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Daylite Safing Tyme

Posted on Saturday, November 1st, 2003

Dave!What a blessing that our governing fathers in their infinite wisdom do so proclaim "Daylite Safing Tyme" so that we have that extra hour of sunlight to do our chores... like feeding the chickens and milking the goats... more daylight to pull water and tend to the fields... time to... uhhh, wait a minute...

Farmers have to get up at sunrise. It doesn't matter what time a clock says. And don't we have electricity now? How stupid are we to still subscribe to this ancient ritual of messing with time? Pretty damn stupid, I'd imagine... well, unless you are lucky enough to live in an enlightened state like Arizona or Hawaii where they ignore Daylight Saving Time altogether.

I guess it all comes down to the fact that I'm pissed off that sunset is around 4pm, which is just stupid. It would be nice to get off work and have even a few minutes of sunshine rather than riding home in pitch blackness. Surely I am not to only one who feels this way... what do sensible people have to do to get moronic ancient laws like DST repealed? Does anybody have a good reason why we should still be setting clocks backwards and forwards in the year 2003?

Categories: DaveLife 2003Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  


Adobe CS

Posted on Sunday, November 2nd, 2003

Dave!Adobe tells you that "CS" stands for "Creative Suite," and is the coming together of Photoshop, Illustrator, GoLive, InDesign, and Acrobat 6 in a single bundle. After receiving my copy and playing with it for a while, I prefer to think of "CS" as standing for "Crappy Swindle."

First of all, I had already upgraded Acrobat 6 months ago for $149 so, when added to the $749 for CS, I've sunk a total of $898 into upgrades. The four non-Acrobat products can be upgraded for $169 each, plus the $149 for Acrobat, totaling $825... which means that Adobe owes me $73. Don't ask me where the money went, but I want either a refund or some kind of credit (odds are that somebody will be firing up a class action lawsuit, so that day may yet come).

And what do you get for the outrageous cash outlay? Well, the apps seem a bit more responsive under OS X, which is nice... and there's a few more features to be found (the 3-D stuff in Illustrator is especially welcome since Adobe has discontinued Dimensions). But overall, I am not impressed. The expanded Cascading Style Sheet functionality in GoLive is woefully inadequate, making it impossible to layout web page structure with CSS. What the hell? Macromedia Dreamweaver has done this for quite a while, so I just can't figure out why Adobe is so stupid not to add it. CSS is the future of the web, and Adobe is oblivious? This was the one big thing I was waiting for, and ends up being the biggest disappointment. I mean, sure you can style text, but that's all we get for $169? Photoshop doesn't offer many new features at all, but can now open RAW file formats which is kind of sweet (and, to me at least, is worth the upgrade cost).

There are numerous small problems I've run into already, which I've come to expect from Adobe upgrades, but nothing so major as to cause me to want to kill somebody (like the Illustrator 9 fiasco). Illustrator STILL doesn't have a way of disabling clipboard export (dumbasses, that's FIVE versions now!) or reconfiguring the "Apple-H" key to hide the app like EVERY OTHER APPLE OS X PROGRAM (okay, maybe I want to kill somebody for that one), but oh well.

When you register online, you get a free gift... I was hoping that it would be the MISSING f#@%ING MANUALS... but alas, it was not to be. Adobe has taken the Microsoft route, and stopped including them. Amazing that upgrades cost $40 more than last year, but you don't even get a printed manual anymore. Guess I'll be dashing off to Amazon in the hopes that Deke McClelland has written a book about the new CS apps.

Categories: Apple Stuff 2003Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  


Pictures of You

Posted on Monday, November 3rd, 2003

Dave!I had a lot of work to catch up on tonight because I didn't put in as many hours as I should have over the weekend. As always, I have the television on as background noise, which helps me ignore the distractions that come from apartment living. Anyway, I was working along when all of a sudden I hear Pictures of You by The Cure playing... I look up and see that it's a commercial for HP's new ink-jet printers... one of the rare times that the music being played actually fits the product being sold.

Flash forward. It's now after midnight, and I can't get that song out of my head. The Cure was never one of my favorite 80's bands but there were a few songs by them that I really liked... Pictures of You being my favorite. Knowing that I'm never going to be able to sleep until I hear the complete song, I grab my Apple PowerBook, go to the iTunes Music Store, then buy the song and listen to it three times so I can get it out of my system and get some sleep.

