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Cliff

Posted on Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

Dave!I would like to send a big "thank you" to Congress, The President, and all our elected officials for their hard work on coming to a deal to avoid the so-called "Fiscal Cliff." Totally excellent work, guys. You completely lived up to my lofty expectations. That extra money coming out of my paycheck each month? Totally fucking worth it. I'd recommend that everybody involved get a raise, but you've already given yourself one.

Who says that the American government is filled with useless pieces of shit who are more interested in salvaging their cushy careers and getting their hands on special interest money than serving the American people? Not me! My confidence is running high that we're on the right track now, and everything's going to be just awesome as we barrel forward into the future...

Lil' Dave and Bad Monkey Are Off the Cliff!

Thanks once again to the best government money can buy! You guys rock!

   

Bullet Sunday 312

Posted on Sunday, January 13th, 2013

Dave!Stop staring at those Golden Globes... because Bullet Sunday starts now...

   
• Good. If you have a passing interest in astronomy... or even if you just like staring at beautiful stuff... then you have got to check out Phil Plait's Bad Astronomy blog over at Slate. I've been a fan of his for years when he was at Discovery, but he's really been be posting some amazing images lately...

Space Ribbon
You'll probably want to look at the Big Picture over at Bad Astronomy.

Glittery Galaxy
No shit, go check out the hi-res on this one. Mindblowing.

And in-between, Mr. Plait is still dishing up fascinating facts about the universe... and cool stuff worth knowing about our home back here on earth. Be sure to check it out.

   
• Cookies. Look, if a site requires me to enable cookies in order to use their shopping cart, that's fine. If I want to shop there bad enough I'll enable the stupid cookies, even though I don't want to. However... I am NOT going to be forced into enabling cookies just for looking at your website. And if you go to Target.com, that's exactly what they do ON PAGE ONE...

Target Cookies Required

All I wanted to do was to find a local Target store at a given address. Why in the hell does that require cookies? Stupid. Stupid. STUPID!

   
• Backlog. Being a man and talking about rape and violence against women can be a tricky situation... even if you are condemning these reprehensible acts of brutality and cruelty. I've learned the hard way how just one misinterpreted word can get you verbally eviscerated, regardless of your good intentions. Even trying to be sympathetic can sometimes get you smacked down. Ultimately, it all comes down to one thing... "You're a man. You'll never know what it's like."

And women are, of course, correct. Men can't know what it's like for a woman to deal with rape... or even the fear that comes from the threat of rape.

So this is a subject I shy away from, even though I have strong feelings about it. Namely, that rape is an unforgivable criminal act which should result in the rapist being evicted from humanity. Permanently.

But, back to reality...

Certainly preventing rape should be goal #1. But if rape occurs, then making sure the rapist pays for his crime and ensuring he can't rape again is imperative. Thanks to a post over at SueBob's blog, I've learned that there exists a massive backlog of rape-kit evidence that has yet to be processed. Meaning there are rapists out there who are free to rape again since the evidence of their crime is sitting in a room somewhere instead of getting them convicted. If this makes you as angry as it does me, there's a site called End the Backlog you should take a look at.

And if you're looking for a place to donate some money, Mariska Hargitay's Joyful Heart Foundation "helps survivors of sexual assault heal their minds, bodies and spirits and reclaim their lives," and is deserving of your support.

   
• Accused. Of course, being a man, I would be remiss if I didn't point out that being falsely accused of rape can have consequences every bit as horrendous. You. Can. Lose. Everything. Your family. Your wife. Your children. Your friends. Your neighbors. Your job. Your livelihood. Your life. And, even if the truth eventually comes out, your life will never be the same because the original accusation never goes away. People may learn that you're innocent, but you'll always be that guy who somebody accused of rape. And don't get me started on how damaging false accusations are to actual rape victims trying to build cases against the bastard who violated them. Every lie that comes to light makes it that much harder to prove a truth.

So, yeah. If you are a rapist, you deserve everything you get. And more. But if you're innocent? That's the stuff of every man's worst nightmare. Case in point? Nancy Grace's relentless, ruthless public persecution of the Duke Lacrosse Team for gang rape. Day after day she poured on the outrage, pronouncing them GUILTY despite the three accused players' repeated denials (not to mention inconsistencies from the accuser). And when the guys were found innocent? Not even an apology from that fucking publicity whore, Nancy Grace (may she burn in hell for all eternity).

All I'm saying is that the consequences of falsely accusing somebody of rape should be so severe that it's not a viable option when a woman wants to deal damage to a man. Or when she wants to escape the consequences of a consensual act. Or for any reason, really. But it's a scary area to tread because you don't want to make it so that women who have been raped are afraid to come forward. I don't pretend to know what the answer is here, but when working to make sure rapists are punished, I'd hope that the accused innocent will be considered in the conversation.

   
• Guilt. "A New Hampshire lawyer who works with a virulently anti-gay Christian-right organization has been found guilty of child pornography charges after videotaping her own daughter having sex with two men on multiple occasions."Salon

I am done being shocked by fucked-up news like this. These assholes ruthlessly vilify consenting adults over their sexuality... and it always seems like those who yell the loudest are the most guilty of doing horrendous shit...

A Fucking Piece Of Shit
"My favorite book is The Bible!"

This piece of crap worked overtime to persecute and deny equality to innocent people... but then spent her off-hours forcing her FOURTEEN-YEAR-OLD DAUGHTER to repeatedly have sex with TWO MEN while she filmed it. Apparently she felt her professional life was somehow "compensating" for the fucking atrocious stuff she did behind closed doors. Which begs the question... what's going on with all these other anti-gay bigots who are screaming to the rafters with their less-than-righteous fury? I am sickened at the possibilities. But no longer surprised when it shows up in my newsfeed. How sad is that?

   
And... I really, really wish I had another day in this weekend.

   

Distinguished

Posted on Monday, January 14th, 2013

Dave!In the 1992 movie The Distinguished Gentleman, Eddie Murphy plays a con artist who figures out that the most profitable con jobs of all can be found in American politics, so he bluffs his way into Congress.

The movie was widely panned by critics. They just couldn't say enough bad things about the film, and most movie-goers seemed to feel the same way. Not me. Yes, it felt like Eddie Murphy was making the shit up as he went along, and the movie would have benefitted greatly from a tighter script... but, overall, it's a pretty funny film.

And a very disturbing film as well...

The Distinguished Gentleman

Early in the movie Eddie's character, Thomas Jefferson Johnson, has just arrived in Washington and is meeting with a lobbyist representative named Terry Corrigan who matches lobbyists to politicians who share their views. Terry asks Thomas how he feels about sugar subsidies. Thomas doesn't know how he feels about sugar subsidies, so he asks Terry whether he should be for them or against them. Terry says something like "Shit, it doesn't matter to me... I can get you money on both sides." This kind of shocks Thomas, who says "Terry, tell me something. With all this money coming in from both sides, how does anything ever get done?" Terry's reply? "It doesn't. That's the genius of the system!"

The rest of the film is how Eddie and his friends try to maximize the money they can get out of the system, all while being in a constant state of shock at just how fucking easy it is for a Congressman to rake in absurd amounts of cash. At the end of the movie, Eddie's character makes a statement about how all his con-jobs in the past are nothing compared to the massive cons going on every day in the US government, except with Congress it's all perfectly legal.

The movie is as relevant today as it was when it was made twenty years ago, and I still think it's worth checking out. And here's why... As crazy and as exaggerated and as outrageous as the situations are in The Distinguished Gentleman, I am absolutely certain that what goes on in real-life Congress is a thousand times worse. And the more I read about what's happening with the assholes we elect into office today, the more I'm convinced that has to be true.

At least in the movie version I can have a laugh while getting fucked by Congress. Reality is not quite so entertaining.

   

Bullet Sunday 314

Posted on Sunday, January 27th, 2013

Dave!Don't pop that viagra just yet... because Bullet Sunday starts now...

   
• Credit! I pay for everything with my credit cards, because both my VISA and American Express earn me air miles and travel perks. So long as I pay my credit cards off at the end of each month, it's a winning scenario. At least is was until now. Because now stores are allowed to pass along the credit card fees they pay on to their customers. Which means any store not willing to absorb the fees are going to be adding 1.5% to 3% onto the total of your bill. Pile $25,000 onto your card for the miles each year and that could reach $750 annually. Suddenly those "free" air miles just got really expensive. So expensive that it's not longer worth it. If a "free" roundtrip domestic ticket is 25,000 miles (which cost $750 in fees), it's cheaper to just pay the $250-$400 it would cost to buy it outright. This really sucks, but I guess we need to wait and see how many companies start charging a fee before we know how bad it sucks.

   
• Sin of the City. The horrific nightclub fire in Brazil which killed at least 233 people is a sad reminder of how life can imitate art which is imitating life. Duran Duran's incredible "Wedding Album" features a song called Sin of the City which pretty much spells it out...

Kind of makes you wonder if you're taking your life in your own hands when you go out for a night on the town. Safety code violations are so commonplace and so rarely enforced in many places on this earth that it can be like playing Russian roulette. Eventually the tragedy will strike... it's just sheer chance that it will be on the day you are the one experiencing it.

   
• Asteroids! All this talk about companies wanting to send ships into space to mine asteroids makes my mind zero-in on one thing every time...

