I just took the "Political Compass Test" and found out that my political leanings are in line with Ghandi, the Dalai Lama, and Nelson Mandela. I couldn't ask for nicer company.
Why is it that so many people feel the need to stick their nose in other people's business? While waiting in Detroit for my flight back from Stockholm the other day, I purchased a few magazines to have something to + ahem + read... namely, Maxim and Maxim Stuff. I sat down and just started reading an interview with the babealicious lawyer from JAG, Catherine Bell, when some hippie woman across from me has to interrupt:
Uptight Moron: That's not a magazine, it's pornography!
Me: Nobody asked you.
Uptight Moron: I think you should take your smut someplace where children aren't present.
Me: NEWSFLASH: ABSOLUTELY NOBODY CARES WHAT YOU THINK... so shut up and stop bothering me.
She then got up and left in disgust, while some people around me started laughing. I thought for sure she'd end up in the seat next to me on my flight, but sometimes you just get lucky and I never saw her again.
Now look, I am not one to pass my morals (or lack thereof) on other people, and all I ask in return is that you give me the same courtesy. If you feel women in bikinis are pornography, then go protest at a beach somewhere... that's freedom of expression and I'm fine with it. But don't go shoving your "thinking" in my face because, unless you are somebody I know or respect, I just don't give a shit.
Images above were stolen from the Maxim Magazine and Stuff Magazine web sites. Both magazines are packed with high entertainment value, so I recommend picking up several copies.
1. What vehicle do you drive? A 2003 BMW F650-GS motorcycle (though I will be driving my 1999 Saturn SC-2 once the weather turns to snow).
2. How long have you had it? The motorcycle since June of this year (about 3-1/2 months), the car for just over 4 years now.
3. What is the coolest feature on your vehicle? Well, everything is cool about my motorcycle... but if forced to choose right now, I'd have to say the heated hand grips (as it's getting pretty cold, especially in the mornings). As for my car, I'd have to say it's best feature is reliability (I have not had a single problem with it since I bought it).
4. What is the most annoying thing about your vehicle? For my motorcycle, I'd have to say the fact that I won't be able to ride it in the winter is annoying (well, I could ride it, but I wouldn't feel at all safe doing so). The Saturn SC-2 has a few annoyances: 1) The sun visors don't extend into the gap above the rear-view mirror (stupid). 2) It has a turning radius of a semi-truck with two trailers (you make a LOT of 3-point turns with this car). 3) There is no way to turn off the freakin' car alarm if you don't have the key fob... even if you have an actual key (really stupid). 4) The side mirror for the passenger is electronically controlled, but the driver's mirror is manual (and a tough reach... even with long arms like mine). 5) The seats should be more adjustable for taller people like me (hey, I understand Japanese cars not really "fitting" us giant gai-jin, but Saturns are made in America!).
5. If money were no object, what vehicle would you be driving right now? Well, for my motorcycle, I am driving my dream machine right now (though, it's still new, so if you ask me again next year that may change! Heaven only knows I've been dreaming of Ducati and Harleys most of my life!). As for my car... that's tough. Probably a BMW Z4 Roadster 3.0i. Or maybe a Porsche Carrera GT (though I wouldn't refuse a 911 Turbo!). Then there's the Jaguar X-Type that I've liked for a very long time. And if we're talking vintage, there's always the 1967 Corvette 427 (and I wouldn't care if it was the Coupe or the Big Block Roadster!). Ack! I haven't even got to the Alfa Romeo 156 GTA or the Audi TT! The list goes on and on... I love the artistic lines of a great sports car, but if I ever were insane enough to sell everything I own (and go into debt for the rest of my life) to own one... I'd probably be too paranoid to ever drive it anywhere. That's why I stick with cars like my Saturn. Sure I would be upset if somebody plowed into it, but I wouldn't be devastated the way I would if I had my dream car. Motorcycles are a little different, because the risk of driving one is so much higher than a car in the first place that I figured I might as well go for that BMW I've wanted for the past 14 years!!
