Dave!Sigh.

Back to the clinic for another trip under the knife...


Hurt Eyes

Sad Eyes

   
Hopefully it'll be longer than six months before I have to go through this again.

And less painful.

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Sick Day

Posted on Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

Dave!Blergh.

Not a good day to be Dave, so I'm calling in sick.


DAVETOON! Lil' Dave is sick with his eyes closed and his tongue hanging out.

I'll have my mom write you a note tomorrow.

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May Day

Posted on Friday, May 1st, 2015

Dave!Happy May Day, everybody!


Grace Jones as James Bond's May day

   

Dance into the fire! That fatal kiss is all we need...

   

Lake Tahoe

Posted on Monday, May 4th, 2015

Dave!"What's the bare minimum amount of money and effort we can sink into this thing and get away with calling it a Hard Rock?" —Warner Hospitality

Or so I assume.

The property currently known as the "Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe" began as "Del Webb's Sahara Tahoe" and was a pretty big deal back in the early 70's because Elvis performed here regularly...

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe

Eventually the property was rebranded as the "Horizon Resort" before ultimately becoming a Hard Rock in January of this year. As it's not part of the "authentic" Hard Rock portfolio owned by the Seminoles, I was prepared for it to be underwhelming. Because they usually are.

But this one didn't even reach that far for me.

Not that it's not a nice hotel... it totally is... but the complete lack of excessiveness and rock-n-roll theming that defines a "Hard Rock" is just not here. And it starts from when you first pull up to this rather boring building...

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe

If it weren't for the signs, you'd never guess this was a Hard Rock at all. Things are slightly better on the other side, where at least there's a giant guitar...

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe

Inside isn't much better. The reception desk is boring as hell. No effort whatsoever was put into making your first contact with the property be special. No guitars. No cymbals. No art. No nothing. Just blank walls to stare at...

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe

I mean, seriously, what the hell?

There are some nice showcases on the back wall, but it's just not enough...

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe

At the far end is my favorite piece, a passport belonging to Johnny Cash...

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe

About the only attempt at making the lobby feel in any way special is a display for one of Michael Jackson's gloves. Which is nice, but it does nothing to pull you away from all those blank walls behind it...

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe

And then there's the rooms. Again, nice... but where's the "Hard Rock" here? An orange wall, a teddy bear, and a couple of prints is all we get?

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe

At least the bathroom has something rock-related. Even if it is just a tiny guitar print...

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe

Seriously... this could be any mid-range hotel anywhere in the USA. There is absolutely nothing about it that makes you feel like you're in a Hard Rock except when you look closely at the water bottle tag, the shampoos, and the guest services book. About the only unique thing about it is the fire sprinkler in the closet...

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe

I guess they have a real problem with guest's clothes spontaneously combusting or something.

Oh... and thank God I paid the extra money for a "lake view" room. I would have hated to have missed this beautiful view of... the parking lot?!?

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe

I mean, yeah, there's a lake way back there... but I'd hardly call this a "lake view" room. When I booked it, I was expecting to look out my window and see something like this...

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe

...which is a shot I took when I pulled off the road on the drive here.

Oh well. The casino isn't much better. Absolutely nothing on the casino floor. Just a couple of cabinets scattered at the entrances...

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe

And some guitars scattered without presentation down a random boring hallway you have no reason to visit...

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe

The pool is total shit... though there are signs everywhere about a fantastic new pool area that will be debuting this summer, so maybe it'll improve...

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe

Overall, the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe is a massive disappointment for Hard Rock fans. There's just not much here to see. If you don't care about the Hard Rock, it's a nice enough hotel, sure... but for those who do care, it's hardly destination-worthy unless you're a hard-core completist.

Which, unfortunately, is me.

UPDATE 5/5/15: You know, it may not sound like it, but I was trying to stay positive here. But when I went to check out everything kind of came to a boiling point in my head. First of all is the idiotic "resort fee" I had to pay... $22 ($26 with tax) which basically got me internet. It's not like I could go lie by the pool or anything (given there's no furniture). But even worse was the service. When I checked in, you're supposed to get complimentary valet parking, but the ONE guy tending the drive was too busy talking to somebody to bother and, after I had to interrupt to find out what the fuck I do with my car, he positioned valet parking as a "well, if you really want to..." situation, so I ended up self-parking. THEN, when I went to leave in the morning, I asked the guy at the reception desk if they had a postbox. No. Can you put my postcard with your outgoing mail? No. Now that's service! They wouldn't even mail a damn postcard. Seriously, fuck this place. I wish I had never come. A complete stain on the Hard Rock brand if there ever was one.