Atari Asteroids

Of course, now that Atari is in bankruptcy and finally set to die once and for all, I suppose I should stop clinging to the past and look to the future...

Millenium Falcon Asteroids

I wonder if these companies remember that the odds of successfully navigating an asteroid field are 3,720 to 1?

   
• WTF?! I guess marriage equality opponents are finally starting to realize that more and more people want their gay friends, family, and neighbors to be able to have the same right to get hitched as everybody else. This has resulted in some of them abandoning their absurdly ridiculous arguments against same-sex marriage... for even more absurdly ridiculous arguments?!? You know, I honestly try and respect views and opinions that are different from mine... but this has to be the stupidest fucking thing I've heard in ages: Only straight couples should be allowed to marry because only they can have a child unexpectedly, where gay couples have to plan for it? Seriously? THIS is what passes for a logical argument now-a-days? It's witnessing this level of idiocy that is eventually going to be the death of me. My brain simply cannot process this fucked-up shit, and one day it's going to hemorrhage... just you wait. When the blog entries stop, that's when you'll know I've finally had too much.

   
• WTF?! Part Two You know that you've been blogging too long when you get an email criticizing you for using a split infinitive. What fascinates me most here is not that somebody decided to go all grammar nazi on me, but that they thought I was unaware of what I had done. As if it were impossible for somebody to intentionally ignore a grammar rule that they feel is stupid (see what I did there?). I suppose that I could invite them to kindly go fuck themselves, but I wouldn't want to mistakenly cause their brain to forcibly hemorrhage. I can so relate.

   
Annnnd... tomorrow is going to be a long day, so I am going to regretfully take my leave of you now.

   

DAVE 2013

Posted on Monday, February 11th, 2013

Dave!Back in 2005, I threw my tall hat into the ring to be considered for Supreme Pontiff of the Catholic Church. I don't know if you heard, but I was not elected, despite my astounding credentials.

Instead the The College of Cardinals elected Darth Benedict XVI, who went on to disgrace The Church and worked overtime to reverse much of the good will that Pope John Paul II worked so tirelessly to build with other faiths and the world.

Well, now that His Holiness has decided to resign, The College of Cardinals has a chance to rectify their poor judgement and make the choice they should have made all along...

Dave for Pope 2013

   
I hereby announce that once again I am putting forth my name for consideration to be elected Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Christ, Successor of the Prince of the Apostles, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Primate of Italy, Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Roman Province, Sovereign of the State of the Vatican City, and Servant of the Servants of God.

Partly because I think the PopeMobile would be a great way to pick up women... but mostly because I look great in really tall hats and a dress.

And I'm already infallible, so there's that.

So inform your priest... write to the bishop of your local diocese... contact your favorite cardinal... pray to The Almighty... and tell them all that DAVE IS MY POPE!

DAVE 2013!

   

Bullet Sunday 321

Posted on Sunday, March 17th, 2013

Dave!Put down that St. Patrick's Day bottle of Guinness... because Bullet Sunday starts now...

   
• Metroland! One of my all-time favorite bands, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD), will be releasing yet another glorious album come APRIL 9th! Titled English Electric, they just released a video for the first single, Metroland...

Beautiful, as I knew it would be. I cannot wait to see them in concert come April. The last time I saw them live was fantastic, so it's sure to be a good show.

   
• Kicked! Earlier in the week I mentioned the Veronica Mars movie project over at Kickstarter. I had pledged a chunk of money which came with a reward to attend the Los Angeles premiere. I received a "congratulations" notice from the Kickstarter website. Then I received a receipt from Amazon Payments confirming my donation. But a couple days later when I went to view my account, I saw that my pledge was missing. So I contacted Customer Service to ask why... only to learn that it was rejected because that reward level had "sold out." This is a load of crap. Apparently I was just supposed to ignore the two confirmations I got, since I received NOTHING telling me there was a problem. And, obviously, I had no idea there WAS a problem. Otherwise I would have pledged to attend one of the other premieres. Which, of course, have sold out. So now I am left with nothing because Kickstarter has a stupid-ass website that is incapable of reserving a reward properly. Oh well, guess this is the universe telling me I couldn't afford it anyway. Stupid universe.

   
• Enraged! I saw a video from an airport in China a while back which showed a man going apeshit because he wandered off for breakfast and missed his boarding time. Apparently he wanted them to call back the plane or something and, when they wouldn't, he started tearing the place apart...

As somebody who has spent their share of time in airports, I can say that I've never seen it get this bad in person... but I have seen travelers rip into airline employees for something that was actually their fault. My favorite being a girl who was late for her flight to Hawaii because she was sick, and was somehow convinced that this was not her fault. This resulted in a phone call to daddy telling him to make this mean person let her on the plane. Never mind that it had left 20 minutes ago... logic need not apply. Just like when a person arrives at the airport 10 minutes before a flight and gets pissed off because the security line is moving so slow. THEN they expect you to let them cut ahead in line so they don't miss their flight. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. I could go on for hours. I wonder what it is about going to airports which makes people leave their brains (and courtesy) at home? This has me really excited to be flying out tomorrow.

   
• This is CNN? Two students RAPE a girl, and what does CNN do? Heap pity on THE RAPISTS for the difficult life ahead of THEM?!? Oh how terrible that THEIR "promising future" has been destroyed just because they RAPED somebody...

Are you fucking kidding me? But of course FOX "News" has to prove that nobody is a bigger piece of shit than them when it comes to ruining people's lives... they decided that the 16-YEAR-OLD RAPE VICTIM isn't deserving of any kind of privacy, AND AIRED HER FULL NAME. Fuck integrity! We just want to make the news exciting for our viewers so we can keep that advertising money coming in! This is such a sick, fucked-up, sad society we live in. I don't even know what to say any more.

   
I really don't.

   

Bullet Sunday 322

Posted on Sunday, March 24th, 2013

Dave!It may be my birthday, but that's no excuse to skip blogging... because Bullet Sunday starts now...

   
• Thanks! To the many, many people who sent such kind birthday wishes via Facebook, Twitter, email, and blog comments... thank you from the bottom of my heart. It really does mean a lot to me that people take the time to say such nice things, and I was smiling all day long as I checked my iPhone for new messages. Here's to surviving another year.

   
• Winning! For anybody just dying to know how my gambling bout ended today, I came out $324.35 ahead. The $77 from yesterday (which I spent $60 winning) was gone within the first hour. I was going to stop, but then remembered that I got "Player Points" (or whatever) for my birthday which netted me $20. I rolled the $20 into penny slots for about an hour and built myself up to $105. From there I went to dollar slots and amassed $385.35 in winnings pretty quickly (20 minutes tops). I wasn't having much fun anymore, so I stopped. Subtract the $60 I spent gambling yesterday, and it's $324.35 of cream. Which paid for my very nice hotel room (on special) and most of my dining expenses. Which means I basically had a free weekend at the casino with friends for my birthday. Can't really complain about that.

   
• Cleansed! Well, okay, I can complain about one thing... the "Fiesta Breakfast Burrito" (hold the sausage) that I had this morning. Within a half-hour of eating it, my insides felt as though they had been run through a food processor, and it took a steady diet of Imodium all damn day to keep my ass from exploding. Not the best way to spend a birthday, to be sure... but it was awfully tasty going down, so there's that.

   
And in other news...

   
• Response! I remain completely dumbfounded that it took a 16-year-old girl being raped in Steubenville for some people to understand that having sex with a woman who is passed out is considered rape, and that rape is wrong. I am even more dumbfounded that a video like this is necessary to explain how guys should act when they come across the situation...

Yes... the answer is NOT TO RAPE THEM. Holy crap. THIS is the society we live in now?

   
Until next week...

   

Sponsored

Posted on Monday, March 25th, 2013

Dave!And so my week of vacation is over. I know I should be saying something like "Wow! That week flew by awfully fast!" but it really didn't. I guess it's because I crammed so much into it? With all the New Orleans and the casino and the celebrating? I dunno. But it definitely feels like I got a full week's worth, that's for sure.

And now it's back to reality for two weeks. Yay.

And speaking of reality...

It will come as no surprise that I loathe politicians. Mostly because I am bitching about them all the time on this blog. Democrat, Republican, whatever... there are so very few that I actually like or respect that they might as well not exist at all. Especially scum-sucking Senators and piece of shit Congressmen who always seem more interested in getting reelected or getting their hands on special interest money than actually serving their constituents. Who gives a shit if something fucks over American citizens if you can make a buck off it, right?

Well, I give a shit. And I think voters have a right to know which dicks that candidates are sucking in order to get elected. They deserve to know where all the money is coming from, and which companies or individuals own the asses of our worthless politicians. So you can imagine just how positively thrilled I was when I saw a new petition for the White House...

WE PETITION THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION TO: Require Congressmen & Senators to wear logos of their financial backers on their clothing, much like NASCAR drivers do.
   
Since most politicians' campaigns are largely funded by wealthy companies and individuals, it would give voters a better sense of who the candidate they are voting for is actually representing if the company's logo, or individual's name, was prominently displayed upon the candidate's clothing at all public appearances and campaign events. Once elected, the candidate would be required to continue to wear those "sponsor's" names during all official duties and visits to constituents. The size of a logo or name would vary with the size of a donation. For example, a $1 million dollar contribution would warrant a patch of about 4" by 8" on the chest, while a free meal from a lobbyist would be represented by a quarter-sized button. Individual donations under $1000 are exempt.

