This week has the perfect theme for where I live: beautiful things... Spring has sprung, and there are literally beautiful things everywhere you look. Probably the most obvious are the flowers that are starting to pop up all around. There is a little park across the street from where I work, so there is a canvas of colors painting the world outside my window. A buffet of beautiful things...
Well, okay, you got me... that's all a load of crap. Flowers are okay and everything but, since Elizabeth Hurley doesn't live in the apartment next door, there is only one beautiful thing to me just now...
Big surprise, I know. A pity you are not supposed to use old photos for Theme Thursday... I think the texture photographs I posted yesterday are beautiful things indeed.
I spend most of my time fast forwarding through commercials on television because they are stupid, unimaginative, and just plain boring. But now American Express has figured out how to make a commercial that people are going to want to watch. Even more impressive - though the commercial is five minutes long, I've taken the time to watch it three times! I'm half-way tempted to sign up for an AmEx card, just to support this stroke of brilliance and encourage other companies to make more interesting ads.
What would it be like to have Superman as your best friend and just hang out? If you are Jerry Seinfeld, it would be something like this...
Even better news... AmEx is making more of these cool "webvertisements," and it will be interesting to see who pops up next. When can we see Wonder Woman meeting David Letterman?
1. Who is your favorite super-hero from cartoons, comics, or television? It's a tie between two you probably have never heard of... Ultra Boy, who is a member of the futuristic Legion of Super-Heroes (he's kind of like Superman, but is far more interesting because he can only use one super power at a time!)... and Airwave, who is nephew to original Green Lantern of the Silver Age of comics, Hal Jordan.
I wonder if Friday Five has gone down permanently?
I should know better than to drive over to Seattle for big fun and heavy drinking on the same weekend when Daylight Savings nonsense is going on, as I just seem to get confused by it all. Since I have already railed against it here before, I guess I will simply reiterate how mind-boggling stupid I think that Daylight Saving Time is in this day and age. There is absolutely no reason for it and, if the entire country won't wake up and revoke this inane law, I can at least hope that Washington State can dump it like Arizona and Hawaii already have. Stupid, stupid, stupid.
I knew that a show as good as Wonderfalls was too good to last and, sadly, I was correct. According to creator Tim Minear's fansite, the show has been cancelled. WTF?!? How is it that any show with even the slightest glimmer of actual intelligence can't survive? Instead, we get an endless barrage of "reality" television programs that are so dumbed down that they might as well be spoon-fed to the audience.
Conclusion: People are too lazy and stupid to want to think while being entertained.
The truly moronic thing here is that there are 13 episodes of Wonderfalls completed... what happens to them? Can FOX find it in their heart to air them at midnight Sundays (or some other crap time slot) just so people who like the show can watch them? I mean, THEY'RE DONE! Is it too much to hope that they can be released on DVD one day?
If it's unique, different, smart, intelligent, witty, and unpredictable... very soon now you won't find it on network television (no matter how many rave reviews it receives). I wish networks wouldn't even bother ordering great shows like Wonderfalls to get people's hopes up when they have no intention of marketing it, supporting it, or giving it a decent time slot. Just bring on another episode of "Extreme Makeover Blind Date Celebrity Challenge" and stop wasting our time. Dumbasses.
While walking down the aisle of the local mini-mart here in town, I spied a bottle of Jones Soda "Naturals" with the very cool name of "D'Peach Mode" which is an obvious nod to my favorite band ever, Depeche Mode. Naturally, I just had to buy a bottle and see if the juice lives up to the name. As with all things from Jones Soda, this lovely blend of Natural Peach and Tangelo juices is terrific! Highly recommended... if you see a bottle, you should give it a try.
Also on the rack was "Bananaberry" (Banana & Strawberry) and "Dave" (Green Tea & Ginseng), so I'll have to grab a bottle of those next time.
Back in 2002, a company called PanIP started threatening lawsuits to small businesses who conduct business on the internet. They claim that all e-commerce falls under two patents they own, and therefor anybody selling online has to pay them ridiculous sums of money or they'll be party to a lawsuit. Legal hilarity ensued, and ultimately PanIP climbed back under the rock from whence they came (hey, it's not like the actually make anything that needs patent protection... they just file patents for the sake of filing patents which should be illegal).
Flash forward to today and PanIP is at it once again! They found yet another scum-sucking, ass-biting, piece of shit lawyer to start extorting money from smaller e-businesses for the right to sell online because of two obtuse patents which are so broad in scope that it's easier to say what they don't cover as opposed to what they are actually patents for.
Since everything is run by computers on the internet now-a-days, you would think that this kind of patent would be summarily rejected by the US Patent and Trademark Office... but since he USPTO won't get up off their asses and overturn such ridiculously stupid approvals from way back in 1994, small businesses are left with no choice but to pay PanIP extortion money because it's too expensive to fight them in court.