Let's see... Vampires vs. Werewolves? Cool. An ancient blood feud that comes to a head in modern times? Very cool. Kate Beckinsale in skin-tight latex beating the crap out of people and shooting everything in sight with automatic weapons? Off-the-hook cool. The movie Underworld, which features all three? Laughably bad.
What in the hell happened that such an amazing concept could be ruined so resoundingly? Well, with the exception of Kate, who looks amazing and plays the brooding bad girl perfectly... the acting is just over-the-top bad. Every character tries to be kind of an intense psycho-goth, but ends up funny instead. On top of that, it appears that budgetary constraints must have not allowed for decent special effects, because everything kind of has a retro-1970's look that is also funny. And now I read they are working on a sequel... so I hope they get the money to do it right, because a great vampire vs. werewolf film is something that has been missing in my life (I get women in skin-tight latex beating the crap out of me all the time).
I just finished revising my Hard Rock Cafe pages at DaveCafe.com so that I could add my latest visits to Reykjavik and Stockholm and alter the layout a bit so that it looks a little better on larger displays. There's still some work to do in adding the pins, maps, and stuff, but at least things are current! It's always a mixed bag when doing updates like this...
THE GOOD: It's kind of cool sorting through the seventy-eight cafe's I've visited around the world, remember all the great cities, countries, and cafes I've been to over the years thanks to my HRC obsession!
THE BAD: I hate having to spend hours trying to figure out how to make pages render properly in Microsoft internet Explorer! I always start with Apple's Safari, then move on to Opera, OmniWeb, Netscape Navigator, Camino, and every other browser I can think of, testing to make sure things look right. For the most part, I never run into any problems UNTIL I fire up Explorer. There's always some stupid quirk with the browser that makes no sense. This time, I had a graphic set to a width of "100%" in the top-most row of a cell set to "Automatic" width, and Explorer becomes the piece of shit it really is, rendering the page completely wrong. After over two hours, I figure out what's happening, then changed the width of the graphic to a set pixel-width, and now Explorer is just fine. WHAT THE F#@%?? That doesn't make a lick of sense! It's a bug, it's probably been a bug for a very long time, and Microsoft has absolutely no incentive to fix it because they just don't care. They own the market, they have the monopoly, and so you have to play by their rules... wasting your time to figure out all the problems they're too damn lazy and arrogant to fix. When in the hell are people going to wake up and figure out that Microsoft's bug-ridden shit software and complete lack of security in their OS just isn't worth it?
Okay then... I just experienced the most terrifying moment to date while riding my motorcycle, and this time it had nothing to do with oblivious car-drivers!
I was on my way home and had just gotten to an intersection when two kids on bikes came speeding across the street right in front of me... they didn't stop, didn't look, didn't even slow down! They came from behind a building, so I just barely saw them in time to perform an emergency stop and keep from plowing into that first stupid kid. If I were driving my car, I honestly think I would have probably killed or seriously injured one (or maybe even both) of the idiots, because you're just not as alert as you have to be when riding a motorcycle.
So, on one hand, it's nice to know that I have the instincts to do a hard brake without dumping my ride (there certainly wasn't time to think about it!). And I am more glad than ever that I took the Motorcycle Safety Foundation Basic Rider Course so I had actually practiced the skills needed to stop like that. But there is something completely terrifying in the realization that I could have killed somebody if I were even a little bit off my game today... even if it wouldn't have been my fault that these kids didn't have the sense to stop before crossing a busy street during 5:00 traffic.
As some of you might already know, my friend Meagan created her own "photo booth" using an iMac, a video camera, and a custom AppleScript, which we've dubbed Meagan's Video Embarrassment Booth. It is from this nifty invention that I have the little photos of me that litter this blog.
Well, Meagan is at it again, but this time she's being even more crafty in obtaining photos of her subjects (victims?). This morning I fired up an iChat to ask her about an odd problem I was having with Adobe Illustrator, and about 20 minutes later, THIS arrived in my e-mail...