Yes.

YES!

And I am not joking around here. I could not possibly be more serious. If a politician is being paid off by a lobbyist to vote a certain way... then they should have to own up to it. Maybe if we saw a massive "BIG OIL" patch on their jacket, we'd know that their ass has been bought and paid for, and they will probably fuck over Americans by voting for huge tax breaks for oil companies... even when those companies are making record profits. And what about tobacco companies? And drug companies? And food industries? The list of lobbyist corruption goes on and on.

In all honesty, I don't think this petition is out of line. What's out of line is our politicians selling us out for a buck behind closed doors.

If you feel the same, go sign it.

   

Equality

Posted on Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

Dave!Today's the day our Supreme Court gets to decide whether they are going to be on the right side of history.

I find it absurd that a country founded on personal freedoms is set up so that nine people are going to tell gays and lesbians whether or not they can marry the person they love, but here it is. They'll either decide that taxpaying gay Americans are equal citizens deserving of marriage... or they'll decide that a citizen's freedom to marry should be regulated by the government and it is the law, not love, which dictates who can or cannot be married.

What a load of crap. Because, honestly, why should anybody give a shit what two consenting adults do with their relationship? Marriage equality has been legal here in Washington State for months and you know what's changed? Gay people can get married... THAT'S IT! No straight couple has suddenly been told they can't get married any more. Nobody is being forced to get "gay married." The sky hasn't fallen. Life goes on.

Support Marriage Equality

Unless you're gay, marriage equality DOES NOT AFFECT YOU.

But equality for every American affects everybody. Here's hoping the Supreme Court is smart enough to see that.

   

DOMA

Posted on Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

Dave!Today was the second day of deliberation by the Supreme Court regarding marriage equality. This time focusing on DOMA (the Defense of Marriage Act) and whether or not one state refusing to recognize a same-sex marriage from another state is constitutional. For example... if a same-sex couple legally married in Washington State moves to Idaho... all of a sudden they're not married any more. Idaho doesn't have to recognize the marriage thanks to DOMA. As if that weren't pathetic enough, DOMA also allows same-sex marriages to go unrecognized at a federal level. So much for federally granted spousal benefits (among other rights and protections) for gay and lesbian spouses.

There are many reasons why DOMA is, in fact, unconstitutional. But the biggest reason is that it creates a second class of citizens when it comes to rights and benefits. States have the right to allow marriage equality but, thanks to DOMA, those marriages are not really equal because they aren't really recognized state-to-state and federally. So much for state's rights and equality under the eyes of the law for gay and lesbian couples.

Unless the Supreme Court is completely ignoring The Constitution, they have no choice but to strike down DOMA...

Constitutional Amendment 10 - Powers of the States and People
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

But is the Supreme Court enforcing The Constitution REALLY going to be good news?

From 2008...

Honey, I'm home! - Oh darling, it's horrible... we have new neighbors!
What's wrong? Are the black? - No! It's worse! They're gay!
Gay? Well at least their yard will be well-kept! - You don't understand, they're married!
MARRIED?!? We've built our lives on beliefs so fragile that any contrary belief will destroy them... so marriage is MEANINGLESS! It's over!!
WHAT? Where are you going? - So long... good luck with your life!
WOOOO! (partying with hookers)
WOOOO! (fucking a sheep)
WOOOO! (fucking a pig)
WOOOO! (view of earth from space)
KABOOOM!!! (the earth explodes)
THE END! (of the entire universe)

   
I guess not! THANKS A LOT, THE GAYS!

   

Ownership

Posted on Thursday, March 28th, 2013

Dave!"With the president's signature, agriculture giants that deal with genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and genetically engineered (GE) seeds are given the go-ahead to continue to plant and sell man-made crops, even as questions remain largely unanswered about the health risks these types of products pose to consumers."RT.com

So much for transparency in government decision-making... and transpareceny with the food you buy. I can only guess that Barack Obama will be taking a job at Monsanto at the end of his term. This is hard to see as anything less than a government conspiring against its citizens so that they are uninformed about the foods they eat.

I once again have to wonder what it's going to take for Americans to finally get fed up with a government that is BOUGHT AND PAID FOR by increasingly powerful corporations. No longer are we a government of the people, for the people, by the people... we're just up for the highest bidder. Republican... Democrat... whatever... political parties are just a tool to keep Americans at each other's throats while the real people in charge continue to shape the country to serve their interests.

And that does not include us.

This is exactly the kind of thing I was talking about just three days ago... politicians being bought-off in plain sight without consequence. Pieces of shit like Senator Roy Blunt who worked overtime to fuck the American people get to keep smiling and keep getting paid with taxpayer money with no mark of shame for the massive betrayal he's party to.

If it were up to me? I'd tattoo that shit on his fucking forehead...

Fuck Roy Blunt
I DON'T GIVE A FUCK BECAUSE I'M RICH, BITCH!!!

Seriously... go read that article on Blunt... it is far worse than you're thinking. He's sucked so much special-interest dick that I have to wonder how much Photoshop it took to erase the scabs from his lips. This shit-stain is neck-deep in special interest money that fucking BOUGHT AND PAID FOR HIS SORRY ASS. He doesn't work for the people of Missouri or American citizens... he works for the bio-tech industry and just happens to be a Senator on the side so he can be more effective at his real job.

What does it take to be hung for treason in this country any more? This worthless piece of garbage CONSPIRED AGAINST AMERICAN CITIZENS AND THE US GOVERNMENT! All with -zero- consequences, because that's how we roll in this pathetic joke of a "democracy."

I wish this bullshit could surprise me anymore.

But I digress...

Many happy congratulations to President Obama and Congress for once again fucking over the country and selling out its citizens! I wish there was some kind of award we could give all of you to recognize this unprecedented level of caving to the special interest lobby... but, apparently, you're just doing your job. I wouldn't want to embarrass you.

   

Business

Posted on Saturday, April 13th, 2013

Dave!This is a blog post I've been holding for nearly a week. It concerns my home state of Washington suing a florist who refused to service the same-sex wedding of a long-time customer (now that we have marriage equality here). The story itself is a sad one... and most certainly controversial... but that's not the reason I've been sitting on it. The reason is that I just can't form a solid conclusion on the subject, and it's been driving me crazy.

But before we go there, an interlude...

My personal beliefs don't allow me to give money to strangers when I can't verify how the money will be used. So, for example, when a homeless person approaches and asks me for my spare change so they can eat, I always say "I'm sorry, I don't have anything I can give you." This way, even if I do have some change, I'm not lying because (philosophically) I really can't give it to them. They might use the money to purchase something harmful to themselves or others, and then I would be a party to it. Instead, if they're hungry, I'll offer to buy them some food to eat. This is a win-win solution because they get the food they need and I get to help out without violating my beliefs.

But, like everything in life, it's not really so cut-and-dry. Can you ever truly verify what happens to the money you give? Let's say I help a stranded motorist buy gas so he can get home. But once he gets home, he siphons the gas from the car and uses it to burn his house down with his wife inside because she was cheating on him. And what if the owner of the gas station uses their profits to bet on dog-fights which torture and kill innocent animals? By trying to help, I just enabled two people to commit terrible acts, even though I never intended it to happen that way.

The reality is that the only way i can truly control what happens with the money I earn is to never spend it. Since that's not really an option, I just do the best I can to be as responsible as I can... then hope for the best. Money may indeed be the root of all evil, but I'm trying to stem the tide where I can.

End interlude.

With all this in mind, I feel like condemning the florist shop owner is kinda hypocritical. Her beliefs don't include same-sex marriage, so isn't she just doing the best she can to stem the tide? And, since this is America, shouldn't she have the freedom to follow her religious convictions so she won't be responsible for contributing to something she feels is wrong? In her own way, she may even be trying to keep her long-time customer from doing something she considers harmful. And for this she's going to get sued?

That doesn't seem fair. For better or worse, American citizens have the freedom to be raging bigots if they want to be. So why shouldn't this freedom extend to shop owners? If they want to hide behind religion so they can avoid doing the right thing, shouldn't that be their right? It's certainly the right of the customer to let the entire community know that the florist is a homophobic piece of shit. And since more and more people are standing on the right side of history to support love and equality, won't the florist eventually go out of business because she'll keep losing customers? Why do we need to bring in the lawyers and start a lawsuit when the problem will solve itself?

Perhaps we should have faith in the free market to work these things out. If businesses want to live in the dark ages, let them die out as society leaves them behind. New businesses will take their place, and life goes on.

Right?

Well...

I may not always agree with Democrats (or Republicans, for that matter), but there is one thing President Obama said as he was campaigning that really resonated with me when it comes to a person building a business... they didn't build it alone. This was explained beautifully by Elizabeth Warren...

"I hear all this, you know, 'Well, this is class warfare, this is whatever.' No. There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own — nobody. You built a factory out there? Good for you. But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police-forces and fire-forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn't have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory — and hire someone to protect against this — because of the work the rest of us did. Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea. God bless — keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is, you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along."