Contrast and compare to the positively gorgeous "authentic" Hard Rock Cafe next door at Harvey's Casino. It's an absolutely mesmerizing property that's got a "Tahoe Ski Lodge" aesthetic going on. And it's packed to the rafters with fantastic rock-n-roll memorabilia and classic theming. So much love went into this place...

Hard Rock Cafe Lake Tahoe

Hard Rock Cafe Lake Tahoe

Hard Rock Cafe Lake Tahoe

Hard Rock Cafe Lake Tahoe

Now THAT'S Hard Rock! That's a destination-worthy property. That's why I am a Hard Rock fan.

sigh.

Anyway...

Before driving to Lake Tahoe, I got to have lunch with the Blogger Formerly Known as Floating Princess, so the day wasn't a total loss. We had most excellent pizza at Pirate's Pizza in Reno... it is, in fact, the best pizza in the whole world...

Pirate's Pizza Reno

Pirate's Pizza Reno

Pirate's Pizza Reno

Dinner tonight was another excellent meal... across the street from the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe at the Lucky Beaver...

Lucky Beaver Sign

I like the place very much... excellent service and a cozy atmosphere. But the food is way pricey... $12 for a burger and tots! Though their black bean veggie option is really good, so I guess it was worth the money.

And that's my day. Time to walk back to the Hard Rock and see if I can get some sleep.

I'm not much of a gambler, but I was compelled to put money in the "Ellen DeGeneres Show Slot Machine" until something happened. Five dollars later and...

Ellen DeGeneres Show Slot Machine

If you win something special, cartoon-body Ellen dances across the screen and she talks to you. Cute.

Tomorrow? The journey back home.

   

Commuter

Posted on Thursday, May 7th, 2015

Dave!Realistically, there are three routes I can take to get home from my office. Two of them are in town and take about 5 minutes each on average. The last one involves jumping on the highway and takes about 7 minutes on average. So, all things considered, ridiculously easy commutes.

Except for yesterday.

I was already on the highway, so I took the "long" way home. Only to find that the route was blocked by a jackknifed semi on the bridge that crosses back across the river. This meant I had to cruise 15 minutes out of my way in order to get turned around so I could take Option No. 2.

Which was also blocked because a semi had tried making a U-turn (or something) and drove off the road. This time I took a photo because I could barely believe it myself...

Truck Driver Says Did I Err?

Police were redirecting traffic on both sides, so no joy there. This time it was ten minutes out of my way to get back to Option No. 3.

Which was also blocked.

Somebody backing their motorhome across both lanes of traffic and not truly understanding how to steer when moving in a direction that's not forward.

As I was sitting there waiting, my mind was trying to come up with yet another route that would get me home. But before I managed to wrap my brain around it, the motorhome driver miraculously figured out that left backs left and the road was open for business once again.

I left work at 5:05.

I pulled into my driveway at 5:32.

Which works out to twenty-seven minutes to drive 1.3 miles.

The next time somebody tells me that I'm "so lucky" to live in a small town where I don't have a difficult commute gets punched in the dick.

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Bavarian

Posted on Thursday, May 14th, 2015

Dave!This has been a long, difficult week.

Lucky for me, fellow blogger Christopher (of Not-So-Random-Musings fame) was passing through town... which was an excellent excuse to blow off work and head to the "Bavarian Village" of Leavenworth for a delicious veggie wurst...

Leavenworth, WA

Leavenworth, WA

Leavenworth, WA

Leavenworth, WA

Nice day for it!

   

Davolution

Posted on Saturday, May 16th, 2015

Dave!The little photos that accompany each entry on this blog are 15 years old today! Thanks to my friend Meagan for creating the custom-made photo booth that made it all possible.

I should probably update them one of these days, but I can never seem to bring myself to get rid of something that's been a part of Blogography since it began in 2003...

Oldblogography

There were originally 25 shots. I whittled them down to 17 for my blog. An 18th image was added of me flipping the bird in late 2003 when I found out I desperately needed one...

Dave! Dave! Dave! Dave! Dave! Dave!
Dave! Dave! Dave! Dave! Dave! Dave!
Dave! Dave! Dave! Dave! Dave! Dave!

Last week when I realized that the 15th anniversary of Meagan's photos was coming up, I pulled all the photos of me posted to this blog and arranged them in ascending date order.

A whole lot of Dave can be found in an extended entry...

→ Click here to continue reading this entry...

   

Nope

Posted on Friday, May 22nd, 2015

Dave!Trying to find the motivation to get out of bed each morning has been a real challenge lately...