As if small businesses in the US didn't have a hard enough time surviving, now they have to put up with free-trade inhibiting lawsuits supported by a government that is supposed to protect them from this sort of thing. Broad, sweeping patents like those held by PanIP are baseless and should be immediately revoked. Slimy lawyers that choose to pervert the law to take advantage of our weak patent structure should be disbarred or shot. I'm just waiting for some ass-wipe to patent "a method of recording thoughts and ideas via electronic storage for distribution over a network" and decides I have to pay him for creating this blog (hey, it's probably closer than you think!). How long before the USA just implodes from stupid lawyer shit like this?
Selma Blair is one of those actresses that seems to hover on the fringes of Hollywood, taking memorable small roles in an eclectic mix of films and TV. I first remember her from the television bomb Zoe, Duncan, Jack & Jane and later from the most excellent film Cruel Intentions (where she makes out with Sarah Michelle Gellar in Central Park... sweet!). Then Selma moved on to Legally Blonde and an underrated Cameron Diaz film called The Sweetest Thing.
And now she's playing Liz Sherman in Hellboy which could be her best role yet... I can't wait to see it.
To promote the movie, Selma has been doing the talk-show circuit. I knew from previous interviews that she was funny, but something else is going on now... Selma is hot. While scanning TiVo from yesterday, I ran across her appearance on Ellen where she took my breath away...
Yes. I think the word you are looking for is "radiant."
My favorite part of the interview was when Ellen was asking about Selma's one-eyed dog "Wink"...
Ellen: So his eye was missing when you found him?
Selma: No, but I thought he was cuter that way, sooo...
Classic! Yep, I'm in love again. A pity she just got married to Ahmet Zappa.
According to my Buddhist studies, a primary concept in living a harmonious life is to do no harm. Since I am pretty sure that this includes not killing innocent animals, I am of mixed feelings when it comes to wearing leather. On one hand, it's kind of sad that an animal has to die in order for me to have a pair of boots and a jacket... on the other hand, leather offers amazing protection (which is a big deal if you ever take a spill on your motorcycle and have the pavement attempt to remove several layers of your skin).
Sadly, I rather favor my own skin over that of a cow, so I'm afraid the cow is out of luck. Of course, if the cow is already dead because meat-loving carnivores have eaten it... well, that's hardly my fault now is it?
Not only that, but wearing a leather jacket while riding a motorcycle also looks much cooler... even in a cartoon drawing.
Anyway, my mind made up, I decided to see if there is a custom leather shop in Seattle that might have jackets in tall sizes that would fit me better than the jackets bought off the rack. Thanks to the internet, you would think that finding a leather jacket shop in Seattle would be simple. You would be wrong. If you search for "Seattle Leather" in Google, you do end up with leather shops in the Seattle area... but they are not quite the leather garb I had in mind for riding my motorcycle...
Scary. I'm not quite sure where to go from here.
The minute this week's Theme Thursday mailing hit my in-box with the subject of heavy metal, I knew exactly what my photographs were going to involve. The back-alleys of my home town here in Cashmere, Washington are filled with all kinds of interesting metal fittings... heavy metal doors, pipes, grates, and bars are everywhere. Most people would probably think that this makes the city look junky, but I think it's actually pretty cool. We've got a post-industrial kind of funk going on that makes an interesting contrast to the "Early American" theme that's decorating the town. My favorite shot from today is of this old fire door that's just been torn out...
Other heavy metal contenders...
My favorite old structure in the entire city is the so-called "Modern Apartments" building that might have actually been modern at one time, but I remain skeptical. Talk about heavy metal... if that concrete and steel balcony should ever fall on anybody, they're dead meat!
Every morning when I ride past that building, I wonder if the typeface for "Modern Apartments" actually exists, or if I should use it as inspiration to create a new typeface of my own. It's so very retro-cool.
I am wearing two different kinds of socks today and, since I wasn't hung over this morning, it's a big mystery as to how I could let it happen. On my left foot is a Nike swoosh athletic... on my right is a Tommy Hilfiger logo signature... I'm pretty embarrassed about that, even though nobody would be able to tell unless I were in an accident and rushed to the ER or something (fortunately, I am wearing clean underwear though).
I never look at other people's entries for Theme Thursday until I have posted my own... I just don't want to be unduly influenced by somebody else and end up stealing their idea (even subconsciously). So after posting my heavy metal photograph, I took a run through everybody and was surprised to see how many used metal bridges in their shot. That's a pretty good idea, especially if you live in Pittsburgh, because there are some really cool photos to be had there. This one was taken last summer...
Pittsburgh seems to have the image of a dirty old steel town that's truly undeserved, as it is actually a beautiful city.
I ran through a few tests on fuali.com and found out some things about myself (well, not really... these things are ridiculous). Regardless, it was an amusing way to kill 10 minutes (especially since the odds of getting a new Friday Five topic are diminishing with each passing week).
I am 65% Evil Genius: This is very disappointing figure, because I pride myself on being at least 85%-90% Evil Genius. I need to really work on this figure... but, sadly, I just can't bring myself to kick a wounded animal! Maybe there are pills to fix this kind of thing?