Since the only way I would willingly have my photo taken in her booth was to be too drunk to care, I always thought I had a good excuse as to why my photos looked so goofy. But I was perfectly sober when the above iChat was going on, so I suppose now I have no excuse at all. Thanks a lot Meagan!
I've never really been interested in how other people set up their desktop but, since I had somebody ask, I thought I'd put up a snapshot of mine just in case there's anybody reading this that is curious for some reason (I've got a 23" display, so I had to shrink it quite a lot... sorry!).
Everything is pretty basic, but I do have quite a lot of Konfabulator Widgets stuck here and there... I've got "Calendar," "What To Do?" list, "Where is It?" search bar, "easyKal" appointment lister, "Picture Frame," and seven copies of "The Weather" set for various cities around the globe (currently: Cashmere, Seattle, San Francisco, New York, Edinburgh, Paris, and Tokyo). I've also got DragThing running along the left-hand side (it's a "must-have"), and LaunchBar going in the upper-right corner.
I used to have my desktop cycle through my photo album, but eventually gave that up as too distracting (preferring the less annoying Konfabulator widget instead). My current screensaver of choice is SereneScreen Marine Aquarium which is pretty darn special.
1. Do you watch sports? Not really. If so, which ones? Does "The Amazing Race" count?
2. What/who are your favorite sports teams and/or favorite athletes? If forced to choose, I'd have to say the Seattle Mariners are about as close as I can get to having a favorite sports team (when they're playing well, that is). As for athletes... gee, there are so many good role models out there right now... where do I start?
3. Are there any sports you hate? Most all of them... but "professional" wrestling would have to be the bottom of the barrel as far as I'm concerned.
4. Have you ever been to a sports event? In high school, I went to a lot of events. After that, not so much. I've been to a dozen or so Seattle games in baseball, football and basketball.
5. Do/did you play any sports (in school or other)? How long did you play? In middle school I was in basketball for one season, in high school I was in track & field for two seasons. I enjoyed it well enough, but have weak ankles that made it difficult to continue on.
Just when I think it can't get any worse, Panasonic manages to prove that it can. As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I bought a brand new Panasonic DVD recorder model #DMR-E80H that was dead on arrival... I could record to the internal hard disk, but any attempt to burn an actual DVD met in failure (which is the entire point of owning the stupid thing in the first place).
Well, it was sent in on the 19th, it's now 3 weeks later, and I still don't have my DVD recorder back. Apparently, they are still waiting for parts. Since nobody ever answers the phone at the service center, and none of my messages are ever returned, I finally started screaming my way to the top of the Panasonic food chain to see if I could get some action out of them (kind of sad that only way you can get results anymore is to scream at people, but I'm more than happy to oblige is that's what it takes). Sadly, the only thing new I've learned is that the part is due next week (note that no promise as to when I'll actually get anything back was made).
So, if there is a lesson to be learned, it's probably this: Don't ever... and I mean EVER... buy anything from Panasonic. They're product quality sucks ass (I had a VCR from them that was crap too), their service policy is abysmal, and the fact that they won't replace a brand new product, but instead choose to sit on it for weeks while they hunt down parts... well, that just about says it all. Why aren't there lemon laws for consumer products like there are for cars?
I just got back from watching Uma Thurman kick major ass and have to say that Quentin's Tarantino's done it again! While Kill Bill is not a film geared towards deep thinking, and isn't quite up to par with Pulp Fiction or Jackie Brown, it is one hell of an entertaining flick!
Sure the violence is over-the-top and dripping with more blood than all of his previous films combined, but Tarantino knows exactly what makes a great action movie: hot woman-on-woman cat-fight action! You would think that Uma having a knife fight with hottie Vivica A. Fox would be enough to sell a movie, but oh no... we also get Uma mixing it up with cutie Chiaki Kuriyama and her flying mace ball... and Uma battling it out with bad-ass Lucy Liu with samurai swords! But even that's not enough... Uma kicks plenty of other asses along the way, and also manages to meet up with Japanese acting legend Sony Chiba!