Lil' Dave and Bad Monkey Red Nose Day!

   

At least it's raining today...

   

Want

Posted on Friday, June 5th, 2015

Dave!What you want and what you need are not always the same thing.

But they can be, and when you're lucky enough to find something that special, you have to have the sense to grab hold of it with both hands and work your ass off to make it happen.

The work rarely being easy, of course, because nothing worthwhile ever is.

For six long months I've been struggling with my Magnificent Want, and I think I'm finally reaching the half-way point. By the end of June I'll have either persevered after too many long days and sleepless nights so the real work can begin... or I will have failed after having given it my best shot.

Whichever way it goes, I'm content with the knowledge that I did everything possible that could be done, and there will be no looking back with regret.

Well, maybe a little regret.

Decisions had to be made which were not without sacrifice, and I'll spend no small amount of time trying to decide if it was all worth it.

I certainly hope so.

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Get

Posted on Thursday, July 16th, 2015

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

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

But today?

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

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Strangelove

Posted on Monday, July 20th, 2015

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

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


   
I need a vacation.

   

Return

Posted on Tuesday, July 21st, 2015

Dave!Another difficult day.

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

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

Hwange Lion Cubs

Elephants in the Zambezi

Lions in the Shade

Hwange Giraffe

Hwange Sunset

   
Here's hoping for a better tomorrow.

   

Transcend

Posted on Friday, July 24th, 2015

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

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

Case in point...

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

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

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

At least it was half the battle...

Sadistic Transcend Engineers

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

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

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

I absolutely hate stupid crap like this.

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

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

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

   

Saga

Posted on Saturday, July 25th, 2015

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

I was wrong.

So very, very wrong.

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

Yeah. Not so much.

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

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

What the-?!?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

=sigh= Something new to worry about.

   

Death-Defying

Posted on Thursday, July 30th, 2015

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

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

And a six-pack of 5-Hour Energy.

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

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

And then it happened.

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

In my lane.

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

In a Prius.

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

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

It felt like the Prius went up on two wheels.

I thought I was going to tip over.

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

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

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

What if there hadn't been a full moon?

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

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

The list goes on and on.

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

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

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

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

But clearly I am indestructible, so why not?

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

   

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

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

   

Sicktime AMA

Posted on Saturday, August 8th, 2015

Dave!My plan was to spend all day at the office so I could get caught up from time lost during my whirlwind week of working in Maine. Alas, instead I spent almost the entire day stuck in bed sick. My guess is that lack of sleep has finally compromised my health, and I ended up vulnerable to a bad case of food poisoning around 3:00am.

The bad news is that I managed to get zero work done.

The good news is that I stumbled across my Tumblr that I never use and had a bunch of questions waiting for me! Here are some of them...

What's the scariest thing you've ever done? I'm tempted to answer "skydiving," but I get more scared in tall buildings than I ever did skydiving and parachuting. Being in the middle of earthquakes in both Seattle and Tokyo were pretty scary. Getting held up at gun-point was definitely scary... but that wasn't something I did, so I honestly don't know. Blind dates are terrifying to me, so let's go with that.

What was the best sex you've ever had? Any sex I'm lucky enough to have is the best... but, if forced to choose? Cologne, Germany, February 2008. Came out of nowhere. Took me completely by surprise. Was the amazing culmination of an incredible day.

How do I get these numbers off my television? I am not familiar with your television, but the "DISPLAY" button usually takes care of that.

What sites do you use for travel advice? Where can I get the best airfare and the cheapest hotels? For specifics, I like TripAdvisor quite a lot, but you have to take some of the absurd reviews you see with a grain of salt. For general travel advice, Nomadic Mike is about as good as it gets (he has great tips for cheap airfare as well). Cheap hotels depend completely on where you're willing to say and what class you're comfortable staying at. I use Priceline a lot. When there's a specific hotel I want to stay at, I've saved money with Trivago. Surprisingly, I sometimes find huge savings by using my AAA card (and, as a bonus, all AAA rates seem to let you cancel them, unlike Priceline and other bidding sites which are non-refundable). My general advice for saving money is BE FLEXIBLE! Some times are cheaper than others. Some destinations are cheaper than others. So long as you are flexible, you'll be best able to take advantage of deals you can find around the internet (signing up for fare alerts from FareCompare and Airfare Watchdog is a good start, but you should sign up for everything you can find!).

Where do you draw the line? I try very hard to draw the line when my actions will negatively impact others.