It suddenly occurs to me that this kind of instant gratification is exactly what the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) doesn't seem to understand. If the iTunes Music Store did not have the song I wanted, I would have started up LimeWire and downloaded it for free... NOT because I wanted to steal music (I absolutely do not), but because I've been given no choice in the matter. I live in a rural community where we don't have a Tower Records open 24 hours to go by a CD (not that I would have at 12:30am). Far better to offer entire music catalogs online for purchase than holding out in the hopes that online music will disappear.

The Cure
Not totally sure who this photo should be attributed to? The band, probably.

Oh well. Luckily I could buy what I wanted and get a nice reminder of the 80's music I love without breaking the law and invoking bad karma! If you have iTunes (it's free!), and want a great song that typifies the sound of the 80's, go grab a copy of Pictures of You, which is well worth the 99¢ price tag.


Now I Am the Master

Posted on Monday, November 3rd, 2003

Dave!James Earl Jones guest starred on tonight's episode of Everwood, and again proves that he's one of the most captivating actors on the planet. Nobody else has such graceful subtlety on screen, and I have yet to see him in anything I haven't liked. Makes me want to watch Field of Dreams for the 100th time.

Categories: Television 2003Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  


The End of All Things Beautiful and Pure

Posted on Tuesday, November 4th, 2003

Dave!Okay then, I guess it's time to put my motorcycle away for the season! I look outside first thing this morning and see clear blue skies with some snow clinging to the rooftops, but bare roads... maybe a little cold, but perfect for riding to work... or so I thought. As it turns out, ice is able to survive the early morning hours despite the sunshine. I nearly dumped my ride twice in the short 5-minutes it takes to get to work.

The first time was coming to a stop where I managed to navigate some dry pavement for my motorcycle, but forgot about my feet! I put my left foot down and instantly start slipping, feeling my bike getting heavier and heavier as I slowly start to slide. In a panic ("ack! what do I do... what do I do!") I let out on the clutch a bit to get some forward motion, hoping against hope that my foot will reach some dry pavement. When it does, I breath a sigh of relief... until I go to put my right foot down and hit still more ice! Oh crap! I adjust my steering to tilt back to the left, and finally manage to get a balanced stop... terrified of making even a small movement. Eventually a gap opens in the traffic and away I go.

A few incident-free moments later I am on the home stretch to work, making one of my final turns, when I see that it's nothing but a sheet of crystalized ice! Uh oh. I start around the corner (just a little wide!) and start to notice a bit of a slip on my rear-end. Crap! Oh crap! Thankfully, I found some grip on the road and managed to make it through, but that is something I absolutely don't want to go through again!

So that is that. I was hoping to ride until the snow started falling but, with the early-morning ice, it's more "terrifying" than "fun" which means it's time to stop. What really pisses me off about this is that, an hour later, the ice is gone, and it's beautiful outside! Thank you Daylight Saving Time, for f#@%ing up my shit once again... if we were still on "regular" time, I could still be riding to work.

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Theme Thursday: Waiting

Posted on Thursday, November 6th, 2003

Dave!The photo theme this week is waiting, which was incredibly easy for me because there is only one thing that I am really waiting on... and that's for Winter to end so that I can start riding my motorcycle again. But to capture that in a snapshot didn't seem very likely until I pulled open my closet this morning and saw this:

My motorcycle helmet and motorcycle boots.

Heartbreaking isn't it?


Smash Hit

Posted on Thursday, November 6th, 2003

Dave!Today I received the DVD I ordered of Coupling: The Complete Second Season and was mildly amused by the sticker on it saying "The original UK version of the smash NBC hit!" In case you haven't heard, the lame-ass Americanized NBC version of the awesome BBC show was just cancelled a few days ago. I wish I could say I was surprised, but it was in no way comparable to the original, and should have never been made in the first place.

A UK Coupling DVD package with a sticker saying that it's the original version of the USA smash hit.

It's not that I really care that the show was cancelled, but I do worry that American audiences might skip over the original show on the DVD shelf because they think it sucks as bad as the American version. That's really too bad, because this is one of the funniest shows ever to hit television.

Categories: Television 2003Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  


The Friday Five: Different Tastes

Posted on Friday, November 7th, 2003

Dave!1. What food do you like that most people hate? Tofu.