For the movie-going public who doesn't understand that film can be a medium for pure entertainment that doesn't really have to say anything... well, Kill Bill Volume 1 probably isn't for you. But for any film geek that ever wanted to see Quentin's particular brand of beautiful, stylized violence applied to a classic revenge flick, this is your movie. I can't wait to see "Volume 2" in February (it doesn't hurt that we'll get Uma hacking it out with Michael Madsen and Darryl Hannah!).
Usually, I do not respond to how others review a film because I just don't care what random people think. Granted, I do like taking a peek at the "Tomatometer" (over at Rotten Tomatoes), because it pulls from dozens of film critics to give a general consensus as to how good a film might be... but even then, I don't really let it dictate whether or not I'm going to see a film.
Anyway, I happened across a review from James Berardinelli at his "ReelViews" site where he makes so many ridiculous jibes at Kill Bill that I was pissed off enough to be compelled to respond to his major criticisms (not to him personally, I doubt he would care, but to anybody who may be thinking of taking his "reviews" seriously)...
"...Kill Bill, which was constructed as a single motion picture before being sundered at the eleventh hour. The result is messy and frustrating - a movie that feels incomplete in every aspect." This is such a stupid comment as to be laughable. The entire story of Kill Bill is told in chapters... and not just "implied" chapters... but actual frickin' chapters that are displayed in the movie! It's not as if the film was butchered mid-scene, it actually occurs at a natural breaking point in the film between chapters. I mean, seriously, is Kill Bill really any different than Lord of The Rings or Matrix Reloaded in that respect? I actually feel that both of those films were worse, because story elements truly were incomplete in every aspect... Matrix Reloaded is particularly bad: Neo's in a coma and Zion is under attack? NOTHING is resolved, and you have more questions than answers... and are more confused than entertained! If I never saw Kill Bill: Volume 2, I would at least be able to picture an ending to the story. While I agree the editing could have been tighter, the massive amount of cuts required to make this a single film would not be worth it.
"One aspect of Kill Bill that doesn't disappoint are the action sequences. Although no better than those in The Matrix Reloaded , they are fun to watch, as The Bride slices and dices her way through dozens of enemies..." Bitch, please. No better than Reloaded?? Get off the pipe! While undoubtedly enhanced with some nifty wire work (wholly appropriate to the genre this film is in), the action in Kill Bill is REAL. These fights are not some computer-created crapfest... they are real people bashing it out with real emotion. And the carnage! Heck... compared to Kill Bill, Reloaded is just a video game with good special effects! Compare The Bride's fight against the "Crazy 88" to Neo's fight against 200 Agent Smiths and tell me that they are in any way comparable. Not even close.
"One could argue that the best thing about Pulp Fiction was the delicious dialogue, and that's something almost completely absent here. The number of quotable lines and memorable non-action sequences is small." Uhhh... dude... Pulp Fiction was a character piece. This is an action-revenge flick. They are entirely different films, with entirely different focus points... would you be happier if an action movie was more notable for the dialogue than the action? I saw Kill Bill because I wanted to see Uma kick ass. I was not disappointed. If you want to see Uma spouting cool Tarantino dialogue, then go watch Pulp Fiction again.