Where did you go to art school and what advice would you give sombody wanting to have a career in art? I didn't go to art school and an entirely self-taught. When it comes to advice, I honestly don't know what to offer. Now-a-days, getting started in a profitable art career seems more about who you know and what connections you have over anything else. That being said, crazy-talented people always seem to find a way to make a living at it. Problem is, most people who think they're crazy-talented (sadly) are not. This is not to say that you can't make a living doing what you love, it's just that in a day and age where clip-art makes everybody think they're an artist and there are sites offering $5 logos and such... well... it can be difficult. That being said... keep working at it. Get yourself out there. Let your work be seen. Don't be discouraged by negative feedback but instead use that feedback to better your craft.

Why are you still blogging? I have no idea. Except... a lot of "unique visitors" drop by every day which means people are still reading it, so there's that. My guess is that it's become habit. I just do it without really thinking about it. And then there's nostalgia. I've met a lot of amazing people through blogging, so ditching it isn't that easy.

   
And... time to try and get more sleep...

   

Case

Posted on Monday, August 10th, 2015

Dave!JUST MAKE IT STAAAAHHHHHP!


Somebody's Got a Case of the Mondays!

   

I want out.

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Climb

Posted on Tuesday, August 11th, 2015

Dave!Sometimes people give you a helping hand.

Sometimes it's your turn to help them back.


   
Now isn't that the cutest thing you've seen all day?

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Induced

Posted on Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015

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

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

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Exhaustion

Posted on Thursday, September 3rd, 2015

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

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

Stabby Dave

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

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

Total Sun

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

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

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

David's Pizza Spokane

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

David's Da Vinci pizza was amazeballs as always.

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

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

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

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

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

   

Meme Day

Posted on Monday, September 7th, 2015

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

Must be time for a meme!


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

   

Spirit

Posted on Friday, September 11th, 2015

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

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

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

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

Cashmere Washington 9/11 Memorial The Spirit of America

Cashmere Washington 9/11 Memorial The Spirit of America

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

Cashmere Washington 9/11 Memorial The Spirit of America

What the hell?

Seriously, what the hell?

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

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

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

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

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Vaguely

Posted on Saturday, September 26th, 2015

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

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

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

I guess that's something.

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

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Setbacks

Posted on Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

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

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

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

DAVETOON: Lil' Dave Buys Bulk Jager

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

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Måndag

Posted on Monday, October 5th, 2015

Dave!The only good thing about this day is that it will eventually end.


Log Lady

   
   

You wouldn't think that Monday's suck this bad when you work seven days a week, but they absolutely do.

   

Bugdom

Posted on Wednesday, October 7th, 2015

Dave!It rained today, for which I was so very grateful because it meant day two of the gnat invasion was greatly lessened. Apparently the little bastards don't like to fly in the rain. Yesterday was precipitation-free and pretty awful.

I've never bothered to research what these bugs are all about. If they live for only two or three days so they can lay eggs for the next crop to live for only two or three days... what's the point? To be irritating for two or three days, I guess...

Gnats Suck Ass!

Perhaps they're one of those weird bugs that have wings for only a very short time so they can disperse and diversify, then their wings fall off. How much would that suck? Being given the gift of flight and freedom only to have it taken away?

I dunno. They don't look like they have detachable wings. It seems as though if their wings fell off there wouldn't be any bug left...

Gnats Suck Ass!

This little fucker was part of a swarm I had to walk through in order to get to my car yesterday. He must have stuck to me for the ride to work, then decided he'd hang out in my office pissing me off all day.

Luckily, this doesn't seem to be an annual thing. I don't remember swarms of tiny bugs last year, so who knows how long they sleep or go dormant or hatch or whatever they do. Nature is weird so you never can tell.

Oh well. Two-or-three-days every however-many-years isn't that bad, I guess.

On the opposite end of the longevity spectrum... my grandma is 98 years old today! Happy birthday, grandma!

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Crushed

Posted on Thursday, October 8th, 2015

Dave!My glassware is a hodgepodge of various sizes and styles that I've accumulated over the years. I have at least six different varieties in my cupboard, remnants of sets that are mostly broken now... plus a few random pieces that just kinda wandered in somehow...

Blue Striped Glasses. I bought these in college because they were on sale at K-Mart for cheap. They taught me never to buy painted glassware, because the paint eventually gets beat to shit and discolors. I hate these glasses, so naturally, they are the set that's survived the longest.

Coke Glasses. These are the famously-shaped fountain glasses from Coca-Cola. I saw them at Macy's while in Seattle and just had to have them even though they were really expensive. I broke three of them in the first year. The remaining three are pretty beat up, but work fine. Especially for a can of Coke, which fits perfectly.