2. What food do you hate that most people love? Coffee and anything coffee flavored.

3. What famous person, whom many people may find attractive, is most unappealing to you? Laura Flynn Boyle (Holy crap! Eat a cookie, woman!).

4. What famous person, whom many people may find unappealing, do you find attractive? Marge Simpson (don't ask me why).

5. What popular trend baffles you? Country music.

Categories: Memes 2003Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  


Revolutions… Not

Posted on Saturday, November 8th, 2003

Dave!Just got back from The Matrix: Revolutions and can't imagine that there's any way I could have been more disappointed. What began as a miraculous story with vision and originality in The Matrix disintegrated into a horrid mess of cliches and mundane dialogue interspersed with just enough eye candy to keep me from falling asleep.

Sure the final battle between Zion and the machines has the best special effects ever put to film and are any sci-fi geek's wet dream. Yes the last fight between Smith and Neo above The City was exactly what every super-hero comic fan's been dying to see. But that's just something to look at. What in the hell happened to the story? I didn't mind the fact that Revolutions completely negated or disregarded most everything from Reloaded because, let's face it, there wasn't much worth salvaging (hell, now I'm trying to figure out what the point of Reloaded even was). But what did we get instead? Something even worse.

Neo, who became all-powerful while in The Matrix has somehow inexplicably become super-powered outside the computer world as well, able to shut down sentinels and blow up machine bombs at will. And what explanation do we get? "The power of The One extends beyond The Matrix." Yeah, whatever. In the beginning of the Matrix trilogy, there was a plan... a prophecy to guide the logic of the story and provide a reality where super-powered kung-fu fighting could happen. By the time we get to Revolutions there is no logic, just a pathetic Christ analogy story with nifty visuals, a conversation with the "Big Giant Head," and more of the Oracle's rambling nonsense at the very end. That's a revolution in film-making I don't want. Oh well, we've always got Lord of the Rings: Return of the King coming up (at least that one's got an actual story to it).

Categories: Movies 2003Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  


For All Who Served…

Posted on Tuesday, November 11th, 2003

Dave!Thank you.

A stylized American flag for Veteran's Day.

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Instant Art

Posted on Wednesday, November 12th, 2003

Dave!I got a couple of e-mails asking me where I got the art for my Veteran's Day post yesterday. "Did you paint that?" Well, yes and no... I created it by altering a photo I took. It's really easy if you have a copy of Adobe Photoshop. All you have to do is find an image with good contrast (I like to zoom in close) and apply the "Dry Brush" and "Paint Daubs" artistic filters...

Stylized photo of me as a baby.

It takes seconds, and the results are pretty cool depending on how much (or how little) you intensify the filters. To see how it works, just click on the images below to have them open up in a new window as "Instant Art."

DaveArt DaveArt DaveArt DaveArt DaveArt

DaveArt DaveArt DaveArt DaveArt DaveArt

From left to right, top row: Me in Reykjavik, Cherub in the Vatican, Detroit Airport Corridor, Rome Tourist, Royal Guard. Bottom row: La Pieta, Dave's Foosball Table, Mini-Me, Rain in Gamla Stan, Venus.

Categories: Apple Stuff 2003Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  


Theme Thursday: No Entry

Posted on Thursday, November 13th, 2003

Dave!The railroad is doing all kinds of construction on the main crossing here in town. I don't know how long it's going to take but, since I rarely see anybody working there, I'd imagine it's going to be a while. Halfway to work this morning, I remembered about the construction and turned around to use the first crossing (which I usually avoid, because it exits onto a very narrow street). Just as I round the corner, the crossing arms come down... there's no entry into the crossing... and I have my photo for today's theme...

A railroad crossing on a cloudy winter day with the cross arm down to block traffic and a train passing behind it.

I guess when it comes to trains today, I just can't win.

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The Friday Five: Adjectively Speaking

Posted on Friday, November 14th, 2003

Dave!1. Using one adjective, describe your current living space. Oridinary.

2. Using two adjectives, describe your current employer. Demanding. Unrealistic.

3. Using three adjectives, describe your favorite hobby/pastime. Liberating. Exciting. Consuming.

4. Using four adjectives, describe your typical day. Routine. Exhausting. Long. Stressful.

5. Using five adjectives, describe your ideal life. Fulfilling. Helpful. Comfortable. Worthy. Healthy.

Categories: Memes 2003Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  


Master and Commander

Posted on Saturday, November 15th, 2003

Dave!From the name of this film, you might think that Master and Commander is some kind of dominatrix-fetish, S&M fantasy flick. You would be wrong. Instead, this is a film loosely adapted from Patrick O'Brian's series of novels chronicling the fictional adventures of Captain Jack "Lucky Jack" Aubrey and his doctor-friend Stephen Maturin during the Napoleonic Wars.