"Why show revenge #2 before revenge #1? There doesn't seem to be a reason. Maybe it will all become clear in Volume 2 , although I somehow doubt it."Well, as a professional movie critic, you should understand about a concept called STRUCTURE... and perhaps a rudimentary understanding of "pacing" and "balance" would also be in order. It was necessary to show "Revenge #2" before "Revenge #1" because it started the movie out with a bang and instantly draws the viewer into the story. The first revenge on O-Ren Ishii required way too much foreshadowing and back-story to make for a good opening into this type of film (and would have meant cramming two heavy fight scenes right on top of each other at the end). The way Tarantino has structured it now, there is perfect timing between the action and a balance to how the story of The Bride is revealed. The non-linear structure that Quentin uses is not so much a "signature device," but a method he uses very effectively to keep pacing and mystery through his films. When I saw Uma cross off "Revenge #2" from her list and noticed that "Revenge #1" was already marked... it really got me curious as to what happened there, thus providing a perfect window to dive into that story. The only reason Tarantino needs to mix up the chronology is because it makes for good storytelling.
"This is a problem with a revenge flick, where we're supposed to root for the hero and despise the enemy. Neither is the case here, especially since we never see Bill." Uh... gee... isn't the fact that Bill massacred The Bride's husband-to-be (along with every other person at the wedding) and shot her in the head reason enough to root for her revenge? Bill's actions alone make him an enemy worth despising.
"Everyone else would do better to stay away and avoid the bitter disappointment of seeing how the greed of a distributor can degrade the movie-going experience... Miramax claims that money plays no part in the decision to release Kill Bill in two parts. This is, in their words, a determination based solely upon a desire to respect Tarantino's "artistic vision." If that's the case, then Miramax should offer a free coupon to see Volume 2 with every ticket sold to Volume 1. I bet they won't be doing that." Excuse me, but isn't the alternative to force Tarantino to butcher the story down to a 90 minute film that's nothing but fight scenes? I can't imagine how bitchy your review of that film would be! The fact that Berardinelli cannot seem to fathom the idea that Miramax is taking one hell of a risk in dicing up the film in two parts speaks volumes as to his ignorance of the movie industry. Holy crap... what if Volume 1 tanks? They would still be obligated to release Volume 2 at a huge loss! Do you think that distributing a film and advertising it is free? Do you think that movie theaters can keep their doors open by showing free films? While I don't doubt that Miramax is hopeful that they will make huge bank from having two films... it doesn't make any sense at all to think that this was an easy decision to make. Miramax owes a huge debt to Tarantino for getting their studio on the map with Pulp Fiction. To think that this is anything other than a gift to Quentin so that he can keep his vision for Kill Bill in tact is just stupid. It would be far, far safer for Miramax to take the low road and force a more easily-sellable, butchered version of the movie.
Throughout Kill Bill , I got the sense that Tarantino thinks he is being more clever than he actually is. But, in reality, he's just more clever than James Berardinelli (who, interestingly enough, gives the film 2-1/2 out of 4 stars). I find it astounding that, as a so-called professional film critic, your review consists entirely of petty bitching on how this film is a marketing gimmick by Miramax that's not as good as Pulp Fiction. If you were not so obsessed with the things this film is not and actually concentrated you review on what it actually is, you would see that this is hands-down the most stylish action-revenge flick ever put to film. Berardinelli claims that this is "half-a-movie that runs too long." When a critic's reason for disliking a film isn't about the actual material in the half he saw, but instead is whining because he has to pay to see the ending... it's pretty difficult to take his "review" seriously when other films that are told in parts don't get the same treatment.
UPDATE: After getting a deliciously scathing comment on May 2nd, 2010 berating me for daring to voice my opinion on Berardinelli's opinion (DELETE!), I Googled around and found a genius deconstruction of the guy's reviewing "style" at Your Stupid Minds. Far be it for me to crap all over somebody's passion for film, but now I feel fully justified questioning exactly how this Berardinelli guy got to be a "Top Critic" at Rotten Tomatoes when his reviews are so pedestrian and lacking any kind of real insight or imagination.
Using my heated handgrips over short distances seems to have sucked my battery dry... I guess I need to find a longer route to work when riding in cold weather so the battery has a chance to recharge!
