The first snow of the season would cause lesser blogs to crumble, but not this blog... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Bridges! One of the things that boggles my mind when I travel is how old the world's architecture is. Notre Dame de Paris cathedral started construction in 1163, for example. The Colosseum in Rome was built in in the year 0070-something. And the Great Pyramid of Giza? Oh... that started in the year 2580 BC. How they were constructed is not really a mystery (despite people thinking the pyramids were built by aliens and shit) and it's no less fascinating than the structures themselves. Still, reading about how they were made is not the same as seeing it...
Makes me think of the amazing David Macaulay books, which were responsible for my escalating love of architecture as a kid. Some of them were animated by PBS, and boy wouldn't it be amazing to see more of that. In the meanwhile, we get an occasional video like this tossed our way.
• More! And so... Borders is dead. LONG LIVE BORDERS!
Thank heavens Johnny Harris is still making videos despite the rug being pulled out from under him when his series was canceled.
• Quibi-Free! It's kinda hilarious that absolutely everybody knew that crappy short-form streaming service, Quibi, would be a massive failure... except founder Jeffrey Katzenberg and CEO Meg Whitman. They had a shitty concept with shitty "shows" and it was inevitable that it wouldn't work (WE BELIEVE SHORT-FORM VIDEOS ARE THE FUTURE OF ENTERTAINMENT... HERE'S PART ONE OF SEVEN!). I thought it might take a year before they shut it down. It only took six months. Not a good day for the people and companies which invested ONE POINT SEVEN BILLION FUCKING DOLLARS! Wealth is wasted on the wealthy. Holy shit... just think of the shows we could have gotten for that kind of money. Blergh.
• Hallmark? Weird that the promos from Netflix's slate of cheesy romance movies are out-Hallmarking Hallmark. As shown in the movie Falling Inn Love and the trailer for Operation Christmas Drop, Netflix is serious about quality over quantity, which is the exact opposite of Hallmark. We got another darn fine looking cheesy trailer for another cheesy Christmas romance...
Yeah, I'll be tuning into that one too.
• Normalization! I've added my pronouns to all my social media crap because I am 100% onboard with anything that encourages somebody to be who they are and live their best life at zero cost to me...
If you can remember their name, you can remember their pronouns. You don't have to agree with it. You don't even have to care. Because it has absolutely nothing to do with you. It's just common courtesy and common courtesy should be normalized. This should be our default.
• Bennu! After a little over four years, NASA's OSIRIS-REx (Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer) finally made contact with the asteroid 101955 Bennu. It's mission is to grab a 2oz. sample of "asteroid stuff" off the asteroid...
Miraculously, OSIRIS-REx did too good a job. It ended up grabbing for more than anticipated. It sucked up so much that the sample collection door couldn't close and they are having to deal with that. But will this sample give us any insight into the origins of the universe? We won't know until OSIRIS-REx returns in three years. After that, we're not exactly done with 101955 Bennu. In its Wikipedia entry, we learn that the asteroid has a "cumulative 1-in-2,700 chance of impacting Earth between 2175 and 2199."
• Hole! Falling down a YouTube rabbit hole is not always a bad thing. I've grown tired of trying to hunt down new podcasts to listen to while I work, so I've been playing YouTube videos that I can listen to while I work. One such YouTube channel I've been obsessed over this past week is Lindsay Ellis. She's a writer who has an interesting viewpoint on a number of topics. I accidentally came across her while researching the term "Streisand Effect" and there was no turning back. My favorite videos are when she does deep dives on Disney. They're fantastic...
But don't stop there, she's got thoughts on a myriad of topics. This one completely surprised me...
Intrigued? You can find her YouTube Channel here.
I'd go out to play in the snow, but it has long since melted.
Posted on Saturday, October 24th, 2020
Thanks to a combination of quarantine and cold weather, I'm spending a lot of time with my cats. They mostly sleep, which is fine. The problem is that they want to sleep on the heating pad that I use for my feet.