I am 48% Geek: Well, it's less than half... but not by much. I am guessing that I was a bit higher, maybe in the 60%-70% range, in high school. Now if only I could figure out if dropping a bit in my geek ranking is a good thing or a bad thing?
I am 42% internet Addict: This is probably about right. I am online either working, learning, or playing most of my waking hours (and have a Macintosh PowerBook with wireless connectivity so I can be online in every room of my apartment and while I travel)... but... I have no problem at all leaving it behind. If I go away for a weekend of unacceptable behavior, I don't miss the internet or even think about it.
I am 35% Metrosexual: This is probably not accurate, as I don't really care about a majority of the things that define a Metrosexual. I think the reason I rank so high is because I am forced into a bit of maintenance as a side-effect of Accutane treatments I took years ago (though, to be fair, I do NOT harbor bad feelings toward Accutane...I'll gladly live with the annoying permanent side-effects instead of the horrors of advanced clinical acne I suffered through. I do realize that there are plenty of people who have very critcal feelings toward the drug, but to me it was a life-saver).
Kind of a bummer that I'm not a 100% anything. Does that mean I'm wishy-washy, or just eclectic?
What in the hell is going on? Last time I checked, the first amendment of the Bill of Rights from the Constitution of the United States of America ensures freedom of speech for all its citizens. Apparently, this is only true if you support the ever-growing "public decency" madness propagated by the increasingly scary Bush administration. It does not apply to people like Howard Stern who are critical of it.
In shocking, but unsurprising news, Howard Stern has been fired. His show is the same as it's always been... vulgar, offensive, and loaded with sex... but all of a sudden it's no longer acceptable to air on public airwaves. It's a-okay for Oprah to discuss rim-jobs and rainbow party oral sex on her television show without penalty, but Stern gets fined and fired?
HELPFUL HINT: if you find something on the radio objectional or offensive, you can change the f#@%ing channel or turn the blasted thing off! Not everybody has the same morals or tastes in entertainment as you. Some folks actually enjoy listening to that kind of thing. This being America and all, people should be entitled to listen to Stern even if you happen hate him.
Where does this end? Will it ever end? How long before the movies I love, the books I enjoy, the television shows I watch... how long before they are taken away?
1. What do you do for a living? I'm a graphic designer.
2. What do you like most about your job? Being creative.
3. What do you like least about your job? Long hours.
4. When you have a bad day at work it's usually because...? I'm behind -- again -- because other people wait until the last minute when they need something and I have to drop everything else to fit it in my overwhelmingly busy schedule.
5. What other career(s) are you interested in? Photojournalist or translator.
As usual I cannot sleep tonight but, this time around, it's actually explainable... I was really sick all day, and spent most of it in bed being miserable. I'm pretty sure it was food poisoning of some kind, but I cannot imagine what I ate to cause it. This is rotten luck because I was counting on finishing up some things at work so that my weekend would be free. Now I don't know what's going to happen, as I still have to get that work completed before Monday.
What it probably means is that I won't get to work on my Hard Rock site or go for a motorcycle ride like I had planned. That sucks!
To cut down on the tedium, I found a list of 23 questions to answer from Neil's blog...→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
I finally managed to get my lovely case of food poisoning under control. Unfortunately, I still wasn't in any condition to go to work, which means that I'll be working on Easter Sunday tomorrow so I can get caught up. Bummer. Today was mostly a wasted day of washing clothes, watching television, reading my book, and not much else. About the only constructive thing I managed to do was work on my DaveCafe Hard Rock site for a bit. It's still got a long way to go before it's completed, but it's a start.
Unfortunately, my ambitious plans for a table-free CSS layout have been dashed thanks to the lame non-standards compliant browser that Microsoft built: internet Explorer. No matter what I do, the CSS I constructed for layout refuses to render properly in IE (even though it had no trouble in Safari, Opera, Firefox, and Navigator). Stupid Microsoft. This left me with little choice except to take a giant step backwards and go back to tables for layout.
This will be DaveCafe version 3.0. I was actually quite happy with the previous version 2.1 design, but I had seen it copied from time to time so I thought I would try something completely different. I hadn't seen any other Hard Rock fan sites with cartoon characters, so there you have it.
Easter Sunday is a great excuse to sit around watching cartoons, cook frozen pizza for breakfast lunch and dinner, and doing a little Spring Cleaning on the hard drive.
Now where's my candy? Damn you Easter Bunny!
Annoyance #1: Mobile phones are quickly becoming more of an annoyance than television commercials. Today when I went to the post office, there was a woman in the lobby talking on her mobile phone at FULL VOLUME... YELLING OUT PERSONAL DETAILS FOR ANYBODY TO HEAR!! While I was waiting to pick up a parcel at the counter, I couldn't help but listen to her rambling on and on about her daughter's marital problems (we're talking all the juicy details, fit for a television movie). Is she too stupid to realize that everybody in this very public place can hear her? I'm sure her daughter would be mortified (and, since this is such a small town, I'm sure that several people at the post office knew her and who her daughter was). Have people no shame?