It's this overriding truth which has me not giving a fuck if the florist's freedom to be a bigot is infringed upon. That gay couple she refuses to service? Their tax dollars contributed to the system that allows her business to exist in the first place. But, more importantly to me, my tax dollars contribute to the system that allows her business to exist. The idea that some homophobic asshole can benefit from my tax dollars, then turn around and discriminate against customers holding a perfectly legal event? It pisses me off. Washington has legalized marriage equality. If you don't like it, then pack up your flowers and move to a state where you can benefit from tax dollars that support your bigotry. Otherwise, you deserve to get sued.

Right?

Well...

The bigger truth here is that my tax dollars are going to crap I loathe all the time. I'm a vegetarian. I believe the meat industry is environmentally hostile and killing this planet. And yet beef, pork, and poultry mega-corporations are getting billions in tax subsidies. This is how Burger King can sell a steroid-ridden "Whopper Jr." for $1.29, when that's a tiny fraction of how much it actually costs to make. For oh so many reasons, it should cost much, much, much more, but the US government uses my tax dollars to keep it cheap, and that pisses me off. Much like the way poultry subsidies allow Chick-fil-A to make record profits... which they then use to support hate groups. It's a hard pill to swallow, but I'm sure there are things I do like supporting with my tax dollars that other people don't believe in, so I guess it all balances out.

And if my tax dollars are already supporting a bunch of things I don't believe in, then what difference does it make that a florist I don't believe in is getting tax money?

Right?

Well...

What if this bigoted florist was refusing to sell flowers for a wedding because the bride and groom were black? Or short? Or left-handed? Gay friends have told me that their sexuality is not some "lifestyle choice" they make, but instead a part of who they are. They were born that way, and nothing can change it. Just as straight people don't "choose" to be straight, they don't "choose" to be gay. I choose to believe them... partly because they are my friends and I trust them... but mostly because it would be fucking insane to think that homosexuality is some kind of massive deception by gays around the world and throughout all of history. And, since it would be discriminatory and illegal to deny floral service to a bride and groom with red hair wanting to get legally married... it should be discriminatory and illegal to deny floral service to a groom and a groom with gay hair wanting to get legally married.

We have chosen to make laws against discrimination. Here in Washington, we have chosen to extend that to include discrimination against same-sex marriage. If you break the law, there should be consequences. Like getting your ass sued.

Right?

Well...

And it goes on and on.

Marriage equality is something I support 100%. Love is love, and gay couples have every right to celebrate their love in marriage the same way that straight couples do. Anything less is not fair... it's not right... and it's not human. I believe this so strongly that I want to cheer on our Attorney General as he fights discrimination in Washington State. That's his job, after all.

But a part of me will always wonder if this is the best approach. She's withholding flowers... not urgent medical care... not life-sustaining goods... not some other critical need... it's flowers. Might it be better to just boycott her homophobic ass and let nature take its course? Let her business inevitably die out on its own instead of turn this florist into some kind of misplaced martyr for "religious freedom" that slows down our march to equality acceptance? That seems like it might be a better route to take.

Right?

Well...

This is not about fucking flowers... this is about dignity, respect, and human rights! It's about...

Oh hell. At some point I really just have to stop this.

   

Boston

Posted on Monday, April 15th, 2013

Dave!Boston is a city I love.

I've visited many times.

I have friends there. My favorite baseball team is from there.

Not surprisingly, the explosions that targeted The Boston Marathon shook me quite badly. I've stayed at the Lenox Hotel which got evacuated today. I've been to the Boston Public Library, which is just across the corner. I've walked down Boylston Street (where the explosions occurred) more times than I can count.

And I was there today... if only in a memory.

Dave Boston

My heart goes out to everyone affected by this senseless tragedy.

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GooGlass

Posted on Monday, April 29th, 2013

Dave!Odds are, you've heard of "Google Glass"... the computer you wear like a busted pair of sunglasses that can take photos, shoot videos, and do much of the stuff you can do with regular Google (such as search, get directions, send an email, check the weather, etc.). All in all, it's an impressive use of tech that could be a hint at how computers will even further integrate into our lives in the future.

If you haven't seen it, here's a first-person promo piece...

The problem most people have with GooGlass (as I call it) is twofold. First of all are the privacy concerns. Somebody wearing a unit could be filming you as you're having lunch or something. Second of all are the rudeness concerns. Somebody wearing a unit could be ignoring you as you're talking to them and instead concentrating on a video of kittens playing on the Glass screen.

I admit these are valid concerns.

But my problem with GooGlass is much bigger...

GooGlass Google Glasses
Photo courtesy of Google... because, well... you know...

   
Is there any way of wearing this crap on your face that doesn't make you look like a complete douchebag? (doucheborg?)

I only ask because I honestly don't think there is.

Maybe GooGlass will prove so compelling that people won't care.

It's like parachute pants are happening all over again.

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Suite?

Posted on Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

Dave!Most every single thing I do for my job is with Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and Adobe InDesign. These are the apps I need to do whatever it is I do, and my work would be very difficult indeed without them.

Not to say that there aren't alternatives... there are plenty... but when it comes to the feature-rich tools I know best, and the ability to work together in the way I need them to, Adobe is the only game in town.

It used to be that Adobe apps were purchased like most any software... you buy them. Well, not "buy" per-se, it's more like a "one-time permanent lease payment"... and once you pay your money you can use them for as long as they work for you. This "Creative Suite" can then be upgraded every year or two when Adobe finishes up a new version.

Last year Adobe introduced a new way of using their products... renting. They call it "Creative Cloud" and for fifty bucks a month, they're all yours to use as much as you want...

Adobe Creative Cloud

The good news is that, so long as you keep paying, your apps are always up-to-date. You always have the latest features, and Adobe rolls them out when they're ready rather than making you wait for the next release. That much is really sweet.

But two days ago Adobe announced that "renting" their "Creative Cloud" is now the only way to go. As of now, they are discontinuing "Creative Suite" (for the most part) with the current version 6.

I had already moved to Creative Cloud last year, so this doesn't really affect me. But what if it does?!?

This could be bad.

Because what if Adobe discontinues an app?

As unlikely as it may be, let's say that Adobe kills off Illustrator in a couple years. You can't rent it any more. It's gone. And since you aren't able to buy it, you can't access any of your files created with it. You can't open them. You can't print them. You can't export them for use with another program. All your years of hard work essentially vanishes overnight. Everything you've created in Adobe Illustrator has to be recreated from scratch in a different program. Unless some other app comes along that reads the format.

But that's not all though. There's all kinds of doomsday scenarios that come to mind. What if Adobe doesn't kill an app... but instead raises the price of using it to $1000 a month? Pretty much the same thing, isn't it? You're trapped. You pay what Adobe wants or else you lose everything. Or maybe they don't raise the price... but all of a sudden your financial situation changes and you can't afford the rent? Again, pretty much the same thing. You're locked out and all your stuff is inaccessible.

So I guess this is bad.

And right now I'm more than a little worried.

Adobe needs to do two things to make me feel a bit better about this New World Order...

ONE
Release free "reader" programs for all their apps that at least let you look at your work. And print it. And possibly convert it to an open format so you could take it elsewhere if something happened that you couldn't use Creative Cloud any more. Knowing that I could at least see my work... and ideally export it somehow... would go a long way towards easing my mind and helping me to accept our Adobe Overlords.

TWO
Create smaller bundles of apps. As I said, I use three apps from Creative Cloud. THREE OUT OF WHAT... THIRTY?!? Give or take (some of these are services, not apps, that I won't use)...

Creative Cloud Apps

It feels like a complete rip-off that I have to pay for development of huge bunches of crap I will never (or rarely) use. Even if it were to only save me $10 a month... perhaps by renting a "designer bundle" with only the "Big Three" that I need or something... well... I would feel much better about my rent. As it is, I think it's absurd that I am forced to pay for shit like "Flash Builder Premium" that I would sooner light on fire than ever load onto my computer. This is like the cable company all over again, and it's not a good thing.

Realistically, Number Two will probably never happen. But Number One pretty much has to. If it doesn't... if there's a risk that all my work could become inaccessible tomorrow (for whatever reason)... well... is that a risk I can really afford to take?

Perhaps it's time to start exploring some of those other options?

   

Moore

Posted on Monday, May 20th, 2013

Dave!So saddened to hear of the horrendous losses torn out of Oklahoma today.

The devastation is soul-crushing, and my heart goes out to those still searching for friends and loved ones amongst the ruins.

This includes pets and animals, whose suffering is all too often overlooked...

Oklahoma Rescue Kitty... Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press
Photo by Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

   
Oklahoma City's Pet Food Pantry is donating food and supplies to anybody with pets in need. If you'd like to support their efforts, I'm sure they would appreciate your donation.

   
UPDATE: Well this is frightening...

   

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Daily

Posted on Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

Dave!One of the few things that will make me set aside my laptop and actually concentrate on a singular event? The Daily Show.

John Stewart is at his best when he's ripping somebody apart for their blatant hypocrisy, and his take-down of Peggy Noonan tonight is among his best efforts...

I wonder if she feels even a modicum of shame for being such a shining example of the very definition of hypocritical asshole

I'm guessing not.

   

Memorial

Posted on Monday, May 27th, 2013

Dave! Hope everybody is enjoying their Memorial Day weekend.