Having never read the books, I didn't know what to expect, and ended up being pleasantly surprised. I enjoyed very much the give-and-take friendship of Aubrey and Maturin, and was glad that fully-realized characters were on-screen as opposed to one-dimensional cut-outs standing in front of the action. Even the lesser players in the film are given a nice level of characterization... including an officer the crew believes is a "Jonah," cursed to bring the ship misfortune, and a young boy who loses an arm but not his spirit in battle.

The action in Master and Commnder is all at once breathtaking and horribly confusing. The broadside battles are really cool to watch, and the brutality of such warfare is captured in detail. But, when it comes to the massive hand-to-hand conflict at the end, it's nearly impossible to tell who is fighting who, and everything degrades into a bunch of anonymous fight scenes that really detach the viewer from the story. If directory Peter Weir had bended historical accuracy a bit, and tried to find a way to better differentiate the opposing forces, I think it would have made for a stronger ending.

Overall, a good historical action film that doesn't suffer from lack of characterization, and is worth a look despite some confusion near the end (and the fact that "Pippin" from the Lord of the Rings films is the ship's helmsman didn't help matters... "Where's Frodo, Sam and Merry?" I kept wondering). I will probably give the Patrick O'Brian's source material a read to see if it holds up as well.

Categories: Movies 2003Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  


No Alias Tonight?

Posted on Sunday, November 16th, 2003

Dave!WTF?!? One of the better shows on television, Alias, has been preempted for The American Music Awards tonight. It's bad enough when good shows get interrupted or postponed for dumb-ass news briefs that nobody gives a crap about, but to purposely bump Alias for this self-congratulating wank-fest is just annoying. Why not preempt a moronic show like Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire, Extreme Makeover, or any of a hundred other stupid-ass reality shows built for people too stupid to follow a plot?

So now, instead of getting to top off my weekend with the sweet hotness that is Jennifer Garner...

The astoundingly beautiful Jennifer Garner!

... I instead get to watch a show that opens with Britney Spears bumping and grinding like a crack whore impersonating Madonna, and a no-talent ass-clown like Kid Rock scream "I WANT TO MAKE LOVE" over and over again (I see that dating Pamela Anderson has somehow extended his 15 minutes). I can only imagine the show goes downhill from here (even with Jimmy Kimmel hosting and a performance by 3 Doors Down), so I suppose I'll call it an early night. I've said it many times before, but f#@% ABC television... f#@% them up their stupid asses.

Categories: Television 2003Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  


136,800 Minutes

Posted on Monday, November 17th, 2003

Dave!On the wall staring at me every morning when I wake up is my framed movie poster for Pulp Fiction... you know the one where Uma is laying on a bed smoking a cigarette, having just put down her trashy pulp novel next to her pistol... which means the first thing I think about every single day is "How much longer do I have to wait before Kill Bill Volume 2 is released?" The answer, as it turns out, is 95 days until the February 20th premier.

Uma Kill Bill Two!

According to Time And Date, that's 8,208,000 seconds... or 136,800 minutes... or 2280 hours left to go until Uma once again kicks ass with a righteous fury. That's too damn long. If I can't ride my motorcycle and can't watch Uma kill dozens of people, that makes for a pretty boring three months for me. Winter sucks ass.

Categories: Movies 2003Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  


My New Career Path

Posted on Tuesday, November 18th, 2003

Dave!I'm going to quit my job and become a ninja because ninjas kick ass. I just have to remember to pick up some black pajamas and a ninja sword when I'm in Japan, 'cause I don't imagine that they sell that kind of stuff in K-Mart. Think about how much it would rule to be a ninja... you get to assassinate people that bug you (or write you hate-mail or cut you off in traffic) and look really cool doing it. Nobody would mess with a ninja, because you carry that wicked sword around and could just dice up their sorry asses for being stupid.

LEGO Ninja Boat Play Set #3050

See? Those are just tiny Lego ninjas and the totally rock! Real ninjas are at least ten times cooler than that.