Annoyance #2: Comment spam on this blog is escalating at a frightful rate. I'd hoped that banning the IP addresses from commenting again would solve things, but it doesn't. Even worse, some legitimate comments are blocked in the process. I wonder if there is a legal recourse for comment spam? All I know is that I am getting really tired of manually deleting it every day. The folks at Movable Type are starting up a commenting registration system... I hope that works out.
Annoyance #3: Is it my imagination, or are automated phone answering systems getting more complicated? It used to be you had only one or two levels of "press 1 for this, press 2 for that, press 3 for the other." But now, I find myself easily going 6 or 7 levels deep in these systems... sometimes unable to get out. Do companies honestly think this is how their customers want to spend their time?
I just got done watching the Biography tribute to Phil Hartman and it once again hit me how much I miss that man. He was unquestionably one of the funniest people on the planet, and his work on Saturday Night Live makes him my favorite SNL player to date (who could forget Phil as Sinatra? Donahue? Clinton? and so many others?). And then there were his standout characters of Lionel Hutz and Troy McClure on The Simpsons. And, of course, his brilliant performance of Bill McNeil on News Radio.
Every time I hear a voiceover that Phil did... or run across an old show or movie Phil was in... my heart sinks a bit as I wonder how many other wonderful projects he could have made for me to laugh with had he not been killed. Phil, you are much missed.
For the longest time, I had always thought that people wearing fanny packs had serious issues: "look... it's a purse... but not really!" This probably has more to do with my hang-ups than actual fact, but I listen to Pet Shop Boys and like art, so make of it what you will. Anyway, this past weekend I decided to bite the bullet, add a few metrosexual points, and actually buy one of these things. I am tired of having to cram everything I own into my pockets for my morning commute to work... it's uncomfortable and makes me look all lumpy:
Woman on the street: "Is that a mobile phone, a digital camera, a garage door opener, a set of house keys, an iPod, and a baggie of Apple-Cinnamon Cheerios in your pocket, or are you just glad to see me?
So now that I don't have to worry about all those unsightly bulges (well, almost all of them) ruining my streamline look as I ride my motorcycle to work, all I have to do is solve the problem of helmet hair which is just getting worse the longer I put off getting it cut...
Are there pills for this or should I just shave my head?
In honor of the one-year blogiversary of Blogography (just five days away!), I've decided to add a gallery to the site. I've received more than a couple requests to do this, but always resisted because most of my photos are filled with friends and family that may not want to have their picture posted on the internet.
I know, it's kind of a lame excuse... I was just too lazy to look for photos.
Anyway, a gal e-mailed me to point out that there are already hundreds of photos scattered in my blog, so I had plenty of "acceptable" pictures readily available if I would just get off my ass and make pages for them. She was right of course, so I guess I'm out of excuses. It will take a while to get everything set up, but I'll try to add a couple of new galleries each day... so, if you're interested, check back from time to time to see what's new.
UPDATE: Obviously in the day-and-age of Google Image Search, having a local gallery page is a bit silly, so my old gallery pages have been removed. Ah the price of progress!
This morning I awoke to an in-box filled with rejected messages I never sent. Apparently, some dumbass spammer is using my daveweb.com domain in the return address of the crap they are sending. Anybody looking at the actual e-mail headers can see that the spam did not originate at DaveWeb, but I guess some spam and virus detection programs don't bother to dig that far. Even so, the fact that some bastard is pretending to be me to send spam (which I loathe) really pisses me off.
Isn't something like this illegal? This being the USA and all, am I within my legal right to hunt down this piece of shit and shoot him with a really big gun? Or do I at least get to sue the ass-clown for TEN MILLION DOLLARS over this?
When is something actually going to be done about spam? I get (on average) around 300 spams each day... there are currently 332 trapped in my SpamCop holding bin since yesterday morning. Did anybody actually think the spam law that went into effect would do anything? We don't need fines... we need public executions!! = Sigh = Since I started writing this, another three spam rejects have come in. I hope this means I don't have to deactivate the domain until this all blows over.
UPDATE: After taking a look at the e-mail addresses that spam is being sent to, I see that most of them are just random names sent to my domains (dozens of them are to "webmaster" as well). The simple solution seems to be rejecting any e-mail not sent to a valid address. So, now that I have only one e-mail address for each domain, I wonder how that will affect my spam counts?
As I was prepping some New Orleans photos to add to my gallery page, I ran across a link to a nice Photoshop "action" that will alter your images so that they look like they've been taken with a Lomo camera (thank you Jason Kottke!). For anybody not knowing what a Lomo is, it's a nifty Russian-made camera that takes intense pictures dripping with color. I had a used Lomo a long time ago and liked it a lot, but it was badly damaged on a hiking expedition and was not long for this world. I've always wanted to get another one, but there are so many models to choose from that I can't make up my mind. You can see the Lomo line-up at the official Lomography web site.