Tall Glasses. After a tragic accident that saw two blue-striped glasses bite the dust, I decided I wanted glasses that would hold a lot of liquid, as I was tired of having to refill my chocolate milk glass. I found some at Shopko that fit the bill perfectly. Unfortunately, they're brittle as hell and break if you sneeze in their general direction. I have two left out of six.

Arby's Holiday Glass. I've accumulated a lot of fast-food glasses over the years. McDonalds and Burger King mostly. They used to have promotions where if you bought a meal you could get a keepsake glass for 99¢ (or whatever). No matter how cheesy, I always bought them. My favorite was a set of Peanuts comics glasses from McDonald's. I loved them so much I collected the entire set of four! There have been others... Star Wars... Muppets... Disney... Garfield... and the like. I also had some crazy McDonald's character glasses (Ronald, Grimace, Hamburglar, etc.) that lasted for years. Unfortunately, they were all destroyed when I moved apartments ages ago. All except Mayor McCheese. He survived only to crack in the dishwasher a few months after unpacking. The only fast-food piece I have left is a glass with small red birds painted on it that I got from Arby's. At least I think it was Arby's... maybe not. I have no clue as to its longevity.

Plain Glasses. It was a rare instance of my having company over and being embarrassed that I didn't have a complete set of glassware. So I found a set of plain-but-nice glasses at JC Penny's "Home Department." They worked great, but were fairly thin and crack easily.

There have been others, but that's the bulk of what's left...

Dave's Glasses!

Fast-forward to today.

I am finally tired of having a random assortment of glassware, so I decided to throw everything out and start over. But this time, instead of buying that thin crap that doesn't last... I decided to buy the thick, restaurant-quality glassware that will outlive me. Luminarc is famous for their tough "Working Glass" pieces, and I had my heart set on acquiring some...

Broken Glass is Broken!

I couldn't find any locally, so I decided to order from Nordstrom's, which was having a Luminarc sale.

Today they finally arrived.

One chipped. One cracked. And one crushed to a billion tiny pieces (plus three big chunks)...

Broken Glass is Broken!

I guess owning a nice set of glassware just isn't in the cards for me.

It's a pity I can't stand drinking from plastic. That would probably save me a lot of angst here.

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Bookish

Posted on Friday, October 9th, 2015

Dave!The pressure's on the screen
To sell you things that you don't need
It's too much information for me

Too Much Information by Duran Duran

For quite a while now, I've been simplifying my life by getting rid of junk I don't need. And, more importantly, I've been trying to stop buying the stuff I don't really need which will turn into tomorrow's junk.

For the most part, I've been fairly successful. I rarely purchase any kind of "luxury good" on impulse now-a-days. Everything I buy is carefully thought-out. If there's something I think I just have to have, I'll put it on a wish-list and sit on it for a week. It's shocking how most of the time things I was so desperate to buy seven days ago gets scratched off the list because, upon further reflection, it isn't that important to improving my life.

The one area where I fail miserably is books.

For the most part, I've switched to digital books and digital comics because I just don't have room to store any more of them... but I love physical books so much that it's impossible for me to give them up completely.

"Art of the Movie" books are my worst offenders. I buy every Marvel Cinematic Universe book they release... which includes not just the movies, but the TV series too. I also buy every Pixar "Art of the Movie" book and most of the Disney ones as well. Needless to say, I buy loads of Star Wars and Star Trek books because it's impossible not to. I absolutely love being able to get a peek behind the scenes of how the movies I love are developed and crafted, and this is not something that translates well to digital eBooks, so I bite the bullet and purchase the real books. And a lot of the time they're fairly large. Which means more clutter.

Comic books are also problematic, because I would far rather own a physical copy over some digital representation. Alas, I have more comics than I can manage as it is, so digital it is. Unless... I run across issues that are missing from my epic runs of Batman, Action, Avengers, Fantastic Four, and Legion of Super-Heroes* If I see any holes in my collection I can fill for a reasonable price, my wallet is out so fast that my credit card never knew what hit it.

Things wouldn't be so bad if I could convince myself to unload the hundreds of crappy comics I don't even like... but I never can. You just don't know when an emergency situation will arise where I'll be desperate to read an issue of Rob Liefeld's Youngblood, for example.

And so I have boxes and boxes of comics and shelves and shelves of books that probably aren't going anywhere anytime soon.

Which is a pity, because I could really use the space for my LEGO collection.

   
*Well, not any of the actually comics titled Legion of Super-Heroes, because I have all those... I'm talking about the team's appearances in other books, like Adventure Comics). Totally my Kryptonite.