When I was in Tunisia my tour group consisted mostly of Americans, so the guide was kind enough to drive us through the North Africa American Cemetery where soldiers from World War II are buried. As it was 9-11, the flag was flying at half-mast...

Flag Half-Mast at the Tunis American Cemetery

Tunis American Cemetery

It's very difficult not to think of these fallen heroes far from home when Memorial Day comes to pass.

To all those who paid the ultimate price for our country, I thank you. Your sacrifice and courage will not be forgotten.

   

Bullet Sunday 332

Posted on Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

Dave!Thanks to the non-stop excitement of four days in Pittsburgh, it was going to be a Bullet-Sunday-On-Monday kind of situation. But there was so much Pittsburgh that it's ended up being a Bullet-Sunday-On-Wednesday situation. So hold on to your hats... because a special ALL RANT EDITION of Bullet Sunday starts now...

   
• AT&T Assholes. I'm not the kind of guy who jumps on the lawsuit bandwagon because, often-times, I think the lawyers are the only ones who really benefit. But if AT&T gets sued because they PROMISE high-speeds, but then LIMIT the speed on your device, then SCREW THAT. I'd join that lawsuit in a hot minute. What assholes.

   
• Apple Bullshit. Remember when buying Apple was a guarantee of quality that was a step above what you'd get from other tech companies? For the most part, it's still true. But for an increasing number of things... particularly with Mac OS X... it's not true. And their "Messages" app is a perfect example. The app has been a pile of shit since day one. It's supposed to sync messaging between your iPhone, iPad, iPod and Mac... but it doesn't. At least not very well. Messages go missing. Messages get lost. Messages display out of sequence. It's complete bullshit, but that's where Apple is at now.

But then, miracle of miracles, AFTER NEARLY A YEAR OF WAITING, Apple has released a bug fix for the out-of-sequence messages problem. Yes, I was pissed that it took them so damn long but, hey, at least we finally had a fix, right? Well, so far so good. Or not. Because they've introduced a new bug. The badge counter doesn't zero out, even if you've read all the messages in Messages...

Apple Messages Messages Stuck

Look, Apple is sitting on =literally= billions of dollars. With all that money, can't they fucking afford to beta test their shit? This is amateur hour. This is Microsoft. This is everything Apple is not. And if it keeps up, Apple's going to eventually lose to a company that's more like Apple was than what Apple is now. And they would totally deserve it. STOP DICKING AROUND AND FIX YOUR SHIT, APPLE!

   
• Trader Joe's Disgust. I am a huge, huge fan of Trader Joe's. I would go so far as to say that I adore their vegetarian food selections. Most everything I've ever tried has been high-quality and delicious. Which is why it sucks so hard when you buy something with high expectations and get burned. Namely, their "Fettuccine Alfredo"

When I saw the "IMPORTED FROM ITALY" line on the bag, I assumed I would be buying the flavorful pasta that I get when I'm actually visiting Italy instead of the boring cream-based shit we call "Alfredo Sauce" here in the states. So imagine my disgust when it ended up being that same bland, tasteless, watery, slop I can get out of a frickin' box. So very sad. Even sadder that I bought three bags of the crap.

   
• getEQUAL Rudeness. One of the current news items making me much angrier than usual comes from a Michele Obama fundraiser. The First Lady was speaking when all of a sudden some asshole decides to heckle her over government contractors discriminating against gays and lesbians. And whenever something like this happens, the first thing that flashes through my mind is what an incredibly huge douche the heckler is for disrupting EVERYBODY ELSE'S PEACE. I don't give a shit how important your message is... or even how much I might agree with it... it's just fucking rude. Well, Mary Elizabeth Williams has written a brilliant short article on the subject that I consider critical reading and the final word on the matter. Well worth your time. And, as a side-note, congratulations to Mrs. Obama for being one heck of a class act.

   
• Peter LaBarbera Hilarity. No gay man I know obsesses about gay sex as much as anti-gay crusader "Porno Pete" LaBarbera. The guy regularly goes to gay events so he can "document" the "disgusting and immoral behavior" he finds there. But, odds are, he just likes to look at half-naked men and add them to his private video collection.

Today he decided to speak out against homosexuality in front of The Human Rights Campaign's headquarters. It was yet another embarrassing "press conference" that nobody gives a shit about, because this kind of bigotry and hatred just isn't playing well in 2013. I used to find LaBarbera's antics funny and a little pathetic. But it's getting old, and is obviously a sham to cover his obsession with penises. How I wish all these bigoted assholes would just shut the fuck up already so we doesn't have to deal with their obvious overcompensation.

   
And... breathe...

   

Change

Posted on Thursday, June 6th, 2013

Dave!I used to like my water room temperature. Drinking cold water was uncomfortable and made my mouth numb, which I did not like at all. Now-a-days, I prefer to drink water that's as close to freezing as possible and loaded with ice to keep it that way.

I used to dislike mustard. Or, to be more accurate, I positively hated the stuff. Wouldn't eat it on anything, and even the smell of it made me sick. Now-a-days I refuse to eat a hotdog without it. Honey mustard is even better, and I smear it on anything edible. I've even buy "Dijonnaise," which is mayonnaise with mustard blended in. That would have been unthinkable just ten years ago.

I used to hate my hair short. In high school it was a constant battle with my parents as to how long I was allowed to keep it. Anything less than shoulder-length was paramount to child abuse. Now-a-days, anytime my hair gets long enough to touch my ears, I want to scream. It's just a hot, angry mess on my head, and the sooner I can grab the clippers and shave it all off, the happier I am.

Things change.

Sometimes in small ways like how you want your water, what you put on your hotdog, and which hairstyle you wear... but other times in life-changing ways that wake up the world.

Since same-sex marriage was legalized here in Washington State back on December 6th, more than 2,400 gay and lesbian couples have gotten married. And despite all the stupid-ass doom and gloom that equality opponents tried to dump all over same-sex couples who just wanted the same rights as everybody else... the earth didn't fall into the sun. A meteor didn't destroy Seattle. A plague of locusts didn't eat up the Columbia Basin. The Columbia River didn't dry up. Spokane wasn't consumed in a lake of fire. And so on.

Which is to say that, for most everybody living here, nothing has changed.

But for 2,400+ Washingtonian couples, everything has changed.

Congrats and best of luck to all of you!

And here's to hotdogs with mustard.

   

Bullet Sunday 335

Posted on Sunday, June 23rd, 2013

Dave!Don't go getting yourself blinded by the Super Moon... because Bullet Sunday starts now...

   
• Animal! I've been too busy to spend much time playing it, but Animal Crossing: New Leaf was released for the Nintendo 3DS. It's pretty much the exact same game as Animal Crossing, Animal Crossing: Wild World, and Animal Crossing: City Folk. Basically you run around catching fish, hunting bugs, harvesting fruit, collecting seashells, and other tasks... all so you can earn money to buy cool stuff for you and your house. Except this time the little character you take control of is mistaken for the mayor, so you have other responsibilities as well. It's fun and all... but if you've played any of the other games in the series, you've pretty much played this one...

Animal Crossing New Leaf

That being said, it's still an entertaining way to kill some time each day. And the 3-D effects are done very well, which makes it visually interesting as well. If you've never played Animal Crossing before, this would be a good place to start. If you have? Well, if you didn't tire of it before, you probably won't mind playing it again.

   
• Twikies! And so Hostess has a new owner and is going to start distributing their snack-cakes once again come mid-July. This will mean nothing to me... unless they decide to at least try to have the appearance of healthy ingredients by eliminating the LARD from their products...

Twinkies Comeback!

A switch to vegetable oil would mean that I can start eating Ding Dongs again after 23 years of avoiding them like the plague. And it might give them a fighting chance of surviving in a slightly more health conscience world where parents are not wanting to feed their kids LARD.

   
• Devious! I could never get into Desperate Housewives because it didn't really go anywhere and wasn't a very entertaining ride. Now creator Marc Cherry has come up with his next television distraction... Devious Maids. The cast is really good, so I had high hopes that this time it would be worth watching...

Devious Maids Poster

Sadly, after watching the first episode, it seems as though it's just going to be more of the same. Somebody's been murdered and everybody has secrets. I'm guessing they're just going to dance around everything for years until the show is so senseless and boring that they get canceled and have to slop together some answers. Again. No thanks.

   
• Equality! Here's hoping that the highest court in the land remembers what America is all about in the weeks ahead...

Lil' Dave Equality

If nothing else, we could finally tell the equality opponents to take their ridiculous "arguments" against freedom and just shut up already. Though the parodies of their faux pain over something that doesn't even affect them are almost too good to give up...

Yeah, definitely going to miss that.

   
• Shiiiiiiiiit! I don't even know what to say about this...

Canyon Walk Madness

People be crazy. People be crazy.

   
Annnnd... it's going to be a long week.

   

SCOTUS

Posted on Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

Dave!So DOMA is gone and Prop 8 has been struck down.

Both Supreme Court rulings are very good news for equality and freedom in this country.

But, of course, the hand-wringing and whining from the anti-equality brigade has already begun in full force. Never mind that not a single person lost any rights today... some people just enjoy being able to deny rights to people they don't like, and now they're all upset because some of that power has been taken away.

Though the bigger picture may not be so bleak for the bigots among us.