The Lomoizer action can be found on RedScreen for free, courtesy of Jake Ingman. I just made a quick pass through all the photos in the gallery, and they look pretty cool, but I'll probably experiment with the effect when I have more time and tweak them more to my liking. Here is a sample of the Lomo effect on a couple of shots:
Hmmm... now I really got to save up some cash to get a real Lomo!
UPDATE: Sadly, the Lomoizer action has long since been discontinued.
Excuse me for a minute... Billy Idol just came on Random Play from my iTunes jukebox...
This is why it's so cool to be able to have all 8626 of my songs with me wherever I go. Just put my iPod or iTunes on random and anything from my music-listening past can come back to haunt me. Billy rocks!
Of all the Theme Thursday's I've done so far, none have been easier than noise. Directly across the street from my office are the train tracks through town, so all day long I've got painfully loud train whistles blowing noise at me as I am trying to work. I don't seem to notice the trains as much as I used to... unless I am on the phone. Then it's impossible to ignore them since you have to repeat everything several times while screaming so that the other person can hear you.
Taken outside my office door... in the background there, you can see the train speeding through town. Here comes the noise...
And there goes the noise. This time taken across the street. Note that I did not tilt the camera while shooting this (the little building is the one that's crooked)...
Still playing with that Lomoize action in Photoshop here.
It looks like The Friday Five came back for a week, only to disappear again. I hope everything is okay with Heather. Anyway, I added a few photos to my ever-growing Blogography Gallery. This time there are photos from the stunning Hard Rock Hotel in Bali. If you're looking to get away from it all, this is the place...
Somehow, I think my upcoming visit to the Hard Rock Hotel in Chicago will pale in comparison, no matter how great a job they made of it!
Here is another set of questions that's popped up on Neil's blog (the previous set was under my entry "Twenty-Three"). Since there was no Friday Five meme this week, here we go...
1. Who do you admire the most and why? I admire two traits above the others... hard work and kindness. Given that, I'm compelled to say "Mother Theresa." I know that answer sounds trite, but it's true. As I've said before, I also admire anybody who is part of "Doctors Without Borders.
2. What would you have as your last meal if you were on death row? A Johnny Rockets Streamliner vegetarian burger without grilled onions and add extra mayo, an entire Da Vinci pizza from David's Pizza, a large order of fries with plenty of ketchup, a chocolate shake, and a glass of water.
3. What is your earliest memory? Playing with neighborhood kids when I was living in San Diego. I have no idea how old I was, but it was very young... 4 maybe?
4. If you had 3 wishes, what would your 3rd wish be? An end to all violence in the world.
5. If you had to be blind or deaf, which would you choose? Probably deaf... that way I could still do my job and travel the world unaided.
6. Have you ever been dared to do something where the risk exceeded the reward (ie. jump off a building for a penny)? I'm sure I've done that many times. The one that comes to mind ended up with me getting my ass kicked and losing the reward (which wasn't really worth it in the first place). You would think that I learned my lesson but, alas, I did not.
7. If you were forced to live the rest of your existence in a fictional world from a movie, book and TV show which ones would you select? The movie Total Recall had an interesting take on the near-future that has never left me since I first watched it. Maybe it's the girl-on-girl fight action (with Sharon Stone no less!) that made such an impression, but they sure made the future seem a nifty place to live (as answered from the Friday Five on June 13). But I also really like Neil's answer of Back to the Future II (riding a hover board would indeed be sweet!).
8. If you had a superpower, which superpower would it be and why? It would be pretty cool to be able to fly... but I'd probably rather be invulnerable to harm so I could do any crazy thing I wanted to without getting hurt... wouldn't it be nifty to jump out of an airplane without a parachute? (as answered from the Vrijdag Vijf on April 2).
9. What is your favourite vegetable? Qunicy Sweet Corn. The best in the world and, since Qunicy is less than an hour away, you can find it everywhere here.
10. In how many different languages do you know the meaning of at least one word? Well, I think that "taxi" is one of those words that's the same in 99% of all languages but, just like Neil, I would have to answer "thanks." Before I travel to any country with a foreign language, I strive to learn at least a minimal vocabulary so I can speak basic courtesies... "thanks" would be the top of the list. Hmmm, looking at a map of the world... let's see, I know how to say it in Cantonese (doh jeh), Japanese (arigatou), Alaskan (taku), Thai (khrap), Danish (tack), Icelandic (tack), Portuguese (obrigado), Balinese (mata suksama), Norwegian (tack), Swedish, Dutch (dank), French (merci), Hawaiian (mahalo), German (dank), Spanish (gracias), Italian (grazie), Korean (komapsumida), Russian (spacibo), Hindi (dahnyavahd), Cherokee (wa doh), Arabic (shookran), and English. There are a few I am not positive of... like Gaelic (rab math agat?), Cambodian (ah kun?), and Latin (gratis?). And there are a few I knew at one time, but have forgotten... Malay, Polish, and Tagalog. (NOTE: I have not travelled to all of these places... some of the words I learned from books or movies).