I'll get up to take a load of clothes out of the dryer or grab a snack, and they're all over it, which I talked about last Caturday...
In order to get my heating pad back, I bought Jake and Jenny pads of their own. I was even nice enough to spend extra for a large-sized model made specifically for pets. It took them all of two seconds to completely own them. Jenny claimed the one next to me, mostly, and Jake took the one in the loveseat...
They sleep there almost all the time now...
Except... they still want my heating pad too! Here's Jake being all irritated that my feet are in the way of my heating pad...
After he keeps nudging and pushing, I eventually give in...
So I switch to Jenny's heating pad, and... you guessed it...
My feet were trapped for nearly 3 hours.
About the only thing which gets my cats off their heating pads is when a fly that's looking for warmth manages to get inside the house. That gets their attention real quick...
Flies remain the best cat toy ever.
If it wouldn't freak me out more than it ever would my cats, I'd just leave the door open and let the flies in so my cats would be entertained.
Posted on Friday, October 23rd, 2020
As I mentioned at the time of the Apple iPhone Event, I keep current with all the latest iPhone models for one reason and one reason only... the camera. Everything else is fine and has been for years because I am not a demanding mobile user. So long as I can make calls and texts and run a few apps, I'm good. But photography is a huge deal for me and I don't want to compromise on the camera. Thanks to Apple's relatively-economical iPhone Upgrade Program, I don't have to compromise.
As I also mentioned, the new jumbo-sized iPhone 12 Pro Max has a better camera than the
The "regular" iPhones just keeps getting bigger and bigger. My current model, the
Why oh why couldn't Apple just put the better camera in both of the
So I decided to try it out. As best I can, anyway, since it's not available until November.
I ordered a cheap $3
Then I padded the case so my
Holy crap is it big...
...it's not as bad as I thought it would be.
So long as I'm wearing my "regular" jeans and not my "skinny" jeans it fits just fine in my pocket. I have large-ish hands so I can comfortably hold it one-handed. And thanks to keyboard shifting, I will even be able to type on it one-handed...
Image from The Mirror UK
App icons may be tough to reach one-handed, but I can address that by moving rarely-used apps the furthest away.
And so... iPhone 12 Pro Max it is, I guess.
Here's hoping I can adjust to it well enough within Apple's two-week return window.
Posted on Thursday, October 22nd, 2020
I read yet another article calling me stupid because I have cloud internet security cameras. It's all BUT WHAT IF PEOPLE HACK YOUR CAMERAS AND SPY ON YOU? Well, first of all, my interior cameras automatically turn off when my iPhone detects that I'm at my house. By the time I walk in the door, all the cameras have switched off. In order for them to turn on again, I either have to leave my home or manually turn them on.
Second of all? Even if somebody hacked my cameras, what would they see? Me partying with cocaine and hookers while cockfights are being held in my living room?
In actuality, the worst thing that they might see would be me talking to my cats...
This is me telling Jake that he can't have my bread because it's my food and he just had his dinner. I then go on to explain that bread is probably not a good thing for cats to eat because it's people-food and might make his tummy hurt. When none of that works, I just tell him a story about that time I was partying with cocaine and hookers at a Vegas cockfight.
And, yes, I manually turned on my camera to get that photo. It's okay though because the hookers and cocaine is in the kitchen and the cockfight doesn't start until midnight.
And don't get all judgemental... we'll totally be masked for the cockfight.
I get enough judgement for having cloud security cameras.
Posted on Wednesday, October 21st, 2020
I've been walking to work whenever possible in order to fill in the "Activity Rings" on my Apple Watch so it won't bug me about being a potato. Few things are worse than sitting on your couch watching television and eating Cheetos when your Apple Watch buzzes and says "You can still do it!" At which point I get all mad at my watch and tell it "Stop bothering me! Can't you see I'm watching TV?
And, oh yeah, apparently it's healthy to get some exercise from time to time.
EXCEPT WHEN YOUR EXERCISE TRIES TO KILL YOU!