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Not Josh

Posted on Wednesday, October 14th, 2015

Dave!It's not that I get upset because somebody texted the wrong number...

...it's because they don't have an iPhone, so I have to pay texting charges to let them know.


Sorry! Not Josh!

   
Damn green bubbles!

   

Spirited

Posted on Thursday, October 15th, 2015

Dave!Ever had one of those days where it's all bad news from the moment you get up until the second you go to bed?

That was me yesterday.

It started with a phone call that was reeking with bad news for a friend. Then I found out my cameras isn't recognizing memory cards anymore. Then I got handed a massive financial burden that couldn't have come at a worse time. Then I got some disappointing news about a project I was really looking forward to. It goes on and on.

In other words, it was a Wednesday.

This made it difficult for me to have spirit for Spirit Day this year, but I tried my best...

DAVETOON: Lil' Dave and Bad Monkey in Purple

The good news is that today was relatively bad-news-free.

But there's still two hours left, so who knows?

   

Misfortune

Posted on Thursday, October 29th, 2015

Dave!Another day. Another piece of bad news.

One of these years, when all the storms have passed and I can look back on this time in my life and laugh about it, I'm going to sit down and document all the horrendous shit that's been thrown at me over the past 14 months. Maybe then it will become real enough that I can accept that it actually happened. Because right now it seems anything but real.

Which is probably for the best.

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Homeless

Posted on Friday, October 30th, 2015

Dave!Well, not really.

But kinda.

Maybe.

I'm actually not entirely sure.

Guess it will all get sorted out next week.

Hopefully.

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Pressure

Posted on Monday, November 2nd, 2015

Dave!Started coming down with a cold on Saturday.

Downed massive amounts of vitamin C to head it off.

Felt way better on Sunday... no runny nose, no aches and pains, no coughing. Just a little bit of sinus pressure.

Then today I had to drive over the mountain passes and back for work. This caused my sinuses to compress. Now I've got a massive sinus headache that Will. Not. Stop.

The good news is that I finally managed to donate my car to the veterans. Since they couldn't pick it up over in Redneckistan, I drove it over to the big, scary city of Seattle. I was going to take a sentimental final photo of my Saturn... but I fucking hated that car so much that I didn't feel like it.

If you want to see what it looked like, here's a photo of the piece of shit being towed after the transmission blew out a couple years ago...

Dave's Car Being Towed

I bought the Saturn SC2 in 1999 after my previous car was completely destroyed by a runaway railroad truck. It slipped out of gear, tore across the street, then plowed into my car so hard it was totaled. Because I was working non-stop, I didn't have time to go car shopping. I kept putting it off and putting it off until finally the railroad's insurance was going to cut off my rental.

That's when I saw a television commercial about how you could order a great new car from Saturn's website without stepping foot in a showroom. And it was made in America! SWEET!

And so I did.

Several weeks later I was in New York when I got a call that my car had arrived at the dealership in Seattle. So instead of flying home to Redneckistan, I ditched out at Seattle and the Saturn people picked me up from the airport. They were very nice, but they forced me to go through a crazy "orientation class" before they'd let me drive it home which was a bit unnerving.

And it was that drive home where I first realized that I did not care for the car.

At all.

It had a fucking horrendously huge turning radius. I made more three-point turns in the first month of owning it than I did in the entire lifetime of owning my previous car. It also had really poor design choices... in everything from the sun visors to the window controls. As if that wasn't enough, it never felt really comfortable to drive. Long distance, it was awesome. But for in-city stop-and-go driving it was miserable.

I had 30 days to return it.

And I gave that some serious thought.

But I was so busy with work that I just ended up keeping it.

For sixteen years.

Eventually I came to tolerate it, though stuff was always going wrong (after the warranty expired, of course). In addition to the afore-mentioned transmission failure, the dome light was flakey as hell. Rarely worked. The driver-side door was a piece of shit that never wanted to stay open. The emissions system was such a mess that I had the service light going on and off for the past seven years... despite spending hundreds upon hundreds of dollars at the dealership to have it fixed. And don't get me started on all the interior shit that broke over the years... driver-side arm rest... center console... rear console... passenger-side oh-shit handle... sun visor clip... the list goes on and on. It's as if Saturn used the cheapest plastic they could find on everything.

It didn't even have 100,000 miles and 15 years on it when I finally decided to be rid of the damn thing, but it felt as though it was 40 years old with 900,000.

As if that weren't enough suffering, I ended up having to spend $100 on a battery so it would start and I could get it over to Seattle in the first place.

No wonder Saturn went out of business back in 2009.