Because yesterday SCOTUS gutted the Voting Rights act.

So now States are completely free to disenfranchise voters as they see fit. Have a class of people you want to eliminate from the voting pool? No problem! Just find the way that they tend to vote and get rid of it! Do they tend to vote early? Get rid of early voting! Do they tend to have difficulty getting certain types of identification? Then require that kind of identification! Do they tend to vote at late hours? Close the polls early! Do they all tend to vote at the same time? Then limit the number of polling stations so they can't all get in to vote! Do they tend to have dark skin? Then require their complexion be lighter than a paper bag to qualify to vote! The possibilities are endless! With enough planning, you can get rid of All The Wrong People and make sure the only people able to vote are the people you feel are worthy of the privilege (i.e. they'll vote the way you want them to).

Okay, I exaggerate.

But not really.

Because it's already happening. Except now, thanks to our Supreme Court, the people doing the disenfranchising don't even have to be subtle about it. Texas waited less than two hours after the SCOTUS ruling to start implementing a redistricting measure for heaven's sake.

And a part of me now has to wonder if the DOMA/Prop 8 stuff even matters.

Because if The Right People can determine who gets to vote, then they can shape election results. And I'm pretty sure this will include making sure only The Right People get into office. Which in turn guarantees that only The Right People end up serving on the Supreme Court. Which means that The Right People win the ball game.

In which case The Wrong People lose.

And that probably includes you.

If not today, then probably tomorrow.

   

Bullet Sunday 338

Posted on Sunday, July 14th, 2013

Dave!Don't let invading Kaiju keep you down... because Bullet Sunday starts now...

   
• Rim! Okay, I am having trouble deciding if Pacific Rim is so bad it's good... or so bad it's bad. The concept of giant robots fighting giant alien monsters is fantastic. But the story they came up with around that concept was shockingly bad and hugely inconsistent (IT TAKES TWO PILOTS TO OPERATE A JAEGER ROBOT... UNLESS IT DOESN"T!). The acting was, with one exception, awful. And it didn't help that they were being given groan-inducing, cheesy dialogue to work with. That being said, I am still glad I saw the movie in a really good theater because the special effects and battle sequences were mind-blowing...

Pacific Rim Poster

All in all, a bit of a misstep for brilliant director Guillermo del Toro... but an entertaining one. If you have time to kill, it's worth watching on the big screen. Just keep your expectations in check.

   
• Acting! The one exception to the really bad acting in Pacific Rim I was talking about? Mana Ashida's performance as young Mako. Absolutely riveting. You could feel her terror in every frame, and it was almost enough to believe that she was actually being chased by a Godzilla-sized monster. She should get some kind of award for that...

Mana Ashida
I'm guessing this photo came from Warner Bros. and/or Legendary Pictures.

It will be very interesting to see where Mana's considerable talent takes her as an actor.

   
• Idris! Yeah, okay... if I'm being honest here, Idris Elba was pretty brilliant playing Stacker Pentecost considering the genuinely awful lines he had to deliver.

   
• Stereotypical! One last comment about Pacific Rim... thanks to everybody involved for once again giving us genius scientists that act so damn stupid and geeky that it's impossible to believe that they are, in fact, genus scientists. Burn Gorman and Charlie Day, both of whom I like as actors, were completely wasted in their roles, being used as some idiotic attempt at comic relief that only served to disrupt the film. Badly. Can we please give up on this overused, stereotypical crutch that never ends up as hysterical as was intended? (see: Brent Spiner in Independence Day or any number of other flicks in genre entertainment where genius scientists appear for "humor value" in a script).

   
And in another direction entirely...

   
• Verdict. Well, I wish I could say I'm surprised, but the not-guilty verdict for George Zimmerman was hardly shocking. I'm not going to pretend I have all the answers here, but there's a few things I feel I have to get off my chest...

  • "Are you following him?" — "Yeah." — "Okay, we don't need you to do that." The operative word in the phrase "Neighborhood Watch" is that you are there to watch what's happening, then report anything suspicious to the authorities. Not to hop out of the Batmobile and track down a potential "suspect" whom, by the way, you didn't see commit any criminal act whatsoever. That's for everybody's safety. NONE OF THIS WOULD HAVE HAPPENED IF ZIMMERMAN HADN'T THOUGHT OF HIMSELF AS FUCKING BATMAN OUT TO FIGHT CRIME. You're in the neighborhood watch, not the police force... so, yes, this is all Zimmerman's fault, regardless of his intent, and I don't care what some jury says. Because being followed by a uniformed officer of the law is a completely different situation that being followed by some random creepy guy watching you from his truck, and Treyvon's reaction would have undoubtedly been very different in that confrontation. If he had confronted the police officer at all.
  • The way people have dredged up every conceivable infraction that Trayvon Martin ever had in order to paint him as a villain who was somehow deserving of death disgusts me to my very core. People grow and change every day. Who a person was a year ago... a month ago... ten minutes ago... none of that is who they are right now. And it sure as hell doesn't have to be who they will be in the future. And there's the big picture. Nobody knows what Trayvon would have done with his life. And now we'll never know. So paint him however you want if that's what helps you sleep at night. But the simple fact is that George Zimmerman didn't know shit about Trayvon Martin's past when he stalked him into the night. All he did know was that Trayvon was walking while black, which was apparently all he needed to know.
  • Zimmerman's illustrious past which, unlike Trayvon Martin's, is completely relevant when considering his actions.
  • The one bit of testimony during the trial that I just can't let go of is the analysis of George Zimmerman's injuries. It is the story of the defense that Trayvon had jumped Martin and started bashing his head into the concrete over and over again. Then Zimmerman says that Martin told him "You're going to die tonight" after his gun was exposed. Fearing for his life, Zimmerman says that he grabbed the gun first and shot Martin in self-defense. But here's the deal... under expert analysis, Zimmerman's injuries were deemed superficial. The testimony of the expert witness was that the injuries could have come from a single blow. She also implied that the blow could have been self-inflicted. So where is the evidence to support Zimmerman's story if his injuries are not sufficient and, indeed, even questionable? An unarmed 17-year old kid was apparently bludgeoning the shit out of an adult male while covering his mouth while going for his gun... completely overwhelming him to the point that he thought the kid was going to kill him. And yet... no injuries were sustained that even remotely back that up. Hell, didn't somebody testify that Zimmerman refused go to the hospital? After the kind of beating he says he took? Somebody bashes your skull into concrete repeatedly, and you just say "Nah!" when they want to take you to the hospital to get checked out? How in the hell was this not enough to discredit the defense? Maybe it's just Zimmerman trying to exaggerate so that he can support his "self defense" claim, but WTF?
  • And, I'm sorry, but if your excuse for stalking somebody is "I wanted to find a street sign so I could tell where he was going"... when you are part of a neighborhood watch in a neighborhood that has only three fucking streets... which you then explain away by saying that you have a "bad memory?" Really? Exactly how fucking stupid do you think people are that they are going to believe that load of bullshit? Oh... apologies... apparently they did believe it. Just another piece of Zimmerman's story that doesn't add up for me.
  • My takeaway is essentially this: Zimmerman spots a black kid in a hoodie walking through his neighborhood at night. Racial profiling deems this suspicious and so he decides to get out of his vehicle to track the kid down while calling the police. And why not? He's the Neighborhood Fucking Watch and he's got a gun! Zimmerman eventually stops pursuit for whatever reason, returns to his vehicle, then is surprised when Martin shows up to confront him. A scuffle ensues. Martin lands at least one punch, at which point Zimmerman takes out his gun and shoots him dead. Zimmerman then lies about some events and exaggerates others to fabricate a claim of self-defense to cover up the fact that he just shot an unarmed kid he had been stalking. The unarmed kid with his bag of Skittles and fruit drink is painted as a violent thug deserving of death. Zimmerman deemed not guilty. Case closed. Justice is served.
  • But probably not.

Zimmerman's story is, at the very least, exaggerated and not entirely supported by facts in evidence. And because of Zimmerman's actions and poor judgement, a 17-year-old kid is dead. Hopefully some lessons will be learned from this tragic situation. But the verdict has me worried that people will take away the wrong lesson.

Heaven help us.

As always, Faiqa has written up a response that's far better than anything I could come up with, so I leave you with a link to her blog.

   

Take care of each other out there.

   

GAY!

Posted on Tuesday, July 16th, 2013

Dave!Maybe because I'm just so exhausted, but I'm just not getting it.

Why is it that all these homophobic bigots seem to think that gay people are all about gay sex and ONLY gay sex? That there couldn't possibly be something more to their lives than their sex life? That it is impossible for a hetero-challenged man or woman to possibly be interested in something other than where they like to put their bits and pieces?

Because, I gotta tell you... any time I've been hanging out with friends who are gay, their sexuality rarely enters the conversation. We talk about travel... or movies... or books... or restaurants... or music... or work... or pretty much all the same things I talk about with my straight friends. And yet here is how I picture Barber & Crampton must think the conversation goes...

        ME: Hey lesbian friend, what's up?
        LESBIAN FRIEND: Pussy. Vagina, pussy. Labia, labia, breasts, pussy. PUSSY!!!
        ME: I hear that! How about you, gay friend?
        GAY FRIEND: Cock. COCK COCK COCK COCK COCK!