11. What did you want to be when you were a child? A fireman (didn't everybody?).
12. What one event (if any) would you change in your personal past if you had the power to do it once? I find myself wondering what my life would be like now if I hadn't entered into a certain disastrous relationship from my past... but I suppose living through that horror made me who I am today, so I guess I'd have to say I wouldn't change anything. Of course there are always little things you wish you could take back, but that's part of life and I try not to dwell on them.
13. What’s the one question you want to be asked of you in an interview? Job interview: "Do you mind of we force you to take all of the vacation time you earn?" (since I haven't been able to take all my earned vacation hours in over a decade). Newspaper Interview: "How do you plan on spending the 25 million dollars you just won in the lottery?"
14. Have you ever cheated death? Heavens yes... many times... but that was back when I was young and stupid. I'm a little more careful now.
15. What was the most important decision you’ve ever had to make? Whether to take a job I was offered at Microsoft. I passed, but sometimes wonder if I'd be a millionaire today if I had!
16. Which sports team do you support the most, and why? BOSTON RED SOX FOREVERRRRR!!!
17. Mobile phones (cellphones) - evil or good? They are neither, it's how people use them that's evil or good. I've twice had to use mine in emergency situations (not for myself), so I guess I'd have to say "good" despite how annoying some people are with them.
18. What is your favourite song at the moment? Only One by The Pet Shop Boys from their album Nightlife.
It looks as though more excellent television is heading to DVD... I'm especially happy about Quantum Leap and Tour of Duty (which are on my wish list), but am dismayed that crap shows like Saved by the Bell, Andromeda, Punky Brewster, Mutant X, Star Trek Voyager and, heaven help us, Who's the Boss are being released when amazing shows like Wonderfalls, Cupid and Oh Grow Up! are not. Oh well, I suppose I should be thankful for what I can get rather than lamenting what I cannot...
Yikes... I'm going to go bankrupt over the next few months!
It's been one year since I started Blogography, which makes today my first blogiversary. It seems kind of strange that I've continued with it as long as I have (my two previous attempts never lasted over 3 months). Most of the credit for this blog's longevity can be attributed to Adriaan Tijsseling and his amazing blogging tool "ecto for MacOS X" (formerly known as "Kung-Log"). Keeping a blog current can be quite a chore, but ecto makes it nearly effortless. Microsoft sufferers will be happy to know that ecto for Windows was just released last week... if it's only half as good as the Mac version, it'll still be amazing.
Another round of thanks should go out to Ben and Mena Trott, creator of the sweet Movable Type software that powers this blog. I can't wait to see what they've got planned for version 3.0!
Blogography was started so that I could keep friends up-to-date with what I was up to, and had an initial audience of 8 people. A bit more people are reading it now, and I've met some terrific new friends because of it. Here are some stats I've put together...
So there you have it. Even I am interested to know if I'll make it another year.
Yes! More Uma ass-kicking goodness was to be had with Kill Bill: Volume 2. It was not as intense as the first part (which makes it seem a bit boring by comparison) but I'd imagine once Quentin edits them back together into the single film it was meant to be that it will even out a bit. In any event, the wait was worth it... the fight between Uma and Daryl was perfect (and gave me a BladeRunner flashback). As with all of Tarantino's movies, I was left wanting more (much more of Pai Mei!), hopefully in ten years Quentin will make good on his promise and bless us with Volume 3.
In the meanwhile, the trailer for Hero with Jet Li has a definite Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon vibe with lush visuals and some cool special effects. Absolutely looking forward to that one.
Spring has sprung, the apple blossoms are on the trees, and it's time for people to clean out their houses in a frenzy of road-side giveaways. I used to think that if you drove the back-roads of the Cashmere Valley during Spring cleaning time, you could find everything but the kitchen sink to furnish an entire home in discarded goods. This morning on the way to work, I was proven wrong...
Now I have officially changed my position in that you can find everything to furnish an entire home including the kitchen sink (and apparently a bed liner for your pickup truck as well).
Living the good life in rural America.
This morning I was awakened by the sound of torrential rains slamming into my roof. It made me almost glad that I was driving my car today instead of my motorcycle. But in the time it took me to get up, take a shower, and get dressed the rain had stopped. When I finally stepped outside, all I could see was the aftermath; flowers crushed, leaves and blossoms stripped from the trees... a pretty big mess. After I ate some toast for breakfast and headed off to work, the sun was coming out and Mother Nature was already starting to recover...
I guess even fragile things can be tough when they have to be.
As awful as travel has become now-a-days, it's even worse when you are going someplace you really don't want to go to do something you really don't want to do. Of course, for trips like that, everything that can go wrong does go wrong, making a bad situation substantially worse. My frustration began as I arrived at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport when, oops, I forgot the reason I loathe flying out of SeaTac... it's filled with idiots.
This has been my view for the past 10 minutes (yes... TEN MINUTES!!). Two cars ahead of me is a moron in an SUV waiting for a carload of geriatric travelers to load up their crap so they can take that parking spot. Problem is, the old people are in no hurry at all, so here we sit while the dumbass SUV makes everybody wait.