Categories: DaveLife 2003Click To It: Permalink  1 Comment: Click To Add Yours!  


Exploding Dog

Posted on Wednesday, November 19th, 2003

Dave!For the past year, I've kind of made a ritual of visiting Exploding Dog a couple of times a month to catch up on what Sam has been drawing lately. If you have never been there, you owe it to yourself to check it out. Every week or so, this guy draws a fews pictures using titles and concepts that people e-mail to him. The amazing thing about his work is that, despite the fact they are all illustrated with stick figures, Sam manages to capture some pretty powerful emotions.

Exploding Dog art showing a stick figure sitting sadly on a wall next to a duck.

The above piece is titled i'm listening to sad songs, and is about as touching a work as I've ever seen in any museum.

Categories: Internets 2003Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  


Theme Thursday: Ego

Posted on Thursday, November 20th, 2003

Dave!Hmmm... how to photograph ego? Well, I suppose that yet another picture of my motorcycle would be a good choice. It's so damn cool that it's pretty hard not to get an ego boost from riding it. But the poor thing is in storage for the winter, which doesn't boost my ego at all (hey! it would work that way too!).

So what's left? Well, I suppose that the fact I've been to every Hard Rock Cafe in the US and Canada is kind of an ego boost (well, at least the ones that still exist)...

A close-up of a map of the United States with flag pins marking all the Hard Rock Cafes that I've visited.

Most people probably wouldn't care about that, but I think it makes me pretty darn special!

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I blame the Weather Man

Posted on Thursday, November 20th, 2003

Dave!Well, snow is finally here after numerous false predictions by local weather forecasters. This should make all of my upcoming travel plans interesting.

Weather forecast tile showing snow

Just so long as I don't get stuck in Minneapolis for ten hours like last year. Snow sucks ass.

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The Friday Five: Five Things

Posted on Friday, November 21st, 2003

Dave!1. List five things you'd like to accomplish by the end of the year. The year is almost over, and I am traveling for most of it, so there isn't much time left for accomplishing much at all. So I suppose that just surviving the year would be enough for me.

2. List five people you've lost contact with that you'd like to hear from again. I could easily come up with five people I'd like to hear from again but, out of respect for their privacy, I won't list their names here.

3. List five things you'd like to learn how to do. Motorcycle repair. Speak Japanese. Write a novel. Program in ActionScript. Illustrate on scratchboard.

4. List five things you'd do if you won the lottery (no limit). No limit AT ALL?!? Hmmm... starting small here: Ensure a comfortable future for my family and friends. Give an Apple Macintosh computer to every person I meet. See to it that no child ever goes hungry and has a safe place to sleep. Never work for money again. See the world.

5. List five things you do that help you relax. Watch my Tivo DVR recording of the day's Ellen Degeneres show. Listen to my music collection on my iPod. Read an Edgar Rice Burroughs novel. Leave the country. Draw.

Categories: Memes 2003Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  



Posted on Saturday, November 22nd, 2003

Dave!In the past, I've blogged about what a cool and amazing thing that the iTunes Music Store is. But now that the magic is wearing off, shopping for music there is just pissing me off. After buying a few iTunes by The Cure off their "Greatest Hits" collection, and really getting hooked, I decided to dig through all my old CDs (in storage) and rip their hallmark album, Disintegration, to my iPod for my upcoming month of travel. Well, after finally finding it, I notice that there is a huge gouge on the back of the CD that not even toothpaste will fix, rendering the thing unplayable.

Oh well, I can just buy it again from the iTunes Music Store, right?

The Cure's album Disintegration showing up as a partial album at the iTunes Music Store.

Uhhh... wrong. I get the dreaded "partial album" listing yet again. WTF? What could possibly be the logic of not offering the entire album? I can't imagine that this is the doing of The Cure frontman Robert Smith, who constructs his albums like poetry. Hacking Disintegration to pieces like this is tantamount to destroying the mood of the work as a whole, and what artist wants that? So it's got to be the record company. For some insane reason they don't want to sell you the entire album online. But why? Did they whore out the publication rights to line their pockets or something? Is this supposed to encourage me to run out and buy the CD instead?

Well congratulations to whatever dumbass record exec made this decision... I'm just going to download one of the billion copies floating around the internet for FREE!! What a load of crap. The sooner this antiquated music industry we have in place falls apart, and record companies die a horrible death, the better. What's the best way to encourage music theft? Don't give people a way to buy it online.