I'm not saying that relationships and sex never come up, but it's never the single all-consuming topic of conversation that these idiots seem to think it is.

No. The only people who are interested in talking about gay sex and ONLY gay sex 24/7 seem to be homophobic bigots like Barber & Crampton.

Which kind of makes me wish they'd just fuck each other and get it out of their system already. Maybe if all of them did that, I wouldn't have to keep hearing about gay sex every time I'm on the internet or turning on the television.

Heck, even the gays and lesbians must be tired of it by now.

   

Bullet Sunday 348

Posted on Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

Dave!Pledge allegiance to YouTube... because a special All-Video Bullet Sunday on Wednesday starts now...

   
• Guinness! Really good advertising is exceedingly rare. Especially on television. Most television ads are irritating as shit, and something you can't wait to end so you can get back to watching the show you tuned in for. I loathe television ads so much that I rarely watch "live" television any more. I record everything on my DVR so I can fast-forward through that shit. However... there are times that truly good ads happen. Then, not only do I not mind watching them, I actually find myself rewinding my DVR so I can watch them again and again. This miraculous ad from Guinness is just such an ad...

Beautiful. Maybe even poetic. And most certainly one of my favorite ads ever. I've lost track of how many times I've watched it just for the sheer joy of seeing something hopeful and good. If all advertisements were this thoughtful and smart, I'd have to start watching "live" TV again.

   
• I DO! Everyone on the internet has seen this already, but I want it on my blog anyway because I love it. I can't fathom the person who watches this video and experiences anything but happiness for these people...

If that isn't enough for you, Spencer and Dustin talk about the video on Ellen here. Best of luck, guys!

   
• BRAINS! When it comes to zombie stories, "touching" and "heart-warming" are not terms you'd generally use to describe them. But this... this... is well worth your time to watch, because it's exactly that...

Put these guys in charge of the new Walking Dead spin-off.

   
• Orchestra! This kinda made my week. It's Tom & Jerry as you've never heard it before...

So many of the cartoons from my childhood had brilliant scores that could easily be deserving of this treatment. Brilliant.

   
• D*CK! Never underestimate the power of a Kiwi accent...

What is it with these squirrels hanging out on my d*ick?!?

   
And... no more video bullets for you.

   

Bullet Sunday 349

Posted on Sunday, September 29th, 2013

Dave!Say hello, wave goodbye... because Bullet Sunday starts now...

   
• Bad! I've been dreading the impending final episode of Breaking Bad for months. I love the show, didn't want it to end, and was worried sick that the writers would build everything up to a shitty, "artistic," non-ending ending like The Sopranos. Or, more recently, a shitty, shitty, non-ending ending like Dexter... both of which sucked ass. But, surprise, Vince Gilligan and the rest of the Breaking Bad crew actually pulled it off...

Breaking Bad Ending

If the show had to end, this was a great way to do it.

   
• Go Martha! Heaven only knows I am no Martha Stewart fan... there are times I downright despise the woman... but her taking a stand against patent trolls has me cheering her on. If only we could get rid of these do-nothing, innovation-killing shit-bags for good.

   
• So Long! If somebody were to unfriend me for supporting my friends or family, then they were never my friend to begin with, and wouldn't be missed...

People who live in the past should be left there. If they remove themselves from the game, so much the better.

   
• Delicious! For those of you keeping up with my love/hate relationship with Earl of Sandwich, THE PHILADELPHIA AIRPORT LOCATION STILL HAS THE EARL VEGGIE ON THE MENU!!

Earl of Sandwich Veggie at PHL

A little saltier than I remember (I think they over-did the salt/pepper/spice mix) but still oh so delicious.

   
• High Society! Betty Who's "Somebody Loves You" is getting a lot of attention... but my favorite track off of her her "The Movement" EP is called "High Society." And seeing her perform it live in this video has now made seeing her in concert a priority for me...

If you haven't picked it up yet, The Movement EP is worth a listen.

   
And, I guess it's goodbye!

   

Balls

Posted on Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

Dave!You know what?

When somebody kicks me in the balls, I remember it...

DaveToon Kick in the Balls

   
You would think that after being repeatedly kicked in the balls by Congress, the American people would remember it.

But apparently they don't.

Because the same wankers keep getting re-elected so they can kick us in the balls again.

Which is pretty bad, but not so bad as having to listen to people bitch about getting kicked in the balls by Congress.

If you don't like getting kicked in the balls, then do your part to make sure ball-kicking assholes don't get re-elected.

Otherwise, I hope you're a big fan of getting kicked in the balls.

   

Shutdown!

Posted on Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

Dave!Well poop on a biscuit.

Nothing quite like needing to research something, finding out that the information you have to have is on a government-funded site, then going to the site only to find THIS staring back at you...

   

Government Lapse

   

So... to sum up...

I need to make sure something is in compliance with government standards.

The government standards are made available from government-funded entities.

Now that the government is shut down, those government-funded entities are no longer available.

But I still have to comply with the government standards, even though I have no way of knowing what they are.

Just when I think things can't get any more fucked-up than they already are, the government has to come along and prove me wrong.

Alrighty then.

   

RED SOX WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONS!!!

Posted on Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

Dave!And there you have it.

The Boston Red Sox ascended to glory in Game Six of the 2013 World Series to be crowned champions!

I'm sure that my wearing a Red Sox jersey every day during the playoffs and the World Series helped a lot... so you're welcome, Boston! Just doing my part!

Lil' Dave Loves Red Sox

Considering that when I became a Red Sox fan, they hadn't won a Series since 1918... it's pretty sweet that they have now won three. The epic curse-buster in 2004. The beautiful sweep in 2007. And now their first Fenway Park clincher since 1918 (after which the Curse of the Bambino descended for an 86 year drought) in 2013.

Way to go, Red Sox!

Let's make it two in a row, shall we?

Tags: ,
Categories: News - Politics 2013Click To It: Permalink  3 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Clocks

Posted on Saturday, November 2nd, 2013

Dave!Meh.

As this is the second-most stupid day of the year, I'm just going to take a pass. I'm all ranted out.

Do Not Disturb

   

Except to say... holy shit haven't we had enough of this idiotic fucking around with the clocks yet?

   

Mahalo!

Posted on Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

Dave!Congratulations, Hawaii!

You've joined my home state of Washington and just became the 15th State to legalize marriage equality!

Hawaii Equality

It's amazing that my gay and lesbian friends can now tie the knot in one of the most beautiful places on earth!

Thanks and much mahalo for recognizing that love is love... and everybody deserves to marry that one person who makes their life complete!

   

Bullet Sunday 355

Posted on Sunday, November 17th, 2013

Dave!Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars... because Bullet Sunday starts now...

   
• Disaster. First a typhoon in The Philippines, now tornadoes in the USA Midwest outside Peoria. Again, my heart goes out to everybody affected by these tragic events.

   
• Cornetto. After thuroughly enjoying the first two movies of the "Cornetto Trilogy" (Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz) I was really looking forward to seeing the final film of the trilogy, The World's End. And I wasn't disappointed. It may very well be the best of the lot...

The World's End Poster

Alcoholic loser Gary King sets out to recapture the heady days of his youth by assembling his old schoolmates for a trip back to the town they grew up in. There he wants to complete "The Golden Mile," which means drinking a pint at all twelve pubs in the town. His mates reluctantly agree and everything is going fine... until they discover that the town has been taken over by space robots. Hilarity ensues. What really surprised me with the film is how great the visual effects were. Not once was I taken out of the story by some random shot where the effects were off. Everything was seamless, which was a pleasant surprise. In the end, the movie was almost too good... it left me wanting a fourth movie in the Cornetto Trilogy.

   
• Frank. I wasn't terribly impressed with the Warren Ellis comic Red when it debuted back in 2003. So imagine my surprise when I ended up really enjoying the movie that was inspired by it starring Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Helen Mirren, and Morgan Freeman. It was a smart, funny, action-packed film with an impeccable cast and a really good script. Willis plays Retired Extremely Dangerous ex-black-ops CIA agent Frank Moses. One day somebody decides they want him dead. Hilarity ensues. Three years later, and here comes Red 2...

Red2 Poster

It's pretty much more of the same... but bogged down by some unnecessary complications and an astounding body count that makes it less fun than the original. And yet, it's still a really good film and I enjoyed it quite a bit. The movie picks up where the first left off, as Frank Moses is trying to lead a normal life with girlfriend Sarah. Unfortunately for them, Frank is framed as a participant in a secret op called "Nightshade." Because of this, a lot of people want him dead. Hilarity ensues. Kinda. It's not as funny as the first one. But Anthony Hopkins and Catherine Zeta-Jones have joined up this time around, and that counts for something (but it's still Mirren and Malkovich that steal the show). If you liked the first one, the sequel is worth checking out on video.

   
• Gondola. Venice is one of those cities that really leaves an impression. There's simply no confusing it with any other city on earth, and exploring it has been a highlight of my travels. Which is why I was very happy to learn that Google has gone above and beyond their "Street View" technology to create "Canal View" for the floating city of Venice...

Google Venice

So now, thanks to Google Maps, not only can I walk the crazy maze-like route from the Rialto Bridge to the hotel I usually stay at... I can also explore the city as seen from the canals. It's pretty nifty, and I don't even have to leave the comfort of my own home... or put on pants. If you want to have a little web holiday in Venice, Google has an info hub that's a good place to start.