This morning on my way to work I tripped over some twine that had been discarded in the field behind my house. And it wasn't one of those "oopsies!" moments, I bit it pretty hard. Lucky for me, my security camera captured the whole thing. I've cropped into the footage here...
Hurt my wrist. Hurt my elbow. Really hurt my knee. And hurt my pride... because, seriously, am I so old that I'm going to have to get one of those LifeCall alerts now?
And since I'm The Olds now, I know I'm not going to heal as fast as I did in my 20's. Nope... this pain is going to be with me for a while. What's weird is that it doesn't hurt very much when I'm moving. It's when I've been sitting at my desk for a couple hours then try to move that's the killer. The pain in my knee is breathtaking. As in it literally takes my breath away.
Something else that took my breath away?
My Apple Watch, which is supposed to have "fall detection," didn't detect shit. Didn't beep and say "Holy shit, are you okay?" Didn't ask if I wanted to call for an ambulance. Didn't even have a laugh at my expense. Not sure what's going on there, but it's irritating to know that this feature will not be having my back if I need it. Or having my knee, as the case may be.
So that's my hump-day today. How're things with you?
Posted on Tuesday, October 20th, 2020
I've written about how Jake crawls all over me while I sleep but, by some miracle, I don't wake up. I say "miracle" because I am a light sleeper.
But it doesn't work the other way around.
Probably because he's (relatively) small and I'm (relatively) big, so me bumping into him is quite a bit different than him bumping into me. Poor guy, I woke him up a half dozen times last night. Here he is wide awake after I rolled onto my side and ran into him...
But that wasn't bad enough. I was exceedingly restless and was pushing the poor guy around all night...
He looks like a Weeble. Just look at that face. He doesn't know what happened...
But does he go find a calmer place to sleep? Nope! Curls right back up against my legs.
I'd feel bad, but he sleeps all day long while I'm slaving away at work, so I'm sure he's all good.
Posted on Monday, October 19th, 2020
After seeing a rainbow out my window on Friday I decided not to go into the office over the weekend. I needed a short break so I can relax for a minute.
It didn't work out quite that way. Instead of putting in 8 hours at the office on Saturday, I put in 8 hours cleaning out my garage. Tore down my wood-shop... put away my tools... took out the trash... swept up the concrete... all because I didn't want to scrape frost off my windows in the morning.
Sunday I did a little better. Cooked up some toasted ravioli, vacuumed the stairs, used a leaf blower to clean out the catio and blow the cobwebs off my home... THEN DID ABSOLUTELY NOTHING FOR THE REST OF THE DAY! Well, not "nothing." But close to it. I ate crap food, watched crap television, and surfed crap internet. That's it.
Then I felt guilty about it.
What a waste of a day.
I fell asleep last night creating a list in my head of all the things that I could have done but didn't. I really should have cleaned the cat feeding station and scrubbed out my sink, right? Or steam-cleaned my floors. Or scrubbed my bathroom. Or washed my windows. Or vacuumed out my laundry room. Or cleaned out my refrigerator and freezer. Or any of a hundred other things that really need to be done around the house.
Instead I watched all the Police Academy movies.
I was compelled to after happening upon a story where Steve Guttenberg was talking about how they are wanting to reboot the series. Gutenberg left after #4 (Citizens on Patrol), which was pretty bad, and yet they slogged on for three more movies. By the time they got to #7 (Mission to Moscow) they had run the series so far into the ground that I’m amazed they think they can bring it back.
But you can say that about a lot of things, I suppose.
Posted on Sunday, October 18th, 2020
Cooking on Sunday seems like a tough sell before facing your Monday, but sometimes life throws you an easy recipe... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• LEWKS! Dolly Parton is one of my favorite people on earth. This video of her looking back on her leaks over the year is a great indication why...
• Rona! Thinking that overcoming COVID gives you immunity is most probably a mistake.
• UnHallmark! SQUEEEs in Hallmark...