Categories: Music 2003Click To It: Permalink  1 Comment: Click To Add Yours!  


Jolly Good

Posted on Sunday, November 23rd, 2003

Dave!Alrighty then! Here's something I didn't think would happen again in my lifetime... England has won the Rugby World Cup!

As one of those "what happened the year you were born" moments, England winning the World Cup in 1966 is one of those feats that didn't seem likely to happen again (despite several high-profile footballers showing some promise in the late 90's). But thanks to the brilliance and grace of Jonny Wilkinson in the final minutes of the match, they somehow managed to pull it off, snatching the cup from Australia's grasp with a 20 to 17 win.

England victory celebration after winning the Rugby World Cup.
Image from Sky Sports UK

Sadly, Wilko's history-making moment overshadows his teammate's contribution (and in particular, team captain Martin Johnson, who should get a lot of the credit for 2003's amazing run), but his "Player of the Year" status is much deserved. I don't understand how anybody could be even remotely interested in American football when soccer action is far more exciting (probably has something to do with the fact that we suck so bad at "real" football).

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Posted on Tuesday, November 25th, 2003

Dave!Is it just me, or does Betty White totally kick ass? I was just watching the mostly forgettable I'm with Her tonight and here comes Betty (playing herself this time!). All of a sudden, a mediocre show that's barely holding my attention takes a quantum leap and has me riveted to the television...

It's a photo of Betty White!
No image attribute was given.

I guess it's too much to expect that, at her age, Betty could make an appearance on ALL television shows. How much would it rule to have Betty White on Alias? Or maybe on Las Vegas or even C.S.I.? And what about movies? If anybody could have saved Matrix Revolutions from sucking as bad as it did, it's Betty White!

Categories: Television 2003Click To It: Permalink  3 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  


The Friday Five: Shop Boy

Posted on Friday, November 28th, 2003

Dave!1. Do you like to shop? No. Why or why not? Because all of the stuff I need to buy I can get without all the hassle by purchasing online (and even that is more effort than I want to make). On top of that, anything I would really want to shop for is too expensive for me to actually buy, which is no fun at all (though, looking can be fun when it's electronics, motorcycles, or car).

2. What was the last thing you purchased? A news suitcase. My old one, which I love, is starting to fall apart a bit (in its defense, the poor thing has been around the world several times).

3. Do you prefer shopping online or at an actual store? Online. Why? It saves time and money.

4. Did you get an allowance as a child? Sure. How much was it? I haven't a clue... I suppose it depended on how many chores I completed that week/month.

5. What was the last thing you regret purchasing? My piece of crap Panasonic DVD Recorder... it was a lemon right out of the box, took Panasonic a month to fix, and should really be much better than it is for the money I spent. Every day I regret not buying one from Sony or Pioneer. I will never, ever buy anything from the crap factory of Panasonic again.

Categories: Memes 2003Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  


Help… me…

Posted on Saturday, November 29th, 2003

Dave!Holy shit! While we wait for Horizon to fix the airplane, some old guy has pulled out his BANJO and started to SING! As if the delay wasn't torture enough? I mean, sure the guy is probably just trying to do something nice... BUT A FRICKIN' BANJO?!? Ack, just kill me now.

Categories: Travel 2003Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  


Northwest Sucks Too

Posted on Saturday, November 29th, 2003

Dave!As it turns out, the stupidity of this morning's Horizon flight delay was just the beginning. I was promised that somebody would re-book my flight, but after 30 minutes of waiting, I decided to use my mobile phone and do it myself. Thanks to the friendly and efficient phone staff at Northwest Airlines, I had completed my re-book in just ten minutes (my first-class upgrade intact). I was told my confirmation code was the same and I was seated in 3-A for both of my connecting flights.

Or so I thought.

Horizon finally boards the flight when I get a rude shock... sometime in the 15 minutes after I hung up with NWA, I had been re-booked again on a different flight with a later connection in Memphis...landing 3-1/2 hours later than my already-delayed arrival. No problem, I board the aircraft and call up Northwest again to find out what happened...