   
• Coin! Ever since I started carrying a wallet again, I've been looking for ways to make it slimmer. But no matter which brand I buy and how thin the wallet may be, it's the stack of cards I have to carry that thicken the thing back up again. A big part of that is the four credit/debit cards I carry. Now a company has come along with a product that may be able to help. Introducing Coin...

If you'd like to get a Coin at 50% off the $100 retail price, just follow this link they gave me and pre-order your own for $50! They aren't shipping until next summer, but it looks like they'll be worth the wait!

   
Annnnnnd...scene. Take care of yourself out there.

   

Illinois

Posted on Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

Dave!Every time another giant piece of ice breaks off Antarctica, I feel a pang of regret that I haven't yet visited the continent. This time the piece was "only" 252 square miles... which is slightly smaller than the massive 278 square mile chunk that calved off the last time I blogged about it back in July. That's over 500 square miles within a four-month period, which is pretty scary when you consider this is only going to accelerate from here on out.

As will my regret, I'm sure.

Which is a difficult concept for somebody who tries to live without regrets.

In other news...

Congratulations to Illinois!

You've joined my home state of Washington and just became the 16th State to legalize marriage equality!

DaveToon Illinois Equality

Hmmm... didn't I just do this a few days ago? Why, yes. Yes I did!

34 to go.

   

Grey

Posted on Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

Dave!First there was "Black Friday."

And now, because the holidays simply aren't consumer-driven enough, tomorrow we're getting "Grey Thursday," formerly known as "Thanksgiving." Stores will be opening up for "pre-sales" so people can go shopping instead of having to spend time with their families. This has sparked a massive outcry from a lot people who think the holiday is sacred or something.

Personally, I don't give a shit. I try to be thankful for everything I have every day and I don't need a day set aside to remember to remember. My plans for tomorrow are to fly out on a work trip, which is nothing new. I've worked on Thanksgiving for as long as I can remember... even in the good ol' days of big family dinners and Thanksgiving celebrations.

But that's my choice, and I'm not alone. Most people I know who work on the holidays just arrange their celebrations and family time around their jobs. This includes people who work at hotels... restaurants... gas stations... and other service-oriented businesses that typically stay open for Thanksgiving. It's just the way it is, and has been for a very long time.

But now that Wal-Mart and Target doing it, people are losing their fucking minds?

A hotel clerk works on Thanksgiving and fuck 'em. But a Wal-Mart cashier works on Thanksgiving and the world is ending. I'm trying to wrap my head around the logic there, but am coming up empty.

All I know is that so long as our society continues to respond to the consumerism of the holiday season, retailers are going to accommodate them. There's money to be made, after all.

And this being America, that's something to be thankful for... isn't it?

   

Salted

Posted on Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

Dave!Gutted. Just gutted.

Catcher A.J. Pierznyski has landed a one-year deal with my beloved Boston Red Sox, leaving no room for my favorite MLB player, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, on my favorite team...

Jarrod Saltalamacchia Boston

JARROD SALTALAMACCHIA
2010-2013

A moment of silence, please...

Dave Boston

Rumor has it that Salty will be picked up by the Marlins, which is not so bad. At least with Miami I can still root for him... unlike if he ended up with the Yankees or something.

Ah well. I can still wear my Boston Saltalamacchia jerseys in remembrance of some good times.

And now? Onwards and upwards, I suppose.

BOSTON RED SOX BASEBALL RULES!

   
UPDATE: And it's official... Salty is a Marlin now. Enjoy that 21 million dollars, buddy.

   

Ducky

Posted on Saturday, December 21st, 2013

Dave!Well, I put it off for as long as I could.

I don't watch Duck Dynasty. Before the recent media explosion around the show and its cast, I barely even knew it existed. To me, it was yet another piece-of-shit "reality television" program to ignore, just like Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, The Bachelor, and whatever Real Housewives of... crap-fest is currently playing. No, the only "reality" stuff I watch is in the form of competition shows like Survivor, Top Chef, and Project Runway. But even those are more than I can stand sometimes because people are fucking idiots. And watching fucking idiots is not my idea of entertainment.

I'll just set the "reality" aspect of "reality television" aside for a minute, because I think we all know that it's a load of crap. Well, most of us, anyway.

But I digress...

For those living in a cave somewhere, there's an A&E Network "reality television" show called Duck Dynasty which follows The Robertson family and their real-life business "Duck Commander" which makes duck hunting gear (like duck calls). Where the entertainment factor comes in is that the family plays up the Southern redneck stereotype to the nth degree, complete with ZZ Top beards, guns, and camouflage...

Duck Dynasty Family
Photo from AP/A&E by Zach Dilgard

And people eat it up. It's one of the most popular shows in A&E Network history.

The recent drama being that the patriarch of the family, Phil Robertson, made some pretty heinous comments in an upcoming GQ Magazine interview. Most notably, espousing his Biblical-inspired world-view which equates homosexuality with (among other things) bestiality... and that African Americans were perfectly happy living in America under Jim Crow segregation laws. A&E decided this reflected badly on their brand, so they suspended the guy from his own show on their network indefinitely.

Duck Dynasty fans go nuts. The Christian Right goes nuts. Idiocy ensues.

I'd quote the regular stable of talking heads who are crying out for blood over the suspension as "an attack on free speech," but it's all so damn stupid that I just can't. There was no government intervention. Phil Robertson was not imprisoned for speaking his mind. Phil Robertson is free to keep giving bigoted, homophobic interviews in the guise of "his religion" for as long as he wants. Freedom of speech was in no way hindered... and people who think that way need to understand the difference between "freedom of speech" and "consequences of utilizing your freedom of speech." Much like MSNBC jettisoning Alec Baldwin before them, A&E made a business decision in an effort to disassociate themselves from an employee they feel has broken a clause in their contract by being offensive, and that's it.

But that's not it, because it's more exciting if we can make it into something bigger and get people all riled up over it all...

First of all, A&E is being run by hypocritical assholes. They carefully constructed a cast of characters around the "straight shootin' loose-canon Bible-thumpin' redneck" image that was developed for Phil Robertson... then essentially fired him for being everything they wanted him to be... nay, needed him to be...so that Duck Dynasty would be an entertainment success story. I don't care what moral clauses or contracts A&E had the Robertson's sign... they knew exactly who Phil was when they hired him.

Second of all, this is not some kind of "attack on religion" or "effort to criminalize Christianity" or whatever ridiculous "freedom of religion" argument is being drummed up in the headlines. Nobody is being told that they have to abandon their faith. No Bibles are being ripped out of the hands of Christians to be burned. Nobody is being prohibited from attending their church. A&E is simply drawing their (arbitrary) lines as to what moral clauses are being enforced this week (and what they are willing to air on their network), then acting accordingly. Again, I'm not saying this isn't hypocritical... it absolutely is... but it's also not any kind of "attack on religion" any more than prohibiting penises to be shown on your network is an "attack on men." Phil Robertson signed a contract concerning his behavior, then broke it. That contract wasn't with God, it was with A&E, so let's try and remember that.

Thirdly, the fact that society is moving towards tolerance and acceptance of gays and lesbians means that society is going to tolerate intolerance towards gays and lesbians less and less. I'm sorely tempted to just play the "tough shit" card here, because I honestly don't give a fuck about hurting people's feelings when it comes to their bigotry and hatred... but this is America and, much as I may not like it, people are entitled to their homophobic bullshit (whether they attribute it to their religious beliefs or not). So whatever. You can choose to believe that the earth is flat, the moon is made of cheese, the sun revolves around the earth, two consenting adults falling in love is akin to bestiality, and being forced to sit in the back of the bus is a laugh-riot good time. But don't be shocked when people laugh at you or don't want to hear your antiquated views.

And, lastly, people DO realize all this hoopla is over a fictional version of a real family, right? A family of multi-multi-millionaires exploiting a stereotype for money, fame, and ratings? They call it "reality television" but nobody really believes that. Situations are artfully arranged. Dialogue is meticulously scripted. Images are carefully constructed. Entire "stories" are built to keep things interesting. Which brings us to this recent YouTuber rant which puts the whole situation in vivid relief when he says "Enjoy your fake shit, America... you dumbasses deserve to be conned!"

WARNING! This video is profanity-laden and probably not safe for work...

   
Ultimately, I don't give a shit about the actual issues at play here because I don't watch Duck Dynasty, don't care that some multi-millionaire got fired for saying bigoted crap, and think a company can make whatever stupid, hypocritical decisions they want to when it comes to employee conduct that conflicts with a signed contract. What I DO give a shit about is all the manufactured drama being built up around A&E's decision to shelve Phil Robertson. Because all this "FREEDOM OF SPEECH IS UNDER ATTACK!" and "CHRISTIANITY IS UNDER ATTACK!" bullshit is yet another round of idiotic propaganda that's dividing society and distracting us from the real problems that actually matter.

So somebody let me know when Phil Robertson is detained by the military for saying bigoted nonsense or is imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay for being a Christian... because until then, I've had enough of this idiotic Duck Dynasty drama-fest.

And besides, I'm willing to bet Pigeon Lineage or Grouse House will be coming to A&E any day now...

   

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