Anyway, yesterday I ended up needing a jump because my motorcycle would not start when I went to leave work. It was then that I discovered something truly sadistic about my F650-GS... to access the battery, you have to completely disassemble the housing! That sucks ass! I can only imagine that the engineers from BMW must be recruited from hell or something, because I can't imagine any sane person thinking this is a good idea. Couldn't they have built in an access door in that housing or something?
Oh well, I bummed a ride to Wal-Mart so I could get a little 1.5amp charger to juice up my battery. Fortunately, it came with a small plug lead that I could put in-line with the battery connectors so that if this happens again, I can just plug in the bike directly without having to strip it down first. Wonder why BMW never thought of that one?
Today deluded Windows users got a taste of Apple goodness when iTunes was released for the Wintel monopoly. It actually works really well and, in a surprise move, has complete functional parity with the Macintosh version. You can shop the Music Store, use AAC encoding, share your music over a network with "Rendezvous" technology, and even mix Macs and PCs in your shared computer list for purchased music on either platform... pretty cool. And if that wasn't enough, Apple has struck up a deal with Audible.com to sell audio books and will be giving away 100 million free songs in a cross-promotional deal with Pepsi come February (sounds like a great way to sell more iPods!).
Wouldn't it be nice if Bill Gates would just shut up? It seems every time I read an interview with him, he is either lying or revising history. In an article I just read at The Register, he's at it again:
"Gates is optimistic about meeting the challenge of the new security threats, he told reporters. 'We have to. We invented personal computing. It is the best tool of empowerment there has ever been. If there is anything that clouds that picture, we need to fix it.'"
Excuse me? Microsoft invented personal computing? There can be a lot of answers to this question, depending on your definition of "personal computing," but it's pretty crazy that Microsoft would appear on anybody's list as the "inventor." I have always felt that everything that came before the Apple ][ (including the Microsoft-driven MITS Altair, which didn't even have a keyboard) wasn't really what we would call a "personal computer" today (perhaps "micro computing device" is a better term?), but I'm an Apple whore, so take that as you like it... most historians go all the way back to the Heathkit/Minivac/Simon era from the 50's & 60's when Microsoft didn't even exist (and neither did Bill Gates until 1955!). If Microsoft wants to take credit for inventing something in the industry... how about vaporware?
1. Name five things in your refrigerator. King's Hawaiian Sweet Bread hamburger buns, bottled water, Hunts ketchup, Best Foods mayonnaise (known as "Hellmann's" to you on the East Coast), and Diane's extra thin corn tortillas.
2. Name five things in your freezer. Schwan's Quick Fries, Morningstar Farms meatless sausage patties, American Classic Boca Burgers, Quincy frozen corn, and a box of orange, cherry, and grape Popsicle brand popsicles.
3. Name five things under your kitchen sink. Rubbermaid plastic garbage can, aluminum can recycling bag, Windex cleaner, Fantastic all-purpose cleaner, and a dish sponge.
4. Name five things around your computer. Eric Meyer on CSS book, my iPod, a Hard Rock Las Vegas Hotel & Casino plastic gambling cup (filled with spare change), a spindle of Sony CD-R media, and the keys to my BMW F650-GS motorcycle.
5. Name five things in your medicine cabinet. AquaFresh Extreme Clean toothpaste, AcuVue disposable contact lenses, Johnson & Johnson cinnamon-flavored waxed dental floss, American Crew pomade, and Philosophy "Hope in a Jar" moisturizer (amazing, amazing stuff... my friend Mary recommended it when I noticed my face drying out after rides on my motorcycle this summer).
Every time I hear Chris Martin's longing vocals for the Coldplay song The Scientist on the radio, I don't know quite how I'm supposed to feel. It's an achingly beautiful song that conjures all kinds of emotional imagery, even though the lyrics alone don't seem to make much sense to me. I probably most closely identify the tune with feelings of heartbreak... not from something in my past, but for a heartbreak yet to come (which seems oddly appropriate, if you've seen the video). It would bum me out completely if it weren't such a great song.
"Nobody said it was easy. Oh it's such a shame for us to part. Nobody said it was easy. No one ever said it would be so hard. I'm going back to the start."