Here is the part where I lose it...
JUST AROUND THE CORNER AHEAD... NO MORE THAN TEN SECONDS AWAY... IS A RAMP TO THE NEXT LEVEL WHERE THERE ARE LOADS OF PARKING SPACES AVAILABLE!!! WHY IN THE HELL ARE YOU BLOCKING TRAFFIC FOR TEN MINUTES WHEN YOU COULD HAVE ALREADY PARKED AND WALKED TO THE TERMINAL BY NOW? EXACTLY HOW STUPID ARE YOU?!?
I was going to post an "oops" photo I took of a car that ran into a ditch, but how do I know it was an actual "oops"? Maybe the owner intended to run the car into the ditch. With this photo, however, I can be sure that "OOPS, somebody too stupid to be driving is causing a fifteen-car traffic jam."
Here I am sitting on the plane where "we have reached an altitude where electronic devices may now be used." A woman brought in a bouquet of lilacs, so I am guessing that the entire plane is going to stink like floral ass for the next 3 hours and 20 minutes. Lovely.
But that's not why I am writing this.
A gentleman just ahead of me has a comb-over hair-do than puts Donald Trump to shame. I sit here wondering how he manages to construct such an elaborate system of swirls and swoops on top of his head each morning. I'm guessing he's got at least 3 feet of hair in a carefully stacked layers, criss-crossing from one side of his head to the other and finally culminating in a fierce swirl around the perimeter. It's absolutely bizarre, yet I cannot look away. It is taking all the willpower I've got to refrain from whipping out my camera and taking a photo. This is a work of art, baby!
NOTE TO SELF: If baldness should suddenly attack, admit defeat and move on with your life.
My work done in the Windy City, it was time for my favorite Chicago moment...
Go to Giordano's and order a stuffed cheese pizza.
Sit at the bar.
Watch a Cubs game with the natives.
Eat good pizza and drink a beer (or three).
Be thankful that at this moment life is good.
While visiting in Chicago, guests of Blogography.com stay at the stunning Hard Rock Hotel downtown on Michigan Avenue. It's a wonderful restoration of the old "Carbide and Carbon Building" that looks as though the interior was swiped from the "W Hotel" chain... especially the bathroom... with everything in an upscale modern style in various shades of gray. It's a bit on the pricey side (I paid $160 at discount for a "standard" room) but no more than any of the other nicer hotels in the area.
That's part of a metal mural of The Who that runs across the wall of my bathroom. I'd give the hotel my highest recommendation if you find yourself looking for a place to stay in downtown Chicago... not quite the Hard Rock Hotel Bali, but a very nice property just the same.
I just returned from Detroit where I met up with Jeff from Geekable for lunch at the new Hard Rock. It's kind of boring on the outside, but nicely appointed on the inside... especially the bar, which has a really unique look to it.
During the 5-hour drive back to Milwaukee, I stopped off in Chelsea, Michigan for gas and found out that the city is home to "The World's Largest Teddy Bear" (or so they claim). He's kind of homely, but he is big...
Even more surprising than the giant bear is that the factory which makes Jiffy baking mixes is right across the street...
It's odd what you run across when you take a quick detour off the highway.
When I get back from a trip, the first thing I do is check out my TiVo to see what television shows have been recorded while I was away (the answering machine and unpacking will just have to wait). After watching Tina Fey on SNL and an interview with Tina Fey on Ellen, I've decided that I have a crush on her. It's hard not to have a crush on a woman that's this smart and funny.
Okay, she's totally hot too. I think it must be the glasses.
I should preface this entry with the disclaimer that I abhor violence... I really do. I think that anybody who resorts to violence is pretty damn stupid because they couldn't find a better solution. That being said, I am at the end of my rope and want a gun. But, unlike most gun-toting morons that end up in the news for shooting somebody for no good reason at all, I actually have a good reason...
I want to blow away all the morons who don't understand the concept of KEEP RIGHT EXCEPT TO PASS.
Here's a typical scenario... I'm driving home from Seattle yesterday and SEVERAL TIMES come across this:
The dumbass is driving in the PASSING LANE but is NOT PASSING ANYBODY!! They're in the WRONG lane and won't move over (WHICH IS AGAINST THE LAW) because they are just too damn ignorant to know their left from their right. People like this are too stupid to be driving... probably too stupid to be living, and so I think it should be within my legal right to take care of the situation with a big-ass gun. If I have to pass your lame ass on the right, then you deserve to have your shit ruined...
Furthermore, if they are in the wrong lane AND driving under the speed limit then not only should they be taken out... but I should be able to hunt down their entire family because this is obviously some sort of genetic defect that should be eliminated for the good of society.
"KEEP RIGHT EXCEPT TO PASS" is pretty self-explanatory, so what's the problem? As usual, it boils down to people being stupid. Isn't it about time we do something about this ever-growing problem on America's highways?