... and this time get the rudest, most horrifyingly incompetent person I have ever had the displeasure of speaking to in my 20 years of travel. It went something like this:

Me: Hello, I'm having a problem because of a mechanical delay in my Horizon flight #2155 out of Wenatchee. I had re-book a flight through Minneapolis, landing in Milwaukee at 4:38, but somehow I'm now booked on a connection through Memphis arriving at 7:05.

Rude NWA Agent: You are going to have to calm down while I pull up your record.

Me: Sorry, I am— (I was GOING to say "I am in a hurry because I am on board a plane and they are going to close the cabin door in a minute," but she cut me off in mid-sentence!!)

Rude NWA Agent: You need to take a deep breath and be calm before I can help you. Now tell me your confirmation number.

Me: Sorry, but I couldn't get to a pen, be— (I was GOING to say "Because I was in-line at the ticket counter when I re-booked and could reach my bag," but she cut me off AGAIN).

Rude NWA Agent (REALLY rudely): You really should be more prepared when you travel. You should always have a pen with you to write down important things like this!!

Me: Uhhh... sorry, but I—

AND THIS IS WHERE THE f#@%ING PIECE OF $#!T HANGS UP ON ME!! Yes, you read that correctly, SHE HUNG UP ON ME!!!

Let me state up-front that at NO TIME was I rude, did I raise my voice, or act hostile IN ANY WAY. I was in a bit of a hurry because I had only a few minutes to use my mobile phone, but that's it!! I don't have any idea what her problem was, but it couldn't have been me.

So I get to Seattle, have to go through the entire story yet again with a new (and much nicer) phone agent as the battery in my mobile starts to drain away. She finally tells me that she can't seem to get me re-booked, and that she'll have to transfer me to another agent. So, for the fourth time in two hours, I explain the problem and get re-booked (again). But this time I get actual tickets from the gate agent, and everything works out... well, at least until I get to Minneapolis and find out that I've dropped out of the computer and my boarding pass doesn't work (yet another blow after having lost my First Class upgrade). The gate agent there takes pity on me and gets me on the flight anyway, which is good, because I was abut ready to kill somebody.

I realize that we are in the middle of the busiest travel weekend of the entire year, but WTF mate?!? Even if I were a rude asshole (which I absolutely was not), I did not deserve to be treated this badly. After I fire off a nasty complaint letter to Northwest, I hope (for their sake) they make this up to me somehow.

Categories: Travel 2003Click To It: Permalink  2 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  



Posted on Saturday, November 29th, 2003

Dave!As a seasoned traveller, I tend to be much more understanding of such airline-related mishaps as delays, cancelations, or other unpleasantness. But, after 20 years and hundreds of thousands of miles, I think I am finally close to reaching my breaking point.

For the third time in a row, Horizon has screwed up my Wenatchee departure due to "mechanical difficulties." Last time, a bird flew through the engine on the inbound flight the previous evening and nobody noticed it until it was time for us to depart (the flight was cancelled). This morning, an oxygen tank needed a new valve and, yet again, nobody noticed until it was time for us to start boarding (the flight was delayed 1-1/2 hours). WTF?!?


Seriously, if problems like this are so prevalent that I've had three consecutive Horizon flights cancelled or delayed because of mechanical problems... don't you think they would get a f#@%ing clue and figure out that it is to their benefit (not to mention that of their outraged customers) to check out the aircraft after the final flight of the evening?

Of course this means that all my connecting flights are now screwed up (thanks again Horizon!). I had padded my trip by an extra day just in case of weather problems... but come on! This type of stupidity is avoidable! Even if it's not feasible to check the plane the night before, couldn't somebody come to the airport an hour early and check out the aircraft? Hell, you make ME come to the airport an hour-and-a-half early... if your ground crew or pilot (or whoever checks the plane over) would do the same, the stupid oxygen valve could have been replaced and my flight would have been on time. Dumbasses!

Categories: Travel 2004Click To It: Permalink  3 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  


Lomira Sunset

Posted on Sunday, November 30th, 2003

Dave!Today was a busy day of work here in chilly Wisconsin, and I still have the entire night left to go (the job doesn't end until 7am tomorrow morning). Being too tired to eat after traveling all day, I decided to stop at the Piggly Wiggly for some junk food. On the way to my lodging, this beautiful sunset was out my window:

Pretty sunset in Lomira, Wisconsin.

Pretty sunset in Lomira, Wisconsin.

Which just goes to show that even on rough days there's always something cool going on if you stop and look for it.

Categories: Travel 2003Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  



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