Amazing how some of the best Hallmark movies aren't actually made by Hallmark any more. This film, for example, features an interracial couple. That is so exceedingly rare at Hallmark that you could reasonably argue that it doesn't exist. But, hey, they're producing a gay Hallmark Christmas movie this year, so maybe anything is possible?
• Meow! This made my week. Do not mess with a cat's pet!
The cat is fantastic, yes... but that puppy is too adorable.
• Pete! I think it's important to revisit this moment in Pete Buttigieg's "town hall" on FOX "News" from 2019. It's where he's asked about what people are labeling "late-term abortion"... something which is not medically accurate ("late-term" is past an expected due-date for birth), but generally accepted to mean 21 weeks or later in pregnancy. I keep seeing "late-term abortion" pop up in conversation lately, and I honestly don't think people truly get what it is. As explained by Mayor Pete in the video below, for the vast majority of women who have been carrying a baby for 21 weeks, they're expecting to carry it to term. They want that baby. So if they're needing to get an abortion into the third trimester, it's not because they've changed their mind, but because of a catastrophic medical problem for either the mother or child. So to deny women a necessary medical procedure under those circumstances is both horrifying and cruel (read this, as just one example... there are thousands more). Yet this is what some very unreasonable and sadistic people are wanting to deny a woman in need at one of the worst times in their lives.
I was initially a fan of Buttigieg, but ultimately problematic in some areas. That being said, I'd sure pick him over Trump or Biden. His thoughtful, measured response to serious issues is something we are sorely lacking in government.
• Flix! I laughed far more than I should have at this...
Lord only knows what people would think when looking at my Netflix!
• T-RAV! One of the best things about visiting St. Louis is their "Toasted Ravioli" (AKA "T-Rav"). Which, most places, is actually deep-fat-fried instead of toasted. It's amazing stuff. It's not always easy to find a non-meat version, but it's always worth it. My problem is that St. Louis is 1600 miles away, so the only way I'm going to get it is to make it myself. Fortunately, it's pretty easy, and I'm giving my recipe below...
And that's a wrap on this delicious Bullet Sunday. THIS TIME!
Posted on Saturday, October 17th, 2020
Each year I try to hold off turning on the heat for as long as possible. Most years I get a couple weeks to a month. This year I got a day. But I have the heat low enough that it's still a bit chilly in the mornings when walking on the floors. To combat my feet getting cold, I wear socks and put them under a heating pad while I work or watch television.
When I can, that is.
If I get up to get a load of clothes out of the washer... or go grab a snack... or any reason at all... my cats will spring into action. And most of the time they immediately fall asleep so that they're too cute to kick off of the heating pad...
In other news...
After spilling crumbs all over the floor, Jake got his head stuck in a Cheetos bag. Again. First he was shocked and just kinda sat there being all "Well. This isn't all I had hoped for"...
After taking this photo I went to take it off his head. Just as my hand touched it... BEDLAM. I then had to chase him around the living room as he crashed into everything. After the bag was finally off, he was just pissed... AT ME!
I'm having better luck with Fake Jake. I started dropping food down when he's around so as to distract him from running in my house while taking out the trash and stuff. Problem is that now he comes running every single time he hears my door open so he can extort food from me. Except when he came running this last time, he was too distracted to eat because he spotted a grey cat across the street...
This resulted in a fight. Not a real fight, but a play fight...
After which the grey cat came back to eat while Fake Jake stood guard...
When I mentioned this to a neighbor, she told me that she thought that they were related somehow. Brothers maybe.
I wouldn't know.
All I do know is that now I'll likely have two cats extorting food out of me instead of just one.
Posted on Friday, October 16th, 2020
Fridays usually aren't all that special to me because I mostly work on Saturdays. Saturdays, on the other hand, are more special because I try to take Sundays off.
This morning when I woke up, the first thing I saw was a rainbow out my window...
I wasn't entirely sure what this would mean for my day, but it seemed like a good excuse to Make Friday Great Again.
I've decided to not go into the office tomorrow.