UPDATE: I was e-mailed a link devoted to exposing and reporting "Left Lane Dicks!" Not only that, but a quick Google search reveals all kinds of rants by people fed up with these morons. Apparently I am not alone.
UPDATE: Was just sent a link to an excellent site, which allows you to see if your state has lane laws like Washington. Visit "Drive Right, Pass Left".
Ever had one of those days where nothing goes right? Well, that's today for me.
Every morning on the way to work I drive by a lilac bush that's stuck in a ditch. Despite her less than ideal location, she's a beautiful vision in purple that transcends her humble roots. It's a rather excellent metaphor for life I think.
I still cannot figure out what is so astoundingly difficult about The Friday Five that "April is a busy month" is a rational excuse not to post five simple questions. I think people are going to start abandoning it if this keeps up. Anyway, I am once again going to post up my own questions so I don't get out of the habit. I was talking with some people about the end of the television show Friends yesterday, so maybe that's a timely topic?
1. What is your favorite episode of Friends? That is amazingly difficult because there have been so many excellent episodes (particularly in the early days), but "The One Where Everybody Finds Out" is the one I most often think of when I think of the show now... it's the one where Phoebe accidently finds out about Monica and Chandler's relationship, so she conspires with Rachel to mess with them by pretending to be attracted to Chandler. Not only do you get a hilarious faux-seduction scene with Phoebe and Chandler, you also get Chandler and Monica saying they love each other, which is a much more defining moment for the show to me that the whole Ross/Rachel thing. Close runners up would any of the "flashback" episodes and the shows where we get to see Phoebe with her twin sister Ursula.
2. Who is your favorite Friends character? That's a close call between Chandler and Phoebe... but in the end I'd have to say Chandler. Most of the funniest moments have him in them.
3. Who is your least favorite Friends character? ROSS... could he BE any more annoying? Though Monica does have her stupid moments too.
4. Which of the Friends characters are you most like? Just like Chandler, I also have disastrous luck with women and an often-inappropriate sense of humor.
5. If they were to make Friends all over again today with an entirely different cast, who would you like to see on the show? I can't imagine anybody else playing those parts but, just for fun, here's my go at it: Phoebe: Tara Reid plays ditsy well and, from her guest appearances on Scrubs, I know she could also have a serious side and fit into a group dynamic with no trouble. Monica: Caroline Dhavernas from the short-lived (but amazing) show Wonderfalls could easily bring another level of irony and wit to the character, all while making her less compulsive and whiny. Rachel: Jessica Alba would totally kick ass in this role. Chandler: This part is almost impossible to cast better than Matthew Perry, but I think The O.C. alum Adam Brody (who plays a similar character anyway) would be a good choice. Joey: The show always suffered a bit from a lack of diversity (as MOST shows do) so why not convert from a struggling actor to a struggling singer and put Usher in the mix? Ross: It's not hard to top David Schwimmer's whiny, spineless take on the character, and I think someone like Breckin Meyer could do a much better job of it.
Friends has had their ups and downs over the years, but very few American television programs have this consistent level of quality, so I will definitely miss it (though not too much, because I've been buying all the DVD sets!). In the end, it's probably best that they are calling it quits while the show is once again on a high note, but I can't help but wonder what would have happened if we would have gotten just one more season...
It seems that bloggers missing the Friday Five this week are searching for something else to fill the void. I received an e-mail telling me that a great place for blog questions is BZOINK!, which has lots of them. This one was called "Have You Ever?"
Have you ever hit someone forcefully?: Yes. It's easy when somebody is hitting you.
Have you ever thrown anything at a moving car?: Yes. But before you get too excited, it was a water balloon.
Have you ever been in a fist fight?: Yes. Twice. It is NOT like it looks in the movies.
Have you ever laughed so hard you cried?: Yes. My friends are THAT funny (when I've been drinking).
Have you ever hit an animal on the road?: No. Thankfully.
Have you ever seen a Beatles film?: Yes. A Hard Day's Night is classic.
Have you ever cussed?: Yes. Often.
Have you ever been on a subway?: Yes. It's kind of a hobby: Berlin, Boston, Kobe, Kyoto, London, Montreal, Nagoya, New York, Osaka, Paris, Rome, San Francisco, Singapore, Stockholm, Tokyo, Toronto, and Washington DC.
Have you ever taught a little kid to cuss?: No. Why in the hell would you do something like that?
Have you ever cheated on a test/exam?: Yes. But only because the teacher was a dick and penalized me for no good reason on a previous test. I had to make up for it somehow.
Have you ever skipped school?: Yes. Hasn't everybody?
Have you ever egged someones house?: Yes. Halloween, and it was that same dick-head teacher. I can't bring myself to regret it, even today.
Have you ever gotten a computer virus?: No. I use a Mac.
Have you ever cried for no reason at all?: No. Does being drunk count as a reason?
Have you ever missed someone?: Yes. All the time.
There's quite an assortment to choose from... including R-rated, political, and l-o-n-g (over 100 questions) surveys.