Anyway...

Instead of selling the thing and making my problems somebody else's problems, I decided to donate it to Cars Helping Veterans and see if they could make some use of it for a good cause.

Good bye.

Good riddance.

At last.

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Blankey

Posted on Friday, November 6th, 2015

Dave!What...

What just happened?

Last night I was sleeping with just a sheet on my bed... tonight suddenly I've got three blankets and a comforter going on. Shouldn't this have been more of a progression? Add one blanket for a week or two... then another... then another? Alas, no. The weather has gone from pleasantly brisk to full-on cold overnight.

Errr... well... overday, I guess.

DAVETOON: Lil' Dave Has a Lot of Blankets!

Not a big fan of Winter. Missing Fall already.

Kinda wish we could go from Fall to Spring and skip over winter.

Like last year. We didn't even get snow last year.

Thanks, global warming!

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Happening

Posted on Monday, November 9th, 2015

Dave!Today something was supposed to happen but it didn't happen and so now I'm beginning to wonder if it's ever going to happen when I very much need it to happen.

Because I'm pessimistic that way.

Not due to a personality trait... but due to past experience, which has conditioned me to expect the absolute worst case scenario any time my fate is in the hands of others.

Which is another way of saying shit happens.

That much you can always count on.

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Relief

Posted on Wednesday, November 11th, 2015

Dave!After months of stress from waiting...

I just don't know what to do with myself now that it's over.

Get drunk, I guess.

That seems to be my answer for everything though.

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Rain

Posted on Wednesday, November 18th, 2015

Dave!Winter is coming.

And the reason I know this is because snow landed on the hills this week, albeit briefly. After that, it all turned to rain. Relentless rain that has made the last couple days really miserable. Particularly while driving, because water is pooling on the roads and highways. You'll be driving along when all of a sudden you're hydroplaning across the pavement and hoping you don't hit anything. And it doesn't seem to matter how slow you go. I've been driving 35mph in a 60mph zone and still have to worry.

Last night I had to make yet another run to Home Depot and couldn't get home after because a bad accident was blocking the highway back to my place. Since I was hungry, I decided to pull into a burger drive-in and wait it out. While I was waiting for my order, four police cars, two ambulances, and three firetrucks showed up...

Accident in the Rain

The lady who handed me my veggie burger said that this was the third accident in two days at that same intersection.

Apparently there's a leaving curve there, even though the road itself is straight.

And what's going to happen when the snow gets here?

Brace yourself...

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Roundabout

Posted on Saturday, December 5th, 2015

Dave!A couple months ago, my corner of Redneckistan got a roundabout... better known as a rotary (if you live in New England) or perhaps a traffic circle (if you live in other places). Basically, it's an intersection without stops. Everybody yields to traffic within the circle, and enters once it's clear to do so... exiting at the point they need to be.

Ours is a three-way and looks like this...

Snowy Redneckistan is Snowy

Which actually makes it seem more complicated than it really is. The concept itself is quite simple. All you have to do is yield to the traffic already in the circle, then enter when it's safe to do so.

I actually rather like roundabouts. I've used them quite a lot back East and they're everywhere in Europe. Once you get used to them, they're pretty awesome... keeping traffic moving efficiently without the need for stopping when you don't have to.

Except...

Roundabouts are most effective when you keep two things in mind...

1) They can only be used where pedestrian traffic is at a minimum or non-existent. They idea is to keep traffic moving, and you can't do that when cars are constantly having to stop for people wanting to cross the street.

2) They need to be kept clear of obstructing traffic. Again, you can't keep traffic moving if there's a cross-street nearby... or a train crossing... or a turnout... or a place traffic is entering... or anything else that's going to cause drivers to have to stop, thus blocking traffic.

And can you guess what we have at our roundabout?

That's right, both of those things.

1) It's inarguably the first (maybe second) busiest pedestrian intersection in the entire city. At the top of the circle is the only bank in town where most everybody does their banking. To the south is downtown (or what's left of it) which is where everybody shops. That means you get pretty heavy pedestrian traffic as people are wanting to cross at all three exit points on the circle on a fairly regular basis, thus trapping drivers inside and backing things up.

2) As if that weren't a good enough reason to not put a roundabout in the middle of town, the fact that there's a fucking RAILROAD CROSSING 350 ft. to the left of the circle would do it. There's also the exit from the bank parking lot on the left... not to mention the entrance to the bank's drive-through on the right side.

So, essentially, traffic gets a little fucked up all day long because of pedestrians wanting to cross.