One of the major benefits of loving to travel the world is the cool things you get to see and do along the way. While on a long layover in Kuala Lumpur, I went into town to have lunch at the Hard Rock and also to visit the world's tallest building(s)... Petronas Towers. This amazingly structure is a work of art in glass and steel, and far more beautiful than it has a right to be. They limit the number of people that can visit the observation deck each day, so I had a long wait to get my visitor pass, but the bragging rights to having been up the world's tallest building was worth it.
This morning I was devastated to discover that I no longer have my bragging rights. As of yesterday, the world's tallest building is the Taipei-101 tower in Taiwan.
I wrote a while back about a very disturbing trend that's eating up quite a lot of bandwidth for my Hard Rock Cafe web site at DaveCafe.com. As more and more people become aware of it, more and more people are deciding to steal my photographs for their web pages. If that were the only problem, I would probably just ignore it. But rather than copy the image to their site, they link to the image instead, which means they aren't just stealing the photos but my bandwidth as well!
But not anymore! Thanks to a helpful hint from Jurgen, I've now enable "hotlink protection" in my site's "htaccess" file which makes it impossible for people to make me host the images they've been taking. I tested it out by looking at one of the 32 sites I've tracked down that have been stealing from me, and it works! I guess I can start adding back all the cafe, pin, and T-shirt photos I had to take down last month.
So, if you host images on your site that are at potential risk for this type of thing, you might want to investigate whether your web host offers "hotlink protection" as an option. That way you won't be surprised with a $120 bill for excessive bandwidth usage because somebody linked to a photo on your site in a popular public forum.
When I got off work today, it was raining pretty good (as it has been all day) so I wiped off the seat on my motorcycle and headed home. But. along the way, I decided that the rain would not deter me from being happy that it hasn't started snowing yet. So off I went on a nice run up the canyons until it started getting dark, just because I could. The fact that I am happier riding than I am being warm and dry suddenly makes me realize that any regrets I had over going into massive debt for my pricey ride have completely vanished.
I can't imagine life without my motorcycle now that I have it, even though I am soaking wet.
For a couple of years now, I've relied on SpamCop to keep my mailbox relatively free from unwanted e-mails. Unfortunately, spammers must be getting smarter, because SpamCop is having a difficult time flagging spam anymore, and I get at least twenty in my inbox every day (to say nothing of the HUNDREDS I get each day that SpamCop manages to stop!). If this keeps up, I'm going to be forced to shut down my e-mail accounts and start from scratch. When is somebody going to start hunting down these asswipe spammers and killing them? Laws and threats don't seem to work, but perhaps knowing you might be murdered for sending spam would be a good enough deterrent to keep my inbox clean?
Just me and Sarah-Jessica Parker hanging out.
I've been using the "gold master" build of MacOS X 10.3 "Panther" for the last couple of weeks, but became "official" today when my three copies arrived for my home, laptop, and work computers. "Sweet" doesn't even begin to cover how much I am loving this latest version of the MacOS!
Now for some people, the changes in Panther may seem mostly cosmetic and not worth the $129 upgrade cost... but that is hardly the case for me, I'd gladly pay that money just for being able to color-code my files again (a feature missing since I abandoned OS 9). Mark Pilgrim has a nifty overview of all things Panther from his blog that shows all you non-Panther-using Mac addicts what you are missing, and all you poor Windows users what you'll be getting in 2006 when Microsoft once again rips off Macintosh features for their next Windows release (which has the dippy code-name of "Longhorn").
Watching Apple's MacOS X progress in usability and elegance year after year just has me dumbfounded at why people are still clinging to the tragedy that is Microsoft Windows (which seems to get worse with each new bug-filled, virus-ridden version).