And traffic gets totally fucked up several times a day when a train blows through town. I can't tell you how many times things have been backed up so badly that I've actually reversed course and went out on the highway to get home because it's faster than trying to wade through the utter disaster going on at the roundabout.

But fucking traffic armageddon is not even the worst of it.

People here simply don't know how a roundabout even works.

They either come to a full stop when they shouldn't because the circle is completely clear or... much worse... don't fucking yield when you're in the circle trying to get through it. I've been nearly-nailed more times than I can count. And the people who almost ran into me as I'm slamming on the brakes don't even understand that they were in the wrong.

The whole situation is a testament to idiocy, and there's not a day that I'm in the vicinity of the damn thing that I don't get pissed off all over again.

I'd run for mayor and make the stupid stop, but it would be entirely too much work to deal with the stupid that's already been done.

And the last thing I need is more work.

Or more stupid.

   

Goodbye

Posted on Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015

Dave!Goodbye grandma.

I'll love you forever.


Grandma and Dave

   

   

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You

Posted on Thursday, December 24th, 2015

Dave!It's all I want.

   

   

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Dave15

Posted on Thursday, December 31st, 2015

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

This year was difficult for many reasons, but I tried to make the best of it whenever I could. ...

   


JANUARY

• Restored some very cool old family photos...

Photo Restoration

   

• Finally made the switch from Apple's discontinued Aperture to Adobe Lightroom.

   


FEBRUARY

• Got angry at the lobbyist pig-fuckers ruining this country.

   

• Mourned the loss of the blogs in my life.

   

• Went to a birthday party in San Diego and took some photos...

San Diego Adam & Eve

   

• I love baby bats!

   


MARCH

• Had another encounter with Cirque du Soleil, this time with KURIOS!

Kurios: Cabinet des Curiositie

   

• Flew to Memphis to visit their new Hard Rock Cafe, see the sights, and visit some friends...

Hard Rock Cafe Memphis Tennessee

   

• Spent the evening photographing beautiful Beale Street...

Beale Street Memphis Tennessee

   

• Got my hands on the majesty that is the Retina 5K iMac.

   


APRIL

Essential viewing for every American.

   

• Sang the praises of Netflix and Marvel's Daredevil.

   

Took a trip to Vancouver so I could get detained, visit the new Hard Rock Casino, and eat TimBits...

Hard Rock Casino Vancouver

   


MAY

• Had a less than stellar experience when visiting the new Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Lake Tahoe...

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe

   

• Visited Anchorage to see the new Hard Rock Cafe there and take the Alaska Railroad so I could go glacier watching...

Otters

Glacier Cruise Alaska Prince William Sound

   

• Marvel at Miley Cyrus and Ariana Grande as they Don't Dream it's Over...

   


JUNE

THE BLACKHAWKS WIN THE STANLEY CUP!

Spy Movie Poster

   

• Dropped some text on vitiligo.

   

• Spent too long obsessing over a video where a cat taking a nap got an unexpected ride...

   

Equality nation-wide...

Marriage Equality for All

   


JULY

Wrote a love letter to Back to the Future on the event of the film's 30th anniversary.

Back To The Future!

   

• America. A retrospective of greatness.

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

   

The only president we need.

   

• Took a look back at some of my favorite television commercials from past years.

   

Came the closest to death that I ever have.

   


AUGUST

Said goodbye to The Daily Show.

   

• Took a trip to Los Angeles and visited The Getty Museum...

The Getty Los Angeles

   

• Was disgusted by being disgusted.

   


SEPTEMBER

Became enamored with a pencil.

   

Said goodbye to PDX carpet after flying to Portland for a wedding...

PDX Carpet Feet

   

• Finally, finally got to see a concert at Red Rocks... DURAN DURAN!

Red Rocks Amphitheater!

   

• Became obsessed with LEGO Dimensions...

LEGO Dimensions Game

   


OCTOBER

• Sorry, I'm not Josh...

Sorry! Not Josh!

   

• iTunes is the shittiest software ever.

   

• Spent a beautiful day in Marin County...

Marin

   

Went to see Walk the Moon with Jestertunes...

Walk the Moon

   


NOVEMBER

   

• Finally said goodbye to my piece of shit car.

   

Took a step towards fulfilling a dream...

My new Milwaukee red drill!

   


DECEMBER

• On a trip to Portland, Maine, I discovered that United Airlines Don't Give a Fuck.

   

• Delved into the world of home automation.

   

• Closed out my travel year by flying back to San Francisco so I could see The 1975 with Jestertunes.

   


And that was my adventures in 2015.

Here's wishing everybody a terrific 2016!

   

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