Well crap. As if it weren't bad enough that I am having to park my motorcycle so I can drive to Seattle for the weekend, I go to get my car this morning and find a flat tire! Even worse, closer inspection shows that all of the tires are in pretty bad shape (which sucks considering I paid big bucks and they are just two years old). So now I am waiting for Les Schwab to open so I can go drop $400 on a new set that will hopefully last longer than the last ones.
Meagan suggested that I add "Theme Thursday" to my blog, so I thought I'd give it a shot. Basically, every Monday you are provided a new subject that you then have to interpret with a photograph and paste it to your site on Thursday. Last week was pretty simple, you just had to take a photo of yourself. This week is a little more difficult, as the theme is "scary." I have a few days yet to find my photo, but deep down I know there is no way I am going to be able to top this:
Image from AFP/Getty Images
Dude, seriously, what the hell happened here? Michael used to be a handsome guy, but now he's something barely recognizable as human. Ordinarily, I wouldn't dream of making fun of how somebody looks, but he made himself look like that! Why? What motivates somebody to self-mutilation? I guess when you've got millions of dollars, and can't figure out what to do with it all, hiring some quack plastic surgeon to hack up your face must seem like a good idea (well, at least until you need a band-aid to keep your nose from falling off).
Tonight while eating dinner here in downtown Seattle, I look out the window to see some guy pull up with his beautiful Yamaha sport bike, wedge it between two cars (isn't it sweet being able to park a bike anywhere?), and then proceed with that long process all motorcyclists are all familiar with: securing your gear.
It's kind of a fancy restaurant, so he's shedding the riding gloves, jacket and helmet... then trying to make himself presentable by straightening out his dress shirt and fixing up his helmet hair... all the while trying to cram his gear into an already-full soft-pack he's got mounted on the back rack. It doesn't fit, so then he's got to take all his stuff out, rearrange it so it will fit, and then fid a way to strap his helmet in there somewhere as well.
As I sit there watching the poor guy struggle to get all this handled in the chilly night air, I find myself totally empathizing with the situation, having been there myself quite a few times. Let's face it, you just don't have a lot of storage on a motorcycle, and it takes some creative thinking to be able make the most out of what little space you've got.
And that's when it hits me.
I realize that when I am in the same situation, I don't get upset about it. I love riding. I love it so much that even the annoying bits are great because it's all a part of being a motorcyclist. Having to cram your gear into impossibly small spaces is just part of the experience. So it turns out that I'm not actually feeling sorry for that guy after all... I'm feeling sorry for myself... I didn't get to bring my motorcycle to Seattle, but he's out there riding. He's the one who should be empathizing with me!
Well, I didn't run into Michael Jackson or George Bush, so finding something to photograph that is truly scary to me for my Theme Thursday entry wasn't looking very promising!
When I got back from Seattle this evening, I decided to carve out my Halloween pumpkin using a great pattern I found at Zombie Pumpkins... but since it was a design based on Tim Burton's amazing Nightmare Before Christmas, it ended up looking more "cute" than "scary."
Until I turned out the lights...
Now that's pretty darn scary!
And here it comes. I guess it looks as though my motorcycle may be put away for the year a little earlier than I had hoped. Of course, I could get lucky and it will melt immediately upon impact.
1. What was your first Halloween costume? I have no clue... undoubtedly it was embarassing, like a bunny or something when I was a baby.
2. What was your best costume and why? A vampire. It was around the time that the "Interview with a Vampire" film was released, and I went for broke and got some really impressive teeth and contact lenses to add to the makeup and clothing... it was my best costume because it was by far my most expensive ever.
3. Did you ever play a trick on someone who didn't give you a treat? Kind of... a teacher in High School stuck us with a surprise test on Halloween, so we toilet-papered their house that night.
4. Do you have any Halloween traditions? (ie: Family pumpkin carving, special dinner before trick or treating, etc.) When I was younger, it was a big deal each year for my mom to dress me and my brother up and take us out for a trick-or-treating spree.
5. Share your favorite scary story...real or legend! This is a true story: we still have another year left of the George Bush presidency! The end.